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upon it in one of the public prints which seemed to call for animadversion. I accord. ingly addressed to Mr. Buckingham, of the Boston Courier, the following letter.
God sends country lawyers, an' other
wise fellers, To start the world's team wen it gits
in a slough; Fer John P.
Robinson he Sez the world 'll go right, ef he hollers
out Gee !
(The attentive reader will doubtless have perceived in the foregoing poem an allusion to tnat pernicious sentiment, -"Our country, right or wrong
It is an abuse of language to call a certain portion of land, much inore, Certain personages, elevated for the tiine being to high station, our country. I would not sever nor loosen a single one of those ties by which we are united to the spot of our birth, nor minish by a tittle the respect due to the Magistrate. I love our own Bay State too well to do the one, and as for the other, I have myself for nigh forty years exercised, however unworthily, the function of Justice of the Peace, having been called thereto by the unsolicited kindness of that most excellent in un and upright patriot, Caleb Strong. Patriu fumus igne alieno luculentior is best qualified with this, --- Ubi libertas, ibi patria. We are inhabitants of two worlds, and owe a double, but not a divided allegiance. In virtue of our clay, this little ball of earth exacts a certain loyalty of us, while, i our capacity as spirits, we are adinitted citizens of an invisible and holier fatherland. There is a patriotism of the soul whose claim absolves us from our other and terrene fealty. Our true country is that ideal realın which we represent to ourselves under the names of religion, duty, and the like. Our terrestrial org inizations are but far-off approaches to so fair a model, and all they are verily traitors who resist not any attempt to divert them from this their original intendment. When, therefore, one would have us to sling up our caps and shout with the multitude, --"Our country, however bounded !" he demands of us that we sacrifice the larger to the less, the higher to the lower, and that we yiell to the imaginary claims of a few acres of soil our duty and privilege as liegemen of Truth. Our true country is bounded on the north and the south, on the east and the west, by Justice, and when she oversteps that invisible boun. dary-line by so much as a hair's-breadth, she ceses to be our inother, and chooses rater to be looked upon quzsi nerca. That is a haril choice when our earthly love of country calls upon us to tread one path and our duty points us to another. We must make as noble and becoming an election is did Pe. nelope between Icarius and Ulysses. Veiling our faces, we must take silently the hand of Dity to follow her.
Shortly after the publication of the free. going poem, there appeared some comments
JAALAM, November 4, 1847. “To the Editor of the Courier:
“RESPECTED SIR, -- Calling at the postoffice this morning, our worthy and efficient postmaster offered for my perusal a paragraph in the Boston Morning Post of the 3d instant, wherein certain effusions of the pas. toral muse are attributed to the pen of Mr. James Russell Lowell. For aught I know or can affirm to the contrary, this Mr. Lowell may be a very deserving person and a youth of parts (though I have seen verses of his which I could never rightly understand); and if he be such, he, I am certuin, as well as I, would be free from any proclivity to appropriate to himself whatever of credit (or discredit) may honestly belong to another. I am confident, that, in penning these few lines, I am only forestalling a disclaimer from that young gentleman, whose silence hitherto, when rumor pointed to himward, has excited in iny bosom mingled emotions of sorrow and surprise. Well may iny young parishioner, Mr. Biglow, exclaim with the poet,
'Sic vos non vobis,' &c.; though, in saying this, I would not convey the inpression that he is a proficient in the Latin tongue, -the tongue, I might add, of a Horace and a Tully.
“Mr. B. does not employ his pen, I can safely say, for any lucre of worldly gain, or to be exalted by the carnal plaudits of men, digito monstrari, &c. He does not wait upon Providence for mercies, and in his heart mean merces. But I should esteem myself as verily deficient in my duty (who am his friend and in some unworthy sort his spiritual fidus Achates, &c.), if I did not step forward to claim for him whatever measure of applause might be assigned to hiin by the ju. dicious.
