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But will his country receive him ? Will she employ in her councils, or in her armies, the man at whom the “slow unmoving finger of scorn is pointed ? Shall he betake himself to the fireside ? The story of his disgrace will enter his own doors before him. And can he bear, think you, can he bear the sympathizing agonies of a distressed wife? Can he endure the formidable presence of scrutinizing, sneering domestics ? Will his children receive instructions from the lips of a disgraced father?
Gentlemen, I am not ranging on fairy ground. I am telling the plain story of my client's wrongs. By the ruthless hand of malice his character has been wantonly massacred, and he now appears before a jury of his country for redress. Will you deny him this redress? Is character valuable ? On this point I will not insult you with argument.
There are certain things to argue which is treason against nature. The Author of our being did not intend to leave this point afloat at the mercy of opinion, but with His own hand has He kindly planted in the soul of man an instinctive love of character. This high sentiment has no affinity to pride. It is the ennobling quality of the soul ; and if we have hitherto been elevated above the ranks of surrounding creation, human nature owes its elevation to the love of character. It is the love of character for which the poet has sung, the philosopher toiled, the hero bled. It is the love of character which wrought miracles at ancient Greece ; the love of character is the eagle on which Rome rose to empire. And it is the love of character, animating the bosoms of her sons, on which America must depend in those approaching crises that may “try men's souls.” Will a jury weaken this our nation's hope? Will they by their verdict pronounce to the youth of our country, that character is scarce worth possessing ?
We read of that philosophy which can smile at the destruc. tion of property — of that religion which enables its possessor to extend the benign look of forgiveness and complacency to his murderers. But it is not in the soul of man to bear the laceration of slander. The philosophy which could bear it we should despise. The religion which could bear it we should not despise, but we should be constrained to say, that its kingdom was not of this world.
NEW ENGLAND AND THE UNION
GLORIOUS New England! thou art still true to thy an
cient fame, and worthy of thy ancestral honors. We, thy children, have assembled in this far-distant land to celebrate thy birthday. A thousand fond associations throng upon us, roused by the spirit of the hour. On thy pleasant valleys rest, like sweet dews of morning, the gentle recollections of our early life; around thy hills and mountains cling, like gathering mists, the mighty memories of the Revolution ; and, far away in the horizon of thy past, gleam, like thy own bright northern lights, the awful virtues of our Pilgrim Sires !
But while we devote this day to the remembrance of our native land, we forget not that in which our happy lot is cast. We exult in the reflection, that though we count by thousands the miles which separate us from our birthplace, still our country is the same. We are no exiles, meeting upon the banks of a foreign river to swell its waters with our homesick tears. Here floats the same banner which rustled above our boyish heads, except that its mighty folds are wider, and its glittering stars increased in number.
The sons of New England are found in every State of the broad Republic. In the East, the South, and the unbounded West, their blood mingles freely with every kindred current. We have but changed our chamber in the påternal mansion ; in all its rooms we are at home, and all 'who inhabit it are our brothers. To us the Union has but one domestic hearth ; its household gods are all the same. Upon us then peculiarly devolves the duty of feeding the fires upon that kindly hearth, of guarding with pious care those sacred household gods.
We cannot do with less than the whole Union ; to us it admits of no division. In the veins of our children flows Northern and Southern blood. How shall it be separated? Who shall put asunder the best affections of the heart, the noblest instincts of our nature ? We love the land of our adoption; so do we that of our birth. Let us ever be true to both, and always exert ourselves in maintaining the unity of our country, the integrity of the Republic.
Accursed, then, be the hand put forth to loosen the golden cord of the Union !- thrice accursed the traitorous lips which shall propose its severance ! But no; the Union cannot be dissolved. Its fortunes are too brilliant to be marred; its destinies toc powerful to be resisted. Here will be their greatest triumph, their most mighty development. And when, a century hence, this Crescent City shall have filled her golden horns, when within her broad-armed port shall be gathered the products of the industry of a hundred millions of freemen,- when galleries of art and halls of learning shall have made classic this mart of trade, — then may the sons of the Pilgrims, still wandering from the bleak hills of the North, stand upon the banks of the great river and exclaim with mingled pride and wonder, — "Lo, this is our country: when did the world ever behold so rich and magnificent a city, - so great and glorious a Republic!”
8. S. Pren‘iss.
ON SENDING RELIEF TO IRELAND.
