Page images

Such phenomena are contrary to the laws of history ; they do not occur in human society. A few drivers at the South must be cracking the slave-whip over the masses. Here, we find hope for the reëstablishment of the Republic. But arms must accomplish the work. Defiant traitors are to be, not negotiated with, but conquered. Law, trampled on, must be reassered and maintained. Any compromise must be an offence to the justice, the honor, and the life of the country. Trusting in God, the loyal armies must conquer or die.

Next, it is obvious that slavery, so far as it is brought forward as the accessory of rebellion, must be smitten : so far as arrayed in opposition to the government, in whatever available way, it must be destroyed. The safety of the Republic is the supreme law; and the result will be in accordance with the known, and generally acknowledged views of the founders of the national Constitution.

And, when the war shall be successfully finished, and arms shall have battered down the intrenchments of error and injustice, then must follow the grand agencies of peace and fraternity. Schools will be established, as at the North, for the masses of the poor whites; churches will be built for the spiritually ignorant; the Africans, coming under the inspirations of freedom, will be introduced to some ameliorated condition ; and all the appliances of Republican civilization will be provided to secure the rights, the enlightenment, and happiness of the people.

To these results, quite impossible in time of continued peace, war will powerfully conduce. Aristocracy does not easily comprehend the genius of democratic society; and, in its ignorance, ordinarily despises it; but it readily understands military prowess. The capture of Louisburg, by the valor of Massachusetts troops, first awakened English aristocracy to the spirit and power of that colony. The war of the Revolution commanded for democracy the respect of Europe. The conflict of 1812 gave the United States an acknowledged navy; and the conquest of Mexico filled the world with the fame of our arms. Aristocratic States governed by feudal ideas, and trained to arms, must be first addressed by military exploits. Then, and only then, is the way opened to pour in upon them the influence of the peaceful forms and agencies of society. When the deinocratic North shall have addressed the aristocratic South in this voice, and with somewhat of the Cromwellian emphasis, she will immediately find ears to hear; and the mighty civilizing and Christianizing institutions established by the Puritan fathers will act with new power, to elevate and bless that benighted part of the land. We would not have sought for ourselves this wicked rebellion and the stupendous war issuing from it ; nevertheless, we rejoice in them, as the behest of infinite wisdom and love, to this erring land. We accept them as a heavenly call to a higher stage of life, to new self-sacrifice and to new achievements for God and mankind. The loyal must be faithful, and leave results with God. In the words of Sir Henry Vane, once Governor of Massachusetts, uttered shortly before giving up his life, on the scaffold, for the very principles involved in this conflict : “Have faith and hope. God's arm is not shortened. Doubtless great and precious promises are in store to be accomplished in, and upon, believers here on earth, to the making of Christ admired in them. This dark night and black shade which God hath drawn over his work in the midst of Us may be, for aught we know, the ground-color to some beautiful diece that he is now exposing to the light.

The “ beautiful piece” that, even now, may be rising to the view of other spectators, from the dark ground-color of our present troubles, we trust erelong to behold, reflecting forth the Infinite glory, and causing Christ to be exalted and admired, in the elevated character and increased prosperity of the united and restored land.



If many books could make us wise, nothing would remain to be told concerning London. Yet if it be true, as often said, that the Great Metropolis is a world in itself, may it not be that some of its wonders are still to be explored ? Its palaces and parks and cathedrals and bridges and shipping, of these travellers without number have written and discoursed, so that you know all that it is possible for you to know, till you

shall go and see them for yourself. We propose to speak of what is hid, for the most part, from the transient visitor, the internal character of the Great Metropolis, its forms of social life. The successful portraiture of these demands a longer stay than accords with the objects for which our countrymen are accustomed to visit the father-land; yet it is of these, rather than of the statistics of wealth, the glories of architecture, and the glitter of royal processions, that we are chiefly desirous to hear.

It belongs to the true idea of a world that it should have its deserts as well as its gardens of flowers, its solitudes as well as its social centres. The peculiarity of the world of London in this respect is the blending of the two-their elements not only mingled and intertwined, but identical. Nowhere else do you find yourself in contact with so dense and huge a mass of living souls as in the thronged thoroughfares of that mighty city; and nowhere else does your heart sink within you under such a sense of indescribable, dreary, awful solitude. Standing alone in the deep recesses of the wildest and dreariest North American forest is as the sunlight and sweet interchange of home in comparison. It is the utter extinction of all feeling of fellowship in the very midst of such a mass of human beings as you never saw anywhere else, caught up by one of its incessant counter-currents, and moved along, whether you will or no, as

, by a strong tide; and strangest of all, the sense of solitude seems just in proportion to the largeness of the company.

