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mass our pictures and see mighty events in their true perspective. And so it seems that when a future historian comes to tell the story of our epoch, what will stand out with glorious brilliance will be this war-the first war of man fought to establish an ideal. And this glorious wave of democracy spread to our land. It is with little satisfaction that we can look on the official attitude of our country, but the heart of our people was right. The suffering of the combatants was terrible, but it did not end with them. Here in our own Lancashire and district the distress was very great. The hungry forties have been a nightmare to one generation of workers, as this cotton famine has
this cotton famine has proved to another. Industrious, skillful, through no fault of their own, mill hands by the thousand suddenly found themselves out of work and in want of bread. The rest of the country did what it could, but the suffering was keen, and it lasted year in, year out. Still, all the while, the South were as anxious to send us their cotton as we were to receive it, and what alone stood between was the blockade of the North. It was the North who said you shall not send your cotton. It was the North who said to our operatives you shall not work. It was the North who condemned them to penury and want, and yet to a soul those same operatives prayed God to send success to the North. Their government might have doubts, they had none; and in the North they saw a truly chosen people fighting the battle of humanity. Personally I have no doubt that the same motives animated the people of the North, and that nothing but the exaltation of a great cause could have carried them through the early days of stress and disaster; but be it as it may, only one thought animated this staunch body of their sympathizers. In trial, suffering, starvation, and misery the new democracy was true to itself, proving itself the mightiest power of our times to secure the progress of the world. And against this rockfor rock it has proved—Germany has hurled itself.
And yet have we other landmarks to note in the
progress of humanity. In that same war, with official sympathies and selfish calculation all for the South, we did a wrong, a bitter wrong, when we allowed the Alabama to sail from this our port of Liverpool. Magnificent our citizen who redeemed it and proved that we were not afraid of doing what was right. Detractors say that he was afraid of war. Well, be it as it may, for one I dissent from the statement; but the precedent has been followed by one who is not afraid of war. As truly great–because he puts first the honour of his country's name; because they have struck hands; because it is right-President Wilson has declared that the Panama Treaty has been made and must be kept. These are truly great signs full of promise for the years to be.
We thus get some conception of the vast forces now confronted. On the one hand the new world doctrine of what is right; on the other, the old world doctrine
—all things to the strong. On one hand a scrap of paper is the supreme consideration; on the other hand the weight of the big battalions. Both causes are well championed, but it is not a little sad that the cause of militancy should thus have been championed by Germany. In the role of peaceful conqueror she had the world at her feet. Her thought, her commerce, her children, had achieved triumphs that might have satisfied the most expectant, and in the science of race culture she was proving herself to be the pioneer of mankind. Problems that trouble humanity were being solved by her with no little success, and her future was full of even greater promise. All nations were ready to admire her, and to hold her in high regard. But no; a blight seems to rest upon her from the very way her empire was welded into one by blood and iron by Bismarck, that man of the sword. Even now it is doubtful if peaceful evolution would not have made the German Empire more wholly one than all the famous campaigns by which it was united. And now, built up by the sword, it has grown by the sword, and her people still delight in the sword. And yet what word has ever proved more terribly true than that he that taketh the sword shall perish by the sword. And this must be so. When the sword is the foundation of empire, appeal to the sword on every occasion is its first instinct. And for years this has been the pleasing habit of Germany. Her sword has never ceased to rattle in its scabbard. It may be that she has not intended to draw it; it may even be that on this occasion she did not intend to draw it-she says so—though this seems incredible but sooner or later the inevitable happens, and like some mad thing of evil, as if itself endowed with life, it flashes in the light, the scabbard is thrown away, and the world is involved in war.
And the world says that her sword shall threaten its liberties no more. Germany would cloud the issue; she would have it that it is we who threaten the liberties of mankind. But mankind is not to be deceived. Mankind knows that, even if we had the will, we have not the power. We have no army for such purpose. Our navy is strong, but as has been well said, it is not a sword to attack, but only a shield to defend. So mankind knows that our empire is but a voluntary association, of which the binding force is liberty alone. In a war of defence we unite as one man; a war of aggression would find us with more critics than guns.
And now we see how mighty is that spiritual force to which President Wilson has paid such tribute. However acquired in the past, our empire to-day is such that not one member would leave it. No sword threatens, no rifle coerces; on the contrary, there is not a sword nor rifle that is not ready to be grasped in its defence—and the one principle that unites us all is not community of interest, real though this may be, but the bond of good faith. To-day, in many an oriental bazaar, “Kalimat Ingleesi”-on the word of an Englishman-has passed into an oath. And ever may it be our proud boast as a nation and as individuals that our word is as good as our bond, that
duals in our prou passed intoesia on the many an
we are as he that sweareth to his hurt and changeth not. Not on our wealth; not on our might; but on this is our empire built, and on this shall its foundations be made sure. It is not in crushing our enemy; it is not in destroying his fleet; it is not in annihilating his army that our safety and that of our allies must be sought, but in being true to our destiny, being true to the world, and, above all, in being true to ourselves. We may sweep away this peril, others will confront us—the road to happiness will never be all downhillnow as always, life will be a battle, and victory will be to the strong. But let us show the same united front in facing insidious dangers from within—danger from too much wealth; danger from too much ease; danger from too little necessity for strenuous effortlet us face these as we have faced our dangers from without, and our flag shall still ever bravely float over an empire of the free, and, above all, over an empire where no tear is shed in its upholding; where no sigh is heaved in its maintenance; but an empire which in its very prosperity ensures and adds to the prosperity, - progress, and well being of all mankind.
DOES TALK COUNT?
The greater issues of mankind are determined, not by voting and majority divisions, but by blood and iron. Thus Bismarck, in one of his sledge-hammer sentences, expressed his contempt for talk, or the monkey-chatter we are pleased to call talk; and now for a moment I would like to consider with you this famous epitome of thought.
And therefore it is, Mr. President, I would doubly thank you on this occasion, first for your kind hospitality, and next for thus giving me the opportunity of ventilating a subject which has some what perplexed me : briefly, does talk count?
On the face of it, it would seem a strange query. If on one thing the world seems agreed, it is on the importance of talk: the delightfulness of talkespecially our own—it takes the wisest of an age to revel in silence—and the incessancy of talk. What differentiates man from the brute? Talk. Man from man? Talk. What is mightier than the sword? Talk—written talk. And so we agree, and then the strident Bismarck blast : “ The greater issues,” etc., etc. And so we ask, “ Does talk count? ” Mind, we do not ask, “Does talk pay?” Of course talk pays. Nothing pays so well as the paying sort of talk, above all the talk that gives good reasons for bad actions. The very vocation of a lawyer you gibe at me. Be it so. But how of the journalist, the professor, the politician, the theologian, who all equally would bask in the golden rays of eloquence rewarded. Of course
*A paper read before the Rotary Club, Liverpool Section.