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permanence goes to prove that every nation has its own fixed mental characteristics, which lapse of time and change of circumstance can never root out, though they may soften and greatly modify them.

The question can hardly fail to arise in the mind of a citizen of the United States, Why it is that English colonies differ so essentially from those of other nations ? At the time of the first discovery of the New World, Spain stood preëminent among the nations of Europe, and her colonies were formed by the best and bravest in the land. Why is it that those colonies have sunk into their present position, subject by turns to a cruel military despotism or a still more cruel anarchy, and falling ever lower and lower in the scale of nations? We believe that it is because they are incapable of holding any rational idea of liberty, and have no power to appreciate the great truth, that wise and just laws are the only safeguard of political freedom.

We do not claim for the Anglo-Saxon that he has always been, or is even now, fully governed by this great central truth; we know it is not so; but we do firmly believe that the possession of the germ of this truth has been the secret of the success of this nation and of its prodigious growth and development; and that this too is the cause why, under Providence, it has been permitted to conquer and possess so wide and fair a portion of the earth.

The institutions of the Anglo-Saxons were always characterized by popular freedom. When by civil contentions they were losing sight of this blessing, William and his 60,000 Normans were suffered to conquer the whole nation, and establish a thoroughly aristocratic form of government. The loss of liberty made them feel its value; and the number of foreigners who came thus to rule over them not being sufficient to leaven the mass of the people, the old element of liberty was never crushed. It soon began to struggle upward, slowly and painfully, it is true, but yet steadfastly, till the firmly established power of the House of Commons has at last put it decidedly in the ascendant in England. In the mean time, some scions, impatient of the tardy movements of the Old World, tore themselves from the parent stem two hundred years ago, and founded on the inhospitable shores of New England a series of colonies almost as purely Anglo

Saxon as those which first sought a home in the island of the Britons. The counties in England whence they chiefly came were those which had been least influenced by the Danes or the Normans. The Normans came to England as lords and servants; their descendants held similar positions, and belonged to the highest and lowest ranks of society. Our fathers came principally from the middle classes ; from the gentry, the merchants, the tradesmen, and the yeomanry of England. The names found in a few pages of a Boston Directory, or in the columns of advertisements in a newspaper,

if compared with the same number of English names taken equally at random, will show the far greater proportion of Anglo-Saxon names with us. Moreover, the cause that brought our fathers here, the resolute determination to be free at any cost, and anywhere, rather than purchase the blessings of home by submission, was a feeling which warmed the Anglo-Saxon blood as it could no other; and only where it found that blood, could it do all its work. At this moment, New England is more Anglo-Saxon than Old England. Its language is more Saxon than that of any other portion of the United States; its provincialisms, such as wilt, crock, slump, hub, gumption, and the like, are genuine old Saxon words.

The New Englander, in his love of migrating, in his determination to establish and abide by a squatter's claim, wherever he finds it convenient, in his apparent lawlessness till he has got possession of what he wants, and then in his earnestness in putting all things under the law, and building at once the school-house, the court-house, and the church, — making religion founded on intelligence, and liberty protected by law, the two pillars of the state, - shows himself the genuine descendant of the old Anglo-Saxon stock. We do not mean to say that the New Englander is the only Saxon of the United States; but we believe that England has never planted any colonies in this country or elsewhere so purely Saxon as those of New England. Bancroft estimates that at least one third of the population of the whole United States is formed of the descendants of the New England Puritans; and it is impossible to traverse our country in any direction without being convinced, that wherever progressive energy stamps its seal in any department of human pursuit, it has been done in nine cases out of ten by the hand of a native-born New Englander.

Wherever England plants a colony, the Saxon element shows itself in the sturdiness with which, awed by no danger, dismayed by no difficulty, it conquers and civilizes wherever it comes. Other nations mingle with uncivilized races, adopt many of their habits and modes of thought, and deteriorate until they harmonize with those among whom they dwell. The English colonies, on the contrary, plant their foot at once on savage life, and will have no part nor lot in it. The qualities which lead them to this course, it is true, savor of harslıness, sometimes of cruelty, and may not at first sight seem as pleasing as the easy amiability of the Frenchman, or the indolent repose of the Spaniard; but through them the world has gained far more civilization and true happiness than it has ever lost. There is a certain sturdiness of character that is a most useful protection to a nation, as well as to an individual, when possessed of traits worthy of preservation.

