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of the United States, and apply to the and respectabilities; for when, in poPresident for recognition. Should the litical contests, any great villany is President comply, he would be im- contemplated, there are always found peached by an unrecognized House some eminently respectable men, with a before an "incomplete" Senate, and, fixed capital of certain eminently conif convicted, would deny the validity servative phrases, innocently ready of the proceeding. The result would
. The result would to furnish the wolves of politics with be civil war, in which the name of the abundant supplies of sheep's clothing. Federal government would be on the These dignified dupes are more than side of the revolutionists. Such is the usually active at the present time; and programme which is freely discussed the gravity of their speech is as edifyby partisans of the President, con- ing as its emptiness. Immersed in sidered to be high in his favor; and words, and with no clear perception the scheme, it is contended, is the logi- of things, they mistake conspiracy for cal result of the position he has as- conservatism. Their pet horror is the sumed as to the rights of the excluded term “radical”; their ideal of heroic States to representation. It is certain patriotism, the spectacle of a great nathat the present Congress is as much tion which allows itself to be ruined the Congress of the United States as with decorum, and dies rather than he is the President of the United commit the slightest breach of constiStates ; but it is well known that he tutional etiquette. This insensibility considers himself to represent the to facts and blindness to the tendency whole country, while he thinks that of events, they call wisdom and moderCongress only represents a portion of ation. Behind these political dummies it; and he has in his character just are the real forces of the Johnson parthat combination of qualities, and is ty, men of insolent spirit, resolute will, placed in just those anomalous circum- embittered temper, and unscrupulous stances, which lead men to the com- purpose, who clearly know what they mission of great political crimes. The are after, and will hesitate at no “inmere hint of the possibility of his at- formality” in the attempt to obtain it. tempting a coup d'état is received by To give these persons political power some Republicans with a look of in- will be to surrender the results of the credulous surprise; yet what has his war, by placing the government practiadministration been to such persons cally in the hands of those against but a succession of surprises ?
whom the was waged. No But whatever view may be taken of smooth words about “the equality the President's designs, there can be of the States,” “the necessity of conno doubt that the safety, peace, inter- ciliation,” “the wickedness of secest, and honor of the country depend tional conflicts,” will alter the fact, on the success of the Union Republic that, in refusing to support Congress, cans in the approaching elections. The the people would set a reward on loyal nation must see to it that the For- treachery and place a bounty on treatieth Congress shall be as competent to “ The South,” says a Mr. Hill override executive vetoes as the Thirty- of Georgia, in a letter favoring the Ninth, and be equally removed from the Philadelphia Convention, “ sought to peril of being expelled for one more in save the Constitution out of the Union. harmony with Executive ideas. The She failed. Let her now bring her disame earnestness, energy, patriotism, minished and shattered, but united and and intelligence which gave success earnest counsels and energies to save to the war, must now be exerted to the Constitution in the Union.” The reap its fruits and prevent its recur- sort of Constitution the South sought
The only danger is, that, in to save by warring against the governsome representative districts, the peo- ment is the Constitution which she now ple may be swindled by plausibilities proposes to save by administering it! Is
this the tone of pardoned and penitent tions shall have proved that they have treason ? Is this the spirit to build up as little to expect from the next Cona “ National Union Party”? No; but gress as from the present, and that they it is the tone and spirit now fashionable must give securities for their future conin the defeated Rebel States, and will duct before they can be relieved from not be changed until the autumn elec- the penalties incurred by their past.
REVIEWS AND LITERARY NOTICES.
