Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub
[graphic][merged small][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed]

Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge !
Motionless torrents ! silent cataracts !
Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven

. Beneath the keen full moon ? Who bade the sun
Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers
Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet?
God ! let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, God!
God! sing, ye meadow streams, with gladsome voice !
Ye pine groves,

soft and soul-like sounds !
And they, too, have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God!

with your

Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost !
Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest !
Ye eagles, playmates on the mountain storm!
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds !
Ye signs and wonders of the elements !
Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise !

LX. — KOSSUTH.

HORACE MANN.

HORACE MANN was born in Franklin, Massachusetts, May 4, 1796; and died August 2, 1859. He was graduated at Brown University in 1819, and admitted to the bar in 1823, and continued in the practice of his profession, first at Dedham, and then at Boston, for the next fourteen years. He was, during this period, almost constantly a member of the Legislature, and for two years President of the Senate. He was an earnest supporter of all legislative measures for the suppression of vice and crime, and the relief of human suffering. In 1837 he was chosen secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, and for several years devoted himself to the labors of this arduous post with characteristic energy and enthusiasm. By his writings, his lectures, his correspondence, and his personal influence, he gave a great impulse to the cause of education, not merely in Massachusetts, but all over the country. Upon the death of John Quincy Adams, in 1848, Mr. Mann was chosen to Congress in his place, and remained a member of the House of Representatives till 1852, when he was chosen president of Antioch College, Ohio, where he remained till the time of his death, laboring with his usual zeal and energy in the cause of education and philanthropy. While in Congress he was distinguished for his fervent antislavery zeal. He was a man of ardent benevolence and great force of character, and his writings are distinguished for fervid eloquence and impassioned earnestness.

N the banks of the Danube a young man sprang, at

a single bound, from comparative obscurity to universal fame. His heroism organized armies. His genius created resources.

He abolished the factitious order of nobility, but his exalted soul poured the celestial ichor* of the gods through ten millions of peasant hearts, and made them truly noble.

Though weak in all but the energies of the soul, yet it took two mighty empires to break down his power. When he sought refuge in Turkey, the sympathies of the civilized world attended his exile. He was invited to our shores. He came, and spoke as man never before spake.

It was Byron's wish that he could condense all the raging elements of his soul

“ Into one word,

And that one word were lightning." Kossuth found what Byron in vain prayed for ; for all his words were lightning: not bolts, but a lambent flame, which he poured into men's hearts, not to kill, but to animate with a more exalted and a diviner life.

In cities, where the vast population went forth to hail him ; in academic halls, where the cultivation of eloquence and knowledge is made the business of life; in those great gathering-places where the rivers of people have their confluence, he was addressed by the most eloquent men whom this nation of orators could select. More than five hundred of our select speakers spoke before him that which they had laboriously prepared from history and embellished from the poets, with severe toil, by the long-trimmed lamp.

* Pronounced i'kör. An ethereal fluid that supplied the place of blood in the arterial circulation of the ancient gods.

Save in two or three peculiar cases, his unprepared and improvised replies, in eloquence, in pathos, in dignity, in exalted sentiment, excelled them all. For their most profound philosophy he gave them deeper generali

ation; he out-circuited their widest ranges of thought, and in the whole sweep of the horizon revealed glories they had never seen; and while they checked their ambitious flight beneath the sun, he soared into the empyrean and brought down, for the guidance of men's hearts and deeds, the holy light that shines from the face of God. Though all their splendors were gathered to a focal point, they were outshone by his effulgence. His immortal theme was Liberty. Liberty for the nations, Liberty for the people.

The person of this truly noble Hungarian has departed from our shores, but he has left a spirit behind him that will never die. He has scattered seeds of liberty and truth, whose flowers and fruit will become honors and glories amaranthine. I trust he goes to mingle in sterner scenes ; I trust he goes to battle for the right, not with the tongue and pen alone, but with all the weapons that freedom can forge and wield.

Before the Divine government I bow in reverence and adoration ; but it tasks all my philosophy and all my religion to believe that the despots of Europe have not exercised their irresponsible and cruel tyrannies too long. It seems too long since Charles was brought to the ax and Louis to the guillotine. Liberty, humanity, justice, demands more modern instances.

The time has fully come when the despot, not the patriot, should feel the executioner's steel or lead. The time has fully come when, if the oppressed demand their inalienable and Heaven-born rights of their op

pressors, and this demand is denied, that they should say, not exactly in the language of Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty, or give me death”; that was noble language in its day, but we have now reached an advanced stage in human developments, and the time has fully come when the oppressed, if their rights are forcibly denied them, should say to the oppressor, “Give me liberty, or I will give you death!”

LXI. – TRUE GREATNESS.

CHANNING.

From an article on the “ Life and Character of Napoleon Bonaparte," originally published in the “ Christian Examiner," in 1827.

S

UCH was Napoleon Bonaparte. But some will say

he was still a great man. This we mean not to deny. But we would have it understood, that there are various kinds or orders of greatness, and that the highest did not belong to Bonaparte.

There are different orders of greatness. Among these, the first rank is unquestionably due to moral greatness, or magnanimity; to that sublime energy by which the soul, smitten with the love of virtue, binds itself indissolubly, for life and for death, to truth and duty; espouses as its own the interests of human nature; scorns all meanness, and defies all peril ; hears in its own conscience a voice louder than threatenings and thunders; withstands all the powers of the universe which would sever it from the cause of freedom and religion; reposes an unfaltering trust in God in the darkest hour; and is ever "ready to be offered up” on the altar of its country or of mankind.

Of this moral greatness, which throws all other forms

« PředchozíPokračovat »