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Art. LVI.

Desultory Reflections on the Political
Aspects of Public Affairs in the
United States of America. Part
8vo. pp. 38. New-York. J. W.
Fenno. 1800.

THE first part of these desultory
reflections was noticed in a
former Review, * in which we had
occasion to dissent from the opi-
nions of the author, and to disap-
prove his manner and language.
The perusal of this second part has
not tended to exalt our opinion of
the soundness of his judgment, the

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acuteness of his reasoning, or the
propriety of his diction.

It appears to be the principal de-
sign of the writer to correct some
errors which he supposes to have
crept into our political nomenclature,
to point out the evils which may
proceed from those errors, and to
guard against the violent schemes of
that party which seeks to profit by

In the pages preliminary to the
discussion of the propriety of the
terms adopted by the two political
parties in the United States, the
people are stigmatised as incorrigibly
supine and slothful in every thing
which relates to their political wel-
fare. We shall select a few passages
the most striking for justness of sen-
and felicity of expression.

“It is the curse of the age in which
our lot hath been cast, that not only men,
in general, think less of those concerns
which belong to their permanent tran-
quillity, than of the carking cares of gain:
but, that a very large portion of society
think not of them at all.
“Hence it arises, that the public con-
cerns are swayed by characters, and by
circumstances, grovelling and insignifi-
cant; that the most abject classes of so-
ciety give law to their masters; and that
a progressive decline marks, in painful
traces, the funereal progress of our poli-
tical career. We seem to have abandoned
ourselves to the lethargy of the sloth,
and to have crept up the Tree of Apathy,
where every murmur of every breeze ex-
cites a narrow and chilling dread, lest
our repose be for a moment annoyed.
Our fears, our alarms, are all the emo-
tions of an abject cowardice, impelled by
strong circumstances to blink at danger,
and then slinking into the former state
of sluggishness, till again roused by new
excitements, fruitless of all useful effect
as the former. One call to action suc-
ceeds another in ineffectual round, for
the last leaves us where we were found
by the first.
“From visionary dreams, from fantas-
tic prognostications and golden hopes,
we were roused by the phrenzy of the
French Revolutionists, through the in-
strumentality of their agent Genet. A
miracle, the forbearance of Robespierre,

extricated us most unfortunately from a
dilemma, which it was hoped would ter-
minate in a declaration of war on the
part of that extraordinary monster. But
the whim of Robespierre, and our ill stars
conjoined, cut us off from a contingency so de-
voutly to be wished: a contingency which
must inevitably have precluded all those un-
happy calamities which have since been
brought upon the country.
But, this danger
evaded, we slept again, assumed the wreath
of Meconium,
and abandoned ourselves, in
such confidence, to repose, as if security
and thoughtlessness were the only attri-
butes with which we were endowed, the
only characteristics of our natures.
“After two years' hostilities, waged
with remorseless persecution and cruelty;
after innumerable flagellations of our de-
fenceless people, and numerous murders;
after the loss of a thousand valuable mer-
chantmen, and the extinction of that
Character, under the auspices of which
alone we could have acted with effect,
and after the Government had kneeled
again and again, in the dirt, to lick the
dust at the feet of low-bred upstarts, the
people rose, and demanded war. A new
system was put in force, and how won-
derful, and how glorious were its effects,
until our Evil Gentius administered a new
portion of Mandragora, lulled the very
soul of the country to sleep, and sunk
every energy into a state of inexorable som-
“As we have slept, and idly dreamed
of peace, and repose, and security, and
Republican millenarianism, new perils
have sprung up from the fertile hot-bed
of faction; and, watered by the genial
dews of demagogy, and cherished by the
benignant sun of Philosophism, have
taken deep root, to bring forth fruit
“As we have slept, we have been im-
passively borne along to the verge of a
crisis, on the turn of which hangs no less a
point than the fate of the whole community:

and we are arrived nearly to the deci-
sion, without even a random effort to stay
the plague which impends.
“As we have slept amidst the delu-
sions of commissioners, assurances, nego-
ciations, and words, and sounds, and
schemes, without meaning, and without
other effect than to prolong our torpidi-
ty, the machinations of the servants of
the enemy have advanced to a violent
probability of success, in their long con-
templated project of obtaining possession
of the Government of the country. A

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catastrophe at even the possibility of
which who is so insatuated as not to
“But the success of Faction, in forcing
its Candidate upon the public, is, as
I promise myself hereafter to make ap-
parent, but an insignificant means to a
vast end.”

This is the first time that we have
heard the people of the United
States censured for political insensi-
and stupidity. They have
hitherto been accused as too anx-
iously vigilant, too feelingly alive
to whatever may nearly or remotely
affect their political condition and
happiness; as thinking more of the
affairs of the public, and the politi-
cal events of the day, than their
corn-fields and work-shops.

The following passages exhibit
the view given by this writer of the
form and name of our political con-
stitution, and of the distinctive ap-
pellations of the two parties into
which the people are divided.

“The jacobinism, or anti-federalism,
or true Americanism, or (according to
the last distinction which it has assumed)
the republicanism of America, took its
origin at the establishment of the present
constitution of the United States, im-
properly denominated Federal.
“The anti-federalists (the undoubted
jacobins of that day and of this) declared
the government contemplated by their
political opponents to be monstrous* and
impracticable, and advocated a form of
simple confederation in its stead.
“This faction misrepresented, in toto,
the nature and form of the contemplated
institution, since the constitution of the
United States possesses no one feature of
a federal government. On the con-
trary, it was the misery which the peo-
ple had encountered under their federal
government, which induced the abolition
of that form and establishment of the
“The constitution of the United States,
in its original form (I mean as it was
eventually adopted), contains, in no in-
stance, any acknowledgment of the sup-
of the local governments. They

are therein repeatedly and expressly re-
cognized as fiefs of the general supre-
macy, and as such are by that instrument
holden to numerous feudal duties; but
they are never recognized as paramount
sovereignties, nor even as coellates. So
preposterous an idea never could arise in
any other than the present ridiculous
“Such were the views,” speaking of
the convention, “which prevailed over
the establishment of the constitation of
the United States. It was essentially and
entirely an act of consolidation, taking
place of the act of sederation, which had
died of inanition.
“While these, the only proper and
legitimate conceptions of the nature of
that instrument, obtained, an uninterrupt-
ed tide of prosperity distinguished the
public fortunes. Nor was it till that fa-
tal breach was made in this barrier round
the public weal, by which the States
were made paramount Sovereignties, that
faction ever attained that daring height
which it almost instantly assumed. No
longer was there wanting to the jacobins
a point of rallying, no longer had any one
to exclaim with Archimedes, Δοξπϑυω:
their indispensible passion for revolu-
tionary movements was confirmed on
the most important basis, by this establish-
ment of its practicability, and of the
long-desired means to their end.
“While there was but one govern-
ment in the country; while the States
were regarded but as so many lieutenan-
cies, or subordinate divisions, suffered to
exist in their ancient form, instead of be-
ing constituted counties, only from de-
ference to prejudice; while, in fact, there
was but one rallying point, and of course
an unity of action, and an entirety of or-
ganization, the people revolted at the pro-
jects of revolutionizers when they dared,
which, indeed, was then seldom, to carry
their views, openly, to that extent. But
no sooner was the foundation of the
constitution subverted, and the govern-
ments of the country multiplied to seven-
teen or eighteen, than Faction immedi-
ately laid its axe at the root of the con-
stitution of the United States, and em-
ployed all its efforts to bring about the
substition of the State governments in
its stead; in other words, to revive the
old confederation. This proposition is to
“* See the Independant Gazetteer, and the other anti-federal newspapers of that
day, passim,

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be found in very distinct terms in the
writings of several of the party, and par-
ticularly in a work published at the
southward, called ‘The Prospect Be-
fore Us.’
“If the preceding views be correct, it
is obvious that the distinctive appella-
tions of the parties in this country are
improper and absurd. It is true, that
mankind, in all ages, have been little
influenced by reflection in this regard;
having, in many instances, adopted ca-
balistic distinctions from accident, and
often from the most ludicrous whim.
Yet I think it as well, at least, to wear
a characteristic name as an unmeaning
one; and better even an unmeaning one,
than that which conveys a false meaning.
“The federalists, it is to be assumed,
desire that the constitution of the United
States may exist in its original, integral
state of supremacy; that it may be, in all
cases, the supreme law of the land, un-
affected by the clashing of local interests,
and uncontrouled by the operations of
subordinate powers. They are constitu-
Americans, loyal to their coun-
try and to one another.
“The democrats desire that the con-
stitution of the United States should be
“disannulled;” they desire that condi-
tion of things in which the total absence
of order may give ‘passage free’ to the
personal violences of their malignant
passions, and to their thirst for power
and for gold. They would revive the
confederation, and are indisputably fe-
deralists, without having federalism, or
any other object, really at heart, any fur-
ther than as a means of aggrandisement,
a step by which to ascend the height of
“What is federalism? This is an in-
quiry peculiarly necessary, notwithstand-
ing the term has been in so common use
for so many years. It may be denomi-
nated the state of nature applied to govern-
and this, perhaps, is the ground
of preference with those who call them-
selves republicans, as they are ever ready
to exclaim, with the illegitimate villain
of Shakspeare:
‘Thou, Nature, art our Goddess! to thy
Our services are bound.’
“But their Goddess of Nature is a
new deity, and of the modern pantheon;
and she resembles the image of a cele-
brated tyrant, in the remorseless cruel-
ties and persecutions which she has in-

