Imatges de pÓgina

people of colour. They constantly subject them to indignities of every kind, and refuse altogether to eat or drink with them. If you have black servants and white servants in the same house, they never upon any occasion eat together; and this cir. cumstance very often obliges people to have servants of colour altogether."

It would appear from Mr. Stuart, that the sociality of the North Americans has been as much misrepresented as their gallantry.

« The kindness and hospitality of the Americans are quite unostentatious. I write, however, of the mass of the people, and without reference to the small num. ber of people, who consider themselves the great in this country. An invitation to dinner is generally given in such words as these : I will be pleased to see you at two oclock.' Frequently no change whatever is made in the dinner, supposing you to accept. Your friend knows that there is always abundance of good food upon his table. That degree of attention is shown to you which a stranger meets with everywhere, in seeing that his plate be filled in the first instance with what he likes, but no pressing or entreaty are used to make him eat or drink more than he likes. If wine is produced, it is left for him to partake of it or not as he chooses. There is hardly ever any talk about the dinner, or the quality of the wine, which you are not provoked to drink by being told how many years it has been in your friend's cellar, or to what vintage it belongs.

“ It is much more probable that, even amongst the richest classes, excluding always a few who form small cotteries in the great towns, or who have been much in Eng. land, you will hear little conversation, and that relating more to their professional pursuits, their gains, and their dollars, and their political situations, than to the food they are eating, or the wine they are drinking.

This subject is afterwards resumed.

“ Tea-parties, which are very common in the United States, in some measure make up for what I look upon as the more rational and comfortable conversational dinner of the middling, the best classes of society in Britain. Where those tea-parties take place by invitation, the table is liberally covered, and with a greater number of articles, such as a profusion of cakes of various kinds and preserves. Animal food, too, of some description or other, is almost always produced,—and after the tea or supper is finished, wine of various kinds, nuts, fruit, &c. are placed on the sideboard, or handed round. There is, perhaps, a little more room for conversation at such parties than at British routes ; but still I conceive the rational interchange of sentiment which takes place at English dinners, to be, generally speaking, awanting in the meal which is called by the same name in the United States. Let it not, however, be supposed, that I mean to insinuate that at any dinner, public or private, either a stranger or native has any reason to expect an uncivil answer to any conversation which he may address to any one sitting at table ; but the custom is so universal in the most populous part of the United States, to leave the table immediately after dinner, to smoke a cigar, and afterwards to return to professional business ; that the people generally seem to me to be least inclined for convivial conversation at the very time when we, with better taste, as I think, enjoy it most. I am bound, however, to add, after seeing much more of the United States than I had done when I was making these remarks, that I have been at many tea-parties in various parts of the country, where, sitting over our wine after tea, we had the enjoyment of agreeable and instructive conversation for quite as long a time as should ever be devoted to it either in the Old or New World. I am also bound to add, what I myself had opportunities to observe, both in my own case and that of other persons whom I knew, that there is the very greatest desire on the part of the people of this country, of all classes, to show kindness and attention, and to give special proofs of hospitality to persons from Britain, who may have had it in their power to show attentions to them, or their friends and relations in England."

What follows relates to a subject of deep interest, which has been misrepresented in the grossest manner by preceding writers, and is worthy of the most serious attention. It is Mr. Stuart's account of a camp-meeting, or revival, at which he was present.

“ The meeting was held within a forrest or wood, where a sufficient number of trees had been cut to make such an opening as was required. The morning service was concluded some time before we arrived. From the high grounds, the view of the bay, of the shipping, and of the assembled multitudes, with their carriages and horses, was very striking. A great many of the people were straggling in the adjoining fields during the interval of the service. The shipping, all of which had been employed in bringing persons from a considerable distance to join the meeting, consisted of five steam-boats, about sixty sloops and schooners, besides open boats. The number of horses and carriages was proportionably great. It was calculated that there were about 12,000 persons on the ground,-certainly not less than 9000 or 10,000.

“ There seemed to be about a dozen of clergymen, all belonging to the Methodist persuasion, in a large covered and elevated platform.

“ Benches were provided for the congregation, placed on the vacant or open space in front of the platform. The males were on the one side of the benches, and the fe. males on the other. There were benches for a great part of the assembled multitude, and the benches were surrounded on all sides by a close body of those who had only standing room. When the afternoon service commenced, the effect of this prodigious assemblage of people, all standing, lifting up their voices, and joining in praise to their Creator, was more sublime than those who have not witnessed such a scene can well imagine. The sermon, which was afterwards delivered, lasted for an hour, and was distinctly heard all over the ground, for the most perfect order and silence prevailed. The clergyman preached from the 29th verse of the 10th chapter of the book of Numbers : “ We are journeying unto the place of which the Lord said, I will give it you : come thou with us, and we will do thee good; for the Lord hath spoken good concerniug Israel.' The discourse seemed to me to be altogether faultless, and the address at the end was most remarkably impressive. The speaker, in the conclusion, alluded to the sect of Christians to which he belonged, the Methodists; but he meant, he added, to say 'nought against other denominations of Christians who did good.' After sermon, prayer, all kneeling, succeeded. Then a hymn was sung, and another clergyman, a very old man, coming to the edge of the platform, said, that a friend whom they had never heard before, was about to address them. Another clergyman, an aged perons, then stepped forward, to enforce, as he said, the invitation in the text, which he did very shortly, and very skilfully, particularly, and with great earnestness, exhorting those members who had lately been added to the church, to communicate to their brothers, sisters, and friends, some idea of the happiness which they now enjoyed, that they might be induced to follow their example, and accept the invitation, by joining the church, even before the meeting was over.

“ The afternoon service was concluded as usual, with singing and prayer, and the most perfect decorum prevailed. The service continued for about two hours and a-half.

“ The United States being free from any religious establishment, every one is not only tolerated in the exercise of the religion he believes, but he is at full liberty, without the fear, except in very few and very peculiar cases, of his temporal concerns being at all effected by his religious profession, (whatever it may be,) to embrace those religious doctrines which he conceives, on due consideration, are true. It follows from this state of things, that there is much less hypocrisy in the professors of religion in this than in other countries. Those in this country, who voluntarily go to a Protestant church, and who voluntarily pay for the ministration of a Christian clergyman, may be generally, (I do not mean to say universally,) held to have made the necessary examination, and to be real believers of the doctrines of the Christian religion ;-whereas those from other countries, who have travelled in the United States, and who have put forth sneering and ill-founded statements on the subject of revirals, camp-meetings, &c. are generally Christians professing that religion, merely because their parents did so, or because Christianity is the religion of their country, and not because they ever investigated its truth. I found at Northampton a short narrative of a revival in a Presbyterian church at Baltimore, written in a plain unsophisticated style by Mr. Walton, the clergyman of that church, which I would recommend to the attention of some late English writers, who, in perfect ignorance, as it appears to me, treat the religious meetings and revivals in the United States in a contemptuous manner, and as if they were approved and attended by no one of sane mind.'

After perusing these traits of individual character, and this exposé of the religious feelings of the community, the reader will be better fitted to appreciate the picture of an American election. We lay it before him without note or comment.

“ It was on the 5th November that I was present at the election at Ballston Spa, held in ore of the hotels, about the door of which, twenty or thirty people might be standing. My friend Mr. Brown introduced me, and got me a place at the table. I must confess that I have been seldom more disappointed at a public meeting. The excitement occasioned by the election generally was declared by the newspapers to be far greater than had ever been witnessed since the declaration of independence in 1776. And at Ballston Spa, any irritation which existed had been increased by an attack made a few days previous to the election by the local press, and by hand-bills, on the moral character of one of the candidates,-a gentleman who had filled a high office in Congress, and who resided in the neighbourhood. I was, therefore, prepared for some fun, for some ebulition of humour, or of sarcastic remark, or dry wit, to which Americans are said to be prone. But i was dumb show, or the next thing to it. The ballot-boxes were placed on a long table, at which half a dozen of the inspectors or canvassers of votes were seated. The voters approached the table by single files. Not a word was spoken. Each voter delivered his list, when he got next to the table to the officers, who called out his name. Any person might object, but the objection was instantly decided on the officers having no difficulty, from their knowledge of the township, of the persons residing in it, and to whose testimony reference was instantly made, in determining on the spot, whether the qualification of the voter was or was not sufficient. I need hardly say, that I did not attend this excessively uninteresting sort of meeting for any long time ; but I am bound to bear this testimony in its favour, that so quiet a day of election, both without and within doors, I never witnessed either in Scotland or England. I did not see or hear of a drunk person in the street of the village or neighbourhood, nor did I observe any thing extraordinary, except the increased number of carriages or waggons of all kinds, three or four of them drawn by four horses, one by six. We were residing close by the hotel where the election took place, and in the evening the tranquillity was as complete as if no election had occurred.

