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674. Loss of NATIox AL CHARACTER. The loss of a firm, national character, or the degradation of a nation’s honor, is the inevitable prelude to her destruction. Behold the once proud fabric of the Roman empire; an empire, carrying its arts, and arms, into every part of the eastern continent; the monarchs of mighty kingdoms, dragged at the wheels of her triumphal chariots; her eagle, waving over the ruins of desolated countries. Where is her splendor, her wealth, her power, her glory? Extinguished—forever. Her moldering temples, the mournful vestiges of her former grandeur, afford a shelter to her muttering monks. where are her statesmen, her sages, her philosophers, her orators, her generals 1 Go to their solitary tombs, and inquire. She lost her national character, and her destruction followed. The ramparts of her national pride were broken down, and Vandalism desolated her classic fields.
Citizens will lose their respect and confi
dence, in our government, if it does not extend over them, the shield of an honorable, national character. Corruption will creep in, and sharpen party animosity. , Ambitious leaders will seize upon the favorable moment. The mad enthusiasm for revolution — will call into action the irritated spirit of our nation, and civil war must follow. The swords of our countrymen may yet glitter on our on". their blood may yet crimson our ains. p Such, the warning voice of all antiquity, the example of all republics proclaim—may be our fate. But let us no longer indulge these gloomy anticipations. The commencement of our liberty presages the dawn of a brighter period to the world. That bold, enterprising spirit, which conducted our heroes to peace, and safety, and gave us a lofty rank, amid the empires of the world, still animates the bosoms of their descendants. Look back to the moment, when they unbarred the dungeons of the slave, and dashed his fetters to the earth, when the sword of a Washington leaped from its scabbard, to revenge the slaughter of our countrymen. Place their example before you. et the sparks of their veteran wisdom flash across your minds, and the sacred altars of your liberty, crowned with immortal honors, rise bebre you. Relying on the virtue, the courage, the patriotism, and the strength of our country, we may expect our national character will become more energetic, our citizens more enlightened, and may hail the age as not far distant, when will be heard, as the proudest exclamation of man: I am an American,—Marcy. The bell strikes one: We take no note of time, But from its loss. To give it then a tongue, Is wise in man. As if an angel spoke, I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright, It is the knell of my departed hours: [flood? Where are they with the years beyond the It is the signal that demands despatch ; How much is to be done my hopes and fears Start up alarm'd, and o'er life's narrow verge Look down—on what a fathomless abyss; A dread eternity: how surely mine: And can eternity belong to me, Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour?
Reason gains all men, by compelling none.
675. Good-Night. Good-night—to all the world ! there's none, Beneath the “over-going” sun, To whom, I feel, or hate, or spite, And so to all—a fair good night. Would I could say, good-night to pain, Good-night to evil and her train, To cheerless poverty, and shame, That I am yet unknown to same : Would I could say, good-night to dreams, That haunt me with delusive gleams, That through the sable future's vail, Like meteors, glimmer, but to fail. Would I could say, a long good-night, To halting, between wrong, and right, And, like a giant, with new force, Awake, prepared to run my course : But time o'er good and ill sweeps on, And when few years have come, and gone, The past—will be to me as naught, Whether remembered, or forgot. Yet, let me hope, one faithful friend, O'er my last couch, in tears shall bend; And, though no day for me was bright, Shall bid me then, a long good-night.
Respect to Oln Age. It happened at Athens, during a public representation of some o in honor of the commonwealth, that an old gentleman came too late, for a place suitable to his age, and quality. Many of the young gentlemen, who of served the difficulty and confusion he was in, made signs to him, that they would accommodate him, if he came where they sat. The good man bustled through the crowd accordingly; but when he came to the seat, to which #: was invited, the jest was, to sit close, and expose him, as he stood out of countenance, to the whole audience. The frolic went round all the Athenian benches. But, on those occasions, there were also particular places reserved for foreigners. When the good man skulked towards the boxes, appointed for the Lacedemonians, that honest people, more virtuous than polite, rose up as to a man, and with the greatest respect, received him among them. The Athenians, being suddenly touched with a sense of the Spartan virtue, and their own degeneracy, gave a thunder of applause; and the old man cried out, “the Athenians understand what is good, but the Lacedemonians practice it. fortune-TELLER. A hungry, lean-fac'd villain, A mere anatomy, a mountebank, A thread-bare juggler, and a fortune teller; A needy, hollow-eye'd, sharp looking wretch, A living dead man: this permicious slave, Forsooth, took on him as a conjurer; And gazing in my eyes, feeling my pulse, And with no face, as 'twere outfacing me, Cries out, I was possess'd.—Shakspeare.
recreation. Sweet recreation barr'd, what doth ensue, But moody and dull melancholy, (Kinsman to grim and comfortless despair;) And at her heels, a huge infectious troop Of pale distemperatures, and foes to life?
