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1833.]

FOURTH OF JULY ORATION, BY J. R. INGERSOLL, ESQ.

99

checked in its tumultuous fury, became inflamed to that is practically beneficial in the business of lifemore than madness among them, plunged in ignorance which is to secure to you the companionship and the as they were, now flows in gentle currents through the clegance of Virgil among flock and herds and impleveins of their educated descendants. Conquests of a no ments of husbandry-which teaches you to soar with bler nature are now the objects of ambition—the bril. Newton among the stars, or to meditate with the pa. Jiant and bloodless conquests of mind over matter, and Iriarch Isaac at eventide-o unite the learning of the the corresponding triumphs of reason and philosophy closet with the labours of the field. over passion, ignorance and vice. Every student should Constant activity and exertion of mind and body are be familiar with the delightful work of Professor necessary to the wholesome condition and successful Herschel, written not long since expressly to show the employment of each. Man was not born to be idle. advantages of science. Astronomy, chemistry, mag. Mark ihe bloated frame of the sluggard, his nerveless netism, the use of steam, navigation-have all during arm, lis beamless cye. His decrepitude is less pitiable the present age and at a recent period of it developed than his vicious appetites are loathsome, which he has resources, and been made productive of results, which still the passion without the power to indulge. Has at any time heretofore, would have been deemed im- sloth made less disastrous inroads upon his moral napracticable or supernatural. Wisdom once employed ture? No. Mental idleness is immeasurably more disitself in fruitless searches for the art of divination among astrous.

The mind cannot be motionless or unproducconjunctions of the planets, or hoped to manufacture tive if it would. It is insusceptible of a vacuum. Vice gold by the discovery of the philosopher's stone. That and crime grow up in rich and rank luxuriance, if their is the true astrology which opens the book of science, place be not thickly sown with plants of better growth. and foretels to the fearless mariner his safety on the All the lessons of nature, of philosophy, and of relitrackless ocean ; which bids him securely leave every gion, are opposed to idleness, which according to Spenlandmark and trust to the unerring guardianship of an cer, is the nurse of sin, the companion and the fellow occasionally cloudless sky, and conducts him after slave of gluttony and lust, of envy, avarice and wrath. months of absence precisely to his wished for home. The earth is fitted to call forth the energies of fallen That is the only alchemy which finds a philosopher's man. In his first estate he was “to dress it and keep stone in the commonest productions of nature, and with it.” But when he lost his innocence, nature herself was known and simple elements forces matter into changes changed. The ground became reluctant, though not which Ovid never dreamt of and the fabled Proteus ne- rebellious, and he was to till it with labour and moisten ver underwent.' What woukl the wisest of the philoso- its productions with the sweat of his brow. Some of phers of former times have said had he been told that the plants of Paradise still here and there diffuse their sawdust can be converted into wholesome digestible and fragrance over the bosom of nature, but they are hapnutritious food? that linen rags can produce more than pily no longer of spontaneous growth. Constituted as their own weight of sugar? or that a bushel of coal / we are, toil sweetens the perfumes of the fairest Aowers properly consumed can be made to raise a weight of and adds flavour to the richest fruit. Sloth has not seventy millions of pounds?

even present comfort and enjoyment to recommend it. Natural philosophy is the root of science. Most of It is as odious as it is pernicious; as burdensome and the discoveries useful to mankind are drawn directly oppressive at the moment, as it is disastrous in its refrom it, and all may be regarded as more or less con- sults. Paradox as it may appear, idleness is the hardest nected with it.

