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are ever the doctrines of timid politicians. We will not condemn him too harshly for opinions often beld very successfully in more peaceful times, but we can award him no praise. His was a case, in which discretion was not the better part of valor. The punishment appears to have been quite adequate to the offence. We will not strive to add to it, by retorting upon him what he attempted to do to others.
A single point must be made an exception to this rule, principally because of the effect it produced upon events. He allowed himself to make suggestions in private letters to England, calculated to draw upon him an awful responsibility, We cannot admire the judgment nor the moral sense, which could secretly dictate advice likely to bring upon his countrymen all the rigor of military despotism. The letters transmitted to this country, through Dr. Franklin, contain the following passage.
'I never think of the measures necessary for the peace and good order of the Colonies without pain ; there must be an abridgment of what are called English liberties. I relieve myself by considering, that in a remove from the state of nature to the most perfect state of government, there must be a great restraint of natural liberty. I doubt, whether it is possible to project a system of government, in which a colony three thousand miles distant shall enjoy all the liberty of the parent state. I am certain I have never yet seen the projection.
We have little disposition to justify the mode of obtaining, or the uses made of these letters. Much of the author's complaint upon this subject appears to us to be well founded. Neither generosity nor justice are obligations commonly attended to in political warfare. Yet after admitting every thing that may be said, the letter itself with its significant paragraph remains, in its naked deformity. Its secresy is not its worst feature. The tremendous responsibility incurred by him, then in office, from the recommendation, could only be justified by the perfect soundness of the reasoning upon which it was based. Does the paragraph quoted contain such reasoning? Or is the startling conclusion jumped at, over all the obstacles of natural right and common social justice? Would the most unrelenting military tyrant reason otherwise ? Did the members of the Holy Alliance, or Nicholas in crusbing his Polish subjects, reason otherwise? They always profess to be pained at the measures necessary for the peace and good order of their subjects ;' they content themselves by considering, that in a remove from the state of nature to the most perfect (i. e. to their) state of government, there must be a great restraint of natural liberty.' The great point, the use of force against all the principles of right, being thus justified, it surely must remain indifferent to the People, what name is given to their government. It is in fact a despotism. Surely the author knew enough of the character of his countrymen, to be aware that an abridgment of what are called English Liberties was not to be effected, without much blood. If he did not, he was not fit to govern them. · If he did, we can form no exalted opinion of his sensibility. Possibly he may have regarded the probable consequences as a parent does the punishment of a child. But wretched is that parent, who punishes his child for a reasonable request,-still more wretched is he, if his only excuse rest upon an abridgment of privileges, which nature and the voice of society have admitted to be just.
We have touched little upon the want of candor as well as of prudence, which the whole proceeding on the part of Governor Hutchinson evinced, because these form the lightest part of the censure he deserved. He might have foreseen the chances that would lead to his detection, and the personal consequences to ensue upon it. His influence vanished. The Legislature voted to request his removal; and he was shortly after glad to obtain a leave of absence. Events were rapidly tending to a rupture. The tea ships came only to prove to the Governor how totally his authority was at an end. The Chief Justice was impeached, the law ceased to be administered, the courts were shut up. At this moment, Hutchinson left the Province, and his history stops :-a moment of immense importance to America, as from it the first Congress of the States takes its date. The interest however becomes transferred to another scene, and the particular history of Massachusetts merges in that of the Union. Hutchinson was no longer in a condition to pursue his favorite occupations. The offer of a baronetcy and a pension was poor pay for the loss of old friends, and all the motives of action which made life valuable. He lingered a few years among a people, who did not feel as he felt, and whose general contempt for poor colonists was too great, to be lost in sympathy for the selfsacrifice of some single persons. He died not long after closing these pages,--saved the mortification of seeing his predictions of misfortune, that was to attend the Independence of the Colony, falsified. There is reason to believe that, had he lived, he would have returned to live as a private citizen among us, but the decree of Providence cut short his intentions.
