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that man was obliged to work for his language, as he is obliged to work for every other good thing.
The confusion of tongues must have amounted virtually to annihilation of speech; the sounds which each uttered, 5 were incomprehensible jargon to all the others ; each
knew what he would say, but could make no other understand him ; they probably shouted, as we do to deaf people, thinking to be better understood, but this only made
The others stop their ears, until at last, losing all patience, 10 they scattered in small groups, or in pairs. After this,
the process of building up language must have been similar to that which we see infants and children going through every day.
Suppose two or more to have separated from the rest; 15 they would cling together; they would, at first, by rude
sounds and gestures, begin to form a system of signs, by which they could understand each other; one, looking to a fruit, would utter a sound once, perhaps twice, and the
next time the sound was repeated, it would recall the 20 thought of the fruit, and become its name to those two;
but to other two it would have no meaning, for they had perhaps in the mean time fixed upon some other sound, as the sign for the fruit. One, feeling a pain, or a desire,
thirst for instance, would utter a certain sound; this re25 peated, would become the sign of that feeling.
After establishing signs for all manner of external things, by gradual and east analogy, they would go on to mental emotions ; they would establish signs for time
past, time present, time to come; all these at first would 30 have to be made clear by the expression of the features.
by gestures, &c.; but gradually these gestures would be dropped, as the conventional meaning of the sounds became established, until at last a purely arbitrary sign,
vocal sound,ếa word, would recall the thought of the 35 object.
LESSON LXXII.-ZENOBIA'S AMBITION.-WILLIAM WARE.
I am charged with pride and ambition. The charge is true, and I glory in its truth. Who ever achieved any thing great in letters, arts, or arms, who was not ambi
tious ? Cæsar was not more ambitious than Cicero. It 5 was but in another way. All greatness is born of ambi
tion. Let the ambition be a noble one, and who shall blame it? I confess I did once aspire to be queen, not
only of Palmyra, but of the East.
That I am. aspire to remain so. Is it not an honorable ambition ? Does it not become a descendant of the Ptolemies and of
Cleopatra? I am applauded by you all for what I have 5 already done. You would not it should have been less.
But why pause here? Is so much ambition praiseworthy, and more criminal ? Is it fixed in nature that the limits of this empire should be Egypt, on the one hand,
the Hellespont and the Euxine, on the other ? Were not 10 Suez and Armenia more natural limits? Or hath empire
no natural limit, but is broad as the genius that can devise, and the power that can win. Rome has the West. Let Palmyra possess the East. Not that nature prescribes
this and no more. The gods prospering, and I swear not 15 that the Mediterranean shall hem me in upon the west, or
Persia on the east. Longinus is right,—I would that the world were mine. I feel, within, the will and the power to bless it, were it so.
Are not my people happy? I look upon the past and 20 the present, upon my nearer and remoter subjects, and
ask nor fear the answer. Whom have I wronged ?—what province have I oppressed ?—what city pillaged ?-what region drained with taxes ?—whose life have I unjustly
taken, or estates coveted or robbed ?—whose honor have I 25 wantonly assailed ?—whose rights, though of the weakest
and poorest, have I trenched upon ?-1 dwell, where I would ever dwell, in the hearts of my people. It is written in your faces, that I reign not more over you than
The foundation of my throne is not more 30 power, than love.
Suppose now, my ambition add another province to our realm. Is it an evil ? The kingdoms already bound to us by the joint acts of ourself and the late royal Odenatus,
we found discordant and at war. They are now united 35 and at peace.
One harmonious whole has grown out of hostile and sundered parts. At my hands they receive a common justice and equal benefits. The channels of their commerce have I opened, and dug them deep and sure.
Prosperity and plenty are in all their borders. The streets 40 of our capital bear testimony to the distant and various industry which here seeks its market.
This is no vain boasting:-receive it not so,good friends. It is but truth. He who traduces himself, sins with him who traduces another. He who is unjust to himself, or
less than just, breaks a law, as well as he who hurts his neighbor. I tell you what I am, and what I have done, that your trust for the future may not rest upon ignorant
grounds. If I am more than just to myself, rebuke me. 5 If I have overstepped the modesty that became me, I am open to your censure, and will bear it.
But I have spoken, that you may know your queen, not only by her acts, but by her admitted principles. I tell you
then that I am ambitious,—that I crave dominion, 10 and while I live will reign. Sprung from a line of kings,
a throne is my natural seat. I love it. But I strive, too, -you can bear me witness that I do,—that it shall be, while I sit upon it, an honored, unpolluted seat. If I can, I will hang a yet brighter glory around it.
LESSON LXXIII.- TRIALS OF THE POET AND THE SCHOLAR.
GEO. S. HILLARD.
In a highly civilized age, the poet finds himself perplexed with contradictions which he cannot reconcile, and anomalies which he cannot comprehend. Coming out
from the soft ideal world, in which he has dreamed away 5 his youth, he is constantly repelled by some iron reality.
