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Poetry.--Scraps from M.S. Dramas,
The Indian's Vigil,
105, 272, 362, 489 and 613
AMERICAN MONTHLY MAGAZINE.
THE EDUCATION OF THE BLOOD. .
Tue flight of an old year, and the arrival of a new one, are things with which, alas! we are now familiarized by much repetition ; yet each recurrence makes an epoch, and offers to those who think at all, an occasion to look backward, and forward, and around. To do this wisely, we should do it with an universal eye to the history and destinies of humanity ; we should lose sight of self, and merge all minor and transitory hopes and fears in the vast interests of a race, of a species, and of a world. We should make this abstraction first, and to a noble mind it ought to be possible, of individual passions ; and we should also guard carefully against that of which we cannot divest ourselves, individual habit and peculiarity of thought and prejudice, the disadvantage for general views of being individual, of having but one system of thought in which our views can be matured, bat one speculum or lens of sight through which we can receive them, one memory, one experience, and one wisdom and charity the fruit of both, so far as they have been fruitful
. What might a man not give to inhabit for an hour like a spirit in the thoughts of his neighbour! to ransack the palace of his soul, and discover all the uses and all the faults of its furniture, and to come back improved by travel to apply the results to his own, and to learn and to practise a custom of allowing largely for the effect of difference of points of view. Argument is infinite because language is imperfect; but there is a broad basis of esta. blished truths from which we all depart; there is a scheine of general results at which we all wish to arrive; and we wrangle and call each other fools, because all are insisting on means which, each for the other, we all perceive to be inadequate.
The hour of reflection is naturally the hour of exhortation ; but in this favoured land, and in this enlightened population, we see the general tendencies of things go on so rightly, the universal
sense so sound and just, we believe so fully in the Spirit of the Age, that all the warning and all the exhortation we wish to utter may be summed up in one word, Charity. To tariff and anti-tariff, to Bankite and Loco Foco, to Whig and Tory, we would write as a new commandment--that they love one another. The day is near when charity will become a political watchword, and one of infinite effect and unexampled popularity ; for preacher, patriot, and partizan have learned the fable of the sun and the wind, and are learning to practise on its moral. No rocks are mollified in our days with vinegar; the proverb of suaviter in modo is better chemistry, and the fintiest hearts incline to give way before it. Let any man think for an instant on his own natural impulse to comply with kind solicitation, and to resist compulsion were it even used for his advantage, and he may judge how much more he can effect in the world by the aid of this principle than against it.
Could we candidly and kindly discuss all the points we are contending about at present, we should certainly end by elucidating them, and all agreeing on our future course.
Our material interests are unquestionably all one. beginning to realize this and act upon it; our differences now are usually avowedly only personal, and personal preferences must always exist, and always be the source of something like partizanship. But there is a dominion of truth redeemed from error, an area of universal opinion in which all enlightened reasoners agree, the extent of which is hourly increasing, and its rate of increase is constantly accelerated as new principles are de. veloped and enlisted in its advancement. Several such principles, we think, are manifesting new energies, and claiming new importance in the eyes of mankind just now; and it is our object now to point to a few of those which the events of the year just closed have set in conspicuous lights. Some adversaries of truth have received defeats, some allies have had their hands strengthened, and some light has been thrown on things which were bugbears here. tofore, and shown that they are harmless. We shall give an instance briefly to each of these points, and close with such remarks as we have space for on the new view of the future, which the lapse of the past year has aided us to take, and the new hopes those views afford us.
And first, we count as an adversary wounded, the old system, of late so much discredited of meeting distinct argument and proof with vague disparagement, of compromising undeniable principles, and deprecating the application of reasoning, of which it is impossible to dispute the force. This dominion of principle is called Radicalism, which implies the opinion, that whatever is good to be.
lieve is good to act on, and that exceptions must be as clearly proved as the rule. Free trade, for instance, is good, that is proved; but it is only argued vaguely and not proved, that the trade in money ought to be an exception. Therefore let us put down the usury laws, and make every body equal in the privilege of banking, and trust our merchants to choose their own pilots, and buy our broad cloths where we can get them best. If there are any exceptions, let us have them proved beyond question, and not allow our energies to be cramped on suspicion; nothing less than demonstration and uni. versal assent will justify it. The rule is liberty, but the madman must be shut up; the rule is protection, but the murderer must be hanged; these are the sort of exceptions supported by the degree of evidence which only ought, in case of imposing legal restraint, to be admitted. And the broad republican, iron-handed common sense way of dealing with such things makes hourly converts; it - is more consonant to the simplicity of reason than the hair-splitting system, and more congenial to the ambition and energy of a free people that wishes to be certain of what it knows, to clear the ground it conquers, and lays out its triangles for fresh demonstration and advances.
So much for an enemy; and for a friend, we hail with joy the rapid progress made of late by the feeling whose watchword is Na. tive Americanism. It has just now taken fresh development, but we are of those who have long seen its star approaching, and bent among its worshipers. Now it is high in heaven and will soon be paramount, and little needs our incense; now at last we seem to be about to redeem ourselves from the gross inconsistency of pro. claiming that slavery and tyranny are debasers of the human race, and yet admitting their scions to be partners in our councils. Let the guest be received as a guest, and be content if his children are as ours, and for his own protection, let him trust our hospitality without seeking to possess himself of power.
The financial phenomena of the year or two last past are full of instruction, even in the incomplete state of development in which they still are, though a little more time we believe will suffice for the passing away of the present crisis, and the solving of many ques. tions favourably. A vast influx of positive wealth has been received by our country; emigrants, or rather immigrants, have brought us much; but the increased price of our agricultural staples and their increased production under that stimulus, have brought us tenfold more. Large fortunes have been realized in all directions, and larger fortunes have also been imagined by over-sanguine speculators, who have adopted too hastily the confidence that to-morrow shall be as this day and much more abundant. Much of this appearance of wealth, real or fallacious, still exists, presenting an universality of compe. tence, and a frequency of affluence such as no part of this world ever looked upon before. Now, what has been the consequence ? it is worthy of all remark, for croakers have not been wanting to tell us that Mammon would gather us at last in the hollow of his hand and Aling us into chaos. Has the influence of wealth increased ? It would have been absurd if it had, as it grew more common. Has it not rather visibly diminished ? Is it not falling, or has it not fallen, to its proper place in the scale of social powers ? as a thing which talent guided by education can certainly acquire in sufficiency, and which in superfluity is as useless as too much food or raiment, or any thing else we cannot make use of? We think it has, and we look on the state of things existing here as a proof that a very general diffusion of wealth in an educated community has a tendency to check and keep in check the two opposite mischievous errors which grow out of want of familiarity with it in less favoured lands; the over-estimate of the luxury of possessing it, which leads to sordid avarice; and the too great expectation of pleasure from its use or abuse, which leads to prodigality. How few examples of either vice are heard of among us.
But in dwelling with joy and hope on the many blessings Provi. dence pours out upon us and around us, there is one consideration which chiefly calls for our admiration and thankfulness in our views of the future, which is, that all these things provide for their own perpetuity and increase. The knowledge by means of which they are bestowed, becomes a part of our atmosphere ; the increased apt. ness for knowledge which each generation of civilized men obtains enters into our circulation, becomes a part of our physical constitu. tion, and is transmitted to our descendants. This facility of acqui. sition is what the German physiologists call receptivity ; it is an adaptation of the brain to the performance of its accustomed functions, which certainly not only exists in the individual in consequence of habit, but appears as a predisposition in his descendants. The child of the savage cannot be broken into civilization ; take him from the breast of his mother, and educate him with what care and tenderness you will, he has a yearning for the forest, an instinct which prompts him to cast aside the habiliments and cast off the restraints of society, and return to the blanket and the woods. His blood must be trained and educated, generation after generation must accumulate receptivity as the Anglo-Saxon race has done ; his knowledge must become a part of his nature, and those physical organs which serve the mind most immediately, must acquire adaptation and ductility, delicacy or discrimination, and promptness of apprehension. And when the man dies his life is transmitted, his blood still flows, and