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which time and even war, we believe, will never be able to extinguish. Since the separate existence of the United States, the intercourse between the two nations until of late years, has been more restricted from various causes, than would naturally be supposed, considering the former connection of the countries. The intercourse moreover, which actually existed, was not always of the happiest kind. British tourists in this country, were in general so gangrened by prejudice, that they carried home with them the most distorted representations respecting America, and did equal injustice to our soil, our resources, our institutions and our character. But a change has taken place for the better in this respect; a more just and liberal tone of representation prevails ;* nor can it be, that amidst so much intercommunion, there should not be some of great value to both countries.
We are becoming better acquainted with each other, and ignorance and misrepresentation are fast disappearing. The British public, who, for many reasons, have been less acquainted with us than we with them, begin to view this nation in its true light. Not many years since, they knew, indeed, very little of the United States; and it almost seemed, so far as reviewers, pamphleteers, and newspaper editors were concerned, as if this ignorance was courted and gloried in. But it was impossible, when“ every change in America has occasioned a correspondent change in Europe," and when “the kings of the continent already regard with awe and disquietude, the New Rome rising in the West,” that the British nation should not desire to be enlightened in regard to their own descendents, so apparently destined by providence, like themselves, to be the guiding star of other climes and future ages. A spirit of inquiry has been awakened ; and the productions of the American press are revealing to the eyes of Britons more and more, the character and resources of the great transatlantic republic. The eager curiosity manifested by the Archbishop of Canterbury, as mentioned by Mr. W., is an instance of the disposition prevalent in these times, to ascertain every thing that can be known concerning the United States; and
* We are aware that a late English traveler, Captain Basil Hall, has revi. ved some of the captious things said against us by former tourists, and added others of his own. But from recent English prints, we are pleased to learn, as a specimen of the liberal feeling now so considerably prevalent, that an answer to the Captain's book, in a review by an American, is spoken of by several of the British journals, as a triumphant reply to the English traveler. One of these journals, the Gentleman's Magazine, says, “ We are glad to find from the review of Capt. Basil Hall's Travels in North America, that tho English of the New World, do not entertain that antipathy to their relatives in the parent isles, which is commonly supposed.” Another says, “ The pamphlet before us ought certainly to be perused by every one who has read the capįain's truvels, for the work is indeed a triumphant reply.” VOL. II.
his opinion of American writers, at once just and liberal, shows that our literature cannot long pass without notice, even amid the rich products of the classical soil of Britain. This disposition doubtless is increasing every day; and if the time was not many years since -when a friend of ours, in casting his eyes over the splendid library of a British nobleman, noticed in it but a single American work, we hope that our countrymen may be rarely mortified in a similar manner, on such an inspection, now that our Dwights, and Websters, and Irvings, and Channings, and Coopers, and Percivals enjoy a reputation as writers, no longer confined to the country which gave them birth. A juster appreciation of American talent and genius, as well as of our physical resources, and political and other institutions, follows almost necessarily, upon that enlarged acquaintance with us, which our ancestral country is now disposed to cultivate.
And not only so, but more kindly feelings towards us must spread through all the ranks of the British population-feelings that will be eagerly reciprocated on our part." Indeed, strictly speaking, the great body of the people in both countries, have never been destitute of amicable sentiments towards each other, so far as they have had an opportunity of mutual acquaintance; and even without this acquaintance, they could not heartily be enemies, from the very promptings of that consanguinity which exists between them,-however literary jealousies may have been excited by interested authors, and causes of collision have been found between the different governments. Mr. Wheaton, like other tourists, bears testimony to the kind feelings, which in England, are manifested towards the American people. He says, “ I have scarcely met with a single instance to shake my belief, that the mass of the English population view their descendants in the United States with a feeling of friendliness, which they entertain for the people of no other nation.” As nations of the same blood, the same language, and the same precious faith, we hope that these amicable sentiments may be cherished and strengthened, and that there may not long be found instances of a contrary spirit, either in their social, literary, or political intercourse. For the honor of letters, the prosperity of the gospel, and the best interests of mankind, all of which are concerned in the perpetuity of those institutions, that are identified with the language of Englishmen and their descendents, we pray that nothing may be suffered to arrest, for a moment, these liberal views and friendly feelings. It is an object of devout desire, that the only rivalry between the two nations, may be that of moral and intellectual excellence; and in regard to the “ Ithaca," whence we sprang, if we cannot as yet "draw” her “ bow of Ulyssæan greatness," as has been rather loftily said, there should at least be no unnecessary vauntings on her part, nor unmanly misgivings on ours.
With these convictions, we most sincerely deprecate any attempts, at the present day, on the part of gifted individuals, by drawing invidious comparisons, and indulging in petty competitions, to prevent the spirit of ill will and detraction, to whatever extent it may have prevailed in particular cases, from dying wholly away. On this account, we think Mr. Cooper has been injudicious, in his late work, entitled “ Notions of the Americans," in which he has evidently taken too much pains to institute comparisons between America and England, to the disparagement of the latter. It is not indeed to be expected, that we should speak of Englishmen in exact agreement with their wishes, or they of us in exact accordance with ours; but gratuitous and unnecessary grounds of variance should not be sought. It would seem, as if Mr. Cooper wished to see the two countries brought into open collision; and he has doubtless taken the most probable method in a work designed to expose the misrepresentations of British tourists, to irritate and keep alive any bitter feelings which may still exist. We learn from a source to be relied on, that in the circles of liberal Englishmen, the character and tendency of the book are highly deprecated; and that but for this inauspicious and too plentiful infusion of national jealousy and vaunting, the “ Notions of the Americans," from the great popularity of the author as a novelist, would be extensively read in Great Britain, and much valuable information relative to our country, people and institutions be disseminated—but that the book as it is, will either be perused with distrust, or thrown aside with aversion.
