Judith Sargent Murray Society
JSM's dates: 1751-1820
The Repository. No. I.
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This essay appeared in the September 1792 edition of the Massachusetts Magazine under the name "Constantia." It examines the power and influence of the written word.

The Repository. No. I.
AID me, thou happy instrument -- Pen, come to my assistance -- thou wilt beguile the solitary hours -- catch the spontaneous reflections, and presenting them to the sober eye of retrospection, give unto reason an opportunity of deciding upon their merit -- Many, and conspicuous are thy virtues -- bards have raised the song to thy praise, and revolving ages have witnessed thy utility -- thou givest permanency to the voice of man—from thee sound receives the glowing tint -- reason assumes a shape -- ideas are clothed with bodies, and every thought standeth confessed before us. Well hath the poet delineated thy worth, for thy language, however silent, doth indeed penetrate beyond the boldest note -- it outstrips the thunder's loudest peal, and it conveys to the utmost verge of this our world the softest whispers of the gentlest breast -- to thy deserving votaries thou bequeathest deathless fame -- ever blooming is the immortality of thy gift, and the fairest wreath encircles the brows of thy children.



2007 © Bonnie Hurd Smith

Independent scholar and author Bonnie Hurd Smith is the president and CEO of History Smiths, a marketing company that works with businesses to incorporate history -- their own and their community's -- into their branding, marketing, and community outreach to attract customers, boost customer loyalty, and secure a high status reputation in the communities they serve.