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we are. 20
analyze or describe. The moral beauty of character and sentiment, is insensibly blended with the beauty of natural scenery; memory and fancy, alike excited,
from one object to another, and form combinations of beauty and 5 grandeur, softened and shaded by time and distance, but
having enough of life and freshness, to awaken our feel-
On this spot, our forefathers trod. Here, their energy and persever10 ance, their calm self-possession and practical vigor, were
first called into action. Here, they met and overcame difficulties, which would have overpowered the imagination, or subdued the fortitude, of ordinary men.
All that we see around us, are memorials of their worth. It was 15 their enterprise that opened a path for us, over the waters.
It was their energy that subdued the forest. They founded our institutions. They communicated to us our love of freedom. They gave us the impulse that made us what
It cannot then be useless to live along the generations that have passed, and endeavor to identify ourselves with those who have gone before us. Who and what were they, who thus fill our imaginations, and, as they rise before us,
bring to our minds so many recollections of high senti25 ment, and steady fortitude, and sober enthusiasm ? In
what school were they formed ? and what favorable circumstances impressed upon them that character of enduring energy, which even their present descendants may
claim, as their best inheritance? The answer to these 30 questions, is the subject, to which your attention will be directed.
The character of individuals is always influenced, in a greater or less degree, by that of the nation in which they
live. Sometimes, indeed, a great genius appears, who seems 35 not to belong either to his age or country; as a sunny day
in winter will sometimes swell the buds, and call forth the early flowers, as if it belonged to a milder season, or happier climate. But, in general, to form an accurate opinion
of the character of an individual, it becomes necessary to 40 estimate that of his nation, at the time, in which he lived.
Our ancestors were Englishmen; were merchant-adventurers; were Puritans. The elements of their character are therefore to be found in the national character of England, modified in the individuals by the pursuits of com
merce, and the profession of an austere but ennobling form of religion.
Such were the men from whom we derive our origin; and such were the circumstances which impressed upon 5 them that peculiar character, which it is hoped the lapse
of two centuries has not yet obliterated. We may justly be proud of such a descent; for no ancestry in the world, is half so illustrious, as the Puritan founders of New Eng
land. It is not merely that they were good men, and reli10 gious men, exhibiting in their lives an example of purity,
and temperance, and active virtue, such as no other community in the world could present; but they possessed the dazzling qualities of human greatness. Do we love to
dwell upon scenes of romantic adventure ? Does our im15 agination kindle at the thought of distant enterprise, among
a strange people, exposed to constant and unusual peril? Do we turn with delight to those bold and heroic achievements which call forth the energy of our nature, and, by
that deep excitement which belongs to the hopes and haze 20 ards of war, awaken us to a new consciousness of exist
ence ? All this is found in the history of our ancestors. They were heroes, as well as pilgrims, and nothing is wanting, but the pen of genius, to make their prowess and
adventures the theme of a world's admiration. 25 I have already alluded to the force of local association
and I would again advert to it in considering the ties which ought to bind us to our native land. Other countries may possess a richer soil and a gentler sky; but
where shall we find the rude magnificence of nature so 30 blended with scenes of enchanting beauty, as among our
mountains and lakes? Believe me, it is because our country is yet unexplored, that her scenes of beauty and gran. deur, her bright waters and swelling hills, her rich pas
turage of living green, mingled with fresh flowers, and 35 skirted with deep and shady forests ; her fields teeming
with life and vegetation; her mountains rising into the dark blue sky, and blending their summits with the purple clouds; her streams rushing from the hill-side, and hasten
ing to mingle with the sea, or lingering in the solitude of 40 her valleys, and sparkling in the glorious sunshine ;- it is
because these are unexplored, that they are unsung. The time is not far distant, when the poet will kindle into rapture, and the painter glow with emotion, in delineating our romantic scenery.
But it is our moral associations that must bind us forever to the land of our fathers. It is a land of equal rights ; its soil is not polluted by a slave. It is a land of religious
freedom; no hierarchy can here exalt its head, no pontiff 5 can hurl his thunders over a trembling and prostrate mul
titude. It is a land of industry and toil; affording in this a constant pledge of the manly virtues. It is a land of knowledge and progressive improvement. In no part of
the world is so liberal a provision made by law for public 10 instruction. It is a land whose inhabitants have already
fulfilled the high duties to which they have been called. Other nations have gathered more laurels in the field of blood; other nations have twined more garlands and sung
louder praise for their poets and orators and philosophers; 15 but where have romantic courage and adventurous skill
been more strikingly exhibited ? Where has practical wisdom been better displayed ? In the hour of danger, her sons have been foremost in the battle. In every con
test for the rights of mankind, her voice has always been 20 raised on the side of freedom. And now that she stands
possessed of everything which civil and political liberty can bestow, she is vigilant and jealous for the preservation of her rights, and is among the first to resist encroachment.
LESSON CLIV.-SCROOGE AND MARLEY.
-Charles Dickens. Marley was dead : to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and
the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge's 5 name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door
nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a cof10 fin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade.
But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it; or the country's done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail
. 15 Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How
could it be otherwise ? Scrooge and Marley were partners for I don't know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend and sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad
event, but that he was an excellent man of business on the 5 very day of the funeral, and solemnized it with an undoubted bargain.
Scrooge never painted out Old Marley's name. There it stood, years afterwards, above the warehouse door:
“Scrooge and Marley.” The firm was known as Scrooge 20 and Marley. Sometimes people, new to the business,
called Scrooge Scrooge, and sometimes Marley; but he answered to both names: it was all the same to him.
Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, 15 clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint,
from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire ; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed
nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his 20 eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his
grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him ; he iced his office in
the dog-days; and did n't thaw it one degree at Christmas. 25 External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge.
No warmth could warm, nor wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he; no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose; no pelting rain less
open to entreaty. Foul weather did n't know where to 30 have him. The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and
sleet, could boast of the advantage over him, in only one respect. They often “came down” handsomely, and Scrooge never did.
Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say, with glad30 some looks, “My dear Scrooge, how are you? when will
you come to see me?" No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle ; no children asked him what it was o'clock; no man or woman ever once, in all his life, inquired the
way to such and such a place, of Scrooge. Even the 10 blind-men's dogs appeared to know him; and when they
saw him coming on, would tug their owners into doorways,
and up courts; and then would wag their tails, as though they said, “No eye at all is better than an evil eye, dark master!"
But what did Scrooge care ? It was the very thing he liked. To edge his way along the crowded paths of life, warning all human sympathy to keep its distance, was what the knowing ones called “nuts" to Scrooge.
LESSON CLV.-THE PILGRIM FATHERS OF NEW ENGLAND.
RUFUS CHOATE, [Address before the N. E. Society, N. Y., Dec. 22, 1843.]
We meet again, the children of the pilgrims, to remember our fathers. Away froin the scenes with which the American portion of their history is associated, forever,
and in all men's minds ;-scenes so unadorned, yet clothed 5 to the moral eye with a charm above the sphere of taste :
the uncrumbled rock,—the hill, from whose side those “delicate springs" are still gushing ;-the wide woods--the sheltered harbor,-the little islands that welcomed them, in their
frozen garments, from the sea, and witnessed the rest and 10 worship of that Sabbath day before their landing ;-away
from all these scenes, without the limits of the fond old colony that keeps their graves,-without the limits of the New England which is their wider burial place, and fitter
monument,-in the heart of this chief city of the nation, into 15 which the feeble band has grown,-we meet again ;—to
repeat their names, one by one,—to retrace the lines of their character,--to appreciate their virtues,--to recount the course of their life, full of heroic deeds, varied by
sharpest trials, varied by transcendent consequences; to 20 assert the directness of our descent from such an ancestry
of goodness and greatness ;-to erect, refresh, and touch our spirits, by coming for an hour into their more immediate presence, such as they were in the days of their
"human agony of glory." 25
The two centuries which interpose to hide them from our eye, centuries so brilliant with progress, so crowded by incidents, so fertile in accumulations, dissolve, for the moment, as a curtain of cloud, and we are, once more, by
their side. The grand and pathetic series of their story 30 unrolls itself around us, vivid as if with the life of yesterday.
All the stages, all the agents of the process by which they, and the extraordinary class they belonged to, were slowly formed from the general mind and character of England;
the influence of the age of the reformation, with which the 35 whole Christian world was astir to its profoundest depths,