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of speaking. The efforts of the members will, I trust, give a just reputation to the society and reflect on its name the honor which it cannot derive from it. In a country and government like ours, eloquence is a powerful instrument, well worthy of the special pursuit of our youth. Models, indeed, of chaste and classical oratory are truly too rare with us; nor do I recollect any remarkable in England. Among the ancients the most perfect specimens are perhaps to be found in Livy, Sallust and Tacitus. Their pith and brevity constitute perfection itself for an audience of sages, on whom froth and fancy would be lost in air. But in ordinary cases, and with us particularly, more development is necessary For senatorial eloquence, Demosthenes is the finest model; for the bar, Cicero. The former had more logic, the latter more imagination.
Of the eloquence of the pen we have fine samples in English. Robertson, Sterne, Addison, are of the first merit in the different characters of composition. Hume, in the circumstance of style, is equal to any; but his tory principles spread a cloud over his many and great excellencies. The charms of his style and matter have made tories of all England, and doubtful republicans here.
You say that any advice which I could give you would be acceptable. But, for this, you cannot be in better hands than of the worthy professors of your own college. Their counsels would, I am sure, embrace everything I could offer. It will not, however, be a work of mere supereorgation if it will gratify you, and will furnish a stronger proof of my desire to encourage you in your laudable dispositions. Some thirty-six or thirty-seven years ago, I had a nephew, the late Peter Carr, whose education I directed, and had much at heart his future fortunes. Residing abroad at the time in public service, my counsels to him were necessarily communicated by letters. Searching among my papers I find a letter written to him, and conveying such advice as I thought suitable to the particular period of his age and education. He was then about fifteen, and had made some progress in classical reading. As your present situation may be somewhat
similar, you may find in that letter some things worth remembering. I enclose you a copy therefore. It was written in haste, under the pressure of official labors, and with no view of being ever seen but by himself. It might otherwise have been made more correct in style and matter. But such as it is, I place it at your service, and pray you to receive it merely as a compliance with your own request, and as a proof of my good will and of my best wishes for your success in the career of life for which you are so worthily and laudably preparing yourselves.
TO MR. EDWARD EVERETT, OF CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS.
MONTICELLO, March 2, 1822. I am thankful to you, Sir, for the very edifying view of Europe which you have been so kind as to send me. Tossed at random by the newspapers on an ocean of uncertainties and falsehoods, it is joyful at times to catch the glimmering of a beacon which shows us truly where we are. De Pradt's Europe had some effect in this way; but the less as the author was less known in character. The views presented by your brother unite our confidence with the soundness of his observation and information. I have read the work with great avidity and profit, and have found my ideas of Europe in general, rallied by it to points of good satisfaction. In the single chapter on England only, where his theories are new, if we cannot suddenly give up all our old notions, he furnishes us abundant matter for reflection and a revisal of them. I have long considered the present crisis of England, and the origin of the evils which are lowering over her, as produced by enormous excess of her expenditures beyond her income. To pay even the interest of the debt contracted, she is obliged to take from the industrious so much of their earnings, as not to leave enough for their backs and bellies They are daily, therefore, passing over to the pauper-list, to subsist on the declining means of those still holding up, and when these also shall be exhausted, what next? Reformation cannot remedy
this. It could only prevent its recurrence when once relieved from the debt. To effect that relief I see but one possible and just course. Considering the funded and real property as equal, and the debt as much of the one as the other, for the holder of property to give up one-half to those of the funds, and the latter to the nation the whole of what it owes them. But this the nature of man forbids us to expect without blows, and blows will decide it by a promiscuous sacrifice of life and property. The debt thus, or otherwise, extinguished, a real representation introduced into the government of either property or people, or of both, renouncing eternal war, restraining future expenses to future income, and breaking up forever the consuming circle of extravagance, debt, insolvency, and revolution, the island would then again be in the degree of force which nature has measured out to it, of respectable station in the scale of nations, but not at their head. I sincerely wish she could peaceably get into this state of being, as the present prospects of southern Europe seem to need the acquisition of new weights in their balance, rather than the loss of old ones. I set additional value on this volume, inasmuch as it has procured me the occasion of expressing to you my high estimation of your character, the interest with which I look to it as an American, and the great esteem and respect with which I beg leave to salute you.
