Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

awful day for somebody! It may be worth while to inquire what the delusion is, how it is likely to be dispelled, and who are to suffer by the catastrophe. The delusion, to copy the words of the reviewer, is that " the American farmer chooses to feed himself and his cattle on taxed salt, to work his land with taxed iron, &c. Now we submit that government can hardly be carried on in any country without some taxation, and if the reviewer waits till this delusion is dispelled, we are of opinion that the awful day which is to overwhelm certain American statesmen, will not happen in this generation at least. How we are to get at the knowledge that we are deluded, must be a puzzle even to the sharp wits of this writer. According to his account, we are the proudest and most irritable nation upon earth; the demand of a dollar for tribute or salary would cause a hundred thousand swords to leap from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened us with taxation; yet all this while we eat taxed salt, plough with taxed iron, and wear taxed calicoes! Would not this writer do well just to drop the dark lantern of his "theory" for a moment, and look at the matter with the plain eyes of common sense? He would then see, not an invincible armada of "steam revenue-cutters," but the steam of the factory, and the steam of the steamboat, and the steam of the ploughed field, combined in one harmonious system of mutual aid, sustenance and activity. He would understand why the Ohio farmer, by wearing Yankee shoes, makes a Yankee market for his produce. He would understand the hypothetical case, that if John Bull should send a squadron of his philanthropical, theorizing political economists, with gun cotton and congreve rockets to burn Boston, and Lowell, and Springfield, and Manchester, and Newburyport, that the immediate consequence of such a humane experiment would be the non-consumption of certain "taxed" Yankee notions in Ohio, and the consequent non-exportation of their value in Ohio produce. Let us pull down our factories, therefore, and the West will eat her own corn!

But the reviewer, to do him justice, appears to have had misgivings as to whether he was. after all, quite right in

condemning the protective system on the score of its partial and monopolism character. Having set out with the assumption that Massachusetts is the onir State, or almost the only one, that his reaped the benefits of this system, and that all the rest have pinched themselves to make her rich and populous, he subsequently, in his eagerness to pick flaws in the system, discovers that it has been of no use even to Massachusetts herself.

"Protection has not girt the New England States with Mr. Wakefield's belt of iron; it his not checked in the slightest degree the wenward movement and dispersion of the population; it is, in short, as politically worthless as t is economically false.

So protection is not so bad after all, even in the estimation of a champion of fa* trade: it does not monopolize population, nor industry, nor property; it has sol checked in the slightest degree the westward movement of these elements of national prosperity and power. But it is, therefore, politically worthless and economically false. Astonishing! worthless and false, because it is not partial and monopolizing ?—worthless and false, because it not only pays for labor at home but sends laborers abroad ?—worthless and false, because it has not built a "wall of brass" round New England to keep her in unsocial and miserly seclusion? Truly the man must have more brass of his own than we should be proud of, who should go into one of the "tributary States" and attempt to recommend himself as a philanthropist, by talking in this fashion. To a person of plain common sense, not schooled in the economies of Edinburgh, it would occur that the system might be pronounced worthless and false, which did work all these evils. Could the reviewer have uttered a higher commendation of the protective policy than is contained in his negative specification of its qualities? It was his object to show thai the system was narrow, partial, monopolizing; shut up within itself, and shutting up everything around it. Instead of this he finds it large and liberal, without walli of brass or checks upon movement and dispersion.

Now, then, what sort of a case does thw writer make out? We are under a delusion, quoth he, and the dispelling of th»l ion will place the American statesit the feet of their enemies, unless extricate themselves beforehand from i)>* position which they now occupy! his writer, or any man who professes lieTe him, make the delusion appear; m " bring Deformed forth, that vile that has gone up and down this seven like a gentleman." Delusion indeed! nes past we had no protection for doc industry: the American farmer ?d his land with high-priced iron, •d his wife and daughters with high1 calico, and obtained a scanty market

* produce of his labor. Now he gets i iron, and cheap calico, and not only ■er but better; and he finds ten times le a market for his produce. Yet a h theorist has the solemn sclf-posseso tell the American fanner to his face >e is under a delusion to think himself ■ off than he was before!

p opponents of American industry in >(wiry have been under the impression hey achieved a great object in cutting -iriff down to the standard of 1846. o our British economist: he would ? the whole by the board; for it i we are still in the gall of bitterness he bond of iniquity.

"!v> latter modification of 1846 hardly «s notice, and America remains burdenJ a system which would be ruinous to of less energy and resources."

t him be answered, that America

* how to adapt the burden to her taek, and that it has been by bearing «n burden, instead of hiring others It it for her, that she has been enatf» get ahead so wonderfully.

rely, if there ever was a delusion in a

* •( plain matter of fact, it is the delu■f this reviewer, who has muddled his » in the contemplation of a " theory,"

* has come to the belief that AmeriLrade. and American industry, and rican legislation, have buf one sole ob.ind that object is the Lowell factory

All this he professes to believe, jae, unless something of the kind be his theory is good for nothing. But happen to be more things in heaven y.«h than are dreamt of m his politi(hthwophy. word about "Britishers." This un

gainly barbarism has been of no small use lately to writers on the other side of the Atlantic, when they have attempted to be jocular at our expense. We have no objection to John Bull's cracking a joke even at our own cost, provided the joke be a good one. We patronize Punch, and are content to " pay 95 per cent." for so good a " taxed article." Such is the extent of our "delusion." But we cannot let another day pass without demolishing this " Britisher." Our Transatlantic friends, we perceive, think this word a prodigious joke to bang about our ears. The Edinburgh reviewer, as above quoted, hints (a marvellous witty fellow) that our protective system was meant " to humble the obstinate Britishers." The London Times—as honest a creature as the skin between its brows—exclaims, "Jonathan thinks he has 'done the Britishers,'" and then holds both its mighty sides, and expects the world to help it die a-laughing at such capital fun! Now we must put an end to this, and we do put an end to it, by informing these facetious gentlemen and other ambitious jokers in the same line, that this is no joke at all, but a simple exhibition of John Bull's ignorance. The notion that we in the United States call an Englishman a "Britisher," is just as true as the supposition that the citizens of London call their countrymen of the north "Scotchers," and their neighbors across the channel "Frenchers" and "Spanishers." Be it known to John Bull that we not only call a spade a spade, but we call an Englishman an Englishman, a Scotchman a Scotchman, and an Irishman an Irishman, or peradventure a Paddy. When we are uncertain which of the three the creature is, we sometimes call him an Old Countryman, which, we submit, is doing no republican violence to the king's English. But if any personage, foreign or domestic, should announce himself among us as a " Britisher," we should take him for some strange animal—as he certainly would be, if he came over with John Bull's theory of free trade in his head. "Something too much of this," perhaps, but it serves to show that John Bull's wits are not always so sharp as he imagines, and that he would do well to learn what language we speak in these parts, before he proffers his advice about pulling down the Lowell mills. He doubtless thought it a very clever thing to sneer at our bad English, and to insinuate that a people who spoke unauthorized vocables, must, of necessity, make bad laws. He forgot Whitechapel, and never dreamed of the barbarisms in speech that are sometimes found on the west side of Temple-bar. But let him talk of " Britishers" again!

If we mistake not, we have succeeded in showing that the plausible theories of the British economists have been contradicted by every part of our national history. "Free trade" is a phrase that has a fine sound; and as a great part of mankind are influenced by words rather than by facts or ideas, the doctrine has made converts of many persons solely by its name. This free trade we enjoyed while we were colonies of Great Britain, and when it was a crime to make a hat or a hob-nail in Massachusetts, and New York, and Virginia. Such free trade is enjoyed at the present day by the inhabitants of the British colonies of Canada and New Brunswick. Docs any one wish to know whether of the two, the British or the American system, operates most for the benefit of the people, let him stand upon the boundary line and look to the right and the left; the contrast in favor of our own side, is the remark of every observer, British or American. Look then, we say, once more upon this picture, and upon this. If John Bull really thinks us so badly off, would not he do well for his beloved subjects to keep them on his own side of the line, where there will be no paying 95 per cent, on window glass, if they are so happy as to get any?

The reviewer finds it in his theory that the system with which America is "burdened" would be "ruinous to countries of less energy and resources." Let it be remarked in the first place, that the resources of this country have for the most part grown up under the fostering care of this very system; that they have become developed and augmented and spread, not only over the New England States, but over the Middle States and the mighty West, just in proportion as this system has been applied. So much for the fact. Now let us see what plausibility this assumption of the reviewer (for argument it does not even pretend to be) carries on its own face. When we set out with the protective policy,we had

no resources beyond those accomplish^ which are said to constitute the <ki beauty—youth and health; we had own hands to labor with, and we hid i> ing more. If the protective system a have ruined any nation under the sn surely would have ruined us. So far it this, the reviewer confesses that we h thriven wonderfully under its infcsd though he is at his wit's end to find s other cause for our prosperity, ina»« as the American system ought not to li prospered, according to bis theory, like the sturdy old Calvinistic dam-:. "won't give up total depravity." Tk tion that protection will cause ruin is reotyped on his brain, and we are aa that the ruin is coming by and by. Do Johnson, who thought " taxation no ty ny," argued somewhat differently.' did not lay the burden on your back," he, "when you were a calf, but we c now because you have grown to be an This was sensible enough in the abst on a question merely of the ability to burdens; but here is a reasoner who tel that the calf has borne the burden, bu ox cannot!

But away with this nonsense about dens; it is a mere fallacy of speech. man is burdened by what oppress*^ and he is disburdened by what rel him. Call your revenue arrangement what name you will, they must be jby these results, and by these alone the American protective system gite* American citizen better and cheaper n> a wider range of occupation, better for labor, a more extended, more activ more steady and certain market for h bor and his merchandise; if it augu national wealth and private wealth, n the country independent and the iw ual independent, brings more abol supplies of everything needful for liJ every man's door, and gives him money to purchase those supplies; i protective system does this to a great, tent than any other system that ha been tried, the man does but abu> guage who calls this system a burd enemies of American industry on this the Atlantic and on the other side ring the changes upon the words "burden" and "high duties," and d by empty sounds those who can

nothing but empty sound; but a ho has head-piece sufficient to bite n bread and butter and to count what st him, cannot be duped by such

ie four quarters of the world, is there n better clothed, housed, governed, ■d. manned, horsed, and wived? iy one among us pretend that he behere is? Well, we have got to be nnder the system that protected an labor, and nobody can deny it. e American people then cast aside Hem, because a few dreaming pedpolitical economy talk to them of r of free trade? Surely not, unless Tverse infatuation passes everything ! been put upon record of a people senses. But we are advised to try 'system; for although the present » good one, the other may prove iuTL We confess, that when it comes *•:■ are about done arguing. We L we wish to be better; we take nil's nostrum, and we shall be—just l««rve.

t anticipation of what such a change T might end in, should this absurd be listened to, let us look at the *hich is now given to the world of Bay, under the full influence of the Te system—a picture drawn, not end of that system, but by an unansing opponent—no less a persono the identical Edinburgh reviewer, lentical article which has so painde out by ingenious theorizing that ]*>tic. industry is all a "delusion"— ■By worthless and economically *nd that we stand in a "false pof«dy to be " cast at the feet of our

* ue tew phenomena so striking to or «o suggestive of reflection among all

I **ul occurrences of this age, as the n* emigration which takes place to the »Continent. * * * * The end*»ion moves ever from East to West, *S&ri to tlie counsels or prophecies or <f statesmen. What do these mul'J« 'or theories of civil government?

