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when the intervals of darkness come, as come they must,— when the sun is hid, and the stars withdraw their shining,— we repair to the lamps which were kindled by their ray, to guide our steps to the East again, where the dawn is. We hear, that we may speak. The Arabian proverb says, “ A fig-tree, looking on a fig-tree, becomes fruitful.”
INDUSTRY NECESSARY TO THE AT
TAINMENT OF ELOQUENCE
Henry Ware, Unitarian clergyman, and professor of pulpit eloquence in the Divinity School of Harvard University, was born in Hingham, Mass., April 21, 1794, and died in Framingham, Mass., September 22, 1843. THE history of the world is full of testimony
I to prove how much depends upon industry; not an eminent orator has lived but is an example of it. Yet, in contradiction to all this, the almost universal feeling appears to be, that industry can effect nothing, that eminence is the result of accident, and that every one must be content to remain just what he may happen to be. Thus multitudes, who come forward as teachers and guides, suffer themselves to be satisfied with the most indifferent attainments, and a miserable mediocrity, without so much as inquiring how they may rise higher, much less making any attempt to rise.
For any other art they would have served an apprenticeship, and would be ashamed to practise it in public before they had learned it. If any one would sing, he attends a master, and is drilled in the very elementary principles; and only after the most laborious process, dares to exercise his voice in public. This he does, though he has scarcely anything to learn but the mechanical execution of what lies in sensible forms before the eye. But the extempore speaker, who is to invent as well as to utter, to carry on an operation of the mind as well as to produce sound, enters upon the work without preparatory discipline, and then wonders that he fails !
If he were learning to play on the flute for public exhibition, what hours and days would he spend in giving facility to his fingers, and attaining the power of the sweetest and most expressive execution! If he were devoting himself to the organ, what months and years would he labor, that he might know its compass, and be master of its keys, and be able to draw out, at will, all its various combinations of harmonious sounds, and its full richness and delicacy of expression! And yet he will fancy that the grandest, the most varied and most expressive of all instruments, which the infinite creator has fashioned by the union of an intellectual
soul with the powers of speech, may be played upon without study or practice; he comes to it a mere uninstructed tyro, and thinks to manage all its stops, and command the whole compass of its varied and comprehensive power! He finds himself a bungler in the attempt, is mortified at his failure, and settles it in his mind forever, that the attempt is vain.
Success in every art, whatever may be the natural talent, is always the reward of industry and pains. But the instances are many, of men of the finest natural genius, whose beginning has promised much, but who have degenerated wretchedly as they advanced, because they trusted to their gifts, and made no efforts to improve. That there have never been other men of equal endowments with Demosthenes and Cicero, none would venture to suppose; but who have so devoted themselves to their art, or become equal in excellence? If those great men had been content, like others, to continue as they began, and had never made their persevering efforts for improvement, what would their countries have benefited from their genius, or the world have known of their fame? They would have been lost in the undistinguished crowd that sunk to oblivion around them.
Wendell Phillips, lawyer, orator, and abolitionist, was born in Boston, Mass., November 29, 1811, and died in the same city February 2, 1884. He was a strong and beautiful writer and a powerful speaker, but very set and uncompromising in his opinions. He deemed his views right and had no patience with those who disagreed with him, and was willing to lose all rather than recede from the ground he had taken and meet his opponents on a common basis of mutual forbearance and compromise. He considered the United States Constitution the safeguard of slavery, and, before the breaking out of the Civil War, advised a division of the States in order to permit the free States to repudiate slavery in every manner, shape, and form. He loved his conception of liberty more than he did his united country and was willing to destroy the latter in order to carry out the former. He was of that party in the North which would destroy the Union rather than that slavery should exist, just as Robert Toombs was of that other party in the South which would destroy the Union rather than see slavery perish. These two extremists dragged their sections with them and precipitated the titanic struggle between the States of the Union. When, however, it became apparent that the success of the Federal arms meant the death of slavery, Phillips ceased his efforts towards a dissolution of the Union and gave the cause of the North his undivided support. As a lecturer he was highly successful, and his beautiful discourse, “ The Lost Arts," is a living monument to his fame. He was earnest and sincere in all his undertakings, and stands to-day as one of the strong figures of the stirring times leading up to the Civil War. He possessed a wonderfully sweet, clear, ringing voice of great power, his modulation was beautiful and his general delivery excellent. In fact, he was one of the greatest orators of modern times, and a man who exerted tremendous power over the men and questions of his age.
IT is a grave thing when a State puts a man 1 among her jewels, the glitter of whose fame makes doubtful acts look heroic. The honors we grant mark how high we stand, and they educate the future. The men we honor and the maxims we lay down in measuring our favorites, show the level and morals of the time. A name has been in every one's mouth of late, and men have exhausted language in trying to express their admiration and respect. The courts have covered the grave of Mr. Choate with eulogy. Let us see what is their idea of a great lawyer. We are told that “ he worked hard,” “ he never neglected his client,” “he flung over the discussions of the forum the grace of a rare scholarship,” “No pressure or emergency ever stirred him to an unkind word.” A ripe scholar, a profound lawyer, a faithful servant of his client, a gentleman. This is a good record surely. May he sleep in peace. What he earned, God grant he may have. But the bar that seeks to claim for such & one a place among great jurists must itself be weak indeed. Not one high moral trait specified; not one patriotic act mentioned; not one patriotic service even claimed. Look at Mr. Webster's idea of