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THE

FOREIGN QUARTERLY REVIEW.

Art. I.- Esquisse Morale et Politique des Etats-Unis de l'Amé

rique du Nord, par Achille Murat, Citoyen des Etats-Unis, Colonel honoraire dans l'armée Belge, ci-devant Prince Royal

de Deux-Siciles. Paris. 1832. 8vo. Most pleasant is it to those who stand aloof from, but who do not therefore watch with less benevolent interest, the heady current of human affairs, to behold, that in spite of innumerable obstacles, the small bark which is freighted with the germs of much of the knowledge on which universal human happiness must be based, still preserves an even keel, still goes steadily onwards, and each day' better provided, by the care of those who conduct it, with all that is needful to ensure the ultimate success of the voyage. Knowledge is daily gaining upon the world, and close at hand follows Wisdom, to turn every fresh accession of it to the purposes of utility. We do not speak of the knowledge which is taught in schools, that dubious kind resting solely on authority, and which, imperfectly understood, rarely produces fruit. The knowledge we speak of is of that practical kind which tends to strengthen the reasoning powers amongst the great mass of mankind, and renders it a difficult matter to gull them as of yore, with the coarse devices which the self-interested and lowminded amongst them, whether kings, conquerors, priests, lawyers, or demagogues, have been accustomed to set up. Mankind are still gullible, it is true; their kindly sympathies as a body, where not blighted by misery, render them the willing prey of the designing; but the number of those who can hope to succeed in gulling them is every day lessening, because a larger amount of skill is required to overreach their extended capacity. Public errors are becoming more and more obvious in the increasing light of truth, and once beheld, are extinguished for ever.

As a mass, men do much wrong in ignorance, but rarely in wilful malice, unless misery urges them; and ignorance alone is the cause of that misery. When ignorance shall disappear from the majority, misery also will vanish. But mere writing, mere words, unfortunately, will not drive ignorance away. The school of practice seems also to be essentially necessary. Wise men have long

VOL. XI. NO, XXI.

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foreseen the results of ignorance. Wise men, had they possessed the confidence of their fellows, might have applied the needful remedies; but the unscrupulous charlatau bas ever enlisted the passions of the multitude in his service, and it is not in the nature of passion to listen to the words of wisdom. Still is the prospect cheering; for through the very convulsion which seems to be shaking all things into hideous ruin, the calm philosopher who mingles, not in the din, who neither urges nor is urged by the warring mass, can see the rising ferment in which is embodied the dim form of Truth. The combatants at times catch fragments of her robe, and are dazzled by its texture. Yet awhile, and she will smile upon them in beaming radiance, and they will wonder at the blindness which led them so long to strike at each other in error.

“ Experience maketh fools wise,” says the proverb. It is an unfortunate condition of humanity, that mere precepts cannot make an impression. It is needful to pass through the gate of experience in order to reach conviction. Still, much has been done. People refuse to worship as of yore, the senseless idols which authority had set up. They no longer ask how long a custom has existed, but what may be the utility of its continuance. Numberless confused answers are given both by the ignorant and by the designing, yet only through the midst of this confusion lies the pathway to truth. The clear vision of the philosopher can espy it, but amidst the Babel of tongues, his warning voice will for awhile be drowned. But even though it be late, the day-spring will at last visit us.

The work whose title stands at the head of this article is the production of M. Achille Murat, the son of the Paladin of that name, one of the false gods whom people are now ceasing to worship, who, by way of recompense for the quantity of human blood he shed in the service of Napoleon, was by that remorseless conqueror made King of Naples, which, in the perverted style of the Imperial Court, was considered equivalent to making the Neapolitans free. A Bourbon was turned out, and a Murat was brought in. Their intellect seems to have been upon a par, but the difference between them was, that the former was devoid of physical courage, whereas the latter possessed a superabundance of it, to such an extent indeed, that during the periods of truce while with the army, he was accustomed to engage in handto-hand fighting from pure liking for the sport. Without “knowing the divisions of a battle more than a spinster,” Murat was an admirable bull-dog, and whenever his master, Napoleon, gave the signal for him to fall on, he was an excellent leader in a cavalry charge, and hewed away with the brawny arm of a butcher. It was therefore perfectly natural that he should bestow upon his

eldest son the name of Achilles, and the internal evidence of the work before us shows, that something of the disposition of the father has been inherited by the son; that he would rather still be “ Prince Royal of the two Sicilies," or, it may be, King of Naples or any other kingdom, than “ Honorary Colonel of the Belgic Army,” or “Citizen of the United States," on which he piques himself with a species of mock humiliation. It has been said that his grandfather was a pastrycook; his father became a king; he himself has been, in addition to the titles already enumerated, slave-holder, lawyer, and postmaster of a village in Florida, which last occupation he altogether forgets to mention. This is more like an Arabian Night's Tale than a story of modern Europe, and is another sign of the age of transition in which we live, wherein good is constantly working its silent way out of evil. In a long dedication to Comte Thibaudeau, M. Murat talks much about rational liberty and self-government, the badness of European governments, and the goodness of that of the United States. He describes the burning delirium with which he quitted his plantation and his study, and hastened to join the ranks of the French army so soon as he heard of the days of July; but the mode in which he talks of his " disappointment" gives strong suspicion, that, dissatisfied with his career in the United States, he was quite willing to faire fortune in the career of liberty. He advises the getting rid of European armies by sending them “ to make conquests and work_civilization in Asia and Africa, which offer a vast field wherein French chivalry may reap a harvest of glory ;” after the fashion of ancient Rome. But their numbers are to be recruited from the mother country. The name of MURAT affixed in large letters in kingly style to his preface, with the plebeianism of the christian name proportionately small, clearly points out one person whom the author thinks fitted to command these “ armies of conquest and civilization." The affectation of equality in principle, and its practical denial throughout the volume, form a most amusing contrast, notwithstanding the disgust we experience at the hypocrisy.

The work is in the form of letters, written during the years 1826 to 1832 inclusive. A few of them appeared in a small volume in the early part of 1830, while the author was still in America, and were reviewed in a former number of this journal.* These are incorporated in the present volume. The author is a clever, though not a wise man, and moreover a very skilful describer; tolerably accurate where he speaks of facts from his own knowledge, but imbued with much prejudice when speaking of the people

* No. xiii. Art. x. “ The United States," p. 194.

of the Northern or (as they are more frequently called) Eastern States. Take the work altogether, it is perhaps the best familiar picture that has appeared of that alternately lauded and depreciated portion of the globe inhabited by our Transatlantic brethren. The work of Mrs. Trollope is a caricature, and of course bears a semblance to the reality; but there is much absolute untruth mixed up with it, and its general character is what a note-book of Charles Matthews might be supposed to be. Upon this showing only can the extraordinary sale it has met with be accounted for; but it is a grievous reflection, that an ill-natured squib of such a quality should be so eagerly seized on, to keep up the base contentions whereby two noble nations are made to dislike each other. “ The interests of the two nations perfectly coincide; and the open, and the covert hostilities, with which they plague one another, are the offspring of a bestial antipathy begotten by their original quarrel.”+ But though the facts of M. Murat may in most cases be regarded as correct, his inferences must be received with much caution; for, in addition to being a bad reasoner, he is evidently under the constant operation of prejudices, arising from an innate love of arbitrary power, which he vainly tries to disguise under an affectation of liberality.

The first letter treats of the general division of the Union into the States, and his prejudice at once breaks out, in speaking of the natives of the New England States, who are the class of men especially known by the name of Yankees, though foreigners have generally made that name apply to the whole people of the Union.

* To the reader who is desirous of obtaining accurate notions relative to the United States, divested of the basty, partial, and prejudiced views of tourists and political partizans, we cannot recommend a better work than Mr. Howard Hinton's " History and Topography of the United States of North America,” recently completed in two volumes, 4to., and illustrated with appropriate maps and engravings. It contains by far the most complete and well-digested body of information relative to the North Amé. rican Republic which has yet been offered to the world, written in a style of clearness, and even elegance, not usual in such works. The first volume is entirely dedicated to the History, which is divided into three books, and brought down to the fiftieth year of the Republic (1826.) The second volume embraces, in five books, distributed into convenient chapters, the important subjects of Physical Geography, Natural History, Statistics, State of Society, and Topography. The labour of collecting, classifying, and condensing, withiu a reasonable compass, such a mass of various and scattered materials, must have been immense, and entitles the author to very high praise. Not less commendable is the spirit of impartiality which reigns throughout, equally removed from indiscriminate eulogy on every thing that is American, or from unjust depreciation. + Austin's Lectures on Jurisprudence.

The word Yankee is said to be an additional corruption from the imperfect speech of the Indians in endeavouring to pronounce the word English, which they called Yenguees. In Peru there is a popular tradition that Ynca Manco Capac, the first of the Peruvian dynasty, was, in reality, an Englishman wrecked on the coast, whence came the word Yncas-Man. There was also an existing superstition that the deliverance of Peru from the Spanislı yoke was to be accomplished by a people coming from the west. When the Chileno squadron, commanded and partly manned by Englishmen, went to Peru to make war on the Spaniards, together with the army of San Mar

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