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It may, perhaps, be expected, that we should offer before we close, some remarks upon the peculiar characteristics that distinguish Mr. Clay as a statesman and an orator ; but we doubt whether much can be added in this way to the impression produced by a survey of his political career. The only test of eloquence is effect, and the talent of a statesman is best shown by an account of the principles he professes and the measures he recommends. It may be said, however, in general, that Mr. Clay is particularly remarkable, as a politician, for a large and comprehensive scope of mind. He looks at his subject from an elevated point, -takes in at one view all the various considerations that bear upon it, and is thus enabled to give to each its proper relative importance. This faculty is in him the more commendable, inasmuch as it is not the natural result of the professional pursuits to which a large part of his life has been devoted. The ordinary effect of long practice at the bar, is rather to encourage the habit of minute distinctions founded in a nice observation of details, which, though unimportant to the merits of a case, are sometimes decisive of its fate in a court of justice. It has, accordingly, often been remarked in England, that the most eminent lawyers have rarely sustained in Parliament the reputation which they had previously acquired at the bar; and it can hardly be doubted, that it is in consequence of the large number of gentlemen of this profession in Congress, that the regular course of business is so often interrupted by captious and quibbling debates upon questions of constitutional power. A large and comprehensive view of political affairs is also of necessity the only correct one. Setting aside the case of actual corruption, which occurs much less frequently than is commonly supposed, the ordinary source of error is a partial and limited view of the subject under consideration. Personal, local, sectional interests and feelings, absorb the attention and direct the conduct of men of narrow minds. It is only by rising above this limited sphere of vision, and looking exclusively to the general good of the whole, that we are able to discover, under any given circumstances, the true course of policy.
This faculty has been,-as we have said,-exhibited in a remarkable manner by Mr. Clay. The eloquence by which he acquired so much influence over his contemporaries, and for a long time swayed in a manner at will the debates in the House of Representatives, is of a warm and His pub
popular, rather than strictly argumentative cast. lished speeches, probably, do but little justice to it. Some of the best which he ever made, -as, for example, those upon the Missouri Question,-have never been reported ; and of those that are reported at length, few, we believe, have been corrected by himself. Even when a speech is reported with care by the speaker bimself, and supposing him, which is seldom the case, to be equally distinguished for written and oral eloquence, his work will after all afford a very faint notion of the means, which produced the mighty effect. Who can undertake to represent in written forms of words, the flashing eye,—the quivering lip,—the graceful gesture,—the rich, deep, impassioned tones that thrill with a sort of super-human power to the inmost recesses of the heart? These are, after all, the life and spirit of eloquence; the published speech is a mere skeleton. Those of Mr. Clay, however inadequately they may represent the spoken originals, will compare advantageously with the best specimens of this kind of composition. They have not the deep philosophy of Burke and Mackintosh, nor the high rhetorical finish of Capning; but belong rather to the school of natural and practical orators, which comprehends in England such men as Pitt, Fox, Castlereagh, and Burdett, and in this country almost all who have at any time obtained a reputation for eloquence. One of the most elaborate and substantial of Mr. Clay's reported speeches, is that upon the tariff of 1824. It is, in fact, a complete treatise upon the subject, and though the doctrine may not be in every part free from exception, presents, in the main, a masterly view of the true economical policy of the country. The work before us contains a number of extracts from this and the other speeches, selected in general with much judgment; but such fragments hardly give a better idea of the entire work, than the single brick in the Greek fable of the house from which it was taken, and of which it was to serve as a specimen. Rather than attempt to satisfy in this way the expectations that may have been raised in the minds of any of our readers by the present article, we would refer them for the only fair representation that can be conveyed in print,--and that a very imperfect one,—of the speeches of this accomplished orator, to the published collection, of which they will find some notice in a preceding number of this Journal.
Art. IV. -Mount Auburn Cemetery.
establishment of an Experimental Garden and Rural
Cemetery. Boston. 1831. There is no feeling in our nature stronger or more universal than that which insists upon respect for the dead. It is found in every age and nation. The savage shows a kindness and reverence to the dead, which he never pays the living; and enlightened man ranks it among the most sacred of his
duties, to offer the last sacrifice of affection at the grave. If the belief prevailed now, as in ancient days, that the spirits of the unburied suffered for the neglect of their friends, this feeling might be more easily accounted for; but it does not seem to partake of superstition; it is rather sentiment, enlightened, just, and manly sentiment, influencing not only the intelligent, but many beside, who in general seem to be strangers to strong and delicate feeling. The light-hearted soldier, at the grave of his comrade, feels a heaviness which makes him a better man for the time; the rough seaman leans thoughtfully over the side of his vessel, till the waters which the plunge of the corpse has broken, are calm and unconscious again. At every village funeral, when the dead lies in the midst of the living, with a fixed and calm serenity on his brow,—with an unsearchable depth of meaning in his features, which no mortal eye may read,-if it be only a child perishing in the daybreak of its existence, whose loss will be as little felt in the world at large as the withering of a garden-flower,—still he is for the time invested with the commanding majesty of death; children join their hands and look timidly around them; old men lean upon their staves and ponder; though among them, he seems no longer of them; the air of gentle and firm reserve on his countenance gives the impression that he sees what we cannot see, hears what we cannot hear, and is already acquainted with those mysteries of the future, which the living desire and yet tremble to know.
