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ture and gibbet Kings and Queens, and Bishops, for the popular entertainment, forgetting that the Americans have nothing to do with our treatment of Kings and Bishops, and that our literature should be as dissimilar as possible to either gibbets or caricatures. Farther, we enjoin them silence and good humour. The charms of silence we illustrate by harangues on their soreness and irritability; and we suggest their vulgar manners, their scanty literature, and the prospect of their language being for ever amenable to our correction, as themes on which they may meditate during their pleased and pensive taciturnity.
But we admire the writings of Washington Irving, and, it might have been added, the pictures of Lesley, and of the American Newton.* And this is a pledge of our perfect liberality. So thinks the Editor's friend, but not so the Editor. For the Americans have gone before us in this species of justice, having praised our British books abundantly, and yet without obtaining credit for entire freedom from prejudices. Nor, in strictness, have they deserved it. It is on neither side an excuse for national abuse to have paid compliments to individuals, The charitable feeling between two kindred and free nations ought to extend much farther, and exclude all collective animosity. How to produce this Christian spirit is, to be sure, the problem which can never be practically solved in perfection. Yet, let antipathies be softened, if they cannot be eradicated. If our interests and those of America be the same, they should unite us; if they jar, the more composure of mind is necessary to adjust them. America is told that she will always find friends in England, from the party which supports the republican side of our mixed constitution. But is this all that England can offer America-not the milk of human kindness, but the spare gall of political wrangling? Is not every English royalist interested to demonstrate, in his demeanour towards America, that Monarchy creates more courtesy of manners, than Republicanism ?-that chivalrous recollections inspire magnanimity? that our Universities teach dispassionate ethics; and that our church is at the head of Christian churches, by its having impressed our public character with forbearance and charity?
So much for the feelings that ought to be brought into this business. As to wrangling with America in print, it should be the policy of all honest British politicians to avoid it.
If the anxious Monarchist be alarmed at her citizens overdescribing their democratical blessings, he should recollect that every contemptuous word we throw out is a challenge to their pride and boastfulness, and a temptation for them to exaggerate
The Editor calls him American, because there is an ingenious English artist of the same name.
the pictures of their own felicity. And though we may expose many of their false assertions, yet, as all human things have imperfections, those of our own venerable institutions are in turn laid open to the detraction of antagonists, whom we irritate in order to make sure of their candour. It is true that rude remarks on England might come from America, supposing our press to be ever so moderate. English emigrants rail at us; but for these the native American character is not responsible. Granting, however, that this railing is an evil, how is it best to be mitigated? The transatlantic press cannot be silenced by force: though vanquished in argument, it would argue still. All angry discussion on our part that inflames the whole American people, makes them speak ten times of our tithes and taxes for once that they would mention them if not embarked in a provoking controversy. And their boastings of immunity from such burdens -boastings undeniably aggravated by the reproaches which we offer them come indirectly, through seditious newspapers, to our taxed and tithed, and reading poor. By wrangling with the only nation that speaks English, we render the only foreign newspaper an uneducated Englishman can read, to the utmost extent in our power, a gazette of his causes for discontent. If the American press be despicable, the surest token of our contempt would be silence; if it be formidable, it is better to be at peace than at war with it. If America has been violent in this war of words, it is clear that we have not been moderate: even her federalists have been insulted by us. When she has spoken of those whom she thought her great men, and mentioned Patrick Henry, it has been contemptuously asked, in one of our most popular publications, "Who is he?"-The memory of Patrick Henry is deeply respected by his countrymen. He was the first orator who stood up in an American assembly to propose the resolution of their independence. Whether we choose to call him great or not, he was a bold and distinguished man. His name is inwoven in his country's history, and ought to have been known to every one pretending to write about America.
This is not the way to deal, either effectively or fairly, with the citizens of the United States. Let us increase the number of their liberals, by our own liberality. Their Republicans, in candid moments, will acknowledge defects in their own system of policy, calculated to make an Englishman better satisfied with his own institutions-acknowledgments which their pride will justly refuse to our haughty treatment; and it must be owned that we treat them haughtily, when we subjoin to the name of one of their best and bravest patriots the ignorant and insolent interrogation of "Who is he?"
