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ped of every well-founded hope, in respect to the spiritual state of their deceased friend. Perhaps they are reduced to penury and want-perhaps they are exposed to the rude scoffs of the world, in the fall of their fortunes. At the best, they are deprived of that care, and guardianship, and temporal provision which are made the duty of every husband and father, towards objects with whom he is so tenderly connected. A son falls in a rencounter, and an object of expectation—a source of solace is torn from the heaving parental bosom. Brothers and sisters meet no more the companion and partaker of their joys. And here, too, they all must sorrow, even more emphatically than any others who have no hope.” But we have no power and no inclination to paint this scene in its real features of horror and hopelessness. It defies description. And for what is all this misery inflicted on survivors ? A mere punctilio—the bubble of a temporary eclat—the admiration of fools. The usage which inflicts such a misery, for such a purpose, combines the essence of cruelty.
But dueling is a sin not only against God, and society—it is a SIN AGAINST ONE'S OWN SELF-and this idea presents one other general topic. The man himself, who engages in it, is sinned against in a fearful degree, and is exposed to a tremendous evil. In this point of view, dueling is an infinite folly.
Where it takes effect according to its intention, it first murders the body and then the soul. A man enacts against himself the greatest conceivable injustice—he brings upon his being the greatest possible evil, by falling in a duel. All the pleasures and all the good of life he sacrifices at a stroke. He abandons in a moment every endearment of friendship-every love of domestic life. He annihilates at once all his prospects of usefulness or distinction, in the world. As to his immortal soul, that must be ruined, for he dies while sinning against God, and while designing to sin against him. His death itself is a sin, an inexpiable sin. Other sins which a person commits might be repented of, but this cannot be. Where death is the immediate result, there is of course no time for repentance. The expiring breath of the duelist is rather that of execration against his murderer, than of prayer for mercy. And as to the survivor himself, he seems to be in a scarcely less deplorable condition, agitated, condemned, and ever after a most unlikely subject for evangelical repentance. Sometimes as a man, he is filled with unavailing regrets, that he has committed such a cruelty, and so needlessly and thoughtlessly brought an insupportable load of suffering upon a fellow creature, to whom he owed benevolence and not vengeance. Sometimes, if his conscience be not seared, he feels as an offender, its pungent reproofs, and anticipates the remorse of a damned spirit, ere he is brought to the bar of his judge. The history of dueling in this country has been marked, in one instance at least, by the immediate fearful judgments of the Almighty, when the prematurely whitened locks, and the maniac stare of the son of an honored sire, told the tale of a horror-stricken conscience, for murder committed in a duel.
Again, dueling is no proper punishment inflicted on the offender-the man who offers the insult. The absurdity here is so great, that we are amazed every one does not feel it, and recoil at such a method of punishing an offender. The absurdity lies in the circumstance, that it is as probable the person who received the insult or injury will fall, as that the injurious person will. The originally innocent man in this concern, is just as liable to be punished as the offending man, and to have the evil of death superadded to that which he has already received, or supposes himself to have received. For an intelligent being, purposely to put himself in such a condition, betrays a singular infatuation.
Again, dueling is no proper reparation for the wrongs which have been received. Mr. B. remarks: “In the present clumsy as well as barbarous mode of proceeding, the duel proves nothing, as to the merits of the case in dispute,-nothing, as to the right or wrong of the parties; but after the combat is over, and one or both have fallen victims, the merits or demerits of the case remain untouched.” Dr. Paley says: “ It is difficult to explain in what the satisfaction consists, or how it tends to undo the injury, or to afford a compensation for the damage already sustained. The truth is,” he further intimates, “it is not considered as either. A law of honor having annexed the imputation of cowardice to patience under an affront, challenges are given and accepted with no other design than to prevent or wipe off this suspicion,"-he might have added, instead of what he has said, “and to gratify the anger and revenge arising from an affront, or the same feelings arising from being called to a combat on such an account." When the battle is fought, every one sees, that the character remains the same, or rather is blackened on the part of both, by the unjustifiable method which has been taken to set things aright. No calumny is disproved; no truth is made error. Both parties, therefore, are unjust to themselves, as well as towards each other, in submitting to a dangerous and wicked ordeal, which, let the issue be what it will, proves absolutely nothing.
Should it be inquired, What is the proper corrective of the evil? it may be expressed in a few words, --in mere hints of thoughts.
1. Let the crime be promptly punished, agreeably to the laws of the land; or if that cannot be at present, through the opposition or indifference of the public to the application of severe penalties, let the public sentiment be brought up to it. A sentiment should be created for the occasion, as there has been in regard to the temperance reformation. It should be created by reason, by argument, by persuasion, by example, or, if necessary, by association. Or if, according to Mr. B., courts of honor are desirable as a preventive, let these courts be instituted, wherever they are needed, for the adjustment of difficulties, that are now decided by an appeal to force.
