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On the other hand, Gen. Grant, having in- as they thought best. To remove would vested not a seather's weight of influence for have demonstrated the temporary success of or against colored suffrage, and baving by an antagonistic party ; to forego removing his letter of acceptance held himself free to was the calm vindication of conscious and act as circumstances might dictate, and being absolute supremacy. The effect must be to disposed by his antecedents as a Democrat to vastly diminish the political importance of place a very limited estimate on the intrinsic the election of President, and to increase value of colored suffrage, will acquiesce relatively the importance of elections of Sen. heartily in any constitutional action which ators and Congressmen. By dividing the er. the votes of the majority of the people of a citement incident to the settlement of im. particular State, the decision of the Supreme portant political issues among many candidCourt, or the action of the majority in Con- ates and distributing it over several elections, gress, may render expedient. In short, the instead of concentrating it upon one, the approaching election, however it may turn, strain on our institutions is lessened, and the can hardly dispose of the negro-question, tendency to revolution as the result of prcsiwhich must continue to agitate the country dential elections is happily diminished. until the colored race shall have risen to a In the selection of their candidates both bigher intellectual and social position than parties have done themselves signal justice. they now occupy.
It is to be regretted that the vituperations Since the election of a President leaves the incident to our mode of conducting a politipolitical siatus of the colored race still open cal campaign should descend to the littleness to be adjusted by future, and probably by of atteicpting to obscure the military glory State, legislation, and since no rights are of Grant or the parliamentary abilities of foreclosed or questions settled by it, it is idle Colfax, the political integrity of Seymour or to predict either revolution or the subjuga- the gallantry and courage of Blair. I Na. tion of any State or community to negro. poleon or Wellington or Jackson or Taylor rule as the result of it. In fact, as the sup- was a butcher in being unwilling to lose a pression of the great rebellion determined battle to save the lives of a few, when by that the preservation of the Union shall not gaining the battle he would save the lives of depend on the election of a particular candi- many, then is Grant a butcher. But, since date to the Presideney, so the protracted in this sense all war is butchery, the buteher after-struggle between Congress and Presi- par exccllence is the first of warriors. If to dent Johnson, culminating in his impeach- believe that the election of an anti-slavery ment and escape by a single vote from re- President would result in secession and civil moval, determines that hereafier political strife, and that the evils of slavery were far policies are to be shaped by the democratic lighter than the borrors of civil war, proves power of Congress and pot by the autocratic a man a devotee of slavery, then were both power of the President. The war for the Seymour and Grant advocates of slavery in Union established the snpremacy of the Fed- the days prior to the war. If to believe that eral Government over the States. The tri. the South could never be subdued by force, umph of Congress over fifty vetoes, and the that the war must be ended by compromise, trial and acquittal of the President, vindi- and that emancipation only rendered comcated the supremacy of the legislative over promise more difficult, were more than an the executive. Nor is this vindication ren. error of judgment, then Mr. Seymour was dered less effective by the acquittal of the Pres. guilty of something worse than such an error ident than it would have been by his removal. during the war. The power of the British Parliament to trans- After Gen. Grant has successfully comfer the Crown was better illustrated by elect- manded the armies of the Union, won in per ing William of Orange and Mary, King and son a score of hotly-contested battles against Queen of England, while James II. still re- some of the ablest generals of the age, and mained alive and at liberty, than it would planned and in their most important and difhave been if he had been executed. In the ficult features executed the campaigns by former case a vacancy would have compelled which the rebellion was subdued, it is in vain an election. In the latter the election re- to attempt to deny him the highest executive moved the King. So the conviction of Pres- powers. Compared with the Atlas-burden of ident Johnson would have proved the power executive responsibility which he bore as of Congress to remove; but his acquittal General-in-Chief, the duties of President proved ther higher power to remove or not would be similar but light. He descends from the command of a million and a half of with that colorless freedom from party influ. troops to the control of forty thousand office- ences which is one of the most fortunate holders. The transition from General of the qualities of his own mind, and which has dis Army of Northern Virginia to President of tinguished so eminently his military career. Washington College, could hardly lighten the Under Seymour, every energy of the presiburden of Gen. Lee more than the transfer dential office and patronage would be emof Grant from the chief command of all our ployed to secure, by peaceful and lawful armies during the crisis of the struggle for means, the uncontrolled ascendency of the the Union to the quiet administration of the white race, and exclusion of the black from duties of President of the United States voting or holding office in any State, and would be attended by relief instead of anxiety. especially in the Federal Government. Un.
