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pose of a large part of the income of that benevolent man, thus nobly devoted to the comfort of his afflicted fellow creatures. When he observed a covetous disposition, in those who were abounding in riches, he was more severe in the expression of disapprobation, than respecting almost any other error, in the circle of human frailty. He considered a penurious mind as scarcely rational, and aware of his liability to censure with severity those who indulged that degrading propensity, he often checked himself when about to give loose to his feelings in relation to it, having been frequently heard to say, that “ the highest act of charity in the world was to bear with such unreasonableness of mankind.”
An acquaintance of his, relating to him in conversation that he trad recently heard of a person in whose coffers after his death, many thousand dollars in specie were found, Benezet expressed great sorrow at being informed of the circumstancce, and begged of his friend to give as little currency as possible to the fact, adding, that he thought, “ it would have been quite as reasonable to have had as many thousand pairs of boots or shoes in the house, whilst the poor were suffering in bare feet for the want of them.”
He deeply lamented the consequences which he saw were produced by the love of money; tracing to that cause many of the unhappy turmoils which often laid waste the harmony of families, and which was not unfrequently the foundation of sanguinary conflicts between nations. When he has been made acquainted with the existence of disputes between individuals on account of pecuniary matters, he has been known to negociate with them, by persuading one to accept less than his demand and the other to allow more than he at first conceived right, and having thus brought them to the nearest point of reconciliation, he has paid the difference out of his own pocket, and restored the parties to peace and intercourse, without suffering either of them to know, it was purchased at the er- ! pense of purse.
Our readers will not be displeased with one or two more passages of a similar character.
“ His kindness and charity towards objects of distress were intuitive. One of his friends related having seen him take off his coat in the street and give it to an almost naked mendicant, and go home in his shirt sleeves for another garment.
Another instance, illustrative of this prompt benevolence may be cited; whilst it affords an additional proof of the efficacy of his humane appeals to those in high worldly rank, even when the mode of his application was calculated by its singularity, to render his efforts abortive.
During the American war, when the British army occupied Philadelphia, Benezet was assiduous in affording relief to many of the inhabitants, whom the state of things at that distressing period had reduced to great privation. Accidentally observing a female, whose countenance indicated calamity, he immediately inquired into her circumstances. She informed him that she was a wasberwoman, and had a family of small children dependent on her exertions for subsistence; that she had formerly supported them by her industry, but then having six Hessians quartered at her house, it was impossible from the disturbance they made, to attend to her business, and she and her children must speedily be reduced to extreme poverty. Having listened to her simple and affecting relation, Benezet determined to meliorate her situation. He accordingly repaired to the general's quarters; intent on his final object, he omitted to obtain a pass, essential to an uninterrupted access to the officer, and entering the house without ceremony he was stopped by the sentinel, who after some conversation, sent word to the general “ that a queer looking fellow insisted upon sceing him.” He was soon ordered up. Benezet on going into the room, inquired which was the chief, and taking a chair, seated himself beside the general. Such a breach of etiquette surprised the company present, and induced a German officer to exclaim, in his vernacular tongue, “ what does the fellow mean?” Benezet however, proceeded, in French, to relate to the general the cause of his visit, and painted the situation of the poor woman in such vivid colours, as speedily to accomplish the purpose of his humane interference. After thanking the commander for the ready acquiescence to his request, he was about taking his departure, when the general expressed a desire to cultivate a further acquaintance, requesting him to call whenever it might be convenient, at the same time giving orders, that Benezet in future should be admitted without ceremony.
He died in 1784, and it is related that his interment produced “the greatest concourse of people that had ever been witnessed on a similar occasion in Philadelphia:" there being “a collection of all ranks and professions among the inhabitants,” to testify their respect for the memory of the deceased.
Mr. Vaux is entitled to the thanks of the community for preserving so valuable an example. In his style there is no parade of sentiment or glitter of ornament. It is a “ round unvarnished tale," told in a neat manner, of an uncommonly good man
CRITICISM.-Festoons of Fancy, consisting of compositions amatory, sen
timental and humorous, in verse and prose. By William Littell, Esq. LL. D.--From the Press of Wm. Farquar, Louisville, Ken. 1814. 12mo. pp. 180.
This is a very amusing collection of essays, written by a vieux garçon, in the west, who scatters the arrows of ridicule in all directions. Although all unus'd to the melting mood, he speaks with some feeling on the silent eloquence of love;" but he very soon abandons the fairy bowers of poesy to mingle in mortal strifes. He has availed himself, with more wit than decorum of the style of the Bible to describe the proceedings of the Legislature of Kentucky in certain cases. At p. 70 we have the petition of one of those would-be Solons, whose existence is among the taxes which a free country must endure. It is addressed “ to their majesties the sovereign people of Kentucky,” and states that the
“ petitioner hath grown gray and poor, and become an idler and a drunkard, in attempting to serve his country, in the capacity of a legislator. He has been six times a candidate for a seat in the assembly, and twice for one in the senate, but never had the good fortune to be elected. He would now willingly live a private life, if he had any thing to live on; but his fortune, which was at the first but small, bas been entirely swaltowed up in prosecuting ways and means to obtain your majesties' favour: and your petitioner moreover contracted a disrelish for all ordinary industry, and such a relish for strong drink, that it is utterly impracticable for him ever to retrieve his circumstances, or even to procure a livelihood for the remainder of his days.
“ Under these circumstancés, he thinks he may, with profound submission to your majesties, request a reimbursement of all the expenses to which he has put himself, in order to ołtain your favour; and the more especially as your majesties did actually receive and consume his living, notwithstanding you withheld your favour. Your petitioner will further remark, that he makes no charge of loss of time, for one half of the first four years, and the whole of the last four, wbich he spent in riding about from house to house, in going to raisings and log-rollings, and in frequenting taverns and tippling-houses, gambling-tables, dram-shops, and every other hole and corner where your majesties were to be met with, in order to accommodate himself to your majesties' humour. He likewise lays out of his account the great danger of damnation to which he has subjected himself, by the manifold falsehoods, and calumnies, and slanders, which he has invented and circulated, from time to time, to the disparagement of his competitors and only charges your majesties with what he has actually expended.
“ Annexed hereto is a statement exhibiting his expenditures,” &c.
The frankness of the following speech is quite amusing, and many of our readers will be ready to confess, that,-nomine mutato-by a slight change as to customs and manners, it would suit as well the meridian of London or Paris, as the woods uf Kentucky. It is supposed to be delivered, on the passage of a bill, entitled, “ an act to promote the impartial administration of justice."
“ MR. SPEAKER-I shall vote against the passage of this bill, because I apprehend that, if it should pass into a law, it may have a tendency to suppress the progress of villany, vice and barbarism.not misunderstood; I mean precisely what I say, and I have no doubt that many members of this honourable body act from the same motives, although they are not under the same necessity of avowing them that I am.
“Mr. Speaker-You know that I am a representative of a new county, but you cannot know as well as I do of what materials the population of that county is composed: when you learn this, you will see that my conduct is perfectly consistent. The first settler there was captain
who retired thither to avoid a prosecution for horse-stealing. He was followed in the ensuing spring by
with his sons and sons-inlaw; several of whom were threatened with prosecution for hog-stealing. The next year about a dozen other very conspicuous families settled there; and it immediately became an asylum for the idle and the profligate of every description, for debtors who were unable to pay, and unwilling to go to jail; for those prosecuted, and in danger of being prosecuted, for felony, riots, batteries, and every species of crime.
“ It is true our population is small, but among us there are some aspiring men who wished to display their talents in civil and political life, as well as in hunting, horse racing and fighting: and as they could not get into office, without having a new county, they applied for and obtained one. This was the only motive for so doing, and not as some suppose, a disrelish for our former practices and mode of life.
“ Now Sir, I assert it boldly, that ten men cannot be found among my constituents, who upon an impartial trial, would not be either sentenced to the penitentiary, sold out as vagrants, or imprisoned for debt. But as long as trials are carried on in our own county, the administration of justice is perfectly harmless; for being all nearly in the same situation, and
having the whole management of it among ourselves, we so mould it as to suit our peculiar circumstances.
* Mr. Speaker-1 know the situation of my constituents, and I know their wishes. I know that there is nothing wbich they dread so much as an impartial administration of justice; and that it is their wish that no law shall pass which will have a tendency to produce it: and knowing their wishes, I feel myself bound by them.
“Mr. Speaker-I am no federalist, no aristocrat, I never attempt to dictate to my constituents, or to vote against what I know to be their wishes: and I hold it as the first principle of repuplicanism, that if any member of this house shall vote contrary to what he knows to be the will of his constituents, he ought to be here and hereafter."
The common practice of sending strings of Resolutions from the State Legislatures, indicative of the sense of the people, on public measures, is admirably ridiculed, in a remonstrance from our author to the Legislature. He states that he has
“ seriously reflected on the practice, adopted by your honourable body, of collecting every winter the annual crop of the wisdom of our state, and transmitting it in the form of resolutions, instructions, &c. to Congress assembled at Washington City, and entirely disapproves of the practice, for the following reasons:
“ First, because it is making the state of Kentucky contribute more to the good of the union, than any one state is bound to do, or was ever expected to do. According to the principles of the Federal constitution, each state is bound to contribute annually, to the support of the general government, just as much of the state wisdom as its representatives and senators in Congress can carry to the seat of the federal government: and no more. And your remonstrant believes, that by a sound construction of the 10th article of the amendments to the Federal constitution, every particle of state wisdom, which is not expressly given to the general government, is expressly reserved to each state.
“ Secondly, your remonstrant considers this practice as an ostentatious profusion of the public wisdom, on those who stand in need of it, and who give our country no thanks for it. It is notorious that the general government has made no complaints of a lack of wisdom, that she has not applied to this state for any addition to its constitutional quota, either by way of donation or loan; but on the contrary has shown by her uniform conduct, that she is content with the quantity transmitted by our Representatives and Senators.
“ Thirdly, It is with reluctance that your remonstrant acknowledges the unpleasant truth, that this state is far from being rich in wisdom: and