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ary, 1853, and the outbreak in Genoa, in June, 1857, has lost very much of his former influence and popularity. Manin, the governor of Venice in 1849, charged his Italian friends with his dying breath, very much to the displeasure of Mazzini, to waive their republican predilections for the present, and rally to the standard of Sardinia. Garibaldi, too, who,

we see, has been dusting the laurels which he won ten years ago in the defense of Rome, accepted the post of captain in the Sardinian merchant service, leaving his old friend Mazzini in London to preach up “the war of the peoples,” and hatch conspiracies. And finally, Poerio and his companions, on their arrival in England from Naples, did not remain there, but pressed on to Turin, to mingle with their countrymen in the new life of Italian liberty.

We forbear to speculate upon the immediate results of the present struggle. It can hardly be expected to prove anything more than a single chapter in the history of the regeneration of Italy. It is impossible to say what schemes of dynastic aggrandizement lie hidden beneath the professions of Louis Napoleon, or what effect a final victory of the French may have upon the constitutional development of Sardinia. Certain it is, however, that the time is past for considering Italy a mere cipher or "geographical expression,” as Metternich used to call it, in the political arrangements of Europe. Else, what is it that has given the Italian question such porten. tous significance in diplomatic circles? If Italy be nothing but an Austrian sheepfold, how is it that the flock has become so unmanageable? If Italian nationality be nothing but a “ lofty abstraction,” as the London Times styles it, why should the Austrian government regard it so dangerous and so treasonable a thing for a Lombard or a Venetian to hold up his head and call himself an Italian. Sometimes, it is so ordained by Providence, that these lofty abstractions become substantial realities. So it was with American independence, and so we believe it will be, sooner or later, with Italian independence.



We are reminded, frequently enough perhaps, and with not a little patriotic eloquence, in legislatures and in caucuses, from stump, from platform and from newspaper presses, of the rare privileges which we enjoy as a great, prosperous and self-governing people. Oftener we are reminded of these privileges than of the duties which correspond to them and are necessitated by them. Yet it is no less true that to every one of these privileges there is attached an unquestionable duty; nay even, that the two are intermingled and inseparable, so that, without its being thus complemented, the one becomes a valueless license, and the other an irksome bondage. The greatest of all the benefits that our self-government confers on every individual, is the privilege of a larger sphere of usefulness which it becomes his duty to occupy.

Among the foremost of the duties which such a form of society creates, is the duty of a generons public spirit. Under a despotic government, all that can be expected of the subject is, that he shall sit still and be governed. With plans for the improvement and welfare of the State or of the community he has nothing to do. They are not in his power, nor under his influence. The health, the prosperity, the happiness of the State are matters to be attended to by Government, with which an individual intermeddles at his peril. Under such a form of society, the natural tendency is to inactivity, and to narrow selfishness. According as the power and responsibility of the ruler is increased, the spirit of patriotism, of broad philanthropy and generosity is repressed and trammeled. A care that the community shall be benefited, that the city shall be beautiful and prosperous, that the State shall receive no detriinent, is no man's business but the ruler's; and the expanding, liberalizing, dignifying influence of such care and responsibility is impossible to the individuals of the mass.



But in a democratic State, the tendencies should be in the opposite direction. According as the freedom is more perfect and the equality of all men more exact, a wider sphere of influence becomes possible to all men. Under such a Government as ours, for instance, if a plan for public safety, (outside of the plain routine of ordinary legislation,) for public prosperity, for the enlightenment of the community, or for the ornament of the city is to be devised, it must be by some individual from among the people; and it must be by private energy and zeal surrendered voluntarily to the public welfare, if at all, that such plan is carried successfully into execution. Is it not the crowning glory and beauty of a free democracy that, to all men alike, there is this high privilege of doing something for the public welfare; and does not, thus, the duty of a hearty public spirit become imperative to all ?

