ePub 版

The increased interest in, and more strengthening of national good-will and accurate knowledge of, our country in developing commercial relations. In a Europe of late is apparent from the subsequent debate, it was shown that greater attention and sympathy accorded the increased facilities of intercourse the United States by the foreign press; had added largely to the labor and exit is evidenced by the enthusiastic wel- pense of foreign representatives, while come bestowed in every port and city they increased the need and enlarged upon our naval hero, and the honors the sphere of their duties. lavished on our household poet; it is “After the acquisition of Russian manifest in the candid and cordial ac- America,” says La Presse, “which inknowledgment of official merit and creases their domains on the Pacific, the private enterprise, whether expressed Americans have purchased from Denin the parting compliments paid a re- mark the island of St. Thomas. They tiring minister, or the prandial honors annex, also, by the same process, the offered to the patient and persistent Bay of Samana. Then, as to Mexico, American actuary of the Atlantic tele- it is indisputable that one of the causes graph ; and it finds expression in hos- of the fall of Maximilian was, at first pitality on one side of the Channel, the covert, and afterwards open opposiand the liberal interpretation of our na- ' tion of the Washington Cabinet ; quite tional proclivities by publicists on the lately, General Prim was in treaty thereother. All these signs of the times give with to cede the pearl of the Antilles, emphasis to our diplomatic influence, Cuba.

Cuba. Even in South America, the attest its renewed importance, and sug- Starry Banner presents itself as the gest its improvement. The London guardian of the little local republics Spectator, alluding to our late minister against European pretensions. There, at the Court of St. James, remarks: - also, the Monroe doctrine will produce

“We can conceive of no career more its effects. The impartial America of likely to impress upon a public which is Washington is dead. There is, now-aapt at times to talk with silly Auency of days, on the other side of the Atlantic, the superfluousness, in these days of a people that wishes to extend its acpopular government, of embassies and tion over the whole world, and which, ambassadors, than the career of the with this object, tends to become more Ambassador who for seven years has and more unitarian.” Thus, increase had to manage the relations of the of territory and neighborhood seems to two most popular governments on the necessitate fresb wisdom in our diploglobe, and but for whose personal wis- matic system, and to render it alike exdom and tact those two popular govern- pedient, and morally as well as politiments would probably at this moment cally desirable that in this, as in every be peppering each other with proclama- other national sphere of action, the soltions, orders in council, general orders, emn purpose and earnest aim of our turret guns, and all the elaborate mis- government and people should be to siles of scientific war.”

have, always and everywhere, the right A leading British statesman, in a re- man in the right place. cent discussion of the English diplo- Our brief diplomatic history opened matic system, declared in Parliament most auspiciously with the name, charthat, for every pound sterling paid to acter, and influence of Benjamin Franktheir foreign ministers, tens of thousands lin, who, to this day, is the most comof pounds were saved to the treasury, by plete representative American, and is the avoidance of entangling disputes regarded abroad as the peerless exand misunderstandings between sub- positor of the genius of our institujects abroad, which, through personal tions; the philosopher and republican interviews between the ministers, in gaze fondly on his portrait at Verninety-nine cases out of every hundred, sailles ; young Italy buys his autobiogwere arranged amicably, and by the raphy at a bookstall in Florence; and the London printer and Berlin savant of John Quincy Adams and Henry cherish the memory of his eminent Clay,– names enshrined in the national success, attained through frugality and heart and radiant on the page of hisself-reliance, and his experimental re- tory. Thenceforth the list becomes insearch in a sphere of natural phe- congruous; here and there, now and nomena whose later developments are then, preserving its original distinction, among the greatest marvels of science.

as worthily representative of a free and The eulogies of Turgot and Helvetius intelligent people, but too often deof old are echoed by those of Brougham graded by mere political fortune-huntand Laboulaye to-day. To the bold ers, whose careers reflect no credit and attacks on superstition whereby Vol- whose appointments accuse the integtaire opened the way for the reception rity of those in power. Not without of vital truths and to the vindication of memorable exceptions, however, is this the original and pervasive sentiments perversion of diplomatic opportunities; of humanity, which made Rousseau we have fortunately had men always on the pioneer of social reform, Franklin the floor of Congress, and in the Execuadded the practical, common-sense, and tive chair and the Department of State, humanitarian element which gave to who “have kept steadily in view the these efficiency; his discoveries as a honor and prosperity of the whole natural philosopher, his example as a country,” and, rising above partisan obfree citizen, and his bonhomie and sim- jects, have had the civic wisdom and ple personal habits gave prestige and courage to select as American ambaseffect to his services as an ambas- sadors, envoys, and official agents, citisador. As agent for the Colonies in zens of approved character and devoted London, as one of the Committee of' to liberal studies, whose personal influSecret Correspondence during the Rev- ence abroad has been auspicious, and olution, as the medium of the French whose diplomatic station has gained Alliance, by his vigilance, his moder- lustre and utility from their renown as ation, his patience, wisdom, firmness, intellectual benefactors. In this noble and loyalty, he secured us European phalanx we can rank with patriotic satrecognition and the sinews of war; isfaction such men as Webster and while his social attractiveness and so- Wheaton, Legaré and the Everetts, lidity of character were, with rare sin- Bancroft, Irving, Motley, Walsh, Fay, gleness of purpose, made to subserve Marsh, and Hawthorne ; and while the patriotic ends.

The elder Adams with social and official eminence of Bowhis assiduous energy, Jay with his intrep- doin, Middleton, Rush, McLean, and id rectitude, Gouverneur Morris with others is gratefully remembered, the his comprehensive mind and high tone, later and essential services of Charles and Deane with his conciliatory tact, Francis Adams and his national comushered in our foreign representation peers in the diplomatic corps, during with dignity and moral emphasis. These the late war, have already an historical men of intellectual scope and culture, recognition. of disinterested self-devotion, of legal In what may be called the incidental acumen, republican faith, and courteous fruits of diplomatic opportunities we manners, gained for America, at the are not without gratifying evidence, hour of her civic birth, the confidence where these appointments have been and respect of the world. Nor were judiciously made. Thus our graceful their immediate successors unworthy pioneer author gathered materials for of such illustrious forerunners, for on his cherished bequest of literature ; offithe roll of our early ambassadors we cial position in England and Spain was read with justifiable pride such names of great practical value to Irving as an as Rufus King, William Pinckney, Al- author ; while the scholarship of Alexbert Gallatin, and Edward Livingston, ander H. Everett made him, when Amerfollowed at a subsequent era by those ican minister in the latter country, an

excellent purveyor for Prescott. The and become intellectual benefactors as standard treatise on International Law well as patriotic representatives of our perhaps would never have been under country. taken, and certainly not so ably achieved, As we write, a gifted native sculptor but for Wheaton's diplomatic position is putting the finishing touches to a at Copenhagen and Berlin. Soon after statue of Commodore Matthew Perry, the Revolution the public spirit of such to commemorate the Expedition by men as Humphreys and Barlow, while which Japan was opened to the comholding office abroad, made them be- merce of the world; and a group of nign coadjutors in many desirable en

Orientals are

on a pilgrimage to the terprises; the former first imported our nations, with treaties of comity and best breed of sheep, and the latter trade, under the guidance and guardianpromoted the success of Fulton's inven- ship of an American selected for the tions. Bancroft gleaned an historical office by their government from among harvest while at the Court of St. James; the diplomatists of Europe, not less Hawthorne gave us the most finished because of his personal qualifications, picture of England since the Sketch- than in recognition of the independent Book while consul at Liverpool ; Kin- position, harmonious relations, and libney held counsel with Cavour and eral policy of his country; while the D'Azeglio at Turin, during the auspi- educational and economical progress of cious epoch of Italian unification, bring- Greece, so dear to the American scholing to their encouragement, not only ar, and so identified with our Christian republican sympathy, but many educa- enterprise, have just received the national and civic precedents to guide tional recognition which the last and the experimental state reforms. From noblest offspring of Time owes to the Peru, South America, China, the East, primeval source of its culture, by the and many parts of Western Europe, establishment of a mission at Athens, interesting and valuable researches and the cordial reception of a minister and records of observation have em- from that classic land. In view of such ployed the leisure, and honored the of- facts, and in the recent efforts to elevate fices, of our diplomatic representatives; and systematize our diplomacy, we have while one of the most popular and cred- reason to hope that the abuses which itable histories which has enriched the have succeeded its brilliant initiation literature of the day owes its existence will be reformed ; that the more enin no small degree to the facilities af- lightened interpretations of the princiforded its accomplished author, by his ples of international law, and the fresh residence and position abroad as a Min- sense of national responsibility induced ister of the United States. These and by the costly sacrifices and second birth similar facts point to the expediency of the Republic, will inspire our legisand desirableness, other things being lators to aim at securing in the future, equal, of selecting for such appoint- what the historian of our early diplomaments scholars and men of science or cy claimed therefor, that “we entered lettered aptitudes. It is one of the few into the old and venerable circle of methods incident to our institutions, nations in no vulgar spirit, but calmly, whereby not only a race of gentlemen, as conscious of right, resolutely, as conbut a class of disinterested, social, artis- scious of strength, gravely, as conscious tic, and literary men can be fostered of duty."


[ocr errors]

To understandlise Mablishers union paheahleuse of the esseen Gables: than pelled Hawthorne to call their edition, did any sculptor ever uncover a statue “ Transformation,” it should be read in of marble that will last longer than the the atmosphere of Rome. Everything form of Judge Pyncheon, over whose in that moral, or rather entirely im- eyeball the fly crawls as he sits dead ? moral, atmosphere serves to interpret And what painted canvas or frescoed the artistic work of an author in whom wall by any master of color has preintellect and sensibility are one to a served a more living, breathing image degree that scarcely can be predicated of the most evanescent moods of sensiof any other; and whose power to ex- bility and delicacies of action than are press what he felt with his mind, and immortalized in the sketches of Alice thought with his heart (we use these and of Clifford, and the tender nursing expressions advisedly), are unsurpassed, of the latter after the arrival of Phæbe? if not unsurpassable.

