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He then assures us that he is happy to join in opinion with the great Locke and Condillac.”
M. Dufief's joining in opinion with Condillac and Locke, reminds us of the preacher, who after having piously pressed upon his audience the necessity of being devout, by a multitude of arguments ; at length clenched the whole business, by saying" and, finally, my beloved brethren, I can assure you, upon the veracity of a Christian and a sinner, that St. Paul is of my opinion.”
But in what does N. G. Dufief—" join in opinion with the great Locke and Condillac”_Why truly," that grammatical information"—is necessary to the obtaining a more critical knowledge of a language.
Now, we beg to be informed how it is possible for M. Dufief, or, indeed, for any one else, to pay a more complete homage to the utility and excellence of grammar, than this unlucky conjunction of the author of Nature Displayed with the great Locke and Condillac ?-namely, that it gives a more critical knowledge of a language, and enables those who study it to--“write for public instruction or entertainment" ? We use Dufief's own words ;-and, in good truth, the author slumbers here,—but that is nothing,—for aliquando bonus dormitat Homerus ;-even Homer himself sometimes nods; and if Homer sleeps, surely M. Dufief might be allowed to dream, as much as he pleases !-Here, however, perhaps undesignedly, vineta cædit sua,—for it is manifest, from his own confession, that his new, and expeditious method, his nature displayed cannot teach a critical knowledge of the French, or of any other language; since he sends us to the grammar for the acquisition of that desirable object ;-to the grammar,—which he has bespattered with abuse through more than thirty of the dullest, and the most ignorant, and the most superficial, and the most impudent pages, that were ever obtruded upon the patience of the public. So, then, for the sake of expedition, we must, first, have recourse to M. Dufief's method, and learn by rote all that he shall be pleased, to utter by mouth, or pen ;-and, afterwards, we must learn the grammar, in order to understand the lan
But, as inconsistency and absurdity constitute the atmosphere in which M. Dufief breathes most freely, and finds himself most at home, he still continues his ravings against grammar, quotes M. Jefferson again, and appeals to the authority of old Montague. We shall not, for the present, soil our pages with any more citations, from N. G. Dufief;-and, as to Montague, we shall only observe, that he is,-(as Horne Tooke says of certain ladies, called the Muses )-a bitter bad judge in matters of philosophy.
If you doubt this, read M. Montague's chapter on boots, and his marvellous observations on his tabby cat, and you will readily perceive how much importance can be justly attached to the opinion of this pleasing, but desultory, and rambling writer, on subjects of extensive research, or of profound investigation.
(To be continued.)
AN INQUIRY INTO OUR FOREIGN RELATIONS, &c.
(Continued from Vol. 2. No. 4. page 234.)
SECONDLY, says this admirable writer" The United
States have to demand, from Great-Britain, a most complete and ample reparation for the late atrocious violations of our sovereign rights, committed by her cruisers, stationed on the American coast.
On this subject, the author proceeds to speak in a style of indignation well becoming an American zealous for the independence and the honour of his country.
“ Surely," says he,"itis time, that we began to feel ourselves indignant at such wrongs, and looked for a protection against them, from the men whom we have clothed with the honour and the powers of our state.--For the sake of our national character, I hope, never again, to see a proclamation, sent from the Presidential desk, to bring to justice the subject of a foreign prince, riding, in proud defiance, in his state-room, laughing at such stuff:-never more to hear of a mere paper and ink messenger, to board a Bri
tish ship of war, and bring off her commander surrounded with all her naval enginery.—But every American should join in the demand for something efficient, as a future protection, against insults proceeding from Foreign cruisers, riding by our shores, and we should see, that Great-Britain did us justice, on this point, to the full amount of individual damage, and the most satisfactory reparation of national honour.”
All this is as it should be; and just what every American has a right to expect from the men who are entrusted with the reins of government in this country ;-but the author, we presume, has, sometimes, met with those, who call themselves politicians, mere creatures of the desk, mere pen,
ink and paper people, who are entirely ignorant of this great economic truth, namely, that there is a very wide difference, in reason and in policy, between the mode of proceeding, on the unjust or the irregular conduct of isolated individuals, or even, of collected companies of men, who confound the laws of subordination within the bosom of a state,--and the wild commotions, which may, from time to time, on great questions, or on disputed points, agitate the different countries which constitute the great governmental family of the independent nations of the earth.
It is, indeed, low and vulgar wisdom ;-it is, in very truth, contracted and pedantic policy-to apply the common and the ordinary notions of criminal justice to a great and a public conflict between the clashing interests of two powerful and contending nations. How are we to draw up an indictment against a whole people ? - Who, even, among the gravest of our lawyers, will undertake to pen, or to dictate a legal instrument, a paper, or a parchment document, in order to controul, or to regulate the movements of a British line of battle ship, that has insulted our national honour, or deprived our citizens of life?
Mr. Jefferson, the present President of the United States, is very fond of informing Congress, and through the medium of Congress, the American people, that-Reason is the only arbiter in the disputes between just nations.--As usual, this presidential generalizing, this mode of reducing the intricate and complicated science of politics to a few simple rules, to a few foolish maxims (notwithstanding the truth of that never
to be forgotten adage, which applies more particularly, and more forcibly, to politicians than to any other order of men,in universalibus ignorantia patet, which, being interpreted, is --your generalizing men are always ignorant)-has reduced the propounder of this maxim to this dilemma,-either,that there never have been, from the beginning of the world even until now, any just nations,-or--that the empire, i. e. reason, is just good for nothing, has no power or influence, in adjusting the disputes of contending nations.
That man must be very flimsily instructed in the rudiments of policy, who does not know, that the ultima ratio regum, the strongest arm and the sharpest sword, are, in effect, the laws which governments chiefly obey in their contests with each other ; without very scrupulously adhering to the precepts of Grotius, of Puffendorf, of Vandershoet, or any other closetcomposer of apothegms and maxims wherewith to direct the national intercourse of the different kingdoms of the earth. Not to mention, that the treaties between different nations,
for the most part, expressed in such ambiguous and general terms, that the most powerful nation can always, by the aid of a little legal sophistry, twist the meaning of the words and phrases, used in those treaties, to answer its own particular views and interests.
“Go,”-said Oxenstiern, the venerable chancellor of Christina, queen of Sweden, to his son, who, while yet a young man, declined going to a general congress of ambassadors, lest his youth and inexperience should expose him to the contempt and derision of the envoys from other courts, all of whom were grown hoary amidst the intricacies of displomatic policy—“go and see with thine own eyes quam parva sapientiá regitur mundus."
In like manner, the celebrated John Selden says,—He was a wise pope, that when one, who used to be merry with him, before he was advanced to the popedom, refrained afterwards to come at him,-(presuming he was busy in governing the Christian world)—the pope sends for him, bids him come as gain, -and, --says he - we will be merry as we were before, for thou little thinkest, what a little foolery governs the whole zuorld.
The author next calls our attention to a third species of outrage, committed by Britain upon America, and says, that we ought—“to negociate a complete and adjusted estimate of all the individual losses that have fallen upon our merchants, from the illegal captures that their property has suffered from the armed ships of England.”
Having stated these grounds of complaint against Britain, he inquires what steps our administration have taken, in order to obtain redress, and discovers them to be exactly calculated to make us—"not the glory, but the jest and ridicule of the world.”
He, then, exposes, in broad and forcible colours, the miserable, pedling, pusillanimous policy which has been pursued by our present administration, in cowering under the wings of French and Spanish despotism, and in venting their spleen and hatred against Britain, partly, from motives of personal pique, a motive, that ought never to enter into the calculations of a statesman,-and, partly, from obedience to the mandates of the Cabinet of St. Cloud ;-and, then, bursts upon us, in a full blaze of eloquence and of argument, such as would not have dishonoured the orators of the better days of Athens and of Rome, portraying the opposite political situations of Britain and of France, and most forcibly pointing out the opposite effects produced upon the nations of the earth, by the conduct of these two contending powers ;-Britain standing in the gap, to preserve the remainder of the world from irretrievable perdition ;-and France hastening to roll the waves of ruin over those portions of the globe that are not yet drenched in blood ;-those waves of ruin, which like the waters of a second flood, are bursting round a buried world.
It is indeed with the greatest reluctance, that we refrain from adorning our pages with such an effusion of genius and of learning ;—but our scanty limits will not allow the insertion of so long a transcript, and to curtail it, would be to mutilate its form, and to tarnish its beauties.-We have it not in our power to confer a greater kindness upon our reader, them to request him to peruse, from the 86th to the 91st page of the pamphlet now under review.
After these animated and interesting observations on the