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(issue title) North Carolina University magazine Vol. I, No. 1 (March 1844)
(serial title) North Carolina University Magazine
(caption title) N. Carolina University Magazine
(running title) University Magazine
Thomas Loring at the Office of the Independent
Call number VC378 UQm 1844 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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|VOL. I.||CHAPEL HILL, MARCH, 1844.||NO. I.|
KIND READER: The first number of the North Carolina University Magazine is before you. If the announcement of this fact excites no surprise in you, we assure you, that but a few weeks since, the anticipation of this announcement would have filled us with absolute amazement. The idea of being so soon erected into oracles of Literature to a community of such refined Tastes and varied attainments is positively overwhelming.
The Prospectus gave notice that the Senior Class had conceived the bold design of offering the creations of their Genius to the Public. The courteous Public lent a willing ear to their modest overtures. And now, after all the vascillations of labor--all the alternations of Hope and Fear--from the fiery ordeal of anxious preparation, The Magazine is introduced to you, with all the uneasy gawkeries of a blushing Debutant.
We have thus far, feebly fulfilled our promises. As it is the offspring of your favor, we cannot but think that you will cherish it. We have thought that the citizens of a State, which has contributed from public and private funds, more than half a million of dollars, in order that her sons might enjoy the advantages of a Classical and Scientific education, would scarcely withhold from us, the means of affording us an opportunity of perfecting ourselves in an equally important Department of Letters. More especially were we inclined to this opinion, when we reflected, that, possibly, some very slight equivalent might be more immediately given them in exchange for their generous outlay.
We cannot anticipate objections to this Periodical; for we believe that our design is a laudable one, even if our efforts to support it, fail to meet with public approbation. There are moments, unemployed by the severer labors of our Text Books, which may be pleasantly and profitably devoted to the cultivation of Light Literature. The College muse is not always deaf to the wooings of her suiters when they carry with them to her shrine, the commendation of light hearts, and the ardor and unmixed devotion of youthful love. There may be vanity in thus offering you our productions; but we can safely presume, that you will suppress the sentence of condemnation, when you know that it is the only method of exciting the ambitious labors of the Student.
It could not be expected that our Magazine will present the varied information and learned research of the older Periodicals of the day; but all our experience and all our learning will be earnestly applied
We can have no Review Department; for we have not the means of procuring New Books, even if we possessed the critical taste and judgement to review them. But other points of resemblance to the common Magazines, we have used all diligence to secure.
Such as it is, we commend it to you, as a voluntary offering--a token of our devotion to Literature. We present it as a flower in the bud. It is for you to determine, whether it shall wither and die, from neglect, or increase in beauty and fragrance, and expand under the genial sunshine of public favor. We commend it, therefore, kind reader, to an indulgent perusal, or to a consignment to a modest corner of your centre table; with the sincere hope that we may meet again under brighter auspices--that this tie of our thoughts and feelings may be strengthened--that gratitude may arouse us to renewed exertions to please--that peace and good will may rest with us until we meet again.
With this feeble expression of our cares, hopes and prospects, kind reader, we bid you a most respectful Adieu!
"Here the free spirit of mankind at length,
Throws its last letters off; and who shall place
A limit to the giant's unchain'd strength,
Or curb his swiftness in the forward race?" BRYANT.
The history of American Literature is fraught with the record of the same malignant spirit which marked the opposition of Great Britain to our young Republic, in her early struggles for political freedom. The intemperate zeal with which her claims have been defended, has involved the two nations in controversies of a character highly discreditable to both parties. And these contests, while they exhibit the prevailing hostility of the British Press towards every thing that relates to the productions of American Genius, at the same time expose an acute sensibility on our part, which only serves to add poignancy to its attacks.
Our authors, not satisfied to repose upon the well earned laurels with which their own country has honored them, look with eagerness to a foreign land for reward and encouragement, and submit their claims to the uncertain results of this "Paper Warfare." At one time their champions will raise their banners, inscribed with the fame of their authors and manfully meet the brunt of opposition. Anon, they drop their streaming colors, and hoist the flag of truce and sue for terms of peace, in feeling appeals to the honor and sympathy of their adversaries; telling their enemy that they have drawn their weapons from the vast armory of the past, and their ranks swollen by the shades of the mighty Dead; that youthful warriors as themselves are, they
dare not meet such formidable opposition; it were madness and irreverence to attempt it.
These national controversies can effect nothing favorable to the character of American Literature; (unless it may stimulate authors to greater exertions,) it certainly cannot establish that of the past, upon a firmer basis. But as long as we allow the British Press to be our judge and critic, these controversies will exist, and continue to poison our best feelings for our mother country; will lead us to forget our proper relations, and prevent that moral and intellectual connexion, which so naturally exists between two countries speaking the same language and possessing so many other kindred ties. We are accustomed to pay too much deference to the sanctions of British Taste. The ore of American genius must needs receive the stamp of a Transatlantic Mint, ere it is here recognized as genuine coin. It is right and proper that we should assume the English as our Standard. For we are proud of our heritage of the past; we partake equally with Great Britain in the honor of the great names that throng the annals of English Literature. But there is no reason in allowing the British to be our Tribunal. Can we expect impartiality in their decisions? It is on productions of Art or Science alone, that we would look for a fair and candid expression of opinion. Even then, experience would incline us to expect that prejudice would delay the sanctions of deliberate judgement. Then how can we expect that Great Britain, standing as she does, in relations of political hostility to this country should pronounce an unbiassed opinion upon her Literature--when that Literature is almost emphatically the history of the rise and progress of Liberty and free institutions, whose every page glows with the ardent love of Liberty, and hate of Tyranny; when it is an humbling to her national pride, and calculated to rekindle all the jealousies of the past.
The above remarks are made more particularly in reference to the Poetical Department of our Literature; for it is in that, we manifest so much sensibility, implying a consciousness of some deficiency, which makes us so impatient under the taunts of the British Press. In the sciences, and indeed, in every branch of Prose Literature, our writers have vindicated the strength and fire of American-genius, and secured for themselves undying reputation in foreign countries. The malignant sneer of the critic, "who reads an American Book?" is answered by such a host of indignant authors, that it is now echoed across the Atlantic in tones of mockery and rebuke.
In our remarks, we would not be understood as detracting any thing from the merits of our poets. We have poets that would honor any nation and any language. But we have no great Poets--none worthy of the institutions under which we live; none worthy of the moral and political grandeur of our country.
The most zealous American, while he must necessarily confess the
inferiority of our Poetry, must regret to see the grounds on which that inferiority is placed. It is answered to the strictures of the British Press, that, ours is a young Republic, and since its foundation, its citizens have been engaged in matters of more interest; that it could not be expected that in the short period of half a century a Literature could spring up to vie with that of the old world. Is it not unmanly to assume this ground for a nation boasting so much strength and maturity in her moral and political being? Who would think of offering such a plea in reply to an imputation upon our institutions? Why attempt to throw aside the responsibility of a Poetry, when we profess (to use a hackneyed but very appropriate figure) to have sprung like "Minerva full armed" for the struggle for national existence; rich with a language from the "pure well of English undefiled" and blessed with the pure principles of civil and religious Liberty.
The inferiority of our Poetry does not arise from a want of energy or genius; not from local disadvantages; not from a want of scenery or associations or any of the elements of Poetic inspirations, but simply and solely from the taste and habits of the American People.
That we have the genius, we have only to refer for proof to the mighty triumphs of mind when directed in other channels. The plans of our social existence; the vast improvements in the arts and sciences; the strength and beauty of our Government, exhibit a refinement of moral feeling; a richness and fertility of imagination; a boldness and originality of thought; a force and profoundness of wisdom, no where else presented upon the face ol the earth.
The objection, then, lies in the utilitarian spirit, and practical tendencies of the people. They want that ardent enthusiasm; that unmixed devotion for genius which alone can arouse and encourage its labors. They have too little respect for a poetical character, if it wants the substantial elements of living pecuniary habits. The sublime songs of Tasso, would be treated as the mere incoherent ravings of a maniac. Goldsmith would be considered only as a fit object for the cares of Poor House Commissioners. Respect for his Genius would be lost in contempt for the pauper. With characteristic prudence, they hold the propriety of conservative principles in Poetry; as well as in the more practical affairs of life. We have no Professional Poets. Some of our most eminent men are engaged in mercantile or banking operations. They know well the folly of relying solely upon the caprice and coquetry of the American Muse. A man who would set out in life with the avowed intention of writing poetry for subsistence, would be looked upon as little better than a madman.
We have never believed that Poetry is the offspring of wealth and luxury--the nursling of purple robes and gilded palaces; and we would avoid with equal diligence, the other belief that there is any poetic inspiration in observations from garret windows, or any other associations
of poverty. We would take the middle ground, and assume that the independent Poet, whose ambition is excited and who writes for same, is the surest to wear its laurels. And not until there is a resolution in the character of the American People, sufficient to offer these rewards, can we hope to attain to a very high rank in that department of Letters.
Another obstacle to the growth of Poetry, and indeed, our Literature generally, arises from the prevailing encouragement of productions of foreign pens to the neglect of those of native origin. And here the tone and character of the aforesaid controversies and the practice of the Literary Public, involve an inconsistency as discreditable to our boasted spirit of independence, as it is injurious to our Literature. While they profess to foster and uphold the offsprings of American genius, foreign publications are received and devoured with exclusive eagerness. The enthusiasm which escapes the absorbing influences of party politics, is lavished upon matters of foreign origin. The warm gushings of poetic inspiration from the South and West, are chilled, and the bolder strains of the Northern Lyre are hushed in silence before the more savored creations of the Old World, that have the sanction of the British Review, and the endorsement of British patronage.
We become a nation of readers instead of authors--are content to be the recipients and supporters of foreign Literature; imbibe and echo foreign opinions; yield ourselves to a slavish intellectual thraldom, and thus minister at the very altars on which our intellectual hopes and energies are sacrificed.
We hope that the patriotic spirit of our National Legislature may aid to arrest this ruinous tide of literary persecution, and rouse the genius of our savored land, and raise Poetry to an honorable place among the other graces of the American Union.
It is true, we have none of the sources of inspiration which animate much of the Poetry of the Old World. None of the "magic sway of elder time--" no dimly lit traditions of the past--no visions of Old Romance--none of the fruitful topics, which warmed the harps of the minstrels of Provence--no tilts or tournaments--none of the antique paraphernalia of "La Gaie Science" which inspired old Chaucer to sing of
Trouth and honor, fredom and Courtesie."
"The days of Chivalry are past," and much of its romance. But reason has not yet robbed Poetry of any of its charms. If Poetry be the language of Nature, then we have its deepest sources of inspiration. Our fair land presents Nature in her loveliest garb--quivering with all the freshness of the morning--a flower enamelled Garden where the Genius of Poetry may draw the sweetest inspiration.
"Land of the beautiful--the brave,
Of Freedom's home--the martyr's grave,
The nursery of giant men,
Whose deeds have linked with every glen,
And every hill and every stream,
The romance of a warrior dream."
We need a national Poetry--breathing the high and holy spirit of our early institutions--worthy of embalming the deeds of our Pilgrim Fathers,
"Who sternly bore
Such toils as meaner souls had quell'd."
Worthy of recording the noble struggle of revolutionary heroes--a Poetry that will speak to aftertimes in the language and feeling of the present and past of our National character. We hope and believe that some Poet will yet rise to do justice to our institutions--who like Milton throwing aside the trammels of Society will write for posterity.
------"A spirit not of earth
Still struggles for its birth--
He will not sleep forever, but will rise,
Fresh to more daring labors.
The goal is still before him and the prize
Still wooes his eager eyes."
We are informed that many of the phenomena which occur in the study of Natural Philosophy, were referred by Aristotle to the grand principle of Nature's abhorrence of a vacuum. This 'fuga racui,' which, examined by the light thrown upon science by the modern philosophy, is regarded as eminently absurd in physics, is still considered by theorists as the cause of that wonderful uniformity with which the station of particular individuals in advance of their age is graduated to the progress of the mass of society. Borrowing a metaphor from a different branch of learning, they tell us that, naturally, every want of mankind will be provided for by the principles of 'Demand and Supply:' and, therefore, that the quality and quantity of literary gratification afforded at any one period, will be in accordance with the relish displayed by that particular generation. We confess we are not a little disposed to acknowledge the truth of this maxim--at any rate it will afford a convenient head of generalization--including many facts otherwise anomalous and unaccountable.
