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of rich but undeveloped lands at the present time. It is a great thing to bring the past into relation with our own actual experience; nothing renders history more vivid than an indication that the forces with which we are familiar in the present were actively operative in the past.
In so far as the gulf between the past and the present is thus bridged, we can obtain valuable guidance from experience in regard to many of the problems which lie before us. Experience is so dearly purchased that the lessons it teaches ought to be highly prized. An inestimable service is rendered by anyone who calls attention to the heritage of economic experience which is stored up for us in the history of our country, and enables us to see how we can draw upon it-not to settle our difficulties for us, but to help us to deal with them in the wisest way.
A conviction that an accurate knowledge of the conditions of the past was necessary for a right understanding of the problems of the present was one of the striking features of Arnold Toynbee's ‘Lectures on the Industrial Revolution. Instructive as that book has been, it was a bitter disappointment to those who had known him well, to realise how little of his accurate learning had been put on record and saved from oblivion. There must be the same pathetic sense of regret in reading Mr. Welsford's book on 'The Strength of England '; he had read so widely and so intelligently. He had collected materials in regard to struggles for the control of the great trade routes of
Europe ; but much of this was deliberately laid on one side in order that the attention of readers might be concentrated on points where English interests were concerned. It is more unfortunate that we should be deprived of his full treatment of the seventeenth century, when England had come to be fully conscious of her strength, and the great era of expansion began. He was not even able to revise his manuscript for press, and to insert definite references to his authorities. But we prize what is left us all the more because we cannot forget that so much has been lost.
TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE:
December 22, 1909.
This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
England, bound in with the triumphant sea, Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege Of watery Neptune, 's now bound in with shame, With inky blots, and rotten parchment bonds : That England, that was wont to conquer others, Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
King Richard II., Act ii. Scene 1.