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"The labor necessary to acquire wealth or subsistence is, compared with our own country, in the proportion of one to three; or, in other words, a man must work through the year three times as much in the United States to gain the like competency."

The subject is only adjourned for a year by the failure of the Senate bill to pass the House of Representatives. It will undoubtedly again be brought forward as a prominent feature of the legislation of the next session. It is right and proper that it should in the mean time be thoroughly canvassed at

home among the people, in preparation for that attitude and that action in relation to it, which can no longer be delayed, and which are called for equally by our national interest and honor. With a view to the promotion of this object we have devoted to it the preceding pages,-greatly regretting the necessities of space which have compelled us to curtail and simplify our statement and discussion of the subject, within limits entirely incommensurate with both its importance and extent.

THE LAW OF BLOOD.

I.

In pagan lands, where Superstition's rod

Scourges her worshippers; where temples dark
Are reared, with rites accursed, her sway to mark ;
And all unknown the Christian's faith and God,
There human gore drenches the steeping sod!
Nor do we wonder; though the Priest on high

Lift up his reeking hands that Heaven may bless
The smoke of sacrifice which dims the sky,

And seals the record of his wickedness;
For on the darkness that enwraps his mind

Truth has not poured her bright and piercing ray,
Nor sent her mighty heralds to unbind

His people's manacles, and drive away
The mists and clouds that hide her glorious day.

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That swells his brother's veins! Oh! may the time Come swiftly, when the sacred Book of God

Is read aright with all its truths sublime!

Port Chester, N. Y., February, 1843.

R. H. BACON.

THE PROCESSION OF LIFE.

BY NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE.

LIFE figures itself to me as a festal or funereal procession. All of us have our places, and are to move onward under the direction of a Chief-Marshal. The grand difficulty results from the invariably mistaken principles on which the deputy-marshals seek to arrange this immense concourse of people, so much more numerous than those that trail their interminable length through streets and highways in times of political excitement. Their scheme is ancient, far beyond the memory of man, or even the record of history, and has hitherto been very little modified by the innate sense of something wrong, and the dim perception of better methods, that have disquieted all the ages through which the procession has continued its march. Its members are classified by the merest external circumstances, and thus are more certain to be thrown out of their true positions, than if no principle of arrangement were attempted. In one part of the procession we see men of landed estate or moneyed capital, gravely keep ing each other company, for the preposterous reason that they chance to have a similar standing in the tax-gatherer's book. Trades and professions march together with scarcely a more real bond of union. In this manner, it cannot be denied, people are disentangled from the mass, and separated into various classes according to certain apparent relations; all have some artificial badge, which the world, and themselves among the first, learn to consider as a genuine characteristic. Fixing our attention on such outside shows of similarity or difference, we lose sight of those realities by which nature, fortune, fate, or Providence, has constituted for every man a brotherhood, wherein it is one great office of human wisdom to classify him. When the mind has once accustomed itself to a proper arrangement of the Procession of Life, or a true classification of society, even though merely speculative, there is thenceforth a satis faction which pretty well suffices for

itself, without the aid of any actual reformation in the order of march.

For instance, assuming to myself the power of marshalling the aforesaid procession, I direct a trumpeter to send forth a blast loud enough to be heard from hence to China; and a herald, with world-pervading voice, to make proclamation for a certain class of mortals to take their places. What shall be their principle of union? After all, an external one, in comparison with many that might be found, yet far more real than those which the world has selected for a similar purpose. Let all who are afflicted with like physical diseases form themselves into ranks!

Our first attempt at classification is not very successful. It may gratify the pride of aristocracy to reflect, that Disease, more than any other common circumstance of human life, pays due observance to the distinctions which rank and wealth, and poverty and lowliness, have established among mankind. Some maladies are rich and precious, and only to be acquired by the right of inheritance, or purchased with much gold. Of this kind is the gout, which serves as a bond of brotherhood to the purple-visaged gentry, who obey the herald's voice, and painfully hobble from all civilized regions of the globe to take their post in the grand procession. In mercy to their toes let us hope that the march may not be long! The Dyspeptics, too, are people of good standing in the world. For them the earliest salmon is caught in our eastern rivers, and the shy woodcock stains the dry leaves with his blood, in his remotest haunts; and the turtle comes from the far Pacific islands to be gobbled up in soup. They can af ford to flavor all their dishes with indolence, which, in spite of the general opinion, is a sauce more exqui sitely piquant than appetite won by exercise. Apoplexy is another highly respectable disease. We will rank together all who have the symptom of dizziness in the brain, and, as fast as

any drop by the way, supply their places with new members of the board of aldermen.

On the other hand, here come whole tribes of people, whose physical lives are but a deteriorated variety of life, and themselves a meaner species of mankind; so sad an effect has been wrought by the tainted breath of cities, scanty and unwholesome food, destructive modes of labor, and the lack of those moral supports that might partially have counteracted such bad influences. Behold here a train of house-painters, all afflicted with a peculiar sort of colic. Next in place we will marshal those workmen in cutlery, who have breathed a fatal disorder into their lungs, with the impalpable dust of steel. Tailors and shoemakers, being sedentary men, will chiefly congregate into one part of the procession, and march under similar banners of disease; but among them we may observe here and there a sickly student, who has left his health between the leaves of classic volumes; and clerks, likewise, who have caught their deaths on high official stools; and men of genius, too, who have written sheet after sheet, with pens dipped in their hearts' blood. These are a wretched, quaking, short-breathed set. But what is this crowd of palecheeked, slender girls, who disturb the ear with the multiplicity of their short, dry coughs? They are seamstresses, who have plied the daily and nightly needle in the service of master-tailors and close-fisted contractors, until now it is almost time for each to hem the borders of her own shroud. Consumption points their place in the procession. With their sad sisterhood are intermingled many youthful maidens, who have sickened in aristocratic mansions, and for whose aid science has unavailingly searched its volumes, and whom breathless love has watch ed. In our ranks the rich maiden and the poor seamstress may walk arm in arm. We might find innumerable other instances, where the bond of mutual disease-not to speak of nationsweeping pestilences-embraces high and low, and makes the king a brother of the clown. But it is not hard to own that Disease is the natural aristocrat. Let him keep his state, and have his established orders of rank, and wear his royal mantle of the color

YOL YIL

NO

VIII

of a fever-flush; and let the noble and wealthy boast their own physical infirmities, and display their symptoms as the badges of high station! All things considered, these are as proper subjects of human pride as any relations of rank that men can fix upon.

Sound again, thou deep-breathed trumpeter! and herald, with thy voice of might, shout forth another sunimons, that shall reach the old baronial castles of Europe, and the rudest cabin of our western wilderness! What class is next to take its place in the procession of mortal life? Let it be those whom the gifts of intellect have united in a noble brotherhood!

Aye, this is a reality, before which the conventional distinctions of society melt away, like a vapor when we would grasp it with the hand. Were Byron now alive, and Burns, the first would come from his ancestral Abbey, flinging aside, although unwillingly, the inherited honors of a thousand years, to take the arm of the mighty peasant, who grew immortal while he stooped behind his plough. These are gone; but the hall, the farmer's fireside, the hut, perhaps the palace, the counting-room, the workshop, the village, the city, life's high places and low ones, may all produce their poets, whom a common temperament pervades like an electric sympathy. Peer or ploughman, we will muster them, pair by pair, and shoulder to shoulder. Even society in its most artificial state, consents to this arrangement. These factory girls from Lowell shall mate themselves with the pride of drawing-rooms and literary circles-the bluebells in fashion's nosegay, the Sapphos, and Montagues, and Nortons, of the age. Other modes of intellect bring together as strange companies. Silk-gowned professor of languages, give your arm to this sturdy blacksmith, and deem yourself honored by the conjunction, though you behold him grimy from the anvil. All varieties of human speech are like his mother tongue to this rare man. Indiscriminately, let those take their places, of whatever rank they come, who possess the kingly gifts to lead armies, or to sway a people, -Nature's generals, her lawgivers, her kings,-and with them, also, the deep philosophers, who think the thought in one generation that is to revolutionize society in the next. With the hereditary legislator, in

whom eloquence is a far descended attainment a rich echo repeated by powerful voices, from Cicero downward we will watch some wondrous backwoodsman, who has caught a wild power of language from the breeze among his native forest boughs. But we may safely leave these brethren and sisterhood to settle their own congenialities. Our ordinary distinctions become so trifling, so impalpable, so ridiculously visionary, in comparison with a classification founded on truth, that all talk about the matter is immediately a common-place.

Yet, the longer I reflect, the less am I satisfied with the idea of forming a separate class of mankind on the basis of high intellectual power. At best, it is but a higher development of innate gifts common to all. Perhaps, moreover, he, whose genius appears deepest and truest, excels his fellows in nothing save the knack of expression; he throws out, occasionally, a lucky hint at truths of which every human soul is profoundly, though unutterably conscious. Therefore, though we suffer the brotherhood of intellect to march onward together, it may be doubted whether their peculiar relation will not begin to vanish, as soon as the procession shall have passed beyond the circle of this present world. But we do not classify for eternity.

And next, let the trumpet pour forth a funeral wail, and the herald's voice give breath, in one vast cry, to all the groans and grievous utterances that are audible throughout the earth. We appeal now to the sacred bond of sorrow, and summon the great multitude who labor under similar afflictions, to take their places in the march.

How many a heart, that would have been insensible to any other call, has responded to the doleful accents of that voice! It has gone far and wide, and high and low, and left scarcely a mortal roof unvisited. Indeed, the principle is only too universal for our purpose, and, unless we limit it, will quite break up our classification of mankind, and convert the whole procession into a funeral train. We will therefore be at some pains to discriminate. Here comes a lonely rich man; he has built a noble fabric for his dwelling-place, with a front of stately architecture, and marble floors, and doors of precious woods; the whole structure is as beautiful as a

dream, and as substantial as the native rock. But the visionary shapes of a long posterity, for whose home this mansion was intended, have faded into nothingness, since the death of the founder's only son. The rich man gives a glance at his sable garb in one of the splendid mirrors of his drawing-room, and, descending a flight of lofty steps, instinctively offers his arm to yonder poverty-stricken widow, in the rusty black bonnet, and with a check-apron over her patched gown. The sailorboy, who was her sole earthly stay, was washed overboard in a late tempest. This couple, from the palace and the alms-house, are but the types of thousands more, who represent the dark tragedy of life, and seldom quarrel for the upper parts. Grief is such a leveller, with its own dignity and its own humility, that the noble and the peasant, the beggar and the monarch, will waive their pretensions to external rank, without the officiousness of interference on our part. If pride-the influence of the world's false distinctions-remain in the heart, then sorrow lacks the earnestness which makes it holy and reverend. It loses its reality, and becomes a miserable shadow. On this ground, we have an opportunity to assign over multitudes who would willingly claim places here,to other parts of the procession. If the mourner have anything dearer than his grief, he must seek his true position elsewhere. There are so many unsubstantial sorrows, which the necessity of our mortal state begets on idleness, that an observer, casting aside sentiment, is sometimes led to question whether there be any real woe, except absolute physical suffering, and the loss of closest friends. A crowd, who exhibit what they deem to be broken hearts-and among the many love-lorn maids and bachelors, and men of disappointed ambition in arts, literature, or politics, and the poor who were once rich, or who have sought to be rich in vain-the great majority of these may ask admittance into some other fraternity. There is no room here. Perhaps we may institute a separate class, where such unfortunates will naturally fall into the procession. Meanwhile let them stand aside, and patiently await their time.

If our trumpeter can borrow a note from the doomsday trumpet-blast, let him sound it now! The dread alarum

should make the earth quake to its centre, for the herald is about to address mankind with a summons, to which even the purest mortal may be sensible of some faint responding echo in his breast. In many bosoms it will awaken a still, small voice, more terrible than its own reverberating uproar.

The hideous appeal has swept around the globe. Come, all ye guilty ones, and rank yourselves in accordance with the brotherhood of crime! This, indeed, is an awful summons. I almost tremble to look at the strange partnerships that begin to be formed, reluctantly, but by the invincible necessity of like to like, in this part of the procession. A forger from the state prison seizes the arm of a distinguished financier. How indignantly does the latter plead his fair reputation upon 'Change, and insist that his operations, by their magnificence of scope, were removed into quite another sphere of morality than those of his pitiful companion! But, let him cut the connection if he can. Here comes a murderer, with his clanking chains, and pairs himself horrible to tell!-with as pure and upright a man, in all observable respects, as ever partook of the consecrated bread and wine. He is one of those, perchance the most hopeless of all sinners, who practise such an exemplary system of outward duties, that even a deadly crime may be hidden from their own sight and remembrance, under this unreal frostwork. Yet he now finds his place. Why do that pair of flaunting girls, with the pert, affected laugh, and the sly leer at the bystanders, intrude themselves into the same rank with yonder decorous matron, and that somewhat prudish maiden? Surely, these poor creatures, born to vice, as their sole and natural inheritance, can be no fit associates for women who have been guarded round about by all the proprieties of domestic life, and who could not err, unless they first created the opportunity! Oh, no; it must be merely the impertinence of those unblushing hussies; and we can only wonder how such respectable ladies should have responded to a summons that was not meant for them.

We shall make short work of this miserable class, each member of which is entitled to grasp any other member's hand, by that vile degradation

wherein guilty error has buried all alike. The foul fiend, to whom it properly belongs, must relieve us of our loathsome task. Let the bondservants of sin pass on. But neither man nor woman, in whom good predominates, will smile or sneer, nor bid the Rogues' March be played, in derision of their array. Feeling within their breasts a shuddering sympathy, which at least gives token of the sin that might have been, they will thank God for any place in the grand procession of human existence, save among those most wretched ones. Many, however, will be astonished at the fatal impulse that drags them thitherward. Nothing is more remarkable than the various deceptions by which guilt conceals itself from the perpetrator's conscience, and oftenest, perhaps, by the splendor of its garments. Statesmen, rulers, generals, and all men who act over an extensive sphere, are most liable to be deluded in this way; they commit wrong, devastation, and murder, on so grand a scale, that it impresses them as speculative rather than actual; but, in our procession, we find them linked in detestable conjunction with the meanest criminals, whose deeds have the vulgarity of petty details. Here, the effect of circumstance and accident is done away, and a man finds his rank according to the spirit of his crime, in whatever shape it may have been developed.

We have called the Evil; now let us call the Good. The trumpet's brazen throat should pour heavenly music over the earth, and the herald's voice go forth with the sweetness of an angel's accents, as if to summon each upright man to his reward. But, how is this? Do none answer to the call? Not one: for the just, the pure, the true, and all who might most worthily obey it, shrink sadly back, as most conscious of error and imperfection. Then let the summons be to those whose pervading principle is Love. This classification will embrace all the truly good, and none in whose souls there exists not something that may expand itself into a heaven, both of well-doing and felicity.

The first that presents himself is a man of wealth, who has bequeathed the bulk of his property to a hospital; his ghost, methinks, would have a better right here than his living body.

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