Page images
PDF
EPUB

immortal vèssel,* whose name is synonymous with triumph, and each of her másts | a scèptre. Show him the glorious fruits of his humble enterprise, and ask him if

this, Àll this, be not an atonement ! for his sufferings, a 5 récompense for his tòils, a blèssing on his efforts, and a heart-expanding TRÌUMPH for the pilgrim adventurer.

And if hé ! be proud of his offspring, well may they | boast of their parentage.

LESSON XXIX. THE UPRIGHT LAWYER.-S. GREENLEAF.

(Marked for Rhetorical Pauses, Emphasis, and Inflections.] In the walks of private life, the character of an upright láwyer || shines ' with mild | but génial ! lustre. He concerns himself ' with the beginnings of controversies, not to

infláme ' but to extinguish them. He is not content ' with 5 the doubtful morality of suffering clients, whose passions

are róused, to rush blindly into legal conflict. His conscience can find bàlm | in the reflection, that he has but obeyed the orders of an àngry mán. He feels that his

first duties are to the community in which he lives, and 10 whose peace | he is bound to preserve.

He is no strùnger | to the mischiefs, which follow in the train of litigation; the deadly fèuds' and animosities | descending from the original combatants ' to successive

generations; the pérjuries ' and frauds | so often com15 mitted to secure succèss; and the impoverishment | so

commonly resulting | even to the winning party; and in view of these consequences, he advises to amicable negotiátion and adjustment. He is a peacemaker,-a composer

of dissensions--a blessing to his neighborhood ;-his path 20 is lúminous ll as the path of the JÙST.

I look ' with pity | on the man, who regards himself! mere machine of the làw ;-whose conceptions of moral and social duty II are all absorbed in the sense of supposed

obligation to his client, and this of so low a nature l as 25 to render him a very tool ' and slave, to serve the worst

pàssions of men ;-who yields himself ' a passive instrument' of legal inflictions, to be moved at the pleasure of every hirer ;—and who Il beholding the ruin and havoc

made by a láwsuit, which I “ two scruples of honesty” | in 30 his counsel | might have prevented, can calmly pocket his

a

* The Constitution.

fee with the reflection, that he has done his duty to his client, alike regardless of duty to his neighbor i and his Gòd.

That such men exist, to disgrace our profession, is 5 lamentably true; mén,

“that can speak
To every cause, and things mere contraries,

Till they are hóarse again, yet áll | be LÀw."-
We would redeem its character || by marking a higher
10 standard of mòrals. While our aid should never be with-

held | from the injured ' or the accused, let it be remémbered, that all our duties are not concentrated in conducting an appeal to the làw ;-that we are not only

láwyers, but CITIZENS | and MÈN;—that our clients are 15 not always the best judges of their òwn interests :-and

that i having confided these interests to our hands, it is for us to advise to that course, which will best conduce to their permanent benefit, not merely as solitary indivíduals, but as men Il connected with society | by enduring ties.

LESSON XXX.CHARACTER OF THE PRESENT AGE.

E. EVERETT.

[ocr errors]

[To be marked by the reader, for Rhetorical Pauses, Emphasis, and Inflections.)

The present age may be justly described as the Age of Revolutions. The whole civilized world is agitated with political convulsions, and seems to be panting and strug

gling in agony after some unattained, -perhaps unattain5 able good. From the commencement of our revolution

up to the present day, we have witnessed in Europe and America, an uninterrupted series of important changes. The thrones of the old world have been shaken to their

foundations. On our own continent, empires that bore 10 the name of colonies, have shaken or are shaking off the

shackles of dependence. And so far is this, the age of
revolutions, which has already lasted more than half a
century, from having reached its termination, that the
very
last

year has been more fruitful in the most tremen15 dous convulsions, than any preceding one; and the present

will probably be still more agitated than the last. Every arrival from abroad brings us intelligence of some new event of the highest moment: some people rising in revolt against their sovereign: some new constitution proclaimed in one country: some reform, equivalent to a new constitution, projected in another: France, in the midst of a dangerous revolutionary crisis: Belgium, Poland, and

Italy, the scenes of actual hostilities : England, on the eve 5 of commotion: the whole European commonwealth apparently plunging again into the gulf of general war.

What is the object of all these desperate struggles ?The object of them is to obtain an extension of individual

liberty. Established institutions have lost their influence 10 and authority. Men have become weary of submitting to

names and forms which they once reverenced. It has been ascertained,--to use the language of Napoleon, that a throne is only four boards covered with velvet,—that a

written constitution is but a sheet of parchment. There 15 is, in short, an effort making throughout the world to re

duce the action of Government within the narrowest possible limits, and to give the widest possible extent to individual liberty.

