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Sir, let me recur to pleasing recollections I
let me indulge in refreshing remembrances j
of the past let me remind you that in early
times no States cherished greater harmony,
both of principle and of feeling, than Mas-
sachusetts and South Carolina. Would to !
God that harmony might again return. J
Shoulder to shoulder they went through the
Revolution hand in hand they stood round
the administration of Washington, and
felt his own great arm lean on them for sup- '
port. Unkind feeling, if it exist, alienation
and distrust are the growth, unnatural to
such soils, of false principles since sown.
They are weeds, the seeds of which that
same great arm never scattered.

Mr. President, I shall enter on no enco-
mium upon Massachusetts she needs none.



There she is behold her and judge for
yourselves. There is her history the world
knows it by heart. The past, at least, is
secure. There is Boston, and Concord, and
Lexington, and Bunker Hill 5 and there
they will remain for ever. The bones of
her sons, fallen in the great struggle for in-
dependence, now lie mingled with the soil
of every State, from New England to Geor-
gia ; and there they will lie for ever. And,
sir, where American liberty raised its first
voice, and where its youth was nourished
and sustained, there it still lives, in the
strength of its manhood, and full of its
original spirit. If discord and disunion
shall wound it if party strife and blind
ambition shall hawk at and tear it; if folly
and madness, if uneasiness under salutary
and necessary restraint, shall succeed to
separate it from that union, by which alone
its existence is made sure, it will stand in
the end by the side of that cradle in which
its infancy was rocked ; it will stretch forth
its arm with whatever of vigour it may still
retain over the friends who gather round it:
and it will fall at last, if fall it must, amidst
the proudest monuments of its own glory,
and on the very spot of its origin.



IMPORTANCE OF PRESERVING
THE UNION.

FROM A SPEECH IN THE SENATE.

I PROFESS, sir, in my career hitherto, to
have kept steadily in view the prosperity
and honour of the whole country, and the
preservation of our federal union. It is to
that union we owe our safety at home, and
our consideration and dignity abroad. It is
to that union that we are chiefly indebted
for whatever makes us most proud of our
country. That union we reached only by
the discipline of our virtues, in the severe
school of adversity. It had its origin in the
necessities of disordered finance, prostrate
commerce, and ruined credit. Under its
benign influences these great interests im-
mediately awoke, as from the dead, and
cprang forth with newness of life. Every
year of its duration has teemed with fresh
proofs of its utility and its blessings ; and
although our territory has stretched out
wider and wider, and our population spread
farther and farther, they have not outrun its
protection, or its benefits. It has been to
us all a copious fountain of national, social,
and personal happiness.



OLD GRIMES.



197



I have not. allowed myself, sir, to look be-
yond the union, to see what might lie hidden
in the dark recess behind. I have not coolly
weighed the chances of preserving liberty,
when the bonds that unite us together shall
be broken asunder. I have not accustomed
myself to hang over the precipice of dis-
union to see whether, with my short sight, I
can fathom the depth of the abyss below ;
nor could I regard him as a safe counsellor
in the affairs of this government, whose
thoughts should be mainly bent on consider-
ing, not how the union should be best pre-
served, but how tolerable might be the con-
dition of the people when it shall be broken
up and destroyed.

While the union lasts, we have high, ex-
citing, gratifying prospects spread out
before us, for us and our children. Beyond
that I seek not to penetrate the veil. God
grant that, in my day at least, that curtain
may not rise. God grant that on my vision
never may be opened what lies behind.
When my eyes shall be turned to behold, for
the last time, the sun in heaven, may I not
see him shining on the broken and dishon-
oured fragments of a once glorious union ;
on States dissevered, discordant, belligerent ;
on a land rent with civil feuds, or drenched,
it may be, in fraternal blood ! Let their
last feeble and lingering glance rather be-
hold the gorgeous ensign of the republic,
now known and honoured throughout the
earth, still full high advanced, its arms and
trophies streaming in their original lustre,
not a stripe erased or polluted, nor a single
star obscured bearing for its motto no such
miserable interrogatory as What is all this
worth ? Nor those other words of delusion
and folly liberty first, and union afterward
but everywhere, spread all over in char-
acters of living light, blazing on all its
ample folds as they float over the sea and
over the land, and in every wind under the
whole heavens, that other sentiment dear to
every true American heart liberty and
union, now and for ever, one and insepa-
rable 1

DANIEL WEBSTER.



OLD GRIMES.

[A. G. GREENE. Born in Providence, Rhode Island
Feb. 10. 1802, and educated at Brown University, in that
city, died 1868.]

Old Grimes is dead ; that good old man,
We ne'er shall see him more :



He used to wear a long black coat,
All button' d down before.



His heart was open as the day,

His feelings all were true :
His hair was some inclined to grey ;

He wore it in a queue.

Whene'er he heard the voice of pain,
His breast with pity burn'd ;

The large, round head upon his cane
From ivory was turn'd.

Kind words he ever had for all,

He knew no base design ;
His eyes were dark and rather small,

His nose was aquiline.

He lived at peace with all mankind,

In friendship he was true ;
His coat had pocket-holes behind,

His pantaloons were blue.

Unharm'd, the sin which earth pollutes

He pass'd securely o'er,
And never wore a pair of boots

For thirty years or more.

But good old Grimes is now at rest,
Nor fears misfortune's frown ;

He wore a double-breasted vest,
The stripes ran up and down.

He modest merit sought to find,

And pay it its desert ;
He had no malice in his mind,

No ruffles on his shirt.

His neighbours he did not abuse,

Was sociable and gay ;
He wore large buckles on his shoes,

And changed them every day.

His knowledge, hid from public gaze,

lie did not brinj to view,
Nor make a noise town-meeting dayg,

As many people do.

His worldly goods he never threw
In trust to fortune's chances,



198



DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.



He lived (as all liis brothers do)
in easy circumstances.

Thus undisturb'd by anxious cares,
His peaceful moments ran ;

And everybody said he was
A fine old gentleman.



DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.

[WILLIAM ROBERTSON, D. D., born at Borthwick, near
Edinburgh, Scotland, Sept. 19, 1721 ; graduated at the
University of Edinburgh 1741 ; became a minister of the
Scottish Church at Gladsmuir 1743 ; became principal of
the University of Edinburgh and minister of Greyfriars
Church 1702, and was appointed historiographer of
Scotland 17G4. Died at Grange House, Edinburgh,
June 11, 1793. Author of a " History of Scotland during
the reigns of Mary and James VI." (2 vols., 1759,) "-History
of the reign of the Emperor Cltarlex K" (3 vols., 1709), a
"History of America," (2 vols., 1777), and an " Historical
Disquisition concerning the knowledge which the An-
cients had of India,'" (1791). During his life time and
long afterward his name was ranked with those of
Gibbon and Hume, and his complete works have been
often reprinted, but are now little read. His life was
written by Dugald Stewart (1801), and by Lord
Brougham, who was a family connection.]



Next morning, being Friday, the 3rd day
of August, in the year 1492, Columbus set
sail, a little before sunrise, in presence of a
vast crowd of spectators, who sent up their
supplications to Heaven for the prosperous
issue of the voyage, which they wished
rather than expected. Columbus steered
directly for the Canary Islands, and arrived
there without any occurrence that would
have deserved notice on any other occasion.
But in a voyage of such expectation and im-
portance, every circumstance was the object
of attention.

Upon the 1st of October they were, ac-
cording to the admiral's reckoning, seven
hundred and seventy leagues to the west of
the Canaries ; but, lest his men should be in-
timidated by the prodigious length of the
navigation, he gave out that they had pro-
ceeded only five hundred and eighty-four
leagues; and, fortunately for Columbus,
neither his own pilot nor those of the other
ships had skill sufficient to correct this error
and discover the deceit. They had now been
above three weeks at sea ; they had proceed-



