Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

11. "I consider it as an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my official life, by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of them to his holy keeping. Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theater of action; and bidding an affectionate farewell to this august body, under whose orders 1 have long acted, I here offer my commission, and take my leave of all the employments of public life.”

12. This address being ended, Gen. Washington advanced and delivered his commission into the hands of the president of congress, who replied as follows: "The United States, in congress assembled, receive, with emotions too affecting for utterance, the solemn resignation of the authorities under which you have led their troops with success through a perilous and doubtful war. Called upon by your country to defend its invaded rights, you accepted the sacred charge before it had formed alliances, and whilst it was without friends or a government to support you.

13. “You have conducted the great military contest with wisdom and fortitude, invariably regarding the rights of the civil power through all disasters and changes. You have, by the love and confidence of your fellow-citizens, enabled them to display their martial genius, and transmit their fame to posterity. You have persevered, till these United States, aided by a magnanimous king and nation," have been enabled, under a just Providence, to close the war in safety, freedom, and independence; on which happy event we sincerely join you in congratulations.

14. "Having defended the standard of liberty in this new world, having taught a lesson useful to those who inflict and to those who feel oppression, you retire from the great theater of action with the blessings of your fellow-citizens; but the glory of your virtues will not terminate with your military command; it will continue to animate remotest ages. We feel with you our obligations to the army in general, and

a The French nation, and the king of the same, Louis XVI.

will particularly charge ourselves with the interest of those confidential officers, who have attended your person to this affecting moment.

15. "We join you in commending the interest of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God, beseeching him to dispose the hearts and minds of its citizens to improve the opportunity afforded them, of becoming a happy and respectable nation; and for you, we address to him our earnest prayers that a life so beloved may be fostered with all his care; that your days may be happy as they have been illustrious, and that he will finally give you that reward which this world cannot give."

LESSON CXIV.

ONE CENTURY AFTER WASHINGTON.

1. 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.

b

2. Washington stands at the commencement of a new era, as well as at the head of a new world. A century from the birth of Washington has changed the world. The country of Washington has been the theater 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.

3. 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

a Geometric velocity; a velocity increasing by a common ratio, as 2, 4, 8, &c bEra; an epoch, a date. New world; the western continent.

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 have most remarkably distinguished the era,

4. 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 CXV.

SONG OF THE MODERN GREEKS.

CAMPBELL.

[The learner may scan the following piece of poetry, and tell to what kind it belongs. See Construction of Verse, p. 68.]

1. AGAIN to the battle, Achaeans!"

Our hearts bid the tyrants defiance;

Our land, the first garden of liberty's tree,

It has been, and shall yet be, the land of the free;
For the cross of our faith is replanted,

The pale, dying crescent is daunted,

And we march, that the foot-prints of Mahomet's slaves May be washed out in blood from our forefathers' graves.

a Achaeans, (A-ke'ans ;) Grecians, so called from Achaia (now Morea) in Greece b Ma'homet; the founder of the Mahometan religion, born at Mecca, A. D. 569.

[ocr errors]

Their spirits are hovering o'er us,
And the sword shall to glory restore us!

2. Ah! what though no succor advances,
Nor Christendom's chivalrous lances

Are stretched in our aid? Be the combat our own!
And we'll perish or conquer more proudly alone.

For we've sworn, by our country's assaulters,
By the virgins they've dragged from our altars,
By our massacred patriots, our children in chains,
By our heroes of old, and their blood in our veins,
That living we will be victorious,

Or, that dying, our deaths shall be glorious.

3. A breath of submission we breathe not:

The sword that we've drawn we will sheathe not;
Its scabbard is left where our martyrs are laid,
And the vengeance of ages has whetted its blade.

Earth may hide, waves engulf, fire consume us,
But they shall not to slavery doom us;

If they rule, it shall be o'er our ashes and graves;
But we've smote them already with fire on the waves,
And new triumphs on land are before us.
To the charge! Heaven's banner is o'er us.

4. This day shall ye blush for its story? Or brighten your lives with its glory? Our women; O, say, shall they shrink in despair, Or embrace us from conquest, with wreaths in their hair? Accursed, may his memory blacken,

If a coward there be that would slacken,

Till we've trampled the turban, and shown ourselves worth
Being sprung from, and named for, the godlike of earth.
Strike home! and the world shall revere us
As heroes descended from heroes.

• Christendom; the regions inhabited by Christians.

5. Old Greece lightens up with emotion, Her inlands, her isles of the ocean: Fanes rebuilt and fair towns shall with jubilee ring, And the Nine shall new hallow their Helicon's spring. Our hearths shall be kindled in gladness,

That were cold, and extinguished in sadness; [arms, Whilst our maidens shall dance, with their white waving Singing joy to the brave that delivered their charms,

When the blood of young Mussulman cravens
Shall have crimsoned the beaks of our ravens.

LESSON CXVI.

LOCHIEL'S WARNING.

CAMPBELL.

Wizard. LOCHIEL! Lochiel, beware of the day
When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array!
For a field of the dead rushes red on my sight,
And the clans of Culloden are scattered in fight;
They rally, they bleed, for their kingdom and crown;
Woe, woe to the riders that trample them down!
Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain,
And their hoof-beaten bosoms are trod to the plain.
But hark! through the fast-flashing lightning of war,
What steed to the desert flies frantic and far?
'Tis thine, O Glenullin! whose bride shall await,
Like a love-lighted watch-fire, all night at the gate.
A steed comes at morning; no rider is there;
But its bridle is red with the sign of despair.
Weep, Albin! to death and captivity led!
O, weep! but thy tears cannot number the dead;

[ocr errors]

a The Nine; the nine muses, Calli'ope, Cli'o, Melpomene, Euter'pe, Er'ato, Terpsi' chore, Ura'nia, Thali'a, and Polyhym'nia. b Helicon (now Sagara;) a celebrated mountain of Greece, the seat of the muses, and famed for its pure waters. c Mus'sulmans; the followers of Mahomet. d Culloden Muir; a heath in Scotland, celebrated by the victory of the Duke of Cumberland over the partisans of the house of Stuart, in 1746. This battle terminated the attempts of the Stuart family to recover the throne of Eng. land, • The Duke of Cumberland, son of George II., King of England.

« ÎnapoiContinuă »