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the cnergies and enterprise of the whole community would be stimulated by the actual execution of a policy calculated to diffuse the benefits of public improvements throughout the state-not advancing one part at the expense of the whole, but giving to each county its just share, and conferring upon all equal, and at the same time, substantial benefits. Among these may be mentioned, a more rapid increase of the population of the state.
With good roads, the second and third class of lands may be made equally productive with the most fertile, where the roads are bad--the difference in the expense of transportation, being more than an equivalent to the difference in the quantities produced.
Emigration from the state will be thus checked, and the better and more substantial class of emigrants from other states will be induced to settle here. A similar policy is recommended in relation to the construction of bridges. All the bridges over small streams, and many of those over the large rivers, should be made of stone, or brick, where stone cannot be procured. Such structures would be permanent, requiring little or no repair, and though more expensive in the construction, are more economical than wood, when the expense of construction and repair is spread over twenty years.
A similar mode might be adopted in constructing the bridges, i. e., dividing the annual assessments into two parts, the first to be appropriated for twenty years to the extinguishment of a loan, equal to one half of twenty years' assessment, the loan to be applied, under the direction of the state, in constructing permanent bridges in the several counties, and the residue to be used for keeping those in repair whose permanent construction is to be postponed.
Your committee are aware, that the policy recommended is liable to the objections, that it will involve great expenditure, and that it is novel. Objections always ready with the timid, the unenterprising, and those who deem the existing condition of things as not susceptible of improvement.
The policy recommended, however, is not meant merely for the present generation. Like the public buildings and the canals of the state, and the aqueducts of cities, roads are intended to be permanent. They belong to the state, an existence that is to last through ages; and her public works should all be constructed with reference to an equally enduring existence. Economy in a state is not consulted in limiting the expenditure to merely what serves the present occasion; but in looking forward beyond the wants of the present generation, and having carefully consulted the ability of the community, proportioning the expenditure to the importance of the object to be attained.
The subject referred to the committee they deem of the highest importance, whether considered in reference to the present or the future, and they recommend, that a memorial should be addressed to the legislature, expressing the views set forth in this report.
All which is respectfully submitted, in behalf of the committee.
J. BLUNT, Chairman. New-York, January 9, 1836.
REVIEW OF IVANHOE.
The unknown author, who has so long delighted the literary world by his lively descriptions of Scottish scenery and Scottish manners, has now turned his attention to the more southern part of that interesting island. From the formal manner in which he took leave of his readers in the last series of Jedediah Clieshbotham's tales, we felt apprehensive that he had bidden a final adieu ; but, upon examination, we find that he had only finished his observations upon the Scottish character, aware, as he undoubtedly was, that his future essays to describe the manners of that nation could be but little more than copies of his former productions.
He has now began (as we hope) a series of novels, or romances, descriptive of the customs of that nation, whose early history and character interest us more deeply than that of any other nation's. England! the birth place of our ancestors ; the abode of a people whose language and habits are the same as our own; whose fathers, until the year 1660, felt and acted in common with ours. They suffered and triumphed together. Their warriors, their statesmen, and their poets, acquired fame for their American as well as for their English posterity. Chaucer, Shakspeare, Spencer, Hooker, Bacon, Milton, Newton, and Locke, the greatest men who have appeared in England, confer honour, not upon the English alone ; Americans own the same fathers, and have an equal title to that inherited glory. Though injuries and insults have caused a separation of the two countries, and have entirely destroyed all those tender ties
and recollections which might have bound America to England; though the present race of Britons are the men whom their injudicious policy has taught us to regard as enemies with little reluctance ; still our descent from a common ancestry, whose ashes are deposited with them, makes us feel a deep and undisguised interest in their country, and in the character of its early inhabitants. We regard it as the cradle of our literature ; the birth place and the resting place of those authors, whose works must delight while their language is spoken. Notwithstanding our growing strength renders us careless, and even contemptuous, of the prowess and power of England, and that we view her as a nation destined to be sorely humbled by our arms; we must always feel a lingering affection for our father's home, and reverence England as the Romans did Athens. Her literature will be more effectual, than her arms in averting our hatred and scorn,
Her historians and chroniclers are the recorders of the rude customs of our progenitors. Any investigation into olden times must, therefore, be interesting to us; and it afforded us much pleasure to find that the mighty unknown had dated his story before, rather than after the Restoration. We also think that the reign of Richard Cæur de Lion is a more appropriate time for a romance than any other monarch's. The whole human family had been disturbed and broken up by the operation of principles which were anomalous in the history of man, and excited him to actions that now appear to be unnatural, and even superhuman. The crusades, for instance, would be now viewed as incredible, if the testimony were not of the most positive kind. If any person should now propose a war to be carried on by individuals, for the possession of the holy sepulchre, we should regard him as either foolish or crazy. But then a bigotted zeal against the infidels had maddened all classes throughout Europe : army after army volunteered their services in conquering Palestine, and its soil was fertilized with the bodies of more than 3,000,000 Christians, and of an equal number of Turks. At the time of this tale, though the crusading spirit had not sensibly diminished, other motives began to, take the place of religious enthusiasm. The love of fame ani. mated some, and the desire of wealth prompted others, to assume the cross. The permanent passions of ambition and avarice were gradually reassuming that sway over the mind, which for a time had been relinquished to bigotry and enthusiasm ; and the higher classes began to practice, as well as profess, the true virtues of chivalry. The courage of the soldiery of that period assumed a milder aspect, and courtesy was considered one of the qualifications of a knight. Such a picture as this book presents of the generous manners of these men is refreshing to a person disgusted with modern manners, and tired of the bargaining of merchants, and chicanery of lawyers: he breathes a new atmosphere. The stately knights of ancient times are there portrayed in living colours; the reader is in their company, and actually conversing with them. He forgets his shop and his contracts, and, in imagination at least, grasps a lance, and spurs his horse upon an airy adversary.
But the interest this tale excites is not entirely owing to the general manners of the mass of society ; much is due to the characters of the two parties in the novel, and particularly to the characters of their leaders. We say parties, because, as far as we are conversant with works of fiction, it appears that they are nothing but relations of some contests between two sets of people, whose efforts to obtain what may be called a triumph make up the incidents. The hero or heroine of the tale acts in concert with a set of persons, who endeavour to afford protection against the machinations of some open or concealed enemies, who form an opposition party, and sometimes several parties, though all against the principal personage. This is the case with all those novels which now occur to us; Clarissa Harlowe, for instance, is persecuted by Lovelace; Amanda by Belgrave; Tom Jones by Blifil; Wallace by King Edward; Peregrine Pickle, Roderick Random, Thaddeus, have all their enemies, and this author in particular has formed all his novels upon some party conflict. In 'this romance he has conformed to his usual rule, and with the happiest effect. His selection is remarkably judicious. Before Richard the First