flicted on mankind, under the fair sem-
blance of mildness and philanthropy.
“Federalism, or the quality of attach-
ment to a federal form of government,
is surely the most trivial distinctive title
of a party that was ever yet assumed: a
man may be a federalist and royalist, a
federalist and republican, or a federalist
and an enemy to either royalty or repub-
licanism. There is no inconsistency is
these characters, as has been exemplified
in fact and experience. The conse-
quence has been that the political adver-
saries of the men styling themselves fe-
deralists, have robbed them of their dis-
tinctive appellation; and they now act
without any name, as they have long
done without any fixed or defined prin-
ciples, either of morals or politics: as
the cuckoo creeps into the nest of a cer-
tain foolish bird, and ejects it and its off-
“In the distinctive appellations of par-
ties, in every age, we discern some mean-
ing, some connection, more or less re-
mote, between the name and qualities of
some certain kind. This is obviously
necessary, to prevent the dilemma allud-
ed to above. It will be said, that fe-
deralism denotes attachment to the fe-
deral government, meaning the govern-
ment of this country; and that, reaching
this end, it is sufficiently definite. The
object to be defined, viz. attachment to
the government, is surely simple enough;
but, if in attempting to define a definite
object, a term so indefinite is made use
of as to be liable not only to perversions,
but misconstructions, the simplicity of the
object itself is rendered of no avail, it
might as well have been complex and
“The constitutionalist denominates
himself a federalist, and pronounces the
attributes of federalism to be these or
those. The republican as loudly pro-
claims himself a federalist also; but his
picture of the attributes of federalism is
diameterically the reverse of the other.
So opposite are the representations and
the views of these two federalists, that
the latter would (in the words of Mr.
John Adams) incontinently ‘fine, im-
prison, and hang his own brother,’ if a
person of the former persuasion. The
truth is, that the former, if he be a man
of either sense or honesty, is not a fede-
ralist. No man can be a real friend to
the government of the United States, and
a federalist, in the sense in which the
term is applied.

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“To decide, with more precision, this
question, it is worth while to attempt to
attain a right understanding of the force
and meaning of the term federal, in its
fullest extent. The unequivocal deriva-
tion of the term goes far to decide every
question of its signification; and federa-
tion (a new root of the word, of Ame-
rican growth) may be asserted to ex-
tend no farther than to denote a league
or covenant. Now, a league or cove-
nant may take place, either between in-
dividuals or bodies politic. The account
of the combat between the Horatii and
Curiatti, begins ‘Fœdere icto, trigemini
arma capiunt;’ and Otway makes his
hero declare himself the ‘covenanted foe
of Venice.’ By construction, however,
and by long usage, the application of the
term federation has been restricted, and
it may be said, at present, to apply only
to leagues or covenants between states.
And as we have never known the term
to be applied to denote leagues or cove-
nants between separate or independent
states, it must be further restricted to
leagues, or covenants, or associations of
different States forming one nation.
“Now, a league, whether between se-
parate nations, or different States of the
same nation, is a temporary arrange-
ment, for the purpose of meeting some
great emergency. Such was the league
of the Grecian States against Philip;
such also was the league of the Ame-
rican States against Great-Britain. As
long as the league, commonly called the
old confederation, lasted, the United
States were a federation. But their fe-
deralism merged in the constitution of
the United States.
“Federalism, therefore, is a league be-
tween different states of the same na-
tion (as England, Scotland, and Ireland),
for temporary purposes: it is the inter-
regnum of governments not monarchical:
and it always implies the absence of set-
tled government.

The names which political parties
take, are often casual and insigni-
ficant in themselves, assumed some-
times from the names of particular
leaders, and sometimes from a pe-
culiarity of person, manners, or
dress. They are rarely, if ever,
descriptive of the principles for which
the opposite parties contend. When
known, they serve, like a ribband
or cockade, to designate to which

of the two the wearer chooses to be
considered as belonging. The in-
dividuals who are thus comprehend-
ed under a single class or descrip-
tion, though agreeing in their gene-
ral objects, must have a diversity of
views, and adopt a general princi-
ple, with various modifications. —
Their general agreement is suffi-
cient to induce them to act in con-
cert, because each is willing to sa-
crifice a little, for the benefit of the

The names of roundhead and
cavalier, whig and tory, so famous
in English history, and the latter
in our own, have nothing in their
intrinsic meaning which would lead
one, ignorant of the history of the
political events of the times, to a
knowledge of their signification.
The term federalist appears far more
significant and descriptive than that
of whig; yet no one mistakes the
meaning of the latter, or thinks it
necessary, when he uses it, to give a
formal definition.

The appellation federalist, was
intended to designate a person at-
tached to the union of the American
States under one general compact,
and was adopted at a time when,
from the weakness and impotency
of the old confederated form of this
union, there was danger of a disso-
lution of the compact, and the es-
tablishment of separate and abso-
lutely independent sovereignties.

Those who were more attached
to the independency of the State
governments than to the union, and
to that new constitution, deemed
essential to its preservation, were
denominated anti-federalists.

No terms could be found better
adapted to express the leading trait
in the political characters of the
two parties; and the history of go-
vernments will not furnish any so

Changes take place in the politi-
cal circumstances of the nation, and
the general opinion of the people,

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by which the meaning attached to
a name becomes enlarged, or re-
strained, or modified to suit the
new ideas which have been intro-
duced, while the original name con-
tinues the same, or experiences some
slight modification.

Thus the political discussions of
the latter years, produced by the
French revolution, have introduced
among us the terms aristocrat and
democrat, monarchist and republican.
These have been bestowed or as-
sumed by the respective parties ac-
cording as they supposed their po-
litical principles favoured the one
or the other of those characters.

The anti-federalists, or soi-distant
of the present day,
though composed of mixed cha-
racters, are yet well known by their
original appellation.

Though it is presumed the re-
would not have the folly
or audacity to assert that the fe-
deralist had discarded republican
principles; yet the new-adopted
name was too strikingly distinctive,
in its popular sense, not to be abused
to catch the ignorant and unwary.
The federalists have, therefore, as-
sumed the addition of republican,
and federal republican appears to us
as significant an appellation for that
party which this writer chooses to
call constitutionalists, as any that can
be found. It has the advantage
also of retaining its original cha-
racteristic, federalism, or an attach-
ment to the union, rather than to the
State governments.

It would be unjust to say that
there are not many in the anti-
federal, or republican party, attached
to the constitution, in its present
form, and might therefore be truly
denominated constitutionalists, which
renders this new appellation quite
as objectionable as the old. That
party, as well as the other, is com-
posed of men of various characters:
many of these are new accessions,

derived from the turbulent fluctu-
ations of the European govern-

Thus the friends of government,
of order, and peace, whether mo-
narchical, aristocratical, or repub-
lican, arrange themselves on the
side of the supporters of the present
government and its administration,
though they may essentially differ
in the most fundamental principles
of government. On the other hand,
the true democrat, the jacobin, the
discontented opposer of all law and
government, as well as the sound
republican, are found united with
those who are in the opposition to
the ruling power. Yet there is no
man at all acquainted with the his-
tory of our constitution and govern-
ment, as well as with the charac-
ter of our citizens, that can be de-
ceived by the present names that
distinguish the two parties.

The definition of federalism is
too puerile and pedantic; such an
etymological explanation of the
term, is inadequate to the subject.
No one is ignorant of the changes
which take place in the meaning of
words, by the influence of time,
and the mutation of customs, usages,
and manners. By the gradual pro-
gress of society, words obtain a sense
very different from their primitive
and radical signification.

The government of Great-Britain
is called a monarchy, and that of
Poland was denominated a republic.
Yet the person who should turn to
his lexicon for the meaning of those
two words, would gain no know-
ledge of either government by the
explication there given of their
names. Should the simple forms of
government, as they are usually
distinguished by political writers in-
to monarchy, aristocracy, and demo-
be etymologically defined, and
the question should be asked of the
people of this country which form
of government they would be wil-

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ling to adopt, there would not be
found ten Americans who would
willingly submit to either.

