Page images
PDF
EPUB

We are not sure that the instinct of Monaldi was not truer than the logic of the author; at any rate, we are better satisfied of the fact, than we are with the reason given to account for it. But take this description:

the great masters of olden time. We shall not soon, ference in kind. But he needed not this deducforget with what emotion we gazed on them, as we tion of the understanding :—his own lofty impulses may never again; how we looked, with astonish-placed him on surer ground." ment and awe, on the raising of the dead; and with what sense of a holy presence, on the rapt prophet; and with what feeling akin to love, on the twilight beauty of Rosalie. We have been hardly less surprised than pleased at the artist's success in this new sphere. Though his fame "The day had begun sultry, but was now closing, will in no way rest on this, his unusual occupation, after a refreshing shower, with one of those deliit will live to prove the extent and versatility of eious atmospheres known only in the South; 50 his powers. We had known him many years ago, sweet! so bright!—as if the common air had sudas the author of another work, which was, as we denly given place to the humid sighs of answering recollect, a graceful play of fancy. We find him orange groves, and the intermingled breath of enahere more truly a poet; and of a high order, though mored flowers-as if the dripping trees and fields not in his "singing robes." The characters in had actually been flooded by liquid gold from the this tale, modestly so called, are wrought with sun; then the hum of insects, the twittering of great distinctness and effect; the descriptions are birds, and the ceaseless darting of innumerable glowing and life-like; the dialogue most fit and lizards, so filling the ear and eye with sound and happy; and, humble as its pretensions are, there is motion, as if the very ground and air were exalting genius and taste enough displayed in it, to have in life! . . . It was the bay of Naples; a scene made a dozen ordinary novelists. The grouping not to be painted by words-even though its waand contrasts are skilful, and the disposition of the ters were likened to a sea of sapphire, its meanplot consummate. It is a sad tale; but it is a tale of tains to amethysts, and its skirting city to a filet that sadness which attracts human sadness. We of snow; these indeed might give their color, but will only add, that we have been struck with the not the harmony of lines, nor the light and shadow, harmony, as well as with the nice choice of the language-the sentences wearing no appearance of elaboration, but running naturally into a graceful and most various melody.

We cannot analyze it, and we need not commend it further. We prefer to add a few passages, which may have an interest independent of the general structure of the work.

And first, hear how nobly he discourses, in the person of Monaldi, of the artist and of his art:

"He accepted the commission,' (to paint for the pontiff a companion to a Madonna of Rafaelle,) he said, 'not with the arrogant hope of producing a rival to the picture of Rafaelle, but in grateful compliance with the wishes of his patron.' Besides, with a just reverence for his art, he looked upon all competition as unworthy a true artist; nay, he even doubted whether any one could command the powers of his own genius, whilst his mind was under the influence of so vulgar a motive. For what,' he would say, 'is that which you call my genius, but the love and perception of excellence the twin power that incites and directs to successful production? which can never co-exist with the desire to diminish, or even contend with, that in another. It would be rather self-love, than a true love of excellence, did I value it less in Rafaelle than in myself.' He might have added another reason; that competition implying comparison, and comparison a difference only of degree, could not really exist between men of genius; since the individualizing power by which we recognize genius, or the originating faculty, must necessarily mark man's several productions by a dif

nor the dazzling expanse-and never the living. conscious joy, with which they seemed to send ap their shout of praise to the immeasurable depths above. There is a voice in nature ever audible to the heart-which no hardness can shut out-and for its weal or wo, as the heart may be; Maidina heard it now, breaking upon him like a clap of thunder. He instinctively turned from the scene, and looked towards Vesuvius: but even from that he shrank: for the terrible Vesuvius was now smiling in purple, and reposing beneath his pi of smoke as under a gorgeous canopy: the very type of himself-gay and peaceful without, yet restless and racked with fire within."

Read too, this true and simple sketch of the sa relations of insanity:

"If it be hard to part with the dead, and to s one borne to the grave with whom we have been accustomed to associate all our wishes and schemes of happiness, and without whom nothing in L seems capable of imparting enjoyment, there is yet a consolation in the thought, that our grief is on! for our own suffering, since it cannot reach one i whom our loss is a gain. What then must it be to feel this entire revulsion from the living; to know that the object with whom our very soul was mixed. and who is thus parted from our common berg, still walks the same earth, breathes the same and wears the same form: yet lives, as to us, as dead-closed, sealed up from all our thoughts ard sympathies, like to a statue of adamant. Wha must it be to know too that this second self, the callous and impenetrable from without, is ye within, all sense. The partial palsy-death of the

body, is but a faint image of this half-death of the twin-being wife and husband. And Rosalia soon felt it in all its agony."

variety in the kneeling father and his kneeling children; they expressed but one sentiment-adoration; and it seemed to go up as with a single voice. This gave the soul which the spectator felt; but it was one that could not have gone forth

death."

Such passages of just sentiment and beauty are numerous throughout the work. In the delineation of passion, there are scenes awfully terrific and under common daylight, nor ever have pervaded many exquisite pictures of the most subdued and with such emphatic life other than the shadowy delicate emotions. Take a single example which valley, the misty mountain, the mysterious arkcombines description, with the pain of a trusting again floating as it were on a sea of clouds-and heart, that fears it may have been deceived, and the lurid, deep-toned sky, dark, yet bright, which grieves most for the degradation of what it loved: spoke to the imagination of a lost and recovered "It was one of those evenings never to be for-world-once dead, now alive, and pouring out her gotten by a painter-but one which must come first song of praise even from under the pall of upon him in misery as a gorgeous mockery. The sun was yet up, and resting on the highest peak of a ridge of mountain-shaped clouds, that seemed to make a part of the distance; suddenly he disappeared, and the landscape was overspread with a cold lurid hue; then, as if molten in a furnace, the fictitious mountains began to glow; in a moment more they tumbled asunder; in another he was seen again, piercing their fragments, and darting his shafts to the remotest east, till, reaching the horizon, he appeared to recall them, and with a parting flash, to wrap the whole heavens in flame.

But the peculiar excellences of this work can in no way be represented by quotations: they lie rather in the completeness and finish of the successive scenes, the easy and natural development of the characters, and the exquisite taste which presides over the whole, and lets off no point with a slovenly execution, and yet suffers no one to swell to undue dimensions. Cheraw, S. C.

THE RIGHT OF SEARCH.

Monaldi groaned aloud: 'No, thou art nothing to me now, thou glorious sun-nothing. To me thou art dead, buried—and forever-in her darkness; her's, whose own glory once made me [It would be sheer affectation in us to disguise the feelto love thee; who clothed me with a brightnessings of pride and pleasure with which we lay the following even more than thine; who followed me like a spirit, in sleep even, visiting my dreams, as if to fill up the blank of night-to give a continuous splendor to my existence. Oh, idiot, driveller! so to cling to a shadow-a cheat of the senses! What is she to me now? what can she ever be? she that is—that ever was— He could not utter the word. A desolate vacancy now spread over him, and leaning over the bridge, he seemed to lose himself in the deepening gloom of the scene, till the black river, that moved beneath him, appeared almost a part of his mind, and its imageless waters but the visible current of his own dark thoughts."

article from the pen of Lieut. M. F. MAURY, of the U. S. Navy, before his countrymen-assured as we are, that it will strike the proper chord in every American bosom. We freely confess that, in the simplicity of our heart, we had thought the reasoning of the Earl of Aberdeen, in his correspondence with Mr. Stevenson, on the propriety of a mutual right of search, not only plausible, but almost irresistibly conclusive; and the bland and moderate tone of his Lordship served, in no slight degree, to allay any momentary suspicions that may have flitted athwart our mind; but the film is now removed from our eyes, and, thanks to

We will extract but one more passage, and one worthy of the artist. It is a description of an early painting by Monaldi :

[ocr errors]

