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The Old Lesson. On the 29th of June, 1852, as the members of both Houses were on their way to the Capitol, the tidings of an event reached them, which, with the suddenness of a blow, smote every heart with grief. As soon as the Senate had assembled, before the reading of its Journal, Mr. Hunter, of Virginia, rose and said :
“Mr. President, a rumor has been circulated that Henry Clay is dead. I therefore move that the Senate adjourn."
It was indeed too true. Henry Clay was dead. The mournful tidings, with lightning speed, swept over the land. Everywhere it was received with a silent grief, almost akin to awe. There was something more than ordinarily terrible in the death of that colossal
Detraction, which for years had leveled the engines of a slanderous and relentless persecution at the Great American Commoner, now stood abashed and dumb; while friendship and patriotism, all over the land, felt another and more poignant sorrow. The favorite of a nation was laid low, and a nation mourned. The Orator of almost matchless lips, the Statesman of profoundest skill, the Patriot of spotless worth, the Citizen, not of his own Ashland, not of his own Kentucky, not of his own country alone, but higher and nobler than all these, the Citizen of a struggling people everywhere, had VOL. XXVI.
passed away from earth, and orators, statesmen, patriots and citizens vied in the expression of their sorrow, and mingled their tears over the fresh-made grave of the noblest of them all.
I know not how it is with others, but for myself, I have always loved that man. I have loved him, not as Orator, not as Statesman, not as the Representative of a great party, but I have loved bim simply as Henry Clay. It was not eloquence, though his eloquence was fervid and overpowering; it was not logic, though his logic was keen and searching, and yielded only to that of Calhoun; it was not statesmanship, though he accomplished more, almost, in statesmanship, than all his compeers ; it was none of these alone, which secured for him a lasting hold upon the gratitude and affection of his people, but it was the superadded wealth of a great heart, which never knew a single pulsation that was not warm with love to country and love to all mankind.
No wonder, then, that the American people should greet him with triumphal processions and multiplied honors when alive, for in him they recognized not only the illustrious statesman, but their noblest advocate, and their truest friend. When death came and despoiled him of his strength, no wonder that the same people should greet the funeral cortege with demonstrations of sorrow, as it slowly passed through the cities and towns which lined the route to Lexington, for, in the coffin lay the imperial dead, whose life had been so closely linked with public good, and whose death had left a vacancy in the National Councils and National heart, which no living statesman could supply. It was meet that Kentucky should pay him the last and saddest of earthly honors; but not to her, not to his native State, not to the Repnblic even, but to South America, and to Greece, and to posterity he bequeathed his memory, and the treasure of a bright example. The lesson is not new. It is as old as history and as universal as
It is the lesson which is taught in the lives of great and good men, whose characters have come down to us through the ages, moulding by their silent, but powerful influences, the lives of living men, and teaching all that there is something higher than self, somehing nobler than fame. It teaches us that our object in life is to do nod, and, in its fulfillment, that intellect, grand as its power and sube as its mission confessedly is, must, for its perfect triumph, be
ed to a loyal and sympathetic heart.
9 be simply great is, at best, a poor ambition. History is full of the lives of men, who have achieved for themselves, either by some peculiar endowment of talent, or sometimes by the mere force of cir