“ The county canvassers for the twenty townships of this county of Saratoga afterwards met, and made up their returns for the county, in all of which, as well as in the whole of the state, the same quietness and perfect order prevailed. The number of votes given in this state for the electors of the president was 276,176, in a popula. tion of upwards of 1,800,000 ; and that this part of the election was most keenly contested, is obvious from the recorded fact, that the majority for Jackson over Adams in this state only amounted to 5,350. The total number of votes given in the presidential election on this occasion was afterwards ascertained to be nearly 1,200,000, in a population of about twelve millions, of which the whole states are composed.

Thus, in a state far exceeding Scotland in extent, and almost equalling it in popu. lation, the votes for the chief magistrate of the United States and his substitute, - for the governor and lieutenant-governor of the state,- for a senator and representatives to Congress,- for three representatives to the State of New York,—for four coroners, a sheriff, and a clerk to the county, were taken,-and the business of the election finished with ease, and with the most perfect order and decorum, in three days. All voted by ballot, which is here considered the only way to obtain independent and un. biassed votes ; and if so in this country, how much more in the British islands, where the aristocracy and higher orders are so infinitely more powerful, influential, and nu. merous. The late eminent Dr. Dwight, President of Yale College in Connecticut describes an election meeting in New England very much as I witnessed it here. After declaring that he had never known a single shilling paid for à vote, he says, ' I have lived long in New England. On the morning of an election day, the electors, assemble either in a church or a town-house, in the centre of the township, of which they are inhabitants. The business of the day is sometimes introduced by a sermon, and very often by public prayer. A moderator is chosen. The votes are given in with strict decency, without a single debate, without noise, or disorder, or drinkand with not a little of the sobriety seen in religious assemblies. The meeting is then dissolved; the inhabitants return quietly to their homes, and have neither battles nor disputes. I do not believe that a single woman, bond or free, ever appeared at an election in New England since the colonization of the country. It would be as much as her character was worth.

“Dr. Dwight's authority, however, is not greater than many others to which I might refer. Chancellor Kent of New York is a person of the greatest respectability as a man, and of the highest character as a lawyer. In his Commentaries, which is quite a standard book, he hears this evidence on the subject of elections : "The United States, in their improvements upon the rights of representation, may certainly claim pre-eminence over all other governments, ancient and modern. Our elections are held at stated seasons, established by law. The people vote by ballot in small districts ; and public officers preside over the elections, receive the votes, and maintain order and fairness. Though the competition between candidates is generally active, and the zeal of rival parties sufficiently excited, the elections are everywhere conducted with tranquillity.'

“ The testimony of Joseph Gerald, a martyr to the sincerity with which he, at a period not so recent, advocated the propriety of resorting to the same form of elections in Great Britain, before biassed judges and a biassed jury, at a time of great political excitement in Scotland, will long be remembered. I myself,' he declared, in his speech on his celebrated trial before the Supreme Criminal Court in Scotland, 'resided during four years in a country where every man who paid taxes had a right to vote, I mean the Commonwealth of Pensylvania. I was an eye-witness of many elections which took place in Philadelphia, the capital of the State,-an industrious and populous city; and can safely assert, that no one riot ever ensued.'

“Mr. James Flint, who travelled in the United States about a dozen of years ago, and whose scrupulous correctness of narration is well known to all who know him, in bis published letters from America, states his views as to their elections thus :"A few days ago I witnessed the election of a member of Congress for the State of Indiana. Members for the State Assembly, and county officers, and the votes for the township of Jeffersonville, were taken by ballot in one day. No quarrels or dis. order occurred. At Louisville, in Kentucky, the poll was kept open for three days. The votes were given viva voce. I saw three fights in the course of an hour. This method appears to be productive of as much discord here as in England.' With re. lation to the ballot, I would only further add, that a great point is gained by its celerity, 10,000 votes can easily be taken in five or six hours.

More important, perhaps, than any extract we have given, is the opinion of Mr Stuart, a professional lawyer, on the cheap justice, and enlightened judicial system of America.

“ Then the cheapness of law in America puts it in the power of all to obtain redress. In England it has been ssated by a great authority to be better, in a pecuniary point of view, to give up L.40 than to contend for it, because it costs that sum in England to gain a cause ; and that in a court of equity it is better to abandon L.500 or L. 1000 than to contend for it. The absurdities of the English marriage law are unknown in America. The poorest person has it in his power, when necessary, to apply for, and obtain, a divorce--a privilege which is in England reserved for the Peerage, and a few of the wealthiest of the citizens. Entails, it is well known, are prohibited ; and the property of the deceased is divided among his children, unless he settles it otherwise by will.

“In their criminal code, the punishment of death is seldom inflicted but in cases of murder, fire-raising, piracy, and robbery of the mail. Persons accused of crimes of all descriptions are entitled to the assistance of counsel on their trials.

“ The expense of the judicial establishments of this country is very trifling coin. pared to what it is elsewhere. In New England and the State of New York, the po. pulation of which is about twice as great as that of Scotland, the whole expense of the courts and requisite establishment does not amount to L.25,000 Sterling.

These extracts, however insufficient to convey an idea of the mass of interesting facts and remarks contained in Mr. Stuart's volumes, may serve to disabuse, in some measures, those of our readers who have been accustomed to see the Americans through the dark glasses of Hall, Trolpope, or the Quarterly. They are a people among whom we might at present look in vain for a Newton, or La Place ; but there is scarcely an uneducated man amongst them. There is not, perhaps, an individual in the whole of the Union fit to make a distinguished figure at Almack's ; but it is rare to meet one destitute of the self-respect and conscious dignity and generosity of a freeman. The gallantry and sociality of the Americans express themselves differently perhaps from ours, but are not, therefore, either less buoyant or pervading. The Americans, in short, taking bulk for bulk, display as much delicacy of sentiment, as much unwavering principle, as much deep-rooted religious feeling, as the citizens of any state in Europe ; and, with this advantage, that their moral creed rests upon unsophisticated truth. There is in Europe an immense mass of error and prejudice, mingled with the best feelings of the community, dangerous and contaminating in itself, yet so blended with what is good, that the wisest shrink from attempting its eradication. In America, all that is of good in the country's opinions and institutions is entirely independent of this baneful admixture. The Americans may go fearlessly forward in the work of national amelioration ; for their social structure, though incomplete in many places, is, except in the slaveholding States, no where rotten, Mr. Stuart's book is a demonstration of this important and cheering truth.

The Quarterly Review has always caught greedily at such publications as those of Mrs. Trollope. We challenge the Editor to review Mr. Stuart's, IF HE DARE. !


“ What will be the state of parties in the coming House of Commons," is now the constant inquiry. We all know what the public feeling is, but are not by any means certain as to the mode in which that feeling will be represented by our present Reformed, and yet still faulty Parliament. The state of Parties, as it is called, is still a mystery. Their relative strength, in numbers and talent, is unknown; and even the parties themselves yet remain to be determined. We are now about to attempt a sort of prospective sketch of their history, describing what to us appears the probable composition of the House of Commons,—the nature, objects, and strength of its heterogeneous parts.

As usual, the House will be divided into Ministerial and Opposition ; but these words will signify matters widely different from what they have hitherto been used to signify.

For some years past, a combat has been going on out of doors, which will now be brought into the Honourable House itself. The People have hitherto been fighting at disadvantage with the governing few, through the medium of the press, and latterly through the Political Unions. Their wishes have been made known to the governing few in a roundabout, and therefore ineffective manner; and not till the Aristocracy have been terrified by the expectation of revolt, has concession of any sort been made. The nation then, looked at as a whole, was divided in. to the Aristocracy and the People,-two hostile parties, who contended not through the forms of the constitution, but the extraordinary means which necessity dictated and ingenuity devised. While this great struggle was proceeding between these two sections of the nation, a sort of mock battle was being fought within the walls of Parliament. The Parliament contained, (with insignificant exceptions,) only members of the aristocratic or governing body ; these, however, though carrying on a fearful war with the People, were not at peace with one another. As a body, they fought to retain the means of plundering the People ; they fought among themselves for the plunder. This latter war, however, was a very different affair from the former. That between the People and Aristocracy was carried on as if it were a matter of life or death. The one side and the other knew that the interests in debate were vital interests, and they contended respecting them with a fierceness and energy proportionate to the object of their strife. Not till utter ruin stared them in the face,

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