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their bright example and pure fame might elevate our minds above the selfish passions, the fierce contentions, and the dark forebodings of the day! We need the spirit of ’75 to guide us safely amidst 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 meantime, 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 do all but 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amidst all the new agencies of communication and action, the omnipotent press, the great engine of modern progress, not superseded or impaired, but gathering new power from all the arts, is daily clothing itself with louder thunders.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.
EDWARD EVERETT. [From an oration delivered at Charlestown, Mass., June 17, 1850.]
Our duties are to do good, expecting nothing again; to bear with contrary dispositions; to be candid and forgiving, not to crave and long after a communication of sentiment and feeling, but rather to avoid dwelling upon those feelings, however good, because they are our own. A man may be intemperate and selfish who indulges in good feelings for the mere pleasure they give him. . . Friends fall off, friends mistake us, they change, they grow unlike us, they go away, they die; but God is everlasting and incapable of change, and to Him we may look with cheerful, unpresumptuous hope, while we discharge the duties of life.
THE CHAMBERED NAUTILUS.
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Aug. 29, 1809. He graduated at Harvard University in 1829. Having adopted the medical profession, he became professor of anatomy and physiology at Dartmouth College, and, later, at Harvard. While yet a student he wrote verse with a facile pen. Between the years 1836 and 1888 he published five volumes of poems, and several prose works, among which were three novels. Perhaps the charining Breakfast Table series are, of all his books, the most widely read. But he was loved of the Muses, and many of his poems are as familiar as household words.
He died in Boston, Oct. 7, 1894.
This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
Sails the unshadowed main,
The venturous bark that flings
And coral reefs lie bare,
Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;
Wrecked is the ship of pearl !
And every chambered cell
Before thee lies revealed,
Year after year beheld the silent toil
That spread his lustrous coil;
Still, as the spiral grew,
Built up its idle door,
Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,
Child of the wandering sea,
Cast from her lap, forlorn!
While on mine ear it rings,
Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll !
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Till thou at length art free,
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.
THE RETURN OF COLUMBUS TO SPAIN.
WILLIAM HICKLING PRESCOTT was born at Salem, Massachusetts, May 4, 1796. He studied at Harvard University. There it happened that a bit of bread thrown in sport blinded his left eye and weakened the right one. He had intended to practice law, but this purpose was abandoned, and after a period of European travel he devoted himself to literature. With steadfast determination, in spite of tremendous difficulties, he produced several historical works that rank among the best in our language.
Leaving a historical work uncompleted, he died in New York, Jan. 28, 1859.
Great was the agitation in the little community of Palos as they beheld the well-known vessel of the admiral reëntering their harbor. Their desponding imaginations had long since consigned him to a watery grave; for, in addition to the preternatural horrors which hung over the voyage, they had experienced the most stormy and disastrous winter within the recollection of the oldest mariners. Most of them had relatives or friends on board. They thronged immediately to the shore, to assure themselves with their own eyes of the truth of their return.
When they beheld their faces once more, and saw them accompanied by the numerous evidences which they brought back of the suocess of the expedition,