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Art. II.-1. Travels in North America in the Years 1827 and

1828. By CAPT. BASIL HALL, R. N. Phila. : Carey, Lea &

Carey. 1829. 2. Domestic Manners of the Americans. By Mrs. TROLLOPE.

London: printed for Whittaker, Treacher & Co. 1832. 3. Men and Manners in America. By the Author of Cyril Thorn

ton, &c. Phila. : Carey, Lea & Blanchard. 1833. 4. A Subaltern's Furlough. By E. T. COKE, Lieut. of the 45th

Regiment. New-York: J. & J. Harper. 1833. 5. Society in America. By HARRIET MARTINEAU, Author of

“Illustrations of Political Economy." New-York : Saunders

& Otley. 1837. 6. Retrospect of Western Travel By HARRIET MARTINEAU.

London : Saunders & Otley, 1838. 7. A Diary in America ; with Remarks on its Institutions. By

CAPT. MARRYAT, C. B. Phila. : Carey & Hart. 1839. 8. Second Series of a Diary in America. By Capt. MARRYAT,

C. B. Phila.: T. K. & P. G. Collins. 1840. 9. American Notes for general Circulation. By Chas. DICKENS.

New-York: Harper & Brothers. 1842.

“An energetic and enterprising people," observeth the sage Capt. Marryat, “are naturally anxious for an investigation into cause and effect; a search into which is, after all, nothing but curiosity well directed: and the most curious of all men is the philosopher. Curiosity, therefore, becomes a virtue, or a small vice, according to the use made of it."

If this remark be correct, we infer that the British public must be particularly given to philosophical research, or they must include inquisitiveness among their easily besetting sins. Since the close of the last war, not a year has past during which there have not been divers tourists, duly equipped for the work, traversing our land for something wherewith to ravish the curious ears of their countrymen at home. Their efforts have been distinguished by the most commendable activity and perseverance. In the ardor of their search, they have hunted through every town, scaled every mountain, and sailed up every river. Nor have they been less active mentally than physically. Nothing can exceed the celerity with which they reason upon the marvels that met their eyes during their wanderings. They pass from a particular to a general with a careless ease, well calculated to astonish the timid logician; and, with daring agility, leap from premises to conclusions, which, to common eyes, seem separated by an impassable gulf. Such gigantic labors could not go unrewarded. Some travelers, indeed, have returned to their own land under the impression that we enjoy a degree of freedom and happiness; and that we are destined, from our native energy of character, and our favorable position among the nations, to exert some influence upon the future destiny of the world. But others have been so fortunate as to escape all these delusions, and have assured their countrymen, that, under the combined influence of climate and repúblican institutions, we are rapidly decreasing in mental, moral, and physical stature, and are already far below the nations of Europe. Indeed, the dolorous reflections of some would almost lead us to imagine that the Americans have so deplorably degenerated, that in a few years they will be able to boast a "re-annexation" of the appendage with which Lord Monboddo supposed that the whole human race had once been adorned.

There have been tourists, however, who have been tolerably free from what we are led, possibly by our own predilections, to condemn as prejudices. Being men of enlarged minds, they have looked upon us with the eye of the philosopher. Not expecting absolute perfection in any nation, they have not been surprised to find that republicanism does not save from all the ills that flesh is heir to, and that America is not an Eden where primeval innocence holds sway, and beauty and happiness without alloy bloom upon every cheek and light every eye. What they deemed commendable, they have praised without reluctance; what they considered reprehensible, they have condemned without fear: and we honor them for their liberality and honesty. We confess that we have national faults, and we will not be indignant because foreigners can detect them as well as ourselves. Let us listen to all just criticism, and lift our eyes to the heights yet unattained, instead of being wholly absorbed in admiration of our present position.

But most of those travelers who have seen fit to give the world the benefit of their lucubrations have been those who had some ulterior object in view. Their hearts were fully set in them to make a book; and the great inquiry has been for the vendible, rather than the true. And the strong curiosity of the English public has afforded ample opportunity for writers of almost any calibre to strike a blow for fame and profit. These small gentry go up and down our land noting petty incidents, and gathering up fragments of gossip, of which the forth-coming volumes are to be fabricated. The greatest economy is employed in the consumption of material, The number of smokers in the tap-room of an inn furnishes a paragraph; a dinner, underdone, or overdone, fills a page; and a jaunt to some unknown village, where they see nothing, is swelled into a chapter. Anything that will attract notice adds to the success of their performance. And, therefore, knowing the sensitiveness of some of the less considerate Americans, and the jealousy of the less liberal English, they season very highly with sneer, sarcasm, and malignant misrepresentation.

We are not at all offended when they declare their preference for their native land. The affections are not the creation of mere reason; they wait not for the labored deductions of the intellect, but spring up fresh and pure from the well of the heart. Men love · their children, their native village, their country,—not because these are all perfect in their kind, but because to love them belongs to nature. The mother is not called upon to check the emotions of parental tenderness, until she has compared her child with those of her neighbors, and ascertained that its superiority absolutely demands her preference. Nor is she compelled, in order to justify her admiration of its person, to prove that its features are molded in accordance with Hogarth's line of beauty, and that all its attitudes are governed by the line of grace. A man may have some regard for himself, without proving his way with that logical accu

racy which

“Can distinguish and divide
A hair 'twixt south and south-west side."

