.-c^ FIRST SEMI-CENTE?fNIAL ANNIVERSARY OF THE ^la \iw^ fii&i 111 m%7 K HELD AT UNION COLLEGE, JULY 25, 1848. ALBANY : PRINTED BY WEED, PARSONS it CO. 1849. FIRST SEMI-CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY OF THE JH?^ FlIL®Mifll iifi; M i|,/lili,,'MW\ :,,t\^;v> HELD AT UNION COLLEGE, JULY 25, 1848. ALBANY : PRINTED RY WEED, PARSONS & CO. 1849. Gift The U&lirer8ity 24F0S PREFACE. In presenting to the Alumni of the Philomathean Society this account of its Semi-Centeunial Anniversary, the Committee of Publication would say that they have endeavored to prepare a concise narrative of what was done, and to give full reports of what was said on that memorable occa- sion, believing it is the latter feature that w^ill impart to the work its principal interest. In whatever has been written by them, they have aimed at brevity, especially in the Historical Sketch, which, by the in- struction of the Society, they have prefixed to the work. A complete his- tory would require more space than they felt at liberty to occupy ; there- fore, while they have endeavored to delineate, witk some minuteness, the formation and early history of the Society, they have given only a brief outline of the most important events of subsequent years. It has been their constant effort to render the work perfect in its preparation, and faultless in its execution ; if they have failed in any respect, they can only plead the peculiar diiBculties with which such a labor is necessarily at* tended. R. N. DUNHAM, LUTHER B. HART, ALFRED ROBINSON, Committee of Publication. FIRST SEMI-CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY OF THE FiiLiiif iMi Eisim HELD AT UNION COLLEGE, JULY 25, 1S48. ALBANY : I'RINTED BY WEED, PARSONS & CO. 1849. PREFACE. In presenting to the Alumni of the Philomathean Society this account of its Semi-Centennial Anniversary, the Committee of Publication would say that they have endeavored to prepare a concise narrative of what was done, and to give fuU reports of what was said on that memorable occa- sion, believing it is the latter feature that will impart to the work its principal interest. In whatever has been written by them, they have aimed at bre"\dty, especially in the Historical Sketch, which, by the in- struction of the Society, they have prefixed to the work. A complete his- tory would require more space than they felt at liberty to occupy ; there- fore, while they have endeavored to delineate, with some minuteness, the formation and early history of the Society, they have given only a brief outline of the most important events of subsequent years. It has been their constant effort to render the work perfect in its preparation, and faultless in its execution ; if they have failed in any respect, they can only plead the pecidiar difficulties with which such a labor is necessarily at- tecQod. R. N. DUNHAM, LUTKER B. HART. ALFRED ROBINSON, Committee of Ptiblication. HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE SOCIETY. < » • » > At the present time, when the power of voluntary asso^ ciation is brought to the aid of nearly every enterprise, the formation of a literary society attracts no notice, and gains for the founders little or no celebrity. But it was not so when the Philomathean was founded. Those wha, at that time, thus associated together, did not follow the example of thousands who had preceded them, as would be true now of a similar movement, but marked out for themselves a course which had as yet been pursued by very few. Some regard is then due to them for originality and independent enterprise, but more for the noble charac- ter which they gave to the institution at the moment of its birth. The Philomathean did not take its rise from a mere ordinary debating club — it sprung forth, at its very source a noble stream, at which those who first gathered around it, as well as those who succeeded them, slaked their ardent thirst for knowledge and improvement. The Society, originally called the Calliopean, owes its origin to the enterprise of some students of the Schenectady Academy. In one of the rooms of the Academy building, upon the evening of the 17th of October, 1793, Benjamin Romayne, John B. Romeyn, Henry Frey Yates, Moses I. Cantine, Levi H. Palmer, Adrian C. Van Slyck, Cornelius b HISTORICAL SKETCH D. Schermerhorn, Thomas Romeyn and Peter C. Veeder, met, and " having considered the propriety and utility of forming themselves into a Society for promoting useful and ornamental knowledge and acquirements, such as composi- tion, speaking, reading, and such other exercises as may from time to time be appointed, agreed to institute a society to be called the Calliopean."* John B. Romeyn, Moses I. Cantine and Peter C. Veeder, were appointed a committee to draft a constitution and code of laws. At a subsequent meeting, this committee made a report, which was adopted, and the organization was completed by the election of proper officers. Adrian C. Tan Slyck was chosen first President. After these brief preliminary proceedings, the exercises were commenced with a spirit and zeal, which shows that a desire for self-improvement was the motive that actuated its founders, and that they expected to obtain this in no other way than by rigid discipline and untiring industry. There were no inactive members. At this, as at every other meeting, each had some duty assigned him. The President opened the meeting with an address. Two members presented compositions, two delivered orations, and the remaining four read and criticised some literary work. Extemporaneous discussion formed no part of the exercises of the early meetings of the Society. At this first meeting, they also laid the foundation of a library, by instructing the treasurer " to purchase a set of the Spectator." There is, in the early records, a copy of an essay read by Benjamin Romayne at the first meeting, an extract from which is introduced here, to show more fully the character of the Society, and the motives of its founders. The sub- * Extract from the minutes. OF THE SOCIETY. 7 ject is, the advantages of education, and the improvement to be derived from a well-regulated literary society. " With views as well to improve in the various branches of literature, as for the purpose of cultivating that spirit of love, harmony, and friendship, which ought always to prove the objects of our pursuit, and which never fails of procuring for us the esteem of mankind, the gentlemen who compose this Society, have associated together. The great object of this institution is to give its members a taste for literature, and to initiate them into the principles of compo- sition and oratory. By devoting our leisure hours to these pursuits, and to the attentive perusal of the literary pro- ductions which shall be presented to us, we are led to flat- ter ourselves that we shall not only enjoy satisfaction, but will be respected for learning, be an honor to our country, be more watchful and able guardians of our liberties, have our minds thereby more perfectly humanized, our manners more polished, and our actions more agreeable to the dic- tates of virtue and wisdom." For several months the exercises of each meeting were similar t© the first. The President, holding his office three weeks, was required to deliver an address at the opening of each meeting, and every member was expected to per- form one of the duties of composition, declamation, or criti- cism. Failure in the performance of any duty, subjected the delinquent to a fine, unless a satisfactory excuse was rendered. But such failures were extremely rare. They were also very watchful in regard to the deport- ment and moral character of members. When any one was proposed for membership, before the Society proceeded to ballot on his admission, two members were required to give assurance of the candidate's fitness in these respects. The least improper treatment of another, profanity, card- 8 HISTORICAL SKETCH playing, or intemperance, subjected the person thus guilty to reproof, fine, suspension, or expulsion, according to the nature of the offence, and the degree of penitence manifest- ed by the offender. Their meetings were conducted with a degree of order and decorum, which it would be difficult to enforce at the present day, in any assembly. Upon the records of those times are the notices of reproofs and fines imposed for addressing the President without rising, for speaking while another had the floor, for discourteous lan- guage, and for other similar improprieties. These reproofs were kindly received and the fines promptly paid. After meeting contingent expenses, what remained of the fines, and also of the one dollar initiation fee, was applied to the purchase of books, for their little library, which was thus slowly enlarged. Each member, also, gave to the Society such books as he could spare ; and especially when any one left the society, he was expected to make a donation in books. The Society, being the first of the kind instituted in the city or vicinity, attracted considerable attention among the students of the Academy, and other literary young men of the city, and many were desirous to become members. Several graduates of Princeton College, who were studying divinity under Dr. Romeyn, pastor of the Reformed Dutch Church, were received. One of these, John B. Linn, the author of a volume of poems now in the Society libra- ry, and the able opponent of Dr. Priestly, was made a Doc- tor of Divinity at the early age of twenty-five. Many of the Academy students were unable to obtain a proposition for membership ; and not a few of those proposed failed of an election. To become a member, required intellectual abilities and moral worth which few possessed. And hence, although no limitation was fixed by the constitution, OF THE SOCIETY. ^ their number for many years did not much exceed that of the founders. Balloting for candidates, and trials of delin- quents, usually took place at special meetings, the members being unwilling to interrupt the stated exercises for these purposes. No spectators were admitted, and an injunction of secre- cy was laid upon the members, forbidding them to disclose any of the Society's proceedings. This law was rigidly enforced. In the minutes of the Society, mention is made of a fine of Is. 6d., and another of 4s. sterling, imposed upon individuals for reading their compositions to persons not connected with the Society. It is evident that the early members intended this orga- nization to be permanent. The utmost care was taken to preserve their records, and to transcribe all resolutions and orders in the book of laws. As early as December 17, 1793, a committee was appointed to procure a seal for the Society. Certificates of membership, forms of dismission, anc' diplo- mas for attending and honorary members, were carefully prepared at an early period. The first discussions of the Society, called Forensic, were in writing, and conducted by only two members, styled the Respondent and the Opponent. Subsequently, a third was added, called a Replicator, who reviewed the argu- ments of the other two, and decided upon their comparative merits. These disputants followed each other at succes- sive meetings, in the order they have been named. The first question discussed was, " Are private vices public ben- efits ?" Soon afterwards extemporaneous discussion was intro- duced. In this, all were required to engage, in addition to their other duties. They were equally divided into oppo- site sides, by the President. No member was considered to 10 HISTORICAL SKETCH have performed his duty in the discussion, unless he had spoken more thdcn two minuteS' The first extemporaneous debate took place, March 20th, 1794, upon the following question : " Is Great Britain justifiable in waging war against France ?" The President reviewed the arguments and gave his decision according to their comparative weight. The exercise of reading and criticism was now discontinued, but the Forensic discussion remained as a regular exercise of each meeting for nearly twenty years. In the summer of 1794, some of the society left the Aca- demy and entered Princeton College. Others looked for- ward to the establishment of a College in their own city — a project that now began to arouse public attention. At the meeting of November 7, 1794, the subject for extempora- neous discdssion was, " Is Schenectady a proper place for a College ?" In 1795, Union College was organized, and commenced its exercises in the upper part of the Academy building, the lower rooms being still occupied for a grammar school. Many of the members entered the new institution, taking with them their Society, which was ever afterwards consi- dered as connected with the College. About the same time, the name of the Society was changed from Calliopean to Philoniathean, but it continued to meet in the same room, to be composed of the same members, and to conduct its exercises in the same manner. There was no interruption of its meetmgs or its business. The first meeting under the name Philomathean, was held October 29, 1795.* * Lest any one should infer that in the change from an Academy to a College Society, and in the change of name, the identity of the Calliopean with the Philomathean was destroyed, the following extract of a letter from Dr. Sweetman, who was an active member at that time, is here in- serted: "The Philomathean is one and the same with the Calliopean. The name Philomathean was substituted for tliat of Calliopean, by a sim- ple vote of the Society, to gratify the wishes of some of its members. No OP THE SOCIETY. 11 The following were the attending members of the Socie- ty at that time : John B. Romeyn, Levi H. Palmer, Corne- lius D. Schermerhorn, Andrew McCollum, John L. Zabris- kie, Reuben Sears, Cornelius WyckofF, Joseph Sweetman, Peter Myers, and Jacob Ten Eyck. The non-attend- ing members were Henry Wyckoff, Isaac Van Doren, Mo- ses I. Cantine, Adrian Van Slyck, Theodore F. Talbot, John B. Linn, and Alexander McLeod. Of these, Messrs. Sweetman, Zabriskie, Schermerhorn) Sears, McLeod, and Palmer, entered the new College, the first three composing the first class that graduated from the institution in 1797. In this year, John B. Linn and John B. Romeyn received the degree of D. D., being the first honorary degrees conferred by Union College. The latter was the first President of the Society after its name was changed to Philomathean. By a resolution passed December 20, 1795, "the members were allowed, at such times as they should think proper, to wear upon their left arm a badge of a light blue color." Another resolution was subsequently passed, requiring all to wear this badge, on every public occasion. There was at this time a law of the College forbidding any student to appear at chapel without the College badge — a piece of blue ribbon tied in the button-hole of the coat. Up to this time, as has been mentioned above, the meet- ings of the Society were attended by none but its members, who were, by its laws, forbidden to disclose any of its pro- ceedings. Its members were indeed well known, and the Society itself attracted great attention, and commanded much respect ; but no public exhibition of the Society, as such, had ever taken place. By a resolution passed January alteration was made in its constitution, laws, or mode of conducting busi- ness. It had no reference to the establishment of the College : that was not mentioned at the time, and probably not thought of." 12- HISTORICAL SKETCH 6, 1796, and afterwards engrafted into the Constitution, it was resolved that the society should annually celebrate its own anniversary, and that of American Independence. The Society anniversary was, for a long time, an occasion of great interest. It was celebrated at the close of the fall term ; sometimes in one of the churches of the city, but usually in the hall of the College. The exercises consisted of orations, plays, poems, and music. At first these cele- brations were open to all who chose to attend ; but, subse- quently, the audiences were select, invited by a committee appointed for that purpose. The strict attention of the society to the deportment of its members has been noticed. Originally, it was the duty of the Secretary, and the privilege of every member, to re- port a delinquent. In July, 1796, this duty was assigned to three members, elected for the purpose, and called " the Committee of Morals." The minutes of the Society show that the duties of this committee were not merely nominal ; frequent censures and fines prove that these duties were faithfully performed. Care was taken in the election of new members ; but if any one was elected who was not governed by strict principles of morality and integrity, he found his position of membership an uneasy one. No fail- ure in attendance nor in the performance of duty, nor the least departure from the strictest decorum, was tolera- ted. In the minutes of November 25, 1796, is the record of a fine of four fence each, imposed upon two members for whispering during the exercises ! November 21, 1797, it was resolved that the office of Com- mittee of Morals should be abolished, and that instead, a Censor should be elected, who should choose three Council- lors to act with him. Besides performing the duties of the Committee of Morals, the Censor and Council were requir- OF THE SOCIETY. 13 ed to examine, and if necessary, revise every composition before it was presented to the Society. Hon. Chief Justice Savage was the first Censor. In 1800, the hbrary of the Society numbered one hun- dred and two volumes. In this year an article was incor- porated into the constitution, requiring that a member of the Senior Class should be appointed to deliver a valedic- tory at the time of College commencement. This was pro- nounced in the College chapel, the Faculty, and members of other literary societies being invited to attend. This ap- pointment was subsequently considered the highest honor in the Society. In October, 1804, the time of meeting was changed from Thursday evening to Saturday afternoon. This was in accordance with an order from the Faculty, forbidding any literary society to meet during study hours, unless the offi- cers of College were acquainted with all its proceedings, and allowed to control its internal regulations. This order, considered by many as unjust and oppressive, was obeyed with a spirit which does honor to the members at that peri- od. The following resolutions, unanimously passed on that occasion, are deemed worthy of insertion. " Whereas a certain degree of independence, particularly in our internal arrangements, is absolutely necessary to the well-being of the Philomathean Society ; and Whereas, the Faculty of College have determined that we shall not meet during the hours of study, except on condi- tions which we cannot approve ; therefore, Resolved^ That we will cheerfully sacrifice part of the time we are allowed for recreation, and meet on Saturday afternoon. Resolvedy That nothing is intended in these resolutions, in any way derogating from that respect for the officers, and 14 HISTORICAL SKETCH obedience to the laws of College, which we shall always be proud to evince. Our only wish is to conduct our Soci- ety in the manner we have done for years, and which ex- perience has demonstrated to be beneficial to our literary pursuits." Soon after this, the Society changed its place of meeting to the building now the West College, then recently erect- ed. The library was still kept in the Academy for several years. According to the report of a committee appointed to examine it, in July, 1806, the number of books was 294. The number of members at the same time was twenty- four. The extemporaneous discussion at this time was most- ly confined to the Seniors and Juniors. The Sophomores were allowed to join in it during the third term of the col- legiate year, and at such other times as they could obtain permission from the Censor and Council. This restriction was removed in 1811, and henceforth to speak on debate was not only a privilege, but a duty of every member. In May, 1811, a literary paper, called the Floriad, was commenced by the Philomathean in connection with the Adelphic. It was conducted by a committee of four from each Society. Its publication continued but a short time. During this year, a room for the library was obtained and fitted up in the new College. The first catalogue of the library was also published at the same time. The anni- versary exercises this year were "one Latin and four Eng- lish Orations, a Poem, a Colloquy and two Disputations." As usual these were all presented to the Society and criti- cised, before they were delivered in public. In September of this year, after repeated applications, the Society obtained permission from the Faculty to meet at nine o'clock on Saturday morning. For several years from this OP THE SOCIETV. 15 time, they continued in session during the day. The fore- noon was devoted to declamation and composition. The members were divided into two divisions, one of which read, and the other declaimed at each meeting. The Society numbering nearly fifty members, fifteen to twenty declama- tions and as many compositions were presented at each meet- ing. These occupied the entire forenoon. At half past one, they again met, and the extemporaneous discussion took place,upon which all were required to speak. This not unfre- quently consumed the whole afternoon, so that a third meeting was held in the evening for the transaction of mis- cellaneous business. There were comparatively few ab- sent from these meetings. Those who were unwilling to devote so much time to them, asked and received an hon- orable dismissal ; or through frequent absences and neglect of duty, with the refusal to pay the fines thereby incurred, were relieved from duties too onerous for them, by expul- sion. By a vote passed March 14, 1812, the public celebration of the Anniversary of American Independence was discon- tinued. The succeeding one was celebrated by the Soci- ety with the usual exercises in their own Hall, with no au- dience but their own members, and in following years it was wholly omitted. The public celebration was not dis- continued on account of any apathy or indifference on the part of the members, but external circumstances rendered it expedient. Upon the erection of North and South Colleges, the So- ciety obtained the Hall they now occupy. October 12, 1816, Messrs. J. B. Nott, Lansing, Frothingham, Colt and Tib- bits, were appointed to solicit funds by subscription, and apply them to the fitting up of the New Hall. At the meeting of November 2, Messrs. Doane, Manning, King, Per- 16 HISTORICAL SKETCH ter and Jarvis, were appointed a committee to remove the library to the room it now occupies. These committees per- formed the duties assigned them, and in the spring of ] 818 the Society met in the New Hall. Resolutions were passed May 30, 1818, that no person but a member of the Society should be admitted into it, and that upon the days of meet- ing the President should keep the door closed until the members had assembled in the adjoining room, and a quo- rum were present. At that time, and for many years afterwards, upon the death of any attending member, or of one recently gradua- ted, the badge of mourning was worn for thirty days, and a member was appointed to pronounce a funeral oration. These orations were usually delivered in the chapel of the College, and the members of the Faculty and of the other literary societies were invited to attend. Between 1816 and 1820. large additions were made to the library ; considerable appropriations were made each term for the purchase of books. November 21, 1818, $300 were voted for this purpose. As has been before hinted, dismissals and expulsions were not unfrequent. In 1817, an order was passed that the names of all members expelled should be published in one of the city papers. The minutes for several subsequent years show that this order was faithfully executed. Until 1830, the afternoon sessions were continued with only an occasional interruption. From this period they were held less frequently, until they ceased altogether, ex- cept when there was an unusual amount of miscellaneous business to be transacted. From that time to the present there is little to narrate. " Happy is the people whose his- tory is uninteresting." The Society has continued prospe- rous, it^ meetings have been regularly held, well attended, OF THE SOCIETY. 17 and full of interest, and its library steadily enlarged. The number of attending members at the period of the semi- centennial anniversary was 115 ; the number of volumes in the library about 3000. Nearly 1400 members have enjoyed the advantages af- forded by the Philomathean, a large proportion of whom are now proving their value by the stations of honor and influence which they occupy. During the last fifty-five years of her existence, the most sanguine anticipations of the founders and early members have been more than rea- lized. The noble origin of the Society, its continued prosperity and increasing usefulness, must make every Alumnus hon- or the Institution of his choice, and feel proud to be enrolled among her favored sons. He can look to the future with the confident and well grounded hope that when Philoma- theans, of a future generation, shall come together to cele- brate her centennial anniversary, they will then rejoice in her onward career of usefulness for the next half century, as we now do in that of the one just completed. PRELIMINARY PROCEEDINGS. At a meeting of the Philomathean Society, held January 29, 1848, WiUiam J. Magill introduced the subject of a semi-centennial celebration of the formation of the Society. He remarked that the present was the fifty-fifth year since it was founded, and that it was proper that its semi-centen- nial anniversary should no longer be deferred. His propo- sition met with a hearty response from the Society, and the following resolution was unanimously passed : Resolved^ That a committee of three be appointed to fix upon a day for the semi-centennial celebration of the found- ing of this Society, and also to procure an Orator and Poet for the occasion. George M. McEachron, William Mills, and M. T. Pratt, were appointed as this committee. At a subsequent meeting this committee reported that, although the date of the Society's organization was October 17, yet they had fixed upon July 25, for its semi-centennial anniversary, as that was the day preceding commencement^ and therefore best adapted to secure a large attendance of the Alumni. They farther reported, that they had procur- ed Rev. Henry P. Tappen, D. D., of New- York, as Ora- tor, and Alfred B. Street, A. M., of Albany, as Poet. On motion, the report of the committee was adopted. At a meeting held May 20, the following resolutions were passed : 20 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. Resolved^ That a committee of five be appointed as a Semi-centemiial Committee of Arrangements. Resolved^ That this committee have discretionary pow- er to make all necessary arrangements for the semi-centen- nial anniversary. Resolved^ That this committee be instructed to appoint from the graduated members a committee of inritation, who should address to the Alumni circulars soliciting their attendance. The following gentlemen were chosen committee of ar- rangements : Roswell G. Pettibone. Amasa McCoy, Adrian H. Dunning, I. Fayette Pettibone, and Andrew H. Green. The following graduated members were appointed a committee of invitation : Prof ISAAC W. JACKSON, A. M., Chairman. Rev. Joseph Sweetman, D. D., Hon. John Savage, LL. D., T. RoMEYN Beck, M. D., LL. D., Rev. Cornelius C. Cuyler, D. D., Hon. Marcus T. Reynolds, Hon. John C. Spencer, LL. D., Rt. Rev. George W. Doan-e, D. D., LL. D., Hon. Samuel W. Jones, Hon. Archibald L. Linn, Hon. John C. Wright. By the above committeet he following Circular was ad- dressed to the Alumni of the Society. CIRCULAR to the alumni of the philomathean society. Dear Sir : It is now nearly fifty-five years since the foundation of our Literary Society, and yet her Semi-Centennial Anniver- sary has never been commemorated. Preparatory arrange- PRELIMINARY PROCEEDINGS. 21 merits were made in part to hold this celebration during the past academic year, but for different reasons it was deemed advisable to defer it. The active members of the Society- are now determined, however, to delay it no longer ; and therefore propose to celebrate this era in a proper manner, on the 25th of July ensuing, being the day preceding com- mencement. On that day, therefore, an Oration and Poem will be pronounced, accompanied by other appropriate exercises, after which the Alumni and Active members will move in procession to the festive board, to partake of a dinner to be provided for the occasion. The undersigned are chosen a Committee of Invitation to address the Alumni. According to this appointment, we now earnestly solicit you, as an Alumnus of the Philoma- thean, to lay aside for a day the cares and duties of ordina- ry life ; to come up and pay a tribute of respect to the So- ciety that nurtured us in our youth ; to visit again her Hall, rendered sacred by precious associations ; and contribute to commemorate in a worthy manner- this interesting era in her history. ISAAC W. JACKSON, Chairman. JOSEPH SWEETMAN, JOHN C. SPENCER, JOHN SAYAGE, GEORGE W. DOANE, T. ROMEYN BECK, SAMUEL W. JONES, CORNELIUS C. CUYLER, ARCHIBALD L. LINN, MARCUS T. REYNOLDS, JOHN C. WRIGHT. Committee of Invitation, RECEPTION. For the reception of the Alumni, the Hall of the Society had been tastefully decorated with wreaths of evergreens, by the acting members, generously assisted by the Ladies of Schenectady. Upon an arch of evergreens that spanned the entrance was inscribed — Gaudeo te venisse salvum. A large flag hung from the library window, bearing in conspicuous characters the inscription, PHILOMATHEAN. At 10 o'clock on the morning of the 25th of July, the day being most propitious for the exercises of the occasion, the Alumni entered the Hall, filling it to overflowing, their hearts beating responsive to the appropriate air of " Home^ Sweet Hcme^^ and were welcomed by the President of the Society, R. N. Dunham, who, in behalf of the attending members, addressed them as follows: Cherished and Respected Brothers : In the discharge of the pleasing duty imposed upon me by the attending members of the Philomathean, I most cor- dially welcome you back to this Hall— the home of our common Society. Many of you have long been known to us as the prominent actors in the political, literary and reli- gious world. We have respected you, but to-day we meet you with the warmer feelings of friendship and affection — as brothers — and although your faces appear to us as the features of strangers, still we remember that you once met 24 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. in this Hall, made these walls echo the sound of your voices, left your names on our records, and your memo- ries to be cherished by every successive generation of members until the present time : in short, that here is a common interest alike dear to us and you. These recol- lections awaken in us the feelings of family affection, and make us eager to grasp you by the hand, with all the ardor of long and intimate friendship. This is the happy privi- lege afforded us by our mutual relation to our common Soci- ety, whose noble motto is, virtus^ scientia. et amicitia. Virtue elevates and purifies the soul, and gives it moral worth ; knowledge expands and cultivates the mind, and gives it intellectual worth ; friendship enlarges and softens the heart, and gives it social worth, and when entwined with virtue and knowledge, is the strong cord that binds man to most of his earthly happiness ; it is the brightest gem in the triple-jeweled crown of our society — the tender tie which, passing over time and space, and encircling even the grave, binds together to-day the hearts and memories of all who have ever been connected with the Philoma- thean. Thus closely linked together, our feelings, and we trust, yours, are, that this is not a company of strangers congregated here to-day — ^but a family gathering — a re-un- ion of separated kindred. It is indeed a source of pleasure to us to welcome here to-day so many, who have long mingled in the active scenes of the bustling world, and who have won there, honor and respect, but who still cherish a warm affection for the Society which nurtured them in their youth, and now in the meridian and evening of life, have returned to venerate its memory and do it honor. While there is that, in the recollections of the past, to sadden you and us too, for we can but join with you in dropping a tear to the RECEPTION. 