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Lectures Delivered in America in 1874   By: (1819-1875)

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1874

Transcribed from the 1875 Longmans, Green, and Co. edition by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org

LONDON: PRINTED BY SPOTTISWOODE AND CO., NEW STREET SQUARE AND PARLIAMENT STREET

LECTURES DELIVERED IN AMERICA IN 1874

BY CHARLES KINGSLEY, F.L.S., F.G.S.

RECTOR OF EVERSLEY: CANON OF WESTMINSTER CHAPLAIN IN ORDINARY TO THE QUEEN AND THE PRINCE OF WALES

LONDON LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. 1875

All rights reserved

DEDICATION.

TO CYRUS FIELD, J. A. C. GRAY, AND ALL THOSE VALUED AMERICAN FRIENDS WHO WELCOMED MY HUSBAND TO THEIR GREAT COUNTRY, AND THROUGH WHOSE GENEROUS KINDNESS HE WAS ENABLED IN THE LAST YEAR OF HIS LIFE TO REALISE THE DREAMS OF HIS YOUTH BY THE SIGHT, NOT ONLY OP THE EASTERN STATES AND CITIES, BUT OF THE FAR WEST, THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS, AND THE YO SEMITE VALLEY, I DEDICATE THESE LECTURES WITH DEEPEST GRATITUDE

In Memoriam.

FANNY E. KINGSLEY.

BYFLEET: August 1875.

CONTENTS.

LECT. PAGE I. WESTMINSTER ABBEY 1 II. THE STAGE AS IT WAS ONCE 32 III. THE FIRST DISCOVERY OF AMERICA 65 IV. THE SERVANT OF THE LORD 98 V. ANCIENT CIVILISATION 125

LECTURE I. WESTMINSTER ABBEY.

Reverence for age, at least so it has long seemed to me, reverence for age, I say, is a fair test of the vigour of youth; and, conversely, insolence toward the old and the past, whether in individuals or in nations, is a sign rather of weakness than of strength. And the cause, I think, is this. The rich and strong young natures, which feel themselves capable of original thought and work, have a corresponding respect for those who, in the generations gone by, have thought and worked as they hope to do hereafter. And this temper, understand me, so far from being servile, or even merely conservative, usually accompanies true independence of spirit. The young athlete, like the young race horse, does not despise, but emulate, his sire; even though the old victor be long past his prime. The young soldier admires the old general; the young midshipman the old admiral, just in proportion as he himself is likely to be a daring and able officer hereafter. The son, when grown to man’s estate, may say to his father, I look on you still with all respect and admiration. I have learnt, and desire always, to learn from you. But you must be to me now, not a dictator, but an example. You became what you are by following your own line; and you must let me rival you, and do you honour, by following mine.

This, I believe, is true of nations as well as of individuals. I do not hesitate to say that, paradoxical as it may seem, the most original races—those who have succeeded best and left their stamp most broadly and permanently on the human race—have also been the most teachable, provided they were allowed to learn in their own way and to adapt to their own purposes any higher ancient civilisation with which they came in contact. What more striking instances of this truth—for truth it is—than the reverence of the free Republican Greek for the old despotic civilisation of Egypt? and of the free Norseman, our own ancestor, for the old and equally despotic civilisation of Rome?

These—the two most originative and most progressive races of Europe—had a faith in, an awe of, the supposed or real wisdom of the men of old time, which was often exaggerated into a superstition; but never—thanks to their own innate force—degenerated into a bondage... Continue reading book >>




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