In conclusion, I would observe, that the opinions and feelings of a nation should not be hastily drawn from the writings of a passing traveller, or from the casual leaders of a Free Press. Man is ever prone to find fault with his neighbour, because the so doing involves a latent claim to superior intelligence in himself; but a man may condemn many things in a nation, while holding the nation itself in high esteem. The world is a large society,—a traveller is but one of the company, who converses through the Press; and as, in the smaller circles, conversation would die or freeze if nothing were stated but what could be mathematically proved, so would volumes of travels come to an untimely end, if they never passed beyond the dull boundary of facts. In both cases, opinions are the life of conversation; because, as no two people agree, they provoke discussion, through the openings of which, as truth oozes out, wise men catch it, leaving the refuse to the unreflecting.
The late Lord Holland, who was equally remarkable for his kindness and his intelligence, is said to have observed, “I never met a man so great a fool, but what I could learn something from him.” Reader, I am bound to confess his Lordship never met me; but I cannot take my leave without expressing a hope, that you will not be less fortunate than that amiable Peer.
And now, farewell, thou Giant Republic! I have long since left thy shores; but I have brought with me, and fondly cherish, the recollection of the many pleasant days I spent within thy borders, and of all those friends whose unceasing hospitality and kindness tracked my path without intermission. I care not for the Filibusteros and Russian sympathizers; I know that the heart of the intelligence of thy people beats with friendly pulsations, to which that of my own countrymen readily responds. All we should, and I trust all we do, mutually desire, is, to encourage an honourable and increasing rivalry in arts, science, commerce, and good-will. He who would disturb our amicable relations, be he Briton or American, is unworthy of the name of a man; for he is a foe to Liberty—Humanity—and Christianity.
[Footnote CK: The New York Herald is edited by two renegade British subjects, one of whom was, I am told, formerly a writer in a scurrilous publication in this country.]
[Footnote CL: It has been cited as an example of their fondness for grand-sounding titles, that while, by the Census of Great Britain, there were only 2,328 physicians to 15,163 surgeons, in the United States there were 40,564 physicians to only 191 surgeons.]
[Footnote CM: Vide chapter entitled “America’s Press and England’s Censor.”]
[Footnote CN: One of the few cases in which perhaps there is an advantage in the masses voting, is where a question of public advantage is brought forward, to which many and powerful local interests or monopolies are opposed. Take, for instance, the supply of London with good water, which the most utter dunderhead must admit to be most desirable; yet the influence of vested interests is so strong that its two millions of inhabitants seem destined to be poisoned for centuries, and the lanes and courts will, in all probability, continue as arid as the desert during the same period.—London, look at New York and blush!]