The Yale Review
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC
By: George Park Fisher
Excerpt from book: well that unless our fury were short-lived, and ready at all times to give place to opposite feelings, we should be undone: as we actually were undone, to recur to the former illustration, by the American Revolution. Then the whole of our trouble came from the fact that George the Third (who was a German) hated the Americans: hating them, he was unable to see that they had rights: not seeing that they had rights, he tried to coerce them: trying to coerce them, he lost them. Set it down to low cunning if you will, or, if you are charitably disposed, to something better: certain it is that hatred, and all that hatred implies, is not the key to our national psychology, and must never be reckoned on as likely to play a leading part in determining our policies towards other nations, either in making or in ending war. Explain our action as due to greed and to the fears by which greed is always accompanied, and there is a case to be argued: explain it by hatred and you are out of court. The history of the Empire, as a human process, forbids the supposition. We are not a hating community. Indeed, whenever we think of hatred as a factor in national policy we despise it, considering it the peculiar vice of girl's boarding schools. The word has for us no martial associations whatsoever, but rather suggests pettiness of mind, limitation of vision, and the disposition to foul play. The last word introduces a further explanation. Like so much else, both good and bad, that is strongly marked in the English character, this inaptitude for hatred is not unconnected with our devotion to sport. We are taught in our games to avoid "bad blood": though, I must confess, the blood is commonly regarded as "bad" not as offending against the precept of the Christian religion, but as contributing to the lo...