It forms an interesting incident in the history of literature, that the earliest compositions of antiquity, which remain until our time, belong to the class of narrative. To account for this fact, we say that such
efforts at that day, were in a great measure dependant for success on the reception given them by the rude assemblages, in whose presence they were rehearsed. After the racers, wrestlers and boxers had contended at their sacred games in the ancient States of Greece; the ivy and laurel crowned victors, mingling with the mass of common spectators, surrounded the rostrum on which the poets and historians appeared to rehearse their productions. It was in Elis that Euripides, contending as to excellence in Tragedy with Zenoches, was adjudged to have lost the olive wreath to his obscure competitor; and here the recital of the history written by Herodotus 'fired the young Thucydides to an early emulation.' Assuredly the ignorant crowds who solemnized the Olympic and the Isthmian games, would scarcely have yielded their attention, had not the Poets proposed to relate circumstances which had actually happened, or which, as forming the heroic achievements of their deities, did not too heavily tax the credulity. We say 'assuredly,' as it is not without great difficulty that the uncultivated human mind can grasp any thing more abstruse than simple narrative: and, as in such a condition it is more interested by a detail, however minute, than by the expression of noble sentiments, or by the enunciation of the great general propositions of Religion or of Science. Even when the Greek Philosophers endeavored to surmount the difficulties which were incident to the age in which they lived, their recorded progress is not of such a nature as to throw discredit on our theory. In the language of Mr. Tytler, 'they have afforded little more than a picture of the imbecility of the human mind, and have served only to perplex the understanding, and to retard equally the advancement of sound morality and the progress of useful knowledge.' Influenced by such considerations, we believe that Homer owed much of his contemporaneous popularity, to the frequent mention which he makes of local heroes; and, that as he recited those sounding names of men, which modern critics have thought were merely introduced to be slaughtered as called for by the measure of the verse, he gained much louder applause than from giving utterance to those sublime thoughts which form the foundation of his present reputation. Possessing talents for poetry which have made him one of the great poetic Triumvirate, we here find Homer compelled to insert those innumerable names of heroes; those unvarying battles, and councils of men, and of Gods, as a sop to the moderate literary taste of his contemporaries. Owing to this peculiarity, which gave to the poems of ancient Greece, in some degree, the character of the old English ballads, we find that they were frequently committed to memory by the people of the various tribes of Græcia Magna and the Peloponnesus. The peasantry no doubt acquired some general and undefined admiration for the sublimity of those verses which they so frequently repeated, but it was the particular name of Agamemnon "King of men" of Ulysses, "the wise" of Achilles
"swift of foot" and of Ajax, "the Godlike," which rendered passages in the Iliad equally familiar to the citizens of Argos, the herdsman who tended his flocks in Ithaca, the horseman who careered over the plains of Thessaly and the Islanders who cultivated the fields of Salamis. It was not to the Iliad alone, that such flattering testimonials of popularity were accorded. The histories of the misfortunes of Œdipus and of the revenge of Media were in like manner impressed on the memories of the common people. This custom exerted no doubt very beneficial influence in general on the minds and manners of the Greeks; and an instance in which it was productive of a more immediate good than this has been preserved by Plutarch; but the s [illegible] ory is perhaps better told by Lord Byron.
When Athens' armies fell at Syracuse
And fettered thousands bore the yoke of war,
Redemption rose up in the Attic muse
Her voice their only ransom from afar.
See! as they chant the Tragic hymn--the car
Of the o'ermastered victor stops, the reins
Fall from his hands--his idle scimetar
Starts from his belt--he rends his captives' chains
And bids them thank the Bard for freedom and his strains.
Such speculations as these, bringing vividly to our view, the social institutions and intellectual condition of Ancient Greece are equally pleasing, whether they result in fallacy or in truth. But having proposed for our discussion another subject, we must hasten through our preliminary remarks.
The theory with which we set out, finds illustrious examples of its truth in the two great poems of modern Europe. The "Divine Comedy," was written during the century which witnessed the first dawnings of civilization in Italy; accordingly we find the "Etruscan Father" gives to his immortal production the air of a traveller's narration, in which an accurate description of those circumstances which attracted his attention in his remarkable journey, is attempted. The Paradise Lost, composed at a time when the gloomy abstractions in which all England was wrapped, had greatly developed the intellectual powers of the mass, discourses learnedly on Philosophy and ranges freely through Heaven without stooping to employ any of the machinery which was so necessary in the age of Dante.
But, however much it may be doubted whether the Spirit of the Age is impressed on such lasting works as those just instanced, no one can hesitate in believing that it must strongly characterize every species of Periodical Literature. It requires no long demonstration to assure us that whatever may be the particular taste in letters which is displayed by any generation, that, and that alone will be gratified by writers who owe all their reputation to the skill which they may discover
in satisfying the wants of their contemporaries. Believing that this position will hardly be controverted, we are strongly disposed to congratulate all who may happen to live in an age which has given forty years of growing prosperity to such a periodical as the Edinburg Review.
It were plainly needless to enter here upon a discourse to prove that Reviews are indispensably necessary to the literature of the nineteenth century. A short account of their probable origin will be sufficient for every purpose.
Three centuries since, hh an the productions of any work advocating a particular set of doctrines, was followed by a reply in the shape of another volume of larger bulk; this in its turn met with a replication, to which in due time succeeded a rejoinder, until at last the copious vocabulary of barbarous legal technicality would be at a loss for terms by which to designate the latter stages of the controversy. It seems to be a law among disputants that the answer must be longer than the opening argument, and it would appear that the mighty in words of those days made it rather a matter of conscience to adhere to this law with a religious scrupulosity. Nor did this valuable quality of these performances decrease in the more advanced portions of the discussion; so that the argument which in the first instance hardly occupied the space of an ordinary volume, towards its close had swollen to the bulk of several immense folios. This clumsy practice which was vastly prolific of books, even when operating on the scanty literature of the sixteenth century, has been rendered additionally unwieldy by the extraordinary literary fecundity of the present generation. Taught by the necessities of their situation, the literati of our day take cognizance of each other's demerit by a method altogether different. Mr. Alison produces a history which--on the whole, a work evincing great research and judgement--here and there displays some inaccuracy in fact and now and then perhaps some rather unfortunate political bias. In the couse of a few weeks some eminent literary character reviews it, and in the compass of some dozen pages of a periodical, turns to the light each beauty and each blemish in the work. With this stamp the work goes before the public and most commonly is read or is neglected according as sentence was passed in its favor or for its condemnation. This operation discovers great neatness and a necessary brevity, and hence we are of the opinion that the department of literature known by the generic term, Review, is no less appropriate than peculiar to the age which is illustrated by the inventions and improvements of the passing generation.
In the third year of the present century the Edinburg Review commenced its valuable existence under the patronage of a few literary gentleman in Scotland; during the generation which has elapsed since that period, its contributors have been greatly increased, both as regards
their number and their reputation. Men of the first intellect and the most extensive acquirements, have appeared among its ordinary editors, and now it occupies a position, superior to that of any like publication in the world. Had only one pyramid remained until our time--standing by itself, it would sufficiently prove to us the existence of some great civilized people in the remote past; so were all the contemporaneous productions of this day to perish, and did the English Review alone descend to posterity, it would bear abundant testimony to the intelligence of the first half of the nineteenth century. Together with the Quarterly and one or two other English monthlies, it forms an Areopagus--a high court of Chancery, annulling the decisions of all inferior tribunals, and pronouncing final judgement on the merits of the case. The Dicta of these judges are sometimes severe and sometimes even partial, but always most ably delivered, and mankind in the vassalage to intellect, are fully as prone to decide with Genius as with Justice. The severity of the general canons of criticism by which the Reviewers are guided, and their rigorous application of these principles to particular instances, have been the subject of much censure.--A popular writer of the present day thus happily animadverts upon this characteristic: "Their very motto, 'judix damnatur cum nocens absolvitur,' applied to works offending only by their want of genius, asserted a fictitious crime to be punished by a voluntary tribunal. It implied that the author of a dull book was a criminal, whose sensibilities justice required to be stretched upon the rack, and whose inmost soul it was a sacred duty to lacerate! They even carried the atrocious absurdity farther--represented youthful poets as prima facie guilty, 'swarming with a vicious fecundity that invited and required destruction,' and spoke of the publication of verses as evidence in itself of want of sense, to be rebutted only by proofs of surpassing genius."
With all due deference to Mr. Talfourd, we may nevertheless be allowed to doubt whether the "vicious fecundity" of our poets, essayists, and travellers, does not require that some such construction as that adopted by the Edinburg Review, should be placed on their innumerable publications.
The politics supported by these Reviewers are those embraced in the creed of the great advocate for the rights of the English people--The whig party. In England the party appellations Whig and Tory, are rather more significant than Whig and Democrat with us. We may assume as a fact, that though time may partially, it can never wholly, obliterate the demarcations between the parties to any great civil convulsion. Hence the whig party embodies all the important principles of popular liberty; it claims to be the legitimate representative of the patriotic Roundheads of Oliver Cromwell; it regards the battles of Marston Moor, Newbury and Naseby as the prime causes of the constitutional liberty at present enjoyed in England; it applauds
the act of settlement in 1689; was the chief instrument in the introduction of the Hanover Family in 1713, in closing the American war in February 1782, and in placing the election of members of the House of Commons, on a proper basis by the Reform Bill of 1832.
The Tory party, composed of gentlemen, who quote verses from the Psalms and the Epistles as sufficient authority for the divine right of Kings, has signalized itself in different eras by a support of Prerogative under Charles I. by the Restoration in 1660, by the assertion of the Jus Divinum in 1689, by a tacit assent to the principles involved in the Rebellions of 1715 and 1745, and by an uncompromising hostility to the French Revolution, in which they were guided by a better discretion, than when after the fall of Napoleon, their celebrated leader, Lord Castlereagh, acceded to the Holy Alliance for opposing the introduction of the principles of liberty, in the place of those antiquated notions of Feudal Slavery, which the victories of France had for a time so completely eradicated from the soil of Southern Europe.
We have made these roving and episodical remarks as the proper preliminaries of our immediate subject. It has been said above, that, since the commencement of its existence, the Edinburg Review has assumed a high rank among its contemporaries, on account of the fame and talent of its contributors. Its pages have been enriched from the copious stores of the learned and critical Jeffrey : in its columns have been recognised the glowing style of the great Magician of the North; and here has Lord Brougham, confessedly one of the most illustrious philosophers of our age, equally distinguished as a lawyer and as a Statesman, frequently delighted and astonished the literary world, by the variety and extent of his attainments. But of the whole number of literati, so well, and so justly well known, no one has enjoyed greater or more deserved popularity than Thomas Babington Macaulay. The pen of this eminent man seems ready for the discussion of any subject; his extensive information never fails him on any question. In one article we well remember that he criticises, Æschylus, Euripides, Dante and Milton--defends the Revolution of 1642; shows the analogy between it and that of 1688, and finally, lays down the proper limits for that praise which is ordinarily bestowed on Charles I. as well as for the obloquy which is so unsparingly heaped on the memory of Cromwell. Is a fact in history to be discussed? Macaulay brings to bear on it, his extraordinary statistical acquisitions. Is it doubted whether a certain course of policy in times past, exerts a beneficial influence on the happiness of the present generation? The Edinburg Reviewer lays down indisputable general principles applicable to every condition of mankind, and thence deduces, by the clearest of arguments, the most impartial and striking of conclusions. Are the merits of Bacon as a philosopher, is his worth as a man to be debated? We had almost rather doubt of his intellectual superiority than of his moral deficiency
after reading the arguments of Macaulay. To decide whether this essayist succeeds better in argument or description were a task to which we cannot aspire. Did we award the superiority to the former, we should do but little justice to our conception of his impressive narration; his nice delineation of character and the gorgeous colors of those scenes which are touched by his pencil; nor would our judgement be more felicitous, were we to say that our admiration of him rests upon his powers of description. To argue well is no doubt a higher excellence than to describe; the former is the possession solely of men of deep study, or of fine natural ability; while the latter is no sure criterion of any thing more than of a commonly good intellect and much exercise in this species of composition. But of the former only a few are judges, while any one, who possesses even a modicum of imagination, is able to approve of the beauties exhibited in the latter. This being a fact, we consider ourselves justifiable in saying that Macaulay owes the more valuable part of his reputation to the former quality in his essays, whilst by far the greater portion of his admirers render homage to his genius, merely on account of his excellence in descriptive composition. In our opinion, among the best of Macaulay's arguments are those contained in his essay on Milton, and in his reviews of the histories of Hallam, and McIntosh, and the Philosophy of Lord Bacon. Of his descriptive powers, we can instance nothing superior to the trial of W. Hastings; or to the Sketches of Dr. Johnson; of Boswell; Horace Walpole; and the unfortunate Premier Newcastle. Lovers of ridicule will devour with great satisfaction his remarks on the Editors of Sir J. McIntosh's "History of the Revolution in 1688," whilst our fellow-students will pardon us for saying that none but a member of college can fully appreciate the merits of the following picture. "Among that large class of young persons whose reading is almost entirely confined to works of imagination, the popularity of Lord Byron was unbounded. They bought pictures of him--they treasured the smallest relics of him, they learned his poems by heart, and did their best to write like him and look like him. Many of them practised at the glass in the hope of catching the curl of the upper lip and scowl of the brow which appear in some of his portraits. A few discarded their neckcloths in imitation of their great leader. For some years the Minerva press sent forth no novel without a mysterious Lara-like peer. The number of hopeful under graduates and medical students who became things of dark imaginings, on whom the freshness of the heart ceased to fall like dew, whose passions had consumed themselves to dust, and to whom the relief of tears was denied, passes all calculation."
Macaulay leans strongly to the side of the people in all his political discussions; he delights to trace the progress of popular rights and to linger over the recollection of those great eras where the advocates for
the "greatest rights of the greatest number" were compelled to seal their attachment to such doctrines with their blood. Indeed the melancholy pleasure which he seems to take in dwelling on such dates as those of 1642, 1683, 1688, puts us in mind of the bitter yet not wholly unpleasant feeling which we experience in standing by the grave of some long dead friend, while we peruse the epitaph which describes the well remembered--freshly impressed virtues of the deceased. Our reviewer proves to a demonstration that Charles I. was really a tyrant, who was partially covered by a flimsy veil of affected conscientiousness--that he fully believed in the divine right of Kings, and consequently esteemed and would have continued to esteem all compacts and agreements, even the most solemn, between himself and his subjects, as not in the least degree binding. The argument to prove that such an individual is unfit to be a member of any political body; and 'a fortiori,' to hold authority therein, is short; the conclusion, evident. The English people testified their confidence in the deduction by a war of seven years in length--and the 30th January 1649, witnessed the solemn execution of their verdict. History has no precedent for this case. Monarchs had been dethroned--they had been exiled--they had been assassinated in the midst of unguarded festivity--they had died violent deaths in the seclusion of the dungeon--but, never was any prince, the acknowledged sovereign of the realm--the descendant of a long and popular line of kings--the ruler of a "naturally loyal" people--never had such an one, after a long and inflaming war, been brought to the bar of his country--tried by a set of judges from among his own people, and executed publicly according to the forms of law, in pursuance of the sentence passed upon him. The spectacle presented by the French Revolution in later times, cannot once be compared to it. Much must no doubt be allowed for the effect of greater oppression; but as a set off against this, we must remember that in the interval which occurred between the two epochs, four successive generations of men had appeared, and in the course of nature been laid in their graves, and that these had bequeathed many improvements in the refinements and civilities of life, to those who should come after them. In the English Revolution, as we have studied it, the issue was between the people and Charles I. personally: the faults in the government did not spring so much from errors in the English Constitution, as from personal guilt in the sovereign. Amendments restricting the power of taxation had been passed by Parliament and approved of by Charles; but the difficulty consisted in Charles' not abiding by his word; he thought that the Jus Divinum could not be permanently limited by any compact forced from him by the exigences of the moment. The case was plain, and the individual monarch paid the penalty awarded by his country, to his guilt--he was dethroned and beheaded.
The French Revolution was produced by the evils of a system of government, and not by the criminality of the unfortunate Louis XVI. The issue of the struggle which was a righteous one, resulted, as did that in England, in the victory of the people. But the victorious party abused their acquired powers most shamefully. The spirit of Agrarianism reduced the nobility and gentry of France to a social level with the miserable "sans-culottes" of Paris, and the vile "canaille" which seems to raise itself from the midst of civil disturbances with the same ease and as naturally, as all the living engines of corruption burst into activity on the decay of the human body. In vain did the gallant young Diseze and the venerable Malisherbes plead for the acquittal of their Monarch; the French nation had already determined to murder Louis, on the righteous principle of punishing children for the sins of their ancestors. They destroyed every sensible monument of a venerable and glorious religion; and after committing outrages which were at war with every principle of justice and judgement, proclaimed to astonished and insulted humanity that they were worshipping at the shrines of reason and equality. We say nothing of the sincerity of the French Revolutionists, nor would we wish to assert that their proceedings during the reign of terror, were altogether without an aim, or indeed that they were unproductive of any beneficial effect. But no one can have read the history of those times with any degree of impartiality, without coming to a most decided conclusion that the means by which they accomplished that Revolution, were totally disproportioned to the end attained. No comparison can be instituted more unfavorable to Robespeirre, Danton, and Marat, than that which arrays their principles and actions with those of Cromwell Hampden, Fairfax, and those gallant Englishmen, who were the first to shed their blood for maxims which are now acknowledged as the only sound basis for government.
The world may always remain in doubt as to the original propounder of the American axiom: "All men are born free and equal," and we hope to be pardoned for saying that no great deal will be lost to the world by this ignorance. But we would not wish to want information respecting any of the great saviors of mankind; from Ehud, who drove his steel into the vitals of a Moabitish oppressor of Israel, 3100 years ago, down to the Polish chiefs who fought to redeem their country in the unfortunate rebellion of 1830. Abstract principles may be evolved in the secrecy of the closet, and on posterity may devolve all the danger attending their promulgation. To this class of pioneers for liberty, mankind feels but little gratitude; while they can never be sufficiently obliged to the gallant spirits who are foremost in the active struggle for the "the greatest rights of the greatest number."
When noting the pure phraseology of which Macaulay makes use, we are apt to revert in memory to that of Addison. In both of these
essayists, we discover the unadulterated Anglo Saxon idiom; in both, a highly cultivated classic style; but here the analogy fails. "Whoever," says Dr. Johnson, "wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the study of Addison:" he who studies the Spectator, will find himself at the close of his labor in possession of but little benefit which is not enumerated in the above sentence, And in no one particular is the disparity between Macaulay and Addison more glaring than in this, Living in an age, when the struggle between the two great political parties in England, was at its height, Addison has contrived to occupy page after page of the Spectator, with satires on clubs, the Mum club, the Ugly club, and the Hum-drum club, with letters from house maids detailing their petty miseries, with communications from discontented younger sons, from maudlin lovers, and disappointed husbands. By means of this fictitious correspondence, every one of the more ephemeral and venial offences of society became butts for his playful and certainly inimitable humor; but each succeeding paragraph more strongly impresses on the reader the fact that he "delights more to excite merriment than detestation, and to detect follies rather than crimes." The criticism which Macaulay passes on "Walpole's Letters" appears to us equally applicable to most of the essays contained in the Spectator, "their irresistible charm consists in the art of amusing without exciting."
Those who study Macaulay are involuntarily wrapped up in their author; they feel all the excitement of admiration, contempt or indignation which inspires his pen, and they acquire ideas with regard to society, and thoughts connected with science in general, which perhaps never entered, and most certainly, never came out of the mind of the illustrious Editor of the Spectator.
As to the literary faults of Macaulay, we humbly confess an utter inability to detect them. The advocates of Regal Prerogative in Monarchical States may possibly discover strong marks of prejudice and passion, throughout his arguments in favor of the Rights of the People, but in a country as completely republican as ours; where every writer is not only enlisted in behalf of popular privileges, but is also himself an integrant particle of the great popular mass, we never raise such objections to the doctrines which Macaulay supports.
We have thus endeavored to "enter of record" the enthusiastic admiration which we feel for Macaulay. To criticise his Politics or his Philosophy with any minuteness could hardly be expected from a contributor to a College Magazine. The profits and honors which will result from a successful performance of such a duty, are attached to no sinecure, and we are perfectly willing that they should be left to "enure" to some abler pen than that which we wield. We fear that we have already been tedious; but in closing, must be allowed to felicitate
ourselves on living in an age whose literary taste has called into existence the Edinburg Review--and especially the essays of Thomas B. Macaulay.
In discussing a bill, introduced by himself, before the House of Commons, for ameliorating the 'law of libel,' as it then existed in England, Lord Brougham remarks that 'the Press, like the air, is a chartered libertine, and we must be content to suffer a little in private character for the sake of preserving that liberty."
While we profess the highest respect and admiration, both for the cause in which he was espoused, and the motives which actuated this distinguished individual in giving utterance to the above passage, we can but deplore the melancholy exactness with which it is carried out by the Press of the present day. We cannot believe that the Press is or ought to be, in its fullest sense, a 'a chartered libertine;' nor do we think it necessary for the preservation of its liberty, that any one should suffer even 'a little in private character.' Lord Brougham--although in the very next sentence declares 'I have said enough to show that this liberty degenerates, in many instances, into absolute licentiousness'--did not anticipate the degeneracy of the last few years. He could not believe that in a free and enlightened age, like the present, the violence of party spirit could so far abuse the Press as to give birth to evils, almost as great, and partaking very much of the nature of those which would arise from a restraint of its freedom.
It is true, the motley dialect of the 'old English Ballads' no longer offends the ear of the reader. His good taste is not shocked by the coarse indecencies of a Dryden; nor his better feelings disgusted by the vulgar genius of a Rochester, or the base licentiousness which characterized every writer of that age. No, it is not of our literary Periodicals that we would complain! A style, at once gay, modest and pure; dignified by reason; enriched by fancy; perfected by taste; breathes through their pages, and renders them all that we could wish them to be. But when we regard the high province of the political Press, and its standing as the safeguard of the people's liberties, we are compelled to say that its freedom has been most shamefully abused--its liberty has degenerated 'into absolute licentiousness.'
The Edinburg Review discourses upon this subject with its usual judgement and ability: 'It is sufficiently obvious,' says its Editor, that with regard to political subjects, and public men, the liberty of the Press may be abused in two ways. The one is when good public measures, and good public men are blamed--the other when bad public measures, and bad public men are praised. Of these two, we should consider the last as being infinitely the worse. It is not only beyond all comparison the most prevalent, as being the best paid, and
not at all punished, but it is infinitely the most dangerous and fatal in its operations. It is the screen, by which more effectually than by any thing else, power is concealed in that gradual progress to despotism, which the learned author above quoted described as its most dangerous, and almost its only dangerous approach. And even when nothing worse than imbecility wields the reins, it is that by which it is chiefly upheld in its blunders, till it ripens national misfortune into national ruin." In the first case cited by this able Review, it is obviously better that the people should have been in total ignorance with regard to the public measures; for as they are, by the supposition, calculated to promote the good of the country, so they would have been productive of that good, if left to follow their natural tendency. And it is evident that all the opposition which could possibly be created among the people, would tend, in no wise, to increase their beneficial results. Under the most charitable supposition, unjust suspicions would be excited, which could be productive of no good, and, to say the least of it, nothing would he gained, whilst much might be lost.--Misplaced censure, coming from such an influential source, would have a powerful effect in inflaming the minds of the people, and the acts of an infuriated populace are almost suicidal in their consequences. Our very thoughts recoil when we recur to the 'bloody three days' of the French Revolution; and although, in this age, we dare not believe that such an event is within the range of probabilities, yet history records it almost as an uniform result; and the bare possibility should make us doubly cautious how we act.
The second case is, in the author's own language "infinitely the worse." Man is not apt to perceive the imperfections of his own intellect, but he, rather, clings to its offspring with a parental affection. If his mind be so weak as to give birth to measures of an impolitic nature, it is obviously too weak to perceive their injurious tendency, and as certain as public sentiment be found in his favor, and the press uphold him in his blunders, so certain will "national misfortunes ripen into national ruin." Wherever we find the doctrine that the "King can do no wrong," inculcated by an influential organ, we find also that the people receive it in the simplicity of their souls, and the sovereign himself becomes the strongest supporter of the faith. And if, as not unfrequently happens, the moral constitution of this sovereign shall have been previously disordered by his vicious propensities, and his impolitic measures shall be the result rather of design than imbecility; confusion, anarchy, revolution, and bloodshed must inevitably fall upon that people who have given him their support.
But whatever may be the effect of this unjust censure, or undeserved praise upon the conduct of the rulers themselves, we regard the chief evil as consisting in the deception which is practised towards the people. The laws which govern human nature are fixed and immutable.
Man must be guided by reason or swayed by his prejudices, and the whole history of the world demonstrates the lamentable fact, that in times of political excitement, the prejudices wield the mass of mankind. Man, too, is accustomed to look to his superiors for guidance and for counsel. Intellectual endowments will be respected, and he who possesses them can mould the minds of his countrymen to suit his purposes, and wield them at his will; and, if in the wickedness of his heart, he should choose to exercise an improper influence over them, to say the least of it, a singular anomaly would be presented of confused, contradictory, self-sacrificing actions. Now we regard the press as possessing this influence in an especial degree, because the people are dependant upon it, not only for their knowledge of the operations of government, but also, for the very ideas which they have with regard to the tendency of these operations. It is evident that whether their tendency be beneficial or injurious, the people, as a body, are entirely too ignorant of the principles of political economy to determine with any reasonable degree of exactness; and as it is to the press that they turn with peculiar confidence for their information on this subject; so it should be the especial duty of its editors, not to issue any publication which would place matters in a false light before them.
Thus the press gives tone to the public feeling, and consequently it must be an effective instrument either for good or for evil; a blessing indeed in the hands of virtue and elevated patriotism; a terrible curse where no such ruling principles are found. And if with all this weight of influence on its side, it can be found so recreant to its trust, as to mislead the people on matters of political importance, we do unhesitatingly assert that it would be infinitely worse for the country than if its freedom had been restricted, and the people had ignorantly become the subjects of despotic authority. Upon the slightest examination of the two cases, the truth will strike us with all its startling force, that their ultimate tendency is precisely the same, and that they differ only in the means by which their end is accomplished.
In the one case, the work is done without violence. Quietly and without a struggle they are encircled in the bonds of slavery, and the Despot humbles them in obedience to his will.
