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1797.]

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resemblance of its structure to that of the British model, it might, if ably administered, gradually acquire the desired energy. Jefferson, on the other hand, objected to the new Constitution for this very similarity to a monarchical government; and he lost no opportunity of opposing or counteracting every measure which tended to increase the resemblance that he deprecated.

The French revolution was, as we have seen, a further source of dissension with these statesmen. With such a radical difference of feelings and views, every attempt of one of them to carry into execution measures dictated either by his theoretical principles, or his national predilections, was assiduously and earnestly opposed by the other; and Washington, whose firmness was equal to his impartiality, decided between them. Thus, like the rowers on the opposite sides of an ancient ship-ofwar or modern galley, their conflicting efforts, aided by the steady eye and hand of the helmsman, gave to the bark they impelled a direct onward progress which their separate exertions would have defeated.

These eminent men have been often compared and contrasted by their separate admirers, as to their talents, their services to their country, and their influence on succeeding generations.

When we consider the very early age at which Hamilton obtained distinction as a political writer; that, at thirty, he was associated with Madison and Jay in expounding and defending the new Federal Constitution; and that he was the ablest, as well as the largest contributor to that unrivalled commentary on our political system; when we further recollect the readiness and ability with which he wrote his numerous reports to Congress, we cannot hesitate to award to him the palm of superior genius over all his contemporaries.

VOL. I.-40

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[CHAP. VIII.

Of the services of these statesmen, as well to the country as to the administration of which they were members, they both must be placed in the highest rank. Hamilton, at the head of the Treasury Department, subjected the finances of the nation-the collection, safekeeping and distribution of its revenue, the duties and the responsibilities of all its fiscal officers-to a course of regulations so efficient and complete, as to have since undergone no material change. Jefferson, on his part, in his diplomatic correspondence generally, and especially with Genet and with Hammond, defended the rights and interests of his country with masterly ability. The deci mal currency, of which he was the author, may claim to have rendered a more useful service to his country than any one of which his rival can boast. The saving of time and trouble which this improvement has already effected, it is not easy to estimate. On the score of official services, their merits may be regarded as not materially different.

But as to their influence on succeeding generations, there can be no comparison between them. Hamilton's political principles, gradually losing weight in this country, have now all but disappeared, except in a very small class, about as numerous, perhaps, as the disciples of Sir Robert Filmer, or of Hobbes,' in their day; while Jefferson's still flourish in undiminished vigor. His political maxims, exhibited in a form which the humblest capacity can understand and remember, have become familiar to every American, and have obtained the currency, and almost the weight of proverbs. He has added new force

'By this remark it is not intended to intimate that Hamilton approved the political principles of these defenders of despotism. He merely accorded with the more temperate and rational views of Blackstone and De Lolme.

1797.]

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to the prejudices of his countrymen against the artificial distinctions of rank; and his denunciations. of the abuses of power find an echo in the bosoms of the great mass of the American people. Being in accordance with the fundamental principles of our nature, they are transmitted from generation to generation, and are ever gaining new force and authority from time. They pervade the American mind as one of its elements, and can no more be separated from it, than solar heat or electricity from the atmosphere. If Hamilton's talents have modified the machinery of the Federal Government, Jefferson's more penetrating influence has acted on its incorporeal partits soul its soul- and consequently partakes of the same superiority over his rival's, that mind has over matter.

It is premature, after so short a trial as eight years, to speculate on the character of the Confederate Government which the people of these States had adopted — its merits and defects for what human institution is free from fault? But we may say that, in this short period, it had more than realized the predictions of its friends. In that time, the number of its people had increased at the rate of three per cent. a year; and its wealth, by the united advantages of a fruitful soil, untiring industry, and a neutral commerce, had more than doubled that rate of increase.. If we have no evidence that, in religion, morals, or literature, there was a correspondent advancement, we have since reason to know that, in all these indications of improvement, the nation has been steadily progressive.

We have now attended the remarkable career of George Washington for twenty-two years since he was called to command the armies of his country, contending first for their rights, and then for independence. After he had led them to victory, we have seen him presiding

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[CHAP. VIII. over the deliberations of the sages who formed a national government adapted to their new condition and lastly, we have seen him twice selected as the Chief Magistrate to carry that Constitution into effect. On all these occasions his merit received the testimony and the tribute, to which there is no parallel, of the unanimous vote of those by whom he was elected. Having thus fulfilled his noble destiny, he resigned the helm of State to other hands, apparently less skilful and prudent, and certainly less fortunate.

APPENDIX.

No. I.

PATRICK HENRY'S RESOLUTIONS ON THE STAMP ACT.

THERE have been different versions of these celebrated resolutions of Patrick Henry on the Stamp Act. The following is the report of them, given, according to Mr. Wirt, by Mr. Henry himself, and found among his papers after his death. The fifth resolution was rescinded by the House of Burgesses on the day after it passed.

"Resolved, That the first adventurers and settlers of this, His Majesty's colony and dominion, brought with them and transmitted to their posterity, and all other His Majesty's subjects, since inhabiting in this, His Majesty's said colony, all the privileges, franchises, and immunities, that have been at any time, held, enjoyed, and possessed, by the people of Great Britain.

"Resolved, That by two royal charters, granted by King James the First, the colonists, aforesaid, are declared entitled to all the privileges, liberties, and immunities, of denizens and natural-born subjects, to all intents and purposes, as if they had been abiding and born within the realm of England.

"Resolved, That the taxation of the people by themselves, or by persons chosen by themselves to represent them, who can only know what taxes the people are able to bear, and the easiest mode of raising them, and are equally affected by such taxes themselves, is the distinguishing characteristic of British freedom, and without which the ancient Constitution cannot subsist.

"Resolved, That His Majesty's liege people of this most ancient colony, have uninterruptedly enjoyed the right of being thus governed by their own assembly in the article of their taxes and internal police, and that the same hath never been forfeited, or any other way given up, but hath been constantly recognized by the King and people of Great Britain.

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