in pra&ice. But that the American embargo was not a measure in the least calculated to enforce our rights in respect to that subject, by any appeals which could be made by means of it, to the interests of Great Britain, was a doctrine in our opinion equally true and conclusive, from various chains of argument. To the right of searching neutral merchant vessels, as claimed by Great Britain, we have paid considerable attention, and have maintained that the doctrine heretofore held by Mr. Madison is unsound. We do not deny the conduct of the British officers to be oppressive and frequently outrageous; but we have asserted that a practical rule, which shall exempt Americans from impressment, is the only remedy on which we ought to insist; for right is clearly on the side of Great Britain.

The most unfortunate affair of the Chesapeak was a subject on which Mr. Jefferson contributed to involve the country in peculiar difficulty. Not for the proclamation against British vessels of war, for that was unavoidable ; he could not do less to gratify the exasperated malice of the populace, and he could not do more if he had been inclined, for the warlike power of the U. nited States was inadequate to enforce any orders or directions which the British squadron had refused to obey. The difficul. ties connected with that attack, which have it is to be hoped been brought to a final determination, were in our négociation with Great Britain, in regard to the reparation for the wrong. It is well understood that many of the claims of Mr. Jefferson's ad. ministration, in negociating a treaty of commerce, were never acceded to by the British ministry ; particularly on the question of impressments from American merchant vessels. The attack upon the American frigate, was supposed to afford an opportunity for enforcing our old claims of the immunity of the flag in merchant ships too favourable to be omitted. Accordingly our minister at the court of St. James was required to demand, as an item in the amount of reparation acknowledged by Great Britain to be due, the concession of the general principle of exemption. Now, as the demand included, in its very nature, an unattainable concession, which could not be granted to us without manifest injustice to herself on the part of Great Britain ; and as it never should have been required, as a recompence for an aggression which did not involve the principle in question, so we have always opposed the administration for mingling the unjust

of his property

demand of the universal exemption of our flag from search, with the equitable one of specifick reparation for the Chesapeak disaster. With equal propriety might an individual who had been personally insulted, demand besides the customary acknowledgment of impropriety, from the guilty party, that he should give him his house, or confer


part There never has been a period in our national existence which has marked the United States with so obvious a connection with contemporary history of mankind, and which has so much involved the immediate prosperity and future destiny of the country, as the previous year. And whilst events abroad have conspired to render us the only neutral power upon earth, of conspicuous consequence, and have rendered our weight in the scale of hostility of main consideration as to its ultimate vibration, the conduct of our rulers at home have marked our national character with a disgrace the more indelible, as the figure which we unfolded to the world was so evidently exposed. The president of the country, the theme of ridicule for his philosophick notions of government, to say no worse ; his leaders in congress repeatedly making ridiculous laws, which they could not enforce; and in order to inforce them forming another, which nearly exciting rebellion, they were obliged immediately to repeal ; laws, indeed, the baneful operation of which was felt by ourselves rather than our enemies, are circumstances which afford a faint outline of the appearance and conduct of our rulers at Washington. By some unaccountable fatality of opinion however, these men were supported by their party by a perversity of errour and multiplication of falsehood without a precedent in the records of party animosity. We have accordingly frequently resorted to the task of refuting the calumnies, misrepresentations, and falsehoods which were industriously circulated through the community in democratick papers. So much for our political opinions; which have been generally confined to a few predominant topicks which were obviously the most important to the community, whilst incidental assertions, the common theme of newspaper controversy, have been left to those who imagine that a decision of questions of a secondary nature, have any material effect on those of national magnitude.

Originally it was intended that a department of this paper should have been devoted to ridicule the enthusiastick disturbers

of religious tranquillity, who under the garb of fanaticism, wander about the country and contribute to overturn some of the best principles of social order and domestick happiness. It was also intended rigorously to attack the virulence of certain schismaticks, who pretend to maintain exclusive doctrines of salvation, and whose property and talents are devoted to the diffusion of religious intolerance and the imposition of apeculiar system of belief. But although nothing is more frequent or successful in Europe than satire so directed, it is found to create here, such excessive irritation, that these subjects have only been occasionally treated ; and then not with the severity of which they are so evidently susceptible. Moliere produced a wonderful effect upon the French stage in his exposure of the religious hypocrite. The Non Ju. ror of C. Cibber, which is a free translation of the drama of the celebrated French writer, afterward gained great success in England. The play is now performed under the little of The Hypocrite, as better adapted to the English stage, by Arthur Murphy, and we think it deserves the attention of our performers. The state of society fairly demands a publick exposition of the consummate hypocrisy, and secret vices of many of these holy impostors and pretenders to religious sanctity. The system of rational piety excludes all this vehemence of fanatick exclamation, this intolerance of opinion, which is so generally and fatally diffused in the New England States. It contains more reason, and less fanaticism ; more charity, and less violence ; more active beneficence, and less outward show.

The general design of our poetical department has been to deride any popular absurdities or follies which the literature of the times has presented to our view. Contributing to the original intention of the publication, it has been most frequently employed in ridiculing literary, rather than political or religious

We have been obliged, however, to resort to foreign alliances, to accomplish our contemplated intentions ; America is a climate unpropitious to the diffusion of poetick inspiration, and we have called in vain upon the superintending divinity to bestow upon us a portion of his powers. We have indeed been induced to hope much from promises largely advanced; but have realized little from kindnesses conferred. Yet we are not without belief, that this branch of our paper, if properly understood and candidly examined, will be found to contain foreign selections, which might become essentially useful in correcting some erroneous prevailing notions in regard to literary excellence.


The animosity which satirical compositions excite in all small communities, is the unavoidable consequence of the universal interest which the whole society seems to take in the object of the application. All persons, eminent either for their folly or their wisdom, have a pretty general acquaintance with all classes of people, and when a satire appears, there immediately arises a community of feeling for the person against whose peculiarities of errour or vice the shafts are directed, and all his acquaintances are ready to supply him with a shield. Whatever of satire there. fore, which the Ordeal contains, has rather applied to personages of scale and office,' than to individuals who, however they might have deserved, have found protection in insignificance. The democratick party, as such, we have considered a legitimate object of attack, and the leaders of consequence have come in for their proportional share of its fury. But our acerbity, however caustick, and our censure, however vindictive, has always been dictated by an impression of the propriety of the application, and not from any feelings of personal animosity or irritation.

But we have no design to gratify vice or folly by any appearances of lamentation for their sufferings; nor to gain the regard of those whose good opinion it would be no advantage to obtain, and highly censurable to solicit.

In considering fairly the whole volume now presented to the publick, all reasonable allowances should be made for the editors in regard to the diversity of topicks which they have been obliged for the sake of variety to discuss, to the quantity of matter which they have weekly been obliged to supply, and to the peremptory calls for publication, which, as Dr. Johnson remarks, are so frequently made upon an attention dissipated, a memory embarrassed, an imagination overwhelmed,' and an invention languishing under the pressure of previous labours. There are many paragraphs inserted, which in their more leisure moments the editors would gladly have expunged, and many inaccuracies of expression and anomalies of thought, which they cannot review with complete satisfaction. Matters merely secondary have sometimes been unnecessarily extended, and the discussion of topicks of predominant interest have occasionally been censurably abridged, or carelessly composed. Under such impressions the editors dismiss the work, under a full persuasion that they have faithfully performed their contract with the publick, and if they do not deserve the praise due to industry and talents, they may claim the reward to which he is fairly entitled, who with pure motives and intentions, exposes the hypocrisy, laughs at the follies, and assails the corruption of the times.


THE skill and discipline of troops, modelled upon the modern system of tacticks which has rendered the French name so emi. nent, and their arms victorious, has in no particular, it is said, been more eminently successful, than in applying the principle of the oblique line of battle to large bodies of soldiers, than any other nation had ever before adopted. The hint was first adopted in practice by Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, but Napoleon has not only extended the principle but has combined it with other parts of the new system, which has made his armies almost irresistible. The following abservations from Military Memoirs, Ancient and Modern, by Dr. Thompson,' well explains the nature and design of this order of government, and we presume will not be destitute of amusement to those of our readers, who relish military disquisitions. * All arrangements

of troops,

in line of battle, are either diseat, that is to say parallel, or nearly so, to the front of the enemy's line ; or oblique, that is, inclined to his front; so that if the two lines were to meot at either extremity they would form an angle more or less acute.

1st. The direct order of battle is the most natural and obvious, the most simple in its disposition and operations, and the most ancient. In proportion, however, as the art of tacticks was improved, many important defects were discovered in the direct order : but the principal reason why it is seldom employed seems to be the difficulty of meeting with, in a campaign, a plain so lev. el and so extensive, as to allow two considerable armies to be drawn up, in opposite lines, the one parallel to the other, and to maneuvre, close, and engage along their whole front at the. same time.

« ElőzőTovább »