Page:The English Constitution (1894).djvu/332
THE ENGLISH CONSTITUTION.
sified. In the American mind and in the colonial mind there is, as contrasted with the old English mind, a literalness, a tendency to say, “The facts are so-and-so, whatever may be thought or fancied about them.” We used before the civil war to say that the Americans worshipped the almighty dollar; we now know that they can scatter money almost recklessly when they will. But what we meant was half right—they worship visible value: obvious, undeniable, intrusive result. And in Australia and New Zealand the same turn comes uppermost. It grows from the struggle with the wilderness. Physical difficulty is the enemy of early communities, and an incessant conflict with it for generations leaves a mark of reality on the mind—a painful mark almost to us, used to impalpable fears and the half-fanciful dangers of an old and complicated society. The “new Englands” of all latitudes are bare-minded (if I may so say) as compared with the “old.”
When, therefore, the new communities of the colonised world have to choose a government, they must choose one in which all the institutions are of an obvious evident utility. We catch the Americans smiling at our Queen with her secret mystery, and our Prince of Wales with his happy inaction. It is impossible, in fact, to convince their prosaic minds that constitutional royalty is a rational government, that it is suited to a new age and an unbroken country that those who start afresh can start with it. The princelings who run about the world with excellent intentions, but an entire ignorance of business, are to them a locomotive advertisement that this sort of