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LESSONS IN VERSE.
.James Grahame. 264
.. Cowper. 265
.Jane Taylor. 277
Settlement of Charlestown, Mass. .Pierpont. 281
Robert Burns. 286
.Mrs. Norton. 306
Thomas Pringle. 310
INDEX OF AUTHORS.
American authors are designated by italics.
Bailey, Thomas H. ..89.
.....18, 94. Shelley, Percy B. 50, 60.
Sigourney, Mrs. Lydia H.39,127.
Sprague, Charles. ..103.
93. Stewart, Charles Samuel... 118.
62. Taylor, Jane.. 11, 12, 102, 135.
Ware, Henry, Jr.
Washington, George.. .133.
42. Wolfe, Charles. ..2, 17.
146. Wordsworth, William..4, 8, 13,
14, 54, 67, 71, 80, 131.
Dignity of Man.-DANIEL WEBSTER.
MAN's grand distinction is his intellect, his mental capacity. It is this, which renders him highly and peculiarly responsible to his Creator. It is this, on account of which the rule over other animals is established in his hands; and it is this, mainly, which enables him to exercise dominion over the powers of nature, and to subdue them to himself.
But it is true, also, that his own animal organization gives him superiority, and is among the most wonderful of the works of God on earth. It contributes to cause, as well as prove,
his elevated rank in creation. His port is erect, his face towards heaven, and he is furnished with limbs which are not absolutely necessary to his support or locomotion, and which are at once powerful, flexible, capable of innumerable modes and varieties of action, and terminated by an instrument of wonderful, heavenly workmanship, the human hand. This marvellous physical. conformation gives man the power of acting, with great effect, upon external objects, in pursuance of the suggestions of his understanding, and of applying the results of his reasoning power to his own purposes. Without this particular formation, he would not be man, with whatever sagacity he had been endowed. No bounteous grant of intellect, were it the pleasure of Heaven to make such grant, could raise any of the brute creation to an equality
with the human race. Were it bestowed on the leviathan, he must remain, nevertheless, in the element where alone he could maintain his physical existence. He would still be but the inelegant, misshapen inhabitant of the ocean,
wallowing unwieldy, enormous in his gait.” Were the elephant made to possess it, it would but teach him the deformity of his own structure, the unloveliness of his frame, though “the hugest of things,” his disability to act on external matter, and the degrading nature of his own physical wants, which lead him to the deserts, and give him for his favorite home the torrid plains of the tropics. It was placing the king of Babylon sufficiently out of the rank of human beings, though he carried all his reasoning faculties with him, when he was sent away, to eat grass like an ox. And this may properly suggest to our consideration, what is undeniably true, that there is hardly a greater blessing conferred on man than his natural wants. If he had wanted no more than the beasts, who can say how much more than they he would have attained ? Does he associate, does he cultivate, does he build, does he navigate! The original impulse to all these lies in his wants. It proceeds from the necessities of his condition, and from the efforts of unsatisfied desire. Every want not of a low kind, physical as well as moral, which the human breast feels, and which brutes do not feel, and cannot feel, raises man, by so much, in the scale of existence, and is a clear proof, and a direct instance, of the favor of God towards his so much favored human offspring. If man had been so made as to have desired nothing, he would have wanted almost every thing worth possessing.
But doubtless the reasoning faculty, the mind, is the leading characteristic attribute of the human race. By the exercise of this, man arrives at the knowledge of the properties of natural bodies. This is science, properly and emphatically so called. It is the science of pure mathematics; and in the high branches of this science