Slike strani

swelling pride, in which they may look back | confessing that his highest expectations had with a barbarous joy upon the triumph of their been realized, and even surpassed in the intertalents, and feast upon the adulation of the view. sycophants that surround them: but night and Of “the chief of the Argonauts," as Mr. silence come; and conscience takes her turn. Jefferson so classically and so happily styled his The bloody field rises upon the startled imagina- illustrious friend of the north, it is my misfortion. The shades of the slaughtered innocent tune to be able to speak only by report. But stalk, in terrific procession, before the couch. The every representation concurs in drawing the agonizing cry of countless widows and orphans same pleasing and affecting picture of the invades the ear. The bloody dagger of the as- Roman simplicity in which that Father of his sassin plays in airy terror before the vision. Country lived; of the frank, warm, cordial, and Violated liberty lifts her avenging lance: and elegant reception that he gave to all whó ap& down-trodden nation rises before them in all proached him ; of the interesting kindness with the majesty of its wrath. What, what are the which he disbursed the golden treasures of his hours of a splendid wretch like this, compared experience, and shed around him the rays of with those that shed their poppies and their his descending sun. His conversation was rich roses upon the pillows of our peaceful and vir- in anecdote and characters of the times that tuous patriots ! Every night bringing to them were past; rich in political and moral instructhe balm and health of repose, and every morn- tion; full of that best of wisdom which is learnt ing offering to them their history in a nation's from real life, and flowing from his heart with eyes!” This, this it is to be greatly virtuous: that warm and honest frankness, that fervor of and be this the only ambition that shall ever feeling and force of diction, which so strikingly touch an American bosom!

distinguished him in the meridian of his life. Still unexhausted by such a life of service in Many of us heard that simple and touching acthe cause of his country, Mr. Jefferson found count given of a parting scene with hiin, by yet another and most appropriate employment one of our eloquent divines: When he rose up for his old age; the erection of a seat of science from that little couch behind the door, on in his native State. The University of Virginia which he was wont to rest his aged and weary is his work. His, the first conception ; his, the limbs, and with his silver locks hanging on cach whole impulse and direction; his, the varied side of his honest face, stretched forth that and beautiful architecture, and the entire super- pure hand, which was never soiled even by intendence of its erection : the whole scheme suspicion, and gave his kind and parting beneof its studies, its organization, and government, diction. Such was the blissful and honored reare his. He is, therefore, indeed the father of tirement of the sage of Quincy. Happy the the University of Virginia. That it may fulfil, life, which, verging upon a century, had met to the full extent, the great and patriotic pur- with but one serious political disappointment! poses and hopes of its founder, cannot fail to and even for that, he had lived to receive a be the wish of every American bosom. This golden atonement, “even in that quarter in was the last and crowning labor of Mr. Jeffer which he had garnered up his heart." son's life: a crown so poetically appropriate, Let us now turn for a moment to the patriot that fancy might well suppose it to have been of the south. The Roman moralist, in that wreathed and placed on his brow by the hand great work which he has left for the governof the epic muse herself.

ment of man in all the offices of life, has deIt is the remark of one of the most elegant scended even to prescribe the kind of habitawriters of antiquity, in the beautiful essay which tion in which an honored and distinguished man he has left us “on Old Age," that “to those who should dwell. It should not, he says, be small, have not within themselves the resources of and mean, and sordid: nor, on the other hand, living well and happily, every age is oppressive; extended with profuse and wanton extravabut that to those who have, nothing is an evil gance. It should be large enough to receive which the necessity of nature brings along with and accommodate the visitors which such a man it." How rich our two patriots were in these never fails to attract, and suited in its ornainternal resources, you all know. How lightly ments, as well as its dimensions, to the characthey bore the burden of increasing years was ter and fortune of the individual. Monticello apparent from the cheerfulness and vigor with has now lost its great charm. Those of you which, after having survived the age to which who have not already visited it, will not be they properly belonged, they continued to live very apt to visit it, hereafter; and, from the among their posterity. How happy they were feelings which you cherish for its departed in their domestic relations, how beloved by owner, I persuade myself, that you will not be their neighbors and friends, how revered and displeased with a brief and rapid sketch of that honored by their country and by the friends of abode of domestic bliss, that temple of science. liberty in every quarter of the world, is a mat- Nor is it, indeed, foreign to the express purpose ter of open and public notoriety. Their houses of this meeting, which, in looking to “his life were the constant and thronged resort of the and character,” naturally embraces his home votaries of virtue, and science, and genius, and and his domestic habits. Can any thing be inpatriotism, from every portion of the civilized different to us, which was so dear to him, and globe; and no one ever left them without I which was a subject of such just admiration to

the hundreds and thousands that were contin- | array of the fossil productions of our country, ually resorting to it, as to an object of pious pil- mineral and animal; the polished remains of grimage?