Neither does this interest in the dead cease when they are hidden from our eyes. It follows them to the grave, and makes us regard as sacred the place where we have laid them. The burial-place is the retreat of the thoughtful; the shoes of care and passion are put off by those who enter the lonely ground.
It has a good effect upon the feelings; it makes the unfortunate more reconciled to this world, and the gay more thoughtful of another. The cold ghastliness of the sculptured marble,—the grey stone sinking, as if weary of bearing its unregarded legends of the ancient dead; the various inscriptions showing, some
! times, what the dead were, but still oftener what they ought to have been, subdue the heart to sadness, though not to gloom. And what a lion in the path is the public feeling, to all who would disturb the repose of the tomb! It is easier to rifle the mansion of the living, than the narrow house of the dead; for the living can protect themselves, and therefore are less regarded, while the whole moral force of a wide region is at once in arms to resent an insult offered to the dead. This feeling may be excessive, -perhaps it is,-but no one can deny that it is energetic and strong. We do not condemn nor defend it; but the thirsty vengeance with which it pursues offenders, shows how deep is the reverence of the living for the dead.
One reason why the home of the dead is thus sacred, is, that this is the place where we lose them. Up to this place we follow them through the changes of life and death ; but at the gates of the tomb, they are taken and we are left. We are forcibly driven back, and the mind loses itself in earnest conjectures respecting their destiny,—what it may be, now it is thus widely separated from our The most striking view we ever saw of the great cataract of our country, represented simply the waters above, and the long line where they lean to dash below; the rest was left to the imagination, which made out for itself a more profound impression of the grandeur of the scene, than representation or description by measure could possibly have given. Thus it is with the surface of the ground where the dead are laid ; hitherto we come, but no further; we see not how nor where they are gone; this is the boundary, beyo:d which the living cannot go nor the dead return; and it arrests and chains the imagination, like the place in the ocean where some gallant wreck went down.
This will account for the universal interest which the cities of the dead inspire; but not for all the tenderness with which the dead are regarded. This is owing to what Adam Smith calls our sympathy with the dead. Where and what they are now we do not know; we therefore still represent them to our minds with feelings like our own. It seems to us as if they
must be conscious when the light step of affection moves above, as if the stranger, rudely trampling above them, might disturb their profound repose. We are glad when we see a sunbeam on the green roof of their narrow mansion, as if it could light up the darkness below; and if we see a tree or a flower planted above them, we feel as if they must revive and rejoice in the pledge that their memory is still treasured by some who loved them. We feel bound to remember them, as we would wish ourselves to be remembered, after we have gone in that narrow way where there are no traces of returning feet.
Allow that all this is imagination. Still it is universal; it must and will be regarded. The man will lose the respect of the living, who does not venerate the dead. However much we disdain these feelings and fancies of our nature, we must submit to them, or the great verdict of mankind will be against
If a stranger enter a village, he judges the character of its inhabitants by the aspect of their burial-ground; and if he see a place abandoned to decay, surrounded by a coarse enclosure of decaying materials,-a place where nature throws her verdure and flowers luxuriantly, as if upbraiding the cold neglect of man,-his most natural feeling is contempt for the living, and compassion for the dead. So too in our cities, where we see the place of death upon the busy street, where the sounds of life are brought into rude contrast with the silence of the grave, where towering mansions overlook the field, as if waiting impatiently for the elements to waste the marble of the tombs, that they may usurp the inheritance of the dead, it gives us a double feeling of regret, that the founders of the city had not foreseen it, and that the present inhabitants do not bring trees and flowers to take away the desolation of the spot, while they resolve to place the dead in future beyond the possible reach of violation.
It is interesting to observe the effect of this reverence for the dead in different ages of the world. How many mansions
. of death remain, when ancient houses of the living are gone! The tombs of Hadrian and Metella have outlasted the palaces of the Cæsars; the Egyptian tomb of the kings remains perfect, when the pyramids are nameless ruins. Even in this country, the moss-grown stone outlasts the most durable habitations of our fathers. It would seem as if man desired to re-assure bimself, in the presence of death, that he is not all frailty, by raising monuments, which long after he is gone, may resist the waste