The importance of cherishing a kind feeling between the two countries, will be felt most sensibly in the religious efforts of the age : and what christian does not rejoice to see the sphere of this mutual benevolence so much widened even within the past year? How cheering is the intelligence, that Great Britain, which led us in the work of evangelizing the heathen, sending the bible and tracts over the world, is following us in that wonder of the age, the temperance reformation. Ireland has done something in the same work, Scotland has engaged with ardor in it, and the train has just been lighted in England. No doubt British philanthropists and christians, when they see their duty clearly, as they must be made to see it, will not delay long to give to the temperance cause, not only the energies of their intellects, but the sanction of their practice.
The points of resemblance and difference between Great Britain and the United States in respect to their social condition, are naturally suggested to our thoughts, upon the perusal of every work similar to the one under review. The features in which they resemble each other, are of course obvious and general, possessing as these nations do, substantially the same manners, institutions, laws, language and religion. The differences, though distinctly marked,
are more minute, and pertain to particular modifications of the above named elements of social life. To this topic we would turn the attention of our readers for a few moments, dwelling rather on some of the diversities in this respect. It is, we believe, a common remark with travelers from the one country to the other, that the difference between them is greater than they had previously been aware. Nor is the fact surprising, that Englishmen and the descendents of Englishmen, to whom English modes of life must have been so well known and so dear, should, in many particulars, have diverged from the views and practices of the brethren whom they left behind them : it only shows the powerful nature of those causes, physical and moral, which give to nations their character.
The difference is found to extend in a slight degree, (though much less than many suppose,) even to the language. The same tongue receives such a change, as to correspond with the new circumstances of the people who speak it. Sometimes not necessity only, but inattention, ignorance, or vanity introduces innovations. Though a well-educated American, may travel from one end of Great Britain to another, without being recognized as a foreigner, yet our countrymen are not unfrequently distinguished by their tones, accent and pronounciation, the use of new words, or of old ones in new senses. The Englishman also has his peculiar modes of speech, and in conversation varies from the written language, according to the dialect of the county to which he belongs. If moreover he has the foppery that attaches to the court or its precincts, he may be known by his go-uth, meek-nuss, good-nuss-by his wauld, (world,) Laud, (Lord,) hât, (heart.) Whether our peculiarities are more numerous than their's, we will not undertake to decide. But every intelligent traveler, we believe, will confirm the emphatic declaration of Sir George Rose, for some years the British resident in this country, that in no quarter of the globe is the English language spoken with greater purity, or with less dialectical peculiarity, than in our New-England States.
The diversity which, in several respects, marks the modes of living and the customs of two such nations, may properly receive from us a passing notice. England has been called a custom-ridden country, and doubtless with much justice. The marked distinctions which exist between the various classes of society, naturally produce many and peculiar usages. Each class has its own way of doing things, and the common intercourse of life is necessarily attended with more form and etiquette than with us. The radical constitution of English society authorizes such a species of manners, and on the part of the higher orders, it is evidently a remnant of the spirit and institutions of an early age. People of the better sort, in their visits, parties, amusements, weddings, and funerals, are regulated by forms, and adopt a scale of expense, which they consider
tial to the rank they sustain, and a departure from which would be stigmatized as meanness or vulgarity. Though “ dukes, lords, and ladies," as Pelham says, “eat, drink, talk, and move, exactly the same [in form) as any other class of civilized people,” though in conversation, they are not “always my lording and my ladying each other,” or “ridiculing commoners,” yet we need not say how fully they are aware that they are lords and ladies, whatever they may say'; and how generally they feel that in their presence, commoners should keep at a respectful distance. The lower classes, however, are evidently approximating towards the higher. It is obvious that in dress, manners, and acquirements, there is, by no means, so great a distinction between different classes as formerly existed. The people of the middle ranks, for instance, push their imitation of the mode of living and customs of their superiors, to the utmost extent of their means; and few of them even in the solemn ceremony of interring their dead, are willing to forego, what appear to us, the excessively numerous, tedious, showy, and expensive observances that rank has appropriated to the occasion. A person in the middle classes indeed must have met with good success in life, to save enough to insure him a fashionable burial. That our own country is not yet brought so entirely under the control of custom, in this particular, or in other forms of social life, is a happiness which we cannot perhaps fully appreciate, till we ourselves shall have become its victims. Were it consistent with the object here in view, it would be easy to extend the present illustration, by adverting to various other usages, in which British society differs from ours. It will be proper only to observe in general, that the great distinction of classes, the dense state of population, the perfection of the arts, the minute subdivision of labor, and the necessary attention paid to small things, have, together with furnishing innumerable comforts to the wealthy, imparted to British life at large, a precision, a constraint, a sort of artificial, mechanical cast, to which Americans, in the fulness of their equality and independence, are total strangers.
The diversity which exists, on the subject of education and intellectual culture generally, between the two countries, is one of great interest—to do justice to which, pages of discussion would hardly suffice. In the higher walks of learning, in maturity of knowledge, in whatever pertains to tasteful exhibitions, we are unquestionably behind the land that gave us birth. It was natural that the benefits of education, in a country like ours, should be enjoyed rather by diffusion, than accumulation. They are needed by the great mass of the people, to produce that illumination of the public mind, and that regard for morality, which are essential to the existence of our republican institutions. Without, however, withdrawing in the least the means of public instruction, or reducing to narrower limits, the information enjoyed by the people at large, (but seeking rather to