Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/254

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THE WORLD'S FAMOUS ORATIONS

dividing ocean, in other ways so much our friend, interposes for our case of an island State, or rather for a group of island States, obstacles from which a continental State like yours is happily altogether free.

Nobody believes that no difficulties remain. Some of them are obvious. But the common- sense, the mixture of patience and determination that has conquered risks and mischiefs in the past, may be trusted with the future.

Strange and devious are the paths of history. Broad and shining channels get mysteriously silted up. How many a time what seemed a glorious high road proves no more than a mule track or mere cul-de-sac. Think of Canning's flashing boast, when he insisted on the recogni- tion of the Spanish republics in South America — that he had called a new world into existence to redress the balance of the old. This is one of the sayings — of which sort many another might be found — that make the fortune of a rhetori- cian, yet stand ill the wear and tear of time and circumstance. The new world that Canning called into existence has so far turned out a scene of singular disenchantment.

Tho not without glimpses on occasion of that heroism and courage and even wisdom that are the attributes of man almost at the worst, the tale has been too much a tale of anarchy and disaster, still leaving a host of perplexities for statesmen both in America and Europe. It has left also to students of a philosophic turn of

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