OCR Interpretation


Weekly national intelligencer. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]) 1841-1869, April 09, 1853, Image 3

Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045784/1853-04-09/ed-1/seq-3/

What is OCR?


Thumbnail for

NATIONAL INTELLIGENCER.
NOTES ON NEW BOOKS.
The Complktk Wukkd ok Samubl Taylor CutKHiMk.
With an Introductory ???uy upon hit 1'hUotopkkul ami
Theological Opinion. Edited by Professor Shedd. In
seven volumes. New York : Harper & Bros. 1868.
Of the volumes above named, now in course of
publication, we have as yet received only the first
four; but, comprising as they do the most valuable
of Colkri doe's Prose Works, we have not thought
it premature to make them the Xheme ot such gene
ral remark as may be suggested either by the topics
on which they treat or by the name and history of
their wonderful author. We purposely employ this
epithet; for it was a saying of one who knew him
well, the poet Wordsworth, that while many men
of his age had done wonderful thing*, as Davy,
Scott, Cuvier, &c., yet Coleridge was the only won
derful man he ever kuew. These volumes have in
terested us, besides, for another reason than what
we conceive is justified by their rare and surpassing
excellence; they seem to confirm the truth of an
observation made many years ago by one of Cole
ridge's admiring friends in Eugland, and which
when first ventured we fear was only partially ex
aot, to wit, that the " Western world would seem
' to have bettor appreciated his works than most of
4 his countrymen ; for in America his writings are
4 understood and highly valued." If, however, these
volumes may not be received as evidence in proof
of the existence of fact as thus stated, we cannot but
cherish the hope and belief that they will greatly
tend to its realization: certain it is that if the writ
ings of Coleridge are not hereafter 44 understood and
highly valued" among us, it will not be tor the want
of a tasteful edition of his complete works by an
American publisher, or from any lack of scholarly
analysis and annotation by their American editor.
The name of Prof. Siikdd is, we suspect, new to
most of our readers as well as to ourselves. He is,
we understand, the successor of President Marsii
in the chair of Mental and Moral Philosophy at the
University of Vermont, an institution which has
greatly contributed to whatever of prominence or
diffusion th? writings of Coleridge have hitherto en
joyed among us. With the Introductory Essay of
Prof. Shedd before us, we hazard little in express
ing the conviction that he has already entitled him
self to a place "in the foremost rank of American
critics and metaphysicians?a remark which we make
none the less freely because we are constrained to
differ with him quite widely on some rniuor points
in his masterly analysis of Coleridge's opinions, or
because we cannot bring ourselves to value quite as
highly as he does the general results and tendencies
of Coleridge's distinctive system, if system at all he
may be said to have who was wont to (leliver his
oracles on philosophy and theology as cOTituscdly as
the ancient Sybill her responses on a thousand scat
tered leaves.
It would interest us to compare Prof. Shedd s In
troductory Essay to the present edition of Coleridge's
works with the Preliminary Essay of President
Marsh, prefixed to the 44 Avh to Reflection" nearly
a quarter of a century ago. Such a rapprochement
would show in a strong light the progress which our
fast age has made, as in every thing else, so also in
mental science, or at least what passes for it. Qf
the much unripe speculation which the 44 tree of
knowledge" has shed among us, the branch of our
pullalating philosophy has yielded its full share, for
it has been the oftcnest grafted with new and exotic
shoots. Prof. Shedd seems to have surveyed and
traversed the entire field of modern metaphysical
research, and in his addiction to the schools of Ger
man philosophy has contrived to retain those ulti
mate and limitary principles which have generally
distinguished the sound English thinker from the
more aspiring Teuton. Many are the hapless wights
who have been lured by the ignis fatuus lights of j
Continental speculation into the Serbonian bog of
infidelity, or else, seeking to emancipate themselves j
trom the trammels of a biblical theology, have bold
ly launched the little nautilus of their very finite
reason on the airless, wavelcss, and shoreless sea of
Pantheism. Prof. Shedd is, we are glad to find, of
the number of those who deem it at once wisest and I
safest to make the purely speculative in philosophy
hold its proper subordinate place, and, by acknow
ledging the authority of conscience and revelation,
to subordinate to them the merely speculative and ,
dialectic faculty of the human soul. Perhaps his
admiration for the 44 Sage of KSnigsberg ".ay be j
greater than ours, but perhaps too it may be be- j
cause he has studied him more and understands him bet- |
ter than we have been able U? do. In maintaining, how
ever, that the tendency of Coleridge's speculations will ?
be "to allay the furious fermentation of thought' that is
now going on in the rising generation, we think he great
ly misapprehends that which constitutes their most spe- j
ciftc quality?their exceeding snggestiveness; so that, ac- j
cording to our idea, they differ from yest, in their power j
to leaven the thinking mind, by rather resembling patent ,
soda-powders. We do not speak derisively. We admire .
and love the writings of this rare and brilliant genius;
bat we think it will be generally admitted by those fami- ^
liar with bis compositions, that, so far from being seda
tive in their influence, they are not so valuable for the
golden treasures which they yield ready stamped and
ooined, as for the incitement and aid they offer in the ad
venturous search for some new " pocket" of the precious
ore. His object would seem in all his prose writings to
have been the same as that which he proposed to himself
in the essays oomposing " The Friend"?to assist the mind
in the formation for itself of sound principles in regard to
the investigation, perception, and retention of truth in
what direction soever it may be pursued: he always seems
to seek not so much ?? to show this or that fact as to kin
dle the reader's own torch for him and leave it to himself
to choose the particular objects which he may wish to ex
amine by Its light." It is not so much, in fine, the
thoughts of Coleridge in themselves considered which ex
cite our admiration as their wondrous power to set the
mind to thinking for itself. But we are pr< ceeding m
media* ret a little faster than we intended Let as, be
fore glancing at the salient features of Coleridge's philo
sophy, direct eur attention for a few moments to his his
tory as a man.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born at Ottery, England,
October 21st, 1772. His father having died when this his
youngest son was only about seven years old, the education
of the young orphan was entrusted to the guardianship of a
friend! his health was delicate from early childhood.
Through the dislikes and jealousies of his playmates he
was, as he himself atates, " huffed away from the enjoy
ments of muscular activity in play, to take refuge at his
mother's side on Ui? little stool, and there read his little
book and listen to the talk W* aiders. He became
fretful, timorous, and inordinately pas^'OBMc rOt? nu^,.
however, incessantly, devouring at his sixth year such
books as Belisarius, Robiuson Crusoe, Philip Quarles, and
the Arabian Nights. He would, at this time, He by the
wall and mope, and then, his spirits coming upon him in
? flood, would run up and down an old churchyard and
there act over what he had been reading: in the dark h?
haunted by goblins soeh fts those which u'mtund in
Oriental story; by day he dreamed and built castles in
the air. " Alas!" said he at a later period, "I had all
the simplicity, all the docility of the little child, but none
of th# child's habits. I never Ihonght as a child, never
had the language of a child." Such a forced precocity,
the reader perceives, gave fare presage at once of the ge
nius and suffering which was to checker his brilliant but
melancholy after life.
When rising of seve* years lie wa* **nt to Christ's Hos
rit*l School, where he oontinued eight years-- an 'im
portant r?rt of his lifft, g^H* him lawyer for h.s teacher,
and Charles l.amb for his friend ' BoWyer to
have Ken the most rigid of disciplinarians, a very mar
tinet of a pedagogue. A?d yet Oclendge gratefully a?
kaowledged in after yew# that he gave him " one just
flogging." The occasion who on this wise: Our young
student, having read Voltaire's "Philosophical Dictiona
ry," began to affect infidel sentiments, and conoeired
thereupon the honest purpose of abandoning the studies
wbu h had m prospect tlie clerio*! profession, and of ap
p.e.iticiug Limsoif to the ?k.-emaking I.ijnhm. Accord
ingly, he applied to a tliseiple of JSt. (L ri-pin, who, being
a aeusible cobbler, conducted him at ouoe to bis teacher,
the ferocious Bowyer, who, on learning the btate of the
case, without more ado, like a veterau oabtigatc^r as he
was, proceeded to administer on the would-be shoemaker
one ol his most elaborate floggings. From that hour he
was effectually cured of his Infidel principles and his
aspiration for lasts and wax-ends. "Any whining or
sermonizing would have gratified my vanity," he con
fesses, in his " Table Talk," " and would hare confirmed
me in my absurdity: as it was, I was laughed at, ^nd got
heartily ashamed of my folly." We must beg to com
mend this " modern instance" to the favorable notice of
all those who still hold to the efficacy of a little birchen
admonition. For ourselves, it greutly irketh us to con
cede that the ingenuous youth among us should be de
prived of any advantages so liberally enjoyed by ourselves
when we too were young. Later observation and riper
knowledge, moreover, have convinced us that the "old
school traiuing" (in which the rod was held indue rever
enoe) is, after all, in the highest degree conformable to
the order of Nature and the fituesB of things, in which, as
moralists teach us, consists the very essence of virtue.
What means, we should like to know, the bountiful pro
vision which Nature has made in the production of eaoh
green twig, pliant shoot, and limber brauch, if she in
tends not hereby to minister to the necessities of young
humanity ? As amiable and zealous water-curista point
us to the spring that bubbles up at our feet, to the mean
dering rivulet, the swelling Btream, and the wide expanse
of ocean, as so many " confirmations strong" that Pro
vidence has fitted up the vast terraqueous globe for a
grand water-cure establishment on the plan of Preieanitz,
so too in our more contemplative moods we love to view
the peach tree twig and stately hickory, the swaying birch
and branching oak, the waving canebrake, the " hazels
pendant o'er the plaintive stream," and the mighty forest
bristling with switches, as so many evidence* of that be
neficent design which pervades the universe: here, say
we to ourselves, is Dame Nature's provision for the con
servation of virtue and knowledge among the children of
men. But wo grow discursive.
From eight to fourteen, Coleridge describes himself as
a playless day-dreamer, a helluo ULrorum, reading through
a circulating library, catalogue, folios, and all, thus keep
ing himself in a continual low fever by his cerebral ex
citement. ?' My whole being was, with eyes closed to
every object of present sense, to crumple myself up in a
sunny corner and read, read, read?fancy myself on Rob
inson Crusoe's island, finding a mountain of plumcake,
and eating a room for myself, and then eating it into the
shapes of tables and chairs." In such Barmecide ban
quetings on plum-cake we are left to infer that hunger
was quite as operative as fancy, for the portion of food
doled out to the Blue-Coats at Bowyer's school was
" cjuelly insufficient."
