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A MIDWAY MILESTONE.
Would God that to my empty home,
Where sombre shadows come at will, “COME down,” the simple letter says,
Mine hand could lead thee, to dispel And keep your Sabbath birthday here,
The doleful memories that dwell Come down and hear the church bells ring,
Beside its hearthstone cold;
Or would that I with thee could roam
The dewy lane, the heath-clad hill,
And sit beside the milestone old.
Would God, sweet child, that I could share
The simple glee that fills thine heart, “Come down, and we will take once more
That all the griefs and all the tears The heathy path across the hill;
That filled my life of forty years, Or saunter through the dewy lane,
Might pass like inorning dew; Wherein we parted with such pain
Would God that I could pray thy prayer, A little year ago.
From all the world's illusions part,
And twine thy roses with my rue.
“Is it too late?” my heart cries out; “Come down, and we will sit again
“ Too late, too late!” I make reply; Beside the milestone grey and old,
I had no right to speak of love, That stands without our garden gate,
The eagle mates not with the dove,
I know the truth to-night ;
I see the way too clear for doubt,
I lay the simple letter by; Passed to the highway from the lane,
The midway milestone fades from sight. And my heart seemed too full to hold Its tender bliss, so new and sweet."
If I have harmed thee, gentle child, I sit me in the summer dusk,
I will not deepen yet the wrong; The sultry dusk of city ways,
I could not quit my busy strife I put the letter from my hand,
To share thy simple country life ; And memory brings at my command
The freshness of my soul The past before mine eyes.
Has faded in world-pathways wild; I see a garden, sweet with musk
Pass on, and sing thy simple song, And lilies, wrapped in silver haze,
I am too rough for love's control. And sleeping under summer skies.
I could not sit in peaceful ease A garden gateway, clothed about
With thee among the garden flowers; With cream and crimson woodbine flowers, Nor could I sip whose lips have quaffed And in the copse across the way,
Life's strongest wine — the simple draught The bird that singeth not by day,
Thou offerest gay and glad; Chants of her cruel fate.
The soothing murmur of the trees, The long white highway stretches ont,
The incense of the woodbine bowers, And faint pink eglantine embowers
Year after year, would drive me mad! A milestone by the garden gate.
And so I lay thy letter down, A stone that on its ancient face
And keep my birthday here apart; A magic number shows to me,
Pass on, my little darling, free, In quaint old figures mossy-brown,
A brighter future waits for thee So many miles to London town
In life's untrodden ways; So many years have I ;
Pass on, and win thy woman's crown Ah, little girl! the barren space
And kingdom, in a youthful heart; Of my spent youth 'twixt me and thee,
God give thee good, and length of days ! Forevermore must coldly lie.
I think the moonlight touched my brain
Of thy pure girlish heart;
And I, life's midway milestone past,
Like wrecks on winter's sea;
All The Year Round
From Macmillan's Magazine. the fainéants they are sometimes made to THE EXPANSION OF ENGLAND IN THE appear; still it is absurd to represent
them as determining the character of their The object of this paper will be to show age. The first step in arranging and in a large survey of the course of English dividing any period of English bistory is history through the eighteenth century to get rid of such useless headings as the truth of the following position, viz., Reign of Queen Anne, Reign of George that the development of England in that 1., Reign of George II. In the place of century is essentially a territorial expan. these we must study to put divisions sion, that it is, in short, the development founded upon some real stage of progress of Great Britain into what Sir Charles in the national life. We must look on. Dilke calls Greater Britain.
ward not from king to king, but from I constantly remark both in our popular great event to great event. And in order histories and in occasional allusions to to do this we must estimate events, meas. the history of the eighteenth century, ure their greatness; a thing which cannot what a faint and confused impression that be done without considering and analyzing period has left upon the national memory. them closely. When with respect to any Nothing seems to hold together the series | event we have satisfied ourselves that it of its events; the wars seem to lead to deserves to rank among the leading events nothing; at home we do not perceive the of the national history, the next step is to working of great new ideas leading to put it in connection with its causes. In new political creations; altogether it this way each event takes the character seems as if nothing was evolved out of of a development, and each development the struggle of that time, so that we can of this kind forms a chapter in the naonly think of it as prosperous and pro- tional history, a chapter which will get its saic, not memorable. Those dim figures, name from the event. George I. and George II., the long, tame As a plain example of this principle, administrations of Walpole and Pelham, take the reign of George III.
