On Nationalism


Daniel Defoe (Wikipedia)

Invoking of mythic past is a key aspect of nationalism. The emphasis being on mythic. In the case of England, Daniel Defoe offered his take in 1702. Of course, the similar stories can be told about pretty much any nation.

Thus from a Mixture of all kinds began,
That Het’rogeneous Thing, An Englishman:
In eager Rapes, and furious Lust begot,
Betwixt a Painted Britton and a Scot:
Whose gend’ring Offspring quickly learnt to bow,
And yoke their Heifers to the Roman Plough:
From Whence a Mongrel half-bred Race there came,
With neither Name nor Nation, Speech or Fame.
In whose hot Veins now Mixtures quickly ran,
Infus’d betwixt a Saxon and a Dane.
While their Rank Daughters, to their Parents just,
Receiv’d all Nations with Promiscuous Lust.
This Nauseous Brood directly did contain
The well-extracted Blood of Englishmen

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