25 memory of those who once met here with you — your friends and associates — our common brothers, whom the gloomy portals of the grave prevent from meeting with us to-day ; still we trust this occasion will be to you a joyous one, in witnessing the success of your labors, and in meet- ing here so many, who will hold you and them in fond remembrance. With the past history and character of the Philomathean, you are all well acquainted. We present to you our con- venient rooms, and our large number of active and zealous members, as evidences of its present prosperity. Thus looking upon the past with pride, the present with satisfac- tion, and the future with hope, there is every thing to make this a joyous, long-remembered, family gathering ; and hoping that it may prove so to each of you, I once again bid you a hearty welcome. On behalf of the Alumni, Joel B. Nott, Esq., replied as follows : Mr. President : — Not until the moment I arrived, had I any intimation that I was to take a part in these exercises, but I expected to remain a silent listener. In reply, sir, to the warm welcome which has just been extended to us who come back from the midst of our pursuits in the world, to revisit this, the theatre of our former actions during our College life, a feeling mingled alike with joy and sorrow comes over our hearts. It is not without emotion that I undertake to address you. This was once the theatre in which moved men, who afterwards became distinguished in the world ; men, who were my early companions in Col- lege, over whom the sod now presses, and whose memory comes back with a freshness which I can hardly express. I look around me, and I see not, as I once beheld, Otis, and 26 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATlOl^. those other men of genius, who, in my time, used to make these walls echo with their eloquence. I look around me in vain to see those men of enterprise — boys they were to be sure, then, but their enterprise first started this library. I was myself among the number of those who first solicited from the Faculty, the possession of these rooms for that purpose. I was among that number who first contributed of our early resources largely and liberally to beautify and ornament these rooms. I can bear testimony to the moral effect which this Society has had upon that generation. I have before me the evidence of its continued moral influ- ence from that day to this. The occasion on which we assemble is one of remarkable interest, for there are pres- ent those who belong to two distinct periods in the history of our Alma Mater. Some have associated this Society with yonder West College. Such are those who belong to the last generation. There are present the honored relics of that generation, who have come up to-day, to give en- couragement to these young men, who have so kindly and so wisely invited us back to the scenes of our youth, where we once took pleasure in the pursuits of science, friendship and virtue. It is our earnest trust that this Society may preserve its prosperity and its moral influence, and that it will always be associated honorably with the history of this institution : — that the young members, the undergraduates of the So- ciety, may ever remember that we are the elders who added much to the motto which has been inscribed upon this banner, " Virtus, iScieniia, et Amicitia.^^ We come back to tell you that virtue is worth something in the affairs of this world : — we come to tell you, who go through this institution to the world in which your virtue will be tried, that it becomes every one to gird up his loins to meet RECEPTION. 27 the moral conflict which awaits him. We come to tell you that the science which we have carried with us, has been with us in the business of life, and that the base self- ishness of the world has not chilled the fountain of that friendship which flows in the bosom of every Philoma- thean, whether old or young. At 11 o'clock the procession was formed in front of South College, by Prof Jackson, Chief Marshal of the day, aid- ed by Wm. N. Brown, Assistant Marshal. Escorted by a Band of Music, it proceeded to the Reformed Dutch Church in the following order : ORDER OF PROCESSION. 1. Acting Members of the Society. 2. President of the Day and Chaplain. 3. Orator and Poet. 4. Trustees of College and Regents of the University. 5. Faculty of Union College. 6. Honorary Members and invited Guests. 7. Presidents of the Philomathean and other College Lite- rary Societies. 8. Alumni of the Philomathean, in the order of their classes, commencing with the oldest. 9. Members of the Adelphic Society. 10. Members of the Delphian Institute. 11. All others whose places are not already designated. On their way to the Church, the procession passed the building on the comer of Union and Ferry streets, fonnerly occupied as an Academy, and the birth place of the Philo- mathean Society, to which their attention was directed by a banner arching over the side-walk, and bearing the fol- lowing inscription : 28 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. "PHILOMATHEAN SOCIETY FOUNDED HERB, OCT. 17, 1793." "nUMINA ANTICIUA LOCI VENERAMUR." With feelings responding to this motto, the procession passed beneath the banner with uncovered heads. EXERCISES AT THE CHURCH. At the Church, which was densely filled, the exercises commenced with music by the Band. This was followed by prayer by Rev. Joseph Sweetman, D. D., President of the day. An ode was then sung by the Choir, after which the assembly listened to the following Poem pronounced by Alfred B. Street, A. M. POEM. Knowledge and Liberty ! two starry browed And snowy pinioned seraphs unto Man, Lifting his spirit to his native skies, Whilst leading him along his brightening path, Up to that summit in the azure heavens. Where nought shall be between his soul and God, But angel thoughts, quick flashing to an fro, Forming that golden age so long foretold By the old Prophets, and which rang so oft From rapt Isaiah's harp-strings, when the sky Shall with unutterable splendor blaze, As Cometh down the New Jerusalem, And the changed earth shall, at its touch, burst out Lito a second lovelier Paradise. Knowledge and Liberty ! though such their end, And though they should forever, hand in hand Have gone with man between them, borrowing aid Bach from the other, giving smile for smile. And intermingling beings ; yet, alas ! How oft have demon passions scared from man Their mutual presence, leaving him to grope In darkness, now with Liberty — and now To crouch in chains beneath the sway of Knowledge. Ambition hath infused her poison foul Within the bosom of the last, and then Hath placed the sword within her frowning clutch, 5 30 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATIQW. And she hath stricken frighted Liberty Beneath her feet, and watched with jealous eyes. Thro' long, long centuries the writhing shape. And heard unmoved its wailings of despair. Till sometimes, tho' not oft, would Liberty, ' Catching a stray glance from the pointed spear Held at her throat by Knowledge, with w^ild strength Arise, and dash the foot from off her neck, Grasp the sharp weapon from her wondering foe. Bathe her rich jeweled robes in sudden blood, And cast her, trembling, headlong in the midst Of the red ocean ; but her guile would still Lead her to shore, and her Briareus hands Would shower their skillful blows, till Liberty, Bleeding at every pore, with hollow groan Would fall again, and on her panting breast Again the crushing foot would plant itself, Again the sword be pointed at her throat With care redoubled, and more jealous watch. Trace we the paths of both, from earliest times Up to the point whence spreads around the Present. Wrapp'd in its sandy robe, the ghost of Thebes Now lies. The broken column and the arch Prostrate in ruin where the Arab rests In the cool shadow^ with his camel's bell Tinkling amidst the silence, tell alone Where once she gleamed — the diadem of her clime. Did her pale shuddering habitants behold The deluge surging from the horizon, down Upon them ? Did its mighty flood dash in Her hundred brazen gates, and thro' her haJla Kush in tremendous fury, and up, up. Swell billow upon billow, till the last Wan wretch upon the city's highest roof Saw dome on dome sink down, before his lips Bubbled within the greedy element ? Did Thebes thus view the awful majesty Of that great scene ? Here Knowledge was enthroned, But where was Liberty ? POEM. ^ 31 Upon the plains Of Shinar we behold the two together. Patriarch Liberty sat before his tent, And watched the sunset streaming o'er the scene, Lighting his flocks and herds ; and, as the gloom Of twilight spread across the glimmering plain, He saw the long rays bathing still the head Of that magnificent tower by Knowledge built. Until it seem'd a golden cloud in heaven ; That tower which soar'd so high, the very stars Seem'd larger from its summit. There it stood, The puny challenger of God, until His wrathful lightning smote it to the dust, And strew'd it round — the ruins of a mountain. Along the Nile then Kaowledge brightly trod, With Noah's families from the Euphrates' banks, And Shinar's scattered tribes of many tongues. Cities arose within her foot prints ; here The mystic Sphynx was moulded — there was reared The slow increasing pyramid, that gre"w As grows the isle beneath the coral-insect, O'er whose proud tops the Pharaoh's vainly deem'd Their names would shine to future years, as stars O'er Alpine peaks. But where was Liberty ? Helpless she lay beneath the ruthless heel Of Menai's line and the fierce Shepherd-Kings. On the Chaldean plains at length the Twain Were linked in mutual love. "Wliilst Knowledge soared Up to the stars, threading their golden maze, And bidding them their sparkling secrets show. Liberty twin'd her garlands round her crook. Piped her sweet airs, and watched her nibbling flocks. Then, bursting on the sight — a splendid orb. Like the magnificent morning star, when sky AU else is bare, but blazing o'er the spot Where soon will flash the dawn — great Homer sprang Sparkling o'er rising Greece. Then Athens rose ; Pentelicus oped its treasures, and their snow Glittered on the Acropolis in shapes 33 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. Various as Fancy's visions ; on the plain The temple showed its colums of wreath'd vine And budding blossom, vying vdth the flowers Upon Hymettus ; radiant forms leap'd out From the cold marble, as Praxitiles Or Phidias touched it ; rich tints sprang from forth Apelles' brain, as rainbows from the sun. And gleamed on the ennobled canvas fix'd, As hues upon the opal ; Poesy Touch'd her bright harp along the palace-fronts, And in the temple squares. Philosophy, Seated on Plato's tongue, amidst the shades Dwelt of green Academus. As the bark Skimm'd azure Salamis, the sailor saw The column'd tomb of fam'd Themistocles Upon its Cape. The dying soldier, borne From the fierce fight upon his dripping shield. Fixed his last gaze upon the Parthenon, On whose v^rhite w^alls he hoped to live forever. The peasant, bringing to the market-place - His melons from the mountain, heard the words Of Eschylus from out the fane of Bacchus, Or stood entranced, as great Demosthenes Stem thundered from the Bema. Knowledge there Stood with her radiant head amidst the stars, But Liberty scarce deigned to show her brow From her steep rocky home ; or fitfully. If came she, chains, though w^reath'd with flowers, still chains, Held half her limbs ; and then with clanging speed, Dash'd Alexander's chariot o'er the world, And dragg'd her, pale and bleeding, at its wheel. Then fell a mighty stamp upon the Earth That rock'd beneath the blow. 'Twas Rome that stood With iron armor on his giant limbs, The brazen eagle glittering on his head. And in his grasp a spear that swept around Its circle, and the World, on crouching knee, Lifted its trembling hands, and, with blanched cheek And accents quivering with its terror, said, *' Mercy, great Rome !" POEM. Beside the Capitol Rome stood, within his left hand Knowldge grasped, Within his right that spear. He frowned, and lo ! Darkness crept o'er the shuddering brow of Eai-th, To the broad dashing Caspian here, and there To wild mysterious Britain's Druid-oaks. But where was Liberty ? — a shout ! — behold Yon Scythian dragged up the Tarpaeian Rock, His brawny limbs where hangs the wolf's dark skin, (The wolf, his hands had torn asunder near The Baltic's stormy waters,) knotted round With fetters ; mark his fierce eyes gleaming out From the rough ambush of his streaming hair. See, how he's toss'd at the contemptuous foot Of the stern iron warrior who unbinds ' His fetters, but to thrust within his grasp The gladiator's sword, and bid him fight Amid the Coliseum's jeers and taunts, A caged and lash'd wild beast for Rome's high pleasure. But whilst the brazen eagle towered the highest, And the mailed stride was heaviest, midst the great And solemn forests where the Danube roll'd. Where the Alps pierced the sky with icy spears, And sloped the Pyrenees, there Liberty, Run wild with scourging and made mad for vengeance, Was nursing her rude energies and strength ; Curbing the war-horse ; braving hunger's pangs ; Breasting the torrent and the tempest daring. And banding all her numbers into one. At length the period came. As "when its bounds Bursts Ocean, rolling onward -wave on wave. Foaming and dashing full of woe and doom — So burst those numbers from their Northern homes. Rolling upon their far and destined vray. Rome saw the approach and mustered all bis force. In sternest will and self dependence strung His arm to newer strength, and reared his form To greater grandeur, and with flashing eye. The shock awaited. Awful was that shock And terrible the strife ! The gleaming wing 33 34 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATIOUJ. Of the proud eagle never yet had stooped, And thick and heavy rained that arm its blows ; Loud pealed the war-cry from those haughty lips, And at each stamping of his foot, the blood Of myriad victims gushed up to his brow. But still the foes swarm'd round him ; on Ijis shield The feathered arrow of the Baltic rang ; Upon his breast the Danube's wrar-club sank, The Rhine's rude battle-axe fell on his head. Now Alaric's shout came swelling on the wind. And now the cry of Attila rose shrill Above the rushing tempest. Back, still back, Rome yielded ; from his outward battlements — Along his streets — ^his glorious temples past — Beneath his arches — and now up the steep Where shone his Capitol. Upon its steps His form he planted — ^back he hurls his foe ; Again they spring, and back again he casts them. But that strong arm is weary, and the eye Is drooping, and those feet are clogg'd with forma That arm hath struck — the eye-balls of the foe Glare wilder — ^louder is their cry — ^their hand Smites fiercer — ^ha ! that crest is bowed — ^proud Rome Is on his knee — he sinks— and with one cry Of wildest joy and vengeance, up the steps Of the red Capitol the foeman springs. Strikes one more blow, and, planting then his foot Upon the prostrate crest, peals forth a shout Of triumph, which, re-echoing thro' the World Where'er has penetrated race of man. Tells that that World is free — for Rome has fallen. As if to prove the noted prophecy That when Rome fell, the Earth would perish too, Within the vacuum left by that proud head, As down it sank, there rush'd a rayless night Which settled in thick murky gloom, save where Byzantium's city glittered like an eye Radiant with intellect amidst the deep Blacl^ midnight. Liberty and Knowledge both Were hid beneath the curtain of the gloom. POEM. 35 But Mind began to stir again, and light The torch of Knowledge. Architecture rear'd Its castles on the crags — in mountain-paths And by the lakes. Within the valleys green, Smiling in rural loveliness, it placed Its massive abbeys, on their columns low ; And in the dark, walled towns, midst high peak'd roofs It rear'd the gorgeous church w^ith rich grained roof, Wreathed pillars, sculptured niches, arches bright, And tinted windows. Poetry was link'd To music, and both dwelt within the harp Of the gay Troubadour, from land to land Who wandered, with Romance his only guide. The bold Crusader left his castle gray, And sought the East where still Byzantium's eye Shone steadily, returning 'with its lore — The Knight chivalric went thro' every clime With lance in rest, and his bright " ladye love" Upon his lips. The monk his cloister cheered, Tracing his parchment and his missal edging With glowing colors. Brunelleschi wreath'd His sculptured jBowers. Great Dante poured his soul In fire along his harp. The laurel wreath Was hung on Petrarch's brow. The Medici Made Florence like the sun. The canvas flashed Beneath the brush of Raphael, and contended Sculpture and Painting, w^hich the greenest w^reath Should grace the head of Angelo ; and yet Liberty groan'd beneath the heaviest chains Of stem Feudality ; her darkest hours Were there ; for e'en in Greek and Roman days She bore in deserts inaccessible The quiver, the Numidian lion slew. And told wild tales within the tent at night. But the bright cheering morning dawn'd at last. The blessed fifteenth century arose. And w^ondrous changes came upon the world. Mind threw its shackles off; the soul took wings, And every where, the human heart, aroused, Heaved with convulsive movements, till the sea 36 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. Of being surged with high and mighty things. The compass pointed with its eloquent finger The mariner's path across the hitherto Dreaded and unknown billow ; the black dust, Imprisoning the deadly flame that changed Blind horrid massacre to skillful War, From Nature's inmost secrets had been wrung. The sail of great Columbus, where the West Shut down upon the Ocean's naked waste, Swept boldly, till its silvery spot was seen Like the far sea-bird's wing, and then was lost Within the misty circle, as Fear thought, Forever, but was destined to emerge Soon from that dusky ring with tidings grand That a New World within the West was found ! — The Moorish Crescent from Alhambra's towers Had disappeared before the cross of Spain, So that once more on Guadalquivir's banks The peasant's sickle gleam'd amidst the grain, And in green valleys of the Pyrenees, The light click of the castanet was heard At sunset midst the vineyards, or as glow'd The splendid Moon above the terraced olives. And last — the Printing Press ! that tongue — that foot- That breath of Knowledge ; the four faced — four winged- As in Ezekiel's vision, looking at The quarters four of heaven ; the chariot Of the inspired Nahum with its torch And lightning speed — the glorious Printing Press ! Had sprung from that great wondrous fane of thought, That curious laboratory — apex bright Of bright creation — eagle eyrie built On Nature's loftiest summit — crowning gem Of all that God hath wrought — the brain of man ! Knowledge arose and Liberty beside. Embracing, they exchanged in love their gifts. Liberty gave her scorn of Tyranny To Knowledge ; Knowledge gave to Liberty Her starry brow, and both then, towering up, Called out for Right. The cry re-echoed round. POEM. 37 The hardy Vaudois took his Avooden horn, Whose melody had cheer'd his leaping goats In grassy vales, and woke the lammergyer From its white glacier, seized his scythe, swnng late Within the mountain-pasture, and went forth To battle. The stern Covenanter rose, And with his deep w^ar-hymn the eagle roused Within his rocky glen ; blent clash of swords With the low rumble of the waterfall, And scared the stag with shots, until at last He read his Bible by his musket's flash, And with his very weapon carved his food. Then a whole mighty empire sprang to arms. Knowledge and Liberty fought side by side ; And England, merry England blushed with blood And rang vi^ith shrieks, until at last the cloud Asunder broke, and from its depths stepped forth, As in the vision of the Apocalypse, Knowledge and Liberty in glorious triumph. Upon that lovely land, our mother land, Land of broad parks, green lanes and castles gray, Time honored lineages, time honored laws, Whose bayonet is the lightning of the earth, And mighty keel the trident of the sea. And whose green ivy is the emblem meet Of her prosperity — sweet smiling land. Garden of earth .' and great as beautiful ! Knowledge impressed her path, that, brightening in The lapse of years, is now the Milky Way Among the scattered stars of other nations ; Whilst Liberty, with wishes disciplined, Diffused a tempered lustre round the throne, Bending to things long settled, until now We see the Lion by a woman led. And then the twain departed, led by God To tame the Western World His hand had given, Not to one race, but universal Man, Upon a storm-urged vessel's reeling deck Stood the two angels. On the May Flower dashed, Now like an eagle scaling watery peaks, 38 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. And speeding down within deep furrows now, As if to shelter there her frightened wing. Still on the May Flower dash'd ; the Winter blast Shrieked through her tattered sails ; still on she dash'd, For in her fragile hull the principle, The germ of a magnificent empire, lay, As the great oak is folded in its acorn. And God watched o'er it in the sable cloud. The dashing billow, and the whistling gale. At length the icy, slippery rock w^as near. And down the anchor of the May Flower plunged. She furl'd her wings, like some weak bird long driven By the fierce storm, but safety finds at last. On went those stern, pure hearted, gallant men ; Knowledge and Liberty with pointing hands Shewing the way. What though the forest stretch'd Broad, as another ocean, to their gaze. Where echoed the deep thunder of the blast, And the leaves toss'd like billows. What though glared The midnight fields with flames that wrapp'd their huts, Whilst the red warriors w^ith their tomahawks. Blending their war-whoops with the crackling air, Eush'd on them as they sallied forth, and dash'd The babe upon the earth, and wrench'd the scalp From age, and hushed the shrieks of womanhood With knives ; what though the famish'd wolf howl'd round Their homes> and from the mountain branches leap'd The panther down upon them ; what though lay The snow-drifts mid the boundless woods, so deep The hemlock show'd but half its pyramid, With hunger coming nearer every day. Whilst in the watches of the night they heard The wailings of the wind, that seem'd to say, " Wanderers, return to your old homes again ! The grass is greening there — the primrose sets Its silver star within the winding lanes — The breath of early flowers is rising up. For spring is coming ;" — what, when Summer hung The woods with beauty, though the settler knew That the rude path which left his clearing, ran POEM. 39 For weary days amidst the savage wild, Where scarce the keenest sunbeam struggled through. Without a single kindred voice or hand To answer or meet his ; what though all these ! The cabin was rebuilt — the tawoiy foe Driven to his haunts once more — the wolf was slain — And the fierce panther yielded his brown skin ' To spread the hunter's couch, when winking stars Watch'd o'er the camp-fire. Ofi" the snow-drifts went ; Spring came, and in the hill-lot whistled sweet The blue-bii'd, as the brawny settler svning His biting axe upon the scaly oak. And the woodpecker rattled on its tree, Uutil he thought he heard once more the fife And drum, as once at Naseby, whilst his blood Thrill'd with the joy and fervor of his youth. Thus went the two white Angels of my theme, Each holding to her heart her talisman, Knowledge the Bible, Liberty the Law, Whilst Industry presented them his axe. And, like the mists of morn, the woods roll'd off From Nature, and the sunshine kiss'd her cheek, Until it mantled with rich life, and glow'd With all its fresh and virgin loveliness. Liberty, as the hunter, went ahead, Stamping light paths amidst the unknown woods To find the deer — ^unlocking lovely vales To set the trap — ^uncovering the clean spring To plant the hut of logs, and tracing up, In the canoe, just fashion'd from the tree, The river's course to lure the finny spoil. ^ And Knowledge followed after, the light path To widen to a road — to change the vale Into rich grain-fields — spread the lonely hut Into a city, and the river's depths To rouse vdth ceaseless rush of busy keels. And thus, the ointment of the fairy tale Changed scarce the desert into fields and roofs More sudden to the eye it touched, than these, 40 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. The blessed Twain, our glorious country changed, Mowing the forests into harvest-fields, Or hewing their proud summits into cities. Survey w^e now our Empire ; Poetry Eesigns her harp, for every eye can see. And every heart can feel our power and glory. Near a broad river, one stern winter's day I stood ; its rigid chains the frost had wrought. The earth was cased in ice — the roofs were ice — The very chimnies, reeking with their fires, ^ Were tipp'd with icy silver ; the deep sky Sparkled in keenest azure, with wreath'd clouds Crispy and sharp, strewed o'er in frothy flakes. So cutting w^as the edgy air, it stung My brow as if with needle-points ; the cold Appeared slow^ eating way into my heart. The towering pine beside me was held fast In fetters, and though swept a wind along. Not e'en the lightest fibre of its shape. That high and haughty woodland King, could stir. The slender top that bent when bland sweet airs Caress'd it in the summer noontide, now Stood like a spear-point flashing in the sun. Nature seemed held the tyrant Winter's slave, So abject in his power, her very life Looked stricken from her heart ; — Just then a gust Brought a deep thunder-roll upon my ear. And, swift advancing to the brink, I saw Niagara plunging headlong down its rocks, Shaking my very being to its center. And giving, with its mighty strength, the earth And trees one general tremor. Roar and crash Were blended. The majestic arch sprang o'er And disappeared in white and tumbling chaos, Whence rose again a glittering diamond shape, Where danced a rainbow, gorgeous as the one POEM. 41 That sprang above the Ark at Ararat. As there I looked with my excited eye, It seemed like that great angel which did come To John's enkindled vision, " down from heaven, Clothed wdth a cloud," a rainbow on his head, With thunders uttering voices where he stood. Could fetters bind it ? why, it shouted hoarse Its deep disdain, and hiss'd its very scorn; Rolling and rolling, plunging, dashing down. In wrathful strife its fierce, tremendous floods ; Oh what could chain that mighty w^atery mammoth ! With its white tusks, its flashing, gleaming shape ! That Thunder- Water, as the red man called it. Nought ! and as on its grandeur still I gazed, Emblem sublime it seemed of LIBERTY. The summer sun was setting on the hills That wall the valley of that lovely stream, The No-wah-dah-yeh of the Iroquois, , And Mohawk of the English. The rich gold Tipp'd the thick roofs and steeples of the city, And, slanting, fell on fields of furrowing corn And billowy wheat. I stood beneath a tree, Where sunset, laughing in the leaves, let down Glimpses of golden green, like fire-fly sparkles ; The wind — ^made sw^eet with kissing flowers — roam'd round, Fainting with fragrance — touch'd the lazy grass, Then fell, and fluttered on my brow, as though 'Twould die in its own perftime, and the bee Seem'd loud with its deep hum amidst the quiet ; Suddenly pealed a bell upon my ear. And looking round, the sun's last beams I saw Edging the two gray fabrics on their hiU — Union in name and spirit — and I thought, As pour'd their throngs upon the green before them, They stood there in their leam'd and high repose, An emblem bright and beautiful of KNOWLEDGE. ORATION. Gentlemen op the Philomathean Society : The Literary Societies of our Colleges, like the one to which we belong, are voluntary associations. They have their origiUj partly, in the desire for more intimate and se- lect fellowship than that which belongs to the members of the College in general ; but, more essentially, in that strong and noble tendency of the human mind to throw itself upon its own resources, to create for itself means and facil- ities of improvement, and to attain to the consciousness of self-developement. In the routine of College studies and discipline, we are under governors and tutors, who prescribe for us, and we have only to obey. This, of course, is demanded in the very conception of formal and rudimental education, where erudition and experience are charged with the task of fur- nishing the beginnings of knowledge, of guiding the first efforts of thought, and of initiating the unformed and inex- perienced into legitimate methods and a right worthy dis- cipline, by which they may grow up to be men, and be- come prepared to think and act for themselves. But, while this process is going on, the young mind gains a taste of its own capabilities ; the very effort to ac- complish a task calls out a sense of its own inward life and strength : — in receiving nutriment and quickening influen- 44 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. ces from the soil, the atmosphere, and the sunshine, this self-conscious germ becomes aware of what itself contri- butes by its own organific force ; and perceives, very clearly, that the soil, the atmosphere, and the sunshine, would avail nothing, unless it were all the while meeting them with its own law and self-creating energy. Thus this very education under governors and tutors serves to develope the conception of another, and indeed the ultimate form of education — the education of one's-self by one's own thought, purpose and effort. This is the education upon which we enter, when we leave the Institution's of learn- ing, and go abroad into the world : — an education which runs parallel with this mortal life — which runs parallel with this immortal being. Now in the midst of our College life, where the system of education prescribed is wise, genial and generous, is it not natural for these young ardent minds, smit with the love of knowledge, and earnest in self cultivation, to feel an impulse to try their own hand at creating Institutions, col- lecting means of improvement, and forming modes of dis- cipline, by which they shall help themselves and help one another, and co-operate genially with the authoritative dis- cipline prescribed by College statutes ? Thus spring into existence the Society Halls, with their libraries and cabi- nets ; thus appear the self-imposed courses of reading, the stirring debates, the cultivation of composition and oratory, manly efforts at criticism, and all the life interest, social attachments and invaluable results of volmitary and inde- pendent literary association. The Philomathean is the oldest Society of this kind connected with our Alma Mater. It indeed began its career in the Academy which formed the germ of the College, and ORATION. 45 it has grown with its growth, and strengthened with its strength. As the College increased, the same law of literary asso- ciation, which called into being this Society, called into being also other worthy societies of the same kind. Such a society loses much of its interest, where it embraces too large a number ; for then its life is too thinly diffused into many members, and a too abundant foliage prevents a rich produce of perfected fruit. Select fellowship now perishes. There will arise also peculiarties of views and tastes. Thus occasions must exist for new organizations accom- plishing the same general end. Then a manly competition will follow ; and many a talent and noble energy, which had been slumbering in the old all comprehending associa- tion, will be brought to light in the ambition and the inte- rest of the new undertaking. And ever afterwards side by side will they move onwards, striving in a race where many crowns are to be won ; and where the success of one competitor only serves to stimulate the others. In the Olympic Games he only wore the olive crown who had overcome all competitors ; and the triumph of one brought humiliation and despair to many. In this race, disgrace attends only inactivity and imbecility. Here, a just mea- sure of success is awarded to every worthy exertion. Wide and fair and full of sunlight are the fields of literature ; every hill is crowned with olives, every valley sparkling with fountains. Here, every soul smit with the love of truth, the love of the beautiful and the good, may drink at pleasure, and walk in friendship with the beautiful Apollo, and receive from him a fitting wreath, plucked from the sacred Olive. The Philomathean Society, in celebrating this semi-cen- tennial, claims to be the oldest Society of our Alma Mater, 46 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. and the parent of the others. She looks upon them with eyes of benignity and love : — she blesses and is proud of her offspring : and she feels assured that they cannot be indifferent to an occasion which recals a common origin, common pursuits, and exalts the aims and sympathies of a common literary life. Or if the claim of parentage be too ambitious, then we will clasp hands as the sister " fair- cheeked" Graces ; and she will be Aglaia with Euphrosyne and Thalia on either hand — Splendor surrounded by Joy and Pleasure. What thoughts crowd into this hour ! Philomatheans ! were all here assembled who have borne our name and worn our badge, more than twelve hundred human beings would claim our fellowship— a number nearly equal to half of the graduates of our Alma Mater. Of these, two hundred or more are numbered with the dead. Some have fallen in early prime ; some at their noontide ; and some, after life's long weary day, have gone to repose with the setting sun. Some have died in the bosom of their homes ; some have left their bones on foreign shores. Among our dead, are names that gave glorious promise when they were un- timely cut down ; others, that left void, places of high hon- or, trust, and sacred usefulness ; and to a few has been allotted, what the conditions of humanity never allot to the many, to fill up the measure of their days in deeds of pat- riotism, humanity, and holy benevolence, and to be gath- ered in as shocks fully ripe. If the survivors were all present, it would be but a more numerous throng of what is here now represented. We who met in different groups, in different years, in yonder venerable hall, with one common character — companies of ardent, ingenuous, ambitious youth, eagerly looking out upon the wide world — to us a world of promise, — We have ORATION. 47 come together now, gathered from that world in which we have been running our race ; — We have come from com- munities widely separated and diversified, from every va- riety of pursuit, and having endured every form of human discipline and trial : We are men of different generations, shewing different touches of time. Hoary age, ripened manhood, manhood in its prime, and youth merging into manhood — we stand together on this mount of Observation ; around us the shadows of the past are gathered ; and upon us shines the light of the future : — Here are the evening and the morning. Many meet now who never met before in this fellow- ship : w^e are filled with emotions of strangeness and sur- prise as we look upon each other, and we are ready to exclaim, can it be that we were once alike, that we occu- pied the same places, and were busy in the same pursuits ! Some meet now who have met before in this fellowship ; — whose merry feet trod together the well beaten paths, who reclined together on these green banks, whose cheerful voices made accordant music, who sat together in the So- ciety hall, or sauntered through the library, who were bosom friends or manly competitors in that little secluded world, with its politics, strifes, interests and honors. How changed from what we were ! We bear the marks of the toil — we are covered with the dust of the conflicts of life. And yet the true heart within us is not changed. We look upon each others faces, and beneath these marks of years, and these scars of duty, there brighten up the features of our early youth. Long slumbering feelings reawaken— - the seal of time is melted, and the soul speaks in voices that we have heard before. The enduring property of friendship depends upon its character — upon the principles which Ue at its foundation. 48 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. There are many pleasant friendships which are not deep, and pass away with the occasion and the hour. They are chance flowers scattered here and there along our path, yielding a grateful fragrance, and then wither and are for- gotten. The enduring friendships spring up from some remarkable congeniality of temper, from being associated in great and good works, and from a community of noble aims. Human souls, like plates of polished glass, cohere from the nice correspondency of their attracting points. But it is not in the nature of the human soul to have its mighty depths stirred by trivial interests ; — its strongest affections cannot be given without an adequate object. The light, the vain, and the thoughtless, can love nothing well and enduringly. They love themselves best of all, but they love themselves only as a vain show. They degrade their own being in reducing it to the measure of their own affection. But when the soul loves that which it knows is worthy to be loved, because, in its own inward conscious- ness, it perceives how it answers to its own rational idea and spiritual affection, then it expands itself to the great- ness of its object, and becomes one with it by a deathless affinity. Now when several souls thus love a universal and absolute good, they must love one another. Each soul becomes to the others a mirror in which are reflected the beautiful heavens : — nay, each becomes to the others a form of spiritual life which is the multiplication of its own spiritual life : they seem to have a multiform existence — an existence in themselves by the individual consciousness, and an existence in each other by the common exalted affection. Or, they seem to go out of themselves, and to forget themselves, in seeking the universal good and fair ; and in finding this, they find themselves, and meet and embrace each other. ORATION. 49 Nor does this necessarily presume the same degree, but only the same principle of development : for, upon many mountains and hills of different altitudes, rests the same sunlight, as they lift themselves towards the same heavens : and the lily aspires and grows upward, as well as the magnolia : and concentric circles have one centre, although different circumferences, where the radii of the vast are but the prolongation of the radii of the minute. Here is the harmony of souls — the unity of the spirit. The pursuits of Literature constitute an exemplification of this divine principle. Here is a community of lofty aims and passions which bind human hearts together : — in be- coming philomatheans we become philanthropists — lovers of learning, we are lovers of man. Indeed, when we speak of literature, we comprehend the whole action of the human mind in the pursuit and disse- mination of knowledge and virtue. Literature is written language ; and the gift of language is coordinate with the gift of reason, of thought, sensibihty and imagination. Without these high faculties and functions, man would be incapable of receiving, comprehending, or using language ; and with these he cannot but have language. As he now uses it, what a scope it affords to his faculties ! How it enables him to multiply and diffuse his being ! Has he a noble thought, he can now make it reappear in myriads of minds : he utters a few sounds, and the secret thought which was known only to himself, takes wings and flies abroad, and becomes a universal possession : he makes a few marks on paper, and it belongs to posterity. Has he a feeling boiling up from the depths of his spirit, and thril- ling all his faculties, he has but to frame sounds with his lips, and multitudes are moved as the sea when the tem^ 50 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. pest passes over it ; or he marks down again a few lines, and his passion kindles up all hearts to the end of time. Does some beautiful vision, or some heroic theme, take possession of his soul, and frame itself into connected inci- dents and changing scenes, presenting a glorious array of men and things and great deeds ; — at once it runs out into sweet and melodious sounds, and a stirring and lofty epic wakes the imagination of nations and of ages. Does a people distinguish itself by its legislators, warriors, artists, poets, orators and philosophers ; — the historian holds up the great example, and gives it in charge to immortality. All passions, purposes, thoughts, discoveries, inventions, and imaginations — oratory, history, poetry, philosophy, sci- ence, find their expression in language, their vehicle of communication, and the instrument of their power. Man knows, thinks, feels, and wills. The activities of his mind have their definite laws and relations ; and hence when he seeks to give an external expression of his inter- nal consciousness, the external expression must have defi- nite laws and relations likewise. What his mind is in its inherent capacities, and in the degree and mode of its developement, such will his language be. There are two impulses which lead him to language. The first respects the individual himself: — it is an impulse of his intellectual nature. In attempting to know and comprehend the objects every where presented him, he is directed by a law of his mind to classify them ; but having classified them, he requires some common signs by which to represent the different classes. While he is attending to individual objects merely, he may carry in his mind the clear and full conception of each one : but inasmuch as a general classification is founded upon the abstraction of some particular quality or qualities common to all the indi- ORATION. 51 viduals, and yet adequately descriptive of no particular one, or at most descriptive of the lowest order only — it is plain he can make no representation in his thought which shall strictly embody the abstraction. For the purposes of his own thought, therefore, he must have some sign, some form of language, by which to express his classifications* The second impulse lies in his social nature. The indi- vidual man cannot isolate himself; — he is one of many, and the bonds are strong which bind him to his fellows. Indeed all sensitive creatures are impelled in some way to commune with their kind, and they all have signs well imderstood among themselves. But man has a commu- nity of Reason, beautiful emotions, glorious imaginings, and sacred sympathies ; and therefore he, least of all, is able to separate himself from his kind, and become an iso- lated being. Man's nature commands him to form fami- lies, neighborhoods, and nations. But in order to this he must have language. Language, therefore, is a spontane- ous outflow of his social nature. Spoken language grows out of the necessities of an intellectual and social creature, in all the conditions of his being: — ^man every where and always requires spoken language. Written language grows out of the necessities of civili- zation and refinement. The useful arts, legislation, and commerce, require it for recording principles, laws, and rules, and for facilitating the exchange of commodities. But these alone cannot give birth to literature. A nation must have sciences and scientific men, the arts of the beau- tiful and artists, philosophy and philosophers ; and that it may have poetry and history, it must have heroic and glo- rious recollections — a strong and glowing consciousness of national greatness. A mere mechanical, commercial and 52 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. bargaining people, can have no literature ; for the mere calculating and utilitarian functions of the soul do not con- tain the elements of truth, religion and beauty ; and hence they cannot supply matter worthy of enduring record — they can only give the story of the homely and ordinary life, which is ever the same. But where a people has education and refinement and great men — there will be both matter for literature, and lite- rary productiveness. And the history of such a people must be perpetuated. The merchant, with his stately counting houses and proud ships may pass away ; the lofty domes of exchanges, banks, and custom houses, be crumbled to the ground ; ca- nals and railroads choked with ruins : the palaces of the rich and gay may vanish like a morning vapour ; forms of government may become an exploded experiment, and migh- ty states lose their existence and name in some mightier em- pire : but the achievements of literature will stand as proud and enduring monuments when every thing else is for- gotten. In one point of view Greece is perished and forgotten. For centuries trampled down as a poor slave, she lost the consciousness of national existence : and the feeble life of her modern resurrection, under the toy-like sceptre of a Ba- varian boy, gives no promise that the age of Pericles or of Miltiades will ever return. But we turn from a miserable bigoted people, to the remains of her ancient art and litera- ture. Here we say, Greece is not forgotten. The ruined Parthenon is worth more than the living kingdom. The Greece that we think of with enthusiasm, is the Greece which has handed down to us the remains of the chisel of Praxitiles and Phidias ; the poems of Homer, Hesiod, ^Es- chylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Pindar ; the histories of ORATION. 53 Thucidides, Heroditus, and Xenophon ; the logic of Aris- totle ; the philosophy of Plato — yes, the dialogues of the old man Socrates, whom the world reveres as the holiest and sublimest of philosophers, but to whom his countrymen gave the cup of hemlock : and yet they have perished while he lives — he lives, one of the imperishable monu- ments on which the name of his country is inscribed, and by which his coimtry is remembered. Nature too is exalted and immortalized by the touch of genius. Olympus, Parnassus, Hymettus, and Helicon, are, in themselves, of the ordinary type ; the Ilissus is a lazy insignificant stream ; the vale of Tempo like many a beau- tiful valley which nature hath made ; but song and philos- phy have given them undying voices of majesty, beauty) and truth. " Though here no more Apollo haunts the grot, And thou, the Muses' seat, art now their grave, Some gentle spu*it still pervades the spot, Sighs in the gale, keeps silence in the cave. And glides v^rith glassy foot o'er yon melodious wave." Literature and art alone give immortality to nations ; for, were it possible for a nation to atttain to greatness without them, still, without them, there would be no records for posterity. Surpassingly momentous therefore is the voca- tion of the men of Art and Literature — strong and holy the bonds by which they are united in one fraternity. To them are committed the paramount interests of humanity — the life of society is beating in their hearts. Alas ! alas ! their fate has been but too uniform ! While living, prone to be regarded as drones in the body politic : — they manufacture no fabrics of utility, their labors do not sustain war, nor extend commerce, nor make increase oi public wealth. Often no account is taken of them while toiling in sadness and poverty, and they wither by neglect, 8 54 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. - — or sink into the grave by the relentless hand of persecu- tion — or they are compelled by inexorable necessity to waste energies which were designed for the world of beauty and truth, in the vulgar world of politics and trade. And when they are gone, their countrymen awake as from a dream ! Then they exclaim, The great and good were among us, and we knew it not ! We saw not the Angel of light, until he threw off the mortal robes in which he was disguised ! And yet, when they turn to the works which he has left behind, there are the marks of the Master hand — -there is that by which they ought to have known him. Then, in vain regrets, they build monuments on the top of sacred mountains, or in old abbeys. Then they boast to other nations of their great man ; — proudly they say, Have you a Socrates, a Milton, a Shakspeare ? The mur- dered philosopher, the poor old blind and persecuted poet, the obscure player, now become the sapphire foundations of national greatness and glory. Now it seems that a nation could spare any of the monuments of its pride and grand- eur, rather than the works and the memory of its great men. Could Socrates, Milton, and Shakspeare return to our world in their identical forms and characters, how the mul- titude would rush to see those kings of thought ! what a universal homage ! what expressions of love and admira- tion would be heaped upon them ! And yet, by a sort of metempsychosis, which sometimes takes place, let them reappear in other forms and under other names, and the same fate, which smote them in their ancient forms, might await them again. If ^ But are there not exceptions to this sad picture ? Have not Letters and Art sometimes met with noble rewg^rds ? ORATION. 85 And as society advances, does there not appear an auspi- cious change ? That there have been exceptions — that noble rewards have been bestowed, and that these rewards are becoming more promising, may be granted, without affecting a gene- ral truth which I wish here to expound, namely, that Lite- rature, under those forms which reach the highest and holiest ends, cannot look for its rewards in the vulgar gain of the world, but must be led on by motives of a widely different character. I would expound this truth not in the spirit of merely finding fault with the world, and patheti- cally and indignantly descanting upon the martyrdom of genius, but that we may ascertain the true mission of Lite- rature and Art, and see how sacred and magnanimous are their duties. In the first place, it cannot be denied that, as a matter of history, the picture we have drawn does apply to the high- est order of genius, and to those most masterly works which have constituted and elevated a nation's literature. Great men have labored without reward, and without the hope of reward, unless it were the anticipated judgment of posterity. The two highest forms of ^Esthetical Literature are, the Epic and the Drama : and the loftiest names which fig- ure in these are, Homer, Dante, Tasso, Milton, and Shak- speare. We may take these as our illustrations. The Epic and the Drama are the complements of his- tory. History gives only bare facts, and those chiefly which take place in public life. But the human mind does not rest satisfied with the bare facts. The grand events of history — those events which involve the rise and fall of nations, by a strong moral and spiritual instinct, it connects with a superintending Providence, and dignifies 56 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. with supernatural interpositions. All nations of all ages exhibit this instinct, whether in the forms of a pure and rational religion, or of a wild and terrible superstition. Now Epic poetry aims to supply, by its imaginary crea- tions, this deficiency in history. History, we have said, ^ives us the actions of men only as facts. Epic poetry takes up the same actions, and after embellishing them with an imaginary grandeur and heroism, and interweav- ing them Avith fictitious incidents, brings into the scene Supernatural Actors. The actions must in themselves be made to appear so lofty and heroic as, in a manner, to be worthy of divine direction and co-operation : and then the appearance of the divine actors both gives an unspeakable dignity and sublimity to the events, and explains their mystery by placing them in the light of the counsels of heaven. Hence the supernatural agency of the Epic is called The Machinery J since all the developements of the poem turn upon this agency. Lord Karnes has remarked with what appears to me a strange infatuation of criticism, that "the aim or end of an epic poem can never be obtained in any perfection, where machinery is introduced." Without attempting to refute the particular reason he assigns for this judgment, which indeed might easily be done, it is sufficient to reply, that the Epic admits of no just philosophical explication except on the ground of the machinery ; and that, in fact, to re- move the machinery would be to destroy every Epic poem in existence. Remove the supernatural from the Iliad and the Paradise Lost, and what would be left ? No ! the supernatural is the very soul of the Epic ; and answers in respect to history, an irrrepressible demand of the human intelligence. ORATION. 57 There can be no question that the Epic is the noblest fomi of poetry ; and therefore it is called The Epic — The Word — the highest form of human thought and language — the song of songs — the poem of poems. It embraces some great action in the history of man ; it introduces the most heroic characters ; it narrates the most lofty and thril- ling events ; it employs a verse of the noblest melody ; it collects around its language all the splendor of imagery ; and behind this magnificent array, it places the counsels and agencies of divinities. Nor is there any thing improbable or unnatural in the Machinery, if it only conform to the popular or generally received religion of the nation from whose history the Epic springs. If the Epic Poet supplies the divine agencies to the events of history according to the mythological or reli- gious system of the people to whom he belongs and for whom he writes, he does, in truth, reach the moral effect of reality, just like the Dramatist who constructs his fictions on the basis of facts and the known principles of human nature. The Epic Poet cannot, indeed, give the actual and precise facts of divine agency, but he imagines and repre- sents the actions of Divinities so like what the national religion affirms must have happened, that by the national mind and heart they must seem to be the higher and more momentous part of the history itself The stories of the heroes of Homer were a most precious part of the national tradition, and devoutly believed by the people. The my- thological deities of Homer were the deities of the people ; and what the poet sung of their deeds in the heavens, in the sea, and on the earth, in the Grecian and Trojan camps, and amid the conflicts of the armies, appeared to them so pro- bable — such a natural and fit exhibition of their disposi- tions and might, that the religious belief, without experi-. 58 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. encing any shock, enlarged itself to these creations of a sublime imagination. In referring to the Divina Comedia, I do not mean to affirm that it is an Epic poem. It is a unique poem. There never was — there never can be another like it. If it be taken as an Epic, then we must call it an Epic of indi- viduals, rather than of nations : not a historical, but a bio- graphical Epic ; and an Epic in which the lives and characters of men, who figured on earth, are read in the presence of their eternal destinies. It is altogether a crea- tion of the supernatural. To Dante's own mind it was a reality. He writes with the seriousness, the dignity, the sincerity and earnestness of a man who sees and believes. To the men of his times, and of the times subsequent, his book was like the leaves of the judgment. Here was the Theology — the strong be- lief of the men of the middle ages. Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, is an Epic of the crusades, and represents the Christian Mythology of the middle ages, as truly as the Iliad represents the Greek Mythology of the age of Homer. These poems are alike the supernatural complements of grand heroic histories. Indeed, we have only to appeal to our own experience, in order to verify this representation. We, too, have a . great Epic, whose machinery is drawn from the strongholds of our faith. Judged by the facts and doc- trines of the Bible, the Paradise Lost is based upon the strongest probabilities. The Bible history is indeed an Epic history, for it contains the supernatural complement as a part of its veritable, facts. This elevates it above all other histories. But the Bible history is brief, particularly that part which relates to the creation and fall of man. But this brief history is powerfully suggestive, and taken ORATION. 59 in connection with numerous allusions made to it through- out Holy Writ, and with the doctrines of moral good and evil, becomes the basis of supernatural conceptions, which give Milton's poem the first place in point of sublimity and moral interest. Now would it do any violence to our reli- gious belief, to receive this poem as containing a statement of facts ? Nay, when reading it, do we not seem to be engag- ed with a veritable narrative, as well as with the sublimest and sweetest poetry ? And still more, is not our religious faith, with respect to the sinning angels and their malignant agencies, with respect to the first man, the particulars oY his fall, and the heavenly grace vouchsafed to him, influ- enced and substantially shaped by the terrible, the sublime, the lovely creations of Milton ? The angelic life in heaven seems to us like a real life. The rebellious angels, and their dwelling within the fiery cope and those burning walls of adamant, seem to us like the fiends and the hell of our belief That delicious Paradise, with its stately trees, its chrystal streams, its bowers of love, its genial clime, its golden fruits, its ever blooming flowers, its innocent creatures of strength, beauty and melody, and its forms of manhood, and of ideal feminine loveliness and grace, its circling hours of joy, its life of perfect love and peace, and its heavenly visitations, seems to us like the true form of that blissful dawn of pure and untainted life, of which the Sacred writings give us only a brief sketch. And even the counsels of the Father and the Son seem not unworthy of the most majestic doctrines of our The- ology. Milton himself, with a noble enthusiasm — which w^ may pardon in him, as well as in Dante- — and with somo^ thing like the consciousness of one of the ancient proph- ets, invoked that 60 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. " Spirit that dost prefer Before all temples, the upright heart and pure :" and while we read, we insensibly yield to the claim of inspiration, and feel awe struck, as if listening to a divine word. The miserable attempt of Voltaire to construct an Epic out of modern history, by means of the ancient Greek My- thology, was consistent with a genius which could artifi- cially combine, but which, having no sense of the divine, was not equal to the truth and dignity of a genuine Epic. Homer, Dante, Tasso, Milton, wrote from knowledge and from faith. Theirs was a true word, and a true work of art. Art may be fiction, but it has no falsehood and incon- gruity. Art is truth under the splendid forms of the ima- gination. Art is nature idealized by the imagination striving after the perfect. Every Epic Poem, therefore, constructed upon just principles, sustains and gives effect to the facts of history. We have said that the Epic and the Drama are the complements of history. The Epic is the supernatural complement. The Drama is the complement of pri- vate individual life. History gives us the actions of men on the theatre of public life. We do not see its great actors in the relations of domestic, familiar, and ordinary life. We cannot be present when their meditations are expressed in soliloquies, nor witness those secret intrigues which contain the springs of public events. History gives us only the public man. The Epic supplies the divine agen- cies which lead on and govern the great actions of the Hero. Now we are most curious to learn the familiar every day life of the individual who has dazzled our imagination in the public events of history. We wish to learn whether he possesses the ordinary sympathies of the race ; whether ORATION. 