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9
Frontiers

by far the greatest extent of territorial Frontier of any dominion in the globe. In North America we have a Land Frontier of more than 3,000 miles with the United States. In India we have Frontiers nearly 6,000 miles long with Persia, Russia, Afghanistan, Tibet, China, Siam, and France. In Africa we have Frontiers considerably over 12,000 miles in length with France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and the Congo State, not to mention our Frontiers with native states and tribes. These Frontiers have to be settled, demarcated, and then maintained. We commonly speak of Great Britain as the greatest sea-power, forgetting that she is also the greatest land-power in the Universe. Not much is heard of this astonishing development in Parliament; I suspect that even in our Universities it is but dimly apprehended. Nevertheless, it is the daily and hourly preoccupation of our Foreign Office, our India Office, and our Colonial Office; it is the vital concern of the greatest of our colonies and dependencies; and it provides laborious and incessant employment for the keenest intellects and the most virile energies of the Anglo-Saxon race.

My main difficulty is not how to deal with such a topic adequately, but how to deal with it in the compass of an academic lecture. As my investigations have progressed, I have seen the horizon expand before me, until it has appeared to embrace all history, the greater part of geography, and a good deal of jurisprudence. I have alternately seen my Essay swell into a volume, and have contemplated reducing that volume into a tabloid for passing consumption in this theatre. It is obviously impossible for me to treat of Frontiers in the space of an hour or of many hours; on the other