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we cannot tolerate opposite opinions in our neighbor? I am never alarmed when the cry of infidelity is raised against a man, whether I know him or not; nor would the fact of his being an infidel make me shut my doors against him, and refuse him help and succour if it were in my power to afford him such. For I have mostly found that men of this class are as good, and often better than their persecutors--and that the sole reason why they are called wicked is, that they are free thinkers, and that free thinking is associated in all orthodox minds with wickedness. But according to this rule St. Paul himself was a vile person--for he was a free thinker-heretic and infidel to the Mosaic law--and yet I think we owe Paul something better than kicks for his free thinking; for Christianity was founded and established mainly by his energy and eloquence. I find however that there is no end to a loose disquisition like this—and so I will close my Essay.
HE Sun it shineth burning and wild ;
But there's shelter under the
And down the old lane goeth many a child
And here I sit all under the oak
A good old plough, with its worn bright share,
O the rare old plough! what a glad God speed
He shall rest the old Plough-and the Husbandman,
G. S. P.
JOHN EDWARDS, THE DOVEDALE POET.
$N THE Cemetry of the little Moravian settlement, at Ockbrook, near
Derby, have reposed for several years the ashes of John Edwards ;—and
who was he, that he has been heretofore so little heard of, or should be mentioned now either with love or veneration? Of a hundred writers of ribaldry, —disseminators of literary pollution in its most ruinous forms,-all the world, well knows the blazoned names. But of this man,-altho he was the friend of Wordsworth and James Montgomery, and poured forth a poem as full of pure beauty and freshness as the mountain stream it describes,-of him what bookseller between Piccadilly and Threadneedle Street can tell you a word, or which of them can name the title of anything he wrote ? "My brethren, these things ought not to be :' therefore let us endeavor to know what we honestly may of so genuine a worthy. John Edwards,
,-as I saw him in the year 1842, in his counting-house, at Derby,—was in appearance as benign a patriarchı as one might wish to meetvenerable for his age, but more so for his demeanor and the mind that beamed thrö his open countenance,—and his voice was in barmony with leis gentle bearing, I am able to tell but little of his history. The probability is, that he had led from his childhood such a calm unobtrusive life as to furnish as few incidents as possible for a biography—as biographies are generally written. Could the lonely bills, rocks, and rivers of Derbyshire speak in language we could translate, they might doubtless give a far more interesting history of his heart and its lovesthe true life within him—than could ever be gathered amid the crowd: for his true life was not there—inasmuch as it was his nisfortune to be a liquor merchant, which, one must think, would be as uncongenial a business as could well be imagined for the writer of the following beautiful apostrophe to Water :
Thou eldest of the elements! which sprang
Its radiant arch,-in every form and hue
This forms the opening stanza of his poem, "The Tour of the Dove'-the Dove! that wildest, perhaps loveliest too, of all the wild and lovely streams of the Peak. Who has not read or heard of Dovedale, (a region of fairy scenes, extending about a day's journey from Ashbourn, up between Ilam and Thorp Cloud, by Beresford and Hartington, to the bosom of Axe-Edge, near Buxton,) and having several branching dales scarcely less beautiful and romantic than itself? From the time of Izaac Walton it has been a favorite resort of anglers, tourists,
painters, and poets; but none of them have surpassed John Edwards in the graphic transfer of all its points of interest in an orderly series, from its estuary in the Trent to its mountain 'mother-house.' It is true his poem bas, like its subject, many roughnesses as well as sweet
It has many stanzas in which the Alexandrine halts or falters when the strain preceding had led one to expect that it would be rolled out in all the strength and grandeur of an organ-tone. But there is an ample compensation for this in other passages, some of which come trilling down like a musical brooklet among rocks,—and others of which expand and flow away with all the power, calmness, and dignity of a river of the plain. Take the following, suggested by a scene which, from its resemblance of sacred architecture, has obtained the name of Dovedale Church :
I glance along the Dale, from right to left;
Ilis glory lightens all the cliffs and spires,
0! hither bring the harp from Judah's palms,
The psaltery--trees, the sackbut-caves supply,
And one harmonious voice of praise ascends on high !
Time cannot hide, power cannot quench the lamp
But Genius thrö the night of years hath striven,
And Homer's deathless song to this late age is given ! The reader may find an extract from another of Mr. Edwards's poems in Wordsworth’s ‘Essay on Epitaphs, appended to at least one edition of “The Excur. sion’; and should he ever wander into Dovedale, he will not enjoy the scenery less for knowing the effect it had upon the mind of a man who, despite an unfavorable occupation, could now and then steal away from the town into those sweet and solemn wilds of the Peak, and there, walking hand-in-hand with Nature, find
“Serinous in stones, books in the running brooks,
SPENCER T. HALL.
BY JAMES HOLE.
