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A mad project was entertained, in Germany, just before the opening of the French revolution, by some of her self-styled philosophers, under the semblance of enthusiasm for humanity, to abolish this spirit of nationality. Cosmopolitism, or citizenship of the world, was arrayed against patriotism or love of country, which was pronounced to be a low and selfish sentiment. Love of one's own people was to be merged in love of the human race, the individual nation in universal humanity. The advocates of this celestial virtue aimed to overthrow hierarchy, monarchy, and aristocracy, and yet further to fuse all nations and races, as it has been expressed, into one free, equal, unpartitioned humanity. The well-known association of the Illuminati, which had its origin in Bavaria, and spread over Germany, enlisting multitudes in its wild fanaticism, issuing great numbers of atheistical and grossly immoral writings, and which extended its baneful influence into France, under the auspices of the notorious Baron Holbach, was the chief organ of this new philosophy. One of the renegades of this philosophism, Anacharsis Clootz, at one time president of the Jacobin club in France, disowned his father-land and his German name and title, and styled himself “the orator of the human race." In entire consistency with the doctrine, he proposed to prohibit any one from calling himself a Frenchman ; and that each citizen should assume the appellative “universel,” to designate the common relation held by all to the whole race. The folly of this madman is well depicted by the sarcastic pen of Carlyle, in the following characteristic passage :
“ One scene,” i.e. when the different orders and classes of the people were sending their committees to claim or offer a representation in the great national league, or federation, about to be made, “one scene, the hastiest reader will momentarily pause on that of Anacharsis Clootz, and the collective sinful posterity of Adam. It occurred to the mind of Anacharsis that, while so much was embodying itself into club or committee, and perorating applauded, there yet remained a greater, and greatest; of which, if it also took body and perorated, what might not the effect be?
Humankind, namely: In what rapt creative moment the thought arose in Anacharsis's soul; all his throes, while he went about giving shape and birth to it, how he was sneered at by cold worldlings, but did sneer again, being a man of polished sarcasm; and how he moved to and fro, persuasive in coffee-house and soireé, and dived down assiduousobscure, in the great deep of Paris, making his thought a fact; of all this, the spiritual biographies of that period say nothing. Enough, that on the 19th eve of June, 1790, the sun's slant rays lighted a spectacle such as our foolish little planet has not often had to show. Anacharsis Clootz entering the august Salle de Menége, with the human species at his heels,-Swedes, Spaniards, Polacks, Turks, Chaldeans, Greeks, dwellers in Mesopotamia; behold them all; they have come to claim place in the grand federation, having an undoubted interest in it.”
France had too much of the spirit of nationality to receive this philosophy of dreams. Clootz, and his German friends, as worthless foreigners, fell under the guillotine. Cosmopolitism disappeared in France, and, soon, everywhere else.
A third point regarding the spirit of nationality, has attracted the attention of later historians, and students of history, which is, its great influence in the history of nations and people.
The history of conquest and oppression affords many illustrations of the power of this element, and of its influence on the history and destinies of men. It will explain many revolutions that have agitated the political world, which otherwise are insoluble problems, or which have been ascribed to inadequate causes. The long and bloody conflicts in the history of our English ancestors, which have been attributed by older historians to the restless ambition of individuals, assume a new aspect, and a new meaning when regarded as the conflict between the nationalities of the conquered Saxons and their Norman conquerors, as has been shown in a fine spirit of philosophy by Thierry. Whenever we boast of our Saxon origin, if such boast has any meaning at all, it is because the spirit of Saxon nationality has not been extinguished, although the form under which it first had its origin has long since passed away.
We have referred to the madness of certain reputed philosophers of Germany, as shown in the project of uprooting all national preferences and attachments, and implanting in their place a general love of the human family. The history of France and Germany during the period extending from 1780 to 1815, illustrates the power and importance of a high-toned national feeling. As has been already remarked, France was saved by her spirit of nationality from the disastrous fanaticism of the Illuminati, and preserved her integrity as a nation during the most violent convulsions which ever agitated a people. Germany at first embraced the absurdity, and, as its first and immediate fruits, was trampled under foot by the French armies, until, oppressed and crushed, her spirit of nationality was rekindled; and the union of her States, in 1813, first checked the ambitious and victorious career of him who was conqueror in a hundred battles. Yet more; to the popular ferment of that period may be referred that revival of her nationality which has ever since been at work, and has more recently manifested its power in the project of reconstructing a Germanic empire, the capital to be Frankfort on the Maine, the purpose of which was to give Teutonic Germany free scope and influence among the nations. It aimed to make Germany a dominant power; or, as it was well expressed by a contemporary, the purpose was to cause “the voice of Germany to be heard in full tones, instead of being split into the squeaking trebles of thirty provincial States.
