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T is a curious fact, that many millions of people, in Afia and Africa, who live under the vivifying influence of an almoft vertical fun, and enjoy a perpet ual fpring, where there is conftantly, "One boundlefs blufh, one white-empurpled shower of mingled bloffoms ;"are deftitute of fancy and tafte, and continue in a condition of torpid ignorance; while a defire for literature is awakened and fancy is lighted up in the minds of the inhabitants of the cold and dreary regions of the North. The people of Iceland, where the earth is perpetually enchained with froft; where the fun never rifes but a few degrees above the horizon; and where fable night reigns, for feveral months together; have a tafte for literature, and particularly for politics and poetry.


As well the poetical tafte of those moonfhine geniufes, as the mildness and fuavity of their difpofitions, appear from the following anecdote.

"On Heckla, and on the rocks of the fixty-fixth degree of North latitude (fays an ingenious writer) political literature is not fo barren as might be expected from the foil and climate. The inhabitant of the cold regions of Iceland has, indeed, ever had a warm heart for literature. In the printing-office at Heolum, eftablifhed two hundred and fixty-eight years ago, a monthly intelligencer is printed, which bears the name of the Iceland News-paper."





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Thus the lads, in Iceland, learn the art of verfifying, for defence, and for annoying their rivals; even as people of other nations learn boxing and fencing. When I firft fet myfelt down to fcribble upon this fubject, it was my intention to have recommended this bloodlefs mode of duelling to my dear countrymen; in lieu of the fanguinary practice that is now in fafhion. Happy, methought, would it be if the American bucks, taking a lesson from

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the Iceland gentry, might learn to settle their affairs of honour in this harnlefs manner. But, on the other hand, it ought to be confidered that the Americans are not born poets, and with the most ftrenuous efforts, feldom rife above mediocrity; that the faculty of getting and keeping money is accounted, in this country, the most eftimable of all talents, whereas a mufe-ridden genius feldom fails to be poor and finally, that the Iceland cuftom might caufe the whole country to be deluged with wretched poetry,by tempting many people, as well females as males, to murder rhyme, who have hitherto been pure from this crying fin.-Therefore, fe


It has been credibly related, that when any two Icelanders have an affair of hon our, or a quarrel, as it is vulgarly called, inftead of boxing and bruifing together, like furdy Englishmen of the lower claffes; or whipping one another through the lungs, with fwords, or mutually inje&ting leaden pills, as has been common among the more polite and fashionable people, as well in America as in moft parts of Europe; they fcourge each other (carefully minding never to break the fkin or fetch blood) with flender twigs, pluck-rioufly weighing thefe objections, and ed from the neighbourhood of Parnaffus. nicely balancing the pros and cons, I have That is to fay, the contending parties go- concluded to give up my project and to ing forth and taking a confpicuous ftand, ing forth and taking a confpicuous ftand, || leave duelling as I found it-left the remamidst the affembled friends and acquain- edy fhould prove worse than the disease. tance of both fides, exert their talents in PROJECTOR. ridiculing and buffetting each other in rhyme; and he that is able to keep up this pugnacular poetry with the moft fpirit, and to continue it the longeft, is declar. ed to be the conquerer. In this way, a difpute between them is decided; and, at the fame time, all the company are highly amufed and diverted.

Columbian Eloquence.



In the Senate of the United States, on the refolution for directing the Secretary of the Senate to give an attefted copy of the proceedings relating to the nomination and appointment of William Marbury and others, as juftices of the peace in the territory of Columbia, as mentioned in our laft.

[From the Evening Post]


WHEN I firft rofe in this debate, I felt and expreffed much doubt; but the

better reafon appeared in favor of the ref olution, I had determined to vote for it. At prefent my opinion is clear and decid. ed-The conviction has been produced by the arguments of thofe who oppofe the refolution. These contain the moft monftrous fyftem of tyranny that ever, I believe, was brought before a national af. fembly. Permit me to notice a few of the frange pofitions which we have juft heard.

It has been faid. by a gentleman from Georgia on my right, (Gen. Jackfon) that an extract from our Executive Journal fhould not be given to a fuitor in one of our courts, because it may contain matter to fupport an impeachment against the Prefident, which impeachment is to be tried before us; and therefore we, being judges, fhould not alfo become parties, by furnishing evidence. And yet the fame gentleman has told us, that upon the demand of the other Houfe, (who according to him have a right to demand every thing) we are bound to furnish this very evidence, it they require it, for the purpofe of bringing and maintaining an impeachment. Thus we muft withhold from a fellow citizen the evidence needful to fupport his right, becaule it may furnifh ground for impeach ment, although no question of impeach-given inent exif. This too, it feems, is required by the impartiality which we thould referve as Judges, before whom fuch poible impeachment may be tried; but where there is a queftion of impeachment, and where we are in effect the judges, then, for footh, on the demand of the other Houfe, we are bound to furnish that evidence which we are bound now to withhold.

We have been told, that the executive officers are all dependent on the Chief, and act under his directions; that therefore his dignity is implicated in their acts.--And confequently the conduct of these agents ruft not be queilioned, left his dignity be impaired. What broader fhield can be interpofed to fhelter the agents of executive authority ? How con they be more contely guarded again all inveftigation?

We have been told that a Treaty when proclaimed by the Prefident is the fupreme law, and that the previous affent of the Senate cannot be enquired into. Gracious God! And is it come to this, that the Proclamations of our Prefident fhall be the fupreme law of the land? That we must fubmit to it without enquiry? And how is this monstrous doctrine fupported? Why we are told that becaule it is not proper in the cafe of a common Statute to examine the Journals of the two Houfes for the purpofe of knowing whether the affent of each was given, therefore we must not examine the executive journal of the Sen

ate to know whether two thirds of the

members prefent advised and confented to
the ratification of a Treaty. But are thefe
cafes at all fimilar? The law is figned by
the Prefident of the United States, the Pref.
ident of the Senate, and the Speaker of the
Houfe. It contains therefore the beft
evidence in the nature of things, that the
full affent required by the Conflitution
has been given. But is this the cafe with
a treaty? No. The evidence of the con
fent of this Senate appears only by extracting.
from their minutes, made out by their
Secretary. And fhall this preclude the
enquiry whether in effect that affent was
which your Secretary has certifi-

I different occafions. I never noticed it, because it appeared to carry with itself fufficient evidence of its falacy; but fince it is now again produced, it may be well to give it one moment's notice. A right to examine whether we agree to a certain refolution, implies, it feems, a right to controul our conduct. It may be a queftion, in an infurance caufe, whether damages was fuftained by a violent wind at fea. Does the examination into that fact imply a right to command the winds and the leas? Does the enquiry whether a fhip has perifhed in the ftorm, imply the right to correct and controul the Almighty ruler

of forms ?

We are further told, that a condemnation of thefe agents muft affect the dignity of our First Magiftrate. Muft it indeed ? And is therefore no profecution to be made; is no condemnation to take place? This is indeed the golden chain let down from to bind the earth in And what becomes of our Prefident's dignity under this ftrange doctrine. A fub. ordinate agent abufes his truft, violates his duty, and is guilty of malpractice; he is arraigned; and becaufeable the culprit is convicted and condemned, is the dignity of Government therefore violated ?

ed ?

We have been told by gentlemen, who feem to know all the merits of the cafe which is before the court, that the dignity of the Prefident is involved in it. For my own part I know nothing of the cafe, neither do I wish to know, for I have no authority to try it. But the gentlemen fay the dignity of the Prefident is involv ed, and that we are in duty bound to proeft his dignity. But how? What have the petitioners afked? They have asked the evidence of a fact. And how are we to prote& the Prefident's dignity? By withholding that evidence. And are gentlemen then of opinion that a difclofure of tlemen then of opinion that a difclofure of facts will impa r the dignity of our First Magiftrate? Sir, I have no fuch apprehenfion. I trust that our Prefident has afted properly, and that a full enquiry in

to facts must redound to his honour.-

Those who offer this refolution, feem to
think otherwife. But I afk, are they pre-
pared by their vote to declare that injuri-
ous opinion? Is there a gentleman in this
fenate who, when the yeas and nays are
called, will record his opinion, that, the
dignity of our Prefident can only be pre-
ferved by withholding the evidence of

facts ?

We have been told, Sir, by an honourmember from Kentucky, (Mr. Breckenridge) that a right to examine implies a right to correct and controul. This propofition has been frequently advanced on

We have been told by the member laft up, from Georgia, that the evidence afked lor by the petitioners is ufelefs, becaufe, although the Senate may have approved of them as officers, upon the Prefident's nomination, yet it was in the difcretion of the Prefident to make or omit the appointment, which alone could confer a right. That gentleman feems to be perfectly acquainted with the caufe which is depend

He knows precifely what proof is needful for the profecutor; and deeming that which he afks for to be infufficient, thinks proper to refuse it.

It appears to me, fir, that this Senate is not the proper tribunal, either to examine the merits of the caufe, or the validity & weight of evidences. Thefe are the proper fubjects of enquiry elfewhere. If we adopt the gentleman's reafoning, however, we prejudge the cause; and I fhall be glad to know, if this practice be adopted, what cafe can exist in which a like refufal may not be made. A client is advifed by his counfel to apply to us for evidence in our power, as needful to fupport his rightsWe refufe, becaufe, in our opinion, that evidence is not alone fufficient.

But the fame gentleman has told us he would not eftablish any general precedent. He would always judge of the particular circumftance; and under the particular circumftances of this cafe, he would withhold the evidence afked for. But will not this eftablish a general precedent? How are precedents eftablifhed? Is it ufual for judges to make decifions for the fpecial purpofe of becoming precedents? No fuch thing. They give judgment in a

cafe' which comes before them, and that judgment becomes a precedent for fubfequent cafes turning upon the fame principle. I fhall be glad to know then, how

a diftinction is hereafter to be taken between this and other cafes. Here is a fuit pending in a court of juftice, and one of the parties applies for a piece of evidence which he is advised is material to eftablith his right-you refufe it. When in another caufe, another party fall apply, on what ground will you grant that which you

now refuse? Will you again prejudge the cause, and give them the proof because you deem it fufficient to carry the cause.


Mr. Prefident, one word more on that unity of the Executive which the gentleman laft up is fo much attached to. though I have already fpoken longer than I intended, I must pray one moment's attention. That honorable gentleman thinks there fhould be a perfect unity in the executive power. The divifion of it is inconfiftent with his ideas of good government, and therefore, he would admit of no enquiry as to facts which may have happened in the courfe of Executive volition, but give full credit to the commiflions and proclamations of the Prefident. Thefe ideas, fir, confift well with monarchic inftitution. Our fovereign lord the king, is indeed poffeffed of the fulness of executive power, and may exercife it at his pleasure; but as to our fovreign lord the President, the cafe is widely different. The American Conftitution has given to this Senate a wholefome check upon his fovereign will. But according to the doctrine which gentlemen now advance, this check is nugatory. Neither the people, nor the courts fhall queflion his commiffions nor his proclamations. His commiflions, it feems, confer compleat authority; his proclamations are the fupreme law; he may form what leagues he pleafes with foreign pow. ers, and when he fhall proclaim them, we are held to implicit obedience. To thefe doctrines, fir, I take leave to enter my diffent. I hope that when the rights of A. merican citizens are invaded, not only the Supreme Court of the United States, but the County Court of the molt remote district will dare to examine, to judge, and to redrefs. I hope this Senate will never. by an admiffion of fuch base and flavish doctrines, furrender the authorities conferred on them by our Conftitution. I hope they will ever be ready to aid the cause of freedom and juflice-and in this hope, I fhall give my vote for the refolution on your table.

Balance Closet.


No. II. PURSUANT to the plan proposed in our last, we shall now lay before our readers that Sedition Law, concerning which so much has been said and written; accompanied with a concise and correct view of the Common Law against Libels, under which the Junior editor of this paper has recently been indicted. We crave the serious attention of the honest and candid of all parties;-of federalists, because it will give them additional reason to feel proud of their principles; and of such democrats as

are open to conviction, because it will afford them a fair opportunity to discover the flimsy texture of that cloak of hypocrisy, which demagogues have put on to cheat the multitude, and further their own ambitious views.

The Sedition Law (so called) was passed by Congress on the 14th day of July, 1798, and that part of it which relates to libels, is in the following words, viz

"Be it enacted, &c. That if any person shall write, print, utter or publish, or shali cause or pro cure to be written, printed, uttered or published, or shall knowingly and willingly assist or aid in writing, printing, sttering or publishing any FALSE, SCANDALOUS and MALICIOUS writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either house of the Congress of the United States, or the president of the United States, with intent to defame the said government, or either house of the said Congress, or the said president, or to bring them, or either of them, into contempt or either or any of them, the hatred of the good people of the United States, or to stir up sedition within the United States; or to excite any unlawful combinations therein, for opposing or resisting any law of the United States, or any act of the president of the United States, done in pursuance of any such law, or of the powers in him vested by the constitution of the United States; or to resist, oppose, or defeat any such law or act; or, to aid, encourage or abet any hostile designs of any foreign nation against the United States, their people or government, then such person, being thereof convicted before any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, and by imprison. ment not exceeding two years.

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"And be it further enactel and declare, That if any person shall be prosecuted under this act, for the writing or publishing any libel aforesaid, it shall be lawful for the defendant, upon the trial of the cause, to give in evidence in his defence, THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER contained in the publication charged as a libel. And the jury who shall try the cause, shall have a right to determine the law and the fact, under the direction of the court, as in other cases."

