Imágenes de páginas

Speculative reasoners, during that age, raised many objections to the planting of those remote Colonies; and foretold, that, after draining their mother-country of inhabitants, they would soon shake off her yoke, and erect an independent government in America.

DAVID HUME, Hist. of Eng., JAMES I.; à. d. 1603-1625.
Written, a. d. 1752,


MANY years since, while this century was in its second quarter only, the publishers of this choice collection of the "Maxims of Washington" brought it to the attention of the American people. It was hailed by educators and others among our ablest and wisest thinkers as a fitting text-book for American youth in schools and colleges. It seems called for again, after years of prosperity and adversity, by which the nation has been developed in a manner which excites the wonder of the world. If, as some suppose, there has grown up a generation somewhat unmindful of the great principles on which our Constitution was founded, perhaps this little manual, wholly derived from the writings of "The Father of his Country," may revive in all American hearts the devotion to these principles which he commended to perpetual remembrance in his Farewell Address.

June, 1894.


LORD BROUGHAM, in speaking of the Father of our Country, calls him "the GREATEST man of our own or any age; the ONLY ONE upon whom an epithet, so thoughtlessly lavished by men to foster the crimes of their worst enemies, may be innocently and justly bestowed." He adds, "It will be the duty of the historian and the sage, in all ages, to let no occasion pass, of commemorating this illustrious man; and, until time shall be no more, will a test of the progress which our race has made in wisdom and in virtue, be derived from the veneration paid to the immortal name of Washington."

The powerful influence of his character, his achievements, and his opinions, is acknowledged by all men. It has long been extending and increasing. And it cannot fail to produce, eventually, the most important and happy results, in the fulfilment of the final destinies of nations, and the attainment of the chief end of human existence.

By common consent, Washington is regarded as not

merely the Hero of the American Revolution, but the World's Apostle of Liberty. The war of the Revolution was a war of principle, that involved the interests of all mankind. England's violation of our sacred rights, was the stirring of the eagle's nest. It naturally awakened emotions of resistance. British prerogative was opposed by American freedom. Prerogative became arbitrary, and Freedom asserted her rights; Prerogative became oppressive and cruel, and Freedom took up arms and declared her independence The spirit of America's cause was impersonated in her great chief. He was a manifestation of the nation's heart and mind. And under his judicious guidance, by the providence of God, America not only stood erect, before the world, clothed in the panoply of justice, but moved steadily onward in her course; her shield, and breastplate, and whole armor flashing, at every step, with the light that shone on her from heaven.

Our victory being won, Washington sheathed his sword, and sat, for a brief space, under the shadow of his own vine and fig-tree. Soon, at the nation's call, he guided her in establishing the foundation, and rearing the superstructure, of her vast and imposing political fabric. He saw its topstone laid. And he was exulting, with holy joy, at the completion of his work, when the Supreme Disposer of events, by suddenly removing him from earth, in the fulness of his glory and renown, consecrated his character, and imparted to his opinions the commanding authority which they now possess.

The first name of America, not only is, but always will

« AnteriorContinuar »