« AnteriorContinuar »
must journey to England, Scotland and North America, in order to obtain a clear idea of the Anglo-Saxon race. only form the acquaintance of an Englishman abroad, we meet with him in the most unfavorable position. He is upon the Continent like a fish out of water ; usually has his known spleen, i. e., a spur in his head, and presents to the observer, with his stiff awkwardness and his tenacious adherence to his peculiar, insular ideas and manners, even down to his favorite beefsteak and plumpudding, a ridiculous side, so that one is led to wonder, how this whimsical John Bull could attain the world-dominion. Something of the same sort, but in a more limited degree, is true of the American. But just what seems to be their weakness abroad-I say seems, for with all their stiffness and singularity, one cannot help at other times looking upon them with esteem and admiration that is their strength at home The Anglo-Saxon and the Anglo-American of all modern people have the strongest national character, and the one best adapted for world-dominion, which is throughout not indeed despotic, but renders its subjects free citizens. For it is liberal and conservative at the same time. With him--and that is the secret of his national greatness and significance—the impulse for freedom is inseparably connected with a law and order-abiding spirit, and both these rest upon a moral basis. For conscience, and a sense of duty are deeply impressed upon him, and I doubt whether the ethical influence of Christianity and Protestantism has made a deeper and more general impression on any other nation than upon the Anglo-Saxon. It is characteristic that the very word glory, which presents itself in almost every paragraph of Napoleon's proclamation, is not to be found in Wellington's dispatches, but in its place always the word duty. Glory is the motto of the French, duty that of the English. Napoleon kindled ambition in his soldiers at the battle of the Pyramids by proclaiming: “Centuries look down upon you ?” Nelson at Trafalgar appealed to the sense of duty in his seamen by simply reminding them that “England expects every man to do his duty today.” This spiritual energy and solidity the Anglo-Saxons have in common with the Germans, inasmuch as they are both branches of the same Germanic stock. But whilst with the latter they turn upon the inward, and make themselves felt in the sphere of thought and of theory, so with the former, they are directed more to the outward, and take a turn upon the will and the action. The German is the deepest spirit; the Englishman the strongest character. That one can take up and comprehend all in himself; this one shape and organize all from within him. That one has a wonderful facility of transferring and finding himself in all, and on this account so often gives himself up and loses himself in foreign nationalities; this one is stiff and unyielding, (but makes every thing subserve him.) The German is the most cordial and good natured person in the world, and gives free vent to his warm, hearty feelings and sentiments; the Englishman and the American has also good humor, but it throbs under a marble cover, he has perfected himself in power, and is therefore best fitted to rule over others. True, he lays no obstruction in the way of the foreigner, but leaves him to perform within the healthy restraints of law, and yet he exercises an immense power and influence over him, so that in the end he cannot withstand him.
The American has the same talent for organization ; the same self-control; the same energy and business tact as the Englishman ; his spirit of enterprize is even greater, and not seldom degenerates into downright foolhardiness, and the most light minded contempt for human life, as appears in a frightful manner in the many conflagrations and accidents on steamboats and rail-roads. I grant that the Englishman has more solidity than the American, but then the latter is much younger. But on this account the latter has more vivacity, elasticity and power for development. The former is so much cut off by his insular position; the latter moves upon a large continent and between too great oceans. The former has not yet been able, in immediate contact, to assimilate the celtic Irelander, and to relieve him of his oppressive load; the latter soon thoroughly impresses the emigrants from foreign nations with the common feeling of an American.
