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all ages and conditions. The interest so universally felt in the question itself, and not less the transcendent talents which were engaged in its discussion, presented such attractions as could not be resisted.
6Towards the close of the session, an incident occurred of a character so extraordinary as to deserve particular notice. The question of adoption or rejection was now approaching. The decision was still uncertain, and every mind and every heart was filled with anxiety. Mr. Henry partook most deeply of this feeling; and while engaged, as it were, in his last effort, availed himself of the strong sensation which he knew to pervade the house, and made an appeal to it which, in point of sublimity, has never been surpassed in any age or country in the world. After describing, in accents which spoke to the soul, and to which every other bosom deeply responded, the awful immensity of the question, to the present and future generations, and the throbbing apprehensions with which he looked to the issue, he passed from the house and from the earth, and looking, as he said, “ beyond that horizon which binds mortal eyes," he pointed, with a countenance and action that made the blood run back upon the aching heart, to those celestial beings, who were hovering over the scene, and waiting with anxiety for a decision which involved the happiness or misery of more than half the human race. To those beings; with the same thrilling look and action; he had just addressed an invocation, that made every nerve shudder with supernatural horror-when lo! a storm, at that instant arose, which shook the whole building, and the spirits whom he had called, seemed to have come at his bidding: Nor did his eloquence, or the storm immediately cease; but, availing himself of the incident, with a master's art, he seemed to mix in the fight of his æthereal auxiliaries, and "rising on the wings of the tempest, to seize upon the artillery of Heaven, and direct its fiercest thunders against the heads of his adversaries." The scene became insupportable; and the house rose, without the formality of adjournment, the members rushing from their seats with precipitation and confusion.
The constitution was adopted by a small majority. Mr. Henry's bill of rights, and his amendments, were then accepted, and directed to be transmitted to the several states. Some of these amendments have been ingrafted into the federal constitution.
“The case of John Hook is worthy of insertion. Hook was
a Scotchman, a man of wealth, and suspected of being unfriendly to the American cause. During the distresses of the American army, consequent on the joint invasion of Cornwallis and Phillips in 1781, a Mr Venable, an army commissary, had taken two of Hook's steers for the use of the troops. The act had not been strictly legal; and on the establishment of peace, Hook, under the advice of Mr Cowan, a gentleman of some distinction in the law, thought proper to bring an action of trespass against Mr Venable, in the district court of New London. Mr Henry appeared for the defendant, and is said to have disported himself in this cause to the infinite enjoyment of his hearers, the unfortunate Hook always excepted. After Mr. Henry became animated in the cause, he appeared to have complete controul over the passions of his audience: at one time he excited their indignation against Hook: vengeance was visible in every countenance: again, when he chose to relax and ridicule bim, the whole audience was in a roar of laughter. He painted the distresses of the American army, exposed almost naked to the rigour of a winter's sky, and marking the frozen ground over which they march
ed, with the blood of their unshod feet; where was the man, he said, who has an American heart in his bosom, who would not have thrown open his fields, his barns, his cellars, the doors of his house, the portals of his breast, to have received with open arms, the meanest soldier in that little band of famished patriots? Where is the man? There he stands; but whether the heart of an American beats in his bosom, you gentlemen, are to judge. He then carried the jury, by the powers of his imagination, to the plains around York, the surrender of which had followed shortly after the act complained of: he depicted the surrender in the most glowing and noble colours of his eloquence. The audience saw before their eyes the humiliation and dejection of the British, as they marched out of their trenches; they saw the triumph which lighted up every patriotic face, and the shouts of victory, and the cry of Washington and liberty, as it rung and echoed through the American ranks, and was reverberated from the hills and shores of the neighbouring river; but, hark, what notes of discord are these which disturb the general joy, and silence the acclamations of victory; they are the notes of John Hook, hoarsely bawling through the American camp, beef! beef! beef!
“The whole audience were convulsed: a particular incident will give a better idea of the effect, than any general description. The clerk of the court, unable to command himself, and unwilling to commit any breach of decorum in his place, rushed out of the court house, and threw himself. on the grass, in the most violent paroxysm of laughter, where he was rolling, when Hook, with very different feelings, came out for relief, into the yard also. The cause was decided almost by acclamation. The jury retired for form sake, and instantly returned with a verdict for the defendant. Nor did the effect of Mr. Henry's speech
stop here. The people were so highly excited by the tory audacity of such a suit, that Hook began to hear around him a cry more terrible than that of beef: it was the cry of tar and feathers : from the application of which, it is said, that nothing saved lim but a precipitate flight and the speed of his horse.
In the two remaining years he continued a member of the assembly. In the spring of 1791, he declined a re-election, with the purpose of bidding a final adieu to public life. In August 1795, he was nominated by president Washington as secretary of state, but considerations of a private nature induced him to decline the honourable trust. In November, 1796, he was again elected governor of Virginia, and this office also he almost immediately resigned. In the year 1799, he was appointed by president Adams, as an envoy to France, with Messrs. Ellsworth and Murray; this be also de. clined in consequence of a severe indisposition, to which he was then subject, and of his advanced age and increasing debility. Governor Davie, of North Carolina, was appointed in his place. He lived but a short time after this testimony of the respect in which his talents and patriotism were held.
The disease which had been preying upon him for two years, now hastened to its crisis. He died on the 6th of June, 1799, in the 62d year of his age.
"Thus lived, and thus died, the celebrated Patrick Henry, of Virginia; a man who justly deserves to be ranked among the highest ornaments, and the noblest benefactors of his country. In his habits of living, he was remarkably temperate and frugal. He seldom drank any thing but water. His morals' were strict. As a husband, a father, a master, he had no superior. He was kind and hospitable to the stranger, and most friendly and ?ccommodating to his neighbours,"
HOPKINSON, FRANCIS, Judge of the Court of Admiralty, in Pennsylvania, was born in Pennsylvania, in the year 1738. He possessed an uncommon share of genius, of a peculiar kind. He excelled in music and poetry; and had some knowledge in painting. But these arts did not monopolise all the powers of his mind. He was well skilled in many practical and useful sciences, particularly in mathematics and natural philosophy; and he had a general acquaintance with the principles of anatomy, chemistry and natural history. But his forte was humour and satire, in both of which, he was not surpassed by Lucian, Swift or Rabellais. These extraordinary powers were consecrated to the advancement of the interests of patriotism, virtue and science. It would fill many pages to mention his numerous publications during the revolutionary war, all of which were directed to these important objects. He began in the year 1775, with a small tract, which he entitled, "A Pretty Story," in which he exposed the tyranny of Great Britain, in America, by a most beautiful allegory, and he concluded his contributions to his country, in this way, with the history of “ The new roof," a performance, which for wit, humor and good sense, inust last as long as the citizens of America continue to admire, and be happy under the present national government of the United States.
Newspaper scandal frequently, for months to. gether, disappeared or languished, after the publication of several of his irresistible satires upon that disgraceful species of writing. He gave a currency to a thought or a phrase, in these effusions from his pen,which never failed to bear clown the spirit of the times, and frequently to turn the divided tides of party rage, into one general channel of ridicule or contempt.
Sometimes he employed his formidable powers of humour and satire in exposing the formalities of