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ward in all their decisions, not for the applause of the wise, and good; of their own consciences; of their God; but of the rabble, or any prevailing party ? I flatter myself that this honourable senate will never, by their decision, sanction such principles Our government is not, as we say, tyrannical, nor acting on whim or caprice. We boast of it as being a goverment of laws. But how can it be such, unless the laws, while they exist, are sacredly and impartial, ly, without regard to popularity, carried into execu, tion? What sir, shall judges discriminate? Shall they be permitted to say, "this law I will execute, and that I will not; because in the one case I may be benefited, in the other I might make myself enemies ??? And would you really wish to live under a government where your laws were thus administered? Would you really wish for such unprincipled, such time serving judges? No, sir, you would not. You will with me say, "Give me the judge who will firmly, boldly, nay, even sternly, perform his duty, equally uninfluenced, equally unintimidated by the "Instantis vultus tyranni," or the "ardor civium prava jubentium !"-Such are the judges we ought to have; such I hope we have and shall have. Our property, our liberty, our lives, can only be protected and secured by such judges. With this honourable court it remains, whether we shall have such judges!
BURR and BLENNERHASSETT.
Extract from the speech of Mr. Wirt, on the trial of Aaron Burr for high treason.
A PLAIN man who knew nothing of the curious transmutations which the wit of man can work, would be very apt to wonder by what kind of legerdemain
Aaron Burr had contrived to shuffle himself down to the bottom of the pack as an accessory, and turn up poor Blennerhassett as principal in this treason. It is an honor, I dare say, for which Mr. Blennerhassett is by no means anxious; one which he has never disputed with Colonel Burr, and which I am persuaded, he would be as little inclined to dispute on this occasion, as on any other. Since, however, the modesty of Colonel Burr declines the first rank, and seems disposed to force Mr. Blennerhassett into it in spite of his blushes, let us compare the cases of the two men and settle this question of precedence between · them. It may save a good deal of troublesome ceremony hereafter.
In making this comparison, sir, I shall speak of the two men and of the part they bore as I believe it to exist and to be substantially capable of proof; although the court has already told us, that as this is a motion to exclude all evidence, generally, we have a right, in resisting it, to suppose the evidence which is behind, strong enough to prove any thing and every thing compatible with the fact of Burr's absence from the island. If it will be more agreeable to the feelings of the prisoner to consider the parellel which I am about to run, or rather the contrast which I am about to ex- hibit, as a fiction, he is at liberty to do so; Ibelieve it to be a fact..
Who then is Aaron Burr, and what the part which he has borne in this transaction? He is its author; its projector; its active executor. Bold, ardent, restless and aspiring, his brain conceived it; his hand brought it into action. Beginning his operations in NewYork, he associates with him, men whose wealth is to supply the necessary funds. Possessed of the main spring, his personal labour contrives all the machinery. Pervading the continent from New-York to New-Orleans, he draws into his plan by every allurement which he can contrive, men of all ranks, and all descriptions. To youthful ardour he presents danger and glory, to ambition, rank and titles and
honours; to avarice the mines of Mexico. To each*: person whom he addresses, he presents the object adapted to his taste: his recruiting officers are appointed; men are engaged throughout the continent; civil life is indeed quiet upon its surface; but in its bosom this man has contrived to deposit the materials which with the slightest touch of his match produces an explosion to shake the continent. All this his restless ambition has contrived; and in the autumn of 1806, he goes forth for the last time, to apply this match,On this excursion he meets with Blennerhassett.
