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Art. XXX.

An Eulogy on General George Wash-
ington, pronounced at Boston, on
Wednesday, February
19, 1800,
before the American Academy of
Arts and Sciences, by their ap-
pointment, and published at their
request: By
John Davis, Mem-
ber of the Academy
, &c. Boston.
Spotswood. 1800. pp. 24. 4to.

THIS address is remarkably
characterized by simplicity
and seriousness. It is of a mild and
equable tenor. It abounds with
proofs of clear judgment, and is
free from all extravagance, or af-

We cannot but remark, likewise,
that this orator has exhibited the
character of the deceased in a
light entirely new. His military
and political virtues only, have
been descanted on by others; but the
occasion on which this eulogy was
spoken, made it higly proper to
view him as a lover and promoter
of science; as one qualified for ge-
neral pursuits, and accustomed to
speak and write, as well as to act.
After discussing his qualities as Ge-
neral and Magistrate, and pursuing
him through the various events of
his life, the following judicious re-
marks are made upon his character,
as a patron and votary of learning.

“The illustrious Man, whose
loss we now deplore, was among
the first of your elected associates.
It was a time of multiplied calami-
ties. The military operations of
the enemy were to be opposed in
five different states of the union.
A mind occupied with such im-
mense concerns, could not be ex-
pected to apply itself to the immedi-

ate objects of your institution. Yet
he accepts your invitation; look-
ing forward, doubtless, to the hap-
pier days, when the arts of peace
should succeed the horrors of war.
As the first among the public
characters of the age; as the pride
and defence of your country, he
was entitled to the earliest and most
respectful expressions of your at-
tention: but he was your associate
by still more appropriate characters,
by dispositions and accomplish-
ments, altogether congenial to the
nature and end of your institution.

“It is among the declared ob-
jects of your inquiry, to examine
the various soils of the country, to
ascertain their natural growths and
the different methods of culture:
to promote and encourage agricul-
ture, arts, manufactures and com-
merce: to cultivate the knowledge
of the natural history of the country,
and to determine the uses, to which
its various productions may be ap-

“Pursuits of this nature always
commanded his attention, and to
some of them he was peculiarly
attached. They were frequently
the topics of his conversation, and
the subject of his correspondence,
with ingenious and public spirited
men, in different parts of the world.

“With a mind well-fitted to ac-
quire just conceptions on any sub-
ject, to which his attention was di-
rected, he would, I am persuaded,
have been distinguished in the ab-
struser branches of science, if the
course of life, which he had chosen,
or to which he was impelled, had
not been incompatible with the
pursuit. In patient investigation,
unwearied assiduity, and systema-
tic arrangement, he was excelled
by none. The uniform success,
which attended his operations in
military and political life, evinces
great solidity of judgment: and he,
who could produce such correct
and prosperous results, in the great

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affairs of a nation, so liable to be
defeated or impeded, by the ever
varying humours and prejudices of
men, with like application, might
have been equally distinguished in
the steady regions of science, whose
permanent relations and connected
truths, never fail to disclose them-
selves to industrious research and
attentive contemplation.”

In the following estimate of the
style of Washington's compositions,
we willingly concur, objecting,
however, to praise implied by the
unqualified use of the terms of “pu-
rity, propriety and precision.”

“While contemplating the cha-
racter of Washington, in a literary
point of view, I must not omit to
consider his style. It is distinguish-
ed for purity, propriety, and pre-
cision; and some of the most cor-
rect philologists have pronounced,
that most of the qualities of a good
style are united in his compositions.
In his letters he is plain: in his
public addresses elegant: in all he
is correct, expressing, in a small
compass, his clear conceptions,
without tiresome verbosity, or any
parade of ornament. In attending
to what has fallen from his pen, the
connection between modes of
thinking and writing; between cha-
racter and composition is apparent.
His writings are marked with the
strong and pleasing features of sin-
cerity, simplicity and dignity.”

There are few of these publica-
tions, on which the judicious rea-
der will reflect with more satisfac-
tion than the present. The strain
is uniformly rational and temperate,
and that level is invariably preserv-
ed which it is more disgraceful to
fall below, than honourable to rise

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