Page images


by turning the discourse upon horses. would not be easy to say what RepubSeveral events have occurred within licanism is, beyond the assurance each the past year to modify this ideal; and, Republican feels that his party will do as matters now stand, we do not see justice as occasion arrives. He knows how the mind of General Grant could that his party embraces all that is bes be better declared than it is upon what- in the national life, - intellect, educaever politicians would like to know. tion, public spirit, private worth and As rapidly as practical questions have weight in such degree that it cannot go arisen, he has answered for himself in wrong without destroying itself. It is word and act; and, since the removal essentially the party which saved the of General Sheridan, nobody has been government from rebellion, and it more satisfactory in the expression of seeks to restore prosperity in States his opinions than the taciturn soldier which, till its triumph, had never reputed never to open his lips. No one, known freedom. It is not, in broad it is true, has used him; and no one, terms, the party which sends prizewe suspect, has attempted to do so, fighters to Congress; it can except Mr. Johnson; but Mr. Johnson boast of having been beaten when it is a pure empiric in politics : he even named a 'cute showman for a seat in tried to make use of General Custer, the national legislature. It embodies and in like manner would probably have the American idea, with some of its resorted to Mr. Train as a specific for defects and errors, but with all its the Presidential complaint, had he hap- strength and honesty, its steadfastness pened to call to mind a gentleman who, and generosity. It can have no bein view of his public character and last ing but in progress and good-faith. It arrest, we may describe as our National may be divided and beaten, but in the Debtor.

end it must be the triumphing maThere is no longer a doubt of Gen- jority, for it is the reason and the heart eral Grant's convictions upon the great of the people. question which unites the whole Re- General Grant could give no better publican party, or which divides us from proof of his sympathy with this party, the Democratic party; and if we asked besides his avowed adherence to its him at this moment for a declaration of main purpose, than the respect he his opinions, beyond the question of has uniformly shown for the national reconstruction, he might reasonably re- sense of honor and justice, and the tort upon us with a like demand. For recognition which his acts have given some time our bow of Republican prom- of the supremacy of public opinion. ise has been much like the ordinary Explicitly or tacitly, our government is rainbow, of which there is supposed to based upon the idea that the people can be a separate one for the gratification do no wrong; and, consciously or unof each beholder. We share with our consciously, the office of the Chief Magopponents a general desire for lighter istrate among us has been simplified to taxes and a lower tariff; but we have intelligence and obedience, — the abilibeen somewhat uncertain about the cur- ty to understand the popular mind, and rency, and we are not agreed upon any the will to rule by it. We want no form of repudiation, or upon repudia- leader in the White House, but we tion at all. We no longer desire to hang nevertheless want a great man there, Jefferson Davis, or even John Surratt; for it is only a great man who can comand though the impeachment of Mr. ply with these conditions. Mr. JohnJohnson commands the approval of the son early showed himself helpless to party as

a serio-comic necessity, it discern and to acquiesce, blinded as he must be owned that the impeachment was with original conceit, and narrowed of Presidents is hardly an “issue” to by the provincial life of a minor Slave inspire enthusiasm in their election. State. He conceived of us from the

In fine, but for reconstruction it first as a nation of emancipated tailors, and he never could see that the West Point, was not of a kind to ineagle differed essentially from the spire trust in its infallibility, since it goose. It required a sagacious hu- concerned itself so little with Grant mility, which he never possessed, to personally that it even blundered in his act upon public feeling, to keep even name, and put fame and the family with it, to confess practically, that, un- Bible forever at variance about him; less our democracy is feigned and our nor is it probable that he was led in existence a sham, we can scarcely be any very confident or prophetic spirit worse misgoverned than when we are from West Point to active service in forced aright by an executive. “I Mexico, and thence to garrison-life in don't believe,” says Mr. Wade, in a

