GLC03175: Gazette of the United States. [No. XL (August 29, 1789)]: Page #3
Original title: GLC03175_p03.jpg
To imitate and applaud such distinguished virtues has a good effect, whether they are crowned with the popular approbation or not. By over-acting the good qualities of any individuals, it stimulates others to practice similar virtues, and aim at similar attainments.
The weakness of heaping too profuse encomiums upon illustrious talents and patriotism, is not so inconvenient as a mistake of a contrary nature. Great inconvenience may attend the extremes of a censorious temper. It may single out particular men as victims to popular resentment, and doom them a sacrifice for evils which happen through the general depravity of the times. An ingenious writer, observing upon complaints of a factious selfish people against their men in office, draws a comparison between them and some Carthagenian armies: Who being at once cowardly and insolent, ran away at the fight of an enemy, and then crucified their Generals for not gaining victory. Few men have either disposition or talents to attend a minute investigation of causes. When error or calamity prevails, it is a much easier solution of the matter to charge them upon some faults of individuals than to search out a cause in the general temper and conduct of the mass of the people. Men feel a certain pride in being free, and look upon their privileges too important to lie still and unexerted. They wish to give frequent demonstrations that they are not ignorant of what they profess. The more busy, active spirits feel and impatience to display their rights, and suppose they can only shew a commendable care and vigilance over the liberties of the community, in proportion as they reprobate the conduct of men in administration.