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tach themselves to the supporters To propose for their adoption any of the present corrupt system, must specific measures of reform, would consent to relinquish somewhat of only be a call upon them to produce that importance and respectability, their own more favourite system. which all parties have hitherio Even if their opponents conceded to them. Hence this not to interpose, the contest among class of individuals, the friends, as theniselves would be interminable, they call themselves, of modernte One man has as good a right to reform, wbo

his own opinion as another, and rous, are gradually diminishing, and there is no subject more fertile in must, ere long, either take a de- dissension than that which relates cided part, or be content to bear to the best mode of remedying the the inptation of a criminal indif- disorders of the state. ference to

the interests of their The open and caudid manner in Conntry. He who is not with us, which you have asked my opinion is against us, appears to be a on this subject, calls upon me for vere and intolerant maxim; but it a sincere and unequivocal answer; is a law of the intellectual, no and I cannot, therefore, refrain from less thau of the natural world, that assuring you, that although I knowgreat masses attract the smaller;

you possess, in an eminent degree, and when the clouds of heaven talents to arrange, and eloquence are congregating in different di- to enforce your plans, I cannot rections, the scattered fragments are flatter myself with any great exsoon compelled to unite with those, pectations of their success. Those within whose more immediate sphere who are in place will be violent of attraction they may happen and tenacious; those who desire a to be.

thorough reform in the represen. Again, this body of more mode. tation of the people, will be cold rate reformers, although not nume- and suspicious to ans Tous, are not united even among

which fall short of their views; themselves. They are, in general, and the few thinking and acting men of a speculating and refining men who are to be arranged with character, whose ideas have a ten- neither of these parties, would not, dency to ramify and diverge, rather even if they were to agree among than to condense and unite. They themselves, have members, decision would trim and prune the branches or courage, to render you any subof the tree, instead of invigorating stantial service. the root, and protecting the trunk. I am sufficiently aware of the Each of them bas some peculiar promptitude with which the patrons and favourite system, which he and advocates of existing abuses would enforce, and to which he accuse those who aim at the correquires the assent and support of rection of them, of promoting vioall other moderate men. But these lent and dangerous measures; and have each of them also a system

if the sentiments contained in this of his own, which is preferable to letter were made public, it might those of his friends, and which, appear to some persons, that by without shocking the constitution, claiming a right of voting for every or occasioning a nausea, would house-holder, of a certain descripheal all the disorders of the state. tion, in the nation, I bad proFor either party to rely upon the aid posed some new project; from of such men, at a time like the present, which it might, by the same chariwould only be to deceive themselves. table construction," be inferred, that

measures

the friends of reform were always in the public mind, of the necesextending their ideas, as the pro- sity of an uncorrupt and indepen. bability of such a reform increas- dent House of Commons, that the ed; and that there was, in fact, friends of reform must eventually no given point at which they would hope for success. This conviction remain satisfied. Were it" incum- the people are rapidly obtaining, bent on me to reply to such an in a manner which they cannot accusation, I should find no difli- but feel and acknowledge. The culty in demonstrating its futility. friends of reform, may, perhaps by From the commencement of the calm and temperale discussion, conpresent discussions, the claims and tribute in some degree to promote pretensions of the friends of re- it; but the most powerful advocates form, who have publicly undertaken of reform are the adherents of the to advocate its cause, have almost present corrupt system, and the uniformly gone to the same ob- most unanswerable arguments, are jectthat of extending the electire the present state of the country, sufruge to the people at large; al- the increasing weight of taxation, though under different modifications the profuse waste of the blood and and restrictions, many of which treasure of the nation, the enormoos would be found not only judicious, sinecuies enjoyed by ministerial but indispensible. It cannot, surt- dependents, and the appointment ly, then, be thought extraordinary, of ineflicient and inexperienced if the people should not be satisfied ministers to offices of the highest wiih any measures which fall great- trust. It is to such arguments, and ly short of those, which have al- to the prevailing opinion that such ready been so frequently proposed; transactions have not

met with much less can any one who pro- due animadversion and restraint from fesses his adherence to them, be the commons House of Parliament, justly charged with having extend that we to attribute the deep ed his views beyond those who impression which has been made on have preceded him, or with having the public mind. As long as such desired that, which is either une practices continue, the public disreasonable in itself, or likely to be satisfaction must increase; and the impracticable or dangerous in its time either now is, or will soon execution.*

