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men's Bureau in the South as unconstitutional, instead of to extend them, the reaction which had already set in in manners was certain to extend to more important matters. How terrible such a reaction will be only those who have mastered the present state of things in the South can know. Wherever United States troops have been withdrawn the schoolhouses of the freedmen have been burnt. The negroes are forced into lawless contracts, and their persons are habitually outraged. One writer from Western Louisiana says that he saw three freedmen butchered in one day. The most corrupt and ignorant men ruled whereever the troops were withdrawn, — men who had only two principles on their lips — hatred to the Yankee, and hatred to the freedinan. Nay, it is said that so far as cancelling the expenditure on the schools for freedmen is concerned, and authorizing the extinction of these beneficent institutions, which the Freedmen's Bureau, under Mr. Lincoln's special impulse had founded, the President is himself personally responsible ;— and we can quite believe, looking to Air. Johnson's fanatic attachment to the old democratic formula, and his evident contempt for the welfare of persons so unimportant as negroes, in comparison with the sanctity of the holy principle of State taxation, that it is so. In Louisiana the Freedmen's Bureau had set on foot 300 schools, which were suddenly broken up in November by General Fullerton, — the freedmen and discharged coloured soldiers were arrested as vagrants in the streets of New Orleans, and the orphans of freedmen returned to former slave-owners as "apprentices." And for this General Fullerton is now said to plead the direct order of the President. Whether that be true or not, it is certain that to all such iniquities the President is comparatively indifferent. so long as he can hasten the restoration of the old State organizations, and throw all responsibility from the Federal Government on to the shoulders of the Southerners who profess to represent those States. We do not suppose that Mr. Johnson wishes to see any negro suffer. But weigh the lives and dearest liberties of all the three millions of freedmen against the smallest State privileges of the lately recalcitrant whites of the South, and he is unable even to realize that there can be a question as to the relative importance of the opposite causes. Perish Africa and the Africans, rather than the State rights of the most disloyal of Southern States should be withdrawn ! — that clearly is his feeling.
We confess that we feel the glaring, the
inexpressible, injustice and ingratitude of this policy to the loyal freedmen, more than anything else. When the President speaks with such profound delicacy and tenderness of the financial rights of the rebellious minority of the population of such a State as South Carolina, and shows no regard whatever for the moral claims of the loyal . majority, we cannot help noting the crossly arbitrary conceptions of right and justice which over-ride the whole nature of upright! men in a land that professes to return, more than any other, to the old and ' natural' standard. But though this is the first and most obvious aspect of the matter, it is by no means the only one, nor probably the most important If this attempt to heal over the wounds of the Union superficially and hastily, — in which Mr. Johnson is going far beyond the advice even of his most trusted military counsellors, in which, indeed, he is neglecting even the very moderate cautions of General Grant,—it to bo prosecuted, it can have but one result,—to foster the seeds of a new and perhaps not very distant repetition of the rebellion which has so recently failed. The abolition of slavery can be of no political use in cementing the Union, unless it is to represent something that affects the whole groundwork and constitution of Southern societv. If the spirit of respect for freedom and for individual rights is to be fostered and guarded, and the old slaveowning animus is to be rooted out, then, and then only, will there be an end of danger to the Union from this source. But if all the old spirit of caste is to revive again in even greater strength than before, — greater on account of the new jealousy felt of the rights nominally given to the negro, — and if the Southern States are to become the scenes of chronic passions, far less ungoverned beeause far less restrained by law, than those of our own Jamaica planters, — then in another ten years Southern society will be in an attitude at least as hostile to the spirit of the free North as it was six years ago; and if its material resources are once more recruited by peace, we do not see how a new collision as fierce as the old, and provoked probably with more cautious statesmanship, is to bo averted. If ever that time comes, the North will have to regret even more bitterly than it now does that it trusted the destinies of the Union to the hands of statesmen bred up like Mr. Jefferson Davis, and we fear we must say Mr. Johnson, in habits of thought radically incompatible with true freedom.
From the Spectator. ONE SECRET OF AMERICAN BOMBAST.
If President Johnson had happened to take the side of the freedmen instead of the side of their former masters, every paper in England would bo laughing by this time at the extraordinary succession of political screams, or we may say yells, of violent and vulgar party feeling with which he amused! the crowd on the anniversary of Washington's birthday. As he has taken the other, side, the Times assures us that this "memo-1 rable" speech "would not have been un worthy of the great founder of the American Republic." Now, in spite of the deepest aversion for the fundamental injustice on which, as it seems to us, Mr. Johnson's whole political theory is based, we sincerely respect the man, and see in the dignity and self-restraint of his State papers of how much that is large and statesmanlike he is really capable; but on that very account these outbursts of tall talk from a mind clearly capable of self-possession are so much the more remarkable. In Mr. Bancroft we are told that they indicate only the weakness of a dull and pompous man; in Mr. Sumner we are assured that similar rhetoric, — though in Mr. Sumner it is always comparatively polished,— is a congenital disease; in Mr. Seward, it is said to be a mere stroke of policy to amuse the crowd; in Mr. George Francis Train it is a cracked brain; in Mr. Stevens it is passionate party spirit; and so there is always an excuse 'of some sort. But when this ?o<-t of high-pressure language escapes from a President of more than common ability and reticence, who is, as it were, the safety-valve of the national mind, we cannot but reason that there is something of a general cause at work which predisposes American thought to what seems to us bombastic and inflated expression,— and to bombistic and inflated expression somewhat different in kind from that which was popular in our own country eighty or nineiy years ago, when Sheridan could do so much with an elaborate and, as it has come clown to us, pedantic nwtaplior taken from a Up-is true, that the House rose in too groat excitement after his speech to eontinue the pretence of deliberation any longer. President Johnson's recent speech at Washington is full of almost inarticulate shrieks of metaphor. When he proposed that'' if his blood were to be sheH," — a rhetorical hypothesis'contrary to the fact, — "let an altar to the Union be erected, and then, if it is necessary, take me and lay me upon it, anithe blood that now warms and ani
mates my existence shall be poured out as a fit libation to the union of these States," — the description of that, imaginary return to idolatrous human sacrifices, and of the immolation of so costly a victim a * the President of the United States, drew down thunders of applause from his audience. It was not the applause of amusement at a good joke, such as there might have been in an English crowd if Lord Palmerston, forgetting Lord Shaftesbury and the Record, had ventured to suggest the people's sacrificing him formally on an altar to the British Constitution, but of excitement at the impression produced by a great idea. And in other parts of his speech the President grasped incoherently, and with equal applause, at metaphors quite as wild. When Artemus Ward says that '• the earth continues its revolution on its axis subjick to ihe Constitoofhun of the United States," lie was more humorous but sc.'iroely more extravagant than this grim old Democrat of Tennessee: — "All the powers combined,'' he said, " I care not of what character they are, cannot destroy that great instrument, that great charter of freedom; they may seem to succeed for a time, but their attempts will be futile. They might as well undertake to lock up the winds or chain the waves of the ocean and confine them to limits They will find that they mi^ht
as well undertake to iniroduce a. resolution to repeal the laws of gravitation as to keep this Union from being restored. It is just about as feasible to resist the great law«jf gravitation which binds all to a common centre as that great law which will bring back these States to their regular relations with the Union." Or again: —" Let us stand by the constitution of our fathers, though the heavens themselves may fall. Let us stand by it, though faction miy rage; though taunts and jeers may come; though vituperation may come in its most violent character — I will be found standing by the Constitution as the chief rock of our safety, as the palladium of our civil and religious liberty. Yes, let us cling to it as the mariner clings to his last plank when night and tempest close around him"
