Sidebilder
PDF

in which the gallows and Botany tions; and it does not appear that Bay make such a prominent figure ? the criminals are injudiciously parAll punishment is for example, that doned, as so few prove themselves crimes may be prevented. But if unworthy of the favour. In some they are not prevented under the cases, inconveniencies have arisen British system, to what purpose use from want of room; but this acci. such severity? And why, at once, dental fault no way impeaches the send the criminal either to Botany utility of the system, which cannot Bay or the gallows? Is not the succeed unless it is fairly carried inAmerican system far more enlight- to effect. But that crime has been ened and humane, which, before diminished in the United States, by resorting to such extreme means, the erection of those penitentiaries, is tries the effect of moral discipline on evident, from the concurring testithe criminal, which, before consign mony of every writer on the subject. ing him to irredeemable infamy, Since the erection of these houses makes one last atteinpt to save him? for the reception of criminals, “ the

From all that we can learn of the roads in the vicinity of the city," American system of prison-discipline, says the North American Review, it seerns to be a most humane and “so constantly infested with robenlightened attempt to substitute bers, were seldom, after the erection moral for physical correction in the of these prisons, disturbed by these management of criminals—to couple dangerous characters; the houses, the amendment with the punishment shops, and vessels, so perpetually of the prisoner; and though this robbed, no longer experienced those appears difficult, it seems by no alarming evils." Our author, also, means impracticable. According to when speaking to what he saw, and the accounts given of the system, naturally impressed with the specit has unquestionably succeeded; tacle before him, gives the following though it may, no doubt, have disap- just and striking account of this inpointed some of its more sanguine stitution: promoters, because it has not performed impossibilities, and extirpated While you divest yourself, however, of vice and crime from the country. all thoughts as to the drawbacks connectWe have some observations on this ed with the penitentiary system, as at subject, extracted from the North present conducted, you certainly cannot American Review, which are ex contemplate the interior of this great ma. tremely judicious and conclusive, nufactory without emotions of peculiar and which, without arrogating for satisfaction. To see so many hands, which this system claims which no system were formerly active only in crime, now can realize, points out the solid ada

taught to be equally active in some useful vantages which have arisen from it.

art, to think of the humanity of the sysThe profusion with which pardons

tem, as contrasted with that of Britain,

and to witness the cleanliness, order, and are issued are complained of by this author, who also states, that the same

regularity, which pervade the whole es.

tablishment, make you almost forget that individual is imprisoned and par

you are in a receptacle for knaves, or doned several times over. Now, it

fondly believe that they are so no longer, appears, that, in the Philadelphia

and internally exclaim, “ This must be a prison, of two hundred who had noble institution." , been pardoned by the Governor, only four had again returned. In the In Boston, we have a description Massachusets prison, out of one of a procession of free blacks, to cehundred and fifty-five who had been lebrate the anniversary of the abolipardoned, only eleven had proved tion of slavery. The commemorathemselves unworthy of the favour, tion of the 4th of July, the anniverand had again fallen into the hands sary of American independence, is of criminal justice ; and of those who also described, and we have a long had been liberated, many were knowu extract of a speech delivered, on this to the officers of the institution to occasion, by an American orator, have become industrious and useful which might have been well spared. citizens. Here, then, is decided testi- It is introduced by the following remony to the utility of those institu-, marks of our author. After telling

VOL. XI.

us that the orator's address was cha- forth the flaming patriot on the least racterised by plain good sense, he provocation to his national vanity, we goes on :

may well ask who set the example It has the merit of being free from that

of this vile and disgraceful abuse ? vituperative abuse of Great Britain, in

Was it not the licentious press of which mere mob orators in the United

United Great Britain, ever ready to pander States are prone to indulge, and which, I to the lowest passions of the rabble, am afraid, is sometimes a cheap sub. by reviling, with an utter disregard stitute for purity of principle and good to truth or to decency, every councitizenship. America has undoubtedly try and potentate with which we been wronged by Great Britain, at many happen to be at war? The floodtimes, and in many ways; but these gates of slander had been long openwrongs have been productive, upon the ed against the illustrious chief of the whole, of only temporary evil, while the French empire, to whom was apbenefits which she has derived from the plied every epithet of abuse which same source pervade her whole system, the language could supply ; and for give sinews to her strength, wisdom to no other reason, but because we her councils, intelligence to her people, were at war with him. All these and dignity to her national character.

odious calumnies are now regarded But for these she could never have either

with the disgust they merit, by every achieved or maintained her independence; and were it possible to separate from her

person of candour or good taste. population all that has been derived from

But so long as the contest lasted, the laws, institutions, and literature of the war of words kept pace with the my native country, personal liberty, se war of arms, and stander appeared curity of property, freedom of thinking to be one of our favourite weapons. and of speech, and, last of all,'true and Now, the same torrent of malignity vital religion, with all the moral effects and abuse was poured on the Ameriwhich have flowed from these, would cans, and on the respectable heads vanish like a dream ; and an American of their government, Jefferson and contemplating the dreary void, would have Maddison, the moment that war good reason to sigh, “Fuimus Troes !” broke out between the two countries. Few, probably, of sober reflection and im. Almost every periodical press teemed partiaiity, will be found to deny the truth with the poison of this atrocious of these positions ; then, why should Bri- slander, and it is only of late tbat tain be hated by an American ?-why the animosity of the war has begun should he not rather overlook a little of that feeling towards the United States,

to abate, and that a better temper which was scarcely separable, from the

has appeared. It must be confessed, circumstances in which the two countries

then, that a rebuke on this subject were placed by the revolution, and was

comes with an excellent grace from too long kept alive by errors in the con.

Great Britain. We set the example, duct of both governments, towards each and we complain that America has other ; but the inveteracy of which is followed it. Our best course, we now, I trust, rapidly decreasing, and will think, is to be silent on this subject, soon be remembered only as a subject of and now set an example of moderaregret, and a powerful reason for future tion, which, we have little doubt, kindliness and friendship? It is the cha. will be readily followed by the raracteristic of noble minds to forgive inju. tional part of the American commuries ; and, with all our faults, there is con- nity. fessedly so much in our national charac

We have, besides, imposed, it ter deserving of respect, and even of imi. tation, that Americans must certainly be

seems, a vast debt of gratitude on

America, for which we claim a large themselves in no small degree of error, if they do not feel a warmth of affection

return of sincere and ardent affectowards their parent country.

tion : and we are continually ringing

changes on the parental relation in With respect to the complaint of which we stand to our ci-devant cothe abuse of Great Britain by the lonies. Before the colonies were inAmericans, here so delicately urged dependent, this fanciful notion of by this traveller, who, as we before the parent state was exceedingly remarked, has a truly British par- useful, for enforcing the duties of tiality for every thing in his own obedience ; now that this tie is brocountry, and is ever ready to start ken, we make use of it for fasten

ing on the Americans some unde- learnt. Arrived on the shores of fined claim of affection and regard, America, the love of freedom which which, we say, they owe to us in pre- they had imbibed, and which they ference to every other independent cherished the more for the oppression state; and, in the above extract, we which they suffered in Britain, they have enumerated a long list of bene- reduced to practice, in the popular fits which we allege the Americans forms of government which they eshave received at our hands; namely, tablished. Here, again, they were no their laws, government, institutions, way indebted to Britain. Neglect was personal liberty, security of property, the best boon which Britain ever be. &c. Now, we cannot conceive for stowed on them ; for what was the what purpose we should continually end of her interferences with them, ring into the ears of the Americans but to fetter their trade for her own what a debt of gratitude they owe to supposed benefit,-vo prevent them this country-why we should be from carrying on any trade but with everlastingly reminding them of the the mother country ; and afterwards, benefits they have received at our as a further mark of her parental hands. As was said in the old co- care, she wished to make them parmedy, Haec commemoratio est quasi takers of the load of taxation which exprobatio immemoris beneficii ; this lay so heavy on herself? She wished pompous enumeration of benefits to ease her own shoulders, by laying conferred, tends to no good; it part of the burden on theirs. She breathes the true selfish spirit of na- wished, in short, to tax America in tional partiality, and its object is to a British parliament; and hence establish claims on the good will of arose a bloody civil war, the object the Americans, which they deny. It of which, on the part of Britain, was is not on this basis that the two to fasten this odious yoke on the countries can be built up in lasting necks of the colonies. Any lurking amity. On the contrary, these were affections, therefore, which may have just the very topics which were em- been left in these communities, to ployed, during the last war, to blow the parent state, we have done all up the rage of the people against in our power to extirpate. But inAmerica. All those imaginary claims deed it is idle to talk of gratitude on the gratitude of these our former or affection between nations. Such colonies were so many items in the feelings can have no place in their sum of national vengeance. They mutual intercourse ; and this cant, were eagerly dwelt upon by the war about the gratitude of America to faction, and they never failed, when Great Britain, is the mere dictate of judiciously brought forward, to in- national vanity. That the two counflame John Bull into a perfect pa- tries have every motive to cherish roxysm of rage. It is not the way, each other's friendship, is undoubttherefore, to promote the good un. ed ; and all prejudice against each derstanding of the two countries, to other ought to be strenuously disbe oficiously bringing forward the couraged; but let this friendly ingreat obligations which America tercourse be placed on its true basis owes to Britain. And, after all, what of policy. They can do each other are they? It seems to us most ab- great good in peace, and great missurd, to hold out that America owes chief in war. It is their interest, a debt of gratitude to Britain, for therefore, to cultivate peace and good her government and her institutions. will with each other; and this, and The founders of the United States, not any idle illusion drawn from the who fled from Britain, to enjoy free relations of private society, must be dom in the desert, no doubt carried the basis of their friendship, which out with them the arts and improve- is a negative term, meaning merely, ments of Europe. But what grati- that they shall live at peace, and not tude is due to Britain on this account? seek to destroy each other in foolish Britain here gave them nothing and hurtful wars. which she could keep back from In visiting the different towns of them; they were brought up in a Newhaven, Princeton, Philadelphia, civilized community, and they could Baltimore, Washington, &c. we have not be untaught what they had large details about the schools, uni. versities, and the various places of yet, who is it that would not struggle worship. At Washington, Mr Dun- for his life, even in the rapids of the St. can was present at the discussions in Lawrence ? the Congress; and he describes, as

