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there is for them still one remove farther, not distant, nor unseen. It is to the general burial-ground of the racé.
WESTWARD MOVEMENT OF CIVILIZATION.
DECIDEDLY one of the most interesting points in the past history of the United States, is the striking illustration it has afforded of the great law of civilization, its movement from east to west. It was a direct and startling demonstration of the truth which history has long labored to indicate. The land upon which the sun of civilization first rose, we know not with cer- . tainty; but as far back as our vision can extend, we behold it shining upon the most eastern limits of the eastern hemisphere.
Assyria, Egypt, Greece, Rome, we behold successively lighted up, as the majestic orb rolls over them; and as he advances still farther through his storied and mysterious zodiac; we behold the shadows of evening as surely stealing upon the lands which he leaves behind him. Rome falls before the adventurous and destructive Goth; and for a moment the world seems darkened; but vast causes, new materials, conflicting elements, are silently at work to produce order out of apparent chaos, through the long eclipse of the dark ages; and when light is again restored, behold the radiance which we first worshipped on the shores of the
Indian ocean, has at last reached and illumined the whole coast of the Atlantic, while the westernmost states of Earope are rejoicing in its beams. Here, it would seem,
the sun's course was finished. The law which has hitherto visibly governed his career, must be reversed; the world's western limit has been reached, and either his setting is at hand, or he must roll backward through his orbit.
But it is not so. Just as we were about to doubt the universality of the law, which we believed indubitably and historically established, the world swings open upon its hinges, and reveals another world beyond the ocean, as vast and perfect as itself. America starts into existence, the long forgotten dream of the ancients is revived and realized, and the world's history is rounded into as complete a circle as its physical conformation.
We have said that the exemplification of the westward march of culture was the most striking feature in the history of America. Connected with this, however, and hardly of less importance, is the illustration which it affords us of the manner in which the civilization of the world has been successively entrusted to distinct races. Throwing out at once all disquisition concerning the great races which have regularly made their appearance and accomplished their mission in past ages, we turn our attention simply to the great race of the present time. This is, indubitably, the AngloSaxon race.
We assume this without argument, because we believe that none of our readers will be de. sirous of holding us to the proof.
The Anglo-Saxon-like all great' races - is of a
composite origin; and its materials would almost seem to have been carefully selected with the view of producing a breed of singular energy, endurance and power.
. The Saxon hardihood, the Norman fire, the Teutonic phlegm, had long ago been molded, one would deem, for some great purpose, into one grand national stock; and to this race, when it had attained the fulness and perfection of its strength, was the conquest of America entrusted.
The original colonization of this country by the English, and the present system of internal colonization successfully prosecuted within the United States, from east to west, form a striking counterpart to the Gothic invasion of the Roman Empire, in the fifth century. The one was the irruption of barbarism upon an ancient civilization; the other, the triumph of civilization over an ancient barbarism. Each was, in a great degree, the work of the same race, and it would truly seem that the barbarian has begun to pay the debt which he has owed to huinanity since the destruction of the Western Empire.
The civilized Goths, whose mission is now to contend with and humanize the wilderness of America, are the descendants of those Goths who for a time annihilated the ancient civilization of Europe; and the task of destruction which they so successfully accomplished, and which resulted, after all, in a great benefit to the human race, differed no less in its general nature from their present occupation, than did the instruments by which it was effected, differ from those by which the conquest of America is in the course of accomplishment.
The Roman state retained, in appearance, the same gigantic proportions which belonged to it, when it sat enthroned upon the whole civilized world. It was a Vast, but a hollow shell; outwardly imposing, but inwardly rotten to the core, and with the first stroke of the sword of Alaric, it crumbled into dust. The Goth was but the embodiment of the doom which had long impended over the empire of the Cæsars. He was but the appointed actor in the last scene of that historic destiny which had ruled the state since Romulus first watched the vulture's flight from the Palatine.
For purposes, inscrutable then probably, but plain euough to every human intelligence at the present day, the civilization of Europe, after having reached and passed the highest possible point of refinement, was for. the time annihilated. The Goth destroyed, but he did not rebuild. Beneath the foot-print of the barbarian's war-horse, the grass withered and never revived. It was but a type of the utter exhaustion of the soil; and after the tempest had lain waste every vestige of the extraordinary culture which had, as it were, drained and impoverished the land, it lay fallow for ages before it was again susceptible of cultivation.
The colonization of America was exactly the reverse of the picture. The race that had destroyed now came forward to civilize and humanize. The Goth of the fifth century, whose courser's hoof crushed every flower in his track, reappears in the seventeenth with his hand upon the ploughshare, and cities spring up like corn-blades in every furrow which he traces through the wilderness. His task is but just begun. He has but entered upon his sublime mission; and it is to be
expected that as many centuries as elapsed before the old world was ripened for his destroying scythe, are again to be told before he is to enjoy the perfected fruits of his present labors.
How slow yon tiny vessel ploughs the main!
-or reels, Half wrecked, through gulfs profound.
-Moons wax and wane,
-Forth they come
savage men, who through the thickets peer With vengeful arrow.-What could lure their steps To this drear desert ?--Ask of him who left