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the town of Boston; but if the expulsion of the British army from it, and the liberties of our country require their being burnt to ashes, issue the order for that purpose immediately."
What has ancient or modern story to boast beyond such elevated specimens of public virtue; and what inspiring lessons of duty do they teach to us? War, fellow-citizens, is not the greatest of evils. Long submission to injustice is worse. Peace, a long peace, a peace purchased by mean and inglorious sacrifices, is worse, is far worse. War takes away a life destined by nature to death. It produces chiefly bodily evils. But when ignoble peace robs us of virtue, debases the mind and chills its best feelings, it renders life a living death, and makes us offensive above ground. The evils of ignoble peace are, an inordinate love of money; rage of party spirit; and a willingness to endure even slavery itself, rather than bear pecuniary deprivations or brave manly hazards. The states of Holland and of Italy will be found, at several stages of their history, strikingly to exemplify this remark.
War in a just cause produces patriotism : witness the speech of Gadsden!. It produces the most noble disinterestedness where our country is concerned : witness the speech of Hancock! It serves to destroy party spirit, which may become worse than war. In war death is produced without personal hatred; but under the influence of party spirit inflamed by the sordid desires of an inglorious peace, the most malignant passions are generated, and we hate with the spirit of murderers.
Could the departed heroes of the revolution rise from their sleep and behold their descendants hanging contentedly over boards of money, or casting up British invoices, while so long a list of wrongs still looked them in the face, calling for retribution, what would they say? Would they not hasten back to their tombs, now more welcome than ever, since they would conceal from their view the base conduct of those sons for whom they so gallantly fought, and so gallantly fell? But stop, return, return, illustrious band! stay and behold, stay and applaud what we too are doing ! we will not dishonor your noble achievements, we will defend the inheritance you bequeathed us, we will wipe away all past stains, we will maintain our rights at the sword, or, like you, we will die! Then shall we render our ashes worthy to mingle with yours.
Sacred in our celebrations be this day to the end of time! Revered be the memories of the statesmen and orators whose wisdom led to the act of Independence, and of the gallant soldiers who sealed it with their blood! May the fires of their genius and courage animate and sustain us in our contest, and bring it to a like glorious result! May it be carried on with singleness to the objects that alone summoned us to it; as a great and imperious duty, irksome yet necessary! May there be a willing, a joyful, immolation of all selfish passions on the altar of a common country! May the hearts of our combatants be bold, and, under à propitious heaven, their swords flash victory! May a speedy peace bless us and the passions of war go off, leaving in their place a stronger love of country and of each other! Then may pacific glories, accumulating and beaming froin the excitement of the national mind, long be ours; a roused intellect, a spirit of patriotic improvement in whatever can gild the American name; in arts, in literature, in science, in manufactures, in agriculture, in legislation, in morals, in imbuing our admirable forms of polity with still more and more perfection; may these then and long be ours! may common perils and common triumphs bind us more closely together! may the era furnish names to our annals “on whom late time a kindling eye shall turn!" Revered be the dust of those who fall, sweet their memories !--their country vindicated, their duty done. an honorable renown, the regrets of a nation, the eulogies of friendship, the slow and moving dirges of the camp, the tears of beauty_all, all, will sanctify their doom! Honored be those who outlive the strife of arms! our rights established, justice secured, a haughty foe taught to respect the freemen she had abused and plundered; to survive to such recollections and such a consciousness, is there, can there be, a nobler reward!
AT CAMBRIDGE, BEFORE THE SOCIETY OF PHI BETA
KAPPA, ' AUGUST 26, 1824: .
BY EDWARD EVERETT.
MR. PRESIDENT, AND GENTLEMEN, . In discharging the honorable trust of being the public organ of your sentiments on this occasion, I have been anxious that the hour, which we here pass together, should be occupied by those reflections exclusively, which belong to us as scholars. Our association in this fraternity is academical; we engaged in it before our alma mater dismissed us from her venerable roof, to wander in the various paths of life ; and we have now come together in the academical holidays, from every variety of pursuit, from almost every part of our country, to meet on common ground, as the brethren of one literary household. The professional cares of life, like the conflicting tribes of Greece, have proclaimed to us a short armistice, that we may come up in peace to our Olympia.
But from the wide field of literary speculation, and the innumerable subjects of meditation which arise in it, a selection must be made. And it has seemed to me proper, that we should direct our thoughts, not merely to a subject of interest to scholars, but to one, which may recommend itself as peculiarly appropriate to us. If that old man eloquent, whom the dishonest victory at Cheronæa killed with report,' could devote fifteen years to the composition of his Panegyric on Athens, I shall need no excuse to a society of American scholars, in choosing for the theme of an address,
on an occasion like this, the peculiar motives to intellectual exertion in America. In this subject that curiosity, which every scholar feels in tracing and comparing the springs of mental activity, is heightened and dignified, by the important connexion of the inquiry with the condition and prospects of our native land.
In the full comprehension of the terms, the motives to intellectual exertion in a country embrace the most important springs of national character. Pursued into its details, the study of these springs of national character is often little better than fanciful speculation. The questions, why Asia has almost always been the abode of despotism; and Europe more propitious to liberty; why the Egyptians were abject and melancholy; the Greeks inventive, elegant and versatile; the Romans stern, saturnine, and, in matters of literature, for the most part servile imitators of a people, whom they conquered, despised, and never equalled ; why tribes of barbarians from the north and east, not known to differ essentially from each other, at the time of their settlement in Europe, should have laid the foundation of national characters so dissimilar, as those of the Spanish, French, German, and English nations; these are questions to which a few general answers may be attempted, that will probably be just and safe, only in proportion as they are vague and comprehensive. Difficult as it is, even in the individual man, to point out precisely the causes, under the influence of which members of the same community and of the same family, placed apparently in the same circumstances, grow up with characters the most diverse; it is infinitely more difficult to perform the same analysis on a subject so vast as a nation; where it is first not a small question what the character is, before you touch the inquiry into the circumstances by which it was formed.
But as, in the case of individual character, there are certain causes of undisputed and powerful opera