TO JEDEDIAH MORSE.
MONTICELLO, March 6, 1822. Sir, I have duly received your letter of February the 16th, and have now to express my sense of the honorable station proposed to my ex-brethren and myself, in the constitution of the society for the civilization and improvement of the Indian tribes. The object too expressed, as that of the association, is one which I have ever had much at heart, and never omitted an occasion of promoting while I have been in situations to do it with effect, and nothing, even now, in the calm of age and retirement, would excite in me a more lively interest than an approvable plan of raising that respectable and unfortunate people from the state of physical and moral abjection, to which they have been reduced by circumstances foreign to them. That the plan now proposed is entitled to unmixed approbation, I am not prepared to say, after mature consideration, and with all the partialities which its professed object would rightfully claim from me.
I shall not undertake to draw the line of demarcation between private associations of laudable views and unimposing numbers, and those whose magnitude may rivalize and jeopardize the march of regular government. Yet such a line does exist. I have seen the days, they were those which preceded the revolution, when even this last and perilous engine become necessary; but they were days which no man would wish to see a second time. That was the case where the regular authorities of the government had combined against the rights of the people, and no means of correction remained to them but to organize a collateral power, which, with their support, might rescue and secure their violated rights. But such is not the case with our government. We need hazard no collateral power, which, by a change of its original views, and assumption of others we know not how virtuous or how mischievous, would be ready organized and in force sufficient to shake the established foundations of society, and endanger its peace and the principles on which it is based. Is not the machine now proposed of this gigantic stature? It is to consist of the ex-Presidents of the United States, the Vice President, the Heads of all the executive departments, the members of the supreme judiciary, the Governors of the several States and territories, all the members of both Houses of Congress, all the general officers of the army, the commissioners of the navy, all Presidents and Professors of colleges and theological seminaries, all the clergy of the United States, the Presidents and Secretaries of all associations having relation to Indians, all commanding officers within or near Indian territories, all Indian superintendents and agents; all these ex officio ; and as many private individuals as will pay a certain price for membership. Ob
serve, too, that the clergy will constitute* nineteen twentieths of this association, and, by the law of the majority, may command the twentieth part, which, composed of all the high authorities of the United States, civil and military, may be outvoted and wielded by the nineteen parts with uncontrollable power, both as to purpose and process. Can this formidable array be reviewed without dismay? It will be said, that in this association will be all the confidential officers of the government; the choice of the people themselves. No man on earth has more implicit confidence than myself in the integrity and discretion of this chosen band of servants. But is confidence or discretion, or is strict limit, the principle of our constitution ? It will comprehend, indeed, all the functionaries of the government; but seceded from their constitutional stations as guardians of the nation, and acting not by the laws of their station, but by those of a voluntary society, having no limit to their purposes but the same will which constitutes their existence. It will be the authorities of the people and all influential characters from among them, arrayed on one side, and on the other, the people themselves deserted by their leaders. It is a fearful array. It will be said that these are imaginary fears. I know they are so at present. I know it is as impossible for these agents of our choice and unbounded confidence, to harbor machinations against the adored principles of our constitution, as for gravity to change its direction, and gravid bodies to mount upwards. The fears are indeed imaginary, but the example is real. Under its authority, as a precedent, future associations will arise with objects at which we should shudder at this time. The society of Jacobins, in another country, was instituted on principles and views as virtuous as ever kindled the hearts of patriots. It was the pure patriotism of their purposes which extended their association to the limits of the nation, and rendered their power within it boundless; and it was this power which degenerated their principles and practices to such enor
* The clergy of the United States may probably be estimated at eight thousand. The residue of this society at four hundred; but if the former number be halved, the reasoning will be the same.