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LIBERTY.... THE CONSTITUTION. ...UNION.
NEWBEI, FRIDAY, SEPTExMBLI 27, 1833.
i- it ii . . i t ir t II i it ii . i II in x ii r I p ii v - ,ii v iii vi ii l i ii hi x ii i ii i ii
PUBLISHED . "
HV TilOJIAS WATSON.
Y),r,n dollars per annum, payable in advance
Ioiidon New Monthly r$lagazine.
r. ;' ' ' :
fMIO-TI; OR. THE PLEASURES OF REPU-
A Chinese Tale. '
Fi-ho-ti was considered a young man ot talents:
if, Pt'kin, a happy and comfortable life. In
prime of youth, of a highly respectable Japanese
' ii- -.in i enjoying a most agreeable competence.
C v;h exceedingly popular among the gentlemen
;;.ii()U, ie entertained at his board, and the ladies who
thouiZt"'1 he might propose. All the pleasures of life
.,'.pr(f;it his command; he drank, though without ex
1 1 . iiw nil) ofeniovment: ate. laughed, and loved
"Ci-V I J J i ' c J
: ,sv o man in Pekin was more awake during
ii. '-L' . .... . o
,;rJ(lVior enjoyed a serener slumuer during the
hi an vil hour, it so happened that Fi-ho-ti disco
ver! lii.it he, possessed the talents- we have referred
.7'. nhilosopher, who, being also his uncle, had
Ve d-ju'je right, both of philosophy and relationship i
tj'-iv every tiling unpleasant to him, look it into)
i ;. ! ; ..! to be very indignant at the happy life which
1' -ii;i-ti -si) peacefully njoyed.
.rcor.!ingly, one beautiiul morning-, he visited our
.Zw CliiilEpicurean. He found him in his sum-
ite -house stretcneu oa iu.uuuus i usmuns, lju.iiuiij
elinous tea, m tne nncst nine porcelain
t-ups an ngiuai.ie, u-.i , ' , ,
V1. linf the study, from time to time, by a light eon-
II ...... - f I . i n 1.V. I ;ihH .lli
.... r-, . . I... .J
uloa with a young laiiy, who had come to visit
M'r nh!1fwher was-amazingly shocked at trie
project of so much Gsmtbrt. Nothing could be more
unnhilosopliicd ; lbr the duty of Philosophy being to
chain' 'H witM n' s!lC id anxious m l,ie mst place
to in ike n a burthen to us. The goddess is enamour
ed of patience, but in.ngnani at pleasure.
Dm- s i"e was a man very much disliked and v
iiiuch respected, t l-ho-ti .rose trom ins cusnions, a
htilt-iistiained if being detected m so agreiable an
indolence, The novel fell from his hand ; and the
vouiuj lady, frightened at the long' beard and the
loiig iiitilri ol the philosopher, would have run away,
if her tier would have allowed her; as it was, she
iiuniinotied her attendants, and hastened to complain
to her Ii lends of the manner in which the pleasantest
Men n-tdi'ii could be spoilt, when young men were
. ii i , i
3) ijii.ovtijiLxjj.te iis to nave pnnosopuers 101 uncies.
The .riii ann, dor Fi-ho ti's visiter r-c.joyeu no
iocs ;i 'iignitv,- seeing the coast clear, hem me., three
tiiii- s, .in ' commence. 1 his avuncular admonitions.
; Ap' VO'j not ashamed, young man," sai i he, ' ol"
t .( tii t yon lead ? are you not ashamed to be so
ia ::!enr-uu J happy? You possess tafnts; you
'prnhe of youtfi ; are you deaf to the noble
.jic ei' Am-aLOH ? Your countfyYalls lor exertion,
i i i::itingui?h your name, h collect the ex-.
.!: of Coii'fiicius, give yourself up to stuily, be
v. ..-c an
I. he gieat.".
inure to this ellect spoke the Mandarin, lor
i. ;,,v. i io iiear-mi-seu uuk; aim, iihe no men privi
i toyive ;idviee, he fancied ijiat he was wonder
l il!, ei ni l nt. In tiiis instance, his vanity did not
dtveive lii. ii ; for it was the.vanity of another that he
addressed. Fi-lio-ti was, moved ; he felt he had been
wry I'oiilidf tobe happy so lotfg. "Visions of disquie-
. , i . . it i : ; . ..ii
uide and f one tloated lielore inm : he listened with
;,t!( utioi L o tlie exhortations of the philosopher ; he re-
istinguish himself and lie wise.
M mdai in was charmed with the success of
t i - i
a vas a great triumph to (Jisturn so much
c ;i; . in ' it. lie went home, and commenced a tract
uia the utvantages of philosophy.
t.'i.li.i.ti i irri'li. )rr tiimaj!i tfi wln.ltr" T7o mtirtf
!o a solitary cavern, near upon Kaitongu ; he filled
his n licit with hooks and instruments of science : he
;!i i : all social intercourse ; the herbs of the plain
.i.i i the wider f the spring sufficed the tastes hithei
to u-ewstoaie ; to the most lelicious viands ot' Pekin.
Focit'Miul of love and of pleasure, he consigned three
ni ui.' i anesi years oi ins existence id uuiutei i upieu
labor. He instruct d hin'iselt he imagined he was
capai-le of instructing others.
Fue l with increasing ambition, our student re
turned to Pekin. He commenced a work, which,
til ouh light an ! witty enough to charm the gay, was
the oiiLriii tif a new school of philosophy. It was at
oin-.-'aol i in 1 . ohsiied ; and the oldest Mandarin or
.'the yoiuiiTt st beauty ol Pekin coulo equally appreciate
am nun- it. In one word, Fi-ho-ti's book became
tii rage, Fi-ho-ti was the author ot the day.
Delighted by the novelty of literary applause, our
young student more" than ever resigned himself to li
terary pursuits. He rote again, and again succeed
ed; -all the wo Id declared that Fi-ho-ti had estab
lisliea Ins r -putation.
W.is Fi- ho-ti the happier for his "reputation ? You
11" went to call upon his uncle, the Mandarinr
He imagined the Man arin would be delighted to
find die success of his admonitions. The philosopher
receive t him with a frigid embarrassment. ' He talk
ed of the weather and the Emperor, the last pago
da ;ui I the new fashion in tea cups ; he said not a
u'urd .ijiout his nephew's books. Fi-ho-ti was piqued ;
he unrodueed the subject of his own accord.
Air. "'said thephilosopher drily, I understiind
you tvave written something that please . the women;
no i Miht you willgrow solid as your judgment in-
"tr'as: But to return to the tea-cups "
Fi-ho-ti was chagrinetl : he had lost the affection
Ot his uncle forever; lor he was now considered to be
'-non' I. Hi ncd than his -uncle himself. The common
mortilk-ttion in success is to find that your family
. '"tr uu-ior a. iiy uncie no longer loves me,
fought ii. j as he entered his, palanquin. tk This is
a nvfthrtune." Alas', it was the effect of Reput.uion.'
'The heart of Fi-hqrti w.is naturally kind and ge
":al : though, the thirst of pleasure was cooled in his
veins, he still cherished the social desires of friendship.
He summoned once more around him the' comrades of
s youth: he jtai.cied they, at least, would be de
- lighted to fmd.theic friend not unworthy of their arjec
tion. He received them ith open arms ; they re
turned his greeting with shyness, and an awkward
h ill. .... I ll I . I I
aectation ol symoathv : their con versat ion no lono-e.r
, j , j-,
.... vl l. .. .1
wU-fs before so clever ;i man ; they felt they were
iioluugei witn an equal, ami yet they refused to ac
novvle.ige a superior Fi-ho-ti perceived with in
j.f'scribaVfle gnef, that a wall had grown up between
nnnst h and the-companioris of past year ; their pur
C'J;, their feelings, were no longer the same. They
!t n. not i'' nd of his success they were jealous ;
die irien is of his youth were the critics of his man
"f0d. . . .
"This, too, is a misfortune," thought Fi-ho-ti, as he
'direw hmiselfat night upon his couch. Very likely ;
: -JV5 the effect of a Reputation.
, "But il old friends are no 'more, I will gain new,"
wiought the student. " Men of the same pursuits will
ave tl,e same sympathies. I aspire to be a sage:
I will court the friendship of sages."
ruis was a notable idea of Fi-ho-ti's. He surroun-
iiansell' with the authors, the wits, and the wise
Jaen ot IVkin. They ate his dinners, they made
neei uiey were airaiu ! committing tnem
in Chinese is no trifle !) they told him he was a won
derful genius, and they abused -him anonymously
every week m the Pekin Gazettes. The heart oT
Fi-ho-ti, yearning atter friendship, found it impossible
to expect a singl friend amongst the literati of Chi
na ; thev were all too much engrossed with themselves
to dream of affection for another. They had no talk
no thought no feeling except that which expressed
love Ibr their own books, and hatred lor the books of
their contemporaries. One day Fi-ho-tfhad the mis
fortune to break his leg. "The most intimate of his
acquaintance among the literati found him stretched
on his coach, having just undergone Ihe operation of
44 Ah !7' said the author, "how very unlucky how
" You are extremely obliging," said Fi-ho-ti, touch
ed by his visiter's evident emotion.
44 Yes, it is particularly unlu.ky that it should be
just at this moment; lor I wanted to consult you
about this passage before my new book is published
The broken leg of his friend seemed to the author
only as an interruption to the pleasure of reading his
own works. :
But above all, Fi-ho-ti found it, impossible to trust
m n who gave the worst possible character of each
other. If you believed the literati themselves, so en
vious, malignant; worthless, unprincipled-a set oj men
.as th hierati ol P kin never were created ! Every
new acquaint nee he made told him an anecdote of
an old acquaintance which made his hair stand on
ems. Fi-ho-ti began to be alarmed. He contracted
more and more the circle of his societ ; and resolved
to renounce the notion of friendship amongst men of
similar pursuits. , -
Id the small circles in the distant provinces cf the
Celestial empire, the writings of Fi-ho-ti were greatly
approved. The gentlemen quoted him at their tea,
and the ladies wondered whether he was good-looking;
but this applause this interest that he inspired ne
ver reached the ears of Fi-ho-ti. He beheld not the
smiles he called forth by his wit, or the tears he ex
cited by his pathos; all that he sawofth effects of
h:s reputation was in the abuse he received in the
Pekin journals ; he there read, every week and every
mouth, that he was but a very poor sort of a creature.
One journal called him fool, another a wretch; a third
beriousiy deposed that he was hump-backed ; a fourth
that be had not a shilling in the world. In Pekin,
any insinuation of that last offence is considered as a
suspicion of unpardonable guilt. ..Other journals, in
deed, did not so much abuse as misrepresent him. He
found Ins doctnnes twisted into all maimer of shapes.
He could t.ot eleiid ihem for it is not dignified to
reply to all th Pekm journals ; nut he was assured
ny his flatterers th t tiuth would ultimately prevail,
and posterity i'.o him justice. 4'Alas!" thought Fi-ho-lf,
am I to be deeme . a culprit al! my life, in or
der that 1 may be acquitted after death? Is there ncr
justice lbr me until 1 am past the power of malice?
Surely this is a misfortune!" Very likely; it was
the necessary consequence of Reputation.
Fi:ho-ti now liegan to perceive that the desire of
fame was a foolish chimera. He was yet credulous
enough to follow another chimera, equally fallacious.
He said to Himself " It was poor amj vain in me
to desire to shine. Let me raise my heart to a more
noble ambition; let me desire only to instruct others."
Fraught with this lofty notion, Fi-ho-ti now con
ceived a more solid and graver habit of mind : he be
came rigidly conscientious in the composition of his
works. He no longer desired to write what was bril
liant, but to discover what was true". He erased,
without mercy the most lively images the most
sparkling aphorisms if even a doubt ot their moral
utility crossed his mind. He wasted two additional
years ol theshort 'summer of youth : he gave the fruits
of his labor to the world in a book of the most ela bo
rare research, the only object of which was to enlight
en Ins-countrymen. "This, at least, they cannot
abuse," bought he, when he finished the last line.
Ah 1 How much h was mistaken Is
Doubtless, in other countries the public are remark
ably grateful to any author for correcting their pre
judices and combating their foibles; but in China,
attack one orthodox error, prove to tne peopie tnat
you wish to elevate and improve them, and renounce
all happmes and tranquillity for the rest of your life !
Fi-ho-ti's book was received with the most frigid
neglect by the philosophers, First, because the Pe
kin philosophers are visionaries, and it did not build a
system upon visions, ami secondly,- because of Fi-ho-ti
himself they were exceedingly jealous. But
from his old friends, the journalists of Pekin O Fo!
with what invective, what calumny, what abuse it
was honored ! He had sought to be the friend of his
race, he was stigmatised as the direst of its enemies.
. He was accused of all manner of secret d signs; the
j painted slippers of the Mandarins were in danger;
; and h hail-evidently intended to muffle all the bells
! of the pagoaa ' Alas! let no man wish to be a saint
! unless he is prepared to be a martyr.
4- Is tins injustice ?" cried Fi ho-ti to his flatterers?
'fto," said they, with one voice; 'No Fi ho-ti, it
j is Reputation i"
j Thoroughly disgusted with his ambition, Fi-ho-ti
now resolved to resign himselt once more to plea
' sure. Again he heard music, and again he feasted
I and made love. In vain ! the zest, the appetite
i was gone. The sterner pursuits he had cultivated
of late years had rendered his mind incapable of ap
! preciating the luxuries of frivolity. He had opened
a gulf net ween himself and his youth; his heart
could be young no more.
1 . 1 It I.-. I K.i...ir.t . I w- 1 1 r-f-ie.rktcfc ma frkr oil 55
VJllr WUllJlul llicnoi fllilll iUiiauii iuv. - mi,
i . . . . 1 Li. Z I . l t .1 - .1 r. ilt.-. .-. r.n .-
; thought He. 1 aug-v -se is ueciuuiui auu miuico ujiuu
me ; 1 will woo and win her."
j Fi-ho-ti surrendered his whole soul to the new
! passion he had conceived. Yang-y-se listened, to
' htm favorably. He could not complain of cruelty;
he ta xied himself beloved. With the generous and
'unselfish ardor that belonged to his early character,
i he devoted his luture years to he lavished the trea
! sure of his affection's upon the object of his love.
; For some weeks he enjoyed a dream of delight ; he
woke from it too soon. A rival beauty was willing
to attach to herself the wealthy and generous b 1
hd?ti. "Why," said she, one day, " vyhy do you
throw yourself away upon Yang-y-se? Do you
fancy she loves you 1 You are mistaken ; she has
no heart;' it is only her vanity that makes her wil
ling to admit vou as her slave." Fi-horti was mere
dulous and indignant.
rival heauty. " Yang-y-se wrote it tome but the
Fi-ho-ti read as iollows :
t4 We had a charming suoner with the gay author
last night, and wished much for you. - You need not
; rally me on my affection for him ; I do not love him,
but I am pleased to command his attentions; in a
! word, my vanity is flattered with the notion of chain
; ing to myself one of the most distinquished persons
in Pekin. But love ah! that is ouite afiother
Fi-ho-ti's eyes were now thoroughly 'opened. He
I recalled a thousand little instances which had pro-
ved that Yang-y-se had been only in love with his
He saw at once the great curse of distinction. Be
renowned, ami you can never be loved for yourself!
As you are hated not for your vices, but your suc
cess, so you are loved not for your talents, but their
fame. A piu who has reputation, is Jrke a tvcr
whose height lVesti mated by the length of its sha- 44The spirits of our fathers will rejoice .cruditie of thought or fancy on his brother leg
dow. I he sensitive and hih wrono-ht miinJ nf V- ,r;n ..ut n1 plan f.o; Koj r .x. .