those colossal monsters that once trod our forThe mansion house at Monticello, was built ests, and are no more; and a variegated display and furnished in the days of his prosperity. In of the branching honors of those “ monarchs of its dimensions, its architecture, its arrange the waste," that still people the wilds of the ments, and ornaments, it is such a one as be- American Continent. came the character and fortune of the man. It From this hall he was ushered into a noble stands upon an elliptic plain, formed by cutting saloon, from which the glorious landscape of down the apex of a mountain; and, on the the west again bursts upon his view; and west, stretching away to the north and the which, within, is hung thick around with the south, it commands a view of the Blue Ridge finest productions of the pencil-historical for a hundred and fifty miles, and brings nnder paintings of the most striking subjects from all the eye one of the boldest and most beautiful countries, and all ages; the portraits of distinhorizons in the world: while, on the east, it guished men and patriots, both of Europe and presents an extent of prospect, bounded only America, and medallions and engravings in end. by the spherical form of the earth, in which na- | less profusion. ture seems to sleep in eternal repose, as if to While the visitor was yet lost in the contemform one of her finest contrasts with the rude plation of these treasures of the arts and scienand rolling grandeur on the west. In the wide ces, he was startled by the approach of a strong prospect, and scattered to the north and south, and sprightly step, and turning with instinctive are several detached mountains, which contrib- reverence to the door of entrance, he was met ute to animate and diversify this enchanting by the tall, and animated, and stately figure of landscape; and among them, to the south Wil- the patriot himself-his countenance beaming liss' Mountain, which is so interestingly depicted with intelligence and benignity, and his outin his Notes. Froin this summit, the Philoso- stretched hand with its strong and cordial prese pher was wont to enjoy that spectacle, among sure, confirming the courteous welcome of his the sublimest of nature's operations, the loom- lips. And then came that charm of manner ing of the distant mountains ; and to watch the and conversation that passes all description-so motions of the planets, and the greater revolu- cheerful—so unassuming—so free, and easy, and tion of the celestial sphere. From this summit, frank, and kind, and gay—that even the young too, the Patriot could look down, with uninter- and overawed, and embarrassed visitor at once rupted vision, upon the wide expanse of the forgot his fears, and felt himself by the side of world around, for which he considered himself an old and familiar friend. There was no effort, born; and upward, to the open and vaulted no ambition in the conversation of the philoso heavens which he seemed to approach, as if to pher. It was as simple and unpretending as keep him continually in mind of his high re- nature itself. And while in this easy manner sponsibility. It is indeed a prospect in which he was pouring out instruction, like light from you see and feel, at once, that nothing mean or an inexhaustible solar fountain, he seemed conlittle could live. It is a scene fit to nourish those tinually to be asking, instead of giving informagreat and high-souled principles which formed tion. The visitor felt himself lifted, by the conthe elements of his character, and was a most tact, into a new and nobler region of thought, noble and appropriate post for such a sentinel and became surprised at his own buoyancy and over the rights and liberties of man.

vigor. He could not, indeed, help being as Approaching the house on the east, the vis- tounded, now and then, at those transcendent itor instinctively pansed, to cast around one leaps of the mind, which he saw made without thrilling glance at this magnificent panorama: the slightest exertion, and the ease with which and then passed to the vestibule, where, if he this wonderful man played with subjects which had not been previously informed, he would he had been in the habit of considering among immediately perceive that he was entering the the argumenta crucis of the intellect. And house of no common man. In the spacious and then there seemed to be no end to his knowllofty hall which opens before him, he marks no edge. He was a thorough master of every subtawdry and unmeaning ornaments; but before, ject that was touched. From the details of the on the right, on the left, all around, the eye is humblest mechanic art, up to the highest sumstruck and gratified with objects of science and mit of science, he was perfectly at his ease, and taste, so classed and arranged as to produce every where at home. There seemed to be no their finest effect. On one side, specimens of longer any terra incognita of the human andersculpture set out, in such order, as to exhibit at standing: for, what the visitor had thought so, a coup d'ail the historical progress of that art; he now found reduced to a familiar garden from the first rude attempts of the aborigines of walk; and all this carried off so lightly, so onr country, up to that exquisite and finished playfully, so gracefully, so engagingly, that he bust of the great patriot himself, from the mas won every heart that approached him, as certer hand of Caracci. On the other side, the tainly as he astonished every mind. visitor sees displayed a vast collection of speci Mr. Jefferson was wont to remark, that he mens of Indian art, their paintings, weapons, never left the conversation of Dr. Franklin ornaments and manufactures; on another, an without carrying away with him something


new and useful. How often, and how truly, individual, or how insignificant the subject. has the same remark been made of him. Nor With Mr. Jefferson this was a sacred law, and is this wonderful, when we reflect, that that as he always wrote at a polygraphic desk, copies mind of matchless vigor and versatility had have been preserved of every letter. His corbeen, all its life, intensely engaged in conversing respondence travelled far beyond his own counwith the illustrious dead, or following the march try, and embraced within its circle many of the of science in every land, or soaring away, on its most distinguished men of his age in Europe. own steady and powerful wing, into new and What a feast for the mind may we not expect unexplored regions of thought.

from the published letters of these excellent Shall I follow him to the table of his elegant men! They were both masters in this way, hospitality, and show him to you in the bosom though somewhat contrasted. Mr. Adams, of his enchanting family? Alas! those attic plain, nervous, and emphatic, the thought days are gone; that sparkling eye is quenched; couched in the fewest and strongest words, that voice of pure and delicate affection, which and striking with a kind of epigrammatic force. ran with such brilliancy and effect through the Mr. Jefferson, flowing with easy and careless whole compass of colloquial music, now bright melody, the language at the same time pruned with wit, now melting with tenderness, is of every redundant word, and giving the thought hushed for ever in the grave! But let me leave with the happiest precision, the aptest words a theme on which friendship and gratitude have, dropping unbidden and unsought into their I fear, already been tempted to linger too long. places, as if they had fallen from the skies ;

There was one solace of the declining years and so beautiful, so felicitous, as to fill the mind of both these great men, which must not be with a succession of delightful surprises, while passed. It is that correspondence which arose the judgment is, at the same time, made captive between them, after their retirement from pub- by the closely compacted energy of the argulic life. That correspondence, it is to be hoped, ment. Mr. Jefferson's style is so easy and harwill be given to the world. If it ever shall, I monious, as to have led superficial readers to speak from knowledge when I say it will be remark that he was deficient in strength; as if found to be one of the most interesting and af- ruggedness and abruptness were essential to fecting that the world has ever seen. That strength. Mr. Jefferson's strength was inherent “cold cloud” which had hung for a time over in the thoughts and conceptions, though hidden their friendship, passed away with the conflict by the light and graceful vestments which he out of which it had grown, and the attachment threw over them. The internal divinity existof their early life returned in all its force. They ed and was felt, though concealed under the had both now bid adieu, a final adieu, to all finely harmonized form of a man; and if he did public employments, and were done with all not exhibit himself in his compositions with the the agitating passions of life. They were dead insignia of Hercules, the shaggy lion's skin and to the ambitious world; and this correspond- the knotted club; he bore the full quiver and ence resembles, more than any thing else, one the silver bow of Apollo; and every polished of those conversations in the Elysium of the an- shaft that he loosened from the string told with cients, which the shades of the departed great unerring and fatal precision : were supposed by them to hold, with regard to the affairs of the world they had left. There

Δεινη δε κλαγγή γενετ' αργυρεοιο βιοιο. are the same playful allusions to the points of difference that had divided their parties; the These two great men, so eminently distinsame mutual, and light, and unimpassioned guished among the patriots of the Revolution, raillery on their own past misconceptions and and so illustrious by their subsequent services, mistakes; the same mutual and just admiration became still more so, by having so long survived and respect for their many virtues and services all that were most highly conspicuous among to mankind. That correspondence was, to them their coevals. All the stars of first magnitude, both, one of the most genial employments of in the equatorial and tropical regions, had long their old age; and it reads a lesson of wisdom since gone down, and still they remained. Still on the bitterness of party spirit, by which the they stood full in view, like those two resplenwise and the good will not fail to profit. dent constellations near the opposite poles,

