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which her enemies might interpret into a warmer regard for her interests than was compatible with the duties of rigid neutrality. In this prudent policy he was supported by the Federalists; who, in conséquence, obtained the opprobrious appellation of the English party.
The austere spirit of democracy was, we find, sorely scandalized by the President's levees, simple and unostentatious as they certainly were; and drew forth many doleful predictions, that, by such assimilations to the ways of kings, America would gradually be defrauded of her liberty. The President's own account of the portentous ceremonial which excited these lugubrious speculations, will perhaps amuse our readers.
• Between the hours of three and four every Tuesday, I am pre• pared to receive visits. Gentlemen, often in great numbers, come * and go, chat with each other, and act as they please. At their
first entrance, they salute me, and I them; and as many as I can " talk to, I do. What pomp there is in all this, I am unable to dis
cover. Perhaps it consists in not sitting. To this two reasons are
opposed : first, it is unusual ; secondly, (which is a more substan• tial reason) because I have no room large enough to contain a • third of the chairs which would be necessary. Similar to these,
but of a more familiar and sociable kind, are the visits every Tri
day afternoon to Mrs Washington, where I always am. These "public meetings, and a dinner once a week to as many as my table will hold, is as much, if not more, than I have leisure for.'
Notwithstanding the opposition which most of Washington's measures encountered, the reverence in which he was held was such, that, in March 1793, when a new election became necessary, he was again unanimously called to the presidency. He had, at one period, proposed to retire ; but the critical situation of affairs, and pressing entreaties from all quarters of the Union, induced him to undertake, for another four years, the duties of first magistrate. During this latter period, both Jefferson and Hamilton resigned. The enemics of the President ofien insinuated, that he had been too much guided by the latter, whose opinions they regarded as peculiarly heterodox. In allusion to this charge, he took occasion to state, in a letter to Mr Jefferson, that he was no believer in the infallibility of the politics or measures of any man living ;'-an assertion, which every view of his character tends to corroborate. In fact, the characteristic feature of Washington's mind, was a certain cold and steady firmness, founded upon the previous deliberations of a judgment, too powerful to submit to influence, and too active to be guided by faith. When the four years were about to expire, he took leave of his countrymen in a valedictory address, which contains, at large, his maxins of government, and certain precepts, by the observance of which,
government ? Our readers must speculate for themselves upon these, and other, perhaps equally probable, hypotheses ; for we do not affect to see clearly through the revolutions which, we are afraid, still await our American kindred.
General Washington survived his retirement from the presidency only two years. He died on the 14th December 1799, of an inflammation in the throat, occasioned by a slight rain to which he had been exposed the preceding day. Soon after the disease commenced, he foresaw he should die; and he met his fate with his characteristic fortitude.--- Washington's appearance, we are told, was noble and commanding; and it has been frequently remarked, that the impression of awe 'which it was calculated to produce, was never effaced by frequency of intercourse. He was reserved in his manners, and unaffectedly modest. He was hospitable, and his establishment expensive, but under exact regulation. He spoke with diffidence; but his letters to Congress, and his written addresses, are admirable for clearness and solidity. His personal habits were exceedingly temperate; and the purity of his morals was never questioned. In short, to use the words of a very great man,' a character, of virtues so happily tempered • by one another, and so wholly unalloyed with any vices, is hard• ly to be found in the pages of history. '*
Mr Marshall is steady in his approbation of the measures of the great man whose history he writes; but, so far as we can discover, he is not unduly influenced in his strictures upon those who opposed them. This last volume is loaded with speeches, which clumsily and indistinctly supply the place of comprehensive views of the subjects to which they relate. Many of these speeches display great commercial knowledge, and a forcible and keen style of argument. But we have never yet seen any specimen of American eloquence, that did not grievously sin against the canons of taste; and, indeed, oratory is not to be looked for in a country which has none of the kindred arts. The consideration which absorbs every other, in a country situated like America, is that of acquiring wealth. Every particle of intellect, therefore, is attracted to active cccupations. Now, it is written in a wise old book, that learning cometh by opportunity of leisure, and that he that hath little business shall become wise. When America, then; shall have reached that more advanced stage, when a greater accumulation of wealth shall have given leisure to a larger portion of her inhabitants—she will then nourish a class, new in her population, that of men of letters--then she will have orators, and poets, and historians,--and then she will look back
* Mr Fox's Introductory chapter.
