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from want of interest, or of gratitude for his varied off and bringing into intimate relation with the and valuable communications.
rest every considerable city. These railroads are The conclusion at which we arrive, which has not wild enterprises destined, like too many of never been forced upon us so strongly by any for- our own, to swallow up irretrievable capitalmer tour in America as by these manly, sensible, framed with no sober calculation of the necessities and fearless volumes, is still growing astonishment of the land-magnificent, luxurious, and proporat the resources of this great country. Here is an tionately wasteful ; but prudently conceived, and immense continent, not like old Asia, at times at first, at least, economically managed, only allowovershadowed into a seeming unity by some one ing greater speed, comfort, luxury, on such lines Assyrian, or Babylonian, or Persian, or Mahome- as those between New York and Boston. Betan empire, and at the death of the great con- hind the Alleghanies to the east, nature has queror, or the expiration at least of his dynasty, achieved that which, on a small scale, magnificent breaking up again into conflicting kingdoms, or monarchs have attempted in Europe-a system of almost reduced to the primitive anarchy of hostile internal navigation unrivalled in its extent, and tribes : not like Europe, attaining something like of which even America. enterprise has far from unity, first by the consolidating and annealing approached the limits. Instead of running up power of the Roman empire, and afterwards in a singly into the central land—as in the old contiwider but less rigorous form by the Church ; in nent the Ganges, the Indus, the Volga, the Nile, later tiines by the balance of power among the the Niger, the Danube, the Rhine, each divided great monarchies—a balance only maintained by from other great rivers by ridges of impenetrable perpetual wars and by immense military establish- mountains—the Mississippi receives her countless ments in times of peace. The new world is born and immense tributaries, ramifying and intersectas it were one ; a federation with much of the ing the whole region from the borders of Canada, vigor of separate independent states, with no neces- from the Alleghanies to within a certain distance sary, no hereditary, principles of hostility, but of the Pacific. She is carrying up the population rather bound together by the strongest community almost of cities at once to every convenient fork, of interests; one in descent, at least with one race to every situation which may become an emporiso predominant that the rest either melt away into um ; and then receiving back into her spacious it, or, if they remain without, are each, even the bosom and conveying to the ocean the accumulatcolored population, so small comparatively in num- ing produce, the corn, the cotton, even the pelbers, that they may continue insulated and outly- tries of the west. Almost in the centre of this ing sections of society, with no great danger to empire is a coal-field, or rather two coal-fields, of the general harmony; one in language, and that which we believe the boundaries are not yet ascerour noble, manly, Anglo-Saxon, the language of tained—but in Sir Charles' geological map (in his Shakespeare, Milton, Bacon, and Locke, now former volumes) they blacken a space which, acspoken over portions of the globe infinitely more cording to the scale, might furnish out several extensive than ever was any other tongue ; one in great kingdoms in the Old World. By a singular religion, for from the multiplicity of sects, as we provision the clear-burning and smokeless anthrahave observed, must result a certain unity—at cite on the west side of the Apalachian ridge furleast religious difference, spread equably over all nishes its inexhaustible fuel for the hearths and the land, cannot endanger the political unity. The manufactures of the more polished and stately means of communication throughout this immense cities, for the gayer steamboats on the Hudson continent are absolutely unexampled, both from the and the Delaware; the heavier and more opaque, natural distribution of the lakes, and seas, and riv- that of the Illinois, seems destined to adumbrate ers, and from the discoveries of modern science, the manufacturing towns on the Ohio. Those which are seized, adapted, and appropriated with treasure-fields, quarries, as they are at present the restless eagerness of a people fettered by no rather than mines, require hardly any expense to ancient hereditary prejudices, active even to the work them. If steam is still to be, as no doubt it overworking of their physical constitutions, spec- must be, the great creator of wealth, of comfort, ulative so as to hazard everything—even, in the of commerce, this fact might alone almost justify case of repudiation, that good-faith which is the our boldest visions as to the expansion and durafoundation of credit—for rapid advantage. There tion