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and however sublime the thoughts and feelings which they may call forth-give also a melancholy sense of earthly instability, and force upon us a humiliating contrast between elder and later times. But England, in the full glory of arts and arms, in the plenitude of her strength and the exuberance of her wealth, in her free government and pure faith, just laws and uncorrupted manners, public prosperity and private happiness; England, in each and all of these respects, presents an object not to be paralleled in past ages or in other countries, an object which fills with astonishment the understanding mind, and which the philosopher and the Christian may contemplate not only with complacency but with exultation, with the deepest gratitude to the Almighty Giver of all good, and the most animating hopes for the further prospects and progress of mankind.
On his first entrance into London, the City of Cities,' as he justly calls it, the American traveller, who had been long anticipating the emotions which he should then experience, was not a little disappointed at finding himself perfectly unmoved; but he soon discovered the comfort of its accommodations, so different from those which an American city affords to a stranger, and found all the gratification which he had expected in beholding the seat of the great empire and its objects of ancient or modern interest: unlike in this to the Gallo-American writer, who, when he speaks of an old city, says that it is consequently ugly; but that writer is as uniformly unfortunate in all observations connected with taste, as he is judicious in his general remarks. The contrast between these writers in taste and in feeling is curiously shown by their remarks upon Oxford. M. Simond says, it looked old, dusty, and wormeaten, the streets silentand deserted.? «No place,” says Mr. Silliman,
ever impressed me with such feelings of admiration and awe, and I presume it is without a parallel in the world. Instead of the narrow and dirty lanes of trading towns, and the confused noise of commerce, there are spacious and quiet streets, with fine houses of stone. The whole town has an unrivalled air of magnificence and dignity.' M. Simond accredits the refuted calumnies of what he is pleased to call 'a certain illustrious literary association,' and says that when Oxford ceased to teach exploded doctrines, it taught nothing at all in their stead. Mr. Silliman, on the contrary, inquires, farther, and is better satisfied, and affirms that the English universities have been greatly misrepresented in America. They cannot, he says, be fairly compared with the more circumscribed institutions in his own country :-if the parallel were to be made, it should be with some individual college, then the American insti-. tutions would have less reason to shrink from the comparison, scomparatively his own colleges are more respectable than he had
imagined, although in many things certainly inferior.' We cordially join him in the hope and expectation that the American colleges will become more and more honourable and useful to their country. Let the seeds of knowledge and improvement be sown where they will, the fruits are for all mankind.
Mr. Silliman acknowledges that the literary men of England write their language with more purity than most literary men in America, and that in England gross blunders at the bar and in Parliament are not so common as in the American Congress and courts of law: but he insists (and in italics) that the English language is more correctly spoken at this time by the mass of the American, than by the mass of the English naiion. This assertion is founded upon a common and easy mistake as to the nature of provincial dialects, and upon a curious fact in the history of language. There are no provincial dialects in America; emigrants from all parts of Great Britain have met there, and intermixed with each other, and with natives of the country; the peculiarities of dialect have necessarily been melted down into the general speech, which is common English; and this is the language, therefore, which all children learn as their mother-tongue. The low. bred Londoner does not transmit his vulgar shibboleth, and the child of the Northumbrian is free from the burr which sticks in the throat of his father. Dialects can only be preserved by collective bodies speaking the language which they acquired in their youth; they cannot therefore continue in promiscuous colonies. But there is a wide difference between provincial and vulgar dia. lects; the former is only a different and antiquated form of our genuine speech, and as such it is recognized, whenever men of genius have thought proper to write in it. Without referring to earlier or inferior writers, it is sufficient to mention Burns, -a poet of such exquisite felicity, that his writings are relished by persons who are obliged to study them as a foreign language. And in the · Antiquary,' and the other novels from the same masterly hand, the mixture of northern dialects, which considerably impedes the pleasure of a south country reader, must, in a far greater degree, enhance the delight with which these spirited tales are perused by persons who are familiar in what we may be allowed to call our Doric dialect. Vulgarisms, on the contrary, are always offensive, and must exist wherever ignorance and vulgarity are found: from these, which are the real corruption of language, it is not possible that America should be more free than England. There are other corruptions which arise from fashion, affectation, and the various causes which are always operating to vitiate the style of the day. and debase literature: these also will be found in both countries, and plentifully in both :--the crop of weeds is one which nevoi
fails. With regard to Americanisms, as they are called, it would be unphilosophical in the extreme to condemn them by wholesale, as contraband. No author ever shackled himself by more absurd restrictions (not even the Lipogrammatists, or those who built altars and hatched eggs in verse) than Mr. Fox, when he resolved to use no other words in his history than were to be found in Dryden. The vocabulary of a living language never can be limited; new words will frequently be set afloat, and if they are struck in the mint of analogy-if the standard be lawful, and the die good, they must become current coin. Such words, whether we receive them from America, or America from us, enrich the language, of which we are joint heirs, and which is the common wealth of both.
