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smuggler; the wrecker; the poacher; of the white boy, and the peep of day boy; of the Luddite, and of the frame breaker. We think we can give our readers a sketch from the state of society in England, which will compare tolerably well with that of the westernmost county in the valley of the Mississippi. We quote it from the Annual Register of 1818, which we have opened merely as the volume nearest at hand.
"On Friday night, the 6th of Nov. 1818, a most desperate gang of poachers, about twenty in number, known by the name of the Bedfordshire Poachers, or Robin Hood's gang, headed by a farmer named Field, of New Inn, near Silsoe, who called himself Robin Hood, attacked the woods and estate of Joseph Latour, Esq. of Hixton near Hitchin. The gamekeeper, Dalby, and his assistant Godfrey, on finding Field and his companions advancing near them, concealed themselves in a hedge. The gang, however, crossing the hedge near the spot, discovered them; when without any attack or provocation whatever, on the part of the keepers, they formed a line around them, when four or five of the party most cruelly beat them, leaving them for dead. Field held his dog by the ear, while it licked the blood from the head of Godfrey. Much credit is due to Mr Latour, for his spirited exertions in sending immediately to Bow street for assistance, when an active officer of the name of Holyland was sent down, who soon ascertained that the gang consisted of at least forty men with Field at their head, and'
And what, think you, gentle reader? Perhaps that the county was up in arms to detect them? No. Perhaps that like our rowdies, regulators, &c. they are confined to remote, thinly settled districts? No. Perhaps that it was a combination of vagabonds and paupers against the rich? Oh, no. The Annual Register completes the sentence, which we have broken off, by saying, that this gang of forty fellows, was found to be encouraged by a number of GENTLEMEN and farmers.' But let us see a little more of these gentry; for England, ye must wot, being an exceedingly well governed, well administered kingdom, and having the advantage of a national religion, of yew trees, of pensive cypresses, and monumental records, must needs afford valuable lessons to this land of godless rowdies. Where then did the officers of justice, sent to apprehend Robin Hood's gang of forty, encouraged by Gentlemen and farmers, find him? In the heart of one of the most populous counties in England, of course; that was the field of their exploits; but instead of lurking in the forests
under the cover of night, they did the thing genteely. 'Holyland proceeded to apprehend Field, as the ringleader, in doing which he was exposed to great danger, as he found him at a public house, surrounded by twenty of his colleagues, who had pledged themselves to die to a man, rather than suffer Field to be taken.' He was finally taken sword in hand. The Annual Register concludes, this gang has been for some time a terror to the whole neighborhood, and Field has frequently given notice to the gentleman, whose park he was going to attack. Some idea may be formed of the depredations committed by Field's gang, when it is pretty correctly ascertained, that Field has paid from £60 to £70 a week to his men, and employed a cart to convey away the plunder.' Perhaps when the Quarterly Reviewer writes another article on America, he will not say the rowdies are a description of gentlemen quite new to us.'
But we are weary of these travellers and their critics. This calling of hard names and saying harsh things is not a work we are used to, nor one in which we take pleasure. Every body sees how easy it would be to draw the most frightful pictures of English society, and more than retaliate all that even their imaginations can devise against us. We engage, out of authentic English works, to find a parallel for every tale of barbarity, vice, and misery, which can be collected from the most faithless and gossiping traveller in this country. As American citizens, we have had provocation enough, and temptation enough to do this. The unprincipled character of most of the English travellers in this country would fully authorise it. The tone of their leading journals calls for it; and it would very naturally, under these circumstances, contribute to the popularity of ours, to maintain the cause of our country. But we have chosen to do that, as far as we can, in other ways; and have left this work to those who like it better. We do not remember having, before now, directly noticed any of these travelling libellers, nor have we formally retorted upon the Quarterly Review, in that strain, which it has thought proper to adopt toward this country. Henceforward we are ready to pursue a somewhat different course, and we invite our worthy colleague beyond the ocean, to reconsider the expediency of forcing us into it. Though we will not use his weapons, and first commend and then
quote the wretches like Faux, who from every quarter of Europe infest England, and return to vent their spleen in German and French, yet from English works of standard authority, we will read him such a lesson, as shall teach him either to be silent as to this country, or to change his tone.
