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to the arts only the imitation of fine company, the French alone are truly capable of the work; but more latitude in the composition is necef sary to arouse the imagination and the soul powerfully. I know that one can, justly, raise the objection, that our three great tragic writers, while complying with established rules, have raised themselves to the most sublime elevation. Some men of genius, reaping in a field altogether new, have known how to render themselves illustrious, in spite of the difficulties which they were obliged to overcome, but the cessation of the progress of art, since their days,—is it not a proof that there are too many obstacles in the course which they pursued?
"Good taste in literature is, in some respects, like order under despotism, it is important to enquire at what price it may be obtained."* In politics, says M. Necker, it is necessary to allow every liberty, that is reconcilable loith order. I will reverse the maxim, in saying: it is necessary, in literature, to allow every taste which is reconcilable with genius: for if it is repose, which is important in the social state; in literature, on the contrary, it is the interest, the movement, the emotion, which is important, to which taste, in itself considered, is often an enemy.
One night propose a treaty of peace between the styles of judgment, on artists and men of the world, among the Germans and the French. The French should abstain from the condemnation of even a fault of propriety, if the fault were redeemed by a strong though: or a true sentiment. The Germans should prohibit every thing that offends natural taste, every thing that describes those images which the senses repel: any philosophical theory, how ingenious soever it may be, cannot be sustained against the repugnance of the senses, so a poetic work, founded on proprieties, should not be made to hinder involuntary emotions. The most spiritual of the German writers have admirably maintained that, to comprehend the conduct of the daughters of King Lear toward their father, it was necessary to disclose the barbarity of the age in which they lived, and to suffer the Duke of Corneille, excited by Regan, to crush out the eye of Glocester with his heel, on the stage; our imagination always will revolt against this spectacle, and demand that we should gain sublime beauties by other means. But the French direct all their literary criticisms against the prediction of the witches of Macbeth, the appearance of the
* Suppressed by the censure. '•:
ghost of Banquo, &c., yet one may be none the less shaken, from even the bottom of the soul, by the terrible effects which they wish to proscribe.
One cannot teach good taste in the arts, like the bon ton in society; for the bon ton serves to conceal that of which we are in want, while above all things a creative spirit is necessary in the arts: good taste cannot hold the place of talent in literature, for the better proof of taste, where one has not talent, will be to write nothing. If one dare say it, perhaps it may be found, that in France now, the racers on this track have too much rein, and very little spirit, and that in Germany much literary independence produces results not even so brilliant.
"And her bands of alabaster pressed upon her heart
Hoc signo vince, was the Roman word
This sign wins glory, yes, in every field—
"Sweet are the uses of adversity,"
THE WAY TO HEAVEN.
Eye has not seen, ear heard, nor heart conceived,
And very few have, as they should, believed,
The harmony that reigns in Heaven aho/e,
Where all is one continual flow of love.
There is perfection of etherial bliss,
Here imperfection in a world like this;
Yet imperfection is not total here below:
Else there would be no feeling but of woe.
No Right and wrong are seen on every side,
And if one could distinguish and divide,
The right from wrong, and would the right pursue,
That one would dwell in bliss; as Heaven is true.
One may find goodness in all things and hours,
As bees find honey in all kinds of flowers.
LET ME THINK IN MY HEART,
Let me think in my heart 1—
There's the moon and the star,
Upon and around us,
Like an Angel of Light,
Heartless ones like the moon,
But, who thinks from her heart,
Oh! that I had the power to portray, With each fine tint, the beautiful array Of virtues which adorn her character,— Almost divine, she never seems to err.
Her face and figure well might charm all eyes,
'Tis that immortal part, that heavenly spirit,
Eve has few daughters like her on the earth;
Painters ne'er formed a character so fair,
VOL, XII. July, 1854. No. IV.
At an early period in the history of the Western Journal, we published our views touching a variety of subjects relating to the public economy of the State of Missouri. Several of the leading measures which we then discussed and advocated, have since been adopted by the General Assembly; and we are happy in the belief that when matured their fruits will fully vindicate the wisdom and patriotism which controlled the councils of the State upon those occasions. Others, however, have been regarded by the Legislature with less favor; and though some of them have been several times rejected, yet so strong is our conviction of their soundness and utility that we feel compelled by a sense of social duty to urge them again upon the consideration of the people.
Of all the measures which we have advocated, none have met with more violent and decided opposition than the proposition to repeal the law limiting the rate of interest. At this we were surprised and disappointed; for when it is remembered that the laws against usury, and also those limiting the rate of interest, are mostly the offspring of ignorance, tyrany and superstition originating in a social condition differing in almost all respects from that of the people of this country at the present day; and, that those laws have been gradually yielding to the light and progressive intelligence of modern civilization, it must be regarded as a curious fact that in the year 1847 the State of Missouri, making a retrograde movement, should reduce the rate of interest from ten to six per cent, per annum. Missouri was a new State possessing an incalculable amount of natural wealth which had loDg remained undeveloped for the want of money. Remote from the great commercial emporiums, her exchanges were effected at great cost to both producers and consumers : she needed money to open her mines, to build up and establish manufactures, to commence and carry on a system of public improvements, to facilitate the operations of gommerce, to invite immigration, and give encouragement to industry in all its branches.
. This state of things being perceived and the scarcity of money deplored, it was natural that a remedy should have been sought by the people; but who except a Missouri legislator could have imagined that that remedy was to be found in an act of the General Assembly reducing the rate of interest? Is it reasonable to conclude that the General Assembly of Missouri was composed of men so totally ignorant of the obvious principles of public economy as not to perceive that by reducing the price of money they would drive it from the market, and that the scarcity occasioned by the act would augment the necessities of the community and enable the grinding money dealer to exact ruinous prices of the needy borrower as a premium for evading the law? Surely such obvious consequences must have occurred to the mind of any individual possessing sufficient intelligence to have authorized his admission into the councils of the State. But whether the interest law of 1847 resulted from ignorance of the principles of public economy, «r whether the ancient prejudices against usury and usurers were insiduously brought to bear upon the subject to promote the ends of individuals, it may be confidently affirmed that with accidental exceptions the money lender who evades the law is the only individual in the community benefitted by its enactment.
This assertion is abundantly verified by the financial operations of our people since the passage of the present law regulating interest on money. The average rate of interest paid on money borrowed upon bond and mortgage is now at least fifty per cent, kigher than it was in the year 1846; and it is a fact well known to all men acquainted with business in St. Louis, at that time, that the interest on loans upon real estate securities advanced materially immediately after the passage of the act.
The effects produced in Missouri by the adoption of this policy ie in accordance with the history of the usury laws of every other country of which we have any knowledge, except perhaps that of the Jewish nation. But it is to be observed that there was a principle of political economy involved in the Jewish law calculated to