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touch their hats. And Gouverneur Mor- ing hound,” are a few of the chain-shot ris gives us a capital idea of the state of which strike our eyes in turning over feeling when he says that a looker-on, the yellow faded files. They are all quiet who took no part in affairs, felt like a now, those eager, snarling editors of fifty sober man at a dinner when the rest of years since, and mostly forgotten. Even the company were drunk. Civil war was the ink which records their spiteful abuse often talked of, and the threat of seces- is fading away sion, which has become the rhetorical sta
“Duane no more the halter dreads, ple of the South, produced solely for ex- The torrent of his lies to check; portation to the North, to be used there No gallows Cheetham's dreams invades, in manufacturing pro-slavery votes out
Nor lours o'er Holt's devoted neck." of the timidity of men of large means Emerson's saying, that involuntarily and little courage or perspicacity, was we read history as superior beings, is then freely made by both divisions of never so true as when we read history the Union. Had we been of French or before it has been worked up for the Spanish descent, there would have been public, in the raw material of letters, barricades, coup-l'états, pronunciamentos; pamphlets, and newspapers. Feverish but the English race know better how to paragraphs, which once excited the entreat the body-politic. They never ap- thusiasm of one party and the fiercest ply the knife except for the most despe- opposition of the other, lie before us as rate operations. But where hard words dead and as unmeaning as an Egyptian were so plenty, blows could not fail. Du- mummy. The passion which once gave els were frequent, cudgellings not uncom- them life is gone. The objects which the mon,--although as yet the Senate-Cham- writers considered all-important we perber had not been selected as the fittest ceive to have been of no real significance scene for the use of the bludgeon. It is even in their day. We read on with true that molasses-and-water was the bev- a good-natured pity, akin to the feeling erage allowed by Congress in those sim- which the gods of Epicurus might be supple times, and that charged to station- posed to experience when they looked ery.
down upon foolish mortals,— and when What terrible fellows our ancestors we shut the book, go out into our own were for calling names,-particularly the world to fret, fume, and wrangle over gentlemen of the press! If they had been things equally transitory and frivolous. natives of the Island of Frozen Sounds, When it became evident that the Adalong the shore of which Pantagruel and ministration party ran the risk of being Panurge coasted, they would have stood beaten in the election of 1800, their up to their chins in scurrilous epithets. trumpeters sounded the wildest notes of The comical sketch of their rhetoric in alarm. People ! how long will you re“ Salmagundi” is literally true:-“Every main blind ? Awake! be up and doing ! day have these slangwhangers made furi- If Mr. Jefferson is elected, the equal repous attacks on each other and upon their resentation of the small States in the respective adherents, discharging their Senate will be destroyed, the funding heavy artillery, consisting of large sheets system swept away, the navy abolished, loaded with scoundrel, villain, liar, ras- all commerce and foreign trade prohibitcal, numskull, nincompoop, dunderhead, ed, and the fruits of the soil left to rot on wiseacre, blockhead, jackass.” As single the hands of the farmer. The taxes will words were not always explosive enough all fall on the landed interest, all the to make a report equal to their feelings, churches will be overturned, none but they had recourse to compounds ;—" pert Frenchmen employed by government, and prating popinjay,” “ hackneyed gut- and the monstrous system of liberty and scraper,” “ maggot of corruption,” “ toad equality, with all its horrid consequences, on a dung-heap,” snivelling sophisticat- as experienced in France and St. Do
mingo, will inevitably be introduced.” composition, equally at variance with the Thus they shouted, and no doubt many laws of construction and the laws of reguof the shouters sincerely believed it all. lar government.” The Federalist opinion Nevertheless, and in spite of these ala- of the principles of the Administration rums, the Revolution of '99, as Mr. Jef- party was avowed with equal frankness in ferson liked to call it, took place without their papers. “A democracy is the most bloodshed, and in 1801 that gentleman absurd constitution, productive of anarchy mounted the throne.
and mischief, which must always happen After this struggle was over, the Fed- when the government of a nation de eralists, some from conviction and some pends upon the caprice of the ignorant, from disgust at being beaten, gave up
the harebrained vulgar. All the miseries of country as lost. Worthy New-England- men for a long series of years grew out ers, like Cabot, Fisher Ames, and Wol- of that infamous mode of polity, a decott, had no longer hope. They sank into mocracy; which is to be reckoned to be the position of mere grumblers, with one only the corruption and degeneracy of a leading principle, admiration of Eng- republic, and not to be ranked among land, and a willingness to submit to any the legitimate forms of government.
