A land of liberty and law.
certainly is better entitled to this appellation than the U. S. even was at the best period of its existence.
It is true that we never had a king, nor a hereditary aristocracy, but the sovereign of England
is a mere weathercock upon the church spire, for ornament rather than use, and for use only so far as it yields to the current of public opinion.
Its aristocracy has generally the merit of at least a thousand years of good blood; it is no mushroom affair, like the laughable imitations on this continent; it is composed of the best gentlemen of the land, whose well ascertained position enables them to be kind and affable to those beneath them, without hazard to their own dignity.
Instead of being dangerous to liberty, the aristocracy of England
has been its most trustworthy friend and champion.
In the United States
there was always a tyrant, the mob, which, in the developments of the last year, has proved that of all tyrants it is the most absolute, irresponsible, bloody, ignorant, brutal and base.
Did it ever, in its best days' demonstrate the capacity for self-government which cringing and place-hunting demagogues ascribed to it?
Did it choose the best men for President
, or for Governor, or for members of Congress, or for anything else wherein its choice was exercised?
Was not the truly great man, who acted upon principle (if ever such men since George Washington
have lived in America
) and dared to rebuke the popular tyrant for his evil propensities, and did not pretend to believe that the vox populi
of fallen humanity is any more likely to be vox Dei
than rox diaboli,
sure to sign and seal his own political perdition?
Look at the "virtuous and intelligent people
" of the United States
by the lurid flames of this infernal invasion, and is there any tyrant of modern or of ancient times who can approach this monster in the variety and magnitude of his vile passions and atrocious crimes?
What tyranny is there, what deed of wickedness, what violation of liberty, what moral debasement, from the cold blooded massacre of women and children to the most miserable petit larceny, which has not been performed by the representatives of the United States
, and approved by the "virtuous and intelligent people?" What chance is there for so much as a protest of the few wise and good men in its own section against the most tyrannical and inhuman act which the despotic mob, through its Washington
representative, may perform?
The silence of death, or the Bastile, is the only alternative which the despot presents.
We have long been of opinion that, with all the talk about liberty and equality in the United States
, there was less of either, and certainly a vast inferiority in the administration of justice, to Great Britain
It is true social equality in England
is unknown, and so it is everywhere, and now here more than it is in the Union
, where an upstart money aristocracy, having neither education, good blood, nor good manners, has uniformly treated the poor with a degree of brutality and tyranny unparalleled in any part of the world.
But equality in the administration of justice is a reality in Great Britain
, as it never was in the United States
Here money could always save a ruffian from the consequences of his crime; there the proudest nobleman and the wealthiest commoner who violated the laws of the land have no more chance of escape before an English judge and jury than the meanest occupant of St. Giles.
is a land of law in fact as well as in name — a land where every man's life and property, as well as liberty, are secure; a land which, in its conservative spirit, its equal administration of justice, and its practical sympathy with the poor and humble, our own new country may well adopt as its model.
In looking over a late file of London
papers, we observed one of its solid columns of editorials devoted to a case which in an American newspaper would have scarcely occupied ten lines of a local.
It was a case of a boy, who, for throwing a stone in a baronet's window, had been fined twenty shillings, and sent to prison for a month, whilst a man who had committed the same offence upon the window of a publican, had been discharged upon the payment of a small fine, and without any abridgement of his liberty.
The journal boldly arraigned the magistrate for the oppressive punishment of a mere child, and the partiality shown to a greater offender, in terms and with an emphasis which to American journalists seem altogether disproportion to the character of the offence.
But the press in England
is freer and braver, as well as more dignified and intelligent than in the United States
, and the people, of whom the press is a representative, are more rigid in their ideas of justice and fair play.
The government also never forgets the claims of its humblest subjects upon its attention in any part of the earth.
We have lately noticed a case of this kind, which occurred under our own observation, and which well might form a model for official example in our own government.