University of Virginia Library

8706. UNITED STATES, Freedom from turmoil.—[continued].

Our difficulties are indeed
great, if we consider ourselves alone. But when viewed in comparison to those of
Europe, they are the joys of Paradise. In
the eternal revolution of ages, the destinies
have placed our portion of existence amidst
such scenes of tumult and outrage, as no
other period, within our knowledge, had presented.
Every government but one on the
continent of Europe, demolished, a conqueror
roaming over the earth with havoc and destruction,
a pirate spreading misery and ruin
over the face of the ocean. Indeed, ours is
a bed of roses. And the system of government
which shall keep us afloat amidst the
wreck of the world, will be immortalized in
history. We have, to be sure, our petty
squabbles and heart burnings, and we have
something of the blue devils at times, as to
these Rawheads and Bloodybones who are
eating up other nations. But happily for us,
the Mammoth cannot swim, nor the Leviathan
move on dry land; and if we will keep
out of their way, they cannot get at us. If,
indeed, we choose to place ourselves within
the scope of their tether, a gripe of the paw,
or flounce of the tail, may be our fortune.
But a part of our nation chose to declare
against this, in such a way as to control the
wisdom of the government. I yielded with
others to avoid a greater evil. But from
that moment, I have seen no system which
could keep us entirely aloof from these agents
of destruction.—
To Dr. Walter Jones. Washington ed. v, 510. Ford ed., ix, 274.
(M. March. 1810)