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Barnes and Burr.” The acute reader will at once surmise bat the object of this series of school readers was to instil into the minds of the youth of Norih Carolina a due regard for the sacredness and blessed effects of our peculiar institution. But for once the acute reader is mistaken. No such purpose appears, at least not in Number III. ; in which there are only one or two even distant allusions to that dread subject. Onesimus is not mentioned ; there is no reference to Ham, nor is there any
dis. course upon long heels and small brains. The great, the only object of this Reader was to nourish in the children of the State the feeling which the boy expressed when he proudly said that his country was South Carolina. Nothing can exceed the innocent, childlike manner in which this design is carried out in Number III. First, the children are favored with a series of chapters descriptive of North Carolina, written in the style of a school geography, with an occasional piece of poetry on a North Carolina subject by a North Carolina poet. Once, however, the compiler ventures to depart from his plan by inserting the lines by Sir William Jones, “ What constitutes a State?” To this poem he appends a note apologizing for “breaking the thread of his discourse," upon the ground that the lines were so “applicable to the subject,” that it seemed as if the author “must have been describing North Carolina.” When the compiler has done cataloguing the fisheries, the rivers, the mountains, and the towns of North Carolina, he proceeds to relate its history precisely in the style of our school history books. The latter half of the volume is chiefly occupied by passages from speeches, and poems from newspapers, written by natires of North Carolina. It is impossible for us to convey an idea of the innutritiousness and the inferiority of most of these pieces. North Carolina is the great theme of orator and poet.
“We live,” says one of the legislators quoted, “in the most beautiful land that the sun of heaven ever shone upon. Yes, sir, I have heard he anecdote from Mr. Clay, that a preacher in Kentucky, when speakang of the beauties of paradise, when he desired to make his audience believe it was a place of bliss, said it was a Kentucky of a place. Sir, this preacher had never visited the western counties of North Carolina I have spent days of rapture in looking at her scenery of unsurpassed grandeur, in hearing the roar of her magnificent waterfalls, second only to the great cataract of the North; and while I gazed for hours, lost in admiration at the power of Him who by his word created such a country, and gratitude for the blessings He had scattered upon it, I thought that if Adam and Eve, when driven from paradise, had been near this land, they would have thought themselves in the next best place to that they had left.”
We do not aver that the contents of this collection are generally as ludicrous as this specimen ; but we do say that the passage quoted gives a very fair idea of the spirit and quality of the book. There is scarcely one of the North Carolina pieces which a Northern man would not for one reason or another find ex. tremely comic. One of the reading lessons is a note written fif teen years ago by Solon Robinson, the agricultural editor of the Tribune, upon the use of the long leaves of the North Carolina pine for braiding or basket-work; another is a note written to accompany a bunch of North Carolina grapes sent to an editor; and there are many other newspaper cuttings of a similar character. The editor seems to have thought nothing too trivial, nothing too ephemeral, for his purpose, provided the passage contained the name of his beloved State.
How strange all this appears to a Northern mind! Every. where else in Christendom, teachers strive to enlarge the mental range of their pupils, readily assenting to Voltaire's well-known definition of an educated man: “One who is not satisfied to survey the universe from his parish belfry.” Everywhere else, the intellectual class have some sense of the ill-consequences of “ breeding in and in,” and take care to infuse into their minds the vigor of new ideas and the nourishment of strange knowledge. How impossible for a Northern State to think of doing what Alabama did last winter, pass a law designed to limit the circu. lation in that State of Northern newspapers and periodicals ! What Southern men mean by “ State pride” is really not known in the Northern States. All men of every land are fond of their native place; but the pride that Northern people may feel in the State wherein they happened to be born is as subordinate to
their national feeling, as the attachment of a Frenchman to his native province is to his pride in France.
Why this difference? It did not always exist. It cost New York and Massachusetts as severe a struggle to accept the Constitution of 1787 as it did Virginia. George Clinton, Governor of New York, hail as much State pride as Patrick Henry, orator of Virginia, and parted as reluctantly with a portion of the sovereignty which he wielded. If it required Washington's influence and Madison's persuasive reasoning to bring Virginia into the new system, the repugnance of Massachusetts was only overcome by the combined force of Hancock's social rank and Samuel Adams's late, reluctant assent.
On this subject let us hear Samuel Adams for a moment as he wrote to a friend in 1788:
“I confess, as I enter the building I stumble at the threshold. I meet with a national government instead of a federal union of sovereign states. I am not able to conceive why the wisdom of the Convention led them to give the preference to the former before the latter. If the several States in the Union are to be one entire nation under one Legislature, the powers of which shall extend to every subject of legislation, and its laws be supreme and control the whole, the idea of sovereignty in these States must be lost. Indeed, I think, upon such a supposition, those sovereignties ought to be eradicated from the mind, for they would be imperia in imperio, justly deemeil a solecism in politics, and they would be highly dangerous and destructive of the peace, union, and safety of the nation.
“ And can this National Legislature be competent to make laws for the free internal government of one people, living in climates so remote, and whose habits and particular interests are, and probably always will be, so different ? Is it to be expected that general laws ca: be a lapted to the feelings of the more eastern and the more southern parts of so extensive a nation? It appears to me difficult, if practicable. Hence, then, may we not look for discontent, mistrust, disaffection to government, and frequent insurrections, which will require standling armies to suppress them in one place and another, where they may happen to arise. Or, is laws could be made adapted to the local habits, feelings, views, and interests of those distant parts, would they not cause jealousies of partiality ir government, which would excite envy and other malignant passions productive of wars and fighting? But should we continue distinct sovereign States, confederated for the purpose of mutual safety and happiness, each contributing to the federal head such a part of its sovereignty as would render the govern. ment fully adequate to those purposes and no more, the roople would govern themselves more easily, the laws of each State being well adapted to its own genius and circumstances, and the liberties of the United States would be more secure than they can be, as I humbly conceive, ander the proposed new constitution.” — Life of Samuel Adams, Vol. Ul., p. 251.
is one of the large number in the writings of that ime to which recent events have given a new interest; nor is it ww without salutary meaning for us, though we quote it only to How the reluctance of some of the best citizens of the North to viny into a national system. Suppose, to-day, that the United plates vere invited to merge their sovereignty into a confedera on oi ail whe nations of America, which would require us to abolish tue vity of Washington, and send delegates to a general ongress cu tie isthmus of Darien ! A sacrifice of pride like what was demanded up the leading States of the Union in 1787 Severe was the siruggle, but the sacrifice was made, and it cost the great States of the North as painful a throe as it did the great States of the South. Why, then, has State pride died away in the North, and grown stronger in the South? Why is it only in the Southern States that the doctrine of States' Rights is ever heard of? Why does the Northern man sweil with national pride, and point with exultation to a flag bearing thirtyseven stars, feeling the remotest State to be as much his country as his rative village, while the Southern man contraets to an exclusive love for a single State, and is willing to die on its frontiers in repelling from its sacred soil the national troops, and can see the flag under which his fathers fought torn down without regret?
The study of John Randolph of Virginia takes us to the heart of this mystery.
He could not have correctly answered the question we have proposed, but he was an answer to it. Born when George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, and James Madison were Virginia farmers, and surviving to the timo
when Andrew Jackson was President of the United States, he lived through the period of the decline of his race, and he was of that decline a conscious exemplification. He represented the decay of Virginia, himself a living ruin attesting by the strength and splendor of portions of it what a magnificent structure it was
“ Poor old Virginia! Poor old Virginia !” This was the burden of his cry for many a year. Sick, solitary, and half mad, at his lonely house in the wilderness of Roanoke, suffering from inherited disease, burdened with inherited debt, limited by inherited errors, and severed by a wall of inherited prejudice from the life of the modern world, he stands to us as the type of the palsied and dying State. Of the doctrine of States' Rights he was the most consistent and persistent champion ; while of that feeling which the North Carolina Reader No. III. styles “State pride,” we may call him the very incarnation. When I speak of my country,” he would say, “I mean the Commonwealth of Virginia.” He was the first eminent man in the Southern States who was prepared in spirit for war against the government of the United States; for during the Nullification imbroglio of 1833, he not only was in the fullest accord with Calhoun, but he used to say, that, if a collision took place between the nullifiers and the forces of the United States, he, John Randolph of Roanoke, old and sick as he was, would have himself buckled on his horse, Radical, and fight for the South to his last breath.
But then he was a man of genius, travel, and reading. We find him, therefore, as we have said, a conscious witness of his Virginia's decline. Along with a pride in the Old Dominion that was fanatical, there was in this man's heart a constant and most agonizing sense of her inferiority to lands less beloved. By no tongue or pen — not by Sumner's tongue nor Olmstead's pen – have more terrible pictures been drawn of Virginia's lapse into barbarism, than are to be found in John Randolph's letters. At a time (1831) when he would not buy a pocket-knife made in New England, nor send a book to be bound north of the Potomac, we find him writing of his native State in these terms :
“ I passed a night in Farrarville, in an apartment which, in tingland, would not have been thought fit for my servant; nor on the Continent