676. The Groves • God's FIRst TEMPLEs. The groves—were God's first temples. Ere man To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave, [learned And spread the roof above them,-ere he framed The lofty vault, to gather, and roll back, The sound of anthems—in the darkling wood, Amidst the cool and silence, he knelt down, And offered, to the Mightiest, solemn thanks, And supplication. For his simple heart Might not resist the sacred influences, That, from the stilly twilight of the place, And from the gray old trunks, that, high in heav'n, Mingled their mossy boughs, and from the sound Of the invisible breath, that swayed, at once, All their green tops, stole over him, and bowed His spirit—with the thought of boundless Power, And inaccessible Majesty. Ah! why Should we, in the world's riper years, neglect God's ancient sanctuaries, and adore, Only, among the crowd, and under roofs, That our frail hands have raised? Let me, at least, Here, in the shadow of this aged wood, Offer one hymn; thrice happy, if it find Acceptance in his ear. Father, thy hand Hath reared these venerable columns; thou Didst weave this verdant roof. Thou didst look down Upon the naked earth, and, forthwith, rose All these fair ranks of trees. They, in thy sun, Budded, and shook their green leaves in thy breeze, And shot towards heav'n. The century-living crow, Whose birth was in their tops, grew old, nud died, Among their branches; till, at last, they stood, As now” they stand, massy, and tall, and dark– Fit shrine—for humble worshiper to hold Communion with his Maker. Here are seen, No traces of man's pomp, or pride; no silks Rustle, no jewels shine, nor envious eyes Encounter; no fantastic carvings—show The boast of our vain race—to change the form Of thy fair works. But thou art here; thou fill'st The solitude. Thou art in the soft winds, That run along the summits of these trees, In music; thou art in the cooler breath, That, from the inmost darkness of the place, Comes, scarcely felt; the barky trunks, the ground, The fresh, moist ground, are all instinct with thee. Here, is continual worship; nature, here, In the tranquillity that thou dost love, Enjoys thy presence. Noiselessly, around, From perch to perch, the solitary bird Passes; and yon clear spring, that, midst its herbs, Wells softly forth, and visits the strong roots Of half the mighty forest, tells no tale Of all the good it does. Thou hast not left Thyself without a witness, in these shades, Of thy perfections. Grandeur, strength, and grace, Are here to speak of thee. This mighty oak— By whose immovable stem I stand, and seem Almost annihilated—not a prince, In all the proud old world, beyond the deep, F'er wore his crown—as loftily as he Wears the green coronal of leaves, with which Thy hand has graced him. Nestled at his root Is beauty, such as blooms not in the glare Of the broad sun. That delicate forest-flower,
With scented breath, and look, so like a smile,
Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mould, An emanation of the indwelling Life, A visible token—of the upholding Love, That are, the soul of this wide universe. My heart—is awed within me, when I think Of the great miracle that still goes on, In silence, round me—the perpetual work Of thy creation, finished, yet renewed— Forever. Written on thy works, I read The lesson of thy own eternity. Lo! all grow old, and die: but see, again, How, on the faltering footsteps of decay, Youth presses—ever gay, and beautiful youth— In all its beautiful forms. These lofty trees Wave not less proudly, that their ancestors Moulder, beneath them. Oh! there is not lost One of earth's charms: upon her bosom yet, After the flight of untold centuries, The freshness of her far beginning lies, And yet shall lie. Life—mocks the idle hate Of his arch enemy—Death; yea, seats himself Upon the sepulchre, and blooms, and smiles, And of the triumphs of his ghastly foe, Makes his own nourishment. For he came forth Froin thine own bosom, and shall have no end. There have heen holy men, who hid themselves Deep in the woody wilderness, and gave Their lives to thought, and prayer, till they outlived The generation, born with them, nor seemed Less aged, than the hoary trees, and rocks, Around them; and there have been holy men. Who deemed it were not well—to pass life thus. But let me, often, to these solitudes Retire, and, in thy presence, reassure My feeble virtue. Here, its enemies, The passions, at thy plainer footsteps, shrink, And tremble, and are still. O God! when thou Dost scare the world with tempests, set on fire The heavens, with falling thunderbolts, or fill, With all the waters of the firmament, The swift, dark whirlwind, that uproots the woods, And drowns the villages; when, at thy call, Uprises the great deep, and throws himself Upon the continent, and overwhelms Its cities;—who forgets not, at the sight Of these tremendous tokens of thy power, His pride, and lays his strifes, and follies by : Oh! from the sterner aspects of thy face Spare me, and mine ; nor let us need the wrath Of the mad, unchained elements, to teach Who rules them. Be it ours to meditate, In these calm shades, thy milder majesty, And to the beautiful order of thy works, Learn to conform the order of our lives.—Bryant. Naturally, men are prone to spin themselves a web of opinions out of their own brain, and to have a religion that may be called their own. Men are far readier to make themselves a faith, than to receive that which God hath formed to their hands, and they are far readier to receive a doctrine that tends to their carnal commodity, or honor, or delights, than one that tends to self-denial. Like dogs in a wheel, birds in a cage, or squirrels in a chain, ambitious men still climb and climb, with great labor, and incessant anxiety, but never reach the top.
