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7 Ye ice-falls ! ye that from the mountain's brow
Adown enormous ravines slope amain
Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost !
CXIX. - OLD IRONSIDES.
HOLMES. (The following spirited lines were called forth by a rumor that the frigate Coustitution was about to be broken up as unfit for service.]
1 Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
That banner in the sky;
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more.
2 Her deck, once red with heroes' blood,
Where knelt the vanquished foe,
And waves were white below,
Or know the conquered knee;
The eagle of the sea.
3 0, better that her shattered hulk
Should sink beneath the wave
And there should be her grave.
Set every threadbare sail
The lightning and the gale!
CXX. — CHARACTER OF LAFAYETTE.
(JOHN QUINCY ADAMS was born in Braintree, Massachusetts, July 11, 1767, and died at Washington, February 23, 1848. He was for half a century in the service of his country, as foreign minister, United States senator, secretary of state, president of the United States, and from 1831 to the time of his death member of the house of representatives. He was a man of indomitable energy, dauntless courage, indefatigable industry, and ardent patriotism. His political opinions made him many enemies, especially in his declining years, but no one ever doubted his honesty and integrity, or failed to respect the spotless purity of his private life. His systematic industry enabled him to accomplish an immense deal of work. He was a man of extensive learning, and familiar with ancient and modern literature. His writings, consisting of speeches, addresses, lectures, and reports, are numerous enough to fill several volumes. He was for a short time professor of rhetoric and oratory in Harvard College, and the lectures he delivered in that capacity were published in 18.0, in two octavo volumes. The following extract is from “An Oration on the Life and Char. acter of Lafayette,” delivered before the two houses of congress, at Washing ton, December 31, 1831.)
LAFAYETTE discovered no new principle of politics or of morals. He invented nothing in science. He disclosed no new phenomenon in the laws of nature. Born and edu
cated in the highest order of feudal nobility, under the 5 most absolute monarchy of Europe, in possession of an
affluent fortune, and master of himself and of all his capabilities at the moment of attaining manhood, the principles of republican justice and of social equality took pos
session of his heart and mind, as if by inspiration from 10 above.
He devoted himself, his life, his fortune, his hereditary honors, his towering ambition, his splendid hopes, all to the cause of liberty. He went to another hemisphere to
defend her. He became one of the most effective cham15 pions of our independence; but that once achieved, he
returned to his own country, and thenceforward took no part in the controversies which have divided us.
In the events of our revolution, and in the form of policy which we have adopted for the establishment and 20 perpetuation of our freedom, Lafayette found the most
perfect form of government. He wished to add nothing to it. He would gladly have abstracted nothing from it. Instead of an imaginary Utopia, he took a practical exist
ing model, in actual operation here, and never attempted 25 or wished more than to apply it faithfully to his own country.
It was not given to Moses to enter the promised land ; but he saw it from the mount of Pisgah. It was not given to
Lafayette to witness the consummation of his wishes in 30 the establishment of a republic, and the extinction of all
hereditary rule in France. His principles were in advance of the age and hemisphere in which he lived. The life of the patriarch was not long enough for the development of
his whole political system. 35 This is not the time or the place for a disquisition upon
the comparative merits, as a system of government, of a
republic, and a monarchy surrounded by republican insti. tutions. Upon this subject there is among us no diversity of opinion; and if it should take the people of France
another half century of internal and external war, of daz5 zling and delusive glories, of unparalleled triumphs, hu
miliating reverses, and bitter disappointments, to settle it to their satisfaction, the ultimate result can only bring them to the point where we have stood from the day of the
Declaration of Independence, to the point where Lafayette 10 would have brought them, and to which he looked as a
consummation devoutly to be wished. Then, and then only, will be the time when the character of Lafayette will be appreciated at its true value throughout the civilized
world. 15 When the principle of hereditary dominion shall be
extinguished in all the institutions of France ; when government shall no longer be considered as property transmissible from sire to son, but as a trust committed for a
limited time, and then to return to the people whence it 20 came,
then will be the time for contemplating the character of Lafayette, not merely in the events of his life, but in the full development of his intellectual conceptions, of his fervent aspirations, of the labors and perils and sacri
fices of his long and eventful career upon earth ; and 25 thenceforward, till the hour when the trump of the arch
angel shall sound to announce that time shall be no more, the name of Lafayette shall stand enrolled upon the annals of our race, high on the list of the pure and disinterested benefactors of mankind.
- HYMN OF PRAISE BY ADAM AND EVE.
MILTON. [John Milton was born in London, December 9, 1608, and died' November 8, 1674. His is one of the greatest names in all literature; and of course it would be impossible in the compass of a brief notice like this to point out, except in the most cursory manner, the elements of his intellectual supremacy. His“Comus," “ Lycidas," "L'Allegro,” “Il Penseroso,” and “ Arcades," were written before he was thirty years old; “Paradise Lost,” « Paradise Regained,” and “Samson Agonistes” were all published after his fifty-nintha year, and many years after he had been totally blind. His prose works were the growth of the intermediate period.
Milton's early poetry is full of morning freshness, and the spirit of unworn youth; the “Paradise Lost” is characterized by the highest sublimity, the most various learning, and the noblest pictures; and the“ Paradise Regained" and “Samson Agonistes” have a serene and solemn grandeur, deepening in the latter into austerity; while all are marked by imaginative power, purity, and elevation of tone, and the finest harmony of verse.
His prose works, which are partly in Latin and partly in English, were for the most part called forth by the ecclesiastical and political controversies of the stormy period in which he lived. They are vigorons and eloquent in style, and abound in passages of the highest beauty and loftiest tone of sentiment.
Milton's character is hardly less worthy of admiration than his genius. Spotless in morals; simple in his tastes; of ardent piety; bearing with cheerfulness the burdens of blindness, poverty, and neglect; bending his genius to the humblest duties, – he presents an exalted model of excellence, in which we can find nothing to qualify our reverence, except a certain severity of temper, and perhaps a somewhat impatient and intolerant spirit,
The following passage is from the fifth book of “Paradise Lost.”]
THESE are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
Unspeakable! who sittest above these heavens, 5 To us invisible, or dimly seen
In these thy lowest works; yet these declare
Angels; for ye behold him, and with songs 10 And choral symphonies, day without night,
Circle his throne rejoicing; ye in heaven,