arrive, when every person

mus To you, my dear sir, tlie result ask himself the important question, of these observations will not be what opinions he means decisively dificult to collect. Were it neces- to adopt, and what course of cossary for me to explain them further, duct to pursue. If he can honestly I should say, ihat it is not by and conscientiously satisfy himself agitating any partial reforms, but that it is fit, and proper, that a by producing a serious conviction majority of the house of commolis

should, in fact, be chosen in the * It appears to me, that the most ex

manner they now are; if he can plicit and unexceptionable statement of reconcile it to his ideas of te such a reform, is that which was laid Constitution, that the minister should, before the House of Commons by Sir by the means of placemen and penFrancis Burdett, on the 15th June, 1809. A plan which he has himself most justly cayed English boroughs, and Scotch

sioners, of representatives of decharacterized as ticable, and safe ; calculated to give satisfaction county members, maintain a mato the people, to preserve the rights of the crown,

jority in the House of commons, and to restore the balance of the constitution. and find a justification of all his

are

66

measures; or if he can even satisfy which have hitherto been the chief his mind that, notwithstanding these impediments to their success; and agross and acknowledged abuses, it bove all things, should be cautious is more advisable to

submit to how they prevent its being carried them, than 10 incur the dangers into effect, either by giving rise to a that 'may arise from any atiempt diversity of opinions, on a subject in to remove them, let him avow his which there is only ONE OPINION that opinions, and profess his adherence can meet with universal assent;'or, to the present state of things, and by attempting only purtial and imhis determination to support them. perfect amendients; which, if not But if, on the contrary, he should adopted, will injure the cause they be impresssed with a conviction of intended to promote; and if effected, the injustice, inefficacy, and absur- can only be considered as having been dity of the present modes of elec- purchased by a voluntary resignation, and of the abuses to which tion, on the part of the people, of they are inevitabiy liable, and should those malievable privileges, which trace up to the corruption of the they received from their ancestors, representative body, as to a pollu- and ought to transmit to their deted source, all the calamities which scendants. have already befallen, and which Such, my dear sir, are the reflecstill threaten this country; if he tions which have occurred to me on should perceive that the connection the perusal of your letter, and which between a corrupt parliament and I have not hesitated to lay before

youl bad measures, is as certain as cause with the utmost confidence; well and effect in any other instance; and knowing, that where there is no diflasıly, if he should feel the truth of ference in ultimate views, the best that unalterable maxim, that an evil mode to be adopted for their attree cannot produce good fruit, let hiin tainment may always be discussed not deteat or endanger the cause of with the most perfect freedom, and reform by the adoption of any partial that I should have made a very imexpedients, or inefficient measures. proper return for the honour you A full, effectual, and constitutional re- have done me in communicating to presentation of the people in parlia. me your sentiments, if I had concealment, is now become essential to the ed or misrepresented my own. safety and preservation of the coun- Believe me to be, with sincere attry, and the friends of reform must tachment and esteem, my dear sir, therefore concede to each other those very faithfully yours, differences of opinion, as to the mere

W.R. mode and manner of obtaining it, Allerton, 19th May, 1810.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DISTINGUISHED PERSONS.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF CHRISTO- And taught mankind where future empires PHER COLUMBUS.

lay,

In these fair confines of descending day ; “ The Mariner who first un- Who sway'd a moment, with vicarious furled

power, An Eastern banner o'er the Western world, Iberia's sceptre on the new found shore,

Then saw the paths his virtuous steps had

and in common use for more than a trod,

century ; yet, even with the help of Pursued by avarice, and defiled by blood;

this sure guide, the mariners of those The tribes he fostered with paternal toil Snatch'd from his hand, and slaughter'd days rarely ventured from the sight of for their spoil.

land. Slaves, kings, adventurers, envious of his They acquired wonderful applause name,

by sailing along the coast of Africa, Enjoy'd his labours, and purloin'd his and discovering some of the neighbour. fame;

ing islands; and after pushing their And gave the Viceroy, from his high seat hur!’d,

researches with great industry for Chains for a crown, a prison for a world! half a century, the Portuguese, who Long overwhelm'd in woes, and sickening were the most fortunate and enter. there,

prising, extended their voyages southHe met the slow still march of black des

ward no farther than the equator. pair,

The rich commodities of the East Sought the last refuge from his hopeless doom,

had, for several ages, been brought And wish'd from thankless men, a peaceful into Europe by the Red Sea and the tomb !"

