speak here, in reference to the people at large, and to the analysis and illustrations we propose to offer, of the address from Washington.

With regard to our own individual sentiments, concerning the character and views of the majority, in the national councils, and the fell catastrophe so long threatened and now achieved, we have often detailed them to our readers, without disguise or hesitation, and in their complete maturity. We needed not any extraneous reasonings, nor any immediate example, to induce us to inculcate thein anew, in any stage of the national decline or delusion, where this course was likely to promote the public good. We formed our opinions and are confirmed in them, through a constant study of the measures and dispositions of our administration,-a study prompted and sustained by the most ardent love of country, and the deepest concern in its permanent welfare, arising, not only from that love, but from every motive of personal interest.

We have published our opinions together with our reasons for them, and shall continue to publish both, stimulated by the genuine patriotism, which we thus unaffectedly venture to claim, and actuated by the belief, that in so doing, we are fulfilling the intent, as well as letter of the constitution, and cooperating in the advancement of the public weal. “ We apprehend,"—to use the language of Bolingbroke concerning a nation among whom, certainly, it should not be allowed, that the freedom of speech may flourish more than among ourselves—“We apprehend that in a country circumstanced like ours, and under a government constituted like ours, the people have a right to be informed and to reason about public affairs; that when wise and honest measures are pursued, and the nation reaps the advantage of them, the exercise of this right will always be agreeable to the men in power; that indeed, if weak and wicked measures are pursued, the men in power may find the exercise of this right disagreeable, inconvenient, and sometimes dangerous to them; but that even in this case, there can be no pretence for depriving us of this right, or for discouraging the exercise of it; and that to forbid men to complain when they suffer, would be an instance of tyranny, but one degree below that, which the triumvirs gave, during the slaughter and terror of the proscriptions, when, by edict, they commanded all men to be merry upon pain of death."

We are not sorry, however, in the present state of things, even with a view to security, in the exercise of a constitutional

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right, to have a precedent such as these pamphlets afford, as a species of shield or compurgation.-It is, perhaps, well, not superfluous at this time, that truth and honor and sound policy, should be vindicated by those, who have not only courage to proclaim, but unquestionable authority to propagate their sentiments. Further than the pamphlets under notice, in the reprobation of the real motives and drift of the war, no enemy of the measure or of the administration need, or can go:further, in the invention and suggestion of remedies for the evil, no patriotic, dispassionate American will, or should go. To inculcate resistance by force, to a law of the United States, made pursuant to constitutional forms, even before the opportunity has arrived, of trying the efficacy of constitutional means of relief, is, to say no more, wild and unwarrantable in the extreme:-To inculcate it, now, with respect to the war, would be not only hopeless and unjustifiable, bat would tend to defeat the avowed purpose, the salvation of the country,by bringing upon us prematurely, and at once, the heaviest evil-co-ordinately with French alliance,-of which the war may be ultimately productive; we mean a dissolution, or violent convulsion of the Union.

We are not without the apprehension, that the private individual, who presumes to depict this war in its true colors, may, ere long, need the authority of the example, so auspiciously set by the federal minority at Washington, and the legislature of Massachusetts. The maxims of Jacobin proscription and violence, have already been urged against the dissenters from the war creed, in almost all the gazettes attached to the administration, and recommended by that, which is known to be under its immediate patronage and direction. They have become, as it were, the order of the day, in two or three of our largest cities, and in one of them, have been audaciously and furiously carried into effect, almost with the co-operation of its municipal officers. Nor has so pernicious an example of anarchy and oppression, met with any, the slightest animadversion, from the general government, although exhibited, within the immediate neighbourhood, of the seat of its authority. The people of America who boast of a constitutional privilege of speech, so much more extensive, so much better secured, and so much more fondly cherished than that of England, have, nevertheless, heard on all sides, since the declaration of war, the doctrine, that its injustice and impolicy are no longer,-now that it actually exists-a subject

for public discussion; that those who dare arraign the measure openly, are to be considered as fit objects of legal suspicion, if not of popular vengeance.

Such a doctrine as this, would, in the country of our enemy, if any man there, was, at this time, bold or wild enough to maintain it, be rejected with indignation or contempt, as contrary to universal and immutable custom, and as utterly incompatible with the public liberties.* We feel no surprise that it

* Something of the same tenor was advanced in England, during our revolutionary war, by those who approved most warmly, of the hostile ineasures of their government. They denounced as a sort of treason, any public expression of dislike to its proceedings. It will not be thought irrelevant, or superfluous, if we quote the language which this denunciation drew from Mr. Burke, and of which our readers will be at no loss to make the proper application.

“ If,” says this statesman in his letter to the sheriffs of Bristol, “ I had not lived long enough to be little surprised at any thing, I should have been in some degree astonished at the rage of several gentlemen, who not satisfied with carrying fire and sword into America, are animated nearly with the same fury against those neighbours of their's whose only crime it is, that they have charitably wished them to entertain more reasonable sentiments, and not to sacrifice their interest to their passion. All this rage against dissent, convinces me that at bottom, they are far from satisfied they are in the right.” “ They are continually boasting of unanimity, or calling for it. But before this unanimity can be matter either of wish or congratulation, we ought to be pretty sure that we are engaged in a rational pursuit. Phrenzy does not become a slighter distemper on account of the number of those who may be infected with it. Delusion and weakness produce not one mischief the less because they are universal."

