From the book: Say It out Loud by Mohamed Adhikari
The 1913 Presidential Address, Kimberley, Cape, 11th October, 1913
Presidential address by Dr. A Abdurahman, President of the African Political Organization (APO), Kimberley , 29 September 1913, at the opening of the tenth annual Conference of the A.P.O.
[His Worship Councillor E. Oppenheimer Mayor of Kimberley, presided]
Nearly two years have elapsed since we last met in Conference two years crowded with events that have an important bearing on the future of South Africa, and especially on the Coloured races. Thanks, however, to the A. P.O. newspaper, every intelligent Coloured man is acquainted with those events, and there is no need for me to dwell in detail on any one of them. Nevertheless, a cursory enumeration will be desirable in order to answer certain questions I propose to submit to you: it will be further necessary to make a retrospect of the conditions that prevailed at the time when White South Africa, amid exuberant exultations, and a chorus of hosannahs, wildly welcomed the Act of Union as a beacon light, that would blaze down through ages of history, indicating the commencement of peace and prosperity for the land, and the birth of a new nation the foundation of a new nationalism.
Ushered in by its authors with the blare of trumpets, and with an incence of self-adulation for their vaunted achievement, it surely cannot have belied their sanguine hopes, and proved to have been nothing more than a dream of Alnaschar. Whether Europeans are wholly satisfied with the results of Union, is their business; but I think we are warranted in looking for some indication of the fruits of that Act from our point of view. But, before doing so, let us take a cursory glance at the condition of the Coloured races in preunion days, and then, after a rapid review of the legislation since that memorable date, we will ask ourselves how have those events impressed the minds of the Coloured races, and what is our duty to ourselves and to our country.
Such are the questions that I propose to put myself to night, and I shall endeavour to answer them in the most candid and straightforward manner possible. Justice and equity are our demands are inherent rights of every man, especially a freeborn British subject, even in South Africa. Heedless, therefore, as to whether some of our views please or displease the privileged section of this country's population, we are in duty bound to speak out our honest convictions boldly and fearlessly. I shall endeavour to state my opinions therefore without any heat, but with a cold, passionless calmness that is possible only to those who, despite bitter experiences, base their remarks on stern facts and undeniable realities.
Of late, it has become the fashion in the press of the Union to dub anyone who has to utter unpleasant truths an emotionalist. That is, of course, not argument. The silent suffering of years that must have been undergone by the Coloured man in South Africa is not likely to have left much of the emotional side of humanity in his composition. However, unpalatable as the facts may be that I have to present for your consideration tonight, I trust that my critics will be honest enough on this occasion to face them boldly. They may question their accuracy, if they will, or dispute the validity of my dedications from these facts. Furthermore, I trust that White South Africa, especially those who boast loudest of British traditions, will remember that it is an inalienable right of a British subject, no matter in what part of the Empire he may be, to address his fellow subjects on the momentous questions of government. " If, declared an English lawyer, " no man could have awakened the public mind to the errors and the abuses in our English Government, how could it have passed on from stage to stage, through reformation and revolution, so as to have arrived from barbarism to such a pitch of happiness and perfection." Such an inquiry as I now propose will not be without its lessons. If South Africa is worthily fulfilling her mission; if she has been faithful to her trust; if she is promoting the cause of civilisation, and if her actions are based upon humanitarianism, then she may strenuously and conscientiously proceed on the course she has been following. But if it can be shown that there is no ethical basis to her policy of dealing with Coloured races, that humanitarianism as a dominating factor is invariably wanting, and that underlying her present policy is the principle of class aggrandisement, then we may urge her to halt ere it is to late, and pursue another course.
Now although there never was a time when the white and the black races stood on a footing of practical equality civilly and politically it is a fact that, under the old Cape constitution, theoretical equality was ensured to all, irrespective of race or creed. The Coloured races were, in this Colony, treated with much consideration, if not with absolute equality. The advancement made by them under that regime was always held up to the world's admiration. It was regarded as convincing proof that a policy based upon justice was the right one to be followed in governing subject races. The peaceful habits of the Coloured races since the granting of the old Cape Constitution is a complete vindication of the broad liberalism entertained by English statesmen sixty years ago. " It is the earnest desire of Her Majesty's Government that all her subjects at the Cape, without distinction of class or colour, should be united by one bond of loyality, and we believe that the exercise of political rights enjoyed by all alike will prove one of the best methods of attaining this object." Thus reads the dispatch of the Duke of Newcastle to Governor Cathcart, when transmitting " to the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope Ordinances which confer one of the most liberal constitutions enjoyed by any of the British possessions. "
But even in the Cape, prior to Union, signs were not wanting that some slight reactions had set in. By degrees the doctrine of equal rights, which formed the basis of the Cape Constitution, despite its resuscitation by the famous declaration of the great Rhodes, was losing its force. However, in the face of minor infractions of the principle of equal rights and some invasions of the necessary corollary to that principle, the right to equal opportunity in the industrial as well as in the political world we were not wholly dissatisfied with the White man's rule in the Cape.
