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that Europe shows in its different parts societies in very different states-here the restless civilization of France and England, there the contentment and inferiority of Lapland This commingling might seem to render it difficult to ascertain the true movement of the whole continent, and still more so for distant and successive periods of time.
In each nation, moreover, the contemporaneously different classes, the educated and illiterate, the idle and industrious, the rich and poor, the intelligent and superstitious, represent different contemporaneous stages of advancement. One may have made a great progress, another scarcely have advanced at all. How shall we ascertain the real state of the case ? Which of these classes shall we regard as the truest and most perfect type ?
Though difficult, this ascertainment is not impossible. The problem is to be dealt with in the same manner that we should estimate a family in which there are persons of every condition from infancy to old age. Each member of it tends to pursue a definite course, though some, cut off in an untimely manner, may not complete it. One
be enfeebled by accident, another by disease; but each, if his past and present circumstances be fully considered, will illustrate the nature of the general movement that all are making. To demonstrate that movement most satisfactorily, certain members of such a family suit our purpose better than others, because they more closely represent its type, or have advanced farthest in their career.
So in a family of many nations, some are more mature, some less advanced, some die in early life, some are worn out by extreme old age; all show special peculiarities. There are distinctions among kinsmen, whether the intellecwe consider them intellectually or corporeally. tual class the Every one, nevertheless, illustrates in his own sentative of a degree the march that all are making, but some
community. do it more, some less completely. The leading, the intellectual class, is hence always the true representative of a state. It has passed step by step through the lower stages, and has made the greatest advance.
In an individual, life is maintained only by the production and destruction of organic particles, no portion of
Interstitial change and death the con
Particles in the individual answer to
the system being in a state of immobility, but each
displaying incessant change. Death is, there
fore, necessarily the condition of life, and the dition of indi- more energetic the function of a part–or, if we
compare different animals with one anotherthe more active the mode of existence, correspondingly, the greater the waste and the more numerous the deaths of the interstitial constituents. To the death of particles in the individual answers the
death of persons in the nation, of which they
the integral constituents. In both cases, in persons in the a period of time quite inconsiderable, a total
change is accomplished without the entire system, which is the sum of these separate parts, losing its identity. Each particle or each person comes into existence, discharges an appropriate duty, and then passes away, perhaps unnoticed. The production, continuance, and death of an organic molecule in the person answers to the production, continuance, and death of a person in the nation. Nutrition and decay in one case are equivalent to well-being and transformation in the other. In the same manner that the individual is liable to
changes through the action of external agencies, Epochs in
and offers no resistance thereto, nor any indicasame as in in- tion of the possession of a physiological inertia,
but submits at once to any impression, so likewise it is with aggregates of men constituting nations. A national type pursues its way physically and intellectually through changes and developments answering to those of the individual, and being represented by Infancy, Childhood, Youth, Manhood, Old Age, and Death respectively. But this orderly process may be disturbed exteriorly or
interiorly. If from its original seats a whole through emi- nation were transposed to some new abode, in gration.
which the climate, the seasons, the aspect of nature were altogether different, it would appear spontaneously in all its parts to commence a movement to come into harmony with the new conditions-a movement of a secular nature, and implying the consumption of many generations for its accomplishment. During such a period
of transmutation there would, of course, be an increased waste of life, a risk, indeed, of total disappearance or national death; but the change once completed, the requisite correspondence once attained, things would go forward again in an orderly manner on the basis of the new modification that had been assumed. When the change to be accomplished is very profound, involving extensive anatomical alterations not merely in the appearance of the skin, but even in the structure of the skull, long periods of time are undoubtedly required, and many generations of individuals are consumed.
Or, by interior disturbance, particularly by blood admixture, with more rapidity may a national
And throngh type be affected, the result plainly depending blood admixon the extent to which admixture has taken place. This is a disturbance capable of mathematical computation. If the blood admixture be only of limited amount, and transient in its application, its effect will sensibly disappear in no very great period of time, though never, perhaps, in absolute reality. This accords with the observation of philosophical historians, who agree in the conclusion that a small tribe intermingling with a larger one will only disturb it in a temporary manner, and, after the course of a few years, the effect will cease to be perceptible. Nevertheless, the influence must really continue much longer than is outwardly apparent; and the result is the same as when, in a liquid, a drop of some other kind is placed, and additional quantities of the first liquid then successively added. Though it might have been possible at first to detect the adulteration without trouble, it becomes every moment less and less possible to do so, and before long it cannot be done at all. But the drop is as much present at last as it was at first: it is merely masked; its properties overpowered.
Considering in this manner the contamination of a numerous nation, a trifling amount of foreign blood admixture would appear to be indelible, and the disturbance, at any moment, capable of computation by the ascertained degree of dilution that has taken place. But it must not be forgotten that there is another agency at work, energetically tending to bring about homogeneity: it
Secular variations of nations.
is the influence of external physical conditions. The intrusive adulterating element possesses in itself no physiological inertia, but as quickly as may be is brought into correspondence with the new circumstances to which it is exposed, herein running in the same course as the element with which it had mingled had itself antecedently gone over.
National homogeneity is thus obviously secured by the operation of two distinct agencies : the first, gradual but inevitable dilution; the second, motion to come into harmony with the external natural state. The two conspire in their effects.
We must therefore no longer regard nations or groups of men as offering a permanent picture. Human affairs
must be looked upon as in continuous movement, not wandering in an arbitrary manner
here and there, but proceeding in a perfectly definite course. Whatever may be the present state, it is altogether transient. All systems of civil life are therefore necessarily ephemeral. Time brings new external conditions; the manner of thought is modified; with thought, action. Institutions of all kinds must hence participate in this fleeting nature, and, though they may have allied themselves to political power, and gathered therefrom the means of coercion, their permanency is but little improved thereby; for, sooner or later, the population on whom they have been imposed, following
the external variations, spontaneously outgrows
them, and their ruin, though it may have been correspond- delayed, is none the less certain. For the ingly change.
permanency of any such system it is essentially necessary that it should include within its own organization a law of change, and not of change only, but change in the right direction—the direction in which the society interested is about to pass. It is in an oversight of this last essential condition that we find an explanation of the failure of so many such institutions. Too commonly do we believe that the affairs of men are determined by a spontaneous action or free will; we keep that overpowering influence which really controls them in the background. In individual life we also accept a like deception,
Their institutions must
living in the belief that every thing we do is determined by the volition of ourselves or of those around us; nor is it until the close of our days that we discern how great is the illusion, and that we have been swimming-playing and struggling-in a stream which, in spite of all our voluntary motions, has silently and resistlessly borne us to a predetermined shore.
In the foregoing pages I have been tracing analogies between the life of individuals and that of nations. There is yet one point more.
Nations, like individuals, die. Their birth presents an ethnical element; their death, which is the most. The death of solemn event that we can contemplate, may arise from interior or from external causes. Empires are only sand-hills in the hour-glass of Time; they crumble spontaneously away by the process of their own growth.
A nation, like a man, hides from itself the contemplation of its final day. It occupies itself with expedients för prolonging its present state. It frames laws and constitutions under the delusion that they will last, forgetting that the condition of life is change. Very able modern statesmen consider it to be the grand object of their art to keep things as they are, or rather as they
But the human race is not at rest; and bands with which, for a moment, it may be restrained, break all the more violently the longer they hold. No man can stop the march of destiny.
Time, to the nation as to the individual, is nothing absolute; its duration depends on the rate of thought and feeling. For the same reason that thing absolute to the child the year is actually longer than to the adult, the life of a nation may be said to be no longer than the life of a person, considering the manner in which its affairs are moving. There is a variable velocity of existence, though the lapses of time may be equable.
The origin, existence, and death of nations depend thus on physical influences, which are themselves the result of immutable laws. Nations are only only transitransitional forms of humanity. They must undergo obliteration as do the transitional forms offered by the animal series. There is no more an immortality
There is no