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written "under the impression of a kind of religious dread, produced in his mind by the contemplation of so irresistible a revolution." He evidently looks with intense anxiety at every institution whose structure may assist those who shall be called to the duty, in their labour of remodeling and reconstructing the falling fabrics of the past. He places himself on an eminence from which he surveys the history of Europe, as he would the course of a river upon whose surface are borne along the ruins of those mounds with which, from age to age, men have attempted to stem or divert its progress the débris of castles, the fragments of arms; stakes, chains and fagots-the mummery of the herald, and the mystery of the priest-the ensigns of war, the lore of diplomacy, the courtier's staff, and the harlot's trumpery-all vestiges of ill-spent labour for an impracticable end. As the flood has swept these down, so he feels that it will surely carry after them tithe and title, and the antiquated rights of primogeniture and, privilege, now the sole barriers that obstruct its course.

"The Christian nations of our age seem to me to present a most alarming spectacle; the impulse which is bearing them along, is so strong that it cannot be stopped-but it is not yet so rapid, that it cannot be guided; their fate is in their hands; yet a little while, and it may be so no longer.

"The first duty which is at this time imposed upon those who direct our affairs, is to educate the democracy; to warm its faith, if that be possible; to purify its morals; to direct its energies; to substitute a knowledge of business for its inexperience, and an acquaintance with its true interests for its blind propensities; to adapt its government to time and place, and to modify it in compliance with the occurrences and the actors of the age. A new science of politics is indispensable to a new world."

"I confess, that in America, I saw more than America; I sought the image of democracy itself-with its inclinations, its character, its prejudices, and its passions-in order to learn what we have to fear or hope from its progress."

We have long believed the true ground on which the reformers of Europe should place their argument, to be that of necessity-fate. It has appeared to us, that no noble lord, whatever may be the colour of his ribbon, the extent of his preserves, or the intensity of his conservatism, can fail to perceive that, though he may vote as his Toryism dictates, and die in his bed, there is a strong likelihood that his son will have no bed to die on, unless he takes timely counsel of prudence. We would cease to appeal to his reason, save only to that part of it which is appropriated to the consideration of his interest, simply because every other department is preoccupied. We would not talk of the peace of his country, of the rights of the

people, or the safety of the state; but we would tell his lordship that a power above him, the same power that disfranchised his noble ancestor's villeins, aliened half his hereditary shire, and married his daughter on the city side of Temple-bar, had other sacrifices to demand, until his political rights were reduced to the universal standard. That in the judgment of weak mortals it might be wrong, thus to obliterate his ancient privileges, (the monks, whose ruined abbey now appertains to his domain, thought so of theirs, at the destruction of the monasteries,) but that it is inevitable; not to be hastened by the wishes, or retarded by the remonstrances, of any man, or set of men-not even to be prevented by the extinction of his lordship's life, for the benefit of his order. That if the sacrifice of his George and his garter, and of the euphony of his graceful and dignified appellation, of the pomp and circumstance of hereditary office, and of the more substantial honour of hereditary legislation, was painful, still more painful, though still more certain in one event to be called for, would be the sacrifice of the broad lands and rich perquisites which gave those honours splendour. For our own part, we shall rue the day that sees a second torrent of maddened democracy burst over any country in Europe. The echoes of one Bacchanalian revel are yet in our ears. But that such a day is destined to arrive for more than one nation, is as sure as that kings and nobles will shut their eyes to the present and its incidents, and live out of their age, among Gothic relics and remembrances, studying Machiavelli, with the commentaries of Metternich.

Reflecting men in America, albeit somewhat intent upon the progress (for progress it is-labitur et labetur-) of the democratic principle at home, cannot fail to see its advancement. abroad. They do not wish to hasten it. They would prefer that reason and right should remove, rather than conquer, abuses. They would that men should learn to obey, as the most important lesson in learning to command-to study causes, before they are involved in consequences-to comprehend the interests of the many, before they invade the privileges of the few. They smile when they see the Prussian monarch yielding to the imperious spirit of the age, yet endeavouring to control its tendency; as if the door of knowledge, being unlocked for a people, must not soon be set wide open. Yet they rejoice that thus the evils of a sudden and dangerous irruption upon established habits of thought, (though no such object was in view,) is prevented. It is doubtless better to descend to the level below, by sliding down a declivity, than by tumbling over a precipice. It is false, that there is among us, as some travellers have represented, a blind and perverse antipathy to every form of government but our own,

and that we deem it applicable to every other country, without regard to time or circumstance. What we hope for is, that we may be so far enabled to control ourselves, and so long to preserve our liberty and prosperity, that our political maxims, (we care nothing for mere form,) may be held available truths elsewhere. In other words, that the philosophy and the practice of government may be brought into contact, under the control and for the interest of the people. We are convinced that the experiment is going on; our desire is that it may terminate in convincing the reason of all, through the heart if it may, by the head where it must.

M. de Tocqueville finds the germ of our social condition in the history of the settlers of New England; where, in fact, every intelligent traveller has been forced to look for some of the best elements of the American character. Perhaps they are the only elements that could have produced the American as he is, frugal, patient, laborious, and, at the same time, instructed and religious; superior to physical difficulties on the one side, and susceptible of moral restraint on the other.

"The two or three main ideas which constitute the basis of the social theory of the United States were first combined in the northern English colonies, more generally denominated the states of New England. The principles of New England spread at first to the neighbouring states; they then passed successively to the more distant ones; and at length they imbued the whole confederation. They now extend their influence beyond its limits over the whole American world. The civilisation of New England has been like a beacon lit upon a hill, which after it has diffused its warmth around, tinges the distant horizon with its glow.

"The settlers who established themselves on the shores of New England all belonged to the more independent classes of their native country. Their union on the soil of America at once presented the singular phenomenon of a society containing neither lords nor common people, neither rich nor poor. These men possessed, in proportion to their number, a greater mass of intelligence than is to be found in any European nation of our own time. All, without a single exception, had received a good education, and many of them were known in Europe for their talents and their acquirements. The other colonies had been founded by adventurers without family; the emigrants of New England brought with them the best elements of order and morality, they landed in the desert accompanied by their wives and children. But what most especially distinguished them was the aim of their undertaking. They had not been obliged by necessity to leave their country: the social position they abandoned was one to be regretted, and their means of subsistence were certain. Nor did they cross the Atlantic to improve their situation or to increase their wealth; the call which summoned them from the comforts of their homes was purely intellectual; and in facing the inevitable sufferings of exile, their object was the triumph of an idea."

An idea it is true, but an idea worthy to lie at the foundation of an empire; an idea which made the rock of Plymouth a monument in all time to the rights of conscience, and taught.

that, between man and his God, no throne must cast its shadow. A partible and inheritable idea, potent to create and to destroy; which, transferred hither, produced a nation, and which, lingering behind, overwhelmed a dynasty.* Yet is it a self-taught, in-sprung, native truth, which every man may find, (and hence its power) in his own bosom. It is the image of the freedom of the human soul! What wonder that it triumphed ?†

"Puritanism was not merely a religious doctrine, but it corresponded in many points with the most absolute, democratic, and republican theories. It was this tendency which had aroused its most dangerous adversaries."

What puritanism was, is not to be sought wholly on this side the water in the semi-theocracy of 1620. The elements of which it was composed, appear in another constitution than that of the seventeenth day of September, 1787. Let him who has learned from the courtly historians, lawyers, and divines of England (which from some inexplicable cause are forever thrust into our hands here at home,) to believe that the

crop-eared knaves" who charged at Naseby differed from the pious founders of the Plymouth colony, beware lest he trample on the graves of his ancestors. The temper of the first was puritanism in action-doubtless grosser and more selfish than that of the other, which was sublimated by suffering, but still it was a good and a kindred spirit. Every man in the MayFlower, would have had a musket on his shoulder at Marston Moor. If we would duly appreciate puritanism, let us compare the reign of the first James with that of the third William. We know that it is a favourite trick of a certain class of writers, to date the regeneration of the English constitution from the second rather than the first revolution-which, forsooth, they call a rebellion-but where, in what bloody school, had men in the mean time learned the right of revolution? Who taught

*"Sir Arthur Haselrig, Oliver Cromwell, John Hampden, and some others of similar sentiments, had made arrangements for emigrating to America, but, when on the point of sailing, they were embargoed by order of council, who were alarmed at the numbers who were leaving the kingdom, and thus Charles I. forcibly detained those in his kingdom, who were destined to subvert his empire, and bring himself to the block."-Robertson, Hist. of America.

"The Plymouth rock," says M. de T., "is become an object of veneration in the United States. I have seen bits of it carefully preserved in several towns of the Union. Does not this sufficiently show how entirely all human power and greatness is in the soul of man? Here is a stone which the feet of a few outcasts pressed for an instant, and this stone becomes famous; it is treasured by a great nation, its very dust is shared as a relic; and what has become of the gateways of a thousand palaces?"

them that they might withdraw the axe from the royal fasces, arbitrio popularis auræ, to turn its edge against royalty itself? Not Laud or Strafford, the bigot or the renegade-not Hobbes or Clarendon, the advocate or the apologist of tyranny-not the "royal martyr" himself, either in his "large declaration” or his grand expedition against the Scotish covenanters-not, alas! the fifty editions of the Icon Basilike--but they learned it in defending the rights of conscience-(not consisting, as Hume impudently asserts, in the rejection of surplices and lawn sleeves,) and through them the other rights of human nature and civil society. This was puritanism, and this was the influence, however modified by circumstances, that gave the impulse and the consummation to the revolution of 1688. But for the lessons of Milton, and Fairfax, and Hampden,

"And the arm'd rest, courtiers of beauteous freedom;
even those who would
Have one man but a man"—

we should scarce have heard of the contract between the king and the nation, or of the abdication of a divine and indefeasible right in the case of James II. It was no Jacobite catechism which taught the commons of England the mysterious tenets of the act of settlement. They were found in the sawdust before Whitehall. Royalty went to school over the ruins of the Star-chamber.

Long, however, before the reign of William and Mary, puritanism had proceeded rapidly and far with its work in New England.

"In strict connection with her absurd penal legislation, which bears such striking marks of a narrow sectarian spirit, and of those religious passions which had been warmed by persecution and were still fermenting among the people, a body of political laws is to be found, which, though written two hundred years ago, is still ahead of the liberties of our age.

"The general principles which are the ground-work of modern constitutions, principles which were imperfectly known in Europe, and not completely triumphant even in Great Britain, in the seventeenth century, were all recognised and determined by the laws of New England; the intervention of the people in public affairs, the free voting of taxes, the responsibility of authorities, personal liberty, and trial by jury, were all positively established without discussion.

"In the laws of Connecticut, as well as in all those of New England, we find the germ and gradual developement of that township independence, which is the life and main-spring of American liberty at the present day. The political existence of the majority of the nations of Europe commenced in the superior ranks of society, and was gradually and imperfectly communicated to the different members of the social body. In America, on the other hand, it may be said that the township was organised before the county, the county before the state, the state before the union.

"In New England, townships were completely and definitely constituted as early as 1650. The independence of the township was the 18

VOL. XIX.-No. 37.

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