Nuts for Future Historians to Crack - Part 4

Part 4

What answer can you make to the weight of testimony here produced against you? I see nothing left, but to declare to the world, that the whole is a wicked combination to destroy you; you may say, "you thought _me_ ent.i.tled to the whole infamy of the insinuation," till the above mentioned witnesses "consented to divide it with me;" and that, "if you did not sufficiently measure the malignancy of their dispositions, or thought more favourably of them than you ought to have done, you are content to acknowledge your error, and do full justice in this respect hereafter;" and if any person should ask you, would all these gentlemen hazard such a.s.sertions without foundation? you may answer, "it is difficult to resolve what men of ungovernable pa.s.sions will or will not say, when their minds are inflamed by party, and their b.r.e.a.s.t.s burning with disappointed ambition;" may they not have "mistaken a conversation with some other person, or at this distance of time, converted some JOCULAR EXPRESSION into such suspicions as they have mentioned;" and you may add, "the MEMORIES of MEN may fail; their minds are subject to the warp of prejudice and pa.s.sion; they may convert into serious import what was dropped in JEST; and, from false pride, persist in what they have said, because they have said it, even against the conviction of their own consciences."

In your letter of the 23d of September last, you say, "you have declared the insinuations in Oswald's paper of the 7th inst. false; and you apply the same epithet to my avowal of them." This a.s.sertion has been fully refuted by the concurrent testimony of your _intimate friends_ and others.

In your friends, you thought yourself perfectly secure; but the weakness of two of them has betrayed you, and the third is proved your accomplice.

It would, indeed, have appeared somewhat extraordinary, if you had not discovered your intentions to some of your intimate friends and relations; and that "no circ.u.mstance should occur to correspond with this imputation,"

after having communicated the same to me. Nor are proofs wanting, if they were here necessary, independently of those I have already adduced, with respect to some of your friends, who at the time held considerable commands in the militia.

And "though specially sent by General Washington," as you say, "for the express purpose of a.s.sisting me," it may not be here improper to make a short observation, in which I conceive I shall be perfectly justifiable.

Though the duties of an Adjutant General would naturally confine you to the Continental army, yet I can easily conceive that there was no difficulty, by hints thrown out, or by the interposition of a friend, to induce the commander-in-chief to permit you to come to Bristol, under the _pretence_ of a.s.sisting me; being, as _you represent_, well acquainted with the inhabitants of Burlington, through whom you might obtain information. But from the evidence which appears against you, it will not be thought uncharitable to conclude, that you conceived your plan could be better executed at Bristol, than under the eye of General Washington. Besides, you might reasonably hope to shake more easily the constancy of untried officers of militia, than those in the army, whose minds might be supposed better fortified against such attacks.

I am at a loss for words to express my indignation for the attempt you made on my integrity; for though I did not see it in that point of view at the time, yet the whole testimony, as now collected, fully proves such to have been your intention; and happy I conceive it to be for my own honour and the safety of my country, that you found in me that strength of mind, which you might not have experienced in some of your particular friends, had they been in my situation.

The circ.u.mstances relating to the letter you wrote Count Donop, created at the time no suspicions; nor do I recollect any publication which alludes to it. This affair, and that mentioned by Major Lenox[TN], are distinct transactions; but it is not more than probable, that at the interview you proposed under cover of serving the inhabitants of Burlington, you intended to confer with Count Donop upon the subject of your own interest and personal safety? This suspicion, in my opinion, is perfectly warranted by the indubitable proofs of your intended desertion. Another circ.u.mstance relating to this affair was equally unusual and improper. Mr. Daniel Ellis,[J] by whom you sent the letter with a flag, was universally known to be disaffected; having been so long in the service you could not be ignorant of those obvious reasons, which prove the propriety of sending men with flags, whose attachment to the cause is well known, and men of observation.

Every page, almost, of your publication is full of reflections against me, and almost upon every subject; so intent have you been to injure my reputation. The errors I committed during my command may serve a double purpose; because he who committed them is subject to censure, and he who points them out claims the merit of the discovery. That I committed errors, I readily admit; my friends have marked some, and subsequent experience discovered others; but I am conscious they proceed from want of experience, not a want of integrity. Why, then, need I seek to justify myself, when, from the nature of the war, considerable commands were, from necessity, entrusted to young officers, there being few amongst us to whom the profession was not entirely new. But, I confess, it would give me infinite pain, if, by "a strange inattention of mine to the tide and state of the river," and the not arriving "one hour" sooner at Dunk's Ferry, we had lost the opportunity of striking a blow at Mount Holly, of equal glory with that at Trenton. When you insinuated, in the former part of your address, a superior knowledge in military matters, by saying you had more "experience," I gave up the point, and left you the happiness of thinking so; for why should I have contended a point with a man who, throughout his pamphlet, a.s.sumes to himself the merit of all those brilliant successes, so highly commended even by our enemies, and which determined the fate of American independence. And if I was sensible that the charge you now make was true, or could be thought so, by competent judges, I would scorn to defend my error.

My orders were, to make the attack one hour before day, and to effect a surprise, if possible. The impropriety, therefore, of sending the boats from Bristol to Dunk's Ferry, and marching the troops from the same place in open day, is evident, as such a movement must have been observed, and communicated to the enemy. And now, tell me the instance, where even continental troops have arrived at the point of attack at the given time?

It was General Washington's intention to have made his attack on Trenton before day; yet, from unavoidable delays, he did not arrive there till after eight o'clock in the morning. We reached Dunk's Ferry a little before low water, and can any person believe, that if we had arrived "one hour sooner," we could have pa.s.sed over near twenty-five hundred men, four pieces of cannon, ammunition wagons and horses, and all the horses belonging to officers, in that time, in the night too, and the river full of ice, with only five large batteauxs and two or three scows; when it took us at least six hours, (a day or two afterwards,) to cross above Bristol, in open day and the river almost clear of ice. Strange "inattention,"

unhappy commander! That "_a single hour_, which we might have enjoyed with equal convenience and equal risk," should be the only obstacle to a scene of equal glory with that of Trenton, and yet you have represented to General Washington, as appears by his letter,[K] dated six o'clock, P. M., 25th December, 1776, to me, _being the very same night_, and before we marched to Dunk's Ferry, that you gave him the most discouraging accounts of what might be expected from our operations below. What, then, were those discouraging accounts? Why was I not acquainted with them? or were they thrown out to influence him from making his attempt on Trenton, by representing that no co-operation from our quarter could favour his enterprise? In the general's opinion, it is plain, it had that tendency.

But in the heedless fury of this stroke at me, you have incautiously unguarded your most tender part.

"Anxious to fill up the part of this glorious plan a.s.signed to us," you "pa.s.sed over, you say, with your horse, to see and judge for yourself." You did so. "Having seen the last man re-embarked, you proceeded before day to Burlington." Here permit me to correct you, because there is no circ.u.mstance better ascertained, than that many of the men were not brought back till eight o'clock the next morning.

Your motives for going to Burlington that night, were then thought a mystery; 'tis now no longer so; and the "_other circ.u.mstances_," that permitted you to join us again at Bristol, are now clearly accounted for.

General Washington's success or defeat was, no doubt, to determine whether you were to remain a citizen of the United States of America, or to be a shameful deserter of your country.

You say, you went to Philadelphia, at my request, to confer with Gen.

Putnam; that you set out in the evening, (the 24th December,) and reached Philadelphia about midnight; but what credit, can you reasonably expect, will be given to your "detail of proceedings," in other particulars, when you find yourself detected in such gross contradictions in the following instance?

In the 17th page you say, "Upon conference with General Putnam, (at Philadelphia,) he represented the state of the militia, the general confusion which prevailed, his apprehensions of an insurrection in the city in his absence, and many other circ.u.mstances, in such strong terms, as convinced me, no a.s.sistance could be derived from him;" and yet, in your letter to me, dated Philadelphia, 25th December, 1776, 11 o'clock, you say; "General Putnam has determined to cross the river, with as many men as he can collect, which, he says, will be about five hundred; he is now mustering them, and endeavouring to get Proctor's company of artillery to go with them. I wait to know what success he meets with, and the progress he makes; but, at all events, I shall be with you this afternoon."

Here the representation stated in your pamphlet is contradicted by a letter in your own handwriting. Having forgot, perhaps, that you had written such a letter, your ingenuity furnished materials for a plausible narrative, suitable to your purposes; not suspecting that such proof could be adduced in opposition to it.

Having returned to Bristol about daylight on the 26th December, with the greater part of the troops, I received an account, about 11 o'clock, A. M., from a person just arrived from Trenton Ferry, that General Washington had succeeded in his attack. I immediately despatched a messenger with a line to General Ewing, for information, but all I could learn was, that the victory was ours.

