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the congress left Paris by special train, at 7 o'clock, and arrived in London at 12 the same night. There were special manifestations of good will between the English and American deputations. At the breakfast, Richard Cobden, Esq., M. P., was called to the chair, and delivered an address highly complimentary to the Americans present. A resolution was then passed to the same purport. The chairman presented to each member of the American delegation a copy of the New Testament in French, with an appropriate inscription, signed by himself in behalf of the meeting. To these remarks and proceedings Mr. Elihu Burritt responded with his usual eloquence. Rev. Dr. Allen, of Northampton, also made an address, from which we give one or two extracts :
We are the descendants of the Puritans who, from Leyden, in Holland, and from the chalky cliffs of England, crossed the wide ocean to find an asylum for freedom—freedom as to civil rights— freedom to read the Bible—freedom to worship God. We have crossed the ocean and assisted in this congress in order to give the world freedom from war. We have come from the states of New England, from the snows of Canada, from the sunny region of South Carolina, from the rich land of Ohio, and from the broad prairies of Wisconsin, to meet with men of the same heart in Europe. * * * The New Testament, which had just been presented to them, they received as the Word of God, the light of the world, to teach the principles of universal peace.
Dr. Allen spoke in warm terms of France, but added : What France wants, as it appears to me, is not intellect, is not science, is not literature, taste, refinement; but the familiar knowledge of the great truths of the Bible. One of the kings of France expressed the wish that every peasant in his dominions might have a chicken in his pot. We will express a different wish—that every French peasant may have a Bible in his cottage.
From the Times. NATIONAL BANKRUPTCY APPROACHING IN ENGLAND.
Among the various speeches and documents elicited by the late Peace Convention, was one which possesses peculiar claims to attention, and happens also to contain some expressions of a very startling import. Mr. Samuel Gurney, as a member of the Society of Friends, holds the doctrine of peace, and his opinions on this subject necessarily assume a dogmatic and controversial character. His objection to armaments is referred to his creed. But Mr. Samuel Gurney has another capacity, in which he is supposed to act and talk more by calculation than theological bias. He is a banker and bill-broker, and is believed to be singularly prudent and successful in that business. That he has had extensive experience is evident enough, nor is there the least doubt that he has turned it to the proper account. As to the only remaining point, whether he can be trusted when he offers to others the benefit of his judgment, probably there is no one in this metropolis who would venture to moot that question. It is, then,
o first bill-broker in the land, and a man of his word, who says—
In respect of my own country, I more boldly assert that it is my judgment, that unless she wholly alters her course in these respects, bankruptcy will ultimately be the result. We have spent from fifteen to twenty millions sterling per annum for warlike purposes since the peace of 1815. Had that money been applied to the discharge of the national debt, by this time it would have been nearly annihilated ; but if our military expenditure be persisted in, and no reduction of our national debt take place, at a period of our history certainly characterized by very fair prosperity and general political calm, how is it to be expected that the amount of revenue will be maintained in a time of adversity, which we must from time to time anticipate in our future history ! Should such adversity come upon us, I venture to predict that our revenue will not be maintained, nor the dividends paid, unless more efficient means be taken to prevent such a catastrophe in these days of prosperity and peace.
This is a very grave prophecy, and it is no inconsiderable oracle which has pronounced it. Lombard street is the Delphi of commerce. Mr. S. Gurney has had to do with indebted men and estates. He knows the history of many incumbrances. He has seen the vast mortgage lying like an incubus on the resources of nature and the energy of man. He has traced the slow but sure drain of a fixed interest paid out of a fluctuating and perhaps a falling revenue. He has watched the debtor struggling for many years, and just keeping afloat, till there comes some extraordinary aggravation of his burdens, and then down he goes. He has noticed that the chapter of accidents is more fertile in disaster than relief, and in the long run tells against the debtor. From what has come under his own observation in the exercise of his private profession, he draws a political inference. Unless the nation pays off its debt while it can, the day will come when it cannot, and when it will find even the interest of that debt too much for its revenue. The prediction is so serious and so unambiguously expressed, that if it were found in the lucubrations of a mere pamphleteer, it would be thought an exaggerated alarm, or a mischievous suggestion. There are those who think the mere mention of national bankruptcy treason and rebellion. and who feel a patriotic shudder at the word “sponge.” We own to a degree of this antipathy ourselves, and candidly confess that had we read the passage we have quoted without knowing its author, we should have conceived an unfavorable opinion not so much of his judgment as of his delicacy and tact. But the name at the foot of the letter is a sufficient reply to any such suspicions. It is Samuel Gurney who tells us that if we persist in our present course, and do not avail ourselves of our comparative prosperity to pay off our debt, a time of adversity will come, when we shall be bankrupt.
It is a hard saying, but nevertheless a true one; and, however we may dislike the obtrusion of such unpleasant thoughts, we cannot dispel them. Indeed, our readers will remember that we have repeatedly said the same in substance ourselves. Not to reduce debt, we have said, is to increase it. Debt is ultimate insolvency. Bankruptcy is revolution. These are topics we have often urged, and we applied them to France and her desperate finances long before the starving inhabitants of the faubourgs set Europe in a flame. The French Revolution is a very near event. Prorimus ardet. It is evident that France has hitherto only aggrawated her financial difficulties by revolution. She has only widened the gap between her income and her expenditure. She has “put on the screw,” but in vain. A large military force, we read today, is employed in collecting the 45 centimes additional added last March twelve-month to the direct taxation ; while government is endeavoring to borrow at a high rate of interest. But France is only before us on the same path. Within three years we have added twelve millions to our debt, and have barely attained, if we have attained, an equilibrium between our incomings and our outgoings. At the present moment, therefore, we are at a standstill, with a debt the interest of which is about 28,000,000l. per annum. But is it reasonable, is it possible, to suppose that we can maintain this equilibrium? Any one of many very probable casualties may compel a sudden increase of expenditure, and hurl the state another step in the downward course to bankruptcy. War is not the only danger; nor is increased expenditure. There are other less violent changes which might render the present taxation intolerable. Of course there is a bright side as well as a dark side to the prospect before us. The embarrassed trader hopes for a god-send, and perhaps it comes. We may have our windfalls. It has even been suggested that a great depreciation of the valuable metals would proportionally reduce the pressure of our debt, which is a metallic undertaking. After borrowing in a dear market we may pay in a cheap one. But such a result is much too problematic, not to say romantic, to be allowed a place in our financial speculations. The most rational supposition is, that the currency will remain in all our time much as it is now, and that there will be no change of any kind in our favor. In other respects, experience teaches us to expect a change for the worse. Changes generally are for the worse. Should the year 1850 produce any great event, it will most probably be an expensive one. Even in private life, unexpected bequests, lucky windfalls, profitable discoveries, and sudden promotions, are very rare compared with the generally adverse tendency of events. States are still less in the way of luck. Theirs is an almost uniform pull against difficulties. It would, therefore, be as imprudent as it would certainly be impious, to expect some extraordinary relief from our national burdens. For this relief "we must look to ourselves; and unless we begin betimes to help ourselves, and pay our debt like men, we shall be bankrupt. So says Samuel Gurney, and so say we also. May it not be in
our time that Pennsylvania shall be enabled to retort the charge of repudiation But we cannot conceal from ourselves that it is a species of repudiation to suffer our debt to outgrow our power of repayment, and to bequeath to our posterity a task which we thereby confess to be impossible.
From the Spectator, of 1 Sept. NEWS OF THE WEEK.
ELIHU BURRITT's explanation of the objects and plans contemplated by the Peace Congress at Paris came somewhat out of time on the closing day. Mr. Burritt is the true missionary of the movement. His force of character, his zeal, and his want of mistrust in himself or others, induce him to impart a completeness and absoluteness to his plan, vastly more respectable than the trimming position of some adherents, but perhaps too absolute and unqualified for the spirit of the day. He proposes, and the congress adopts his proposal, a convention of all nations, represented on the basis of universal suffrage, to revise the so-called international laws, and to elaborate a consolidated and amended code, subject to revisal and adoption by the several states severally; then the construction of a tribunal to carry out that code. He does not supply the desideratum in this scheme— the standing-place of Archimedes—a power to enforce the behests of the central tribunal. But something may come out of a movement so zealously and widely promoted: if not a formal guarantee of peace, if not the absolute disuse of war, perhaps an enlargement and improvement of those international councils which usually bear the name of “congress;” and such an improvement might make itself felt soon and forcibly.
The victories of Austria and Italy are no doubt watched from Geneva with some hope. Venice has been compelled to submit, and is in possession of Radetzky; whose iron rule is still heavy on Milan, and is mocked by the “amnesty” for political prisoners—with exceptions not stated. The revolution of 1848 has nowhere passed away in vain: by it peoples have learned the feebleness of governments and the outspoken mind of Europe; “public opinion” will no longer countenance Absolutism. Radetzky conquers in the field, but to keep his conquests will need an influence more permanent and tractable than military occupation ; and the Council at Geneva is sitting to watch for the mistakes of the victors.
