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From the Providence Daily Journal, Sept. 5th, 1861.
Immediately after the commencement exer
COMMENCEMENT day justified the traditionary cises proper, the Alumni assembled on the green behind the church, and through the exertions of reputation for pleasantness. The showers of the previous afternoon and night had purified the Chief Marshal and his staff, were formed in the air, and imparted to it a refreshing cool- marching order, the members of the oldest classThe regiment then made a ness which was particularly grateful to the es taking the lead. crowded assembly at the church. It had been flanking movement to the right, and passing feared that attention would be diverted from through Main street and up College Hill, halted in front of Manning Hall. the literary festival by the absorbing events of A slight panic, the times, and that the attendance would be arising from some unexplained cause, then broke much smaller than usual. But the presence of out, and notwithstanding the efforts of the marshals to steady the men, the ranks were broken, so large a number of graduates and friends of the college showed that their affectionate regard and disorder prevailed for several minutes. The for her welfare is as strong as ever. Alumni finally rallied in force, and making a detour to the right, marched through Manning Hall, and entered upon the tented field. A squad of contrabands was detailed for foraging
The exercises at the church were of a high order, as every one familiar with our commencements expects them to be. They showed most
careful and thorough training by the instruc-duty and rendered efficient service. The Alum
tors, and diligent and conscientious labor on the part of the students, and were received with every demonstration of satisfaction by the vast audience.
ni, with great presence of mind, took possession of the tent, and at the command "Fall to," vigorously attacked the viands, which offered but a feeble resistance, and soon left the Alumni in
possession of the field.
The rations having been discussed, the orations were next in order. President Sears then welcomed the guests in substantially the following words:
Though there was apparently no effort on the part of any one to turn aside from the discussion of his theme to make allusions to the great question of the day, the patriotic thoughts which were inspiring every mind would press themselves to the lips and find utterance both It is a pleasing sight to behold once more the at the church and the dinner, and every expies-sons of our beloved University gather around sion of them was greeted with a hearty applause, the home of their youth. As one of her sons, which showed that the children of old Brown called to act in her name, I take pleasure in exare true to their country in this hour of trial. tending to you a cordial welcome. We have This feature, of course, gave a somewhat unique much, very much, to render our meeting mutucharacter to the exercises of the day, lending ally agreeable. The old scenes revive many them an unusual zest and enthusiasm, and per- pleasant memories. Classmates seeing each othhaps accounting, in part, for the very general er after years of separation, trace in the mature, remark, that the commencement festivities were or perhaps venerable forms, the traits and feanever more spirited and delightful. There was tures of the boy. Or, if they have frequently a fervor and an earnestness in them which was met, it is like the annual return of a family fesin marked contrast with the ordinary routine of tival. collegiate anniversaries.
But we meet to-day for the first time in the memory of any of us under circumstances of great national calamity. We are in the midst of a great civil war. Some of our brethren are
The honorary degree of Master of Arts was conferred on His Excellency William Sprague, and on Brigadier General Ambrose Everett not with us, but are arrayed in arms against us. Burnside, U. S. A.
The Degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred on the Rev. Prof. Ebenezer Dodge, of the Theological Department of Madison University, Hamilton, N. Y.; and on the Rev. Robert Curtis Mills, of Salem, Mass,
The degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred on the Hon. James Henry Duncan, of Haverhill, Mass.
Several of our graduating class have been on the field of battle even before receiving their diplomas, while of former graduates, a large number flew to arms at their country's call, and not a few will never return.
But, friends, would we not have it so? May our Alma Mater always have brave sons, ready to meet all the demands of patriotism. “Praesidium et dulce deous." In paying our filial re
spect to her who has nourished us, let us love tions of the country favored this idea, and that and venerate her as the mother of a noble race when peace was restored, the country would of patriots and heroes. hold a more honorable and commanding posiWe hold a close relation to that free and lib- tion than it held when it was full of bickerings. eral State that gave us our liberal charter. Hand He closed by referring to the advantage and in hand with each other have the State and the honor which accrued to the State of Rhode IsUniversity ever maintained and eloquently ad- land through the University. vocated the principles of civil and religious Three hearty cheers were called for and givfreedom. They have been the firm friends and en for Governor Sprague, Master of Arts. supporters of constitutional authority and civil Hon. Walter S. Burges, the Attorney General order. In common with other States, but not of the State, being called on, good naturedly rebehind any of them in energy, liberality and de- monstrated against the habit which the Governvotion to the interests of the country, she has, or had, of calling on people, without having since we last met here, won new laurels, and consulted them beforehand, to do what he wantgot a name of which we may well be proud, and ed to be done. After speaking for some time in which posterity will not let die. He who has a humorous vein, he assured the audience that so well represented her in the field is with us he had written a very good speech, which was to-day. Neither he nor his followers refused to in the pocket of the next speaker, so that they go to Washington by way of Baltimore, nor would hear it presently. were they undistinguished in the most fearful President Sears, after speaking of the present battle ever fought on this continent. All honor prosperity of the city of Providence, and of the to the brave man and the brave men who in that identification of the interests of the College with hour of peril thought of nothing but their duty those of the city, called upon His Honor Mayor and the nation's safety. We celebrate heroic Knight. deeds; they performed them. If I were a poet, The Mayor expressed his gratitude for what and were to write an Eneid, I would begin as the University had done for him indirectly in Virgil did, even if I could say but the first three his youth, though he had not the honor of being words or pointing to the hero I would simply ranked among her sons, and testifying to the say, Arma virumque. I believe by the laws of orderly behavior of the young men, pleasantly prosody, that would set him on two feet. told how he had once officially interfered for
I give you - The brave young Governor of the relief of some of them from an embarrassRhode Island.
