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if the present practice is persisted in, the time is not remote when there will be an entire bankruptcy in that article: the consequence of which will be, as he supposes, that the general government will be obliged to put this state under cominission of lunacy; which will be more vexatious and embarrassing to that government, than all the donation wisdom she ever has, or ever can receive from this state, will compensate for. Your remonstrant will here observe, that he strongly suspects that government anticipates such an event, and the vexation to herself resulting tlierefrom, which accounts for her never returning any thanks to this state, for the various cargoes of wisdom, with which she has been from time to time presented.
“ Your remonstrant has observed with deep concern, that this practice has produced a manifestly increasing lack of wisdom, in every department of our state government: our laws have become obscure, impolitic, and unjust; tbe executiou of them wavering, unsteady, and feeble; our judicial decisions uprighteous, absurd, contradictory to those of all other nations and states, and inconsistent with each other; and what he considers still more conclusive, the number of lunatics, and other persons of unsound mind has of late years increased to an alarming degree; as will be manifest to every one who will take the trouble to examine the audi. tor's books.
“ Your remonstrant therefore, solemnly admonishes your honourable body, not to send to Washington City, or to any other place, any more of the state wisdom: and further submits to your consideration, whether it is not expedient, to re-import for your own use, a part at least of what has been already sent there."
There is a sensible « letter to a young lawyer," who is advised to read Sallust, Tacitus, and Montesquieu, and all the speeches of Edmund Burke, Alexander Hamilton and Fisher Ames, which, the author very properly characterizes as exhibiting “ the highest degree of excellence in all the various species of style enumerated by rhetoricians.”
“ The author's account of himself, in answer to an invitation to tea, sent by some young ladies," proves the truth of the remark that a writer may be known from his own works. This piece did not present itselt, until we had gone nearly through the volume: but in the “ minds eye" we had portrayed the author of this strange olio, very much as he is exhibited in the following lines:
“I know I am, of all mankind,
“ It is a fact, I was by nature
“ I've wander'd in the thorny maze
“ Twelve hours each day employ'd in reading,
“ I think somewhere in fables old
* The sheep was perfectly well bred
But must inform you, with your leave,
“ By this instructed, I'm aware
AMERICAN LITERATURE. 1.- The American Analectic Magazine and Naval Chronicle; published by Moses Thomas, Philadelphia, July and August, 1816, 8vo.
2. The American Portfolio; a Monthly Miscellany of Essays on various Subjects, Memoirs of distinguished Personages, Literary and Philosophical Intelligence, &c. Philadelphia, Harrison Hall, August, 1816, 8vo.
Tue article which we are about to introduce to the reader is copied from the Critical Review. The object of the proprietors of this work, as it is described in the preface by Dr. Johnson, published in 1756, is “ to exhibit a succinct view of every performance; to point out the most striking beauties or glaring defects,” &c. This promise is repeated in the number for December last, and the reader shall now have an opportunity of ascertaining how far “ the rule of '56” was observed in the following month.
“We have often regretted, that the spirit of disaffection which is too industriously promoted between the only two free nations of the world in political concerns, should have been extended to arts, literature, and philosophy; so that the inhabitants of the United States neither appreciate properly the liberal attainments of the people of this country, nor do the subjects of Great Britain esti. mate justly the acquirements of men of genius in the Western Republic,
« We wish to draw them near to each other, because we are confident that they will mutually improve on a close intimacy. There are advantages peculiar to old and to new countries, and the perfection of a state consists in the union and perfect incorpora. tion of these benefits; and it should seem sufficient to be sensible of this obvious truth, to bring about that reciprocal good understanding which we would so earnestly recommend.
“We have had frequent opportunities of forming a judgment of the state of feeling of the more enlightened part of society in America, by the communications of literary friends, and by the regular receipt of the journals, and other periodical publications; and from these means of experience we must say, that the alienation we complain of is not less promoted on the other side than on this side the water, as a few extracts from the works which supply the title to the present paper, would sufficiently explain, if we were willing to transplant these noxious weeds, instead of leaving them to decay and perish on their own soil.
“The Analectic Magazine is principally devoted to literary intelligence, and was on the first of January instant, to be connected with a new work under the title of the Quarterly Journal;* both of which are to afford, if the purpose of the editors be sulfilled, a complete body of miscellaneous reading. “ The monthly Publication,” say they,“ contains a various treasure of the lighter articles of periodical literature, while the Quarterly affords a less multifarious fund of its more substantial productions."
“ In the first of the numbers we have noticed, we have the life of Paul Jones introduced by the following observations."
Whatever may have been the defects in the charac:er of Paul Jones, or whatever his demerits towards the place of his birth, from us he deserves at least such a justification as may be warranted by the truth. He served this country well in her hour of peril, and if in so doing, he broke the ties which bound him to another, is it for us to become his accusers, or listen in silence to the accusation? No duty requires from an individual or a nation that they should be ungrateful; nor, for our part, do we know of any moral obligation which forbids us to extenuate the faults, or vindicate the fame of one who was our friend, when friends were valuable in proportion as they were rare. His motives were nothing to the United States; and we will now proceed to the detail of his life and actions, so far as they have come to our knowledge.
“ With all due respect to the editors, we take leave to ob. serve to them, that these sentiments do not intimate that liberal spirit with which such works should be conducted. We do not censure the Americans for having employed such a useful ruffian as Paul Jones; but it is one thing to avail themselves of his courage, and another to extenuate his faults, and vindicate his motives. Morals have no locality: they are universal in space, as they are eternal in obligation: and a traitor to his country is in
*We recommend to the editors the alteration of this title, as the terms involve a contradiction.
no region to be justified, but every where is to be exposed to the detestation of mankind.
“ The Portfolio is devoted to literature, science, and history; comprehending public documents as connected with the latter: and to the person by whom it is conducted we would especially request attention to the friendly admonition we have just given, as his principal object professedly is,' to vindicate the character of American literature and manners from the aspersions of ignorant and illiterate foreigners; to expose their injustice, and repel their calumnies.'
“ It is in vain,” he says, 'to disguise the fact: we pay an humiliating reverence to the haughty and supercilious opinions of foreign despots over the empire of letters. Our light is always subsidiary, instead of blazing in its own refulgence (effulgence.) Such is the predominating influence of foreign literature in this country, that we dare not form a judgment upon a narrative of scenes that have passed under our own eyes, or express an opinion upon the merits of a picture at our own fire-sides, until it has been tried in the ordeal of Fdinburgh or London criticism. It comports with the national pride, as well as the private interests of the gentlemen who wield these powerful engines of modern literature, to misrepresent and degrade the American name.'
“ We would apprise this gentleman that we have not the smallest objection to the justification he contemplates of American literature, that we shall be as glad as perhaps he himself would be, to see that literature advance to its meridian splendour; but we would convince him that this glory can be alone attained by the assistance of foreign erudition, whether from London, Edinburgh, Paris, or Vienna. Nothing, according to our views, can more obstruct American improvement than the absurd per. suasion, in defiance of all truth and philosophy, that she has acquired an extent of knowledge which renders her as independent in her literature as she is in her government, and if any thing can endanger the security of the latter, it would be the ignorance that would feed her vanity in the former. Under just views of the relations of life, it will appear to be no humiliation to improve by the attainments of others; and the solitary arrogance that would shut itself up in its own self-conceit, but adds vice to folly, and we are forced to contemn what we should be willing to commiserate.
“ No, worthy citizens! let your interchange in foreign litera. ture be as free as your interchange in foreign trade, and you will derive equal advantages in both: the narrow principle which would lead you to reject either, is one of those mischievous prejudices that partakes more of pride than prudence-more ef presumption than patriotism.”
The best evidence that we can offer of the manner in which the attainments of the people of Great Britain, are estimated in