Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

what the spirit of benevolence is now aiming at in other countries, to implant the great principles of knowledge, of morality, and religion, and to elevate the condition and character of the great body of the people. It goes among us to establish and secure forever the principles of equality, from which it sprung; to secure the lower from the insults of the higher, and the weak from the oppressions of the powerful. It prevents therefore all those evils, which in other countries have arisen from the opposing interests of different classes of the community, and obstructed the progress of general improvement. Instead of limiting our thoughts to a few only, it extends our hopes and our designs of improvement to all the members of the body politic, while it presents them to us in a condition best suited to receive the benefit of our labors. pp. 7, 8.

One more extract we will offer, because it expresses what we shall hold to be, till we are argued out of our belief, the true doctrine of the union between religion and government, church and

state.

For

'As religious principles were the starting point, and the source of all those ideas, which we have realized in our institutions, so the influence of religion on the moral character and the intellectual habits and acquirements of the great mass of our population is still the foundation on which those institutions rest. Thus, while politicians in Europe consider it an essential part of civil government to support religion, we have reversed the order, and look to our religion, as the only effectual support of our government; not indeed as a part of the political system, associated and become one with it, as seems to have been the original design, but the basis on which it rests in the hearts of the people. it is not only withdrawn more, than in any other country from all secular interferences, but abstains from directly interfering with all secular interests. It sustains itself in and by its own spiritual life and energy, and while it is independent of all aid from human institutions, and claims connexion only with heaven and the hearts of men, as its appropriate home and abiding place, it still sends forth its energizing and quickening spirit through all the complicated forms of society, building up the ruins that are fallen down, uniting and organizing anew the elements of good, which the warring passions and interests of men had torn asunder, and scattered abroad, and budding and blossoming forth with rich luxuriance in the refined and pure affections of social life, and in the nobler enterprises of benevolence.' pp. 15, 16.

We could not but regret the appearance in this excellent discourse, of several instances of false taste, both in composition and language. In the latter, especially, there are specimens of un

6

warrantable license. The author speaks of men' of large roundabout sense, and cultivated reason.' What, in the name of common sense, is round-about sense? In the very next page, we are barked at by a tripleheaded monster, hight sound-book-learnedness.' The ventriloquists of human reason,' is a phrase which we might admire more, if we understood it better. The thraldom of the sensuous and the present.' Sensuous is a word which is used twice in places where, as it seems to us, sensual would have been the right one. Johnson defines sensuous thus; Tender, pathetic, full of passion. Not in use; and adds this quotation from Milton; To this poetry would be made precedent, as being less subtile and fine; but more simple, sensuous, and passionate.' This, we presume, is not the meaning which Mr Marsh intended in his use of the word. We do not like to notice such faults in respectable writers, but we deem it to be our duty.

[ocr errors]

6.-Eulogy on the Hon. William Crafts, delivered before the Palmetto Society, in the Second Independent Church. By E. S. COURTENAY. Published at their request. Charleston. Ellis & Neufville. 1826. pp. 15.

MR COURTENAY has rendered a happy and discriminating tribute to the lamented subject of his Eulogy. A sketch is presented of the biography of Mr Crafts, together with an account of his diversified talents and interesting character. The following passage describes his conduct as a statesman.

[ocr errors]

Notwithstanding the unpopularity of his political opinions, he was several times elected to a seat in the General Assembly of his native State. In this situation he rendered important services to his constituents. He was early distinguished for his love of letters, and omitted no opportunity of disseminating a love of learning among the people. He felt, to use his own language, that knowledge was the lifeblood of republics and free governments;" that the eagle was the bird of light, as well as of liberty. In the legislature he always advocated every measure which had for its object the encouragement of scientific and literary institutions. At a period when a shortsighted policy, aided by a parsimonious spirit, would have abolished the Free School System of the State, and left the children of the poor to all those innumerable miseries and crimes which are the almost certain consequences of ignorance, Mr Crafts undertook its defence, and in a speech replete with eloquence and good sense, depicted in glowing terms the blessings of knowledge to a state, and the curses VOL. XXIV.-No. 55.

60

entailed upon it by the ignorance of its citizens. He was successful; humanity and good sense triumphed over a narrowminded policy, which would have weighed the true wealth of the state, the intellect and moral character of the rising generation, with the gold and silver which fills its coffers.

His friends might rest his character for usefulness as a legislator on this one act; for if in ancient days, he who saved the life of a single citizen, was deemed worthy of the civic wreath, to what is he not entitled, who by his eloquence and zeal preserved to thousands that means of moral life, without which man is little better than the brute on which he banquets; the prey of appetites and passions that degrade him in the scale of creation; which unfit him for usefulness, and make him a burden to himself, and too often a curse to the state. If gratitude be not an imaginary virtue, while the free schools remain in existence, they will be identified with the name of Crafts; his memory will long be cherished by the thousands who have participated, and the tens of thousands who shall hereafter participate in the blessings they impart. Mr Crafts was a philanthropist in the most extensive sense of that term; he possessed a heart full of the milk of human kindness; the sorrows ofhis friend, were felt as his own, and relieved, if in his power; but his good feelings were confined in their operation to no narrow circle; to no creed; to no party; whenever the voice of misery was heard, it was attended to with promptness; his professional aid was never solicited in vain, by the poor or the oppressed. These feelings, so honorable to him in private life, were carried with him to the legislative halls of the State.' pp. 10, 11.

The numerous friends of Mr Crafts will subscribe to the justness of the following delineation.

'In the private walks of life, no one was more amiable than our friend; possessed of a lively fancy, a social disposition, and attractive manners, he was the idol of his friends and companions. The goodness of his heart was never called in question, it was perceptible in every action of his life, it tempered his wit in such a manner, that though all acknowledged its brilliancy, none complained of its point. p. 13.

We subjoin one more paragraph, on Mr Crafts' talents as a writer, and believe, that in the wish expressed by the author at the conclusion of it, the voice of the public will very generally concur.

'Our friend was advantageously known as an essayist, both in this country and Europe. His compositions, published in the Charleston Courier, were copied into the principal newspapers throughout the United States and Great Britain, and were everywhere read and admired. As a writer he was chaste and concise; his productions abounded with classical allusions, his com

1827.] Rail Road from Boston to Connecticut River. 475

parisons drawn from the works of nature, evinced a correct taste and an imagination alive to the beauties of creation, that a good Providence had everywhere scattered around him. It is to be hoped that the orations delivered by him on various occasions, with a selection from the essays, printed in the journals of the day, will be collected and published; they would form a volume, which would be a valuable addition to the library of the man of taste, and constitute a durable and appropriate monument to his memory.'

7.-Remarks on the Practicability and Expediency of establishing a Rail Road on one or more Routes from Boston to the Connecticut River. By the EDITOR OF THE BOSTON DAILY ADVERTISER. pp. 71. Boston. 1827. William L.

Lewis.

THE report of the Massachusetts canal commissioners, published about a year since, confirmed an opinion which had before prevailed very generally in the community; that the obstacles to the formation and use of a canal from Boston to the Connecticut river, to say nothing about the more difficult route from thence to the Hudson, render the undertaking of such a work clearly inexpedient. Still, the enterprising citizens of Massachusetts are impatient at remaining idle spectators of the great works going on in the middle and western states, facilitating their trade of every kind, and advancing them in wealth and power, with a rapidity unknown in the world before.

The remarks of Mr Hale are calculated to allay this impatience by showing that Massachusetts is not doomed to forego all improvements in intercommunication. They were first published in the 'Boston Daily Advertiser,' probably, to meet the question, then about to be discussed by the legislature of Massachusetts, respecting the expediency of forming a railway from Boston to the Connecticut. Mr Hale appears to have made himself acquainted with most of the works that have been lately written on railways. His familiar knowledge of the geography of New England, cannot be unknown to our readers. With these qualifications, he has examined his subject as minutely as the compass of seventy pages would allow, and his little work must prove highly useful to the community. It is a common sense examination, apparently very impartial, and demands our assent to no more than it proves; and it must be a cause of congratulation to the people of Massachusetts, to know, that, after such an inquiry, Mr Hale is highly in favor of the railway.

476

Rail Road from Boston to Connecticut River. [April, We observe that Mr Hale has formed his estimates of cost, on rails of iron, rather than of some cheaper and more imperfect material. We entirely agree with him in the propriety of this. It is absolutely necessary in a work of this kind, to obtain public confidence by that thorough execution, which shall leave no doubt of its being always passable, and preclude apprehension of delay from derangement of any kind. Besides, in the economy of such works, it will be found that, generally, the expense of repairs on an imperfect work, will more than counterbalance the saving in interest on the cost of construction. Under these impressions we doubt whether Mr Hale has not committed an error in supposing, that it will be advisable to build a single pair of rails, with occasional turning platforms and additional rails to permit carriages moving in opposite directions to pass each other; rather than two entire railways. We would form the work

to give the utmost facility to the carriages, and trust to the increase of travel, which this facility will itself produce, to redeem the expense incurred by it. An opinion has been somewhat general, that railways are superior to common roads, principally from the application of the steam engine in moving the carriages. This is by no means true; and although carriages are in some places, in England, moved by the steam engine, yet horses are, even there, more generally used; and we think Mr Hale is perfectly right in forming his estimates on the supposition that the use of horse power is best adapted to our circumstances. It certainly is so at present, and we can foresee no change or improvement, which shall reverse this condition.

We apprehend that the people need not the assurance of a revenue to the state, however desirable this might be in itself, to make such a work popular with them. They willingly tax themselves to procure the convenience of common roads. Will they not, then, be content to take the benefit of a highly improved road, without requiring that it shall produce to them a direct income? We believe that if, on examination of the subject, the people of Massachusetts shall have reasonable assurance that a railway to the Connecticut will produce four, or even three, per cent. on the cost, they will cheerfully undertake it. Indeed any loss, were a loss possible, which the present generation can be called upon to encounter, in prosecuting this work, will, we are satisfied, be amply repaid, in the next age, by securing in its ancient relations, a trade, which will otherwise, turn itself into some of the new channels, soon to be opened to it.

We have not examined the details of Mr Hale's pamphlet with sufficient care to warrant us in declaring them to be accurate. It appears, however, to bear those marks of attention to the subject, which seldom fail in directing an author to the truth.

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »