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"NO MAN WAS SAFE, NO LIFE WAS SURE."
ABOUT THIS BOOK
"The Empire upon which the sun never sets." We all know these words, and we say them with a somewhat
proud and grand air, for that vast Empire is ours. It belongs to us, and we to it.
But although we are proud of our Empire it may be that some of us know little of its history. We only
know it as it now is, and we forget perhaps that there was a time when it did not exist. We forget that it
has grown to be great out of very small beginnings. We forget that it did not grow great all at once,
but that with pluck and patience our fellow-countrymen built it up by little and by little, each leaving
behind him a vaster inheritance than he found. So, "lest we forget," in this book I have told a few of the
most exciting and interesting stories about the building up of this our great heritage and possession.
But we cannot
"Rise with the sun and ride with the same,
Until the next morning he rises again."
We cannot in one day grid the whole world about, following the sun in his course, visiting with him all the many
countries, all the scattered islands of the sea which form the mighty Empire upon which he never ceases to
shine. No, it will take us many days to compass the journey, and little eyes would ache, little brains be
weary long before the tale ended did I try to tell of all "the far-away isles of home, where the old speech
is native, and teh old flag floats." So in this book you will find stories of the five chief portions of our
Empire only, that of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India. But perhaps some day, if you greet
these stories as kindly as you have greeted those of England and of Scotland, I will tell you in another book
more stories of Our Empire.
The stories are not all bright. How should they be? We have made mistakes, we have been checked here, we have
stumbled there. We may own it without shame, perhaps almost without sorrow, and still love our Empire and its
builders. Still we may say,
"Where shall the watchful sun,
England, my England,
Match the master-work you've done,
England, my own?
When shall we rejoice agen
Such a breed of mighty men
As come forward, one to ten,
To the song on your bugles blown,
Down the years on your bugles blown?"