section V. — distinction between colonisation, properly so called, and the modes of settlement in other dependencies; with the natural and necessary results of that distinction.
The families and individuals of the British nation who go to any of the long list of British possessions, plantations, or dependencies which I have enumerated above, but which are not British colonies properly so called, uniformly go thither for a temporary sedes or settlement only, to remain there, either longer or shorter, for the accomplishment of their particular object, and then to return to their native land. They never think of making the place of their temporary and perhaps reluctant sojourning their country; they never regard it as their home. There is no transference of affection from Britain to the dependency; and this is the uniform burden of their song, Dulce, dulce domum, "There is no place like home!" — meaning England, Scotland, or Ireland. There are individual exceptions, doubtless; but this is the general rule. There are occasional incursions also of really British colonists into the territory of what was once a French or Dutch colony, as in Lower Canada and the Cape of Good Hope; but these are rare cases, and the line of demarcation between the colonists of the old and those of the new regime is as strongly marked as if it had been staked off with a line of palisades.*
But the really British colonist goes to a really British
* "To proceed to a new country in a number sufficiently large to form a nation or community within itself greatly relieves and moderates the evils of emigration; but to abandon our country for another where the people have nothing in common with us but the bond of the same humanity, is to renounce our nationality and our race—two things which are not given to man that he may cast them off whenever it pleases his fantasy"—Count Strzelecki's Physical Description of New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, &c., p, 381.
colony with far different feelings and views and objects. He may feel as strongly attached to his native country as the other adventurer, and as loth to leave it; and the better man he is, he will only cherish these generous and manly feelings the more strongly. He may say, with all the deep-toned emotion of the poet,
"Nos patrios fines, et dulcia linquimus arva;
Nos patriam fugimus!"*
but Divine Providence has said to him, as plainly as God said to Abraham, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee†; and he has made up his mind to the issue. In such circumstances, it is not merely sedes — a temporary settlement — which he seeks, but a home and a country, sedes patriamque. And as he builds his house in the wilderness, and clears and cultivates the virgin soil; or as his sheep and cattle graze peacefully around him, while his children grow up, perhaps with only the faintest recollections of their native land, the colonist feels that a new object is gradually filling up the vacuum in his soul; and without being conscious of any estrangement from the land of his birth, he finds that his affections are gradually and insensibly transferred to the land of his adoption. In short, the colonist is like a tree transplanted from its native soil — it is some time before the shock of transplantation, the tearing up of the tender roots, can be got over; but, by and bye, these wounds are healed; the tree gets used to the soil; it strikes out fresh roots in every direction, and it probably reaches a far loftier height, exhibits a far more luxuriant growth, and spreads around it a far deeper "continuity of shade," than it would ever have done in its native soil.
In one word, whether the colonist has had great diffi-
* Virgil, Eel. 1.
† Genesis, xii. 1.
culties to overcome in effecting his settlement in the colonial wilderness, or has experienced a speedy and unexpectedly abundant return for his labours, a strong attachment to his adopted country arises insensibly in his mind; and, as time wears on, and the new interests with which he has become identified are multiplied and strengthened, this feeling gradually ripens into a spirit of what may perhaps be designated colonial nationality. His native land gradually fades from his view, and his interest in its peculiar objects becomes fainter and fainter. The particular colony, or group of colonies, to which he belongs, engrosses all his affections, and the idea of the welfare and advancement of his adopted country, like a new passion, takes possession of his soul.
The spirit of colonial nationality, which necessarily arises in the circumstances I have described, is no accidental feeling; it is unquestionably of Divine implantation, and designed, not for evil, but for good. The institution of a family is confessedly a Divine institution, fraught with benefits of inestimable value to mankind; and all the attempts of Robert Owenism, Fourierism, Communism and Socialism, to set it aside and substitute something better for it, are therefore vain and futile. So also is the institution of a nation, or group of many families of kindred origin inhabiting the same country, and separated from the rest of mankind by lofty mountains or vast tracts of ocean. Such a group of families will infallibly have feelings, and interests, and objects centred in their own country or territory, and differing, in that particular, from those of every other portion of the human race. In one word, a British colony, properly so called, and especially a group of such colonies, will infallibly become a nation, provided there is ample room and verge enough for its due development. "Colonies," says the celebrated William Penn, "are the seeds of nations, begun and nourished by the care of wise and populous countries,
conceiving them best for the increase of human stock, and beneficial for commerce."*
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