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some miserable minion of poverty and ignorance, who will barter his vote for a glass of beer, or a ride in a coach with such fine gentlemen !--The buzzards of the party scamper from poll to poll, on foot or on horseback-and they hurry from committee to committee, and buz and chafe, and fume and talk big, and-do nothing like the vagabond drone, who wastes his time in the laborious idleness of see-saw-song and busy nothingness.”
I know not how long my friend would have continued his detail, had he not been interrupted by a squabble which took place between two old continentals, * as they were called. It seems they had entered into an argument on the respective merits of their cause, and not being able to make each other clearly understood, resorted to what are called knock-down arguments, which form the superlative degree of argumentum ad hominem, but are, in my opinion, extremely inconsistent with the true spirit of a genuine logocracy. After they had beaten each other soundly, and set the whole mob together by the ears, they came to a full explanation, when it was discovered that they were both of the same way of thinking-whereupon they shook each other heartily by the hand, and laughed with great glee at their humourous misunderstanding. .
I could not help being struck with the exceeding great number of ragged dirty-looking persons, that swaggered about the place, and seemed to think themselves the bashaws of the land. I inquired of my friend if these people were employed to drive away the hogs, dogs, and other intruders, that might thrust themselves in and interrupt the ceremony?“ By no means,” replied he, “ these are the representatives of the sovereign people, who come here to make governors, senators, and members of assembly, and are the source of all power and authority in this nation.” “ Preposterous,” said I, “ how is it possible that such men can be capable of distinguishing between an
* The continentals, as they are styled by the Americans, are those who, during the revolutionary war, belonged to what was called the Continental Army, commanded by General Washington, and considered the best disciplined and most regular part of the American forces.-A considerable emulation and jealousy existed between this body of troops and the militia, or temporary levies, the former considering themselves much superior to the latter.
honest man and a knave, or even if they were, will it not always happen that they are led by the nose by some intriguing demagogue, and made the mere tools of ambitious political jugglers ? Surely it would be better to trust to Providence, or even to chance, for governors, than resort to the discriminating powers of an ignorant mob:-1 plainly perceive the consequence ;-a man who possesses superior talents and that honest pride which ever accompanies this possession, will always be sacrificed to some creeping insect, who will prostitute himself to familiarity with the lowest of mankind, and, like the idolatrous Egyptian, worship the wallowing tenants of filth and mire." .
66 All this may be true enough,” replied my friend, who seemed inclined to shift the conversation; “ but, after all, you cannot say but this is a free country, and that the people can get drunk cheaper here, particularly at elections, than in the despotic countries of the East.” I could not, with any degree of propriety or truth, deny this last assertion, for just at that moment, a patriotic brewer arrived with a load of beer, which, for a time, occasioned a cessation of argument; the great crowd of buzzards, puffers, and old continentals, of all parties, who throng to the polls to persuade, to cheat, or to force, the freeholders into the right way, and to maintain the freedom of suffrage, seemed, for a moment, to forget their antipathies, and joined heartily in a copious libation of this patriotic and argumentative beverage.
These beer-barrels, indeed, seem to be most able logicians, well stored with that kind of sound argument best suited to the comprehension, and most relished by the mob, or sovereign people, who are never so tractable as when operated upon by this convincing liquor, which, in fact, seems to be embued with the very spirit of a logocracy. No sooner does it begin its operation than the tongue waxes exceedingly valourous, and becomes impatient for some mighty conflict : the puffer puts himself at the head of his body-guard of buzzards, and his legion of ragamuffins, and woe then to every unhappy adversary who is uninspired by the deity of the beer-barrel-he is sure to be talked and argued into complete insignificance. .
While I was making these observations I was surprised to observe a bashaw, high in office, shaking a fellow by the hand who looked rather more ragged than a scare-crow, and inquiring, with apparent solicitude, concerning the health of his family-after which he slipped a little folded paper into his hand and turned away. I could not enough applaud his humility in shaking the fellow's hand, and his benevolence in relieving his distresses ;—for I imagined the paper contained something for the poor man's necessities, and truly he seemed verging towards the last stage of starvation: my friend, however, soon undeceived me by saying that this was an elector, and the bashaw had merely given him the list of candidates for whom he was to vote. 6 Ho! ho !” said I, “ then he is a particular friend of the bashaw?” “ By no means," replied my friend, " the bashaw will pass him without notice the day after the election, except, perhaps, just to drive over him with his coach.”*
My friend then proceeded to inform me that, for some time before, and during the continuance of, an election, there was a most delectable courtship, or intrigue, carried on between the great bashaws and mother mob; that mother mob generally preferred the attentions of the rabble, or of fellows of her own stamp, but would sometimes condescend to be treated to a feasting, or any thing of that kind, at the bashaw's expense; nay, sometimes, when she was in a good humour, she would condescend to toy with them in her rough way ;-woe be to the bashaw who attempted to be familiar with her, for she was the most pestitent, cross, crabbed, scolding, thieving, scratching, toping, wrongheaded, rebellious, and abominable, termagaňt that ever was let loose in the world to the confusion of honest gentlemen hashaws.
