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himself to be speaking correct English), prores it nightly to the satisfaction of the but he did not dare to go unprepared for readers of the Times. But the national disappointment. However unlikely he pride of the United States, which was would be to confess it he is really proud grown with the sense of achievement in of his errant child of energy. The Ameri- the difficult process of working out its own can compliments him simply by being salvation, differs widely in its character American. The American accent and from the national pride of England, alintonation are intolerable to him ; but the though both thrive on the glorious memfund of life the American carries with him ories of portions of their past history, is exhilarating in England. He is like a All the world, save the American and boy coming back to the aged father and Colonial world, I have said, the Englishmother and brushing up the wits of the thinks barbarian. America is not old people. The father believes that he barbarian to him, for it is boyish, immaforgets more nightly than the boy has ever ture. An American might not be blamed known. But the freshness of his points for preferring the good company of the of view, the depth and speed of his intui- barbarians to the acceptance of the dubious tion, the engaging power of quaint sug. distinction of the other classification. His gestion, the inevitable alertness of mind, sole comfort—I do not for one moment the buoyancy and enthusiasm of his aver. deny that this is enough—is in knowing age mood, all these characteristics and that if he is a true American he is an Engqualities are so unexpected, so fresh and lishman scaled of a good many prejudices helpful, that the father cannot but admire, and longer-sighted. The natural language although he may be a good deal shocked.
a good deal shocked. of the English national pride is " Leave The Doric Englishman has become in England and you leave civilization behind America both Ionic and Corinthian ; and you.” Many a time have I heard it said. there is no evidence that Sparta ever failed Whatever urbanity of manner England has to admire Athens or Corinth, however has been taken on only because it was much she thought it her duty to disap- found necessary, for any sort of success in prove of their gods. Wherever we finally the carrying out of her own policy, to veil turn to account for the fact, to the atmos- her two chief characteristics, brutality and phere or amalgamation of varied races, or directness, in an ingratiating air of man. in general to the total change in environ
This is the wholesome result of ment, the fact itself will go unquestioned. England's contact with the great world. An American, or better, a New Englander The Shaftesbury who was the author of -for New England, roughly speaking, is the Characteristics, one of the inost pola more distinctive and original English ished and cultivated of English gentlemen, colony than the Virginias-starting as an and the best critic and one of the ablest Englishman has become in two centuries writers of his time, has said : and a half a variant species, a new being. Dess is owing to liberty. We polish one He seems making, at his best, toward an another, and rub off our corners and rough ideal type, midway between the French- sides by this amiable collision." The man and his own English forefathers. manners of England, which are the social And now he comes back into the parent conventions of her own political organism, nest something of a cuckoo, who creates are admirably adapted to the island itself. amusement and some menacing annoyance. But outside of England they serve little The Englishman likes him a " little bit,"
purpose, so that beyond the limits of his and he is devoted to the Englishman. own shores the Englishman is always at What does it mean?
Then his self-sufficiency, brutality, To an Englishman the world beyond the and directness come obtrusively to the boundaries of his isle, save America and fore. But in directness and all the good the Colonies, is inhabited by barbarians, qualities of honesty and courage and pluck just as Dacia or Italy or Persia was to the and singleness of purpose and simplicity Greek. In Athens it is easy to please the that flow from it or are akin to it, no Athenians. Plato proved it in an eloquent other people can vie with him. In be. bit of satirical rhetoric entitled Menexenus, coming cosmopolitan he has got manners, and I have heard it proved in America to learned a craft not quite natural to him, Americans ad nauseam, in many a Fourth and lost something of his directuess and of July oration. England's Parliament honesty. But, though the changes of the
“ All polite
last balf century bave been so great, he is any manifestation of freedom in others and still a Dorian-still he scorns deceit and evidence of absence of conventional re.
