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175 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 sev180 eral generations; I anticipate with pleasing expectation that re
treat, 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, 185 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 5 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
preëminent wisdom, of decision of character, and of most inflexible 10 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 15 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 watchword of liberty throughout the land; for, imperfect as they were, the world before had not seen their like, nor will it soon, we fear, 20 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 25 ridicule them is a national suicide.
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 30 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 35 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 40 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 super45 stition, 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. R. DRAKE
Unfurled her standard to the air,
And set the stars of glory there;
Majestic monarch of the cloud,
Who rear'st aloft thy regal form,
When strive the warriors of the storm,
To guard the banner of the free,
The harbingers of victory!
Flag of the brave! thy folds shall fly,
Each soldier's eye shall brightly turn
Flag of the seas! on ocean's wave
Flag of the free heart's hope and home!
By angel hands to valor given;
And all thy hues were born in heaven.
Where breathes the foe but falls before us,
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:
Warren's Address at the Battle of Bunker Hill
"As fixed as yonder orb divine,
That saw thy bannered blaze unfurled,
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 !
Hope ye mercy still?
Ask it—ye who will.
Fear ye foes who kill for hire ?
And, before you, see
Let their welcome be!
In the God of battles trust!
Be consigned so well,