In 1701, at the age of nineteen, the future logician,
metaphysician, and bard was transferred from Christ's
Hospital to Jesus College, Cambridge, where he soon be
came noted for his rare facility in the acquisition of lan
guages, fsr his dislike of mathematics, his fondness for
multifarious reading, his convivial and colloquial dispo
sition, and his improvidence in disbursing the scanty
funds of his personal exchequer. In the winter of 1793,
becoming embarrassed by debts, and having been ?' crazed
by care and crossed in love" for a damsel, hight Polly
Evans, he concluded to turn soldier, and accordingly ran
away from Cambridge and went up to London, where he
soon enlisted as a private in the loth Light Dragoons, un
der the euphonious appellative of Silas Titus Comber
backe, thus preserving at least his initials?for the sake,
we presume, of preserving his linen, or at least to avoid
the suspicion of wearing borrowed or stolen shirts. For
the amusing account of his military career we need only
refer the reader to Cottle's " Reminiscences." Suffice it
to say, that he never curried down his steed, never furbish
ed his carbine, and oould never sit his horse, but was
perpetually tumbling off, much to the amusement of his
comrades and the angerment of his officers; so that " Silas
is off agaiu!" ceased to be considered an exclamation of
surprise, and passed into the quiet statement of a daily
expected casualty. The drill-sergeant, finding at last that
"he could never make a soldier" of this "oddest fish" in
his "awkward squad," got him transferred from the
ranks to the medical department of a regimental hospi
tal, where he is represented to have cured more patients
by his talk than tiie doctors by their physic. But, being
soon discovered here by some friends, the errant scholar
was returned to Cambridge ; where, however, he refused
to remain a long time, having imbibed Socinian views in
theology, which, of course, precluded his accession to the
Established Church, as originally contemplated. His
n*x? remove was to Bristol, here he became associated
with a coterie of enthusiastic literary youth, of whom he
was the acknowledged chief. ? Did our space admit, we
would gladly pause a moment to contemplate the literary
itatu* of Bristol at this period. Our readers must draw
the picture for themselves, as we suggest the prominent
characters who then more or less acted their part in life
in and about this provincial town. The names of John
Foster. Robert Hall, Charles Lamb, Josiah Wade, Thomas
Poole, Hannah More, Sir H. Davy, Amos and Joseph Cot
tle, Robert Lovell, George Burnet, Charles Lloyd, Dr.
Beddoes, Robert Southey, the noted milk-woman Ann
\ earsley, Charles Danvera, George Catcott, and others
form a galaxy of greater and lesser stars which/ with
( oleridge among them, has not, we think, been often
equalled.
It was in Bristol that this coterie of aspiring yonth con
ceived the celebrated scheme of social and political re
generation entitled Pantisocracy. Coleridge is the reput
ed father of this still-born abortion, and in spite of its
crudity he long remained a most earnest defender of the
project, which, it will he remembered, was that the whole
party, after mating themselves with one apiece of the
gentler sex, should emigrate to America, and there settle
on the banks of the Susquehanna. It was calculated that
the demand on their labor in this " undivided dell" would
not exceed two hours a day?that is, for the production
of absolute necessaries, leaving the " contingent remain
der " to be devoted to reading, to oonverse, or even the
writing of books to be read by the outride vulgarians. By
thus keeping aloof from all contact with the outer world
of sin and selfishness, and by the genial cultivation of re
fined and humanitarian ideas, it was further calculated
that after one or two generations at least their social state
would have regained the paradisiacal felicity so unfortu
nately lost by our first parent in Eden. Here it was to
be proved that man could attain perfectibility by sleeping
anil dining in assooiate lodging-houses, working two hours
per diem for the sake merely of a healthy excitation, and
by talking love and writing philosophy and poetry every
afieruoon. Thus sings our philosophic bard :
In freedom's undivided dell,
Where toil and health with mellowtdlorc shall dwell,
Far from folly, far from inen,
In the rude roi,nntlfl g;M:
Up the cliff, and through the glade,
Wandering with the dear-lov'd maid,
I shall listen to a lay
And ponder on those far away.
It is inquired why our harmonists chose the banks of
the Susquehanna as the scene of their Paradise * Simply
because its name was, " if not classical, poetioal," a good
enough reasoti surely for a set of poets. Had our " l?and
of Rivers" furnished no names more romantic and musi
cal than the Salt and the Tar we should never have had the
honor of affording our poetical reformers the imaginary
scene of their social parallelogram, or their " Fraternal
Colony," as they styled it. We do not like to spoil a
dream so enchanting by hinting any thing as to its insub
stantial texture, but mint be allowed to state that, while
our Pantisocri tans were concocting and digesting the pre
liminaries of the enterprise, Coleridge and Southey were
for a ordRmi not on "peaking terms, and the former fell
constrained to call Robert Lovell, his associate and pros
pective brother-in-law, " a villain, to his face !" Such
episodes, to say the least, were inauspicious.
. Coleridge, meantime, was lecturing before Bristol au
diences on "The Blare Trade," the "Hair-Powder Tax,"
&o., occasionally delivering the same discourses as ser
mons from the pulpit of a Unitarian church in Bath,
merely omitting the /ucetice and the m^rth-inuTing anec
dotes, as uot being quite in keeping with the time and
place. In 17% lie tiMirried Miss Sarah Fricker, the cere
mony being celebrated in the St. Mary KedcliUe ChuroL,
Bristol, familiar to all who huTe dwelt over the melancho
ly story and tragic fate of that "marvellous boy" Chat
terlon. He uow, says Mr. Cottle, began to console him
self with the suspicion, not only that felicity might be
found on cis~Atlantio shores, but that his little cot
tage at Clevedon, near Bristol, concentrated the sum of
all that earth had to bestow. He was now even satisfied
that the Susquehanna itself retired into the shade before
the superior attractions of his own native Severn. And
we suspect, moreover, that certain pretty but indispensa
ble appointments of his household economy at Clevedon
convinced him that an American forest might be very good
for the Indians and buffaloes whom Campbell sings in his
"-Gertrude of Wyoming," but would be, after all, only au
indifferent residence for a man of family and an author
by profession. We find at least a billet was about this
time sent to his friend Jos. Cottle, requesting him to send
down to his cottage the following little articie3:
" A riddle slice, a candle-box, two ventilators, two
glasses for the washhand stand, one tin dust-pan, one
hinall tin tea-kettle, one pair of candlesticks, one carpet
brush, one flower dredge, three tin extinguishers, two mate,
a pair of slippers, a cheese-toaster, two large tin spoons^
a Bible, a keg of porter, coffeo, raisins, currants, catsup,
nutmegs, allspice, cinnamon, rice, ginger, and mace."
Our readers, wo are sure, will agree with us that-"a
Bible " occupies a very edifying position in this schedule
of "little necessaries," and that it was very thoughtful
iu him to think of it, seeing he was now always announced
in the preaching advertisements of tho newspapers as
" the Rev. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, from Cambridge
University."
(. oleridge did not long remain aSociniuu. In his " Bio
graphia Literuria" he states that at an early period
doubts of the truth of his theological opinions "rushed
in, broke upon me from the fountain of the great deep,
ard fell from the windows of Hoavcn. The fontal truths
of natural religion and the books of revelation alike con
tributed to the Hood, and it was long ere my ark touched
on Ararat and rested." What, in fact, bocame his final
and fixed confession of faith Is still matter of discussion,
though we think, in the main, he was what u-ecall ortho
dox, from which exact and lucid statement our readers
can draw their own inferences. We do not think his wri
tings on this point are much more lucid or exact than
our sentence, which leaves in doubt what constitutes
orthodoxy, though every one knows that by orthodoxy we
mean our-dory, and by heterodoxy some body else's.
In 1 (1)8 Coleridge repaired to Germany to study in her
Universities. Here he became tinctured by the transcen
dental speculations of Kant and Schilling, insomuch that
all his subsequent writings derive their prevailing color
and complexion from these masters of mentul philosophy.
As at present we are interested more iu Coleridge the man
than the metaphysician or theologian, we reserve all dis
quisition on the value or character of his opinions in either
of the last-named character. He visited Italy also, where
he came near being apprehended and indefinitely im
mured in " durance-vile" by Napoleon I, who it seems
had been gored and stung by some of his anti-Ga\lican
paragraphs scribbled for the London newspapers ; a no
ble revenge truly for an Emperor to take on a penniless
scholar trudging through Italy in search of health and re
laxation from literary toil. He finally escaped through a
friendly hint given him by Jerome Bonaparte, and by the
zealous interposition of an American sea captain, who,
becoming interested in him, procured his passport by
stoutly swearing that he was an American and his steward,
adding in his affidavit, by way of confirmation, that " he
knew C.'s father and mother, and that they lived in a lit
tle red brck house, about half a mile out of New York, on
the road to Boston!" It is due to Coleridge to state that
he knew nothing of the hard swearing which was in con
templation when he embraced the " good captain's"
generous offer to extricate him from his uncomfortable
position.
We now come to the dark pages in Coleridge's bio
graphy. Our readers will Understand, of course, that we
allude to his inordinate of opium. As early in his life
as the year 1800 we find in one of his letters an allusion
to the " pleasurable operations of a dose of opium," which
inclines us to believe that he had already begun to drink
of this Circean cup, which finally transformed him from
the " soaring seraph " to an impotent and bestial grovel
ler in the sty of drunkenness. A melancholy picture, but
one not without its lessons of warning and morality. ]t
is hard and painful to read the pathetic plaints of this
man of mind, thus caught in the coils of the serpent, which
was preying on his very vitals, transfixing 60ul and body
with iu foul and poisonous fangs. He describes himself
as "rolling rudderless," as cowed and prostrated by an
" unceasing, overwhelming sense of wretchedness," as the
" wreck of what he once was."
/ "For ten years," he says in one of his letters, "the
anguish of my spirit has been indescribable, the Bense of
danger staring, but the consciousness of ocilt worse, far
worse than all I"
In another he says: " ^ou have no conception of the
dreadful hell of my mind, conscience, and body." And
again, in his agony he thus cries out:
"Conceive of a poor miserable wretch, who fjr inanv
years has Veen attempting to beat off pain by a constant
recurrcnce to the vice that reproduces it. Conceive of a
spirit in hell, employed in tracing out for others Uie road
to that heaven from which his own crimes exclude him 1"
* * * " lu the one crime of opium, what orimc have
I not made myself guilty of? Ingratitude to my Maker,
awl to my benefactors injustice! and unnatural cruelty to
'"y poor children .' Self contempt for my repeated promia*?
breach, nay, too often actual falsehood!"
Surely Be Quincey himself, in his snspiria de profun
di, has nttered none from a lower depth than these. It
is to Cottle s " Reminiscences" we owe these revela
tions. They were made in compliance with Coleridge's
request?we may say his solemn injunction. In a letter
of Southey's, published by Cottle, it is stated that Cole
ridge's consumption of laudanum, at the height of his
addiction to its use, " was from two quarts a week to a
pint a day." Meanwhile his family was deserted, and
resided under the hospitable roof of his brother-in-law,
Southcy. But a better day dawned on the poor man's
soul berore his life was entirely consumed away. It was a
" gracious Providence" which at last conducted him to the
house and home of Dr. Gillman, a worthy and excellent
physician then residing in a village near London. Here
he mastered the clinging enrse that was destroying soul
and body. Under the judicious treatment and gentle
ministries of his affectionate and admiring hosts, he re
gained in a degree his health and spirits, and it was from
beneath their roof that he issued his noblest worV<
"Biographia Litcraria," the "Aids to Reflection," and
others. Here he remained for twenty years, until in facthis
death, which took place July 2f?th, 1834. In a succeed
ing number we propose to consider more particularly the
intellectual endowments and philosophical teachings of
this remarkable man. We think a sketch of his life and
strange career a necessary preface to an examination of
his works.
THE WATBR WITCH.
The Demarara Oatette brings us the subjoined intelli
gence of the United States steamer Water- H itch, Lieut.
T. J. Pagr, which sailed from Washington a few weeks
ago on her voyage of exploration to the tributaries of the
Uio de la 1 lata. The compliment to her officers is well
deserved:
" We have been somewhat, careless in not noticing ear
lier the arriyal in our river of the United 8tates steamer- ]
of-war Huter-mtek, Commander Paob. This is the first
visit of the kind paid us in a .friendly way by any of the
war complement of the American people; yet, strange to
say, so much has the world altered, we hail it as the
strongest argument fw peaoe. The ship is on her way to
the Brasils on a surveying expedition, and carries a dou
ble complement of officers. They have been entertained
by his Excellency the Governor; and from all accounts
they appear to be a class of educated and accomplished
gentlemen ; of a stamp, however, that it is much
more agreeable for us to be on the terms of eating than of
fighting with them. The Water-tntch called here to get j
coals, and will be ready for sea agaio in a day or two. |
WASHINGTON.
I,Ib?rty md Union, now and forever, one ?nrt
XBURSDAI, APRIL 7, 1853.
We understand that the construction of the
Washington Aqueduct, to supply the cities of Wash
ington and Georgetown with water, has been as
signed to the Engineer Department, and that (Jen.
Tottkn, with the approval of the Secretary of
War, has placed Capt. Montgomery C. Meigs, of
the Corps of Engineers, who made the surveys and
report upon which the project is founded, in charge. I
The extension of the Capitol and the erection of
the wings of the Vatcnt Office have been transfer
red from the Department of the Interior to the De
partment of War.
The Secretary of War having directed the Chief
Engineer to detail an officer to take chargo of the \
public interests connected with the construction of
these buildings, Caj;t. Meigs has been detailed for !
that purpose, and will act under his instruction* ^
from the Secretary of War.
OUR FOREIGN INDEBTEDNESS.
The consideration of Executive business mostly 1
engaged thi attention of the Senate Monday. Ik- ,
fore the doors were closed, however, a resolution j
previously submitted by Mr. BuomiKAD was taken
up and idopted, requiring the Secretary of the
Treasury to take measures to procure for the use of
the correct information us to the entire
amount of American stocks or other evidences of
America! indebtedness held in Europe. The object
in seeking information on this subject was explained
by Mr. [BRODnEAD, to whose remarks, published
under tlie appropriate head, together with those of
Mr. Seyard on the same subject, we invite the
attention of the reader, as possessing gcueral in
terest attthe present time.
The stbject is one not only possessing great in
terest fol the community, but the information sought
for is hijily important, and will be eminently use
ful iu regulating future legislation in conuexion
with our revenue laws. We were therefore much
gratified Vy the adoption of the resolution.
In stating the national account current with
foreigner}, which the honorable Senator docs in a
very clea^ and concise form, we think he has un
derrated the balance against the United States,
though oven he estimates it at the enormous
amount of ?04,000,000 per annum.
The official value of our imports and exports, as
Mr. Brophead justly observes, lacks several ele
ments to ensure truthful results. The amount of
the imports, far instance, is based on the invoices
presented at the custom-house for the assessment of
duties, without any allowance f.>r fraudulent invoices,
which are greatly undervalued by certain parties,
in ordtr to evade payment of duties upon the full
cost of foreign goods under our unique ad valorem
system; and the estimate of ten per cent. Jjy Mr.
BRODIEAD on the aggregate reported custom-house
value fe, we think, by no means too great, which
would add ?20,710,973 to the reported custom
house Talue of foreign merchandise imported dur
ing the last fiscal year into the United States.
The imount of foreign goods actually smuggled
into the country, and which of course is not in
cluded in the custom-house returns, but for which
foreigners receive payment, is also certainly not over
estimated at five million* more. These items make
an additional cost to the foreign merchandise import
ed into the United States of more than 825,000,000
and increase the debit side of our foreign nationa!
account currctit to that extent.