He hates guilelessness, but straint, when they are not asked to be pert equally detests the wily. Evasion and nonconformists too, that makes England circumlocution are not his habit. There- 80 fascinating and restful a country to the fore he is not prepared for the often Jesu- American. An American is like a cat in itical quality of French subtlety or the as possessing nine lives and a clever babit of frequent American characteristic of chi- alighting in every fall upon his feet. The
He does not like the uncanny can- Englishman, not because he is too nice and niness of people who are too clever. Facts delicate, but because be is not so easily and plodding are his province, and no one adaptable, being used to one authoritative manipulates facts so well. English ethical way of life prescribed by Church, Society, philosophy and what little metaphysics and State, is like glass or flowers, which, there is in England are sufficient to prove when moved, must always be moved this. But it takes more facts to convince right side up with care. American the English than any other nation, and the versatility and vivacity are contagious ; Englishman has never risen to the general- and every one in the United States is a ization that facts can lie. A Frenchman chameleon. The pitch of American life knows this, and always counts upon it. is at fever beat. In their clubs Americans For French finesse the English have no drink more wbiskies and brandies-andweapons
delicate. And for those sodas, and more endless varieties of dele. American characteristics, by reason of terious “ cock-tail pick-me ups, as they which Proteus should have altars erected call them, than any other nations. Busied to him in the American market-places, in the struggle to live, it becomes a second the American alertness, adaptability, nature to the American to live fast, and buoyancy, or, in their exaggerated forms, under the strain of the nervous tension be bumptiousness and smartness, they have breaks utterly down in health before any an envious appreciation, although they of bis European neighbors. His aim is look at times so primly askance, an appre. not, as usually in England, to get money ciation that passes into a positive craving enough to live in such a way as to live for more matter equally amusing. So well. He does not recognize that the only Amerioans they cultivate and flatter and good of money is to buy leisure to be entertain royally, if often in a manner wise. But with eye fast fixed upon the patronizing. But they make little dis- coin itself, the dazed vision magnifies it tinction between Americans ; they are not into a good for its own sake. In Americareful respecters of persons. They run ca, on the whole, money is at present the after Mr. "Lowell and Buffalo Bill with chief condition of power. By money equal interest, and receive both into So- man is enabled there to crane himself ciety. Both are flattered and come again. above the dead level of uniformity. This is so different from the way the Hence, in general, America has not Athenians mobbed a philosopher of Me- reached the point that England long ago gara, who was keenly interested in the attained, in which it can afford to cultivate great innovator, Socrates, and journeyed other gods than Mammon. With such an once all the way across the Thrasian Plain, ideal and such a cult arise everywhere and up over the mountains to the olive- sordidness of motive in the worshippers, groves of Attica, to violet-crowned Athens, and mediocrity if not actual vulgarity of just to visit him and learn from him. But aspiration ; everywhere, that is, apart that was at a time when Megara bad no from the university centres of culture and commercial market, and wished in vain the sections dominated by piety and the for free-trade. It is the immense ennui churches. But the piety of the churches, of their routine lives that troubles the while sincere, is often sadly lacking in English, and makes them rejoice at the culture, whereas in England its hypocrisy freshness of Americans. Americans to the has often æsthetic or patriotic sanction, English are a new sensation.
while it is really more enlightened. But it is this very habit of convention, Americans thank God that they have “ and this undeviating routine against which Church without a bishop, and a State at heart the English chafe, and by reason without a king So that certain temptaof which they are so willing to welcome tions natural to England do not there en
tice. America has fewer social shackles in all sincerity what the Prayer-book and fewer superstitions than any country preaches, intolerance should be far more in the world, but what it has are more general and savage, as a matter of fact it galling and oppressive than any in Eng. is far less frequent. Indeed, religious inland.
" We believe, says its Declara- tolerance pure and simple may be said tion of Independence, “that all men are scarcely to exist at all, whatever distrust created free and equal.” This assertion, there is of the Nonconformist being disas profoundly false as it is profoundly tinctly a political affair. But the Prayertrue, pervades all her institutions, and is book offers a most convenient code to fall dangerously caviare to the general. For back upon as a means for the wholesale not all Americans have by any means as instruction of children and the lower yet recognized that only men that are equal classes. In England surely it is decidedly are equal ; that there are degrees of worth, in the interests of the upper classes and and thus degrees of legitimate superiority, the public weal to be able authoritatively and consequently of social rank, but a to enjoin upon servants the ordering of rank of which brain ought to be the gauge. themselves a lowly and reverently” to all The truth in this utterance which they do their betters; and the necessity of their appreciate is its insistence upon the inalien- doing their duty in that state of life into able right of every man to be himself, and which it has pleased God to call them.” to work out his own salvation, and its re- This means in England that servants are jection of anything like the English notion, born servants, and must die servants, and embalmed authoritatively in the Prayer- need not complain, for they are a different book, that the individual must content race, helots in the Spartan realm. In a land himself with smiling labor, however ardu- where no man is born a servant, or, if he ous, in the lot to which he is called and in is, hopes some day to be President of his which he is born.
