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have now gone further northward, but closer sympathy than Robin Red-breast. will visit us again in autumn.
But, indeed, all these winged people, The smaller birds—the little songs that dwell in the vicinity of hometers of the woods, and those that haunt steads, seem to partake of human naman's dwellings, and claim human ture, and possess the germ, if not the friendship by building their nests under development, of immortal souls. We the sheltering eaves, or among the or- hear ihem saying their melodious chard trees-ihese require a touch more prayers, at morning's blush and evendelicate, and a gentler heart than mine, tide. A little while ago, in the deep to do them justice. Their outburst of of night, there came the lively thrill of melody is like a brook let loose from a bird's note from a neighboring tree; a wintry chains. We need not deem it real song, such as greets the purple a too high and solemn word, to call it dawn, or mingles with the yellow suna hymn of praise to the Creator ; since shine. What could the little bird Naiure, who pictures the reviving year mean, by pouring it forth at midnight? in so many sights of beauty, has ex. Probably the music gushed out of the pressed the sentiment of renewed life midst of a dream, in which he fancied in no other sound, save the notes of himself in Paradise with his mate, but these blessed birds. Their music, suddenly awoke on a cold, leafless however, just now, seems to be inci- bough, with a New England mist dental, and not the result of a set pur- penetrating through his feathers. That pose. They are discussing the econo was a sad exchange of imagination for my of life and love, and the site and reality! architecture of their summer residen Insects are among the earliest births ces, and have no time to sit on a twig, of spring. Multitudes, of I know not and pour forth solemn hymns, or over- what species, appeared long ago, on tures, operas, symphonies, and waltzes. the surface of the snow. Clouds of Anxious questions are asked ; grave them, almost too minute for sight, subjects are settled in quick and ani- hover in a beam of sunshine, and vanmated debate; and only by occasional ish, as if annihilated, when they pass accident, as from pure ecstasy, does a into the shade. A musquito has alrich warble roll its tiny waves of ready been heard to sound the small golden sound through the atmosphere. horror of his bugle-horn. Wasps inTheir litile bodies are as busy as their fest the supny windows of the house. voices; they are in a constant Autter A bee entered one of the chambers, and restlessness. Even when two or with a prophecy of flowers. Rare three retreat to a tree-top, to hold butterflies came before the snow was council, they wag their tails and heads off, flaunting in the chill breeze, and all the time, with the irrepressible ac- looking forlorn and all astray, in spite tivity of their nature, which perhaps of the magnificence of their dark velrenders their brief span of life in reality vet cloaks, with golden borders. as long as the patriarchal age of slug The fields and wood-paths have as gish inan, The blackbirds, three spe- yet few charms to entice the wanderer. cies of which consort together, are the In a walk, the other day, I found no noisiest of all our feathered citizens. violets, nor anemones, nor anything in Great companies of them-more than the likeness of a flower. It was worth the famous “ four-and-twenty" whom while, however, to ascend our opposite Mother Goose has immortalized-con- hill, for the sake of gaining a general gregate in contiguous tree-tops, and vo- idea of the advance of spring, which ciferate with all the clamor and con- I had hitherto been studying in its mifusion of a turbulent political meeting. nute developments. The river lay Politics, certainly, must be the occa- around me in a semi-circle, overflowsion of such tumultuous debates; but ing all the meadows which give it its still-unlike all other politicians - Indian name, and offering a noble they instil melody into their individual breadth to sparkle in the sunbeams. utterances, and produce harmony as a Along the hither shore, a row of trees general effect. Of all bird-voices, none stood up to their knees in water; and are more sweet and cheerful to my afar off, on the surface of the stream, ear than those of swallows, in the dim, tufts of bushes thrust up their heads, sun-streaked interior of a lofty barn; as it were, to breathe. The most they address the heart with even a striking objects were great solitary
trees, here and there, with a mile-wide Thank Providence for Spring! The waste of water all around them. The earth—and man himself, by sympathy curtailment of the trunk, by its im- with his birth-place-would be far mersion in the river, quite destroys the other than we find them, if life toiled fair proportions of the tree, and thus wearily onward, without this periodimakes us sensible of a regularity and cal infusion of the primal spirit. propriety in the usual forms of nature. Will the world ever be so decayed, The flood of the present season, that spring may not renew its greenthough it never amounis to a freshet, ness?' Can man be so dismally ageon our quiet stream-has encroached stricken, that no faintest sunshine of further upon the land than any previous his youth may revisit him once a one, for at least a score of years. It year? It is impossible. The moss on has overflowed stone-fences, and even our time-worn mansion brightens into rendered a portion of the highway beauty; the good old pastor, who once navigable for boats. The waters, how- dwelt here, renewed his prime, reever, are now gradually subsiding; gained his boyhood, in the genial islands become annexed to the main- breezes of his ninetieth spring. Alas land; and other islands emerge, like for the worn and heavy soul, if, new creations, from the watery waste. whether in youth or age, it have outThe scene supplies an admirable image lived its privilege of spring-time of the receding of the Nile-except sprightliness! From such a soul, the that there is no deposit of black slime; world must hope no reformation of its -or of Noah's flood-only that there evil-no sympathy with the lofiy faith is a freshness and novelty in these re- and gallant struggles of those who covered portions of the continent, contend in its behalf. Summer works which give the impression of a world in the present, and thinks not of the just made, rather than of one so pollut- future; Autumn is a rich conservative ; ed that a deluge had been requisite to Winter has utterly lost its faith, and purify it. These up-springing islands clings tremulously to the remembrance are the greenest spots in the landscape; of what has been ; but Spring, with its the first gleam of sunlight suffices to outgushing life, is the true type of the cover them with verdure.
BY RH. S. S. ANDROS.
My soul's sweet sister! I had sighed,
Long years had sighed, and knew not why;
And Joy in silence passed me by:
Save that, sometime, there came a dream
Like moonlight on a forest-stream.
Was dark till it returned again ;
The Shadow haunted still my brain.
Scarce knowing why, or what I sought,
There lived the Image of my Thought!
THE INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT QUESTION.
PROTEST AGAINST THE DOCTRINE OF THE DEMOCRATIC REVIEW THEREON.
WHATEVER difference of opinion may yielding thence to their authors no rebe entertained of the views expressed compense but barren praise. in the February Number of the Demo By considering the question in this cratic Review, on the subject of Inter- narrow point of view, we are in danger national Copyright, or the force of the of doing as great injustice to the subject argument by which its conclusions are itself as to the individuals thus promisought to be sustained, there can be no nently placed before us. question that the permission to use its term international gives a denial to pages as a mediuın for opposing the the charge, and plainly shows that its principles there advocated, is an act of English advocates, by supporting the courtesy not usual even in literary con- principle, undermine ihe foundation of troversy, and which demands warm the valuable copyright monopoly, the and sincere acknowledgment.
possession of which would be secured Independent of its authorship, the to them alone, under a more restricted article in question is entitled to claim, system, and voluntarily seek to throw from all holding opposite sentiments, open its large and rich resources to the respect due to every opinion which American and other foreign writers ; is found to court, rather than to shun, thus inviting competition, and becomthe test of open and candid discussion; ing (so to speak) the advocates of free and we therefore cannot help regretting trade in the commodity from which that the question should have been they derive their subsistence—a propresented in a form which, in some ceeding we should have thought to be minds, might create a prejudice against in entire accordance with the principles it at the outsel-as a claim set up by of the Democratic Review. It should the authors of a particular country, also be borne in mind that, at their rather than as, what it really is, a instance, the British legislature bas claim urged by the great body of Ame- already made the first advance, by a rican as well as European writers. If late enactment authorizing the grant it was an attempt by Mr. Dickens, or of copyright to authors of works pubany other English author, who has lished out of that country, for a term been “richly enough paid” at home, not exceeding that secured to native or by any body of English authors, to authors, conditionally upon the works procure for themselves a pecuniary of their writers having a like protection benefit for the republication, in this in the foreign country. country, of works from which they Although we entirely differ from the have already derived a “munificent Review, as to the effect of the compecompensation,” the demand might be tition with which American literature justly treated with ridicule; but the bas to contend, and believe that a sysclaim is based on no such principles of tem of international copyright, upon narrow selfishness, nor is il obnoxious equitable terms between authors and 10 any such construction. It has no the public, would be no less an act of sectional or national prejudices: it is justice to native than to foreign authors, made by Americans as well as English- we do not intend to discuss this “means men, and its English advocates who erargument of expediency;" the present claim to have an interest in the repub- object being to show that the claim, in lication of their works here, support its “moral aspect,” is founded on printhe same principle in favor of all Ame- ciples of justice and equity. It here rican and other writers foreign to Eng- becomes material to ascertain what land, whose works are to be found in right or property an author is considered every well-selected English library, by the Review to have in the works of
VOL. XII.--NO. LX.
his own creation—the results of his to whom are granted superior mental own labor; and as this is merely given qualifications ? Ceriainly not. The in a negative form-the statement of natural talents and qualifications of ail what it is denied to be, the only me- men, whether of mind or body, are thod of placing it before the reader is alike gifts from the Creator, and impose by the extracts which follow; in con- upon all a like responsibility for their sidering which it should be kept in use, abuse, or misapplication. The view, that the proposed International same duty attaches to each individual Copyright is not retrospective-is not -to the laborer who, by his physical an ex post facto law-does not seek strength, earns his bread by the sweat remuneration for that which has als of his brow-10 the mechanic, who ready been richly enough paid-is not lives by the exercise of his manual claimed for works already published, skill—to the farmer, who cultivates and therefore public properiy, on the the soil and to the seaman, who naterms upon which they were published; vigates the ocean: all are alike responbut seeks to embrace those only which sible; and he to whom “ one talent" have no existence, or which, if they is granted is under the same obligation have the semblance of being, exist only as he is to whom are entrusted ** fire in the mind of the author, or at most, talents." in manuscript, the work of his own As between man and his Creator, it hands.
may therefore be correct to allege that
“the inspiration which speaks through “We once thought otherwise, but the organ of the poet or the philosowould now deny altogether the principle pher, is not his own;" nor in this view of a natural right of literary property, is the skill of the mechanic, or the cur. absolute, exclusive, and perpetual. The poreal strength of the laborer, his own. inspiration which speaks through the Even man's life itself is not his own : organ of the poet or the philosopher, or the power which granted that and all which directs the ingenuity of the inven- his other attributes, mental and bodily, tor, is not his own, nor has he any such is under no obligation for their conright of individual property in that which it has at once commanded and taught him tinuance : one and all may at any moto give to the world, as to be free, for ment be snatched from his possession, himself, his heirs, executors, administra- without his daring even to question the tors, or assigns, for ever, to do with it justice of the decree. Man, however, what may seem meet to him or them—to was made for society,—it is his natural destroy or suppress it, or forbid access to state,-in no other condition could ibe it to the whole or any portions of the purposes and ends of his existence be race."
accomplished ; and as there is an uni
versal obligation from mankind to the There is, doubtless, great difference Creator, so there are social and moral of opinion, whether an author has an duties from man to man which are exclusive and perpetual right of pro- alike obligatory upon all. But there is perty in his literary works; but as the this difference, the social obligations of International Copyright question does mankind are in every instance recipro. not necessarily involve this demand, cal; each duty draws with it a correand as no such claim is now sought to sponding claim. The duty of obedi. be enforced, it would be useless to enter ence from the citizen to the laws, eninto the discussion.
