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rolling back at their approach ?" Nothing of all this: No; they were peaceful and aged patriots, who, having served their country together through their long and useful lives, had now sunk together to the tomb.
5. They had not fought battles; but they had formed and moved the great machinery, of which battles were only a small, and comparatively trivial consequence. They had not commanded armies; but they had commanded the master springs of the nation, on which all its great political, as well as military movements depended. By the wisdom and energy of their counsels, and by the potent mastery of their spirits, they had contributed pre-eminently to produce a mighty Revolution, which has changed the aspect of the world.
6. A Revolution which, in one half of that world has already restored man to his "long-lost liberty," and government to its only legitimate object, the happiness of the People; and on the other hemisphere has thrown a light so strong, that even the darkness of despotism is beginning to recede. Compared with the solid glory of an achievement like this, what are battles, and what the pomp of war, but the poor and fleeting pageants of a theater? What were the selfish and petty strides of Alexander, to conquer a little section of the savage world, compared with this generous, this magnificent advance toward the emancipation of the entire world!
7. And this, be it remembered, has been the fruit of intellectual exertion!-the triumph of mind! What a proud testimony does it bear to the character of our nation, that they are able to make a proper estimate of services like these!That while in other countries, the senseless mob fall down in stupid admiration before the bloody wheels of the conqueror, even of the conqueror by accident,-in this, our People rise with one accord, to pay their homage to intellect and virtue!
8. What a cheering pledge does it give of the stability of our institutions, that, while abroad the yet benighted multitude are prostrating themselves before the idols which their own hands have fashioned into Kings, here, in this land of the free, our People are every where starting up with one impulse, to follow, with their acclamations, the ascending spirits of the great Fathers of the Republic!
9. This is a spectacle of which we may be permitted to be proud. It honors our country no less than the illustrious
a Le-git-i-mate, lawful, born in marriage.
Hem'-i-sphere, half of a sphere.
c Pa-geants, pompous shows.
d Sta'-bil-i-ty, firmness, constancy.
dead. And could those great patriots speak to us from the tomb, they would tell us, that they have more pleasure in the testimony which these honors bear to the character of their country, than in that which they bear to their individual services.
10. They now see as they were seen while in the body, and know the nature of the feeling from which these honors flow. It is love for love. It is the gratitude of an enlightened nation to the noblest order of benefactors. It is the only glory worth the aspiration of a generous spirit. Who would not prefer this living tomb in the hearts of his countrymen, to the proudest mausoleum that the genius of sculpture could erect!
11. Man has been said to be the creature of accidental position. The cast of his character has been thought to depend, materially, on the age, the country, and the circumstances in which he has lived. To a considerable extent, the remark is no doubt true. Cromwell, had he been born in a republic, might have been "guiltless of his country's blood;" and, but for those civil commotions which had wrought his great mind into tempest, even Milton might have rested "mute and inglorious."
12. The occasion is doubtless necessary to develop the talent, whatsoever it may be; but the talent must exist, in embryo at least, or no occasion can quicken it into life. And it must exist, too, under the check of strong virtues; or the same occasion that quickens it into life, will be extremely apt to urge it on to crime. The hero who finished his career at St. Helena, extraordinary as he was, is a far more common character in the history of the world, than he who sleeps in our neighborhood, embalmed in his country's tears ;-or than those whom we have now met to mourn and to honor.
13. Jefferson and Adams were great men by nature. Not great and eccentric minds "shot madly from their spheres" to affright the world, and scatter pestilence in their course; but minds, whose strong and steady light, restrained within their proper orbits by the happy poise of their characters, came to cheer and gladden a world that had been buried for ages in political night. They were heaven-called avengers of degraded man. They came to lift him to the station for which God had formed him, and put to flight those idiot superstitions with which tyrants had contrived to enthrall his reason and his liberty.
a Mau-so-le'-um, a magnificent tomb.
b De-vel'-op, to unfold."
C Embry-o, the rudiments of any thing not fully matured.
d Orb'-its, the paths of planets round thetr
14. And that being who had sent them upon this mission, had fitted them pre-eminently for his glorious work. He filled their hearts with a love of country, which burned strong within them, even in death. He gave them a power of understanding which no sophistry could baffle, no art elude; and a moral heroism which no dangers could appall. Careless of themselves, reckless of all personal consequences, trampling under foot that petty ambition of office and honor, which constitutes the master-passion of little minds, they bent all their mighty powers to the task for which they had been delegated-the freedom of their beloved country, and the restoration of fallen man.
15. They felt that they were Apostles of human liberty; and well did they fulfill their high commissions-They rested not until they had accomplished their work at home, and given such an impulse to the great ocean of mind, that they saw the waves rolling on the farthest shore before they were called to their reward: and then left the world, hand in hand, exulting, as they rose, in the success of their labors.
Extract from an Address at the laying of the Corner Stone of the Bunker Hill Monument, 17th June, 1825.
1. THE great event in the history of the continent which we are now met here to commemorate that prodigy of modern times, at once the wonder and blessing of the world, is the American revolution. In a day of extraordinary prosperity and happiness, of high national honor, distinction, and power, we are brought together in this place, by our love of country, by our admiration of exalted character, by our gratitude for signal services and patriotic devotion.
2. And while we are enjoying all the blessings of our condition, and looking abroad on the brightened prospects of the world, we hold still among us some of those who were active agents in the scenes of 1775, and who are now here, from every quarter of New England, to visit, once more, and under circumstances so affecting,-I had almost said so overwhelming, this renowned theater of their courage and patriotism.
3. Venerable men! you have come down to us from a former generation. Heaven has bounteously lengthened out your lives, that you might behold this joyous day. You are now here where you stood fifty years ago this very hour, with your brothers and your neighbors, shoulder to shoulder,
a Soph'-ist-ry, fallacious reasoning.
b Prod'-i-gy, a surprising thing.
in the strife for your country. Behold, how altered! The same heavens are indeed over your heads; the same ocean rolls at your feet;-but all else how changed!
4. You hear now no roar of hostile cannon,-you see no mixed volumes of smoke and flame rising from burning Charlestown. The ground strowed with the dead and the dying; the impetuous charge; the steady and succesful repulse; the loud call to repeated assault; the summoning of all that is manly to repeated resistance; a thousand bosoms freely and fearlessly bared in an instant to whatever of terror there may be in war and death; all these you have witnessed, but you witness them no more.
5. All is peace. The heights of yonder metropolis, its towers and roofs which you then saw filled with wives, and children, and countrymen, in distress and terror, and looking with unutterable emotions for the issue of the combat, have presented you to-day with the sight of its whole happy popu lation, come out to welcome and greet you with a universal jubilee. Yonder proud ships, by a felicity of position appropriately lying at the foot of this mount, and seeming fondly to cling around it, are not means of annoyance to you, but your country's own means of distinction and defense.
6. All is peace; and God has granted you this sight of your country's happiness, ere you slumber in the grave forever. He has allowed you to behold and to partake the reward of your patriotic toils; and he has allowed us, your sons and countrymen, to meet you here, and, in the name of the present generation, in the name of your country, in the name of liberty, to thank you.
7. But the scene amidst which we stand, does not permit us to confine our thoughts or our sympathies to those fearless spirits who hazarded or lost their lives on this conse crated spot. We have the happiness to rejoice here in the presence of a most worthy representation of the survivors of the whole revolutionary army.
8. Veterans! You are the remnant of many a well-fought field. You bring with you marks of honor from Trenton and Monmouth, from Yorktown, Camden, Bennington, and Saratoga. VETERANS OF HALF A CENTURY! when in your youthful days you put every thing at hazard in your country's cause, good as that cause was, and sanguine as youth is, still your fondest hopes did not stretch onward to an hour
a Im-pet'-u-ous, rushing with violence. Me trop'-o-lis, the chief city of the coun
c Ju'-bi-lee, a public periodical festivity.
d Con'-se-cra-ted, hallowed, dedicated.
e Sanguine, confident, full of blood.
like this! At a period to which you could not reasonably have expected to arrive; at a moment of national prosperity, such as you could never have foreseen; you are now met here to enjoy the fellowship of old soldiers, and to receive the overflowings of a universal gratitude.
9. But your agitated countenances, and your heaving breasts inform me, that even this is not an unmixed joy. I perceive that a tumult of contending feelings rushes upon you. The images of the dead, as well as the persons of the living, throng to your embraces. The scene overwhelms you, and I turn from it. May the father of all mercies bless them, and smile upon your declining years.
10. And when you shall here have exchanged your embraces; when you shall once more have pressed the hands which have been so often extended to give succor in adversity, or grasped in the exultation of victory; then look abroad into this lovely land, which your young valor defended, and mark the happiness with which it is filled; yea, look abroad into the whole earth, and see what a name you have contributed to give to your country, and what a praise you have added to freedom; and then rejoice in the sympathy and gratitude, which beam upon your last days from the improved condition of mankind.
Speech of Titus Quinctius to the Romans.
1. THOUGH I am not conscious, O Romans, of any crime by me committed, it is yet with the utmost shame and confusion that I appear in your assembly. You have seen it-posterity will know it!-in the fourth consulshipa of Titus Quinctius, the Æqui and Volsci (scarce a match for the Hernici alone) came in arms to the very gates of Rome,—and went away unchastised!
2. The course of our manners, indeed, and the state of our affairs have long been such, that I had no reason to presage much good; but, could I have imagined that so great an ignominy would have befallen me this year, I would, by banishment or death, (if all other means had failed,) have avoided the station I am now in. What! might Rome then have been taken, if those men who were at our gates had not wanted courage for the attempt ?-Rome taken whilst I was consul! Of honors I had sufficient-of life enough-more than enough -I should have died in my third consulate.
Con'-sul-ship, a chief office in ancient Rome.