gathered wearily to-day might be wrung from you by the caprice of the mob to-morrow,--that very Athena
probably secured, for its era, the greatest amount of human happiness and nobleness, invented art, and sounded for us the depths of philosophy.
God lent to it the largest intellects, and it flashes to-day the torch that gilds yet the mountain peaks of the Old World.
, the hunker conservative of antiquity, where nobody dared to differ from the priest or to be wiser than his grandfather; where men pretended to be alive, though swaddled in the grave-clothes of creed and custom as close as their mummies were in linen,--that Egypt
is hid in the tomb it inhabited, and the intellect Athens
has trained for us digs to-day those ashes to find out how buried and forgotten hunkerism lived and acted.
I knew a signal instance of this disease of scholar's distrust, and the cure was as remarkable.
In boyhood and early life I was honored with the friendship of Lothrop Motley
He grew up in the thin air of Boston
provincialism, and dined on such weak diet.
I remember sitting with him once in the State House
when he was a member of our legislature.
With biting words and a keen crayon he sketched the ludicrous points in the minds and persons of his fellow-members, and tearing up the pictures, said scornfully, “What can become of a country with such fellows as these making its laws?
No safe investments; your good name lied away any hour, and little worth keeping if it were not.”
In vain I combated the folly.
He went to Europe
; spent four or five years. I met him the day he landed on his return.
As if our laughing talk in the State House
had that moment ended, he took my hand with the sudden exclamation, “You were all right; I was all wrong!
a country worth dying for; better still, worth living and working for, to make ”