Slike strani

With latticed casement bedded deep in leaves,
That opening with sweet murmur might look forth
On quiet fields from broad o'e: hanging eaves;
And ever when the Spring her garland weaves,
Were darkened with encroaching ivy-trail
And jaggèd vine-leaves' shade ;
And all its pavement starred with blossoms pale
Of jasmine, when the wind's least stir was made;
Where the sunbeam was verdurous-cool, before
It wound into that quiet nook, to paint
With interspace of light and colour faint
That tessellated floor.

This is a youthful poem, and, with a few others like it, shows how easily the author might have succeeded in a style more popular if the Musæ Severiores' had not drawn him by preference to the poetry of graver thoughts. Later he was by necessity much drawn away from poetry by his official duties, and also by the composition of his numerous prose works, as Southey was drawn away from poetry by his historical works and Coleridge by metaphysics, before either had more than indicated what he might otherwise have accomplished. Mere drudgery is a less formidable competitor with poetry than higher things; a clerkship in a bank is unseductive to genius; but theology, history, and philosophy have sufficient kinship with poetry to provide another investment for the faculty and another satisfaction for the craving.




In continuing our notice of the Lives of American Statesmen, as we pass from the revolutionary period to the period which succeeds, let us guard ourselves against any false inference from what has been said concerning the cause of the Revolution and the character of those who played a part in it. The separation of the colonies from the mother country was inevitable, and, since by their united arms French rivalry on this continent had been extinguished, the hour for parting had come, as a few clear-sighted men in England began to perceive. What we deplore is not the separation but the rupture, which, in spite of all revolutionary dithyrambics, we maintain to have been a miserable affair on both sides. To annul its evil consequences, if possible, and get back to the footing of a family partition of the Anglo-Saxon Empire between the two branches of the race, should be, we submit, the aim of British statesmanship in dealing with American questions, including that concerning the fisheries which has just been debated by the representatives of the two countries at Washington.

Madison, a somewhat feeble though respectable and scholarly person, with an Addisonian style, had contributed to the Federalist, but was afterwards drawn, apparently by his ambition, to the democratic side. He shared with Jefferson the honour of instituting religious equality by the disestablishment of the Church of England in Virginia. Jefferson hated the clergy, whom he accused of fanaticism,

"American Statesmen : a Series of Biographies of Ven conspicuous in the Political

History of the United States. Edited by John T. Morse, jun. (Boston, U.S. :

Houghton, Mifflin & Co.):John Quincy Adams. By John T. Morse, Daniel Webster. By Henry Cabot Lodge. jun.

Albert Gallatin. By John Austin Stevens. Alexander Hamilton. By IIenry Cabot James Madison. By Sydney Howard Gay. Lodge.

John Adams. By John T. Morse, jun. John C. Calhoun. By Dr. H. von Holst. John Marshall. By A. B. Magruder. Andrew Jackson. By Professor W. G. Samuel Adams. By James K. Hosmer. Sumner,

Thomas H. Benton. By Theodore RooseJohn Randolph. By Henry Adams.

velt. James Monroe. By Pres. Daniel C. Gilman. Henry Clay. By Hon. Carl Schurz. Thomas Jefferson. By John T. Morse, jun. Patrick Henry. By Moses Coit Tyler.

while they accused him of scepticism. Perhaps they might have added that the fanaticism which, to give effect to a political theory, was ready to reduce the human race to a single pair differed not so much in intensity as in direction from that of the fiercest of clerical bigots. The chief event in Madison’s life, however, belongs to a later period. He it was who, against his own judgment and conscience, as seems to be generally admitted, allowed himself to be drawn by the ever fatal bait of re-election to the Presidency, and thrust by the 'young war party' into renewing the disastrous quarrel of our race by declaring war against England. Nobody defends the Orders in Council; but Randolph told the truth when he said that the American trade was not a regular and honest trade, but a trade covering a belligerent's goods. It crippled the only arm which England had wherewith to defend her own life and the independence of all nations. The French navy, released from the necessity of convoying its own commerce, was set free for the invasion of England. Impressment, abused as it was by the folly and violence of subordinates, was also a very crying grievance; yet the conscription by which the British navy was then manned differed rather in the barbarous obsoleteness of the form than in substance from the conscription by which European armies and fleets are filled now, and American vessels did unquestionably harbour fugitives from conscription and deserters. The treaty framed by Pinckney and Monroe would have reduced the grievance to at least tolerable dimensions, but it was rejected by Jefferson, who, though, like Robespierre, averse to war, like Robespierre was always fomenting the passions from which war was sure to spring. The Orders in Council having been abandoned when the sword was drawn, impressment remained the only cause of quarrel, and about this in the negotiations for peace not a word was said by the American commissioners. A more futile war, at all events, was never made. New England protested throughout. The war was made by Southern violence and backwoods recklessness, aided in no small degree, as the Massachusetts Legislature averred, by the malignant influence of foreign revolutionary adventurers, such as Emmett and Gales, who had crept behind the American press and, like the Irish at the present day, were using the American Republic as the engine of an alien enmity. The conquest of Canada, which the war party deemed certain, was also a strong inducement. Another motive, as one of the writers in this series of Lives frankly admits, was the desire of sharing the triumph of Napoleon, who it was confidently believed would come out victorious from the struggle and enslave the nations-a singular aspiration, it must be owned, for a republic which was to be the Morning Star of Liberty. There can be little doubt that, had Bonaparte remained master of Europe, he would have extended his conquests to the other hemisphere, from which he had unwillingly retired only when the retention of

Louisiana became impossible. England, in fact, in 1812 fought against America for American independence as well as for the independence of Europe. France, both under the Directory and under the Empire, had injured America far more grievously and insulted her far more grossly than England : she had confiscated American vessels and cargoes without number; she had kept American citizens in captivity; she had burned American ships at sea, that they might not be recaptured and liberated by the British. The Massachusetts Legislature, in its address to the people, said-

Without pretending to compare and adjust the respective injuries received from the two nations, it cannot be disguised that in some instances our nation has received from Great Britain compensation, in others offers of atonement, and in all the language of conciliation and respect; while from France our immense losses are without retribution, and our remonstrances are neglected with contemptuous silence or answered with aggravating insult.

As Hildreth, that Abdiel of truthfulness among the American historians of the past, says, wrong at the hands of France was received as an over-fond lover receives the outrages of a termagant mistress. Yet it is admitted in these pages that the sole object of France in aiding American revolt was to take vengeance on England for having by her victorious arms delivered her colonists from French rivalry and enmity on their own continent. The war on the part of the Americans was largely a war of hatred against England ; and of that hatred England might be partly proud, since it was the antipathy felt by the Jacobin for the only Power which still, however imperfectly, upheld the cause of rational and genuine freedom.

One American historian after another dwells upon the temper shown by Great Britain in all these transactions, as if that in itself had been a cause of war. Mr. Morse talks of that peculiar insolence which Englishmen have carried to a point unknown in any other age or among any

other people.' Once more we must ask him whether he thinks it likely that in the division of a race all the insolence would fall to one side, and all the modesty, amiability, and courtesy to the other. Would that all the British statesmen of those days could have acted in the spirit of Shelburne and Pitt, who wished, as it appears, to heal the wound and establish between the two branches of the race some relation better than total estrangement! But it was natural that England should be sore, and the Loyalists, whom the cruel and senseless vengeance of the victor had driven into exile, helped by their presence to keep up the ill-feeling. Yet George the Third welcomed the first American ambassador in language so magnanimous and generous that Mr. Morse, in his Life of John Adams, refrains from recounting it, giving only that part of the King's address which left him open to a republican snub.

th has ecorded the fact at the flags of a British fleet were half-masted at the death of Washington. On the other hand, a torrent of the foulest and most irritating abuse had always been poured by the democratic party in America upon the harlot England,' as Jefferson called her, not for what she did but for being what she was. When the quarrel was brewing the Democratic party at New York, as Hildreth tells us, having dug up some bones from the old graveyard of a hospital, paraded them through the streets as the sacred relics of 11,500 martyrs who had perished in British prison ships. And it was into the arms of this Democratic party, or at least of its historical representative, headed, as of yore, by the fire-eating slave-owners of the South, that a large English party was duped into throwing itself at the time of the Civil War !

John Quincy Adams was a thorough chip of the old block. Perhaps it would be nearer the truth to say that John Adams was a block of the young chip. For Nature, together with an equal measure of patriotism, integrity, and working power, had bestowed upon the son an increased measure of the egotism, irascibility, censoriousness, and stiffneckedness of the sire. To break up a party is perhaps not the worst of political misdeeds, but it was the work to which John Quincy Adams was predestined and which he effectually performed. Of conscientious industry in the public service he was a paragon. As President, at the age of sixty, he rose at four or five, lighted his own fire, and began his work. In truth if he was beset through the day as a President is now by visitors and office-seekers, he must have worked before sunrise or not at all. Perhaps the worst thing which he did, both in itself and in its consequences, was his defence of the international outrages of Jackson, and here he was misled by nothing more discreditable than wrong-headed patriotism. There seems to have been a general and well-founded mistrust of his judgment; it is hardly possible, in fact, that an intense egotist should see very straight or very clearly. The memorable part of Quincy Adams's career, however, begins, as Mr. Blaine, in Twenty Years of Congress, remarks, when his term as President was over, and when, being sixty-five years old, he might seem to have run his course. He, who while he held the highest place had been secondrate, and had not very eminently distinguished himself as a member of the Senate, having descended in his old age to the House of Representatives, was for seventeen years the most respectable figure there. Nothing recorded in this series of Lives is more heroic than the long battle which Quincy Adams fought, almost single-handed, for the right of petition in connection with the question of slavery. Day after day and year after year the grey-haired man stood up with indomitable fortitude against the rage, the invectives, and the insults of the Southern chivalry. It was a pleasant little incident when he rose to present a petition signed by slaves, and, having of course brought on a tornado by the announcement, took advantage of the first lull in the storm to explain that the petition was not against but

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