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tive talents were great, and though his rule would have imposed the evils which result of necessity from an exotic yoke, they might have been more than counterbalanced by the abolition of bloodshed and violence, the protection of property, and the restoration of social order.

Burr's letter to Wilkinson clearly indicates an understanding between the writer and the recipient. Otherwise, Burr was far too sagacious to have committed himself by so direct an acknowledgment of his unlawful enterprise to a man holding high office under the government, whose participation or even tacit sanction would have been a betrayal of the national trust. Wilkinson's conduct toward Burr does not bear the stamp of a noble mind filled with regret at the errors of a misguided friend, but rather of the anxiety of a frightened and perfidious accomplice to clear his own skirts of the affair, even at the sacrifice of his coadjutor and principal. Had Burr addressed him in such familiar terms in the hope that they would presuppose an implication in the project on the part of Wilkinson, an exposure of which would involve the recipient, thereby compelling his secrecy, what would have been the course of an innocent and high-minded man? Without hesitation he would have given the letter publicity, and disclaimed participation in the plot; he would have challenged investigation, and denounced the man who had attempted to coerce him into unlawful measures by the dread of apparent self-crimination, and who, unable to secure his cooperation by the hope of advancement, would at least compel him to silence by the fear of infamy; and then he would have boldly thrown himself upon his former good name for acquittal and support. Wilkinson was finally guilty of the consummate impudence of sending a messenger to the Spanish Viceroy, demanding the modest amount of two hundred thousand dollars for having saved that country, at great personal sacrifice, from the audacious machinations of Burr, or, as the General characteristically expressed it, "for throwing himself, Leonidas-like, into the Pass of Thermopyla."

Though he was an accessory to schemes which he must have known were reprehensible, the mention of Blennerhassett awakens emotions of another nature than those with

which the memory of his principal is associated. Ruined in fortune, he returned to his native land, where he died. His wife came back to America to seek indemnity for the outrages committed by the populace upon their beautiful home on the memorable 11th of December. Her claims were eloquently supported by Henry Clay, and would have been allowed by Congress; but before the bill was passed, they received intelligence from New York of the death of the brokenhearted petitioner. Seldom has romance afforded so dark a tale of misfortune, as reality has woven around the name of Blennerhassett. The passengers on the steamer gliding down the beautiful Ohio crowd the guards in silence, as they approach the island that still bears his name, and seek to find some trace of the paradise described in the passionate language of Wirt. The stately residence was long since burned to the ground, its site is overgrown by the woodbine and wildbrier, and a few giants of the forest, isolated and alone, are the sole memorials of the sylvan beauty that has departed.

Aaron Burr was certainly an extraordinary man. Bold to conceive, and prompt to execute, he might have become one of the greatest military commanders the world has ever seen. His mental equilibrium was too finely adjusted to be much disturbed either by success or disaster. As a lawyer, he possessed a marvellous instinct for seizing upon the vulnerable points of an argument; as a politician, his judgments of character were sagacious, and his skill in arranging the minor details and machinery of an election was invaluable to his party. Wirt speaks of the light and beauty of his conversation, the seductive and fascinating power of his address. The proper field for the successful display of Burr's remarkable talents was not where a few intrepid minds, in defiance of obloquy and of personal sacrifice, were to make a stand for the great principles of liberty and progress; but when there was a demand merely for ambition, adroitness, and courage, he would have been among the foremost. Under Charles the Second he would have contested with royalty the smiles of those frail beauties whose images have been preserved to us by the pencil of Lely; under Frederick his intrepidity and skill would have placed him in the front rank of those great

captains of the Prussian army, long renowned for being the first tacticians of Europe; under Lorenzo de' Medici, his talents for diplomatic intrigue might have given Machiavelli some reason to fear the influence he would have exercised over his beloved Italy. Burr's heart was hard; his ambition was selfish; his public life was guided by no fixed principle; his private life was that of a debauchee. These are the crimes for which he stands arraigned before the judgment of all good men and patriots. The obloquy his memory has had to endure is not so much because he violated the laws of his country, which are local, but because he systematically outraged and set at defiance the broad principles of common honesty and decency, which are universal. It was for this that he fell ignominiously from his high position, became accursed of his race for ever, and his name a by-word and a shaking of the head to the nation; and that, when he died, philosophy pointed to his life as an example of the evils which may result from the dangerous union of moral depravity and intellectual power, and virtue congratulated itself upon escaping the contaminating presence of a man whom neither public disgrace nor private affliction had contributed in any degree to chasten or to purify. The offences of some other men may have resulted in greater injury to their race; but the errors of Burr were not those of a lofty and heroic mind, and it requires nothing beyond the ken of human prescience to say, that the age is remote when the most lenient of moralists will venture to urge anything in extenuation of the faults that have darkened his fame.

There are two men whose deeds have blackened the page of our national record, and the men of the present generation have shown no disposition to mitigate the sentence which their forefathers passed upon the characters of Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr. We cannot have the pride of remembering that our greatest benefactors have always been honored with office, yet we can justly reflect that ignominy or forgetfulness has invariably rewarded the Judases that have betrayed us.

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ART. III. A Treatise on the Medical Jurisprudence of Insanity. By I. RAY, M. D. Third Edition, with Additions. Boston: Little, Brown, & Co. 1853.

THE study of Insanity in its various phases has occupied much of the attention of the medical practitioner, and taxed the acumen of the metaphysician; and it needs but to glance back to the time when lunacy was regarded as a special manifestation of Divine wrath, and therefore as putting the victim outside the pale of human sympathy, to satisfy us that humanity, if not science, has gained by the labor of the student and the observation of the medical man. Solitary confinement and heavy chains have been supplanted by kind treatment, and by free intercourse with companions within reasonable limits. The superstition, which among some savage tribes made the madman respected as an object half of pity, half of reverence, and among more enlightened nations caused him to be regarded as an outcast from God, has given place to the belief that insanity, in whatever form it appears, is but a disease, a disease which, like most others, may be detected by the professional eye, even when its existence is unsuspected by the many who are in constant intercourse with the sufferer, and the course of which may be checked, and its power perhaps destroyed, by treatment founded on scientific principles.

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We have used the term Insanity to denote collectively all abnormal conditions of the mental powers. And the fact meets us on the threshold of our investigation, that the word admits of no more precise definition than this, which includes at once the idiot and the monomaniac. It is indeed impossible to discover any common element in the condition of the sufferers under the several forms of insanity, save that their minds are in an abnormal state.

Mental disease, however, may be considered under two general types, the one embracing those cases whose characteristic is an incomplete or defective development of the faculties; the other, those which are marked by a derangement of the faculties after their development. In the first class we

place idiocy and imbecility, both which may be congenital, or the effect of some obstacle to the development of the faculties supervening in infancy. In the second class we place all the other phases in which insanity appears. These last are commonly divided into Mania, intellectual and moral, or, as the latter form is sometimes called, affective; and Dementia, described as being sometimes the last stage or sequel of mania, and sometimes as the result of old age.

The idiot is destitute of all power of reflection, is unable to comprehend the relations of things, has no sense of propriety, no ability to reason. Nor is he better gifted morally than intellectually. He has ordinarily none of the human affections, though cases occur in which he manifests an excessive religious veneration, self-esteem, or love of approbation, and this to such a degree that the trait appears to make up his whole character. His physical development is no less strongly marked, though no particular conformation can be regarded as inseparable from that condition of mind. The head is almost invariably too large or too small, and generally misshapen, the limbs are often crooked, and the motions shambling and awkward.

The imbecile man is a grade higher in mental character than the idiot. He has some intellectual capacity, but is not able to reach the degree of mental power which belongs to the mass of men subjected to like influences with himself. He may learn to read and write, and has an idea of the proprieties of life, but is always deficient either in a just perception of the relations of things, or in the moral motives which should regulate his intercourse with his fellows. He is lacking in forethought, is easily influenced, and has no fixedness of purpose. He often exhibits the same physical deficiencies with the idiot, from whose condition his differs in degree only, being the same in kind.

Mania, embracing the various forms of mental disease which are popularly called insanity, consists in a derangement of the intellect or of the moral powers. It is sometimes general, sometimes partial, including alike the monomaniac whose disease seems to affect only a single intellectual faculty, the otherwise rational person whose only unsoundness

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