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vales, and they have felt the thrill and the jar of the great world.
Those quiet, little nestling-places where we were born, are fast disappearing. The hill, where the long summer afternoons and we used to lie, and while they gilded the clouds that went floating by, we glorified them—that hill has been graded down, and the cars now thunder along, where breezes swept before.
The grove, where first we learned to build our castles in air, where every mossy tree had a name and a memory, some Vandal hand has felled to feed the hungry Engine.
Sublunary creation goes drifting by at thirty miles an hour, and they are crowding away the past, with its memories and its hallowed spots, its homes, its altars, and its groves, to make room for the future, that comes thundering on by steam.
Japhet passed a life in search of his father; the old world sought a new route to the Indies ; modern science is groping 'mid blinding snows and howling winters, for a northwest passage, and by and by, some man, wiser than Zimmerman, will be seeking a place whose echoes were never wakened by the snort of steam; that was never trenched with a canal, nor
webbed with a Telegraph-shall seek, but never find, till that house, the Grave-digger tells of, shall open to receive him.
Iron and Fire are achieving new triumphs, every day, over those twin foes of man, Time and Space.
Triumphs? You need not look for them where men are binding broad continents with clampings of iron. You can find them in the veriest trifles. Here now, they tell us, a bunch of flowers was sent from New-York in an exhausted case, to the World's Fair in London, and after a lapse of three months, were as beautiful as when they bloomed in the Eden of the West. This statement met your eyes ; you passed it over, forgot it. But here is the same fact, in another expression : Time challenged man to preserve even the flowers unwithered, and from month to month, they had faded and faded, in mockery of human power. It was even deemed a wonder when an American lady in London decked her hair with leaves flushed with the sunset of the year, in the forests of the new World—withered leaves, and nothing more. Space interposed his waste of waters, and said, remove those flowers from their parent stems, and if Time does not wither them at first, yet you shall bear them to their destination, dead flowers at last. Man ac
cepted that challenge, and he has come off victor. Here now is a Bouquet sent from the new world to the old—nothing more—and yet how many hours of thought, and years of toil, were necessary that it might be done. How the chemist sought to unweave the blue robe of air; how the philosopher proved it an ethereal sea, and manned the pumps in its clear depths, and created a vacuum, Nature's old abhor
How the miner delved, the furnace glowed, the blacksmith wrought, until that human engine waved round the steamer's wheels with its iron wand. And all this, before that floral gem plucked from the bosom of the New World, all warm and fragrant with her breath, could bloom awhile in the Crystal Palace of the British Isles. Oh! this is a trifle indeed, but it reveals the tide and turn of the battle.
It is wonderful how that hissing, panting, shrieking thing of iron, bears us all, not only away from home, but away from childhood, memory, and yesterday.
The past is left behind, and forgotten, and blushed for; but what of that? The past is dead; Let the dead past bury its dead.' Homes are desecrated, deserted, destroyed; but what of that? They were
, humble and old—there are better to come. Many a sweet flower of memory and affection is trampled and crushed beneath the iron heels and hurrying feet of an iron age; but what are flowers, but the fancywork of Nature's holidays? Childhood with its sweet borderings of morning, is stricken from the calendar; but what of that? Childhood, sweet pause, as it is, upon the threshold of life, with its foolish memories of fond mothers and doting fathers, and old songs, and the trees that bore our names, and the rooms where we were cradled, and the cots where we were born, and our little world within the horizon's azure ring : what are these to us? The trees are withered and felled; the roof-tree is mossy,
and humble and old ; the songs are mute like the harp in Tara’s halls ;' and the mothers, God grant they all are not dead! That'good time coming 'must have been sung, at last, to the brink of being born. What have we to do with trifles such as these? We are men and women, warriors all; we are practical people, wise people, we of this age, in the midst of the battle ; we have put away flowers, and fancies, and memories, and the past, with the trinkets—the rattle and the straw that pleased us then-among the idle rubbish of the brain. We are children no more. And we have come out, like the Trojan Prince from
burning Troy, but unlike him, we have left our household gods' behind us.
A watch-word is abroad. It has passed from leader to leader, and down and along the rank and file of the world. The world! And what a brigade the world makes! Here is no paltry centurion's command, but nations by battalions, generations by squadrons. How sublimely they are moving! Away on in the van, is
‘Bright Improvement on the car of Time.'
I see the Lion of England, and the Lilies of France, and the Stork of old Holland, and the Eagle of Columbia, blazoned upon their banners, and waving in
, the full noon of the age. One after another, tribes and tongues from under the whole Heaven, have fallen into line. The turbaned Turk has left his ottoman; the islands of the sea, with their gentle children, have taken up the march; the intermitting heart of old Europe, beats a salute, like the sound of a stream in an ancient cave, as the world goes by, and even the drowsy East’ has looked out from its windows of sunrise. On they move to the magic of that word. Progress. There is no Rubicon, but the Cæsars are not extinct. Scouts boldly plunge into she shadows of the Future, take captive mornings