Gov. Seymour possesses eminent abilities, der Gen. Grant, few or no attempts would be and underlying liis political career are amia- made from the White House to guide or conble qualities of mind and heart, which are trol the legislation of Congress, but the en. harmoniously attended by that external dig- ergy and patronage of the office would be nity and personal grace which should adorn employed with commendable freedom from the presidential office. Gov. Seymour's tal- political influences, and with an eye compar. ents are greater in debate than in office, more atively single to a vigorous, pure, and eco rhetorical than executive. As a Senator, had nomical administration of details, to the rethe complexion of the New York Legislature duction of expenses, to the collection of admitted of his choice for that office, he revenue, to the punishment of crime and promight have won, by his suavity in discussion, tection of society. something of that personal popularity, influ- In the respective availability of the two cnce, and esteem from his opponents, which candidates before the people, the Republican distinguish Reverdy Johnson. Diplomatic by party has reason for confidence but not for nature, he would make an excellent Secretary assumption. When it is remembered that of State. We have hardly a more admirable President Lincoln was first elected only bepresiiling officer. His disposition tends to- cause the Democratic party were divided, and ward harmony and compromise. Like Ger- by a minority vote; that at his second elecrit Smith, he entertains no political opinion tion a change of only thirty-six thousand which he would not waive rather than see it votes, rightly distributed, would have elected made the cause of bloodshed. He is a peace- McClellan, and that in the State elections man, a compromiser, and reconciler, by con- held since the adoption of the present reconviction, instinct, and habit. Of course, when struction policy by Congress, the Democratic such a disposition, in revolutionary times, is party have carried the States of Connecticut, brought into conflict with men impossible to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania (parpersuade and willing to fight for their opin- tially), Ohio, California, and Oregon, it will be ious, it yields, and whatever duties depend seen that the contest will be close, and the reupon its vigor go unperformed. Horatio sult is not yet assured. If the Republican party Seymour would have made a good President are wise they will not rely strongly on carryunder the order of things that prevailed be- ing many of the Southern States. The Presfore the war, when the most adroit coinpro- ident's last proclamation of amnesty and the miser was the greatest statesman. While Acts of Congress restoring disabilities of Grant is quietly and unaffectedly a gentleman rebels have nearly ended the partial disfranof the military pattern, Seymour is conspicu- chisement of the whites. The entire white ously and attractively a gentleman of the population of the South outnumbers the drawing-room pattern. Both have treated black, in all but two or three States, by two their rivals generously, and have secured their
A few of the blacks can be brought hearty support and respect by so doing. to support the Democratic ticket to their own Both would agree much more nearly in their disfranchisement, as in Mississippi. Not a political views, and in the political course few whites that have voted for reconstruction they would pursue under the same circum- on the present basis, in order to get back stances, than the more violent followers and into the Union, will vote for disfranchising partisans of either would suppose. They the blacks at the first opportunity. wouid differ chiefly in that, while Seymour On any question of supremacy of race at would use all the influence of the presidential the South, therefore, the Republican party office to further the political opinions of his camnot count upon carrying the majority of party, Gen. Grant would administer the office the Southern States. In the Northern States
the momentum acquired by the party of the acted at times with either party, the friends
We have from the pen of a lady a new, not familiar with the original, have known and, judging from a cursory glance at several the work chiefly from W. Taylor's admirable characteristic parts of it, a much improved, “ Historic Survey,” (London, 1828,) in the English version * of Lessing's dramatic chef- first volume of which we find no less than d'ouvre, his widely and justly celebrated 277 pages occupied with an examination “Nathan the Wise." This is so much the of Lessing with especial reference to Nathan, more agreeable, as within a year or two past from which lovg extracts are given in transour attention has several times been called to lation at the end. Taylor went so far in his the subject of Lessing, partly in a new biog: admiration of the work as to recommend it raply of him, partly by a number of more for translation into the Oriental languages: or less extended notices of his life and wri- “ Asian heroes people the scene; the Easttings. The contents of Nathan were too ern costume is sufficiently observed in the anique and attractive to allow them long to manners of the personages to adapt it for remain confined within the author's own lan- sympathy where the action passes; and it guage, and we are therefore not at all sur- contains lessons of tolerance and liberality prised to find an English translation as carly which Islamism as well as Christianity should as 1791, (but a little over a decennium after aspire to learn. . . The voice of genius can the first edition of the original,) and a second annihilate both space and time, and bind in edition of this printed in London in 1805. immortal coöperation the chosen intellects Since that date the lovers of good literaturo of earth to forward the instruction of the
buman race, to ennoble its personal morality, Lessing'e Nathan the Wise. Translated by
and to ameliorate its public institutions." Ellen Frotchum. Ley poldt & Ilut.
In spite of this high credential, it would
geem that Lessing had since the date of it Goethe's “Faust." Let us take a rapid glance (1828) been considerably neglected, except, at its argument. perhaps, among the few who never shun the The principal characters of the dranja are labor of studying literature in the originals, Saladin, the Sultan ; Sittah, his sister and com. and it is therefore so much the more gratify. panion; Nathan, a wealthy Jewish merchant ing to meet with some renewed attempts and banker of Jerusalem; Recha, the adoptto resuscitate the memory of his former influ- ed daughter of the Jew; Daja, a Christian
young woman in his house, Recha's companThe history of this play is of itself a lite. ion; and a young Templar wbo knows him. rary curiosity, into the details of which, how. self as Curd (i. e. Conrade) von Stauffen, but ever, we have here no room to enter. The who in the end turns out to be Saladin's own author had, by some of his critical writings, nephew, as Recha the Jew's adopted daughexposed himself to assaults from some of ter is found to be his niece and the Templar's the perverse theologians of his country, and sister. The scene is laid in Jerusalem, partly had for several years been involved in a in or about Nathan's house, partly in the somewhat virulent controversy with them. Sultan's palace. While Natban is absent on Of this he himself at last grew weary, but a tour to Babylon his house takes fire, and was, of course, not willing to give up his case his charming foster-daughter is already en. without some monument of a defence, that veloped by the flames, when suddenly an could not be so readily assailed. He resolved unknown knight, conspicuous from his white to give to the world the positive and negative mantle, rushes through the crowd into the results of his polemics in the form of a drama, burning mansion, and successfully fetches out and thus to proclaim the doctrine of univer- the shrieking maiden, half dead from fright, sal tolerance, exemplified in characters des- but otherwise yet almost entirely unharmed. tined to command respect as ideals of art, if The mysterious knight is a young Templar, not as actual realities. In this be may be who with several others had shortly before said to have had perfe success, for his
been taken prisoner, and whose life was tho Nathan was not only hailed as a new star in only one Saladin had spared on account of an literature by the most intellectual of his con- imagined resemblance to his lost brother. temporaries, but has ever since elicited more The rescue appears next to miraculous, and or less respect and even imitation, thus win Recha, more especially, can look on her de ning for itself a permanent place in modern liverer in no other light than that of an literature.
angel sent to her from heaven. But she is The plot of the piece, the anthor himself pained to find herself denied all opportuavows, was suggested by one of Boccaccio's nity to thank him, and that, although she Novellas (Decamerone, giorn. I. nov. 3), in daily observes him promenading under the which the matchless Italian treats us to the lindens close by her residence, he is a Temmost entertaining story concerning the Sul- plar, who, in his own estimation, has but pertan's interview with Melchisedech the Jew, formed one of the duties of his vow, and she and the fable of the magic ring, narrated by a Jewess, with whom he neither can nor will the latter in reply to his majesty's somewhat have any dealings. It is on this account that perilous curiosity on the subject of religion. the Templar always dismisses with disdain But this story, including even the episode of Daja's attempts to accost him on behalf of the ring, was scarcely any thing more than a her mistress, and the latter has to content suggestion, and the whole of it is modified herself with a distant admiration, unable to (even in its fundamental conception) to such induce the haughty stranger to exchange a an extent as to make it almost entirely the word with her. It is not long, however, bepoet's own invention. The real ring is liere fore the arrival of her father brings her not represented as possessed of the magic power only an array of costly presents, but also of making its proprietor beloved of God and decided change in the conduct of the Temman, and this is claimed to be the oņly true plar, who soon discovers in Nathan a Jew test of its genuineness for centuries. We of no ordinary type, as he bimself likewise have here, therefore, a sort of proclamation claims to be a knight above the bigotry and of universal tolerance and humanity, the prejudices of the common sort. In a word, reflex of superior life, observation, and intel- they recognize each other at once as men of lectual culture ; and it is this high moral ele- a certain equality of life-experience, if not ment which has won for the piece a degree of culture, and the Templar now hesitates no of respect surpassed perhaps only by that for longer to accept the invitation to Nathan's house, where he