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· Thus it clearly appears that, in its origin, its character, and its means, the government of that country is revolutionary ; that is, not only different from, but directly contrary to, every regular and well ordered society. It is a danger, similar in its kind, and at least equal in degree, to that, with which antient Rome menaced her enemies. The allies of Rome were slaves ; and it cost some hundred years efforts of her policy and arms, to make her enemies her allies. Nations, at this day, can trust no better to treaties ; they cannot even trust to arms, unless they are used with a spirit and perseverance becoming the magnitude of their danger. For the French revolution has been, from the first, hostile to all right and justice, to all peace and order in society; and, therefore, its very existence has been a state of warfare against the civilized world, and most of all against free and orderly republics. For such are never without fa&tions, ready to be the allies of France, and to aid her in the work of destruction. Accordingly, scarcely any but republics have they subverted. Such governments, by shewing in praca tice what republican liberty is, detect French imposture, and shew what their pretexts are not. .
To subvert them, therefore, they had, besides the facility that faction affords, the double excitement of removing a rea proach, and converting their greatest obstacles into their most efficient auxiliaries.
· Who then, on careful reflection, will be surprized, that the French and their partizans instantly conceived the desire, and made the most powerful attempts, to revolutionize the American government? But it will hereafter seein strange that their excesses should be excused, as the effects of a struggle for liberty, and that so many of our citizens should be flattered, while they were insulted, with the idea, that our example was copied, and our principles pursued. Nothing was ever 90 false, or more fascinating. Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits, to which even prejudices yield; on the dispersion of our people on farms, and on the almost equal diffusion of property ; it is founded on morals and religion, whose au. thority. reigns in the heart, and on the influence all these proj duce on public opinion before that opinion governs ruters, Here liberty is' restraint, there it is violence ; bere iç is mild and cheering, like the morning sun of our summer, brightening the hills, and making the vallies green ; tbere. it is like the sun, when his rays dart pestilence on the sands of Africa. Ainerican liberty calms and restrains the licentious passions, like an angel that says to the winds and troubled seas-be- still. But how has French licentiousness appeared to the wretched citizens of Switzerland and Venice? Do not their haunted imaginations, even when they wake, represent her as a monster, with eyes that flash wild fire, hands that hurl thunderbolts, a voice that shakes the foundation of the hills? She stands, and her ambition measures the earth; she speaks, and an epidemic fury seizes the nations. . , iii
EXPERIENCE is lost upon us, if we deny, that it had seized. a large part of the American nation. It is as sober and intelo ligent, as free, and as worthy to be free, as any in the world yet, like all other people, we have passions and prejudices, and they have received a violent impulse, which, for a time, mis: led us.
- JACOBINÍSM had become here, as in France, rather ä seđt than a party ; inspiring a fanaticism that was equally intolerant and contagious. The delusion was general enough to be thought the voice of the people, therefore claiming authority without proof; and jealous enough to act acquiescence without a: mura' mur of contradiction. Some progress was made in training multitudes to be vindictive and ferocious. To them nothing seemed amiable, but the revolutionary justice of Paris ; nos thing terrible, but the government and justice of America. The very name of patriots was claimed and applied in proporsi tion as the citizens had alienated their hearts from America, and transferred their affe&tions to their foreign corrupter. Party discerned its intimate connection of interest with France, and consummated its profligacy by yielding to foreign influence...
The views of these allies required that this country should engage in war with Great-Britain. Nothing less would give
tö France all the means of annoying this dreaded rival : nothing less would ensure the subjection of America, as a satel. lite to the ambition of France : nothing else could make a revolution here perfectly inevitable. ;,. .
For this end, the minds of the citizens were artfully enHamed, and the moment was watched, and impatiently waited for, when their long heated passions should be in fusion, to pour them forth, like the lava of a volcano, to blacken -and consume the peace and government of our country,
The systematic operations of a fadion under foreign influe ence had begun to appear, and were successively pursued, in a -manner too deeply alarming to be soon forgotten. Who of us does not remember this worst of evils in this worst of ways ? Shame would forget, if it could, that, in one of the states, amendments were proposed to break down the federal senate, which, as in the state governments, is a great bulwark of the public order. To'break down another, an extravagant judiciary power was claimed for states. In another state a rebellion was fomented by the agent of France. And who, without fresh indignation can remember, that the powers of government were openly usurped ; troops, levied, and ships fitted out to fight for her ? Nor can any true friend to our government consider without dread, that, soon afterwards, the treaty making power was boldly challenged for a branch of the government, from which the constitution has wisely withholden it...
I AM oppressed, and know not how to proceed with my subject--Washington, blessed be God! who endued him with wisdom and clothed him with power-Washington issued his proclamation of neutrality, and, at an early period, arrested the 'intrigues of France and the passions of his countrymen, on the - very edge of the precipice of war and revolution.
· This act of firmness, at the hazard of his reputation and peace, entitles him to the name of the first of patriots. Time »was gained for the citizens to recover their virtue and good
sense, and they soon recovered them. The crisis was passed, and America was saved." i
! You and I, most respected fellow-citizens, should be sooner tired than satisfied in recounting the particulars of this illastrious man's life.
- How great he appeared, while he administered the government, how much greater when he retired from it, how he accepted the chief military command under his wise and upright successor, how his life was unspotted like his fame, and how his death was worthy of his life, are so many distinct subjects. of instruction, and each of thein singly more than enough for an eulogium. I leave the task however to history and to posterity ; they will be faithful to it.'
It is not impossible, that some will affect to consider the ho.. nors paid to this great patriot by the nation, as excessive; idolatrous, and degrading' to freemen, who are all equal. 'I answer, that refusing to virtue its legitimate honors, would not prevent their being lavished, in future, on any worthless and ambitious favorite. If this day's example should have its natural effect, it will be salutary. Let such honors be so conferred only when, in future, they shall be so merited : then the public sentiment will not be misled, nor the principles of a just equality corrupted. The best evidence of reputation is a man's whole life, We have now, alas! all Washington's before us. There has scarcely appeared a really great man, whose character has been more admired in his life time, or less correctly understood by his admirers. When it is comprehended, it is no easy task to. delineate its excellencies in such a manner, as to give to the portrait both interest and resemblance. For it requires thought and study to understand the true ground of the superiority of his character over many others, whom he resembled in the principles of action, and even in the manner of acting. But perhaps he excels all the great men that ever lived, in the steadiness of his adherenee to his maxims of life, and in the unifor“mity of all his conduct to the same maxims. These maxims,
though wise, were yet not sợ remarkable for their wisdom, as. fór their authority over his life : for if there were any errors in his judgment, (and he discovered as few as any man) we know. of no blemishes in his virtue. He was the patriot without reproach: he loved his country well enough to hold his success: in serving it an ample reconipense. Thus far self-love and love of country coincided : but when his country needed sacrifices, that no other man could, or perhaps would be willing to make, he did not even hesitate. This was virtue in its most exalted character. More than once he put his fame at hazard, when he had reason to think it would be sacrificed, at least in this age.
Two' instances cannot be denied. When the army was disbanded ; and again, when he stood, like Leonidas, at the pass of Thermopyla, to defend our independence against France,
It is indeed almost as difficult to draw his character, as the portrait of virtue. The reasons are similar. Our ideas of moTal excellence are obscure, because they are complex, and we are obliged to resort to illustrations. Washington's exam.. ample is the happiest to shew what virtue is : and to delineate his character, we naturally expatiate on the beauty of virtue. Much must be felt, and much imagined. His pre-eminence is not so much to be seen in the display of any one virtue, as in the possession of them all, and in the practice of the most difficult. Hereafter therefore his character must be studied before it will be striking ; and then it will be admitted as a model; a precious one to a free rępublic!
It is no less difficult to speak of his talents. They were , adapted to lead without dazzling mankind ; and to draw forth and employ the talents of others, without being misled by them. In this he was certainly superior, that he neither mistook nor misapplied his own. His great modesty and reserve would have concealed them, if great occasions had not called them forth ; and then, as he never spoke from the affectation to shine, nor acted from any sinister motives, it is from their effects only that we are to judge of their greatness, and extent. In public trusts, where men, acting conspicuously, are cautious, and in those privạte concerns, where few conceal or resist their weaknesses, Washington was uniformly great; pursuing right conduct from