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assuredly never return, were it not for the interference of a chosen few who feel for others' woe, and who by throwing themselves betwixt the law and the grim tyrant death, arrest the iminediate execution of the devoted victim. But, alas! all that humanity in this case can do, is by the administering of paliatives, to ward off for a time the lingering, but certain, approaches of dissolution. Where then is our boasted jurisprudence? The freedom of our laws ? When we fall so much short in this particular, of the justice of the European governments, most of which grant at least the partial means of existence to confined debtors. In fact we have inherited our jurisprudence from perhaps the worst government, in this respect, on earth-Whose God is gold, whose avaricious tyrant never forgave the sin of poverty-and who himself detained one of his loving subjects in prison seventeen years for the paltry sum of seven pounds.- In whose favour, the occasional acts of the British government, for the relief of confined debtors, always make an exception; that is, that his debts shall in all cases be paid, otherwise the debtor to remain in prison. I understand however that the late Jubilee in England was occasioned by his majesty (in consequence of arriving to the fiftieth year of his wicked reign, in imitation of his predecessor, James,) forgiving all debts, as well as crimes, popery and witchcraft excepted.

What reason have those who make laws to conclude that there are better and more humane men in the community than themselves? Why should they grant absolution for deliberate intention to murder? And which, in fact, is often absolutely committed. Look over the list of unforgiving creditors, and you will find upon it, with few exceptions, only the sordid miser, and the mean shuffling peculator,

But let us hope that the wisdom of our legislators (who have already meritoriously occupied much time upon this subject) will finally devise some means more consistent with distributive justice, than the present system affords. In the mean time let me entreat the unmerciful creditor, and the man of wealth, to visit this abode of wretchedness, and behold what havoc avarice makes upon suffering humanity. We see stately mansions

erected at an immense expense, for the pretended worship of the creator; but here is to be found a more acceptable worship. Come into this prison, and unbar its gates to your unfortunate brethren ; by which you will perform an act of religion, that will outweigh, in the sight of God, a life of prayer.

After bestowing such aid as my scanty means would allow, to those whose claims appeared most pressing, I was preparing to depart, when my attention was suddenly arrested by the groans of another tenant to this gloomy abode; it was a poor woinan, who for a small debt, had been dragged from a sick bed by those harpies of the law, falsely styled officers of justice (in most of whose crusted souls all the sympathies and decencies of humanity are extinct,) to a justice's court, where, unable to stand, she lay on one of the benches, till judgment was pronounced, and execution granted; from thence she was brought in a cart to the prisongate, and dumped upon the pavement. On entering the prison, she assured the turnkeys that she was unable to ascend the stairs; they appeared to doubt the fact, and ordered her in a harsh tone to proceed, at the same time taking hold of her, they conducted her to her destined place, in the upper story.

Where having arrived, exhausted with fatigue, she fell motionless on the floor, and in a few minutes her spirit took its flight, leaving a lifeless corpse to reward her inhuman persecutors.

“ Man, dress'd in a little brief authority,
Commits such barb'rous deeds before high heav'n,
As makes e'en angels weep."

Gentlemen, romance is excluded from the picture I have portrayed; if its extravagance excites in your minds the least doubt of the facts, they can be proved by a host of evidence.


“The proper study of mankind is nan.” Pope.

BIOGRAPHY is at once the most useful and pleasing method of inculcating lessons of wisdom. Our curiosity prompts us to pursue the history, and our feelings become interested in the delineation of the leading traits of character peculiar to distinguished individuals. And as virtuous examples may stimulate to emulation in the path of rectitude, biography ought to be considered an important branch of moral science. This study is in a measure, indispensible in a free country, particularly of such extent as our own; because it is the only means by which the citizens at large can be made acquainted with the history, character, and genius of their agents, as well as of moral, political and scientific writers, whose talents may entitle them to public notice.