And yet how few there are in our country, at the present day, who appreciate as they ought and practice as they ought, this public-mindedness which is at once their privilege and duty. One cause, perhaps the chief cause, of this deficiency it is not difficult to detect. It is to be found in the magnificent richness of our country, in the unequaled prosperity which it has enjoyed, and in the consequent national vices by which we have been distinguished. Never before were furnished such inviting opportunities for acquiring wealth. Never before has the reward of industrious labor seemed so immediate and certain ; and it is the wholly natural consequence of opportunities and temptations like these, that the selfishness which is sufficiently patent in all men, under the best circumstances, should be intensified into a mad and sordid greediness of gain ;—that a thirsty haste for riches should swallow up, in a great measure, the spirit of private sacrifice for public good, to which the freedom of our Republican Government would otherwise furnish occasions and inducements so unparalleled. The existence of this danger, and of the evil trait in our national character which grew out of it, was early discovered by observant minds in other countries, and is no longer to be hidden from ourselves. There are not wanting men of patriotic boldnesss and sagacity to warn us, by their precept and example, lest in prating of the blessings of our freedom, our prosperity, our greatness,

“We have made them a curse,"—; and to exhort us that more of the noble and generous fruits of Republican freedom should appear among us, to prove the truth and safety of the principles in which our fathers trusted and which they labored to establish. There are not wanting indications that all the intense and active industry that characterizes our nation, (and that has its parallel only in the patient and laborious industry of the crowded nation at our antipodes,) is to become tempered with more thoughtfulness, and to be purified from its hungry, sordid selfishness.

It is because we have recent in our minds the memory of one who was a singular example of unselfish public spirit, and because we feel that it is most appropriate and can hardly fail to be instructive thus to commemorate his valuable services, that we devote these pages to a view of the public character of the Hon, AARON N. SKINNER. When a man becomes conspicuous by his generous and enlightened efforts for the public welfare, it is right not only that his memory should live in the affectionate gratitude of those for whom he labored, but also that there should be public record made of his services. Thus the community, by giving expression to its gratitude, makes it more lively and intense, and thus, perhaps, may other men, by seeing his good works, be provoked to cultivate his spirit.

This one fact should be stated at the outset and should be borne in mind continually,—that Mr. Skinner was mostly a private citizen ; that, although from time to time, on occasions when there were questions of special public interest, or duty, to be decided, the confidence and respect of his fellow citizens called him into stations of authority and trust, he was not much in what is called public life. He did not pretend to be a statesinan, and certainly he was far from being a politician. The profession to which he devoted his life was one which naturally forbade his joining in the excitements and assuming to any great extent the duties of public office, and which might easily have excused him for putting off, upon others, responsibility and care for the public interest. It is peculiarly in this view that we wish to rotice his life and character, and to make him an example of how much a single private citizen, without surrendering his life solely to the service of society, may do to promote the happiness and prosperity of the community in which he lives. Of professional servants of the public with honorable titles and with well paid salaries, we have enough and to spare. Here was a man unambitious and unselfish who was publicspirited in his private life and from principle, and not because it was especially his business to be so.

Although we do not propose to give an elaborate biography of Mr. Skinner, it will be convenient for us, before we attempt to set forth and estimate the traits of character which made him so distinguished and so deservedly honored, to know the chief facts of his history. We will state then, briefly, that he was born at Woodstock, in Connecticut, in the year 1800; that he entered the class which graduated at Yale College in 1823, and took so high a position as a scholar that he was rewarded with the second honor at commencement. Afterwards he was appointed a tutor; and by this official connection with the college, were strengthened those feelings of affection and veneration for the institution by which he was always distinguished. He studied law and commenced the practice of his profession in New Haven, with much prospect of eminent success. Soon after, in addition to the duties of his practice, he took upon himself those of a teacher, commencing by receiving into his family a few private pupils. As the number of these pupils increased, and as his own love for teaching grew upon him, he gradually withdrew from, and finally abandoned wholly his practice as a lawyer. For the rest of his life,—until a few weeks before the end of all his labors, he was a practical school-teacher,—and so successful as such, that his school long ranked among the best to be found in the country. On several occasions during his life as a teacher, he found time to answer the call of his fellow-citizens and to do them public service in both branches of the State legislature. And four

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