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and it will directly be night.” This, and much more, was said as fast as he could utter it. We declined refreshments, and Mr. Pickering told him our situation. “Ah," says he, joice the inn was full, I am indebted to this circumstance for this visit. There is my house, we have plenty of beds, and whatever it affords is at your service.” We then walked over the pleasure grounds in front and a little back of the house. It is formed into walks, in every direction, with borders of flowering shrubs and trees. Between are lawns of green grass, frequently mowed to make them convenient for walking, and at different distances numerous copse of native trees, interspersed with artificial groves, which are set with trees collected from all parts of the world. I soon found the fatigue of walking too great for me, though the enjoyment, in a measure, drove away the pain. O, that I had been well! We then took a turn in the gardens and the green-houses. In the gardens, though ornamented with almost all the flowers and vegetables the earth affords, I was not able to walk long. The green-houses, which occupy a prodigious space of ground, I can not pretend to describe. Every part was crowded with trees and plants from the hot climates, and such as I had never seen, all the spices, the tea-plant in full perfection; in short, he assured us there was not a rare plant in Europe, Asia, or Africa, many from China and the islands in the South Seas, none, of which he had obtained any account, which he had not procured.
By this time it was so dark that no object could be distinctly examined. We retired to the house. The table was spread with decanters of different wines, and tea was served.
Immediately after, another table was loaded with large botanical books, containing most excellent drawings of plants, such as I never could have conceived. He is himself an excellent botanist. O, my unfortunate side! When I had time to think of it, while I sat at the table, I was obliged to bite my lips to suppress my groans.
When we turned to rare plants, one of the gardeners would be called, and sent with
done pernaps twenty times. Between 10 and 11 an elegant table was spread, with, I believe, not less than twenty covers. After supper, we turned again to the drawings, and at one we retired to bed. Our lodging was in the same style, and I had an excellent night's sleep, to be imputed, indeed, in part, to the opium I had taken.
In the morning, as we had informed him we must do, we rose as soon as daylight appeared. When we came down, we found him up, too, and the servants getting breakfast. We assured him we must be excused, for the stage would leave us, if we were not in season, and the passengers would breakfast at Chester. “Well," he said, “if it must be so, you can not go until you have gone over the apartments in the house." '
I can not now describe them, can only say they were filled with a collection of rich and elegant paintings, of all descriptions.
A carriage was at the door, with servants, to conduct us to the inn, where the stage was waiting.
At parting with our hospitable and most generous friend, he extorted from us, and especially from me, a promise never to pass again without calling. He is a bachelor, about 54 or 55. He has an aged mother, about 88, of whom he spoke with great affection. An odd expression, however, I can not omit. My mother is so old she does not know any thing. I suspect she is going to die, but I am sorry for it.” He has with him a nephew, about 24, and two young ladies, his nieces. They took a large share with us in looking over the drawings, were very social, and as much engaged as their uncle. He embarrassed me with a question I did not know how to understand. He inquired after my nephew, Mr. Cutler, of Boston, who had made him a visit with his lady. He said he told him he was my nephew. I was going to rectify the mistake, but he so rapidly went to something else I let it pass. At supper, the young ladies made the same inquiry. I let it go so. My paper is done!
Your affectionate parent,
WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 1803. TO REV. DR. DAXA.
Dear Sir:- The Senate have the amendment of the Constitution still before them. It has been repeatedly called up, and several amendments to the first or principal amendment proposed. It occupied them mostly the whole of the sitting yesterday without coming to any decision. Most probably they will not pass upon the bill until Mr. Armstrong, from New York, and Mr. Sumpter, from South Carolina, arrive.
