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ton himself, modest as he was, deriving conscious strength from the pure patriotism which formed the great motive of his conduct, did not fear to place himself in a position which he must have thought would, in all human probability, bring him into collision with the youthful conqueror of Italy, fresh from the triumphs of his first, and, all things considered, his most brilliant campaigns. The United States, I need not remind you, were on the verge of a war with France in 1798. The command of the armies of the Union was pressed by President Adams on Washington, and he consented to take command in the event of an invasion. In a very remarkable letter written in July, 1798, he mentions the practice "adopted by the French (with whom we are now to contend), and with great and astonishing success, to appoint generals of juvenile years to command their armies."1 He had every reason at that time to suppose, and no doubt did suppose, that in the event of a French invasion, the armies of France would have been commanded by the youngest and most successful of those youthful generals.
A recent judicious French writer (M. Edouard Laboulaye), though greatly admiring the character of Washington, denies him the brilliant military genius of Julius Cæsar. For my own part, considering the disparity of the means at their command respectively and of their scale of operations, I believe that after times will, on the score of military capacity, assign as high a place to the patriot chieftain who founded the Republic of America, as to the ambitious usurper who overturned the liberties of Rome. Washington would not most certainly have carried an unprovoked and 1 Washington's Works, vol. xi.
desolating war into the provinces of Gallia, chopping off the right hands of whole populations guilty of no crime but that of defending their homes; he would not have thrown his legions into Britain as Cæsar did, though the barbarous natives had never heard of his name. Though, to meet the invaders of his country, he could push his way across the broad Delaware, through drifting masses of ice in a December night, he could not, I grant, in defiance of the laws of his country, have spurred his horse across the “ little Rubicon” beneath the mild skies of an Ausonian winter.1 It was not talent which he wanted for brilliant mili. tary achievement; he wanted a willingness to shed the blood of fellow-men for selfish ends; he wanted unchastened ambition; he wanted an ear deaf as the adder's to the cry of suffering humanity ; he wanted a remorseless thirst for false glory; he wanted an iron heart.
But it is time, my friends, to draw these contemplations to a close. When the decease of this illustrious and beloved commander-in-chief, in 1799, was officially announced to the army of the United States by General Hamilton, who of all his honored and trusted associates stood highest, I think, in his affections and confidence, it was truly said by him in his general orders, that “the voice of praise would in vain endeavor to exalt a name unrivalled in the lists of true glory.” It is for us, citizens of the country which he lived but to serve, children of parents who saw him face to face, enjoying ourselves the inestimable blessings which he did so much to secure and perpetuate, to reflect lustre upon his memory in the only way
in which it is possible for us to do so, by showing * Ut ventum est parvi Rubicontis ad undam. - Lucan, i. 185.
that his example and his counsels, instead of losing their influence by the lapse of years, are possessed of an ever-during vitality. Born into the family of na tions in these latter days, inheriting from ancient times and from foreign countries the bright and instructive example of all their honored sons, it has been the privilege of America, in the first generation of her national existence, to give back to the world many names whose lustre will never fade, one of which the whole family of Christendom is willing to acknowledge the preëminence ; a name of which neither Greece nor Rome, nor republican Italy, Switzerland nor Holland, nor constitutional England can boast the rival. “A character of virtues so happily tempered by one another” (I use the words of Charles James Fox), “and so wholly unalloyed with any vices as that of Washington, is hardly to be found on the pages of history.”
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW was born in Portland, Maine, February 27, 1807. He was a classmate of Hawthorne at Bowdoin College, graduating there in the class of 1825. He began the study of law in the office of his father, Hon. Stephen Longfellow; but receiving shortly the appointment of professor of modern languages at Bowdoin, he devoted himself after that to literature, and to teaching in connection with literature. Before beginning his work at Bowdoin he increased his qualifications by travel and study in Europe, where he stayed three years. Upon his return he gave his lectures on modern languages and literature at the college, and wrote occasionally for the North American Review and other periodicals. The first volume which he published was an Essay on the Moral and Devotional Poetry of Spain, accompanied by translations from Spanish verse. This was issued in 1833, but has not been kept in print as a separate work. It appears as a chapter in Outre-Mer, a reflection of his European life and travel, the first of his prose writings. In 1835 he was invited to succeed Mr. George Ticknor as professor of modern languages and literature at Harvard College, and again went to Europe for preparatory study, giving especial attention to Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries. He held his professorship until 1854, but continued to live in Cambridge until his death, March 24, 1882, occupying a house known from a former occupant as the Craigie house, and
also as Washington's headquarters, that general having so used it while organizing the army that held Boston in siege at the beginning of the Revolution. Everett, Sparks, and Worcester, the lexicographer, at one time or another lived in this house, and here Longfellow wrote most of his works.
In 1839 appeared Hyperion, a Romance, which, with more narrative form than Outre-Mer, like that gave the results of a poet's entrance into the riches of the Old World life. In the same year was published Voices of the Night, a little volume containing chiefly poems and translations which had been printed separately in periodicals. The Psalm of Life, perhaps the best known of Longfellow's short poems, was in this volume, and here too were The Beleaguered City and Footsteps of Angels. Ballads and other Poems and Poems on Slavery appeared in 1842; The Spanish Student, a play in three acts, in 1843; The Belfry of Bruges and other Poems in 1846; Evangeline in 1847; Kavanagh, a Tale, in prose, in 1849. Besides the various volumes comprising short poems, the list of Mr. Longfellow's works includes The Golden Legend, The Song of Hiawatha, The Courtship of Miles Standish, Tales of a Wayside Inn, The New England Tragedies, and a translation of Dante's Divina Commedia. Mr. Longfellow's literary life began in his college days, and he wrote poems almost to the day of his death. A classification of his poems and longer works would be an interesting task, and would help to disclose the wide range of his sympathy and taste ; a collection of the metres which he has used would show the versatility of his art, and similar studies would lead one to discover the many countries and ages to which he went for subjects. It would not be difficult to gather from the volume of Longfellow's poems hints of personal experience, that biography of the heart which is of more worth to us than any record, however full, of external change and adventure. Such hints may be found, for example, in the early lines, To the River Charles, which may be compared with