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XIX. on a certain humility in Americans. It has always seemed to me that Lowell's paper on the condescension of foreigners should be followed by one on the humility of Americans. It may be that we do not make that quality obtrusive when travelling abroad, for there we are frequently stung and goaded out of this fine constitAmericans. It may be that we do not make that quality obtrusive when travelling abroad, for there we are frequently stung and goaded out of this fine constitutional trait. My dear young lady, said the kind English clergyman to a certain American traveller in Europe, Let me urge you not to make use of that word unless you are willing to be known as an American. But suppose, said her mother, that my daughters have no objection to being known as Americans, what then? To this the good mAmericans, what then? To this the good man had no answer ready, as it was a contingency he had not foreseen. In such cases the bruised Yankee will turn upon his assailant; nor does he always fail to offer the original provocation. But it is chiefly at home and in our dealings with foreigners that the constitutional humility asserts itself. It is needless to deny tha
XXV. exalted stations. An accomplished English writer, endeavoring to explain to Americans, as many have done before him, how it is that educated men in England do not feel aggrieved at giving precedence to persons of mere hereditary rank, gives a curious illustration of the very habit criticised. He says that no sensible Englishman ever sees in it a want of real consideration for himself. The hosts simply employ a convenient rule, he says: the titled guests follow the order of their r
who happens to count among his ancestors a royal mistress or a brewer sufficiently wealthy to have been rewarded with a peerage.
To the average republican mind he simply justifies the criticism, and prolongs that attitude which seems to most Americans so cringing; and which does more than any one difference, perhaps, to transmit from one generation to another the alienation between the two races.
When some defender of slavery once claimed, in Dr. W. E. Channing's presence, that the slaves o
XLII. city and country living. The newspapers are circulating a curious statement by Mr. Grant Allen--who is understood to be a Canadian by birth and an Englishman by residence — to the effect that Americans do not like country life, and that those who are able to do so flee from the rural regions as if there were a pestilence there. This is a curious caricature of the real facts-almost as curious as when the same writer finds something melancholy in the dandelions and violets, the aste
r, the other in the summer.
In the mild winters of England, where there is not a month in the year in which some flower does not bloom out-of-doors, and hardly one in which some bird does not build its nest, this distinction is less sharp; and Americans are always surprised to find their English cousins staying in the country till Christmas, and then in London till July.
But in our Northern States the distinction of seasons is so very marked as to be destined to mould the permanent habit of