The Birth of Kaiser Wilhelm II

On 27 January 1859, Princess Victoria, the eldest daughter of Britain’s Queen Victoria gave birth to her first child, the future Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. It was to be a traumatic experience, a breech birth that, though it remained unknown for some time, left him with a withered left arm. It would impact his childhood in particular and play a major role in the formation of his character, though it would be artfully disguised in later life.

Being the mother of nine children Queen Victoria knew all about the pain of childbirth but had found chloroform to be a great help and now recommended it to her daughter, and the Queen’s recommendations were rarely ignored. She also sent Vicky her long-time midwife, Mrs Innocent and her personal physician Dr James Clark.

There was little possibility of Queen Victoria leaving her daughter’s labour in the hands of German doctors alone.

Following the birth, Victoria’s husband Friedrich, heir to the Prussian throne, also known as Fritz, wrote to his Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert providing an account of the birth:

“After Vicky had been visited by pains of an unusual nature in the few days prior to the 27th, which had more than once given us a false alarm, she experienced sharp pains shortly before midnight on the 26th, and soon thereafter wetness, which induced me to call in Mrs Innocent. She soon informed me quietly that the time had come, but advised Vicky to try and get a little sleep.

This was no longer possible, as the above-mentioned pain recurred a short time later and Sir James was informed and Wegner. Countess Blucher was summoned. Vicky put on some warm loose clothes and paced to and fro for several hours supported by Countesses Perponcher and Blucher and myself, desperately clutching us or at a table whenever the pain set in. At around half past two in the morning, I went to my parents to announce that it had begun, and Vicky went into the bedroom, which had meanwhile been prepared for the decisive event; and there, she spent the night either walking or lying in the chaise lounge.

The pains gradually increased and by daybreak were no longer by any means negligible. At around 9 a.m., she lay down on the bed, the very place where my father was born; only somewhat later did Dr Wegner notice by chance as he examined her that the position of the baby was not quite the normal one.

Vicky’s pain, as well as her horrible screams and wails, became even more severe; however, whenever she was granted a respite from her suffering, she would ask for forgiveness from everyone for her screaming and impatience, but she could not help herself. When the final stage of labour began, I had to try with all my might to hold her head in place, so that she would not strain her neck over much. Every contraction meant a real fight between her and me, and even today, 29 January, my arms still feel quite weak.

To prevent her from gnashing and biting, we made sure that there was a handkerchief in her mouth at all times. Occasionally, I had to use all my strength to remove her fingers from her mouth, and also placed my own fingers in her mouth. With the strength of a giant, she was at times able to hold off two people, and thus the awful torture escalated until the moment of birth was so near that complete anaesthesia with chloroform was undertaken. Vicky was laid at right angles on the bed; she let forth one horrible, long scream, and was then anaesthetized.

Because the baby was lying in the breech position and Vicky had absorbed so much chloroform she was virtually comatose and unable to help in the delivery it had to be literally yanked from the womb. But it wasn’t breathing, everyone thought it was stillborn, and it was only the swift action of the midwife Fraulein Stahl who began to slap the baby’s face first lightly and then more vigorously that saved the young prince’s life.

Upon hearing his son’s first faint cries Friedrich wrote:

“The sound cut through me like an electric shock. I then staggered, in a half-faint, into the next room where the baby was in a bath, and first I fell into Mama’s arms, and then I sank to my knees.”



Anne Boleyn: O Death Rock Me Asleep

In the days immediately prior to her execution Anne Boleyn wrote from her prison cell in the Tower of London a last poem:

O death! rock me asleep,

Bring me on quiet rest;

Yet pass my guiltless ghost

Out of my careful breast:

Toll on the passing bell,

Ring out the doleful knell,

Let the sound of my death tell,

For I must die,

There is no remedy,

For now I die

My pains who can express?

Alas! they are so strong,

My dolor will not suffer strength

My life for to prolong:

Toll on the passing bell, etc.

