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ims of morals. They sought to acquire in the schools of philosophy what we say must be derived from Heaven,—and as the contrast in the results is as obvious as is the contrast between the principles, it should seem easy to decide upon a choice as to which should be adopted. Nothing will tend better to confirm what I here allude to than a calm examination of what their best authors testify regarding their opinions and their practice.
I have said that we are equally weak as they were, as regards our pride and self-importance. I shall endeavor to illustrate and to prove the general truth of my observation. It is related of an Asiatic prince of more modern times, to whom an ambassador was sent from Holland, that he frequently was pleased at hearing from the envoy the extraordinary accounts of the customs and institutions of Europe. On one occasion, speaking of the intensity of cold, of which the monarch had very imperfect notions, the ambassador told him, that in Holland it sometimes produced such an effect on water that its surface became solid, and that men walkeå on it in safety and transported heavy burthens upon it as they would on land. The prince immediately ordered him to quit his dominions for having the effrontery of endeavoring to make him despicable by inducing him to believe in the truth of what was naturally impossible, because the experience of every one contradicted the notion that any increase of cold could render solid that which was always known to be liquid. It was opposed to the law of nature.
Strange as we may deem this decision of the Eastern, I believe you will find it equalled by that of Herodotus, who remarking upon the statement that certain Egyptians had eircumnavigated Africa at an early period, by sailing down the Red sea and after a long lapse of time returning by the pillars of Hercules, places his greatest difficulty of receiving their testimony upon the ground of their asserting that when at the greatest distance they had gone towards the South, the sun was at noon upon their right hand as they sailed towards the
west. This, he says, every body knows is impossible, it is against the laws of nature, because it is against the experience of every one that to a person going west the sun should at noon be to the right hand side of his position. I believe the law of nature now to be the same as it was then, and a navigator at this day sailing westwards below the Cape of Good Hope would consider it a very strange phenomenon to have the sun in any other position than on his right hand at noon; for he would be south of the tropic of capricom, and must necessarily have the sun to the North.
I have adduced this instance to shew not only that the scholar can advantageously study the history of mind and the progress of discovery in the ancient authors but that their perusal will shew him how liable the greatest minds are to sad mistakes when by reason of their attachment to preconceived notions or their own speculations they reject the evidence of testimony. It was thus that Hume and others of his school would set up their speculative notion that “our own experience was the only test of reasonable belief,” and thus like Herodotus they would because of its novelty, make that which was the surest evidence of the truth of a relation the very ground of its rejection. This school of philosophers is however fast sinking to its proper place in public estimation, and men are more rational in distrusting their self-sufficiency and in relinquishing their prejudices as they behold the follies to which both the one and the other have led men of undoubted ability and extensive information. · I am convinced that to such an audience as I have the honor of addressing, it is quite unnecessary to urge the vast fund of general information upon such a variety of subjects as will be found in the books to whose perusal I have been endeavoring to induce those who would improve their understanding, cultivate their taste or seek a reasonable recreation in classical pursuits. In reading them they converse with the most polished, the most learned, the most experienced of the poets, philoso
phers, historians, orators and statesmen that the civilized world has produced during several centuries.
Amongst them are the mighty men who have by their powers of oratory swayed nations as they would men, who to effect this mighty purpose subjected themselves to all the discipline and labor which so great a work demands. Theirs was not the rude volubility which, let off from a stump, produces a transitory effect upon the multitude. No! it was the wellweighed expression of solid truth sent forth to establish correct principles and to win to them the support of the mighty and of the weak, of the wealthy and of the poor, of the sage and of the simpleton. The object was to lay the foundations of their country's prosperity in their country's affections, and by convincing the understandings of their fellow men, to win their support to measures of public utility.—Their productions have outlived not only monuments of marble or of brass, but they survive the wreck of those governments under which they lived and of others that have succeeded them. They are studied to-day as the best models for imitation. You perceive they are free from those defects which cause so many others to sink into oblivion. They have no vulgar personality, they are not pompous exhibitions of the declaimer for the purpose of winning an ephemeral applause under the pretext of public instruction. No they are clear forcible appeals to the understanding of their auditors of whose respect they were certain because they proved their deference for the judgments of their assemblies, by treating them as men of understanding.
Having convinced by their reasoning, they delighted by a chaste decoration. This was investing with its more soft and beautiful covering the solid frame that had been produced amplified sufficiently to develope the just proportions;—there was no redundance, to weaken, no excrescence to deform. Feeling strongly and warmly themselves, they breathed life and vigour into what would otherwise be a form inert though beautiful. Dignified and winning in their manner, their produc
tions addressed themselves to the hearts of their hearers, allured them to obedience and commanded them to action.
Amongst those who surround me are several who must, whatever be their present prospects or determinations, be men to whom Georgia will look as the supporters of her rights, as the vindicators of her fame, as the leaders of her councils, as the representatives of her principles, as her protectors in our federation, and others upon whom she will rely to interweave new flowers in the garland of her literature. May I say to them, that whilst they seek even from their own Demosthenes to learn how they may succeed like him who
“Wielded at will that fierce democrate,
They should know his weakness, avoid his faults and receive the solemn warning from his fate. Had his sole ambition been his country's good, his corpse would not have fallen disgracefully upon Neptune's altar.
On an afternoon in the early period of the summer a few years since I stood upon a balcony where the country seat of Cicero overhung an eminence, the air was soft yet bracing.. Gata was at a little distance on my left, the blue Mediterranean rippled at a distance on the south-western border, groves of orange and of lemon trees filled a large portion of the plain which stretched below towards the shore, and their delicious perfume arose mingled with that of many other delicate odours from the gardens and the herbs. It was like the richness of his own eloquence. But where was the orator? It was through the pathways of that plain he was pursued. It was near that blue wave he descended from his litter, thence was his head borne to the cruel Anthony. Need I remind you of Fulvia's revenge? And even in the midst of the disastrous estrangements and the cruel hatred of faction and of party contest, the very populace of Rome wept at beholding the head and the hand of their once-loved defender exhibited upon the very rostrum where they hung upon his lips.
even inced of seatbeho
Yes, it is a dangerous eminence! Honesty of purpose and unbending integrity, unswerving perseverance in preferring principle to popular applause, in worshipping Fabrician integrity rather than Plutus or power or office, will, if any human means can, sustain you in safety. But the temptations are great, and there are but few who resist them, hence the victims are numerous, and the fortunate are few!
Georgia has at this day at least one sweet poet, whose heart is as kind as his lines are delightful. It may be; and let us expect that it will;—that other streams besides the Savannah should resound with the song.-In reading Lord Lyttleton's address to Pope, you will perceive that he fancies at the tomb of Virgil, that mighty bard to arise and commission him to deliver an admonition to the British Poet. I have stood upon the same spot, and a lovely one it is, elevated nearly over the entrance of the great grotto of Posilippo, on the head-land which divides the gulf of Naples from the waters of Baiæ. All the inspiration of Poetry is found in the very breeze that passes over it. With a few necessary alterations let me address from the mighty Mantuan that same admonition to you.
“Crowned with eternal bays my ravished eyes