Part 8 out of 10
the grand temple of universal peace, whose dome shall be as lofty as the
firmament of heaven, as broad and comprehensive as the earth itself.
Biographical: Charles Samuer was an American statesman noted for his
oratory. His speeches were marked by soundness of reason, and the fifteen
published volumes of them make an imposing addition to our literature. This
selection is taken from his address "The True Grandeur of Nations," which
was delivered in Tremont Temple, Boston, July 4, 1845.
* * * * *
THE EVILS OF WAR
"The drying up a single tear has more
Of honest fame, than shedding seas of gore."--_Byron_.
War, pestilence, and famine, by the common consent of mankind, are the
three greatest calamities which can befall our species; and war, as the
most direful, justly, stands foremost and in front. Pestilence and famine,
no doubt for wise although inscrutable purposes, are inflictions of
Providence, to which it is our duty, therefore, to bow with obedience,
humble submission, and resignation. Their duration is not long, and their
ravages are limited. They bring, indeed, great affliction, while they last,
but society soon recovers from their effects.
War is the voluntary work of our own hands, and whatever reproaches it may
deserve, should be directed to ourselves. When it breaks out, its duration
is indefinite and unknown,--its vicissitudes are hidden from our view. In
the sacrifice of human life, and in the waste of human treasure,--in its
losses and in its burdens,--it affects both belligerent nations, and its
sad effects of mangled bodies, of death, and of desolation, endure long
after its thunders are hushed in peace.
War unhinges society, disturbs its peaceful and regular industry, and
scatters poisonous seeds of disease and immorality, which continue to
germinate and diffuse their baneful influence long after it has ceased.
Dazzling by its glitter, pomp, and pageantry, it begets a spirit of wild
adventure and romantic enterprise, and often disqualifies those who embark
in it, after their return from the bloody fields of battle, for engaging in
the industrious and peaceful vocations of life.
History tells the mournful tale of conquering nations and conquerors. The
three most celebrated conquerors, in the civilized world, were Alexander,
Caesar, and Napoleon. The first, after ruining a large portion of Asia, and
sighing and lamenting that there were no more worlds to subdue, met a
premature and ignoble death. His lieutenants quarreled and warred with each
other as to the spoils of his victories, and finally lost them all.
Cęsar, after conquering Gaul, returned with his triumphant legions to Rome,
passed the Rubicon, won the battle of Pharsalia, trampled upon the
liberties of his country, and expired by the patriot hand of Brutus. But
Rome ceased to be free. War and conquest had enervated and corrupted the
masses. The spirit of true liberty was extinguished, and a long line of
emperors succeeded, some of whom were the most execrable monsters that ever
existed in human form.
And Napoleon, that most extraordinary man, perhaps, in all history, after
subjugating all continental Europe, occupying almost all its
capitals,--seriously threatening proud Albion itself,--and decking the
brows of various members of his family with crowns torn from the heads of
other monarchs, lived to behold his own dear France itself in possession of
his enemies, was made himself a wretched captive, and far removed from
country, family, and friends, breathed his last on the distant and
inhospitable rock of St. Helena.
The Alps and the Rhine had been claimed, as the natural boundaries of
France, but even these could not be secured in the treaties, to which she
was reduced to submit. Do you believe that the people of Macedon or Greece,
of Rome, or of France, were benefited, individually or collectively, by the
triumphs of their captains? Their sad lot was immense sacrifice of life,
heavy and intolerable burdens, and the ultimate loss of liberty itself.
Biographical: Henry Clay was one of the most prominent statesmen of his
time, serving as speaker of the House for ten years, as secretary of state
for four years, and as senator from Kentucky for twenty years. He was the
author of the compromise measures in 1850, and was known as the "Great
Pacificator," and the "Great Compromiser."
* * * * *
PEACE, THE POLICY OF A NATION
JOHN C. CALHOUN
I am opposed to war, as a friend to human improvement, to human
civilization, to human progress and advancement. Never, in the history of
the world, has there occurred a period so remarkable. The chemical and
mechanical powers have been investigated and applied to advance the
comforts of human life, in a degree far beyond all that was ever known
before. Civilization has been spreading its influence far and wide, and the
general progress of human society has outstripped all that had been
The invention of man has seized upon, and subjugated two great agencies of
the natural world, which never before were made the servants of man. I
refer to steam and to electricity, under which I include magnetism in all
its phenomena. We have been distinguished by Providence for a great and
noble purpose, and I trust we shall fulfill our high destiny.
Again, I am opposed to war, because I hold that it is now to be determined
whether two such nations as these shall exist for the future, as friends or
enemies. A declaration of war by one of them against the other, must be
pregnant with miseries, not only to themselves, but to the world.
Another reason is, that mighty means are now put into the hands of both, to
cement and secure a perpetual peace, by breaking down the barriers of
commerce, and uniting them more closely in an intercourse mutually
beneficial. If this shall be accomplished, other nations will, one after
another, follow the fair example, and a state of general prosperity,
heretofore unknown, will gradually unite and bless the nations of the
And far more than all. An intercourse like this points to that inspiring
day which philosophers have hoped for, which poets have seen in their
bright dreams of fancy, and which prophecy has seen in holy vision,--when
men shall learn war no more. Who can contemplate a state of the world like
this, and not feel his heart exult at the prospect? And who can doubt that,
in the hand of an Omnipotent Providence, a free and unrestricted commerce
shall prove one of the greatest agents in bringing it about?
Finally, I am against war, because peace--peace is preėminently our policy.
Our great mission, as a people, is to occupy this vast domain,--there to
level forests, and let in upon their solitude the light of day; to clear
the swamps and morasses, and redeem them to the plow and the sickle; to
spread over hill and dale the echoes of human labor, and human happiness,
and contentment; to fill the land with cities and towns; to unite its
opposite extremities by turnpikes and railroads; to scoop out canals for
the transmission of its products, and open rivers for its internal trade.
War can only impede the fulfillment of this high mission of Heaven; it
absorbs the wealth and diverts the energy which might be so much better
devoted to the improvement of our country. All we want is
peace,--established peace; and then time, under the guidance of a wise and
cautious policy, will soon effect for us all the rest. Where we find that
natural causes will of themselves work out good, our wisdom is to let them
work; and all our task is to remove impediments. In the present case, one
of the greatest of these impediments is found in our impatience.
Yes; time--ever-laboring time--will effect everything for us. Our
population is now increasing at the annual average of six hundred thousand.
Let the next twenty-five years elapse, and our increase will have reached a
million a year, and, at the end of that period, we shall count a population
of forty-five millions. Before that day it will have spread from ocean to
ocean. The coast of the Pacific will then be as densely populated and as
thickly settled with villages and towns as is now the coast of the
Atlantic. If we can preserve peace, who shall set bounds to our prosperity,
or to our success? With one foot planted on the Atlantic and the other on
the Pacific, we shall occupy a position between the two old continents of
the world,--a position eminently calculated to secure to us the commerce
and the influence of both. If we abide by the counsels of common sense,--if
we succeed in preserving our constitutional liberty, we shall then exhibit
a spectacle such, as the world never saw.
I know that this one great mission is encompassed with difficulties; but
such is the inherent energy of our political system, and such its expansive
capability, that it may be made to govern the widest space. If by war we
become great, we can not be free; if we will be both great and free, our
policy is peace.
Biographical: John C. Calhoun was a distinguished American statesman. He is
noted for his advocacy of the annexation of Texas and his maintenance of
the cause of peace, when war with Great Britain was threatened by the
claims of the United States to Oregon. This selection is from one of his
speeches in the Senate on that subject.
* * * * *
THE FIRST SETTLEMENT OF NEW ENGLAND
The hours of this day are rapidly flying, and this occasion will soon be
passed. Neither we nor our children can expect to behold its return. They
are in the distant regions of futurity, they exist only in the all-creating
power of God, who shall stand here, a hundred years hence, to trace,
through us, their descent from the Pilgrims, and to survey, as we have now
surveyed, the progress of the country during the lapse of a century. We
would anticipate their concurrence with us in our sentiments of deep regard
for our common ancestors. We would anticipate and partake of the pleasure
with which they will then recount the steps of New England's advancement.
On the morning of that day, although it will not disturb us in our repose,
the voice of acclamation and gratitude, commencing on the rock of Plymouth,
shall be transmitted through millions of the sons of the Pilgrims, till it
lose itself in the murmurs of the Pacific seas.
We would leave for the consideration of those who shall occupy our places,
some proof that we hold the blessings transmitted from our fathers in just
estimation; some proof of our attachment to the cause of good government,
and ardent desire to promote everything which may enlarge the
understandings and improve the hearts of men. And when, from the long
distance of a hundred years, they shall look back upon us, they shall know,
at least, that we possessed affections which, running backward and warming
with gratitude for what our ancestors have done for our happiness, run
forward also to our posterity, and meet them with cordial salutation, ere
yet they have arrived on the shore of being.
Advance, then, ye future generations! We would hail you, as you rise in
your long succession, to fill the places which we now fill, and to taste
the blessings of existence, where we are passing, and soon shall have
passed, our human duration. We bid you welcome to the healthful skies and
the verdant fields of New England. We greet your accession to the great
inheritance which we have enjoyed. We welcome you to the blessings of good
government and religious liberty. We welcome you to the treasures of
science and the delights of learning. We welcome you to the transcendent
sweets of domestic life, to the happiness of kindred, and parents, and
children. We welcome you to the immeasurable blessings of rational
existence, the immortal hope of Christianity, and the light of everlasting
Biographical and Historical: Daniel Webster stands out as America's
foremost orator. His eloquence, enhanced by the force of his personality,
was equally great whether answering an opponent in the Senate, pleading a
case as a lawyer, or in the more dispassionate orations of anniversary
occasions. He was the champion of the national idea and of complete union,
and therefore bitterly opposed Hayne and Calhoun. He supported Clay in the
compromise measures of 1850. His supremacy in American statesmanship, as
senator, and as secretary of state, makes him "the notablest of our
notabilities." These are the closing paragraphs from his oration delivered
at Plymouth, December 22, 1820, on the two hundredth anniversary of the
landing of the Pilgrims.
* * * * *
SUPPOSED SPEECH OF JOHN ADAMS
Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give my hand and my heart
to this vote. It is true, indeed, that in the beginning we aimed not at
independence. But there is a divinity which shapes our ends. The injustice
of England has driven us to arms; and, blinded to her own interest, she has
obstinately persisted, till independence is now within our grasp. We have
but to reach forth to it, and it is ours. Why, then, should we defer the
declaration? If we postpone independence, do we mean to carry on or to give
up the war? Do we mean to submit, and consent that we shall be ground to
powder, and our country and its rights trodden down in the dust? I know we
do not mean to submit. We never shall submit!
The war, then, must go on; we must fight it through. And if the war must go
on, why put off the declaration of independence? That measure will
strengthen us. It will give us character abroad. Nations will then treat
with us, which they never can do while we acknowledge ourselves subjects in
arms against our sovereign.
If we fail, it can be no worse for us. But we shall not fail. The cause
will raise up armies; the cause will create navies. The people--the people,
if we are true to them, will carry us, and will carry themselves,
gloriously through this struggle. I care not how fickle other people have
been found. I know the people of these colonies; and I know that resistance
to British aggression is deep and settled in their hearts, and cannot be
eradicated. Sir, the declaration of independence will inspire the people
with increased courage. Instead of a long and bloody war for the
restoration of privileges, for redress of grievances, set before them the
glorious object of entire independence, and it will breathe into them anew
the spirit of life.
Read this declaration at the head of the army; every sword will be drawn,
and the solemn vow uttered to maintain it or perish on the bed of honor.
Publish it from the pulpit; religion will approve it, and the love of
religious liberty will cling around it, resolved to stand with it, or fall
with it. Send it to the public halls; proclaim it there; let them see it,
who saw their brothers and their sons fall on the field of Bunker Hill, and
in the streets of Lexington and Concord, and the very walls will cry out in
O Sir, I know the uncertainty of human affairs, but I see, I see clearly
through this day's business. You and I, indeed, may rue it. We may not live
to see the time this declaration shall be made good. We may die; die
colonists; die slaves; die, it may be ignominiously, and on the scaffold.
Be it so: be it so. If it be the pleasure of Heaven that my country shall
require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be ready at the
appointed hour of sacrifice, come when that hour may. But while I do live,
let me have a country, or at least the hope of a country, and that a free
But whatever may be our fate, be assured--be assured that this declaration
will stand. It may cost treasure, and it may cost blood; but it will stand,
and it will richly compensate for both. Through the thick gloom of the
present I see the brightness of the future, as the sun in heaven. We shall
make this a glorious, an immortal day. When we are in our graves, our
children will honor it. They will celebrate it with thanksgiving, with
festivity, with bonfires, and illuminations. On its annual return they will
shed tears, copious, gushing tears; not of subjection and slavery, not of
agony and distress, but of exultation, of gratitude, and of joy.
Sir, before God, I believe the hour is come. My judgment approves the
measure, and my whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I am,
and all that I hope in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it; and
I leave off as I began, that, live or die, survive or perish, I am for the
declaration. It is my living sentiment, and, by the blessing of God, it
shall be my dying sentiment; independence now, and independence forever.
Historical: Boston was deeply moved, on July 4, 1826, by the news of the
death of John Adams, just fifty years after the signing of the Declaration
of Independence. He was not only conscious of the significance of the day,
but had spoken of his colleague, Thomas Jefferson, and the fact that
Jefferson would survive him. A few days later, news came from Virginia that
Jefferson had died on the same day, a few hours earlier than Adams. The
whole country was deeply affected by this remarkable coincidence. On the
second of August a public memorial meeting was held in Faneuil Hall,
Boston, at which Daniel Webster delivered an oration on "Adams and
Jefferson." In this speech, merely a part of the oration, Webster
represents what Adams might have said at the time of the Declaration of
* * * * *
SOUTH CAROLINA AND THE UNION
I shall make no profession of zeal for the interests and honor of South
Carolina. If there be one state in the Union that may challenge comparison
with any other, for a uniform, zealous, ardent, and uncalculating devotion
to the Union, that state is South Carolina. From the very commencement of
the Revolution up to this hour, there is no sacrifice, however great, she
has not cheerfully made, no service she has ever hesitated to perform. She
has adhered to you in your prosperity; but in your adversity she has clung
to you with more than filial affection. No matter what was the condition of
her domestic affairs, though deprived of her resources, divided by parties,
or surrounded with difficulties, the call of the country has been to her as
the voice of God. Domestic discord ceased at the sound; every man became at
once reconciled to his brethren, and the sons of Carolina were all seen
crowding together to the temple, bringing gifts to the altar of their
What was the conduct of the South during the Revolution? I honor New
England for her conduct in that glorious struggle. But great as is the
praise which belongs to her, I think at least equal honor is due the South.
They espoused the quarrel of their brethren with a generous zeal which did
not suffer them to stop to calculate their interest in the dispute.
