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195. Vignette on Sir William Johnson's Diploma.. 288 290. The Beacon in Boston.
202. Schuyler's Mansion at Albany.
297, Portrait of George Grenville.
206. Fac-simile of the Continental Paper Money. 317 301, Portrait of Charles, Marquis of Rockingham
22. Portrait of Count Zinzendorf
342 319. Disjointed Snake-device at the head of Newspapers 508
234. Grummon's Hill
415 360. Signature of Governor Gage
OF THE NIVEA CITY
Far o'er yon azure main thy view extend,
VERY nation eminent for its refine
ment, displayed in the cultivation of the arts, had its heroic age; a period when its first physical and moral conquests were achieved, and when rude society, with all its impurities, was fused and refined in the crucible of
progress. When civilization first set up its standard as a permanent ensign in the Western hemisphere, northward of the Bahamas and the great Gulf, and the contests for possession began between the wild
Aborigines, who thrust no spade into the soil, no sickle into ripe harvests, and those earnest delvers
from the Old World, who came with the light of Christianity to plant a new empire and redeem the wilderness by cultivation, then commenced the heroic age of America. It ended when the work of the Revolution, in
the eighteenth century, was accomplished ; when the bond of vassalage to Great Britain was severed by her colonies, and when the thirteen confederated States ratified a federal Constitution, and upon it laid the broad found
ation of our Republic. Those ancient civilizations, registered by the stylus of history, were mere gleamings of morning compared with the noontide radiance which now lights up the Western World ; and even the more modern nations of Europe, brilliant as they appear, have so many dark spots upon the disk of their enlightenment, that their true glory is really less than that of the waxing Star in the West. These ancient and modern civilizations, now past or at their culminating points, were the results of the slow progress of centuries ; the heroic açe
of America, meteor-like, was brilliant and rapid in its course, occupying the space of only a century and a half of time from the permanent implanting of a British colony, weak and dependent, to the founding of our government, which, like Pallas Athena, was, at its birth, full panoplied, strong, eminently individual in its character, and full of recuperative energies. The head of Britannia was cleft by the Vulcan of the Revolution, and from its teeming brain leaped the full-grown daughter, sturdy and defiant.
Long anterior to the advent of Europeans in America, a native empire, but little inferior to Old Rome in civilization, flourished in that region of our continent which now forms the southwestern portion of the Republic. The Aztec empire, which reached the acme of its refinement during the reign of Montezuma, and crumbled into fragments when Cortez dethroned
and murdered that monarch, extended over the whole of Central America ; and when
the Spaniards came it was gradually pushing its conquests northward, where all was yet darkness and gloom. To human apprehension, this people, apparently allied by various ties to the wild nations of North America, appeared to be the most efficient instruments in spreading the light of civilization over the whole continent; yet they were not only denied this glorious privilege, but, by the very race which first attempted to plant the seeds of Eu. ropean refinement in Florida and among the Mobilian tribes, and to shed the illumination of their dim Christianity over the dreary regions of the North, was their own bright light extinguished. The Aztecs and their neighbors were beaten into the dust of debasement by the falchion blows of avarice and bigotry, and they form, apparently, not the most insignificant atom of the chain of events which connects the history of the empires of the Old World with that of our Republic.
It is believed that, two hundred years before the Aztecs subdued the more ancient people of the Mexican valley and founded Tenochtitlan,' a handful of rough, half-civilized adventurers from the wintery shores of Iceland and the neighboring main, driven by adverse winds they knew not whither, touched upon the bleak shores of Labrador, and traversed the American continent southward as far as Rhode Island, and, it may be, the capes of Virginia.” These supposed first modern discoverers of America were the children of the “mighty sea kings" of the Teutonic romances—the Scandinavian reguli, who, scorning to own Gorm the Old of Norway, and Harold Fairhair of Denmark, their conquerors, as masters, forsook their country and colonized Iceland, Greenland, Shetland, and the Orkney Islands, whence they sent forth piratical expeditions, which became a terror to Western Europe. They traded as well as plundered, and by commerce and conquest became potential. Every coast was visited by their squadrons, either for war or traffic. They swept over Denmark and Germany, and by conquest obtained possession of the best portions of Gaul.' They invaded
the British Islands, and placed the renowned Canute upon the throne of Alfred.
Long before Christianity had shed its genial rays over their frozen territory of the North, and banished the barbarous rites of Pagan worship, the lamp of learning had been
* This city was founded about the year 1210, and was afterward called Mexico, which signifies the place of Mexitli, the Aztec god of war. The present capital of Mexico is upon the site of that ancient city. The Aztecs, at that time, were settled in Lower California. They were divided into six tribes. The Mexican tribe wandered off southward, subdued the Toltecs, and founded the city around which the whole Aztec nation subsequently gathered. The Toltecs were far more refined than their conquerors, and from members of that dispersed nation the Aztecs were first made acquainted with painting, sculpture, astronomy, and many of the useful arts, such as working in metals, building bridges and aqueducts, agriculture, &c.
* See note on page 633.
3 Charles III., called the Simple, the eighth of the Carlovingian kings of France, ceded to Rolf or Rollo, one of the Northmen chiefs, the large province called by them Normandy. This event occurred in the year 918. Rollo and his subjects embraced Christianity, and became tha guardians of France against further invasion from the Northmen.