ENGLISH OR ANGLOSAXON ?
It is time that protest were made against the growing use of that silly, meaningless worn "Anglo-Saxon," which is now so frequently seen in tiie place where the word English ought to be, writes Richard H. Glover in the "English Race." Records of speeches are incessant -where- sioppy references aro made to the '•An.gib-feaxon" race, and the "Anglo-Saxon" peoples of tlie worM. What is meant, of course, is the English race., and the Englishspeaking nations. The word "AngloSaxon" has no meaning except as the modern name of an extinct language which form.-—linguistically only — the basis ox the English tongue. That is all. Our literature is not Teutonic. It comes, like our civilisation, from the Mediterranean. Jjurmg tue last eenturv, when, Heaven forgive us for our fol'iies I it was tlie crazy task ( of German-obe-Hised writers such as Car- ' lyle to misrepresent- r.s as akin to the : peoples ci: CMitra) Europe, this ridiculous word ''Anglo-Saxon became com- ; mon because' of izs suggeston of affinity between English and Central Euro- j pean literature. Such suggestion, is . disgustingly false,'and has been nailed down by one of -the most brilliant •of ' English novelists, Mr Quiller j Couch, who says: "From Anglo-Sax-on prose, from Auglo-Saxon.. poetry, j have, save, linguistically, uo denva- i tion." ' ' . | ■'-. This use of .his misleading word "Anglo-Saxon" -as descriptive of.England is now more objectionable, , ( thah ever, because the word Saxon, does correctly describe one of that huddle of Central European States which the English people are busily" engaged in breaking up. It is not exactly a compliment for an Englishman to be called a Saxon, even when the Latin word for English is prefixed. No racial affinity exists between English people and the people whose-capital is. Dresden. The same sort of historical falsehood used by Carlyle has also been used by other mid-Victorian writers to connect English people with Central Europeans by describing them as "Blue-eyed Saxons." Between the blondes of Central Europe, and the distinctively English types best, see in Kent, and in certain parts of the Lowlands^ of - Scotland, there is no similarity, me Saxon style of beauty is .flaxen hair and mostly brown eyes. The true English type, so loved of that very English American poet, Longfellow—• "Having the dew of their youth, ana the beauty thereof, as the 'captives, Whom St. Gregory' saw, and exclaimed *:Won Angli; sed Angeh '— has Hair golden in the sunshine, and blue, very often dark blue, out never brown'eye„. -here is no likeness between j-nglish and Saxon, people. So -far as poop'le on the "'mainland = of Europe - are ■concerned, those;" with whom""there is nearest racial affinity 'are the uuten. iJunng the South' African war, the Germans used to talk about their Duceh. "cousins" and try to preterm sympathy with the Boers. The people wno were then fighting the Boers were much nearer relations to
them than those who pretended sympathy on account ot race' xt would' oe easy to quote r.uropean writers, all or whom are aware tnat the English have racial cnaractcrisucs so strongly marked that it is aimcult to mistake an Englishman for anyone except himself. Nature never intended him to oe one of the League of Nations, it is as if in giving the English clearly denned racial traits, Nature seems to say: Lo, this people shall dweii ulone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations." The use of the word. "Anglo-Saxon," Ls an historical falsehood. Alfred the Great would have beeu bewildered had anyone called him an Anglo-Saxon. So, for that matter, would any Englishman who lived previous to the midVictorian era. Alfred the Great would .have understood the word "English," he" would have called himself "King of England." But Anglo-Saxon" never, for there never ivas a people named the "Anglo-Saxou-i." Ever since the invasions of tlie Picts and Scots, and in all the fightings in the north of the island and in Ireland, a term of abuse was applied to the English by their opponents, wh.o used to call them Sasb-nachs." The use of the word ""Anglo-Saxon" is meaningless and offensive to Englishmen,- and with the revival now "'growing in strength it. ''ought to be destroyed.
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ENGLISH OR ANGLOSAXON ?, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9598, 30 April 1919
ENGLISH OR ANGLOSAXON ? Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9598, 30 April 1919
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