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song, and delivered from generation to generation; until by the revolution of kingdoms, the nation was extinguished. In all ages, literature, wherever it has flourished, has been employed in the production of memorials of the good and the great. History and poetry, biography and eulogium, people memory with the illustrious millions of past ages. Well was it said of the Greek and the Roman, "half our learning is their epitaph." The people of those nations toiled above all to perpetuate the excellencies of each other-not so much by brass and marble, as by the more imperishable labors of literature. Their heroes, statesmen, orators, and artists, were distinguished by funeral eulogiums.

“France seems to have adopted this custom of classical antiquity; while, in England, a tomb in Westminster Abbey is the great panegyric of British glory. Marlborough is eulogized by dull, cold marble. Turenne's immortal exploits are celebrated by Fletcher, in the no less immortal eloquence of his country.

"Our own country has produced some examples in this department of literature; and we, my brothers, have before this day mingled our tears with our eulogies over the tomb of our departed friends. I say not these things to apologize for our manner of commemorating the merits of our departed friend. Those who knew him, and who know us, 'can never believe us ostentatious in sorrow or in eulogy. Although in other communities, the excellencies of their illustrious dead may not be commemorated in the manner we are this day attempting; yet let us choose rather to imitate the example of republican antiquity, in such an instance of bereavement as that before us; where, not only we, his professional brothers, deplore our loss; but this religious community, over which he for years presided; the learned Fellowship and Corporation of the University, where he held a distinguished seat; the Federal Adelphi, of which he was a first founder, and most classical brother; the association for encouraging the economy, and preserving the items of the surplus produce of the humblest individual labor, which has, already, given public testimony of his high merits; the great commonwealth society for the advancement of domestic indus

try, which has lost in him one of its earliest and most devoted patrons; all the commercial institutions of this community; the inhabitants of this his native town; every virtuous and high-minded son and daughter of Rhode-Island; in a word, our common and universal country, mingle their deep and heartfelt regrets with those tears, shed over his tomb, by the illustrious citizens of that high and august body, in the very bosom of which, as in the bed of glory, our townsman, our friend, our brother, our lamented Burrill expired.

"Before this hour, the story of his death hath been told in the utmost limits of our inhabited country; and I do believe, humble as are my abilities, could my voice reach so far, the narrative of his merits would mingle with the melancholy echoes of that tale, and be heard by every ear with mournful pleasure. I may be charitably mistaken. Some one may have selected an illustrious foe whom he could not reach, when alive, but may dare to plunder, when dead. It cannot be. The savage leaves his fallen adversary, unviolated, when he cannot adorn himself with his spoils.

"Such then is the occasion, and such the object of this day's assembly. Pardon me, my brothers, my fellow-citizens, for being in this place, and for this purpose. I deeply feel the embarrassment of my situation. The character of a great Scholar, Advocate, Statesman and Legislator, can be perfectly drawn by him only who is deeply imbued with all those illustrious excellencies. Cæsar only could write Cæsar's Commentaries. None but the great master of the Forum could portray the perfect orator of Cicero. A few sketches only of the character of our lamented friend will be attempted. Even here the touches may be unfaithful, while the hand trembles with sympathy, and the coloring of the piece is dimmed by the tear of the artist. How can I speak of such a son, when I know my voice will be heard by his venerable and bereaved father? How can I speak of such a father, while I behold his weeping children? The light of eulogy will only show them more distinctly their bereavement. It cannot brighten the gloom of their desolation. • Thoughts that breathe and words that burn,' can never relume the eye


and warm into life the lineaments of his face, who so much and so affectionately loved them. The sage of Athens said, 'count no man happy till after death, because that alone places his fame and fortune beyond the mutations of life.' The great Teacher of Nazareth disclosed a more sublime and consoling philosophy, and irradiated the darkness of ancient wisdom with the light of life, and immortality beyond the grave; and all the felicities, and glories of a new heaven and a new earth."

Mr. Burrill was born in Providence, Rhode-Island, on the twenty-fifth day of April, A. D. 1772. He was remarkable in his youth for quickness of apprehension, an engaging disposition, and a thirst for knowledge. He was accustomed also to pay an unusual deference to religious observances, a trait which characterized him through life. The rudiments of his English and classical education were acquired in the school of Mr. William Wilkinson, of Providence; a celebrated instructor in those days. In September, A. D. 1784, at the age of twelve years, he entered the freshman class of Rhode-Island College, now Brown University. At the Commencement in September, A. D. 1788, he graduated; and immediately commenced the study of Law, at the age of sixteen, in the office of the Hon. Theodore Foster, then a lawyer of extensive practice. In May, 1790, Mr. Foster was elected a Senator in Congress, and retired from professional business. Mr. Burrill then entered the office of the Hon. David Howell, where he remained until September, A. D. 1791, when he was admitted to practise in all the Courts of Rhode-Island. At the early age of twenty-five years, he was appointed Attorney General of the State; and held it amid all the revolutions of party, nearly sixteen years; when in May, 1813, on account of impaired health, he at the same time, resigned that office, and the practice of Law. In June following, he was elected a member of the Legislature for the town of Providence. In May, 1814, he was chosen Speaker of the House of Representatives. At the May session of the General Assembly, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court; which office he held till the following February, when he was elected to the Senate of the United States. He attended

four sessions of that body. On the twenty-fifth day of December, A. D. 1820, after a few days illness of a pulmonary complaint, he expired in the full possession of his mind, with the hope and trust of a Christian.

As a lawyer, Mr. Burrill had no superior in his native State, and few in any other section of the Union. At the beginning of his professional labors, he was distinguished for a comprehensive knowledge of the principles and practice of Law. His mind was clear and strong; it could master the most intricate questions, unravel the web of sophistry, and present truth in its most captivating garb. An active zeal, thorough preparation in argument, unsullied integrity, contributed to his fame. His knowledge was not confined to his profession. In the closet he studied elegant literature. He loved its beauties. It was his delightful recreation, after the toils of the forum, to linger over the pages of poetry, read the lofty speculations of philosophy, and learn from past history, lessons for the future. Few minds contain such treasures of historic and scientific truth, as did his; yet he disdained every thing like pedantry. By his own merit he stood on an eminence commanding admiration.

But his fame was not restricted by the narrow limits of party and sectional divisions. Fearless in the expression of his opinions, and zealous in political warfare, yet, he enjoyed to the last, general respect. In his own State, his popularity and influence were almost unlimited. The sentiment of Burke, in him, was practically illustrated. "Before one is honored with national confidence, he ought to obtain such a degree of merit in his own neighborhood, as may be a pledge and security to the public, that he will not abuse their trust."

Mr. Burrill, in the Senate of the United States, attained the first rank of honor and esteem. "He reached that point not by the pliant arts of a courtier; nor by the bartering, shuffling chicanery of intriguing politicians. No; it was by his candor, patriotism, wisdom in council, his powers in debate; the diligence and fidelity wherewithal he kept the high trust reposed in him by his country. The high-minded men with whom he controverted great questions of national interests, beheld with

delight the noble bearings of their adversary, and cheered him with their confidence, and cherished him with their esteem and friendship."

In all important debates he took a chief part. Among the questions of interest at that period were the Seminole War, and the restrictions on Slavery. On the former, he was one of a tribunal formed from the Senate with high powers. Through the contest he was so impartial, so firm in his own sentiments, yet moderate towards others; that he received the unqualified homage of his political opponents.

The extension of Slavery by the admission of Missouri into the Union, was opposed by Mr. Burrill with his usual zeal and ability. He lived, however, to see "Slavery with all his chains oared across the Mississippi." During his whole career in the Senate, he was ever ready to advocate and explain great principles, and to plead for the diversified interests of his country.

Mr. Burrill's style of speaking was of the most simple and unambitious character. He never attempted any display in oratory. His elocution was clear, vigorous, always to the point. He was remarkably happy in his application of classical passages to the subject in dispute. He had been engaged in an interesting cause for a poor woman, against one who was blessed with an abundance of riches. The jury, against law and justice, returned a verdict in favor of the rich man. Mr. Burrill started from his seat, and addressed the Court, in the language of Lear:

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And the strong lance of Justice hurtless breaks;

Clothe it in rags, a pigmy straw will pierce it."

A motion was made in Court for a continuance of a case merely for delay. Mr. Burrill opposed the motion, which was refused. He began his address to the jury thus: "Hamlet, in an eloquent soliloquy on the miseries, and such miseries of human life as would justify suicide, mentions the Law's delay.'

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In December 1820, he delivered a speech in the Senate of the United States, (it was his last) in opposition to the admission of Missouri into the confederacy; the constitution sent up by the people of Missouri, he believed was not in accordance

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