Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

LESSON LXXX.

PROLOGUE.

Dear friends, we thank you for your condescension,
In deigning thus to lend us“your attention;
And hope the various pieces we recite,
(Boys though we are,) will yield you some delight.
From wisdom and from knowledge, pleasurę springs,
Surpassing far the glaring pomp of kings;
All outward splendor quickly dies away,
But wisdom's honors never can decay.

Blest is the man, who treads her paths in youth,
They lead to virtue, happiness, and truth;-
Sages and patriots in these ways have trod,
Saints have walked in them till they reached their God.

The powers of eloquence can charm the soul,
Inspire the virtuous, and the bad control;
Can rouse the passions, or their rage can still,
And mold a stubborn mob to one man's will.

а

Such powers the great Demosthenes attained, ,
Who haughty Philip's conquering course restrained;
Indignant thundering at his country's shame,
Till every breast in Athens caught the flame.

Such powers were Cicero's:-- with patriot might,
He dragged the lurking treason forth to light,
Which long had festered in the heart of Rome,
And saved his country from her threatened doom.

Nor to the senate or the bar confined,
The pulpit shows its influence o'er the mind;
Such glorious deeds can eloquence achieve;
Such fame, such deathless laurels, it can give.

Then say not this our weak attempt is vain,
For frequent practice will perfection gain;
The fear to speak in publie it destroys,
And drives away the bashfulness of boys.

EPILOGUE.

OUR parts are perform'd and our speeches are ended,

We are monarchs, and courtiers, and heroes no more; To a much humbler station again we've descended,

And are now but the schoolboys you've known us before.

Farewell then our greatness ~'tis gone like a dream,

'Tis gone - but remembrance will often retrace The indulgent applause which rewarded each theme,

And the heart-cheering smiles that enlivened each face.

We thank you !-Our gratitude words cannot tell,

But deeply we feel it to you it belongs; With heartfelt emotion we bid you farewell,

And our feelings now thank you much more than our tongues.

We will strive to improve, since applauses thus cheer us,

That our juvenile efforts may gain your kind looks; And we hope to convince you the next time you hear us,

That praise has but sharpen'd our relish for books.

LESSON LXXXI.

WE MUST FIGHT.

- AVE but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and hat is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been

I in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House? Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Lut us not, I beseech you, deceive ourselves longer. We have done every thing that could be done, to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned—we have remonstrated—we have supplicated, we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free - if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending - if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon, until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained

we must fight!- I repeat it, sir, we must fight!! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts, is all that is left us!

LESSON LXXXII.

ONE CENTURY AFTER WASHINGTON.

GENTLEMEN, we are at the point of a century from the birth of Washington; and what a century it has been! During its course, the human mind has seemed to proceed with a sort of geometric velocity, accomplishing, for human intelligence, and human freedom, more than had been done in fives or tens of centuries preceding. Washington stands at the commencement of a new era, as well as at the head of the new world. A century from the birth of Washington has changed , the world. The country of Washington has been the theatre on which a great part of that change has been wrought; and Washington himself a principal agent by which it has been accomplished. His age and his country are equally full of wonders! and of both he is the chief.

Washington had attained his manhood when that spark of liberty was struck out in his own country, which has since kindled into a flame, and shot its beams over the earth. In the flow of a century from his birth, the world has changed in science, in arts, in the extent of commerce, in the improvement of navigation, and in all that relates to the civilization of man. But it is the spirit of human freedom, the new elevation of individual man, in his moral, social, and political character, leading the whole long train of other improvements, which has most remarkably distinguished

the era.

It has assumed a new character; it has raised itself from beneath governments to a participation in governments; it has mixed moral and political objects with , the daily pursuits of individual men; and, with a freedom and strength before altogether unknown, it has applied to these objects the whole power of the human understanding. It has been the era, in short, when the social principle has triumphed over the feudal principle; when society has maintained its rights against military power, and established, on foundations never hereafter to be shaken, its competency to govern itself.

LESSON LXXXIII.

ODE TO ART.

When, from the sacred garden driven,

Man fled before his Maker's wrath,
An'angel left her place in heaven,

And crossed the wanderer's sunless path.
Twas Art! Sweet Art! new radience broke,

Where her light foot flew o'er the ground;
And thus with seraph voice she spoke,--

“The curse a blessing shall be found."

« ÎnapoiContinuă »