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ved fame, he never made improper compliances for what is called popularity. The fame he enjoyed is of the kind that will last for ever; yet it was rather the effect, than the motive of his conduct. Some future Plutarch will search for a parallel to his character. Epaminondas is perhaps the brightest name of all antiquity. Our WASHINGTON resembled him in the purity and ardour of his patriotism; and, like him, he first exalted the glory of his country. There, it is to be hoped, the parallel ends for Thebes fell with Epaminondas. But such comparisons cannot be pursued far, without departing from the similitude. For we shall find it as difficult to compare great men as great rivers some we admire for the length and rapidity of their current, and the grandeur of their cataracts; others, for the majestic silence and fulness of their streams we cannot bring them together to measure the difference of their waters. The un.. ambitious life of WASHINGTON, declining fame, yet courted by it, seemed, like the Ohio, to choose its long way through solitudes, diffusing fertility; or like his own Potowmack, widening and deepening his channel, as he approaches the sea, and displaying most the usefulness and serenity of his greatness towards the end of his course. Such a citizen would do honour to any country. The constant veneration and affection of his country will shew, that it was worthy of such a citizen.
HOWEVER his military fame may excite the wonder of mankind, it is chiefly by his civil magistracy, that his example will instruct them. Great generals have arisen in all ages of the world, and perhaps most in those of despotism amd darkness. In times of violence and convulsion, they rise, by the force of the whirlwind, high enough to ride in it, and direct the storm. Like meteors, they glare on the black clouds with a splendour, that, while it dazzles and terrifies, makes nothing visible but the darkness. The fame of heroes is indeed growing vulgar: they multiply in every long war; they stand in history,
and thicken in their ranks, almost as undistinguished as their own soldiers.
BUT such a chief magistrate as WASHINGTON appears like the pole star in a clear sky, to direct the skilful statesman. His presidency will form an epoch, and be distinguished as the age of WASHINGTON. Already it assumes its high place in the political region. Like the milky way, it whitens along its allotted portion of the hemisphere. The latest generations of men will survey, through the telescope of history, the space where so many virtues blend their rays, and delight to separate them into groups and distinct virtues. As the best illustration of them, the living monument, to which the first of patriots would have chosen to consign his fame, it is my earnest prayer to heaven, that our country may subsist, even to that late day, in the plenitude of its liberty and happiness, and mingle its mild glory with WASHINGTON'S.
Eulogy on Hamilton.
IT is with really great men as with great literary works, the excellence of both is best tested by the extent and durableness of their impression. The publick has not suddenly, but after an experience of five and twenty years, taken that impression of the just celebrity of ALEXANDER HAMILTON, that nothing but his extraordinary intrinsic merit could have made, and still less, could have made so deep and maintained so long. In this case, it is safe and correct to judge by effects: we sometimes calculate the height of a mountain, by measuring the length of its shadow.
THAT writer would deserve the fame of a public benefactor, who could exhibit the character of HAMILTON, with the truth and force that all who intimately knew him conceived it: his example would then take the same ascendant, as his talents. The portrait alone, however equisitely finished, could not inspire genius where it is not; but, if the world should again have possession of so rare a gift, it might awaken it where it sleeps, as by a spark from heaven's own altar; for, surely, if there is any thing like divinity in man, it is in his admiration of vir
BUT who alive can exhibit this portrait? If our age, on that supposition more fruitful than any other, had produced two HAMILTONS, one of them might then have depicted the other. To delineate genius one must feel its power: HAMILTON, and he alone, with all its inspirations, could have transfused its - whole fervid soul into the picture, and swelled its lineaments into life. The writer's mind, expanding with his own peculiar enthusiasm, and glowing with kindred fires, would then have stretched to the dimensions of his subject.
IT is rare, that a man, who owes so much to nature, descends to seek more from industry; but he seemed to depend on industry, as if nature had done nothing for him. His habits of investigation were very remarkable; his mind seemed to cling to his subject, till he had exhausted it. Hence the uncommon superiority of his reasoning powers, a superiority, that seemed to be augmented from every source, and to be fortified by every auxiliary, learning, taste, wit, imagination, and eloquence. These were embellished and enforced by his temper and manners, by his fame and his virtues. It is difficult, in the midst of such various excellence, to say, in what particular the effect of his greatness was most manifest. No man more promptly discerned truth; no man more clearly displayed it: it was not merely made visible-it seemed to come bright with illumi
nation from his lips. But prompt and clear as he was, fervid as Demosthenes, like Cicero, full of resource, he was not less remarkable for the copiousness and completeness of his argument, that left little for cavil, and nothing for doubt. Some men take their strongest argument as a weapon, and use no other; but he left nothing to be inquired for more nothing to be answered. He not only disarmed his adversaries of their pretexts and objections, but he stripped them of all excuse for having urged them; he confounded and subdued, as well as convinced. He indemnified them, however, by making his discussion a complete map of his subject; so that his opponents might, indeed, feel ashamed of their mistakes, but they could not repeat them. In fact, it was no common effort that could preserve a really able antagonist from becoming his convert; for the truth, which his researches so distinctly presented to the understanding of others, was rendered almost irresistibly commanding and impressive by the love and reverence, which, it was ever apparent, he profoundly cherished for it in his own. While patriotism glowed in his heart, wisdom blended in his speech her authority with her charms.
SUCH, also, is the character of his writings. Judiciously collected, they will be a public treasure.
No man ever more disdained duplicity, or carried frankness further than he. This gave to his political opponents some temporary advantages, and currency to some popular prejudices, which he would have lived down, if his death had not prematurely dispelled them. He knew, that factions have ever in the end prevailed in free states; and, as he saw no security (and who living can see any adequate?) against the destruction of that liberty which he loved, and for which he was ever ready to devote his life, he spoke at all times according to his anxious forebo dings; and his enemies interpreted all that he said according to the supposed interest of their party.
BUT he ever extorted confidence, even when he most provoked opposition. It was impossible to deny, that he was a patriot, and such a patriot, as, seeking neither popularity nor office, without artifice, without meanness, the best Romans in their best days: would have admitted to citizenship and to the consulate. Virtue, so rare, so pure, so bold, by its very purity and excellence, inspired suspicion, as a prodigy. His enemies judged of him by themselves: so. splendid and arduous were his services, they could not find it in their hearts to believe that they were disinterested.
UNPARELLELED as they were, they were, nevertheless, no otherwise requited, than by the applause of all good men, and by his own enjoyment of the spectacle of that national prosperity and honour, which was the effect of them. After facing calumny, and triumphantly surmounting an unrelenting persecution, he retired from office, with clean, though empty. hands, as rich as reputation and an unblemished integrity could make him.
SOME have plausibly, though erroneously, inferred: from the great extent of his abilities, that his ambition was inordinate. This is a mistake. Such men, as have a painful consciousness, that their stations happen to be far more exalted than their talents, are generally the most ambitious. HAMILTON, on the contrary, though he had many competitors, had no rivals; for he did not thirst for power, nor would he, as it was well known, descend to office. Of course, he suffered no pain from envy, when bad men rose, though he felt anxiety for the public. He was perfectly content and at ease, in private life. Of what was he ambitious? Not of wealth-no man held it cheaper. Was it of popularity? That weed of the dunghill, he knew, when rankest, was nearest to withering. There is no doubt, that he desired glory, which to most men is too inaccessible to be an object of dere; but, feeling his own force, and that he was tall enough to reach the top of Pindus or of He