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them, and withal perpetually diffusing a delicious per. fume, we cannot readily believe, that all this variety of charms was evolved from a little seed, not bigger, it may
be, than the head of a pin. 5 When we behold a sturdy oak, that has, for a hundred
years, defied the blasts of winter, has stretched wide around its sheltering limbs, and has seemed to grow only more hardy, the more it has been pelted by the storms,
we find it difficult to persuade ourselves that the essence, 10 the elements of all this body and strength, were once en
closed in an acorn. Yet such are the facts of the vegetable world. Nor are they half so curious nor wonderful, as the changes, which are wrought by time and education,
in the human mind and heart. 15 Here, for example, is a man now master of twenty lan
guages, who can converse in their own tongues with the people of as many different nations, whose only utterance thirty years ago was very much like, and not any more
articulate than, the bleating of a lamb. Or it may be that 20 he, who could then send forth only a wailing cry, is now
overwhelming the crowded forum, or swaying the Congress of the nation, by his eloquence, fraught with surpassing wisdom.
Here is another, who can conceive the structure, and 25 direct the building of the mighty ship, that shall bear an
embattled host around the world, carrying a nation's thunder; or the man, who can devise the plan of a magnificent temple, and guide the construction of it, until it shall
present to the eye of the beholder a perfect whole, glow30 ing with the unspeakable beauty of symmetrical form.
And here is a third, who has comprehended the structure of the solar system. He has ascertained the relative sizes of the planets, and learned at what precise moments
they shall severally complete their circuits. He has even 35 weighed the sun, and measured the distances of the fixed
stars; and has foretold the very hour, “when the dread comet," after an absence of centuries, “ shall to the forehead of our evening sky return.”
These men are the same beings, who, thirty years ago, 40 were puling infants, scarcely equal in their intelligence to kittens of a week old.
There, too, is a man, who is swaying the destiny of nations. His empire embraces half the earth; and, throughout his wide domains, his will is law. At his command, hundreds of thousands rush to arms, the pliant subjects of his insatiable ambition, ready to pour out their
blood like water in his cause. He arranges them, as he 5 pleases, to execute his plans. He directs their movements as if they were pawns upon a chessboard.
He plunges them into deadly conflict, and wades to conquest over their dead and mangled bodies. That man, the despotic
power of whose mind now overawes the world, was once 10 à feeble babe, who had neither the disposition, nor the strength, to harm a fly.
On the other hand, there is one, who now evinces unconquerable energy, and the spirit of willing self-sacrifice
in works of benevolence. No toil seems to overbear his 15 strength. No discouragement impairs his resolution. No
dangers disarm his fortitude. He will penetrate into the most loathsome haunts of poverty or vice, that he may relieve the wretched, or reclaim the abandoned. He will
traverse continents, and expose himself hourly to the ca20 pricious cruelty of barbarous men, that he may bear to
them the glad tidings of salvation ; or he will calmly face the scorn and rage of the civilized world, in opposition to the wrong; or march firmly to the stake, in maintenance
of the true and the right. This man, a few years ago, 25 might have been seen crying for a sugar-plum, or quarrel.
ing with his little sister for a two-penny toy:
And who are they, that are infesting society with their daring crimes, scattering about them "fire-brands, arrows,
and death,” boldly setting at defiance the laws of man, 30 and of God? They are the same beings, that a few years
ago, were innocent little children, who, could they have conceived of such deeds of darkness, as they now perpetrate without compunction, would have shrunk from them
instinctively with horror. 35 These, surely, are prodigious changes, greater far than
any exhibited in the vegetable world. And are they not changes of infinitely greater moment ? The growth of a mighty tree, from a small seed, may be matter for wonder,
for admiration ; but the development of a being, capable 40 of such tremendous agencies for good or for evil, should
be with us all a matter of the deepest concern. Strange, passing strange-that it is not so!
LESSON XXXIII.-GRECIAN AND ROMAN ELOQUENCE.
J. Q. ADAMS. [To be marked by the reader, for Rhetorical Pauses, Emphasis, and Inflections.]
In the flourishing periods of Athens and Rome, eloquence was power. It was at once the instrument and the spur to ambition. The talent of public speaking was
the key to the highest dignities; the passport to the su5 preme dominion of the state. The rod of Hermes was
the sceptre of empire; the voice of oratory was the thunder of Jupiter.
The most powerful of human passions was enlisted in the cause of eloquence; and eloquence in return was the 10 most effectual auxiliary to the passion. In proportion to
the wonders she achieved, was the eagerness to acquire the faculties of this mighty magician.
Oratory was taught, as the occupation of a life. The course of instruction commenced with the infant in the 15 cradle, and continued to the meridian of manhood. It
was made the fundamental object of education, and every other part of instruction for childhood, and of discipline for youth, was bent to its accommodation.
Arts, science, letters, were to be thoroughly studied and 20 investigated, upon the maxim, that an orator must be a
man of universal knowledge. Moral duties were inculcated, because none but a good man could be an orator. Wisdom, learning, virtue herself, were estimated by their
subserviency to the purposes of eloquence; and the whole 25 duty of man consisted in making himself an accomplished
LESSON XXXIV.-TIANATOPSIS.*- -W. C. BRYANT. [Marked for the application of Rhetorical Pauses, Emphasis, and Infection, to the reading of Poetry.]
To him, who, in the love of Nature, holds
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile! 5 And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild '
* Contemplation of Death.
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the stern ágony, and shroud, and páll,
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at héart ;-
Earth and her wáters, and the depths of air,10 Comes a still voice-Yet a few days, and thee |
The all-beholding sun || shall see no more |
Nor in the embrace of ocean || shall exist 16 Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim,
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth agàin ;
To mix forever with the èlements,
And to the sluggish clòd, which the rude swain ||
Yet not to thy eternal resting place ||
Couch | more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down |
Fair fórms, and hoary sèers of ages pást,
Rock-ribb'd | and ancient ' as the sun,—the vdles Il
In majesty, and the complaining brooks Il 35 That make the meadows green; and, poured round bll,
Old ocean's gray and melancholy waste,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven, 40 Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods ||
And MÌLLIONS in those solitudes, since first!
In their last sièep,--the dèad | reign there ' alone.-
Take note of thy departure ? All that breathe ! 10 Will share thy destiny. The gay | will láugh |
When thou art góne, the solemn brood of care |
Their mirth i and their employments, and shall come, 15 And make their bed' with thèe. As the long train
Of ages 1 glide away, the sons of měn,
The bowed with age, the infant || in the smiles ! 20 And beauty of its innocent age | cut off,—
Shall, one by one, be gathered to thy side,
Il to join
His chamber ' in the silent halls of death,
By an unfaltering tràst, approach thy grave, 30 Like one who wraps the drapery of his
couch ' About him, and lies down ' to pléasant dreams.
LESSON XXXV.-TRUST IN GOD.
[To be marked by the reader, for Rhetorical Pauses, Emphasis, and Inflections.]
How beautiful this dome of sky!
Human and rational, report of Thee
Yet I will praise Thee with impassioned voice: