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of monarchical despotism, when our everything was prostituted to some form forefathers of England laid the foun- of religion. Slavery was the state, the dation of that glorious polity which church, the all — the one thing to be sheds a lustre upon the Anglo-Saxon sustained at all hazards. No man can name, these were the guiding stars of read the clauses of these enactments, all their struggles. At this day, on the as they stand on the statute-book, continent of Europe, the heaviest griev- without deriving the profoundest conance of the oppressed multitudes, for viction that the authors of them were the removal of which they have often playing a desperate game, in which no undertaken desperate and sanguinary consideration of principle or honor enrevolutions, is their deprivation of the tered, but the whole was fraud. rights of free opinion and utterance in Cheated of all legitimate government, regard to the action of government, and there remained two courses for the actual the institutions of society. Yet, these settlers to pursue—to appeal to the legislators of Kansas—in view of these federal authority to maintain its own, holy and iinprescriptible rights-rights grossly violated, and to undertake to which are the very essence of a free institute a government for themselves, commonwealth - in the hot haste of and both these courses were pursued. pirates, eager for the life of their vic- Unfortunately, and by a singular forgettims — struck them out of existence. fulnessof duty, to use no harsher term, Those precious defenses of the citizen— the federal authority had already comspeech, the press, the bar, the jury- mitted itself to the cause of the villains. were alike invaded with inquisitorial Whether it was imbecility, or roguery, zeal. It was enacted, 1st, that any or sheer tyranny, or all these combined, person who should print, write, or which constrained him, does not appear, speak anything “against the right but the President who in Massachusetts to hold slaves in the territory,” should had used the army of the United States be deemed guilty of a felony : 2d, that to capture a runaway negro, could find no person should exercise the elective no occasion for his interference in the franchise, or be allowed to practice in armed resistance of a mob to an ordithe courts, without first swearing to nance of Congress. On the other hand, support the fugitive slave law: 3d, he did whatever he could, indirectly, to that any person speaking or writing encourage the sedition. He patronized anything calculated " to promote a dis its agents-he instructed his own orderly, dangerous, or rebellious disaf- agents to assist and abet them--and at fection among slaves," should be pun last, when a direct blow in behalf of ishable with imprisonment at hard labor slavery would be most effective, he for five years : 4th, that any person found the right, so long held in abeyaiding a slave to escape, or assisting ance, to order an army into the territory. at an insurrection, should suffer death: Meanwhile, the settlers had adopted the and 5th, that no person opposed to
second alternative, of framing a gov. slavery could sit on a jury in which ernment for themselves. In technical offenses against these acts were brought strictness, the authority for this proin question! and, finally, as if these ceeding ought to have come through provisions themselves were not enough, Congress; but as the popular doctrine, the future elections of the territory as the doctrine on which the territory were so arranged, that persons opposed itself was organized, was that of " squatto slavery were disfranchised, and ter sovereignty," and as precedents everybody else, whether an actual citi existed in the cases of Michigan, Arkanzen or not, on the payment of a nomi sas and California-in which states had nal tax, was suffered to vote. The been formed without the aid of Conentire scheme, it will be seen, had gress—they concluded, with Madison, nothing in it of legislation for a com that in such emergencies “forms ought munity of mingled opinions, but was to give way to substance."'* With all throughout a proscription and a perse- due publicity, and in the most perfect cution of a particular class. Every- order, a new government was formed, thing was to be prostituted to slavery, its officers appointed, and application as in the darker ages of the world for admission into the Union made.
* Federalist, No. 40.
But in the way of the execution of ther our pride in the supposed superithis design, harmless as it appears, there ority of our age and nation, in the spistood two formidable lions. In the first rit of justice, and in the love of rational place, the wretches, who had at the out- liberty, may not prove after all but a set plundered them of their rights, pleasing self-deception. gathering strength and number from These are the public or general causes the encouragement of the pro-slavery of that erethism of politics which marks party everywhere, were again ready to a feverish access; but, to increase its pounce upon them; and, in the second energy, there came upon the top of the place, the United States authorities, deplorable events in Kansas an event judges, juries, marshals, colonels, ser of a personal nature, which possessed geants and dragoons, under new defini also a national significance. We refer tions of treason, and the most audacious to the disgraceful attack upon Mr. stretches of law, and to the utter disre- Sumner, in the Senate of the United gard of justice, were sent to assist at the States. That any man, were he the cremation. Between the two, the friends most despicable member of that body, of the Free State cause were crushed should be stricken to the floor by the to the earth, their leaders were arrested, hands of a member of the other House, their property pillaged, their houses for the just exercise of his constitutional burnt, and their families dispersed. The rights, and for the faithful expression details of the infamous rout still fill the of the sentiments of his constituents. is journals. A systematic suppression of an offense which ought to excite a unifreedom, begun by the outlaws of the versal reprobation. But when that man frontier, has been conducted to a bloody is one of its most accomplished members end by the administration. It would -a gentleman by habit and education, a seem as if freedom in Kansas had be- scholar in his taste, a profound jurist, come an irritation and a nuisance to men an eloquent speaker, an upright citizen, in power, just as the simple worship of as remarkable for the amiableness as the Albigeois was to the fierce zeal of the he is for the dignity of his deportment, Dominicans, or as the trade, the wealth, and whose fame has penetrated both and the independence of the Nether. hemispheres—the offense grows into an lands became to Philip the Second. Its enormity beyond the reach of language presence there disturbs and rebukes to describe. We share in the feeling them, like the presence of Mordecai at of earnest indignation with which it has the gate of the king. They have left been almost everywhere rebuked at the no means untried to wipe it out.” North, but this feeling is not unmingled Doubtless, there has been considerable with a deeper one of humiliation and exaggeration in the reports of the trials alarm. We are humiliated by the and sufferings to which the settlers have thought that the manliness, the honor, been exposed ; doubtless, there have been the good sense of the republic should excesses, both of word or deed, com have so far degenerated, in any quarter, mitted by themselves; for, in times of as to admit, and what is worse, to approve high excitement, a uniform temperance a brutality so gross. And we are alarmis not to be expected; but the single ed lest, in the reaction of the public fact which glares upon us through all mind against the outrage, it should be the turmoil and all the conflicting ru led to nurse its exasperated feelings mors is, that a peaceful and honest into a settled purpose of revenge. The movement in behalf of freedom has best of men often retain so much of the been extinguished by force. Disguise animal in their composition that they it as we may, palliate or justify it as are moved beyond themselves at the we may, this is still the fact; and it sight of bloodfalls upon the heart with a frightful, almost stunning effect. In the middle
" - si torrida parvus of the nineteenth century, in a land pre
Venit in ora cruor, rediunt rabiesque, furor
que"eminent for its pretensions to liberty, an effort tv save the future key of the and how much more apt are the multicontinent, from the universally acknow- tude to be carried to an excess of rage ? leged evils of human bondage, has been There was malice and uncharitableness precipitately, wantonly, disastrously enough in public sentiment before, arrested, if not forever baffled. It is a without adding this fuel to the flame. fact which compels us to inquire, whe. There was violence enough in the tone
of public discussion, without extending public worthy of his care, should deterit to actual blows. That game once mine to arrest the downward tendency begun, where is it to end? The people of things. He is solemnly called upon, of the free states, fortunately, are, by by every exigency of the times, to detheir religious education and by their cide whether the materialism, the barhabits of industry. inclined to peace; barism, the worst and lowest impulses they are docile, patient and forbearing of the social state, or the higher and qualities which men of violence are apt better influences of our democratic to despise-but, once aroused, and our civilization, are to prevail. Shall the word for it that same energy, which generous and manly confidence of our has enabled them to conquer themselves, fathers in the doctrine of human rights to conquer the inclemencies of nature, continue to be our life, or shall we surto conquer by their enterprise every re render it to the narrow and base lusts of bellious sea and every defying moun an oligarchy? Shall the magnificent emtain, will be carried into the pursuits of pires growing up on the western shores strife. It is a most dangerous and for- of the Mississippi become the homes of midable demon which the slave states an industrious, peaceful, beneficent freeinvoke, when they conjure up the spirit dom, or shall they be given over to the of physical force. Like the Afrite of chain-gang and sterility? These are the eastern tale, it may seem to them the questions of the day, and the trial only a bottle of smoke in the beginning, question of our destiny. If the wicked but that smoke, once let loose upon scheme for the perpetuation and extenthe air, its head will rise into clouds, sion of slavery--of which the Kansasand its hands become like winnowing Nebraska bill was the first clause-is forks, and its nostrils trumpets, and its to be carried into complete effect—if eyes a consuming fire. The one great the noble yearning for freedom, which lesson taught of human history, written is the inspiration and life of the North, in crimson letters on a thousand pages, is to be suppressed at Washington and is a fearful commentary upon the text, excluded from the territories by force that "he who takes the sword shall per let Ichabod be written upon the doors ish by the sword.” Unless the journalists of our temples, for the glory will be deand the public men, who have applauded parted. It is impossible that slavery, this murderous deed, are prepared for and a vital, genuine republicanism, the worst extremities, they will recall should thrive and spread together; it is their insane and passionate approval. impossible that bond labor and free We cannot conceive a folly more suilabor should work cheek-by-jowl on the cidal for them than that which would samo soil; it is impossible that a special appeal to the arbitrament by combat. class should rule the people, and the If they dread free discussion, if they people still retain their supremacy and distrust the ulterior decisions of the bal.
