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their enemies, men are most inclined to flatter them. Meanwhile onward roll the wheels of the busy world. There are neither drawing-rooms, birthday-illuminations, nor right-honorable menials, nor bedizened knights of the Thistle, the Bath, or the Garter. The executive of the United States glories in being a limited monarch, both as to his official existence, as well as the prerogatives and splendors of his situation. His majesty wears plain garments and clean linen, like ail other people. His throne is often a three-legged high stool in an enormous room, with active clerks about him, who personally do their duties for their salaries. The honors of an arm-chair may be enjoyed by him, with as great (but no greater) a degree of dignity than any father of a large family may enjoy them, throughout territories as extensive as the old Roman Empire. His official revenues never reach £6000 per annum; his pen may be stuck behind his ear, without a lord of the bedchamber fainting at his side; and General Jackson, we have heard, would frequently help himself, from the horny snuff-box of an operative, to a pinch of companionship and excitability.
There are many points we are compelled to pass over, such as, the liberty of the press, and the rights of associations; the arbitrary power sometimes witnessed under the control of democracy; the instability of cabinets; and the economy or profuseness of popular governments. The following may serve for a sort of summary :
“We must first understand what the purport of society, and the aim of
government, is held to be. If it be your intention to confer a certain elevation upon the human mind, and to teach it to regard the things of this world with generous feelings; to inspire men with a scorn of mere temporal advantage; to give birth to living convictions, and to keep alive the spirit of honorable devotedness; if you hold it to be a good thing to refine the habits, to embellish the manners, to cultivate the arts of a nation, and to promote the love of poetry, of beauty, and of renown; if you would constitute a people not unfitted to act with power upon all other nations; nor unprepared for those high enterprises, which, whatever be the result of its efforts, will leave a name for ever famous in time ;-if you believe such to be the principal object of society, you must avoid the government of democracy, which would be a very uncertain guide to the end you have in view.
* But if you hold it to be expedient to direct the moral and intellectual activity of man to the production of comfort, and to the acquirement of the necessaries of life ; if a clear understanding be more profitable to men than genius; if your object be not to stimulate the virtues of heroism, but to create habits of peace; if you had rather witness vices than crimes, and are content to meet with fewer noble deeds, provided offences be diminished in the same proportion ; if instead of living in a brilliant state of society, you are contented to have prospe
rity around you ; if, in short, you are of opinion, that the principal object of a government is not to confer the greatest possible share of power and of glory upon the body of the nation, but to ensure the greatest degree of enjoyment, and the least degree of misery to each of the indi. viduals who compose it,-if such be your desires, you can have no surer means of satisfying them, than by equalizing the conditions of men, and establishing democratic institutions.
* But if the time be past, at which such a choice was possible, and if some superhuman power impel us towards one or the other of these two governments, without consulting our wishes, let us at least endeavour to make the best of that which is allotted to us; and let us so inquire into its good and its evil propensities, as to be able to foster the former and repress the latter to the utmost.'-Vol. ii. pp. 76-77.
Amongst these latter, no one is more conspicuous than the tyranny of a majority; with regard to which, however, it must not be confounded with arbitrary power. For the real difference we must refer our readers to the original work. Our author has shown, that democratic republics are liable to perish from a misuse of their power; whilst it is also apparent that in America the legal profession constitutes one of the main counterpoises against such a catastrophe there. Yet another still greater lies in the diffusion of spiritual influence. There is no country in the whole world,' observes M. de Tocqueville, . in which the Christian religion re"tains
a greater empire over the souls of men,' vol.ii. p. 144, and it should be recollected that he is a Catholic, as well as an eyewitness and a philosopher. He correctly attributes this state of things, under God, to its proper cause, namely, the absence of any alliance between Church and State. He does not hesitate to affirm that throughout the Union, he never met with an individual, whether of the clergy or laity, who was not clear in his own mind upon this point. His ideas are, and those of the great mass of pious persons there agree with them, “that when religion contracts an alliance of this nature, it commits the same error as a man who should sacrifice his future to his present welfare ; and in obtaining ' a power to which it has no claim, it risks that authority which is ' rightfully its own. When religion founds its empire upon the desire of immortality living in the human breast, it may aspire to “universal dominion; but when it connects itself with a govern'ment, it must necessarily adopt maxims which are only applicable to ' certain nations. Thus, in forming an alliance with a political power, religion augments its authority over a few, and forfeits the hope of reigning over all,' p. 152.
Diffusiveness is at present the most prominent characteristic of American civilization. Westward the great tide of emigration is flowing, where solitudes are pierced, which never before could have known the vestiges, and energies of man. No sooner has the pioneer arrived upon the spot selected, than he fells a few
trees, and builds a log-house. Miserable for months must be the aspect of such an isolated dwelling. By day, the weather finds free ingress in the shape of wind and hail, or snow and rain; or by night, the flare of the hearth-flame flickers cheerlessly through the chinks in the walls, upon the boughs of enormous foliage, which wave to and fro over the roof, that might be so completely buried were they to descend. Yet here may be seen the extremes of barbarism strangely blending with the polish of society. The fourteenth and eighteenth centuries appear huddled together. The inhabitant of this rude hut wears the dress, and speaks the • language of cities; he is acquainted with the past, curious of the
future, and ready for argument upon the present; he is, in short, a highly-civilized being, who consents for a time to inhabit the • backwoods, and who penetrates into the wilds of the new world,
with the Bible, an axe, and a file of newspapers.' The following is a striking picture of what De Tocqueville witnessed himself, when he had once availed himself of such a person's hospitality: after mentioning the rough single window with a muslin blind, a table with legs of green wood, and the bark still upon them, the teapot of British ware, silver spoons, and cracked teacups, he thus proceeds: and it must be remembered, that it was noted down, on the spot, and at the time:
• By the side of the hearth sits a woman with a baby on her lap : she nods to us without disturbing herself. Like the pioneer, this woman is in the prime of life; her appearance would seem superior to her condition; and her apparel even betrays a lingering taste for dress : but her delicate limbs appear shrunken, her features are drawn in, her eye is mild and melancholy: her whole physiognomy bears marks of a degree of religious resignation, a deep quiet of all passions, and some sort of natural and tranquil firmness, ready to meet all the ills of life, without fearing, and without braving them.
* Her children cluster about her, full of health, turbulence, and energy : they are true children of the wilderness ; their mother watches them from time to time with mingled melancholy and joy: to look at their strength and her languor, one might imagine that the life she has given them had exhausted her own, and still she regrets not what they have cost her.
• The house inhabited by these emigrants has no internal partition or loft. In the one chamber, of which it consists, the whole family is gathered for the night. The dwelling is itself a little world,—an ark of civilization amidst an ocean of foliage :-a hundred steps beyond it, the primæval forest spreads its shades, and solitude resumes its sway.'
358-359. Such are the agents, who will become more or less the apostles of democracy from New England and the Alleghanies to the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. We perceive here the wonderful manner in which human passions and desires work out
the behests of the Almighty. The rapacity with which the Americans rush forward upon the wilderness is indescribable. The arrow of the Indian, the more fatal fever, the wild beast of the thicket, are alike forgotten. Without a touch of romance about them, the pioneers are practical utilitarians, with but one impulse. Half a century has scarcely elapsed since the State of Ohio was organised; it now contains a million! The greater part of its inhabitants were not born within its confines; its capital has only been built thirty years; its territory still comprises immense unbroken districts; yet, nevertheless, its children are moving westward; and most of the settlers on the savannahs of Illinois were citizens of Ohio. Sometimes the progress of emigration is so rapid, that the desert or the jungle re-appears behind it. It is as if the woods had stooped to afford a passage, and closed again to separate the haunts of silence into which a few atoms bad dropped, for ever from the haunts of men ! Our author mentions, that, in crossing one of the almost unbroken forests, which still cover portions of the state of New York, he arrived suddenly on the shores of a small lake embosomed in trees, that seemed co-eval in their origin with the deluge. No object attested the presence of human beings, except a column of smoke on the horizon, rising from the foliage to the clouds, and appearing to hang from heaven, rather than to be mounting to the sky. An island, invested with, or rather buried beneath, dense robes of sylvan shadow, sat brooding in the centre of the waters. An Indian canoe was drawn up on the sand, which tempted him to cross over to the islet. Its deep silence was only disturbed by the hoarse
cooing of the wood-pigeon, and the tapping of the woodpecker;' when it all at once struck him, that he could discern some traces of an European having once settled there. Yet what changes . had taken place in the scene of his labours. The logs, which he . had hastily hewn to build himself a shed, had sprouted afresh; the
very props were intertwined with living verdure, and his cabin • was transformed into a bower. In the midst of these shrubs, a • few stones were to be seen, blackened with fire, and sprinkled
with their ashes; here the hearth, no doubt, had been, and the • chimney, in falling, had covered it with rubbish. I stood for • some time in silent admiration of the exuberance of nature, and • the littleness of man; and wben obliged to leave that enchanting • solitude, I exclaimed with melancholy, Are ruins then already - here !
M. de Tocqueville shows how all these circumstances tell upon the instructions, habits, and personal experience of our transata lantic brethren, and then hastens forward to delineate, in the last chapter of his second volume, the present and probable future condition of the Indians, the Negroes, and the Whites; those three races which we see scattered over the new world. The lot of the
first lies evidently upon the uttermost verge of liberty; that of the second on the extreme limit of servitude. Savage independence would seem to be as injurious to the former as slavery is to the latter. Both have been cruelly and grievously wronged; and the European, in dealing with them, illustrates that line of the poet, in bounding forward upon his career of anxious prosperity, Post equitem sedet atra cura ! His own pride, however, is rapidly rooting the red man out of the land which once belonged to his fathers. With an imagination inflated through idle retrospec. tion of the past, he neither enjoys the present, nor provides for the future. Freedom, according to his notion, signifies nothing more than deliverance from all the shackles of society. He inherits liberty ; yet it is only in the abstract; and an abstract term,' as is remarked somewhere by our author, “is like a box with a false bottom; you may put in it what ideas you please, and take them out again without being observed.' Living upon dreams, like a dream the aboriginal tribes of America are vanishing away. Travellers must now penetrate more than a hundred leagues into the interior to find an Indian. Fire-arms, ardent spirits, abhorrence of knowledge and civilization, are bringing about their melancholy destiny. It would seem almost impossible to tame them. An instance is mentioned of one who had been educated at a college in New England, where he had greatly distinguished himself; nor could it be perceived, from his external appearance, that he was aught else than a polished man of the world: yet, as an officer, in the war of 1810, he scalped an Englishman, and concealed the skin and hair, still dripping with gore,
between his shirt and his body! Not that this can at all justify the treatment manifested on the part of the American government. That government is accumulating a store of vengeance against itself for some not distant day. The Indians may be and are diminishing fast; but the negroes are multiplying. The sections on slavery we dare do no more than allude to. Mammon, meanwhile counts its dollars, looks every now and then with a most pale visage at what may be hereafter, nourishes each prejudice that it can against throwing down the foulest of all castes, that of complexion, and finally vows that commerce is favourable to democracy, and democracy to commerce. If he hoists not his axe to set off westward, he buys a vessel, and looks eastward. He
starts from Boston to go to purchase tea in China; he arrives at Canton, stays there a few days, and then returns. In less than two years, he has sailed as far as the entire circumference of the globe, and lie has seen land but once. It is true, that during a voyage of eight or ten months he has drank brackish water, and • lived upon salt meat; that he has been in continual contest with the sea, with disease, and with a tedious existence; but upon bis return, he can sell a pound of his tea for a halfpenny less than