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honor see that we are not the offenders.
To this England says, that she is greatly interested in the transit and wishes to become a party to the treaty. The claim is perfectly just, and Mr. Dallas did perfectly right in admitting it, and making it the basis of the joint treaty. And what is the objection? Simply this that England has no right at all in the matter, that she is always thrusting herself forward, and that she is a universal cormorant of advantages and possessions. Now the famous Monroe doctrine is nothing but the application of this very British policy to American affairs. It was simply taking the refusal of this continent. England had the start in the East, and so America asserted its claim to the West. On the ground of principle, in the matter, both nations stand precisely alike. America assumes the right, and, perhaps, only bides her time, to treat Cuba and Central America precisely as England treatod India.
In the present case, the claims of Great Britain to a practical interest in the question have already been allowed by us in the Clayton-Bulwer treaty ; and even had they not been so, the interest of the first commercial power in the world, in any fresh facilities of commercial communication, is sufficiently evident. Beside this general interest, the curious inquirer will learn, that England has long enjoyed distinctly conceded rights in Honduras, and that the chief commerce of all the neighboring states of Central America is almost monopolized by her. By its situation, and peculiar formation, Central America is one of the most important points in the world. Every commercial and enterprising nation on the globe is directly interested in the impartial settlement of the right of way through the country. England justly resists any exclusive claim of any foreign power upon that soil; and the treaty of Mr. Dallas, so far as it is known, fairly expresses the sentiment of the intelligent and patriotic mass of the American people.
There is still, happily, a moral sentiment in this country, which is distinctively American, and honors that name so much, that it would willingly fight rather than see it desecrated. That
sentiment was fully aroused and interested in the recent presidential election, and will not again fall into political indifference. So long as a country of popular institutions has a conscience, represented by a considerable body of voters, that country is safe. Within the last two years—as we believe-we, as a people, have passed the greatest peril with which we were ever threatened. The repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and the Kansas-Nebraska bill, were the high-water marks of a slave despotism. Those waters were happily driven back, before the harvests of the future were totally submerged. The shock, which the good sense and patriotism of the country received, showed itself in the vital excitement of the presidential election, and scored itself upon our history in that prodigious combined vote of the opposition, amounting to more than two millions, against the eighteen hundred thousand that elected Mr. Buchanan. The great battle is still to be fought, day by day, but that shock will keep the public conscience alive. Men who have hitherto scorned politics will now consent to mingle in them, conscious that politics can be purified only by That mingling principle with them. process develops a patriotism of which "General" Walker is not a representative; which loves its country as the great means of future civilization and human progress; and that patriotism would fight to the death rather than that country should, by a single meanness or crime, dishonor its divine intention, and disappoint forever the secret hope of humanity.
We repeat, the great battle is still to be fought; and, if we thought so last summer, how much more so now, after our new President's inaugural and the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Dred Scott case. The maddest dogma of Mr. Calhoun has now received the deliberate sanction of the highest official legal authority in the land. That decision was the true inaugural of the first President ever elected by a sectional vote in the country. The result of that decision is the loss of respect, in all manly minds, for a republican tribunal which, in spirit, decides against humanity, and, conse quently, against God.
-DR. KANE returned from his last arctic voyage in the autumn of 1855; he died in Cuba in February, 1857, and, in March, 1857, upon the last day of the session, the House of Representatives of the United States concurred in the joint resolution of the Senate, decreeing medals to him and his officers. The same Senate had, previously, refused to purchase a number of copies of his last work.
The Congress of the United States was too late. The dead wear no medals. If Dr. Kane deserved an expression of national gratitude, the nation knew his deserts quite as well a year since as it did on the 4th of March. It is only the truth to say, that no other great country, through its accredited Representatives, would have omitted expressing, a long time ago, its sense of the honor conferred upon it by the latest achievement of a heroic life lost in its service.