The various departments of knowledge work. Every hour of ihe indefatigable student flies are more nearly allied to cach other than a superficial on eagle's wings, while the leaden moments of the idler observer would suppose. A very skilful and sagacious linger in reluctant and oppressive tediousness. Forwriter advises the youthfull. wyer to prepare himself for eigners sometimes reproach us as incompetent to literthe cross examination of witnesses by a careful study of ary exertion for the want of leisure. There is neither the mathematics. Intellect is necessarily affected and philosophy nor truth in the assertion. We have men of perhaps controlled by the matter which surrounds it. leisure ; but they are for the most part like the corresNatural science therefore, which teaches the phenome. ponding class abroad, neither disposed nor habituated na of all that the senses can perceive, and all that can to efforts either of literature or business. A literary be accurately known, leads to an acquain'ance with the lord is a rare production ; and when he is to be found operations of the mind itself. How can we direct the he often owes his title to his literature, and not his literhuman will, without a knowledge of the fibres of the ature to his title. Lord Byron indeed, whose literature body by which it acts, without analyzing the air which is not lofty enough to sanctify his bad feelings or bad its possessor breathes, without penetrating into the earth morals, was unexpectedly a lord, and he laid the foun. he cultivates, and from which he draws his subsistence dation for his literature before he became one. But and his enjoyments ; without ascertaining the opportu- the few noble writers of Great Britain, from Lord Ba. nities which he has for the exercise and improvement of con, who was unworthy only in his dignities, to Lord the faculties which we should for ever seek to direct to Brougham, who condescended to accept a title, wear a some useful and efficient end ? Grecian learning, with wreath fairer than princely crowns.

On the other hand, al its brilliancy, wanted the basis of precision and ac. Sir William Jones and Sir Humphrey Davy, and the curacy, because Grecian scholars were ignorant of the most abundant and delightful writer of the age, Sir philosophy of nature. One wise man thought he had Walter Scott, were all men of business, and attentive settled every thing in science ; another believed that in the midst of varied study to their professional and nothing could be settled. Both were wrong, and their official pursuits. The discipline which the mind acmistake arose from the want of an unerring standard to quires in a course of industry qualifies it for the occususpend the premature conclusions of the one and re- pations of science, if it has the taste to enjoy them. All solve the discontented misgivings of the other. Modern the leisure of a hermit will not have the effect, if it has times claim a superiority in discarding most of what is not. Cultivate then this taste which may be properly merely speculative, and holding fast to the useful and directed and chastened and elevated, where it is naturthe true. No period of the wold has been, and no por-al, and may even be acquired where it is not. tion of it can be more propitious than ours to the culti- Youth is the season for acquirement-not merely for Vation of what is thus peculiarly valuable and instruc- the acquisition of habits of taste, study, reflection, ge: tive. It suits the simplicity of our manners, and harmo- nerosity of sentiment, energy in action, kindness of mizes with our tastes and favourite pursuits, and with feeling, and all that is calculated to ennoble and purify the circumstances in which we are placed. You are the moral character ; but of solid and beneficial know. especially in possession of the advantages, connected as ledge. I do not mean to urge this position, because of you are with an institution which combines instruction the importance of fixing early habits of industry and in all that is lofty and sublime in the theory, with all application ; or of the more numerous and co.licting duties of after life ; or of the solemn truth that the are, a comprehensive system of elementary education is hopes of the young like the disappointments of the old, i calculated to bring them into obvious relief, and to af. are not exempt from the Tiability which awaits every ford opportunities for a wise selection with a prospect thing buman, of being terminated by the stroke of of honorable proficiency and ultimate success. Yet the death. All these are inducements of unquestionable time must come when the broad and beaten road of gestrength. But beyond them all as an argument from neral knowledge diverges into various narrow paths. expediency is the fact, that the capacity for learning is Among them a selection must be made of the one which the liveliest and the strongest and the most active is to lead to eminence. Happily all are honourable and among the young: Granting a superiority of judgment meritorious. A choice is to be influenced less by the to the mind that is matured by experience and enriched abstract nature of the duty which is to ensue, than by with knowledge, that which is fresh in years is the best the temper and qualities of the mind and body of him adapted to acquirement. I will not pause to consider who is about to choose. Each bas its responsibilities; whether it proceed solely from the vivacity of youth, and where can the lot of man be cast without them? its ardour in the pursuit and unmingled délight in the Each has its enjoyments in possession or in prospect, enjoyment of the objects of its choice ; or whether and each has its troubles and its cares. these qualities are materially aided by the absence of In a country where church and state are disconnect. other cares, and the means of giving a devotion without ed, nothing can be more free from every sordid and restraint to what it would learn. But it is the floodtide selfish consideration than the motives which lead the of opportunity which cannot without irreparable loss minister of the gospel to his holy calling. They are he permitted to pass away. The first word in the sol for the most part a pledge for the purity of his life and dier's vocabulary is altention ; and it should be inscribed the fidelity of his exertions. Few and lowly are the on every page of the scholar's manual. It is the war. earthly honours that invite his choice or reward his ránt of fidelity and exactitude in every pursuit. It is sacrifices. He needs no recorded vow of perpetual the surest aid to prompt as well as extensive acquisi- poverty. While a broad line separates him from power, tion, the secret spring of genius itself It is at least the political consequence, and worldly pleasure, an adegenerous and steady contributor to the memory, if it be quate supply for temporal wants is all that his profes. not another word for the memory itself, which accord. sion can afford him; subsistence is often earned by riing to Cicero, is a universal treasury. Why do the gid self-denial, and sometimes his frugal meals are made old so frequently complain that they can remember upon the bread of tears. Sustained by the consciousevents of distant occurrence while they readily forget ness of doing good, and contented in the absence of all those of recent date? Because the faculty for 'acquire that glitters upon the mere surface of human existence, ment slumbers, because the vigour for attention has while others run the race of life for a corruptible crown, passed away. Why does technical assistance, or the he literally seeks one that is incorruptible. recurrence at the moment of study to analogous objects, carcely less benevolent are the motives, although fix the particular matter more deeply in the mind i Be- more productive of pecuniary benefit, are the exercause the attention is thus rivetted to it by a double ef-lions of the physician. A guardian angel of the sick, fort. Early impressions, made when the senses are he is often abl: to pour the balm of consolation into the acute and unimpaired, and when curiosity is wide wounds of the afflicted. In his study and his practice awake without a prompter, are not effaced by the lapse nature unlocks to him her varied scores and art becomes of years. They sink deep into the mind, and like let. his willing tributary. All the best teelings of the mind ters carved on marble, last until the substance which and heart are called forth into active exercise. Is he receives them is destroyed. Late impressions, if such a philosopher? there is no limit to the expanded field they can be called, which are made through the imper. of speculation and discovery which is presented to him. fect attention of feeble and decaying faculties, are like Is he a philanthopist? there is no end of bis power and marks upon the yielding sand which the succeeding opportunity of affording relief to suffering humanity. wave washes away. Memory may remain to the last Crowns and mitres are of no value to the aching head. stage of life, but the agent that should thus minister to Swords and sceptres becomes impotent in the palsied its supplies, having lost its energy, the treasure intended hand. The minister of health removes from the brow for preservation is consigned to instant and irremediable the heaviest load of care, strengthens the arm of impo. oblivion. Seize the propitious moment, which is always tency, and makes the present one. Procrastination is the thief of duty as well as time ; and time, if not a friend, is the most

"The flinty and steel coucli,

A thrice driven bed of down.” unrelenting and inexorable foe. His rapid journey is delayed at no resting place ; his eye never closes, his If activity and enterprise are better suited to the wing never droops, his arm never tires, his scythe is as temper than a life of study and comparative retirement, insatiable as the grave

commerce presents her never ceasing charms. No For beauty, wit,

corner of the great globe is inaccessible to her visits. High birth, vigour of bone, desert in service,

She gratifies the most ardent curiosity by an intercourse

and immediate alliance with the remotest climes. To Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all To envious and calumniating time.

the enterprising she affords the widest scope for un

tiring activity; to the generous she furnishes the readiWere it necessary for the present purpose, it could est and most abundant means for the exercise of liber he demonstrated that youth is scarcely less qualfied ality. Stores of wealth are accumulated by the skill for bold exploits than for untiring study: Many are the and industry of the merchant. But he feels himself to examples from Alexander of Macedonia to Napoleon be rather the faithful staward who is to slistribute them, Bonaparte of early greatness. There are not a few than the avaracious master who is to hoard them during where it has been succeeded by comparative feebleness life, or to commit them in a course of unnatural primo in middle life. But the instances are rare of capacity geniture to the perils of profligacy and vicious expenin age engrafted upon slothfulness and imbecility in ditures, when he can no longer dispense or enjoy them.

