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MR. CLAY ON A PROHIBITORY TARIFF. duties on imports must be essentially reduced.
He was then in the Senate. Mr. Verplanck in New York Evening Post of 9 Feb., we cannot other members of the Committee of Ways and but add a few words to enforce a policy of peace. Means, was engaged preparing a bill for the reAt present the whole country is willing to bear duction of the duties on imports, which would the heaviest duties upon importation that will have passed both Houses, if no other plan had increase the revenue, and help pay the debt. been offered, when Mr. E. Littell, now the editor Would it not be wise in the manufacturers to be of the Living Age, a thorough-paced free-trade content with the great advantage which this man, like the writer of this article, drew up the
scheme of the famous compromise tariff, by gives them, by which there may be a long period which the duties on imports were to be graduof incidental protection to a greater extent than ally reduced until the year 1812, when they were could otherwise be obtained? If they should, on all to be brought down to the rate of twenty per the contrary, contrary to all the lessons of expe- cent, on the value of the commodities imported. rience, succeed in getting up a prohibitory tariff, It was a measure sweeping away every vestige they will before long be obliged to submit to the
of protection, and laying duties solely for reve
The scheme was shown to Mr. Clay; he inevitable revulsion which will cut them down to
was pleased with it; he adopted it at once; he twenty per cent, again. Let us not get up a di- proposed it ; he exerted all his eloquence to carry vision upon this question, which may again en- it through Congress ; it became the law of the gender bitterness. What we all need, and espe- land. « Pass this bill,” he said, “ tranquillize cially the manufacturers, is a permanent and the country, and I am willing to go home to stable course of trade to which industry and cap- In another speech on the same measure, he said
Ashland and renounce public service forever.” ital will accommodate themselves.
that in a tariff'“ revenue is the first object, proMr. Clay was never for prohibitory duties. tection the second,” a maxim which the protecHe never declared himself in favor of a policy tionists now in Congress have not inherited from
him. which would destroy the revenue. On the contrary, in his speech on the tariff of 1820, he said
In March, 1845, Mr. Clay withdrew from frankly, “I too am a friend of free trade, but it public life, closing his long career as a leader must be a free trade of perfect reciprocity." of the Whig party in Congress. In February Again, “ friendly as I am to domestic manufac of that year he expressed his satisfaction with turers, I would not give them unreasonable en- the operation of the great free-trade mesure couragement by protective duties." He com
which he had adopted and for which he had obplained in the same speech that the measures tained a majority in Congress. “ It is a great of the government had at one period stimulated" mistake,” he remarked, " to say that any pormanufacturers “ too high.” In his speech on
tion of the embarrassments of the country has the tariff of 1824 he declared that “ the sole ob- resulted from it.” In another speech on the ject of the tariff is to tax the produce of foreign first of March he declared himself willing to industry.” He never maintained the policy of abide by the essential principles of the comexcluding it. In the same speech he affirmed promise tariff, and argued earnestly in favor of that the proposed tariff of 1824 would not di- a system of fixed ad valorem duties, although minish the public revenue.” He held that goods he thought that if necessary the rate of twenty would still be imported, and “ the revenue con- per cent. might be exceeded. siderably increased.” As to Great Britain, he held that her restrictive system was wisely adopted “ for the establishment and perfection of the arts," and that having “ accomplished its purpose," the system might well be laid aside in that country.