ed far beyond what former navigators had
attempted or deemed possible ; all their
prognostics of discovery, drawn from the
flight of birds and other circumstances, had
proved fallacious; the appearances of land,
with which their own credulity or the artifice
of their commander had from time to time flut-
tered and amused them, had been altogether
illusive, and their prospect of success seemed
now to be as distant as ever. These reflec-
tions occurred often to men who had no other
objector occupation than to reason and dis-
course concerning the intention and circum
stances of their expedition. They made im-
pression at first upon the ignorant and timid.
and extending by degrees to such as were bet-
ter informed or more resolute, the contagion
spread at length from ship to ship. From
secret whispers or murmurings they pro-
ceeded to open cabals and public complaints.
They taxed their sovereign with inconsider-
ate credulity, in paying such regard to the
vain promises and rash conjectures of an
indigent foreigner, as to hazard the lives of
so many of her own subjects in prosecuting
a chimerical scheme. They affirmed that
they had fully performed their duty by ven-
turing so far in an unknown and hopeless
course, and could incur no blame for refnsing
to follow any longer a desperate adventurer
to certain destruction. They contended that
it was necessary to think of ' returning to
Spain while their crazy vessels were still in
a condition to keep the sea, but expressed
their fears that the attempt would prove
vain, as the wind, which had hitherto been
so favourable to their course, must render it
impossible to sail in the opposite direction.
All agreed that Columbus should be com-
pelled by force to adopt a measure on which
their common safety depended. Some of
the more audacious proposed, as the most
expeditious and certain method for getting
rid at once of his remonstrances, to throw
him into the sea, being persuaded that, upon
their return to Spain, the death of an unsuc-
cessful projector would excite little concern,
and be inquired into with no curiosity.

Columbus was fully sensible of his peril-
ous situation. He had observed, with great
uneasiness, the fatal operation of ignorance
and of fear in producing disaffection among
his crew, and saw that it was now ready to
burst out into open mutiny. He retained,
however, perfect presence of mind. He af-
fected to seem ignorant of their machina-
tions. Notwithstanding the agitation and
solicitude of his own mind, he appeared with



DISCOVERY OF AMERICA'.



199



a cheerful countenance, like a man satisfied
with the progress he had made, and confi-
dent of success. Sometimes he employed
all the arts of insinuation to sooth his men.
Sometimes he endeavoured to work upon
their ambition or avarice by magnificent
descriptions of the fame and wealth which
they were about to acquire. On other occa-
sions he assumed a tone of authority, and
threatened them with vengeance from their
sovereign if, by their dastardly behaviour,
they should defeat this noble effort to pro
mote the glory of God, and to exalt the
Spanish name above that of every other na-
tion. Even with seditious sailors, the words
of a man whom they had been accustomed
to reverence were weighty and persuasive,
and not only restrained them from those
violent excesses which they meditated, but
prevailed with them to accompany their ad-
miral for some time longer.

As they proceeded, the indications of ap-
proaching land seemed to be more certain,
and excited hope in proportion. The birds
began to appear in flocks, making towards
the south-west. Columbus, in imitation of
the Portuguese navigators, who had been
guided in several of their discoveries by the
motion of birds, altered his course from due
west towards that quarter whither they
pointed their flight. But after holding on
for several days in this new direction, with-
out any better success than formerly, having
seen no object during thirty days but the
sea and the sky, the hopes of his companions
subsided faster than they had risen ; their
fears revived with additional force ; impa-
tience, rage, and despair appeared in every
countenance. All sense of subordination
was lost. The officers, who had hitherto
concurred with Columbus in opinion, and
supported his authority, now took part with
the private men ; they assembled tumultu-
ously on the deck, expostulated with their
commander, mingled threats with their ex-
postulations, and required him instantly to
tack about and return to Europe. Colum-
bus perceived that it would be of no avail to
have recourse to any of his former arts,
which, having been tried so often, had lost
their effect ; and that it was impossible to
rekindle any zeal for the success of the ex-
pedition among men in whose breasts fear
had extinguished every generous sentiment.
He saw that it was no less vain to think of
employing either gentle or severe measures
to quell a mutiny so general and so violent.
It was necessary, on all these accounts, to



soothe passions which he could no longer
command, and to give way to a torrent too
impetuous to be checked. He promised
solemnly to his men that he would comply
with their request, provided they would ac-
company him and obey his command foi-
three days longer, and if during that time
land was not discovered, he would then
abandon the enterprise, and direct his course
towards Spain.

