Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 6: No 2) >> The Philosophy of the Omnibus >> Page 22

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Page 22

Reviews/Essays | 1998
Transcription boyhood, in the leaves of Poor Richard. Benjamin Franklin had no little hand in
the establishment of the Omnibus.
Let us not be misunderstood. In all that we have said, we have meant
nothing disrespectful we have intended no sneer, no sarcasm, in reference to any
one of the several occupations referred to. We would only insist that they be kept
apart from one another that, as there is no necessary, no proper connection
between them we should suffer no practices to prevail, which would have the
effect of bringing them together, to the common annoyance. The enlightened
mind will readily understand us the unprejudiced will strive to do so. The
merchant, the retailer, the mechanic, the laborer, &c. may be all good, and are
necessary in their several places. We only insist, that meeting together for a
common object, they should always "sink the shop." It is not necessary that the
concerns of the `Change or Market Place, should be carried for adjustment into a
temple consecrated to the muses, the arts, literature, education, and all those more
elevated occupations of our nature, which are not only essentially foreign to the
offices of trade, but entirely, in their design and exercise, unselfish and intended
for mankind. This exhortation is more particularly necessary during the progress
of the Omnibus. The Omnibus marks that period in human economy when the
barriers are to be overthrown when the gross deference to authority must be
done away with when all men may stand upon the same level, and look
fearlessly and freely upon one another;--and when, gradually rising from the
wallow, the Plebeian shall be the father of a race, strong in freedom as in intellect,
superior to circumstance, which has thought proper to employ the Omnibus. Our
prayer is, that something may be spared, in this general overthrow, to the spirit
which was great and glorious in the history of the past. If we overthrow the old
superstition, let us not destroy, with headlong stupidity, the Druidical temples
the high columns the vaulted grandeur of its dwellings and its worship. If we
deny the faith, let us at least preserve the memorials which are true to taste, and
emblematic of a soaring aim, which moved, though in error, in grandeur and
majesty, little short of supernatural. Conquer the Lucifer, and bind him down if