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which the blind jealousy of the 'weak 'states not unfrequently contributes to prolong—that has proved fatal to all the confederations that ever existed.

ALTHOUGĦ it was impossible that such merit tas Washing'ton's should not produce envy, it was scarcely possible that, with such a transcendent reputation, he should have rivals. Accordingly, he was unanimously chosen president of the United States.

. As a general and a patriot, the measure of his glory was al. ready full; there was no fame left for him to excel but his own, and even that task; the mightiest of all his labors, his civil ma. gistracy has accomplished.

No sooner did the new government begin its auspicious course, than order seemed to arise out of confusion. The governments of Europe had seen the old confederation sinking, squalid, and pale, into the tomb, when they beheld the new American republic rise suddenly from the ground, and, throwing off its grave clothes, exhibiting the stature and proportions of a young giant, refreshed with sleep. Commerce and industry awoke, and were cheerful at their labors ;-for credit and confidence awoke with them. Every where was the appearance of prosperity; and the only fear was, that its progress was too rapid, to consist with the purity and simplicity of antient manners. The cares and labors of the president were incessant: his exhortations, example and authority, were employed to excite zeal and activity for the public service : able officers were selected, only for their merits ; and some of them remarkably distinguished themselves by their successful management of the public business. Government was administered with such integrity, without mystery, and in so prosperous a course, that it seemed to

be wholly employed in acts of beneficence. Though it has made · many thousand'ınalecontents, it has never, by its rigor or ina

justice, made one man .',,,.

• Such was the state of public affairs ; and did it not seem perfectly to ensure uninterrupted harmony to the citizens? Did

they not, in respe&t to their government, and its adıninistra. tion, possess their whole heart's desire ? They had seen and suffered long the want of an efficient constitution; they had freely ratified it: they saw. Washington, their tried friend, the father, of his country, invested with its powers. They knew that he could not exceed or betray them, without forfeiting his own reputation. Consider, for a moment, what a reputation it was : şuch as no man ever before possessed by so clear a title, and in so high a degree. His fame seemed in its purity to exceed even its brightness ; office took honor from his acceptance, but conferred none. Ambition stood awed and darkened by his shadow. For where, through the wide earth, was the man so vain, as to dispute precedence with him? or what were the honors that could make the possessor Washington's superior ? Refined and complex as the ideas of virtue are, even the gross could discern in his life the infinite superiority of her rewards. Mankind perceived some change in their ideas of greatness; the splendor of power, and even of the name of conqueror, had grown dim in their eyes. They did not know that Washing. ton could augment his fame ; but they knew and felt, that the world's wealth, and its empire too, would be a bribe far beneath his acceptance.

.. This is not exaggeration : never was confidence in a man and a chief magistrate more widely diffused, or more solidly established,

Ir it had been in the nature of man that we should enjoy liberty, without the agitations of party, the United States had a right, under these circumstances, to expect it : but it was impossible. Where there is no liberty, they may be exempt from party. It will seem strange, but it scarcely admits a doubt, that there are fewer malecontents in Turkey, than in any free state in the world. Where the people have no power, they enter into no contests, and are not anxious to know how they shall use it. The spirit of discontent becomes torpid for want of employment, and sighs itself to rest. The people sleep soundly in their chains, and do not even dream of their weight. They lose their turbulence with their energy, and become as tractable

as any other animals: a state of degradation, in which they ex. tort our scorn, and engage our pity, for the misery they do not feel. Yet that heart is a base one, and fit only for a slave's bosom, that would not bleed freely, rather than submit to such a condition ; for liberty with all its parties and agitations is more desirable than slavery. Who would not prefer the republics of antient Greece, where liberty oncé subsisted in its excess, its delirium, terrible in its charms, and glistening to the last with the blaze of the very fire that consumed it?

* I do not know that I ought, but I am sure that I do, prefer those republics to the dozing slavery of the modern Greece, where the degrading wretches have suffered scorn 'till they me. rit it; where they tread on classic ground, on the ashes of heroes and patriots, unconscious of their ancestry, ignorant of the nature, and almost of the name of liberty, and insensible even to the passion for it. Who, on this contrast, can forbear to say, it is the modern Greece that lies buried, that sleeps forgotten in the caves of Turkish darkness ? It is the antient Greece that lives in remembrance, that is still bright with glory,"still fresh in immortal youth, They are unworthy of liberty, who entertain a less exalted idea of its excellence. The misfortune is, that those who profess to be its most passionate admirers have, generally, the least comprehension of its hazards and impediments; they expect that an enthusiastic admiration of its na: ture will reconcile the multitude to the irksomeness of its re.' straints. Delusive expectation! Washington was not thus de, luded. We have his solemn warning against the often fatal pro. pensities of liberty. He had reflected, that men are often false to their country and their honor ; false to duty and even to their interest; but multitudes of men are never long false or deaf to their passions : these will find obstacles in the laws, associates in party. The fellowships thus formed are more intimate, and impose commands more imperious, than those of society

Thus party forms a state within the state, and is animated by a rivalship, fear and hatred, of its superior. When this happens, the merits of the government will become fresh pro. yocations and offences; for they are the merits of an enemy. No wonder then, that as soon as party found the virtue and glory of Washington were obstacles, the attempt was made, by calumny, to surmount them both. For this, the greatest of all his trials, we know that he was prepared. He knew that the government must possess sufficient strength froni within or without, or fall a victim to fashion. This interior strength was plainly inadequate to its defence, unless it could be rein. forced from wiibout by the zeal and patriotism of the citizens ; and this latter resource was certainly as accessible to president Washington, as to any chief magistrate that ever lived. The life of the federal government, he considered, was in the breath of the people's nostrils : whenever they should happen to be so infatuated or inflamed as to abandon its defence, its end must be as speedy, and might be as tragical, as a constitution for France.

* WHILE the president was thus administering the govern, ment, in so wise and just a manner, as to engage the great majority of the enlightened and virtuous, citizens to co-operate with him for its support, and while he indulged the hope that time and habit were confirming their attachment, the French revolution had reached that point in its progress, when its terrible principles began to agitate all civilized nations. I will not, on this occasioni, detain you to express, though my thoughts teem with it, my deep abhorrence of that revolution; its des. potism, by the mob or the military, from the first, and its hy.

* The government of Massachusetts bas manifested, more than ance, and so-lately as the last year, [1799] a wise discerniment of the pernicious tendency of certain usurping claims by states, and of changes proposed to abolish, under the name of amending, {be constiiution.

The example bas bad its proper weight ta produce, in otbex states, a like zealous and prompt support of the national governo ment.

Long may such patriotic zeal continue, and ever may its of forts obtain a like success !

pocricy of morals to the last. Scepes have passed there which exceed description, and which, for other reasons, I will not ata tempt to describe ; for it would not be possible, even at this distance of time, and with the sea between us and France, to go through with the recital of them, without perceiving horror gather, like a frost, about the heart, and almost stop its pulse, That revolution has been constant in nothing but its vicissitudes, and its promises ; always delusive but always renewed, to establish philosophy by crimes, and liberty by the sword. The peon plę of France, if they are not like the modern Greeks, find their cap of liberty is a soldier's helmet; and, with all their imitation of di&ators and consuls, their exactest similitude to these Roman ornaments, is in their chains. The nations of Europe perceive another resemblance, in their all-conquering ambition,

But it is only the influence of that event on America, and on the measures of the president, that belongs to my subjecte It would be ungratefully wrong to his character to be silent in respect to a part of it, which has the most signally illụstrated his virtues.

The genuine character of that revolution is not even yet so well understood as the di&tates of self-preservation require it should be. The chief duty and care of all governments is to protect the rights of property, and the tranquillity of society, . The leaders of the French revolution, from the beginning, excited the poor against the rich: this has made rich poor, but it will never make the poor rich. On the contrary, they were used only as blind instruments to make those leaders masters, first of the adverse party, and then of the state. Thus the powers of the state were turned round into a direction exactly contrary to the proper one, not to preserve tranquillity and re. strain violence, but to excite violence by the lure of power, and plunder, and vengeance, Thus all Françe has been, and still is, as much the prize of the ruling party as a captured ship, and if any right or possession has escaped confiscation, there is none that has not been liable to ito in

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