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in the religious community, and many of them interested in religion too, is completely lost. They do not like to intrude their opinion unasked—they do not like to go and speak in public meetings when they are not called. They are not called, their opinion is not asked ; and they but too naturally fold their arms—look on—criticise with their friend, the bad measures or the bad manners of the zealots—lament, by their fireside, that religion is to suffer so much from the moroseness and folly of its professed friends—and think that this is all they have to do. Can society well and safely go on, without all the light that is in it? Canit, without danger, exclude from among its guiding lights the best minds that are in it? Why, there is enough of sober and cultivated thought among us, if it could be gathered from its various religious circles into one mass of public opinion, if it could be induced to speak out—there is enough, I say, to hold in complete check all the religious extravagance, fanati. cism, and asperity of the country. There is abody of men that can produce that state of modified and mitigated religious opinion and action, which they profess to desire. How is it to be thought strange that some parts of the country are overrun with fanaticism, if religion has been given into the hands
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of the most ignorant portion of the people ! Shall
ligious sentiment, (I mean the progress of all sects.) our increasing charitable institutions, our temper. ance reform, all show it. The country, I repeat, is wide awake to improvement. Are the authorized pioneers of this improvement seeking to lose them. selves in the crowd 7 Are the lawful leaders of the host cowering behind the very rear rank of the enemy? The eyes of the world are upon us, There is no argument carried on in the Old World —concerning human rights, free principles, the practicability and safety of reform—no, there is not a fireside argument here, but our country is present to offer her example and plead her cause, There is not a question about our condition, but it is here a party question: and we have defenders in this country, more zealous, more deeply interested, if possible, than we are ourselves. Heaven - grant, that while we have champions in every civilized country in the world, we may not want leaders in our own; that while all this interest and sympathy are felt for us in other countries, we may not want patriotism and public spirit, manliness, fidelity, piety, virtue, victory, at home !
CALAIs, August 22, 1833. The first things that made me feel I was in France, were the chattering of the boatmen who took us off from the steam packet, and “sacre " rolling from the tongue of the vexed chief boatman, in the manner I have heard described, but could not well have conceived, without having heard the tone of the last syllable, actually thrilling on the tongue as it never does in the pronunciation of a foreigner.
The next new and characteristic objects that presented themselves, as we went up the quay, were the fishwomen, or fishgirls rather—for they were all young—coming down with their small nets and net frames on their shoulders, looking as stout and resolute as men; bronzed with exposure to rain, and sun, and sea; their dress not coming down to the knee, and the calf below, round and full enough to move the envy of any “lean and slipper'd pantaloon.” Calais, and most of the French towns of any note that we passed through on the way to Belgium, as St. Omer's, Lille, &c., are surrounded by two walls, with moats (now drained of their water) and drawbridges at the gates—which gates also are regularly shut every night. In some of the towns this is done at the inconveniently early hour of nine o'clock; and no one is suffered to pass afterward. Let the dwellers in our free, secure, unwalled, ungarrisoned cities think of it. You cannot take a ride into the country here but through these jealously guarded gates, surrounded with cannon, and infested by an idle, expensive soldiery. You cannot take a journey here, but you must have a pass. port, and be subjected to perpetual interruption and examination. For my part, I could not breathe freely in these prison cities. Wherever I went I should feel as if I walked in fetters, and wherever I abode as if I lived in an enemy's country. And yet such will be the state of things in our own country, if it is ever broken up into half a dozen petty republics. The change in passing from France to Belgium