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“ARE YOU A MASON?”
Rev. Mr. Magill, Rector of St. Paul's Church, Peru, Illinois, being asked the above question by a lady, responded as follows:
I am of a band
Who will faithfully stand
I have knocked at the door,
Once wretched and poor,
By the help of a friend,
Who assistance did lend,
Was received in the West,
With a moral quite fraught
Then onward I traveled,
To have it unraveled,
Very soon to the East
I made knoyn my request,
When lo! I perceived,
In due form revealed,
Thus far I have stated
And simply related
But I've“ passed” since then,
And was “raised” up again
Then onward I marched,
That I might be “arched,"
When behold! a bright flame,
From the midst of which came
Through the “veils” I then went,
And succeeded at length
By the "Signet " I gained,
And quickly obtained
In the depths I then wrought,
And most cheerfully sought
And by labor and toil
I discovered rich spoil,
Having thus far arrived,
I further contrived
And as Pilgrim and Knight
I stood ready to fight,
For the widow distressed
There's a chord in my breast;
And my sword I could draw
Thus have I revealed
(Yet wisely concealed,)
I am one of the band
Who will faithfully stand
ORATORY AND THE PRESS.-DANIEL DOUGHERTY.
The grand days of oratory are gone forever. It is not improbable that the teeming future may give birth to those whose resplendent genius will deservedly rank them among the immortals of the past. Certain it is that Oratory can never be lost while Liberty survives.
Twin born with Freedom, then with her took breath,
That art whose dying will be Freedom's death, But for all this, the glory, the pride, and the power of the orator have passed away. In the massical commonwealthi of old, the aspirations of the patricians were for oratory or arms, and not a few, like Cæsar, excelled in both. The Senate convened or the people met in grand assembly to hear discussed the weighty questions affecting the welfare of the State. There the orator appeared. His whole brain and soul were bent on moving those whom he addressed-he had no thoughts beyond. If others disputed, it brought into play the highest flights of rival genius. Æschines, contesting with Demosthenes, called forth the “Oration on the Crown.” The orators then were the leaders of the nation, the directors of public opinion, the controllers of legislation, the arbiters of peace or war. At home they were the idols of the people,-abroad they were the guests of kings. They were the marked men of the world.
But in these latter days there risen a power mightier than an army of orators; a power that has dwarfed their genius, destroyed their influence, and lowered them to the level of ordinary mortals; a power that can banish kings, destroy dynasties, revolutionize governments, embroil nations in triumphant or disastrous wars, and for good or ill is changing the aspect of the civilized world. The glory of the orator sank when the printing press arose. The orator, at best, can speak to thousands; the press to hundreds of thonisands. The orator speaks rarely; the press every day. The orator may, at the choicest moment, fail from ill health or one of many causes; the press, free from all the ills that flesh is heir to, moves on its mission with the facility, power, and precision of machinery. The orator may move an audience; the press can arouse a nation. The speech dies with the sounds that give it birth; the press lives forever on the imperishable page. The orator now addresses himself less to the audience of the evening than to the world of readers of the next morning.
Let us hope that the press may be faithful, pure, devoted to truth, right, justice, freedom, and virtue, as the orators have been. The orators-let me repeat it to their immortal honor-could never be silenced by the frowns of power, or bribed to desert a noble cause. They dared,-they defied tyranny, and preferred death to dishonor. If the press gloat in licentiousness; if it stoop to strike the private man; if it expose to the public gaze the sacred privacy of homes; if it violate all decency in thrusting gentle woman to the gossips of the town; if it catch at idle rumor or envious tongues to malign the innocent; if it can be bribed to suppress the truth, or circulate the falsehood; if it shield the public wrong-doer, and denounce the faithful public servant; if it pander to the base passion of the populace—then we may grieve that this great engine should work such mischief to society.
If, on the other hand, its mission be to disseminate intelligence and truth, to educate the masses to be faithful to their country and just to their fellow-men, to expose with an unsparing hand to public execration the corrupt legislator or the unjust judge; if it be honestly independent instead of timidly neutral in all that concerns the city and State; if it lift up modest and true worth and hurl down brazen infamy; if all its aims be the public good, the honor of the nation, and the glory of God-then we may be well reconciled that the days of oratory are over.
“Loud as a scandal on the ears of town,
Matches are made for many reasons
For love, convenience, money, fun, and spite; How many against common sense are treasons!
How few the happy pairs who match aright! In the fair breast of some bewitching dame,
How many a youth will strive fond love to waken And when, at length, successful in his aim,
Be first mis-led, and afterwards mis-taken! Then curse his fate, at matrimony swear, And, like poor Adam, have a rib to spare! How many ladies,--speculating dears !-Will make six matches in so many years,
So fast, sometimes, the amorous gudgeons bite;
Others, like bungling housemaids in the dark,
Will fret and fume, and lose full many a spark,
(Nor do I think the metaphor a bold one,) When folks in life turn over a new leaf,
Why very few would grumble at a gold one !
By love was made to look exceeding glumpy;
Was Miss Cordelia Carolina Crumpy;
Although a knight, as poor as any poet: But handsome as Apollo Belvidere,
And vain Sir Peter seemed full well to know it. No wonder, then, that Miss Cordelia Crumpy
Could not unmoved hear such a lover sue; Sweet, sympathetic maiden, fat and stumpy,
Green-eyed, red-haired, and turned of sixty-two!
But tell me, Muse, what charm it was could tickle
A face-(since similes I have begun on,)
Except the one beneath the Regent's cannon?
Peter, whom want of brass had made more brazen,
Nor are the labors of his lungs in vain;
Red as a chimney-pot just after rain!