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ductility of the fawning sycophants of power. unforgotten—that he had “ become a weary of the “He smiles at the kindness of the fathers, who, world,” and had withdrawn forever from the glare hearing that he was talented, and knowing that he of its splendor, and the enticements of its follies, was rich, looked to his support in whatever po- | all contributed to throw around him in his state, litical side they had espoused. He saw in the of what Rousseau would call loisir philosophiquenotes of the mothers their anxiety for the estab- an air of romance, that called forth our exalted lishment of their daughters, and their respect for admiration, while it elicited our warmest sympahis acres.” In short, the once gay, versatile and thy. But, alas ! " paulo majora canamus.” The still elegant and accomplished Mr. Falkland, (and, scene must now change. ab! over whose elegance and accomplishments He has a favorite retreat in the neighboring how many married and unmarried female bosoms grounds of a Mr. Mandeville, who is a'member of bave not heaved the sigh of a would-be seduisé,) | parliament, and married to the daughter of the appears depicted to our imagination in the solemn Duke of Lindvale, who is very young, very beaubearing of a moralist, and the dignified garb of a ful, very accomplisher, and the mother of an intephilosopher. He presents to our view that most resting child. This immaculate being—who is enviable picture which few painters have been represented “as pure as an enthusiast's dream of enabled vividly to portray, from the extreme pau- heaven, yet bearing within the latent and powercity of the numbers of the originals they are called ful passion, and tenderness of earth; and mixing upon to copy—that of a man thoroughly disgusted with all a simplicity and innocence, which the exwith his kind, and enjoying perfect contentment treme earliness of her marriage, and the ascetic in the becalmning gloom of a romantic solitude. temper of her husband, had tended less to diminish From a view of the brilliant career he has passed, than increase”—has left for a season the gaieties of we are naturally led to inquire, if, in all the gay London, and retired for the benefit of her health, and mercenary world, not one solitary being had naturally delicate, to the country mansion of her for a moment arrested his triumphant course, and hushand at E- She has heard of Mr. Falkclaimed of his heart the homage of a sigh. To land from Lady Margaret and Mrs. Dalton. By this inquiry, we receive for answer, “ that when the one, she is told that when he wishes to please, he left Dr. -'s, he was sent to a private tu- he is perfectly irresistible; and by the other, that tor in D
Here be continued for about he is conceited, satirical, and, in short, very disatwo years. It was during that time that—but greeable. Yet is she very anxious to see him. what then befell him is for no living ear! The Her husband is absent, devoting his time to his characters of that history are engraven upon bis duties in parliament. Her little boy is her conheart in letters of fire; but it is a language that stant companion, and upon him she seems to lavish none but himself have the authority to read. It is all the love and affection which pours fresh and enough for the events of that period, that they were unobstructed from the perennial fountain of her connected with the first awakening of the most heart. With him, on a certain day, she takes a powerful of human passions, and that whatever ramble to revisit her former and favorite haunts. their commencement, their end was despair ! and in the course of her rambles, she discovers a man she—the only object of that love—the only being apparently asleep, with a volume of Shakspeare in the world who ever possessed the secret and the by his side. The boy, as other little boys would spell of his nature—her life was the bitterness and do, picks up the book. The mother, all anxiety, the fever of a troubled heart—her rest is the takes the solume to replace it immediately, but grave.” Here we find that he has been in love ; still takes time to peruse a passage upon which but that the unhappy object of his passion, from the child had accidentally opened; and often in some cause not revealed, had sunk to an early after days recalled that passage as an omen. It tomb. We are also reminded that that passion was from Midsummer Night's Dream, and ran as was connected with many sins and misfortunes in
follows: after life. This we regard as a modest allusion to the career of the roué, which he so long and so “Ah, me! for aught that ever I could read,
Could ever hear by tale or historytriumphantly led, and which has invested his cha
The course of true love never did run smooth !!! racter with such an absorbing and thrilling inlerest in the estimation of a majority of the female " She laid the book down, and caught a glimpse readers-God forbid we should say all—who have of the countenance of the sleeper: never did she so often, and in such trenulous anxiety and ten- forget the expression which it wore-stern, proud, derness, followed through the pages of this little mournful, even in repose ! She hurried home, and volume, the incidents of his eventful life. That all that day she was silent and abstracted: the face he had been highly educated, and was born of an haunted her like a dream. Strange as it may ancient and honorable family—that he had led a seem, she spoke neither to Lady Margaret nor successful career in fashionable life—that he loved to Mrs. Dalton of her adventure. And why?" one sacred object, which, although dead, was still emphatically asks our author. “Is there in our
hearts any prescience of their misfortunes?” Now | tender emotions which it was evident each felt for who, with the foregoing description before bim, the other. “Falkland did not stay long after can deny that the pure and lovely being—whom dinner,” says the narratire, “but to Lady Marhe must now regard as the intended offering at the garet he promised all that she required of future altar of the guiltiest of passions—is already seduced? length and frequency in his visits. When he left Yea, even before the sound of the voice of the se- the room, Lady Emily went instinctively to the ducer has fallen upon her ears, she has prepared window to watch him depart; and all that night her heart to yield to its solicitations. The damning his low, soft voice, rung in her ear like the music propensity to commit that forbidden and most of an indistinct and half-remembered dream.” unballowed deed, which it is possible for human Very delightful musings, indeed, to occupy the depravity to conceive, is already alive in that mind of a wife reposing on the couch of her absent bosom, which but a moment before was all purity, husband, and that too within hearing of the soft and glowing with all the consecrated ardor of ma- breathings of her innocent child! Surely a more ternal devotion. We profess to be totally stran- revolting picture of baseness and depravity can gers to the credulity which has duped the majority hardly be presented to the imagination than is of mankind. We may be in error; but when we here exhibited. All our thoughts of virtue, deliboldly and confidently assert, that there is no such cacy, and the sanctity of the matrimonial bond, thing as seduction in married life, we ask, we recoil in horror from this voluntary and miserable seek no more cogent authority to sustain our asser- prostitution of all that is most sacred in the several tion than the volume now before us. We have relations of life—all that is softening and elevating little of credence to yield to those fervid descants in character-all that is refined and separated from so often sung about the violence of passions, and the dross—the alloy of human existence—10 the the weakness and helplessness of woman. That a gratification of worst than bestial sensuality and majority of them are weak, and helpless too, and lechery. And all this degradation too, is made to that they possess a violence and impetuosity of pas- spring from one, who a moment before, is depicted sion and feeling, equal in every respect to those of by our author “ as having much that is termed men, few, I believe, who know much of the gene- genius—its warmth of emotion—its vividness of ral features of their characters, will consider at conception—its admiration for the grand—its afall problematical. But, that the possession of section for the good—and a dangerous contempt these ignoble traits of character, should, despite the for what is mean and worthless, the very indulproper and resolute exercise of the redeeming and gence of which is an offence against the habits of counteracting qualities, which the God of nature the world. Her tastes were, however, too femihas implanted in our breasts for virtuous purposes, nine and chaste ever to render her eccentric.” so far conquer the ennobling principles of the Verily, Mr. Bulwer, the ingenuity of your pen heart and soul, as to suffer them to succumb to the has failed in this instance, at least, in giving that promptings of depravity and crime, is a position consistency to the attributes of your heroine, which in ethical philosophy, from which I, for one, must renders at all necessary, those arts, the possesbeg leave most unequivocally to dissent. And let sion of which, in all time, has so much distinthose of the "fair creation," who may be even now guished that elegant personage (so often worshiplistening to the syren voice of seduction, cease now ped and sighed for by those delicate emanations and forever “ to lay the flattering unction to their from the glory of heaven, “ the lady's fair,") comsouls," that because of their weakness they may 'monly called the roue! Your shades of characsin with impunity against the thundering injunc- ter are made to change with the shiftings of every tions of the divine law, or the still small voice of scene in the drama. To-day, she is little less than their guardian angel, forever invoking a devo- an angel—to-morrow, she is robed in the enticing tional adherence to the heavenly admonitions of garb of the would-be-adulteress, panting for the virtue. Let me ask them, too, if, even in those embraces of a paramour, ere he has aspired to bemoments, when they feel themselves least able to come one. cope with the arts of the seducer, they are not We will not accompany the deroted couple more the victims of the degrading and debasing through the various scenes of the conflicts of pasfeelings, which they themselves hare rather nur- sion they are called upon to encounter, before the tured, than attempted to conquer and discard, than perpetration of the deed, at the bare recital of the arguments and solicitations of the lurer to their which, the sensibilities of the father and husband ruin.
