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What madness must have seized upon those who think to stay the progress of democratic principles Where can they look for support, where even for sympathy Their own ranks must be thin, and from the nature of the case must every day become thinner, and from whence will they draw recruits? Is an enfranchised and intelligent community to furnish those from its own number who are to debase and enslave it? A few traitors may be found, but verily, they must have strong confidence in the political as well as moral depravity of mankind, who will venture to act, relying upon such calculations. The experience of former free governments furnishes no warrant for such expectations, for in all the essential elements of a nation's prosperity, no analogy exists between their and our condition. Our government is in fact as well as in name a representative democracy: the republics of antiquity scarcely deserved the appellation. When we read of their liberty, we are prone to forget that this was the portion only of the higher orders, while the lower classes were groaning in the veriest servitude. Let us turn to the page of history, and we shall find that in the proudest days of Grecian and Roman liberty, by far the larger portion of the state was excluded from all participation in the administration or honors of government.
“This was that liberty renowned,
How different is it here, where the lowest are entitled to all the rights and immunities of citizens. By this means a fruitful source of jealousies and enmities, of rebellions and insurrections, are for ever excluded from our system. The other causes which united to effect the ruin of former free governments do not exist here.
When driven from this his favorite ground, the aristocrat exultingly points us to our own condition, as presaging the final downfall of democratic principles. A few riots in some of our cities, a substitution of Lynch law in the place of statute law in some obscure section of our country, is eagerly seized upon, and published to the world as an index of our semi-barbarous condition. It would be useless to palliate the enormities which have thus caused our enemies to exult; but we can boldly cast the reproach back upon its author. We can call upon him to point us to that nation, the most refined, the best governed, aristocratic or monarchical, where excesses more disgusting have not been witnessed within the last ten years.
Our national vanity will be not a little increased, if we reflect upon the treatment which our country and its institutions receive from the aristocratic foreigner. He will survey the kingdoms of the old world, and, with an air of apparent unconcern, look upon the grossest acts of injustice, upon tumults and even anarchy itself; but let his eye be turned to republican America, and if every thing does not come up to his ideal standard of persection, his thoughts are troubled, his sympathies are at once enlisted in our behalf.
To the aristocrat of Europe we are however indebted for many valuable suggestions, offered it is true in any other than a spirit of kindness, yet well worthy of our attention. While perfection is not expected in our system of government, yet it should be aimed at, and every exertion made to approximate as closely to it as possible. The heart of the philanthropist, of the democrat in foreign countries, should not be pained by recitals of the indiscreet acts of those who have taken upon themselves to exemplify the great principles of democracy in this, its chosen seat. The feeling is not susficiently deep and universal among us, that every man is personally interested in the success of our political experiment, and that he has weighty responsibilities resting upon him.
It becomes us to show by our example, that the spirit of democracy is a spirit of virtue and intelligence as well as a spirit of power, to refute the base calumnies of our enemies abroad and at home, that it is calculated to debase human nature and reduce mankind to a level with the brute creation. Here, in America, it should be shown that under the enlivening influence of free principles, the dormant energies of the human mind are aroused to noble efforts, to persevering and honorable exertions in the cause of literature and science. It is not true that the greater the number of minds partially excited, the lower will be the standard of individual attainment; and here it should be proved, that while the many are enjoying all the advantages which flow from an education, the few can explore the greatest depths of science with as much zeal and success as if under the patronage of royalty. Why then shall we longer delay to unite in one generous effort to prove the heavenly origin, the divine influence of the spirit of democracy The power is with us; an occasion is offered for its exercise; the honor of the country, the success of our principles, require that it should be displayed.
Hope is the balm of life-the cure for woe;—
“A few days after the destruction of the steamer Ben Sherrod by fire, the body of a female richly dressed was washed ashore. Upon one of the fingers was a diamond ring, having engraved on it the motto “Remember the giver.’”—Baton Rouge Gazette,
It was a lovely morn. The early sun
'Tis night upon the stream. The song of mirth
Th’ unhappy boat, and death's destroying arrow, More swift than were it wing'd by burning feathers Stript from the lightning's pinion, has sped to slay.
There was a sound of woe" and cheeks
Days pass'd. Upon the river's brink was seen
“Remember the giver,” in youth's sunny morning,
And the signet of beauty thy cheek is adorning;
“Remember the giver,” when friends are around thee,
When flattery's chaplet of roses has crown'd thee,
“Remember the giver,” when danger assailing
When 'neath its fierce glances thy bosom is quailing,
“Remember the giver,” in moments of sadness;
And chase back the night with the sunlight of gladness;
“Remember the giver,” when prayer is ascending
With thine, my petition shall always be blending;
And I will remember, and nought shall dissever
Enshrin’d as my idol, this heart shall forever
AMOURETTE OF AN ATRABILIOUS BACHELOR.
“Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus.”
“Love is life's end; an end but never ending;
* * * *
Thus truthfully does the Latin poet Catullus, inculcate the principles of genuine Epicurism, and thus faithfully does the laureat Spenser, describe that master-passion of the soul, which has swayed men's thoughts and feelings from the day of woman's creation in Paradise till now. Philosophers have exercised their ingenuity in idle attempts to define this primum mobile of human action with its modus operandi, while poets have exhausted the hyperboles of language in the sruitless endeavor to teach men its effects, and acquaint them with its character. Philosophic subtilty and poetic fancy have both failed to mark the limits of its influence and to explain its mysteries; this delicate essence avoids the scrutiny of the sophist and escapes even the imagination of the bard, yet, though thus defying alike the researches of the student of human nature, and the more vague investigations of its own rapt votary, love is a sentiment as wide and universal as the air we breathe, penetrating through all space, pervading all objects of animate or inanimate nature. It would be foreign to my purpose to dwell upon the thousand lovely and loveable things which present themselves to the sight, and attach themselves to the affections of the pure and gentle-hearted; breathing forth tones of beauty and melody, and speaking to such, in the starry constellations that hang suspended from heaven's dark concave, as well as in the
WOL. II. 43