Christopher Columbus and His Monument Columbia Part 17

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FITZ-GREENE HALLECK, a noted American poet. Born in Guilford, Conn., July 8, 1790; died November 19, 1867.

Thy voice sounds like a prophet's word, And in its hollow tones are heard The thanks of millions yet to be.

Come when his task of fame is wrought, Come with her laurel-leaf, blood-bought, Come in her crowning hour, and then Thy sunken eye's unearthly light To him is welcome as the sight Of sky and stars to prison'd men; Thy grasp is welcome as the hand Of brother in a foreign land; Thy summons welcome as the cry That told the Indian isles were nigh To the world-seeking Genoese, When the land wind, from woods of palm, And orange groves, and fields of balm, Blew o'er the Haytian seas.


MURAT HALSTEAD, an American journalist. Born at Ross, Ohio, September 2, 1829. From "Genoa--the Home of Columbus," a paper in _Cosmopolitan_, May, 1892.

The Italian coast all around the Gulf of Genoa is mountainous, and the mountains crowd each other almost into the sea. Land that can be built upon or cultivated is scarce, and the narrow strips that are possible are on the sunny southern slopes. The air is delicious. The orange trees in December lean over the garden walls, heavy with golden spheres, and the gra.s.s is green on the hills, and when a light snow falls the roses blush through the soft veil of lace, and are modest but not ashamed, as they bow their heads. The mountains are like a wall of iron against the world, and from them issues a little river whose waters are pure as the dew, until the washerwomen use them and spread clothing on the wide s.p.a.ces of clean gravel to dry. The harbor is easily defended, and with the same expensive equipment would be strong as Gibraltar. It is in this isolation that the individuality of Genoa, stamped upon so many chapters of world-famous history, grew. There is so little room for a city that the buildings are necessarily lofty. The streets are narrow and steep.

The pavements are blocks of stone that would average from two to three feet in length, one foot in width, and of unknown depth. Evidently they are not constructed for any temporary purpose, but to endure forever.

When, for a profound reason, a paving-stone is taken up it is speedily replaced, with the closest attention to exact restoration, and then it is again a rock of ages.


Among the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America, that of the city of Hamburg, in Germany, will occupy a prominent place. On October 1st an exhibition will be opened at which objects will be on view that bear on the history of the act of discovery, on the condition of geographical science of the time, and on the conditions of the inhabitants of America at the time of the discovery. Side by side with these will be exhibited whatever can show the condition of America at the present time. On the date of the discovery of the little Island of Guanahani--that is, October 12th--the celebration proper will take place. The exercises will consist of songs and music and a goodly array of speeches. In the evening, tableaux and processions will be performed in the largest hall of the city. The scenery, costumes, and implements used will all be got up as they were at the time of the discovery, so as to furnish a real representation of the age of Columbus.


EDWARD J. HARDING, in the Chicago _Tribune_, September 17, 1892.


What came ye forth to see?

Why from the sunward regions of the palm, And piney headlands by the northern main, From Holland's watery ways, and parching Spain, From pleasant France and storied Italy, From India's patience, and from Egypt's calm, To this far city of a soil new-famed Come ye in festal guise to-day, Charged with no fatal "gifts of Greece,"

Nor Punic treaties double-tongued, But proffering hands of amity, And speaking messages of peace, With drum-beats ushered, and with shouts acclaimed, While cannon-echoes l.u.s.ty-lung'd Reverberate far away?


Our errand here to-day Hath warrant fair, ye say; We come with you to consecrate A hero's, ay a prophet's monument; Yet needs he none, who was so great; Vainly they build in Cuba's isle afar His sepulcher beside the sapphire sea; He hath for cenotaph a continent, For funeral wreaths, the forests waving free, And round his grave go ceaselessly The morning and the evening star.

Yet is it fit that ye should praise him best, For ye his true descendants are, A spirit-begotten progeny; Wherefore to thee, fair city of the West, From elder lands we gladly came To grace a prophet's fame.


Beauteous upon the waters were the wings That bore glad tidings o'er the leaping wave Of sweet Hesperian isles, more bland and fair Than lover's looks or bard's imaginings; And blest was he, the hero brave, Who first the tyrannous deeps defied, And o'er the wilderness of waters wide A sun-pursuing highway did prepare For those true-hearted exiles few The house of Liberty that reared anew.

Nor fails he here of honor due.

