Page:The imperial peace; an ideal in European history.djvu/20

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The Imperial Peace

one is obliged, who remembers that the peace which is really good is a positive power, the force of order, and not a mere negative condition. It is the orderly balance of active and powerful forces.

It is not my purpose to discuss this as a question of philosophic reasoning. I leave this loftier path to greater intellects. For me it is too hard; and I propose to take an example from history, one with which I have some small opportunity of becoming familiar, because it has entered into and made my character from infancy. I mean the union of the two warring parts of Scotland with each other, and the union of England and Scotland in one country: two processes which may be taken together, and which are, perhaps, not always rightly understood.

There were no insuperable difficulties to be overcome in this union, as events have shown; and yet there were considerable difficulties. There were very diverse elements to be fused in one nation, the Gaelic, the Briton, the Saxon, and the Norse, which presented at least two very diverse types—types which remain as diverse to the present day as they ever were.

Circumstances in the thirteenth century were bringing about the union of England and Lowland Scotland gradually and naturally. The process was slow, but inevitable. It was merely accidental that Lowland Scotland was severed from England: there is on the whole probably less natural racial diversity between Lowland Scotland and North England than there is between North and South England, and certainly far less diversity than exists between the Gaelic Highlands and the mixed Lowland population of Scotland. The mutual hatred and antipathy between Highlands and Lowlands was exceedingly strong, and persisted to a comparatively