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the world a more virtuous, and patriotic, and efficient class of men, than the American Mechanics.
66 There is no better sign of a brave mind, than a hard hand.”
The Duke of Orleans, now the King of the French, when he was driven from his country and deprived of the income of his estates, would not, like many of the nobles and princes of the blood royal, among whom was Charles X, become a beggar to the English Government, but chose rather to become a professor of mathematics in a Swiss college, and actually earned a subsistence by teaching arithmetic and geometry. This showed that he knew the value of an independent mind, and that he was fitter for a king than the miserable mendicant he succeeds. No man of mature age and strength is fit to live among men, who is too idle or too ignorant to employ the means necessary to furnish his daily bread. Least of all is he fit for a ruler, who is unacquainted with the arts, which give subsistence to his subjects.
Give me whereon to stand, exclaimed Archimedes, and with my lever I will move the world. The mechanics of these free and independent states can do as much ; they can make as proud a boast as the Grecian Philosopher, and they are not, like him, without a safe position on which to plant themselves, while they put the power in operation. The influence they possess as a body is daily increasing. An awakening spirit is abroad among them, and stirring them up to the establishment of schools, lyceums and institutions for purposes of education, and for uniting and directing their energies to the advance
ment of literature, and arts, and sciences. The highest honor of a mechanic, or any other man, consists in the cultivation of his mind; because it is mind, that controls and directs every thing else. It is mind, which pursues, preserves, and enjoys happiness; it is the mind alone, of all earthly possessions, which is eternal ; mind is the only attribute of our nature which exalts us to the likeness of our Maker - the only one, in which the image of God is reflected.
“ It is the mind that makes the body rich.” It is wisdom and understanding that make the man independent. Ignorance is, of all slavery, the most degrading. Chains and fetters may be made of gold as well as of iron, but neither the one nor the other can keep down the energies of an intelligent, wellcultivated, independent mind -a mind trained in the school of virtue, and imbued with principles of honesty, integrity, firmness, honor, and that self love, which forms the basis of the social system. The power of such a spirit is uncontrollable and unlimited; its elasticity can no more be subdued than that of the vital fluid, which sustains its physical organization. Prison walls cannot confine it; nor mountains nor seas set bounds to its operations.
Do you ask what is the evidence to support so broad an assertion, look at your own doors. Look at your public schoolhouses, which, from year to year, send forth their hundreds of boys and girls, instructed in the elements of all that is indispensable, and of much that may be superfluous in education, forming a basis, on which they may build a fabric of moral and intellectual power, which no commotion can place in jeopardy, no revolution can overturn or destroy. Look at your infant schools, where woman - the first and best instructer of human ignorance, the first and last supporter of human weakness, the purest and noblest nourisher of human affectionswaits and watches for the development of the yet unformed idea, and, from the instant of its birth, nurses it in tenderness, and trains it with holy fidelity, till it shall acquire strength and firmness, to be handed over to its ruder teacher, man. Cast your eyes back, only for a few days, and see your spacious Common, crowded with the beautiful, the innocent, the wondering, the inquiring young, whose intelligent eyes asked of every passer-by in that splendid pageantry which marked your centennial festival, “What mean ye by this service and these testimonies?” Look on these things, and ask yourselves if you do not perceive in them the workings of a restless, deathless spirit of Independence- the glimmering of an unquenchable spark of Patriotism, which a breath can raise to a flame-- the consciousness of an indestructible and ever active mind, susceptible of all that is great and good, or elevated and honorablean unearthly essence, which may be prepared for weal or wo-a blessing or a curse, to itself and to all surrounding existence.
Look abroad, too, over the face of your vast and almost illimitable continent, and behold multitudes, which no man can number, impatient of the slow process of education, wrestling with the powers of
nature and the obstructions of accident, and, like the Patriarch, refusing to let go their hold till the day break and they receive the promised blessing and the recompense of the struggle. You will perceive, too, in the remotest corners where civilization has planted her standard, there the Press, the mightiest engine ever yet invented by the genius of man, is producing a moral revolution on a scale of grandeur and magnificence, unknown to all former generations. By it, information of every transaction of government and of all important occurrences in the four quarters of the world, is transmitted with a degree of speed and regularity, that the most sagacious could not have foreseen, nor the most enthusiastic have dared to hope for, fifty years ago. By the Press, every cottage is supplied with its newspaper and elementary books in the most useful sciences, and every cradle is supplied with tracts and toy-books to teach the infant to lisp lessons of wisdom and piety, long before his mind has power to conceive or firmness to retain their meaning. The power of this engine, in the moral and intellectual universe, is inconceivable. There is no ordinary operation of the physical elements to which its mighty influence can be compared. We can find only in the visions of the apocalyptic Saint a parallel to its tremendous action. Guided by truth and reason, like the sound of the seventh trumpet, it opens the temple of God in Heaven, and shows to the eye of the faithful and regenerated spirit, within the veil of that temple, in the presencechamber of the Almighty, the ark of his testament.
Controlled by falsehood and fraud, its force, like the opening of the sixth seal of the mystic volume, produces earthquakes, turns the sun to sackcloth and the moon to blood, moves every mountain and island out of their places, and causes even the heaven we hope for to depart as a scroll when it is rolled together.
But if the first illustration, which meets you whenever you open your eyes to what is going on in your immediate presence, be too common, and fail to convince from the mere circumstance of its familiarity, and if the second be too bold and fanciful, turn your eyes eastward, and let them rest upon disenthralled and regenerated France. The sound of her thanksgiving at the triumph of public spirit over mean and selfish despotism, swells in every gale, and floats on every Atlantic wave. The public spirit of a few determined Printers, aided by no other engine of warfare than the Press, has expelled a blind and misguided monarch from the throne of his ancestors, and driven his stultified ministry from the palace of its power. Yes—let it be repeated—the Press, acting on public opinion, sustaining, encouraging, and cultivating public spirit, has produced almost a bloodless revolution in one of the proudest kingdoms of the world. The prophetic voice of the people--in this case most emphatically the voice of God-proclaimed in tones of thunder to the besotted monarch
Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the commandment, which the Lord thy God commanded thee, thy carcass shall not come into the sepulchre of thy