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sound of music attracts your attention. In company with a crowd of white and negro population, old and young, who, on such occasions, always gather about the windows to enjoy the sport, you, with a stranger's freedom, gaze into a parlor, where, moving in the graceful Spanish dance, men and women are busily engaged in perspiring, and then attempting to cool themselves by the peculiar method of fanning. And all this on Sunday evening! How nicely duty and inclination agree !
Havana is a merry, careless place after all. The people take everything easily. What can be done to-morrow, they are sure not to do to-day! They are not particular to trouble themselves about progress ! They plough with a log of wood, sharpened at the end with iron, and allow their negroes to wear clothes or not, as they choose. The little children generally wear nature's scanty coverings, with the addition only, of dirt by themselves. The shopmen jump into a volante, and carry samples to the houses of their customers, and throw in as “contra," gratis, some little article, after cheating for three times its value; and the customers are thus well satisfied, thinking more of the value of the “contra,” than of the price of the purchase. The ladies sit in the volante at the doors of refreshment saloons, and take “las dilicias,” brought out to them; much of their shopping too, is done in this way; and thus everybody is accustomed to do everything. Even the negro slaves are as happy as their masters, and go about the streets singing. Poor pedlers have young negroes to carry their trash about for them; the watchmen sing the hour of night, and the state of the weather; and from the merry child-christening, wben little negroes scramble for sixpences, which it is the custom to throw to them on such occasions, to the simple song of the naked negro slave, everything is merry. To be sure, you think they all talk a most unintelligible jargon, for never a word do you comprehend, but even this makes it all the more pleasant; for not an oath do you hear; not a single offensive word ; even when the Spanish soldiers, gathered around the door of their barracks, make fun of your foreign dress, you do not heed them. Not till you learn that “ Carajo" is an oath, do you feel called upon to reprove your Spanish friend for swearing. But in the midst of all this seeming merriment and carelessness, what is the actual state of things? You will find out to your cost, before leaving this Island, with its miserable government, and its multitude of under-officials, who find out the stranger, and “take him in" most decidedly. The Government cares little for the real comfort of the inhabitants. To be sure it encourages some improvements, and keeps order among the people, but with its main object to aggrandize and enrich itself, it checks
personal effort, as facts will show, and suspects even the most patriotic motives of individuals. Soldiers are kept in every town to overawe the people, should they murmur at any of the Governor Generals arbitrary enactments. Everywhere does the Creole curse his Spanish master..
These, then, being your first impressions of Cuba, you prepare (for the weather is always fine in February and March) to journey over the Island, and to visit the sugar and coffee estates, the main features of its interior. The observations then made, you reserve for a second sketch of Cuba and its curious customs, should any such be written.
Is the Democratic Party a Radical Party? .* RADICALISM and Conservatism, in the general acceptation of the terms, are the direct antipodes of each other--the one being offensive, the other defensive in its nature; the one signifying innovation and change; the other, the preservation of what is established.
The application, therefore, of the terms Radical or Conservative, in their literal signification, to either the Democratic or Whig party, is not admissible. If the Democratic party desired to introduce changes into our form of government, which would be subversive of the principles of the Constitution ; if it wished to make innovations, that would materially alter the relations of individual States to the Confederation of the whole; in a word, if it was strictly revolutionary in its tendencies, then no one would hesitate to call it a radical party. On the other hand, if the Whig party was merely defensive in its nature ; if, in 'its anxiety to preserve the Constitution sacred and inviolate, it forgot all those reforms, which are compatible with its spirit, then we might describe it, unqualifiedly, as a Conservative party. ',' :
There is a very wide distinction in the signification of the same terms, under different forms of government. Radicalism, in a monarchical form of government, has its legitimate meaning, approaching, in signification, to that of revolution. Conservatism, in Europe, is far different from conservatism in the United States. In the one, it is a broad pool, collecting and preserving the political slime and scum of ages, without either refreshing springs or agitating eddies ; while in the other it is a wide and deep river, moving slowly along, within the barriers of the Constitution. It is one of the chief excellencies of our government, that from its nature, no thorough radical or thorough conservative party can exist under its influence. Formed on the broadest principles of justice-embracing in its influence no one age, but all time-anticipating the wants of no one generation, but those of the most distant posterity-confined in its adaptation to no one class or condition of men, but alike applicable to all—it robs radicalism of its monarchical and legitimate definition, and gives to conservatism a wise and judicious progression in its meaning.
Taking, therefore, radicalism and conservatism, with that qualified definition, which the nature of our government has so happily given to them, we ask the question again--Is the Democratic party a radical party?
In examining this question, we ask the reader of this article to bear with us, while we lay before bim the character of a truly radical party. Commencing its existence, soon after the formation of the government, when the spirit of the Constitution was moving upon the face of the political elements, and dividing the light of concord from the darkness of anarchy, it would have been actuated in its organization by no motives of selfishness or ambition, but confidently believing in the necessity of reforms, it would have entered upon its mission with a sincerity and an honesty of endeavor, which of itself would have bespoken success. Trusting in the ability and patriotism of those into whose hands the reigns of government had been committed, and especially of him who had already been addressed by a confiding people, as “the father of his country," it would not have sought to alienate their affections, by thrusting itself into their confidence, and disparaging his ability, and misrepresenting his motives. Bebolding the embassies of a foreign government perplexing and entangling the neutral policy of its own, it would, instead of seeking to involve the country in war, have endeavored to heal the wounds she had already received, by the works of sincere and honest reform. Coming into power at an early period of the country's history, and possessing all the means necessary to verify its professions by practice, it would have endeavored to elevate the physical and moral condition of the working classes, by the fostering care of government. Finding the nation placed by Providence in a territory wide in extent, traversed by vast rivers, encompassing mighty lakes, and magnificent in its resources and capabilities, it would have been anxious to join to nature the aid of government in its development. Believing that consistency in a party was preferable to changeableness, and honesty to deception, it would not at one time have established a National Bank, and at VOL. XIX.
another have overthrown it-at one time have rejected the Sub-Treasury System, by an almost unanimous vote, and in a few years after, have as unanimously established it. It would not have been a party, so vacillating, that at one period it would have passed revenue laws, imposing high protective duties, and at another have repealed them as unconstitutional; which, under one adminstration, have graciously appropriated millions of money for internal improvements, and under another have withheld the smallest sum, that would have rendered life safe, and commerce profitable. Gaining the confidence of the people, and possessing the power of administration, in many of the State governments, it would not have continually opposed the cause of universal education, but would have looked upon it as the firmest support of the Constitution. Considering colleges and institutions of learning as insurance buildings, where the inorals and the virtue of the community were exempted from all hazard, which arises from ignorance, it would have paid its premium from the public funds, and received, as its policy, the pleasing spectacle of an intelligent and happy people. Coming down to our times, if it was the dominant party, it would rise far above all sectional and party prejudices, and with a magnanimity worthy of a ruling party, would administer the government not for a part, but for the whole people. Having elected a man known for his experience in government, and respected for his abilities, it would not look upon him as a tool to be used for the dove-tailing of the odds and ends of parties. Trusting in the wisdom of his judgment, it would not have allowed his independence to have been tramineled by the crows of the North, and the cormorants of the South, and the political jackals and wolves of the Western wilderness. If he was called upon to appoint ministers and consuls abroad, it would have expected that he would select them, not from the cesspools of licentiousness, and the bed of harlots in New York, but from the highest and most respectable walks of life. If, by chance, he had been so unfortunate as to bave appointed but one honest and independent man to a responsible station, it would not look favorably upon that 'man's unreasonable expulsion from office, because he merely preferred to be faithful to himself and his obligations, rather than to his party. If an ambitious and unscrupulous politician of the North desired to outbid him in the coming political auctions for the Presidential chair, by abrogating the sacred Compromises of the past and removing the ancient landmarks of Freedom, it would induce him to spurn the unholy rivalry, pointing him to the integrity and the virtue of the people for his future reward. In a word, if it was a truly radical party, it would rise far above all low and sordid considerations of self, and embracing the whole interests of the whole country, it would advocate such reforms, and enact such laws, as would tend to the happiness and prosperity of the people, and to the honor and glory of itself.
Is this the Democratic party which we have been describing? Let us see. And whatever inference may be drawn from the comparison, that shall be the answer to the interrogation with which we started.
Immediately preceding the formation of the Constitution, in 1789, three parties arose in the United States. The first of these parties in influence, and in numbers, was called the Republican party. This party was formed upon the principles advocated by the writers of the Federalist, and was characterized by its zeal in advocating the adoption of the Constitution, and its strong attachment to it after its formation. The acknowledged leader of this party was Washington ; its ablest advocates were Madison, Marshall, and Jay. The second party were the advocates of a monarchical, or a limited monarchical form of government. Its leader and champion was Alexander Hamilton. This last named party, through the influence of Washington, was soon identified with the first, and at length became the firmest support of the Constitution. The third party was organized on the basis of opposition to the Constitution. This was the root from which all the genera and species of Democracy from that day to this, have sprung. In 1793, war was declared between England and France. Washington immediately issued a proclamation of neutrality. Jefferson, at the head of the anti-Constitutional party, violently opposed this pacific policy, and commenced to organize throughout the principal cities of the country, Jacobin Clubs and French Democratic Societies to defeat the measures of the administration. The Democratic party, then, it will be observed, possessed the same inherent characteristics that it does now. Its policy was destructive, and not constructive; innovating, but not reforming. You can see, although more than half a century has passed away, the features of the boy in the countenance of the old man. Although the revolutions of the party have had a marvelous eccentricity, defying all the practical formulas to ascertain its different orbits, although the aberrations of its principles cannot be corrected by the teinoscope of experience, yet you can behold a sameness in its character, running back throughout its existence. In 1801, Jefferson and his party came into power. They gained the confidence of the people then, precisely as the Democratic party does now, by cajoling the masses into the belief, that the sincerity of its professions for their welfare will be verified by its actions. Jefferson was a man eminently theoretic in character, and the people naturally expected some radical changes would take place under his administration. During his two administrations, three important measures were adopted, namely, the payment from the public treasury of