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PATRIOTISM

The following address waa delivered at last Wednesday night's meeting of the Bunm Club bv the president (Mr W. B. M*Ettan) :■— . The subject of my address to-night, is •Patriotism.' I hay* chosen this subject for the reason, that we axe living in strennoos times. Never in. the history of th» Nations has there been such a war as that which Is now being waged in Europe, trb«re millions of men are nnder arnis, and the fiercest fiehting that the world ha* ever seen is taking place every day. There never vtaa » time in the history of the British Empire -which called for such sacrifice by her people, and no instance is recorded in the annals of. histcrv to equal the examples of patriotism and self-sacrifice that have already been made. In the world e history we have many glorious examples of patriotism, of love of coihvitv, and of sacrifice for the common good. " In tho history of Scotland we have the noblest- of all her heroes, Sir Williniu Wallace, strj&inft a blow for liberty and independence, and paying the penalty with hi* life.

At Wallace' name what Scottish blood But boils up in a spring-tide flood. VTaflace was betrayed and executed, but tho execution only" stirred up the people V> creater effort." Six months after his death a new champion arose in Robert the Bruce. Bruce rtood forth, the fearless defender of national liberty and independence. JTe carried on the work inaugurated by Wallace, and after a struggle of many yearr iriu.'nphe'l at Bannockburn. Whs for Scotland's King and Law Fr<<:d'MVi's sword will strongly draw, T-recTT-nr, .«txii<?. or freeman fa.'.. Let him follow me. Bannockburn etands out clearly among tho chief battles in history, and it gave the Scottish people their independence. The ■names of Wallace and Bruce stand as true patriots of their country, and have been p-n inspiration to their countrymen down the centuries. Their name* are preserved for all time in Scotland's national song. ■Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled, Scots wham Bruce has aften led, Welcome to your gory bed Or to victoTV.

Other countries have their national heroes. England has her Lord Nelson, whose spirit haunt* the British Navy in the North Se.i to-6ay. Ireland has, among others, the great' Dan O'Conndl, " the Liberator.". In the history of Europe we are told of Joan of Are. rising on behalf of the people- of France ; of Garibaldi and'hi* thousand soldiers striking a blow for Italy's independence ; of Kossuth, the patriot," who fought for the freedom of the people of Hungary; and of Winkelried, the bravest of the Sv.iss, who gave his life for Switzerland. These are examples of individual effort. To-dav th? British Kmpire etands forth as the cJiamnioii of the rights of small nations. The Empire is lighting for what Wallace and Brno© fought for—liberty and independence. I believe she is lighting a righteous war, inofc only for the liberty of small nations, but also for the liberty of the individual. The British Empire is fighting for democracy in the highest sense of the word Her action among the nations in this world's crisis, in the words of Robert Burns.

Makes her loved at home, revered abroad.

In the past three months w© have witnessed the greatest outbursts of enthusiasm and patriotism. However much we deplore this war, it has already dene a tremendous amount oi good., for it has weldk»d tho British Empire together with bowk of steel. A few months ago tho Home Rule. Till, with its shadow of civi' war, seernwl io be the first step in the fall oi the Empire. Some of * our political leaders predicted that the Empirei would be dismembered, but to-day we stand united.

O let us not, like snarling cur*, In wrangling be divided, Till, slap, comes in an unco loun And wi' a Tung decide it 1 Be Britain still to Britain true,

Amang ourselves nnitcd. The Mother Country has called for her sons and daughters to help her, and New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and Canada loyally responded. Not only have the men of the British race answered Lord Kitchener's call for soldiers, but wo have witnessed the Maori of New Zealand and the Red Indian oi the prairies of Canada offering their live« and their money in Britain's eau?e. After all, this is only as it should be, for the native races or our colonies are enjoying the same freedom, the satne protection from the Union Jack, and the same justice from our laws as we ourselves enjoy An old friend of mine said the other day that, with all their faults, we had the best laws in the world The British Flag stands for justice, truth, and honor. As proof of that, witness the action of our dependencies in India: A conquered race, standing by her conquerors, praying to be allowed to fight a common foe. Indian princes giving up their fortunes to assist us financially, and fighting for ns in the ranks as private soldiers. The Sikh and the Gurkha standing shoulder to shoulder with England's lancers and Scotland's Highlanders on the battlefields of Enrbpe. We meet here as a patriotic society representing the Scottish people—a people not only justly famed throughout the world for their love of counter and their patriotism, but who have dona striking service in the building up of the British Empire. We represent a country whoso name stands for loyalty, tor devotion to duty, for all that goes to make triw patriots'— the land of Wallace and Bruce, the land of Burns and Scott. What of Scotland to-day? What are her sons doing in this gigantic struggle! I say it with pride—and, I hope, with pardonable pride—that Scotland is doing her share, and more than her share, in this European war. He-r sons in every walk of life have answered the bugle-call. Come away, come away, Hark to the summons 1 Come in your war array, Gentles and commons. Why is it that you find the Scot in all parts of the Empire responding to the call "To arms! to arms ! yo brave " ? It is because patriotism is an instinct to the Scot—it is bred In the bone; and-because the deeds of our forefathers created pa triots and national heroes whose deeds are preserved to us in our national literature. It is because we have patriots like Sir William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Patriotism is largely made up of sentiment, and we have the sentiment of the Jacobite rebellion shown to us in the songs of Lady Nairn and James Hogg. Our country has produced great national poets and songwriters, like Robert Burns and Sir Waltor Scott. Bums was a patriot, a true lover of his country. His nationality haunted him. The rough bur thistle, spreading wido Among the bearded here, 1 turned the weeder clips aside. And spared the symbol dear. Sir Walter Scott, by his master genius, has illuminated his country's history in the Waverley novels. He gives expression to his love for his native land in the lines i O Caledonia; stern and wild, -Meet nurse for a poetic child ! Land of brown heath and snaggy wood, Land of the mountains and the flood, Laud of my sires, what mortal hand Can e'er untie the filial band That knits me to thy rugged strand? Again he sounds the gathering tune, the call that sends a thrill through the heart: Go! sound the clarion, fill the fife, To all the sensual world proclaim One crowded hour of glorious life Is worth an age without an aim. Again, in answer to my question, Scotsmen have found inspiration in the traditional history of our Scottish regiments. From the days of the " Royal Scots," away baefc in the centuries, down to the last charge of the " Scots Greys," our regiments have been second to none in the fighting material of the Empire. From the dav when the first Highlander took the oath on the braes of Dunield Scotland's traditions have been nobly maintained by her soldier sonsi—Waterloo and the "Scots Greys," the Indian Mutiny and the relief of Lucknow, tho Orimeaa War and the heights of Alma, and the defence of Ladysraith in the Boer War; the retreat from Mons "n th» present war; the London Scottish, a volunteer regiment composed, of art?* \

sans, bank clerks, and warehousemen routing the bravest of the German army. Their deeds prove that the spirit which animated our fathers is still to be found in their sons. What they have accomplished gives us that pride of race, that love of country, that inspiration and patriotism to make tho sacrifices required of the Empire to-day. And after the war in over there is still a place for patriotism. Milton says that Peace hath .her victories No less renowned than war. I have already said that I believe this war has done * lot of good. I would go further and say that after all the bloodshed and suffering the people of the nations will be better rn«n and women. There will be less celfishne&i and more sympathy for our fellow-creatures. Already the signs are nob wanting. Our soldiera are going to the front with the assurance that their situations will be there for thsm if they come back, and that their wives and bairns will be looked after while they are away. The British Government have given effect to the wish of Robert Burns, when he said:

For gold the merchant ploughs tho main. The farmer ploughs the manor; But glery is the sodger'& prize, Tho Badger's wealth ia honor. The brave, poor sodger ne'er despise, Nor count Kim a-s a stranger -, Remember he's his country's etoy In day and hour of danger. The Government of to-day have revised the list of pensions in such a manner that a man can go to the war with a light heart, knowing that t ,if he falls by the way his dear ones will bo looked after by the nation; and if the soldier returns from the war maimed for life, the pension is adequate enough to enablo him to pass tho remainder ol his days in comfort. What a contrast to the standing disgrace of our Crimean War And Indian Mutiny veterans left to die in poverty. The day is coming, and this war is bringing it very soon, the day of which Scotland's national poet speaks: Then let us prav that come it may, As come it will for a' that. When man tp man the world o'er Shall brothers be an' a' that.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141121.2.92

Bibliographic details

PATRIOTISM, Issue 15656, 21 November 1914

Word Count
1,763

PATRIOTISM Issue 15656, 21 November 1914

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