Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

volves the duty of feeding the fires upon that kindly hearth; of guarding, with pious care, those sacred household gods.

We can not do with less than the whole Union; to us it admits of no division. In the veins of our children flows Northern and Southern blood. How shall it be separated? Who shall put asunder the best affections of the heart, the noblest instincts of our nature? We love the land of our adoption; so do we that of our birth. Let us ever be true to both; and always exert ourselves in maintaining the unity of our country, the integrity of the republic.

Accursed, then, be the hand put forth to loosen the golden cord of Union; thrice accursed the traitorous lips, whether of Northern fanat'ic or Southern demagogue, which shall propose its severance! But no! the Union can not be dissolved; its fortunes are too brilliant to be marred—its destinies too powerful to be resisted. Here will be their greatest triumph, their most mighty development.

And when, a century hence, this Crescent City shall have filled her golden horns; when within her broad-armed port shall be gathered the products of the industry of a hundred millions of freemen; when galleries of art and halls of learning shall have made classic this mart of trade; then may the sons of the Pilgrims, still wandering from the bleak hills of the North, stand upon the banks of the Great River, and exclaim, with mingled pride and wonder, Lo! this our country. When did the world ever witness so rich and magnificent a city, - so great and glorious a republic ?

SARGEANT S. PRENTISS.

XL. — THE VOCATION OF THE MERCHANT. What is it, sir, but commerce, that gives vigor to the civilization of the present day? What is it but the world-wide extension of commercial intercourse, by which all the products of the earth and of the ocean, of the soil, the mine, of the loom, of the forge, of bounteous nature, creative art, and untiring industry, are brought into the universal market of demand and supply? No matter in what region the desirable product is bestowed on man by a liberal Providence, or fabricated by human skill. It may clothe the hills of China with its fragrant foliage; it may glitter in the golden sands of California ; it may wallow in the depths of the Arctic seas; it may whiten and ripen in the fertile plains of the sunny south; it may spring forth from the flying shuttles of Manchester in England, or Manchester in America;

THE VOCATION OF THE MERCHANT.

67

the great world-magnet of commerce attracts it all alike, and gathers it all up for the service of man.

I do not speak of English commerce or American commerce. Such distinctions belittle our conceptions. I speak, sir, of commerce in the aggregate; the great ebbing and flowing tides of the commercial world; the great gulf streams of traffic which flow round from hemisphere to hemisphere; the mighty tradewinds of commerce, which sweep from the Old World to the New; that vast aggregate system which embraces the whole family of man, and brings the overflowing treasures of nature and art into kindly relation with human want, convenience, and taste. In carrying on this system, think for a moment of the stupendous agencies that are put in motion. Think for a moment of all the ships that navigate the sea. An old Latin poet, who knew no waters beyond those of the Mediterranean and Levant, says that the man must have had a triple casing of oak and brass about his bosom who first trusted his frail bark on the raging sea. How many thousands of vessels, laden by commerce, are at this moment navigating, not the narrow seas frequented by the nations, but these world-encompassing oceans !

Think next of the mountains of brick, and stone, and iron, built up into the great commercial cities of the world, and of all the mighty works of ancient and modern contrivance and structure- the moles, the lighthouses, the bridges, the canals, the roads, the railways, the depth of mines, the Titanic force of enginery, the delving plows, the scythes, the reapers, the looms, the electric telegraphs, the vehicles of all descriptions, which directly or indirectly are employed or put in motion by commerce; and, last and most important, the millions of human beings that conduct, and regulate, and combine, these inanimate organic and mechanical forces.

And now, sir, is it any thing less than a liberal profession, which carries a quick intelligence, a prophetic forecast, an industry that never tires ; and, more than all, and above all, a stainless probity beyond reproach and beyond suspicion, into this vast and complicated system, and, by the blessing of Frovidence, works out a prosperous result? Such is the vocation of the merchant, the man of business, pursued in many departinents of foreign and domestic trade, of fi-nance', of exchange, but all comprehended under the general name of commerce; all concerned in weaving the mighty net-work of mutually beneficial exchanges, which enwraps the world!

EDWARD EVERETT.

XLI. -THE POWER OF JOURNALISM. GENTLEMEN, within my experience the press of the United States has grown from infancy to manhood – alike in power, in enterprise, and in knowledge. It has strengthened and enlarged itself with the country to which it belongs and which it typifies. From small beginnings it has won the proportions of a giant, reaching with its hundred hands over the whole domain of nature and of man : propelled by steam and ministered to by the lightning, irresistible in its might; restrained by law, and governed by intelligent and responsible moral agents, making this might subservient only to right. Such I know to be the general character of the American press.