E have assembled, not to respond to shouts of triumph
from the West, but to answer to the cry of want and suffering which comes from the East. The Old World stretches out her arms to the New. The starving parent supplicates the young and vigorous child for bread. There lies, upon the other side of the wide Atlantic, a beautiful island famous in history and in song. Its area is not so great as that of the State of Louisiana, while its population is almost half that of the Union It has given to the world more than its share of genius and of greatness. It has been prolific in statesmen, warriors, and poets. Its brave and generous sons have fought successfully all battles but their own. In wit and humor it has no equal, while its harp, like its history, moves to tears, by its sweet but melancholy pathos. Into this fair region God has seen fit to send the most terrible of all those fearful ministers who fulfil his inscrutable decrees. The earth has failed to give her increase ; the common mother has forgotten her offspring, and her breast no longer affords them their accustomed nourishment. Famine, gaunt and ghastly famine, has seized a nation in its strangling grasp ; and
unhappy Ireland, in the sad woes of the present, forgets, for a moment, the gloomy history of the past.
Oh, it is terrible, in this beautiful world, which the good God has given us, and in which there is plenty for us all, that men should die of starvation! You, who see, each day, poured into the lap of your city, food sufficient to assuage the hunger of a nation, can form but an imperfect idea of the horrors of famine In battle, in the fulness of his pride and strength, little recks the soldier whether the hissing bullet sings his sudden requiem, or the cords of life are severed by the sharp steel. But he who dies of hunger, wrestles alone, day after day, with his grim and unrelenting enemy. The blood recedes, the flesh deserts, the muscles relax, and the sinews grow powerless. At last, the mind, which, at first, bad bravely nerved itself for the contest, gives way, under the mysterious influences which govern its union with the body. Then he begins to doubt the existence of an overruling Providence ; he hates his fellow-men, and glares upon them with the longings of a cannibal, and it may be, dies blaspheming!
Who will hesitate to give his mite to avert such awful results ? Surely not the citizens of New Orleans, ever famed for deeds of charity and benevolence. Freely have your hearts and purses opened, heretofore, to the call of suffering humanity. Nobly did you respond to oppressed Greece and to struggling Poland. Within Erin's borders is an enemy more cruel than the Turk, more tyrannical than the Russian. Bread is the only weapon that can conquer him. Let us, then, load ships with this glorious munition, and, in the name of our common humanity, waye war against this despot Famine. Let us, in God's name, cast vur bread upon the waters,” and if we are selfish enough to desire it back again, we may recollect the promise, that it shall return to us after many days.
S. S. Pren.iss,
THE NEW ENGLAND COMMON SCHOOL.
BEHOLD yon simple building near the crossing of the vil
. lage road! It is small, and of rude construction, but
stands in a pleasant and quiet spot. A magnificent old elm spreads its broad arms above, and seems to lean towards it, as a strong man bends to shelter and protect a child. A brook runs through the meadow near, and hard by there is an orchard ; but the trees have suffered much, and bear no fruit, except upon the most remote and inaccessible branches. From within its walls comes a busy hum, such as you may hear in a disturbed beehive. Now peep through yonder window, and you will see a hundred children, with rosy cheeks, mischievous eyes, and demure faces, all engaged, or pretending to be so, in their little lessons. It is the public school, the free, the common school, - provided by law; open to all ; claimed from the community as a right, not accepted as a bounty.
Here the children of the rich and poor, high and low, meet upon perfect equality, and commence, under the same auspices, the race of life. Here the sustenance of the mind is served up to all alike, as the Spartans served their food upon the public table. Here, young Ambition climbs his little ladder, and boyish Genius plumes his half-fledged wing. From among these laughing children will go forth the men who are to control the destinies of their
country; the statesman, whose wisdom is to guide the Senate; the poet, who will take captive the hearts of the people, and bind them together with immortal song; the philosopher, who, boldly seizing upon the elements themselves, will compel them to his wishes, and, through new combinations of their primal laws, by some great discovery, revolutionize both art and science.
The common village-school is New England's fairest boast, the brightest jewel that adorns her brow. The principle that society is bound to provide for its members' education as well as protection, so that none need be ignorant except from choice, is the most important that belongs to modern philosophy. It is essential to a republican government. Universal education is not only the best and surest, but the only sure, foundation for free institutions. True liberty is the child of knowledge ; she pines away and dies in the arms of ignorance. Honor, then, to the early fathers of New England, from whom came the spirit which has built a school-house by every sparkling fountam, and bids all come as freely to the one as to the other. S. S. Prentiss.