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ally profitable. In ascending the Mississippi and its tributaries, in 1829, on which occasion I was on board several boats, I continually saw casks, packages, and bales, in all of them, which I knew came from New England, by their marks, - by the mode of doing up, - by a certain indescribable something, in which to a true Yankee eye there is no mistake. A distinguished gentleman, of Pittsburgh, told me there was a regular battle between the Boston nails and the Pittsburgh nails, on the Ohio river ; - the Boston nails coming all the way round, and the Pittsburgh made on the spot, from Juniata iron; and that, though the Pittsburgh nails sometimes fought their way down the river to Louisville, the Bostonians, at times, had driven them up as far as Wheeling. I was informed by a respectable trading house in Pittsburgh, that they had, in the year preceding, imported two thousand barrels of pickled mackerel; and I think I did not enter a public house in the West, to take a meal, morning, noon, or night, without seeing a pickled mackerel on the table. I remember, a year or two ago, that one of my neighbours from Charlestown, who had emigrated to the northwest corner of Arkansas, - a spot not then even laid out into counties, - told me, that in that remote region, - the last foothold of civilization, where you have but one more step to make, to reach the domain of the wild Indian and the buffalo, a settler did not think himself well accoutred, without a Leominster are. But, give him that, - give him, Sir, that weapon which has brought a wider realm into the pale of civilization, than the sword of Cæsar or the sceptre of Justinian, - give him a narrow Yankee axe, he 'll hew his way with it to a living, in a season ; though I shrewdly suspect, without the least disparagement of emigrants from other quarters, that after sending the Yankee axe into the country, the best way to give it full effect would be to send a little Yankee bone and sinew, to facilitate its use.
“But, Sir, though by the way of New Orleans we have a considerable trade with the South-West, there is a vast region, which that channel does not reach. A direct communication is greatly wanted. This is the want, daily becoming more serious, and which must be supplied. The destinies of the country, if I may use a language which sounds rather mystical, but which every one, I believe, understands, — the destinies of the country run East and West. Intercourse between the mighty interior West and the seacoast, is the great principle of our commercial prosperity and political strength. Nature, in the aggregate, has done every thing that could be desired, to promote this intercourse, and art has done much to second her; but, as far as the single State of Massachusetts is concerned, VOL. XLIV. — NO. 94.
the course of the rivers from North to South, and of the mountains between which they flow, deprives us of the share of the benefits of this intercourse which we should otherwise enjoy. And this operation of natural causes has been aided by several important works of artificial communication, enumerated in the able report of the committee. The consequence is, that a very considerable part of the territory of Massachusetts has its commercial interests in one direction, and its political and social relations in another; so much so, that, as we all, I am sure, heard with pain from the distinguished gentleman from Springfield, (Mr. Calhoun,) the feeling of State pride, which ought of all feelings that end in temporal affairs, to be among the dearest and deepest in the bosom of a Massachusetts man, was daily growing weaker among the people of one of the most intelligent and substantial portions of the State.
“This commercial alienation has gone to a length, which I suspect the citizens of Boston are not generally aware of. The entire region west of the hills of Berkshire communicates with New York through the Hudson, — and the whole valley of the Connecticut, in and out of Massachusetts, communicates with Long Island Sound. I am afraid to say, in how large a part of Massachusetts I think a complete non-intercourse reigns with the capital ; but I will state to you a fact, that lately fell beneath my personal observation. Having occasion, last week, to go to Deerfield, I took the north road from Worcester, through Templeton, Athol, and the country watered by Miller's river. If there is a spot in Massachusetts where one would feel himself entrenched, shut up, land-locked, in the very bosom of the Commonwealth, Athol Green, surrounded with its rising grounds, is that spot. And what, Mr. President, do you think I saw ? We had scarce driven out of the village, and were making our way along through South Orange and Erving's Grant, when I saw two wagons straining up a hill, — the horses' heads to the east, - the wagons laden with crates, casks, and bales of foreign merchandise, which had come from Liverpool, by the way of Hartford, from New York! I hold that, Sir, a little too much for a Massachusetts man to contemplate without pain.
“ Now, Mr. President, this is the matter which we wish to put to rights. We do not wish to deprive New York of her trade; but to regain our own. It is the object of this meeting to remedy principally this evil. To open a great route of communication between the East and the West, by means of a railroad from Boston to Albany, which with lateral routes, afterwards to be constructed, shall replace Boston in its natural position toward the trade of the interior.
“And here, perhaps, we shall be met by the general vague objection, that it is impossible, by artificial works, to divert commerce from its great natural channels. Abstractions prove nothing. There are two kinds of natural channels, -one sort made directly by the hand which made the world ; the other, constructed by man, in the intelligent exercise of the powers which his Creator has given him. It is as natural for a civilized man to make a rail-way or canal, as for a savage to descend a river in a bark canoe, or to cross from one fishing-place to another, by a path through the woods.
