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family, and the moral and intellectual affluence of those who have gone before, remains to enrich their posterity. The great fountain of human character lies beyond the confines of life, where the passions cannot invade it. It is in that region, that among innumerable proofs of man's nothingness, are preserved the records of his immortal descent and destiny. It is there that the spirits of all ages, after their sun is set, are gathered into one firmament, to shed their unquenchable lights upon us. It is in the great assembly of the dead, that the Philosopher and the Patriot, who have passed from life, complete their benefaction to mankind, by becoming imperishable examples of virtue. Beyond the circle of those private affections which cannot choose but shrink from the inroads of Death, there is no grief then for the departure of the eminently good and wise. No tears but those of gratitude should fall into the graves of such as are gathered in honour to their forefathers. By their now unenvied virtues and talents, they have become a new possession to their posterity, and when we commemorate them, and pay the debt which is their due, we increase and confirm our own inheritance.
It has been said, that the panegyrists of great men can rarely direct the eye with safety to their early years, for fear of lighting upon the traces of some irregular passion. But to the subject of this discourse, may with justice be applied, the praise of the Chancellor D’Aguesseau, that he was never known to take a single step out of the narrow path of Wisdom, and that although sometimes it was remarked he had been young, and it was for the purpose not of palliating a defect, but of doing greater honour to his virtues.
Of the early life of Judge Tilghman few of his cotemporaries remain to speak; but those few attest, what the har
mony of his whole character in later years would infer, that his youth gave presage by its sobriety and exemplary rectitude, of all that we witnessed and admired in the maturity of his character. It is great praise to say of so excellent a Judge, that there was no contrariety between his judgments and his life-that there was a perfect consent between his public and his private manners, that he was an engaging example of all he taught—and that no reproach which in his multifarious employment, he was compelled to utter against all the forms of injustice, public and private, social and domestic, against all violations of law, from crime down to those irregularities at which, from general infirmity, there is a general comhivancein no instance, did the sting of his reproach wound his own bosom. Yet it was in his life only, and not in his pretensions that you discerned this his fortunate superiority to others. In his private walks he was the most unpretending of
He bore constantly about him those characteristics of true greatness, simplicity and modesty. Shall I add, that the memory of all his acquaintance may be challenged to repeat from his most unrestrained conversation, one word or allusion, that might not have fallen with propriety upon the ear of the most fastidious delicacy? His manners in society were unusually attractive to those who were so fortunate as to possess his esteem; and they were the reverse to none, except those who had given him cause to withhold it. Their great charm was sincerity; and though unassuming and retired, they never failed to show the impress of that refinement in which he had passed his life.
It is no longer wonderful that this venerated man performed his duties to universal acceptance, when we discern the spirit, better far than the genius of Socrates, from
which he asked counsel. The ancients would have said of him, that he lived in the presence of all the Deities, since prudence was never absent from him. The holders of a better faith must say, that it was to no poetical Deity, nor to the counsels, but to that “grace” which his supplications invoked, that he owed his protection from most of the lapses to which fallible man is subject. That « remnant” of life to which his last memorial refers, unfortunately for us, was short as he had predicted; but he walked it as he had done all that went before, according to his devout aspiration. He continued to preside in the Supreme Court, with his accustomed dignity and effect, until the feceeding winter, when his constitution finally gave way, and, after a short confinement, on Monday the 30th of April, 1827, he closed his eyes for ever. It will be long, very long, before we shall open ours, upon a wiser judge, a sounder lawyer, a riper scholar, a purer man, or a truer gentleman. The private life of this eminent man, was the reflection of an unclouded mind, and of a conscience void of offence; and such external vicissitudes as marked it did but ripen his virtues for their appropriate scene hereafter. The praise of his public career, is that it has been barren of those incidents which arrest the attention by agitating the passions of mankind. If it has grown into an unquestioned truth, that the poorest annals belong to those epochs which have been the richest in virtue and happiness, it may well be admitted that the best Judge for the people, is he who imperceptibly maintains them in their rights and leaves few striking events for biography. His course does not exhibit the magnificent variety of the Ocean, sometimes uplifted to the skies, at others retiring into its darkest caves; at one moment gay with the ensigns of power and wealth, and at another strewing its shores with the melancholy
fragments of shipwreck; but it is the equal current of a majestic river, which safely bears upon its bosom the riches of the land, and reads its history in the smiling cities and villages that are reflected from its unvarying surface. Such is the praise of the late Chief Justice Tilghman. He merited, by his public works and by his private virtues, the respect and affection of his countrymen ; and the best wish for his country and his office is, that his mantle may have fallen
BY THOMAS FISHER.
The transient and eventful day
The battle ceased, and all was still
Not an alarum-gun was fired;
Told that the northern hosts retired. A glow of red and shadowy light Was lingering in the horizon west, And lit the curtains of the night Around the day-star's place of rest. The length’ning lines of watch-fires rose, The wearied armies sought repose, The soldier, stretch'd upon the soil, Courted oblivion of his toil.
Upon the morning of that day,