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in pointing out the help that he gave in the world's struggle for democracy.
The teacher who uses this volume, therefore, should try to lay before his pupils whatever is necessary to a dramatic conception of the occasion. The famous words should again be illumined with life and reality. He should attempt to recreate the situation that called forth the speech and make his pupils clearly understand the problem that was before the orator when he rose to speak. The exact nature and force of the opposition, and whatever defines the audience and gives it its character and sympathies, should also be clear. With this data at his disposal, the student will be in a position both to appreciate the orator's skill in adapting his appeal to the prejudices and motives of his hearers and to understand his place in history.
In order that the final appreciation of the student may approach as nearly as possible to that of an intelligent member of the audience that listened to the message of the orator when it was first spoken, the teacher should use each speech as a basis for exercises in oral English. Through oral reading or declamation the class should discover that an oration cannot make its complete appeal as written literature. No small part of the orator's message is transmitted through his voice and presence.
The supreme object of the study of these speeches, we must remember, is not mere increased facility in English, important as that is, but fuller appreciation of the worth of democracy and deeper devotion to the duties of citizenship. Students who learn the significance in history of each of the great men whose words appear in this book, ought not to be satisfied with an intellectual assimilation of our national ideals or with
a passive pride in our country's achievements. The persuasive utterances that in the past induced men to struggle for liberty and democracy, should in the hands of loyal and enthusiastic teachers be able to inspire students with patriotism of a dynamic type. Pupils should learn from these speeches that governments that are democratic require from their citizens more than passive loyalty. Since the modern state is the people, the effective force of the state can be no greater than the sum of the public activity of its citizens. The final result of the study of the dramatic struggles recorded in this book, therefore, should be the conclusion on the part of pupils, that active cooperation in public affairs, is the best evidence of appreciation of he inheritance that has come down to us from the conflicts and heroism of other days.
"Let your imagination range down the old famous roads of freedom. Powers of moral quickening come from communion with ancient heroism. I take delight in the Old Testament story which tells of a dead man being let down into the sepulchre of the prophet Elisha. “And when he touched the bones of Elisha the man revived and stood upon his feet.' Whatever we may think of that story it is pregnant with moral and spiritual significance. It proclaims the vitalizing energies of the great and noble dead. We touch our heroic ancestry and invigorating virtue flows out of them And so, in these tremendous days of anxious and protracted conflict, let us let ourselves down into the sacred sepulchres of history, and seek communion with the honored dead. Let us touch the bones of Lincoln if perchance we may be revived and stand upon our feet. Let our minds and hearts sink down into his letters and speeches so that his vision may inspire our imaginations and his motives fortify our souls. And let us touch the bones of Oliver Cromwell, for he being dead yet speaketh, and his words are spirit and life. Let us seek inspiration at great historic fonts. Seeing that we are compassed about by so great a cloud of witnesses, the faithful knightly warriors of other days, let us nerve our hearts in their heroisms, let us feed our wills on their exploits, and then with their virtuous blood running in our own veins, let us bravely turn to face the task and the menace of our own day.”
JOHN HENRY JOWETT
WRITS OF ASSISTANCE
AMERICA was settled largely by people who left their native lands in order to secure a greater degree of religious and political liberty. In the New World, separated by three thousand miles from the autocratic governments of Europe, they naturally found little reason to relinquish this love of freedom. In the leisure hours of the long winters many read the writings of Locke, Rousseau, and other authors who have set forth the ideals of democracy. Accordingly there gradually grew up in America, in addition to the common desire for practical political liberty, a widespread interest in the abstract theory of rights and government.
Under these circumstances it is natural that the thirteen colonies under British rule resented fiercely any
interference with their personal rights. Especially after the French and Indian War the colonists were not only alert to criticize any act of Parliament that promised to imperil the liberty under which they had lived, but they also sought by such means as were within their power to obtain for the colonial assemblies new concessions and grants. At first they were content to build up their rights within the English Constitution and they had no thought of separation from the Mother Country. As late as the end of 1774 the Continental Congress in a petition to the King expressed its desire to conform in all respects the