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thunderbolt, the printing press, and the plowshare! What names are these in the scanty catalogue of the benefactors of human kind! Washington and Franklin ! What other two men whose lives belong to the eighteenth century of Christendom, have left a deeper impression of themselves upon the age in which they lived, and upon all after time?
2. Washington, the warrior and the legislator! In war, contending by the wager of battle for the independence of his country and for the freedom of the human race, ever manifesting amid its horrors, by precept and by example, his reverence for the laws of peace, and for the tenderest sympathies of humanity; in peace, soothing the ferocious spirit of discord among his own countrymen into harmony and union, and giving to that very sword, now presented to his country, a charm more potent than that attributed in ancient times to the lyre of Orpheus.
3. Franklin, the mechanic of his own fortune; teaching in early youth, under the shackles of indigence, the way to wealth ; and, in the shade of obscurity, the path to greatness; in the maturity of manhood, disarming the thunder of its terrors, the lightning of its fatal blast; and wresting from the tyrant's hand the still more afflictive scepter of oppression; while descending into the vale of years, traversing the Atlantic ocean, braving in the dead of winter the battle and the breeze, bearing in his hand the charter of independence which he had contributed to form; and tendering, from the self-created nation to the mightiest monarchs of Europe, the olive-branch of peace, the mercurial wand of commerce, and the amulet of protection and safety to the man of peace on the pathless ocean, from the inexorable cruelty and merciless rapacity of war.
4. And, finally, in the last stage of life, with four-score winters upon his head, under the torture of an incurable disease, returning to his native land, closing his days as the chief magistrate of his adopted commonwealth, after contributing by his counsels, under the presidency of Washington, and recording his name, under the sanction of devout prayer invoked by him to God, to that constitution under authority of which we are here assembled as the representatives of the North American people, to receive in their name and for them, these venerable relics of the wise, the valiant, and the good founders of our great confederated republic, these sacred symbols of our golden age.
5. May they be deposited among the archives of our government! And may every American who shall hereafter behold them, ejaculate a mingled offering of praise to that Supreme Ruler of the universe, by whose tender mercies our Union has been hitherto preserved through all the vicissitudes and revolutions of this turbulent world, and of prayer for the continuance of these blessings by the dispensation of Providence to our beloved country from age to age, till time shall be no more!
Definitions.- -1. Ăd'a mant, a stone imagined by some to be of impenetrable hardness; sometimes applied to the diamond and other hard substances. Hence the use of the word in the text, meaning that the two objects are so connected that it is impossible to think of the one without the other. 3. Ăm'ū let, an ornament worn as a remedy against evils, and generally marked with mystic characters. 5. Vìçis'si tūdeş, changes.
98. THE MOUNTAIN SUMMIT.
1. ETHEREALIZED by the changing splendor of the heavens as the mountain summit appears when surveyed from below, rising up from the huge mound of rock and earth like a radiant flower above its dark foliage, it affords another illustration of the poetic adage, that "'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view.” When you actually stand upon it,
you find that the reality is very different from the ideal. The clouds that float over it, “ those mountains of another element,” which looked from the valley like gorgeous fragments of the sun, now appear in their true character as masses of cold, dull vapor; and the mountain peak, deprived of the transforming glow of light, has become one of the dreariest and most desolate spots on which the eye can rest.
2. Not a tuft of grass, not a bush of heather, is to be seen anywhere. The earth, beaten hard by the frequent footsteps
. of the storm, is bare and leafless as the world on the first morning of creation. Huge fragments of rocks rise up here and there, so rugged and distorted that they seem like nightmares petrified; while the ground is frequently covered with cairns of loose, hoary stones, which look like the bones which remained unused after nature had built up the great skeleton of the earth, and which she had cast aside in this solitude to blanch and crumble away unseen.
3. When standing there during a misty storm, it requires little effort of imagination to picture yourself a shipwrecked mariner cast ashore on one of the sublimely barren islands of the Antarctic Ocean. You involuntarily listen to hear the moaning of the waves, and watch for the beating of the foaming surge on the rocks around. The dense, writhing mists, hurrying up from the profound abysses on every side, imprison you within the narrow circle of their ever shifting walls," and penetrate every fold of your garments and your skin itself, becoming a constituent of your blood, and chilling the very marrow of your bones.
4. Around you there is nothing visible save the vague, vacant sea of mist, with the shadowy form of some neighboring peak looming through it like the genius of the storm ; while your ears are deafened by the howling of the wind among the whirling masses of mist, by
o the airy tongues that syllable men's names," the roaring of the cataracts, and the other wild sounds of the desert never dumb.
5. And yet, dreary and desolate although the scene usually appears, it has its own periods of beauty, its own days of brightness and cheerfulness. Often in the quiet autumn noon the eye is arrested by the mute appeal of some lovely alpine flower, sparkling like a lone star in a midnight sky, among the tufted moss and the hoary lichens, and seeming, as it issues from the stony mold, an emanation of the indwelling life, a visible token of the upholding love which pervades the wide universe.
6. If winter and spring in that elevated region be one. continued storm, the short summer of a few weeks' duration seems one enchanting festival of light. The life of earth is then born in “dithyrambic joy,” and blooms and bears fruit under the glowing sunshine, the balmy breezes, and the rich dews of a few days. Scenes of life, interest, and beauty are crowded together with a seeming rapidity as if there were no time to lose. Flowers the fairest and the most fragile expand their exquisitely penciled blossoms even amid dissolving wreaths of snow, and produce an impression all the more delightful and exhilarating from the consciousness of their short-lived beauty, and the contrast they exhibit to the desolation that immediately preceded.
Definitions. -I. Ăd'age, an old saying that has obtained credit by long use. 2. Night'mâre, a sensation in sleep as of the pressure of a weight on the chest, and of an impossibility of motion or speech, attended by direful visions, and from which one wakes in an extremely troubled state of mind. Câirn, a heap of stones erected by the early inhabitants of Great Britain, apparently as a monuinent. 6. Dịth y răm’bie, wild and boisterous. It is from dithyramb, a kind of poetry sung in honor of Bacchus, the Greek god of wine; also an ancient Greek hymn of a wild, quick movement, sung by revelers, with flute accompaniment. Hence follows the use of the word here.
NOTE.-This selection is descriptive of the scenery in the Scottish Highlands.
99. A MORNING HYMN.
JOHN MILTON (1608-1674) was born in London. Aster completing his education he retired into the country, where he wrote the Ode on the Nativity, L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, and Comus, among the most beautiful poems in the language. He was the champion of Puritanism, and in its cause lost his eyesight from overwork. After Cromwell's death, Milton was reduced to poverty; but, nothing daunted, set resolutely to work on what he always considered the one object of his life,—the production of some poem that should make English literature famous. The result was Paradise Lost, the greatest epic in the English language. Later he produced Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes. Milton's is the essence of poetry, and will last as long as the language endures.
1. These are thy glorious works, Parent of Good,
Almighty! Thine this universal frame,
Thy goodness beyond thought, and power divine. 2. Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light,
Angels ! for ye behold him, and with songs
Him first, him last, him midst, and without end. 3. Fairest of stars, last in the train of night,
Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn