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de Printemps--La Lotus de la Bonne Loi-Madame Gir-
D'Orient, by Eugene Flandin-Le Caucase Pittoresque-
Belgium:-Reply to Certain Journals relative to the af-
fairs of Turkey.
Note on the Bourbon Question,
How they Manage in Europe,
114, 286, 847
..117, 237, 848, 468, 588, 698
A Magazine of Literature, Science, and Art. .
VOL. I.—JANUARY 1853.—NO. I.
STRONOMERS assert that the nebulous mist with which the ether is charged is
perpetually taking form—that the regions of space are but a celestial dairy, in which the milky way is for ever churned into stars. Nor do the new stars extinguish the old; for, as the thirteenth man in the omnibus always says--there is room for one more. It will not, therefore, surprise the public to see a new Magazine. The reader, like the astronomer cognizant of infinite star-dust, knows very well that in the rapid life of this country there is a constant scintillation of talent, which needs only a nucleus to be combined into beams of light and heat.
Taking the reader, therefore, by the hand, or rather by the eye, here at the portal, we invite a moment's conversation before he passes within.
A man buys a Magazine to be amused--to be instructed, if you please, but the lesson must be made amusing. He buys it to read in the cars, in his leisure hours at home-in the hotel, at all chance moments. It makes very little difference to him whether the article date from Greece or Guinea, if it only interest him. He does not read upon principle, and troubles himself little about copyright and justice to authors. If a man goes to Timbuctoo and describes his visit picturesquely and well, the reader devours the story, and is not at all concerned because the publisher may have broken the author's head or heart, to obtain the manuscript. A popular Magazine must amuse, interest and instruct, or the public will pass by upon the other side. Nor will it be persuaded to "come over and help us” by any consideration of abstract right. It says, very justly." if you had no legs, why did you try to walk ?”
It is because we are confident that neither Greece nor Guinea can offer the American reader a richer variety of instruction and amusement in every kind, than the country whose pulses throb with his, and whose every interest is his own, that this Magazine presents itself to-day. The genius of the old world is affluent; we owe much to it, and we hope to owe more. But we have no less faith in the opulence of our own resources. Not alone in the discussion of those graver contemporary interests of every kind, which is the peculiar province of the foreign Quarterly Review, but in the treatment of minor matters of daily experience, which makes so much of the distinctive charm of a Magazine, we hold to the conviction that our genius is as good as it is in practical affairs. To an American eye, life in New-York, for instance. offers more, and more interesting, aspects, than life in London or Paris. Or, again, life
in London and Paris is more interesting and intelligible to an American when reported by an American, than by the man of any other country. America practically goes to Europe with every American. We do not mean, of course, with every man whose birth chanced to fall in America, and to whom Europe is Paris, and Paris a Jardin Mabille, or a Magasin des Modes, but with every man who sees through “ American spectacles," as a late anonymous author expresses it. We all understand his impressions and estimates, because they are made by a standard common to ourselves. And if we add to this, the essential freshness of feeling and true poetic sense of the American, we find some reason for the opinion that not only does an American know how to travel, but he knows how to tell his travels well. Hence, in a popular Magazine, which is a running commentary upon the countless phenomena of the times as they rise-not, as in a newspaper, in the form of direct criticism, but in the more permanently interesting shapes of story, essay, poem and sketch-this local reality is a point of the utmost importance. If there are as sharp-eyed and cunning-handed men in New-York or Cincinnati, or New Orleans, for instance, who can walk into the markets, and search all the mysteries of characteristic life in those cities, and then with emphasis and skill, make all of us see as they saw, why is it not as interesting as the same thing done in London ?
This is true in other spheres—of thought, as well as life. We trust to show not only the various aspects of life, but to hint at their significance. In what paper or periodical do you now look to find the criticism of American thought upon the times ? We hope to answer that question, too, by heaping upon our pages the results of the acutest observations, and the most trenchant thought, illustrated by whatever wealth of erudition, of imagination and of experience, they may chance to possess.
A Magazine, like a poet, we know must be born and not made. That is, it must be founded upon fact. No theory of what a good Magazine should be, will make a Magazine good, if it be not genuine in itself and genuinely related to the time. And it has been already announced in our prospectus, that we have no desire to try an experiment.
