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AMERICAN SCENERY—FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
Plan of an ancient fortification on the east bank of the little .Miami river, about four miles above the mouth of Todd's Fork, and thirty miles .A'. E. from Cincinnati, state of Ohio.
EXPLANATION OF THE PLATE.
The fortification stands upon a plain nearly horizontal, about two hundred and thirty-six feet above the level of the river, between two branches, that have very steep and deep banks. The walls made of earth are represented by dotted lines; the gates are marked by spaces: the plain extends eastward along the state road, leading from Lebanon to Chilicotha, nearly level, about half a mile. The fortification on all sides, except near the north end where the road runs through is surrounded with precipices almost the shape of the wall. The wall on the inside varies in height according to the shape of the ground on the outside, being generally from eight to ten feet, but on the plain it is about nineteen and a half feet high on the inside and out, on a base of four and a half poles: in a few placcs.it appears to be washed away in gutters from twenty to sixty feet deep, made by water collecting on the inside. At twenty poles east of the gate through which the state road runs, arc two mounds, ten
feet eight inches high, the road running between them nearly equidistant from each. From these mounds are gutters running nearly north and south to communicate with the branches on each side. North-east from the mounds on the plain, are two roads, about a pole wide, elevated about three feet, and run nearly parallel about a quarter of a mile, and then form an irregular semicircle round a small mound, as represented in the annexed plan.
Near the south end of the fortification, on the south-west side are three circular roads, about forty poles in length, cut out of the side of the precipice between the wall and the river, perhaps for the purpose of annoying boats or canoes. There is no appearance of regular stone work, though some loose stones seem to have been collected in places on the side next the river. Within the fortification are a kind of basons dug several feet deep, having circular banks as ifintended for some kind of subterraneous habitations.
EPISTOLARY—FOK THE POUT FOLIO.
Gretme Park, May 1, 1785.
Having lately received a letter from my nephew Mr. Young, with a pamphlet containing the life of the justly celebrated doctor Johnson, (thought, as my nephew says, to be well written) and as I apprehend it is not yet very common in town, and recollecting that you had not been troubled with an epistle from me a great while, I therefore (truly conscious that a letter of mine should have something to recommend it) cheerfully embrace this occasion to write, and send the hook, which so much pleased me. I own when I first opened it I apprehended that it would be dry to any but people merely literary; but I was, on a perusal of it, most agreeably disappointed, to find that such a rcpositary of Greek and Latin, had in his heart so large a duct (large as that heart was found to be) for the milk of human kindness to flow in. He appears to have all the soft and mild virtues of humanity; the extreme attention he paid in his will to his faithful negro, is of itself sufficient to mark him with distinguished traces of that virtue.
The pains also which he took to obtain the pardon of the unfortunate doctor Dodd, and his reasons, wherein he so forcibly pointed, that the reprieve could not be brought into a precedent, is a most beautiful comment on the rights of the sovereign to mitigate such uncommon cases by the royal clemency; and would have prevailed on any man who had not as much * * * • as the king of Britain has showed on many occasions.
When I read doctor Dodd's prison thoughts, and where he observes on the promiscuous number of people crammed into jails hardening their hearts; and his just remarks on the sanguinary laws, and his address to M. Hanway who has wrote on that subject, I put up some mental petitions that as every thing in this new world was forming into order, I most heartily prayed that some persons who could discriminate between errors, and deep turpitude, would with spirit and candor, make amendments in this sad case. I know full well nothing but the legislature can accomplish this: but some must move and agitate them, and these seeds and embryos of virtue may be struck from small beginnings: who would think that a flint and a steel by a single stroke could emit a particle of fire sufficient to consume the world? This thought encourages so insignificant a being as myself, to hint it. You and others of your turn of thought have been very instrumental in giving a turn to the slave-trade; and as one species of oppression has been mitigated, why not another? Think of this and read doctor Dodd with attention. Fond as I am of poetry, I could have wished his reflections had been written in prose, as those people who are most affected with the cadence of measured syllables, are not for the most part such as have a great influence on the laws of society: yet if they arc founded on truth they should not be exploded because of their garb.
RHETORIC—FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
Of the peculiaritiet attached to the correct reading and recitation of Narration,
The application of the essential principles of correct Elocution to the reading and recitation of the different species of Verse, constituting the subject of my last address to you, I shall, this evening, direct your attention to the application of the same principles to the various kinds of composition in Prose.
The principles of correctness both as to reading and recitation having been inculcated in my preceding lectures, this, and the two following, will of course chiefly consist of exemplifications of those principles, in extracts from some of our best authors, which, if judiciously effected, will not only exhibit specimens of varied Elocution, but also present to the mind some of the most brilliant beauties of English composition.
In the reading or recitation of every species of composition, Expression constitutes its life and energy; and that cannot be given, without a perfect comprehension of the author's meaning, and at the same time such a degree of sensibility as to feel or awaken those passions which his sentiments arc calculated to excite.
In Narration the field is very ample and diversified—from the calm recital of historical events, to the animated declaration of personal incident: in all of which, the reader or speaker, to express himself justly, must express himself naturally.
The degree of animation or expression in the reader, must be accommodated to the nature of the subject, and the style of the author. I will exemplify this position by contrasting two narratives of an interesting historical event, in which the diversity of style, as it must produce different degrees of emotion in the reader, must also produce correspondent effects in the hearer. One example will, I conceive, sufficiently exemplify and prove my position; particularly as it will be drawn from two of our most celebrtaed modern historians, Hume and Robertson.
The sack of Rome, by Bourbon, in 1527, is thus described by those two eloquent writers; and tho' the recital of both is critically correct as to language, and highly descriptive of that interesting event, yet the glowing and animated style of the latter excites an interest in the mind of the reader, and of course gives a degree of energy to the expression and vivacity to the tones of the voice, which the former description neither requires, nor can awaken.
The following is Mr. Hume's account:
"The duke was himself killed as he was planting a ladder to scale the walls; but his soldiers rather enraged than discouraged by his death, mounted to the assault with the utmost valour, and entering the city sword in hand, exercised all those brutalities which may be expected from ferocity excited by resistance, and from insolence which takes place when that resistance is no more. This renowned city, exposed by her renown alone to so many calamities, never endured in any age, even from the barbarians, by whom she was often subdued, such indignities as she was now constrained to suffer. The unrestrained massacre and pillage, which continued for several days, were the least ills to which the unhappy Romans were exposed. Whatever was respectable in modesty, or sacred in religion, seemed but the more to provoke the insults of the soldiery. Virgins suffered violation in the arms of their parents, and upon those very altars to which they had fled for protection. Aged prelates after enduring every indignity, and even every torture, were thrown into dungeons and menaced each moment with the most cruel death, in order to engage them to reveal their sacred treasures or purchase liberty by exorbitant ransoms. Clement himself, who had trusted for protection to the sacredness of his character, and neglected to make his escape in time, was taken captive, and found that his dignity, which procured him no regard from the Spanish soldiers, did but draw on him the insolent mockery of the German, who being generally attached to the Lutheran principles, were pleased to gratify their animosity by the abasement of the sovereign pontiff."
Hume's Hittory of England.
How tame and uninteresting is this narration, compared with that given by Dr. Robertson!
"Bourbon's troops, notwithstanding all their valour, gained no ground, and even began to give way; when, their leader, perceiving that on this critical moment the fate of the day depended, threw himself from his horse; pressed to the front; snatched a scaling ladder from a soldier; planted it against the wall, and began to mount it, encouraging his men with his voice and hand to VOL. III. 3 q