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in many a brave legend, and most of all in the immortal line:

"Sweet and glorious it is to die for our country."

A notable instance of the same spirit has been seen in the case of that island people, which, like one of her own volcanoes, men thought asleep until she burst forth, a flaming terror, in the eyes of Europe. The spirit that made her troops march up against modern forts, to be mowed down in swathes by machine guns, was one that had its rise in the same all-pervading sense of national continuity. Even through centuries of impotence, the office of Mikado had ever been sacred, and Japan never dethroned the line of Jimmu, the descendants of the gods. When General Oku, after many vain assaults, at length carried the trenches of Nanshan, they found the body of an officer, with the flag of his regiment wound round his head, like a towel, and with it these lines, stained with the author's blood:

"Though our life vanish as the morning dew,

O Sovereign Prince! yet loyally and true,
Thy Standard still, forever shall we guard."*

Even more impressive in its dry, matter-of-fact formality is Admiral Togo's official dispatch to the spirits of the dead. The Japanese fleet had gained undisputed command of the Yellow Sea, and its immediate enemy, the Port Arthur squadron, had been destroyed. “We hope," concludes the Admiral, "that this intelligence will be pleasing to your spirits." The prayer of their National Anthem is that their empire may last through a thousand ages, till pebbles become great boulders, covered with

* See "Master Singers of Japan," by Catherine Walsh.

green moss.

Whistler was peculiarly unfortunate when he tried to prove the capriciousness of art by instancing Japan. It was only a few years ago that Europeans thought of her inhabitants as quaint and amusing little people, with their fans and paper houses, and the topsyturvy view of life that is the theme of Gilbert's "Mikado." We have learnt now to think differently of the reverence that centred round the Holy Mountain, and the joy that sings to greet the cherry blossom. "I, too, am happy," writes the Empress, "that my heart can share my people's pleasure in the joys of spring." Verily it was this joy and this reverence, that laughed in song blossoms and broidered birds upon fans, that leapt forth also in pale flame from the barbettes of the Mikasa, and rose, glorious like the morning sun, over the hills of Port Arthur.


A yet more famous example is that of the elect, but not wholly lovable race, the records of whose past greatness have been held divine even by their persecutors. Jewish history we trace the building up of a personality so intense, that neither exile, nor subjection, nor centuries of dispersion have been able so much as to weaken it. Their unique situation, surrounded on all sides by warlike and hostile communities, wedged in between empires, demanded from the Jews a combination of qualities unparalleled in the history of the world. In that sense at least may they be regarded as a chosen people.

That they emerged at all from their ordeal, must be ascribed to the perpetual haunting sense of God's presence, which alone could have sufficed to give them the necessary cohesion. This consciousness was, indeed, of slow growth,

and accompanied by relapses into the frank polytheism of other nations. But the belief in God always went hand in hand with patriotism. The heroic leader, who first welded a nomad horde into a nation, certainly feared God, and the long and confused period of the Judges, when not only unity but racial purity was at stake, is the record of how, again and again, a backsliding and enslaved nation was saved by rallying to the cause of Jehovah, no local Baal or Chemosh, but One at Whose presence the earth shook and the heavens dropped, and Whose favour was strictly dependent upon the conduct of His people.

As national consciousness deepened and civilization increased, the idea of God became more developed and more sublime. The message of the prophets is that of the judges, adapted to the needs of a people who have outgrown their childhood. These men, who loved their country hardly less than they loved God, taught that nations could only exist by proving themselves worthy of their existence, and conforming to the divine will. Amos, the first of them to put his message into writing, warned them not to look for the day of the Lord, for it would be a dark day. When the Northern Kingdom had fallen to Sargon and the clouds were darkening around Jerusalem, the patriotism of the prophets looked to the ultimate restoration of an Israel, purged by suffering, and worthy to raise an ensign of righteousness to which all nations should resort. Hence emerges the conception of a Messiah.

After the captivity, priestly reformers sought to enshrine the national ideal in a framework of ceremony. The danger of forms degenerating into formality was

of course inherent in such a system, but it may not be denied that for centuries it worked well. Even when they had lost their independence, even amid all the levelling influences of Greek and Roman civilization, the Jews preserved their faith and character, and bequeathed not only the heroic example of the Maccabees, but the mellow and gentle wisdom of the Rabbis. Centuries of ceremonial drill were needed to produce the age-long miracle of Judaism, which astonished even Frederick the Great. Our Saviour Himself, the Messiah of Whom the prophets had dreamed, loved His country with an ardour not less than that of Isaiah. It would have been strange indeed had He cast aside the heritage of the forerunners whose work He had come to fulfil, doubly strange, if we remember that He recognized His descent from David. He saw that the thing needful was no political, but a spiritual Reformation, and in the national as well as the individual sphere, His teaching was, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness." In the last week of His life on earth He evidently intended to compass the Reformation by a supreme attempt to capture Jerusalem, and if He failed it was through no miscalculation of His, but the free choice of those to whom He appealed. Our Lord had that respect for national tradition which has ever formed one of the most vital elements of patriotism, He continually referred to the authority of the national Scriptures, He preached in His own country, chose His friends from among His countrymen, and even in His final agony prayed for their forgiveness. When the Roman Governor asked Him, "Art thou the King of the Jews?" the reply was, "Thou sayest it." His grief upon the

rejection of His message was touching and unbounded: "Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets ! How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings-and ye would not!" He would have been less than perfect man had He failed in this, the highest form of human love.

We see, by the example of these great peoples, how essential is the bond of a common personality, a communion of souls uniting the past with the future. It is, in the phrase of Spenser, literally brutish not to understand how much we owe to her, that gave us every good thing we have. But our survey, brief as it has necessarily been, is suggestive of a further truth, whose application to every phase of our own history it is the purpose of this book to trace. In direct proportion to each nation's patriotism have been the value and immortality of its achievement. The very names of Athens, Jerusalem, Rome, Venice, Florence, France, Germany, and England are sufficient to establish this in its main outlines, and we shall find it working itself out in the minutest detail.

Take the case of medieval and renaissance Italy. The two suns of art, which radiated beauty through and beyond all the parts of Italy, were Venice and Florence, cities where the flame of patriotism burnt with the most intense ardour. To honour and beautify their native town, her churches and her public buildings, was an object worthy to call forth the genius of masters. We know how the citizens of Florence bore one of Cimabue's paintings in triumph through the streets, to find a restingplace in the church of Santa Maria Novella; and how one

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