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undulation, steep to the blue water, studded here and there with new-mown heaps, filling all the air with fainter sweetness,-look up towards the higher hills, where the waves of everlasting green roll silently into their long inlets among the shadows of the pines ; and we may, perhaps, at last know the meaning of those quiet words of the 147th Psalm, “He maketh grass to grow upon the mountains."
There are also several lessons symbolically connected with this subject, which we must not allow to escape us. Observe the peculiar characters of the grass, which adapt it especially for the service of man, are its apparent humility and cheerfulness. Its humility, in that it seems created only for lowest service, -appointed to be trodden on and fed upon. Its cheerfulness, in that it seems to exult under all kinds of violence and suffering. You roll it, and it is stronger the next day; you mow it, and it multiplies its shoots, as if it were grateful ; you tread upon it, and it only sends up richer perfume. Spring comes, and it rejoices with all the earth,-glowing with variegated flame of flowers,-waving in soft depth of fruitful strength. Winter comes, and though it will not mock its fellow plants by growing then, it will not pine and mourn, and turn colourless or leafless as they. It is always green; and is only the brighter and gayer for the hoar-frost.
THE LAST HOUR OF THE LEAGUE.
ELIHU BURRITT. DURING my voyage I could not but deem it the most felicitous coincidence of my life, that I was permitted to cross the ocean in the same ship that had brought to America, and was then carrying back to Old England, such tidings of peace and good will to both. But on my arrival in Manchester, I found that there was in reserve for me a pleasure well worth a voyage round the world to experience. I had scarcely exchanged greetings with my friends here, when I was informed that the last meeting of the League was about to be convened in the Town Hall; and I was invited to witness a scene, the like of which has never been recorded in the
annals of human history. I went with emotions of interest I cannot describe. The room was but partially filled when we entered. As I looked at the groups of individuals engaged in earnest conversation, I perceived in every face and in every tone, the sentiment of some unusual occasion. The gratulations and greetings were earnest and warm, but softened, I fancied, by emotions felt and understood by all. There was an April morning in the July sunshine of that hour of joy. Every heart seemed busy with affecting associations and memories of the past. The long struggle was over. The mightiest enemy of the British people had been overcome. There was nothing left for the League to conquer in its organized capacity. Having prostrated a policy that fettered the commerce of the world, and muzzled the mouth of labour in every field of toil, it was to die, in the midst of its strength, in the very hour of triumph. Like Alexander, it had conquered a world; but, unlike him, it saw other worlds to conquer, and possessed the strength to conquer them. But it had reached the boundary line which it had drawn to its victories, and there it was now to disband. A few moments more, and the curtain was to open and close upon one of the most remarkable scenes that ever transpired in the civilized world. No one could have remained unmoved by the pensive sympathies that pervaded the assembly. At the reporters' table, reaching nearly across the hall, in front of the forum, were seated a score of men from different parts of the kingdom, preparing their pens and paper to give a vocal ubiquity to the lightest word that should be uttered in that consummationhour by the leaders of the League. There were The Times' reporters from London, with the harnessed lightnings waiting to bear to the metropolis the quick cross-marks of their phonographic pens. The atmosphere, even, seemed waiting for the message of that hour. The seats on the speakers' platform were now fast filling up with men distinguished in the councils of the association. Few places remained to be occupied ; and these were evidently reserved for those whose names were to be held in grateful remembrance among all nations.
A general outburst of cheers now greeted the entrance of some one. Men on the platform arose from their seats to make way for him; and the next moment the President of the League took the chair, in the midst of enthusiastic and long-continued cheering. Scarcely had this demonstration of feeling subsided, when the hall shook again with acclamations of welcome, which grew louder and louder into a tempest of enthusiasm, as one of the meekestlooking of men, with a face transparent with the reflection of serious thoughtfulness, made his way, modestly and even timidly, to a seat on the right of the chairman. He raised his clear, earnest, thoughtful eyes, and looked around the assembly; and the cheers rose again, and I saw old merchants bow their heads to keep their tears out of sight. The pathos of the moment was indescribably affecting, and eloquent with emotions of years of ordinary life. Richard Cobden stood before him, and this was the hour of his triumph !
Again the house resounded with rounds of acclamation, which greeted to the platform the eloquent associate of Cobden; and John Bright, full of the robust ardour of young manhood, in his carriage, in his voice, and in his eye, sat down on the left of the chair.
