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merely throwing out of view one class of qualities which distinguish this singular people, and fixing attention on another, it becomes abundantly possible to communicate an impression of the national character which is utterly unjust, though every statement from which conclusions have been drawn be substantially correct. The charge, therefore, to which those travellers who have inordinately praised the Americans, are quite as obnoxious as those who have followed an opposite course, consists less in the suggestio falsi, than in the suppressio veri. Yet even this crime, we are charitably inclined to believe, has not often been wilfully committed. For so constituted is the mind of man, so much is the judgment of the wisest among us influenced unknown to itself by prejudice and feeling, that we are rarely able to take a wide and impartial view of all the circumstances and relations of a question, essential to a sound conclusion. But instead of dealing in wise saws, let us illustrate our meaning by a modern instance. Two armies fight a battle. It shall be Maida, Barossa, Talavera, or any other you may like better. The affair is seizes er over, than each commander
contradictory assertion 2. The key is this. Neither of the accounts are positively false, and neither absolutely true. Looking at the engagement as a whole, neither Soult nor Sir Frizzle give an impartial narrative of all its circumstances. Both bring forward some favourite passages in prominent relief, while others, equally important, are either thrown into the background, or kept altogether, out of view. Yet we do consider it as highly probable that each commander, at the moment of committing his account to paper, wrote under the delusion, that nothing could be more full, fair, and impartial than his own statement. The truth is, that both were anxious to
regard the battle as affording ground for certain favourable con clusions, and, by a very trifling and unintentional perversion of vision, they are both successful. Thus intimate is the connexion between our judgment and o our feelings, and thus it is, that visemos a
"things outward' Do draw the inward quality after them," and we propagate deception in others, from having first achieved it in ourselves.
Were we disposed to philosophize, it would be easy, by an extension of this simple hypothesis, to account for those differences in politics, religion, and philosophy, by which the waters of the human mind have been
stirred into a troubled activity, and mixed up with the sediment of passion, which might well be suffered
the pen, and transmits to his government a full, true, and particular account of the engagement. These afterwards appear in the Gazette, and having read both, we ask whether any thing can be more utterly and hopelessly irreconcilable either in fact or inference. If Lieutenant-Gen. Sir Frizzle Pumpthen ha have writ his annals right," e the Frenchmen received a compete drubbing. But unless Soult or Junot lie most egregiously, this is far from the case; for they asobservations to make. In the first sure us . that the attack of John Bull place, it is only justice to confess, was gallantly repulsed, and that all that there exists no other people, the honours of the engagement, inclu- whose advantages, prejudices, and ding three brass guns and a howitzer, foibles come so directly and proremain on their side. In short, each vokingly into collision with our own. general claims the victory, and each An Englishman may traverse Europe bring
hich his pretensions are subated; yet both are men of high ur, and either would sooner die suffer his fair fame to be tarhood by the imputation of a falseWhat, then, is the key to all and how are we to escape from apparently inextricable maze of
OL. XXXI. NO. CXCIV.
to remain at the bottom. But our present concern is exclusively with travellers in America, about whom, and whose works, we have still a few
ter nothing, in the whole course of his
England uniformly mentioned by enlightened men with admiration and respect; and the evils of despotism, whether political or religious, are so manifest and pervading, that few points of similarity can be discovered, to afford footing even for comparison. He therefore speaks and thinks of these countries with perfect impartiality, their defects he is disposed to consider less as crimes than misfortunes,—and he regards them generally with those feelings of charitable benevolence, which men conscious of their own strength can afford to extend to the failings of their weaker brethren. In short, he sees nothing in the condition or structure of society which can excite jealousy; he is not called upon to resign a single prejudice or opinion, and the slumber of his self-love remains unbroken. But in the United States, the case is very different. For the first time he mingles with a people, who, so far from possessing any reverence for the British Constitution, do not hesitate to pronounce it a very bungling and unworkmanlike contrivance, while they point to their own institutions as the proudest effort of human genius, and to their own laws as embodying every thing of excellence in legislation which human wisdom has yet been able to devise. It is an old proverb, that he who claims too much stands a fair chance of getting too little. The Englishman feels little disposed to accord a praise, somewhat too imperiously demanded, by men who scruple not to express their contempt for all that from his very infancy he has been accustomed to hold sacred. His prejudices and selflove are up in arms. He not only
sees all the defects in the American character, but he becomes blind to
its virtues. He writes a book, and represents them as a nation of disgusting savages; and, under the semblance of love of country, gives vent to the whole volume of his spleen and bigotry. The Americans, on their part, are by no means patient
under such inordinate chastisement.
They have recourse to recrimination, rake up all the filth from British newspapers, and array it in the form of national charges, and thus is the foundation laid, for a rooted antipathy between two countries, whose
strous inconsistency of this, it is un
necessary to expose. The are, par excellence, a free Unlimited freedom of opin the very corner-stone of the tution, and yet the liberty w stitutes their national boa would willingly deny to othe right have the Americans that an Englishman should their institutions to those free, great, and glorious which he has been taught rence from his very crad under which the whole habi life have been formed? W American visits England, n so unreasonable as to dema
people. on forms eir consti
le, and ts of his
such sacrifice of opinion. He is left free as air, to approve or disapprove, to praise or censure, to app condemn; and though his opinions may possibly be received wit thing of mortifying indifference, he dice, in any quarter, by thei most will assuredly excite no prejupublic expression. No man in this country could regard it as a matter of charge against an American, that he does not think like an Englishman expression should not be enjoyed by and why such liberty of thought and travellers from this side of the water, as well as those from the other, we it will own ourselves somewhat puzzled to
be confessed, are accustomed to write and speak freely enough about tions; through France, Italy, or Ger our own government and institumany, we travel yet ungagged, and that we should keep our mouths shut, it really seems too much to expect when pleasure or business may lead
us to the United States.
misrep lers. clared
The fact is, that, wince under it as she may, America must learn to hear the tru th. Falsehood and exaggeration sh e may despise ; and in this reif in no other, she may advansly take a lesson from John Let her only observe how rfully cool John is, under the resentations of foreign travelThe Chevalier Pillet has deto the world, that the domestic relations of Englishmen are made the co wer of the most disgusting and degrac ling pollution, and that every English lady keeps her private bran gdy bo tle, on the contents of which she gets drunk at least once a-day. A Monsieur Charles Nodier, of whose book we remember to have written a review many years ago in this very Magazine, among other statements equally veracious, scrupled not to assert, seipso teste, that Scottish ladies always go barefoot; and that though, on occasions of ceremony, shoes are certainly to be seen, the toes of a northern spinster feel exceedingly awkward under their compression, and she uniformly seizes the earliest opportunity of kicking them off. But to come to the present day, let any American take the trouble of reading the travels of Prince Puckler Muskaw, and then glance over the different reviews of the work in the various periodicals, and he will find, we think, that the Prince, whose strictures on our manners and fail
ings are by no means lenient, gets quite as much credit as he deserves. We are at least certain that the book has awakened no feeling approaching to that intense and extravagant indignation which has been excited in America by the work of Captain Hall, and which, we doubt not, in at least equal measure, is destined to follow the still more amusing volumes of Mrs Trollope, to which it is our present object to direct the attention of our readers.
Mrs Trollope, then, we beg leave to intimate, is an English lady, who, being instigated by the devil and Miss Fanny Wright-(we imagine she will not deny the agency of either)-was induced, with the approbation of her husband, to accompany that lady to the United States, with what precise object we are not informed, but apparently with the intention of establishing part of her family in these western regions. It
appears that Miss Wright-to whom, in spite of all her failings, it is impossible to deny the praise of active benevolence-had embarked in some visionary project for emancipating negroes; and with this view, had formed an establishment in the state of Tennessee, in which, by judicious preparation, the slaves were not only to become free, but to astonish the world by issuing forth in the character of scholars and gentlemen. Towards the scene of this interesting experiment were the steps of the fair wanderers directed; and accordingly, after a tedious voyage, we are glad to find them safely landed at New Orleans, where Mrs Trollope commences her task of observation.
