The Spectator

These little islands

Decline is inevitable but it need not be disheartening

These little islands
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From ‘Engage the enemy more closely!’, The Spectator, 30 December 1916:

Britain was never more vigorous than she is now: She has renewed her youth, and we may look forward to many years, possibly to many generations, of potent life. Still, we cannot conceal from ourselves that the destiny of these little islands in the Northern Sea must in the last resort be to lose their relative importance… To us the thought of our decline, inevitable, though it may be long postponed, brings no sense of hopelessness or misery as it did to the Roman. We can feel, and do feel, that in the bright new worlds of the West and the South where dwell our children, where our dear language is their language, where our flag is their flag, and where the bugle notes that encircle the world awaken the same echoes in their hearts as in ours, we have an imperishable treasure.