of American civilization. In California the are no local attachments, at least in the masses, to United States may appear to have acquired the check that adventurous passion for bettering their more doubtful and dangerous command of the precondition, which turns the faces of the men west- cious minerals to an unexampled extent. And ward with a resolute uniformity, (Sir Charles Ly- over this progressive world, this world which, even ell met one man moving eastward, and that one at its present gigantic strides, will not for an imonly from a temporary motive of curiosity.) Along mense period have reached its actual boundary, the whole range of coast there is steam navigation, which—even if it swallow up no more Texas, no from New England to Georgia. West of the Al- more of Mexico, if it merely absorb into itself its leghany ridge, besides the noble rivers, also crowd- own prairies and forests, if it people only its half ed with steamboats, which are so many splendid of Oregon—will still have “ample space and high roads for travel and for commerce, there is a verge enough”-some elements of civilization line of railroads and electric telegraphs, branching seem to spread, if not with equable, with unlim
ited advance. There is no bound to the appetite, menting in a higher ratio even than the populaif not for intellectual improvement, for intellectu- tion; and, secondly, there is a fixed determination al entertainment. With Sir Charles Lyell we
on the part of the people at large to endure any have full confidence in the palled craving for one
taxation, rather than that which would place books leading to the sober and wholesome demand for iticians declared to me, that not only an income
and newspapers beyond their reach. Several polthe other ; once awaken the imagination and the tax, but a window tax, would be preferred ; and feelings, the reason will rarely remain in torpid slum. " this last," said they, “would scarcely shut out ber. This almost passion for reading appears to be the light from a greater number of individuals." universal ; newspapers perhaps first, (and newspa
Vol. ii., pp. 336–338. pers are compelled to become books,) and then The great cities, it is true, can never be as the books accompany man into the remotest squattings ancient capitals of Europe. America, perhaps in the backwoods, are conveyed in every steam- the world, will hardly see again a new Cologne, boat, spring up with spontaneous growth in every or a new Strasbourg, a new St. Peter's, or a new settlement, are sold at prices which all can afford. St. Paul's any more than new Pyramids, a new From later intelligence than that of Sir Charles Parthenon, or a new Coliseum. Yet we cannot Lyell, we are assured that the sale of Mr. Macau- but think that peace and wealth may beyond the lay's History has reached at least one hundred Atlantic achieve great things, though of a differthousand. We recommend our author's state- ent character ; and this assuredly should be the ments on these subjects, of which we have room aim of her artists, especially of her architects. but for a fragment, to the consideration especially Whether Trinity Church, now the pride of the of our men of letters :
Broadway in New York, will bear the rigorous of the best English works of fiction, published judgment of our Gothic Purists, or stand as high at thirty-one shillings in England, and for about even as our best modern churches, may, notwithsixpence here, it is estimated that about ten times standing Sir Charles Lyell's opinion, admit of as many copies are sold in the United States as in doubt. But we have heard only one opinion of Great Britain ; nor need we wonder at this, when the great Croton aqueduct; a work which for we consider that day laborers in an American village often purchase a novel by Scott, Bulwer, or
magnificence, ingenuity, science, and utility, (as Dickens, or a popular history, such as Alison's pouring pure and wholesome water, even to Europe, (published at thirteen pounds in England, the luxury of noble fountains and waterworks, and sixteen shillings in America,) and read it at throughout the whole city of New York,) most spare moments, while persons in a much higher nearly approaches the days of old Roman greatstation in England are debarred from a similar in
The expenditure of almost the whole of tellectual treat by considerations of economy. It might have been apprehended that, where a
the great Giraud bequest, (half a million sterling,) daily newspaper can be bought for a halfpenny, and on building alone, leaving hardly anything for the a novel for sixpence, the public mind would be so endowment of the college, may in one sense have taken up with politics and light reading, that no been very unwise, and indeed wrong; but as time would be left for the study of history, divinity, showing at least a noble ambition for architectural and the graver periodical literature. But, on the grandeur, even if not in this respect successful, contrary, experience has proved that, when the
may not be without its use.
But so long as we habit and facility of reading has been acquired by hear of such legacies as those of Mr. Lowell, the perusal even of trashy writings, there is a steady increase in the number of those who enter 70,0001. sterling ; of Mr. Astor for a public lion deeper subjects. I was glad to hear that, in brary, of a much larger amount—and we believe proportion as the reading public augments annual- | that those public-spirited acts of generosity do not ly, the quality of the books read is decidedly im- stand alone—there can be no room for despair. proving. About four years ago, 40,000 copies Though the Capitol at Washington be but a cold were printed of the ordinary common-place novels and feeble attempt to domiciliate classic formspublished in England, of which sort they now only though bold and creative originality be more diffisell about 800. It might also have been feared that the cheapness
cult of attainment to those born late into the world of foreign works unprotected by copyright, would in art even than in letters; the great Transatlantic have made it impossible for native authors to ob- cities will gradually have their great, we trust, tain a price capable of remunerating them highly, characterestic American monuments. If we had as well as their publishers. But such is not the believed the story for an instant, we certainly
Very large editions of Prescott's “ Ferdi- should have shared in the alarm—we perhaps nand and Ísabella,” and of his " Mexico," and should not have been without some jealousy, if “ Peru," have been sold at a high price; and when brother Jonathan had bought and carried off the Mr. Harper stated to me his estimate of the original value of the copyright of these popular works, Apollo Belvedere. On the other hand, we most it appeared to me that an English author could hardly have obtained as much in his own country: lowing sentence—" Many are of opinion that the small
* As some drawback to this we must subjoin the fol. The comparative cheapness of American books, the print of cheap editions in the United States, will seriousbest editions of which are by no means in small ly injure the eyesight of the rising generation, especially print, seems at first unintelligible, when we con as they often read in railway cars, devouring whole novsider the dearness of labor, which enters so largely els, printed in newspapers, in very inferior type. Mr. into the price of printing, paper, and binding. But, Everett, speaking of this literature, in an address to the first, the number of readers, thanks to the free-called, which begins by costing a man his eyes, and ends
students of Harvard College, said, 'If cheap it can be schools, is prodigiously great, and always aug-I by perverting his taste and morals.'"-Vol. ii., p. 339.
cordially rejoice in the place which the young dentially designed for steam-navigation ? IntelAmerican sculptor, Power, has taken even in lectually delightful as it may be to follow out Italy. That such statues as his exquisite Greek such a piece of philosophical reasoning as that in Slave should be set up in American halls by Sir C. Lyell's second volume, (p. 304,) where, American hands would be to us a source of un- from certain footmarks on slabs of sandstone, which feigned satisfaction, not merely for the gratifica- could only have been made by air-breathing animals, tion of the present, but as an omen of the future. (all others being too light to make such deep imFor, as the future of America, to be glorious pressions even when the stones were in a state of future, must be a future of peace, so we would fluid mud,) the date of the primal existence of hope that it may be fruitful in all which embel- this class of animals is ascertained ;-neverthelishes, and occupies, and hallows, and glorifies less, we are more inclined to lose ourselves in peace.
wondering speculations as to the short time which Sir Charles Lyell must excuse us, if with these must elapse before the first footprints of man, at wonderful prospects of centuries to come, ex- least of civilized man, in the lands west of the panding their cloudy wings before us,” we have Mississippi will be utterly untraceable through been less willing to look back to those ages behind the broad strata of culture and population which ages, which are the study and the revelation of even one century will spread perhaps to the his important science. Interesting as it may be, Pacific. We seem irresistibly compelled to look under his sure guidance to be told that a hundred onward ; we are seized, as it were, and carried thousand years must have passed in forming the land away by the advancing tide to the still receding at the mouth of the Mississippi, we are more ab- haven, till we are lost in a boundless ocean. sorbed in the thought of the few years which have That clouds, heavy, blackening, awful thunder beheld on the banks of that wide river and its af- clouds, loom over this wide horizon of the future, fluents, cities arising beyond cities, and those cities who that knows the mutability of human things, peopled with thousands on thousands of free, in the wild work which fortune or fate, or rather dustrious, in many respects, as far as is given to divine Providence, makes of the most sagacious man, happy human beings ; province after prov- conjectures—what wise and