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versed by the defeat of to-day; the star of military glory, rising like a meteor, like a meteor has fallen; disgrace and disaster hang on the heels of conquest and renown; victor and vanquished presently pass away to oblivion, and the world goes on in its course, with the loss only of so many lives and so much treasure.
But if this be frequently, or generally, the fortune of military achievements, it is not always so. There are enterprises, military as well as civil, which sometimes check the current of events, give a new turn to human affairs, and transmit their consequences through ages. We see their importance in their results, and call them great, because great things follow. There have been battles which have fixed the fate of nations. These come down to us in history with a solid and permanent interest, not created by a display of glittering armor, the rush of adverse battalions, the sinking and rising of pennons, the flight, the pursuit, and the victory; but by their effect in advancing or retarding human knowledge, in overthrowing or establishing despotism, in extending or destroying human happiness.
When the traveller pauses on the plain of Marathon, what are the emotions which most strongly agitate his breast? What is that glorious recollection, which thrills through his frame and suffuses his eyes?—Not, I imagine, that Grecian skill and Grecian valor were here most signally displayed; but that Greece herself was here saved. It is because to this spot, and to the event which has rendered it immortal, he refers all the succeeding glories of the republic. It is because, if that day had gone otherwise, Greece had perished. It is because he perceives that her philosophers and orators, her poets and painters, her sculptors and architects, her governments and free institutions, point backward to Marathon, and that their future existence seems to have been suspended on the contingency, whether the Persian or the Grecian banner should wave victorious in the beams of that day's setting sun. And as his imagination kindles at the retrospect, he is transported back to the interesting moment;
he counts the fearful odds of the contending hosts; his interest for the result overwhelms him he trembles as if it were still uncertain, and seems to doubt whether he may consider Socrates and Plato, Demosthenes, Sophocles, and Phidias, as secure, yet, to himself and to the world.
"If we conquer," said the Athenian commander on the morning of that decisive day,—" if we conquer, we shall make Athens the greatest city of Greece." A prophecy, how well fulfilled! "If God prosper us," might have been the more appropriate language of our fathers, when they landed upon this rock, "if God prosper us, we shall here begin a work which shall last for ages. We shall plant here a new society, in the principles of the fullest liberty and the purest religion; we shall subdue this wilderness which is before us; we shall fill this region of the great continent, which stretches almost from pole to pole, with civilization and Christianity. The temples of the true God shall rise where now ascends the smoke of idolatrous sacrifice; fields and gardens, the flowers of summer and the waving and golden harvest of autumn, shall extend over a thousand hills, and stretch along a thousand valleys, never yet, since the creation, reclaimed to the use of civilized man. We shall whiten this coast with the canvass of a prosperous commerce; we shall stud the long and winding shore with a hundred cities. That which we sow in weakness shall be raised in strength. From our sincere but houseless worship, there shall spring splendid temples to record God's goodness; from the simplicity of our social union, there shall arise wise and politic constitutions of government, full of the liberty which we ourselves bring and breathe; from our zeal for learning, institutions shall spring which shall scatter the light of knowledge throughout the land, and, in time, paying back where they have borrowed, shall contribute their part to the great aggregate of human knowledge; and our descendants, through all generations, shall look back to this spot, and to this hour, with unabated affection and regard."
Emphasis is defined to be a stress of voice on one or more words of a sentence, distinguishing them by intensity or peculiarity of meaning. For the application of emphasis, the only rule by which the reader can be governed is a just conception of the sentiments to be uttered, and of the feelings to be conveyed to others.
EXERCISES IN EMPHASIS.
We do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.
None more impatiently suffer injuries than they who are
most forward in doing them.
Many persons mistake the love for the practice of virtue.
Note.-The emphatic words are printed in Italics. When two emphatic words, in antithesis with each other, are either expressed or implied, the emphasis is said to be single.
The Coming of the Pilgrims.
BEHOLD! they come those sainted forms,
That drove them from their own fair land, -
With streaming eye, yet steadfast heart,
And burst each tender tie;
Haunts, where their sunny youth was passed, Homes, where they fondly hoped at last,
In peaceful age, to die;
Friends, kindred, comfort, all they spurned,
They come - that coming who shall tell?
It were an envied fate, we deem,
We, too, might yield the joys of home,
And tread a shore of gloom,
Knew we, those waves, through coming time,
Their hearts no proud hereafter swelled; Deep shadows veiled the way they held; The yell of vengeance was their trump of fame, Their monument, a grave without a name.
Yet, strong in weakness, there they stand,
Stern and resolved, that faithful band,
To meet fate's rudest shock.
Though anguish rends the father's breast,
With him the waste who trod,
Though tears, that freeze, the mother sheds
The Christian turns to God!
In grateful adoration now,
As bursts in desolation there?
What arm of strength e'er wrought such power As waits to crown that feeble hour? There into life an infant empire springs! There falls the iron from the soul; There liberty's young accents roll Up to the King of kings! To fair creation's farthest bound
That thrilling summons yet shall sound;
And to their centre earth's old kingdoms shake.
Pontiff and prince, your sway
Must crumble from that day:
Before the loftier throne of Heaven,
The hand is raised, the pledge is given-
that creed, his word alone.