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young man from the service, or by withholding his paltry wages-paltry when the detention is considered, but of great moment to the officer himself. The punishment of dismissal is one of the severest that can be inflicted, and yet it has failed to arrest the crime.
We are of opinion with that wise and eloquent statesman Edmund Burke, that "unless the crime is of the deepest dye (and how can duelling be such a crime when war is not), we should not punish severely, for people at last get tired of such extremes of justice. It has frequently happened, in cases of this nature, that the fate of the offenders bas depended more upon the accidental circumstance of their being brought earlier or later to trial, than to any steady principle of equity applied to their several cases.
Without great care and sobriety, criminal justice generally begins in anger and ends in negligence. The first that are brought forward suffer the extremity of the law, even with circumstances of mitigation in their case, and, after a time, the most atrocious delinquents escape merely by the satiety of punishment."
The truth of these sagacious remarks was exemplified a few years ago, when a number of very young naval officers were suddenly driven from the service, principals and seconds, for being engaged in a duel that terminated fatally. Since that period many duels have occurred in the navy, nay an officer of the highest rank was a principal in a duel, and yet not the slightest notice was taken of it! We perceive, therefore, that men get tired of punishing, or, rather, feel unwilling to punish when it does not appear to them that the act can be considered as a crime. They reason in this way:— Because the people of a whole nation agree to consider the shedding of blood in war as a meritorious act, and the shedding of blood in duels as a punishable act, are we to give our assent to it? If the shedding of blood be a crime at all, it is more particularly so when men are butchered by wholesale: we are not to be mystified into the belief that excess of slaughter lessens the enormity. A whole nation will often submit to very unwise, unsafe laws, merely through the force of habit, and the fear of change. We are very willing to put down duels, but we must put down war likewise."
Let us, therefore, rouse ourselves from this torpor, and view this horrible thirst for blood in its true light; let us not affect to shudder at duelling, and clap our hands when we hear that thousands have fallen in the field of battle. It proves how much we are the creatures of habit, and how long the evil passions of the ignorant savage will cling to the bosoms of their civilized descendants. Had war never been known-had a man never been slain in single combat, and, at the same time, had
the world gone on, as at present, in improvements and knowledge—we should raise up our hands, we should look upon the man who proposed that we should kill one another, as men now kill one another in battle—we should look on him, we say, as one who was possessed and cursed with an evil demon !
May the time come when all bloodshed shall be considered as murder, whether in war or duels. “War," said the good Bishop Porteus, “is a game which, were their subjects wise, kings would never play at”—and further he says, “ that, owing to the folly of mankind, though one murder makes a villain, yet he that murders a million is called a hero."
Franklin, one of the wisest of men, hated war. At the close of the American revolution, one week after the treaty of peace was signed, he wrote thus—"May we never see another war, for, in my opinion, there never was a good war, nor a bad peace.”
The Lord Chancellor Brougham thus strongly expresses his abhorrence of war—“But my principles—they may be derided, they may be unfashionable, but I hope they are spreading far and wide-my principles are summed up in one word-peace --peace. I abominate war as unchristian--I hold it the greatest of human crimes. I deem it to include all others, violence, blood, rapine, fraud, every thing which can deform the character, alter the nature, and debase the name of man."
Art. II.--Society in America. By HARRIET MARTINEAU.
2 vols. New York: 1837.
We have here another work on America, and, we must say, an unexpected one, for we were told that Miss Martineau declared, in the most unequivocal terms, that she did not intend to write; that her sole object was to recruit herself after her severe labours of story writing; and that the mere hinting at such a design would be injurious to her sojourn amongst us: for, if such an opinion went abroad, the facilities and hospitalities of the country would be withheld from her. It was well enough for a cunning bookmaker to impress this upon us in the beginning of her espionage; but why she should persist in the declaration to the very last moment of her visit is incomprehensible, particularly as part of the book was actually ready for the publisher before she left the country.
But the book is published, and we must put up with the many libels it contains, “drunken ladies" and all. It is far inferior to the production of Mrs. Trollope, having less of originality and humour. If Mrs. Trollope could have had access to the same sources of information so liberally accorded to Miss Martineau, her book would have been an invaluable present to the American people. For although Mrs. Trollope gave evidence of a bilious temperament, yet she flung her squibs so playfully, and her castigations came so naturally and so apparently from a desire to “ do the state some service,” that we were fain to overlook her impertinences and exaggerations for the sake of the benefits conferred.
When Miss Martineau reached our shores she found herself already amongst warm admirers, for she was known as a writer of interesting tales, which were in the hands of our best readers. Her books were not popular on account of the Malthusian doctrines which they embraced, for luckily that unnatural creed was no favourite with the American people; but we admired them for their romance and thrilling incidents. As a writer, therefore, of interesting story books—for such they would have been called in the days of our childhood-she was entitled to our admiration. The respect which was paid, and the hospitalities that were extended to her throughout the whole range of country she perambulated, fully balanced the account between us. This must have been her own opinion likewise, for, if she had not considered her lucubrations as a full equivalent for all the kindness and all the facilities that were accorded her, she never could have sat down so coolly to the task of ripping up our little faults-faults only to a jaundiced and an agrarian mind.
No stranger since the days of Lafayette was more cordially entertained—the more fools we for our easiness of access-and Miss Martineau adds another to the list of her spiteful prede
This work of hers makes us quits, as the children say, and we shall, therefore, imitate her freedom of remark. The book has a ready sale, and in these dull times-duller, perhaps, to booksellers than to any other class--they, at least, should thank her for this little diversion in their favour. She will hear from us more than once, for she cuts right and lest, sparing none but the abolitionists and negroes.
This lady came amongst us, as she says, and as we all know, deprived of the use of her ears—a very serious loss, one would suppose, to a traveller intending to pick up crumbs of knowledge by the wayside. This loss she endeavoured to supply, first, by substituting the ears of a young woman, who came with her, as hearer-in-general ; and second, by a little trumpet which acted the part of hearer-in-particular. Now it unfortunately happened that the hearer-in-general was an absolute stranger
to Miss Martineau, she having known her only a few days before embarking for America. Of course there was no similarity of ideas and sentiments; they had neither the sympathies nor the local knowledge of those who are brought up and educated in the same district of country. Even the ordinary topics of interest, some of which agitated the new world, were differently discussed and construed by the home friends of each. There were, therefore, remarkable and frequently ludicrous discrepances in the answers given by them separately.
If Miss Martineau were questioned as to the opinion held by European philosophers concerning that anomalous case of Caspar Hauser, she would tell you that they considered it was a psychological experiment;" if the little hearer-in-general were applied to, she not having been privy to Miss Martineau's answer, would tell you they thought it
a hoax." We have no doubt that, if the lady's hearing were as much at her service as her sight, she would have made a far different book--that is, there would be less of humbuggery in it; though, on the point of temper and prejudices, she must always have been the same woman—a temper, arbitrary, exacting, and aristocratic; and prejudices which compelled her to adopt the agrarian system in spite of her temper. As to the economy of our arrangements, political, moral, and religious, she knows nothing of it; she could have given a clearer view of what we are doing, had she shut herself in her closet at home, and drawn on her imagination for the materials and the morale. Her deafness was an insuperable bar to correct oral information, for she never heard general conversation, and as to what was dealt out to her through the trumpet, that was always prepared for the occasion-some of it to suit the particular views of the speaker, some to quiz her, and the most part that the speakers might show themselves off to the bystanders.
It was by this mode that these two worthies heard their way through such portions of the United States as they thought would yield them sufficient interest to fill a book. The English, according to their own account-for they sometimes make free disclosures—are a wonder-loving, sight-seeing people, and have been running over to us after cataracts, prairies, savannahs, caves, Indians, cheap living, and negroes, ever since they murdered Mary, queen of Scots, and “ Baby Charles." It was from those two memorable events, as well as from those he cites, that our friend Samivel Vellers, of Pickwick celebrity, became possessed of that admirable proverb which he so happily illustrated—“ business first and pleasure aterwards." Be this as it may, ever since that illustrious period of smothering baby Charles (when one of the regicides, Goffe, fled to this country for safety), his countrymen have paid us flying visits. If all
the books that were written by these itinerants could be stripped of incorrect statistics and grumblings, and the realities only were brought together at one view, there would not be so much left of us as there was of the Kilkenny cats.
The English are great walkers, and huge feeders, and this they also say of themselves, for we have no opportunity of judging but from a few specimens of lords, and knights, and bookmaking gentry, and they have borne us out in the remark. Even Basil Hall, who was so shocked at the plenty and variety of our breakfasts, and who began by showing his disgust and gentility the moment he landed, soon considered it as a base imposition if he were taken at his word, and only supplied with bread, butter, and tea. In less than one week he called out manfully—and authoritatively when he dared—for ham and sausages, and wondered "why an Englishman could not have a pitcher of cream and an omelet at his breakfast, as well as that tall Kentuckian at the head of the table ?" We “ rather guess" the tall Kentuck did not hear him, or he might have had the whole pitcher of cream, and the omelet to boot. Miss Martineau can scarcely keep from sneering at the immense variety on the southern tables, and begins with saying, "generally sour bread.”
Ah, if all she says of herself be true—if her poverty were real, and no "hoax," in order to excite our compassion that she might get the run of the country free of expense-all this display of abundance and luxury, of which she so largely partook, would have excited other feelings than those she pours forth to her countrymen. But whilst thus feasting--and in cities and villages it was to her one feast-"Jerusha waxed fat and kicked." This is the only way of accounting for the change from Miss Martineau feeding on these American delicacies, and Miss Martineau on her stale bread and butter, her chalky milk, and her slop tea, in London. - Thank God," said one of Mrs.
“ " Trollope's heroines, who had just returned from America, " thank God I am once more in a London drawing-room." We hardly think that Miss Martineau would return thanks for having gone back to her cheerless breakfasts, her scanty dinners, and her no suppers, when we find, by her own confessions, what distress of mind it was if she were debarred from a full allowance of fresh milk and eggs. If we may credit the oral statement of all the itinerant bookmakers who honour us with their visits, pure, unadulterated milk, and fresh eggs, are the greatest of luxuries; and certainly Miss Martineau so considered them, for she not only makes honourable mention of them on all occasions, but gratified her appetite by procuring them at odd times, and in the oddest way-carrying them in her hand from stage to stage! We have not the least doubt that if the