LECTURE II.-THE PROVINCE OF SOCIETY.
He present age is, necessarily, one of political rather than of social reform. OLE
We stand at a point of time in the history of the world, when much of
the old social elements are breaking-up, when the flood-gates of revolution and change are opened, and the stream of events is carrying the wrecks of the past to oblivion. The cry of the nations is for Liberty-liberty of thought, speech, and action. Spiritual and kingly despotism tremble in their seats, and the last bonds of feudalism are fast disappearing. It is natural that Reformers who are actively engaged in the work of demolition, should feel little interest in that of construction. To secure an immunity from those evils which human ignorance and passion, clothed with irresponsible power, have inflicted upon society, they would reduce government to a nullity, -regarding it as a sort of necessary evil, -a machine capable of little good and much mischief, of which its highest virtue is to let private interests alone, and its greatest perfection to fulfil the function of a cheap-policeman.
The favor which this absurd doctrine now receives, is easily accounted for. In a low state of civilization, the chief is a sort of minor deity, giving rather than executing the laws, the master of society rather than its servant. He claims to hold his place by a right divine, and to exercise his function without being responsible to his subjects, whose lives and fortunes he looks upon as kind of patrimony, The growth of intelligence in the many is incompatible with this supremacy of the one, and successive limitations are put upon
The day at last arrives when government ceases to be regarded as other than it really ought to be,
-an emanation from the will of Society. The former state is despotism, the latter democracy.
So long, and so far as irresponsible government exists, the let-alone principle is practically right. If the functions of government are to be at the mercy of an accident, the more it is limited and restricted the better. If antique usages
and prescriptive rights are to exclude genius and talent, energy and application, in order to place dulness and lethargy in the seats of trust and power, then confide to officers so selected as little of the means of mischief as possible. When it is an accident which determines whether a child or an inexperienced young woman, a knave or a fool, shall fill the highest offices in the state, no wonder that men who are the supporters of such a government, and who also aspire to the character of reformers, should be driven to accept the doctrine of non-interference on the part of government. They begin by upholding a stupid machinery, they end by giving it nothing to do. With a farcical solemnity, these friends of liberty fence government around with restrictions, and then call it a skilful balance of legislation.
In the early History of nations the functions of Government were comparatively few. It had work enough to protect the physically weak from the physically strong. With centralized populations, intercourse increases and social necessities multiply. Society implies relations, rights which each man can claim from his fellows, and correspondent duties which he owes to them. Men learn that there is the tyranny of the mentally strong over the mentally weak. We have then no longer a number of individuals without coliesion, without rclationship, but a Society bound by common feelings, wants, and interests, the subjects of mutual influences for good or ill, and of which no member, however humble, can suffer or rejoice without affecting his fellows. In Law and in Custom (which is but unwritten law) we have an expression of that relationship, and it is absurd therefore to regard law as something antagonistic to society. It is a mark which indicates how high the average moral sense, or it may be, the æsthetic culture of the community, has risen. The philosophy which limits the functions of law to the requirements of Justice, is an exceedingly narrow one. Love of his kind, or the sentiment of Fraternity, is as really a need of human nature as is Justice. Absolute perfection in either cannot be reached by codes, but society may at least affirm the lowest limit. “Self sacrifice,' says Bastiat, as if advancing an argument against this view, 'extends from the gift of an obolus thrown into the dish of a mendicant, up to the gift of life. The majority will give an obolus, the martyr will go to the rack for the benefit of mankind. It follows, only, that society should require the lesser sacrifice and be thankful for the greater one. Whether to do justice, which also admits of degrees, or to show mercy, the case is the same; for the school and the workhouse have as valid a foundation as the prison.
The number and variety of the objects cared for in one form or another by the State, is the best argument for the value of its interference. Sanitary matters, and the relief of the poor, are now acknowleged to be within its province. Manchester has charged itself with the duty of providing its gas, and with great advantage. Fire and Life Insurance, public Granaries, Hospitals and Dispensaries, Libraries and Museums, Baths and Wash-houses, public Parks and Picture Galleries, Schools and Colleges, will doubtless ere long be provided by municipal governments. Government manages the coinage, regulates the standard of value, of weights and measure, conducts the post office. It assists learned societies and it patronizes art. In short, the functions of the state have increased with the wants of society, and the wants of society increase with the means of gratifying them.
Those who think the next best thing to answering their opponents, is to give them a bad name, have attempted to confound the protective-duty of government (which is the natural consequence of the brotherhood of man), with what is commonly called Protection by means of prohibitive duties. Protection has been called Communism with a circumbendibus. Ebenezer Elliot, a man strongly infected with the dogma of the Laissez-faire school, thus jumbles up together the apostles of the two doctrines, Pity that so true a man should have united his wit to such a vulgar misrepresentation !