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By the unfeeling "insolence of office," to heave a mountain on his gigantic genius, and hide it from the world-Poor and powerless attempt!-The tables were turned. He rose upon them in the might and irresistible energy of his genius, and in spite of all their convolutions, frantic agonies and spasms, he strangled them and their whole faction, with as much ease, as Hercules did the serpent, Python. Who can turn over the debates of the day, and read the account of this conflict between youthful ardor and hoary headed cunning and power, without kindling in the cause of the tyro, and shouting at his victory? That they should have attempted to pass off the grand, yet solid and judicious operations of a mind like his, as being mere theatrical start and emotion; the giddy, hair-brained eccentricities of a romantic boy! That they should have had the presumption to suppose themselves capable of chaining down to the floor of the parliament, a genius so etherial, towering and sublime! Why did they not, in the next breath, by way of crowning the climax of vanity, bid the magnificent. fire-ball to descend from its exalted and appropriate region, and perform its splendid tour along the surface of the earth?
Talents, which are before the public, have nothing to dread, either from the jealous pride of power, or from the transient misrepresentations of party, spleen. or envy. In spite of opposition from any cause, their buoyant spirit will lift them to their proper grade -it would be unjust that it should lift them higher.
It is true, there always are, and always will be, in. every society, individuals, who will fancy themselves examples of genius overlooked, under-rated, or invidiously oppressed. But the misfortune of such per-sons is imputable to their own vanity, and not to the public opinion, which has weighed and graduated them.
In spite of every thing, the public opinion, will fi nally do justice to us all. The man who comes fairly before the world, and who possesses the great and vig
orous stamina which entitle him to a niche in the temple of glory, has no reason to dread the ultimate result; however slow his progress may be, he will, in the end, most indubitably receive that distinction. While the rest," the swallows of science," the butterflies of genius, may flutter for their spring; but they will soon pass away and be remembered no more.. No enterprising man, therefore, (and least of all, the truly great man) has reason to droop or repine at any efforts which he may suppose to be made with the view to depress him; since he may rely on the universal and unchanging truth, that talents, which are before the world, will most inevitably find their proper level; and this is, certainly, all that a just man should desire. Let, then, the tempest of envy or of malice howl around him. His genius will consecrate him : and any attempt to extinguish that, will be as unavailing, as would a human effort "to quench the stars."
Extract from President Washington's Speech to the first Congress, April 30th, 1789.
With the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being, who rules over the univere, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that: his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States, a government instituted by themselves, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration, to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the great Au
thor of every public and private good, I assure my-telf that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the Uni-ted States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency. And in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government, the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted, cannot be compared with the means by which most governments have been established, without some return of pious gratitude along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage. These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced them-selves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are none under the influence of which, the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously
By the article establishing the executive department, it is made the duty of the president " to recommend to your consideration, such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." The circumstances under which I now meet you, will acquit me from entering into that subject farther than to refer you to the great constitutional charter under which we are assembled ; and which, in defining your powers, designates the objects to which your attention is to be given. It will be more consistent with those circumstances, and far more congenial with the feelings which actuate me, to substitue in place of a recommendation of particular measures, the tribute that is due to the talents, the rectitude, and the patriotism which adorn the characters selected to devise and adopt them. In these honourable qualifications,
I behold the surest pledges, that as on one side, no local prejudices or attachments, no separate views. nor party animosities, will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye which ought to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interests: So, on another, that the foundations of our national polioy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality; and the pre-eminence of a free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command. the respect of the world..
I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my country can inspire ; since there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness-between duty and advantange-between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity. Since we ought to be no less persuaded: that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordain ed. And since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people..
Instead of undertaking particular recommendations in which I could be guided by no lights derived from official opportunities, I shall again give way to my entire confidence in your discernment and pursuit of the public good: For I assure myself, that whilst you carefully avoid every alteration which might endanger the benefits of an united and effective government, or which ought to await the future lessons of experience; a reverence for the characteristic rights of freemen, and a regard for the public harmony, will sufficiently influence your deliberations on the question, how far the former can be more impregnably
fortified, or the latter be safely and more advantageously promoted.
Having thus imparted to you my sentiments, as they have been awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign Parent of the human race, in humble supplication, that since he has been pleased to favour the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquility, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their union, and the advancement of their happiness; so his divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this government must depend.
from Washington's Farewell Address, 1796..
The unity of government which constitutes you one people is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home,. your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee, that from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and indi.. vidual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial,,