Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

For with thy side shall dwell, at last,

The victory of endurance born.
Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again;

The eternal years of God are hers;
But Error, wounded, writhes with pain,

And dies among his worshippers.
Yea, though thou die upon the dust,

When those who helped thee flee in fear, –
Die full of hope and manly trust,

Like those who fell in battle here,

Another hand thy sword shall wield,

Another hand the standard wave,
Till from the trumpet's mouth is pealed

The blast of triumph o'er thy grave!

60. TILE DIZZY ACTIVITIES OF THE TIMES. - Edward Everett.

We need the spirit of '75 to guide us safely amid the dizzy activities of the times. While our own numbers are increasing in an unexampled ratio, Europe is pouring in upon us her hundreds of thousands annually, and new regions are added to our domain, which we are obliged to count by degrees of latitude and longitude. In the mean time, the most wonderful discoveries of art, and the most mysterious powers of nature, combine to give an almost fearful increase to the intensity of our existence. Machines of unexampled complication and ingenuity have been applied to the whole range of human industry: we rush across the land and the sea by steam; we correspond by magnetism; we paint by the solar ray; we count the beats of the electric clock at the distance of a thousand miles; we annihilate time and distance; and, amidst all the new agencies of communication and action, the omnipotent Press - the great engine of modern progress, not superseded or impaired, but gathering new power from all the arts — is daily clothing itself with louder thunders. While we contemplate with admiration almost with awe

- the mighty influences which surround us, and which demand our coöperation and our guidance, let our hearts overflow with gratitude to the patriots who have handed down to us this great inheritance. Let us strive to furnish ourselves, from the storehouse of their example, with the principles and virtues which will strengthen us for the performance of an honored part on this illustrious stage. Let pure patriotism add its bond to the bars of iron which are binding the continent together; and, as intelligence shoots with the electric spark from ocean to ocean, let public spirit and love of country catch from heart to heart.

61. THE GOOD GREAT MAN.-S. T. Coleridge. Born, 1770 ; died, 1834.

“How seldom, friend, a good great man inherits

Honor and wealth, with all his worth and pains !
It seems a story from the world of spirits
When any man obtains that which he merits,

Or any merits that which he obtains.”
For shame, my friend !- renounce this idle strain !
What wouldst thou have a good great man obtain ?
Wealth, title, dignity, a golden chain,
Or heap of corses which his sword hath slain ?
Goodness and greatness are not means, but ends.
Hath he not always treasures, always friends,
The good great man? Three treasures, - love, and light,

And calm thoughts, equable as infant's breath;
And three fast friends, more sure than day or night,

Himself, his Maker, and the Angel Death.

62. TAXES THE PRICE OF GLORY. – Rev. Sydney Smith. Born, 1768 ; died, 1845.

John Bull can inform Jonathan what are the inevitable consequences of being too fond of Glory:— Taxes! Taxes upon every article which enters into the mouth, or covers the back, or is placed under the foot; taxes upon everything which it is pleasant to see, hear, feel, smell, or taste; taxes upon warmth, light, and locomotion ; taxes on everything on earth, and the waters under the earth; on everything that comes from abroad, or is grown at home; taxes on the raw material ; taxes on every fresh value that is added to it by the industry of man ; taxes on the sauce which pampers man's appetite, and the drug that restores him to health ; on the ermine which decorates the Judge, and the rope which hangs the criminal ; on the poor man's salt, and the rich man's spice; on the brass nails of the coffin, and the ribbons of the bride; at bed or board, couchant or levant, we must pay.

The school-boy whips his taxed top; the beardless youth manages his taxed horse, with a taxed bridle, on a taxed road; - and the dying Englishman, pouring his medicine, which has paid seven per cent., into a spoon that has paid fifteen per cent., flings himself back upon his chintz-bed, which has paid twenty-two per cent., makes his will on an eight-pound stamp, and expires in the arms of an apothecary, who has paid a license of a hundred pounds for the privilege of putting him to death. His whole property is then immediately taxed from two to ten per cent. Besides the probate, large fees are demanded for burying him in the chancel ; his virtues are handed down to posterity on taxed marble; and he is then gathered to his fathers, — to be taxed no more.

In addition to all this, the habit of dealing with large sums will make the Government avaricious and profuse; and the system itself will infallibly generate the base vermin of spies and informers, and a still more pestilent race of political tools and retainers of the meanest and most odious description; — while the prodigious patronage which the collecting of this splendid revenue will throw into the hands of Government will invest it with so vast an influence, and hold out such means and temptations to corruption, as all the virtue and public spirit, even of Republicans, will be unable to resist. Every wise Jonathan should remember this!

63. THE PRESS. — Adaptation from Ebenezer Elliot. Born, 1781 ; died, 1849.

God said — “Let there be light!”
Grim darkness felt His might,
And fled

away:
Then startled seas and mountains cold
Shone forth, all bright in blue and gold,

And cried - 'T is day! 't is day!”
“Hail, holy light!" exclaimed
The thunderous cloud that flamed

O'er daisies white;
And lo! the rose, in crimson dressed,
Leaned sweetly on the lily's breast,

And, blushing, murmured — "Light!”
Then was the skylark born ;
Then rose the embattled corn;

Then floods of praise
Flowed o'er the sunny hills of noon ;
And then, in stillest night, the moon

Poured forth her pensive rays.
Lo, Heaven's bright bow is glad!
Lo, trees and flowers, all clad

In glory, bloom!
And shall the immortal sons of God
Be senseless as the trodden clod,

And darker than the tomb ?