Ou the other hand, however, as Mr. Sewaiu
in his remarks observed, the value of our exports,
the returns of which are based on the actual cost
at the shipping ports, are increased in amount;
for which increased amount the foreign consumer
is obliged to pay us by the freight to the for
eign port, and the profits which attend the sale in
foreign countries, so far as such produce is shipped
in our vessels and for American account.. But
this freight and these profits are not probably
so great as is generally estimated; for it must
be recollected that nearly or quite two-thirds of the
value of our exports consists in the article of cot
ton, one-half of which is no doubt shipped in for
eign vessels, and an equal portion, particularly to
Great Britain and France, for account of foreign
non-residents. Of course neither freight nor profits
on such portion can accrue to the United States. The
profits, however, on the half of the cotton crop
shipped for account of citizens of the United States
cannot amount to a large sum, as we have heard in
telligent and well-informed merchants express the
opinion that in an average of years there is little
or no profit on cotton shipments to Europe. The
freight of cotton to Europe during the last ten
years would ocrtaiuly not average more than $1 per
bale, probably not more than $?'?; but taking the
freight ami profit at 80 per bale, it would on the
shipment of 2,500,000 bales give an advance over
the ofiicial returns of value of 815,000,000 ; and
allowing one-half of said shipments to l>c for Ame
rican account, and by A meriean vessels, there would
accrue to American citizens from these sources
87,500,000, to bo placed to the credit of the nation
al account current. Of the other one-third of our
exports, a large portion is also shipped for foreign
account, and by foreign vessels, but not to the Amc
extent as of cotton ; but if we estimate the profits
and freight on that third at 85,000,000, it will pro
bably be fully oqual to the actual advance realized
by the country.
Th'-ro are, however, other items of indebtedness
to foreign countries which the honorable Senator
has not embraced in his statement, on" of which is
the profits rcalircd by foreigners on the very large
portion of tho import* into the United States
which are shipped for account of European houses.
This is a regular business, yielding regular and
large profits, all of which are of course withdrawn
by the European houses for whose account the
good? are shipped and sold in the United States.
A considerable portion of our imports are also ship
ped to the 1 nitod States m foreign (jtcaniers and
sailing vessols, the freight of which is paid to the
foreign owners by American eititens. Our vessels
abroad also pay heavy contributions to foreign na
tions for harbor and port duos, pilotage, tonnage duty,
and light money, besides the ordinary expenses for
the ivcessary stores a.nd supplies of the vessels, and
tho maintenance of their crews, which items in the
aggregate must a mount to many millions of dollars.
We shall, nevertheless, throw the^e various itrm<
out of our ee'amates. and merely m:ike the noedfuj
| corrections, ad stated above, an to the real valuo of
our imports, and exports. We cannot agree with
the honorable Senator that these uncertain ityrns
a* regard* the value of our import* and expert*
ubouv balance each other; for we think these itams,
conuected with the imports, greatly exceed in vilue
j any reasonable amount that could justl) be added
to the value of the exports. These correction as
| regards the exports and imports being made,! the
national aecount current with foreign countries'will
stand as follows, viz:
Custom-house value of imports - - 8*207,100|73l)
i Under valuation 10 per cent. - * 20,71(1978
Vulue of smuggled goods ... 5,00(^000
??
[ Total cost of foreign merchandise
imported 232,820,712
' Custom-house value of ?
exports .... $160,067,400
Increased*value realiz
ed by American citi
zens for freight, pro
fits, &c. 12,500,000
179,407.400
P'xcess of imports 53,352|222
To this add the other items of out
goings, as detailed by Mr. lirod
head, for interest on America^
stocks held abroad, foreign expen
ditures by American travellers,
public outlay for navy, &c., instal
ment to Mexico, &c., which, after
deducting 810,000,000 estimated
amount of gold and silver brought
: into the country by emigrauts,
makes the sum of 24,000,000
Leaving $77,352,222
as the actuul foreign balance against us for the last
fiscal year; an amount which the honorable Sena
tor very justly observes is any thing but agreeable
to contemplate, and particularly as there is at pre
sent no prospect that the balance will be any less
during me current year.
Tiiat this balancc is not over-estimated we think
is clearly shown by the collateral circumstances. As
stated by Mr. BRODHEAD, the balance of our export
of specie towards liquidating the above indebted
ness, after deducting the imports of the prccious
metals from foreign countries, was during the last
i year 837,000,000, which docs not include the
I amount of gold (probably eight or ten millions
; more) which went direct from California to Europe;
| South America, and China; and the remainder of
j the above balance has been settled by the negotia
tion and transmission of the stocks of States, cities,
and railroads.
From authority on which we place great reliance
we learn that the known negotiation of new loans
and railroad and other bonds which have been taken
during the past year for foreign account form an
aggregate of at least 825,000,000, besides such ne
gotiations as have not been made public, and the
transmission of different stocks by private individuals.
Not only have various States and large railroad
companies made heavy negotiations of this kind in i
Europe recently, but many such negotiations are
now progressing for very large sums, in consequence
of the general railroad mania throughout the
country.
It is a very unfavorable feature connccted with
the subject that we do not " pay as we go," but that
#o largo a portion of this indebted balance to foreign
ers is placed upon interest, which, on the bonds and
stocks transmitted to Europe during the last year, will
II probably be two millions of dollars, to be added to
? the balauce that will be against us during the
, present and future years, until we liquidate the
1 ! principal.
From the best information and opinions we have
? j been able to obtain on the subject, we do not think
I that the honorable Senator has over-estimated our
present indebtedness to foreigners when he places
it in the aggregate at 5300,000,000, which is cer
tainly an alarming amount, existing as a mortgage
! on the future resources and labor of the country,
and is rendered still more so by the fact that this
sum is annually increasing at a fearful rate.
We again repeat our satisfaction that the sub
ject has been brought to the notice of the country,
as we confidently anticipate it will lead to beneficial
result*.
PARTIES IN MISSOURI.
The election of Mayor in the city of St. Louii, onMonlay
la.-t, w&a tbe occasion of a very warm party contest. One
1 ticket was supported by the friends of Col. Beaton ; the
j other by the anti-Bentons and Whigs generally. The tele
graph informs as that the contest resulted in the success
of the Benton ticket by a thousand majority over the
oombined ticket, a result which, considering the constant
Whig strength in the eity of St. Louis, we are somewhat
j surprised at.
