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avaricious people. We are not one atom more so than the Europeans. The difference between us, lies in that boundless field for the acquisition of wealth, which is opened to every class of our people, by the nature of our government, the comparative thinness of our population, the situation and extent of our new country, and the native fertility of our soil. Hence it is that you see such a universal struggle for money, because it is within every one's reach. Give the European the same means of wealth, and he would be equally assiduous. Upon what ground, different from that which would influence an American, does he expatriate himself and come to this country? and when here, an adopted citizen, who sees him less attentive to his interest than a native? But, although this will relieve us from the charge of depravity, it is impossible that it should free us from the natural consequence of things. That faculty which is most cultivated, will always be in most perfection; and should we turn out at this time, better Traders than Scholars, we should neither be surprised nor discouraged. We must take the same course which other nations have taken,--with the certainty, from the actual state and situation of our country, and of the world, of immensely outstripping every thing that has gone before us. If the academy fail, it will not be for want of talent, but for want of talent enough at leisure, to cultivate the learning required.
There has never been a greater mistake, than in exhibiting the undoubtedly superior fruits of the mind which Europe can furnish, as evidences of a more excellent native grade of intellect than we possess. Not to insist upon the disparity in years and advantages, the very difference in the mode of life between us and the European, would account for all. In Europe, every thing is pursued singly; and the whole time and talent of the individual, are devoted to one object. If, for example, he betakes himself to literature, he never mixes agriculture nor merchandise with it as a vocation, and so vice versa,—as is almost always the case in the United States. It is plain, therefore, if we would equal them, we must pursue the same course; or Nature must give us double the intellect she gives the European. I mention this to show that you ought not to be discouraged, although the academy should for soine years be less brilliant, than similar institutions on the other side of the Atlantic. That we shall, at no distant day, be first in literature, in commerce, and in arms, does not, I think, require any conjuring to foretell. The unprecedented immensity of the raw material existing within our limits, imperatively declares, that it must and shall be so. But if you now find, as I fear you will, the literary attainment of our country fall short of what is looked for, by yourself and your associates, I again say, be not discouraged, nor cease to trim the lamp you have lit in the Temple. We are but pursuing the course which it has pleased God to mark out for the Vol. II.
sons of men; with this difference, that we cleave the air on the wings of the eagle, while other nations, creeping along the earth, have only gained the point where we now stand, through the slow progression of ages.
I have looked attentively over your constitution, and as I see nothing palpably wrong, I consider it a good constitution to begin with. That it has been so fortunately constructed as not to require new modelling, is what no man on earth can tell, however grave he may look, or wise he may preteud to be. The fitness of a law, or the soundness of a constitution, can only be disclosed by the working of events. The constitution of any society, whether great or small, must not guide, but be guided by, the genius, habits and opinions, of those who are to live under it. The facility with which your constitution can be altered, therefore, is one of the best points in it. In this susceptibility of change, there is an immense difference between a literary society and a state ; therefore do not suppose me to confound them. In the government of a nation, to have its constitution as open as its statute book to amendment, would be little short of keeping a mine, ready loaded, where people habitually pass with brands and torches.” a
A Constitution has been adopted, founded upon the principles stated in the Circular Letter, as follows,
The Preamble and 1st Article express the name and objects of the Institution.
The 2d Article embraces the classification of Members (as at p. 73.) the fees of Membership--and the mode of admission.
The 3d Article states the Officers to be—a President, three Vice-Presidents, a Corresponding Secretary, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, and thirteen Counsellors-of whom the President and Corresponding Secretary are two to be chosen annually [1st Monday in June]-a vacancy 10 be filled at any quarterly meeting :-The officers to form a standing committee, who may appoint a Librarian, &c.
The 4th Article provides for a quarterly meeting on the 1st Monday, in each season of the year—and other meetings by adjournment.
5th. That a member is to be selected to deliver a public address at each annual meeting.
6th. That amendments to the constitution, may be adopted at one meeting for consideration, and shall be carried, by two thirds of the votes at a subsequent quarterly meeting.
The 7th and last provides for confirming this constitution by fifty members.
[a This letter is from a gentleman of North-Carolina.]
The following gentlemen have been chosen to the offices provided, and have accepted, -viz :
John Quincy Adams, LL. D. President.
John STEARNS, M. D. Treasurer.
Hon. DANIEL WEBSTER.
WASHINGTON IRVING, Esq.
John TRUMBULL, LL. D.