Although the fundamental outlines of American national character discover themselves already pretty clearly, and declare themselves predominantly Anglo-Saxon, yet it is only in its formation period, and the more this character unfolds itself, the more will the un-English elements, favored by an increasing emigration from all lands of the European continent, make themselves felt, and exert a modifying influence upon it. In New York, where the Hollander, and in Louisiana, the Frenchman first settled down, they do not allow themselves to be entirely lost. And least is this the case possibly with the Germans, the number of which, including their descendants, amounts already to upwards of four millions. Already have the middle and Western States, where the Germans have mostly settled down, a marked difference from the New England and Southern States. They stand midst between the two in a geographical, as well as in a national and social view. Pennsylvania, for instance, the so-called Key-stone State, which holds together the collossal structure of the Union, is neither pure Eng. lish, nor pure German, but Anglo-German, and will continue to become even more so. Even where the German language is swallowed up by the English, the German spirit and temper make themselves felt in a new dress, and from the ashes of the old German Adam, not unfrequently the American gentleman springs forth, who unites in beautiful harmony the features of the German and the Englishman. Without any question the German has a great problem to solve in the new world, altho' he may not yet have come to the consciousness of it. But he will not develop himself fully and with due proportion, if he stiffly and obstinately cut himself off from the Anglo-American, and in this way persist in building up a State in a State; much more ought he by virtue of his inborn cosmopolitanism, and universality, lay hold of energetically and master the Anglo-American life, appropriate its advantages to himself, and thoroughly permeate it by the breath of his own life and spirit, and thus Germanize it as much as possible. In this way there will be thrown open to him a large and fruitful sphere of activity, whereas by separating himself, he will at the same time rob himself of all influence upon the central stream of American life. Has the German the task, the compass of ideas and the heart's-blood for the preparation of modern civil and ecclesiastical history, then he has it in an especial manner, for America. There the partialities and weaknesses, in short the whole long cue of the German Michel-also the reversed cue, which seems to have been made according to the fashion of 1848—may pass away, whilst his features only, the depth of his spirit and temper remain, and by appropriation the undeniable energy, and practical tact of the AngloSaxon become enriched. Besides the German and English can mix much easier than other nations. They are both evidently Germanic or Teutonic; a certain simplicity, honesty and respect for character are common to both; a deep-rooted reverence for woman; love for husbandry and domestic life ; above all a moral earnestness and religious disposition; and religious life with them has shaped itself similarly, inasmuch as they are the chief bearers of the ideas and institutions of evangelical Protestantism, in the hands of which is placed the theoretical and practical mission of the world. Their destinies there, where they are providentially thrown into immediate contact with one another, and meet in all circumstances of social life, can certainly not be to hate and to fight, but to reverence, love and learn from each other, and thus mutually to perfect each other.
ART. VII.-SHORT NOTICES.
THE SEPULCHRES OF OUR DEPARTED. By Rev. F. R. Ans
pach, A. M., Hagerstown, Md. Philadelphia ; Lindsay 8
Blakiston. 1854. We hail the above work, from the pen of the Rev. F. R. Anspach, with peculiar pleasure. It is a free-will offering to the age in which we live, which cannot fail to place it under deep and lasting obligations to the author. The book breathes a life and freshness which make it stand out in bold, yet humble and beautiful contrast with the great majority of works written in the present age. It is original, sound and earnest. Its theme—“The Sepulchres of our Departed”-is most interesting and popular, which, connected with its lucid and graphic style, will not fail, as far as it may extend, to enlist the attention of all who live and know that they must die. In addition to the intrinsic interest of the theme, the author, by the peculiar constitution of his mind and heart, throws around it an attraction which will give it a willing and pleasant occupancy in every heart. Although the work is divided into twenty chapters, each one seemingly independent and complete in itself, yet, as we travel on through its pages, we are made to feel as well as perceive, that one animus reigns throughout, and gives the whole a beautiful artistic consistency. The various notices which have been taken of it by the press generally are of the most flattering character. Let the introduction of a few suffice here. The "Pittsburg Christian Advocate," speaking of its varied excellencies, says: “It is a charming volume, blending the beautiful sentiments of nature with the realizations of Christian truth. One rises from its perusal, conscious of a feeling like that derived from 'memory of joys past,' pleasant but mournful to the soul. It cannot fail to prove acceptable to the reading public generally; and its circulation will tend to correct a lamentable indifference too often felt and manifested towards the 'Sepulchres of our Departed.'” The same high appreciation is evinced by the remarks contained in the “Evening Mirror” : “A volume of nearly 500 pages will not be deemed too large, when so touchingly, beautifully and instinctively written as is this, .on a subject in