U,. t: ,.,r r . . , - - -
nV hmlFmint . . 5 neeponjiency. 150- :
ing nimseji misinternrrtftd. m nmmntPi a..rl tn, i
ced; and feeling that none loved him but throuri
vanity, that he stood alone with hi Pi,WIpa ; tL'l
world, he became the ;
, I iimii.ui r M J 1 u
gnawed by perpetual suspicion, He distruste.l the
smiles of others. The faces of men seemed to him
asmasks; he felt every where the presence of deceit. !
Yet these feelings had made jio part of hil earl v cha
racter, winch was naturally frank, joyous, and con
fidinnr Wrro thn :r,. ..,.. o t :ti
u.-. :x .i r. " J ' i
oui it was tne enect ol reputation '
About this time, too, Fi-ho ti hera:i to feel the ef-
tects ol the severe study he had undergone. His 1
health gave way ; his nerves were shattered ; he was!
in tnat ternbla. revolution in which the mind that
vindictive laborer wreaks its ire upon the enfeebled
taskmaster, the body. He .walked the ghost of his
One day he was standing pensively beside one of
the-streamsthat intersect the gardens"-of Pekin, and,
gazing upon the waters, lie muttered his bitter rave
' A K U3 il L. ii i t i-
mi . uiuuir-ii in-, - wny was i ever (itscou-
witn Happiness i 1 was young, rich, cheer
IUI : aiHI llle tO m& was m nprnphi.tl hnWf!f7 mi"
i . ,
friends caressed me, my mistress loved me for my
self. No one hated, or maligned, or envied me.
Like yon leaf upon the water, my soul danced mer
rily over the billows of existence. But courage, my
heart ! I haVe at least done some good ; benevolence
must experience gratitude young Psi-ching, for
instance. I have the pleasurj of thinking that he
must love me; 1 have made this fortune"; I have
brought him from obscurity into repute; for it lias
been my character as yet never to be iealous of
others!" - J
Psi-ching was a young poet, who had been a se
cretary to Fi-ho-ti. The student had discovered
genius and insatiahle ambition in the young man;
he had directed and advised his pursuits jhe had
raised him into fortune and notice; he had enabled
him to marry the mistress he loved. Psi-ching
vowed to him everlasting gratitude.
While Fi-ho-ti was thus consoling himself with the
idea of Psi-ching's affection, it so happened that Psi
ching, and one of the philosopers of the pay whom the
public voice 'esteemed Second to Fi-ho-ti, passed along
the banks of the river. A tree hid Fi-ho-ti from
their sight; they -were' earnestly conversing, and
Fi-ho-ti heard his dwn name more than once re
peated. "Yes-," said Psi-ching, "poor Fi-ho-to cannot live
much longer; his health is broken; you will lose a
formidable rival when he is dead.''
The philosopher smiled. "Why, it will certainly
be a stone out of my way. You are contantlv with
him. I think."
"Iam. He is a charming person ; but the real
fact is, that, seeing he cannot lie much longer. Jam
keeping a journal ol his last days ; in a word, I shall
write the history of my distinguished frien I think
it will take much, and have a prodigious sale."
The talkers passed on.
Fi-ho ti did not die so soon as was expected, and
Psi-ching never published the journal from which he
anticipated so much profit. But Fi-ho-ti ceased to
be remarkable for the kindness ol his heart and the
philanthrophy of his views. He was known in after
life lor the sourness of his temper and the bitterness
of his satire. Was this deterioration of the kindlier
elements of his nature a misfortune? Perhaps it
might be so; it was the effect of his Reputation!
The Harpe's Hi ad. A Legend of Ken-
by James Hall; The following is an
extract from this late work of the gifted author
of Letters lrom the West.
'The camp was again crowded with Indian
warriors; the party which had gone in pursuit
of the fugitives was returned; they 'had over
taken Colonel Jfendrickson, and that unfortu
nate gentleniajtr was again a prisoner. His
fate was now "sealed. The determination
which had originally been formed of carrving
C ! ej
him to the village of the captors, to be publicly
sacrificed, was now abandoned; and the sava
ges determined to gratify their eager thirst, for
his blood, by torturing him at the stake, with
out further delay. He was again bound, and
preparations were made for the awful solemni
ty. Some of the savages employed themselves
in painting their faces and bodies, to render
them the more terrific; others whetting the
edges of their tomahawks and knives; and
some were endeavouring to excite their own
passions, and those of their companions, to
the utmost pitch of fury, by hideous yelling, by
violent gesticulations, and by pouring out bit
ter execrations upon their defenceless prison
er, ' f
44 1 saw you on the dark and bloody ground,"
said one, drawing the back of of his knife, in
mockery, across the throat of the victim
44 You killed my brother there, and I will have
your heart's blood!"
44 You slew my son," shrieked a hoary-hea,d-ed
savage ; 44 his bones lie unburied in the villa
ges of the .jvhite men, his scalp is hanging over
the door of your" wigwam but his spirit shall
rejoice in the agonies of your death!" r
"You led the warriors of your tribe to bat
tle," exclaimed a young warrioras he flour
ished his tomahawk over the head of the vete
ran pioneer, 44 when the long knives met -the
red men on the banks ot the big river my
father fell there your foot was on his neck
I will trample on your mangled body. The
wolf shall feed upon your flesh the bird of
the night shall hap her wings over your carcass,
and the serpent shall crawl about your bones!'
. 44 Revenge is sweet!" shoirted one.
Revenge! revenge!" echoed many voices.
It is good, and pleasing to the spirit of the
a J said the ! o itness the death-pang of the ene
Read this letter, said the - . wwi ,LrKm!,n mn.
IIJV IJc XiaiCS ; trACiauucu auuuiti numi
The white man is our enemy
44 He is the serpent that stung our fathers!"
He is the prowling fox that stole away our
rrn m c t"
44 He is . the hurricane that scattered our
wigwams and destroyed our cornfields !"
44 He drove us from our our hunting grounds,
and trampled in scorn on the bones of our fa-
44 His knife has drunk the blood" of the red.
in: the blood of our women and children is
on his hands!.
44 Let him perish in torture !"
44 Let him be slowly consumed in torture!"
The .great spirit will laugh when he-sees
ihe white man writhing; in agony
.imrt r in m.v-uv .! nanus III me
wort, of ghades when lhev hew the shrieks of I
. . . ... - -
thh,l warrior. , '
I hose exclamations were uttered severally
hv different individuals, in the Indian tonerue, '
- J '
with which Col. Hendrickson was acquainted,
in the emphatic tones of savage declamation;
and with that earnestness of gesticulation,
which renders their eloquence so impressive,
There were others who addressed the victim
in nrmrao l- I , . I . lum nriih nnnrA. I
-vmi language, luaum jhhj i,ii ' i"-
brious epithets, and pouring out in the bitter- j
ness ot their malignant hearts, copious streams )
of vulgar invective. And nowlhe wood was j
piled about the victim; torches were lighted
and blazing brands hatched from ihe fire, and
the hellish crew, flourishing them around their I
heads, dancing round the prisoner with that ! of Representatives, who, after a careful inves
malignant joy, with which devils and damned tigation of the subject had uniformly reported
spirits may be supposed to exult in the agonies1 in favor of its justice.
of a fallen soul. ' The question at length came on for discus-
At length a chief stepped forward and com
manded silence. Wrhite man said he, areyou
ready to die ?' '
4 1 am !' replied the brave Kentuckian, in a
calm tone: 4 the white man's God has whis-,
pered peace to my soul.'
4 Can the God of the wiite man save you
from torture ? Can he prejvent you from feel
ing pain when your flesh ishall be torn, when
your limbs shall be separated one by one from
your body, and the slow flames. shall scorch
without consuming your miserable carcass'
44 My God is a merciful God,' replied the
undaunted pioneer; 4 his ear is ever open to
the prayers of those who put their trusiin him.
He has filled my heart with courage. I have
no, fear of death blessed forever is the Lord
God of Israel !' Then raising his eyes upward,
her exclaimed, with devout fervor, 4 Make
haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to
help me, O Lord. Let them be ashame : and
confounded that seek after my soul . Let them
be turned backward, and put to confusion, that
desire mv heart !'
