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cient Lawgiver, and let the words which he keeps in his heart, and teaches diligently to his children, and talks of as he walketh by the way, as he lieth down and riseth up, and which he writes upon the posts of his house and on his gates, be those words of commanding and venerable majesty, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." So may he serve his country and his country's Almighty Protector, keep his hands unsoiled by guilt, his mind sound and free, his spirit at peace and strong, and have the light of the Lord's countenance lifted up upon his habitation.
What has been advanced by our own countrymen, if said in season, might go some way towards forestalling criticism from abroad. But that criticism has not been spared us ; it has been poured out in no stinted supply; and we are left either to be angry and resentful, or to be indifferent, or to attempt to profit by it. Great Britain has been peculiarly profuse of her counsel, and has perhaps fulfilled the functions of her maternal relation, rather by the frequency and directness, than by the spirit and temper of her chiding. Not one year out of the last six at least has passed without some evidence on the part of the "Quarterly," of its recognized and felt obligation to give line upon line and precept upon precept. Another journal avows, that "the newspaper offices may be said to be to the Americans generally, what the gin-palaces are to a portion of the London population the grand source whence they derive the pabulum of excitement." As to the notorious articles in the "Foreign Quarterly," which appeared some three years since, the antidote to their extravagance may be found sufficiently in the decent moderation of the "Edinburgh," and the express reply of the "Westminster." The tourists, too, have afforded this topic a large place in their invaluable reminiscences, and have trodden, each in the steps of another, with singularly scrupulous esprit du corps. have only, in answer, to offer these brief considerations. Such extraordinary unanimity naturally begets a suspicion of a little borrowing and lending. Each voice has not quite the value of independent and original testimony. The lampooned, too, are not very apt to feel much indebtedness to the vehicle through which the pasquinades are communicated. Besides, if these authors suppose that they
are persuading any credulous souls into the belief, that far worse papers are not printed in London every day than on this side the sea, we must disabuse them of their error. They should know the subtle power of a petty jealousy, and seek to understand what is ill-graced, and what becoming between those who have faults in common. Beyond this we have only to add, that extreme sensitiveness on our part only betrays weakness; that recrimination will never rebut the sweeping declarations our friends have been continually repeating since Rev. Sydney Smith-peace to his laughter-moving memory-with a few dashes of his brilliant pen gave us over to mental darkness in a single paragraph; that slander will always "plague the inventor" more than the slandered; and that the best use we can make of an overstated censure is, to be reminded of those real deficiencies that yet remain, and of which conscience may yield us all the needed knowledge.
When the possibilities of good are regarded, that lie within the scope of a newspaper's purposes, it really appears no trivial or ordinary thing. What various and thrilling messages does one such swiftly journeying courier, with its diversified and mingled contents, bear to a thousand bosoms! Tidings from distant oceans, and across broad continents,
some sequestered cottage on a lonely hill-side, to elate with pride or joy, or to smite down with sorrow and confusion, some solitary dweller there. Learned statesmen change their far-sighted policy in obedience to its latest intelligence. It gives swifter wings to commerce. One little item in its mottled pages will agitate with alarm all the merchants and brokers on a great city's exchange. It overwhelms communities with awe while it chronicles the mighty providences of God, and turns them pale and dumb with astonishment while it announces the overthrow of ancient dynasties, revolutions in empires, the success or the destruction of vast fleets and armies. It registers the marriage, and the death; it tells in few and simple words the fact of sacred meaning, that contains beneath it an affecting tragedy for many silent breasts. It creates sudden rejoicing, and mourning. It stirs the enthusiasm of those who long for the improvement of their race, by its fresh accounts of new discoveries in science and philosophy, and new movements of philanthropy. Its list of disasters at sea,
and its notices of the passages of ships from port to port, convulse with agony to-day some mothers, and fathers, and sisters, and lovers - who yesterday were happy; and they give rest and satisfaction to the anxious and troubled, on whom a grief with which the stranger could not intermeddle has been preying in secret for weary years. It makes some stout-hearted men wakeful all the night, and closes some long-waking eyes in a blessed sleep. It lifts up the lowly, casts the proud down; it makes the penury of the trembling poor more frightful; it suggests suicide to the starving and the broken-hearted; it offers selfish hypocrisy one more brief triumph; it rivets the chain of oppression; it goads into more furious madness the violence of war. It scatters disappointments and hopes, pleasures and tears, on either hand, wherever it travels. This is no fanciful exaggeration, but the plain reality. And we venture to say it is more than can be affirmed of any volume ever written, of any work in the whole compass of literature, Shakspeare's, Homer's and Dante's, not excepted.
What more is needed then, but that the conductors of these powerful organs should learn to feel the dignity of their vocation; that they should make this science of journalism what it is capable of being, and what it ought to be? We once heard the question asked, by a thinking man, why might we not have in the United States a magnificent American newspaper? And why might we not? The external obstacles seem to be very few, and they might easily be reduced. We are troubled with no such governmental censorship as has at different epochs kept a tyrannical watch over the press in France; the only censorship is that of an inquiring, many-sided, and therefore comparatively impartial public. We are embarrassed by no newspaper tax or duty, such as has been long imposed in the realm of England by the statutes of George III. and William IV. Nearly every facility would seem to exist to render such a project feasible, and give it a pledge of sucA journal like that we speak of should have for its editorial management more than one of the strongest, ablest, best-furnished minds in the nation, as some of the great papers in the Old World have, minds that are marked by genius, talent, and tact, of a profound research, and a ready adaptability. In order to this, perhaps it
would be necessary that the number of our periodicals should be somewhat diminished, and the support now extended and divided among so many, combined and concentrated within a smaller compass; otherwise the expenses of so costly an establishment as we refer to could not be sustained. The Constitutionel is said to have had, at some periods of its history, if it has not now, a circulation among twenty thousand subscribers, and twenty thousand copies of Chambers's Journal are disposed of weekly. In a literary point of view, such a change would probably involve little loss, but rather no inconsiderable gain. And to effect this, our model newspaper must represent more than a single interest of the nation. Slighter shades of difference must be blended in a general and broad purpose. Minor causes must be merged in a grand common cause, which should rise up loftily and overtop all less concerns. As such an organ would foster, so it would soon indicate, a higher style of conversation and epistolary intercommunication, than now obtains among us. It should embrace a vast field of thought, from the more abstruse and recondite to the more playful and familiar. Something of the character of the voluminous Quarterly, the critical Review, the Edinburgh, the Dublin and Blackwood's, should pertain to it. Sportiveness, humor, and wit-only provided it be right genial humor, and a genuine tasteful wit—should blend with a staid gravity in its harmonious design. As much of real humanity and vivid intellect breathes and flashes in the pages of some of the pure and most reputable periodicals across the sea, professedly dedicated to fun and frolic, in our opinion vastly more than in many of much more dainty and prudish pretension. It should have the point of Junius, without one particle of spleen or malice. It should be independent of faction, clique, or sect, of prejudice and bribes. It should embody, if possible, the temper, aims and aspirations of a manly, generous-hearted, free-minded people. It should contain the debates of deliberative assemblies, the argumentation of thoughtful statesmen, the results of labor and study in all the professions, law, medicine, and theology, records of progress in the various sciences, lessons for the agriculturist, the manufacturer, the mechanic, statistics and theories of commerce, dissertations on the drama and the other elegant arts, the
pleadings of the philanthropist, and the gentle admonitions of a holy faith. It should be full of vigorous, throbbing life, and abhor stupidity. It should be liberal and righteous, battling with all narrowness and sin. It should be a supporter of our Constitution, and an enlightened advocate of the world's least considered inhabitant, and so worthily discharge no light portion of the exalted mission of this age and country. Its leading, inspiring idea should be as sublime as the idea of man himself, the development and expansion of all his divinely given powers, the perfection of his immortal being. And it should be purified by the spirit that dwelt in the Prophet of Nazareth.
ART. VIII. TRANSLATIONS FROM THE GERMAN.*
THERE will doubtless be various opinions as to the value of these three additions to our literature. To some people all translations from the German (and we do not much wonder at it,) are a weariness of the flesh. Such seek probably for what they can never find. If they are looking for a really interesting, natural story, or a quite intelligible philosophical essay, done into English, they will look long in vain. The former is not in German as far as our experience goes, and the essay, to be thoroughly intelligible, must be read in the language in which it was written. The plain case is, that we must take nations and national literature as we find them. The Germans have enough that is good to repay the trouble of mastering their language, but it is of their own kind, and must be read always in their spirit.
1. Flower, Fruit and Thorn Pieces, or the Married Life, Death and Wedding of the Advocate of the Poor, Firmian Stanislaus Siebenkäs. By JEAN PAUL FRIEDERICH RICHTER. Translated from the German by E. H. NOEL. First Series. Boston: J. Munroe & Co. 1845. 16mo. pp. 348.
2. Correspondence between Schiller and Goethe from 1794 to 1805. Translated by G. H. CALVERT. Vol. I. New York and London: Wiley & Putnam. 1845. 12mo. pp. 391.
3. The Aesthetic Letters, Essays, and the Philosophical Letters of Schiller. Translated, with an Introduction, by J. WEISS. Boston Little & Brown. 1845. 16mo. pp. 379.