reflective American ince yielding to possession, to cultivation, to pro- will attempt to disguise from himself? There is duction—the production of harvests now poured surely enough to check and subdue the overweenwithout stint, and we suppose destined to be still ing national pride, which prevails among the vulmore profusely poured, upon our shores. The gar. We must in justice to ourselves touch on Indian corn, we ought to have observed, appears some of these dangers. One of them, though we by no means one of the least precious gifts of this do not know how far it extends over the Union, is region. The aboriginal tribes so wither away be the effect of the climate. In New England esfore the invader, that his occupation of the land pecially there seems a certain delicacy of health, can hardly be called usurpation. Instructive as a general “ care-worn” expression, a kind of preit is to be initiated in the growth of those 63,000 mature old age, which, with other circumstances, square miles of coal, (First Tour, p. 88,) the shows that our Anglo-Saxon race is not perfectly gradual transformation of terrestrial plants into acclimated. This may be aggravated, but is not this store of fuel, garnered up it might seem for entirely caused, by the busy, exhausting, restless endless generations, with the vegetable texture life of the great body of Americans. The fevers still apparent throughout under the microscope ; and agues of the back settlements will probably and flattened trunks of trees, now transmuted into disappear, with the swamps and marshes, before pure coal, and erect fossil trees in the overlaying cultivation and drainage; the vigorous health of strata ; instructive to trace all the geological and Kentucky and some other of the back settlements all the chemical processes in this immense labora- may eventually renew the youth, if renewal be tory ;-yet to us there is something even more, necessary, of the earlier race, which seems surprising in the application of those inexhausti- want the robust look, the clear and ruddy comble treasures by that race of beings for whom the plexion of the Englishman.—(See Lyell, vol. i., Almighty Creator in his boundless Providence pp. 154–5.) But this danger will probably bring may seem to have entombed them in the earth. its own cure ; every succeeding century will adapt What can be more strange than their sudden rev- the race more completely to their climate. Their elation, as it were, in these enormous quantities, political dangers are more serious and inevitable. just when is most apparent the practical depend- That which is their strength and pride, their inence of man, in his most crowded state of civili-dependence, is their greatest peril. There is no zation, on powers which his ancestors, content to great repressive, no controlling power, nothing to warm their hearths and to cook their provisions drag the wheel of popular rule, either in the conwith bright and useful fuel, dreamed not to be stitution of the Federation or in the States. In latent in this coarse and ordinary product of the each the senates must obey the mighty will of the earth? Who shall conjecture the incalculable re
But separate interests may grow up, in sults of the use, perhaps the improvement, of the nature of things cannot but grow up; the north steam-power in a country where railroads are of and the south, the west and the east, may be arsuch comparatively easy construction, and the rayed against each other. The ruder, the more spreading network of rivers might seem provi- tumultuous, the more uneducated west, may be
able to dictate at Washington not the soundest | at once adopt the language of that not very imipolicy, policy which may be fatal, but which must table personage in Milton—“My sentence is for be adopted from fear of separation, and the conse- open war.” What can happen?—these were quence of separation. In each State there is the among the amiable anticipations~"England may same danger : the predominance of the turbulent bombard and burn a few of the cities on the east many For those who, self-multiplied by their noise coast; but then she will add hundreds of millions and activity, represent themselves, and are believed to her debt; she will break down and be forever to be, the many-over the quiet, the wise, and the ruined under her intolerable burden.” There is educated. We have great faith, we need hardly one result from all this which brother Jonathan, say, in the effects of true and real education ; but even in his wildest mood, we doubt not would here is the rub—can sound political education be acute enough to apprehend—brother John travel as fast as population? That which, to all bankrupt, he has lost his best customer. Sir C. appearance, is inost feared by the calmer imme- Lyell, with his calm good sense, at the very outdiate speculators, is indeed too much in human set of his volume, doubts the wisdom of the comnature not to justify serious apprehension—the memoration of “ Independence Day:" all this requiescence of those who ought from their superior cital (of the doings of the mother country before intelligence to govern, but are too easy and happy the war) “ may have been expedient when the to strive and wrestle for their proper influence. great struggle for liberty and national independence
This applies equally to the states and to indi- was still pending ; but what effect can it have now viduals : Kentucky and Illinois may lord it over but to keep alive bad feelings?" We are happy New England and New York; and if Kentucky in believing that all “ rumors of wars" with Engand Illinois become more civilized, states yet un- land have passed away ; but any other great war, named, unsettled, still further west, may lord it in we conceive, might arrest for centuries the protheir turn over Kentucky and Illinois. So long as gress of Transatlantic civilization—might split up the subjects of collision are but the election of a pres- the Union into the chronic condition of the old ident, or even a tariff, this predominance may be world, that of separate and, before long, hostile comparatively innocuous; but when it comes to states—might raise up in one a military despotism, war or peace-war, not with Texas or Mexico, formidable to all. Before we close these hastilybut with European nations, or even with Canada, written but not less deliberately-considered opinif Canada should grow up into a rival power-ions on the expediency, the necessity of peace, to then may the United States be exposed, at least, the development of American wealth, happiness, to the chances of loss and defeat, or, escaping virtue ; on the majestic position which the United them, to the proverbial consequences of military States may take in the history of man, by showing glory and success. We have the most sovereign herself superior to the folly, the intoxication, the contempt for Mr. Cobden and his international ar- | madness of war-of war which cannot be necesbitration—for the European peace societies, which sary as self-defence, and therefore must be wanton have the most fatal effect, that of casting ridicule and wicked; we would look on one other peril, on what is in itself a righteous cause ; but, if which appears to us, if more remotely, to threaten Americans, we should hardly refrain from joining her internal peace. Her growth must be in wealth with Mr. Sumner—though even in America peace —and wealth, even under the most levelling insocieties, have, we know not why, somewhat of a stitutions, will accumulate in masses. There will bustling, officious, and somewhat ridiculous air. be individuals, there will be classes high above We should hail the more legitimnate denunciations the rest in opulence, in luxury. This will be, of
as unchristian by her Channings and course, more manifest in the great cities, which, Deweys; as American patriots and Christians we as they grow in size will become more unmanageshould never cease to cry peace! peace! That able ; and notwithstanding the constant vent in which is utterly, hopelessly, as seems at present, the backwoods for turbulent and violent spirits, impossible in Europe, seems, by a wonderful com- will leave a still larger class of those who feel bination of circumstances, of easy practicability in that they have a right to be as rich as others, and America. This vast continent may, if it will, are not. There must be an aristocracy, and that exhibit to the wondering annals of mankind cen- aristocracy an object of hatred and jealousy to turies barren of warlike glory, safe from the mis- some ; by whatever title it may be held up to scorn eries of war. The United States may at length or animosity; "a white-gloved aristocracy,” &c. relieve republican governments from that heavy &c. ;—such class there must be, where capital, charge registered against them by all history--and commercial industry, enterprise, even fortune, are too much countenanced by their own proceedings in left to their free course. It is to be seen whether Texas and in Mexico—that democracies are as there public, or republics, will have strength, courambitious and aggressive as the most absolute age, and determination to defend property, as the monarchies. What has America to gain—what basis of human freedom and happiness. may it not lose by war?
Thus far that spirit has not been wanting—the Sir C. Lyell was in the midst of the fierce dis- sovereign people, on more occasions than we are cussions about Oregon ; fiery news-writers were aware of here, has not scrupled to use the old brandishing their pens—wild backwoodsmen pois- world arms against “the mob.” At Providence, ing their rifles; they would have had the country the soldiers were ordered, some short time ago, to
fire on “the people," and did fire to put down a boat without one, is the water telescope or tube, of riot which rose out of the destruction of houses of three or four feet in length, which they carry in ill-fame; they did the same at Philadelphia, during their boats with them when they go a fishing. the attack on the Roman Catholics ; and now at
When they reach the fishing ground, they immerse New York, in the disgraceful disturbances around through the glass, which shows objects some 10 or
one end of this telescope in the water, and look the theatre.* Thus far, too, the public voice has 15 faihoms deep as distinctly as if they were within been strongly and unequivocally in favor of public a few feet of the surface; by which means, when order. There has been no maudlin sympathy for a shoal of fish comes into their bays, the Norwelawless rioters ; the press has been, almost with gians instantly prepare their nets, man their boats, one voice, on the side of authority; the attempt ly to survey the ground with their glasses, and