Favorites of the mother country, possessed of neither ships nor seamen to
create a commercial rivalship, they might have found in their situation a
guaranty that their trade would be forever fostered and protected by Great
Britain. But, trampling on all considerations either of interest or of
safety, they rushed into the conflict, and, fighting for principle, periled
all in the sacred cause of freedom. Never were there exhibited in the
history of the world higher examples of noble daring, dreadful suffering,
and heroic endurance than by the Whigs of Carolina during the Revolution.
The whole state, from the mountains to the sea, was overrun by an
overwhelming force of the enemy. The fruits of industry perished on the
spot where they were produced, or were consumed by the foe.
The "plains of Carolina" drank up the most precious blood of her citizens.
Black and smoking ruins marked the places which had been the habitations of
her children. Driven from their homes into the gloomy and almost
impenetrable swamps, even there the spirit of liberty survived, and South
Carolina, sustained by the example of her Sumters and her Marions, proved,
by her conduct, that, though her soil might be overrun, the spirit of her
people was invincible.
Historical: In January of 1830, Senator Foote of Connecticut introduced
into the Senate a resolution regarding the sale of public lands. The
subject of state rights being uppermost in their minds, the debaters
wandered off into a discussion of the Constitution. Senator Robert Y. Hayne
of South Carolina, in a brilliant speech set forth the doctrine of
nullification, and Daniel Webster answered him in one of the greatest
speeches ever delivered. This extract and the following are taken from this
memorable debate, when for the first time the two opposing theories of the
Constitution, the "state" and he "national," were clearly set forth.
* * * * *
REPLY TO HAYNE
I shall not acknowledge that the honorable member goes before me in regard
for whatever of distinguished talent or distinguished character South
Carolina has produced. I claim part of the honor, I partake in the pride,
of her great name. I claim them for countrymen, one and all. The Laurenses,
the Rutledges, the Pinckneys, the Sumters, the Marions--Americans
all--whose fame is no more to be hemmed in by state lines than their
talents and patriotism were capable of being circumscribed within the same
narrow limits. In their day and generation, they served and honored the
country, and the whole country; and their renown is of the treasures of the
Mr. President, I shall enter upon no encomium upon Massachusetts; she needs
none. There she is. Behold her, and judge for yourselves. There is her
history; the world knows it by heart. The past, at least, is secure. There
is Boston, and Concord, and Lexington, and Bunker Hill; and there they will
remain forever. The bones of her sons, fallen in the great struggle for
independence, now lie mingled with the soil of every state from New England
to Georgia; and there they will lie forever. And, sir, where American
liberty raised its first voice, and where its youth was nurtured and
sustained, there it still lives, in the strength of its manhood, and full
of its original spirit. If discord and disunion shall wound it; if party
strife and blind ambition shall hawk and tear it; if folly and madness, if
uneasiness under salutary and necessary restraint, shall succeed in
separating it from that Union by which alone its existence is made
sure,--it will stand, in the end, by the side of that cradle in which its
infancy was rocked; it will stretch forth its arm, with whatever vigor it
may still retain, over the friends who gather round it; and it will fall at
last, if fall it must, amidst the proudest monuments of its own glory and
on the very spot of its origin.
I cannot persuade myself to relinquish this subject without expressing my
deep conviction, that, since it respects nothing less than THE UNION OF THE
STATES, it is of most vital and essential importance to the public
happiness. I profess, sir, in my career hitherto, to have kept steadily in
view the prosperity and honor of the whole country and the preservation of
our federal Union. It is to that Union we owe our safety at home and our
consideration and dignity abroad. It is to that Union that we are chiefly
indebted for whatever makes us most proud of our country.
That Union we reached only by the discipline of our virtues in the severe
school of adversity. It had its origin in the necessities of disordered
finance, prostrate commerce, and ruined credit, Under its benign
influences, these great interests immediately awoke, as from the dead, and
sprang forth with newness of life.
Every year of its duration has teemed with fresh proofs of its utility and
its blessings; and, although our territory has stretched out wider and
wider, and our population spread farther and farther, they have not outrun
its protection or its benefits. It has been to us a copious fountain of
national, social, and personal happiness.
I have not allowed myself to look beyond the Union, to see what might lie
hidden in the dark recess behind. I have not coolly weighed the chances of
preserving liberty, when the bonds that unite us together shall be broken
asunder. I have not accustomed myself to hang over the precipice of
disunion, to see whether, with my short sight, I can fathom the depth of
the abyss below; nor could I regard him as a safe counselor in the affairs
of this government, whose thoughts should be mainly bent on considering,
not how the Union should be best preserved, but how tolerable might be the
condition of the people when it shall be broken up and destroyed.
While the Union lasts, we have high, exciting, gratifying prospects spread
out before us, for us and our children. Beyond that, I seek not to
penetrate the veil. God grant that, in my day, at least, that curtain may
not rise,--that on my vision never may be opened what lies behind.
When my eyes shall be turned to behold, for the last time, the sun in
heaven, may I not see him shining on the broken and dishonored fragments of
a once glorious Union--on States dissevered discordant, belligerent,--on a
land rent with civil feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood! Let
their last feeble and lingering glance rather behold the gorgeous ensign of
the republic, now known and honored throughout the earth, still full high
advanced, its arms and trophies streaming in their original luster, not a
stripe erased or polluted, nor a single star obscured, bearing for its
motto, no such miserable interrogatory as, "What is all this worth?" nor
those other words of delusion and folly, "Liberty first and Union
afterward"; but everywhere, spread all over in characters of living light,
blazing on all its ample folds, as they float over the sea and over the
land, and in every wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, dear
to every true American heart,--LIBERTY AND UNION, NOW AND FOREVER, ONE AND
* * * * *
DEDICATION SPEECH AT GETTYSBURG.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent,
a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that
all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war; testing
whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long
endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to
dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who
here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting
and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate--we can not consecrate--we can
not hallow--this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here
have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world
will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never
forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated
here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so
nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task
remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased
devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of
devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died
in vain--that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of
freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people,
shall not perish from the earth.
Historical: At the dedication of the national cemetery at Gettysburg,
November 19, 1863, President Lincoln was asked to be present and say a few
words. This address has become a classic. Edward Everett, the orator who
had delivered the long address of the day wrote to Mr. Lincoln, "I should
be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near the central idea of
the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes."
Several versions of the speech have appeared, but the one here printed was
given out by President Lincoln himself as the authorized version. See
"Lincoln's Gettysburg Address," Century Magazine, Feb., 1894.
* * * * *
LINCOLN, THE GREAT COMMONER
When the Norn-Mother saw the Whirlwind Hour,
Greatening and darkening as it hurried on,
She bent the strenuous Heavens and came down
To make a man to meet the mortal need.
She took the tried clay of the common road--
Clay warm yet with the genial heat of Earth,
Dashed through it all a strain of prophecy;
Then mixed a laughter with the serious stuff.
It was a stuff to wear for centuries,
A man that matched the mountains, and compelled
The stars to look our way and honor us.
The color of the ground was in him, the red earth;
The tang and odor of the primal things--
The rectitude and patience of the rocks;
The gladness of the wind that shakes the corn;
The courage of the bird that dares the sea;
The justice of the rain that loves all leaves;
The pity of the snow that hides all scars;
The loving kindness of the wayside well;
The tolerance and equity of light
That gives as freely to the shrinking weed
As to the great oak flaring to the wind--
To the grave's low hill as to the Matterhorn
That shoulders out the sky.
And so he came.
From prairie cabin up to capitol
One fair ideal led our chieftain on.
Forevermore he burned to do his deed
With the fine stroke and gesture of a king.
He built the rail-pile as he built the State,
Pouring his splendid strength through every blow,
The conscience of him testing every stroke,
To make his deed the measure of a man.