The House of the Seven Gables is Every one, whether cultivated or un- a tragedy that takes rank by the side cultivated, acknowledges the charm of of the Trilogy of the Agamemnon, ChoHawthorne's style ; but the most culti- ephoroi, and Eumenides, without the vated best appreciate the wonder of aid of the architecture, sculpture, verse, that power by which he wakes into dancing, and music which Æschylussumclear consciousness shades of feeling moned to his aid to set forth the operation and delicacies of thought, that perhaps of the Fury of the house of Atrides that have been experienced by us all, but swept to destruction four generations were never embodied in words before. of men. It takes two hundred years

We are not prepared to fully adopt the for the crime which the first Pyncheon dogmatic statement of a recent critic, perpetrated against the first Maule to who declared prose composition a high- work itself off, — or, we should rather er kind of expression than that which say, for the forces of the general huthe world has hitherto united in calling manity to overcome the inevitable conpoetry; but Hawthorne goes far to prove sequences of one rampant individuality, that language even without rhythm is that undertook to wield the thunderbolts an equal organ of that genius which, of Omnipotence against a fellow-mortal whether it speak in music, sculpture, possessing gifts not understood, and painting, or measured words, is a still therefore condemned. The peaceful more ethereal image of the Infinite in solution of the problem of fate in the the finite; an utterance of the divine by modern tragedy is undoubtedly due to the human which may not always be the Christian light which the noble understood at once, but which creates heathen lacked; it is love, in every understanding within us more and more pure and unselfish form, that undoes forever.

the horrible spell which pride of posJudging by this standard, — the power session and place and a pharisaic lust of creating understanding within those of rule laid upon the house of Pyncheon. whom he addresses, - Hawthorne takes As soon as the father of Phæbe freely rank with the highest order of artists. followed out, in his own individual case, For it is not the material in which a the genial impulse of nature, which conman works that determines his place as sumed in its passionate glow the family an artist, but the elevation and fineness pride that had proved so fatal, and thus of the truth his work communicates. admitted the general humanity into Was ever a more enduring house built equality, or rather sued, as lovers wont, by architectural genius, or made more to be allied to it, even at the expense

of all the external advantages of his or the consequences of it in the spiritual birthright, the good providence of God experience of those concerned in it, accepted and justified the deed, by whether actively or passively. Most sending into the first real home that a writers of fiction not only tell you what Pyncheon had made for himself one of their heroes and heroines do, but why; those “angels that behold the face of dogmatically stating how they feel and the Father," who, in process of time, what they think. Hawthorne seldom goes back to the desolate old house to does this. He does not seem to know bless it, without consciousness of the much more about his heroes and herohigh place she holds among ministering ines than he represents them to know spirits, or what a mighty deed she does of each other; but, recognizing the fact by simply being the innocent, sweet, that most outward action is from mixed loving creature she is; while the cor- motives, and admits of more than one responding last Maule in the light of interpretation, he is very apt to suggest the science which the general progress two or three quite diverse views, and, of society has given him finds an ex- as it were, consult with his readers planation of the peculiar power which upon which may be the true one ; and the exceptional organization of his line- not seldom he gives most prominence age had made hereditary; and, exercis- to some interpretation which we feel ing it in a common-sense way, and with pretty sure is not his own. simple good feeling, the curse of the This characteristic peculiarity is nofirst Maule upon the first Pyncheon is where more conspicuous than in The at last replaced by a marriage blessing Marble Faun. He does not seem to and bond, laying to sleep the Fury of know whether Donatello has pointed Retribution, attendant on the crime and furry ears or not. He touches the which is the key-note of the whole story, story of Miriam with such delicacy that and which had reappeared through so those readers who are more interested many generations, - for it makes the in the gossip of temporary life than in two families one.

the eternal powers which underlie it, In The Marble Faun we have a generating a spiritual being which is picture of Rome, not only as it appears never to pass away, are angry with the to the senses and to the memory, but author, and accuse him of triling with also to the spiritual apprehension which their feelings by raising curiosities penetrates the outward show. Genius which he does not gratify, and exciting in Hawthorne was limited, as that of painful sympathies which he does not all inen must be, by his temperament, soothe ; they even call it a malicious but less than that of most men by his use of a power which he ought to conwill. To "give his thought act” was secrate to increasing the enjoyment of not his impulse, but to represent it to his readers. other men. He was not, therefore, so But few authors are really so little much an effective power among other guilty as Hawthorne of any wanton use powers in the current life, as the quiet, of their power over other minds. A open eye that gathers truth for other work of literary art he did not view as men to enact. His vocation was to merely an instrument for giving pleasset forth what he saw so clearly with ure, but as a means to discover truth, such accuracy of outline, fulness of col- or, rather, to put his readers on the oring, and in such dry light as would track of discovering it in company with enable other men to interpret the phe- himself. What he especially seeks for nomena about them as he did. He are those great laws of human thought, does not invent incidents, much less a feeling, and action which are apt to dramatic narrative. He loved best to be covered from self-consciousness by take some incident ready made to his transient emotions, and the force of hand, and to work out in thought the outward circumstances of babit and generation of it from eternal principles, general custom. In The Scarlet Let.

« 上一頁繼續 »