These goodly structures ye behold, These towering piles in order brave, From whose tall crests the pennons wave Like tropic plumage, gules and gold; These ample halls, wherein ye view Whate'er is fairest wrought and best-- South with North vying, East with West, And arts of yore with science new-- Bear witness for us how religiously We cherish here his memory.


Yet sure, the adventurous Genoese Did never in his most enlightened hours Forecast the high, the immortal destinies Of this dear land of ours.

Nay, could ye call him hither from his tomb, Think ye that he would mark with soul elate A kingless people, a schismatic State, Nor on his work invoke perpetual doom?

Though the whole Sacred College o'er and o'er p.r.o.nounce him sainted, prophet was he none Who to Cathaia's legendary sh.o.r.e Deemed that his bark a path had won.

In sooth, our Western pioneer Was all as prescient as he Who cried, "The desert shall exult, The wild shall blossom as the rose,"

And to a pa.s.sing rich result Through summer heats and winter snows Toiling to prove himself a seer, Accomplished his own prophecy.

Lo, here a greater far than he, A prophet nation hath its dwelling, With mult.i.tudinous voice foretelling, "Man shall be free!"


h.e.l.las for Beauty, Rome for Order, stood, And Israel for the Good; Our message to the world is Liberty; Not the rude freedom of anarchic hordes, But reasoned kindness, whose benignant code Upon the emblazoned walls of history We carved with our good swords, And crimsoned with our blood.

Last, from our eye we plucked the obscuring mote, (Not without tears expelled, and sharpest pain,) From swarthy limbs the galling chain With shock on mighty shock we smote, Whereby with clearer gaze we scan The heaven-writ message that we bear for man.

Not ours to give, as erst the Genoese, Of a new world the keys; But of the prison-world ye knew before Hewing in twain the door, To thralls of custom and of circ.u.mstance We preach deliverance.

O self-imprisoned ones, be free! be free!

These fetters frail, by doting ages wrought Of basest metals--fantasy and fear, And ignorance dull, and fond credulity-- Have moldered, lo! this many a year; See, at a touch they part, and fall to naught!

Yours is the heirship of the universe, Would ye but claim it, nor from eyes averse Let fall the tears of needless misery; Deign to be free!


The prophets perish, but their word endures; The word abides, the prophets pa.s.s away; Far be the hour when h.e.l.las' fate is yours, O Nation of the newer day!

Unmeet it were that I, Who sit beside your hospitable fire A stranger born--though honoring as a sire The land that binds me with a closer tie Than hers that bore me--should from sullen throat Send forth a raven's ominous note Upon a day of jubilee.

Yet signs of coming ill I see, Which Heaven avert! Nay, rather let me deem That like a bright and broadening stream Fed by a hundred affluents, each a river Far-sprung and full, Columbia's life shall flow By level meads majestically slow, Blessing and blest forever!


JEAN HARDOUIN, a French Jesuit. Born at Quimper, 1646; died, 1729.

The rotation of the earth is due to the efforts of the d.a.m.ned to escape from their central fire. Climbing up the walls of h.e.l.l, they cause the earth to revolve as a squirrel its cage.


_By the President of the United States of America. A proclamation:_

WHEREAS, By a joint resolution, approved June 29, 1892, it was resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress a.s.sembled, "That the President of the United States be authorized and directed to issue a proclamation recommending to the people the observance in all their localities of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America, on the 21st day of October, 1892, by public demonstration and by suitable exercises in their schools and other places of a.s.sembly."

Now, THEREFORE, I, Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States of America, in pursuance of the aforesaid joint resolution, do hereby appoint Friday, October 21, 1892, the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus, as a general holiday for the people of the United States. On that day let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life.

Columbus stood in his age as the pioneer of progress and enlightenment.

The system of universal education is in our age the most prominent and salutary feature of the spirit of enlightenment, and it is peculiarly appropriate that the schools be made by the people the center of the day's demonstration. Let the national flag float over every school-house in the country, and the exercises be such as shall impress upon our youth the patriotic duties of American citizenship.

In the churches and in the other places of a.s.sembly of the people, let there be expressions of grat.i.tude to Divine Providence for the devout faith of the discoverer, and for the Divine care and guidance which has directed our history and so abundantly blessed our people.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 21st day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-two, and of the independence of the United States the one hundred and seventeenth.


~~~~~ By the President.

{L. S.} ~~~~~ JOHN W. FOSTER, _Secretary of State_.

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Christopher Columbus and His Monument Columbia Part 17 summary

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