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What were to thee the Osirian festivals?
Or Memnon's music on the Theban plain?
Even then thou wast a God, and shrines were built
And past the bannered pylons that arose
Thou givest blessing as a God might give,
In thy solemnity, thine awful calm,
Thy grand indifference of Destiny,
My soul forgets its pain, and drinks the balm
Thy godship is unquestioned still: I bring
ON LEAVING CALIFORNIA.
FROM "ROMANCES AND LYRICS.".
O FAIR young land, the youngest, fairest far
Whose guardian planet, Evening's silver star,
How art thou conquered, tamed in all the pridė
How brought, O panther of the splendid hide,
No more thou sittest on thy tawny hills
Or pour'st the crystal of a thousand rills
But where the wild-oats wrapped thy knees in gold,
And where, through cañons deep, thy streams are rolled
Yet in thy lap, thus rudely rent and torn,
Mother of mighty men, thou shalt not mourn
Thy human children shall restore the grace
The wild, barbaric beauty of thy face
And Order, Justice, Social Law shall curb
And Art and Science, with their dreams super,
The marble, sleeping in thy mountains now,
Thy native oak shall crown the sage's brow,--
Thy tawny hills shall bleed their purple wine,
And Music, with her eloquence divine,
Till Hesper, as he trims his silver beam,
And Earth shall find her old Arcadian dream
Taylor died at Berlin, December 19, 1878, being at the time of his decease United States Minister to Germany.
DANIEL WEBSTER was born in the town of Salisbury, New Hampshire, January 18, 1782. Owing to his father's moderate means, his own rather delicate health, but more perhaps to the crude and exceedingly elementary character of the periodic schools of the day, his early instruction was very meagre and imperfect. At fifteen, however, he entered Dartmouth College, whence he graduated in 1797. While here, besides evincing fine abilities as a scholar, he gave no mean promise of the public and distinguished character of his future career, having at this time pronounced two orations which, considering his youth, were notable.
Immediately on leaving college, Webster began the study of law in his native town, which he completed while in the office of Hon. Christopher Gore, in Boston, and was admitted to the bar in 1805.
Webster began his long and illustrious career of statesmanship in 1813, as a member of the House of Representatives from Rockingham county, Massachusetts. He continued in this capacity until 1817, when he withdrew from public life for a space of six years. He was then returned to Congress from Boston.
The ability he manifested through two terms of service as representative, as a profound and patriotic statesman, and as a clear, logical and eloquent debater, was, in 1827, rewarded by the still higher distinction of United States Senator. In this capacity he spent twelve of the most eventful and glorious years of his life. His speeches on Foot's Reso lution, in the second of which occurs the most memorable of Congressional efforts in oratory in this country, if not in modern times-his reply to Hayne; his exposition of the principles and genius of the Constitution, in opposition to
the doctrines of Calhoun; his views on national finance and on slavery-these were the momentous concerns which crowded themselves into the life of the great Senator.
In the summer of 1839, Webster visited England, where he was everywhere received with marked consideration; his presence fully corroborating the lofty reputation, which, as a statesman, a jurist, and an orator, had long preceded him.
When General Harrison became President, in 1841, Webster was appointed Secretary of State, and continued as such "through evil report as well as through good report" until 1843.
In 1845, Webster was again returned to the Senate, and remained there until 1850, when he was a second time called to the Department of State. This was the last call his admiring fellow-citizens were permitted to make upon the great statesman; for death, entering the peaceful precincts of his lovely farm-home at Marshfield, bade him, on Sunday morning, October 24, 1852, attend a higher than earthly summons.
Webster's style is remarkable for great clearness of statement. It is singularly emphatic. It is impressive rather than brilliant, and occasionally rises to absolute grandeur. It is evidently formed on the higher English models; and the reader conjectures his love of Milton from the noble simplicity of his language, and fondness for sublime rather than apt figures. Clearness of statement, vigor of reasoning, and a faculty of making a question plain to the understanding by the mere terms in which it is presented, are the traits which uniformly distinguish his writings, evident alike in a diplomatic note, a legislative debate, and an historical discourse.
"His dignity of expression, breadth of view, and force of thought, realize the ideal of a republican statesman, in regard, at least, to natural endowments; and his presence and manner, in the prime of his life, were analogous. Independent of their logical and rhetorical merit, these writings
may be deemed invaluable from the nationality of their tone and spirit. They awaken patriotic reflection and sentiment, and are better adapted to warn, to enlighten, and to cheer the consciousness of the citizen, than any American works, of a didactic kind, yet produced."*
Inasmuch as Webster's oratory ranged over three great fields of activity-the bar, the legislative hall, and the public rostrum-we will aim to present such selections from his speeches as will demonstrate his mastery in each of these directions.
Of his popular efforts we present an extract from his oration on The Completion of Bunker Hill Monument, delivered on Bunker Hill, June 17, 1843. "The thrill of admiration," says Edward Everett, "which ran through the assembled thousands, when, at the commencement of his discourse on that occasion, Mr. Webster apostrophized the monument itself as the mute orator of the day, has been spoken of by those who had the good fortune to be present as an emotion beyond the power of language to describe. The gesture, the look, the tone of the speaker, as he turned to the majestic shaft, seemed to invest it with a mysterious life; and men held their breath as if a solemn voice was about to come down from its towering summit."
THE Bunker Hill Monument is finished. Here it stands. Fortunate in the high natural eminence on which it is placed, higher, infinitely higher, in its objects and purpose, it rises over the land and over the sea; and, visible, at their homes, to three hundred thousand of the people of Massachusetts, it stands a memorial of the last, and a monitor to the present and to all succeeding generations. I have spoken of the loftiness of its purpose. If it had been without any other design than the creation of a work of art, the granite of which it is composed would have slept in its native bed. It has a purpose, and that purpose gives it its character. That purpose enrobes it with dignity and moral grandeur. That well-known purpose it is which causes us to look up to it with a feeling of awe.
* A Sketch of American Literature, by H. T. Tuckerman.