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To us it seems that "first causes,' ""fundamental principles," and the "higher law," mean one and the same thing: An "ignis fatuus," that it is dangerous to pursue, and hopeless to overtake.
We may be doing Mr. Jefferson injustice, in assuming that his "fundamental principles" and Mr. Seward's "higher law," mean the same thing; but the injustice can be very little, as they both mean just nothing at all, unless it be a determination to inaugurate anarchy, and to do all sorts of mischief. We refer the reader to the chapter on the Declaration of Independence," &c., in our Sociology, for a further dissertation on the fundamental powdercask abstractions, on which our glorious institutions affect to repose. We say affect, because we are sure neither their repose nor their permanence would be disturbed by the removal of the counterfeit foundation.
The true greatness of Mr. Jefferson was his fitness for revolution. He was the genius of innovation, the architect of ruin, the inaugurator of anarchy. His mission was to pull down, not to build up. He thought everything false as well in the physical, as in the moral world. He fed his horses on potatoes, and defended harbors with gun-boats, because it was contrary to human experience and human opinion. He proposed to govern boys without the authority of masters or the control of religion,
supplying their places with Laissez-faire philosophy, and morality from the pages of Lawrence Sterne. His character, like his philosophy, is exceptional-invaluable in urging on revolution, but useless, if not dangerous, in quiet times.
We would not restrict, control, or take away a single human right or liberty, which experience showed was already sufficiently governed and restricted by public opinion. But we do believe that the slaveholding South is the only country on the globe, that can safely tolerate the rights and liberties which we have discussed.
The annals of revolutionary Virginia were illustrated by three great and useful men. The mighty mind of Jefferson, fitted to pull down; the plastic hand of Madison to build up, and the powerful arm of Washington to defend, sustain and conserve.
We are the friend of popular government, but only so long as conservatism is the interest of the governing class. At the South, the interests and feelings of many non-property holders, are identified with those of a comparatively few property holders. It is not necessary to the security of property, that a majority of voters should own property; but where the pauper majority becomes so large as to disconnect the mass of them in feeling and interest from the property holding class, revolution and agrarianism are inevitable. We will not undertake to say that
events are tending this way at the North. The absence of laws of entail and primogeniture may prevent it; yet we fear the worst; for, despite the laws of equal inheritance and distribution, wealth is accumulating in few hands, and pauperism is increasing. We shall attempt hereafter to show that a system of very small entails might correct this tendency.
THE NOMADIC BEGGARS AND PAUPER BANDITTI OF ENGLAND.
Under various names, such as Proletariat in France, Lazzaroni in Italy, Leperos in Mexico, and Gypsies throughout all Europe, free society is disturbed and rendered insecure, by the class, a description of which we shall draw from the British writers. We do not hesitate to assign to the Gypsies the same origin with the rest. They are all the outgrowth of runaway and emancipated serfs. The time of the appearance of the Gypsies is coeval with the universal liberation and escape of the villeins.
If this diluvies of society is by nature vicious, nomadic and incapable of any self-control, it is obvious they should be enslaved. If emancipation of their ancestors and the throwing them upon the world without property or other means of support, made them and their posterity, from necessity, beggars, Pariahs and Ishmaelites, they should be restored to slavery, unless some better disposition of them can be discovered.
North British Review, "Literature and Labor
Question," February No. 1851. The passage we quote is from a work of Mr. Mayhew:
"That we, like the Hottentots, Kaffirs, and Fins, are surrounded by wandering hordes, the 'sonquas' and 'fingons' of this country, paupers, beggars and outcasts, possessing nothing but what they acquire by depredation from the industrious, provident and civilized portion of the community; that the heads of these nomads are remarkable for a greater development of the jaws and cheek bones, than of the skull, and that they have a secret language of their own-an English 'cuzecat,' or 'slang,' as it is called, for the concealment of their designs; these are points of coincidence so striking, that, when placed before the mind, they make us marvel why the analogy has been so long unobserved. The resemblance once discovered, however, becomes of great service in enabling us to use the moral characteristics of the nomadic races of other countries, as a means of comprehending more readily those of the vagabonds and outcasts of our own. * * * The nomad there is distinguished from the civilized man by his repugnance to regular and continuous labor-by his want of providence in laying up a store for the future; by his inability to perceive consequences ever so slightly removed from immediate apprehension; by his passion for stultifying herbs and roots, and when possible, for intoxicating fermented liquors; for his extraordinary powers of enduring privation; by his comparative insensibility to pain; by an immoderate love of gaming; frequently risking his own personal liberty on a single cast; by his love of libidin