“ We have been told that dissent from violent measures is an encouragement to rebellion. Is it then a rule that when war finally breaks out, no. man shall express his desires of peace? Looking no further than ourselves, can it be true loyalty to any government, or true patriotism towards any country, to flatter the pride and passions, rather than enlighten the reason of their solemn councils?

“ In order to produce this favourite unanimity in delusion, and to prevent all possibility of a return to our ancient happy concord, arguments for our continuance in this course, are drawn from the wretched situation itself into which we have been betrayed. It is said, that being at war with the colonies, whatever our sentiments might have been before, all ties between us are now dissolved; and all the policy we have left is to strengthen the hands of the government to reduce them. On the principle of this argument, the more mischiefs we suffer from any administration, the more our trust in it is to be confirmed. Let them but once get us into a war, and then their power is safe, and an act of oblivion past for all their misconduct. In former times ministers, I allow, have been sometimes driven by the popular voice to assert the national honor by arms. But the wisdom of the nation has been far more clear, when those ministers have been compelled to consult its interests by treaty. We all know that the sense of the nation obliged the court of Charles the Second to abandon the Dutch war. The good people of England considered Holland as a sort of dependency on this kingdom. They dreaded to drive it to the protection, or subject it to the power of France, by their inconsiderate hostility. They paid but little respect to the court jargon of that day. They were

has been, under present circumstances, strenuously urged and industriously disseminated here, however much'at variance with the constitution, and the previous practice of its advocates. It is, in fact, one of the legitimate, natural effects of the war in which we are engaged;-one of those fruits by which the tree will hereafter be known;-altogether congenial with the motives and means, which have contributed to drag us into the vortex of European hostilities. Every exertion must, and will be made to establish this doctrine, and give it efficiency, throughout the Union: otherwise the whole plan of belligerent policy may be frustrated; or at least, some of its tendencies may be averted; prejudice, passion, and selfishness may not have their full swing and gratification. It will not want for partizans and agents: They will be found in various descriptions of persons;-among the authors, and abettors of the war from whatever motive, whether patriotism, anarchy, interest, ambition, or the desire of indulging martial propensities;-among the more timorous class of its enemies, overawed by the menaces of the former; and eminently, in that body of wretches, but too numerous in every country, who, in the language of Johnson, are always ready" to cry havoc without reserve, and to let slip the dogs of foreign or civil war, ignorant whither they are going, and careless what may

be their We scarcely need remind any of our fellow citizens, capable of reflection, that if there were a single measure, within the official competency, of the majority of congress, which might not be publicly, and safely discussed by all of us; of which when adopted, the motives might not be freely scrutinized, and reprobated, we should call our commonwealth by some other name, than that of a representative republic. If above all, war, which must by its nature, absorb completely the attention of the people, and affect nearly the whole circle of their most important rights and interests, if, we say—war were that measure, our liberty of the press, our elective franchise, our entire scheme of freedom, would be mere shadows. On this hypothesis, the most stupid, or profligate, or ambitious faction which might, through popular delusion, constitute the majority in congress, joined to an Executive of a similar, or merely imbecile character, would have nothing to not moved from their evident interests, by court-arts: nor was it enough to tell them they were at war; that they inust go through with it; and that the cause of the dispute was lost in the consequences. The people of England, were then, as they are now, called upon to make government strong. They thought it a great deal better to make it wise and honest."


do, but to entangle us in a war, (and opportunities for it could never be wanting,) in order to be safe from all accusation or reproach; to be able to practise without molestation or fear, upon the credulity of the nation; to maintain themselves immovably in place, and to execute at leisure any unhallowed projects, whether levelled at the whole community, or merely at an obnoxious part; whether framed in subserviency to the will of one foreign power, or tending to gratify, at the expense of our dearest interests, an inveterate private animosity towards another.

Hitherto, every individual of this country, was supposed to have the right, of investigating before the public, the character of its rulers under all aspects; their wisdom, ability, and principles of action, not only in the general discharge, but in every particular exercise, of their functions. This right was supposed to be fundamental, because without it, the frequency of elections would be of no value, and representation fail of its principle ends. The most unbounded latitude of conjecture and censure, has at the same time, been established by prescription, both here and in England, as necessary to promote such indispensable inquiry, and to render the control of the people over their functionaries, more complete and effectual.

But, if there be any official act of the latter, which should expose them to the full, undisturbed exertion, of the right we have mentioned, which should authorize and sanction its extension to the utmost limits, it is the kindling of war; inasmuch as this is, of all other acts, the most favourable to erroneous, or merely personal views on their part; the most fruit. ful source of deception in every respect;—the most important in its consequences to the nation. If there be any conjuncture, at which the people should be particularly solicitous to be informed, through every channel, concerning the ability, the honesty, the feelings, and views of their rulers, at which it is particularly meritorious in an individual, after a thorough examination of these points, to publish the result of his research; at which he should be not merely tolerated, but encouraged, in the freest expression of his opinions, it is, when we are made to pass into that state, wherein, according to the language of a great writer,“ domestic liberty is specially endangered; the public morals debauched; every species of misery to be endured; the general safety set to hazard; commerce suspended; the soil subjected to devastation; and great numbers exposed to hardships, perils, captivity and death."

We have here spoken of war only in its general character,

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