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heralded by any studied preface or elaborate apology.
It is precisely what
.it purports to be, and neither more nor less. A simple, truthful, but graphic history of the great man's life—that man so honest, frank, and true-so leal and patriotic-so gifted, generous, and kind. Surely every one who has read the touching narrative of The Heart of Mid Lothian, or who has revelled in the stirring pages of Ivanhoe, must long to know something of the inner life the every-day existence of that great intellect, whose magic genius could give birth to creations such as these. While Lockhart's work, invaluable in itself, is too ample and diffuse for general circulation, we find in the little volume now before us the happy attainment of a long-felt desideratum.
It is dedicated to Washington Irving, from whose sketches of Abbotsford, as well as from Allan's and Lockhart's Lives, the materials are principally drawn.
We follow through its pages, with increasing interest and admiration, the life of its subject, from the time when, in his earliest infancy, while lying upon his native heather, a fierce thunder-storm gathering in the sky, he clapped his tiny hands in childish admiration of the scene, and cried, "Bonny, bonny," as the vivid lightning flashed around him, to the last days of his existence, when his faithful, pen, so long a willing and obedient servant, fell from the hand, which, tremulous with disease, vainly sought to grasp it; and the heart broken old man, at last awake to the mournful truth, leaned back in his chair in silent and tearless resignation. The captivating simplicity of style, and the exceeding interest of the narrative, will commend the work to every intelligent reader.
UNITED STATES ECONOMIST, DRY GOODS REPORTER, AND BANK, RAILROAD AND COMMERCIAL CHRONICLE.
This weekly paper we consider one of the most valuable contributions to commercial literature, and a most efficient exponent of sound principles of political economy. Its editor, Thomas P. Kettell, is well known in the United States and in Europe as a financial writer and economist of the democratic or equal rights school. His clear critiques and vivid illustrations were for many years, in the New York IHerald, of which he was the financial editor, of powerful instrumentality in setting right public opinion upon the subject of banks and currency, in those years when Whiggery, headed by the "old monster," was waging such corrupt war against the rights of the people. The continued series of articles upon production, exchange, banking, international commerce, and internal trade, contained in the Economist, we recommend to the attention of our readers. The paper contains also the most comprehensive and accurate market reports and prices current.
UNITED STATES REVIEW.
THE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL STATE OF EUROPE.
FRANCE-which has long aspired to be the leader of the civilized world, in literature, civilization, refinement, manners and fashions; whose language is almost universal, and whose milliners prescribe laws to the ladies-may be almost said to have murdered liberty in its cradle. By the example she presented in the first revolution, and by the excesses then committed, she caused humanity to shudder at its very name; by the propagation of a farrago of disorganizing principles calculated to uproot the entire system of social organization, and associa ting them with the hallowed name of freedom, she rallied against it all who had rights or property to lose; and now, by having again voluntarily prostituted herself to the embraces of despotism, she has exhibited an example to Europe and the world, more discouraging to nations, more fatal to their hopes of freedom, than that of her first revolution. Even the people of the United States, who have hitherto cordially sympathized in every step that seemed to bring her nearer to that shrine at which she had offered up such bloody sacrifices, now view her as a wayward, capricious child, that either knows not what it wants, or is too flighty and unpurposed to pursue it steadily, or to grasp it when within reach.
But who shall claim the right to do as they please in things which concern themselves alone, if not nations? As citizens of the United States, holding that every people has a right to choose its own form of government, we cannot deny this right to France; and if we believed that Napoleon the Third had really been chosen by the free voice of the French people,
VOL. I.-NO. VI.
however we might be mortified and amazed, we would say at once they had a right to become slaves if they wished to be slaves. But we consider the election of Louis Napoleon a farce. At the very moment that election took place, nearly one third of the departments of France were in such a state of disaffection that they were occupied by a military force devoted to the purposes of the Imperial candidate; and can it be supposed that an election could be free under such circumstances, or that, if it were, the departments thus in a state of siege would have voted almost unanimously for the man to whom they were so disaffected, that it was necessary to coerce them into submission by a military force? The idea is monstrous, incredible; and the conclusion must be, that these people, if they voted at all, were coerced or overawed in the exercise of the right of suffrage. There was but one candidate permitted, and even if they had freely exercised that right, it was "Hopson's choice," that or none. It is, however, assumed that the nation is satisfied; and if so, we would not, if we could, disturb its repose.
But here, too, we are incredulous. We do not believe the nation is satisfied. But this we can never know except by an open outbreak of the people. The Press in France is not only muzzled, but choked, and the voice of the people smothered. The free expression of opinion on the part of one is followed by sequestration, fine, and imprisonment, and the outburst of popular feeling is sedition and treason. In this state of things the Emperor of France will, without doubt, be the most adored of sovereigns, and the people the most loyal and devoted of slaves. They can no longer complain, and in future must give expression to their feelings in that mode which is said to speak louder than words. We shall probably see no more clouds in the sky until the scorching lightning flashes forth, and the blast of the whirlwind comes.
Those who believe they have as yet seen any more than what Talleyrand aptly called "the beginning of the end," may live to see many other acts of that drama, the first of which opened in the New World in 1776; and those who calmly and dispassionately contemplate the present social and political state of Europe cannot, we think, fail to perceive that the elements of great radical changes are fermenting in her bosom. The principles asserted in the American Declaration of Independence were not merely limited to states, but extended to individuals; and while vindicating the independence of one, they established the rights of the other. They were social as well as political, and involved within them a radical change
in that system of social organization which had separated men of the same race and color from each other, giving to one class rights which were to be inalienable, and placing the other under disqualifications equally perpetual.
These principles are daily spreading throughout Europe, and acquiring new force from the spectacle exhibited of the consequences of their practical application in the United States. They may be trodden under foot, but cannot be crushed to death; they may be subdued, but cannot be annihilated. They are innate in the heart of man, and constitute a part of his very nature. The materials on which they act, so far from being exhausted, are every day accumulating, and must inevitably produce a crisis, when the physical powers of nations will be arrayed against the artificial vigor of hireling soldiers and standing armies. What the result will be, depends not on people or armies, but the Lord of Hosts. We ourselves earnestly hope, though humbly, that the great and final contest will yet result in the triumph of the young and vigorous spirit of freedom born and nursed in the New World, over the portentous phantom of despotic power which has so long stalked rough-shod over the Old.
That the spirit of freedom is still abroad in Europe is quite certain. The people can no longer live quietly under a despotism, though they may not yet be qualified for the enjoyment of liberty. But this, though a strong, is not, we think, a decisive argument in favor of keeping them in a condition which forever precludes them from becoming so. This would render all improvement impossible; and as well might we attempt to educate children by preventing them from going to school, as to prepare men for the enjoyment of liberty by keeping them in chains. They must learn to be free, as they learn everything else, by example, experience, reflection, and, we may add, by suffering.
But, however this may be, a multitude of pregnant indications, continually manifesting themselves, serve to show that the blood offered up at the shrine of liberty during the French Revolution has not been shed in vain. Liberty, like religion, must have its martyrs. The Reformation of the Church cost its millions, and the reformation of States cannot be accomplished without great sacrifices. Such seems to be the dispensation of Providence. For every good we enjoy we pay the price; and saving the gift of life, there is nothing beneficial bestowed on us without equivalent. To enjoy the blessings of the future, we must, in some measure, sacrifice the
present; and a happy old age can only be attained by a youth of self-denial. Unless the sovereigns of Europe voluntarily acquiesce in the demands of the people for constitutional government, they will, assuredly, entail on themselves and their successors if they ever have any-a burden of increasing cares and anxieties, for which an imperial diadem is no recompense, and, finally, become victims in exiles, or, at best, only reign over serfs. Thus the Emperor of Austria, by encroaching on the ancient national rights of Hungary, has converted eight or ten millions of once loyal subjects into so many discontented slaves.
The triumph, not of hireling soldiers, but of the peasantry of Austria, Prussia, and the minor states of Germany, over these invaders, their armies could not withstand, gave them, for the first time, an insight into their irresistible might, when armed, and acting in concert, under the powerful impulse of patriotism. They fought for their country, not for their kings; not in gratitude for past, but in anticipation of future benefits. They were promised constitutional governments, one branch of which was to be based on representation, which promises have either been superciliously evaded or treacherously denied. They asked for a share in the power of the states which they had thus protected with their blood, and were answered by the bayonet. In a few instances, indeed, they were deluded with the shadow of freedom, and permitted to send representatives to legislative bodies, without the power of legislation, since they could not even debate a law which had not been first proposed by the Sovereign.
In short, they found themselves grossly deceived, and from the period in which the Congress of Vienna, as was boasted, restored peace to Europe, by robbing Peter to pay Paul, and without taking any effectual measures to cancel the obligation which the sovereigns owed to the people who saved their thrones, a deep feeling of just indignation has pervaded the masses of Germany, Prussia, and Italy. That attachment to their rulers, which had been awakened by promised benefits, has been replaced by hatred of their oppressors, and contempt for their want of faith. At the same time, the accumulation of national debts, and national burdens, even in time of profound peace, every day adds to their sufferings and discontent, and increases their disaffection. Affairs are coming to a crisis. Despotism, undisguised and uncontrolled, has been proclaimed in Germany; that great confederation of states has been dissolved by imperial edicts; the Emperor of Austria has become Emperor of Germany, and the ancient rights