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CHARLES GORDON. ("We trusted it had been he who should have delivered Israel.")
GREAT Soul, that scorned ignoble ease,
War's swift occasions as they came,
We hoped, but under alien skies, Far off, within his bloody grave,
Struck by the traitor steel he lies.
Is this the end? Forbid the thought!
The Saviour dies, betrayed, alone,
His Israel unredeemed; but still Grows to a mightier world-wide throne The felon Cross on Calvary's hill.
Nor thou, great soul, was spent in vain,
Shall bring across each petty strife,
The vision of a holier life,
A loftier purpose, purer fame. Spectator. ALFRED CHURCH.
IN a hollow of the dunes
Its wings were closed in rest,
Would gleam along the sand,
Once nimble on the turf.
No ruffle marred its plumage,
The happiest of the dead.
So could I wish that Death Would make his lair for me Among the list'ning pastures And margins of the sea. Good Words.
FROM NATURE TO MAN. TIME was when Nature's every mystic mood Poured round my heart a flood of eager joy; When pageantry of sunsets moved the boy More than high ventures of the great and good; When trellised shadows in the vernal wood,
And little peeping flowers, so sweet and coy, Were simple happiness without alloy, And whispered to me things I understood. But now the strange sad weight of human woe, And all the bitterness of human wrong, Press on my saddened spirit as I go,
And stir the pulsings of a graver song: Dread mysteries of life and death I scan, And all my soul is only full of man. Spectator.
W. WALSHAM BEDFORD.
From The Nineteenth Century. A WORD MORE ABOUT AMERICA.
WHEN I was at Chicago last year, I was asked whether Lord Coleridge would not write a book about America. I ventured to answer confidently for him that he would do nothing of the kind. Not at Chicago only, but almost wherever I went, I was asked whether I myself did not intend to write a book about America. For oneself one can answer yet more confidently than for one's friends, and I always replied that most assuredly I had no such intention. To write a book about America, on the strength of having made merely such a tour there as mine was, and with no fuller equipment of preparatory studies and of local observations than I possess, would seem to me an impertinence.
should for my part expect to find there rather such and such other things, which I mentioned. I said that of aristocracy, as we know it here, I should expect to find, of course, in the United States the total absence; that our lower class I should expect to find absent in a great degree, while my old familiar friend, the middle class, I should expect to find in full possession of the land. And then betaking myself to those playful phrases which a little relieve, perhaps, the tedium of grave disquisitions of this sort, I said that I imagined one would just have in America our Philistines, with our aristocracy quite left out and our populace very nearly.
An acute and singularly candid American, whose name I will on no account betray to his countrymen, read these observations of mine, and he made a remark upon them to me which struck me a good deal. Yes, he said, you are right, and your supposition is just. In general, what you would find over there would be the Philistines, as you call them, without your aristocracy and without your populace. Only this, too, I say at the same time: you would find over there something besides, something more, something which you do not bring out, which you cannot know and bring out, perhaps, without actu
It is now a long while since I read M. de Tocqueville's famous work on democracy in America. I have the highest respect for M. de Tocqueville; but my remembrance of his book is that it deals too much in abstractions for my taste, and that it is written, moreover, in a style which many French writers adopt, but which I find trying—a style cut into short paragraphs and wearing an air of rigorous scientific deduction without the reality. Very likely, however, I do M. de Tocqueville injustice. My debility in high speculation is well known, and I mean to at-ally visiting the United States, but which tempt his book on democracy again when I have seen America once more, and when years may have brought to me, perhaps, more of the philosophic mind. Meanwhile, however, it will be evident how serious a matter I think it to write a worthy book about the United States, when I am not entirely satisfied with even M. de Tocqueville's.
But before I went to America, and when I had no expectation of ever going there, I published, under the title of "A Word about America," not indeed a book, but a few modest remarks on what I thought civilization in the United States might probably be like. I had before me a Boston newspaper article which said that if I ever visited America I should find there such and such things; and taking this article for my text I observed, that from all I had read and all I could judge, I
you would recognize if you saw it.
My friend was a true prophet. When I saw the United States I recognized that the general account which I had hazarded of them was, indeed, not erroneous, but that it required to have something added to supplement it. I should not like either my friends in America or my countrymen here at home to think that my "Word about America" gave my full and final thoughts respecting the people of the United States. The new and modifying impressions brought by experience I shall communicate, as I did my original expectations, with all good faith, and as simply and plainly as possible. Perhaps when I have yet again visited America, have seen the great West, and have had a second reading of M. de Tocqueville's classical work on democracy, my mind may be enlarged and my present impressions still
further modified by new ideas. If so, I promise to make my confession duly; not indeed to make it, even then, in a book about America, but to make it in a brief "Last Word" on that great subject—a word, like its predecessors, of open-hearted and free conversation with the readers of this review.
I suppose I am not by nature disposed to think so much as most people do of "institutions." The Americans think and talk very much of their "institutions;" I am by nature inclined to call all this sort of thing machinery, and to regard rather men and their characters. But the more I saw of America, the more I found myself led to treat "institutions" with increased respect. Until I went to the United States I had never seen a people with institutions which seemed expressly and thoroughly suited to it. I had not properly appreciated the benefits proceeding from this cause.
