the radical poet, in this excursion falls in love with the golden-haired Katie at the farm of Rannoch, and is left behind by his returning fellows. The poet follows his hero into the mountains, wherever the restless Philip wanders, brooding on his passion.

Whilst the tutor anxiously, and his companions more joyously, are speculating on this dubious adventure of their comrade, a letter arrives at the cottage from Hope, who travelled with Philip, announcing that Philip and Katie have parted, and that Philip is staying at Castle Balloch, in assiduous attendance on the beautiful “ Lady Maria.” In an earnest letter to his friend the tutor, Philip explains himself; and the free-winged sweep of speculation to which his new life at the Castle gives occasion, is in a truly modern spirit, and sufficiently embarrassing, one can see, to the friendliest of tutors. Great is the mirth of the Oxford party at this new phase of the ardent Philip, but it is suddenly checked again by a new letter from Philip to Adam, entreating him to come immediately to the bothie or hut of Toper-naFuosich, to bring him counsel and sanction, since he has already found rest and home in the heart of Elspie!

We are now introduced to Elspie, the right Anteros, hitherto pursued in vain under deceiving masks, and are made with Adam the tutor to acquiesce in Philip's final choice. The story leads naturally into a bold hypothetical discussion of the most serious questions that bubble up at this very hour in London, Paris, and Boston, and, whilst these are met and honestly and even profoundly treated, the dialogue charms us by perfect good breeding and exuberant animal spirits. We shall not say that the rapid and bold execution has the finish and the intimate music we demand in modern poetry; but the subject-matter

is so solid, and the figures so real and lifelike, that the poem is justified, and would be good in spite of much ruder execution than we here find. Yet the poem has great literary merits. The author has a true eye for nature, and expresses himself through the justest images. The Homeric iteration has a singular charm, half-comic, half-poetic, in the piece, and there is a wealth of expression, a power of description and of portrait-painting, which excels our best romancers. Even the hexameter, which with all our envy of its beauty in Latin and in Greek, we think not agreeable to the genius of English poetry, is here in place to heighten the humor of college conversation.


JULY 21, 1865

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN: -With whatever opinions we come here, I think it is not in man to see, without a feeling of pride and pleasure, a tried Soldier, -- the armed defender of the right. I think that, in these last years, all opinions have been affected by the magnificent and stupendous spectacle which Divine Providence has offered us of the energies that slept in the children of this country, — that slept, and have awakened. I see thankfully those who are here; but dim eyes in vain explore for some who are not. They shine the brighter" in the domain of tender memory." The old Greek, Heraclitus, said, “War is the father of all things.” He said it, no doubt, as science, but we of this day can repeat it as a political and social truth.

War passes the power of all chemical solvents, breaking up the old cohesions, and allowing the atoms of society to take a new order. It is not the government but the war that has appointed the great generals, sifted out the pedants, put in the new and vigorous blood. The war has lifted many other people, besides Grant and Sherman, into their true places. Even Divine Providence, we may say, always seems to work after a certain military necessity. Every nation punishes the general who is not victorious. It is a rule in games of chance that "the cards beat all the players,” and revolutions disconcert and outwit all the insurgents. The revolutions carry their own points, sometimes to the ruin of those who set them

on foot. The proof that war also is within the highest right, is a marked benefactor in the hands of Divine Providence, is its morale. The war gave back integrity to this erring and immoral nation. It charged with power, peaceful, amiable men, to whose whole life war and discord were abhorrent. What an infusion of character went out from this and the other colleges! What an infusion of character down to the ranks! The experience has been uniform, that it is the gentle soul that makes the firm hero after all.

It is easy to recall the mood in which our young men, snatched from every peaceful pursuit, went to the war. Many of them had never handled a gun. They said: “It is not in me to resist. I go because I must. It is a duty which I will never forgive myself if I decline it. I do not know that I can make a · soldier. I may be very clumsy; perhaps I shall be timid; but you can rely on me. Only one thing is certain, I can well die, but I cannot afford to misbehave.”

In fact, the infusions of culture and tender humanity from these scholars and idealists who went to the war, in their own despite, — God knows they had no fury for killing their old friends and countrymen, had its signal and lasting effect. It was found that enthusiasm was a more potent ally than science and munitions of war without it. 'Tis a principle of war, ” said Napoleon, principe de guerre, “ that when you can use the thunderbolt, you must prefer it to the cannon. Enthusiasm was the thunderbolt. Here in this little Massachusetts, in smaller Rhode Island, in this little nest of New England republics, it flamed out when that guilty gun was aimed at Sumter.

Mr. Chairman: standing here in Harvard College, the parent of all the colleges, in Massachusetts, the

Mother of all the North, when I consider her influence on the country as a principle planter of the Western States, and now by her teachers, preachers, journalists and books, as well as by traffic and productions, the diffuser of religious, literary and political opinion, and when I see how irresistible the convictions of Massachusetts are on those swarming populations, I think the little State bigger than I knew; and when her blood is up, she has a fist that could knock down an empire. And her whole blood was roused. Scholars exchanged the black coat for the blue. A single company in the 44th Massachusetts contained thirty-five sons of Harvard. You all know as well as I the story of these dedicated men who knew well on what duty they went, — whose fathers and mothers said of each slaughtered son — “We gave him up when he enlisted.”

One mother said, when her son was offered the command of the first negro regiment, “If he accepts it, I shall be as proud as if I had heard that he was shot.” These men, thus tender, thus high bred, thus peaceable, were always in the front, and always employed. They might say, with their forefathers, the old Norse Vikings, “We sung the mass of lances from morning until evening; and in how many cases it chanced, when the hero had fallen, they who came by night to his funeral, on the morrow returned to his war path, to show his slayers the way to death! Ah! young brothers, all honor and gratitude to you! You, manly defenders, Liberty's and Humanity's homeguard. We shall not again disparage America, now that we have seen what men it will bear. We see

we thank you for it a new era, worth to mankind all the treasures and the lives it has cost; yes, worth to the world the lives of all this generation of American men, if they had been demanded.

« ElőzőTovább »