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Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 53, No. 327, January, 1843   By:

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BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE

NO. CCCXXVII. JANUARY, 1843. VOL. LIII.

CONTENTS

GREAT BRITAIN AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE YEAR 1843 LESURQUES; OR, THE VICTIM OF JUDICIAL ERROR CALEB STUKELY PART X. IMAGINARY CONVERSATION. BY WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR TASSO AND CORNELIA THE WORLD OF LONDON SECOND SERIES, PART I. THE DREAM OF LORD NITHSDALE TWO HOURS OF MYSTERY THE EAST AND SOUTH OF EUROPE THE CURSE OF GLENCOE. BY B. SIMMONS THE MARTYRS' MONUMENT. A MONOLOGUE TASTE AND MUSIC IN ENGLAND

GREAT BRITAIN AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE YEAR 1843.

Great Britain, at the present moment, occupies a position of dignity, of grandeur, and of RESPONSIBILITY, unparalleled in either her own history, or that of any other nation ancient or modern. Let him who is inclined to doubt this assertion, of whatever country he may be, and whether friendly, hostile, or indifferent to England, glance for a moment at a map of the world, and having at length found out our little island, (which, perhaps, he may consider a mere fragment chipped off, as it were, from the continent of Europe,) turn to our stupendous possessions in the east and in the west in fact, all over the world and he may be apt to think of the fond speculative boast of the ancient geometrician, "[Greek: Dos pou sto, chai ton chosmon chinaeso]," and to paraphrase and apply it thus "Give the genius of Great Britain but where she may place her foot some mere point peeping above the waves of the sea and she shall move the world." Is not this language warranted by recent facts? While our irritable but glorious neighbour France pace tantae gentis! is frittering away her warlike energies in Algeria, and Russia is worried by her unsuccessful and unjust attempts upon Circassia, behold the glorious monarch of this little island, Queen Victoria, roused by indignities and injuries offered to her most distant subjects in the East, strike single handed a blow there, which shakes a vast and ancient empire to its very foundations, and forces its haughty emperor from his throne, to assume the attitude of a suppliant for peace, yielding her peremptory but just demands, even at the cannon's mouth, and actually relinquishing to her a large portion of his dominions. Events, these, so astonishing, that their true character and consequences have not yet been calmly considered and appreciated by either ourselves or other nations. Look, again, at recent occurrences in British India that vast territory which only our prodigious enterprise and skill have acquired for us, and nothing but profound sagacity can preserve to the British crown and observe, with mixed feelings, two principal matters: a perilous but temporary error of overweening ambition on the part of Great Britain, yet retrieved with power and dignity; and converted into an opportunity of displaying where, for the interests of Great Britain, it was imperiously demanded her irresistible valour, her moderation, her wisdom; exhibiting, under circumstances the most adverse possible, in its full splendour and majesty, the force of that OPINION by which alone we can hold India. Passing swiftly over to the Western Continent, gaze at our vast possessions there also in British North America containing considerably upwards of four millions of square geographical miles of land; that is, nearly a ninth part of the whole terrestrial surface of the globe![1] besides nearly a million and a half miles of water five hundred thousand of these square miles being capable, and in rapid progress, of profitable cultivation! at more than three thousand miles' distance from the mother country, and in immediate juxtaposition to the territory of our distinguished but jealous descendants and rivals a rising nation the United States! Pausing here in the long catalogue of our foreign possessions, let our fancied observer turn back his eye towards the little island that owns them; will he not be filled with wonder, possibly with a conviction that Great Britain is destined by Almighty God to be the instrument of effecting His sublime but hidden purposes with reference to humanity? Assume, however, our observer to be actuated by a hostile and jealous spirit, and to regard our foreign possessions, and the national greatness derived from them, as only nominal and apparent to insinuate that we could not really hold them, or vindicate our vaunted supremacy if powerfully challenged and resented... Continue reading book >>


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