61 he can descend to common affairs ; we desire to read his secret motives, and to hear him counsel confidentially with his intimates. Nay, we would press into his religious beliefs and his superstitions ; we would know even the dreams which unveil his character ; and if he converse with demons, or good angels, or read the stars of destiny, we would be present at these awful ministries and prophe- cies. It is natural for us to look upon the hero as the child of destiny, and he is ever prone so to regard himself What history cannot do with its bare facts, the Drama accomplishes. As the Epic reveals a probable supernatu- ral agency relatively to public life, so the Drama reveals the probable agencies, both natural and supernatural rela- tively to private life. The Epic gives us the hero in alli- ance with divinities ; the Drama gives us the man^ with all the influences and circumstances of humanity collected around him. In order to reach its end, the Drama must conform to the true constitution of man — it must be psychologically true. This is the first requisite. After this, it must con- form to the facts of history, and to the manners and cus- toms of the nation and age in which the action is laid. Those details of the private and secret life which are want- ing in history, the great masters of the Drama supply by fictions, which we believe must be very like what really happened, because, constructed on right principles, they are intrinsically probable. Take as examples the historical plays of Shakspeare. Is any violence done here to nature or to history ? Is not the familiar life of the old English Kings, Lords, Peasantry and Soldiers brought to view as a reality ? Do we not feel that the genius of Shakspeare has raised from the dead what history had buried ? The Richard III, whom history 62 PHiLOMATHEAN CELEfiRATION; offers to our view in public life, must have been the marl whom Shakspeare describes in his secret and familiar life. That portion of English history contained in the plays of Shakspeare, is better understood, and produces a more ge- neral moral effect than any other portion, where his genius has not illumined the page, and supplied the dramatic complement. If all history were illustrated by dramas like Shakspeare's, would not history be more real, more true-, and infinitely more instructive ? Now these two forms of Literature have given us the greatest works of human genius ; and the five names we have mentioned are the greatest the world has produced in these relations. Homer, in the Iliad, became the father of Grecian life, Grecian literature and art, Grecian civilization — and thus the father of all art, literature, and civilization, save that which belongs peculiarly to Christianity. For centuries his song was sung by the Rhapsodists throughout the Gre- cian states : and thus was there diffused and ripened the two great elements of Grecian character — the heroic and the beautiful. The Greek drama, the Greek plastic arts, the battles of Marathon, Platea, and Salamis, were all in- spired by that one great work; It was a great gift to his country, and to all future ages. Dante and Tasso spoke a word plastic and powerful in their times, like the Iliad to the ancient world. It was the birth of a glorious language — the opening of a new foun- tain of literature and art. Milton takes the loftiest stand of all in this form of lite- rature. Homer was of the Grecian life. Dante and Tasso of the life of the middle ages. Milton's is the Epic of uni- versal humanity, enlightened, redeemed, purified and adorned by the sun of Christianity. He has sung the life ORATION. 63 of man from the creation to the jddgment day. He has sung the counsels of heaven, the mysteries of providence and of grace. The highest reason, the highest faith, the most awful truth, and the most ravishing beauty are all combined in his wonderful poem. He has started thoughts which are like sunbeams upon the earth, and then, reflect- ed upwards, wander through eternity. In the other form of literature, Shakspeare has surpassed, and must forever surpass all others. He is the great ex- pounder of human nature : he has traced human life to its fountains ; he has analyzed human character into its constitutive elements. In him the severest truths are presented under the most perfect forms of art : and poetry and action, no longer the amusement of vacant hours, become the august teachers of that most elevated science, whose title only was inscribed on the temple at Delphi. Homer was the founder of the Epic. Shakspeare may almost be called the founder of the Drama, for he first developed its true idea. Now these five master spirits of humanity, producing in the two loftiest spheres of literature those master v\rorks, the destruction of which would be a greater calamity to the race, than the destruction of as many kingdoms — works which are destined to survive all the changes of time, and to remain the everlasting landmarks of thought — for what did they labor ? And what was their portion in the lot of man? Of the first, the history is doubtful : but this very doubt- fulness proves that neither riches nor honors were his. A wandering bard he surely was ; and perhaps, as his name may indicate, blind. A blind poet constructing his lofty verse, and singing of the sublime, the heroic, and the beau- tiful, under the piercing experience of human suffering,. 64 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. His mind dwelt on Ida and Olympus amid the haunts and the thrones of the gods ; but he was a poor blind wanderer upon the earth. Poets, artists, learned men, nations, hook- sellers^ have lived upon his thoughts. The world has gi- ven boundless homage to the form of greatness dimly seen in the remote antiquity ; but while that form moved among men, we hear of no munificent patrons, of no places of power and splendor awarded him : he drove no profitable trade with enterprising publishers : he threw his bread upon the waters, and his memory alone hath found it after many days. Dante was an exile — a persecuted, sorrow-stricken man. *' It came to be evident to him," says Carlyle, " that he had no longer any resting place or hope of benefit in this earth. The earthly world had cast him forth to wander ; no living heart to love him now ; for his sore miseries there was no so- lace here. The deeper naturally would the eternal world impress itself on him ; that awful reality over which, after all, this time-world, with its Florences and banishments, only flutters as an unreal shadow. Florence thou shalt never see : but Hell, Purgatory and Heaven, thou shalt sure- ly see. What is Florence, Can della Scala, and the world and life altogether ? Eternity : thither of a truth, not else- whither, art thou and all things bound ! The great soul of Dante, homeless on earth, made its home more and more in that awful other world. Naturally his thoughts brooded on that, as the one fact important for him. ***** Dante's heart long filled with this — brooding over it in speechless thought and awe, bursts forth at length into " mystic, unfathomable song," and his divine comedy, the most remarkable of all modern books, is the result." Never did human genius produce a more unearthly book. It was written under the inspiration of no earthly motive ORATION. 65 whatever. It was written, you may say, from a bm'sting heart — it was a wail of despair : No, it was written by a man who, in his inward greatness and strength, had tri- umphed over the agony and despair of earth ; and then, anticipating eternity, walked through the circles of Hell, toiled up the mount of Purgatory, and at length reposed in the beatific visions of Paradise. It was wrought out of the depths of his soul as an experience and a hope. Like eve- ry true work of genius, it was an irrepressible thought that would be spoken. The reward of Tassowas neglect and poverty, and seven years imprisonment under a charge of madness, because he hortored with noble, faithful love, a woman of higher rank than his own. Now, her only immortality is that he loved her : the only immortality of his enemies, that they were his enemies. " Long years ! it tries the thrilling frame to bear, And eagle spirit of a child of song — Long years of outrage, calumny and wrong ; Imputed madness, prisoned solitude, And the mind's canker in its savage mood. Where the impatient thirst of light and air Parches the heart." There is no sadder history in the history of genius. John Milton was not a victim of petty Guelph and Ghib- beline factions, nor of narrow, aristocratic jealousy. He was a martyr of great principles for which he had battled from prime manhood to old age. Old, poor, and blind, he was suffered to emerge from concealment, and to occupy an obscure corner of London. But his mind and character were unchanged. His whole being was of the most beau- tiful and perfect proportions. Like a Grecian temple, nothing unequal, nothing out of place, nothing to mar the grand effect. His character might be drawn as a general 66 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. scholar, a metaphysician, a divine, a pohtician, a poet, or simply as a christian man, and it would appear resplendent in all. And were we to draw his character in all these respects, in the horn- of his highest prosperity ; and then again, when he was old and blind, poor and neglected ; instead of finding aught in the second portrait that would throw shame upon the beauty and majesty of the first, we should find it beaming with the same intellect, poetry and purity, only heightened by expressions of resignation and fortitude, and of a mind more heavenly, as engaged now in meditating that immortal song which crowned his labors. It was amid this wreck of his fortunes, without patrons without any hope on earth, but the hope of leaving a bles- sing behind him, that he dictated the Paradise Lost : — the Paradise Lost — a legacy to his country and to mankind — a legacy whose value cannot be expressed by the wealth of kingdoms ; and yet it brought him few readers and only fifteen pounds ! But John Milton was not disappointed nor cast down. He wrote not as the hireling of booksel- lers ; he wrote not as the flatterer of patrons ; he wrote not as the pander to a perverted public taste. He wrote from an " inward prompting which," says he, " grew daily upon me, that by labour and intense study, (which I take to be my portion in this life,) joined with the strong propensity of nature, I might perhaps leave something so written, to after times, as they should not wiUingly let die. These thoughts at once possessed me ; and these other, that if I were certain to write as men buy leases, for three lives and downwards, there ought no regard to be sooner had, than to God's glory by the honor and instruction of my country." The strong propensity of the poetical nature contemplat- ing ideal greatness, beauty, and perfection — the spirit of ORATION. 6? the artist, and the great call of duty to employ the, powers which God had given him in a work which, however dealt with in his own day, should run parallel with the race of time, and as a word of truth, beauty, and power, make its way, and work in the heart of all coming generations ; — these led him to form the great conception years before the hour of execution arrived. And as the work was great, so the preparation was great likewise : — " a work not to be raised from the heat of youth, or the vapours of wine, like that which flows at waste from the pen of some vulgar amourist, or the trencher fury of a rhyming parasite ; nor to be obtained by the invocation of dame memory and her syren daughters, but by devout prayer to that eternal spi- rit, who can enrich with all utterance and knowledge, and sends out his seraphim, with the hallowed fire of his altar, to touch and purify the lips of whom he pleases : to this must be added industrious and select reading, steady obser- vation, insight into all seemly and generous arts and affairs." He had looked for " a calm and pleasing solitariness, fed with cheerful and confident thoughts," for the working out of his lofty plan. But the only solitariness which he found was that of old age, blindness, and the alienation of the world. And yet his majestic, unsubdued spirit accom- plished the task with the ease, freshness, and soaring ima- gination of halcyon days. The misfortunes of life could not cheat him out of the v/ork of life. At a time and under circumstances when others would have lain down to die, he rose with the " lark that, singing, up to heaven's gate ascends," and girded him to his labor. The past, to him, was a dream of glorious hopes, and manly exertions ; the present, a weary load of sorrow ; but in the future, lay his immortal Epic as a crown of glory^ 68 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. Shak^peare's life was not one of deep, consuming sorrow, like Dante's ; nor one of high, stern conflicts for great prin- ciples in public places, like Milton's. And yet, it was the life of one combatting with fortune, unquestionably, imder many private sorrows and cares, until he had gained for himself a competency, and he went back to the banks of the Avon to rest himself and to die. He lived an obscure life — we know but little about him — and this alone tells of obscurity. His highest elevation was to be manager of a theatre. It is true he had some favor from the great. Southampton was his friend, and gave him a thousand pounds, it is said. Queen Elizabeth conversed with him, expressed her pleasure at his per- formances, and being delighted with the character of Fal- staif, made a suggestion which led to the composition of the Merry Wives of Windsor. King James issued his patent to the company of the Globe Theatre. And this was all. The Q,ueen was repaid a thousand fold by '•' the most en- chanting compliment ever paid by genius to royal vanity," in his Midsummer's Night Dream. But it comes to this — the greatest intellect, the greatest poet of England and of humanity, was approved as a play writer, and a play manager, and received such patronage as enabled him to retire on two hundred pounds a year ! What led to these stupendous dramas ? Was it his ne- cessities — this passing notice of the great — the prospect of this competency ? Here was the occasion — you must seek for the cause elsewhere. There is a heaven- wide dif- ference between an occasion and a cause. Many men have had like occasions with Shakspeare — nay, more, stir- ring occasions, and have done nothing. The cause was in the mighty genius of the man. He had occasion to write ORATION. 69 * plays — he had to earn his bread. But genius does not Hve upon bread : it has its o^rn mighty inspiration in itself. As the developement of the reason from its profoundest depths, has its primary conditional or occasional starting point, in relation to time, in some movement of the sense — - a sensation of touch, or color, or sound, or perhaps, the mere inspiration of a breath of air ; so with genius, it may be some trivial circmnstance — a word — a jest — a look — some shock of pride — some touch of human suffering — an indignity and petty persecution from some Sir Tho- mas Lucy, which leads to the first determination, which occasions the first movement of the mighty thought : but thenceforward, it moves by its own inward strength, and within the sphere of its own clear and glorious perceptions. The occasion which awakens it, is of small account ; if it did not fijid one occasion, it would find some other : — soon- er or later it must awaken, and know itself, and do its work. In a world where the allotments^ of fortune are so mie- qual, it is not surprising that a sense of want should so often form the occasion for the development of genius. Want knocks at the storehouse where great thoughts and energies are yet slumbering : the master within awakes, and strives to relieve the humble, urgent petitioner ; — the doors fly open, and troops of angels issuing forth, scatter the earth with flowers, open chrystal fountains in the deserts, and fill the cope of heaven with melody. Want may be relieved, or may be forgotten, in this world of beauty where genius is now at work. One of the most remarkable characteristics of Shak- speare is his indifference to every thing but the exertion of his genius. He met the demands of want indeed — but he met them moderately and even humbly. Nor does he 10 70 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. manifest any ambition of fame — ^he seems almost uncon- scious of his own greatness. He moved amid his own matchless creations, satisfied with his own silent delight, and not caring what the world would say of him, nor dreaming that he was to fill all future ages with his name. He came into the world, " the free gift of na- ture ; given altogether silently — received altogether silently as if a thing of little account ;"* and silently he went out of the v^rorld. The generation in Avhich he lived did not collect the materials of his biography, and he left nothing behind him written of himself He lived in his dramas while he lived, of no more account than the world pleased to make of them. But now he will live in his dramas while the world lives. We have now considered the two highest forms of Lite- rature, and the five great names which figure here. Ho- mer, of the world of ancient classic beauty. Dante and Tasso,t of the middle ages. Milton and Shakspeare of the modern world. We have nothing greater or more perfect in Literature to speak of. And here these men with their works are before us. We have only been stating facts. Their lot was not the lot of power, wealth, or pleasure. The motives which led to the stupendous creations which form the glory of mankind, and which, if they were taken away, would leave the world irreparably poor — were not drawn from the ordinary sources which inspire human ac- tivity. It were easy to add to these names from the his- tory of the great and good among mankind. And the con- clusion at which we should inevitably arrive, would be, that those noble and efficient labors which have led on all * Carlyle. + Tasso himself, indeed, did not live in the middle ages, but his mind was there ; his great Epic is the echo of the middle ages. ORATION. 71 improvements, and made the world what it is in science, literature, art, and religion, have had their origin in lofty views of truth, beauty, benevolence, and duty. If we now proceed from the facts, to consider the true principle of activity and productiveness in Literature and the arts, we shall find that nothing less than motives drawn from these sources, can afford a sufficient, inspiration for any truly great work. The noblest natures have drawn their motives from all these sources combined ; others, from only a part ; but, altogether, or, in part, they must enter into the production of every great work. In the first place, he who undertakes any great work, whether in philosophy, science, art, or religion, does often, by that very undertaking, make an advance beyond the spirit of his age, and leave its sympathies behind him. It is common in our day, with those who make wide generalizations in philosophical history, to represent the great man as the exponent of the spirit of his age. The truth of this representation will depend, so far as it can be true, upon what we mean by the spirit of the age, and the character we assign to it. If we mean by the spirit of the age, the opinions and proclivities of the masses of the people, then, if these be the result of high principles of truth and liberty permeating the masses, he, of those who have gone before us, was the great man, who, rising above the prejudices, ignorance, and bigotry of a previous age, disseminated these principles, and enthroned them in the popular mind. And he is now the great man, who, col- lecting the prevalent opinions and tendencies, springing from so high a source, into one focus of action, works out, by their means, some grand reform in civil, social, and reli- gious life. 72 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATIOI??. But if the movement of the popular mind be in the di- rection of error and fanaticism, then the leader and expo- nent of the popular will is but a rampant demagogue, or a furious bigot. He may be an orator in the use of the isacred names of patriotism and religion : he may be an inflammatory and acute writer in newspapers and periodi- cals : he may be deeply read in human nature under its worst, weakest and darkest attributes, so that, as a pander to the appetites and perverted judgments of men, he may exercise a mighty influence over multitudes, and ride into power upon a storm of evil I in fine, he may gain his endSj and attain to what the world calls success ; but great he can never be, if truth be great, if virtue be great, if God be great. But do we mean by the spirit of the age, those doctrines and opinions which have obtained among the thinking few, who, after all, give enduring character to an age ; — then, the great man is he who, reviewing these by a clear and powerful philosophical criticism, eliminates error from truth, and collects results after which the thinking minds have in diflerent ways, and, it may be, through successive ages been struggling, and to which they have all contribu- ted something ; — have contributed even by their mistakes and errors : for no one that truly thinks, thinks altogether in vain. Cicero remarks that he would rather err with Plato, than find truth with his opponents ; and I think with good reason, for the errors of some minds are more suggestive than the truths of others. And so he who, reviewing the beliefs of his age in the master minds, tracing their origin and their progress, and describing their present development, comes at last to a logical projection of weighty and commanding truths, is entitled to be conside- red great, as the faithful exponent of the spirit of his age. ORATION. 73 He is an exponent of light, power, and beneficence ; for, he has reduced chaos to order, and distinguished between wandering comets, and the worlds of productiveness and beauty, which move in harmonious orbits around the all- binding centre. But it must be in the grand progress of thought, that the great teachers of truth, beauty, and goodness, shall come into conflict with error, perversion and malignity ; and that ere the battle be won, many of the noblest perish as vic- tims. Socrates must drink the hemlock, ere Plato can write his dialogues, and receive universal homage at the Olympic games. Gallileo must be imprisoned ere Newton can proclaim the true system of the universe. Jerome of Prague and John Huss must die at the stake, ere Luther can lead on the Reformation. Hampden and Sidney must fall ere Washington can triumph in the battles of liberty. Nay, Christianity herself could be introduced only by the crucifixion of its Divine Author, and the martyrdom of his Apostles. Mankind at large, in many ages, have been like the captives whom Plato has described, in the cave with their backs turned to the light, and beholding only sha- dows. The great man is the solitary one who turns from the shadows, escapes from captivity, and walks out to be- hold the sun in the heavens ; but who, when he returns to proclaim his glorious discovery to the captives below, is accounted worthy of death, for the very reason that he contradicts their science, exposes their shadowy percep- tions, and directs them to the world of light and reality above. The man who aims only to be the exponent of the spirit of his age, can never be great, for he is destitute of inde- pendent and original thought. He is the mere echo of the voice of the predominant multitude, whether in philosophy, 74 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. politics, or religion. Even if the spirit of the age be en- lightened and benign, he is not great if he becomes its ex- ponent merely for conspicuity and influence : for now he is what he is, not from conviction and principle, but only from expediency. He is only a weathercock of a higher order, self-consciously trimming his plumage to the favor- ing gales. The great man critically examines the spirit of the age, and accepts it only as it accords with the princi- ples which govern him. Where it is wrong, he is ready to oppose it. He will take up his cross and follow truth through evil report. He will stand unmoved, like a rock in the ocean, when the angry voices of the multitude are swelling around him. He will bear calmly the persecution of powerful sects and parties. He v/ill consent to lie down in infamy, and bequeath to future generations the work of vindicating his name, when the truths for which he has battled shall have triumphed. There is in him a majestic composure and confidence. He lives not for a particular time, but for all times. He makes his secure home in im- mortality. But in order to prove the elevated motives which inspire the pursuits of Literature and Art, we may reason not only from the necessary position which he assumes relatively to the multitude who aims to effe(*t any great work ; — we may reason, also, from the peculiar nature and ends of these pursuits. The Philosopher, the Poet, the Artist, not only have the lot of greatness upon them, in emerging from the cavern and seeking a purer light; — such also is the work which they have to do, that they cannot do it, unless they turn away from vain time-shows to contemplate an absolute beauty, goodness, and truth. The inspiring forms of Art and Literature lie in an ideal world, and because an ideal world, a world of absolute and permanent reality. ORATION. 75 This, to many, may appear a contradiction, since, in the popular conception, the Ideal is ever the shadowy, dreamy, and unreal. Shall 1 myself he called a dreamer — a man in pursuit of shadows, if I affirm that the Ideal represents the highest form of reality ? Let me explain myself We will begin by accepting the Platonic definition of ideas psychologically considered, that they are the primordial seminal potencies in the Reason of all Knowledge. We will next take up ideas, logically considered, as primordial and general conceptions, or accepting here the Aristotelian notion — the categories under w^hich all our particular knowledges are capable of being reduced. Some of the most important and productive of these ideas are the ideas of the Perfect, the True, the Just, the Useful and the Beau- tiful. Now, by the idea-potencies producing the idea- conceptions, we not only know and comprehend, upon the proper sensuous conditions, that w^hich actually exists, but also that which is possible. But, under the possible, we embrace higher forms of perfection, truth, justice, utility and beauty, than w^hat the actual world affords. That is, we conceive that the principles existing and at work in nature might have riper and more glorious developments : nay, that in other worlds, they may now have such de- velopments. It is here that the imagination comes in as a mediatory, representative, and creative power, and projects into its own sphere the ideals of more perfect forms. Now, it is the effort to realize in the outer world these ideals which give birth to the highest productions of art. Sculp- ture, Architecture, the Epic, and the Drama, are embodi- ments of the ideal. In ideal creations, the supernatural is only a higher form of the natural. What then is the ideal but the more perfect real, not indeed the actual^ but the real — Truth, Justice, Goodness and Beauty, ripened to 76 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. their highest measures 7 The actual is changeable and passing away by a steady progression. The ideal is that to which every thing is tending. Literature and the arts, in their finest productions, anticipate, prophecy, represent the end. It would be easy to show, also, how this ideali- sing process leads on the noblest inventions, under the con- ception of a more perfect utility : — how industry thus pa- tentiated and directed, has changed the face of the world • — how, reaching forward to higher purposes, it will change it still more, until every wilderness and solitary place shall rejoice, and every desert bud and blossom as the rose. The world is yet in its infancy, and ideals of more perfect social organization, of wide spread improvements, cf universal order and harmony, of universal peace and brotherhood, are even now inspiring multitudes under the dim light of crude philosophies, or under the clear radiance of a divine philosophy, basking in the sunlight of Christianity. What now is the mission of the man of Literature and Art? Is it not to study the permanent and absolute real in the Ideal, and by immortal works to inspire mankind with the sense of a higher nature, and a higher destiny — to show how wise and good we may become — that we are not mere dust and earth, but partakers of the Divine nature ? With such a mission, the low ends of temporary popularity, of worldly gain, of fading hours of pleasure, do not com- port. The true philosopher, the true artist, the true poet produce their works by contemplating the absolute and the perfect. They could not produce them in any other way. He who sets out to compass gain or political influence, fixes his mind upon these objects, and takes his measures accordingly. It is in living for these objects, that he be- comes what he aims to be. By the same necessity of thought, he who would compass great works of truth and ORATION. 77 beauty, must become absorbed in the true and beautiful — he must live in a higher and purer world. And this higher and pmer world, viewed in relation to poetry and the arts generally, is that world of ideal forms which the imagination creates from the idea-conceptions where men become more heroic and perfect, and nature more richly developed and beautiful — nay, where even evil is idealized into a ranker and more awful growth, and all this without violating the principles of humanity or of nature : and, viewed in relation to philosophy, is that world where truth reigns absolute, and the great problems of being are solved in the light of those eternal ideas which constitute the Intelligence of God ! Let the world deride thee, call thee a dreamer, account thee a fool in sacrificing the toys of wealth, power, and pleasure, O child of genius and of truth ! but hold thou on thy heavenward way — live in thy purer and more beautiful world — be inspired by the objects which surround thee, by the truths which beam upon thee, and do thy work faith- fully and manfully, and happy in thine own thoughts and aims, thou wilt strike out sparks of immortal light for the good of men and the honor of God. But have not men of letters and artists labored for bread like other men? Nay, have not some of their greatest works been produced under the pressure of the common wants of humanity ? It cannot be denied. They are sub- ject to all the conditions of an earthly existence. But it was not this which made them men of letters and artists. Had this been their end, it would have been better to have been mechanics or merchants — to have taken up any form of labor or business. And yet, the necessities of our earthly lot have had one important bearing upon the works of gen- ius : they have compelled to the completion of tasks which 11 78 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. Otherwise might have remained in restless and unsatisfied thought, and in endless preparation. For he who has the brightest ideals, is most prone to be dissatisfied with the ma- terials in which he strives to give them an outward expres- sion, as well as with his own skill. The chisel and the mar- ble, the colors and the pencil, the words of human language already appropriated to ordinary uses, often seem imprac- ticable ; while, intense meditation upon a great subject re- veals such richness and beauty, that the hand trembles to attempt it : and thus a mind of the highest powers may be led, if not actually to distrust itself, at least, to distrust its present fitness and preparation ; and, instead of proceeding to the execution, may only involve itself in deeper study ; or, if making a beginning, may ever be remodelling, repro- ducing, retouching, in an endless struggle after perfection. It is here that want has sometimes made its appearance as the best friend of the man of genius, and as a benefac- tor of mankind ; and in the voice of his children, it may be, crying for bread, has called him away from the ideal contemplation — the everlasting dream of beauty, to finish his work. The immortal Allston, under no such rude compulsion to finish, grew old before his great picture ; and while he was still erasing and reproducing, and striving to perfect the expression of his ideal, death called him away to higher visions, from a disappointed world. Shall we then leave the man of genius to the dis- cipline and stern guardianship of want? It would be an unjust and cruel inference. If want has some- times determined him to action, it has also often fro- zen up the sources of thought. If it has sometimes called him from his meditations to finish some glorious work ; it has also often stood beside him a stern spectre accompanied by despair and death. Perhaps the truth on 4 ORATION. 79 this subject was never more forcibly and affectingly ex- pressed than by Coleridge in one of his letters : — " Compo- sition," says he, "is no voluntary business. The very necessity of doing it robs me of the power of doing it. Had I been possessed of a tolerable competency, I should have been a voluminious writer. But I cannot, as is feign- ed of the nightingale, sing with my breast against a thorn." The same thought he re-echoes in those touching lines composed in February, 1827. " All nature is at work. Stags leave their lair — The bees are stirring — birds' are on the wing — And winter, slumbering in the open air, Wears on his smiling face a dream of spring ! And I the while, the sole unbusy thing, Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing. Yet w^ell I ken the banks where amaranths blow, Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow. Bloom, O ye amaranths ! bloom for whom ye may, For me ye bloom not ! Glide rich streams away ! With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow I stroll : And would ye learn the spells that drowse my soul 7 Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve. And hope without an object cannot live." It was not for wealth, or political station that Coleridge sighed — it was merely for a "tolerable competency;" — that he might possess his cottage at Clevedon on the Severn, " o'ergrown with Jasmine, and the broad leaved myrtle," undisturbed by the daily anxiety, what shall I eat, what shall I drink, wherewithal shall I be clothed ; and that he might be permitted to yield himself quietly to the legiti- mate ideal inspirations of genius, and labor in poetry and philosophy for England and mankind. His intimate friends Wordsworth and Southey realized that " tolerable competency," which is the best condition for a man of let- 80 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. » ters, and nobly did they use it. Like two streams from the same mountain springs, have they made their quiet, majestic, fructifying way ; and on their banks are verdant meadows, smiling hamlets, and palaces of beauty. It is well, where the man of letters can at the same time yield to the proper inspirations of his high pursuits, and gain a competency by his literary efforts : and this in some departments of Literature, such as history and fiction, is sometimes realized. Where this is not the case, he ought to be in employments genial to the great end of his life^ by which he may be enabled to secure quietly a competent subsistencCj and to follow out his vein. It is ruinous to high and independent authorship to wait upon publishers. The publisher is a tradesman, and books are his commodities. He must therefore suit the public taste — ^he must meet the demand in the market. But the man of letters cannot write for accidental tastes, and a fluctuating market. He is in a region far above this —he is engaged with other objects. He is writing for truth's sake— he is writing for the determined judgment of taste which belongs to the great and ripened minds of all generations — he is writing for immortality. Great works cannot ordinarily, be produced to meet the demands of the trade. I think all will grant at once, that the staple com^ modities of the book trade are not, generally, works of ori- ginal and permanent literature. The most profitable books are school books and novels. The former are, generally, the works of industrious compilers. Some of them are works of great utility. Many are mere forms of specula- tion. There are some novels which are works of genius of the highest order : there are many more which are clever and agreeable : there are a multitude which are the mere froth of literature ; but, like all frothy potations, are eagerly ORATION. 81 « swallowed. The children who need school hooks, and the young, inexperienced, and crudely cultivated, who are attracted by ephemeral novels, form a vast proportion of readers. Here then are the staple commodities of the trade ! We have already mentioned as exceptions, history, and the higher order of fiction. Prescott's histories do honor to Enghsh literature ; and both, on account of the strangely romantic interest of their subjects, and their relation to our hemisphere, independently of the grace of their composi- tion, must ever attach themselves to the popular mind. The Waverly Novels form a well known illustration in the other department. We may also mention those great works which, scarcely noticed in their own day, or enjoy- ing only a limited appreciation, have at length triumphed, and become the ornaments and dignified possessions of libraries and bookshelves, if not books of ordinary and general perusal. No one, now-a-days, will so dishonor himself as not to own a Shakspeare and a Milton. Where a great author has become a favorite with the people, and of course with the trade, the stimulus of genius is liable to be supplanted by the stimulus of gain and popu- larity. Works are now produced with astonishing rapidity — the supply must meet the demand ; but, alas ! there is a corresponding depreciation in their character. The child of genius and of truth is now no longer dwelling in his ideal world, adoring the divine and matchless forms before him, and speaking to the common world a word, which, whether men will hear or forbear, is nevertheless a word of import and authority — " a winged word," like the voice of a divine messenger : he has condescended to enter the market, pen, ink and paper in hand, and to cry out, A genius offers his services to the public and the trade — he 82 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. will write poetry, politics, philosophy, divinity, novels, or reviews, where there is money to be had and influence to be gained. Walter Scott did not, indeed, pander his fine powers in this gross way ; but the Ballantynes and the Constables, the Baronetcy and Abbottsford, are associated with the decay of his genius, as well as with the overthrow of his fortunes. His Waverly was written spontaneously — from a pure love of the subject — a creation of his mind that could not be avoided : and yet it was long ere he made up his mind to publish it. What a diflerence between this work of unsoiled genius, and works which were afterwards thrown off with such rapidity, to meet mere pecuniary demands ! Can we believe that Homer could have written the passion of Achilles, and the wanderings of Ulysses ; Dante, his hill of Purgatory, and entrance into Paradise ; Tasso, the chivalry of Godfrey and Tancred ; Milton, his delicious Paradise ; Shakspeare, his Juliet, Portia, and Ophelia — at the bidding of a publisher, and, forsooth, be- cause this publisher judged that the public made a demand for such creations of genius ? What does the public know of the work of genius until it is done ? Nay, must not gene- rations sometimes pass away before it is known — a space of time that men may be able to get into the heart of the work, or may ascend into the clear heavenly light where its perfection and brightness alone can be seen and esti- mated ? We judge, therefore, that the true man of letters, and the true artist, have a spontaneous, uncalculating affection for the works they take in hand: that they are aiming to bring to light some great idea or conception which is labo- ring within them; and that this they will strive to do irrespective of any present rewards, and irrespective of the ORATION. 83 immediate judgment of mankind: that with them it is more necessary to satisfy themselves immediately than to satisfy others, while they feel assured that satisfying right reason now, they will finally satisfy the ripened judgment of ages. And in this persuasion they are abundantly justified : — for, although men may have many vain imaginations, and false tastes and judgments which lead them astray, yet he whose imagination is permeated by the ideas of the pure reason, and who hath right tastes and judgments, hath an intuitive persuasion thereof which nothing can cause to falter, and which is a widely different thing from the vain confidence of error. Like a true, conapared with a false prophet, he may not be able to prove to a blinded world his paramount title, and therefore he quietly rests until his day come, when the things spoken shall be tested by infallible criteria. But are there not other motives which may consist- ently govern these men of letters and artists? There are two other motives. That which we have named is the spontaneous love of truth and beauty. Of the other two, one relates to the individual himself personally ; the other to mankind. The personal motive, is that of developing the personal self into those forms of goodness and greatness for which God created man. Of all things which God hath created, the thinking and immortal spirit imbreathed into man is the noblest and divinest, and most like God himself A great gift, a great capability, a great responsibility, a germ of immortal thought and delight, is each man given to himself The true man of letters and of art, who conceives of the beauty of the world through the ideals which reveal its principles, who conceives of absolute truth and goodness, and who 84 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. has such a sense of the divine that he cannot frame his Epic of human events without laying the machinery of thought and action in the invisible world ; — must, when he turns to himself, view this soul within him which thus conceives — is thus inspired by ideals, and projects such philosophies, sciences, and arts-^as something wonderful and holy, something to be reverenced and cherished, and led out, if possible, to its full measures. The soul by which we know and feel so much — who can tell how much it may know and feel? We are at the beginning, but where is the end of its development ? Can we con- ceive of a nobler experiment than that of trying its utmost capacity — of trying how wise and good it is possible to become?— and this to be forecasted not for the fleeting term of this present life, but for immortality. And in fore- casting this for immortality, we are at once reminded that the seeds of the future are sown in the present ; and that the growth of the soul forever will be in the direction that we give it now. But to whom can this growth of the soul be an object of such interest as to the man of letters and of art, who from this soul is announcing truth, and projecting forms of majesty and beauty. Has he not in what he is doing, a foretaste of immortal life ? He, of all others, ought to find his highest personal good in the cultivation of these high spiritual faculties — he of all others might be expected to live for himself in the way of making himself a man such as God has fitted him to be- , come — a man after the divine ideal of humanity. And as the great and good Milton has said, " The end of all learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him, as we may the nearest by possessing our souls of true vir- ORATIOX. 85 tue, which heing united to the heavenly grace of faith, makes* up the highest perfection ;" — so Ave may add, the man of letters and art might be expected to he the most pure minded and faithful christian. He who lives amid the ideals of truth, beauty, and perfection, must perceive the moral to be the highest form of these, and the divine Son of God their highest embodiment : and it would seem most natural and fitting that such an one should sit at the feet of this great Teacher of truth and duty, learning his doctrines, receiving his salvation, copying his example, and following him devoutly in the only sure heavenward way. Therefore would I say to thee, O thou servant of divine philosophy, thou man of beautiful arts, and of chaste and glorious letters ! whatever thou mayest fail of in earthly rewards, thou canst attain to this great end — thou canst save thyself — thou canst perfect thy being, thou canst be a child of light nov/, and feel thy wings growing that thou mayest be an angel of light in heaven, when thy work is done on earth ! And the other motive, which relates to mankind at large, is akin to this one, and inseparable from it. " I am long since persuaded," says Milton, " that to say or do aught worth memory and imitation, no purpose or respect should sooner move us than simply the love of God, and of man- ' kind." The same sentiment Shakspeare has nobly expressed in his famous lines : •" Be just and fear not : Let all the ends thou aim'st at, be thy country's, Thy God's, and truth's." That very process by which the soul is perfected in- volves these ends. It is by serving truth and justice that the soul attams to a divine nature ; and serving truth and 12 86 PHIL0MATHi3AN (JELEBRATIONi justice, it serves God and mankind. He who undertakes to live only for himself, violates the- highest law of his be- ing, and the social constitution of the universe. As he can- not diffuse happiness, so he cannot be happy himself. The sun shining from age to age loses none of his brightness : he is the sun because he always shines : and the great God whom he symbolizes is ever giving and blessing : and God is God because he ever gives and blesses. And man, the noblest creature of God in this lower world, is truly man only as he is godlike. All the great and good of our race have acted upon this principle. The hero dying for his country ; the martyr dying for his religion ; the philosopher dying for the truth ; the poet and the artist wearing out life in the accomplish- ment of great tasks for enlightening and elevating man- kind ; and the philanthropist, measuring some form of hu- man suffering and devoting his energies to its alleviation or removal — have all acted upon this principle. And that divine Form which appeared among men eighteen centu- ries ago, and who presented in his humanity the realized ideal of all human perfection, inculcated in his teaching, and illustrated by his life and death, the sublime senti- ment, " It is more blessed to give than to receive;" Now I conceive, that as this is the highest motive for all great and worthy deeds ; so there are none to whom it more fitly belongs than to those who make it their voca- tion to speak to men in the noblest forms of human speech, or by the symbols of the beautiful arts. To feel intensely the charms and inspiration of the objects of art and litera- ture is both noble and indispensable : to seek the highest elevation of one's own spiritual being is an angelic aspira- tion : but to let this inspiration and aspiration flow out in ORATION. S7 streams of blessings upon the world, is, to become a co- worker with God. Here then, O men of literature and art ! is the sublime spirit of your calling — to be inspired by the beautiful and true — to aspire after the perfection of your being — and to seek to make the world wiser, better, and happier — to live a true manly life, while ye live ; and when ye die, to leave behind you angel foot-prints on the sands of time. But we are not all men of art and literature by our vo- cation. Although we have all leaned on the bosom of our jA-lma Mater, and been nursed by the same living currents, we have taken diiferent ways in life. We are found in the various learned professions, in political stations, in commerce, and in the industrial arts. It is well that we have taken different ways. All these places should be filled by educated men. All these forms of activity are honorable. The labor of mind in literature, and the labor of mind in governing the arts and the arm of industry, be- long to the same wise and benign constitution of society. Without literature, man would attain to no refinement and elevation ; without industry, he would make no improve- ments in the world in which he lives. Thought and work are the two great energies of being. Thought and work fill space and eternity. What God never disjoins, it is the folly and error of man to attempt to disjoin. Man is prone to be all thought, or all work. In philosophy, he forgets the practical ; in the practical, he forgets philosophy. In contemplating the heavens, he leaves the earth behind him ; while working in the earth, he neglects to look up to the heavens. In the ideal he forgets the actual, in the actual the ideal. In this great universe God has joined together the useful and the beautiful. The heavens and the earth are full of 88 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. poetry and industry. The same organific life which builds up the compact masses of vegetable and animal structures, scatters the earth with flowers, and bestows grace and loveliness. Man hath the two elements in his nature wed- ded together by a divine hand. Why should we attempt to separate them, and thus destroy the harmony and com- pleteness of our being ? In our age, particularly in our country, we are most prone to sacrifice the ideal, the heavenly, the thoughtful, the beautiful, the poetic element, to the industrial, the work- ing, the useful element. So boundless is the field of enter- prise, so many the opportunities of gaining wealth and in- fluence, that we are tempted away from our higher desti- nies, to pursue, too eagerly, the lower. 'But let us adopt the great principle of life — to live for the good of the world in which we live — to accomplish in our day some benign work in which to embalm our memories to other times — then shall we preserve the integrity of our souls, and nou- rish the divine light and power within us. Men who have been educated at these seats of learning — who have been bound together in these early literary associations, may carry with them in every department of active life these pure classical tastes. The working ele- ment may be made subsidiary to the ideal, the intellectual, and the moral. Let us not gain wealth and station for their own sakes, for they will perish in the using ; but that we may thereby promote the great end of human improve- ment. Let the arm of industry open the springs of truth, beauty, harmony, and benevolence. The history of litera- ture presents us instances where the hours devoted to busi- ness were succeeded by hours devoted to thought, study, and literary labor. Why should we not follow these lofty examples ? Why should we forever be laboring with Vul- ORATION. 89 can at his forge ? Do we not hear Apollo and the muses now singing in the serene heavens ? Look abroad ! We have other work to do besides building houses and ships, stretching out railroads, speculating in stocks, and electing Presidents. We have two things, at least, immediately before us, of which this day and this occasion remind us. We have to create a national literature, and to found and cherish great institutions of learning. We are prone to say, We are a young nation, and much is not yet to be expected of us : Avhen we shall have lived as long as other nations, we will have reached the same point of development. This I conceive to be a fallacy. We are a young nation, but we are a branch of the great English stock. We have not begun our career with an imperfect language, and a crude and nascent literatm'e. The English language in its ripest condition is ours. The whole of English literature is ours. Chaucer, Shak- speare, Milton, Addison, and Burke, are ours. Why should we be behind the writers of Old England ? We have the thoughts of her centuries laid at our feet — we have the piled up libraries which her old men eloquent have writ- ten — we have the precious seed of the good old English hearts sown here in this fresh and virgin soil. Are we not called upon to do something worthy of our parentage ? We labor under a similar fallacy with regard to our lite- rary institutions. We think we do a great and sufficient work for the present in our Common School Education ; and that when we are old enough, we shall have universi- ties and libraries. I withhold no praise from our Common School Education — our moral and political life depends up- on it. But it is through the influence of the higher institu- tions that we shall perfect the Common School System. 90 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. The masses of uneducated men do not make the first movement for general education. The work of education in all its departments belongs to educated men. Wherever they are located, in professionul duty, in business, and in social life, they exert an elevating influence-^-they scatter thoughts — they shape opinion. The academies and high- er seminaries are taught by them : — they thus create schoolmasters for the Comrnon Schools. Destroy the high- er institutions, and Common School Education would dete- riorate, and at length become annihilated. The more, we multiply educated men, the more we act upon the masses of the people, and raise the general standard of education. The first movement in education by the Pilgrim Fathers, was the establishment of Harvard College. Create the higher institutions, and all others, like the lesser lights, will be evolved from the bosom of these suns, and circle around them and be nourished by their influences. We require yet in our country a higher standard of pre- paratory classical and scientific discipline for the College course, and the establishment of a University course for the ripe prosecution of every branch of learning ; and in con- nection with this we need large and well assorted libraries. Can any good reason be assigned why we should be be- hind the German States in these respects ? Why should not the city of New- York, instead of two moderate Colle- ges, have a University with its hundred professors, its two thousand students, and its ample libraries and cabinets, as well as the city of Berlin ? Why should not Union Col- lege equal Gottingen or Halle ? We surpass the German States in wealth, shall we be behind them in mental eleva- tion and taste ? Does it require any thing more than a right appropriation of our wealth to enlarge and perfect our system of education ? The German Universities, Gymna- ORATION* 91 sia, and Common Schools, form one compact and complete system co-working harmoniously, and sustaining each other. Why should it not be so with us ? And this system is peculiarly adapted to Republican In- stitutions. The Universities of Germany have ever been the strongholds of freedom. From the'm came forth the Reformation. From them will yet come forth the liberty of the people. They have been nourished by the govern-* ment for no such end, but that end is even now near its accomplishment. Every enlightened people must be a free people. Is it not time to agitate the question, whether our Lite- rature Fund is not lost by its comminution and wide dis- persion among Common Schools ; and whether its concen- tration upon the higher institutions is not demanded ? We can sustain our Common Schools without it. Com- mon School Education is so cheap that it need not be cheapened any more. It is the lightest burden that we bear. Look at the trifling deduction made upon this light burden by the distribution of the fund : — does this rich people require it ? Massachusetts has no literature fund, and her free school system, sustained by a tax self-imposed in the town meetings, educates her whole population. Her schools certainly are not inferior to those of the State of New- York. Now this literature fund, concentrated upon our higher institutions, would soon realize for us the Gym- nasia, Universities, and libraries of Germany. And in this way, too, would fitting places be multipHed for literary and scientific men, where they might labor for the glory of their country and the good of mankind. Thus would our national literature be ripened. And let it be remembered, too, that these culminating institutions would as truly belong to the people as the 92 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. Common Schools themselves. More poor men, or men in moderate ch'cumstances, are educated in our Colleges now than any other. The Universities with their libraries would be open to them in the same way. In truth, every thing in our country belongs to the people. The country is the people's, and the government is the people's. Therefore the literature fund belongs to the people ; and if they would consent to withdraw it from the Common Schools, and appropriate it to Academies, Colleges, and Universities, the great work would be done. Had the sur- plus fund, distributed among the States, been appropriated in this way, our great system of National Education would have been founded. Now it seems to me that on an occasion like this, we may think such thoughts, cherish sach purposes and hopes, and speak such words, with the utmost freedom and sincerity. The highest end of a human being, compre- hending all other proper ends, is, to know the truth and do his duty. I think I have shown, that as scholars — as lite- rary men, this great end presents itself to us, with com- manding authority and attraction. It is our esprit du corps : it has inspired every truly great man, and led to every truly great work. It is in this spirit that we are to ask ourselves. What can we do for perfecting our systems of education, and creating a National Literature ? For these lofty objects, we shall labor under diiFerent vocations; and yet actuated by the one common spirit which binds us together, we shall labor effectually. It is in itself a high and thrilling destiny, to live in such an age and such a country as ours, under the character we sustain. Our world has been doomed to ages of darkness, oppression, and sorrow, during which, the good spirits of our race have been battling with hostile elements, alas ! ORATION. 93 too often, only to fall in the battle. We have now just ar- rived at that point of progress where great principles have gained a vantage ground, from which they are diifusing their light, and making their power to be felt throughout the world. Our country is itself the work of great princi- ples. It rises up before mankind a sublime monument of freedom of thought, and freedom of conscience. The na- tions of the earth now look to us as a law and a demon- stration. Men can shake off the despotisms of Priests and Kings, and govern themselves. Men can sit, each one un- der his own vine and under his own fig tree, and pm'sue the ends of a rational existence, without the fro wing au- thorities of the past. Shall we not prove to them, also, that the ripest forms of education, that philosophy clear and majestic, the arts of beauty in their noblest develop- ments, letters in their noblest productions, all that elevates, refines, adorns, and perpetuates national existence, are native to the soil of freedom ; and that the petty States of ancient Greece were but prophetic miniature of the mighty States of Republican America ? And then inspired by our example, and om: success, mankind shall awake from the long slumber of error and weakness, and enter with us in- to the race of freedom, glory, and happiness. Then the desolations of war shall cease, and Industry, Art, Letters, and Christianity, shall become the circling hours of our globe, and lead on the glorious morning of a new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness : and the ideal of Poets, and the vision of Prophets, shall be realized in the Sabbath of the World. After an ode from the Choir, the benediction was pro- nounced by the Rev. Cornelius C. Cuyler, D. D. 13 DINNER. The exercises at the church being closed, the procession again formed, and marched through Church and State streets to the Dining Hall at the Eagle Hotel. A large flag floated over the Hotel, bearing the inscription, Philo- MATHEAN. TMs Hall had also been finely ornamented by the attending members of the Society, kindly assisted by the young ladies of the city. Extending over the Presi- dent's seat, was the name of the Society, Kojvwvia ^ikoixa&(^v in letters formed of evergreens ; and encircling the name was its cherished motto, VIRTUS, SCIENTIA, ET AMICITIA. Upon the opposite end of the hall was a silk banner, upon which were wrought in gold the names of the nine venerable founders of the Society — Benjamin Romayne, John B. Romeyn, Henry Frey Yates, Thomas Romeyn, Adrian C. Van Slyck, Levi H. Palmer, Peter C. Veeder, Moses I. Cantine, and Cornelius D. Schermerhorn. A double wreath of evergreens surrounded the room, and *upon the walls huug the portraits and framed diploma which deck the Society Hall. The table of the President and Vice-Presidents of the day, was adorned with a pyra- mid of flowers, presented by Dr. Harmon Wendell, of Al- bany. The other tables were decorated with vases of flowers furnished for the occasion by E. C. Delavan, Esq. 96 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. ' Nor was the eye alone pleased : the less refined cravings of the physical man were not neglected. The tables were laden with a variety and profusion sufficient to tempt and satisfy the most fastidious appetite, and make all for a time willingly forget the instructions so often received from the venerable President of the College, that eating had nothing of the intellectual in it, and therefore was to be indulged in but sparingly. All partook freely, the Band playing exhila- rating music, ab ovo usque ad mala. The following gentlemen were the officers appointed for the dinner : Rev, JOSEPH SWEETMAN, D. D., President VICE-PRESIDENTS, Levi H. Palmer, Hiram P. Hunt, John L. Zabriskie, N. P. Tallmadge, John Savage, John W. Edmonds, John W. Taylor, George W. Doane, Cornelius C. Cuyler, William Kent, T. RoMEYN Beck, Joel B. Nott, Adam Empie, Cyrus Morgan, Aaron Clark, Henry White, John C. Spencer, William Wilson, Alfred Conklin, Francis Haimilton, Alex. McClelland, John Foster, Jonathan Pearson. At three o'clock the President called the assembly to or- der, and a blessing was pronounced by Rev. C. C. Cuyler, D. D. After the repast, the President opened the literary exercises of the occasion with the following address : Gentlemen — Brethren of the Philomathean So- ciety : — I congratulate you on our present social meeting. DINNER* 97 The transactions of this day are peculiarly interesting to some of those present. Fifty years have passed away since many of the early members have attended a meeting of this Society. Amidst the many and great changes we have witnessed, while travelling throiigh this portion of time, we have passed in safety the dangers that have encompassed us, and now meet with friends and brethren in circumstances of comfort, and enjoy the privilege of spending an hour in social communion. In entering upon the anticipated satisfactions of this hour, you will allow me the privilege of offering a few expressions, suggested by the present occasion. It is not forgotten that the law of propriety forbids my attempting to detain you with a lengthy speech, from other proceedings that may be more interesting than any thing I shall present. We have met to celebrate the semi-centennial era of the existence of this Society. Our meeting affords a pleasant opening to revive old friendships, and cultivate the ac- quaintance of younger brethren. The brotherly kindness and good feeling depicted on the coimtenances of this assem- bly, indicate a willingness to co-operate in the acc(^mplish- ment of so desirable an end. We have reason to celebrate this day with thankfulness. It testifies to us that the Phi- lomathean Society has lived and flourished through more than half a century. This Society dates its origin at an earlier day than the charter of Union College. It was form- ed by a few young men, who belonged to the academy existing in this place anterior to the College. It could not have entered into the minds of those who originated this Society, that it would at any future time accomplish what it has already achieved. Here, a succes- sion of young men have mutually assisted, encouraged, and stimulated each other in literary pursmts and useful acqui- 98 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. sitions. This Society has not only existed since 1793, but it has through this long period been progressive— acquiring strength, gaining influence, and extending its usefulness. What future progress may be anticipated under additional and accumulating advantages ? It has now a respectable and generally well selected library, which puts its mem- bers in possession of a literature to which they could not otherwise have access. It is readily conceded that the later members of this Society enjoy greater advantages and are more benefitted than earlier members, who were con- nected with it when it was an infant, striving to retain its hold on life, and casting about for any kind and helping hand that might offer fostering care. The members now realize their advantages in the business of the Society. Here they become habituated to thinking, debating, compo- sing, and speaking. Even in the early stages of its exist- ence, Avhen its advantages were comparatively few, and you might have carried its library under your arm, it was not altogether inefficient in the accomplishment of useful purposes. It compelled its members to put forth their efforts to gather up attainments made, and apply them for present use, and to submit to the excision of protuberances that might have impeded their after progress. What this Society has accomplished in filling up the in- terstices of a collegiate course, in exciting the youthful mind to improve its resources, cultivate social feelings, and strengthen the ties of friendship, furnishes the proof of its beneficial effects, and establishes its claims to our regard. May we not, in celebrating the past, anticipate the future- with high expectation ? What will be the state of the Philomathean Society at the end of the next fifty years ? What seer can tell? We hope for the best. But who shall be there to recount the past, or conjecture for the fu- DINNER. 99 ture ? We trust the Adelphic Society will be there. Let that and this travel on together ; not as rivals, but as co- workers in the accomplishment of useful and laudable ends. Let them, if it must be so, imitate each other in generous sentiments, as well as literary attainments. But never let party spirit engender strife and create discordant feelings. But who more shall be there? Few — perhaps none of this assembly shall reach that era. Let not this thought damp the joyous and social feeling of the present hour. All we trust will be right, though loe be not there. In the review of what is past — in the survey of what is present — in the hope of what is yet to come, we have rea- son to be thankful, and congratulate each other on our comfortable and safe arrival at the present point in our journey on to the future. We look around on our junior brethren, and bid them welcome to their present station, and give them our best wishes in all the future stages of their progress through life. And now, brethren, let us for a little season give reins to the feelings the occasion in- spires, and let our tongues be free to. utter the sentiments of our hearts, and the counsels of wisdom and truth. At the conclusion of this address, the following ode, written for the occasion by Rev. Henry P. Tappan, D. D,, was sung by the assembly. ODE. BY REV. HENRY P. TAPPAN, D. H. Air — " God Save Avierica." Brothers ! we're here once more — Not as in days of yore, When life was young, And 'mid that morning light, Hope, as an angel bright, Before our raptured sight. Her visions hung. lOQ PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. Men of the ripened prime, Men of the hoary time. Here we have come ; — From the midst of human life, From weary toil and strife, And with experience rife, Brothers at home ! Home of our early thought ! Where hand in hand we sought Knowledge and truth, Keceive us back again, Coming as care-worn men, As you received us then. In early youth. Well have we done our part, And kept unstained our heart ? Then wilt thou bless : Or having gone astray, Seek we our home to-day, Thou wilt not say us — nay— Or love us less ! Lovers of Learning I* we Cannot forgetful be Of this fair spot : Fair memories arise, ^ Thoughts that now fill our eyes, When shone those halcyon skies Upon our lot. Some are not with us here — Their mem'ry claims a tear — The hallowed dead ! To brighter worlds now flown, Their work of life well done, For noble thoughts w^ere sown, Ere they had fled. • Philomathean. DINNER. 101 Perhaps e'en at this hour, We feel their gentle power Upon us shed : — A mystery of the skies Upon the earthly lies — Our holiest sympathies Are with the dead ! Here let us pledge our truth, As erst in early youth, Faithful to be : The honored name w^e bear, The holy trusts we share, Claim that w^e do and dare AU manfully. A higher life to live, More precious gifts to give, This is our part : That when our work is done, And we the prize have wron. We, like the setting sun, May hence depart. Upon the conclusion of the singing, the venerable Presi- dent resigned the chair to Joel B. Nott, one of the Vice- Presidents, who read the first regular toast. This, he said, was intended to compliment the man whom every member of the Society deeply reverences, and highly honors. Though the winds of many a winter have weakened the physical man, they have not diminished the brilliancy and power of his mind. Old as he is in years, he yet sympa- thises with us, his juniors, in every thing that affects lite- rature, science, morals, and the well-being of our race : and he feels the highest interest in these young men who are just coming forward upon the stage of life, and upon whom he hopes, as do we also, that his example may have its desired effect. 14 102 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. He then read the toast, which was received with great applause. FIRST REGULAR TOAST. The Venerable President of the Day — Most ancient oak of a goodly forest. To this toast Dr. Sweetman rephed as follows : I tender my acknowledgments to the Philomathean So- ciety for the sentiment now expressed, and fully concur in the justice of its passing over myself and resting upon my cotemporaries. Now, gentlemen, you have got me on my feet, I would give you to understand I feel very large, though some- what embarrassed. I have just heard the brethren say that I am a " venerable oak," not a shrub oak, but a sturdy oak of " a goodly forest." One difficulty is now over. I am up, and begin to feel at ease. But another remains, and may not so soon be disposed of; and that is, to get me down again. Perhaps it will be thought, before all is over, the Scotch proverb is applicable to the present case : which, done in plain Saxon, means, " It is easy enough to raise the devil, but not so easy to lay him." But that I may proceed with my response, you must bear the inflic- tion of a speech, and I accordingly go on to say, first, it ought not to pass unnoticed that the second growth of tim- ber is better than the first — more solid — the interstices bet- ter filled up, the layers more compact, and the whole body better fitted for use and durability. We are glad to see the forest so well supplied with young and thrifty trees, and anticipate from them a goodly supply of timber to build our temples, adorn our legislative halls, and orna- ment all our best and most valued structures. It would be rather misplaced to attempt to criticise upon a sentiment so partially and favorably expressed, and DINNER. 103 which has expanded my dimensions to an oak. But not- withstanding all the bulk it assigns to myself, I may be permitted to say, (however much my interest as to size may be at stake,) I am not sure that some slender and fra- gile tree would not have been more appropriate in the comparison, as far as I am personally concerned. Leav- ing this, however, to be corrected or confirmed, as kindness and good feeling may decide, I proceed onward with my speech. And here I should say, secondly, according to the usage of all great speakers, but I do not aspire to so high a rank, fearing I might become dizzy with the elevation, and to avoid the danger, claim the right to dispense with my own proposed form, and choose to take the place of my respected friend and brother, Levi H. Palmer, Esq., who was expected to respond to this toast, but is detained at home by sickness. The reference to the " goodly forest" carries me back, in thought, to other days, when we that are old were young and felt the fire of youth, indulged the hopes of early life, shared in the beginning of this Society, and exulted in the establishment of Union College, If we travel back through fifty-five years, we find this Society in its very be- ginning — its formers, though young, and full of hope, doubting whether it could long survive, and not presuming at all on its actual progress and future usefulness — a few boys, (mark this,) mostly of rustic habits, and but little acquainted with the ways and attainments of literary life, belonging to an academy of no distinguished celebrity, formed themselves into a society for mutual improvement in knowledge and the requisite qualifications for future employment. They had no nucleus to gather themselves around, nor any cotemporary of like design in their neigh- borhood, nor in the limits of their acquaintance, to guide 104 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. or modify their proceedings. But they went on to orga-^ nize as they best could — to form a constitution and draw- up by4aws to regulate their proceedings. In all this new employment your speaker had his share — can narrate facts as they occurred, and can bear his testimony that the young society, on the whole, succeeded fully up to their liighest expectations, and as they had no similar society within the compass of their personal acquaintance, with which to compare themselves, or outstrip them in succesSj they in all simplicity and honesty really thought they were accomplishing great matters. They went on in their own way with their plan of improvement, in perfect harmony and good feeling, with a single exception. One of the most prominent members, and who had contributed more largely than any other to the formation of their little libra- ry, became dissatisfied with some trifling occurrence, and withdrew the books he had deposited. This proceeding called forth animadversion, and for a time, under excited feelings produced alienation amongst the members. This, however, was but a temporary affusion, and at length wore away and harmony was restored. Though this outbreak took place in the infancy of this Society, be it remernbered we were then Calliopeans, and it must never be educed as an example to justify similar jarrings amongst Philomatheans, especially in the pursuits and under the friendly wing of Union College. That this Society is based upon union and mutual good will — that kind and friendly feelings have been predominant in it at the early stages of its existence, is a fact known to its hon- or. In illustration of the good feelmg and brotherly sym* pathy which prevailed in this Society, in the early stages of its existence, permit me to mention a single incident which occurred in 1797. A member, who had been one of ORATION. 105 the number from the beginning, was about to leave the Society, to prosecute his professional studies at another place, happened to be appointed with another member, ac- cording to the usual order of business, to read before the Society written essays of their own composing : he, not expecting to meet with the Society again, wrote a sort of farewell address. The effect was what he had not antici- pated, and for which he was not prepared. The Society was moved to tears — ^his own feelings were enlisted — the reading was finished with difficulty. At the close, a mem- ber rose, much excited, and moved that a copy be request- ed, and the same be recorded on the minutes of the Soci- ety. But such copy was not furnished. Could it have been found, it would have been here, on the present occa- sion, and if called for, read in your hearing. The first public exhibition of this Society was on the 4th of July, and if I am not mistaken, in the year 1796. Two of its members were appointed to deliver addresses on that day, which they did, in the old Dutch Church, long since demolished, to a crowded and attentive auditory, and whether well or ill done, the multitude appeared to be pleased, and retired satisfied, and in their ignorance and simplicity said, Zabriskie and Sweetman bid fair, one day^ to become speakers. This was one of tha first attempts to celebrate that day in this place by public addresses. Now I have the floor, and as I have already apprised you it will be no easy matter to get me on my seat, and I protest I will neither be coaxed nor driven to that alternative till you hear me out — for what else did you get me up, and read such a wooden toast, and make me feel so hig. Before I take my seat, brethren, permit me to repeat a few names, as I may be able to recall them to memory, of 106 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. those who formed this Society, and who are not now amongst the Uving. John B. Romeyn, who in subsequent hfe was a distin- guished minister of the gospel, and justly ranked with the most accomplished and acceptable public speakers of his day. Moses I. Cantine, whose respectability and standing in public life, claim our respectful remembrance. Alexander McLeod. I pronounce his name with respect. Than Alexander McLeod, but few men of the age in which he lived possessed a stronger mind, a wider range of thought, and a more discriminating judgment. His wri- tings will perpetuate his memory, and his influence long be felt in the particular community with which he was connected. Morris S. Miller : kind, social, generous, noble — after en- tering upon his professional business, he was chosen a rep- resentative from this State in Congress, and discharged the duties of this office to the satisfaction of his constituents, and with honor to himself, and continued to retain the con- fidence and respect of his acquaintance to the close of his hfe. Adrian G. Van Slyck. Amiable and promising, we love to pronounce his name. We remember with what kind- ness and amenity he presided in the first meetings of this Society. He was carried to his grave in early life. No record tells his fame. But there is one not known to the present generation, and almost forgotten amongst the living — Benjamin Ro- mayne, the most active and influential individual in origi- nating this Society. His attainments and capacity for acquirement exceeded the greater part of those who were engaged with him in this undertaking. But his course DINNER, 107 was short — his days were few, and no unpression remains of what the man might have been. A few essays from his pen, of a humorous and sarcastic character, over the signa- ture of Misogunikos, were published in the Mohawk Mer- cury, edited by G. C. Wyckoff. but they are lost, and prob- ably could not be recovered if sought for. With the pros- pect before him of distinction and usefulness, he was cut off in early life, before he had finished his collegiate course. No monument of his work remains, save this Soci- ety. Here let his name be retained — here let his generous and noble, and successful efforts to establish this Society, be acknowledged and appreciated. Why may I not indulge my partiality in naming another individual who, though not numbered with the departed, was an early member of this Society. I allude to the Hon. John Savage, who has held so many civil offices in this State, with acceptance, and occupied the bench of Chief Justice with integrity and fidelity, and has proved himself, through a long life, worthy of regard and entitled to our esteem.. And now, brethren, after all the threatenings I have uttered as to a long speech, and the fuss I have tried to make about getting me down, and you know an old oak, and this you have made me, cannot be felled without a crash, I will now, however, quietly take my seat, and give place to others better able to speak and entertain this kind and indulgent assembly than myself I say I have done. The thought is solemn, that I shall never again be in like circumstances, but this is my own concern. I must still add, I own I cannot repay the com- pliment you have paid me. I must therefore plead to re- main your debtor, but nevertheless will say. If no storm shall prostrate^ nor blighting influence mar the growth of 108 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. younger trees^ the old and decaying timber can well he spared. Dr. SwEETMANj after saying that every thing — societies and colleges — beginnings and endings — had been toasted, the main thing was overlooked — the place in which all the wonderful things we have recounted were acted — offered the following toast : Old Dorp — The Mohawk is by her side. Let her renew her age like the eagle, stretch forth her energies, apply her resources, and show that she is worthy of the religious and literary institutions which dignify her name, and give her a place amongst our most favored cities. The chairman then announced the SECOND REGULAR TOAST. The Venerable Founders of the Philomathean — The little tree planted by their hands more than half a century ago, now towers in beauty and magnitucfe. [Owing to the absence of Levi H. Palmer, Esq., one of the founders, who was expected to respond to this toast, no reply was made.] THIRD REGULAR TOAST. John B. Eomeyn, Chairman of the Committee which draughted our first Constitution — Honor to his memory. FOURTH REGULAR TOAST. The Memorable Class of Three — AU Philomatheans before they were Collegians. -^Rev. John L. Zabriskie, who, with the President of the day, were of the " memorable three" who comprised the first graduating class of Union College, and who had been requested, by the committee of arrangements, to reply to this toast, transmitted to the chairman the following letter: DINNER. 109 Millstone, June 10, 1848. Dear Sir : — It is with sincere regret that I feel obhged to deny myself the gratification of attending the semi-cen- tennial celebration of the Philomathean Society, on the 35th of next month. For although age and its attendant influences forbid my joining the social re-union of the sons of our Alma Mater on that occasion, it has not extinguished or diminished the ardor of my attachment for her. As one of the earliest graduates, I have ever pecuHarly felt a just pride, as well in the high stand taken and maintained by our College and Society among the literary institutions of this continent, as in the fraternity of their distinguished sons. It would be grateful indeed to revisit those scenes once more, and have the evening twilight of life lit up, by awakening the bright associations connected with its dawn. Assure the committee that I receive with heartfelt emo- tions of pleasure, the attention shown by their special invi- tation, so kindly extended through you, showing that the eldest sons of the Philomathean are not forgotten by their junior brethren. With the highest respect, I remain, Yours, truly, JOHN L. ZABRISKIE. The chairman here remarked : — We have heard from our venerable friends something in relation to our own So- ciety, its noble founders and early members. We wish now to hear something in relation to other societies, and as I see in the room a member of the Adelphic, I propose to give the following toast : 15 110 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. FIFTH REGULAR TOAST. The Adelphic Society — Non diversa tamen, qualem debet esse sororem. Rt. Rev. Bishop Potter, being called upon, replied to this toast as follows : I am not as familiar with my classics as formerly, but I believe there was something in that toast about a sister. That sister, Sir, has a great many sons, and I do not know by what right I should arrogate to myself the privilege of replying to any thing which is intended to reflect honor upon her. I understand it, however, to be the pleas- ure of the chairman that I should acknowledge this cour- tesy, in behalf of the sister association to which I belonged during my College course. I beg leave, therefore, to ten- der to you, and through you to the members of this frater- nity, our cordial acknowledgment for your kindness and civility. These institutions. Sir, are sisters; they were born in the same family, reared under the same roof, fed from the same maternal breast, enlightened by the same paternal counsel, and sent forth into the world with the same benediction. As sisters, let them ever be known, emulous in respect to whatever is lovely, honest, and of good report, and bound to each other by the ties which should always connect those who are members of the same lite- rary household. Mr. President, the Adelphic Society can well afford to reciprocate your kindness, to acknowledge the debt of gratitude which an enlightened, noble, elder sister, ever must impose on her junior sisters. I always pity the only daughter of a large family : I have always thought that to attain the perfection of feminine excellence it is necessary that sisters should rise, side by side, cheer- ing and animating each other — the younger guided and stimulated by the achievements of the elder, and instructed at the same time by her painful experience. Sir, there will DINNER. Ill always be momentary clouds passing across the sunshine of that affection which should attain between sisters. When I arrived here, a few days ago, I found these two sisters pouting at each other. It was only because they were both so ambitious of the favoring smiles of the gen- tlemen. But it was found that this difficulty was soon dissipated, good hmiior restored, and the sisters are not only loving sisters still, but they have in fact resolved to open their halls together to-day, so that, in the language of Jefferson translated mto the dialect which befits this place and this day, we are now all Philoniatheans and all Adel- phics. And we are brethren, not only in this family, claiming descent from the same Alma Mater, but also in the still larger family, the Republic of letters, and also in that older, holier family, the family of our common humanity. Young men within the walls of College, in the ardor of their emulation, may sometimes feel too keenly their exclu- sive allegiance. They sometimes imagine themselves too closely bound to their respective societies. But how is it when they get abroad in the world ? Where are these societies then? Are they here on yonder hill side ? No, Sir ! they are over the length and breadth of the land. The great majority of their respective members are doing battle with the duties and responsibilities of life in their various spheres and callings. How is it with them there? How is it with the Adelphic when he meets a Philomathean ? Does he feel that he meets a rival, a foe ? No ! only a brother. How is it with you and me, Mr. President ? We met here three years ago, at the semi-centennial anniver- sary of our College, as brethren. You seem to wish to meet me now only as a cousin. I beg your pardon, Sir, you are a brother still. Whatever achievement in arts, in learning, in high duty, can be reached by the members of 112 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. this Society, we of the Adelphic Society claim part and parcel in it. For after all, did we not all drink of the same milk? Was not our ambition fired at the same altar? Surely, so that now and always when we meet on these grounds, we meet as the common children of one Common Parent. Mr. Chairman, I will not detain you. I am obliged to you for your kindness expressed towards the Adelphic So- ciety, and I am thankful for the courtesy which has per- mitted me to hold a place on the muster roll of this Society, as one of its honorary members. Appearing here as your invited guest, and grateful for that courtesy, still I cannot divest myself of my character, as an Adelphic. I therefore give you as a sentiment, " The Philomathean Society." Let me imagine myself charged with a message from your Sister. Let me say for her, Sir, that she sends greeting to you and your fellow members, wishing health, wealth, prosperity, and she gives you, as her responsive toast, " The Philomathean Society — Felix "proleP The chairman then said : — Finding that this sister is determined to be regarded, not as a cousin, but as a mem- ber of the same family, let us now hear what are the feel- ings of another sister. I propose the following toast : SIXTH REGULAR TOAST. The Youngest Sister of the Noble Trio — The Delphian Institute. To this toast Hon. David Spraker replied as follows : Mr. President : — I had hoped that some one better qualified than myself, would have attempted to respond to the toast just given. I cannot, however, refrain from expressing the deepest feelings of gratitude, for the kind and afiec donate manner DINNER. 113 in which the Delphian Institute, of which I am proud to be 9- member, has been noticed on this occasion. Sir, I might dwell, with pride and satisfaction, on the subject you have afforded for discussion. I might allude to its early history, to the difficulties attending its origin, to the obstacles which it has surmounted, and to its progress to the present day, but it is due to the occasion that I should forbear. I do not profess to be numbered among its most promi- nent members ; yet there are but few whose membership can be dated at an earlier period, or who have felt a deeper interest for its welfare and prosperity. The same common objects, which lie at the foundation of all literary societies, the suppression of vice, the promo- tion of virtue, and the cultivation of the human mind, have ever received the fostering care of the Delphian Institute. Permit me, Sir, in behalf of the members of that Society, to say, that they have ever felt a lively interest in the cha- racter, reputation, and influence of the Philomathean Soci- ety ; a Society, Sir, which has added more to human knowledge, done more to obviate human misery, and more to promote the cause of humanity and justice, perhaps, than any other literary society in the country. In whatever point of view we may contemplate her cha- racter, it is replete with interest and instruction. Her his- tory is identified with that of Union College, and, as a tri- bute of respect, it is due to her to say, that she has contri- buted largely to that moral and intellectual worth, for which that noble institution has so long been distin- guished. That she may ever continue in her prosperous condition, is my most fervent wish. As it is not my purpose to delay the proceedings of the festival by speaking at length, per- 114 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. mit me, Sir, in conclusion, to offer you the following senti- ment : The Elder Sister of our noble Trio, ichose semi-centennial anniversary we have this day met to celebrate. SEVENTH REGULAR TOAST. Kindred Societies in American Colleges — Nurseries of eloquence — brightest ornaments of their respective institutions. Rev. John Todd, D. D.,* responded to this toast as fol- lows : Mr. President : — Were I now sitting by your side, in some retired nook of College, and were I on terms of suffi- cient familiarity with you, to enter into conversation in a cozy kind of way — yankee-like — I should begin by asking you some questions. I would say, do you remember your feelings on your first, second, and subsequent visits to your Alma Mater? How, at the first visit, there was a feeling of sadness — the walks did not seem to own you, the halls did not pour out the old familiar faces — the loved voices were not to be heard, and it seemed as if strangers had come in and taken possession of what was yours. The exile returned only to feel that he had lost his possessions. " Impius haec tam culta novalia miles habebit ?" How, on the second visit, the feeling of strangeness had increased, and the fact that your classmates were scattered, never again to be regathered upon earth, forced itself upon your notice ; and then men and things began to appear less than they used to appear ! And on subsequent visits you see men gather with locks touched by the frosts of time, who once seemed to be so far from age that you *Dr. Todd, and also Hon. J. C. Spencer, were, by some unavoidable circumstances, prevented from delivering the remai-ks which they have kindly written out for publication. DINNER. 115 never dreamed that they would be any thing but young men — ardent, aspiring, confident, and full of hope ! And at such visits, what of College life remains distinct, clear, full, and imperishable 7 What are the visions which pass over the stage where memory sits down to watch them ? First comes the form of the President — the high- est and the greatest man we ever saw or ever expected to see, when students. We see him as he used to preside — counsel, guide, enlighten, by his great experience, win by his love, and charm by his wisdom. We see him still — unaltered — save that time hath wrestled with him — the first in the vision. (In regard to the venerated head of this insti- tution — let me say, in passing, that he hath grown no smaller as the eye of the beholder has dilated and taken a wider range. His evening is like our own unequalled au- tumns — soft and mild, gentle and tender, while the forest trees put off the green of summer, and seem unconscious that a thousand rainbows have broken and fallen upon them ! " milii tarn longae maneat pars ultima vitae."^ Next in the train come the teachers — each with his own peculiarities and excellencies, his taste and zeal, and each feeling an honest conviction that if his department was faithfully studied, we could hardly fail of making men ! Then, Mr. President, would come forward in the vision, the youthful orators and debaters in the Literary Societies of our College — would they not — just as they used to meet and deliberate, with a gravity that would honor a Roman Senate, and an earnestness that could hardly be surpassed, were the fate of an empire at stake. There we learned the order, the decorum, the gravity, and the etiquette of the deliberative assembly. Here we learned the usages of par- liament, and to bow in submission to the decisions of the 116 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. chair. Here we learned to scan each other, to measure each other, to judge of proportions of character, to weigh evidence, to sift argument, to reject sophistries, and, what is of still more consequence, to measure ourselves, to com- pare- ourselves with others, and thus to know just where our place was. How many have come into these socities, not having a doubt but their gun was of the heaviest cali- bre, the longest in its reach, unrivalled in its accuracy, and the deadliest in its aim, have soon found it to be a mere pop-gun, loaded with wind and wadding only ! Here we learned to do something approaching what is practical in life — at least the drill and the handling of weapons similar in shape and kind to those to be used on the arena of life. If I am not misinformed. Sir, our seminaries of education are very unlike those of the old world. Those were born in other ages — as places in which light might be preserved, while darkness was gathering over all classes of society. They were to be the receivers of light — not the dispensers — ^built for religious houses, in which monks might be gathered, and keep the taper of learning from going entirely out. They gathered into them a few tracts in manuscript, which they kept chained, lest they should run away. They tell us of the antiquity of their Universities. Yes, but what were they ? In 851, ambassadors were sent from France to Rome to beg a copy of Cicero de Oratore, Gluin- tilian's Institutes, and some other smaller works, because a complete copy of these was not to be found in all France. In the beginning of the tenth century, a single copy of the Bible had to serve for the use of several monasteries in Spain. The convent of Rochetta every year pronounced a sentence of irrevocable damnation on every one who should dare to steal a copy of Aristotle, or even to obliterate a tit- tle ! Previous to the year 1300, the library of the Univer- DINNER. 117 sity of Oxford, (Eng.,) contained only a few tracts, which were either chained or carefully locked up in a chest. At the commencement of the fourteenth century, the Royal Library of France contained only four classical authors, and a few devotional works. These old Universities were papal institutions, transferred, with their rust and rubbish all gathered in them. True, they have now immense libraries, and are the repositories of the mind of past gene- rations ; but it is covered with the accumulations of ages also. To be a scholar there, you must have your private tutor alone, and depend upon him to instruct you, and the examination to test your scholarship. But our Colla- ges were formed in the present times, and for them. They take the mass of mind that comes to them, and drill and discipline it, give it the power of instructing itself, and show it what tools it needs. I consider the daily, constant drill of the recitation room, to be the great thing that gives our Colleges their power and efficiency. Nothing can supply its place. But auxiliary and subsidiary to this, comes in the aid of the free, voluntary, literary Societies of these Colleges. They, too, fill a place that nothing else could. If faithfully and punctually attended, if they have a good, practical library easy of access — if they draw out the reasoning pow- ers, rather than declamation — they are invaluable. In after life, we look back and feel that there we began life. There we took first and important lessons. And if we look back and call up the things in College life, over which our regrets are deep and sincere — our not having more faithfully improved the advantages of these societies, will be among the number. I do rejoice, Mr. President, that with my humble powers, I may this day unite with the gifted, the great, and the 16 118 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. eloquentj in doing honor to one of these societies, so pecul- iar to our Colleges — so congenial to the form of our govern- ment — so improving in its exercises, and so lasting in its influence. If I wanted any proof of the correctness of the sentiment with which I had the honor to precede these crude remarks, the proof would be before us, in the gather- ing of so much that is intellectually strong, and honorably useful — a gathering for the purpose of honoring the Society of their early love. Though each one of us feels sure that he graduated at the best College in the land, and belonged to the only really good class that ever did graduate, and to the only society that was perfect in its organization — yet our charity is so large, that we can afford to allow others a great deal of commendation, and to hail all similar socie- ties as sister luminaries — ^bright ornaments to their institu- tions — ^the nurseries of eloquence, and the handmaids of learning. To each one we cordially say, macte virtute ! Esto perpetua ! The chairman then read the next regular toast, introdu- cing it with these remarks : We have been speaking of ourselves and our sister soci- eties, but let us remember something is also due to Alma Mater. I give you the following sentiment : EIGHTH REGULAR TOAST. Union College — Our Society rejoiced at her birth — she has watched her growth with interest — she now glories in her fame. I perceive that the one who was expected to reply to this toast is absent, but my friend on my left, always ready to do his duty, will doubtless give us a response. Hon. Bradford R. Wood, being thus called upon, spoke as follows : I have to thank you, gentlemen, for the very kind invi- tation which fell into my hands this morning, to attend DINNER. 119 this reunion. I thank you, also, for the kindness which has substituted me in the place of another gentleman, who was expected to reply to that toast. I saw, in a note ap- pended to the card of invitation, that I was expected to speak after dinner. Now, though this is something like "no song, no supper," yet I am willing to make the effort ; but as I have had a very short notice, you must be satisfied with a very short song. I would not, on any account, in these temperance times, suspect that it is with us, as it was wont to be in days of yore, when neither the guests or the speakers themselves could remember what was said. As far as my remarks are concerned, for myself I might wish it were even so now. Since I Avas notified, by a learned professor, that it would be expected of me to respond to this toast, I have been informed that I am accused of having delivered, last evening, a very radical address, and it has occurred to me, that he, the professor, wished to entrap me into delivering a very conservative one to-day. Most cor- dially, Sir, do I respond to all the conservatism implied in that toast of " Union College ;" and yet, Sir, I am fully conscious of my inability to do justice to the distinguished sons of this Institution, to its more distinguished President, and the able professors who have made it what it is. You know. Sir, as well as myself, the various elevated positions in which the members of this Institution have been and are found. In the desk, at the bar, on the bench, in the halls of legislation and of science, among distinguished au- thors, and at the head of the government. There is no position in society they have not filled. Now, Sir, it is not in my power to do justice to such an array of distinguished worth. There is a weight of honor implied in that toast, for which I am wholly incompetent. But I can. Sir, speak of the practical character and good feeling which I have 120 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION* ever found among the sons of Old Union. And wherever found, whether North or South, in the private walks of life or on the political arena, there was a bond of fellowship among her sons, which softened much of the asperity of unavoidable earthly conflict. The very organization of this Institution, the catholic spirit in which it commenced and has been sustained, knowing no religious sect or party, has insured for it no small measure of usefulness and success ; and the sending forth from such a seat of learning young men thus liberal- ized, is doing untold good. But, gentlemen, permit me to call your attention to another " union," in whose affairs a crisis is coming, and around, and through, and over which a conflict is impending, that calls for all our moral and intel- lectual powers. In that conflict, where will the sons of Union College be found ? Who are the men among you, who will then stand forth and do battle for the true, the right, and the free ? I trust, gentlemen, that there are among you those, who, in that respect, will do far more honor to this Institution, than any who have preceded you, and who will meet that crisis, and that conflict, in such a manner as will reflect honor on their Alma Mater. In closing, permit me to give the name of a member of this Society now providentially absent. I give you — John Savage, Ex-Chief Justice of this State — The able jurist, the incorruptible judge, the honest man. The chairman then offered the NINTH REGULAR TOAST. Dr. Eliphalet Nott, the beloved and venerated President of Union Col- lege — Serus in ccelum redeas. Ill health preventing Dr. Nott from gratifying the de- sire he had expressed of being present upon this occasion, DINNER. 121 Rev. C. C. CuYLER, D. D., who was a member of College at the time of Dr. Nott's election to the Presidency, there- fore responded as follows : Mr. President : — As I lise upon the present occasion, my thoughts are at once carried back to my early years, to the time when, with what early instruction I had received from my father, I came to this city as a student. Here I enjoyed the privileges of academic instruction under teach- ers, whose names^probably unknown to most of you — are still fresh in my memory, associated with pleasing and grateful recollections ; for they were teachers, kind, faith- ful, and efficient — whom it is a privilege to mention on this occasion, as a tribute of respect justly due to their memories. They were Luther Halsey, Col. Taylor, and Henry P. Wyckoflf. My academic course having been completed in 1803, I entered Union College, and became a member of the Philomath ean Society. Dr. Maxcy was then President, but he was soon succeeded by the venera- ted man, whom the sentiment to which you have called upon me to respond, is designed to honor. Great was the curiosity and anxiety with which we watched the course of the new President. We soon dis- covered that the government and management of College had fallen into efficient hands. New arrangements were introduced into every department Avith such strictness, that the word " blue-laws" not unfrequently escaped the lips of the students. But there was no resistance nor rebellion ; for while they complained of the comparative severity, they could but acknowledge the justice and salutary effect of the new regulations. A new energy was infused through the institution, and a progress begun, which has steadily continued during the long period of forty-five years — a pe- riod unparalleled in the history of our literary institutions 122 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. — during which Dr. Nott has presided over it. To him Union College is indebted for her present proud position and enviable reputation. Many there are, now occupying stations of honor and influence in the world, who attribute much of their success in life to his counsel and instructions. To him I owe much ; his lessons of wisdom and caution I have found of use to me in the world ; and in common with all who have enjoyed the same privileges, I ever think of him, not with respect merely, but also with grati- tude and affection. Most cordially, then, do I respond to the sentiment you have read. Permit me also to acknowledge my obligations to the Philomathean Society, for the advantages it afforded me in my collegiate course, and to express my satisfaction in view of the cheering evidences I have seen to-day, of its increased usefulness and prosperity. I have in my hand the badge of the Society which I wore when I was an act- ing member. (It was a belt of blue silk, to which was at- tached a silver plate, on which were engraved the name and motto of the Society. It was worn over the right shoulder and under the left arm, so that the plate rested on the left breast.) I was proud to wear it then, and (putting it on) I am proud to wear it now, and thus to testify my respect and affection for the Philomathean. The chairman then gave the TENTH REGULAR TOAST. The students of Paris, Vienna, and Berlin — True sons of science are ever the friends of Liberty. He added — " I have the name of a gentleman who was to respond to this toast, but I do not see him in the room ; perhaps he has dodged ; but I see another, who has visited the celebrated literary institutions of those places, whose ^DINNER. 123 writings you have all read, and of whom I might say a great many pretty things, but they may be summed up in this : he too is a son of science and the friend of liberty. Rev. J. T. Headly, being thus called upon, responded as follows : I too might also have dodged^ if I had been notified be- forehand that I was to respond to that toast. Still I believe in the sentiment it contains. Students, in every age, have always been the first to rally on the side of free- dom, the first to sympathise with the oppressed, the first to sacrifice themselves for the good of their country. I once saw the King of Sardinia, (who by the way is the basest king that occupies a European throne, and of whom, not- withstanding his present pretensions, the friends of liberty may say, " Thneo Daiiaos et dona ferentes^''') pass the University of Genoa, and while the populace were doing him homage, receive nothing but silent contempt from the students. As the royal oppressor walked by the porch, the young men coolly turned their backs upon him, and kept their hats upon their heads. I might speak of the French revolution of 1 830, and describe the students of the poly- technic school marching into the house of Lafayette, gath- ering around the gray haired chieftain, and receiving from him their last instructions, go forth to lay down their lives for their country. While the alarm drum was beating, the tocsin sounding, and explosions of cannon were shaking the city, those students were seen leading the people on to victory. I might speak of the students of the University of Pavia, " always ready to die in defence of liberty." When the shout of freedom first arose from Rome, after the coro- nation of Pius the Ninth, these young men answered it, and the streets of Pavia were crimsoned with their blood. I might point to the students of Vienna and Berlin; indeed 124 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. of almost every University of Germany, who have stood foremost in the recent revolution which has shaken Europe to its centre ; but you are familiar with the history of these events. A volume might be written on this subject — I will only ask, When have students refused to be allies of the people in a struggle for liberty ? If I had been notified of the part I was to take in this celebration, I would have gone somewhat into details — giv- en historical facts which would have been worthy of every thoughtful man's consideration, and presented institutions of learning in a different phasis from that in which they have been usually contemplated. There are two causes tending to produce this love of freedom in students. In the first place, literature itself en- nobles the heart as well as expands the intellect. It is full of lessons of virtue. To resist oppression — to defend the weak — to die, if need be, for the right — these are the les- sons it teaches. The learner's heart kindles over the glo- rious deeds of brave men battling for their country— the poets of olden times sing to him of liberty, and he is taught to despise the calculations of selfishness, and abhor that tyranny which would rob the innocent and helpless. In the second place, professors are distinguished for their disregard of mere outward distinctions, and their high ap- preciation of what constitutes the true MAN. The les- sons they inculcate are those of virtue, of noble ambition, of patriotism. Hence, to the teachers in our i'nstitutions, students owe much of that generous impulse and noble sympathy which make them the friends of freedom. All honor to them. I have but a single remark to make further. We are allowed to boast a little, and to believe that our Alma Ma- ter is the best in the world. The pecuHarity of Union Col" DINNER. 125 lege, it appears to me as I move around in the world, is this : — it makes the students practical men, and hence, like ' the Universities of Germany, fits them to take an active part in life, and gives them practical power, whenever their assistance is needed. There is nothing more common than to find men of science deficient in practical education ; consequently they disappear before men of the world. People will not wait for those who have not the spirit of the age in which they live,, in them. The mere scholar is perhaps the hardest to move from fixed reverence to old things. Men sent forth from this College are not such. They are not like one lost in the forest, who moves perpe- tually round in a circle. They start, like Minerva from the head of Jupiter, all armed in panoply, and this has given occasion sometimes for persons to accuse us of not furnish- ing thorough scholars. We seem too practical, and smell more of the bustle of life than of the seclusion of the clois- ter. Now, Sir, when men Avere required to talk in Latin, that was a practical advantage of a certain kind ; definite terms were needed in metaphysical philosophy, and a com- mon language for the learned of every nation was called for. At all events, custom made this show of scholarship necessary. But in this age it would be folly to seek the kind of education they sought then. We might speak in Latin, but no one would listen to us — we might spend our time in Academic groves, discussing ancient philosophic subtleties, but all the great events of life Avould come and go without feeling our influence. The world needs, and must have the aid of the practical^ not the dreamy scholar — the educated man^ not the mere bibliopole. I have seen students who reminded me of an incident in Dickens' " Dombey and Son." Old Capt. Cuttle, a simple minded, honest, kind hearted sailor, loved a lad named 17 126 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. Walter. When the youth went to sea^ the Captain accom- panied him to the ship, and with a tear stealing down his weather-beaten cheek, bade him good bye, and puUing an immense silver watch from his pocket, (which, as Dickens says, made a noise very much like pulling the bung from a barrel,) gave it to him, saying, " take this, Walter, and put it forward half an hour every morning, and a qarter every arternoon, and it is a watch that will do you credit." Now this might well apply to a great many learned men : ■ — if you would only put them forward a half an hour ev- ery morning and a quarter every evening, they would do you and themselves great credit. But I have never seen students of Union College that wanted putting forward to do the College credit, and I attribute it to the instruction they receive tending to make them practical men. In conclusion, I give — " The Faculty of Union College^ Prof Foster, being repeatedly called upon from all parts of the room, rose and said : I rise, Mr. President, to protest against the usage I am receiving. An assembly like this reminds one of the reunion of a family on a Thanksgiving or New Year, after a long separation. After years of business, we gather here, and meet around the festive board of our old home- stead. For me, now, to occupy your time, would be like a young stripling, who has never travelled beyond the bounds of his paternal acres, monopolizing to himself the conversation, describing what new appearances were visi- ble, and what fine buildings had been recently constructed. I apprehend that, though common politeness, or possibly family pride, would suffer him to proceed, yet there would be a terrible thinking, and a very general feeling that if a few more years were on his head, or a few more brains in DINNER. 127 it, he might have learned that older and wiser heads should occupy the time. I am determined, therefore, not to be seduced into such a youthful and palpable impro- priety. ELEVENTH REGULAR TOAST. The Constitution of the United States — The magna charta of the world. The reply to this toast was made by Hon. John C. Spencer : I have been requested by your committee, gentlemen of the Philomathean Society, to make some observations upon this toast, and my desire to promote, by any means in my power, the prosperity of a Society to which I belonged and was warmly attached, when a member of Union Col- lege, prompts me to comply with your request. The spirit which dictated this sentiment, is inost com- mendable. It is antagonist to anarchy, and acknowledges the principle of submission to a supreme law, established for the security of a community of freemen. It admits that liberty cannot exist without law. The acknowledgment of this fundamental axiom, by young men of your intelli- gence, at a time when restraint is called tyranny, and licentiousness is identified with freedom, is refreshing, and invigorates hope for the future. It is an American spirit, and is the key to that mystery of mysteries which so perplexes the political philosophers of Europe, namely, how it is possible to reconcile so much liberty with so much order. In order to enjoy our liberty, we set bounds to it, in humble imitation of the economy of Providence, which prescribes the universal rule that safety, life, and happiness are to be preserved only by moderation, which fixes limits to enjoyment. This rule, when applied to political science, is sustained by another of pure justice, 128 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. namely, that no one shall be restrained by law more than another, and that no other restraint upon individual liberty shall be imposed, than such as is necessary to protect the rights of each. The more you reflect upon this rule, the more will you be satisfied that it presents the true and ex- act limit of legislation ia a democratic government. You must not steal your neighbor's property, you must not in- jure his person or his feelings, because your neighbor has the same right to the enjoyment of his acquisitions, to the security of his person, and to the pursuit of happiness, that you have ; and you have the same right that he possesses, but no more. Your mutual security and happiness require that you should both stop at the line which separates me- um from tuum. When the deposed Dey of Algiers, living in Europe, wished to cut off" the heads of two servants who had offended him by some trivial indiscretion, and was told that such a practice would not be allowed, and that he would endanger his own head by indulging his wish, he expressed the utmost surprise, and enquired whether he was not in a land of liberty ? This was precisely the op- posite of your idea ; — he would have liberty without reci- procity — in other words, liberty without law, which secures and enforces reciprocity. It was this great, sublime, and yet simple principle, founded upon the inspired rule of doing to others what you may justly require them to do to you, that guided our illus- trious forefathers in the establishment of that body of pow- ers, checks, restraints, and limitations, called the constitu- tion of our country. The application of the principle to the individual free citizen, was not attended with much difficulty. But when they came to deal with the organized communities that had been fortuitously formed into Prov- inces and States, with adverse interests, and with more DINNER, 129i adverse prejudices ; — ^when the pride of local sovereignty was to be humbled and circumscribed, then commenced a task more difficult than had ever been encountered by human intellect. Some States were so feeble as only to offer a temptation to their powerful neighbors to trample on and despise them ; others were so situated, locally, that they were mere dependants for trade upon the forbear- ance of rivals ; it was the business of the Convention to make the weak strong, and the strong weak, and to place all upon the same level. Among the adverse interests and prejudices, that which was the most difficult of adjustment, grew out of the monstrous abuse which had been converted into a legal right — property in a human being. On one side were deep religious feehng, intense sympathy, and the very fundamental principle on which the government was to be constituted — equality of political rights among im- mortal bemgs. On the other side were inveterate prejudi- ces — the utter destruction of the property and means of subsistence of the people who then constituted a majority of the States, and what was far more formidable, honest, and probably well founded apprehensions that the im- mediate emancipation of the slaves would jeopard the very existence of the whites. History affords no parallel to the awful fearfulness of this question. It mixed itself with every proposition that had any bearing upon the powers, rights, and relative weight of the States in the federal councils. For weeks and months had the Convention de- bated and discussed these propositions, without coming to any conclusion. The prospect was dark, dreary, and almost desperate. Disruption, commotion, and war and all its horrible evils, seemed inevitable. Finally Franklin arose, and reminding the assembly how fruitless had been their search for political wisdom among human institutions, 130 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. ancient and modern, solemnly asked, " How has it hap- pened, that we have not hitherto once thought of applying to the Father of light, to illuminate our understandings ? If," said he, a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it possible that an empire can arise without his aid ?" The very reference to a superintending Provi- dence, and to the responsibility of the members of the Con- vention, seems to have had its proper influences — for there- after we find their proceedings more harmonious. Under the blessing of heaven, these difficulties were overcome ; and the principles tipon which they were ar- ranged, are worthy of our special consideration at this time. The members seem to have come to the conclusion that mortals, however gifted and patriotic, could not arrest the course of nature — that they could not change the con- dition of society, or the nature of men — that they could not make a new world, but must deal with the one they were in, as they found it ; but yet that they could shape laws and institutions so as to bring about, at a time not very distant, those consequences, which, in the then state of affairs, were utterly impracticable. They would not ven- ture, like some of our recent philosophists, upon the experi- ment of remodelling society — but with becoming modesty, were content to plant principles, which would be sure to germinate, grow, and expand like the mustard tree, until it shadowed the whole country. The different sides were too patriotic to insist on their extreme views, and thus to minister to their own pride of opinion, at the expense of all that was dear to themselves and their constituents. They were patriots — not demagogues. They submitted to exist- ing evils which could not be eradicated by human power, trusting that time, with the advance of liberal knowledge and opinion, which they foresaw as the inevitable result of tUNNER. 131 their work, would do more than authority or obstinacy. They compromised — each yielded something of peculiar interests ; and principle, in the case of slavery, was vindi- cated so far as the power of the federal government could be extended, by authorizing Congress to prohibit the import- ation of slaves at a fixed period. Farther they could not proceed, consistent with the principle of State sovereignty, in respect to municipal laws, which the Constitution itself established. The result was, a union, instead of a confed- eracy of the States. Sixty years of national prosperity, amid perilous dangers from intestine divisions, with three foreign wars, and when political earthquakes have rocked the nations of Europe — have attested the wisdom and the sound, far-seeing patriotism of that glorious band who sent forth from Independence Hall the inestimable Consti- tution which your toast commemorates. Much and justly as we admire and wonder at the forti- tude, patience, and bravery, of those who resisted the en- croachments of the British Parliament ; — fervently as we applaud, and gratefully as we acknowledge the privations, the sacrifices and the devotion of life, in our long revolu- tionary struggle, yet we cannot but acknowledge, that when it was ended, the work was not half completed. A new people was born into the world — but it was not a nation. That had yet to be formed — -and those who had conquered the British legions, had a far more difficult labor to perform • — they had to conquer themselves. The thirteen separate sovereignties had none but centrifugal forces ; — the contin- uance of their very existence demanded that the centripe- tal force should be given them. It was done, and they have been kept in their orbits. My purpose, in this sketch of the labors of the Conven- tion, has been, not so much to record the great and unap- 132 PHILOMATBEAN CELEBRATION. preciable merits of its members,* as to excite your attention to the principles by which they were guided, and to their conduct in the application of those principles. To an hon- est and ingenuous mind, a single principle involving the interests of humanity, assumes an importance and a mag- nitude which absorb our sympathies and cast into shade other principles not less important. We do not stop to ex- amine the bearing of our favorite dogma upon other vital maxims, nor to study their mutual relations. This is ob- viously contrary to sound reason in any department of sci- ence, intellectual, moral, or physical ; but particularly in the affairs of life and in the science of government, which is in its nature practical, and not theoretical, these antagonist interests and principles, are as much op- posed as the centripetal and centrifugal forces that keep the planets in motion ; and regularity, order, and success are to be attained, not by yielding absolute sway to any one of these principles, interests or for- ces, but by the combination of the whole, securing the mutual reaction of each upon the other. This was emi- nently the policy of the framers of our constitution, and to that policy is to be attributed the success hitherto of our experiment. It is this policy which I would commend to you. and to all our fellow-citizens, as indicating with all the certainty that can be predicated of human contrivance, the safe channel by which our country can be conducted through the shoals, quicksands, breakers, and rocks, that threaten her on either side. I counsel not the abandonment of any principle, but I urge, as a duty as well as sound poUcy, that in maintaining it, the same respect for the principles, interests, opinions, and even prejudices of others, be ob- served, that you claim for your own. DINNER. 133 You, my friends, will soon occupy positions in Society, where the influence of your opinions and your example will be felt, and probably more extensively than you can now calculate. Public sentiment is the real law of this country. Constitutions and statutes are but cobwebs in opposition to it. However unpalatable or humiliating it may be, it is nevertheless an undeniable truth. It would be easy to enumerate instances of palpable violations of our Constitution, knowingly committed in obedience to a nearly universal public opinion. And you need not be told how many of our statutes are worse than dead letters. The reason is, that our government is that of the people, and this sovereign may trample upon powers, compacts, laws, and constitutions, with as little remorse as any single des- pot of the old world. And the explanation of our having escaped from more numerous instances of despotic tyranny, is that in the union a sound, honest public sentiment has been maintained, nearly up to the level of our Constitutions. Let not this picture dishearten you, or diminish your confi- dence in free institutions, and in the republican principle. For, after all, there is less danger of abuses by large mass- es — ^by the whole people, or by large majorities of them, than by single despots, or by an oligarchy ; and there is more certainty of reform and return to sound principle by those who are sure to be the suflerers from irregularities and excesses, than by the few whose position exempts them from the common lot. But rather let the reflections which these views may awaken, stimulate your exertions to inform the public mind, to keep it sound and intelligent, to prevent it from running to extremes, to moderate its ten- dency to impulsive movement, and to sustain it by the constant exhibition of those eternal principles of truth and righteousness, which have been revealed to us, and which 18 134 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. we are told from an indisputable authority, only can " ex- alt a Nation." TWELFTH REGULAR TOAST. The Philomatheans of former days — They are welcome to their ancient home. Rev. Henry P. Tappan, being called upon, responded as follows : Mr. President : — You, Sir, one of the founders of the Philomathean Society, and its oldest surviving member, from your heart — a heart, whose fine and generous sym- pathies age has only ripened, not quenched — you can re- spond to this sentiment. In framing the words of this response, I feel that I am speaking in behalf of all the Philo" matheans of former days — that their united spirit is flowing through my heart — that I am, at this moment, speaking under the inspiration of a venerable presence which seems to collect here all our past history. You, who were pres- ent at the dawning of our day, are now here when our sun hath risen high in the heavens ; and voices then unborn welcome you as the first-born, and us of a later date as old- er brothers. We have met together in our ancient home. We have met at the call of our younger brothers, who, still at home, while we have .been wandering up and down in the world, have invited us to come and see once more the old familiar places, renew old associations, exchange heart- felt salutations, and eat with them a thanksgiving dinner. When this invitation reached us, our hearts at once said, it is worthy of our brothers who keep the old homestead, thus to call us back ; and it is fit that we should go and do honor to the Lares who early protected and cherished us, and whose influence has followed us through life. DINNER. 135 Half a century has passed away since our house was founded. Since then many spacious additions have been made to it, and much store of good and choice things col- lected. Its grounds also have been extended and embel- lished. The trees early planted have grown up to become the tall monarchs of the forest. There are gushing foun- tains, beautiful walks and groves — fit haunts of the muses. This progress in all that elevates, refines and adorns, it is grateful to contemplate. And when we entered this festal hall, so well arranged, and so tastefully adorned ; when we read these inscriptions upon the walls ; when we looked around upon these glow- ing and happy faces ; — many and holy were the remem- brances and associations that were called up ; — the beauti- ful past, and the beautiful present were wedded together. The influence of such a scene is like that of music heard once more, which, in our early youth, coming from lips that we loved, awakened a delight which has left its immortal traces in our minds ; and which, now revived, brings along with it the image of cherished scenes with all the beauty and kindness, and every thing dear and sacred, by which they were hallowed. Many brothers have gone forth from this spot into the wide world. But they have not all returned to-day. Some are unavoidably detained. Some have finished their race on earth. The memory of the dead saddens, but, at the same time, hallows and gives dignity to our festivities. We who have come together thank om- younger brothers for their invitation, and for all the arrangements and hospitalities which have made our meeting so convenient, so agreeable, and so full of lofty in- spirations. Noble spirits have honored our house : noble spirits possess it now. We cannot but cherish the hope that it will ever be the abode of Virtue, Science, and 136 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. Friendship. Did I yield to my feelings, I might say much more. But I have occupied your attention long enough this day, in the honorable and the pleasant duty I was called to perform. Permit me, therefore, to give, in conclusion — The Acting Members of the Philomathean Society — ^Wor- thy successors of the Philomatheans of former days — fair examples to those who shall come after them. The following Poem from Mrs. Sigourney, written for the occasion, with the accompanying note were then read : "Mrs. Sigourney sends, by request, a Poem for the approaching Jubilee of the Philomathean Society of Union College, with the hope that this gathering of choice and classic spirits, throughout our wide-spread lahd, to a spot hallowed by high associations, may be productive of all they anticipate." Hartford^ June 16, 1848. THE COLLEGE SPIRIT. What Spirit from the sacred realms Of Learning's sceptred sway, Comes forth in vigor unimpaired, While ancient thrones decay ? What whispereth to the man of God, Who wars with sin and pride, And brings a sunbeam o'er his thought. When all is dark deside ? What, like a dovelet's dewy wing, Doth fan the statesman's brain. And from the brow of toil and care Unbind the coiling chain *? What moves the sage of hoary hairs ? The lover in his bowers 1 DINNER. 137 And o'er the prairie's boundless breast, Sweeps like the breath of flowers 1 What beckoneth with a viewless hand, From homes that seas divide, Back to the cloister'd halls of yore, The Alma Mater's side 1 Back to the earliest student-cell, The tomes of lore refined, Back to the quiet twilight walk. Where heart with heart was twined ? Back to the fine, old classic groves, The haunts that flowers adorn, Where 'neath the sunset's crimson cloud, At flush of eve — 'twas born. Oh soul of friendship ! knit to strength, 'Mid youth and learning's might, Still strike thy rooted memories deep, Till time's receding light. And link thyself with love divine. That when life's dream is o'er. Thou, with a seraph's lyre, mayst stand Upon the eternal shore. L. H. SiGOURNEY. On motion of Joel B. Nott, Esq., it was unanimously resolved that Hon. John C. Wright, Hon. Archibald L. Linn, and Thomas Palmer, Esq., in connection with a committee from the acting members, address the Alumni, soliciting them to unite in raising a semi-centennial contri- butioHj to be applied to the enlargement of the Society Library. LETTERS. The following letters were received from different Alum- ni and invited guests. FROM KEY. ADAM EMPIE, D. D. . Richmond, (Va.,) June 8, 1848. Mr. Am AS A McCoy : Dear Sir : — I have just received from your hands, an invitation to attend the Semi-Centennial Celebration of the Philomathean Society of Union College. Give me leave to assure you, sir, and through you the Committee of Invita- tion, (three of whose members, once my own fellow-stu- dents, I always remember with distinguished respect,) that I highly appreciate, and feel much flattered by the particu- lar and pressing invitation with which they have honored me ; and that it would aflbrd me great pleasure, did my health and duties permit, to unite with them in the literary, social, and festive exercises and gratifications, to which they are looking forward. Union College, its President, and the Philomathean Society, to which it ever was my pride to have belonged, have always been cherished by me, in a kind and grateful remembrance. They have al- ways been associated in my own heart, with feelings of gratitude to Heaven, and with the memory of (a thousand collegiate) joys that are past ; and I am never more inte- 140 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. rested, gratified, or disposed to be loquacious, than when I meet with a friend who has much to say about my che- rished Alma Mater. Although, therefore, I cannot enjoy the high gratification of personally greeting you, and of sharing in the delightful associations and reminiscences that will cluster around the coming anniversary, (my infirmities and duties preventing,) yet I beg the Philomatheans to be assured that I cherish the memory of them all as literary brothers, and that I hope they may realize, at the coming festival, all the benefit and all the pleasure which their most sanguine anticipations can lead them to expect — Increasing prosperity, usefulness, and honor, to our distinguished Alma Mater, and to her noble auxiliary, the Brotherhood of Philomatheans. I have the honor to be, Sir, With great respect, Your friend and servant, A. EMPIE. FROM REV. SAMUEL NOTT, JR. Wareham, (Mass.,) June 21, 1848. Dear Sir : — It is with great reluctance that I decline the invitation to join in your approaching celebration. An infirm state of health compels me to confine myself to my necessary duties, especially at this season of the year. I must not, however, let the opportunity pass, without expressing my deep sense of obligation to the Philomathean Society. I have every reason to be thankful to Union Col- lege for its faithful and skillful care, but its service is al- ways remembered in connection with our Association. The voluntary diligence of a Collegiate Society supplies a most LETTERS. 141 important place in the formation of a young man's charac- ter — in fitting him to make the most of Ufe. Especially, extemporaneous debate, connected with thorough studies and careful writing, begins the true economy of public life. The rapid and various research beforehand, and the prompt recollection, arrangement, and application of one's knowledge, employ and strengthen the whole man without sacrificing the opportunity which the College affords. I may, in accordance with these views, offer to the assem- « bled brotherhood the following sentiment: The Philomathean Society — An indispensable aid of Union College in the training of her sons. In high or low estate, they shall do good service whose self-directed man- hood is faithful in continuing the work which both began. It is not to be supposed that the young men who gave us our name were unmindful of the highest mathema. At least, those who remain to old age, and my own cotempo- raries of forty years ago, will join me in the assurance which long experience has given, that were it for this life only, for its necessities and occasions, they only are pre- pared who learn of the Brother and the Lord of human kind. Too deeply have I felt this, to think that the young men will not approve the letter to Philomatheans, which, after all, " turns out a sermon." With great interest in the whole Brotherhood, SAMUEL NOTT, Jr. FROM REV. GEORGE UPFOLD, D. D. Pittsburg, July 3, 1848. Dear Sir : — I have delayed acknowledging the receipt of your letter of the 26th of May, inviting me to the pro- 19 142 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. posed Semi-Centennial Anniversary of the Philomathean Society, on the 25th instant, from the uncertainty of being enabled to absent myself from my parish at that time. Having been so fortunate as to obtain the assistance of a clerical friend during my absence, I lose no time in signi- fying to you my acceptance of the very gratifying invita- tion of the Committee. It is now thirty-four years since I had the pleasure of meeting, as " an attending member," with a^ Society in which, during my collegiate course, I took a deep interest, and which is associated with some of my most delightful recollections of the past. I have never had an opportunity of participating in its exercises as a "non-attending member." But I have heard, with sincere gratification, of its great increase in numbers, and of its continued prosperity ; and I anticipate no little pleasure in personally beholding its present flourishing condition, and in meeting, among the many who are necessarily strang- ers, some, I trust, with whom, in by-gone days, I was wont to associate in friendly intercourse and in literary pursuits, in its well remembered hall. Very truly and respectfully, Your fellow Philomathean, GEORGE UPFOLD. Mr. Amasa McCoy. FROM HON. HIRAM P. HUNT. Troy, May 31, 1848. Mr. Amasa McCoy : Sir : — I have to acknowledge the receipt of an invitation to the Anniversary Celebration of the Philomathean Socie^ ty, on the 25th of July next, together with your kind note LETTERS. 143 attached to the same, and urging my attendance. In re- ply, be pleased to accept my thanks, both for the mvitation and the manner in which the same was communicated. Amidst the labors of an arduous profession, in which I have been engaged for more than a quarter of a century, it is a relief to look back to the years of my academic life, and to be assured, that after a lapse of thirty- two years, my name has not wholly disappeared from the Society to which I was ardently attached, is grateful to my feelings. And allow me, through you, to say to the Society, that experience has confirmed my early convictions of the util- ity of the association in training and fitting its niembers for the duties of active life. I cannot, therefore, but look with deep interest, to the success of the Society, and of the literary institution to which it belongs. Should my professional engagements be such as, (by possibility,) to allow me to attend your celebration, I shall most cheerfully comply with your Invitation. Respectfully yours, &c.j H. P. HUNT. FROM REV. STEPHEN SCHUYLER. Rhtnebeck, July 22, 1848. My Dear Sir : — In the month of May last I received a Circular to the Alumni of the Philomathean Society, Union College, inviting me to participate in the comme- moration of a Semi-centennial Anniversary of our Society, on the 25th of the present month. As you are chairman of the Committee of Invitation signing said Circular, permit me to address to you my reply to the same. Were it not for the reason which I shall presently assign, it would af- 144 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. ford me much pleasm-e to join on that day in the celebra- tion of an event so interesting as the foundation of a Lite- rary Society of which I had the honor of being a member while I was at Union College — to meet in social, yet chastened, festivity the Alumni of that Society, many of whom I still hold in friendship's remembrance, and some of whom among the members of your committee I recog- nize as personal acquaintances — to lend a listening ear to the Oration and Poem which shall on that occasion be pronounced, and to share in the friendly salutations which shall then be exchanged Avith each other — to brighten my recollections of past scenes and hours of youthful enjoyment — to revive my sentiments of affection for those from whom I have been so long separated, and to renew my acquaint- ance with those with whom my intercourse has been so long suspended. But an afflictive event, a painful dispensation of an all- wise and all-good Being, prevents me from seeking to en- joy that pleasure ; from being one to mingle with you in that hour of rational and social gratification. The recent death of an only and beloved daughter, unfits me for any other scene and place at present than the retirement of home, disqualifies me for adding any thing to the sum of hilarity and cheerfulness looked for at such a time, and incapacitates me to relish the excitement connected with such an occasion. Allow me, therefore, under these cir- cumstances, to make this letter my representative on the anticipated occasion, and to request you, dear sir, to com- municate its import, at least, to my friends assembled on that day, in that hall where we were wont to convene. Please assure my associate Alumni of the Philomathean Society of my regard and friendship for them; of the de- light with which I should meet them, if certain emotions LETTERS. 145 were not so prominent in my bosom ; of my continued inte- rest in all true science and learning, especially in the knowledge, combined with the practice, of the will of the Almighty Father of us all, who would make of one ever- enduring Society, in perfect love and harmony, all the nations of the world. If sentiments are offered at your festive board, and if there be a language in flowers, I would cull this one of sweet promise from the Paradise of God, and, while all people except our own are in commotion, and the kingdoms of this world are bemg shaken, would present it, saying, " Knowledge and wisdom shall be the stability of thy times and strength of salvation." With sincere regard I am, Sir, Your Friend, STEPHEN SCHUYLER. Prof. Isaac W. Jackson, Chairman of Committee of Invitation. FROM RT. REV. BISHOP DOANE, D. D., LL. D. Burlington, July 8, 1848. Dear Sir : — From the telegraphic despatch just receiv- ed, I gather that my answers to former letters have not been received. I deeply regret my inability to comply with the request of my young friends, and deeply feel the kindness which has prompted it. I hold the Philomathean Society in most honorable remembrance, and heartily de- sire for it length of days, and for all its members honor and happiness. Ever your faithful friend, G. W. DOANE. 146 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. FROM REV. GEORGE W. BETHUNE, D. D. Philadelphia, June 8, 1848. Gentlemen : — Having promised to deliver the oration before the Phi Beta Kappa Society of Dartmouth College, this year, I find that it will prevent my being present at the Semi-Centennary of the Philomathean Society. I can, therefore, only express my deep regret, thank you for the honor of your invitation, and wish the brethren, more for- tunate than myself, the highest enjoyment of their refined festivities. With great respect, yours, GEO. W. BETHUNE. Prof. Isaac W. Jackson, Chairman of Committee of Invitation. FROM HON. WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Auburn, July 19, 1848. Dear Sir: — I have refrained, thus long, from reply- ing to your letter of the 12th of this month, inviting me to attend the Semi-Centennial Anniversary Celebration of the Philomathean Society, under a hope that I might control my engagements, so as to allow myself so great an indul- gence as an acceptance of the invitation would afford. But an unexpected summons to Baltimore places that pleas- ure entirely beyond my reach. I beg you to present to the Committee my grateful acknowledgments for the honor they have shown me, and express to them my great satis- faction in learning that the Philomathean Society main- LETTERS. 147 tains all its ancient reputation, and continues to enlarge its sphere of usefulness. I am, Dear Sir, Very respectfully. Your obedient servant, WILLIAM H. SEWARD. Mr. Amasa McCoy. FROM HON. ALFRED CONKLING. Melrose, near Auburn, July 22, 1848. Dear Sir : — It was not until to-day that I reluctantly gave up the hope of being able to attend the approaching celebration of the Semi-Centennial Anniversary of the Philomathean Society of Union College, announced in the circular of the committee of which you are chairman. Anticipating the pleasure, as 1 have all along indulged myself in doing, of being present on this highly interesting occasion, I have naturally been led to revert to the long- past years of my own collegiate pupilage, and to dwell upon the cherished and yet vivid remembrance of those with whom, as instructors and fellow-students, it was my good fortune to be then associated. It is now just forty years since I entered the college. At that time Dr. Nott — clarum et venerabile nomen — was, as, most happily, he has ever since been. President. Dr. Allen, erudite, serene and majestic, who had the diagram of the forty-seventh proposition engraven on his seal, and was himself the very personification of the noble sciences he taught, was Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. Dr. Davis — learned, conscientious and inde- fatigable in the performance of his duties ; a rigid discipli- 148 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. narian in theory, but too benevolent to be severe ; for, in taking his nightly rounds, he usually gave timely notice of his approach, especially to the domicils of the more mercu- rial students, by striking his cane heavily on the floor — was Professor of Greek. Mr. (afterwards the Rev. Dr.) McCauley — a faithful instructor and kind-hearted gentle- man, who, as I know by experience, if a student could not find a satisfactory definition of a Latin word in his duode- cimo dictionary, would in the most obliging manner throw open his ponderous quarto — was Professor of Latin. I bear testimony with the greater alacrity to my recollection of the excellent qualities of this gentleman, because he became, during my time, the object of a wanton and cruel persecution, in which, I am pained to say, I had some share, though not by any means so great a share as one of the circumstances connected with the unhappy affair, seemed to indicate. It was an unmerited, and, in truth, groundless aggression, undertaken without much reflection, quite as much in sport as in earnest, and prosecuted with- out any just appreciation of the pain it could not but have occasioned. It has ever since been fresh in my recollection, and I have never thought of it but with remorse. The youngest, and only remaining professor of that time, was Mr., (afterwards the Rev. Dr., and for many years past. Bishop,) Brownell, Professor of Rhetoric, Belles Lettres and Chem- istry ; a fine scholar, and a modest and courtly gentleman. He went to England shortly before our class was gradua- ted, to purchase chemical apparatus, and performed a tour, chiefly pedestrian, through, as 1 understood, a great part of England, if not of Scotland also. It strikes me as somewhat remarkable that of all these eminent and excellent men, old enough, forty years ago, to fill the high and responsible posts they occupied, one only LETTERS. 149 has died. Dr. Allen, alone, has "shuffled off this mortal (foil," and passed into a new state of being ; and if it be true that the complexion of our future existence takes its hue from our character here, I cannot but believe that he has been a gainer by the transition. He left the college while I was there ; why, the students were not permitted to know. His sudden departure was, to us, a profound and painful mystery. We called a class meeting, and sent after him a letter expressive of om' love and respect for his character, and our sorrow at the separation. We never received any answer to our communication. If he ever got it, he probably deemed it indiscreet to acknow- ledge its receipt. Dr. Allen was succeeded by Professor Hassler, since widely known as a profound mathematician. He was an eccentric and highly sensitive man. He had a work-shop in the upper part of his house, where, with his own hands, he fabricated many things pertaining to his scientific pur- suits. Owing partly to his want of familiarity with om* language, and, paradoxical though it may seem, to his vast learning, he was not a successful instructor. While await- ing the tardy decision of the Government upon his appli- cation for employment in its service, he fell sick of " hope deferred ;" took to his bed, from which there seemed to be little probability of his ever rising ; but when, at length, the wished-for answer came, he at once arose, dressed himself, and set about the necessary preparations for his departure. But I am growing prosy ^ and I fear you will find my remeniscences more tiresome than interesting. Believe me, Dear Sir, with great respect and regard, Very truly yours, A. CONKLING. Prof. Isaac W. Jackson. 20 150 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. FROM HON. WILLIAM KENT. New-York, June 5, 1848. Dear Sir : — ^I deeply regret that inextricable engage- naentSj long since formed, will detain me far from Schenec- tady on the 25th of July next, and prevent my joining in the celebration of the Semi-Centennial Anniversary of the Philomathean Society. No invitation could have addressed itself more forcibly to my feelings, nor summoned up more visibly before me the events, studies, joys, and friendships of early youth, so many of which are connected with that Society, the anni- versary of which you kindly invite me to celebrate. Though' absent from your meeting in July, I shall be with you in sympathetic feeling ; and, while recollection of the past remains, I shall be proud to feel and declare my- self a loyal and attached member of your distinguished Society. I have the honor to be. Dear Sir, Your most obedient and humble servant, WILLIAM KENT. Mr. Amasa McCoy. FROM. REV. HENRY MANDEVILLE, D. D. Hamilton College, June 13, 1848. Mr. Amasa McCoy : Dear Sir: — I have the honor to acknowledge your friendly invitation to attend a reunion and festival of the Philomathean Society, on the 25th of July ; and I thank you for the very complimentary terms in which the invita- tion was conveyed. That my humble name should " not be forgotten," among so many of greater worth and wider LETTERS. 151 celebrity, which adorn the Catalogue of the Philomathean Society, and shed lustre on our venerable Alma Mater, I deem no ordinary distinction. Your invitation, (I say it sorroAvfully,) I am obliged to decline. I have been promising myself the pleasure of attending commencement at Union for several years ; and with more emphasis the present than any preceding year ; and now, when I vividly perceive how much that pleasure would be enhanced by your contemplated meeting and its incidents — outstretched palms of old comrades, and remi- niscences of old campaigns, to say nothing, but think much, of the oration, poem, dinner, speeches, et caetera, (a combi- nation to make a Professor of Rhetoric run mad,) the inte- resting event must still be deferred to a more auspicious future. An engagement in the cause of education in Ohio will call me to that State a fortnight previous to the meet- ing, and probably detain me there until the middle of Sep- tember. Please express my regrets to your committee, and believe me, Very truly a Philomathean, and Your obedient servant, H. MANDEVILLE. FROM HON. JOHN K. PORTER Albany, June 5, 1848, My Dear Sir : — I found, on my return from court, a very gratifying evidence of remembrance on the part of my collegiate friends, in your letter and the accompanying communications. Such a compliment was peculiarly acceptable from the Philomathean Society ; for there are few of the brother- 152 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. hood to whoiii the Old Hall is not endeared by many pleas^ ing and grateful associations. I shall certainly endeavor to attend the Semi-Centennial Jubilee,* and the occasion will doubtless suggest some few words to say in an after dinner talk, if there should be a dearth of speakers-^a thing, by the way, which we can all say with honest pride, is not likely to occur at a Philo* mathean Jubilee. • » » * * • « Yours, very truly, JOHN K. PORTER. Mr. Amasa McCoy. * Judge Porter, and also Dr. Upfold, were prevented from attending by circumstances which occurred after their letters were transmitted. SOIREE. The memorable enjoyments of the day were succeeded in the evening, by the no less acceptable pleasures of a Soiree. At nine o'clock, the members and invited guests as- sembled in the spacious Hall occupied during the afternooUj and now elegantly furnished for the social pleasures of the evening. The vases of flowers, wreathed mottos, and other decorations for the day still adorned the walls, har- monizing Avell with the beauty of the scene. Excellent music lent its enlivening strains to the enthusiasm that pervaded the assembly. The pleasures of the occasion were not now confined to the members alone, but were shared and heightened by a large number of their fair friends, invited from the city and abroad, and the Philo- mathean never received a more acceptable compliment, than when Beauty displayed on her snowy robes the pink insignia of membership. The refined enjoyments of the Soiree were peculiarly grateful to the cloistered student who had just closed the labors of another collegiate year, as well as to the returned members, in whom was revived the enthusiasm of earlier years. " Agnosco veteris vestigia flammae." Thus closed the Semi-Centennial Anniversary of the Philomathean Society — an occasion highly interesting and ^^-4 154 PHILOMATHEAN CELEBRATION. gratifying to those present — ^honorable to the enterprise of its members — a testimonial of its past usefulness, and the interest still taken in its welfare — and, we may be permit- ted to hope, an auspicious indication of its future pros- perity. [Note. — It was the design of the Society to append to the work a list of the donors to the " Semi-Centennial Contribution for the improvement of the Society Library," but owing to unforseen circumstances this in- tention could not be carried into eflfect.] LB m ^l LIBRARY OF CONGRESS lilillllillllllllllilililllillM 028 363 472 3 m-0'^ \'-: ^ s •^'•!-v''