Mediterranean; and it had become BARLOW's COLUMBIAD.

the object of the Portuguese, to find EVERY circumstance relating to a passage to India, by sailing round

the discovery and settlement of the Southern extremity of Africa, America, is an interesting object of and then taking an Eastern course. inquiry ; yet it is presumed that ma. Although every year added to their ny are but slightly acquainted with experience in navigation, and seemed the life and character of the hero, to promise some, distant reward to whose extraordinary genius led him to

their industry, the prospect of arriving discover the continent of America,

at India by that route was still by no and whose singular sufferings, arising means encouraging. Fifty years from that service, ought to excite the perseverance in the same track baving indignation of the world. We shall, brought them only to the equator, it therefore, make some extracts from was probable that as many more would the Introduction to Joel Barlow's pa. elapse before they could accomplish triotic

their
the “ Columbiad.”—In
poein,

But Columbus, by purpose.

exertion of genius, this poem the author wishes to en courage and strengthen in the rising formed a design no less astonishing to generation, a

of

the
the im. age

in which he lived, than bene. portance of republican institutions ; ficial to posterity. This design was a3 being the great foundation of pub. to sail to India by taking a Western lic and private happiness, the neces

direction. By the accounts of tra. sary aliment of future and

vellers who had visited that part of

permanent amelioration in the condition of Asia, it seemed almost without limits human nature.

on the East; and by attending to Christopher Columbus was born in

the spherical figure of the earth, CoGenoa, about the year 1417, when that the Atlantic Ocean must be

lumbus drew the natural conclusion, the navigation of Europe was scarcely

bounded on the West either by India extended beyond the limits of the Mediterranean, and the other narrow

itself, or by some other continent not

far distant from it. This illustrious seas that border the great ocean. The

navigator, who was then about twen: mariner's-compass had been invented,

ty-seven years of age, appears to have

an

uncoinmon

sense

possessed every talent requisite to form to bring his theory to the test of exand execute the greatest enterprises. periment. But an object of that magHe was early educated in such of the nitude required the patronage of a useful sciences as were taught in Prince; and a design so extraordinary, that day. He had made great pro.

met with all the obstructions that an ficiency in geography, astronomy, age of superstition could invent, and drawing, as they were necessary and personal jealousy enhance. to his favourite pursuit of navigation, It is happy for mankind that, in He had been a number of years in the this instance, a genius capable of deservice of the Portuguese, and had vising the greatest undertakings, assoacquired all the experience that their ciated in itself a degree of patience voyages and discoveries could afford. and enterprise, modesty and confi. His courage had been put to the dence, which rendered him superior severest test; and the exercise of to these misfortunes, and enabled him every amiable as well as heroic virtue, to meet with fortitude all the future the kindred qualities of great mind, calamities of his life.

Excited by an had secured him an extensive reputa- ardent enthusiasm to become a disco. tion.

verer of new countries, and fully sen. Such was the situation of Colum. sible of the advantages that would rebus, when he formed and digested sult to mankind from such discoveries, a plan, which, in its operation and he had the mortification to wear away consequences, has unfolded to the 18 years of his life, after his system view of mankind one half of the globe; was well established in his own mind, diffused wealth and industry over the before he could obtain the means of other, and is extending commerce and executing his projected voyage. civilization through the whole. To As a duty to his native country, corroborate the theory he had formed he made his first proposal to the senate of the existence of a Western contie of Genoa, where it was soon rejected. nent, his discerning mind, which Conscious of the truth of his theory, knew the application of every circum- and of his own abilities to execute stance which fell in his way, had ob. his plan, he retired, without dejec. served several facts, which by others tion, from a body of men who were would have passed unnoticed. In his incapable of forming any just ideas voyages to the African islands, he upon the subject, and applied with

had found, floating ashore after a fresh confidence to John 23, king of | long Western storm, pieces of wood Portugal; who had distinguished

carved in a curious manner, canes of himself as the great patron of navia size unknown in that quarter of the gation, and in whose service Columworld, and human bodies with very bus had acquired a reputation, which singular features.

entitled him and his project to gene. The opinion being well established ral confidence. But here he expe. { in his mind, that a considerable por- rienced a treatment much more intion of the earth still remained to be sulting than a direct refusal. After discovered, his temper was too vigor. referring the examination of his ous and persevering to suffer an idea scheme to the council who had the of this importance to rest merely in direction of paval affairs, and draw. speculation, as ic had done with Pla. ing from him his general ideas of the to and Seneca, who seem to have length of the voyage, and the course entertained conjectures of a similar he meant to take, that splendid-morature. He determined, therefore, narch had the meanness to conspire

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