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the fancied calls of their mates, or dive with precipitation into the depths of thickets, at the scream of what they suppose to be the sparrow-hawk. The mocking-bird loses little of the power and energy of his song by confinement. In his domesticated state, when he commences his career of song, it is impossible to stand by unin:terested. He whistles for the dog; Caesar starts up, wags his tail, and runs to meet his master. He squeaks out like a hurt chicken, and the hen hurries about, with hanging wings and bristled feathers, clucking, to protect her injured brood. He runs over the quaverings of the canary, and the clear whistlings of the Virginia nightingale or red-bird, with such superior execution and effect that the mortified songsters feel their own inferiority and become altogether silent, while he seems to triumph in their defeat by redoubling his exertions. This excessive fondness for variety, however, in the opinion of some, injures his song. His elevated imitations of the brown thrush are frequently interrupted by the crowing of cocks; and the warblings of the blue-bird, which he exquisitely manages, are mingled with the screaming of swallows or the cackling of hens. Amidst the simple melody of the robin, we are suddenly surprised by the shrill reiterations of the whip-poor-will; while the notes of the kildeer, bluejay, marten, baltimore, and twenty others, succeed, with such imposing reality, that we look round for the originals, and discover, with astonishment, that the sole performer in this singular concert is the admirable bird now before us. During this exhibition of his powers, he spreads his wings, expands his tail, and throws himself around the cage in all the ecstasy of enthusiasm, seeming not only to sing, but to dance, keeping time to the measure of his own music. Both in his native and domesticated state, during the solemn stillness of the night, as soon as the moon rises in silent majesty, he begins his delightful solo, and serenades us with a full display of his vocal powers, making the whole neighborhood ring with his inimitable melody.
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, 1767–1848.
John QUINCY ADAMs, son of the second President of the United States, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts, on the 11th of July, 1767. In his eleventh year he accompanied his father to the Court of Versailles, and was with him also in some of his other missions. At the age of eighteen, he entered Harvard University at an advanced standing, and graduated with distinguished honor in 1787.
After studying law three years with Judge Parsons, at Newburyport, he established himself in Boston, and took part in the public affairs of the day. In 1794, he was appointed by Washington Minister to the United Netherlands, and remained in Europe till 1801, employed in the several offices of Minister to Holland, England, and Prussia, and in other diplomatic business. At the close of his father's administration he was recalled, and, in 1802, was chosen, from the Boston district, a member of the Massachusetts Senate, and soon after was elected a United States Senator for six years from March 4, 1803. While Senator, he was, in 1806, appointed Professor of Rhetoric in Harvard University,+an office which he filled with much ability till 1809,' when he was appointed by President Monroe Minister to the Court of Russia. In 1813, he was named at the head of five commissioners appointed by President Madison to negotiate a treaty of peace with Great Britain, which was signed at Ghent, in December, 1814; and soon after he was appointed, by the same President, Minister to the Court of St. James. After having occupied that post until the close of President Madison's administration, he was called home, in 1817, to the Department of State, at the formation of the Cabinet of President Monroe. Mr. Adams's career as a foreign minister terminated at this point, a career that has never been paralleled either in the length of time it covered, the number of courts at which he represented his country, or the variety and importance of the services rendered. In 1824, Mr. Adams was elected President of the United States. His administration was distinguished for its ability and economy; and the Presidential chair has been occupied by no man of greater learning, more thorough acquaintance with all our foreign and domestic relations, purer patriotism, or higher integrity of character. At the close of his Presidential term, in 1829, he retired to his family mansion in Quincy; but he was soon after elected member of the United States House of Representatives, and took his seat in 1831. Many of his friends doubted the wisdom of this step, and feared it would detract from his former fame rather than add to it. But their doubts were soon put to rest; for, signal as had been his services to his country for a long life, he was yet to put the crowning glory upon them all, by standing forth in the House of Representatives, amid abuse, reproach, and threats of expulsion, as the firm, able, undaunted champion of the right of petition. During the years 1836 and 1837, the public mind in the Northern States became fully aroused to the enormities of American slavery, its encroachments on the rights and interests of the free States, the undue influence it was exercising in our national councils, and the evident determination on the part of its advocates to enlarge its borders and its evils, by the addition of new slave territories. Petitions for the abolition of slavery and the slave-trade in the District of Columbia and the Territories began to pour into Congress from every section of the East and North. These were generally presented by Mr. Adams. His age and experience, his well-known influence in the House of Representatives, his patriotism, and his intrepid advocacy of human freedom, commanded the confidence of the people of the free States, and led them to intrust to him their petitions; and with scrupulous fidelity he performed the duty thus imposed upon him. The Southern members of Congress became alarmed at these demonstrations,
and determined to arrest them, even at the sacrifice, if need be, of the right of petition,-the most sacred privilege of freemen. On the 8th of February, 1836, a committee was raised by the House of Representatives, to take into consideration what disposition should be made of petitions and memorials for the abolition of slavery and the slave-trade in the District of Columbia, and to report thereon. On the 18th of May, the committee made a long report, through Mr. Pinckney, recommending, among others, the adoption of the following resolution:—
“Resołred, That all petitions, memorials, resolutions, propositions, or papers, relating in any way, or to any extent whatever, to the subject of slavery or the abolition of slavery, shall, without being either printed or referred, be laid upon the table, and that no further action whatever shall be had thereon.”
Notwithstanding the rule embodied in this resolution virtually trampled the right of petition into the dust, it was adopted by the House by a large majority. But Mr. Adams was not to be deterred, by this arbitrary restriction, from the faithful discharge of his duty as a representative of the people. Petitions on the subject of slavery continued to be transmitted to him in increased numbers. With unwavering firmness, against a bitter and unscrupulous opposition, exasperated to the highest pitch by his pertinacity, amidst a tempest of vituperation and abuse, he persevered in presenting these petitions, one by one, to the amount sometimes of two hundred in a day,+demanding the action of the House separately on each petition.
His position amid these scenes was in the highest degree illustrious and sublime. An aged man, with the burden of years upon him, forgetful of the elewated stations he had occupied and the distinguished honors received for past services, turning away from the repose which age so greatly needs, and laboring, amidst scorn and derision, and threats of expulsion and assassination, to maintain the sacred right of petition for the poorest and humblest in the land, insisting that the voice of a free people should be heard by their representatives when they would speak in condemnation of human slavery, and call upon them to maintain the principles of liberty embodied in the immortal Declaration of Independence, was a spectacle unwitnessed before in the history of legislation."
It is impossible, in the limits prescribed to these pages, to enumerate the numerous and important measures in which Mr. Adams took a prominent part in the House of Representatives and elsewhere. The brave and eloquent old man lived to see his labors for the right of petition crowned with complete success: in 1845, the obnoxious “gag-rule” was rescinded, and Congress consented to receive and treat respectfully all petitions on the subject of slavery. In his voluntary and eloquent defence of the Amistad negroes, too, before the Supreme Court of the United States, at the advanced age of seventy-four, he was completely successful, and had the pleasure of hearing the decision of the court pronouncing their liberty.
* For a full account of Mr. Adams's labors in the House of Representatives, consult that admirable book, “Life and Public Services of John Quincy Adams, by William H. Seward.” Rev. Joshua Leavitt, editor of the “Emancipator,” was at that time in Washington, and published in his paper fuller accounts of that memorable session of Congress than I have elsewhere seen; and it is to be hoped he will yet give them to the public in a convenient form, as materials for our eountry's history.
But his eventful and useful life was now drawing to a close. On Monday, the 21st of February, 1848, while at his post in the House of Representatives, and rising to address the Speaker, he was struck with paralysis, fainted, and fell into the arms of the member who was next to him, Mr. Fisher of Ohio. Every thing was immediately done for him that could be by anxious friends, kindred, and skilful physicians; but all was of no avail. He lingered till the evening of the 23d, when he expired, leaving behind him the enviable reputation of being one of the ablest Presidents of the United States, and the most learned and eloquent champion of freedom in the House of Representatives."
THE GOSPEL, A Gospel of LIBERTY AND PEACE.
