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ear and the seeing of the eye; to compare the ancient East with the youthful West; to gather hints and ideas for the ben. efit of his own country.
But let me not be thought, sir, by any means to insinuate, that the extension of our intercourse with Turkey would be a one-sided benefit; good for them, but of no consequence to us. There are few relations of this kind in the world either between individuals or States. I increase my own happiness when I do good to my neighbor; and friendly relations between two countries are beneficial to both. The quality of commerce is as little strained as that of mercy :
" It blesseth him that gives and him that takes." The sun in his circuit through the heavens does not look down upon a region more favored by nature than the country of our honored guest. Without taking into the account the European dominions of the Sultan, one of the finest countries in Europe; without mentioning the islands of the Ægean and the Levant, - Scio, Crete, Rhodes, Cyprus, – names which it makes the ears tingle to repeat; I think it will not be easy to point out upon the map of the world a country that equals the Asiatic domain of the Sultan for temperate range of climate, variety of productions, beauty of position, and facility of access. How it connects with the north by the Black Sea with its all-glorious outlet through the Hellespont, and by the great Russian rivers, which come down from the polar circle; with the west, by the entire eastern shores of the Mediterranean; with the south, by the Nile, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf, and the more than famous rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, that flow into it; while on the eastern boundary it controls the passes of the entire overland trade with India, China, and the Oriental Archipelago; a trade which yielded almost all the commercial wealth of the ancient world! And what is to hinder this region so favored in its natural position; the cradle, the garden, the metropolis of the primitive world; from recovering no small share of its ancient prosperity, if a policy so liberal as that which has been pursued by his sublime Highness Abdul Medjid, and by his
father before him, shall be steadily followed out? Who can tell what beneficial results may flow from the visit now made by our honored guest ? And if, to all the materials for a mutually beneficial intercourse now existing in Turkey, there shall be added, perhaps in consequence of his reports, all those improvements of which he has seen no inconsiderable specimens here; when his territories like ours shall be covered with an iron network of railroads; when the great rivers like ours shall be rendered navigable up stream as well as down, by the mighty force of steam; when the electric telegraph shall speak from the Sultan's own imperial Stamboul to the upper cataracts of the Nile, and from Beyroot to Bassora, who does not see that an impetus will be given to the commerce of the world, as well as to the prosperity of Turkey herself, in which we shall come in for a full share ?
I rejoice in the assurance that the active and intelligent efforts of our honored guest will not be wanting toward the promotion of these noble ends; and I scarcely need add, that the hearty coöperation of the American legation at Constantinople, will as certainly be rendered. That mission, I believe, sir, was never in a more prosperous state. The distinguished gentleman at its head, (Mr. Marsh,) is favorably known by reputation throughout the country. To great professional learning, he has added an enviable congressional reputation. He has carried to his post the eminent talent, the varied attainments, and the conciliatory disposition which will enable him to perform his duty to both governments in the most creditable and beneficial manner. In this, he will be fully seconded by his respectable associate, (Mr. J. P. Brown,) the official interpreter and secretary of the legation, with whose company we are favored at this table. If that gentleman were not present, I would say more than I think it right to inflict upon his modesty : but this I will say to his face, that he enjoys one advantage for his post, — and his country reaps the benefit of it, — seldom possessed by foreign governments in their diplomatic relations with the Porte; I mean the advantage of speaking the Turkish like his native tongue. It has ever been the scandal of European diplomacy at Constantinople, that the ambassador was obliged to communicate through the medium of dragomans of a different race and language, not subjects of the government that employs them,-generally the Greeks of the Fanal. Mr. Brown, by his long residence in Turkey and his assiduous and successful study of its difficult language, has wiped out this reproach. The United States enjoy in him an official interpreter at once a citizen of the government he represents, and able to communicate freely in its own tongue with the government to which he is accredited. I do not know how the case may be now, but thirty years ago, this was a thing quite unknown at Constantinople.*
Allow. me, in taking my seat, to propose to you the health of the Hon. Mr. Marsh, the Minister of the United States to the Sublime Porte, and of Mr. Brown, Secretary of Legation and Interpreter.
* During the administration of President John Quincy Adams, a plan was formed for supplying to the diplomatic service of the United States native citizens well qualified to interpret the Oriental languages. Our accomplished countryman, William B. Hodgson, Esq., of Savannah, with this object in view, was sent to Algiers, where he laid the foundation of his distinguished attainments in the languages of Western Asia. The negotiations at Constantinople at the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty with the Ottoman Porte in 1830, were conducted by Mr. Hodgson as dragoman of the legation.
THE BIRTHDAY OF WASHINGTON.*
MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN:
I'RISE with diffidence to address the company on this occasion, sensible as I am that there are gentlemen present more capable of doing so acceptably, than I am, and more worthy of the honor conferred on me by inviting me to respond to the toast which has been just proposed. I thank you, sir, notwithstanding, for allowing me the privilege of being present on this interesting occasion ; especially, for the honor done to me in calling on me to respond to that great and noble toast, “ The Constitution of the United States." Sir, you have done well to give an early and prominent place to a toast in honor of the constitution, on the birthday of Washington, for more than to any other influence, under Providence, the country owes the constitution to him. Did not the honorable gentleman who has instructed and interested us so much this morning, (Gen. Foote,) did he not remind us that the very first suggestion made towards the constitution, not the first official act but the first private suggestion made towards the formation of the constitution, was made at Mount Vernon, in the house of Washington, and by Washington himself? And yet, gentlemen, I know not how to speak to you on this great theme; for after the instructive, appropriate, and seasonable commentary on the character, principles, and policy of Washington that we have just heard, it seems as if every thing had been said that could be said.
* Speech at the celebration of the Birthday of Washington, in New York, on the 22d of February, 1851, in reply to the toast, “ The Constitution of the United States."
Still, I know that it is a subject of which an American audience can never tire. Washington to us in our recent his- · tory, within our own days, within the experience of our fathers, is all and more than all that history and tradition, and venerable antiquity, have accumulated on the name of Alfred, and on the two or three great names of others like him, if others such there be, worthy to be remembered in comparison with Washington.
The memory of Washington is indeed an inestimable portion of the moral treasure of the country; and I do not know but that I might almost say, but for the sacrifice of human life that would be occasioned by it, that one would rather that half the continent should sink, than that we should lose his memory and character, — a character to be held up to the imitation of our children, to be pointed out to the admiration of the stranger, to be commended to the fervent applause of all mankind, and to be handed down to the latest posterity. Washington was all this and more. It was his great mission to render the most important services to his country in his own time, and to benefit all future ages, if we are but just to his memory and true to ourselves. And this year seems to be, out of many years, a most fitting one to commemorate his life, character, and services. In that ever-memorable address, given to the people of the United States on the 17th of September, 1796, he alludes to “ forty-five years dedicated to the service of the country.” Forty-five years from 1796 carry us back to 1751, just a century from this time, as the commencement of the illustrious career of Washington, according to his own statement. General Foote has given us so full a sketch of the more recent political services of Washington, that I am induced to go back to the beginning of his career. In this year (1751) he received, young as he was, his first military appointment as adjutant-general in one of the districts into which Virginia was divided. Three years only had elapsed from the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle; but the movements which had commenced on the part of the Ohio Land Company, with a view to the settlement of the region