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acted as the keys to open society's gate for herone whose attention has been directed as much to the Christianity and philanthropic exertions of the people as to their noble rivers and rich plains, and as much to the lively and influential Christian sentiments of their women as to their domestic virtues and personal loveliness.
It is to the Christian and social habits of this interesting people, that access has been chiefly afforded, and with them chiefly that sympathies have been exchanged. Abhorring the vulgar soul that uses the hospitalities of a country to go home and criticise domestic habits as much as the treacherous, seeming reserve which points its tale so as to mark infallibly the parties alluded to while it affects to withhold the names, my remarks and details are sincere and affectionate as are my feelings ; accompanied by that respectful reserve which becomes a friend, pledged as much by grateful regard as by sympathy to feel and act as becomes brotherly love.
A passage in the conclusion of Dickens's American Notes—one of the best in the book, is quoted verbatim as the best expression of my own sentiments, only adding to “cultivation and refinement” a more essential quality, which he has omittedI mean Christian principle.
“The Americans are by nature frank, brave, cordial, hospitable, and affectionate — cultivation and refinement seem but to enhance their warmth
of heart and ardent enthusiasm, and it is the possession of these latter qualities in a most remarkable degree, which renders an educated American one of the most endearing and most generous of friends. I never was so won upon as by this class ; never yielded up my full confidence and esteem so readily and so pleasurably as to them ; never can make again, in half a year, so many friends, for whom I seem to entertain the regard of half a life.”*'
* Dickens's American Notes, vol. i. p. 288.
OUR ancestors are the root of the tree, our aged the trunk, our youths the branches, and our children the coronal of leaves and blossoms—and who that anticipates the future prosperity of a country, can fail to cast a lively observation on the blossoms, and to watch the spring-time? Who that has experienced the parental instincts, which are interwoven with the very life of the heart ; who that has seen children grow out of infancy into manhood, and out of ignorance into maturing wisdom, can dwell in a country, and be admitted into its domestic scenes, without casting an earnest eye over the little ones, the light of the dwelling, the source of its freshest interest ?
English children in the presence of strangers are reserved and shy. They feel that the nursery
and schoolroom are their proper spheres of action, and that they are only brought out at times, as it were, to be shewn to particular friends.
Scotch children are bashful and awkward, and as if constitution or climate had not done enough for
them in that respect, their parents too often repress them, as if they were ashamed of them, or afraid of some outburst of ill manners, when the poor things are behaving their very best. This partly arises from the reserve of the mothers, who, with hearts flowing with affection, press it down and cover it up, as if they feared it might be suspected by a stranger.
Most unlike to this is the sentiment of the American, both parent and child. The little citizen seems to feel at a surprisingly early age that he has a part to act on the stage of the world, and is willing enough to act a little before his time. And the parents, full of frank, simple emotion, bring their little treasure under notice, and ask you, with pride and joy, “Don't you think my Charley is a brave little fellow?” or, “ Did you ever see such a quick eye as my Austin's?” or, “ Is she not a pretty little darling?" or, “Did you ever see such a cunning little thing?” (The word cunning, according to some old English use of it, meaning in this application nothing like sly, but neat, tidy, or expert-looking.) If the children are not at home, you will be shewn their pictures or told their histories; or, if the arrow of death has stricken any of them, the stroke, the manner of it, how it was borne, and how the bereaved were sustained under it, will all be poured out with a confiding certainty of your sympathy that is most winning and touching. How often have I envied that selfcommand which enables them to relate such events with unshaken voice, and to dwell on deep sorrows without tears. And how often have I with shame contrasted my own long past concealment, nay, almost negation of powerful sentiment, with this its beautiful outflow.
The little ones seem to partake from the first of the exciting effect of the climate. I know not what philosophers or medical men may say to it, but it seems the only easy way of accounting for the hasty and impulsive character of the people, to impute it to the climate. All partake of it alike. Even the very horses have a spring about them, which makes them run without driving, and gallop as soon as the rider is fixed in his stirrups. Strangers who bring with them the dulness of more weighty atmospheres, presently become enlivened, and even the drooping and half-clothed Milesian, recovers his wit and doubles his spirit amid the dry air, and under the pure blue sky.
It is very true that another cause exists. The new settler, as well as the native, feels that there is room enough and food enough for all ; so that a' man does not look on his enlarging family with an eye of care, and cast about, as in “ the old country," for openings through which each may make standingroom, and find bread. Each new babe is a new source of delight; and should the number surpass that of a common family, you cannot but smile in pleasant emotion with the father who will tell you that he has the round dozen, or he can produce you