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some dream that the English aristocracy are to | Barbarism connects scorn, contempt, and meancontinue the only instance of their order unre- ness with poverty and weakness; and the Esduced in Europe. Children build castles on the tablished Churches embody the feelings of barsand within tide-mark, and fancy they will not be demolished by the advancing waves.
"The most ominous quarrel for the aristocracy is that begun in England and completed in Scotland with the clergy respecting ecclesiastical power. The principle of the letter of Sir J. Graham, by alienating all earnest clergymen from connexion with the aristocracy, must in the end wither the arm of lordly power. Ministers are the greatest destructives of the day. When the bulk of the people of the Established Kirk leave her, they escape from her aristocratic influences. Moderate parsons, by taking the stipends and doing the bidding of the patrons, will not thereby become a link between them and the population. The passions and principles which in Scotland demand the reduction of aristocratic power, have hitherto been greatly restrained by the Evangelical clergy-thanks to the Peel Ministry, the restraint has become an impetus. Aristocratic doctrines will, undoubtedly, be taught for the aristocratic stipends. But, like Dean Swift, when his audience consisted of his clerk only, the preachers will have to say instead of dearly beloved brethren, Dearly beloved Roger, be a Tory.' The bits of bread will buy the bits of sycophancy. Hitherto, at most of the elections since the Reform Act, the Evangelical clergy have voted for the Tories, and to their influence over the political serfs of the counties coes the aristocratic party owe its position. This will never happen again. At the next general election, happen when it may, the Tories will have nothing to back them but the brute power of property.
barism by excluding the lowly from power and
"Ministers have weakened the hold, the moral hold which the aristocracy have on their lands. The Conservatives have unsettled property. They have declared to all the world that clergymen can derive incomes from land only on terms deemed sinful by all churches. Subjection to Cæsar in the things of God is the indispensable tenure of tiends and tithes. Even stipends from land can be held only by allowing the aristocratic will to lord it over the sacred rite "By the secession of the Evangelical party, of ordination. Thousands, however, of the best the aristocracy will lose dignity. They may minds in the three kingdoms judge the right of not see how this will happen; but they will find the clergy to their endowments to be superior it to their cost. They will have yet to pay a and stronger than the title of the landlords to high price for their patronage in filling the va- their estates. They would blot the baronial cancies. The Moderate Erastian, anti-Evan hall from the landscape sooner than the church gelical Establishment has not had, and when with its skyward spire. The reason why clergythe vacant stipends have found lifters will not men should enjoy the fruits of the soil, seem to have, any moral influence, over the people. them stronger than the reasons for giving the They will be odious to all men, and will involve aristocracy a monopoly of the earth. The clergy their patrons in their odium. Were I asked to they think came better by their property than name one of the worst effects of Church Estab- the aristocracy. When certain barons and chieflishments I should say-they neutralize the tains were asked of old to show the titles by Christian idea of dignity. The servant is great- which they held their lands-they drew their est in the New Testament-the lord is greatest swords. A soldier laid a village in ashes and in the Established Churches. A God-like dig- strewed it with the corpses of its owners, and nity, according to Christianity, invests the ser- thus his blood-covered sword made him lord of vant who, victorious over selfishness, does, the village. A chieftain and his clan seized a makes, and suffers most for others. According district, and held it by the sword, making the to Establishments, power and honor, the appoint- eagle's feather in his bonnet the symbol of his ment of the pastor, the highest place, the pew sovereignty over hill, and vale, and stream. adorned with armorial bearings, the glaring es- Time puts his cloudy hand over these transaccutcheon, the black hangings, and the bannered tions. The descendant of the feudal baron is tomb, belong to proud and triumphant Selfish-clad in ermine instead of mail, and the chief of ness, riding in painted coaches, clothed in ermine, and tricked out in stars, swords, and coronets. In the Bible glory is a radiance from the man: in the Establishments the honor follows the accidents. Christ says, honor most those who are most successfully unselfish-asistocratic churches say by all their peculiar influences, honor most those who are selfish most successfully.
the clan is seen oftener in the clubs of Pallmall than on the heather of his native hills. But men now-a-days suspect there is nothing high, holy, noble, or divine, in what was done either by the sword or by time. Many see nothing but bold selfishness in these affairs. An owner of land, awakened to religious views, feels that he cannot better bestow a part of it than by giving it
to keep up for ever a church, and a clergyman | "to beg him not to banish the Gospel."
his will may be formed by the most skeptical and estates, the aristocracy are making the vital
"The aristocracy cannot afford to quarrel with the clergy."
We conclude our desultory remarks with a few words respecting what ought to be done with Lord Aberdeen's bill, the posi tion of the Professors who have seceded, and what we think the present duties of Voluntaries and Radicals in Scotland.
