« ÎnapoiContinuați »
in the midst of civilized nations, there is a high part which she is expected to act, for the general advance of human interests and human welfare.
4. American mines have filled the mints of Europe with the precious metals. The productions of the American soil and climate have poured out their abundance of luxuries for the tables of the rich, and of necessaries for the sustenance of the poor. Birds and animals of beauty and value have been added to the European stock; and transplantations from the transcendent and unequaled riches of our forests have mingled themselves profusely with the elms, and ashes, and Druidal oaks, of England.
5. America has made contributions far more vast. Who can estimate the amount, or the value, of the augmentation of the commerce of the world that has resulted from America? Who can imagine to himself what would be the shock to the Eastern Continent, if the Atlantic were no longer traversable, or there were no longer American productions, or American markets? But America exercises influences, or holds out examples, for the consideration of the Old World, of a much higher, because they are of a moral and political, character. America has furnished to Europe proof of the fact, that popular institutions, founded on equality and the principle of representation, are capable of maintaining governments; able to secure the rights of person, property, and reputation.
6. America has proved that it is practicable to elevate the mass of mankind; — that portion which in Europe is called the laboring, or lower class;-to raise them to self-respect, to make them competent to act a part in the great right and great duty of self-government; and this she has proved may be done by education and the diffusion of knowledge. She holds out an example, a thousand times more enchanting than ever was presented before, to those nine-tenths of the human race who are born without hereditary fortune or hereditary rank.
7. America has furnished to the world the character of Washington! And if our American institutions had done
nothing else, that alone would have entitled them to the respect of mankind. Washington! "First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen!" Washington is all our own! The enthusiastic veneration and regard in which the people of the United States hold him, prove them to be worthy of such a countryman; while his reputation abroad reflects the highest honor on his country and its institutions. I would cheerfully put the question to-day to the intelligence of Europe and the world, what character of the century, upon the whole, stands out in the relief of history, most pure, most respectable, most sublime; and I doubt not, that, by a suffrage approaching to unanimity, the answer would be, Washington!
8. I claim him for America. In all the perils, in every darkened moment of the State, in the midst of the reproaches of enemies and the misgiving of friends; I turn to that transcendent name for courage and for consolation. To him who denies, or doubts, whether our fervid liberty can be combined with law, with order, with the security of property, with the pursuits and advancement of happiness; to him who denies that our institutions are capable of producing exaltation of soul, and the passion of true glory; to him who denies that we have contributed anything to the stock of great lessons and great examples; to all these I reply, by pointing to Washington!
1. To him who, in the love of Nature, holds
■ Than-a-top'sis; a word of Greek derivation, signifying a view of death.
Into his darker musings with a mild
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
To nature's teachings, while from all around,
Nor yet in the cold ground,
Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
Shalt thou retire alone; nor could'st thou wish
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun; the vales,
In majesty; and the complaining brooks,
Old ocean's gray and melancholy waste
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man.
The golden sun.
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
6. So shalt thou rest; and what if thou shalt fall
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes
7. So live, that, when thy summons comes to join The innumerable caravan' that moves
To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
Thou go not like the quarry-slave at night,
a Oregon. b Caravan; all the living; literally, a body of traveling pilgrims.
INTELLECTUAL QUALITIES OF MILTON.
1. In speaking of the intellectual qualities of Milton," we may begin by observing that the very splendor of his poetic fame has tended to obscure or conceal the extent of his mind, and the variety of its energies and attainments. To many, he seems only a poet, when, in truth, he was a profound scholar, a man of vast compass of thought, imbued thoroughly with all ancient and modern learning, and able to master, to mold, to impregnate with his own intellectual power, his great and various acquisitions.
2. He had not learned the superficial doctrine of a later day, that poetry flourishes most in an uncultivated soil, and that imagination shapes its brightest visions from the mists of a superstitious age; and he had no dread of accumulating knowledge lest he should oppress and smother his genius.
3. He was conscious of that within him which could quicken all knowledge, and wield it with ease and might; which could give freshness to old truths, and harmony to discordant thoughts; which could bind together, by living ties and mysterious affinities, the most remote discoveries; and rear fabrics of glory and beauty from the rude materials which other minds had collected.
4. Milton had that universality of mind which marks the highest order of intellect. Though accustomed, almost from infancy, to drink at the fountains of classical literature, he had nothing of the pedantry and fastidiousness which disduin all other draughts. His healthy mind delighted in genius, in whatever soil, or in whatever age, it might have burst forth and poured out its fullness. He understood too well the right, and dignity, and pride of created imagination, to lay on it the laws of the Greek or Roman school. Parnas sus was not to him the only holy ground of genius.
a Milton, John; the Homer of Britain; born in London, Dec. 9th, 1608. See p. 288. Parnassus; the name of a mountain-chain in Phocis, a small tract of country in