with other feelings, than we suspect she at present entertains, to the ludicrous proposition of her Congress, to declare herself the (most enlightened nation on the globe. ' *
In these volumes, we have found a great many words and phrases which English criticism refuses to acknowledge. America has thrown off the yoke of the British nation ; but she would do well, for some time, to take the laws of composition from the Addisons, the Swifts, and the Robertsons, of her antient sovereign. In short, our previous impressions of American literature have by no means been weakened by the perusal of these books; and we think it pretty strong proof of the poverty of her literary attainments, that she has not yet been able to tell the story of her own revolution, and to pourtray the character of her hero and sage, in language worthy such subjects. These remarks, however, are not dictated by any paltry feelings of jealousy or pride. We glory in the diffusion of our language over a new world, where we hope it is yet destined to collect new triumphs ; and in the brilliant perspective of American greatness, we see only pleasing images of associated prosperity and glory to the land in which we live.
Art. XI. A Letter to the Livery of London, relative to the Views
of the Writer in executing the Office of Sheriff. By Sir Richard Phillips, Knight. One of the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex. London. Small Oetavo. pp. 294. 1808.
Sir Richard Phillips, we have been informed, has a bad oA pinion of reviews; and has been publicly called a great fool for this and some other opinions. We have the misfortune to be perfectly indifferent as to his opinions,--or his capacity to form them: but, judging from the work before us, from which alone it is lawful for us to know any thing about him, we have no hefitation in saying, that he seems to be neither fool nor knaye. It is a bold, sensible, and useful publication: and, though not composed in the most judicious or conciliating manner, contains many statements and suggestions which deserve to be attended to.
After some general observations on the origin and importance of the shrievalty, and a few judicious remarks on the propriety of selecting for this office such persons only as are qualified to execute its duties with courage, probity, and talent, Sir Richard proceeds to state, that, when he was proposed for this high office,
* See Debate, Vol. V. p. 618.
he uniformly declared, in all his conversations with those members of the corporation of London who were active in promoting his election, that he would not be considered as a mere parade officer ; that he thould recur to the constitutional duties of the office, and honestly discharge theni; and that it was only upon this principle he would accept the trust. His election having taken place, one of the first objects of his public attention was a reformation of the annual list of freeholders liable to serve on the petty, special, and grand juries. This was in great measure accomplished, by a letter from the sheriffs to the head-boroughs and constables of the county, apprizing, them of the responsibility attached to the correct preparation of their respective lifts. The letter was accompanied with extracts from the several acts of Parliament relating to the subject. To insure complete fuccefs, it is recommended that this duty should be committed to a more intelligent description of persons, and that the legal penalties should be inflicted in all cases of wilful or negligent omission. In the course of his letter to the Livery, he pursues this subject at considerable length; and his observations upon it discover an anxiety for a pure and unexceptionable formation of juries.
His jealousy of individuals serving on petty juries, however, seems to be somewhat excessive and fantastical. He subdivided the county of Middlesex into fix parts, and composed each jury of individuals residing in three of these diferent divisions, from an idea that a sort of average of public feeling would thus secure a decision unbiased by local influence ;-entirely overlooking the substantial advantages which, in some cases, are derived from the local knowledge of the jury; and which, at the same time, is perfectly compatible with independence of feitimcnt. The perfons qualified by law to act as petty jurors, form a very numerous class; and little difficulty can arise in Itrikies morto lo ample a list, such jurors as are likely to act with juda
i t and impartiality. The administration of justice, either in cini oi criminal cafes, cannot surely require, that a variety of parishes or villages should be put in requisition to furnish a dozen intelligent or uninfluenced jurors. No complaint upon this point has hitherto aufen; and, so long as a just medium is preserved, betweud a very limited, and a very extensive number of jurors, the ends of justice will, in all probability, be effectually secured. It is certainly of importance, that a frequent recurrence of the same jurors thould be avoided, left an inclination to yield too much dei rence to the Bench should be imperceptibly produced. On the other hand, an unexpected demand throughout the county upon all persons liable to serve, would probably lead to many inconveniences, irregularities, and complaints. But, since the freeholders' lift furnithes the