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own alter; for, surely, if there is any thing like divinity in man, it is in his admiration of virtue.
But who alive can exhibit this portrait? If our age, on that supposition more fruitful than any other. had produced two HAMILTONS, one of them might then have depicted the other. To delineate genius. one must feel its power; HAMILTON, and he alone, with all its inspiration, could have transfused its whole fervid soul into the picture, and swelled its lineaments into life. The writer's mind, expanding with his own peculiar enthusiasm, and glowing with kindred fires, would then have stretched to the di mensions of his subject.
It is rare, that a man, who owes so much to nature, descends to seek more from industry; but he seemed to depend on industry, as if nature had done nothing for him. His habits of investigation were very remarkable; his mind seemed to cling to his subject, till he had exhausted it. Hence the uncommon superiority of his reasoning powers, a superiority, that seemed to be augmented from every source, and to be fortified by every auxiliary, learning, taste, wit, imagination, and eloquence. These were embellished and enforced by his temper and manners, by his fame and his virtues. It is difficult, in the midst of such various excellence, to say, in what particular the effect of his greatness was most manifest. No man more promply discerned truth; no man more clearly displayed it: it was not merely made visible-it seemed to come bright with illumination from his lips. But prompt and clear as he was, fervid as Demosthenes, like Cicero, full of resource, he was not less remarkable for the copiousness and completeness of his argument, that left little for cavil, and nothing for doubt. Some men take their strongest argument as a weapon, and use no other; put he left nothing to be inquired for morenothing to be answered. He not only disarmed his adversaries of their pretexts and objections, but he stripped them of all excuse for having urged them;
he confounded and subdued, as well as convinced. He indemnified them, however, by making his discussion a complete map of his subject; so that his opponents might, indeed, feel ashamed of their mistakes, but they could not repeat them. In fact, it was no common effort that could preserve a really able antagonist from becoming his convert; for the truth, which his researches so distinctly presented to the understanding of others, was rendered almost irresistibly commanding and impressive by the love and reverence, which, it was ever apparent, he profoundly cherished for it in his own. While patriotism glowed in his heart, wisdom blended in his speech her authority with her charms.
Such, also, is the character of his writings. Judiciously collected, they will be a public treasure.
No man ever more disdained duplicity, or carried frankness further than he. This gave to his political opponents some temporary advantages, and currency to some popular prejudices, which he would have lived down, if his death had not prematurely dispelled them. He knew, that factions have even in the end prevailed in free states; and, as he saw no security, (and who living can see any adequate ?) against the destruction of that liberty which he loved, and for which he was ever ready to devote his life, he spoke at all times according to his anxious forebodings; and his enemies interpreted all that he said according to the supposed interest of their party.
But he ever extorted confidence, even when he most provoked opposition. It was impossible to deny, that he was a patriot, and such a patriot, as seeking neither popularity nor office, without artifice, without meanness, the best Romans in their best days would have admitted to citizenship and to the consulate. Virtue, so rare, so pure, so bold, by its very purity and excellence, inspired suspicion, as a prodigy. His enemies judged of him by themselves: so splendid and arduous were his services, they could
not find it in their hearts to believe that they were disinterested.
Unparalleled as they were, they were, nevertheless, no otherwise requited, than by the applause of all good men, and by his own enjoyment of the spectacle of the national prosperity and honour, which was the effect of them. After facing calumny, and triumphantly surmounting an unrelenting persecution, he retired from office, with clean, though empty. hands, as rich as reputation and an unblemished integrity could make him.
Some have plausibly, though erroneously, inferred from the great extent of his abilities, that his ambition was inordinate. This is a mistake. Such men, as have a painful consciousness, that their stations happen to be far more exalted than their talents, are generally the most ambitious. Hamilton, on the contrary, though he had many competitors, had no rivals; he did not thirst for power, nor would he, as it is well known descend to office. Of course, he suffered no pain from envy, when bad men rose, though he felt anxiety for the public. He was perfectly content and at ease, in private life. Of what was he ambitious? Not of wealth-no man held it cheaper. Was it popularity? That weed of the dunghill, he knew, when rankest, was nearest to withering. There is no doubt, that he desired glory, which to most men is too inaccessable to be an object of desire; but, feeling his own force, and that he was tall enough to reach the top of Pindus or of Helicon, he longed to deck his brow with the wreath of immortality. A vulgar ambition could as little comprehend, as satisfy, his views: he thirsted only for that fame, which virtue would not blush to confer, nor time to convey to the end of his course.
The only ordinary distinction, to which, we confess, he did aspire, was military; and for that, in the event of a foreign war, he would have been solicitious. He undoubtedly discovered the predomi
nance of a soldier's feelings; and all that is honour, in the character of a soldier, was at home in his heart. His early education was in the camp; there the first fervours of his genius were poured forth, and his earliest and most cordial friendships formed; there he became enamoured of glory, and was admitted to her embrace.
Those who knew him best, and especially in the army, will believe, that if occasions had called him forth, he was qualified, beyond any man of the age, to display the talents of a great general.
It may be very long, before your country will want such military talents; it will probably be much longer, before it will again possess them.
Alas! the great man who was, at all times, so much the ornament of our country, and so exclusively fitted, in its extremity, to be its champion, is withdrawn to a purer and more tranquil region. We are left to endless labours and unavailing regrets.
Such honours Ilion to her hero paid,
And peaceful slept the mighty Hector's shade.
The most substantial glory of a country, is in its virtuous great men: its prosperity will depend on its docility to learn from their example. That nation is fated to ignominy and servitude, for which such men have lived in vain. Power may be seized by a nation, that is yet barbarous; and wealth may be enjoyed by one, that it finds, or renders sordid: the one is the gift and the sport of accident, and the other is the sport of power. Both are mutable, and have passed away without leaving behind them any other memorials than ruins that often taste, and traditions that baffle conjecture. But the glory of Greece is imperishable, or will last as long as learning itself, which is its monument: it strikes an everlasting root, and bears perennial blossoms on its grave. The name of HAMILTON would have honoured Greece, in the
age of Aristides. May Heaven, the guardian of our liberty, grant, that our country may be fruitful of HAMILTONS, and faithful to their glory.
EULOGY ON FISHER AMES.
Mr. Ames was distinguished among the eminent men of our country. All admitted, for they felt, his extraordinary powers; few pretended to doubt, if any seemed to deny, the purity of his heart. His exemplary life commanded respect; the charms of his conversation and manners won affection. He was equally admired and beloved.
His public career was short but brilliant. into the service of his country in seasons of her most critical emergency, and partaking in the management of her councils during a most interesting period of her history, he obtained a place in the first rank of her statesmen, legislators, orators, and patriots. By a powerful and original genius, an impressive and uniform virtue, he succeeded, as fully perhaps as any political character, in a republic agitated by divisions, ever did, in surmounting the two pernicious vices, disignated by the inimitable biographer of Agricola, insensibility to merit on the one hand, and envy on the other.
The reader of his works will, no doubt, concur with those who knew him and who heard him in pub. lic and private, in saying, that he had a mind of high order, in some particulars of the highest, and that he has a just claim to be classed with the men of genius, that quality which it is so much more easy to discern than to define; "that quality, without which judgment is cold and knowledge inert; that energy which collects, combines, amplifies, and animates." We observe in Mr. AMES a liberal portion of all the fac