CAPTAIN BURTON, the African traveller, has In short, Mr. Clay always kept an eye on the written a book on Brazil, which Mrs. Barton, revenue, disclaimed the policy of levying duties wife to the Captain, is commissioned by him to to diminish the revenue, and insisted on a policy see through the press. But the Captain is much which, as he thought, would improve our modes too loose in his theories about polygamy anl his of manufacture and diminish prices. On the sarcasms against the Roman Catholic Church to diminution of prices he always laid a great stress, please his wife, so she adds a preface to the book particularly in his great speech on the American to explain that the Captain does not act up to System, delivered in 1832. What would he say his liberal notions regarding a plurality of wives to the enormous increase of prices, and the dis- (“he is careful not to practice polygamy him, tress of the working class under our present pro- self,” his wife assures us), but leads “a good tective system?
and chivalrous life.” Mrs. Burton further exTwo years after the delivery of this speech he plains that she is very fond of her husband," but brought in his great free-trade measure, com- she is compelled to differ with him on many other monly called the Compromise tariff. His reflec- subjects." Still they agree to differ and enjoy tions had led him to the conclusion that the their differences.
From N. Y. Evening Post, 3 Feb. 1790, was born. Poets, it is true, and FITZ-GREENE HALLECK.
poets of great genius, have been born in ADDRESS DELIVERED BEFORE THE NEW YORK HIS- cities or in countries of the tamest aspect, TORICAL SOCIETY, BY WILLIAM C. BRYANT.
yet I think it may truly be said that the The following paper, containing some
sense of diversified beauty or solemn grannotices of the life and writings of Fitz- deur is awakened and nourished in the Greene Halleck, was read last evening be- young mind by these qualities in the scenfore the New York Historical Society by W. ery which surrounds the poet's childhood. C. Bryant :
I do not find, however, in Halleck's verses I have yielded with some hesitation to any particular recognition of the uncomthe request that I should read before the mon beauty of the region to which he owed Historical Society a paper on the life and his birth. In the well-known lines on writings of Fitx-Greene Halleck. I hesi- Connecticut he says: tated because the subject had been most “And still her gray rocks tower above the sea, ably treated by others. I consented be- That crouches at their feet a conquered wave. cause it seemed to be expected by his 'Tis à rough land of earth, and stone, and friends and admirers, that one who like tree,” &c. myself was so nearly his contemporary, who read his poems as they appeared, and where he celebrates the charms of the re
In another passage of the same poem, through whom several of the finest of them
gion, he speaks solely of the tints of the were given to the world, ought not to let a personal friend, a genial companion and an
atmosphere and the autumnal glory of its
forests : admirable poet pass from us without some words setting forth his merits and our sorrow.
“ in the autumn time It is, besides, a relief under such a loss to
Earth has no purer and no lovelier clime. dwell upon the characteristic qualities of “ Her clear warm heaven at noon, the mist that the departed. It seems in an imperfect
shrouds manner to prolong his existence among us;
Her twilight hills, her cool and starry eyes, as we repeat his words we seem to behold The glorious splendor of her sunset clouds, the friendly brightness of his eye; we hear
The rainbow beauty of her forest leaves,"
&c. the familiar tones of his voice. It is as when, in looking upon the quivering sur
Yet that this omission did not arise from face of a river, we see the image of an ob- any insensibility to the beauty of form ject on the bank which is itself hidden from in landscape is sufficiently manifested by
the enthusiastic apostrophe to Weehawken, The southern shore of Connecticut, bor- which escapes from him, as if in spite of dering on the Long Island Sound, is a himself, in his Fanny, amidst the satirical beautiful region. I have never passed reflections which form the staple of the along this shore, extending from Byrom poem. He gave a higher proof of his afriver to the Paugatuck, without admiring fection for his birthplace, withdrawing in it. Here the somewhat severe climate of the evening of life from the bustling city New England is softened by the sea air where the greater part of his years had and the shelter of the bills. Such charm- been spent and where he had acquired his ing combinations of rock and valley, of for- fame, to the pleasant haunts of his childest and stream, of smooth meadows, quiet hood, to dwell where his parents dwelt, to inlets and green promontories are rarely die where they died, and to be buried beto be found. A multitude of clear and side them. His end was like that of the rapid rivers, the king of which is the majes- rivers of his native state, which, after dashtic Connecticut, here wind their way to the ing and sparkling over their stony beds, Sound among picturesque hills, cliffs and lay themselves down between quiet meadwoods.
ows and glide softly to the Sound. It was at Guilford, in this pleasant re- Halleck had a worthy parentage. His gion before which the Sound expands into father, Israel Halleck, according to Mr. a sea, that Halleck, on the 8th of July, Duyckinck, was a man of extensive read
ing, a tenacious memory, pithy conversation write verses when scarce out of childhood, and courteous manners. His mother was afterwards become eminent as poets; but of the Eliot family, a descendant of John as a rule, precocity in this department of Eliot, one of the noblest of the New England letters is no sign of genius. In the verses worthies, the translator of the Bible into of Halleck which General Wilson has colthe Indian language, the religious teacher, lected, written in 1809 and 1810 and earlier, friend and protector of the Indians, the I discern but slight traces of his peculiar rigid non-conformist, the charitable pastor genius, and none of the grace and spirit who distributed his salary among his needy which afterwards became so marked. They neighbors, who preached and prayed against are better, it is true, than the juvenile wigs and tobacco, without being able to poems which encumber the later collections triumph over the power of fashion or the of the poetry of Thompson, but they are force of habit, and of whom it is said that not characteristic. Between the time when his sermons were remarkable for their sim- they were written and that in which he proplicity of expression and freedom from the duced the poems which are commonly called false taste of the age. Halleck inherited the Croakers, his poetic faculty ripened his ancestor's spirit of non-conformity. He rapidly, and as remarkably as that of Byron would
arguo in favor of an established between the publication of his Hours of church among people with whom the disso- Idleness and that of his Childe Harold. ciation of church and state was an article His fancy bad been quickened into new of political faith, and astonished his repub- life; he had learned to wield his native lican neighbors by declaring himself a par- language like a master; he had discovered tisan of monarchy. He was not easily di- that he was a wit, as well as a poet; and verted from any course of conduct by def- his verse had acquired that sweetness and
to public opinion. Mr. Cozzens variety of modulation which afterwards relates that when Jacob Barker had fallen distinguished it. The poems which bear under the public censure, Halleck, then his the signature of Croaker & Co., written by clerk, was told that he ought to leave his him in conjunction with his friend, Joseph service. He answered that he would not Rodman Drake, began in 1819 to appear desert the sinking ship, and that the in the Evening Post, then conducted by time to stand by his friends was when they Mr. Coleman. That gentleman observed were unfortunate. He had a certain per- their merit with surprise, commended sistency of temper which was transmitted, them in his daily sheet, and was gratified I think, from the old Puritan stock. It to learn that the whole town was talking was some fifteen or twenty years after he of them. It was several years after this came to live in New York thąt he said to that Mr. Coleman said to me, “I was me, “I like to go on with the people curious to see the young men whose witty whom I begin with. I have the same verses, published in my journal, made so boarding house now that I had when I first much noise, and desired an interview with came to town; my clothes are made by the them. They came before me and I was same tailor, and I employ the same shoe- greatly struck by their appearance.