Lord Aberdeen's bill has, it is said, reached the commons, only in consequence of his threatening to resign his office if his Since the above was written, new facts colleagues did not overcome their repughave abundantly confirmed the argument.nance to it and support it. Shrewd people A Highland chieftain with whom we had a chat the other day, not on his native heather but in a gorgeous club in Pallmall, told us the following incident expressive of some of the consequences of this question in reference to aristocratic property. He found one morning recently, between sixty and seventy of his poor people assembled before his house in the Highlands. He went down to them. "They had come," they said,
always suspect a man of the vices of which
admission of a presentee to a benefice, but they must record their reasons for the revision of the Civil Courts. The Church Courts are empowered to decide absolutely on the objections of the people and intrude any man they like in defiance of them. Before they can reject the presentee of the patron, their reasons must be such as will seem satisfactory in a court of civil law. Seemingly the measure cuts right down between the patron and the people, but the ecclesiastical Foreign Secretary takes care to put the poisoned side of the knife towards the people. The facetious illustrations of its absurdity which we have seen, however witty, have not been quite apt. It does not lock the door of the stable when the steed has been stolen, but it creates a disturbance among the horses that remain. It is not a case of a surgeon who, having brought his instruments, performs the operation although the patient is dead; it is a case of a surgeon who, missing the patient that called him in, operates on the first person that falls in his way. But no Tory surgery will save the Kirk. The Conservatives, whether Whig or Tory, will not be able to maintain for one million an intolerable burden on two millions of Scotchmen. life has fled from the Kirk. The spirit of John Knox has left it. The genius of Presbyterianism is gone. The Establishment is a corpse without salt on its breast.
The Professors of the Universities are bound to sign the Confession, conform to the worship, and refrain from injuring the Establishment of the Church of Scotland. The object of these conditions was to keep out Prelatists. An attempt is made to enforce this act against the separating Professors, beginning with Sir David Brewster, who is distinguished from his colleagues in St. Andrew's by being known to Europe. The object of this act was the protection of the constitutional settlement of 1690. Sir D. Brewster and the separating Professors have left the Establishment in adherence to this very settlement. It will be strange indeed, if adherence to the thing the act protects should subject them to its penalties, while Prelatical Professors are allowed to remain unmolested. Surpassingly odd will it be should the act be used to turn out the sort of persons it was enacted to keep in, while it keeps in precisely the sort of Professors it was passed to keep out.
A few words to Radicals and Voluntaries. Why have they not seized the initiative in a movement for the reduction of the churches in all the cities. Surely their principles require this of them. Obstacles
of Presbyteries and Courts of Tiends, and legal opinions ought not to prevent them from memorializing every Town Council to avert the spectacle of highly-paid clergymen without congregations. Carping at the Free Kirkmen does not seem to be quite so much their duty as co-operating with them on the point of agreement-to avert from Scotland the calamity of an Ecclesiastical Establishment like that of Ireland. J. R.
BY MRS. ABDY.
From the Metropolitan.
ARE they not wondrous? how the sight
In every season, clime, and age,
But in the case of England and America, and in that case alone, we can approach the point of divergence, and watch the process of separation from its commencement. Mankind will eventually have an opportu and refined questions which only an argunity of examining by proof all those nice ment of remotion was before able to solve for us; it has the process going on under its eyes, and it may test by actual experiment all that was hitherto but theory and deduction.
In general, the point of divergence of two languages originally one, is concealed in the obscurity of unapproachable antiquity. That ramifications have taken place naturally, since the miracle of Babel, we For all the efforts of America to preserve have every reason to believe-but we only an identity of language with us (the only discover the streams where they are far thing she seems to wish to follow us in) apart, and it is a work of difficulty and un- will not avail to resist the immutable law certainty to trace them up to their original which ordains that nations removed shall diffluence. There are many curious cir- not be identical in any one particular; and cumstances which must strike even the even from her literature she will not long most superficial philologist in returning up be able to exclude the elements of change, these streams. The few parent-fountains which in the volume before us begin to forming the miraculous origin of each great make a show, and give an exotic tint to family of tongues, preserve their distinctive the blossoms-and there are many bright characteristics through endless combina- ones-with which it is overspread. The tions, and tend to imprint on their deriva- vulgar tongue it is, however, which will no tives corresponding varieties of character and expression, according to their combination and arrangement. For it is of such materials that a spoken language is composed, and from such materials alone it can be modified and inflected. No power of taste, custom, or circumstances can do more than qualify one language by the admixture or extraction of other known ones; nor can the utmost ingenuity of man create new elements out of which to supply, enrich, or strengthen the current media of expression. But, subordinate to these great distinctions, there are wide differences where we can trace an original unity at a period more recent than the confusion of tongues, and in which the divarication has been caused by natural circumstances, such as the migration of tribes, colonization, conquest, geographical position, or The endeavor to hold strictly to English the long-continued friendship or hostility in literature has had its cramping effect on of neighboring nations. To apply our- the powers of American poets. In prose selves to the examination of such matters the restraint is not equally felt, or at least can never be unprofitable, even in the un- does not so severely cramp the author; certainty in which they are wrapped-we and accordingly their prose compositions say uncertainty, for we have only the in- are many of them bold, natural, and rich. ternal evidence of a language as it is, for But in verse it is essential that there should our guide; as in geology we are unable to be an entire freedom from restraint-an discover any authentic history to assist our independence of expression as well as of researches. Man in his earlier state was as utterly unconscious of the philosophy of his language as of that of his mind; and hence we must be content to meet with those difficulties by which observation upon the casual relics of unobserved changes will ever be accompanied.
