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everything strictly personal in its nature. Then as to variety, it is not the least astonishing fact connected with this extraordinary visit, an event, taken in all its parts, unparalleled in the history of man, that its narrative exhibits an unbounded variety of incident, circumstance, and adventure. The arrival of this great and good person in the country, the reappearance of this friendly genius in the sphere of his youthful and beneficent visitations, seemed to call up the whole population of the country in array to welcome him; but not in the stiff uniform of a parade, not in the court dress of a heartless ceremony. Society presented itself before him in all its shades and gradations, of which more are to be found coëxisting in the United States than in any other country. The wealth and luxury of the sea-coast, the newborn abundance of the West; the fashion of the town, the cordiality of the country; the authorities, municipal, national, and state; the living relics of the revolution, honored in the honors paid to their comrade in arms; the scientific and learned bodies, the children at the schools, the members of the associations of active life and of charity; the exiles of Spain, France, and Switzerland; banished monarchs; patriots of whom Europe was not worthy; the African and the Indian ;-all took an active and an appropriate part in this auspicious drama of real life. Had the deputed representatives of these various interests and conditions been assembled at some grand ceremonial of reception, in honor of the illustrious stranger, it would have itself, even as the pageant of an hour, have constituted an august spectacle. It would then have borne a worthy and proud comparison with those illustrious triumphs of heroic Rome, where conquered nations and captive princes followed in the train, and which seemed, with reason, to lift the frail mortal, to whom they were conceded, above the earth over which he was borne.

But when we consider, that this glorious and purer triumph was coëxtensive with the Union; that it swept from state to state, and from section to section, one long, unbroken career of rapturous welcome,-banishing feuds, appeasing dissensions, and hushing all tumults but the acclamations of joy,-uniting in one great act of public salutation a fierce and free people, on the eve of a furious contest, with the aura epileptica of the canvass already rushing over the body politic; that it was continued near a twelvemonth, an annus mirabilis of rejoicing, auspiciously commenced, successfully pursued, and happily and VOL. XXX.-No. 66.


gracefully accomplished, we have in it the elements and substance of a great chapter in the fate of nations, nowhere else to be found; and which, to be realized and relished, must have been witnessed. The fate of nations, we say, for it was nothing less. In addition to what was peculiar and personal in Lafayette, and of this there was enough to furnish out a liberal assignment of merit to a dozen great men of the common sort,-it was necessary that numerous high associations should have linked his name with all the great political convulsions of the day. Having performed an arduous, dangerous, honorable, and successful part in that crisis in the fate of our own country, which is of itself unexampled in human things, it was necessary, that, pursuing the path of immortal renown, on which his feet had laid hold in America, he should have engaged among the foremost in that stupendous revolution of his own country, where he stood serene amidst the madness of an empire; wielding, without abusing, a military force as far greater than that of the Emperor Napoleon, as the spontaneous rush of a whole race of men is more formidable than the march of a class of the conscription. It was necessary to the feeling with which Lafayette was received in America, that he should have nobly washed his hands of the blood of that revolution, and that the emperors of the earth, in mockery of the long-suffering of Providence, should have immured him in their dungeons for having protected their crowned daughters from the midnight assassin. It was necessary, when another stupendous reaction of things had seated the man of destiny on the throne of France, and, as it seemed, of Europe, that Lafayette alone, not by a convulsive effort of fanatical hardihood, but in the calm consciousness of a weight of character that would bear him out in the step, should deliberately, and in writing, refuse to acknowledge the power, before which the whole contemporary generation quailed. When again the wheel of empire had turned, and when this dreadful colossus had been crushed beneath the weight of Europe (mustered against him more in desperation than in self-assured power), and in falling had dragged down to the dust the honor and the strength of France, it was necessary, when the dust and smoke of the contest had blown off, that the faithful sentinel of liberty should have been seen at his post, ready again to stake his life and his reputation, in another of those fearful and critical junctures, when the stoutest hearts are apt to re

treat, and leave the field to desperate men,—the forlorn hope of affairs,-whom some inevitable necessity crowds up to the breach. To refute every imputation of a selfish policy, of a wish to restore himself in the good graces of restored royalty, it was necessary that he, the only individual of continental Europe, who, within the reach of Napoleon's sceptre, had refused to acknowledge his title, should be coldly viewed by the reappearing dynasty, and that he should be seen and heard, not in the court or the cabinet, but at the tribune, the calm, rational, ever consistent champion of freedom, a representative of the people in constitutional France. These were the titles of Lafayette to the respect, the love, the passionate admiration of the people, to whom he had consecrated the bloom of his youth, for whom he had lavished his treasure and his blood.

We might have added, that, in order to give even to common minds a topic of delightful and mysterious admiration, when strong minds were tasked to do justice to the theme,-in order to make a character, in which even the ingredients of romance were mingled up with the purest, loftiest, and sternest virtues, these just and authentic titles to respect were united in an individual who had been placed by birth, education, and fortune, in the foremost circle of the gay chivalry of France; who sacrificed all that a false ambition could covet, before he aspired to all that a pure and noble ambition could reach; and thus began life, by trampling under foot the glittering baubles, which Chatham accepted, and Burke did not refuse, and for which the mass of eminent men in Europe barter health, comfort, and conscience. Such was the man whom the Congress of the United States invited to our shores, and who came to gather in the rich harvest of a people's love. Well might he do it. He had sown it in weakness; should he not reap it in power? He had come to us, a poor and struggling colony, and periled his life in our cause; was he not entitled to the gratitude of the flourishing state? When he embarked in our cause, it was the utmost he could have promised himself, in the ordinary calculation of human things, and in the almost desperate event of a successful issue to the struggle, that some far distant posterity would illustrate, by the growth and prosperity of the country, the value of those services which he had contributed to her freedom. It was just, that he should himself come to witness and enjoy its rapid, its miraculous growth and elevation. We pity the hearts, quite as much as

we do the heads of those, who have seen and proclaimed in his brilliant reception, nothing but an 'ostentatious love of parade.' There never was a simpler, juster movement of a people. The triumph of Lafayette through America was as righteously due him, as the harvest is due to the husbandman, who has planted the seed and tilled the soil. His services, his character, his history, his life were fairly and richly entitled to it; and though, most manifestly, nothing more unpremeditated and unexpected ever took place in the affairs of a nation, yet, had the most rigid deliberation on what was decent and proper preceded his visit, not a shout of welcome would have been retrenched. He deserved it all for himself; and it was also due to the principles which had guided him, and the great cause which, in both hemispheres, he had served.

In common cases, nations must necessarily act and speak through the organs of their government, and less directly through that of the press. But it cannot often happen, that either channel of communication does justice to the intense and hearty concert of opinion and feeling which takes possession of a free people in reference to some great exciting subjects. Occasionally this opinion and this feeling will find another and a vastly more general, emphatic, far-resounding utterance; usually by means of primary assemblies throughout the country. The advent of Lafayette furnished an occasion singularly well adapted for such a testimony, on the part of the American people, to the great cause of liberty. The revolutions in Spanish America had appealed strongly to the sympathy of the people of the United States, and the unanimous recognition of their independence was a fine burst of legislative feeling; the excitement in favor of reviving Greece was widely felt, and warmly expressed, and liberally manifested; but neither of these subjects was in its nature so susceptible of the cordial coöperation of the American people, nor so free from all alloy of doubt and human imperfection. There was positively nothing to qualify the good will and heartiness, with which the people of America rose up to welcome the great champion of human right, and, in recognising his merit, to reassert the principles to which his life had been consecrated. Never perhaps did so fine an occasion for bearing this testimony present itself. In the common course of things, the field of battle, too often disastrous battle, has been the theatre on which a whole people, struggling to be free, has proclaimed its love of liberty. There is scarce any other oc

casion, that can naturally draw them forth. Here was a scene of peace and love; comprehending, from its nature, a whole people, uniting all parties, and all men who loved their country, with all the animation derived from the actual presence of a living object of respect and affection.

The very commencement and conclusion of the voyage of Lafayette, we mean those portions of it, which were performed on the soil of France,-will furnish the best illustration of the distinction we would draw between the militant and the triumphant testimony of the friends of liberty. In the first chapter of the work before us we find the following paragraph.

The patriotism of the citizens of Havre had prepared for Lafayette a reception in that city of a nature well calculated to touch his feelings. But the preposterous jealousy of the authorities interfered with the fête, and if the citizens had been less discreet, would have changed it into a scene of disorder and perhaps of blood. Agents of the police, gendarmes, and Swiss guards emulated each other, in their zeal to repress the noble sentiments of the people, during the short time that General Lafayette remained among them. It was, however, in presence of the whole population, and under the liveliest manifestations of the public feeling, that he embarked on the thirteenth of May.' Vol. i. p. 4.

This scene, to the credit of the municipality of Havre for the succeeding year, or of those, from whom that municipality received its instructions, was reversed when the General returned to France. 'As to the authorities of the city,' says Colonel Levasseur, 'they were this year all that they ought to have been the last year, and gave free scope to the manifestation of public opinion. In his passage from the port to the house of M. de Laroche, where he took up his quarters, the General had not the pain of seeing his friends threatened by the sabre of gendarmes, or insulted by the presence of foreign troops.'

Far different was the scene at Rouen.

On arriving at Rouen, we took lodgings with M. Cabanon, a respectable merchant, who continued to represent the department in the Chamber of Deputies, as long as his fellow citizens were untrammeled in the exercise of the right of suffrage. The colleague and friend of General Lafayette, he had claimed the privilege of receiving at his table the guest of America; and had procured him the pleasure of meeting there with the members of his family and a large number of the most respectable citizens of the ancient capital of Normandy. Toward the conclusion of the

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