looked the poet; you saw the stamp of geI do not find that Halleck began to write nius in every feature. Halleck had the asverses prematurely. Poetry, with most pect of a satirist.” men, is one of the sins of their youth, and There is a certain manner common to a great deal of it is written before the au- both authors in these poems. They both thors can be justly said to have reached wrote with playfulness and gayety, and alyears of discretion. With the greatest though with the freedom of men who never number it runs its course and passes off like expect to be known, yet without malignity; the measles or the chicken-pox; with a few but it seems to me that Halleck drove home it takes the chronic form and lasts a lifetime, his jests with the sharpest percussion, and and I have known cases of persons attacked there are some flashes of that fire which by it in old age. A very small number who blazed out on his Marco Bozzaris. begin, like Milton, Cowley and Pope to The poem
entitled Fanny was
about that tiine. It is, in the main, a satire, Robert Sedgwick, Esq., and remember being upon those who, finding themselves in the struck with the brightness of his eye, which possession of wealth suddenly acquired, every now and then glittered with mirth, rush into extravagant habits of living, give and with the graceful courtesy of his manexpensive entertainments, and as a natural ners. Something was said of the length consequence sink suddenly into the obscur- of time that he had lived in New York: ity from which they rose. But the satire “ You are not from New England ?” said takes a wider range. The poet jests at our host. “I certainly am,” was Halleck's everything that comes in his way; authors, reply, “I am from Connecticut.” • Is politicians, men of science, each is booked it possible ?." exclaimed Mr. Sedgwick. for a pleasantry; all are made to contribute Well, you are the only New Englander to the expense of the entertainment set be- that I ever saw in whom the tokens of his fore the reader. The sting of his witticisms origin were not as plain as the mark set was not unfelt, and I think was in some upon the forehead of Cain.” cases resented. People do not like to be I was at that time one of the editors of a laughed at, however pleasant it may be to monthly magazine, the New York Review, those who laugh. At a later period Halleck which was soon gathered to the limbo of saw the truth of what Pope says of ridi- extinct periodicals. Halleck brought to it cule —
his poem of Marco Bozzaris, and in 1826 " The muse may give thee but the gods must the lines entitled Connecticut. The first of guide”
these poems became immediately a favorite,
and was read by everybody who cared to and be published an edition of his Fanny read verses. I remember that at an evenwith notes in which he took care to make a ing party, at the house, I think, of Mr. generous reparation to those whom he had Henry D. Sedgwick, it was recited by Mrs. offended. But Fanny is not all satire, and Nichols; the same who not long afterward here and there in the poems are bursts of gave the public an English translation of true lyrical enthusiasm.
Manzoni's Promessi Sposi. She had a voice Some comparison has been made between of great sweetness and power, capable of the Fanny of Halleck and the satirical expressing every variety of emotion. She poems of Byron. But Halleck was never was in the midst of the poem, her thrilling cynical in his satire, and Byron always was. voice the only sound in the room, and every I remember reading a remark made by Vol- ear intently listening to her accents, when taire on the Dunciad of Pope. It wants suddenly she faltered; her memory had lost gayety, said the French critic. Gayety is one of the lines. At that instant a clear the predominating quality of Halleck's sat- and distinct voice, supplying the forgotten ire as hatred is that of the satire of Pope passage, was heard from a group in a and Byron. Byron delighted in thinking corner of the room; it was the voice of the how his victim would writhe under the blows poet. With this aid she took the recitahe gave him. Halleck's satire is the over- tion and went on triumphantly to the close, flow of a mirthful temperament. He sees surrounded by an audience almost too deepthings in a ludicrous light, and laughs with ly interested to applaud. out reflecting that the object of his ridicule The poem entitled Burns, of which let might not like the sport as well as himself. me say I am not sure that the verses are
In 1822 Halleck visited England and the not the finest in which one poet ever celeContinent of Europe. Of what he saw brated another, was contributed by Halleck there I do not know that there is any record in 1827 to the United States Review, which remaining except bis noble poem entitled I bore a part in conducting. Halleck had Burns, and the spirited and playful verses been led by his admiration of the poetry of on Alnwick Castle.
Campbell to pay a visit to the charming valIt was in 1825, before Halleck's reputa- ley celebrated by that poet in his Gertrude tion as a poet had reached its full growth, of Wyoming. In memory of this he wrote that I took up my residence in New York. the lines entitled Wyoming, which he handed I first met him at the hospitable board of me for publication in the same magazine.
