Obrazy na stronie

greater perfection. His personal charac human knowledge, overwhelmed the priestter exhibited the finest qualities of a man. hood and the throne. The ancient forms His integrity of purpose was equalled only of the state and the church were still by the extent of his information. With a standing ; bnt monarchy and the hierarpculiar loveliness of disposition, he car chy were as insulated columns, from ried a delicate and unerring taste into the which the building they had once belongpursuit of letters ; a singular disinterest ed to, had crumbled away ; where statues, edness admirably tempered whatever of formerly worshipped, lay mutilated and austerity was mingled in his make ; devo overthrown, among ruins that now shelting himself to the solace of human tered the viper and the destroyer.” wretchedness, he preferred the perform Crossing the channel on the north of ance of good to the glory of its accom France, we come to a wise and happy plishment.

people, whose domestic character is Thus while the skeptical philosopher, marked by moderation, whose opinions the erudite magistrate, the benevolent have no tendency to extremes, and who. founder of the science of political econo at the period under consideration, suggestmy were laboring, as they could, for hu ed to the speculative men on the contiman progress, a new writer sprang up nent, the principles of religion and gorfrom the discipleship of Calvin, from the ernment, which they rashly developed republic of Geneva, and the abodes of without qualification or reserve. In Engpoverty, through whom the ignorant poor land, free opinion had been boldly applied gained a voice in the world of discussion to every question of faith as well as of by the press. With a discriminating crit science. The reaction of Protestant Euicism on the character of Rousseau. Mr. rope against the blind adoration of the Bancroft attaches great importance to the letter of the Bible, was preceded by the effect of his writings on the development writings of the English free-thinkers, of popular thought. With him, truth who, tracing Christianity to reason, and was no more to be conveyed by the pru teaching that it was as old as creation. dent reserve of academicians; nor to at prepared the way for the German Rationtract by the felicities of wit; nor to court alists. The materialism of France was dethe favor of the great by the interchange rived from English treatises, like that of of flatteries; nor to consult the interests Locke on the Human Understanding. The of special classes. Personally weak and speculative views of Voltaire were ripensuspicious, betrayed by poverty into ed in the atmosphere of England; there shameful deeds, he possessed a deep and Montesquieu sketched his plan of a free real feeling for humanity. In an age of government ; and from English writings skepticism, and in the agony of want and examples Rousseau derived his idea of tossed from faith to faith as from coun a social compact. Yet such was the statry to country—he read the signs of death bility of the institutions of England, that on the features of European civilization, - the ideas which were preparing radical but with faith in man's spiritual nature, changes in the social system of other he breathed the spirit of revolution into monarchies, held their course harmlessly words of flame. Boldly interrogating all within her borders, as winds playing cathe grandeurs of the world, he aroused priciously round some ancient structure, Europe to inquiry concerning the rights of whose massive buttresses tranquilly bear the people. While France drove him up its roofs and towers and pinnacles and from her soil, while the men of letters spires.” hooted at his wildness, calling him a England was an aristocratic republic. * savage charlatan, who sought fraternal with the king as the emblem of a permaunion among men by setting the poor to nent executive. The church had no inplunder the rich," without learning or dependent power. It was subordinate to deep philosophy, from the wars of the the state, and in its civil capacity, merely world in which he had suffered, from the a creature of Parliament. The articles of wrongs of the down-trodden which he had its creed, as well as its liturgy, were enshared, Rousseau derived a burning inspi acted by statute. The predominance of ration which kindled the heart of Europe. temporal power, impaired the spiritual He lit up the darkness of his times with influence of the clergy. They slumbered flashes of instinctive genius-proclaimed over the traditions of the church. "The the truth, to which men had been so long dean and chapter, at their cathedral blind, that the old social world was smit stalls, seemed like strangers encamped ten with inevitable decay—and that if among the shrines, or lost in the groined there is life still on earth. “it is the aisles which the fervid genius of men of masses which live." “ His fiery eloquence a different age, and a heartier faith, had and the concerted efforts of men of letters, fashioned ; filling the choir with religious who fishioned anew the whole circle of light from the blended colors of storied

windows, imitating the graceful curving of the national mind. While Locke laid of the lambent flame in the adornment of the foundation for the gross materialism the tracery, and carving in stone every of Hartley and Priestley, the more genial flower and leaf of the garden, to embellish Berkeley indulged in the construction of the light column, whose shafts soared up a purely ideal system, and Butler, pressing wards as if to reach the sky."