country, it is obvious, and to the English But however strong may be the Ameri- traveller it will often be painfully, obnoxcan's belief in man's inalienable right of iously obvious, that there must frequently liberty, the belief does not appear to have be a vast deal of prevalent vulgarity of that general vitality we should have ex- self-assertion, and annoying friction, and pected. The religious and social restric- loud-mouthed jarring of dissonant adtions that exist in America, though infin- visers. Such is indeed the case in the itely fewer than those in England in the America of to-day. But the fact is of the written statute books of the island and in highest significance. In America to-day the unwritten laws of the national goddess there are more human beings with a growRespectability and her prophet, are not ing sense of their own worth as men, more like English restrictions which are for the individuals with sense of self and personalmost part paper conventions, easily ignored ity, than have ever before been congrein practice and thus prolific of hypocrisy, gated in history. Almost all her defibut arbitrarily tyrannical formulas of the ciencies and disadvantages seem capable strictest sort, most unfavorable to the de- of being interpreted as necessary evils. velopment of individuality, and rendering So that at present America's undoubted a manly independent life all but impossi- lack of distinction is really its great disble. This tyranny is not felt so much in tinction. The ideal aim of civilization is the expression of one's political convic- the fullest general development of persontions. But it is shamefully exacting in ality in all the individuals composing the social and religious life. In the rank and nation. But the process is painful in a file of the churches in New England in- high degree. And a nation in the stress tolerance is still grievously rife, so that and strain of personal development is not the average Methodist for instance, or a pleasant place for people of delicate orBaptist, could nerer, even in the covert ganism or too nice nerves. But the critic silence of his own rash musings, logically who, noting the application of this truth wish a bateful Unitarian or Universalist in to America, stops at the fact without exhell, because his profound belief is quite plaining it or determining the prophecy in at one with his professed creed that they it, is too lazy to think. It should be are already doomed, and his interest in pointed out that the unrest, the absence the matter would be utterly superfluous. of taste, the reaching after new ideas, In England, where, if Englishmen practised the self-assertion, the youthful confidence
and bounce, are all inevitable character- have
money to buy products from abroad, istics sure to be outgrown, unless some their own fields they may polish into cataclysm engulf the entire proud Korah's parks. Hare and deer, and grouse and troop of the American people and nippheasant, and wood-pigeon and partridges them, like the fabled Atlantis, in the bud. were all created for the glory of England. America to-day marks a further general Adam, bless him, gave them English advance in civilization than has yet been
The American, however, who is attained. There is a more pervasive per- a long time learning this, would be a fool sonal life there, a greater general power of to quarrel with this paradise in which he the imagination, and a bigher average
bigher" average finds himself so comfortably at home, and mental and moral development than in any so well treated when he arrives. For country in the world. But if this be true England is the prettiest country in the of the average, the highest quality is much world. The misty air wbich horers over rarer than in England. A small remnant it and on the slightest provocation touches is what we should have expected however. it with softening blue, seems charged with With more ideas as a nation than the opiates. England, summer England, is a English, if less than the French, the Circe's garden, where the passing traveller American is fortunate in having less fickle- never gets even a single revealing whitf uess than the latter and more repose. He from the stagnant pools of slime in the is more sympathetic and more appreciative pig-pens so carefully bidden. The wind than the Englishman. But a people wak- never blows from that quarter, for the air ing to a knowledge of itself is not a trac- above the heads of moneyed England is table monster. its millions of heads mean never troubled ; nor is there any circulaeach a thinking brain liable to entangle its tion or current from below,—the cool, Briarean arms. Here is horror and anarchy conventional, calm atmosphere of upper
The Zeit-Geist seems very England seeming eternally satisfying, and foolhardy, it must be owned, to try so nothing heated or mephitic ever rising to uncertain and strange a game.