Moreover, if we look at almost any specimen of the grandSoqucnt language so common in the United States, we shall find that its highest notes. — the sentences in which it rises to a scream, — are all on the same theme — the grandeur of the Union. For example, the Times' correspondent in New York sent us some very amusing specimens in the letter printed last Wednesday. Every one remembers the passage in Dickens about the American eagle soaring aloft with a thunderbolt in its beak and an earthquake in its claws. This, from the official report of Congress, — the Hansard of the United States, — is not much less eloquent: "No, Mr. Speaker, let us proclaim to the world, and let it go forth, that having conquered the rebellion, having subdued the rebel army, we are prepared to rule this land and make our people free. And when that proud old bird of freedom shall soar across the land, bearing in his beak the broad banner of beauty and glory, let all its stars unfolded to the world proclaim in a language which will make thrones and tyrannies tremble to their centres, 'This is the home of the free!'" We believe it will be found that this is almost the only subject on which American oratory is habitually inflated, habitually liable to rise into a shriek. In some cases, it is true that the idea of the greatness of the State is the dominant one, • and has never been merged in the idea of the Union. And in some it would appear that the object of the idolatry has not expanded beyond the native county. The same amusing letter of the Times' correspondent which we have before quoted, contains an amusing illustration. A "mossyback" we suppose to be a politician whose mind is covered with the creeping growths of the old ideas, — the political lichens that the revolutionary ' Thorough' had not succeeded in clearing away. A member of the last State Convention held in Mississippi saM, as reported in the papers :— "I am a mossy-back, Sir, and I stand here to-day to represent the county of Jones. People said that the county of Jones seceded from Mississippi. Yes, Sir, we did secede from the Confederacy, and, Sir, we fought them like dogs; we kdled them like devils, we buried them like asses. Yea, like asses, Sir! My people down there in the county of Jones did, in their sovereign capacity, secede, and did become mossy-backs. We did fight them like dog*, and kill them like hellions — like hellions, I say, Sir. But I didn't come up here to gas, Sir, and I surrender my rights to the floor, Sir, expressing only the one sentiment that I stand up for the county of Jones in general; yes, Sir, I am for Jones all the time. In my suffering county the wails of 380 widowed women and shirt-tail children are ascending before the God of right, and appealing in tears to tlie powers appointed for relief." Even " the members of the county of Jones," then, seem to have " a sovereign capacity," and it is the fact of their having "a sovereign capacity" which immediately suggests the
use of the most violent .and figurative expressions. Even the splendid image suggested by the conception of "380 widows and shirt-tail children of the county of Jones ascending," in their "sovereign capacity " doubtless, shirt-tail though they be, "before the God of right," is an image inspired by the orator's profound sense of the right of the county of Jones to a popular will of its own. But it is worth noting that this orator, who speaks only for a county, quaint and picturesque though he is, is comparatively literal and free from metaphor if we read him by the side of orators who speak for States and that orators who speak * for States are flat and unimpressive in their metaphors, as compared with the orators who have ascended to the idea of the Union. In proportion to the physical expansion of the idea of popular supremacy is the figurative elevation of the eloquence used. A soaring eagle with banner and stars in its beak, is but the rude hieroglyphic caught up heartily by clumsy imaginations to shadow forth the ubiquity and glory of the Union. Mr. Johnson's law more fundamental and irreversible than the law of gravitation, that Constitution of his by which Americans are to stand when the heavens are rolled up like a scroll, and the earth dissolved with burning heat, are again nothing but random efforts to indicate with a few strokes of blazing colour the immensity of the faith which the word "Union" conveys to his mind. We fully expect to see before long some American Mansel writing a treatise to show that the idea of the Union belongs to the region of those Infinite and Absolute notions which are beyond the sphere of relative knowledge, to the world of the Unknown and Unknowable, — to which also, by the way, the Confederates were willing to consign it. The American Platonists probably think the idea of the Union to be a reminiscence of a former state of existence; and if the last man were an American, no doubt Hope in lighting "her torch at Nature's funeral pile" would inspire him with an expectation of its immortality, — of seeing the New Heavens and the New Earth administered under the old Constitution, — and would dispose him to disbelieve that in any literal sense there would be " no more sea," on the ground that the President is declared in that document the Commander of both the Army and Navy of the United States.
