AFRICA AND AMERICA.
And next to this comes the intellectual narrowness
v/hich results from a narrow groove of thought. For
there are few things which tend so much to dwarf a
people as the constant dwelling upon personal sorrows
and interests, whether they be real or imaginary. We
have illustrations of this fact both at home and abroad.
The Southern people of this nation have given as evi¬
dent signs of genius and talent as the people of the
If we go back to Colonial times, if we revert to the
early history of the nation, we see in them, as conspic¬
uous evidence of intellectual power, in law, in capa¬
bility of government, in jurisprudence, in theology, in
poetry, and in art, as among their more northern
brethren. But for nigh three generations they gave
themselves up to morbid and fanatical anxieties upon
the subject of slavery. To that one single subject they
gave the whole bent and sharpness of their intellect.
And history records the direful result. For nigh sixty
years have "laws and letters, art and learning," died
away; and we can hardly discover the traces of any
conspicuous genius or originality among them. So,
too, the people of Ireland. For a century and more
they have been indulging in the expensive luxury of
sedition and revolution. As a portion of the great
Celtic people of Europe, they are an historic race, alike
in character and in genius. They are mercurial, poetic
and martial, and in some of the lands of their heritage
they have shown large powers for governmental control.
But in Ireland, sterility has been a conspicuous feature