The disgusting immorality by which this city is distinguished above all others in the Union, would, of course, remain in a great measure invisible to the eye of a lady. New Orleans is not French, and it is not American, but a melange of both-and the result is, something worse than either. Mrs Trollope is exceedingly struck, however, by the scene of wild desolation which distinguishes the delta of the Mississippi. Nothing but interminable brakes appear on either side, covered by forests of tall canes ; and the broad muddy river, with its vast masses of drift wood, completes a picture more sombre and depressing to the heart and imagination, than can well be conceived by any one who has not felt its effect. The city stands upon a bed of diluvial matter some dozen feet below the level of the river, so that should the levée which at present confines its waters give way, New Orleans," with all its bravery on," may probably, some fine morning, make an aquatic excursion into the Gulf of Mexico. Trollope admires the Quadroon ladies very much-and no doubt many of them are very pleasing to the eye; but we remember once being present at what is called "a Quad ball," with the thermometer above 90, and we returned with the full conviction that
there are worse odours in the world than that of sanctity. Should any of our readers be led to visit New Orleans, we caution them to beware of crawfish, which they will meet in many tempting forms, at almost every table. These animals are carnivo rous, and in vast numbers burrow in the churchyards. Verb. sap. The
Creole ladies are handsome, though Mrs Trollope does not think so. They are indebted for their beauty, we imagine, to the admixture of Spanish blood, and are certainly, in a great measure, exempt from that prematurity of decay which makes sad havoc with the charms of the northern ladies.
Having remained long enough at New Orleans to recover from the fatigues of their voyage, Mrs Trollope and her party proceed up the Mississippi in one of those magnificent steamers which are to be found only in the western world. The accommodations of these vessels are on the most superb scale, though, being furnished with high-pressure engines, a trip in them is not unaccompanied with danger. On an average, two or three explosions take place in a season, so that travellers are at least exempt from the dulness of perfect security. The manners of the passengers, however, appear by no means captivating in the eyes of Mrs Trollope. How should they? Slave-dealers, traders from the Western States, land-jobbers and cottongrowers, are no doubt very far from being polished gentlemen. But we shall allow the fair traveller to speak for herself, which she always does far better than we can do for her.
"On the first of January, 1828, we embarked on board the Belvidere, a large and handsome boat; though not the largest or handsomest of the many which displayed themselves along the wharfs; but she was going to stop at Memphis, the point of the river nearest to Miss Wright's residence, and she was the first that departed after we had got through the custom-house, and finished our sightseeing.
We found the room destined for the use of the ladies dismal enough, as its only windows were below the stern gallery; but both this and the gentlemen's cabin were handsomely fitted up, and the former well carpeted; but oh! that carpet! I will not, I may not describe its condition; indeed it requires the pen of a Swift to do it justice. Let no one who wishes to receive agreeable impressions of American manners, commence their travels in a Mississippi steam-boat; for myself, it is with all sincerity I declare, that I would infinitely prefer sharing. the apartment of a party of well-conditioned pigs to the being confined to its cabin.
"I hardly know any annoyance so deeply repugnant to English feelings, as the incessant, remorseless spitting of
Americans. I feel that I owe my readers an apology for the repeated use of this, and several other odious words; but I cannot avoid them, without suffering the fidelity of description to escape me.
"We had a full complement of passengers on board. The deck, as is usual, was occupied by the Kentucky flat-boat men, returning from New Orleans, after having disposed of the boat and cargo which they had conveyed thither, with no other labour than that of steering her, the current bringing her down at the rate of four miles an hour. We had about two
hundred of these men on board, but the part of the vessel occupied by them is so
distinct from the cabins, that we never saw them, except when we stopped to take in wood; and then they ran, or rather sprung and vaulted over each other's heads to the shore, whence they all assisted in carrying wood to supply the steamengine; the performance of this duty being a stipulated part of the payment of their passage.
"From the account given by a manservant we had on board, who shared their quarters, they are a most disorderly set of persons, constantly gambling and wrangling, very seldom sober, and never suffering a night to pass without giving practical proof of the respect in which they hold the doctrines of equality, and the vessel was kind enough to take our community of property. The clerk of man under his protection, and assigned him a berth in his own little nook; but as this was not inaccessible, he told him by no means to detach his watch or money from his person during the night. Whatever their moral characteristics may be, these Kentuckians are a very noble-looking race of men; their average height considerably exceeds that of Europeans, and their countenances, excepting when disfigured by red hair, which is not unfre quent, extremely handsome.
"The gentlemen in the cabin (we had no ladies) would certainly neither, from their language, manners, nor appearance, have received that designation in Europe; but we soon found their claim to it rested on more substantial ground, for we heard them nearly all addressed by the titles of general, colonel, and major. On mentioning these military dignities to an English friend some time afterwards, he told me that he too had made the voyage with the same description of company, but remarking that there was not a single captain among them: he made the obser vation to a fellow-passenger, and asked Oh, sir, the
how he accounted for it: captains are all on deck,' was the reply. military, for we had a judge among us., "Our honours, however, were not all
I know it is equally easy and invidious to ridicule the peculiarities of appearance and manner in People of a different nation from ourselves; we may, too, at the same moment, be un dergoing the same ordeal in their estimation; and, moreover, I am by no means disposed to consider whatever is new to me as therefore objectionable; but, nevertheless, it was impossible not to feel repugnance to many of the novelties that now surrounded me.
"The total want of all the usual courtesies of the table, the voracious rapidity with which the viands were seized and
cludes at Memphis, where she arrives without accident from "snags" or sawyers," or, in other words, trees rooted in the bottom of the river, by striking on which, steamboats are not unfrequently lost. With some difficulty she reaches Miss Wright's settlement at Nashoba, which she finds very different from the woodland paradise she expected. The situation being unhealthy, and her friend's accommodations by no means tempting to a longer residence, Mrs Trollope determines on proceeding to Cincinnati, in the state of Ohio, with the intention of there awaiting the arrival of her husband.
devoured, the strange uncouth phrases and pronunciation; the loathsome spitting, from the contamination of which it was absolutely impossible to protect our dresses; the frightful manner of feeding with their knives, till the whole blade seemed to enter into the mouth; and the still more frightful manner of cleaning the teeth afterwards with a pocket knife, soon forced us to feel that we were not surrounded by the generals, colonels, and majors of the old world; and that the dinner hour was to be any thing rather than an hour of enjoyment.
The scenery on the Ohio, up which her course was directed, though possessing few very striking features, yet appears beautiful to eyes for weeks accustomed to gaze on that of the Mississippi. There is a pleasure in being wafted along on clear water, to say nothing of the still greater enjoyment of being enabled to swallow the pure element, instead of the muddy compost furnished by the "father of rivers." Our travellers reach their destination without moving accident by flood or field, and after some difficulty, get established in a house. Of the extent of its appliances for cleanliness or comfort, a tolerably vivid notion will be conveyed by the following passage:
"The little conversation that went forward while we remained in the room, was entirely political, and the respective claims of Adams and Jackson to the pre sidency were argued with more oaths and more vehemence than it had ever been my lot to hear. Once a colonel appeared on the verge of assaulting a major, when a huge seven-foot Kentuckian gentleman horse-dealer, asked of the heavens to confound them both, and bade them sit still and be d-d. We too thought we should share this sentence; at least sitting still in the cabin seemed very nearly to include the rest of it, and we never tarried there a moment longer than was absolutely necessary to eat.'
"We were soon settled in our new dwelling, which looked neat and comfortable enough, but we speedily found that it was devoid of nearly all the accommodation that Europeans conceive necessary to decency and comfort. No pump, no cistern, no drain of any kind, no dust
Though devoid of every thing akin to beauty, there is no scenery more striking than that of the Mississippi. The dreary and pestilential solitudes, untrodden save by the foot of the Indian; the absence of all living objects, save the huge alligators which float past, apparently asleep on the drift wood, and an occasional vulture attracted by its impure prey on the surface of the waters; the trees, with a long and hideous drapery of pendent moss fluttering in the wind; nt river flowing onward deur through the wilthe features of one of al and impressive landich the eye of man ever Trollope's voyage con
and the giant
man's carts, or any other visible means of
getting rid of the rubbish, which vanishes with such celerity in London, that one has no time to think of its existence; which accumulated so rapidly at Cincinnati, that I sent for my landlord to know in what manner refuse of all kinds was to be disposed of.
"Your Help will just have to fix them all into the middle of the street, but you must mind, old woman, that it is the middle. expect you don't know as we have got a law what forbids throwing such things at the sides of the streets; they must just all be cast right into the middle, and the pigs soon takes them off.
"In truth, the pigs are constantly seen doing Herculean service in through every quarter of the city; and