In a country like our own, where pomp has no para In pursuing a course of honorable and useful instruc- sites and riches alone cannot secure esteem, the virtues tion, a broad basis must be laid in attainments of univer- of the liberal merchant are especially conspicuous. of sal value. The disposition and the talent for a particu- what avail are boundless treasures to himself, if they lar pursuit may not soon be developed, and until they cannot purchase for him a coronet or seat him in a 1835.)

palace? How inestimable is their value when they are • "Quid dicam de thesauro rerum omnium, memoria? devoted to the embellishment and honour of his coun. Cic. de Orat, lib. 1, 19.

try! The munificence of the De Medici towards the

earlier years.

FOURTII OF JULY ORATION, BY J. R. INGERSOLL, ESQ.

101

city of Florence, has been emulated in a course of ge- tion is valuable, to some of them it is indispensable, nerous riralship among ourselves. In one city the ac. Besides these, other occupations are presented to the quisitions of commerce are directed during the life of ambitious scholar for which the course of instruction their proprietor with judicious kindness to the cultiva. here adopted will éminently qualify him. Every part tion of literature, or to open the eyes of the blind. In of this great continent seems destined to become the another they are poured forth in posthumus profusion theatre of improvements, which in many places are alin various channels, to embellish, to instruct, and to ready far advanced in their progress, and at periods improve. Where shall we look for a parallel to the more or less remote, will embrace the whole. Agriprudence and care in the acquisition of wealth, or the culture is promoted among us to the rank of a science. disinterested liberality in the distribution of it, which Roads and canals are intersecting various portions of have been exhibited in the recent instance of Stephen the land; connecting distant waters, and penetrating Girard? His laborious life of never changing fidelity, the bosoms or ascending the summits of the proudest teaches a striking lesson how wealth the most extensive mountains. The rapid and universal advancement of may be acquired. His devotion of more than six millions an enlightened age requires that the prolific earth to the benefit of his fellow citizens, and of that a large should be made to yield its rich resources, and that all portion directly to the purposes of education, furnislies the elements should be brought into contribution to å bright example how it should be bestowed.

facilitate and give effect to the labours of mankind. Who can feel the charms of nature, or that knows | Already have stores been unlocked which preceding the value and the bliss of domestic peace, is insensible ages had not ventured to explore. Art has revoked the 10 the invitations of a country life!There, the ruder decrees of nature in annihilating distances which she passions are softened, and the more restless ones are bad made extreme. In the furtherance of these gigantic tranquilized and subdued. Labour gives favour to objects, a large supply of talent and science will always the frugal meal and secures repose to the toil worn be required throughout the land. But it is especially limbs. If the sphere of action be more limited, that of in this portion of it that the qualities referred to will contemplation is more extensive. If the opportunities find their home. A territory of more than twentytor shining actions are not so frequent and various, the seven millions of acres is to be compressed into the temptations to those of an opposite character are less narrowest limits, as respects the ready interchange of abundant. Yet a life of retirement would be altogether productions and the mutual access and intercourse of uncongenial to him whose resources within himself are its inhabitants; while its broad surface as to its producnot a substitute for society. A mind disciplined by tiveness under the effect of cultivation, and its capadeep reflection, a body invigorated by toil, may qual fy cious bosom as a rich, various and extensive repository, their possessor for the most difficulí and responsible must be boundless as the firmament. Without detract. employments, and for stations the most dignified and ing from the merits of her sister commonwealths, Pennexalted. The ancients would have peopled with spirit-sylvania claims to possess an unsurpassed combina. ual instructors the shady grove. They would have im- tion of resources and advantages. Her noble rivers, puted to an intercourse with its tutelar inhabitants, luxuriant soil, unmeasured mines, and vigorous, hardy, the knowledge and wisdom which solitude and study practical and industrio's population, may challenge as are competent to confer. They would have sought a a whole the competition of the fairest of her sisterhood, sovereign or a general at the door of his cottage, or at Every material which is necessary to the moral greatness the tail of the plough; and they would have justified of man is found in abundance within her bowels. Gold their choice in the wisdom of a Numa, and the valour of and silver alone are rare. Nor will she lament their a Cincinnatus.

scarcity or envy the possession of them in greater exAt every period of civil society when the smallest in- tent by her neigl.bours. When Cræsus, king of Lydia, gredient of freedom has entered into the composition had displayed to the Athenian lawgiver his shining of the government, the public interests have been close horde of gold, and hoped that it had excited the admi. ly united to the profession of the law. Judging by the tion of the philosopher, he was himself astonished at numbers that throng the path, it is the most attractive the suggestion that all of it might become the ready to the young aspirant for fame. Little, however, do prey of those who had iron to conquer it. This is truly they who regard at a distance, know the thorns with the precious metal, whose use contributes most to human which its steep ascent abounds. labour and respon- happiness and strength-the material of the plough sibility attend its every footstep; and when at last its share and the pruning hook, of the ax, the anvil, and giddiest heights are gained, few and fortunate are the the stearn engine. travellers who even there can find repose. Yet its la- It is the pride and privilege of Pennsylvania that she bours are not inelegant, nor its duties barren in results can fasten the bonds of union which connect the differgrateful to the generous mind. Oppression may be ent members of this great republic together, by pouring burdensome in the extreme, and tyranny may be com- her inexhaustible resources into the lap of each, and by plicated beyond endurance, if the oppressed are left to receiving in her turn the supplies of her adventurous seek relief by their own unassisted appeals to justice. and persevering fellow labourers of the north, and the Many are ignorant of their rights; more are unable to generous products of the fertile south. In situation and command the time and the means which are required to in strength she will delight to continue the key stone of assert them. Poverty may be crushed by the “ oppres, the vast political arch as long as it shall rest upon the sor's wrongs”-suffering virtue may be unprotected foundations of freedom and virtue, and while each from the proud man's contumely"-innocence may particular section remains true to its position and firm sink under the rebuke and “insolence of office." To in its hold. And if, in an evil hour, the schemes of ill wipe the tear from the widow's and the orphan's eye; directed ambition shall prevail, and this fair frame of to shield the weak from the blow of proud oppression; government shall be destroyed, she will rise in unassisted and to vindicate from all abuse the majesty and the pu strength, and standing in reluctant though secure relirity of justice, are the duty and the delight of the ance upon her own resources, she will mourn over the virtuous lawyer. And oh! how awful, how almost more glittering fragments that are scattered around her. than human are the powers committed to his charge, In a comprehensive scheme of education, every source if he assume the office of a judge or a seat in the coun- of moral and intellectual culture must be resorted to. cils of his country. The issues of life and death depend Were precept alone sufficient to regulate the conduct upon his nod; a nation's fate may hang upon his lips. and inform the understanding, all would be good and ignorance or indolence debase his mind, or caprice wise. Writings under the influence of divine inspiraor passion way his judgment, the magnitude of his tion and haman intelligence are full of lessons which, if

To all these professions and pursuits- liberal educa- of men, care suficient to guard against error and pres

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serve an adherence to wisdom, rectitude and truth. But trous, he had the magnanimity to withdraw from them
precept is often colder than the heart, and is therefore when the means became licentious or the end unjust.
uncongenial to its feelings. It is less active than the Always the same generous friend, the same gallant sol.
temper, and therefore cannot keep pace with its dier, the same disinterested patriot. Tranquil and con-
movements. Even conscience herself, were she always sistent in his purposes at the head of armies or under a
well instructed and correct in her determinations, it is load of chains- defending the cause of humanity in the
obvious from daily observation, may be lulled 10 sleep senate house, or pouring forth his blood on the field of
by interest, or if she speaks, her still small voice may glory. May the laurel which surrounds his honoured
be drowned by the tumults of pleasure or of business. brows long retain its verdure, and when his eyes shall
The magic ring of the Arabian story which reminded close in death, may it bloom in perpetual freshness on
the wearer of his duty as he was about to depart from it, bis grave.
became irksome and was thrown aside." if it were The name of Lafayette is here associated with others
practicable to be attended at all times by some sagacivus long since hallowed by the sanctifying influence of the
friend, whose influence could not be resisted, and who tomb. When the children of America shall have ex-
should arrest the erring purpose in the breast, it would hausted all their fund of gratitude, they will come far
destroy that moral responsibility, which is an ingredi. short of what they owe to Franklin for the benefits he
ent of our nature. It would require besides, a guardian has conferred upon them and upon mankind. In the
like the Mentor of Telemachiis of more than human city, where for the most part he resided, and where his
wisdom and spotless purity: Next in efficiency to such ashes rest, the eye can scarcely turn to a long establish-
actual companionship is the example when it can be ed object of general good, that does not owe its origin
vividly exhibited, of those whose lives and actions ap- largely to his public spirit and exertions. His example
proaching the nearest to perfection, afford the safest has sometimes been quoted as an argument against the
model for study and imitation, and whose characters necessity and value of polite learning. Nothing could
may be exhibited, purified from their bodily particles be more erroneous. The founder of the earliest College
of human imperfection and infirmity. The Roman youth in the country, now an extensive university; of that
were urged always to conduct themselves as if the eye noble Library which scatters knowledge with a lavish
of Cato were upon them. Measuring their steps by hand; of that Philosophical Society, whose untiring ef-
his example, they were not to stagnate into sloth, or forts have continued to increase in ardour and useful-
run into vice.

ness-could no more be charged with failing in his love The founders of this institution, influenced by similar of literature, than he could be suspected of wanting the considerations have wisely associated with it; some of qualities of the heart, while the Pennsylvania Hospital the names, and thus created an obvious connexion with stands a proud and enduring monument of his philanthe characters, that have given especial renown to the thropy. His own native force of intellect, indeed nation.

enabled him to overcome the want of a systematic eduThe name of Lafayette is a pledge for the combina- cation in early life; yet it was in an enthusiastic devotion of many virtues. It has been said that no man's tion to the pages of the classic Xenophon, that he be. fame can be established till bis death. So feeble is came enamoured of the character of Socrates and learry human nature in its best condition, that while this frailed to adopt it for his model as a philosopher. body remains united to its immortal companion, there is But there is one whose name and example are always danger that a single error may forfeit the repu- happily blended with the hopes of this rising institution, tation which it was the well directed object of a long who united all the manly consistency of Lafayette, and and blameless life to acquire. But a rare union of esti- all the fervent patriotism of Franklin, with qualities mable qualities, without the alloy of opposite and which were peculiarly his own. The characters of men counteracting faults-intrepidity without rashness of a distant age, like those of the events in which they generosity, without extravagance-a desire to excel engaged, may be obscured by time or misrepresented without dangerous or designing ambition-sincerity by tradition. Historians have pointed out in the long without sternness-kindness without effeminacy--and catalogue of names that have shone in the annals of confidence without credulity - seem to afford a pledge nations, two that have been handed down spotless. that the straight and consistent course which has been these are Alfred of England, and Marcus Aurelius, who heretofore pursued by the good Lafayette may be con- wept when he became an Emperor. But they impute tinued to the end There was an awful crisis in the their freedom from all reproach to the imperfection of struggle of these states for freedom. Exertion was history itself, and consider their defects so necessarily almost exhausted. Disasters had been endured until incident to mankind, that they must have been buried patriotism tired of their repetition, and no prospect with the recollections of their cotemporaries Not so opened of their end. All was gloom. Even hope itself with Washington. The generation which came with was sinking rapidly into despondency. At such a mo- him into life has indeed departed. That too which ment unlooked for succor came. The moral principle succeeded and witnessed his exploits, is rapidly passing was exemplified that no disease is hopeless but despair. away, and soon, very soon, not a vestige of it will reThe drooping cause of liberty required an influence main. But the couniry is yet full of those who form,as more imposing than its own merits, and it was afforded it were, links which are to connect the days of Washin the arm and the countenance of a youthful noble. ington with those of his posterity. It is for them to

It needed an example of great pecuniary risk, take care that the knowledge of his especial qualities and it was found in the disinterested liberality which set does not partake of the fleeting properties of almost all a princely fortune on the cast. The tide of adversity he. things human, and like them melt away and be forgotgan at once to turn. The sympathies of the world ten. Let then his cotemporaries, for such are all that encouraged another effort, and the result was the at- have attained the age of four and thirty years, with the tainment of victory and the security of freedom. Through knowledge which they possess, of all that envy may the varying fortunes of the French nation, which has bave distorted or disappointment feigned- let thera breathed an atmosphere of intense excitement if not of with the influence of immediate contact, and without absolute revolution for more than forty years, it is the the advantages which distance of time may afford to a glory of Lafayetle that he never departed from the line doubtful character-let them record his feelings if they which his generous nature marked out from the begin. can. ning. In the chaos of anarchy he opposed the mad Other heroes may have won more blood stained tra career of popular phrenzy. In the reign of despotism, phies. Other conquerors may have ruled over more he did not disguise bis love of liberty. If the hope of populous empires. But the occasion and the individual contributing to the happiness of his country ever led never were so adapted to each other, conduct never him to unite in counsels which were ultimately disas. 'was displayed so eminently fitted to produce its happy

man.

1833.)

SKETCHES OF PENNSYLVANIA ;

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and glorious result, as in the instance of the American

From the Commercial Herald. Revolution and the early history of these United States

SKETCHES OF PENNSYLVANIA. -and George Washington. More brilliant exploits might perhaps have been performed to dazzle the eye, but

No. 9. they might too have marred the work which was to be achieved by an unpretending heroism as novel as it was observations in regard to the Mountain Ranges of Penn

We shall devote the present number to some general illustrious. The triumphs of the warrior might perhaps sylvania, which belonged in strictness to the last, but have been more resplendent, but they would have en

were excluded from want of space. dangered the safety of his country. The great man whose name you have assumed, was like many of the

It will be remembered that proceeding from the east heroes of the ancient world, but in the essential pro- to west, we have designated and described, six distinct perties of greatness, he surpassed them all. Home mountain formations, passing through Pennsylvana and bred and hume devoted he was the model for Ameri. extending great distances to the north-east and southcans. In war the undaunted soldier with the circum- west. There are 1st, the Blue ridge or Welsh mounspection of a philosopher, in peace the sagacious states- tain. 2d, the Blue ridge, of Virginia, known in Penn. men with the nerve and vigour of a warrior.

sylvania as the Conewago and Lehigh hills. 3d, the With all the advantages and inducements that have Kittatiny or Blue mountains. 4th, the Great Alleghabeen adverted to, what more could be desired to in. ny; 5th, the Laurel hill; and the 6th, the Chesnut flame the ardour of honourable ambition, or crown the ridge. We have also described several ranges between efforts of successful zeal? The character and conquests the Kittatiny and Alleghany, which occupy the central of your ancestors, are sacred pledges confided to your

mountain region of the state. hands. The cause of science is the cause of freedom, As a proof of the correctness of our remark, that by of virtue, and of happiness. The institutions of our the courses of the mountains, the leading communicacountry give value and importance to the services of all tions through the country were in a great degree reguher citizens, and should stimulate the most diffident lated, it is worthy of note that nearly all the important of them to put forth his utmost strength. The occupa post roads from the north-east to south-west, lie parallel tions and pursuits presented to them are full of moral to these ranges, and in the valleys which separate these and intellectual enjoyment. The great commonwealth ranges from each other. From the city of Washington, of which we are the immediate inhabitants teems with for example, three great post roads lead to the southresources, opportunities and rewards. The names of west, below the first, second and third ridges which we patriots and sages are assumed by you, as badges of have described, and parallel to them, adoption into the parent seminary, and of emulation As a general rule the mountains of Pennsylvania in. among her sons. If worthily worn they are emblems of crease in elevation as you proceed westward, until you honour; if abused or neglected they are the marks of pass the Alleghany. After that, there is a comparative shame. Thus excited to manly exertion, were your decline. The elevation of the Mine ridge probably neabode cast in the mournful cloister and surrounded by ver exceeds 800 feet above tide water--that of the the sands of the inhospitable desert, you could scarcely Blue ridge is about 1200, and of the Kittatiny about fail to rise to the rank of accomplished scholars and 1500. The Broad mountain in many places aitains to estimable men. But around you all nature speaks in the height of 2000 feet. The Alleghany mountain at glorious harmony with the feelings and desires, which Blair's gap, where the Pennsylvania Railway crosses it, every gilded recollection, which every buoyant hope is is 2291 above the tide water. This is however one of calculated to inspire. The muse of history is yet young the lowest passes; its general elevation is probably from amongst us. Yet her records already show that yonder 2500 to 2800 feet; at the point where it is proposed to lofty hills crowned with luxuriant foliage, these copi- tonnel that mountain for the Chesapeake and Ohio Ca. ous rivers now loaded with ample freights, those fertile nal, the height is 2754 feet. plains now rich in abundant harvests, were bestowed by In tracing the various mountain ranges, we have not providence for wiser purposes than to nourish game for heretofore followed them further than the Hudson river the savage, or afford indulgence to his barbarous sports. towards the north and east. We have had one reason Their first rude master has departed. His war-whoop for this omission. That river is in itself an anomaly. at the murderous onset, no longer echoes in the valleys For 150 miles of its course it is an arm of the sea extend. his retiring footstep no longer marks the mountain path ing through several great mountain formations without with blood. They are as little destined for the abode interruption to the flow of the tides from the Ocean. of the untutored and ignorant, who in the natural pro- No other such instance can be found in the United gress of events succeeded. They too have done their States. duty and have gone to subdue other forests and to pre- It is remarkable also, that all the mountains on reachpare for the husbandmen other fields. A wilderness ing the Hudson, change both their course and charac. has given place to the cultivated plain, and smiling ter. East of that river the mountains invariably run towns lift their spires where at no distant day the stur. from north to south-so that the continuation of the dy stroke of the pioneer alone resounded. Every thing various ranges which we have described is to be looked is accomplished except the task of the scholar. That for in the Green mountains of Vermont, the White great work is reserved especially for you. Guided and mountains of New Hampshire, and those of Canada. conducted by the good and wise, patronized by the Probably the Highlands on the north-eastern boundary, liberal, and encouraged by all, this rising institution about which so much has been written, and so much depends for its reputation and success on those who diplomacy spent, belong to those ranges. Another rehave enrolled themselves as its pupils and are to carry markable circumstance is, that those which in Pennsyl. abroad in their own accomplishments, its character and vania are of inferior height become very elevated on fame. Should you falter and fail in the great iace that the Hudson, and vice versa. The Blue ridge, for exis running by all around you, how deep and lasting ample, which we call but a hill, rises at West Point to will be your reproach. But should you in untiring the lofty peak, known as the Highlands of the Hudson. zeal, successfully strive with them for the mastery, im- The Kittatiny, which in Pennsylvania is not remarkable mortal may be your glory, immeasurable your re- for elevation, forms the Catskill mountain, the loftiest ward.

mountain in New York. When we come, however, to

trace the great Alleghany,and the intermediate ranges beMr. Albert C. Lester, of Quakertown, Bucks coun- tween it and the Kittatiny, we are compelled to refer ty, shot a large bald Eagle, in the vicinity of that place, that to the comparatively insignificant hills, which cross a few days since, which measured six feet from the tip the Mohawk, between Schenectady and the Little Falls, of one wing to the tip of the other.

and the Hudson above Troy,

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