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OUR SOCIETY'S AUTHORS.

READ TO THE . B. K. AFTER THE ANNUAL DINNER,

August 29, 1839.

I SPEAK you no speech, and I sing you no song, And I hope not to keep you a minute too long; I but rise to propose that you drink, as a toast, "Our Society's Authors;" - not one, - but a host.

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I premise, that perhaps you're not fully aware— Though I am - how many and noted they are. Of those, in whose honors our land is so happy, How many belong to the Phi Beta Kappa! To recite all their names I by no means insist; "Twere a little too long for a post-dinner list. I leave out each annual poet and orator: That catalogue doubtless we all have memoriter. I leave out the Philistine phalanx of editors, Accounting them rather our debtors than creditors. And I silently pass, to save patience and time, All mere pamphleteers, both in prose and in rhyme. I propose but the bonos, meliores, et pessimos, Who appear in octavos and large duodecimos. (And thus I escape all allusion to self;

For no big book of mine burdens any one's shelf.)

First, gravely we fill, with our waters or wines,
To the names of the gravest—our brother Divines.
And, beginning at home, I produce on the scene
Our brother the Editor, no more the Dean,
Whose two ample octaves, erelong to be five,
Are enough to make any man's memory thrive;
Then Norton, the critic, sagacious, profound,

The fervent cloud-hater, who builds on firm ground;
And Harris, whose learned work, prized at a high rate,
Has twice been purloined by a base British pirate;
Our modest translator of prophecy, Noyes,

And the other translators, whose versions rejoice
The students that plod through the tomes of Mosheim,
Or seek the Eclectic, or love German rhyme;

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Then Burnap and Furness—each one with a volume;
And Jenks, too, ·with quarto, close printed and solemn ;
And Dewey, whose travels and sermons are fame ;
And Channing, the shout of whose eloquent name,
As a dear benediction or proud acclamation,
Rings loud from the echoes of every known nation.

Fill, next, to the LAWYERS, whose regal delight Is in extra-sized octaves, bound neatly in white. And here, as before, to begin with a resident,

We drink to the Author, the Judge, and our President; Felix prole Librum — and each one a star,

Calicolæ omnes all lights of the bar.

And around him arranged, lo! an eminent band,
Of Sullivan, Pickering, Phillips, and Rand,
And others demanding our hearty applause,
Who honor their country by serving her laws.

In order of merit and honor next follow The diploma'd disciples of HEALING APOLLO:

Men as scanty in books as they're various in humors;
From Warren, who prints about heart-pains and tumors,
To Oliver's treatise of learned Physiology,
And Bigelow's Botany, Flora, Technology.

Now, leaving the learned professions, our glass
Let us fill to the more MISCELLANEOUS CLASS.
First, honor and laud, as are due, let us render
To the Governor's volume of eloquent splendor.
From one of the name pass we on to the other,
And quaff to the author of "Europe," his brother;
And since all are brothers alike at this board,
I venture to mention "Palmyra" restored.
Then defer not the notice to one moment later,
Of those in the precincts of fair Alma Mater;

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Her Hedge, Farrar, Webster, and Cleaveland, and Peirce,
Whose labors can hardly be hitched into verse,
Philosophical titles, euphonious in science,

But setting the Muse and her rhymes at defiance;
And him who once lectured in old Harvard Hall,
But doffed the Professor at Madison's call,-

That true" old man eloquent," Adams,

in age

Filling up the strong lines of the Lecturer's page.

Then those who have TRAVELLED o'er mountain and

main ;

In Italy Lyman, and Cushing in Spain,

And Bigelow, roving from Scotland to Parthia,

And Devens, six weeks at the Vineyard of Martha.

Of POETS our own who have printed their tomes, We all have known Mellen, and all laughed with Holmes. We boast that the nervous and fanciful powers

Of Dana, the Idle Man, also, are ours;

And Bryant-the world never rings to his fame,
But our bosoms beat high to a brother's fair name.

Of HISTORIANS next, lo! the lengthening procession:
First, Bradford, Old Colony's honest expression;
Then Allen, whose ardor no industry dims,

With his five hundred Lives, and his six hundred Hymns;
Then the many fair writers in Sparks's Biography,
First trying their hands in small historiography;
As Upham, the eloquent champion of Vane;
And Peabody, guessing the matter out plain;
And Francis, portraying, as true pen should paint,
The career of the Indians' apostle and saint.
Next Quincy, who wrote his great father's career,
And has added his mother's within the last year;
Then Irving, who brings to his volumes of truth
The grace that adorned the light tales of his youth;
And Sparks, with his chapters transparent as day,
Inflexibly true, like the man they display;
And Bancroft, laborious, brilliant, and terse,
Enrobing grave truth in the diction of verse.
And Prescott, so favored beyond poet's dream,
To find, and then equal, that great epic theme.
When the nation's historical fame they discuss,
We will claim that that "thunder" belongs all to us.

Thus far of the living. But let me pass on To utter the eminent names that are gone.

They speak, though they live not; their tones and their

looks

Come back with their souls, when we turn to their books. Thus Tudor, Peirce, Frisbie, and Thacher, still live; Dehon, Haven, Stearns, and the Abbotts survive;

Amidst us do Parker and Bancroft still stand,
And Bowditch and Buckminster hallow our band.

Then pledge we in love, without fear or misgiving, To the fame of the dead, and the hopes of the living. We are proud of their works, we are proud of their number;

Their honor is ours, and our love shall not slumber.
Let Fame sound her trumpet, and tell to the breeze,
And the breeze to the nations o'er mountains and seas,
That our ancient fraternity, headed by STORY,
Quaffs to its authors the wine-cup of glory.

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