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rative, as on those of Eastern origin ; and if there is any thing to choose between the Nullifier himself, his Southern friend, and his Southern mistress, on the one hand, and the Yankees Hooker, Phipps, and Hoskins on the other, it is not very clearly 10 the disadvantage of the latter triad. Could we regard the volume as a mere ebullition of personal or party spleen, we should look on it much less seriously in its relation to the question now before us. As it is, the writer only meant, for effect's sake, to draw the Yankee character with poetical truth, as it was conceived by those for whom he was writing ; and accordingly the delineation shows what those readers were prepared to bear and to expect in the premises. He is no fool, so as to be writing at a venture, and his dedication of the work “to his Excellency James Hamilton, Jr., Governor of South Carolina, whose chivalrous character has procured him the appropriate appellation of the Bayard of the South,'” forbids the supposition that he supposed himself to be without sympathy in the highest quarters.
Still the writing is anonymous ; and, in a matter of such import, it is natural to like to have names for vouchers. These, it might be supposed, would be difficult to get at, from the natural unwillingness of right-minded men to bring sweeping charges against a whole community, and, especially, from the impossibility (except under circumstances of the highest excitement) of such charges being made in the hearing of those whom they arraign. Yet it cannot be denied, that proof even of this kind is continually presenting itself, to that degree that he who should undertake to collect it in any one department, would find his undertaking to be no sinecure. Let us content ourselves, as to authorities, with the case of the wooden nutmegs, which
appear in the van of the pungent extract given above, as well as, with racy repetition, in other parts of the work. Though, man and boy, we have lived in New England nearly half a century, without having seen, or credibly heard, of an actually existing specimen of this fabric, we are obliged to suppose that in some places it is held to be the great result of New England industry ;- not salted fish, nor cotton shirt
ings, nor brown paper spelling-books more so. For instance; a recent number of the - United States Telegraph " is before us, in which we find the Rev. R. C. Postell, of Orangeburg, in South Carolina, (a well-informed and well-intentioned individual, we doubt not, as becomes his profession,) treating
“ the art of making nutmegs and bacon out of wood,” as notoriously practised among our "country people.” Mr. Senator Preston, (“cujus ab ore melle dulcior fluit oratio ") lately came to New England, and left it, being a truly candid and generous man, agreeably impressed with some things which he saw. On his return, he had occasion to address a public meeting, convened to make arrangements for the Charleston and Cincinnati Rail-road, and he took the opportunity to do manly justice to some qualities and effects which had come under his observation. He addressed no rabble, but an audience of gentlemen of property and influence, as the occasion which brought them together implies ; but still it seems even the flavorous honey of his tongue would have cloyed, unless spiced with the ever-ready wooden nutmegs. We cannot deny ourselves the gratification of setting down his remarks. The taste of their general tenor was his own. The incident we have hinted at was but a deference to the taste, while it was a distinct recognition of the opinions, of his hearers. extract from the “ Columbia Telescope.”
“Mr. Preston, in his speech concerning the Rail-road, on Monday last, drew a very striking contrast between the difference of character of the people of the Northern and of the Southern parts of the Union, and the consequently opposite condition of the countries that they inhabit.
“ Ile said that no Southern man can journey (as he had lately done, through the Northern States, and witness the prosperity, the industry, the public spirit, which they exhibit, the sedulous cultivation of all those arts by which life is rendered comfortable and respectable, without feelings of deep sadness and shame, as he remembers his own neglected and desolate home. There, no dwelling is to be seen abandoned, no farm uncultivated, no man idle, no waterfall, even, unemployed. Every person and every thing performs a part towards the grand result, and the whole land is covered with fertile fields, with manufactories, and canals, and rail-roads, and public edifices, and towns and cities. Along the route of the great New York canal, (that glorious monument of the glorious memory of De Witt Clinton,) a canal, a rail-road, and a turnpike, are to be seen in the width of perhaps a hundred yards, each of them crowded with travel, or overflowing with commerce. Throughout their course, lands, that before their construction would scarcely command five dollars the acre, now sell for fifty, seventy-five, or a hundred. Passing along it, you see no space of three miles without a town or village, and you are never out of the sound of a church bell.
“ We of the South are mistaken in the character of these people, when we think of them only as pedlars in horn flints and bark nutmegs. Their energy and enterprise are directed to all objects, great and small, within their reach. At the fall of a scanty rivulet, they set up their little manufactory of wooden buttons or combs; they plant a barren hill-side with broom corn, and make it into brooms at the bottom, and on its top they erect a windmill. Thus, at a single spot, you may see the air, the earth, and the water, all working for them. But; at the same time, the ocean is whitened to its extremities with the sails of their ships, and the land is covered with their works of art and usefulness.
“ Massachusetts is perhaps the most flourishing of the Northern States. Yet, of natural productions, she exports but two articles — granite and ice. Absolutely nothing but rock and ice ! Every thing else of her commerce, from which she derives so much, is artificial, the work of her own hands.
“ All this is done, in a region with a bleak climate and sterile soil, by the energy and intelligence of the people. Each man knows that the public good is his individual advantage. The number of rail-roads, and other modes of expeditious intercommunication, knits the whole country into a closely-compacted mass, through which the productions of commerce and of the press, the comforts of life, and the means of knowledge, are universally diffused ; while the close intercourse of travel and business makes all men neighbours, and promotes a common interest and common sympathy. In a community thus connected, a single flash of thought pervades the whole land, almost as rapidly as thought itself can fly. The population becomes, as it were, a single set of muscles, animated by one heart, and directed by a common sensorium.
“ How different the condition of things in the South!” &c.
We hope that Mr. Preston's predecessor in the United States' Senate had the opportunity of listening to these remarks. They would not fail to enlarge his conceptions of the New England mind. At the time of his famous debate with Mr. Webster, the relation of bis party to the federal councils was critical, and he tried hard to do the civil thing by NewEngland, though the course of his argument led him to no measured treatment of its leaders. But the kindest intentions could carry him no further than to an acknowledgment of its “steady habits and hardy virtues," while, speaking of other portions of the country, his fervor could luxuriate in such epithets as “the gallant West," " great and magnanimous Virginia,” and the noble disinterestedness, ardent love of country, exalted virtue, and pure and holy devotion to liberty of the people of the Southern States."
The delusion we have referred to, there is too much reason to fear, has been conveyed, with the course of population, across the mountains. The most unambiguous expression of its existence there, which we recollect to have lately observed, in a respectable quarter, occurred on the presentation of the navy appropriation bill, at the last session of Congress. On that occasion, standing in his place among the representatives of the people, Mr. Hardin, of Kentucky, in debate with Mr. Cushing, of Massachusetts, is represented in the reports of the discussion, to have
“hit at cod fishery, wooden nutmegs, and tin peddling, and said that the gentleman from Massachusetts came from a section of country, where the people could see a dollar with the naked eye, as far as he could through a telescope.”
Mr. Hardin is a man of unimpeached and unimpeachable veracity. His reputation for blunt frankness is implied in the very soubriquet by which he is best known. We are persuaded that the saving of his right hand would be no bribe to bim to affirm what he did not believe. We are bound therefore to understand, that this is actually his opinion, concerning the population to which his remarks apply. It is his opinion, because he has lived where the doctrine was inculcated, and because, being guileless, he is unsuspecting, and easily practised upon. In ascribing his unfortunate error to credulity, we do no injustice to his understanding. He is not only an honest man, but an able. But all men are gullible. Not more true is it, that all men are mortal ; and just as certainly as this gentleman and his neighbours believe what they do of New England and its nutmegs, they might with the proper appliances, be brought to believe that the moon is made of green cheese. Let them take care that some Yankee does not, before long, beguile their simplicity into that error.
We do not undertake to refute the doctrine of the nutmegs. There are no resources, in logic, to prove a negative. Accordingly, in reason and in law, the burden of proof is thrown on the other side, and we have never yet seen an indictment with specifications, to put the party accused on his defence. Dishonest men, we suppose, are the growth of every soil. We have no difficulty in allowing that such may have been
born in New England ; and on the other hand, if no fraudulent bargain was ever made by a native of Kentucky or South Carolina, it is time that those States asserted for themselves a place in the eye of the world and of history, to which no other community, as far as we know, has ever yet ventured to lay claim. That dishonest men, of New England birth, should have practised their arts more freely abroad than at home, is also a very credible thing. The class of rovers is generally found to embrace a portion of those who were in no good esteem at their starting-place, and bad men never conduct themselves so ill as in places where they are but transient sojourners. Also, when a wrong has been committed by such foul birds of passage, there is always danger that it may be laid at some door where it ought not to lie ; for the injured has small opportunity to examine the baptismal record of him whom he finds occasion to revile ; and where, for instance, as in North Carolina, peddling is carried on by native citizens, if a fraud occurs, the sufferer, under his double stimulus of personal indignation and sectional patriotism, is extremely likely to impute to New England, what is, in fact, chargeable to the next county to that where he is complaining.
We will plead, then, to the nutmegs, whenever some case shall be presented ; saying nothing further about them meanwhile, than that the general charge of dishonest transactions would really have seemed to us antecedently more probable, if some other form of dishonesty had been alleged instead of this. For we know of no tree and no art existing in New-England, from and by which a tolerable counterfeit of the fruit nutmeg could be produced. It is neither one of the geometrical figures, nor a combination of two or more. We apprehend that the lathe which could shape its likeness is yet to be invented; and though the Yankee penknife, like the Yankee axe, is a potent tool, it would for this use require an amount of time, which could not profitably be afforded. Further, we suppose that, all over the world, people, who buy nutmegs, buy them for their aromatic property ; and of this we never heard of any substance, which would afford an imitation, capable of cheating the most unpractised olfactory organ. Our friends do us more than justice in one view, while in another they do us less. Wise as they give us credit for being, we are not equal to work like this.
Of specific charges of mal-practice against our population, VOL. XLIV. No. 94.