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the only cheers we ever got. O'Connell came with one Irish member to support him. A large party of members [I think Buxton said twenty-seven] whom we called the West India interest, the Bristol party, the slave party, went to him, saying, O'Connell, at last you are in the House with one helper - if you will never go down to Freemason's Hall with Buxton and Brougham, here are twentyseven votes for you on every Irish question. If you work with those Abolitionists, count us always against you.""
It was a terrible temptation. How many a socalled statesman would have yielded! O'Connell said, "Gentlemen, God knows I speak for the saddest people the sun sees; but may my right hand forget its cunning and my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth, if to help Ireland—even Ireland I forget the negro one single hour."
"From that day," said Buxton, "Lushington and I never went into the lobby that O'Connell did not follow us."
And then besides his irreproachable character, he had what is half the power of a popular orator, he had a majestic presence. In youth he had the brow of a Jupiter or Jove, and the stature of Apollo. A little O'Connell would have been no
O'Connell at all. Sidney Smith says of Lord John Russell's five feet, when he went down to Yorkshire after the Reform Bill had passed, the stalwart hunters of Yorkshire exclaimed, "What, that little shrimp, he carry the Reform Bill!" "No, no," said Smith, "He was a large man, but the labors of the bill shrunk him." You remember the story that Russell Lowell tells of Webster when we in Massachusetts were about to break up the Whig party. Webster came home to Faneuil Hall to protest, and four thousand Whigs came out to meet him.
He lifted up his majestic pres
ence before that sea of human faces, his brow charged with thunder and said, "Gentlemen, I am a Whig; a Massachusetts Whig; a Revolutionary Whig; a Constitutional Whig; a Faneuil Hall Whig; and if you break up the Whig party, where am I to go?" And, says Lowell," we all held our breath, thinking where he could go." "But," says Lowell, "if he had been five feet three, we should have said, confound you, who do you suppose cares where you go?" Well, O'Connell had all that, and then he had what Webster never had, and what Clay had, the magnetism and grace that melts a million souls into his.
When I saw him he was sixty-five, lithe as a boy.
His every attitude was beauty, his every gesture grace. Why, Macready or Booth never equalled him.
It would have been a pleasure to look at him if he had not spoken at all, and all you thought of was a greyhound. And then he had, what so few American speakers have, a voice that sounded the gamut. I heard him once in Exeter Hall say, “Americans, I send my voice careering like the thunder storm across the Atlantic, to tell South Carolina that God's thunderbolts are hot, and to remind the negro that the dawn of his redemption is drawing near," and I seemed to hear his voice reverberating and re-echoing back to London from the Rocky Mountains.
And then, with the slightest possible flavor of an Irish brogue, he would tell a story that would make all Exeter Hall laugh, and the next moment there were tears in his voice, like an old song, and five thousand men would be in tears. And all the while no effort - he seemed only breathing.
'As effortless as woodland nooks
Send violets up and paint them blue."
THE PERMANENCY OF EMPIRE
APPEAL to history! Tell me, thou reverend
chronicler of the grave, can all the wealth of a universal commerce, can all the achievements of successful heroisms, or all the establishments of this world's wisdom, secure to empire the permanency of its possessions? Alas! Troy thought so once; yet the land of Priam lives only in song! Thebes thought so once; yet her hundred gates have crumbled, and her very tombs are but as the dust they were vainly intended to commemorate. So thought Palmyra - where is she? where is she? So thought the countries of Demosthenes and the Spartan; yet Leonidas is trampled by the timid slave, and Athens insulted by the servile, mindless, and enervate Ottoman. In his hurried march, time has but looked at their imagined immortality, and all its vanities, from the palace to the tomb, have, with their ruins, erased the very impression of his footsteps. The days of their glory are as if they had never been; and the island that was then a speck, rude and neglected in the barren ocean, now rivals the ubiquity of their commerce, the glory of their arms, the fame of their philosophy, the eloquence of
their Senate, and the inspiration of their bards. Who shall say, then, contemplating the past, that England, proud and potent as she appears, may not, one day, be what Athens is, and the young America yet soar to be what Athens was! Who shall say that, when the European column shall have mouldered, and the night of barbarism obscured its very ruins, that mighty continent may not emerge from the horizon to rule, for its time, sovereign of the ascendant!
THE PRESENT AGE
WILLIAM ELLERY CHANNING
William Ellery Channing, an eminent theologian, and one of the founders of American Unitarianism, was born in Newport, R. I., April 7, 1780, and died in Bennington, Vermont, October 2, 1842.
HE grand idea of humanity, of the importance of man as man, is spreading silently, but surely. Even the most abject portions of society are visited by some dreams of a better condition for which they were designed. The grand doctrine, that every human being should have the means of self-culture, of progress in knowledge and virtue, of health, comfort, and happiness, of exercising the powers and affections of a man, this