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and a reserve to his manners; yet he was the kindest husband, the most humane master, the steadiest friend.
4. The whole range of history does not present to our view a character upon which we can dwell with such entire and unmixed admiration. The long life of General WASHINGTON is not stained with a single blot He was indeed a man of such rare endowments, and such fortunate temperament, that every action he performed was equally exempted from the charge of vice or weakness. Whatever he said or did, or wrote, was stamped with a striking and peculiar propriety. His qualities were so happily blended, and so nicely harmonized, that the result was a great and perfect whole. The powers of his mind, and the dispositions of his heart, were admirably suited to each other. It was the union of the most consummate prudence with the most perfect moderation. His views, though large and liberal, were never extravagant; his virtues, though comprehensive and beneficent, were discriminating, judicious and practical.
5. Yet his character, though regular and uniform, possessed none of the littleness, which may sometimes belong to these descriptions of men. It formed a majestic pile, the effect of which was not impaired, but improved, by order and symmetry. There was nothing in it to dazzle by wildness, and surprise by eccentricity. It was of a higher species of moral beauty. It contained every thing great and elevated, but had no false and tinsel ornament. It was not the model cried by fashion and circumstance; its excellence was adapted to the true and just moral taste, incapable of change from the varying accidents of manners, of opinion and times. General WASHINGTON is not the idol of a day, but the hero of ages!
6. Placed in circumstances of the most difficulty, at the commencement of the American contest, he accepted that situation, which was pre-eminent in danger and responsibility. His perseverance overcame every obstacle; his moderation conciliated every opposition; his genius supplied every resource; his enlarged view could plan, revise, and improve, every branch of civil and military operation. He had the superiour courage, which can act, or forbear to act, as true policy dictates, careless of the reproaches of igno ́rance, either in power, or out of power. He knew how to conquer by waiting, in spite of obloquy, for the moment of victory; and he merited true praise, by despising undeserved censure. In the most arduous moments of the contest, his prudent firmness proved the salvation of the cause which he supported.
7. His conduct was, on all occasions, guided by the most pure disinterestedness. Far superiour to low grovelling motives, he seemed even to be uninfluenced by that ambition, which has justly been called the instinct of great souls. He acted ever, as if his country's welfare, and that alone, was the moving spring. His excellent mind needed not even the stimulus of ambition, or the prospect of fame. Glory was but a secondary consideration. He performed great actions, he persevered in a course of laborious utility, with an equanimity, that neither sought distinction, nor was flattered by it. His reward was in the consciousness of his own rectitude, and in the success of his patriotic efforts.
8. As the elevation to the chief power was the unbiassed choice of his countrymen, his exercise of it was agreeable to the purity of its origin. As he had neither solicited, nor usurped dominion, he had neither to contend with the opposition of rivals, nor the revenge of enemies. As his authority was undisputed, so it required no jealous precautions, no rigorous severity. His government was mild and gentle; it was beneficent and liberal; wise and just. His prudent administration consolidated and enlarged the dominion of an infant Republic. In voluntarily resigning the magistracy,
which he had filled with such distinguished honour, he enjoyed the unequalled satisfaction of leaving to the State, he had contributed to establish, the fruits of his wisdom, and the example of his virtues.
9. It is some consolation, amidst the violence of ambition, and the criminal thirst of power, of which so many instances occur around us, to find a character, whom it is honourable to admire, and virtuous to imitate. A conqueror for the freedom of his country! A Legislator for security! A Magistrate for its happiness! His glories were never sullied by those excesses, into which the highest qualities are apt to degenerate. With the greatest virtues, he was exempt from the corresponding vices. He was a man, in whom the elements were so mixed, that "Nature might have stood up to all the world," and owned him as her work. His fame, bounded by no country, will be confined to no age. The character of WASHINGTON, which his cotemporaries admire and venerate, will be transmitted to posterity; and the memory of his virtues, while patriotism and virtue are held sacred among men, will remain undiminished.
Tomb of Washington.
