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THE CRIMINALITY OF DUELING.-Nott.
Hamilton yielded to the force of an imperious custom. And yielding, he sacrificed a life in which all had an interest-and he is lost—lost to his country-lost to his family-lost to us. For this ......act, because he disclaimed it, and was penitent, I forgive him. But there are those whom I cannot forgive. I mean not his antagonist-over whose erring steps, if there be tears in heaven, a pious mother looks down and weeps. If he be capable of feeling, he suffers already all that humanity can suffer. Suffers, and wherever he may fly will suffer, with the poignant recollection of having taken the life of one who was too magnanimous in return to attempt his own. Had he have known this, it must have paralyzed his arm while he pointed, at so incorruptible a bosom, the instrument of death. Does he know this now, his heart, if it be not adamant, must soften-if it be not ice, it must melt ...... But on this article I forbear. Ştained with blood as he is, if he be penitent, I forgive him and if he be not, before these altars, where all of us appear as suppliants, I wish not to excite your vengeance, but rather, in behalf of an object rendered wretched and pitiable by crime, to wake your prayers.
But I have said, and I repeat it, there are those whom I can. not forgive.
I cannot forgive that minister at the altar, who has hitherto forborne to remonstrate on this subject. I cannot forgive that public prosecutor, who, entrusted with the duty of avenging his country's wrongs, has seen these wrongs, and taken no measures to avenge them. I cannot forgive that judge · upon the bench, or that governor in the chair of state, who has lightly passed over such offences. I cannot forgive the public in whose opinion the duelist finds a sanctuary. I cannot forgive you, my brethren, who till this late hour have been silent, whilst successive murders were committed. I cannot forgive you,
have not in common with the freemen of this state, raised your voice to the powers that be, and loudly and explicitly demanded an execution of your laws. Demanded this in a manner, which, if it did not reach the ear of government, would at least have reached the heavens, and have pleaded your excuse before the God that filleth them: in whose presence as I stand, I should not feel myself innocent of the blood which crieth against us, had I been silent. But I have not been silent. Many of you who hear me are my witnesses the walls of yonder temple, where I have heretofore addressed you, are my
witnesses, how freely I have animadverted on this subject, in the presence both of those who have violated the laws, and of those whose indispensable duty it is to see the laws executed on those who violate them.
I enjoy another opportunity; and would to God, I might be permitted to approach for once the last scene of death. Would to God, I could there assemble on the one side the disconsolate mother with her seven fatherless children and on the other those who administer the justice of my country. Could I do this, I would point them to these sad objects. I would entreat them, by the agonies of bereaved fondness, to listen to the widow's heartfelt groans; to mark the orphan's sighs and tears —and having done this, I would uncover the breathless corpse of Hamilton—I would lift from his gaping wound his bloody mantle—I would hold it up to heaven before them, and I would ask, in the name of God, I would ask, whether at the sight of it they felt no compunction. Ye who have hearts of pity-ye who have experienced the anguish of dissolving friendshipwho have wept, and still weep over the moldering ruins of departed kindred, ye can enter into this reflection.
O thou disconsolate widow ! robbed, so cruelly robbed, and in so short a time, both of a husband and a son! what must be the plenitude of thy sufferings ! Could we approach thee, gladly would we drop the tear of sympathy, and pour into thy bleeding bosom the balm of consolation. But how could we comfort her whom God hath not comforted! To his throne, let us lift up our voice and weep. O God! if thou art still the widow's husband, and the father of the fatherless—if, in the fullness of thy goodness, there be yet mercies in store for miserable mortals, pity, O pity this afflicted mother, and grant that her hapless orphans may find a friend, a benefactor, a father in Thee!
AGAINST THE INVASION OF CANADA.-Gaston.
Mr. Chairman,—There is something in the character of a war made upon the people of a country, to force them to abandon a government which they cherish, and to become the subjects or the associates of the invaders, which necessarily involves calamities beyond those incident to ordinary wars.-Among us some remain who remember the horrors of the invasion of the revolution, “and others of us have hung with reverence on the lips of narrative old age, as it related the interesting tale.” Such a war is not a contest between those only
who seek for renown in military achievements, or the more humble mercenaries “ whose business 'tis to die." It breaks in upon all the charities of domestic life, and interrupts all the pursuits of industry. The peasant quits his plough, and the mechanic is hurried from his shop, to commence without apprenticeship, the exercise of the trade of death. The irregularity of the resistance which is opposed to the invader, its occasional obstinacy, and occasional intermission, provoking every bad passion of his soldiery, is the excuse for plunder, lust, and cruelty. These atrocities exasperate the sufferers to revenge ; and every weapon which anger can supply, and every device which ingenious hatred can conceive, is used to inflict vengeance on the detested foe.
But there is yet a more horrible war than this. As there is no anger so deadly as the anger of a friend, there is no war so ferocious as that which is waged between men of the same blood and formerly connected by the closest ties of affection. The
pen of the historian confesses its inability to describe, the fervid fancy of the poet cannot realize, the horrors of a civil
The invasion of Canada involves the miseries of both these species of war. You carry fire and sword among a people who are “united against you to a man;" among a people who are happy in themselves, and satisfied with their condition; who view you not as coming to emancipate them from thraldom, but to reduce them to a foreign yoke. A people long and intimately connected with the bordering inhabitants of our country by commercial intercourse, by the ties of hospitality, and by the bonds of affinity and blood-a people, as to every social and
ividual relation, long identified with your own. It must be that such a war will rouse the spirit of sanguinary ferocity, that will overleap every holy barrier of nature and venerable usage of civilization. Already has “the bayonet of the brother been actually opposed to the breast of the brother.” Merciful heaven! that those who have been rocked in the same cradle, by the same maternal hand—who have imbibed the first genial nourishment of infant existence from the same blessed source, should be forced to contend in impious strife for the destruction of that being derived from their common parents. Every feel. ing of our nature cries aloud against it.
Before we enter, Mr. Chairman, upon this career of coldblooded massacre, it behooves us, by every obligation which we owe to God, to our fellow-men, and to ourselves, to be certain that the right is with us, or that the duty is imperative. Think for a moment, sir, on the consequences. True courage shuts not its eyes upon danger or its result. It views them steadily and calmly. Already this Canadian war has a character sufficiently cruel. Your part of it may, perhaps, be ably sustained—your way through the Canadas may be traced afar off by the smoke of their burning villages—your path may be marked by the blood of their furious peasantry—you may render your course audible by the frantic shrieks of their women and children. But your own sacred soil will also be the scene of this drama of fiends. Your exposed and defenseless seaboard, the seaboard of the south, will invite a terrible vengeance. An intestine foe, too, may be roused to assassination and brutality. Yes, sir, a foe that will be found every where, in our fields, in our kitchens, and in our chambers; a foe, ignorant, degraded, by habits of servitude, uncurbed by moral restraints; a foe, whom no recollections of former kindness will soften, and whom the remembrance of severity will goad to frenzy; a foe, from whom nor age, nor infancy, nor beauty, will find reverence or pity. Yes, such a foe may be added to fill up
the measure of our calamities.
Reflect, then, well, I conjure you, before reflection is too late ; let not passion or prejudice dictate the decision ; if erroneous, its reversal may be decreed by a nation's miseries, and by the world's abhorrence.
THE UNITED STATES NAVY, FRANCE, AND GREAT BRITAIN.
If we are going to war with Great Britain, let it be a real, effectual, vigorous war. Give us a naval force; this is the sensitive chord you can touch, and which would have more effect on her than ten armies. Give us thirty swift sailing, wellappointed frigates—they are better than seventy-fours; two thirty-six gun frigates can be built and maintained for the same expense as onė seventy-four, and for the purpose of annoyance, for which we want them, they are better than two seventyfours : they are managed easier, ought to sail faster, and can be navigated in shoaler water-we do not want seventy-fours - courage being equal, in line of battle ships, skill and experience will always ensure success—we are not ripe for thembut butt-bolt the side of an American to that of a British frigate, and though we should lose sometimes, we should win as often as we should lose. The whole revolutionary war, when we met at sea on equal terms, would bear testimony in favor of this opinion. Give us, then, this little fleet well appointed
place your navy department under an able and spirited admin istration. Give tone to the service. Let a sentiment like the following precede every letter of instruction to the captain of a ship of war—“Sir, the honor of the nation is, in a degree, attached to the flag of your vessel; remember that it may be sunk without disgrace, but can never be struck without dishonor.” Do this—cashier every officer who struck his flag ; and you would soon have a good account of your navy. This may be said to be a hard tenor of service. Hard or easy, sir-embark in an actual vigorous war, and in a few weeks, perhaps days, I would engage completely to officer your whole fleet from New-England alone.
Give us this little fleet, and in a quarter part of the time you could operate upon her in any other way, we would bring her to terms with you. Not to your feet. No, sir : Great Britain is at present the most colossal power the world ever witnessed -her dominion extends from the rising to the setting sun.Survey it for a moment. Commencing with the newly-found continent of New-Holland; as she proceeds she embraces under her protection, or in her possession, the Philippine Islands, Java, Sumatra-passes the coast of Malacca-rests for a short time fruitlessly to endeavor to number the countless millions of her subjects in Hindostan—winds into the sea of Arabiaskirts along the coasts of Coromandel and Ceylon-stops for a moment for refreshment at the Cape of Good Hope-visits her plantations of the Isles of France and Bourbon-sw weeps along the whole of the Antilles doubles Cape Horn to protect her whalemen in the northern and southern Pacific Oceanscrosses the American continent, from Queen Charlotte's Sound to Hudson's Bay—glancing in the passage at her colonies of the Canadas, Nova Scotia, and New-Brunswick—thence continues to Newfoundland, to look after and foster her fisheries, and then takes her departure for the united kingdoms of Eng. land, Ireland, and Scotland, nor rests until she reaches the Orkneys—the ultima Thule of the geography of the ancients. Such an overgrown commercial and colonial power as this, never before existed.— True, sir, she has an enormous national debt of seven hundred millions of pounds sterling, and a diurnal expenditure of a million of dollars, which, while we are whining about a want of resources, would in six short weeks wipe off the whole public debt of the United States.
Will these millstones sink her? Will they subject her to the power of France ? No, sir : burst the bubble to-morrowdestroy the fragile basis on which her public credit stands, the single word, confidence-spunge her national debt-revolution