and go out in pursuit. The first process is minuteto get up a popular demonstration was an utter where they find the fish swarming about in great failure. It has been seen that the only true mercy numbers, ihen they give the signal, and surround is to stop a riot at once if not, as with us on a the fish with their large draught nets, and often recent occasion, by the civil force—at all events, catch them in hundreds at a haul. Without these to stop it. There are dangers which must be im- telescopes their business would often prove precaminent under the broadest republican forms. Only rious and unprofitable, as the fish, by these glasses, free and popnlar institutions like our own and are as distinctly seen in the deep, clear sea of Northose of the United States, and the spirit they in- way, as gold fish in a crystal jar. This instrument
is not only used by the fishermen, but it is also spire into the citizens, can prevent them from be found aboard the navy and coasting vessels of Norcoming calamities. But these slight outbreaks way. When their anchors get into foul ground, or from insignificant causes, we must acknowledge, their cables warped on a roadstead, they immecast sɔmewhat dark shadows before them; if more diately apply the glass, and, guided by it, take steps deeply-rooted causes of discontent should spring to put all to rights, which they could not do so well up—if with the spreading cities there should be without the aid of the rude and simple instrument quarters inhabited perhaps by multitudes of a par- his own hands without the aid of a craftsman. This
which the meanest fisherman can make up with ticular race or class, and so bonded together by instrument has been lately adopted by the Scotch common passions-quarters into which education fishermen on the Tay, and by its assistance they does not equably penetrate—which there is no have been enabled to discover stones, holes, and unstrong police to overawe-our only trust is that even ground, over which their nets travel, and have there will be an instantaneous tact and sympathy found the telescope answer to admiration, the miamong those to whom order is life, which will nutest object in twelve-feet water being as clearly combine them into a more commanding league. could not be used with advantage in the rivers and
seen as on the surface. We see no reason why it We trust that, not neglecting measures of precau- bays of the United States. tion in improving, as far as they may, the condition of their more abject fellow-citizens, they will The title of one of Mr. Matthews' pieces, “ Earth, never be wanting in resolution to confront and Air, and Water,” gave rise, according to Theodore crush these insurrections of communism, (for such / Hook, to a somewhatcurious blunder. He despatched even in free America may be their form,) and not one evening a clever and ingenious Scotch acquaintscruple to hazard their lives for what is dearer and on the following morning asked his opinion of
ance with the newspaper orders to the Lyceum ; than life. There must be moreover, no self-grat- the performance. The gentleman said that it was ulation in more remote towns, that it is but one rather comical upon the whole, but that there was city which has thus become a city of desolation. a little too much matter of fact about it, and that as The rapid communication of revolutionary wild- for fun he did not think quite so much was made of fire, more swift and terrible than the conflagration it as might have been. Hook asked if the rest of over leagues of prairie land—this fearful rapidity he attributed to ihere being but few people in the
the audience laughed; he said not much, but this is an essential part of its nature; one city a prey house. “Well, but,” said the editor, “surely you to its ravages, who will insure the rest ? If the liked the songs-did you not think Matthews a very waters of the Hudson reflect its red light, how droll person?” The gentleman replied that there long will it be before it glares on the Mississippi were no songs, and that he did not think Matthews or the Ohio ? May Heaven avert the omen—may so very droll; he had a good deal of quiet humor one human community grow up as a great peace certainly, and an admirable delivery; he had never society, peace external and internal, peace with all seen a more gentlemanly man in his life, bating its blessings !
that, perhaps, he was a little too fal. Hook was completely puzzled-a dull entertainment, no songs,
a thin house, and a fat performer !-it was past Norwegian Water TELESCOPES. -An instru- showed that his Scotch friend, having visited the
comprehension, till a reference to the play-bill ment which the people of Norway have found of so theatre on the Wednesday, had been listening ungreat utility that there is scarcely a single fishing suspectingly to Mr. Bartley's Lecture on the Siruc
* It was impossible, as we hear from all quarters, and ture of the Universe, which was delivered on the cannot refrain from repeating, to surpass the coolness, alternate nights, and which he was quite convinced self-command, gentlemanly, we might add Christian, was no other than the celebrated representation of bearing of Mr. Ducready.
the great humorist.