Just then a fellow came round and distributed among the crowd a number of hand-bills, written by the ghost of Washington; † the fame of whose illustrious actions, and
* This is a smart rap at those candidates who submit to the most humiliating debasement previous to an election, and, the moment it is over, treat their constituents with the greatest haughtiness and contempt.
+ At elections, hand-bills, containing particular speeches of celebrated characters, under the title of the Ghost of Washington, Franklin, Hamilton, &c. are distributed among the crowd, with a view to influence them in favour of the respective candidates of either party.
still more illustrious virtues, has reached even the remotest regions of the East, and who is venerated by this people as the father of his country. On reading this paltry paper I could not restrain my indignation,-“ Insulted hero," cried I, “ must even thy name be profaned-thy memory disgraced—thy spirit drawn down from heaven-to administer to the brutal violence of party-rage? it is thus the necromancers of the East, by their infernal incantations, sometimes call up the shades of the just to give their sanction to frauds, to lies, and to every species of enormity.” My friend smiled at my warmth, and observed, that raising ghosts, and, not only raising them, but making them speak, was one of the miracles of election; “ and believe me,” continued he, “ there is good reason for the ashes of departed heroes being disturbed on these occasions, for such is the sandy foundation of our goverment, that there never happens an election of an alderman, or a collector, or even a constable, but we are in imminent danger of losing our liberties, and becoming a province of France, or tributary to the British islands."* " By the hump of Mahomet's camel," said I, “ but this is only another striking example of the prodigious great scale on which every thing is transacted in this country !”
By this time I had become tired of the scene; my head ached with the uproar of voices, mingling in all the discordant tones of triumphant exclamation, nonsensical argument, intemperate reproach, and drunken absurdity: the confusion was such as no language can adequately describe; and it seemed as if all the restraints of decency, and all the bonds of law, had been broken, and given place to the wide ravages of licentious brutality. These, thought I, are the orgies of liberty ;-these are the manifestations of the spirit of independence ;-these are the symbols of man's sovereignty! Head of Mahomet! with what a fatal and inexorable despotism do empty names and ideal phantoms exer
* The Federalists and Democrats never enter the lists against each other, even on the most trifling occasion, without introducing the crimes of France and the outrages of England into their disputes.In every political discussion it may truly be said that they play at football with these poor nations :-if it were not for France and England I really think the Americans would have nothing to keep their tongues on the wag.
cise their dominion over the human mind! The experience of ages has demonstrated, that in all nations, barbarous or enlightened, the mass of the people, the mob, must be slaves, or they will be tyrants, but their tyranny will not be long; some ambitious leader having, at first, condescended to be their slave, will, at length, become their master; and in proportion to the vileness of his former servitude will be the severity of his subsequent tyranny.-Yet, with innumerable examples staring them in the face, the people still bawl out liberty, by which they mean nothing but freedom from every species of legal restraint, and a warrant for all kinds of licentiousness. The bashaws and leaders, moreover, in courting the mob, convince them of their power, and, by administering to their passions, for the purposes of ambition, they at length learn, by fatal experience, that he who worships the beast that carries him on its back will, sooner or later, be thrown into the dust and trampled under foot by the animal who has learnt the secret of its power by this very adoration.*
THE LIFE OF EDWARD LORD HERBERT, OF CHERBURY,
WRITTEN BY HIMSELF.
(Resumed from page 191.) TAKING my leave now of the Marquis Spinola, I told him that if ever he did lead an army against the Infidels, I should adventure to be the first man that would die in that quarrel, and together demand leave of him to see his army, which he granting, I took leave of him, and did at leisure view it ; observing the difference in the proceeding betwixt the Low Country Army and Fortifications as well as I could ; and so returning shortly after to his Excellency, related to him the
* It would be well for some of our patriots if they would avail themselves of this hint, and recollect the words of our immortal bard, who says
“Look, as I blow this feather from my face,
And as the air blows it to me again,