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There is some difficulty in plainly setting out Mr. Moore's failures, for the very reason that he is seldom decidedly bad. He wants the unreserved faults as well as excellences of a free and intrepid mind. The very elaboration, which mars his beauties, takes off their nativeness, and gives most of his pictures an artificial, unsatisfying sameness, serves also to soften or obscure his defects. Where the thought fails altogether, he attempts to make up for it by a sort of verbal stress, earnestness and flow-there are musical combinations of phrases in his merest expletives-he never has an undress for fine thoughts, nor any thing short of costly apparel for those which are every-day and common. It comes of this, no doubt, that we read him with so little variety of feeling, such an evenness of interest, without offence and without rapture.

We had something to say of the songs, with which three of the poems are interspersed, and of the disadvantages under which one labours, who travels to a distant country, by books only, for scenes, characters, sentiments, and all his poetical materials. But we are obliged to take an abrupt leave of our poet, having read his book and pursued our labour with very little satisfaction, and with a conviction, all along, that he might, but never will, do better.

ART. II. The Friend of Peace, No. 1-8. By Philo Pacificus.
Boston, Cummings & Hilliard.

THIS is a series of publications, issued by a member of the Peace Society of Massachusetts, and intended to direct the publick to a more attentive consideration of the subject of war. It is somewhat remarkable, that this society has received less encouragement and is in general looked upon with a less favourable eye, than any other of the charitable and benevolent institutions that have lately been established here in such numbers. We are unwilling to believe for a moment, that this disinclination to the Peace Society can be at all connected with one feature in it, which ought rather to ope rate in its favour-we mean the circumstance that the plan originated among ourselves, and was not, like most of these institutions, borrowed from England. In this case our plan Vol. VI. No. 1.

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has been borrowed by the English, and a Peace Society, similar to that of Massachusetts, has been organized at London. In point of publick patronage it has, however, shared the fate of the parent society here. While many pretendedly charitable and benevolent societies, whose objects are very equivocal, not to say dangerous, in the view of an enlightened thinker, are largely encouraged and loudly applauded, the Peace Society, which can produce nothing but good, and may produce very great good, is disregarded or ridiculed. Why this is so in Great Britain, it is not difficult to discover. Her government, like every government of the same description, is essentially military, and the class of people that direct publick opinion, and more especially that patronize publick institutions, have an immediate personal interest in keeping up the military system. Her power over her colonies, her influence on the continent, and in fact her aristocratical establishments at home, all rest on the basis of military power in the dominant part of the nation. This is distinctly perceived by those who take a correct view of the subject and felt by a sort of instinct through the whole circle of dependants and supporters. Hence such men as Mr. Wilberforce and his friends, who were willing to devote their lives to the cause of the Africans—and a noble cause it certainly was-have not a word to say in favour of a project tending to discourage the military spirit and bring about, if such a thing should ever be found practicable, a cessation of the custom of international war. And yet it is impossible but that they and every other friend of humanity must wish well to such a project. It is not that they love Cesar less, but that they love Rome more. In delivering the Africans from bondage, one of their motives-we may say one of their honourable motives—no doubt was that England would derive from the abolition of the slave trade, the glory of a humane and magnanimous policy. They could act at once the parts of lovers of their country and friends of mankind. Now these motives are disjoined, and the latter is found to be the less prevalent of the two.

With us, however, these two motives are united in favour of encouraging the plan before us. Our institutions are in their nature pacifick. Offensive war is in all cases directly against our interest-and in the offensive part of defensive war, we shall always labour under a disadvantage in com

parison with nations that tolerate extensive military establishments. Hence every thing that tends to make a pacifick policy general among nations, has a direct bearing for our particular advantage. And hence, whatever we do from a motive of general humanity and benevolence to encourage the prevalence of peace, will afford us the additional satisfaction of promoting at the same time, the immediate and peculiar interest of our own country. We propose now to submit a few remarks upon the general subject with a view to contribute the little that lies in our power, towards the removal of such prejudices, as may exist in the minds of some against the Peace Society, and towards its general success. We shall first make one or two preliminary observations, upon certain errours, into which the friends of this society have permitted themselves to be drawn, and which may have had considerable influence in obstructing its progress.