THE NORTHERN COLONIES
Now let us consider the position in the Northern Colonies, especially in the mis-named Free State. There a very different picture is presented. From the day that the Voortrekkers endeavoured to escape English rule, from the day that they sought the hospitality of Moroko, the history of the treatment of the blacks north of the Orange River is one long and uninterrupted record of rapine, and greed, without a solitary virtue to redeem the horrors, which were committed in the name of civilisation. Such is the opinion any impartial student must arrive at from a study even of the meagre records available. If all were told, it would indeed be a blood-curdling tale, and it is probably well that the world was not acquainted with all that happened. However, the treatment of the Coloured races, even in the Northern Colonies is just what one might expect from their history. The restraints of civilisation were flung aside, and the essentials of Christian precepts ignored. The northward march of the Voortrekkers was a gigantic plundering raid. They swept like a desolating pestilence through the land, blasting everything in their path, and pitilessly laughing at the ravages from which the Native races have not yet recovered. Their governments were founded on the principle that is subversive of all Christian ethics, that the Coloured man was entitled to no recognition either in Church or State. Cruelty and oppression amounting to serfdom were, and still are, the outstanding features of the Free State. And he would be a bold man who would assert that the Native races have progressed at all as a result of contact with the white man in the Free State. Progress could not be looked for under such circumstances, for nowhere are there any signs that the Free State was ever inspired by altruistic motives.
Such was the condition of things at the time of Union. Injustice, repression, and inhumanity characterised the treatment of the Coloured races in the North: justice, benevolence, and equality of opportunity in the South. Now, it is said that "where slavery is prohibited, there civil liberty must exist: where civil liberty is denied, there slavery follows." These maxims every student of history will admit, have been abundantly verified in the history of South Africa. Take, for instance, a comparison of the condition of the Coloured people of this town and that of Bloemfontein, the capital of the Orange Free State. Your member of Parliament has stated that in Kimberley our people are a credit to the district, and the most advanced and progressive Coloured people in South Africa. This is no doubt due to the excellent educational facilities with which you have been provided for some considerable time, to the liberty and freedom you enjoy, and to the kindly treatment you have received at the hands of the Europeans. In Bloemfontein, on the other hand, there are practically no educational facilities for children, who, as soon as they reach the age of fifteen, must enter the service of a white man, or be cast into prison. There is no freedom, no liberty, and the result is that the Coloured people of the capital of that British Slave State are uneducated, poor, and degraded.
Here, then, one can easily see the results produced by the two different systems of governing Coloured races the benevolent and the despotic. In the North the denial of civil rights produced a state of virtual slavery, and the recent denial of the complete enfranchisement of the Coloured people in the Union has similarly resulted in the passing of an Act the Natives' Land Act, which means nothing less than the partial enslavement of the races throughout the Union. With two such divergent policies in force in South Africa, it is not surprising that the Coloured races viewed with the gravest apprehension the Union of the Colonies upon a basis which would give the Northern Colonies sufficient power and influence to shape the legislation of the Union. And I have no hesitation in declaring that when Union was accomplished, and the Coloured people were partially disfranchised, the death-knell of political equality for the Coloured races was sounded, and the triumph of the North over the South was heralded.
Sincere regrets were expressed by our friends at the abridgement of our rights, and the curtailment of our privileges that were effected by the South Africa Act. Fervent hopes were entertained by Cape politicians that, not only would we not suffer any injustice, but the position of the Coloured races in the North would be improved, and their rights eventually be admitted. They fondly believed that the leavening influence of the Cape ideas would mitigate the barbarity of those of the Northerners. We had no reason to doubt the sincerity of our friends' beliefs, but we had no faith in the Northerners men whose public professions and practice were void of a vestige of justice or honour in their dealings with the Coloured races.
In November 1907, when the question of Union was under discussion, I expressed myself thus: "In a central Parliament there would be the danger of the policies of the North slowly creeping into our Colony, and undermining our constitution. The men of the North have already told us what they would do if they got into power: and European friends, numerous and influential as they might be, would not be able to safeguard the interests of the Coloured people." How far that prediction has been verified is well known to every Coloured man. The position of the Coloured man at the time of the Union was such as I have described.
Scarcely had the blessing of the Almighty been invoked on the proceedings of the Union Parliament at the opening of its first session when, to its eternal shame and infamy, it placed upon its Statute Book a law that would debar Christ Himself from membership of the Dutch Reformed Church. A Parliament capable of such blasphemy is capable of any iniquity.
Then followed the Marriage Bill and the Squatters' Bill, both abortive measures, but, nevertheless, showing clearly the attitude of mind of the white rulers towards the Coloured races. In order to find employment for poor whites. Coloured railway employees who had served the country faithfully and well were dismissed. A white South Africa has been declared in the Union Parliament and from every platform. The white race must preserve its dominance. To this end a rigorous policy of repression was adopted; and the enthusiastic hopes of an extension of franchise rights to our Northern fellowmen, that was entertained by Cape Politicians and the Imperial Parliament, is now as far distant as the Greek Kalends. I shall not recount the long catalogue of other persecutions and injustices. We have all felt some of them in one phase of life or other.
So serious had matters become in 1911 that in my warning to the Coloured races against the dangers that such a policy must entail, I was bold enough to declare at our Johannesburg Conference that when Europeans were ready they would enter upon a war of extermination. I was severely taken to task for imputing such inhuman motives to Europeans. I was denounced in even worse language than has been used towards the labour leaders in the recent strike. No vituperative epithet was strong enough to fling at my head. My statement met with almost universal condemnation at the hands of the editors of the white press; but it was condemned not on account of any falsity in it, but simply because it was unwise and inexpedient to make such remarks. Barely eighteen months have elapsed from the time when I made that prediction, ere we find the Union Parliament pass the Natives' Land Act, which creates conditions, if not amounting to extermination, yet designed to enslave the Natives of this country. That tyrannical mandate is scattering multitudes of Natives from their homes. Mother earth is to them now only a step-dame. They may either enter into perpetual bondage on the farm, or spend "a sunless life in the unwholesome mine."
Today there is also a revival of persecution in the Free State. The old laws of the dark days are being enforced with relentless rigour. The sanctity of homes is violated. Wives are compelled to carry passes. Mothers driven to abandon their offspring of tender years and seek employment. Daughters are wrenched from parental care and control, and forced into the service of some white scoundrel. Husbands are not allowed to work at their trades for themselves without paying 5s. per month for the privilege. Such is the condition of things in the slave State. And all this is done behind the power of the British flag, which floats over that Province, and yet these acts were impossible while the Free State lacked the power to face British public opinion. Moreover, in the Cape Colony the Free State laws are gradually being introduced. The Curfew Laws are enforced. A distinct colour line is being drawn in every phase of life, more distinct since General Smuts declared that colour and colour only is to be the dividing line.
THE WHITE MAN'S RULE
Such a long list of tyrannical acts of persecutions as I could make out of the Coloured people as a class as well as individually can point to but one conclusion, and that is that the whites are determined at all hazards to repress all aspirations of the Coloured people for a higher life, to deny all opportunities of betterment, to keep them politically, civilly and industrially as slaves, and even to force those who have risen back into a state worse than slavery. South Africa is fast becoming " A land of tyrants, and a den of slaves. Where wretches seek dishonourable graves. "
On our agenda paper I notice a resolution from Beaconsfield is to be discussed at this Conference, which reads as follows:
" That this Conference has no confidence in the Botha Ministry, and that the Governor-General is asked to communicate our decision to the King " .
Now, I think that it would be futile to pass such a resolution, for the simple reason that there is nobody, not even including the Imperial Government, but know that no Coloured man ever had any confidence in the Government. He never was ignorant enough of the past history of the immaterialists to entertain the fond hope that he could receive justice at their hands; and, further, we might continue to pass such resolutions till Doomsday, but they would not influence the occupants of the Ministerial office and mammoth salaries to change their course.
