7 JUNE 1913, Page 15


[To THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."' SIR,—There is a passage in Borrow's " Bible in Spain " which may be opportunely recalled at the present time; perhaps you may think it worthy of a corner in the Spectator. Borrow described it as part of a broken prayer for his native land, which after his usual thanksgiving, he breathed to the Almighty ere retiring to rest on a Sunday night at Gibraltar :- "Long, long may it be ere the sun of thy glory sink beneath the wave of darkness ! Though gloomy and portentous clouds are now gathering rapidly around thee, still, still may it please the Almighty to disperse thorn, and to grant thee a futurity longer in duration and still brighter in renown than thy past! Or if thy doom be at hand, may that doom bo a noble one and worthy of her who has been styled the Old Queen of the Waters! May thou sink, if thou dost sink, amidst blood and flame, with a mighty noise, causing more than one nation to participate in thy downfall! Of all fates, may it please the Lord to preserve thee from a disgraceful and a slow decay; becoming, ore extinct, a scorn and a mockery for those selfsame foes who now, though they envy and abhor thee, still fear thee, nay, even against their will, honour and respect thee. Arouse thee, whilst yet there is time, and prepare thee for the combat of life and death ! Cast from thee the foul scurf which now encrusts thy robust limbs, which deadens their force, and makes them heavy and powerless ! Cast from thee thy false philosophers, who would fain decry what, next to the love of God, has hitherto been deemed most sacred, the love of the motherland ! Cast from thee thy false patriots, who, under the pretext of redressing the wrongs of the poor and weak, seek to promote internal discord, so that thou mayest become only terrible to thyself ! And remove from thee the false prophets, who have seen vanity and divined lies ; who have daubed thy wall with untempered mortar, that it may fall ; who see visions of peace where there is no peace ; who have strengthened the hands of the wicked, and made the heart of the righteous sad. Oh, do 111 and fear not the result, for either shall thy end be a majestic rn enviable one, or God shall perpetuate thy reign upon the .caters, thou Old Queen !"

I should like to add how much I appreciate the sentiments expressed in the letter of "A Scot" in your last issue. National training, instead of fostering an aggressive spirit (as some suggest), or paving the way to conscription (the fear of others), would be the best means of discouraging both, for in "quietness and confidence" would be the nation's