Again : Hungary yields, but is not fully conquered. The new accounts confirm an early impression that Görgey's surrender was prearranged; and the part assigned to Russia in the arrangement is remarkable. Although it was known to the Russian and Austrian commanders that the Hungarians must soon be exhausted, the Russian ally accepts the submission of the insurgent chief. It is usual, we believe, for an ally who merely sends succors, to refer the negotiations of surrender to the principal in the quarrel: the Russian commander has overridden that rule, and in so doing
appears to have accepted the office of mediator between the ally and the insurgent force. The general unsettlement of Europe, followed by a decided reaction, cannot but give Russia hopes of securing something for herself; and she is evidently keeping her own game in her own hands. While victory is secured in Hungary, the signs of disturbance in various parts of Germany have not ceased. One trait is the mutinous and disaf. fected state of the army at Baden. Indeed, although “peace” of a certain kind is established by force of arms from the Danube to the Seine, from the Danube to the Seine the sure evidences of social disturbance are universal. An important consideration for those who desire to effect a real settlement of Furope, is the vast number of persons, belonging to defeated insurgent forces, who are wandering about the world in search of new adventures. These people form a huge army, available for revolution in any country of the continent—a huge polyglot Garde Mobile. True policy would suggest some method of receiving them peaceably into their native populations, so that the army shall be absorbed and the spirit of hostility neutralized. A congress would do good service in this matter, by supplying governments with the warrant for a general measure.
HILDRETH's History of THE UNITED STATEs.— We are surprised to learn that Mr. Hildreth's book, of which two volumes have now been published, and for several weeks past before the public, has not attracted general attention. It is by no means true that Mr. Grahame's or Mr. Bancroft's valuable works have so far covered the ground as to deny this new history room or interest. On the other hand, no one can read it, who is familiar with those books, without a feeling of surprise, which ought to be a gratified surprise, in observing the new aspects in which a familiar tale appears. Both Bancroft and Grahame are eulogistic, whenever they can possibly be so, in the narrative of our earlier annals. They look back on the first settlers with all the glow of what Mr. Choate calls “the reflex and peculiar light” created by the results of their sufferings and labors. Mr. Hildreth, on the other hand, seems proud to show a little spice in him of the very iconoclasm which made the Puritans what they were. He is more willing to strip off a romantic veil than to hang it on. With this habit of mind, joined with a vigorous resolution, hard to keep in such work, that he will not fall in love with his heroes, he offers a picture of the early settlements here which is new, as we have said, while it is very entertaining, and seems to be very accurate; for it is scarcely ever unkind. It is no such travesty of Puritanism, for instance, as southern oration writers attempt—nor even of Virginians, as northern declaimers indulge in before a partisan audience, but it is very cool—quite without enthusiasm, and usually compels the reader by its sang froid, into something of that confidence, which, whether willingly or not, we give to the verdict of an intelligent jury, after a well contested trial, although they may have stripped off our prejudices. To take, as an instance of this, the history of
early Massachusetts. Whoever reads Bancroft or Grahame does not feel constantly that the beginnings here were very small, and that the settlers hardly had a definite idea of the rapid increase and prosperity which was to follow. Rather would it seem as if they came with faith more clear than any prophets’, and founded institutions more with reference to the future than their own time. Mr. Hildreth's reader, on the other hand, looks on them, as a few scattered men, fighting hard with the present and conscientiously meeting it—but quite ignorant of the future—quite thoughtless of their own after greatness. He sees their institutions as they were—created for the wants of the time—adapted to emigrants—to the forest—to the virtual independence of a community neglected at home —and suited to after times not so much by the forethought of those who framed them, as by the eternal worth of the principles of Christian liberty which they embodied. A critic in some southern journal, who seems to us at least ill-natured, has amused himself with heaping up. several instances of careless writing collected from these volumes. There are few books of the size in which such could not be found. But in general, the style of the book, without being florid, is very agreeable and clear. It is entertaining general reading. It ought to seduce to the study of our history the multitudes who only pretend to understand it. Mr. Hildreth has brought in many topics which are not treated at the same length in Bancroft or Grahame. Thus, his sketches of the progress of slavery are parts of our history which of course ought not to be omitted, and which he has been led to investigate with a peculiar care. Another volume will complete the work to the adoption of the Federal Constitution, as far as the author proposes to go. We commend it distinctly to the circle of our readers, with this assurance:—that whoever will read this book, side by side with Mr. Bancroft's, will be far better able to see the full course of American history, than any man can be who has not opportunity to go at length into the original documents; just as, in reading English history, no man ought to be satisfied by reading only a Catholic, or only a liberal author; so the future reader of either of these great works—for great they are —will have to remember that, until he has acquainted himself with the other, he is looking on the national history with only half an eye. The third volume will enter on the history of the revolutionary struggle, into which we are just introduced in the second. Here fairly begins the history of the United States, for the most striking characteristic of colonial history is that till the great struggle they were disunited states. The utter want of any thread by which to give unity to the thirteen colonial histories, is a difficulty which all our historical writers feel when they attempt in one work to combine so many threads. Mr. Hildreth has met it certainly as well as any of them. He has declined giving any references to his authorities. We must hope that he will reconsider and change the resolution which omits them. The plea in the preface does not meet the case. And, in a book of this kind, the want of a specific authority goes far to make it, for practical purposes, merely a long oration or essay in the guise of history. A trifle like this ought not debar the volumes from the place which they deserve in the library of any intelligent man. Boston Daily Advertiser.
