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thing had been within the compass of her means, she would have carried a fresh milch cow and a few laying hens with her wherever she went. If it were possible to make her tell the truth, we should find that, in her secret soul, she grumbled that her abolition friends, knowing the sacrifices she was making for their benefit, did not, from
point to point, by a general circular given into her hand, supply her with jugs of milk, and baskets of eggs, if the cows and the hens were impracticable.
We should not notice such small matters, did not the lady herself invite us to the subject by her frequent mention of these delicate eatables and drinkables. But we must not fail to observe that her readers will make a sad mistake if they suppose she would be content with milk and eggs alone, if coarser food were near—" butcher's meat.” As to her never seeing butcher's meat, as she elegantly terms it, at the tables of her acquaintances in Boston, and which she mourned over as a particular privation, it could only have arisen from a desire to gratify her palate in a superior way. Every one in England, as well as America, knows that birds, as she calls them, such as quails, pheasants, canvass-back ducks, &c., are expensive articles of food, and are placed on the table to do honour to a guest. Turkeys and geese, as well as “the everlasting boiled fowls," as the Count de Melfort has it, are, to be sure, every day fare, even with the poorest mechanic—at least they were as common as our daily bread, until President Jackson's agrarian dynasty.
If it were true, as she states, but which we doubt to the extent mentioned, the unwelcome procedure would have been corrected, and she would have had butcher's meat enough had it not been for the premature exposure of her abolition and amalgamation principles. Prior to that she was introduced to a few of the elite and respectable families of Boston, such as live in the environs of villages, or at their country seats. Her first visit was at a time when very few of the gentry were in town, and her second visit, having been made so notoriously conspicuous by that unwomanly act of hers—the delivery of a speech at an abolition meeting-prevented many of the best people of Boston from showing her civility.
It is this which has induced her to put gall into her ink; it is this which has raised that unjust, imbecile, and untrue statement when speaking of Mr. Everett's oration to the “handful,” or small flock in the field. As she could not by any possibility hear what he said, she must have been indebted to her hearer general, or to some of Mr. Everett's malignant political opponents for the subject matter of the discourse. The hearer general, possibly, told her it was all a hoax on the people; and the hearer particular insinuated that “Mr. Everett was an anti-abolitionist, an anti-amalgamationist, an anti-Malthusian, VOL. XXII.--N0. 43
and an anti-half-and-half-woman-man. It was to this that Mr. Everett owes the honourable notice which this Malthusian lady took of him. The abuse has certainly rendered him more conspicuous-but in a way in which Miss Martineau never conjectured nor intended; she would have consigned him to silence and oblivion, rather than have added to his popularity. We have not many to look up to in cases of extremity, but when we find such a man as Everett expressing his opinions honestly, even to the discomfiture of a woman -a circumstance which is more distasteful to an American gentleman than any thing which could occur—we know to whom we can resort if the evil theme of sudden emancipation should ever be gravely discussed.
But to return once more to the subject of eating, a theme on which all English book makers love to dwell and grumble, let us beg her countrymen, and countrywomen too, not to place implicit belief in her account of our sumptuous breakfasts and dinners. We assure them that we have no such feastings on ordinary occasions. She has exaggerated out of sheer malice and Malthusianism, in the hope that hundreds of scores of surplus population will be induced to come over voluntarily, and that scores of thousands will be sent here by the parish officers, each one with his finger pointing to a southern breakfast and a Boston dinner. We say Boston dinner, because it is to be presumed that paupers who never eat butcher's meat at home, would as readily eat pheasants, quails, ducks, and turkeys in America.
When a friend, or, unluckily for us, an English book maker comes amongst us, we put our best foot foremost through the same vanity, but more good nature, with which an Englishman shows us the lions of his country. We therefore hope that the overseers of the poor will not infuse such notions of our superabundance into the heads of the wretched paupers that are yearly billeted upon us. They will find, as poor Miss Martineau did on several occasions, that many a tempting dish is nothing more than “pork in disguise."
These foolish English travellers are very short-sighted and selfish. They either do not foresee, or care very little for the mischief they make in thus ridiculing the people whose bread they have eaten and whose substantial keepsakes they carry out of the country with them for there is scarcely a man, and never a woman, who has not been lavishly presented with the different products of the country, and the tender gifts of those who trusted in the integrity of the receiver. The very moment they cross the water all is forgotten, and they turn round and make faces at us and relieve themselves of some long pent up venom, the retention of which has given them pain.
The Americans will get tired of this, good-natured and goodtempered as Miss Martineau says they are; and the consequence will be that the really meritorious of other nations will at length come to be coldly received by us. There is Mrs. Jameson, for example, a very lovely and intelligent woman, full of genius, talent, and enthusiasm, and with a mind stored with all feminine accomplishments and truly philanthropic views. What a pleasure would it be to every individual in the United States to bring her home to our fire-sides, and let her see the tenderness of our nature. We should not let her post through the country like a Hessian trumpeter scouring for forage, but she should be escorted by the fairest, the bravest, and the best in the land, because we feel conscious of her integrity and right mindedness. But we advise her to hold back for a time till the remembrance of Miss Martineau's sour bread, drunken ladies, insipid women, unprincipled authors, and infidel
, profligate, vulgar Bostonians, have faded from our remembrance.
But how much worse than folly it is to race through a country, particularly one so.diversified as ours, where each state is almost a distinct nation, and then, scarcely taking a long breath, sit down and pretend to tell the world what kind of people we are. Let any one cast his eye over the hasty sketch which Miss Martineau, in the first volume, has given of her journey through the United States, and he will be amazed that so much ground was trodden in the short space of two years. If a race through the country were sufficient for the purpose that Miss Martineau had in view, we know of no person who was so fit for the undertaking, for a Moss trooper could not boast of tougher muscles or a more wiry frame. Nothing daunted her; she could rise up in the midst of a public meeting and give her assent to doctrines, which, if she had a grain of common sense in her composition, she must know would dissever the Union if carried into effect. She could wade through a slough, or a stream, up to her waist, and sit in her wet clothes without fear of disastrous consequences—she could outwalk all her companions, and out-talk them too-and she overcame difficulties which the stoutest male traveller considered almost insurmountable.
We have no objection to Miss Martineau's robust health or tough nerves; we wish that every woman on the face of the earth could boast of such hardiness. But we do object, heart and soul, to such scamperings over strange lands for the purpose of procuring materials for a book which is to vilify the very people who give her the freedom of the country. A woman, Heaven knows, wants a tough frame and robust health. She wants it for her household cares—for her children-for her dependents—for her charities—for the wear and tear of hospitalities—to soothe and assist, and, worst of all, it often happens
that she wants it to contend with our exacting, capricious, and unreasonable tempers; for it must be conceded that it requires greater nerve and strength, health and spirits to bear up against the unmanly tempers and habits of a hard husband, than to encounter all that we have enumerated.
It is in vain for women to make such exhibitions; they are neither safe nor acceptable guides to the sex. We have an extensive acquaintance amongst all the different kinds of women that Miss Martineau brings into notice for praise or blame; and we do not know one, aye not one, who would at this momentwe are speaking of American women-get up at a public meeting and make an abolition, an amalgamation, or a Malthusian speech; and we devoutly thank Heaven for it.
There are certainly wrongs to be redressed, but they are of such a nature and tendency as not to infringe on our prerogative; and before the weak are caught in Martineau traps, it were better to examine the question and see of what these wrongs consist, and what can be done to redress them; let us enquire whether they are not in the way of being redressed.
Every man and woman, of late years, is turned into a political economist; each one has a particular creed, and this creed is defended with strong arguments and much passion. If a person could be found, who stood on neutral ground, without any creed of his own or any bias towards that of another, he might sift the matter and get at the bottom of what yet remains of the complaint. And now having suggested the thing, we may be able, at some future time, to sift the matter ourselves and endeavour to come at the root of the evil.
The greatest difficulty with the English economists is to know what to do with the vicious and immoral part of the community, and how to prevent pauperism-how to coax the rich into making sacrifices for the poor—and how to make the poor content with the little that the rich can bear to part with.
In America-setting aside the evil of slavery, entailed on us by the English, and for which a suitable remedy has not yet been suggested—until this late disastrous year, one of our perplexities was to know how to dispose of our surplus revenue. Having now no longer a surplus of funds, and the whole country, owing to our late agrarian president, being insolvent, this perplexity has ceased to trouble us, but we still have a “small amount” of vice and immorality, and still some unredressed wrongs of women to disturb us; and as in our apprehension this vice and immorality are intimately blended with the wrongs in question, if we can redress the latter the former will cure themselves.
Now by the phrase "rorongs of women," we do not insinuate
that there is a desire on their part to supplant us in any of those pursuits strictly belonging to our sex, for, as we before stated, excepting it be Fanny Wright or Harriet Martineau, there is not a sane woman in the world, much less in the United States, who has a desire to enlarge her sphere of action beyond the limits of hor domestic home. But what we take to be the complaint is, that in this domestic circle her rights are invaded or withheld. That there are wrongs, therefore, we are willing to allow, but that Miss Harriet or Miss Fanny, or any other Miss that finds her way to this country, has exactly defined what those wrongs are, we positively deny.
Miss Harriet makes her man of straw to say, that “society at the south is always advancing towards orientalism.” “There are but two ways,” says Mr. Jack Straw, “in which woman can be exercised to the extent of her powers; by genius and by calamity, either of which may strengthen her to burst her conventional restraints. The first is too rare a circumstance to afford any basis for speculation; and may Heaven avert the last!”
In reply to this inflated speech about " bursting her conventional restraints,” the lady says—"Oh, may Heaven hasten it! would be the cry of many hearts, [and Miss Harriet would assist at the top of her lungs, provided she herself were not included in the calamity,] if these be indeed the conditions of woman's fulfilling the purposes of her being. There are, I believe, (she is not quite sure then, some who would scarcely tremble to see their houses in flames, to hear the coming tornado, to feel the threatening earthquake, if these be indeed the messengers who must open their prison doors and give their heavenborn spirits the range of the universe.” [!! Where is the author of the Baviad and the Mæviad?
Now if this does not proceed from too full a cup-if this be not maudlin—there is no truth in wine. In the name of that Heaven which she invokes, what does the woman want—what more range does she require for her sex than the privileges which she herself enjoyed of travelling unmolested-even in the Lynching districts—without any demands on her purse for either a dinner of birds, or a dessert of strawberries and creamof having the privilege of taking a run over the whole of the United States without being roughly handled, as she would be if she “ran a muck" in her own country. Was there any law, or any conventional rule, that hindered her from prying into every hole and corner, whether public or private ? Could any woman, having the inordinate love of sight-seeing so strongly developed as Miss Harriet, desire to “shake a looser foot" than she did ? Every woman in the country can do the same, if she desire it, without being tarred and feathered. Her “heaven-born spirit”