Изображения страниц

or the most sedulous care of preceptors? Will the boy that disregards his father, respect his instructer? And will he who is used to have his will at home, whether right or wrong, quietly submit to necessary restraints when sent to school? Parents ought seriously to reflect on this, both for their own sakes and the happiness of their progeny. They should inculcate the necessity of a rational obedience from the first dawn of reason; they should encourage docility in their children, as the mutual basis of comfort to the one, and of improvement to the other.

4. The same habits which they still think it requisite children should acquire at school, should be early engrafted on their natures, and the business of the parent and the tutor should be shown to be the same in effect, though differing in degree. The maxims which regulate the school, should be a continuation of those which have directed the nursery. Owing to the contradiction, however, between them, what ills have arisen, and how much has the business of education been impeded! The most able instructers have, perhaps, incurred the blame which ought to have been solely imputed to the parent; and the hopeful genius has been lost to the world and himself, by the neglect of precepts, which would, if early imbibed, have rendered docility habitual. No one can teach those who are unwilling to learn, or resolutely bent to disobey.

6. Let parents, therefore, give the proper impressions in time, and continue them as they find them really necessary, or the labour of the tutor will be of little consequence. What he accomplishes with difficulty in months, may be undone in a day, nay, in a moment. When parents have done their duty, the business of the preceptor will be comparatively easy.,

Eulogy on Washington.

1. To call Washington a hero, would be a debasement of him; for heroism has hitherto been too often allied with crime. To call him merely a great soldier, would be injustice; for he fought not to destroy, but to preserve. To denominate him simply a great statesman, would be inadequate ; for his politics were not like those of most statesmen, subservient to ambition. In war he united the coolness of Fabius with the spirit of Cæsar, and the humility of Cincinnatus. In peace, he blended the virtues of Trajan with the wisdom of Solon, and the sublime, prophetic ken of Chatham. Uniform and consistent in his political conduct, with equal severity he frowned on the intrigues of domestic faction, and the insidious wiles of foreign

artifice. Equally ready to draw his sword in his ripened manhood, to establish the independence of his country, and in his declining years, to snatch it from its sleeping scabbard to avenge its insulted honour and violated rights.

2. The watchful father and illustrious founder of a great empire, did not strive to invest himself with the insignia of nobility, the ordinary ambition of vulgar greatness; but by his talents and virtues he has ennobled his country. The mortal part of WASHINGTON is consigned to the silent cemetery, but he has bequeathed to his beloved fellow citizens a glorious legacy, in his example, his character, and his virtues, which ought to render them pure and virtuous in their morals, devout in their religion, fervent in their patriotism, just in the cabinet, and invincible in the field. More than four millions of freemen, with melancholy hearts, are living statues to thy memory, thou sainted patriot! Unfading laurels, fair as thy virtues, and imperishable as thy fame, shall bloom around thy monument, and protect, from unhallowed touch, thy consecrated urn.

Part of Major-General Lee's Funeral Oration on the Death of General Washington.

Delivered before both Houses of Congress, December 26, 1799.

1. In obedience to your will, I rise your humble organ,, with the hope of executing a part of the system of public mourning, which you have been pleased to adopt, commemorative of the death of the most illustrious and most beloved personage this country has ever produced; and which while it transmits to posterity your sense of the awful event, faintly represents your knowledge of the consummate excellence you so cordially honour. Desperate indeed is any attempt on earth to meet correspondently this dispensation of heaven; for while with pious resignation we submit to the will of an all-gracious providence, we can never cease lamenting in our finite view of omnipotent wisdom, the heart-rending privation for which our nation weeps.

2. When the civilized world shakes to the centre; when every moment gives birth to strange and momentous changes; when our peaceful quarter of the globe, exempt as it happily has been from any share in the slaughter of the human race, may yet be compelled to abandon her pacific policy, and to risk the doleful casualties of war: what limit is there to the extent of our loss? None within the reach of my words to express; none which your feelings will not disavow. The founder of our federal republic; our bulwark in war, our guide in peace, is no more! O that this were but questionable! Hope, the comforter

of the wretched, would pour into our agonizing hearts its balmy dew. But, alas! there is no hope for us! Our Washington is removed for ever!

3. Possessing the stoutest frame, and purest mind, he had passed nearly to the age of sixty-eight years, in the enjoyment of high health, when, habituated by his care of us to neglect himself, a slight cold, disregarded, became inconvenient on Friday, oppressive on Saturday, and defying every medical interposition, before the morning of Sunday put an end to the best of men! An end did I say? His fame survives! bounded only by the limits of the earth, and by the extent of the human mind. He survives in our hearts, in the growing knowledge of our children, in the affection of the good throughout the world: and when our monuments shall be done away, when nations now existing shall be no more; when even our young and far spreading empire shall have perished, still will our Washington's glory unfaded shine, and die not, until love of virtue cease on earth, or earth itself sink into chaos.

4. How, my fellow-citizens, shall I single out to your grateful hearts his pre-eminent worth? Where shall I begin in opening to your view a character throughout sublime? Shall I speak of his warlike achievements, all springing from obedience to his country's will; all directed to his country's good? Moving in his own orbit, he imparted heat and light to his most distant satellites; and combining the physical and moral force of all within his sphere, with irresistible weight he took his course, commiserating folly, disdaining vice, dismaying treason, and invigorating despondency; until the auspicious hour arrived, when he brought to submission the since conqueror of India; thus finishing his long career of military glory, with a lustre corresponding to his great name, and in this his last act of war, affixing the seal of fate to our nation's birth.

5. To the horrid din of battle, sweet peace succeeded; and our virtuous chief, mindful only of the common good, in à moment tempting personal aggrandizement, hushed the discontents of growing sedition; and, surrendering his power into the hands from which he had received it, converted his sword into a ploughshare, teaching an admiring world, that to be truly great, you must be truly good. Was I to stop here, the picture would be incomplete, and the task imposed, unfinished. Great as was our Washington in war, and as much as did that greatness contribute to produce the American republic, it is not in war alone his pre-eminence stands conspicuous. His various talents, combining all the capacities of a statesman with those of a soldier,

fitted him alike to guide the councils and the armies of our nation,

6. Scarcely had he rested from his martial toils, while his invaluable parental advice was still sounding in our ears, when he, who had been our sword and our shield, was called forth to act a less splendid, but more important part. Possessing a clear and penetrating mind, a sound and strong judgment, calmness and temper for deliberation, with invincible firmness, and perseverance in resolutions maturely formed, drawing information from all, acting from himself, with incorruptible integrity and unvarying patriotism; his own superiority, and the public confidence, alike marked him as the man designed by Heaven to lead in the political as well as military events which have distinguished the era of his life. The finger of an overruling Providence, pointing at Washington, was neither mistaken nor unobserved; when, to realize the vast hopes to which our revolution had given birth, a change of political system became indispensible. How novel, how grand the spectacle! Independent states stretched over an immense territory, and known only by common diffi culty, clinging to their union as the rock of their safety, deciding by frank comparison of their relative condition, to rear on that rock, under the guidance of reason, a common government, through whose commanding protection liberty and order should be safe to themselves, and the sure inheritance of their posterity.

7. This arduous task devolved on citizens selected by the people from knowledge of their wisdom, and confidence in their virtue. In this august assembly of sages and patriots, Washington, of course was found; and, as if acknowledged to be most wise, where all were wise, with one voice, he was de clared their Chief. How well he merited this rare distinction, how faithful were the labours of himself and his compatriots, the work of their hands, and our union, strength and prosperity, the fruits of that work, best attest. But, to have essentially aided in presenting to his country this consummation of her hopes, neither satisfied the claims of his fellow-citizens on his talents, nor those duties which the possession of those talents imposed. Heaven had not infused into his mind such an un common share of its ethereal spirit to remain unemployed, nor bestowed on him his genius, unaccompanied with the corresponding duty of devoting it to the common good. To have framed a constitution, was showing only, without realizing, the general happiness. This great work remained to be done; and America, steadfast in her preference, with one voice summoned her beloved WASHINGTON, unpractised as he was in the du ties of civil administration, to execute this last act in the com

pletion of the national felicity. Obedient to her call, he assumed the high office with that self-distrust peculiar to his innate modesty, the constant attendant of pre-eminent virtue. What was the burst of joy, through our anxious land, on this exhilirating event, is known to us all. The aged, the young, the brave, the fair, rivalled each other in demonstrations of gratitude; and this high-wrought, delightful scene, was heightened in its effect, by the singular contest between the zeal of the bestowers and the avoidance of the receiver of the honours bestowed.

8. Commencing his administration, what heart is not charm. ed with the recollection of the pure and wise principles announced by himself, as the basis of his political life. He best understood the indissoluble union between virtue and happipiness, between duty and advantage, between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and individual felicity; watching with equal and comprehensive eye over this great assemblage of communities and interests, he laid the foundations of our national policy in the unerring, immutable principles of morality, based on religion, exemplifying the pre-eminence of a free government, by all the attributes which win the affections of its citizens, or command the respect of the world.

Part of Judge Minot's Oration on the Death of Gen. Washington.

Delivered before the Inhabitants of Boston.

1. OUR duty, my fellow-citizens, on this distressing occasion, is dictated by the dignity and resplendent virtue of the beloved man whose death we deplore. We assemble to pay a debt to departed merit, a debt which we can only pay by the sincerity of our grief, and the respectful effusions of gratitude; for the highest oration left us to bestow upon our lamented WASHINGton, is the strict narration of the truth, and the loftiest character which we can assign to him, is the very display of himself. When ambition allies itself to guilt, when power tramples upon right, when victory triumphs in blood, when piety sits clouded in superstition, when humility is affected by cunning, when patriotism is founded on selfishness; then let adulation spread her prostituted mantle, to screen the disgrace of her patrons, and amuse with the falsehoods of her imagination.

2. But to our political father, the faithful page of history is panegyric, and the happiness of his country is the monument of his fame. Come, then, warriors! statesmen! philosophers! citizens! assemble round the tomb of this favourite son of virtue! with all the luxury of sorrow, recollect the important

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »