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rein, protruded his honest face through the barn window. A few brooding mothers were busy with the nurture of their chickens, while the proud father of the flock told, with a clarion-voice, his happiness. There were trees, whose summer fruits were richly swelling, and bushes of ripening berries, and gardens of choice vegetables. Those who, from the hot and dusty city, came to breathe the pure air of this sylvan retreat, took note of these “creature-comforts," and thought they added beauty to the landscape.
Within the abode, fair pictures and books of no mean literature adorned the parlors; in the carpeted kitchen, ticked the stately old family clock, while the bright dishes stood in orderly array upon the speckless shelves. Visitants could not but admire that union of taste and education which makes rural life beautiful. It might seem almost as an Elysium, where care would delight to repose, or philosophy to pursue her researches without interruption. But to any such remark, the excellent owner was wont mournfully to reply,
“ Here are only two old people together. Our children are married and gone. Some of them are dead. We cannot be expected to have much enjoyment.”
Oh, dear friends, but it is expected that you should. Your very statement of the premises is an admission of peculiar sources of comfort.
“ Two old people together.” Whose sympathies can be so perfect? And is not sympathy a source of happiness ? Side by side ye have journeyed through joys and sorrows. You have stood by the grave's brink when it swallowed up your idols, and the iron that entered into your souls was fused as a living link, that time might never destroy. Under the cloud, and through the sea, you have walked hand in hand, heart to heart. What subjects of communion must you have, with which no other human being could intermeddle !
“ Tuco old people.” Would your experience be so rich and profound, if you were not old ? or your congeniality so entire, if one was old, and the other young? What a blessing that you can say, There are two of us. Can you realize the loneliness of soul that must gather around the words "left alone !” Ilow many of memory's cherished pictures must then be viewed through blinding tears ! how feelingly the expression of the poet must be adopted—“'tis the survivor dies" !
"Our children are married and gone." Would you have it otherwise? Was it not fitting for them to comply with the institution of their Creator? Is it not better than if they were all at home, without congenial employment, pining in disappointed hope, or solitude of the heart? Married and gone ! To teach in other homes the virtues they have learned from you. Perchance, in newer settlements, to diffuse the energy of right habits, and the high influence of pure principles. Gone! to learn the luxury of lite's most intense affections, and wisely to train their own young blossoms for time and for eternity. Praise God that it is so.
“ Some are dead." They have gone a little before. They have shown
the way through that gate where all the living must pass.
Will not their voice of welcome be sweet in the skies? Dream ye not sometimes that ye hear the echo of their harpstrings? Is not your eternal home brought nearer and made dearer by them? Then praise God.
ALEXANDER H. EVERETT, 1791–1847.
ALEXANDER Hill EVERETT, son of Rev. Oliver Everett, of Dorchester, Massachusetts, was born in Boston, March 19, 1790, and graduated with very distinguished reputation at Harvard University, in 1806. After leaving college, he was an usher in Phillips Exeter Academy, and then engaged in the study of the law. In 1809, he accompanied John Quincy Adams, as secretary of legation, to St. Petersburg; and after that his life was more devoted to diplomatic pursuits than to the legal profession.
In 1815, he again went to Europe as secretary of legation at the court of the King of the Netherlands, and returned home in 1817. In 1818 he embarked again for Holland, baving been appointed chargé d'affaires; and in 1825 be accepted the position of ambassador at the court of Madrid, where he remained till 1829. A few months after his return to the United States from Madrid, Mr. Everett became the editor and principal proprietor of the “ North American Review." He had long been a leading contributor to this journal, and under bis charge it was materially improved. About the year 1832, be engaged actively in politics, and, in 1815, was appointed commissioner to China; but, in consequence of ill health, he proceeded no farther than Rio Janeiro, wbence be returned to the United States. After an interval of several months, he again sailed for Canton, but had hardly become settled in his new residence, when his mortal career was terminated, on the 28th of June, 1847.
Mr. Everett was one of the most eminent literary men of our country; proficient in the languages and literature of modern Europe, in philosophy, in diplomacy, the law of nations, and all the learning requisite for a statesman; and in his death our country incurred the loss of one who had served her ably and faithfully abroal, and had contributed essentially to elevate, among European scholars, the character of American literature.
Besides bis numerous contributions to periodicals, Mr. Everett's principal published works are, Europe,-a treatise on the political condition of Europe in 1821, published in 1822; America,-a similar treatise on our country, published in 1825; and New Ideas on Population, suggested by, and a reply to, Malthus and his school, published in 1827. Two volumes of his Critical and Miscellaneous Essays bad been published before his death, and he was, at the time of that event, preparing for a continuation of the series.!
