Page images

utterly ruin the nation that undertakes proceed to vigorous retaliation; nor should them. The wealth of England is the we cease from war until the slightest unfruit of protection and Internal Improve-armed vessel that bears our flag might sail ments : her debt and misery on the other unmolested into every nook of the ocean. hand are consequences of her • External But if this be so, if we are jealous for our Improvements,' or in other words, of her commerce, and cheerfully tax ourselves conquests and aggressions.

millions, keeping up a vast and costly naBut the ingenuity of the draughters of val armament for its defence, by what inLocofoco Resolutions, is in nothing more fatuation are we persuaded to neglect this noticeable than in the guarded opposition source and great material of commerce, which they offer to the national policy of this manufacture ? Commerce is but a Protection.

carrying trade-a free porterage; and is “Justice and sound policy,” say they, it lawful to lay indirect taxes for that, and “ forbid the federal government to foster not lawful to do the same for the mateone branch of industry to the detriment of rials of that? Is it lawful to take five another, or to cherish the interests of one millions a year from private property in portion to the injury of another portion the shape of revenue tariffs, for the supof one common country; every citizen, port of commerce, and not lawful to take and every section of the country, has a as much by the protection of manufactures ? right to demand and to insist upon an It is hardly necessary to say that these equality of rights and privileges, and to ingenious and respectable Platforms” complete and ample protection of persons convey a falsehood, by insinuation; and and property from domestic violence or if any ultra Democrat reads this, let foreign aggression."

him be assured that his instructors deA foreigner, unacquainted with our pol-ceive him. The Whig policy is not what itics, would think upon reading this in- they affirm it to be; on the contrary, Whig genious resolution that a party existed in legislation means to extend protection to the nation, whose policy it was to subvert the LIFE, PROPERTY, INDUSTRY, Credit, some particular branch of industry by the and Honor of every citizen; to convince exaltation of other branches; and that this him by a judicious and patriotic conduct, same wicked faction had it in mind to leave that it is actuated by no theories, nor by unprotected the libertes and properties of any blind or selfish interest, but by the citizens. The Whig party hold that every one desire to make this nation the free, manufacture, every department of agricul- | the rich, and the powerful. ture, every species of commerce or indus On the delicate question of constitutry, from the cultivation of cotton and po- tionality, which every honest mind will aptatoes to the making of broadcloths, and proach with the most serious regard, the the composition of works of art, has party who oppose all beneficent action of a just claim upon our care and brotherly the government, exhibit a singular inconpity : this party holds, that as the first of- sistency. While they profess to be of the fice of the government of every nation is Jeffersonian school of politics, they strenuto protect the lives and properties of its ously and obstinately oppose the policy of citizens from foreign aggression, its second which Jefferson must be looked upon as and not less important is to protect their in the first patron, if not the father. Shall dustry and enterprise from foreign compe- the revenue, says

that President to tition : they place these two duties upon Congress, in his eighth annual message, the same ground of patriotism and human “ be reduced ? Or shall it not rather be ity, and hold that to be a wretchedly weak appropriated to the improvements of roads, and inefficient government that cannot ful- canals, rivers, education, and other great fil them both. What matters it, say they, foundations of prosperity and union, under if we are kept poor and miserable, whether the powers which Congress may already it be by the competition of foreign labor possess, or such amendments of the Conand capital, or by the terror of foreign stitution as may be approved by the States? fleets and armies ? Should our commerce While uncertain of the course of things, be extinguished by the fleets of an enemy, the time may advantageously be employed we should forthwirth arm ourselves and in obtaining the powers necessary for a

system of improvement, should they be between the States; the lines of separation thought best. Thus evidently of opinion will disappear, their interests will be identhat the Constitution does not directly tified, and their union cemented by new forbid such a use of the revenue, he yet and indissoluble ties. Education is here respectfully intimates that if any are doubt- placed among the articles of public care ; ful upon that head they should proceed at not that it would be proposed to take its once to alter the Constitution, to make it ordinary branches out of the hands of priagree with their policy.