NO CONFIDENCE IN THE WHITE MAN'S RULE
Now, if Parliament is the express image of the feelings of white South Africa, and if the policy pursued by the Union Parliament has the approval of white South Africa, then a resolution of "No confidence in the white man's rule" might have some indirect effect in influencing the course of future legislation. Such a resolution sums up the present view of white rule. All confidence in whites has been shattered. They have abandoned their duty and betrayed their trust.
DUTY OF EUROPEANS
What is the duty of Europeans towards the Coloured races of the country? Take the oft-repeated assertions of Europeans themselves. Their leaders are fond of talking of their responsibilities to us. They have everlastingly had, or used to have until quite recently, on their lips these nice sounding phrases about " our duties and our responsibilities to our Coloured brothers. " But are such phrases now hollow and meaningless? If Europeans have duties towards the Coloured people, what else is implied than the need for humane dealings, and endeavours to ameliorate their lot, and uplift them in the scale of civilization. If that is what their duties mean, let us ask how far they have fulfilled them.
Instead of kindly, humane treatment, we find barbarous cruelty and inhumanity. Instead of ameliorating our lot they endeavour to accentuate its bitterness. Instead of aiming at our upliftment they seek to degrade us. Instead of lending a helping hand to those struggling to improve themselves they thrust them back remorselessly and rigorously. Instead of making it possible for them to enjoy the blessings of an enlightened Christianity and a noble civilization, they refuse them the right to live, unless they are content to slave for farmers or descend into the bowels of the earth to delve the gold which enslaves the world, and before whose charms all freedom flies. In short, the object of the white man's rule today is not to develop the faculties of the Coloured races so that they may live a full life, but to keep them forever in a servile position. The spirit that underlies this view of governing Coloured races spread into this Colony with the Union, and is now universal throughout South Africa.
The Coloured people resent this, and one cannot be astonished at the feeling of violent hostility that has sprung up. It is a natural result. And, in the words of Carlyle, it may be said that "to whatever other grief the Coloured people labour under, this bitterest grief injusticesuper-adds itself: the unendurable conviction that they are unfairly dealt with, that their lot in this world is not founded on right, nor even on necessity and might, is neither what it should be, nor what it shall be. "The Coloured peoples are sentient beings. Their souls smart under the stigma of injustice. They are nursing a sullen revengeful humour of revolt against the white rule. They have lost respect for the white man, and are refusing to give their best to the country.
The duty of Europeans is plain. Show the Coloured people that the Government is for the good of all, not for the privileged class. Prove that the first aim is not to keep us as hewers of wood and drawers of water to men who have the power. Engage the Coloured races by their affection. Grant them equal opportunities. If you do so, then the happy harmonisation of the whole community will be achieved, and you may be sure of receiving the grateful return of the affection and respect of the Coloured races.
The treatment we might reasonably expect from the dominant race is just what they themselves would expect were they in our position. We have as much right to the land of South Africa as they. We have as much right as they to be governed on the same basis of humanity. In the language of one of England's greatest Statesmen, Europeans themselves would have been shut out from all the blessings they enjoy of peace, of happiness, and of liberty if there " had been any truth in these principles, which some gentlemen have not hesitated to lay down as applicable to the case of Africa. " " Had those principles been true, we ourselves, " said William Pitt, " had languished to this hour in that miserable state of ignorance, brutality, and degradation, in which history proves our ancestors to have been immersed. Had other nations adopted those principles in their conduct towards us; had other nations applied to Great Britain the reasoning which some of the Senators of this very Island now apply to Africa, ages might have passed without our emerging from barbarism; and we, who are enjoying the blessings of British civilization of British laws, and British liberty, might at this hour have been little superior either in morals, in knowledge, or refinement, to the rude inhabitants of the coast of Guinea. "
Such were the words of Pitt in a speech he delivered in 1792 in the course of a debate on the Slave Trade. His opinions were vastly different from those of our South African Premier, who only refrains from using sjambok, so he has just told us, on no other ground than that it might also hurt himself, and who is determined to allow no Native representative in the Union Parliament as long as the Almighty spares him to be overlord. He does not look forward as Pitt did to the day when " We (British) might behold the beams of science and philosophy breaking in upon Africa, which, at some happy period, may blaze with full luster." But this policy of repression cannot last much longer. If a handful of Indians in a matter of conscience can so firmly resist what they consider injustice, what could the Coloured races not do if they were to adopt this practice of Passive Resistance? We must all admire what these British Indians have shown, and are showing in their determination to maintain what they deem to be their rights. The inhumanity of the Free State has driven our women to resist the law. Thirty-four of them went to goal rather than carry passes. The Coloured race applauds the noble actions of those brave daughters of Africa. I am convinced that if our people as a whole were prepared to suffer likewise we could gain redress of our most serious grievances while General Botha is still alive. Are we to be driven to that course? Europeans should ask themselves that question, and ask it promptly. For example, if the 200,000 Natives on the mines were, in the language of the white Labour Party, to "down" tools, and prefer to bask in the sun than to go down mines; if the farm labourer at harvesting time refused to work for one shilling and sixpence a day, the economic foundation of South Africa would suddenly shake and tremble with such violence that the beautiful white South Africa superstructure which has been built on it would come down with a crash, entailing financial ruin such as the world has never witnessed before. If Europeans wish to prevent such a calamity in this country, they must pursue the right course and encourage the Coloured people of South Africa to improve their position and become more useful citizens than they have ever been. They will themselves participate in the blessings that spring from our improvement and prosperity, and they will receive " ample recompense for their tardy kindness (if kindness it can be called) in no longer hindering " our progress.