This law has been honored with the curses and execrations of democrats, and with the approbation and support of federalists. Persons, regardless of truth, honor or honesty, have stiled it the gag law.", Democratic printers have, a thousand times, falsely declared, that it prevented the publication of truth, and that it was passed for the express purpose of silencing the just censures.of the people; and of shielding the conduct of the federal government from scrutiny.-Reader, cast your eye once more over this law. Search it--sift it down to the very bottom, and discover, if you can, any thing like a restraint on the genuine liberty of the press. In what part of it will you find any such restraint ? In that part which forbids the publication of any FALSE, SCANDALOUS and MALICIOUS LIBEL? We trust not. Do you expect to find it in that part which gives any person prosecuted under the act a right "to give in evidence in his defence, the TRUTH OF THE MATTER contained in the publication charged as a libel?" Certainly not. Then, indeed, you must search in vain for it.

Leaving the further discussion of this point to some future numbers, we proceed to the Common Law against Libels:

"With regard to libels in general, (says Blackstone) there are, as in many other cases, two remedies; one by indictment, and another by action. The former for the public offence; for every libel

has a tendency to break the peace, or provoke others to break it: which offence is the same whether the matter contained be TRUE or FALSE; and therefore the defendant, on an indictment for pub. lishing a libel, is not allowed to alledge the TRUTH of it by way of justification."

"The communication of a libel to any one person (says the same commentator) is a publication in the eye of the law and therefore the sending an abusive private letter to a man is as much a libel as if it were openly printed, for it equally tends to a breach of the peace. For the same reason it is im material with respect to the essence of a libel, whether the matter of it be TRUE or FALSE; since the provocation, and not the falsity, is the thing to be punished criminally though, doubtless, the falshood of it may aggravate its guilt, and enhance its punishment. In a civil action, we may remember, a libel must appear to be false, as well as scandalous; for, if the charge be true, the plaintiff has received no private injury, and has no ground to demand a compensation for himself, whatever offence

may be against the public peace: and, therefore, upon a civil action, the truth of the accusation may be pleaded in bar of the suit. But in a criminal prosecution, the tendency which all libels have to create animosities, and to disturb the public peace, is the sole consideration of the law. And there. fore, in such prosecutions, the only points to be considered are, first, the making or publishing of the book or writing; and, secondly, whether the matter be criminal and, if both these points are against the defendant, the offence against the public is complete. The punishment of such libellers, for either making, repeating, printing, or publishing the libel, is fine, and such corporal punishment as the court in its DISCRETION shall inflict; regarding the quantity of the offence, and the quality of the offender."


"It seems to be clearly agreed (says Lord Bacon) that in an indictment or criminal prosecution for a libel, the party cannot justify that the contents thereof are TRUE, or that the person upon whom it is made had a bad reputation; since the greater appearance there is of truth in any malicious invective, so much the more provoking it is."

"There can be no doubt but that a person who writes or publishes a libel is subject to the action of the party injured, in which damages shall be recovered; and that being convicted on an indictment or information, shall pay such fine, and also suffer such corporal punishment, as to the court, in DISCRETION, shall stem proper, according to the heinousness of the crime and the circumstances of the offender."

Other authorities might be quoted, but these are deemed sufficient to explain the common law prin ciple; and who, on a fair and impartial investigation, will have the impudence to say, that the Sedition Law was not an amelioration of the Com. mon Law? By the first, FALSE, scandalous and malicious libels alone, were punishable-and for these the degree of punishment was limited. According to the latter, TRUTH itself is a Livel, for the publishing of which, a printer is subject to fine and corporal punishment, limited only by the discretion of a court.

It may be answered, that Mr. Attorney-General Spencer, having granted liberty to the junior editor to prove the truth of the charges stated in one of the indictments, the Common Law is thus placed precisely on a footing with the Sedition Law. This sounds well;" but (to use the language of the Attorney. General himself) when closely inspected, it will prove to be a mere Jack o' th' Wisp, calculated to bewilder the judgment and lead it into error."We shall speak more explicitly on this head, when we come to treat particularly of Mr. Spencer's conduct.

* Two indictments were found.

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OOD feems to be compofed, in a great measure, of water, air, oil, falts, and earth. Accordingly, when it is confuming by fire, air is emitted from it, and its watery particles afcend in a vapour of fmoke at the fame time, the oily part feeds the flame; while the falts and the carthy particles, in the decompofition of the wood by fire, become afhes.

Hickery or Walnut, containing a much larger proportion of oil, and perhaps a fmaller proportion of watery fluid, than moft other kinds of wood, burns freely when green. A very large proportion of moft kinds of green wood, efpecially if cut in fpring or fummer, is water; and when one attempts to burn wood, in this condition, it fmoulders and emits a thick and offenfive fmoke; nor does it receive the flame or yield heat, till its watery particles, have, in a measure, pafled off in this fmoky vapour.

Doctor Williams, the learned and ingenious author of the hiftory of Vermont, mentions in that hiftory, that " a man much employed in making maple fugar, found that for twenty four days together, ore of the maple trees which he tended, difcharged feven gallons and an half each day and that a large birch which was tapped in the fpring, ran at the rate of five gallons an hour when first tapped.".

time, he is vexed and tormented, with
pitchy clouds of fmoke, infefting and tar-
nifhing his rooms, and, at beft, filling his
chimneys with foot; and thus expofing
his house to fire.

On the other hand, the buyer, with every large load of fuch wood, purchases a barrel of water, which he is glad to dif charge into the atmosphere, by feafoning the wood over the coals: and, in the mean

It is neceffary, however, to remark that wood, which lies feafoning a long time, efpecially in the open air, lofes, together with its watery particles, a confiderable portion of its oil, and fo becomes lefs valuable for fuel. It fhould therefore be neither ufed green, nor be suffered to lie very long in fcafoning, unless under cov.



Several kinds of trees, which are commonly used for fuel, contain perhaps nearly as much fluid as the fugar maple and the birch. Hence is feen the abfurdity of telling trees when they are fulleft of fap, and ufing them immediately in fire-wood: and ftill more abfurd it is to carry fuchly green wood to market. Every half cord of green wood, that has been cut down in fpring or fummer, contains a barrel more of water or fluid; and it would be, in that proportion, lighter, if this fluid were evaporated, or the wood seasoned.




S a confiderable number of
houfes will probably be erected in this
growing little place, during the current
year, you will permit me to call your at
pedience of building, as far as may be
tention to the importance and abfolute ex-
pedience of building,
practicable, with incombuftible and dura-
ble materials. Abstracted from the con-
fideration of the awful danger of fire, to
which a wooden town is peculiarly expo-
fed, it is bad economy to erect houses of
wood, in places where flone and brick are
eafily attainable. The exterior parts of
ing or evaporating moisture;-expofed
wooden houfes, conftantly either imbib-
alternately to fnows, rains, dews, and to
the beams of the fun; muft foon yield
(unless well replenished with oil) to the
ciflitude of weather-They fhortly begin
corroding and putrid influenee of this vi-
to need expenfive repairs; and, in lefs
than half a century, must be removed and
replaced with new buildings.

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That whilst your memorialifis feel the deepest and most grateful fenfe of your oppreflive of the difabilities of that fevere wisdom and goodneis, in repealing the most refrain from deferentially expreffing their act; they cannot, in juflice to themselves, high a degree, tend to prevent them from regret, that the prefent law fhould, to fo enjoying the benefits of the conflitution.


cumftances under which thofe of them,
That your Memorialifts fubmit the cir-
refiding here from the fummer of 1798,
until the fpring of 1801, were placed -
But thefe, however important in them-
Every alien diftinguished for his attack-
felves, are comparatively but inconfidera-fantly abufed in the papers countenances
ment to the principles of liberty, was incef-
ble objects. Every other confideration is by the adminiftration then in power.
that imminent jeopardy from fire, to which
abforbed by the frightful apprehenfion of American minifter at St. James's notified
the inhabiters of wood-built houses, clofe-
in the name of his government, that the
Irish ftate prifoners would not be permitted
to refide in this country-And the British
government made this the pretext for de-
four years, in open violation of a folemn
taining them in dungeons for the space of
compact. The prefidency was at that
time in the hands of a man notoriou fly
hoftile to aliens of Republican principles
-And the Prefident was authorifed by
law, to banish any alien at his pleasure ;
without trial and without appeal.-Under
these circumftances your candour will al-
the inducement to declare his intention of
low, that an alien-refident could have lit-

compacted together, are perpetually ex-
pofed. A general conflagration, in a com-
pact town, prefents a fcene of indefcri-
bable horror; and people, by erecting
and compacting together houfes of wood,
are piling up combuftibles for such a tre-
mendous event. Wooden houses, in this
part of the country where the air is much
more drying, than it is near the shores of
the Atlantic, are, at fome, feasons of the
might enkindle among them a fire, that
year, a kind of tinder.
A fingle fpark||
would roll its horrible torrents, with irre-

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