It is rather unusual for
His Excellency Gov. Sprague responded. AfPresident Sears said that the presence of no ter notifying the Attorney General of the State one gave the audience greater pleasure than that that he should presently call on him to speak of the honored ex-President of Brown Univerin his behalf, he said that he was glad to be sity. He then called upon Dr. Waylandpresent as one of the family, and that it should clarum et venerabile nomen." Dr. Wayland be his constant aim to render himself worthy spoke as follows: of the distinction which had been conferred on Young Gentlemen: him. He was glad also to hear stirring appeals you to call on me to recite. There are some to the patriotism and virtue of the people; for hundreds here whom I have called upon, and it till men of education speak and act, no one will; seems natural that I should call on you this afand when they come forward in any emergency, ternoon, but all that is past. You are neither then many will be found to follow. As a young pupils, nor am I your teacher. We are all on man he was always hopeful in view of embar- the wide ocean of life- each of us called on to rassments in the future. On a former occasion make his mark on the present age, and on the he had spoken of the difficulties and dangers of age to come after. the task, but had not designed to speak in dis- a remark made by couragement of the patriotic ardor of any one. English history. He had seen the defeat caused by an undue act." Never in our confidence in our own fortune, and lamented tion of Independence has there been a time for that we went into battle weaker than the ene- a man to act like this 4th day of September, my, when our resources might have made us 1861. The College has sent its first fruits, and stronger. He believed that the Union could I do believe that the principles imbibed here, not be dissolved, that the interests of both sec-the culture bestowed, and the prayers offered
Passing events call to mind Burke at a critical period in "It is a time for a man to country since the Declara
up, are a sufficient guarantee that those who go become better acquainted with the people of from this College to the war are noble, honora- Rhode Island. ble, patriotic and self-denying citizens. If these The President referred to the presence of a strong hands can sustain the stars and stripes, member of the United States Senate, and said if these breasts can form a rampart to put far that if the peeple were as true to their country away the wickedness of slavery, (slavery! sla- as the Senate was, we should not long tremble very! what man was born to be a slave!) let at the cry of " Hannibal ante portas," but should us form an impregnable rampart against the transfer the war, "Bellum in Africam transwaves of rebellion, of sedition, of the most in- ferre," and should take possession of the coast famous conspiracy ever known, and let us say, from Fortress Monroe to Fort Pickens, and of "thus far shalt thou go and no farther." the Mississippi from New Orleans to Somebody's Falls.
The remarks of Dr. Wayland were received with loud applause.
Governor Anthony was then called upon.
Dr. Sears, after speaking of a certain college, whose history formed no small part of the his- the sentiment and the complimentary remarks tory of the country, said that there was present of the President. He believed that since it had one who was the worthy successor of Quincy, been disembarrassed by the withdrawal of men Everett, Sparks and Walker. He then called on President Felton, of Harvard University. President Felton remarked that one of the most desperate results of the barbarous rebellion at the South has been the closing of the schools and universities, because it was much harder to enlighten ignorance than learning.
He rejoiced that he could be to-day in a place
where education and liberal culture had not lost
who had never wished anything but evil to the republic, and who had latterly avowed the hostility which they had always practiced in secret, the Senate had not failed to meet the just expectations of the country; and that the proceedings of the recent session were entitled to the praises which the President had pronounced upon them.
We are living in the most important period of their interest even in the clang of arms. He our country's history. Every day, every hour, congratulated Rhode Island on its spirit, larger is big with events which may shape its future than its body, and reminded the audience of the course and mould its future destiny. Even Homeric line, Remember, Tydeus, your fa- while we are enjoying this festive occasion, the ther was small in body, but a mighty warrior." electric wires may be flashing all over the counAfter referring to the part which Harvard try the news of glorious victory or calamitous University took in the war of the Revolution, disaster. Whatever it may be, and whenever and to that which she is now taking in the war it may come, he hoped we should accept it with for nationality, he said that he believed that a equal hearts and with unconquerable determiregiment of students could withstand almost nation; if it be victory, that we should take any force in the field, because their intellectual measures to strengthen and assure it, and to setraining enabled them to appreciate most fully cure all its fruits; if it be disaster, that we the value of the institutions for which they con- should take measures to retrieve it and to turn tended. it back, rising to meet it with that indomitable Dr. Sears said that on the occasion of the re-spirit which made the old Roman legions more moval (not a temporary one, he hoped,) of the terrible after a defeat than after a victory. Naval Academy to Rhode Island, he most cor- And whatever we may be called upon to sufdially welcomed its representatives among us. fer, to sacrifice and to lose, we cannot suffer He then called on Rev. Mr. Junkin, chaplain and lose too much for our country. It is better, of the Naval Academy, who, in a brief but for- said he, that you and I, and all this goodly cible speech, spoke of the need of greater ear- company, should perish, — nay, I speak the denestness in equipping our young men to serve liberate judgment of my understanding, when I their country upon the sea as well as on the say, it is far better that the whole generation of living men who now rejoice in the unnumbered blessings of our constitution and our Union, should perish, should pass away, as the shadow of a cloud passeth over the summer field, than
Rev. Mr. Nourse, Professor of Belle Lettres in the Naval Academy, paid a tribute to the fine appearance and noble character of the Rhode Island soldiers, and expressed the pleasure which that the constitution and the Union should fail. it gave the members of the Naval Academy to And they will not fail; all the elements that
make up success are on our side; -numbers, we have succeeded, if we permit its integrity to wealth, science, skill, right, justice and truth. be impaired, if we suffer the boundaries of the And God is on our side. To doubt it is to republic to be altered except to be enlarged. doubt that He is the being which He reveals President Sears then called upon President Himself to be in nature and in scripture. It Eaton, of Madison University. may be that in His justice He designs to punish Dr. Eaton described the patriotism which anus for our sins, for our pride, for our exclusive imated the students of his college. He said that devotion to material interests, and for our indif- if it was necessary, he should don the regimenference to the means by which those interests tals and lead his boys to the tented field. Reare promoted; but it cannot be that He will re- ferring to Governor Sprague, he said that his verse His own laws and work a miracle, that munificence and his cool courage had made his the wrong may triumph over the right. name a household word in every family in New
After a few remarks by Rev. Dr. Babcock, of the class of 1821, the Alumni joined in singing a patriotic hymn, and then disbanded with a deeper love for Alma Mater, and for the free institutions by which institutions of learning are fostered and preserved.
Mr. President, look at our country! See it York. as it is pictured out on the map that we have Eloquent speeches were also made by Rev. studied of late as we have never studied it be- Prof. James M. Hoppin, and by Rev. Prof. Geo. fore. Mark its natural boundaries, its defensi- P. Fisher, of the Theological Seminary at New ble frontiers. See its broad surface, reaching Haven, and a patriotic poem was read by Rev. from ocean to ocean, and spreading through the S. F. Smith, D. D. latitudes of the temperate zone. See how, by its configuration, by its geography, by its soil, its climate, its productions, by all the tokens by which nature indicates her intention, this was intended for one country, and we were intended for one people. Look at its vast chains of natural communication, and its immense lines of artificial connection, soon to be increased by another of unparalleled magnitude. For soon the KELLEY, in his reminiscences, says he picked great oceans shall be connected, not merely at up the following gem from the pen of Sheridan, the points where the indented coasts, pressing from the floor of that poet's library, where he to each other, invite the enterprise, but through had thrown it as waste paper:
The Days that are Gone.
Uncheered I still wander alone,
And sunk in dejection, forever deplore
The sweets of the days that are gone.
the great heart of the country, over the plains, No more shall the spring my lost treasure restore, across the rivers, and through the passes of the Rocky Mountains. Along this line the pioneers of civilization shall take their stand, and from this parent stem shall issue branches bearing in every direction the triumphs of free institutions. For all purposes of intercourse and communication, the opposite frontiers of the republic are nearer to-day than they were at the time of the Revolution, when our settlements were straggling along the Atlantic coast, or pressed between the mountains and the sea, and when visionary men were speculating whether at some far distant period the tides of civilization might possibly surmount the Alleghanies and pour into the valley of the Mississippi. Look at that valley now! The home of intelligence and refinement, the seat of power and of empire.
