« AnteriorContinuar »
LXIV. -MEMORIALS OF WASHINGTON AND FRANK
LIN.—John Quincy Adams. From Mr. Adams' speech on the reception, by Congress, of the bat
tle sword of Washington, and the staff of Franklin.
[See remarks on previous examples of eulogy.] In presenting the resolution which I am now to offer, it may, perhaps, be expected that I should accompany it with some suitable remarks; and yet, sir, I never arose to address this House under a deeper conviction of the want of words to express the emotions that I feel. It is precisely because occasions like this are adapted to produce universal sympathy, that little can be said by any one, but what, in the language of the heart, in tones not loud but deep, every one present has silently said to himself.
My respected friend from Virginia, by whom this offering of patriotic sentiment has been presented to the representative assembly of the nation, has, it seems to me, already said all that can be said suitable to this occasion. In parting from him, as, after a few short days, we must all do, it will, on my part, be sorrowing that, in all probability, I shall see his face, and hear his voice, no more. But his words of this day are planted in my memory, and will there remain till the last pulsation of my heart.
The sword of Washington! The staff of Franklin! Oh! sir, what associations are linked in adamant with these names! Washington, whose sword, as my friend has said, was never drawn but in the cause of his country, and never sheathed when wielded in his country's cause! Franklin, the philosopher of the thunderbolt, the printing-press, and the plough-share !—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
in which they lived, and upon all after time?
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, amidst 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.
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 sceptre 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.
And, finally, in the last stage of life, with fourscore 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 the 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. May they be deposited among the archives of our government! and 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 dispensations of Providence, to our beloved country, from age to age, till time shall be no more!
EXERCISE LXV.-PRINCE HENRY'S CHALLENGE TO HOTSPUR.
Henry, Worcester; other lords attending. Scene,--the king's
camp, near Shrewsbury.
The southern wind
K. Hen. Then, with the losers let it sympathize;
you and I should meet upon such terms
Wor. Hear me, my liege.
K. Hen. You have not sought for it! How comes it, then?
When yet you were, in place and in account,
oppress our nest,
K. Hen. These things, indeed, you have articulated,
may please the
eye Of fickle changelings, and poor disconten Which
and rub the elbow, at the news
Nor moody beggars, starving for a time
P. Hen. In both our armies, there is many a soul
full dearly for this encounter,
with noble deeds.
so, I hear, he doth account me too : Yet this,
before my father's majesty,
K. Hen. And, Prince of Wales, so dare we venture thee
[Exit Wor.] P. Hen. It will not be accepted, on my life: The Douglas and the Hotspur, both together, Are confident against the world in arms.
K. Hen. Hence, therefore, every leader to his charge ! For, on their answer, wi we set on them ;And God befriend us, as our cause is just!