We may laugh at this sort of superheated intellectual strain, but it is only fair to try and understand it. The Union is the onlysubject on which it is certain that Amencan bombast far outdoes the bombast of the same climate of education in England. And we believe it is true that, just as a drop of water turning into steam at a much higher temperature than the ordinary boiling point of water, is indefinitely more powerful as a motive force than the equivalent whiff of steam at the ordinary boiling point, so the peculiar superheated grandeur and magnificence attached by Americans to t!ie idea of the Union, ridiculous as they seem to us, are capable of exercising a far wider and more efficient motive force than if they were of the ordinary political fervour. The truth is that Englishmen, at least Englishmen outside the working class, have never fully realized how new and original a conception that of an immense continent all united under the same rule, and with the most perfect freedom of intercourse and equality of political condition between all parts of it, is. To us, indeed, there is something greater and more excising in the notion of diversity, and of that competition for influence in which the different Governments of Europe are always engaging. But to an American the Government of the Union really shadows forth feebly what we conceive of as the overruling government of God. We usually believe that that Union is a mere provisional state of things, inferior by its very uniformity, which must break up ultimately into the richer variety of a whole number of differently organized States. But the Americans think of it as representing the true unity of man, as a first approximation towards making the globe the residence of a single family and a harmonious family too. They hope to realize a wholly different political future from that of Europe. — one disturbed by no great dynastic feuds, embarrassed by no confusion of tongues, yet permitting enough variety for truo unity ;—in language, variety of dialect,—in physical nature, variety of climate and scenery, — in character, variety of moral gifts and tastes, — in commerce, variety of production and manufacture, — in faith, \ ariety of civilized creed, — but none of the variety of language which prohibits mutual intercourse for hard-worked men, none of the political variety between despotism and liberty, which inevitably leads to blows, no variety in moral customs so great as to render one part of the country uninhabitable by citizens of another. That, we say, is the ideal, whatever we may think of the indications here and there that it will never be realized : and it is unquestionably a great ideal, in itself sufficient to excite the imaginations
of unimaginative men into a spurious attempt at eloquence which inevitably becomes bombast. Nay, we imagine that the striking species of monomania, which we observe with so much surprise in connection with a Constitution about ninety years old, is a Darwinian provision for the modification of the species in the direction of this ideal destiny. Without a positive instrument of this kind to regard with what seems to us a positive fetish-worship, it would have been impossible for a people spread over so wide a tract of country, and with such necessarily vast chasms between their different notions of moral law and po'itics, to work out such a notion at all. As it is, the social difference caused by slavery has all but broken up this Union for ever; and yet the curious toleration always shown for slavery till it did break up the Union, and the moral toleration shown for it still when it is politically condemned, is but one token of the vast moral conspiracy, as it were, made by Americans of all creeds not to take offence with each other's modes of thought and life, so long as they were not false to the only positive external standard of unity. An elastic unity and voluntary mutual forbearance even as regards moral distinctions, is the true primary idea of the American Union: — the idea of popular liberty was secondary to it, and was rather the necessary condition of this vast unity than its regulating principle; and we believe the political ideal of the artisans in this country is not very dissimilar.
And this idea it is which gives its peculiar, effort and scream to the political bombast of America. It is an attempt of the imagination to reach, as it were, a second and wider, though thinner, stratum of patriotism, above that to which we give the name. It seems always true that as you widen the range of your sympathies, and realize less and less the exacc objects which identify with yourself by a sort of enlarged egotism, language tends to become more florid. Even in England the language of political patriotism is always more florid than that of domestic affections, and in America there is this wider and thinner but more excited Union patriotism outside the range of the narrower and better realized State loyality. All this talk of shedding warm blood on (Ae altar of the Union, of the American eagle •streaming across a "common" country, and so forth, is the effort of an inadequate imagination to sweep the wider upper stratum of political enthusiasm and egotism that is connected with the Federal Union. The idea is really great. The effort to express the idea in symbols is usually imbecile. That word "common" as applied to country is the key to it, and naturally enough the metaphors used are common in two senses — common to all the Unionist States, — and also common in the sense of" common and unclean." When Mr. Pogram says, "In the ladies' ordinary, my friends, or in the battle-field, the name of Pogram will be proud to jine you; and may it, my friends, be written on my tomb, —' He was a member of the Cdngress of his common country, and was active in his trust," " —• he cranes at this higher level of patriotism scarcely more ineffectually and absurdly than Mr. Johnson in his talk about the altar and the warm blood. Of recent American statesmen, only Mr. Lincoln seems to us to have kept down all vulgar inflation in his speech on this suK ject, — and that only perhaps because his imagination habitually realized a Power far above that of the Union, in which alone could be the basis of true unity, — a unity therefore rooted in humility, and not in magniloquence or conceit.
