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portal and avenue of the heart is thrown open, and all who choose it enter. Such was the state of Eden, when the serpent entered its bowers !
The prisoner, in a more engaging form, winding himself into the open and unpractised heart of the unfortunate Blennerhassett, found but little difficulty in changing the native character of that heart, and the object of its affection. By degrees, he infuses into it the poison of his own ambition. He breathes into it the fire of his own courage; a daring, desperate thirst for glory; an ardor, panting for all the storm, and bustle, and hurricane of life. In a short time, the whole man is changed, and every object of his former delight relinquished. No more he enjoys the tranquil scene; it has become flat and insipid to his taste. His books are abandoned. His retort and crucible are thrown aside. His shrubbery blooms and breathes its fragrance upon the air in vain
- he likes it not. His ear no longer drinks the rich melody of music; it longs for the trumpet's clangor, and the cannon's roar. Even the prattle of his babes, once so sweet, no longer affects him ; and the angel smile of his wife, which hitherto touched his bosom with ecstasy so unspeakable, is now unfelt and unseen. Greater objects have taken possession of his soul. His imagination has been dazzled by visions of diadems, and stars, and garters, and titles of nobility. He has been taught to burn with restless emulation at the names of great heroes and conquerors, of Cromwell, and Cæsar, and Bonaparte. His enchanted island is destined soon to relapse into a wilderness; and, in a few months, we find the tender and beautiful partner of his bosom, whom he lately “permitted not the winds ” of summer “to visit too roughly," we find her shivering, at midnight, on the wintry banks of the Ohio, and mingling her tears with the torrents that froze as they fell.
Yet this unfortunate man, thus deluded from his interest and his happiness, thus seduced from the paths of innocence and peace, thus confounded in the toils which were deliberately spread for him, and overwhelmed by the mastering spirit and genius of another, — this man, thus ruined and undone, and made to play a subordinate part in this grand drama of guilt and treason, this man is to be called the principal offender; while he, by whom he was thus plunged in misery, is compara
tively innocent, a mere accessory! Is this reason? Is it law? Is it humanity ? Sir, neither the human heart nor the human understanding will bear a perversion so monstrous and absurd ; so shocking to the soul ; so revolting to reason ! Wm. Wirt
CAUSE FOR INDIAN RESENTMENT.
You say you have bought the country. Bought it? Yes ;
of whom? Of the poor, trembling natives, who knew that refusal would be vain ; and who strove to make a merit of necessity, by seeming to yield with a grace what they knew they had not the power to retain.
Alas, the poor Indians ! No wonder that they continue so implacably vindictive against the white people. No wonder that the rage of resentment is handed down from generation to generation. No wonder that they refuse to associate and mix permanently with their unjust and cruel invaders and extermina
No wonder that, in the unabating spite and frenzy of conscious impotence, they wage an eternal war, as well as they are able ; that they triumph in the rare opportunity of revenge ; that they dance, sing, and rejoice, as the victim shrinks and faints amid the flames, when they imagine all the crimes of their oppressors collected on his head, and fancy the spirits of their injured forefathers hovering over the scene, smiling with ferocious delight at the grateful spectacle, and feasting on the precious odor as it arises from the burning blood of the white
Yet the people here affect to wonder that the Indians are so very unsusceptible of civilization ; or, in other words, that they so obstinately retise to adopt the manners of the white
Go, Virginians, erase from the Indian nation the traditior of their wronge. Make them forget, if you can, that once this charming country was theirs ; that over these fields and through these forests their beloved forefathers once, in careless gayety, pursued their sports and hunted their game; that every returning day found them the sole, the peaceful, and bappy proprietors of this extensive and beautiful domain. Go, administer the
cup of oblivion to recollections like these, and then you will cease to complain that the Indian refuses to be civilized.
But, until then, surely it is nothing wonderful that a nation, even yet bleeding afresh from the memory of ancient wrongs, perpetually agonized by new outrages, and goaded into desperation and madness at the prospect of the certain nin which awaits their descendants, should hate the authors of their miseries, of their desolation, their destruction ; should hate their manners, hate their color, hate their language, hate their name, hate everything that belongs to them. No, never, until time shall wear out the history of their sorrows and their sufferings, will the Indian be brought to love the white man, and to imitate his manners.
