« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
above what any man can be in that he is praised. I would rather be the humblest man in the world, than barely be thought greater than the greatest. The beggar is greater as a man, than is the man merely as a king. Not one of the crowds that listened to the eloquence of Demosthenes and Cicero, not one who has bent with admiration over the pages of Homer and Shakspeare,-not one who followed in the train of Cæsar or of Napoleon,-would part with th humblest power of thought, for all the fame that is echoin over the world and through the ages.
CXVIII.-THE VILLAGE PREACHER.
EAR yonder copse where once the garden smiled,
There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose
A man he was to all the country dear,
Remote from towns he ran his godly race,
Nor e'er had changed, or wished to change, his place;
By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour;
His house was known to all the vagrant train;
Claimed kindred there, and had his claims allowed;
Sat by his fire and talked the night away,
Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done,
Shouldered his crutch and showed how fields were won
Pleased with his guests the good man learned to glow,
Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride,
He watched and wept, he prayed and felt for all:
Beside the bed where parting life was laid,
At church, with meek and unaffected grace,
With ready zeal each honest rustic ran;
E'en children followed, with endearing wile,
And plucked his gown, to share the good man's smile
His ready smile a parent's warmth expressed;
Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distressed; To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given, But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven.
As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm,
CXIX. THE MEMORY OF WASHINGTON.
10 us, citizens of America, it belongs above all others to show respect to the memory of Washington, by the practical deference which we pay to those sober maxims of public policy which he has left us,—a last testament of affection in his Farewell Address. Of all the exhortations which it contains, I scarce need say to you that none are so emphatically uttered, none so anxiously repeated, as those which enjoin the preservation of the Union of these States.
2. On this, under Providence, it depends in the judgment of Washington whether the people of America shall follow the Old World example, and be broken up into a group of independent military powers, wasted by eternal border wars, feeding the ambition of petty sovereigns on the lifeblood of wasted principalities, a custom-house on the bank of every river, a fortress on every frontier hill, a pirate lurking in the recesses of every bay, or whether they shall continue to constitute a federal republic, the most extensive, the most powerful, the most prosperous in the long line of ages.
3. No one can read the Farewell Address without feeling that this was the thought and this the care which lay nearest and heaviest upon that noble heart; and if-which Heaven forbid the day shall ever arrive when his parting counsels on that head shall be forgotten, on that day, come it soon or come it late, it may as mournfully as truly be said that Washington has lived in vain. Then-the vessels as they ascend and descend the Potomac may to their bells with new significance as they pass Mount Vernon: