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an evidence of the truth of this, he acquired and maintained, (perhaps still maintains) by mere address and management, that despotic ascendancy over his followers for which others have been indebted exclusively to the terrors of the sword. Even Washington himself, with all his transcendent weight of character, could never, had he attempted it, have become such an absolute dictator in politics as Mr. Jefferson.
On the subject of Inchiquin's eulogy on Washington, we shall say but little. Yet we delight to dwell on and repeat that father of his country's name. It is without affectation we declare, that to us there is something in the sound beyond the fascination of music itself. The character of that wonderful man, equally above the reach of detraction and praise, is literally novum monumentum in terris, a new and unheard of monument on earth. With the beams of glory playing around it, its basis is an empire, its top is in the heavens. It throws its effulgence on the remotest nations, and is a beacon-light for the direction of virtuous ambition. In contemplating an object so stupendous and dazzling, Panegyric becomes dumb, Imagination abandons her search after imagery, and Fancy throws aside her colours in despair. The pen and the pencil were formed for common purposes for the portraying and decoration of common subjects. But the character of Washington passing the widest boundaries of nature, swells to a prodigy and is all but miraculous. With perfect truth is it said of him that “though he relinquished the first place, the first name in America continued, and erer will be Washington.” He was in reality one of those “prodigious men, who appear at intervals, with the character of greatness and domination. An unknown, supernatural cause sends them forth, when required, to found, or repair the ruins of empires. In vain do such men keep aloof, or mix with the crowd; the hand of fortune raises them suddenly, and they are borne from obstacle over obstacle, from triumph through triumph, to the summit of authority. Inspiration animates their thoughts; an irresistible movement is given to their enterprises. The multitude looks for them in itself, but finds them not; and lifting up its eyes, they are beheld in a sphere resplendent with light and
glory. No monarch on his throne was ever so great as Washington in his retirement."
We shall dismiss Inchiquin's eulogy on the American pa.. triot, by informing that elegant writer, should these remarks ever fall into his hands, that we have perused with great satisfaction Eloge funébre de Washington, par Fontanes. And we extract from that performance the following eloquent and beau
« Au milieu de tous les disordres des camps, et de tous les excés inséparables de la guerre civile, l'humanité se refugia sous sa tente, et n'en fut jamais repoussée. Dans les triomphes et dans l'adversité il (Washington) fut toujours tranquille comme la sagesse, et simple comme la virtu.” Inchiquin can decypher this extract himself, and will clearly comprehend our meaning in admitting it to a place in our review of his letters-Verbum sapienti.
Though unwilling to mar the beauties of this letter, by too frequently introducing disjointed extracts from it, we cannot withstand the temptation of laying before our readers the following correct, elegant, and well supported contrast between the characters, administrations, and fortunes of presidents Adams and Jefferson, “once political rivals, now political shades."
“ Mr: Jefferson's character and administration each present a larger field than those of Mr. Adams. They were more original and better sustained, Mr. Jefferson's nature was enthusiastic, but equable; Mr. Adams's dryer, but subject to gusts of temper. The one was visionary, but never capricious;' the other resolute, but unstable. The deportment Mr.
ams affected was difficult and invidious; Mr. Jefferson's familiar and popular. But the for. mer was becoming, though it failed; and the latter too often contemptible, though it succeeded. When the Spanish ambassadors found the Dutch deputies squatting on the ground, eating herrings with their fingers, one of their first impressions must have been disgust at the unseemliness of this republican festival; and the sentiment of every mind favourable to republicanism, at reading the account of this occurrence, which historians have taken care to set forth in all its particulars, must be a sentiment of contempt for so paltry an affectation of republican simplicity.
“ Jefferson's life was one continued course of experimental republicanism, conceived and executed on so large a scale, that it must benefit or injure extensively. Whereas Adams did little or no injury to his country, though he
lost himself and dismembered his party. His was a stormy course, now dazzling, now overcast, shortlived, and setting in discomfiture and obscurity. After an eccentric, but, successful career, Jefferson retired powerful, if not se. rune; and though partially shorn of his beams, yet leaving the national horizon, even after his departure, marked with the radiance of his influence. His defects are concealed in the glare of his success. Mr. Adams's virtues obscured in the gloom of his fall."
The subjoined sketch of the character of col. Burr, we also regard as a model in its kind. “ Burr, says our author, was a man of unquestioned abilities, but unbounded ambition. Brave, munificent, insinuating, and artful; fond of pleasure, but fonder of glory; accessible, affable and eloquent; like Rienzi and some other demagogues, studious and laborious; calm in success, undismayed at reverses; poor, in debt, subtle, popular and intriguing." And again, "His country lost in him (Burr) a citizen of masculine and aspiring spirit, of infinite address and excellent acquirements, who, had he succeeded in his schemes of ambition) might have been the American Cæsar; but, as he failed, is hardly entitled to the infamous celebrity of Catiline." This is drawing a likeness in living encaustic-in " thoughts that breathe, and words that burn."
We regret that Inchiquin should have contented himself with such a “ bird's-eye view" of the character of general Hamilton—That he should have scarcely written the name of him whose praise should pierce the skies. Of that distinguished statesman, he gives us nothing but the following brief memento. The general, says he, was a man of splendid and versatile talents, of a romantic temper, and noble sense of honour, but imprudent. This is indeed the truth, but not the whole truth It is not decima decimarum, the tenth part of the tithe of tribute due to the memory of that illustrious man.
Next to Washington himself no man of the age was more worthy, nor was any better calculated, to add richness and splendour to the biographic page. The mind of Hamilton was formed by Nature in one of her happiest, brightest, and most energetic moments. was cast in a mould sacred to greatness and consecrated to glory. His soul was quickened by an unų-
sual portion of Heaven's purest and most vivid fires. His bosom was the shrine of unsullied virtue and high-minded honour, into which nothing low or unworthy, profane or vicious, was ever suffered to intrude.
For fervour of mind, persevering industry, extent, elevation, and versatility of talents, it is doubtful if any country or age has produced his equal. Assuredly his superior in these respects is no where to be found. Here and there, indeed, thinly scattered through time and space, individuals have perhaps appeared no less distinguished for particular endowments, no less conspicuous in certain given spheres of action. One has shone with equal splendour in the field, another in the cabinet-This in the senate, that in the forum-One in genius, another in learning-This in the force and elegance of his pen, that in the irresistible powers of his eloquence. But Hamilton, towering above individual endowments, and alike pre-eminent in all, united in himself attributes of greatness natural and acquired, sufficient to confer distinction on many. This is not panegyric, in the usual acceptation of the term-it is not exaggerated praise; it is humble truth. A military leader equal to Hamilton, might become at once the glory and terror of his age-A financier of equal integrity and powers would be the boast of his country, and his great example might be a blessing to the world. A legislator so virtuous and profound would be entitled to the highest honours of the state. So eloquent an advocate, so able a defender of the rights of his fellow citizens, would rise to fame, attract admiration, and be crowned with the choicest benedictions of thousands. A patriot so pure in heart, so inflexible in soul, so indefatigably vigilant for the welfare of his country, would have been rewarded, in the best days of Rome, with a civic wreath. A writer so able and accomplished would receive the homage of his cotemporaries and the gratitude of posterity, while an orator so argumentative and forcible-so persuasive and fascinatingso inexhaustible in matter, so overwhelming in manner, might mould the minds of the multitude to his purposes, and rise to the summit of popular renown. How vast, then, how inconceivably pre-eminent must have been the character of him, in whom so
many features of greatness were united!-How dazzlingly bright must have been his effulgence, in whom so many beams of radiance concentred! If the poet has been applauded for applying the terms ipse agmen, a host in himself, to his favourite Achilles, whose chief excellencies were swiftness of foot, strength of person, a daring courage, and pre-eminent dexterity in the use of the javelin and sword, how much more applicable is the phrase to the illustrious Hamilton, who possessed such a constellation of superior endowments!
Had the western hemisphere never given birth to an individual of eminence, except Washington, Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson and Burr, these five personages would be alone sufficient to rescue it from the charge of having effected a degradation in the character of man. But we could add the names of hundreds of other distinguished Americans, whose virtues, talents and public services, turn into ridicule and trample into scorn the narrow minded aspersion. For let it be clearly understood, that though the vices of Burr, the faults of Jefferson, and the weaknesses and tergiversations of Adams, unquestionably detract from the pyramids of their renown, they still leave them monuments of individual greatness-montes altitudine, perenniora erė, lofty as mountains and more durable than brass.
As the two remaining letters of Inchiquin relate to matters in which our national reputation is vitally concerned, we shall reserve our analysis of them for a future number. For that number shall we also reserve our notices of certain points in which we consider the work not altogether free from faults.