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dear; whose expansive mind commanded the range of almost every art and science ; whose political sagacity, like that of his illustrious coadjutor, read the fate and interests of nations, as with a second sight, and scented the first breath of tyranny in the passing gale ; whose love of liberty, like his, was inflexible, universal, supreme; whose devotion to their common country, like his, never faltered in the worst, and never wearied in the best of times ; whose public services ended but with life, carrying the long line of their illumination over sixty years ; whose last thoughts exhibited the ruling passion of his heart, enthusiasm in the cause of education ; whose last breathing committed his soul to God, and his offspring to his country. Yes, Adams and Jefferson are gone from us for ever
gone, as a sunbeam to revisit its native skies - gone, as this mortal to put on immortality. Of them, of each of them, every American may exclaim,
“ Ne'er to the chambers, where the mighty rest,
Since their foundation, came a nobler guest;
A fairer spirit, or more welcome shade.” We may not inourn over the departure of such men. We should rather hail it as a kind dispensation of Providence, to affect our hearts with new and livelier gratitude. They were not cut off in the blossom of their days, while yet the vigor of manhood flushed their cheeks, and the harvest of glory was ungathered. They fell not, as martyrs fall, seeing only in dim perspective the salvation of their country. They lived to enjoy the blessings, earned by their labors, and to realize all, which their fondest hopes had desired. The infirmities of life stole slowly and silently upon them, leaving still behind a cheerful serenity of mind. In peace, in the bosom of domestic affection, in the hallowed reverence of their countrymen, in the full possession of their faculties, they wore out the last remains of life, without a fear to cloud, with scarcely a sorrow to disturb its close. The joyful day of our jubilee came over them with its refreshing influence. To them, indeed, it was “a great and good day.” The morning sun shone with softened lustre on their closing eyes. Its evening beams played lightly on their brows, calm in all the dignity of death. Their spirits escaped from these frail tenements without a struggle or a groan. Their death was gentle as an infant's sleep. It was a long, lingering twilight, melting into the softest shade.
Fortunate men, so to have lived, and so to have died ! Fortunate, to have gone hand in hand in the deeds of the revolution ! Fortunate, in the generous rivalry of middle life! Fortunate, in deserving and receiving the highest honors of their country! Fortunate, in old age to have rekindled their ancient friendship with a holier flame! Fortunate, to have passed through the dark valley of the shadow of death together! Fortunate, to be indissolubly united in the memory and affections of their countrymen! Fortunate, above all, in an immortality of virtuous fame, on which history may, with severe simplicity, write the dying encomium of Pericles, “No citizen, through their means, ever put on mourning”!
I may not dwell on this theme. It has come over my thoughts, and I could not wholly suppress the utterance of them. It was my principal intention to hold them up to my countrymen, not as statesmen and patriots, but as scholars, as lovers of literature, as eminent examples of the excellence of the union of ancient learning with modern philosophy. Their youth was disciplined in classical studies ; their active life was instructed by the prescriptive wisdom of antiquity ; their old age was cheered by its delightful reminiscences. To them belongs the fine panegyric of Cicero, “Erant in eis plurimæ litteræ, nec eæ vulgares, sed interiores quædam, et reconditæ ; divina memoria, summa verborum et gravitas et elegantia ; atque hæc omnia vitæ decorabat dignitas et integritas.”
I will ask your indulgence only for a moment longer. Since our last anniversary, death has been unusually busy in thinning our numbers. I may not look on the right, or the left, without missing some of those, who stood by my side in my academic course, in the happy days spent within yonder venerable walls.
“ These are counsellors, that feelingly persuade us, what we are,” and what we must be. Shaw and Salisbury are no more.
The one, whose modest worth and ingenuous virtue adorned a spotless life ; the other, whose social kindness and love of letters made him welcome in every circle. But what shall I say of Haven, with whom died a thousand hopes, not of his friends and family alone, but of his country? Nature had given him a strong and brilliant genius ; and it was chastened and invigorated by grave, as well as elegant studies. Whatever belonged to human manners and pursuits, to human interests and feelings, to government, or science, or literature, he endeavoured to master with a scholar's diligence and taste. Few men have read so much, or so well. Few have united such manly sense with such attractive modesty. His thoughts and
his style, his writings and his actions, were governed by a judgment, in which energy was combined with candor, and benevolence with deep, unobtrusive, and fervid piety. His character may be summed up in a single line, for there
“ was given To Haven every virtue under Heaven.” He had just arrived at the point of his professional career, in which skill and learning begin to reap their proper reward. He was in possession of the principal blessings of life, of fortune, of domestic love, of universal respect. There are those, who had fondly hoped, when they should have passed away, he might be found here to pay a humble tribute to their memory. To Providence it has seemed fit to order otherwise, that it might teach us “ what shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue.” We may not mourn over such a loss, as those who are without hope. That life is not too short, which has accomplished its highest destiny ; that spirit may not linger here, which is purified for immortality.
PRONOUNCED AT THE REQUEST OF THE ESSEX HISTORICAL SOCIETY, SEP
TEMBER 18, 1828, IN COMMEMORATION OF THE FIRST SETTLEMENT OF SALEM, MASS.
There are certain epochs in the history of nations, which always attract to themselves a lasting interest. They constitute steps the progress or decline of empire, at which we involuntarily pause to look back upon the past, or to spell out the fortunes of the future. They become associated with our inmost feelings and profoundest reflections. Our imaginations embody the time, the place, and the circumstances. We drop the intermediate distances of space and years, which divide us from them. We breathe the very air and spirit of the age itself. We gather up the fragments of broken facts, as history or tradition has scattered them around
We arrange them with a fond solicitude ; and having dressed them out in all the pride and pomp of fair array, our hearts kindle at the contemplation ; and we exult or mourn, glow with confidence or bow with humiliation, as they pass before us, and we realize their connexion with ourselves, the glory of our country, or the sate of the world.
Of memorable events, few awaken a more lively curiosity than the origin of nations. Whence we sprung, at what period, from what race, by what causes, under what circumstances, for what objects, are inquiries so natural, that they rise almost spontaneously in our minds; and scarcely less so in the humblest than in the most exalted of society. They are intimately connected with our pride, our character, our hopes, and our destiny. He, who may look back upon a long line of illustrious ancestors, cannot forget that the blood, stirring in his own veins, is drawn from a common source; and that the light, reflected by their virtues, casts upon his own path a cheering, even though it may be a distant, radiance. And he, who may not claim kindred with the mighty dead, feels that they are the common inheritance of his country, and that he has a right to share in their fame, and triumph in their achievements.
Nor let it be supposed, that this strong propensity of our nature is attributable to the indulgence of mere personal or national vanity. It has a higher and better origin. It is closely interwoven with that reverence and affection, with which we regard our parents, and the patriarchs of our own times ; with that gratitude, with which we follow the benefactors of our race; with that piety, which reads in every event the superintendence of a wise and benevolent Providence; with that charity, which binds up our interests in those of mankind at large; with that sympathy, which links our fate with that of all past and future generations; and with that sense of duty, which the consciousness of trusts of unmeasured extent never fails to elevate and strengthen. Above all, we are thus enabled to extract from remote events that instruction, which the vicissitudes of human life should press home to our own business and bosoms. The toils and misfortunes incident to infant settlements; the slow progress even of successful effort; the patience, fortitude, and sagacity, by which evils are overcome or diminished; the fundamental causes, which quicken or retard their growth; these all furnish lessons, which improve the wise, correct the rash, and alarm the improvident.
Two hundred years have just elapsed, since our forefathers landed on these shores for the perinanent plantation of New England. I say emphatically, for the permanent plantation of New England. There had been, before that period, various adventurers, who, from curiosity, or necessity, or hope of gain, explored the coast; but their purposes were transient, or their stay short. There had been here and there little establishments for fishery or trade, successively taken up and abandoned, from the rigors of the climate, the unprofitableness of the employment, or the disappointments naturally following upon such novel enterprises. Few persons, comparatively speaking, had turned their thoughts to this, as a land favorable for the cultivation of the soil, or the arts of social life. It promised little to the European, who should leave his native country with a fancy warm with descriptions of the luxuriance of this western world, and hoping to pass the residue of his life, as “one long summer day of indolence” and ease. It offered