« 上一頁繼續 »
cell. I have a temple in every heart that owns my influence; and to him that wishes for me, I am already present. Science tnay raise you to eminence, but h-alone can guide you to felicity!' While the goddess was thus speaking, I stretched out my arms towards her with a vehemence which broke my slumbers. The chill dews were falling around me, and the shades of evening stretched over the landscape. 1 hastened homeward, and resigned the night to silence and meditation.
Fourth of July.
1. This day commemorates the glorious epoch in our national history, when indignant Americans burst the thraldom of British tyranny, and asserted the rights with which God and Nature invested them, and decreed their just inheritance : when the voice of the American nation, by the mouth of their delegated sages and patriots, declared, 'that these United States are, and of right ought to be free,sovereign,and independent.' More than thirty years have elapsed, since our fathers ' pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honour,' to support that declaration. Still do their sons retrace with proud delight the record of their noble deeds; still are millions ready to renew the pledge. Still do their bosoms glow with indignation at the story of their oppressions, exult in their successes, and weep over their misfortunes; and contemplate with admiration their unshaken constancy, and more than Roman virtue, in that gloomy period when scarce a ray of hope gilded the dreariness of the prospect—when a licentious soldiery wasted our fields, pillaged our villages, conflagrated our towns, butchered our citizens, violated the temples of our God—carrying terrour and dismay, fire and sword, through every section of our country.
2. Are any so base as to sacrifice Liberty and Independence, to foreign ambition? Are any panting for the splendour of royalty, the gewgaws of nobility 1 Would any exchange liberty and equal laws, for despotism and oppression? If any such there are, let them be marked for the detestation of freemen, the curse of heaven.
- 3. The enthusiasm with which the return of this day is hailed, is a pledge that the spirit of seventy-six is not extinct; that, although most of the sages and heroes of the revolution have yielded to the law of nature, and launched that gulph whence none return, their mantles rest on their sons: that Liberty yet has defenders, who will lire free or die.
Monitions to America.
1. Americans! place constantly before your sight the deplorable scenes of your servitude, and the enchanting picture of your deliverance! Begin with the infant in his cradle. Let the first word he lisps be Washington. Let his first lessons of history be'the wrongs which you suffered, and the courage which set you free.
2. Let his daily prayers be expressions of gratitude to God for- raising you up accomplished chiefs; for leading on your armies; and for strengthening the arm of your peasants, against the discipline and the tyranny of Europe. Let the youth, the hope of his country, grow up amidst annual festivals, commemorative of the events of war, and sacred to the memory of your heroes. Let him learn from his father to weep over the tombs
"of those heroes, and to bless their virtues. Let his first study l)e your Declaration of Independence, and the code of your Constitution, which were sketched out amidst the clashing of arms.
3. Let-him stop at the end of the field which he ploughs, and while the tears start into his eyes, let him read, engraven upon the rude stones; 'here savages in the pay of despotism, cast an infirm old man into the flames: here, they dashed against the trees, children snatched away from the breasts of their dying mothers; there the satellites of oppression bent the knee, demanded their lives, and became captives.'
1. Should the return of peace, and the pride of independence, lean the Americans to security and dissipation—should -they lose those virtues and simple manners, by which alone republics can long subsist—should false refinement, luxury, and impiety, spread amongst them—excesses, jealousy distract their governments—and clashing interests, subject to no controul, break their Federal union—the consequence will be, that the fairest experiment ever tried in human affairs, will miscarry; and a revolution which had revived the hopes of good men, and promised an opening to better times, will become a discouragement to all future efforts in favour of Liberty, and prova only an opening to a new scene of human degeneracy and misery.
1. People of America! let the example of all the nations which have preceded you, and especially that of the mother country, instruct you! Be afraid of the affluence of gold, which brings with luxury the corruption of manners and contempt ol laws! Be afraid of too unequal a distribution of riches, which
shows a small number of citizens in wealth, end a great number in misery—r-whence arises the insolence of the one, and depression of the other. Guard against the spirit of conquest. The tranquillity of empire decreases as it is extended. Have arms for your defence, but have none for offence. Seek ease and health in labour; prosperity in agriculture and manufactures; strength in good manners and virtue. Make the sciences and arts prosper, which distinguish the civilized man from the savage. Especially watch over the education of your children.
2. It is from public schools, be assured, that skilful magistrates, disciplined and courageous soldiers, good fathers, good husbands, good brothers, good friends, and honest men come forth. Wherever we see the youth depraved, the nation is on the decline. Let Liberty have an immoveable foundation in the wisdom of your constitutions; and let it be the cement which unites your states, which cannot be destroyed. Establish Bo legal preference in your different modes of worship. Superstition is every where innocent, where it is neither protected »or persecuted. And may your duration be, if possible, equal to that of the world.
A CURE FOR BARD TIMES.
Judge Ross to the Grand Jury.
1. Gentlemen—I shall take the liberty of saying a few words on a subject which may not seem to come properly under my notice at this time. But, it is so general a topic of conversation, and has been so frequently handled in the newspapers, and in pamphlets, that I think it will not be amiss to introduce it in this place. The subject to which I allude, is the Hard Times. You are here, gentlemen, from the remote parts of our country, and you have doubtless heard a variety of causes assigned for these hard times.
2. Our legislature have had the subject under consideration; they have talked of a loan-office, of stop laws, of a law for great internal improvements; and a great variety of projects have been agitated by them—all to obviate those hard times. But their projects are all visionary; none of them calculated to do the smallest good to the community. Congress, too, have been engaged on this subject; they have thought that some great change in the tariff, or some important measure for the encouragement of domestic manufactures, would help us out of the difficulty. But all this is perfectly idle.
3. These projects do not strike at the root of the matter. I may be singular in my views, gentlemen, but, really, I hare thought so much on the subject, that I cannot avoid expressing my sentiments, whatever you may think of them. I have no objections to great improvements—I am by no means unfriendly to our own manufactures; but then, I think, that in order to cure the evil, we must all act individually. .., .
4. Let the work of reformation begin at home, and I confidently believe we shall soon get rid of the hard times, that are so much complained of. To be calling out for legislative aid, while we ourselves are idle, is acting like the man in the fable, who, when his wagon-wheel was fast in the ditch, cried for Hercules to help him, instead of putting his own shoulder to the wheel. We must help ourselves, gentlemen, and if that will not answer, why then we may call for Hercules to assist us.
5. We are too fond of showing out in our families; and in this way our expenses far exceed our incomes. Our daughters must be dressed off in their silks and crapes, instead of their linsey woolsey. Our young folks are too proud to be seen in a coarse dress, and their extravagance is bringing ruin on our families. When you can induce your sons to prefer young women for their real worth, rather than for their show; when you can get them to choose a wife, who can make a good loaf of bread, and a good pound of butter, in preferencei to a girl, who does nothing but dance about in her silks and her laces; then, gentlemen, you may expect to, see a change for the better. We must get back to the good old simplicity of former times, if we expect to see more prosperous days. The time was, even since memory, when a simple note was good for any amount of money, but now bonds and mortgages are thought almost no security; and this is owing to the want of confidence.
6. And what has caused this want of confidence? Why, it is occasioned by the extravagant manner of living; by your families going in debt beyond your ability to pay. Examine this matter, gentlemen, and you will find this to be the real cause. Teach your sons to be too proud to ride a hackney, which their father cannot pay for. Let them be above being seen sporting in a gig or a carriage, which their father is in debt for. Let them have this sort of independent pride, and I venture to say tbat you will soon perceive a reformation. But, until the change commences in this way in our families; until we begin the work ourselves, it is in vain to expect better times.
7. Now, gentlemen, if you think as 1 do on this subject^ there
is a way of showing that you do think so, and but one way; when you return to your homes, have independence enough to put these principles in practice; and I am sure you will n«t be disappointed.
Docility the basis of Education.
1. The minds of youth are not all equally adapted for the reception of learning. No pains can overcome the natural sterility of some, and no neglect can wholly check the growth of fruit in others. Happy, however, are they, whose aptitude to receive instruction has met with the hand of diligent cultivation; who have early had the weeds of ignorance or errour eradicated, and every generous plant reared to maturity, with faithful assiduity and vigilant care. By diligent tuition, the most unpromising genius, inspired with a real desire to improve, may be rendered useful to society, and advantageous to itself. Providence never intended an equality of mental endowments, or of personal advantages; but it has impartially distributed its favours for the good of the whole; and where it has denied the shining talents that lead to fame, it has generally conferred the more solid qualities that are calculated to secure independence.
2. The laxity and indulgence of modern manners are inimical to the best interests of the rising generation. The foolish fondness of parents, in general, towards their children, knows no bounds. It cannot be called love for them, for love is quicksighted to discern faults, and studies to correct them; it cannot be called tenderness or humanity, for those qualities are not displayed by momentary impulses, but by consistency of action. It is rather a fashion, or a habit, springing out of indolence and want of moral feeling; it may, without breach of charity, be traced to general dissipation, which renders persons indifferent about what does not contribute to their own immediate pleasure, and callous to the warm emotions of a rational regard. I will not ascribe this criminal indulgence, or rather neglect, of children, to irreligion and a contempt of all authority—but, unfortunately, it leads to both; and, if it continue for a few generations more, or is carried to still greater heights, it must dissolve every tie that binds man to man, or man to heaven.
3. When children are habituated to pursue their own pleasure, without control from parental authority; when thejr disobey the authors of their being with impunity, and treat them with a contempt in proportion to the mistaken kindness they have received, what can be expected from tbe best modes of education.