The aspect of life to him seems cold, hard and prosaic. It renews the legend of Edipus and the Sphinx. With a face of stone, it propounds to him a riddle, which he
must guess or be devoured. It is an age of frightful ex10 tremes of soţial condition; of colossal wealth and heart
crushing poverty; of courts and custom-houses; of cornlaws and game-laws; of man-traps and spring-guns.
The smoke from the almshouse and the jail, blots the pure sky. The race of life is not to the swift, nor its bat15 ile to the strong. A sensitive conscience, a delicate taste,
the gift of genius, and the ornament of learning, are rather obstacles, than helps, in the way of what is called success. Men are turned into petrifactions by the slow-dropping in
fluences of artificial life. The heroic virtues of the elder 20 age, have vanished with its free speech, and its simple man
There seems to be no pulse of hearty life in any thing, whether it be good or bad. Virtue is timid, and vice is cunning. Love is cold and calculating, and hatred
masks its dagger with a smile. 25 In this world of hollow forms and gilded seeming, the
claims of the poet are unheeded, and his voice unheard.
The gifts which he proffers, are unvalued by those who have forgotten the dreams of their youth, and wandered away from the primal light of their being. He looks around him; and the mournful fact presses itself upon
his 5 conviction, that there is no cover laid for him at Nature's
table. His very existence seems to him a mistake. And now begins that fiery struggle in which the temper of his genius is to be tried, and which moves the deepest springs
of compassion and sympathy, in the human heart. 10 Poetry has invented nothing more pathetic, history has
recorded nothing more sad, than those mournful experiences which are so often the lot of the scholar and the man of genius. The dethronement of kings, and the beg
gary of nobles, are less affecting than the wrongs, the sor15 rows, the long-protracted trials, the forlorn conditions of
great and gifted minds; nobles, whose patents are of elder date than the pyramids, and kings by the anointment of God's own hand.
What tragedies can be read, in the history of literature, 20 deeper than Macbeth, more moving than Lear? Milton,
old, poor, and blind, selling Paradise Lost for five pounds; Dryden beaten by ruffians at the prompting of a worthless peer, who, in Plato's commonwealth, would have been
changing the poet's plate ; Tasso, a creature as delicately 25 moulded as if, like the Peris, he had fed upon nothing
grosser than the breath of flowers, wearing out the best years of his life in the gloom of a dungeon; Racine hurried to his grave by the rebuke of a heartless king ; Chat
terton, at midnight, homeless and hungry, bathing the 30 unpitying stones of London with the hot tears of anguish
and despair ; Johnson, at the age of thirty-six, dining behind a screen at the house of Cave, because he was too shabbily dressed to appear at the table ; Burns taken from
the plough, which he had “ followed in glory and in joy 35 upon the mountain side,” to gauge ale-firkins, and watch
for contraband tobacco.
LESSON LXXIV.—THE YANKEES. SAMUEL KETTEL. Yankee-land, or the New England portion of the United States, does not make a great figure in the map of the American Republic ; yet the traveller who leaves it out of his route, can tell you but little of what the Americans are. It is in New England that you find Jonathan at home. In the other states, there is a mixture, greater or less, of foreign population; but in New England the population
is homogeneous and native,—the emigrant does not settle 5 there,--the country is too full of people ; while the more
fertile soil of the west holds out superior attractions to the stranger. It is no lubber-land ; there is no getting half-adollar a day for sleeping, in Massachusetts or Vermont;
the rocky soil and rough climate of this region, require 10 thrift and industry in the occupant. In the west, he may
scratch the ground, throw in the seed, and leave the rest to nature; but here his toil must never be remitted ; and as valor comes of sherris, so doth prosperity come of industry.
While the Yankees are themselves, they will hold their 15 own, let politics twist about as they will. They are like
cats, throw them up as you please, they will come down upon their feet.
Shut their industry out from one career, and it will force itself into another. Dry up twenty
sources of their prosperity, and they will open twenty 20 more. They have a perseverance that will never languish,
while any thing remains to be tried; they have a resolution that will try any thing, if need be; and when a Yankee says “ I'll try,” the thing is done.
LESSON LXXV.-CUSTOM OF WHITEWASHING.-FRANCIS
My wish is to give you some account of the people of these new States; but I am far from being qualified for the
purpose, having as yet seen little more than the cities of New Yor'i and Philadelphia. I have discovered but 5 few national singularities among them.
Their customs and manners are nearly the same with those of England, which they have long been used to copy. For, previous to the revolution, the Americans were from their infancy
taught to look up to the English, as patterns of perfection 10 in all things. I have observed, however, one custom,
which, for aught I know, is peculiar to this country: an account of it will serve to fill up the remainder of this sheet, and may afford you some amusement.
When a young couple are about to enter the matrimo
* This piece has been incorrectly ascribed to the pen of Dr. Franklin. Hopkinson possessed much of that ease and humor, which have rendered the writings of the former so universally admired.