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the trial, the temptation, or the danger, there stood the soldier and the citizen, eternally the same, without fear and without reproach, and there was the man who was not only at all times virtuous, but at all times wise.

The merit of Washington by no means ceases with his campaigns ; it becomes, after the peace of 1783, even more striking than before ; for the same man who, for the sake of liberty, was ardent enough to resist the power of Great Britain and hazard every thing on this side the grave, at a later period had to be temperate enough to resist the same spirit of liberty when it was mistaking its proper objects and transgressing its appointed limits. The American revolution was to approach him, and he was to kindle in the general flame; the French revolution was to reach him and to consume but too many of his countrymen, and his “ own etherial mould, incapable of stain, was to purge off the baser fire victorious.” But all this was done: he might have been pardoned, though he had failed amid the enthusiasm of those around him, and when liberty was the delusion; but the foundations of the moral world were shaken, and not the understanding of Washington.

To those who must necessarily contemplate this remarkable man at a distance, there is a kind of fixed calmness in his character that seems not well fitted to engage our affections (constant superiority we rather venerate than love), but he had those who loved him (his friends and his family), as well as the world and those that admired.

As a ruler of mankind, however, he may be proposed as a model. Deeply impressed with the original rights of human nature, he never forgot that the end, and meaning, and aim of all just government was the happiness of the people, and he never exercised authority till he had first taken care to put himself clearly in the right. His candour, his patience, his love of justice were unexampled ; and this, though naturally he was not patient-much otherwise, highly irritable.

He therefore deliberated well, and placed his subject in every point of view before he decided ; and his understanding being correct, he was thus rendered, by the nature of his faculties, his strength of mind, and his principles, the man of all others to whom the interests of his fellow creatures might with most confidence be intrusted ; that is, he was the first of the rulers of mankind.

The American Revolution is a great epoch in the history of the world, and nothing but the appearance of the French revolution, so fitted from its tremendous circumstances and unknown consequences, to sweep away every thing else from the curiosity and anxieties of mankind, could have made men insensible, as they may now be, to an event in itself so striking and important. By the American revolution the foundations of a new empire are laid, immense in extent, unrivalled in natural advantages, and at a safe distance from the hostilities of the old world; a new empire is to begin its course where other empires have ended, with all the intellectual, moral, and religious advantages which other empires have only attained during the time that has elapsed since the records of bistory began. A receptacle is now opened for every human being, of whatever country, and whatever be his disposition or fortunes, opinions, or genius. What is to be the result of such an admixture and collision of all personal qualities and intellectual endowments ?

The government too is founded not only on a popular basis, but on a basis the most popular that can well be conceived. It must even be confessed that in America is to be made a most novel and important experiment, and it is this :-with how small a portion of restraint and influence the blessings of order and Christianity can be administered to a large community. It must be observed, indeed, that this experiment is to be made under such particular advantages of a new country as must always prevent America from being a precedent for older states and empires. This is true ; yet, to the reasoners of after ages, it will be useful to learn from the event what reasonably may be expected from mere human nature when placed in the most favourable situation, and what it is that government may properly attempt to do for mankind, and what not. This I think will hereafter be shown when all the attendant circumstances have been properly balanced and considered. What, however, will be the result ?

I am much disposed to offer this subject to your reflections, and therefore as a conjecture, though an obvious one, I should say (though I cannot allude to what may be said of a contrary nature) that the great event to be expected is, that this empire should break up into two or more independent states or republics, and that at some distant period the continent of America may be destined to exbibit all the melancholy scenes of devastation and war which have so long disgraced the continent of Europe.

This, however, must be considered as the grand calamity and failure of the whole; it can only arise from a want of strength

a in the federal government; i. e. from the friends of liberty not venturing to render the executive power sufficiently effective.

This is the common mistake of all popular governments : in governments more or less monarchical the danger is always of an opposite nature.

In the mean time, I know not how any friend to his species, much less any Englishman, can cease to wish with the most earnest anxiety for the success of the great experiment to which I have alluded, for the success of the constitution of America. I see not, in like manner, how any friend to his species, much less any American, can forbear for a moment to wish for a continuance of the constitution of England ; that the Revolution of 1688 should for ever answer all its important purposes for England, as the Revolution of 1776 has hitherto done for America. What efforts can be made for the government of mankind so reasonable as these--a limited monarchy and a limited republic ? Add to this that the success of the cause of liberty in the two countries cannot but be of the greatest advantage to each, a limited monarchy and a limited republic being well fitted by their comparison and separate happiness, each to correct the peculiar tendencies to evil which much necessarily be found in the other.

Successful therefore be both, and while the records of history last, be they both successful! that they may eternally hold up to mankind the lessons of practical freedom, and explain to them the only secret that exists of all national prosperity and happiness, the sum and substance of which must for ever consist in mild government and tolerant religion ; i. e. (rationally understood) in civil and religious liberty.

Mark the difference between Europe and Asia. What is it, what has it ever been ? Slavery in the one, and freedom in the other.

Take another view more modern and more domestic. Mist is in the valley, and sterility is on the mountain of the Highlander ; his land is the land of tempest and of gloom, but there is intelligence in his looks and gladness in his song. On the contrary, incense is in the gale, and the laughing light of Nature is in the landscape of the Grecian island; but

“ Why do its tupeful echoes languish ?

Mute, but to the voice of anguish !" Yet where was it that once flourished the heroes, the sages, and the orators of antiquity? What is there of sublimity and beauty in our moral feelings, or in our works of art, that is not stamped with the impression of their genius ?

Give civil and religious liberty, you give every thing; knowledge and science, heroism and honour, virtue and power: deny them, and you deny every thing: in vain are the gifts of nature: there is no harvest in the fertility of the soil; there is no cheerfulness in the radiance of the sky; there is no thought in the understanding of man; and there is in his heart no hope: the human animal sinks and withers; abused, disinherited, stripped of the attributes of his kind, and no longer formed after the image of his God.

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1811.

THE END.

CHARLES WHITTINGHAM,

CHISWICK.

IN

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