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THE EVERGREEN OF OUR GLORY,-UNDER PROVIDENCE, THE ROCK OF OUR SAFETY.
Ar the present gloomy and portentous period, when an allgrasping spirit of conquest has swept with colossal strides over the continent of Europe, and is casting a malignant and threatening scowl on these peaceful and happy shores-when appearances almost justify an apprehension that Freedom will be forced to seek refuge in the skies, that the whole earth will be consolidated under a military despotism, and a long night of barbarism and crime again overshadow the world-At such a period, no expedient, however limited, no effort however feeble, should be left untried, that may tend to invigorate among us a love of independence, to brighten in our bosoms their patriotic fires, or induce us duly to prize the privileges we have derived from the heroes of our revolution, and the rights we enjoy from the founders of our government. Under these impressions we have
thought it right to collect on our pages a few scattering rays from the glory of Washington, a name which has a wonderworking magic in the sound, and is to our countrymen a host in itself which is a rallying point for virtue, and patriotism, and heroism, and honour, and must be forever erased from their memory before Americans can cease to be free.
Washington was emphatically born for his country, and next to the freedom he achieved, and the government he so preeminently contributed to establish, was himself its most invaluable treasure. But, in the wise, though inscrutable dispensations of Providence, he has past away, leaving us no hope of ever again beholding his like. Already has the pen of the American biographer-already has the tongue of the American orator, beggared their resources in offerings to his memory. Yet still does description fall short of reality-still is the debt of gratitude unpaid.
But the impassioned praises of our great countryman are not confined to the land that gave him birth. They are heard and dwelt on, as the most grateful of themes, wherever history is read and freedom tolerated-wherever patriotism is honoured and virtue revered-wherever the consummation of human goodness and human greatness can excite the love and admiration of civilized man.
Even in the British dominions which his sword dismembered-in the metropolis of that empire, within the confines of the court, and beneath the very shadow of the throne itself, Washington stands foremost on the records of fame. An enlightened magnanimity proclaims his praises, and Envy neither questions nor attempts to sully the tribute.
In evidence of the truth of these sentiments, and as an offering that must be grateful to every American, we publish the subjoined emblematical engraving and character. They are originally the production of a foreigner of taste and talents, and the piece, executed in a style of superior elegance, has had a very extensive circulation in England. Enclosed in a superb frame, it is even admitted to a place in the collections of noblemen and amateurs, among the most admired productions of the pencil.
The character of the great American which accompanies it needs no comment. To every one it will be instructive to the polite scholar highly gratifying to the patriot a model for imitation to the statesman, the magistrate, and the military chief, a motive to duty, an incentive to glory,
The engraving, though not new either in conception or design, is very correctly and happily applied. A rock secure in its strength amidst the fury and wild uproar of a troubled ocean, is a fit emblem of Washington unmoved by all the evils, dangers, and misfortunes attendant on civil or military life. It might also represent his example as the rock of our national safety, assailed as we are by whatever is insidious, or stormy, or dangerous. When in the discharge of his duty, like the homo conscius recti of the poet, though Nature had staggered in convulsions, and even tumbled in wide-spreading ruins around him, nothing could shake the firmness of his soul. The fair and stately evergreen supported by the rock, and withstanding the violence of a tempestuous sky, may well represent the purity of his virtue and the perpetuity of his fame; while the garland of oak-leaves encircling the whole, is a classical emblem of his civic worth.
FOR THE PORT FOLIO-THE SALAD, NO. IV.
Morum jura viris solum, et sine fascibus æquum. Statius.
By love of right, and native justice led,
In the straight paths of equity, to tread,
Nor know the bar, nor fear the judge's frown,
PHILOSOPHERS, of almost every age and country, have delighted to speculate on the science of politics. Yet it is to be lamented, that their writings, however numerous, are generally too subtle and etherial, to answer any purpose of practical utility. The Republic of Plato, the Oceana of Harrington, or the Utopia of sir Thomas More, although they may amuse the meditations of the scholar in his closet, would entirely perplex and embarrass a cabinet of statesmen. Those sublime schemes might perhaps be realized with Rousseau's* society of angels; or in the city which Aristophanest erected amidst the clouds, but mankind have left the golden age too many centuries behind them, ever to hope success from such assistances.
Among the manuscripts composed by my grandfather, and left behind him, I find one purporting to be the plan of a constitution for the best organized commonwealth. It seems indeed, a miscellany of fanciful gossiping and experimental truth-The old gentleman, as I before hinted,‡ used to indulge frequently after this way, and in order to secure his mind from the intrusion of impertinent curiosity or noisy folly, he erected, at a convenient distance from his farm-house, a little pavilion, surrounded by a pleasant academic grove, to which he would resort, as the scene of assignation, appointed by the Muses themselves. Here he could sit whole days together, in sweetest dalliance with the lovely daughters of Jupiter and Mnemosyne, forgetful of every endearment, save their grateful smiles. But when re
Vide social compact.
Salad, No. II.
leased from the fascination, when his research was finished and some fair fabric arose to the enraptured view; how did the bay and laurel tremble on his brow, as he reflected, that all his workmanship might moulder away, like a palace of porphyry in the desert, without one solitary artist to admire its harmonious order, its graceful columns, and its sparkling turrets. The Sybilline books and Alexandrian library, where are they? Even the same fate appeared to threaten the lucubrations of my grandsire.
Within the precincts of the neighbourhood, where he lived, there was not a character of literary merit to become acquainted with his theories. The parish-minister had read the Bible, with Burkitt's commentary, and peradventure the first part of Pilgrim's Progress. His erudition extended no further. The popular physician could quote mechanically, a long list of Latin names, and promised to cure all sorts of maladies,. by an infallible panacea made up of simples. His genius never wandered beyond the circumference of a pill-box and gallipot. As country barber, he was confessedly a personage of superior judgment to the rest, for he could talk at ordinaries, learnedly of cockfights and elections-politics and horse-racing. Moreover, in his earlier years, he had enjoyed by virtue of his vocation, a kind of puisné professorship at college, where he found, that the moon is not moulded out of green-cheese, according to the error of the ancient physics. But as my ancestor never trusted his chin, and throat to the skill of any other operator than my grandmother, he always remained profoundly ignorant of this chief of the rustic sages. The idea of formally appearing, before the reverend Divan of Critics and Reviewers, never came into his mind, without bringing on a most perilous ague-fit; so that, a due regard of health made him decline all thoughts of that. Was ever man, woman, or child, so tantalized, so widow-bewitched, and vexed with contradiction? Accordingly the plan of a constitution is indorsed with this following lamentation.