« ZurückWeiter »
tion it, it seems to me I did come over some risin' ground!” and I once heard of a western orator, who proposed to destroy the naval supremacy of England, by turning the Mississippi into the Mammoth Cave and thus drying up the Atlantic.
Novalis said, “Every Englishman is an island,” and Mackintosh added, “Every American is a declaration of Independence.” Bulwer, in the first chapter of “England and the English,” is frank and fearless in illustrating this point, saying :
“The passions are universally the same- Bulwer on the expression of them as universally vary- the English. ing. The French and the English are both vain of country ; so far they are alike—yet if there be any difference between the nations more strong than another it is the manner in which that vanity is shown. The vanity of the Frenchman consists (as I have somewhere read) in belonging to so great a country ; but the vanity of the Englishman exults in the thought that so great a country belongs to himself. The root of all our notions, as of all our laws, is to be found in the sentiment of property. It is
my wife whom you shall not insult ; it is my house that you shall not enter; it is my country that you shall not traduce; and by a species of ultra-mundane appropriation, it is my God whom you shall not blas
pheme. Why the “In his own mind, the Englishman is the lishman pivot of all things, the centre of the solar
system. Like virtue herself, he
Englishman is vain.
“Stands as the sun, And all that rolls around him Drinks light and life and glory from his aspect.'
He is vain of his country for an excellent reason-it produced Him.
“A few months ago I paid a visit to Paris; I fell in with a French marquis of the Bourbonite politics ; he spoke to me of the present state of Paris with tears in his eyes; I thought it best to sympathize and agree with him ; my complaisance was displeasing ; he wiped his eyes with the air of a man beginning to take offence. “Nevertheless, sir,' quoth he, ‘our public buildings are superb.' I allowed the fact. We have made great advances in civilization. There was no disputing the proposition. Our writers are the greatest in the world. I was silent. “Enfin—what a devil of a climate yours is, in comparison with ours!'
After so much from an Englishman, Horace Greeley's remarks in one of his letters from abroad may be accepted : “I have said that the British in manner Horace
Their wolf mon Greeley on are not a winning people. Their self-con- Englishmen. ceit is the principal reason. They have solid and excellent qualities, but their selfcomplacency is exorbitant and unparalleled. The majority are not content with esteeming Marlborough and Wellington the greatest generals, and Nelson the first admiral the world ever saw, but claim a like supremacy for their countrymen in every field of human effort. They deem machinery and manufactures, railroads and steamboats, essentially British products. They regard morality and philanthropy as in effect peculiar to “the fast-anchored isle,' and liberty as an idea uncomprehended, certainly unrealized, anywhere else. They are horrorstricken at the toleration of slavery in the United States, in seeming ignorance that
their weak points.
our Congress has no power to abolish it, and that their Parliament, which had ample power, refused to exercise it through generations down to the last quarter of a century. They cannot even consent to go to heaven on a road common to other nations, but must seek admission through a private gate of their own, stoutly maintaining that their local Church is the very one founded by the Apostles, and that all others are
more or less apostate and schismatic. Other Nations have nations have their weak points—the French,
glory; the Spaniards, orthodoxy ; the Yankees, rapacity; but Bull plunders India and murders Ireland, yet deems himself the mirror of beneficence, and feeds his self-righteousness by resolving not to fellowship with him slaveholders of a different fashion from himself; he is perpetually fighting and extending his possessions all over the globe, yet wondering that French and Russian ambition will keep the world always in hot water. Our Yankee self-conceit and self-laudation are immoderate, but nobody else is so perfect on all points, himself being the judge—as Bull."
Yes, as a shrewd farmer said to me the other day, “Self is always the first man on parade.” Self-praise is seen in States as well as na-The rustic
from Maine. tions and individuals. I can laugh yet over the rustic at the Centennial who hailed from the Pine Tree State, and, surveying the main building with wonder, inquired what it was. “That is the main building," said a kindly stranger. “Wall, I thought our State would beat all the rest in buildings, and she has !”
A Massachusetts man expresses his views The greatin this style : “A great State. Old Massa- State of Maschusetts has ever taken the lead in what's sachusetts. great, good, useful, and profitable. She established the first school in the United States, the first academy and the first college. She set up the first press, printed the first book and the first newspaper ; she planted the first apple tree, and caught the first whale; she coined the first money, and hoisted the first national flag ; she made the first canal, and the first railroad; she invented the first mouse-trap, and washing-machine, and sent the first ship to discover islands and con
root Staten M
ness of the