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education of the multitude is necessary to the support of a republic; but it is equally true, that a republic is a powerful means of educating the multitude. It is the people's University. In a free State, solemn responsibilities are imposed on every citizen; great subjects are to discussed; great interests to be decided. The individual is called to determine measures affecting the well-being of millions and the destinies of prosperity. He must consider noi only the internal relations of his native land, but its connexion with foreign States, and judge of a policy which touches the whole civilized world. He is called by his participation in the national sovereignty, to cherish public spirit regard to the general weal. A man who purposes to discharge faithfully these obligations, is carrying on a generous self-culture. The great public questions, which divide opinion around him and provoke earnest discussion, of necessity invigorate his intellect, and accustom him to look beyond himself. He grows up to a robustness, force, enlargement of mind, unknown under despotic rule.”
After deprecating not more strongly than justly the evils of that party-spirit to which we are but too prone to yield all that is noblest and best of our mind--as also equally that jealousy assumed by some to exist on the part of the poor against the rich, and the “calumnious outcry” we constantly hear against the working classes, as if they were aiming at the subversion of property-there is a great deal of pregnant truth in the following remark, by one standing aloof from the party contests of the day, and uttering the calm, clear accents of disinterested truth and wisdom :
" To me it seems, that the great danger to property here is not from the laborer, but from those who are making haste to be rich. For example, in this commonwealth, no act has been thought by the alarmists or the conservatives so subversive of the rights of property, as a recent law, authorizing a company to construct a free bridge, in the immediate neighbour. hool of another, which had been chartered by a former legislature, and which had been erected in the expectation of an exclusive right. And with whom did this alleged assault on property originate ? With levellers ? with needy laborers ? with men bent on the prostration of the rich ? No; but with men of business, who were anxious to push a more lucrative trade. Again, what occurrence among us has been so suited to destroy confidence, and to stir up the people against the moneyed class, as the late criminal mismanagement of some of our banking institutions. And whence came this? from the rich, or the poor? From the agrarian, or the man of business? Who, let me ask, carry on the work of spoliation most extensively in society? Is not more property wrested from its owners by rash or dishonest failures, than by professed highwaymen and thieves? Have not a few unprincipled speculators sometimes inflicted wider wrongs and sufferings, than all the tenants of a state prison ? Thus property is in more danger from those who are aspiring after wealth, than from those who live by the sweat of their brow.”
His excellent remarks on the duty of attention to Politics, upon the Press, upon Education (to which he is in favor of exclusively appropriating the public lands) we pass over with regret. The third branch answers the objections which may be adduced against his views ; from which we can afford space only for the following:
“Why is it, I ask, that we call manual labor low, that we associate with it the idea of meanness, and think that an intelligent people must scorn it? The great reason is, that, in most countries, so few intelligent people have been engaged in it. Once let cultivated men plough and dig and follow the commonest labors, and ploughing, digging, and trades will cease to be mean. It is the man who determines the dignity of the occupation, not the occupation which measures the dignity of the man. Physicians and surgeons perform operations less cleanly than fall to the lot of most mechanics. I have seen a distinguished chemist covered with dust like a laborer. Still these men were not degraded. Their intelligence gave dignity to their work, and so our laborers, once educated, will give dignity to their toils.- Let me add, that I see little difference in point of dignity, between the various vocations of men. When I see a clerk, spending his days in adding figures, perhaps merely conying, or a teller of a bank counting money, or a merchant selling shoes and hides, I cannot see in these occupations greater respectableness than in making leather, shoes, or furniture. I do not see in them greater intellectual activity than in several trades. A man in the field seems to have more chances of improvement in his work, than a man behind the counter, or a man driving the quill. It is the sign of a narrow mind, to imagine, as many seem to do, that there is a repugnance between the plain, coarse exterior of a laborer and mental culture, especially the more refining culture. The laborer, under his dust and sweal, carries the great elements of humanity, and he may put forth its highest powers. I doubt not, there is as genuine enthusiasm in the contemplation of nature and in the perusal of works of genius, under a homespun garb as under finery. We have heard of a distinguished author, who never wrote so well, as when he was full dressed for company. But profound thought and poetical inspiration have most generally visited men, when, from narrow. circumstances or negligent habits, the rent coat and shaggy face have made them quite unfit for polished saloons. A man may see truth, and may be thrilled with beauty, in one costume or dwelling as well as another; and he should respect himself the more for the hardships, under which his intellectual force has been developed."
And the following is the conclusion of one of the finest and noblest of the many admirable productions that have been contributed by this gifted mind, this pure and lofty spirit, and this kindly and benevolent heart, to the permanent literature of our country :
"Let us thank God for what has been gained. But let us not think every thing gained. Let the people feel that they have only started in the race. How much remains to be done! What a vast amount of ignorance, intemperance, coarseness, sensuality, may still be found in our community! What a vast amount of mind is palsied and lost! When we think, that every house might be cheered by intelligence, disinterestedness, and refinement, and then remember, in how many houses the higher powers and affections of human nature are buried as in tombs, what a darkness gathers over society. And how few of us are moved by this moral desolation? How few understand, that to raise the depressed, by a wise cultre, to the dignity of men, is the highest end of the social state ? Shame on us, that the worth of a fellow creature is so little felt.
"I would, that I could speak with an awakening voice to the people, of their wants, their privileges, their responsibilities. I would say to them, You cannot, without guilt and disgrace, stop where you are. The past and the present call on you to advance. Let what you have gained be an impulse to something higher. Your nature is too great to be crushed. You were not created what you are, merely to toil, eat, drink, and sleep, like the inferior animals. If you will, you can rise. No power in society, no hardship in your condition can depress you, keep you down, in knowledge, power, virtue, influence, by your own con
Do not be lulled to sleep by the flatteries which you hear, as if your participation in the national sovereignty made you equal to the noblest of your race. You have many and great deficiencies to be remedied; and the remedy lies, not in the ballot box, not in the exercise of your political powers, but in the faithful education of yourselves and your childreu. These truths you have often heard and slept over. Awake! Resolve earnestly on Self-culture. Make yourselves worthy of your free institutions, and strengthen and perpetuate them by your intelligence and your virtues.
NOTES OF THE MONTH.
ST. JUAN DE ULLOA.
The newspapers for the last month have been busy with accounts of the last grand victory "on the European plan,” that has come off since the bombardment of Antwerp. The American continent, however, was the scene of the exploit; and it would seem that the great powers of Europe, finding opportunities for indulging in the favorite pastime of kings growing more and more scarce in their own hemisphere, are disposed to keep their hand in practice on our American soil,—for when the question lies between Europe and this Continent, our pride of position becomes interested, no matter what may be the portion of its broad expanse affected. The capture of Vera Cruz by the French, and the bombardment of its noble fortress of St. Juan de Ulloa, with the destruction of many hundreds of lives of its defenders—as it were for a piece of royal sport, to give a young dandy of the blood an opportunity of fleshing his maiden sword, and of showing off to the officers of "la grande nation,” and through the Moniteur to the legitimates of Europe, how coolly a prince of the new regime can command the battery of a frigate, or maneuvre a ship into line-has produced a startling effect on the public mind through this entire country. Our newspaper press—strikingly different in this respect from that of Europe concerns itself but lightly with foreign intelligence, and seldom inquires into the morale of great events like this, as judged by those eternal principles by which our own national conduct, nay existence, is regulated and determined. But the people at large—and the people of this country, altogether independent of the newspapers, create its tone of public opinion and regulate its public action-have formed their own conclusions respecting this event, and will be slow to alter them. They view the whole transaction, and their opinion will be shared by the moderate and the thinking men of all countries, with unmitigated indignation, abhorrence, and disgust. Not one ray of that glory which streams over the page of French history from a thousand battles relieves the criminality of an occurrence which no despatches can make other than a high national outrage. In judging of the circumstances, it is not necessary to go deeply into the merits of the case at issue between France and Mexico. It is sufficient for our purpose to know that it was a matter of money, so contemptible in amount that even the political wrongmakers of the French budget could not swell its aggregate to the petty sum of six hundred thousand dollars; and that the Mexicans, also, admitting the propriety of redressing every well-founded grievance, repeatedly offered to submit the details of this redress to friendly arbitration. The knowledge of these facts is sufficient to make us view the sanguinary capture of St. Juan de Ulloa as an act of execrable atrocity, and the wholesale destruction of its garrison as a national murder, revolting to the moral sense of the whole civilized world, and appealing through that pervading instinct to eternal justice itself for punishment and retribution. The day has gone past when the military brilliancy with which it is executed can atone for an act, politically, because morally, wrong; or when the naval precision with which scientific tacticians can pour hot shot into a magazine, can blind attention to the sickening truth, that this sport, so exciting to a young hero of the Tuilleries, and so interesting a variation to the monotony of the Moniteur, has caused many hundred brave men to be wantonly sacrificed, in defending the honor of their country and the sanctity of its soil—and has been committed by a foreign power, having no national interest within thousands of miles even of the hemisphere, which its sanguinary politics have thus foully polluted.
This French blockade, in all its parts, whether of theory or practice, has jarred hideously with the new spirit of the age, and has awakened an attention to the subject which must result in the application of higher and simpler principles to national action than the exploded maxims of a diplomatic philosophy that is rapidly passing away with the principles it professed, and the systems that it regulated. It was a rude and tyrannical resort to the last extremity of violence, put in motion by the machinery of a diplomatic code born of the low chicanery of courts and kings, and of which the enormities might have remained forever unperceived in the recesses of cabinets, and amid the jarring interest of contending dynasties, but which has withered before the simpler righteousness of the popular intelligence, that from the level of the American Revolution first scrutinized its rules of action. This new spirit, which is now awakening the nations, looks in vain for justification of a practice which places a thousand innocent interests in jeopardy and punishment, because one may bave sufficient wickedness combined with sufficient power to thrust its budget of grievances, real or pretended, into the face of a nation, and declare with selfish arrogance to every other having relations with it, that their peaceful pursuits shall cease, that their commerce shall be suspended, and that their claims and business of every sort, shall stand aside till the dust of submission shall be licked, and the full measure of its vindictive retribution been yielded up. This common sense of the popular intelligence says with justice and propriety, that the rule of right would be, if France is aggrieved by Mexico, and cannot obtain redress, she has the privilege to suspend all national intercourse with a people so faithless until justice has been done. She may shut the ports of France to Mexican trade, and interdict the Mexican people the use of every French commodity, until the public deprivation of such accustomed comforts shall compel from theie authorities full satisfaction of wrongs which grew out of that trade, and which must not be repeated if it is to be renewed. Or should this not be sufficient, reprisals might be made, as an extreme resort, on Mexican public property until compensation in full had been obtained. This is the extent to which equal and impartial justice between nations would authorize the French cabinet in proceeding. By the Law of Blockade, as now practiced, in seeking compensation for these temporary wrongs, she injures other nations to ten times the amount, and only leaves comparatively unscathed the object of her hostility. What right has France to point to a few frigates ranged along a thousand miles of coast, and arrogantly turn back the rich commerce of America from its destined ports? We surely have nothing to do with the petty tactics of King Louis Philippe, cr with the desperate anxiety of his ministers to get up a showy report for the Chambers, and a few necessary bulletins for playthings to the listless heroes of the Barricades. England, too, has nothing to do with the quarrel, for the forcible adjustment of which, nevertheless, her merchants have in like manner to pay its whole amount thrice over in the heavy losses to which it has subjected them.
A better system of the Law of Nations would subject France to just demands for compensation from the people who have been thus heavily mulcted by this unreasonable and arbitrary method of redressing wrongs, which in the strictest sense of the words are merely marketable in their character.
