« AnteriorContinuar »
Shakspeares and Miltons; her Newtons | try) the under-current of this tendency, it and Lockes; by her educated statesmen, is none the less true that the importance her intelligent peasantry. The action of of man, us man, was first prominently vinher press and literary associations, her dicated by the “resultant force” of the universities and learned societies, pecu- American Revolution, and that our nation liarly ennobles her. To her enterprising has ever been guided by the principle disposition, we unite a spirit of freedom at " that Government has for its mission the home, which tells us how to benefit our full and unequivocal maintenance of the selves by benefitting others; with her be rights of man, of each and every man, in nevolent activity, we combine a reverence all their plenitude.” Has the learned for the freedom of religious worship writer reflected how much the English which teaches our people to serve their race has been instrumental in evolving the God and not their “Church.”+
And necessary relation of individual exertions these have we received as our dearest, to the state (the culture and improvepriceless legacy from our venerated fore- ment) of society ; how much they have fathers. Palsied be the hand, which, done to make virtue commensurate with whether in our halls of legislation or else- knowledge ? Our civilization, be it rewhere, would
the earnest trust of our membered, is the type and product of our people in the value of religious influence political enterprise—is the mirror of ourfor the stability of nations !
selves. The efficient feature, then, in modern III. There are some important princicivilization, is enterprise-social, moral, in- ples which civilization has marked in the tellectual, and political enterprise; and in very vitals of the English race, as their this race for distinction, England and progress developed its improvement. We America have been first and foremost. are justified in claiming that here the abIt has been said by Guizot, that the prime stract principles of jurisprudence are made element in modern European civilization most practically beneficial, as they are, is the energy of individual life, the force of undoubtedly, best understood. personal existence. In aliis verbis—"po- age of the Saxon Wittenagemot to the litical equality was, and still is, the grand time of William the Conqueror, and from aspiration of the nineteenth century.” that period to the restoration, (1666,) and While discussing the difference in the the independency of the British House of spirit of the ancient and modern govern- Commons, (A. D. 1832,) these great founment, Lieber says, with much truth, dations of Justice have been scrutinized, “ The safety of the State is their principal which are the bulwark of nations. Hence, problem, the safety of the individual is “ nowhere has the science of the law been one of our greatest." I In the medieval carried to such rfection” as in England period it was the standing of man
and America. The rude elements of conbishop, priest, or knight which gave tone stitutional freedom, existing during the to his consideration in society : the man
ages, have been exchanged for and was lost in his office; but modern civiliza- moulded with those improvements which tion (steering a medium course between time has suggested and experience happily the tendency, among the ancient Republics, confirmed. absorptive of the individual in the mass,
A more extended view as to the manand the other extreme just defined,) has ner in which these different discoveries, clearly exemplified the rank, and elevated these evolutions of the great problem of the position of the individual abstracted Human Rights, have been effected and infrom the State. While the “tyranny of corporated with the framework of Engthe majority ” has ever been (in this coun lish society, may be, here, not injudiciously
given. In this brief investigation, we shall * Intelligent, not as they should be, but as compared with the mass of the same population in present some incidents, to aid “in tracing other countries of Europe.
out" the originals, the actualizations, + "The very spirit that impels Anglo-Saxon blood in the wilds of Asia, impels us here in the “and as it were the elements of the law;" wilds of America ; and all the high characteristics some considerations to assist in “ tracing of courage and fortitude, that distinguish the Anglo them to their fountains as well as our disSaxon race there, distinguish us here." | Political Ethics.
tance will permit.”
The history of the middle ages discloses few centuries subsequent. Speaking of it, to our view three distinct classes of peo- Blackstone says, that “these encroachple, the thanes, ceorls, and villeins ; the ments grew to be so universal, that, when first of whom received their title from the tenure in villenage was virtually abolished Danes, and the others were a necessary by the statute of Charles II., there was offspring of the mixture of Saxon and hardly a pure villein left in the nation.” Danish character.
What an advancement in the code of hu
man rights, and from hence what an im“ Under the Saxon government there were, pulse was given to the progress of true as Sir William Temple speaks, a sort of people freedom ! in a condition of downright servitude, used and
There is one memorable instance in the employed in the most servile works, and belonging, both they, their children, and effects, progressive actualizations of this firm adto the lord of the soil, like the rest of the cattle or herence to the liberties of mankind when in stock upon it.* These seemed to be those who danger, recorded on the pages of English held what was called the folk-lands, from which history : when a proud monarch demanded they were removable at the lord's pleasure. of the rude and haughty barons at RunnyOn the arrival of the Normans here, it seems not improbable that they who were strangers each stalwart knight clasped his sword, ex
mede by what lille they held their lands, some sparks of enfranchisement to such wretch claiming, “ By this we acquired, and by this ed persons as fell to their share, by admitting we will maintain them;" an impersonation, them, as well as others, to the oath of tealty, an evolution of that far-seeing regard for which conferred a right of protection, and rais- human rights, and individual sovereignty, ed the tenant to a kind of estate superior to whose correspondent type is illustrated by downright slavery, but inferior to every other the triumph of the English arms at Navacondition.”+
rino, when an oppressed people invoked the An important concession, this, even of sympathy of Humanity. The main features
of this protection ! Observe, now, the progress of this enfranchisement in the lapse of a
“Devotion to the right with their last breath
Resistance of the wrong even unto death,” * See also Hallam's Middle Ages, (Harper's N. have often been displayed to the world durY. Edit., 1841,) p. 90.
12 Blackstone's Comm., (Chitty's N. Y. Edit. ing this interval of nearly a thousand years 1813) p. 92.
between the two events here specially noted. We are not aware that the English operatives Who, then, can say that national character remarked in passing) at that rude period confering will not develop reciprocal phases, after valuable advantages. They should remember that centuries of change, which annihilate everythe condition of multitudes (Judge Carleton says: thing but the attachment to Freedom, kingdoms, ļwenty millions, men, women, and which ages never subdue ; or that there is children, daily feel the yearnings of unsatisfied appetite."'Dem. Rev., Jan. 1814, p. 33. See also
no divine Providence guarding the sacred Blackwood, May, 1815, pp. 531, 513-518,) of these heritage conferred on one people, and that poor " villeins," (nomine mutato,] now in their one, our own race ? midst is but little superior to those of whom Judge Carleton speaks, “degraded indeed for a being endued with reason ;” and cease taunting us with the barbarism of American Slavery.
* 2 Black. p. 96. Warren's Law Studies, p. 341.
WRITTEN IN AN ALBUM, WITH THE QUILL OF AN EAGLE KILLED AT NIAGARA FALLE.
The following verses were an extemporaneous effusion from the pen of the late George H. Colton, the Editor and Founder of this Journal. Some two years since, being on a visit in the country, he was asked to write in a young lady’s album, and consented, but afterwards forgot his promise, until within an hour of his departure. Being then reminded, he took a pen and wrote the lines as they are given below, while the family were talking and laughing about him. The whole did not occupy him twenty minutes.
The verses, with the above particulars, were sent to the Editor by an elder brother of their author, who was present with him at the time. Though inferior to much else that he wrote, they serve to illustrate his surprising facility, harmony, and correctness of ear and fancy. The vein of melancholy and pathos which appears in these verses—the same which affects the reader in the pathetic passages of his poem of Tecumseh, and in the eloquent and powerful verses to the Night Wind in Autumn, published in the number of this Journal for Nov. 1846—proves them to have been a true effusion of the soul. In the qualities of fullness, power, and harmony of verse, Mr. Colton had no superior among the poets of our own country. With the spirit and scope of almost every species of verse used by the moderns, he was practically familiar; nor did any appreciate better the peculiar excellencies of our great poets. His taste in this department of letters was at once universal and discriminating. In a Memoir of him that will appear in this Journal as soon as the necessary materials can be collected, a review will be given of his works and character as a poet.—ED.
Of me-poor minstrel of one struggling hour,
Whose strains shall perish on th' unresting wind-
For I, upon the sluggish waters cast,
Meseems, have lost the power that thrilled of yore:-
Methinks mine image lives with thee no more.
VOL. I. NO. I. NEW SERIES.
Oh, had I but the wing this plume that flung,
Where wild Niagara tears his rocky way,
A lofty and most potent theme essay.
Proud bird !-amid the mountain solitudes
He builds his eyrie, where the storms have birthHe tears his prey in depths of boundless woods
And if his gaze grow dim, too near the earth, Soaring through tempests to the far, calm sky, Rekindles at the sun his glorious eye.
But I am prisoned in my own sad mind,
With hardly strength to beat the dull close bars ;
Forego communion with the earnest stars :
hath utterance from my cloistered thought :
If pain and sorrow and most secret tears
Be e'er withheld from any child of light,
And Time's dark waves no more a wrinkle write
Knowledge is power—yet not for this we pray,
That thy fair mind be filled with deathless lore; But, that the heavenly and Promethean ray
May light thee safer to the shadowy shore, And, on the voyage that must eternal be, Illume thy way o'er that immortal sea.
But most, oh! most, young Peri! we have prayed
Thy life a pure and sinless course may take, As glides the sweet rill from its parent shade
And runs melodious to the still, deep lake, Freshening green mead, and banks and flowery sod, And murmuring softly in the ear of God!
With the single exception of the dis- History of Paraguay, we may do some cursive narrative of MM. Humboldt and service to the cause, by a condensed comBonplaud, the scientific world is entirely pilation from the published, but obsolete, dependent upon the Jesuits for all the in- works of some of the Jesuit fathers; occaformation hitherto obtained of this region sionally using the advantages which we of the South American Continent, sur- | possess over them, from the more modern charged as it is with every production and complete forms of classification. But conducive to the comfort or luxury of man even of the accounts of the Jesuits, we kind. For ourselves, we are convinced shall be obliged to reject much that is that there is no part of the earth where entirely fabulous, and depend upon our the omniscient providence of God has so own judgment and personal knowledge of bountifully displayed the glorious beauty the country, for the selection of those of his handiwork ; for whether we study statements on which we can rely. For, any of the departments of animated na from an attentive study of the works of ture, or turn to the woods and forests, those extraordinary men, combined with teeming with the luxuriant vegetation of much information concerning them of a the tropics, we find that almost every ob- | traditionary character, which we collected ject has been moulded in some superior on the spot, in propria persona, we are form for the higher enjoyment of man- compelled to adopt the conclusion, that, the noblest of His works, and the favorite finding themselves at one time in almost of His creation.
exclusive possession of the richest portion Before we proceed, however, we must of this continent, they sought to strengthacknowledge our incompetency to do full en their influence with the court of Spain, justice to our topic. Our ambition is by sending the most glowing accounts of bounded by the hope that we may draw its natural capacities and resources, in order the attention of some one, more capable to bring to their aid a larger supply of than we are, to the magnificent range of priests and treasure, and thus enable them subjects which would so richly reward in- to increase the establishments by which vestigation in this almost unknown region they expected to hold undisturbed possesof the world. To the scientific naturalist, or sion. And when, at last, their schemes the adventurous traveller, better advice were detected, and they were swept from cannot be given than to say,
Go to Para- the scene of their labors in a single night, guay: there you will meet with govern- by the jealous government of Charles III., mental protection in the prosecution of they then, for retro-active effect, published your labors, and each citizen of the repub- exaggerated details, not only of their own lic will be proud to offer you all hospitality labors, but also of the country which and assistance.”
they had been so anxious to retain. We Without being able, therefore, to add say not this, because we feel the slightest anything absolutely new on the Natural inclination to detract from the wonderful
deeds these men accomplished. The fact * Owing to the absence of the Editor from town,
is too well established that, assisted by several typographical errors in the article on Para the combination of every talent, with every guay, in the September number, were left uncor means of education and discipline, they recied. The name of the author, Mr. E A. Hopkins, should also have been inserted.-Ed.
gone forth to all parts of the world,