Sir Henry Maine, in an admirable essay which, though not signed, betrays him for its author by its rare and characteristic qualities of mind and style - Sir Henry Maine in the Quarterly Review adopts and often reiterates a phrase of M. Scherer, to the effect that "democracy is only a form of government." He holds up to ridicule a sentence of Mr. Bancroft's history, in which the American democracy is told that its ascent to power "proceeded as uniformly and majestically as the laws of being, and was as certain as the decrees of eternity." Let us be willing to give Sir Henry Maine his way, and to allow no magnificent claim of this kind on behalf of the American democracy. Let us treat as not more solid the assertion in the Declaration of Independence, that "all men are created equal, are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Let us concede that these natural rights are a figment; that chance and circumstance, as much as deliberate foresight and design, have brought the United States into their present condition, that moreover the British rule which they threw off was not the rule of oppressors and tyrants which de
claimers suppose, and that the merit of the Americans was not that of oppressed men rising against tyrants, but rather of sensible young people getting rid of stu pid and overweening guardians who misunderstood and mismanaged them.
All this let us concede, if we will; but in conceding it let us not lose sight of the really important point, which is this: that their institutions do in fact suit the people of the United States so well, and that from this suitableness they do derive so much actual benefit. As one watches the play of their institutions, the image sug gests itself to one's mind of a man in a suit of clothes which fits him to perfection, leaving all his movements unimpeded and easy. It is loose where it ought to be loose, and it sits close where its sitting close is an advantage. The central gov ernment of the United States keeps in its own hands those functions which, if the nation is to have real unity, ought to be kept there; those functions it takes to itself and no others. The State governments and the municipal governments provide people with the fullest liberty of managing their own affairs, and afford, besides, a constant and invaluable school of practical experience. This wonderful suit of clothes, again (to recur to our image), is found also to adapt itself naturally to the wearer's growth, and to admit of all enlargements as they successively arise. I speak of the state of things since the suppression of slavery, of the state of things which meets a spectator's eye at the present time in America. There are points in which the institutions of the United States may call forth criticism. One observer may think that it would be well if the president's term of office were longer, if his ministers sate in Congress or must possess the confidence of Congress. Another observer may say that the marriage laws for the whole nation ought to be fixed by Congress, and not to vary at the will of the legislatures of the several States. I myself was much struck with the inconvenience of not allowing a man to sit in Congress except for his own district; a man like Wendell Phillips was thus excluded, because Boston would not return him. It is as if Mr. Bright could
have no other constituency open to him if | half a dozen politicians whom in England Rochdale would not send him to Parlia- we should pronounce to be members of ment. But all these are really questions Parliament of the highest class, in bearing, of machinery (to use my own term), and manners, tone of feeling, intelligence, inought not so to engage our attention as to formation. I discovered that in truth the prevent our seeing that the capital fact as practice, so common in America, of callto the institutions of the United States is ing a politician a thief," does not mean this their suitableness to the American so very much more than is meant in Enpeople, and their natural and easy working. gland when we have heard Lord BeaconsIf we are not to be allowed to say, with field called "a liar" and Mr. Gladstone Mr. Beecher, that this people has "a" a madman." It means, that the speaker genius for the organization of States," then at all events we must admit that in its own organization it has enjoyed the most signal good fortune.
disagrees with the politician in question and dislikes him. Not that I assent, on the other hand, to the thick-and-thin American patriots, who will tell you that there is no more corruption in the politics and administration of the United States than in those of England. I believe there is more, and that the tone of both is lower there; and this from a cause on which I shall have to touch hereafter. But the corruption is exaggerated; it is not the wide and deep disease it is often represented; it is such that the good elements in the nation may, and I believe will, perfectly work it off; and even now the truth of what I have been saying as to the suitableness and successful working of American institutions is not really in the least affected by it.
Yes; what is called, in the jargon of the publicists, the political problem and the social problem, the people of the United States does appear to me to have solved, or fortune has solved it for them, with undeniable success. Against invasion and conquest from without they are impregnably strong. As to domestic concerns, the first thing to remember is, that the people over there is at bottom the same people as ourselves, a people with a strong sense for conduct. But there is said to be great corruption among their politicians and in the public service, in municipal administration, and in the administration of justice. Sir Lepel Griffin would Furthermore, American society is not lead us to think that the administration in danger from revolution. Here, again, of justice, in particular, is so thoroughly I do not mean that the United States are corrupt, that a man with a lawsuit has exempt from the operation of every one of only to provide his lawyer with the neces- the causes such a cause as the division sary funds for bribing the officials, and he between rich and poor, for instance can make sure of winning his suit. The which may lead to revolution. But I Americans themselves use such strong mean that comparatively with the old language in describing the corruption countries of Europe they are free from prevalent amongst them that they cannot the danger of revolution; and I believe be surprised if strangers believe them. that the good elements in them will make For myself, I had heard and read so much a way for them to escape out of what they to the discredit of American political life, really have of this danger also, to escape how all the best men kept aloof from it, in the future as well as now -the future and those who gave themselves to it were for which some observers announce this unworthy, that I ended by supposing that danger as so certain and so formidable. the thing must actually be so, and the Lord Macaulay predicted that the United good Americans must be looked for else- States must come in time to just the same where than in politics. Then I had the state of things which we witness in Enpleasure of dining with Mr. Bancroft in gland; that the cities would fill up and the Washington; and however he may, in Sir lands become occupied, and then, he said, Henry Maine's opinion, overlaud the pre- the division between rich and poor would established harmony of American democ- establish itself on the same scale as with racy, he had at any rate invited to meet me us, and be just as embarrassing. He for