BLTC Press Titles

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The Characters of Theophrastus


The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Carlyle, Rudolf Steiner

Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)

The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller

An examination of the various charges exhibited against Aaron Burr, Esq., vice president of the United States

by William Peter Van Ness



J.N compliance with repeated and earnest solicitations, the public are here presented with another edition of a work, which their partiality has allowed to possess a portion of merit above the ordinary level of similar productions. That the reader might have an entire view of the whole controversy, I have interwoven an answer, to such parts of the Clintonian pamphlet, entitled " A Reply to Aristi- des, by James Cheetham" as could be thought in the least deserving notice. In revising my work, it will be seen, I have not only methodized it throughout, which was much wanted, but I have descended to a minute and elaborate refinement in the style, to a degree, which nothing but my respect for the public, and a desire to render the composition more worthy of their favour, could have induced. The comparison of the two editions in this particular, may afford some amusement to the young student and the verbal critic.

The characters have all of them been less or more retouched; some sparingly, others with greater freedom; but care has always been taken that this should not be done at the expense of similitude. One portrait has been wholly withdrawn from the exhibition—this arose not from a sudden and capricious partiality, but is intended as the best reward in my power for very honourable conduct on a late important occasion. Another however has been added, though only a sketch ; it is the representation of one whose insignificance the present agitation of things has brought up from the bottom to the surface.

If the first edition of Aristides was entitled to the flattering re» ception it met with, it is with some confidence hoped, this will not be found less deserving the same honourable distinction.



A HE subject of the Following pages has so long decupled the attention of the public, that I can scarcely hope for a candid perusal of their contents: the patience of some is no doubt exhausted, and the prejudices of others have been roused by ,the numerous and elaborate productions, which have successively appeared. The attack on the vice-president has been conducted with a vehemence of zeal, calculated to make an impression favourable to the hopes and views of its authors; especially on those whcf were ignorant of their real motives. These motives I shall attempt to explain. Having truth alone in view, I shall endeavour to place the controversy fairly before the public, that its merits may be examined, and the purposes of justice be accomplished*

If Mr. Burr has been guilty of the conduct ascribed t6 him, I have no disposition to shield him from public indignation ; but if the testimony which has been disclosed, is such aa to show that his conduct has been uniformly honourable and correct, it is the duty of every lovef of justice, of every friend to the government, to clear his character from the malignant aspersions of his undeserved and wicked enemies.

Though I may discover less talents in the investigation of this subject, than those whose productions I am to analyze, I feel a just pride in the consciousness that my intentions are more correct. Though I may exhibit no brilliant testimonial*

of genius, or should fail to please by the sprightly effusions of fancy, something like conviction may be produced, by an ex* animation of facts, in plain and intelligible language.

To those at a distance from the field of controversy, it will be impossible, without leading their attention back to circumstances and facts anterior to the election which raised Mr. Burr to the vice-presidency, to convey an adequate idea of the causes that have produced divisions among us. In tracing to their source the evils that afflict us, we may meet perhaps with the causes that have produced them. By uncovering the secret springs that have moved to action our jealous statesmen, and by disclosing the ambitious views of opposing interests, we may develope the mysterious inconsistencies that have occasionally marked our political career, and explain the questions that now divide the republican interest. Although these points have already been the subject of much discussion, there is something so useful in recurring to every transaction intimately connected with the present controversy, that I hope occasional repetitions will be received without censure.

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