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ment, words which fell from the lips of the Saviour of mankind: "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" "FOR the Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works."* These two questions (to say nothing of the significance of the expression with reference to the subject now under discussion," the whole world”), and the reason which is proposed to those who would answer the question, as that which should govern the choice between their own soul and the whole world, justify our attaching the highest conceivable value and importance to man, as a rational, a moral, an accountable being.
In the Dialogue, an objector suggests, "But in your inclination to make man the centre of creation, and the object of all the rest of the universe, are you not forgetting the admonitions of those who warn us against this tendency of self-glorification? You will recollect how much of this warning there is in the Essay on Man :—
Ask for what end the heavenly bodies
Earth for whose use? Pride answers, 'Tis for mine.'
has He done for mankind, and for each man!"†
To imagine ourselves of so much consequence in the eyes of the Creator is natural to us, self-occupied as we are, till philosophy rebukes such conceit." To which it is justly answered -"It is quite right to attend to such warnings. But warnings may also be useful on the other side: warnings against self-disparagement; against the belief that man is not an important object in the eyes of the Creator. I do not know what philosophy represents man as insignificant in the eyes of the Diety; and still less does religious philosophy favour the belief of man's insignificance in the eyes of God. What great things, according to the views which religion teaches,
* Matt. xvi. 26, 27.
But man's intellectual and moral nature being of such dignity and value in the estimation of God, other circumstances connected with him tend in the same direction, says Dr Whewell, and point him out as a special and unique existence, in every way worthy of his transcendant position. He is created by a direct and special act of the Deity, and placed and continued, under circumstances of a most remarkable character, upon the locality prepared for him. We need hardly say that Dr Whewell repudiates the irreligious, idle, and unphilosophical notion that man is merely the result of material development out of a long series of animal existences. This figment Dr Whewell easily demolishes, on philosophical grounds, in common with all the great scientific men of the age; and having vindicated for man the dignity of his origin, as the result of a direct act of creation, and differing not only in his kind, but in his order, from all other creations, proceeds to consider his relations to his earthly abode. This brings us to the second stage of his Argument, to which we now proceed; premising that it necessarily involves considerations relating to the constitution of man, physically, intellectually, and morally; and especially as a being of progressive development. This stage is to be found in two chapters of the Essay, the fifth and sixth, respectively entitled, "Geology;' and "the Argument from Geology,"-both written with uncommon ability, and exhibiting proofs of the great importance attached to them by the author. Even those who may altogether dissent from his main conclusions, will appreciate the interesting and instructive, the masterly and suggestive outline which he gives of this noble twin sister of Astronomy, Geology. We are disposed to hazard a conjecture, that the governing idea developed in these chapters, was the origin of the whole speculation to which the Essay is devoted.
+ Dialogue, pp. 53, 54.
MRS STOWE'S SUNNY MEMORIES.
Ir is, we think, to be regretted that those who intend to lay before the public their impressions of foreign travel, should so often have recourse to the form of letters purporting to be addressed to friends or relatives at home. We admit that, for purposes of fiction, the epistolary style is convenient. Testy Mathew Bramble, his tyrannical sister Tabitha, and the lovelorn Winifred Jenkins, may, by their several lucubrations, unite to form the most amusing of family chronicles; but Smollett, when he compiled Humphrey Clinker, took care that the expression of each character should be perfectly natural. So with Lever's Dodd Family, and the immortal letters of Mrs Ramsbottom. But the case of a party deliberately penning letters, in his or her own name, not for the private gratification of a select circle, or the information of those to whom they are addressed, but directly for the press and the public, is very different. In the first place, every one knows and feels that the letters are not genuine. The most gifted of our race, in addressing a mother, a sister, or a child, do not think it necessary to indulge in fine writing, or in long elaborate descriptions, or in statistical details. They write simply generally shortly; and a good deal of their matter would, if submitted to the eye of a stranger, appear to be unmeaning gossip, not improbably approaching to twaddle. We doubt not that, in the real letters which Mrs Stowe despatched across the Atlantic, there were many household inquiries, suggestions, and remembrances-domestic precepts and home-thoughts-kind, motherly, or friendly words, such as render letters doubly delightful to the recipients. But these formal epistles which she has now given to the world under the collective title of Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands, bear falsity in their very face, and, in all human probability, the printer's devil was the first person that perused them. They are
Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands. London: 1854.
all pitched in one key. Her despatches to the home nursery are as elaborate efforts of composition, as those which are nominally addressed to her father, or to "Dear Aunt E."; -and, as a necessary consequence, they are frigid in the extreme. This is an artistic blunder, which cannot fail to detract very much from the interest of what Mrs Stowe had written. It was not perhaps to be expected, nor indeed desired, that she should have printed her genuine letters; but surely there was no occasion for recasting her diary or memoranda in a purely fictitious form.
We have, however, no reason to doubt that these volumes contain a faithful record of Mrs Beecher Stowe's impressions of such parts of Europe as she has visited; and we so receive them. In her preface she requests "the English reader to bear in mind that the book has not been prepared in reference to an English, but an American public, and to make due allowance for that fact."-We do not think that any explanation of the kind was required. Mrs Stowe says plainly enough, that "the object of publishing these letters is to give to those who are true-hearted and honest the same agreeable picture of life and manners which met the writer's own eyes."-In short, she was delighted with her tour and reception, and generally pleased with the people whom she met; and she wishes to communicate her own agreeable impressions to her countrymen. No one, on this side of the water at least, is likely to object to so kindly and benevolent a design. And we are bound to say, that had she prepared this book with the sole object of gratifying the people of Great Britain by indiscriminate praise of everything which met her eye, she could hardly have been more eulogistic than she is. Nor is this at all surprising, when we remember under what circumstances her journey to this country was made.
By Mrs HARRIET BEECHER STOWE. 2 vols.
No work published within our memory made so rapid an impression on the public mind as Mrs Stowe's novel, It became Uncle Tom's Cabin. famous among us almost as soon as it was imported from America. The theme was of surpassing interest, the characters were powerfully drawn; there was enthusiasm and pathos enough to thrill the heart, to call up tears, and to awaken the general sympathies of the free for the wrongs of the persecuted negro. It brought home to the minds of all of us the horrors of slavery in its worst The and most unendurable form. separation of husband and wife-the sale of children-the exposure in the public market of men and women, whose education was often superior to that of the brutes who bought and sold them all these things, so revolting to humanity, were described with an energy and power greater, perhaps, than have been exhibited by any recent writer. Add to this that the tone of the novel was eminently religious, and calculated to make it find its way into circles from which other works of fiction were studiously banished; and it is easy to account for its immense and sudden popularity. Thousands of persons who would have thought it a positive sin to indulge in the perusal of a romance by Scott or Lytton, devoured the pages of Mrs Stowe with an avidity the more intense from their habits of previous abstinence. It was a book much patronised by the Quakers, and greatly in favour among the Methodists. It was multiplied by countless editions; it was to be seen in the drawing-room of the noble, and in the humble home of the mechanic; and from men of all classes throughout Great Britain it met with a cordial acceptance.
Unfortunately, however, it entered into the heads of certain wiseacres, that they might produce a great moral sensation, and promote other causes besides that of emancipation, by inducing Mrs Beecher Stowe to visit this country, and by parading her as an object of interest. Far be it from us to attempt to dictate to the gentlemen and ladies who are the principal promoters of the Peace Society, and the most active in the distribution of
Olive-leaves, or to those who make
against the legislature of America, for continuing a system which we have nationally decreed to be vile in our own dominions, and have taken every means in our power to discountenance elsewhere? Opinion in this country, in so far as it can be expressed and it has been expressed in thousands of ways-is unanimous for the emancipation of the negro. One and all of us consider the continuance of slavery, as it exists in America, a foul blot upon the nation, which proclaims itself as peculiarly free; and we have said so in anything but undecisive terms. Still, what we have said, is the expression of an opinion only. We may object to slavery in America, as we may object to the same institution in Turkey, or to serfage in Russia, or to any thing else beyond our cognisance and jurisdiction; but we are not entitled to usurp the right, which every separate nation possesses, of regulating its own laws according to its peculiar position. We say this, because, of late years, the tendency towards popular demonstrations and sympathising meetings in England, has increased to such a degree as even to embarrass our relations with foreign powers. Wellmeaning, but supremely ignorant vestry-men, bustling civic magistrates, and conceited members of town-councils, consider themselves entitled to sit in judgment and give sentence upon all questions of European politics. The moment a political exile of any note arrives in this country, he is fêted, and cheered, and made a hero of by municipal dignitaries, who seize the occasion as a capital opportunity for making ungrammatical professions of their ardent adoration of liberty. Their sympathy in favour of insurgents is perfectly unbounded. They have sympathised with the Hungarians-they have sympathised with the Italians-and, until very lately, they showed great sympathy for those gentlemen who were compelled to leave France for their conspiracies against the existing government. It is not a little amusing to contrast the tone which is now assumed by the liberal press and by the municipalities of England towards Louis Napoleon, with that which was prevalent some eighteen months ago! We should
