« PreviousContinue »
And well might he entrust his fate
To one so undismayed,
Spent on one fearful deed !
More lasting worth can plead;
Thy memory aye shall live ;
A name more glorious give :
Far, far beyond the Roman's fame?
FREEDOM OF THE ANCIENT ISRAELITES.-Croly.
The state of man in the most unfettered republics of the ancient world was slavery, compared with the magnanimous and secure establishment of the Jewish commonwealth. During the three hundred golden years from Moses to Samuel,-before, for our sins, we were given over to the madness of innovation, and the demand of an earthly diadem,the Jew was free, in the loftiest sense of freedom ; free to do all good ; 'restricted only from evil ; every man pursuing the unobstructed course pointed out by his genius or his fortune; every man protected by laws inviolable, or whose violation was instantly visited with punishment, by the Eternal Sovereign alike of ruler and people.
Freedom ! twin-sister of Virtue, thou brightest of all the spirits that descended in the train of Religion from the throne of God; thou, that leadest up man again to the early glories of his being; angel, from the circle of whose presence happiness spreads like the sun-light over the darkness of the land ! at the waving of whose sceptre, knowledge, and peace, and fortitude, and wisdom, stoop upon the wing; at the voice of whose trumpet the more than grave is broken, and slavery gives up her dead; when shall I see thy coming ? When shall I hear thy summons upon the mountains of my country, and rejoice in the regeneration and glory of the sons of Judah ? I have traversed nations; and as I set my
their boundary, I have said, Freedom is not here! I saw the naked hill, the morass steaming with death, the field covered with weedy fallow, the silky thicket encumbering the land ; -I saw the still more infallible signs, the downcast visage, the form degraded at once by loathsome indolence and desperate poverty; the peasant cheerless and feeble in his field, the wolfish robber, the population of the cities crowded into huts and cells, with pestilence for their fellow ;-I saw the contumely of man to man, the furious vindictiveness of popular rage ; and I pronounced at the moment, This people is not free.
In the republics of heathen antiquity, the helot, the client sold for the extortion of the patron, and the born bondsman lingering out life in thankless toil, at once put to flight all conceptions of freedom. In the midst of altars fuming to liberty, of harangues glowing with the most pompous protestations of scorn for servitude, of crowds inflated with the presumption that they disdained a master, the eye was insulted with the perpetual chain. The temple of Liberty was built upon the dungeon.-Rome came, and unconsciously, avenged the insulted name of freedom; the master and the slave were bowed together; the dungeon was made the common dwelling of all.
SONG OF THE PILGRIM S.
The breeze has swelled the whitening sail,
Leave behind our native shore,
The deep may dash, the winds may blow,
Still, as long as life shall last,
For we would rather never be,
Blasts of heaven, onward sweep!
0, see what wonders meet our eyes !
Here, at length, our feet shall rest,
As long as yonder firs shall spread
Shall those cliffs and mountains be
THE SURVIVING WORTHIES OF THE REVOLUTION.
Extract from an Oration delivered at Cambridge, July 4, 1826, by
Let us not forget, on the return of this eventful day, the men, who, when the conflict of counsel was over, stood forward in that of arms. Yet let me not, by faintly endeavouring to sketch, do deep injustice to the story of their exploits. The efforts of a life would scarce suffice to paint out this picture, in all its astonishing incidents, in all its mingled colours of sublimity and wo, of agony and triumph.
But the age of commemoration is at hand. The voice of our fathers' blood begins to cry to us, from beneath the soil which it moistened. Time is bringing forward, in their proper relief, the men and the deeds of that highsouled day. The generation of contemporary worthies is gone; the crowd of the unsignalized great and good disappears; and the leaders in war as well as council, are seen, in Fancy's eye, to take their stations on the mount of Remembrance.
They come from the embattled cliffs of Abraham; they start from the heaving sods of Bunker's Hill; they gather from the blazing lines of Saratoga and Yorktown, from the blood-dyed waters of the Brandywine, from the dreary snows of Valley Forge, and all the hard-fought fields of the
With all their wounds and all their honours, they rise and plead with us, for their brethren who survive ; and bid us, if indeed we cherish the memory of those who bled in our cause, to show our gratitude, not by sounding words, but by stretching out the strong arm of the country's prosperity, to help the veteran survivors gently down to
STANZAS ADDRESSED TO THE GREEKS.
ON, on, to the just and glorious strife!
With your swords your freedom shielding:
But die, at least, unyielding.
On to the strife! for 'twere far more meet
To sink with the foes who bay you,
And smile on the swords that slay you.
Shall the pagan slaves be masters, then,
Of the land which your fathers gave you?
When your own good swords may save you?
No! let him feel that their arms are strong,
That their courage will fail them never,-
And bury past shame forever.
Let him know there are hearts, however bowed
By the chains which he threw around them,
And cry' wo!' to the slaves who bound them.
Let him learn how weak is a tyrant's might,
Against liberty's sword contending;
Their freedom and land defending.
Then on! then on to the glorious strife !
With your swords your country shielding,
But die, at least, unyielding.
Strike ! for the sires who left you
free! Strike! for their sakes who bore you ! Strike! for your homes and liberty,
And the Heaven you worship o'er you!
RANDOLPH IN CONVENTION OF VIRGINIA, IN 1829–1830. Sir,-I see no wisdom in making this provision for future changes. You must give Governments time to operate on the People, and give the People time to become gradually assimilated to their Institutions. Almost any thing is better than this state of perpetual uncertainty. A people may have the best form of government that the wit of man ever devised; and yet, from its uncertainty alone, may, in effect, live under the worst Government in the world. Sir, how often must I repeat, that change is not reform. I am willing that this new Constitution shall stand as long as it is possible for it to stand, and that, believe me, is a very short time. Sir, it is vain to deny it. They may say what they please about the old Constitution—the defect is not there. It is not in the form of the old edifice, neither in the design nor the elevation : it is in the material—it is in the People of Virginia. To my knowledge that people are changed from what they have been. The 400 men who went out to David were in debt. The partisans of Cæsar were in debt. The fellow-labourers of Catiline were in debt. And I defy