Page:Addresses to the German nation.djvu/102

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FIFTH ADDRESS
THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE DIFFERENCE THAT HAS
BEEN INDICATED


58. With the object of describing the characteristic quality of the Germans we have pointed out the fundamental difference between them and the other peoples of Teutonic descent, viz., that the former have remained in the uninterrupted flow of a primitive language which develops itself continuously out of real life, whereas the latter adopted a language which was foreign to them and which under their influence has been killed. At the end of the previous address we indicated other manifestations among these peoples, who differ from each other in the way we have shown. To-day we shall deal more fully with these manifestations, which are a necessary consequence of that fundamental difference, and establish them more firmly on their common foundation.

An investigation which endeavours to be thorough can rise too high to be involved in many disputes or to arouse much jealousy. Our method of investigation in the present instance will be the same as it was in the one to which this is a sequel. We shall take the fundamental difference that has been indicated, and deduce its consequences step by step; our sole concern will be to see that this deduction is correct. Whether the various manifestations which, according to this deduction, ought