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4. Bright, bright is the path thou hast left of thy glory, Amid the world's darkness, which ne'er shall decline, For the light of thy fame on the ages before thee,
With splendor unsullied, forever will shine;
5. Thou art gone! thy pure soul on its voyage hath started From its ashes the phoenix of freedom hath flown, To join the bright phalanx of heroes departed,
Who dwell in the light of a fame like thine own. Farewell, thou last star of that bright constellation
Of heroes whose glory can never depart; Thy fame hath no limit of kindred or nation;
Thy name is enshrined in each patriot's heart.
6. With Washington's blended, for ever thy glory
Shall form the proud theme of our bard's burning lays, While the banner of freedom shall proudly wave o'er thee, Thou mighty departed! thou light of our days; But still! my wild harp, all in vain we lament him ; His praise must be sung by some loftier lyre; Let the soul-raptured bard use the gift heaven hath lent And weave for our hero a requiem of fire! [him,
1. THAT I may not stand alone in my views on the subject of genuine eloquence, I will give the language of those able statesmen of our country, John Adams and Daniel Webster.
a Phoenix; a fabled bird, which the ancients supposed to live for a long period, and finally to burn itself, and rise again from its own ashes. b The departed heroes of the American Revolution.
2. Mr. Adams remarked, "Oratory, as it consists in the expression of the countenance, graces of attitude and motion, and intonation of voice, although it is altogether superficial and ornamental, will always command admiration, yet it deserves little veneration.
3. "Flashes of wit, coruscations of imagination, and gay pictures; what are they? Strict truth, rapid reason, and pure integrity, are the only essential ingredients in oratory. I flatter myself that Demosthenes, by his action, action, action,' meant to express the same opinion."
4. Mr. Webster observes, "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 further than it is connected with high intellectual and moral endowments. Clearness, force, and earnestness, are qualities that produce conviction.
5. "True eloquence, indeed, does not consist in speech. It cannot be brought from far. Labor and learning may toil for it; but they toil in vain. Words 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 passion, intense expression, the pomp of declamation, all may aspire after it, but they cannot reach it. It comes, if it comes at all, like the outbreaking of a fountain from the earth, or the bursting forth of volcanic fires, with spontaneous, original, native force.
6. "The graces taught in schools, the courtly ornaments and studied contrivances of speech, shock and disgust men, when their own lives, and the lives of their wives and children, and their country, hang on the decision of an hour. Then words have lost their power, rhetoric is vain, and all elaborate oratory contemptible. Then, even genius feels rebuked and subdued, as if in the presence of higher qualities. Then patriotism is eloquent, then self-devotion is eloquent.
7. "The clear conception, outrunning the deductions of logic; the high purpose, the 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, this is eloquence, or rather, it is something greater than eloquence; it is action, noble, sublime, and god-like action."
8. Rhetoric, as taught in our seminaries, and by itinerant elocutionists, is one thing; genuine, heart-thrilling, soulstirring eloquence, is a very different thing. The one is like the rose in wax, without odor; the other like the rose on its native bush, perfuming the atmosphere with the rich odors, distilled from the dew of heaven.
9. The one is the finely finished statue of a Cicero or Demosthenes, more perfect in its lineaments than the original; pleasing the eye and enrapturing the imagination; the other is the living man, animated by intellectual power, rousing the deepest feelings of every heart, and electrifying every soul, as with vivid lightning. The one is a picture of the passions all on fire; the other is the real conflagration; pouring out a volume of words that burn, like liquid flames bursting from the crater of a volcano.
10. The one attracts the admiring gaze, and tickles the fancy of an audience; the other sounds an alarm, that vibrates through the tingling ears to the soul, and drives back the rushing blood upon the aching heart. The one falls upon the multitude like April showers, glittering in the sunbeams, animating and bringing nature into mellow life; the other rouses the same mass to deeds of noble daring, and imparts to it the terrific force of an avalanche.
11. The one moves the cerebral foliage in waves of recumbent beauty, like a gentle wind passing over a prairie of tall grass and flowers; the other strikes a blow, that resounds through the wilderness of mind, like rolling thunder through a forest of oaks. The one fails when strong commotions and angry elements agitate the public peace; the other can ride upon the whirlwind, direct the tornado, and rule the storm.
AMES'S SPEECH ON THE BRITISH TREATY."
1. MR. SPEAKER: If any, against all these proofs, should maintain, that the peace with the Indians will be stable without the posts, to them I will urge another reply. From arguments calculated to produce conviction, I will appeal directly to the hearts of those who hear me, and ask whether it is not already planted there? I resort especially to the convictions of the western. gentlemen, whether, supposing no posts and no treaty, the settlers will remain in security? Can they take it upon them to say, that an Indian peace, under these circumstances, will prove firm?
2. No, sir, it will not be peace, but a sword; it will be no better than a lure to draw victims within the reach of the tomahawk. On this theme my emotions are unutterable. If I could find words for them, if my powers bore any proportion to my zeal, I would swell my voice to such a note of remonstrance, that it should reach every log house beyond the mountains.
3. I would say to the inhabitants, wake from your false security; your cruel dangers, your more cruel apprehensions, are soon to be renewed; the wounds, yet unhealed, are to be torn open again. In the day-time, your path through the woods will be ambushed; the darkness of midnight will glitter with the blaze of your dwellings. You are a father, the blood of your sons shall fatten your corn-field; you are a mother, the war whoop shall wake the sleep of the cradle.
4. On this subject you need not suspect any deception on your feelings; it is a spectacle of horror, which cannot be overdrawn. If you have nature in your hearts, they will speak a language, compared with which all I have said, or can say, will be poor and frigid.
a Ames (Fisher;) one of the most eloquent of American statesmen and writers, a native of Dedham, Massachusetts. b British Treaty; the Treaty of 1783, executed at Paris, by Adams, Franklin, &c.
5. Will it be whispered, that the treaty has made me a new champion for the protection of the frontiers? It is known that my voice, as well as vote, have been uniformly given in conformity with the ideas I have expressed. Protection is the right of the frontiers; it is our duty to give it.
6. Who will accuse me of wandering from the subject? Who will say, that I exaggerate the tendencies of our meas ures? Will any one answer by a sneer, that all this is idle preaching? Will any one deny, that we are bound, and I would hope to good purpose, by the most solemn sanctions of duty, for the vote we give? Are despots alone to be reproached for unfeeling indifference to the tears and blood of their subjects?
7. Have the principles on which you ground the reproach upon cabinets and kings, no practical influence, no binding force? Are they merely themes of idle declamation, introduced to decorate the morality of a newspaper essay, or to furnish pretty topics of harangue from the windows of the state-house? I trust it is neither too presumptuous nor too late to ask, Can you put the dearest interest of society to hazard, without guilt, and without remorse?
8. By rejecting the posts, we light the savage fires, we bind the victim. This day we undertake to render account to the widows and orphans whom our decision will make; to the wretches that will be roasted at the stake; to our country, and, I do not deem it too serious to say, to conscience and to God. We are answerable; and if duty be any thing more than a word of imposture, if conscience be not a bugbear, we are preparing to make ourselves as wretched as our country.
9. There is no mistake in this case, there can be none; experience has already been the prophet of events, and the cries of our future victims have already reached us. The western inhabitants are not a silent and uncomplaining sacrifice. The voice of humanity issues from the shade of the wilderness; it exclaims, that while one hand is held up to reject this treaty, the other grasps a tomahawk.
10. It summons our imagination to the scenes that will open.