Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/229

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LAURIER

greatness, greatness which will be abundantly productive of happiness and glory to the people under such a sovereign. If I mistake not, such was the character of Queen Victoria, and such were the results of her rule. It has been our privilege to live under her reign, and it must be admitted that her reign was of the grandest in history, rivaling in length and more than rivaling in glory the long reign of Louis XIV., and, more than the reign of Louis XIV., likely to project its luster into future ages.

If we cast our glance back over the sixty-four years into which was encompassed the reign of Queen Victoria, we stand astonished, however familiar we may be with the facts, at the de- velopment of civilization which has taken place during that period. We stand astonished at the advance of culture, of wealth, of legislation, of education, of literature, of the arts and sciences, of locomotion by land and by sea, and of almost every department of human activity.

The age of Queen Victoria must be held to be on a par with the most famous within the mem- ory of man. Of course, of many facts and oc- currences which have contributed to make the reign of Queen Victoria what it was, to give it the splendor which has created such an impres- sion upon her own country, and which has shed such a luminous trail all over the world, many took place apart and away from her influence. Many events took place in relation to which the most partial panegyrists would, no doubt, have 195

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