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had bof their hed of pessitate an
a monk of the order of St. Francis, never deserted the city.
They attended without fear the dying and the dead. The magistrate protected the property of all who perished or fled. The priest, in the midst of such a scene of horrors, maintained his post with inflexible fortitude at the couches of the dying, encouraging them with the consolations of religion, when all other hopes had failed, and took charge of the children of those who perished. The infants at the breast were suckled by a flock of goats which he brought from a neighbouring mountain for the purpose. In one of the quarters of the city, “a cry was heard in an obscure house, nearly in ruins. It was the cry of two children, too young to distinguish death from life, and who had been vainly lamenting for some hours over the breathless body of their mother. None of the inhabitants would venture into this hot-bed of pestilence.” This intrepid friend of the unfortunate, did not hesitate an instant to go into this abode of misery and death, and take them, at the imminent risk of his own life, from the infected corpse of their parent. But the most extraordinary fact that our author relates, is, that the disease which seemed to exterminate every thing else, never touched either of these two men, who retained their full health during the whole period. We have sketched this short “history," that our readers may be better able to form an idea of the plan of our author's work.
The last primordial law of the sensible system, according to M. Alibert, is the “instinct of reproduction.” The passions peculiar to this instinct are, conjugal, paternal, maternal, and filial love. "A beautiful countenance,” says an eloquent writer, “is the most beautiful object in nature; and the harmony the most sweet, is the sound of the voice of one we love." We will not detain our readers upon this universal law of our nature. Its existence as such cannot be disputed, neither will we dilate upon its subdivisions. They are known and acknowledged in every heart. Suffice it to say, that they embrace almost the whole sphere of our domestic relations. Fraternal love is a modification of friendship; it does not belong to this division of the passions. A brother is a friend given us by nature.
We have been highly gratified with the perusal of the work before us; for, truly, the subject is one of such inexhaustible interest, that we feel ourselves disposed to do justice to an author before we open his book. M. Alibert is an original, and, in many respects, a profound thinker. His reputation is already great, and we think the present work calculated to sustain it. In his attempts to simplify a subject, as difficult
as it is important, we think he has, in a measure, succeeded. There is, however, a great deal yet to be done. The field is wide and the labourers are few, at least, those calculated to labour usefully. Some moral and metaphysical writers seem fond of this term “physiology.” If they mean to imply by the use of the term, that their respective sciences are capable of the same strict and demonstrative analysis that belongs to the physiology of our material organs, they misuse it. Though it can be easily shown that we possess fixed principles of life and action, as certainly in our moral as physical nature, yet are these principles not so strictly reducible to their original elements. The subject in its very nature is not so tangible. And this holds good with even inanimate objects. The rock and the lightning are both formed on fixed and unerring principles-the one has been often reduced to its elements; but who has ever strictly analyzed the other, and demonstrated its component parts? Yet it is not sound reasoning to say, that, because a branch of science has afforded but few established principles to the philosopher, that it is, therefore, useless. In truth, this position is oftener assumed by the indolent or the ignorant, than by the learned. How many sound, philosophical truths are now established, to have maintained which, would have been accounted, a few centuries ago, the height of absurdity. We dare not say where knowledge is, or is not to be found, until we seek it. And if we sit with our hands before us, content with saying, “the field is barren,” we can insure nothing but our own ignorance.
ART. VI.—The several Speeches made during the Debate in the
Senate of the United States on Mr. Foot's Resolution, by Mr. HAYNE of South-Carolina, and Mr. WEBSTER of Massachusetts. Miller. Charleston. 1830.
We shall make no apology to our readers, for devoting a few of our pages to a brief consideration of the important subjects involved in the discussion to which the Speeches relate, the titles of which are prefixed to this article.
The very unexpected turn which that discussion took, in which the original object of the resolution was entirely merged in the absorbing interest of the topics that were incidentally started, the remarkable ability with which they were treated, and their intimate connexion with the causes of a deep and prevalent public excitement among ourselves, must be our apology, if any were wanting, for the task we are about to undertake.
Before commencing it, let us be distinctly understood, that no imputed prejudices resulting from our locality, shall induce us to do injustice to the intellectual force and ingenuity which characterized the effort of the Senator from Massachusetts, or to the taste and skill, with which, considering it merely in the light of a literary composition, it has been confessedly executed, although we cannot join in the senseless adulation of those who place it above "all Greek and Roman fame.” If we mistake not, it was the enviable distinction or the misfortune of this gentleman, as people may consider it, to have been deified in New-England about two years since, where, in a lyrical invocation, he was hailed and sung as the "godlike man.” The devotees who ministered at this deification, we cannot hope to satisfy by any measure of justice which we can render to such' superhuman virtue and intelligence, as their incense is offered up in the golden urns of the Muses, with something of the extravagance, but with all the copious enthusiasm of poetry. Such persons we would forewarn from these pages, and commend them to their owo poetry rather than to the honest prose of fearless criticism. Our purpose, however, is with the gentleman's argument, rather than with the decorations and festoons with which it may have been adorned. . · Although the purport of Mr. Foot's resolution, was treated with remarkable irreverence by those who participated in the "great debate,” by a neglect almost amounting to oblivion of what the real subject before the Senate was, we cannot refrain from observing, before proceeding to matters of more “ pith and moment,” that there are few topics in the operations of our government, more important than the interesting inquiry, of what is the most politic and just disposition of the public lands? As a source of revenue, they have been almost a failure, whilst as a source of vexation, jealousy, and, we are obliged reluctantly to add, of corruption, they have been as perniciously copious, as the worst enemy of our institutions could desire. If we are not prepared to go the full length of the policy which Mr. Benton and Mr. Hayne have supported, we are as little inclined to sustain the rigid construction by which Mr. Webster would limit the power of the United States to dispose of the lands within
their territorial limits, to the States. The latter gentleman says
“ These grants were made on three substantial conditions and trusts.
“ 1st. That the ceded territories should be formed into States, and admitted in due time into the Union, with all the rights belonging to the other States. 2d. That the lands should form a common fund, to be disposed of for the general benefit of all the States. 3d. That they should be sold and settled at such time and in such manner, as Congress shall direct.”
The first condition the government has performed in good faith, whenever, within a given territory, the requisite population has risen up to authorize the formation of a State, but not always without encountering stubborn difficulties in securing to such State “all the rights belonging to the other States.” The impediments thrown in the way of the admission of Missouri, (of which portentous question we consider a portion of the debate in the Senate as a part and parcel) render an instructive lesson not only of the manner in which it may be attempted to perform this condition, but of the character which, contests for political power are likely to assume in the progress of our government.
The next condition-"that the lands should form a common fund to be disposed of for the general benefit of all the States". has been violated in a manner which makes this condition, in point of fact, a perfect mockery. The gratuities given to several of the States, more especially to Ohio, for purposes of domestic policy exclusively, have been of the most flagrant character, and these eleemosynary doles have been recently administered by the prurient and zealous friendship of the rival parties contending for her presidential votes, in a mode which rendered the disposal of these donations, anything but “a common fund for the general benefit of all the States." .
If we are not greatly mistaken, no one has contributed more essentially than the Senator from Massachusetts, to the profuse liberality of these unauthorized gifts; it is, therefore, with no small surprise, that we meet with the following paragraph in his first reply to Mr. Hayne :
“Now, Sir, it is plain that Congress never has been at liberty to disregard these solenin conditions. For the fulfilment of all these trusts, the public faith was and is fully pledged. How then, would it have been possible for Congress, if it had been so disposed, to give away these public lands? How could they have followed the example of other governments, if there had been such, and considered the conquest of the wilderness an equivalent compensation for the soil ? The States had looked to this territory, perhaps too sanguinely, as a fund out of which, means were to come to defray the expenses of the war. It had been received as a fund—as a fund Congress had bound itself to apply it. To have given it away would have defeated all the objects which Congress and particular States had in view, in asking and obtaining the cession, and would have plainly violated the conditions which the ceding States attached to their own grants.
Mr. Hayne, in reply to this part of Mr. Webster's Speech, puts very effectively the following interrogatory :-“if this be so, where does the gentleman derive the right to appropriate them for partial and local objects. How can the gentleman consent to vote away immense bodies of these lands for canals in Indiana and Illinois, to the Louisville and Portland Canal, to Kenyon College in Ohio, to schools for the deaf and dumb, and other objects of a similar description?”.
We reply, because the gentleman finds a convenient retreat, from this dilemma, by employing his and Mr. Clay's cosmopolite argument, that whatever is beneficial to a part, is advantageous to the whole; an argument which is always of convenient use and easy application, when money is to be expended for purposes purely sectional, and one that subserves very effectually an object which a class of politicians in our country think the summum bonum of our political system-Consolidation-which means obliterating the definite lines of separate State interests, in a comprehensive identity of interest, by which a majority shall swallow up the rights of a minority, under the plausible pretexts of the “general welfare."
The last condition, that “the public lands should be sold at such time and in such manner as Congress shall direct," seems to vest in Congress a large discretion over the whole subject. The mode and manner of the sale necessarily involve the power of fixing such a price as Congress may consider, most likely to subserve the public interests. Now we believe, that the public interest does require, that the public lands should be disposed of, with the smallest delay compatible with the adoption of a safe and judicious scheme of sale. So far from these lands being “a common fund for the general benefit of all the States," they are a fund for the corruption of the States in which they are situated, by which the independence of their action in controlling the operations of the Federal Government is perniciously paralyzed or essentially impaired. There is no truth which our statesmen will have to believe and to understand more thoroughly, than the cardinal axiom—that the federal head in a confederate government, should have as few largesses as possible to divide among the States. Ours, whether by fraud