Before the United States Review shared the form important public services; Robert C. fate of its predecessor there appeared the Sands, a man of abounding wit, prematurely first printed collection of Halleck's poetical lost to the world of letters; and myself as writings with the title of “ Alnwick Castle the third contributor. For the volume and other Poems,” published by G. Carvill which appeared in 1828 Halleck offered us & Company, in 1827. I had the pleasure one of his most remarkable poems, "* Red of saying to the readers of the Review how Jacket," and I need not say how delighted greatly I admired it.
we were to grace our collection by anything At that time the Recorder of our city was 80 vigorous, spirited and original. It was appointed by the Governor of the state. illustrated by an engraving from a striking Those who are not familiar with the judicial full-length portrait of the old Indian chiel, system of this state, need, perhaps, to be by the elder Wier, then in the early matutold that the Recorder is not the keeper of rity of his powers as an artist. the city archives, but the judge of an im- After the publication of these poems there portant criminal court. In 1828, and for followed an interval of thirty-five years some years before and afterward, the office which is almost a blank in Halleck's literary was held by Mr. Richard Riker, a man of history. Between 1828 and 1863 be seems great practical shrewdness and the blandest to have produced nothing worthy of note manners, who was accused by some of ad- except the additions which he made to his justing his political opinions to the humors poem of Connecticut in an edition published of the day, and was, therefore, deemed a by Redfield in 1852, and these are fully proper subject of satire. One day I met worthy of his reputation. It is almost unHalleck, who said to me: “I have an epis-accountable that an author, still in the hightle in verse from an old gentleman to the est strength of his faculties, who had writRecorder, which, if you please, I will send ten to such acceptance, should not have been to you for the Evening Post. It is all in tempted to write more for a public which he my head and you shall have it as soon as I knew was eager to read whatever came from have written it out." I should mention here his pen. · When an author begins to be that Halleck was in the habit of composing quoted,” said Halleck once to me," he is verses without the aid of pen and ink, keep- already famous." Halleck found that he ing them in his memory, and retouching was quoted, but he was not a man to go on them at his leisure. In due time the “ Epis- writing because the world seemed to expect tle to the Recorder, by Thomas Castaly, it. It was only in 1863, when he was alEsq.,” came to hand, was published in the ready seventy-three years of age, that he Evening Post, and was immediately read wrote for the New York Ledger his Young by the whole town. It seems to me one of America,” a poem, which, though not by the happiest of Halleck's satirical poems. any means to be placed among his best, conThe man in office, who was the subject of it, tains, as Mr. Cozzens, in a paper read bemust bave hardly known whether to laugh fore this society, justly remarks, passages or be angry, and it was impossible, one which remind us of his earlier vigor and would think, to be perfectly at ease when grace. thus made the plaything of a poet and pelted
Yet, if in that interval he did not occupy with all manner of gibes, sly allusions, and himself with poetic composition, he gave ironical compliments, for the amusement of much of bis leisure to the poetry of others. the public. *Among its strokes of satire the I have never known any one, I think, who epistle has passages of graceful poetry. seemed to take so deep a delight in the poeHalleck, after the manner of the ancients, try that perfectly suited his taste. He tranin leading his victim to the sacrifice had scribed it; he read it over and over; he hung its horns with garlands of flowers. dwelt upon it until every word of it became The Recorder, however, is said to have engraven upon his memory; he recited it borne this somewhat disrespectful but by no with glistening eyes and a voice and frame means ill-natured assault with the same ap- tremulous with emotion. Mr. F. S. Cozparent composure as he endured the coarser zens has sent me a scrap of paper on which attacks of the newspapers.
he had copied a passage of eight lines of In 1827 and the two following years Dr. verse; and under them had written these Bliss, a liberal minded bookseller of this sentences : “I find tbese verses in an alcity, published annually, at the season of bum. Do you know the writer? I would the winter holidays, a small volume of mis- give a hundred pounds sterling payable out cellanies entitled the “Talisman.” They of any money in my treasury not otherwise were written almost exclusively by three appropriated, to be capable of writing the authors; Mr. Verplanck, eminent in our lit-two last lines." erature and still fortunately spared to per- I was most agreeably surprised as well as