“ The city of New York, no doubt, owes much to the noble river that unites her to Albany; but she owes vastly more to her great artificial works of internal communication. The Hudson and the Mohawk, of themselves, unaided by art, so far from gathering in the commerce of the far West, would not monopolize that of one half the region west of Albany, within the State of New York. How far is it from the head waters of the eastern branch of the Susquehannah, in Otsego lake, to the Mohawk ? Perhaps fifteen miles! I have stood on the high grounds, that overlook Harrisburgh in Pennsylvania, at a season of the year before the Hudson was open, and seen the rafts, the flatboats, the canoes, the batteaux, the craft of undescribed shapes and unutterable names, following each other, on the broad bosom of the Susquehannah, from morning to night, bearing the produce of the interior of New York, to a market in Chesapeake Bay! The same holds of the southwestern corner of New York, which naturally is drained by the tributaries of the Ohio. I recollect that at New Orleans, I saw a flat-bottomed boat loaded with shingles. I asked its steersman whence he came. He answered, from Olean. Perhaps I ought to be ashamed to confess, that, at that time, I did not know where Olean was. I found, to my astonishment, it was a settlement in Cattaraugus county, New York, on the Alleghany river, a hundred and seventy or eighty miles northeast of Pittsburgh! But, Sir, to bring this wandering commerce back to herself, New York has constructed her great artificial works. In this respect, Massachusetts is naturally little, if any, worse off than New York. If New York has a great navigable river, Massachusetts has, what New York wants, a vast seacoast. What both wanted was a great line of artificial communication, tunning inward to the West. New York has constructed hers, and has other mighty works of the same character in progress; and all that Massachusetts needs is, by a work of very moderato extent, not merely to recover the trade of her own territory, but to acquire a fair share, a large, a growing share, of the commerce of the boundless West."
pp. 629 - 632. If we were called upon to assign the palm of superiority to any one of the discourses in this volume, we should find it a difficult task. Some of them we like for one kind of excellence, and some for another; and some of his shorter and apparently less carefully prepared efforts, we read with as much pleasure as his longer and more elaborate productions. His Phi Beta Kappa oration, delivered at Cambridge in 1824, is the most celebrated of his occasional discourses, and probably comprehends the greatest amount of intellectual power. In point of style, argument, and illustration, it is lavish and splendid in the highest degree, and it contains passages which may safely challenge a comparison with any thing of the kind in the English language. The concluding paragraphs are magnificent, stirring the blood like the sound of a trumpet ; and the closing one, the well-known address to Lafayette, is full of a simple grandeur, resembling the life and character of the eminent man, of whom, and to whom, it was spoken. The full and ripe scholarship, too, displayed in this discourse, is not among the least of its charms. But with all its various and admirable merits, it is open to the criticism of being the production of a rhetorician, rather than a philosopher ; an advocate rather than a judge ; and of assuming rather more, in favor of the orator's views, than either truth or history will warrant. We may venture to assert, however, without much fear of contradiction, that this oration, together with those delivered at Plymouth and at Concord, (being the first three in the volume,) stand in the first rank of his occasional productions. They were his earliest efforts, and they are characterized by a richness and vigor of conception, a fulness of illustration and a luxuriance of imagery, not surpassed, if equalled, by any of his later ones.
But it is altogether unnecessary to assign any relative rank to these discourses. We like to think of the volume as a whole, and look upon any comparisons as being particularly odious, when applied to its component elements. We acknowledge a feeling of pride in the thought, that in the tasteful and elegant contents of this book, our country has made such large amends for the quantities of nonsense, sublime and ridiculous, which her sons have inflicted upon the community
in the shape of orations and speeches of all sorts. ture to pronounce it a permanent accession to the treasures of English literature. We cannot but think, that there is that in it which men will not willingly let die, and that another generation will value it even more highly than we do. The truth is, that Mr. Everett would have more consulted his own fame, if he had been less good-natured, and, imitating the policy of Eastern monarchs, permitted himself to be seen and heard more rarely. For the last eight or ten years, we have so often enjoyed the opportunity of first listening to, and afterwards reading, bis beautiful and finished discourses, that we have grown insensible to their merit, and have learned to look upon them as things to be expected of course, like roses in June and apples in October. We have not sufficiently reflected that there is not any one of Mr. Everett's printed discourses, which would not materially add to the reputation of almost any other man in the community, and that he has, in a great measure, created the taste by which he himself is judged. He has ennobled and dignified the employment of oration-making, and sustains somewhat the same relation to that branch of literature with us, (which Homer did to Epic poetry in GreeceIf any one will attempt, at the present time, to write an oration, he will perceive the extent of Mr. Everett's influence, by the unconscious imitation of him, into which he will fall. Much of the improvement which has been, of late, discernible in this class of productions, is to be fairly ascribed to the spirit which he has awakened, and to the models which he has afforded. He has made it easier to write a good oration than it formerly was, and has also made the public less tolerant of indifferent ones.
Mr. Everett's orations are nearly faultless, as literary efforts, and the only serious objection which we have to urge against them, (which we shall state as fully and as frankly as we have expressed our admiration of them,) is of a different kind, and partaking rather of a moral nature. We allude to the language of extravagant commendation, which he so frequently applies to our country, to our political institutions, to the events of our history, and to the great men who have shared in them. We are well aware that a good deal of this is expected from all public speakers, and it is reasonable and proper that audiences should be indulged to some considerable extent, in this respect. We believe too, that it is the duty of every man to