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their voices have been overpowered by the and bearing throughout his mission were louder democratic voices throughout the studiously calculated to remove prejudice, to Union.
weaken every ground of hostility, and to It being thus matter of doubt how the place the relations of the two countries on States were really disposed to us, the Mes- the one true and permanent basis of showBage of the President was naturally looked ing that England has not a single interest for with more than usual anxiety. It has inimical to America, or one opinion really arrived, and will probably leave its readers adverse to her people. How cminently sucin the same condition of doubt as before. cessful he was in these endeavors, all acBut it makes one thing manifest. The state quainted with America can attest; and of relations with Great Britain is now the happily circumstances arose to favor his principal, if not the exclusive, subject of in- efforts for the settlement of one very difficult terest in American policy. Trivial as are question. In the project of a ship-canal the points of difference existing between the through Central America, England and the two countries, in themselves really not worth United States might meet upon a common more than a couple of sentences in ordinary ground. They had a joint interest in its times, in the present state of the world they being completed and secured from the exacmonopolize almost the whole of the Presi- tion of the people of those states, as well as dential Message.
The great slavery question from the monopoly of each other. On this alone disputes with them a share of public basis Sir Henry Bulwer (pace the Quarterly attention.
Review, one of the ablest of modern diploFor the rest, the terms of the Message matists) went to work, and succeeded in acmust be considered in connection with the complishing a treaty by which Britain waived position of its author. With a Presidential its sovereignty over the Musquito shore, the election or re-election before him, it must territories and states through which the be taken less as an expression of General canal was to pass being neutralized and Pierce's opinion or policy, than as an appeal established under the joint protection of the to the particular sentiments which he be- two Powers. Any history of the mode in lieves to be at this time most prevalent which the functionaries of the United States throughout the Union. Just as fearful to have acted upon this treaty would be foreign offend the more sensible citizens of the Union to our present purpose. We should have by a tone of acrimony to England, as to but to recall the bombardment of Grey-Town alienate the 66 groundlings" by seeming to if we wished to show how far the Americans make concessions to us, you may trace exact themselves have kept to the letter and spirit ly the drist of almost each particular sen- of the treaty. But certainly we must think tence. While the points of difference are it unfortunate that because unwarranted and exaggerated for one class of hearers, another, unexpected pretensions were put forth by class is propitiated by representing these as others, we should have thought it right or unlikely to lead to any serious or immediate prudent to resume some old ones of our own. results. In regard to both causes of quarrel And so the difference continues. In justice General Pierce would appear to be equally it should be added that the people and the desirous to avoid any present breach, and to rulers of those barbarous republics are hardly render impossible any complete accommoda- to be kept to even their own stipulations tion. That the head of a great commercial without the employment of language that republic should thus desire to keep the pros- will be always apt to savor of dictation. pect of a quarrel in posse over the heads of Gentle and forbearant conduct producing two great countries, would be inexplicable little but insults and contempt, abstinence under any other system of government than and non-interference beconie difficult in such that which prevails in America. But the a region; and unless, therefore, the repstatesmen of the Union are too often in the resentatives of England and America are on position of the physician whose interest it is their parts actuated by a sincere desire to not to heal the sore, or cure the malady, the agree, to be just, and to give no occasion for continuation of which gives profit and im- strife, disputes must be interminable. portance to himself.
Of the recruital grievance it does not seem The Nicaraguan dispute, which forms the that President Pierce can make much, though first great section of the Presidential Mes- he does his best. The American envoy in Bage, we must really characterize as a not London being understood to have generally creditable piece of diplomatic pettifogging, approved the scheme as likely to increase the If ever man devoted himself with zeal and bonds of amity between the countries, it can good faith to remove the chief causes of con- hardly now be said that it was pursued with tention between the United States and Eng- views of hostility or offence. It was unforland, it was Sir Henry Bulwer, when Min- tunate, was abandoned, was withdrawn. ister at Washington. lIis whole conduct General Pierce knows that nothing more
can come of it, and that he would injure Let us hope that the wisdom and candor himself even with his own party by adopting of our brethren across the Atlantic may the language of his Attorney-General ; still speedily find some better representative of there are those who must be flattered by their genuine and honest sentiments, as well shows and signs of possible hostility to Eng- in regard to this country as to their own land, and to them the President affects to terrible blot of domestic slavery. persist in holding out a demand of reparation from this country, as if further reparation The message of President Pierce to the were conceivable or possible.
Congress of the United States, characteristic It is surely much to be deplored that any of the present state of politics in America, is great country should be so represented that not favorable either to its author or to the the chief of its Government, instead of Model Republic. It intends to make the frankly expressing the sentiments and the most of " the situation
for all purposes, will of its people, should prefer to adopt the and to expose the President to a minimum ambiguous, captious, electioneering tone of of risk in any direction. Nationally, he dea man to whom the permanent interests of sires to be considered “ firm” in presence of the nation are nothing, and his own tempo- all who have controversies with the Union; rary views everything. We are bound to abroad, he desires to be thought “ conciliaadd that, great as have been the temptations tory.” Thus, he still looks to diplomacy for to this course in former Presidents of the settlement of the Central American question, great republic, we remember no such flagrant though he labors to show that the Bulwerexample as this before us. Even the ad- Clayton treaty has been infringed by Engdresses of Mr. Tyler had a personal dignity land, against every sense of the words, of jusabout them to which General Pierce's mes- tice, and good faith. He rakes up the setsage lays no pretension. It contains little tled recruitment question, in order to exhibit else throughout than language of shabbiness himself as the champion of “neutrality”; and pusillanimity alternated by menaces and while he sinks the same championship, of bravado.
which he might have boasted in stopping the The financial and domestic concerns of the New Orleans recruits for Walker's army, in Union are but briefly touched upon in it, so a small and almost apologetical paragraph. briefly indeed as to have already challenged He boasts the compensation that he has for it the contemptuous designation of the wrung from Spain for the Black Warrior and Stump Message. It treats at some length, other grievances in Cuba, compensation surhowever, of the great question of whether rendered without breaking the friendly relaslavery is to be controlled or left to complete tions of the Spanish Government; while the expansion in new States. For his own part President's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, General Pierce declares that State rights, in glances over the past and future of the Re the maintenance and development of slavery, public, and discovers delights for his heart not only cannot be controlled, but that all in annexations of all kinds —from Florida, past and of course all future legislation for and Louisiana to Missouri and Texas ; for
of so controlling them are ipso why should Texas, he asks, have “ remained facto void. As far as slavery is concerned, a lone star?" the phrase, it will be rememaccording to General Pierce, the Union and bered, applied by Annexationists to Cuba. the Central Government do not exist. This A surplus revenue makes the treasury rich ; is taking wide ground. It would go so far but the President, as jealous as the most as to establish that the States could come “hard cider" demagogue, cannot tolerate to no agreement respecting slavery, unless by an increased surplus, and he desires to keep negotiations as independent sovereignties, it down by lowering the import duties. In which would be neither more nor less than sum, President Pierce, whose term of office a dissolution of the Union. If such ques- is about to expire, is seeking to curry
favor tions must be settled, not by a majority in with every section, every minority, that, Congress but by negotiations of independent put together, could make up a majority for States, it would follow that such independent his continuance in office. Such being the States, failing to agree, might have recourse unconcealable motive of the message, it neo to war. Civil war thus becomes the ultima essarily follows that its spirit must be ungenratio of General Pierce's political rule for erous, its views inconsistent, and its tone unthe treatment of slavery.
dignified. - Spectator, 19 Jan.
LITTELL'S LIVING AGE.- No. 616.-15 MARCH, 1856.
