« AnteriorContinuar »
PASSAGES FROM A POLITICIAN'S NOTE-BOOK.
THE LAY OF THE LAND.
BUSINESS, they say, is beginning to the commencement of a new Volume, revive,-so are Politics. All the great from the refreshing repose of the past elements of the latter have for a consi- year, let us begin by casting a bird's-eye derable interval been lying in a state glance over the Lay of the Land. of quiescence, almost of stagnation. The spectacle presented at WashThere have been but two points, over ington is certainly—(we hate the coarse the expanse of the political field, where word, but it must out !)—is certainly any disturbance of its dormant dust has the most disgusting ever yet exhibited indicated the presence of waking life by an administration of our federal and motion,-the one, the convulsive government. It is almost enough to struggle of that smallest and worst of turn the stomach of an honest man, be the isms the country has yet known, he Democrat or Whig. Such imbecilTylerism, to make some sort of a little ity and such conceit-such feebleness figure in the world ; the other, the and such petty activity of small intrigue rivalry between the friends of the two-such pretension of purity and such leading candidates of our own party for shamelessness of political venalityits Presidential nomination. The for- such affectation of independent dignity, mer, though its insignificance might and such fawning for the scornfully occasionally attract the notice of a refused favor of a great and noble party, silent smile, yet neither contained nor whose smiles are never to be propitiated portended anything worth the trouble by such men and such means of nibbing a pen to write about it. The latter was a matter to be left to the
“ take it for all in all, spontaneous movement of the popular We ne'er shall look upon its like again!" instincts, from which, whatever might be both the right and the duty of the The immediate provocation to the more local newspaper press, it behoved utterance of this opinion and this feeling and became this Review to stand im- in relation to that miserable concern of a partially aloof; perfectly content as we government, at Washington, is derived could not fail to be with any of the from the manner in which the country alternative results of which the future has of late had to witness the unblushmust soon bring the solution. For a con- ing corruption of its attempt to build up siderable period, therefore, the subject a Party on the basis of Patronage. In of Politics, in its more immediate and common with the Democratic Party at practical party bearings, has engaged large, we were at one time disposed to but little of our time and few of our look with an inclination of generous pages,-perhaps to the discontent of liberality toward Mr. Tyler. When a some portion of our readers, with whom sudden and solemn act of the Providence no degree of merit in the treatment of of God brought him into his present a countless number of other topics, of position, he had it in his power to adopt general literature, philosophy, criticism, à course that would have secured him art, poetry, fancy, and useful instruc a warm and triumphant support from tion, would compensate for the absence the Democratic Party and from an of this one subject of perpetual Ameri- overwhelming majority of the country. can interest. But Politics, we repeat, That course was earnestly, patrioticallike business, are beginning now to ly, kindly, and hopefully pointed out to revive ; and as we approach the assem- him and urged upon him. But he was bling of a new Democratic Congress, not the Man for the Occasion. After and the canvass of a new Presidential all, perhaps, if he had been, he could election, it is time to replenish that never have thus found himself there, in compartment of our editorial inkstand, that precise and peculiar position which now almost dry and mouldy from dis- created it. He was totally unequal to
Reawakening, therefore, with the strong effort of any bold and manly VOL. XIII.--NO. LXI.