From the Spectator. TIGRESSES IN LITERATURE.*
How did the tigress first make her way into English literature? No novel is now complete, and very few novels are successful, without a specimen of a bad woman of a peculiar kind, hard as steel and as glittering, full of ability, insensible to fear, with the energy of a brigand and a brigand's recklessness of principle. Usually they have some one master passion, — love, or ambition, or the crave for luxury; invariably they are exempt from the weakness, and purposelessness, and sensibility to small external influences which novelists once thought essential to the delineation of the sex. Nine times out of ten they have odd physical peculiarities, green eyes, or violet eyes, or yellow hair, or sinuous figures, or eerie laughs, or unchanging pallor, and tliese peculiarities help to enslave the victims whom prima facie one would expect , them to repel. They arefltn fact human tiprcsses, though with the thirst for blood undeveloped, — beings of exquisite form and
•Jenny Bell. A Novel. 3 vols. By P. Fitzgerald. London: Bentley.
Land at Lct9t. A Novel. 3 vola. By Edmund 1'ates. London: Clinpiuan and Hall.
feline natures, who can when driven to bay fight terribly, but would rather spring secretly but relentlessly on their prey. Their attitudes are of course varied according to the requirements of the story, and of the few qualities common to all tigers, whether fierceness, or treachery, or lust of prey, one is usually made predominant; but the central idea is always the same —• a woman beautiful with weird beauty, but dangerous to every one who approaches her, with a will so intensified that crime produces no remorse, treacherous, greedy, and devoid of human feeling. Sometimes, as in Jenny Bell, she exercises her skill in a gentler manner, hungering only for prey, and not for broken hearts. Mr. 1 itzgerald's heroine, in his first sketch of her called Bella Donna, a human being very well outlined, is in Jenny Bell an adventuress pure and simple. /Vo/ absolutely "improper," we think — though the author with considerable art contrives to leave this doubtful — but ready to become so if that would secure her success in life, plausible, untruthful, full of plots, unswerving in purpose, and utterly without feeling. From the necessities of the story her exploits are chiefly of a domestic kind, but one little extract reveals the feline character. The manager of a watering-place hotel has rather persecuted her for her bill, she makes love to a lad who pays it, and complains to the proprietary. The unlucky manager, who has done nothing but his duty, beseeches her to forgive him.
"'For God's sake, don't go on with this matter!' he said, with an agonized voice, and wringing his hands. 'I shall be ruined! If I am dismissed a second time, I shall get nothing elsewhere! I have a wife and children all dependent on me! I shall not know where to turn to.' She said afterwards, describing the scene, and said it with great justice, 'Just as if I had been the cause of his misfortune! Why should he reproach me, poor man ?' — * I know,' said he, interpreting this look, ' I should have thought of this myself. But how could I know? There are people that come here as nice as ladies — nicer indeed than any ladies. It was very foolish — very imi)i'O]>cr —and I do most humbly ask your pardon. But you will not have me turned out in this way? . - . I am sure you will not l>c hard on a poor mnn. I am unworthy of your notice. A word from yon,' he pdded, 'will'do. If you and Mr. Swinton were to go to him and speak earnestly.' Jenny was truly concerned to see this picture of humiliation. 'What can /do — poor I? I feel for yon, indeed I do. Do vou suppose they would heed me' It is in Mr. Swinton's hands. You must try him. I don't