And, indeed, we have often admired the kind provision of nature, who, whenever she is rather parsimonious in the allotment of her gifts, generally compensates the deficiency, as Paley would express it, by bestowing upon the individual a degree of self-complacency sufficient to keep him in blissful ignorance of his inferiority. And when we see a man thus well pleased with what nature has given, we do not feel like bringing him down from his exaltation by any skeptical remark, but would rather take him by the hand and congratulate him most fervently upon the exceedingly comfortable opinion he entertains of his own abilities. Still, when we see men, or nations, cherishing so exalted a degree of ill-natured vanity as to lead them to exult perpetually in their immeasurable pre-eminence above all others, we cannot but regard it as a lamentable perversion of the bounties of Providence.

This last remark is in some degree applicable to certain travelers who have condescended to sojourn for a time upon this side of the Atlantic. The Halls, the Trollopes, and the Marryats, seem gifted

with an inverse mental alchemy which transmutes all our republican gold into dross. But there have been writers upon America, compared with whom Hall was a Bacon, and Marryat an Aristides. A certain M. De Paw, a Prussian, among other absurdities, great and small, states, with all gravity, that in this country “the dogs suffer so much under the deteriorating influence of the climate that they lose the power of barking ;" and he gives us to understand that its influence is full as deleterious upon man. Some infamous “notes by the way" have been written, like Ashe's "Travels through America,” under the combined pressure of poverty and a lack of honest employment.* The worst of the works mentioned at the head of this article may be ranked among the better sort of descriptions of our land. Some of them are extremely defective, but their very defects are exalted into positive excellences, when compared with those of certain others, to one or two of which we have already alluded. But let us notice them more particularly.

Capt. Hall landed at New York in 1827, traveled through the state to Canada, returned through New England, visited Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and Charleston; journeyed through Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, ascended the great river to Cincinnati, crossed the Alleghanies to New-York, and returned to England after an absence of fifteen months, “having traveled eight thousand eight hundred miles without meeting with the slightest accident." The worthy captain was a stout English tory; and in this journey among the republicans, a great many wondrous things greeted his loyal eyes, whereon he expends much sage remark. His reasonings, so unutterably grave and profound, are the inost amusing part of the work. Occasionally, he sets out with correct premises, and, by some rare good fortune, arrives at a correct conclusion. But most commonly, whenever republicanism is involved in his reasonings, he either comes to conclusions at variance with his premises, or draws inferences which have no visible connection

A curious fact, which is given in the published correspondence of Lord Byron, sheds light upon the origin of this libelous publication. Ashe wrote to Byron,-alledging that want had driven him thus to prostitute his pen, and expressing his desire of gaining a livelihood honestly,--and asked for some pecuniary aid to enable him to carry his repentant schemes into effect. The great poet had compassion upon him, and offered the gift of £150, which Murray was to dole out at the rate of £10 a month. He also gives the famished author a little good advice :-“Whatever may be your situation, I cannot but commend your resolution to abjure and abandon the publication and the composition of works such as those to which you have alluded. Depend upon it, they amuse few, disgrace both reader and writer, and benefit none."

with them. Still, the captain has hardly, as yet, received his just due with us.' He has some excellences as well as many faults. It is true, he is a stout tory, and travels through our land, as good Calvinistic Dr. Scott travels through the Scriptures, with his creed ever before his eyes. Yet, with all this, there is a certain bonhomie apparent,

which

goes

far to disarm resentment. He is never out of humor with the republicans, his prejudices in favor of royalty being a shield through which no dart could reach him. There is a degree of self-complacency which borders upon the sublime; and the captain was evidently blessed with it. The convictions of other minds never troubled his peace. Very few men are perfectly sane upon all subjects; and his hallucination was upon the subject of democracy: but he was a harmless lunatic. He never willfully distorts facts, but contents himself with reasoning upon what he sees, till he loses himself in a fog of his own creation. His compassion is worthy of all praise. When he deems himself called upon to make an assertion which he supposes may wound our vanity, he does not inflict it at once, with malignant eagerness, as some others, but prepares the reader for it by a dull preface, which, the first time it occurs, amuses by its solemn commonplaces. The great fault of his style is prolixity; and these long, prosy preliminaries have a wonderfully sedative effect upon the reader. Like the manipulations of Mesmeric surgery, they seem designed by the benevolent captain to induce a state of happy insensibility to the pain of the operation.

Some of his statements are rather remarkable. He assures his readers that the Americans are a very grave, formal race of men, versatile and energetic, but eternally immersed in elections and litigation. He also states that we are most deplorably given to the use of intoxicating liquors. But he had the rare sagacity to discover the cause of this latter evil.

“ Dram-drinking has been called the natural child and the booncompanion of democracy; and is probably not less hurtful to health of body, than that system of government appears to be to the intellectual powers."

He expounds the rationale of the matter thus :

“In a country where all effective power is placed in the hands of the lowest class of the community, the characteristic habits of that class must of necessity predominate."-Vol. , p. 261.

Here he takes it for granted that the majority which rules must include the lowest class, and be composed principally of that class : and his discovery resolves itself into this :--The characteristic

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