Are we then so sure ? Has not the long and dreary history of Magazines opened our eyes
s? Is there some siren seduction in theatres and periodicals that for ever woos managers and publishers to a certain destruction? Why do we propose another twelve-month voyage in pea-green covers, toward obscurity and the chaos of failures ?
These are fair and friendly questions, while we stand chatting at the portal. With the obstinacy of Columbus,-if you please—we incredulously hear you, and still bo lieve in the West. No alchemist, after long centuries of labor, ever discovered the philosopher's stone, nor found that any thing but genius and thrift would turn plaster and paper into gold. But, if even he had withstood his consuming desire, he would have perished at first of despair, as he did, at last, of disappointment.
So our Magazine is a foregone conclusion. Columbus believed in his Cathay of the West—and discovered it.
We pray the reader to enter, and pardon this delay at the door. Within he will find poets, wits, philosophers, critics, artists, travellers, men of erudition and science, all strictly masked, as becomes worshippers of that invisible Truth which all our ef forts and aims will seek to serve. And as he turns from us to accost those masks we remind the reader of the young worshipper of Isis. For in her temple at Säis, upon the Nile, stood her image, for ever veiled. And when an ardent neophyte passionato ly besought that he might see her, and would take no refusal, his prayer was granted. The veil was lifted, and the exceeding splendor of that beauty dazzled him to death. Let it content you, ardent reader, to know that behind these masks are those whom you much delight to honor—those whose names, like the fame of Isis, have gone into other lands.
Finally, our Magazine shall say for itself what was said in the person of a young enthusiast born into the world and determined to reform it: "Now, though I am very peaceable, and on my private account could well enough die, since it appears there was some mistake in my creation, and that I have been missent to this earth, where all the seats were already taken,—yet I feel called upon in behalf of rational nature, which I represent, to declare to you my opinion, that, if the earth is yours, so also is it mine. My genius leads me to build a different manner of life from any of yours."
This, says Putnam's Monthly, to its contemporaries who have already taken front seats in this prosperous world.
REEDOM of discussion on every subject, whether foreign or domestic, is a right claimed by the citizens of this republic. And it is exercised. We are at peace with France: she was our ally in our struggle for independence. We have with her existing reciprocating treaties. But this does not prevent the freest and most forcible expressions of opinion on the subject of her late revolutions. Some of our most respectable journals can scarcely find language sufficiently strong to express the apathy of the French nation, and their indignation against Louis Napoleon, who is denounced as a perjured traitor, murderer, and assassin. To be sure, this is a business with which the French have rather more to do than we, but we claim the right to express our opinions for all that. Indeed, notwithstanding our national policy not to mix or embroil ourselves with the affairs of the Old World, we do daily discuss them with the greatest freedom. And this is right. The field of man's action and contemplation is the WORLD. We cannot, if we would, remain indifferent to what is passing in any of the civilized states. One great effect of freedom is to fill the heart with an earnest desire that every living being should participate in its privileges. It is this which makes us feel a lively sympathy for the oppressed everywhere. But oppressions are various. There are different aspects of the picture. One individual cannot be expected to regard them all. Some among us are engrossed with attempts to benefit the heathen in distant lands; others feel a profound interest in the enslaved negro, at home; oth
ers think only of the oppressed Hungarians, while others, still, are pitying the unconscious French, or lamenting over the condition of the injured Irish, or the wretched operatives of Great Britain. The serf of Russia, the poor Indian of America, the unfortunate Pole, have also friends and honest "sympathizers" among We do more than sympathize. We express our sympathy freely, boldly, without the slightest regard to those whom we consider tyrants and despots.