So came the Captain with the mighty heart:
And when the step of Earthquake shook the house
Wrenching the rafters from their ancient hold,
He held the ridge-pole up, and spiked again
The rafters of the Home. He held his place--
Held the long purpose like a growing tree--
Held on through blame and faltered not at praise.
And when he fell in whirlwind, he went down
As when a kingly cedar green with boughs
Goes down with a great shout upon the hills,
And leaves a lonesome place against the sky.
Biographical: Edwin Markham was born in Oregon, taught school in
California, and more recently has been a resident of Brooklyn. His poem
"The Man with the Hoe" brought him immediate fame.
* * * * *
O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung--for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths--for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here, Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck
You've fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores! and ring, O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
Biographical and Historical: Walt Whitman will always be remembered as the
author of this poem. It differs from his other poems in that it shows a
great deal of attention to form, to metre, and rhyme. He wrote not so much
with the aim to please as to arouse and uplift. He was very democratic in
his taste, and loved to mingle with the crowds on the ferries and
omnibuses. At different times he was school teacher, carpenter, and
journalist. This poem was written in appreciation of Lincoln, at the time
of his death.
* * * * *
EXTRACTS FROM WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE
Friends and Fellow-Citizens,
The period for a new election of a Citizen, to administer the Executive
Government of the United States, being not far distant, and the time
actually arrived, when your thoughts must be employed in designating the
person, who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me
proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the
public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have
formed, to decline being considered among the number of those, out of whom
a choice is to be made....
The unity of government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear
to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your
real independence,--the support of your tranquillity at home and your peace
abroad, of your safety, of your prosperity, of that very liberty which you
so highly prize.
But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different
quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in
your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your
political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external
enemies will be most constantly and actively, though often covertly and
insidiously, directed,--it is of infinite moment that you should properly
estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and
individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and
immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourself to think and speak of it
as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for
its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may
suggest even a suspicion that it can, in any event, be abandoned; and
indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate
any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties
which now link together the various parts.
To the efficacy and permanency of your union a government for the whole is
indispensable. No alliances, however strict, between the parts can be an
adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and
interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible
of this momentous truth, you have improved your essay, by the adoption of
the constitution of a government better calculated than your former for an
intimate union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns.
This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed,
adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in
its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with
energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has
a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its
authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are
duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our
political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their
constitution of government; but the constitution which at any time exists,
till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is
sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of
the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual
to obey the established government.
All obstructions to the executions of the laws, all combinations and
associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to
direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of
the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle
and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an
artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated
will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and
enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate
triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror
of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the
organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and
modified by mutual interests.
However combinations or associations of the above description may now and
then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and
things, to become potent engines by which cunning, ambitious, and
unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to
usurp for themselves the reins of government; destroying afterward the very
engines which had lifted them to unjust dominion.
Toward the preservation of your government and the permanency of your
present happy state, it is requisite not only that you steadily
discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but
also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its
principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to
effect, in the forms of the constitution, alterations which will impair the
energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly
In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and
habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as
of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by
which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country;
that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion,
exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and
opinion; and remember especially that for the efficient management of your
common interest in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much
vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is
indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers
properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed,
little else than a name where the government is too feeble to withstand the
enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the
limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and
tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.
It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country
should inspire caution, in those intrusted with its administration, to
confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding
in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another.
The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the
departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a
real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power and proneness to
abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy
us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the
exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different
depositories, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against
invasion by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern;
some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must
be as necessary as to institute them.
If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the
constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an
amendment in the way which the constitution designates. But let there be no
change by usurpation; for, though this, in one instance, may be the
instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments
are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent
evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity,
religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man
claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great
pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and
citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect
and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with
private and public felicity.
Let it simply be asked, where is the security for property, for reputation,
for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are
the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with
caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without
religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on
minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect
that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of
popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to
every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can
look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?
Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the
general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a
government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public
opinion should be enlightened.
In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and
affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting
impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the
passions, or prevent our nation from running the course, which has hitherto
marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself, that they
may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they
may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn
against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures
of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the
solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.
How far in the discharge of my official duties, I have been guided by the
principles which have been delineated, the public records and other
evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself,
the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself
to be guided by them.
Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious
of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to
think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may
be I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which
they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope, that my country will
never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty-five years
of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of
incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be
to the mansions of rest.
Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that
fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man, who views in it the
native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations; I
anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat, in which I promise
myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the
midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free
government, the ever favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as
I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.
* * * * *
THE MEMORY OF OUR FATHERS
HENRY WARD BEECHER
We are called upon to cherish with high veneration and grateful
recollections the memory of our fathers. Both the ties of nature and the
dictates of policy demand this. And surely no nation had ever less occasion
to be ashamed of its ancestry, or more occasion for gratification in that
respect; for, while most nations trace their origin to barbarians, the
foundations of our nation were laid by civilized men, by Christians. Many
of them were men of distinguished families, of powerful talents, of great
learning and of preeminent wisdom, of decision of character, and of most
inflexible integrity. And yet not unfrequently they have been treated as if
they had no virtues; while their sins and follies have been sedulously
immortalized in satirical anecdote.
The influence of such treatment of our fathers is too manifest. It creates
and lets loose upon their institutions the vandal spirit of innovation and
overthrow; for, after the memory of our fathers shall have been rendered
contemptible, who will uphold and sustain their institutions? The memory of
our fathers should be the watch-word of liberty throughout the land; for,
imperfect as they were, the world before had not seen their like, nor will
it soon, we fear, behold their like again. Such models of moral excellence,
such apostles of civil and religious liberty, such shades of the
illustrious dead looking down upon their descendants with approbation or
reproof, according as they follow or depart from the good way, constitute a
censorship inferior only to the eye of God; and to ridicule them is a
The doctrines of our fathers have been represented as gloomy,
superstitious, severe, irrational, and of a licentious tendency. But when
other systems shall have produced a piety as devoted, a morality as pure, a
patriotism as disinterested, and a state of society as happy, as have
prevailed where their doctrines have been most prevalent, it may be in
season to seek an answer to this objection.
The persecutions instituted by our fathers have been the occasion of
ceaseless obloquy upon their fame. And, truly, it was a fault of no
ordinary magnitude, that sometimes they did persecute. But let him whose
ancestors were not ten times more guilty cast the first stone, and the
ashes of our fathers will no more be disturbed. Theirs was the fault of the
age, and it will be easy to show that no class of men had, at that time,
approximated so nearly to just apprehensions of religious liberty; and that
it is to them that the world is now indebted for the more just and definite
views which now prevail.
The superstition and bigotry of our fathers are themes on which some of
their descendants, themselves far enough from superstition, if not from
bigotry, have delighted to dwell. But when we look abroad and behold the
condition of the world, compared with the condition of New England, we may
justly exclaim, "Would to God that the ancestors of all the nations had
been not only almost, but altogether such bigots as our fathers were."
Biographical: Henry Ward Beecher was a noted preacher, orator, and writer.
For forty years he was pastor of Plymouth Church, Brooklyn. He lectured
extensively throughout the country, taking up the great issues of his time.
He died in 1887 at the age of seventy-four.
* * * * *
THE AMERICAN FLAG
J. E. DRAKE
When Freedom, from her mountain height,
Unfurled her standard to the air,
She tore the azure robe of night,
And set the stars of glory there;
She mingled with its gorgeous dyes
The milky baldric of the skies,
And striped its pure celestial white
With streakings of the morning light;
Then, from his mansion in the sun,
She called her eagle-bearer down,
And gave into his mighty hand
The symbol of her chosen land!
Majestic monarch of the cloud,
Who rear'st aloft thy regal form,
To hear the tempest-trumpings loud,
And see the lightning lances driven,
When strive the warriors of the storm,
And rolls the thunder-drum of heaven--
Child of the sun! to thee 'tis given
To guard the banner of the free,
To hover in the sulphur smoke,
To ward away the battle-stroke,
And bid its blendings shine afar,
Like rainbows on the cloud of war,
The harbingers of victory!
Flag of the brave! thy folds shall fly,
The sign of hope and triumph high,
When speaks the signal trumpet tone,
And the long line comes gleaming on,
Ere yet the life-blood, warm and wet,
Has dimmed the glistening bayonet,
Each soldier's eye shall brightly turn
To where thy sky-born glories burn;
And as his springing steps advance,
Catch war and vengeance from the glance.
And when the cannon's mouthings loud,
Heave in wild wreaths the battle shroud,
And gory sabres rise and fall,
Like shoots of flame on midnight's pall;
Then shall thy meteor glances glow,
And cowering foes shall sink below
Each gallant arm that strikes beneath
That awful messenger of death.
Flag of the seas! on ocean's wave
Thy stars shall glitter o'er the brave;
When death, careering on the gale,
Sweeps darkly round the bellied sail,
And frighted waves rush wildly back
Before the broadside's reeling rack,
Each dying wanderer of the sea,
Shall look at once to heaven and thee,
And smile to see thy splendors fly
In triumph o'er his closing eye.
Flag of the free heart's hope and home!
By angel hands to valor given;
Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,
And all thy hues were born in heaven.
Forever float that standard sheet!
Where breathes the foe but falls before us,
With Freedom's soil beneath our feet,
And Freedom's banner streaming o'er us?
Biographical and Historical: The name of Joseph Rodman Drake is inseparably
associated with that of his friend, Fitz-Greene Halleck. Together they
contributed a series of forty poems to the New York Evening Post. Among
these was "The American Flag," the last four lines of which were written by
Halleck, to replace those written by Drake:
"As fixed as yonder orb divine,
That saw thy bannered blaze unfurled,
Shall thy proud stars resplendent shine,
The guard and glory of the world."
Drake was a youth of many graces of both mind and body, who wrote verses as
a bird sings--for the pure joy of it. His career was cut short by death
when he was only twenty-five years old. Of him Halleck wrote:
"None knew thee but to love thee,
Nor named thee but to praise."
* * * * *
WARREN'S ADDRESS AT THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL
Stand! the ground's your own, my braves!
Will ye give it up to slaves?
Will ye look for greener graves?
Hope ye mercy still?
What's the mercy despots feel?
Hear it in that battle peal!
Read it on yon bristling steel!
Ask it--ye who will.
Fear ye foes who kill for hire?
Will ye to your _homes_ retire?
Look behind you! they're afire!
And, before you, see
Who have done it!--From the vale
On they come!--and will ye quail?--
Leaden rain and iron hail
Let their welcome be!
In the God of battles trust!
Die we may--and die we must:
But, O where can dust to dust
Be consigned so well,
As where heaven its dews shall shed,
On the martyred patriot's bed,
And the rocks shall raise their head,
Of his deeds to tell?
Biographical and Historical: John Pierpont was a Unitarian clergyman of
Connecticut, who published several volumes of poetry. General Joseph Warren
was one of the generals in command of the patriot army at the battle of
Bunker Hill, and was killed in the battle. He was counted one of the
bravest and most unselfish patriots of the Revolutionary War. In this poem
we have the poet's idea of how General Warren inspired his men.
* * * * *
Behind him lay the gray Azores,
Behind the Gates of Hercules;
Before him not the ghosts of shores,
Before him only shoreless seas.
The good mate said: "Now must we pray,
For lo! the very stars are gone.
Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?"
"Why, say 'sail on! sail on! and on!'"
"My men grow mutinous day by day;
My men grow ghastly wan and weak."
The stout mate thought of home; a spray
Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek.
"What shall I say, brave Admiral, say,
If we sight naught but seas at dawn?"
"Why, you shall say at break of day,
'Sail on! sail on! and on!'"
They sailed and sailed, as winds might blow.
Until at last the blanched mate said:
"Why, now not even God would know
Should I and all my men fall dead.
These very winds forget their way,
For God from these dread seas is gone,
Now speak, brave Admiral, speak and say"--
He said: "Sail on! sail on! and on!"
They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate;
"This mad sea shows his teeth to-night.
He curls his lip, he lies in wait,
With lifted teeth, as if to bite!
Brave Admiral, say but one good word:
What shall we do when hope is gone?"
The words leapt like a leaping sword;
"Sail on! sail on! and on!"
Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck,
And peered through darkness. Ah, that night
Of all dark nights! And then a speck--
A light! A light! A light! A light!
It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!
It grew to be Time's burst of dawn.
He gained a world; he gave that world
Its grandest lesson: "On! sail on!"
Biographical and Historical: Cincinnatus Heine Miller (Joaquin [hoa'kin]
Miller) was born in Indiana in 1841. Joining the general movement to the
West after the discovery of gold, his parents moved to the Pacific coast in
1850. He died in 1914.
"In point of power, workmanship, and feeling, among all the poems written
by Americans, we are inclined to give first place to 'The Port of Ships,'
or 'Columbus,' by Joaquin Miller."--London Athenaeum.
* * * * *
RECESSIONAL--A VICTORIAN ODE
God of our fathers, known of old--
Lord of our far-flung battle line--
Beneath whose awful hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!
The tumult and the shouting dies--
The Captains and the Kings depart--
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!
Far-called, our navies melt away--
On dune and headland sinks the fire--
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!
If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe--
Such boasting as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!
For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard--
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding calls not Thee to guard.
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy Mercy on Thy People, Lord!
Biographical and Historical: Rudyard Kipling was born Christmas Week, 1865,
in Bombay. After school life in England, he returned to India at the age of
seventeen, to do journalistic work. His tales of Indian. life and his
ballads describing the life of the British soldier won immediate favor.
Perhaps he is best known to the boys and girls as the author of the Jungle
Books. From 1892 to 1896 he lived in the United States. This poem, which
appeared in 1897, at the time of the Queen's Jubilee, struck a warning note
against the arrogance of power.
* * * * *
A DEFINITION OF A GENTLEMAN
It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say he is one who never
inflicts pain. This description is both refined and, as far as it goes,
accurate. He is mainly occupied in merely removing the obstacles which
hinder the free and unembarrassed action of those about him; and he concurs
with their movements rather than takes the initiative himself. His benefits
may be considered as parallel to what are called comforts or conveniences
in arrangements of a personal nature: like an easy-chair or a good fire,
which do their part in dispelling cold and fatigue, though nature provides
both means of rest and animal heat without them. The true gentleman in like
manner carefully avoids whatever may cause a jar or a jolt in the minds of
those with whom he is cast;--all clashing of opinion, or collision of
feeling, all restraint, or suspicion, or gloom, or resentment; his great
concern being to make every one at their ease and at home. He has his eyes
on all his company; he is tender toward the bashful, gentle toward the
distant, and merciful toward the absurd; he can recollect to whom he is
speaking; he guards against unseasonable allusions, or topics which may
irritate; he is seldom prominent in conversation, and never wearisome. He
makes light of favors while he does them, and seems to be receiving when he
is conferring. He never speaks of himself except when compelled, never
defends himself by a mere retort; he has no ears for slander or gossip, is
scrupulous in imputing motives to those who interfere with him, and
interprets everything for the best. He is never mean or little in his
disputes, never takes unfair advantage, never mistakes personalities or
sharp sayings for arguments, or insinuates evil which he dare not say out.