The first of these errours, that we shall notice, is the opinion entertained and practised upon by some who have written upon this subject, that it was expedient or necessary to support the cause by pointing out particularly the supposed inconvenience and injustice of our late war with England. Now the effect of this is in the first place very disadvantageous, as it indisposes at once the minds of a large portion of the community to the whole business, and secondly the opinion itself is not philosophical. While the military system exists among nations, every consistent and rational friend of peace, however enthusiastick he may be in the cause, must admit that there may be some necessary and defensive wars. It is the system itself, which is the proper subject of attack. Now the war in question may or not have been one of this character, and this is a question into which the Peace Society and its friends are not compelled to inquire, the discussion of it being quite disconnected with their objects.

It is proper to observe, that in the pamphlets before us, there appears a disposition to keep the interest of the society entirely distinct from party politics-and in general, the temper of the times is such at present that there is no material damage to be apprehended from this quarter. We have, however, thought it proper just to indicate the danger for the consideration of such as may discuss the subject at. this or at a future time, when there may perhaps be more

excitement than there is now. It is also as well to remark, that though some have, in supporting the Peace Society, introduced topicks and opinions considered as federal, the republican party are, we believe, by their principles, at least as 'much interested in the success of the project as the other—since its general features coincide exactly with their views of the danger of great military establishments and consolidated authority in the civil magistracy. These observations we hope to have made, without offending the friends of either political party, both which it is the direct interest, and we presume the strong wish of the society to conciliate as much as possible.

The other point, upon which we wish to make some preliminary remarks, is the impropriety of connecting the objects of the society with the opinions of particular individuals respecting the lawfulness of self-defence. Some persons wə know consider it illegal and unchristian to take the life of another in the strictest self-defence, even when the sacrifice of our own must be the consequence of forbearance. We have ourselves heard people, apparently respectable and sincere, declare that if they themselves, or to make the case still stronger, their friend or father were attacked by a highwayman, they should feel it a duty not to stand upon the defensive to such an extent as to put the life of the assailant in danger; but should rather wait for an interposition of Providence in their behalf. This opinion, however plausible it may appear to some, is in the view of others downright nonsense, and we confess ourselves to be of this number,-we should therefore wish to see the defence of the Peace Society and the efforts made to effect its objects kept quite clear of such ridiculous enthusiasm as this. No reasonable man can entertain any doubts of his right to defend his own life against unjust violence, and in fact any other mode of conduct amounts to suicide. The principle for which such enthusiasts contend would, to be sure, if established, be a very effectual preventive of war; but this is not the sort of assistance that we want. Admitting in its full extent the right of personal and national self-defence as generally acknowledged, there will remain sufficiently strong grounds for disapproving the practice of war and attempting to abolish it; and we shall now proceed to make a few observations upon,

1. The real character of war.

2. The practicability of putting an end to it.

3. The probable effect of Peace Societies. in promoting this object.

1. The character of war varies very much in different stages of society. Fighting merely for the love of it, appears to be the amusement and occupation of all barbarous nations. The historical annals of every people, that has any, bear witness to this. Every newly discovered island confirms it. Whereever you find men in any quarter of the globe, you are sure to find them at war; no matter what their habits and character may be in other respects. The gentlest and the most ferocious appear to possess this taste in equal perfection. Even the indolent and voluptuous Otaheitans, and the inhabitants of the Pelew Islands, represented as the mildest and most amiable of the human race, have their natural and national enemies, with whom they carry on a series of continual wars, as perseveringly, as conscientiously and as patriotically as the French and English. Why this is so is certainly a curious subject of inquiry. No doubt if a particular examination were made with regard to each individual war that occurs even among the most barbarous tribes, some pretence of dispute between the parties would be alleged as the moving cause. But if we look at the matter philosophically, it is obvious enough that these unimportant differences are not the real reason why the wars are waged. They are only pretences which it is thought necessary to urge as a matter of form, or at best a sort of signals, to notify the parties that they are now at liberty to commence an operation that they love from other causes. We may come to this conclusion with the same certainty, that we should in private life with regard to two individuals who were constantly engaged in disputes and quarrels. In every instance they have some supposed injury to complain of, but the real difficulty is their own quarrelsome disposition. Are we to attribute the continual wars among barbarous tribes to an innate hostility of man to man, with Hobbes, or must we seek for motives in the love of excitement or the love of distinction? However this may be, the general conclusion in point of fact is, that war is almost the only occupation of savage nations.

As refinement advances, the arts of peace are introduced. War ceases to be the only business and takes its place as one of the number of the ordinary and regular occupations of so

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