Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

“and practice the very best romance in the world, “that of making the best of every thing."*

“My dear Madam,—Was I not confined by “ an obstinate cold, I would do myself the plea“ sure to wait on you.

“ To-morrow (Saturday) two gentlemen will “call upon me on business, at twelve o'clock. “With that single exception, you will find me at “home on any day, and at any hour that may “suit your convenience; and I need not say how “ much I will be gratified by your kind intended

6 visit.

“I am happy to hear that you were pleased “ with your late journey through the United “States. Yet, although we enjoy most solid

advantages, and, as I think, a greater mass of “happiness diffused through all the classes than “ is to be found any where else, I have not disco“vered much romance in America; and I suspect,

* Once, in England, walking home with a friend from a party, we were caught in a violent hail storm ; I laughed; "this,” said my companion, “is kissing the dew drops from the lion's mane? I do not think that Belinda received from her poet prettier thoughts than these, and whenever I am disposed to repine, I recollect them, and I do “ make the best of every thing."

[ocr errors]

"or, as a Yankee, I guess, that you brought it with

you.
“ Please to accept the assurances of my high
regard, and believe me to be, with great respect,

“My dear Madam,
“ Your obedient and faithful servant,

“ALBERT GALLATIN.

[ocr errors]

“57, Bleeker-street, 12th December, 1845.

66 Mrs. W. MAURY."

The above is beautifully written in a fair Italian hand, the letters being generally disconnected.

“ The English are proud,” observed Mr. Gal“ latin, “ the French are vain; the Americans “have somewhat both of pride and vanity.”

“It is the most difficult thing in the world to "persuade Statesmen and Governments to do nothing. Neither America nor England should “ have said any thing about Oregon. The letters “of Mr. Buchanan have greatly the advantage. “ I have abstained from entering into the discus“sion until all should have been said on both

[ocr errors][merged small]

“often, and as often forgotten it. Once acquire “a language fundamentally, and you may easily

resume it."

The discoveries in Yucatan interested Mr. Gal

latin extremely; he showed me Catherwood's plates, and spoke in high terms both of that gentleman and of Mr. Stephens, whom I had afterwards the pleasure of seeing at Albany. Mr. Gallatin's “Notes on the semi-civilized Nations " of Mexico, Yucatan and Central America" are considered to possess the highest merit.

The lot of Mr. Gallatin, in spite of exile, has been singularly fortunate; to have been an active and successful participator in the permanent establishment of the republican principles which originally caused his banishment; and thus to have assisted in rearing a new and noble edifice on the very foundations which had, in his native country, slipped from beneath his feet, has been the allotted destiny of few. Sprung from the same soil with that extraordinary body of men denominated the “French school of philosophers," Mr. Gallatin possesses all their love of liberty and their elegant acquirements, combined with

practical good sense and spotless morality;

he is a perfect specimen of the union of American and European character in the same individual. The republican of Switzerland found beyond the Atlantic a sphere in which his conceptions were realized, and his doctrines reduced to practice. He has been happier far than the early promulgators of the Free Political Creed; for his life has been extended long enough to satisfy him that the liberty he so loved was no chimera; that it already constitutes the happiness of millions, and that it is advancing progressively under the wide spread Banner of Reform in every country of the world, both savage and civilized; and though he leaves his ashes in a land which is not that of his birth, still it has long been that of his most cherished household gods. As a citizen he is highly esteemed and respected; and though he mingles less frequently in society than he did in years gone by, the privileged few are still charmed to find how lightly time lays his finger on that honoured brow. Mrs. Madison gave me a most touching account of her last visit to New York, and of the hours she passed in the society of Mr.

в в

Gallatin, who was the friend of the virtuous and gifted President, to whom in life she was united, and whom for years she has lamented. Many and affecting were their appeals to the sacred memories of the past.

EXTRACTS

FROM LETTERS ON THE OREGON QUESTION.

I HAVE not the honour of a personal acquaintance with the President; I respect in him the First Magistrate of the Nation; and he is universally represented as of irreproachable character, sincere, and patriotic. Every citizen has a right to differ with him in opinion ; no one has that of supposing that he says one thing and means another.

I feel an intimate conviction of his entire sincerity.

NEW YORK, January 7, 1846. I had been a pioneer in collecting facts and stating the case. The only materials within my reach consisted of the accounts of voyages previously published, (including that of Maurelle,

« ZurückWeiter »