itself on a radical misconception of the legislative functions of government. Within the sphere of the Constitution, or in other words, within the limits of its own powers, Congress has no other rule of action than its discretion on the merits of each case that comes before it. It can only legislate effectually and beneficially by so doing. The Judiciary must be under the government of a different rule of action, and the stare decisis is of the very essence of judicial wisdom. With the Legislature this principle would operate very often as a denial of justice-with the Court, the neglect of this axiom would render justice itself uncertain. But we, however, contend that these appeals would not in fact be from the decisions of the Courts of Justice, but from the proceedings of the Legislature to the Legislature itself, to remedy its own acts, to grant relief where injury has been done by a violation of the common charter, which claims not only a common obedience from, but a common protection for all. Finally, we regard this proposition as a conclusive answer to the objection that where Congress is convinced that the Constitution has been violated, and injury inflicted on a citizen through such violation, they are bound by an obligation higher than any considerations of expediency, to afford indemnity. The oath to preserve and defend the Constitution, involves the duty of redressing its infractions; a contrary conclusion would put, not only an absurd and mistaken comity towards the Judiciary, but the laws above the Constitution itself.

But if Congress has the constitutional power, what it is just to do, it is expedient to do. A Legislature can claim no exemption from those moral obligations which, in private life, belong to an individual. With what face could it say to those who have suffered under the Sedition Law-"It is true our agents have condemned you under a law we had no right to pass, and which, consequently, gave them no jurisdiction to condemn you to a dungeon and to severe pecuniary fines; but we cannot remedy this act of injustice without being guilty of the monstrous assumption of admitting that both ourselves and our agents may have been wrong: therefore, it is our duty to keep the money, and prohibit all investigation into the circumstances. Be quiet, and recollect that the public agents who unconstitutionally amerced you, are of too much importance, and you are of too little, to authorize our interference." We are not aware of our being able to state this case in any other than the terms of this reply, and hence we are irresistibly led to the conclusion, that if relief be denied under the Resolutions we have thus briefly discussed, it will be because a higher value is set on

the forms of justice, than upon justice itself. We cannot, therefore, but express the hope, that Congress, by adopting the Resolutions which stand at the head of this article, will offer a propitiatory sacrifice to the Constitution, for the violation which it once received in an essential particular-a sacrifice not the less necessary and desirable for the lapse of time which has since intervened.

ART. X.-1. The Disowned. By the Author of "Pelham." 2 vols. 12mo. New-York. 1829.

2. Tales of the Great St. Bernard. By the Author of "Salathiel." 2 vols. 12mo. Philadelphia. 1829.

"PELHAM" might, perhaps, be said to belong in some sort, to a class of novels, which, for want of a better appellation, we shall designate as the Beau-Brummel School. Their professed object is to hold the mirror up-not to nature-but to what, according to their representation of it, is the very reverse of nature, viz. English fashionable life. They purport to be a revelation of its esoteric rites and of its most sacred mysteriesto paint it in all the extravagance and exaggeration of its follies and impertinences-in its grotesque mixture of aristocratic hauteur and voluntary self-abasement, of an ambitious meanness and cringing insolence-in its absurd affectations, its slavish etiquette, its studied trifling, its pompous inanity, its disgusting pretension, its heartlessness, recklessness, apathy and ennui. We have not the means of judging how far these pictures, which have so much the appearance of travesty and caricature, are to be relied on. We verily believe, however, thatwhatever may be the state of the fact as to this-at no other period in the history of polished society, could such stupid extravagances such vapid and coxcombical imbecility, (mainly, it would seem too, on the strength of the impudence with which they are accompanied) be palmed upon the world, not only as good manners, but as the very perfection of the suprème bon ton. Yet, what must the worshippers be where the God is a monkey? The success of the celebrated personage whose name we have

just mentioned, is a social phenomenon, quite sui generis. It has not failed to attract the attention of those philosophers who have found nothing better to do than to speculate upon the rise and fall of fops and fashions. The author of Vivian Grey, for instance, treats the subject with a gravity and profoundness, befitting its singular importance, and highly edifying to connoisseurs in this department of liberal knowledge-so too, the author of Pelham has found the attraction of Brummell's star irresistible. He delights to dwell upon the fortunes of the illustrious exile-to catch "the farewell sweet" of his philosophical counsels and reflections-to kindle with him over the visions of his departed glory-and to hear him utter such lofty strains of unconquerable pride and revengeful self-complacency, as would scarcely be tolerated in the mouth of Napoleon at St. Helena, or Prometheus Vinctus in a Greek tragedy. Although reduced to very short commons in an obscure corner of Boulogne-surMer, our ill-fated hero has tasted the pleasures, and still feels all the conscious superiority of a well-bred gourmand. Although a fugitive from his country, and an outcast from society, he has seen the day when the former rang with his unrivalled fame, and the latter trembled at his Olympian nod. Although now "none so poor to do him reverence," he did whilom revel in the intoxication of an autocratic sway over the "foremost men of all the age"-cracked a joke and a bottle with princes, set his foot upon the necks of dukes and peers, and without rank, or title or family himself, like another Sampson, "made arms ridiculous," and became the fountain of honours and distinctions, more envied than the stars and coronets of men descended from Norman barons !

Now, call it rusticity or what you will, we cannot for the very life of us, contemplate the character and career of such a crcature as this with any sort of patience-much less with that strange degree of toleration, or complacency rather, with which some of the writers alluded to, evidently dwell upon them. We beg his pardon-there is one, and only one of his feelings which we know how to appreciate, and in which we perfectly sympathize. It is the profound contempt which he manifestly entertained for the society, that is, the clique-if we are to judge from appearances, at once the most supercilious and the meanest in the world-upon whose dignity and intelligence, his whole conduct was one continued and insufferable outrage. Such extravagant impertinences had never before been tolerated except in those professed fools or zanies, one or more of whom used to be kept, a few centuries ago, in the train of every great man,

for the express purpose of beguiling his leisure hours, with licensed absurdity. Indeed, this visible contempt for those about him, we suspect it was, that mainly contributed to our hero's success. It came up to La Rochefoucault's notion of the elevation which does not depend upon fortune-le prix que nous nous donnons insensiblement à nous-mêmes. Brummel seems to have studied profoundly the character of fashionable society in England. He saw that it was not founded, as it had formerly been in France, on the mere love of elegant conversation and refined pleasures, which a truly polite noblesse did as much as they could to promote, by admitting without reserve into their circles, all whose talents and accomplishments were fitted to delight and adorn them. He perceived that the disease-the alldevouring, epidemic disease—of the bonne compagnie in England, was vanity-that all the forms and habitudes, and arts and embellishments of life, were contrived not for pleasure, but for ostentation merely-that the only earthly object of a man of ton was to be considered as a man of ton, and so he could but be ranked among the distingués and the recherchés, as they are called in the fashionable jargon, it was a very minor consideration to him, whether his society were good or bad, agreeable or disagreeable, intelligent and accomplished, or rude and stupid. The badges-the insignia of the order were all he wanted. To be admitted at Almack's-to be in demand at every select party, (the name is enough)-to be a sort of lion, in short, was the whole drift and study of his vacant, listless, yawning existence—an abiuros Gios, if there ever was one. Hence every thing in such a state of society, is capricious and eccentric-outré exaggeration and abrupt change. The leaders endeavour to distance all pursuit, or to turn so suddenly as to throw their followers off the trail. Every thing becomes vulgar that is at all common-whatever is touched by one of the uninitiated, is desecrated and defiled for ever. All the ties, duties and charities of life must be sacrificed without mercy, if they interfere with your interests in the saloon-you are to shun your best friend like a pestilence, if he be cut by the Brummel of the day—and the murder of an unfashionable father were almost excusable homicide in a man of ton!

Something of the same kind, doubtless, takes place in all countries among people ambitious of this sort of distinction. It is especially to be remarked in that class which is at once the most despicable and the most insolent every where-the class of pretenders-of nouveaux riches-the fag end of fashionable life, if, indeed, they belong to it at all. Their footing there is VOL. III.—NO. 6.


too precarious to admit of anything like ease or freedom in their motions. It is quite as much as they can do to get along themselves, and they will not, for anything in the world, add to their difficulties by attempting to help others. They are climbing up a steep hill, and the operation is tedious enough in all conscience, without loading themselves with unnecessary burthens. Your parvenu is horribly fastidious about his associates he has the quickest and the surest instinct in regard to the rank and consideration of his neighbours-he is the very last to countenance the rising merit of one of his own farina, and the very first to run away at the alarm of bankruptcy and a fall among his friends.

Sed quid

Turba Remi? Sequitur fortunam, ut semper, et odit

This characteristic of the sort of people alluded to, is very well hit off by our author in the work before us, and his remarks upon the subject are quite just, considered as mere general remarks, though, for reasons which we shall proceed to state, we doubt their being applicable in their whole extent to the fashionable society of England-at least, if that society is well described in Pelham, and other novels of the same kind. "My sister (says the gipsey king) was miserably ashamed of me. She had not even the manners to disguise it. In a higher rank of life than that which she held, she would have suffered far less mortification; for I fancy great people pay but little real attention to externals. Even if a man of rank is vulgar, it makes no difference in the orbit in which he moves; but your 66 genteel gentlewomen" are so terribly dependent upon what Mrs. Tomkyns will say so uneasy about their relations and the opinion they are held in-and, above all, so made up of appearances and clothes-so undone, if they do not eat, drink and talk à-lamode, that I can fancy no shame like that of my poor sister's, at having found and being found with a vulgar brother." pp. 36-38.

Now we think that if there is any truth at all in such works as Almack's, and the rest of that sort, great people do in England-far more, at any rate, than great people do in some countries, or should in any-attach some and even the highest importance to externals. According to these works, even a patent of nobility is no passport into "select society"-nay, a Bohun or a Mowbray, if any such there were-a hereditary Lord High Constable or Earl-Marshal of England-might be black-balled by a Brummell. Their professed object is to distinguish between the weight and consideration of a nobleman upon his estates, or in the House of Lords, and his rank in the artificial hierarchy

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