« PrécédentContinuer »
humble path, laboring steadily, but calmly, till he has opened to the light all the recess'es of ignorance, and torn up by the roots the weeds of vice. His is a progress not to be compared with any thing like a march; but it leads to a far more brilliant triumph, and to laurels more imperishable than the destroyer of his species, the scourge of the world, ever won.
3. Such men-men deserving the glorious title of Teachers of Mankind-I have found, laboring conscientiously, though, perhaps, obscurely, in their blessèd vocation, wherever I have gone. I have found them, and shared their fellowship, among the daring, the ambitious, the ardent, the indomitably active French; I have found them among the persevering, resolute, industrious Swiss; I have found them among the laborious, the warm-hearted, the enthusiastic Germans; I have found them among the high-minded, but enslaved Italians (i tăl'yǎnz); and in our own country, God be thanked, their number everywhere abound, and are every day increasing.
4. Their calling is high and holy; their fame is the property of nations; their renown will fill the earth in after ages, in proportion as it sounds not far off in their own times. Each one of those great teachers of the world, possessing his soul in peace, performs his appointed course; awaits in patience the fulfillment of the promises; and, resting from his labors, bequeaths his memory to the generation whom his works have blessed, and sleeps under the humble but not inglorious epitaph, commemorating "one in whom mankind lost a friend, and no man got rid of an enemy." BROUGHAM.
HENRY BROUGHAM, the distinguished philanthropist, orator, and statesman, was born in Westmoreland, England, in 1779. He received his preparatory education at the high school in Edinburgh, and in 1795 entered the university, where his course was a complete triumph. He was one of the projectors and chief contributors of the Edinburgh Review, and in 1803 published “ An Inquiry into the Colonial Policy of the European Powers," which at once called the attention of the public to its author. After his admission to the Scottish bar, he visited the north of Europe, and on his return commenced practice in the Court of King's Bench, London, where he soon gained both popularity and emolument. He first entered Parliament in 1810, and here the vastness and universality of his acquirements, his singular activity, and untiring energies rendered him very serviceable in the promotion of reforms. He was elected Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow in 1825, and was president of the "Society for the Dif fusion of Useful Knowledge," established in 1827. He was appointed Lord Chancellor and elevated to the peerage in 1830. Since 1834 he has been constantly exerting his transcendent abilities in the House of Lords in favor of all measures that are calculated to advance the best interests of society. Among
his most valuable works are, "Biography of Eminent Statesmen and Men of Letters in the Reign of George III.," 3 vols.; "A Discourse on Natural Theology," and an edition of his Parliamentary Speeches, revised by himself. His speeches unquestionably stand in the very first rank of oratorical masterpieces.
164. INTELLECTUAL POWER.
F we pass in review all the pursuits of mankind, and all the ends they aim at under the instigation of their appetites and passions, or at the dictation of shallow utilitarian philos'ophy, we shall find that they pursue shadows and worship idols, or that whatever there is that is good and great and catholic in their deeds and purposes, depends for its accomplishment upon the intellect, and is accomplished just in proportion as that intellect is stored with knowledge. And whether we examine the present or the past, we shall find that knowledge ălōne is reäl power-"more powerful," says Bacon, "than the will, commanding the reason, understanding, and belief," and "setting up a throne in the spirits and souls of men."
2. We shall find that the progress of knowledge is the only true and permanent progress of our race, and that however inventions, and discoveries, and events which change the face of human affairs, may appear to be the results of contemporary efforts, or providential accidents, it is, in fact, the men of learning who lead with noiseless step the vanguard of civilization, that mark out the road over which-opened sooner or laterposterity marches; and from the abundance of their precious stores sow seed by the wayside, which spring up in due season and produce a hundred fold; and cast bread upon the waters which is gathered after many days. The age which gives birth to the largest number of such men is always the most enlightened; and the age in which the highest reverence and most intelligent obedience is accorded to them, always advances most rapidly in the career of improvement.
3. And let not the ambitious aspirant to enrol himself with this illustrious band, to fill the throne which learning "settèth up in the spirits and souls of men," and wield its absolute power, be checked, however humble he may be, however unlikely to attain wealth or office, or secure homage as a practical man or man of action, by any fear that true knowledge can be
stifled, overshadowed, or compelled to involuntary barrenness. Whenever or wherever men meet to deliberate or act, the trained intellect will always master.
4. But for the most sensitive and modest, who seeks retirement, there is another resource. The public press, accessible to all, will enable him, from the depths of solitude, to speak trumpet-tongued to the four corners of the earth. No matter how he may be situated-if he has facts that will bear scrutiny, if he has thoughts that burn, if he is sure he has a call to teach -the press is a tripod from which he may give utterance to his oracles; and if there be truth in them, the world and future ages will accept it.
5. It is not commerce that is king, nor manufactures, nor cotton, nor any single art or science, any more than those who wear the bauble crowns. Knowledge is sovereign, and the press is the royal seat on which she sits, a sceptered monarch. From this she rules public opinion, and finally gives laws alike to prince and people,-laws framed by men of letters; by the wandering bard; by the philosopher in his grove or portico, his tower or laboratory; by the pale student in his closet.
