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The Ann Arbor Lyceum

The Ann Arbor Lyceum image
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On onr first pipe will bn fornida wel] writlen corTmunica:ion rc.ppcting ti)e Ann Arbor Lyceum. The sugrgestionH presented by the writer deperve attent ion. Our 'young people of bot h scxes need to fecl that their destiuy and their usefulness depend much more upon ticniselves, than opon the incidental circurnstMices of Jife. To altnin the greatest usefulness and the highest nteüectual eminence, they must learn to control circumstancep, railier than let circurnstances control thein. It is truc. indeed, ns gome have aJleged, tiiat therc are circumstences which render certnin objeers of pursuit innccessible to some. A moments reflection will convince every one that every person ennnot be President of the United States. f every citizen of our country were qualified for ihe situation, il is obvions that not more than fif:een or twen' y conïd enjoy it during a üfe time. The same is tnie of all the higher official siltiations. A few only can be ujficiully óistinguishod, before the entire generrtion will hive possed away. Neither is it true that evJry person can quaüfy himsolf to perform the duties ofthat situation witli credit and honor. There are phyt-ical and infellectual hmits in thH consiitution of the greater part of our countrymen, wliich absolutely preclude the attainment of those quolifications which ought to aliaracterizo the cliief mnjstrate of a nalinn. There are alt-o incidental Circumstnnces vvhich would concur in producin the same result. On t!ie other hand, it is truc that every person.or almost every ono,by a right nsp ofall the means in his power,miht acccmpJinh more than he does. JVuiute has liirnished all wiih an intellectual und physical capital wliich they may improve; and their relativo standing in comparison with otlirrsdepends on tvvo things; ihe greater or less amount of natural endovvments, and the skill, energy and perseverence which may be displayed in their use. Henee it is obvious that some wi'l stnrt in advance of others, who may yet be overtaken and surpassed by those of smuller capacity,bul of untiring induetry. In the intellectual, as well rs the physical world, it is ordaired of Providence, tliat as men sow, so ehall they reap. The youiig man who promenades our streels to display hia cane his whiskers, his fine per6on, or fine coat, ma}' indeed excel in those departments of action; bnt he will stend but a. poor chance in aitaining permanent distinction through the rough and tumble of life, when placed in opposition to Ihcse vho improve every moment in sornethiug useful, and who are determined to ttaml high in the annals of noble mön. The power of determination, operating steadily on a well balanced and vigorous mind, enables one to say and tojeel,"I can do nll thal dotli beootne a man!" But our principal object in noticing this communicatiün was to cali atlertion to the follüwing passage: t:ín somc parts of theold world ihere are legal bnrríers to tho exaltation of a poi tin of the sa!jecta of the government. Tliesc harriers cannot be surmounted by any splendur. oí genius, varíe ty of learniug and subüir.ity if moral worth. But in our beloved country vo such nrl-.t'tiry disí'.ticüons or law exist. Iiitellíonco and virlue, tho' ossjciated with humble parentage and fortune, mny be ;i passport to tlic highest prelenuent and honor. Our governnient is otie of the people. - licre erertj man ís a sorercign " Had the vvriter of this article been an inexpenenced Ecriboler, who was endeavoring to supply liis own dcficiency of ideas by purloining sentence3 from tlie productions of some Fourth of Jtily declaimer, we sliould uot wonder at the transcription of tliis palpable falsehood, which has become stereotyped by conlinued repetition. Or had it been put forlh igrioranlly or carelessly, it might be excused. Bnt such was not the case. The wriler 13 a man of much knowledge and expcrience, ond ennnot therefore have inrroduced it tlirough ignora nee or poverty of ideas. - He instituted a formal comparison between this country and the Europ?an nations, and it cannot therefore have been inadvertent. The delibérate reiteration of this untruth by him, is deserving of public re.jrobation. It raanifests an inclination 10 pander to thp public taste without being governed by the restraints of moral principie. It evinces a delibérate disposition 1o propágate error at the expense of a large portion of his countrymen, for the purpose of gratifying the vanity ond tyrannical propensities of the remainder. Suys this writer: "In our beloved country, no surh arbitrnry distiuctions of law exist." Indeed! We cannot bnt admire his unblushing asorance. Are there no arbitrnry distinctions in Ihose laws which reduce mülions lo the condition of property, solely on accovnl of their parentape? Are they notoppresscd, injured, diefranchised, or deprived of their most sacred righte, by law, in ahnost every State in the Union? Do not the laws of the United States prohibir three millions of its citizens from entering the capítol yard at Washngton, and from sliouldering a muil bag? Are not these reetrictioas enlirely on account ofparentage? Yet the writer grnvely offirms, , "In our beloved country, no buc arbitrary distinctions of law exist !! j ; "Here," continúes this writer, "evrrt man : is asovereign!" A sovereign, sayo Webster, is one wIjo exercises supreme authoiity, without control. What attribtite of Bovereignty" cun be ptedicated of these millions that we have mentioned, or even of the thousand coN ored cilizen of Michigan? Is it found in the fnct thnt tliey end their posterily lo tho thoueandth generaüon are utterly disfranchised by our arbitrary distinctions of law? Has the writer yet to learn that "no splendor of genius, variety oflearning, and sublimi'.y of moral worth" can entitle (hem to the least politica 1 considerado).? Will not the "legal barriera" i ted in our country ogninst every sixth person compare in pertnanency, enormily, and rigor, with any wliich exist in the European States? Thcy aro made outcasts from political re.specfability and power (Eby our lawsjJ) and thcrefore it is that we charge upon tliis writer the pronmlgntion and advocacy ofan untruth, which is cnlculated tb injure the intereöts of vast multitudes-, many of 'vhtitn t have a degrec of intelligence and moral worth, not inferior to his ovvn. We would not be baran or unjust. But it. ' niiikes us fee! indignant to find ministers of the Gospel and the leading Christicin ces in socily proniulgating sentiments which i degrade the condition blast the prospecta, and deaden all the better aepirations, of their colored brethren in the Lord, whom (hey professes to love as themselves. This writer virtually tells the community, and inculcates j upon all to whom his inffaenee extends, that i our laws are right as they novv are - the glory of the world - and if there are any variaiions n them from juslice and Christianity, in reference to a sixlh part of our cilizens the errors are trifling, and not worthy of notice: and %11 the majorily need to do is to shout the praise of our free institutions. We would not underrate the excellency of our form of government, or the vnlue of the benefits it brings . All we desire is thnt it be regarded in its true üght, as it really is - aflbrd mg security, peace and prosperity to the majority, bul causing as great a degme of degradiition, vice, and inieery to ths reinainder aa can well be produced by any proerss of legislation.


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