“Ata meeting of the American Academy of Language and Belles Lettres," held at the City Hall in the city of New-York, October 20, 1820, the following preamble and resolution were unanimously adopted.
“As the proper education of youth is in all communities closely connected with national prosperity and honour; and as it is particularly important in the United States that the rising generation should possess a correct knowledge of their own country and a patriotic attachment to its welfare ;
"Resolved, that a premium of not less than four hundred dollars, and a gold medal worth fifty dollars, be given to the author, being an American citizen, who within two years shall produce the best written history of the United States, and which, with such history shall contain a suitable exposition of the situation, character and interests, absolute and relative, of the American Republic: calculated for a class book in academies and schools. This work is to be examined and approved by a committee of the institution, in reference to the interest of its matter, the justness of its facts and principles, the purity, perspi. euity and elegance of its style, and its adaptation to its intended purpose.
“Though it is wished to interfere as little as possible with the freedom of judg. ment, in authors; yet it will be expected that the examining committee, in ac
cepting a work which is to receive the premium and sanction of the society, will suggest the alteration of any word, phrase or figure, which is not strictly pure and correct, according to the best usage of the English Language.
“By order of the Academy,
Recording Secretary." It is believed that the concluding condition of this advertisement, which reserves the right of suggesting to the author any alteration that the Committee of the Academy may think important, is one wbich would not be exacted of a work intended for general readers. But it is of the highest importance, that productions which are to receive the sanction of the Academy for the use of schools, and are to give the first impressions to the rising generation, should be scrupulously exact in their statements, correct in grammar, and pure in language.
Premiums for several other works bave been proposed ; but, with a view to the best choice, there is a necessary delay for collecting the opinions of distant members.
ART. 8.-WRITING BY Cipher-Rees' Cyclopedia.
The following exposition of plate III. (in vol. VI. part II.) of Rees' Cyclopedia, may be acceptable to some of the subscribers to that work. The plate represents “an example of ready and undecipherable writing by dots, of the author's own invention”-and the author of the Article CIPHER' (vol. VIII, part II.) “ defies
any of his readers to explain the principle by which it (the ex“ample) is composed, or to give him a similar piece of writing.”
The writing consists of dots, placed in different positions over, under, and upon a line. The dot above the line signifies 1-on the line, 2—and under it, 3. Each letter is represented by four dots, or figures, and by arranging the figures 11, 12, 13-21, 22, 23–31, 32, 33, above the key, opposite to the letters in the upper Jine, and the same figures in the same order at the left side of the key, beginning at the top, the plate will be deciphered with ease by drawing lines perpendicularly and horizontally from the figures denoted by the dots. Thus, the four first dots represent 31. 31, which in the key direct to the letter T: The nexi four, 12. 23, which answer to h: Then 11. 32, answering to e:-which gives the word The.
In the article · CIPHER,' in the Cyclopedia, are four paragraphs, to be deciphered by the same key, but in a different manner. The 2d is in figures, and can be easily read by taking two figures for each letter, thus 1,5 the 1st line and 5th letter T9; 2,6 the 2d line and 6th letter h; 1,8 the 1st line and 8th letter e;then 0 for the end of a word : 3,5 the third line and 5th letter, &c.
The next paragraph is in letters, and must be deciphered by taking two letters, for two figures, which direct to the letter in the key represented by them ; thus, b, a :-6 is the 1st letter in the column, and therefore represents 1, and a is the 5th letter in the column, in which it is found in the key, and therefore represents 5,the 1st line and 5th letter, as before, representing T:—w, m, are the next two letters: w is the 7th letter of the column in which it is found in the key, and m, the 2d—the 7th line and 2d letter h; &c.
The first and third paragraphs have not been deciphered.
Art. 9.--INSCRIPTION UPON THE TOMBSTONE OF DOCTOR SAM
UEL JOHNSON-AT STRATFORD, Con.
Obiit 6to. Jan. 1772.
ART. 10.-LINES ON THE LATE Doctor JOSEPH R. DRAKE.
The following stanzas, for beauty and exquisite finish, are infinitely superior to the verses generally afforded on similar occasions. They were written by a friend of the late Dr. J. R. Drake, of this city.
To commemorate the virtues and the talents of a departed friend, or to weigh with impartiality his claims to public attention, is indeed no easy task; but the subject of these lines was worthy of all the commendation and all the sorrow here so beautifully expressed. Á devotion to the muses marked his early life ;