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parting benediction. Such was the blissful and honored retirement of the sage of Quincy. Happy the life, which, verging upon a century, had met with but one serious political disappointment! and even for that, he had lived to receive a golden atonement, “ even in that quarter in which he had garnered up his heart."
Let us now turn for a moment to the patriot of the South. The Roman moralist, in that great work which he has left for the government of man in all the offices of life, has descended even to prescribe the kind of habitation in which an honored and distinguished man should dwell. It should not, he says, be small, and mean, and sordid: nor, on the other hand, extended with profuse and wanton extravagance. It should be large enough to receive and accommodate the visiters which such a man never fails to attract, and suited in its ornaments, as well as its dimensions, to the character and fortune of the individual. Monticello has now lost its great charm. Those of you who have not already visited it, will not be very apt to visit it, hereafter: and, from the feelings which you cherish for its departed owner, I persuade myself, that you will not be displeased with a brief and rapid sketch of that abode of domestic bliss, that temple of science. Nor is it, indeed, foreign to the express purpose of this meeting, which, in looking to his life and character," naturally embraces his home and his domestic habits. Can any thing be indifferent to us, which was so dear to him, and which was a subject of such just admiration to the hundreds and thousands that were continually resorting to it, as to an object of pious pilgrimage?
The Mansion House at Monticello, was built and furnished in the days of his prosperity. In its dimensions, its architecture, its arrangements, and ornaments, it is such a one as became the character and fortune of the man. It stands upon an elliptic plain, formed by cutting down the apex of a mountain; and, on the West, stretching away to the North and the South, it commands a view of the Blue Ridge for a hundred and fifty miles, and brings under the eye one of the boldest and most beautiful horizons in the world: while, on the East, it presents an extent of prospect, bounded only by the spherical form of the earth, in which nature seems to sleep in eternal repose, as if to form one of her finest contrasts with the rude and rolling grandeur on the West. In the wide prospect, and scattered to the North and South, are several detached mountains, which contribute to animate and diversif this inclut -ing landscape; and among them to the South, Williss' Mountain, which is so interestingly depicted in his Notes. From this summit, the Philosopher was wont to enjoy that spectacle, among the sublimest of Natures' operations, the looming of the distant mountains; and to watch the motions of the planets, and the greater revolution of the celestial sphere. From this summit, too, the patriot could look down, with uninterrupted vision, upon the wide expanse of the world around, for which he considered himself born; and upward, to the open and vaulted Heavens which he seemed to approach, as if to keep him continually in mind of his high responsibility. It is indeed a prospect in which you see and feel, at once, that nothing mean or little could live. It is a scene fit to nourish those great and highsouled principles which formed the elements of his character, and was a most noble and appropriate post, for such a sentinel over the rights and liberties of man.
Approaching the house on the East, the visiter instinctively paused, to cast around one thrilling glance at this magnificent panorama: and then passed to the vestibule, where, if he had not been previously informed, he would immediately perceive that he was entering the house of no common man. In the spacious and lofty hall which opens before him, he marks no tawdry and unmeaning ornaments; but before, on the right, on the left, all around, the eye is struck and gratified with objects of science and taste, so classed and arranged as to produce their finest effect. On one side, specimens of sculpture set out, in such order, as to exhibit at a coup d'ạil, the historical progress of that art ; from
the first rude attempts of the aborigines of our country, up to that exquisite and finished bust of the great patriot himself, from the master hand of Caracci. On the other side, the visiter sees displayed a vast collection of specimens of Indian art, their paintings, weapons, ornaments and manufactures; on another, an array of the fossil productions of our country, mineral and animal; the polished remains of those colossal monsters that once trod our forests, and are no more; and a variegated display of the branching honors of those “monarchs of the waste," that still people the wilds of the American Continent.
From this ball he was ushered into a noble saloon, from which the glorious landscape of the West again bursts upon his view; and which, within, is hung thick around with the finest productions of the pencil-historical paintings of the most striking subjects from all countries, and all ages; the portraits of distinguished men and patriots, both of Europe and America, and medallions and engravings in endless profusion.
While the visiter was yet lost in the contemplation of these treasures of the arts and sciences, he was startled by the approach of a strong and sprightly step, and turning with instinctive reverence to the door of entrance, he was met by the tall, and animated, and stately figure of the patriot himself-his countenance beaming with intelligence and benignity, and his outstretched hand, with its strong and cordial pressure, confirming the courteous welcome of his lips. 'And then came that charm of manner and conversation that passes all description--so cheerful--so unassuming--so free, and easy, and frank, and kind, and gaythat even the young, and overawed, and embarrassed visiter at once forgot his fears, and felt himself by the side of an old and familiar friend. There was no effort, no ambition in the conversation of the philosopher. It was as simple and unpretending as nature itself. And while in this easy manner he was pouring out instruction, like light from an inexhaustible solar fountain, he seemed continually to be asking, instead of giving in
formation. The visiter felt himself lifted, by the contact, into a new and nobler region of thought, and became surprised at his own buoyancy and vigor. He could not, indeed, help being astounded, now and then, at those transcendant leaps of the mind, which he saw made without the slightest exertion, and the ease with which this wonderful man played with subjects which he had been in the habit of considering among the argumenta crucis of the intellect. And then there seemed to be no end to his knowledge. He was a thorough master of every subject that was touched. From the details of the humblest mechanic art, up to the highest summit of science, he was perfectly at his ease, and every where at home. There seemed to be no longer any terra incognita of the human understanding: for, what the visiter had thought so, he now found reduced to a familiar garden walk; and all this carried off so lightly, so playfully, so gracefully, so engagingly, that he won every heart that approached him, as certainly as he astonished every mind.
Mr. Jefferson was wont to remark, that he never left the conversation of Dr. Franklin without carrying away with him something new and useful. How often, and how truly, has the same remark been made of him. Nor is this wonderful, when we reflect, that, that mind of matchless vigor and versatility had been, all his life, intensely engaged in conversing with the illustrious dead, or following the march of science in every land, or bearing away, on its own steady and powerful wing, into new and unexplored regions of thought.
Shall I follow him to the table of his elegant hospitality, and show him to you in the bosom of his enchanting family? Alas! those attic days are gone; that sparkling eye is quenched; that voice of pure and delicate affection, which ran with such brilliancy and effect through the whole compass of colloquial music, now bright with wit, now melting with tenderness, is hushed forever in the grave! But let me leave a theme on which friendship and gratitude have, I fear, already been tempted to linger too long.
There was one solace of the declining years of both these great men, which must not be passed. It is that correspondence which arose between them, after their retirement from public life. That correspondence, it is to be hoped, will be given to the world. If it ever shall, I speak from knowledge when I say, it will be found to be one of the most interesting and affecting that the world has ever seen. That “ cold cloud” which had hung for a time over their friendship, passed away with the conflict out of which it had grown, and the attachment of their early life returned in all its force. They had both now bid adieu, a final adieu, to all public employments, and were done with all the agitating passions of life. They were dead to the ambitious world; and this correspondence resembles, more than any thing else, one of those conversations in the Elysium of the ancients, which the shades of the departed great were supposed by them to hold, with regard to the affairs of the world they had left. There are the same playful allusions to the points of difference that had divided their parties; the same mutual, and light, and unimpassioned raillery on their own past misconceptions and mistakes; the same mutual and just admiration and respect for their many virtues and services to mankind. That correspondence was, to them both, one of the most genial employments of their old age; and it reads a lesson of wisdom on the bitterness of party spirit, by which the wise and the good will not fail to profit.
Besides this affectionate intercourse between them, you are aware of the extensive correspondence which they maintained with others, and of which some idea may be formed by those letters which, since their death, have already broken upon us through the press, from quarters so entirely unexpected. They were considered as the living historians of the Revolution, and of the past age, as well as oracles of wisdom to all who consulted them. Their habit in this particular seems to have been the same; never to omit answering any respectful letter they received, no matter how obscure the individual, or how insignificant the