In a nation otherwise free, lot-box, they have still loss to hope from slavery may prolong a subordinate exa resort to arms.
istence for years, but when it leaps into It will be seen, that it is not a conso the ascendant, the spring of the national latory view we have been compelled to life is broken. A disease may linger take of our public affairs, and yet they long on the extremities of a system, are not altogether hopeless. If the which would be fatal to it the moment ruffianism of Washington and the bord- it touches the great central organs. ers should have the effect of awakening Confined to its original localities, the opinion to the real issues before the slave-system of the United States was country, it will compensate for much of pernicious only or chiefly within the its evil. Under the existing organiza- limits of those localities; but when the tion of the government, and with the spirit and the power of it invaded the prevalent usages of parties, which have general government, and sought a diffuthrown them almost entirely into the sion over the territories, it became a hands of corrupt managers, nothing is universal evil--an evil which, unless arto be expected from those sources. A rested and again confined to its primiregenerate and united public sentiment tive range, will dry up the sources of is alone equal to the task of retrieving the most noble and glorious progress. our unhappy decline. The time has As we read the chronicles of the nacome when every honest man, whatever tions, from the dim traditions of the his party politics, who deems the Re- early eastern dynasties, through the
splendid annals of Greece and Rome, of man, not on the ground of any exdown to the latest record of our own pediency or convenience, but upon the era, we are struck by the uniformity broad foundation of the common fatherwith which, after a longer or shorter hood of God, and the common redempcareer, they have all succumbed to the tion by Christ,-it is also true of all the influences of foreign conquest or of Christian nations, that they havo risen civil war.
We see them grow for a or fallen, according to their fidelity to time with marvelous rapidity; they this eternal standard. It was the de attain to a broad and stately domin parture from this, by the dissolute ion-their storehouses swell with abun emperors, which rendered the Western dance, and their arts shed lustre on the Empire an easy prey to the barbarians, age—but soon they sink as rapidly as and, after a protracted but ineffectual they rose, and are left like ruins upon struggle, gave the Eastern Empire to the the desert-desolate and pitiable—the Turks : it was adherence to this which wolf howling from their deserted cham lifted the Papacy into European dominbers, and the bitterns crying from their ion, and the abandonment of it which broken pools. The writers of history toppled it from its throne: it was the describe the mournful experience, andpopular sympathies of the Italian rewisely or unwisely, speculate upon its publics which made them, for nearly causes. They seek for a solution of two centuries, the mothers of all industhe problem in fanaticism, in bad mo try, learning, and art, and the growth rals, in luxury, in the degeneracy of of aristocracy which consumed their race, and in the inscrutable decrees of strength : it was the bigotry, and farProvidence--and read us many a lesson reaching despotism of Philip which out of the conclusions at which they prostrated the grand Spanish monarchy arrive. But the prevalence of a cause, to a degradation and feebleness from as universal as the effect, and as deep which there has been no resurrection: and powerful as the selfishness of man, and it was the heartless tyranny of the they have not always signalized. It is Louises which kindled the train of the that separating and corrosive spiritworld-explosive French revolution. If which denies the equal claims of all the Romanic nations were once like Luhumanity. " Whether we regard," cifer, the sons of the morning, and have says one, “the caste-systems of Egypt since fallen like Lucifer, it was because and India, the martial despotism of they admitted to their souls Lucifer's Persia, the rule of wealth and craft in infernal ambition. If the Teutonic Phænicia, or the class-divisions of nations, and especially the Anglo-SaxGreece and Rome and Judea, one on branch, have carried the principles obvious characteristic will be found of religion, of literature, of stable govpervading the ancient nations : every ernment, of progressive civilization over where the social fabric was built upon the world, it is because they, less than the assumption of the natural inequality others, have accepted the downward, of man, upon the necessary, because and backward, and paralyzing spirit of divinely appointed, inferiority of certain caste. Humanity is one, it is indissoraces. Not in the superstitious tenets luble, it is sucred; who lays his lightest and observances of heathen theology, finger upon it to do it harm, seals his nor in the absence of a law of right and own doom; he degrades and weakens wrong, nor in any want of the higher himself in others; he touches the ark powers of humanity, nor in the fatal of God, in which he has deposited his unconsciousness of their weakness, nor most precious treasures. in any difficulties, from which we now When our country ceases to cherish a have exemption, thrown in the way of love for the rights of man, she will have a wider benevolence, nor in the lack of parted with the secret of her strength. such advantages as we are licensed to When she takes to her heart any other reap from the discovery of printing, worship than that of humanity, justice, etc.,—but in the universal dogma of truth, she will have admitted the serhuman inequality, we find the sufficing pent into her Eden. Whatever may reason for the imperfect freedom and be the policy and the course of indithe inevitable decline of the greatest vidual states, there is for the nation empires of antiquity.” And while it but one policy and one course. Our is the peculiarity of Christianity, that birthright of freedom is our only and it did proclaim the divine brotherhood eternal safeguard.
Ir is gratifying to see the unanimity with Tennyson's and Longfellow's, all brilliant which the English press bas approved Mr. essay-writing, and all readable narratives Motley's recent history of the rise of the of travel, find a steady and continuous sale. Dutch Republic. Whatever may be the A great deal is published, in the shape of political or diplomatic difficulties between novels, sketches, and other similar forms, the two nations, it is certain that no ill which does not sell, because it ought not to feeling exists in the literary world. No sell. A great deal of trash is published also, young writer, publishing a book of mark, which does sell,-more's the pity—but few could desire a more heart-felt welcome tban
genuine works now-a-days go a begging. our countryman has received at the hands If an author has been conscientious in his of all the accredited authorities of the researches, has anything really good and British journals. Not only the daily and new to communicate, and does so in a weekly papers, but the more elaborate tolerably clear and effective style, he may quarterlies have spoken of his labors in be sure of a ready hearing. The publishers terms of well-deserved praise. They do will be glad to get his manuscripts, and not scruple, of course, to point out his the public willing to listen to bis instrucvarious defects of style, but the patient in- tions. dustry, the sound judgment, the nice dis In spite of the adverse opinion of the crimination of character, the eloquent nar- London critic, we may assert without boastrative, and, above all, the noble enthusiasm ing, that, next to that of Germany, the for liberty and progress, which his work reading circle of the United States is the displays, they commend in the warmest most extensive in the world. There are manner.
more writers in France, and better writers One of these critics, however, makes & in England, no doubt, than among ourludicrous mistake as to the success of such selves, but these nations cannot compare books in the United States. Mr. Motley's with us as to the number of intelligent volumes having been issued in London and readers. And the promises are that we New York simultaneously, the London shall soon rival them in original authorPress supposes that they were published ship; as our primeval dependence wears only in England, and observes very sol away, as our writers learn to trust to their emnly, that it is a great pity such writers own inspirations—as the best talent gets as Mr. Prescott and Mr. Motley, in conse more and more emancipated from the active quence of the small interest taken in lite- pursuits of enterprise, by getting better rature in America, should be compelled to paid for literary effort--we shall see a more seek their market in England. At the vigorous exhibition of intellectual force in time this learned gentleman penned his all departments of literary exertion. The commiserating paragraph, Mr. Prescott's influences of a democratic state of society Philip the Second had reached a sale in tend, in the most decided manner, to the this country of ten thousand copies, which, development of energy of mind; and it is we venture to say, was just three times the perfectly rational to expect in this country number sold in Great Britain. Of the re a rapid and beautiful growth of all kinds sidue of Macaulay's History of England of artistic ability. As it was at an early we venture the guess also, that the sale day, among the Grecian States, and at a is quadruple what it is in his own country. later day among the Italian, where popuNor will the proposition be lost in the case lar institutions drew forth such marvelous of Mr. Motley's Dutch Republic. Our manifestations of mind, so it will be among people are by no means uninterested in the the States of America. Every man is here best contemporary literature. The proof thrown upon his native resources, and this is, that all really good and valuable books, appeal must in time call forth the best of all histories that are likely to be stand- every man. There is nothing to depress ard history, all first-rate poetry, such as thought in this country, nothing to cramp