vate enterprise, which manages so much Already in his sixth annual message he better all the concerns to which it is equal ; had pressed this policy upon Congress :- but a public institution can alone supply “The question now comes forward, to those sciences, which, though rarely called what other purposes shall these surpluses for, are yet necessary to complete the cirbe appropriated, and the whole surplus of cle, all the parts of which contribute to import, after the entire discharge of the the improvement of the country, and some public debt, and during those intervals of them to its preservation. I suppose when the purposes of war shall not call for an amendment to the Constitution, by conthem? Shall we suppress the import, sent of the States, necessary, because the and give that advantage to foreign over objects now recommended are not among domestic manufactures ? On a few articles those enumerated in the Constitution, and of more general and necessary use, the sup- to which it permits the public moneys to pression in due season will doubtless be be applied.” right, but the great mass of the articles on And yet, notwithstanding this deference which import is paid, are foreign luxuries, to the scruples of strict constructionists, purchased by those only who are rich we find him, in the eighth annual message, enough to afford themselves the use of proposing a system of protective and disthem. Their patriotism (!!) would cer- criminating tariffs, without even a hint of tainly prefer its continuance and applica- unconstitutionality. “The situation into tion to the great purposes of the public which we have been forced, (by the war,) education, roads, rivers, canals, and such has impelled us to apply a portion of our other objects of public improvement as it industry and capital to internal manufacmay be thought proper to add to the con tures and improvements. The extent of stitutional enumeration of federal powers.” this conversion is daily increasing, and lit

Here we have the great father of De- tle doubt remains, that the establishments mocracy, not only advocating a political formed and forming, will—under the austariff

, but proposing to continue this tariff, pices of cheaper materials and subsistence, for the support of a system of Internal Im- the freedom of labor from taxation with us, provement; in aid of which, and to satisfy and of protecting duties and prohibitions the scruples of Mr. Madison and his friends, become apparent.” He never doubts that the Constitution is to be altered !—a sys- Congress has the power to impose duties tem of internal improvement, let us ob- for the protection of manufacturers, but serve, to be supported by a protective only finds no clause in the Constitution tariff! This was the Jeffersonian policy, which allows the duties so collected to be urged in the Messages of 1806 and 1808! given back to the people in the form of "By these operations,” continues the first internal improvements for the aid of that President of the Democratic party, “new internal commerce upon which manufacchannels of communication will be opened | turers depend for their existence.


In the troublous times that marked the | reflection no less healthy and sane than the close of the reign of King Charles the most necessary and becoming action. There First, and through all the commotions and are minds, too, especially endowed by vicissitudes attendant on the career of nature with the fitting qualities for mediOliver Cromwell, there lived in the quiet tation—for study—for tranquil observacity of Norwich a remarkable man, whose tion. With an intellect to perceive, a heart spirit was never conscious of the tempests to sympathize, a tongue to communicate,that raged about him,—whose “soul was the hand to execute may be wanting, and like a star, and dwelt apart,” in the regions yet no monstrosity be apparent-no deformof tranquil contemplation. To live inde- ity and no deficiency. Individuals, in the pendent of one's age, to be insensible to main, are but divers limbs of the great body the thraldom of time and place, to bring of humanity-alone complete in themthe past and future into a common range of selves, and each fully performing its office, vision and upon the same plane with the yet none accomplishing its ultimate purpresent, is an elevated state of being, rare pose, or proving itself absolutely indispenin this world, as the destiny of man plainly sable, but in co-operation with the rest. To requires that it should be. Most men and be a genuine scholar, is doubtless one of women are born into a condition of life, the most exalted stations to which a huwhose actual, stern, pressing duties impose man being can be called. And those who a limit to the motions of an enthusiastic profess to underrate the importance of lettemper, and restrict the range of imagina- ters, have been among the first to do homtion within the sphere of attraction that age (however secretly or unconsciously) to surrounds the substantialities of human learning and genius. existence. To inquire whether such be In many respects, the celebrated scholar our lot entirely through the fault of our whose name has suggested these remarks, selves, were, perhaps, “to consider too is without a parallel. The class to which curiously.”. Rousseau has well styled re- he belongs includes many varieties, indeed, flection a disease, if we assume as the type though founded upon certain general charof reflection that peculiar cast of mind, and acteristics, common to all. In some, the that unnatural style of thinking, of which scholar is but dimly apparent through he was himself a pattern. To meditate another predominant shade of character. upon the modes and conditions of our life, We distinguish between those qualities at the very time a necessity is laid upon us which constitute the fundamental elefor immediate, energetic effort, is at once ments of poetic genius, and those which unhealthy, enfeebling and ruinous. We belong simply to the man of letters do not reason upon this necessity. We and the student of nature. Yet the state the fact; for it stares us in the face two characters are many times combined at every corner—in the market-place, in the former always, in such cases, predomthe work-shop, on the wharf, in the count- inating. The scholarly character, again, ing-room. Severe, unceasing conflict every- sometimes remains subordidate in the man where, with the rude elements of matter of business, through a long series of years stubborn collision with the subtler motions -prevailing at last or entirely smothered, of mind—anguish of the heart to be borne according to worldly success or failure. The up against-oppression of spirit to be en- daily avocations, also, pertaining to the dured and patiently subdued : these make three professions, are such as in general to up the great sum of human experience. distract the attention from literary studies;

The scholar is a character that inevitably ! yet with each of these, the scholar is appears, wherever civilization and refine-frequently mingled, in a greater or less ment have made any progress. There is a degree. VOL. II. NO. I. NEW SERIES,


To this latter class, although nominally and fertile." Such an inference is worthy a professional man, and enjoying at some only of a “ bread-scholar,” blind to the very periods of his life an extensive practice, Sir character which he imagines himself to I'homas Browne can hardly be said to have wear. That this language is indeed characproperly belonged. In his character, so terized by a sort of sublime egotism, is far as we can now know him, there was only undeniably true, but that it includes or imthe genuine scholar, with scarce a percepti- plies a statement essentially incorrect, is ble tinge of any disagreeing mixture. His not to be admitted. The scholar's real profession, most certainly, if it ever gained life is, we repeat, in a measure hidden :any prominent place in his spirit, was that Browne's was, to his own mind, and speedily absorbed in the weightier and that it would have so appeared if told to rarer calling, and mingling its elements others in his own language, really poetical, therewith, became henceforth impercepti- and scarcely less than miraculous, is doubtble. Indeed, so purely and simply was he less strictly true. But this “ hidden life" characterized by scholarly aims and habi- | is veiled from our eyes, except as momentudes, that we know not where to look for a tary glimpses appear in his published more complete individual development of works. our ideal of the scholar. The beautiful Sir Thomas Browne was born in London, and salutary admonition which, in the latter on the 19th of October, 1605. His father days of his life, he left for all who aim at was a merchant, possessed of a consideraa dignified and becoming rank among hu- ble fortune, who died while his son was man spirits, was well exemplified in him- quite young. The widow subsequently self, and gives us a clue to his whole char- married again, and is represented to have acter : “Swim smoothly in the stream of exercised hardly the usual amount of mathy nature, and live but one man.ternal care and solicitude for the well-being

The life of a scholar (pre-eminently such) of young Thomas. He had, however, a presents little to the outward eye, beyond sufficient inheritance to place him above the ordinary events of birth, christening, want, and to enable him to avail himself of marriage, (perhaps,) and death. Had the the highest privileges of education,--to case of Browne been otherwise, we should which his nature seems to have early incertainly have received the evidence of it, clined him; while his friends had equally in some substantial shape. He did himself determined to bring him up to learning. write, to be sure, when scarcely beyond the He was put to school, first at Winchester, limits of youth,——"For my life, it is a mira- and afterwards, at the age of eighteen, encle of thirty years, which to relate were not tered the University at Oxford. He rea history, but a piece of poetry, and would ceived the Bachelor's degree in 1627, and soi to common ears like a fable.” But immediately after commenced the study of such language, to one who rightly con- medicine. At a later period, (the precise ceives the manner of the author, and truly year is not known,) he commenced travelcatches his spirit, can hardly create sur-ling, first in Ireland, then in France, Italy, prise, or admit of an ambiguity of mean- and Holland. At Leyden, he took the ing. This "miracle” and this piece of degree of Doctor of Medicine-a title poetry,”' to which he alludes, have no rather more dearly obtained, in those days, reference, certainly, to any remarkable than at present in our own country, and visible and outward occurrences, such as bestowed upon none who had not fitted

up the sum of biography; nor themselves to receive it, by years of attendid it require even the acuteness of Dr. tive study. In 1636, he settled as a pracJohnson to discover that, “Of these won- titioner, at Norwich, the capital of Norders, however, the view that can now be folkshire, where he spent the remainder of taken of his life offers no appearance. his days. Wood, in his well-known bioMuch less was it appropriate for this cele- graphical sketches of Oxford Students,* brated critic, after saying that “the won- says that he had an extensive practice, and ders probably were transacted in his own was resorted to by many patients. mind,” to fill out his sentence by inferring Religio Medici, the best known of the that they were the illegitimate offspring of “self-love" and "an imagination vigorous

