Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/365

This page needs to be proofread.


iiin,i-nl /..'." /iirtfufdi/. .'till

a king. He was as gentle as a woman in life; pure and nmdcst as a virgin in thought; \\atrhhil as a Roman vestal; submissive to lau Socrates, and grand in battle- as Achilles."

The profession of the soldier has been honored by his renown, the caiiM- <>f education by his virtues, religion by his piety.

" The greatest tfift a henxleaves his race- Is to have been a hero."

In the ancient East, it is said, the wandering Arabs are searching for treasures buried in the tombs of their monarchs. He whose memory we commemorate, on this, the ninety-first anniversary of his birth, has no treasures buried with him. The treasures of his lift- were brave, noble, unselfish deeds, which he left behind him to make the sons of men wiser, nobler and better.

OUR PRINCIPLES STILL LIVE.

I said our cause was lost, but it was lost only in the sense that we did not accomplish that for which we struggled, but the principles for which we contended still live. Clouds may obscure the sun, but it still shines; truth may be crushed to the earth, but it will rise again; principles of justice and right maybe trampled under the feet of demagogues and fanatics, but they still survive. All else may change and decay. Passing away is written upon all material things. "The grass of the field withereth; the flower thereof fadeth, the wind passeth over it, and it is gone." The tiny leaf springing from the expanding twig changes its color from summer beauty to autum- nal loveliness, and falls in withered worthlessness to the ground, teaching man who treads upon it a lesson of his own destiny. The granite peaks that stand like sentinels keeping watch over the valleys below, that have withstood the frost of centuries, around whose heads the lightnings of Heaven have harmlessly played, and on whose crest the lurid bolt as it leaped from the bosom of the storm-cloud has spent its force in vain, will succumb to the corroding touch of time and pass away. But the principles of right, which spring from the Eternal Throne, will survive "the wreck of matter and crush of worlds," and shine with resplendent lustre when illumined by the pure light of eternity.

The struggle was ended, the soldier perished, but the principles for which he fought survive, and I believe that the time will come when the Southern soldier will not only stand acquitted, but justified by the verdict of the world.