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A. D. 28, by Victorius and Bian- ter; and his whole theory falls to chini not stand together. the ground.

Therefore," says Dr. Jarvis, Dr. Jarvis, as may be seen in the “ Victorius, or rather the early above extract, finds it impossible to church, told an untruth as to a plain forget the Puritans. In another part of matter of fact.” But if the new. his Vindication, * he corrects a writer moon was on the 14th of March, in Blackwood's Magazine, who has A. D. 28, according to the compu. ascribed to the “ American mind," tations of Bianchini, it could not what Dr. Jarvis supposes to belong have been new-moon three days only to the “Puritan mind." He before, as it was according to the would, therefore, correct the writer Canon of Victorius. If we admit in Blackwood, and say,—the Purithe Canon of Victorius to be right, tan is “an endless seeker of truth we must give up the computation with no past at his back."

We are of Bianchini; that is, it could not not about to deny this to be just, nor have been new-moon on the 11th of to admit it to be so ;-since we are that month, and again on the 14th, not greatly solicitous about our own three days after. These two things, Puritanism-nor are we able to see we said, “ can not stand together," that any inquiry about this frightful and we say so still. Will Dr. Jarvis heresy, as contemplated by Dr. Jarsay that they can stand together? vis, is at all connected with the He speaks of civil time as distin. points of chronology, which we guished from astronomical time. have undertaken to investigate. We But did Victorius, or the Council of would ask only, and with no feeling Nice, make any such distinction of displeasure-being in fact much And has not Dr. Jarvis, as we have more disposed to laugh at his at. shown in this number, endeavored tacks on his and our ancestors, than to prove, that Victorius and Bian. to be angry—if this account of a chini substantially agree? Whether Puritan be correct, where does he “ Victorius, or rather the early place himself? Does he imagine, church, told an untruth as to a plain that in his astronomical reveries, matter of fact,” all we have to say he will be regarded as the “expois this :—That undoubtedly they nent of the time and portion of the spoke, as Dr. Jarvis himself has church in which he lives?" If so, done in his own mistakes, honestly, we fear that he is destined to serious and according to the best of their disappointment. In these speculaknowledge. If by “ a plain matter tions, especially in his mode of cal. of fact," the time of the new-moon culating a full-moon, he certainly so often mentioned, is intended, all has “no past at his back;" and, that Victorius or the church in his though little given to prophesying, time knew of the matter, was, as we we venture to predict that he will believe, through a retrospective cal. have no followers. It may be left culation by the Canon ; and this as then, as a question for the curious, we have proved, gave a wrong astro. whether his plight in this respect is nomical result. Dr. Jarvis has not not that, which he himself denomi. shown, nor can he show, nor make " wretched individualism ;”.it probable, that any nation or indi- and we would give him a friendly vidual in A. D. 28, believed that it caution to be on his guard, lest he was new-moon in March on the 11th become a Puritan, according to his day; and certainly he can not show own definition of one, before he is this of the Jews. If he can not do aware of it. this, then he has no means of show- In the preceding remarks, it has ing, that the Jews celebrated the Paschal full-moon fourteen days af.

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been our object to meet directly and rule, which we wish him to observe, fully, without any evasion or subter and which is so obviously just

. fuge, the arguments of Dr. Jarvis General declarations of the weak. in defense of his chronological posi- ness of an opponent's course of ar. tions ; so that he may not again be gument, however they may impose under the necessity of saying, that on the understandings of some, go we have taken no notice of his but a little way towards determin"strong points,"—that we have hiding a controversy. We will add, “ from the view of our readers the that in our remarks we have aimed real state of the controversy,”—and not at all at novelty. Indeed, after that we are plunging “deeper and the labors of so many illustrious deeper into the quagmire of error.” scholars in this department of learn. To remove in respect to this matter ing, an attempt to bring forward all chance of mistake, we will state anything new, might be thought to particularly the several “points," border on presumption. What we as we understand them, about which have said might be supported by a we differ from the author-so far as list of names of the highest considhis work has passed under review. eration in historical research. But