Patriotic service is of many kinds. Soldiers, sailors, and statesmen may be patriots; so are artists, discoverers, mechanics, and all citizens who, in any way, increase the national glory. In our recent history we shall not find many men who have more worthily earned that name than Kane. Brave, accomplished, modest, fearless; of a singular sweetness and calmness of character and manner; showing the right to command, by his superior sagacity and accurate science; ardent, genial, and devoted, his career was a rare union of romantic circumstance and stern and valuable achievement.
The great arctic problem was little in itself. The discovery of a northwest passage could be of very small practical advantage to the commerce of the world; but it was a question of knowledge only to be answered by heroic and perilous research. It was one of the very few remaining great geographical problems, like that of the sources of the Nile. The enterprise of the leading civilized nations was simultaneously pressing forward to their solution, and, to the noble career of discovery, America contributed Kane. While Germans and Englishmen were plucking out the heart of the mystery of Africa, and brave Englishmen and Frenchmen perished
at the pole, Kane took the torch from their hands, and threw a further light into the polar gloom. In doing this, he placed his country among those powers that directly aim to enlarge the limits of human knowledge; in doing it, he placed himself among the most eminent of that country's children; and, in writing his account of it, of which we took proper notice at the time of publication toward the close of last year, he built his best and most imperishable monument. Longer experience has only verified our views. His book will have the perennial charm and interest of Robinson Crusoe.
But nature extorted the penalty of his daring. He had said to her: "You shall not freeze any secret so fast, that I will not melt it from you to flow in a stream of daily knowledge by men's doors." She made no answer, but she laid her cold finger imperceptibly upon his life. The austere polar silence seemed to say, "If you probe my secret, you shall find it a fatal Medusa beauty."
Those who were admitted to the intimacy of the discoverer, know how faithfully he labored after his return, amid pain and exhaustion, and uncertain but not yet disastrous forebodings. With the conclusion of his work, the nervous tension of his system relaxed, and the prints of the fatal finger became more evident. He sailed to England, which offered him instantly, but unavailingly, all the honors of its homage and hospitality. He was scarcely seen in public, so rapidly did he decline. He sailed toward the equator to find a balm for the icy venom of the pole; but he still languished in the arms of friendly and maternal care, and died, an honored friend, among strangers.
Every hero dies too sooh for the world; but no man dies too soon for himself, who, at the age of thirty-six, has made his name and heroic memory dear to history. All men naturally love the poets, and the heroes, who are only poets in action. It seems but yesterday that we marked that springing tread, that erect form, that beaming eye. It will seem but yesterday forever.
-Ticknor & Fields have commenced the publication of the "household edition"
of Scott, which is intended to be the best family edition. Waverley is already issued, and the series certainly promises to do what it is designed to do. The form is convenient, the type is clear and legible, and the whole book has the air of elegance which characterizes the publications of that firm. Of the illustrations in the specimens we cannot speak favorably. The head of Scott is good; but the other cuts are poor. The enterprise is an assured success, for the fame of Scott is permanent. He is one of the world's benefactors. He spoke ill of his own pursuits; he had no remarkable reverence for the literary vocation; he was a conservative in life and literature; but he was a man of such genial and expansive soul, so hearty, and healthy, and genuine, that we cannot wonder at the witty sigh of a friend who, speaking of the humanitarian and reform novels, and the whole modern school which he denounced, and which we defended, exclaimed: "Ah! well, Walter Scott was the last literary man who believed in shoulders." And, surely, if there were ever brawn in genius, it is in his, and we are proud and glad of an American edition of his novels worthy his fame and ourselves.
