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WHILE the languages of the ancients are fast fading from the earth, we have the hope and the reasonable anticipation that our own noble and expressive English, the roots of which may be found in the dialects in which Demosthenes thundered and Homer sung—in which Cicero wreathed his laurel crown, and Livy, and Virgil, and Seneca, built up imperishable fame—the body of which is the solid, vigorous, and natural Saxon—the branches of which are compounded of all these, moulded into graceful form by the progressive improvement of ages—the leaves of which are the light and elegant contributions of modern tongues—the flowers of which are the glorious strains of the silver-toned harp from Chaucer to Campbell —and the fruit of which is the advancement of science, knowledge, religious and political freedom throughout the earth—will soon be the only recognised language of the world. Hebrew is found only in schools of divinity; Greek is found only in the musty tomes of the antiquarian ; Latin feebly articulates at the bar: and dull oblivion waits to whelm them all. But the English is pushing north and south, and east and west; it startles the drowsy Esquimaux in his snow hut, and echoes with the “wolf’s long howl” from Onalaska's shore; it wakes its strange tone by the solitary Pacific, and reverberates with the Indian's war-whoop among the barren spires of the Rocky mountains; it is heard in the isles of the sea, in the wilds of Ethiopia, in the bland atmosphere of the Mediterranean, in the sandy deserts of the Nile, in the spice-groves of the Indies, in the tea-gardens of the celestial empire, and far and wide over the vast empire of man : and it will continue to spread, until all nations shall unite in one vast
For one, on whom, in girlhood's years,
That morn, 'mid bitter, hopeless tears,
And hushed was now his manly voice,
All buried now the fond wife's joys,
Alas! Death heeds no tender ties!
May spare their supplicating sighs—
THAT was a glorious old time, when the patriarchal form of government held whole nations in filial obedience; when the heart of the ruler overflowed with love to his subjects, because they were his children. No stranger, raised to a throne by factitious circumstances, wielded the sceptre with the unfeelingness of an automaton ; no victorious murderer, from a far-off land, spread terror and death among the peaceful pastoral families of early time; but a father, with all a father’s zeal for his children's welfare, dictated the line of conduct, and drew the path of life over the great plains of Peace, through the aroma-laden groves of Love, and by the melody-making and prodigal rivers of Charity and Benevolence. The young and aspiring soul was taught to love—to love the sunlight and the starbeam—to love the stillness of the summer noon and the wild music of the tempest—to rejoice when gentle Spring waked Nature from her sleep—and to give thanks when solemn Autumn lulled the great mother to repose; it was taught to look up in hopeful desire to Him who is the perfect incarnation of love, whose very name is Love, and whose every act flows from the pure fountain
of fraternal affection.
NEw York, June, 1846.