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hensive terms, as to leave cause at least for a doubt as to their real import, there is nothing more difficult, than to devise an efficient method of satisfying the fellow-citizens of the intended personage, of their falsity. If on a charge of this kind any promptitude is discovered in understanding the nature of the particular circumstances, alluded to by the accuser, it is converted by minds, already prejudiced, into an obvious evidence of guilt; and that anxiety for the preservation of reputation and good name, so natural an inhabitant of the human breast, is twisted and perverted into a certain indication of too near an acquaintance with the cause of the attack.
If then, as has been shown, the usage of obscure and ambiguous terms, in the exposure of whatever merits censure from the press, be inconsistent with that candour, which ought particularly to characterize the conductor of a public paper, in the discharge of his editorial duties, it follows that the press should never be made subservient to the accusation of an individual, until such proofs have been adduced to its proprietor as are of sufficient strength to justify an open and unconcealed attack. If satisfactory testimony has proved the verity of what he intends disclosing, there can be no necessity for a disguised method of proceeding; nor can there be the least impropriety, under such circumstances, on the part of the editor, in depicting and holding out to public view the guilt of the accused; but on the contrary, the welfare of society calls for his exposure, and instead of meriting the reproaches of his fellow-citizens for what may by some be styled an unnecessary officiousness, he by so doing becomes possessed of a claim to their warmest approbation. Thus the wickedness on the one hand of assailing in this manner the reputation of a man of real integrity, and on the other, the futility of such a method of rendering public, the dishonest conduct of a bad character, are I trust, satisfactorily evinced.
It is impossible to examine into the beneficial consequences, that must result, in every country, from supporting and nourishing the freedom of the press, without feeling sensible of its great importance. As a preservative of national liberty its value cannot be too highly appreciated, and although in tyrannical governments, its inconsistency with the measures of their despotic,
rulers has caused them to confine its natural privileges within such limits as may prevent any good consequences springing from its use, yet that very fear indicates the acquiescence on their part in the truth of its being an instrument too dangerous and effectual, in the hands of a patriot, for its use to escape restriction, and serves to illustrate the importance of preserving it unshack· led by the restraints of municipal law. The “ freedom of the press” to be “unshackled” does not however imply the necessity of its being left in every case without restriction. If every one that edited a paper were allowed the liberty of circulating with impunity whatever he chose at the expense of his neighbours, the certain consequence would be a rapid degeneracy into licentiousness. Hence the necessity of imposing such penalties on the unfounded aspersions of individual reputations, as may serve to prevent the abuse of that freedom, which every encroachment on its boundaries will tend to destroy. The truth of whatever is alleged against another is in every case a sufficient excuse for so doing, if we consider the circumstance in a civil sense; but when we regard the subject in a moral point of view, the rule will evidently experience a considerable change. In the first place mere malice may induce us to disclose certain circumstances in the private history of an individual, which can be of no material consequence to the public. Those circumstances may possibly be of such a nature as to ruin the reputation of the person they concern, and yet their exposure may have no beneficial effects upon society. Who could possibly have the effrontery in a case of this kind to declare that he was convinced of the propriety of publicly exposing the private failings of an individual, from the knowledge he possessed of their reality and truth? Who is there that can deem the truth ofan assertion an excuse for advancing it, when that assertion menaces with ruin the character of a fellow-citizen, without the most distant prospect of any other consequence resulting from its publication? Hence we discover the impropriety of circulating reports however true, when they cannot posibly have any other effects than such as are prejudicial to the interests of a private member of society; for allow me to ask what motive we can assign for so doing? Not the good of society, for by the supposi
tion this cannot be affected by it, nor is it the hope of reclaiming the delinquent, for we suppose those circumstances to have been atoned for and forgotten. The only object then we can have in view is the gratification of our passions, the inconsistency of which with the proper conduct of the press, has been before illustrated, and the reconciling which with our consciences, will, I fear, be found, on trial, a task of considerable difficulty. From these remarks, it is obvious, that in many cases the truth" ought not to be considered as a mitigation of the offence, and although the damage that may result to the injured person, from the allegations against his integrity being universally believed, shall by some be deemed a proper punishment for the offences of which he has been guilty, yet the criminality of tearing from the grave circumstances that have almost sunk into oblivion, and for the sole purpose of gratifying a spirit of animosity, remains the same; and however flattering may chance to be the approbation his successful attempts to destroy the hitherto unsullied character of a fellow-citizen, from such as were personally at enmity with the accused, there exists an internal monitor, which will not fail of reminding him that the praise of the world can never atone for the impropriety of an action, however speciously gilded over with a pretended regard for the common welfare of society, when conscious himself of its having originated it the most malignant and detestable motives.
H. Y. Baltimore, Vovember 29,
ORIGINAL POETRY-FOR THE PORT FOLIQ.
THE NECKLACE OF BONES.
YE bards of Manhattan, who aim by your lays,
From morn's glowing lustre, or eve's silver dews,
Our grandmother Eve, who was nobody's niece,
But chang'd are the fashions; a fair who can boast
When Cupid led lovers to Hymen's bless'd throne,
6 Since flesh is but grass”-and was uppermost then; Much inore, will our belles be adınir'd by the men Who, with beauty and grace, take pains to provide Such bones as Lucella’s, and wear them outside.
To the glance of the maiden, whose sparkle is true,
But give me the fair, who united to these,
Such virtues will last when e'en riches have sped,
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
The Music of Life Anew Song, by a Military Cavalier.
The music of life is the song of my friend, When his generous soul expands at my board,
As my wine sparkles round, and my soul I unbend, To know that bland friendship and truth are adored.
The music of life is the voice of the maid, When her lover her ardent affection doth press;
While her cheeks all in blushes, her lips half afraid, The enrapturing “yes” she delights to confess.
The pleasure of life's the relief I can give
To see the lorn smile of his hope again live; .
'Tis the music of life, when the drum rolls to arms, And the soldier's proud spirit beats loud at his heart;
Though the foe is advancing he dares the alarms, Which threat to invade the dear friends of his heart.
The music of life's the anthem's sweet peal, Which swells on the breeze of morning to heaven;
The sounds, no dull mortal can ever reveal, 'Tis gratitude's song-from the heart it is given.