If insults which England in her haughtiness be not a legitimate government, we might please to inflict.
“ We are sure,”
owe it no allegiance. He is a blind man says the “Boston Democrat," “ that George who does not see this truth; he is a base III. would find more desperately devoted man who will not assert it. Democratic subjects in New England than in any power is tyranny, in the principle, the bepart of his dominions.” The Democrats, ginning, the progress, and the end. It is of course, clung to their motto, “What- on its trial here, and the issue will be civever is in France is right,” and even ac- il war, desolation, and anarchy.” These cepted the arbitrary measures of Bona- and other foolish excerpts were kept beparte at home as a mere change of sys- fore their readers by the “ Aurora" and tem, and abroad as forced upon him by “ Boston Chronicle,” leading Democratic British pirates. It is curious to read the organs, and served to sweeten their trihigh Federalist papers in the first days umph and to seal the fate of the unlucky of their sorrow. In their contradictory Federalists. fault-finding sulkiness, they give some col- The difference between the tone of or of truth to Mr. Jefferson's accusation, these extracts and that of our present that the Federal leaders were seeking journalists, when they touch upon the abto establish a monarchy,-a charge well stract principles of government, may inknown to be unfounded, as Washington dicate to us the firm hold which the Demsaid at the time. “What is the use of ocratic theory has taken of our people. celebrating the Fourth of July ?” they As that conquering party marched onasked. “ Freedom is a stale, narcotic ward, the opposition was forced to follow topic. The Declaration of Independence after, and to encamp upon the ground a useless, if not an odious libel upon a their powerful enemy left behind him. friendly nation connected with us by the To-day when we see gentlemen who silken band of amity.” Fenno, in his pa
consider themselves Conservatives in the per, said the Declaration was “a placard ranks of the Democrats, we may supof rebellion, a feeble production, in which pose that the tour of the political circle the spirit of rebellion prevailed over the is nearly completed. love of order.” Dennie, in the “ Port- A momentary lull bad followed the folio,” anticipating Mr. Choate, called it storm of the election, when Mr. Jefferson
an incoherent accumulation of indiges- boldly threw down another “ bone for tible and impracticable political dogmas, the Federalists to gnaw.” He wrote to dangerous to the peace of the world, and Thomas Paine, inviting him to America, seditious in its local tendency, and, as a and offering him a passage home in a
national vessel. “You will, in general, .
as a filthy monster. He wrote his life find us," he added, “ returned to senti- for the sake of doing it more thoroughly ments worthy of former times; in these The following extract, probably much it will be your glory to have steadily la- relished at the time, will give some idea bored, and with as much effect as any of the tone and temper of this performman living. That you may live long, to continue your useful labors and reap the “ How Tom gets a living now, or what reward in the thankfulness of nations, is brothel he inhabits, I know not, nor does my sincere prayer. Accept the assurance it much signify. He has done all the of my high esteem and affectionate at- mischief he can do in this world; and tachment.” Mr. Jefferson went even far- whether his carcass is at last to be sufther. He openly announced his inten- fered to rot on the earth, or to be dried tion of giving Paine an office, if there in the air, is of very little consequence. were one in his gift suitable for him. Wherever or wherever he breathes his Now, although Paine had been absent last, he will excite neither sorrow nor for many years, he had not been forgot- compassion ; no friendly hand will close ten by the Americans. The echo of the bis eyes, not a groan will be uttered, not noise he made in England reached our a tear will be shed. Like Judas, he will shores; and English echoes were more be remembered by posterity ; men will attentively listened to then even than at learn to express all that is base, maligpresent. His “ Rights of Man” had been nant, treacherous, unnatural, and blas much read in this country. Indeed, it phemous by the single monosyllable of was asserted, and upon pretty good au- Paine." thority, that Jefferson himself, when Sec- Cobbett also wrote an ante-mortem epretary of State, had advised and encour- itaph, a fit inscription for the life he had aged the publication of an American composed. It ends thus :edition as an antidote to the “ Davila”
“ He is crammed in a dungeon and preaches of Mr. Adams. Even the “ Age of Rea
up Reason; son” had obtained an immense circula
Blasphemes the Almighty, lives in filth like tion from the great reputation of the au- a hog; thor. It reminded the Rev. Mr. Good- Is abandoned in death, and interred like a rich, and other Orthodox New-England
dog." ers, of Milton's description of Death,- This brutal passage does not exaggerate
- Black it stood as night, the opinion of Paine's character held by Fierce as ten furies, terrible as hell."
the good people of America. He was Yet numbers of people, nothing frighten- an object of horror to them,- a rebel ed, would buy and read.
• No work,”
against government and against God,Dr. Francis tells us, “ had a demand for a type of Jacobinism, a type of Infidelireaders comparable to that of Paine. ty, and, with what seemed to them, no The Age of Reason,' on its first ap- doubt, a beautiful consistency, a type of pearance in New York, was printed as all that was abandoned and vile. Thoman orthodox book .by orthodox publish- as Paine, a Massachusetts poet of ciers,-doubtless deceived," the charitable
devant celebrity, petitioned the General Doctor adds, “ by the vast renown which Court for permission to call himself Robthe author of Common Sense' had ob- ert Treat Paine, on the ground that he tained, and by the prospects of sale.” had no Christian name.
In New Eng Paine's position in the French Conven- land, Christianity and Federalism were tion, his long imprisonment, poverty, looked upon as intimately connected, and slovenly habits, and fondness for drink, Democracy as a wicked thing, born of were all well known and well talked Tom Paine, Tom Jefferson, and the Fa over. William Cobbett, for one, never ther of Lies. In this Trinity of Evil,
. lost an opportunity of dressing up Paine Thomas Paine stood first.
During the struggle for the Presiden- In 1792, he was forbidden to haunt the cy, Mr. Jefferson had been accused, from White-Bear Tavern in London. He subevery Federal stump, of the two unpar- sisted for eight years on the charity of donable sins to Yankee minds,
booksellers, who employed him in the ly, that his notes could be bought for five morning to correct proofs; in the aftershillings in the pound, and that he did not noon he was too drunk. He lodged in believe in Revelation. Since his election, a cellar. He helped the poissardes to he had been daily reminded of his relig
clean fish and open oysters.
He lived ious short-comings by keen newspaper in misery, filth, and contempt. Not unattacks. He knew that he strengthened til Livingston went to France did any rethe hands of his enemies by inviting home spectable American call upon him. Livthe Arch-Infidel. We are and were then ingston's attentions to him not only astona religious people, in spite of the declara- ished, but disgusted the First Consul, and tion in Mr. Adams's Tripolitan treaty, gave him a very mean opinion of Livthat the government of the United States ingston's talents. The critical Mr. Den
“not in any sense founded on the nie caused his “ Portfolio” to give forth Christian religion,” and Paine could find this solemn strain : " If, during the presfew admirers in any class. Mr. Jefferson, ent season of national abasement, infatutoo, was well aware that the old man was ation, folly, and vice, any portent could broken, that the fire had gone out of him, surprise, sober men would be utterly conand that his presence in the United States founded by an article current in all our could be of no use whatever to the party. newspapers, that the loathsome Thomas But he thought that Paine's services in Paine, a drunken atheist and the scaventhe Revolution had earned for him an ger of faction, is invited to return in a asylum, and their old acquaintance made national ship to America by the first · him hasten to offer it. We think that magistrate of a free people. A measthe invitation to Paine was one of the ure so enormously preposterous we canmanliest acts of Jefferson's life.
not yet believe has been adopted, and When the matter became public, there it would demand firmer nerves than arose a long, loud cry of abuse, which those possessed by Mr. Jefferson to hazrang from Massachusetts Bay to Wash- ard such an insult to the moral sense of ington City. Anarchy, confusion, and the the nation. If that rebel rascal should downfall of not only church, but state, come to preach from his Bible to our were declared to be the unavoidable con- populace, it would be time for every honsequences of Paine's return to our shores, est and insulted man of dignity to flee to —that impious apostate! that Benedict some Zoar as from another Sodom, to Arnold, once useful, and then a traitor! shake off the very dust of his feet and The “United States Gazette" had ten to abandon America." “ He is coming,” leaders on the text of Tom Paine and wrote Noah Webster, (“the mender and Jefferson, “ whose love of liberty was murderer of English,") " to publish in neither more rational, generous, or so- America the third part of the Age of cial, than that of the wolf or the tiger.” Reason.” And the epigrammatists, such The “ New England Palladium” fairly as they were, tried their goose-quills on shrieked :- :-“What! invite to the United the subject :States that lying, drunken, brutal infidel, who rejoices in the opportunity of bask
" He passed his forces in review,
Smith, Cheetham, Jones, Duane: ing and wallowing in the confusion, de
* Dull rascals,—these will never do,' vastation, bloodshed, rapine, and mur
Quoth he,— I'll send for Paine.' der, in which his soul delights?” Why,
“ Then from his darling den in France even the French called him the English
To tempt the wretch to come, orang-outang! He was exposed with a
He made Tom's brain with flattery dance monkey and a bear in a cage in Paris. And took the tax from rum."
The Administration editors held their in America were the same men in chartongues ;-the religious side of the ques- acter; for bow else was it to be accounted tion was too strong for them.
for that he was persecuted by both at the Paine was unable to accept the pas- same time? In every part of the Union sage offered him in the frigate, and re- this faction was in the agonies of death, turned in a merchant-vessel in the autumn and, in proportion as its fate approachof the next year (1802). The excitemented, gnashed its teeth and struggled: He had pot subsided. Early in October, the should lose half his greatness when they · Philadelphia Gazette” announced that ceased to lie. Mr. Adams, as the late " a kind of tumultuous sensation was pro- chief of this faction, met with harsh and duced in the city yesterday evening in derisive treatment in these letters, and consequence of the arrival of the ship did not attempt to conceal his irritation Benjamin Franklin from Havre. It was in his own later correspondence. believed, for a few moments, that the car- Paine's few defenders tried to back cass of Thomas Paine was on board, and him with weak paragraphs in the daily several individuals were seen disgracing papers : His great talents, his generous themselves by an impious joy. It was services, “in spite of a few indiscreet finally understood that Paine had missed writings about religion,” should make him his passage by this vessel and was to sail an object of interest and respect. The in a ship to New York. Under the New “ Aurora's” own correspondent sent to York news-head we perceive a vessel his paper a favorable sketch of Paine's from Havre reported. Infidels! hail the appearance, manner, and conversation : arrival of your high-priest!”
He was “proud to find a man whom be A few days later, the infidel Tom had admired free from the contaminaPaine, otherwise Mr. Paine, arrived safe- tions of debauchery and the habits of ly at Baltimore and proceeded thence to inebriety which have been so grossly and Washington. The journalists gave tongue falsely sent abroad concerning him.” But at once: “ Fire! Age of Reason! Look the enemy had ten guns to Paine's one, at his nose! He drank all the brandy in and served them with all the fierceness Baltimore in nine days! What a dirty of party-bate. A shower of abusive misfellow! Invited home by a brother Tom! siles rattled incessantly about his ears. Let Jefferson and his blasphemous crony
However thick-skinned a man may be, dangle from the same gallows." The and protected over all by the æs triplex booksellers, quietly mindful of the oppor- of self-sufficiency, he cannot escape betunity, got out an edition of his works in ing wounded by furious and incessant two volumes.
attacks. Paine felt keenly the neglect As soon as he was fairly on shore, of his former friends, who avoided him, Paine took sides with his host, and com- when they did not openly cut him. Mr. menced writing “ Letters to the People Jefferson, it is true, asked him to dinners, of the United States." He announced in and invited the British minister to meet them that he was a genuine Federalist,- him; at least, the indignant Anglo-Fednot one of that disguised faction which eral editors said so. Perhaps he offered had arisen in America, and which, losing him an office. If he did, Paine refused sight of first principles, had begun to con- it, preferring “to serve as a disinterested template the people as hereditary prop- volunteer.” Poor old man ! his services erty: No wonder that the author of the were no longer of much use to anybody. " Rights of Man" was attacked by this The current of American events had faction: His arrival was to them like the swept past him, leaving him stranded, sight of water to canine madness : He a broken fragment of a revolutionary served them for a standing dish of abuse: wreck. The leaders during the Reign of Terror When the nine days of wonder had in France and during the late despotism expired in Washington, and the inhabi