The general conclusion which we draw from reading this work is, that as a partisan history it is valuable. The facts appear to be stated with the same accuracy that distinguished the author's preceding volumes, but the gloss put upon them must deprive it of the same sort of authority which those deserved. The history itself, in these later times, assumed a character calling for a different description of mind. It remains even now to be written, and must remain so until an intellect of great natural strength, combined with freedom from the prejudices of the times, and a habit of rigid analysis, shall evolve from the mass of our materials, the most instructive lesson of the world. Mark well !' says that old man eloquent' of Greece,' for though the season of events be gone, that of instruction from them remains forever to the wise.' His words will apply now as forcibly, as when he was recalling to the memory of his countrymen the times of their energy and glory. If there be a portion of history susceptible of being constantly used to advantage, it is the period of the American Revolution. The spirit that animated the men of that time was, it is true, above the level of ordinary life, but it diffused itself in channels of practical experiment, the benefit of which we feel every day. It is for us to preserve, and not to create. Yet there is danger of our falling fast asleep in the lap of prosperity. There is greater danger, that the place of the true spirit may be assumed by another and a different one, which, impelling ambitious men to be doing, may under the most specious phrases substitute only a restless appetite for change in the room of a rational desire for good government. The prospect before us has some dark shades. Sectional jealousies have grown luxuriantly under the forcing process of hot-house patriotism,--and political quacks have not been without success in disseminating their poisons in the community.
Salvation is only to be found in holding on to the good we have gained, and this effect must be aided by a clear knowledge of the ways by which it was gained. Our ancient patriots promised little, and performed much. They knew that to be agitated was not to be happy, and always felt sure of the value of their object, before they encountered evil to attain
it. While our institutions are safe, we have little to do but to follow the path before us, but the occasion is fitting to prepare ourselves for the time when they may be in danger. The spirit may remain quiet, but it should not be lost. Let it be cherished in secret, by a thorough study of the principles of our fathers, and still more of the modes in which these were carried into such successful operation.
Art. VII.—Early Literature of Modern Europe. 1. Tableau Historique de la Littérature Française. Par
M. J. DE CHENIER. Paris. 1821. 2. Historia de la Literatura Española escrita en aleman
por F. BOUTERWEK, traducida al castellano y adicionada. Par D. Jose GOMEZ DE LA CORTINA Y D. Nicolas HUGALDE Y MOLLENIDO. Madrid. tom. 1. 1829.
LITERATURE has been declared by a celebrated female writer to be an expression of the state of society : by which is meant, that its various forms are determined, in a great measure, by the political and social condition of the nations, in which they are exhibited. This remark is confirmed in most respects by the literary history of modern Europe, and is particularly verified by the fact of the subdivision of European literature into several distinct branches, corresponding with the political sections into which the common continent was cut up after the fall of the Roman Empire. As the continent of Europe, politically viewed, presents the appearance of a number of nations of kindred origin, and of manners substantially similar, but nevertheless marked by formal differences of considerable importance,-nominally independent, but really, though loosely combined together by their constant intercourse and the various moral ties and relations, that necessarily result from it, —so the literature of this part of the world, while it all springs from the common root of classical learning, has shot forth in the course of its development and progress several distinct and independent branches, whose forms are now so various, that each requires a separate course of study. The immediate cause of this division was the variety of languages, which naturally grew up in different parts of Europe, in consequence of their political separation, their little intercourse with each other, and the general rudeness of the period, during which these languages were formed. Other causes, of a less direct and powerful character, also operated in a greater or less degree in producing this effect; such as the difference that existed among these nations in regard to geographical situation, political institutions,-economical pursuits,-and, ultimately, religious forms and principles. All these circumstances operate, to a certain extent, though indirectly, in encouraging or depressing the growth of learning, and in modifying the form which it assumes ; while learning, in turn, exercises a strong reaction on the state of society.
The principles that regulate this connexion between the condition of literature and that of government, are among the most interesting subjects of general inquiry, and have not yet been settled in a satisfactory way. The question has been considered, but not exhausted by Madame de Stäel, in her work on the Influence of Literature. In fact, the highest and most general problem connected with it, viz: whether learning and the arts flourish better under liberal or despotic governments, does not seem to be viewed by the best judges as entirely free from doubt. While the splendid example of Greek refinement favors the opinion, that liberty is the proper nurse of genius and taste, as well as happiness and virtue, some other brilliant periods in the history of wit and learning coincide with the existence of absolute, and even military monarchies. It is not, however, our present object, to enter at large into this inquiry, nor to examine particularly the causes which have created this variation between the several branches of the modern literature of Europe. Each of these topics would furnish the matter of a separate and extensive treatise. It is our purpose, at present, to state very briefly the manner and succession in which these branches respectively shot from the parent stock.
I. From the period of the invasion of the Roman Empire by the barbarians up to about the time of the first crusade, there was no such thing, in any part of Europe, as a modern literature. The learning of the period, such as it was, was wholly in the hands of the monks and clergy, and was recorded and communicated exclusively in Latin. Greek was unknown; the vernacular languages were despised as barbarous