I stray where the dew falls, through moon-lighted
And list to the nightingale's song,
Is a tear for the bliss that is flown;
Such, Mr. President, is our country, your TRUE WORTH and excellence of nature is selcountry and mine, the theme of our earliest dom recognized by the world, unless attended praises, the pride, the hope, the joy of our ma- by the pomp and glitter of position and possesturer years; founded by faith, defended by val- sions. Surroundings common to error and poor, protected always by an overruling Provi- verty seems to convey the thoughts of want of dence. Utterly unworthy should we be of the worth. The world seems to forget the noblest age in which we live, of the civilization to which part of one's nature in the outer vestments,
"Home again, home again from a foreign shore,
On account of the press of business at the seat of war, he concluded to suspend his exhibition this summer, and not his rope. We hear that he is
soon to walk across the British channel, which is to conclude his daring exploits.
We cross the Suspension Bridge, and are now in
Thus sang the poet, so sing we. The palmy the Queen's dominions, which we soon learn by a days of vacation are in the past, gone glimmer- well-fed Englishman of aldermanic proportions, ing among the things that were." The school-who enters the secrets of our family wardrobe and master has been abroad, but is now "perfectly at with very little grace persists in overhauling our home." The school bell calls again. The joyous trunks, in order to see if we had more linen than shouts of merry school children ring out on the was fit for a Yankee to sport while maintaining a welkin, as we all seek the old familiar halls. We war at home. The old functionary upset the en
have had a splendid time, we are essentially reju- tire arrangement of the several packages and then venated, we weigh manly, our complexion' is near-coolly walked away to smoke and wait for another ly contraband, our graceful locks have faded in Jonathan victim, while we re-pack, in the boiling the summer sun to a "beautiful yellow." Again sun with our next train in sight. As we straighten we clasp hands with the old SCHOOLMASTER, sit up and buckle straps, we can but utter imprecations down by his side and look straight into his noble, upon the needless search for customs. old, familiar face. Well, we have a fund of new tales for the old fellow, scooped up from vacation
We visit the University of Upper Canada, at Toronto, which is by far the finest school building we have ever seen. It was erected at a cost of This has been a season of daring feats. The $300,000, by a grant from George IV. It is built High School boys have walked to the White Hills of blue stone, and in some parts inlaid with variof New Hampshire from our city without sleeping ous stones of great beauty. It has a large and on "nary bed" during the five weeks wandering. well selected library, and a very extensive museum One little fellow, only a few hands high," walked of natural history. The school was not in session to Concord, New Hampshire, and the little "grit" while there, but by the kindness of the gentlewould not allow a carriage to take him in, as he manly Beadle we were taken through its entire was bound to walk it "clean out." He walked compartments. The floors are mosaic, and the thirty-five miles one day, and that, too, all alone. walls and cornices of richly carved work, and Was he not a boy of some sole? He has no doubt throughout the whole building there are no two but he could walk round the world "if it were only bridged."
pieces of carving of a similar design. Upon visiting some of the more remote schools in Canada As to ourselves, we have met with no daring ad- West, we were forced to conclude that the educa→ ventures. We have stood by the roar of Niagara, tional funds had been very unequally distributed. with mouth well distended, trying to comply with The Normal School, in the same city, is situated the last injunction of a friend, that is, "to drink among beautiful shade trees, environed by hedgeit in." It seems to us the height of folly for rows and beds of flowers; wide gravel walks, archany person to stand in full view of this wondered with evergreens, conduct you to the several of nature, and there and then indulge in any at- entrances. Though in vacation, we were very fatempts at a description. We think no detachment vorably impressed with the internal arrangement of the King's English will be likely to come to his of the building. Several rooms are completely rescue. The most eloquent observer which we met was an aged man, who came and stood on a projecting cliff, over the sheet, and gazed in silence and thus walked away.
filled with the works of art, paintings from the old masters, rich and rare, statuary of classic history meet the eye at every turn, life-like busts of all eminent English, as well as American scholars, A large New Foundland dog had been thrown and patriots of many countries, look down from over the Falls early in the morning, and strange the walls in mute dignity. This school is said to to say, he came down the boiling eddies in a high be the most thorough normal school on this contistate of perspiration. He was taken ashore, and nent. If we are to judge of it by the common after being "rubbed down" well, was as bright as schools now taught by its graduates, our observaany dog in the town. This seems strange, yet it tion has caused us to doubt the truth of the report.
is an actual fact. The foundations to which Blon
A massive monument is to be raised near the
din fastened his wondrous rope are still pointed University buildings to the Queen. In front are out to the stranger, and as you stand on the edge placed on lofty pedestals, two huge cannon, which of the yawning gulf of dark green waters, your were taken in the war of the Crimea by the Engwonder is little less than when you gaze upon the lish. As you approach the spot they present very frightful leap of waters above, that a human being open countenances." should have thus trained his nerves as to stand upon a narrow cord over this deep sounding chasm.
Of our trip down the Rapids, and of other expe riences, we will tell another hour.