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just. His prudent administration consolidated and enlarged the dominion of an infant republic.
In voluntarily resigning the magistracy which he had filled with such distinguished honor, he enjoyed the un5 equalled satisfaction of leaving to the state he had con
tributed to establish the fruits of his wisdom and the example of his virtues. It is some consolation amidst the violence of ambition and criminal thirst of power, of which
so many instances occur around us, to find a character whom 10 it is honorable to admire and virtuous to imitate. A con
queror for the freedom of his country! a legislator for its security! a magistrate for its happiness ! His glories were never sullied by those excesses into which the highest qual
ities are apt to degenerate. With the greatest virtues, he 15 was exempt from the corresponding vices. He was a man
in whom the elements were so mixed, that “Nature might have stood up to all the world and owned him as her work.” His fame, bounded by no country, will be confined to no
age. The character of General Washington, which his con20 temporaries reverence and admire, will be transmitted to
posterity; and the memory of his virtues, while patriotism and virtue are held sacred among men, will remain undiminished.
XLVI. - BREATHINGS OF SPRING.
MRS, HEMANS. (FELICIA DOROTHEA BROWNE was born in Liverpool, England, September 25, 1794, was married to Captain Hemans, an officer in the British army, in 1812, and died May 16, 1835. She wrote two tragedies, “ The Siege of Valencia.” and “The Vespers of Palermo ;” a narrative poem called “ The Forest Sanctuary," and a great number of lyrical poems ; in which last her genius appears to the best advantage. Her poetry is remarkable for its elevated tone, its exquisite imagery, its deep sense of the beauty of nature, and the truth and tenderness with which it expresses the domestic affections. Her poems, as they appeared from time to time in the periodical publications of the day during her lifetime, were universally read and admired, both in England and America ; but they are less popular now that they have been collected and are read continuously. Her life was not happy; and this has contributed to throw
A shadow of melancholy over her writings, which, while it deepens the charm of a single effusion of feeling, becomes somewhat monotonous when prolonged from page to page. Her dict:on sometimes becomes dazzling to the eye of the mind from its too uniform brilliancy.
Mrs. Hemans's knowledge and range of reading were quite extensive. She was acquainted with the principal languages of modern Europe, and drew the subjects of her poems from a great variety of sources. She has much skill in catching and preserving the spirit of a remote age or a foreign people. She was pleasing in her personal appearance; her manners were graceful and animated; and she was beloved as well as admired by her friends. She bore with gentle sweetness the burdens of life, and shrank from none of its duties. ller later poems are deeply and beautifully penetrated with religious feeling.]
1 What wak'st thou, Spring ? — Sweet voices in the woods,
And reed-like echoes, that have long been mute;
The lark's clear pipe, the cuckoo's viewless flute,
Even as our hearts may be.
2 And the leaves greet thee, Spring! — the joyous leaves,
Whose trembling$ gladden many a copse and glade, Where each young spray a rosy flush receives,
When thy south wind hath pierced the whispery shade, And happy murmurs, running through the grass,
Tell that thy footsteps pass.
3 And the bright waters — they, too, hear thy call,
Spring, the awakener! thou hast burst their sleep?
Makes melody, and in the forests deep,
Their windings to the day."
& And flowers — the fairy-peopled world of flowers ! *
Thou from the dust hast set that glory free,
And pencilling the wood-anemone:
Glows with mute puesy.
But what awak'st thou in the heart, O Spring!
The human heart, with all its dreams and sighs ?
Restorer of forgotten harmonies !
What wak’st thou in the heart ?
Too much, oh, there, too much ! — we know not well
Wherefore it should be thus; yet, roused by thee,
Gush for the faces we no more may see !
By voices that are gone !
Looks of familiar love, that never more,
Never on earth, our aching eyes shall meet,
And vanished smiles, and sounds of parted feet
Why, why revivest thou these?
Vain longings for the dead ! — why come they back
With thy young birds, and leaves, and living blooms ? 0, is it not that from thine earthly track
Hope to thy world may look beyond the tombs ?
Breathed by our loved ones there.
XLVII. — IMAGINARY SPEECH IN OPPOSITION TO
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
[This lesson and that which succeeds it are both taken from Mr. Webster's "Eulogy on Adams and Jefferson,” delivered in Faneuil Hall, Boston, August e, 1826. The first speech presents such arguments ás might have been urged against the declaration of the independence of the colonies, by a man of timid and desponding temperament; and the views of bolder and far-seeing statesmen are uttered by the lips of Mr. Adams. Many persons have supposed that the speech put into the mouth of Mr. Adams was really delivered by him, but this is not the case. It was written by Mr. Webster.)
Let us pause! This step, once taken, cannot be retraced. This resolution, once passed, will cut off all hope of reconciliation. If success attend the arms of England,
we shall then be no longer colonies, with charters and 5 with privileges; these will all be forfeited by this act;
and we shall be in the condition of other conquered people, at the mercy of the conquerors.
For ourselves, we may be ready to run the hazard ; but are we ready to carry the country to that length ? Is 10 success so probable as to justify it ? Where is the mili
tary, where the naval power, by which we are to resist the whole strength of the arm of England; for she will exert that strength to the utmost? Can we rely on the
constancy and perseverance of the people ? or will they 15 not act as the people of other countries have acted, and,
wearied with a long war, submit, in the end, to a worse oppression ? While we stand on our old ground and insist on redress of grievances, we know we are right and
are not answerable for consequences. Nothing, then, can 20 be imputed to us.
But if we now change our object, carry our pretensions farther, and set up for absolute independence, we shall lose the sympathy of mankind. We shall no longer be
defending what we possess, but struggling for something 25 which we never did possess, and which we have solemnly
and uniformly disclaimed all intention of pursuing, from the very outset of the troubles. Abandoning thus our old ground, of resistance only to arbitrary acts of oppression,
the nations will believe the whole to have been mere pre30 tence, and they will look on us, not as injured, but as ambitious, subjects. I shudder before this responsibility.
It will be on us, if, relinquishing the ground we have stood on so long, and stood on so safely, we now proclaim
independence, and carry on the war for that object, while these cities burn, these pleasant fields whiten and bleach with the bones of their owners, and these streams run
blood. It will be upon us, it will be upon us, if, failing 5 to maintain this unseasonable and ill-judged declaration,
a sterner despotism, maintained by military power, shall be established over our posterity, when we ourselves, given up by an exhausted, a harassed, a misled people, shall have expiated our rashness and atoned for our presumption on the scaffold.
XLVIII. — MR. ADAMS'S REPLY TO THE ABOVE.
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's a divinity which shapes our ends. The injustice 5 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 ? 10 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 ? Are not you, sir, who sit in that chair, is
not he, our venerable colleague near you, are you not both 15 already the proscribed and predestined objects of punish
ment and of vengeance? Cut off from all hope of royal clemency, 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 20 war ? Do we mean to submit to the measures of parlia
ment, Boston Port Bill and all? Do we mean to submity