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free white man, who acknowledged the unreasonable in the eyes of later politicians, being of a God, and believed in a future effectual to a good degree in matter of hisstate of rewards and punishments," and torical fact? who also “had a freehold of at least fifty 4. The terms and tenures of official life, acres of land, or a town lot, and had been as settled by the first lawgivers, come been legally seised and possessed of the next before us. It will be sufficient for same for six months previous to the elec- the object in view, to consider the subtion” when he claimed his franchise, ject in the three instances of governors, " or had paid a tax the preceding year, or senators, and judges. Members of the was taxable the present year, at least lower house of the legislature hold almost six months previous to such election, in a universally for a single year only. sum equal to the tax on fifty acres of By the first regular constitution of Newland," was held a duly qualified elector. Hampshire, the governor and senate were And in Georgia, a man was such an elec- to be chosen annually, but judges were to tor, who was of lawful age and had re- hold their offices "during good behavior." sided six months in the State, provided In Massachusetts, just the same. In New he was “possessed, in his own right, of York, the governor's term was fixed at ten pounds value, and liable to pay tax in three years, that of senators at four, and the State, or was of any mechanic trade.” the judicial tenure was by good behavior, Such are all the facts of the case in this determinable at the age of sixty years. aspect of it.
In New Jersey, the governor and senate Not only therefore was it deemed expe- were to be annually chosen, and the term dient to have men of property to represent of the judges was to seven years. the people of the States in their local gov- Pennsylvania, the governor's term was one ernments, but even the electoral franchise year, senators were to hold for three was regarded unsafe in the hands of any years, and judges for seven. In Delabut citizens of some little substance. And ware, the governor's term was three years, though the rule of looking to property that of senators three, and that of the qualifications for the safe vesting of this judges during goud behavior. In Maryfranchise, must of course have often shut land, the governor held for one year only, out wise and meritorious persons from the senators for five, and judges (as also the trust it involved, that evil was supposed attorney general) during gund behavior. to be doubly compensated by the concur. In Virginia, the governor was chosen for rent good, of excluding a much greater num- three years, the senate for one, and judges ber of dependent, vagrant, profligate indi-held for life or good behavior. In North viduals along with them. So at any rate the Carolina, the terms of the gorernor and fathers judged ; and the matter was all im- senators were one year only, those of the portant. Beyond a question, the charac- judges during good behavior. In South ter of our electorships is vital to the coun- Carolina, the governor and both houses of try's hopes. There may be other things the legislature were appointed biennially, that are thus vital; this is not the less so. the judges during good behavior. By the Few communities upon earth are capable Georgia constitution, the governor and of self-government. Why? Because they senate were to hold for one
year, but the have not the material for sound elector- tenure of the judicial office was not speciships. The grand secret lies here. And fied in that instrument. In brief, three will it be doubted that there was in the governors
held for three years each, one early population of this country a very for two, and the rest for one; there wae considerable mixture of corrupt ingre- one senatorial term of five years, one of dients ? or that electoral corruption was four, two of three, one of two, and six of as dangerous in America as elsewhere? but one; and of the eleven regularly What alternative then but to vest the sove- formed States, eight put their judges upon reignty of the polls in the hands of the a tenure of good behavior, two gave them better sort if possible ? I stay not now to terms of seven years, and as to the remainvindicate the means employed for the pur-ing one, the constitution is inexplicit. So pose; but was not the purpose right? that we may fairly say the sentiment of Hay more, was not the means, however 1 the country was divided between one and
upon a few.
three years as regarded the proper term to “every other foreign power whatsoever, for a chief magistrate, between one and political or ecclesiastical.” five
years for the senatorial office, while in I remark further, as not undeserving of reference to judges it was nearly unani- notice, the negative fact that written bills mous in favor of life terms, with a tenure of rights were not as common once as of good behavior.
they are now. Massachusetts, Pennsylva5. There is scarce room for further par- nia, Delaware, Maryland, and North Carticulars of the conservative policy of the Olina (five out of thirteen) had them; the fathers, in regard to public power and the other eight had them not, and yet condangers attending it. I will barely touch trived to get on as well as their neighbors,
and to keep as clear probably of all manAnd first, religion—the pure principles ner of oppression. of evangelical Christianity; of which near I mention also, in this connection, that all the primary States made striking recog- momentous subject, the common law, the nition, and even insisted upon it, as a con- largest, most enduring, best bill of rights, dition of eligibility to office, that their ser- that can possibly be imagined. It is the vants in political life should do the same. largest, because including all the rights The people required that evidence, along that ever were enumerated in a written with others, that the men they voted for document, and a great many more; the were honest and would be faithful. Mas- most enduring, because incorporated with sachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Mary- the intelligent moral sense of the people, land, North Carolina, South Carolina, and and so living in their spiritual life; the Georgia, seven States of the regularly con- best, because the best known, the most stituted eleven, were imperative in this, available, the truest to nature, and the and others went close to the mark. Sects readiest in practice. Would to heaven the and establishments were out of the ques- people felt as they ought, the importance tion. Christianity in general, the religion of the common law to their great interest, of the country's morals, was the thing they their liberty. Numbers of the primary wanted. The only doubt is, whether it constitutions put in strong language the was possible to make sure of the object in right of all men to enjoy forever this por
tion of their civil economy. There were Again, it was specially inserted in num- no prejudices against it in those days. On bers of those early constitutions, that per- the contrary, it and liberty were regarded sons selected to administer the govern- as twin beings; born together, bred toment, must be "wise, virtuous, discreet" gether, and holding on their way together, men, “men of experience," the best that in indissoluble fraternity. could be found. The same object was in One other particular shall close the list. view here as before. And two things are, The amending of constitutions has become I think, implied: one, that of all safe- a vast business in our time. The fathers guards against abuse, the solid worth of neither intended nor foresaw this. those who were to have the power of com- conventions for the purpose, only three mitting it, was most to be relied on; the of the States, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, other, that in taking such pains to bring and Georgia, hinted at such a thing. Masmen of great personal fitness and compe- sachusetts, making a new experiment in tency into public life, it was intended that the art of policy, thought prudent to say, they should use the power of their stations “that the General Court which should be according to their own judgment and dis- in A. D. 1795, should issue precepts" for cretion, undisturbed from any quarter. taking the sense of the people on the Persons of such eminent qualities could necessity or expediency of revising the not be wanted for electoral tools.
constitution.” And “if it should appear Thirdly, various oaths were also required that two-thirds of the qualified voters to be taken by the officers of government; throughout the State were in favor of such especially, an oath of fidelity
and an oath revision,” a convention might be called. of allegiance to the State. To which in In Pennsylvania, the strange topic of the some cases was added, an oath of abjura- Council of Censors seems to have sugtion, not only as to Great Britain, but as gested the thought of placing an equally
strange power in their hands; and they | for a glance at their union, with reference were thereupon authorized to call a con- to the period of its formation, vention, “if there should appear to them an At that period, the Mississippi was our absolute necessity of amending any article western boundary; the British provinces of the constitution, explaining such as lay adjacent to us on the north, the At might be thought not clearly expressed, lantic on the east, and we fell far short of or adding such as were necessary for the the Gulf of Mexico on the south. SO preservation of the rights and happiness of that as to territorial extent, the relation of the people.". The language of the Geor- a single State to the Union was according gia constitution was to the purpose that to the ratio of its own area to the contents no change should be made therein, “with of this outline. And I hold it demonout petitions from a majority of the coun. strable that, in fair construction, such ties, the petition from each county to be relation was to be permanent. There was signed by a majority of the voters." "When no power vested anywhere to alter it-an all this should be done, a convention might all-important truth, if truth it be; and I be called.
shall not forget to speak of it hereafter, Let these three cases go for what they when I have more room and time. are worth; and now for three more in a There were other relations springing out different style.
of that. Relative consequence was one. The constitution of Delaware, after de- The States could not be enlarged. If claring that certain specified parts of it then, the Union might be, and this at the "ought never to be violated,” (meaning pleasure of its government, what was to allered,) “on any pretense whatever, protect the individual States from sinking, added as follows: "No other part of this by and by, to comparative insignificance, constitution shall be altered, changed, or while federal power would be growing to diminished, without the consent of five excess at their cost? parts in seven of the Assembly, and seven On the other hand, this power was in members of the Legislative Council.” In some respects dependent on State action. Maryland, it was decreed that there should The personal organization of the federal be no change of the constitution, “unless system was placed completely at the a bill” for the purpose
of the States in the matter of eleoGeneral Assembly, and be published at torships. Had it been forescen that the least three months before a new election, conservative views and measures of the and should be confirmed by the General early patriots, in this respect, were soon Assembly after a new election of dele- to be abandoned, and universal suffrage gates, in the first session after such new introduced, it is not unlikely that precaur election.” In South Carolina, it was re- tions might have been taken to preserve solved “that no part of the constitution that system in some measure from the should be altered without a notice of consequences. But as things now stand, ninety days being previously given; nor the State electorships determine every should any part of it be changed without thing. The head and members are in one the consent of a majority of the members boat, and the members have the helm. of the Senate and House of Representa- In regard to patronage, the Union govtives.”
ernment was formed upon nearly one Let these also go for what they are model with the primary States. The worth.
chief executive and lower house of ConThe eight remaining States have left us gress were to be elected by the people no record of what they thought upon the and the Senate by the State legislatures. subject. I infer that, in their opinion, the Most other officers were to be appointed less there was said about it the better. by the President and Senate. So that Such was doubtless the general tone of the influence growing out of the patronage the public mind. There had been enough of appointments was fairly distributed of revolution to make rest desirable ; between the federal and State governenough of confusion and trouble to endearments, each taking share according to tire the prospect of repose.
extent and character of its dominion. Such were the States at first. And now The tenure of the judicial office, as it
affects the general standing and reputation abroad, I do not see that there was any. of the bench, affects also, incidentally, the thing in its structure calculated to work consideration in which the State itself is injuriously or unharmoniously upon the held. And in this respect, again, the welfare of the States, as such. And aluniformity of the federal and State con- though that question has had practice to stitutions brought the national and local give it countenance, I hope to show that governments into circumstances of sym- it has countenance from nothing in the pathy and common advantage.
Constitution, so that the harmony of the In short, except the question of the federal and State systems was at first right of the head government to aggran- complete, dize itself by territorial acquisitions from
The weary sun his parting ray hath shed.
The custom of announcing a book long smoothly and monotonously. The whole before its appearance, is better for the is strongly imitative. Richter, Dickens, publisher than for the author. It for- and Lamartine are, by turns, brought to wards the sale of a popular writer's book, our remembrance; the former being evibut is often detrimental to its success, dently the master, and Quintus Fixlein since when disappointment ensues, it is the favorite model. apt to be in near proportion to the over- Like Richter, our author would express excited anticipation.
beauty and sublimity, poetry and moralOf Mr. Longfellow's former prose ity, from the common elements of life; works, “Outre Mer” was the most ex- but turning up the soil he presents its tensively circulated and read. The Ro- loose aspect without reaching the deeper mance of “Hyperion,” if not a failure, at object of his need. He cannot, with a least sufficiently testified that in such at- falcon swoop, having perceived the gem tempts he is less felicitous than in his from afar, lift it from the surrounding vocation of poet. The appearance of rubbish, but with considerable bustle "Kavanagh,” nevertheless, was anticipated scratches about him, sometimes mistaking with pleasure.
broken glass for diamonds. Although its construction is meagre, Nor does he, like Richter, present in the narrative has a pleasant easy motion, immediate strong contrast the grotesque and carries one along like a low hung ve- with the pathetic. The pathetic, on the hicle, without fatigue, as without the ex- contrary, is rarely approached and never hilaration of more active exercise. We reached. Instead of feeling, as in reading pursue our journey through an agreeable Richter, that the fountain of tears and that country, with attractive scenery round of laughter are near each other, we lose the about, but feel no eagerness to arrive at sense of both in a sort of wonder at the its conclusion, and would not unwillingly odd, inconsistent way in which the hurest at any point by the way, for variety's morous and the sentimental are occasionsake.
ally mixed up; and are forcibly reminded The story has no plot, and little action that only by the master's hand can the or arrangement, but its character is marked golden key that “ unlocks the gates of by elevation of sentiment, and the author joy,” be made to open also “ the fount of has a fine artist-like method of placing sympathetic tears. graphically before us whatever object or The imitation of the great German novgroup he may have in hand. The style elist is in manner rather than in spirit. exhibits all his accustomed elegance; the It is the resemblance we acquire from diction is tasteful and appropriate. There those with whom we intimately associate ; is scarcely a page that is not redeemed not that of family relationship. from insipidity by some description gro- The natural and common-place incitesque or poetical—some suggestive dents of the story, have a cold, damp atthought, or truthful exemplification of mosphere about them, instead of that character and life ; but scarely an instance golden sunlight which Richter would occurs of deeply moving expression, and have poured over them, and there is little but one incident of a stirring and passion indication of that penetrating genius ate nature.
which saw and condensed into one comThere are few touches of the dramatic, prehensive sentence the whole perfect and the stream of narration runs ever theory of novel writing.
Kavanagh: A Tale. By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Boston: Ticknor, Reed & Fields.