Excerpt from National Characteristics: An Address Delivered Before the Literary Societies of Hamilton College, July 24, 1848 That the proper study of mankind is man, has become an axiom. It is the most universal of all studies. The unlettered savage pursues it with as keen an interest as the scientific sage, or the accomplished man of the world, and oftentimes with more thorough appreciation of his subject. All confess the value of the kwledge so acquired, yet while it is so generally sought respecting individuals with whom we are brought into various degrees of personal relationship, comparatively few have made the grand characteristic traits which distinguish nations or races of people, objects of thought or investigation. It is true, that the men with whom we necessarily have daily associations of business or pleasure, may have a more immediate and decided influence on our affairs, than any of the nations of the old world, for instance; and a kwledge of the intellectual and moral organization of our acquaintances and friends, therefore, may be deemed of more importance to us than any information, however minute and exact, respecting people beyond the sea with whom we may never have converse. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.