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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.

1812. Taking his seat in the special session of May, 1813, he was appointed to the committee on foreign affairs, and made his maiden Congressional speech June 10th, 1813.

Webster was afterwards admitted to practice in the Supreme Court at Washington. He then devoted himself with great zeal to the practice ct his profession, and gained rank among the most distinguished jurists of this country. He added to his world-wide fame as an orator by his address at the laying of the corner-stone of the Bunker Hill Monument, June 17th, 1825, and by his eulogy of Adams and Jefferson, delivereủ at Faneuil Hall, Boston, August, 1826. He served as Secretary of State under President Harrison, and was continued in office by President Tyler. He died at Marshfield, October 24th, 1852, and was buried in his family vault in the cemetery of that town. "Crime Self-Revealed," from one of his pleas in a murder case (p. 632), is a matchless piece of oratory.

THOMAS WESTWOOD.

POICES AT THE THRONE” (p. 527) was written by Thomas Westwood

who was born at Enfield, England, November 26th, 1814. He led an active business life, and was, for twenty-five years,

director of a railway company in Belgium. He has been a frequent contributor of verses to the London “Athenæum and Gentleman's Magazine," and is author of several volumes of very excellent poems.

EDWIN PERCY WHIPPLE.

DWIN PERCY WHIPPLE was born at Gloucester, Mass., March 8th

1819. He received his early education in the public schools of Salem, and at the age of fourteen, he began to write for a news

paper. He then applied himself to banking for many years Since 1860, he has devoted himself to literature, being a frequent contribztor to current periodicals, and a popular lyceum lecturer. He also enjors considerable reputation as a critic, his skill in this department being ilustrated by his clear analysis in “The Power of Words” (p. 665.)

HENRY KIRKE WHITE.

T

His author is better known simply as Kirke White. He was an

English poet, born in 1785. As a child he was remarkable for precocity, and he soon distinguished himself in ancient and mod ern languages, music and natural philosophy. Having made serè.

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ral random contributions to the “Monthly Mirror,” he ventured to publish a collection of poems, which attracted the notice of Southey, who became his warm friend and generous patron. White entered St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1804. Severe application to study was too much for his constitution, and he fell into a rapid decline, and died October, 1806. His works were published by Southey, with a very interesting biography. “The Star of Bethlehem” (p. 469) is one of the finest gems .

of poetry.

MRS. A. D. T. WHITNEY.

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SHE LITTLE RID HIN” (p. 482) is as bright and well told an Irish

legend, of the fabulous order, as can readily be found. It was written by Mrs. Adeline D. Train Whitney, who was born at

Boston, Mass., in 1824. Her husband is Seth D. Whitney, of Milton, Mass. She has long been a favorite contributor to the current magazines, especially those for the younger readers.

JOHN G. WHITTIER.

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HE QUAKER POET,” as John Greenleaf Whitter has been familiarly

called, is a native of Haverhill, Mass., where he was born in 1807. After an academic education he devoted himself to journalism.

He also had some political experience, but in 1840 he settled at Amesbury, Mass., where he still resides. He has written extensively, both in prose and poetry. Sixteen splendid selections from Whittier are given in GEMs. Like Washington Irving, Whittier never married.

CARLOS WILCOX.

ilcox was an American poet, born at Newport, N. H., October,

1794. He studied theology and began to preach. In 1822, he published the first book of a poem called "The Age of Benevo

lence.” He gained a high reputation for eloquence. He died in 1827. His poem or page 219 is beautiful in sentiment and structure.

J. A. WILEY.

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FAMES A. WILEY, D.D., is an eminent divine of the Free Church of

Scotland. He published the “History of Protestantism,” “ Edom in Prophecy,” and other valuable works. His sketch, given on

page 690, illustrates the charming style in which he deals with historic detail, investing his narrative with the attractiveness of romance.

780

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.

N. P. WILLIS.

.

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ATHANIEL PARKER WILLIS, author of three of the selections of this

volume, was a native of Portland, Maine. He was born January 20th, 1807. He was graduated at Yale in 1827, before which le

took a prize for a poem. He devoted himself to journalism at once after completing his college course, and adhered to it closely till lis death, which occurred January 20th, 1867. He made several journers abroad, and wrote voluminously, both in prose and verse.

WILLIAM WIRT.

ILLIAM WIRT, LL.D., was born at Bladensburg, Md., November 8:b,

1772. He was left an orphan at the age of eight years, but was brought up by an uncle. He studied law, and commenced prac

tice in Culpepper and Albemarle counties, Va. He was appointed United States Attorney for the District of Virginia in 1816, and was ittorney-General of the United States for three full terms under the administrations of Monroe and John Quincy Adams. He delivered, at Washington, on October 19th, 1826, a discourse commemorative of the deaths of Adams and Jefferson. His sketch of “The Blind Preacher” (p. 185 is a good illustration of his ability as a word painter. He died at Wasuington, D. C., February 18th, 1834, deeply lamented by all.

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH. SOUTHEY's successor as poet laureate, and Tennyson's immediate preS

decessor, was William Wordsworth, born April 7th, 1770, in Cumberland, England. His alma mater was Cambridge, where he excelled in the classics. At thirteen his poesy began to appear,

and he began to make it his chief study. After much foreign travel and little success as a poet, he began to loom up in the public favor about 1814, and he was sixty years old when he really became popular. He then began to live comfortably, received a pension and an honorary D.C. L. from Oxford, and in 1843, when seventy-three years of age, became the royal poet. He died in 1850. Three of his poems are in GEMS.

LIVING THOUGHTS

FROM

THE WORLD'S GREAT THINKERS.

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ACTION.

The only cure for grief is action.(G.H.Lewes Speak out in acts; the time for words has

A stirring dwarf we do allowance give passed, and deeds alone suffice.

Before a sleeping giant. (Shakespeare. ( Whittier.

Better to sink beneath the shock Everywhere in life, the true question is, not what we gain, but what we do. (Carlyle.

Than moulder piecemeal on the rock.

(Byron. A slender acquaintance with the world must I have lived to know that the secret of hapconvince every man, that actions, not

piness is never to allow your energies words, are the true criterion of the at

to stagnate.

(Adam Clarke. tachment of friends. Washington

God be thank'd that the dead have left still He hath no power that hath not power to

Good undone for the living to do(Bailey.

Still some aim for the heart and the will Our deeds determine us, as much as we de- And the soul of a man to pursue. termine our deeds. (George Eliot.

(Owen Meredith. It is better to wear out than to rust out. (Bishop Horne.

ADVERSITY. Men must be decided on what they will not

do, and then they are able to act with Sweet are the uses of adversity; vigor in what they ought to do.

Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,

(Mencius. Wears yet a precious jewel in his head. Our acts, our angels are, or good or ill,

(Shakespeare. Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.

Cicero has said of men: "They are like wine;

(John Fletcher. age sours the bad, and betters the good." Our grand business is, not to see what lies

We can say that misfortune has the dimly at a distance, but to do what lies

same effect

upon
them.

(Ricker. clearly at hand.

(Carlyle. Calamity is man's true touch-stone. Push on-keep moving. (Thomas Morton.

(Beaumont and Fletcher. Heaven never helps the men who will not

Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the (Sophocles.

soil, and let us see what we are made of; No man lives without jostling and being jos

they just turn up some of the ill weeds

on to the surface. tled; in all ways he has to elbow himself

(Spurgeon. through the world, giving and receiving For gold is tried in the fire, and acceptable offence. (Carlyle. men in the furnace of adversity. (Sirach

act.

782

GEMS FOR THE FIRESIDE.

Amictions fall, not like the lightning strokes The eternal stars shine out as soon as it is upon the tree, to blast and shatter it the

dark enough.

(Carlyle more, but like the blows of the sculptor which shape the marble into a thing of

AMBITION. beauty

(Howard Malcom.

Ambition has but one reward for all : It is often better to have a great deal of harm A little power, a little transient fame,

happen to one than a little; a great deal A grave to rest in, and a fading name! may rouse you to remove what a little

(William Hinter will only accustom you to endure.

Oh, sons of earth! attempt ye still to rise, (Greville. By mountains pild on mountains to the

skies? The greater our dread of crosses, the more necessary they are for us. (Fenelon.

Heav'n still with laughter the vain toil sur

veys, We know not of what we are capable till the And buries madmen in the heaps they raise. trial comes;- till it comes, perhaps, in a

(Pupe. form which makes the strong man quail, Most people would succeed in small things of and turns the gentler woman into a her- they were not troubled with great ambioine. (Mrs. Jameson. tions.

(Longjellux. Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the

Remember Milo's end, only balance to weigh friends.(Plutarch. Wedged in that timber which he strove to

rend.

(Wentworth Dilloa, He that wrestles with us strengthens our Who knows but he, whose hand the lightnerves and sharpens our skill. Our

ning forms, antagonist is our helper. (Burke. Who heaves old ocean, and who wings the

storms; Men think God is destroying them because Pours fierce Ambition in a Cæsar's mind.

he is tuning them. The violinist screws up the key till the tense cord sounds the One contented with what he has done, starcs concert pitch ; but it is not to break it,

but small chance of becoming famous but to use it tunefully, that he stretches

for what he will do. He has lain down the string upon the musical rack.

to die. The grass is already growicz (Beecher. over him.

(Botee. Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; They that stand high have many blasts to

but for one man who can stand prosper- shake them;
ity, there are a hundred that will stand And if they fall they dash themselves to
adversity.

(Carlyle.
pieces.

(Shakespeare His overthrow heap'd happiness upon him;

Who shoots at the midday sun, though he te For then, and not till then, he felt himself, sure he shall never hit the mark, yet as And found the blessedness of being little. sure he is that he shall shoot higher than

(Shakespeare.
he who aims but at a bush.

(Sir P. Siden There are no crown wearers in heaven who

Fling away ambition ; by that sin fell be were not cross-bearers here below.

angels: how can man then, the image (Spurgeon.

of his Maker hope to win by it? But noble souls, through dust and heat,

(Shakespeare Rise from disaster and defeat

Men would be angels, anguls would be gols The stronger. (Longfellow

(People

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