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His mind and energies to study bent ?
Whose living light eclipses every other,
Worthy to set in royal diadems,
O’ertop the majesty of queenliest dower
In the sweet wealth of its maternal power. When just beneath the critic's eye we stood,
So here 'tis not our country's greatest glory And conned old lessons for the “public good ?" |
That she's a name famed in heroic story, In conscious dignity our verbs rehearsed,
Nor that her riches with her years increase,And murdered Virgil's sweet and flowing verse ?
Her brightest jewels are the arts of peace ; Yet pause, forbear,—these walls have witnessed
| Those noble institutions of the free, here
Leagued against wrong and joined to equity, The rising youth go forth from year to year,
The last best fruits of democratic rule, Forth to the world to thread its dusty mart,
The free election and the public school. Earning success, by labor or by art.
Breathing Rhode Island's free and healthful air, And who can tell — perchance when years have
And educated by her generous care, passed,
We lay our varied talents at her feet, These youths may make themselves renowned at
We bless her liberal hand. It were but meet last,
The children of her bounty here to-day And by their genius and their moral worth,
Some passing tribute to her worth should pay. Immortalize the spot that gave them birth.
Long may those children guard her vestal fires ; Then, when such patrons and such fame we're
Long live the worthy sons of worthy sires, found,
Her brightest hope be in her rising youth, And these fair halls become as classic ground,
Her firmest Anchor be her children's truth. No more shall Science stay her wing of light Through want of apparatus in her flight,
Let us, as passing through the walks of life, But in those palmy days, that happier year, We feel its jostle, mingle in its strife,The needed laboratory will appear,
Let us sometimes recall these fleeting hours, Furnished with instruments both great and small, / When hope was young, life garlanded with flowA bona fide telescope and all.
ers; Come, let us paint the future, when these walls
And as each year, spun by the hand of fate, Shall stretch out broadly into gorgeous halls,
Leaves on our souls its gladness or its weight, When noble libraries shall open here
As slowly fading in life's sterner day, Their willing doors to aid the young idea.
Our cherished dreams, like mist-wreaths, melt See, every spell this magic spot hath graced,
away, To please the mind and charm the eye of taste, Still may these hours their pleasing spell retain Art shows you paintings on the frescoed walls,
To warm our hearts, to make us young again; Your foot on costly carpets softly falls.
Let us at times unlearn the lessons taught, But I forbear, lest this may seem to be
Forget our larger skill, our deeper thought, Beyond the bounds of possibility,
Throw off the shadow by time’s dial cast, For, though “hard times” stole many a social
And bathe us in the sunlight of the past. blessing,
'Tis ever thus, upon our onward track, He left behind our yankee knack for guessing. One footstep forward and the other back, These are my jewels, said the Roman mother, Tour souls still love old pleasures to renew
When memory brings her pictured scenes to view, Lurking among us in obscurity;
Alas! for him ; when fancy's dreamings high
| The garret's cobwebs only meet his sight; But see, the vision fades,-the pictures pale,
But still has fate one ray of comfort given, Hope sings her silvery song or tells her tale. He literally lives the nearest Heaven. How quick old momories oblivion find
Our future life seems like a youth's ideal, Before the bright ideals of the mind,
| Too often visionary and unreal. The future prospect charms the wishful eye, Too oft amid the bustle and the strife, Anticipation paints a cloudless sky;
We do forget this is not all of life, To youthful eyes, life's river in its course Intent on dreams of trifling follies made, Runs smoothly as the waters at its source; Whose substance is the shadow of a shade, Faith's arching rainbow spans its glowing west, We lean on reeds, we live but for to-day; And Hope's green islands glisten on its breast. We work, we struggle, and we pass away, Not in the outward world of time and sense, The only guerdon fate's stern hand has given Nor in the forms its varying scenes presents, A veil which shuts out happiness and Heaven. Or little joy our fleeting span may give; Yet there are times,—who has not felt their power, Not thus, but in ourselves we truly live.
And known the influence of such an hour :In every soul Hope paints her pictures well, When the bound soul from its long dreaming In every soul some fairy visions dwell
wakes, Of that hereafter, when our dreams shall be And in its horizon the day-star breaks, Embodied in the blest reality.
Showing our poor earth-idols made of clay, How many a different scene of weal or woe Robbed of their hues and mouldering away. That hidden path, that inner life would show,
Breathing unworded prayers in their calm light If through the future's veil our eyes could see
The stars are watchers of the dead by night ; To read the horoscope of destiny ?
So should our souls watch o'er our feebler clay, What shall we be, when in the coming time, Lest passion's clamor rise o'er duty's sway; Our young ambition shall have reached its prime: so in our daily walk, our lives should be Some would be great, - their dream of highest | Sacred to virtue, truth, and purity; good
Living so near the courts of light and bliss Lies in the praises of a multitude.
Our souls can catch the heavenly harmonies. And they may win; but ere they reach the goal Though strife and cursing fill the lower air, How many a lofty principle of soul,
Sending back echoings of praise and prayer, Beneath the car of policy shall lie
Learning how great, how God-like 'tis to be A sacrifice to popularity.
Above the world, its pomp and vanity, Their fame's a bubble; fortune's wheel may turn, Strewing our path with ministries of good; They say “Eureka" at an empty urn; | Loving all men as one great Brotherhood, Some may be merchant princes; but the ring Never forgetting we are not of earth, Of golden ingots has no charm to bring | But heirs of God, children of heavenly birth, The early lustre to the whitened hair,
And that our path, though rough and dark it be, Or smooth the furrows from a brow of care. Leads us to home and immortality. Perchance some embryo author we may find, With such a prospect of a life of bliss, Whose words of wisdom shall delight mankind, Is it not strange we fondly cling to this ? Whose ready mind shall guide a pen of light, Strange that we wander from our Father's fold? To lead the world in ways of truth and right. Strange that Heaven fadeth in the shine of gold? Perchance some poet's loving soul may be | That idle luxury and outward show
And the stamp of noble birth
BY PROF. E. 0. HAVEN.
