Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/231

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look into the future may see in your nation,—as you say,—two diverging tendencies; the one towards democracy, the other towards aristocracy; but if some separation of these elements could be made quietly and without strife, would the people be any the happier? Territorial possessions are, there is no doubt, but lightly esteemed in your country, which is perhaps owing to the fact that the British or Anglo-Americans of to-day only date back to Penn and his colony, or only a hundred years or so. An estate over here rarely remains ten or twelve years in the same hands."

"That is partly due," answered he, "to the facilities for changing our place of residence, and to the fact that land which is relatively dear near the great cities, is much cheaper at some distance from them. Besides we are essentially business men; with us, agriculture is of small account, commerce is everything."

"That is true," I said. "Many persons believe they have but to land in the United States to make a fortune, and the first