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quota of labor must be had, and that within certain limits, any accession to their numbers would be accepted. Whoever supposes that where a good farm is thus offered, to any one that will come and live upon it, a few absurd peculiarities and positive requisitions will keep every body aloof, considers little the magnetic nature of meat and drink. Mr Malthus tell us that there is many a child of our common parent Nature, for whom no cover is laid at her bountiful table. But he does not say, that there was ever a cover laid, which no one wished to make use of. There is no difficulty in hiring men to work in a snuff mill, where they breathe an atmosphere of pulverised tobacco. No one ever heard of a manufacture of white lead, that fell through, for want of people willing to inhale the fumes of ceruse; and sixpence a day is high wages for marching in the face of a battery charged with grape and cannister, through the breach of a city's wall. Will men do this for a scanty pittance of daily bread; and will they not go and live in a neat and healthy village, or a lawn sloping down to a pleasant stream, with the best of every thing to eat, drink, and wear, and under no harder conditions than a quarter part of mankind impose on themselves? We are told by Adam Smith that wherever there is money's worth, there will soon be money. In like manner, wherever there are man's food and clothing, there will be man. Beef and pudding, we believe to be far more convincing, than the highest strains of itinerant eloquence; and if the nameless and numberless sects which crowd our Views of Religions, barbarous denominations of Dunkers, Muggletonians, Halcyons, Preadamites, and Chrystians would but fall upon this device of the Shakers, and build their spiritual foundations on good mowing land and tillage, with a suitable proportion of woodland and cedar swamp, they would prosper as widely and rapidly.
In addition to the accidental origin, which some of the Shaker settlements may have had, in the conversion of substantial farmers, we believe that the principle of colonization has been very systematically acted upon by them. The numbers in the separate communities do not appear to exceed about five hundred; and as there is no reason why their increase should be checked here, there is every probability that the surplus is regularly sent off to new settlements formed on lands, purchased by the funds of this prosperous communion. It was thus, that
the crowded population of the ancient Grecian cities was relieved. The most respectable citizens did not disdain to join colonies, and Herodotus and Thucydides, by a curious coincidence, both removed from the bounds of that Greece, for whose glory their writings have done so much, to the same colony on the coast of Italy. It is perverse enough that it should have been left to a vulgar sect of religionists alone, to imitate the example of the purest age of Grecian antiquity. How much more conformable to the policy of a great nation, like England, would it be, instead of putting their poor population upon the Sangrado diet-starvation and blood-letting-to ship them off to their vaunted Eutopias, in Canada or Australasia. To return, however, to the Shakers, as the fruits of their labors are constantly yielding an accumulation of wealth, the purchase of new spots for settlement is the most obvious investment of it. The nature of their community is of all others most favorable to this process of transplanting; as all the common ties of local attachment are broken among them; and home, in the common sense, does not exist. It is said that the great Frederic had three libraries exactly corresponding to each other in the size and shape of the rooms, and containing identically the same books, at Potsdam, Berlin, and Königsberg; so that at whichever of his residences he might be, he should be surrounded by the same objects. We suppose that the same uniformity exists among the Shaker settlements, and that it can hardly be called a change, to remove from one to the other.
By this well contrived policy many advantages are secured. The establishments are kept within managable limits, at the same time, that full scope is given to the indefinite multiplication of the members of the sect. It is plain that the purity of their discipline could be kept up, only by an extreme degree of watchfulness and personal influence. An institution like this cannot, like some human institutions, be wound up and. then go a long time by itself. Obvious considerations show that it must be very diligently looked after. This is probably one reason of its flourishing. The great stumbling block to the prosperity of many of our social, literary, and moral institutions is, that they can be administered tolerably well, with very little care; and, strange as it may seem, it is much more difficult to get men to bestow regularly a very little care, than
a great deal. Institutions, on the contrary, where much must be done punctually and vigilantly, or they cannot exist, are likely to flourish. The same punctuality and vigilance which are necessary to their very existence will usually make them prosper. But where much personal care is to be taken and much personal influence exercised, and especially where every thing is to be done in the teeth of public prejudice, it is clear that the experiment must not be attempted on too large numbers, in any one collection. Our readers are probably aware, that the office of leader is bestowed by impulse or revelation on him, who has the gift to assume it. In this there is no difficulty. We all act on this principle in real life. Among children and playmates, some one has this gift to take the lead in football and prison bas ; and among grown folks some one has a gift to talk oftenest and be most listened to, and have his own way and make others follow it. Civil society provides the way, however, of settling whose gift shall prevail; and the town clerk and selectmen, on the first Monday in April, call the neighbors together to arrange the matter among the divers gifted individuals, as amicably as they can. As no such process exists among the Shakers, too large a community would be exposed to a collision of gifts for the administration of it, and the harmony of the brotherhood be disturbed. In what way this doctrine of gifts is applied in ordinary cases, the following anecdote will show. A youth of one of the Shaker settlements, of a cheerful, happy spirit, was once asked whether he had his liberty and could do as he pleased. 