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genius beamed from the retirement of collegiate life, with a radiance which dazzled, and a loveliness which charmed, the
eye The HERO, called from his sequestered retreat, whose first appearance in the field, though a stripling, conciliated the esteem of WASHINGTON, our good old father. Moving by whose side, during all the perils of the revolution, our young chieftain was a contributer to the veteran's glory, the guardian of his person, and the compartner of his toils.
The CONQUEROR, who sparing of human blood, when victory favored, stayed the uplifted arm, and nobly said to the vanquished enemy,
The STATESMAN, the correctness of whose principles and the strength of whose mind, are inscribed on the records of congress and on the annals of the council chamber. Whose genius impressed itself upon the CONSTITUTION of his country; and whose memory, the government, ILLUSTRIOUS FABRIC, resting on this basis, will perpetuate while it lasts ; and shaken by, the violence of party, should it fall, which may heaven avert, his prophetic declarations will be found inscribed on its ruins.
The COUNSELLOR, who was at once the pride of the bar and the admiration of the court. Whose apprehensions were quick as lightning, and whose developement of truth was luminous as its pathWhose argument no change of circumstances could,
embarrass-Whose knowledge appeared intuitive; and who by a single glance, and with as much facility as the eye of the eagle passes over the landscape, surveyed the whole field of controversy_saw in what way truth might be most successfully defended, and how error must be approached. And who, without ever stopping, ever hesitating, by a rapid and manly march, led the listening judge and the fascinated juror, step by step, through a delightsome region, brightening as he advanced, till his argu. ment rose to demonstration, and eloquence' was rendered useless by conviction.
Whose talents were employed on the side of righteousness. Whose voice, whether in the council-chamber or at the bar of justice, was virtue's consola ion. At whose approach oppressed humanity felt å secret rapture and the heart of injured innocence lept for joy.
Where HAMILTON was..-in whatever sphere he moved, the friendless had a friend, the fatherless a father, and the poor man, though unable to reward his kindness, found an advocate. It was when the rich oppressed the poor; -when the powerful menaced the defenceless-when truth was disre. garded or the eternal principles of justice violated it was on these occasions that he ex rted all his strength. It was on these occasions that he some . times soared so high and shone with a radiance so transcendent, I had almost said, so “ heavenly as filled those around him with awe, and gave to him the force and authority of a prophet.”.
The PATRIOT, whose integrity baffled the scru. tiny of inquisition. Whose manly virtue never shaped itself to circumstances. Who always great, always himself, stood amidst the varying tides of party, firm, like the rock, which, far from land, lifts its majestic top above the waves, and remains unshaken by the storms which agitate the ocean.
The FRIEND, who knew no guile. Whose bosom was transparent, and deep, 'in the bottom of whose heart was rooted every tender and sympa• thetic virtue. Whose various worth opposing par: ties acknowledged while alive, and on whose tomb they unite with equal sympathy and grief to heap their honors.
I know he had his failings. I see on the picture of his life, a picture rendered awful by greatness, and luminous by virtue, some dark shades.
On these let the tear that pities human weakness fall : on these let the vail which covers human frailty rest.
As a hero, as a statesman, as a patriot, he lived nobly : and would to Gop I could add, he nobly fell,
Unwilling to admit his error in this respect, I go back to the period of discussion. I see him resisting the threatened interview. I imagine myself present in his chamber. Various reasons, for a time, seem to hold his determination in arrest. Vari. ous and moving objects pass before him, and speak a dissuasive language.
His country, which may need his counsels to guide and his arm to defend, utters her veto. The partner of his youth, already covered with weeds, and whose tears How down into her bosom, intercedes ! His babes, stretching out their little hands and pointing to a weeping mother, with lisping eloquence, but eloquence which reaches a parent's heart, cry out" Stay--stay dear father and live for us !” In the mean time the spectre of a fallen son, pale and ghastly, approaches, opens his bleeding bosom, and as the harbinger of death, points to the yawning tomb and forewarns a hesitating father of the issue !
He pauses. Reviews these sad objects : and rea. sons on the subject. I admire his magnanimity, I approve his reasoning, and I wait to hear him reject with indignation the murderous proposition, and to see him
from his tuous bearer of it.
But I wait in vain. It was a momeut in which his great wisdom forsook him. A moment in which HAMILTON was not himself.
He 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 feel... ing, 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 it pointed, at so incorruptible a bosom, the instrument of death. Does he know thịs now, his heart, if it be not adamant, must soften if it be not ice, it must melt,
· But on this article I forbear. Stained 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 cannot 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 those 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