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dependence has naturally awakened stronger emotions. Both had been presidents, both had lived to great age, both were early patriots, and both were distinguished and ever honored by their immediate agency in the act of independence. It cannot but seem striking and extraordinary, that these two should live too see the fiftieth year from the date of that act; that they should complete that year; and that then, on the day which had fast linked forever their own fame with their country's glory, the heavens should open to receive them both at once. As their lives themselves were the gifts of Providence, who is not willing to recognize in their happy termination, as well as in their long continuance, proofs that our country and its benefactors are objects of His care?
Adams and Jefferson, I have said, are no more. As human beings, indeed, they are no more. They are no more, as in 1776, bold and fearless advocates of independence; no more, as on subsequent periods, the head of the government; no more, as we have recently seen them, aged and venerable objects of admiration and regard. They are no more. They are dead. But how little is there of the great and good which can die ! To their country they yet live, and live forever. They live in all that perpetuates the remembrance of men on earth; in the recorded proofs of their own great actions, in the offspring of their intellect, in the deep-engraved lines of public gratitude, and in the respect and homage of mankind. They live in their example; and they live, emphatically, and will live, in the influence which their lives and efforts, their principles and opinions, now exercise, and will continue to exercise, on the affairs of men, not only in their own country, but throughout the civo ilized world. A superior and commanding human intellect, a truly great man, when Heaven vouchsafes so rare a gift, is not a temporary flame, burning bright for a while, and then expiring, giving place to returning darkness. It is rather a spark of fervent heat, as well as radiant light, with power to eukindle
the common mass of human mind; so that when it glimmers in its own decay, and finally goes out in death, no night follows, but it leaves the world all light, all on fire, from the potent contact of its own spirit. Bacon died; but the human under standing, roused by the touch of his miraculous wand to a perception of the true philosophy and the just mode of inquiring after truth, has kept on its course successfully and gloriously. Newton died; yet the courses of the spheres are still known, and they yet move on in the orbits which he saw, and described for them, in the infinity of space.
No two men now live, fellow-citizens, perhaps it may be doubted whether any two men have ever lived in one age, who, more than those we now commemorate, have impressed their own sentiments, in regard to politics and government, on mankind, infused their own opinions more deeply into the opinions of others, or given a more lasting direction to the current of human thought. Their work doth not perish with them. The tree which they assisted to plant will flourish, altough they water it and protect it no longer; for it has struck its roots deep, it has sent them to the very center; no storm, not of force to burst the orb, can overturn it; its branches spread wide; they stretch their protecting arms broader and broader, and its top is destined to reach the heavens. We are not deceived. There is no delusion here. No
will come in which the American revolution will appear less than it is, one of the greatest events in human history. No
will come in which it will cease to be seen and felt, on either continent, that a mighty step, a great advance, not only in American affairs, but in human affairs, was made on the 4th of July, 1776. And
will come, we trust, so ignorant or so unjust as not to see and acknowledge the efficient agency of these we now honor in producing that momentous event.
We are not assembled, therefore, fellow-citizens, as men overwhelmed with calamity by the sudden disruption of the ties of
friendship or affection, or as in despair for the republic by the untimely blighting of its hopes. Death has not surprised us by an unseasonable blow. We have, indeed, seen the tomb close, but it has closed only over mature years, over long-protracted public service, over the weakness of age, and over life itself only when the ends of living had been fulfilled. These suns, as they rose slowly and steadily, amidst clouds and storms, in their ascendant, so they have not rushed from their meridian to sink suddenly in the west. Like the mildness, the renity, the continuing benignity of a summer's day, they have gone down with slow-descending, grateful, long-lingering light; and now that they are beyond the visible margin of the world, good omens cheer us from “the bright track of their fiery car!”
There were many points of similarity in the lives and fortunes of these great men. They belonged to the same profession, and had pursued its studies and its practice, for unequal lengths of time indeed, but with diligence and effect. Both were learned and able lawyers. They were natives and inhabitants, respectively, of those two of the colonies which at the revolution were the largest and most powerful, and which naturally had a lead in the political affairs of the times. When the colonies became in some degree united, by the assembling of a general congress, they were brought to act together in its deliberations, not indeed at the same time, but both at early periods. Each had already manifested his attachment to the cause of the country, as well as his ability to maintain it, by printed addresses, public speeches, extensive correspondence, and whatever other mode could be adopted for the purpose
of exposing the encroachments of the British parliament, and animating the people to a manly resistance. Both were not only decided, but early, friends of independence. While others yet doubted, they were resolved; where others hesitated, they pressed forward. They were both members of the committee
for preparing the declaration of independence, and they constituted the sub-committee appointed by the other members to make the draft. They left their seats in congress, being called to other public employment, at periods not remote from each other, although one of them returned to it afterward for a short time. Neither of them was of the assembly of great men which formed the present constitution, and neither was at any time member of congress under its provisions. Both have been public ministers abroad, both vice-presidents and both presidents. These coincidences are now singularly crowned and completed. They have died together; and they died on the anniversary of liberty. When
many of us were last in this place, fellow-citizens, it was on the day of that annversary. We were met to enjoy the festivities belonging, to, the occasion, and to manifest our grateful homage to our political fathers. We did not, we could not here, forget our venerable neighbor of Quincy. We knew that we were standing, at a time of high and palmy prosperity, where he had stood in the hour of utmost peril; that we saw nothing but liberty and security, where he had met the frown of power; that we were enjoying everything, where he had hazarded everything; and just and sincere plaudits rose to his name, from the crowds which filled this area, and hung over these galleries. He whose grateful duty it was to speak to us,* on that day, of the virtues of our fathers, had, indeed, admonished us that time and years were about to level his venerable frame with the dust. But he bade us hope that “the sound of a nation's joy, rushing from our cities, ringing from our valleys, echoing from our hills, might yet break the silence of his aged ear; that the rising blessings of grateful millions might yet visit with glad light his decaying vision." Alas! that vision was then closing forever. Alas! the silence which was then settling on that aged ear was an everlasting silence! For, lo!
Hon. Josiah Quincy.
in the very moment of our festivities, his freed spirit ascended to God who gave it! Human aid and human solace terminate at the grave; or we would gladly have borne him upward, on a nation's outspread hands; we would have accompanied him, and with the blessings of millions and the prayers of millions, commended him to the Divine favor. • While still indulging our thoughts, on the coincidence of the death of this venerable man with the anniversary of independence, we learn that Jefferson, too, has fallen ; and that these aged patriots, these illustrious fellow-laborers, have left our world together. May not such events raise the suggestion that they are not undesigned, and that Heaven does so order things, as sometimes to attract strongly the attention and excite the thoughts of men ? The occurrence has added new interest to our anniversary, and will be remembered in all tirne to come.
The occasion, fellow-citizens, requires some account of the lives and services of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. This duty must necessarily be performed with great brevity, and in the discharge of it I shall be obliged to confine myself, principally, tu those parts of their history and character which belonged to them as public men.
John Adams was born at Quincy, then part of the ancient town of Braintree, on the 19th of October, (old style,) 1735. He was a descendant of the Puritans, his ancestors having early emigrated from England, and settled in Massachusetts. Discovering early a strong love of reading and of knowledge, to gether with marks of great strength and activity of mind, proper care was taken by his worthy father to provide for his education. He pursued his youthful studies in Braintree, under Mr. Marsh, a teacher whose fortune it was that Josiah Quincy, Jr., as well as the subject of these remarks, should receive from him his instruction in the rudiments of classical literature. Having been admitted, in 1751, a member of Harvard College,