From the continuance of the rain and wind, I concluded the ice must be destroyed in the course of the day, and instantly sent down to Dunk's Ferry for the boats. This being an extraordinary service, required of men who had been exposed to the storm the whole night, was, however, cheerfully undertaken and executed. I then consulted Col. Hitchc.o.c.k, who commanded the New England brigade, to know whether his troops would willingly accompany us to New Jersey, as I had determined to cross the river in the morning, if practicable, to co-operate with General Washington. He informed me, that his troops could not march, unless they could be supplied with shoes, stockings and breeches; upon which I instantly wrote to the Council of Safety, and obtained seven hundred pairs of each of the above articles, which arrived about sunrise on the morning of the 27th December. This second attempt being determined on, I went with several officers, in the afternoon of the 26th, to fix upon a proper place for crossing the river above Bristol, and the next morning before day viewed the Jersey Sh.o.r.e in a barge, for the same purpose. By your relation, one would imagine you had been the _life and soul_ of this second movement across the Delaware,--as little privy to it as the emperor of Morocco,--but it is no unusual thing for you to intercept the praise due to others of creditable actions.

Instead of being present to confirm my proposed movements, by your advice, you remained at Burlington, "in a kind of concealment, till the weather and OTHER CIRc.u.mSTANCES permitted you to join us at Bristol," after all our resolutions were taken, and the most of our arrangements made. In the tissue of your representations, it is your purpose to insinuate my deficiency in military conduct in the subsequent transactions. Let my relation of it be heard!

We marched on the 27th, in the morning, and the ice being by this time chiefly destroyed, we met with little obstruction in pa.s.sing. The last division of the troops being embarked, and then crossing, we received private information, that General Washington had re-crossed the river, and returned to Newtown, in Pennsylvania, from whence he dates his letter, 27th December, 1776, informing me of the particulars of the action at Trenton, and which was not received, contrary to your a.s.sertion, till we had marched above a mile on our way to Burlington; it was then read to the troops, who were halted for this purpose. We had, however, before given full credit to the first information of his having re-crossed; on which previous information I called together the field officers, to consult what was then best to be done. From this circ.u.mstance, Col. Hitchc.o.c.k, and some others, proposed returning to Bristol. I instantly declared my determination against it, and recommended an attack upon Mount Holly, as from the information we had of the force at that post, we might easily carry it, and should then have a retreat open towards Philadelphia, if necessary. You then, "_as a middle course_," advised our going to Burlington; in which those who had at first proposed our return, joined in opinion. This was the true cause of that hesitation you remarked with respect to me. Burlington was in a position, in my judgment, very dangerous; as in case we should be invested there, and the river impa.s.sable, we should be forced to submit at discretion, for want of provisions, or hazard an action against troops superior in discipline, and perhaps in number, if their whole force was collected to that point. Having no other retreat open to us, but that over the river, it was evident this could not be effected without the loss, at least, of those who might be ordered to cover the retreat. Having pa.s.sed the river in open day, it was probable the enemy might be informed of it; and, in that case, the post at Mount Holly reinforced. To determine whether we should take a position, unanimously approved by the council, but which I thought extremely dangerous; or adhere to my own plan, unsupported by a single voice, was certainly a question that required more than a momentary consideration, even for an officer, at this stage of the war. Being pressed for some resolution, as the day was far spent, I waived my own opinion, and acquiesced in the desire of marching to Burlington; but it is ridiculous to suppose, as you say, that your brother's intelligence of Count Donop's retreat, could have influenced my acquiescence, for it did not arrive till after our resolutions were taken,--and besides, was not credited; because if it had reached us before, and been credited, I should not have acquiesced in such desire; if even after, I should naturally have taken another course, and pursued the flying enemy, instead of going to Burlington, which was five miles in the rear.

Late that night, I received certain information, that the enemy had evacuated all their posts in the neighborhood, and immediately despatched a messenger to General Washington with the intelligence; in answer to which, I received his orders, very early next morning, to pursue and keep up the panic, and that he would cross at Trenton that day. From this circ.u.mstance, it appears that the General had taken his determination before your pretended information or advice from Trenton could have reached him.

In justification to myself, I have thought it necessary to point out your false state of facts, in these particulars; the mult.i.tude of lesser ones, relating to military matters, I shall pa.s.s over, as this publication is already necessarily lengthened beyond my first intention.

