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Question. "Very extraordinary indeed, sir, that you should come here as witness for the petitioner, and acknowledge this?"
Mr. Elliot."Not at all, sir; it is quite in the regular course; too true for me or any one else to deny or conceal it."
Question. "Pray, then, sir, how came you not to succeed ?" Mr. Elliot. "The other party out-bribed us, sir."
In this country, the candidates are too poor to distribute money but it is a practice, far too common, to distribute whiskey to the rabble, and accept without scruple the votes thus disgracefully obtained.
In that country, it is notorious that from three-fourths to fourfifths of all the members of the House of Commons are put in by great landholders, by government influence, by boroughpurchase, or by direct, open, unconcealed bribery. Four-fifths of all the voters in the kingdom are either commanded like slaves, or paid to vote as others direct. They are no more represented, so far as their own wills and inclinations are concerned, than the coach-horses of the sitting member. Not only all the great landholders exercise a despotic control over the votes of their tenantry, but all the great manufacturers do the same over the operatives they employ. The fact is so notorious, so undeniable, that we shall take for granted, that not one reader of this review will be hardy enough to deny that the whole system of British suffrage and parliamentary election, is a system of barefaced bribery and corruption; so much so, that in the valuation of landed property in a reported case, Lord Thurlow took into consideration the borough interest attached to it.
Persons employed by the wealthy, and who are themselves poor, and dependent on such employment, will be apt to vote as their employers direct. Their vote, in such a case, is not their own they enjoy a nominal right only-a right really exercised under the command of their masters or employers. At the last election for President, was not General Jackson opposed by northern manufacturers, who, to ensure the votes of their operatives, had the candidates' names printed on calico? Persons who are thus dependent, ought not to be permitted the exercise of a privilege which they possess only in name, and which others can so extensively and so effectually control. Allow it, and the effect will be not to promote the influence or increase the privileges of the poor, but to add enormously to the power of the rich and powerful. Hence in England, the Duke of Richmond's plan of universal suffrage has never been countenanced by the friends of the people: the advocates of
parliamentary reform in that country, see the evil and dread it; they go no further than to give the right of voting to householders paying scot and lot; that is, to persons who have a fixed stake and habitation in the country, and who, by the payment of taxes for its protection, contribute to the public revenue. What hold has any State of our United States upon an unmarried operative, whose whole property is upon his back or in his bundle; who has no local permanent attachments, who is a mere sojourner among us, a passenger, here to-day and gone to-morrow? For such a man, just out of his boyhood, to talk of his right to vote away the property that his neighbour has spent a long and laborious life in earning, appears to us the extreme of ignorance as well as presumption. To urge his right of voting, as necessary to the public good, can be urged only by those who are too infatuated with theory to care for facts.
Moreover, in a populous and thickly settled country such as England is, and ours may be in half a century, the great majority of the people will inevitably consist of the ignorant and the needy. Granting Messrs. Stanley and R. D. Owen's plan of making every person, without exception, male and female, an excellent agriculturist, gardener, mechanic, chemist, astronomer, natural philosopher, classic scholar and philologist, with a smattering of anatomy, physiology and therapeutics, by no means forgetting drawing and dancing, success to the full extent of their desires, there must still be a numerous class of labourers and workers; of citizens, not quite so rich as to be fully contented with the produce of their daily industry; there must be a class of comparative poor in the state; there must be among the inhabitants, as there must be every where, men, whose daily labour brings them no more than their daily sustenance. In arguing upon what is practical, and practicable according to the best lights of past experience, we have no right, in the present state of things, to calculate that the millennium will take place a year or two hence. We must reason from known and long-tried facts in cases and in countries that have a direct bearing on the question now under discussion. We must assume that to be probable here, which, in like case, has been matter of fact at all times elsewhere.
We say then, that in a populous country, where the mass of inhabitants must, of necessity, be classed among the comparative poor, the political power and influence of the state, under a system of universal suffrage, will be, sooner or later, and within no very long period, thrown into the hands of the operatives, mechanics and labouring classes, the men of no property, to the exclusion
of the men who possess property. This event is now exultingly expected by the mechanic meetings of New-York and Philadelphia; every number of the "Free Enquirer," the "Daily Sentinel," the "Mechanics' Free Press," supported by about ten others in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Albany, Troy, Utica and Delaware, teems with it. Will not the representatives of these men, who are thus put in possession of the power of the country, use it for the benefit of their constituents, and be tempted or instructed, gradually to legislate the property of the wealthy into the pockets of the needy? Who shall set bounds to power against the interest and the inclination of its possessor? Who will venture to prescribe limits to intrusted authority, who has witnessed the bold, unprincipled, unsparing rapacity of the "American System," and its advocates? Who can say that a Congress-majority will scruple for an instant to transfer into their own coffers the hard earnings of a minority, even to the utter impoverishment of whole States? Is there a southern man who can have the slightest hesitation to coincide in this statement? But if a majority of our national representatives can act systematically for seven years together on this system of open, undisguised plunder, what are we to expect from the representatives of the most ignorant and the most needy class of the people, who have every thing to tempt, and little to restrain them? When the property of the wealthy becomes an object of welcome legislation to the representatives of the poor, who shall say to them, "thus far shall ye go, and no farther?" What will be held sacred but their own interest, when all power of legislation shall be placed in their hands?
We have cited one extract from the speech of John Randolph of Roanoke, in the Virginia Convention, November 11, 1829; we beg our readers will duly weigh the suggestions in the following extract of the same speech :
"Why, sir, the richest man of Virginia, be that man who he may, would make a good bargain to make you a present of his estate, provided you give him bond upon that estate, to allow him to tax it as he pleases, and to spend the money as he pleases. It is of the very essence of property that none shall tax it but the owner himself, or one who has a common feeling and interest with him. It does not require a plain planter to tell an assembly like this, more than half of whose members are gentlemen of the law, that no man may set his foot on your land without your permission, but as a trespasser; and that he renders himself liable to an action for damages. This is of the very essence of property. But, he says, thank you for nothing. With all my heart: I do not mean to set my foot on your land: but not owning one foot of land myself, I will stand here in the highway, which is as free to me as it is to you, and I will tax your land not to your heart's content, but to mine ;
and I will spend the produce as I please. I cannot enter upon it myself, but I will send the sheriff of the county, and he shall enter upon it, and do for my benefit what I cannot do in my own person. Sir, is this to be endured? No, it is not to be endured.'
But if the entering wedge of a national education, as proposed by the editors of the "Free Enquirer" and "Daily Sentinel" of New-York, and their numerous affiliated papers and associations, be adopted, then will the body of the giant follow his foot-hold, and the Agrarian system of Messrs. Skidmore and Co. with an equal division of property, will gradually come into play. We have no objection to give credit to these writers for meaning well, according to their notions of what is likely to promote the good of the public. We believe that Messrs. Andrews, Stanley & Co. and Mr. R. D. Owen and Miss Frances Wright have no present connexion with Skidmore and the Agrarian division of modern reformers; but the obvious tendency of the more moderate proposal is toward the Agrarian system. This last is the outline of the plan which universal suffrage and national education, as recently proposed, is to fill up. When the education part is in full vigour, then will the plan of Skidmore be viewed with too much pleasure to be abandoned.
To the men of property in these United States, and to those who are willing to acquire it by industry and frugality, and not by participation of this unjust scheme, we say that they ought not to sleep over the danger :
Principiis obsta: serò medicina paratur,
The newspapers and societies of the working-men's party, are daily increasing and gathering strength; their advocates are respectable for their talents, and formidable for their activity; the proposals they advance and defend, are, to the last degree, tempting to the persons who, having no property of their own, look with an eye of cupidity on the wealth of those who possess it; and we say, without hesitation, the wealth of the wealthy is in danger.
ART. II.-Histoire de la Literature Grecque profane depuis son origine jusqu'à la prise de Constantinople par les Turcs. 2me edition. Par M. SCHOELL. Paris. 1823-25. 8 vols.
THE early history of Greece is obscure, and depends principally on analogical presumptions.* Its population passed from Asia to Thrace. The foreign hordes who first settled that country, appear to have been called Pelasgi; they were followed (1550 B. C.?) by the Caucasian Hellenes, who were, most probably, related to their precursors, and who (1300 B. C.?) got the better of the Pelasgi, and extended their numerous tribes over the country; as the Dorians and Æolians in the North, and the Achæans and Ionians in the South. At the same time, many civilized strangers settled themselves in various sections of the same country, and introduced the first principles of social order, which were gradually improved and elevated into customs, and laws, and manners. Such were the effects produced by the Egyptian Cecrops (1500 B. C.?) in Attica; by the Pelasgic-Egyptian Danaus (1500 B. C. ?) in Argos; by the Phonician Cadmus (1500 B. C.) in Bæotia; and by the Phrygian Pelops (after 1400 B. C. ?) in the Peloponnesus.
In all these various districts, religion appears to have been the basis of their original culture. We find in Thrace the most ancient traces of religious institutions-oracles, mysteries, and priestly poetry; thence they were derived to Thessaly and Boeotia. These religious feelings, kept alive by the meetings of the Amphyctions, by festivals and games, and by the equal respect of the various tribes of Greece for the national creed as set forth in physical, historical and philosophical fictions, together with the natural tie of a common language, produced union and alliances among the Hellenes. But despite this influence of religion, the spirit of the age, the love of war, separation and contest prevented the growth of any exclusive respect for the priesthood, while the daily necessities of the people secured precedence to the heroes, who accepted only counsel and advice from the ministers of religion, without bowing to them in pious submission. This circumstance, in which these Greek nations materially differed from the Asiatic nations, may be considered as the foundation of the national liberty of the Greeks, and the first cause of their superiority of mind. Kings stood at the head of small social circles, and united the dignity
* Comp. J. A. Fabricii biblioth: Græc: with the ancient Greek classics.