What can the buccaneering war with Spain, the use be more absurd than to treat those sixty less campaigns in Germany and the Low years as constituting one period, simply Countries, the foolish prime minister because one man was king during the Newcastle, the dull brawls of the Wilkes whole of them? What, then, are we to period, everywhere alike we seem to re- substitute for the king as a principle of mark a want of greatness, a commonness division ? Evidently great events. One and fatness in men and in affairs, which part of the reign will make a chapter by distress us in the history of a great nation. itself as the period of the loss of America, What we chiefly miss is unity. In France another as that of the struggle with the the corresponding period has just as little French Revolution. greatness, but it has unity; it is intelli- But in a national history there are larger gible; we can describe it in one word as as well as smaller divisions. Besides the age of the approach of the Revolution. chapters, there are, as it were, books or But wbat is the English eighteenth cen. parts. This is because the great events, tury, and what has come of it? What when examined closely, are seen to be was approaching then?
connected with each other; those which This is the question I attempt here to are chronologically nearest to each other
are seen to be similar; they fall into We have an unfortunate habit of dis- groups, each of which may be regarded tributing historical affairs under reigns. as a single complex event, and the comEven where monarchy is extremely pow- plex events give their names to the parts, erful, it is seldom that an age ought to be as the simpler events give their names to called after a monarch. It would be bet- the separate chapters, of the history. ter not to speak even of the Siècle de In some periods of history this arrangeLouis XIV. The English monarchs of inent is so natural that we adopt it almost the eighteentb century were by no means ' unconsciously. The events bear their significance written on their face, and the That these wars were on a greater scale connection of events is also obvious. than any which had preceded may be estiWhen you read the reign of Louis XV. of mated by the burden which they laid upon France, you feel, without waiting to rea. the country. Before this period England son, that you are reading of the fall of the bad of course often been at war; still, at French monarchy. But in other parts of the commencement of it, England had no history the clue is less easy to find, and debt, that is, her debt was ss than a it is here that we feel that embarrassment million, but at the end of this period, in and want of interest which, as I have said, 1817, her debt amounted to 840,000,000l. Englishmen are conscious of when they And we are to beware of taking even this look back upon their eighteenth century. large amount as measuring the expensiveIn most cases of this kind the fault is in ness of the wars. Eight hundred and the reader; he would be interested in the forty millions was not the cost of the period if he had the clue to it, and he wars; it was only that part of the cost would find the clue if he sought it delib- which the nation could not meet at once, erately.
but an enormous amount had been paid We are to look then at the great events at once. And yet this debt alone, conof the eighteenth century, examine each tracted in a period of a hundred and to see its precise significance, and com- twenty years, is equivalent to seven milpare them together with a view to discov- lions a year spent on war during the whole ering any general tendency there may be. time, while for a good part of the eighI speak roughly, of course, when I say teenth century the whole annual cost of the eighteenth century. More precisely government did not exceed seven milI mean the period which begins with the lions. Revolution of 1688 and ends with the This series of great wars is evidently peace of 1815. Now what are the great the characteristic feature of the period, events during this period? There are no for not only does it begin with this period, revolutions. In the way of internal dis- but also appears to end with it. Since turbance aN that we find is two abortive 1815 we have had local wars in India and Jacobite insurrections in 1715 and 1745. some of our colonies, but of struggles There is a change of dynasty, and one of against great European powers such as an unusual kind, but it is accomplished this period saw seven times, we have only peacefully in accordance with an act of seen one since, in a period more than half Parliament. The great events are all of as long, and it lasted but two years. one kind, they are foreign wars.
