Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/221

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


��a gigantic task that we have undertaken when we have determined to wield the scepter of empire. Great is the task, great is the respon- sibility, but great is the honor; and I am con- vinced that the conscience and the spirit of the country will rise to the height of its obligations, and that we shall have the strength to fulfil the mission which our history and our national character have imposed upon us.

In regard to the self-governing Colonies our task is much lighter. We have undertaken, it is true, to protect them with all the strength at our command against foreign aggression, al- tho I hope that the need for our intervention may never arise. But there remains what then will be our chief duty — that is, to give effect to that sentiment of kinship to which I have referred and which I believe is deep in the heart of every Briton. We want to promote a closer and firmer union between all members of the great British race, and in this respect we have in recent years made great progress — so great that I think sometimes some of our friends are apt to be a little hasty, and to expect even a miracle to be accomplished. I would like to ask them to remember that time and patience are essential elements in the development of all great ideas. Let us, gentlemen, keep our ideal always before us. For my own part, I believe in the practical possibility of a federation of the British race, but I know that it will come, if it does come, not by pressure, not by anything in 189

�� �