Alone, in prison strong,

I wail my destiny,

Wo worth this cruel hap that I

Should taste this misery:

Toll on the passing bell,

Farewell my pleasures past,

Welcome my present pain;

I feel my torments so increase

That life cannot remain.

Cease now the passing bell,

Rung is my doleful knell,

For the sound my death doth tell,

Death doth draw nigh,

Sound my end dolefully,

For now I die.

Anne Boleyn was beheaded with the single stroke of a sword within the precincts of the Tower of London on 19 May 1536. She had, it was said, displayed a devilish spirit as if unconcerned by the fate that awaited her, though her voice was weak when she spoke and there were tears in her eyes.


Anne Boleyn’s Speech on the Scaffold

At 8 am on 19 May 1536, Anne Boleyn was taken to a specially erected scaffold within the confines of the Tower of London for execution on charges of adultery and treason. Before placing her head upon the block she briefly addressed the crowd in a calm if sometimes hesitant voice in a speech remarkable for its lack of malice and generosity of spirit which belied her reputation for petulance and excessive self-regard.

Good Christian people, I am come hither to die, for according to the law, and by the law I am judged to die, and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that, whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the king and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord. And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge the best. And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me. O Lord have mercy on me, to God I commend my soul.

Anne Boleyn’s Last Letter to Henry VIII

On 6 May 1536, while imprisoned in the Tower of London awaiting trial on charges of adultery and treason Anne Boleyn wrote a final letter to King Henry VIII. It contains little trace of malice towards the man who would see his wife beheaded but she does plead her innocence of the crimes alleged, if not the fact she may have caused him offence (the offence she knew full-well that of not bearing him a son and heir).

She also pleads that others not be punished for her sake and prays that Henry too avoid being brought to account before God for his ‘unprincely and cruel usage of me.’

Anne Boleyn went to the scaffold with great dignity on 19 May, 1536.


Your Grace’s displeasure, and my imprisonment are things so strange unto me, as what to write, or what to excuse, I am altogether ignorant. Whereas you send unto me (willing me to confess a truth, and so obtain your favour) by such an one, whom you know to be my ancient professed enemy. I no sooner received this message by him, than I rightly conceived your meaning; and if, as you say, confessing a truth indeed may procure my safety, I shall with all willingness and duty perform your demand.

But let not your Grace ever imagine, that your poor wife will ever be brought to acknowledge a fault, where not so much as a thought thereof preceded. And to speak a truth, never prince had wife more loyal in all duty, and in all true affection, than you have ever found in Anne Boleyn: with which name and place I could willingly have contented myself, if God and your Grace’s pleasure had been so pleased. Neither did I at any time so far forget myself in my exaltation or received Queenship, but that I always looked for such an alteration as I now find; for the ground of my preferment being on no surer foundation than your Grace’s fancy, the least alteration I knew was fit and sufficient to draw that fancy to some other object. You have chosen me, from a low estate, to be your Queen and companion, far beyond my desert or desire. If then you found me worthy of such honour, good your Grace let not any light fancy, or bad council of mine enemies, withdraw your princely favour from me; neither let that stain, that unworthy stain, of a disloyal heart toward your good grace, ever cast so foul a blot on your most dutiful wife, and the infant-princess your daughter. Try me, good king, but let me have a lawful trial, and let not my sworn enemies sit as my accusers and judges; yea let me receive an open trial, for my truth shall fear no open flame; then shall you see either my innocence cleared, your suspicion and conscience satisfied, the ignominy and slander of the world stopped, or my guilt openly declared. So that whatsoever God or you may determine of me, your grace may be freed of an open censure, and mine offense being so lawfully proved, your grace is at liberty, both before God and man, not only to execute worthy punishment on me as an unlawful wife, but to follow your affection, already settled on that party, for whose sake I am now as I am, whose name I could some good while since have pointed unto, your Grace being not ignorant of my suspicion therein. But if you have already determined of me, and that not only my death, but an infamous slander must bring you the enjoying of your desired happiness; then I desire of God, that he will pardon your great sin therein, and likewise mine enemies, the instruments thereof, and that he will not call you to a strict account of your unprincely and cruel usage of me, at his general judgment-seat, where both you and myself must shortly appear, and in whose judgment I doubt not (whatsoever the world may think of me) mine innocence shall be openly known, and sufficiently cleared. My last and only request shall be, that myself may only bear the burden of your Grace’s displeasure, and that it may not touch the innocent souls of those poor gentlemen, who (as I understand) are likewise in strait imprisonment for my sake. If ever I found favour in your sight, if ever the name of Anne Boleyn hath been pleasing in your ears, then let me obtain this request, and I will so leave to trouble your Grace any further, with mine earnest prayers to the Trinity to have your Grace in his good keeping, and to direct you in all your actions. From my doleful prison in the Tower, this sixth of May;