are tremblingly aroused to the appalling consciousTo return to the heroine. After her adventure ness of the frail and miserable tenure by which in her walk, Mr. Falkland, at the suggestion of matrimonial bliss is enjoyed in the fashionable Lady Margaret, is invited to E- - to dinner. and heartless world. The author has taxed to the Here the future lovers meet to speak for the first uttermost bis fruitsul, fervid, and eloquent imagitime. There was of course a mutual admiration, nation, to elicit for the guilty pair the sympathies and both had promptly resolved to reciprocate the of the reader. We, at least, must assure him of our total repugnance to award them ours. Indeed before him. He professes a too intimate knowwe feel, throughout his glowing descriptions of ledge of the female heart and of female curiosity, what he would have us regard as the struggles to presume for a moment, that his reasoning, howthey underwent, ere the sacred ties of mother and ever cogent, can have any other effect than to wife could be severed, such an inconsistency with enkindle an increased desire to become acquainted the estimate we had formed of the character of with its contents. His sole and engrossing object Lady Emily, before she is presented to Falkland, has been to warn them with the solemn voice of a as in our opinion, renders totally unnecessary such sybil, against those sophisms of the author, which high-wrought pictures of distress and suffering. a gorgeous imagination has gilded with the heaWe cannot feel that such suffering ever could venly radiance of truth. He has sought to hang a exist in the bosom of one, who, like the fair and veil over the luminary of vice, whose rays are accomplished adulteress, seems to have intended darling a baneful influence upon the dazzled vision the commission of the act. We would almost of incautious virtue, in order that that virtue itself vouch to the author, that in an action of criminal may behold and contemplate unawed the dark conversation, with no more cogent evidence than spots that appear on its disk when it is shorn of its he himself has furnished, to make out to the satis- beams. faction of an honest jury a clear and incontro- To you who have found out that you have vertible case of malice prepense.
assumed rather too hastily the sacred and solemn We have gone through this volume, we confess, responsibilities of the wise and the mother, and with no little interest. We have hung with lively now pine in languid listlessness for the embraces anxiety over many of the scenes, which all will of the elegant and accomplished roué, and ever admit, are portrayed by the band of a master. court those embraces, with all the arts and smiles But we have looked in vain for one prominent with which guilty ingenuity has arrayed you, I redeeming principle to save the work, as a whole, have now only to say, come, and from this volume from that sentence of condemnation which we do derive all the consolation you may need amid the not hesitate to pass upon it in the most unqualified awful thunderings of the Sinai of conscience. terms. As a tale of seduction, it contains no les- Here you will find a justification for the crime son from which the young and unpractised heart you may be burning to commit, and be cheered by can take such warning as to prompt it to avoid the the soul-inspiring thought, that, though your prerock upon which many a frail bark, freighted with mature deaths may be clouded with a shade of domestic hope and happiness, has been unhappily melancholy, yet the sacrifice will be made on the wrecked. It purports, indeed, to contain the pun- altar of love! and your graves will be bedewed ishment which the crime deserves. But the moral, with the tears of sympathetic sorrow. which that punishment would otherwise afford, is To the victorious roul, whose brilliant career entirely destroyed by the eloquent and pathetic has been marked by a thousand conquests, the appeals so often made to the sympathies of the burning wheels of