* Athenæ Oxoniensis.

go to make

works of Sir Thomas Browne, was written | daughther, Mrs. Elizabeth Littleton, and at London, in 1635–previously to his set- others,—nor could it be doubted by any tlement at Norwich. He was then thirty one who is familiar with his other producyears of age, and his powers were fully tions. matured. Aside from the additional expe Browne was married in 1641, to a lady rience which would naturally be accumu named Mileham, with whom he lived haplated during a long life, we see no tokens pily, and who survived him two years. In in his subsequent writings of any further 1671, he received the honor of knighthood development of his faculties, or of any new from King Charles the Second. He died shape assumed by his character, indicative on his birth-day, 1682, at the age of of intellectual progress. This work, how- seventy-seven years. ever, was not given to the public until the Every author of any great note has year 1642. It very soon acquired an ex some one work (most usually) which may tensive celebrity, and established a perma- be safely assumed as the type of his charnent fame for its author. The ostensible acter, and on which his general repute is subject of the book is expressed in its title, made to depend. The Religio Medici will -the Religion of a Physician, or an ex doubtless be accepted by all as an expotended confession of his faith.

nent of the spirit and genius of its author. In 1646, Browne published his next We are left to infer, to be sure, that in the work, entitled Pseudodoria Epidemica-lifetime of Browne, bis “ Vulgar Errors" “Vulgar Errors.” The purpose of this was the most extensively read, and most work is perhaps sufficiently indicated by generally popular of all. This is not at all its appellation. The author, with much incredible, nor without some plausible and general learning, exposes the absurdity reasons. It embraces a greater variety of a large number of notions that had in of topics, and those, too, topics that lay his day become fixed in the popular belief, near the heart of all classes of readersand attempts to correct the false views intimately allied with all the sentiments of which were entertained respecting objects wonder, and mystery, and dread, which really existing, or belonging solely to the nestle under the wings of popular superstiregion of fable.

tion. Some of the subjects discussed in In 1658, he published his Hydiotaphia, this work are really curious, both as showor Um Burial—a work full of nice and va- ing the extent of popular credulity two cenried learning, and especially of that kind of turies ago, and as revealing the generality learning peculiarly belonging to the prov- of the author's observation and learning. ince of the antiquary. The subject was “ That crystal is nothing else but ice strongsuggested to his mind by the discovery of ly congealed;" “ that a diamond is softcertain urns, which were exhumed, at that ened by the blood of a goat;” “that a pot time, in an ancient cemetery, in the county full of ashes will contain as much water as where he resided. The book contains de- without them;" “ that men weigh heavier scriptions of the various modes of burial dead than alive;" “that storks will live among different nations, in former times only in republics and free states ;" “ that especially, of the funeral ceremonies per the forbidden fruit was an apple;" “ that a formed over the dead, and their significance, wolf first seeing a man begets a dumbwith characteristic contemplations of a ness in him ;"--are a few among the

many grave and sublime nature, such as the oc- opinions vulgarly current in his day, that casion could not fail to awaken in a mind he takes upon him, in a learned and digniso constituted.

fied style, to refute. He descants also upon Various tracts, on divers subjects, but the popular notions respecting the ringall more or less tinctured with antiquarian finger, and the custom (still prevalent in tendencies, and with the niceties of learn- many parts of Europe) of saluting upon ing, complete the catalogue of works pub- sneezing. He finds matters for grave dislished during his lifetime. The excellent quisition in pigmies, the dog-days, and the volume of “Christian Morals” was com- picture of Moses with horns. He expends posed in his very last years, and was not much eloquence and research on the blackgiven to the world until after his death. ness of negroes, the food of John the BapIts genuineness is fully vouched for by his tist, the poverty of Belisarius, the cessa

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »