Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

8. Returning day gave to their view
The distant shore and headlands hlue

0 flong-sougl.it land. Then rose on air Loud shouts of joy, mixed wildly strange With voice of weeping and of prayer, Expressive of their blessed change From death to life, from fierce to kind,

From all that sinks to all that elevates the mind.

9. Those who, by faithless fear ensnared,
Had their brave chief so rudely dared,
Now, with keen self-upbraiding stung,
With every manly feeling wrung,
Repentant tears, looks that entreat,
Are kneeling humbly at his feet:

"Pardon our blinded, stubborn guilt!
O, henceforth make us what thou wilt!
Our hands, our hearts, our lives, are thine,
Thou wondrous man, led on by power divine!"

10. Columbus led them to the shore

Which ship had never touched before;And there he knelt upon the strand To thank the God of sea and land;And there, with mien and look elate, Gave welcome to each toil-worn mate. And lured with courteous signs of cheer The dusky natives gathering near,

Who on them gazed with wondering eyes, As missioned spirits from the skies.

And there did he possession claim

In royal Isabella's name. Joanna Bailltb

LXXXVI. — UNITY AND PROGRESS OF MANKIND.

1. The authors of the American Revolution avowed for their object the welfare of mankind, and believed that they were in the service of their own and of all future generations. Their faith was just; for the world of mankind does not exist in fragments, nor can a country have an insulated existence. All men are brothers; and all are bondsmen for one another.

2. All nations, too, are brothers, and each is responsible for that federative humanity which puts the ban of exclusion on none. New principles of government could not assert themselves in one hemisphere without affecting the other. The very idea of the progress of an individual people, in its relation to universal history, springs from the acknowledged unity of the race.

3. To have asserted clearly the unity of mankind was the distinctive glory of the Christian religion. No more were the nations to be severed by the worship of exclusive deities. The world was instructed that all men are of one blood; that for all there is but one divine nature and but one moral law; and the renovating faith taught the singleness of the race, of which it embodied the aspirations and guided the advancement.

4. In due time appeared the mariner from Gen'oa. To Columbus, God gave the keys that unlock the barriers of the ocean, so that he filled Christendom" with his glory. The voice of the world had whispered to him that the world is one; and as he went forth towards the west, ploughing a wave which no European keel had entered, it was his high purpose not merely to open new paths to islands or to continents, but to bring together the ends of the earth, and join all nations in commerce and spiritual life.

5. While the world of mankind is accomplishing its nearer connection, it is also advancing in the power of its intelligence. No period of time has a separate being. We are cheered by rays from former centuries, and live in the sunny reflection of all their light. What though thought is invisible, and even when effective seems as transient as the wind that raised the cloud? It is yet free and indestructible; can as little be bound in chains as the aspiring flame; and, when once generated, takes eternity for its guardian.

6. We are the children and the heirs of the past, with which, as with the future, we are indis'solubly linked together; and he that truly has sympathy with everything belonging to man will with his toils for posterity blend affection for the times that are gone by, and seek to live in the vast life of the ages. It is by thankfully rec'ognizing those ages as a part of the great existence in which we share, that history wins power to move the soul. She comes to us with tidings of that which for us still lives, of that which has become the life of our life.

7. And because the idea of improvement belongs to that of continuous being, history is, of all pursuits, the most cheering. It throws a halo of delight and hope even over the sorrows of humanity, and finds promises of joy among the ruins of empires and the graves of nations. It sees the footsteps of Providential Intelligence everywhere, and hears the gentle tones of His voice in the hour of tranquillity;

"Nor God alone in the still calm we find;
He mounts the storm and walks upon the wind."

8. Institutions may crumble, and governments fall, but it is only that they may renew a better youth, and mount upwards like the eagle. The petals of the flower wither, that fruit may form. The desire of perfection, springing always from moral power, rules even the sword," and escapes unharmed from the field" of carnage; giving to battles all that they can have of lustre, and to warriors their only glory; surviving martyrdoms, and safe amid the wreck of states. Bancroft.

LXXXVII.— ON KINDNESS TO BRUTE ANIMALS.

1. In past time, man's unkindness to man has not been more conspicuous than his unkindness to the lower animals. In most parts of the earth these have constantly been sufferers from his rude impulses and recklessness; and the consequence is, that most animals have acquired, from the effect of habit transmitted from generation to generation, a fear of man, which we ought to be humiliated in contem'plating, and which is, in itself, a negative, if not positive evil, since there is a great pleasure to be derived from their kindly companionship. It is by many thought probable that, from the dragooning" system which we pursue towards them, we have never yet realized one-half of the benefits which the domestic races are calculated to confer upon us.

2. Take the horse alone for an example. In Europe the sagacious powers of this noble animal are most imperfectly developed. In fact, notwithstanding his outward beauty and his pampered form, he exists there in a state of utter degradation; for he is generally under the power and in the company of the capricious and cruel, — of grooms, horse-jockeys, post-boys, and black-legs,— many of them without sense, temper, or feeling. Some horses are well fed, it is true, and duly exercised — and happy their fate: the rest are abused with a cruelty that has become proverbial.

3. Now, what knowledge can a horse acquire under such treatment ?— how is he to display, to exercise, to increase the powers bestowed on him by nature ?— from whom is he to learn? Being gregarious" by nature, he is here secluded from his own species; he is separated, except for a short time, from his master, who attends only to his animal propensities: when not employed about a heavy, cumbersome machine, — "dragging his dull companion to and fro," — he is shut up in the walls of a stable. But this beautiful creature, we repeat, is existing all this time in a degraded state; or, as the newspapers call it, in a false position. Who does not know how soon the horse will meet every advanca of kindness and attention you make to him f how grateful he will be, how studious of your will, how anxious to understand you, how happy to please and satisfy you!

4. We have possessed two . ises at different times, which, with only the treatment that they would experience from a master fond of the animals under his protection, would follow us with the attention of dogs; sometimes stopping to graze on the banks of the road till we had advanced many hundred yards, and then, of their own accord, and apparently with delight, cantering forward and rejoining us. In fact, they were gentle, intelligent, and pleasing companions; and this was produced rather by total abstinence from harsh treatment, than by any positive solicitation or great attention on our part.

5. The great gentleness, sagacity, and serviceableness, which mark the horse in the East, particularly in Arabia, are qualities which seem to depend entirely on the better treatment which he there receives. The Arabs make the horse a domestic companion." He sleeps in the same tent with the family. Children repose upon his neck, and hug and kiss him, without the least danger. He steps amongst their sleeping forms by night, without ever injuring them. When his master mounts him, he manifests the greatest pleasure; and if that master by any chance falls off, the horse instantly stands still till he is again mounted. An Arabian horse has even been known to pick up his wounded master and carry him in his teeth to a place of safety.

6. Unquestionably these beautiful traits of character havo been developed in the animal by a proper course of treatment. The same law holds good here as amongst men. Treat these in a rational, humane, and confiding manner, and you bring forth their best natural qualities; but, on the contrary, visit them with oppression and cruelty, and you either harden and stupefy them, or rouse them to the manifestation of wrathful feelings, which may prove extremely uncomfortable to yourself. It is probable, then, that, from the way in which we use most animals, we never have experienced nearly so much advantage from theil subserviency as we might.

Distinguished much by reason, and still more By our capacity of grace divine, From creatures that exist but for our sake,

Which, having served us, perish, we are held Accountable; and God, some future day, Will reckon with us roundly for the abuse Of what he deems no mean or trival trust. — I would not enter on my list of friends (Though graced with polished manners and fine sense. Yet wanting sensibility) the man Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm.118

LXXXVIII. — RECIPROCAL KINDNESS.

1 Androoles, from his injured lord in dread
Of instant death, to Libya's desert fled:Tired of his toilsome flight, and parched with heat,
He spied, at length, a cavern's cool retreat;
But scarce had given to rest his weary frame,
When, hugest of his kind, a lion came:
He roared, approaching; but the savage din
To plaintive murmurs changed, arrived within;
And, with expressive looks, his lifted paw
Presenting, aid implored from whom he saw.

2. The fugitive, through terror at a stand,
Dared not a while afford his trembling hand;
But, bolder grown, at length inher'ent found

A pointed thorn, and drew it from the wound."
The cure was wrought; he wiped the sanious" blood,
And firm and free from pain the lion stood.
Again he seeks the wilds, and day by day
Regales his inmate with the parted prey.
Nor he disdains the dole, though unprepared,
Spread on the ground, and with a lion shared.

3. But thus to live, still lost, sequestered still,
Scarce seemed his lord's revenge a heavier ill!—
Home! native home! 0, might he but repair!He must — he will — though death attends him there.
He goes, and, doomed to perish, on the sands
Of the full theatre1' unpitied stands;
When, lo! the self-same lion from his cage
Flies to devour him, famished into rage.

4. He flies, but, viewing in his purposed prey
The man his healer, pauses on his way,
And softened by remembrance into sweet
And kind composure, crouches at his feet.
Mute with astonishment the assembly gaze:

But why, ye Romans? Whence your mute amaze?

All this is natural: Nature bade him rend

An enemy,113 she bids him spare a friend. Cowfkk.

LXXXIX.— THE RESOLUTE WHALE.

1. The ship Ann Alexander, Captain John S. Deblois, sailed from New Bedford, Massachusetts, the first of June, 1850, for a cruise in the South Pacific, in search of sperm-whales. After

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »