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degree of excellence ”-i. e. the present spring manner. In our social and political condition fashion, we suppose. Some of its speculations it should be borne in mind that pure innovation s are no less ingenious than just.“ In the mel are not, though for argument's sake it be adancholy fate which befell that fair-haired youth mitted they are with hats, necessarily advances Absalom, the Scriptures afford a striking in- towards perfection. They are forms and states stance of the danger of not wearing a covering based on reason, knowledge, character, experiupon the head. If Absalom had worn a hat, it ence, and hence those elements must concur is very certain that his hair could not have in the changes, or else there will be no real caught in the branches of the oak tree. It is progress. not likely that he rode out bareheaded ; but it Some people at the present day seem to is probable that in the skirmish with Joab his hat think that governments are like bats; that we fell off, and was thus the cause of his death." may change the block as often as we please,
This reminds us of some modern medical and it will be sure to be for the better. 'They treatises, which begin with showing from the even go beyond the hatters; for whereas those Psalıns particular diseases with which King worthy members of society are content to David was afflicted. Our author, who gene- allow our headgear to remain stationary six rally writes very well, appears to have made a months at a time, these would have states live slight slip in the last clause of the above; for forever in a condition of pure democratical how Absalom's hat, because it fell off, could revolutionary bloody flux-progressing infibecome the cause of his death, it is not easy to nitely, pell-mell, everywhere. discover.
There is great probability that the hats worn We are very far from cottoning, also, to the by social reformers of this order do not in following opinions
every instance conceal the largest possible
amount of medullary substance. “ Stubbes belonged to that very virtuous class of writers, not wholly extinct even now, that rail against the fashions of men's apparel, as though there were intrinsic good or evil in the shape and
CORRECTIONS.—There is an error in Griscolor of a coat; who judge of a man's morals by wold's “Prose Writers of America,” which atthe pattern of his vest, and regard the texture of tributes to R. H. Dana an article on Moore, his pantaloons as a test of religious principles. written by Prof. E. T. Channing of Harvard It is time that the philosophy of fashion were University. We devote a paragraph to the better understoud, but the plan of this little book correction of it, because the mistake was folprevents an expression of our opinions on this lowed in an article on Mr. Dana in this Review important subject. The latest fashion is always for March, 1847. Prof. Channing's article the best, because it is of necessity an improve. ment on the one which it supplants; therefore, N. A. Review for Nov., 1817, vol. vi.
was on "Lalla Rookh," and appeared in the to rajl at an existing fashion is simply to rail at
Another sentence in the article on Mr. improvement. If a fashion were perfect, it would be permanent; but no fashion ever can be perfect, Dana, would seem to make him the author of a because man being endowed with the capacity of review of Brown, which appeared in the N. A. improvement, he can never arrive at a point be- Review, vol. ix., and was also written by Prof. yond which he cannot advance. Progress is the Channing: A review of Brown, by Mr. Dana, law of our nature, and progress implies infinity. appeared in the U. S. Review for Aug., 1827– The possibilities of human improvement have much later. not been dreamed of. A conservative, unim. If these reviews were of merely ordinary proving people, like the Chinese, never change merit, it would be superfluously nice to give their fashions, because they make no progress,
even a sentence to settling questions of their or at least their progress is so slow, that it is not perceptible. There is no such thing as stability parentage ; but they are thoughtful and elabo with nations."
rate essays, and by no means destined to a transitory fame. Only a small edition (five
hundred copies) of the N. A. Review was isTo this it might be replied that the changes sued previous to and during the editorship of in the shape of hats are not always improve- Prof. Channing, who was assisted by Mr. Dana, ments, since old fashions come round again so and copies are, now scarce. often. Therefore we may be allowed to rail readers and writers, many of the best essays of at existing fashions if we please. But grant- those gentlemen are, necessarily, as entirely ing that every change in hats is an improve- unknown as if they had never written them. ment, these changes are ones of simple form, They owe it to us, to the “rising generation,” not based on reason, or taste, but wholly as well as to their own reputations, to give us arbitrary, and beyond our control; the hatters collected editions of their works; and we feel make these for us twice every year, for which very confident that in respectfully urging the we are taxed nine dollars per annum. But request that they would do so, we speak in acthat progress which is the law of our nature cordance with the wishes of our whole literary does not, in most other matters, operate in this public.
