« AnteriorContinuar »
Yt merchants, who command your vessels to bear away the surplus of our own productions, and exchange them for the · fruits of other climes. The honor and importance you sustain
in the rank of citizens, the security you afford to our rights and liberties, the renowned name you contribute to give us among the nations of the earth, were all realised by your noble friend and deceased father. While you weep at his urn, listen to the voice of his spirit, which will always exclaim, “ ( citizens, carry the scale of righteousness in your right hand, the olive of peace in the left, and the love of your country engraven on your hearts.
YE, who cultivate the fruits of the earth ; he smiled as you subdued the shrub and the thorn ; ,he blessed every blade of wheat that grew in their stead. When he beheld you returning from the field with your golden sheaves, he was more pleased than to have seen you loaded with the glittering trophies of war and conquest. He disdained the thought that the sweat of your brow should become the price of the pleasures of the great. He strove to give you a peaceful residence under your own vine and fig-tree. But now he is gone. You will see him no more, only in his actions, till the harvest of the world.
In the immense group of mourners, there is one, whose attitude and whose features announce a deeper sorrow than all the rest. It is thou, LADY WASHINGTON. The voice of thy grief is echoed back by a pensive sympathetic world : “ My hero GEORGE is gone! My hero GEORGE is gone!" Who among the queens of the earth have been blessed like thee? Permit the waiting angel to wipe away thy tears. Let thy sighs bear to the heavens an incense of gratitude ; for if we may measure the length of life by enjoyment, and if enjoyment arise from the goodness of a consort, thou hast lived forever.
Or all ranks and ages, he was the guardian and the friend. Though they said he was a God, he died as a man : let us not murmur, but .rather wonder, that his great and immortal soul, should be contented to reside in a human form so long.
SHOULD Gothic darkness envelope the globe ; should the stars of light rush together and dissolve, the tomb of Washington will stand defended by à visible glory. Pillars of fire will hover around it, when every monument of art shall be demolished. Angels will innocently envy the renown of him who loved and saved his country ; who was commissioned to do the divine pleasure among the inhabitants of the earth ; and who is now ordained to set at the head of all the spirits of just men inade perfect, in the realms of eternal joy.
Oration upon the death of general George WASHINGTON,
delivered in the state-bouse at Trenton. By the reo. Sa muel STANHOPE SMITH, D. D. president of tbe college of
New Jersey. devin Jam: 14.160o Ambushus at the request of the Chrmmlle aldreno Jo anton, af Coliast we want it fuel inm u ne
Ő REAT GOD! we adore thy sovereign providence, which U hath smitten the father of his country, and left a nation in tears.
:: My fellow-citizens ! your griefs are manly—they are approved of heaven-you mourn a father. All America mingles her sighs with yours-foreign nations, admiring his achievements and his virtues, will think that liberty has lost a protector among them--and even that great people from whom he wrested our freedom and independence, forgetting that they have lost an empire by his wisdom and valor, will honor him with their griefs and their praises.
His country is erecting monuments and statues to his memorya Brass and marble shall express his glory B ut brass and marble will decay, and the glory that is committed to thein alone will perish. Eloquence and history shall rear to him inore durable trophies. Historians shall immortalize their page with the name of Washington ; and future orators shall quote it with the names of Epaminondas, of Aristides and of Cato,
to illuminate their discourse, and to enforce, by great examples, the virtues of a disinterested and heroic patriotism. But his most lasting, and most noble monument shall be the affections of his countrymen, who will transmit their admiration of him as an increasing inheritance to their latest posterity. To testify the esteem, and to announce to the world, the profound regrets of a grateful country, poets and orators, and the minis, ters of religion, have come forth to pronounce and re-echo his praises throughout all America. How sublime, and how singu, ļar the glory! Thus to receive the voluntary hoinage of a free and a great people--the homage of equals paid, not to pre-emi, nence of rank, but of virtue-not extorted by the command of power, but the unconstrained effusion of the heart! I also, at your invitation, appear among them, with a zeal disproportioned tomy strength, to pay my feeble tribute to the memory of a man, deservedly so dear to every worthy and honest American. -But ah! I feel, in the beginning, that my words are unable to reach the conceptions of my own mind, and that they must fall far below the ideas and emotions.which already occupy yours. One advantage, indeed, I may derive from hence, the only one that inability can yield, which is, that when I have bestowed on this illustrious citizen the highest praises, I shall have the testi. mony of your hearts, that I have said even less than the truthflattery I shall have no need to have recourse to the base arts of to praise the most modest of men, who spurned from him, while living, all insincerity and adulation- Oh! if the occasion, and the presence of this numerous and enlightenéd assembly, could light up within me a spark of that eloquence which they are so well fitted to enkindle, and could raise above itself a genius so far inferior to the subject, and the demands of public expectation, with what noble ideas should I fill your minds ! What a warm impression would the recital of achievements, and the display of talents and virtues like his, make úpon your hearts ! Certainly no hero, modern, or ancient, has ever offered to the orator a more illustrious or fertile subject of that eloquence that is calculated to touch the heart, or to raise men to the heights of virtue by great examples.
In whom have ever shone with more splendor the talents of war, in creating an army; in successfully maintaining hiniself in the face of a superior enemy; in inspiring with courage raw troops ; “in attaching soldiers to order and their country in the midst of extreme hardships, and the injustice of their country itself; in seizing victories by an enterprising bravery, when enterprise was safe for the republic, or in conducting retreats that gained him no less glory than victories; in vanquishing his enemies by a firm undaunted courage, or consuming and wasting them away by a wise and noble patience? Where can we find a conqueror so humble, so disinterested, so devoted solely to his country—so serene, so sublime in adversity--s0 modest in the midst of triumphs-in dangers so intrepid and calm--and possessing such control over events by his prudence and perseverance ?
OTHER riations begin their eulogies of great men, by trac, ing their birth to some royal house, or some noble family: This is the praise of slaves. Virtue, talents, services, are our nobility. What glory could he have derived from a noble pa. rentage, whose virtues would have added their chief splendor to thrones ? Such adventitious and accidental distinctions miglit have lessened, but could not have augmented, that high and solid fame which he now possesses. The name of Washington is surrounded with a lustre that eclipses that of kings : And not his smallest praise is, that it is all his own—it is derived from the intrinsic , worth and merit of the man--not a ray of it is, borrowed his father was a plain but virtuous citizen.
SOCRATES believed that he was attended by a genius which often gave him counsel and instruction, and watched over his safety-The genius.cf Brutus abandoned him at the plains of Phillippı; but the guardian genius of our hera, which never fursook him, was that divine providence, which he always de. voutly acknowledged, and which seemed to preside over him with a peculiar predilection from his birth, giving his mind that happy impulse and direction, and combining those fortunate coincidences of events, which we have seen leading to success and fame in all the important scenes of his life,
His first education was directed only to solid and useful at. tainments. Mathematical science, which contributes,' perhaps, more than any other to strengthen the mind, and which is so intimately connected with the military art, was the earliest, and his favorite study. His exercises were manly and vigorous ; his constitution was active and strong ; his port noble and commanding ; his person graceful and majestic ; his countenance expressive of that benignity, that honor, that grandeur of sentiment, that profound reflection, for which he was dis. tinguished. But these are vulgar praises. He had a mind capable of combining all the interests of his country ; a discernment capable of penetrating and defeating all the designs of its enemies, a heart capable of daring every danger in its defence,
His dawn of life gave some auspicious presages of the splendor of its meridian. Scarcely had he attained his twentieth year, when he was employed by the government of Virginia, his native state, in an enterprise as hazardous, as it was honorable, which required all the prudence of age united with the vigor and fire of youth. The armies of France threatened to environ these states, then colonies of Great-Britain, and to enclose them in a chain of fortifications, from the Lakes to News Orleans; and they were artfully attaching to their own inte.' rests, and exciting against us, the fury of the savage nations. Young Washington was charged to remonstrate with their commander, to penetrate their designs, to estimate their force, to observe their works, and to conciliate, if possible, the affeca tions of the native tribes. In the discharge of this trust, you see him, at an inclement season of the year, traverse the immense forest alone. Amidst incessant rains and snows, and over vast rivers, rendered almost impassible by ice, and surrounded with lurking parties of hostile savages, he pursues his course. When his horses are exhausted, he continues on foot his dangerous and difficult route ; he observes every thing with the eye of a warrior ; he marks out cites for fortresses; he measures the fortresses of the enemy; he displays a firmness of mind in the greatest dangers, a patience of fatigue in the greatest difficulties, and a 'consummate address in the conduct