In the other, their minds are inflamed, and their deeds are recorded in blood. Every monument of virtue that opposes their progress, is torn from its base, and cast from the land; and when none is left on which their vengeance may be wreaked, they tamely submit their immortal birth-right into the keeping of a heartless monster.
We do not pretend to assert this, as an inevitable consequence of such abuse, but rather as a general result confirmed by the experience of the past. In this age, and especially in this country, it may be thought that the high integrity of the rulers themselves, and the deep
interest, which an educated and civilized being must naturally feel in the welfare of the land which gave him birth, would combine to form a sufficient safeguard against any encroachments on the liberties of the people. For ourselves, however willing we may be to grant this in the majority of cases, yet we must confess that we are exceeding loth to put our entire trust in human nature. It is too much to rely always upon the virtue of those who are placed, either by inheritance, or otherwise, at the head of Government. There is a "vaulting ambition which o'erleaps itself," and there are men who can be
----"never at heart's ease
Whilst they behold a greater than themselves."
The natural thirst of ambition is for power, and it is an insatiable thirst. Its appetite strengthens with the indulgence that may be granted to it, and when once its mad career is begun, it can no more confine itself within the bounds of moderation, than can the giddy whirlwind when loosed from the hands that made it. The history of the world is replete with scenes of disgrace and suffering, brought about by its unrestrained indulgence, and in every passage we are taught that its career can be checked only by the spirit of a free people.
How is this spirit to be roused? We do not deny that it is the privilege of every one to canvass the actions of his ruler, and to warn the people at large of the impending danger, if danger there be; but we do confidently assert that it is the especial duty of the press as the guardian of the people's dearest rights. It stands as a sentinel upon the watch tower of their liberties, and if faithful to the discharge of its duty, it will collect in its favor the virtue and genius of the land, and at the first approach of danger, sound the alarm to the remotest confines of the country. If this duty be performed, a nation must ever remain free and happy. If it be neglected, her people will be but the veriest of slaves--the dupes of wily politicians.
But it is said that slavery is of so frightful an aspect, that a nation accustomed to the blessings of freedom would meet it, at its first coming, and drive it beyond her borders. We would readily grant this, if slavery came out openly and boldly in its attacks. But when did ambition ever appear with its motives undisguised? Cæsar talked not of slavery to the Roman Senate, and yet the stealthy dagger of Brutus was necessary to preserve his country's freedom.
Bonaparte was timid and embarrassed before the convention that first invested him with the command of the army, and yet in aftertimes France was subject to his will--Europe trembled at his power. Ambition comes always clothed in "specious humility," stealthily and by degrees it works its progress forward; slowly but surely it seeks to undermine the liberties of the people. First, a privilege is taken away; then a right is trampled under foot; soon abuse after abuse is
heaped upon the ignorant and unsuspecting victims, and when the hour of fatal maturity shall arrive, the hard setters of abject slavery bow their necks to the dust.
We do not deny that people in the honesty of their hearts wish to do good, but we contend that they err in their simplicity. Deep thought, and persevering study is necessary, before we can dive into the depths of political research, and as the minds of the people are turned from the contemplation of such subjects by the multitude and variety of their occupations, they must naturally look to those who have made it their study for guidance, and for counsel. We have always said that they turn to the press with peculiar confidence, and if this guardian of their rights shall descend from its high privileges to the low purposes of deception; if it shall once lay aside the frank and honest characteristics of its nature, and fawn before the throne of a monarch, basely to flatter the faults and foibles of his nature, woful indeed, must be the consequences to that people who, in an evil hour, yielded to its seductive influences.
Deluded souls! they have bowed, in blind belief, before the silver veil of some great Mokanna, and now as they writhe beneath the deadly poison of his last chalice, the grim impostor taunts them with their "wisdom's nothingness."
"There, ye wise saints, behold your Light, your Star,
Ye would be dupes and victims, and ye are!"
So far, we have spoken only of the ultimate, and most dangerous consequences of the abuse of the press. We admit that we have gone into extremes; but if it were necessary, we might fully sustain ourselves by an appeal to the history of the past, and we can have no other light to guide us, in forming our judgements of the future. It were folly to deny the possibility of a recurrence of such events, and surely, nothing more would be required to call forth the deep condemnation of an age like ours.
It may be said, however, that, in a country like this, where too great parties are arrayed against each other, their deleterious influences will counterbalance, and the very violence which we dread, will be the cause of a fuller exposition of the acts of Government. We are not prepared to deny this assertion "in toto;" but we believe that, by a different course of conduct, they would much more effectually subserve the interests of their country. Instead of being continually employed in counteracting each other's evil deeds, their influence might chime together on proper occasions, and work profitably for the public good.
A slight glance, however, at the character of the press at the present day, will best serve to illustrate our meaning. And here we must be permitted to remark that, notwithstanding the repeated assertions of
foreign Reviews, we cannot believe that this abuse is characteristic only of the American press. We are informed, upon the highest authority, that the "law of libel" is so rigidly enforced within the domains of England, as to restrict the freedom of her press, in a great measure, to the aristocracy. The wealthy and influential about the court, indulge with perfect impunity, either in the praise or censure of public measures; but if an unfortunate plebeian shall dare to raise his voice, even though it be the voice of admonition, the vengeance of the law is soon visited upon him. The freedom of the press, then, is restricted to those whose interest it is to make peace with the crown; and as a necessary consequence, while her press is pouring forth these unjust assertions, with regard to our country, its columns literally teem with the most servile flattery of the King and the court. This undeserved praise has been shown to be infinitely the most dangerous of all abuses, and if England, who boasts of a press as free as that of any land of the Globe, can be convicted of such abuse, surely we need not fear a comparison with any other.
But to return; what is the character of the press of the present day? There is, indeed, one class of Editors (and we sincerely hope that it includes the majority) whose highest, and only care seems to be "ne quid detrimenti Respublica capiat;" who survey all public measures with a calm and philosophic eye, and strive, by the application of proper principles, to deduce their legitimate consequences; not only gaining a proper knowledge for themselves, but imparting also their knowledge to the people. These accomplish the ends for which the press was instituted; and they would give a high character to that of our country, if it were not unfortunately the case that there is a second class, who exercise as it were, a kind of negative force over all their exertions. We need scarcely add that we refer to those who have established petty prints throughout the country, merely for electioneering purposes. Such warfare as they carry on, could not fail to bring odium upon any press. Abuse and slander constitute their weapons, and their sole object seems to be, not to persuade by reason, but to influence by excitement. A high admiration of themselves, and a bitter denunciation of their opponents characterize their articles. They enter without hesitation the sacred precincts of private life, and ransack the domestic circle for material wherewith to forward their party purposes--nay, in some few instances, they have even disturbed the slumbers of the dead, and arrayed their misdoings, as ghastly spectres for the condemnation of their opponents: The influence of these violent partizans prevail in the estimates which are formed of our press by foreign Reviews, and hence the apparently vile slanders that are in constant circulation concerning us. To their influence, too, may we attribute the singular fact that our best men are seldom found in the walks of public life. They are unwilling to encounter the vile abuse
which is there heaped upon them; they despise the contemptible liberties which are taken with the affairs of their private life, and consequently their exertions, if made at all in behalf of the public, are made in a less active sphere. There may be men of giant minds, and vast attainments, but it goodness be an essential quality of greatness, it is seldom found in the political arena. Whatever then, may be the object of these abuses, if their influence be such as we have shewn, they should not be tolerated.
We say that such prints should not be tolerated; but we consider it due to ourselves to say also, that the restrictions placed upon them, should be entirely independent of any legislative action. We regard it as a settled axiom, that no restraint can be placed upon the press by law, at all consistent with that liberty which is the inherent right of man. Such doctrines as these are formidable to tyrants only, and accordingly we find them taught, by the virtuous and learned of every land.
The sober dignity of English logic--the peculiar vehemence of Irish eloquence, and the speculations even of French philosophy, have all been employed in their favor, and their importance has been preached in tones that moved the very souls of the generations around. We then; mere essayists in a College Magazine; could not be so presumptuous as to raise our voice in the opposition. We would not! But while we believe that a free press is indispensably necessary for the sound and healthy state of the body politic, we believe that the abuse of this freedom, tends to its utter disorganization, and as some restraint can, some restraint ought to be placed upon those who yield to its indulgence. Public patronage should be withdrawn from their support; public sentiment should be excited against them. More than all, a spirit of courtesy should prevail among the Editors themselves, and they should unite to frown down any attempt to derogate from the dignity of their profession. They should do this, "lest a prejudice, on account of its licentiousness, should be raised against the press, and lest something should be done, in that paroxysm of disgust, which might be the gradual means of sapping the foundation of that best of our liberties--a free press!'
The late Hon. Henry Erskine, whose talents at the bar and in society were eminent, met his acquaintance, Jemmy Balfour, a barrister, who dealt greatly in hard words and circumlocuitous sentences. Perceiving that his ancle was tied up with a silk handkerchief, the former asked the cause; "Why, my dear sir," answered the wordy lawyer, "I was taking a rural, romantic ramble in my brother's grounds; when, coming to a gate, I had to climb over it, by which I came in contact with the first bar, and have grazed the epidermis on my skin, attended
with a slight extravasation of blood." "You may thank your lucky stars," replied Mr. Erskine, "that your brother's gate was not as lofty as your style, or you must have broken your neck."
* This Article was written for another periodical, but is inserted here by consent of the author.
An enterprising publisher in Raleigh, THOS. LORING, Esq., has recently issued a pamphlet of very considerable historical value. It is entitled, "Proceedings of the Safety Committee of the town of Wilmington, N. C., from 1774 to 1776, printed from the original Record." This Record has been preserved in the office of the Secretary of State about fifty years. The Proceedings are written in the clear and regular chirography of the last century; the ink somewhat faded and the vellum binding stained. The doings of the committee appear to have been fully recorded and the financial accounts kept with very great accuracy. This pamphlet is an exhibition of the true-hearted patriotism of the citizens of Wilmington and of the province of North Carolina generally, in the darkest and most trying period of our history.--Its publication will, doubtlessly, excite other sections of the State to look into the revolutionary history of their fathers, and will assist in the efforts now making to arouse our citizens from their indifference to the defence of the character of North Carolina.
The town of Wilmington, in the very earliest differences between Great Britain and this Country, exhibited a devotion to the American cause not surpassed by any town or province on the Continent, however immediately the latter may have been interested in opposing the oppressions of a short-sighted and tyrannical ministry. The passage of the Stamp Act met with the most violent denunciations from the Cape Fear, and the citizens of Wilmington would not so much as permit the Stamp Ship to transfer any part of its hated cargo to their town; and from that time forth was a source of vexation to the Royal governors and a seat of strong whig principles. Nine years after the passage of the Stamp Act and four month after the passage of the Boston Port Bill, a general meeting of the inhabitants of the District was called in Wilmington, (July 21, 1774) when a committee of eight was appointed to prepare a circular letter to be sent to the several counties in the Province, expressive of sympathy with their brethren of Massachusetts Bay, and calling attention to the various oppressive acts of Parliament. This meeting passed resolutions recommending a general meeting of deputies from all the counties in the Province to be held at Johnson Court-house, and an "American Congress" to be held in Philadelphia, and commending "the spirited conduct of Maryland, Virginia, and all the other Northern Provinces, and also the
province of South Carolina" and pledging the sister colonies the aid of their "purses and persons." The last resolution of that meeting considered "the cause of the town of Boston as the common cause of British America, and the inhabitants thereof as suffering in the defence of the rights of the colonies in general;" and expressed a "sincere intention to contribute by every means in their power" to induce their Northern brethren "to maintain with prudence and firmness the glorious cause in which they had embarked." Six counties were represented in that meeting.
Early in August a ship was freighted with provisions for Boston, which carried a letter of which the following is an extract: "No sooner was a subscription put about for the relief of our suffering brethren in Boston, than in a few days, I am told, £2000 (our currency) was raised: and it is expected something very considerable will be contributed at Newbern and Edenton, for the same noble purpose, as subscriptions are set on foot in every county in the province. You will receive this by Mr. Parker Quince, who generously made an offer of his vessel to carry a load of provisions to Boston, freight free; and, what redounds to the honor of the tars, the master and marines navigate her without receiving one farthing wages." August 3, 1774.
The first continental Congress (in Philadelphia) it will be recollected, adjourned on the 26th of October, 1774; and, on the 23rd of the following month the freeholders of Wilmington held a meeting at the Court House and chose a committee to carry into effect the measures recommended by that Congress. The following persons were unanimously elected to be that committee: Cornelius Harnett, John Quince, Francis Clayton, William Hooper, Robert Hogg, Jno[.] Ancrum, Arch'd McLain, Jno. Robinson and James Walker. Of these Corn. Harnett and William Hooper enacted the most conspicuous parts in the public patriotic movements of that day. Josiah Quincy jr. who made a tour through North Carolina in 1773 speaks in his journal of Mr. Harnett, and calls him "the Samuel Adams of Nort Carolina (except in point of fortune.)" He was a vigilant and influential member of the patriotic party, maintained a leading position in all their proceedings and was appointed on many of the most important committees in the Provincial Congress which assembled at Halifax in April, 1776, of which body he was an active member. William Hooper was a man of commanding talents and good education, a graduate of Harvard of 1760, and a student of law under James Otis. His name is signed to the American Declaration of Independence, and the Continental Congress distinguished him by placing him upon the very important "Secret committee of Foreign Intercourse." Archibald McLain was an attentive and useful member of the Committee of Safety, in whom great confidence appears to have been reposed, and who undoubtedly is the author of several of the most important papers
which are preserved in its Proceedings. "He was a man of talent and learning, an accurate lawyer, a practised writer and a shrewd and ready though rather caustic debater. Of his efforts at the bar and in the Legislature nothing has been preserved, but the published debates of the Convention which met in Hillsboro' in June 1788, to consider the Federal Constitution, present the prominent features of his character in a light neither dim nor obscure. He was probably inferior to no members of that body, except, perhaps, General Davie, Governor Johnson and Judge Iredell."
This committee appears to have exercised the most unlimited jurisdiction over the whole Cape Fear region. Its resolutions had the force of the law, and the decisions of its bar were carried into prompt and rigorous execution by the power which the will of the people imparted to its authority. No opposition was of avail, and the enemies of the country, soon discovering this, yielded at discretion or departed from the sphere of its influence. This will appear from the extracts from the pamphlet which we give below. On the third day of their meetings an admonitory circular letter was prepared, to be sent to several gentlemen who had been training horses for a proposed race. There is nothing on the face of the document to tell who was its author; but it is now recognized as a production of Archibald McLain, Esq. The document is interesting and shows the sacrifices our fathers made, and their deep determination to be free.
It was no petty spirit of temporary rebellion, which sustained them under self-denials so great and for so long a period. The letter is as follows:
NOV. 26, 1774.
"Sir: The Continental Congress, lately held at Philadelphia, representing the several American Colonies, from Nova Scotia to Georgia, associated and agreed among other things, for themselves and their constituents, to "discountenance and discourage every species of extravagance and dissipation, especially all horse-racing and all kinds of gaming, cock-fighting, exhibitions of shows and plays and other expensive diversions and entertainments;" and we being a majority of the committee, chosen by the freeholders of Wilmington to observe the conduct of all persons touching the association of the said Congress, think it our indispensable duty to inform you that in our opinion, the avowed intention of running horses for the subscription purse near this town, on the 28th instant, if carried into execution, will be subversive of the said association, and a breach of the resolves of the general Congress; and that if the gentlemen who intended to enter horses for the said purse (of whom we understand you are one) persist in running the race, we shall be under the disagreeable necessity of bearing public testimony against a proceeding which immediately strikes at the ground of the association and resolves, by disuniting the people.
["]You must be sensible, Sir, that the Americans have not the most distant prospect of being restored to their former rights or of succeeding in their attempts to defeat a venal and corrupt ministry and Parliament, but by an unanimous adherence
to the resolutions and advice of their representatives in the late general Congress; and as a friend to your country, we have no doubt but you will readily relinquish an amusement, that however laudable in other respects, is certainly attended with considerable expense, and even destructive to many individuals; and may very justly be condemned at a time when frugality should be one of our leading virtues.
"We shall only add that nothing will so effectually tend to convince the British Parliament that we are in earnest in our opposition to their measures, as a voluntary relinquishment of our favorite amusements. Those who will take the trouble of making observations on mankind, must soon be convinced, that the people who abandon their pleasures for the public good, are not to be be biased by any other consideration. Many will cheerfully give up part of their property to secure the remainder. He only is the determined patriot who willingly sacrifices his pleasures on the altar of freedom.
We are, &c."
On the 4th of January, 1775, the freeholders of New Hanover Co. met in Wilmington and selected a committee to co-operate with the committee of the town. At their first joint meeting we have a minute which accords well with the spirit of the letter just quoted. The entry runs thus: 'Mr. Owen Kenan, as holder of two notes of hand of one hundred and fifty pounds each, from Jesse Barfield, to Lechansius Dekeyser, and from the said Dekeyser to the said Barfield, and of two other notes of hand, for one hundred pounds, Virginia currency, each, from Alexander Outlaw, William Robeson and Wm. Jones, to John Lawson, and from the said Lawson and John Ashe, to Alexander Outlaw, for two races to be run between the several parties, was summoned to appear, and compelled to deliver up the said notes, and the agreement made for running the said races, and the committee unanimously resolved to indemnify the said Owen Kenan for all damages he may hereafter sustain by the delivery of the said notes and agreement.' Billiard Tables, balls and dances were alike proscribed and the censure of THE PEOPLE passed upon all manner of dissipation and profligacy. With the same voice of authority they issued orders suspending the selling of gunpowder to pass from the town until a sufficient amount could be raised by the committee to purchase it for the public service. A fair valuation was expressed and every merchant felt himself bound, whether willing or unwilling, to do what the committee required. The following minute is upon the journal for January 30:
"Mr. Adam Boyd having applied for encouragement to his newspaper, (some time ago laid aside) it was resolved, that the committee so far as their influence extended, would support him on the following terms. That he, Mr. Boyd, should weekly continue a newspaper denominated the Cape Fear Mercury, of 21 inches wide, 17 inches long, 3 columns on a page, and of the small pica or long primer letter, and in return receive his payments at the following periods, viz: ten shillings at the delivery of the first number, ten shillings at the expiration of a year, and to be paid ten shillings at the end of every succeeding six months thereafter."
It was in this newspaper that Josiah Martin, the last of the Royal Governors, saw the various "proceedings" and articles, which inflamed his wrath so as to produce the famous fiery and slashing Proclamation of the August following, with which his administration closed. This was probably the first Whig paper established and supported by private purse, ever published in America, and was the one which gave publication to the celebrated Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence mentioned in Gov. Martin's last Proclamation. From the proceedings of March 6th we extract the following; it was agreed on by the committee, and, with the resolves of the General Congress, was passed through the county for subscription:
"We the subscribers, in testimony of our sincere approbation of the proceedings of the late Continental Congress, to this annexed, have hereunto set our hands, and we do most solemnly engage by the most sacred ties of honor, virtue and love of our country, that we will ourselves strictly observe every part of the association recommended by the Continental Congress, as the most probable means to bring about a reconciliation between Great Britain and her colonies, and we will use every method in our power to endeavor to influence others to the observation of it by persuasion, and such other methods as shall be consistent with the peace and good order and the laws of this Province, and we do hereby intend to express our utter detestation of all such as shall endeavor to defeat the purposes of the said Congress, and will concur to hold forth such characters to public contempt."
On the same day upon which this resolution was adopted, the committee in a body waited on every householder in the town and tendered the paper for his signature. Those who refused to sign were denounced as unworthy of the rights of freemen, and this denunciation, with their names and a recommendation to all patriots to abstain from trading with such enemies to their country, was printed in handbills and circulated through the country.
On Tuesday, the 20th of June, 1775, a general meeting of the several committees of the District of Wilmington, was held at the Courthouse in Wilmington. At this meeting an answer to Gov. Martin's proclamation of the 16th of that month was read, and ordered to be printed in the newspaper and in hand bills. This answer is written in a style of considerable nerve and vehemence. It summarily reviews the doings of Parliament and the course of the Governor, and denounces the former as tyrannical and the latter as exhibiting a systematic opposition to the rights and a disregard of the welfare of the province of North Carolina in particular and British America in general. It charges the Governor with falsehood in a resolution unanimously adopted, and represents Royal Governors generally as standing between the throne and the colonies, and continually influencing the former with misrepresentations of the latter. A castigation is administered to lord North, without any reserve or mercy. Altogether the document breathes the loftiest spirit of independence and must have
produced great sensation among the people, as it did in the Governor, whose furious Proclamation already alluded to was an offset to this publication. On the 7th of July, one James Hepburn, a lawyer of Fayetteville, was held up to the public as an enemy to America and an active tory. It was
"Resolved, unanimously, that the said James Hepburn is a false, scandalous, and seditious incendiary, who, destitute of property and influence, as he is of principle, basely and traitorously endeavors to make himself conspicuous in favor of tyranny and oppression, in hopes, by violating the primary and fundamental laws of nature and the British Constitution, to raise a fortune to his family upon the subversion of Liberty, and the destruction of his country.
"Ordered, that this Resolve, and this Preamble upon which it is founded, be published, in order that the friends to American Liberty may avoid all dealings and intercourse with such a wicked and detestable character."
No other notice is taken of Hepburn in these "Proceedings;" but it is known that he was exiled to the town of Charlotte, and there are two letters on file in the State Department at Raleigh, written by him to Mr. Harnett, setting forth that the only house which he could procure in town, cost him £40, the same not being fit for a stable; and praying permission to remove thence to Salisbury. Of the subsequent career of this man we have no knowledge. Another tory fell into the hands of this vigilant and untiring committee. One Dr. Fallon had written an address "to those who have a true sense of distributive justice and untrammelled liberty, residents of the borough of Wilmington," and put it up to public view at the Court-house. Resolutions denying the statements of this article were passed, and in the failure of bail to the amount of £500, proclamation money, the author was committed to prison. The custody was close, every visiter being searched when leaving the prison, so that any letters found upon his person might be taken before the committee; and every letter sent to him was subject to the inspection of the guard. It was resolved to continue him in the common jail "until he should make a full confession for his offences to the public, and ask pardon of the commitiee for the many insults which he had in person offered." These resolutions appear to have been carried out against the offender with the utmost rigor, until he made the acknowledgements and apology demanded.
Governor Martin, having been driven from his palace in Newbern to his Majesty's ship Cruiser, then lying in the Cape Fear, was placed in the power of the committee, who held him as an enemy to the cause of liberty and the province. The command which they had over the river must have been very annoying to his Excellency. We find such entries as the following:
"A letter was read from the Governor to Dr. Cobham, desiring he would send down some particular medicines. Resolved, That Dr. Cobham be desired not to send the medicines, which he readily agreed to, on being called into Committee.
Mr. W. Campbell came into committee and presented a Letter from the Governor, requesting Mr. Campbell to send down two or three barrels of flour, a tub of butter, and some vegetables, Ordered, that Mr. Campbell have leave to send down two barrels of flour, a tub of butter, and some vegetables for His Excellency.
"A. MacLaine produced a Letter from the Governor to Capt. Maclean, ordering him as an half pay officer, to embark for England, and Capt. Maclean was of opinion, that should he wait on His Excellency, he might obtain leave to continue in this Province some time longer. Resolved, that Capt. Maclean shall not have leave to wait on the Governor, but that he may write to the Governor, and that he shall shew the Letter to this committee, pursuant to a resolve of the Provincial Council.
"Resolved, That this committee are bound by a Resolve of the Provincial Council, to prevent any persons from waiting on Governor Martin, and particularly at this present time, this Committee cannot consistent with the safety of the country permit his Majesty's Council to attend the Governor; and the Chairman is ordered to write respectively to each of the Council who may be in town, and acquaint them with this Resolve."
Decidedly the boldest act of this committee was burning all the Houses and demolishing a large portion of the fortification of Fort Johnson, which had been held by one John Collett, a creature of Gov. Martin's, who was preparing it for the reception of a reinforcement of British troops intended to reduce the people of the province to a slavish submission to the will of the ministry. This was really an overt act of rebellion. It was performed by a body of about 500 men, principally from Wilmington and Brunswick, under the command of Cols. Ashe and Moore; for which achievement they received the hearty and unanimous thanks of the committee.
Altogether this is an interesting publication; and, if North Carolinians feel as they ought to feel upon this subject, Mr. Loring will be properly rewarded. Several efforts having been unsuccessfully made to establish a Historical Society in Raleigh, we are happy to learn that the Faculty of the University have resolved themselves into an association, designed to awaken an interest on this subject in the minds of our citizens, and to acquire for that Institution a collection of historical books which will greatly enrich its present library. They have already obtained several MSS of importance, consisting of journals and letters written during the Revolutionary war. Although much valuable material has been lost, there is still sufficient to stimulate this Society in its exertions; and it is believed that there exist in many private families papers, which if collected and assorted, would throw light upon the Provincial and Revolutionary history of North Carolina.
The most eloquent speaker, the most ingenious writer, and the most accomplished statesman, cannot effect so much as the mere presence of the man who tempers his wisdom and his vigor with humanity.
About the middle of July, 1776, Josiah Martin, the last of the royal Governors of North Carolina, abandoned Fort Johnston and took refuge on board the Cruiser Sloop of War. The Declaration of American Independence was proclaimed at Halifax, on the first of the following month, before the Council of Safety, and welcomed by the shouts of the militia of the county and a large concourse of citizens assembled for the occasion. Griffith Rutherford, Brigadier General of the Militia for the district of Salisbury, was at that time at the head of nineteen hundred men, on his march to the settlement of the Over-hill Cherokees.* * The Old Fort, near the head of the Catawba in the county of McDowell, was then the out-post of civilization. The first hunter who ventured to cut a log cabin in that portion of the State west of the Allegany, crossed the Blue Ridge in 1786. James M. Smith, esq. of Asheville, was the first white child born, in the six counties into which that region is at present divided.
The disastrous battle of Long Island was fought on the 28th August, and the memorable retreat of our army from Brooklyn to the city of New York, was conducted by General Washington in person, during the night of the succeeding day.
* The Old Fort, near the head of the Catawba in the county of McDowell, was then the out-post of civilization. The first hunter who ventured to cut a log cabin in that portion of the State west of the Allegany, crossed the Blue Ridge in 1786. James M. Smith, esq. of Asheville, was the first white child born, in the six counties into which that region is at present divided.
These reminiscences will prepare the reader for the allusions in the following letter from Samuel Ashe, to Willie Jones, Chairman of the Council of Safety. The writer, it will be recollected, was one of the first three Judges of the Supreme Court, appointed under our State Constitution in 1776. In 1795 he was transferred from the Judiciary to the Executive Department of the government, and filled the office during the constitutional term of three years. Waitstill Avery was the first Attorney General subsequent to the Revolution; was a signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, and at the time of his death, which occurred at his residence in the county of Burke, in 1820, the patriarch of the North Carolina bar.
Will not some one of the numerous and intelligent descendants, of each of these gentlemen, favor the readers of the University Magazine with a biographical sketch worthy of his ancestor's fame?
Cape Fear, Oct. 8, 1776.
My dear Sir:
Laudemus te Deum; We can at present joyfully chant forth--the Vessels of War lately here, I am just now informed, took their departure a few days since, first burning two of their tenders. We have now an open port, though I fear it will not long be one, unless your Honorable Board will hurry down some ball.
I presume Mr. Hewes, with a budget of interesting Northern news is with you before this. Pray be so obliging as to communicate by a line, what he or any other may have brought. We have none here since the Long Island affair. Not one syllable of Indian matters.--Has Avery returned?--or have the Indians borrowed the poor fellow's night cap? I wish to hear from that quarter.
The humor of salt baking seems to be taking place here. I have seen some baked here, the cleanest and whitest of any salt (I think) I
ever saw in my life. Every old wife is now scouring up her pint pot for the necessary operation. God send them good luck.
Pray tender my respectful compliments to every member of your Board, and believe me, Dear Sir, with esteem,
Your ob't serv't
P. S, Just as I finished this, I was told the Cruiser (too long the terror of C. Fear) was likewise burnt.
To WILLIE JONES, Esquire,
Chairman of the Committee of Safety, Halifax.
The power of appointing Cadets to West Point is vested by law in the President of the United States, and by him, through courtesy, and for the sake of convenience, in the Secretary of War. This is an important power, and one to which the attention of the public has been too seldom called. It is important, because from the cadets are chosen those, who, in after life, will have our armies to command; and that they should be men of tried integrity, undoubted talents, and habits of laborious application, is manifest to all. Public attention has not been often called to this, perhaps, because those only are personally interested in it, who are candidates for admission into the Military Academy; and, as they generally apply for admission through their representatives in Congress, they make themselves but little acquainted with the modus operandi of the appointing power. Besides, few persons reflect, that the applicants for cadetship, though young, have their characters, habits, and minds so nearly formed, that, such as they are when they enter the academy, they will be when officers of the army.
It is well worth inquiry, whether this power is or is not vested in the most proper hands. We think that it is not. For, beside the consideration that, in a democratic government, too great or too multiplied a power should never be conferred on one man; we must reflect that the same man who appoints the cadets from Maine to the Military Academy, appoints those also from Louisiana and the intervening States, in all, nearly a hundred yearly; and that he not only has a multiplicity of other duties to attend to, but must, in the midst of these duties, appoint all of the cadets in the months of February and March. Is it possible, then, that any man should be able to perform this duty, with any degree of consideration, even if it were a matter of indifference
what individuals of the competitors were selected? How much more important, then, does this fact become, when we think of the influence which the character of each successful candidate will have on the public welfare, and of the absolute impossibility which exists, that the President or his Secretary should know aught, positively, of the mental or moral character of even a very small portion of them.
But it may be asked, is not a statement of the qualities and qualifications of the individuals sent to the Secretary of War? No: a statement is made it is true, but, in all probability, it describes the man in the moon as accurately as it does the person whose intellectual daguerreotype it professes to be. Epistles of this kind are given to every youth who applies for admission into our Colleges; and as a proof of the little confidence that ought to be placed in them by the Secretary, look at the numbers, who, on account of immorality, neglect of duty, or incapacity to pursue the studies of the course, are yearly dismissed from the Military Academy. I do not think that the characters of the young men are often wilfully misrepresented; but their friends will think the best of them, they see nothing very wicked done by them; they notice nothing excessively stupid in their conversation, and being interested to think highly of them, they find but little difficulty, at least, to say that they do.
Here it may be said, does not the Secretary of War appoint to vacancies in any particular district, whomsoever the representative thereof may recommend? And, if the representative does not know them that he recommends, who does? Some years since, there being a vacancy among the cadets from this State, the representative of the vacant district recommended a young man who resided therein, to fill that vacancy. The Secretary of War, nevertheless, gave the appointment to a resident of a neighboring district. Without inquiring whether the motives of the Secretary were good or bad, for the young man was not only recommended by men of high political standing, but was also descended from a revolutionary officer, this much at least is proved, that the honorable Secretary considered it his prerogative, to appoint whomsoever he pleased; any advice of a representative to the contrary notwithstanding.
But, granting that generally the recommendation of the representative is followed. A young man, perhaps a perfect fool, requests his representative to procure for him admittance into West Point. A few days after, another, every way qualified to reflect honor on the institution which he wishes to join, and the army of his country, makes the same request. And what is universally the reply? Why, that he is very sorry, but some one has already spoken to him, and he makes it a rule to recommend the first person who applied to him. This is a bad rule, especially when we may suppose the representative to know much of the qualifications of every applicant. But what other course
can be pursued? A body of men may give a preference to one over others, in point of intellectual and moral worth, but an individual cannot do so without rendering himself an enemy to many.
On the other hand, as I saw by a circular, addressed a few years since, to a candidate for admission into the Military Academy, the Secretary of War says that priority of application does not influence him. How he decides, then, when more than one from the same district applies directly to himself, and no person is proposed by the representative, we cannot imagine; for if he be a sensible man, and one not unused to office, he will not permit a difference in recommendations to have any weight on his decisions.
In the present system, there seems to be, then, three things wanting to perfect the power of appointing cadets to West Point: first, sufficiency of time, and freedom from other business, to give the subject due consideration: secondly, ability to form a correct opinion of the comparative merits of the several applicants: thirdly, independence not to be afraid of acting uncourteously, or of creating enemies, by giving appointments to the most worthy.
To supply these defects, a board of trustees (perhaps the Governor and his council would do,) should be established in every State, to examine at stated times, not only the recommendations, but the candidates themselves; and each board should be authorised to make appointments for its own State. The matter would thus become a kind of State affair; a rivalship would be established among the States, each one endeavoring to send, as its representatives to West Point, its most talented youths. The honor (for then it would be an honor indeed) of being admitted as cadets to the Military academy, would be awarded to moral worth, intellectual attainments, and natural genius: And our army, like our navy, even more deservedly, would soon become the praise of the world--the glory of the republic.
"Quid faciat lactas segetes, quo sidere terram vertere." VIRGIL.
"Rural felicity" is a subject on which the poet and the moralist of every age have delighted to dwell.
The Mantuan Bard considered the cultivation of the soil, the pruning of the vine, the care of cattle, and the management of bees, a theme, in the prosecution of which he might invoke the aid of the "Clarissima mundi lumina." He appears to have undertaken his work entitled "the Georgies" that he might inspire the soldiery, who had lost most of the fine and social feelings, in the civil wars, which had so long embroiled the Roman Commonwealth, with a desire to return to the peaceful and charming pursuits of tillers of the soil. Nor did he invoke the presiding Deities in vain; for soon, we are told, "the barren plain became a fruitful field; the hills, before naked, were clad in the
rich foliage of the vine, and the olive, and the face of Italy once more assumed a look of health and happiness.["] Horace also does not hesitate to ascribe to agricultural pursuits the most refined pleasure, the most rational enjoyment. Cicero, too, though he had occupied every station of responsibility or honor within the gift of a free people, delighted to retire, at times, to his country villa, and spend a few weeks without the reach of those cares which attend upon a life of public service; and he seems to have looked forward with peculiar pleasure to the time when he would be able to devote himself more freely to the cultivation of the earth.
But why enumerate examples, when it has been acknowledged by all, that the "farmer's occupation" is at once healthful to the body, elevating to the mental and moral system, and beneficial to society; and when there seems to have been implanted in the breast of the human race, a strong desire to own and cultivate the soil, and a corresponding disposition to respect the land-holder? These things being true, no observer of the state of society can fail to be struck with surprise that the science of Agriculture has not long since attained a considerable degree of perfection. Notwithstanding the high station which this department of industry has held, both with regard to intrinsic importance, and the opinion of mankind, it has not participated, to a great extent, in the general march of improvement; it has been left in the rear of many, that were just in their infancy when it had already reached almost its present condition. If any one doubts the truth of this position, let him compare the advances made in the manufacturing arts, with those in the branch of industry under consideration. By the invention of machines, many difficult operations have been combined into one, which is performed in a shorter time, and with a smaller expenditure of labor than was formerly required for each individual process.
By the use of the Mariner's Compass and the application of the properties of steam, the facilities for commerce have also been greatly extended. Voyages are now accomplished in a few days, which five centuries ago could not have been attempted at all, and which, not many years since, would have occupied several weeks. But in agriculture, we see no such grand improvement. By comparing the statistics of former days with those of the present, we do not find an equal amount of labor rewarded by a greatly increased harvest; neither do we perceive that the implements of husbandry and the modes of operation have been improved, as we might reasonably have expected.
But upon what principle are we to account for this acknowledged deficiency?
Before entering upon this question, we would premise that it is probable that different causes have operated to produce this state of things at different periods and in different countries, and that our limits will compel us to confine ourselves to our own community. Some circumstances,
however, which shall be mentioned, will be of a general nature, and will apply to all nations.
First, then, we would say there has not been a sufficient amount of intellectual labor bestowed upon the subject. Science is the parent of all the useful arts; and it is only in obedience to the principles of the former that the latter can be brought to perfection; it is only by observation, experiment and analysis, that scientific principles can be brought to light. For many years it was found impracticable to operate in the rich coal mines of England, in consequence of the inflammable nature of the gas that pervaded them. Sir Humphrey Davy, by examining into the properties of the gas, discovered the principle of which he availed himself in the invention of the safety lamp, and thus all danger was removed, and a great benefit conferred upon the nation and upon mankind in general. It is to the investigation of the nature of the elements of steam, that we owe that knowledge "which has armed the feeble hand of man with a power to which no limits can be set, and has completed the dominion of mind over the most refractory qualities of matter." And it must be in the same way that any important improvements will be made in agriculture. We need practical geologists--men who are capable of investigating the nature and constitution of the various kinds of soil; their adaptedness to the growth of particular products, and the chemical processes by which the fertility of different districts may be increased.
How important is it, then, that the public mind should be disabused of the opinion, that for a farmer, a cultivated mind is something entirely unnecessary!! How often do we hear men of good sense contend that unless a man intends practising a profession, it is a useless expenditure of time and money to go through a collegiate course. Many young gentlemen, too, who have not in view what they call an "educated profession," waste their time in idleness; because they regard mental exertion as unnecessary, and the facts of which they might acquire a knowledge, as things from which they could derive no benefit in the actual affairs of life. They forget that the intellectual and virtuous farmer may, by his exalted precepts and enlightened example, become one of the most influential and useful members of society. Others, again, take up the equally erroneous opinion that the title of "M. D." or "Attorney at Law," is a necessary appendage to the name of every enlightened citizen. Consequently, we see many whose mental qualities will never permit them to practice a profession with success, and others whose circumstances in life render it improbable that they will ever make use of their legal or medical attainments, who, nevertheless, deem it all important they should spend one or two years in pursuit of these "honorary appellations."
Now we think that those who intend to become farmers, should make farming their profession; and from the moment they come to this determination,
to spend their days in this sphere of life, they should devote all the powers of their mind, and apply all the energies of their natures to the work of preparation for the discharge of the duties which may therein devolve upon them. Let them not think that is a field in which no celebrity is to be acquired, no benefit to be conferred upon mankind. Still less let them suppose that in this occupation they can acquit themselves of the claims of society, and of posterity, by a life of inactivity and ease; by leaving the management of their affairs to ignorant hirelings; by neglecting to seek for those hidden principles whose application shall tend to ameliorate the condition of mankind; to supply the hungry with food; the naked with clothing; to provide for the sustenance of a greatly increased population, and to confer everlating honor upon him who shall bring them to light.
Another circumstance, which has tended to retard agricultural improvement in this part of the Union, is the extent to which the spirit of emigration has prevailed.
Comparatively few of our farmers settle with the expectation of remaining for life. "Westward the star of empire takes its way," and westward the tide of emigration is ever moving. And so long as the inhabitant of the East looks to the West as the haven of his hopes, the land of his destination--just so long is he a useless citizen. Who ever knew an individual that contemplated a removal, who did any thing to benefit the community in which he was then placed? Does he not rather act upon the principle that his chief end should be to accumulate as much money as possible? No comfortable dwelling is erected--no flourishing orchard demands his "yearly care," to be repaid in season by its delicious fruits; no garden walks are paved, or fence adorned with beautiful shrubbery. The elegant woodbine; the fragrant honey-suckle, and the rough vine, the "parent of the roseate wine," are not to be seen about his habitation. But every thing that delights the eye or pleases the taste is neglected. And not only does he omit that which has a tendency to decorate and adorn the place of his dwelling; to improve the quality and enhance the value of his land, and to repair the ravages of time, and tempest, and constant use--but he also forgets the moral culture of the community, and even of his own family, in the desperate struggle to obtain money to fit him in his intended home, where he promises himself he will attend to all these things. He feels no interest in works of a public character; he does not assist in erecting the "Decent church on top the neighboring hill."
The establishment of the country school is a matter of no importance to him, as he expects his "little ones" to enjoy none of its privileges, to derive no benefit therefrom.
He does not--he cannot feel that affection for the soil, that desire for the welfare of the community, which would result from a conviction that his present place of residence was to be the home of his declining
years, and that when he should have departed "to that undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveller returns," he would leave behind him those whose "destiny for weal or for woe," would depend upon the character of the community in which they were placed.
Indeed, the effect is the same, whether the course of conduct of which we have spoken, be the result of an intention to emigrate, or of a morbid appetite for money, which has prevailed to so great an extent in our country.
One of the most remarkable phenomena in the constitution of the human mind, is the fact that men may by excessive love for money, a mere conventional agent of society, be blinded to their own temporal interest. An extreme case is found in the miser
"With vigilance, and fasting worn to skin
And bone." * * *
* * * * * Still "bending on his heaps
And holding strange communion with his gold."
But a not less striking one in the farmer, who strains every nerve, exhausts every resource, consumes all his time, destroys the value of his land, and neglects all the means of improvement, in his desperate anxiety to raise a large amount of staple to exchange for money; ignorant as it seems, that by a different course of conduct he would better serve the interests of himself, of society and of posterity. But on this topic we will not enlarge as we have already passed our limits.
Is it life to see the hours
Of youth's gay spring unheeded fly,
To droop in sadness, as the flowers,
We nurtured early, fade and die?
Is it life to feel the glow
Of love warm springing in our breast,
Chilled in its currents, as they flow,
The moment when we felt most blest?
To feel that childhood's joys are past,
That sorrowing age is stealing on,
No hope to cheer our heart at last
When all except our cares are gone.
No scene, no light of other days,
Of early joys remote from strife,
By which through memory to gaze
On youth a while,--this is not life.
To feel a spirit in us move,
Some kindred tie with man to own,
To know that there are those who love,
And smile on us when others frown.
To feel that youth was not unblest,
Nor manhood bowed with hopeless grief,
When age shall find our souls at rest
In hopes of Heaven. This--This is life.
Auld Tree! ye haud your head fu'high,
Your swirlie spauls athart the sky;
Ye gar all ithers stand abeigh,
Aboon them a':
I rede ye, tho' ye geek sae skeigh.
Ye soon may fa'.
Ye ken ye stand on classic grun',
And reek na win', nor rain, nor sun;
For weel ye trow our lave youve won,
Auld totterin' frien'!
But now, I grieve your course is run,
Oure late to men'.
Ye have a stock of antique lear,
Whilk ye hae kept wi' tentie care
For ilka birkie wha may spier
Wi' studious airs;
For weel ye ken that we would hear
Of our forbears.
Ye mind ye weel--in bye gone days,
How Trustee fathers--carls o' grace,
When toddlin on to choose a place
For Learning's seat,
Unco' forjesket--tak their ease
E'en at your feet.
How they beguiled the lee lang day
(An' auld Rip too, I weel might say)
Wi' clishmaclaver, crouse an' free,
In drucken gate
Or crooning o'er some antient glee
Till gloamin' late.
But time has passed--an' they are gane!
An' ye, auld frien, are left alane
To speak their faults--whilk give no pain;
For know the trowth,
That runkled eild may have its fun,
As well as youth.
A douce auld Tree, ye lang hae stood;
But Time, wha recksna ill nor good,
Wi' blastin tooth has sapp'd your blaid
An, left his mark
I'd fain uphaud ye an I could
In presenting the first number of the Magazine to the public, the Proprietor may be excused for saying that he believes the composition of the articles is of such a character, as to bring no dishonor upon the Class or the Institution from which it emanated; and of which the most sensitive friend of the Literature of North Carolina will not be ashamed. Having said this much, we leave the matter to the judgement of the intelligent reader.
In the early numbers of a work of this kind, there may be some inaccuracies that require correction, and some arrangements that need reform; for which we ask the kind indulgence of our patrons. As the work progresses, we shall avail ourselves of the instruction which experience may afford us in these particulars.
We commence with a patronage insufficient to support the operatives engaged on the Magazine, without taking the materials or the labors of the Proprietor into the account. But we shall try it for one year, and feel confident of success; so far, at least, as to escape pecuniary loss in the undertaking. Did the contributors require remuneration for their valuable services, as in some other periodicals, the case would be hopeless, and the enterprise abandoned. But as the matter is all supplied gratuitously, and the proprietor is willing to hazard the pecuniary responsibility, there is nothing to prevent the attempt for a season. The ultimate consequence rests with the reading public.
We hope to add a few pages, occasionally, to the 48, which it now comprises, and which is the minimum. We shall certainly do so, if a liberal patronage warrants it.
We shall publish, in our next number, the Address of Judge BATTLE, on the life and character of the late WILLIAM GASTON, delivered in Girard Hall, on Monday, the 5th of February; Judge BATTLE having been chosen, at a general meeting of the Students, to pay this tribute of respect to the virtues and talents of the deceased.
No business of an important public nature has been perfected during the present session, though much preliminary matter has been discussed. No inconsiderable delay in the public business is daily experienced by protracted debates on the 21st Rule, which forbids the reception of abolition petitions, and several speeches for and against its repeal, have been made. A proposition, in the Senate, by Mr. McDuffie, to amend the present Tariff, by a reduction of the duties on foreign merchandise is under discussion. A bill to reduce the rates of postage is also under consideration.
We regret that we have to notice the ungentlemanly deportment of several members of the House of Representatives, during the present session. Words have been interchanged in debate, not only derogatory to the character of our public councils, but in violation of the common courtesies and proprieties of civilized society. We can only hope that the denunciations of the press will either effect a reformation in the offending individuals, or cause their constituents to be so much ashamed of their conduct as to send them no more to Congress.
As an offset to this, it affords us pleasure to record the following, which took place in the Senate, on the 26th of January last.
The Resolution introduced by Mr. Semple, of Illinois, asserting our right to the Oregon Territory and giving notice to Great Britain of our intention to abrogate the treaty of joint occupation, was under discussion, when the following scene occurred between Mr. BENTON and Mr. ARCHER, of Virginia.
Mr. ARCHER desired the friends of the resolution to agree to its postponement to some future day, for the reason that Mr. GREENHOW was preparing a history of Oregon, which he would shortly publish, and which would give the Senate much additional light on the subject.
Mr. BENTON: We on this side want no books in this case.
Mr. ARCHER: I have only to say to the Senator from Missouri, that his opinions will be strengthened by a perusal of this book; for it makes out a most incontestable case of title on the part of the United States.
Mr. BENTON: I believe I can inform the Senator from Virginia, that I have seen and read, and know more on this subject than can be written by Mr. GREENHOW, or more than that gentleman ever heard of it.
Mr. ARCHER: Of that I have not the least doubt; because I must do the Senator from Missouri the justice to say, that he is the most laborious and best informed statesman on all subjects of that kind I know of.
The following are the votes on several nominations made by the President and rejected by the Senate:
On the nomination of Mr. Henshaw to be Secretary of the Navy, there were 8 yeas and 34 nays.
On the nomination of Mr. Spencer to be a Supreme Court Judge, there were 21 yeas and 26 nays.
On the nomination of Mr. Porter to be Secretary of War, there were 3 yeas and 38 nays.
On the nomination of Mr. Proffit to be Minister to Brazil, there were 8 yeas, and 33 nays.
On the nomination of Isaac Hill to be Chief of the Bureau of Provisions and Clothing, there were 11 yeas to 25 nays.
Advices from England to the 16th of January, have been received by the packet ship Europe, lately arrived at New York.
The accounts from the markets are very favorable; money continued abundant; cotton maintained its prices; wheat had advanced, and the business of the manufacturing districts was lively.
The revenue, says the London Times of the 6th January, upon the whole is satisfactory. That for the quarter just ended exhibits an increase over that of the corresponding quarter in 1843, of £ 725,670, while on the year just ended, as compared with the preceding one, there is an increase of £ 5,742,078--the whole revenue for the year being £ 50,071,943, equal to about two hundred and fifty millions of dollars. All but about half a million of this increase, however, results from the income tax.
The following presents the Quarterly Average of the Weekly Liabilities and Assets of the Bank of England, from the 7th day of October to the 30th December, 1843, both inclusive, published pursuant to the Act 3 and 4, W. IV. c. 98:
|Circulation,||£ 19, 698,000||Securities.||£ 21,067,000|
IRELAND. The process of striking a special jury for the trial of Daniel O'Connell, commenced on the 3d January. On the 5th, the process was completed. Great complaints are made that the Crown should have struck off every Catholic that turned up from the ballot box, and which is considered equivalent to packing a jury, as the traversers will now be tried by a jury composed entirely of Protestants. Mr. Steele has given instructions to have Sir James Graham, the Duke of Wellington, Sir Robert Peel, and Lord Lyndhurst, immediately summoned to give evidence on this trial. Mr. Steele will, after examining Lord Plunket, offer to go to London and take his trial before a jury of Englishmen, if the cabinet ministers should try to deprive him of justice by evading coming to Dublin.
It appears that the Catholics are grievously offended at the insult offered to them, and a large assemblage met in the Music Hall, Lower Abby street, Dublin. Amongst those present were Daniel O'Connell. Sir T. Esmonde, Sir J. Power, Sir Valentine Blake, and the Lord Mayor, who was called to the chair.
One of the principal speakers was Mr. R. Shiel, and after several addresses, the following resolutions were agreed to :
Resolved, That we, the Roman Catholics of Ireland, yield to no portion of the Queen's subjects in true loyalty to the throne, or strict observance of the religious obligations of an oath.
Resolved, That the officers of the crown, in striking from the special jury panel all the Roman Catholics who were placed thereon by ballot; have inflicted upon our body a wrong and an insult, and that it becomes our duty, in the face of the empire, to vindicate our character for worth, loyalty and honor.
Resolved, That the omission of sixty-three names of special jurors, including a large proportion of Roman Catholics, as well as liberal protestants, making up the special jurors' list, affords grounds for more than suspicion that fair dealing has not been practised, and calls for a full parliamentary investigation.
That an humble petition be presented to the Queen, praying her Majesty that she will be graciously pleased to direct her attention to the conduct of the Irish Government in carrying on State prosecutions under the circumstances aforesaid.
That a petition be presented to both Houses of Parliament, setting forth the facts embodied in these resolutions, and praying for inquiry into the facts.
FRANCE. The London Times of the 6th of January, in an article devoted to abusing the opposition in the French Parliament says: The first occurrence of the Parliamentary year in France--namely, the appointment of the members of the Committee which draws up the Address, has given the Ministry a larger majority and a more complete victory than had been anticipated by its most sanguine adherents.--Each of the bureaux, or standing committees, into which the Chamber of Deputies is subdivided, nominated one member for the Committee of the Address; of these nine votes, seven are on the side of the Government, and only two on that of the opposition. Mr. Theirs, M. Tocqueville, and M. Duvergier de Hauranne, were among the defeated candidates.
The following is from the Paris Moniteur: A certain number of students, which may be estimated at about 300, repaired recently to the house of M. Laffitte, to congratulate him on the speech which he recently pronounced in the Chamber of Deputies. On passing before Moliere's monument, in the Rue Richelieu, they repeatedly cried, "Vive Moliere." After waiting on M. Laffitte, they resolved to proceed to Passy, to visit M. Berenger. They stopped a moment on the Boulevards, before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and cried "Down with Guizot," but those clamors immediately ceased on the injunction of the Commissary of Police, who watched their movements. Having
partly dispersed at this point, they soon afterwards formed again in the Rue Royale, and marched in the direction of Passy. M. Berenger, however, was absent from home. In the main street of Passy, the Commissary of Police, who had not for an instant lost sight of the rioters, was insulted, and several of the agents who accompanied him were ill-treated. Ten of the authors of those violences were here arrested, and the remainder dispersed.
