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in the same path, and for similar reasons. In India the strife of Buddhism with Hinduism gave rise to ferocious persecutions, which however were perhaps as much political as religious. When the Portuguese and Spaniards began to discover and conquer new countries beyond the oceans, the spread of religion was in the mouths of all the adventurers, and in the minds of many of the baser as well as of the better sort. Spain accordingly forced her faith upon all her subjects, and found no great resistance from the American peoples, though of course their Christianity seldom went deep, as indeed it remains to-day in many parts of Central and South America, a thin veneer over the ancient superstitions of the aborigines. Portugal did the like, so far as she could, in India and in Africa. So too the decrees
. by which the French colonizing companies were founded in the days of Richelieu provided that the Roman Catholic faith was to be everywhere made compulsory, and that converted pagans were to be admitted to the full civil rights of Frenchmen? But when the English set forth to trade and conquer they were not thinking of religion. The middle of the eighteenth century, when Bengal and Madras were acquired, was for England an age when persecution had died out and missionary propagandism had scarcely begun. The East India Company did not at first interfere in any way with the religious rites it found practised by the people, however cruel or immoral they might be. It gave no advantages to Christian converts, and for a good while it even discouraged the presence of missionaries, lest they should provoke disturbances. Bishops were thought less dangerous, and one was
" I owe this fact to Sir A. C. Lyall (op. cit. p. 66).
appointed, with three Archdeacons under him, by the Act of 1813. A sort of miniature church establishment, for the benefit of Europeans, still exists and is supported out of Indian revenues. After a time, however, some of the more offensive or harmful features of native worship began to be forbidden. The human sacrifices that occasionally occurred among the hill tribes were treated as murders, and the practice of Sutti—the self-immolation of the Hindu widow on her husband's funeral pyre-was forbidden as far back as 1829. No hindrance is now thrown in the way of Christian missions: and there is perfect equality, as respects civil rights and privileges, not only between the native votaries of all religions, but also between them and Europeans.
So far as religion properly so-called is concerned, the policy of the English is simple and easy to apply. But as respects usages which are more or less associated with religion in the native mind, but which European sentiment disapproves, difficulties sometimes arise. The burning of the widow was one of these usages, and has been dealt with at the risk of offending Hindu prejudice. Infanticide is another; and the British Government try to check it, even in some of the protected States. The marriage of young children is a third : and this it has been thought not yet prudent to forbid, although the best native opinion is beginning to recognize the evils that attach to it. Speaking generally, it may be said that the English have, like the
, Romans but unlike the Spaniards, shown their desire to respect the customs and ideas of the conquered peoples. Indifferentism has served them in their career of conquest as well as religious eclecticism served the Romans, so that religious sentiment, though it sometimes stimulated the valour of their native enemies, has not really furnished any obstacle to the pacification of a conquered people. The English have, however, gone further than did the Romans in trying to deter their subjects from practices socially or morally deleterious.
As regards the work done by the English for education in the establishment of schools and Universities, no comparison with Rome can usefully be drawn : because it was not deemed in the ancient world to be the function of the State to make a general educational provision for its subjects. The Emperors, however, appointed and paid teachers of the liberal arts in some of the greater cities. That which the English have done, however, small as it may appear in comparison with the vast population they have to care for!, witnesses to the spirit which has animated them in seeking to extend to the conquered the opportunities of progress which they value for themselves.
The question how far the triumphs of Rome and of England are due to the republican polity of the one, and the practically republican (though not until 1867 or 1885 democratic) polity of the other, is so large a one that I must be content merely to indicate it as well deserving a discussion. Several similar empires have been built up by republican governments of the oligarchic type, as witness the empire of Carthage in the ancient, and that of Venice in the later mediaeval world. One can explain this by the fact that in such governments there is usually, along with a continuity of
1 There are in India five examining and degree-granting Universities, with about 8,000 matriculated students, nearly all of them taught in the numerous affiliated colleges. The total number of persons returned as receiving instruction in India is 4,357,000, of whom 402,000 are girls.
policy hardly to be expected from a democracy, a constant succession of capable generals and administrators such as a despotic hereditary monarchy seldom provides, for a monarchy of that kind must from time to time have feeble or dissolute sovereigns, under whom bad selections will be made for important posts, policy will oscillate, and no adequate support will be given to the armies or fleets which are maintaining the interests of the nation abroad. A republic is moreover likely to have a larger stock of capable and experienced men on which to draw during the process of conquering and organizing. The two conspicuous instances in which monarchies have acquired and long held vast external dominions are the Empires of Spain and Russia. The former case is hardly an exception to the doctrine just stated, because the oceanic Empire of Spain
won quickly and with little fighting against opponents immeasurably inferior, and because it had no conterminous enemies to take advantage of the internal decay which soon set in. In the case of Russia the process has been largely one of natural expansion over regions so thinly peopled and with inhabitants so backward that no serious resistance was made to an advance which went on rather by settlement than by conquest. It is only in the Caucasus and in Turkistan that Russia has had to establish her power by fighting. Her conflicts even with the Persians and the Ottoman Turks have been, as Moltke is reported to have said, battles of the one-eyed against the blind. But it must be added that Russia has shown during two centuries a remarkable power of holding a steady course of foreign policy. She sometimes trims her sails, and lays the ship upon the other tack, but the main direc
tion of the vessel's course is not altered. This must be the result of wisdom or good fortune in the choice of ministers, for the Romanoff dynasty has not contained more than its fair average of men of governing capacity.
There is one other point in which the Romans and the English may be compared as conquering powers. Both triumphed by force of character. During the two centuries that elapsed between the destruction of Carthage, when Rome had already come to rule many provinces, and the time of Vespasian, when she had ceased to be a city and was passing into a nation conterminous with her dominions, the Romans were the ruling race of the world, small in numbers, even if we count the peoples of middle Italy as Romans, but gifted with such talents for war and government, and possessed of such courage and force of will as to be able, not only to dominate the whole civilized world and hold down its peoples, but also to carry on a succession of bloody civil wars among themselves without giving those peoples any chance of recovering their freedom. The Roman armies, though superior in discipline to the enemies they had to encounter, except the Macedonians and Greeks, were not generally superior in arms, and had no resources of superior scientific knowledge at their command. Their adversaries in Africa, in Greece, and in Asia Minor were as far advanced in material civilization as they were themselves. It was their strenuous and indomitable will, buoyed up by the pride and self-confidence born of a long succession of victories in the past, that enabled them to achieve this unparalleled triumph. The triumph was a triumph of character, as their poet felt when he penned the famous line, Moribus antiquis stat res Romana virisque.