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one thing we can warn him-that the possession of such capabilities as his involves a terrible and yet most blessed responsibility; that the novel, however charlatans may degrade it, and the lazy world love to have it degraded, is in idea, next to the drama, the highest organ of moral teaching, and in practice just now a far more powerful one. Whether he be in earnest or not in the higher tone which he has taken in The Caxtons, or whether it has been assumed merely ad captandum vulgus, matters little to us; his book is just as wise and useful; but to him it matters much. The day will come when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed-when the most miserable penny-a-liner shall have to give account of his "enormous gooseberries," as well as Isaiah of his prophecies; when every novel of his, from Pelham to The Cartons, will be reviewed in fearful earnest by the Supreme Artist, the Critic who is "no respecter of persons," and Sir E. B. Lytton will surely be judged before heaven and earth for every word written in the body, whether it be good or evil. We invite him to take note of that fact, before the publication of his next more last words."
IMPORTANT DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT
the court. This evidence was overruled, and the case went to the Supreme Court on that point.
Judge Coulter said that the plaintiff invoked an interpretation of the constitution, and to reach that In England, Parliament granted divorces for adulit was necessary to leap over an act of assembly. tery. But that body proceeded with the utmost circumspection, and acted as a court, examining into the proofs and allegations, and requiring the fullest testimony. In this state, the legislature acts as if the granting of divorces was an exercise of legislative but such a doctrine may well be power; questioned The amended constitution expressly prohibits the legislature from granting divorces where the courts have power. It has a limited jurisdiction with an express prohibition outside of the limitation. The act in this case merely divorces the parties, and annuls the contract, without assigning any reason. It does not appear from the tive power or not. The position that we cannot go act whether the cause was one within the legislabehind the act to obtain the reasons why it passed, is not sound. It is the duty of the courts to guard the constitution against violation. The legislature has but a limited power in divorce cases, and it has no right to annul the constitution. It would require but a slip of the pen to leave out of the act the cause for which the act was passed, and it would then become constitutional. The legislature never summons or gives notice to the parties, and acts
OF PENNSYLVANIA, RELATIVE TO DIVORCES upon ex parte testimony merely as a legislative matBY THE LEGISLATURE.
JUDGE COULTER, of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, yesterday delivered the opinion of that tribunal in the case of Jones vs. Jones. That decision in fact establishes that divorces by the legislature, for causes within the jurisdiction of the courts in divorce cases, are unconstitutional and null. The effect of this decision will be to invalidate seven eighths of the divorces granted by the legislature since 1836. The practice has been very loose, and divorces have been granted in cases where the reasons have been frivolous, and the causes alleged such as were entirely within the jurisdiction of the courts, if application had been made to them. The constitution of the state restricts the powers of the legislature, in divorce cases, to causes not within the jurisdiction of the courts. These tribunals have authority to grant divorces a vinculo matrimonii in cases of impotency, bigamy, adultery, wilful desertion for two years, and cruel and barbarous treatment; and, save incompatibility of temper, these are almost the only causes for which a divorce would be sought. The legislature, however, have divorced parties without regard to the fact whether the courts have authority to divorce for the alleged causes.
ter. In proceedings by a court of limited jurisdiction, it must affirmatively appear that the court had jurisdiction, otherwise it is coram non judice. In Kentucky, it has been decided that a divorce by the legislature is a judicial act. The defendant had a right to establish his case, and the evidence offered to show how the act of the legislature was procured ought to have been admitted. The legislature not having on the face of the act expressed the cause upon which it was granted, the matter is thrown open for judicial inquiry. The judgment is reversed.
Judge Burnside gave notice that he dissented from the opinion of the majority of the court. will produce incalculable injury, and he dissented from it entirely, from beginning to end.-Ledger.
GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE.
FROM A REPORT RECENTLY MADE BY MR. CORNELL
TO THE NEW YORK LEGISLATURE.
Maine.-Desertion five years; joining Shakers; imprisonment in the state prison or penitentiary five years; drunkenness three years.
New Hampshire.-Desertion, or absence, not heard of, three years; three years' neglect of family; extreme cruelty.
