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But we are admonished to bring our remarks to a close. If, as has been said by high authority, men are deterred from crime by the certainty of punishment, rather than by its severity, then the converse of the proposition ought to be true, and men should be incited to effort by the certainty of reward, rather than by its magnitude. We fear this is not, in a majority of instances, found to be the fact, whence it would seem that men are more logical where their fears are addressed than where their hopes are appealed to; to avoid which detrimental conclusion, our adversaries may suggest that the entire converse of the proposition requires that the predicates be transposed, so as to read, men ought to be incited to effort by the magnitude of the reward, rather than by its certainty. Whether or not this latter arrangement comply but with grammatical rule, we think it will be generally admitted to accord best with facta dazzling, magnificent prize, whose attainment is only a remote possibility, furnishing an incentive to effort, quite beyond the humble trifle of easy acquisition. That very many of the reformatory schemes of the day bear testimony to the truth of this assertion is but two painfully evident, but not so evident is it, how from the reiterated failure of such schemes, sooner or later disclosed, is begotten a skepticism which, resting in its origin upon lawful basis, shall extend itself to fields of activity where no similar extravagancies forbid a full and tranquil faith--fields, too, whose humble fruits the world could ill afford to exchange for any gifts she is likely to receive at the hands of Quixotic knight-errants or Utopian dreamers. We have heard expressions such as this — Blessed be nothing," called forth, we suppose, by some unwonted conviction of the instability of earthly good. Our instincts as to what is desirable in theories of reform go not quite so far as that, but could we be permitted to hear this appropriate ejaculation, “ Blessed be little,” we should feel an assurance to which we have been long strangers, that the rule hitherto confined to the countingroom, which says, “ Many a little makes a mickle,” was about to be transferred to the economies of moral advancement and social elevation, with promise of happier results—no more apples of Sodom or fruits of Gomorrah—when we ask for a fish, no longer a serpent-no longer a stone when we ask for bread.
To suppose no objections likely to arise to the foregoing views—views that consistently with truth might have beennay, to be consistent with truth, possibly should have beenmore guardedly stated, would be to admit the futility of the entire discussion; for this pre-supposes the existence of an excessive, unreasoning sentimentality, which busies itself not with impertinent questions as to what is practicable, but rather roams at large into whatever flowery field invites its entrance-dry and dusty highway, within whose straight and narrow bounds logic holds her solitary and undeviating course, neither to its taste or to its understanding, if we may suppose such last to belong to it. But such objections must find room for answer elsewhere.
ART. IX-Speeches, Articles in Newspapers, Conventions,
etc., etc. 1872.
We have no intention of dilating, at this time, on the respective characteristics of our candidates, whether their ambition is to be chief magistrate of the nation at large, or only chief magistrate of the city of New York. The newspapers have been doing so for months. Scarcely the most indifferent thing, good or bad, has been done by the most prominent, from boyhood up to the present moment, which has not been presented to the public in a thousand forms; nay, a great many things, good and bad, they have never done, have been proclaimed and placarded with equal zeal, and our readers know that it is not our habit to occupy our pages in telling them what they know already but too well.
Of the respective merits and demerits of our presidential candidates we gave our impressions in full in our last num
VOL. XXV.-NO. L.
ber.* If our views have undergone any change during the intervening three months, it consists in a still deeper conviction than we had in June last of the immense superiority of Mr. Greeley's qualifications, both intellectual and moral, to those of his opponent. Those in the habit of reading this journal, regularly, need not be informed that we have no prejudice against General Grant as a military man. Far from objecting to him on this ground, we showed, four years ago, that the greatest military chieftains of ancient and modern times-including Cyrus, Alexander the Great, Julius Cæsar, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon--have also proved the greatest statesmen.t Accordingly, bearing in mind what General Grant had done for his country, in contributing so much to suppress the rebellion, none were more earnestly in favor of his election
But we had several notions then in regard to him, all of which have proved sadly erroneous. One supposition of ours was that he was an educated man; another, that he was above taking bribes; another, that he was incapable of thrusting the most stupid of his relatives into important lucrative offices, without any regard to their fitness, or want of fitness; and we might add several other things without joining those who accuse General Grant of gross intemperance, and ask which of our suppositions has he not proved, by his conduct as President of the United States, to be utterly unfounded. As to the military part of his character, that, we repeat, is no argument against his fitness for the exalted office which he now holds, and which it is his ambition to hold as long as possible.
Nor do we concur with those who make a particular grievance of the fact that he has appointed to office so many military men. Is it a grievance, for example, that he appointed General Belknap to one of the most important offices of the republic? Is it not rather a grievance that he did not place some general, equally capable as a thinker and statesman, at the head of the Treasury Department, or the State Department? Is it not true that General Belknap has done more for science, and for the advancement of civilization than all the other members of General Grant's cabinet put together-more than a score of timid, vacillating, quibbling, blundering, stockjobbing Boutwells and Fishes?
* Art. “Grant and Greeley." + Vide No. XXXIV. N. Q. R., Art. “Our Presidential Candidates."
And if we compare the subordinate officers of General Belknap to those of the mere politicians of the cabinet, we shall find the former characterized by a corresponding superiority, whether those subordinates discharge their duties at Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, or New York. In illustration of this, we need only ask which of our federal officers in New York has discharged his duties more intelligently, more efficiently, or more honorably than General Rufus Ingalls ?
That it is not on political grounds we oppose General Grant, and urge the superior qualifications of Mr. Greeley, is sufficiently proved by the fact that, in the same spirit in which we advocated the election of the former, four years ago, we now advocate the election of General Dix to the governorship of New York. There is, however, this important difference: our views of the qualifications of General Grant were, as we have shown, but suppositions, whereas the qualifications of General Dix are recognized as of the highest order, even by his opponents. In short, no one questions for a moment, either the ability or the integrity of General Dix, for the reason that he is one of the very few that have filled several important offices with unsullied honor. Accordingly he is not the less our choice for being a general ; he is not the less our choice for being a Republican; nay, he is not the less our choice for being a zealous advocate of the re-election of General Grant.
What we oppose Grant for, then, is his utter lack of administrative ability, his deplorable ignorance, his insatiable avarice, his low, vulgar habits, and above all-or, rather, below all--his ineffable meanness and dishonesty in making merchandise, for the aggrandizement of himself and his relatives, of the powers and privileges conferred upon him by a grateful and generous people.
Upon the other hand, we urge the election of Mr. Greeley
because, during a quarter of a century, he has given ample proof of a high order of administrative ability; and because even his enemies cannot charge him with ignorance, avarice, low or degrading habits, much less with dishonesty. There are other men whom we should have preferred for the presidency to Mr. Greeley; we should have preferred Mr. O'Conor, or Mr. Sumner. By this, however, we mean no reflection on the qualifications or claims of Mr. Greeley; but different as O'Conor and Sumner are, and always have been, from each other, it would be difficult to find two such public men in any country. However, they are out of the question in this case, since neither is a candidate. We have to choose between two—between Grant and Greeley; between ignorance and intelligence; between those qualities which man possesses in common with the brute, and those which he possesses in common with his Creator; between low, demoralizing habits and habits which purify and elevate the soul; in a word, between proverbial, unswerving honesty, and proverbial, unscrupulous dishonesty. To this we need only add the simple query—which are the qualities and qualifications that a great, enlightened, and thoughtful people like ours should prefer in their chief magistrate ?
Turning from our candidates for the presidency, we will briefly consider the relative claims of our candidates for the mayoralty. We shall observe this brevity, not because the office of mayor of this great city is not an important one, for, in our estimation, there are few offices more important; but because there can be but little difference of opinion among sensible, thinking men acquainted with the history of New York during the last ten years, as to which of the three candidates, now understood to be in the field, is best qualified by experience as a public officer, which possesses most administrative ability, and which has given the strongest and most unequivocal proof of honesty and integrity.
For ought we know, Mr. Havemeyer is an honest man; we believe he means well. This is but slender praise, but what better can we say of him? True, we can call him “a tried man;" he has been tried as mayor, but what was the result