Page:An Old English Home and Its Dependencies.djvu/44

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his habits of mind as to have rendered him incapable of being other than a subject under the control of another people, which had happily got beyond such infantile notions.

It is the case with individuals, starting on the battle of life, that they sometimes, by chance, take a wrong direction, and then, once involved therein, have not the power or will or chance to turn back and take another. That is how some men make a botch of their lives, whereas others, perhaps their inferiors in ability, by mere accident strike on a course which leads to power, prosperity, and a name.

It is so among nations, races—and among; these the highly-gifted Celt went wrong at the outstart, and that is it which has been his bane through centuries. Now the time for recovery is past. He is forced to take a lower room.

The French, that is to say the Gauls under Frank domination, were forcibly put right. I do not deny that feudalism led to gross abuses, and that it was well to have these swept away, but that which I think was fatal to France at the Revolution was reversion to the Celtic principle of subdivision. This is inevitably