course, in either or in any direction. his portrait in this Review, as a subject He tried to shufile shabbily along, a of current interest at the time, not unmiddle way between the two parties. acceptable probably even to those of He certainly did his best to remain a our readers least disposed to fraternize Whig. He clung to them till Clay politically with him, we added a distinct shook him roughly off and drummed him disclaimer of responsibility for the out of camp. We all remember how accompanying article which a personal he whined about their unkind injustice and political friend of the Vice-President to him, when he had signed all their was permitted to write; and the folbills but one, and had done his best to lowing was the language in which was arrange a compromise with them upon then expressed the wavering but hoping that one, by which he might retain his uncertainty of the opinion with which hold upon them. And now that the we regarded his position and course : progress of subsequent development has shed its light upon the motives and “ For Mr. Tyler's recent important spirit of prior events, we see but slender vetoes, we sincerely thank him-at the title to credit that he can claim at the
same time that we feel bound to say, that hands of the Democratic Party, even the general course of his administration for his Bank vetoes. He had been in other respects has by no means been placed on the Whig ticket for the very what we hoped at the outset it might purpose—as we have heard it frankly possibly be. He leaves us yet in no slight acknowledged by an active member of degree of doubt as to the spirit in which the Harrisburg Convention itself, who it has had its origin and stimulus. Conwas in no small degree influential in tidence is a plani of slow growth in other, causing his nomination--for the very has now done well for one year, he had
also, than aged bosoms. If Mr. Tyler purpose of conciliating the anti-Bank before done very ill for ten. If his recent feeling, together with the anti-Tariff deserts have been great, great also was and anti-Abolition feeling of the South. all he had to atone for. An ancient sage The Whig Conventions of Southern would pronounce no man happy in his States, and of Virginia in particular, life, till death had set its seal upon his had emphatically repudiated the charge mortal fate and career. So too do we of National-Bank-ism. Mr. Tyler, await a further development of Mr. Tywhen interrogated on this very pointler's administration, before deciding on in advance of the election, had publicly the judginent which should be recorded committed himself, in a way entirely opposite to his name in the annals of the unequivocal, against a Bank. He great office imposed upon him, by that could not sign any such bill as they same fatality of accident which seems to presented him; and none but that su
have attended his whole political career." perbly imperious dictator who then ruled the counsels of the party with a The doubts then entertained with sceptre sterner than any iron, would regret have been since very effectually have undertaken thus to force it upon dissipated by Mr. Tyler himself. His him. He tried hard to evade the bitter recent course in the particular above necessity of that veto to which he felt alluded to-this systematized applicaimpelled and compelled by the very tion of all the enginery of official power extremest considerations of political at his command toward the futile abdecency and personal honor; and if Mr. surdity of his hope for a Democratic Clay had only been willing to yield a nomination—this meretricious boldness mere inch or two of the position on with which the smiles and the more which he had planted himself and the substantial favors of office, are not only party, Mr. Tyler was still willing to granted but tendered to any Democrat sign a Bank Bill which would have of decent party standing, who can be been, after all, but little less obnoxious found willing to contaminate himself to us, and worse than those which with the disgustfulness of such political little thanks to him-he vetoed. prostitution—this wholesale and retail
With a man thus forced on them, the venality of patronage, not only bestowed Democratic Party can have no sympa- at the central depot in the higher dipthies. We, for a long time, tried to lomatic bribes for Congressional supbelieve him honest, and were ingenious port and devotion, but peddled around in charitable constructions and supposi- the country wherever a little village tions in his favor. When we inserted postmaster can be found suspected of
being suspicious as to the zeal and which interested adulators about your sincerity of his attachment to the Ad- person at Washington had before sucministration-all this, we say, following ceeded in warding off—the conviction so closely as it did on the heels of Mr. of the hopeless impossibility, now, of Tyler's own recent professions on these your adoption by the Democratic Party very identical points of political princi- or by any party. Abandon this worse ple, not only necessarily inspires us than idle attempt to bribe our favor, in with an utter disgust for his present which sinister counsels and malign course of administration, and distrust influences perhaps have involved you. for anything that can come out of it Keep your offices, or rather let their within the period for which the country incumbents keep them—be their party has yet to tolerate it; but also, reflect- preferences, avowed and acted upon, ing back upon the past the light of its or only cherished" at heart," what they illustration of the political character may. Before you began upon this of the man who could be capable of it, system we protested against it, and exhibits him in an aspect, which com- forewarned you of the certain result, pels us to assent to the justice of the in the united contempt of both and of least flattering of the portraits recently all parties. It is rumored that a more drawn of him by all the orators and extended application of it is shortly to editors of his own quondam party. If be made. Depend upon it, that at our language is strong, we confess that every step you pursue in this path, this we have lost all patience with the sub- result will only the more and more ject of which it speaks.
irreparably develope itself. The doctrine was bad enough, hea So much, for the present, for Mr. ven knows, in itself and in its conse- Tyler and his administration ; in which quences, that “ to the victors belong there are to be found two or three esthe spoils.” It never met with favor timable gentleman whom, however or justification with us; and we deeply they may confine themselves to the deplore and condemn the practical ap- special duties of their offices, without plication we have to witness of it, in personal participation in all this corall, or very nearly all of the States of ruption for the reprobation of which the Union, at every revolution of the our words have been only too weak, we wheel of party politics. But all that, sincerely regret to behold giving to it as a political mischief and wrong, sinks the countenance of their presence and into insignificance in comparison with permission. The organs of Tylerism this one, of the application of patronage are loud in their complaint when the to the formation of a party, and to the Democratic press would seem disposed venal and corrupt purchase of support to exclude the name of the Vicefrom an adverse party by a seceder President from the privilege of candifrom his own. Î'he celebrated im- dateship before the approaching conpeachment farce of Botts was only vention of the Democratic Party. We ridiculous; but we do confess that if have no such desire,,he is perfectly such a punishment for Presidential welcome, as is also Mr. Clay himself malfeasance practicable, we to such chance as awaits him in that should rejoice to see it applied, in the body. If required, however, to choose present case, for the Vice-President's between the probability of its preferoutrageous abuse and misuse of the ence as between the two, we could Patronage Power of his office.
have but little hesitation in the seIf it is not yet too late to retrieve a lection. political character ruined we fear be If we have spoken with what may yond the reach of redemption, we would seem to some an undue and uncharitaagain address to Mr. Tyler the warning ble degree of harshness, it has been and even the entreaty we have more because the severest reprobation has than once urged upon him. Awake appeared alike just and necessary, of from this fatal dream in which your what we cannot but regard as the most senses have been lapped by the insidi- abominable piece of political profligacy ous narcotics of Aattery. Surely, recorded in the annals of our governsurely, the coldness of your reception ment. It is a fitting sequel and fruit everywhere by the People, on your of the whole grand Whig fraud of the present pilgrimage, must have struck last election. Mr Tyler could not have home to you that chilly conviction been honest in his course and position
in the Whig party; the Whig party points on which hadarisen a discussion was grossly dishonest in the whole threatening to become a formidable disscheme of that election of which Mr. sension, the District Delegation, and Tyler was an essential element. As is the individual voting in the Convention, so often the result of similar iniquitous a general harmony of sentiment has combinations, the two parties who com- already been restored, by that pervadmenced by cheating the public have ing instinctive spirit of union, in which ended by cheating each other,-and the none can fail to read the prophetic ascompletion of the whole will soon be, surance of a glorious common triumph. according to the good old rule of pro- The former of these points will be left vidential justice, that “ the honest men to the free choice of the respective will get their own again."
States; the latter, according to the Of the actual position of the Whig established usage of the case, to the Party little need be said. The main decision of the Convention itself
. There majority of them will undoubtedly rally is wide room for honest and perfectly to the Presidential contest under Mr. amicable difference of views upon both Clay, with Tariff Protection as their of them. On the one side a regard to only distinctive idea of party doctrine. that numerical national majority which, To be sure the contest is a hopeless with the Democratic Party cannot but one for them, but it will probably be be a consideration of deserved weight, gallantly fought. Mr. Webster is op- would recommend the one course ; posing, as strongly as in his power, the while on the other side, the opposite feeble influence which, despite of his one has the advantage of the indirect great order of ability, he is able to sanction of the Constitution itself, added wield, against the union of the party to the force of all those arguinents on Clay ;-but vainly. Sink or swim, which address themselves peculiarly live or die, all the more generous to the extreme State-Rights school of spirit of the party is warmly devoted politics, asserting for each State the to the latter, and no treacherous argu- right to judge independently for itself ments of availability will be again al- in the exercise of this high and imlowed to postpone his right to the portant duty. The course of the Georhighest honor in their power to bestow gia convention, which, while in the on him, that of being their chosen act of nominating Mr. Calhoun, at chief to fall at the head of their party the same time, in opposition to the array, in the fated field of defeat which South Carolina recommendation, adoptso soon awaits them.
ed the plan of a general ticket deleIn our ranks all is now well. At gation to the Convention, alone suffices one period, indeed, indications seemed to remove from this question everyto exist of a spirit that portended a thing calculated to engender misunderserious danger of discord. Some of standing and ill feeling between any of the peculiar friends of one of the can- the sections of our party. We should didates for the Presidential nomination, be glad to see New York meet the with far greater zeal than discretion, same question in a spirit of perhaps appeared disposed to assume an atti- even chivalric generosity, for the sake tude and a tone that could scarcely of magnanimity and cordial friendship. have been other than fatal to the har. Though the natural interest of a large mony and union of the party. This State is to retain its whole numerical has of late entirely ceased. It grew weight unbroken by division, yet out of a distrust of their own truest would it be well in various points of friends which was alike ungenerous view—well in itself, and well in its and unjust. It has been effectually re- moral influence-if the New York moved by the frank readiness with convention should adopt for that State which Mr. Van Buren's friends have the single district mode as urged by met the wishes of those of Mr. Cal. South Carolina. The chief objection houn and some of the other candidates, to it is derived from the difficulty of on the point of the time for the as determining the cases of disputed elecsembling of the Convention,--together tion which might probably arise in the with the entirely satisfactory ground separate voting of so large a number taken by the former on the main topic of districts, and which it would be of interest now involved in the elec- highly embarrassing to carry into the tion—the Tariff. Upon the other two organization of such a body as the pro
posed Convention. This objection ness of the prospect before us. The could, however, be obviated by pro- action of the Convention in May will viding in advance some suitable au be cheerful, cordial, and harinonious; thority for the decision of any such and whoever may be its selection, from question within the limits of the State among the several worthy names now -such as either a committee of the prominently before the country, he will State convention itself, or else the most assuredly be supported with an Democratic members of the Legisla- united energy and enthusiasm which ture which will be in session at the make his election already perfectly asproper season for the purpose. sured, by a massiveness of popular
On the whole, we conclude with majority that will fully atone for all joyfully congratulating our political the disaster and disgrace of the yet friends upon the now cloudless clear- unforgotten 1840.
MONTHLY FINANCIAL AND COMMERCIAL ARTICLE. At the date of our last, the speculation perceptible, some backwardness to in stocks, caused by the abundance of continue their loans on stocks was money, was running high, and we evinced by the Banks here. pointed out indications that the channels As the money affairs of England of regular business would soon feel the appear now to be taking a turn, after a impulse which stock securities had felt. long-continued current in one direction, From that time up to the arrival of the it may be well in this place to glance steamer from England, on the second at their position, with a view to their of June, prices continued to rise. The effect upon American interests. The advices brought by that conveyance Bank of England is the great centre of were, however, of a nature which gave the money power in England. Each a momentary check to operations. It contraction or expansion of that instiwas the first steamer for many months tution is felt by those merchants and that had little or no specie on board, brokers who come in their transactions showing that the state of the exchange immediately in contact with it. The market was in a position to stop further impulse then gradually spreads through imports of the precious metals, and all grades, until the most remote in the therefore that the supply for the year islands, and even in distant countries, had been received. Money, which had feel the vibration. The Bank of Engbeen constantly decreasing in value in land is surrounded, for a circle of sixty England for a length of time, had be- miles, with merchants, bill-brokers, and gun to improve. Sanguine expectations joint-stock banks, that issue no bills, had been entertained here that the long but derive their supplies from the Great continuance of extreme low rates for Bank. These are the parties that first money, which was scarcely 11 per feel the contraction, and again are first cent. per annum, would sooner or later glutted with money, when it suits the induce investment in the sound Ameri- Imperial Monster to spread its web. can stocks, and thereby relieve this Next to these, come the bill-brokers market of considerable amounts, thus and joint-stock banks of Lancashire, affording an outlet or market for the which issue no notes, but re-discount stocks now held by the Banks, when the bills they take from the manufacreviving trade should create a legiti. turers with the Bank of England. mate demand for their funds. When, These accommodations of the Lancatherefore, the late steamer brought shire banks to the manufacturers are, advices of an advance in the discount of course, dependent upon the disposirate of money in London to 2 per cent., tion of the Bank of England, with without any such disposition being which their arrangement for money