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But the Crusades humbled this pride by creating these wants, and the baron's thirst for power, his love of tyranny, and his hatred of freedom, all yielded to his insatiate demand for money. A demand which in modern society has humbled the arrogance and fettered the supremacy of power, and maintained the balance between its higher and lower orders. A demand which published to the astonished slave of the eleventh century that there was a power paramount to rank and titles; that by grasping it the serf might one day supplant his lord; that gold would out-dazzle armorial bearings; that it was office at court, in the camp renown, and in the church salvation; that by accumulating it, bodies politic might resist the oppression of their feudal sovereigns, assert their rights, and establish them on the basis of constitutions and charters. From the operation of this cause in increasing the amount and augmenting the influence of wealth, the cities of Germany and Italy, which before the Crusades were oppressed in all their social rights, became bulwarks of freedom; embodied forms of the principle of democracy. Before the influence of wealth was felt, they paid for a mere nominal protection by absolute subjection to their protectors; but now they were entirely disfranchised, invested with the privileges of municipal jurisdiction, of suffrage, election and self government, and liberty was declared “such an essential part of their character, that slaves were liberated who took refuge in them.” In the language of an elegant writer, “it was the poverty of the feudal lords which extorted from their pride those charters of freedom which unlocked the setters of the slave, secured the farm of the peasant and the shop of the artificer, and gradually restored a substance and a soul to the most numerous and useful part of community.” Thus has the power of wealth contributed to the triumph of equality, by breaking up hereditary tenures, by humbling the pride and diminishing the importance of birth, by opening other avenues to honor and influence, by inspiring the degraded minds of the lower orders with ambitious energy, by disfranchising individuals, chartering cities, and consecrating in the midst of a dark and barbarous age, a hallowed spot, where the humbled spirit of man could soar and wheel in the pure atmosphere, and with the proud consciousness of freedom. The omnipotence of knowledge.—In comparing the influence of knowledge with that of other causes, in advancing the principle of democracy, omnipotence may be safely predicated of it. It has manifestly done more than all other causes combined. The same convulsion which gave life to commercial enterprise, revealed to society the might of mind, and that the ethereal principle may glow with as much vigor and purity in the peasant's breast, as under purle and ermine. Communication with the East, the necessity of aws, and the progress of society, called into exercise the powers of the understanding. Knowledge became a patent of nobility, a passport to the favor of kings. Arbitrary distinctions yield to intellect, force to reason, antiquity to truth, the sword to the PREss. Poetry, philosophy, the sciences, the arts, the schools, swell the growth of equality, and call forth from the shop, the anvil and the plough, a vast array, invested with heaven's nobility, who take their places by the side of kings, and look down upon nobles. Knowledge and wealth reflect aid upon each other. New fields of enterprise are thrown open. Fresh laurels are won by mind. Every discovery, every invention, every master-piece of genius, speeds the progress of equality. The ambition of tyrants contributes to its success. The feudal lords slaughter each other. Wars develop the importance of the people. Kings elevate them to awe the noble, and are awed themselves. The baron's mace is broken the regal sceptre trembles' prerogatives yield to the supremacy of majorities. Equality is soon arrayed against thrones and dignities; the rights of the many against the oppression of the few ; the principle of democracy against the self-preserving instincts, the life struggles of power. All Europe is the Waterloo. Which will triumph : We have hitherto contemplated the principle of democracy as struggling against institutions for perpetuating power, against hereditary birth, transmitted wealth, prejudice and proscription. We have yet known nothing of its intrinsic evils; for its wild ambition, its resistless energy, its insatiate thirst for advancement, have been directed against the barefaced oppression, the gross and palpable injustice of civil society. Danger has been to it a bond of union, adversity has tempered its violence and restrained its excesses. Under the eye of these stern monitors, its vices have been tamed, its virtues fostered; it has never yet obeyed the unchecked promptings of its nature, it has never known the curse of prosperity. But the nineteenth century has exhibited an anomaly to the world, democracy triumphant. A new continent has been thrown open, vast in territory, exhaustless in its resources, free from the ancient establishments, the deep rooted customs and prejudices of the Eastern world ! Its free soil acknowledges no feudal lord, is ignorant of all servile tenures. Its hospitable bosom is open alike to the king and the slave. Hither the principles of democracy have been transplanted. It has breathed its own spirit into government, society, laws and religion. Its active energies, its resistless enterprise, are settered by no moral restraints, no natural obstacles. It ranges from sea to sea, from pole to pole. The dangers and the destiny of American democracy Such are the topics, such the theatre which the prosecution of this inquiry presents to our view.
FRAGMENT OF AN UNPUBLISHED TRAGEDY.
SceNE, Rhodes—the battlements of the City.
Enter Grand Master.
solus. Thou land of ancient story, Palestine!
Oh! 'tis a weary task,
Enter De A maral.
De Amaral in the back ground. Ha! yonder muses the old dotard. Now,
Sir Knight, be cool and calm aye such a calm,
Nay, brave De Amaral!
De Amaral. 'Tis but the gloom of night, that lingers still
Grand Master. De Amaral,
De Amaral. Ha! would I might relieve him of these cares. [Aside.]
Grand Master. If I do think thee brave! Was that well said,
De Amaral. Ha! has Man looketh not upon the heart! [Aside.]
Grand Master. Yes, that or any post
De Amaral. Sire, farewell [Erit Grand Master.]
Have I deceived thy sleepless vigilance,
- Hast chronicles of darker import, tyrant!
Which even thy power from the fierce blazonry
“Erras, erras; nam exsultantem te, et praesidentem tibi,
AFTER reading my piece I looked towards Jumble, expecting to receive his ready approval. No wonder then that I was startled on seeing his phiz suddenly elongated to the measure of eighteen inches by three on “Ward's improved premium scale;” and positively shocked, when it was as soon contracted to three by eighteen on the same rule, while he fairly shook the room with laughter.—“Zounds!” said I, “who would have thought that such sublime conceptions”— another hysterical burst, and I seized my hat convulsively, fully determined on “Bedlam and a straight jacket,” for my friend, when I was again surprised to see him become perfectly calm.
“Did you never hear,” said he, “that there is but a step from the sublime to the ridiculous f’’
“Yes, a thousand times; but what can you mean?” (somewhat doubting his sanity.)
“Nothing; only Napoleon took that step.”
“Ha! Jumble were you then laughing at me?”
There was no mirror opposite, but I suppose my eyes flashed lightning, for in an instant he was palsied. A solemn pause ensued, (during which I contrasted the late storm at sea with the tempest raging in my bosom,) when at length Josephus, in a tone which subdued me, apologized by saying “that he merely wished to try my temper.”