the analogies of the material creation into The Parliament, though in form, an the service of spiritual life, established unmixed aristocracy, was tempered with the supremacy of conscience on the authopopular franchises, that served to miti- rity of reason. While Hume pushed the gate the intrinsic evils of the system. principles of the sensuous philosophy to Strong checks were placed upon the aris their ultimate consequences in a barren tocratic spirit. Every Englishman claim skepticism, Reid illustrated the reality of ed a right to pass judgment on the meas right by the moral powers of man; Adam ures of the administration. The power Smith found a criterion of virtue in uniof public opinion, embodied in a free press, versal sympathy; and Price, following the was an active and controlling element in suggestions of the Platonic Cudworth, the British government.

defended the immutability of moral disThe literature of the country was im tinctions. Thus, the freedom of English printed with the prevailing character of speculation corrected its own excesses, and the English mind. Neither its earlier nor never sought to overthrow the fabric, its later productions were at war with the which had stood before Europe for censpirit of the national institutions. The turies as the citadel of liberty. philosophy of Bacon was marked by mod The blended respect for aristocracy and eration as well as grandeur, following for popular rights was impressed upon the precedents and facts, rather than theories, courts of law, pervaded the systems of and promoting the advancement of sci education, and was interwoven with the ence by the method of observation. New prosperity of the large towns. Still more ton, content in the serene retirement of a did it penetrate the rural life of England. university, calmly submitted to the limits “The climate not only enjoyed the softer of nature in the pursuit of truth. The atmosphere that belongs to the western spirit of the age, in the various epochs of side of masses of land, but was further English history, was manifested in its modified by the proximity of every part poetry. With the dewy freshness of the of it to the sea. It knew neither long morning, Chaucer described the mingled continuing heat nor cold; and was more heroism and joyousness that beguiled the friendly to daily enjoyments throughout pious pilgrimages, or lent a charm to the the whole year, within door or without, hospitality of Catholic England. Spenser than any in Europe. The island was a celebrated the glories of departing chival little world of its own; with a 'happy ry in the brilliant pictures of allegory. band of men' for its inhabitants, in Shakspeare, mastering every chord that whom the hardihood of the Norman was vibrates in the human soul, unfolded the intermixed with the gentler qualities of panoramas of English history, and em the Celt and the Saxon-just as nails are bodied in his easy numbers the fair rubbed into steel to temper and harden est aspects of English manners and social the Damascus blade. They loved country life. Milton, representing the stern dig life, of which the mildness of the clime nity of English republicanism in his he increased the attractions; since every roic greatness of mind, was a no less de grass, and flower, and tree that had its termined foe to libertinism and disorder, home between the remote north and the than to the encroachments of arbitrary neighborhood of the tropics would live power. Dryden, reproduced in his verse abroad, and such only excepted as needed the wayward wavering of the English a hot sun to unfold their bloom, or concencourt between Protestantism and the trate their aroma, or ripen their fruit, Church of Rome. Pope was the poet of would thrive in perfection; so that no aristocratic life, flattering the great with region could show such a varied wood. sarcasms against kings, and vindicating The moisture of the sky favored a soil the order of Heaven amidst the apparent not naturally very rich; and so fructified ills of the world. But none of these poets the earth that it was clad in perpetual called forth a sentiment of hostility to the verdure. Nature had its attractions even institutions of England.

in winter. The ancient trees were stripThe skepticism of modern philosophy ped indeed of their foliage; but showed was confined to the aristocratic classes. more clearly their fine proportions, and It had not penetrated the mass of the na the undisturbed nests of the noisy rooks tion. The spirit of the people rebelled among their boughs; the air was so mild against materialism. English metaphysics that the flocks and herds still grazed on was stamped with the peculiar moderation the freshly springing herbage; and the

VOL. I.-20

deer found shelter enough by crouching liament could alone prescribe rules for the amongst the fern; the smoothly-shaven reduction of refractory colonial assemblies, grassy walk was soft and yielding under -George Grenville, who made the plenary foot; nor was there a month in the year authority of the British Legislature, the in which the plough was idle. The large first article of his political creed,—the landed proprietors dwelt often in houses Duke of Bedford, a convert to the new which had descended to them from the colonial system,-Halifax, thirsting for an times when England was gemmed all over occasion to carry into effect his opinions of with the most delicate and most solid British omnipotence, - Egremont, hotstructures of Gothic art. The very lanes headed and self-willed, using the patronwere memorials of early days, and ran as age of his office for enriching his family, they had been laid out before the conquest; —to whom was now added Charles Townand in mills for grinding corn, water send, a man bold, impetuous and eloquent, wheels revolved at their work just where with a daring purpose of carrying difficult they had been doing so for at least eight measures with unscrupulous speed. His hundred years. Hospitality also had its tra primary object was a revenue from the ditions; and for untold centuries, Christ- colonies, subject to the disposal of the mas had been the most joyous of the sea British ministry, under the sign manual sons.” The system formed such a large of the king. The right of deliberation in element in English history and English the colonies on their votes of supply was life, that it was even endeared to the peo to be no longer tolerated by the ministry. ple, and seemed the most natural organi- The accustomed requisitions of the King zation of society. The manners of the were to be superseded by an immediate aristocracy implied rather than expressed taxation of the colonies by the British the consciousness of undisputed rank. The legislature. After various changes in the tenantry clung to the lord of the manor ministry, the Stamp Act at length passed as their natural protector. They loved both houses of Parliament in the spring to live in his light, and to win his sym

of 1765. pathy by their faithful attachment. They This is the epoch, when the power of caught refinement of their superiors, so the British oligarchy, under the revolution that their cottages were carefully neat, of 1688, had reached its greatest ascendwith roses and honey-suckles clambering ency. The ministry had succeeded in to their roofs. They cultivated the soil in imposing a system of taxes on America sight of the towers of the church, near for the benefit of the British exchequer. which reposed the ashes of their ancestors The colonists could not export the cheap for almost a thousand years. Thus the products of their industry to any place local institutions of England, sharing the but Great Britain, not even to Ireland. common character, were at once the evi No foreign ship could enter a colonial dence of aristocracy and the badge of lib harbor. Great Britain was not only the erty. The whole social and political life sole market for the products of America, of England bore the stamp of a general but with some exceptions, the only storeunity.

house for its supplies. The colonists Such was the internal condition of the abounded in land, adapted to the feeding mother country at the peace of 1763. of sheep, but lest they should multiply Abroad, the fame of England was exalted flocks, and wear their own cloth, the above that of every other European nation. passage of wool, and all manufactures of Triumphing over her hereditary enemies, wool, from one province into another, was she retained half a continent as the monu forbidden under severe restrictions. A ment of her victories. In America, her do British sailor, in want of clothes in their minions stretched from the Atlantic to the harbors, could not buy a new suit of a Mississippi, and from the Gulf of Mexico greater value than forty shillings. The to Hudson's Bay. For several years, the printing of the Bible in British America Board of Trade had looked forward to was prohibited as a piracy. The country peace as the moment for making the col which was the home of the beaver might onies feel their power. The appointed not manufacture its own hats. It aboundtime had come. Charles Townsend was ed in iron ores of the best quality, as well placed in the office of First Lord of Trade as in wood and coal; but all iron mills by the Earl of Bute, and intrusted with and steel furnaces were forbidden as nuisthe administration of the colonies. In the

To these restrictions, taxation council of which Townsend now became both direct and indirect was now added. a member, was Bute, prepared to give his Upon this gloomy night of oppression, support to the highest system of authority the day-star of the American Union was of Great Britain over America,-Mans about to arise. The colonists saw that if field, the illustrious jurist and determined the British system of taxation should whig, maintaining that an act of Par prevail, it would extinguish the flame of


liberty all over the world. The whole of the heart, arose the bright ideal of their continent was awakened, alarmed, dis dream."

The first question presented, affected, restless. From North to South, was in regard to the groundwork on through the press, in private letters, as which to rest the collective American libthey met for counsel, or in groups in the erties. Should they build on charters or street, the lovers of liberty unfolded their natural justice-on precedents or abstract common griefs, and planned retaliation or truth-on special privileges, or eternal redress. The right of taxation was in reason? While Otis and Johnson were dignantly denied. Opinion was echoed in favor of resting the rights of the colofrom mind to mind, "as the sun's rays nies on charters from the crown, Robert beam from many clouds, all differing in R. Livingston, of New-York—a man whose tints, but every hue an emanation from goodness of heart set him above prejudithe same fires." Amidst the prevailing ces, and equally comprehended all mandarkness, light broke from the excitement kind, refused to place the hope of Ameriof a whole people. In Virginia and in ca on such a foundation, and the brave New England, associations were formed and noble Gadsden spoke against it with for the resistance of the Stamp Act by vehement impetuosity. It was his deterall lawful means. The watchfulness of a mination and advice to the delegates, not united continent was believed to be the merely to stand on their essential and combest protection of American rights and mon rights as Englishmen, but on the broad liberties. While the seeds of discontent ground of their natural rights as men. were everywhere scattered, there was no The difference of charters should make no hope of relief, but in the prospect of difference in the claims of the respective union. In the daring language of Otis, colonies. There should be no New-Engthere must be such a union as " should land man, no Carolinian, no New-Yorker knit and work into the very blood and known on the continent, All should be bones of the original system, every region, Americans. These views prevailed in the as fast as settled.” The summons for a Congress. The appeal for liberty was Congress was sent forth by Massachu not founded on royal grants, but on husetts. The first response was uttered by man rights that were prior to charters, South Carolina. "She was all alive, and and would survive their ruin. The peofelt at every pore.” Following the coun ple caught the same spirit. From mouth sels of Christopher Gadsden-a man of to mouth flew the words of John Adams, earnest convictions, of transparent sin ' you have rights antecedent to all earthly cerity, with an adamantine will and strenu government: rights that cannot be repealed ous integrity, with a courage that defied or restrained by human laws; rights de danger, and a persistence which nothing rived from the great Legislator of the could shake, and cherishing a profound universe.” sense of religion, combined with an inquisi We have no space to follow Mr. Bantive and tolerant spirit-South Carolina croft through his luminous exposition of pronounced for union. “Massachusetts," the effect of the Stamp Act on the public says Gadsden in an autograph letter in sentiment of the colonies, and the discuspossession of Mr. Bancroft, “ Massachu sions in Parliament, which terminated in setts sounded the trumpet, but to Caro its repeal. The volume closes with an lina is it owing that it was attended to; account of the rejoicing in America, on the and had it not been for South Carolina announcement of this measure. At first no Congress would then have happened.” this was universal, and unmixed with Otis might now refresh his enthusiastic apprehension. South Carolina voted Pitt vision that the State of longest duration, a statue. Virginia expressed its gratitude greatest glory, and domestic happiness, by a statue io the king, and an obelisk, would be established on the American inscribed with the names of the defenders continent.” He already heard the prophe- of American freedom in the British Partic song of the “Sibyls" chanting the liament. Washington gave his cordial spring-time of a new empire.

thanks to the opposers of tyranny. In The Congress, around which clustered Boston, a bright day in May was set so many hopes newly warmed into life, apart for the celebration of the glad event. assembled in New York, Oct., 7, 1765. Expressive emblems of the general joy The spirit that pervaded this body, pre filled the town. The clergy joined in the sents a striking practical illustration of universal acclamation, and the pulpit rung Mr. Bancroft's historical theory. Its with patriotic eloquence. deliberations were not founded on empiri Here we must take our leave of the cal suggestions. The wisdom which cir historian for the present, trusting that the culated throughout its actions, received its speedy appearance of another volume will impulse, not from prudential calculations, again bring us into his company. His but from a universal sentiment. “Out labors thus far, afford the richest promise

of instruction and delight in his future productions. In this portion of his work, he has given vitality even to the arid details of Parliamentary discussion ; a store of fresh information is imparted from original documents, new facts are frequently stated, and old facts placed in a new light; while a spirit of rigid historical justice is preserved in the delineation

of events that are in the highest degree remote from the sympathies of the author. The complete work, for which every intelligent reader must eagerly look, cannot fail to be one of the noblest achievements of American literature. We may well be proud both of the history and the his. torian.


THEN our visitors would say, 'Well, of the criard, loud order, showy in color,

upon my word, Mrs. Primrose, you and large in pattern. have the finest children in the whole Great things should be allowed to speak country;' 'Ay, neighbor,' she would an for themselves; it is useless to attempt to swer, 'they are as Heaven made them, outroar the sea, or out-thunder Niagara. handsome enough, if they be good enough; Any effort to assume the lion's part, must for handsome is that handsome does.' inevitably result in a Nick Bottom roar, as And then she would bid the girls hold up gentle as any sucking dove; and the eagle their heads; who, to conceal nothing, as well, had better be left to its own were certainly very handsome.”

powers of voice, whatever they may be. America, too, like the wife of the im The lion and eagle will both be heard all mortal Vicar, while she holds to the the better, without the squeak of diminugood old proverb, handsome is that hand tive animals, and the twittering of small some does, has her allowable share of birds. The "greatest nation in all creapride in the good looks of her children, and tion” is not a tune to be set to Pandean vain of their beauty, would bid her sons pipes, to inspire the jig of a people's revels, and daughters, hold up their heads. And on the occasion of America reaching her a fine show they make, the American fa majority, and coming to her property. mily of twenty millions, more or less, of Jonathan, true to his business habits, had blooming children, vigorous men, and better take his share among other great good-looking women, all for the most part nations, in the partnership of the world, at work, in the school-house, the field, as a silent partner; and with his real and the factory, the nursery and the kitch estate, expanding into a continent, and en; a nation, truly, of workers, living his balance account showing, in the census, upon their dollar a day, and earning it; twenty-five millions of people to his credit, eating, not the bread of idleness and de should content himself with such facts acpendence, which is apt to be but short cumulating in his favor, and go on, honestcommons at best, but feasting upon the ly and virtuously, as he has commenced, wholesome abundance, that skill and la and leave the result to speak for itself; as bor alone know how to create, and enjoy. such results surely will. Man has never had so fair a chance as It is true, we are not going to leave the in America, and it would be contrary to Americans to speak for themselves on the all the laws of development and progress, score of their good looks; it is so natural if with freedom of life and action, free to for beauty to turn away its head, and think, free to breathe, free to go, free to blush on such occasions, that a spokesstay, he did not grow up in all goodly man is necessary. Besides, we are not proportions.

about to grow grandiloquent about grand Modesty is no more an American than things, to split the ears of the world with an Irish virtue, and we have not been such loud-sounding themes, as greatness backward in putting what we thought our and glory, freedom and independence. best foot foremost, though it has been for Our part, just now, is nothing more than the most part the worst, the one in the a little innocent gossip about the forms silk, and not that other in the home-knit and faces of our countrymen and countrystocking. Our talk generally keeps up women; the color of an eye, the cut of a pari passu with our walk; our speech is whisker, the turn of a nose or an ancle. quite commensurate with our greatness; Are we a good-looking people? At we talk big as we grow big; our style, the very proposal of this question, what a with our smart doings for our theme, is flutter among the gossamer beaux and like young America's trowsers, generally belles; what oft-repeated and anxious con

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