Correspondence

Lament for a Lost Love

Oh, England!  How have I loved thee, even though most of my forebears came from the doubtful Scots and Welsh borders, and not a few were 17th-century refugees from the turmoil of the German states.  I am old enough to remember when many, many of us regarded you as our Mother Country, despite all the Irish, Germans, and Scandinavians who had come to populate our cities and our prairies.  Now we have the Chinese, Mexicans, Caribbeans, Africans, Muslims, and Subcontinentals, who have other mothers or none, so I suppose my Mother is forgotten forever.

How have I loved thee?  Let me count the ways.

Your island nation whose hardy sons mastered the vast watery portion of the globe: Britannia rules the waves!  They planted free commonwealths in distant parts.  They took up the white man’s burden worldwide and made the only empire that left the natives better off than they were before.  I know faults may be found with your empire, especially by today’s pundits, who are incapable of seeing the big picture.  They can only wallow in the dirt around the edges and miss the tremendous civilizational achievement.  They do this with all of history.

More ways I have loved thee: Your ideal of “fair play.”  Your standing valiantly alone against the German bully in a dark hour.  And the heritage of law, the best yet devised by man for the protection of...

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