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DEMOSTHENIAN HALL, AUGUST 6th, 1840. On motion of the Hon. HOPKINS HOLSEY,
Resolved, That the thanks of the Demosthenian Society be, and are hereby tendered to BISHOP ENGLAND, for the learned and eluquent address pronounced by him to-day in the College Chapel, and that a committee be appointed to wait on him and request a copy for publication.
DEMOSTHENIAN HALL, AUGUST 6th, 1840.
In pursuance of the forgoing resolution we are appointed a committee to express to you the thanks of the Society for the able address this day delivered, and the satisfaction and delight with which it was receive ed- also to request a copy for publication.
Very Respectfully, yours,
WM. WILLIAMS, Jr..
G. A. MALLETTE.
ATHENS, Avaust 6th, 1840. GENTLEMEN,
I have felt myself honored by your selection of me to deliver the address to your Societies.- I am more flattered by the kind manner in which you characterise it in requesting a copy for publication,
Such as it is, it belongs to the Demosthenian Society.–The rough draft I have is very imperfect, I shall have a fair copy made immediately upon my arrival in Charleston, and transmit it to you without delay.
Allow me to assure you of the high respect and affectionate regard I bear for the Society, and the particular consideration in which I hold its committee.
Your brother Demosthenian,
+ JOHN, Bishop of Charleston. Messrs. WILLIAMS, CULBERTSON, AND MALLETTE,
It is related that St. John the Evangalist was once observed by a hunter, amusing himself with a bird. The astonishment manifested in the countenance of the observer, who remained gazing intently, was soon noticed by the Apostle, and he inquired for its cause. “I am struck with amazement,” replied the hunter, “to see you, who are so much esteemed for wisdom and sanctity, employed in so trivial an occupation! How unlike is your present position to that which you are generally supposed to hold ?" The Saint remarked that his observer's bow-string was loose, and enquired why he did not keep it tight. “Were I to do so," said the hunter, “my bow would loose its elasticity and soon become useless." “ The human mind,” observed the Evangalist, “is like your instrument: it would be destroyed by perpetual tension." Whatever position, then, it may be your lot to occupy in the employments of the world, you will need to apply the energies of your mind to the proper discharge of its duties. The grave study of the law, the deep reflections of medical science, the absorbing cares of political life, the intense application to business, the deep interest of your family concerns, your sympathy for friends and a thousand other importunate demands will draw
largely upon your time and upon your feelings, and will compel exertion :-but you will also feel the necessity of relaxation. So that, in fact, its regulation is one of the most important concerns of life; and the neglect of its arrangement is pregnant with the most dangerous consequences to youth and to manhood.
Some persons at an early age, under pretext of relaxation, contract habits which become in after life the sources of their ruin. It is one of the misfortunes of our nature that they who have been the victims of crime are almost necessarily thereafter its abettors, and this not merely upon the well observed principle which spreads its influence over every age and every nation; Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris; there is not only a malicious satisfaction in knowing and exhibiting that we are not without associates in our degradation and our depravity; but they who have exhausted their own springs of indulgence, in dissapation, feel it necessary to have companions who yet possess a supply that will suffice for both. At a time, then, when experience has not brought caution, when passion is strong, when the desire of novelty is great, when under the alluring names of liberty and independence, wholesome restraints are easily laid aside, and the buoyant spirit of youth loves indulgence, cunning self-interest frequently bestows the name of necessary recreation upon those pursuits which degrade and destroy, and thus seduces the generous and the inexperienced into habits which are easily formed but which it requires time, labor and perseverance to overcome.
This is one of the most copious sources of intoxication, of licentiousness, of idleness and of dissapation; by these the peace, the honor, the property and the respectability of families are destroyed, and they who night have been the ornaments of their State and the benefactors of their race, sink dishonored to an early grave, occasioning grief and drawing tears from their survivors, not so much for their departure, but because of their havoc and their disgrace.
The relaxations of uncivilized nations are for the most part characterized by their vulgarity, their cruelty or their licentiousness; and as men are raised upon the scale of refinement; their amusements generally lose many of these marks. The cultivation of literature is one of the ordinary and natural means of thus elevating man, and hence it has been, at an early period, well observed; Ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes emmolit mores nec sinit esse feros :—The boisterous whoop, the rude familiarity, the dangerous jostle, the exhibition of grotesque mummery, the casting of ridicule upon our fellows, or exhibiting them in awkward predicaments in the view of others, are, to many persons of vulgar feelings, sources of infinite amusement; and they who thus delight in the annoyance of their associates are persons who would for similar treatment in respect to themselves, seek a marked revenge.
Our feelings are not unfrequently put to unpleasant trials at even reading the description of the tortures inflicted upon their prisoners, by savage tribes, and the enjoyment which the suffering affords to the cruel executioner. Nor does history confine the recital to the deeds of such rude hordes! The arena of the Amphitheatre witnessed the shouts of the delighted multitude, whilst its sand drank up the expiring gladiator's blood, or yet exposed the recking fragments of the half devoured bodies of Christian victims which the beasts of
prey tore for the entertainment of their no less savage beholders. Surely I need not draw your attention to the cruel excitement of beasts and even birds and the arming them for' mutual destruction to afford the opportunity of relaxation and enjoyment, united to the indulgence of their love of gambling, to men said to be respectable. What a spectacle to behold! A man whose mind is cast in the most perfect mould,
upon whose character and conduct a lovely family has rested all its hope, to whom a vicinage looks for its weight and its respectability, forgetting his proper place and madly risking the means of fortune and of fame for himself and for others
superior instinct for destruction, or the fortuitous exposure or activity of a poor bird, thus unnaturally excited and thus wickedly armed? Do these cruel sports add dignity to our nature ? Do they confer benefits upon Society? I shall not speak of