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النشر الإلكتروني

"Though man stands vindicated from the charge of malevolence, yet has calumny blackened his character with other accusations.

"Human passions have often been a mark for the arrow of contumely. Austerity condemns them, because they are sometimes irregular. As well might the same austerity curse the elements of nature, because the thunder, the earthquake, or the hurricane, sometimes rend an oak, split a mountain, or sweep a kingdom into the ocean.

"If we impartially look on our own nature, the utility of our passions must appear. Man, is at times in danger. Danger originates the necessity of caution, and caution is secured by the passion of fear. Unresisting innocence invites the hand of oppression. To prevent a repitition of injury, omniscient Deity planted the seeds of anger in the bosom of man. Self love, to some the most odious of all the passions, is still an emanation of benevolence. Like that, it has for its object, the diffusion of felicity. It first secures our own enjoyment. It then offers our bosom to a parent, to a friend, to our country, to the indiscriminate citizens of the world. Thus, on self love are grafted philanthropy, patriotism, friendship, and all the tender growths of domestic charity.

"A love of glory is the most violent, extensive and durable, of all the passions. For glory, men encounter toil, danger, and death itself. No pain, no labor, no toilsome virtue, no arduous heroism, can be a price too dear to purchase immortal renown. A passion which thus disposes men to sacrifice ease, safety, and life itself, to gain the applause of their fellow men, must inviolably unite mankind, and lodge in every breast a pledge for the social exertions of each individual.

"Let the votaries of apathy decry the passions. What can be the felicity, what the virtue, of their passionless philosophers? If man were void of self love, would the voice of native want, rouse him from the sleep of indolence? What would shield his bosom from danger, what would arm his hand with power, if fear did not teach him caution, and anger learn him to resist the aggressions of violence? Who would toil for man? Who, with

a smile, would bleed on the altar of emancipation, if the God of nature had not with love of glory warmed the bosom of man? Destitute of passions, man had stood, like the marble statue, without a motion; and eternally worn the same smile or frown which the last touch of nature's hand left impressed on his countenance.

"Understanding claims our next attention. This forms a splendid part of human nature. By this man perceives, remembers, reasons, and imagines. Perception and memory principally subserve the operations of reason and imagination.

“Guided by reason, man has traveled through the abstruse regions of the philosophic world. He has originated rules by which he can direct the ship through the pathless ocean and measure the comet's flight over the fields of unlimited space. He has established society and government. He can aggregate the profusions of every climate, and every season. He can meliorate the severity, and remedy the imperfections of nature herself. All these things he can perform by the assistance of reason.

"By imagination, man seems to verge towards creative power. Aided by this, he can perform all the wonders of sculpture and painting. He can almost make the marble speak. He can almost make the brook murmur down the painted landscape. Often, on the pinions of imagination, he soars aloft where the eye has never traveled; where other stars glitter on the mantle of night, and a more effulgent sun lights up the blushes of morning. Flying from world to world, he gazes on all the glories of creation: or, lighting on the distant margin of the universe, darts the eye of fancy over the mighty void, where power creative never yet has energized, where existence still sleeps in the wide abyss of possibility. By imagination, he can travel back to the source of time; converse with the successive generations of men; and kindle into emulation, while he surveys the monumental trophies of ancient art and glory. He can sail down the stream of time, until he loses "sight of stars and sun, by wandering into those retired parts of eternity, when the heavens and the earth shall be no more."

"To these unequivocal characteristics of greatness in man, let us adduce the testimony of nature herself. Surrounding creation subserves the wants and proclaims the dignity of man. For him day and night visit the world. For him the seasons walk their splendid round. For him the earth teems with riches, and the heavens smile with beneficence.

"All creation is accurately adjusted to his capacity for bliss. He tastes the dainties of festivity, breathes the perfumes of morning, revels on the charms of melody, and regales his eye with all the painted beauties of vision. Whatever can please, whatever can charm, whatever can expand the soul with extacy of bliss, allures and solicits his attention. All things beautiful, all things grand, all things sublime, appear in native loveliness, and proffer man the richest pleasures of fruition.

"Can he then raise his feelings too high in the scale of self approbation? Can he sufficiently abhor that contumely, which perpetually babbles of human depravity? In man, is it not calumny against Heaven? Is it not pointing the arrow of ingratitude against the munificent bosom of a God?

"If man can rejoice in the diffusion of felicity, is he not, like his Creator, benevolent? If his passions urge him to embrace the common interest of man, are they not useful? If his understanding guides him down the career of existence, is it not perfect? If surrounding creation waits on his wants, does it not, in the language of its Creator, talk aloud of human greatness? Do not all these shining tints brighten on the portrait of man? Yes. He rejoices in munificence; he toils for universal felicity; he developes the mysteries of nature; he aggregates the goods of space, of duration, and even arrests the attention of earth and heaven.

"This thought elevates man high on the theatre of existence, and places him full in view of a surrounding universe. It gives him an important part in the great drama of being. It tells him, all intelligences are interested in the success of his performance.

"Yes, my countrymen, you arrest the attention of millions. On you are fixed the eyes of that throng of departed patriots,

philosophers, and philanthropists, who measure their achievements by the dignity of their nature; and whose beatified spirits, now leaning from the azure battlements of heaven, allure their followers up the road to glory. You they hail, as their descendants; as the patrons of science; as the votaries of virtue; as the candidates of immortal beatitude."

The oration was followed by addresses, to the Corporation, to the President, the Tutors and Professors, the under-graduates, and his classmates. The latter address is inserted here.

"My Classmates: Often, on similar occasions, from this place, the world has heard the pathetic narrative of collegiate joys that are past. I will not pretend to determine why this has been done. This narration may be all reality. It may be a customary story, told to lure from the eyes of spectators the tear of sympathy, as a tribute grateful to valedician eloquence. It may be an ingenious artifice, woven to conceal the loathsome visage of classical animosity.

“Far from me be a wish to disguise the truth. Yet if we have had enmities, why may we not cease to feel them? Why may not the hand of charity throw the veil of forgetfulness over those parts of our classical existence, which we cannot recall without a painful emotion? Never will our bosoms soften with a warmer glow of forgiveness. Never, perhaps, shall we all meet again, till we meet beyond the narrow sea of time. Let us, therefore, on this day, solemnize the funeral of expiring enmity. Let us plant on its tomb the green olive of friendship. Let us part as brothers.

"Must we then part? Yes, the dark curtain of separation is now drawing between us. In a few hours we behold each other's faces no more. To-morrow's sun, shall see us scattered over the face of the world. We must now reciprocate a last adieu before a gazing multitude. This task is ungrateful. Parting friends, like parting lovers, wish to lean on each other's bosoms, and sigh a fond farewell in some sequestered shade, where no grief-unhallowed eye, can violate the tender inter

course.

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"Are not we of that description? Are not we friends? Can it be otherwise? Memory is witness too faithful. Never, never can he, who now addresses you, cease to feel the obligations of gratitude. When pale disease' and excruciating pain stretched him on the restless couch for many a sleepless midnight, you watched his wants through all the tedious hours; you offered the cordial to his expiring spirits; you, with tender assiduities, soothed his groans, and cheered him back again to life. O my Father! transfix this heart, if it ever cease to glow with joy at the joy of these my friends, or to melt with sorrow at their

woes.

"My good brothers: we this day launch out on the billowy ocean of life. A world lies before us. He who smiles away the terrors of the tempest, is our Father.

men.

"Let all our exertions ultimate on the felicity of our brother Then shall a heart, which never can reproach us, be our eternal companion. Then, when the grim messenger of fate shall point his iron shaft full at our breasts, with a magnanimous smile, we will meet dissolution; sleep undisturbed the sabbatism of death, and wake to ceaseless raptures, beyond the regions of time.”3

'While in College, he was sick of a fever. During his illness, his classmates and fellow-students were his constant attendants.

2 Milton.

3 Pope.

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