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CIVILIZATION in its progress has ever followed the direction of light ; it arose far Eastward; gradually it shone over Greece, then Rome; it culminates over Western Europe ; and, even now, its morning light is upon America, while the land it first enlightened is sinking into darkness.
There seems to have been always an instinct in the minds of thoughtful men, that there was a great continent westward; a New World, ready to receive the overflow of the burden of humanity that pressed upon the Old. Atlantis long ago expressed a consciousness of such a want, and a belief that it would be supplied. Strange to
say, this prophetic
feeling was responded to by the inhabitants of the unknown world: among the wild and stern MicMacs of the North, and the refined and gentle Yncas of the South, a presentiment of their coming fate was felt. They believed that a powerful race of men were to come “from the rising sun,” to conquer
possess their lands. The theories of old Greece and Roman Spain became stories; stories became tradition ; tradition became faith, and Columbus assumed his mission: in him the old “ Westering” instinct amounted to an inspiration ; he burst his way through the Unknown to the known; he revealed to us a world rich in all that we required, a world abounding in capabilities, deficient only in mankind.
Then the necessity of the Old World found relief; Europe rushed forth to colonize — each pation according to its character — leaving for ever the stamp of that character impressed upon its colony. Spaniards, led to the New World by the lust of gold, soon sacrificed their America to slavery. Englishmen led thither by the love of liberty, consecrated their new soil to Freedom. ENGLAND ÎN THE NEW WORLD was England still ; striving, earnest, honest, and successful. A mistake in policy changed Englishmen into Yankees, but British blood, and, for the most part, British principles, remained.
These we bequeathed to our revolted colony : retiring Northward, we were content to rest our Western Empire on the banks of the St. Lawrence, in the modern Canada,—the ancient HOCHELAGA.
It is not only where our banners wave, where our laws protect, where our national faith assures, that we are to look for “England in the New World.” In the minds of our brethren of the United States, in their institutions, in their actions, in their motives—there — everywhere that our language is spoken—we can trace our own.
And such is the object of this work : its Author speaks of Canada with almost affection of the United States with cordiality—but his chief interest throughout, is the relation that these countries bear