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sonal contest, but it is the constitutional struggle of the oppressed against the oppressor, of virtuous opposition against systematick tyranny.
Is the national happiness in a state of jeopardy? Is our government respected in the eyes of foreign powers? And shall we be, wil. ling to remain quiet, and hug the chains by which we have so long been fettered ? In choosing Levi LINCOLN you are sure that you perpetu. ate the system which has hitherto been pursued, and which has nearly involved us in a ruin coextensive as the empire. By voting for Mr. GORE, you have at least a chance of safety, from the violence of the tempest. Levi Lincoln can never act the part of sincerity: he cannot alter his conduct without violating his pledge to the party who espoused him. He seems bound to it by all his tyrannical, hypocritical acts since he has been in office, as well as by the most solemn engage. ments to support the present system of policy pursued by the administration. If he were to act with the Federalists, he would disgrace them by his accession ; for it would be declaring that he never had a virtuous principle of action. I like to see a man faithful even to his own villany. Knowing therefore that we have no change to hope or to expect from Levi LINCOLN, we can judge from past experience what kind of happiness we should enjoy under the poisonous shade of his govern. ment. He has done every thing in his power to oppress the people of this state ; he has peremptorily refused to sign a bill to exempt our houses from UNCONSTITUTIONAL SEARCH; he has violated the rights of the citizens, in giving secret military orders, at the instigation of an unauthorized officer ; and he has avowed principles in his speech to the legislature, which, if admitted to be true, might involve the country in a system government the most despotick and oppressive. As for his talents, we are yet to discover the first evidence that they exist ; he has not showo them as a writer, as a lawyer, or as Lieut. Governour ; and we really have no disposition to pursue the experiment further in order to determine whether as Governour and commander in chief they will probably be more evidently developed. The experiment would be too dangerous ; it might terminate in a death-blow to our lib. erties, and prepared as the Lieut. Governour undoubtedly is to inflict it, for the gratification of his revenge.
Mr. GORE, on the other hand, will preserve your honour if he cannot reinstate your happiness. He will have a single eye to the publick good, and will co-operate with every other state in the union of corresponding dispositions, in restoring us to our former enviable situation, and render us once MORE THE SECOND COMMERCIAL nation ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH. He will constantly keep that glorious end in view, which you are determined never to relinquish. Under such sentiments can you hesitate a moment in your
choice? Between a man who has already avowed his determination to maintain
a policy by means of which we are now groaning under the last stage of indurance ; who openly declares that the constitution offers no barrier to the designs of his hostility to the federalists, and who is willing to enforce oppression by the sword ; and one who considers his honour and integrity dearer to him than his life, and will not even lesitate promptly to sacrifice the latter to preserve the former from suspicion.
PRESIDENT ADAMS'S LETTER.
“ Farewell, a long farewell to all my greatness." THE letter of the former leader of the federal party is now so much 'extolled by the very men who used formerly to exhaust the language of insolence and invective in abusing him, that we are doubtful whether it has not been fraudulently obtained. If the letter be genuine in all its parts ; if the tales of his mother and nurse are now recurring to the mind of the writer as important opinions; if like Swift's his mind is prostrated in his age, what a lamentable fall has he experienced !
O judgment, thou art fled to brutish beasts;
• And men have lost their reason.' Let any person peruse the publick answers of President Adams to the various addresses presented to him in 1798, while his faculties had their full display, and he will recognize an entirely different individual from him who wrote a letter to two democrats in Northampton. There is no affinity of sentiment, of dignity, or language to be discovered in the comparison. But every reader would pronounce, without any other ground of judgment than internal evidence, that the letter in question is a downright forgery, palmed upon the publick for electioneering purposes. If this is not the case, we are ready to exclaim with Churchill :
• Sure 'tis a curse, which angry Fates impose,
To drivel out whole years of Idiot breath,
ON AMERICAN FONDNESS FOR SIMILITUDE.
AMONG the striking defects, with which the American nation in a literary view is fairly to be charged, it appears to me, that no one is more apparent, than the taste for a profuse and almost promiscuous use of figure as it is called, or tropes, inetaphors and similes in their most familiar compositions. We have a kind of sickly appetite for such intellectual sweets, and cannot relish, but rather nauseate the raciness of more substantial food. Some of our writers oppress their subjects with a weight of Roman and Grecian names, which are distorted into some remote application to the object of his enquiry. The most familiar ide. as must be illustrated by a metaphor; as if every notion of the writer were so dark and obscure, as to require the torch of fancy to shew its formation. All authors of any celebrity are obliged to humour this perversion of taste, or else be contented to sink into insignificance without exciting censure or extorting applause. If a sermon, is printed, the first thing, which general readers seek in it, is the best simile; if it possesses any thing of the kind, it is bespattered with such praise and panegyrick as can only be deserved by the most laborious industry, exalted talents and accumulated learning. Ask Miss A or B how she is pleased with such a production, and if she admires it, she will be sure in the next sentence to repeat some similitude which it contained'; and which in truth, will be found the whole charm by which her admiration was raised. The ingenuity with which a subject may be handled, and the art of elegant writing, do not consist in the labour of collecting mythological allusions, or heaping up a pile of compari.
sons, without propriety or distinctness. The man of information requires something more, and the man merely of common sense, requires something less. If writers would condescend to reason and think, rather than distemper their fancies in seeking out eternally new similes and comparisons, though they would not satisfy the desires of the Miss at the boarding school, or even the literary woman of this country, yet the thinking part of the community would feel greatly obliged to them, for the pleasure they would afford. Let it be derstood that an objection is made to all illustrations of a subject because a too profuse and lavish use happens to be made of metaphor and simile. I have noticed the tendency of American writers and readers to this bad taste, because it appears that such sentiments as encourage its prevalence are rapidly increasing.
I have lately seen a pamphlet in which this kind of taste is made ev. ident. It proposes to be. A Brief Sketch OF SPain,' introduced in an. an account of the publick festival given in honour of Spanish valour and patriotism, by the citizens of Boston.' This Sketch is headed by
of mottos,' entitled . Hints of Men and Nations,' in which the language of Shakespeare and Brooke, is unnecessarily altered and applied to Ferdinand VII. Cevallos, Emp. Nap. Spirit of Spain, Napoleon, Great-Britain, Philosopher of Monticello, and New England. All this parade is merely to usher in twelve duodecimo pages about Spain and the valour of the Spanish patriots, in which we have similes and amplifications without end or propriety. The style is so exceedingly ambiguous that I cannot forbear to quote some instances of the soil of imagination running to weeds. For a taste,
'The late eruption of publick virtue in this southern extremity of Atlantick Europe, which has covered with a warm suffusion of transe port the cheeks of all brother patriots in every section of the globe. is not to be regarded as one of the wonders of this age of prodigies.' That is admirable! an eruption covering the cheeks of all brother patriots with a 'suffusion of transport is admirable ! 'Oh matter and impertinency mixed !'
The author is fond of the classicks; in this taste he denominates Napoleon, ' a HERO compounded of marginal notes translated from Plu tarch; a POLITICIAN, military as Rome, and corrupt as her Prætorian cohort. But' he had not suspected that the very arts which he employed to sever the rock at the basis of the mountain, would rend the ice on its summit, and produce an avalanche to crush him.' We can readily comprehend that Napoleon has been mistaken in the character of the Spaniards ; but cannot discover any similitude to that mistake, in his rending the ice at the summit of the mountain, by endeavouring to sever a rock at its base. The metaphor too implies a physical impossibility. We then are entertained with another comparison, between Vol. 1.
Napoleon and a Choctaw ; Napoleon in a cathedral, and the Choctaw in a philosophy chamber. Perhaps I should betray my ignorance in asking what it all means ; but I have no doubt I shall betray it grossly when I say that it has no meaning. But let the whole parallel be given.
• It is no wonder, therefore, that he has lounged into the cathedrals of Spain, as a Choctaw on his travels would stroll among the apparatus of a philosophy chamber. Kaply, both for a while, might be mightily tickled with so novel an amusenyent, in which their sole object was to gaze, to admire, and to pilfer. The royal robber would no doubt lay his hands on the superb and massy ornaments of the church, with as little ceremony and concern, as the “untutored Indian' would have in feeling and handling the magical workmanship of an electrick machine. This too, sans doubte, might all be done from curiosity-sheer curiosity; and the results of both experiments have been equally curious. • Noli me tangere' was a motto which the Indian never knew, and the Corsican had forgotten ; and thus they both agreed to touch and take; * but no such matter! For when the itching palm of the arch emperour sacrilegiously attempted to purloin the treasures of the sacristy, without asking first the wings of its sculptored saints to transport it, he fatally found, like his unsophisticated brother of the woods, that his too meddlesome finger had struck the conducting WIRE OF THE BATTERY, and what he had touched from amusement, had knocked him down in good earnest !
I shall only make another extract in rather a better, though yet distempered taste, for the satisfaction of your readers.
In the wide waste of her glory, we discern with pride, and, we commemorate with gratitude, the noble effort she made in the cause of American Liberty. As the generous and voluntary deed of a gallant and disinterested nation, it is worthy the brightest days of her chivalry. It was heroism without reproach, and without reward; it was a spark of Castillian fire, which relumined the quivering lamp in the clay cold cemetery of her honours. A great people can never be debased by a weak government. The love of country is a religion, which buros in all bosoms, and submits to all sacrifices. That man must be brave, who fears to outlive his country. His home and'his grave are sacred by the law of nature, and the prescriptions of ages. Farms and kingdoms may be sold, but not their inhabitants, or knight service. Men are not beir-looms to estates ; nor sumpter-mules to itinerant kings.'
I might greatly multiply instances of this nature, but I think I have already given-4 sufficient specimen to satisfy any reasonable or thinking mind of the propriety of my objections, to the hankering of American writers after ornament, and tinsel finery in their composition. Plain good sense has no chance with such persons; they despise it. And after all it is by no means so difficult to fill a composition with metaphorical illustrations as is generally supposed by the world ; and the mer.