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pursuit of the necessaries and luxuries of external life shall be regarded as means to an end; and when the common aim of exertion shall be self and mutual perfection. It does not seem to be rash to anticipate such a state of human affairs as this, when an aspiration like the following has been received with sympathy by thousands of republicans united under a constitution of ideas :- Talent and worth are the only eternal grounds of distinction. To these the Almighty has affixed his everlasting patent of nobility; and these it is which make the bright, “the immortal names,” to which our children may aspire, as well as others. It will be our own fault if, in our land, society, as well as government, is not organized on a new foundation.'* "
The cemeteries are referred to as the spots where the moral sentiment which lies deepest in the national heart may be best ascertained; and in this point of view Père la Chaise and Mount Auburn, Massachusetts, are contrasted: the absence of all hope from the monuments of one, and its vivid, cheerful predominance in those of the other. The degree of intensity in which attachment to kindred and birth-place exist, and the various forms which they assume; the sentiments uppermost in the prevailing flow of conversation, in the aspirations of childhood, and the recollections of age; the characteristic pride of nations; the great names which are the especial objects of their adoration-heroes, poets, philanthropists; the epochs from which they date the great periods of their history; their treatment of criminals,—the feelings which may be gathered from conversation to exist most powerfully in the minds of criminals themselves; the character and influence of literature, and especially of the most popular kinds, songs and fictions ;-all these circumstances throw the clearest light on the tendencies of nations, and furnish the best interpretation of their general moral notions.
The domestic state of a people claims peculiar attention. This is affected by its political condition, and may be inferred also, in some degree, from the geological structure of the country. The prevalence of mining, manufacturing, agricultural pursuits, with their attendant peculiarities of habits and manners, is determined by the nature of the soil. Into all our inquiries under this head must enter the consideration of the supply of the necessaries of life; of the tenure of lands; of the prosperity or depression of the manufacturing and commercial classes; of the health of a community, a subject intimately connected with its morals; of the marriage compact, and of the circumstances which precede and follow it; and, lastly, of the closely-con
Home, by Miss Sedgwick, pp. 37, 39.
nected subject of the social condition of woman, and the sentiment of society respecting her. “From observation on these classes of facts, the moralist may learn more of the private life of a community, than from the conversation of any number of individuals who compose it.”
In estimating the idea of liberty in a people, we must again “observe Things, in preference to relying on the Discourse of Persons.” We must notice what amount of feudalism still remains, and what is the character and extent of operation of the existing Police. The form of Government, and the general course of Legislation will of course be studied; and to this should be added the consideration of the different classes into which society is divided, and their relation to each other; and also of the condition and treatment of domestic servants. What remains to be inquired into on this subject, falls under the heads of the dependence or independence of the provinces on the metropolis; the character and influence of newspapers; education-how conducted—whether free and liberal, or an instrument in the hands of Government; persecution in any shape for opinion. The indications of progress in a country--what retards, and what advances it-must be carefully noticed. “The great means of progress, for individuals, for nations, and for the race at large, is the multiplication of objects of interest.” In this way only can the indulgence of the passions be counteracted. Discourse is the last source of information to which Miss Martineau directs the attention of her readers. It should be used as a commentary on the facts observed.
“To begin the work of observation with registering private discourse is, as has been said, useless, from the diversity that there is in men's minds, and from the narrowness of the mental vision of each as he stands in a crowd. The testimony of no two would be found to agree; and, if the traveller depended upon them for his general facts, he could never furnish a record which could be trusted. But the facts being once obtained by stronger evidence than individual testimony,—certain fixed points being provided round which testimony may gather,—the discourse of individuals assumes its proper value, and becomes illustration where before it would have been only bewildering.”-p. 221.
The third and last part of the work treats of Mechanical Methods. The value of a Journal arises from the entries being made daily, while the memory is fresh from the impressions it has received. Facts, which are not recorded at once may
be lost for ever, and thus the precious fruits of travel perish irrecoverably. Besides his journal, the traveller should have a note-book always at hand, in which to record transient appearances, and to secure momentary suggestions. It thus becomes a sort of supplement to the journal, into which its most important materials may be subsequently transferred.
“Mechanical methods,” however, “ are nothing but in proportion to the power which uses them; as the intellectual accomplishments of the traveller avail him little, and may even bring him back less wise than he went out—a wanderer from truth as well as from home-unless he sees by a light from his heart, shining through the eyes of his mind."
