Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Madame de Staël in what manner he could most promote the happiness of France. Her reply is full of political wisdom. She said: "Instruct the mothers of the French people," because the mothers are the affectionate and effective teachers of the human race.

The mother begins her process of training with the infa:.t in her arms. It is she who directs, so to speak, its first mental and spiritual pulsations. She conducts it along the impressible years of childhood and of youth, and hopes to deliver it to the rough contests and tumul tuous scenes of life, armed by those good principles which her child has received from maternal care and love.

If we draw within the circle of our contemplation the mothers of a civilized nation, what do we see? We behold so many artificers working, not on frail and perishable matter, but on the immortal mind, moulding and fashioning beings who are to exist forever. We applaud the artist whose skill and genius presents the mimic man upon the canvas, We admire and celebrate the sculptor who works out that same image in enduring marble. But how insignificant are these achievements, though the highest and the fairest in all the department of art, in comparison with the great vocation of human mothers. They work, not upon the canvas that shall fail, or the marble that shall crumble into dust, but upon mind, upon spirit, which is to last forever, and which is to bear, for good or evil, throughout its duration, the impress of a mother's plastic hand.

The feelings are to be disciplined. The passions are to be restrained. True and worthy motives are to be inspired. A profound religious feeling is to be instille1, and pure morality inculcated, under all circumstances. Mothers who are faithful to this great duty will. tell their children, that neither in political nor in any other concerns of life, can man ever withdraw himself from the perpetual obligations of conscience and of duty; that in every act, whether publ ́c or private, he incurs a just responsibility, and that in no condition is he warranted in trifling with important rights and obligations.

They will impress upon their children the truth, that the exercise of the elective franchise is a social duty, of as sɔlema a nature as man can be called to perform; that a man may not innocently trifle with his vote; and that every man and every measure he supports has an important bearing on the interests of others as well as on his own. It is in the inculcation of high and pure morals, such as these, that, in a free republic, woman performs her sacred duty, and fulfils her de tiny

DANIEL WEBSTEP

THE SEMINOLE'S REPLY.

[This piece will furnish the reciter with some matchless examples of impas. sioned force, aspirate and guttural qualities, expulsive and explosive forms. He will readily adapt his tones to the sentiment herein expressed; the expression of his face and gestures should indicate anger, scorn, defiance and hatred.]

Blaze, with your serried columns!

I will not bend the knee!
The shackles ne'er again shall bind
The arm which now is free.
I've mailed it with the thunder,

When the tempest muttered low;
And where it falls, ye well may dread

The lightning of its blow!

I've scared ye in the city,

I've scalped ye on the plain;

Go, count your chosen, where they fell
Beneath my leaden rain!

I scorn your proffered treaty!

The pale-face I defy!

Revenge is stamped upon my spear,
And blood my battle cry!

Some strike for hope of booty,
Some to defend their all,-
I battle for the joy I have

To see the white man fall;

I love, among the wounded,
To hear his dying moan,
And catch, while chanting at his side,
The music of his groan.

Ye've trailed me through the forest,
Ye've tracked me o'er the stream;
And struggling through the everglade,
Your bristling bayonets gleam;
But I stand as should the warrior,

With his rifle and his spear:

The scalp of vengeance still is red,
And warns ye-Come not here!

I loathe ye in my bosom,

I scorn ye with mine eye,

And I'll taunt ye with my latest breath,
And fight ye till I die!

I'll ne'er will ask ye quarter,

And I ne'er will be your slave;

But I'll swim the sea of slaughter,
Till I sink beneath its wave!

GEORGE W. PATTEN.

THE REVOLUTIONARY RISING.

Out of the North the wild news came,

Far flashing on its wings of flame,
Swift as the boreal light which flies
At midnight, through the startled skies.
And there was tumult in the air,

The fife's shrill note, the drum's loud beat,
And through the wide land everywhere,
The answering tread of hurrying feet;
While the first oath of Freedom's gun
Came on the blast from Lexington;
And Concord roused, no longer tame,
Forgot her old baptismal name,
Made bare her patriot arm of power,
And swelled the discord of the hour.

Within its shade of elm and oak

The church of Berkley Manor stood; There Sunday found the rural folk,

And some esteemed of gentle blood.

In vain their feet with loitering tread Passed mid the graves where rank is naught All could not read the lesson taught

In that republic of the dead

How sweet the hour of Sabbath talk,
The vale with peace and sunshine full,
Where all the happy people walk,

Decked in their homespun flax and wool;

Where youths' gay hats with blossoms bloom; And every maid, with simple art,

Wears on her breast, like her own heart,

A bud, whose depths are all perfume;
While every garment's gentle stir
Is breathing rose and lavender.

The pastor came; his snowy locks
Hallowed his brow of thought and care;
And calmly, as shepherds lead their flocks,
He led into the house of prayer,
Then soon he rose; the prayer was strong;
The psalm was warrior David's song.
The text, a few short words of might-

"The Lord of Hosts shall arm the right!”

He spoke of wrongs too long endured,
Of sacred rights to be secured;
Then from his patriot tongue of flame
The startling words for freedom came.
The stirring sentences he spake
Compelled the heart to glow or quake,
And, rising on his theme's broad wing,
And grasping in his nervous hand
The imaginary battle-brand,
In face of death he dared to fling
Defiance to a tyrant king.

Even as he spoke, his frame, renewed

In eloquence of attitude,

Rose, as it seemed, a shoulder higher;
Then swept his kindling glance of fire
From startled pew to breathless choir;
When suddenly, his mantle wide,
His hands impatient flung aside,

And, lo! he met their wondering eyes
Complete in all a warrior's guise.

A moment there was awful pause

When Berkley cried, "Cease, traitor! cease,
God's temple is the house of peace!'

The other shouted, "Nay, not so.

When God is with our righteous cause;
His holiest places then are ours,
His temples are our forts and towers
That frown upon the tyrant foe;
In this, the dawn of Freedom's day,
There is a time to fight, and pray!"

And now before the open door

The warrior priest had ordered so―
The enlisting trumpet's sudden roar
Rang through the chapel, o'er and o'er,
Its long reverberating blow,

So loud and clear, it seemed the ear
Of dusty death must wake and hear.

And there the startling drum and fife
Fired the living with fiercer life;
While overhead, with wild increase,
Forgetting its ancient toll of peace,

The great bell swung as ne'er before.
It seemed as it would never cease;
And every word its ardor flung
From off its jubilant iron tongue
Was, "War! WAR! War!"

"Who dares?"-this was the patriot's cry,
As striding from the desk he came,―
"Come out with me in Freedom's name,

For her to live, for her to die?"
A hundred hands flung up reply,
And hundred voices answered, "I!"

THOMAS BUCHANAN READ.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »