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opposition to manifest justice and the common weal, and to their own interest. But the people do not wish to be represented or ruled by the ignorant and base. They only vote for these because they were asked with the voice and semblance of kindness. They will not vote for them long. They inevitably prefer wit and probity. To use an Egyptian metaphor, it is not their will for any long time “to raise the nails of wild beasts, and to depress the heads of the sacred birds.” Let our affection flow out to our fellows; it would operate in a day the greatest of all revolutions. It is better to work on institutions by the sun than by the wind. The state must consider the poor man, and all voices must speak for him. Every child that is born must have a just chance for his bread. Let the ameliorations in our laws of property proceed from the concession of the rich--not from the grasping of the poor. Let us begin by habitual imparting. Let us understand that the equitable rule is, that no one should take more than his share, let him be ever so rich. Let me feel that I am to be a lover. I am to see to it that the world is the better for me, and to find my reward in the act. Love would put a new face on this weary old world in which we dwell as pagans and enemies too long ; and it would warm the heart to see how fast the vain diplomacy of statesmen, the impotence of armies, and navies, and lines of defence, would be superseded by this unarmed child. Love will creep where it cannot go, will accomplish that by imperceptible methods,-being its own lever, fulcrum, and power,—which force could never achieve. Have you not seen in the woods, in a late autumn morning, a poor fungus or mushroom-a plant without any solidity, nay, that seemed nothing but a soft mush or jelly_by its constant, total, and inconceivably gentle pushing, manage to break its way up through the frosty ground, and actually to lift a hard crust on its head? It is the symbol of the power of kindness. The virtue of this principle in human society, in application to great interests, is obsolete and forgotten. Once or twice in history it has been tried in illustrious instances with signal success. This great, overgrown, dead Christendom of ours, still keeps alive, at least, the name of a lover of mankind. But one day all men will be lovers; and every calamity will be dissolved in the universal sunshine.
THE YOUNG AMERICAN:
Read before the Mercantile Library Association, in Boston, U.S., at
the Odeon, Wednesday, 7th February, 1844.
GENTLEMEN,—It is remarkable, that our
people have their intellectual culture from one country, and their duties from another. Our books are European. We were born within the fame and sphere of Shakspeare and Milton, of Bacon, Dryden, and Pope ; our college textbooks are the writings of Butler, Locke, Paley, Blackstone, and Stewart; and our domestic reading has been Clarendon and Hume, Addison and Johnson, Young and Cowper, Edgeworth and Scott, Southey, Coleridge, and Wordsworth, and the Edinburgh and Quarterly Reviews. We are sent to a feudal school to learn democracy. A gulf yawns for the young American between his education and his work. We are like the allaccomplished banker's daughter, who, when her education was finished, and her father had become a bankrupt, and she was asked what she could do for him in his sickness and misfortunes, could she make a shirt, mix bread, scald milkpans ? No, but she could waltz, and cut ricepaper, and paint velvet, and transfer drawings, and make satin-stitch, and play on the clavichord, and sing German songs, and act charades, and arrange tableaux, and a great many other equally useful and indispensable performances. It has seemed verily so with the education of our young men : the system of thought was the growth of monarchical institutions; whilst those that were flourishing around them were not consecrated to their imagination, nor interpreted to their understanding.
This false state of things is newly in a way to be corrected. America is beginning to assert itself to the senses and to the imagination of her children, and Europe is receding in the same degree. This their re-action on education, gives a new importance to the internal improvements and to the politics of the country.
There is no American citizen who has not been stimulated to reflection by the facilities, now in progress of construction, for travel and the transportation of goods in the United States. The alleged effect to augment disproportionately the size of cities, is in a rapid course of fulfilment in this metropolis of New England.
The growth of Boston, never slow, has been so accelerated since the railroads have been opened which join it to Providence, to Albany, and to Portland, that the extreme depression of general trade has not concealed it from the most careless eye. The narrow peninsula, which a few years ago easily held its thirty or forty thousand people, with many pastures and waste lands, not to mention the large private gardens in the midst of the town, has been found too strait when forty are swelled to a hundred thousand. The waste lands have been fenced in and builded over; the private gardens, one after the other, have become streets. Boston proper consisted of seven hundred and twenty acres of land. Acre after acre has been since won from the sea, and in a short time the antiquary will find it difficult to trace the peninsular topography. Within the last year, the newspapers tell us, from twelve to fifteen hundred buildings of all sorts, have been erected, many of them of a rich and durable character. And because each of the new avenues of iron road ramifies like the bough of a tree, the growth of the city proceeds at a geometrical rate.