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introduced-has somewhat outrun our design. But we would still press the inquiry whether, seeing that in some departments it has been demonstrated to us that failure has resulted from the withholding of what we pronounce a very insignificant, nay, altogether contemptible, part of the price, but which nature declares to be an indispensable part, so that superfluity in some other kind shall in no wise excuse its absencewhether, we say, the same law may not be in force in certain other fields where we have hitherto, to a considerable extent, at least, ignored its operation? We think a retrospect of the past history of the race will be found to strengthen the hypothesis here presented. Whenever the world has taken to itself new hope of its own swift-coming regeneration, that hope will be found to have rested almost exclusively upon
be termed the external “magnificence” of the newly arrived agency; not intending by this word, as here used, mere dazzle, but allowing it to include very much beyond that. The questions for the most part raised respecting this or that enterprise as to its claims upon our confidence—we mean, of course, an enterprise contemplating moral results—have differed very slightly from the questions which arise on the inaugurating of a purely material enterprise. What are its appointments—its available means—its assets? Who are its godfathers ? Are they men of large substance, and of acknowledged respectability, both in weight and numbers ? Bringing with it what credentials, as to its momentum, does this thing now seek introduction to our favor! In a word, is it sufficiently accredited, both as to the extent of the field where it is designed to operate, and as to the machinery it brings with it?
As to all which questions, especially that one of momentum, when has more unequivocally satisfactory answer been rendered than when Johannes Guttenberg, by the art of printing he invented, gave to the world the more rapid mode of diffusing thought ? What a gift was there, of a magnificence quite dazzling, as we may suppose, to the recipients, by the verdict of the aggregated wisdom of the world, could it have been assembled, to be exchanged for no gift whatever, if the restoration of a fallen race be the object of attainment! As to which wonderful bestowment, whether it has been doing, or is to-day doing, what was so confidently hoped for from it, answer seems not entirely clear on this day and year of our Lordcertainly not unanimous.
Perhaps the teachings of this law are nowhere more palpably disregarded, and never with more disastrous results, than when men attempt to elevate legislation into the highest place as a remedial, reformatory instrumentality, in those cases where it ought to be held only as subsidiary and contributory. Indeed, it may well be doubted, in view of the mischief which has resulted from an opposite course, whether civil legislation should ever contemplate any direct aid towards a moral enterprise on the ground of its morality. Police regulations derive not their sanctions from, nor do they owe their value to, the fact that they tend to promote virtue. That such encouragement to morality may flow out of such regulations as a collateral result, and that such result may be gratefully accepted, are all true enough. Nay, something more than this may be admitted, and we may conclude that if no detriment inure to what is the main object in band, a law may be moulded with a view to such collateral result. If the chief office of government, which is to maintain its own integrity, and to protect its subjects from fraud and violence, be not thus hindered, it would seem only a captious objection, that, in the course of its administration, it encourages virtue in the individual. But that a community should ever be taught, or even suffered to believe, that for any part of the virtue which belongs to it, it is dependent upon a mere legislative act, would be to grievously mistake, or rather to ignore altogether, this law of equivalents. Such payment passes not current at the counter where it is offered. As the coin is itself spurious, so will the thing bargained for prove also spurious. Virtue, in any true sense of the word, is the
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result of a battle ; not to be fought by proxy-not to be conducted by mercenary hirelings, but by the passive endurance, the patient conflict, the bold encounter of the man himself.
And this legislating a people into virtue is only a particular manifestation of a more general error ; an error we are always guilty of, when we seek to get that by manufacture which is really and only a thing of growth. Every thing which lives, which has the principle of life in it, gets its increase by growth, and by growth only. A man may imitate a tree or a fruit. He may manufacture something which externally shall bear a very close resemblance to these objects, even to the point of deceiving the careless beholder; and birds may peck at the simulated grapes on the canvas, as the skill of the celebrated artist has demonstrated. But all the men in the world cannot make a living tree, that shall put forth leaves and bear fruit; and so no more can all the men in the world grow a ship. We may see that the essential conditions of growth are provided; a friendly soil and climate, nutritious food, and protection against enemies. And so much the legislator may do towards promoting virtue in a community. He may by wholesome laws provide the conditions, the external, mechanical aids ; but the thing itself he can no more make than he can make a new heaven and a new sun to shine in it.
And so not only of virtue, but of all the moral ingredients which enter into the composition and frame-work of society, and give us, finally, civilization instead of barbarism ; it is still no less true that they come into our hands by a process of growth. Thus it happens that, among others, time comes to be an equivalent for much, nay, for most, that possesses real value, and the impatient reformer who overlooks this condition, and so withholds the price, fails of the reward. His gourd withers with the morning. And, perhaps, that old fable of Prometheus nowhere finds more fitting application than here. As the crime of which he was guilty well symbolizes their error, who, careless of the conditions, affect to
be this world's regenerators, and who thus by implication subject themselves to the charge of attempting to "steal fire from heaven” to get success to their undertakings ; so the punishment allotted to him is fit emblem of the gnawing remorse and disappointment which, in the end, visit these aspiring obstetricians, as they are made finally to contemplate their miserable abortions.
If the gravest complaint against American civilization as it stands typified to-day were to find utterance, it might be resolved into words like these : it tends to one-sidedness in the state—materialism ; to many-sidedness in the individuals who compose the state; a condition of things to be so strongly deprecated in both particulars that it is difficult to say which involves the greater injury; a condition of things, too, which, could it only be reversed, making the state many-sided and the citizen one-sided, happiest results might be looked for. Granting, what is doubtless true, that this is an infirmity which belongs intrinsically and always to civilization as such, and so is not peculiar to these times and to these shores, the result is in no wise affected by such consideration. The question still recurs with equal force, how far is the evil susceptible, we will not say of a cure—for that is a word about which hangs a very suspicious odor—but of alleviation And if we were now attacking a one-sidedness in the state the opposito of that which characterizes the times upon which we have fallen, we should probably find hearers in plenty.
ART. III.-1. The Life of Henry Clay. Edited by CALVIN
COLTON, LL.D. 6 vols. New York. 1863. 2. Life and Speeches of the Hon. Henry Clay. Compiled
and edited by DANIEL MALLORY. 2 vols. New York.
1860. 3. Life and Public Services of Henry Clay. By EPES Sar
GENT, Esq. New York. 1848.
Great statesmen are more constantly before us than any other public characters. They are powerful for good or for evil; and often destroy or build up nations. Thus the happiness and misery of mankind are inseparably interwoven with the conduct of statesmen. Statesmen lead in practical affairs, and their principles and actions are studied and known. So their influence becomes paramount, elevating or degrading the entire nation, especially if their vices or their virtues are set off by dazzling personal qualities and genius. How many nations can trace their fall to these demoralizing examples of splendid vice and corruption, and again have been lifted up and raised by some noble characters to sound morals and new prosperity ? for it is an axiom of philosophy that no nation can be long prosperous and immoral. These conditions cannot co-exist for any considerable period in the history of nations, and hence the beneficial influence of such examples as Cato and Washington in elevating the moral tone of nations is everywhere felt. This influence makes men heroes just as great patriots are raised up and inspired by the examples of Sidney and Russell to fall, if need be, in their country's cause, in order to save the country and the state. These examples of heroism and disinterestedness are the precious stones and the brilliant jewels of nations, for they attract and draw after them the aspiring and generous spirits of all people, and keep them in the even course of advancement and a constant progress of morals and happiness. On the contrary, a Cæsar may sap the foundation of a country