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hood in one family, and slept unconsciously in the same cradle of the Aryan races. We find it difficult to quote the natural laws of such a change; it has a look of the miraculous. We fancy the unlikeness could not have been much greater if it had come straight from the hand of the Creator. Yet we have only to turn to America, and we shall see a change of race in progress such as is likely to result in a transformation quite as complete.

Mr. Emerson incidentally remarks that the American is only the continuation of the English genius under other conditions, more or less propitious. This difference of conditions, however, may make a world of difference in the outcome, as the French physiologist is said to have discovered when he shut up his tadpoles under water, where the usual influence of light could not operate on them, and found that they did not develop legs and arms and grow into frogs; their continuation lay in lengthening their tails and swelling into enormous tadpoles! The continuation theory is a favourite fallacy of the Yankee mind. By aid of it they have presumed to stand upon a platform of our past, and talk tall talk' of their grander future, assuring themselves that America contained all England plus the New World, and that they started yonder, just where the national life left off here! Alas! the English genius and character did not emigrate intact; and when the branch race was torn from the ancient tree, it was certain to lose much of its best life-sap. Then it had to be re-planted in a soil not enriched and humanized, through ages of time, with the ripe sheddings of a fruitful national life, and had to grow as best it could in an atmosphere that lacked the nourishment and vital breath of English air. The American poet Holmes sets the old tree and the old soil in a compact picture for his countrymen :

Hugged in the clinging billows' clasp,

From seaweed fringe to mountain heather,

The British oak with rooted grasp

Her slender handful holds together;

With cliffs of white and bowers of green,
And ocean narrowing to caress her,
And hills and threaded streams between,
Our little Mother Isle, God bless her!

'Beneath each swinging forest bough

Some arm as stout in death reposes-
From wave-washed foot to heaven-kissed brow
Her valour's life-blood runs in roses;

Nay, let our brothers of the West

Write smiling in their florid pages,
One half her soil has walked the rest
In Poets, Heroes, Martyrs, Sages.'


For two thousand years has the English race been taking root, and, by innumerable fibres, clutching hold of the land as with living fingers. During a great part of that time Nature has worked invisibly at the bases of the national character, toiling on in her quiet, patient way, through storm or silence, to produce the visible result at last.

The English is a race, with an internal nature, so to speak, large as is the external nature of the American continent. How could they possibly continue the genius there which had here its birthplace and home? In literature, for example, they were not in the least likely to make their starting-point the place where Milton, and Bacon, and Shakspeare had ended. What literature they have has certainly sprung mainly from the old soil that still clung to the roots of the national life when it was taken up for transplanting, and to this day it breathes more of the English earth than of the Yankee soil, but it shows no continuation of the English genius. Their new conditions have developed a new character; any likeness to us that they may have once had has paled and faded away.

In one sense alone could there be any approach to a continuation; this was in the prodigious advantages they possessed in all material means at the beginning. To a great extent they were able to build their immediate success on foundations which we had laid for them. Our experience of ages did supply them with tools to their hand, and they stepped into all our command of the physical forces of nature easily as into ready-made clothing. In this respect they found the royal road to empire, and almost started with steam in their race of a national life. They have had a splendid run. Prosperity has been sudden as some spontaneous growth of the land, enriching human labour at a miraculous rate of interest. But the success has not the sweetness of ours: they have come into their good fortune; ours was earned hardly by long centuries of toil and painful victory. Our institutions have grown like the shell and shield of the nation's inner life, shaped by it and coloured with it; theirs have been cast, and the national character has had to conform as best it might. The largeness of their territory has passed into their language, but it has not passed into the human nature. This idea of material size has completely tyrannised over the Yankee mind, and dwarfed some of its better qualities. We have no hesitation in asserting, that to the New Englander the greatest thing done by the English-the highwater mark of all our achievements-is London! No act of national heroism, no lofty nobleness of character, no work in our literature, no moral sublimity in our history, affects and overpowers the Yankee mind as does the enormous size, the omni






present magnitude of London. It is the only English thing in the presence of which their assertive nature is lost in astonishment, and cannot even make a disparaging comparison: these miles on miles of human habitations, and this roaring Niagara of multitudinous human life. But they are now in a court of trial for nations, where size of country, length of land, breadth of waters, and height of mountains will not count for much, if greatness of soul be wanting. One human spirit dilating to its full stature may be of far more avail. Shakspeare knew that by the greatness of soul, rather than by the size of country, are nations great and precious, when he sang of England as—

"This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land.'

Again, the American national life has been spent chiefly on the surface, in a fury of material activity or the loud raging of political strife, which stuns and kills in the egg that more delicate spirit of thought waiting for birth, and dimly dreaming of a life to come. They have never produced any considerable class of men who dwell apart high on the mountains, breathe a pure air, and send down an influence as of healing waters to run through the valleys and plains, sweetening and enriching the lower life of the nation, and making it green and fruitful. These are the men who in England constitute the party of humanity, and hold the high places and the towers of defence against any encroachment of tyranny, whether of Individuals or Mobs. Whatever fights take place, or party is overthrown in the political arena, the life and liberty of the nation are safe so long as these high places are held by such as hold them with us.

