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WICKEDNESS OF TOM BOSTON-PROPOSALS FOR AN ARMISTICE-NAVAL TRANSACTIONS-PHILOSOPHICAL REFLECTIONS OF THE HISTORIAN.
We have already had occasion to speak of the General Covenant, by which the family of Uncle Sam was governed. This instrument gave the Chief Steward authority to call out the armed servants of the whole family, on certain specified emergencies: viz. In case of invasion, to subdue insurrections, and to put the laws in force. No sooner had the declaration of hostilities gone forth, when off-popped a thundering proclamation, requiring all the liege servants of the family, to vex, hurt, plague, worry, bother, and in every way, teaze, pinch, frighten and thump John Bull, to a sense of his duty, and in aid of these potent persuasives, the Chief Steward immediately required of the chiefs of Clans in Tom Boston's dominions to put a certain number of the militia, or as they are humorously termed by the "Lords of the Ancient dominion," the Leather-apron-interest, under the control of the Field Marshal-general. Tom Boston instantly took fire on hearing this order, and resolutely forbid his Bashaws complying with it. Holding the General Covenant in one hand, and a clenched fist in the other, he exclaimed, “ None of the occasions stated ia the Covenant have occurred; these men are not wanted for defence-there is no invasion-there is no civil commotion-the Laws are not resisted." The
Chief Steward replied that a power to correct an evil, involved a power to prevent, and that if none of the cases had actually happened, yet he had taken the most certain measures to bring on an invasion, and insisted on his right to the forces required in the order, and almost intimated that obedience would be had in some way, either by hook or by crook. But Tom, stubborn as a mule, declared that if such an attempt was made "the flood that overwhelmed him must rise higher than his mountains-the storm that swept him, must tear him from the bottom of his vallies, and that sooner than yield, every vale should be a Thermopylae, every height, Bunker's hill."
On hearing this daring insolence of the hardened Boston, the Chief Steward with infinite address shook his head, and nothing but the most consummate self command, kept him from shaking his fist. Eut the har dened ingrate did not escape without punishment. Or ders were immediately given for a proclamation-burden of hard names to be manufactured in the Slang mills, and the Lamp black factories, to be hung in hand-bills, around the shoulders of Tom and his Coadjutores and oppugnatores; who had the hardy presumption to resist the powers that be, or the authority, that would be. Among the Chiefs who distinguished themselves by their disobedience, were Caleb Codline, Roger Saybrook, and George Mountain. They too, partook lustily of the punishment which was meted out to Tom Boston.
Tom and his associates were called, Rebels, Tories, Bullites and Factionists, besides being obliged to suffer the excruciating tortures inflicted by 10,000 profound contempts, and to endure the inexpressible anguish being let alone.
But what evinced the most obdurate and premeditated villany, was these remorseless wretches, Gallio like, * cared for none of these things."
Since the thread of adventures is broken, it well here to mention that John Bull, hearing that Nap had by a proclamation revoked his decrees, rescinded his orders in Council, and proposed a cessation of hostilities. This, he fancied, might lead to an accommodation, as by it one of the principal causes of contention were removed. And indeed, had Uncle Sam been left to himself, his wrath being somewhat cooled, it is believed he would have accepted it. But the Chief Steward considered his honor concerned, in obtaining the whole or nothing. And the event proved the wisdom of his calculations; for he warred most valiantly more than two years, and then made a " Glorious peace" on the precise terms now offered, saving that he gave up the privilege of catching fish in a certain place, and a small lump of territory, merely to prove the sincerity of his disposition. Conquest, how resistless are thy attractions; Honor, thou art something more than a "trim reckoning," more than the image of "him who died yesterday," or, in thy forbidding presence, Nature might be permitted to plead-and reason to advocate!
New courteous and delighted reader, since you and I have been in copartnership hitherto in this toilsome journey, frequently through unpleasant paths; let us now like two dogs long kenneled together, break out and snuff the breezy gale," the fragrant air, and seek, if not better, more agreeable company. We leave for awhile the costume of masquerade, and the regions of metaphor, we become ourselves and dare to be men.
It was on the tenth of February, 1799, the earth had not yet been broken to inhume the mortal remains of Washington, when the gallant Truxton, encountered, and took the Insurgent, one of the finest ships in the service of the French Directory. The day was as glorious to the American people as its recollections will be grateful to future ages. The sons of Columbus, had endured every indignity from that accursed band of civilized pirates, which it was in the power of human wickedness to offer, had suffered the last outrage which the patience of a Christian could endure, or his charity forgive; when she would read in this important event, that a beneficent Providence had yet some designs of mercy towards an ungrateful people, that a redeeming crisis was yet presented, if they were disposed to embrace it. The friends of Honor, of their Country and the Constitution, were awakened to hope, to gratitude and the holy duties of Patriotism. The triumph of the Naval hero was complete. His praises were sung in both hemispheres, in both worlds. Real Americans lavished on his name, their highest songs of praise: they did more; they bestowed on him the rich bequests of their gratitude and love. The gentlemen of Loyds, recollecting that Americans were allied to them, not less by valor and the love of glory, than by blood, presented him with a service of plate worth five hundred dollars, as a testimony of their respect for his talents and his valor, as a proof that every true son of honor is a citizen of all nations, although he can be descended only from one.
But the honor of the Naval Hero was short-lived in his own country. The gangrene of political apostacy hat pervaded the limbs of the body politic, had taken
deep root, and threatened slow, but certain ruin. A minister from the American republic, had, in violation, not merely of his instructions, but of the laws of honor and the restraints of shame, offered to mortgage the resources of America to the profligate Directory of France. He was promptly recalled and censured by Washington. Instead of making suitable expiation for this offence, three Ministers were afterwards sent, whe dared to fulfil their duty, to say that their Country had rights and insist on their admission. A storm arose. The advocates of American rights were driven from their places in the government, and men devoted to the interests of France were put in their stead. So glorious a thing was it to be the suppliant of a foreign Despotso politically pious, to outstrip the Divine behest, "Love your enemies.”
A navy became the object of scorn and derision. The immense debt of England was cited as the offspring of her overgrown navy; her navy was declared to be the procuring cause of her perpetual wars. Our little fleet was dispersed by the wind of popular disgust. We were declared to be land-lubbers in fee-simple: tenants of Earth and not of Ocean.
The events which form the sequel to this interesting epoch of our history, are familiar to all; they will be still more intimately felt by the hearts and happiness of posterity.
Will it be credited by future times, that such was the temper of the American government, towards a navy, although then actually engaged in war with that power which they most dreaded and hated, when the gallant Capt. Hull informed them by his letter of August 30th, 1812, dated off Boston light house, that after an action