From the Edinburgh Review.
fourth story, writing a drama or a novel." 1. Bibliothèque Contemporaine. 2e Série. This ideal was never realized, because the book
De Stendhal. Euvres complètes. Par- sellers and theatrical managers would not, or
is : 1854-55. En vente. 2. Vies de llaydn, et Mozart, et de Métas- could not, .bid high enough for dramas or
tase. Nouvelle édition. 1 vol. novels from his pen; and he was eventually 3. Histoire de la Peinture en Italie. Nou-compelled to accept the consulship at Civita
velle édition, entièrement revue. 1 vol. Vecchia, where the closing period of his life 4. Rome, Naples, et Florence. Nouvelle was shortened by the diseases of the climate,
édition. Préface inédite. 1 vol. 5. De L'Amour. Seule édition complète. ennui. There occurred, indeed, one striking
as well as embittered by disappointment and Augmentée de Préfaces et de Fragments entièrement inédits. 1 vol.
exception to this general indifference. In the 6. Vie de Rossini. Nouvelle édition, enti
Revue Parisienne" of September 23rd 1840, èrement revue. 1 vol.
appeared a long and carefully written article, 7. Racine et Shakespeare: Etudes sur Le entitled an “ Etude sur II. Beyle,” by Balzac,
Romantisme. Nouvelle édition, enti- in which “ La Chartreuse de Parme" was èrement revue et augmentée d'un grand declared to be a masterpiece, and its author nombre de Fragments inédits. 1 vol.
was described as one of the finest observers 8. Promenades dans Rome. Nouvelle édition. 2 vols.
and most original writers of the age. But 9. Mémoires d'un Touriste. Préface et la although elaborately reasoned out, and largely
plus grande Partie d'un Volume inédite. supported by analysis and quotation, this 2 vols.
honorable ou rst of enthusiasm was com10. Le Rouge et Le Noir. Chronique du monly regarded as an extravagance into which
XIXe Siecle. Nouvelle édition. 1 vol. Balzac had been hurried by an exaggeration 11. La Chartreuse de Parme. Nouvelle édi- of generosity towards a fancied rival ; and
tion, entièrement revue. 12. Romans et Nouvelles. Précédés d'une Beyle's courteous letter of acknowledgment
Notice sur De Stendhal, par M. B. Col- contains the following sentence, showing how omb. 1 vol.
little disposed he was to overestimate his po13. Correspondance Inédite. Précédée d'une sition or his hopes : -“This astounding ar
Introduction, par Prosper Merimée, de ticle, such as no writer ever before received l'Académie Française : ornée d'un beau from another, I have read, I now venture to Portrait de Stendhal. 2 vols.
own to you, with bursts of laughter. Every The literary career of Ilenri Beyle, who time I came to a eulogium a little exalted, wrote under the pseudonyme of M. De Stend- and I encountered such at every step, I saw hal, deserves to be commemorated, if only as the expression of my friends' faces at reading a curious illustration of the caprice of criti- it.” cism; or it may well be cited in proof of the Could he wake from the dead and see his occasional readiness of contemporaries to fore- friends' faces now, his characteristic smile of stall the judgment of posterity, when there is irony, rather than loud laughter, would be the no longer a living and sentient object for their form in which his feelings might be most apjealousy. His habits were simple, his tastes propriately expressed ; for those friends have were of a nature to be easily and cheaply not waited till 1880, the earliest era at which gratified, and his pecuniary wants were con- he expected to be read; they have barely exsequently of the most modest description. He ceeded the time prescribed by Horace — nonwould bave been content, he tells us, to rub umque prematur in annum for testing the on with 4000 francs a year at Paris; he would soundness of a work. Beyle died in 1842, have thought himself rich with 6000; and and few beyond the very limited circle of his in an autobiographical sketch he says, “The intimates then seemed aware that a chosen only thing I see clearly is, that for twenty spirit had departed, or that a well of valuayears my ideal has been to live at Paris in a ble thought and a fountain of exquisite sensiDCXVI.
bility had been dried up. Ove solitary gar- and reminiscences by M. Merimée. M. Sainte land of immortelles was flung upon his grave. Beuve has devoted two papers, distinguished An essay on his life and character, by M. by his wonted refinement and penetration, to Auguste Bussière, appeared in the “Revue Stendhal, in the “Causeries du Lundi.” An des Deux Mondes” for January, 1843 ; but extremely interesting biographical notice, the first paragraph was an avowal of the drawn up by M. Colomb, Beyle's most attached hazardous character of the attempt : friend and testamentary executor, from private
“We approach a task which is at the papers and other authentic sources of infor same time both embarrassing and seducing, mation, is prefixed to the “ Romans et Nourthat of appreciating a man of talent whose elles ; ” and by way of preface or introducupright character and original qualities tion to the “Chartreuse de Parme," the seemed to promise a greater extent of influ- publishers have judiciously reprinted the longence than he has exercised on his contempora- neglected éloge of Balzac. As if to complicate ries. We shall encounter in this mind and the problem, Beyle's critics and biographers in this character odd specialities, strange ano- announce and claim him as “eminently malies, contradictions which will explain how, French," although he systematically ridiculed after having been more vaunted than read, the vanity of his countrymen, reviled their more read than relished, more decried than taste, disliked the greater part of their literjudged, more cited than known, he has lived, ature, and, deliberately repudiating his counif the expression may be used, in a sort of try as " le plus vilain pays du monde que les clandestine celebrity, to die an obscure and nigauds appellent la belle France," directed unmarked death. Contemporary literature, himself to be designated as Milanese on his it must be owned, has found before the tomb tombstone. Here is enough, and more than of one of its most distinguished cultivators, enough, to justify us in devoting our best atonly silence, or words worse than silence. tention to the social and intellectual phenomM. Beyle dead, all has been said for him. enon thus presented, to say nothing of the His remains have not seen their funeral at- interest we naturally take in the reputation tendance swell by those regrets which delight of an author who, in straitened circumstances, in display, and which come to seek under ordered the complete collection of " mon cher" the folds of the pall a reflection of the lustre Edinburgh Review, and appealed to its exshed by the living."
tended circulation as an unanswerable proof A noble English poet, after an ordinary that the English are more reasonable in polinight's sleep, awoke and found himself fa- tics than the French. mous. Beyle must have slumbered thirteen Marie-Henri Beyle was born at Grenoble, years, dating from the commencement of his on the 23d of January, 1783, of a family last long sleep, before he could have calcu- which, without being noble, was classed and lated on a similar surprise on waking. But lived familiarly with the provincial aristocracy. his hour has come at last, and come sooner One of his earliest preceptors was a priest, than he anticipated. We have now (1855) who appears to have sadly misunderstood and before us popular and cheap editions of almost mismanaged his pupil. "Beyle," says M. all his books (thirteen volumes), in addition Meriinée, “ was wont to relate with bitterto two closely printed volumes of correspond- ness, after forty years, that one day, haring ence, and three volumes of novels from his torn his coat whilst at play, the Abbé enunpublished MS., bearing striking evidence trusted with his education reprimanded him to the assiduity with which every scrap of severely for this misdeed before his comrades, his composition has been hunted up. Wo and told him he was a disgrace to religion have, moreover, a somewhat embarrassing and to his family. We laughed when he superfluity of biographical notices from sur- narrated this incident; but he saw in it simviving friends, who, whatever their amount ply an act of priestly tyranny and a horrible of agreement with Balzac in 1840, have no injustice, where there was nothing to laugh objection to respond to the popular demand at, and he felt as acutely as on the day of its for Beyle testimonials in 1855. Prefixed to occurrence the wound inflicted on his selfthe “ Correspondence” is a condensed and love." It was one of his aphorisms that our pithy series of clever, polished, highly illus- parents and our masters are our natural enetrative, and by no means enthusiastic, notes mies when we enter the world ; the simple
matter of fact being, that his own character, a regiment of dragoons as quartermaster; tendencies, and aspirations had been invaria- and, in the course of a month, received a bly opposed to the plans, wishes, and modes commission as sub-lieutenant. He served for of thinking of his family. They were clearly about half a year as aide-de-camp to General wrong in endeavoring to force him into uncon- Michaud, and received the most flattering cergenial paths of study ; nor was he likely to tificate of courage and conduct ; but before be cured of his inborn wilfulness, or his mor- the expiration of a year (on September 17th, bid sensibility, by harsh treatment. On the 1801) he was ordered to rejoin his regiment, establishment of the Ecole Centrale, in 1795, then in garrison at Savigliano, in Piedmont, they had no alternative but to send him there; in consequence of a regulation forbidding any and such was his quickness or diligence, that officer under the rank of lieutenant to be when the day arrived for the examination in employed as aide-de-camp. “ grammaire générale," not one of the pupils His life in a provincial town differed widely mould compete with him, and he received all from that of the brilliant staff-officer, which, te prizes that had been proposed.
