Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

iulk. I'Lulei.

[blocks in formation]

“I LOOK toward a land both old and young-old in its Christianity, young in its promise of the
future; a nation which received grace before the Saxon came to Britain, and which has never ques-
tioned it; a Church which comprehends in its history the rise and fall of Canterbury and York, which
Augustin and Paulinus found, and Pole and Fisher left behind them. I contemplate a people which
has had a long night, and will have an inevitable day. I am turning my eyes toward a hundred years
to come, and I dimly see the Ireland I am gazing on become the road of passage and union between
the two hemispheres, and the centre of the world. I see its inhabitants rival Belgium in populous-
ness, France in vigor, and Spain in enthusiasm."

JOHN HENRY NEWMAN.

[blocks in formation]

6ZK7-1XE-7250

Copyright, 1878, by
P. F. COLLIER.

H. J. HEWITT, PRINTER, 27 ROSE STREET, NEW YORK.

PREFACE.

COUNT JOSEPT DE MAISTRE, in his “Principe Générateur des Constitutions Politiques” (Par. LXI.), says: "All nations mani· fest a particular and distinctive character, which deserves to be attentively considered.”

This thought of the great Catholic writer requires some development.

It is not by a succession of periods of progress and decay only that nations manifest their life and individuality. Taking any one of them at any period of its existence, and comparing it with others, peculiarities immediately show themselves which give it a particular physiognomy whereby it may be at once disținguished from any other; so that, in those agglomerations of men which we call nations or races, we see the variety everywhere observable in Nature, the variety by which God manifests

the infinite activity of his creative power.

When we take two extreme types of the human species—the Ashantee of Guinea, for instance, and any individual of one of the great civilized communities of Europe-the phenomenon of which we speak strikes us at once. But it may be remarked also, in comparing nations which have lived for ages in contiguity, and held constant intercourse one with the other from the time they began their national life, whose only boundaryline has been a mountain-chain or the banks of a broad river. They have each striking peculiarities which individualize and stamp them with a character of their own.

How different are the peoples divided by the Rhine or by the Pyrenees! How unlike those which the Straits of Dover run between! And in Asia, what have the conterminous Chinese and Hindoos in common beyond the general characteristics of the human species which belong to all the children of Adam ?

But what we must chiefly insist upon in the investigation we are now undertaking is, that the life of each is manifested by a

« PreviousContinue »