In a monarchy, there is not the same inducement, nor necessity for the nation to become acquainted with those who manage their affairs; where the monarch himself fills by his own appointment all offices of honor, profit and trust; and where the most unprincipled part of the community, whose views being congenial with tyranny, generally obtain the preference: here it is useless for the people to investigate character; because their exposition of the faults of public officers would probably operate as a recommendation to the monarch. But, as before observed, in a government like ours, the subject is all-important, and if treated with impartiality, must prove beneficial. In order to this, we are well aware of the necessity of disclaiming all local and party prejudices, and of a rigid observance of the golden rule

of the poet,

Naught to extenuate, nor aught set down in malice.”

The idea is sometimes advanced that the Deity confers genius and abilities on certain individuals, in different nations of the earth, suited to the circumstances and times in which they live; if by this is meant a special interference of providence for the purpose of producing certain events, we disbelieve the fact; because it would imply a miracle, which in our opinion is inconsistent with the unchangeable nature of the supreme being. Besides, it is impious to suppose that a just God would show any partiality to a particular nation. If Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, the Adams', and their associates, were reared up in America in order to accomplish our revolution, and to establish a republican government; why did Fayette, Condorcet, Mirabeau, Volney, Brissot, &c. in France ; and Fitzgerald, Tone, the Emmets, and the Sheares', &c. in Ireland, whose cause was at least as just as ours, and who possessed equal talents, fail of divine aid to accomplish a similar purpose ?-In fact, as the marquis La Fayette has said, " for a nation to be free, it need but to will it.” Had the people of those countries, as universally as in ours, co-operated with their patriotic leaders, they would have succeeded. But the habits of the people, and the circumstances in which they were placed, rendered success more difficult. Nothing is here meant to depreciate the merits of our revolutionary statesmen and heroes, but simply to reprobate an unreasonable, superstitious, and we might add, impious reliance upon providential interference in any case whatever. The just and wise Deity has, no doubt, by the regular and natural operation of his laws, produced amongst the people of all countries sufficient intelligence for the management of their own concerns. And having done all that was necessary on his part, if the people neglect to exercise those talents with which the Deity has endowed them, and thereby suffer political or religious oppression they have themselves alone to blame. If they neglect the advice of Hercules to the waggoner, their fastings and prayers will never avail. All the Te Deums that have been chaunted, on account of sanguinary victories, all the canting declamations respecting providential interferences, are dishonourable to the supreme Being, because they attribute to him an unjust partiality. They may suit the views of hypocrisy and bigotry, but must always prove abhorrent to philosophy.

Erroneous opinions are entertained by a considerable portion of the people of this country with respect to the talents requisite for legislators. Too great a preference is commicnly given to lawyers, many supposing that they alone are capable of making laws; whereas their constant habits of poring over antique and barbarous forms, invented by cunning to entrap the simple, occasions them generally to envelope acts of their drafting in a kind of mysterious abracadabra, intelligible only to the craft themselves. Besides, they are interested so to construct laws as to render their meaning susceptible of disputation. We hope not to merit the accusation of illiberality in what we say upon this subject; “ we consider lawyers to be actuated by the same passions as other men, and pursuing the ends of self-interest and ambition by the same paths in which all others would tread, conducted by the same temptations and opportunities." And there are certainly among them, those whose integrity and good sense enables them to triumph over the trammels of technical absurdities.

Finally, we fully agree with our celebrated and much esteemed countryman Joel Barlow, that " whatever there is in the art of government, whether legislative or executive, above the capacity of the ordinary class of what are called well-informed men, is superfluous and destructive, and ought to be laid aside. The man who is called a politician, according to the practical sense of the word in modern Europe, exercises an office infinitely more destructive to society than that of a highwayman. The same may be said in general of the financier ; whose art and mystery on the funding system of the present century, consist in making calculations to enable governments to hire mankind to butcher each other, by drawing bills on posterity for the payment.”

We shall in future numbers endeavour correctly to delineate the biography and character of some of the most conspicuous American patriots.


SO much inquiry has been made for antimony, in the United States, and hitherto with so little success, that we are induced to

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