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ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE FULFILMENT OF THE PREDICTION OF MERLIN
OCCASIONED BY THE LATE OUTRAGEOUS ATTACK
OF THE BRITISH SHIP OF WAR THE LEOPARDON THE AMERICAN FRIGATE
CHESAPEAKEAND THE MEASURES TAKEN BY THE PRESIDENT
SUPPORTED BY THE CITIZENS THERON.
To Richard E. LeeEsq. Mayor of the borough of NorfolkVirginia
andall other the Citizens of the United States of Americawho are influenced bythe genuine principles of Anno 1775 & '76-- and more particularly thecitizens of NorfolkPortsmouth
and its vicinitywho assembledin June1807in order to take efficient measures of defence at this allimportant crisis.Respected Friends & Fellow Citizens
A superficial geniusit appears to me must readily allowthat it is so orderedin Providencethat we live in a daypregnant with the most interesting events;and that it will finally terminate in favour of the great family of makindthere has not been a shadow of a doubt in my mind for many years past. It is awell known maxim with the great bulk of the enlightened--remove the causeandthe effect of course ceases.
The late outrageous attack of the British ship of warthe Leopardon theUnited States ship of warthe Chesapeakein which the dignity and sovereigntyof the United States received for the moment a wound--in my humble apprehensioncompleatly fulfills the prediction of MERLIN
a celebrated ancient Britonwho lived in the fifth century. After being in the full belief that everysentiment would in due time be fulfilledin order to get the opinions of mythen fellow-citizensI got it inserted in the Oracle of the Dayedited by MrCharles PeirceAnno 1796--Mr. Peirceat the momentseems to have beeninfluenced by the purest of motivesin order to diffuse light; and of coursethe types then under his immediate directionanswered the purposes ofOmnipotence in permitting their invention;--I heard of its being copied intosome of the Southern papersbut no notice taken thereof that ever came to myknowledge. Soon after the elevation of our present illustrious Chief to thePresidential ChairI had them inserted in the Newhampshire Gazette; at presentunder the direction of distinguished citizens in their line--but still hadno notice
. Far advanced in life as I amI look back with a sensiblepleasurethat the prime of life was in some degree devotedto help to rear theindependent flag of United America. Language fails me to depict to you how verysensibly it wounded my feelingswhen I first heard of the recent indignityoffered it--and you may be assuredI shall be one of the last to desert--ifneed be. Having for my own amusementmade my remarks on the different periodswherein it struck my mind in the most forcible manner that this remarkableprediction was fulfilledI shew it to some of my confidential friendsfortheir candid sentimentsand by whole advice it is now laid before the publictribunalwith this requestnot to be over hasty to receive or condemnuntilit is thoroughly investigatedeach one for himself; and in order that you mightform clear and just conceptions for my coming forward at the present moment--Youwill permit me to noticethat I am by birth an Englishmanuninfluenced
;--a native of Dunsterin the country of Somersett; as myparents werein the strictness of speech nonconformiststhere was earlyimplanted in the mindwhen tenderthe most elevated ideas respecting religiousand civil libertyand of course a rooted emnity against all usurped powereither in church or state. When young I was sent over to Neath in Glamorganshirein south Walesfor the purpose of an educationand put under the tuition of aMr. Llewelen
a noted schoolmastera gentlemen well versed in thelanguagesand was in union with my parentsrespecting the right of conscienceand citizenship; where I became acquainted with the works of MERLINand canwell remember of the honorable mention made of him by Mr. Llewelen
andothers. Early in life I was sent over by my parents to this countryto a notedmerchant of this towna school-fellow and an intimate friend of my father's--hewas a warm zealous friend to the liberties of mankind; so thatwhen the fatalmoment for my native country took placein the commencement of hostilitiesAnno 1775--I was not at a loss to determine how to conduct at that eventfulperiod. During the revolutionary warI rendered this country all the serviceswithin the compass of my enfeebled abilities; at the final issuethe thensupreme executive did me that justiceas to cause the public seal of this Stateto be put on my public character.
