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Steele, in the last number of the Tat- the breast”—Izaak Walton, than Napotler, says that the general purpose of the leon. The one enjoyed life in simpliwhole has been to recommend truth, in- city and thankfulness, which the other, nocence and virtue, as the chief orna. in his purple career, never thought of. ments of life; this with equal justice Life palls, we become sick at heart, and may be applied to Hunt's writings. His exclaim, “all is vanity and vexation of purest and noblest effusions gush from a spirit.” This arises from selfishness, for loving heart. He causes us to regard our no one can be happy unless he seeks to fellow mortals with consideration and make those happy around him. affection, as brother toilers on the earth, and heirs of a happy immortality. Na “ The only amaranthine flower on earth ture has always worn the same un
Is virtue, the only lasting treasure truth." changed face to him, for he has been true to himself, and, considering life a
Religion is the basis of every e
y estimable blessing, he has made it one. No writer quality, and contentment and selfishness has more strenuously inculcated a spirit cannot exist together. He is the most of kindness and self-sacrifice, and he mistaken of human beings who hugs practices what he preaches. To use the himself in the vain idea that he can live affecting words of Jeannie Deans, " when happily when he lives for himself alone. the hour of death comes, that comes to The Spirit of God within him allows it
not. high and low, then it is na what we hae
His life and his immortal soul dune for oursels, but what we hae dune wage a continual war. for others, that we think on maist pleasantly." We are all in search of happi. But some way leans and hearkens to the
“ There's not a blessing individuals find, ness—it is “our waking thought by day,
kind.”—Pope. our dream by night”-and yet, how find it? In truth, we become the slaves of We must strive to improve ourselves, others from want of independence of and to live righteously in the sight of character. We are afraid to trust the Heaven—for the purer we become here, throbbings of our own heart, we fear the the less we shall have to learn hereafter. world's dread laugh, and our lives are 'Tis certain that riches alone do not passed in a feverish dream, seeking to bestow happiness. The picture drawn equal or outshine those whose wealth by Burns, in his “ Cotters Saturday gives them means of making a greater Night,” is one of religious contentment, display. Very few please themselves, and we feel that the prayer uttered by even in their amusements—they must do those peasants, beneath their humble as the world does. 'Tis not fashionable roof, ascended through the still air to the to have a mind of your own. The vain bosom of their Father and their God. and the idle, “the trim, transient toys” that flutter in the gaudy blaze of society, “ How swift the shuttle flies that weaves forgive none that can live out of their
thy shroud! circle-it is the greatest of treasons. Such persons are slandered, and their In the words of old Burton, Why do we sanity called in estion. Man should contend and vex one another? Behold, be happier than he is. We should culti- death is over our heads, and we must vate simple tastes, and form ourselves shortly give an account of all our unchaafter the true and beautiful. We would ritable words and actions. Think upon rather have been, for the real satisfac- it, and be wise.
G. F. D. tion of the thing—" for the sunshine of
CIVILIZATION: AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN.
We are arrayed into an infinite diver. democratic have ever proved the most sity of parties, and represent many and favorable soil for the rapid progress of opposite tendencies. Each battles with civilization, and, with a due limitation uncompromising energy for the preva- and intermixture of the conservative lence of his peculiar views. All is ac- principle and spirit, they would be equal. tivity, agitation. The man who can ly favorable for its mature and permaraise himself above the dust and excite- nent growth. And perhaps the ideal ment of the arena, and divest himself of of a monarchy-a monarchy in which prejudice for either party, will not wish all right liberty should have free scope, the contest hushed, though he may de. vigor and development-might accomsire its violence to be somewhat subdued plish the same purposes. and tempered. He will not wish any There is always a vast difference beparticular element or tendency to become tween the ideal and the caricature of a exclusively predominant or to be entirely thing. Partisans and controversialists crushed. Extremes meet; and the result look at the ideal of their own side and a would be either a transition from one to caricature of their opponents:-hence the other no less restless and violent their zeal and violence; while, if they than the present fermentation, or else a could exchange the points of view, they worse transition to the lethargic quiet of would exchange characters also. Monsocial and political death. The highest archists can see only a caricature of de. glory and the chief hope of safety for mocracy—they cannot distinguish it from our civilization, lie in the fact that it mobocracy ; in like manner, we are apt gives free scope to the great leading ten- to look at nothing but a caricature of dencies of human nature and human so- monarchy, which is undistinguishable ciety-that it embraces and, to some ex from despotism. But to the ideal of a tent, harmonizes them all. Our political monarchy, if it could be permanently system, for example, combines, in a high realized, the democrat could have little degree, the two great antitheses—the objection ; while to the ideal of a democconservative and the progressive princi- racy, if that also could be permanently ples. On their preservation its salvation realized, the monarchist could have as depends. The destruction of either little. Indeed, the two ideals will not would be the ruin of the other. And as, substantially differ-only each, in its among us, unlike the case of the Euro- progress towards realization, regards a peans, the progressive is undoubtedly peculiar set of dangers. The one would the strongest tendency, the reflecting guard against licentiousness on the part friends of true freedom and progress are of the governed, the other against cor. constantly called upon to lend their aid ruption and selfish misrule on the part of to the weaker side. But the natural the governors—and unquestionably both consequence of the complete triumph of dangers exist. The great question is, ultra-conservatism would be that the na which of the two theories is the most tion would at length burst with madden- practicable ? Monarchy has been tried ed fury from the strait-jacket imposed on a large scale in connection with modon it, and rush into the chaos of perfect ern civilization, and has undoubtedly anarchy. The cramped and tortured accomplished many valuable purposes ; giant would prefer the cold, bare ground but it seems incapable of securing, thorof savage lawlessness to the Procrustean oughly and permanently, the highest bed of antiquity. On the other hand, purposes of civil society. It has been the complete triumph of the ultra-pro- tried and found wanting. There is in gressive principle would probably result the civilized world a very general yearnin a speedy transition to monarchy; and ing after a change. The most philosothat monarchy would be despotism, as all phical observers of Europe see and acpast history teaches. We should thus knowledge that the democratical tendency be thrown from all our high and peculiar is the tendency of the age. It remains advantages into the same broad and to be seen whether democracy can perdownward road which others have trod- form the purposes in which monarchy den before us. Institutions essentially has failed. The experiment never bas
been and never could be tried, under so self-government does not or will not long favorable circumstances as in our own exist. It is the part of a slave to contend case; if it fails with us, it fails for many against the government of another; it is ages, if not forever.
the part of a freeman to submit to his Self-government is not, as has been Not only is the posture of resistacutely but sophistically maintained by ance to external authority not self-governa late writer in the Democratic Review, ment, but, more than anything else, long a self-contradiction: Rather it is, morally continuance in such a posture unfits for and politically speaking, the highest pro- its exercise. It is notorious that slaves blem of civilization for it is, in these just emancipated are most unfit to exerrespects, the proper self-development of cise their freedom, i. e., they have no
It by no means implies the rejec- use and no power of self-government; tion of an external rule, a law and an the whole tendency and habit of their authority emanating from a source above minds have been resistance-resistance us, and revealed to us as well as in us resistance to all that ever was presented it only rejects such a rule and authority to them in the shape of government. as emanating from a source which is If such be the character and such the not above us. Self-government begins conditions of self-government, it will be with a reverential recognition of a su seen that it is not yet thoroughly estabpreme law: its process is a constant en
lished among us.
Let us not deceive deavor to render that law objective, real, ourselves; for many of the perils to operative—to externalize it, if we may our civilization are connected with the use the term. It evolves the law not as likelihood of a mistake on this point. derived from itself, but through itself and We must remember that self-government to itself from a supreme power. Does is a thing not only most noble, but also not every man who has struggled with most difficult. temptation and sin know that self-gov. We proceed to call attention, thereernment is no absurdity? And the case fore, to some of the disadvantages, danof the intemperate man who has by him. gers and defects of our civilization. self resolved and re-resolved on reforma. They may be grouped under two general tion in vain, but who, after signing a heads-our extravagant radical, and our public pledge, finds himself enabled to equally extravagant utilitarian, tendenpersevere, is an instance and an illustra- cies. Let us begin with our radical tention of the nature and importance of that dencies, as being in immediate connection process by which the rule of conduct is with the business of self-government. conceived of and realized as exterior to We hesitate not to say, there is among ourselves. In the case of the nation that us too strong a tendency to reduce all would govern itself, it is no less essen the elements of society to a common tial it should recognize this supreme law level. In calling, it “too strong," we as paramount to its own will, and the mean to admit and imply that it is a tenobjective rule of its conduct, than in the dency not dangerous in kind—for it is a case of the individual. It is not, indeed, proper and necessary correction of other necessary that, according to the philoso. and opposite tendencies—but we mean phy of monarchy, this supreme law also to assert that it may exist, and we should be visibly embodied in some par- believe it does exist, in an exorbitant ticular person. This is a sort of politi- and dangerous degree. It is a very prevcal idolatry or Grand-Lamaism. But the alent notion among us that each individ. law must be recognized, realized, sub- ual has a full right to an equal voice and mitted to as somewhat independent of influence in the government and social the people's will and sovereign over it. institutions of the country, without any The effort of a free people must ever be regard to his progress in intellectual and to render more dim the consciousness of moral culture. Thus intelligence and governing, and more distinct that of being ignorance, virtue and vice, are mixed up governed. They must think less and in one general average. This is a notion less of their right, and more and more which the ignorant and vicious, of of their duties ; otherwise, instead of course, most greedily embrace and chergoverning themselves, they will end, at ish, and its abettors are therefore sure of best, in governing one another. A pre- their support and suffrages. But does vailing tendency to declaim against, the self-government of the individual decry and resist authority is of itself imply that all his faculties and propensisufficient proof, that, where it exists, ties should have an equal voice in the
forum of his conscience ? Does not man allowed to claim such superiority every one see at once that such a state over us; but we do say that we and every were an end of all government? A self man should feel that our rights to govgoverning man is guided by the light of ernmental influence—we speak not now reason, and ruled by the law of con of personal or private rights, or of rights science, while the lower principles of to the protection of equal laws our his nature are checked, restrained, re- just share in controlling the course of soduced to obedience. Yet that reason and ciety, are only according to our capaciconscience, as well as those lower prin- ties, attainments, characters; and such ciples, are his own-are his very self. influence we shall actually possess, and When a question of duty comes up, he no more, in a sound, self-governing does not call together all his powers, community. As to the boasted right of passions, appetites and desires, on a foot- suffrage even, we go so far as to deny its ing of perfect equality, and decide ac very existence as a natural or moral right cording to the major vote. Yet all these of each individual. The ignorant and are present in the solemn council-all vicious should not feel that they have any have their voice—all are heard. Better such right-it is allowed them as a legal a thousand times be heard fully and pa- right, or privilege, because it cannot be tiently then, than come in with their dis- helped ; because no safe means have concerting cries afterward. The whole been or can be devised to distinguish man decides the question—the whole and separate them by any previous scruman submits to the decision—and it is tiny from the rest of society. They executed accordingly.
ought to feel that they enjoy this priviSo must it be with a self-governing lege on sufferance. It is an evil
, though people. Among them each individual has a necessary evil. It is a social disease, an influence, and has a right to an influ- though we honestly believe that no ence, not in the arithmetical ratio of one remedy has been or is likely to be inof the whole mass, but in the moral ratio vented—such as a distinction of birth or of his intelligence and virtue—i. e., in property or what not—which is not proportion as those elements which in worse than the disease. Therefore, their own nature have a legitimate claim when a people pretend to govern themto authority predominate in his character. selves, we insist upon universal sufrage It is a government of intelligence and at once, as a matter of fact, but not as a virtue, not of mere will, not of persons matter of right. But in order that a peoas such. If the ideal of a democracy ple may govern themselves, intelligence were a government of mere persons-of and virtue must also, as a matter of fact, arbitrary will-it were a thousand-fold maintain the controlling influence in spite more degrading and detestable than the of universal suffrage. And according as very caricature of a monarchy. It is true this is the result we may determine that persons perform the functions of gov- whether the experiment of self-governernment, and persons obey the require- ment