-So deeply embittered is theological ink with gall, that it is not easy to treat any subject connected with theology with out a trace of bitterness. The ecclesiastical journals and reviews present a bristling array of opposing articles from which the political press might almost learn malignity. But in The American Pulpit, by HENRY FOWLER, Professor of Political Economy in the University of Rochester (J. M. Fairchild & Co., New York), the author has written a series of biographical and descriptive sketches in ink as pure as that which traced the "Sketch-book" or the "Spectator." It is a book of theological portraits, but it is as friendly, and sympathetic, and catholic, as if it treated of streams and trees. It would be very difficult to ascertain, from its pages, to what particular sect the author himself belongs. The criticisms of Dr. Dewey and Dr. Williams, for instance, are equally thoughtful and perspicacious. The notice of Mr. Beecher is elaborate, evidently a labor of love, and an admirable analysis of his peculiar genius. In truth, the volume is a valuable addition to our current history; and, to the curious student of American
character and life, it is full of interest and significance. The selections from the writings of the subjects are copious and characteristic, and the illustrations are by far the most living likenesses we have ever seen in engravings.
-Examples from the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries-First Series (C. Scribner, New York), is a little volume from one of the veterans of our literature, Mrs. SIGOURNEY. Of late years her pen flows more readily into prose than was its old wont, and in all she writes there is such evident goodness that the reader is inclined only to thank the kind hand that has arranged the little feast. Mrs. Sigourney's success is the triumph of amiability in iterature. In the present work she bas told the story of the life of several very different people who lived during the last century, who were distinguished for nothing so much as Christian excellence of character. There is scarcely a name of "a genius" in the list, except it be that of Franklin. The little volume is capital, and interesting reading for little people. But we could wish there had been less distinction made between what the author calls "the people of God" and the rest of the world. A formal profession of religion does not constitute a person one of "the people of God," and, to imply that it does so, is to injure the heart of the child and the cause of good morals. We do not accuse our author of any such intention. It is merely a fashion of speech-but it is a very bad fashion.
- We cannot but yearn toward our own bantlings, and we greet with pride and pleasure the rollicking Scampavías of Lieut. WISE-Harry Gringo--(C. Scribner), which has lighted up many of our pages during the last year. It has a sparkling naval dash, a boisterous bonhommie, a continual vivacity, which remind us of certain strains of Willis, although the resemblance ends with the suggestion. Lieut. Wise has already a name in our literature of travel. Los Gringos and Tales for the Marines have made their mark, and we do not think Scampavias falls behind. It reads like the journal of a clever middy, with clear eyes and a quick mind; and whoever would dance over the Mediterranean, and land on pleasant and famous shores, and see a grotesque variety of life, will embark in this jolly-boat with Harry Gringo.
Doubts concerning the Battle of Bunker Hill (James Monroe & Co., Boston) is a little volume in the vein of Whately's Doubts about Napoleon. It is done with skill and spirit.
- Poems by W. W. CALDWELL, from the same house, are pleasing, but the book is mainly valuable for containing copious translations from Geibel, one of the most popular of contemporary German poets, of whom very little is known in this country. Many of them are in the less sardonic style of Heine's little songs.
-VAUX's Villas and Cottages (Harpers, New York). Mr. Vaux is a young Englishman, now for some years resident in this country, whither he accompanied Mr. Downing, of whom he was a partner in business, and in accomplishment and taste. His book is of the most valuable kind: full of admirable hints and suggestions, and abundantly and intelligently illus trated. We have constant need of such works as this, for nowhere else in the world is there such constant building and so loud a call for the union of cheapness and beauty in domestic architecture. Mr. Vaux brings great common sense to the support of his science and skill, and has produced one of the most valuable contributions to its department we have yet had. We hope, at an early date, to recur to this volume as the text of some general observations upon the subject which it treats.
