From some infernal clime,
To pluck the eyes of Sentiment,
And break the legs of Time."
THE above lines occurred to my mind after reading the article entitled "Sentiment in the Magenta," which appeared in the last Advocate. The impression first made upon me was that of astonishment, which soon gave way to feelings of regret that the sentiments expressed in the above-mentioned article should exist among Harvard men. How can we wonder at the rapid progress of irreverence among young Americans! With what justice can we complain of the ignorant foreign population, by whose voice our great cities are governed, when our educated young men give utterance to such thoughts!
Sentiment is one of the strongest incentives to patriotism. A nation that has no past is to be much pitied, but a nation that has great men and glorious deeds to look back to, and yet wilfully turns its face the other way, - that nation, indeed, is in want of speedy assistance. Athens and Rome neglected the examples and memory of their ancestors, and fell. Let us hope that the American republic, upon which so much depends, and to which so many look with anxious hope, will not follow in their footsteps; for, if she does, the result is certain.
The anniversary of Washington's Birthday should be observed, because upon that day was born a man to whose untiring energy, and disinterested patriotism, the inhabitants of these United States owe their present liberty. It is fitting that this should be brought to our minds, that thereby we may remember that past to which we should look with joy and reverence. We support the keeping of Christmas because it is the anniversary of the birth of our Saviour.
The writer seems to think that trees "from some forest primeval," if transplanted to the burying-ground to-morrow, would give the same pleasure to the citizens of Boston as the Paddock Elms did. I very much doubt it. Would an elm transplanted from Boston Common give as much pleasure to the people of Cambridge as the Washington Elm does? Suppose that Massachusetts were to be pulled down and sold for old bricks, would another aged brick building, if moved to its place, inspire us with the same interest and affection which we now feel towards that venerable pile?
"Whether fuel has risen," or not, I cannot say, but I can state that a large sum of money was paid by the Metropolitan Railroad to have the elms removed. The majority of the small traders and mechanics do not vote. If the writer in the Advocate wishes to convince himself of the fact, let him stand near the polls for an hour or two some day when an election is going on.
I regret that my remarks about the present Senior Class should have been apparently misinterpreted. I thought of it merely as a small part of the educated young men of the country, and hoped, by mentioning it in particular, to strike nearer home.