From a long-sighted prudence, he observes the maxim of the ancient sage,
that we should ever conduct ourselves toward our enemy as if he were one
day to be our friend. He has too much good sense to be affronted at
insults; he is too well employed to remember injuries, and too indolent to
bear malice. He is patient, forbearing, and resigned, on philosophical
principles; he submits to pain because it is inevitable, to bereavement
because it is irreparable, and to death because it is his destiny. If he
engages in controversy of any kind, his disciplined intellect preserves him
from the blundering discourtesy of better, perhaps, but less educated
minds; who, like blunt weapons, tear and hack instead of cutting clean, who
mistake the point in argument, waste their strength on trifles, misconceive
their adversary, and leave the question more involved than they find it. He
may be right or wrong in his opinion, but he is too clear-headed to be
unjust; he is as simple as he is forcible, and as brief as he is decisive.
Nowhere shall we find greater candor, consideration, indulgence: he throws
himself into the minds of his opponents, he accounts for their mistakes. He
knows the weakness of human reason as well as its strength, its province,
and its limits.
Biographical: John Henry Newman, 1801-1890, a distinguished Prelate was
born in London. He graduated from Trinity College, Oxford, and became noted
both as a scholar and a writer. "Lead, Kindly Light," a poem of rare
beauty, was written by him while on a voyage in the Mediterranean Sea. This
selection is from his book, "The Idea of a University". He was made a
cardinal in 1879.
* * * * *
abandon (a-ban'dun), give up.
abatement (a-bat'ment), putting an end to.
abbey (ab'i), monastery; convent.
abnegation (ab'ne-ga'shun), denial.
aboon (a-boon'), Scotch for above.
absolute (ab'so-lut), without any limits or conditions.
abstinence (ab'sti-nens), refraining from certain kinds of pleasures.
abstract (ab-strakt'), separate.
abyss (a-bis'), a bottomless gulf.
accession (ak-sesh'un), coming into possession of.
acord (a-kord'), blend.
acost (a'kost'), approach; speak to.
acumulate (a-ku'mu-lat), collect; store up.
acuracy (ak'u-ra-si), exactness.
acurately (ak'u-rat-li), precisely.
acquiescence (ak'wi-es'ens), a yielding or agreeing.
Act of Navigation (act of nav'i-ga'shun), an ordinance passed by the
British Parliament for the American colonies by which goods were to be
imported to the colonies free of duty for a period of years, provided all
goods were sent out of the colonies in British ships.
adamant (ad'a-mant), a stone of extreme hardness.
adapt (a-dapt), fit; change to suit.
Adayes (a-da'yes), an early settlement in southwestern United States.
addled (ad'ld), rotten; confused,
adequate (ad'e-kwat), fully sufficient.
adherence (ad-her'ens), steady attachment.
adherent (ad-her'ent), clinging; a follower.
adieu (a-du'), good-by, farewell.
adjust (a-just'), fit; to put in order.
administer (ad-min'is-ter), manage or conduct (public affairs); tender an
admiral (ad'mi-ral), a naval officer of the highest rank.
ado (a-doo'), trouble, fuss.
Adonis (a-do'nis), in Greek mythology, a youth of marvelous beauty.
adoption (a-dop'shun), acceptance
adrift (a-drift'), floating at the mercy of the wind and waves.
advent (ad'vent), coming, approach
adversary (ad'ver-sa-ri), one opposed, a foe.
adverse (ad'vers), contrary.
aerial (a-e'ri-al), pertaining to the air; lofty.
Aershot (ar'skot), the town Aerschot in Belgium, 23 miles northeast of
affable (af'a-bl), friendly, gracious.
affectation, (af'ek-ta'shun), an attempt to assume what is not natural or
affidavit (af'i-da'vit), a sworn statement in writing.
aft (aft), near or towards the stern of a vessel.
Agassiz (ag'a-se), a celebrated Swiss-American naturalist who came to the
United States in 1846. He was professor of geology at Harvard.
aggression (a-gresh'un), attack.
aghast (a-gasf), terrified.
agitate (aj'i-tat), stir up; discuss.
agog (a-gog'), eager.
agony (ag'o-ni), great pain.
aid de camp (ad'de-kamp'; ad'de-kan'), an officer who assists a general in
correspondence and in directing movements.
Aidenn (a'den), paradise (from the Arabic word for Eden, used by Poe for
the sake of the rhyme).
Aix (aks), a city in Prussia, founded by the Romans and a favorite
residence of Charlemagne.
Aix-la-Chapelle (aks'la-sha'pel), is the French name and Aachen the German.
akimbo (a-kim'bo), with hand on the hip and elbow turned outward.
alacrity (a-lak'ri-ti), cheerful readiness.
Aladdin (a-lad'in), in the "Arabian Nights' Entertainments," the possessor
of a wonderful lamp with magic charms.
alarum (a-lar'um), an old form for alarm.
Albion (al'bi-un), an ancient name of England,
Alexander (al'eg-zan'der), surnamed "the Great," was a famous conqueror who
lived in the fourth century B. C.; founder of Alexandria in Egypt.
alienate (al'yen-at), make strange; take away.
all-absorbing (ol-ab-sorb'ing), taking up completely.
Allah (al'la), in the Mohammedan faith, the name for God.
Allahu (al-la'hoo), probably a Persian ejaculation.
all-besetting (ol-be-set'ing), surrounding on all sides.
allege (a-lej'), declare; affirm.
allegiance (a-le-jans), loyalty.
allegory (al'e-go-ri), description of one thing under the image of another;
alliance (a-li'ans), union of interests; league.
alloy (a-loi'), a baser metal mixed with a finer.
aloe (al'e), a fragrant plant growing in warm climates; the American aloe
is the century plant.
alteration (ol'ter-a'shun), making different; change.
alternately (al-ter'nat-li) by turns.
alternative (al-tur'na-tiv), a choice between two or more things.
amain (a-man'), with full force.
amaranth (am'a-ranth), an imaginary flower supposed never to fade.
ambassador (am-bas'a-der), a minister representing his ruler or country at
a foreign court.
ambition (am-bish'un), desire for honor or power.
ambrosial (am-bro'zhi-al), pertaining to the fabled food of the gods, which
amendment (a-mend'ment), a change for the better; a change in a bill or
motion by adding or omitting.
amiable (a'mi-a-b'l), lovable, goodnatured.
amidships (a-mid'ships), in the middle of a ship.
amorpha (a-mor'fa), a plant belonging to the pea family and having
amphitheatre (am'fi-the'a-ter), an oval or circular building with rising
tiers of seats about an open space.
ample (am'p'l), abundant; full.
Amun (a'mon), an Egyptian deity generally represented as a ram.
anchorite (an'ko-rit), one who renounces the world and secludes himself, a
andirons (and'i'urnz), metallic stands to support wood in a fireplace.
anecdote (an'ek-dot), a short narrative of some particular incident.
Angel of Death. See Exodus, chapter 12
Angel of the backward look; memory
Angelus (an'je-lus), the bell tolled in the morning, at noon, and in the
evening to tell the faithful the time for prayer.
annals (an'alz), historical records.
anon (a-non'), in a little while.
anticipate (an-tis'i-pat), count upon in advance; foresee.
antique (an-tek'), old.
antiquity (an-tik'wi-ti), great age
apathetic (ap'a-thet'ik), without feeling.
apathy (ap'a-thi), lack of feeling.
apex (a'peks), summit; point.
apology (a-pol'e-ji), an acknowledgment for some injurious act; an excuse.
