not be charged on the opposition. The first incision into the system of finance, was made by the honourable speaker himself; it has been followed up, and, as might have been expected, widened and deepened by other gentlemen, on the same side. For myself, sir, I came here to lay taxes. After so expensive a war, which destroyed all the ordinary sources of revenue, while it encreased most enormously all the demands for money; it was to be expected that a system of taxation and revenue, and a pretty efficient one too, would be required. For my constituents, I am ready to grant it; and, I doubt not of their approbation, provided it be formed with moderation, justice, and equality. Equality is the great essential principle of taxation. Men are not so apt to complain of quantum as of inequality—now, in the nature of things, it is impossible that this equality can be obtained in any one tax; which necessarily must affect some of our citizens greatly, while it scarcely touches others. Equality can be produced only by a variety of taxes, judiciously applied and distributed; some of which draw upon one part of the community, and some on another. Proceeding upon this principle, the committee of finance has reported a system, comprehending a great variety of objects of revenue; and, among the rest, a tax upon land, amounting to three millions of dollars per annum. This tax I entirely approve of, because it is fair and just, inasmuch as, without it, many land-holders in the interior will contribute but little, if any thing, to the general wants; and because, it is moderate, being not more than one quarter of one per cent. on the whole landed capital of the United States. But, sir, I object, most decidedly,

to the modification, in relation to this tax, introduced by the honourable speaker, because it is unequal and unjust. If all the people of these states are equally bound for the payment of these debts; are equally bound to furnish the future supplies; why should any difference be made in the duration, any more than the amount of the requisite supplies? Why should my constituents, I may say, the citizens of Pennsylvania, be bound to contribute to the end, by the imposition of taxes, made perpetual, while the citizens of other states are to be exempted at the end of a year. The salt tax, the stamp tax, the whiskey tax, and many others, which are perpetual, will press peculiarly on Pennsylvania, and are all perpetual; but the land tax, which reaches some of the states to the south and west, comparatively but little affected by the other taxes, shall be but for a year —No, sir, let us embark fairly, and equally and honestly together, in the same bark, and hold together for the whole voyage—Let no one be landed and escape further duty and difficulty at the end of the first mile. If four men were united in a firm bond to pay a debt contracted for a common object, and to furnish supplies for a common future interest; would it be tolerated that one should ask his companions to acquit him at the end of a year,

and go on by themselves after

wards, not only to contribute their

proportions, but make good his

deficiency, and yet this is the pre

cise effect of the amendment of the honourable speaker to the re

port of the committee, which has

made the land tax annual, while

the other assessments are perpe

tual. Besides this change breaks

up the whole character of the re

port, which avows itself to be a

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fermanent system—When therefore a most essential part of it, both as to principle and amount is thus made annual, what becomes of the permanency of the system —As a ground of objection to this branch of revenue, we have had most violent philippics—pronounced against tax-gatherers—they are caterpillars; they are bloodsuckers; nay, one honourable gentleman has said; they are scoundrels—I cannot feel either the justice or policy of these attacks. In justice I do not know that they deserve it—I have no reason to believe they are more dishonest than other men exposed to the same temptations—He, through whose hands large sums of money, especially if it be public money, are continually flowing, and whose accountability is far from being rigid and precise, must be strongly armed in integrity if he never fails.—But the remark applies no better in theory, (and not here so often in practice,) to tax-gatherers, than other officers of the government whose temptations are greater and whose accountability is less. —As to the policy of this sort of abuse, I would submit it to honourable gentlemen to say whether it is wise or politic, to endeavour to bring the odium, and suspicion and contempt of the people, upon a class of public officers, so useful and necessary to the very existence of the government; that class of officers, too, which comes directly in contact with the people, and brings the government into every man's house—In truth this hostility to tax gatherers has neither justice or policy to rest upon, but is founded on a natural aversion we all have to pay money on compulsion; and for benefits too remote to be immediately seen or felt—But, sir, I hope my political Vol. I.

friends will pursue a more liberal course—I hope I shall never find any of them teaching the doctrine, that tax-gatherers and libellers are the best reformers of a state. Those gentlemen who oppose every internal tax, raise this clamour against tax-gatherers; and of course would throw us altogether upon the foreign commerce of the country for our revenue—but is this any more satisfactory even in this respect?—Far from it—We must then listen to the assailants upon custom house officers; we must hear of their insolence, their extortions, their frauds—the taxgatherer thrusts his hand into your pocket; and the custom house officer ransacks your trunks and baggage—so that if charges of this sort against the officers who must collect the revenue, are to be received in forming your system of taxation, the consequence is that you will have no revenue at all.— But, sir, ARM IEs, Navies and TaxEs, have been placed, again and again, in dread array before us— are you for armies, navies and taxes, those instruments of despotic power—the destroyers of the liberties of the people; the greedy consumers of their earnings?—yes sir, I am for armies, navies and taxes; and I have no more idea of a government without them, than I have of a living and moving body without flesh, or bones or blood– But how am I for them? how regulated; to what extent? I am for an army which shall have in truth, all the physical force it professes to have; and not for a lifeless, useless skeleton, covered with epaulets and sashes, and sword knots; or, in other words, for an army of officers without soldiers; affording a wide field for executive patronage and favour; but providing no * means of strength or 2

defence for the country.—If this abuse exists, as has been asserted, it is our duty to correct it—as to number, I would have it not so large as to be either dangerous to the liberty, or oppressive to the pockets of the people—It is our duty to take care of both these points, and we have it fully in our power to do so.-The present establishment appears to me to of. fend in neither of these particulars; and not to be larger than is really required.—As to the navy —I would not have it disproportioned to our wants or strength; but sufficient for the defence of our coast at the commencement of a war, with a provision of means for an immediate enlargement when required. It should not be a monster living on the bosom of the waters, and devouring all the productions of the land; but large enough to maintain its high character on the most sudden emergency. As to tares; they should neither grind the poor, nor be unjust to the rich; they sheuld be fair and necessary; and above all

be equally assessed upon those bound to contribute to the wants of the state—So much every government has a right to exact from its citizens; and so much every good citizen will cheerfully afford to his government. But the first principle in relation to the money concerns of a people, is a regular and inexorable accountability for its expenditures. Without this, no taxes will be sufficient to supply the demands of any administration. I will conclude by explaining the course I shall take on the subject directly before the committee—I will vote against the motion of the honorable member from Kentucky (Mr. Hardin) because it expunges a land tax altogether from the system of revenue—I shall also vote against the resolution of the committee of finance, as amended on the motion of the honorable speaker, because it introduces inequality and uncertainty in the system, which ought to be, and professes to be fiermanent; but I am perfect

ly willing to maintain the resolu

tion as reported by the committee.



From the French of Sisyfoxpi.

Translated by John S. SMITH, Esq. of Baltimore

y THE whole west was plunged in barbarism; population and wealth had disappeared; the inhabitants dispersed in small numbers, over immense regions, struggled with difficulty against ever-recurring thisfortunes;-invasions of barbarians,—intestine wars, feudal tyranny; scarcely could an existence constantly menaced by famine and the sword, be preserved; and in this invariable state of violence and fear, there remained no leisure for the indulgence of intellectual enjoyments. Eloquence, having no object, was impossible; poetry unknown; philosophy interdicted as a revolt against religion;–even language was destroyed,—whilst barbarous and provincial dialects usurped the place of that polished Latin tongue, which had for a long period bound together the Western nations, and which had hoarded for them so many treasures of thought and of taste. But, at this very epoch, an infant state, which by its conquests and fanaticism had contributed more than any other to check the culture of sciences and letters, now secure in its dominion, became in its turn, the protectress of literature. The Arab, master of a great part of the East-of the abode of the ancient Magi and Chaldeans, whence the first lights of knowledge had been diffused over the earth, of fertiie Egypt, for years the repository of human science, —of smiling Asia minor, where

poetry, taste, and the fine arts, first developed themselves, of burning Africa, land of impetuous eloquence, and subtle genius; the Arab seemed to unite the advantages of all the countries he had vanquished. He had obtained by arms the fullest success which the most rapacious ambition could covet. The extremities of the East, with those of Africa, had submitted to the empire of the Caliphs:—immense riches were the fruits of their conquests, and these Arabs, formerly rude and savage, but become lords of the finest regions of the universe, regions where softness ever held the greatest sway, now wantoned in boundless voluptuousness. To every enjoyment which human industry, excited by immense wealth, could procure, to all those which could flatter the senses and intoxicate existence, the Arabs wished to add the pleasures of the mind, the flower of all the arts, of all the sciences, of all human knowledge-the luxury of thought and of imagination. In this new career, their conquests were not less rapid than they had been in that of arms; nor was the empire which they founded in it less extensive; it arose, too, with the same surprising celerity, to the same gigantic magnitude, and both seated on foundations equally frail, were of equally short duration. The period of Mahomet's flight from Mecca to Medina, which is called the Hegira, answers to the year 622 of our era; the pretended conflagration of the Alexandrian library by Amrou, general of the Caliph Omar, corresponds with the year 641, the period of the most profound, barbarism of the Saracens, and this event, doubtful as it is, has left the most painful memorial of their contempt for learning. Scarcely had one century elapsed from the time at which this savage transaction is supposed to have taken place, when a passionate love of the arts, sciences, and poetry, ascended, in 750, the throne of the Caliphs, with the family of the Abbassides. In Grecian literature, the age of Pericles, had been prepared by near eight centuries of progressive culture—from the Trojan war (1209 to 431 B.C.) In the Latin, the age of Augustus was, in like manner, the eighth from the foundation of Rome. In that of France, the age of Louis IV. is the twelfth from Clovis: but in the rapid progress of the Arabs, the age of AlMamoun, the father of letters, and the Augustus of Bagdad, is only one hundred and fifty years from the origin of the monarchy. All the literature of the Arabs bears the marks of this rapid advancement; and that of modern Europe formed in the Arabian school, and enriched by them, gives us at this day frequent occasion to note ancient remains of a too hasty developement, and of that inebriation of intellect which had led astray the fancy and taste of the people of the East. It is my intention to give a slight sketch of Arabian literature, for the purpose of making known both its spirit and the influence which it has exerted over the people of Europe; and in order to show the manner in which the oriental style, borrowed as it is

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Asia a fairy land, if we could make them taste the charms of that inspired poetry, which, in expressing the most impetuous passions, employed the boldest and most ingenious figures, and communicated to the soul, sensations, of which our more timid poets are ignorant, we should, without doubt, find ample recompense for the faults we might remark in a taste so different and so novel. But we cannot flatter ourselves with the hope of being able to impart to the soul of another, the impression of the beauties of a foreign language, except in so far as we feel them ourselves. To , make others feel we must ourselves feel, and to inspire confidence we must judge by our own sentiments. Ali, the fourth Caliph after Mahomet, was the first in the Arabian empire who extended any protection to the belles-lettres; his rival and successor Moaviah, the first of the Ommiades, (661–680) was still more indulgent to them; he invited to his court the men who were most distinguished for science; he assembled around him poets; and, as he had already subjected to his empire several Grecian islands and provinces, the sciences of the Greeks began, under him, to exert their first influence over the Arabians. After the extinction of the dynasty of the Ommiades, that of the Abbassides was still more favourable to literature. Al-Manzor or Manzour, the second of those princes, (754–775) called near his person a Greek physician,

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