Virginia, who had thus far endeavoured to
restrain her feelings,, now rushed forward, and
gliding rapidly through the circle of warriors,
threw herself upon her uncle's bosom, exclaim
ing in frantic accents, Let us die together!'
while Mr. George Lee, who had gazed on the
preceding scene with stupid wonder, sought to
follow her, determined to share her fate; Be
ing prevented, he swore that it was the most
infamous' transaction he had. ever witnessed,
and that if-. he got back to old Virginia, he
would have satisfaction at the risk of his life.'
And now the whole fury of the savage band
was ready to be pouted upon their devoted but
heroic prisoner, when the report of a single ri
fle rang through the woods, and the principal
chief, who stood alone, received a death wound.
From the Philadelphia AmericaihSentinel.
SKETCHES OF MEN AND MANNERS IN
BY THE AUTHOR OF CYRIL THORNTON.
In his 14th chapter, Mr. Hamilton continues
his rernaks on Washington ; and diverges from
the executive to the legislative government
speaking first of the importance of eloquence
to our legislators, and asserting that ninetettn
twentieths of them are lawyers, and that almost
all our merchants (whom he is pleased to term
4 the most enlightened body of citizens in the
union,') are as effectually excluded from poll
tical power by their deficiency in oratorical I
accomplishments as they could be by express
legal enactments ; laugning tnen at our mode
of acquiring ofal eloquence and of our culpa
ble practice of making long speeches in Con
gress, which he calls speaking against time
and sense ; and having animadverted on the
customary episodes of a legislative debate, he
44 The truth, I believe is, that the American
Congress have really very little to do. All
the multiplied details of local and municipal
legislation fall within the province of the state
governments, and the regulation of commerce
and foreign intercourse practically includes all
the important questions which they are called
on to decide. Nor are the members generally
very anxious so to abreviate the proceedings of
Congress, as to ensure a speedy return to their
provinces. They are Well paid for every hour
lavished on the public business ; and being
once at Washington and enjoying the plea-
sureg of its society, few are probably solicitous
for tiie termination of functions which combine
the advantage of real emolument, with the op
portunities of acquiring distinction in the eyes
of their constituents. Th "farce, therefore, by
common consent continues to be played on.
Speeches apparently interminable, are tolera
ted, though not listened to ; and very manoeu
vre, by which the discharge of public business
can be protracted, is resorted to, with the most
Of course, I state this merely as the readiest
hypothesis by wjiich the facts, already men
tioned, can be explained ; but in truth; there
are many other causes at work. Though in
either house there is no deficiency of party
spirit, and politicaj hostilities are waged with
great vigor, yet both in attack and defence
thehe is evidently an entire want both of disci
pline and organization. Theres no concert,
no division of duties, no compromise of opin
ion ; but the movements of party are executed
without regularity or premeditation. Thus
instead of the systematic and combind attack
of an organizedlbodv, deliberately concerted
on the principle which will unite the greatest
number of auxiliaries, government has ingene
i jal to sustain onlv the assaults ol single ana
1 desultory combatants, who niix so much of in-
dividual peculiarity of opinion, with what is
j common to their party, that any general sys
tem of effective co-operation is impo&sioie. it
is evident enough, in whatever business the
"house may be engaged, that each individual
arm for himself, and is eager to make lor dis-
j cover sotac opportunity of lavishing all his
The consequence of all this is, that no one
can, guess, with any approach to probability.
the course of discussion on any given subject.
A sneech. an arcriiment. an insinuation, an allu-
I - " '
sion, is at any time sufficient to turn the whole
current of debate into some new and unforeseen
channel; and I have often found it absolutelv
impossible to gather, from the course of argu-
mcnt, even the nature of the question on which
lite linilsn woro rtitrwll : r : !
One of the first debates at which I wasjrc
sent, related to a pecuniary claim of the late
President Monroe on the XJ. States; amounting,
if I remember rightly, to sixty thousand- dollars.
This claim had long been urged, and been re-
peatedly referred to committees of the House
sion, ls toe uerjt ciaimen Dy mr. uouroe iroin
the U. Stated a just debt or not?" Nothing
could possibiy be more simple. Here was a
plain matter of debtor and creditor; a problem
of figures, the solution of which must rest on a
patient examination of accounts, and charges
and balances. It was a question after the heal t
of Joseph Hume, a bone, of which that most
useful legislator understands so well how to
get at the marrow.
Well, h,ow was this dry question treated in
the House of Representatives? Vhy,'as fol
lows: Little or nothing was said as to the in
trinsic justice or validity of the claim. Com
mittees of the House had repeatedly reported
in its favor, and I heard no attempt by fact or
inference to prove the fallacy of their decision.
But a great deal was said about the political
character of Mr Monroe some dozen years be
fore, and a great deal was said about Virginia,
and its presidents, and its members, and its at--
tempts to govern the Union, and its selfish po
licy. A vehement discussion took place as to
whether Mr. Monroe or Chancellor Livingston
had been the efficient agent in procuring the
cession of Louisiana. Members waxed warm
in attack and recrimination, arid a fiery gentle
man from Virginia was repeatedly called to or
der by the speaker. One member declared,
that disapproving toto cado of the formeripolicy
of Mr. Monroe's Cabinet, he should certainly
now oppose his demand for the payment' of a
debt, the justice of which was not attem pted to
be disproved. Another thought Mr. Monroe
wouly be well enough off if he got half what he
claimed : and moved an amendment to that ef
fect, which, being considered a kind of com.
promise, I believe, was at length carried, after
repeated adjournments, and much clamorous
Another instance of discussion, somewhat
similar, struck me very forcibly, and will afford.
I imagine, sufficient illustration of the mode of
doing business in the House of Representatives,
it took place on a claim put forward by the
widow of om. Decatur, for prize money due
to him and his ship's crew for something done
in the Mediterranean. The particulars I for
get but they are of no consequence. The
Commodore having no family, had bequeathed
the whole ot his property, real and personal,
to his wife, whom circumstances had since re
duced to poverty. Wheu I entered, the debate
had already commenced, and the House seemed
almost unanimous in the admission of the claim.
This was. dull enough, and as the subjectltself
! had little to engage the attention ofji stranger,
i I was determined ton try whether any thing of
more interest was going forward in the Senate.
While I was conversing with a member of the
House, however, some symptoms of difference
of opinion began Jo manifest themselves: One
member proposed; that as the money "was. to
be granted principally with a view to benefit
the Widow of Commodore Decatur, the ordi
nary rules of prize division should not be ad
hered to, and that a larger share than usual
should be allotted to thiMommander of the ar
mament. This proposition, however, wras evi
dently adverse to the wishes of the majority,
and the amendment met with v little support.
This matter after being settled, the discussion
for some time went on smoothly enough, and
there seemed every prospect of its "reaching a
speedy and amicable termination. .
At length however a-iember. rose, and ar
gued that the circunlstance of the Commodore
having bequeathed his whole property to his
wife, when he imagined he had Very little pro
perty to leave, afforded no ground for the con
clusion, that if he had known of this large ad
dition it might not have been differently ap
plied. He, therefore, expressed his firm de
termination to oppose its exclusive 'appropri
ation to the widow. The widow, however,
was not without able fc zealous advocates to set
forth her claims, and urge their admission.
These pronounced her to be one of lhe( most
amiable and excellent of her sex; and main
tained that as the House had no possible access
to know how the Commodore would have acted
under circumstances merely hypothetical, there
vas no course to be pursued but to appro
priate the money according to the desire ac
tually expressed in his last will and testa
ment. While the House were, for the nonce, divi
ded into widowites and anti-widowites, the dis
cussion became still farther embroiled. New
matter of debate arose. Admitting that Mrs.
Decatur was entitled-to the usufruct of the
money during her life, was it fitting that she
should have the power of alienating it at her
death from the relatives of her husband? This
was very warmly debated. At length, a gen-
, ueman, ina very vehement andpathetic speech,
set forth the attraction, both mental and per-
sonal, oltwo young ladies, daughters of a sis
ter of Captain Decatur, whose necessities, un
fortunately, were equal to their jjierits. He
had the honor, he said, of being their neigh
bor in the country; they were elegant and ac
complished, and often did his fawny bono r to
accept such hospitality as they could offer, lit