The velocity of the stream was now something new, the apparent care

equal, probably, to about ten knots an lessness of the different members

hour, yet its surface was as smooth as about the business of the House,

glass. To look into the water, we might

easily have persuaded ourselves that we their lounging about, &c., writing

were quietly slumbering at anchor; but letters, and reading newspapers, and

when we glanced at either bank, the pinethe incivility of the Speaker in or

trees seemed to whirl past with the rapi. dering strangers to withdraw; all dity of thought. which he may see nearer home, in our own Honourable House. The

We here omit a comparison betruth is, that there is, in this great

tween worldly pleasures and the centre of the national concerns, much

rapid of Long Sault, and proceed to routine business which does not re

the following interesting description quire the attention of every member;

of the passage of the rapid : and, notwithstanding this outward

The two currents, after embracing the air of indifference in matters of form

island, revert below it into a single stream. and detail, every great national ques.

The extreme commotion with which this tion is still seriously considered be

re-union is accomplished, is the occasion

of the Big Pitch. The furious torrents fore it is decided.

rush against each other like two charging The most interesting part of the

squadrons, heaving up their roaring bilwork is the account of the author's

lows, and tossing high their crests of brojourney along the Mohawk into Up- ken foam ; retiring, at last, with apparerit per Canada, and from thence across reluctance from the conflict, and whirling Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence, into numerous eddies by the margin of which he descended in one of the the stream. Canadian vessels, named a Durham- Ere the tops of the white breakers beboat, sixty-two feet in the keel, and came visible, preparations were made for eleven feet four inches in the beam. encountering the commotion. The sail It is well known, that the great was lowered down, and the gaff secured ; stream of the St. Lawrence is inter the steersman called one of the hands to spersed with islands, which contract his assistance, the rest hung upon their the channel, and of course increase, cars, waiting the word of command to in the most fearful manner, the

strike in. The boat began now to rock rapidity of the stream, which, being

from side to side, and the terrible cauldron opposed, in this way, by rocks or

was boiling before us. All that could be other obstacles, chafes and rages with

done, was to direct our course to that

part of the channel where experience told great fury; and it is through this

them that the passage was least hazard. tumult of broken waves that the

ous, and then, with all their strength, to Canadians have learnt, with equal pull the vessel through. I felt an invo. dexterity and courage, to steer their luntary shrinking, as the captain aimed barks. From Kingston our author for what seemed to me the most frightful took his departure in one of the Dur- spot of all;-we were swept into the ham-boats. Passing the thousand midst of the furious commotion, and the islands, an immense group of islands, order was just given, " pull away!" when as their name implies, in the St. a heavy wave burst in over our feeble Lawrence, they arrived at the rapid bulwarks. Our quivering bark, however, called Long Sault, which is, properly struggled manfully through ; our danger speaking, a succession of rapids, was but momentary, and we soon reachobeyed, the command of the vessel re. between lake Erie and the Hudson, and covered, and we once more found our the other of 60, between the Hudson and selves in smooth water. We had shipped Lake Champlain ; and, possibly, when more than a hogshead of water in this they have the whole finished, they may dangerous rapid.

ed the subsiding billows which skirt the about ten miles long.

extremities of the heavy swell. When I looked, (says Mr Duncan,). Another peril, however, succeeded. however, to the frightful rapidity with The thrilling emotion excited by the pas. which the stream now hurried us along, sage of the Big Pitch had not subsided, I could not resist a feeling that I should when our vessel was caught in the vortex be safer without their encumbrance of a powerful eddy, and whirled round alLittle indeed could the most expert swim. most broadside to the stream. “ Pull mer hope to effect in such a torrent away with the starboard oar !" roared the and fecble my hope of safety, where skill steersman, with a voice like thunder, and in swimming is necessary to secure it a tremendous oath; the order was promptly

take a fancy to cross the St. Lawrence,

and in a mere frolic, turn up the nine There are four other rapids which

miles between Montreal and La Chine ; have to be passed in the voyage to

it will hardly be a fortnight's work for Montreal ; but the author observes,

them. though varying in their individual

I must, in justice, add, however, that features, they bear a general simi.

some symptoms begin to appear of an im. larity, and result from the same provement in the energy and public spirit causes—a great contraction and sud of the province. A Fire Insurance Comden descent in the bed of the river, pany has come recently into operation, accompanied, in general, with nume which will retain within the country a rous islands and rocks in the middle considerable part of the large sum which of the stream. The flood, thus chafed has hitherto been annually drawn from it and pent up within narrow and

by a London company. Some societies, obstructed passages, rages through

for the encouragement of agriculture, thern with prodigious violence, dash

have also been formed ; and we may hope ing furiously over the rocks,

that they will gradually persuade the Ca.

nadians not to yoke their oxen by the - sweeping round insulated fragments horns, nor to throw the manure produced with the velocity of a whirlpool, and heave by their stable and cowhouse into the ing, even in the less agitated spots, with a river, as are still practised to a very conbroken and fearful commotion, such as siderable extent. the sea presents after a tempest of con. In another passage he gives the trary winds, which have successively con- following striking view of the dis. tended for the mastery of the deep.

tinction between the Americans and We have an account of Montreal Canadians. After observing that the and Quebec, which form, in their town of Three Rivers had a drowsy general aspect, a decided contrast to and inactive appearance, he adds, the American towns, being of a more

It is impossible, indeed, not to remark, sombre and heavy appearance ; con- that the banks of the two rivers are sisting, in place of clasp-boarded

peopled by an essentially different race of houses, gaily painted, of edifices

men ;-the one of habits altogether he. coinpacted of stone, iron, and tin, reditary and monotonous, content to pace put together with as much regard to along in the footsteps of their forefathers; economy of space as if the ground the other restless and adventurous almost had been purchased by the square to a proverb, buying and selling, shipping inch. The contrast between the and importing, settling and emigrating, as Americans and Canadians is, accord, if quicksilver instead of blood were daning to our author, much to the dis- cing through their veins. advantage of the latter. The former

We next find our author at New are all activity, enterprise, and life, York ; and he gives us his informawhile the Canadian, under the be tion in the form of a journal, in numbing influence of his priests, which he adopts rather too familiar paces, from generation to generation,

a tone ; he is too much at his ease, ihe same dull round, and seeks no

and discovers several specimens of bad improvement. A canal cut from taste. He went to dine, on the 30th Montreal io La Chine, a distance November, (St. Andrew's day,) with of only nine miles, would save the the Scots Club, where he complains passage of some of the most dangere greatly at not seeing certain Scots ous rapids of the St. Lawrence ; yet,

dishes, and also on account of a corthough such an undertaking has responding want, among the membeen talked of for nearly twenty

bers, of true national feeling. His. years, and though a sum of £.25,000

truly British prejudices were mortiwas eren subscribed to it, nothing fied because they gave, as a toast, farther has been done :

« The President of the United In the mean time, (adds our author,) States,” before “ 'The King of Great these fidgetty Yankees are pushing vi Britain ;” and that this favourite gorously forward their canal of 364 miles, toast was at last given thus, “ The

« ForrigeFortsett »