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an armed force, as in the case of the Caroline, shall pass without redress, for we are an independent nation; nor can we submit to the right of search, and the seizure of our vessels on the coast of Africa, or the high seas, under any pretence whatever. Our flag must protect our commerce, and our ships. Here are matters, which bring us into direct conflict with Great Britain, and will inevitably lead to a war with that power, unless we show, by our firmness, by our military and naval preparations, that we are both able and determined to maintain our rights. If we would escape the calamities of war, we must be prepared for it.
Our country is confessedly almost entirely without defence. Our inland defences can be of little use in any new war, and our seaboard is unprotected, and liable, at any moment, to be laid under contribution by British steamers. Is it wise, then, at this juncture, to reduce the resources of the Treasury by distributing three millions and a half of the revenue among the States ? Is it wise, when we are likely to want all the money that we have, and when the people must tax themselves all they can bear, for the purposes of defending our coast, and protecting our navigation, to throw away so large a portion of our resources ? We need all the money that we can raise from the customs, and from land, too, to protect our country, and to put it in an attitude to assert and maintain its rights and interests. If, then, Congress had the power, as we have shown that it has not, to distribute the proceeds of the public lands among the several States, it would be inexpedient, and highly impolitic to do it. Congress is called upon to appropriate the resources of the Treasury to higher and more urgent objects, and as much as we sympathize with the depressed condition of the indebted States, true policy, as well as constitutional right, requires us to leave them to their own resources, which we cannot and will not believe will prove insufficient.
We here close what we have thought proper to say on the first branch of this subject. For a further discussion of it, we refer our readers to the Speeches enu
merated at the head of this article, especially to those of Mr. Wright and Mr. Calhoun, to which we with pleasure acknowledge ourselves indebted for no small part of the materials, which give to this article what little value it may have.
The consideration of the other branch of the subject, namely, the disposition which ought to be made of the public lands lying within the limits of the new States, we are reluctantly compelled to postpone to a future occasion.
ART. V. - LITERARY NOTICES.
Night and Morning. A Novel. By Bulwer. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1841, 2 vols. 12mo, – We have heretofore given at length our views of the general merits of Bulwer, as a writer and a novelist. He deservedly enjoys a high reputation, and is not likely to send forth a work, that will not be sought after with avidity, and read with interest, if not with approbation. Yet this last work of his, we do not think will add anything to his fame. In its good points, the author merely repeats himself, and where he does not repeat himself, he falls below himself in his other works.
The story, however, is not without its interest, and it is conducted with considerable art and adroitness, though not always. Its plot is very simple. Philip Beauport, the heir expectant of an old house, wealthy but not noble, falls in love with Catharine Morton, whom he privately marries, and with whom he lives some fifteen or sixteen years without any serious falling out. The marriage, in order not to exasperate the old uncle, from whom the inheritance is expected, is kept secret, the witnesses are removed, and the impression suffered to be entertained, that the parties are living together illicitly, and that their children, of which there are two, sons both, are illegitimate. But at length the old uncle dies, as rich old uncles sometimes will die, however loth, they may be to die, and bequeaths his estate as was hoped. Philip Beaufort is now a rich man, and being not a bad sort of a man, and loving his wife as husbands have now and then been known to do, and having no farther occasion to conceal his marriage, and not caring for the trouble of going through a new courtship, resolves to own his marriage, and publicly avow the mother of his children as his “ lawfully wedded wife.” But before he gets ready to perform this tardy act of justice, he breaks his neck in at
tempting to leap a six-barred gate. A younger brother succeeds to the inheritance, and his wife and her two sons, unable to prove their legitimacy, are thrown upon the world destitute and branded with infamy. The novel is designed mainly to trace the fortunes of this mother and her two sons, till she dies, and they are reëstablished in their rights, and duly married. In the progress of the story we are led through scenes of misery, abject wretchedness, crime, vice, clean and unclean, vulgar and polite, to our heart's content, nay, to a surfeit.
Of the characters introduced, not much need be said ; they are Bulwer's old set, without whom we should neither recognise him, nor he recognise himself. We have the hero so, so, the bold, daring, virtuous criminal, the cool, calculating voluptuary, the pure, beautiful, simple, affectionate lady, and so on. Philip Beaufort the younger, is the hero. He is proud, irascible, but strong and persevering. He is loaded with adversity, apparently for the purpose of humbling his pride, and teaching him forgiveness; but he succeeds indifferently, till a silly Frenchwoman falls in love with him, and gives him her heart and her estate, and therefore removes some of the things he had to be angry at; and we do not find, that he is perfected in the Christian graces till restored to his birthright, a rental of twenty thousand pounds a year, and married to his lady love. One can afford to be humble and forgiving, when one has a pretty wife and twenty thousand a year. Sydney, the younger brother, is a weakling, very properly married to his cousin Camilla, his exact counterpart; and the world, we presume, goes smoothly with them, for neither has force of character enough to ripple its surface in the slightest degree. Fanny, the heroine, is a feeble copy of Alice, a feeble original, not worth copying The uncle is a respectable scoundrel, respectably provided for, who takes good care to die when he should. Lord Lilburn is Lumly Ferrers with variations, an accomplished villain, who would have found earth and his parc-aux-cerfs a perfect paradise had it not been for the gout, which would now and then interrupt the stream of his bliss. His, by-the-by, is the best drawn character in the book.
Of Bulwer's women, not much can be said in commendation. His beau ideal of a perfect woman is a gentle idiot with a pretty face. A woman with mind, spirit, force and energy of character, he looks upon as a she-demon, sent to torment man before his time. Every man to his taste; yet there are those, who would rather be yoked to a she-devil in good earnest, than to one of these meek, gentle, pas. sive, although loving innocents. Love is, no doubt, a very good thing, and not undesirable, but rather insipid after all, without a small dash of spirit to make it effervesce. Love, too, is, no doubt, thaumaturgic, as our Radical says, but we can hardly credit the miracles it is made to work in the cases of Alice and Fanny. It can quicken the intellect, where nature has not denied it, increase its activity, and facilitate its workings, but after all we doubt its power to create it in the naturally-born idiot. Nay, we doubt still more the idiot's capacity of loving. These sweet innocents are as incapable of loving as they are of being loved. So much for Bulwer's women, whose affections VOL. IV. NO. II.
he may share without a rival, excepting, perhaps, Nydia and Ione in the “ Last Days of Pompeii," and Madame St. Ventadour in “ Ernest Maltravers." "Nobody is likely to fall in love with them, or to pine for their embrace.
But, passing over the creations of Bulwer's fancy,- his characters, - we are not quite content with this practice, in which he and others so liberally indulge, of leading us ever through scenes of loathsome depravity, disgusting vice, and black and startling crime. The joke, we in all conscience think, has been carried far enough. Even we can endure it no longer. Jam salis, we exclaim; now enough of rogues, villains, swindlers, thieves, pickpockets, gamblers, murderers, dandies, courtezans, prostitutes, et id omne genus. In God's name, or if need be, in the devil's name, let them disappear, and honester folk step forth, and act a part. If interest cannot be awakened by pictures of undiseased nature, of truth, beauty, virtue, purity, goodness, then send interest about its business.
Moreover, we are beginning to grow tired of this dyspeptic literature, which is ever detailing sentimental wretchedness, and leading one to be ever dissecting his own morbid feelings, and to be ever parading them before the world. We have had enough of all this, for one century at least, in Werter and Childe Harold. There is already dyspepsia enough in the world; more, much more than your Grahams, or even your Alcotts can cure. There is no need of increasing the quantity, by bringing to your aid a morbid imagination. Our young men and maidens need other prescriptions. It is time to give them a literature that is strong and healthy, that shall stimulate to action the sound parts of their moral systems; time, in one word, to bid them cease from brooding over their imaginary sufferings, from indulging their petty whinings, and to go forth into the world of love, truth, and beauty, which everywhere smiles around them, and learn to live, to enjoy, and to bless God for the life he has given.
Essays. By R. W. EMERSON. Boston: James Munroe & Co. 16mo. pp. 303. — Here is a book everybody will buy and read, and which, whoso reads once, will read again, and again. Mr. Emerson's numerous friends will welcome its publication with delight, and his admirers, which are not a few, will find new fuel for their admiration. Its perusal has even warmed us, cold, stoical, and untranscendental as we are, into something like not admiration, but reverence for the mind, of which it is a sincere utterance. It is a profound and significant word, and will take hold of the heart of the age, perhaps, of the ages. We have no space to speak of it now as we would. We can only say, that he who reads it will find, that he is no longer what he was. A new and a higher life has been quickened in him, and he can never again feel, that he is merely a child of time and space, but that he is transcendental and immortal. The author's stand-point is in the Eternal, and he seeks to discover and set before us, in the mutable, variable, and evanescent, only the elements that do inhabit eternity, and are " the same yesterday, to-day, and forever.” This book is too significant to be dismissed with this hasty notice. We shall recur to it at our earliest opportunity, and speak of it, if we can, as it deserves.
General History of the World, from the Earliest Times, until the year 1831. By CHARLES Von ROTTECK, LL. D., Professor in the University of Freiburg, Aulic Counsellor, Member of the Chamber of Deputies of the Grand Duchy of den, &c. Translated from the German, and continued to 1840. By FREDERIC JONES, A. M. Illustrated by twenty-four Historical Engravings, designed by Heideldorf, Dalbon, and others; engraved by J. Spittall. First American Edition. Philadelphia : C. F. Stollmeyer. 1810. 4 vols. 8vo. — We beg our readers not to form their opinion of this work from its lumbering title, or its clumsily executed plates. The work is one of real and solid merit, and, perhaps, the best general history of the world, in a reasonable compass, within the reach of the general reader. It is, we are told, very popular in Europe, and it will be, as it deserves to be, here. The translator and the publisher have conferred no mean public benefit by placing it within the reach of the American reader. As a Philadelphia publication, even the style, to speak technically, in which it is “ got up,” deserves praise. We shall recur to this work again, and endeavor to speak somewhat critically of its merits. In the mean time, we commend it to the public as worthy of their liberal patronage.
A Year's Life. By James Russell LOWELL. Boston: Little & Brown. 1841. 16no. pp. 182. When we first took up this volume of poems, we confess, we were disposed to throw it aside, as filled with that kind of poetry, which it is said neither gods nor men will tolerate. Recurring to the volume again in a gentler mood, and, perhaps, under the intluence of a less critical spirit, we found it contained poetry, pure, genuine poetry, and entitled to rank high among the best productions of the American muse. Mr. Lowell has proved himself possessed of true poetic feeling, and of respectable poetic talent. There is an air of repose, of serenity over his poems, that is not common to our writers, whether in prose or verse, and they are characterized by a simplicity and truth of expression, which we shall be glad to see becoming more fashionable.
Mr. Lowell's inspiration appears to be that of Love, but, as was to be expected, the love of the young man, lively, but not deep, fanciful, but not rich nor intense ; nevertheless, the inspiration is genuine, and his utterances are not altogether of the imagination. He shows considerable versatility of powers, and if he will give himself more freedom, and follow still more the mood of the moment, he will without any difficulty place himself in the front rank of American poets. He shows a rich mind, good taste, and a chastened fancy. We shall be most happy to greet him again. We can only add, in parting with him, that we were sorry to hear him say,
“() woman's love! O flower most bright and rare.” We do not question the brightness of woman's love, but we had not supposed it a rare flower. Love is the natural element of woman's heart, and it blossoms in every woman's breast, though it be but too often
16 to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness on the desert air."