We re

probably, with the full persuasion that she must exert all her strength, before she can recover her lost dominions, or regain her lost prowess. She is not trammelled by any of those formidable combinations, (alas, only formidable to their own existence !) commonly denominated coalitions. She goes singly into the war, and her singleness will probably be her safety. The cabinet hitherto distracted with divisions, is now united in the Arch Duke Charles, who is universally considered, in Europe, to be second to no other general in the world, but Moreau. Austria has again taken the field, under a new system of tacticks, which inspires her soldiers with courage, and under a general whose complete control over his soldiers' affections, would inspire that courage,

if other inducements should fail. peat it, that there is more to be hoped from Austria single handed, than from a coalition. Spain, if the Arch Duke should gain some partial success, and on that account oblige Bonaparte to turn his whole attention upon him, would have another opportunity to breathe and recover her strength. She might be able to form a new army, and give employment to the French troops for many succeeding years ; but to reduce the present French military despotism by hard fighting, would require more force than all Europe could bring into the field, and more years than any man now alive will probably experience. Suppose Spain, Portugal and Austria were to gain many successes this campaign, it would not shock the foundation of the French

power. Napoleon's greatest generals and statesmen, have now a permanent personal interest in maintaining his authority. Besides, he has established his empire, the period of the revolution has passed, and nothing but another more formidable than the first, would be likely to subvert the present government ; and the French have now such a sense of revolutions, that they shudder at the very recollection of the last.

Austria may, and we sincerely hope she will, gain some such success, as will produce a recovery of her late dominions. But the hope of shaking France to the centre, at this late period, must be considered utterly futile and ridiculous. Napoleon, like Shakespeare, is seated upon a throne of adamant, and the stream of time, which washes away as it passes the fabricks of minor powers, leaves uninjured the basis on which his might is established.


AN EPISTLE To a Member of the General Court of Massachusetts, 1809. This is a poetical address to some statesman belonging to the Massachusetts legislature; but we have been puzzled to discover who he is, or what is the intention of the poet, in the epistlę. The author thus speaks of an orator in the house ; we do not pretend to understand to whom he alludes ; we quote the lines to perplex our readers as well as ourselves. They will afford a fair specimen of the poetry.

“ And lo! where ... in debate,
Rises, mature, to save the state ;
From long experience wary grown,
Though parties change, preserves his own ;-
Full well his merit all can note,
There's one criterion to his votę;
As turns the publick wind the vanes,
The publick voice his vote distrains ;
And let the publick ship careen,
He scuds the surf and strand between.

Nor yet for this alone retere,
In manners soft, in faith severe;
And more, has this peculiar grace,
With fluent speech, a winning face ;
Has old Ulysses' downcast look,
A shepherd man, deprived of crook,
Yet in this sly disguise sustains
A vast corposity of brains.

He speaks, and lo! the astonish'd house
Might hear the love-song of a mouse ;
Might hear the itch of Snowdon's pimples,
The eddying winds in Carbon’s dimples ;
How all the logick links are crack'd !
How all the cubick figures rack'd !
What metaphorick splinters fly!
What windmills dance before the eye !
Yield, Burke, in sober sadness yield,

A mightier reaper strips the field.” There are some judicious notes upon the subversion of the republican principle in the conduct of elections by means of secret committees and legislative caucuses. The piece, on the whole, is not calculated to have any materiál effect upon the publick, from the profound obscurity in which its intention is buried.

[blocks in formation]

“ That all these papers are happily imagined, or accurately polished, that the same sentiments have not sometimes recurred, or the same expressions been too frequently repeated, I have not confidence in my abilities sufficient to warrant. He that condemns himself to compose on a stated day, will often bring to his task an attention dissipated, a memory embarrassed, an imagination overwhelmed, a mind distracted with anxieties, a body languisling with disease : he will labour on a barren topick till it is too late to change it; or in the ardour of invention, diffuse his thoughts into wild exuberance, which the pressing hour of publication cannot suffer judgment to examine or reduce."--Johnson.

THE present number of the Ordeal will complete one vol. ume of a work, which the editors are confident to hope has been conducted in strict conformity to the principles upon which it was originally projected. As it is the present intention of the editors to discontinue the publication, custom obliges them to announce that intention with a certain degree of formality, though it will not follow that the publick will derive any peculiar interest in the disclosure. On the contrary, as the world received the an. nunciation of the work with frigid indifference, the editors will not be disappointed if they should dismiss it with undisturbed tranquillity. It is fortunate that the editors have never fattered themselves with the idea of being able to render the Ordeal.a favourite publication; the meteorick flashes of wit and merriment were too transient to shed permanent effulgence upon their pages; and the lighter graces, which skim over the surface of literature, were too fragile to afford strength to the arm of satire, or vigour to political illustrations. Their aim was only to be useful, to establish a publication which might aspire to more dignity of discussion than is to be discovered in the common newspapers of the day, and at the same time to become the most eligible vehicle for the communication of literary and political proVol. I.


ductions. It is not remarkable that an experiment should fail of the success anticipated by the projectors, and this day, will therefore, terminate the existence of the Ordeal. But the edi. tors have frequently experienced flattering encouragement, in words, and they have not been entirely destitute of the support of munificent generosity.

The acknowledgments which they are obliged to make for extraneous assistance are few in number. The review of Mr. Buckminster's sermon in the seventh number, the burlesque ode in the twelfth, and the Review of Mr. Carey's sermon in the fourteenth and fifteenth, are the principal communications for which they are under obligations to different correspondents. There are other matters however, of minor consideration, which might be referred to other names than those of the editors, which it

difficult, perhaps impossible, to enumerate ; and ineligible, perhaps indelicate, to disclose.

It is peculiarly the pride of the editors to reflect, that their work has been conducted almost without assistance. It has

generally been the production of individual effort, and laborious application; and therefore, they cannot but deprecate the lash of critical severity. But if the principles which they have espoused are firm, and the conclusions which they have adopted are true, the editors will not querulously complain if their language and style should be captiously derided. If the trunk be sound at the heart, it will do no harm to the tree to suppress the shoots of adventitious luxuriance.

The state of the commercial and political relations of the U. nited States, when this publication was first commenced, was so desperate, that every friend of the country hung down his head in despair. The turpitude of Mr. Jefferson was every day becoming more evident ; and a ruinous embargo, like a wasting sickness, consumed the property of the publick, in a proportion infinitely greater than the nominal amount. These two subjects then it became most important to discuss; and the review of Mr. Giles's speech on the embargo laws in our former numbers, and the Letters of Marcus Brutus, were composed in conformity to such intentions. There is a virulence of political invective supposed to exist in these few letters, which is not authorized by the facts on which the philippicks are founded. Those who asşert that every political transaction in this country should have its measured share of approbation or of censure applied to it, that just so much and no more than it intrinsically deserves, should be the quantity of either which is bestowed, know nothing of the state of politicks in the United States; and those who imagine that mere reasoning and solid argument are calculated to convince men in a republican government, of the truth or errour of opinions, know nothing of human nature. The liberty of the press would be useless unless great latitude of political investigation be allowed; where a whole assembly is constantly brawling, he must have the lungs of a Stentor, who expects to be heard distinctly amidst the tumult. It is salutary to the community that such ardent investigation should be encouraged; otherswise the natural sensibility of rules to the opinions of the people, would grow

callous to the touch of luke warm censurers. For example, to the spirit which was excited last winter in the northern states, but particularly in Massachusetts, may we attribute the sudden deviation from the course of policy which the then administration were pursuing, and which if it had been much longer followed would have made a wreck of the honour, the hopes, and the prosperity of the country.

Now, if the daring spirit of enquiry and investigation which was exhibited in this state had not been promoted and encouraged, if the cold and inanimate expression of disapprobation which other parts of the country adopted, had been practiced in this, perhaps we might now be sinking in despondency, or at best, be groping our way to commercial and political distinction, with infantine exertion.

The nature and propriety of the opinions we have invariably maintained, as they were never the result of any party co-operation or advice, might perhaps sometimes deviate from the general sentiments of contemporary politicians of the same class.The shades of difference, which may be found to exist, will not be fairly produced as a contradiction to federal opinions, or as a wilful opposition to prevailing sentiments. What we have written we have written ; and we shall not shrink from the most scrutinizing investigation of the integrity of remark by which we have always been animated. Thus, we have held that the claims of Great Britain, in what is called the rule of war of '56, but more especially the doctrines set up by the Orders in Council, are intrinsically unsound in principle, and flagrantly unjust

« ElőzőTovább »