« PreviousContinue »
Upon what terms? Where is to be your boundary-line? Where the end of the principles we shall have to give up? What will become of constitutional government? What will become of public liberty ? What of past glories? What of future hopes ? Shall we sink into the insignificance of the grave—a degraded, defeated, emasculated people, frightened by the results of one battle, and scared at the visions raised by the imagination of the Senator from Kentucky upon this floor? No, Sir; a thousand times, no! We will rally—if, indeed, our words be necessarywe will rally the people, the loyal people, of the whole country. They will pour forth their treasure, their money, their men, without stint, without measure. The most peaceable man in this body may stamp his foot upon this Senate chamber floor, as of old, a warrior and senator did, and from that single tramp there will spring forth armed legions. Shall one battle determine the fate of empire, or a dozen ? the loss of one thousand men or twenty thousand; of one hundred million dollars, or five hundred millions? In a year's peace, in ten years at most, of peaceful progress, we can restore them all. There will be some privation; there will be some loss of luxury; there will be somewhat more need for labor to procure the necessaries of life. When that is said, all is said. If we have the country, the whole country, the Union, the Constitution-free government—with these will return all the blessings of well-ordered civilization; the career of the country will be one of greatness and of glory such as, in the olden time, our fathers saw in the dim visions of years yet to come, and such as would liave been ours to-day, if it had not been for the treason for which the Senator too often seeks to apologize.
NATIONAL GREATNESS.-JOHN BRIGHT.
I BELIEVE there is no permanent greatness to a nation except it he based upon morality. I do not care for military greatness or military renown. I care for the condition of the people among whom I live. There is no man in England who is less likely to speak ir
THE HONORED DEAD.
reverently of the crown and monarchy of England than I am; but crowns, coronets, miters, inilitary display, the pomp of war, wido colonies, and a huge empire are, in my view, all trifles light as air, and not worth considering, unless with them you can have a fair share of comfort, contentment, and happiness among the great body of the people. Palaces, baronial castles, great halls, stately mansions, do not make a nation. The nation, in every country, dwells in the cottage; and unless the light of your constitution can shine there, unless the beauty of your legislation and excellence of your statesinanship are impressed there in the feelings and condition of the people, rely upon it you have yet to learn the duties of government.
THE HONORED DEAD.-HENRY WARD BEECHER.
But how bright are the honors which await those who with sacred fortitude and patriotic patience have endured all things that they might save their native land from division and from the power of corruption! The honored dead! They that die for a good cause are redeemed from death. Their names are gathered and garnered. Their memory is precious. Each place grows proud for them who were born there. There is to be, ere long, in every village and in every neighborhood, a glowing pride in its martyred herves. Tablets shall preserve their names. Pious love shall renew their inscriptions as time and the unfeeling elements decay them. And the national festivals shall give multitudes of precions names to the orator's lips. Every mountain and hill shall have its treasured name, every river shall keep some solemn title, every valley and every lake shall cherish its honored register; and till the mountains are worn out, and the rivers forget to flow, till the clouds are weary of replenishing springs, and the springs forget to gush, and the rills to sing, shall their names be kept fresh with reverent honors which are inscribed upon
the book of National Remeinbrance!
GROWTH OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC.-GEORGE BANCROFT.
In the fullness of tiine a republic rose up in the wilderness of America. Thousands of years had passed away before this child of the ages could be born. From whatever there was of good in the systems of former centuries she drew her nourishment; the wrecks of the past were her warnings. With the deepest sentiment of faith fixed in her inmost nature, she disenthralled religion from bondage to temporal power, that her worship might be worship only in spirit and in truth. The wisdom which had passed from India through Greece, with what Greece had added of her own; the jurisprudence of Rome; the mediæval municipalities; the Teutonic method of representation; the political experience of England; the benignant wisdom of the expositors of the law of nature and of nations in France and Holland, all shed on her their selectest influence. She washed the gold of political wisdom from the sands wherever it was found; she cleft it from the rocks; she gleaned it among ruins. Out of all the discoveries of statesmen and sages, out of all the experience of past human life, she compiled a perennial political philosophy, the primordial principles of national ethics. The wise men of Europe sought the best government in a mixture of inonarchy, aristocracy, and democracy; and America went behind these names to extract from them the vital elements of social forms, and blend them harmoniously in the free Commonwealth, which comes nearest to the illustration of the natural equality of all
She intrusted the guardianship of established rights to law; the movements of reform to the spirit of the people, and drew her force from the happy reconciliation of both.
TO-DAY AND TO-MORROW.-GERALD MASSEY.
High hopes that burn like stars sublime
Go down in the skies of Freedom;
We bitterliest need 'em ;
TO-DAY AND TO-MORROW.
And never sit we down and say
“There is nothing left but sorrow.” We walk the wilderness to-day,
The promised land to-morrow.
Our birds of song are silent now;
There are no flowers blooming; But life burns in the frozen bough,
And Freedom's spring is coming! And Freedom's tide comes up alway,
Although we strand in sorrow, And our good bark-aground to-day,
Shall float again to-morrow!
Through all the long dark night of years
The people's cry ascended,
Ere our meek sufferings ended.
The many toil in sorrow,
But Clirist shall rise to-morrow!
Though hearts brood o'er the past, our eyes
With smiling futures glisten,
Lean out your souls and listen!
And ripens with our sorrow;
Shall wear the crown to-morrow!
O Youth! ilame earnest; still aspire
With energies immortal;
Our yearning opes a portal;
And hearts break in the furrow,
The harvest comes to-morrow !
Build up heroic lives, and all
Be like the sheathen saber,
Oh! Chivalry of labor!
Joy suns the clouds of sorrow,
Brings victory to-morrow!
THE HEIGHT OF THE RIDICULOUS.OLIVER WENDELJ, HOLMES.
I WROTE some lines once on a time
In wondrous merry mood,
They were exceeding good.
They were so queer, so very queer,
I laughed as I would die;
A sober man am I.
I called my servant, and he came ;
How kind it was of him,
He of the mighty limb!
“These to the printer," I exclaimed,
And, in my humorous way,
" There 'll be the devil to pay."
He took the paper, and I watched,
And saw him peep within;
Was all upon the grin.
And shot from ear to ear;
I now began to hear.