There is no need to flatter their self-complacency. But surely it need not compromise our dignity, that the general character
of our publications should gain over the young American, who is to be the future senator or ruler of his country, to form pleasing associations with the political literature of Britain. It were better that the language recording his ties of affinity with us, were not the only one, perhaps in the world, in which he can read humiliating truths or irritating falsehoods about his country, and expressions of contempt, calculated to make him vow, in the weakness of human nature, that no love shall be lost between himself and Old England.
The worst thing urged against America is her negro slavery -a theme, no doubt, for the general philanthropist, but not for the Englishman as a ground of unqualified national vanity. Slaves cannot breathe in England. Yes, but they can breathe in the English West Indies, and breathe heavier groans (it is said) than in America. And we profit by this slavery, and we pay taxes to maintain it. The negro, however, is free the moment he reaches our shores. And could he reach them at his pleasure, we might then boast that we took the chains from his limbs, and bound them round his heart. But he cannot come over to us. An English soldier would help to kill him, if he asserted his liberty; and the main power that coerces him is English. Now, the plea which our own colonists allege for possessing slaves is necessity, and we either admit or reject this plea. If we absolve the West Indian, we cannot condemn the American. If we denounce them both as tyrants, it is clear that, of the two, we are most nearly and practically concerned with our fellow subjects of the West Indies. If we can justify or palliate their slavery, let us make allowance for that of America. And if we cannot justify it, then, before we preach the emancipation of slaves to another empire, we should first make efforts to accomplish that emancipation in our own.
It is prophesying at random to speak of the future dependence of the American language and literature upon ours; and it is unfair to deride their future prospects of fame, which are neither contemptible nor chimerical. In maintaining real rights, let us be resolute; but not in bandying irritating and useless speculations. Much less in accusations that heighten national antipathies. How degrading to both countries was the spectacle when the American press accused Englishmen of stirring their punch with the amputated fingers of Irish rebels, and when England retorted by charging American parents with letting their children run drunk about the streets-a loathsome rivalship in scandal that would have disgraced honest fishwomen. From calumnies like these, base as they are, spring antipathies that prepare the human mind for the guilt of war. The serpents' teeth, though buried in the dirt, produce armed men. The evil of nationally hostile writers lives long after their short reputa
tions-it is felt by posterity, when their works are gone to the grocer's shop.
In all that the Editor has said, he has not meant to justify the malignity or injustice of any American railer against England. He has only argued that British pride should be above exasperation, and should be inclined rather to pardon than punish the irascible anxiety of the Americans respecting their national character, which, though great for their age as a nation, is yet proceeding, and incomplete. That very anxiety, though it may have been misdirected, is a virtuous emotion in a young nation.
If any ill-natured remarks should be made on this apology which the Editor has offered the people of the United States, he can promise his critics one advantage, that he will (in all probability) make no reply to them. But the sober part of the British community will scarcely require an excuse for his having spoken thus respectfully of the Americans. It was a duty peculiarly imposed on him by the candid manner of Mr. Everitt's reply; and it was otherwise, as he felt in his heart, deservedly claimed by a people eulogized by Burke and Chatham-by a land that brings such recollections to the mind as the wisdom of Washington and Franklin, and the heroism of Warren and Montgomery.
Confident that with the exception of such an accidental aberration as has been mentioned, his compilation will be found to have no characteristic at variance with the best interests of society, the Editor presumes to solicit the assistance of the literary men of all countries to support him in its continuance. And, finally, he begs leave to return his thanks to the individuals who have hitherto lent him their aid, as well as to the public for having given him their encouragement.
THE FIRST VOLUME.
Verses to the Rainbow, By T. Campbell
The Lover to his Mistress on her Birth-day, translated from the
A Journey to Palmyra, or Tadmor in the Desert; with a short
inquiry relative to the Wind of the Desert, called Samieli.
New Religious Sect discovered in India.
An account of the Revolution of Naples during 1798, 1799
Knight Toggenburg, from the German of Schiller
On the Writings of Richard Clitheroe
Anecdotes of J. Macpherson, the Freebooter and Musician
On the Complaints in America against the British Press
Letters to M. Say, on some fundamental Principles in Statistics,
and the causes of the present Stagnation of Commerce 90,366
On the Origin of the celebration of Christmas