Man is the maker of expedients, but not of laws. In his solicitude as to his approaching lot, he has neither time nor desire to raise his eyes to the heavens to watch and record their phenomena; no leisure to look upon himself and consider what and where he is. In the imperious demand for a present support, he dare not venture on speculative attempts at ameliorating his state; he is doomed to be a helpless, isolated, spell-bound savage, or, if not isolated, the companion of other savages as careworn as himself.
Nations are only transitional forms of humanity; they must undergo obliteration, as do the transitional forms offered by the animal series. There is no more an immortality for them than there is an immobility for an embryo or any one of the manifold forms passed through in its progress of development.
Nations, like individuals, are born, proceed through a predestined growth, and die. One comes to its end at an early period and in an untimely way; another, not until it has gained maturity. One is cut off by feebleness in its infancy, another is destroyed by civil disease, another commits political suicide, another lingers in old age. But for every one there is an orderly way of progress to its final term, whatever that term may be.