variety of religious factions, and I was told, that to be well received in society, it was necessary to declare yourself as belonging to some one of these. Let your acknowledged belief be what it may, you are said to be not a Christian, unless you attach yourself to a particular congregation. Besides the broad and well known distinctions of Episcopalian, Catholic, Presbyterian, Calvinist, Baptist, Quaker, Swedenborgian, Universalist, Dunker, &c. &c. &c.; there are innumerable others springing out of these, each of which assumes a church government of its own; of this, the most intriguing and factious individual is invariably the head; and in order, as it should seem, to show a reason for this separation, each congregation invests itself with some queer variety of external observance that has the melancholy effect of exposing all religious ceremonies to contempt.”

"I believe I am sufficiently tolerant; but this does not prevent my seeing that the object of all religious observances is better obtained, when the government of the church is confided 10 the wisdom and experience of the most venerated among the people, than when it is placed in the hands of every tinker and tailor who chooses to claim a share in it. Nor is this the only evil attending the want of a national religion, supported by the state, As there is no legal and fixed provision for the clergy, it is hardly surprising that their services are confined to those who can pay them. The vehement expressions of insane or hypocritical zeal, such as were exhibited during the revival,' can but ill atone for the want of village worship, any more than the eternal talk of the admirable and unequalled government can atone for the continual contempt of social order. Church and state hobble along, side by side, notwithstanding their boasted independence. Almost every man you meet, will tell you, that he is occupied in labors most abundant for the good of his country; and almost every woman will tell you, that besides those things that are within (her house), she has coming upon her daily the care of all the churches. Yet, spite of this universal attention to the government, its laws are half asleep; and spite of the old women and their Dorcas societies, atheism is awake and thriving."

“But notwithstanding this revolting license, persecution exists to a degree unknown, I believe, in our well ordered land, since the days of Cromwell. I had the following anecdote from a gentleman perfectly well acquainted with the circumstances. A tailor sold a suit of clothes to a sailor, a few moments before he sailed, which was on a Sunday morning. The corporation of New York prosecuted the tailor, and he was convicted, and sentenced to a fine greatly beyond his means to pay. Mr. F., a lawyer of New York, defended him with much eloquence, but in vain. His powerful speech, however, was not without effect, for it raised him such a host of Presbyterian enemies as sufficed to destroy his practice. Nor was this all : his nephew was at the time preparing for the bar, and soon after the above circumstance occurred, his certificates were presented, and refused, with this declaration, that no man of :he name and family of F., should be admitted.' I have met this young man in society; he is a person of very considerable talent, and being thus cruelly robbed of his profession, has become the editor of a newspaper.”

If this story has any foundation in fact, the facts as given by Mrs. Trollope must be exceedingly distorted. She also tells us, that the influence which the ministers of all the innumerable religious sects throughout America have on the females of their respective congregations, approaches very nearly to what we read of in Spain, or in other strictly Roman Catholic countries. I never saw or read of any country, where religion had so strong a hold upon the women, or a slighter hold


the men." We need concern ourselves but little, however, with her opinions on the state of religion among us, since she has evidently no religion herself, though she dares not openly avow her infidelity. The general character of her book may be said to be satirical. Captain Hall is continually getting into a fret, or flying into a passion, and vents his ill humor in scolding. Mrs. Trollope does not scold—she cuts, and sometimes with a good deal of effect. Her book is made up of satirical descriptions of conversations, parties, domestic manners, theatres, revivals, camp-meetings, &c.

The next book on our list is that of the reverend Mr. Fidler, who came to America to teach the Americans Sanscrit, and calls them all sorts of hard names because they did not choose to learn it of him. The amount of his intelligence may be understood from the nature of his errand. A man who could not find scholars to learn Sanscrit in England, deserves a place among the wise men of Gotham, for seeking such in America. But the ignorance, incapacity and vanity which he displayed while in this country, were so striking, that the American public had very little reason to trust his pretensions to oriental learning. He seems to have been an adventurer, unable to gain clerical preferment, or to succeed in school-keeping, at home, who had moved in a humble sphere in his own country, and came to America on the presumption that an Englishman would pass for a prodigy in this barbarous region. Finding that the people of the United States were willing to dispense with his services, and being unable to continue in Canada, (where he had obtained a humble situation as a preacher,) in consequence of the discontent of Mrs. Fidler, he returned to England, and joined the goodly band of the Fauxes, Fearons, &c., the jackals who provide game for that doughty lion, the Quarterly Review. His book is peculiarly vapid. Every page shows his shallowness of mind and ignorance of his subject; and only the gross absurdities which he puts forth, shed a transient gleam of interest on his pages. He went through the country, as an English journal describes him, “ squabbling with every man, woman and child he met,” preparatory to squabbling with the whole people collectively. We will now quote a few passages, to show the nature of his observations, and the extent of his credulity and prejudice.


“ The clergy of America are prohibited, by an act of legislature, from sitting in the chamber of representatives. This was not always the case, but was brought about after the following

One of the members of congress, a clergyman, was very desirous that some permanent provision should be made for the Episcopal church, and was urgent, with a friend of his, a member also, to use his endeavors to accomplish it. This friend, probably annoyed by frequent solicitations, and being, as Americans in general are represented, a summer's-day friend, promised his word of honor, that he would do something for the church. Accordingly, he mentioned this circumstance in congress, on the first opportunity, and relating his promise, moved that no clergyman should thenceforth sit in that house. The motion was carried by a vast majority, and clergymen, with their golden anticipations, vanished from it for ever. This was told me by a divine of eminence."

He gives the following philosophical explanation of the little use made of corporal punishment in the American schools.

“Two or three anecdotes were related, to convey to me an idea of American schools. The best teacher whom the United States could ever boast of, was a blind athletic old man, who was so well acquainted with the books he taught, as to detect immediately the slightest incorrectness of his scholars. He was also a great disciplinarian; and, though blind, could from constant practice, inflict the most painful and effective chastisements. From the energetic mental and bodily powers of this teacher, his pupils became distinguished in the colleges and universities of America. They were generally, at their admission into public seminaries, so far in advance of other students, that, froin the absence of inducements to steady application, they there, for the first time, contracted habits of idleness. They also became less obedient and subordinate to collegiate regulations than the other scholars, when the hand of correction, of which they formerly had tasted, was no longer extended over them. Thus, a two-fold evil was produced by the discipline and skill of this blind teacher. Since that time, corporal punishment has almost disappeared from American day-schools ; and a teacher who should now have recourse to such means of enforcing instruction, would meet with reprehension from the parents, and perhaps retaliation from his scholars."

In the schools, he says

“Insubordination prevails to a degree subversive of all improvement. The pupils are entirely independent of their teacher. No correction, no coercion, no manner of restraint, is permitted to be used."- -He also asserts, like captain Mall and Mrs. Trollope, that "there is in the mass of the people, a deep-rooted hostility to England, a malignant envy of her greatness, and an eager wish to witness her decline, by revolution or otherwise."

The frequent fires in New York are thus accounted for.

Fires are chiefly confined to houses built of wood, which, from frequent conflagrations, are fast diminishing. When a wood-house, in some districts of the city, has been pulled down or burnt, the city inspectors require that a house of brick, stone, or marble, be erected in its place. I was told that many wood buildings, when favorably situated for business, and let upon long leases, are annually burnt down by some secret incendiary, employed by the landlord. He finds, in such case, that it is his interest to accomplish this; and his tenant's goods and stores are but slight impediments. The value of ground lots has, in some situations, increased so much as to render a wood tenemeni a matter of no importance.

The wood-house once burnt down, the tenant finds himself obliged either to build a fire-proof house, or to evacuate his lease. In either case the landlord is a gainer.”

“ No native American (says Mr. Fidler) will ever engage in the capacity of a servant. Menial offices must all be performed by others. To call a free-born republican a servant, would be degrading him to the level of a slave.”

These specimens will suffice to show the character of Mr.

Fidler's book. The man is too insignificant to make it worth while to spend many words upon him ; and we pass to Mr. Stuart.

Mr. Stuart is a Scotch gentleman, of much superior standing to most of our British visitors, and totally opposite in the tone of his descriptions to the three individuals whose accounts we have been noticing. He seems disposed to see every thing in the most favorable light, and is indulgent, even where he cannot praise. In fact, his book would have been more interesting, if it had been less laudatory. Mr. Stuart goes vastly more into detail than captain Hall, or Mrs. Trollope. His book is a sort of journal of all that he saw or learned, during a residence of three years in the United States. His object seems to have been to furnish his countrymen with a copious storehouse of facts, from which they might form opinions for themselves, rather than to present them merely with the results which the scenes that he witnessed had left on his own mind. His statements and opinions continually conflict with those of captain Hall and Mrs. Trollope. We have already cited a passage from captain Hall, respecting the electioneering tumults which he says prevail throughout the United States, at all times. Mr. Stuart seems to have found the state of things very different.

It was on the 5th November that I was present at the election at Ballston Spa, held in one of the hotels, about the door of which twenty or thirty people might be standing. My friend Mr. Brown introduced me, and got me a place at the table. I must confess that I have been seldom more disappointed at a public meeting. The excitement occasioned by the election generally was declared by the newspapers to be far greater than had ever been witnessed since the declaration of independence in 1776. And at Ballston Spa, any irritation which existed had been increased by an attack made a few days previously to the election by the local press, and by handbills, on the moral character of one of the candidates,-a gentleman who had filled a high office in congress, and who resided in the neighborhood. I was therefore prepared for some fun, for some ebullition of humor, or of sarcastic remark, or dry wit, to which Americans are said to be prone. But all was dumb show, or the next thing to it. The ballot-boxes were placed on a long table, at which half a dozen inspectors or canvassers of votes were seated. The voters approached the table by single files. Not a word was spoken. Each voter delivered his list, when he got next the table to the VOL. I.


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