To our young
degree of excellenc fashion, we suppose are no less ingenioi ancholy fate which Absalom, the Scri stance of the dange upon the head. if is very certain th caught in the bran not likely that he is probable that in t fell off, and was th
This reminds u treatises, which b Psalıns particular David was aflicte rally writes very ! slight slip in the how Absalom's h become the cause discover.
We are very fa following opinions
“ Stubbes belon of writers, not wh against the fashior there were intrins. color of a coat; w the pattern of his his pantaloons as It is time that th better understoud, prevents an expr important subject the best, because ment on the one to rail at an existi improvement. If be permanent; bu because man bein improvement, he yond which he ca law of our nature The possibilities not been dreame proving people, 1 their fashions, bi or at least their p perceptible. Th with nations."
To this it mig in the shape of ments, since old often. Therefo at existing fashi ing that every ment, these cha not based on arbitrary, and by make these for i we are taxed i that progress w. does not, in most other matters, operate in this / public.
offered in reply—or such explanations and have dared to venture on so bold a tone of argumentations (apologies and excuses in defence as this, in the face of notorious reality) had accompanied the offensive facts, familiar to him certainly, and not less acts. The General's present letter was a so to all intelligent and observing persons summary of these complaints, in which in the country, and which, wherever they they were brought together, and placed on are known, do not fail to convict the Exrecord, for more easy reference.
ecutive Government, not only of having make bold to say, in the face of all the in- sent General Scott to the field without genious plausibilities of the Secretary's re- giving him its confidence, its candid supply, that there is not one of these com port, or its sympathy, but of having acted plaints that has not a substantial founda- towards him in bad faith, and entertaining tion in truth, and so it will be made to towards him feelings of opposition and enappear when the facts shall be brought to mity, and a false disposition and design to light. The Secretary's Letter in reply had betray him, and cast him off at the earliest not so much for its object to defend the moment at which it might be practicaAdministration over again against these ble or safe to do so. complaints, as to attempt a justification The treacherous, insincere and jesuitical before the country, in the absence of the conduct of the Executive Government General, for its contemptuous dismissal of towards General Scott cannot be fully exhim from the command of the army in the hibited and understood, without going back field, by this assault on his character and to the beginning of this war. When hosconduct. We shall undertake to show tilities began, there had been no preparahow much credit for candor and honesty tory augmentation of our forces in the field. is due to the Administration in this at An Army of Observation, soon to become tempt.
an Army of Occupation, was on the frontier The substance of the complaints of towards Mexico, under the command of General Scott, leaving all specifications out Taylor, then a Colonel in the line, but of the case, as these complaints are clearly holding a brevet commission of Brigadier. gathered from his recent and previous com It does not admit of a doubt that the Presmunications, was this: That the confi- ident at that period was deluding himself dence, and the active, candid and steady with the notion, that a show of force on support of the Executive Government, had the Rio Grande, with perhaps an unimnot been extended to him, as had been portant brush or two with any small solemnly promised when he took the field, amount of Mexican forces gathered there, but on the contrary, he had been subjected would scare the Mexican Government into to neglects, mortifications, disappointments, almost any terms of accommodation with injuries and rebukes from the Government; the powerful Republic of the North which and that the War Department, from which he might see fit to dictate. For such a he had expected better things, so far from little war, Brevet Brigadier-general Taycoming to his rescue or relief in the trying lor, who was known already to be a judiccircumstances in which he had been placed, ious and brave officer, was regarded as had wholly failed to give him its support, being quite competent and sufficient. or even its sympathy. This we say is the When, however, it became suddenly known substance of the complaints preferred by at Washington that Mexico had assumed General Scott, and we are prepared to an attitude of determined resistance, and maintain and show that it is true to the had already, by overwhelming numbers, letter, and that much more than this is placed Taylor and his little army in a contrue; though it has suited the purpose of dition of imminent hazard, a corresponding the Secretary of War, in his defence, to alarm was felt, and an immediate call was talk as if he was really surprised that such made upon Congress to adopt the war, notions should have found a lodgment in and meet the exigency by authorizing the the General's mind, and to speak of the organization of a large force for the field. whole thing as a delusion, a fondly. The act for this purpose was passed and cherished chimera,” and the offspring of approved on the 13th of May, 1846; and “a mind of diseased sensibility.' We on the same day, General Scott, comwonder a little that the Secretary should manding the army in chief, by his com