doubt be the first to alter, as may be expected, it being there that the process is left to itself, and in it we could, if we were so disposed, and that our space and subject admitted of it, even now exhibit very remarkable variations, not only in words, but in idioms and forms of expression. American literature has hence a double interest with Englishmen. For a philological inquiry mixes itself with it, and urges attention as a matter of duty, where inclination would have already recommended it. It is not our part, however, to point out examples of what we have been noticing, either directly or by the selection of our quotations. It is enough to denote the commencing existence of such changes, and recommend it as a subject worthy of national observation.
thought; nor has any poet ever been able to show a bold and vigorous originality who has been obliged to watch his expressions as they arose in his mind, and square his words when written according to an unfamiliar vocabulary. Hence there is timidity and restraint in all their poetical
efforts they are laboriously correct, but But after all it will be better to give the undaring and tame; and a general absence reader an opportunity of judging for himof forcible metaphor, novel and striking self. And we purpose, in doing so, to use metre, startling eccentricity, and success-all possible impartiality in the selection, ful innovation, mark the uneasy anxiety which must after all be but a scanty gleanafter English which guided their composi-ing from such a field. It was about the tions. Of course, in so voluminous a mis- close of the seventeenth century that the cellany as that before us, this assertion will shell was first sounded beyond the Atlantic be qualified with exceptions-one must be by bards of English descent. For, quaint obvious, that of Maria Brooks's poetry, and grotesque as were the productions of (Maria Del' Occidente,) of which wild and those worthies, Folger, Mathew, and Wigreckless vigor is one of the high charac-glesworth, the circumstance of their being teristics. It must be remembered, how-published in America does not in itself conever, that she, like Irving, was a long resi- stitute them American poetry-the authors dent in England, and benefited moreover were English born, and would probably by the critical care, advice, and assistance have put forward their absurdities at home, of Southey, in whose house she was for a if they could have found a printer-with considerable time domesticated.
this difference, that their names and books would have been already in the tomb of "all the Capulets." The true commencement of American song is with Benjamin Thompson, "y renowned poet of New England." He was born at Quincy, in 1640, and wrote an astounding epic, entitled "New England's Crisis," about the year 1676. Besides this "great epic," "he wrote," says the editor of the collection before us, "three shorter poems, neither of which have much merit."
In these higher qualifications, then, we are bound to record American deficiency. Genius, the transfiguration of the beautiful into the sublime, the wings upon the head and feet, the magic wand of inspiration, are not there. Like elegant translations, or accurate copies, these writings please and satisfy, but do not move us-we admire and approve, but must refuse homage; and delightedly admit them to the shelves of our library, while we must exclude them from the sanctuary of our hearts. In such It is attempted to be proved in this vola position, however, they stand becoming-ume, that very little poetry worthy of prely they have many claims on our regard, servation was produced in America before and in one or two points, we are bound to the period of the revolution; in fact, till confess, put to shame our own modern the spirit of freedom began to influence the school. A healthy and wholesome spirit national character. "The POETRY OF THE of thought and morality uniformly pervades COLONIES," says the editor, was without their pages-a simple and safe tone of feel-originality, energy, feeling, or correctness ing is caught, we trust, from the tastes of of diction." Nothing is more easy to make their readers, and conventionally purifies their lays; there is little that is false or affected in sentiment, much less of what is pernicious or demoralizing, in the large collection they have sent over to us in this volume; or if the former admission is too strong, we may safely allow it as far as morbid and unhealthy sentiment is concerned. There is also an absence of per-dom" in the later bards of his country? sonal and political acrimony, singular enough in a people, who in plain prose must be admitted to possess a national talent for invective, whetted by constant practice, and which either argues the cautious and rigid selection of the editor, or else how completely the bards of America keep in their minds the identity of poetry and fiction; and we have a right to thank them that on such ground at least they can lay aside inveterate habits, and allow their imagination to give practical efficacy to the precept "Peace, good will towards
VOL. III. No. III. 21
than such an assertion-nothing more easy to prove. A little judicious selection in both periods will make it all plain; but, even giving him credit for making a fair selection from the colonial bards, will the specimens he produces support the implied assumption that the "spirit of liberty" has begotten "originality, energy, and free
We hesitate in replying to the question. At least we are unable to observe the strong demarcation between the two periods which he would have us recognize.
Philip Frenneau was the most distinguished poet of the revolutionary time. Out of his voluminous compositions, the editor has been able to extract a few detached scraps, fit to be ranked in a "select" collection. The equivocal merit of his verse makes us the more regret not being indulged with a little of his prose, which, as Mr. Thomas modestly remarks, "combined the beauty and smoothness of Addi