Full text: Religion, colonising & trade

men and women are conscious agents—they have 
motives for what they make or mar. It may therefore 
be of interest to try to trace from some of the records 
of the men of action and of the writings of the different 
petiods, how far the motives and methods, which were 
at work in connexion with the Old Empire down to 
1783, were of a piece with the views and forces which 
have since prevailed. The question may possibly be 
thought to answer itself. Human beings remain 
human beings all the time with, in the main, the same 
motives determining actions shaped according to 
change of time and circumstance. Moreover, condi- 
tions of life in modern days and in a crowded and ultra- 
democtatic world have become so immeasurably and 
progressively more complex than they were a century 
and a half ago, that it may be considered futile to set 
earlier and later times side bv side. On the other 
hand no harm can be done, and possibly some useful 
guidance may be given or suggestion made by 
comparison and contrast. 
It will be readily admitted that the sixteenth century, 
the hundred years before the British Empire actually 
began to exist, is an integral part of the history of that 
Empire. No introduction ever was more completely 
part and parcel of a whole work than was this Tudor 
prelude. On the other hand, as historians have 
pointed out, in the case of the British Empire, far more 
than other empires, the line is clearly drawn between 
the preliminary age of adventure and the succeeding 
age of permanent beginnings : ‘ Never was there a set 
of men worse adapted for the sober business of estab- 
lishing a colony or governing a subject race ; yet they

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