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now left for an extract than the following passage from the first article, or one of the first, that ever appeared in the Herald :
“In debates of this kind many talk of principle-political principle, party principle—as a sort of steel trap to catch the public. We mean to be perfectly understood on this point, and therefore openly disclaim all steel traps—all principle, as it is called, all party, all politics. Our only guide shall be good, sound, practical common sense, applicable to the business and bosoms of men engaged in everyday life. We shall support no party, be the organ of no faction or coterie, and care nothing for any election or any candidate, from president down to constable. We shall endeavor to record facts, on every public and proper subject, stripped of verbiage and coloring, with comments, when suitable, just, independent, fearless, and goodtempered. If the HERALD wants the mere expansion which many journals possess, we shall try to make it up in industry, good taste, brevity, variety, point, piquancy, and cheapness. It is equally intended for the great masses of the community—the merchant, mechanic, working people; the private family, as well as the public hotel, the journeyman and his employer, the clerk and his principal. There are in this city at least one hundred and fifty thousand persons who glance over one or more newspapers every day. Only forty-two thousand daily sheets are issued to supply them. We have plenty of room, therefore, without jostling neighbors, rivals, or friends, to pick up at least twenty or thirty thousand for the HERALD, and leave something for others who come after us."
This, be it remembered, was written thirty-seven years ago. What revolutions have since been produced in journalism! And what individual in Europe or America has contributed so much to those revolutions as Mr. Bennett? Nay, has he not been the originator, the soul, and the life of the greatest of them !
And here we are reminded of his profound, unwavering faith in the energy, enterprise, and perseverance of the Amercan people. Although this sentiment pervades all his writings, extending over a period for nearly half a century, and is sometimes abundantly conspicuous, no one who has not had opportunities of hearing him express his views in private can form any adequate idea how much it became a veritable passion with him. Of what New York, especially, was destined to become, as compared to the greatest cities of ancient and modern times, in wealth, resources, population, extent, beauty, and general attractiveness, he often spoke in language which, to those of a cold and gloomy nature and narrow mind, seemed to border on Oriental hyperbole. More than once we have heard his calm, thoughtful predictions in this respect compared by intelligent men to the stories of the Genii in the Arabian Nights. But the most skeptical have lived to see some of the boldest of those predictions literally fulfilled ; while some of those that seemed impracticable, or utterly impossible, are already not only regarded as entirely feasible, but are rapidly progressing to fulfilment.
Referring again to antiquity reminds us that several who have sketched Mr. Bennett's life and character have represented him as having quite a horror of quotations from the classic languages. This is true only in a certain sense. He had, indeed, no patience with the use of such quotations by those who knew nothing about them; for no one knew better than he that there are many utterly ignorant both of Greek and Latin who are quite fond of quoting these languages, especially the latter, because there are few large dictionaries of the vernacular tongue which do not contain a goodly variety of classic phrases. But to those ignorant of the principles of the languages to which they belong, these are like “edged tools” in the hands of children. Instead of making those who use them appear learned, as they think, they frequently expose them to the ridicule of every reader who has taken the trouble to study. Mr. Bennett had far too much pride to allow his assistants to render themselves ridiculous before the world, and, accordingly, he made no scruple of quietly drawing his pen across quotations which reminded him of nothing more forcibly than a garment worn up-side-down by one to whom the style of such garments is at once a novelty and a mystery. It was very natural that the ambitious gentleman who found his fine quotations set aside in this summary manner should come to the conclusion that the weak point in Mr. Bennett's editorial abilities was his lack of taste for Greek and Latin; and it was equally natural that those who never cared to quote or learn either language-regarding both as useles fossils—should quote Mr. Bennett's alleged dislike of them as one of the strongest evidences of his skill and sagacity as an editor.
The truth is, however, that no one admired an apposite quotation from either of the classic languages, but especially from the Latin, more than Mr. Bennett. Those who have known him most intimately could not assert that he ever suppressed such, or even discouraged their occasional use. He had too much understanding to affect to despise what was a regular habit with writers so popular as Addison, Steele, Swift, Sydney Smith, Goldsmith, Sir Walter Scott, etc. But Mr. Bennett had the sagacity to require not only that the quotation was apposite, but also that the full meaning of it was given directly or indirectly. “This,” he was wont to say, “makes it like a condiment, which those having a taste for it may enjoy as a luxury, while those ignorant of its virtues may pass it over, or be content with its aroma."
We could adduce abundant evidence of these facts from the columns of the Herald; we could show, moreover, by the same means, that not content with entertaining those views himself, he fully impressed them on his successor. Young Mr. Bennett has no pretension to be such a writer as his father; at the same time it is undeniable that he inherits some of the old gentleman's best qualities and talents. In illustration of this, we need only say that the son, like the father, possesses the faculty of giving a striking outline in a few words of what he wishes an article should be, even to its tone; and that the views of the son, in regard to classic precepts, whether used as ornaments or authorities, are identical with those of the father. More than this we abstain from saying of the living, further than to remind our readers that Eugène Sue, Tobias Smollett, and James Fenimore Cooper have
abundantly proved to the world that one may be fond of nautical adventure, especially in his youth, and yet distinguish himself one day as a thinker and writer.
But one word more of the dead. We have already alluded to those, who, having been reviled and persecuted during the greater part of their lives—especially while doing most goodhave at their death had monuments erected to their memory. The subject of this sketch has built himself a magnificent monument, the only sort of monument he ever cared for; and if it prove not as enduring as the Pyramids, it will nevertheless confer more honor on its founder and architect than all the Pharaohs have gained by piles which are records, much more of oppression and forced toil—of “bricks made without straw," under the lash of the taskmaster-than of increased enlightenment, developed resources, enlarged social comforts, and improved general well-being, of which the Herald is at once an exemplar and a history.
Yet a more honorable monument, if possible, are the multitude of flower wreaths, which friends and opponents have vied with each other in weaving, with their utmost skill, to adorn and consecrate the grave of the founder of the Herald. In short, so universally has this noble sentiment been manifested that we do not remember to have met anything in ancient or modern literature more appropriate to be inscribed on the tomb of Mr. James Gordon Bennett, beside his English epitaph, than the beautiful words applied by. Pliny the Younger to one of the greatest benefactors of the Romans, in allusion to the honors conferred on him by friends and opponents at the close of a long, active, and useful life:
“ Et ille quidem plenus annis abiit, plenus honoribus, illis etiam quos recusavit.”
NOTICES AND CRITICISMS.
Our English Bible and its Ancestors. By THREADWELL WALDEN,
Rector of St. Paul's Cathedral, Indianapolis. 16mo, pp. 231.
THERE is a good deal of information in this little volume in regard to versions of the Bible, but it by no means exhausts the subject. While heartily recommending it as calculated to remove many erroneous and unjust impressions, written as it is in a candid and liberal, non-sectarian spirit, we will add some facts which are but rarely remembered at the present day, even by educated men ; nay, even by those who regard it as their mission to expound the Scriptures.
We suppose we need hardly say that we do not take these pains for the purpose of advocating or opposing the views of any sect as such, for there is no consummation we have more earnestly sought for the last twenty years—in other journals as well as in our own—than the reconciliation of all Christian sects with each other in one friendly brotherhood. Partly because the Catholic church is the parent of all, but chiefly because it had accomplished so much good during the long centuries before any of the Protestant sects came into existence, we have had no disposition to deal harshly even with her faults. That, at least, we have been entirely willing to do her justice, none but the most narrow-minded bigots, or those blinded by their prejudices, will deny.
We never expected, or indeed wished, to please this class. Having always regarded it as very much like the untamable quadruped, which, more kindly it is treated the more it growls and tries to bite, we should have suspected something miraculous if we had not been subjected to more or less abuse whenever we ventured to deny that its geese are swans. But whether the vituperation bestowed on us be “reverend,” “very reverend,” “right reverend,” or “most reverend,” we can assure all concerned that no amount of it will force us to regard as “pillars of the church” those who are much more suggestive to us of the rats which burrow in its ancient and venerable walls, and grow fat and sleek on the contents of its cemeteries.
When we speak of the hierarchy of the Catholic church as having never ceased for so long a series of centuries-even when it erred most—to do incalculable good for the human race, we do not include in our estimate speculators in real estate, bankers who depend chiefly for their interest” on the earnings of the Irish chambermaids, or