Friends and fellow-citizens!—I speak to you with the voice as of one risen from the dead. Were I now, as I shortly must be, cold in my grave, and could the sepulchre unbar its gates, and open to me a passage to this desk, devoted to the worship of Alm.ighty God, I would repeat the question with which this discourse was introduced: “Why are you assembled in this place 7" And one of you would answer me for all: Because the Declaration of Independence, with the voice of an angel from heaven, “put to his mouth the sounding alchemy,” and proclaimed universal emancipation upon earth ! It is not the separation of your forefathers from their kindred race beyond the Atlantic tide. It is not the union of thirteen British Colonies into one people, and the entrance of that people upon the theatre where kingdoms, and empires, and nations are the persons of the drama. It is not that
! “In the history of American statesmen, none lived a life so long in the public service; none had trusts so numerous confided to their care; none died a death so glorious. Beneath the dome of the nation's capitol; in the midst of the field of his highest usefulness, where he had won fadeless laurels of renown ; equipped with the armor in which he had fought so many battles for truth and freedom, he fell beneath the shaft of the king of terrors. And how bright, how enviable, the reputation he left behind As a man, pure, upright, benevolent, religious—his hand unstained by a drop of human blood; uncharged, unsuspected, of crime, of premeditated wrong, of an immoral act, of an unchaste word, as a statesman, lofty and patriotic in all his purposes; devoted to the interests 'of the people; sacredly exercising all power intrusted to his keeping for the good of the public alone, unmindful of personal interest and aggrandizement; an enthusiastic lover of liberty; a faithful, fearless defender of the rights of man! The sun of his life, in its lengthened course through the political heavens, was unobscured by a spot, undimmed by a cloud; and when, at the close of the long day, it sank beneath the borizon, the whole firmament glowed with the brilliancy of its reflected glories' Rulers, statesmen, legislators' study and emulate such a life; seek after a character so beloved, a death so honorable, a fame so immortal.”—Seward's Life, page 337.
Since the first edition of this work was put to press, there has been published a “Memoir of the Life of John Quincy Adams, by Josiah Quincy, LL.D.;” and a more interesting and valuable piece of biography has not, in my estimation, appeared in our country. This life, and the “Life of Amos Lawrence,” should be read by every young man who, in entering upon manhood, desires the best examples to aid and cheer him in life's great duties.
this is the birthday of the North American Union, the last and noblest offspring of time. It is that the first words uttered by the genius of our country, in announcing his existence to the world of mankind, was—Freedom to the slavel Liberty to the captives! Redemption redemption forever to the race of man from the yoke of oppression It is not the work of a day; it is not the labor of an age; it is not the consummation of a century, that we are assembled to commemorate. It is the emancipation of our race. It is the emancipation of man from the thraldom of man And is this the language of enthusiasm * The dream of a distempered fancy? Is it not rather the voice of inspiration ? The language of Holy Writ? Why is it that the Scriptures, both of the Old and New Covenant, teach you upon every page to look forward to the time when the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid? Why is it that, six hundred years before the birth of the Redeemer, the sublimest of prophets, with lips touched by the hallowed fire from the hand of God, spake and said:—“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound”?' And why is it that, at the first dawn of the fulfilment of this prophecy, at the birthday of the Saviour in the lowest condition of human existence,—the angel of the Lord came in a flood of supernatural light upon the shepherds, witnesses of the scene, and said:—“Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people”? Why is it that there was suddenly with that angel a multitude of heavenly hosts, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men”?” What are the good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people * The prophet had told you, six hundred years before: —“ Liberty to the captives, the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” The multitude of the heavenly host pronounced the conclusion, to be shouted hereafter by the universal choir of all intelligent created beings:– “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Fellow-citizens! fellow-Christians ! fellow-men I Am I speaking to believers in the gospel of peace? To others, I am aware that the capacities of man for self or social improvement are subjects of distrust or of derision. The sincere believer receives the rapturous promises of the future improvement of his kind with humble hope and cheering confidence of their final fulfilment. He receives them, too, with the admonition of God to his con