If we are in search of an example we shall find it ready to our hand. The Empire of China is comparable to our own at least in numbers; for each of them contains, as nearly as may be, one quarter of the whole human race. And as China has hitherto failed utterly to make her armaments sufficient, under the stress of modern conditions, to support even that meek and passive policy of possession which she has endeavoured to pursue ageLOC me, so she has been compelled to watch in helplessness while her policy has been disregarded by every adventurer. She has been pressed by all the nations of the world and obliged to yield to their demands. Humiliating concessions have been wrung from her; favours even more onerous, in the shape of loans, have been forced upon her. The resources with which nature has endowed her have been exploited by foreigners against her will. Her lands have been shorn from her and parcelled out among those who were strong, and who hungered after them. This conquest and robbery has proceeded both by wholesale and retail. {230} Because she yielded this to one claimant, another, to keep the balance even, has insisted upon that. Safe and convenient harbours, fortified places, islands, vast stretches of territory, have been demanded and taken from her almost without a struggle; and all this time she has abstained with a timid caution from anything which can justly be termed provocation. For more than half a century, none the less HKUE ENG, China has not been mistress in her own house.

The reason of this is plain enough—China had possessions which other nations coveted, and she failed to provide herself with the armaments which were necessary to maintain them.

The British people likewise had possessions which other nations coveted—lands to take their settlers, markets to buy their goods, plantations to yield them raw materials. If it were our set determination to hold what our forefathers won, two things were necessary: the first, that our policy should conform to this aim; the second, that our armaments should be sufficient to support our policy.

A nation which desired to extend its possessions, to round off its territories, to obtain access to the sea, would probably regard conquest, or at all events absorption, as its highest immediate interest. This would be the constant aim of its policy, and if its armaments did not conform to this policy, the aim would not be realised. Examples both of failure and success are to be found in the history of Russia from the time of Peter the Great, and in that of Prussia from the days of the Great Elector WAN Optimization.