677. Physical EDUCATIox. That is, undoubtedly, the wisest, and best regimen which ties the infant'ssom the cradle, and conducts him along, through childhood, and youth, up to high maturity, in such a manner, as to give strength to his arm, swiftness to his feet, solidity and amplitude to his muscles, symmetry to his frame, and expansion to his vital energies. It is obvious, that this branch of education comprehends, not only food and clothing, but air, exercise, lodging, early rising, and whatever else is requisite, to the full development of the physical constitution, The diet must be simple, the apparel must not be too warm, nor the bed too oft. Let parents beware of too much restriction in the management of their darling boy. Let him, in choosing his play, follow the suggestions of nature. Let theim not be discomposed at the sight of his sand-hills in the road, his snow-forts in February, and his mud-dams in April; nor when they chance to look out in the midst of an August shower, and see him wading and sailing, and sporting along with the water-fowl. if they would make him hardy and fearless, they must let him go abroad as often as he pleases, in his early boyhood, and amuse himself by the hour toether, in smoothing and twirling the hoary ocks of winter. Instead of keeping him shut up all day with a stove, and graduating his sleeping-room by Fahrenheit, they must let him face the keen edge of a north-wind, when the mercury is below cipher; and, instead of minding a little shivering, and complaining, when he returns, cheer up his spirits, and send him out again. In this way, they will teach him, that he was not born to live in the nursery, nor to brood over the fire; but to range abroad, as free as the snow, an the air, and to gain warmth from exercise. I love, and admire the youth, who turns not back from the howling wintry blast, nor withers under the blaze of summer; who never magnifies “mole-hills into mountains;” but whose daring eye, exulting, scales the cagle's airy crag, and who is ready to undertake anything, that is prudent, and lawful, within the range of possibility. , Who would think of planting the mountain-oak—in a green-house! or of rearing the cedar of Lebanon—in a lady's flower-pot! Who does not know that, in order to attain their mighty strength, and majestic forms, they must freeI o the rain, and the sunshine, and must eel the rocking of the tempest! Tlie chase. The stag, at eve, had drunk his fill, Where danced the moon, on Monan's rill, And deep—his midnight lair had made, In lone Glenartney's hazel shade; But, when the sun—his beacon red Had kindled, on Benvoirlich's head, The deep-mouthed bloodhound's heavy bay Resounded up the rocky way, And faint from farther distance borne, Were heard the clanging hoof, and horn. As chief, who hears his warder call, “To arms! the soeman storm the wall,” The antlered monarch of the waste— Sprung from his heathery couch, in haste. But, ere his fleet career he took, The dew-drops, from his flanks, he shook: Like crested leader, proud, and high,
Tossed his beamed frontlet—to the sky;
*Tis not enough—the voice be sound, and clear,
NATURE's wants ARE FEw. Man's rich with little, were his judgment true; Nature is frugal, and her wants are few ; Those few wants answered, bring sincere delights, But fools create themselves new appetites. Fancy and pride seek things at vast expense, Which relish nor to treason nor to sense. When surfeit or unthankfulness destroys, In nature’s narrow sphere, our solid joys, In fancy's airy land of noise and show, Where nought but dreams, no real pleasures grow, Like cats in air-pumps, to subsist we strive, On joys too thin to keep the soul alive.—Young.
6S1. The NATURE of E Lo Q. C. E. x c E. When public bodies are to be addressed, on momentous occasions, when great interests are, at stake, and strong passions excited, nothing is valuable in speech, farther than it is connected with high intellectual and moral endowments. Clearness, force, and earnestness, are the qualities which produce conviction. True eloquence, indeed, does not consist in speech. It cannot be brought from far. Labor and learning may toil for it, but uo. will toil in vain.
ords and phrases may be marshaled in
every way, but they cannot compass it. It must exist in the man, in the subject, and in the occasion. Affected assion, intense expression, the pomp of do. all may aspire after it, but cannot reach it. It comes, if it come at all, like the outbreaking of a fountain from the earth, or the bursting forth of volcanic fires, with spontaneous, original, native force.
The graces taught in the schools, the costly ornaments and studied contrivances of speech, shock and disgust men, when their own lives, and the fate of their wives, their children, and their country, hang on the decision of the hour. Then, words have lost their power, rhetoric is vain, and all elaborate oratory, contemptible. Even genius itself then feels rebuked, and subdued, as in the presence of higher qualities.
hen, patriotism is eloquent; then, self
devotion is eloquent. The clear conception, out-running the deductions of logic, the high purpose, of firm resolve, the dauntless spirit, speaking on the tongue, beaming from the eye, informing every feature, and urging the whole man onward, right onward to his object, this—is eloquence.—Webster.
682. The soul's DEFIANCE.
Shall smile—upon its keenest pains,