Abbildungen der Seite

The great news of the day, here, is the restoration of Wellington and Peel. Sir Robert is arrived at London at last, has accepted office and is trying to form a ministry, but we don't as yet know the result. It seems Mr., now Lord Stanley, who left the whigs on the question of Irish tithes, has been applied to, as indeed was inevitable, to take one of the folios, and the report was, at our last advices, that he had declined. If that is so, the game is up with the tories, for their only chance was to come in as conservatives and rally all moderate men, friends of the present constitution in church and state, against Lord Durham and the radicals, and, I confess, I thought they would probably succeed, for I can't understand a whig of Stanley's description, or, indeed, any whig at all, not a radical, standing out upon a mere difference of name and history, when there is a complete identity of principle and purpose,-as there can be no doubt there is between the moderate tories and them. Brougham, the late lord chancellor, who was a low fellow and an arrant mountebank, did the mischief, and has gone down with a crash that has not left one stone of the whole fabric of his reputation and fortune standing upon another. As Madame de Staël once said of La Fayette, he is like a tallow candle, qui ne brille que pour le peuple, et qui puere en s'éteignant. Lord Lansdowne, who was president of the council, passed through Brussels some weeks ago, just before the explosion. I met him several times at dinners, and had long conversations with him about the state of things in England, where I had seen him in June. He had not the remotest idea of being out so soon,--for the Duke was sent for before he had time to get back to London from Paris, whither he went from this. Their fall must have astonished them very much, though, I confess, it did not surprise me after what I saw in London and heard in the House of Commons. Believe me, faithfully yours,

H. S. L. P. S. I am sure, if I had a chance, I could make a rousing speech at York or Lancaster.

The same to the same.


My dear Huger,-I have this moment received your letters of the 12th and 20th March, and hasten to acknowledge their receipt before closing a despatch which is to go off presently.

It will give you some idea of the frequency and fulness of my communications with the United States, though living in a city which is literally the thoroughfare of Europe, to state that this letter of yours is the very first information I have had of your being the postmaster,-a piece of intelligence in every re

spect so agreeable and interesting to me, might have been communicated in five words. The last letter I got from Petigru was dated so long ago as the 15th or 16th Dec., although I have written to him three or four since that time, and two of them very long ones. It is this almost total want of correspondence with my home, that makes me feel a crowning void in my bosom here, which nothing in a sufficiently advantageous position in Europe can fill up. I am essentially, and by blood and bone, a domestic man. I do not believe any human being ever was created, more liable to home-sickness or nostalgia than I am; and although loving and enjoying society very intensely, it is only the most select society, and especially that of people that I love and that love me. I have some such here, whom I shall leave with infinite regret, but, of course, nothing can replace the set among whom I was formed,-whose manière de voir and manière d'être are mine,-and in which I am sure of what I so infinitely prefer to the highest personal consideration, or even admiration,-sympathy. Here, I have certainly no reason in the world to complain of the sort of estimation in which I am held, but then I am a foreigner, and they are foreigners,-I come, as M. de Dietrichstein, the Austrian envoy, always says, "from the other world"; and what interests me most profoundly,events in which the destinies of my country and of all I love and care for are involved,-are, to them, like so many phenomena of the most distant stars in the firmament. The American newspapers never fail to bring me painful intelligence, of some sort or other, (for things are really getting worse and worse with us,) and yet I have to bury it all within me, and when I want to express my opinions or feelings on such subjects, I have to order post-horses and go to our consul, Mr. Patterson, at Antwerp, as I did last week.

If that mismanaged and vexatious French affair don't lead to a war, I shall see you, I hope, some time between next December and December twelvemonth at farthest, and, at all events, I suppose, by this last mentioned period. I enclose you a newspaper, which has been lying by me for some time. It touches, as you will perceive, that awful slave question, which public opinion in Europe is beginning to busy itself about in a manner calculated to awaken all the solicitude of a Southern In England, especially, people seem to be growing fanatical, and, as poor Grimké predicted in that speech at the Irish meeting in Charleston, in which he floored us all so horribly, disposed to repay us, with usurious interest, the benevolent intentions we have from time to time been showing for the oppressed of other nations. I do not wish you to make this paper at all public. It can do no good, and will probably do much harm. But you, and such as you, ought to be informed of the


signs of the times in so interesting a matter,-not to be alarmed, but to be on your guard. If the Union were dissolved, depend upon it you would have to encounter assaults from across the Atlantic, to which the machinations of the Yankee zealots, (but are there and have there ever been any Yankee zealots?) that McD. is raving about, are mere child's play.—But I have not time to talk politics. A word to the wise. Believe me, etc.,

H. S. L.

The same to the same.

BRUSSELS, 21st Nov., 1835.

My dear Fluger,--On my arrival here yesterday evening from Paris, where I have been spending some weeks, (the king of the Belgians being there,) I received your letter of the 29th Sept., which, in spite of all your efforts to disguise your heaviness of heart, showed quite enough of it to cause it in mine. It is true I was wofully predisposed to take the complaint; for, not to speak of the contents of our newspapers, which have produced an effect in Europe not to be exaggerated,-I mean in making our experiment in federal-republican government be universally regarded as a failure. I had met with some persons from Carolina at Paris, whose accounts of matters there were darker by far even than my worst imaginings, and God knows that is saying every thing. Young Dr. Nott (who married Mr. Deas of Camden's daughter) and his wife represent the whole country about the Wateree and Congaree, including that town and Columbia, as literally breaking up and moving off en masse to the West. Not only is it truly afflicting, for one so much under the influence of local attachment as I am, to think of the old families of the State leaving their homes in it forever, but there is a still more serious and deeper cause of regret in such a state of facts. It shews, what I have always felt, how terribly uncertain our whole existence in the South is. I remember, in better days, just after my former return from Europe, I used to regard with horror those deserted settlements, in which, after a few years, the young pine trees sprang up in the fields left to waste, and among the dilapidated buildings, as if the forest, as jealous as the sea, were impatient to obliterate every trace of the vain attempt of man to invade its vast domains. But then it was only Goose Creek, Williamsburg and St. Stephens', and perhaps, here and there, some other spots, while the progress of the back and middle country seemed amply to compensate for these partial instances of decay. Now, the disease is, it appears, universal, and South-Carolina, excepting the old parish country, is to be abandoned like a steppe in Mongolia or Tartary! And this, too,

remark if you please, is the condition of the whole South,-the new States will soon be exhausted in their turn,—and Alabama and Mississippi be deserted by their migratory possessors for Texas. Now, if it be true that fixed land property is of the essence of civil society, properly so called, what shall we think of our prospects as a nation,-a people,-South of the Potomac !

Alas! my dear friend, the Judge is right, as I very much fear, and, indeed, have more than feared, ever since I saw the success of nullification in demoralizing some of our best people. In America, you are not aware of what is going on about you, or are too familiar with it to appreciate its fearful character. Seen from Europe, and examined with reference to the experience of mankind in this old seat of their follies and sufferings, I have already hinted to you that it is thought as bad as bad can be. Nor is this opinion confined to any one party,—it is literally universal. I enclose you half a newspaper, in which you will see extracts from several others, embracing all the varieties of political sects. I beg you to observe particularly, as a Southern man, and to call our friends' attention to it, to what these remarks relate. Depend upon it, if you go out of the Union on that subject, you are gone without reniedy or hope of salvation. Look at O'Connell, now the great agitator of England, and representing the party that is already in the ascendant here. He never lets slip an occasion to denounce us, with Nicholas "the murderer of the women and children of Warsaw", as objects of abhorrence and vengeance. So, as soon as Barton took his passports, the Journal des Débats, the quasi-government paper at Paris, opened against you, and said it was high time for Europe to speak out on that subject, and encourage and strengthen the abolitionists in the work they had undertaken. A French fleet goes out to the Antilles, without doubt, in contemplation of a war; and should such an event happen, you will see to what point they will direct their attack and with what arms they will carry on the contest. The age in which we live is, more than all things else, the age of great empires; and wo to the people that deliberately throws away that advantage, under any circumstances whatever, but, most of all, when the first effect of its doing so will be to isolate it among the rest, with institutions which they all denounce, with half its population at war with the other half,-with a government yet to form, and springing up (as it must) in the midst of ultra democratic disorders and the storm of a civil convulsion and excess. In short, whatever some of us may think of the expediency of having originally established a Southern confederacy instead of the present, the day is forever gone by,-all the mischief, whatever it be, is done already, -and things can only be made worse, and desperately worse, by an attempt (a vain attempt besides it would

be, for the South will not make a united people) to rectify the mistake now.

My pen has literally run away with me, for it was not my intention to have touched upon this subject in this letter to you; but you have set certain chords vibrating in my heart, that make me utter such things in spite of myself. The thing you call tyranny, is so; the most unbearable of all, that which has made men to run for refuge to any other form of society, however galling and odious. What makes the case yet more deplorable is that, by an eternal law of nature, the only way by which such evils, when they once become serious, can be mended, is by making them too bad to be borne. That is the rub,-vestigia nulla retrorsum,-every thing must be shaken down and washed away,-society must be supplanted by complete anarchy, and men have supped full of horrors and misery, before they dare to arrest such things: and then, great God! by what a remedy are they compelled to arrest them! And is it wonderful that we, the haughtiest of the free, the most enthusiastic lovers of the blessed order of things under which we were born and educated,―that we should feel our hearts breaking as we survey the appalling prospect around us?

Only think of the false position in which that noble colony, of which we still love and admire the last ruins, was placed, in the pestilential swamps of Carolina? What a people would it otherwise have grown to: and how should we have shone among nations, had our now almost exhausted strength have borne any proportion to the politeness of manners and generosity of spirit which have ever distinguished our race?

With regard to what is doing in the South, I think it rather to be deplored than wondered at,-indeed, it isn't to be wondered at at all. Salus populi suprema lex esto, is the foundation of all codes. It is, indeed, an instinct, and the strongest of instincts. You may just as well reason with a man drinking his fellow-passengers' blood, in a long-boat twenty days at sea after a shipwreck, about doing no murder. So as to the post-office. Stop the pamphlets, certainly, and P***** (for I recognized his hand immediately in a letter to Gouverneur at New-York) is quite right in saying Kendall did not push the matter as far as it could go, in his (otherwise well written) rescript. But then, P****** is most certainly wrong in supposing that Tappan, etc., may be demanded. The Northern people dare not give up those men. Nay, it would not be suffered, and, if it were, it would do infinitely more harm than good to us, by putting us in the wrong (the worst of all misfortunes), and embittering against us the feelings of all good men, of all nations under the sun. You have done enough for the present, at least enough: let the South

« ZurückWeiter »