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to the world as they were instructed by him, and assisted by the Holy Spirit of the Most High. The religion of Jesus has gone forth to every quarter of the globe, taking up its abode especially in the most enlightened and civilised countries, where its claims could be examined, and its excellence estimated. It has made reason its champion, and enlisted the a ffections on its side. It has become triumphant by the mild and persuasive influence of its doctrines; its support is in the conviction and consciences of meo. Where has it prevailed, and has not carried light to the ignorant, consolation to the afflicted, and hope to the desponding ? If such a religion be not true, well may we exclaim, with the astonished and inquiring Roman, What is truth?
Art. VI.—Pulaski Vindicated from an Unsupported Charge,
inconsiderately or malignantly introduced in Judge Johnson's Sketches of the Life and Correspondence of Major General Nathaniel Greene. 8vo. pp. 37. Baltimore, 1824. The dismemberment of Poland, effected by the perfidy and ambition of three despotic powers, has ever been regarded, by the friends of liberty and justice, with the utmost indignation and abhorrence. It was a deed of infamy, which can find no parallel in history, and which, under any of the forms of civil society, would be looked upon as a crime, that could only be expiated by the severest penalties of violated law. The government of Poland, it is true, had grown weak by factions, and was sunk under the burthen of its ill organised constitution. It had once been the pride of the Poles to rally round the standard of what was called, and what in reality was in some of its features, a republican system. The privilege of election, that great palladium of political right, was enjoyed to a considerable extent, and for a time afforded a salutary check to absolute tyranny in the rulers. In the best periods of its administration, however, the Polish government was composed of strangely mixed and discordant elements. The King was elected, but the authority conferred by the crown was almost nothing; the Diet, or legislative
assembly, was elected, but this assembly was always a theatre of anarchy and faction; it was composed of nobles, who looked only to their own interest, and who were encouraged by each other's example to practise any enormity without shame, to gain their ends. The mass of the people were serfs, degraded by slavery and ignorance. In short, the government of Poland was of a most anomalous character, exhibiting the singular union of a corrupt and factious aristocracy, a monarchy without power, and a democracy without freedom.
Such a system must necessarily decay and go to ruin ; the nobles perpetually encroached on the royal prerogatives, few and contracted as they were ; they controlled the elections ; and at length they took the government effectually into their hands, by introducing into the Diet the liberum veto, or the privilege of any member by his single voice to dissolve the assembly, and stop further proceedings. This was usurping a power, which the king did not possess, and which was plainly destructive of all the good purposes to be effected by à deliberative body. The responsibility of public officers was destroyed, for none could fail to find a friend in the Diet, who would stop any investigation into his conduct, if occasion required.
It was at the time when these evils in the government had grown to their greatest height, and its vital energies were paralysed, that the cabinets of Russia, Austria, and Prussia, formed the insidious design of taking advantage of the weakness of Poland to crush its political existence, and, in the true spirit of freebooters, to divide among themselves the plunder of the country, which they had conspired to dismember and ruin. This scheme of infamy was carried into effect, and has fixed a stigma on the character of its projectors, which will forever remain as one of the deepest stains in the history of the civilised world.
That the Poles should be roused by so flagrant an act of indignity and oppression, was not surprising. Civil wars broke out; the despots procured partisans by the influence of money and intrigue, and by the force of arms; they spared no pains to kindle the flame of civil discord, that they might the more easily conquer and divide. The spirit of freedom is natural to man, and it was not yet extinct in the breasts of many of the Poles, notwithstanding the degraded state to which they were reduced as a nation. The crisis called out some men of high and noble minds, genuine patriots, in whom the love of country and of freedom overcame every other passion, and incited them to deeds of heroism and valor, that have seldom been surpassed. To many distinguished Poles, who signalised themselves at that time, and during the succeeding struggles, might the words of the poet be applied with scarcely less force, than to the renowned hero, whose fame they celebrate;
But should we wish to warm us on our way
Might scatter fire through ice, like Hecla's flame.' Among those, who stood in the foremost ranks of patriotism and valor, at the beginning of the contest, who were the first to resist oppression and raise the standard of freedom and right, was Count Pulaski. He fought to restore the falling liberties of his country, with an ardor which nothing could repress, and with a perseverance which no obstacles could diminish, while a gleam of hope remained, that Poland could be saved from the destiny threatened by its enemies. The combined power of three empires drove him from his country, and he arrived in America in time to fight for our own cause of independence, and to die on a foreign shore in defending those principles of justice and liberty, whose growth a wicked conspiracy of despots had blasted on his native soil. As Americans, it is our duty to cherish the fame of Pulaski ; he came to be in the midst of our wants and our perils, when we needed the aid of soldiers like himself, ardent in our cause for its own sake, and tried by the severest discipline of experience; he died in assisting to procure the freedom, which we now enjoy, and which every American deems the first of his earthly privileges. We care not to look farther; to these claims alone we are willing to yield
In a case like this, we should revolt at the thought of removing the veil, and searching for personal motives; these no doubt he had, for without them he could not have been a man; but it is not by his private personal views, whatever they may have been, that his character is to be weighed; nor by the cold cant that he was a soldier of for
up our hearts.
tune, that his merits are to be estimated, in the United States. The plain question is, what did he do for us, and what did he sacrifice in our behalf? He served us most devotedly, he fought bravely, and he sacrificed his life. We envy not the feelings of an American citizen, who has not gratitude for deeds like these, and whose sense of justice, as well as of gratitude, does not place Pulaski high on the revered list of heroes, by whose united exertions our independence was achieved.
Under impressions like these, it was with sincere regret, that in this country we should find occasion given for any one to write a pamphlet, with the avowed object of vindicating the fame of Pulaski from the injurious charge of an American historian; and surprise is mingled with regret, when we learn, that the charge is intended to throw a slur on the military character of a man, whom the world has lauded with a unanimous voice for his skill and bravery as a soldier. To this point we shall again recur.
The author of the pamphlet, we are given to understand, is a gentleman of high respectability, who was an officer in Pulaski's legion, from the time it was first organised till its dissolution, who was daily with the commander during this period, was at his side when he received the fatal wound at the attack on Savannah, and attended him during the last moments of his life. From such a source the work claims our fullest confidence, and we shall take the liberty of presenting to our readers, in the author's own words, such portions of his narrative, as throw light on the character of Pulaski, and as contain some facts but little known in the history of the revolution.
A very brief sketch is given of Pulaski's exertions before he came to this country.
It is well known,' says the author,' that for several years previous to the first flagitious partition of Poland, in 1772, by Russia, Austria and Prussia, that unfortunate country was a scene of turbulence, anarchy, devastation, and bloodshed. Stanislaus Augustus, the reigning monarch had been raised to the throne, not by the free and unanimous choice of the nobles, but by a corrupt and degenerate faction, and by the intrigues and even the violence of Russia, whose troops, stationed at a small distance from the plain where the diet of election was held, had overawed his numerous opponents. Among these was Count Pulaski, a nobleman no less
distinguished by his talents and his courage, than by his birth and his rank. Firm, incorruptible, undaunted, he had uniformly resisted the insolent dictation of an ambitious and faithless neighbor, and in Stanislaus he saw a Russian viceroy, rather than the chief of an independent nation.
• In those confederacies, which were soon formed in various parts of the country, to defend and vindicate its insulted sovereignty, the ardent patriotism of the Count, his implacable hatred of foreign usurpation, his indefatigable zeal, his unshaken constancy, his heroic intrepidity-in short, his towering genius and his stoical and truly republican virtues, rendered him the scourge and terror of the Russians. “During eight succeeding years of a bloody war," says a writer who has eloquently described the situation of Poland in those calamitous times, “ the operations of Pulaski were such as almost to challenge belief. Sometimes vanquished, much oftener victorious, equally great in the midst of a defeat as formidable after victory, and always superior to events, Pulaski attracted and fixed the attention of all Europe, and astonished her by his long and vigorous resistance. Obliged to abandon one province, he made incursions into another, and there performed new prodigies of valor. It was thus that, marching successively throughout all the palatinates, he signalised in each of them that eternal hatred, which he had sworn against the enemies of Poland.” It was Pulaski who, in 1771, conceived and organised the bold design of forcibly carrying off Stanislaus from Warsaw, and bringing him to his camp; not, indeed, to assassinate him, as has been basely and falsely asserted by partisans of Russia, but with a view to make him a rallying point for the nobles, and all the patriots of Poland, and, by means of this union of the monarch with the nation, to crush, or at least, to drive away from the territory of the republic the satellites of that unprincipled and perfidious power, by whose haughty mandates it had too long been governed. The enterprise, confided to forty brave patriots, succeeded only so far as to seize on the monarch, in the very bosom of his capital, and to convey him away to some distance from it, in spite of every obstacle and danger. The darkness of the night, and other unforeseen casualties, prevented the final execution of a plan, which might eventually have saved Poland from that political annihilation, which has since become her lot.
When, from nearly the same motives as induce robbers to disguise or suspend, for a time, their jealousies and animosities, and to unite their efforts and their strength, the more easily to secure a common prey, Russia, Prussia and Austria jointly invaded Poland, in 1772, and at a “fell swoop” seized upon the fairest
ortion of her territory, which they divided among themselves by that right which only kings and freebooters dare to claim--the