At the present order of things taking placeI thought my services in the prime
entitled me to be noticed in the decline
of life; I therefore madeapplication to some influential characters in this townto no effect
--owingI presumeto make provision for their favorite dependants
. But I am sofar happy to be possessed of a mind superior to pelf
for I do not envy them
their princely fortunesor their favorite dependants
competency. I am well aware that this my present developement of this enigma of Merlin's
may stagger for a moment the minds of somein consequence of a confined ideathat the spirit of prophecy has long since ceased with the Apostles; butprobably not being acquainted with that science of sciencesthe science ofCorrespondancemight still avail--yet admitting I am singularI hold that theone and indivisible great Supremefor reasons unfathomable to our finiteunderstandingshasin all ages of the worldselected instruments and endowedthem with the spirit of prophecyin order to be communicated for the benefit ofmankind--as well likewise do I make an essential difference between the spiritof prophecyand miracles--the latter I readily allowhave ceased. It is asfirmly fixt in my mind as the Apalacian mountains are to the centrethat in allagesinstruments have been selected at the hands of Omnipotenceto bring abouthis purposes in this sublunary world. It is in this point of light that Iconsider the assembling of that illustrious band of patriotswho assembled at Norfolk
respecting the late transactionsbetween the Leopard and the Chesapeakeandthe spirited letter of the Mayor of the borough of Norfolk to the Britishcommodore;--which is the sole motive that induces and emboldens me to prefix hisname to this my present publicationwithout previously obtaining his consent;and I indulge a hope it will be considered by him a sufficient apology therefor.Devoutly hoping that the rulers of my native country for oncewill be disposedto take measures to prevent an open rupture between the two countriesand fixmatters in future on a durable basis;--undoubtedly you will join in sentimentswith me; and after committing each one to the all protecting arm of that BEINGthat is able to protectwith permission I beg leave to subscribe myself
Your open and Inflexible friendJOSEPH LEIGH.PortsmouthAugust 131807.PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS ON MERLIN'S PREDICTION.
is an emblem of GREAT BRITAIN; and it is well known how muchshe values herself on the prowess of the master beast of the forest.--The COCK
is an emblem of FRANCE; we frequently read of the Gallic Cock.--The DOVE
is an emblem of AMERICAas is well known amongst the learnedfor these cogentreasons; Christopher Columbus was the first discoverer of this vast WesternContinentand Colombia is significant of the DOVEand the Dove is well knownto be an emblem of innocence.1st.
"When the Savage is meek and mild
"The frantic mother shall stab her child."
Well might the royal Psalmist with an uplifted mind exclaimLord what is manthat thou art mindful of him. And in other of his productionswhen under theinfluence of the spirit of truthhe very readily and justly acknowledges thatthe ways of the Almighty are past finding outor in other wordsunfathomableto us the muck-worms of the earthwhen compared to the Deity.--I thus introducethe subject with these observations to notice that soon after the christian erathat truly interesting epoch--that the superior lightwith which it was usheredinsoon began to dwindleand alas! manfallible and pliant mansoon felt thefatal effects thereof:--It is a very interesting adage to go to the fountainhead for the pure water;--And as long as the priests of the altar acted up totheir original institutions in the promulgation of the Gospel of Peaceandprinces did not forget they were menresponsible for their actions to theauthor of all good--every thing went well. But when the infernal marriagebetween Church and State took place under Constantine the great--mark theconsequence--the summoning the counsel of NICEwherein the one and indivisiblegreat Supreme was split in pieces.--As it is foreign to my intention to give toolengthy a detailsuffice when I saythat it was so permitted that the union ofChurch and Statesunk manthe nobler part of the creationinto the mostabject state of slaveryas the history of Europe will clearly evince:--But inthe fulness of time it was so orderedthat the invention of types took placeand it was worthy of noticeabout the time the reformation under Luther
and the spirit of discovery by the Portuguise round the Cape of Good Hopeandthe unexplored regions of the West under Christopher Columbus.
The Englishever activein the reign of Queen Elizabethfirst established acolony in that favored spot of heaven VIRGINIA;--which name it retains inconsequence of her virgin state. Her successor James the first of Englandandsixth of Scotlanda haughtyimperious and weak princein whose reign theunfounded doctrine of non-resistance and passive obedience against the Lord'sanointedwas carried to a high pitch by the then haughty and imperious prelatesof the established churchand the inferior order of the clergy under theircontroul;--howevera chosen few bore an honorable testimonyand by way ofderisionwas first honored with the dignified name of Puritans. His successorCharles the firstwith a laud in the church to co-operateso far from relaxingcarried the nefarious doctrine to the highest pitch;--so that the stigmatizedPuritans were under the necessity to emigrate to this then howling wildernessand first settled at Plymouth
; which by the way of eminenceI considerto be the mother of New-England;--and I would wish to indulge a hope at thiseventful momentthat the sons of the first founders of Plymouth would walksteadily in the path set before them by their worthy predecessors.--It is worthyof noticethatwith the exception of Pennsylvaniawhose proprietorthe greatWm. Pennthe first foundernot considering the right of discovery on the partof the Europeans to be a sufficient ground for him to settle the lands of theAborigines without their leave first obtainedtook the honest and peaceablemode of making purchases of them as the colony extended; by which judiciousprocedure the colony of Pennsylvania enjoyed the greatest of all blessingsPeace
;--whileher sister colonies were (with some exceptions) generally engaged in wars--Inmany of whichthe greatest of barbarities were exercised on the unhappy victimswho were so unfortunate as to be takentoo shocking to relate! and for moreparticulars must refer the reader to the history of the times.--As the coloniesincreasedit had a tendency to raise the mother countryEngland
intoimportance in the eyes of Europe. It is a well known factthat the French hadhere to the northward extensive coloniesand it is well knownthe French andEnglish have for centuries pastbeen rival nations.--The incroachment of theFrench on the coloniesafter the peace of Aix Lachaple in 1748laid thefoundation of the war of 1756--The unparralled success of the Englishin everyquarter of the worldand more particularly in Americawhere the lives andfortunes of the then colonists were devoted to their then mother countrywhosecouncils were under the direction of spirited and upright statesmenwhichterminated in the peace of 1762in which the British became sole mistress ofthis vast Northern Continent;--By that means an universal peace with the Indians
(so called) took placeand which in my opinion fullycompleats the enigmacontained in the first line of MERLIN'S prediction.--Andnow with painful sensations I proceed in order to develope the second. Thepresent ill-fated Monarch of Britainwhen he mounted the throne of hisgrandfatherwas dreaded abroad and beloved at home; and in his first speech tohis parliamentboasted of his being born a Brittonand gloried in the name;--howlong he kept his wordlet the impartial world judge. Having for his preceptor ahaughty imperious Jacobitewho was soon noticed with an important birth in theadministration. The nation soon felt the fatal effects thereof in theresignation of that great and upright statesmanthe Hon. William Pittandothers in whose administration the arms of the British nation were carried tothe highest pitch of human glory. Soon after the peace of 1762fatal for mynative countrytheir councils were then in the hands of men inimical to theliberties of their fellow subjects. The consequence was the adoption of measuresthat infringed on the liberties of Englishmen; which threw the British nationinto disorder--and with the assistance of a venal parliamentenacted laws for apermanent revenueto be disposed of at the pleasure of the crownindependentof the colonial legislatures; and as was natural to expectran like wild firefrom one end to the other of this vast Northern Continentand roused thepeaceableloyalbut spirited Americanswho as one man
felt indignanton this open violation of their liberties. If my memory does not fail metheomnipotence of the British parliament was first called in question in the houseof Burgeses in that highly favored spot of heavenVirginia
--But as Iwould not wish to descend too far into particularson a presumption that thehistory of the times are in the hands of most of the citizens; let it sufficewhen I say that previous to the repeal of that detestable Stamp Actthat infull parliament they had declared that they hadand ever had a right to tax theunrepresented colonies of Americain all cases whatever.--I appeal to yourcandor and good judgment to determine whether it was not in the supreme sense ofthe worda fatal stab into the very vitals of our then liberties; as for my ownindividual partI construe this memorable epoch to be a fulfillment of thesecond line in the first section.2d.
"When the Cock shall woo the Dove
"The Mother the Child shall cease to love."