It is observed by Mr. Silliman, that the opinions of the English concerning his country are in violent extremes, America being with some another name for barbarism and anarchy, and with others for overflowing liberty, plenty, and happiness. There are individuals, he says, whose admiration of America knows no boundswhose language concerning us is always that of extravagant encomium, and who heap odium upon their own country in proportion as they exaggerate the advantages of ours.' In the course of his travels, he fell in with Winterbotham, the dissenting minister, who being imprisoned in the early part of the French Revolution, for uttering sedition in a sermon, occupied the time of his confinement in the compilation of a history, or more properly an account, of Ame; rica. Winterbotham's was a hard case: he himself always denied having used the expressions for which he was found guilty, and it was the firm belief
of his friends and of his congregation, that he had been convicted upon false evidence: it is the more honourable to him, that being thus an aggrieved man, he should afterwards have condemned himself for entering into the views of the political reformers. 'I heard him say,' says Mr. Silliman," that he considered the views of his old coadjutors as hostile to religion and the best interests of mankind;' and in proof of this, he related a number of anecdotes concerning the communications made to him by his associates in Newgate, who had fallen into like condemnation. One of them told him that his views and those of his friends were not confined to the reformation of the government, and that when affairs should come into their hands, not a public teacher of religion should be suffered to exist.' Winterbotham, who had not contemplated such extremities, resolutely replied, “Sir, I am a preacher; and the moment I get free from prison, I shall preach again. Then, Sir, replied his companion, I will be the first to plunge a dagger into your bosom. This fact alone ought to prove what indeed no reflecting person can doubt, that if the fabric of government in this country was overthrown, the English Revolu
tion would have its Robespierres and its Heberts ; its proscriptions and persecutions; a course as bloody as that which we have witnessed in France; and in all probability, a far more deplorable termination.
We will quote one more anecdote from Mr. Silliman, and in his own words. It is related upon the authority of a gentleman old enough to have known the fact, and respectable enough to be entitled to full belief.
. It seems that Hume received a religious education from his mother, and early in life was the subject of strong and hopeful religious impressions ; but as he approached manhood they were effaced, and confirmed infidelity succeeded. Maternal partiality, however alarmed at first, came at length to look with less and less pain upon this declension, and filial love and reverence seem to have been absorbed in the pride of philosophical scepticisin : for Hume now applied bimself with unwearied and unhappily with successful efforts, to sap the foundation of his mother's faith. Having succeeded in this dreadful work, he went abroad into foreign countries ; and as he was returning, an express met him in London, with a letter from his mother, informing him that she was in a deep decline, and could not long survive: she said she found herself without any support in her distress ; that he had taken away that source of comfort upon which in all cases of affliction she used to rely, and that she now found her mind sinking into despair: she did not doubt that her son would afford ber some substitute for her religion, and she conjured bim to hasten to her, or at least to send her a letter, containing such consolations as philosophy can afford to a dying mortal. Hume was overwhelmed with anguish on receiving this letter, and bastened to Scotland, travelling day and night; but before he arrived, his mother expired. No permanent impression seems however to have been made on his mind by this most trying event; and whatever remorse he might have felt at the moment, he soon relapsed into his wonted obduracy of heart.'
A story like this requires no comment. Thus it is that false philosophy restores the sting to Death, and gives again the victory to the Grave!
The Duc de Levis thinks that this philosophy had very little to do in England. The people of that country, so renowned for the rectitude of their judgment,' had been 'cured of the deplorable follies of puritanism, even before the Revolution of 1688, and at this time it is not necessary to live long in England to discover that theism is the most common religious opinion, and that the Establishment is supported and respected merely as a useful institution. The Duke seems to believe that he compliments the English by delivering this opinion. Were it well founded, there would be no hope of that stability in our political constitution pyhich the writer thinks certain. There are but three changes, he
says, which the English constitution can undergo; it may become an absolute monarchy, the Parliament either being destroyed, or retaining only a nominal existence ;-it may become an aristocracy, the monarchy being abolished, and Parliament uniting in itself the executive and legislative powers ; it may become a democracy, administered by revocable and temporary representatives, the monarchy and the peerage being abolished. The Duke proceeds to show with sufficient force, the reasons which render the two first of these changes in the highest degree improbable; the other alternative he dismisses with contempt; it is so little probable, he says, and such a government has so little analogy with the manners, the habits, and the prejudices of our old Europe, that he shall not dwell upon it ;-it would evidently be nothing more than a state of anarchy and transition : but is it equally certain that we are in no danger of being brought into that state?
One thing,' says the Gallo-American observer, ' surprises us more and more every day, -it is the great number of people who disapprove not only the present measures of Ministers, but the form and constitution of the government itself. It is stigmatized as vicious, corrupt, and in its decay, without hope or remedy but in a general reform, and in fact a revolution. It appears to me that the friends of the administration, and of all administrations, are in a small minority: of the other two parties, one does not seem disposed to approve
of nistration, and neither of the present. This is a most alarming state of things ; a spark might set the whole political machine in a blaze ; and yet looking around at the appearance of all things, it seems a pity that so much good should necessarily be abandoned in pursuit of better, and by the means of a revolution. Every body disclaims a revolution à la Française ; but who is so presumptious as to fancy a revolution," when once begun, can be guided and stopped at pleasure ?'
The question is easily answered; every revolutionary faction, and every revolutionary leader,--witness the Constitutionalists, the Girondistes, and the Jacobines in France; witness, La Fayette, Brissot, Petion, Danton, and Robespierre.
These were the first feelings of a judicious, dispassionate, and perfectly impartial observer. As he remained longer in England, and travelled farther from the metropolis, he thought that the spirit of discontent was in great measure confined to London ; and that in the country fewer persons spoke of revolution, either to wish or fear it, or believe the people ripe for it. By this time he began to understand something of the excess to which the spirit of party is carried in England, to the destruction of all sense of right and wrong, honour, veracity, patriotism, and principle of every kind; but in supposing that the public themselves saw this in the same light, M. Simond was mistaken : party writers, he says, speaking