Your most loyal and ever faithful wife, Anne Boleyn”


Katharine of Aragon’s Last Letter to Henry VIII

In late December 1535, aware that she was dying Katharine of Aragon wrote a last letter to King Henry VIII. Despite the divorce and his recent marriage to Anne Boleyn much to Henry’s irritation she continued to refer to herself as his lawful wedded wife regardless of having been exiled from Court and demoted in status to Dowager Princess of Wales, worse still in her missive she proceeded to both warn and scold him in equal measure and even condescended to forgive his past behaviour.

Unwavering in the face of years of bullying and intimidation she remained defiant until the end signing her letter – Katharine, the Queen.

She passed away on 7 January, 1536.

My most dear lord, king and husband,

The hour of my death now drawing on, the tender love I owe you forceth me, my case being such, to commend myself to you, and to put you in remembrance with a few words of the health and safeguard of your soul which you ought to prefer before all worldly matters, and before the care and pampering of your body, for the which you have cast me into many calamities and yourself into many troubles. For my part, I pardon you everything, and I wish to devoutly pray God that He will pardon you also. For the rest, I commend unto you our daughter Mary, beseeching you to be a good father unto her, as I have heretofore desired. I entreat you also, on behalf of my maids, to give them marriage portions, which is not much, they being but three. For all my other servants I solicit the wages due them, and a year more, lest they be unprovided for. Lastly, I make this vow, that mine eyes desire you above all things.

Katharine the Quene.


Chamberlain’s Announcement of War

At 11.15 a.m. on Sunday, 3 September 1939, Prime Minister Chamberlain broadcast to the nation the following statement from No 10 Downing Street, announcing that a state of war existed between Britain and Germany:

Later that evening the unarmed passenger liner SS Athenia was torpedoed and sunk in the Northern Approaches killing 117 people, the first British casualties of World War Two.

“This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final Note stating that, unless we heard from them by 11 o’clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us.

I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany.

You can imagine what a bitter blow it is to me that all my long struggle to win peace has failed. Yet I cannot believe that there is anything more or anything different that I could have done and that would have been more successful.

Up to the very last it would have been quite possible to have arranged a peaceful and honourable settlement between Germany and Poland, but Hitler would not have it. He had evidently made up his mind to attack Poland whatever happened, and although He now says he put forward reasonable proposals which were rejected by the Poles, that is not a true statement. The proposals were never shown to the Poles, nor to us, and, although they were announced in a German broadcast on Thursday night, Hitler did not wait to hear comments on them, but ordered his troops to cross the Polish frontier. His action shows convincingly that there is no chance of expecting that this man will ever give up his practice of using force to gain his will. He can only be stopped by force.

We and France are today, in fulfilment of our obligations, going to the aid of Poland, who is so bravely resisting this wicked and unprovoked attack on her people. We have a clear conscience. We have done all that any country could do to establish peace. The situation in which no word given by Germany’s ruler could be trusted and no people or country could feel themselves safe has become intolerable. And now that we have resolved to finish it, I know that you will all play your part with calmness and courage.

At such a moment as this the assurances of support that we have received from the Empire are a source of profound encouragement to us.