Our own country, though happily exempt,--and God 20 grant that it may long continue so,—from the troubles of

Europe, is not exempt from the influence of the causes that produce them. We too are inspired, and agitated, and governed by the all-pervading, all-inspiring, all-agi

tating, all-governing spirit of the age. What do I say? 25 We were the first to feel and act upon its influence. Our

revolution was the first of the long series that has since shaken every corner of Europe and America. Our fathers led the van in the long array of heroes, martyrs, and

confessors, who had fought and fallen under the banner of 30 liberty. The institutions they bequeathed to us, and un

der which we are living in peace and happiness, were founded on the principles which lie at the bottom of the present agitation in Europe. We have realized what our

contemporaries are laboring to attain. Our tranquillity is 35 the fruit of an entire acquiescence in the spirit of the age.

We have reduced the action of Government within narrower limits, and given a wider scope to individual liberty, than

any community that ever flourished before.

We live, therefore, in an age, and in a country, where 40 positive laws and institutions have comparatively but little

direct force. But human nature remains the same. The passions are as wild, as ardent, as ungovernable, in a republic, as in a despotism. What then is to arrest their violence? What principle is to take the place of the restraints that were formerly imposed by time-honored customs,----venerable names and forms,-military and police establishments, which once maintained the peace of so

ciety, but which are fast losing their influence in Europe, 5 and which have long since lost it in this country? I an

swer, in one word, Religion. Where the direct influence of Power is hardly felt, the indirect influence of Religion must be proportionably increased, or society will be con

verted into a scene of wild confusion. The citizen who 10 is released in a great measure from the control of positive

authority, must possess within his own mind, the strong curb of an enlightened conscience, a well grounded, deeply felt, rational, and practical Piety; or else he will be

given over, without redemption, io the sins that most 15 easily beset him, and, by indulging in them, will contribute

so far as he has it in his power, to disturb the harmony of the whole body politic.

LESSON XXXI.-THE FOUNDERS OF BOSTON.--JOSIAH QUINCY.

[To be marked by the reader, for Rhetorical Pauses, Emphasis, and Inflections.)

On this occasion,* it is proper to speak of the founders of our city, and of their glory. Now in its true acceptation, the term glory expresses the splendor which ema

nates from virtue, in the act of producing general and 5 permanent good. Right conceptions, then, of the glory of

our ancestors, are alone to be attained by analyzing their virtues. These virtues, indeed, are not seen charactered in breathing bronze, or in living marble. Our ancestors

have left no Corinthian temples on our hills, no Gothic 10 cathedrals on our plains, no proud pyramid, no storied

obelisk, in our cities. But mind is there. Sagacious enterprise is there. An active, vigorous, intelligent, moral population throng our cities, and predominate in our

fields; men, patient of labor, submissive to law, respectful 15 to authority, regardful of right, faithful to liberty. These

are the monuments of our ancestors. They stand immutable and immortal, in the social, moral, and intellectual condition of their descendants. They exist in the spirit which their precepts instilled, and their example implanted.

Address at the close of the second century from the settlement of Boston.

It was to this spot, during twelve successive years, that the great body of those first settlers emigrated. In this place, they either fixed permanently their abode, or took

their departure from it for the coast, or the interior. 5 Whatever honor devolves on this metropolis from the

events connected with its first settlement, is not solitary or exclusive; it is shared with Massachusetts; with New England; in some sense, with the whole United States.

For what part of this wide empire, be it sea or shore, lake 10 or river, mountain or valley, have the descendants of the

first settlers of New England not traversed ? what depth of forest, not penetrated ? what danger of nature or man, not defied ? Where is the cultivated field, in redeeming

which from the wilderness, their vigor has not been dis15 played? Where, amid unsubdued nature, by the side of

the first log-hut of the settler, does the school-house stand and the church-spire rise, unless the sons of New England are there? Where does improvement advance, un

der the active energy of willing hearts and ready hands, 20 prostrating the moss-covered monarchs of the wood, and

from their ashes, amid their charred roots, bidding the green sward and the waving harvest to upspring, and the spirit of the fathers of New England is not seen, hover

ing, and shedding around the benign influences of sound, 25 social, moral, and religious institutions, stronger and more

enduring than knotted oak or tempered steel? The swelling tide of their descendants has spread upon our coasts; ascended our rivers ; taken possession of our plains. Al

ready it encircles our lakes. At this hour, the rushing 30 noise of the advancing wave, startles the wild beast in his

lair among the prairies of the West. Soon it shall be seen climbing the Rocky Mountains, and, as it dashes over their cliffs, shall be hailed by the dwellers on the

Pacific, as the harbinger of the coming blessings of safety, 35 liberty, and truth.

LESSON XXXII.-HUMAN CULTURE.-S. J. MAY. [To be marked by the reader, for Rhetorical Pauses, Emphasis, and Inflections.)

When we see a flower,-its calix filled with petals of exquisite form, of the most delicate texture, and diverse colors, so rich and nicely blended that no art can equal

« PreviousContinue »