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more certain aim, descends like a whirlwind, snatches it in his grasp ere it reaches the water, and bears his ill-gotten booty silently away to the woods.
The plumage of the mocking-bird, though none of the homeliest, has nothing gaudy or brilliant in it, and, had he nothing else to recommend him, would scarcely entitle him to notice; but his figure is well proportioned and even handsome. elegance, and rapidity of his movements, the animation of his
eye, and the intelligence he displays in listening, and laying up lessons from almost every species of the feathered creation within his hearing, are really surprising, and mark the peculiarity of his genius. To these qualities we may add that of a voice full, strong, and musical, and capable of almost every modulation, from the clear, mellow tones of the wood-thrush to the savage screams of the bald eagle. In measure and accent, he faithfully follows his originals; in force and sweetness of expression, he greatly improves upon them. In his native groves, mounted upon the top of a tall bush or half-grown tree, in the dawn of dewy morning, while the woods are already vocal with a multitude of warblers, his admirable song rises pre-eminent over every competitor. The ear can listen to his music alone, to which that of all the others seems a mere accompaniment. Neither is this strain altogether imitative. His own native notes, which are easily distinguishable by such as are well acquainted with those of our various birds of song, are bold and full, and varied seemingly beyond all limits. They consist of short expressions of two, three, or, at the most, five or six syllables, generally interspersed with imitations, and all of them uttered with great emphasis and rapidity, and continued, with undiminished ardor, for half an hour or an hour at a time. His expanded wings and tail, glistening with white, and the buoyant gayety of his action, arrest the eye, as his song most irresistibly does the ear. He sweeps round with enthusiastic ecstasy, he mounts and descends, as his song swells or dies away, and, as Mr. Bartram has beautifully expressed it," he bounds aloft with the celerity of an arrow, as if to recall his very soul, which expired in the last elevated strain.” While thus exerting himself, a bystander destitute of sight would suppose that the whole feathered tribes had assembled together on a trial of skill, each striving to produce his utmost effect,—so perfect are his imitations. He many times deceives the sportsman, and sends him in search of birds that, perhaps, are not within miles of him, but whose notes he exactly imitates. Even birds themselves are frequently imposed on by this admirable mimic, and are decoyed by the fancied calls of their mates, or dive with precipitation into the depths of thickets, at the scream of what they suppose to be the sparrow-hawk.
The mocking-bird loses little of the power and energy of his song by confinement. In his domesticated state, when he commences his career of song, it is impossible to stand by uninterested. He whistles for the dog; Cæsar starts up, wags his tail, and runs to meet his master. He squeaks out like a hurt chicken, and the hen hurries about, with hanging wings and bristled feathers, clucking, to protect her injured brood. He runs over the quaverings of the canary, and the clear whistlings of the Virginia nightingale or red-bird, with such superior execution and effect that the mortified songsters feel their own inferiority and become altogether silent, while he seems to triumph in their defeat by redoubling his exertions.
This excessive fondness for variety, however, in the opinion of some, injures his song. His elevated imitations of the brown thrush are frequently interrupted by the crowing of cocks; and the warblings of the blue-bird, which he exquisitely manages, are aningled with the screaming of swallows or the cackling of hens. Amidst the simple melody of the robin, we are suddenly surprised by the shrill reiterations of the whip-poor-will; while the notes of the kildeer, blue jay, marten, baltimore, and twenty others, succeed, with such imposing reality, that we look round for the originals, and discover, with astonishment, that the sole performer in this singular concert is the admirable bird now before us. During this exhibition of his powers, he spreads his wings, expands his tail, and throws himself around the cage in all the ecstasy of enthusiasm, seeming not only to sing, but to dance, keeping time to the measure of his own music. Both in his native and domesticated state, during the solemn stillness of the night, as soon as the moon rises in silent majesty, he begins his delightful solo, and serenades us with a full display of his vocal powers, making the whole neighborhood ring with his inimitable melody.
JOIN QUINCY ADAMS, 1767—1848.
JOHN QUINCY Adams, son of the second President of the United States, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts, on the 11th of July, 1767. In his eleventh year be accompanied his father to the Court of Versailles, and was with him also in some of his other missions. At the age of eighteen, he entered Harvard University at an advanced standing, and graduated with distinguished honor in 1787. After studying law three years with Judge Parsons, at Newburyport, he established himself in Boston, and took part in the public affairs of the day. In 1794, he was appointed by Washington Minister to the United Netherlands, and remained in Europe till 1801, employed in the several offices of Minister to Holland, England, and Prussia, and in other diplomatic business. At the close of his father's administration he was recalled, and, in 1802, was chosen, from the Boston district, a member of the Massachusetts Senate, and soon after was elected a United States Senator for six years from March 4, 1803. While Senator, he was, in 1806, appointed Professor of Rhetoric in Harvard University,
,-an office which he filled with much ability till 1809,' when he was appointed by President Monroe Minister to the Court of Russia. In 1813, he was named at the head of five commissioners appointed by President Madison to negotiate a treaty of peace with Great Britain, which was signed at Ghent, in December, 1814; and soon after ho was appointed, by the same President, Minister to the Court of St. James. After having occupied that post until the close of President Madison's administration, he was called home, in 1817, to the Department of State, at the formation of the Cabinet of President Monroe. Mr. Adams's career as a foreign minister terminated at this point,-a carcer that has never been paralleled either in the length of time it covered, the number of courts at which he represented his country, or the variety and importance of the services rendered.
In 1824, Mr. Adams was elected President of the United States. His adminis. tration was distinguished for its ability and economy; and the Presidential chair has been occupied by no man of greater learning, more thorough acquaintance with all our foreign and domestic relations, purer patriotism, or higher integrity of character. At the close of his Presidential term, in 1929, be retired to his family mansion in Quincy; but he was soon after elected member of the United States House of Representatives, and took his seat in 1831. Many of his friends doubted the wisdom of this step, and feared it would detract from his former fame rather than add to it. But their doubts were soon put to rest; for, signal as had been his services to bis country for a long life, he was yet to put the crowning glory upon them all, by standing forth in the House of Representatives, amid abuse, reproach, and threats of expulsion, as the firm, able, undaunted champion of the right of petition.
During the years 1836 and 1837, the public mind in the Northern States became fully aroused to the enormities of American slavery,-its encroachments on the rights and interests of the free States, the undue influence it was exercising in our national councils, and the evident determination on the part of its advocates to enlarge its borders and its evils, by the addition of new slave territories. Petitions for the abolition of slavery and the slave-trade in the District of Columbia and the Territories began to pour into Congress from every section of the East and North. These were generally presented by Mr. Adams. His age
and experience, his well-known influence in the House of Representatives, his patriotism, and his intrepid advocacy of human freedom, commanded the confidence of the people of the free States, and led them to intrust to him their petitions; and with scrupulous fidelity he performed the duty thus imposed upon him.
The Southern members of Congress became alarmed at these demonstrations,
1 His Lectures on Rhetoric and Oratory were published, in one volume Svo, in 1810.
and determined to arrest them, even at the sacrifice, if need be, of the right of petition,—the most sacred privilege of freemen. On the Sth of February, 1836, a committee was raised by the House of Representatives, to take into consideration what disposition should be made of petitions and memorials for the abolition of slavery and the slave-trado in the District of Columbia, and to report thereon. On the 18th of May, the committee made a long report, through Mr. Pinckney, recommending, among others, the adoption of the following resolution :
* Resolred, That all petitions, memorials, resolutions, propositions, or papers, relating in any way, or to any extent whatever, to the subject of slavery or the abolition of slavery, shall, without being either printed or referred, be laid upon the table, and that no further action whatever shall be had thereon."
Notwithstanding the rule embodied in this resolution virtually trampled the right of petition into the dust, it was adopted by the House by a large majority. But Mr. Adams was not to be deterred, by this arbitrary restriction, from the faithful discharge of his duty as a representative of the people. Petitions on the subject of slavery continued to bo transmitted to him in increased numbers. With unwavering firmness, against a bitter and unscrupulous opposition, exasperated to the highest pitch by his pertinacity, amidst a tempest of vituperation and abuse, he persevered in presenting these petitions, one by one, to the amount sometimes of two hundred in a day,-demanding the action of the House separately on each petition.
His position amid these scenes was in the highest degree illustrious and sublime. An aged man, with the burden of years upon him, forgetful of the elevated stations he had occupied and the distinguished honors received for past services, turning away from the repose which ago so grcatly needs, and laboring, amidst scorn and derision, and threats of expulsion and assassination, to maintain the sacred right of petition for the poorest and bumblest in the land, insisting that the voice of a free people should be heard by their representatives when they would speak in condemnation of human slavery, and call upon them to maintain the principles of liberty embodied in the immortal Declaration of Independence, was a spectacle unwitnessed before in the history of legislation.'
It is impossible, in the limits prescribed to these pages, to enumerate the numerous and important measures in which Mr. Adams took a prominent part in the House of Representatives and elsewhere. The brave and eloquent old man lived to see his labors for the right of petition crowned with complete success: in 1815, the obnoxious “gag-rule” was rescinded, and Congress consented to receive and treat respectfully all petitions on the subject of slavery. In his voluntary and eloquent defence of the Amistad negroes, too, before the Supreme Court of the United States, at the advanced age of seventy-four, he was completely successful, and had tho pleasure of hearing the decision of the court pronouncing their liberty.
? For a full account of Mr. Adams's labors in the House of Representatives, consult that admirable book, “Life and Public Services of John Quincy Adams, by William H. Seward." Rev. Joshua Leavitt, editor of the “Emancipator," was at that time in Washington, and published in his paper fuller accounts of that memorable session of Congress than I have elsewhere seen; and it is to be hoped he will yet give them to the public in a convenient form, as materials for our country's bistory.
But his eventful and useful life was now drawing to a close. On Monday, the 21st of February, 1818, while at his post in the House of Representatives, and rising to address the Speaker, he was struck with paralysis, fainted, and fell into the arms of the member who was next to bim, Mr. Fisher of Ohio. Every thing was immediately done for him that could be by anxious friends, kindred, and skilful physicians; but all was of no avail. He lingered till the evening of the 230, when he expired, leaving behind him the enviable reputation of being one of the ablest Presidents of the United States, and the most learned and eloquent champion of freedom in the House of Representatives.'
THE GOSPEL, A GOSPEL OF LIBERTY AND PEACE. Friends and fellow-citizens !—I speak to you with the voice as of one risen from the dead. Were I now, as I shortly must be, cold in my grave, and could the sepulchre unbar its gates, and open to me a passage to this desk, devoted to the worship of Almighty God, I would repeat the question with which this discourse was introduced : “Why are you assembled in this place ?" And one of you would answer me for all : Because the Declaration of Independence, with the voice of an angel from heaven, “put to his mouth the sounding alchemy," and proclaimed universal emancipation upon earth! It is not the separation of your forefathers from their kindred race beyond the Atlantic tide. It is not the union of thirteen British Colonies into one people, and the entrance of that people upon the theatre where kingdoms, and empires, and nations are the persons of the drama. It is not that
1“In the history of American statesmen, none lived a life so long in the public service; none had trusts so numerous confided to their care ; none died a death so glorious. Beneath the dome of the nation's capitol; in the midst of the field of his highest usefulness, where be had won fadeless laurels of renown; equipped with the armor in which he had fought so many battles for truth and freedom, he fell beneath the shaft of the king of terrors. And how bright, how enviable, tho reputation he left behind ! As a man, pure, upright, benevolent, religious--bis hand unstained by a drop of human blood ; uncharged, unsuspected, of crime, of premeditated wrong, of an immoral act, of an unchaste word,
1,-as & statesman, lofty and patriotic in all his purposes; devoted to the interests of the people; sacrediy exercising all power intrusted to his keeping for the good of the public alone, unmindful of personal interest and aggrandizement; an enthusiastie lover of liberty; a faithful, fearless defender of the rights of man ! The sun of his life, in its lengthened course tbrough the political heavens, was unobscured hy a spot, undimmed by a cloud; and when, at the close of the long day, it sank beneath the borizon, the whole firmament glowed with the brilliancy of its reflected glories! Rulers, statesmen, legislators! study and emulate such a life; seek after a character so beloved, a death so honorable, a fame so immortal.”—Seward's Life, page 337.
Since the first edition of this work was put to press, there has been published a “Memoir of the Life of Jobn Quincy Adams, by Josiah Quincy, LL.D.;" and a more interesting and valuable piece of biography has not, in my estimation, appeared in our country. This life, and the “Life of Amos Lawrence," should be read by every young man who, in entering upon manhood, desires the best examples to aid and cheer him in lifo's great duties.