Слике страница

and traitor, so that the rebellion may be seen in slavery, and slavery may be seen in the rebellion.

5. Embattled armies now stand face to face, on the one side fighting for slavery. The gauntlet that has been flung down we have yet taken up only in part. In abolishing slavery entirely we take up the gauntlet entirely. Then can we look with confidence to the blessings of Almighty God upon our arms. " "Till America comes into this measure,' ," said John Jay during the Revolution, "her prayers to Heaven will be impious." So long as we sustain slavery, so long as we hesitate to strike at it, the heavy battalions of our armies will fail in power. Sir Giles Overreach found his sword, as he attempted to draw it, "glued with orphans' tears.”* Let not our soldiers find their swords "glued" with the tears of the slave.

6. There is one question, and only one, which rises in our path. I refer, of course, to the question of compensation under the shameful assumption that there can be property in man; an assumption which often intrudes into these debates. Sir, parliamentary law must be observed; but if an outburst of indignant hisses were ever justifiable in a parliamentary assembly it ought to break forth at every mention of this proposition. Impious toward God and insulting toward man, it is disowned alike by the conscience and the reason; nor is there any softness of argument or phrase by which its essential wickedness can be disguised. The fool hath said in his heart that there is no God; but it is kindred folly to say that there is no Man. The first is atheism, and the second is like unto the first.

*The words quoted are from Massinger's play of " A New Way to pay Old Debts," where Sir Giles Overreach exclaims, —

"Some undone widow sits upon mine arm

And takes away the use of 't; and my sword,

Glued to its scabbard with wronged orphans' tears,
Will not be drawn."

7. Foremost of all persons in history who have vindicated liberty, and associated their names with it forevermore, stands John Milton, the secretary of Oliver Cromwell and the author of Paradise Lost. Cradled under a lawless royalty, he helped to found and support the English Commonwealth; while in all that he wrote he pleaded for human rights, now in defense of the English people, who had beheaded their king, and now in immortal poems which show how wisely and well he loved the cause which he had made his own.

8. Nowhere has this assumption of property in man been encountered more completely than in the conver sation between the archangel and Adam after the for mer had pictured a hunter whose game was "men, not beasts":

"O execrable son! so to aspire

Above his brethren, to himself assuming
Authority usurped from God, not given!
He gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,
Dominion absolute; that right we hold
By His donation; but man over men
He made not lord, such title to Himself
Reserving, human left from human free." *

9. But every asserter of property in man puts himself in the very place of this hunter of "men, not beasts," who is described as "execrable," "so to aspire." The language is strong; but not too strong. "Execrable" is the assumption; "execrable" wherever made; "execrable" on the plantation; "execrable" in this chamber; "execrable" in all its forms; "execrable" in all its consequences; especially "execrable" as an apol ogy for hesitation against slavery. The assumption, wherever it shows itself, must, like Satan himself, in whom it has its origin, be beaten down under our feet.

* Paradise Lost, Book XII. 64-73.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

During the growth of the nautilus, parts of its shell are progressively vacated, and these are successively partitioned off into air-tight chambers. From this singular fact in natural history, the poet has educed a moral which he here presents with all that delicacy and vigor of diction for which he is celebrated.



THIS is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
Sails the unshadowed main, -

The venturous bark that flings

On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings
In gulfs enchanted, where the siren sings,

And coral reefs lie bare,

Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.


Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;
Wrecked is the ship of pearl!

And every chambered cell,

Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell,
As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell,
Before thee lies revealed,

Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed!

[ocr errors]


Year after year beheld the silent toil

That spread his lustrous coil;
Still, as the spiral grew,

He left the past year's dwelling for the new,

Stole with soft step its shining archway through,


Built up its idle door,

Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more.


Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,

Child of the wandering sea,
Cast from her lap forlorn!

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

From thy dead lips a clearer note is borne
Than ever Triton blew from wreathed horn!
While on mine ear it rings,

Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:


Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!

Leave thy low-vaulted past!

Let each new temple, nobler than the last,

Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,

Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!




Delivery. This eloquent specimen of the didactic and exhortatory style should be read in the middle pitch, with varied inflections, short pauses, and a rate of utterance between medium and fast. The extract is from Smith's lecture on the conduct of the understanding, which was originally reduced by us, with slight alterations, to its present form, to serve as a readinglesson.

1. THE prevailing idea with young people has been, the incompatibility of labor and genius; and, therefore, from the fear of being thought dull, they have thought it necessary to remain ignorant. I have seen, at school and at college, a great many young men completely destroyed by having been so unfortunate as to produce an excellent copy of verses. Their genius being now established, all that remained for them to do was to act up to the dignity of the character; and as this dignity consisted in reading nothing new, in forgetting what they had already read, and in pretending

to be acquainted with all subjects by a sort of off-hand exertion of talents, they soon collapsed into the most frivolous and insignificant of men.

2. It would be an extremely profitable thing to draw up a short and well-authenticated account of the habits of study of the most celebrated writers with whose style of literary industry we happen to be most acquainted. It would go very far to destroy the absurd and pernicious association of genius and idleness, by showing that the greatest poets, orators, statesmen, and historians, the men of the most brilliant and imposing talents, have actually labored as hard as the makers of dictionaries and the arrangers of indexes; and that the most obvious reason why they have been superior to other men is, that they have taken more pains than other men.

[ocr errors]

3. Gibbon was in his study every morning, winter and summer, at six o'clock; Mr. Burke was the most laborious and indefatigable of human beings; Leibnitz was never out of his library; Pascal killed himself by study; Cicero narrowly escaped death by the same cause; Milton was at his books with as much regularity as a merchant or an attorney, he had mastered all the knowledge of his time; so had Homer. Raphaël lived but thirty-seven years; and in that short space carried his art so far beyond what it had before reached, that he appears to stand alone as a model to his suc


4. There are instances to the contrary; but, generally speaking, the life of all truly great men has been a life of intense and incessant labor. They have commonly passed the first half of life in the gross darkness of indigent humility, -overlooked, mistaken, contemned by weaker men,- thinking while others slept, reading while others rioted, feeling something within them that told them they should not always be kept down among the dregs of the world. And then, when

« ПретходнаНастави »