HARRY BLUFF," we have been made to see, clearly, the the sun never sets, yet, whose appetite for conquest is no designs of that all-grasping nation, on whose empire altho' ncarer satiety now, nor a whit more squeamish, than when Captain Clive outwitted Omichund by a forged treaty, and placed his puppet Meer Jaffier on the throne of Surajah Dowlah. It is in vain to conceal from ourselves that we are on the verge of a Crisis, and we should accustom ourselves, now, to look it in the face. We should not act the part of the silly ostrich, who, in burying her head in the "The subject of the picture was the first sacri-sands of the desert, vainly supposes she has secured herfice of Noah after the subsiding of the waters; a self from the arrows of her pursuers. We have, it is truc, subject of little promise from an ordinary hand, but at the head of our department for foreign affairs, a man of all others perhaps the best suited to exhibit that whose gigantic intellect will favorably compare with that rare union of intense feeling and lofty imagination of any man, of any nation; but even he, will not despise which characterized Monaldi. The composition reputation of the former as a statesman and a diplomatist, consisted of the patriarch and his family at the al-is so familiar to his countrymen, that no production of his, tar, which occupied the foreground; a distant view however able, can create surprise; but when we see a man of Mount Ararat, with the ark resting on its peak, scarcely arrived at the age of thirty-five years, the greater and the intermediate vale. These were scanty part of whose manhood has had its home upon the billow, materials for a picture; but the fulness with which favorable to profound reflection on matters of national conand whose occupation has been, by no means, especially they seemed to distend the spectator's mind, left cernment; when we see such a man, enter the amphithea no room for the thought. There was no dramatic tre of statesmanship, and look proud defiance on the enemies

VOL. VIII-37

such auxiliaries as Gov. CASS and Lieut. MAURY. The

any thing, to sink them into an act of open and direct piracy." The judges of the British and Spanish court refused to allow the Mary even to be libelled in their court, on the ground that the mere fact of her having the American flag hoisted should

of "sailor's rights"-we hail the gallant champion of his country's "Star-Spangled Banner," and with him we "nail it to the mast," come weal, come woe! In conclusion, we most respectfully invite the attention of every genuine American, but more especially, of those to whose guardianship are entrusted the national honor and safety, to the lucid and unanswerable argument set forth in the follow-have protected her from visitation and search by a ing essay.]-Ed. Sou. Lit. Messenger.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

British cruiser. And our Minister takes the same grounds, and also insists that her flag should so have protected her, for she was an American vessel. The reparation obtained in this case, is a full justification of the officer, accompanied by pretensions on the part of Great Britain of the most extraordinary, dangerous and alarming character, being nothing more nor less than a proposition to blot out from the law of nations, the most precious rights of neu trality, and to constitute herself the HIGH CONSTABLE OF THE SEAS!

In her graspings after the departing Trident, her Secretary informs the American Envoy, "That her Majesty's government have decided, that the "flag of the United States, shall exempt no vessel from search by her Majesty's cruisers in the African seas, un"less such vessel shall be found provided with papers (and they are to search for these of course) entitling her to the "protection of the flag she wears, and proving her to be U. "States property, and navigating the ocean according to law."

In 1840-'41, the American Minister, near the Court of St. James, complained to her Britannic Majesty's Government, of the detention, search, and ill-treatment, by her Majesty's armed cruisers," of the American vessels, the Douglass, Iago, Hero, and Mary. The Douglass was boarded in October, 1839; her hatches were broken open, and a prize crew sent on board, who kept possession of her eight days; they consumed her provisions without What law? Why the law to be enacted, to be pay, and so maltreated her crew, that three of them sure, by the Christian League; from which France died in consequence. (We take the American has happily receded, and of which Great Britain is statement of the case on the oath of respectable the lion-hearted chief. And who shall be the judge? citizens, in preference to the mere assertion of The noble Lord significantly tells us: Her Majesan English Lieutenant, who had to make out a ty's armed cruisers. But hear him: clear case, or lose his commission.) But, notwithstanding the statement of Lieut. Seagram in his "the cruiser whose duty it is to ascertain this fact, shall own justification, Lord Palmerston admits, that the "board the vessel, or unless the master of the merchant"man shall bring his papers on board the cruiser; and this act of this British officer, in detaining the Doug-"examination of papers of merchantmen suspected of belass, was, in the abstract, irregular; yet the impres-"ing engaged in the slave trade, even though they may hoist sion under which he did it, and the motives which" an United States flag, is a proceeding which it is abse prompted him to do it, exempt him from any just blame. And that is the satisfaction given by the British government, in this case.

The Iago, also, was detained by Lieut. Seagram, and a watch and chronometer stolen from her by

his men.

The cargo of the Hero was damaged during her search by the British cruiser, Lynx. The indemnity awarded in these two cases of spoliation, is contained in the expression of a doubt by Lord Palmerston, whether "any wilful damage was done to the cargo of either of the two vessels in question, by the crews of the detaining ships."

"But this fact cannot be ascertained unless an officer of

"lutely necessary [the words here and elsewhere are italici sed by me] that British cruisers employed in the suppres"sion of the slave trade, should continue to practice."

and

This is the first occasion, in the eventful history of the maritime code, that the right to search the vessels of friends in times of profound peace, has ever been set up by any nation, people or tongue. It is at variance with the uniform practice of every civilized and christian nation in the round world; it is in violation of the principles expressly laid down by all writers upon the international code; it is directly in the teeth of the expounders themaA most flagrant and daring outrage was com- selves of British rights and British law. In the mitted upon the Mary by the British armed crui-case of a French vessel seized upon the coast of ser Forester and, Mr. Stevenson, upon informa- Africa, and brought before the English court of tion furnished by an American Consul, prefers a Admiralty, in 1817, Sir William Scott-(Lord claim for indemnity to the owner of the Mary, and Stowell) held this language: is further authorised by his government to ask for "I can find no authority that gives the right of interrup the exemplary punishment of the English Com-"tion to the navigation of states upon the high seas, except "that which the right of war gives to belligerents against new mander, and of those concerned with him in his "trals. No nation can exercise the right of visitation and proceedings against this vessel-proceedings which "search upon the common and unappropriated parts of the our Minister pronounced, to "want very little, if Ocean, except upon the belligerent claim." And still

more emphatic: “No nation has the right to force their | of its liability to abuse; and of the great interests way for the liberation of Africa, by trampling upon the to be reached through it. For these reasons, it is “independence of other States, on the pretence of an emi-viewed by all nations with extreme jealousy; so "nent good, by means that are unlawful, or to press for"ward to a great principle by breaking through other great "principles that are in the way."

And our own Kent!

No nation has a right, in time of peace, to interfere

"with, or interrupt, any commerce which is lawful by the "law of nations, and carried on between other indepen"dent powers!"

much so, that the sister States of this confederacy

dare not trust each other with it. Would an officer of New-York, in the execution of New-York law, be permitted to put so much even as his foot upon Virginia soil? Or would Virginia grant New York the right to send him? The mere attempt of any one of the States, to enforce her laws upon the territory of her neighbor, would lead to the shedding of blood, if not to a dissolution of the Union. Nay, we have seen sister States of this confederacy, actually arrayed in arms against each other for this very cause. Can it be safe then, for these States collectively, to grant to a foreign and rival power, rights and privileges, with which, as individuals, they dare not trust each other? It is not safe to trust others with any of our rights of sover

In 1839, it was proposed in Parliament to authorise British cruisers to visit, detain, and examine the papers of, American vessels on the high seas. The Duke of Wellington then said in his place : "The clause in question makes it lawful to detain any "vessels whatever, on suspicion, on the high seas, and de"mand their papers; and the persons exercising such author"ity are moreover indemnified for all the consequences. Is it "intended that the vessels of any power in Europe may be "searched and afterwards allowed to proceed on their voy-eignty whatever; and, with such a jealous eye have age, whether we have treaties with those powers or not?

"Such a law would be a perfect novelty in the legislation "of this country, and the House ought to well pause before they adopt it."

And a few weeks after, when this subject came up again, he remarked with great pointedness:

papers;

they been regarded in our Republican circle, that even one of the American States cannot of right extend her jurisdiction over the soil of another, upon Yet Great Britain deany pretence whatever. mands us to yield to the arbitrary exercise of her cruisers, the right, not only to visit and make "It is well known that with the U. States we have no "convention; there are indeed engagements made by diploour merchantmen―the injured party!-prove that "matic notes, but nothing to show the least disposition on they are Americans, and proceeding according "their part to permit the right of detention and the search of to law; but she extends her pretensions still farand, if there be one point more to be avoided than ther, and claims it as to all vessels;-by which "another, it is that relating to the visitation of vessels belonging she includes men-of-war also. I have strange"to the Union. I warn government not to proceed, but raly misconceived the character of American sea"ther to issue an order in council, or a declaration of war." men, and the spirit of my brother-officers, if Upon this hint, his government proceeded to there be one, in the whole Navy, who would quiback herself in quintuple alliance, by the great ma- etly brook the visit of a British officer to examine ritime powers of Europe. She used great exer- into his character, or tamely submit to have his tions, it was officially announced, to effect this crew mustered. It would be quite as safe for those Christian Alliance; and after having succeeded, on board ship, to allow Midshipmen to sky-lark as she thought, she comes forward with renewed with fire-brands in the magazine, as it would be for pretensions, and prefers, not in her own behalf in- this country, to grant Great Britain this right of deed, but in the name of this devout Christian visitation to American ships on the Ocean. It is a League,'' of the States of Christendom, as Lord claim that is not lightly set up; and we should Aberdeen loves to style them, this benevolent show to the 'States of Christendom,' that we are request a request, which, if granted, would have renewed all the horrors of impressment; and in something more than diplomatic bulletins. not only resolved, but prepared to resist it with one month, would have plunged this country in These high-handed pretensions were rebuked in war with the whole of Europe. We are ask-the true spirit by our Minister; he met them in ed to delegate to an ambitious and grasping limine, and opposed them like an American, as he people, the right of jurisdiction upon American has shown himself to be, upon the true principles. soil; for in law, the vessels of any nation are a He took the broad grounds, that these United part of her soil. This is a right of the most deli-States, so long as they hold sacred, as they ever cate nature—because of its dangerous tendency; have done, and, by the grace of God, ever will do* States of Christendom. England, Bavaria, Prussia, their national honor and the rights of neutrality,Austria, and Russia: these being the only contracting par- so long as they value their commercial welfare and ties to the Quintuple Alliance, the American people will be their maritime rights-and so long as they have a pained to learn that Lord Aberdeen has not only discovered decent respect for the opinions of the world, or a Shibboleth by which England is to try all vessels that any regard for their republican dignity and national attempt the passage of the seas; but that he has ruled us and all other church-going nations, except the righteous independence, never can nor never will submit to five, out of the pale of Christianity, simply because we such an innovation upon the rights of their citizens. will not 'lap with the tongue like a dog.' He denied to Great Britain, and to every other pow

[ocr errors]

er, any right to visit our vessels on the high seas in | straction, only a little worse than a practical absurtimes of profound peace, or to look behind the Ame-dity. Hence, when this correspondence first арrican flag for proof of their nationality. He insis-peared, it was wittily remarked that the American ted, in effect, that the doctrines of 'free trade and Minister had thrown a Parthian dart; and had left, sailors' rights' of which the universal law of nations by way of a diplomatic legacy, a wound, which his is the expounder, and Republican America the successor at the Court of St. James, would find champion, should not be violated; but, that they difficult of cure. Even the partisan press gave should be left undisturbed in those wholesome ope- the Minister but a feeble support. His corresponrations which they had acquired from the last war. dence was assailed in an elaborate article published The rejoinders, both of Palmerston and Aber-in the Boston papers, and copied extensively inte deen, are in keeping with the designs of their go- others, siding with the English view of the quesvernment upon the freedom of the seas. They are tion. Very feeble, if any, defence was made; and of grave import; and convey to the mind, more it was not until Gov. Cass' pamphlet, mentioned at than meets the eye of casual observers. Here the head of this article, was received, that the they are; let the reader reflect and judge for him- eyes of the press and the people were fairly openself: ed to the enormity of the claim set forth. Never was a shaft sped with an aim more truly American. That Ocean-giant claims the right to examine all, in order to ascertain what ships are not American. Had this right been granted, strangulation, on every sea, awaited our commerce.

"The undersigned is bound in duty frankly to declare to Mr. Stevenson, that to such a doctrine, the British government never could or would subscribe. The cruisers employed by her Majesty's government for the suppression of the slave trade, must ascertain by inspection of papers, the nationality of vessels met with by them, under circumstances which justify a suspicion that such vessels are engaged in slave trade." PALMERSTON.

"But the undersigned must observe, that the present happy concurrence of the States of Christendom in this great object, (the suppression of the slave trade,) not merely justifies, but renders indispensable, the right now claimed and exercised by the British government."

ABERDEEN.

I am limited in my remarks to space by the Editor, and to time by the Compositor; and have therefore stated as briefly as I well know how, the extraordinary pretensions which have been suddenly started up, and which our Ministers abroad met, and opposed with so much promptness and decision of character.

My Lords Palmerston and Aberdeen broached this new doctrine touching the police of the seas, in a manner, which, for the most part, threw our people at home off their guard. We abandon, say they, the right of searching American vessels-after they have proven themselves to be such. All that we ask now, is, that you will give us the right to go on board simply to see if the vessel hoisting the American flag, be entitled to wear it-for if you will not allow us to look behind a mere piece of bunting, with the American colors and emblems upon it, the American flag will be used by every Pirate and Spanish slaver that sails the Ocean, and by every English vessel of illicit traffic on the water, to protect them from British cruisers. Peaceably surrender to us this right of visitation, and we will assist you to protect your own flag, by preventing its abuse by others.

The question has been frequently asked,—If we deny to Great Britain the right to look behind our and man-stealers of every nation for they have flag, are we not, in effect, protecting the pirates only to hoist the American flag, to make sure their escape from British cruisers. With the immunity claimed by our Minister, might not British vessels and British capital, as Lord Aberdeen says, carry on before the eyes of British officers, the detestable slave trade, merely because such vessels should have the audacity to commit an additional offence, by fraudulently usurping the American flag? And would not the stars and stripes be prostituted to all the nefarious practices of the sea?

These apparently are practical difficulties, which have presented themselves to the minds of plain, straight forward men; for such questions have been asked of Navy officers, over and over again.

·

It is for the purpose of meeting these ques tions; of satisfying those who ask them, that we have all the right on our side; of shewing the tendency of the British pretensions; and of explaining the practical operation of American principles upon the police of the seas, that I have opened the Lucky Bag' again, which as I told you before, is like the witches' cauldron-containing a little of every thing. Moreover, I have myself, used the sea for many years, have sailed the world around, and boarded vessels in all Latitudes; and therefore. may claim to speak somewhat from experience.

It is a standing order in the Navy, that our men-of-war shall board no merchantmen except This appeal was all reasonable enough to many American and those wearing the American flag. of our honest-hearted citizens; for the manner in This order has been in force since the war; it has which the American flag, in the absence of any been repeated, issued and re-issued over and over armed force, had been abused a few years ago on again, until it was considered supererogatory to the coast of Africa, was fresh in the minds of the remind officers of it, having acquired by usage people; and plain men-at least many of them- all the force of law. When Commodore Porter, considered the denial of this right a kind of ab-'in 1822-3 was sent out with his Musquito fleet

« PreviousContinue »