much of their “institutions;” I am by nature inclined to call all this sort of thing machinery
, and to regard, rather, men and their characters.
But the more I saw of America
, the more I found myself led to treat “institutions” with increased respect.
Until I went to the United States
I had never seen a people with institutions which seemed expressly and thoroughly suited to it. I had not properly appreciated the benefits proceeding from this cause.
Sir Henry Maine
, in an admirable essay which, though not signed, betrays him for its author by its rare and characteristic qualities of mind and style--Sir Henry Maine
, in the Quarterly Review
, adopts and often reiterates a phrase of M. Scherer
, to the effect that “Democracy is only a form of government.”
He holds up to ridicule a sentence of Mr. Bancroft
's History, in which the American
democracy is told that its ascent to power “proceeded as uniformly and majestically as the laws of being, and was as certain as the decrees of eternity.”
Let us be willing to give Sir Henry Maine
his way, and to allow no magnificent claim of this kind on behalf of the American
Let us treat as not more solid the assertion in the Declaration of Independence
, that “all men are created equal, and endowed ”