insult the too nice nerves of those who England, therefore, to an American, is dwell above, or send sickening warping of a fair land flowing with milk and honey, any rottenness beneath. The towers of where he may rest his tired eyes and Westminster grow daily, as one gazes, weary brain. Here, after all the uproar more and more beautiful. The cabs conof his home, is dignity and strength and tinue to glide easily and cheaply over cbarm. All the relics of feudalism exer- noiseless pavements. Your tailor calls cise upon the American their spell. All you sir, and never asks for money, over the land he hears the whispering of and the school children courtesy as they iminenorial elms, He walks in Druid pass. The moonlight lies with beauty groves or on the earthworks of Danish
rare upon the grand sweep of the Thames camps. It is not the Church alone that is at Richmond, and sleeps upon the meadestablished. Every English institution ows by the stream. Windsor, serene, seems to stand upon a pyramid base that majestic, dominates her park with dignity cannot be shaken, All the land is fair, as of far-seen towers. The lanes of Devon it rolls, and well-tilled to the horizon. wind and wind between their high hedges But not only is it like a gentleman's park,
in curves of but it is really such ; the playground of sweetest and most suggestive charm. Still grand feudal lords in the pay of Poseidon, over Bolton Abbey climbs the ivy, while who boast in their addresses to their re- the river, wandering through the peaceful tainers of England's dominion of the sea dale, murmurs memories of Wordsworth. and of the glories of her world-encircling Cathedral spires soar, and nightingales commerce, but neglect to mention that, sing, and the gardens of Oxford blooin in in compensation for these splendid dis- sweet seclusion, and the live oak grows at tinctions, England's fruit-trees run a dan. Clovelly quite unto the iridescent sea. ger of being left to wither, and her fields And who shall say that England is not of going unproductive. Fruit may be bad fair ? Against such let her church bells from the Channel Islands, grain from the chime anathema ! But occasionally there United States, eggs, chickens, vegetables are hateful murmurs, as of rumbling earthfrom the Continent. The individual Eng. quakes, of dock laborers on strike, and lish farmer seems doomed. If gentlemen occasionally one is forced to listen to an
To a а
anxious discussion upon Royal Grants ; a bestial business of it, and not a pretty and occasionally one hears the theatre pleasure all redolent of musk. Englishmen shake with the applause of the people, the judge the French from their knowledge of English people, sanctioning vociferously Paris, and Paris from its cancan. the motive of a play teaching, as does the Frenchman's pre-eminent capacity for Middleman, the truth so rarely true for ideas, and his distinction in all departEngland, that the laborer is worthy of ments of intellectual inquiry, England his hire. Then England takes another turns the deafest of insular ears. Because hue ; and the critic has new light on France flutters and is versatile, England Isaiah's fulminations, and the stern Thu- damps it as unstable, undignified, and cydidean account of the Sicilian expedi- fickle. The generalizing tendency of the tion. But meanwhile, till the air begins French, and their lightness of spirit and to circulate much more than at present, sympathy for variable moods, become to they who can afford the dolce far niente England' indications of superficiality. life will continue to bask in the English Thus because she has not an atom of refields and let inconvenient suggestions spect for France, French institutions, her alone. Thinking is so troublesome and democratic tendencies, her republicanism, stupid. But Americans, seeing the stress do not appreciably menace England. This of the growing problem of England, is an important point, that while socially namely, how, in the acceptance and as- France is such a power, politically she is similation of the democratic principle, she nil. But in contrast with the political inshall hasten without total collapse or se- efficiency of France is the strong influence rious and chronic disorder, the natural of America.
America. New England, America, has process of transformation, so as to accom- never ceased to react most powerfully plish in one year what should take, the upon the Mother Island. From the bephysiologists tell us, seven, need not so ginning, down through Franklin and speedily congratulate themselves upon Emerson to the present moment, while their greater good-fortune. The Ameri- America seems to loom over the top of can problem, which is even of higher in the sea, silently but resolutely and certainterest, is no whit less difficult. The re- ly as Fate, even as a python insinuates itsponsibility of vindicating democracy will self into the jungle and enfolds its prey, be upon the next half-century of American American ideas have permeated English men, America thinks its raison d'être is life. I am not sure if the history of New proved. Vain beating of its eagle wings ! England be not the greatest glory of EngThe second historical era of the world, land.
land. It should surely be the greatest which began with the discovery of Ameri- pride of New England that its history is ca, is passing into its crisis. And to the the most characteristic and significant in responsibility of it in America as well as English history. New England will grow in England, but most of all in America, to be content, nay, to rejoice, that, besides there will not be men enough to rise, un- to the Lares of its own hearthstone, it is less soon they cease clasping their hands drawn more strongly still to this island below the purse-fold of their gowns and beyond the Atlantic sacred as the home of always looking about to spy whence they the race ; a sacred isle, more sacred than may get them gold. As it is, this age in
As it is, this age in Delos or Delphi or Pisa to the Greek, a America does not so much differ from the holy ground of relics and symbols and Alexandrian, of which Theocritus wrote signs and superstitions, touched with the that the very rust of the money was too melancholy and charm of the evening precious to be rubbed off for a gift. light through the western windows of its
England despises France, and dislikes it grand cathedrals; the Téuevos, the å tis, because she thinks it given over to bawds the sacred enclosure, of the inheritors of and feminine baubles. The healthy Eng- the tongue of Shakespeare, of Bacon, and lishman loathes baubles, and, if he allows of Milton, wherever they breathe under himself to traffic with the former, makes the sun.- Fortnightly Review.