The Government have made plans under which it will be possible to carry on the work of the nation in the days of stress and strain that may be ahead. But these plans need your help. You may be taking your part in the fighting services or as a volunteer in one of the branches of Civil Defence. If so you will report for duty in accordance with the instructions you have received. You may be engaged in work essential to the prosecution of war for the maintenance of the life of the people – in factories, in transport, in public utility concerns, or in the supply of other necessaries of life. If so, it is of vital importance that you should carry on with your jobs.

Now may God bless you all. May He defend the right. It is the evil things that we shall be fighting against – brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution – and against them I am certain that the right will prevail.”

A Hanging in 18th Century London

With more than 200 criminal offences on the Statute Book carrying the death penalty public hanging was a regular occurrence in 18th century England providing an opportunity for a great social gathering and considerable revelry with food sold, alcohol readily available, and even fairground attractions.

Notice of execution was posted well in advance to allow people to arrange excursions with multiple hangings and the execution of Highwaymen, the folk heroes of their day particularly popular with more than 200,000 people attending the hanging of the notorious Jack Shepherd.

Indeed, such was the love of the English people for an execution that it often left foreign visitors bemused. Here a Frenchman in London on business describes the process:

Criminals are not executed immediately after their trial, as they are abroad, but are given several days to prepare for death. During that time they may ask for anything that they require either for the soul or for the body. The chaplain of the prison (for there is one) does not leave them, and offers every consolation in his power. The day before the execution those who desire it may receive the sacrament, provided the chaplain thinks that they have sincerely repented and are worthy of it.

On the day of execution the condemned prisoners, wearing a sort of white linen shirt over their clothes and a cap on their heads, are tied two together and placed on carts with their backs to the horses’ tails. These carts are guarded and surrounded by constables and other police officers on horseback, each armed with a sort of pike. In this way part of the town is crossed, and Tyburn, which is a good half-mile from the last suburb, is reached, and here stands the gibbet.

One often sees criminals going to their death perfectly unconcerned, others so impenitent that they fill themselves full of liquor and mock at those who are repentant. When all the prisoners arrive at their destination they are to mount on a very wide cart made expressly for the purpose, a cord is passed round their necks and the end fastened to the gibbet, which is not very high.

The chaplain who accompanies the condemned men is also on the cart; he makes pray and sings a few verses of the Psalms. Relatives are permitted to mount the cart and take farewell. When the time is up – that is to about a quarter of an hour – the chaplain and relations get off the cart, the executioner covers the eyes and faces of the prisoners with their caps lashes the horses that draw the cart, which slips from under the condemned men’s feet, and in this way they remain all hanging together. You often see friends and relations tugging at the hanging men’s feet so that they should die quicker and not suffer.

The bodies and clothes of the dead belong to the executioner; relatives must, if they wish for them, buy them from him, and unclaimed bodies are sold to surgeons to be dissected. You see most amusing scenes between the people who do not like the bodies to be cut and the messengers the surgeons have sent for bodies; blows are given and returned before they can be got away, and sometimes in the turmoil the bodies are quickly removed and buried.

There is no other form of execution but hanging; it is thought that the taking of life is sufficient punishment for any crime without worse torture. After hanging murderers are, however, punished in a particular fashion. They are first hung on the common gibbet, their bodies are then covered with tallow and fat substances, over this is placed a tarred shirt fastened down with iron bands, and the bodies are hung with chains to the gibbet, which is erected on the spot, or as near as possible to the place, where the crime was committed, and there it hangs till it falls to dust. This is what is called in this country to ‘hang in chains’.

Meeting Attila and His Huns

By the Fifth Century the once mighty Roman Empire was in irreversible decline. Hounded and harassed by nomadic tribes such as the Visigoths and Ostrogoths hailing from the East they would soon face an even greater enemy, a race of warrior tribesmen from the plains of modern Hungary, the Huns, and their fearsome leader, Attila – the Scourge of God.

The Roman historian Ammanianus Marcelinus described them:


Though they do just bear the likeness of men, of a very ugly type, they are so little advanced in civilization that they make no use of fire or use any kind of relish in the preparation of their food, instead they feed upon the roots they find in the fields, and the half-raw flesh of any sort of animal.

When attacked, they will sometimes engage in regular battle going into the fight in order of columns and filling the air with varied and discordant cries. More often however they fight in no regular order of battle, but by being extremely swift and sudden in their movements, they disperse, and then rapidly come together again in loose array, spread havoc over vast plains, and flying over the rampart, they pillage the camp of their enemy almost before he has become aware of their approach.

When in close combat they fight with swords without regard for their own safety, and while their enemy is intent upon parrying the thrust of the swords, they throw a net over him and so entangle his limbs.


In 451, Attila led his hordes into the heart of Western Europe but was defeated by Rome and its Ostrogoth Allies at the Battle of Chalons, now considered one of the great turning points of history.

But for Attila it was merely a setback and he would return the following year to rampage across Italy looting and pillaging at will. Yet he turned back at the Gates of Rome when the city appeared to be at his mercy. Why, remains a mystery.

A man of fierce demeanour who struck terror into the hearts of those brought before him, Attila was someone whom it was wise not to offend.


Priscus, an envoy of the Byzantine Empire was invited to dine with the Scourge of God.

This is his account:

We waited for the time of the invitation, and then all of us, the envoys from the Western Romans as well, presented ourselves in the doorway facing Attila.

In accordance with national custom we were given a cup for us to make our libations before we took our seats. When that had been done we went to the chairs where we would sit to have dinner. All the seats were ranged down either side of the room, up against the walls. In the middle Attila was sitting on a couch with a second couch behind him. Behind that a few steps led up to his bed, which for decorative purposes was covered in ornate drapes made of fine linen, like those which Greeks and Romans prepare for marriage ceremonies.

The more distinguished guests were on Attila’s right and the second rank on his left where we were along with Berichos, a man of some renown among the Scythians who was sitting in front of us.

To the right of Attila’s couch was Onegesios, and opposite him were two of the king’s sons on chairs. The eldest son was sitting on Attila’s own couch, right on the very edge, with his eyes fixed on the ground in fear of his father.

When all were sitting properly in order, a cupbearer came to offer Attila an ivy-wood bowl of wine, which he took and drank a toast to the man first in order of precedence. The man thus honoured rose to his feet but it was not right for him to sit down again until Attila had drank some or all of the wine and had handed the goblet back to the attendant. The guests, taking their own cups, then honoured him in the same way, sipping the wine after making the toast.

One attendant went round to each man in strict order after Attila’s personal cup-bearer had gone out.

When the second guest and then all the others in their turn had been honoured, Attila greeted us in like fashion in our order of seating.

A lavish meal, served on silver trenchers, was prepared for us and the others, but Attila just had some meat on a wooden platter, for this was one aspect of his self-discipline.

For instance, gold or silver cups were presented to the other diners, but his own goblet was made of wood. His clothes, too, were simple, and no trouble was taken except to have them clean. The sword that hung by his side, the clasps of his barbarian shoes and the bridle of his horse were all free from gold, precious stones or other valuable decorations.

As twilight came on torches were lit, and two barbarians entered before Attila to sing some songs they had composed, telling of his victories and his valour in war.

The guests paid close attention to them, and some were delighted with the songs, others excited at being reminded of the wars, but others broke down and wept if their bodies were weakened by age and their warrior spirits forced to remain inactive.

After the songs, a Scythian entered, a crazy fellow who told a lot of strange and completely false stories, not a word of them true which made everyone laugh. Following him the moor, Zerkon, totally disorganized in appearance in clothes, voice and words who by mixing up the languages of the Italians with those of the Huns and Goths, he fascinated everyone and made them break out into uncontrollable laughter. All that is except Attila, he remained impassive, without any change of expression, and neither by word or gesture did he seem to share in the merriment except that when his youngest son, Ernas, came in and stood by him, he drew the boy towards him and looked at him with gentle eyes.

I was surprised that he paid no attention to his other sons, and only had time for this one. But the barbarian at my side, who understood Italian and what I had said about the boy, warned me not to speak up, and said that the seers had told Attila that his family would be banished but would be restored by this son.