No, by the mind of man!
By the swart artisan !

We will aspire!
Our souls have holy light within,
And every form of grief and sin

Shall see and feel its fire.
By all we hope of Heaven,
The shroud of souls is riven!

Mind, mind alone

Is light, and hope, and life, and power!
Earth's deepest night, from this blessed hour,

The night of mind, - is gone!
“ The Press !” all lands shall sing ;
The Press, the Press we bring,

All lands to bless.
0, pallid Want! 0, Labor stark!
Behold! we bring the second ark !

The Press, the Press, the Press !

64. A DEFENCE OF POETRY. - Rev. Charles Wolfe. Born, 1791; died, 1823. Believe not those who tell you that Poetry will seduce the youthful mind from severe occupations. Didactic Poetry not only admits, but requires, the coöperation of Philosophy and Science. And true Poetry must be always reverent. Would not an universal cloud settle upon all the beauties of Creation, if it were supposed that they had not emanated from Almighty energy? In works of art, we are not content with the accuracy of feature, and the glow of coloring, until we have traced them to the mind that guided the chisel, and gave

the pencil its delicacies and its animation. Nor can we look with delight on the features of Nature, without hailing the celestial Intelligence that gave them birth. The Deity is too sublime for Poetry to doubt His existence. Creation has too much of the Divinity insinuated into her beauties to allow Poetry to hesitate in her creed. She demands no proof. She waits for no demonstration. She looks, and she believes. She admires, and she adores. Nor is it alone with natural religion that she maintains this intimate connection; for what is the Christian's hope, but Poetry in her purest and most ethereal essence ?

From the beginning she was one of the ministering spirits that stand round the Throne of God, to issue forth at His word, and do His errands upon the earth. Sometimes she has been the herald of an offending nation's downfall. Often has she been sent commissioned to offending man, with prophecy and warning upon her lips. At other times she has been intrusted with “ glad tidings of great joy." Poetry was the anticipating Apostle, the prophetic Evangelist, whose feet "were beautiful upon the mountains ; who published salvation ; who said unto Zion, " Thy God reigneth!”

65. GREAT IDEAS. - Rev. W. E. Channing. What is needed to elevate the soul is, not that a man should know all that has been thought and written in regard to the spiritual nature, not that a man should become an Encyclopedia, but that the Great Ideas in which all discoveries terminate, which sum up all sciences, which the philosopher extracts from infinite details, may be comprehended and felt. It is not the quantity, but the quality of knowledge, which determines the mind's dignity. A man of immense information may, through the want of large and comprehensive ideas, be far inferior in intellect to a laborer, who, with little knowledge, has yet seized on great truths. For example, I do not expect the laborer to study theology in the ancient languages, in the writings of the Fathers, in the history of sects; nor is this needful. All theology, scattered as it is through countless volumes, is summed up in the idea of God; and let this idea shine bright and clear in the laborer's soul, and he has the essence of theological libraries, and a far higher light than has visited thousands of renowned divines. A great mind is formed by a few great ideas, not by an infinity of loose details.

I have known very learned men who seemed to me very poor in intellect, because they had no grand thoughts. What avails it that a man has studied ever so minutely the histories of Greece and Rome, if the Great Ideas of Freedom, and Beauty, and Valor, and Spiritual Energy, have not been kindled, by those records, into living fires in his soul? The illumination of an age does not consist in the amount of its knowledge, but in the broad and noble principles of which that knowledge is the foundation and inspirer. The truth is, that the most laborious and successful student is confined in his researches to a very few of God's works; but this limited knowledge of things may

still suggest universal laws, broad principles, grand ideas; and these elevate the mind. There are certain thoughts, principles, ideas, which by their nature rule over all knowledge, which are intrinsically glorious, quickening, all-comprehending, eternal !

66. ENGLAND.-Ebenezer Elliot.

NURSE of the Pilgrim Sires, who sought, beyond the Atlantic foam,
For fearless truth and honest thought, a refuge and a home!
Who would not be of them or thee a not unworthy son,
That hears, amid the chained or free, the name of Washington ?
Cradle of Shakspeare, Milton, Knox! King-shaming Cromwell's

throne ! Home of the Russells, Watts, and Lockes! Earth's greatest are thine

own! And shall thy children forge base chains for men that would be free? No! by the Eliots, Hampdens, Vanes, Pyms, Sidneys, yet to be! No! For the blood which kings have gorged hath made their victims

wise ; While every lie that Fraud hath forged veils wisdom from his eyes. But time shall change the despot's mood; and Mind is mightiest then, When turning evil into good, and monsters into men. If round the soul the chains are bound that hold the world in thrall, If tyrants laugh when men are found in brutal fray to fall, Lord ! let not Britain arm her hands, her sister states to ban; But bless through her all other lands — Thy family of Man!

« НазадПродовжити »