Изображения страниц


I dreamed a dream in the midst of my slumbers,
And as fast as I dreamed it was coined into numbers;
My thoughts ran along in such beautiful meter,
I'm sure I ne'er saw any poetry sweeter.

It seemed that a law had been recently made,
That a tax on old bachelors' pates should be laid;
And, in order to make them all willing to marry,
The tax was as large as a man could well carry.

The bachelors grumbled, and said 'twas no use,
'Twas cruel injustice and horrid abuse -
And declared that to save their hearts' blood from spilling
Of such a vile tax they would not pay a shilling.

But the rulers determined their scheme to pursue,
So they set all the bachelors up at vendue.

A crier was sent through the town to and fro,
To rattle his bell and his trumpet to blow,
And to cry out to all he might meet on his way,
"Ho! forty old bachelors sold here to-day!”

And presently all the old maids of the town,-
Each one in her very best bonnet and gown,—
From thirty to sixty, fair, plain, red and pale,
Of every description, all flocked to the sale.

The auctioneer then in his labor began;

And called out aloud, as he held up a man,
"How much for a bachelor? Who wants to buy?"
In a twink, every maiden responded, “I—I!”

In short, at a highly extravagant price,
The bachelors all were sold off in a trice,

And forty old maidens-some younger, some older-
Each lugged an old bachelor home on her shoulder.



[This extract is from an eloquent speech of Colonel Vilas, now Postmaster General, delivered at Chicago, November 13, 1879, at the Reunion of the "Army of the Tennessee," in response to the toast, “Our First Commander " General Grant had but just returned from his unique "Tour Around the World," and was at the time a guest of his old comrades. The vast assembly rose to its feet as the eloquent speaker concluded his response, the hall resounding with tumultuous applause and cheers.]

Joined to it by such a story, and especially when so assembled, his old associates and soldiers in war, we may rightfully without censure and without adulation, claim and speak the just measure of his merit and renown. Nor shall his presence deny that satisfaction to us. His reputation is not his, nor even his country's alone. It is, in part, our peculiar possession. We, who fought to aid its rising, may well rejoice in its meridian splendor.

The foundations of his title are deep laid and safe. There was reaction in the minds of our people after the intense strain of war, and many distracting subjects for attention. But, with regained compos ure and reflection, his reputation augments, and its foundations appear more and more immovably fixed for lasting duration. They spring not from merely having enjoyed possession of the honors of place and power which his countrymen have bestowed; others have had them too. They lie not specially on his shining courage and personal conduct before the enemy, who was never outdone in calm intrepidity, nor in the splendid daring with which he ever urged the battle he immediately ordered, though long these will live in song and story. Beyond the warrior's distinction, which was his earlier glory, he is the true genus of the General. The strategic learning of the military art was to him a simple implement, like colors and brush to a Raphael, not fetters to the mind. How like a weapon in a giant's hand did he wield the vast aggregation of soldiery whose immensity oppressed so many minds! How easily moved his divisions, yet how firm the place of all! How every soldier came to feel his participation a direct contribution to the general success. And when, at length, his merit won the government of the entire military power of the North, how perfect became, without noise or friction, the co-operation of every army, of every strength, throughout the wide territory of war toward the common end! Subordinate every will and jealous soul, the profound military wisdom of the capital even, to the clear purpose and comprehensive grasp of the one commanding mind. Then how rapidly crumbled on every side the crushed revolt! When


shall we find in past records the tale of such a struggle so enormous in extent, so nearly matched at the outset, so desperately contested, so effectively decided? Through what a course of uninterrupted victory did he proceed from the earliest engagements to a complete domiɛion of the vast catastrophe! Nor should it be forgotten, he fought no barbarians, ill-equipped, undisciplined, not commanded by educated skill; but against soldiers of the finest spirit, armed with the best weapons, standing on their own familiar ground, and led by veteran Generals of well-trained science, one of whom, at least, was never overmatched on his chosen field before.

Spare, in pity, the poor brain which cannot see, in this career, more than a dogged pertinacity! Out upon the unjust prejudice which will consciously disparage the true meed of genius! Leave it where his reliant silence leaves it; leave it to history! leave it to the world.

But let not

But in the great cause, so well understood, and the great results to men, so well accomplished, the basis of his renown is justly broadened For the salvation of this Government of freedom for mankind we took up arms. When liberty was safe they were laid down again. Risen to the highest seat of power, he has descended as a citizen of equal rank with all. This goes to the soul of American liberty, ennobling individual citizenship above all servants in office. His is indeed the noblest grandeur of mankind who can rise from the grasp of overtopping power above the ambition of self to exalt the ambition of humanity, denying the spoils of the brief time to the lasting guerdon of immortal honor. The judgment of immediate contemporaries has been apt to rise too high or fall too low. detraction or calumny mislead. They have ever been the temporal accompaniments of human greatness. That glory cannot rise beyond the clouds, which passes not through the clouds. We may confidently accept the judgment of the world. It has been unmistakably delivered. But lately, as he had pressed his wandering course about the round earth, mankind have everywhere bowed in homage at his coming, as the ancient devotees of the East fell before the sun at rising. These honors were not paid to his person, which was unknown; they were not paid to his country, for which he went on no errand, and whose representatives never had the like before; they were not paid to him as to some potentate of a people, for he journeyed not as a man in power. They have been the willing prostration of mortality before a glory imperishable.

"His memory shall, indeed, be in the line of the heroes of war, out distinctive and apart from the greater number. Not with the kind of Alexander, who ravaged the earth to add to mere dominion; nor of Belisarius, who but fed the greedy craving of an imperial beast of prey; not with Marlborough, Eugene, Wellington, who played the parts set them by the craft of diplomacy, not with the Napoleons, who chose "to wade through slaughter to the throne, and shut the gates of mercy on mankind;" not with Cæsar, who would have put the ambitious hand of arms on the delicate fabric of constitutional freedom. America holds a higher place in the congregation of glory for her heroes of Liberty, where sits in expectation, her majestic Washington. In nobler ambition than the gaining of empire, they have borne their puissant arms for the kingdom of man, where Liberty reigneth forever. From the blood poured out in their warfare, sweet incense rose to Heaven; and angels soothed, with honorable pride, the tears which sorrow started for the dead.

"Home again now, our first commander, after the journey of the world! Here, here again, we greet him, at our social board, where with recurring years, we regale on the deeper-ripening memories of our soldiership for Freedom. Partakers of the labors, the perils, the triumphs, which were the beginnings of his glory, we join now with exultation, in the welcoming honors by which his grateful countrymen tell their foreknowledge of the immortality of his renown. Long and many be the years, illustrious leader, before your hour of departure come! Green and vigorous be your age, undecayed every faculty of mind and sense, in full fruition of the well-earned joys of life; happy in the welfare of your native land, the love of your country. men, the adiniration of the world!"



(A Pike County view of special Providence.)

I don't go much on religion,

I never ain't had no show;

But I've got a middlin' tight grip, Sir
On the handful of things I know.

I don't pan out on the prophets,

And free-will, and that sort of thing;

[blocks in formation]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »