OCR Interpretation

Gazette of the United-States. [volume] (New-York [N.Y.]) 1789-1793, April 21, 1790, Image 1

Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030483/1790-04-21/ed-1/seq-1/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

[No. 107. —Vol. ll.j
" Wrong headed blockheads when they help intend,
'•* Plague while they serve, and hurt while they befriend."
I AM of the opinion that people fiiftain more
inconvenience thro the ignorance and folly,
than they do thro the malice or treachery of
those with whom they are concerned. 11 is uiUc-h
ealter to counterwork the actions of bad men,
than of weak ones. Knaves may be retrained by
a variety of checks, from doing the tnifchief
which they meditate, and may be punilhed for
the crimes they actually commit. The whole
■world is, as it were, armed against their enor
mities. But there can be 110 effectual precaution
againftthe mismanagement of fools. Their mis
takes indicate no perverfenefs of heart, and can
neither deserve punishment or excite resentment.
How can we reproach a man when he meant us
no harm ? How can we guard against his errors,
when he has not discernment to ekape them him
felf ?
It too often happens, that we impute mifcar
riagesto the bad intentions of those we employ.
We do not so readily fufpetft that men judge or
calculate wrong, as that they intend wrong. But
thefacfl is otlierwife j and it will be lound, upon
a critical examination, that error of judgment is
the main source of public as well as private dif-
Orders. There is hardly a more common cha
racter in society than that of a marplot. This
fort of people are the more dangerous, as theyfel
dom attempt to do a good tuin, which docs not
terminate in a real disadvantage. Their zeal to
fevve us makes us accept of their services ; and
when they have committed one miitake, they are
so lorry for it, that we let them run into more
blunders to atone for what are past.
A marplot is most vexatious in public transac
tions ; because it then is more in his power to
betray stupidity without incurring contempt,and
propagate error without rifquing detection. In
pUbTic affairs there is i. great diversity of opinion ;
and in questions of alpeculative nature, declaim
ers of folly screen their impotency under profef
lioiis of patriotiftn. The appearance of patrio
tic zeal is too fafcinating not to give popularity to
the man who discovers it. Thus it happens that
weak men, who are a perpetual marplot upon
the plans of the prudent and knowing, insinuate
themfch'cs into the public confidence. This is
an inconvenience that all countries and ages have
experienced. There is no pollible remedy against
it. People will listen to tliofe whom they sup
pose to be their friends ; and it is peculiarly the
character of a marplot to be officious in offering
his good services. Hemuft be employed because
he means well, and he will do hurt, bccaufe he
li3S not discernment enough to do good. It would
be a fortunate circumstance in the management
of public affairs, if mankind'looked more to the
qualifications of those to whom they committed
their concerns. If men have underltanding they
will leek the public prosperity, because it is their
• interelt to do it ; but if they are deilitute of ca
pacity they will counteract the public weal, be
cause they can never know in what it consists.
A wrong headed man, however lionell he maybe,
cannot be supposed to concert proper measures,
since it is obvious that reason and propriety can
never alfimilate with his character. Whatever
he suggests will be tinged with the quality of
the fountain, from which it flows. Wife men
only can conceive wife institutions.
NO country, perhaps, in the habitable globe,
contains so raanv government amenders
and declaimers on the fubje<ft of Conititutions, as
the United States.—Every man feenis to think
himfelf born a Legislator, and is generally so te
nacious of his own darling sentiment, that unless
it is adopted, he is continually complaining. But
this truth, advanced by the Soi.on ofourcoun
try, ought to be known:—That the experience of
the world hath shewn, that a person " may de
lend the principles of liberty, and the rights of
mankind with great abilities, and yet after all,
■when called upon to propose a plan of Legislati
on, he may aftonilh the world with a signal ab
surdity .
TIE great and important fubjeft of agriculture, having bertl
recommended to the notice of the national Legiilature, by
the Frefidem of the United States ; it will doubtless arrest their at
tention—and is there any thing of more consequence to the prof
pefity, -wealth and independence of the United States ? The pre
sent appears to be the crisis when the cultivators of the foil, ihould
xeceive the tokens of Legislative patronage.—Manufattures are the
o&pxing of agricultafc—aftd tnuft form the basis of al) profitable
■ Xpeoilatiaß.
(l Scotch arc proud of their
JL Lock-Lomond. And truly the lake
with its contained islands, aud neighboring moun
tains, exhibits a mingled scene ofteauty andfub
limity. From the summit of the lofty Ben Lo
mond, there is the grandeil profpe<3a I ever en
joyed. Fortunately, when 1 was on ic the wea
ther was so serene and the atmosphere so free
from clouds, that one of my companions who had
ascended the mountain more than a dozen times,
said he had never had so fair a view of the sur
rounding objecfts. Southward the lake with its
twenty iilands,the village of Lufs,the mansions of
Camltraddon and Bonhill, and beyond Smollet's
sumptuous monument beside the river Leven,
the town and castle of Dunbarton and the Firth
of Clyde appeared beautifully in view ; further
than these, port Glalgow, Greenock, the islands
of Bute and Arran and the Craig of Ailfa, toge
ther with a part of Ayre-Shire and the Atlantic
Ocean, lay fairly displayed. Westward, beside
Lock-Long and Lock Fyne, feveraloftlie Hebri
des were -visible, and in particular the heights of
Ifla, the Paps of Jura and the mountains of Mull
could be clearly discerned. Northward the stu
pendous Highlands, extending in the Shires of
Perth, Breadalbaine and Argyle, away toward
Lochaber and Inverness, as far as the eye could
comprehend, afforded a fight ot rude grandeur
and wild sublimity, that delighted beyond de
scription. Eastward, Lock-Ard, Enrick water,
Lock-Law, the city and castle of Stirling, the
hills of Fyfe-Shire, the river Forth and the arm
ot the German Sea were plainly seen ; and had
there not been a hazy portion of air a little to
ward the South, it was judged that the castle of
Edinburg, Sallbury Craig, the Calton and Pent
land hills, and Arthur's leat might have been
* TTiis gentfrnran n preparingfrt of Experiments to tTyttie
qualities of the different kinds of timber, and of different prefer
vativc vainilhcs, in icfilting thr fslt.-waicr pipe-worm. His bud
has been infer ibed with the following vnfc,compolcd, as is thought
by the Roman Nai tius —
Intmd Mdt-ura nitidr feiutralie parait.
" Admiration ar.J.uptabxjr.ee are incompatible."
I Would question t i.e'reality of this,tor the honor
ofourfpeeies, when taken literally—and lam
induced to think it vill not hold good as a general
truth, even »'itli ilie n<cefliiry exceptions, which
in all general rules are admired. it human na
ture admits not ot perfection, yet it is not so
wholly depraved as ro cxclnde both from senti
ment and conduit, every thing noble and meri
torious. Any thing intrinlically excellent inspires
us with admiration-—and tho there are compara
tively few persons poflellingthe eflentials for this,
we are not in confequeiue juftifiable in aflerting
that none have them. It requires a considerable
proportion, 110 doubt, of amiable qualities to
counter-balance the numerous propensities to
folly, and the many a<flions which deierve the
epithet of littleness. Still he who admits the a
bove position as fufliciently evident, holds a doc
trine extremely felf-debafing. tor depreciate
the supposed excellence only of human na
ture, and you eventually humble that defiie of
eminence of which few, very few are wholly di
verted. Who would make vigorous exertions to
acquire what is beyond the fpbere of poflibility ?
Tho I cannot boait of long experience in the
wavs of the world—yet what 1 have had
vincive of the contrary. If the greater pat t of
mankind are void of properties that can stand
the scrutiny ot acquaintance without deitroy
ing admiration, yet 1 firmly there is a
number bearing a proportional relation to the
whole mass of people as that of persons emi
nent in Arts and Sciences to thole unskilled
therein. Experimental knowledge is of superior
influence in inoft instances. It tali (caicely be
queftioiied that Collegiate acquaintances are ot
the highest intimacy and give a great opportuni
ty for discovering not only the abilities, but alto
the amiable qualities of the mind. Perhaps more
so than moll other situations. The disposition is
then formed for contmunioatlvenefs, being un
taught in the ways of deception untoui ed by
disappointment — I have been 011 intimate ac
quaintance with some, whose excellence, far
from vanifliing, was such as to encreafe my ad
miration. This inclines me to believe intimacy
thetouchftone by which we may distinguish real
yf ('} 1 !>: I'.Kll i£> STATES.
from apparent merit. Nor would I apprelienfi
an enquiry after a perfoti pofltfled of real aad
intrinsic excellence, equally romantic with re
searches after the philosopher's (lone, or attempts
to balloou it to Luna. The inculcation of this
doctrine is also deftru<ftive of considerable happi-i
ness as it tends greatly tolefl'en the felicity of fa
cial connections. A propenfityfor admiration is
implanted in every breast— Who would risque the
loss of this by aflociating intimately with rhofc
he regaided ? If fully convinced it would destroy
or even leflen their reciprocal good opinion !
The married state, particularly when hearrs
congenial are united, is perhaps the situation
Where the molt complete liappinefs exists—and
mutual love can (I would fain hope) subsist in
this State where the closest intimacy lrnift necef«
farily be formed. What is hve, but admiration
raised to its highest pitch—and when it arises
from real excellence, it call itand the test ot
Upon the whole we may fafely concludc that the
idea in the inottois not flri<ftly true, and that ad
miration and acquaintance are not incompatible.
Our ideas of excellence are only comparative,
originating from what we find in human nature
—if it did not exist there, from whence is the idea
derived ? ARISTIDES.
The proportion for ttjjuming the fiate debts under conjide ration.
(Mi. Bland con*inued.)'
VIRGINIA had a number of marine officersand sailors which
were employed in her state vessels; these had also been put
on the lift of her public creditors, and had received certificate*
for pay and depreciation. In ftiort her military debt for cvvtineit
till turpofes amounted to three millions three hundred thousand
dollars principal, on which the had regularly paid an interest in
specie annually of fix per cent. This fund arose from arrange*
menu in her revenue, of which the had then the entire poffcOiom
Her impost was pafmeoi ol this interest, and wa»
competent thereto; has frit nut gJVcn up to the contine&t, to the
general government this nch fburce of levtnuc —and this debt, ot
others of a like nature is now charged on her lands and negroes.
From the commencement of the war, great, nay enormous emi
grations have taken place and still continue. Kentucky is said to
contain fifty or sixty thousand fouls, nine-tenths of which have
emigrated from Virginia. It is said, and I believe with truth,
that more than one half of Georgia is peopled from Virginia by
recent emigrations. The state of Frankliii, the cession of which
this house has just accepted, has been also chiefly peopled from
Virginia, and is said to contain more than twenty thousand peo
ple. Large numbers have emigrated to other states, to avoid ei
ther being called into service, to obtain lands on eafv terms, or
to ivoid taxation. What is now to be the situation of Virginia ?
The remaining citizens are to pay (unless the assumption takes
place) the whole debt, while she, who has been termed the eldeY
of the states, and not improperly may be termed the mother of
those just mentioned, may not unaptly be compared to the peli
can, who is represented as feeding her young with her life's
blood, t. e. with her citizens. And how are these citizens em
ployed ? Why, in Georgia, helping to pay theit state debt, and
in Kentucky and Franklin, hitherto out of the reach of taxation,
or unable to contribute any thing towards this purpose from their
own eXposed situation, being engaged in their own defence ever
since the war with Great-Britain.
Virginia may on this oecafion be divided into two parts, inde
pendent of Kentucky; that from the sea coast to about the heart
of the state, through which the army marched, both friends and
enetnies, as one part; and that near ar-1 beyond the mountains,
as another. The firft was fubjeft to have their houses and towns
burnt by the enemy, their plantations laid waste, and their ne
groes carried off. 'Tis beyond all doubt; that not less than 7000
of these the best of our laborers were carried off by the enemy, or
left their matters ; those inhabitants who fuffcred this loss are affo
the greatest cieditorl to the state and the United States, having
loaned money, had their property impressed for the use of their
armies, or contributed voluntarily to their support. By emigra
tion, vast quantities of vacant land belonging to the emigrants
have been brought to market, so that the lands in all parts of the
state have fallen perhaps 60 per cent, in value; and these lands
thus depreciated, are now loaded with a heavy tax to pay this
contimntal-ftatedebt. The burthen has become almost intolera
ble, and this burthen is aggravated by the lands being depopula
ted of their laboring hands, which have been either taken off by
the enemy, or by emigration.
I am not ftirprized (continued Mr. Bland) that Georgia has de
clared herfelf against the aflumption, or that the members even
from Virginia, who came from far weft should do so ; bot I own
I am a little surprized that North Carolina should have taken up
that opinion, efpeciallyas what has been said of Virginia with
refpefl to emigrations applies in a certain degree to her cafe also.
In short, when Virginia contraSed her debt she had reason to
think her resources were adequate to the pnyrtient, bot now those
resources are gone, she has not only parted with her revenue
from impost and tonnage, but (be has parted with her immense
territory Nortb-Weft of the Ohio. This fir, is deemed a respec
table fund for the discharge of the continental debt. What pro
portion of this fund will fall tf> her share as a state ? She will par
take of it exactly as her citizens are creditors of the United States;
and 1 believe it may be fafely aflerted, that the military debt
which she has taken on her<elt as a temporary measure recom
mended by Congress out of the question, her citizens will be
found as lenders to the continent or holders of continental securi
ties, not more than upon a par with some of the smallest states in
the union. [Mr. Bland here stated the amount of the state debts
of Virginia ; four-fifths of which if not nine-tenths might justly
be placed to the account of the United States.]
Some gentlemfn are very desirous to fever the funding of the
debt of the United States from that of the states, though both of
them have been incurred for the fame purposes, viz. the payment

xml | txt