then freely meets the fascina- the Templar and the Jew both make their ap. ting being whose life his intrepidity bad saved. pearance at the Sultan's palace, the former Conrade, lowever, soon finds that a lady of to urge his suit for the hand of Recha, the Recha’s qualities of mind and heart cannot latter to make known to Saladin the recent be met without being loved; he is therefore most surprising revelation of the monk. after a while determined to possess her, and Imagine now the Templar's surprise, when this so much the more after he has learned Nathan presently informs him that his real from Daja that Recha is in reality a Chris- name is von Filneck, and not Curd von Stauf. tian girl, brought up in the Jew's house with- fen (the latter being that of the uncle who out knowledge of her origin. When Nathan, adopted liim), and that Recha is in reality aware of the same fact, hesitates with his Blanda von Filneck, his sister! And what corsent, declaring a third party necessary to is Saladin's astonishment, when in his turn decide, the impetuous Templar well-nigh com. be learns that Wolff von Filneck was not a promises the safety of his friend by hypo. German or a Frank, but an Oriental who had thetically submitting the case to the patriarch only married in Europe; and then, from some of the province, who in the blindness of his additional comparisons based upon the brev. zeal pompously claims all Jews found in pos. iary, discovers evidence that the Oriental in session of a Christian child liable to the question was his own missing brother, Assad, stake, and demands summary execution of and the young couple before him the chilthe law. Fortunately, however, the danger dren of that brother, his own niece and in this instance cannot become a serious nephew! The Templar, although but a moone, Nathan happening to have the entire ment before an impatient suitor, nevertheless confide:ce of both Saladin and Sittah. It is does not find it difficult to recognize in Recha agreed by both parties to delay the matter the recovery of a lost sister; and after the for a while, and eventually to get the Sultan return of their senses they presently all esto decide. Meanwhile new circumstances of press delight-in so unexpected a reunion. no little interest are brought to light. The This solution has been censured as too Templar has a conference with Saladin, and abrupt and tranquil, while by others the enthe curiosity of the latter is again piqued, as tire action has been pronounced a dramatio he compares the features of his visitor with failure (hence Scbiller's curtailment for the those of the portrait of a cherished lost stage), having more of the character of “an brother in his hand. Nathan, on the other interesting episode” linked to an idea than hand, is agreeably surprised when the monk, of a real action. All this is but too true gent by the patriarch to make inquisition from a rigidly artistic point of view. We into a crime against the church, recognizes have here a mere miniature-picture intended hiin as the Israelite who, eighteen years be- to illustrate an idea ; but we must not forget fore, generously took charge of the infant- that this idea is one no less august and noble daughter which he, then one of her father's than that of universal humanity and of the grooms, had been intrusted to deposit in some moral unity of the race as exhibited in suone's hands for safety. The helpless little perior culture, above the merely accidental creature of but a few weeks' age had shortly differences of nationality, religions, and conbefore lost its mother, a German lady von ditions of life. Hence the author could corStauffen, while the father, Sir Wolff von Fil- rectly assert of it: “I was conscious of my neck, was suddenly ordered off on a new aim, and this is one below which one might expedition, and was unable to take the infant fall without the loss of any honor. If any with him. The noble act was.80 much the therefore choose to condemn, I shall be silent, more to Nathan's credit, as he was then still but not ashamed." sorrow-stricken over the loss of his wife and But whatever faults the critics may have all his sons, seven in number, whom, during discovered in the action, the characterization his absence, sone Christian fanatics had of the piece evinces so much that is genuine cruelly assailed and murdered. In evidence and excellent, that it has justly been the subof the truth of his assertion, the monk pro- ject of admiration. The characters naturally duces and delivers to Nathan a small brevi- divide themselves into two groups, of which ary, which he afirms to have taken from the the one comprises the representatives of the pocket of his master, after the latter had free religion of humanity, the other the more fallen at Ascalon, and in which he suspects or less sincere adherents of the positive sysrecorded, in Arabic characters, a complete reg- tem. Conspicuously at the head of the first ister of the family of Sir von Filneck. Finally stands Nathan, the corner and foundation.