Perhaps it is natural for youth to boast when it first puts on the armour for the battle of life, individual or national. The sense of power, and the will to perform, are so strong within it. The sword glitters so pleasantly to the young eyes-feels so satisfying to the grasp-so sharp to the touch. Then we have a tendency to vaunt. We are stiller when we return from victory at the close of some day of Marathon or Waterloo, with dints on the armour, scars on the limbs, and a great work done. We are quieter now. We have left our sting behind. Possibly we S might fairly boast a little as we think of one good stroke in the thick of the fight-one rallying effort that helped to turn the tide of battle; but we do not boast now; we have wrung the strength and pride out of great obstacles: we let our deeds speak for They may take the armour and hang it up to brighten other eyes. They may tell the story to tingle in other ears. Our boasting days are done.


The New Englanders, on the other hand, flushed with pros



perity, and fond of approbation, are boastful, and at the same time nervously sensitive to criticism. We are aware of instances in which an honest English criticism-not harsh, but not sufficiently flattering-has proved fatal to the friendly feeling of American authors, who cannot stand that which English writers put up with and live down every day. One cause of poor Edgar Poe's Ishmaelitish life amongst his fellow authors was his love of playing upon this national weakness. He found they could not swallow criticism when spoken ever so kindly, and so he gave it to them bitterly. And, as they had been long accustomed to nothing stronger than a gentle tickling of each other's thinskinnedness, they yelled when his lash fell on them with its hearty smack, and they turned on him instinctively.

Most people have noticed how Nature, at certain whimsical moments, will mould human faces, features, expressions, so queerly comical and quaintly absurd that all the attempts of caricature fail to match them. Leech, Doyle, and Cruikshank are outdone any day in the streets of London. In a similar manner we find there is nothing like Nature for doing justice to our American friends, and only American nature can give them adequate representation. When Mr. Dickens drew the sketches of Yankee character in his 'Martin Chuzzlewit,' they were assailed in America as gross caricatures, and enjoyed in England as pictures very pleasant to laugh at, if not exactly to be believed in. Since then we have learned that the Americans do produce such characters, and perform such things as cannot be caricatured. The work of the novelist does not come near enough to that of Nature in quite another direction. We have heard a whole nation telling the wide world that they must be cracked up,' in just such an attitude as though Hannibal Chollop had been their model. The two reporters of the 'Water-toast Gazette,' who described Martin Chuzzlewit, and took him, the one below the waistcoat, the other above, were eclipsed by the reporters that attended the Prince of Wales on his American tour. Young Columbians who harangued the Water-toast Sympathisers; General Choke, La Fayette, Kettle, and Jefferson Brick, have reached their summit of the vulgar sublime in the New York Herald.' It does not appear probable at first sight that any human being should use the greeting of General Fladdock to his friends the Norrises- And do I then once again behold the choicest spirits of my country?' Yet we have it on reliable authority that when a certain American was introduced to the poet Longfellow, he struck an attitude, exclaiming, And is it possible that I stand in the presence of the illustrious Mr. Longfellow ?>



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Longfellow?' In Walt Whitman, a Rough,' a 'Kosmos,' as he delights to call himself, America has given a living embodiment to that description of Elijah Pogram's

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A model man, quite fresh from Nature's mould. A true-born child of this free hemisphere! verdant as the mountains of our country; bright and flowing as our mineral Licks; unspiled by withering conventionalisms as air our broad and boundless Perearers! Rough he may be. So air our Barrs. Wild he may be. So air our Baffalers. But he is a child of Natur' and a child of Freedom; and his boastful answer to the Despot and the Tyrant is that his bright home is in the settin' sun.'

The New Englanders have many excellences and many faults, both wholly unlike our own. Of course there is a small minority amongst them who see how the American institutions give the greatest chance for all that is big and blatant to usurp attention; but it is difficult to catch the quiet voice of their protest. They feel sad to know that the worst American characteristics should so often be accepted as sole representatives to the world. They trust that somehow or other the power may yet be evolved which shall work up and refine the raw material in which America abounds. We take Mr. Emerson to be the exponent of the thoughts and feelings of this minority. We fancy that but comparatively few of his countrymen will follow him up into his serener range of vision. Still, he is very popular as a lecturer in the New-England States, especially with the thinking portion of their women, which affords one of the pleasantest specimens of the Yankee character.

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Carlyle praises Mr. Emerson because, in such a never-resting locomotive country, he is one of those rare men who have the invaluable talent of sitting still. But he has not sat still with his eyes shut, nor merely looked on things with that inward eye which is the bliss of solitude.' Whether he turns his eyes abroad or fixes them on what passes around him at home, he can now and again send a glance right to the heart of the matter,, Looking across the dreary flats of the American multitude, we see him as a man in their midst of pronounced individuality, with force to resist the tyranny of the majority-with moral courage and mental vigour enough to withstand the pressure of the crowd. Although sitting, he seems to us a head and shoulders above the rest, and we think that what he says of his countrymen, as of us, worth listening to. He bears strong testimony that the populations of the large cities of America are godless and materialised. Observing the habit of expense, the riot of the senses, the



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