The following Poem requires some previous elucidation, as it comprehends a scope of design far beyond vulgar research.
The history of its progress is, at present, of little importance. Here it is, a whole: arrived at maturity; and wishes not to recollect the blandishments, nor retrace the imperfections, of childhood.
It gives, and is grounded on, a Theosophical view of the relation between America and Europe; but concatenated, because necessary for illustration, with the two old Quarters of the Globe. Of each of all these the characteristics are enlarged upon in the Notes: But some general resolution of the fact, that Countries have characteristics, is the necessity, which causes this Preface.2
I know it to be a fact, that the elaboration of my own mind assigned to Africa, Asia and Europe, the precise characters which were respectively attributed to them by the Antients, and have been since by Swedenborg; though each, used his own language; which is a proof, that each was original, and actually travelled the road himself and saw objects in his own light. For these I refer to my Notes. Suffice it to say here, that the machinery of my Eclogue thus proceeds on this Doctrine; namely,
First, That all Countries have a specific Mind, or determinable principle. This character may be traced with as much satisfaction in the vegetable as in the animal productions. Thus, Strength with its attributes, viz. Asperity, &c. is the character or mind of England. Her leading productions are the Oak, Peppermint, Sloes, Crabs, sour Cherries. All elegance, all polish, is superinduced; and primarily from France, of which they are Natives.
Secondly, That a Country is subdued, when, its mind or life, its prince according to Daniel, or its genius according to the modern Easterns, or its principle according to Europeans, is either supprest, destroyed or chemically combined with that of a foreign country in a form, that leaves the foreign property predominant; and not till then. And this cannot ensue but upon Suicide, upon a previous abandonment on the part of a nation, of its own principle.
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