Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 1.djvu/177

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166
Ch. 6.
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.

money, and the liberality with which they used it, were marked even then, in comparison with the ordi­nary European habit. Europeans saw such contra­dictions, but made no attempt to reconcile them. No foreigner of that day—neither poet, painter, nor philosopher—could detect in American life anything higher than vulgarity; for it was something beyond the range of their experience, which education and culture had not framed a formula to express. Moore came to Washington, and found there no loftier inspi­ration than any Federalist rhymester of Dennie's school.


"Take Christians, Mohawks, democrats and all,
From the rude wigwam to the Congress hall,
­From man the savage, whether slaved or free,
To man the civilized, less tame than he:
'T is one dull chaos, one unfertile strife
Betwixt half-polished and half-barbarous life;
Where every ill the ancient world can brew
Is mixed with every grossness of the new;
Where all corrupts, though little can entice,
And nothing's known of luxury but vice."


Moore's two small volumes of Epistles, printed in 1807, contained much more so-called poetry of the same tone,—poetry more polished and less respect­able than that of Barlow and Dwight; while, as though to prove that the Old World knew what gross­ness was, he embalmed in his lines the slanders which the Scotch libeller Callender invented against Jefferson:—