« 이전계속 »
citously copy his diction or his mien, however matured by age or modelled by experience.
But, if any man shall, by charging me with theatrical behavior, imply that I utter any sentiments but my.own, I shall treat him as a calumniator and a villain ; nor shall any protection shelter him from the treatment he deserves. I shall, on such an occasion, without scruple, trample upon all those forms with which wealth and dignity intrench themselves, nor shall any. thing but age restrain my resentment; age, which always brings one privilege—that of being insolent and supercilious without punishment.
But, with regard to those whom I have offended, I am of opinion that, if I had acted a borrowed part, I should have avoided their censure; the heat that offended them was the ardor of conviction, and that zeal for the service of my country which neither hope nor fear shall influence me to suppress. I will not sit unconcerned while my liberty is invaded, nor look in silence upon public robbery. I will exert my endeavors, at whatever hazard, to repel the aggressor, and drag the thief to justice, whoever may protect him in his villanies, and whoever may partake of his plunder.
ONE of England's own writers has said, “ The possible destiny of the United States of America, as a nation of one hundred millions of freemen, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, living under the laws of Alfred, and speaking the language of Shakspeare and Milton, is an august conception.”
It is an august conception, finely embodied; and I trust in God that it will, at no distant time, become a reality. I trust that the world will see, through all time, our people living, not only under the laws of Alfred, but that they will be heard to speak throughout our wide-spread borders the language of Shakspeare and Milton.
Above all is it my prayer that, as long as our posterity shall continue to inhabit these mountains and plains, and hills and valleys, they may be found living under the sacred institutions of Christianity. Put these things together, and what a picture do they present to the mental eye! Civilization and intelligence started in the East; they have travelled, and are still travelling westward; but when they shall have completed the circuit of the earth, and reached the extremest verge of the Pacific shores, then, unlike the fabled god of the ancients, who dipped his glowing axle in the western wave, they will take
permanent abode. Then shall we enjoy the sublime destiny of returning these blessings to their ancient seat; then will it be ours to give the priceless benefits of our free institutions, and the pure and healthful light of the Gospel, back to the dark family which has so long lost both truth and freedom; then may Christianity plant herself there, and while with one hand she points to the Polynesian isles, rejoicing in the late-recovered treasure of revealed truth, with the other present the Bible to the Chinese. It is our duty to aid in this great work. I trust we shall esteem it as much our honor as our duty. Let us not, like some of the British missionaries, give them the Bible in one hand and opium in the other, but bless them only with the pure word of truth.
PERPETUAL VIGILANCE THE PRICE OF LIBERTY.
We make a great mistake in supposing all people capable of self-government. Acting under that impression, many are anxious to force free governments on all the people of this continent, and over the world, if they had the power. It has been lately urged, in a very respectable quarter, that it is the mission of this country to spread civil and religious liberty over all the globe, and especially over this continent, even by force, if necessary. It is a sad delusion. None but a people advanced to a high state of moral and intellectual excellence are capable,
in a civilized condition, of forming and maintaining free governments; and, among those who are so far advanced, very few indeed have had the good fortune to form constitutions capable of endurance. It is a remarkable fact in the political history of man, that there is scarcely an instance of a free constitutional government which has been the work exclusively of foresight and wisdom. They have all been the result of a fortunate combination of circumstances. It is a very difficult task to make a constitution worthy of being called so. This admirable Federal Constitution of ours is the result of such a combination. It is superior to the wisdom of any or of all the men by whose agency it was made. The force of circumstances, and not foresight or wisdom, induced them to adopt many of its wisest provisions.
But of the few nations who have been so fortunate as to adopt a wise constitution, still fewer have had the wisdom long to preserve one. It is harder to preserve than to obtain liberty. After
years of prosperity, the tenure by which it is held is but too often forgotten; and I fear, senators, that such is the case
There is no solicitude now for liberty. Who talks of liberty when any great question comes up? Here is a question of the first magnitude as to the conduct of this war; do you hear anybody talk about its effeots upon our liberties and our free institutions ? No, sir. That was not the case formerly. In the early stages of our government, the great anxiety was, how to preserve liberty. The great anxiety now is for the attainment of mere military glory. In the one we are forgetting the other. The maxim of former times was, that
is always stealing from the many to the few; the price of liberty was perpetual vigilance. They were constantly looking out and watching for danger. Not so now. Is it because there has been any decay of liberty among the people ? Not at all. I believe the love of liberty was never more ardent; but they have forgotten the tenure of liberty, by which alone it is preserved
We think we may now indulge in everything with impunity, as if we held our charter by right divine”'--from Heaven itself. Under these impressions we plunge into war, we con
tract heavy debts, we increase the patronage of the executive, and we talk of a crusade to force our institutions of liberty upon all people. There is no species of extravagance which our people imagine will endanger their liberty in any degree. Sir, the hour is approaching, the day of retribution will come. It will come as certainly as I am now addressing the Senate; and when it does come, awful will be the reckoning, heavy the responsibility somewhere.
KEPLER'S DISCOVERY OF THE THIRD LAW.-MITCHEL.
GUIDED by some kind angel or spirit whose sympathy had been touched by the unwearied zeal of the mortal, Kepler returned to his former computations, and, with a heaving breast and throbbing heart, he detects the numerical error in his work, and commences anew. The square of Jupiter's period is to the square of Saturn's period as the cube of Jupiter's distance is to some fourth term, which Kepler hoped and prayed might prove to be the cube of Saturn's distance. With trembling hand, he sweeps through the maze of figures; the fourth term is obtained ; he compares it with the cube of Saturn's distance. They are the same !-He could scarcely believe his own senses. He feared some demon mocked him. He ran over the work again and again—he tried the proportion, the square of Jupiter's period to the square of Mars' period as the cube of Jupiter's distance to a fourth term, which he found to be the cube of the distance of Mars—till finally full conviction burst upon his mind : he had won the goal, the struggle of seventeen long years was ended, God was vindicated, and the philosopher, in the wild excitement of his glorious triumph, exclaims :
Nothing holds me. I will indulge my sacred fury! If you forgive me, I rejoice; if you are angry, I can bear it. The die is cast. The book is written, to be read either now, or by posterity, I care not which. It may well wait a century for a reader, since God has waited six thousand years for an observer !”
More than two hundred years have rolled away since Kepler announced his great discoveries. Science has marched forward with swift and resistless energy. The secrets of the universe have been yielded up under the inquisitorial investigations of godlike intellect. The domain of the mind has been extended wider and wider. One planet after another has been added to our system; even the profound abyss which separates us from the fixed stars has been passed, and thousands of rolling suns have been descried swiftly flying or majestically sweeping through the thronged regions of space. But the laws of Kepler bind them all :-satellite and primary-planet and sun-sun and system, - all with one accord proclaim, in silent majesty, the triumph of the hero philosopher.
THE FAMINE IN IRELAND.-S. S. PRENTISS.
THERE lies upon the other side of the wide Atlantic a beautiful island, famous in story and in song. It has given to the world more than its share of genius and of greatness. It has been prolific in statesmen, warriors, and poets. Its brave and generous sons have fought successfully in all battles but its own. In wit and humor it has no equal; while its harp, like its history, moves to tears by its sweet but melancholy pathos. In this fair region God has seen fit to send the most terrible of all those fearful ministers who fulfil his inscrutable decrees. The earth has failed to give her increase ; the common mother has forgotten her offspring, and her breast no longer affords them their accustomed nourishment. Famine, gaunt and ghastly famine, has seized a nation with its strangling grasp ; and unhappy Ireland, in the sad woes of the present, forgets, for a moment, the gloomy history of the past.
In battle, in the fulness of his pride and strength, little recks the soldier whether the hissing bullet sing his sudden requiem, or the cords of life are severed by the sharp steel. But he who dies of hunger wrestles alone, day after day, with his grim and