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of a free government, the provisions of wise legislation, the schemes of the statesman, the sacrifices of the patriot, are as nothing compared with these. It is in the school of maternal tenderness that the kind affections must be first roused and made habitual, the early sentiments of piety awakened and rightly directed, the sense of duty and moral responsibility unfolded and enlightened. But next in rank and in efficiency to that pure and holy source of moral influence is that of the schoolmaster.
His occupation is laborious and ungrateful; its rewards are scanty and precarious. Obscure and inglorious as his daily occupations may appear to learned pride or worldly ambition, yet to be truly successful and happy he must be animated by the spirit of the same great principles which inspired the most illustrious benefactors of mankind. If he bring to his task high talent and rich acquirements, he must be content to look into distant years for the proof that his labors have not been wasted, that the good seed which he daily scatters abroad does not fall on stony ground and wither away, or among thorns to be choked by the cares, the delusions, or the vices of the world.
He must solace his toils with the same prophetic faith that enabled the greatest of modern philosophers, amidst the neglect or contempt of his own times, to regard himself as sowing the seeds of truth for posterity and the care of Heaven. He must assure himself against disappointment and mortification with a portion of that same noble confidence which soothed the greatest of modern poets when weighed down by care and danger and poverty, old age and blindness, still
in prophetic dream he saw
MERICAN civilization rose on the fresh sods of
the wilderness. Its triumphs were secured by the severe exactions of skill, patience, and industry. Our fathers owed almost everything to this rigorous discipline. Cold and heat, sterile lands and scanty crops, swollen rivers and impassable mountains, poverty and suffering, barbarism hanging upon their borders and descending upon their habitations, tyranny in the mother country, absence of sympathy, and the loneliness of solitude made MEN of them.
Dangers abounded, difficulties were numerous and formidable. The climate was a foe, the savage was an enemy, the spirit of the savage was hostile. And yet to these restraints we owe the best lessons of American freedom, — to be prudent in foresight, sagacious in plans, resolute in peril, united in council, and untiring in exertions; to wait, and by waiting to triumph; to suffer, and by suffering to be strong.
The rigors of climate harden the muscles, and the toil of the fields braces the nerves. Summer night-dews and winter frosts impress the lesson of care and prudence, while forests and flood invite to danger and reward courage. Newfoundland fisheries and mountain clearings, the heights of Quebec and the wilds of the Alleghanies, conflicts with Frenchmen and surprises from Indians, train eye and hand for future need.
Different social castes, Cavalier and Spaniard, Quaker and Puritan, Frenchman and German, natives of hostile countries, antagonists in tastes and tempers as well as religion, all are fused into a common mass and a common citizenship. And as in chaos each discordant element was set free from the convulsive strife and gathered to its domain; as the light leaped to the sky and sphered itself in perpetual beauty; as the waters chafed no more, laid themselves to rest in the hollows of the continents, and the winds, listening to the strain of the morning stars, soothed themselves into the gentle melody,--the earth all fair and the firmament all fadeless, so here, beneath the same disposing Arm, another world arose from the deep of ages, and entered on the circuit of its shining.
Ex. 35. — THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. – Victor Hugo.
WHIS century crowns the people and consecrates
man; it proclaims light. In art it has all varieties of genius, — writers, orators, poets, historians, publicists, philosophers, painters, sculptors, musicians; majesty, grace, power, strength, brilliancy, depth, color, form, style. It reinvigorates itself at once in the real and the ideal, and carries in its hand these two thunderbolts, the true and the beautiful. In science it performs every miracle; it makes saltpetre out of cotton, of steam a horse, of the electric fluid a messenger, of the sun a painter; it opens on nature two windows, the telescope on the great, the microscope on the little.
It suppresses time, it suppresses space, it suppresses suffering; it writes a letter from New York to London, and it has the answer in ten minutes; it amputates a man's thigh while the man is smiling and singing. And this is not all it will do. Frontiers will vanish, barriers will retire, everything which is a wall around thought, around commerce, around industry, around nationalities, around progress, will crumble, – in spite of all obstacles it will rain books and journals everywhere.
Whatever may be the shames of the present instant. whatever may occur for the moment to suppress our enthusiasm, none of us will disown this magnificent epoch in which we live, the masculine age of humanity. Let us proclaim this aloud, let us proclaim it under all circumstances, this century is the grandest of centuries.
AN INDIAN'S SPEECH.
WHITE man, there is eternal war between me and
thee! I quit not the land of my fathers but with my life. In those woods where I bent my youthful bow I will still hunt the deer. Over yonder waters I will still glide unrestrained in my bark canoe. By those dashing waterfalls I will still lay up my winter's store of food. On these fertile meadows I will still plant my corn. Stranger, the land is mine! I understand not these paper rights, I gave not my consent when, as thou sayest, these broad regions were purchased, for a few baubles, of my fathers. They could sell what was theirs; they could sell no more.
How could my fathers sell that which the Great Spirit sent me into the world to live upon ? They knew not what they did. The stranger came, a timid suppliant, few and feeble, and asked to lie down on the red man's bear-skin, and warm himself at the red man's fire, and have a little piece of land to raise corn for his women and children; and now he is become strong, and mighty, and bold, and spreads out his parchment over the whole, and says, “It is mine.” Stranger, there is not room for us both. The Great Spirit has not made us to live together. There is poison in the white man's cup; the white man's dog barks at the red man's heels.
If I should leave the land of my fathers, where shall I fly? Shall I go to the south and dwell among the graves of the Pequots ? Shall I wander to the west ? – the fierce Mohawk, the man-eater, is my foe. Shall I fly to the east ? — the great water is before me. No, stranger; here I have lived, and here I will die ! and if here thou abidest there is eternal war between me and thee. Thou hast taught me thy arts of destruction. For that alone I thank thee; and now take heed to thy steps ; — the red man is thy foe. When thou goest forth by day, my bullet shall whistle by thee; when thou liest down at night, my knife is at thy throat.
The noonday sun shall not discover thy enemy, and the darkness of midnight shall not protect thy rest. Thou shalt plant in terror, and I will reap in blood; thou shalt sow the earth with corn, and I will strew it with ashes ; thou shalt go forth with the sickle, and I will follow after thee with the scalping-knife; thou shalt build, and I will burn, till the white man or the Indian shall cease from the land. Go thy way for this time in safety ; but remember, there is eternal war between me and thee !
HE man who is to legislate for a great country, to
help make laws and constitutions involving the destinies of millions of human beings, ought to be a man of reflection, moral principle, integrity, and, above all, a sober man.
Go into your legislative halls, State and national, and behold the drunkard staggering to his seat, or sleeping at his post, and ask yourself the question whether he is not more fit to be called a monument to his country's shame than the representative of freemen.
Would it not be inost fearful to contemplate that ill