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COME to aid the final reason why the working I
man-by whom I mean the whole brotherhood of industry-should set on mental culture and that knowledge which is wisdom ,a value so high-only not supreme--subordinate alone to the exercises and hopes of religion itself. And that is, that therein he shall so surely find rest from labor; succor under its burdens; forgetfulness of its cares; composure in its annoyances. It is not always that the busy day is followed by the peaceful night. It is not always that fatigue wins sleep. Often some vexation outside of the toil that has exhausted the frame; some loss in a bargain; some loss by an insolvency; some unforeseen rise or fall of prices; some triumph of a mean or fraudulent competitor; "the law's delay, the proud man's contumely, the insolence of office, or some one of the spurns that patient merit from the unworthy takes”-some selfreproach, perhaps—follow you within the door; chill the fireside; sow the pillow with thorns; and the dark care is lost in the last waking thought, and haunts the vivid dream. Happy, then, is he who has laid up in youth, and has held fast in all fortune, a genuine and passionate love of reading. True balm of hurt minds; of surer and more healthful charm than "poppy or mandragora, or all the drowsy syrups of the world"by that single taste, by that single capacity, he may bound in a moment into the still regions of delightful studies, and be at rest. He recalls the annoyance that pursues him; reflects that he has done all that might become a man to avoid or bear it; he indulges in one good long, human sigłı, picks up the volume where the mark kept his place, and in about the same time that it takes the Mohammedan in the Spectator to put his head in the bucket of water and raise it out, he finds himself exploring the arrow-marked ruins of Nineveh with Layard; or worshipping at the spring-head of the stupendous Missouri with Clarke and Lewis; or watching with Columbus for the sublime moment of the rising of the curtain from before the great mystery of the sea; or looking reverentially on while Socrates the discourse of immortality ended--refuses the offer of escape, and takes in his hand the poison, to die in obedience to the unrighteous sentence of the law; or, perhaps, it is in the contemplation of some vast spectacle or phenomenon of Nature that he has found his quick peace--the renewed exploration of one of her great laws-or some glimpse opened by the pencil of St. Pierre, or Humboldt, or Châteaubriand, or Wilson, of the "blessedness and glory of her own deep, calm, and mighty existence."
Let the case of a busy lawyer testify to the priceless value of the love of reading. He comes home, his temples throbbing, his nerves shattered, from a trial of a week; surprised and alarmed by the charge of the judge, and pale with anxiety about the verdict of the next morning, not at all satisfied with what he has done himself, though he does not yet see how he could improve it; recalling with dread and self-disparagement, if not with envy, the brilliant effort of his antagonist, and tormenting himself with the vain wish that he could have replied to it-and altogether a very miserable subject, and in as unfavorable a condition to accept comfort from wife and children as poor Christian in the first three pages of the Pilgrim's Progress. With a superhuman effort he opens his book, and in a twinkling of an eye he is looking into the full “orb of Homeric or Miltonic song," or he stands in the crowd breathless, yet swayed as forests or the sea by windshearing and to judge the Pleadings for the Crown; or the philosophy which soothed Cicero or Boethius in their afflictions, in exile, in prison, and the contemplation of death, breathes over his petty cares like the sweet south; or Pope or Horace laugh him into good humor, or he walks with Æneas and the Sibyl in the mild light of the world of the laurelled dead-and the court-house is as completely forgotten as the dream of a preadamite life. Well may he prize that endeared charm, so effectual and safe, without which the brain had long ago been chilled by paralysis, or set on fire by insanity!
To these uses, and these enjoyments; to mental culture, and knowledge, and morality--the guide, the grace, the solace of labor on all its fields, we dedicate this charity! May it bless you in all your successions; and may the admirable giver, George Peabody, survive to see that the debt which he recognizes to the future is completely discharged; survive to enjoy in the gratitude, and love, and honor of this generation, the honor, and love, and gratitude with which the latest will assuredly cherish his name, and partake and transmit his benefaction.
FORCE BILL, CALHOUN.
By JOHN CALDWELL
T is said that the bill ought to pass, because the
The imperial edict must be executed! It is under such sophistry, couched in general terms, without looking to the limitations which must ever exist in the practical exercise of power, that the most cruel and despotic acts ever have been covered. It was such sophistry as this that cast Daniel into the lion's den, and the three Innocents into the fiery furnace. Under the same sophistry the bloody edicts of Nero and Caligula were executed. The law must be enforced. Yes, the act imposing the tea-tax must be executed." This was the very argument which impelled Lord North and his administration to that mad career which for ever separated us from the British crown. Urder a similar sophistry, that “religion must be protected," how many massacres have been perpetrated? and how many martyrs have been tied to the stake? What! acting on this vague abstraction, are you prepared to enforce a law without considering whether it be just or unjust, constitutional or unconstitutional? collect money when it is acknowledged that it is not wanted? He who earns the money, who digs it from the earth with the sweat of his brow, has a just title to it against the universe. No one has a right to touch it without his consent except his government, and this only to the extent of its legitimate wants; to take more is robbery, and you propose by this bill to enforce robbery by murder. Yes: to this result you must come, by this miserable sophistry, this vague abstraction of enforcing the law, without a regard to the fact
Will you whether the law be just or unjust, constitutional or unconstitutional.
In the same spirit we are told that the Union must be preserved, without regard to the means. And how is it proposed to preserve the Union? By force! Does any man in his senses believe that this beautiful structure-this harmonious aggregate of States, produced by the joint consent of all-can be preserved by force? Its very introduction will be certain destruction to this Federal Union. No, no. You cannot keep the States united in their constitutional and federal bonds by force. Force may, indeed, hold the parts together, but such union would be the bond between master and slave—a union of exaction on one side and of unqualified obedience on the other. That obedience which, we are told by the Senator from Pennsylvania, is the Union! Yes, exaction on the side of the master; for this very bill is intended to collect what can be no longer called taxes—the voluntary contribution of a free people—but tribute-tribute to be collected under the mouths of the cannon! Your custom-house is already transferred to a garrison, and that garrison with its batteries turned, not against the enemy of your country, but on subjects (I will not say citizens), on whom you propose to levy contributions. Has reason fled from our borders? Have we ceased to reflect? It is madness to suppose that the Union can be preserved by force. I tell you plainly that the bill, should it pass, cannot be enforced. It will prove only a blot upon your statute-book, a reproach to the year, and a disgrace to the American Senate. I repeat, it will not be executed; it will rouse the dormant spirit of the people, and open their eyes to the ap