The term federal is applied with
far more propriety to the govern-
ment of the United States, than
monarchy is to any of the govern-
ments of Europe which pass under
that name.

The government of the United
States did not lose its federal cha-
racter by the adoption of the new
constitution. The new constitu-
tion only furnished a remedy for
the defects of the former compact,
and rendered the federation more
perfect. The old confederacy had
no adequate sanction or coercive
power by which its decrees could
be carried into effect, as the States
were called upon, in their sovereign
or collective capacity, for obedi-
ence, and Congress had no means
of enforcing that obedience when
refused. This was the radical de-
fect in all the confederacies of an-
cient Greece and modern Europe,
in imitation of which the Ame-
rican union was formed. Hence
all the contention, turbulence, and
anarchy springing from the disobe-
dience of the members of the con-
federacy, that often terminated in its
destruction, and which have justi-
fied the censure bestowed on this
form of political compact. Aware
of the evils of all the known forms
of confederacy, the Convention
went far towards consolidation to
give efficiency and durability to the
new consititution; but the States re-
tained so much of their federal cha-
racter as to justify the use of the
name, given to the new compact, of
federal republic. The varieties of
the federal forms of government are
not less numerous than those of
monarchies and republics. The
difference between the old con-
federacy and new constitution, is
not much greater than between the
different confederacies of Europe.

Until, therefore, the State govern-

ments are absolutely destroyed, and
the whole territory of the United
States divided into districts or coun-
ties, according to the scheme so
warmly recommended by this wri-
ter, we must contend for the strict
propriety of the terms federal re-
and federal republicans.

After this attempt at verbal cri-
ticism and political reformation,
our author proceeds to depict the
evils which will proceed from the
success of federalism, or the Jeffer-
sonian system.

“Having sufficiently shown, by induc-
that the purpose of abolishing the
Constitution of the United States, and of
federalizing the country, is contemplated
by the Jeffersonian party, it is worth while
to inquire into the consequences of a suc-
cessful issue to the federalizing project.
“The inseparable concomitant of the
abolition of the present form of govern-
ment, is the annihilation of its debt,
should it even survive, which is doubtful
the election of Mr. J. The distress, the
horrors attendant on the overthrow of
the public credit, what mind is so callous
to view with unconcern! Thus will your
hearts, if they be made of penetrable stuff,
be rent with the sharp pangs of ancient
gentlemen, a long train, worn down with
sorrows and distresses, and decayed to a de-
pendance on the pittance of their stake in the
common fortune of the land
—thus will your
hearts, if not estranged from every touch
of pity, bleed at the unutterable woes of
widows and orphans, stripped of the
hardly-saved relics of happier days, or
the acquisitions of long and painful toil;
—thus, if the emotions of humanity be
not expunged from your system, if your
attributes be not denaturalized,
and all the
milk of human kindness turned to corrod-
ing gall, thus will your most poignant
emotions rise, at the sight of maimed ve-
terans stripped of the scanty means that
kept their honourable scars from mendi-
cancy, perishing in starvation, or bearing
their mouthed wounds to challenge pity
of the pityless. Gefrörn, like Pappen-
heim, —they will say
“Ille et nefasto nos posuit die,
opprobrium pagi.

“Such will be the dawn of the Sun of
Federalism: the malignant splendours of
its advance towards a meridian must

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fructify every inoculation and graft of
evil that can disgust the wise or distress
the good.”

We are next presented with a
terrifying picture of the disorders
and evils of “federal institutions.”
The principal features of this pic-
ture may be found in the histories
of Greece, Germany, Switzerland,
and the United Provinces, warned
by whose examples and their own
experience, the people of the United
States have given new energy to the
federal form of government; and it
is hoped, that by their adherence
to their present constitution, they
will escape all those evils which
have flowed from the imperfect in-
stitutions of Europe.

In the concluding passages the
writer seems to have exerted all his
powers to reach the most lofty
heights of sublimity and dazzling

That the reader will be enabled
to judge of his success, we shall
quote them.

“So abhorrent is equality to every im-
pulse of human nature, that men are not
only found restive under the application
of this principle to them as individuals,
but still more so in their political rela-
tions. Providence hath wisely ordained
a chain of grades and subordinacies, from
the peasant to the peer, from the mo-
narch to the collected majesty of all mo-
narchs. It is the frequent office of phi-
losophical arrogance to attempt the dis-
arrangement of this beautiful system, by
interposing the stumbling-blocks and the
foolishness of infidelity, and the vile con-
ceptions of mortal vanity. To the voice
of philosophers men have delighted more
to listen than to the voice of that wis-
dom which is from on high: but, as they
have delighted to drink at the polluted
streams of sophistry rather than at the
pure fountains of life, they have drank
deep damnation to themselves and their
posterity: as they have swerved from
those maxims by which society had been
wont to be held together—sanctified in
their origin, and embalmed in every
heart by their beneficent effects, men
have unvaryingly fallen off to that state

in which the remembrance of refinement
and the influence of system exist but in
projects for denaturalizing mankind, and
burying every wonted regulation of so-
ciety under a mass of choatic jargon.
“Government is an entire thing: it is
a system of influence, penetrating the ob-
scurity of modest virtue, and the den of
the lurking conspirator—encouraging,
and cheering, and praising, and reward-
ing, and promoting, and blessing what-
soever things of goodness and of fair re-
port come in contact with it; and stamp-
ing its seal of reprobation or of excom-
munication upon every nascent principle
of evil. A well-ordered state is a flourish-
ing oak—the constitution is its trunk—
its various ministers are the ramifica-
tions—each forming after its capacity a
proper conduit, through which circulates
the bounteous stream of the parent trunk,
to the leaves and foliages; which, like the
diversified actors on the great theatre of
life, are perpetually coming on and go-
ing off, while the mutual dependance is
admirably subserved by the superior per-
manency of the intermediate branches.
The leaves periodically wither, but the
trunk and its branches survive in unim-
paired vigour and glory: the hand of
violence may prune it of its branches—
the dependant leaves then perish by the
stroke; yet the tree is still a tree: but
the blow which levels the trunk, annihi-
lates the whole together.
“The venerable parent trunk, every
half-lunatic quack and subaltern juggler
thinks he may now subject to his deliri-
ous incantations. No unhappy metal
hath been ever more tortured with fire,
or the violence of iron, by crack-brained
chemists, hunting the philosopher's stone,
than has the constitution of almost every
State, by the Talgols, Sidrophels, and
Wackums of the present age. They
keep in the centre of the country, a vast
cauldron, which momentarily receives
supplies from a thousand contributary
spells, in which are brewed together
every possible ingredient of annoyance
and mischief. When the charm is firm
and good, it is their way to souse the un-
happy victim into the fatal vortex. It
expires in their hands, and in the act of
bubbling over the dragon's scales, and
wolves' teeth, and fenny snakes, and ty-
ger's chaudrons, and adder's forks, and
blind worms' stings, which now with
“Double, double toil and trouble,
Out of cauldron boil and bubble.

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“With infuriate and idiotic air, ano-
ther description of beings exhibit an in-
strument with which they are desirous
to divide the trunk into a multitude of
equal parts, in order that it may the bet-
ter accommodate their passion for variety
by growing in new, various, and eccen-
tric forms; and, to gratify this propen-
sity to change and novelty, are very
content to risk its life.
“It is time, in the idea of Burke, to
consecrate the state. It is time to bestow
on it whatever degree of venerability
and sanctity it is capable of receiving,
that the hand of innovation may be cast
into the fire, as the hand of sacrilege
and parricide. We have sailed round
the world of novelty without making
any discovery worth retaining, except
that our discoveries are worthless. We
have touched on island after island, we
have discovered new rocks, new quick-
sands, and new shoals, but we have dis
covered no new continent—we are yet
afloat on a wide and procellose ocean. In
a tone of much earnestness, and very se-
rious anxiety, I would repeat the inter-
rogation and exhortation of Horace:
‘O Navis, referent in mare te novi
Fluctus? o quid agis? fortiter occupa
It is, indeed, time to haul up the vessel,
and to repair the ravages of tempests
and whirlwinds; to secure a competent
rudder, to repair the sails, and even the
keel, instead of painting and patching
over her defects, by arts which cannot
content the wary, who confide nothing
in gilded baubles.”

These flights of rhetoric have all
the obscurity and turgidity of the
sublimest allegory. The writer soars,
indeed, beyond the reach of all mor-
tal understanding, and is an instance
of the near approach of the inspira-
tions of untutored genius to the effu-
sions of insanity.