« AnteriorContinuar »
glory of the forbidding task. Even the same quality that without training makes them lose their heads enables them with training to walk steadily on the brink of precipices; the same quick apprehensiveness that makes them timid becomes, under control, a minister to the highest courage, enabling shrinking women to face death, and what is infinitely worse than death - apparently hopeless life. The poet Crashaw remembering the Christian martyrs cries, –
“Oh that it were as it was wont to be When Thy old friends of fire, all full of Thee, Fought against frowns with smiles, gave glorious
chase To persecutions, and against the face Of death and fiercest dangers, durst with brave And sober pace march on to meet a grave. On their bold breasts about the world they bore
Thee, And to the teeth of hell stood up to teach
Thee; In centre of their inmost souls they wore Thee, Where racks and torments strived in vain to
Even in our own days we have seen a spirit as fine and high among educated men and women. As a child, I saw Governor Andrew review on Boston Common the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, the first black regiment, whose white commander, scarcely more than a boy, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, lives to-day in the hearts of Harvard men as the very flower of American knighthood, as the symbol of high idealism, of romantic loyalty to college and to country. Just before the assault on Fort Wagner, a man who believes himself to be the last white man that ever talked with Robert Shaw, carried him a message:1
“General Strong presents his compliments to Colonel Shaw and tells him that he expects the Fifty-fourth to do its duty."
“Tell General Strong," was the answer, “ that the Fifty-fourth will immortalize itself” – “and,” says the soldier who took the message, “ in half an hour he was among the immortals."
1 This story is told by President Thwing of Western Reserve University, who heard it from the messenger.
“What has it all been for?” For the knowledge that makes life richer; for the friendship that makes life sweeter ; for the training that brings power to the task which is hard and high; for the wisdom that suffers and triumphs and is strong; for the vision that shall light your way like a pillar of fire; for the truth that shall make you free.