MOUNT VERNON, the late residence of our immortal WASHINGTON, is beautifully situated on the banks of the Potomac, about eight miles below the city of Alexandria. The river glides majestically along, in a meandering course, till it approaches the territory of Washington; here it forms a kind of semi-circle, within which, on an elevated ground, stands the mansion of the departed hero. The external appearance of the edifice is by no means prepossessing; but the spacious apartments, decorated with the most superb furniture, combined with a collection of rare curiosities, excited my admiration. My attention was next called to the garden. So great a collection of plants, flowers, and shrubs, I never before witnessed. They were transported from the four quarters of the globe, and seem to vie with each other in fragrance, beauty, and loveliness. Most of the tropical fruits are brought to perfection here, by the aid of the hot house, which protects them from the chilling frost of winter.
In this little kingdom of vegetables, I could have passed days, nay weeks, pleasantly; but my conductor, eager to show all, leads me to the tomb. Who can view this interesting spot without dropping a tear of sympathy over the manes of departed greatness? My conductor removed the double bolt, and forced open the door, which creaked on its turning hinges, as if unwilling to admit a worthless stranger. I entered the solemn silent house. No regularity was visible in the arrangement of the dead; the coffins were promiscuously heaped together. "There," said my guide, "is the General"-by his side sleeps the partner of his joys and sorrows-beneath, in a more humble posture, (if possible) rests his aged sire-there, a beloved brother, who had treated him with parental affection. My stay in the dreary abode was short. No insignia, designating the patriot from the lowest branch in the family. From the surface of the tomb I plucked a flower-it was emblematical of the man. It had already faded-its fragrance parted -its loveliness vanished. But never, no, never will I forget the sensation it occasioned. The top of the tomb, is covered with grass and trees, of considerable magnitude-the willow weeps the cypress mourns-the hemlock sighs, but sighs in vain. Every zephyr wafts a sigh-every stranger drops a tear. In life the patriot preferred the rural field, the solitary shades of Vernon, to the gilded palace. So in death he sleeps in obscurity. No sculptured stone-no monumental brass, tells where the veteran lies. But his name shall live in the memory of every American.
"Extract from General Washington's Will.
1. Item. To my dearly beloved wife, Martha Washington, I give and be queath the use, profit, and benefit of my whole estate, real and personal, for the term of her natural life, except such parts thereof, as are specially disposed of hereafter. My improved farm in the town of Alexandria, situated on Pitt and Cameron streets, I give to her, and her heirs forever; as I also do my household and kitchen furniture, of every sort and kind, with the liquors and groceries, which may be on hand, at the time of my decease, to be used and disposed of, as she may think proper.
2. Item. To the trustees, governors, or by whatsoever other name they may be designated, of the academy in the town of Alexandria, I give and bequeath, in trust, 4000 dollars, or in other words, twenty of the shares which I hold in the bank of Alexandria, towards the support of a free school, established at, and annexed to, the said academy, for the purpose of educating orphan children, or the children of such other poor and indigent persons, as are unable to accomplish it with their own means, and who, in the judgment of the trustees of the said seminary, are best entitled to the benefit of this donation. 3. Whereas it has always been a source of serious regret with me, to see the youth of these United States sent to foreign countries, for the purposes of education, often before their minds were formed, or they had imbibed any adequate ideas of the happiness of their own; contracting, too frequently, not only habits of dissipation, and extravagance, but principles unfriendly to republican government, and to the true and genuine liberties of mankind, which, thereafter, are rarely overcome. For these reasons, it has been my ardent wish, to see a plan devised, on a liberal scale, which would have a tendency to spread systematic ideas, through all parts of this rising empire, thereby to do away local attachments, and state prejudices, as far as the na ture of things would, or indeed ought to admit, from our national councils. Looking anxiously forward to the accomplishment of so desirable an object, as this is, in my estimation, my mind has not been able to contemplate any plan, more likely to effect the measure, than the establishment of a University, in a central part of the United States, to which the youths of fortune and talents, from all parts thereof, might be sent for the completion of their education, in all the branches of polite literature, in the arts and sciences, in acquiring knowledge in the principles of politics and good government; and, as a matter of infinite importance, in my judgment, by associating with each other, and forming friendships in juvenile years, be enabled to free themselves, in a proper degree, from those local prejudices, and habitual jealousies, which have just been mentioned, and which, when carried to excess, are never failing sources of disquietude to the public mind, and pregnant of mischievous consequences to the country. Under these impressions, 4. Item.-I give and bequeath, in perpetuity, the fifty shares which I hold in the Potowmac Company, towards the endowment of a University, to be established within the limits of Columbia, under the auspices of the general government; and until such seminary is established, my further will and desire is, that the profit accruing therefrom, shall be laid out in purchasing stock in the bank of Columbia, or some other bank, at the discretion of my executors; and the dividends proceeding from the purchase of such stock are to be vested in more stock, and so on, until a sum adequate to the accomplishment of the object is obtained.
5. Item.-The hundred shares which I hold in the James River Company, I have given, and now confirm, in perpetuity, to, and for the use, and bene fit of Liberty Hall Academy, in the county of Rockbridge, in the commonwealth of Virginia.
The Defender of his Country, the Founder of Liberty,
THE FRIEND OF MAN.
History and Tradition are explored in vain for a parallel to his character. In the annals of modern greatness,
HE STANDS ALONE;
And the noblest names of antiquity lose their lustre in his
Nature made him great: He made himself virtuous.
Called by his Country to the defence of her Liberties, he triumphantly vindicated the rights of humanity; and on the pillars of
laid the foundation of a Great
Twice invested with Supreme
He surpassed in the Cabinet the glories of the Field;
Adding new lustre to humanity,
resounded to the remotest regions of the Earth.
THE HAPPINESS OF MANKIND:
THE CONQUEST OF HIMSELF.
The Ornament of the Eighteenth Century:
Regretted by a Mourning World.
ON THE STUDY OF THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE
1. Let no young gentleman, who is ambitious to be considered a scholar, a statesman, or a well informed citizen, indulge in the general prejudice against the law, or suppose that its study is dry and unfruitful. A knowledge of that constitution, and of those laws, under which the people of the United States have the happiness of enjoying their freedom is immediately interesting to every citizen of America; and without that knowledge, no man, however superior may be his condition, can properly discharge the duties of public or private life.
2. To be destitute of that knowledge, in this peculiarly happy country, is to the aged a misfortune, and to the young disgraceful. No man's education is complete, until he is acquainted with the local constitu tions of his native country. Without that, he cannot even judge of the title by which he holds his land, nor of the rights which he may exercise over it; nor can he well perform the important duties of an arbitrator, a juror, a representative, or a justice of the peace, or of a private citizen, when called upon to preserve good order, to suppress the idle, and encourage the industrious.
3. Happy would it be for the United States, if every man, not thoroughly acquainted with our laws and constitutions, would have the good sense and patriotism to decline being a legislator, until, like the divine, the physician, the lawyer, the merchant, and the apprentice, he could give some attention to that art, in which he is about to exercise his labour. Then might the distorted and ill shapen system of our statute law, in time cast off its fantastic defects, and assume a form of well proportioned and majestic simplicity.
4. "If there are any still wedded to monastic prejudice, who can enter "tain a doubt, how far this study is properly and regularly academical, "such persons, I am afraid, either have not considered the constitution "and design of an university, or else think very meanly of it. That a science which distinguishes the criterion of right and wrong; which "teaches to establish the one, and prevent, punish, or redress the other; "which employs in its theory, the noblest faculty of the soul, and exerts, "in its practice, the cardinal virtues of the heart; a science which is "universal in its use and extent, accommodated to each individual, "comprehending the whole community; that a science like this, should " even be deemed unnecessary to be studied in the university, is matter of "astonishment and concern. ETHICS are confessedly a branch of acade "mical learning; and JURISPRUDENCE, or a knowledge of the laws, is the "principal and most perfect branch of ETHICS."
Of Law in General.
1. Law, in its most general sense, is a rule of action prescribed by a superior, which the inferior is bound to obey. In its confined sense, it is a rule of human action. Municipal law is a rule of civil conduct, prescribed
The following summary of some important points of Law, which are essential to the good order and happiness of society, were drawn up, at our request, by JOSEPH D. FAY, Esq. Counsellor at Law, of this City. It contains a concise outline of the system of Jurisprudence, which unite the inhabitants of this favoured country, in the bands of society? They are the Rule of conduct for every class and denomination of men, and will be read with equal advantage, by the young and the old. It was considered that a few vacant pages could not be devoted to a more useful subject, than to these legal principles, which are necessary to be known by all, to form the moral man, and the exemplary citizen.