Whatever may be the extent of the distress in England, or the difficulty of finding any remedies for it which shall be at once practicable and sufficient, it is certain that the symptoms of decline have not yet displayed themselves on the surface; and no country in Europe, at the present day, probably none that ever flourished at any preceding period of ancient or of modern times, ever exhibited so strongly the outward marks of general industry,
alth, and prosperity. The misery that exists, whatever it may be, retires from public view; and the traveller sees no traces of it except in the beggars,—which are not more numerous than they are on the Continent,-in the courts of justice, and in the newspapers. On the contrary, the impressions he receives from the objects that meet his view are almost uniformly agreeable. He is pleased with the great attention paid to his personal accommodation as a traveller, with the excellent roads, and the conveniences of the public carriages and inns. The country everywhere exhibits the appearance of high cultivation, or else of wild and picturesque beauty; and even the unimproved lands are disposed with taste and skill, so as to embellish the landscape very highly, if they do not contribute as they might to the substantial comfort of the people. From every eininence, extensive parks and grouvds, spreading far and wide over hill and vale, interspersed with dark woods and variegated with bright waters, unroll themselves before the eye, like enchanted gardens. And while the elegant constructions of the modern proprietors fill the mind with images of case and luxury, the mouldering ruins that remain of former ages, of the castles and churches of their feudal ancestors, increase the interest of the picture by contrast, and associate with it poetical and affecting recollections of other times and manners. Every village seems to be the chosen residence of Industry, and her handmaids, Neatness and Comfort; and, in the various parts of the island, her operations present themselves under the most amusing and agreeable variety of forms. Sometimes her votaries are mounting to the skies in manufactories of innumerable stories in height, and sometimes diving in mines into the bowels of the earth, or dragging up drowned treasures from
Read an excellent biographical sketch of Mr. Everett in the tenth volumo of the “ Democratic Review," and an articlo on his Essays in the cighteenth volume of the same
the bottom of the sea. At one time the ornamented grounds of a wealthy proprietor seem to realize the fabled Elysium; and again, as you pass in the evening through some village engaged in the iron manufacture, where a thousand forges are feeding at once their dark-red fires, and clouding the air with their volumes of smoke, you might think yourself, for a moment, a little too near some drearier residence.
CLAIMS OF LITERATURE UPON AMERICA.
Independence and liberty—the great political objects of all communities have been secured to us by our glorious ancestors. In these respects, we are only required to preserve and transmit unimpaired to our posterity the inheritance which our fathers bequeathed to us. To the present and to the following generations is left the easier task of enriching, with arts and letters, the proud fabric of our national glory. Our Sparta is indeed a noble
Let us then do our best for it. Let me not, however, be understood to intimate that the pursuits of literature or the finer arts of life have been, at any period of our history, foreign to the people of this country. The founders of the colonies, the Winthrops, the Smiths, the Raleighs, the Penns, the Oglethorpes, were among the most accomplished scholars and elegant writers, as well as the loftiest and purest spirits, of their time. Their successors have constantly sustained, in this respect, the high standard established by the founders. Education and religion--the two great cares of intellectual and civilized men—were always with them the foremost objects of attention. The principal statesmen of the Revolution were persons of high literary cultivation : their public documents were declared, by Lord Chatham, to be equal to the finest specimens of Greek and Roman wisdom. In every generation, our country has contributed its full proportion of eminent writers.
In this respect, then, our fathers did their part; our friends of the present generation are doing theirs, and doing it well. But thus far the relative position of England and the United States has been such that our proportional contribution to the common literature was naturally a small one. England, by her great superiority in wealth and population, was, of course, the head-quarters of science and learning. All this is rapidly changing. You are already touching the point when your wealth and population will equal those of England. The superior rapidity of your progress will, at no distant period, give you the ascendency. It will then belong to your position to take the lead in arts and letters, as in policy, and to give the tone to the literature of the language. Let it be your care and study not to show yourselves unequal to this high calling,—to vindicate the honor of the New World in this generous and friendly competition with the Old. You will
perhaps be told that literary pursuits will disqualify you for the active business of life. Heed not the idle assertion. Reject it as a mere imagination, inconsistent with principle, unsupported by experience. Point out, to those who make it, the illustrious characters who have reaped in every age the highest honors of studious and active exertion. Show them Demosthenes, forging by the light of the midnight lamp those thunderbolts of eloquence which
“ Shook the arsenal and fulmined over Greece,
To Macedon and Artaxerxes' throne.” Ask them if Cicero would have been hailed with rapture as the father of his country, if he had not been its pride and pattern in philosophy and letters. Inquire whether Cæsar, or Frederick, or Bonaparte, or Wellington, or Washington, fought the worse because they knew how to write their own commentaries. Remind them of Franklin, tearing at the same time the lightning from heaven and the sceptre from the hands of the oppressor. Do they say to you that study will lead you to skepticism? Recall to their memory the venerable names of Bacon, Milton, Newton, and Locke. Would they persuade you that devotion to learning will withdraw your steps from the paths of pleasure? Tell them they are mistaken. Tell them that the only true pleasures are those which result from the diligent exercise of all the faculties of body, and mind, and heart, in pursuit of noble ends by noble means. Repeat to them the ancient apologue of the youthful Hercules, in the pride of strength and beauty, giving up his generous soul to the worship of virtue. Tell them your choice is also made. Tell them, with the illustrious Roman orator, you would rather be in the wrong with Plato than in the right with Epicurus. Tell them that a mother in Sparta would have rather seen her son brought home from battle a corpse upon his shield, than dishonored by its loss. Tell them that your mother is America, your battle the warfare of life, your shield the breastplate of religion.
Though Mr. Everett is most known by his vigorous and classic prose, yet he published a volume of original and translated Poems, in 1845, which are a credit to our literature. From these I select the following spirited lines :
TIIE YOUNG AMERICAN.
Scion of a mighty stock! Hands of iron,-hearts of oak,Follow with unflinching tread Where the noble fathers led.
Craft and subtle treachery, Gallant youth! are not for thee; Follow thou in word and deeds Where the God within thee leads.