« ForrigeFortsett »
have most impressed themselves upon the thought of the nation have left behind them careers the influence of which must tell for good. The unscrupulous speculator who rises to enormous
wealth by swindling his neighbor; the capitalist who oppresses 5 the workingman; the agitator who wrongs the workingman yet
more deeply by trying to teach him to rely, not upon himself, but partly upon the charity of individuals or of the state and partly upon mob violence; the man in public life who is a dema
gogue or corrupt, and the newspaper writer who fails to attack 10 him because of his corruption, or who slanderously assails him
when he is honest; the political leader who, cursed by some obliquity of moral or mental vision, seeks to produce sectional or social strife-all these, though important in their day, have
hitherto failed to leave any lasting impress upon the life of the 15 nation.
The men who have profoundly influenced the growth of our national character have been in most cases precisely those men whose influence was for the best and was strongly felt as antag
onistic to the worst tendency of the age. The great writers, who 20 have written in prose or verse, have done much for us. The great
orators whose burning words on behalf of liberty, of union, of honest government, have rung through our legislative halls, have done even more. Most of all has been done by the men who
have spoken to us through deeds and not words, or whose words 25 have gathered their especial charm and significance because they
came from men who did speak in deeds. A nation's greatness lies in its possibility of achievement in the present, and nothing helps it more than the consciousness of achievement in the past.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography. Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), twenty-sixth President of the United States, was born in New York City. As a boy he was of frail physique, but overcame this handicap by systematic exercise and outdoor life. Roosevelt was graduated from Harvard University in 1880, was elected to the legislature of New York the same year, and served three terms. In 1884 ill-health led him to go to the far West, where for two years he lived the life of a cowboy. Returning to New York in 1886, Roosevelt wrote in four volumes the history of the development of the great West, The Winning of the West. In 1897 President McKinley appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy; this position he gave up to enter the Spanish-American War. He raised a regiment of volunteer cavalry in the West, called “Rough Riders,” of which he was made Lieutenant Colonel. In 1898 he was elected Governor of New York, and in 1900 Vice President of the United States. Upon the death of McKinley a few months later, Roosevelt became President, and in 1904 he was elected to the Presidency. He was always a vigorous American, basing his theory of politics on honesty, courage, hard work, and fair play. This selection is taken from his book, American Ideals and Other Essays. Discussion.
1. Give the topic of each paragraph. 2. Arrange these topics in the form of an outline, and listen while six pupils give the substance of the selection, each giving the thought of one paragraph in his own words. 3. Give another title to the selection. 4. Why is the influence of men who speak in deeds greater than that of those who speak only in words? 5. In what ways have the lives of Washington and Lincoln influenced the nation? 6. What debt do all citizens owe these men for their noble examples of service? 7. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: worthies; sunder; material; jangling; prevalent; unscrupulous; sectional; consciousness. 8. Pronounce: dauntless; incalculable; demagogue.
Phrases for Study
political unity, 305, 11
obliquity of moral or mental mob violence, 306, 8
vision, 306, 12 Library Reading. The Boys' Life of Theodore Roosevelt, Hagedorn. LETTER TO MRS. BIXBY
EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON
November 21, 1864
Boston, Mass. 5 Dear Madam:
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of
battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of 10 mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a
loss so overwhelming, but I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic that they died to save. I pray that the Heavenly
Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave 15 you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the
solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. Yours very sincerely and respectfully,
NOTES AND QUESTIONS
For Biography see page 290.
Discussion. 1. Of what fine qualities in President Lincoln does this letter give evidence? 2. Memorize these words from Lincoln's second inaugural address: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan—to do all which may achieve a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.” 3. Do these words from Lincoln's inaugural address support Roosevelt's characterization of him in the first paragraph of “The Heritage of Noble Lives”? 4. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: beguile; bereavement. 5. Pronounce: Adjutant; sacrifice. YUSSOUF
JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL
A stranger came one night to Yussouf's tent,
Who flies, and hath not where to lay his head; 5 I come to thee for shelter and for food,
To Yussouf, called through all our tribes, 'The Good.'”
“This tent is mine," said Yussouf, “but no more Than it is God's; come in, and be at peace;
Freely shalt thou partake of all my store 10 As I of His who buildeth over these
Our tents His glorious roof of night and day,
So Yussouf entertained his guest that night,
And, waking him ere day, said: “Here is gold; 15 My swiftest horse is saddled for thy flight;
Depart before the prying day grow bold.”
That inward light the stranger's face made grand, 20 Which shines from all self-conquest; kneeling low,
He bowed his forehead upon Yussouf's hand,
25 "Take thrice the gold,” said Yussouf, “for with thee
Into the desert, never to return,
My one black thought shall ride away from me.
NOTES AND QUESTIONS Biography. James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) came of an old and influential New England family. Born in an atmosphere of learning in Cambridge, he enjoyed every advantage for culture that inherited tastes, ample means, and convenient opportunity could offer. Besides the facilities of Harvard College near by, he had his father's library-one of the richest in the country. It is not strange, then, that Lowell grew to be one of the most scholarly Americans of his time. After leaving college he became deeply interested in political problems, and was thus stirred to his first serious efforts in literature. In 1848 appeared his Vision of Sir Launfal, a narrative poem with a beautiful meaning. Few patriotic poems surpass his Commemoration Ode, a poem which Lowell read at Harvard College on July 21, 1865, at a commemoration held in memory of the sons of the College who had fallen during the Civil War. Besides his poetical works, he wrote many books of travel and essays about literature. He succeeded Longfellow in his professorship at Harvard, and was the first editor of the Atlantic Monthly.
Discussion. 1. Where do you think the scene of this poem is laid? Give the reason for your answer. 2. What do you know of the habits of people who live in tents? 3. What virtues would men living in this way most admire? Why? 4. How do you think Yussouf had won his title of “The Good”? 5. To what does the stranger compare himself? 6. What does the bending of the bow signify? 7. To what tribes does the stranger refer? 8. What did the stranger expect? What more than he expected did Yussouf do? How did this affect the stranger? 9. What was the struggle going on in the stranger's mind and heart that is called “self-conquest”? 10. What emotions made the stranger's face “grand”? 11. What do you suppose Yussouf's “one black thought” had been? 12. How did he avenge his son? 13. When does Yussouf show himself most noble? 14. Which lines in the last stanza are addressed to the stranger and which to the dead son? 15. Into which two lines is the thought of the poem condensed ? 16. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: prying; enkindleth; Sheik.
Class Reading. Bring to class and read “The Shepherd of King Admetus”; “The Finding of the Lyre,” Lowell.