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In the shade of the apple-tree again
And, gazing down with timid grace,
Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls
The weary wheel to a spinnet turned,
And for him who sat by the chimney lug,
A manly form at her side she saw,
Then she took up her burden of life again,
Alas for maiden, alas for Judge,
For rich repiner and household drudge!
For of all sad words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are these--"It might have been !"
Ah, well! for us all some sweet hope lies
Deeply buried from human eyes;
And in the hereafter, angels may
Roll the stone from its grave away!
OUR DUTY TO OUR COUNTRY.-DANIEL WEBSTER.
OUR history and our condition, all that is gone before us, and all that surrounds us, authorize the belief, that popular governments, though subject to occasional variations, in form perhaps not always for the better, may yet, in their general character, be as durable and permanent as other systems. We know, indeed,
PALMERSTON AND LINCOLN.
that in our country any other is impossible. The principle of free governments adheres to the American soil. It is bedded in it, immovable as its mountains.
And let the sacred obligations which have devolved on this generation, and on us, sink deep into our hearts. Those who established our liberty and our government are daily dropping from among us. The great trust now descends to new hands. Let us apply ourselves to that which is presented to us, as our appropriate object. We can win no laurels in a war for independence. Earlier and worthier hands have gathered them all. Nor are there places for us by the side of Solon, and Alfred, and other founders of States. Our fathers have filled them. But there remains to us a great duty of defense and preservation; and there is opened to us a noble pursuit, to which the spirit of the times strongly invites us. Our proper business is improvement. Let our age be the age of improvement. In a day of peace, let us advance the arts of peace and the works of peace. Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered. Let us cultivate a true spirit of union and harmony. In pursuing the great objects which our condition points out to us, let us act under a settled conviction, and an habitual feeling, that these twenty-four States are one country. Let our conceptions be enlarged to the circle of our duties. Let us extend our ideas over the whole of the vast field in which we are called to act. Let our object be, Our Country, Our Whole Country, and Nothing But Our Country. And, by the blessing of God, may that country itself become a vast and splendid monument, not of oppression and terror, but of Wisdom, of Peace, and of Liberty, upon which the world may gaze with admiration forever!
PALMERSTON AND LINCOLN.-GEORGE BANCROFT.
PALMERSTON traced his lineage to the time of the Conqueror; Lincoln went back only to his grandfather. Palmerston received
his education from the best scholars of Harrow. Edinburgh, and Cambridge; Lincoln's early teachers were the silent forest, the prairie, the river, and the stars. Palmerston was in public life for sixty years; Lincoln but for a tenth of that time. Palmerston was a skillful guide of an established aristocracy; Lincoln a leader or rather a companion of the people; Palmerston was exclusively an Englishman, and made his boast in the House of Commons that the interest of England was his Shibboleth; Lincoln thought always of mankind as well as his own country, and served human nature itself. Palmerston, from his narrowness as an Englishman, did not endear his country to any one court or to any one people, but rather caused uneasiness and dislike; Lincoln left America more beloved than ever by all the peoples of Europe. Palmerston was self-possessed and adroit in reconciling the conflicting claims of the factions of the aristocracy; Lincoln, frank and ingenious, knew how to poise himself on the conflicting opinions of the people. Palmerston was capable of insolence toward the weak, quick to the sense of honor, not heedful of right; Lincoln rejected counsel given only as a matter of policy, and was not capable of being willfully unjust. Palmerston, essentially superficial, delighted in banter, and knew how to divert grave opposition by playful levity. Lincoln was a man of infinite jest on his lips, with saddest earnestness at his heart. Palmerston was a fair representative of the aristocratic liberality of the day, choosing for his tribunal, not the conscience of humanity, but the House of Commons; Lincoln took to heart the eternal truths of liberty, obeyed them as the commands of Providence, and accepted the human race as the judge of his fidelity.
Palmerston did nothing that will endure; his great achievement, the separation of Belgium, placed that little kingdom where it must gravitate to France; Lincoln finished a work which all time cannot overthrow. Palmerston is a shining example of the ablest of a cultivated aristocracy; Lincoln shows the genuine fruits of institutions where the laboring man shares and assists to form the great ideas and designs of his country. Palmerston was buried in Westminster Abbey by the order of his Queen, and was followed by the British aristocracy to his grave, which after a few years will hardly be noticed by the side of the graves of Fox and Chatham; Lincoln was followed by the sorrow of his country
DEFENCE OF COMMON SCHOOLS.
across the continent to his resting-place in the heart of the Mississippi valley, to be remembered through all time by his countrymen, and by all the peoples of the world.
FREE SCHOOLS.-HORACE MANN.
It is impossible for us adequately to conceive the boldness of the measure which aimed at universal education through the establishment of Free Schools. As a fact, it had no precedent in the world's history; and, as a theory, it could have been refuted and silenced by a more formidable array of argument and experience than was ever marshaled against any other institution of human origin. But time has ratified its soundness. Two centuries of successful operation now proclaim it to be as wise as it was courageous, and as beneficent as it was disinterested. Every community in the civilized world awards it the meed of praise, and States at home, and nations abroad, in the order of their intelligence, are copying the bright example. What we call the enlightened nations of Christendom are approaching, by slow degrees, to the moral elevation which our ancestors reached at single bound; and the tardy convictions of the one have beer assimilating, through a period of two centuries, to the intuitions of the other.
The establishment of Free Schools was one of those grand mental and moral experiments whose effects could not be developed and made manifest in a single generation. But now, according to the manner in which human life is computed, we are the sixth generation from its founders; and have we not reason to be grateful, both to God and man, for its unnumbered blessings? The sincerity of our gratitude must be tested by our efforts to perpetuate and to improve what they established. The gratitude of the lips only is an unholy offering.
DEFENSE OF COMMON SCHOOLS.-JOHN CONNESS-1861.
I HAVE heard nothing to convince me that this bill should pass, and that our system of education should be changed. I
have heard no argument within this chamber, because I do not recognize as argument on that point all that is said about the condition of the schools as they now exist. Our public school system in the United States of America is one of the proudest evidences of the greatness of our people, as it furnishes the basis and substratum of our institutions. Let religionists, of whatever class or kind, teach their doctrines and dogmas. They have their organizations for that especial purpose, and they contribute their means, and judiciously and carefully apply them to these ends. It is our business, by law and constitutional sanction, to preserve each in its own particular career, without interference from its neighboring organization. It is that preservation and defense against assault upon any, by either, that has marked our land and made it what it proudly is-the asylum of freedom in the world. No greater means of its continuance, no surer or more certain mode for its preservation can be found, I assert, than in the preservation of our common school system. While we denominate our schools public and common schools, let that not, as is the case now in the interior of our State, be a misnomer any longer. Let them be free, and furnish the means of education to the poor of the land. Your future members of the Legislature, Congressmen, Governors, and Presidents, are to be found among these classes, for nature has baptized the child of poverty with the blessing of energy. All the history of our country and of every free country conclusively proves this proposition, for the great men of every free land have sprung from the common people. Education is particularly for them; it is due to them from our hands and the hands of the great body of the people
OUR DUTIES TO OUR COUNTRY.-DANIEL WEBSTER.
THIS lovely land, this glorious liberty, these benign institutions, the dear purchase of our fathers, are ours; ours to enjoy, ours to preserve, ours to transmit. Generations past, and generations to come, hold us responsible for this sacred trust. Our fathers, from behind, admonish us, with their anxious paternal voices;