6. We contemplate with awe the mighty movements of the last eighty years, and we held our breath while we gazed upon the heaving human mass so lately struggling, like huge leviathan, over the broad face of Europe. What has thus stirred the world? The press. The press, which has scattered far and wide the sparks of genius, kindling as they fly. Books, journals, pamphlets, these are the cannon-balls-moulded often by the obscure and humble, but loaded with fiery thoughts— which have burst in the sides of every structure, political, social, and religious, and shattered, too often, alike the rotten and the sound. For in knowledge, as in everything else, the two great principles of Good and Evil maintain their eternal warfare,-a war amid and above all other wars.
7. But in the strife of knowledge, unlike other contests, victory never fails to abide with truth. And the wise and virtuous who find and use this mighty weapon, are sure of their
1 Tripod, any utensil or vessel, supported on three feet, as a stool, a table, an altar, and the like. On such a stool the Pythian priest, in
the temple of Apollo, at Delphi, sat while giving responses to those consulting the oracle.
2 Sovereign (suv'er in).
Years, ages, centuries may reward. It may not come soon. pass away, and the grave-stone may have crumbled above the head that should have worn the wreath. But to the eye of faith, the vision of the unperishable and inevitable halo that shall enshrine the memory is forever present, cheering and sweetening toil, and compensating for privation. And it often happens that the great and heroic mind, unnoticed by the world, buried apparently in profoundest darkness, sustained by faith, works out the grandest problems of human progress; working under broad rays of brightest light; light furnished by that inward and immortal lamp, which, when its mission upon earth has closed, is trimmed anew by angels' hands, and placed among the stars of heaven.
JAMES HENRY HAMMOND, a statesman and a political writer of distinction, was born in Newberry District, South Carolina, November 15, 1807. He graduated in South Carolina College, in Columbia, of which his father was president, in 1825; was admitted to the bar in 1828; and in 1830 became editor, at Columbia, of the "Southern Times." He retired from his profession, on his marriage with Miss Fitzsimmons, in 1831. He was elected member of Congress, in which body he took his seat in 1835. Owing to the failure of his health, he resigned his seat in Congress the following spring, and traveled a year and a half in Europe. He was, in 1842, elected Governor of his native State, in which capacity he gave special attention to the State military organization, introducing the.West Point system into several of the academies and colleges. In 1857 he was elected to the U. S. Senate, from which he withdrew on the secession of South Carolina. After the outbreak of hostilities he remained quietly at home, superintending the affairs of his large estate, until declining health withdrew him from active pursuits. He was an ardent supporter of Mr. Calhoun's views, advocating with zeal and ability the doctrine of State Rights. His published speeches and essays, and his elaborate review of the Life, Character, and Services of John C. Calhoun, severally display the statesman, and the industrious and energetic scholar. The above extract is from an Oration before the Literary Societies of S. C. College. He died November 13, 1864.
165. MORAL PROGRESS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
KIND of reverence is paid by all nations to antiquity. There is no one that does not trace its lineage from the gods, or from those who were especially favored by the gods. Every people has had its age of gold, or Augustan age, or heroic age-an age, alas! forever passed. These prejudices are not altogether unwholesome. Although they produce a conviction of declining virtue, which is unfavorable to generous emulation, yet a people at once ignorant and irreverential, would necessarily
become licentious. Nevertheless, such prejudices ought to be modified.
2. It is untrue, that in the period of a nation's rise from disorder to refinement, it is not able to continually surpass itself. We see the present, plainly, distinctly, with all its coarse outlines, its rough inequalities, its dark blots, and its glaring deformities. We hear all its tumultuous sounds and jarring discords. We see and hear the past, through a distance which reduces all its inequalities to a plane, mellows all its shades into a pleasing hue, and subdues even its hoarsest voices into harmony.
3. In our own case, the prejudice is less erroneous than in most others. The revolutionary age was truly a heroic one. Its exigencies called forth the genius, and the talents, and the virtues of society, and they ripened amid the hardships of a long and severe trial. But there were selfishness, and vice, and factions, then, as now, although comparatively subdued and repressed. You have only to consult impartial history, to learn that neither public faith, nor public loyalty, nor private virtue, culminated at that period in our own country; while a mere glance at the literature, or at the stage, or at the politics of any Europe'an country, in any previous age, reveals the fact that it was marked, more distinctly than the present, by licentious
morals and mean ambition.
4. It is only just to infer in favor of the United States an improvement of morals from their established progress in knowledge and power; otherwise, the philosophy of society is misunderstood, and we must change all our courses, and henceforth seek safety in imbecility, and virtue in superstition and ignorance. What shall be the test of the national morals? Shall it be the eccentricity of crimes? Certainly not; for then we must compare the criminal eccentricity of to-day with that of yesterday. The result of the comparison would be only this, that the crimes of society change with changing circumstances.
5. Loyalty to the state is a public virtue. Was it ever deepertoned or more universal than it is now? I know there are ebullitions of passion and discontent, sometimes breaking out into disorder and violence; but was faction ever more effectually disarmed and harmless than it is now?—There is a loyalty that springs from the affection that we bear to our native soil. This we have as strong as any people. But it is not the soil alone,