Massachusetts.-Imprisonment seven years. Rhode Island.-Desertion five years, habitual drunkenness, neglect of family, extreme cruelty, and also for any other gross misbehavior and wickedness in either of the parties, repugnant to, and in violation of the marriage covenant.
In the case just decided, Mrs. Jones, the wife, applied to the Common Pleas of Bucks County, where she resided, for a divorce, on the ground of cruel treatment. The husband resisted, and upon trial the issue resulted in his favor, and the divorce" was refused. Afterwards the wife applied to the legislature, without the knowledge of the husband, as he alleges, and an act divorcing the parties was passed. The wife then brought an action of ejectment against the husband, to recover possession of property which belonged to her, but in which the husband claimed a life estate, by virtue of the marriage. The husband offered to show the court that the divorce was granted by the legislature for the same cause as was previously adjudicated upon in
Connecticut.-Desertion three years, absence, not heard from, seven years.
Vermont.-Desertion three years, cruelty, imprisonment three years, absence seven years, neglect.
New Jersey.-Desertion five years.
extreme cruelty, gross neglect, habitual drunkenness, three years' actual imprisonment.
Indiana.-Cruelty, habitual drunkenness, two years' imprisonment, "and any other cause where the court in the exercise of a sound discretion shall deem it reasonable and proper that a divorce should be granted."
erend gentlemen who employ these parts of service to inform their people that they "have sought repairs of strength by a recent journey;" or that God's "servant has been called to aid a brother in affliction;" or that he is to be assisted " by a dear brother in the latter part of the day."
All such abuses indicate a withdrawing of the irreverence in telling God that which you really
Illinois.-Desertion two years, cruelty, drunken-mind from the true nature of prayer. There is ness, two years' imprisonment for crime. Michigan.-Desertion two years, enness, imprisonment three years.
habitual drunk-mean to tell the audience. The affectation of particularity in prayer, or undue adaptation to the present circumstances, in minute and temporal things, is a gross evil. It may be doubted whether the spirituality of a worshipping assembly is in any degree promoted by constant reference to the state Tennessee.-Desertion, two years' imprisonment. of the weather, the roads, or the number of perKentucky.-Desertion three years, felony, neg-sons present. Our errand to the throne of grace
Virginia.-Desertion, cruelty, drunkenness. Delaware, Maryland and Georgia.-Divorces in these states seem to be entirely left to the legisla
lect to live with wife or husband, joining any sect which disavows marriage.
North Carolina.-Desertion, drunkenness, or any other just cause in discretion of court. Louisiana.-Desertion five years, cruelty, imprisonment for infamous crime.
Mississippi.-Desertion five years.
Missouri.-Desertion two years, cruelty, habitual drunkenness two years, vagrancy, charging wife with infidelity.
Arkansas.-Desertion one year, cruelty, imprisonment for felony, drunkenness one year.
Wisconsin.-Desertion two years, cruelty, drunk
MR. EDITOR :-Your columns lately contained some just and seasonable remarks on the way in which ministers pray for one another; perhaps you will indulge me with a few on the way in which they sometimes pray for themselves. It is not uncommon for a preacher, in his prayer before sermon, to load his own person with disparaging expressions, and to dwell on his insufficiency, weakness, and want of preparation. This is out of place. Without questioning the justice of such confession, which might be well enough in the closet, it may be asserted, that it is not by extravagant self-depreciation, or by calling himself" a worm," a worm of the dust," an unworthy and vile worm," that a man's humility is best exhibited. The common prayers of God's assembled people do not require this particular view of the minister's case. Sincere modesty is better evinced by general requests for aid, and by as total a hiding of one's personality as is compatible with this.
In analogy with what has just been said, it is not amiss to add, that the less the preacher says about himself, the better. Let him be forgotten, that the word may have free course. Few things are more disgusting than the egotism with which some pulpit orators interlard their discourses with parenthetic references to their circumstances, their health, their hoarseness, or the interruption of their studies. Deprecatory statements and apologies are no part of the message, and no means of
involves matters of transcendent and eternal worth, and every word which is aside from these, is injurious to the devotion. REDITURUS.
DR. FRANKLIN ON THE ANNEXATION OF CANADA. -In the annual address delivered before the Pennsylvania Historical Society, by William Duane, Esq., the subject of which was "Canada and the Continental Congress," an interesting reminiscence is related, which is thus reported in the Philadelphia North American :
"It appears that Dr. Franklin, when assisting in preparing the Treaty of Peace at Paris, was very desirous that Canada should be given up to the United States. He said, 'There could be no solid and permanent peace without it; that it would cost the British government more to keep it than it was worth; it would be a source of future difficulties with the United States; and, some day or other, must belong to them; and it was the interest of both parties that it should be ceded in the treaty of peace.' Yet he did not think it proper to urge such a cession as a necessary condition of peace; especially since Congress had forborne to instruct the claim on the part of France, by the treaty of allicommission on this subject, and since there was no ance, to sustain such a demand-as the pledge in the old Thirteen colonies, and Canada was not one that treaty was only to insure the independence of
"Mr. Oswald, one of the British commissioners, Dr. Franklin, that Canada should be given up to was of the opinion, in one of his conversations with the United States; and said that when he mentioned it to the ministers, though they spoke cautiously, they did not express themselves as decidedly opposed to the measure. It was not much dwelt upon in the negotiation, however."
TUNNEL UNDER THE PYRENEES.-A recent Paris paper states that the minister of public works has employed an engineer of Upper Garonne to make examinations, the object of which is to be the creation of a grand new route between Toulouse and Saragossa, by means of a tunnel carried under the Pyrenees, between the valleys of Luchon, in France, and Venasque, in Spain. The execution of this direct road between the two cities presents no difficulties. Experience in tunneling in France has been had in piercing the Nerthe in the construe tion of the railroad from Marseilles to Avignon. The expense only may retard this undertaking. In any case, the Spanish government will contrib ute its part to making a useful way of communication to the north of the Peninsula.-Boston Daily Advertiser.
From the New York Courier.
REMINISCENCES OF CONGRESS.
We have received a very interesting extract from a work, nearly ready for the press, by Charles W. March, Esq., made up of reminiscences of Congress, which cannot fail, in our judgment, to be well received by the public. Mr. March is well known as one of the most cultivated and vigorous writers in the country. He is familiar with public life and public men, and has qualifications of a very superior order for the preparation of such a work. His purpose, we understand, is to present, in a series of chapters, sketches of the most striking debates and the most distinguished men in Congress for the past ten or fifteen years. The following chapter, descriptive of the great discussion between Webster and Hayne-which is, thus far, the greatest forensic exhibition this country has ever witnessed-will indicate the general scope and character of the work, and the style in which it will be carried out. We are confident it will attract and reward general
WEBSTER'S REPLY TO HAYNE.
It was not alone the combined strength of the administration party in the senate Mr. Webster had to fear. He could not but be in doubt respecting his political allies. The character of the minority at this time was somewhat anomalous. It was composed of federalists of the old school, who had adhered to the elder and younger Adams, notwithstanding their gross tergiversations; of those republicans, who, in the preceding canvass, from personal or local, rather than from political considerations, had preferred Mr. Adams to his competitor; and of "national republicans," so called -a party formed indifferently of the two others. To make an argument which should satisfy all without offending either of these classes seemed a task difficult to be accomplished.
intentions and sentiments of the somewhat mottled
of the speech, after he had gone to the capitol, he
after forever memorable in senatorial annals-the
The house of representatives was deserted. An adjournment would hardly have made it emptier. The speaker, it is true, retained his chair, but no business of moment was or could be attended to. Members all rushed in to hear Mr. Webster, and no call of the house or other parliamentary rule could bring them back. The floor of the senate was so crowded, and more particularly that part of it in the rear of the vice-presidential chair, that persons once in could not get out or change their position. The chair of the vice-president has windows of painted glass at each side of it, and a hole is still visible upon one of the panes, made with a knife, by Dixon H. Lewis, then a member from Alabama, for the purpose of seeing the speaker. He had become wedged in the crowd on either side, directly back of the chair, and as, from Upon the interpretation of the constitution Mr. his enormous size, he could not displace a sufficient Webster feared the greatest diversity of opinion. portion of the crowd to gain a position elsewhere Up to the time of this debate, no construction, com- that commanded the presence of the orator, he remanding universal or general assent, had prevailed. sorted to this expedient. There were many so Opinions were as various as persons. Mr. Web-placed as not to see the speaker at all. ster doubted therefore for some time whether to give public expression to his own constitutional views.
Fortunately for the country and his own reputation his doubts were removed. His warmest friends urged with great eagerness upon him an unequivocal, unreserved declaration of his views. None were more trusted or esteemed by him than Samuel Bell, then a Senator from New Hampshire. Originally a federalist, he had gone over to the republican party, early on the accession of Jefferson, and had supported his administration with warmth and efficiency. He had advocated and defended the war with Great Britain, and all other measures of the party up to the presidential canvass of 1824. On that occasion, as well as four years later, without any violence to his political principles or antecedents, he had favored the pretensions of Mr Adams. From his history, character, and general knowledge of persons and measures, he was perhaps the best exponent of the
The courtesy of senators accorded to the fairer sex room on the floor-nay, in many instances, their own seats. Their bright eyes and gay dresses threw a picturesque beauty over the scene, softening and embellishing it.
Seldom, if ever, had speaker in this or any other country more powerful incentives to exertion; a subject, the determination of which involved the most important interests, and even duration, of the republic; competitors, unequalled in reputation, ability, or position; and an audience, comprising not only persons of this country most eminent in intellectual greatness, but representatives of other nations, where the art of eloquence had flourished for ages. All that the soldier hopes from opportu nity was here.
Mr. Webster perceived and felt equal to the destiny of the moment. The greatness of the hazard exhilarated him. A confidence in his own resources, that sprung from no vain estimate of his power, but was the legitimate offspring of previous severe
study, buoyed him up. He knew the capacity of his opponents, of his subject, and himself.
He was too, at this period, in the very prime of manhood. He had reached middle age-an era in the life of man, when the faculties, physical or intellectual, may be supposed to attain their fullest organization, and most perfect development. Whatever there was in him of intellectual energy and vitality, the occasion, his full life and high ambition, might well bring forth.
He never rose on an ordinary occasion to address an ordinary audience more self-possessed. There was no tremulousness in his voice or manner; nothing hurried, nothing simulated. The calmness of superior strength was visible everywhere; in countenance, voice, and bearing; a deep-seated conviction of the extraordinary character of the emergency, and of his ability to control it, seemed to possess him wholly. If an observer, more than ordinarily keen-sighted, detected an occasional glance of exultation in his eye, he might well believe it sprang from the certaminis gaudia, the stern joy of the warrior, anticipating victory.
The anxiety to hear the reply was so great and universal, that no sooner had the vice-president assumed his chair, than a motion was made and unanimously carried, to postpone the ordinary business of the first hour, and to take up immediately the consideration of the resolution."
Mr. Webster rose and addressed the senate. His exordium is known by heart, everywhere: "Mr. President, when the mariner has been tossed, for many days, in thick weather, and on an unknown sea, he naturally avails himself of the first pause in the storm, the earliest glance of the sun, to take his latitude, and ascertain how far the elements have driven him from his true course. Let us imitate this prudence; and before we float further, on the waves of this debate, refer to the point from which we departed, that we may, at least, be able to form some conjecture where we now are. I ask for the reading of the resolution."
'There wanted no more to enchain the attention. There was a spontaneous, though silent, expression of eager approbation as the orator concluded his opening remarks. Every head was inclined nearer towards him, every ear turned in the direction of his voice-and that deep, sudden, mysterious silence prevailed, which always accompanies fulness of emotion. From the sea of upturned faces before him, the orator beheld his thoughts reflected as from a mirror. The varying countenance, the suffused eye, the ready smile, and ever-attentive look, assured him of his audience's entire sympathy. If among his opponents there were at first those who atlected an indifference to his glowing thoughts and earnest periods, the difficult mask was soon laid aside, and profound, undisguised, devoted attention followed. In the earlier part of his speech, one of his principal opponents seemed disposed to occupy his time with the careful perusal of a newspaper he held in his hand; but this, on nearer approach, proved to be upside down. In truth, all, sooner or later, voluntarily, or in spite of themselves, were wholly carried away by the eloquence of the orator. When, as he was carrying out the moral of Macbeth, which Hayne's allusion to the ghost of the murdered Banquo made pertinent to the immediate topic of his speech, and proving, by the example of that ardent, deep-thinking, but insanely ambitious character, how little of substantial good or permanent power was to be secured by devious and unblessed policy, he turned with a significance
of expression, full of prophetic revelation, upon the vice-president, reminding him that those who had foully removed Banquo had placed
A barren sceptre in their gripe,
Thence to be wrenched by an unlineal hand,
not an eye of the whole audience but followed the direction of his own-not an eye but witnessed the changing countenance and visible agitation of Mr. Calhoun.
Surely, no prophecy ever met a more rapid or fuller confirmation. Within a few brief months the political fortunes of the vice-president, at this moment seemingly on the very point of culmination, had sunk so low there were none so poor to do him reverence.
Whether it was that a presentiment of the approaching crisis in his fate at this moment cast a shadow over his mind or not, his countenance evidently darkened-nor, for some time, did he seem to recover his self-possession.
The allusion nettled him-the more, as he saw the effect it produced upon others; and, later in the speech, as Mr. Webster was exposing the gross and ludicrous inconsistencies of South Carolina politicians, upon the subject of internal improvements, he interrupted him somewhat acrimoniously: "Does the chair understand the gentleman from Massachusetts to say that the person now occupying the chair of the senate has changed his opinions on this subject?" To this Mr. Webster replied immediately, and good-naturedly, in the negative.
Those who had doubted Mr. Webster's ability to cope with and overcome his opponents, were fully satisfied of their error by the time he had proceeded thus far in his speech. Their fears then took another direction. When they heard his sentences of powerful thought, towering, in accumulative grandeur, one above the other, as if the orator strove, Titan-like, to reach the heavens themselves, they were giddy with the apprehension that he would break down in his flight. They dared not believe that genius, learning, any intellectual endowment, however uncommon, that was simply mortal, could sustain itself long in a career seemingly so perilous. They feared an Icarian fall.
Ah! who can ever forget, that was present to hear, the awful burst of eloquence with which the orator spoke of the Old Bay State? What New England heart was there but throbbed with vehement, tumultuous, irrepressible emotion, as he dwelt upon New England sufferings, New England struggles, and New England triumphs, during the war of the revolution? There was scarcely a dry eye in the senate; all hearts were overcome; grave judges and men grown old in dignified life turned aside their heads to conceal their emotions.
In one corner of the gallery there was a group of Massachusetts men. They had hung from the first moment upon the words of the speaker, with feelings variously but always warmly agitated, deepening in intensity as he proceeded. But now they were strained to their furthest tension, and when the orator, concluding his glowing encomium upon the land of their birth, turned, intentionally or otherwise, his burning eye fell upon them-they shed tears like girls!
No one who was not present can understand the excitement of the scene. No one who was can give an adequate description of it. No word-painting can convey the intense, deep enthusiasm-the reverential attention of that vast assembly-nor
limner transfer to canvass their earnest, eager, | There was no chord of the heart that the orator did awe-struck countenances. Though language were not strike with a master-hand. The whole speech as subtle and flexible as thought, still it would be was a complete drama, varied with comic and paimpossible to represent the full idea of the scene. thetic scenes; laughter and tears gaining alternate There is something intangible in an emotion, or victory. sentiment, which cannot be transferred. The nicer shades of feeling elude pursuit. Every description, therefore, of the occasion, seems to the relater himself, tame, spiritless, unjust.
Much of the instantaneous effect of the speech arose, of course, from the orator's delivery-the These tones of his voice, his looks, and manner. die mostly with the occasion that call them forth; or lose vastly in the transmission from one mind to another. They can only be described in general terms. "Of the effectiveness of Mr. Webster's manner, in many parts," says Mr. Everett, "it would be in vain to attempt to give any one not present the faintest idea. It has been my fortune to hear some of the ablest speeches of the greatest living orators on both sides of the water, but I must confess I never heard anything which so completely realized my conception of what Demosthenes was when he delivered the Oration for the Crown." Certainly, Kean nor Kemble, nor any other masterly delineator of human passions, ever produced a more powerful effect upon an audience never controlled, more resistlessly, their minds and
No man ever looked the orator more than he did His countenance -"os humerosque Deo similis." spake no less than his words. His manner added even new force to his strength. As he stood, swaying his right arm, like a huge tilt-hammer, up and down, his swarthy countenance lighted up with excitement, he appeared amid the smoke, the fire, the thunder of his eloquence, like Vulcan in his armory forging thoughts for the gods!
The human face never wore an expression of more withering, relentless scorn than when the orator replied to Hayne's allusion to "the murdered coalition." "It is," said Mr. W., "the very cast-off slough of a pol.uted and shameless press. Incapable of further mischief, it lies in the sewer, lifeless and despised. It is not now, sir, in the power of the honorable member to give it dig. nity or decency, by attempting to elevate it, and introduce it into the senate. He cannot change it from what it is an object of general disgust and scorn. On the contrary, the contact, if he choose to touch it, is more likely to drag him down, down to the place where it lies itself." He looked, as he spake these words, as if the thing he alluded to was too mean for scorn-and the sharp, stinging enunciation added to the severity of the words. The audience seemed relieved-so crushing was the expression of his face-when he turned to other subjects.
The good-natured yet provoking irony with which he described the imaginary though life-like scene of direct collision between the marshalled array of South Carolina under General Hayne on the one side, and the officers of the United States on the other, nettled his opponent even more than his severer satire; it seemed so ridiculously true. Mr. Hayne inquired, with some degree of emotion, if the gentleman from Massachusetts intended any personal imputation by such remarks? To which Mr. Webster replied, with perfect good-humor: "Assuredly not-just the reverse.
The variety of incident during the speech, and the rapid fluctuation of passions, kept the audience in continual expectation and ceaseless attention.
A great portion of the speech is strictly argu mentative; an exposition of constitutional law But grave as it necessarily is, severely logical, abounding in no fancy or episode, it engrossed throughout the undivided ear of every intelligent hearer. Abstractions under the glowing genius of the orator acquired a beauty, a power, a vitality to thrill the blood and kindle the affections, awakening into earnest life many a dormant faculty. His ponderous syllables had an energy, a vehemence of meaning in them that fascinated, while they startled. It was a sense of power-of power withheld and suggestive of greater power-that controlled as by a mysterious spell the hearts of all. For power, intellectual or physical, produces in its developIt was never ment a feeling nearly allied to awe. more felt than on this occasion in its intellectual character. It had entire mastery. The sex which is said to love it best and abuse it most, seemed as much or more carried away than the sterner one. Many who had entered the hall with light, gay thoughts, anticipating at best a pleasurable excitement, soon became deeply interested in the speaker and his subject-lent him to the last their entire heart and mind-and, when the speech was over. left the house with sadder, perhaps, but more ennobling feelings.
The exulting rush of feeling with which he went through the peroration threw a glow over his countenance like one inspired. Eye, brow, each feature, every line of the face, seemed touched with celestial fire. All held their eyes upon him, as by a species of fascination. So Moses appeared to the awe-struck Israelites, as he emerged from the dark clouds and thick smoke of Sinai, his face all radiant with the breath of divinity.
The swell and roll of his voice struck upon the ears of the spell-bound audience, in deep and melodious cadence, as waves upon the shore of the The Miltonic grandeur "far resounding" sea.
of his words was the fit expression of his thought, and raised his hearers up to his theme. His voice. exerted to its utmost power, penetrated every recess or corner of the senate-penetrated even the ante-rooms and stairways as he pronounced in deepest tones of pathos these words of solemn grandeur: "When my eyes shall be turned to behold, for the last time, the sun in heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious Union; on states dissevered, discordant, belligerent! on a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood! Let their last feeble and lingering glance rather behold the gorgeous ensign of the republic, now known and honored throughout the earth, still full high advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in their original lustre, not a stripe erased nor polluted, not a single star obscured, bearing for its motto no such miserable interrogatory as, What is all this worth? Nor those other words of delusion and folly, Liberty first and Union afterwards; but everywhere, spread all over in characters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the land, and in every wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear to every American heart-Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable."
The speech was over, but the tones of the orator