Puslapio vaizdai

historic recollections ? Are we to be eternally ringing the changes upon Marathon and Thermopylæ; and going back to read in obscure texts of Greek and Latin, of the exemplars of patriotic virtue? I thank God that we can find them nearer home, in our own country, on our own soil;-that strains of the noblest sentiment that ever swelled in the breast of man, are breathing to us out of every page of our country's history, in the native eloquence of our mother tongue ;-that the colonial and provincial councils of America exhibit to us models of the spirit and character which gave Greece and Rome their name and their praise among the nations. Here we ought to go for our instruction-the lesson is plain, it is clear, it is applicable. *** How many prudent counsels, conceived in perplexed times; how many heartstirring words, uttered when liberty was treason; how many brave and heroic deeds, performed when the halter, not the laurel, was the promised meed of patriotic daring, are already lost and forgotten in the graves of their authors! How little do we,--although we have been permitted to hold converse with the venerable remnants of that day,-how little do we know of their dark and anxious hours; of their secret meditations; of the hurried and perilous events of the momentous struggles ! And while they are dropping around us like the leaves of autumn, while scarce a week passes that does not call away some member of the veteran ranks, already so sadly thinned, shall we make no effort to hand down the traditions of their day to our children; to pass the torch of liberty,--which we received in all the splendor of its first enkindling,-bright and flaming to those who stand

[ocr errors]

next us on the line; so that, when we shall come to be gathered to the dust where our fathers are laid, we may say to our sons and our grandsons, " if we did not amass, we have not squandered your inheritance of glory."



The history of the world is full of testimony to prove how much depends upon industry: not an eminent orator has lived but is an example of it. Yet, in contradiction to all this, the almost universal feeling appears to be, that industry can affect nothing, that eminence is the result of accident, and that every one must be content to remain just what he may happen to be. Thus multitudes, who came forward as teachers and guides, suffer themselves to be satisfied with the most. indifferent attainments, and a miserable mediocrity, without so much as inquiring how they may rise higher, much less making any attempt to rise. For any other art they would have served an apprenticeship, and would be ashamed to practise it in public before they had learned it. If any one would sing, he attends a master, and is drilled in the very elementary principles; and only after the most laborious process, dares to exercise his voice in public. This he does, though he has scarce any thing to learn but the mechanical execution of what lies in sensible forms before the eye. But the extempore speaker, who is to invent as well as to utter, to carry

on an operation of the mind as well as to produce sound, enters upon the work without preparatory discipline, and then wonders that he fails! If he were learning to play on the flute for public exhibition, what hours and days would he spend in giving facility to his fingers, and attaining the power of the sweetest and most expressive execution! If he were devoting himself to the organ, what months and years would he labor, that he might know its compass, and be master of its keys, and be able to draw out, at will, all its various combinations of harmonious sounds, and its full richness and delicacy of expression! And yet he will fancy the grandest, and the most various and most expressive of all instruments, which the infinite Creator has fashioned by the union of an intellectual soul with the powers of speech, may be played upon without study or practice; he comes to it a mere uninstructed tyro, and thinks to manage all its stops, and command the whole compass of its varied and comprehensive power! He finds himself a bungler in the attempt, is mortified at his failure, and settles it in his mind for ever, that the attempt is vain.

2. LORD ULLIN'S DAUGHTER.-Thomas Campbell. B. 1777; d. 1844.
A chieftain, to the highlands bound,
Cries, "Boatman, dò not tárry!
And I'll give thee a silver pound 1
To row us o'er the ferry."

"Now who be ye, would cross Lochgyle,
This dark and stormy water?"
"O, I'm the chief of Ulva's isle,

And this Lord Ullin's daughter :

"And fast before her father's men I Three days we've fled together, For should he find us in the glen,

My blood would stain the heather.

"His horsemen hard behind us ride;
Should they our steps discover,
Then who will cheer my bonny bride'
When they have slain her lover?"



Out spoke the hardy Highland wight,
"I'll gò, my chief, I'm ready :-
It is not for your silver bright;
But for your winsome lady :


"And, by my word, the bonny bird' In danger shall not tarry;

So, though the waves are raging white, I'll row you o'er the ferry."

By this, the storm grew loud apace,

The water-wraith was shrieking; And in the scowl of heaven each face Grew dark as they were speaking.

But still, as wilder blew the wind
And as the night grew drearer,
Adown the glen rode armed men,

Their trampling sounded nearer.

“O, hàste thee, haste!" the lady cries, Though tempest round us gather;


I'll meet the raging of the skies,

But not an angry father."

The boat has left the stormy land,
A stormy sea before hér-


When, oh! too strong for human hand,
The tempest gathered o'er her.-

And still they rowed amidst the roar
Of waters fast prevailing:

Lord Ullin reached that fatal shore,
His wrath was changed to wailing.-

For sore dismayed, through storm and shade,
His child he did discover:

One lovely hand she stretched for aid,
And one was round her lover.

"Come back! come back!" he cried in grief,
"Across this stormy water :



And I'll forgive your Highland chief;
My daughter!-Oh my daughter!

[ocr errors]

'Twas vain the loud waves lashed the shore,
Return or aid preventing :-

The waters wild went o'er his child,
And he was left lamenting.


3. AMUSING ANECDOTE.-Ik kan niet verstaan.

A young Parisian, going to Amsterdam, was attracted by the remarkable beauty of a house situated near the canal. He addressed a Dutchman in French, who stood near him in the vessel, with, "Pray, sir, may I ask who that house belongs to ?" The Hollander answered him in his own language, "Ik kan niet

« AnkstesnisTęsti »