'Certainly,' said the youth, repeating doubtless what all are taught to believe, 'we do whatever we have a gift to.' On being asked therefore, what he should do, if he wanted, on a fine winter's morning, to go and skate on Enfield pond, he replied, that 'he should tell the elder that he had a gift to go down and skate.' Being asked further, whether the elder would probably permit him, he answered certainly, unless the elder had a gift that I should not go.'-But if you still told the elder, that you had a gift to go down and skate, and go you must ?'-' why then the elder would tell me, that I had a “lying gift," and that he had a gift to beat me, if I did not go about my work immediately.' This mode of reconciling a diversity of gifts might serve very well between the elders and the boys; but would be awkward among the elders themselves. Hence another
advantage in the mode of colonization practised by the Shakers. The erection of new communities provides places for the more active spirits, that come up, who might not acquiesce in the subjection, in which the members are held to the chiefs of the society; and who by being thus put at the head of new colonies are safely disposed of. This is no trifling secret in government, nor a difficulty of rare occurrence. The old, jealous of being hurried off, and the young, impatient of being kept back, distract many a fine organization, by their diverse gifts; and the Shakers appear to us to have solved the problem with signal success. Besides thus keeping their numbers within managable limits and providing places for all their ambitious members, these colonies are admirably devised to secure that training, which, in an institution like Shakerism, must be essential. It is not necessary for them to stake the prosperity of a new colony on the docility or aptitude of a band of raw proselytes. The older families send out, under an experienced leader, a detachment of brethren of all diversities of gifts, whose place is filled by the new converts at home. Thus a perpetual circulation is kept up, and every new community is composed of persons educated in their useful arts, their ritual, their administration, and their jargon-by no means the smallest part of the enginery of such an establishment. With an organization like this, we confess we think the institution of Shakerism calculated for very extensive diffusion. Since the year 1780, when the first propagation of it in this country took place, to the present time, it seems, from the statements which we have offered above, that about seventeen or eighteen settlements have been founded, containing, on an average, at least three hundred members each. As far as we have any accounts of these communities, they are all flourishing; all in finely chosen spots, all well administered; all conspicuous for the neatness of their manufactures, the excellence of their agriculture, and the thrift of their management. By general consent, the suspicions on their morals, if any were ever well founded, are fast wearing off; and there is no reason to augur unfavorably for the spirit, with which their discipline will be kept up. While therefore, as we have already observed, it is manifestly impossible that great single communities of this sect should be built up, we see nothing improbable in a very great multiplication of their settlements.
What effect this may have on the community is therefore a matter of some interest. We believe that in some application to the state of New York, they were rejected, on the ground that their principles, in forbidding marriage, were unfriendly to the welfare of society. We have no knowledge of the circumstances of the case, to lead us, in any degree, to call in question the justice of this mode of meeting their demands. At the same time, we foresee no social evil from their multiplication. We apprehend no essential check to the progress of population in the country from the diffusion of this institution and we regard the example of neatness, good order, thorough workmanship, improved culture, and moral thrift, which they set, as an abundant recompense, for all the nation may suffer from them, on the score of numbers. We hold it very clear that the portion of the community of real national worth, the thrifty, industrious, prudent part of the public, who are able and willing to get along in the common way, will not join the Shakers. And for the rest, we see nothing but good in these places of refuge for the odd, the unlucky, the unhappy, the solitary, and friendless, who flock together, and build up their individual fancies, humors, sorrows and wants, their rustic ambition, their fanatical pomposity, or whatever else carries or keeps them there, into a thrifty, hardworking, inoffensive community.
ART. VI.-Clio, Numbers I. and II. By James G. Percival. Charleston & New Haven.
MR PERCIVAL has now given to the public three volumes of poetry, and has acquired a flattering distinction in our land. All allow the force and brilliancy of his genius, and the skill of his versification. All have at times felt a pensive chord in their bosoms responding to the sweep of his melancholy lyre. Yet what is the reason that he is not received with quite that measure of general enthusiasm which would fairly correspond to his merit, and constitutes the choicest reward of every poet? It lies, we fear, somewhat deeper than the inelegant typography of his first volume, the indiscriminate profuseness with which he makes up his contents, the submissiveness of his imitations, or his frank defiance of public opinion in matters of religion; though even these objectionable points have undoubtedly had their force with different classes of readers.