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 229

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Page 229

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 229
by the wandering bard ; by the philosopher in his
grove or portico, his tower or laboratory ; by the pale
student in his closet. We contemplate with awe the
mighty movements of the last eighty years, and we
held our breath while we gazed upon the heaving hu-
man mass so lately struggling like huge Leviathan,
over the broad face of Europe. What has thus stirred
the world ? The press. The press, which has scat-
tered far and wide the sparks of genius, kindling as
they fly. Books, Journals, Pamphlets, these are the
paixhan balls moulded often by the obscure and
humble, but loaded with fiery thoughts—which have
burst in the sides of every structure, political, so-
cial and religious, and shattered too often, alike the
rotten and the sound. For, in knowledge as in
everything else, the two great principles of Good
and Evil maintain their eternal warfare " 0 uycvv
uvri 7rcevrcvv uycvvcvv" a war amid and above all
other wars.
But, in the strife of knowledge, unlike other con-
tests victory never fails to abide with truth. The
wise and virtuous who find and use this mighty weap-
on, are sure of their reward. It may rot come soon.
Years, ages, centuries may pass away, and the grave-
stone may have crumbled above the head that should
have worn the wreath. But to the eye of faith, the
vision of the imperishable and inevitable halo that
shall enshrine the memory is forever present, cheer-
ing and sweetening toil, and compensating for priva-
tion. And it often happens that the great and heroic
mind, unnoticed by the world, buried apparently in
profoundest darkness, sustained by faith, works c.. ut
the grandest problems of human progress working