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composed. He expired about 2 o'clock on Thursday, July 12, 1804, aged about 47 years.
General Hamilton possessed very uncommon powers of mind. To whatever subject he directa ed his attention, he was able to grasp it; and in whatever he engaged, in that he excelled. So stupendous were his talents, and so patient was his industry, that no investigation presented difficulties, which he could not conquer. In the class of men of intellect, he held the first rank. His eloquence was of the most interesting kind, and when new exertions were required, he rose in new strength, and touching at his pleasure every string of pity or of terror, of indignation or grief, he bent the passions of others to his purpose. At the bar he gained the first eminence.
The versatility of his powers was as wonderful as their strength. To the transaction of all mata ters that were ever submitted to him, he showed himself competent; on every point of difficulty and moment, he was qualified to become great. What others learnt by experience, he saw by intuition; what they achieved by persevering labour, he could accomplish by a single exertion. Hence the diversified eminence of his attainments, and the surprising rapidity with which he rendered himself master, not only of new and intricate points, but cven of entire branches of science.
Within the sphere of our own knowledge, or in the records of society, it is usual to find individuals who are highly distinguished in particular walks: in the forum, the senate, the cabinet, or the field; but a single character pre-eminent in them all, constitutes a prodigy of human greatness. Yet such a character was the personage we are considering. He combined within himself qualities that would have communicated lustre to many. At the bar, his ability and eloquence were at once the delight and astonishment of his country; as a statesman, his powers were transcendant and his resources inexhaustible; as a financier, he was acknowledged to be without a rival; in his talents for war, he was believed to be inferior to Washington alone. To these we may add, that in his qualifications as a writer he was eminently great. Endowments so brilliant, with attainments so wide, multifarious and lofty, have but rarely fallen to the portion of a mortal.
Yet with these he had none of the eccentricities, irregularities, or vices, that oftentimes follow in the train of greatness. His mind and his habits were in a high degree orderly, temperate and methodical. To his powers alone, stupendous as they were, he never committed the performance of his duty, on any occasion of interest and importance. Preparatory to acting, he bestowed on bis subject all the attention that would have been requisite in a man of common abilities. He studied it patiently till he thoroughly comprehended it. Hence, even in the minutest details, he was never found deficient when he was expected to be prepared. To his moral habits, therefore, no less than to his physical powers, he owed it, in part, that he was consummately great.
With all his pre-eminence of talents, and amiable as he was in private life, general Hamilton is yet a melancholy proof of the influence, which intercourse with a depraved world has in perverting the judgment. In principle he was opposed to duelling, his conscience was not hardened, and he was not indifferent to the happiness of his wife and children; but no consideration was strong enough to prevent him from exposing his life in single combat. His own views of usefulness were followed in contrariety to the injunctions of his Maker and Judge. He had been for some time convinced of the truth of Christianity, and it was his intention, if his life had been spared, to have written a work upon its evidences.
General Hamilton possessed many friends, and he vas endeared to them, for he was gentle, tender, and benerolent. While he was great in the eyes of the world, familiarity with him only inCreased the regard in which he was held. In bis person he was small, and short in stature. He married a daughter of general Schuyler, and left an afflicted widow and a number of children to mourn his loss.
"Such was Hamilton; the soldier of the revolution; the confidant of Washington; the founder of the American system of finance; the enlightened statesman; the great counsellor; the eloquent orator; and the man of probity tried and spotless. He retired poor from an office, which, without peculation or any act that would have amounted to a breach of trust, might have rendered him as distinguished for wealth, as he was for the higher riches of his mind. His faults; for being human he had faults; are lost amidst his virtues, exeused, or forgotten.”
HANCOCK, Joun, a distinguished patriot and friend of his country, was born in the year 1737, in the province of Massachusetts. The habitation of his father, which is represented as the precise place of his nativity, was situated near the village of Quincy, and by the ordinary transitions of property in America, is now annexed to the patrimony of John Adams, former president of the United States. In this neighbourhood were born and died, for many generations, the ancestors of the illustrious Samuel Adams. He graduated at Harvard college in 1754. On the death of his uncle, Thomas Hancock, Esquire, he received a very considerable fortune, and soon became an eminent merchant. He was, for several years, selectman of the town: and in 1766, he was chosen a member of thie house of representatives for Boston. He there blazed a whig of the first magni.
tude. Otis, Cushing, and Samuel Adams, were the other three, who represented the capital, men of name in the revolution of their country. Being fond of public notice, he was flattered by the approbation of the people, with their marks of confidence, and the distinction he had in the general court. The political sagacity of Adams, the public spirit and patriotic zeal of Hancock, gave a lustre to the Boston seat. Of these two popular leaders, the manners and appearance were in direct opposition, notwithstanding the conformity of their political principles, and their equal devotion to the liberties and independence of their country; and this dissimilarity tended, no doubt, to aggravate the passions and animosities of their adherents. Mr. Adams was poor, and in his dress and manners, simple and unadorned. Hancock, on the other hand, was numbered with the richest individuals of his country. His equipage was splendid and magnificent; and such as at present is unknown in America. His apparel, was sumptuously embroidered with gold and silver and lace, and all the other decorations fashionable amongst men of fortune of that day; he rode, especially upon public occasions, with six beautiful bays, and with servants in livery. He was graceful and prepossessing in manners, and very passionately addicted to what are called the elegant pleasures of life, to dancing, music, concerts, routs, assemblies, card parties, rich wines, social dinners and festivities; all which the stern republiran virtues of Mr. Adams regarded with indifference, if not with contempt.
On the evening of the 5th of March, 1770, a small party of the British soldiers paraded, and being assailed by a tumultory assemblage of the people, with balls of snow and other weapons, fired upon them by the order of their officer, to disperse them. Upon which occasion several of the crowd were wounded and a few were killed. This affray is usually termed “ the massacre of Boston.”
It was in commemoration of this event, Mi. Ilancock delivered an oration, in 1774, from which we extract the following: . :
"I have always, from my earliest youth, rejoiced in the felicity of my fellow-men, and have ever considered it as the indispensable duty of every member of society to promote, as far as in him lies, the prosperity of every individual, but more especially of the community to which he belongs; and also, as a faithful subject of the state, to use his utmost endeavours to detect, and having detected, strenuously to oppose every traitorous plot which its enemies may devise for its destruc-. tion. Security to the persons and properties of the governed, is so obviously the design and end of civil government, that to attempt a logical proof of it would be like burning tapers at noonday, to assist the sun in enlightening the world; and it cannot be virtuous or honourable, to attempt to support a government, of which this is not the great and principal basis; and it is to the last degree vicious and infamous to attempt to support a government, which manifestly tends to render the persons and properties of the governed ipsecure. Some boast of being friends to government; I am a friend to righteous government, to a government founded upon the principles of reason and justice; but I glory in publicly avowing my eternal enmity to tyranny. Is the present system, which the British administration have adopted for the government of the colonies, a righteous government? or is it tyranny? Here suffer me to ask (and would to Heaven there could be an answer) what tenderness, what regarıl, respect or consideration, has Great Britain shewn, in their late transactions, for the security of the persons or properties