“If this were a fitting occasion, I might venture here a brief dissertation touching the manner and kind of my young friend's poetry: But I dubitate whether this abstruser sort of speculation (though enliveneil by some ap: posite instances from Aristophanes) would sufficiently interest your oppidan readers. As regards their satirical tone, and their plainness of speech, I will only say, that, in my pastoral experience, I have found that the Arch-Enemy loves nothing better than to be treated as a religious, moral, and intellectual being, and that there is no apare Saths! so potent as ridicule. But it is a kind of weion that must have a button of goodnature on the point of it.
"The productions of Mr. B. have been stigmatized in some quarters as unpatrioti; but I can vouch that he loves his native avil
with that nearty, though discriminating, attachment which springs from an intimate social intercourse of many years' standing. In the ploughing season, no one has a deeper share in the well-being of the country than he. If Dean Swift were right in saying that he who makes two blades of grass grow where one grew before confers a greater benefit on the state than he who taketh a city, Mr. B. might exhibit a fairer claiin to the Presidency than General Scott himself. I think that soine of those disinterested lovers of the hard-handed democracy, whose fingers have never touched anything ougher than the dollars of our cominon country, would hesitate to compare palms with him. It would do your heart good, respected Sir, to see that young man mow. He cuts a cleaner and wider swarth than any in this town.
“ But it is time for me to be at my Post. It is very clear that my young friend's shot has struck the lintel, for the Post is shaken (Amos ix. 1). The editor of that paper is a strenuous advocate of the Mexican war, and a colonel, as I am given to understand. I presume, that, being necessarily absent in Mexico, he has left his journal in some less judicious hands. At any rate, the Post has been too swift on this occasion. It could hardly have cited a more incontrovertible line from any poem than that which it has selected for animadversion, namely, -"We kind o' thought Christ went agin war an'
pillage.' “If the Post maintains the converse of this proposition, it can hardly be considered as a safe guide-post for the moral and religious portions of its party, however many other excellent qualities of a post it may be blessed with. There is a sign in London on which is painted, -'The Green Man.' It would do very well as a portrait of any individual who would support so unscriptural a thesis. As regards the language of the line in question, I am bold to say that He who readet'i the hearts of men will not account any dialect unseemly which conveys a sound and pious sentiment.
I could wish that such sentiments were inore common, however uncouthly expressed. Saint Ambrose affirms, that veritas a quocunque (why not, then, quomodocunque?) dicatur, a spiritu sancto es Digest also this of Baxter: The plainest words are the most profitable oratory in the weightiest matters.'
“When the paragraph in question was shown to Mr. Biglow, the only part of it which seemed to give him any dissatisfaction was that which classed him with the Whig party. He says, that, if resolutions are a nourishing kind of diet, that party must be in a very hearty and flourishing condition ; for that they have quietly eaten more good ones of their own baking than he could have conceived to be possible without repletion. He has been for some years past (I regret to say)
an ardent opponent of those sound doctrines of protective policy which form so proininent a portion of the creed of that party. I confess, that, in some discussions which I have had with him on this point in my study, he has displayed a vein of obstinacy which I had not hitherto detected in his composition. He is also (horresco referens) infected in no sma!! measure with the peculiar notions of a print called the Liberator, whose heresies I take every proper opportunity of combating, and of which, I thank God, I have never read a single line.
"I did not see Mr. B.'s verses until ey appeared in print, and there is certainly one thing in them which I consider highly improper. I allude to the personal relerences to myself by name. To confer notoriety on an humble individual who is laboring quietly in his vocation, and who keeps his cloth as free as he can from the dust of the political arena (though ve mihi si non evangshavero), is no doubt an indecoruin. The senti ments which he attributes to me I will not deny to be mine. They were embodied, though in a different form, in a discourse preached upon the last day of public fasting, and were acceptable to iny entire people (of whatever political views), except the postmaster, who dissented ex officio. I observe that you sometimes devote a portion of your paper to a religious summary. I should be well pleased to furnish a copy of my discourse for insertion in this department of your instructive journal. By omitting the advertisements, it might easily be got within the li:nits of a single number, and I venture to insure you the sale of some scores of co;ies in this town. I will cheerfully render myself responsible for ten. It inight possibly be advantageous to issue it as an extra. But perhaps you will not esteem it an object, and I will not press it. My offer does not spring from any weak desire of seeing iny name in print ; for I can enjoy this satisfaction at any time by turning to the Triennial Catalogue of the University, where it also possesses that added emphasis of Italics with which those of my calling are distinguished.