Apolonius (ap-po-lo'ni-us), a philosopher and wonder-worker who lived at
about the same time as Christ.
apostrophe (a-pos'tro-fe), a speech or address to some person or thing
absent or present. Apostrophe to the Ocean,
appalling (a-pol'ing), terrifying.
apparel (a-par'el), clothing.
apparent (a-par'ent), clear, plainly to be seen.
appealing (a-pel'ing), calling for aid or sympathy.
apprehension (ap're-hen'shun), a taking hold of; anxiety.
apprise (a-priz'), inform.
approbation (ap'ro-ba'shun), liking; consent.
approximate (a-prok'si-mat), approach; nearly exact.
arabesque (ar'a-besk'), a kind of ornament, brought to high perfection by
Arabian artists and consisting of lines, figures, fruits, flowers, and men
Arachthus (a-rak'thus), the ancient name of a river in Greece; modern Arta.
arbiter (ar'bi-ter), one appointed to determine a controversy; umpire.
architect (ar'ki-tekt), one who is skilled in planning, designing, and
ardent (ar'dent), burning; passionate.
ardor (ar'der), heat; zeal.
arduous (ar'du-us), hard, difficult.
arena (a-re'na), the sanded area in the central part of a Roman
argosy (ar'go-si), a large merchant vessel.
argument (ar'gu-ment), proof or reasons in a controversy.
armament (ar'ma-ment), arms, ships and other equipment for war.
aroma (a-ro'ma), fragrance; a spicy perfume.
array (a-ra'), clothe; an orderly collection.
arrogance (ar'e-gans), pride with contempt of others.
artifice (ar'ti-fis), workmanship; artful trick.
artisan (ar'ti-zan), one skilled in some art or trade.
ascertain (as'er-tan'), learn for certain.
askance (a-skans'), sideways.
aspect (as'pekt), look.
asperse (as-purs'), sprinkle; defame.
asphodel (as'fo-del), a lily, in Greek mythology the special flower of the
dead. The English daffodil is derived from this Greek word.
aspiration (as'pi-ra'shun), strong wish, high desire.
assail (a-sal'), attack violently.
assailant (a-sal'ant), one who attacks.
assault (a-solt'), a violent attack.
assemblage (a-sem'blaj), a company of people gathered together.
assiduity (as'i-du'i-ti), constant attention; industry.
assiduous (a-sid'u-us), busy; persevering.
assign (a-sin'), give over.
Assyria (a-sir'i-a), an ancient state in Asia, east of the Tigris river.
astern (a-sturn'), in the rear part of the ship.
astounding (as-tound'mg), astonishing.
asunder (a-sun'der), apart.
Atchafalaya (ach'a-fa-li'a), an outlet of the Red and Mississippi rivers in
atilt (a-tilf), balanced lightly.
Atlantic Monthly, a magazine first published in 1857, with Lowell as
attain (a-tan'), reach; accomplish.
attaint (a-tant'), corrupt; disgrace.
attenuated (a-ten'u-at'ed), thinned, slender.
attitude (at'i-tud), position; feeling.
attribute (a-trib'ut), give; refer.
attribute (at'ri-but), characteristic; quality.
audacity (o-das'i-ti), boldness.
audible (o'di-b'l), capable of being heard.
auditor (o'di-ter), a hearer.
august (o-gust'), majestic; solemn.
auroral (o-ro'ral), pertaining to the dawn, rosy.
austere (es-ter'), severe.
austerity (os-ter'i-ti), severity; severe simplicity.
authentic (o-then'tik), true; genuine.
autocrat (e'to-krat), an absolute ruler.
avail (a-val'), help; be of use.
Ave Maria (a'va ma-re'a), Hail Mary, first words of a Roman Catholic prayer
to the Virgin Mary. The words are those of the Angel Gabriel, hence the
prayer is called the Angelus.
avenge (a-venj'), punish in order to execute justice.
aversion (a-vur'shun), dislike.
avert (a-vurt'), turn aside.
awry (a-ri'), turned or twisted: crooked.
aye and anon (a and a-non'), continually.
Azores (a-zorz'), a group of islands in the Atlantic belonging to Portugal,
and 800 miles west of it.
azure (azh'ur), the clear blue color of the sky.
Baal (ba'al), the supreme god o! the Assyrians,
Babylonish jargon (bab'ilo'nish), unintelligible language. See story of the
"tower of Babel." Gen. XI.
bacchanal (bak'a-nal), a carouser; a follower of Bacchus, the god of wine.
Bacchantes (ba-kan'tez), priestesses of Bacchus, the god of wine.
bairn (barn), Scottish name for a child.
Balaklava (ba'la-kla'va), a city in the Crimea on the Black Sea.
baldric (bol'drik), a broad belt worn over the shoulder and under the
ballad (bal'ad), a short poem telling a story.
balm (bam), anything that soothes pain.
balm in Gilead (bam in gil'e-ad), a biblical expression meaning comfort or
balmy (bam'i), mild; soothing; fragrant.
bandit (ban'dit), an outlaw.
baneful (ban'fool), injurious.
Bannockburn (ban'uk-burn), a battlefield in Scotland upon which Robert
Bruce defeated the English.
Baptiste Le-blanc (ba'tesf le blan'),
bar (bar), the legal profession.
bard (bard), a poet.
barge (barj), a boat.
barometer (ba-rom'e-ter), an instrument for determining the weight or
pressure of the atmosphere.
barouche (ba-robsh'), four-wheeled carriage, with a falling top, and two
double seats on the inside.
barrack (bar'ak), a building for soldiers, especially when in garrison,
barrier (bar'i-er), an obstruction or limit.
bask (bask), warm; lie comfortably,
baste (bast), drip fat on meat in roasting.
battery (bat'er-i), two or more pieces of artillery in the field.
bayonet (ba'e-net), a dagger fitted on the muzzle of a musket.
bayou (bi'oo), an inlet from a gulf, lake, or large river.
Beau Se-jour (bo-sa-zhoer'), a French fort upon the neck of land connecting
Acadia and the mainland. It had just been taken by the British,
"beard the lion," defy.
Beautiful Gate, an entrance to the temple in Jerusalem. See Acts III-2 and
Beautiful River, the Ohio.
beck (bek), call.
beetling (be'tling), projecting, jutting out.
begotten (be-got'n), caused to exist; born.
beguile (be-gil'), relieve the tedium or weariness of, entertain.
belfry (bel'fri), a bell tower.
Bell, name of an inn.
Belle Aurore (bel e-ror'), the dawn.
"bell or book," religious ceremony.
belligerent (be-lij'er-ent), waging war.
bellows (bel'oz), an instrument for driving air through a tube.
"belted knight," girt with a belt as an honorary distinction.
benedicite (ben'e-d'is'i-te), a chant or hymn, the Latin version of which
begins with this word; an exclamation corresponding to "Bless you!"
benediction (ben'e-dik'shun), a blessing.
beneficence (be-nef'i-sens), goodness or charity.
benign (be-nin'), of a kind disposition.
benignant (be-nig'nant), kind.
beseech (be-sech'), entreat.
bestead (be-sted'), put in peril.
bestial (bes'chal), beastly; vile.
bestow (be-sto'), give; grant.
betrothal (be-troth'al), contract to anyone for a marriage.
beverage (bev'er-aj), drink.
bicker (bik'er), move quickly with a pattering noise,
bier (her), a frame on which a corpse is borne to the grave.
bigot (big'ut), one blindly devoted to his own opinion; narrow-minded.
bigotry (big'ut-ri), narrow-mindedness.
biography (bi-eg'ra-fi), the written history of a person's life.
blanch (blanch), take the color out of; whiten.
blasphemy (blas'fe-mi), impious speech against God or sacred things.
blast (blast), a violent gust of wind.
blazoned (bla'z'nd), adorned, depicted in color.
blithe (blith), gay, joyous.
blithesome (blitn'sum), happy, gay,
Blomidon (blo'mi-dun), a mountain in Nova Scotia.
bodkin (bod'km), a pointed implement for making holes in cloth.
bondsman (bondz'man), one who gives security for another.
"bonnet and plume," a soft cap worn by men in Scotland.
Boom (bom), a town in Belgium.
boon (boon), a gift; bountiful; gay.
bootless (bpot'les), useless.
Border (bor'der), the frontier between England and Scotland,
"bore the bell," carried off the prize. A bell was formerly used as a prize
bosky (bos'ki), woody or bushy.
bosom (booz'um), the breast.
Bothnia (both'nr-a), Gulf of the northern arm of the Baltic Sea between
Finland and Sweden.
bountiful (boun'ti-fobl), liberal.
bourn (born), a boundary; limit.
bow (bou), the forward part of a ship, (bo) to rhyme with tow.
Bowdoin (bo'd'n), in Brunswick, Maine, college from which Longfellow
graduated in 1825.
Bozzaris, Marco (bo-zar'is. Mar'ko),
brackish (brak'ish), saltish; distasteful.
Braddock (brad'uk), a British general who met defeat and was killed in
Braganza (bra-gan'za), a reigning family of Portugal.
brake (brak), a fern; a thicket.
brawl (brol), noise: quarrel.
breach (brech), an opening in; a break.
breakers (brak'erz), waves breaking into foam against the shore.
breeches (brich'ez), trousers.
Breton, (bret'un), a province of France.
brig (brig), a two-masted vessel.
brigade (bri-gad'), a body of troops larger than a regiment.
brink (brink), verge or edge.
British Ministry, the British Government.
Briton (brit'un), a native of England.
broadside (brod'sid'), the side of a ship above the water line, from bow to
broadsword (brod'sord'), a sword with a broad blade and cutting edge.
Brook Farm, a farm near Boston, where an experiment in agriculture and
education was tried by a group of literary people.
Brunswick (brunz-wik), Duke of Brunswick (Frederick William) was killed in
the engagement described,
Brutus (broq'tus), a Roman politician who joined in the assassination of
buffcoat (buf'kot), a military coat made of buff leather.
buffet (buf'et), a blow.
bulkhead (bulk'hed'), a wall to resist pressure of earth or water.
Bunker Hill, a hill near Boston where a famous battle was fought.
bouyancy (bou'an-si), lightness.
burger (bur'get), an inhabitant of a borough.
burgesses (bur'jes-es), citizens of a borough.
Burgundian (bur-gun'di-an), pertaining to Burgundy, a province of France on
the Rhone river.
buskin (bus'kin), a covering for the foot and leg, worn by tragic actors.
cad (ca'd), Scotch for called.
cadence (ka'dens), a fall of the voice; rhythm.
Cadmus (kad'mus), in Greek legend the founder of Thebes and introducer of
the letters of the Greek alphabet.
Caesar. Julius (se'zar), (l00 B. C.-44 B. C.), a famous Roman general,
statesman and writer.
Caius Marius (ka'yus ma're-us),
calamity (ka-lam'i-ti), misfortune; disaster.
calender (kal'en-der), one whose business it is to press cloth or paper
between cylindrical rollers.
calumny (kal'um-ni), slander.
"Calvin's creed." Calvin was a celebrated reformer whose doctrines are
noted for their severity.
candid (kan'did), frank; open.
Cannobie Lee (kan'e-be le), a lea or large open space in Scotland.
cannonade (kan'un-ad'), a discharging of cannon.
capacity (ka-pas'i-ti), power.
"cap and bells," the tokens or signs of a jester or clown, therefore,
Cape Palmas (pal'mas), a promontory on the coast of Liberia, western
caper (ka'per), "cutting a caper," to leap about in a frolicsome manner.
capon (ka'pon), choice chicken.
caprice (ka-pres'), whim, fancy.
Capua (cap'u-a), an ancient city in Italy near Naples, famous for its
wealth and luxury.
career (ka-rer'), move rapidly.
carrion (kar'i-un), dead and decaying flesh of an animal.
Carthage (kar'thaj), an ancient city in northern Africa. Its wars with Rome
are known as the Punic Wars.
casement (kas'ment), a hinged window sash.
casual (kazh'u-al), happening without regularity.
catholic (kath'e-lik), liberal
cauldron (kol'drun), a large kettle
causeway (koz wa), raised road over wet ground.
cavalcade (kav'al-kad'), a procession of persons on horseback.
celestial (se-les'chal), heavenly, divine.
cenotaph (sen'o-taf), a monument to one buried elsewhere.
censer (sen'ser), a vessel in which incense is burned.
censorship (sen'sor-ship), office or power to examine papers for the press
and suppress what is thought harmful.
censure (sen'shfir), blame.
century-circled (sen'tu-ri-sur'k'ld), having a hundred circles, indicating
cessation (se-sa'shun), pause, stop.
cestus (ses'tus), girdle.
chaise (shaz), a two-wheeled carriage.
chalice (chal'is), a cup.
Chalkley's Journal. Thomas Chalkley was a traveling Quaker preacher. His
journal, published in 1747, told of his many wonderful experiences.
Chambered Nautilus (cham'berd no'ti-lus), a shellfish belonging to the
highest class of mollusks.
chancel (chan'sel), that part of a church containing the altar.
chanticleer (chan'ti-kler), a cock, so called from his clear voice in
chaos (ka-os), disorder.
chaotic (ka-ot'ik), confused.
chaplet (chap'let), wreath.
characterize (char'ak-ter-iz), describe.
chasm (kaz'm), deep opening, gap.
Chattahoochee (chat'a-hoo'chi), a river in Georgia which forms part of its
chaunt (chant), song, especially one that is solemn and slow.
Cheapside (chep'sid), the central east-and-west street of London, formerly
a market. "Chepe" is the old English word for market.
Chersonese (kur'so-nez), Athenians who had colonized the peninsula between
the Hellespont and the Gulf of Melos. Miltiades ruled over them.
chimerical (ki-mer'i-kal), unreal, fantastic.
chivalry (shiv'al-ri), manners of knighthood, courtesy.
chowder (chou'der), a dish made of fresh fish or clams, biscuit, etc.,
chronicle (kron'i-k'l), historical record.
churlish (chur'lish), rough, ill bred.
ci devant (se'de-van'), former.
circuit (sur'kit), a regular journey from place to place; the district
circumscribe (sur'kum-skrib') inclose, encircle.
citadel ( sit'a-del), fortress.
"civil feuds" (siv'il fuds), quarrels within one's own country.
clamor (klam'er), an outcry; uproar.
clang (klang), strike together so as to produce a ringing metallic sound.
clangor (klanger), a sharp, harsh, ringing sound.
clapboard (klap'bord), a narrow board, thicker at one edge than at the
other, for weatherboarding houses.
cleave (klev), cling; open or crack.
cleft (kleft), crack, crevice.
clement (klem'ent), mild.
clergy (klur'ji), a body of ministers of the gospel.
cloud-vesture (kloud-ves'tur), clothing of clouds.
Cochecho (ko-che'cho), Indian name for Dover, N. H.
cocked hat (kokt), a hat with the brim turned up.
cohesion (ko-he'zhun), close union.
cohort (ko'hort), in the ancient Roman army, a body of about 500 soldiers.
coil (koil), trouble; the body.
coincidence (ko-in'si-dens), a happening at the same time.
colossal (ko-los'al), of enormous size.
Comanches (ko-man'chez), a tribe of Indians noted for their warlike
comely (kum'li), pleasing.
comment (kom'ent), meditate upon; a remark or criticism.
commissioner (ko-mish'un-er) an officer having charge of some department of