We do not believe it is possible to convey in a description the true idea of the every-day crowd of London streets. Everybody has seen a crowd, but a London crowd can be seen only in London. It is not the light, airy, laughing crowd of a holiday, such as you might be almost squeezed to death in on Washington Street or Broadway, when some great pageant was passing by. It is the heavy, solemn tread of the dense ranks in the daily struggle of life's rough battle ; all ages, sexes, castes, trades, professions, conditions, shoulder to shoulder closely commingled, - mechanics, artisans, laborers, porters, scavengers, chimney-sweeps, tidy merchants and dapper clerks, scarlet soldiers and liveried postmen, handsome women and blue-eyed girls, sturdy, impudent beggars, and silent, starving poor, orange women and cats’-meat men, manly vigor and beauty, and palsied, withering feebleness, — the lame, the halt, the blind; all in double counter-columns, flanking such a procession of vehicles as mortal man never saw before, rolling over pavements as solid as the foundations of a mountain : — think

of all this, if you can, pouring, pouring evermore, through streets overlooked by high houses dark with age and smoke, and public buildings wlose most impressive feature is their unequalled massiveness, with that slow stateliness which is the uniform characteristic of all dense crowds, and you will have some conception of what London is, in all its great thoroughfares, through every hour of every day. When you have lived there for years, and seen whatever is best worth seeing, you will still say that this is the most wonderful, affecting thing of all, this living diorama of every day, and this utter, awful solitude in a great sea of human souls.

The social life of London is in beautiful and most refreshing contrast with the solitude of its crowded streets, — a bright oasis in that great desert of human sympathies. Nowhere else in England is social life so delightful as in London. This is what you would expect

from the nature of the case. For it is not to the stranger alone that the streets of London are a dreary solitude. They are scarcely less so to the Londoner himself. How is it possible for a man to know his neighbors, or to feel the smallest interest in their concerns, when an entire nation of almost three millions is crowded together in one vast town? The man whose parlor is separated from your own only by a thin partition-wall, through which, as you sit by your evening fire, you hear his children's laughter and songs, is as much a stranger to you as a citizen of Pekin. His character, his profession, his pursuits, his very name remains unknown to you, unless you take the trouble to look for it in the Directory.

An amusing illustration (always excepting the sufferers) of this complete social isolation in London, is supplied in an ingenious kind of robbery which is not very unfrequently perpetrated. Your next-door neighbor has taken his family and


servants at midsummer to spend a month at the sea-side. Half a dozen London thieves of special enterprise and daring, being aware of the fact, dress themselves up as carmen and upholsterers, and come, in the broad daylight, with spring vans, matting,

, &c., enter the house with skeleton keys, pack up all the furniture, working to the measure of some merry song it may be, load it leisurely and with observed carefulness, and drive slowly away. The occupants of the houses around, knowing nothing of their absent neighbor, very naturally suppose that he is changing his residence and has sent for his goods. At the close of the month the gentleman comes back with his family, and, to his no small consternation, finds his house empty throughout, if not swept and garnished. He is too wise to spend the first shilling in attempting to trace what is as hopelessly lost to him, as if it was at the bottom of the Bay of Biscay.

Your house is in good sooth your castle. Once fairly admitted and the door bolted after you, you are utterly dead to the world without, because it is a world. The incessant throng of passers-by may be all honest men, or they may be thieves and robbers. To discriminate the one from the other, or to feel any particular interest in the case, is alike impossible. Your world is within your castle. And your heart, not chilled nor contracted, but debarred, by the nature of the case, from all but the most general sympathy abroad, expands into a warmer glow at home. This is the actual character of the homes of London. They are preëminently genial and warm and delightful, even for England. There is nothing cold or stiff or reserved. Nothing of city pride and pretension. The Londoners are singularly free from all that. The wives and daughters of the merchant who lives at the West End may assume lofty airs when they meet their old friends who abide still in the neighborhood of the Bank and the Royal Exchange ; but you never find an Englishman pluming himself on the fact that he lives in London. Perhaps it is because London is so large that its people have outgrown so childish a feeling. Or it may be that the universal passion of the English for green fields and hedge-rows and singing birds inclines the pent-up Londoners to envy those who dwell amid the glories of the country. Or is it

« PreviousContinue »