forced through the legally constituted It is freely admitted that all who authorities, involves a corresponding are endowed with superior mental right of protection of life and property, powers, are bound by an obligation to which is no less a duty on the part of ihe source frorn whence their qualifi- those to whom the task of government cations are derived, to employ them as is entrusted. Parental affection and shall most conduce to the object for filial reverence, and even the claims of which they were conferred, the spread friendship, are in like manner reciproof truth and knowledge, and most ad. cal. No one will deny the mutual obvance the great interests of society ; ligations of the laborer and his emthat their being allowed to “sust in ployer, and it matters not whether the us unused,” is a fault differing only in labor be performed by mere physical degree from their misapplication; but strength, by manual skill and dexterity, is this obligation confined to those only or by the more toilsome and more ex
hausting labors of the intellect; “na- any copyright law, and is founded on tural morals, no less plaiuly than the absolute right of property or ownerthe divine word, teach us that the la- ship. borer is worthy of his hire. It is upon li appears that a mistake, not unthis ground that we support the natu- frequently made, has influenced the ral right of an author to his works, whole train of reasoning on this part of and the claim which he has upon so the subject, and led to what we conciety for remuneration.
ceive to be an erroneous conclusion. The Review then proceeds : This mistake consists in identifying the
natural right or property of the author, “ The unanimous good sense of all the with the legal property of copyright nations which have legislated on the sub- created, or invented for the express pur. ject has not been mistaken in regarding pose of securing his natural right to a this privilege of ownership in copyright just and equitable remuneration, in the or patentright as an artificial and limited, only manner in which it was possible not a natural and absolute right of proper
to do so.
But while we admit the auty. Accordingly, it has been granted, thor's property in copyright to be “artiunlike other species of property —for lim, ficial” in its creation, and “limited” as ited terms of years, and generally confined to the subjects of the legislating sove
to its duration, we most strenuously reignty.”
object to the term “privilege of owner
ship.” Who, we would ask, has, or It may here be as well to observe, claims to have, the right or power of that the argument of the Review bears conferring upon any man the privilege equally against the existing copyright, “ of remuneration” for his labor ? Il'it as it does against international copy- is admitted that he is entitled to be right. In fact the only conclusion to compensated, and that the copyright is be drawn from it is a denial that the secured to him as the means of remuauthor has any“ property” in his works, neration, then, unless justice is a privior any “ absolute right” to compensa: lege, he cannot be said to have a “privition for his labor. The inspiration is lege of ownership." not his own.”—“The unanimous good That the products of the mind differ sense of all nations” has not regarded in many essential qualities from those copyright as an “absolute property,” of the hands, is no reason why the but as a “privilege of ownership.” parties, by whose labor they are ma
Although, as before stated, difference tured, should have no property in them; of opinion exists as to the perpetual although it is obvious ihat such properright of property of an author, we are ty must be guarded, and the fruits of it not aware ihat any nation has denied protected in a different manner. One him “a natural and absolute right of man fells timber from the forest, and property” in his works. In this coun- with the labor of his hands builds a try, as well as in England, such right house, the possession of which is the is distinctly recognized up to the time reward of his labor, and is secured to when they are published with his con- him by the law. Another constructs sent. Previous to such publication it some work of art, from the exhibition has every incident of properiy, and the of which he anticipates being able 10 author possesses over it absolute and derive the means of subsistence, and its unlimited control. He can hold, trans. inviolability is equally secured to him. fer, sell or mortgage it; he can alter, But neither the mere possession of his enlarge, curiail, suppress or destroy it; works, nor the exhibition of them, and although it is neither lands, tene- would be the means of rewarding an menis, goods nor chattels, yet, divested author for his toil and pains. To make of mere technicality, it is in the eye of them available for his support he must the law as much property as houses, multiply and spread them abroad by lands or merchandise. There is not a means of the press, and even this would more firmly established rule than that be useless to him unless guarded by previous to publication the law, at the some provision against literary piracy. instance of the author, will restrain all This security the laws of different papersons from printing, selling, making tions have afforded by what is termed public, or in any way infringing or copyright, and it is the only mode in trespassing on the results of his labor; which remuneration could be secured, and this action is totally independent of and at the same time made to depend