for the paucity of Southern literature before the civil war was the fact that the most gifted writer in that region was apt to feel that he had nothing larger than a State behind him ; and it is a curious fact that the poet Hayne
, in speaking of the Confederacy
after its formation, still described its members only as “sister nations,” as if disclaiming all thought of national unity, even there.
In general, however, the war may be said to have put an end to this feeling, in a political sense, and to have substituted the nation for the individual State as the unit of loyalty.
, are now included, even against their will, in the literature of a nation.
This being the case, we should live up to it in all ways.
We are Americans
, not merely residents of Meddibemps at one extremity or Seattle
at the other.
We have to hold our own, in the way of self-respect, against the other populations of the earth's surface, and we certainly must make common cause, and not fritter away our strength in the petty jealousies of a thousand little parishes.
When we see Americans
we are proud of them, if they deserve our pride, or ashamed of them, if they cause us shame, and this without the slightest reference to the part of our country from which they came.
Why should it be otherwise when we are at home again?
But in fact the mutual criticism of Eastern