Enraged as the sailors were, and impa-
tient to turn their faces again towards their
native country, this proposition did not ap-
pear to them unreasonable ; nor did Colum-
bus hazard much in confining himself to a
term so short. The presages of discovering
land were now so numerous and promising
that he deemed them infallible. For some
days the sounding-line reached the bottom,
and the soil that it brought up indicated
land to be at no great distance. The flocks
of birds increased, and were composed not
only of sea-fowl, but of such land-birds as
could not be supposed to fly far from the
shore. The crew of the Pinta observed a
cane floating, which seemed to have been
newly cut, and likewise a piece of timber
artificially carved. The sailors aboard the
Nigna took up the branch of a tree with red
berries perfectly fresh. The clouds around
the setting sun assumed a new appearance ;
the air was more mild and warm, and du-
ring night the wind became unequal and
variable. From all these symptoms, Colum-
bus was so confident of being near land, that
on the evening of the llth of October, after
public prayers for success, he ordered the
sails to be furled, and the ships to lie to,
keeping strict watch lest they should be
driven ashore in the night. During this in-
terval of suspense and expectation, no man
shut his eyes, all kept upon deck, gazing in-
tently towards that quarter where they ex-
Eected to discover the land, which had so
mg been the object of their wishes.

About two hours before midnight, Colum-
bus, standing on the forecastle, observed a
light in the distance, and privately pointed
it out to Pedro Guttierez, a page of the
queen's wardrobe. Guttierez perceived it,
and calling to Salcedo, comptroller of the
fleet, all three saw it in motion, as if it were
carried from place to place. A little after
midnight, the joyful sound of " Land !
land ! " was heard from the Pinta, which
kept always ahead of the other ships. But
having been so often deceived by fallacious
appearances, every man was now become



200



DISCOVERY OF AMERICA.



slow of belief, and waited in all the anguish
of uncertainty and impatience fos the return
of day. As soon as morning dawned, all
doubts and fears were dispelled. Prom
every ship an island was seen about two
leagues to the north, whose flat and verdant
fields, well stored with wood, and watered
with many rivulets, presented the aspect of
a delightful country. The crew of the Pinta
instantly began the Te Deum^ as a hymn of
thanksgiving to God, and were joined by
those of the other ships with tears of joy and
transports of congratulation. This office of
gratitude to Heaven was followed by an act
of justice to their commander. They threw
themselves at the feet of Columbus, with
feelings of self-condemnation, mingled with
reverence. They implored him to pardon
their ignorance, incredulity, and insolence,
which had created him so much unneces-
sary disquiet, and had so often obstructed
the prosecution of his well-concerted plan ;
and passing, in the warmth of their admira-
tion, from one extreme to another, they now
pronounced the man whom they had so
lately reviled and threatened, to be a person
inspired by Heaven with sagacity and forti-
tude more than human, in order to accom-
plish a design so far beyond the ideas and
conceptions of all former ages.

As soon as the sun arose, all their boats
were manned and armed. They rowed to-
wards the island with their colours displayed,
with warlike music and other martial pomp.
As they approached the coast, they saw it
covered with a multitude of people, whom
the novelty of the spectacle had drawn to-
gether, whose attitudes and gestures ex-
pressed wonder and astonishment at the
strange objects which presented themselves
to their view. Columbus was the first Euro-
pean who set foot on the new world which
he had discovered. He landed in a rich
dress, and with a naked sword in his hand.
His men followed, and, kneeling down, they
all kissed the ground which they had so
long desired to see. They next erected a
crucifix, and prostrating themselves before
it, returned thanks to God for conducting
their voyage to such a happy issue. They
then took solemn possession of the country
f>r the crown of Castile and Leon, with all
the formalities which the Portuguese were
accustomed to observe in acts of this kind
in their new discoveries.

The Spaniards, while thus employed, were
surrounded by many of the natives, wh>j
gazed in silent admiration upon actions



which they could not comprehend, and of
which they did not foresee the consequences.
The dress of the Spaniards, the whiteness
of their skins, their beards, their arms, ap-
peared strange and surprising. The vast
machines in which they had traversed the
ocean, that seemed to move upon the water
with wings, and uttered a dreadful sound
resembling thunder, accompanied with
lightning and smoke, struck them with
such terror that they began to respect their
new guests as a superior ordefr of beings,
and concluded that they were children of the
sun, who had descended to visit the earth.

