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Influence Of Dead Men

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"t men cUe and are forKollt'ii, aun spcak ; tlielr wottl of wisdom Pensil lq thc ears tliat heur tlim." Tilia wag Ule cry of saddened HiawaHm, who, gazing upon the graves of his falhers, mourned tbat they wero forgotten. Their memory only liyed in changing tradition and mystic legend. Their influenee ceased with the beatiug of their hearts. Men are lead by the wish for gain. It is accordinjf to their idea of what is bost for them to gaio, that they act. The savage who wishes to acquire the good will of his tribe or chieftain, perhaps, resorts to treachery with an eoeniy led by a difiFer ent motive, he fasta or inflicta torture upon himself that he may secure the favor of the Great Spirit. His civilized neighbor casu aside prinoiple for money and office; or spendsa fortune and years of toil for beneficient objects, or the furtlierance of justice, to gain the approval of his conscience which outlasts wealth or office, titles or hononj. To get the co-operation of men we must persuade them that they will gain by the proposed niethod of action. He is the great man who is able best to persuado his fellows. It may seem a simple matter to aid in moulding the ideas and shaping the actions of man when weare permitted to see them face to face, but when we can only reach them through a cold combination of signs or words, then, we are confronted. by the problem that troubles the one wnting for posterity or for distant lands. He knows Dtlher tba uirrouDdinga nor roIatSoM of his readers, therefore keen insight and judgment are necessary for him to presuppose them. W e all follow aftcr who have gone before, in a doublé sense. Besides suceeeding them we imítate their principies. Jjong after the days of Lyeurgus and Solon, of the Gracchi and Sulla their souls went " marching on." Their reforma were not teuiporary devicea to obvíate teniporary dansers. They were ïuore lasting. Tliey attecteU the history of their respective countnes and even after two thousand years have rolled over their forgotten grave their reforms are the foundations of law for civilized nations. The conquesta of Alexander extended the Greek laoguage into the Oriënt and made it tho language of the world's cotnmerce. The victories of Caesar brought the Latin tonguo into barbarie Gaul and Brittania and made it for centurics the language of literature. The vast empire of Charletuagne enabled him to advance the learning of Kurope. How would the Latin language and literature have partly civilized the barbariaos if Homan eagles had not fiit looked down upon theui as tbey passcd beneath the yokè ? How would the Koran have been spread through Arabia, l'ersia, Northern África and Spain if Mohammed had notdecided that "The sword is the key of heaven and heil?" In our own country we have at least two striking examples of the principies of men goveruing their country after they had gone to rest. The bold declaration of our own rightsby Patrick Henry, aüd the maintaining of them by George Washington, iave us a free land and republie. The prompt measurua ol' Lincoln aud thegiiiius jf Grant made us one people, and our oonititution no longer a iookry. The pesa ot Menry and Washington today influences the live and fortunes of fif'ty millions; that of Lincoln and Qrant tho destinies of íbur millions. Whuo we thiok of how long the rules of Aristotle, lloracc and Coroeille have beun observed in the drama and poetry, and how strong that influence is, even to the present day, we are filled with wonder at the depth of thought whicb, in tlio beginning, could erasp the details and ensemble so as to give rules holding good through cbanges in people, manners and language. The great influence of the largo majority of our writers and tliinkers is íelt only sfter their bodies have crumblcd away. ín f'act only sueh vcry preeocious persons as Mi! ton, l'ope, and Shelloy eould gnin a reputatiun that would wake them modela in the short time of' activity given to ujan. II' their lives. and thougtits be greut, tbe sale of' their works increases, thuir días gain in importantie, their followers grM! in uurubcrs, and alter doath the world looks to them as exaniples. The glory of a good writer lasts the longest, that of a great general is perhaps next upon the list, but tlu; victories of a politician are the sooncst fbrgotteu. This historian does not give place upon hú pajea to his triiiinphs. Bemaat hioudf wnu and describe thciu to uiake them lasting. llciwover, generally the man ntcoeufu] iu politics has a greater pleasuru fiom Mis works during lus lite than the writer. He sees his influence whae he onjoy it, when he can talca advantage of it. The writer too of'tun has to go to the grave unrewarded, and is conipelled to look upon the f'anie of his literary reuiains only as a shade, if there still be hade. On the other hand, the orator has the picasure of beholding uiasses of people hanging breathless upon his eloquent words and of seeing thein uioved at his will. A Colutubus dies, and active men beoosM explorers; a Gutenberc laju asido his climisy types, and the ciiies of civilization , are swariiïluk, ui, printer; ilie piilctte ut' Kaphuel becomeadry, and colnrs are spread upon thimsaiids ; a Newton odi an apple faili'ig duwnward, and the asviuma ut crowded with perpetual motion men ; Franklyn fliesa kite, and the olectric ipark couiiuuDicateH our ideas. If we obst-rvo earefully we will notice that more often tbe evil influence di.s with m.?vl""lef:ictor' but tlleood tbat is done ?„, '}VT Pnent. I his beautiful verse rings in our ears: ni Irleudn who u. re bul mm .,,, ,.,., i helr burled btnlta ubjüI rorsol Aja memory im-aks the sul.-mu gioon I li.-lr virtin-s ihlne beyond the Lomb. We love to follow the teachings of Aristotk- and Flato, oí' Chrut anJ the medi val fathers, oí' Luther and Kno.x, nr IViiu. and Marquette. The nfluence of' Cutaline, of JJurr, oí' Arnold or Davi.s onlv neods to be Telt and it is erushed out. The Iftttei squander tlieir pro]ierty Iboli4ilv and I ti-hly anl die luiserably. Meo liko l'iny or Huward speifd tlieir fortunes upon worthy object. The ood done by t is íiumeasurable, and they aro kept in gratetul remembrance. Thua we are tauglit by experience that wliether we teacb or write or act, we nhall have imitators f our work if noble, degpUere, if it ia base. The bad, the filie, and the unjust must perisn; tbe ood, the true, and the beautil'ul must live tbrever.


Ann Arbor Courier
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