Let us pass these wars in review. These wars are on a much larger scale There was first the war in which England than any which England had waged be- was involved by the Revolution of 1688. fore since the Hundred Years' War of It is pretty well remembered, since the the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. story of it has been told by Macaulay. It They are also of a more formal, business. lasted eight years, from 1689 to 1697. like kind than earlier wars. For England There was then the great war which arose has now, for the first time, a standing out of the Spanish succession, and which army and navy. The great English navy we shall never cease to remember because first took definite shape in the wars of the it was the war of Marlborough's victories. Commonwealth, and the English army, It lasted eleven years, from 1702 to 1713. founded on the Mutiny Bill, dates from The next great war has now passed althe reign of William III. Between the most entirely out of memory, not having Revolution and the battle of Waterloo it brought to light any very great commay be reckoned that we waged seven mander, nor achieved any definite result. great wars, of which the shortest lasted But we have all heard speak of the fable seven years and the longest about twelve. of Jenkins' Ears, and we have heard of Of the whole period, comprising a hun. the battles of Dettingen and Fontenoy, dred and twenty-six years, sixty-four years, though perhaps few of us could give a or more than half, were spent in war. rational account either of the reason for
fighting them, or of the result that came | hopelessly baffled in our first attempts. In of them. And yet this war too lasted one war the question was of the method of nine years, from 1739 to 1748.
succession to the crown of Spain; in ancomes the Seven Years' War, of which other war it was of the Austrian succession the German part has been made famous and of the succession to the Empire. But by the victories of Frederick. In the if there seems so far some resemblance, English part of it we all remember one what have these succession questions to grand incident, the Battle of the Heights do with the right of search claimed by of Abraham, in which we lost Wolfe and the Spaniards along the Spanish Main, or gained Canada.
And yet in the case of the limits of Acadie, or the principles of this war also it may be observed how the French Revolution ? And as the much the eighteenth century has faded grounds of quarrel seem quite accidental, out of our imaginations. We have quite so we are bewildered by the straggling, forgotten that that victory was but one of haphazard character of the wars thema long series, which to contemporaries selves. Hostilities may break out, so it seemed fabulous, so that the nation came seems, in the Low Countries, or in the out of the struggle intoxicated with glory, heart of Germany, but the war is waged and England stood upon a pinnacle of anywhere or everywhere, at Madras, or at greatness which she had never reached the mouth of the St. Lawrence, or on the before. We have forgotten how, through banks of the Ohio. As Macaulay says, all that remained of the eighteenth cen speaking of Frederick's invasion of Siletury, the nation looked back upon those sia, “In consequence of his unprincipled two or three splendid years as upon a ambition black men fought on the coast happiness that could never return, and of Coromandel, and red men scalped each how long it continued to be the unique other by the Great Lakes of North Amerboast of the Englishman,
ica.” On a first survey such is the conThat Chatham's language was his mother fused appearance which these wars pre
tongue, And Wolfe's great heart compatriot with his But look a little closer, and after all you
will discover some uniformities. For exThis is the fourth war. It is in sharp ample, out of these seven wars, if we look contrast with the fifth, which we have at them from the English point of view, tacitly agreed to mention as seldom as we five are wars with France from the begin
What we call the American War, ning, and both the other two, though the which from the first outbreak of hostili. opposite belligerent at the outset was in ties to the Peace of Paris lasted eight the first Spain, and in the second our own years, from 1775 to 1783, was indeed colonies, yet became in a short time and ignominious enough to us in America, ended as wars of England and France. but in its latter part it spread into a grand Now here is one of those general facts naval war in which England stood at bay which we are in search of. The full mag. against almost all the world, and in this, nitude of it is not usually perceived bethrough the victories of Rodney, we came cause the whole middle part of the eighoff with credit. The sixth and seventh teenth century has passed too much into are the two great wars with Revolutionary oblivion. We have not forgotten the pair France, which we are not likely to forget of great wars with France at the junction though we ought to keep them more sep. of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuarate in our minds than we do. The first ries, nor the other pair of great wars with lasted nine years, from 1793 to 1802, the France about the junction of the sevensecond twelve, from 1803 to 1815. teenth and eighteenth, but we have half