The newspaper, indeed, is now one of the necessities of our existence. Journalism is an institution of the country. Perhaps unacknowledged, but not unfelt, it is every where present and every where influential. An eccentric but powerful writer (Carlyle) has maintained that even in England, where journalism has less scope than among us, the newspapers have superseded the parliament; that public opinion seeks its direction, and utters its voice, much more independently and effectively through the columns of a newspaper than through the wearying speeches of parliament-men. There is force, if not absolute truth, in the suggestion; and it is not less true in this country than in Eng. land. And when, as occasionally happens in our congress, some accidental member, that has found a place there, assumes to speak disparagingly of the press, and of editors as of a race inferior to themselves, it is impossible to refrain from a smile, at least, at such pretensions, or from ejaculating the poet's aspiration :

“0, that some Power the gift would gi'e 'em,

To see themselves as others see them !" The newspaper, sir, is, in this our day and our free republic, emphatically the exponent of that public opinion which is mistress of empire and of states. It is a power and an agency before which guilt, even though upon a throne, and surrounded with glittering bayonets, trembles. It plays in our modern society the part assigned in the old Greek drama to inexorable te. It is the vehement, stern, ever-present, and all-chāstening element, which is around and above the hut of the peasant and the throne of the czar, and which summons to the bar, and judges without fear or favor, the motives and the acts of sovereign and of subjects. It is, in one word, the Nem'esis of the nations.

1 PRESIDENT CHARLES KING.

WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL ADDRESS.

69

XLIL

VIOLATION OF ENGLISH PROMISES.

My lord, the Irish Catholics never, never broke their faith; they never violated their plighted promise to the English. I appeal to history for the truth of my assertion. My lord, the English never, never observed their faith with us- they never performed their plighted promise; the history of the last six hundred years proves the accuracy

of my assertion. I will leave the older periods, and fix myself at the revolution. More than a hundred and twenty years have elapsed since the treaty of Limerick. That treaty has been honorably and faithfully performed by the Irish Catholics; it has been foully, disgracefully, and directly violated by the English. English oaths and solemn engagements bound them to its performance: it remains still of force and unperformed; and the ruffian yell of English treachery, which accompanied its first violation, has, it seems, been repeated even in the senate-house at the last repetition of the violation of that treaty. They rejoiced and they shouted at the perjuries of their ancestors; at their own want of good faith or common sense.

Nay, are there not men present, who can tell us, of their own knowledge, of another instance of English treachery? Was not the assent of many of the Catholics to the fatal — 0! the fatal measure of the union ! — purchased by the express and written promise of Catholic emancipation, made from authority by Lord Cornwallis, and confirmed by the prime minister, Mr. Pitt ? And has that promise been performed? Or, has Irish credulity afforded only another instance of English faithlessness ?

Now, my lord, I ask this assembly, whether they can confide in English promises? I say nothing of the solemn pledges of individuals. Can you confide in the more than punic faith of your hereditary taskmasters ? Or shall we be accused of overscrupulous jealousy, when we reject, with indignation, the contamination of English control over our church ? O'CONNELL.

XLIII. — WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL ADDRESS. Such, sir, as were the sentiments of Washington in regard to the Union of these States, such should be the sentiments of Americans, through all time. Consider his words in the memorable, the immortal Farewell Address! Mark the spirit of patriotism - burning, ardent patriotism — breathing in every page and every line! Read his words upon the vital importance of main. taining the Union !

" It is of infinite moment,” he says, “ that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union, to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.

“ All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real character to direct, control, counteract, or awe, the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency.”

These were his words: “It is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union," — and Washington was no user of exaggerated expressions. Let us heed his words, my countrymen! Let us ever press up among the people in support of the grand and beautiful harmony of our fraternal political system; and, taking counsel from the immortal hero, whose language I have quoted, let us rally in support of the constitution at whose creation he

presided, which was his great love and affection; and let us resolve to leave the glorious Union which he made, unprofaned and undismembered, to our posterity.

RUFUS CHOATE.

XLIV. - FOR AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE.

I. From "an Oration delivered at the State-house in Philadelphia, to a very nu

merous audience, on Thursday, the 1st of August, 1776, by Samuel Adams,* member of the General Congress, &o.”

Tuis day, my countrymen, this day, I trust, the reign of political protestantism will commence. We have explored the temple

ence.

* Samuel Adams, born in Boston, Sept. 27th, 1722, was a member of the first Congress under the Confederation, and a signer of the Declaration of Independ

The oration from which we quote was delivered only twenty-seven days after the memorable 4th of July, 1776. We believe that attention is now called to this address for the first time since the Revolution. The copy we have in hand is supposed to be the only one extant. It is a London edition, bearing the date of 1776. In the impassioned eloquenco, political sagacity,

« ForrigeFortsett »