Besides this affectionate intercourse between which never set to the inhabitants of the neighthem, you are aware of the extensive corres- boring zones. pondence which they maintained with others, But they, too, were doomed at length to set; and of which some idea may be formed by those and such was their setting as no American letters which, since their death, have already bosom can ever forget! broken upon us through the press, from quar- In the midst of their fast decaying strength, ters so entirely unexpected. They were con- and when it was seen that the approach of sidered as the living historians of the Revolu- death was certain, their country and its glory tion, and of the past age, as well as oracles of still occupied their thoughts, and circulated wisdom to all who consulted them. Their with the last blood that was ebbing to their habit in this particular seems to have been the hearts. Those who surrounded the death-bed same; never to omit answering any respectful of Mr. Jefferson report, that in the few short letter they received, no matter how obscure the intervals of deliriuin that occurred, his mind manifestly relapsed to the age of the Revolu- | affairs ! Philosophy, recovered of her surprise, tion. He talked, in broken sentences, of the may affect to treat the coincidence as fortuicommittees of safety, and the rest of that great tous. But philosophy herself was mute, at the machinery, which he imagined to be still in moment, under the pressure of the feeling that action. One of his exclamations was, “Warn these illustrious men had rather been translated, the committee to be on their guard;” and he than had died. It is in vain to tell us that men instantly rose in his bed, with the help of his die by thousands every day in the year, all over attendants, and went through the act of writing the world. The wonder is, not that two men a hurried note. But these intervals were few have died on the same day, but that two such and short. His reason was almost constantly men, after having performed so many and such upon her throne, and the only aspiration he splendid services in the cause of liberty-after was heard to breathe, was the prayer, that he the multitude of other coincidences which seem might live to see the fourth of July. When to have linked their destinies together-after that day came, all that he was heard to whis- having lived so long together, the objects of per was the repeated ejaculation—“Nunc Dom- their country's joint veneration-after having ine dimittas ”-Now, Lord, let thy servant de- been spared to witness the great triumph of part in peace! And the prayer of the patriot their toils at home and looked together from was heard and answered.

Pisgah's top, on the sublime effect of that grand The patriarch of Quincy, too, with the same impulse which they had given to the same glo certainty of death before him, 'prayed only for rious cause throughout the world, should, on the protraction of his life to the same day. His this fiftieth anniversary of the day on which prayer was also heard: and when a messenger they had ushered that cause into light, be both from the neighboring festivities, unapprised of caught up to Heaven, together, in the midst of his danger, was deputed to ask him for the their raptures! Is there a being, of heart so honor of a toast, he showed the object on obdurate and sceptical, as not to feel the hand which his dying eyes were fixed, and exclaimed and hear the voice of Heaven in this wonderful with energy, “Independence for ever!” His dispensation! And may we not, with revercountry first, his country last, his country ence, interpret its language? Is it not this? always!

“These are my beloved servants, in whom I am

well pleased. They have finished the work for “O save my country-Heaven ! he said—and died !” which I sent them into the world; and are now

called to their reward. Go ye, and do like Hitherto, fellow-citizens, the fourth of July wise !" had been celebrated among us, only as the anni

One circumstance, alone, remains to be noversary of our independence, and its votaries ticed. In a private memorandum found among had been merely human beings. But at its last some other obituary papers and relics of Mr. recurrence—the great jubilee of the nation—the Jefferson, is a suggestion, in case a memorial anniversary, it may well be termed, of the over him should ever be thought of, that a liberty of man-Heaven, itself, mingled visibly granite obelisk, of small dimensions, should be in the celebration, and hallowed the day anew erected, with the following inscription: by a double apotheosis. Is there one among us to whom this language seems too strong ? Let him recall his own feelings, and the objection


Author of the Declaration of Independence, will vanish. When the report first reached us,

Of the Statutes of Virginia, for Religious Freedom, of the death of the great man whose residence And Father of the University of Virginia. was nearest, who among us was not struck with the circumstance that he should have been re- All the long catalogue of his great, and moved on the day of his own highest glory? splendid, and glorious services, reduced to this And who, after the first shock of the intelli- brief and modest summary! gence had passed, did not feel a thrill of mourn- Thus lived and thus died our sainted Patriots ! ful delight at the characteristic beauty of the May their spirits still continue to hover over close of such a life. But while our bosoms were their countrymen, inspire all their counsels, yet swelling with admiration at this singularly and guide them in the same virtuous and noble beautiful coincidence, when the second report path? And may that God, in whose hands are immediately followed, of the death of the great the issues of all things, confirm and perpetuate sage of Quincy, on the same day—I appeal to to us the inestimable boon, which through their yourselves—is there a voice that was not hushed, agency he has bestowed; and make our Columis there a heart that did not quail

, at this close bia the bright exemplar for all the struggling manifestation of the hand of Heaven in our sons of liberty around the globe !



In May, 1807, Aaron Burr was arraigned in , dermine the liberties of a great portion of the the Circuit Court of the United States, held at people of this country, and subject them to a Richmond, Virginia, for treason, in preparing usurper and a despot, we are obliged to use the

terms which convey those ideas. Why then the means of a military expedition against the are gentlemen so sensitive? Why on these ocpossessions of the King of Spain, with whom casions, so necessary, so unavoidable, do they the United States were at peace.* Under the shrink back with so much agony of nerve, as if, direction of President Jefferson, Mr. Wirt was ing-room with Colonel Burr, and were barbar.

instead of a hall of justice, we were in a drawretained, to assist the United States Attorney ously violating towards him every principle of in the prosecution, and in the course of the decorum and humanity? trial, he spoke as follows:

Mr. Wickham has, indeed, invited us to con

sider the subject abstractedly; and we have MAY IT PLEASE YOUR Honors: It is my duty been told that it is expected to be so considto proceed, on the part of the United States, in ered; but sir, if this were practicable, would - opposing this motion. But I should not deem there be no danger in it? Would there be no

it my duty to oppose it, if it were founded on danger, while we were mooting points, pursucorrect principles. I stand here with the same ing ingenious hypotheses, chasing elementary independence of action, which belongs to the principles over the wide extended plains and Attorney of the United States; and as he would Alpine heights of abstracted law, that we should certainly relinquish the prosecution, the mo- lose sight of the great question before the court? ment he became convinced of its injustice, so This may suit the purposes of the counsel for also most certainly would I. The humanity the prisoner; but it does not, therefore, necesand justice of this nation would revolt at the sarily suit the purposes of truth and justice. . It idea of a prosecution, pushed on against a life will be proper, when we have derived a prinwhich stood protected by the laws; but whe- ciple from law or argument, that we should ther they would or not, I would not plant a bring it to the case before the court, in order thorn, to rankle for life in my heart, by open, to test its application and its practical truth. ing my lips in support of a prosecution which I In doing which, we are driven into the nature felt and believed to be unjust. But believing, of the case, and must speak of it as we find it. as I do, that this motion is not founded in jus- But, besides, the gentlemen have themselves tice, that it is a mere manæuvre to obstruct the rendered this totally abstracted argument cominquiry, to turn it from the proper course, to pletely impossible; for one of their positions is, wrest the trial of the facts from the proper that there is no overt act proven at all. Now, tribunal, the jury, and embarrass the court that an overt act consists of fact and intention, with a responsibility which it ought not to feel, has been so often repeated here, wat it has a I hold it my duty to proceed—for the sake of fair title to Justice Vaughan's epithet of a “dethe court, for the sake of vindicating the trial cantatum.” In speaking then of this overt act, by jury, now sought to be violated, for the

we are compelled to inquire, not merely into sake of full and ample justice in this particular the fact of the assemblage, but the intention of case, for the sake of the future peace, union, it; in doing which, we must examine and deand independence of these States, I feel it my velope the whole project of the prisoner. It is bounden duty to proceed. In doing which, I

obvious, therefore, that an abstract examination beg that the prisoner and his counsel will recol- of this point cannot be made; and since the lect the extreme difficulty of clothing my argu- gentlemen drive us into the examination, they ment in terms which may be congenial with cannot complain, if, without any softening of their feelings. The gentlemen appear to me to lights or deepening of shades, we exhibit the feel a very extraordinary and unreasonable de picture in its true and natural state. gree of sensibility on this occasion. They seem This motion is a bold and original stroke in to forget the nature of the charge, and that the noble science of defence. It marks the we are the prosecutors. We do not stand genius and hand of a master. For it gives to here to pronounce a panegyric on the prisoner, the prisoner every possible advantage, while it but to urge on him the crime of treason against gives him the full benefit of his legal defencehis country. When we speak of treason, we the sole defence which he would be able to must call it treason. When we speak of a trai- make to the jury, if the evidence were all intor, we must call him a traitor. When we troduced before them. It cuts off from the speak of a plot to dismember the Union, to an- prosecution all that evidence which goes to

• A full report of this extraordinary trial was taken in connect the prisoner with the assemblage on short hand by Mr. T. Carpenter, and published in three the island, to explain the destination and obvolumes, 1807. See note at page 174, in the first volume of jects of the assemblage, and to stamp beyond this work; also the speech of Mr. Randolph, at the samo

controversy the character of treason upon it. place.

Connect this motion with that which was made

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