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and their praise among the nations. Here we ought to go for our instruction;-the lesson is plain, it is clear, it is applicable.
When we go to ancient history, we are bewildered with the difference of manners and institutions. We are willing to pay our tribute of applause to the memory of Leonidas, who fell nobly for his country, in the face of his foe. But, when we trace him to his home, we are confounded at the reflection, that the same Spartan heroism, to which he sacrificed himself at Thermopylæ, would have led him to tear his own child, if it had happened to be a sickly babe,—the very object for which all that is kind and good in man rises up to plead, from the bosom of its mother, and carry it out to be eaten by the wolves of Taygetus.
We feel a glow of admiration at the heroism displayed at Marathon, by the ten thousand champions of invaded Greece; but we cannot forget that the tenth part of the number were slaves, unchained from the workshops and doorposts of their masters, to go and fight the battles of freedom.
I do not mean that these examples are to destroy the interest with which we read the history of ancient times; they possibly increase that interest by the very contrasts they exhibit. But they do warn us, if we need the warning, to seek our great practical lessons of patriotism at home; out of the exploits and sacrifices of which our own country is the theatre; out of the characters of our own fathers.
Them we know,-the high-souled, natural, unaffected, the citizen heroes. We know what happy firesides they left for the cheerless camp. We know with what pacific habits they dared the perils of the field. There is no mystery, no romance, no madness, under the name of chivalry, about them. It is all resolute, manly resistance for conscience' and liberty's sake, not merely of an overwhelming power, but of all the force of long-rooted habits, and native love of order and peace.
Above all, their blood calls to us from the soil which we tread; it beats in our veins; it cries to us not merely in the thrilling words of one of the first victims in this cause,-
My sons, scorn to be slaves!'-but it cries with a still more moving eloquence-My sons, forget not your fathers!' Fast, oh! too fast, with all our efforts to prevent it, their precious memories are dying away. Notwithstanding our numerous written memorials, much of what is known of those eventful times dwells but in the recollections of a few
revered survivors, and with them is rapidly perishing unrecorded and irretrievable.
How many prudent counsels, conceived in perplexed times; how many heart-stirring words, uttered when liberty was treason; how many brave and heroic deeds, performed when the halter, not the laurel, was the promised meed of patriotic daring,- are already lost and forgotten in the graves of their authors! How little do we, although we have been permitted to hold converse with the venerable remnants of that day,-how little do we know of their dark and anxious hours; of their secret meditations; of the hurried and perilous events of the momentous struggle!
And while they are dropping around us like the leaves of autumn, while scarce a week passes that does not call away some member of the veteran ranks, already so sadly thinned, shall we make no effort to hand down the traditions of their day to our children; to pass the torch of liberty,—which we received in all the splendor of its first enkindling,-bright and flaming, to those who stand next us on the line; so that, when we shall come to be gathered to the dust where our fathers are laid, we may say to our sons and our grandsons, If we did not amass, we have not squandered your inheritance of glory?'
Passage of the Potomac through the Blue Ridge.
THE passage of the Potomac, through the Blue Ridge, is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in nature. You stand on a very high point of land. On your right comes up the Shenandoah, having ranged along the foot of the mountain a hundred miles to seek a vent. On your left approaches the Potomac, seeking a passage also. In the moment of their junction, they rush together against the mountain, rend it asunder, and pass off to the sea.
The first glance at this scene hurries our senses into the opinion, that this earth has been created in time; that the mountains were formed first; that the rivers began to flow afterwards; that, in this place particularly, they have been dammed up by the Blue Ridge of mountains, and have form
ed an ocean which filled the whole valley; that, continuing to rise, they have at length broken over at this spot, and have torn the mountain down from its summit to its base.
The piles of rock on each hand, but particularly on the Shenandoah, the evident marks of their disrupture and avulsion from their beds by the most powerful agents of nature, corroborate the impression. But the distant finishing, which Nature has given to the picture, is of a very different character. It is a true contrast to the foreground. It is as placid and delightful as that is wild and tremendous.
For, the mountain being cloven asunder, she presents to your eye, through the cleft, a small catch of smooth blue horizon, at an infinite distance in the plain country, inviting you, as it were, from the riot and tumult roaring around, to pass through the breach, and participate of the calm below. Here the eye ultimately composes itself; and that the road happens actually to lead.
You cross the Potomac above its junction, pass along its side through the base of the mountain for three miles, its terrible precipices hanging in fragments over you, and within about twenty miles reach Fredericktown, and the fine country round that.
This scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic. Yet here, as in the neighborhood of the Natural Bridge, are people who have passed their lives within half a dozen miles, and have never been to survey these monuments of a war between rivers and mountains, which must have shaken the earth itself to its centre.
The Emigrant's Abode in Ohio.-FLINT.
making remoter journeys from the town, beside the rivulets, and in the little bottoms not yet in cultivation, I discerned the smoke rising in the woods, and heard the strokes of the axe, the tinkling of bells, and the baying of dogs, and saw the newly-arrived emigrant either raising his log cabin, or just entered into possession.
It has afforded me more pleasing reflections, a happier train of associations, to contemplate these beginnings of social toil in the wide wilderness, than, in our more cultivated regions, to come in view of the most sumptuous mansion.
Nothing can be more beautiful than these little bottoms, upon which these emigrants deposit, if I may so say, their household gods.
Springs burst forth in the intervals between the high and low grounds. The trees and shrubs are of the most beautiful kind. The brilliant red-bird, as seen flitting among the shrubs or perched on a tree, seems welcoming, in her mellow notes, the emigrant to his abode. Flocks of paroquets are glittering among the trees, and gray squirrels are skipping from branch to branch.
In the midst of these primeval scenes, the patient and laborious father fixes his family. In a few weeks they have reared a comfortable cabin and other outbuildings. Pass this place in two years, and you will see extensive fields of corn and wheat, a young and thrifty orchard, fruit trees of all kinds,—the guarantee of present abundant subsistence, and of future luxury.
Pass it in ten years, and the log buildings will have disappeared. The shrubs and forest trees will be gone. Arcadian aspect of humble and retired abundance and comfort, will have given place to a brick house, with accompaniments like those that attend the same kind of house in the older countries.
By this time, the occupant, who came there, perhaps with a small sum of money, and moderate expectations, from humble life,and with no more than a common school education, has been made, in succession, member of the assembly, justice of the peace, and finally county judge. I admit that the first residence among the trees affords the most agreeable picture to my mind; and that there is an inexpressible charm in the pastoral simplicity of those years, before pride and self-consequence have banished the repose of their Eden, and when you witness the first strugglings of social toil, with the barren luxuriance of nature.
Mont Blanc in the Gleam of Sunset.-GRISCM.
WE arrived, before sundown, at the village of St. Martin, where we were to stay for the night. The evening being remarkably fine, we crossed the Arve on a beautiful bridge,
and walked over to Salenche, a very considerable village, opposite to St. Martin, and ascended a hill to view the effect of the sun's declining light upon Mont Blanc. The scene
was truly grand.
The broad range of the mountain was fully before us, of a pure and almost glowing white, apparently to its very base; and which, contrasted with the brown tints of the adjoining mountains, greatly heightened the novelty of the scene. We could scarcely avoid the conclusion, that this vast pile of snow was very near us, and yet its base was not less than fifteen, and its summit, probably, more than twenty miles from the place where we stood.
The varying rays of light produced by reflection from the snow, passing as the sun's rays declined, from a brilliant white through purple and pink, and ending in the gentle light, which the snow gives after the sun has set, afforded an exhibition in optics upon a scale of grandeur, which no other region in the world could probably excel.
Never in my life have my feelings been so powerfully affected by merely scenery, as they were in this day's excursion. The excitement, though attended by sensations awfully impressive, is nevertheless so finely attempered by the glow of novelty, incessantly mingled with astonishment and admiration, as to produce on the whole a feast of delight. A few years ago, I stood upon Table Rock, and placed my cane in the descending flood of Niagara. Its tremendous roar almost entirely precluded conversation with the friend at my side; while its whirlwind of mist and foam, filled the air to a great distance around me. The rainbow sported in its bosom; the gulf below exhibited the wild fury of an immense boiling caldron; while the rapids above, for the space of nearly a mile, appeared like a mountain of billows, chafing and dashing against each other with thundering impetuosity, in their eager strife to gain the precipice, and take the awful leap.
In contemplating this scene, my imagination and my heart were filled with sublime and tender emotions. The soul seemed to be brought a step nearer to the presence of that incomprehensible Being, whose spirit dwelt in every feature of the cataract, and directed all its amazing energies. Yet in the scenery of this day,there was more of a pervading sense of awful and unlimited grandeur: mountain piled upon mountain in endless continuity throughout the whole extent, and crowned by the brightest effulgence of an evening sun, upon the everlasting snows of the highest pinnacle of Europe.