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happy nation on the basis of equal rights in one country, and tumble to the dust the overgrown and self destroying despotisms of another. It is gratifying to our love of power, thus to draw nature and time into our service, and employ them in accomplishing the great improvement to which we look forward in the condition of
But these remarks have a very slight bearing on Mr Ingersoll's Address. It is true his subject is the improvenient of government, but nevertheless he dwells not so much on what is to be, as on what has been, and now is. He goes back no farther than the American Revolution, and he describes briefly the conquest, which has been made since that period, over prejudice, ignorance, despotism, and other enemies of human improvement and happiness.
Commerce, and the Press, rapidly disseminate improvements, and add great influence to intelligence. Thirty millions of educated people, now in Europe and America, more than there were a few years since, and their number increasing in geometrical ratioall intensely studious of political philosophy-create another empire within every state, continually seeking ascendency. And this empire, though separated throughout many nations and by intervening seas, is nevertheless one and indivisible in its views and sympathies. Public opinion, no longer spent in the vacuum of oral tradition, is girt with omnipotence by the independent press, whose piercing rays no sanctuary can keep out. Superstition and ignorance are fallen into obscurity. Organised societies of all sects and nations, are in victorious crusade against their last holds. Religion itself must soon be free. Already laws are the popular will, even when otherwise ostensibly enacted. Divine right to passive obedience is scarcely asserted. Equality of individuals and of nations, the advantages of unrestrained intercourse, the mischiefs of all superfluous governance, are becoming established principles of international and 'of municipal law. Political economy, which has remained till lately almost unthought of, since the suggestions of Plato on that subject, has taken an eminent place among modern sciences. Labor and economy are recognised as the wealth of nations. Monopoly, exclusion, local preferences and factitious counteraction, are felt and treated as issues of calamity ; and but few parasites utter the preposterous flattery, that private luxury and public extravagance invigorate circulation and replenishment. Political philosophy is almost as much improved.?
These are encouraging views of the present state of civilised countries, and afford enlivening anticipations for the future. The author adds, in the same spirit of comprehensive observation ;
I believe we may rest assured, that the political, intellectual and physical state of man, is generally improved and improving. Jury trial and other great amendments are taking effect among the tractable East Indians. Steam boats are employed in Astrakan and Siberia. Newspapers are published at Pekin. Almost the same political economy is proclaimed, if not practised, throughout Europe and America. A corner of creation, towards which the rest looks with fondness. as the ancient mart of the mind, without any force but the energy of despair, or hope but that of the auspices of the age, has for several years annually sacrificed hecatombs of Turks to independence. Even Egypt, the preceptress of Greece, gives signs of the understanding that precedes it. If, in the definition of Shakspeare, which Burke pronounced the best,
Man is a creature holding large discourse,
Looking before and afterhis rights and interests are in full advancement. His discourse becoming freer, his forecast more rational, his recollections more philosophical ; and, without regard to the mere form of government, the whole social organisation much ameliorated.' pp. 10,11.
Mr Ingersoll touches on several topics of great compass, each of which if pursued might lead us into a wide field of inquiry and remark. His words are few but they are fertile in meaning, and much depth of thought is perceived under a narrow surface of visible signs. The performance as a whole indicates haste ; it is immature, and a little too indefinite in some of its parts. The style of the author, also, which is usually remarkable for its point and perspicuity, is not so well finished as in some of his other writings. He tells us of the disciples of a philosophy invincibly armed against the despotism of individuality,' and talks of the actuality of a beneficent government ;' and he characterises the preamble to Franklin's memorable Treaty, as one containing the whole philosophy of government, whose deities are equality and reciproeity, whose demons are burdensome preferences, national and individual, foreign and municipal.' The closing pages of the discourse, referring particularly to the presence of General Lafayette, are appropriate, and express lofty and just sentiments.
6.-The Auction System ; being a Series of Numbers publisherl in the Federal Gazette, addressed to the Citizens of Bal
8vo. pp. 44. J. D. Toy. Baltimore. 1824. That the subject of sales at auction is about to assume much importance among us, is obvious from the excitement which it produced during the last session of Congress, by the petitions and counter petitions sent up from almost every city in the Union. These same circumstances would also indicate, that it is a subject of which many things may be said on both sides. In our present number we intended to discuss this topic at large, but other things have beguiled so much of our attention, that we have been obliged to let it escape untouched.
We notice the above pamphlet, as containing the arguments against the auction system, drawn out in an able, ingenious, and popular manner. The author arranges his objections under five heads, and professes to prove ; 1. T'hat the mode of selling by auction enables foreigners to possess advantages in our own markets not enjoyed by American merchants. 2. That it affords them an opportunity of importing goods at a less duty than our citizens. 3. That it induces foreign importers to practise concealment and fraud in the sale of goods, and thus has an injurious moral influence on the community. 4. That it is adverse and prejudicial to the manufactures of the country. 5. That the small traders and consumers are not benefited by the auction system. And the conclusion from the whole is, that it would be an essential advantage to the country, if auctions were abolished. To effect this the author proposes a duty of ten per cent laid by Congress on auction sales throughout the United States. In his concluding observations he maintains, that Congress is the only power authorised by the Constitution to act on the subject. This position he takes from the clause of the Constitution, in which States are prohibited from laying imposts or duties on imports or exports without consent of Congress.
says that'a duty on the sale of foreign goods at auction is substantially an impost, else the above clause of the constitution is nugatory; for if the states can lay a duty on the sale of foreign goods at auction, they can on the same principle lay a like duty on them at private sale, and if they can lay a duty of one and a half per cent, they may also lay a duty of twentyfive per cent, and ihus they may virtually exclude them from the state. This would be a regulation of commerce, and is one of the exclusive powers of the general government. As to the soundness of this construction we undertake not to decide. It has been strenuously urged in other quarters, that Congress has nothing to do with the matter, but that the whole devolves on the states.
7.--Evenings in New England ; intended for Juvenile Amuse
ment and Instruction. By AN AMERICAN Lady. pp. 179.
Boston. Cummings, Hilliard, & Co. 1824. Genius can hardly be employed in a more grateful task, than in guiding the footsteps of childhood and youth, nourishing the plant of virtue in its tenderest age, and protecting the blossom of innocence at a time, when it may so easily be withered and destroyed by the rude assaults to which it is exposed. One good principle, one kind affection, deeply rooted in the young and susceptible heart, will have an influence, whose extent and effect are not to be calcu lated. Infancy is the season for strong and permanent impressions ; manhood is stubborn ; the twig has been bent and the tree formed, and the labor of years will not now remedy what the lessons of an hour might have prevented. Great praise is due, therefore, to those writers who are willing to amuse aud instruct the young, planting the early seeds of virtue, and pouring into the vacant mind the treasures of knowledge. Among those to whom no sparing tribute of thanks is due for this service, is the author of Evenings in New England. Her little volume is recommended, both as the work of a highly gifted imagination and a well informed mind, and as inculcating the best moral principles in connexions with just views of some of the primary springs of human conduct. Her plan is miscellaneous, and she happily combines fable, dialogue, historical incidents, and precept, with such lessons on the works of nature and art, as are suited to the first stages of the rising intellect. The book cannot fail to amuse children, it cannot fail to instruct and make them better, and it may safely be put into their hands, with the confidence, that it will exercise no feeble agency in laying the foundation of a character, which in after life will secure to them the respect of the wise, and the benedictions of the good.
We should do injustice to the author, as well as to ourselves, should we forbear to hint at the faults of this performance, with the merits of which we have been on the whole so favorably' impressed. Its imperfections are trivial in their nature, when compared with its better qualities, yet they are strongly marked. An appearance of haste runs through the whole book; thoughts are but half carried out, impressions are vaguely communicated, and the style is too often loose, unfinished, and inelegant. There is no apology for haste ; the author of a book is governed neither by the tide nor the seasons ; and if it is worth while to write at all, it is equally worth while to write with care. This should be done for children as much as for men, and perhaps more, since their taste will be moulded by those compositions, which at an early period enlist their imagination and settle into the memory. Mrs Barbauld has proved, that topics adapted to the huniblest capacity may be treated in a style of pure and polished elegance, and that the attention of children may be riveted by a language, which charms the matured and most fastidious taste. Let no one, who adventures in this department of writing, be satisfied, till the same end is attained. The author's piece entitled the Adventures of a Dandalion, is a close and by no means successful imitation of Montgomery's Life of a Flower; and, indeed, in several parts of the volume the reader is
inded of Prose by a Poet. The moral of some of the stories floats above the heads of children, and we doubt whether the letters that passed between the Plymouth Rock and the Duxbury Tree, and the discourse held by the Rock and Tree concerning whigs and tories, will contribute much to edify and improve juvenile read
In short, if we are not deceived, this performance betrays a hand capable of much higher things than are here achieved or attempted, and we should be glad to see the results of its skill in some work of wider scope and sustained interest, conceived with deliberation, and finished with care.
In the article on the Common Law, in our last number, (p. 423, line 16 from top,) there was an accidental omission. The following sentence should be inserted near the end of that line. Goodright no sooner enters into possession, than he is forcibly dispossessed by Richard Thrustout. 'Goodright then sues Thrustout,' &c.
Want of room makes it necessary for us to defer, to another number, reviews of Redwood, of Professor Everett's Oration before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, of Butler's Reminiscences, of Brown's Lectures, and articles on the Insurrection of Tupac Amaru, in South America, and on the Code Napoleon.