We also should urge Europeans to go back to the path of justice, to retrace their steps along the route they appear to have been travelling of late. They can influence the Legislature. Whatever Parliament does is done in the name of the white people, and whites should, if they wish to see South Africa a happy, prosperous and peaceful country, check the Parliament in its mad career. It is worse than insensate folly to pursue that path any further. Many people have revolted at less oppression than we have to suffer. At present we have no other course than to endure in silence the persecution of our tyrants, and conform to the servitude imposed on us. We may well exclaim that this is a country where " The wanton whites new penal statutes draw Whites grind the blacks, and white men rule the law. " Nevertheless, it is not too late to mend. The estrangement between the two races is not irreconcilable. Europeans could, with advantage to the country, if they would only be men, show the Coloured people that the white man's rule is for the good of all, not for the privileged class only. If they grant the Coloured races equal opportunities, and do not penalise them on account of race or colour, they may see a happy realisation of the dreams of the wisest statesmen that all classes should be contented, and should work together for the good of all.
LESSONS FOR US
But we ourselves have many lessons to learn from our present bitter experiences. First of all, we must look to our own faults. We are partly responsible for our present position.
We presented, it is true, an organised and determined front at the date of Union. Prior to that date, despite the efforts of the African Political Organisation, we were a broken, disorganised mass of humanity. We have learned in the bitter school of experience the need of organisation, and unless we take to heart that lesson first and foremost we shall be doomed to permanent abjectness and misery. The first necessity is, therefore, organisation. From that all else may flow. Our own Organisation is fairly complete and well managed. It is compact, and speaks as a rule with one voice. But its work is hampered by the lack of sustained effort, both individually and collectively, for the extension of our sphere of work. It is all very well to talk about the European's failing in his duty. Are we fulfilling our obligations? Are we who pride ourselves as the intelligent section of the Coloured people, we who should live exemplary lives, are we acting as men and women, and fulfilling our duties honestly towards the lower sections of the Coloured people? I shall be just as candid as I have been in dealing with the actions of Europeans, and say we have failed as miserably as the Europeans.
Every one has a duty to perform, and the doing of one's duty is the " essence and basis of all religion; he who with his whole soul knows not this, as yet knows nothing, as yet is properly nothing. "
Now, it is all very well for us to keep on demanding equality perfect equality. What everybody is entitled to is justice; but we must, if we demand equality, be sure that we do our best to make ourselves the equals physically, morally and intellectually of whites.
Whoever puts forth his best efforts whoever aims at self-improvement, should be encouraged to persist in his efforts and aims. I admit that every conceivable obstacle is put in our way. But let us recognise the fact that self-improvement is attainable only by hard effort and at great sacrifice of immediate personal gratification. It is, however, the one investment in life that will pay in the end. It is the one aim, which will ensure the uplift of the whole race; I want to urge you, therefore, to use your leisure time wisely, to think of some means whereby you might employ your spare moments in improving yourselves or the members of your family. You have already learned that you must co-operate. No man can live to himself in this world, and none of you will make much headway against the stupendous opposition you have to face if he detaches himself from his fellows, if he plays a lone hand. The lowliest black or Coloured man is part of us; we can never run away from him. He will be with us, and form part of the race as long as he is left in his unenviable position. That unfortunate should be given a helping hand. Some of us may hold our heads aloft in pure ether, but the common farm labourer, the worst hooligans of the city slums are our people. These must be taken in hand and assisted to improve their position, so that they may become as self-respecting and respectable citizen as we think we are.