whose triumphal car have long reader. The death and burial of the adulteress, heedlessly swept orer the ruins of domestic peace (we cannot call her the heroine,) which are de- and happiness, and the desolated hopes of silently scribed in the richest and most touching style, imploring innocence—who is even now arming will, we venture to assert, elicit from the fair again for the conflict, and the terror of whose perusers of this tale, in one hundred instances to name is an unerring harbinger of additional gloryone opposing, the tears of compassion for the guilty to him, I say, pause not in your radiant course. being who has outraged all decency, and wilfully Your crimes have found an eloquent defender in violated the most sacred pledges of moral respon the matchless pen of the author of Falkland, sibility. The horror and indignation which such and with him you may indulge in the magnificent crimes should excite in the bosom of exalted vir- contemplation, that though your lives may be tue, is here aimed to be supplanted by emotions of blackened with infamy, that infamy itself will be pity and sorrow for the perpetrators of a deed, eclipsed by the effulgence of fame; and the gloom which, more than all others, is calculated to under of the final close of your glorious career, will be mine the foundations of the beautiful temple in cheered by the consolations of an infidel philosowhich that virtue is enshrined. The author, how - phy, more enticing far than the enraptured visions ever, may console himself with the reflection, that of Chaldean astrologers, and before whose enchantit is not the first instance in the annals of crime, ing splendor, the little stars that glitter in the firwherein the prerogative of eloquence has been mament of the lowly follower of Jesus, will shrink exercised, to gain for the criminal those tears of away and hide their dimished heads. It will prove sympathy which are due only to the martyr. to you the only GOLDEN BRANCH, whose magic
A few general remarks, and we take leave of power will guide you triumphantly through the Falkland. The writer, by the foregoing stric-shades of gloomy forment and despair, to the retures, expects not to deter his female readers from gions of elysian peace and repose. a perusal--nay, frequent perusals of the volume
The time has at length arrived, when the Cincinnati
fund is in a state to become, in part, available to the By Henry Ruffner, President of Washington College ; delivered college. We are, therefore, now called upon to fulfil
in the chapel of the College on commencement day, June 28th, all that is practicable of the conditions upon which the 1838-published by "request of the Students and auditory.”
donation was made. Fellow CITIZENS : It is known to you all, I presume, The faculty thought it expedient that the first address, that the Cincinnati Society of Virginia long since re- on a subject so new and important, should be delivered solved to bestow their funds on this college, for the by some gentleman of experience in such exercises, and establishment of a school in which certain branches of whose attention had heretofore been turned to the hismilitary science should be taught. If any one should tory of the society, and the circumstances and design of inquire for the motive of this donation, he needs only their valuable donation to the college. When we failed to be told that the military associates of Washington to procure the services of a distinguished alumnus of the would readily follow his example, and locate their institution,* who is now a member of the corporation, I patronage and their name where the illustrious Presi- was induced by the solicitation of my colleagues to dent of their society had located his ; so that the same undertake a duty, in itself, quite agreeable to my feel. literary institution might serve as a monument of all the ings, but perhaps better done, had it been done by revolutionary patriots of Virginia, who had “fought another. and bled in freedom's cause."