After spending most of the night at the party, we left, having no wish to pursue the drinking any further.


Mussolini’s Declaration of War: An Ignoble Gesture

On 10 June 1940, speaking from the balcony of the Palazzo Venetia in Rome before a large and enthusiastic crowd of his black-shirted supporters Benito Mussolini, Il Duce, declared war on Britain and France.

He had wisely chosen to remain neutral in the conflict but believing that German victory was imminent and he would be denied his share of the spoils he wanted a thousand Italian dead to ensure a place at the Conference Table:

Soldiers, sailors, and aviators! Black-shirts of the revolution and of the Fascist Legions! Men and women of Italy, of the Empire, and of the kingdom of Albania! Pay heed!

An hour appointed by destiny has struck in the heavens of our fatherland.

To cries of War! War!

The declaration of war has already been delivered to the ambassadors of Great Britain and France. We go to battle against the plutocratic and reactionary democracies of the west who at every moment have hindered the advance and have often endangered the very existence of the Italian people.

Recent historical events can be summarized in the following phrases: promises, threats, blackmail, and finally to crown the edifice, the ignoble siege by the fifty-two states of the League of Nations. Our conscience is absolutely tranquil.


The entire world is witness that Fascist Italy has done all that is humanly possible to avoid the torment which is throwing Europe into turmoil; but all was in vain. It would have sufficed to revise the treaties to bring them up to date with the changing needs of the life of nations and not consider them untouchable for eternity; it would have sufficed not to have begun the stupid policy of guarantees, which has shown itself particularly lethal for those who accepted them; it would have sufficed not to reject the proposal for peace that the Fuhrer made on 6 October of last year having finished the campaign in Poland.

But now all of that belongs to the past.

If now today we have decided to face the risks and the sacrifices of a war it is because the honour, the interests, and the future impose an iron necessity. If a great people are truly such it must consider sacred its own duties and does not evade the supreme trials which determine the course of history.

We take up arms to resolve the problem of our land frontier, the problem of our maritime frontiers; we want to break the territorial chains which suffocate us in our own sea; since a people of forty-five million is not truly free if it does not have free access to the ocean.

This gigantic struggle is nothing other than a phase in the logical development of our revolution; it is the struggle of peoples that are poor but rich in workers against the exploiters who hold on ferociously to the monopoly off all the riches and all the gold of the earth; it is the struggle of the fertile and young people against the sterile people moving to the sunset; it is the struggle between two centuries and two ideas.

Now that the die is cast, I solemnly declare that Italy does not intend to drag into the conflict other peoples bordering her on land or on sea. Switzerland, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey.

Egypt take note of these my words for it depends on them and only on them whether or not they will be rigorously confirmed.


In a memorable meeting which took place in Berlin, I said that according to the laws of Fascist morality, when one has a friend, one marches with him to the end.

Cries of Duce! Duce! Duce!

This we have done with Germany, with its people, with its marvelous armed forces.

On this eve of great events we direct our thoughts to the majesty of the King and Emperor who as always has understood the soul of the fatherland. And we salute with our voices the Fuhrer, the head of our great ally Germany.

Proletarian and Fascist Italy stands up strong, and proud, and united as never before, one order both obligatory and categorical already spreads and fires hearts from the Alps to the Indian Ocean – Victory!

And we will win in and bring peace with justice to Italy, to Europe, and to the world.

People of Italy!

Rush to arms and show your spirit, your courage, your valour!

Winston Churchill: We Shall Never Surrender

On 4 June 1940, following the successful evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from the beaches of Dunkirk, Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed the House of Commons with a speech the stirring final paragraph of which made plain his Governments position and rallied the British people for the long struggle ahead.

Britain would fight on, alone if necessary – it would never surrender!

Even if he did mutter to a colleague:

“We’ll fight them with the butt end of beer bottles for that’s all we bloody well have.”

It has since become one of the most famous perorations in history:

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.