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10. Didactic Thought.
The moral power is what tyrants have most cause to dread. It addresses itself to the thought and the judgment of men. No physical force can arrest its progress. Its approaches are unseen, but its consequences are deeply felt. It enters garrisons most strongly fortified, and operates in the palaces of kings and emperors. We should cherish this power, as essential to the preservation of our government, and as the most efficient means of ameliorating the political condition of our race. And this can only be done by a reverence for the laws, and by the exercise of an elevated patriotism.
11. Grave and Serious Description.
The vengeance which the French took of the Swiss, for their determined opposition to the invasion of their country, was decisive and terrible. The soldiers dispersed over the country, carried fire, and sword, and robbery, into the most tranquil and hidden valleys of Switzerland. From the depths of sweet retreats echoed the shrieks of murdered men, stabbed in their humble dwellings, under the shadow of the high mountains, in the midst of those scenes of nature which make solemn and pure the secret thought of man, and appal him with the majesty of God. The flying peasants saw, in the midst of the night, their implements of husbandry, and the hopes of the future year, expiring in one cruel conflagration.
12. Bold Declamation.
I call upon that right reverend, and this most learned bench, to vindicate the religion of their God, to support the justice of their country. I call upon the bishops, to interpose the unsullied sanctity of their lawn,upon the judges, to interpose the purity of their ermine, to save us from this pollution. I call upon the honor of your lordships, to reverence the dignity of your ancestors, and to maintain your own. I call upon the spirit and humanity of my country, to vindicate the national character.
Mark the last three illustrations for emphasis, inflection, and for rhetorical pauses. How does emphasis differ from accent? Inflection from pitch? Pitch from force? Force from stress?
DECLAMATIONS AND RECITATIONS.
THE SCHOLAR'S RESPONSIBILITY.
C. B. HADDOCK.
THE scholar is the proper link between the present and the past. The past, the mighty past, the parent of the present, where is it? What is it? It is not the pyramids, in their silent loneliness, by the mysterious Nile, which flows and reflows, as it did four thousand years ago, and tells no tale. The Parthenon and the Coliseum, the Illyssus and the Tiber, are ruins and rivers only, and of themselves reveal no instructive or intelligible history. The past has been, and is not. All that is left of it is comprised in the mystic words of the scholar, which the scholar alone can interpret to his generation. But for him, the rich, inspiring, prophetic past had been all a world unknown-a limitless, fathomless, impenetrable profound.
Nor is it, after all, the real past, that with the scholar's aid is restored and revived. That never comes back again. The landscapes of time, as they recede from us, are softened and mellowed by the distance. The historic eye creates the colors which seem spread over the picture of dead times. And hence the universal, incorrigible, strange illusion of a golden age in the infancy of the race, of a retrocession from perfection, always the more apparent the further it is from being real. With his miraculous wand, his talismanic sentences, whereby he evokes the buried centuries from their graves, to pass again before us, in new and more glorious forms-in reverend history and youthful poetry, and manyvoiced art, sculpture, painting, music, and the more familiar companionable, heart-moving, heart-moulding romance-with this magic, mighty power for good or evil, what does the scholar need but a patriot's heart, to do a patriot's work, and open to his own dear land the sacred legacies of the deceased ages?
The future, too - the brilliant or the frowning futureprovince of the scholar's empire. It is no entity; all, all, a creature of the mind. It exists only in the causes which are to produce it, and the scholar is the interpreter of these causes. He, to some extent, creates the future; he is himself one of the causes from which its events are evolved, one of the elements out of which its many colored destiny is woven. He not only throws upon the dim-seen future the light of painfully gathered experience; he shapes, by his own creative energy, the very future which he foreshadows.
And so the whole of life, the past and the future, both suspended and counterpoised upon this little pivot of the present, we hold at the will of the scholar. Our philosophy, our literature, our schools, all the products of his mind, are all instruments of his power. Through them he reaches the heart of the people-teaching them what to think and how to think-determining, in no small degree, their individual habits and their public spirit. It is thus his grateful task, his enviable responsibility, by his own example and through the multiplied channels of education, to mature the action and regulate the development of the public mind.
DUTIES AS AMERICANS.
FELLOW-CITIZENS, let us not retire from this occasion, without a deep and solemn conviction of the duties which have
devolved upon us. This lovely land, this glorious liberty, these benign institutions, the dear purchase of our fathers, are ours; ours to enjoy, ours to preserve, ours to transmit. Generations past, and generations to come, hold us responsible for this sacred trust. Our fathers, from behind, admonish us, with their anxious paternal voices; posterity calls out to us, from the bosom of the future; the world turns hither its solicitous eyes-all, all conjure us to act wisely, and faithfully, in the relation which we sustain. We can never, indeed, pay the debt which is upon us; but by virtue, by morality, by religion, by the cultivation of every good principle and every good habit, we may hope to enjoy the blessing through our day, and to leave it unimpaired to our children. Let us feel deeply how much of what we are and of what we possess we owe to this liberty and these institutions of gov
Nature has, indeed, given us a soil which yields bounte
ously to the hands of industry; the mighty and fruitful ocean is before us, and the skies over our heads shed health and vigor. But what are lands, and seas, and skies, to civilized man, without society, without knowledge, without morals, without religious culture? and how can these be enjoyed, in all their extent, and all their excellence, but under the protec tion of wise institutions and a free government? Fellowcitizens, there is not one of us, there is not one of us here present, who does not, at this moment, and at every moment, experience, in his own condition, and in the condition of those most near and dear to him, the influence and the benefits of this liberty, and these institutions. Let us, then, acknowledge the blessing, let us feel it deeply and powerfully, let us cherish. a strong affection for it, and resolve to maintain and perpetuate it. The blood of our fathers, let it not have been shed in vain; the great hope of posterity, let it not be blasted.
The striking attitude, too, in which we stand to the world around us—a topic to which, I fear, I advert too often, and dwell on too long-cannot be altogether omitted here. Neither individuals nor nations can perform their part well, until they understand and feel its importance, and comprehend and justly appreciate all the duties belonging to it. It is not to inflate national vanity, nor to swell a light and empty feeling. of self-importance, but it is that we may judge justly of our situation, and of our own duties, that I earnestly urge this consideration of our position, and our character, among the nations of the earth.
It cannot be denied, but by those who would dispute against the sun, that with America, and in America, a new era commences in human affairs. This era is distinguished by free representative governments, by entire religious liberty, by improved systems of national intercourse, by a newly awakened and an unconquerable spirit of free inquiry, and by a diffusion of knowledge through the community such as has been before altogether unknown and unheard of. America, America, our country, fellow-citizens, our own dear and native land, is inseparably connected, fast bound up, in fortune and by fate, with these great interests. If they fall, we fall with them; if they stand, it will be because we have upholden them. Let us contemplate, then, this connection, which binds the prosperity of others to our own; and let us manfully discharge all the duties which it imposes. If we cherish the virtues and the principles of our fathers, Heaven will assist us to carry on the work of human liberty and human happiness. Auspicious omens cheer us. Great examples are before us.
Our own firmament now shines brightly upon our path. WASHINGTON is in the clear upper sky. These other stars have now joined the American constellation; they circle round their centre, and the heavens beam with new light. Beneath this illumination, let us walk the course of life, and at its close devoutly commend our beloved country, the common parent of us all, to the Divine Benignity.
I ROSE not to say one word which should wound the feelings of the president. The senator* says, that, if placed in like circumstances, I would have been the last man to avoid putting a direct veto upon the bill, had it met my disapprobation; and he does me the honor to attribute to me high qualities of stern and unbending intrepidity. I hope, that in all that relates to personal firmness, all that concerns a just appreciation of the insignificance of human life-whatever may be attempted, to threaten or alarm a soul not easily swayed by opposition, or awed or intimidated by menace a stout heart and a steady eye, that can survey, unmoved and undaunted, any mere personal perils that assail this poor, transient, perishing frame, I may, without disparagement, compare with other men.
But there is a sort of courage, which, I frankly confess it, I do not possess; a boldness to which I dare not aspire; a valor which I cannot covet. I cannot lay myself down in the way of the welfare and happiness of my country. That I cannot, I have not the courage to do. I cannot interpose the power with which I may be invested -a power conferred, not for my personal benefit, nor for my aggrandizement, but for my country's good-to check her onward march to greatness and glory. I have not courage enough, I am too cowardly, for that. I would not, I dare not, in the exercise of such a trust, lie down, and place my body across the path that leads my country to prosperity and happiness. This is a sort of courage widely different from that which a man may display in his private conduct and private relations. Personal or private courage is totally distinct from that higher and nobler courage which prompts the patriot to offer himself a voluntary sacrifice to his country's good.
* Mr. Rives, of Virginia.