Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> An Oration Delivered Before the Two Societies of the South Carolina College, on the 4th of Dec., 1849 >> Page 227

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Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 227
he could wield, the blessings he could confer on man-
kind and their posterity, and the renown he might
achieve for himself beyond embalming his name in
the catalogue of Kings, or Presidents, or Ministers,
would depend entirely upon the greatness of his ge-
nius, and the knowledge and the wisdom he had ac-
quired by its assiduous cultivation.
Thus, if we should pass in review all the pursuits
of mankind, and all the ends they aim at, under the
instigation of their appetites and passions, or at the
dictation of shallow utilitarian philosophy, we shall
find that they pursue shadows and worship idols, and
that whatever there is that is good and great and cath-
olic in their deeds and purposes, depends for its ac-
complishment upon the intellect, and is accomplished
just in proportion as that intellect is stored with know-
ledge. And, whether we examine the present or the
past, we shall find that Knowledge alone is real power
" more powerful," says Bacon, " than the Will, com-
manding the reason, understanding, and belief," and
" setting up a Throne in the spirits and souls of men."
We shall find that the progress of knowledge is the
only true and permanent progress of our race, and
that, however inventions, discoveries, and events which
change the face of human affairs, may appear to be
the results of contemporary efforts or providential ac-
cidents, it is in fact the Men of Learning who lead
with noiseless step the vanguard of civilization, that
mark out the road over which---opened sooner or later
posterity marches ; and from the abundance of their
precious stores sow seed by the wayside, which spring
up in due season, and produce an hundred fold—cast-
ing bread upon the waters which is gathered after