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“We pry not into the interior ; but, like the martlet,
Build in the weather, on the outward wall,
The business of life should be so conducted as to give us time for quiet study and meditation. The best processes of culture must be perfected in our own libraries, with patient toil and thought.
The mind requires not only diversity of discipline, but generosity of diet. It will not grow to full, well-rounded proportions and robust strength upon any one aliment.
There is no profession or pursuit in life, which, followed with exclusive devotion, will not narrow and contract the mind.
Philanthropy is a good thing; but, if a man lives upon it, it sours the milk, and curdles the blood, till the love of the race becomes the hatred of every man and woman that compose it.
Theology is a good thing; but, if a man fed upon that only, his bones would cleave to his skin. The teacher of it must, by constant reading and study, replenish the exhausted fountains of thought. It is the spider only that weaves from his own entrails, and he weaves in circles. The writer without such refreshment is the constant repetition of himself; the turning of the wheel upon its own axis ; incessant motion, but no progress ; the travelling in the same old ruts with the old “one-hoss shay."
The law is a good thing; but no man can be a great lawyer who knows nothing else. The study and practice of the law tend to acumen rather than breadth, to subtlety rather than strength. The air is thin among the
apices of the law, as on the granite needles of the Alps. We must come down for refreshment and strength to the quiet valleys at their feet.
Pope was wrong. The Ovid was not in Murray lost. Lord Mansfield was the greater lawyer and judge, because the Ovid grew and was developed in him. For his comprehensive grasp of great principles, for those large constructive powers by which he built up the modern commercial law of England, for the beauty and crystal clearness of his style, we are indebted, in no small degree, to his wide and varied culture.
The law is not a “ jealous mistress :” she is a very sensible mistress. She does not object to an evening with the Muses or the Graces, provided we do not remain into the small hours of the morning. The farewell of Blackstone to his Muse is unnecessarily pathetic. The confused air and shuffling gait with which he takes his leave of her ladyship indicate that the relations were not very intimate or confidential. He was in no danger.
Commerce is a noble thing. The pioneer of civilization, the diplomatist of peace, “her line is gone out through all the earth, and her words to the end of the world.” But a man cannot live upon the bread of traffic only. He needs a yet higher commerce (to modify the thought of Bacon); the unfreighting of those ships that come down to us through the vast seas of time, laden with the wisdom of ages.
The country must have its reserved power. It consists, not in wider dominion, in material progress, in wealth, in luxury, in the subjection of nature to the mind and will of man. These but enlarge the theatre of human passions and interests: the actors and the drama remain the same.
Have we no reason to fear, that, in subduing the earth, the earth has, to some extent, subdued us; that, while mind has mastered matter, it has also worshipped it; that we have given our hearts to the idols which our cunning fingers
have moulded ; that ours has become the condition of Faust, when he summoned to his presence the spirit of the earth, and felt, at first, his energies exalted and glowing as with new wine, but found he could not mate himself with the spirit he had evoked, and, in his despair, exclaimed, "If I had the power to draw thee to me, I have no power to hold thee”?
Our strength, our reserved power, is in our fidelity to the principles on which these States were founded, in which their youth was nurtured, by which they were ripened together into one national life; loyalty to freedom, obedience to law, then, now, and for ever, one and inseparable.
The founders of the Republic did not believe that government was merely moral suasion; that liberty was the absence of wholesome restraint; that laws were to be obeyed only when obedience was agreeable; the country to be defended and saved only when the subject should volunteer; that the Constitution was to be supreme only when it was convenient; the Union a mere silken string, from which States might be slipped by secession or severed by treason. No enduring fabric can rest on such dogmas. The roots of civil government strike deep, and find nutriment and support in the depths of the Divine Will. Law is a sword as well as a shield; there is no liberty but within its pale: the defence of the country, at the cost of treasure or of life, is the first of civil duties; the Constitution, in war as in peace, is the supreme law, the bond of equal States, inseparable, without limit of time, immutable except in the mode itself points out.
These plain principles, now somewhat old-fashioned, not to say obsolete, make up for the country its moral army of the reserve.
Brethren, this dear country of ours is in extreme peril. For her succor and deliverance, she needs all dom and all your strength, the counsels of age, the vigor of manhood, the flower of youth. God of our fathers, gird us for the work : by tribulation and suffering, by this baptism of fire and of blood, purify and gird us for the work of her salvation. God of our fathers,
. we can save her, and we will. Redeemed, purified, plucked as a brand from the burning, we will give her once more to thy service, in which alone is perfect freedom.
SPEECH AT CHELSEA.
OCTOBER 31, 1862.
FELLOW-CITIZENS, — An important election is at hand. No thoughtful man ever casts a vote without inquiry as to his duty. At a time like this, he is painfully anxious. He feels he cannot use it to gratify personal or party predilections; that it belongs to the country, and must be so given as best to serve her interests. For eighteen months we had been engaged in a civil war, whose extent, whose intense bitterness, whose consumption of treasure and of most precious blood, have no parallel in history. The struggle was tasking to the uttermost the resources of the loyal States. The people believed the war was just and necessary. They saw no hope for the country but in its vigorous prosecution. They had been grievously disappointed by the want of progress in suppressing the Rebellion. They were mortified and chagrined by disasters and defeats, followed by lame and impotent apologies. They were disgusted by the frauds of contractors, the jealousies of commanders, the selfishness of politicians, the want of unity, method, and persistent vigor in the public counsels, with the presence everywhere of politicians and office-holders, unchastened by the public calamities, obtruding upon the Executive councils, dictating to Congress, meddling