For his country, the country of our fathers, we entertain the tenderest sentiments of respect and veneration. The memory of the great and good men, the countrymen of our ancestors, is dear to us in the next degree to that of those, whom we honor and love at home. In the English constitution we see some things, in the state of society and condition of the arts in England, we see much to admire and to emulate. We also see monstrous defects, enormous contrasts, institutions most pernicious, customs and practices corrupt beyond the example of imperial Rome, and an excess of private profligacy, in proportion to the excess of wealth and the vehemence of temptation. There exists in England a maturity of vice as unquestioned as the maturity in wealth and art; and there are enormities of no unfrequent occurrence in that country, as far beyond the measure of vice in America, as the Duke of Bedford's income is beyond that of our richest landed proprietors. From this indubitable state of things, it is plain, that it merits a little hesitation, on the part of our colleague of the Quarterly, whether he will pursue this contest; and provoke the exposition of the abuses in his country by presses, beyond the reach of the Bridge street Association.' It merits consideration whether he will do all, that can be done by a literary journal of commanding influence, to turn into bitterness the last drop of good will toward England, that exists in this country.
He sees in Faux's book itself that England has too many and too partial friends here. The number, it is true, is daily growing less. What our political feuds could not do is rapidly doing, by publications like the Quarterly Review; and it is matter of notoriety, that the feelings entertained in this country toward England are less friendly now, than in the hottest of the late war. This alienation has been mainly effected by this very journal. For the purpose originally of discouraging emigration,a policy very unsound in itself, for why keep shut up in your empire a crowded, starving, rioting, maddening populationsome writers in this Journal undertook to vilify America. Next,
out of hatred to the radical emigrants, who flocked hither, and some of whom made favorable report of the land, they set themselves still more sternly to defame it. The habit thus formed has gained strength by indulgence till it now amounts, as is seen in this review of Faux, to perfect insanity. Its supposed writer is an aged man bowed with years and with infirmities, and very shortly must appear at a higher tribunal than that even of an indignant nation, to give an account of the use he has made of the talents put into his hands. We despise cant on all occasions; but we protest that we think more solemnly than he appears to do of literary responsibility. Wantonly to defame an individual, or stimulate neighbors to a quarrel, would be thought a crime of no ordinary baseness; what is it for one, who controls a press at the very centre of intellectual circulationwho utters his voice, and is heard as rapidly as wheels can roll or winds blow, on the Ganges, the Neva, the La Plate, and the Missouri, to defame, not individuals, but countries; and to exasperate into wrath and bitterness not an individual, but a mighty empire, an empire peopled from his own native land, and in the language of a writer in this very number of the Quarterly Review, which of all that history records has employed the shortest time to rise to the greatest power and freedom.'
To conclude, if our readers should feel surprised that an individual so low, as we have shown this traveller to be, should have occupied our attention so long, we beg them to consider that his Journal, in the best style of common London typography, fine type, fair paper, and a handsome engraving at the head, is brought before the world to be read, quoted, and believed, like those of the swindler Ashe, the gardener Parkinson, and the stocking weaver Fearon, and a half dozen others, whose names and trades we forget. By virtue of the scandal propagated of this country, and without one single title to common attention and credit, this writer, like his kindred, has received the sanction of one of the most respectable journals, and will, perhaps, be quoted by lords and gentlemen, and be referred to as a competent eyewitness.
If, again, it should seem incredible, that a person so low as Mr Faux, should have found admission, on any occasion, in this country, to the houses and tables of respectable individuals, we beg to suggest, that, as his doing so often depends
on his own word, no credit whatever is to be given to it. We have personal knowledge, that he can speak as if familiarly acquainted with an individual, who never heard of his name, till it appeared on the title page of his book. But it must also be remembered, that in all foreign countries, the stranger's reception depends, at first, not a little on the quality of his coat. Mr Faux, who, among the stock on his farm, appears to have caught a little instinct, understood this, and tells us that on landing here, he dressed in the London fashion; thus imposing upon those, who could not know him, by a decent exterior. This is more or less the case in all countries, even those where the avenues to good society are most shut against strangers. Not only a universal hospitality, which prevails in civilised countries, but a willingness to believe others well bred, which prevails nowhere so much as among those, who are so themselves, brings the unknown well dressed stranger into better company abroad, than he could find at home. But it must be confessed, that the fault is in a good measure our own. A foolish admiration for what is foreign is far too common here; and the readiness to extend to strangers the greatest confidence of hospitality has, in other instances than this, exposed the good citizens of our country to shameful impositions. This is happily an evil, however, which corrects itself, and a few more travellers like Mr Faux will establish the necessary degree of inhospitableness; and teach Americans, if they must receive this rabble, to let it be at a side table.
ART. VII.-A Course of Study preparatory to the Bar and the Senate; to which is annexed a Memoir on the Private and Domestic Lives of the Romans. By GEORGE WATTERSTON. pp. 240. 12mo. Washington. 1823. Davis & Force.
In this work we find many things, which accord with our own views respecting the study of the ancient classics, and the place they ought to hold in a system of education among us. It is a subject, as we must believe, of no small importance to those who are fond of letters, and interested in the