New York and on the Canadian fronrecent conversation attributed to him, tier, and, yet later, on military duty to “ that a President ought to be setting California and Oregon, with their goldhimself up as a policy-maker. When I mining tumults and Indian wars. Nevam asked what my policy will be in ertheless, he thus came to know Americase I have to discharge the Presiden- cans of every class and section; and tial duties, I generally answer that I when, having married, he resigned his won't have any policy. It's the duty place in the army, and tried farming, and, of Congress to adopt a policy, and the in a small way, slaveholding, in Missouduty of the President to execute it. ri, and still later devoted himself to the We've had trouble enough from the leather business at Galena, he completefforts of Presidents to set up a policy ed his own experience of all the promifor themselves, and force Congress into nent phases of American life, - the its adoption by the use of the govern- backwoods, the school, arms, agriculment patronage, and otherwise." To ture, and commerce. When the war some such clear idea of the business of overtook him with the rest of us, in Presidency General Grant has shown 1861, he was still selling leather in Gahimself to have attained; and whether lena. We dare say he did not then, in he has reached it through the experi- his thirty-ninth year, regard himself as ence of a lifetime, or through the a very successful man, and no effort of events of the two instructive years of the imagination could depict him as Mr. Johnson's administration, we need a great one. He was a widely experinot very diligently inquire.

enced, undiscouraged American, who It is certain that Grant's whole life was doing the work that lay next his has been one to teach him America, if hand, with no reason to exult in his not Americanism ; and he has had even past, nor any disposition to make less wider opportunities to know his coun- of himself in the future. He must trymen than that great President who have seemed to everybody a plain understood them better than any other, man of average ability ; but his taciand with whom he had in common a turn habit no doubt did him injustice, backwoods origin and a youth of hard and made him pass for a man of less work. In order to believe that these weight than he really was. Consideropportunities were not lost to a man ing his whole character and career, it is of his shrewd and independent tem- probable that he valued his neighbors per, we need not be at the trouble more justly than they valued him ; and to suppose that he made an ambi- it is pretty certain that since that time tious study of the people with whom he he has had the advantage of his coun. was brought so variously acquainted, trymen in approaching the reciprocal or that he was not always chiefly in- understanding which has been finally terested in advancing his fortunes by reached. the paths plainest before him. The We are all Abolitionists since the destiny which took him from his rude emancipation of the slaves; and if we early life, and placed him in contact find it hard to forgive Grant, that, up to with discipline, science, and culture at the beginning of the war, he had failed to sympathize with the popular resolution an effort to defeat the laws of Congress. to limit and annul the political influence It will be interpreted by the unconof slavery, we can remember it merely structed element in the South — those as we recall the political history of, say, who did all they could to break up this General Butler up to about the same government by arms, and now wish to period. Grant's thorough knowledge be the only element consulted as to of Americans as men was the founda- the method of restoring order - as a tion on which he built the victories of triumph. It will embolden them to reFort Donelson, Vicksburg, and Rich- newed opposition to the will of the mond, and in the mean time his polit- loyal masses, believing that they have ical education has proceeded with the the Executive with them.” greatest rapidity. At the outset he saw Neither for the great exigency of that the end of slavery had come, and reconstruction, which makes us all Rethe "three likely negroes whom his publicans, whatever our opinions of wife owned in Missouri were then freed tariffs or debts or taxes, nor for the by private proclamation; nor did he imperishable principles of justice and ever propose to subdue the Rebels freedom upon which our national exwith one hand and crush the slaves istence rests, could there have been with the other, upon the plan of our any franker expression than this. Here more imaginative generals. He felt that is a man who interprets the Presidenthe work before him was more serious tial duty as respect for the public will, than this, and that the people behind and the Presidential policy as a plain him were earnest to extremity. He obedience to the laws of Congress. put his silent faith in their resolution, Reading this passage over again in the and beat out the Rebellion with their light of Mr. Wade's attributive theory inexorable numbers, which he knew of the Presidential office, we cannot could not fail him so long as there was find how it differs from the ideal of need of them ; but, the work done, he the most radical among us. If there respected their supremacy, as if he had is stuff to make a broader or sounder been the least of his victorious soldiersreconstruction clause for the Repuband had never had power over one lican creed, we shall be glad to have American citizen.

