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Gentile, as Christian or Mobanmedan, as Protestant or Oatholic-we, who have made the world ring with selfglorifications of the asylum of the oppressed of all creeds and nations—of the city of refuge to all the weary exiles of freedom, “whom earth's proud lords in rage or fear, drive from their wasted homes," we, are now asked to erect political barriers, to deal out political excommunication as narrow, as mean, as selfish, and as unwarrantable, as ever debased the elder governments.)
That a preparatory residence and disci. pline should be required of foreigners, before their incorporation into the State, is reasonable; the extent and nature of such social quarantine may also be conceded to be a question for discussion; but the total exclusion of aliens froin citizenship for the future, is so monstrous a meapness that one is loth to entertain the conception. It is such an utter and unequivocal surrender of nearly every peculiarity of our institutions, that it would not merely lay all the new comers under ban, but denationalize our. selves! The cry is, “ America for Americans," and we agree to it heartily, but what is America, and who are Americans? He is not a Jew saith the apostle, who is one outwardly - and America, in the same sense, is not a certain measurable area of territory,nor the American every miserable biped that happens to be born upon it. America, is the cognomen of a nation of men, and not of a collection of arable acres; and Americans are not simply the individual Indians, negroes, and whites, who first saw light between Passamaquoddy and Pensacola, but all who are Americans inwardly-who are built up on the American idea, who live in the true sentiment of democracy, whose political “ circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter, and whose praise is not of men but of God." These are the true Americans, wherever they chanced to be born - whether Turk, Russian, Milesian, or Choctaw, and are infinitely to be preferred to the unthinking and virulent natives, whose Ameri. canism sinks no deeper than their skins; and had no existence before their flabby little bodies were first swaddled. America to the Americans, surely;--not to the spurious, skin-deep, apparitional Americans, but to the real men worthy of the name!
We are apt to suppose, in projecting these exclusions, that the persons shut
out are the only persons seriously affected by them, but that is a woeful mistake. He that commits injustice, he that perpetrates meanness, suffers from it as badly as he that is the direct victim. Curses, like young chickens, fays the familiar old proverb, always come home to roost. Pebar the halfmillion of emigrants who annually reach our shores from the elective franchise, and what would be the effect? Why, the growth, in the very midst of the community, of a vast disfranchised class of an immense body of political lepers—of men having an existence apart from their fellow inen, not identified with them, not incorporated with society; and consequently tempted on all sides to conspire against it, to prey upon it, and to keep it in disorder Coming here ignorant, vicious, unruly aliens would remain ignorant, vicious, and unruly; for they would have few of the strong motives which they now have to become orderly and estimablo citizens. They would remain outside of those educational influences, which are the glory as well as salvation of free insti. tutions, the jury, the ballot, the legislative assembly, etc., and which render it so important to us to extend those influences to all who are members of our societies. We have already, in the midst of us, one class of outcasts, in the poor and degraded free blacks, and that, we should think, sufficient to appease anybody's malignity, without striving to raise up another from the Germans, the Irish, or any other nation.
It is scarcely possible, however, to believe that the Know-Nothings contemplate such an extreme error as the entire exclusion of future aliens from political life. It must be a calumny of their enemies, or a product of suspicion aggravated by fear. At any rate, we are certain that the late political tour. villons which have sent such swift consternation and dismay into the hearts of the old political foxes, have not been caused by any affinity for such a project We have too much respect for our fel. low-citizens to suppose it; but we ascribe these extraordinary movements to other sources. They are a result of a double reaction-firstly against the excessive cultivation of foreigners by the demagogues; and, secondly, against tho miserable folly and corruption of the old political parties.
It cannot be denied that for some years now, both whigs and dennocrats have prostrated theinselves before the alien-voters, in a servile and disgraceful way. Holding the balance of power, as the latter did, between the two parties, there was no end to the concessions, the Hummeries, and the substantial douceurs, too, by which they were courted. Honors and offices were heaped upon them with a profusion, which recalled the début of some popular actress, and the showers of bouquets which greeted her from her adoring friends. It was better to be an Irishman, or a German, than a Dative American; a Mac or O', to one's name, was the handle which lifted him to fortune-and an unpronounceabla German patronymic was à passport to all kinds of political favor. No ticket was a complete ticket which did not con. tain a sop, in the shape of a candidate to the Irish interest or the German interest, and the suppleness with which senators and governors bent themselves in that direction, set new lessons in the art of fawning-gave new formulas for the preparation of adroit lies. Is it ? wonder, then, that the Americans them selves, shoved so wholly into the shadow, should get a little tired of the game? More especially, when the same influences, which introduced the foreigners into political office, were likewise introducing them into so many private places of emolument and trust? Not at all! Bat the foreigners were not to blame for it, or, at least, for nothing beyond & little natural presumption occasioned by their good luck. The dastardly and un
principled demagogues, who wheedled them into excesses, are the offenders who should bear the brunt of the punishment. Let all those, too, who hereafter appeal te the citizens under any other name than Americans, come in for a share, and then we shall have “America for the Ameri cans," in the truest and best sense of the phrase.
In the late irruptions of Know No. thingism, which have come over the old parties like an avalanche from the Alps, whelming rider and horse, captain and cattle, in a common ruin, we are dis posed to rejoice. We should do so, with å joy unfeigned, if we were sure that the effects of the bouleversement would be confined to the flatulent old hacks, the queasy and prarient old bawds, who have so long had the control of the old parties. We should be glad to see them and their machinery--their caucuses and primary assemblies, and regular nominations-pitched like rotten wood into the pit; we did laugh indeed, “ many a time and oft," during the last fall, as we saw how invisible hands were pricking one after another of their windbags, and allowing them to exhale, amid looks of blank astonishment on the part of those whom their gassy contents had often floated into office; but we fear that the success of the Know Nothings may throw them into the hands of these very men, or if it does not, that their intoxication may carry them to lengths which we shall have to deplore.
Alick, that quaint introverted contenTT is due to our friends and the public plation of yours-that self-centered habiI that we narrate to them the late con tude of mind which evolves bouquets of versation in our private office) between artificial flower-fancies, however life-like, ourselves and Alick M. Payne.
would be useless. That you can construet Payne is young. He is bitten with a unheard-of sentences—can juggle with Eng. scribblo-mania. He is also rural-rural in lish until you create, out of its hard mathe extreme; as will be sufficiently evident terial, dishes as foreign to its normal state when we add that he has plunged headlong as were the Frenchman's five piquant soups into the great whirlpool of New York and thirteen varieties of entremets, to the and is yet circulating therein—with a view horsetail and the old shoe from which he of accumulating immense riches, on the compiled them, will never help you. He strength of having sold three articles to the failed disgracefully in the wild endeavor publishers of a Magazine.
to make & sirloin of beef out of his subjectWe knew him erst, in his native wilds; matter. No more could you, from such and now, in the first proud flush of his ex- mental labor as you have most used, deal pectations, while he was debating whether as a master and leader, with the literature he should accept the editorial chair of a of the nation. What! have you the strength leading periodical (we faintly suspected and the wisdom to read MS. scrawled, scribhim of meditating our own ejection from bled, or blotted, at the rate of a thousand our place), or publish a volume of essays articles, and thirty thousand pages a-year ; (entitled, What I don't know Anything to judge which of them are best suited to About), he came to us to chant his little the current popular demand, and at the poem in advance.
same time to improve the popular mind; We eradicated, in the first instance, his to let down easily the nine of every ten editorial expectations. He cad delineated who are refused, with sweet and sonder with enthusiasm the infinite ascending declinatures, such as shall soothe the rage series of his triumphs. Able editorials; of the disappointed great, and the anguish trenchant criticism ; fresh thoughts; opera; of the disappointed small; to put your arts; literary circles; the best society; he heart under a Pharaonic dispensation of displayed a paradisaic picture, all sunshine hardness; to steel yourself alike against the and foreground, without a middle tint or a cries of the needy girl or the starviug boy shadow.
who have poured out their poor souls on The considerations which we laid before paper, that their best thoughts may haply our aspiring friend were very simple and bring them a few dollars to scare away very obvious.
the hunger-fiend, and the imperial frost of “Let us suppose, dear friend," said we, scorn, or the imperial lightning of wrath “ that you are, in the single respect of from the eminent man whose calm stateability, competent to fill a chair, such, for ment (mentioning what little amount is to instance, as that which we occupy. Sup. be remitted for the article, and in what pose that you have the requisite power number it is to stand) is answered, that Have you the training that you need, to you don't think his composition suitable to use it? Do you imagine that you compre the present occasion of the Magazine ? hend the forces of whose lines of action Beloved friend, the daily avalanche of your own line of action must be compound material would crush you as to quantity, ed? Don't answer. I asked for rhetorical and scare you to death, as to quality and effect; not to get any response from you. variety. Consider only the fearful fag-end And, above all, don't keep smiling in that of our contributions. Crazy men's poems, supreme manner, and manipulating the covering a quarter of a ream of (approprilittle ginger-colored fog upon your upper ate) foolscap, in light yellow ink and an lip. Listen, now, to the words of experience indistinct style of lettering, as if written by ---while we delineate to you the duties of a palsied man, with weal saffron tea; interthe place we hold--what, in holding such minable concrete tediousness—whose highly an one, you would be necessitated to do. respectable concocters, like Dogberry, have
For the performance of guch duties, it in their hearts to bestow all of it on us, it
you were intending to occupy the place of your speaker.
An infinitesimal shadow of consciousness fleeted across the face of the audience. Alick had in dreams pressed our thronean editoria! king.
Our aims are three ; and conflicting: we would stand the truest type and exponent of American thought; that is, of a national intellect far the most gigantic and active; of a national intellection the strongest and most vivid, the most unbounded, discursive, joyous and free, that has ever stirred upon
they were as tedious as a king-dribbling over a century, or half century of pages; watery essays, collegially pun-speckled, read before a students' society, or radiating the thick darkness of seventeen-year-old philosophers from before a village lyceum; wonderful sonnets, odes, lyrics, and dithyrambies, with lines duly capitalized at the beginning, separated into groups of from one to seventeen and a fraction, and shadow. ing forth all conceivable phases of human passion, from the inarticulateness of idiotic drivel and flat ultra-Mosaic meekness, aroand the ring to the inarticulateness of chaotic maniacal fury: such has been the lowest class of matter offered ; and the quality of the remainder has varied through all the grades of excellence, up to the prose and poetry of the leaders of American literature.
I barely allude to the additional duty of "doing the books.” Four to ten per diem; strictly miscellaneous in assortment; either with tedium to be read, for a fair and valuable criticism, or dishonestly to be skimmed for a pretentious or useless one. You, who are honest, would consume the midnight gus, and fritter away your golden hours in cursory, exhausting and useless investigations, to tell people who write what they bave done well or ill, and people who read what to bay. That is right, Alick; criticist should do that, honestly and bravely, or it should do nothing; but the daring craft must steer between eddies and whirlpools.
You smile-happily rather more feebly than at first; nor do you yet fondle the ginger-colored fog. What? you always did like hard work; and pride yourself, if apon anything, upon that precise quality of grabbing? Yea? Listen further, oh, ** wash neophyte"—that is only the exoteric mystery of our craft.
You are competent to judge the judgesto proceed apodictically and ex-cathedrally in estimating the greatest, and in not under estimating the smallest, of our literary men and women? Granted, presumptuous Alick, for this occasion only; and now, receive a second blow.
You know what are the aims of the periodical under our charge-a mind so elear and an ambition so pure and lofty as your own could not entertain lower ones. We will classify them in a trine division, and the product of the analysis may, if you choose, stand as the ideal purpose of American periodical literature. Or, sappose
We desire-and this aim, as higher and nobler yet, may confront or overbear that other high and noble one-to exist in this free Western land as a power; wielding such influence as we may, on the side of all that is Right and True, irrespectively of individuals or organizations.
Lastly, we desire to please the public taste. This we must do, in order to maintain our existence. But in order to maintain our self-respect, we must do it subject to the dominant exigencies of the former two purposes.
You, therefore, editorially instaurated, ob, steam-engineering Alick! can, we suppose, do the work. And you can proceed, in steam-enginary impassibility, to condemn and refuse all that is too flat or too sharp, notwithstanding the poverty, grief, or fame of the writer ; nor shall your cylinder engine-heart be touched by anger or sorrow -scared by the gibbering ghosts, or the remonstrating personalities of the rejected.
“ Their necromantic forms in vain
Haunt you on the tented plain."
But, having selected the compositions which seem to you the best, can you impartially apply the other tests? Will not article A be too heavy, B too long, C too provoking, D too irreligious, E too vulgar! Not for your own calm and self-centered judgment, passionless Alick-but for “people.” People, you know, are such singular people. They won't see; can't see ; see through inverting glasses. And if you provoke, or frighten, or stupefy, the “ list" shortens.
Can you, Alick of the fairy fancies, comprehend this wicked, reckless, impetuous, jolly, keen, calculating, cober, benevolent, affectionate, religious American people ? Can you administer to such brain-fevered customers a cup which shall cheer but not
inebriate-a draught which shall do them patience while we state a fact or two to as much as they will endure of good, in a substantiate our assertions; facts, as the way more delightful than the most delight chess-books say, “recently occurring in ful evil? Can you ?
actual play,"' A gentleman-of the cream Your smile is gone. Now we see your of gentility-a spoonful of cream of genblue(ish) eyes sparkle a little under the tility, we might say—sent us a poem; a gathering yellow brow. You have forgot- composition which we will mildly characten the lip-service. And the thought of terize as less than Miltonian. And thereheavy and complicated responsibility chal with he wrote, “If you accept the inclosed, lenges a rising respondent energy in your send me a check for One Thousand Dollars." heart. That is manly. You are not so You know, Alick, that every man has the ignorantly certain, either, as you were right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of Not discouraged ? Wait a little. An im- happiness. He has also the right, my partial intellectual eclecticism has been friend, to set his own value upon his own the very ideal of your studies and your poetry. But, candidly, we did not send literary efforts? And that may perhaps him the document alluded to; and that for
a plain reason; namely, that the amount Perhaps; and only perhaps. You may would, at twenty-five cents per hundred be the Coming Man. Who knows? If you (the usual rate), have procured us four are, we individually will enlist as a faith bundred thousand old newspapers, full of ful private under your banner. But who matter equally valuable for our purposes ; knows?
from among which we might select any We think we remember you angry, Alick. portion, correspondent in dimension with Were you ever? Oh yes, you say-when the Thousand Dollar Poem, at an expense that great jeering tow-headed fellow boxed (estimated) of one eighth part of a mill, your ears. Yes, you were. We recollect current money of the United States. We how you polished him off; and were sus may add, as a specimen of the curiosities pended from college, too. Aha, impassible —or rather the amenities of literatureAlick?
that there was a most wonderful quantity Why, dear man, you are as touchy as
of diplomatic noncommittalism in a set of tinder. Do you not know that if a careless kind endorsements which our friend had waiter, even, at a public dining-room, de- forwarded to further his suit. layeth his coming, you fume and fret your
That is a mild specimen of an “asker.” self into a hot mist of fidgets? How at But, Alick, in such a case you must not fire any suspected imputation or insult, you off a quiverfull of jokes at him, the unjump like a snap-bug, and avoid firing great happy. You must write a civil and suvolleys of vituperation only by biting off
gared letter, regretting that the finished the tip of your tongue?
(a safe word) production which he sent is Well; you can't deny it, though we see · unfortunately of a length which must at that you are getting angry already, even present preclude its insertion. at the description.
Here, again, is a case of mental delusion But-suppose, for instance, you sat in or frailty, which is worth recording. A our place, as we said-truly it is a place correspondent, very evidently a worthy and to be filled by a man mightier than he who kind-hearted one,-writes to our publishers taketh a city-namely, by a ruler of his that a literary friend of his had recently own spirit. For humbugs will be let fly at died at his house, in the country. As liteyou. Spiteful rivals will sneer at you. rary executor of the deceased, our correUnscrupulous contemporaries will—abem! spondent says he is much interested in -convey. Arguments for belief as clear, learning from the papers left in his possesto you, as common honesty, or the golden sion, that his late friend was the author of rule, will be vilipended as nests and sum- the Potiphar Papers, and as there could maries of all iniquity-infernal machines be now no reason to the contrary, he calls exploded to shatter the peace of God and upon our publishers to do justice to his the happiness of men. Each contribution friend by announcing the fact, that these rejected may be the chrysalis whence shall - admirable papers," &c. were by Mr. — shortly creep a volant thing, Sitting dimly. The reply of our publishers was briefly to here and there, and whispering contagious the effect that the gentleman was mistaken, dislike. For contributors (although all inasmuch as the said papers were frozn anBry nice people) are only human. Have other source altogether; and, moreover,