SPEECH ON THE BRITISH TREATY.
is a measure too decisive in its nature to be neutral in its consequences. If any should still maintain, that the peace
with the Indians will be stable without the posts, to them I will urge another reply. I will appeal directly to the hearts of those who hear me, and ask whether conviction is not already planted there. I resort especially to the convictions of the Western gentlemen, whether, supposing no posts and no treaty, the settlers will remain in security ? Can they take it upon them to say, that an Indian peace, under these circumstances, will prove firm ? No, sir, it will not be peace, but a sword; it will be no better than a lure to draw victims within reach of the tomahawk.
On this theme my emotions are unutterable. If I could find words for them, if my powers bore any proportion to my zeal, I would swell my voice to such a note of remonstrance, it should reach every log house beyond the mountains. I would say to the inhabitants, Wake from your false security! Your cruel dangers, your more cruel apprehensions, are soon to be renewed. The wounds yet unhealed are to be torn open again. In the daytime, your path through the woods will be ambushed. The darkness of midnight will glitter with the blaze of your
dwellings. You are a father the blood of your sons shall fatten your corn-field. You are a mother, the war-whoop shall wake the sleep of the cradle.
On this subject you need not suspect any deception on your feelings. It is a spectacle of horror which cannot be overdrawn. If you have nature in your hearts, they will speak a language compared with which all I have said or can say will be poor and frigid.
Who will accuse me of wandering out of the subject ? Who will say that I exaggerate the tendencies of our measures ? Will any one answer by a sneer, that all this is idle preaching ? Would any one deny that we are bound, and I would hope to good purpose, by the most solemn sanctions of duty for the vote we give ? Are despots alone to be reproached for unfeeling indifference to the tears and blood of their subjects ? Are republicans irresponsible ? Have the principles on which you ground the reproach upon cabinets and kings no practical influence, no binding force ? Are they merely themes of idle declamation, introduced to decorate the morality of a newspaper essay, or to furnish pretty topics of harangue from the windows of that State House? I trust it is neither too presumptuous nor too late to ask, Can you put the dearest interest of society at risk, without guilt and without remorse ?
It is in vain to offer as an excuse, that public men are not to be reproached for the evils that may happen to ensue from their measures. This is very true where they are unforeseen or inevitable. Those I have depicted are not unforeseen. They are so far from inevitable, we are going to bring them into being by ou vote ; we choose the consequences, and become as justly answerable for them, as for the measure that we know will produce them.
By rejecting the posts, we light the savage fires, we bind the victims. This day we undertake to render account to the widows and orphans whom our decision will make, — to the wretches that will be roasted at the stake, to our country,
and I do not deem it too serious to say, to conscience and to God. We are answerable ; and if duty be anything more than a word of imposture, if conscience be not a bugbear, we are preparing to make ourselves as wretched as our country.
There is no mistake in this case; there can be none. Experience has already been the prophet of events, and the cries of our future victims has already reached us. The Western inhab itants are not a silent and uncomplaining sacrifice. The voice of humanity issues from the shade of the wilderness. claims, that, while one hand is held up to reject this treaty, the other
grasps the tomahawk. It summons our imagination to the scenes that will open. It is no great effort of the imagination to conceive that events so near are already begun. I can fancy that I listen to the yells of sarage vengeance and the shrieks of torture! Already they seem to sigh in the western wind ! Already they mingle with every echo from the mountains !
SPEECH AGAINST A LIBELLER. I
AM one of those who believe that the heart of the wilful
and deliberate libeller is blacker than that of the highway robber, or of one who commits the crime of midnight arson. The man who plunders on the highway may have the semblance of an apology for what he does. An affectionate wife may demand subsistence ; a circle of helpless children raise to him the supplicating hand for food. He may be driven to the desperate act by the high mandate of imperative necessity. The mild features of the husband and father may intermingle with those of the robber and soften the roughness of the shade. But the robber of character plunders that which “not enricheth him," though it makes his neighbor “poor indeed.” The man who at the midnight hour consumes his neighbor's dwelling, does him an injury which perhaps is not irreparable. Industry may rear another habitation. The storm may indeed descend upon him until charity opens a neighboring door ; the rude winds of heaven may whistle around his uncovered family. But he looks forward to better days; he has yet a hook left to hang a hope on. No such consolation cheers the heart of him whose character has been torn from him. If innocent he may look, like Anaxagoras, to the heavens ; but he must be constrained to feel this world is to him a wilderness. For whither shall be
Shall he dedicate himself to the service of his country i