The Europeans were hardly less amazed
at the scene now before them. Every herb
and shrub and tree was different from those
which flourished in Europe. The soil
seemed to be rich, but bore few marks of
cultivation. The climate, even to the Spa-
niards, felt warm, though extremely de-
lightful. The inhabitants appeared in the
simple innocnce of nature, entirely naked.
Their black hair, long and uncurled, floated
upon their shoulders, or was bound in
tresses on their heads. They had no beards,
and every part of their bodies was perfectly
smooth. Their complexion was of a dusky
copper colour, their features singular rather
than disagreeable, their aspect gentle and
timid. Though not tall, they were well
shaped and active. Their faces, and several
parts of their bodies, were fantastically
painted with glaring colours. They were
shy at first through fear, but soon became
familiar with the Spaniards, and with trans-
ports of joy received from them hawk-bells,
glass beads, or other baubles ; in return for
which they gave such provisions as they
had, and some cotton yarn, the only com-
modity of value which they could produce.
Towards evening, Columbus returned to his
ship, accompanied by many of the islanders
in their boats, which they called canoes, and
which, though rudely formed out of the
trunk of a single tree, they rowed with sur-
prising dexterity. Thus, in the first inter-
view between the inhabitants of the old and
new worlds, everything was conducted ami-
cably and to their mutual satisfaction. The
former, enlightened and ambitious, formed
already vast ideas with respect to the advan-
tages which they might derive from the re-
gions which began to open to their view.
The latter, simple and undiscerning, had no
foresight of the calamities and desolation
which were approaching their country 1



WORKERS IN ART.



201



WORKERS IN ART.

[Samuel Smiles, horn in Haddington, East Lothian,
23d December, 181i. Educated as a surgeon, and prac-
tised for some time in hio native town. He renounced
medicine for literature and railways. He succeeded
Kobert Nicol, the poet, as editor cf the Leeds Times;
but he has spent the greater pan, of his life as secretary,
first to the Leeds and Thirsk, and then to she fio'-ith-
Eastern Railways. As an author he has won high re-
putation throughout Europe and America. His prin-
cipal works are : The Life of George Stepkenson, of which
over 40,000 copies have been so'.d in this country, whilst
two publishers have issued it in America; keif-Help
from which our extract is taken: this work has been
translated into French, Italian, German, Portuguese.
Danish, Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese; The Lives (tf'the
Engineers; Induftcial Riog a/ihi/; The Huguennts, their
Settlements, Industries, and Churches in England and
Ireland; &c. He has also contributed many articles to
the Quarteil.n Revir-ic on railways and similar subjects.
Sir Stafford Northcote said : " No more interesting
books have been published of late years than those of
Mr. Smiles."]

Excellence in art, as in everything else, can
only be achieved by dint of painstaking labour.
There is nothing less accidental than the paint-
ing of a fine picture or the chiselling of a noble
statue. Every skilled ( touch of the artist's
brush or chisel, though guided by genius, is
the product of unremitting study.

Sir Joshua Reynolds was such a believer in
the force of industry, that he held that artistic
excellence, "however expressed by genius,
taste, or the gift of Heaven, may be acquired.''
Writing to Barry he said, "Whoever is re-
solved to excel in painting, or indeed any other
art, must bring all his mind to bear upon that
one object from the moment that he rises till
he goes to bed." And on another occasion he
said, "Those who are resolved to excel must
go to their work, willing or unwilling, morning,
noon, and night; they will find it no play, but
very hard labour." But although diligent
application is no doubt absolutely necessary for
the achievement of the highest distinction in
art, it is equally true that without the inborn
genius no amount of mere industry, however
well applied, will make an artist. The gift
comes by nature, but is perfected by self-cul-
ture, which is of more avail than all the im-
parted education of the schools.

Some of the greatest artists have had to force
their way upward in the face of poverty and
manifold obstructions. Illustrious instances
will at once flash upon the reader's mind.
Claude Lorraine, the pastry-cook; Tintoretto,
the dyer; the two Caravaggios, the one a colour-
grinder, the other a mortar - carrier at the



Vatican; Salvator Rosa, the associate of ban-
dits; Giotto, the peasant boy; Zingaro, the
gipsy; Cavedone, turned out of doors to beg
by his father; Ganova, the stone-cutter; these,
and many other well-known artists, succeeded
in achieving distinction by severe study and
labour, under circumstances the most adverse.

Nor have the most distinguished artists of
our own country been born in a position of life
more than ordinarily favourable to the culture
of artistic genius. Gainsborough and Bacon
were the sons of cloth-workers; Barry was an



Online LibraryUnknownThe library of choice literature : poetry and prose selected from the most admired authors (Volume 4) → online text (page 38 of 75)