it used at Chicago. Grant's acts since Yet how thoroughly events had edu- the war, and particularly during the last cated him in our political character and six months, if they could somehow be the most advanced ideas of self-govern- formulated, might serve the occasion. ment few of us understood till, two No doubt General Grant will pledge years later, we read those words in pro- himself to as great truth in the future test against the removal of General as he has shown in the past; and Sheridan; “I earnestly urge, in the we say again, if there is any form of name of a patriotic people, who have promise by which he can be most clearsacrificed hundreds of thousands of ly and distinctly bound to the purloyal lives, and thousands of millions poses and destiny of the party, we of treasure, to preserve the integrity owe it to ourselves and to the country and union of this country, that this to exact it. The one great duty before order be not insisted on. It is, unmis- us is the reconstruction of the Southern takably, the expressed wish of the States upon the basis of equal rights country that General Sheridan should for every race and color. This is the not be removed from his command. first thing; but another duty associThis is a Republic where the will of ates itself with it, in all just men's the people is the law of the land. I minds. beg that their voice may be heard. The party ought to declare unmistakGeneral Sheridan has performed his ably against every form of repudiation, civil duties faithfully and intelligently. lest thereby we who urged on the war His removal will only be regarded as at every cost incur a double guilt, such as never could attach to the opponents of barbarism.” However, we do not inof the war if they favored national bad sist upon this. It can scarcely be nefaith. Honesty is the best principle as cessary to urge upon the Convention the well as the best policy, and we must nomination of a thoroughly tried and secure the national creditors, because, upright man for the Vice-Presidency or as men of honor, we do not betray the to dwell on the error of trusting any. friends who trust us, or forget the thing to disease or assassination in the claims of those who succor our neces- secondary choice of an Executive. We sities. The right is plain, and there is must ourselves provide for a chance no expediency that holds as argument which is so possible as the accession against it. Our bond to our creditors of the Vice-President to the Chief-magought to be as good as our word to the istracy, and see to it that no form of liberated slaves.

Tyler or Johnson succeeds General We think that the Chicago Conven- Grant, -a man indeed given us by tion should also give some distinct the war that saved us, but also a man hope of relief to the tax-payers ; and who has done everything since the we would have something said in rec- war to keep our honor and gratitude, ognition of the justice and reason of - a man who, from his own varied life, free - trade, even if no pledge for the can judge aright nearly every phase immediate reduction of imposts can be of our national life, a man who is in made. We might, for example, have practical sympathy with American ideas a plank in the platform on which, in- of self-government, and whose words stead of slavery, lately deceased, the and deeds promise for the future a protective tariff and Mormon polyg- President without a policy and a peoamy should figure as “the twin relics ple without a master.


History of the United Netherlands : from lands till James turned his back upon the

the Death of William the Silent to the Commonwealth's uncertain fortune to be. Twelve Years' Truce, 1609. By Jону troth his children to those of the Spanish LOTHROP MOTLEY, D. C. L. In Four king (whose agents were in the mean time Volumes. Vols. III. and IV. New charged to take off the Scotchman by poiYork: Harper and Brothers.

son or dagger), and did not heartily recol

lect the ancient friendship of England and PHILIP II.'s invasion of France, and the Holland till he had occasion to advise the war of the Huguenot Prince of Béarn States-General against the toleration of against the Leaguers for the French sov- Catholic worship. Here is also sketched ereignty, with the famous battle of Ivry and the life of the Spanish nation, from the hour siege of Paris, ending in Henry of Na- when Philip and his Inquisition extinguished varre's conversion to the Catholic faith and the last vestiges of ancient liberty, till accession to the throne, and thereafter his wealth, power, industry, all failed during long life of good-humored treacheries, in the Duke of Lerma's reign in the name of trigues, coarse pleasures, and perils from Philip's imbecile son. Here, above all, is Spanish armies and assassins, - form but the celebration of the heroic struggle of one of the strands of narrative woven into the Dutch people, from the period when this complex web of history, in which the Maurice of Nassau - deeply learned in war, texture of all interests and aspirations of the and with a greater genius for arms than any time appears. The history of English pol- other captain of the age — took command icy is wrought into it, from the time when of the Republican forces, and fought the Elizabeth smiled on the cause of the Nether. battles of religious freedom and civil rights, till the truce of 1609, when the Netherlands work does not generally affect the pleasant remained victors at every contested point. quality of the style. In fact, we remem

The dispute between the Dutchmen and ber with very slight discomfort the homi.. Spaniards was a simple one enough in it- lies and the eloquence, and even the highself, being merely a question whether men ly spiced description of the early comshould be saved by the Inquisition or merce in cloves is not so hot in the mouth by their own good works and the merits but we may own lasting indebtedness to of Christ ; whether à people should rule Mr. Motley for a rapid and most pictuthemselves, or be trampled upon by an resque and delightful art of narration, a alien despot. But into the settlement of graphic and agreeable touch in personal this question entered all the ambitions of characterization, a peculiar skilfulness in the epoch; and the interests of not only every all that pertains to the mise en scène of prince in Europe, but of every isle and coast any event. We confess, too, a solid pleasaccessible to navigation, were involved in ure and pride in his truth to all the ideas results which took the dominion of the seas of democracy and self-government, and in from Spain and Portugal and gave it to Hol- the contrast which his work offers to that land and England, - took it from rapacity of the greatest of the living English histoand gave it to commerce. Yet for all this rians, in the homage paid to popular virtue. vast complexity of motive and purpose Among princes of that time, indeed, we among the many peoples and princes who think it would go hard with any but Mr. took part on one side or the other, the Carlyle to find grandeur or generosity, and reader of this history comes to respect at Mr. Motley does not teach us to look for it. last only the Spaniard and the Dutchman, Philip II. was alone and almost respectabetween whom his admiration is pretty ble in his earnest cruelty ; but we cannot equally divided as between foes each thor- heartily admire the bigotry of a narrow-mindoughly convinced of his right and thorough- ed man which condemned a whole nation ly self-devoted and sincere. The share of to death for heresy, and which impoverished Elizabeth in the struggle was as little hon- an empire and warred half a century in the orable and generous as that of Henry, and attempt to execute the sentence. It had the business of the rest of Europe was not remained for Mr. Motley to tell us how chiefly to contribute mercenaries for con- this sincere Catholic sent assassins to take sumption in battle. As to the sympathy the lives of the French king and the Eng. of the reader, that is, like the sympathy of lish queen; how intrigue, falsehood, and the historian, always and only with the violence of every kind were accepted by his people, who not merely freed, themselves piety as just means for the maintenance and from a foreign tyrant, but broke forever the propagation of the true faith ; and how, in yet crueller yoke of religious oppression. order to place himself on the French throne, Persecution continued long after the tri- and rescue France from heretical rule, he umph of the United Netherlands, but their was ready to add incest to these means, success marked the beginning of a new and to continue a line of Catholic princes by era, in which men, casting off their alle marriage with his own daughter. There is giance to ecclesiastical authority, have greater freshness and originality (if we may found it possible to suffer every form of apply this term to a new conception of historbelief and worship, and to respect doubt ical facts) in the portrait of Henry of Naas the beginning of the only faith worth varre, but the picture is hardly more engaghaving. This fight of the Dutchman and ing. The white plume of the hero of Ivry Spaniard was a pitched battle between does not dazzle us so much when we see Henmen's passions and superstitions and their ry with his casque off, and kneeling before the reason; and, when the Spaniard succumbed, Archbishop of Bourges to receive instrucit was fair proof, that, even in arms, the tion in the Romish faith, that he may reright had grown the stronger in the world. nounce his Huguenot error, and enter into

The moral of the contest so forces itself the possession of the French crown. The hisupon the mind of the annalist at every torian paints him as a man of cynical goodpoint, that it tempts him to preach a little nature, not despising resentment more than more than is needful ; and the field of events gratitude, nor honoring one form of sinceriis so vast that his reader is somewhat con- ty less than another, but loving women and fused in following him. These are all but wars with equal ardor. He never was so litinevitable results, and the floridity of dic- tle at peace with Spain as immediately upon tion noticeable in some passages of the the conclusion of some solemn treaty of

« PreviousContinue »