The simple and sublime precepts of Peace are rapidly revolutionizing our ideas of war and conquest. The divine principles of Christianity--the mission of Peace are beginning to make themselves felt in the movements of nations—spreading upseen through the broad depths of the popular mind, and, identical with the evangelical spirit that is leavening the world, they are rapidly working upwards. till rulers shall ere long find that the horrid trade of war must cease, and that the masses of mankind will not be driven to the insensate destruction of each other without individual interest or cause of wrong whatever.
In this connexion, we are happy to refer to the fact, that prior to the departure of the French Bombarding Squadron, and as soon as its purpose was known, the Chief Magistrate of our Republican Confederation was not wanting to the high moral duty incumbent on the national representative of American democracy, of interposing to endeavor to arrest its destructive and sanguinary mission. A letter was despatched, by a special messenger, from our President to the American legations at Paris and London, strongly, and in an admirable spirit and style, invoking a peaceable adjustment of the dispute, presenting the example of the reference of our own far more protracted and grievous wrongs to amicable arbitration; and offering the arbitration of the Government of the United States, or its mediation in any mode calculated to avert the impending public calamity of war and bloodshed.
In the terms we have here felt impelled to use, to give expression to the pain and abhorence with which every right feeling and right judging mind must be filled by the sickening contrast between the paltry end and the dreadful means in the present case, it is of course not our meaning to pass upon the French Government the full measure of condemnation of the moral atrocity of the act, which our language would apply to the act itself, and to the old and barbarous principles of international relations and rights on which those looking at it from a different point of view may found a justification of it. While we look with abhorence and disgust at the whole theory and practice of aggressive and vindictive war; and cannot let such an occasion pass without an expression of the natural sentiments of American democracy in relation to it; yet we know how to make the liberal allowance dictated by evenhanded justice, for men and for a government educated in a school of totally different ideas and influences.
FLOWERS OF CONGRESSIONAL RHETORIC. We are proud to profess the honest pride which swells our bosom at the contemplation of every new display of American genius. In the indulgence of this sentiment, our patriotism does not confine itself within the narrow limits of mere party affinities; and when we observe such rare and exquisite flowers of fancy as the following, wasting their sweetness on the desert air of the ephemeral columns of a newspaper, we cannot resist the temptation of rescuing them from that undistinguished and perishing obscurity, to unite them in a bouquel which we here offer to our Whig friends and readers, as, we trust, an acceptable token of our liberality and candid appreciation of the brilliancy of imagination, the soaring boldness of conception, and the chaste delicacy of taste, of their favorite and foremost orators.
The following incomparable and inimitable simile, to embody his conception of the stupendous wickedness of the Administration, will be readily recognised as the production of Mr. Menefee, of “Old Kaintuck,"-aut Diabolus aut Erasmus.
“He could perceive a feverish anxiety in the party in power, which indicated that after all the enormities which had come to light there were other and greater still behind. Hence the anxiety to stifle debate, and quench the light which was beginning to be shed on dark transactions long hidden from the public eye. After the proof had come of iniquity after iniquity, which had been plunged like avalanches from the heights of power into the pure lake of our republican institutions, now that Liberty was looking to this House for help, now came a solemn tirade in the Globe against wasting time in this most villanous dobate, and an appeal to the liege subjects of the throne at once to put a stop to it; and while such intimations came from the Official Organ, simultaneously there was an effort, within the House, to smother documentary light."
To appreciate this the reader must gradually work up his imagination to the level of the Alpine sublimity of the idea; or if that is beyond his powers, let him get up as near to it as he can. Let him first figure to himself the Administration, a certain vague, impalpable, foul, and awful Idea, a monstrum horrendum, informa ingens, cui lumen ademtum-with a bolster in one hand, like Othello, to stifle de bate, and smother the fair form of " Documentary light," and with a bucket in the other to quench the aforesaid peculiar description of light, should the smothering operation not prove sufficient to kill it. Let him next plant the monster on the top of Mont Blanc, brooding in grim horror over the verdant vales sleeping in tranquil loveliness and security below. Let him fuse into a "pure lake” our republican institutions, and 'locate' it at or near the base of the monster. When he has