The designation of President and Vice-President, in voting for those officers, does not appear, at first view, to be liable to any serious objections. At least, it had so struck my mind. But, happening to be on the large Committee, consisting of one member from each state, to whom the motion for the amendment, in the House, was in the first instant committed, I had opportunity to attend to a more minute and satisfactory investigation than the subsequent debates afforded. In the Committee, we had recourse to the minutes of the debates in the Convention for forming the Constitution, and all the documents relating to this article. It appears that scarcely one article in that instrument occupied more time, or was attended with greater difficulty, than the mode of electing the President and Vice-President. Many different modes were, in succession, under consideration and rejected. The smaller states were jealous of the larger, and it was finally made a matter of compromise between them. This compromise is completely destroyed by the proposed amendment, as it went from the House to the Senate; and, should there not be a choice by the electors, and five be the highest number of those voted for, from whom the Ilouse are to make the choice, it will always be in the power of the five largest states, if they should be so disposed, to give a President and Vice-President to the nation. Besides, the Vice-President becomes worse than a useless officer, for candidates for the chair may make this officer the mere tool to secure their election. It is evident the rage for the amendment, at this moment, is solely to secure their Man at the next election. It appears, however, quite unnecessary, in order to effect this purpose, for there But why should we trouble ourselves about the amendment of an instrument which has become any thing or nothing? It is just what the majority are pleased to call it. Look at the power given to the President by the provisional government of Louisiana. By one sweeping clause, he is made as despotic as the Grand Turk. Every officer is appointed by him, holds his commission during his pleasure, and is amenable only to him. Ile is the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judicature. What clamor, a few years ago, lest the President should be vested with too much power, the department the most dangerous of all to be trusted.
Look at the instantaneous naturalization of a whole province of foreigners, and the preference given, by the regulations of commerce, to one part above all the others in the U.S. I need not add more to show the perversion of the principles of the Constitution. Last session, when a solemn treaty was violated, the most distant appearances of hostile measures were denounced. They believed a warlike attitude, gentle souls, would infallibly provoke a war with Spain or France. Now, mark the change. “War with Spain would be highly beneficial; we should soon have the Floridas, and our conquests extend to their West India islands.” An army is now on their march, not to avenge the infraction of the treaty, but to take possession of a province of Spain to which we can pretend no better right than a quit-claim from France. It is understood that Governor Clairborne, of the Mississippi Territory, is to take possession, that an army of inilitia are to march to the lines, while a body of horse, and the continental troops, under the command of General Wilkinson, are to escort the Governor to New Orleans. From the weakness of the Spanish force, there seems little probability of resistance. But the Democrats generally appear to be under some apprehension that they will be obliged to “look on the bloody arena," before they get possession.
You recollect the cry of the exclusive patriots about high salaries. The salaries of Heads of Departments, as raised in 1799, “ were exorbitant,” when articles of living were at least 25 per cent higher than at present, but now they are “scarcely sufficient.” To prevent their being lowered, as the people were made to expect, a perpetual law is passed, fixing them at the same rate they were last year, and rendering them permanent. On passing this bill the debates were interesting. Some of the opposers of the bill, or, rather, opposed to Democratic inconsistency, dealt pretty freely in handsome sarcasm, and pointed humor. There is no probability that these debates will be given impartially to the public, as no Federal reporter was present.
The increased number of representatives, though there arpears little acquisition in quantum of ability, or weight of character, has given a preponderance to the majority which carries all before it.
Though Federalism has lost in some states, it has gained in others. The four from Virginia are men of handsome talents, and in the opinion of some, possess more than all their delegation besides, It has gained much from N. York. N. Hampshire has a respectable representation. No loss from Vermont, and I can not help feeling a pride in the acquisition from Mass. Dwight, Mitchell, and Stedman, are inen of much respectability. And our good brother Taggart (who is my chum) is possessed of a strong mind and sound political principles. I know not how to describe him better than to tell you his mind, and his manners, constantly remind me of our good father Cleaveland. But the Federalists can do little more than look on. The House has been occupied lately very much with local
The Bankrupt Law has been repealed in the House by a very large majority. Those who are friendly to a uniform system of bankruptcy were convinced that the existing law was so radically deficient as not to admit of amendments. Your affectionate friend and brother,
December 1, Thursday. Thanksgiving in Massachusetts. Mr. Taggart and I noticed the day.
December 7, Wednesday. Invited a number of gentlemen