-By the Wigwam and the Cabin, Redfield continues the publication of Mr. SIMMS's novels. Mr. Simms promises to rival Cooper in the number of his works, at least. They have attained a distinct place in our literary history, but they can hardly be called popular or familiar. In spite of the stirring scenes in which they are laid, and the often wild and striking adventure with which they abound, they have an undeniable tendency to prosiness, and the interest of description in them, which necessarily soon tires, is superior to that of characterization. In respect, however, of constructive talent and affluence of production, Mr. Simms takes precedence of any other of our distinctive southern authors. Mr. Wirt and Mr. Legaré, who are usually quoted as the Pillars of Hercules of our southern literature, were both polished, and graceful, and accomplished essayists; but they displayed none of the nerve or continuity of Simms. It still
remains a marvel to us why the name of the distinguished novelist was omitted in the list of gentlemen appointed by the Savannah convention to engender and foster a peculiarly local literature for the south.
-The Minnesota Hand-book, for 1856-7. By NATHAN H. PARKER. Boston: Jewett & Co. The Iowa Hand-book for 1856. (The same.) Minnesota and Dacotah. By C. C. ANDREWS, counselor-at-law, editor of the Official Opinions of the Attorney-General of the U. S. Washington: published by R. Farnham.
These books are all useful and interesting, but will disappoint those who expect to find in them careful descriptions and judicious estimates of the qualities and promises to emigrants of different parts of the vast region they relate to, or even full and exact data by which they may form a satisfactory judgment, without laborious personal examination for themselves; they have all the quality, and produce the impression of advertisements, and the reader is prepared to find, at the conclusion of each of Mr. Parker's, an offer of his services as a general real-estate broker. Mr. Andrews's is scarcely less profuse in the application of superlative adjectives, indiscriminately to the soil, scenery, townsites, editors, and tavern and shop-keepers, with which he either came into personal contact, or of which or whom he has oc
casion to speak from rumor. We regret that he should not have given a more comprehensive and far-reaching judgment upon the character and destiny of even the small portion of Minnesota and Dacotah which came under his personal observation. One letter, of seventeen pages, is devoted to the bar of Minnesota, and commences as follows:-"I have not yet been inside a court of justice, nor seen a case tried, since I have been in the territory. But it has been my pleasure to meet one of the judges of the Supreme Court, and several prominent members of the bar." Hence the propriety of a legal essay, of which six pages are quoted from Justice Talfourd.
A critical study of our new settlements of the Northwest, if made by a competent person, not completely magnetized by the universal speculating and puffing disposition of the inhabitants, would afford materials for a very valuable and interesting addition to our libraries.
"A particular arrangement of reflecting surfaces."
A TOWN ECLOGUE.-The Home Journal published, a short time since, a delicate bit of satire, in the form of a dialogue between three poets of the modern school, who are bewailing the decline of taste (i. e. the rejection of their manuscripts), in front of Ticknor & Fields's book store. The writer, with most exquisite irony, has put the current forms of expression-halfcento, half fluent nonsense-in the mouths of the speakers, so as to make the absurdity still more willful, as for instance, the half-cento style
Orpheus breathing "in his shell," is a
"I would not curse the planets of my day:"
"I would not weep my little life away,
"The myths have flown. But O, thank God,
Break with as grand a music on the pines,
What a "silver shiver" is being left to the imagination. An emigrant nightingale in America, sending any kind of a shiver through the midnight air, should be arrested at once, and put in quarantine. "The wild rose reddens, and the lily pales."
This is too commonplace; we would suggest, "The lily reddens and the wild rose pales." as more striking.
"And spring comes to us beautiful and fair."
The spring comes to us in place of our going to it.
"The brooklet sings; the yellow hauberked bee
Flies with the robins through the summer leaves."
A hauberked bee flying with a robin has probably never been seen by any living person. The adjective "hauberked" is peculiarly good; "corsleted" having been done by earlier poets, "hauberked" has an air of originality.
"The autumn's golden fingers gild the grain."
Sweet and albuminous image; and autumn's gilding the grain of spring, excellent!
"Nothing seems old and wrinkled but the sea, Which o'er some strange and awful secret grieves."
The idea of a submarine secret hidden in the bosom of the ocean-very Richard the Thirdish! But here come the big lines