PoETRY-Venice, 58.—Lament of a Roman Patriot; Hungary, 67.—World Weariness, 68.
NEw Books, 95.
Prospectus.-This work is conducted in the spirit of Littell's Museum of Foreign Literature, (which was favorably received by the public for twenty years,) but as it is twice as large, and appears so often, we not only give spirit and freshness to it by many things which were excluded by a month's delay, but while thus extending our scope and gathering a greater and more attractive variety, are able so to increase the solid and substantial part of our literary, historical, and political harvest, as fully to satisfy the wants of the American reader.
The elaborate and stately Essays of the Edinburgh, Quarterly, and other Reviews; and Blackwood's noble criticisms on Poetry, his keen political Commentaries, highly wrought Tales, and vivid descriptions of rural and mountain Scenery; and the contributions to Literature, History, and Common Life, by the sagacious Spectator, the sparkling Eraminer, the judicious Athenaeum, the busy and industrious Literary Gazette, the sensible and comprehensive Britannia, the sober and respectable Christian Observer; these are intermixed with the Military and Naval reminiscences of the United Serrice, and with the best articles of the Dublin University, New Monthly, Fraser's, Tait's, Ainsworth's, Hood's, and Sporting Mag. azines, and of Chambers’ admirable Journal. We do not consider it beneath our dignity to borrow wit and wisdom from Punch ; and, when we think it good enough, make "ase of the thunder of The Times. We shall increase our variety by importations from the continent of Europe, and from the new o of the British colonies.
The steamship has brought Europe, Asia and Africa, into our neighborhood; and will greatly multiply our connections, as Merchants, Travellers, and Politicians, with all narts of the world; so that much more than ever it
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now becomes every intelligent American to be informed of the condition and changes of foreign countries. And this not only because of their nearer connection with ourselves, but because the nations seem to be hastenin through a rapid process of change, to some new state o things, which the merely political prophet cannot compute or foresee. Geographical Discoveries, the progress of Colonization, (which is extending over the whole world,) and Voyages and Travels, will be favorite matter for our selections; and, in general, we shall systematically and very fully acquaint our readers with the great department of Foreign affairs, without entirely o: our own. While we aspire to make the Liring Age desirable to all who wish to keep themselves informed of the rapid progress of the morement—to Statesmen, Divines, Lawsers, and Physicians—to men of business and men of '...'", is still a stronger object to make it attractive and useful to their Wives and Children. We believe that we can thus do some good in our day and generation; and hope to make the work indispensable in every well-informed o We say indispensable, because in this day of cheap literature it is not possible to guard against the influx of what is bad in taste and vicious in morals, in any other way than by furnishing a sufficient supply of a healthy character. The mental and moral appetite must be gratified. We hope that, by “winnotting the wheat from the chaff.” by providing abundantly for the imagination, and } a large collection of Biography, Voyages and Travel istory, and more solid matter, we may produce a wor which shall be popular, while at the same time it will aspire to raise the standard of public taste.
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Or all the Periodical Journals devoted to literature and science which abound in Europe and in this country, this has appeared to me to be the most useful. It contains indeed the exposition only of the current literature of the English language, but this by its immense extent and comprehension includes a portraiture of the human mind in
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LITTELL’S LIVING AGE.-No. 283–20 OCTOBER, 1849.
From Fraser's Magazine. MADAME RECAMIER.
The position occupied by Madame Récamier in French society, and the influence which she exercised over it, entitle her to be considered as one of the most remarkable persons of our age. At the same time, to those who did not enjoy the happiness of her acquaintance, the secret of the influence of which we speak, and to which there has been nothing equal in recent times, must, unless the cause of it be explained, remain in mystery. I have so frequently been asked by her countrymen and my own, in what the fascination of Madame Récamier consisted—how it was that after the loss of fortune, youth, and beauty, she still retained an unquestioned and unequalled empire over men's minds—that I venture to attempt some explanation of the problem. For society, and above all the female part of it, has no slight interest in the matter. The life of Mme. Récamier was not in itself eventful; her history is mainly to be found in that of her friends. She kept aloof from party interests and party passions. The current of her pure and gentle existence flowed like the waters of the fabled brook, which glided through a stormy sea without ever mingling its tranquil and pellucid waters with the turbid waves. Married at a very early age to a man who then possessed a large fortune, her house gradually became the rendezvous of all that was most distinguished in Europe. France had but just emerged from the horrors of the revolution. Under the Directory and the Empire there were two distinct societies, the old and the new, which it was desirable to amalgamate. The sudden appearance of a woman surrounded with all the prestiges of youth, grace, and beauty, marvellously contributed to bring about this result. French society offers willing homage and obedience to the empire of a WOrnan. In the midst of her triumphs at home, Mme. Récamier made a short visit to England, where she was the object of a homage she was far from expecting. In London, as in Paris, crowds followed her, and murmurs of admiration were heard wherever she showed herself. The Prince of Wales, then the object of general admiration, and the lovely and brilliant Duchess of Devonshire, paid her peculiar attentions. Her portrait was engraved by Bartolozzi, and made its way from England to the Ionian Islands, India, and China. But whilst this growing celebrity, already so widely spread, seemed to attach solely to her external charms, La Harpe, who at that moment wielded the sceptre of literature, had the merit ccLxxxIII. Living AGE. vol. xxiii. 7
of discovering the rare qualities of a woman destined to be the centre of a group of so many other celebrated persons of her time. Notwithstanding Mme. Récamier's extreme youth, Mme. de Staël was strongly attracted by her. Without doubt there was in that perfect and poetical harmony of the soul with the whole person, something which, while it captivated Mme. de Staël's brilliant imagination, offered her a sort of repose from the agitations of a stormy life, and the restless cravings of a spirit which the actual world could never satisfy. It is generally believed that Lucien Bonaparte was not insensible to the magic of her beauty ; and that even his brother, armed as he was with power and glory, was made to feel that the purity and dignity of a gentle and lovely woman were enemies too powerful for him. Mme. Récamier, who set great value on her independence, had refused to adorn the court which Bonaparte was then forming. The false representations of her conduct contained in the Mémorial de St. Hélène, furnish fresh and striking proof of that unscrupulous and vindictive tenacity with which the emperor pursued all those who offered any resistance to his will. Scarcely was he first consul when he found himself engaged in a struggle with the celebrated Mme. Récamier. Soon after he got possession of the government, Napoleon discovered that a correspondence with the Chouans had been carried on with the connivance of M. Bernard, father of Mme. Récamier, who was administrateur des postes. He was instantly dismissed and thrown into prison, and was in danger of being brought to trial and condemned to death. His daughter hastened to the first consul, who, at her solicitation, put a stop to the trial. He was, however, inflexible as to the rest; and Mme. Récamier, accustomed to ask for everything and to obtain everything, aspired to nothing short of the restoration of her father to his office. Such was the state of morality at the time ; and Bonaparte's severity excited the most violent outcries. Mme. Récamier and her party, which was very numerous, never forgave him. Would not anybody believe from this statement that, after obtaining remission of the sentence, Mme. Récamier had asked that her father should be restored to his post! Nothing of the kind took place. Mme. Récamier knew too well what she owed to herself, to incur a heavier debt of obligation than she could contract with safety and dignity. Seconded by very powerful friends—among others by General Bernadotte—she succeeded in obtaining M. Bernard's liberty; beyond that, neither her efforts nor her wishes went. It was not, therefore, by any such abuse of her own influence, or that of her friends, that she had offended Bona