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of more than mortal freedom. Other millions have arisen to receive from their parents and benefactors the inestimable recompense of their achievements.
3. A large proportion of the audience, whose benevolence is at this moment listening to the speaker of the day, like him, were, at that period, too little advanced beyond the threshold of life, to partake of the divine enthusiasm which inspired the American bosom; which prompted her voice to proclaim defiance to the thunders of Britain; which consecrated the banners of her armies; and finally erected the holy temple of American Liberty over the tomb of departed tyranny.
4. It is from those who have already passed the meridian of life; it is from you, ye venerable assertors of the rights of mankind, that we are to be informed, what were the feelings which swayed within your breasts, and impelled you to action; when, like the stripling of Israel, with scarcely a weap'on to attack, and without a shield for your defence, you met, and, undismayed, engaged with the gigantick greatness of the British power.
5 Untutored in the disgraceful science of human butchery; destitute of the fatal materials which the ingenuity of man has combined, to sharpen the sithe of death; unsupported by the arm of any friendly alliance, and unfortified against the powerful assaults of an unrelenting enemy; you did not hesitate at that moment, when your coasts were infested by a formidable fleet, when your territories were invaded by a numerous and veteran army, to pronounce the sentence of eternal separation from Britain, and to throw the gauntlet* at a power, the terror of whose recent triumphs was almost coextensive with the earth.
6. The interested and selfish propensities, which, in times of prosperous tranquillity, have such powerful dominion over the heart, were all expelled; and, in their stead, the publick virtues, the spirit of personal devotion to the common cause, a contempt of every danger in comparison with the subserviency of the country, had assumed an unlimited control.
7. The passion for the publick had absorbed all the rest; ronounced garnt-let.
as the glorious luminary of heaven extinguishes in a flood of. refulgence the twinkling splendour of every inferiour planet. Those of you, my countrymen, who were actors in those interesting scenes, will best know, how feeble and impotent is the language of this description, to express the i.npassioned emotions of the soul, with which you were then agitated.
8. Yet it were injustice to conclude from thence, or from the greater prevalence of private and personal motives in these days of calm serenity, that your sons have degenerated from the virtues of their fathers. Let it rather be a subject of pleasing reflection to you, that the generous and disinterested energies, which you were summoned to display, are permitted, by the bountiful indulence of Heaven, to remain latent in the bosoms* of your children.
9. From the present prosperous appearance of our publick affairs, we may admit a rational hope that our country will have no occasion to require of us those extraordinary† and heroick exertions which it was your fortune to exhibit.
10. But from the common versatility of all human destiny, should the prospect hereafter darken, and the clouds of publick misfortune thicken to a tempest; should the voice of our country's calamity ever call us to her relief, we swear by the precious memory of the sages who toiled, and of the heroes who bled, in her defence, that we will prove ourselves not unworthy of the prize which they so dearly purchased; that we will act as the faithful disciples of those who so magnanimously taught us the instructive lesson of republican virtue.
ON KNOWING THE WORLD AT AN EARLY AGE.
THE knowledge of the world, in its comprehensive sense, is a knowledge greatly to be desired. To understand the human heart, to know human manners, laws, languages, and institutions of every kind, and in various nations; and to be able to reflect on all these with moral and political improvement, is an attainment worthy of the greatest statesman and the wisest philosopher.
2. But there is a knowledge of the world of a very inferiour kind, but which many parents value at a high price. Greek and Latin are always mentioned with contempt, on a comparison with this. In compliance with custom, indeed, and to get him out of the way, the boy is placed at school; but the knowledge to be gained there is little esteemed ly the empty votaries of fashion.
3. Men and things, not words, are magisterially pointed out as the proper objects of study, by those who know little of men, things or words. It is not the knowledge of books (say they) which he is to pursue, but the knowledge of the world; ignorant that the knowledge of books is necessary to gain a valuable knowledge of the world.
4. The parents, who give such directions to their children, are themselves merely people of the world, as it is called; persons, for the most part, of very moderate undertandings, who have never made any solid improvements in learning, and, consequently, never felt its pleasures, or its advantages.
5. They have, perhaps, raised themselves by dint of worldly policy, by the little arts of simulation and dissimulation; and having seen the effects of dress, address, and an attention to exteriour accomplishments; but at the same time being totally unacquainted with real and solid attainments, they are naturally led to wish to give their children the most useful education, which, according to their ideas, is a knowledge of the world.
6. But what is this knowledge of the world? A knowledge of its follies and vices; a knowledge of them at a time of life when they will not appear in their true light, contemptible in themselves, and the sources of misery; but flattering and pleasurable To see these at a boyish age, before the mind is properly prepared, will not cause an abhorrence, but an imitation of them.
7. To introduce boys to scenes of immoral and indecent behaviour, is to educate them in vice, and to give the young mind a foul stain, which it will never lose. And yet I have known parents in the metropolis suffer boys of fourteen or fifteen to roam wheresoever they pleased; to frequent' theatres, and other places of publick diversions, by themselves; to return home late at night; and all this with plenty of
money, and without giving any account of the manner of consuming that or their time.
8. The parents were pleased with their son's proficiency in the knowledge of the world; the son was pleased with liberty. All for a short time went on to their mutual satisfaction. But, after a few years, a sad reverse usually appeared. The boy became a spendthrift and a debauchee ;* alienated his father's affections by incurring debt, and ruined his constitution by every species of excess.
9. What remained after his money and his health were dissipated? No learning, no relish for the works of literary taste, The spring of life, when the seeds of these should have been sown, was employed in another manner. Nothing remained but a wretched and a painful old age, devoted to cards, dice, and illiberal conviviality.
10. He who is attending to his books, and collecting ideas which will one day render him a blessing and an honour to all with whom he is connected, will appear dull, awkward and unengaging to many, in comparison with the pert stripling who has been plunged into vice and dissipation before he knows the meaning of the words.
11. The reception which the latter meets with in company gives him additional spirits; and the poor parents usually triumph awhile in the conscious superiority of their judgment. In four or five years, they commonly see and feel the effects of their folly.
12. Their conduct, as it often undoubtedly proceeds from ignorance, is to be compassionated; but, if ever it arise from affectation of singularity, pride, vicicus principles, or carelessness concerning their offspring, it deserves the severest reprehension.
13. It is obvious to observe in the world multitudes of beardless boys assuming airs of manhood, and practising manly vices, to obtain a title to the appellation of men. The present age abounds with such examples.
14. A most fatal mistake is made by parents of all classes in the present age. Many of them seem to think vice and irregularity the marks of sense and spirit in a boy; and that innocence, modesty, submission to superiours, application to study, and to every thing laudable, are the signs of
* Pronounced deb-o-shee'.
stupidity. They often smile at the tricks of a young villain, and ever seem pleased with boyish profligacy.
15. Hence it happens, that their offspring frequently prove a scourge to them, and that they feel that sting, which, to use Shakspeare's expression, is sharper than a serpent's tooth; the sting inflicted by a thankless, an immoral, an ignorant, an extravagant, and an infidel child.
HISTORY OF POCAHUNTAS.
PERHAPS they who are not particularly acquainted with
the history of Virginia may be ignorant that Pocahuntas was the protectress of the English, and often screened them from the cruelty of her father.
2. She was but twelve years old, when Captain Smith, the bravest, the most intelligent, and the most humane of the first colonists, fell into the hands of the savages. He already understood their language, had traded with them several times, and often appeased the quarrels between the Europe'ans and them. Often had he been obliged also to fight them, and to punish their perfidy.
3. At length, however, under the pretext' of commerce, he was drawn into an ambush, and the only two companions who accompanied him fell before his eyes; but, though alone, by his dexterity, he extricated himself from the troop which surrounded him; until, unfortunately, imagining he could save himself by crossing a morass', he stuck fast, so that the savages, against whom he had no means of defending himself, at last took and bound him, and conducted him to Powhatan.
4. The king was so proud of having Captain Smith in his power, that he sent him in triumph to all the trib'utary princes, and ordered that he should be splendidly treated till he returned to suffer that death which was prepared for him.
5. The fatal moment at last arrived. Captain Smith was laid upon the hearth of the savage king, and his head placed upon a large stone to receive the stroke of death; when Pocahuntas, the youngest and darling daughter of Powhatan, threw herself upon his body, clasped him in her