Obrazy na stronie

“And song, if passable, is doomed to pass
Common, though sweet as the new-scythèd grass.
Of human deeds and thoughts, Time bears no news,

That, flying, he can lack,
Else they would break his back.

What is the use ?

“Spirit of Beauty-breath of golden lyres-
Perpetual tremble of immortal wires-
Divinely torturing rapture of the Muse

Conspicuous wretchedness,
Thou starry, sole success-

What is the use?

“Doth not all struggle tell, upon its brow,

That he who makes it is not easy now,
But hopes to be? Vain Hope, that dost abuse !

Coquetting with thine eyes,
And fooling him who sighs.

What is the use ?

Go, pry the lintels of the pyramids,
Lift the old kings' mysterious coffin lids:
This dust was theirs, whose names these stones confuse-

These mighty monuments
Of mighty discontents.

What is the use ?
“ Did not he sum it all, whose gate of pearls

Blazed royal Ophir, Tyre, and Syrian girls-
The great, wise, famous monarch of the Jews ?

Though rolled in grandeur vast,
He said of all, at last,

What is the use?

“Oh, but to take, of life, the natural good,

Even as a hermit caverned in a wood,
More sweetly fills my sober-suited views,

Than sweating to attain
Any luxurious pain.

What is the use ?

“Give me a hermit's life, without his beads,
His lantern-jawed, and moral-mouthing creeds;
Systems and creeds the natural heart abuse.

What need of any Book,
Or spiritual crook-

What is the use ?

"I love, and God is love. And I behold
Man, nature, God, one triple chain of gold,
Nature in all, sole Oracle and Muse.

What should I seek at all,
More than is natural ?

What is the use ?"

Seeing this man so heathenly inclined
So wilted in the mood of a good mind,
I felt a kind of heat of earnest thought,

And studying in reply,

Answered him, eye to eye:
Thou dost amaze me that thou dost mistake
The wandering rivers for the fountain lake :

What is the end of living ?-happiness ?

An end that none attain

Argues a purpose vain.
Plainly, this world is not a scope for bliss,
But duty. Yet we see not all that is,
Nor may be, some day, if we love the light:

What man is, in desires,

Whispers where man aspires.
But what and where are we?—what now-to-day?
Souls on a globe that spins our lives away,
A multitudinous world, where heaven and hell,

Strangely in battle met,
Their gonfalons have set.

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MY DEAR Cousin, I have elected myself forward and proud to proclaim whatever

a representative of twenty-three mil we suppose will further its claims to relions of constituents, black and white in gard. cluded, and design, in that capacity, to What I wish to present to you is, the open a brief correspondence with you. influence of that democracy on the physicOur entrance upon a new year of exist al, political, social, and moral condition of ence-an occasion which always suggests the people. Looking upon it as the cen& candid review of the past, and a consid tral and organic principle of our nationerate forecast of the future is the only ality, working itself out freely, through all apology I shall offer for this frankness. the ramified forms and interests of so

It is nearly seventy years, you know, ciety, it is the very heart and fountain of since my countrymen undertook a bold our life; nor are its effects as such, specuand somewhat hazardous experiment in lations or theories with us, but facts. We this new world. They did so, in the face study it in its actual phenomena ; we see of many prevailing

convictions, and against its practical operations; and whether the confident prophecies of civilized man these be for good or ill, we know that kind.

It was quite generally expected they are at least well-authenticated, tanthat the career which they then marked gible, and permanent. A recent census out for themselves, would prove a disas of the United States, moreover, places it trous failure; and loud, and long-contin in our power to show just what they are, ued was the merriment, or the obloquy, what attainments they have made in every as parties chose to take it, with which the sphere of national progress, and to demonmistakes and awkwardnesses of their rude strate triumphantly, as I am sure, the sobeginnings were received.

lidity and the beneficence of popular govNow I wish to show you that their at ernment. tempt has not failed; that their experi Such a demonstration is needed all over ment is no longer an experiment; that Europe, and scarcely less in England than time has sanctioned and fulfilled their elsewhere. This country has never been most swelling hopes; that what was once adequately represented by travellers and a timid and shrinking conjecture-vague statisticians, who have taken its case into aspiration rather than firm faith-has be their hands. We find ourselves aspersed racome a victorious fact; and that doubt ther in many quarters, needless to be menand dismay no more beset our path, tioned here, by the most unfounded statewhich, on the contrary, we tread with the ments, the most illogical inferences, the buoyancy of assured success. The omi most damaging insinuations, and the most nous cloud is passed, and across its receding outrageous caricatures. Our prosperity folds we see the many-colored iris of suf is often ascribed to any but its true causes; fused and tranquil sunshine.

our errors of a day are set down as permaI am aware that you will exclaim, at nent characteristics; the eccentricities of this slightly elated outset of mine, “Oh! a part of us are imputed to the whole of that boastful and vainglorious people ! us, as cherished principles of conduct; ocwill it never have done? Are we doomed casional rudenesses of manner are treated to hear forever its reverberating flatulencies as innate vulgarity; and that devotion to about the "model republic” and the practical ends, which is inevitable in a “ greatest nation of all creation ?" Let state of youthful and ruddy prosperity, me answer you frankly, that I hope not! degraded into a mean, prostrate, and The bombast into which our irritable van abandoned worship of money. Indeed, ity has been too often betrayed, is as dis could we believe some accounts that are tasteful to most of us as it can be to you: given of us, we should be forced to conbut at the same time, bear in mind, that I fess that slavery was our only “institufor one shall not allow myself to be tion," and a sharp practice with the bowiefrightened into any tameness of statement, knife, our most delectable amusement. in what I may have to say, by the mena Meanwhile, these wilful or bigoted tources of your wit. Ridicule is terrible to ists, do not see the deeper pulses of life me—as terrible perhaps as an army with beating beneath the surface, and they say banners—and yet there is a thing still nothing of the nobleness and generosity more terrible. It is this-want of fidelity that may be in our heart, nor of the exto my most cherished convictions; untruth alted and blissful destiny that we are, in the assertion of my character and aims. consciously and unconsciously, working We Americans are devoted to democracy out for humanity. from our mothers' breasts, and are therefore Let all this pass, however, and let us


try, under better information or motives, ready to roll its products to Europe on to come at a truer picture of the condition the one side, and on the other to India, and prospects of the American people. and the farthest East.

The United States, to begin at the be Such is the theatre on which the Ame ginning, John, are a league or confedera ricans are called to play their parts, and tion, of thirty-one separate and indepen you see that Providence has placed no dent republics. They cover a territory physical obstacle, at least, in the way of which extends from the 26th degree of lati the freest action. Never, indeed, was a tude south, to the 47th degree north, and, more rich, varied, or magnificent residence in the other direction, from the Atlantic to prepared for any portion of our race. the Pacific Oceans. Consequently, they Europe is ten thousand fold more splendid enjoy every variety of climate, from the in the accumulations of art; in grand hisfreezing to the torrid zones, though the torical monuments ; in the treasures of greater part of them lie in the temperate libraries ; in the means and appliances of regions; they possess every kind of valua luxurious living; in the numbers of its ble soil, capable of the diversified produc- people; but in all that nature can do to tions of every kind; and they are ex make a dwelling-place for men, the New posed, on hill-sides and valleys, to all the World is beautiful and blessed beyond genial heats of the sun, and to all the fertilizing influences of the gentle summer But who are the actors who are placed rains. The public lands, belonging to the on this new theatre ? Are they worthy of central government alone, amount to more the great drama in which their parts are than (12,000,000,000) twelve thousand cast ? and will they conduct it to a catasmillions of acres, which, according to the trophe or a triumph ? present estimates of the population of the The American people are almost as world, is more than an acre a piece for varied in character as the origins from every man, woman, and child on the globe. which they sprung, or the climates under Adding to this the land belonging to the which they live. That stereotyped Yankee, separate States, and that in the possession in a long-tailed blue coat, and short stripof private individuals, and you have an ed pantaloons, with a nasal twang to his area of three millions, two hundred and voice, and a prodigious fondness for exagtwenty-one thousand, five hundred and gerated stories; who appears periodically ninety-five square miles (3,221,595) in ex upon your stage, and who furnishes the tent. Now Great Britain, exclusive of Ire staple of stale wit to Nova Scotia bookland, contains 34,000 square miles. The makers, is an amusing fellow enough, and extent of the United States is therefore 95 he would be nowhere more amusing and times as great as that of the Island of wonderful than in nearly every part of Great Britain. France contains an area of the United States. He is the type of a 197,400 square miles-a territory less than class unknown to all, save diligent antione fifteenth the size of that of the United quarians, or those who sedulously explore States. Austria, including Hungary and the curiosities of natural history. Some the Italian dependencies, contains but remote and scarcely decipherable anti300,000 square miles. Russia is the only type of him, might be found in the nooks nation which exceeds the United States in of New England, but at the West and the extent of territory. She has, including South, he would seem to every body about her immense Asiatic possessions, a terri as much like an American, as a dodo retory of about 4,000,000 square miles. The sembles an eagle, or the hippopotamus a whole of Europe contains only 3,807,195 cart-horse. square miles, which exceeds by less than The American, John, with some odd one-fifth, or 545,600 square miles, the ter variations here and there don't start! ritory of the United States. The greater is an Englishman, without his caution, his part of these immense tracts is almost reserve, his fixed habits, his cant, and his spontaneously fertile; wherever you strike stolidity: He has all the independence of in the spade or the plough, the corn springs the original stock, all the pluck and de and waves; mines of iron, more extensive termination, with more of quick and restless than those of Sweden, and of coal, as in enterprise. At the East, he displays some exhaustible as those of England, to say of the canniness or cunning of the Scot; nothing of the gold of California, are de at the South, the vivacity and light, posited in its bowels; rivers, which, with graceful air of the Frank, and at the one exception, are the largest in the world, West, the humor of the Irish crossed with and inland lakes like seas, connect and lace German enthusiasm. But every where its fields; its immeasurable forests stand practical energy predominates in his comthick with oak, hickory, locust, fir, and position. He is facile, changeable, ever woods of the finest fibre; while the great open to adventure, taking up a business watery highways of the nations, stand in the morning which he discards at night,



and sleeping in his boots, that he may be cessary in this arithmetical world. Parready for a fresh start the next day. Yet don me, therefore, if I subjoin a few for if success beckons him to the end of any your enlightenment—they relate only to race, he will persist in it for years, will the past, present, and future population of pursue doggedly for a lifetime what others the United States. Skip them, if they are despise, and if he fails at last, unbroken by disagreeable. care or old age, he will “pick up his

Population, traps,” and move onward with his chil 1850,

28,188,004 dren to a new settlement. His weary bones


46,277,008 1900,

92,552,016 are never laid until he is quite dead, when some successor, indefatigable and elastic Supposing population to double every as himself, resumes and continues his pro twenty-five years, which is less than jects. The house of his prosperity and

the actual rate of increase.

Thus, you comfort is always a building, and never

find, that the child is living who will see built. It is no part of his life plan to re

one hundred millions of brother freemen tire on a plum; he eats his plum as he

on this side of the Atlantic! makes it ; then makes and eats it again. Well, having before you the scene and In short, then, the American is an invent the actor—an open broad theatre, and a ive, intelligent, driving, and invincible free energetic people in the possession of man, with an unexampled adaptability to it—the next point that interests us, is circumstances, and a sense of personal how the play is going forward. We are freedom, so strong, that if I wished to over democrats, operating unobstructedly under turn the firmest empire, I would rather mere democratic impulses, with an almost turn into it a score of uneasy inquisitive unlimited space to operate in—what, thus Yankees, than a considerable army of far, are the results ? others.

Í will begin the answer, where every Every year adds more than a quarter thing human begins, with our physical of a million of the population of the old

and external relations to the earth and world to the new. The sedate and pru

Our gross annual product in 1851, dent Englishman, the impulsive Irishman, was $2,445,300,000; that of Great Britain, the volatile Frenchman, and the plodding as given by Spachman in 1846, was German, all rush to our "fresh fields and $1,182,221,236. Other statisticians have pastures new;" but they are soon caught

made the amount much larger than this, up and absorbed by the influences around but, as I think, without sufficient grounds. them, and long before the second genera

Here also is a table, corrected from the tion, they are dashed forward with the Belfast Mercantile Journal, which shows prevailing activity. They forget the stale the amount of the shipping and tonnage, habits of thought, and of manner, which entered and cleared by the leading nations they left behind them, and they soon ex

of the world. hibit as much eagerness, courage, and enterprise, as the oldest inhabitant." Thus, an incessant bustle and tumult

Great Britain, 6,118,696 81,249 5,906,978 29,011 comes to characterize our society; a noise United States, 4,993,440 19,710 5,180,054 19,986 of awakening life and busy preparation;


1,887,291 15,264 1,430,085 18,863 Russia,

1,323,080 6,401 1,177,994 of vast industrial hosts going forth to bat Netherlands, 1,099,771 6,959 1,186,864 7,017 tle the stormy elements, and stubborn Norway, 772,885 7,969 806, 766 8,160 glebe; of a young, hardy, glowing nation, putting in order and embellishing the

But of the vessels and tonnage which homes of uncounted millions yet to come.

belong exclusively to each of these nations, In comparison with this universal mobility,

the following statement will give a clearer the slow advances of Europe seem like

account: the decrepit and tottering steps of an old

Great Britain, man, whose life, rich though it be, is hid

United States, den in the dim past; while we are the su France,

595,344 18,679 ple and

Russia, smart youth, radiant with


896,924 the flushes of undisciplined vigor, and Norway,


3,064 rushing impulsively on to a future filled with images of increasing splendor and It will thus be seen that the United power. The most favored portions of States are close under the lee of Great Europe grow only at the rate of 14 per Britain, and far in advance of all other cent. per annum, while we grow at the nations; but at the comparative rates of rate of 31say the figures.

increase of these two leaders, it will only Figures are unhandsome things to in take us five years to get the start of Great troduce into polite writing and very dull Britain ! too-but they are unfortunately often ne Of the rate at which our import and









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Tons. 4,144,115 8,772,439

Vessels. 84,090 18,225


750 1,793

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