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George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard) 2 0 Browse Search
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George Ticknor, Life, letters and journals of George Ticknor (ed. George Hillard), Chapter 1: (search)
and characteristic individualities among the Americans than among the Frenchmen or the Austrians; they will be more curious, too, more distinct, more interesting—even, perhaps, more efficient—as individuals; but they will not constitute so efficient a mass, nor one so likely to make permanent progress. Besides, democracy is natural to you; you have always been democrats, and democracy is, therefore, a reality—une veritye—in America. In Europe it is a falsehood, and I hate all falsehood,—En Europe c'est un mensonge. I have always, however, been of the opinion expressed by Tocqueville, that democracy, so far from being the oldest and simplest form of government, as has been so often said, is the latest invented form of all, and the most complicated. With you in America it seems to be un tour de force perpetuel. You are, therefore, often in dangerous positions, and your system is one that wears out fast,— qui s'use vite. I said, A young constitution easily throws off diseases