Scotland! There is magic in the sound. Statesmen,
scholars, divines, heroes, poets! Do you want exemplars worthy of study and
imitation? Where will you find them brighter than in Scotland? Where can you
find them purer than in Scotland? Here, no Solon, indulging imagination, has
pictured the perfectibility of man; no Lycurgus, viewing him through the medium
of human frailty alone, has left for his government an iron code, graven on
eternal adamant; no Plato, dreaming in the luxurious gardens of the Academy, has
fancied what he should be, and bequeathed a republic of love; but sages, knowing
his weakness, have appealed to his understanding, cherished his virtues, and
chastised his vices.
Friends of learning! would you do homage at the
shrine of literature? would you visit her clearest founts? Go to Scotland! Are
you philosophers, seeking to explore the hidden mysteries of mind? Bend to the
genius of Stewart. Student, merchant, or mechanic! do you seek usefulness?
Consult the pages of Black and of Adam Smith. Grave barrister! would you know
the law, the true, sole expression of the people's will? There stands the mighty
Do we look for high examples of noble daring?
Where shall we find them brighter than in Scotland? From the "bonny highland
heather" of her lofty summits, to the modest lily of the vale, not a flower but
has blushed with patriot blood. From the proud foaming crest of the Solway, to
the calm, polished breast of Loch Katrine, not a river, not a lake, but has
swelled with the life tide of freedom. Would you witness greatness? Contemplate
a Wallace and a Bruce. They fought not for honors, for party, for conquest;
'twas for their country and their country's good, religion, law, and liberty.
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