"I would simply add, that I continue to fit ingenuous youth for college, and that I have two spacious and airy sleeping apartments at this moment unoccupied. In renuas didi. cisse, &c. Terms, which vary according to the circumstances of the parents, may be known on application to me by letter, postpaid. In all cases the lad will be expected to fetch his own towels. This rule, Mrs. W. desires une to add, has no exceptions. “Respectfully, your obedient servant,
“HOMER WILBUR, A. M.
"P. S. Perhaps the last paragraph may look like an attempt to obtain the insertion of my circular gratuitously. If it should appear to you in that light, I desire that you would erase it, or charge for it at the usual
lates, and deduct the amount from the pro. ceeds in your hands from the sale of my discourse, when it shall be printed. My circu. lar is much longer and more explicit, and will be forwarded without charge to any who may desire it. It has been very neatly executed on a letter sheet, by it very deserving printer, who attends upon my ininistry, and is a creditable specimen of the typographic art. I have one hung over my mantel-piece in a neat frame, where it makes a beautiful and appropriate ornament, and balances the profile of Mrs. W., cut with her toes by the young lady born without arins.
military duty. I mention this circumstanco wich regret rather than pride. Had I been summoned to actual wariare, I trust that I might have been strengthened to bear my. self after the manner of that reverend fauler in our New England Israel, Dr. Benjamin Colman, who, as we are told in Tureli's life of him, when the vessel in which he had taken passage for England was attacked by a French privateer, "fought like a pl.ilosopher and a Christian, ... and prayed all the while he charged and fired." As this note is already long, I shall not here enter upon a discussion of the question, whether Christians may lawfully be soldiers. I think it sufficiently evident, that, during the first two centuries of the Christian era, at least, the two professions were esteemed incorrpatible.
Consult Jortin on this head. - H. W.)
REMARKS OF INCREASE D. O'PHACE,
ESQUIRE, AT AN EXTRUMPERY CAUCUS IN STATE STREET, REPORTED BY MR. H. BIGLOW.
I have in the foregoing letter mentioned General Scott in connection with the Presidency: because I have been given to understand that he has blown to pieces and otherwise caused to be destroyed more Mexicans than any other commander. His claim would thorofore be deservedly considered the strongest.
Until accurate returns of the Mexican, killed, wounded, and mained be obtained, it will be difficult to settle these nice points of precedence. Should it prove that any other officer las been more meritorious and destruciive than General S., and has thereb, rendered himself more worthy of the confidence and support of the conservative portion of our community, I shall cheerfully insert his name, instead of that of General S., in a future edition. It may be thought, likewise, that General S has invalidated his claims by too much attention to the decencies of apparel, and the habits belonging to a gentleman. These abstruser points of statesmanship are beyond my scope.