Armadale. A Novel. By WILKIE COL· motion is therefore out of the question, so LINS. New York: Harper and Brothers. far as Mr. Collins is concerned ; and we can
merely examine his defective machinery, Except for the fact that there is nothing with many a regret that a plan so ingenious, at all automatic in his inventions, there and devices so labored and costly, should seems to be no good reason why Mr. Col- be of no better effect. lins should not make a perpetual motion. We think, indeed, that all his stories are He has a surprising mechanical faculty, and constructed upon a principle as false to art great patience and skill in passing the fig- as it is false to life. In this world, we have ures he contrives through the programme first men and women, with certain wellarranged for them. Having read one of his known good and evil passions, and these novels, you feel as if you had been amused passions are the causes of all the events with a puppet-show of rare merit, and that happen in the world. We doubt if it you would like to have the ingenious mech- has occurred to any of our readers to see a anician before the curtain. So much clev- set of circumstances, even of the most reerness, however, seems to be thrown away lentless and malignant description, grouping on the entertainment of a single evening, themselves about any human being without and you sigh for its application to some the agency of his own love or hate. Yet this work of more lasting usefulness; and the is what happens very frequently in Mr. Colperpetual motion occurs to you as the thing lins's novels, impoverishing and enfeebling worthiest such powers. Let it be a perpetual his characters in a surprising degree, and literary motion, if the public please. Given reducing them to the condition of juiceless a remarkable dream and a beautiful bad
puppets without proper will or motion. It woman to fulfil it; you have but to ampli- is not that they are all wanting in verisimilify the vision sufficiently, and your beautiful tude. Even the entirely wicked Miss Gwilt bad woman goes on fulfilling it forever in is a conceivable character ; but, being destens of thousands of volumes. As the tined merely to fulfil Armadale's dream, she brother of De Quincey said, when propos- loses all freedom of action, and, we must ing to stand on the ceiling, head downwards, say, takes most clumsy and hopeless and and be spun there like a whip-top, thus long-roundabout methods of accomplishing overcoming the attraction of gravitation by crimes, to which one would have thought a the mere rapidity of revolution, “If you lady of her imputed sagacity would have can keep it up for an instant, you can keep found much shorter cuts. It is amazing it up all day.” Alas ! it is just at this point and inartistic, however, that after all her that the fatal defect of Mr. Collins's mechan- awkwardness she should fail. Given a ism appears. But for the artisan's hand, blockhead like Armadale, and a dreamer the complicated work would not start at all, like Midwinter, there is no reason in naand we perceive that, if he lifted it for a ture, and no reason in art, why a lady of moment from the crank, the painfully con- Miss Gwilt's advantages should not marry trived dream would drop to pieces, and the both of them; and the author's overruling beautiful bad woman would come to a jerky on this point is more creditable to his heart stand-still in the midst of her most atro. than to his head. These three people are cious development. A perpetual literary the chief persons of the story, and their
hands are tied from first to last. They are personal adventure, it does not suggest it. not to act out their characters: they are to self as part of the history of our late war, act out the plot; and the author's designs and, but for the recurrence of the familiar are accomplished in defiance of their sey- names of American persons and places, it eral natures. Some of the minor persons might pass for the narrative of either of are not so ruthlessly treated. The Pedgifts, the distinguished characters mentioned. father and son, are free agents, and they In dealing with events creditable to his are admirably true to their instincts of up- own courage and gallantry, Colonel Gilright, astute lawyers, who love best to em- more has the unsparing frankness of Maploy their legal shrewdness in a good cause. jor Gahagan, and it must be allowed that Their joint triumph over Miss Gwilt is there is a remarkable likeness in all the probable and natural, and would be a suc- adventures of these remarkable men. It is cessful point in the book, if it were conceiv- true that Colonel Gilmore does not fire upon able that she should expose herself to such a file of twenty elephants so as to cut away a defeat by so much needless.plotting with all their trunks by a single shot ; but he Mrs. Oldershaw. But to fill so large a does kill eleven Yankees by the discharge stage, an immense deal of by-play was ne- of a cannon which he touches off with a live cessary, and great numbers of people are coal held between his thumb and finger. visibly dragged upon the scene. Some of Being made prisoner, he is quite as defiant these accomplish nothing in the drama. To and outrageous as the Guj-puti under simiwhat end have we so much of Mr. Brock? lar circumstances : at one time he can Others elaborately presented only contrib. scarcely restrain himself from throwing into ute to the result in the most intricate and the sea the insolent captain of a Federal tedious way; and in Major Milroy's fam- gunboat; at another time, when handcuffed ily there is no means of discovering that by order of General Sheridan, he spends an Miss Gwilt is an adventuress, but for Mrs. hour in cursing his captors. The red-hair Milroy to become jeal of her and to of the Lord of the White Elephants waved open her letters.
his followers to victory ; Colonel Gilmore's It cannot, of course, be denied that Mr. “ hat, with the long black plume upon it,” Collins's stories are interesting ; for an infi- is the signal of triumph to his marauders. nite number of persons read them through. Both, finally, are loved by the ladies, and But it is the bare plot-that interests, and are alike extravagant in their devotion to the disposition of mankind to listen to story
Colonel Gilmore, indeed, withtelling is such that the idlest conteur can holds no touch that can go to make him entertain. We must demand of literary the hero of a dime novel ; and there is not art, however, that it shall interest in peo- a more picturesque and dashing character ple's fortunes by first interesting in people. in literature outside of the adventures of Can any one of all Mr. Collins's readers Claude Duval. Everywhere we behold him declare that he sympathizes with the loves waving his steel (as he calls his sword); he of Armadale and Neelie Milroy, or actu
wheels before our dazzled eyes like a meally cares a straw what becomes of either teor ; he charges, and the foe fly like sheep of those insipid young persons ? Neither is before him. And no sooner is he come Midwinter one to take hold on like or dis- into town from killing a score or two of like ; and Miss Gwilt is interesting only as Yankees, than the ladies — who are all good the capable but helpless spider out of which Union women and have just taken the oath of the plot of the story is spun. Pathos there allegiance — crowd to kiss and caress him ; is not in the book, and the humor is alto- or, as he puts it in his own vivid language, gether too serious to laugh at.
he receives "a kiss from more than one pair of ruby lips, and gives many a hearty hug
and kiss in return." In his wild way, he Four Years in the Saddle. By COLONEL takes a pleasure in evoking the tender so
HARRY GILMORE. New York: Harper' licitude of the ladies for his safety, — eats and Brothers.
a dish of strawberries in a house upon which
the Yankees are charging to capture him, It is sometimes difficult to believe, in and remains for some minutes after the reading this book, that it is not the produc- strawberries are eaten, while the ladies, tion of Major Gahagan of the Ahmednug. proffering him his arms, are “ dancing about, gar Irregulars, or Mr. Barry Lyndon of and positively screaming with excitement." Castle Lyndon. Being merely a record of At another time, when the bullets of the enemy are hissing about his ears, he puts however brave and resolute, scarcely exulton a pretty girl's slipper for her. “Such," ed in the remembrance of the lives they had he remarks, with a pensive air, "are some taken; and it is thought to be one of the
of the few happy scenes that brighten a sol- merciful features of modern warfare, that . dier's life.”
in the vast majority of cases the slayer and Colonel Gilmore, who has the diffidence the slain are unknown to each other. Coloof Major Gahagan, has also the engaging nel Gilmore has none of the false tenderartlessness which lends so great a charm to ness which shrinks from a knowledge of the personal narrative of Mr. Barry Lyndon. homicide. On the contrary, he is careful to He does not reserve from the reader's know when he has killed a man; and he reknowledge such of his exploits as stealing counts, with an exactness revolting to feethe chaplain's whiskey, and drinking the bler nerves, the circumstances and the methpeach-brandy of the simple old woman who ods by which he put this or that enemy to supposed she was offering it to General death. Lee. “ Place him where you may,” says We think we could hardly admire Colo. Colonel Gilmore, “and under no matter nel Gilmore if he had been of our side durwhat adverse circumstances, you can al ing the war, and had done to the Rebels ways distinguish a gentleman.” He has a the things he professes to have done to us. great deal of fine feeling, and can scarcely As it is, we trust he will forgive us, if we restrain his tears at the burning of Cham- confess that we have not read his narrabersburg, after setting it on fire. Desiring tive with a tranquil stomach, and that we a memento of a brother officer, he takes a think it will impress his Northern readers small piece of the dead man's skull. It as the history of a brigand who had the has been supposed that civilized soldiers, good luck to be also a traitor.
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