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[95]

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 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 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 that many or most of our

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