is in successful operation. ments of government. But those who Civil society has certainly not reached govern, govern as representatives of cer its highest ideal in the forms of Shakertain ideas of order, justice, reason, legiti- ism or socialism. It is not a barren macy; and those who obey, obey in view plain, or a shifting, shapeless heap of unof those ideas. Submission to mere per- distinguishable grains of sand, as some sonal will, in whatever form, is slavery. vainly dream. It is a living organismIf now you ask, who shall distinguish a well-compacted body. “Now we have the intelligent and virtuous from the ig- many members in one body, and all memnorant and vicious ? who shall classify bers have not the same office.” These them, and assign to each his proportion- memorable and significant words were ate influence? We answer, nobody in spoken by the holy apostle in reference particular-we propose no individual to the church as a social, visible organi. censorship-but the whole society must zation-an organization from whose con. determine the question by a sort of natu- stitution all physical force is banished— ral instinct--and a truly self-governing an organization which should develop society in a healthy state will determine itself spontaneously according to the it, and determine it correctly. We do highest moral laws of man's being under not take it upon ourselves to say to any the guidance and energy of the ind wellman in particular, your governmental ing Divine Spirit. And if these words, rights are less than ours, nor is any other implying grades, subordination, system,
are true in reference to the church, most state of architecture in this country apcertainly are they true in reference to pears emblematical of the stage of its civ. civil society. We are in danger of for- ilization. Our very fundamental laws, getting that society is a system-a system our “constitutions,” are daily undergoing where all the parts have their proper changes; or, if to change them be too functions and office—and not a mere difficult, a temporary majority sometimes mass of elements placed in juxtaposition tramples upon them with impunity. We or jostled into a general average; nor yet think that as a people we are in rapid a huge, hideous, headless, heartless trunk, progress-yet, in fact, are we not conwhose every particle of flesh, bone, stantly beginning? In respect to social sinew and musclc is endued, and just institutions do we build anything for perequally endued, with consciousness, in manence ? If we do, we scarcely get telligence, life and energy: who would beyond the foundations, and the next not shrink from the contact of such a generation, if not the next election or monster with horror! The essential con. next great voluntary society, rips up all dition of true freedom in society as well our work to start on a new plan. It is as the individual, is not a lawless dis- to be feared this everlasting beginning cordant equality of elements on the one will be the ruin of us. It is impossible hand, or a dead, monotonous level on the for one generation to build up from the other, but a living, varied harmony. It ground, a solid, spacious, well-proporwere beautiful to see a man all whose tioned fabric of social institutions; and powers and affections were thus attuned were it possible, there is little encourage. in sweet, spontaneous concert, based on ment to attempt it, if the next generation the normal principles of his constitution; is sure to demolish the whole and begin and beautiful to see society presenting anew. It is high time for us to have setsuch an aspect. But infinitely more no- tled something to be ready to take someble are both the man and the society who thing for granted. If great changes are have trained and disciplined themselves necessary, it is unfortunate, and progress to such a state, than they who, if such a must be proportionably checked ; and the thing be possible, by external force and habit of making them is a still greater corruption have been constrained to it. misfortune. When revolution and change Self-government is essential, therefore, to are matters of ordinary preference, and the highest elevation both of the indi- not reserved for cases of stern necessity vidual and social man. Whether it be which knows no law-when they be. possible for human society, under the come the favorite rule and not the sad guidance of self-government, to attain exception—the result must be monstrous. such an ideal, or make any reasonable ap- Contempt for the past is closely connectproximations to it, or whether it musted with a disregard of the future. “ What ever remain under the tutelage of arbi- right has my great grandfather to control trary rule, is one of the problems which me" and "What has posterity done for in the Providence of God has been com me ?" are questions very nearly related. mitted to us to solve in behalf of all man. A man who has ill-treated his father is kind.
naturally suspicious of his children, We said that, rearing our so are in great haste to abolish all cial edifice, we have no rubbish to re- those institutions which imply an impermove of the decaying and ruinous struc- fect state of society, forgetting that we tures of antiquity. This is a great ad- may thereby destroy the very means of atvantage, if we use it right. But at our taining perfection. We shall have to put present rate of progress, when are we up the scaffolding again. “ Haste brings likely to build any edifice at all? Do we waste,” says the English proverb. “Avnot pull down as fast as we put up? An arice bursts the bag,” says Sancho. old house is better than none. What Many fancy that we are on the eve of a should we say, or where should we be, social and political as well as religious if every man were to remodel or rebuild millenium.' Social Chiliasm threatens to his father's house the moment it came become the prevailing creed. There is into his possession? We should soon abroad a sort of indistinct notion that we come to live in a very miserable sort of have only to pass a solemn resolution hovels, or else should have little time for that we have reached a certain state and anything besides house building. Now is ape its fashions, and forthwith we are not this precisely our social position ? really there; not considering that facts Indeed, to a fanciful view, the actual are too stubborn things to yield to the