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SUBLIMITY OF MOUNTAIN SCENERY.-Croly.
Or all the sights that nature offers to the eye and mind of man, mountains have always stirred my strongest feelings. I have seen the Ocean, when it was turned up from the bottom by tempest, and noon was like night, with the conflict of the billows and the storm, that tore and scattered them in mist and foam across the sky. I have seen the Desert rise around me, and calmly, in the midst of thousands uttering cries of horror and paralysed by fear, have contemplated the sandy pillars, coming like the advance of some gigantic city of conflagration flying across the wilderness, every column glowing with intense fire, and every blast death; the sky vaulted with gloom, the earth a furnace.
But with me, the mountain-in tempest or in calm, the throne of the thunder, or with the evening sun, painting its dells and declivities in colours dipped in heaven-has been the source of the most absorbing sensations.-There stands magnitude, giving the instant impression of a power aboye man-grandeur, that defies decay-antiquity, that tells of ages unnumbered-beauty, that the touch of time makes only more beautiful-use, exhaustless for the service of man -strength, imperishable as the globe;-the monument of eternity, the truest earthly emblem of that ever-living, unchangeable, irresistible Majesty, by whom and for whom, all things were made!
POLITICAL CUPIDITY REPROVED.
Extract from Mr. SHERIDAN's Speech on the Address to the Throne.
In such an hour as this, at a moment pregnant with the national fate, can it be, that people of high rank, and professing high principles, that they, or their families should seek to thrive on the spoils of misery, and fatten on the meals wrested from industrious poverty? Can it be, that this should be the case with the very persons, who state the unprecedented peril of the country, as the sole cause of their being found in the ministerial ranks?
The constitution is in danger, religion is in danger, the very existence of the nation itself is endangered; all personal and party considerations ought to vanish; the war must be supported by every possible exertion, and by every possible sacrifice; the people must not murmur at their burdens, it is for their salvation, their all is at stake. The time is come, when all honest and disinterested men should rally round the throne as a standard;-for what, ye honest and disinterested men? to receive for your own private emolument a portion of those very taxes, which you yourselves wring from the people, on the pretence of saving them from the poverty and distress, which you say the enemy would inflict, but which you take care that no enemy shall be able to aggravate.
Oh! shame! shame! is this a time for selfish intrigues, and the little dirty traffic for lucre and emolument? Does it suit the honour of a gentleman to ask at such a moment? Does it become the honesty of a minister to grant? Is it intended to confirm the pernicious doctrine, so industriously propagated by many, that all public men are impostors, and that every politician has his price? Or even where there is no principle in the bosom, why does not prudence hint to the mercenary and the vain, to abstain awhile at least, and wait the fitting of the times? Improvident impatience! Nay, even from those who seem to have no direct object of office or profit, what is the language which their actions speak?
The throne is in danger! we will support the throne; but let us share the smiles of royalty-the order of nobility is in danger! I will fight for nobility, says the viscount, but my zeal would be much greater if I were made an earl. Rouse all the marquis within me! exclaims the earl, and the peerage never turned forth a more undaunted champion in its cause than I shall prove. Stain my green riband blue, cries out the illustrious knight, and the fountain of honour will have a fast and faithful servant!
What are the people to think of our sincerity?-What credit are they to give to our professions?-Is this system to be persevered in?-Is there nothing that whispers to that right honourable gentleman, that the crisis is too big, that the times are too gigantic, to be ruled by the little hackneyed and every-day means of ordinary corruption?—or are we to believe, that he has within himself a conscious feeling, that disqualifies him from rebuking the ill-timed selfishness of his new allies?
Extract from a Speech of Judge STORY, in the Convention of Massachusetts, 1820.
GENTLEMEN have argued, as if personal rights only were the proper objects of government. But what, I would ask, is life worth, if a man cannot eat in security the bread earned by his own industry? If he is not permitted to transmit to his children the little inheritance, which his affection has destined for their use? What enables us to diffuse education among all the classes of society, but property? Are not our public schools, the distinguishing blessing of our land, sustained by its patronage? I will say no more about the rich and the poor. There is no parallel to be run between them, founded on permanent constitutional distinctions. The rich help the poor, and the poor in turn administer to the rich.
In our country, the highest man is not above the people; the humblest is not below the people. If the rich may be said to have additional protection, they have not additional power. Nor does wealth here form a permanent distinction of families. Those who are wealthy to-day pass to the tomb, and their children divide their estates. Property is thus divided quite as fast as it accumulates. No family can, without its own exertions, stand erect for a long time under our statute of descents and distributions, the only true and legitimate agrarian law. It silently and quietly dissolves the mass, heaped up by the toil and diligence of a long life of enterprise and industry.
Property is continually changing, like the waves of the One wave rises and is soon swallowed up in the vast abyss, and seen no more. Another rises, and having reached its destined limits, falls gently away, and is succeeded by yet another, which, in its turn, breaks and dies away silentİy on the shore. The richest man among us may be brought down to the humblest level; and the child, with scarcely clothes to cover his nakedness, may rise to the highest office in our government. And the poor man, while he rocks his infant on his knees, may justly indulge the consolation, that if he possess talents and virtue, there is no office beyond the reach of his honourable ambition.
CHARACTER OF BLANNERHASSETT.-Wirt
LET us now put the case between Burr and Blannerhassett. Let us compare the two men, and settle the question of precedence between them. Who then is Blannerĥassett? A native of Ireland, a man of letters, who fled from the storms of his own country, to find quiet in ours. Possessing himself of a beautiful island in the Ohio, he rears upon it a palace, and decorates it with every romantic embellishment of fancy. A shrubbery, that Shenstone might have envied, blooms around him. Music, that might have charmed Calypso and her nymphs, is his. An extensive library spreads its treasures before him. A philosophical apparatus offers to him all the secrets and mysteries of nature. Peace, tranquillity and innocence, shed their mingled delights around him.
The evidence would convince you, that this is but a faint picture of the real life. In the midst of all this peace, this innocent simplicity, and this tranquillity, this feast of the mind, this pure banquet of the heart, the destroyer comes; he comes to change this paradise into a hell. A stranger presents himself. Introduced to their civilities, by the high rank which he had lately held in his country, he soon finds his way to their hearts, by the dignity and elegance of his demeanour, the light and beauty of his conversation, and the seductive and fascinating power of his address.
The conquest was not difficult. Innocence is ever simple and credulous. Conscious of no design itself, it suspects none in others. It wears no guard before its breast. Every door, and portal, and avenue of the heart, is thrown open, and all, who choose it, enter. Such was the state of Eden, when the serpent entered its bowers. The prisoner, in a more engaging form, winding himself into the open and unpractised heart of the unfortunate Blannerhassett, found but little difficulty in changing the native character of that heart, and the objects of its affection. By degrees he infuses into it the poison of his own ambition. He breathes into it the fire of his own courage; a daring and desperate thirst for glory; an ardour panting for great enterprises, for all the storm and bustle and hurricane of life.
In a short time the whole man is changed, and every
object of his former delight is relinquished. No more he enjoys the tranquil scene; it has become flat and insipid to his taste. His books are abandoned. His retort and crucible are thrown aside. His shrubbery blooms and breathes its fragrance upon the air in vain; he likes it not. His ear no longer drinks the rich melody of music; it longs for the trumpet's clangor and the cannon's roar. Even the prattle of his babes, once so sweet, no longer affects him; and the angel smile of his wife, which hitherto touched his bosom with ecstasy so unspeakable, is now unseen and unfelt.
Greater objects have taken possession of his soul. His imagination has been dazzled by visions of diadems, of stars, and garters, and titles of nobility. He has been taught to burn, with restless emulation, at the names of great heroes and conquerors. His enchanted island is destined soon to relapse into a wilderness; and, in a few months, we find the beautiful and tender partner of his bosom, whom he lately permitted not the winds of summer to vist too roughly,' we find her shivering at midnight, on the winter banks of the Ohio, and mingling her tears with the torrents that froze as they fell.
Yet this unfortunate man, thus deluded from his interest and his happiness, thus seduced from the paths of innocence and peace, thus confounded in the toils that were deliberately spread before him, and overwhelmed by the mastering spirit and genius of another-this man, thus ruined and undone, and made to play a subordinate part in this grand drama of guilt and treason, this man is to be called the principal offender, while he, by whom he was thus plunged in misery, is comparatively innocent, a mere accessary!
Is this reason? Is it law? Is it humanity? neither the human heart, nor the human understanding, will bear a perversion so monstrous and absurd! so shocking to the soul! so revolting to reason! Let Aaron Burr, then, not shrink from the high destination which he has courted, and having already ruined Blannerhassett in fortune, character, and happiness, forever, let him not attempt to finish the tragedy, by thrusting that ill-fated man between himself and punishment.