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natural, for this popularity is made to do two important things -on the one hand, to represent the triumph of a principle or principles ; on the other, the triumph of a faction. The individual is the personification of some whim or theory—popularity the lever by which he conquers and becomes absolute. Every act of a man holding this species of authority, is the act of his party, and of whatever nature it may be, it would be backed and lauded by his supporters with a zeal in proportion to the cries and warnings of his opponents.
Where this confidence in an individual is the homage paid to great virtue, to tried wisdom, or patriotism, it is a very noble and generous feeling. Nothing can be presented to human view more sublime than the universal and spontaneous surrendering up of the hearts and minds of a whole nation to the control of one man. But, where this is done by a mere majority of a people, who cast themselves before the temporary image of their worship, and become his willing bondsmen—who persecute and proscribe all opposition-who permit him to commit deeds inconsistent with the very elements of freedom—who still bow and concede without hesitation, and, in the heat of success, exalt and exaggerate inferior qalities into the most majestic attributes with which a human being can be endowed-it requires a great deal of faith in the general integrity of the people to suppose them free from corruption, or, what is as bad, incapable of being corrupted ; and no small hope in our institutions that such conduct and such a condition will not beat them to the ground under the rule of a dictator. We need to go no farther than this one baneful and, we presume, inevitable influence in a popular form of government—the popularity of an individnal—to account for our present distress, and to show our dangers in the future. It is the second time that we have suffered by the same means. In the case of Mr. Jefferson, indeed, the man was less to be dreaded than the late president, though he has left a longer track of misfortune for us to pass over in the contests against, and triumphs over, the sway of his pedlar principles. The popularity of Washington was the gratitude of a nation for his services—an undeniable debt that nothing can repay. But his character was too exalted to be a durable or a popular model in a democracy. It might be set apart for individual homage, but the mass of a nation could neither conceive nor appreciate it. It possessed a true greatness—it was a sort of splendid abstraction, a clustering of noble qualities, that, except vaguely and at a distance, could not reach the sympathies of ordinary and vulgar spirits. It was above even the admiration that was offered to it, and there was a sense of oppression in paying honour to that which did not reach the mind. His glory, his memory, deep respect for his virtue, will always exist; but the
authority of his political character has long since deserted the people; there is something too aristocratic in its lostiness, and it has, therefore, given way to the meaner and more intelligible notions of a more cunning man—Thomas Jefferson. The first symptoms of the elevation of our feelings as a nation, will be a complete revolution in our regard for his opinions; but until then, we shall only go on multiplying our dangers, and throwing obstacles in the way of our moral greatness. It was the predominance of his opinions that first turned us from a republic into a democracy, and has cast us upon the highway of nations, to wander like vagrants, and earn experience by our sufferings.
This great democrat was, in spite of his democracy, a slaveholder. All the most thorough democrats have been so, simply because they were removed from the results of democracy, and held its doctrines as philanthropic and sentimental fancies—not as parts of a practical system. The author of the declaration of independence began the document with a direct though dismal falsehood—“ All men are created free and equal." The denial of this assertion was at his elbow: the slave master overlooked it--so do all the men who bully and rant about liberty, and, at the same time, uphold slavery as necessary to man's freedom, and as just before God. Still the visions of this manin opposition to all experience, in opposition to the nature of man himself, and merely because they have an attractive popularity about them, and catch the superficial and ignorant, who are the ready instruments of the unprincipled and the ambitiousare made the basis of action with a large and, for the present, a preponderating party. All this is very natural, but it is unfortunate. A whole nation carried away by dreams, philosophical though not profound—an entire political fabric built on the airy structure of mental hyperbole, and visions of the imagination no age of the world has ever before witnessed. If it be asked why we cannot construct an edifice for ourselves, and upon our own ideas, as well as Greece or Rome? the answer is ready. They had no models; they were compelled to devise a system for themselves; they were driven to illuminate their course by the torch of their own reason. No one lived before them by whose counsels they could be guided, by whose example they could be warned, by whose experience they could be made to consider and to act. They were mere empirics, and wandered over the surface of political science unsupported in their sphere by the weight of others' wisdom. They became at last, though after making their way to glory, the victims of their ignorance. Must it be the same with us in spite of the difference of situation ; in spite of the lessons their fate teaches; in spite of their existence and their ashes, and, what is more, in spite of all the reflected wisdom of time, and the warnings of ages ? Is the world to be ever
learning ; is it never to settle quietly with what it already knows; is it to be ever scheming, hoping, changing, destroying; is there to be a constant resolving into elements, a constant renewal, incessant perplexity, everlasting confusion, without duration in any thing, without fixing or confirming any thing ? Is there to be an eternal war of principles; and are we to rush at length into heaven itself with the clash and din of arms ? Men are too much given to living upon hope; they are always conceiving something better than what they have; they cannot bear difficulties with patience; they are ever struggling for realms of untried being, and though, just now, this is true of the world at large, yet it is such fancies and feelings which our institutions are especially calculated to produce; and it is such fancies and feelings which it is the duty as well as object of all institutions to check. The chief sufferings of our country arise from the preponderancy of ignorance; not that there are no luminaries of the present or the past which might lighten us on our way; not that we are beneath other nations in those attainments that make a people respectable—but that we throw by too readily what others can teach us, and determine to go by the faint taper of our own reason. This prevents us from founding any thing; makes our conduct and our policy vacillating and uncertain; gives every thing the appearance of being mere experiment or expediency, and not principle, and shuts us out from the chance of ever acting upon the dictates of enlarged wisdom.
This may be the effect of a popular government. Is it not then worth the resisting ? or is the doing so hopeless? We admit no such desperate condition; or rather we try very hard to battle with the idea of its existence; for the consciousness of its reality does sometimes come across us, and our thoughts sink into despair. The history of the United States Bank is a case in point. Its existence for forty years did not sanction its renewal; the concessions of the people to its necessity did not make it of value; the signatures of several presidents, the assent of the legislature of the Union, did not make it constitutional — and why? Because the spirit of faction read our constitution ; because the popularity of an individual put the people of the United States at defiance, and made his will the arbiter of our constitutional privileges. We do not allude to this bank with any other intent than as a testimony to the fact that nothing here can be considered durable. Time has no advocates in a democracy. All its foundations are laid upon the shallow and shifting sand of caprice-the whims of the mass, led away by design, and perverted in their judgment by the confidence which they place in those who are working for themselves, and not for their country. We have conversed with some of the most
VOL. XXII.-NO. 43. 8
thorough of the old democratic party, and have always found them opposed to this overweening love of democracy ; to this facility of making citizens, and thus overwhelming the nation with a tumultuous body of strangers; taking from those who inherited as a birthright an affection for their soil, and who, in their interests and affections, felt themselves as a part of it, almost the privileges which belonged to them by nature-certainly much of the power that made those privileges of value. It did not appear to enter into their conceptions that this land, which they had redeemed with their blood, and looked upon as the chosen seat and last resting place of freedom, was to be made the Botany Bay of the universe. They were conscious that a man's nature did not change by mere change of country; that one who had lived to mature years under a monarchy or a : despotism, and filled with the feelings and prejudices necessarily imbibed from the circumstances, was not, as a matter of course, regenerated by breathing the air of a republic. They were conscious that it required something more than this to fit a man for his duties as a citizen of a free country; and they then asked the question, what is the meaning of love of country, of loyalty, and patriotism—terms of common use, and so vaunted, and moreover so hackneyed as now to have left the noiseless recesses of the bosom, and stand ready to drop unmeaningly, and upon every or any occasion, from the vacant and superficial language of the lips, and which from feelings have become mere words? What were they—of what force could they be—if an individual who changed his home, who deserted all his associations, and all the endearments of memory, and landed on a new and unknown world, could shake them off at once, easily and without hesitation, adapt himself to the novelty of his condition--to a new form of government-unite with a new people, put on all their sympathies and all their prejudicesand this with no other formality than an oath to support what, from the nature of the case, was indifferent to them?
We bear no ill will against these foreigners; we only wish them to be considered as such. They have sought an asylum in a strange land, and are welcome to share its advantages. They assist in bringing out its resources, and are entitled to some reward. But the privileges of citizenship as they imply a kuowledge of the duties of a citizen-should not be considered so trivial or so easy as to be thrown to all who ask them. They are rewarded by being free—by enjoying the profits of their industry in peace. This is enough, without putting it in their power to take from the native-born what is his by right, or making it difficult for him and that not without a struggleto forward the policy he prefers, unopposed by those whose claims are less, and whose interests are very inferior. We have
no party views, and cannot tell what side this language may be likely to vex; but we say, with perfect freedom, that the party on whose side are arrayed the most foreigners, should be regarded with most suspicion. Not writing for any other purpose than a general one, we are indifferent as to the party barriers against which the waves of truth may break. This country is in the end to be destroyed by faction; but, whether it be or not, the better for it if, at times, a voice, however feeble or distant, can make its way into the silent chambers of the reason, and appeal to it when it is not distorted by passion or selfinterest.
But, to bring the matter nearer home, let the case be imagined of a stranger, we will suppose, of the humblest possible condition, as thousands are who arrive on our shores. He comes here in poverty and despair--spirit-broken and ignorant. The first emotion lie feels, as the waters divide him from his native land, is hope. This increases the nearer he approaches to port, until it reaches intensity. He has figured to himself an imaginary state of things—that he was to acquire wealth without labour; that he was to live at ease, and that the necessaries of life were to come to him without being sought or toiled for. Contrary to his expectations, he is thrown into the busy mass of a large city. He finds that he must labour as hard as ever; that all his hopes were delusive ; that all he has gained (separated for ever from every tie of country and kindred) is a better subsistence; that his animal wants are supplied, while his heart is vacant of friends, and he is greeted by no familiar voice. This is the moral condition of great numbers who come to this country. Their mental condition is still worse. They are without any education. They are even stolidly ignorant. What has been their political condition? From whatever part of Europe they may come, they have been held in a complete state of subserviency. Though not slaves, they have never been allowed to feel that they were men. They have been born under the oppression of wealth, the habitual awe of station, and have never had even a distant apprehension of rights, or of duties, except those to prince, or baron, or lord, who owned the soil they tilled. With a moral condition where the strongest feeling is that of disappointment—a mental, whose basis is complete ignorance-a political, into which an idea of liberty and free institutions had never entered—in what way are they fitted for the duties of freemen, or the exercise of the privileges of citizenship? Our example should be that of the Romans in this particular. They admitted, in the best days of the republic, neither strangers nor enfranchised slaves to the right of suffrage. They regarded the name of the Roman citizen as a name of honour-as a title of consideration, and did not conceive that