In reviewing the general impression which this analysis of Miss Martineau's work has left upon our mind, we are not disposed to dissent from her general position, that the mind of the observer should be furnished with some general principles before it descends to the interpretation of particular facts; and that a survey of Things should prepare the way for an intercourse with Persons. But what these principles are, she has hardly stated with a sufficient degree of distinctness and precision. For the purpose for which it was designed, her work rather wants the rigorous and scientific character which might have been expected from it. A work of instruction should avoid every thing like vagueness and declamation, and aim especially at producing a clear and distinct impression. Our authoress has, perhaps unconsciously, interwoven, in a few passages, her own feelings and theories and cherished prepossessions with her statement of principles and her representations of facts. It may be said, that it is impossible for any one who has decided opinions to avoid discovering their influence. But then it may be reasonably argued, on the other hand, that if such opinions are to suggest the general points of view under which we contemplate facts, they tend, almost inevitably, to warp our construction of those facts, and lead us to forestal the results they should yield. The use, indeed, of such general views may be compared to that of hypotheses in physical science; as assisting us in the grouping and arrangement of our facts, so that we may obtain a more clear and comprehensive coup d'ail of them, without in any degree binding us to the ultimate adoption of the principle, according to which, for the time being, they are classified, and with a constant reference to those higher principles, which are universal and eternal, and belong to man
Miss Martineau has not overlooked this distinction; but it does not seem to us brought out with sufficient promi
The conduciveness of institutions and the state of manners and opinion to the largest amount of social happiness,
VOL. I. No. 2.-New Series.
is stated as one of these higher principles; but sufficient care is not taken to explain, with any degree of definiteness, in what the essentials of human happiness consist. And again, while the doctrine of an innate Moral Sense is denied, and yet the universality of a Moral Law acknowledged,—the process is not traced so clearly as it ought to be, by which the impressions of the world without, conspiring with the tendencies of the nature within, unerringly generate in all human minds those fundamental convictions in which the sense of right and wrong,
in other words, conscience, has its origin, and becomes, more or less developed, an essential element of humanity.
Much entertainment and instruction, and many materials for reflection, may be gathered from Miss Martineau's work. But when we consider the avowedly didactic character under which it presents itself, it has the appearance of being thrown off too hastily, and without that earnestness and gravity of purpose which is sure to discover itself in the character of the composition. The facts seem to have been drawn at the moment from the memory. Judgments on men and things are sometimes pronounced in too decided and tranchant à tone. The style, though generally easy and flowing, bears occasionally traces of haste, and is sometimes a little artificial and exaggerated.
Although we notice these as the defects which have occurred to us, we desire to express our most entire sympathy with the benevolent and hopeful spirit, and more especially with that generous faith in human nature which breathes through the pages of our authoress. These excellencies are peculiar to herself, and are the source of whatever good her writings are calculated to produce. We cherish a confident expectation that these excellencies will remain with her; because they evidently spring from her heart; are supported, we firmly believe, by deep religious principle; and form a part of her character. Whatever is unprofitably visionary and eccentric, maturer thought, wider observation, and the mellowing influence of time, will doubtless, every year, bring more and more within the limits of a calm and sober reason. Still retaining her love of freedom, truth, and goodness, but testing the vague and benevolent theories in which it has hitherto found its exercise, by those lessons of historical experience which are now engaging the thoughts and the pens of some of the best and wisest in Europe, it is our most fervent wish that she may continue to employ her superior talents, through the remainder of her life, in advocating the best and highest interests of her species; preserving the ardour of her earlier faith in all that is noble, generous, and just, without its extravagance, and acquiring the wise caution of age, without its heartlessness and scepticism. That such a wish is not formed without reason, the following beautiful extract from her present work, with which we conclude this notice, may be taken as an encouraging assurance :
“ The result of the whole of what he hears will probably be to the traveller of the same kind with that which the journey of life yields to the wisest of its pilgrims. As he proceeds, he will learn to condemn less, and to admire, not less, but differently. He will find no intellect infallible, no judgment free from prejudice, and therefore no affections without their bias; but, on the other hand, he will find no error which does not branch out of some truth; no wrath which has not some reason in it; nothing wrong which is not the perversion of something right: no wickedness that is not weakness. If he is compelled to give up the adoration of individuals, the man-worship which is the religion of young days, he surrenders with it the spirit of contempt which ought also to be proper (?) to youth. To a healthy mind it is impossible to mix largely with men, under a variety of circumstances, and wholly to despise either societies or individuals; so magnificent is the intellect of men in combination, so universal are their most privately-nourished affections. He must deny himself the repose of implicit faith in the intellect of any one; but he cannot refuse the luxury of trust in the moral power of the whole. Instead of the complete set of dogmas with which he was perhaps once furnished, on the authority of a few individuals, he brings home a store of learning on the great subject of human prejudices : but he cannot have watched the vast effects of a community of sentiment,-he cannot have observed multitudes tranquillized into social order, stimulated to social duty, and even impelled to a philanthropic self-sacrifice, without being convinced that men were made to live in a bond of brotherhood. He cannot have sat in conversation under the village elm, or in sunny vineyards, or by the embers of the midnight fire, without knowing how spirit is formed to unfold itself to spirit ; and how, when the solitary is set in families, his sympathies bind him to them by such a chain as selfish interest never
He cannot have travelled wisely and well, without being convinced that moral power is the force which lifts man to be not only lord of the earth, but scarcely below the angels; and that the higher species of moral power, which are likely to come more and more into use, clothe him in a kind of divinity to which angels themselves might bow. No one will doubt this who has been admitted into that range of sanctuaries, the homes of nations; and who has witnessed the godlike achievements of the servants, sages, and martyrs, who have existed wherever man has been!"-pp. 228-30.