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annexation to the United States, we can see no good which will result from it to either party, if it be speedily and hurriedly carried into effect. In the first place, there is no likelihood that the incongruous materials of which the population of British America is composed, torn and distracted as it now is, and as it must be, for some time to come, could be moulded into one homogeneous mass under the wisest plan that could be adopted; and if we could blend and bind together these discordant elements at will, it were better to defer the experiment, till the toil and trouble of fusing into one the mass already in our seething caldron are ended. Again, no great branch of our industry would be benefited by a closer intimacy, and no good derived from it which we may not enjoy without it. We have no need of additional wheat-lands or pine-forests; and if those on whom the duty devolves will but hold Great Britain to the long understood construction of our fishing rights under the convention of 1818, we shall have no use for more extensive fishing-grounds. Of coal we have abundance; and with regard to gypsum, Nova Scotia has never had any other customer, and until we parted with the vantage-ground, by McLane's arrangement, in 1830, we had always taken that bulky article on terms that permitted the use of our own tonnage. Least of all do we wish for increased competition in maritime enterprises. The Colonists can build vessels much cheaper than we can ; and should they be allowed a share of our coasting trade, which now employs nearly two thirds of our whole shipping, the consequences would be disastrous to those portions of our people, whose location hardly leaves them liberty to choose any other employment.
In conclusion, we have a word of advice for one of the States most deeply interested in our relations with the British Colonies. Maine, by the treaty of Washington, has obtained a considerable extent of territory inhabited by people of French origin. We pray her to look to their welfare, and to make them part and parcel of her own citizens without delay. They are but a grain of mustard seed now, it is true; but the French, at the time of the conquest of Canada, were only a small part of the population of British America; and what have they become? Let the frontier State, then, be wise in time. Let her afford them the means of improving their husbandry and reconstructing their dwellings. Let
them be instructed in the elementary principles of our political system. And, above all, let their children at once be placed under school teachers who are competent and of pure life, who will teach them the Saxon tongue, and all the branches of education common to her best free schools. Else,
Domestic, mixed of tenderness and care,
Nor guardian law were theirs; nor various skill
ART. V. Memoir and Correspondence of MRS. GRANT OF LAGGAN, Author of "Letters from the Mountains," "Memoirs of an American Lady," &c. Edited by her Son, J. P. GRANT, Esq. 3 vols., small 8vo. London. 1844.
WE shall begin a notice rather of Mrs. Grant herself than of the book just published, by speaking of her as she was in the latter period of her life. In 1820, she met with a severe accident, a fall, which produced permanent lameness, so that ever afterwards she was unable to move about without crutches. In 1827, when she was in her seventy-third year, she lost her only surviving daughter, Mary; and of a large family of children, but one son, the editor of her posthumous correspondence, remained. Her life had been marked by a peculiar series of domestic sorrows, and seemed to be closing in sadness and infirmity. If, shortly after this time, a well educated traveller from this country had visited Edinburgh, he would probably have been desirous to take a last look of one of whom he might have heard much to excite his respect and interest. He might naturally have expected to find her weighed down by age and affliction, broken in health and spirits. But, notwithstanding her lameness, this impression would soon have been removed in the course of a single visit. He would have seen a most respectable-looking old lady, with a countenance marked by
the traces of past suffering, but still cheerful and animated. He would have found her ready to converse, and conversing in a manner particularly unaffected and agreeable. If it had been in her power to render him, as a stranger, any small services, which might very likely have been the case, from her extensive connections with society, no one would have been more ready to think of and to offer them. Her sympathies were unchilled. Through them she was still able to give and receive pleasure. She was an extraordinary woman, a woman of uncommon strength and excellence of character.
The impression which she was likely to make on a stranger is expressed in a passage of a letter to her by one who had visited her shortly before writing it, which is given in the introductory memoir to the volumes under review. We quote it in this place principally because it is not quite correctly printed, and we happen to have a copy of the original before us. "It was delightful," says the writer, "to find you in old age, after such severe trials, so supported and strengthened by the power of God, not resigned merely, possessing not the calm benevolence of age alone, but all the kinder feelings in their freshness and flower, which, beautiful as they are in youth, become so much more deeply interesting when we know that care and sorrow have had no power to wither them, and that they will soon form part of that crown of glory which fadeth not. If we could have forgotten the blessings which God has for a time taken to himself, and is reserving for you in his keeping, we might have thought of you only as one,
'Whose cheerful day benevolence endears,
Whose night congratulating conscience cheers,
In what follows we shall give a short account of the life and writings of Mrs. Grant. It may serve to explain in part why she was regarded with strong affection by many friends, and even by friends to whom she was personally unknown; and it may prepare one for reading with more interest the volumes just published. We shall bring together facts which have not before been presented in connection. Besides her published writings, we have some other sources of information, and especially two manuscript collections,
with which we have been kindly favored, of copies of her letters, addressed to two American friends, only one of which letters appears in the present collection. To the volumes of her correspondence just published a brief memoir is prefixed, partly autobiographical, the conclusion being furnished by the editor. But the events of her earlier life are principally to be gathered from her "Memoirs of an American Lady."
The maiden name of Mrs. Grant was Anne Macvicar. She was born at Glasgow, on the 21st of February, 1755, the daughter of Duncan Macvicar, whom she describes as "a plain, brave, pious man." Of her mother, who survived till 1811, dying in her daughter's house in Edinburgh in her eighty-fourth year, there are but few notices in her writings; and those few may lead one to think, that she was not in all respects qualified to instruct and open the mind of her child. "I dearly loved idleness," says Mrs. Grant, in her "Memoirs of an American Lady," "and the more, because my mother, who delighted in needle-work, confined me too much to it." This was when she was five years old; and she mentions more than once "the long tasks and close confinement," which she had to endure in her childhood.
Her father was a subaltern in a regiment ordered for America, and sailed for this country in 1757. He was followed by his wife and child the next year. These he established at Claverack, on the Hudson, about thirty-five miles below Albany, at board with a "worthy, wealthy, and most primitive" Dutch family. Here little Anne was taught to read by her mother, and learned to talk Dutch; and learned too, as at a later period she believed, "among the primitive worthies of the settlement, that love of truth and simplicity which she afterwards found a charm against artifice and pretension of every kind." Her only books were a primer and the Bible. She grew in time familiar with the Old Testament; and, in addition to her books, a Scotch sergeant brought her the ballad of "Blind Harry's Wallace." He assisted her to understand its broad Scotch; and the ballad filled her with youthful enthusiasm for Scotland and its hero.
In 1760, when Anne was five years old, her father, who had been stationed at Oswego, rejoined his family. She represents herself as having been strongly impressed by his
religious character, in comparison with that of other military men with whom she had been acquainted. He did not swear, and he prayed. His family accompanied him, on his return to Oswego, whither he was conducting a company to join the garrison at that place. A great part of the journey was through an uncultivated wilderness. It was full of romantic incident, and presented a succession of picturesque scenery, rendered more striking by the passage of soldiery forcing their slow way through those lonely retreats of nature. The mind of a lively and imaginative child could not but be strongly affected by it; and Mrs. Grant has given a vivid description of it in her "Memoirs of an American Lady." "I am convinced," she says, "that I thought more in that fortnight, that is, acquired more ideas, and took more lasting impressions, than ever I did in the same space of time in my life."
Anne, with her parents, remained the succeeding winter and spring in the fort at Oswego; and no particular incident seems to have diversified what must have been to her a dull life in that remote garrison. But in the summer of 1762, when she was seven years old, her father returned, with his wife and child, to join a body of troops stationed at Albany. Anne left nothing behind her which was near her heart, but a tame partridge and six pigeons.
On the journey back, occurred one of the most eventful incidents of her early life. The party arrived in the evening at a fort on the Mohawk, where Captain Campbell, an old friend of her father, was stationed. The rest of the story must be given in her own words.
"On that evening we returned to Fort Bruerton. I found Captain Campbell delighted with my reading, my memory, and my profound admiration of the friendship betwixt David and Jonathan. We staid the most of the next day. I was much captivated with the copperplates in an edition of Paradise Lost, which, on that account, he had given me to admire. When I was coming away, he said to me, Keep that book, my dear child; I foretell that the time will come when you will take pleasure in it." Never did a present produce such joy and gratitude. I thought I was dreaming, and looked at it a hundred times, before I could believe any thing so fine was really my own. I tried to read it, and almost cried with vexation when I found I could not understand it. At length I quitted it in de