2. The fear of God should be cultivated and cherished in the land. This will cure every other fear. It is a fear of man,the fear of scorn and contempt among that class in society in which duelists and their abettors are found, which urges men on to an appeal to arms, in their private quarrels. Dueling is so far a species of cowardice. It is at least a much higher exercise of courage to meet and face this evil, than to meet and face a man in battle, when the blood is heated and stirred up by injury or insult. The one is a cool, dispassionate, intellectual courage; the other partakes of rashness, blindness, and stupidity. Paradoxical as it may seem, the former is produced by the fear of God; the latter, by the fear of man. It is no cowardice to dread offending God, or meeting him as an adversary, for this is an evil which cannot be borne. But it is cowardice of a moral kind, to dread the contempt of the world, or of one's associates, for that is an evil which can be borne. And where the object is to avoid an infinitely greater evil, it is surely the part of wisdom to cultivate the fear of God. Let this fear, then, let piety abound, and an end will come to all these unnatural contentions.
3. It would be a preventive of this crime, to strengthen our social and domestic attachments. Let the love of kindred burn more purely and brightly in the bosoms of our citizens. There can be no danger of excess here, so long as a sympathy of this kind is subordinated to the love of God, and involved in that love. This ardent attachment to relatives and home, based on gospel principles, and directed by gospel light, would render fathers and brothers of families wholly averse to every such scene of strife. An invincible repugnance would be felt on the part of these inmates of households, to plunge their beloved associVOL. X.
ates into the depths of anguish. No earthly means can be found for preventing this practice, or indeed any other practice, bringing wo and disappointment in its train, like these strong, homebred attachments. We may well adore God, in view of his wisdom and kindness, in such an appointment and relationship. It is the neglect of these attachments, the living away from home under unsocial influences, together with the projects of ambition, and the cold, calculating spirit of infidelity, that renders men indifferent to their own lives, or to the lives and happiness of others.
After all, it may be thought, that we at the North have little interest in such a subject. It is true, that we have a less interest in it, in one point of view, than attaches to some other portions of our country. Our stricter notions, our habits, and our domestic circumstances, are greater obstacles to the practice, than are found in some other parts of the nation. These have almost entirely prevented it here. But, as has already been remarked, the shedding of blood in this case,-blood unatoned for, affects the land with guilt, in whatever part it takes place; and at least our testimony against it is due, since we cannot interfere in any other manner. Besides, our high-spirited or untutored sons, as they leave us, may yield to temptation, and favor the practice abroad. This we would by all means prevent, if possible. And, furthermore, occasionally a favorite son of the North actually falls in horrid combat, when far distant from his home. Cases occur which show, that this most impious crime may be committed by a New Englander, with all his sterner educational notions, let him go to places where the practice prevails to any extent. Within our own day, one of the most venerable clergymen of Connecticut, now deceased, lost a singularly accomplished son in a duel at the southwest. He was a young man of liberal education, of beautiful person, and of the brightest promise, in respect to talents and an honorable professional career. Some years afterwards, it was our privilege to hear the aged and afflicted minister, on one occasion, in a family prayer. He seemed to be ripe for a better world; but it was a melancholy consideration, that his soul had been riven by so poignant a sorrow, and that he had been called to pass through such a scene of tribulation, on his way to that world.
ART. II.-ATLANTIC STEAM-NAVIGATION.
The Origin, Progress, and Prospects of Steam Navigation
across the Atlantic, &c. pp. 76, 12mo. New York: Wiley & Putnam. 1838.
The arrival at New York, of the Steam-packets Sirius and Great Western, after having thrice traversed the broad Atlantic, and accomplished their passages with the regularity of intervals anticipated—forms an interesting era in the progress of scientific navigation. The practicability of a stated and frequent intercourse with Europe, may now be considered as determined; and the period is probably not far distant, when numerous lines of packets, navigated mostly by steam, will arrive and depart, true to the day of their announcement. Our readers are doubtless aware of the rejoicing which has been so generally manifested, both in our own ports and in those of Great Britain, on the fortunate issue of the experiment thus made. Visits, festivals and expressions of congratulation, mutually tendered and received, with all the usual exhibitions of delight, have followed each other in quick succession. The conductors of the daily press have vied in their efforts to describe the welcomed strangers, and in praise of the enterprise. The stocks have felt the electric impulse, and have sprung up under its influence. The little pamphlet now before us is also the product of the same feeling. Probably scarcely a single person who has been greeted by the intelligence, but has shared in the general exultation. Even the disastrous catastrophes of steamboats, which are taking place almost daily, have hardly if at all, weakened the confidence established and expressed with respect to the entire feasibility and safety of the enterprise just commenced. Reasons deemed sufficient—and which will continue to be so viewed, unless some similar painful events shall occur—are found to exempt these ships from the fate of numerous others on our coast, and our rivers and lakes. Sincerely do we hope that the course of time may prove the expectation true.
We too are unwilling to pass over an event fraught with such important results without deriving therefrom reflections which look beyond the mere question of commercial convenience and of temporal benefits. It is mainly with this design, we have placed the title of this pamphlet on our pages, and while we shall aim to aid in disseminating the facts of its history, we shall dwell for a short time upon its relations to the moral and