I shall not attempt to exhaust the noble theme. The They annexed to their donation the request, that in present address is designed to be merely an introduction due time an oration should be delivered here, for the to the future series of Cincinnati orations. A brief hispurpose of explaining the character and views of their corical statement, respecting the origin and constitution association, and of vindicating their memory from cer- of the society, with some vindicatory comments on the tain charges that were made against them shortly after charges formerly made against them, will suffice for the the institution of their society. Thus when they con- present occasion. ferred upon the college an honor and a benefit, which At the close of the revolutionary war, when the army entitle them to our everlasting gratitude, they asked was to be disbanded, the officers found their approachin return that we should stand up in defence of their ing separation more bitter, than had been even the toils reputation, when they who had so valiantly defended and dangers of their long warfare. Their sorrow at the their country, should have laid their venerable heads in idea of parting was natural. During seven long years, the dust, and have left nothing but their glorious names they had been joined together in the service of their for calumny to fix her envious tooth upon. Most cheer-country, contending with anited zeal and patriotism for fully do the authorities of the college undertake the the rights of man. Devoted to a cause so sacred, for office with which the society has honored them—and which they daily risked their lives, with one wish, one that not for once only; but, if our successors follow our hope, one determination of soul in the enterprise, all example, (as I trust they will,) to all generations. One their motives, and all their sympathies, would operate declared object of the Cincinnati Society, was “to pre- towards a warm and brotherly affection for one another. serve the memory of the American Revolution,” and Many circunstances tended to strengthen their mutual “to maintain the rights of man,” for which they had attachment. Long separated from old friends and relatoiled and suffered so much. With this view they lions in the walks of civil life, they associated almost desired to make their society, a permanent one by trans exclusively together. They were together during the mitting it to their posterity. Having been compelled weary march; they stood side by side amidst the upby popular clamor to give up this part of their plan, roar and the havoc of battle--all struck at the same they have left it to our college to fulfil, in some degree, foethe triumph of success, and the mortification of their patriotic intention. They are nearly all gone; and defeat came alike to all. When rest and refreshment soon the last of our revolutionary heroes will have va- checkered the scene of their warfare, they were still nished from the scene of their achievements; but the boon companions at the festive board, and on the couch College of Washington and the Cincinnati will remain of repose. This customary familiarity and intimate charged with the noble duty of preserving, in their companionship, for so long a time, and under such cirname, the memory of the American Revolution, and of cumstances, would grow into a habitual and confirmed promoting the inestimable rights of man, which this attachment, and even into the warm feeling of inseparaflourishing republic enjoys through their instrumen ble brotherhood. tality.
Thus it is, that every army long engaged in the same It is therefore our purpose to make "The Cincinnati service and the same field, becomes united by discipline, Oration” one of the standing exercises at the college and by sympathy, into a compact and almost indivisicommencements, and the delivery of it one of the hono- ble body, animated by one spirit, and moving by one rary distinctions of our best scholars. The orator will impulse. The army of the revolution had, in the cause not deem it necessary, on every occasion, to detail the for which they contended, the protracted sufferings history of the society in whose honor he shall speak; which they endured, and the glorious success which but he will be instructed to choose some patriotic theme, finally crowned their efforts, a peculiar bond of union. adapted to inspire the youth of our country with the They fought not for conquest, nor even for glory, but love of civil liberty, and to draw his illustrations from the for the salvation of their country. They had, in the American Revolution, and from the examples of the fullest sense, “staked their lives, their fortunes, and departed members of the Cincinnati Society, who their sacred honor” upon the issue. When at last, by bought the liberty of these United States, at the ex• * James McDowell, esquire, who had prior engagements that pense of seven years' toil and bloodshed.
I prevented him from undertaking it.
their joint exertions, they had won the prize of peace was instituted with the design of perpetuating their and independence for thirteen states; the sublime joy own friendship-of preserving the memory of the Amethat swelled their bosoms, at a result so happily and so rican Revolution and of promoting those rights of gloriously achieved, made them feel more united than man for which they had contended. To make their ever. Together they had struggled in the by-gone institution more effectual for these noble ends, they days of adversity and gloom-logether they had at determined to make it perpetual, by transmitting it to length wrung the plume of victory from a mighty foe; their posterity; each member to be succeeded by his and now together would their names be indeliby in. oldest son; or in failure of male offspring by any of his scribed upon the roll of their country's benefactors, and collateral kindred who might be deemed worthy. They at the head of the list, not only in time but in merit : might well presume that their descendants would imfor what could any future patriot do, more than pre- bibe their own principles, and long retain the spirit of serve unimpaired the blessings of freedom, which their the American Revolution ; and the more especially, scarred breasts and toil-worn hands had won? Such when they should inherit membership in an association, thoughts coming on at the conclusion of peace, and founded by their patriotic sires, for the express purpose kindling into a brighter glow a friendship already of keeping fresh and vigorous the spirit and the princiwarmed by a seven years' fraternity in war, how natu- ples of political freedom. rally would the sad idea of their approaching separa- They provided also in their constitution for the tion, cast its dark shade over their patriotic joy! admission of honorary members, whose personal merit
But their country could no longer retain them in her and political principles might make them worthy service. They must needs part, and go each to his ciates in the cause of freedom and of patriotism. But several abode, probably never more to partake in the lest this provision might change the original character companionship of the tented field, the excitement of the of the society, by introducing large numbers who had sounding march, and the tug of the thundering battle; no connexion with the officers of the revolutionary they must retire to the almost forgotten scenes of peace-army, they limited the number of honorary members to ful obscurity, where the noise of glorious warfare might one-fourth of their original number, and elected them never reach them more, and they might never again for life without inheritance in their descendants. even see one another's loved and long-familiar faces. As their first object was a fraternal association among How naturally, then, did they cast about for some themselves, they made it a condition that each officer means of alleviating the sorrows of separation, and of should contribute a month's pay to constitute a fund for renewing, occasionally, the communion and fellowship, contingent expenses, and especially for the relief of any so delightful and so dear to their hearts! When of their members who might fall into distress. The General Knox proposed that they should form them. fund so raised, is that which, after it answered its selves into a society, as the best means of maintaining original purpose, was bestowed upon our college. the feelings and the intercourse of friendship, all Finally, in the selection of a name, they thought of a embraced the proposal; for it struck them as appro- resemblance between their case and that of the ancient priate and unobjectionable, and as furnishing the sim- Roman patriot, Cincinnatus, who was called from the plest way and the surest guarantee, that they would, plough to deliver his country in a dangerous crisis ; and once in a while, have the pleasure of communing together who, after accomplishing the deliverance, threw off his and mingling reminiscences of the days, when they military habiliments, and returned to the plough again. wrought their perilous way through stormy scenes of Therefore they called themselves the Society of Cincinthe revolution.
nati. But the emotions which stirred within them de- No sooner was the society organized, and its constimanded something more than the maintenance of their tution published, than it began to be regarded with personal friendship. They felt that they and their com- jealousy, if not with envy, by some who professed to patriots had just achieved the most important po- consider it as aristocratical in its tendency, if not in litical work of modern times. They had successfully its design. A Mr. Burke of Charleston published a vindicated the rights of man. They had established a pamphlet to rouse the fears of his countrymen, and in system of free republican government over half a conti- a short time no little dissatisfaction and clamor were nent. They believed, and they had reason to believe, excited against the society from one end of the country that they had founded a new era in the political history to the other. That upon which the objectors laid the of mankind; and had set an example of resistance to chief stress, was the hereditary membership; which oppression and of the exercise of popular government, was thought to be dangerous to political equality which would sound through ages, and through nations, among our citizens, and to squint ominously at the inand would be felt by all the thrones, dominions, and troduction of an order of nobility. The provision to principalities of the world. But to make this example admit a small proportion of honorary members, added effective in the promotion of human rights, it was to the perpetuation of the society by hereditary sucnecessary that the principles of the American Revolu- cession, was thought to make the institution the more tion should be sacredly maintained in the United States: dangerous, inasmuch as it might draw into its connexand, that the experiment of free government, now to be on the most influential men of the country, and thus made, should be carried to a successful issue.
acquire by election a weight of talents and influence, With these views, they introduced some provisions which it might fail to maintain by the operation of the into the constitution of their society, which would, they hereditary principle. believed, make it stand as a perpetual memorial and So great and so general became the popular dissatisbulwark of the principles for which they had fought faction, that General Washington, president of the and bled. They solemnly declared that their society society, recommended that they should relinquish those