After passing of the declaratory actin consequence of the universal abhorrencewith which the stampt Act was held at the hands of the then colonists--and atthe hands of the majesty of the peoplethe stampt agents were not permitted toact. It was vainly imagined by somethe British administration would have letthe matter have rested thereas the injuries and grievances of the colonistswere warmly espoused by the genuine friends of colonial and English Libertieswith a Pitt and Burke at their head in Europe; whilst the then American patriotsexhausted language to substantiate the justness and reasonableness of theirclaims:--but alasto none effect; intoxicated with their self omnipotence underthe idea of the regulation of commercean indirect tax was laid on theAmericans for the purposes of a permanent revenueat the disposal of the crownwho in order to strengthen the arm of governmentmade the high offices ofgovernment independent of the grants heretofore made them by the colonial housesof Assembly--which had a tendency to expand the sacred flame of libertythrough this vast northern continent. In this very interesting period the Frenchhad their emissaries incog
in order to sound the disposition of theAmericans; viewing I concludethat the British colonies were to Britain as the hair
was to Sampson of old.--I am thus induced to conclude this was the caseas Iwell remember the then Continental Congress in some of their addressesheld outthis general ideathat foreign aid was not unattainableif imperious necessityshould eventually drive them to armsto defend their liberties and every thingdear unto them. Hence in my opinion this section alludes to that interestingperiod.3d.
"When men like moles work under ground
"The Lion a Virgin true shall wound."
I presume it is a well known factthat the British secret service money grantedby parliamentis the privy purse of the premier; through which means I humblyconceive on the great scale to be the corrupt fountain from whence proceed agreat part of the human miserieswith which the great family of mankind has formany years past been afflicted. It was an observation of that arch traitor toEnglish libertiesSir Robert Walpolethat every man had his price; it wasverified at this time when the disputes were warpt up to an alarming pitchbetween the then mother country and their then colonies; one asserted the rightof taxationthe other denied itin consequence of their being unrepresented;and that representation and taxation went hand in hand together. It is wellknown that the administration of Britain frequently carry their infernalpurposes into effect by bribery and corruption; and at that eventful moment theyselected as instruments in Massachusettsa Hutchinson and an Oliverofinfamous memory;--These inbredhypocritical ingrateskept up a secretcorrespondence with their friends in Englandwho were hostile to British aswell as American liberties. These infuriated sons of an evil geniiadhering totheir advicestrengthened the arm of violence by sending mercenary troops inorder to enforce their unjust and imperious edicts. But mark with attentionwith grateful acknowledgments the kind interposition of the Deity in favor of aninjured innocencein the selection of a Hancockan Adamsand a Warrenwith agoodly number of distinguished patriots at Boston(which at the moment wasconsidered by the then venal British ministry and their satellites this side ofthe Atlanticto be the hot bed of sedition) through whose instrumentality wereobtained the letters above alluded towhich were laid before the thenMassachusetts assembly; and shocking to relatethey strongly recommended anabridgement of what was then called English liberties. In order to avoidprolexityI must beg leave to refer you to the history of the day forparticulars;--Suffice thenwhen I say it finally terminated in the battle atLexingtonAnno1775and which in my opinion compleats the fulfillment of theprediction in the third section.4th.
"When the Cock and Dove the Lion shall fight
"The Lion shall crouch beneath their might."
Previous to the commencement of hostilities at LexingtonAnno 1775the thengeneral congressused every exertion within the limits of human wisdom toprescribe (unless they had laid prostrate at the shrine of despotism every thingthat could endear life) in order to prevent a disunion between the twocountriesthey in the most submissive manner implored the interposition oftheir then Sovereignbut to no effect--they remonstrated to their then fellowsubjects the fatal effects that would accrue to both countriesbut all to nopurpose. In the interim they were not idle to act fully up to the first law ofnature in order to prepare for the worst--so thatsoon after the attempting todestroy the public stores at Concordthe British were cooped up in Boston; bywhomnot by mercenary troopsbut the Lords of the soil; and being desirous ofgetting a little more elbow roomthey made an attempt to obtain it; but thereception they met with at Bunker's Hillmade them more circumspectas by sadexperience they then foundthat they had to combat with a People that were notto be trifled with. As it is not my intention to give you too lengthy a detailon a presumption the history of the times is not scarce--suffice it then when Isaythat after having to encounter with numerous foes withoutconsisting ofBritishHessianWaldeckers and British savage allies&c likewise
hoards of secret enemies withinand repeatedly receiving a specimen of British clemency
in their wantonly firing whole towns at times over our heads. In spite of allopposition the avenger of wrongs so ordered itas to enable us to capture awhole British army under blustering BurgoyneAnno1777. This truly interestingevent in my weak apprehension had a tendency to raise the Americans intoimportance in the eyes of Europefor it is worthy of notice that the next yearFrance acknowledged American Independenceand became the ally of UnitedAmerica; whose united efforts in conjunction of other friendly powerscompelledthe British to make necessity a virtuein dissolving the political unioninthe peace of 1783in which the 13 Atlantic States were acknowledged as FreeSovereign
and in my opinion developes the enigma ofthe 4th section;--and here for a moment the first act of this dramatic tragedymust end.5th.
"When the cock shall guard the eagle's nest
"The stars shall all rise in the west."
During the American Revolutionary War--their potent ally the French Monarch sentover to the assistance of the Americans a powerful fleetand a body of landforces; in which unitedthey weakened the power of Britain muchparticularlythe capture of Lord Cornwallisin Virginiawith his whole army. I have heardgentlemen of acute and deep penetrationmake their observationsthat theadvantages the officers and soldiers in the land as well as the marine servicegave them a fair chance to investigate the nature of the dispute between theAmericans and the English;--and it ever appeared unto me they sucked as the babeat the breastfrom the Americanstheir ideas of civil and religious liberty.--Forit is worthy of remarkthat soon after their return to Europe from Americaafter the peace of 1783the seeds of the Revolution began to sproutand for atime flourisheduntil it was endeavoured to be cut in the budby the coalescedpowersenemies to civil and religious liberty--and which compelled theasserters of the rights of human nature to have recourse to arms.--The AustrianFlanders was early in the contest the theatre of war; and it is well worthy ofremarkthat the famous Charles the fifthemperor of Germany&c. was thesole heir of the ancient house of Burgundyin the right of his motherwhobrought with her the sovereignty of Flanders into the family--He added it as anappendage to the German Imperial Eagle. The importance of the country is verygreatand France in consequence of her being in possessioncould extend hermaritime influence so as to anoy the commerce of Britainand prevent Austriafrom being a maritime power. These weighty considerations on the opposite sideswas the cause of the very many bloody battles fought in that countrywhich mustbe fresh in the memory of no inconsiderable number:--But as I must be briefinorder to avoid prolixity--Suffice when I say that the wholesome nourishment ofthe mindthey were furnished withunder the American stars. These faithfulpupilslike robust soldiersthey went on to conquerand are to this day inpossession of Austrian Flanders--the nest of the Imperial Austrian Eagle. Sothat I am clearly of opinion that the data and spot fairly developes thepredictionas contained in the fifth section.6th.
"When ships above the clouds shall sail
"The lion's strength shall surely fail."
A ship is well known to be a large hollow building with decksmade to pass overthe sea with sails--by which means a communication is kept up between the mostdistant regions; and through the means of an open justifiable system of commercethe most solid advantages are derived to society in the rapid diffusion oflightand by the exchange of the productions and manufactories of the mostdistant climesgives employ to millions of the industrious part of thecommunity. But these cannot be the ships alluded toas it is not possible inthe nature of things to make use of them out of their natural element;--and hereI think it might with propriety deserve your particular noticethat nearlyabout the time of the commencement of the French Revolutionthat such was thesovereign will and pleasure of Heavenas to permit the invention of baloons totake place;--and admitting I am not misinformeda celebrated gentleman of thefaculty now living in Bostontook a trip across the streights of Doverand waslanded in safety in France; and which I presume must be the ships alludedto--And now let us notice the use the French made of them; admitting myinformation is correctearly in the contest which was carried on between theFrench Republic and the coalesced powersthey had men in the cars underneaththe baloonswho gave the signal from aboveof the enemies movementsand bywhich means I ever understood that the French obtained many signal victories inFlandersand notwithstanding the immense treasures expended by Britain in orderto keep the flames of war alive--such was the sovereign pleasure of that BEINGthat cannot in the nature of things do wrongso to orderthat the Austrianswere under the imperious necessity to cede in full sovereignty the whole ofAustrian Flanders to the French. Ever since that eventful periodthe power ofBritain has been rapidly on the decline on the Continent of Europe;--and ofcourse compleats the prediction contained in the sixth section.7th.
