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King Alfred
by [?]

When important steps were to be taken where the interests of the whole tribe were at stake, great deference was paid to the opinions of the mothers. For the mother spoke not only for herself, but for her children. The mother was the home-maker. The word “wife” means weaver; and this deference to the one member of the family who invented, created, preparing both the food and the clothing, is a marked Teutonic instinct. Its survival is seen yet in the sturdy German of the middle class, who takes his wife and children with him when he goes to the concert or to the beer-garden. So has he always taken his family with him on his migrations; whereas the Greeks and the Romans left their women behind.

South America was colonized by Spanish men. And the Indians and the Negroes absorbed the haughty grandee, yet preserved the faults and failings of both.

The German who moves to America comes to stay–his family is a part of himself. The Italian comes alone, and his intent is to make what he can and return. This is a modified form of conquest.

The Romans who came to Brittany in Caesar’s time were men. Those who remained “took to themselves wives among the daughters of Philistia,” as strong men ever are wont to do when they seek to govern savage tribes. And note this–instead of raising the savages or barbarians to their level, they sink to theirs. The child takes the status of the mother. The white man who marries an Indian woman becomes an Indian and their children are Indians. With the Negro race the same law holds.

The Teutonic races have conquered the world because they took their women with them on their migrations, mental and physical. And the moral seems to be this, that the men who progress financially, morally and spiritually are those who do not leave their women-folk behind.

* * * * *

When we think of the English, we usually have in mind the British Isles. But the original England was situated along the southern shore of the Baltic Sea. This was the true Eng-Land, the land of the Engles or Angles. To one side lay Jute-Land, the home of the Jutes. On the other was Saxony, where dwelt the Saxons.

Jute-Land still lives in Jutland; the land of the Saxons is yet so indicated on the map; but Eng-Land was transported bodily a thousand miles, and her original territory became an abandoned farm where barbarians battled.

And now behold how England has diffused herself all over the world, with the British Isles as a base of supplies, or a radiating center. Behind this twenty miles of water that separates Calais and Dover she found safety and security, and there her brain and brawn evolved and expanded. So there are now Anglo-Americans, Anglo-Africans, Anglo-Indians, Anglo-Australians, and Anglo-New-Zealanders. As the native Indians of America and the Maoris of New Zealand have given way before the onward push and persistence of the English, so likewise did the ancient Britons give way and were absorbed by the Anglo-Saxons; and then the Saxons, being a little too fine for the stern competitor, allowed the Engles to take charge. And as Dutch, Germans, Slavs and Swedes are transformed with the second generation into English-Americans when they come to America, so did the people from Eng-Land fuse Saxons, Norsemen, Jutes, Celts and Britons into one people and fix upon them the indelible stamp of Eng-Land.

Yet it is obvious that the characters of the people of England have been strengthened, modified and refined by contact with the various races she has met, mixed with and absorbed. To influence others is to grow. Had England been satisfied to people and hold the British Isles, she would ere this have been outrun and absorbed by Spain or France. To stand still is to retreat. It is the same with men as it is with races. England’s Colonies have been her strength. They have given her poise, reserve, ballast–and enough trouble to prevent either revolution, stagnation or introspection.