The very important privileges and immunities granted to them sufficiently proves, that at this period the commerce of England was mainly dependent on them. That there were, however, native merchants of considerable wealth and importance, cannot be doubted.
Enough money had been remitted me from England, to enable me to return direct by first-class ship, leaving me free to choose my own route.
"Yes," answered Phebe, "but Madame belongs to a great family in England; she was the daughter of Baron Riversborough, and she must be buried among her own people. You shall telegraph to the consul at Geneva, and he will say she must be buried among her own people, not here. It does not signify about the expenditure."
You see, in Lord Bacon's time, there had not been so many intermarriages between the court and the city as there have been since the needy days of his Majesty Charles the Second; and altogether in the time of Queen Elizabeth, the great, old families of England were a distinct race, just as a cart-horse is one creature, and very useful in its place, and Childers or Eclipse is another creature, though both are of the same species.
The dim churches scattered over the immediate plain below; the villages clustered round them, where dwelt the toilers in these endless fields; the farms amid their trees; the cottages showing here and there on the fringes of the wood all the equipment and organisation of popular life over an appreciable part of the English midland at his feet, depended to an extent hardly to be exaggerated, under the conditions of the England of to-day, upon him upon his one man's brain and conscience, the degree of his mental and moral capacity.
Our inquiry so far has led to two conclusions. We have discovered by bitter experience that a personal ascendancy, such as the German Emperor wields, is in the highest degree perilous to the interests of peace: and that a militarism such as that which holds in its thrall the German Empire is an open menace to intellectual culture and to Christian ethics. But we must not suppose that these conclusions are only true so far as they apply to the Teutonic race, and that the same phenomena observed elsewhere are comparatively innocuous. Alas! autocracy in any and every country seems to be inimical to the best and highest of social needs, and militarism, wherever found, is the enemy of pacific social development. Let us take a few instances at haphazard of the danger of the personal factor in European politics. There is hardly a person to be found nowadays who defends the Crimean war, or indeed thinks that it was in any sense inevitable. Yet if there was one man more than another whose personal will brought it about, it was not Lord Aberdeen who ought to have been responsible but Lord Stratford de Redcliffe. "The great Eltchi," as he was called, was our Ambassador at Constantinople, a man of uncommon strength of will, which, as is often the case with these powerful natures, not infrequently degenerated into sheer obstinacy. He had made up his mind that England was to support Turkey and fight with Russia, and inasmuch as Louis Napoleon, for the sake of personal glory, had similar opinions, France as well as England was dragged into a costly and quite useless war. Napoleon III has already figured among those aspiring monarchs who wish "to sit in the chair of Europe." It was his personal will once more which sent the unhappy Maximilian to his death in Mexico, and his personal jealousy of Prussia which launched him in the fatal enterprise "
England would have gained little by the premature overthrow of the church, when the house out of which the evil spirit was cast out could have been but swept and garnished for the occupation of the seven devils of anarchy.
In one of the churches at Lambeth, England, there is a painting on a window, representing a man with his dog. There is a story connected with this painting which is worth telling.
The exposition and memorial were subjected to the examination of the ablest civilians in England, who refuted every article of the charge with equal precision and perspicuity.
He had visited stranger spots than any seaside cave; encountered men more terrible than any spirit; done and dared and suffered in that incredible, unsung epic of the Mutiny War; played his part with the field force of Delhi, beleaguering and beleaguered; shared in that enduring, savage anger and contempt of death and decency that, for long months together, bedevil'd and inspired the army; was hurled to and fro in the battle-smoke of the assault; was there, perhaps, where Nicholson fell; was there when the attacking column, with hell upon every side, found the soldier's enemy strong drink, and the lives of tens of thousands trembled in the scale, and the fate of the flag of England staggered.