divided between Brescia and Bergamo, with During the four following years he sus- frequent excursions to Milan and the Isles, tained bis reputation by carrying off all the and thickly sown, says his biographer, with first prizes in all the courses that he attended; various and romantic sensations, realized his and at the end of that time, in 1798, he con- conceptions of perfect happiness. So soon as centrated his energies on mathematics for the treaty of Amiens afforded him an honor(according to M. Colomb) the strange reason able pretext for quitting an inactive and unthat he had a horror of hypocrisy, and rightly exciting course of life in the army, he flung judged that in mathematics it was impossible. up his commission, very much to the disgust A more intelligible and more likely motive of his patrons, and went to reside with his was his laudable ambition to be admitted into parents at Grenoble. Of course this experithe Polytechnic School, for which he was ment failed, but he made himself sufficiently about to become a candidate after much anx- disagreeable to extort an allowance of 150 ious preparation, when a sudden change took francs a month from his father with leave to place in his prospects ; and we find him in live at Paris, where, in June, 1807, he took 1800, at the age of seventeen, a supernumer- up his elerated abode (au cinquième) in the ary in the ministry of war. He was indebted Rue d'Angivilliers, and without seeking for for this employment to the Daru family, which introductions or aiming at immediate distincwas distantly related to his own ; and when, tion, calmly and resolutely set about educatearly in the same year, the two brothers Daru ing himself anew. Montesquieu, Montaigne, were despatched to Italy on public duty of Cabanis, Destutt de Tracy, Say, J. J. Rousan administrative kind, they invited Beyle to seau, were his favorite authors. Ile also rejoin them there on the chance of some fit- made a careful study of Alfieri's tragedies ; ting occupation for him turning up. He made and out of his five francs a day he contrived the journey from Geneva to Milan on horse- to pay masters in English and fencing. He back, following so close on the traces of the got on tolerably well in English, although his invading army, that he had to run the gaunt- instructor was an Irishman with a touch of let before the fort of Bard, which, overlooked the brogue ; but his skill with the foil was from its insignificance, had well-nigh frustrated of so equivocal a description, that Renouvier, the most brilliant of Napoleon's early cam- the director of the Salle Fabien, is reported paigns at starting. Our young adventurer to have given him nearly the same advice entered Milan at the beginning of June, 1800 ; which was addressed to a British peer by a and, on the 14th of that month, had the good celebrated French fencing master, when his fortune to be present, as an amateur, at the lordship was settling account with him at the battle of Marengo. An armistice having been conclusion of a long series of lessons at & signed the next day, he took advantage of it papoleon per hour: “Milord, je vous conto visit, in company with a son of General seille décidément d'abandonner les armes." Melas, the Boromean Isles and the other re Beyle's figure was ill adapted for active markable objects in the vicinity. Hurried exercises; but his nerves, which grew tremuaway, we suppose, by the military spirit lous at the slightest touch of emotion, were which animated all around him, Beyle entered firm as steel in the presence of danger ; his