Who is Blennerhassett? A native of Ireland, a man of letters, who fled from the storms of his own country to find quiet in ours.. His history shews that war is not the natural element of his mind; if it had been, he would never have exchanged Ireland for America. So far is an army from furnishing the society natural and proper to Mr. Blennerhassett's character, that on his arrival in America, he retired even from the population of the Atlantic States, and sought quiet and solitude in the bosom of our western forests. But he carried with him taste and science and wealth; and "lo, the desert smiled." Possessing himself of a beautiful island in the Ohio, he rears upon it a palace and decorates it with every romantic embelishment of fancy. A shrubbery that Shenstone might have envied, blooms around him; music that might have charmed Calypso and her nymphs, is his ; an extensive library spreads its treasures before him; a philosophical apparatus offers to him all the secrets and mysteries of nature; peace, tranquility and innocence shed their mingled delights around him; and to crowns the enchantment of the scene, a wife, who is said to be lovely even beyond her sex and graced with every accomplishment that can render it irresistable, had blessed him with her love and made him the father of her children. The evidence would convince you, sir, that this is but a faint picture of the real life.
In the midst of all this peace, this innocence, and this tranquility, this feast of the mind, this pure bans.
quet of the heart-the destroyer comes he comes to turn this paradise into a hell-yet the flowers do not wither at his approach and no monitory shuddering through the bosom of their unfortunate possessor, warns him of the ruin that is coming upon him. A stranger presents himself. Introduced to their civik ities by the high rank which he had lately held in his country, he soon finds his way to their hearts by the dignity and elegance of his demeanor, the light and beauty of his conversation, and the seductive and fascinating power of his address. The conquest was not a difficult one. Innocence is ever simple and credulous; conscious of no designs itself, it suspects. none in others; it wears no guards before its breast; every door and portal and avenue of the heart is thrown open, and all who choose it enter. Such was the state of Eden, when the serpent entered its bow
The prisoner in a more engaging form, winding himself into the open and unpractised heart of the unfortunate Blennerhassett, found but little difficulty in changing the native character of that heart and the objects of its affection.. By degrees he infuses into it the poison of his own ambition; he breathes into it the fire of his own courage; a daring and a desperate thirst for glory; an ardor panting for all the storm and bustle and hurricane of life. In a short time the whole man is changed, and every object of his former delight relinquished. No more he enjoys the tranquil scene; it has become flat and insipid to his taste: his books are abandoned; his retort, and crucible are thrown aside; his shrubbery blooms and breaths its fragrance upon the air in vain he likes it not; his ear no longer drinks the rich melody of music; it longs for the trumpet's clangor and the cannon's roar ; even the prattle of his babes, once so sweet, no longer affects him ; and the angel smile of his wife, which hitherto touched his bosom with ecstacy so unspeakable, is now unfelt and unseen. Greater objects have taken possession of his soul-his imagination has been daz
zled by visions of diadems, and stars and garters and titles of nobility: he has been taught to burn with restless emulation at the names of Cromwell, Cæsar, and Bonaparte. His enchanted island is destined soon to relapse into a desert; and in a few months, we find the tender and beautiful partner of his bosom, whom he lately" permitted not the winds of "summer "to visit too roughly," we find her shivering, at midnight, on the winter banks of the Ohio, and mingling her tears with the torrents that froze as they fell. Yet this unfortunate man, thus deluded from his interest and his happiness-thus seduced from the paths of innocence and peace-thus confounded in the toils which were deliberately spread for him, and overwhelmed by the mastering spirit and genius of another this man, thus ruined and undone, and made to play a subordinate part in this grand drama of guilt and treason this man is to be called the principal offender; while he, by whom he was thus plunged and steeped in misery, is comparatively innocent
-a mere accessory.
Sir, neither the human heart nor the human understanding will bear a perversion so monstrous and absurd; so shocking to the soul; so revolting to reason. O! no sir. There is no man who knows any thing of this affair, who does not know that to every body concerned in it, Aaron Burr was as the sun to the planets which surround him; he bound them in their respective orbits, and gave them their light, their heat and their motion. Let him not then shrink from the high destination which he has courted; and having already ruined Blennerhassett in fortune, character and happiness forever, attempt to finish the tragedy by thrusting that ill-fated man between himself and punishment.