Sun-Beams may be extracted from Cucumbers, but the process is tedious
On the 4th of July, 1799.
Sun-Beams may be extracted from Cucumbers, but the process is tedious.
FOURTH OF JULY, 1799.
AT THE REQUEST OF THE CITIZENS OF NEW-HAVEN.
BY DAVID DAGGETT.
PRINTED BY THOMAS GREEN AND SON
[Copy Right Secured.]
TO the Citizens of New-Haven, at whose request this Oration was pronounced and published, it is respectfully inscribed by their affectionate friend and Fellow-Citizen,DAVID DAGGETT.
HISTORY informs us, that at Lagado, in Laputa, there was a grand academy established, in which there was a display of much curious learning.
"One artist, of a very philosophic taste, was racking his invention to make a pin-cushion out of a piece of marble.
"Another had formed an ingenious project to prevent the growth of wool upon two young lambs, by a composition of gums, minerals and vegetables, applied inwardly, and thus he hoped in a reasonable time to propagate the breed of naked sheep throughout the Kingdom.
"A third had contrived a plan to entirely abolish words; and this was urged as a great advantage in point of health as well as brevity. For it is plain that every word we speak is an injury to our lungs, by corrosion, and consequently contributes to the shortening of our lives. An expedient was therefore offered, that since words were only names for things, it would be more convenient for all men to carry about them such things as were necessary to express the particular business on which they were to discourse;" and the Historian adds, "that he had often beheld two of those sages almost sinking under the weight of their packs, who, when they met in the streets, would lay down their loads, open their sacks, and hold conversation for an hour together; then put up their implements, help each other to resume their burdens, and take their leave.
"A fourth appeared with sooty hands and face, his hair and beard long, tagged and singed in several places. His clothes, shirt and skin were all of the same colour. He had been eight years upon a project for extracting sun-beams out of Cucumbers, which were to be put into vials, hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers. He said he did not doubt but that, in eight years more, he should be able to supply the Governor's gardens with sunshine at a reasonable rate."
These Theorists were very patient, industrious and laborious in their pursuits—had a high reputation for their singular proficiency, and were regarded as prodigies in science. The common laborers and mechanics were esteemed a different race of beings, and were despised for their stupid and old-fashioned manner of acquiring property and character. If the enquiry had been made whether any of these projects had succeeded, it would have been readily answered that they had not; but that they were reasonable—their principles just—and of course, that they must ultimately produce the objects in view. Hitherto no piece of marble had been made into a pin-cushion, and few, very few sun-beams had been extracted from Cucumbers, but what then? Are not all great and noble, and valuable things, accomplished with immense exertion, and with an expense of much time? If a farther enquiry had been made what would be the great excellence of a marble pin-cushion, or the superior advantage of a breed of naked sheep, the answer would have been, it is unphilosophical to ask such questions.
In more modern times we have witnessed projects not unlike those of the learned of Laputa, above mentioned. A machine called an Automaton, was, not long since, constructed. This was designed to transport from place to place, by land, any load without the aid of horses, oxen, or any other animal. The master was to sit at helm, and guide it up hill and down, and over every kind of road. This machine was completed, and proved demonstrably capable of performing the duties assigned to it, and the only difficulty which attended it, and which hath hitherto prevented its universal use was, that it would not go.—Here, if any ignorant fellow had been so uncivil, he might have doubted why, if wood and iron were designed to go alone and carry a load, the whole herd of oxen, horses, and camels were created.
A few years ago the learned insisted that it was grovelling to travel either by land or water, but that the truly philosophical mode was to go by air. Hence, in all parts of the world, speculatists were mounted in balloons, with the whole apparatus of living and dying, and were flying through the Heavens, to the utter astonishment and mortification of those poor illiterate wretches who were doomed to tug and sweat on the earth. To be sure this method of travelling was somewhat precarious.—A flaw of wind, regardless of the principles of this machine, might destroy it, or, by the giving way of one philosophical pin, peg or rope, it might be let into the sea, or dashed against a rock, and thus its precious contents miserably perish. But doubtless reason will, in time, provide sufficient checks against all these casualties. Here again some "busy body in other men's matters" might ask, if it was intended that men should fly through the air, why were they not made with feathers and wings, and especially why are there so many who are justly called Heavy moulded men?