* They seek the land of prom"nine cases out of ten they find it a *TMrmance. America is at this day

II ever a great providential blessing to •p-opled world, because it offers nothT*"> the industrious and energetic.

* * * • Justice and freedom—not freedom as understood by a political theorist, or a philosophical poet, or a wandering Arab, but simply the license to do as nearly as possible what a man pleases, provided he do not interfere with the rights of neighbors in similar circumstances with himself, * * * * of all this he is certain from the moment he touches American soil. What has Continental Europe to compare with this?"

Nothing, indeed, except theories. And thus does this writer, breaking away from the cobwebs of his closet speculations, and looking at the practical and living facts, give utterance to a truth which dashes his own theory to atoms. American industry under the protective policy has moved onward, to copy his own words, "ever from East to West, without regard to the counsels or prophesies or speculations of statesmen." "What does it care for theories of free trade?" But we cannot refrain from quoting the reviewer still further; he is a reluctant witness in favor of the American system, and therefore the more valuable:

"Let us not deceive ourselves: America is still to the bulk of our population the land of requital and redress; the distant country in which oppressions cease, and poverty grows full-fed and bold, in which fortune opens her arms to the courageous, and the least adventurous looks forward to the achievement of independence and contentment before he die."

And this is the land which, wc have just been told, is laboring under intolerable burdens, where the people pay 95 per cent, (alas !) upon window glass, maintain those terrible scourges of humanity, steam revenue-cutters, and pamper themselves with a "delusion" that they are well off. This land, where poverty grows full-fed and bold, is the land "worked with taxed iron," where the hard hands of peasants are chained to the plough, "simply that the world may admire the factory girls of Lowell, and that a few Yankee speculators may fet rich in the towns of New England!!!" 'he reader, doubtless, will ask, "Why these astounding contradictions?" The answer is plain. This writer was laboring at two distinct points. In the one instance he had a theory to vindicate, in the other he had facte to specify. As his theory was but a theory, and proved to be unsound—" politically worthless and economically false —

the facts came in direct collision with it. That he held fast to his theory after his own facts had falsified it, is more to his credit as a sworn champion than as a practical philosopher ; but his faith in it, if faith he has, must be of that sort that will remove, mountains.

However, let it not be forgotten that John Bull has compassionate bowels, and that ice are the special objects of his pity. He pities us that we have no long; he pities us that we have no House of Lords; he pities us that we have no church establishment; he pities us 95 percent, on window glass, and he pities us fore and aft on steam revenue-cutters. "These be good

humors," but his " quality of mercy' ■ to us a little "strained," and we are oughly inclined to the opinion thai compassion as he is in the habit of hi ing on his customers, "blesses him thai more than him that takes." In partii will give him one word of advice, an shall be, to spin out no more fine th*o political economy on the topic of this try before he has looked well to the If he will lay this advice to heart, a accordingly for the future, we will d the favor to forget that joke of his the "Britishers," and we will laugh tie as possible at his stupendous nest of the "steam revenue-cutters

THE ANGELS

Not always in tumultuous sea,

Our aims and passions madly heave;

Sometimes, the winds sleep peacefully,
And the torn billows cease to grieve.

And thoughts there are of loftier birth,
Than this poor pageantry of dreams;

When, lifted from the shadowy earth,
The soul an hovering angel seems—

Beholds, on earth's maternal breast,
Her children all together laid,

Lulled, slumbrous, into peaceful rest,
And veiled in star-attempered shade.

The striving heart no more exults
Beneath the decent folds of pride;

Joy, the sad eyes of grief insults
No more; and silent, side by side,

Fierce altercations, breathing deep,
Dream, now, of ancient truce renewed

Hands grasp hands, but for gentle sleep,
Unknown to love's sweet habitude.

Night! festival of banded stars!

Mild empire of the kindly elves!
Remoulding all that passion mars,—

Lost souls restoring to themselves;—

« AnteriorContinuar »