THE SANDWICH ISLANDS.
The Boston Journal says that a recent census of the
Sandwich Inlands exhibits some facts of startling interest,
' and which illustrate in the most unmistaVeable manner
the vital law that the inferior race must give way tn the
stronger. The present population of the seven islands
forming the group is SO.C41. The deaths during last year
were 7,'.'43, while the births were ouly 1,47? ; an average
of fix deaths to one birth. The foreigners number only
1,787. This is an extraordinary state of things, and we
doubt whether its parallel can be found in the history of
the world. In the time of Cook this people numbered
400,000; thus in seventy years they have decreased
i 820,000. In 18.16 they numbered 108,679; decrease in
seventeen years nearly 28,000. Such a rapid decrease of
native population is a deeply melancholy spectacle. At
the prewntrate of decrease another generation will hardly
have passed away ere this people will be blotted from the
f;ice of the earth.
I)kbt or Virginia.?In accordance with a resolution of
the House of Delegates, tbe First and Second Auditors
have furnished that body with a joint str.tement of the
i public debt, which is summed up as follows by the
" Morning Mail
I Actual existing debt o%the 2fith instant...$!.*?,972,41ft 30
Deduct each on hand and in the general
treasury 27'J,770 88
Amount of productive stock..8,011,008 60
8,291,4:19 ."?4
Debt on the day assumed, less productive
stocks 7,6W),976 76
To which add further debt...3,228,064 06
Also contingent liabilities....8,020,073 86
? 11,864,787 42
$19,684,718 18
Salk or Mouth Carolina Bonds The five hundred
thoasand dollars six per cent, thirty years' coupon bonds of
j the State of North Carolina, to be applied to the construc
tion of the Central Railroad, have b?en awarded to Mesnrs.
| Caiman & Co., of New York, at $106.02, who bid at
that rate fer all or none?that being the best offer for the
wliole is?ue. The proposals made amounted to upwards
?f two millions of dollars, and varied front $95 to $110.
There was one bid of $104 for $f>28,000. The total pre
mium raaliied upon theae bonds amounts to $25,100;
which, though not quite as much as was expected to be
derived fr?m their sale, is nevertheless a most flattering
exhibit.
i
turkey.
A letter from Athens, dated tha 7th of March
narrates the cause of thp thw???w .. . ?
of.ff.in. in Turkm an Mil, eD,Dg C0'"PI'K""??
" The Sublime Porte has cot out nf k ? t
Austria ubout Montenegro-,hat is to
u?..e? to every thing that the Emperor of Austril exac*
wiuoii w.i? uot very pleasant for a Sultan wi ? i
Mahomet, .,,<1 wJ?,?P ?hU
.ff.ir end., , ,h. Turk, L?p?| ltl *h?
enjoy a liUle quiet; but far from it. JermTu? u - -
the thorn in her aide. On the top of France's biir w *1"
and the withdrawal of M. Du IavALnre, arrive aSit
formidable Russian embassy, composed of two war .team
ers, all full of big epaulettes, the Minister of Marine in
person, with two Admirals on his right hand, an ? the son
of X mice Nesselrode 0.1 his left. And this Embassy de
mands three things?the supremacy for Russia in the
Holy City, the nomination for life of the Greek Patriarch
or CoBstuntinoplo, and the stri.jtubservance of the treaty
of Gulkiine which the Sultan has infringed in giving back
to the Pachas the right of life and death in the provinces
which hey govern. Most people shake their heads and
think the lurkish horizon a very dark one for the mo
ment. In the mean time M. De Lavai.kttk quitted Con
stantinople for Paris the very day the Russian Embassy
arrived, and by a misunderstanding, against which he has
vehemently protested, he was fired upon in passing the
Dardanelles, because he did not' show his passport, ac
cording to the ancient Turkish custom."
It having been erroneously reported that the Prussian
fleet was near Constantinople, the British Charg6 d'Af
f.iires sent to Malta in haste to Admiral Di'ndas, requir
ing him to bring tho fleet to the Turkish waters. This
the Admiral refused to do, without orders from England.
The French fleet at Tou'.on, however, was immediately
dispatched. It appears that the British Representative
at Constantinople took this decisive ttep ut the desire of
the Porte, which, in its terror, throws itself on British
support.
It was current in the diplomatic circles of Paris that
an interview had taken place between the Emperor and
the British Amba.sador, in which the Emperor repeated,
in the strongest possible terms, his desire to act cordially
with the English Government on the Eastern question, as
the only means of preventing a conflict which eould only
lead to the dismemberment of the Turkish Empire or a
war i.". Europe.
TIIE BRITISH STEAM NAV1*.
The English Navy Department (says the Boston Daily
Advertiser) has been for a long time engaged in increas
ing and improving the steam navy, by experimental al
terations of vessels which in their original form proved
inellicient. In the occasional reports of the press from
the dockyards the public are kept informed of the progress
of these alterations, and of experimental cruises made
for testing their success.
In a late London paper, under date of Portsmouth,
March 17, it is announced that Vice-Admiral Cochran on
that <lay proceeded in the yacht Fanny to Spithead, and,
after inspecting the paddle steam-frigate Sidon, of 22
guns, hoisted upon it hi^ flag and proceeded, with it and
two other paddle steam-frigates, (the Odin, of 16 guns,
and Leopard, of 12,) under steam and full sail to the
westward on a cruise.
It is announced that the screw three-decker Duke of
Wellington, of 181 guns, the largest ship in the British
navy, has received a new figure head, which is an admi
rable likeness of the late Duke.
The steam-tender Firegun had been that morning dock
ed for the purpose of examining her bottom, with a view
of ascertaining the effect of Hay's composition, which
had been applied a twelvemouth before, for preventing
the action of rust upon the iron work. Tho report says:
"We found on inspection that nothing tare a little
nlimy dirt was visible, and which in one hour was scrub
bed off by birch brooms, leaving: her bottom perfectly fair
and as cleun as though it had been black-leaded."
From the same source we collect the following addi
tional information, announcing large additions to the fleet
of screw liue-of-battle ships.
The St. Jean d'Acre, 101 guns, was to bo launched at
Devonport on the 28d of March. The James Watt, 91,
I to be launched at Pembroke in the course of the month
i of April. The. Royal George, 120, to be completed at
Chatham by the :{Oth of April. The Royal Albert, 181
at Woolwich, and the Hannibal, 91, at-Deptford, to be
launched about next June.
The armament of these steamships may be judged of
from the following description of the guns destined for
the Hannibal, to be launched, as above mentioned, in June,
to be put on board at Sheerness:
Lower deck: 28 guns, 8-inch, 65 cwt., 0 feet Iontr ?
main deck: 88 S.'-pounders, 6C cwt., 9 feet 6 inches!
qusrter deck and forecastle: 24 82-pounders, 42 cwt., 8
feet; and one pivot, 68-pounder, 95 cwt., 10 feet. Total
91 guns. '
In addition to the above, we find the following notice of
I the "conversion" of other ships of war, in the course of
which the reader will observe the names of two officers
which figure in our naval history, (Captains Dacrcs and
Chads:)
?? The armament of the Sanspariel, 81, at Devonport
is1 U1 be reduced to 70 g.ins It was originally intended,'
after she hud been advanced on the stock as an 84-run
ship, that she should be converted into a 60-gun frittate
an<l yet she was subsequently au 81-gun screw shin We'
must not regard her as a regularly-designed screw ship
but as an experiment in conversion. She would have
done better perhaps, if Capt. Dacres's health had been
good ; but this is the iault of the Admiralty in not giving
an experimental ship a commander equal in every respect
I * U,^,WOtrMing ?ul of the of the experiment
The Illusmous, old ,2-gun ship, in course of adapta
? tion, like the Edinburgh, to receivc screw machinery is
1 to have an armament of 39 broadside guns and one pivot
?o that she will be enabled to light 20 guns on each side! *
Capt. Chads, of the Excellent, has the arrangement of
her armament. Her present fittings are not to be dis
turbed ; and by the plan proposed for her conversion it
will be a more economical job than the adaptation of the
Edinburgh, converted at less cost than the Ajax, the hill
for which ship was considerably less than the Hogue
converted by Messrs. Green at much less expense than
the Bienheim was made a screw ship by Messrs Wigrain."'
The facilities of Railroad travel between Albany and
Buffalo are about to be greatly increased, the new ar
rangement tiking effect on the 11th instant. There are
to be eleven daily trains from Albany westward, fire of
them express trains, eight daily trains from the west, of
which four are express trains. The time between Albany
and Buffalo is reduced to twelve hours for all express
trains, and one, tr.e "lightning" train, is to accomplish it
in ten. '
Seven thousand men, in charge of one hundred nnd sev
enty-five vessels, have recently sailed from Newfoundland
for the ?eal fisheries.
Maryland Coal Tradb.?We loam from the t'umber
land Telegraph that, for tb? week ending the 2tith, forty
one boat*, ladened with 4.196 14.20 tens of coal, descend
ed the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. This is a slight fall
ing off compared with the previous week, and may be
attributed to the sinking of two canal boats a few ."lay*
since, which prevented boats from ascending. Therewere
transported over the Mount Savage Railroad, .luring the
week, 6,446 tons of coal, and over the road of the Cum
berland Coal and Iron Company 4,-349 tons.
Nt'LLiricATio* in Wisconsin.?A county seat question
has long disturbed the good peopleef Washington couuty,
in the State of Wisconsin. A short time since the Legis
lature of that State undertook (he settlement of the diffi
culty by dividing the county. This coup d'etat of the
| " assembled wisdom " does not meet with the most favor
able reception that eould be desired at the hands of the
I parties interested, as witness the following warlike uiaoi
' festo, issued by a public meeting:
"Whereas on act ha# pas??-d the last Legislature of this
State providing f r a division of this county, and the organic-*
ing of a new county called Ocaukee; and whereas the [?a*aagc
1 of faid act* if fn opporition to the wirhea of more (ban four
filths of the eitiivns and taxpayer* that ne represent, and
iii believed by the in to be unjust and unconstitutional:
therefore?
" Jlitnlrft, That this board treat said law ni nneonstitu.
tional and of no effect j and that we resist the provisions of
<aid law, and hereby instruct the county officers of Washing
ton eoiitity to Mill eontinue to hold their office*, and attend to
the duties of the same, aa if no such law had l*en pasaed ;
and that we hereby guaranty to indemnify such officer or of
ficer* against aay damage or lua* that may accrue to thtia in
any manner, in accordance with the?? instruction*, and in op
position to the provision* of ?aid act."
A watchman of Boston, n few nights ainee, found a sin
gular looking little men sitting on a cellar door in the
street, and took him to the watch-house, lie was three
feet one inch high, and weighed seventy seven pounda.
His name is, Calrs E. CoLcoRn, and he has a wife and
one child in Maine.

xml | txt