Nations that have attained to any eminent degree of civilization seem to be divided into two classes, one of which remains fixed in some particular country, and after making considerable progress in scientific discovery and in art, continues for ages, so far as we can learn, without making any noticeable advance; while the other class, actuated alternately by a nomadic and an inhabitative impulse, are now wandering to found new nations, and then throwing all the powers of their progressive life into discoveries in science and art, which result in practical inventions that give to each generation powers and comforts unknown to those who preceded them. The former class allows its reflective and imaginative powers to sleep, or to act only in abstractions, rarely bringing them out into practical life; while the latter value these powers chiefly because through them a way is opened to useful practical results.

The Chinese nation, which may be considered the type of the former class, were the first inventors of the mariner's compass, of gunpowder, and of the printing press. The little use they have known how to make of them is one of the standing wonders of the European world. These inventions were placed in the hands of Europeans, and how different the result! What were before little more than scientific playthings become now engines of enormous power. With

the compass, new worlds are discovered; by gunpowder they are conquered from their barbarian inhabitants; and soon the printing press spreads intelligence and Christianity wherever the white man comes.

Those nations that have wandered widest, and are most mixed, seem to be those possessed of the most forcible and progressive character; but this is true only when the mixture has been of families so nearly akin that the descendants do not form a mongrel race, such as results from the mixture of black and white. It is a pretty well established fact, that while the amalgamation of widely differing races, like the negro or Indian with the Caucasian, produces a short-lived progeny, not possessed of the best qualities of either race, the direct contrary is the result from the union of kindred races.

Greece, formed from the union of various tribes wandering from the east, created a civilization that produced, in all forms of literature and art, works which are still the models of the whole civilized earth. Rome, founded by tribes of robbers, and drawing into its vortex races so numerous that it has been styled “the common shore of the world,” became a power of gigantic growth. England, conquered and reconquered by succeeding waves of the great Teutonic flood, that rolled from the east across the north of Europe, grows in the lapse of centuries to be the admiration and terror of the world; her mariners, free and fearless as sea-birds wherever ocean rolls, her armies victorious above those of every older nation, her arts and literature spreading civilization far and wide. The United States, beginning with the English stock, and grafting upon it scions from every other European nation, grows every day stronger with a power of progress no human mind can measure.

Taking to ourselves the Yankee's privilege of boasting, we claim that we possess in a greater degree than any people ever did before, all the elements of a mighty nation. We are progressive and yet conservative, wandering and yet inhabitative, ready to win from the forest or the savage all the earth we can ever hope to use, and then equally ready to bring it under the dominion of civilization, law, and religion. We are intensely attached to our own customs and institutions, and yet ever ready to adopt improvements from

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whatever source they may come. Our love of freedom, if not always wise, is always indomitable ; but just as strong is our conviction that freedom can be insured only by the dominion of laws; a conviction which is often assailed, and sometimes apparently suppressed, yet always has conquered, and we trust always will conquer, in the battle with lawlessness. We are the most mixed race that ever existed ; and yet the admixture of other races has never been such as to weaken or impoverish the original Saxon stock ;- on the contrary, it has

, infused into it new life and energy. We believe that the Teutonic race excels all others in the possession of these traits of character; and that the Saxons are preëminent or typical for possessing them in a higher degree than any other members of that race.

Possessing all these elements of progress, we shall go on from strength to strength until we fall by our own sins. Small nations may be devoured by large ones, without, so far as we can see, any fault of their own; but great and powerful nations fall only by their own sins. The only enemies they have to fear are the vices they cherish within their own bosoms.

Rome was never so strong, so far as unbounded wealth and all the seeming elements of power could make her, as at the moment of her fall. The British cohorts that fought under the Roman banners were known by the title of · Invincibles' from one end of Europe to the other; yet they were unable at home to resist the Angles and Saxons to any purpose, and were conquered almost to annihilation. A few centuries later, the Angles and Saxons, after uniting into one nation, and becoming populous and wealthy, were conquered and subdued by an army so small that we find it difficult to believe the story as we read.

All these nations fell from precisely the same causes. Strength and success brought them wealth, and wealth brought in her train licentiousness, forgetfulness of principle, and degradation of character, until strength became palsied, and former successes only prepared the way for the more shameful downfall. As we look abroad among our own people, and see how the wealth of the nation at large grows like an exotic weed, and how luxury in our large cities keeps

with wealth, we cannot but tremble for the ultimate success of the great experiment in self-government we are


ready pace

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