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[75] would be, perhaps, still more so to yours, if you were travelling about as I am,—‘Laetat actuel de l'europe m'est degoutant.’ The old principles that gave life and power to society are worn out; you feel on all sides a principle of decay at work, ill counteracted by an apparatus of government very complicated, and very wearing and annoying. The wheels are multiplied, but the motion is diminished, the friction increased; and the machinery begins to grow shackling at the moment when the springs are losing their power, and when nothing but firmness can make it hold out. Indeed, almost everywhere, when you come in contact with the upper classes of society, —where in these governments power naturally resides,—you find weakness, inefficient presumption, and great moral degradation; and when you come to those who are the real managers of the world, you find them anxious about the future, temporizing, and alternately using an ill-timed spirit of concession or an ill-timed severity. The middling class, on the other hand, is growing rich and intelligent, and the lower class, with very imperfect and unpractical knowledge, is growing discontented and jealous. The governments are everywhere trying to associate to their interests the wealth of the middling class, and to base themselves on property. But this is revolution. Personal interest will not work like the principle of respect to superiors, and submission to authority as such, and it remains to be seen what will be the result of the experiment in a population so corrupt in its higher classes, and of so low a moral tone in almost all, as that which is now found on the Continent, and, with some qualification, I must add in England also. In the United States we have the opposite defects; but I greatly prefer them. We have the great basis of purity in our domestic life and relations, which is so broadly wanting here. We have men in the less favored portions of society, who have so much more intellect, will, and knowledge, that, compared with similar classes here, those I am among seem of an inferior order in creation. Indeed, taken as a general remark, a man is much more truly a man with us than he is elsewhere; and, notwithstanding the faults that freedom brings out in him, it is much more gratifying and satisfying to the mind, the affections, the soul, to live in our state of society, than in any I know of on this side of the Atlantic.

I do not know that you would be any better satisfied with the state of the arts than you would be with the state of society here. In sculpture very little is done that is worth looking at, except in Thorwaldsen's atelier, where, indeed, grace and power seem to have retired. The other artists make abundance of long-legged things

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