Nonsense from New York
From Richard Gimbel's pamphlet New Political Writings by Thomas Paine
FOR THE AURORA. NONSENSE FROM NEW YORK.
The following absurd and extravagant publication entitled "Reflections," is copied from Lang's N. York Gazette, of July 27. I send it you, accompanied with some remarks.
"The loss of gen. Hamilton (says this writer) cannot be considered by those who knew his extraordinary worth in any other light than as a severe judgment upon the United States. This being the case (it happens not to be the case) it becomes every one seriously to reflect on the cause of the displeasure and the only method for its removal. (Now for it.)
"The primary source, says he, of all the evils appears to be the conduct of the citizens at the last presidential election. From that moment discontent, division and confusion began to take place; and unless a speedy remedy be applied more afflicting scenes may be expected. Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Burr were elected, each having an equal number of votes.-(Burr was not voted for with the idea of his being president.) The public are now dreadfully convinced (this is another severe judgment) that the election of Mr. Burr was improper; and they have seen fall by his hand their first citizen and one of the most enlightened and honest statesmen in the world.-Language fails to express (that is, the writer has not wit enough to do it) the extent of his talents, and of the services which he has rendered .
"But the principal error was the election of Mr. Jefferson, and what the nation has the greatest reason to fear is his re-election, The objections to him are well known and need not be repeated. If in opposition to former warnings, and the calamities which have been felt, the electors will vote for him, then ruin will most probably ensue; embittered with consideration that the people have drawn it down upon themselves.
"It is understood that Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Clinton are to be the candidates, at the next election. If there should be no other candidate the preference ought clearly to be given to Mr. Clinton for president, though a more suitable man than either might be found, yet of the two the election of the latter would avert those frowns of Heaven under which the country labours. Every serious and reflecting person should look forward with anxiety to the event." (The writer signs himself)
INVESTIGATOR. (He means Instigator or lnfestigator.)
Remarks on the foregoing publication.
The poor unfortunate feds of New York, appear to be drawn from folly to insanity, and the foregoing piece is a proof of it.-The meaning of the first paragraph, if the writer was capable of having any meaning, is that God, to shew "a severe judgement" upon the United States had Alexander Hamilton shot in a duel! He then goes on. "The primary source says he, of all this appears to be the conduct of the citizens at the last presidential election. From that moment (0 terrible to tell!) discontent, division, and confusion began to take place," (among the feds he must mean, for the republicans are contented and happy at the event of the last presidential election, and united for the next) and "unless, (says he) a speedy remedy is applied more afflicting scenes may be expected." That is, all the feds will certainly shoot one another. This will be a severe judgment! upon the re publicans, for they will have-to bury them!!!
But the principal error, (continues our unfortunate author, for he is quite beside himself) was the election of Mr. Jefferson, and what the nation has most to fear, is his re-election, (Yes, it will be the death of the feds!) The objections to Mr. Jefferson, continues he, are well known, and need not be repeated. Yes, we know what the objections are. He turned some of them out of office that were not fit for it, and broke up a gang of blood-suckers that were living by useless offices on the public, of which, most probably, our unhappy author was one. "It is understood, continues he, that Mr. Jefferson and Clinton are to be the candidates at the next election. If there should be no other candidate the preference ought clearly be given to Mr. Clinton for president." (This quackery monger might have the manners to let the electors make their own choice.) "Though, says he, a more suitable man than either might be found, (he means more suitable to his own purpose) yet, says he, of the two the election of the latter would avert those frowns of Heaven under which the country labours"!!!
Can this whining hypocrite suppose that this sort of cant will have any influence? - To pretend to write, and have nothing to say, is the worst of nonsense, because nonsense ingeniously done, may afford a momentary amusement; but there is something in this hypocritical cant that is tinctured with impious ingratitude. We have been favored with a fine season, with plentiful crops of grass, grain, and fruits, for man and beast; we are blessed with peace abroad and at home; we have acquired Louisiana by negociation, without bloodshed, and without the addition of any new tax; no symptoms of the yellow fever have appeared at New York, nor elsewhere in our country that is publicly known; - we have every cause to be thankful; yet this murmurer of discontent and in gratitude talks of the frowns of Heaven under which the country labours because the poor feds were defeated at the last presidential election, and because Alexander Hamilton, though a man of some private merit, has died, "as a fool dieth," 2, Sam. chap. 3, v. 33.
Another writer of Rodomontade (one Mason) has made his appearance in a funeral oration on Hamilton; to let you know it is a catch-penny, the copy right is secured. No man who writes from principle, and wishes that principle to spread through the world, secures a copy right for small works. It is only in large and expensive undertakings, & to prevent other printers committing robbery, that this is prudent to be done.
"When Washington was taken (says our wild goose orator!) Hamilton was left-but Hamilton is taken and we have no Washington, we have not such another man to die." This might be true if we had no better men than our orator. "Bereaved America! (cries he) Thou art languishing beneath the divine displeasure. " The orator has certainly got a crack in the brain; a touch of what they now call in England the King's Evil, or he would not rave thus.-This short specimen of our orator's work will serve to shew what this catch penny oration is, of which, to catch every penny, the copy right is secured. It is a mean and despicable trick. He might think himself well off if people would read his wild goose nonsense gratis.
Should no yellow fever afflict New York this summer, and we hear of none at present, the New York clergy, if they do as the[y] did the year before last, will have to return thanks to heaven for its bounty to New York. Our revered orator will then have to unsay all that he now says. We shall then hear of nothing but the smiles of heaven. Now we are told of its frowns and "divine displeasure."
There is a marked inconsistency in every thing the feds undertake. Their praise of Hamilton is a satire on themselves-they extol his wisdom, now he is dead, and they despised his advice when he was living; for he strongly opposed putting Burr in nomination for the governorship of the state of New York, and the duel in which he fell, grew out of that circumstance. They are themselves the cause of the loss they deplore, and their manner of deploring it is an additional disgrace. "We have not" (says our orator) "such another man to die." Then they have nobody left they can put up for President at the next ele[c]tion, This is a good reason for declaring off, and we give the orator credit for the truth of it, for it is the only truth his oration contains. It is however an ill bird that befouls its own nest.