We have maintained, then, in we are not disposed to rest on mere this and in preceding numbers of authority; and would rather appeal the New Englander, that Cicero's to the reasons, which can be urged consulship was in the six hundred in support of the opinions we have ninety-first year of Rome, -that adopted, than to the names of those, Cæsar's expedition into Spain was who, as we think, have successfully in the forty-fifth year before our era, led the way in chronological inves. -that the death of Augustus was tigations. in the fourteenth year after our era, We are looking rather impatiently —that the supposition of a lost con- for Dr. Jarvis's second volume. sulship rests upon no proper founda. The reviewer will be among the tion,—and that neither the year, first to procure and to read it; but month, nor day of the month of the he can think of no probable induceNativity, nor the year of the Cruci- ment sufficiently strong to lead him . fixion, has been ascertained by Dr. to a public notice of the work, how. Jarvis with any near approach to ever much he may dissent from the certainty. If he should again honor opinions it may contain. He would any part of our observations with a have abstained from any comments notice, it would be received and on the first volume, if he had an. acknowledged as a special favor, if ticipated, that in consequence of he should point out distinctly where what he should write, the author's our reasoning is deficient. In our equanimity would be so greatly discomments on his own reasoning we turbed. have been careful to adhere to a


Forty years ago, a distinguished ment perishing for the want of con. scholar of our countryt predicted tact with the people, this one branch the speedy failure of our federal is found to have mingled itself so system from the want of contact of intimately with the interests and enthe national government with the joyments of the people, as to be a people. He said the post-office source of danger and a cause of was the only tie that connected the alarm for the security of our liber. government with the people, and ties. Whether Amos Kendall ever the only branch of the government had any base designs or not, the fact of which the people had any per- that he was charged with it, and sonal experience. At that day, the that the party of which he was a post-office system was in its in. leader was so soon overthrown by fancy, comparatively, and its value the people on this and similar char. and importance, as a part of the ges, shows the extent to which the governmental machinery, and as a conviction has prevailed, that the source of benefits to the people, were post office is capable of being conbut imperfectly realized. We then verted into a tremendous machinery had not above 2,000 post-offices, of political power of a party over the with 35,000 miles of post-roads, liberties of the nation. and gross receipts of about half a Politicians, who have been sensi. million of dollars. About fifteen ble of the danger which might arise years ago, there was a belief pre- from a corrupt administration of the vailing extensively among certain post-office, have hitherto relied for portions of the people, that a dis. security solely upon one expedient tinguished officer of the government alone—that of limiting the expendihad formed a scheme for making tures of the department to its own the post-office the instrument of an income. The old saw, that “the extended political system, designed post-office must support itself,” has for the perpetuation of a party and been repeated by men of all parties, the aggrandizement of its leaders. until the greater part of them apAnd the more shrewd observers pear seriously to believe that it is were convinced that, whether the found, totidem verbis, in the con. charge was true or false, the post- stitution of the United States—just office had become so influential a as the same class of learned men branch of the government, as to be quote the New England Primer, well fitted for such uses, in the Shakspeare, and Tristram Shandy, hands of an ambitious and intriguing as veritable Scripture. There is not man. Such is the light which ex- a word in the constitution that gives perience has thrown upon the pre- the slightest foundation for this axidictions of the wise and the fore. Neither do those who use it bodings of the prudent, in regard to ever condescend to argue in its supthe working of our system of gov. port, for there is as little ground for ernment. Instead of the govern- it in reason as in the constitution.

Its whole support is found in the Report of the Post-Master General of the United States, for the year ending number of times it has been reJune 30, 1847. Documents accompanying peated, and in the number of men the President's Message, 1st Session, 30th who have given in their adhesion to Congress, December, 1847.

it without ever examining its founLaws and Regulations of the Post

dation. Office Department, 1847. † President Dwight.

The only appearance of an arVOL VI.



gument in its favor which has ever 300 miles. This experiment was been vouchsafed to us is in sub. tried by the very sticklers for the stance, that unless the post-office maxim, amidst their own confident is limited by its income, it will be affirmations, that it would be impos. impossible to impose any limit upon sible to realize an increase sufficient its expenditures ; that every man to pay the expenses of the departwill demand a post-office at his ment. Thanks, however, to Mr. own door, and then will demand a Niles's provision in regard to mail daily mail to be brought to him in contracts, and to Cave Johnson's a stage-coach drawn by four horses, stern economy in administration, we and every public officer will insist not only find the number of letters upon having the franking privilege, doubled in two years by a half-way and each party in its alternate peri. reduction of postage, but the deods of power, will not only grant partment has been made to support all that every body demands, but will itself, and to promise a surplus of publish more documents than ever revenue in the current year. were published before, to be frank. The reduction of postage to five ed for the purposes of electioneer and ten cents was a mere modifiing, and carried at the public ex- cation of the old system, not the pense. All these things have been adoption of a new one. It left the done, in certain sections, to a shame. franking privilege, the complicated ful extent ; but to say there is no accounts and returns, the consehelp for it, is to say that there is no quent need of high compensation power in the government to keep to postmasters, and above all, the the keys of the public treasury, and prevalent superstition, that “the is virtually a denial of our national post-office must sustain itself," in capacity for self-government. We its received meaning, to wit, that deny this whole theory, and the the letter postage of the north maxim that has been built upon it, should be taxed to pay for the mail that there is no security against routes of the south, and for the wastefulness except by requiring franking of Congress. Its working the post-office to support itself. The is therefore by no means a sample government is bound to establish of the new system, although its sucand maintain a post-office, whether cess in a pecuniary view is a conthe department can sustain itself or clusive proof that reduction of rate not.

has the same tendency to increase There have been fifteen years in correspondence in this country as which the post-office did not sup- in Great Britain. But it left the port itself. In 1833 it fell short department, as before, to be still of paying its own expenses, about actuated by the principle of Ex$300,000, and in 1838 nearly ACTION, as its controlling spirit; and $400,000. There was a deficiency the present Postmaster General is to a considerable extent throughout not the man to shrink from carrying the five succeeding years, occasioned out this spirit of the law to its fullest by the multiplication of private mails, extent. We can not discern or imwhich the government was unable agine one pretext for exaction, to suppress. This of course gave which has escaped his study, or the lie to our famous maxim, and failed of being applied to its utmost drove Congress, after much alterca. extent. Hence the rigor with which tion and through many woful dis. he has hunted down the transient plays of ignorance, to the humilia- newspapers, the complaints about ting expedient of underbidding the the inclosure of letters for more private mails by putting postage at than one person, often a conve. five cents for all distances under nience, and never a burden upon

the department ; and hence the which was applied to pamphlet postpaltry altercations between the de- age in our law of 1845, viz., to partment and members of Congress charge two cents for the first halfabout franking. Hence, too, the ounce, and one cent for each addi. postal war with Great Britain, which tional ounce, up to the maximum almost cut us off from intercourse weight allowed to be carried, which with Canada, and threatens to sub- is three pounds. vert our correspondence with Eu- The adoption of the penny rate rope at this momentous crisis. All would neutralize the danger of have comes from the spirit of' exaction; ing the post-office made a political and this spirit of exaction in the de- machine for the corruption or the partment fosters and increases the control of the people ; just as some spirit of evasion in the people; who poisons are rendered quite harmless become as sharp in devising expedi- by being evenly diffused through the ents to shun payment, as the gov. body or through the atmosphere. ernment is in multiplying charges.

The difference between Rowland The system of cheap postage, in. Hill's system and the old postage is vented by Mr. Rowland Hill, strikes a fine illustration of the difference at the root of the political danger of between truth and error. Truth is the post-office, because it brings the beautiful in its simplicity, while department more fully into contact there is no end to the diversities of with the whole people, and because error. The absurdities and inconit substitutes universal accommoda. sistencies into which the system, tion, instead of rigid exaction, as the founded on exaction, has run the pervading spirit of the post-office. post-office, are more than can be The great simplification of the busi- enumerated. But

every one of ness also strips postage of its pre- them will be cured, as soon as we tensions as a mystery,


peo. have adopted the new system, ple must consent to pay for, because which depends for its success solely they can not understand it. Every upon the extent to which it can ac: body can understand why a barrel of commodate the people. Two years flour weighing two hundred pounds, ago, the following diversities exist, should cost forty cents to bring it ed in our post-office, in regard to from Albany to Boston ; but people the postage on newspapers.

The can not see why a letter weighing statement was prepared by a New a quarter of a pound should cost the York paper from official documents : same. They would even agree that

To Canada, prepaid,

1 cent. it might be right to charge sixteen To Europe by ihe Washington cents for the letter, at two cents per and New York line of steam

3 cepts. half-ounce, 10 pay for the accounts that have to be kept of letters, and by the British steamers from

Boston, sometimes,

3 cents. for the sake of carrying out the By the British steamers from principle of uniformity, and of pre- Boston, sometimes,

1cent. venting the mails from being over- By the French steamers from burdened with weight of parcels. Inland postage to New Bruns

New York, It is stated, however, that the British wick and Nova Scotia, to the government have just adopted a lines,

1} cent. modification of the rates of postage From New York city io Brook

lyn, .

3 cents. on letters exceeding one half-ounce in weight-as the trouble of receive It was out of such complexities ing and delivering is less in propor, and absurdities and vexations, in tion on double than on single let- part, that the difficulty arose beters. The mathematical calcula. iween our Postmaster General and tions would justify the principle the British nation, which threatens


1 cent.


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