The men and the moment had come; and the curtain was lifted upon the last act of the scene. The President of the League arose. He had risen a thousand times before in its councils, in times of doubt, trial, and toil, to speak of the brave realities of the hopeful future. That future had come, with its bosom full of the substance of things hoped for, and laboured for, through years of enduring faith ; and he stood up before the League with the past and present alone in his hand and heart. He had risen to perform the last act of his office ; to commit the “great fact” of the League, with all the attributes of its existence, to the pages of history, to live among the immortal relics of the past. He opened, with deep emotion, at the first chapter of that existence. It read like the first chapter of every great moral reformation that has changed the condition of the world. It began substantially with “ they met together in a little upper room.” Every enterprise that has blessed humanity has originated in some "little upper room ;" where men who dared to make themselves of no reputation for the good of their race, have met to pray or to plan. It is always in this little upper room department of a reform, that the faith of the few becomes a great fact, and the little one a thousand. And it was from this little upper room that the President of the League conducted us through all the epochs of its eventful history. A few Sibylline leaves, impressed with the faith of the few, and the reasons of their hope, were scattered along the footpaths of the
people, and the people read them gladly. “Little upper rooms” became too small for the multitudes that assembled to hear more of this matter. The League gradually expanded to the compass of the kingdom, and large halls were erected, and associations formed, for the discussion and dissemination of its principles. Every house was visited, and all the highways of society were strewn with tracts and other speaking missiles to the popular mind. The orators of the League went from people to parliament, and from parliament to people, and the forums of both trembled with their eloquence. The press voiced their burning words of truth to millions of earnest readers, till the arguments of Cobden and Bright came home, trumpet-tongued, to their convictions. In the thickest of the great moral contest, Providence had cooperated with the contenders for the right, and made Hunger its prime minister of mercy to the people ; and a cry went up for bread that broke through the stone walls of man's obdurate heart, and decided the victory. MONOPOLY, the world's Giant of Despair and Doubting Castle, had been laid low in the dust, and its famished prisoners set free on the high road to peace and plenty. The President turned to the Great-heart of the League, and sat down.
Cobden arose ; not to speak for the space of several minutes, but to stand up in affecting silence before the assembly, who would have drowned the voice of a trumpet with the swelling peals of applause with which they greeted the soft-voiced revolutionist of a new age. Several times he attempted to speak ; but, before he could frame the utterance of a word, the multitude would burst forth anew in another round of cheers. It was touching to see him first turn this way and then that towards the people, and move his lips in the vain attempt to put out a word upon the torrent of grateful acclamation. I saw his clear, spirit-speaking eyes fill with tears, on being thus interrupted, for the third time, in his efforts to make himself heard. There he stood, the meekest-looking man I ever saw fronting a public assembly. With his slight form gently inclining forward,one of his thin, pale hands depending by the forefinger from a buttonhole in the left breast of his coat, and with the other leaning, as if for support, on one corner of the speaker's desk, he reminded me of a humble member of the Methodist Church in America, arising, for the first time, in one of their class meetings, to“ tell his expe
rience” with a contrite spirit. The first words he uttered fell upon the listening assembly in tones of quivering modulation. They were uttered in child-like simplicity, and were tremulous with the emotion he confessed. He adverted, in a touching manner, to the fact, that they were assembled to disband their association at the moment of its triumph. He spoke of the unanimity that had pervaded its counsels, from the earliest period of its existence to the present happy consummation of its destiny. The pressure of the opposition they had encountered, and of the obstacles that had surrounded them, had rendered their union more compact. Now that this opposition and these obstacles had been overcome, it might be safer to dissolve in the spirit of union, than to retain their organization, in the full force of its executive agencies, after the cause and necessity of its existence had been removed. He addressed a word of comfort to an emotion that pervaded the assembly, by saying that the best part of the League would not die in its dissolution. Its spirit would live and pervade the earth. Disembodied from the League, it would seek voluntary forms of existence, which would fill all the avenues of practical philanthropy, and work on for the people's good. In the most delicate manner, he softened down the eminence to which his fellow-countrymen would raise him, by reminding them of the exertions of the earliest pioneers in the cause—men who had entered the field before him, and, with untiring assiduity and zeal, had cleared away its tangled thickets of difficulty and obstruction, leaving a free course for their successors. It was beautiful, and showed the true greatness of the man. He commended to the gratitude of those so grateful and generous to him, the upper room few, and the first acts of their heroic faith ; the men who strewed the by-roads of the people with tracts and the priceless foliage of truthful thoughts. He scattered the laurels wreathed for his brow in every direction, out of apparent love to see them worn by others, whom the people might forget in concentrating their admiration on him. With a graceful simplicity he twined a wreath around the brow of England's young Queen, and paid a delicate tribute to the wish in her heart, that the poor people of her kingdom might have cheap bread. What a lesson might Alexander, Cæsar, or Bonaparte, have learned had they been there to hear Cobden, in the singleness of his heart, commending his rivals in reputation to the admiration of his