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mind, without office, without situation, without public functions of any kind, (at a time when the want of such a thing is felt, as I am sure it is,) I say, one such man, confiding in the aid of God, and full of just reliance in his own fortitude, vigor, enterprise, and perseverance, would first draw to him some few like himself, and then that multitudes, hardly thought to be in existence, would appear and troop about him.
If I saw this auspicious beginning, bassed and frustrated as I am, yet on the very verge of a timely grave, abandoned abroad and desolate at home, stripped of my boast, my hope, my consolation, my helper, my counsellor, and my guide, (you know in part what I have lost, and would to God I could clear myself of all neglect and fault in that loss,) yet thus, cven thus, I would rake up the fire under all the ashes that oppress it. I am no longer patient of the public cyo; nor am I of force to win my way and to justle and elbow in a crowd. But, even in solitudo, something may be done for society. The meditations of the closet have infected senatos with a subtle frenzy, and inflamed armies with the brands of the Furics. The cure might come from the same source with the distemper. I would add my part to those who would animate the people (whose licarts are yet right) to new exertions in the old cause.
Novelty is not the only source of zeal. Why should not à Maccabæus and his brethren arise to assert the honor of the ancient law and to defend the temple of their forefathers with as ardent a spirit as can inspire any innovator to destroy the monuments of thie piety and the glory of ancient ages? It is not a liazarded assertion, it is a great truth, that, when
once things are gone out of their ordinary course, it is by acts out of the ordinary course they can alone be reëstablished. Republican spirit can only be combaled by : spirit of the same naturc, --- of the same nature, but informed with another principle, and pointing to another end. I would persuade a resist. ance both to the corruption and to the reformation that prevails. It will not be the weaker, but much the stronger, for combating both together. A victory over rcal corruptions would enable us to ballle the spurious and pretended reformations. I would not wish to excite, or cven to tolerate, that kind of evil spirit which cvokes the powers of hell to rectify the disorders of the carth. No! I would add my voice
ту with better, and, I trust, more potent charms, to draw down justice and wisdom and fortitude from heaven, for the correction of human vice, and the recalling of human error from the devious ways into which it has been betrayed. I would wish to call the impulses of individuals at once to the aid and to the control of authority. By this, which I call the true republican spirit, paradoxical as it may appear, monarchics alone can be rescued from the imbecility of courts and the madness of the crowd. This republican spirit would not suffer men in high place to bring ruin on their country and on themselves. It would reform, not by destroying, but by saving, the great, the rich, and the powerful. Such il republican spirit wc perhaps fondly conceive to have animated the distinguished heroes and patriots of old, who knew no mode of policy but religion and virtue. These they would have paramount to all constitutions; they woulil not suffer monarchs, or senates, or popular assemblies, under pretences of dignity
or authority or freedom, to shake off those moral riders which reason has appointed to govern cvery sort of rude power. These, in appearance loading them by their weight, do by that pressure augment their essential force. The momentum is increased by the extrancous weight. It is true in moral as it is in mechanical science. It is true, not only in the draught, but in the racc. Theso riders of the great, in cflect, hold the reins which guide them in their course, and wear the spur that stimulates them to the goals of honor and of safety. The great must submit to the dominion of prudence and of virtue, or none will long submit to the dominion of the great. Dis te minorem quod geris, imperas. This is the foudal tenure which they cannot alter.
Indeed, my dear Sir, things are in a bad state. 1 do not deny a good share of diligence, a very great share of ability, and much public virtuc to those who direct our affairs. But they are incumbered, not aided, by their very instruments, and by all the apparatus of the state. I think that our ministry (though there are things against them which neither you nor I can dissemble, and which grieve me to the heart) is by far the most honest and by far thic wisest system of administration in Europe. Their fall would be no trivial calamity.
Not meaning to depreciate the minority in Parliament, whose talents are also great, and to whom I do not deny virtues, their system seems to me to be fundamentally wrong. But whether wrong or
. right, they have not enough of coherence among themselves, nor of estimation with the public, nor of numbers. They cannot make up an administration. Nothing is more visible. Many other things are
against them, which I do not charge as faults, but reckon among national misfortunes. Extraordinary things must be donc, or one of the parties cannot stand as a ministry, nor the other even as an opposition. They cannot change their situations, nor can
. any useful coalition be made between them. I do not see the mode of it nor the way to it. This aspect of things I do not contemplate with pleasure.
I well know that everything of the daring kind which I speak of is critical: but the times are crit: ical. New things in a new world! I see no hopes i in the common tracks. If men are not to be found who can be got to feel within them some impulse, quod nequeo monstrare, et sentio tantum, and which makes them impatient of the present, --- if none can be got to feel that private persons may sometimes assume that sort of magistracy which docs not depend on the nomination of kings or the clection of the people, but has an inherent and self-existent power which both would recognize, I scc nothing in the world to hope.
If I saw such a group beginning to cluster, such as they are, they should have all that I can give) my prayers and my advice. Pcople talk of war or cry for peace: have they to the bottom considered the questions cither of war or peace, upon the scale of the existing world ? No, I fear they have not.
. Why should not you yourself be one of those to enter your name in such a list as I spcak of? You are young; you have great talents; you have a clear head; you have a natural, fluent, and unforced clocution ; your ideas are just, your sentiments benevolent, open, and enlarged ; -- but this is too big for your modesty. Oh! this modesty, in time and place,
is a charming virtuc, and the grace of all other virtues. But it is sometimes the worst enemy they have. Let him whose print I gave you the other day be engraved in your memory! Had it pleased Providence to have spared him for the trying situations that seem to be coming on, notwithstanding that lie was sometimes a little dispirited by the disposition which we thought shown to depress him and set him aside, yet lic was always buoyed up again ; and on one or two occasions he discovered what might be expected from the vigor and elevation of his mind, from his unconquerable fortitude, and from the extent of his resources for every purpose of speculation and of action. Remember him, my friend, who in the highest degree honored and respected you; and remember that great parts are a great trust. Remember, too, that mistaken or misapplied virtues, if they are not as pernicious as vice, frustrate at least their own natural tendencies, and disappoint the purposes of the Great Giver.
Adieu. My dreams are finished.