He whose hand, embrowned by labor,
In each of the modern languages in which Worketh well and worketh sure;
literature and science have been extensively He who scorneth not his neighbor,
cultivated, as well as in each of the ancient He whose heart and lips are pure.
languages, the knowledge of which is conRise and work! Will idle dreaming ceived to be valuable, may be, found at least Win the shore by angels trod ?
one dictionary that could not have been enEarthly things are only seeming,
tirely the work of one man. The best dicThere is nothing true but God.
tionaries are the product of successive geneOnward press! the weeds of pleasure
rations of laborious scholars. Passow alone Flourish not in Heavenly soil,
could not have produced his valuable Latin Oh! compute by higher measure,
Dictionary, which has been still more improvLearn to win a Heaven by toil.
ed by Andrews. Gesenius was greatly in
debted to previous and contemporary comCourage! in the weak beginning Turn thy face toward the liglit,
mentators in the production of his Hebrew And thou shalt not fail of winning,
Lexicon. Indeed, it is doubtful whether the God is ever with the right.
persevering and systematic labors of Noah May 13th, 1858.
Webster, all tending towards one end, and protracted through far more than the average
working life of man, would have produced a For the Schoolmaster.
dictionary having any claims to be a perfect Expression.
lexicon of the English language, had he not A man, to be truly eloquent, must first pos- had the labors of some predecessors for a sess some well-defined thought which he be foundation, and had not the work in some lieves, feels, and with which he is so burden- particular departments been completed by ed that he cannot keep it. Then, if his soul men specially skilled in those departments. is on fire, there is no fear, provided he dis- ' In early times there were no dictionaries. cards all affectation or artifice, that he will Men spoke and wrote according to usage, light up a flame in the minds of his audience, which was never uniform over the whole of of sparkling, living thoughts, which shall con- any considerable nation or in any two succestinue to burn forever.
sive generations. Hence the great difficulty
| in determining the proper meaning and orThey who read about everything are thought thography, particularly of words found only to understand everything, too, but it is not or principally in ancient works. It would be always so. Reading furnishes the mind only difficult to find two manuscripts in Latin, with the materials of knowledge, it is think-Greek, or Anglo-Saxon, or in any ancient ing that makes what we read ours. We are language, in both of which a uniform mode of the ruminating kind, and it is not enough of orthography throughout was used. In to cram ourselves with a great load of collec- these ancient languages scholars have come to tions – we must chew them over again. - an agreement, and if now a new manuscript is CHANNING.
found, though sometimes a few copies are printed in the original spelling that various linguist - could reduce to a system so cmscholars may have the pleasure and profit of plex a language as the English. Varijus deciphering it, yet the editions designed for spellings continued to appear — but in a far general use are reduced to the standard mode less ratio — words were used in new meanof spelling and punctuation. This was the
ings, new words were introduced, and a new case, for instance, with a work called Ilip- dictionary was needed. Hosts of imitators polytus, a manuscript of which lay unnoticed — feeble folk - of course sprung up. They in the library of the University of Paris many are scarcely worthy of mention. All of them years, till somé copies seriatim and literatim introduced some improvements, but many of were made, and soon after an edition accord them marred more than they improved. Not ing to the modern spelling was made by Bun-one of them, like Johnson, devoted to the sen, a celebrated German scholar.
work heroically years of investigation. To The same will apply to books published ev- these, however, John Walker was an excepen after the art of printing had come into gen- tion. Though destitute of the boldness and eral use. Previous to the latter part of the scope of mind of Johnson, he did improve the cighteenth century, there was no fixed or in-orthography of the language. He saw that deed general standard of orthography in the Johnson had perpetuated absurdities, and set English language. Many books even had the himself to remove many of them. He rectisame words spelled in two or three, and some-fied the spelling of some words, and introtimes in many different ways. Even in so duced some others. His chief excellency, short a production as the Will of Shakspeare, however, was in exhibiting the true pronunhis name is written in two different spellings, ciation of words according to the practice of and it is probable that a printer then would the best society in London. For this he was have followed the copy.
especially qualified, as he was for many years In 1775, Johnson's large dictionary was pub- a teacher of elocution in the best society. To lished. He had toiled I think more than ten him in this particular department, all subseyears in its production. He limited his in- quent lexicographers are much indebted. vestigations, however, to works which had ap- But the greatest lexicogropher in our lanpeared within two hundred years of his own
guage was unquestionably our countryman, time, not studying the Anglo-Saxon, and of
the celebrated Noah Webster. His labors in course in that day, having an imperfect knowl-Ithis de
in that day, having an imperfect knowl- this department, and the results of them, far edge of Latin, and still more so of Greek. I surpass those of any other man before or
The great credit of this work was the in- since. From the beginning, he seems to have troduction of some system – imperfect as it had a strong predilection for the critical study necessarily was — into the perfect medley of of words. At the age of twenty-five, five orthography which had previously prevailed, years after his graduation at Yale College, he and also a very creditable explanation of the in the meantime having studied law, he pubmeaning of words deduced from their ordina- lished that elementary compend called Webry usage, in the one hundred and fifty years ster's Spelling Book, of which more than thir. over which his studies ranged.
ty millions are said to have been printed, and But it would betray an inadequate concep- from which probably more than three times tion of the magnitude of the enterprise, to as many people have learned to read as there suppose that one man — and he not a profound are now adults in the United States, and far