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such unequivocal success in Great we have a class of men of letters; Britain, an attempt of the same kind scholars and students by profession; in this country should be received who will devote themselves excluby every American with pleasure, sively to the acquirement of knowand the most zealous co-operation. ledge and the cultivation of their It is, indecil, peculiarly suited to genius. While the literature of the our state of society, where men country depends upon men, howare too much engaged in action and ever fond of it, who must make it necessary occupations to write, or subordinate to those occupations by very generally to read, great books, which they live, and who can resort and yet where there is both talent to it only as an amusement in their and leisure enough for occasional few hours of leisure; as a relief to a and ingenious lucubrations. While mind almost exhausted by labour we are indignant at the contempt and exertion in another direction, with which foreigners treat the what can be expected but superficial American genius and intellect, let knowledge, unsatisfactory investigaus cherish every opportunity to re- tions, and meagre productions? Not fute the calumıny, not by vain anger indeed, to the discredit of those who and acrimonious reproach, but by a do even thus much, for, in their cirstrenuous exertion and display of cumstances, it is wonderful they afthe powers of our country, and the ford any attention to such pursuits, encouragement of every means to but to the discredit of the country, bring them into active operation. It which should liberally sustain a class is thus we shall be judged by the of men on whom she should build world and not by self praise, unsup- her reputation in literature, and ported by good works; not by angry from whom she would then have a complaints of injustice, without any right to demand it-and such a class cvidence of better deserts.
we certainly shall have. The citizens The AMERICAN REVIEW will, of the United States are a reading in some measure, put our preten- people; there is no deficiency of sions to the test; and discover whe- judgment or taste in them in deci. ther the talents we lay claim to, ding upon the merits of foreign proreally exist among us; or, at least, ductions. The number of books sold whether there is liberality enough here is immense in proportion to in the American community to fos- our population. But this is not ter and encourage them. Our men enough; the honest pride of counof money are too apt to think that try will not be satisfied until we scholars may take care of them are as independent in letters and selves, and to feel no obligation to science as we are in government. aid their efforts. This sentiment, so We must have our authors, whose fatal to our improvement, so degra- writings will accord with our situading to our character, must be cor- tion, our wants, our views, and interected; and the man who has any rests, and not for ever resort for evepride of country, must feel it as ry intellectual enjoyment to an immuch a duty to uphold its literature portation from abroad. and science by a moderate contribu. A periodical work is now present. tion of his means, as to support its ed to the publick patronage, which, government by a just proportion of if received with the kindness and its taxes. The political power and courtesy it merits, will bear honourprosperity of the nation depend upon able testimony to the world of our the one, and its moral estimation claims to erudition and genius; and, and improvement upon the other. if suffered to fall neglected, will tes.
We can never attain any high tify as loudly to our condemnation digice of literary excellence until and disgrace. The complete ability of Mr. Walsh, the editor, to conduct ruption and misery of France (which and enrich this work; to make it not I fear is impossible) and paints in only a most interesting and useful deceptive colours, the strength, manual at home, but a respectable wealth, and happiness of Britain, is witness of American literature he the less an American on this acabroad, cannot be called in question. count. He may be a prejudiced enHe is not now upon trial; his suffi- thusiast; he may, while in France, ciency has been amply and proudly have mistaken Paradise for Pandeproved, before a tribunal where no monium, and has reversed the deluAimsy pretension can impose, no sion in England, but still he is not pedantick affectation deceive. The the less a true member of his own star that was conspicuous in the country. We may doubt his judgEdinburgh constellation, needs no ment, or, if you please, the soundother evidence of its lustre.
ness of his intellects, but not the But there are some, a very few I honesty of his principles, or the pulhope, who, not doubting the abilities rity of his patriotism. I do not know of the editor, have, or affect to have, that an American is, as such, bound some fears of his principles; and to be in love with French rapinc and suggest that his opinions and feel- murder, or to think Napoleon the ings are not sufficiently American; most delectable tyrant that ever but have received an unfortunate scourged the earth. biass from his residence for a short It is urged against thc editor, that, time in Great Britain. If this objec- both in his prospectus, and throughtion had any foundation in truth, out the Inquiry into the past and there is no man with whom it would present Relations of France and the have more weight than myself. I United States, he speaks with frewould certainly cease to admire, or quent indignation and contempt of at least to encourage talents, how. some of our own great men, and seever rare and brilliant, which were verely taxes the conduct of the adpreparing their powers to vilify and ministration. This may be a reason degrade my country. If the knife is why, to the particular adherents and whetted to go to my heart, I cannot dependants upon that administration, gaze with much rapture on the polish he should not be very acceptable; of the blade. But where is the proof but it is no reason why he should by which this charge is supported ? not be greeted by every American We look for it in vain in the birth, who is independent of the governthe education, the hopes, and pros- ment, and of its offices and patronage; pects of Mr. W. These are all Ame- and bends not with a blind faith be. rican; purely so. He has planted his fore its infallibility; who desires truly happiness and fortunes in his native and honestly to be informed of the soil; and there is no feeling in his course, situation, and prospects of heart that is not interested in Ame- our publick affairs, and who has unrican prosperity and honour. There derstanding and liberality enough to being nothing, then, in the situation judge for himself, whether they be of this gentleman that should make fairly represented or not, in the him an object of this suspicion, can Review. Is it any evidence of the it be verified from any of his publi- want of American feelings in Mr. cations. His Letter on the Genius W. that he does not approve of the and Dispositions of the French Go- ruling administration? On the convernment, is before the publick, trary, would he have the feelings of and while it has added so much to an American if he did not express his literary fame, has taken nothing himself decidedly and independentfrom his patriotism. If it were adly upon their conduct. Is not this the mitted that he exaggerates the core first and most valued right of the citizen of every free government? in some degree, by his own temperand if it be conscientiously exerci. ament and maxims. But even those sed with an honest view to publick who may be disposed to disapinformation, with a just regard to the prove of this feature in the Review general honour and prosperity of the must admit that the objection is a country, we must not be too nice very limited one, and by no means about the selection of terms in which impairs the general integrity and a man, having a right to do so, ex- utility of the work. Besides, decorum presses his opinions of what he con-. is perfectly preserved; and however siders ruinous imbecility and dis- cutting the sarcasm, it is untainted graceful misconduct. If in these, too, with vulgar abuse. Men whose temhe is mistaken, it is his judgment pers are unusually mild and forand not his patriotism, that should bearing, may desire that even the meet condemnation. This right, and guilty should be touched with a tenthe free exercise of it, constitute der hand; while others may imagine the soil and base of our constitution. that in our perilous times, becoming Shall we have a right to choose our daily more perilous, the plain truth rulers, and shall we not be informed may be told in plain language; and of their management of our affairs ? that the man who undertakes to be and shall the man who would give us a publick monitor should sacrifice that information be driven from his no part of his duty to the feelings task, be hunted from the service by of those to whom we owe all our absurd suspicions of his integrity, calamity Listen to the wailings of and unsupported charges against his distress, mingled with the indignant patriotism ? It is the interest of a few reproaches of honour, which resound to attempt this politick game; but it through our country, and say if those is the interest of many more to de- who cause them have very strong feat it,
claims to tenderness in reluke. Our It is not expected that the leaders merchants, after exerting, in vain, of that party, whose administration every effort to save themselves; afis condemned, will have any fond ter struggling against destruction affection for the work that exposes assailing them from every quarter, its weakness. But it is hoped and and in every shape, are seen dropbelieved, that many, very many, who ping, in melancholy succession, in honestly follow the predominant the abyss of ruin, like exhausted party from a belief in its wisdom mariners from the floating wreck. and virtue, will not avert their eyes A floating wreck, indeed, is our from those pages which fairly exa- commerce; abandoned and abused mine its pretensions. There is no by those who were sworn to protect witchcraft in the book, that men her; beaten by conflicting tempests, should fear to trust their senses with and existing by precarious accidents, it. Read it patiently, and judge it How is our character changed and candidly. The importance of the fallen! So long since as 1775, Burke, subject, and the character of the speaking of our country, said it was author, at least, merit so much at, an object « not to be considered as tention; and if he fails to convince, one of those minima which is out he will not corrupt.
of the eye and consideration of the Whether the manner in which he law; not a paltry excrescence of makes his assault upon those who state; not a mere dependant, who administer the publick affairs, has may be neglected with little damage, in it too much of acrimony and vio. and provoked with little danger" lence or not, is a question on which that « some degree of care and cauthere will naturally be a difference tion was required in the handling of opinion. A man will judge of it, such an object”-that, “ to trifle with
the interests and feelings of so large will not avert their eyes from the a mass of the human race, could not page which examines, with a masbe done with impunity." How has ter-spirit, the truth of its pretensions. this glowing picture faded ? With If their condemnation be rash or four times the population we then unjust, the reader will have his faith had, and a much larger increase of strengthened by the investigation; strength and resources, we no lon- his friends will become more firm ger deserye his eulogium. It has not in his affection by passing the orheretofore been exacted of political deal, and his confidence in them writers to treat with any ceremoni. be more rational and satisfactory. ous respect those whose inability or But if froin a condensed view and depravity is, in their opinion, sink fair analysis of undoubted facts, and ing the state. While the attack a clear exposition of their causes avoids every point of private charac. and consequences, he shall find he ter or misfortune; every weapon of has trusted too far and too blindly; personal and malevolent abuse, the he will be thankful for his delivewhole publick man has ever been rance from so dangerous a delusion, thought to be a fair object of assault, and use all his power to dispel it with all the energy which talent, from others. Converts, assuredly, without malignity, can give; and all will not be made from those who the powers of persuasion, which ge- feed and fatten on publick employnius can supply. The examples of ment, and exist by keeping “ things ancient, as well as modern days, am. as they are;" who have an interest ply justify the war, and, when the directly opposite to that of the namotive is pure, it is a solcmn duty. tion: But surely those who supply The warning prophets of a people the treasure, may inquire whether have ever been permitted to dis- it be honestly and beneficially discharge their high functions in tones tributed; whether those who are paid of authority; in the language of for their services are really useful; truth. Junius, at least a popular wri. whether those who have been ho. ter, especially among fierce republi- noured and exalted for their vircans, whatever his other merits may tue and wisdom, are really virtuous be, has not thought an attention to and wise. Let it always be kept in the courtesy of his phrases necessary mind too, that it is the official, politito the propriety of his demeanour, cal conduct of the administration, or the proof of his patriotism. Sure that is the object of Mr. W's ani. ly the friends of the existing pow. madversions, and not the persons ers will not dare to complain of who compose it. Mr. Madison apharshness or disrespect, when they pears no where but as president of recollect by what torrents of the the United States; and the members grossest and most vile calumnies, of his cabinet are treated with the they overwhelmed the principles and same decorum. Has not then this policy of the Washington adminis- work a commanding claim to the tration.