Now probably it has occurred to few of forgotten that near the middle of the us to connect these wars together or to eighteenth century there was also a great look for any unity of plan or purpose per. war between England and France, and vading them. And if such a thought did that as prelude and afterpiece to this occu: we should probably find ourselves I war there was a war with Spain which
turned into a war with France, and a war seems so sadly to want. It is only our with America which turned into a war own blindness which leads us to overlook with France. The truth is, these wars the grandeur of that phase in our history, group themselves very syinmetrically, and while we fix our eyes upon petty domes. the whole period stands out as an age of tic occurrences, Parliamentary quarrels, gigantic rivalry between England and party intrigue, and court gossip. France, a kind of second Hundred Years'
It so happens that the accession of War. In fact in those times and down to George Ill. falls in the middle of this our own memory the eternal discord of period, and seems to us, with our childish England and France appeared so much a mode of arranging history, to create a Jaw of nature that it was seldom spoken division where there is no real division of. The wars of their own times blend- but rather unusually manisest continuity. ing with vague recollections of Crécy, And as in Parliamentary and party poliPoictiers, and Agincourt created an im- tics the accession of George III. really pression in the minds of those genera- did make a considerable epoch, and the tions that England and France always temptation of our historians is always to had been at war and always would be. write the history rather of the Parliament But this was a pure illusion. In the six- than of the State and nation, a false scent teenth and seventeenth centuries England misleads us here, and we remain quite and France had not been these persistent blind to one of the grandest and most enemies. The two States biad often memorable turning points in our history. been in alliance against Spain. In the I say these wars make one grand and deseventeenth century an Anglo-French al- cisive struggle between England and liance had been almost the rule. Charles France. For look at the facts. Nomi1. bas a French queen, Cromwell allies nally the first of these three wars was himself with Mazarin, Charles II. and ended by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in James Il. make themselves dependent 1748. Nominally, there followed eight upon Louis XIV.
years of peace between England and But may not this frequent recurrence France. But really it was not so at all. of war with France in the eighteenth cen. Whatever virtue the Treaty of Aix-latury have been a mere accident arising Chapelle may have had towards settling froin the nearness of France and the nec- the quarrels of the other European powessary frequency of collisions with her? ers concerned in the war, it scarcely interOn examination we shall find that it is not rupted for a moment the conflict between merely accidental, but that these wars are England and France. It scarcely even connected together in internal causation appeared to do so, for the great question as well as in time. It is rather the occa of the boundary of the English and sional cessation of war that is accidental; French settlements in America, of the the recurrence of it is natural and inevita- limits of Acadie and Canada, was disble. There is indeed one long truce of puted with just as much heat after the twenty-seven years after the Treaty of treaty as before it. And not in words Utrecht; this was the natural effect of only but by arms, just as much as if war the exhaustion in wliich all Europe was were still going on. Moreover what I releft by the War of the Spanish Succession, mark of the American frontier is equally a war almost as great in comparison with true of another frontier along which at the then magnitude of the European that time the English and French met States as the great struggle with Napo- each other, namely, in India. It is a releon. But when this truce was over we markable, little-noticed fact, that some of may almost regard all the wars which fol- the most memorable encounters between lowed as constituting one war, interrupted the English and the French which have by 'occasional pauses. At any rate the ever taken place in the course of their long three wars between 1740 and 1783, those rivalry, some of the classic occurrences commonly called the War of the Austrian of our military history, took place in these Succession, the Seven Years' War, and eight years when, nominally, England and the American War, are, so far as they are France were at peace. We have all beard wars of England and France, intimately how the French built Fort Duquesne on connected together, and form as it were a the Ohio River, how our colony of Virtrilogy of wars. This fact is especially ginia sent a body of four hundred men to be noticed here, because this group of under the command of George Washing. wars, considered as one great event with ton, then a very young man and a British a single great object and result, supplies subject, to attack it, and low Washington just the grand feature which that time was surrounded and forced to capitulate.