"When Neptunes back with Stripes is red
"The sickly Lion shall hide his head."
Neptune and the Lion I conceive to be synonimous terms by alluding to one andthe same thing; for it is well known that the Lion is an emblem of BritainandNeptune was considered as the Titular God of the ancients of the sea; and it istoo well known that Britain has arrogated to herself the sovereignty of theOceanand has carried her unjust and usurped power to intolerable lengthsparticularly of late. In noticing this subjectI would wish to be understoodthat it is in consequence of what I have seen in the public prints and what hasbeen related to me by gentlemen that have suffered in their propertyas well asmany representations made by them who have been so fortunate as to escape fromwhat they considered to be a floating hell
a British ship of War
;in robbing them of their liberties and compelling them to help to carry intoeffect their sanguinary and knavish plansto murder and plunder friends as wellas the nations with which they are at open war. The American commerce is wellknown to have suffered severely in the present contest between England and thebelligerent powerswhich are now at war on the most frivolus pretence. Ourships while in pursuit of lawful commercehave been seized by this lawlessbanditti and sent into their ports for what they call adjudication; andadmitting we are so lucky as to get liberatedthe long detentionand the heavyexpences attending these sham trialshave destroyed the fairest prospectstothe great injury and undoubtedly the utter ruin of many an honest andindustrious citizen: so that admitting every crime to be a stripe in Neptune'sbackit of course is well filled. Howevertheir accumulated crimes have warp'dup the public indignationand to be or not to bewill soon be the question.--Ishall now notice the precarious situation to which Britain has plunged herselfintoby interfering with her neighbor's immediate concerns: At the time theFrench began a reform in their governmentthe English commercial flag was seenflying in every part of the habitual globetheir ships freighted with theirmanufactoriesand in return were freighted back with raw materialswhichundoubtedly gave bread to thousands and perhaps millions of their industriouspoor. But alasthe contrast! look over the map of the world and you will findfrom the mouth of the Elbe to the north of Portugalevery port hostile to theintroduction of the articles of their manufactories; from the south of Portugalup the Mediterraneanround the boot of Italy into the Adriatic seamuch in thesame situation; their trade in the Levant to appearance ruinedand their tradein the Baltic Seain a critical situationwhich leads me to conclude that theday we now live inthe 7th section of this singular prediction is alluded to.8th.
"When seven and six shall make but one
"The Lion's might shall be undone."
We very well rememberthat after our struggles in the revolutionary warthatthe thirteen Atlantic Stateswerein the peace of 1783acknowledged on thepart of Britainas freesovereign and independent;--as particularly mentionedin the articles of the treatywith an extent of territory scarcely to beequalled by any nation on the face of the globe. The want of a federal headinorder more effectually to unite as onewas early felt to be essential for thepreservation of the whole; otherways it was to be feared we should have become apray to our ambitious and restless neighbors; and which laid the foundation ofour present General Government: If its first and leading principles had beenstrictly adhered toin my humble opinion the citizens of the United Stateswould have been the happiest people that exist on the face of the globe. Asevery resource within itself (if rightly improved) is a state of independencyand the rapid and unprecedented population of our countryconvinces me that wehave nothing to dread from any power that may be disposed to try the length ofswords on the land; and probably if put to our trumpsanother musquetoe fleetmight be fixed out and be equally successful as the one at LouisburghAnno1745. But to return--soon after the Federal Government was organized and beganto operateunfortunately for this countrythere were two powerful parties inopposition; and here you will permit me to remind youthat previous to thecommencement of hostilitiesAnno1775through the channel of resolutionsthey pledged to each other their sacred honor to support the common cause withtheir lives and fortunes. The General Congress on this bottom issued paper billsof creditwhich for a while answered a good purpose: but the British at NewYork emitted immense sums of counterfeit paper moneyand with the assistance oftheir friends(the secret enemies of our country) got it into circulationwhich embarrassed much the general congress; and self interest having expelledthe profession of public virtue from the minds of so many native Americanswhowere lavish at the first onsethad nearly ruined the cause. The generalcongress were not wanting in their duty to remind their constituents of thefatal precipice to which they were hastening; but their unremitted efforts tosave their sinking country were crowned with successin effecting loans of thesolid coin and other articlesessential to their very existence as a nation;which under providenceI attribute to be the means of our political salvation.But notwithstandingimperious necessity at the final issue of the revolutionarywarcompelled our government to make payment to the hardy and trusty soldieryin the final certificates of their agentwho was authorized to liquidate thepublic accounts;--the want of power in the general congress to make and enforcetaxes for their paymentbore hard on the public creditor and which opened adoor for a host of hawker sharpersand swindlersto become speculators in thepublic securities; many of whom undoubtedly were from the dregs of societywhowere so modest as to purchase in about one eighth of the value; the discerningand influential amongst this medley group of devotees at the shrine of mammonwere active to get themselves and friends elected as our servants; and how farthey were faithfullet the impartial
judge for themselves--suffice whenI say that they eventually saddled on youthat national cursea nationaldebt--in the assumption and funding the above alluded to securities(inpreference to their being extinguished by the sale of the public lands at a fairprice) which alarmed I presume many of the virtuous Republicans; but when thisself created new order of statesmenthe paper nabobs
had got apermanent footing as they vainly imaginedunder the mask of an efficientgovernmentthe cloven foot of despotism soon began to shew itself; whichbrought forward the invulnerable pen of the Old South in the IndependentChronicleand some able writers in the Salem Register and other Republicanpapersin defence of your tottering liberties; and here you will permit me toremarkthat Etnain the Island of Sicilywas considered by the ancients asthe mouth of Hellin consequence of the destructive lava it occasionallyemitted; but the high seasoned scribblers in many of the anti-republican papersvery far exceeded Mount Etnafor they were incessantly emitting every speciesof scurrelity against our friends who were honest and bold enough to stem thetorrentand they were not backward to fabricate and propagate false and idlestoriesin order to choke the deadly plan of the introduction of a largestanding army; and even some of the Priests of the altarwere not backward tohelp to fetter you with the iron chains of despotismas a certain well knownRev'd Donwas assiduous to promulgate his bug bear essays on the illuminatiwherein a truly respectable order were implicated--but I shall forbear torecapitulate the many innovations on your libertiesand the tyrannical actspassed in the late administrationas I presume they must be fresh in yourmemories: Suffice thenwhen I say that ever since the present mild andjudicious order of things took placethe servile editors of the oppositionpapers have been teeming with violent invectives against thosewho I cannot butthinktheir greatest glory would be to render you every possible good; whichundoubtedly must make such infamous scribblers appear ridiculous in theestimation of foreignerswhile that it has a tendency to innervate the arm ofgovernmentwhen in pursuit of our real interest;--on the other handevery actof the opposers of our lawful commerce has been by these anti-republicans (withfew exceptions) extoled to the skies. The fullness of time has arrivedand thescales have fallen from the heretofore deluded but honest citizens. The lateviolent attack of the British ship of war the Leopardon the United States shipof war the Chesapeakehas had the happy tendency to unite as one manthefriends of American libertyin openly and manfully bearing an honorabletestimony against the recent indignity offered our national flag; which in myopinion compleats the first line of the eighth and last section of thisremarkable prediction of Merlin's.--A few remarks on the second line and then Ihave done. Admitting any confidence can be placed in the public printsa livelyrepresentation of the wrongs done by the British ships of warhas been made bythe Executive of the Union to the British governmentand undoubtedly anunequivocal explanation on this headas well as satisfaction for the injuriesdoneis expectedwhich it is to be devoutly hoped on the part of the Britishwill be acceded to in order to prevent an open rupturewhich would bedestructive to both countries;--But admitting for a moment that war must be theorder of the day--I think the chances must be much against Britainfor thefollowing reasons; a ruinous national debttheir commerce curtailed in Europeand embarrassed in Americathe powerful enemies she has already got to contendwiththat if imperious necessity should compel the Americans to join thepowerful coalitionI must confess I see nothing to prevent the sinking ofBritain as a nation--so that in either caseI conceive the Lion's power to beat an end; which compleats the second and last act of this dramatic tragedy.