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. The two most formidable evils with which America has to contend, are negro slavery and universal suffrage.'
A strange classification this! Who would have dreamed of having these two evils' brought thus into juxta-position ! In other words, the dangers of America arise, it seems, half from too much freedom, and half from too little. What will our Reformers say to having their favourite panacea ranked. with negro slavery, among the greatest of political evils? But, let us hear our Author's explanation of the position.
• Till slavery is got rid of, its demoralizing influence will be every day extending itself; nor is it easy to sec how the slave-holding States can possibly expect, long to escape the horrors of a negro insurrection. The black population, it is well ascertained, is increasing in a quicker ratio than the white; and in some of the States, the latter are actually beginning to outnumber the former. The history of St. Domingo should not be forgotten by the free citizens.
• Liberal opinions cap never exist, much less flourish, in the breast of slave holders. They may be violent republicans to those who aspire to a superiority over them, but they will ever be relentless tyrants to every one who in any way falls under their power. They may themselves throw off the yoke of a master, but the result will be improved to confirm to themselves more absolule sway. They may esteem liberty sweet, but they will also think it far too sweet to be tasted by those who are below them. A British Duke has much more in him of true republican principle, than an American planter. The nobleman knows experimentally, that his station in society is altogether conventional; and that with all his ribands and his stars, the lowest of his footmen cannot be detained one hour in service beyond what he himself agrees to; non subjected to a single indignity but at the peril of him who offers it. Carte' whips and branding-irons forin no part of the machinery by which his household is swayed,
• Slave-holders, in short, can never in their general character be otherwise than detrimental to the true dignity and prosperity of any country. They cannot appreciate the value of equal laws, and there fore cannot be supposed capable of either making or administering them, The miserable creatures whom they hold in control, in place of strengthening the body politic, increase its weakness and its danger, in geometrical proportion to their increase in numbers. They operate also aş, an immense mound erected to oppose the progress of knowledge and religion. “I couid wish,” said a Virginian to me, " that we were rid of our slaves, but while they are claves, our own safety requires that they should be kept in ignorance." The position is false, as the fruits of the labours of missionaries in the West Indies have proved ; but supposing it to be true, how horrible is the idea! It is impossible that a nation can ever attain to true greatness, where such a sentiment is to any considerable extent prevalent: accidental circumstances may
elévate it to a temporary degree of influence in the political world, but there is a rottenuess at the heart which will sooner or later be its run.
But even were slavery abolished to-morrow, throughout the whole the country, the effects of it would not disappear for generations to come. It has already produced a feeling towards the blacks, which is of 100 invétérate a kind to be easily or speedily removed. They would still be regarded as a degraded race, and still excluded from a reciprool cation of those kirid offices which form the cement of society. It mustu be an appalling thing, that between a body of men so nunierous, as they are, and the rest of the community, there should be no connecting tici of reciprocal good-will, no probable meals of thorough amalgamation.'
Vol. II." pp. 332_5. These remarks are very clear, and very just. Now for the other evil. The other great obstacle to the prosperity of the American nation,
! universal suffrage, will not exhibit the full extent of its evil tendency for a long time to come; and it is possible that ere that time, some anțidote may be discovered, to prevent or alleviate the mischief which we might, naturally expect from it. It does however seem ominous of evil, that so little ceremony is at present used with the constitutions of the various States. The people of Connecticut, not contented with having prospered, abuydartly under their old system, have lately assembled a convention, composed, of delegates from all parts of the country, in which the former order of things has been condemned entirely, and a completely new constitution manufactured ; which, among other things, provides for the same process being again gone through, as soon as the Prefagyi vulgus takes it into its head to desire
A sorry legacy the British Constitution would be to us, if it were at the mercy of a meeting of delegates, lo be summoned whenever a majority of the people take a fangulona nowo
new one; and I am afraid that if the Americans continue to cherish a fondness for such repairs, the highlandman's pistol, with its"
, new stock, lock, and barrel, will bear a close resemblance to what is ultimately produced. This is universal suffrage in its most pestilential character. pp. 335, 6.
It is some consolation to find that this other evil is only an evil in the future tense,-an aboat-to-become an evil; till which long time to come, it may possibly be a benefit.
We submit whether such a problematical mischief ought to have: been classed with one of so active and pestilential a character as negro slavery. Universal suffrage involves no violation of any moral or religious principle : there is nothing iniquitous in a man's being allowed a voice in the election of his representatives. The system of the Scotch Boroughs may be wiser, more convenient and compact; it takes things more out of the hands of the profanaim vulgus; but still, it must not be expected that that system should, any more than the Solemn Vol. XXII. N.S.
League and Covenant, be viewed with the same veneration out of Scotland, that they command in that part of the united empire. There is, moroever, no Scriptural authority that we are aware of, either for or against the one constitution or the other; and therefore, though we have no wish to see universal suffrage introduced into our own country, we do not feel at liberty to denounce it as an evil of so portentous a character, in the United States, as to be classed only with the greatest of political crimes-slavery.
On the subject of American literature, Mr. Duncan, after remarking that various theories have been proposed to account for the comparative scantiness of original compositions, and the general inferiority of much that has been written, offers the following explanation.
• The fact is sufficiently accounted for by the state of the country, as a young and a rising one, offering more encouragement to commercial and agricultural adventure, than to literary and philosophical pursuits ; and probably this kind of mental tutelage has existed longer than ils natural time, from the influence of a hereditary disposition in the natives to look elsewhere for their literature. Those who were disposed to write, felt a misgiving in their hearts as to their own strength, and allowed their powers to be deadened by a chilling awe of foreign criticism. Those again who were to purchase their writings, felt no confidence in literary productions of domestic origin; they did not expect much, and they were slow to admit the existence of even moderate excellence. Every vessel from Liverpool brings an importation of new authors, which the accommodating booksellers immediately transmute from a costly into a cheap form, and a torrent of British authors, of legally accredited talent, deluges the land, and carries with it the minds and the partialities of the multitude.' p. 298.
* • There is abundance of talent in the country, conversational, oratorical, and professional; there is widely diffused a great amount of general information, and its inseparable attendant, a desire to acquire more; there is much purity of moral sentiment, and much sterling ligious principle ; there is a fair proportion of classical learning, and still larger share of scientific knowledge ;-these are the very elements. of literature, even of the highest order, and although they may.slumber unseen and unheard of for a time, the connexion of cause and effect must cease, if they do not ultimately blaze forth in enduring brilliancy.
. The powerful aid of periodical criticism will not be wanting; and who can calculate what that mighty engine has wrought in Britain? It has drawn furth latent talent, it has encouraged and rewarded timid worth, it has spread a taste for reading and a laste for philosopbizing, and it has infused a literary spirit into thousands wbo knew not its inspiration; it has at the same time checked presumption, exposed ignorance, and punished folly; and although these beneficial effects have
not been produced without a good deal of concomitant mischief, and sometimes cases of cruel individual injustice, yet no one can dispasa sionately estimate the relative amounts, without at once confessing that the good has far outweighed the evil.
1 The North American Review is slowly but gradually working its way into the favour 'of the reading public; and beyond a doubt, it will do much to change the aspect of literary affairs. I do not indeed go the length of a gentleman of Boston, who in conversing with me on the subject prophesied, that " in less than two years, at least two thousand copies of it would be sold in Britain;' yet should its present promise not be falsified, this may in all probability one day be the case, for I doubt not that a taste for American books will gradually arise among my countrymen, just as a taste for English books has long existed here.
• I have noticed the Scientific Journal which has been lately begun, under the editorial care of Professor Silliman of Yale College and when we reflect on the immense field which this wonderful country opens up to geological research, and the abundant scope which it affords for the investigation of phenomena in earth and air and tea ; when we take into account the progress of medical science in America, and the important discoveries which have been made in the mechanical and useful arts--we cannot doubt that under such an editor, the work must be both a prosperous and an interesting one. k augur's well for it, that though the second Number is but just published, the first has already gone out of print.' pp. 300_304.
Mr. Duncan devotes a letter to New York clergymen,' the relative numbers of the various religious sects, and other matters ecclesiastical, in which will be found much interesting information. He has given a very detailed account of the American Universities and the system of education pursued in them. * Were we,' he says, 'to institute a comparison between Ameri
can and Scotch University education, the result would not, I • believe, be in every respeet favourable to ourselves.' He proceeds to point out the essential difference between them, in the instance of Yale College as compared with Glasgow, giving
the preference on many points to the former. The cabinet of minerals attached to this College is the finest in America, and is said to be surpassed by few in Europe. It possesses a library of nearly 8000 volumes, and a valuable philosophical apparatus. But the penny-wisdom of Franklin, which infects the whole system of American policy, crippling alike the Government and every liberal institution, renders Yale College almost totally dependent on the fluctuating prosperity of agriculture and trade. From this college proceeds the American Journal
of Science, edited by Professor Silliman; a work of a highly - respectable character. But the first literary journal in the United States, is, beyond all comparison, Mr. Duncan states, the North American Review, edited by Professor Everett of Harvard University. From this Journal he has given very copious extracts in the form of Notes, which will probably waken a curiosity in his readers to see more of a work which does so much credit to the talent of its Conductors.
If the Americans are not a literary people, they manifest a sufficient eagerness of curiosity respecting some descriptions of works. The following statement of • Despatch in printing,' surpasses, we believe, any thing that has been achieved in this country, even by Sir R. Phillips himself, in the days of his publishing glory
• The new novel, Peveril of the Peak, was received from England in New York, on Monday at 10 A.M. and was printed, published, and sold on Tuesday, within 28 hours after the same was received. Another English copy of the same work was received per the Custom House, New York, at 12 o'clock on Wednesday; at one o'clock was forwarded to Philadelphia by the mail; in Philadelphia, it was printed on Thursday ; and on Friday, 2000 copies were put in boards, by six o'clock in the morning. The English copy of Moore's Loves of the Angels was taken out of the Custom House in New York, on a Mon. day, in February last, at 11 o'clock, A.M. ; was immediately sent to Philadelphia, and 250 copies of the work, printed, were received at New York on Thursday following by eight o'clock A.M., and the same copies were sold and circulated that afternoon.'
Art. VII. Biography of celebrated Roman Characters : with nume
rous Anecdotes, illustrative of their Lives and Actions. By the Rev. William Bingley, M.A. F.L.S. With a brief Account of the Author's Life and Writings, and an Appendix on Roman Literature. Designed for the Use of young Persons. 12mo. pp.
xxiv. 348. Price 7s. London, 1824. THE Lives in this neatly-written volume are those of Numa
Pompilius, L. J. Brutus, P. V. Publicola, Coriolanus, Cincinnatus, Camillus, Fabius Maximus, Marcellus, Scipio Africanus, T. Q. Flaminius, Cato the Censor, Paulus Æmilius, Tiberius and Caius Gracchus, Caius Marius, Sylla, Metellus, Quintus Sertorius, Cato the Younger, Cicero, Regulus, and Julius Cæsar. As a work designed for young persons, in which much research was not to be expected, we may recommend it as comprising in a brief and popular form, the most interesting portions of the Roman story. It will, we think, be very acceptable in schools as a prize book. The Author did not live to carry the volume through the press.
The “ Brief Account of Mr. Bingley's various publications,