The National publishes a letter from Rome, announcing that the utmost distress prevails in the city. Commerce, agriculture, and manufactures are in a deplorable state; and the only income derived by the shopkeepers is from strangers.
The Augsburg Gazette states that the Papal government has ordered a levy of men for the army, for the purpose of placing it on a footing to resist any attempt that may be made to disturb public order.
SPAIN. It was understood that the prorogation of the Cortes would not be a permanent one, but that the ministry, without venturing upon a new election, would shortly reassemble the present Cortes. Such a vacillating policy does not give much encouragement to hope for the stability of the present government; nor does it appear why the members of the Cortes should be more favorable to its measures after a recess of six weeks than at the day of its prorogation. It is said that the enemies of the government are actively at work to get up an insurrection in the provinces; and that much time cannot elapse without a movement.
GERMANY. A foreign correspondent of the 'Deutsche Schnellpost' (one of the best German papers ever published in this country) says, in speaking of Germany, that there is among the German people a strong and growing discontent. Even among the lower classes, they begin to look with a different spirit on themselves and their affairs, and turn their eyes within upon their own rights and wants.
The King of Hanover is hated openly and thoroughly--the King of Prussia scorned, and the scorn for him is so deep and bitter, and the sarcasm and satire so universal over all Germany, that no one speaks longer of the 'Deutche Ludwig.' Augustus is held a hypocrite, and cannot be trusted. The prince liked best in all Germany is the King of Wurtemburg, who does nothing, and keeps himself as much as possible out of the way. "In this state of things," says the writer, "the people grow restless. The do-nothing and dreaming system will not answer for the fermenting and conflicting thoughts of our times. The repressed impulses seek an outlet and must have it. The dispersion of students from the best houses of Berlin by the beedles and police agents will not answer.
"A change is needed. Give our youth employment; their working powers working room. Let there be fewer referandaries, young advocates
and physicians without practice swarming our streets--found industrial enterprises and colonies, and there will not be so many discontented men in the land. The evil lies deep, in our very social organization! One thinks it is enough if they only hold on to the old system of things, that all will adjust itself in the old way. But there is a spirit restless and deep, working underneath this tranquil surface, and it will yet burst forth." In closing up he says: "We end 1843 as hopeless as we began it. It would have been better had the last twelve months not have been. And with what hope greet we the New Year? None. We have unlearned hope and lost faith, and become cold, apathetic and stupid."
THE MORMON CASE. Jonathan Pogmore, a blacksmith, and an officiating minister of the Mormonites, and Thomas Cartwright, also a blacksmith, were recently indicted at Chester, England, charged with the offence of having killed one Sarah Cartwright. The Attorney General said that the prisoners were adherents to a peculiar sect of religionists, called "latter-day Saints," who appeared anxious to carry out the tenets of which they themselves were the professors. One of their tenets was baptism by immersion, and to effect this, after repeated importunities by the prisoner Cartwright, (the husband of the deceased) she was induced to accompany them both to the place where her death occurred. On her arrival there, Jonathan Pogmore, who was the officiating priest on the occasion, immersed the deceased several times.--The deceased struggled violently, and it was a question for the Jury, whether it was by this careless and negligent act that her death was occasioned--whether, in fact, ordinary caution had been used, it being dusk, so as to constitute it a very improper and negligent act. Michael Kinty said that he measured the depth of the brook. The prisoner Pogmore took him to it. He said that was the place where the woman was baptized. When the water was low it was only a small brook, about 4 yards wide, and in depth not more than a foot and a half. There was a flood at that time, and when he saw it, the day after the death of the deceased, it was six feet in depth; but the flood having in a great measure subsided, he should conjecture that at the time of the baptism it could not be less than nine feet. Several material witnesses for the prosecution were absent, and in consequence of this neglect on the part of the Attorney General, the jury, under the direction of the judge, acquitted the prisoners. A London paper says: "It has been currently rumored, since the acquittal, that the witnesses for the prosecution are strongly tainted with the peculiarities of the Mormonite sect, and had purposely absented themselves, in order to defeat the ends of justice. The information, although based upon rumor, has some confirming circumstances, considering the prevalence of these opinions in the place in which the witnesses reside.["]
PRESENTATION TO HER MAJESTY OF THE OJIBBEWAY INDIANS. A London paper says that on Wednesday, Dec. 29, the party of the American Indians who lately arrived in this metropolis from the Northeastern shore of Lake Huron, had the honor of being presented to her Majesty and Prince Albert, at Windsor Castle, as we stated in our paper of yesterday. The party consists of two aged chiefs, one the civil chief and the other the war chief, four fine young men, reputed warriors, two women, or squaws; and a little girl of ten years of age. Mr. Catlin, under whose care they are at present remaining, received her Majesty's commands to introduce them to the Royal presence at Windsor Castle. Accordingly, on Wednesday, he conveyed them to Windsor in a carriage which has been expressly built for the travelling accommodation of the Indians while they remain in England.
Having arrived at the Castle, they were led into the Waterloo Chamber, and were severally introduced to her Majesty, his Royal Highness Prince Albert, and her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent. The inferior members of the royal household and visiters had the galleries at each end of the chamber allotted to them. After Prince Albert had shaken hands most cordially with the chiefs and warriors, who seemed highly pleased with the compliment, the civil chief, Ab-qui-we-Zaints, (the Boy) who is seventy-five years old, advanced and addressed her Majesty. Owing to the trepidation of the Indian interpreter, who was evidently astounded at the glitter of Royalty, the speech of the old chief was translated by Mr. Catlin, by her Majesty's permission: It is as follows:
"Great Mother,--I have been very sorrowful since I left my own home, but the Great Spirit has brought us all safe over the great water, and my heart will now be glad that we can see your face. We are now happy. These are all the words I have to say. My words are few for I am not very well to-day. The other chief (alluding to the war chief) will tell you what I intended to say." The boy then sat down on the floor.
Immediately the war chief Pat-au-u-quot-a-we-be [the Driving Cloud] drew himself up erect, and in a very vehement manner, made the following speech, which was also interpreted to her Majesty and the Prince, by Mr. Catlin:--
"Great Mother--The Great Spirit has been kind to us, your children in protecting us in our long journey here, and we are happy that we now see your face.
"It makes our hearts glad to see the faces of so many people of this country, and all wearing such pleasant looks. We think the people here must be very happy.
"Mother! We have been told that there was a great fire (or lamp) in this country--that its light shone across the great water, and we see now where this great light arises. (The Driving Cloud here made
a gesture, expressive of her Majesty being the 'great light.') And we believe that it shines from this great wigwam to all the world.
"Mother! We have seen many strange things since we came here.
"Mother! Our hearts are glad at what we have seen this day. That we have been allowed to see your face; and when we get home, our words will be listened to in the councils of our nation. This is all I have to say."
After the war chief had concluded his speech, he took into his hand his drum, or tambour, on which he commenced beating, singing some wild air all the while. After chanting a few bars in a low tone of voice, he called his warriors to their feet, who performed in succession, with all their strange and startling effect, the medicine dance, the pipe dance, and the war dance, much to the astonishment, as well as amusement, of her Majesty and the royal party. After the dances were concluded. Prince Albert, through the medium of the Hon. Mr. Murray, assured the chief of her Majesty's great gratification at the interview, of her Majesty's friendship for the Indians, and desire that they may have a safe and pleasant journey home to their native land, their families and friends.
The Coroner was lately called to inquire into the circumstances attending the death of a child aged two years, named Albert A. Morson, the son of Charles E. and Martha Morson, in New York city. He had been sick for about two months, and Dr. R. Wood was called in, who administered some salve to cure an erysipelas affection of his head, which appeared to be one of the causes of his illness. The mother applied the salve but twice, and then engaged the services of Wm. Hunter, a Thomsonian doctor, who decided that the child was afflicted with scrofula and had worms. He prepared a syrup of sarsaparilla, yellow dock, burdock, mandrake and bitter root, which he ordered to be given to the patient, and also a balsam, composed of equal parts of tincture of skunk's cabbage, blood root and lobelia, mixed with honey and balsam of fir. On application of the father, he also gave him another syrup, being an extract of butternut bark, to destroy the worms, which he said troubled the child, and in conclusion prepared a tincture of lobelia, which he directed should be given by the half spoonful, every ten or fifteen minutes, until the child should vomit. The last named medicine was to be administered to remedy difficulty of breathing with which the child was afflicted. On the 5th instant, the mother gave the patient a tea spoonful of the tincture of lobelia, which caused him to vomit partially, when she gave him another which vomited him freely, and appeared to relieve his lungs. He was better the next day, although his cheeks were much swelled, and he appeared, as she testified, partially deranged at times. On Friday he was singing and playing
about the house and at one o'clock his mother gave him another spoonful of the tincture of lobelia, in order, as she says, to cause vomiting. It produced no effect, except to cause a blueness of his lips, which increased rapidly, and was followed by derangement, and in ten minutes afterwards the unfortunate child was a corpse, through the carelessness of the mother in giving him such an excessive dose of lobelia. Dr. William A. Walter was called in to examine the body, and decided that the disease with which the child was afflicted was dropsy of the chest, and that his death was caused by that, hastened by the lobelia administered by his mother. Verdict accordingly.
In New York, on the evening of the 11th ultimo, a colored man named Charles Gibbons, entered the clothing store of Edmund H. Weyman, 29 Maiden lane, and selected a pilot cloth overcoat, valued at $13, a dress coat at $18; a pair of pants at $6 50, and a figured silk vest at $3 50, which he desired to be sent to 325 Broadway, where he would pay the bill. A clerk named Rich took the clothing to the place directed, in company with Gibbons, and on arriving at their destination, Gibbons stepped out, as he said, to obtain some change. Soon after he left, a colored man who was in the place, took up the clothing and stepped into a back room, but immediately returned, leaving the clothes behind him. He then passed out, and Gibbons not returning, the clerk's suspicions became excited, and he opened the door of the back room in search of the clothes, when, to his astonishment, he found they were not on the premises. Considering that he had been tricked, he returned to his employers and communicated the information. They repaired to the house of officers A. M. C. and James L. Smith, in White street, and gave notice of the transaction, when the latter made search and caught both the black rogues in a short time afterwards. In the pockets of one of them was found pawn tickets of the clothing, which was recovered, to the loss of the pawnbroker. The rogues were both fully committed for trial.
Some years ago, in one of the most beautiful of the West India Islands, there lived an old French gentleman and his only daughter--a charming creature of sixteen. A young Spaniard, who had an estate near by, became enamored of the sweet Famele, and she, yielding to his passionate importunities, consented to run off with him. They were not married, and in a month or two he left the almost broken hearted girl to the withering sneers of a heartless world. She dared not see her father, for she knew that her shame would bring him to his grave. Famele went to New Orleans, where for many years she was looked on as one of the most splendid women, of her class, in the
city; but by degrees she sunk lower and lower down the depths of crime, until at last she resorted to stealing for the purpose of keeping herself from starving. She was sent to prison, and as soon as her term of punishment had expired, she again came forth to renew her career of misery. In the early part of last month, she came to the police office of the First Municipality, and surrendered herself as a vagrant--she had no health, no food, no place of shelter, and she would rather rot inch by inch in a jail than die like a dog in the street. And this is the epitome of the history of one poor vagrant.
The Bombay Courier of December 4, 1843, says: "On Wednesday evening, the Commodore and officers of the Brandywine gave an entertainment on board their splendid Frigate, to about 300 of the fashionables of Bombay. The guests began to assemble shortly after half past 8 o'clock, and from the preparations made to convey them to and from the vessel, not the slightest difficulty or inconvenience was experienced by even the most timid of the fair sex.
The frigate was brilliantly illuminated for the occasion, and presented a very imposing spectacle to the approaching visiters. Dancing was begun early and continued late--and if the guests did not enjoy themselves, it was not for want of the most unremitting attentions on the part of the officers of the ship.
We have no fear, while we live, of the old and the new country making trial of their respective prowess by sea or by land--only one species of rivalry do we look for, or will we allow--which shall surpass the other in the entertainment and practical exhibition of the kindliest feeling. So far as we have yet gone, the Americans are at the head of the poll--it is true the Indian navy did their duty, and on terra firma gave undeniable proof of their hospitality and good fellowship--but although the British Hotel is unquestionably well adapted for large entertainments, no man in his senses would say that a dinner, whence ladies were excluded, could be compared with a ball and supper, where the beauty of Bombay assembled in more than wonted force. The dinner was good--the ball and supper were better--now it remains for the general society of Bombay to prove which shall he best.
The arrival of the Hon. Mr. Cushing, the ambassador to China, was most opportune--the Suez steamer, in which that gentleman was passenger, anchored near the Brandywine just as the ball commenced, and Mr. Cushing lost no time in joining the brilliant party on the Frigate's deck.
P. K. Dickinson, Wilmington, N. C.; Miss H. A. Crawford, St. Mary's Raleigh; Jesse P. Smith, W. L. Steele and Wm. H. Battle, Chapel Hill.
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