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ing rothing to reproach myself with,' said he, in a letter to Mrs. Jay, 'in relation to this event, it shall neither discompose my temper por postpone my sleep. A few years will put us all in the dust, and it will then be of more importance to me to have governed myself, than to have governed the State.' The people of the State were somewhat less patient, but the decision of the Legislature, at their meeting, was favorable to the conduct of the canvassers.
The relations between this country and Great Britain were now assuming the aspect of open hostility; and, with the view of averting war, if possible, it was resolved by President Washington to commission a special envoy, to ascertain what effeet might be produced by firm remonstrances, in changing the policy of the English Government. His choice fell upon Mr. Jay; who, if we may judge from his private correspondence, was reluctantly induced to accept the nomination. It was, however, made by the President, and confirmed by a large majority in the Senate, and, in a few weeks afterwards, he embarked for England. In June, 1794, he arrived in Falmouth, and immediately commenced the negotiation, which resulted in the conclusion of the famous British treaty. On the 19th of November the treaty was signed, and in the following August received the signature of Washington. It would lead us into too wide a field of observation, to relate the circumstances of this memorable portion of our history. It appears that the opposition to the treaty in this country, which, as is well known, was very violent, was not unexpected by Mr. Jay. In a private letter, written during the progress of the negotiation, and addressed to Washington, he says:
' That attempts will be made in America to frustrate this negotiation, I have not the most distant shadow of a doubt. I brought this belief and opinion with me; and my dependence then was, and still is, on the wisdom, firmness and integrity of the Government ; on the general good sense of our people; and on those enlightened and virtuous characters among them, who regard the peace, honor and welfare of their country as primary objects. These men regret the differences which subsist between this country and their own, and sincerely desire to see mutual animosities give way to mutual goodwill. As to a political connexion with any country, I hope it will never be judged necessary, for I very much doubt, whether it would ultimately be found useful; it would, in my opinion, introduce foreign influence, which I consider as the worst of political plagues.'
Mr. Jay returned to this country in May, 1795. During his absence, the term for which Mr. Clinton had been elected Governor being about to expire, the public sentiment again selected the Chief Justice as a candidate for that office ; and he was accordingly, without consultation with him, nominated, and elected by a large majority. On his arrival, he resigned his seat on the bench of the Supreme Court, and on the 1st of July took the oaths of office, as Governor of New York. He continued to hold this office for six years, having been elected for an additional term of three years, at the expiration of the first, in opposition to his old friend Mr. Livingston. It is recorded by his biographer, that not a single individual was dismissed by him from office on account of his political opinions.
Mr. Jay had now formed a resolution to retire altogether from public life, and he was not induced to change it by the earnest solicitations of his friends, that he would once more become a candidate for the Chief Magistracy of the State. In 1800, he was again appointed by the President and Senate, Chief Justice of the United States. In a letter, communicating the intelligence of his appointment, President Adams says: I had no permission from you to take this step, but it appeared to me that Providence had thrown in my way an opportunity, not only of marking to the public the spot where, in my opinion, the greatest mass of worth remained collected in one individual, but of furnishing my country with the best security its inhabitants afforded against the increasing dissolution of morals. Notwithstanding the flattering manner in which this honor was conferred, Mr. Jay still adhered to his determination, and, in 1801, at the age of fifty-six, took leave of public life forever.
The residue of Mr. Jay's life, which was passed in retirement at his seat in Bedford, was marked with few events of much importance. Although he continued to feel an interest in public affairs, and to express his sentiments in regard to public measures whenever they were solicited by his friends, he viewed them rather as a spectator, than as one who wished to guide them. He was active in the discharge of his personal and social duties, and was a zealous member of some of the great associations, which have been instituted to promote the religious and moral welfare of our race. In 1827, he was attacked by a severe and dangerous illness, from which he partially recovered, though only to linger in a state of great VOL. XXXVII.-NO. 81.
at all open to objection, it is perhaps the devoting of so much space to an investigation of charges made against his father's fame by an unprincipled adventurer. We need not say, that the vindication is triumphant: the integrity of Mr. Jay is beyond the reach of such accusers. The author has, however, without transgressing in any respect the limits prescribed by propriety, in treating of the merits of a relative, done ample justice to the memory of a man of eminent ability and virtue.
ART. III.- Homer.
Designed principally for the Use of Young Persons at
Homer. Philadelphia. 1831. 2. Prolegomena ad Homerum, sive de Operum Homerico
rum prisca et genuina forma variisque mutationibus et probabili ratione emendandi. Frid. Aug. Wolfius.
Vol. I. Halis Sax. 1785. 3. Prolegomena ad Homerum, sive de Carminum Homeri
corum origine, auctore, et aetate, &c. Scripsit Rich.
Payne Knight. Lipsiae. 1816. 4. 'OMHPOY ’IMAE. The Iliad of Homer from the text of
Wolf, with English Notes and Flaxman's illustrative
The book which stands first at the head of this article is the first of a series, designed, as the author professes, to enable the youthful student to form a just and liberal judgment of the characters and merits of the Greek poets; and with that view to establish in his mind those principles of literary criticism, which are universal in their application to poetry, whether ancient or modern. We hail with satisfaction any attempt of the kind, at this time especially, when attention to classical studies is reviving among us; and we are free to express our
persuasion, that Mr. Coleridge has rendered a valuable service to the cause of classical literature. Not that the views or investigations contained in this volume are in general novel. They are such as a faithful, assiduous instructer in ou higher institutions ought to give his pupils. But there is much in the work, which is beyond the reach of most of our students. The common learning on the subject is well digested, and pursued sufficiently into detail for the purposes of the general reader, who does not need, and is not able to go to original sources; and the critical views exhibited show, that Mr. Coleridge is bimself thoroughly imbued with the spirit of the classical poets, which he would infuse into the minds of others. This work supplies a desideratum in the apparatus to which pupils have had access. It does not repel by a parade of learning; while the taste and poetic feeling which it indicates, and the spirit with which it is animated, make it in a high degree attractive. However full and valuable may be the instruction which the pupil enjoys, such a work will be highly useful, as a guide in his private studies, or as an auxiliary in reviewing the ground over which he has already passed.
This volume, after an Introduction of a general character, is devoted to the poems ascribed to Homer. Its various topics are arranged under the following heads; the History of the Origin and Preservation of the Iliad, the Iliad, Odyssey, Margites, Batrachomyomachia, Hymns, Epigrams, and Fragments. The reader is thus presented with a body of criticism and information on the Homeric poems, which it would cost him great labor and extensive research to obtain from other sources. In the Introduction the student will find, besides many valuable remarks of a desultory character, a few general principles, which will render him important assistance in forming a judgment of the merits of the ancient classics. The estimate which the author gives of the merits of Homer strikes us as just. Although ardent admirers of the ancient bard, we cannot charge him with extravagance. His opinions are manifestly the result of patient study and reflection, guided by good taste and judgment, and animated by the spirit of true poetry. We cannot more effectually recommend the labors of Mr. Coleridge, than by referring our readers to the concluding passage of his general Introduction, as affording a favorable specimen of the warmth and animation which pervade his work.
• I am not one who has grown old in literary retirement, devoted to classical studies with an exclusiveness which might lead to an overweening estimate of these two poble languages, (the Greek and Latin.) Few, I will not say evil, were the days allowed to me for such pursuits; and I was constrained, still young and an unripe scholar, to forego them for the duties of an active and laborious profession. They are now amusements only, however delightful and improving. Far am I from assuming to understand all their riches, all their beauty, or all their power; yet I can profoundly feel their immeasurable superiority to all we call modern; and I would fain think that there are many, even among my young readers, who can now, or will hereafter, sympathize with the expression of my ardent admiration.
'Greek,—the shrine of the genius of the old world ; as universal as our race, as individual as ourselves; of infinite flexibility, of indefatigable strength, with the complication and distinctness of nature herself; to which nothing was vulgar, from which nothing was excluded; speaking to the ear like Italian, speaking to the mind like English; with words like pictures, with words like the gossamer film of the summer ; at once the variety and picturesqueness of Homer, the gloom and the intensity of Æschylus; not compressed to the closest by Thucydides, not fathomed to the bottom by Plato, not sounding with all its thunders, nor lit up with all its ardors, even under the Promethean touch of Demosthenes ! And Latin,—the voice of empire and of war, of law and of the state ; inferior to its half-parent and rival in the embodying of passion and in the distinguishing of thought, but equal to it in sustaining the measured march of history, and superior to it in the indignant declamation of moral satire ; stamped with the mark of an imperial and despotising republic ; rigid in its construction, parsimonious in its synonymes ; reluctantly yielding to the flowery yoke of Horace, although opening glimpses of Greek-like splendor in the occasional inspirations of Lucretius; proved, indeed, to the uttermost by Cicero, and by him found wanting ; yet majestic in its barrenness, impressive in its conciseness; the true language of History, instinct with the spirit of nations, and not with the passions of individuals ; breathing the maxims of the world, and not the tenets of the schools ; one and uniform in its air and spirit, whether touched by the stern and haughty Sallust, by the open and discursive Livy, or by the reserved and thoughtful Tacitus.
* These inestimable advantages, which no modern skill can wholly counterpoise, are known and felt by the scholar alone.