You must co-operate with the view of securing the best means for educating yourselves and your children. I recognise that many branches are paying for the education of children who have shown sufficient promise to warrant their education beyond Standard VI.
You are all aware of the scanty means of education afforded you by the Sate; how few schools there are in South Africa for Coloured children in which education beyond the Fourth Standard is obtainable, while hundreds of thousands of pounds are being lavished in educating the white youth. We are doing something to compensate for that difference of treatment. Nevertheless, I think we are not availing ourselves of every opportunity offered by the Education Department.
In the meantime we must be prepared to make sacrifices of no light character, and in the efforts to secure that higher education co-operation is essential.
The very fact of your co-operating in this direction would teach you valuable lessons as to the application of the principle of co-operation to other ends. You must learn to combine for industrial ends and for trading purposes. Other directions in which co-operative efforts might bear good fruit are indicated in resolutions on our agenda paper. There is the proposal that an Insurance Society should be started for the Coloured people. That is a good proposal, but it has been under consideration before this. It is to be hoped that now that the branches have thought the matter over, some practical steps will be at once taken to establish such an association.
Mr. Merriman, as you will recollect, wrote to us " Sobriety and thrift seem, if I may be allowed to say so, to be the measures needful for the uplifting of any race of colour... Coloured people in this country do not lack ability or industry, but one must own with sorrow that they are often sadly deficient in the two qualities I have mentioned... I think the suggestions thrown out by Mr. Robert J. Fredericks on the lack of co-operation are most valuable, and deserving of all attention. It is material, and not political co-operation that is the road to salvation... If I could get you to turn your attention to the Raffeissen Co-operation system as adapted to the wants and needs of the Coloured people, I shall indeed be grateful, etc. "
I feel sure that the system of co-operation suggested by Mr. Merriman will be a powerful instrument in raising the Coloured people in the social scale.
Now I come, perhaps, to the most contentious matter of all. Sobriety is not a marked characteristic of the Coloured people as a whole. At least Mr. Merriman thinks so. Nor do I think that we are making sufficient sacrifice in that direction to hope for a sober Coloured race in the near future. I know the views on Total Prohibition of many of my friends. I know that it has been said, when as Editor of the " A.P.O. " , I advocated Total Prohibition I was betraying the Coloured people, and working in direct opposition to the Constitution of the Organisation. I can only reply that our Constitution lays it down that every man should work for the social advancement of the race, and I know of no more efficient means of placing the Coloured people in a position to combat the innumerable obstacles in their path than by adopting Total Prohibition. I respect those who dissent from this view. Still, it is my honest conviction that with co-operation, education and total abstinence, the Coloured races, despite the denial of political rights, will ere long take their proper place in South Africa.
One of the most material projects which should be kept steadily before the minds of all Coloured men is the acquisition of land. In the Proverbs of Solomon one is told to "get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding." Ex-President Taft of the United States slightly altered the old proverb, and urged the Coloured people with all their getting to get land. Well, I could not put it any more strongly. It is of the utmost importance that as many as possible of you who are exempted from the Natives' Land Act should get land, and if you cannot get it individually you should endeavour to get it by co-operative effort.
Finally, I would urge you above all to see that you live clean lives physically and morally. How far you are morally superior to the whites is not the point. The main question for you is Are you doing your best to live that life which will benefit your fellowmen? Are you living the life
"Whose peaceful day benevolence endears
Whose night congratulating conscience cheers? "
Habit, as you all know, is formed by the repetition of acts. See to it, therefore, that the acts you practise are based on good principles, and then the habits you form will be good ones. Make it you aim to practice the principles of Wordsworth's Happy Warrior
" Who laboured good on good to fix and owes
To virtue every triumph that he knows;
Who through the heat of conflict keeps the law?
In calmness made, and sees what he foresaw;
Or if an unexpected call succeed,
Come when it will is equal to the need.
Plays in the many games of life that one, Where what he most doth value must be won, Finds comfort in himself, and in his cause;
And while the mortal mist is gathering, draws His breath in confidence of Heaven's applause."
Delivered at Kimberley on 29th September 1913.