4
PREFACE.

faces, looking intently upon the moving train below. Sable draperies curtained and festooned whole rows of houses, and scarcely a block failed to exhibit some costly or tasteful device, in unison with the official preparations, and exhibiting the universal sympathy with the objects of this public homage.

Setting aside all of this, which might rightfully be attributed to individual vanity and love of display, or to the popular fondness for parades and holidays, there was in the whole proceeding a sincerity and earnestness of feeling rarely witnessed, and which is not likely to be witnessed by any man twice in his lifetime. The thought, unexpressed, and perhaps not clearly defined, produced a profound impression upon most minds, that with the death of the Illustrious Triumvirate, whose memory these obsequies were designed to honor, a great gulf has been opened between the present and the past of the country that we are entering upon a new era in our national career, without the counsels that have thus far been our guides--the genius that has illuminated our way--the eloquence and wisdom we have been accustomed to invoke, and have never found to fail us in moments of peril or doubt. The sense of national deprivation and national loss is thus obscurely mingled with misgivings for the future which a rigid examination by reason might not altogether justify,--but which testifies to the vast space occupied in men's thoughts and hearts by the Great Dead.

We are not of those who believe that nature exhausts itself in any age in the production of great minds: or that any epoch will be found in human history without the evolvement of the genius to grapple with events and shape them to the ends of human progress. Others will rise to take the mastery of their own generation, to become orators, philosophers, statesmen, for those who come after us.

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