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passed the fatal stream. It shall never be repassed by them,no, never.
Yet there lies not between us and them an impassable gulf. They know and feel that there is for them still one remove farther, not distant, not unseen: it is to the general burialground of their race.
XXXVIII. - MORAL ATTRIBUTES OF WASHINGTON.
Sir, it was not solid information or sound judgment, or even that rare combination of surpassing modesty and valor, great as these qualities are, which gave Washington his hold on the regard, respect, and confidence, of the American people. I hazard nothing in saying that it was the high moral elements of his character, which imparted to it its preponderating force. “Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, conscience,” was one of a series of maxims which he framed or copied for his own use, when a boy. He kept alive that spark. He made it shine before men. He kindled it into a flame which illumined his whole life. No occasion was so momentous, no circumstances were so minute, as to absolve him from following its guiding ray.
Who ever thinks of Washington as a mere politician? Who ever associates him with the petty arts and pitiful intrigues of partisan office-seekers or partisan office-holders? Who ever pictures him canvassing for votes, dealing out proscription, or doling out patronage ?
And there was as little of the vulgar hero about him, as there was of the mere politician. At the head of a victorious army, of which he was the idol, - an army too often provoked to the very verge of mutiny, by the neglect of an inefficient government, we find him the constant counselor of subordination, and submission to the civil authority. With the sword of a conqueror at his side, we find him the unceasing advocate of
peace. Repeatedly invested with more than the power of a Roman Dictator, we see him receiving that power with reluctance, employing it with the utmost moderation, and eagerly embracing the earliest opportunity to resign it. The offer of a crown could not, did not tempt him, for an instant, from his allegiance to liberty. ile rejected it with indignation and abhorrence, and proceeded to devote all his energies, and all his influence, all his popularity, and all his ability, to the establishment of that republican system, of which he was, from first to last, the uncompromising advocate, and with the ultimate success of which he believed the best interests of America and of the world were inseparably connected.
NEW ENGLANDERS IN NEW ORLEANS.
It is thus that, in contemplating the character of Washington, the offices which he held, the acts which he performed, his success as a statesman, his triumphs as a soldier, almost fade from our sight. It is not the Washington of the Delaware or the Brandywine, of Germantown or of Monmouth; it is not Washington the President of the Convention, or the President of the Republic, which we admire. We cast our eyes over his life, not to be dazzled by the meteoric luster of particular passages, but to behold its whole pathway radiant, radiant everywhere, with the true glory of a just, conscientious, consum'mate man! Of him we feel it to be no exaggeration to say, that
all the ends he aimed at
Were his country's, his God's, and truth's.' Of him we feel it to be no exaggeration to say, that he stands, upou
page of history, the great modern illustration and example of that exquisite and divine precept, which fell from the lips of the dying monarch of Israël, —
“He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God; and he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds.”
ROBT. C. WINTHROP.
XXXIX. NEW ENGLANDERS IN NEW ORLEANS. From an address before the New England Society, at New Orleans,
Dec. 22, 1845. While we devote this day to the remembrance of our native land, we forget not that in which our happy lot is cast. We exult in the reflection, that, though we count by thousands the miles which separate us from our birthplace, still our country is the same.
We are no exiles, meeting upon the banks of a foreign river, to swell its waters with our homesick tears. Here floats the same banner which rustled above our boyish heads, except that its mighty folds are wider, and its glittering stars increased in number.
The sons of New England are found in every State of the broad Republic. In the East, the South, and the unbounded West, their blood mingles freely with every kindred current. We have but changed our chamber in the paternal mansion ; in all its rooms we are at home, and all who inhabit it are our brothers. To us, the Union has but one domestic hearth; its household gods are all the same. Upon us, then, peculiarly devolves 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 thė Great River, and exclaim, with mingled pride and wonder, Lo! this our country. When did the world cver 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.
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 stainJess probity beyond reproach and beyond suspicion, into this vast and complicated system, and, by the blessing of Frovidence, works out
prosperous result? Such is the vocation of the merchant, the man of business, pursued in many departments 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!
XLI. — THE POWER OF JOURNALISM.
GENTLEMEN, within my experience the press of the United States has grown from infancy to manhood — alike in
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 England. 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 :
“O, 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 fate. It is ihe 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 Nern'esis of the nations.
PRESIDENT CHARLES KING.