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TO AN INDIAN GOLD COIN.
medium of vision like his pure and simple style, to exhibit, to the highest advantage, their native radiance and beauty.
5. His cheerfulness was unremitting. It seemed to be as much the effect of the systematic and salutary exercise of the mind as of its superior organization. His wit was of the first order. It did not show itself merely in occasional coruscations, but, without any effort or force on his part, it shed a constant stream of the purest light over the whole of his discourse. Whether in the company of commoners or nobles, he was always the same plain man; always most perfectly at his ease, his faculties in full play, and the full orb of his genius forever clear and unclouded.
6. And then the stores of his mind were inexhaustible. He had commenced life with an ambition so vigilant, that nothing had escaped his observation, and a judgment so solid, that every incident was turned to advantage. His youth had not been wasted in idleness, nor overcast by intemperance. He had been all his life a close and deep reader, as well as thinker; and, by the force of his own powers, had wrought up the raw materials, which he had gathered from books, with such exquisite skill and felicity, that he had added a hundred fold to their original value, and justly made them his own.
LESSON LXXVI. To an East Indian Gold Coin.
1. SLAVE of the dark and dirty mine!
So bright, whom I have bought so dear?
The jackal's shriek bursts on mine ear,
2. By Chéricál's dark wandering streams,
Where cane-tufts shadow all the wild,
Of Teviot, loved while still a child;
By Esk or Eden's classic wave;
3. Fade, day-dreams sweet, from memory fade! The perished bliss of youth's first prime, That once so bright on fancy played,
Revives no more in after-time.
Far from my sacred natal clime,
The daring thoughts, that soared sublime,
4. Slave of the mine! thy yellow light
My lonely widowed heart to cheer;
5. For thee, for thee, vile yellow slave!
To roam in climes unkind and new.
Dark and untimely, met my view,
6. Ha! com'st thou now so late, to mock A wanderer's banished heart forlorn; Now that his frame the lightning shock
Of sun-rays tipped with death has borne? From love, from friendship, country, torn, To memory's fond regrets the prey,
Vile slave, thy yellow dross I scorn! Go mix thee with thy kindred clay !
ELOQUENCE OF JOHN ADAMS.
LESSON LXXVII. Eloquence of John Adams.
THIS is given, in Mr. Webster's Eulogy, not as an actual speech of Mr. Adams, but as an imitation, illustrating his fervor, decision, and patriotic devotion.
1. SINK or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give my hand and my heart to this vote. It is true, indeed,. that in the beginning we aimed not at independence. But there is a Divinity which shapes our ends. The injustice of England has driven us to arms; and, blinded to her own interest for our good, she has obstinately persisted, till independence is now within our grasp. We have but to reach forth to it, and it is ours. Why, then, should we defer the declaration? Is any man so weak as now to hope for a reconciliation with England, which shall leave either safety to the country and its liberties, or safety to his own life and his own honor?
2. Are not you, Sir, who sit in that chair, is not he, our venerable colleague near you, are you not both already the proscribed and predestined objects of punishment and of vengeance? Cut off from all hope of royal clem ency, what are you, what can you be, while the power of England remains, but outlaws? If we postpone independence, do we mean to carry on, or to give up, the war? Do we mean to submit, and consent that we ourselves shall be ground to powder, and our country and its rights trodden down in the dust?
3. I know we do not mean to submit. We never shall submit. Do we intend to violate that most solemn obligation ever entered into by men, that plighting before God, of our sacred honor to Washington, when, putting him fort 1 to incur the dangers of war, as well as the political hazards of the times, we promised to adhere to him, in every extremity, with our fortunes and our lives? I know there is not a man here, who would not rather see a general conflagration sweep over the land, or an earthquake sink it, than one jot or tittle of that plighted faith fall to the ground.
4. For myself, having, twelve months ago, in this place, moved you, that George Washington be appointed comniander of the forces, raised or to be raised, for defence of American liberty, may my right hand forget her cunning, and my
tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I hesitate or waver in the support I give him. The war, then, must go on. We must fight it through. And, if the war must go on, why put off longer the Declaration of Independence? That measure will strengthen us.
5. It will give us character abroad. The nations will then treat with us, which they can never do, while we acknowledge ourselves subjects, in arms against our sovereign. Nay, I maintain, that England herself will sooner treat for peace with us on the footing of independence, than consent, by repealing her acts, to acknowledge, that her whole conduct towards us has been a course of injustice and oppression.
6. Her pride will be less wounded by submitting to that. course of things which now predestinates our independence, than by yielding the points in controversy to her rebellious subjects. The former she would regard as the result of fortune; the latter she would feel as her own deep disgrace. Why then, why then, Sir, do we not, as soon as possible, change this from a civil to a national war? And, since we must fight it through, why not put ourselves in a state to enjoy all the benefits of victory, if we gain the victory?
7. If we fail, it can be no worse for us. But we shall not fail. The cause will raise up armies; the cause will create navies. The people, the people, if we are true to them, will carry us, and will carry themselves, gloriously through this struggle. I care not how fickle other people have been found. I know the people of these colonies, and I know that resistance to British aggression is deep and settled in their hearts, and cannot be eradicated. Every colony, indeed, has expressed its willingness to follow, if we but take the lead.
8. Sir, the declaration will inspire the people with increased courage. Instead of a long and bloody war for restoration of privileges, for redress of grievances, for chartered immunities, held under a British king, set before them the glorious object of entire independence, and it will breathe into them anew the breath of life. Read this declaration at the head of the army; every sword will be drawn from its scabbard, and the solemn vow uttered, to maintain it, or to perish on the bed of honor.
9. Publish it from the pulpit; religion will approve it,
ELOQUENCE OF JOHN ADAMS.
and the love of religious liberty will cling round it, resolved to stand with it, or fall with it. Send it to the public halis; proclaim it there; let them hear it, who heard the first roar of the enemy's cannon; let them see it, who saw their brothers and their sons fall on the field of Bunker's Hill, and in the streets of Lexington and Concord, and the very walls will cry out in its support.
10. Sir, I know the uncertainty of human affairs; but I see, I see clearly, through this day's business. You and I, indeed, may rue it. We may not live to the time when this declaration will be made good. We may die; die colonists; die slaves; die, it may be, ignominiously, and on the scaf fold. Be it so. Be it so. If it be the pleasure of Heaven, that my country shall require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready at the appointed hour of sacrifice, come when that hour may. But, while I do live, let me have a country, or at least the hope of a country, and that a free country.
11. But whatever may be our fate, be assured, be assured, that this declaration will stand. It may cost treasure, and it may cost blood; but it will stand, and it will richly compensate for both. Through the thick gloom of the present, I see the brightness of the future, as the sun in heaven. We shall make this a glorious day. When we are in our graves, our children will honor it. They will celebrate it with thanksgiving, with festivity, with bonfires, and illuminations. On its annual return, they will shed tears, copious, gushing tears, not of subjection and slavery, not of agony and distress, but of exultation, of gratitude, and of joy.
12. Sir, before God, I believe the hour is come. My judgment approves this measure and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it; and I leave off, as I begun, that, live or die, survive or perish, I am for the declaration. It is my living sentiment, and, by the blessing of God, it shall be my dying sentiment; independence now, and INDEPENDENCE FORever.