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mercenary wretch, striving for the spoil of the vanquished; the palace acknowledged him for its lord, and the valley yielded him its increase. He was no nameless man, staking life for reputation; he ranked among nobles, and looked unawed upon kings. He was no friendless outcast, seeking for a grave to hide his cold heart; he was girdled by the companions of his childhood, his kinsmen were about him, his wife was before him.
Yet from all these he turned away, and came. Like a lofty tree, that shakes down its green glories, to battle with the winter storm, he flung aside the trappings of place and pride, to crusade for freedom, in freedom's holy land. He came; but not in the day of successful rebellion, not when the new-risen sun of independence had burst the cloud of time, and careered to its place in the heavens. He came when darkness curtained the hills, and the tempest was abroad in its anger; when the plough stood still in the field of promise, and briers cumbered the garden of beauty; when fathers were dying, and mothers were weeping over them; when the wife was binding up the gashed bosom of her husband, and the maiden was wiping the death damp from the brow of her lover. He came when the brave began to fear the power of man, and the pious to doubt the favor of God.
It was then, that this One joined the ranks of a revolted people. Freedom's little phalanx bade him a a grateful welcome. With them he courted the battle's rage, with theirs his arm was lifted; with theirs his blood was shed. Long and doubtful was the conflict. At length, kind heaven smiled on the good cause, and the beaten invaders fled. The profane were driven from the temple of liberty, and, at her pure shrine, the pilgrim warrior, with his adored COMMANDER, knelt and worshipped. Leaving there his offering, the incense of an uncorrupted spirit, he at length rose up, and crowned with benedictions, turned his happy feet towards his long deserted home.
After nearly fifty years, that One has come again. VOL. v.
Can mortal tongue tell, can mortal heart feel, the sublimity of that coming? Exulting millions rejoice in it, and their loud, long, transporting shout, like the mingling of many winds, rolls on, undying, to freedom's farthest mountains. A congregated nation comes round him. Old men bless him, and children reverence him. The lovely come out to look upon him, the learned deck their halls to greet him, the rulers of the land rise up to do him homage. How his full heart labors! He views the rusting trophies of departed days, he treads the high places where his brethren moulder, he bends before the tomb of his " FATHER;" -his words are tears; the speech of sad remembrance. But he looks round upon a ransomed land, and a joyous race, he beholds the blessings those trophies secured, for which those brethren died, for which that “ FATHER” lived; and again his words are tears; the eloquence of gratitude and joy.
Spread forth creation like a map; bid earth’s dead multitudes revive ;-and of all the pageant splendors that ever glittered to the sun, when looked his burning eye on a sight like this? Of all the myriads that have come and gone, what cherished minion ever ruled an hour like this? Many have struck the redeeming blow for their own freedom, but who, like this man, has bared his bosom in the cause of strangers ? Others have lived in the love of their own people, but who, like this man, has drank his sweetest cup of welcome with another ? Matchless chief! of glory's immorta tablets, there is one for him, for him alone! Oblivion shall never shroud its splendor ; the everlasting flame of liberty shall guard it, that the generations of men may repeat the name recorded there, the beloved name of LAFAYETTE!
They who endured the burden of the conflict, are fast going to their rest. Every passing gale sighs over another veteran's grave, and ere long, the last sage, and the last old soldier of the revolution, will be seen no more. Soon, too soon, will you seek in vain for even one, who can tell you of that day of stout hearts and strong hands. You lately beheld, on yonder glorious hill, a group of ancient men, baring their grey heads beneath the blaze of heaven; but never more at such a sight will your grateful hearts grow soft. These will never again assemble on earth. They have stood together in war, they have congregated in peace, their next meeting will be in the fields of eternity. They must shortly sleep in the bosom of the land they redeemed, and in that land's renown will alone be their remembrance.
Let us cherish those who remain to link the living with the dead. Of these, let one thought, to-day, rest on him, whose pen and fame this day has rendered immortal. With him, too, now that the bitter feuds of a bitter hour are forgotten, we may associate another, the venerable successor of our WASHINGTON. Here broke his morning radiance, and here yet linger his cvening beams.
6 Sure the last end of the good man is peace !
Night dews fall not more gently to the ground,
Yet, like the sun, seems larger at his setting !”
I look round in vain for two of your exalted patriots, who, on your last festival-day, sat here in the midst of you ; for him, who then worthily wore the highest honors you could bestow, who in your name greeted your Nation's Guest, and took him by the hand and wept : for him, too, who devoted to your service a youth of courage, and an age of counsel; who long ruled over you in purity and wisdom, and then, gently shaking off his dignities, retired to his native shades, laden with your love. They have both passed away, and the tongues that bade the “ Apostle of Liberty?
" welcome, will never bid him farewell.
In the place of the Fathers shall be the children. To the seat which Eustis and Brooks adorned, the
ple of this state have united to elevate one, whom they have often delighted to honor. He sits where they sat, who were laboring in the vineyard before he was born. His name adds another bright stud to the golden scutcheon of the Commonwealth. While his heart warms with honest pride at the confidence so flatteringly reposed in him, he will wisely remember what that confidence expects from him, in the discharge of his high trust. Chosen by all, he will govern for all; and thus sustaining his well-earned reputation, may he live long in the affection of a generous people.
I shall not omit, on this occasion, to congratulate you on the result of an election, which has recently raised to the highest station in your republic, one of your most distinguished citizens. While, however, the ardent wishes of so many have been crowned by this gratifying event, it is not to be forgotten, that there are those among us, men of pure and patriotic minds, who responded not Amen, to the general voice. I should be ashamed of the feelings which would insult theirs, by an unworthy exultation. The illustrious individual, whom the representatives of the nation have pronounced“ most worthy,” would be the first to frown upon it, as he has ever been among the first to acknowledge the merits of his exalted competitors. To the high minded friends of these, in common with us all, this day and its rites belong; and I cannot violate the trust confided to me, I will not subject myself to a pang of regret, by the indulgence of language, which should send a single being from this place, with a less joyous spirit than he entered it. It is safer to be dull than bitter, and I had rather you would all be willing to forget the labor of this hour in charity, than that one among you should feel compelled to remember it in unkindness.
I have alluded to this event, not merely for the purpose of obtruding upon you the expression of personal gratification, but because it offers another striking proof of the stability of our free institutions. Since the strife of 1800, we have not witnessed so vio
lent a contest as this, through which we have lately
While this spirit triumphs, we have nothing to dread
, it can set up, and whom it will it can set down.”
of the world have been long upon us.
For nearly fifty years we have run the glorious race of empire. Friends have