case of Hungary, the appeals of a down-trodden nation found an ample response in the hearts of Americans, and the great Magyar was received by us with the most enthusiastic appreciation. Throughout the length and breadth of the land there was one grand ovation to Kossuth, with express reference to the position he had assumed toward Austria. More than that, our Government received him on our shores with discharges of ordnance, and gave him an official welcome to the Capitol. The reanimated leader announced that he was ready to receive lawful contributions in money and arms, and both were freely contributed. Yet Austria and the United States were at peace, and treaties and diplomatic relations existed between them. A short time before, when Ireland seemed about to arouse from her state of degradation and oppression, subscriptions were most generously raised here to aid her chiefs in their efforts, and highly respectable parties-from among our own citizens-acted as a committee to take charge of the fund thus created. Yet Great Britain and the United States were at peace; the most friendly relations subsisted between them,
and no one dreamed of their being dis- and gentle race—the island was only turbed by these manifestations of indi- held by Spain as a convenient military vidual sympathy or outbursts of individ- and naval station on the way to the mines ual opinion. Farther back, how strongly of Mexico. Nothwithstanding this, we did we manifest our sympathy for the notice in the laws and municipal rights of Greeks, in their struggle for liberty; Cuba the same independent and liberal how generously was our individual aid ex- spirit which prevailed in all the settlements tended to them; and who does not remem- of that nation, among the Moors or elseber the stirring eloquence of Henry Clay where, so far as the Spanish settlers or in their behalf, when, in his zeal for the their descendants were concerned. Even generous cause, he forgot for the time even in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the constitutional objection against grant- public assemblies of citizens were held to ing to Greece national aid.
elect the members of the corporations ; Such instances are not confined to our free and bold charges were made and own experience. England enjoys constitu- sustained against governors; and no taxational freedom, and she exercises to the tion was permitted which was not suslargest extent the rights of free discussion. tained by these bodies. She too has something to say about Louis In 1812 the constitution was proclaimed Napoleon. She too made a hero of Kossuth, in Spain ; the whole people of the coloand not content with that, some of her stur- nies were assimilated to the inhabitants dy brewers taking the affair into their own of the mother country with respect to hands, took certainly undue liberties with representation ; and Cuba sent her repthe person of Haynau. Doubtless they resentatives to the Spanish Chamber of did wrong; they broke the laws of the Deputies. In 1818 Señor Arango, the realm ; they committed a breach of the deputy from Havana, obtained a royal orpeace; but there was a sound and whole- dinance for the abolition of restrictions some indignation at the bottom, which, if it on Cuban commerce. From this period does not excuse, goes far to palliate the out- we may date the prosperity of the island. rage. Further than this, Great Britain Before she had been a burthen to the has expressed her sympathy loudly and home treasury. Now she began to reenergetically on the side of the African; mit large sums annually to the governshe compelled Spain to enter into a treaty ment; an army of 25,000 men, sent by which the slave-trade should be sup- from Spain in a miserable plight, was pressed; and she now endeavors to en- maintained by her, and in a few years force that treaty by her armed vessels of was entirely equipped, clothed and disci
plined in the best manner, without exSo for nearly all the oppressed on the pense to the mother country. Indeed, earth, there are ready sympathizers, here since 1830, in every embarrassment of and elsewhere: for the Frenchman, the her government, Spain has been supHungarian, the Pole, the Sclavic serf, the plied with means from the treasury of English operative, the Irishman, the Afri- Cuba, and it has been a reserved fund can, the Indian; and, now that Russia is for her every pressing emergency. When casting her malign shadow eastward, for the civil list failed Queen Christina, Cuba the Turk also.
furnished resources for defraying the proBut there is almost within sight of our fuse expenditure of the palace. The conown shores a province of one of the tributions wrung from the island formed monarchies of the old world whose inha- no small portion of the riches bequeathed bitants are suffering under greater and by Ferdinand Seventh to his rapacious more oppressive burthens, and are gov- widow and to his reputed daughters. erned by a sway more absolute and tyran- From Cuba also were derived the means nical, than has ever been exercised against of setting on foot the luckless expedition Sclave, Magyar, Pole or Indian. It is of Barrados for the reconquest of Mexico; the Island of Cuba. We propose to
and from 1832 to 1841 it had exchanged present its history briefly, so as to show thirty-six millions of dollars against an its actual condition, before taking up the equal amount of government paper. At subject of our relations with Spain, or length, so much importance was attached canvassing the various collateral questions to the revenues of this island, that they which are now daily presented.
served as ample guarantees for loans, forPrevious to the eighteenth century, the eign and domestic. The wealth, the beauhistory of Cuba is principally occupied ty, the fertility of Cuba proved her ruin. with accounts of the settlements com- By degrees, she came to be regarded only menced by the first governor, Diego as a machine for raising money; and to Velasquez. Its advance was extremely carry out the purposes of the home adslow, and, having exhausted the native ministration to the fullest extent, it was Indian population—who were a docile necessary to destroy the privileges and