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but the legend of tradition, philosophy will rise again in the sky of her Franklin, and glory rekindle at the urn of her WASHINGTON.
8. Is this the vision of a romantick fancy? Is it even improbable? Is it half so improbable as the events which for the last twenty years have rolled like successive tides over the surface of the European world, each erasing the impression that preceded it?
9. Thousands upon thousands, sir, I know there are, who will consider this supposition as wild and whimsical; but they have dwelt with little reflection upon the records of the past. They have but ill observed the never-ceasing progress of national rise, and national ruin.
10. They form their judgement on the deceitful stability of the present hour, never considering the innumerable monarchies and republicks in former days, apparently as permanent, whose very existence is now become a subject of speculation, I had almost said of skepticism.
11. I appeal to history. Tell me, thou reverend chronicler of the grave, can ambition, wealth, commerce or heroism, secure to empire the permanency of its possessions Alas! Troy thought so once, yet the land of Priam lives only in song! Thebes thought so once, yet her hundred gates have crumbled, and her monuments are as the dust they were vainly intended to commemorate!
12. So thought Palmyra, but where is she? So thought the countries of Demosthenes and Leonidas, yet Sparta is trampled by the timid slave, and Athens insulted by the servile Ottoman. The days of their glory are as if they had never been; and the island which was then a speck, rude and neglected in the barren ocean, now rivals the ubiquity of their commerce, the glory of their arms, the force of their philosophy, the eloquence of their senate, and the inspiration of their bards!
13. Who shall say, then, contemplating the past, that England, proud and powerful as she appears, may not one day be what Athens is, and the young America yet soar to be what Athens was! Who shall say, that when the European column shall have mouldered, and the night of barbarism obscured its very ruins, that mighty continent may not emerge from the horizon, to rule for its time sovereign of the ascendant!
CONCLUSION OF THE FOREGOING SPEECH.
SUCH, sir, is the natural progress of human operations, and such the unsubstantial mockery of human pride. But I should, perhaps, apologize for this digression. The tombs are at best a sad, although an instructive subject. At all events, they are ill suited to such an hour as this: I shall endeavour to atone for it, by turning to a theme which tombs cannot inurn, or revolution alter.
2. It is the custom of your board, and a noble one it is, to deck the cup of the gay with the garland of the great. Allow me to add one flower to the chaplet, which though it sprang in America, is no exotick; virtue planted it, and it is naturalized every where.
3. I see you concur with me, that it matters very little what immediate spot may be the birth place of such a man as WASHINGTON. No people can claim, no country can appropriate him. The boon of Providence to the human race, his fame is eternity, and his residence creation.
4. Though it was the defeat of our arms, and the disgrace of our policy, I almost bless the convulsion in which he had his origin. In the production of WASHINGTON, it does really appear as if nature was endeavouring to improve upon herself, and that all the virtues of the ancient world were but so many studies preparatory to the patriot of the new.
5. Individual instances no doubt there were; splendid examples of some single qualification. Cæsar was merciful, Scipio was continent, Hannibal was patient; but it was reserved for WASHINGTON to blend them all in one, and, like the lovely master-piece of the Grecian artist, to exhibit in one glow of associated beauty, the pride of every model, and the perfection of every master.
6. As a general, he marshalled the peasant into a veteran, and supplied by discipline the absence of experience. As a statesman, he enlarged the policy of the cabinet into the most comprehensive system of general advantage; and such was the wisdom of his views, and the philosophy of his counsels, that to the soldier and the statesman, he almost added the character of the sage.
7. A conqueror, he was untainted with the crime of blood a revolutionist, he was free from any stain of treason, for aggression commenced the contest, and his country called him to the command. Liberty unsheathed his sword, necessity stained, victory returned it.
8. If he had paused here, history might have doubted what station to assign him, whether at the head of her citizens or soldiers, her heroes or her patriots. But the last glorious act crowns his career, and banishes all hesitation. Who, like WASHINGTON, after having emancipated a hemisphere, resigned its crown, and preferred the retirement of domestick life to the adoration of a land he might be almost said to have created!
9. How shall we rank thee upon glory's page,
Thou more than soldier, and just less than sage?
10. Such, Sir, is the testimony of one not to be accused of partiality in his estimate of America. Happy, proud America! The lightnings of heaven yielded to your philosophy! The temptations of earth could not seduce your patriotism. I have the honour, Sir, of proposing to you as a toast, THE IMMORTAL MEMORY OF GEORGE WASHINGTON.
EXAMPLE OF JUSTICE AND MAGNANIMITY.
MONG the several virtues of Aristides, that for which he was most renowned was justice; because this virtue is of most general use, its benefits extending to a great number of persons, as it is the foundation, and in a manner the soul, of every publick office and employment.
2. Themistocles, having conceived the design of supplanting the Lacedemonians, and of taking the government of Greece out of their hands, in order to put it into those of the Athenians, kept his eye and his thoughts continually fixed upon that great project; and as he was not very nice or scrupulous in the choice of his measures, whatever tended towards accomplishing the end he had in view, he looked upon as just and lawful.
3. On a certain day, he declared in a full assembly of the people, that he had a very important design to propose; but that he could not communicate it to the people, because its success required it should be carried on with the greatest secrecy; he therefore desired they would appoint a person to whom he might explain himself upon the matter in question.
4. Aristides was unanimously fixed upon by the whole assembly, who referred themselves entirely to his opinion of the affair; so great a confidence had they both in his probity and prudence.
5. Themistocles, therefore, having taken him aside, told him the design which he had conceived was to burn the fleet belonging to the rest of the Grecian states, which then lay in a neighbouring port; and by this mean Athens would certainly become mistress of all Greece.
6. Aristides hereupon returned to the assembly, and only declared to them, that indeed nothing could be more advantageous to the commonwealth than Themistocles' project; but at the same time, nothing in the world could be more unjust. All the people unanimously ordained that Themistocles should entirely desist from his project.
DIALOGUE, SHEWING THE
Mr. Fenton. How now, Nero! why are you loading
that pistol? No mischief, I hope? Nero. O no, Massa Fenton. duel, as dey call em, with Tom.
Mr. F. Fight a duel with Tom! what has he done to you?
I only going to fight de
Nero. He call me neger, neger, once, twice, three time, and I no bear him, Massa Fenton.
Mr. F. But are you not a negro, Nero?
Nero. Yes, Massa; but den who wants to be told of what one know already?
Mr. F. You would not kill a man, however, for telling so simple a truth as that!
Nero. But den de manner, Massa Fenton, de manner,
him every thing. Tom mean more him say, when he call Nero name.
Mr. F. It is hard to judge of what a man means; but if Tom has insulted you, I have no doubt he is sorry for it.
Nero. Him say he sorry, very sorry; but what him signify when he honour gone? No, Massa; when de white man be insulted, what him do? he fight de duel. Den why de poor African no fight de duel too?
Mr. F. But do you know it is against the law to fight duels ?
Nero. De white men fight, and de law no trouble himself about dem. Why den he no let de African have de same, privilege? No, Massa Fenton, "Sauce for de goose, sauce for de gander."
Mr. F. The white men contrive to evade the law, Nero, so that it cannot punish them.
Nero. Ah, Massa Fenton, de law no fair den; him let go de rogue who outwit him, and take hold of de poor African, who no know what him be.
Mr. F. It is a pity that those who know what is right do not set a better example. But tell me, were you not always good friends before?
Nero. O yes, Massa Fenton, we always good friend, kind friend, since we boy so high, and dat make me ten time mad to be call neger, neger. Ó, him too much for human nature to bear!
Mr. F. But how do you expect to help the matter by fighting with Tom?
Nero. When I kill Tom, he no blackguard me more, dat sartain. And den nobody else call Nero name, I know.
Mr. F. True, Nero. But suppose Tom should kill you? Tom, you know, never misses his mark.
Nero. How, Massa Fenton? What dat you say?
Mr. F. Suppose Tom should kill you, instead of your killing him, what would people think then? You know you are as liable to be killed as he is.
Nero. O no, Massa Fenton, de right always kill de wrong, when he fight de duel.
Mr. F. O no, Nero, the chance at best is but equal ; and as bad men are more used to such business, I have no doubt that the instances in which the injured party is slain, outnumber those where the aggressor has suffered.