I wonder not that successful military achievement should attract the admiration of the multitude. Rather do I rejoice with wonder to behold how rapidly this sentiment is losing its hold upon the popular mind. It is related of Thomas Warton, the second of that honored name who held the office of Poetry Professor at Oxford, that, when one wished to find him, being absconded, as was his woni, in some obscure alehouse, he was counselled to trav. erse the city with a drum and fife, the sound of which inspiring music would be sure to draw the Doctor from his retirement into the street. We are all more or less bitten with this martial insanity. Nescio qua dulcedine
cunctos ducit. I confess to some infection of that itch myself. When I see a Brigadier-General maintaining his insecure elevation in the saddle under the severe fire of the training-field, and when I remember that some military enthusiasts, through haste, inexperience, or an over-desire to lend real. ity to those fictitious combats, will sometimes discharge their ramrods, I cannot but ad. mire, while I deplore, the mistaken devotion of those heroic officers. Semel insaanizmus onnes. I was inyself, during the late war with Great Britain, chaplain of a regiment, which was fortunately never called to active
[THE ingenious reader will at once understand that no such speech as the following was ever totidem verbis pronounced. But there are simpler and less guarded wits for the satisfying of which such an ex;-lana ion may be needíul. For there are certain invisible lines, which as Truth successively overpasses, she becomes Untruth to one and another of us, as a large river, fowing from one kingdom into another, sometime takes a new name, albeit the waters undergo no change, how small soever. There is, more. over, a truth of fiction more veracious than the truth of fact, as that of the Poet, which represents to us things and events as they ought to be, rather than servilely copies them as they are imperfectly imaged in the crooked and smoky glass of our mundane affairs. It is this which makes the speech of Antonius, though originally spoken in no wider a forum than the brain of Shakespeare, more histori. cally valuable than that other which Allian has reported, by as much as the understand ing of the Englishman was more comprehen: sive than that of the Alexandrian. Mr. Big. low, in the present instance, has only made use of a license assumed by all the historians of antiquity, who put into the mouths of vario ous characters such words as seem to them most fitting to the occasion and to the speak.
If it be objected that no such oration could ever have been delivered, I answer, that there are few assemblages for speechmaking which do not better deserve the title of Parliamentum Indoctorum than did the sixth Parliament of Henry the Fourth, and that men still continue to have as much faith in the Oracle of Fools as ever Pantagruel had. Howell, in
his letters, recounts a merry tale of a certain ambassador of Queen Elizabeth, who, having written two letters, --one to her Majesty, and the other to his wife, directed them at cross-purposes, so that the Queen was beducked and bedeared and requested to send a change of hose, and the wife was beprincessed and otherwise unwontedly besuperlatived, till the one feared for the wits of her ambassador, and the other for those of her husband. In like manner it may be presumed that our speaker has misdirected some of his thoughts, and given to the whole theatre what he would have wished to confide only to a select auditory at the back of the curtain. For it is seldom that we can get any frank utterance from men, who address, for the most part, a Buncombe either in this world or the next. As for their audiences, it may be truly said of our people, that they enjoy one political institution in common with the ancient Athenians: Iinean a certain profitless kind of ostracism, wherewith, nevertheless, they seem hitherto well enough content. For in Presidential elections, and other aifairs of the sort, whereas I observe that the wystrs fall to the lot of coinparatively few, the shells (such as the privileges of voting as they are told to do by the ostrivori aforesaid, and of huzzaing at public meeting) are very liberally distributed among the people, is being their prescriptive and quite sufficient portion.
The occasion of the speech is supposed to he Mr. Palfrey's refusal to vote for the Whig candidate for the Speakership. -H. W.] No? Hez he? He haint, though?
Wut? Voted agin him? Ef the bird of our country could ketch
him, she'd skin him ; I seem 's though I see her, with wrath
in each quill, Like a chancery lawyer, afilin' her bill, An' grindin' her talents ez sharp ez all
mater, To pounce like a writ on the back o'
the traitor. Forgive me, my friends, ef I seem to be
het, But a crisis like this must with vigor be
met; Wen an Arnold the star-spangled ban
ner bestains, Holl Fourth o' Julys seem to bile in
Would be run by a chap thet wuz
chose fer a Wig ? “We knowed wut his principles wuz
'fore we sent him"? Wut wuz ther in them from this vote to
prevent him? A marciful Providunce fashioned us
holler O’ purpose thet we might our principles
swaller ; It can hold any quantity on 'em, the
belly can, An' bring 'em up ready fer use like the
pelican, Or more like the kangaroo, who (wich
is stranger) Puts her family into her pouch wen
there's danger. Aint principle precious ? then, who's
goin' to use it Wen there's resk oʻsome chap's gittin'
up to abuse it? I can't tell the wy on 't, but nothin' is
SO sure Ez thet principle kind o'gits spiled by
exposure ; A man thet lets all sorts o' folks git a
sight on 't Ough' to hev it all took right away,
every mite on 't; Ef he can't keep it all to himself wen
it's wise to, He aint one it's fit to trust nothin' so
nice to. Besides, ther's a wonderful power in
latitude To shift a man's morril relations an'
attitude ; Some flossifers think thet a fakkilty's
granted * The speaker is of a different mind from Tully, who, in his recently discovered tractate De Republica, tells us, - Nec vero habre virtutem satis est, quasi artem aliquam, nisi ntare, and from our Milton, who says: "I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that imunortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat."- Areop. He had taken the words out of the Roman's mouth, without knowing it, and might well exclaim with Austin (i å saint's naine may stand sponsor for a curse), Pereant qui ante nos nostra dixerint! H. W.
Who ever 'd ha' thought sech a pison
Now here wuz New England ahevin'
the honor Of a chance at the Speakership show
ered upon her; Do you say, — "She don't want no
more Speakers, but fewer; She's hed plenty o'them, wut she wants
is a doer"? Fer the matter o' thet, it's notorous in
town Thet her own representatives du her
quite brown. But thet 's nothin' to du with it ; wut
right he i Palfrey To mix himself up with fanatical small
fry? Warn't we gittin' on prime with our hot
an' cold blowin', Acondemnin' the war wilst we kep' it
agoin'? We'd assumed with gret skill a com
mandin' position, On this side or thet, no one could n't
tell wich one, So, wutever side wipped, we'd a chance
at the plunder An' could sue fer infringin' our pay
tented thunder ; We were ready to vote fer whoever wuz
eligible, Ef on all pints at issoo he'd stay unin
telligible. Wal, sposin' we hed to gulp down our
perfessions, We were ready to come out next morn
in' with fresh ones; Besides, ef we did, 't was our business
alone, Fer could n't we du wut we would with
our own? An' ef a man can, wen pervisions hev Eat up
his own words, it's a marcy it
But an M. C. frum here ollers hastens
to state he Belongs to the order called inverte
braty, Wence some gret filologists judge primny
fashy Thet M. C. is M. T. by paronomashy; An' these few exceptions air loosus
naytury Folks 'ould put down their quarters 10
stare at, like fury: It's no use to open the door o' success, Ef a member can bolt so fer nothin' or
less; Wy, all o' them grand constitootional
pillers Our fore-fathers fetched with 'em over
the billers, Them pillers the people so soundly hev
slep' on, Wile to slav'ry, invasion, an' debt they
were swep' on, Wile our Destiny higher an' higber
kep' mountin' (Though I guess folks 'll stare wen she
hends her account in), Ef members in this way go kicken
agiu 'em, They wunt hev so much ez a feather left
in 'em. An', ez fer this Palfrey, * we thought
wen we'd gut him in, He'd go kindly in wutever harness we
put him in ; Supposin' we did know thet he wuz a
peace man? Doos he think he can be Uncle Sam
mle's policeman, An'wen Sam gits tipsy an' kicks up a
riot, Lead him off to the lockup to snooze
till he's quiet ? Wy, the war is a war thet true pay criots
can bear, ef It leads to the fat promised land of a
tayriff ; We don't go an' fight nor aint to be Nor Demmercrats nuther, thet hev wut
to live on; * There is truth yet in this of Juvenal, “Dat veniaincorvis, vexat censuracolumbas:
Wy, these chaps frum the North, with
back-bones to 'em, darn 'em, 'Ould be wuth more 'an Gennle Tom
Thumb is to Barnum : Ther's enough thet to office on this
very plan grow, By exhibitin' how very small a man can