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stitutions is to be noted, as new States have been added one by one, proceeding so far that in the more recent instruments a provision for minute details exists in strong contrast with the older documents. This circumstance is due to a growing distrust, in the States, of the legislatures; delegates in so many cases prove inefficient, corrupt, or in some way false to their trust, that the people think fit more and more to tie their hands. Undoubtedly this deepening dissatisfaction with legislatures, Congress itself as well as those of lower rank, is a circumstance full of ill omen.

If the representative body is a failure, then is Anglo-Saxon freedom a failure, and the sooner we recur to the system of Strafford or Richard II, the better. The ideas of those historic figures are by no means yet obsolete among English-speaking men.) Is Anglo-Saxon freedom no longer well adapted to English-speaking men ? What can be said about the condition of the primordial cell of our body-politic?

In our human bodies, if the cellular tissue is healthy, the physician is sure all will ultimately go well. Bones may be

broken, sinews sprained, a blast of malaria may have the primordial caused an ague, or improper food dyspep- polity, the sia. Various kinds of deep-seated trouble popular moot. may exist, acute and even chronic; but if the primordial cell everywhere is sound, the patient will survive. The proper primordial cell of an An Saxon body-politic is local self-government by a consensus of individual freemen; in other words, the

Condition of


1 See Traill : Life of Strafford, 1889, p. 204, etc., and notice of the same in London " Saturday Review,” November 9, 1889.

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have come by thousands into the manufacturing towns and into the woods, an industrious but unprogremive race, good hards in the mills and marvellously dexterous at wielding the axe. Whatever may be said of the virtues of these new-comers, — and, of course, a long list could be made out for them, — they have not been trained to Anglo-Saxon self-government. We have seen the origin of the folk-moot far back in Teutonic antiquity. As established in New England, it is a revival of a most ancient thing. The institution is uncongenial to any but Teutonic men; the Irishman and Frenchman are not at home in it, and cannot accustom themselves to it, until, as the new generations come forward, they take on the characteristics of the people among whom they have come to cast their lot. At present, in most old New England towns, we find an element of the population numbering hundreds, often thousands, who are sometimes quite inert, allowing others to decide all things for them; sometimes voting in droves in an unintelligent way as some whipper-in may direct; sometimes in unreasoning partisanship, following through thick and thin a cunning demagogue, quite careless how the public welfare may suffer by his coming to the front.1

“Though the town-meeting of the New England of to-day rarely presents all the features of the town

meeting of the Revolution, yet wherever thirty years the population has remained tolerably pure

from foreign admixture, and wherever the

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1 I havo embodied here some material from previous works, Johns Hopkins University Studios, 2d Series, IV, p. 16, etc., and also the Life of Samuel Adams, Chap. XXIII. See the latter work for a detailed sketch of the town of Boston, – the most interesting of New England towns in its most interesting period.

numbers at the same time have not become so large as to embarrass, the institution retains much of its old vigor. The writer recalls the life, as it was twenty-five years ago, of a most venerable and uncontaminated old town, whose origin dates back more than two hundred years. At first it realized almost

" perfectly the idea of the Teutonic “tun. For long it was the frontier settlement, with nothing to the west but woods until the fierce Mohawks were reached, and nothing but woods to the north until one came to the hostile French of Canada. About the houses, therefore, was drawn the protection of a palisade to enclose them (tynan) against attack. Though not without some foreign intermixture, the old stock was, thirty years ago, so far unchanged that in the various deestricks' the dialect was often unmistakably nasal; the very bobolinks in the meadowgrass, and the bumble-bees in the hollyhocks, might have been imagined to chitter and hum with a Yankee twang; and · Zekle’ squired • Huldy' as of yore, to singing-school or apple-paring, to quilting or sugaringoff, as each season brought its appropriate festival. The same names stood for the most part on tax, voting, and parish lists that stood there in the time of Philip's war, when for a space the people were driven out by the Indian pressure; and the Fathers had handed down to the modern day, with their names and blood, the venerable methods by which they regulated their lives. On the northern boundary a factory village had sprung up about a water-power; at the south, too, five miles off, there was some rattle of mills and sound of hammers. For the most part,


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1 Deerfield, Franklin Co., Massachusetts.

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