Another class of the literati of our age, scorning to travel either on the sea, or on the land, or in the air, have constructed a submarine boat or diving machine, by which they were constantly groping among shark, sturgeon and sea-horses. To say nothing of the hazard which these gentlemen encounter of running on rocks or shoals, or of being left in the lurch, on the bottom of the sea, by a leak, may we not wonder that they were not made with fins and scales, and may they not esteem themselves very fortunate that they have hitherto escaped being cut up to be made into oil?
These are a few among many modern inventions. All the principles of these various machines are capable of defence, and the inventors are all great, and learned, and ingenious men. Yet, strange as it may seem, the stupid, foolish, plodding people of this and other countries, still keep their oxen and their horses—their carriages are still made as they were an hundred years ago, and our coasters will still go to New-York on the surface of the sound, instead of sinking to the bottom or rising into the clouds—and they still prefer a fair wind and tide to the greatest profusion of steam, produced in the most scientific manner.
This species of enterprise, and this spirit of learning, has entered deeply into the business of agriculture. Discoveries have been made which have rendered sowing and reaping unnecessary. The plow, harrow, spade, hoe, sickle and scythe, have undergone a thorough change, on mathematical principles, and the speculative husbandman has yearly expected to see the fields covered with grass, and the hills and vallies with corn and wheat, without the clownish exercise of labour. With Varlow on Husbandry, in his hands, and a complete collection of philosophical farming utensils, he has forgotten that by the "sweat of his brow he was to eat his bread," and is hourly expecting to "reap where he hath not sown, and gather where he hath not strawed."—Still here and there an old fashioned fellow, and New-England abounds with them, "will rise early and set up late, and eat the bread of industry; will sow his seed in the morning and in the evening withhold not his hand," and is secretly flattering himself that this is the surest road to peace and plenty.
Hypocrates, Galen and Sydenham, have been successively and conjointly attacked by the Physicians of the present refined age, and the medical learning of ancient times, or even of the last century, pronounced quackery and nonsense. A few years since, if a man were attacked with a most violent disease, he was directed to stimulate. Stimulants, powerful stimulants, were all the fashion; and, instead of Apothecaries shops and Lancets, the nurse was directed to the brandy pipe and the gin-case. Thus the Brownonian system had superceded all others, and it was proved demonstrably, that the reason why the children of men were subject to death was, that they did not sufficiently fortify against its attacks, with beef steaks and wine. These principles had slain but a few when they were universally exploded, and men, going into the opposite extreme, were literally bled to death; and thus, lest the system should be overcharged, all its props were cautiously, but entirely removed.
At length reason, unerring reason, appeared, and patients, writhed with agonies by the most subduing maladies, were solemnly directed to the Points. Yes, to the Points, as the great antidote against disease, and the certain restorer of health; and thus it was found, to the everlasting contempt of all the learned of the faculty of ancient and modern days, that the materia medica was useless, for that being pluss electrified, in one part of the body, and minus in the other, was the true radix of every disease, and that the sovereign remedy was, to restore an equilibrium by an external application of brass and steel.
Yet there are many so bigotted to the customs and practices of their ancestors, that they insist on the foolish habit of temperance, industry and exercise, and express some doubts respecting the entire efficacy of tractors.
