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17. Down on his knees the Bishop fell,
18. And in at the windows, and in at the door,
19. They have whetted their teeth against the stones;
Bob Gothen lines are
EDWARD EVERETT. 1. It has been the custom, from the remotest antiquity, to preserve and to hand down to posterity, in bronze and in marble, the counterfeit presentment of illustrious men. Within the last few years modern research has brought to light, on the banks of the Tigris, huge slabs of alabaster, buried for ages, which exhibit in relief the faces and the persons of men who governed the primeval East in the gray dawn of history. Three thousand years have elapsed since they lived and reigned and built palaces and fortified cities and waged war, and gained victories of which the trophies are carved upon these monumental tablets,—the triumphal
procession, the chariots laden with spoil, the drooping captive, the conquered monarch in chains,— but the legends inscribed upon the stone are imperfectly deciphered, and little beyond the names of the personages, and the most general tradition of their exploits is preserved.
2. In like manner the obelisks and the temples of ancient Egypt are covered with the sculptured images of whole dynasties of Pharaohs,— older than Moses, older than Joseph, whose titles are recorded in the hieroglyphics with which the granite is charged, and which are gradually yielding up their long concealed mysteries to the sagacity of modern criticism. The plastic arts, as they passed into Hellas, with all the other arts which give grace and dignity to our nature, reached a perfection unknown to Egypt or Assyria; and the heroes and sages of Greece and Rome, immortalized by the sculptor, still people the galleries and museums of the modern world.
3. In every succeeding age and in every country, in which the fine arts have been cultivated, the respect and affection of survivors have found a pure and rational gratification in the historical portrait and the monumental statue of the honored and loved in private life, and especially of the great and good who have deserved well of their country. Public esteem and confidence and private affection, the gratitude of the community and the fond memories of the fire-side have ever sought, in this way, to prolong the sensible existence of their beloved and respected objects. What though the dear and honored features and person on which, while living, we never gazed without tenderness or veneration, have been taken from us,—something of the loveliness, something of the majesty abides in the portrait, the bust, and the statue. The heart bereft of the living originals turns to them; and, cold and silent as they are, they strengthen and animate the cherished recollections of the loved, the honored, and the lost.
4. The skill of the painter and sculptor, which thus comes in aid of the memory and imagination, is, in its highest degree, one of the rarest, as it is one of the most exquisite, accomplishments within our attainment, and in its perfection as seldom witnessed as the perfection of speech or of music. The plastic hand must be moved by the same ethereal instinct as the eloquent lips or the recording pen. The number of those who, in the language of Michael Angelo, can discern the finished statue in the heart of the shapeless block, and bid it start into artistic life,— who are endowed with the exquisite gift of molding the rigid bronze or the lifeless marble into graceful, majestic, and expressive forms,- is not greater than the number of those who are able, with equal majesty, grace, and expressiveness, to make the spiritual essence, the finest shades of thought and feeling, --sensible to the mind, through the eye and the ear, in the mysterious embodiment of the written and the spoken word. If Athens, in her palmiest days, had but one Pericles, she had also but one Phidias.
5. Nor are these beautiful and noble arts, by which the facc and the form of the departed are preserved to us,calling into the highest exercise, as they do, all the imitative and idealizing powers of the painter and the sculptor,—the least instructive of our teachers. The portraits and the statues of the honored dead kindle the generous ambition of the youthful aspirant to fame. Themistocles could not sleep for the trophies in the Ceramicus; and when the living Demosthenes had ceased to speak, the stony lips remained to rebuke and exhort his degenerate countrymen. More than a hundred years have elapsed since the great Newton passed away; but from age to age his statue by Roubillac, in the ante-chapel of Trinity College, will give distinctness to the conceptions formed of him by hundreds and thousands of ardent youthful spirits, filled with reverence for that transcendent intellect, which, from the phenomena that fall within our limited vision, deduced the imperial law by which the Sovereign Mind rules the entire universe. We can never look on the person of Washington; but his serene and noble countenance, perpetuated by the pencil and the chisel, is familiar to far greater multitudes than ever stood in his living presence, and will be thus familiar to the latest generation.
6. What parent, as he conducts his son to Mount Auburn or to Bunker Hill, will not, as he passes before their monumental statues, seek to heighten his reverence for virtue, for patriotism, for science, for learning, for devotion to the public good, as he bids him contemplate the form of that grave and venerable Winthrop, who left his pleasant home in England to come and found a new republic in this untrodden wilderness; of that ardent and intrepid Otis, who first struck out the spark of American independence; of that noble Adams, its most eloquent champion on the floor of Congress; of that martyr, Warren, who laid down his life in its defense; of that self-taught Bowditch, who, without a guide, threaded the starry mazes of the heavens; of that Story, honored at home and abroad as one of the brightest luminaries of the law, and, by a felicity of which I believe there is no other example, admirably portrayed in marble by his son ?
7. What citizen of Boston, as he accompanies the stranger around our streets,-guiding him through our busy thoroughfares, to our wharves crowded with vessels which range every sea and gather the produce of every climate,—up to the dome of this capitol, which commands as lovely a landscape as can delight the eye or gladden the heart, will not, as he
calls his attention at last to the statues of Franklin and Webster, exclaim, “ Boston takes pride in her natural position, she rejoices in her beautiful environs, she is grateful for her material prosperity; but, richer than the merchandise stored in palatial warehouses, greener than the slopes of sea-girt islets, lovelier than this encircling panorama of land and sea, of field and hamlet, of lake and stream, of garden and grove, is the memory of her sons, native and adopted; the character, services, and fame of those who have benefited and adorned their day and generation. Our children and the schools at which they are trained, our citizens and the services they have rendered, — these are our jewels,—these our abiding treasures."
8. Yes, your long rows of quarried granite may crumble to the dust; the cornfields in yonder villages, ripening to the sickle, may, like the plains of stricken Lombardy, a few weeks ago, be kneaded into bloody clods by the madding wheels of artillery; this populous city, like the old cities of Etruria and Campagna Romagna, may be desolated by the pestilence which walketh in darkness,—may decay with the lapse of time, and the busy mart, which now rings with the joyous din of trade, become as lonely and still as Carthage or Tyre, as Babylon or Nineveh : but the names of the great and good shall survive the desolation and the ruin; the memory of the wise, the brave, the patriotic shall never perish.
9. Yes, Sparta is a wheat-field; a Bavarian prince holds court at the foot of the Acropolis; the traveling virtuoso digs for marble in the Roman Forum, and beneath the ruins of the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus; but Lycurgus and Leonidas, and Miltiades and Demosthenes, and Cato and Tully “still live”; and HE* still lives, and all the great and good shall live in the heart of ages, while marble and bronze
* Daniel Webster,