We must discriminate, however, between the influence of race and of nationality. The Gypsey race have no home, no political institutions, and therefore no proper nationality; and yet their spirit of race alone has preserved them as a distinct people in different lands where they sojourn. The thieves and vagabonds of the countries in which they live, four hundred years have wrought no change in their peculiarities, whether physical or moral, and have produced no contamination by admixture with the people around them. In penury and degradation, their hands against every man not of their blood, and every man's hand against them, yet are they bound together by indissoluble bonds of brotherhood. Among many illustrations of the power of race in this singular people related by Borrow in his work on the Gypsies of Spain, we select the following-a narrative of an encounter given, by a Spanish Gypsey, to Mr. Borrow himself:
“ I served,” says the Gypsey, " as a soldier in the war of independence against the French. It happened, once, that we joined in desperate battle, and there was a confusion, and the two parties became intermingled, and fought sword to sword, and bayonet to bayonet; and a French soldier singled me out, and we fought for a long time, cutting, goring, and cursing one another, till at last we flung down our arms, and grappled; long we wrestled, body to body; but I found that I was the weaker, and I fell. The French soldier's knee was on my breast, and his grasp was on my throat; and he seized his bayonet, and he raised it to thrust me through the jaws, and his cap had fallen off; and I lifted up my eyes wildly to his face, and our eyes met, and I gave a loud shriek and cried, Zincalo! Zincalo!” (one of the names by which the race is called), "and I felt him shudder, and he relaxed his grasp and started up; and he smote his forehead and wept, and came to me, and knelt down by my side, for I was almost dead; and he took my hand and called me brother, and Zincalo; and he produced his flask, and poured wine into my mouth, and I revived; and he raised
and led me from the tumult, and we sat down on a knoll; and the two parties were fighting all around, and he said, 'Let the dogs fight, and tear each other's throats till they are all destroyed; what matters it to the Zincalo? They are not of our blood, and shall that be shed for them ?' So we sat for hours on the knoll, and discoursed on matters pertaining to our people. So we sat until the sun went down, and the battle was over; and he proposed that we should both flee to his country, and live there with the Zin
calo; but my heart failed me. So we embraced, and he departed to the French, whilst I returned to our battalions.”
As illustrative of the influence of race, on political movements, we may bring to the notice of the reader the following facts, now attracting the attention of the European world. A few years since a writer, in view of the feeling of nationality,
a as he termed it, which was developing itself among the Sclavonic people, predicted a revolution in Austria on the death of
a Metternich. The prediction was fulfilled, being hastened by the French revolution of February, 1818. Krasinski, moreover, a Polander, wrote a book, entitled Panslavism and Germanism, the design of which is, to show the power and political tendencies of this same Sclavonic people, in order to convince the Teutonic Germans, and Europe generally, that they are worthy of consideration. The total number of this race is nearly eighty millions, thus distributed among the governments of Europe: Poles, nine millions (of whom five millions are subject to Russia, two millions to Austria, and two, to Prussia); seventeen millions are in the Austrian empire ; six millions in Turkey, and in Russia forty-eight millions. For several years the educated Sclavonians have been stimulated to cultivate a brotherhood, through their common language and their ancient literature. The writer argues that such a mass of people, of common origin, with a common language perpetuated in a venerable literature, are not to be despised, certainly not to be exasperated. In May, 1848, a festival of fraternity was appointed for the Sclavonians, apparently with reference to the long-cherished idea in some leading minds, of consolidating a great Sclavonic empire, which, under the lead of Austria detached from Germany, or under Russia, might overbalance the Teutonic or German empire. This may be a dream of visionaries, but it reveals agencies which may be of great moment in the future history of Eastern Europe. We see, however, in the events which have been referred to, the exemplification of the power of race attempting to array itself against what we should choose to denominate the power of nationality. Of the Sclavonians, except the Poles and Bohemians, few have