A more extensive field for the operation of these principles, has been opened, in the new theories of the education of children. It has been lately discovered that the maxim, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it," is an erroneous translation, and should read thus—"Let a child walk in his own way, and when he is old, he will be perfect." Volumes have been written, and much time and labor expended, to shew that all reproof, restraint and correction, tend directly to extinguish the fire of genius, to cripple the faculties and enslave the understanding. Especially we are told, (and the system of education now adopted in the great gallic nursery of arts, is entirely on this plan) that the prejudices of education, and an inclination to imitate the example of parents and other ancestors, is the great bane of the peace, dignity and glory of young men, and that reason will conduct them, if not fettered with habits, to the perfection of human nature. Obedience to parents is expressly reprobated, and all the tyranny and despotism in the world ascribed to parental authority. This sentiment is explicitly avowed by Mr. Volney, who is the friend and associate of many distinguished men in the United States, and who has, in this opinion, shewed that Paul was a fool or knave when he said, "Children obey your Parents in the Lord, for this is right."
If any person, groping in darkness, should object to these sentiments and enquire, how it is possible that children should become thus excellent if left entirely to themselves, when the experience of ages has been, that with great and continued exertions, no such facts have existed, it may be replied, the projector of Laputa had not been able in eight years to extract sun-beams from Cucumbers, but he was certain it would be done in eight years more.
We all recollect when these principles began to impress our Colleges—when it was seriously contended that the study of mathematics and natural philosophy was ruinous to the health, genius and character of a young gentleman—That music, and painting, and dancing, and fencing, and speaking French, were the only accomplishments worth possessing; and that Latin and Greek were fitted only for stupid divines, or black letter-lawyers. An indispensable part of this philosophical, and polite, and genteel, and pretty education was, to travel into foreign countries, and there reside long enough to forget all the early habits of life—to forget all domestic connexions—to forget the school-house where he was first taught his New-England primer—to forget the old fashioned meeting-house where he was first led to worship God, and especially to forget his native country, and to remember only, but remember always and effectually, that he was a polished cosmopolite, or citizen of the world.
The system of morals which has been reared by the care, anxiety, and wisdom of ages, has, in its turn, been assailed by these Theorists. The language of modern reformers to those who venerate ancient habits, ancient manners, ancient systems of morals and education, is, "O fools, when will ye be wise." To first shake, and then destroy the faith of every man on these interesting subjects, has been attempted by many distinguished men, with an industry, labor and perseverance, which deserved a better cause, and has been for many years a prime object of pursuit in that nation which has been the great hot-bed of premature and monstrous productions. To particularize on this subject would be impossible, but I cannot forbear to hint at a few of those doctrines now strenuously supported.
That men should love their children precisely according to their worth, and that if a neighbor's child be more deserving, it should be preferred.
That men are to regard the general good in all their conduct, and of course to break promises, contracts and engagements, or perform them, as will conduce to this object.
That to refuse to lend a sum of money, when possible, and when the applicant is in need of it, is an act equally criminal with theft or robbery, to the same amount.
If a difficulty should here be started, that men may judge erroneously as to the desert of a neighbor's child—the demands of the public as to the fulfilment of a promise, or the necessity for the loan in the case mentioned, the answer is ready reason, mighty reason, will be an infallible guide. A plain old fashioned man will say, this is indeed a beautiful system, but there appears one difficulty attending it, that is, it is made for a race of beings entirely different from men. Again, says he—Why for six thousand years the love of parents to children, has been considered, as the only tie by which families have been connected; and families have been considered as the strongest band and most powerful cement of society—destroy then this affection, and what better than miserable vagabonds, will be the inhabitants of the earth?—This part of the project really strikes me, he adds, like the attempt to propagate the breed of naked sheep. Then again, it is quite doubtful, whether parents, of ordinary nerves, can, at once, divest themselves of natural affection.—Indeed, there is a strong analogy between this part of the scheme, and making a pin-cushion out of a piece of marble.——But to the cosmopolite, who belongs no where, is connected with nobody, and who has been from his youth, progressing to perfection, these sentiments are just, and the exercise of them, quite feasible.
But these modern theories have appeared, in their native beauty, and shone with the most resplendent lustre in the science of politics. We are seriously told that men are to be governed only by reason. Instruct men and there will be an end of punishment. It is true, since the world began, not a family, a state or a nation, has been, on these principles, protected; but this is because reason has not been properly exercised. The period now approaches when reason unfolds itself—one more hot-bed will mature it, and then behold the glorious harvest!
But it may be stupidly asked what shall be done in the mean time? men are now somewhat imperfect—Theft, burglary, robbery and murder, are now and then committed, and it will be some years before the perfection of human nature will shield us from these evils. This interregnum will be somewhat calamitous.—And also, is it certain that the commission of crimes has a tendency to refine and perfect the perpetrator? These questions never should be asked at the close of the eighteenth Century.—They are manifestly too uncivil.
Again, say modern theories, men are all equal, and of course no restraints are imposed by society—no distinctions can exist, except to gratify the pride of the ambitious, the cruelty of the despotic. Hence it is the plain duty of every individual, to hasten the reign of liberty and equality. It is not a novel opinion, that men are by nature possessed of equal rights, and that "God hath made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth," but 'tis somewhat doubtful whether every man should be permitted to do as he pleases.—Such liberty, it may be said, is unsafe with men who are not perfect.—A cosmopolite, to be sure, will not abuse it, because he loves all mankind in an equal degree: but the expediency of the general principle may be questioned—any opinion of great and learned men in any wise, to the contrary notwithstanding.
If, however, by liberty and equality is intended, the power of acting with as much freedom as is consistent with the public safety—and that each man has the same right to the protection of law as another, there is no controversy; but these terms, as now explained, advocated and adopted, mean the power of acting without any other restraint, than reason, and the levelling all distinctions by right or wrong, and thus understood, they are of rather too suspicious a character for men, of ordinary talents, to admit.
But these principles extend still farther—their grasp is wider. They aim at the actual destruction of every government on earth.
Kings are the first object of their attack—then a nobility—then commons.
To prepare the way for the accomplishment of these objects, all former systems of thinking and acting, must be annihilated, and the reign of reason firmly established.
But it will be enquired, where have these novel theories appeared? I answer—They have dawned upon New-England—they have glowed in the southern states—they have burnt in France. We have seen a few projectors in Boats, Balloons and Automatons—A few philosophical farmers—A few attempts to propagate the breed of naked sheep—and we have at least one Philosopher in the United States, who has taken an accurate mensuration of the Mammoth's bones—made surprising discoveries in the doctrine of vibrating pendulums, and astonished the world with the precise guage and dimensions of all the aboriginals of America.
But in France, for many years, these speculations in agriculture, the mechanic arts, education, morals and government, have been adopted and pursued. It is there declared and established, by law, that ancient habits, customs and manners, modes of thinking, reasoning and acting, ought to be ridiculed, despised and rejected, for that a totally new order of things has taken place. All those rules of action which civilized nations have deemed necessary to their peace and happiness, have been declared useless or arbitrary, unnecessary or unjust. The most distinguished treatises on the laws of nations—treatises which have been considered as containing rules admirably adapted to the situation of different countries, and therefore of high authority, have not only been disregarded, but publicly contemned as musty, worm-eaten productions. Even that accomplished Cosmopolite, Mr. Genet, who came the messenger of peace and science to this guilty and deluded people, and who treated us precisely according to those assumed characters, opened his budget with an explicit renunciation of the principles of Puffendorf, Vattel, and other writers of that description, and declared that his nation would be governed by none of their obsolete maxims.
Indeed, this learned nation, have yielded implicitly to the sentiments of Mr. Volney, Mr. Paine, and Mr. Godwin, in all questions of morals and policy; and in all matters of religion there is associated with them that learned and pious divine, the Bishop of Autun, who had the Cosmopolitism to boast that he had preached twenty years, under an oath, without believing a word which he uttered.
To aid the establishment of these projects, the credulity of the present age has become truly astonishing. There appears to be a new machinery for the mind, by which its capacity believing certain things is perfect. It is believed that Socrates, and Plato, and Seneca—Bacon, Newton and Locke, and all who lived and died prior to the commencement of the French Revolution, were either fools or slaves. That in no country but France is there science or virtue. That the body of the people in England are now groaning under the most oppressive bondage and tyranny. That this was precisely the case in Holland, Italy and Switzerland, till France introduced them to their present happy condition. It is believed by all the Cosmopolites in Europe, and by many in America—by all genuine Jacobins, by many Democrats, by the greater part of the readers of the Aurora, the Argus and the Bee, and by an innumerable multitude who don't read at all, that the Citizens of these States, and particularly of New-England, are miserable, benighted, enslaved and wretched dupes; and that the President and his adherents, are in a firm league to injure and destroy them. That our members of Congress, and the Heads of departments, are bribed with British gold, and are exerting all their faculties to forge chains for their posterity. That all, in any way, connected with the government, are constantly plundering the Treasury—amassing wealth—becoming independent—and thus establishing an abominable, cruel, wicked, despotic and devilish aristocracy, which is to continually enlarge its grasp, till it shall embrace all the valuable interests of America, and leave the people "destitue, afflicted, tormented." And, finally, it is believed by many, that John Adams has entered into co-partnership with John Q. Adams, his son, now Minister at Berlin, for the express purpose of importing Monarchy, by wholesale, into this country: And to increase and perpetuate the stock of the house, that the son is to marry one of the daughters of the King of England.
If you enquire respecting the truth of these things, they cite Gallatin, Nicholas and Lyon—They quote from the Aurora, the Argus and the Bee; and who can doubt these sources of information, since the various publications, within a year past, respecting Connecticut, this City, and our College?
But it may be asked, where is your proof that the sentiments and theories which you have been describing, in fact, have an existence? Where is your proof, Sir, that the modern Literati are attempting to extract sun-beams from Cucumbers—to travel without exertion—to reap without sowing—to educate children to perfection—to introduce a new order of things as it respects morals and politics, social and civil duties, and to establish this strange species of credulity? I reply—those who have not yet become Cosmopolites, need no proof. They have seen, and heard, and read these wild vagaries, and are therefore satisfied of their existence. As to the others, I have only to remark, that this same new machinery of the mind, by which certain things are believed, necessarily, and by the plain axiom, that action, and reaction, are equal, produces absolute incredulity, as to certain other things, and of course, no testimony will have any effect. Thus genuine Jacobins do not believe a word published in the Spectator, the Connecticut Journal, the Connecticut Courant, or the Centinel. They do not believe that France has any intention to destroy the government of this country—They do not believe that our Ministers at Paris were treated with any neglect, or contempt.—Indeed, some doubt whether Mr. Pinckney ever was in France. They do not believe that Italy, or Holland, or Germany, has ever been pillaged by the armies of the Republic, or that the path of those armies has been marked with any scenes of calamity and distress. In short, they do not believe but that the Directory, with their associates, are a benevolent society, established in that regenerated country, for the great purpose of propagating religion and good government through the world; and that their armies are their missionaries to effect these glorious objects.
And now, my Fellow-Citizens, let me ask, what effects have been produced by these theoretic, speculative, and delusive principles? France has made an experiment with them. Under pretence of making men perfect—of establishing perfect Liberty—perfect Equality—and an entirely new order of things, she has become one great Bedlam, in which some of the inhabitants are falling into the water, some into the fire, some biting and gnashing themselves with their teeth, and others beholding these acts, are chanting "Rights of Man! Ca-Ira!"
With the pleasant, but deceptive sounds, of Liberty and Rights of Man, on their tongues, they have made an open and violent war upon all the valuable interests of society.
Their own country, Italy, Belgium, Batavia and Switzerland, making together, the fairest portion of Europe, have been despoiled by the arms of these reformers, and they are now plundering the wretched Arabs.
No place has been too sacred for them to defile—no right too dear for them to invade—no property too valuable for them to destroy.
They have robbed and plundered, because they could rob and plunder.
They have conquered, not to bless their subjects, but to aggrandize the Republic, and gratify a lust of domination.
There is not a man, woman or child, whom they have attempted to render wiser, better or happier. There is not a family, a neighborhood, a village or a country, from which there now ascends, to God, one act of sincere praise, for the establishment of this new order of things, among them: but to weep and bewail their condition, is the ceaseless employment of millions.
When their conduct, from any circumstance, in their opinion, needed justification, they have resorted to that unmeaning defence, "imperious necessity."
We have seen the treatment of the Republic towards other nations—we have experienced it towards ourselves. There is no man, except the slaves of the credulity or incredulity, which I have mentioned, who doubts but their wish and object is, to destroy our government, and subject us entirely to their control.
They have robbed us on the sea, without law, or pretence of law.
They have declared, by a legislative act, that they will treat us as we may be compelled to suffer other nations to treat us.
They have attempted to influence the election of our great officers, and particularly of President and Vice President.
They have, through their Ministers, and other agents, been creating a party in this country, which has, once and again, threatened us with the horrors of a civil war, and which has smitten us with a disease worse than the plague.
From the day Mr. Genet landed on this Continent 'till the poisonous, debauching diplomatic intercourse between us and France was prohibited, French emissaries and American jacobins, have been constantly plotting and executing treasons against our government, which according to the laws of every well regulated society, would subject the authors to the punishment of death.
When we have complained, the Directory have, with the most pointed abuse or sullen contempt, rejected our complaints.
One minister has been refused an audience, and three, were met with a mixture of the most foul and debasing intrigue.
They demand, in terms, that the speeches of the President should be accommodated to a Directorial ear. Yes, Americans! They demand that the speeches of your President, delivered at the opening of Congress, in conformity to the Constitution, and in which it is his duty to declare the state of the Union, should be modified and accommodated to the ear of a juggling Directory.
And why this imperious conduct?—Why this insufferable insolence? Come thou magnanimous Republic, "shew thy strong reasons!"—Let us hear them!—
The Republic is great! Terrible to its enemies!—Beneficent to its friends! Beneficient to Republicans! Witness the blood and groans and universal desolation of Switzerland! Blood and groans and desolation, are the trophies of thy beneficence, thou magnanimous Republic.
But the Republic is irresistible to support the rights of man!—She will cause the rights of man every where to be respected!—Rights of Man! I am astonished that the utterance of those words "dont blister their tongues." Since the combination against France was defeated, she has uniformly been the aggressor, and Europe has become one great slaughter-house. Within this period, it is computed, that more than four millions of people have perished by the revolution, and this mighty destruction has been effected in ways, by means and under circumstances so afflicting and distressing, that 'tis hardly possible to conceive how four millions of people could have perished, with more infamy to the Republic.
But the Directory proclaim, Liberty and Equality. Liberty and Equality!——Was the earth ever before insulted with such mockery!—The Directory, each of whom, assumes a haughtiness, and appears with a pomp and splendor unequalled by any potentate in Europe, insult the world by the pretence of establishing Liberty and Equality!
But they have opened prisons and bastiles, given freedom to the miserable captive, broken down the images of idolatry, and driven error and superstition from the earth. That they have unloosed bands, is not denied—that they have destroyed the strongest ligaments by which individuals and societies were connected, is not denied, but that the cause of genuine liberty is promoted, I do deny. Is there a single country in Europe, in which their arms have triumphed, less oppressed, or less wretched now than ten years ago?
That they have driven men from one species of error and superstition to another, is agreed. But what consolation is it to the wretched worshippers of stones to forget these Gods, and adore reason, fortitude and virtue?
If they found in Egypt those who were bowing down to onions and leeks, have they rendered them any essential service, by telling them henceforth to believe in the liberty and equality of man—in the perfectability of human nature, and in the eternal sleep of death. Paul, whose character they so heartily despise, acted a much more civil and kind, (not to say christian) part. He found an altar among the Athenians, inscribed to the "Unknown God;" and beholding their devotions, cried, "Whom therefore, ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." Let the advocates for the reformation, in religion, which this nation are effecting, compare the plain and unadorned account of Paul's God, with the address of the French Apostle, Buonaparte, to the ignorant Egyptians. "There is no God but God. He has no son or associate in his kingdom."
But 'tis said, these mighty events, which now astonish the world, are in exact conformity to the will of Heaven. What do the asserters of this proposition mean? That 'tis, in itself, right, and there|fore agreeable to the will of heaven, for one nation to destroy the government of another, be that government ever so bad?—If they mean this, I answer directly, the proposition is false. All writers, on the laws of nation, without an exception, teach a directly opposite doctrine. Nay, this principle would place France above reproach.——It would give her the ground she has assumed, viz. That power is the only rule of action. This is her creed.—This her friends, (I have, once and again heard them) declare to be her standard. And what is this but a principle which has ever been the single rule of conduct in Hell!—
But 'tis said, these events tend directly, to fulfil a great plan, for the good of the Universe. Do these apologists, for Frenchmen, mean, that the Directory, and their subordinates, are commissioned by God, to destroy all the governments on earth? If they mean this, I beg them to shew, first, that they are the privy counsellors of Heaven; and, secondly, that such commissions have actually issued. But do they mean that these horrid acts of plunder, treachery and murder, are under the divine control, and therefore we must acquiesce and rejoice? If they mean this, I congratulate them on their resignation, and wish that it may increase, till it produces a spirit of reconciliation to our own government. But is it a just principle, that we are to be thankful, for all events, because they are under the divine control? I think the friends of this new theory, should praise God for all the evil and misery, which men commit, and suffer, and they will be entitled, then, to the credit of being consistent.
But is it meant that these events will produce good, and therefore are the subject of rejoicing?—Thunder and lightning, volcanos and earthquakes, pestilence and famine, which affrighten, astonish and destroy, may produce good! The fire and plague, of 1665 and 1666, which desolated the first city in the world, probably, have been followed with salutary consequences! But what assembly, ever yet, seriously engaged in mutual congratulation, that the pestilence was slaying its thousands, or that millions of old and young, innocent and guilty, were consumed by a conflagration, or swallowed up by an earthquake?
Nay, there was a murder, once committed, on Mount Calvary, which has produced all the good in the Universe. Who has yet been found, to applaud these murderers?—Mark the difference, in the conduct of Heaven, at the birth and death of the Saviour. At the one, "all the sons of God shouted for joy." At the other, in direct disapprobation thereof, the Heavens were veiled in darkness, and the earth shook to its centre!
If many of our countrymen approve the measures of France, and applaud them in their mad career of domination, I speak, with confidence, the body of our citizens entertain different opinions. Such will cordially join in protecting our government, and in supporting an energetic administration. They will, particularly, as a mean to accomplish this object, and the only one I shall now urge, discountenance that unparallelled abuse of all those to whom is entrusted the management of our national interests, which is now so prevalent.
Not a man, tho' his private character were like tried gold, has escaped the most malignant censure.—The President, each head of department, each member of the Legislature, and every other man, who supports the administration, is daily charged with the most vile and degrading crimes. They are openly vilified, as parties to a conspiracy, against the peace, the dignity, and the happiness of the Uni|ted States.
And who are these reformers, that exhibit these charges?—Are they the virtuous, meek, unspotted and holy of the earth?
Who are these thus reproached? They are your neighbors, chosen to protect your interests.—What is their object? Wealth?—If so, they are miserably employed. There is not a man among them, who can, with the utmost economy, secure as much money as hundreds of merchants, lawyers, physicians, masters of vessels, and farmers, annually make, by their various pursuits.
But alas! they wish to enslave us. Is this their character in private life? Have they not, with you, houses and lands, character and liberty to defend?—Have they not wives and children, whose happiness is near their hearts?—And do they, indeed, labour and toil, to forge chains and fetters for their children, and children's children, that their names and memories, may go down to future generations, covered with the bitterest curses.
I have made these observations, my Fellow-Citizens, that we may, on this anniversary of our National existence, a day which I hope may be kept sacred to that solemn employment, contemplate the labours, the exertions, and the characters of those venerable men, who founded, and have, hitherto, protected this nation. I wish them to be seen, and compared with the speculating theorists, and mushroom politicians of this age of reason.
It is now less than two hundred years, since the first settlement of white people was effected, in these United States; less than one hundred and eighty, since the first settlement was made, in New-England, and less than one hundred and seventy, since the first settlement was made, in Connecticut. The place where we are now assembled, was then, a wild waste. Instead of cultivated fields, dens and caves. Instead of a flourishing city, huts and wigwams. Instead of polite, benevolent, and learned citizens, a horde of savages. Instead of a seat of science, full of young men, qualifying to adorn and bless their country, here was only taught the art of tormenting ingeniously, and here were only heard the groans of the dying.
What is here said of New-Haven, may, with little variation, be said of all New-England, and of many other parts of the United States.
We have now, upwards of four millions of inhabitants, cultivating a fertile country, and engaged in a commerce, with 876,000 tons of shipping, and second only, to that of Great Britain.
How has this mighty change been effected?—Was it by magic? By supernatural aid? or was it by ingenious theories in morals, economics and government? My Fellow-Citizens, it was accomplished by the industry, the labour, the perseverance, the sufferings and virtues, of those men, from whom we glory in being descended.
These venerable men spent no time in extracting sun-beams from cucumbers—in writing letters to Mazzei, or perplexing the world with the jargon of the perfectability of human nature.
They and their illustrious descendants pursued directly, and by those means which always will succeed, for they always have succeeded, those which common sense dictate, the erection and support of good government and good morals. To effect these great objects, they stood like monuments, with their wives, their children, and their lives in their hands.—They fought—they bled—they died.—At this expence of ease, happiness and life, they made establishments for posterity—they protected them against savages—they cemented them with their blood—they delivered them to us as a sacred deposit, and if we suffer them to be destroyed by the tinselled refinements of this age, we shall deserve the reproaches, with which, impartial justice will cover such a pusillanimous race.
Look particularly at the various complaints, remonstrances and petitions made by these States, on various occasions, from the first settlement of this country, to the 4th of July 1776, and compare them with the state papers, of the great Republic. In the one, you will see the plain, pointed language of injured innocence, demanding redress—in the other, the sly, wily, ambigious, camelion dialect of Jesuits, curiously wrought up to mean every thing, and nothing, by a set of mountebank politicians, headed by a perjured Bishop of Autun.
At this day there exist two parties in these United States. At the head of one are Washington, Adams, and Ellsworth.—The object of this party is to protect and defend the government from that destruction, with which, they believe it threatened, by its enemies. To preserve and transmit to posterity those establishments, which they believe important to the happiness of society.
At the head of the other, is the gentleman who drank toasts at Fredericksburgh in May 1798, in direct contempt of our government, who wrote the letter to Mazzei, with Gallatin, and Nicholas, and Lyon, and to grace the company they shine, with the borrowed lustre of Talleyrand, that dissembler to God and Man. The object of this party is to destroy ancient systems—ancient habits—ancient customs—to introduce a new liberty, new equality, new rights of man, new modes of education, and a new order of things.
Let them meet and make a full, fair, and perfect exposition of their principles—their objects, and the means by which they are to be accomplished—And let there be present at this display, the departed spirits of Davenport, Hooker, Winthrop, Wolcott, Hopkins, Haynes, and Heaton, and let there also appear a Lawrence, a Warren, a Mercer, and a Wooster, and to which of these parties would they give their blessing?—For which of these causes, if it were possible to bleed and die again in the cause of America, would the beloved Warren again bleed and die?