As I hinted, in my letter of 10th September last, that "charges of the same nature had been, some time since, made against you," by Arnold; you say, you "allow full weight to so respectable a connexion and testimony;" to which you made no reply, though from the rank and character of Arnold at that time, they merited your notice. Arnold having received his information from me, it cannot be concluded, that I meant by his testimony to strengthen my own a.s.sertion; but merely to show, that having before been charged, you did not reply; from which many believed it true. And when he apologized to me for inserting it in his defence without my permission, I remarked, that an apology was unnecessary, from the public manner in which I had mentioned it.

Arnold was commanding officer in this city, very generally visited by officers of the army, citizens and strangers. I received the usual civilities from him, and returned them; and often met him at the tables of gentlemen in the city. To my civilities, at that time, I thought him ent.i.tled from the signal services he had rendered his country; services infinitely superior to those you so much boast of; he stood high, as a military character, even in France, and after your prosecution, he was continued in command by Congress; appointed first, by the commander-in-chief, to the command of the left wing of the army, and afterwards to that important post of West Point, where his treacherous conduct exceeded, I fancy, even your own idea of his baseness. To what, then, do your insinuations amount? They cannot criminate me, without an implied censure on Congress and the commander-in-chief. But why contaminate my name, by connecting it, in this instance, with such a wretch? when you, yourself, at his trial, with a half-shamed face, seemed to apologize for being his prosecutor, and became his fulsome panegyrist. It consisted, however, with that artifice and cunning which has ever been the sum of your _abilities_, and the whole amount of your _wisdom_.

Your remarks on my letter of the 10th December, 1777, are so inconsistent, that I shall bestow a few observations on them. "So strong and virulent,"

you say, "was my antipathy to the const.i.tution, and such my enmity to those who administered it, that you believe I would have preferred _any_ government to that of Pennsylvania, if my _person_ and _property_ would have been equally secure;" and yet it seems, in the next sentence you say, "but it was our lot to meet again, a few days before the battle of Monmouth; here we were again united in _confidence_ and _danger_." If you really thought I would prefer _any government_ to that of Pennsylvania, why did you then take so much pains to show, that we again united in "_confidence_ and _danger_," at the battle of Monmouth, so many months after I had discovered that virulent antipathy, and which now hath extorted such gross reflections?

You say, my breast was burning with disappointed ambition; but how does this appear, when, immediately upon the formation of the new government, I was appointed the first of three brigadiers, which created me commanding officer of the militia. Could my ambition be gratified further? But to obviate every objection, let me suppose you meant, that I wished to rise to power in the civil line,--which, however, has never been insinuated before,--let me here call to your memory, how easy the task was for _any character_ to rise to the first offices of government. I confess, I do not think so meanly of myself, as to have dreaded any rivalship from some of the candidates of those days; nor do I mean, by this declaration, to insinuate any extraordinary merit, when I estimate mine by that of those I have alluded to. I could not have consented to make the sacrifices required; but you, however, and some others, as much opposed to the essential parts of the const.i.tution as I was, freely made them, and broke through every obligation of faith and honour.

The charge you have brought against a party in the state, of an opposition to its const.i.tution, deserves some attention. I will digress a little from my main subject to examine how far this charge is true, and how far the thing is in itself criminal.

Government is generally so reverenced among men, that those who attempt to subvert any system of it whatever, have to contend against a very natural prejudice. But this prejudice can only be in degree with the antiquity of its establishment; for modern error, how high soever its authority, has but little claim to our veneration. This concession made, could it be expected that our novel const.i.tution, liable at first blush to so many important objections, should not have its opponents; but that in a moment it should be submitted to, as implicitly as if it had had the sanction of ages? What circ.u.mstance was there, in the production of this whimsical machine, that should silence, at once, all the remonstrances of reason and sense against it? Was it not worth a pause to examine, whether this coat, wove for ages, would fit us or our posterity before we put on; or whether this gift of our convention would not prove our destruction? From an apprehension that it would, an opposition was formed, that included a majority of the state. Did those who composed it, think it criminal to prevent the singular ideas of a convention, from being carried into execution, against an almost general sentiment; or did they not rather conceive it safe and better for the community still to go on in the administration of governmental affairs by those temporary expedients we had been in the habits of, until their const.i.tution could be revised?

This idea, patriotic as it was, was defeated by the obstinate enthusiasm of some, who trembled for this New Jerusalem of their hopes, and by the scandalous desertion of others, and especially yourself. The ends of opposition being thus rendered unattainable, but at the hazard of convulsions, that might endanger the great American cause, the same virtue that began it, ended it, and it has long since ceased to act.

This is a well-known state of facts; but what it did not suit with your own by-purposes to admit, could not be expected from your integrity; you have, therefore, constantly kept up the alarm of a const.i.tutional opposition, and, on every occasion, referred to this false cause, that honest and useful opposition which was created by your weak, though violent and tyrannical administration.

That you was called to the chair of government, by the unanimous vote of council and a.s.sembly, you have often boasted, with a view of conveying to the world an idea, that even the gentlemen opposed to the const.i.tution approved the choice. But they neither esteemed you as a gentleman, nor approved your public conduct. They knew there was a majority in a.s.sembly in favour of your election, and as their grand object was the obtaining a resolution of that body, recommending the calling a convention for revising the const.i.tution, some of the party entered into an engagement for this purpose, and your election was negotiated. _You_ were to use your endeavours to prevail on the Council to enforce the recommendation of the a.s.sembly by a similar resolution. From your own acknowledgment at the City Tavern, the resolution of the Council was never obtained, or even moved for, by you, and for this flimsy reason, that no formal information, of such resolution having pa.s.sed, had been communicated to you; though known to all the world; and that it could not be expected that Council would "tag" after the a.s.sembly, in a measure relating to the public. Yet you had the effrontery to a.s.sert, that "_every engagement on your part_," was strictly performed.

At this meeting, you say, you "in the most open manner called upon us, to support our imputations, and that you so effectually vindicated every part of your conduct, that every gentleman, (myself excepted,) acknowledged his mistake." I own I made no concessions, and if the reasons I then gave are not thought a sufficient justification to the world, of the opinion I had formed, I am content to admit that it was not only "singular," but "absurd."

After a reasonable pause, I remarked, that from the repeated conversations I had had with you, on this subject, you appeared to me as much opposed as I was, to the const.i.tution, before the evacuation of the city; that you had refused to accept the appointment of Chief Justice, (because you could not in conscience take the oath;[L]) that a short time before the election, in 1778, you engaged yourself to the const.i.tutional party, to serve in Council for the County, and to the party in the opposition, to serve in a.s.sembly for the City; and being chosen in both instances, you hesitated above six weeks, (though often pressed to a resolution,) before you determined to accept your seat in Council;--depriving, during this time, the City of a vote in a.s.sembly, while an important point was debated concerning the contested Chester election; and voluntarily advocating the question in favor of the const.i.tutional party; that on the fate of this trial depended your hopes of succeeding to the President's chair; that a determination in favour of that party gave them a decided majority, and that you instantly accepted your seat in Council.--To which you replied, and in recapitulating my arguments, endeavoured to justify your conduct; but conscious of having failed in the capital points, you closed your remarks with some warm expressions, which conveyed the idea of a threat; of which I desired an explanation. After working up your pa.s.sions to a degree little short of frenzy, you expressed yourself in the following terms: I mean this,--"If the publications traducing my public and private character are continued, I mean to apply to the law; but if this will not do me that justice, which in some instances it cannot do,--I know I have the affections and command of the fighting men of this state; and if necessary, I will make use of that influence, and call forth that force,--and if bloodshed should be the consequence be it on your own heads."

Such violent and unwarrantable expressions from the first magistrate of the state, and in the presence of the whole bench of justices, created the highest indignation, and were severely reprobated by several gentlemen present; which induced you afterwards to endeavour to soften your expressions and meaning.

But if it was singular or absurd, "to expect a President of the State to enter into the violence of party on _my_ side of the question," let me oppose to this, the _treachery_ of your conduct in deserting the party to which you was at first from ("_conscientious_" principles) attached, and yet, as President, enter into all the violence of party on the other side of the question.

Again, "upon our return to Philadelphia," you say, "I became the open and avowed patron of those who are distinguished by the appellation of tories; and my decisive attachment to the British Army,[N] and their adherents, "has marked every subsequent period of my life, too plainly to admit of doubt or denial." If you really entertained such sentiments, why did you, in the month of February, (after my marriage,) waiving the indignity offered to you in not paying the usual compliments of congratulation, upon your appointment, pay me the first visit, and thereby make advances towards a reconciliation? Such a condescension, so contrary to the _usual forms_, can scarcely be reconciled even to a character like yours.

Men who acquire popularity by means disgraceful to a gentleman, dare not hazard a sentiment that is not approved by the party with which he is connected. I have, on all occasions, and in all companies, private and public, delivered freely my political opinions; nor has the dread of losing the little popularity I possessed in Pennsylvania, ever induced me to make a sacrifice of my honour, by adopting opinions or measures which I disapproved, or thought injurious to my country. Esteeming it the highest honour to deserve the approbation of my fellow-citizens, I have ever been solicitous to obtain it. You and some others have industriously propagated reports for the purpose of injuring my reputation; but conscious that my political opinions and conduct will stand the test, upon the nicest scrutiny, and having never experienced any diminution of that esteem, respect and warmth of friendship, which my fellow-citizens have ever shown towards me, a refutation of such calumny is utterly needless.

From the whole of what I have here laid before the public, supported by the testimony of the most respectable witnesses, the following conclusions may fairly be deduced:

1. That the conversation alluded to, which I have a.s.serted to have pa.s.sed between us at Bristol, was mentioned by me in confidence to Col. Hamilton and some others of General Washington's family, in the year 1777; and therefore could not have originated at the time, you mention, or to gratify my resentment against you, as at that time, you acknowledge, no parties subsisted.

2. It could not have been invented to gratify my resentment for the attempt you made to evade the payment of Mr. Porter's order; because I did not make it public at the time, nor till several years afterwards, and you acknowledge, all that coolness was done away, and our former habits of friendship restored.

[TN] As is appears, by Mr. Clymer's testimony, that I mentioned it publicly at Mr. Hamilton's trial, which was before you were elected President of the state, it ought to be imputed to another cause than that which you have a.s.signed.

4. As it appears, from Mr. Pryor's testimony, that I mentioned it at the Coffee House, in the hearing of some of your friends, we may reasonably conclude you were informed of it; and this conclusion is strengthened by your pa.s.sing over unnoticed, the information contained in Major Lennox's testimony, which was related to you by Major Thomas Moore.

5. It cannot appear improbable that you should have held this conversation with me, as your expressions to Gen. d.i.c.kinson, Col. Nixon, and Doctor Rush, convey sentiments equally injurious to your reputation as a patriot and Adjutant General of the army.

6. As it fully appears, by the testimony of Col. Ellis and Mr. Davenport, and that of Col. Bradford, that you had communicated such sentiments to your brother-in-law, Mr. Pett.i.t, and to Col. Bayard, contrary to your declaration, we may with propriety a.s.sert that you have forfeited that veracity, which is essential to the character of a gentleman.

Lastly, from the testimony of Major Lennox and Col. Nichols, it appears that you absolutly[TN] applied to Count Donop for protection, and that a particular and intimate friend of yours was included in it; and therefore, from this and the foregoing testimony, all pointing to the same object and to the same period, supporting and confirming each other, it cannot leave the least room to doubt the truth of my a.s.sertion.

In some instances, a man's general good conduct has had great weight to invalidate or weaken charges highly criminal; but unfortunately, _yours_ can receive no aid from such circ.u.mstances. Dissimulation and cunning have for a time deceived the most discerning, but the snares you have laid for others will most probably accomplish your own destruction.

Having long since known how to estimate your character, I have not any where pretended, in this performance, to fix it at a higher value than what it generally current for; you have, since the term of your administration, repeatedly put yourself upon your country. Your name has been offered to the people for a seat in the legislature; to the legislature, for a seat in Congress; to Congress, for posts of Continental trust; but that _name_, its counterfeit gilding at length rubbed off, and the native colour of the contexture exposed, has depreciated, like the Continental money, with such velocity, that though a few years ago worth a President's chair, it would not, _now_ purchase a constable's staff; nor is it more highly rated in the sphere of polite life, than in the great theatre of the world; for its unfortunate owner stands alone, unnoticed in the midst of company, with full leisure to reflect on the sensible effects of the loss of reputation.

My immediate purpose requires nothing further from me; but your administration, the theme of your own solitary praise, might not improperly have been touched upon, but that it is a field too extensive for me, and that I have not asperity enough in my nature to do justice to the subject.

I will yet observe upon some matters in your pamphlet, not in direct connexion with one or the other subject; but which are extremly[TN]

demonstrative of a temper in the writer to wish evil to the community, after the power of doing it has ceased.