like to see an ovation attempted now in honour of the French republicans. And yet what change has taken place? Ledru Rollin is as good a patriot now as ever; the title of the Emperor to the throne of France is not one whit better than it was before. We are now engaged in war; and the utmost efforts of our statesmen have been used to induce Austria to join with the Western Powers. And yet, in the face of these negotiations, we find that, in the large towns of England, Kossuth is declaring to immense and sympathising audiences that the accession of Austria to our side would be the means of riveting the chains on the oppressed nationality of Hungary! This conduct on the part of the English public, or rather that portion of it which has an inveterate itch for meddling with what it does not and cannot understand, is not only silly, but positively dangerous. If the people of every State were to act in this way, war would not be the exception, but a perpetually existing calamity; and nation would rise against nation, not on account of acts of positive aggression, but because each objected to the mode in which the other administered its own affairs. We have no scruple in expressing our conviction that, since this sympathising mania commenced, Great Britain has lost much of her influence as a first-rate European power. It has the effect of placing, apparently at least, the Government and the people in antagonism-of detracting from the power of the one, and unduly adding to that of the other. And-what we regret most deeply to see it has raised and fostered the impression that we are collectively a nation of braggarts. It is most natural that it should be so, for we are perpetually vaunting about the force of public opinion in this country, and declaring that nothing can stand against it. On the Continent the voice of the towns is considered as the sure index of public opinion; and if that voice had been taken, not very long ago, we should ere now have been engaged in liberating crusades in behalf of Hungary and Italy. The Government, of course, and the vast bulk of the educated and thinking classes throughout Great Britain, estimate these ridicu
lous exhibitions at their proper value, and treat them with silent contempt; -not so foreigners; who, being assured that in the principal towns of England immense meetings have been held and resolutions passed in favour of insurgency, conclude, naturally enough, that these are demonstrations of that public opinion of which they have heard so much, and that the British Government cannot do otherwise than yield to the pressure from without. Perhaps the most absurd commentary upon this exceedingly reprehensible system of sympathising may be found in the fact, that while our mayors, provosts, aldermen, bailies, and other civic small-deer, are sympathising with the oppressed nationalities of Europe, various of their Transatlantic brethren are doing the same in behalf of Ireland and the Irish, and holding up the people of England to the scorn and detestation of the universe, as the cold-blooded, fiendish, and systematic torturers of the oppressed Celtic nationality!
But we must not diverge too much from our immediate subject. It seems to us that there really was no occasion for holding public meetings to show that the sympathy of this country was decidedly in favour of the cause of emancipation, or to irritate the Americans by a vain-glorious comparison of our own conduct contrasted with theirs. We ought, in common decency, to remember that no very great tract of time has elapsed since slavery was abolished in the British colonies; and as, in matters of this kind, interest is always a ruling motive, we should also bear in mind that the prosperity of those colonies has not been increased by the substitution of free for forced labour. Very few of us, on this side of the Atlantic, are able to give a competent opinion as to what effect immediate and unconditional emancipation might produce upon the slaveholding States of America; and therefore we are hardly entitled to do more than to assert the general principle, which condemns the absolute property of man in man. How entire emancipation, which we trust, before long, every State in America will adopt, can be carried out, must be left to the wisdom and discretion of
the local legislatures. No change so great as this can be wrought suddenly. Christianity itself must be inculcated, not coerced, for violence never yet made converts; nor was the bloodred baptism of Valverde, who held the cross in the one hand and the sword in the other, equal in efficacy to the calm expositions of Xavier. Now, it is very plain to us that, in her own way, Mrs Beecher Stowe is a zealot. She has been writing and working at this subject of emancipation, until she has ceased to see any practical difficulty between her vision and its realisation, and wants to persuade all others that no practical difficulty exists. We agree with her so far, that we contemplate not only as desirable, but as necessary for the political existence of the United States of America, a measure for the ultimate and entire emancipation of the negro; but we cannot take upon ourselves the responsibility of urging an immediate change, which might have the effect, in many important respects, of deteriorating instead of bettering the condition of the black population. What more, by any possible effort, can the people of Great Britain do than they have done? Every man in America knows that we detest the system of slavery. We have shown that by a long series of legislative measures, and by national grants to purchase the freedom of our slaves in the colonies; and very few names, indeed, are held in greater honour in this country than those of Clarkson and Wilberforce. But most assuredly we have no right to dictate to other nations, or to insist that they shall adopt our views in the regulation of their internal policy. We might just as well attempt to coerce them in matters of religion, and, founding upon our belief in the purity of Protestantism, insist that the Catholic states shall renounce the authority of Rome. Certainly we shall not improve the cause of the American negro by indulging in bitter terms and unlimited objurgation against the States which do not, as yet, see their way to immediate emancipation. All the great reforms of the world have been progressive. To hasten them unduly, and until men are fit to receive them, is the mere work of