« PreviousContinue »
exertion of the federal party only serves to strengthen.
"The difference" (between a civilized & savage life)" is not so great as may be imagined. Hap
Now, if there is sufficient dignity in this politi-piness is more generally and equally diffused cal contest to occupy the attention of our fellow citizens, all that we ask of the party disaffected to the administration is, that they may be able fight their electioneering battles with some tolerable chance of success, and not with an absolute certainty of defeat. As the contest stands at pre sent, there is no hope of change, and there will be none if the respective parties are denominated as they now are. Allowing that this is a ridiculous state of things, such is, notwithstanding, the fact We have here nothing to do with the question whether the charges urged by these gentlemen against our administration are true or false-it is
among savages than in our civilized societies. No European who has once tasted savage life can aftertowards bear to live in our societies. The care and labour of providing for artificial and fashionable wants-the sight of so many rich wallowing in superfluous plenty, whereby so many are kept poor and distressed by want-the insolence of office-the snares and plagues of law-and the restraints of custom; all contribute to disgust them with what we call civil society."
The correctness of the doctor's opinion may perhaps be disputed: we, however, give the observation as it was found, without comment, more as a matter of curiosity than as an absoluta truien
canta have dan.
From the New-York Courier.
THE CRITIC, No. I.
with the most assurance of advantage. The editor of the Delaware Gazette goes on to remark, that the leaders of the majority "do not wish a union. of the parties." To be sure, they do not, and for the very reason above stated they do not; for as long as things continue as they are, they are almost certain of a majority. It is on this very ground that we urge the measure-namely, that it may fairly be ascertained by an election what the real sense of our countrymen is. But what is it to the great and majestic mass of our fellow citizens what those, called by courtesy the leaders of the party, think on the one side or on the other If men enjoying public confidence are interested in the preservation of this unmeaning brawl between two parties who think alike, this furnishes the strongest of all arguments why this political union ought to be adopted. But if the name, and nothing else, is necessary to the continuance of
It is a remarkable fact, that although ignorance upon political and scientific subjects is favourable to the prosperity, and in some degree essential to the stability of monarchial government, Great Britain patronizes literature more than any nation although political and scientific illumination is on the globe. It is still more remarkable, that indispensably necessary to the durability of a republic, the people of the United States support nation on earth. We boast of our political indeand encourage literature less than any civilized pendence on Europe, but yield most submissively to the tyranny of the English press in all matters relating to literature. The most contemptible burgh is eagerly bought, read, and admired here, production which can issue from London or Edinwhile the best productions of America are not to be found in our libraries. A work is published
such men in office, a question may be de, whe-here, and attracts no notice; it is republished in
mortality, to be handed down to posterity-it is
ther the present cabinet hold their stations more
encourage literature, and to exalt the literary reI consider it as much the duty of a patriot to watch-putation of his country, as it is to advance her for what can contribute more to the national glory military fame, and vindicate her political rights, of any country, than her pre-eminence in literature? Take a retrospect of past ages, and you find that the brightest and most glorious page of the history of any nation, is that which is illuminated by the torch of science.
Pyramids, obelisks, and mausoleums are crum
bled by the shock of time, but the monuments of genius are imperishable.
We have been favoured with the following curious observation from the pen of Dr. Franklin. It was found among a number of remarkable manu-dence, and contend with Europe for literary, as When shall we assert our intellectual indepenscript notes of his, written on the margin of a well as political pre-eminence. We defy them in pamphlet, called "Moral and Political Reflec-arms, and vanquish them; we boast our superi tions," published in London in 1770, and has sibly acknowledge our inferiority in literature— ority in the science of government; but we sennever before been made public. we never dare to say whether a play, a poem, or
philosophical treatise is worthy of praise, until authorized by British decisions.
The following remarks on the progress of seifo-ence in the United States, are extracted from a letter written, as is said, by Dr. Mitchell to one of his European correspondents.
How long shall our neglect exile genius from our shores, to seek support and subsistence in reign countries }
The insensibility of the people of the United States is so palpable, and so universally known by American authors, that in order to insure success to their productions, they sometimes resort to the innocent stratagem of passing them upon the Public, as the offspring of some European writer. Then they are applauded and patronized. Mr. Barker, of Philadelphia, who should be emphati. cally styled the American Dramatist, has written a number of plays, that ought to be numbered among the standing stock of the theatre. He wrote, a few years ago, a play entitled Marmion, the plot of which is taken from Scott's Marmion. Barker's Marmion is decidedly more interesting than Mr. Scott's. He has removed the intricacy and oband marked the characters of the original much more strongly. Marmion and Lady Heron excite our just abhorrence: De Wilton is rendered a character of the highest interest and dignity. The mysterious and awful air which De Wilton assumes in the habit of the palmer; and the supernatural influence which he exerts over Marmion, by a word or a glance, heightens our admiration and respect
1-1 1 LAVDA.
quent the play
"There was probably never such a time as the present for the cultivation of natural sciences in America. Think of the number of able hands actually engaged in the several branches for which they have a preference, and whom I have had the pleasure of seeing within a few months at NewYork. Mr. Bradbury, who returned from the land of the Mandanes and Ricaras, on the high Missouri, a few years ago, loaded with indigenous plants and other productions, is now as ardent and as capable as ever to discover new objects. Mr. Frazer, after enriching Europe with the plants which he and his father found in their long and diversified tours through the United States, ply for our praterres and gardens. Mr. Ralinesque, already distinguished for his ingenious, learned, and original publications, is now employing the acuteness of his genius in botanical, zoological, and other investigations. Mr. Nastall, the traveller through the vast regions west of Lake Superior and north of the river Missouri, possesses superior qualifications and unquenchable ardour. Whitlow, among other things, for his zeal in favour of a new economical vegetable, I do not pretend to say that Mr. Barker equals and for introducing most elegant figures of plants, his original in every part of his play, nor do I painted in transparent colours. Mr. Pursch, the think any man could in the dramatic form; but I author of the Flora of North-America, a grand do say, that (take it all in all) the play produces performance, posting up all that his predecessors emotions much more strong, an interest much and cotemporaries have done, and adding thereto more intense, and a moral effect much more salu-his owu extensive and correct researches. Mr. tary, than the poem. This play has been acted on Rich, the publisher of the Synopsis of the Genera the Philadelphia and New-York theatres with of American Plants, the neatest and most conve nient manual that has ever been offered to our great eclat, under the supposition that it was a Mr. Le Seur, the famous European production. It is now printed, and is botanical students. sold by Mr. Longworth in New-York, and should voyager to Timor, New Holland and Van Dieman's be read by every man who is a lover of the drama, Land, whose knowledge of marine zoology surand who is disposed to foster American genius. I passes that of every other person with whom I Mr. Maclure, long known as should make some extracts from Barker's Mar-have conversed. our ablest geologist, has now come to take the mion, but the play is accessible to every one, and field again, with directing and doing the most in no extracts can be made which can do justice to the whole. The following lines, however, interesting works. Admiral Coffin, in addition to which Marmion presses Lady Heron to sing, are professional merit of an exalted degree, is a treasure of ichthyological facts; and much may be truly Shakespearean. expected from his spirited exertions to explore the depths of the ocean. Nor are these all," &c. Mer. Adv.
for his character.
Lady H. And yet, by harmony I vow,
I cannot sing-I must not, dare not sing.
Mar. Your eyes are open,
And Phebus' shafts are piercing as his sounds. Lady H. O you're a flatterer.
Let it not be believed, that in speaking thus of Mr. Barker's literary merits, I am actuated by friendship, or undue partiality for American productions. The fact is, I never saw that gentleman in my life, and never had the pleasure to read his Marmion until a few days ago. I design, hereafter, to examine some of the popular productions of Byron, Scott, and others, and compare them with some of our American au
LEGISLATURE OF NEW-HAMPSHIRE.
The committee appointed to examine and cast the returns for Governor reported,
That the whole number of votes which the committee deem legally returned is Estimated as scattering
38,407 75 19,204
Necessary to a choice
His excellency WILLIAM PLUMER had 20,338 17,994 Honourable JAMES SHEAFE had And Mr. Plumer was declared duly elected. At twelve o'clock his excellency the Governor met the two branches of the Legislature in the representatives chamber; and after being constitutionally qualified, made the following
Fellow citizens of the Senate and
siderable expense to the State, and is a burthen to many officers. To remedy this inconvenience, would not the rights of our citizens be equally as secure, if the numbers necessary to compose a court martial were considerably reduced? I recommend to your consideration the law of Con
In meeting the legislature at this time, I cannot omit congratulating you on the prosperous condition of our common country. When, on a for-gress of the 20th of April respecting the number and rank of field officers in the militia.
mer occasion, I had the honor of addressing the two houses, the United States were involved in an The progress that we have made in useful arduous struggle with a nation, that of all others, manufactures within the last four years has been had the means of inflicting on us the greatest in-great, and afforded much aid to our country in the jury. But the brilliant atchievements of our fel- time of her greatest need. Of these establishlow-citizens, both by sea and land, have nobly ments there are a considerable number in this sustained and increased our former reputation for State; and no class of citizens have, perhaps, suf enterprize and valor; and by the signal proofs fered so much by the return of peace as those enwhich we gave, of a firm and resolute determina-gaged in manufactures. Though it is the peculiar tion to defend, at all hazards, our violated rights, province of the general government to aid them, we have, with the blessing of Heaven, raised our and though they have evinced their disposition to public character in the estimation of other nations, afford relief, by protecting duties, and by repealine their lowe imposing taxes on the Algiers, which has terminated since the last ses-dering that these establishments render us less sion, has emblazoned with additional glory the dependent on other nations, and that our constituarms of the United States. The disgraceful tri- || tion has made it our duty to encourage them, I bute which the pirates of Africa have exacted from recommend to your consideration the propriety all civilized nations trading in the Mediterranean || of exempting the property vested in these estahas been successfully resisted by the United blishments from taxes under the laws of this State, States; and the people of this country, long dis- for a certain number of years. tinguished for their peaceful habits, have set an example in war, which the nations of Europe cannot fail to admire, and which I hope they will eventually imitate. But though our disposition, habits and interest render us pacific, yet the amiable spirit of peace, accompanied by a course of impartial justice, is not of itself sufficient to insure a permanent state of public tranquillity, against the encroachments and rapacity of other nations. It is therefore our duty in time of peace to make the necessary preparations for war. Those preparations have not only a natural tendency to prolong the blessings of peace, but enable a nation, when the calamites of war can no longer be avoided, to vindicate its rights and avenge its wrongs with great advantage.
The people of this State are biennially required to elect six men to represent them in the congress of the United States. We have made these elections by a general ticket; but I think if the State were divided, according to its population, into six districts, as nearly equal and compact as can be formed without dividing towns, it would be a real improvement. The electors would then have a more full and thorough knowledge of the character and qualifications of the men for whom they vote; and the local interests, feelings, and sentiments of the people of every portion of the State would be more truly represented in the national legislature. This principle has been adopted by our constituents in the election of State senators. The constitution, when first established, divided the State into only five districts for the choice of twelve senators; but when it was revised, the people ordered it to be divided into twelve districts, each district to elect one senator. It appears a majority of the States now elect their representatives to congress by districts. Should you adopt this mode of election, I think it would be adviseable to have each district vote for its representative at the same time and on the same ballots when they vote for State officers. That mode would not only be most convenient to the people, but the public mind would be more fully expressed, for no meeting of the primary assemblies are so generally attended as those in March.
Within thirty-four days preceding the first Wednesday of December next, eight persons are to be appointed in this State, as electors of a president and vice-president of the United States. Though the constitution of the United States gives to the legislature of each State the autho rity to decide the manner in which the electors shall be appointed, and, under that authority, some legislatures have themselves appointed the electors, yet I think the manner generally adopted, that of electing them by the people, is most congenial with the spirit of our republican institutions; and that the mode that appears most equal and proper, is that of dividing the State into eight districts, upon the same principle as
Though the constitution of the United States has given to the general government the principal authority of making these preparations, yet we also have a duty to perform: we are bound to improve the state and condition of the militia, which our constitution considers, when "well regulated," as our most "proper, natural and sure means of defence." To render the militia efficient, it is absolutely necessary that they should be well arm. ed and well disciplined; without these, the efforts of the bravest men will prove unavailing. In our late war the deficiency of arms was severely felt; and sound policy requires we should make such || provision as will in future prevent a recurrence of this evil. In one respect there is a differéncé, which ought not to exist, between our laws and those of the United States. According to the former, the trainband is to be composed of men between the ages of sixteen and forty; but by the latter, of those between the ages of eighteen and forty-five. As the constitution of the United States gives to Congress the authority of organizing the militia, our laws on this subject ought to conform to that of the United States. From the nature and constitution of all military establishments, courts martial have been found necessary; our law requires that when a court of this kind is appointed, by a general of the lowest grade, it shall consist of thirteen members; which is attended with con
recommended for representatives to congress, the || people of each district choosing one clector.
As the time of one of our senators in the senate of the United States will expire on the third day of March next, I presume you will, according to the usual practice, make a new election at the present session.
verdict at the common pleas, a second verdict at the superior court on the appeal, a third on review, and, if the judges think necessary, a fourth on a new trial. A law explicitly defining the only causes for which judges should set aside verdicts would be an improvement in our system of jurisprudence. And considering the number of trials to which suitors are by law entitled, it appears to me, that if judges were prohibited from rejecting the verdicts of juries in all cases, except those in which the court may be of the opinion that some of the jurors have received bribes, or been guilty of corruption, it would be safer for the community than the present prac tice.
Congress, at their last session, ordered a direct tax to be assessed the present year upon the people of each State, equal to half the amount of the last assessment; which is probably the last tax of the kind that will be levied for many years. By information which I have recently received from the secretary of the treasury of the United States, it appears, that it is now too late for the legislature to assume that tax, so as to entitle the State to any deduction:
By our constitution, all the judges of our courts of law are to hold their offices during good haviour, until they arrive to the age of seventy, and cannot legally be deprived of their seats by the other branches impeachment by the house of representatives for crimes and misdemeanors, and conviction thereof by the senate, or by the governor and council on the address of both houses of the legislature. The object of the people, in making these provisions, was to render the tenure of judicial officers as permanent and as independent of the legislative and executive authority, as the nature of a free government would permit, that the citizens might securely enjoy as impartial an interpreta-dutics. tion of the laws, and as pure an administration of justice, as the lot of humanity would admit. Notwithstanding these fundamental and salutary prin- || ciples, the legislature in 1813, in effect, removed all the justices of the superior court of judica-six ture and courts of common pleas from office, and that not on impeachment or address, but by a law. By that law they created a supreme court, and entrusted a single member of it with the power of deciding important questions deeply affecting the property, liberty, and character of our citizens; and gave to six justices of two other courts which they made, the management of the prudential concerns of all the counties. The powers thus delegated appear better suited to the nature of a monarchial than to a republican vernment. Under these circumstances, I deem it my duty to recommend to you the repeal of the two acts passed on this subject on the twenty-tate their pernicious example, till it destroys the fourth of June, and the fifth of November, 1813. simplicity, and changes the manners and habits of To repeak these laws will not be innovating, but the people. This is an evil pregnant with danger restoring a system of administering justice, that to a free government. It was the observation of has, in substance, been coeval with the early set- a man not less eminent for his talents as a statestlement of the country. man than his knowledge as a historian, that high salaries are evidence of the decline of republicanism in a State. Indeed, no government can long subsist but upon its original foundations, and by a frequent recurrence to the principles on which it was first instituted. I therefore recommend to your consideration, the propriety of reducing the salaries of the governor, the justices of the su preme court, and the treasurer.
The salary granted to the governor, for several years past, is nearly double to what it was formerly. Those to the justices of the superior court, in the year 1792, were to the chief justice hundred dollars, and each of the associate justices four hundred sixty-six dollars sixty-seven cents per annum, but now they are fifteen hundred to the one, and twelve hundred to each of the others. Whenever the salaries in a republic are raised so high as to excite a spirit of avarice, and induce men to seek office from sordid motives, it has a direct tendency to extinguish public spirit, and to destroy the laudable ambition of holding office for the noble purpose of promoting the public good. It tends to multiply the number of go-office-seekers, increase intrigue and corruption, produce extravagance and luxury in the officers; and their influence insensibly leads others to imi
Our public offices were made, not for the emo. Jument of the officer, but to promote the public interest; and by the constitution frugality is conbe-sidered as indispensably necessary, and economy an essential virtue to the State. The great mass of our citizens aroducts of manual labour, & rom this class of people is collected the principal portion of taxes paid into the public treasury. -Under such a government, and from such a people, justice and sound policy equally require that the salaries of their public officers should be moderate, not exceeding an adequate compensation for the actual services they perform. We have few, if any offices, that require the officer to devote all his time to the discharge of its
As the trial by jury is an inestimable privilege, and as jurors by their oath are bound, not simply to decide the fact, but the law arising in the case; it merits inquiry whether judges have not too often set aside the verdicts of juries, and deprived the people of a portion of the benefits that would otherwise have resulted from that invaluable institution. Many of our judicial precedents are drawn from Britain, whose laws are variant from the spirit of our institutions. Her government is monarchial, and entrusts the rights of the people to the direction of the few; but ours is republi-ture unalienable. Civil and religious liberty have can, and the rights of its citizens are committed usually flourished and expired together. To preto the protection of the many. There a single serve their purity requires the constant unremit verdict, if received by the court, decides the ed vigilance of the people and their legislators. cause; but here, in one cause, there may be a If any religious associations request acts of in
The rights of conscience and of private judg ment in religious matters are not only secured by our constitution to all men, but are in their na
1768, passed a law removing the college to ano-
a college, the good effects of which we daily ex-provided, that the president, trustees, professors,
As it will be necessary, the next year, to pass
corporation, to enable them more fully and securely to enjoy their religious privileges, it appears to be our duty to grant them. The correctness of their tenets is a subject that lies between God and their own consciences, and is one that no human tribunal has any right to decide. While, therefore, it becomes every man scrupulously to examine the foundations of his own belief, he cannot guard with too much jealousy against the encroachments of the civil power on his religious liberties.
There is no system of government where the general diffusion of knowledge is so necessary as in a republic. It is, therefore, not less the duty than the interest of the State to patronize and support the cause of literature and the sciences. So sensible were our ancestors of this, that they early made provision for schools, academies, and
Our business, as legislators, is to redress the grievances, and make laws to secure the rights of the people. If to this work we bring a right temper and disposition of mind, we shall find the path of duty clear and plain. We are the representatives of an important member of the only great republic that now exists. The principles of our policy should therefore be just and liberal, and our views extended beyond the interest and feelings of the present moment. As we are legis. in-lating for future times, we cannot too often reflect, what judgment posterity will pass on our public character, when the spirit of party shall subside, and the passions and petty interests of the present times are forgotten. A great man of our nation, not less distinguished for unaffected piety than for real patriotism, observed, That the judgment of posterity should be to the statesman what the final judgment is to the Christian. And let us never
The college was formed for the public good, not for the benefit or emolument of its trustees; and the right to amend and improve acts of incorporation of this nature, has been exercised by all governments, both monarchial and republican. Sir Thomas Gresham established a fund to sup-forget, that office, however exalted, titles, howport lecturers in Gresham college in London, ever splendid, and emoluments, however great, upon the express condition that the lecturers can confer no honour on the officer, unless he should be unmarried men, and upon their being faithfully discharges the duty of his trust; and married their interest the fund should absolute- that a faithless man raised to office is but the ly cease; but the British parliament, in the year herald of his own disgrace, and the scourge of