attention and patronage of every I repeat, that it is not expected American, who has the will, the abi. that the leaders of the party, whose lity, and the courage, to look into administration is condemned, will the conduct of his rulers, to judge have any fond affection for a work for himself of their wisdom and ca. which exposes its weakness, and pacity, and to anticipate by sound points to the awful results that wait reasoning, and fair deductions, the upon its measures. But it is hoped probable consequences of their mcathat maury, very many, who follow sures. If such inquiries are to be the predominant sect under an ho- stifled by power, or withered witin rest-belief of its wisdom and virtues, coldness, we may, indeed, con.
clude, with dean Swift, “ that it is mon with the rest of the world, er safer for a man's interest to blas. as auxiliary to the downfall of Great pheme God, than to be of a party Britain that he hates us, either out of power, or even to be thought as a part of the human species, against
which he wages a war of extermiIt is hoped that these general re- nation, or because we are a cominarks upon the spirit and character mercial people. Those nations which of the American Review, will have deserve to live and thrive by the so much influence in removing the arts of peace are the natural objects charge of anti-Americanism, as to of hate to one which exists by rapine induce those who have entertained and bloodshed; that avows itself a this prejudice, at least, to read and military power, and confessedly judge for theinselves. Whatever la- puts all its hopes upon conquest. titude there may have been for con- The writer solemnly warns us, that jecture about the character of this Bonaparte has hitherto sought our journal before its publication, such ruin by plundering and oppressive anticipations must now be at an end. decrees; by the most provoking arIt is before the publick to answer rogance and insult; and by profound for itself; and is, undoubtedly, its and artful efforts to excite a quarrel own best defender. Calumny will be between Great Britain and the Unirefuted, and cautious doubt removed ted States. Having failed in the full more effectually by perusing its accomplishment of his wishes, by pages, than by any panegyrick. A these means, he has changed his short notice of the articles contained plan of hostility, and now strives by in the first number, shall conclude hypocritical caresses; by false promy observations.
fessions of affection, to draw us to This number commences with his embrace, and involve us in war An Inquiry into the past and pre- with Great Britain, which he well sent Relations of France and the knows will sink us into calamities, United States. We venture to pro- he cannot in any other way inflict. nounce this one of the most lucid, We have in this article a masterly elegant, and argumentative political exposition of the principles and poarticles ever published. The facts licy, as well as of the practical effects are stated with so much candour, of the French decrees; and so clear supported by such evidence, and a view is given of the designs of the grouped with so much propriety emperour upon this country, and of and judgment, that they present to our “ past and present relations" the mind, at one view, and with the with France; that the American who irresistable conviction of truth, the will not read, is a traitor to himself. various occurrences which have ta- Let the man who doubts Mr. W's ken place between the two coun. Americanism, turn to these pages; tries for several years past. When let him observe the knowledge disthe author reasons from his facts, played there of our best interests, his powers of combination, analysis, the anxious solicitude for their prededuction, and carry conviction to the servation, the ardent love of country, understanding, and admiration to the the rational respect for the Ameriheart. The man who doubts after he can people, their character, power, lias read, must be incorrigible in ob. and resources, and his doubts must stinacy or dullness. The great ob- give way to admiration and affection ject of this article is to demonstrate for such a defender of our rights. from publick documents and unques. In the true spirit of honest impartioned facts, that Napoleon, the tiality, Mr. W. applies his powers maminoth devourer of nations, is to the British orders in council, bent upon our destruction in com- which he pronounces, “in the high