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honest payment of our debts, and sacred preservation of the public faith ; encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce as its handmaid; the diffusion of information, and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public reason; freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of person under the protection of the Habeas Corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected.” Sir, with the earnestness of one who loves the Republic, I believe that if we will grasp the people more closely to us in the bonds of a common patriotism, show them an example of high political morality among the intelligent and powerful, place before them the ancestral faiths as the texture of our national being, touch arms and hearts with them as part and parcel of the common body politic, public sentiment will become more lofty, patriotism will be revived and made more holy, and without touching limb or twig of its mighty power, democracy will be disenthralled from the tendencies which disturb the day. These alone, sir, are the mighty agents which will dethrone the Boss, break the Machine, correct abuses, and touch again with life the altars of the country where deep down in the hearts of the people the fires of patriotism are burning clear and true. Will this save the Republic? That it will, I again summon as witness the mighty spirit of him from whose heart and hand were born the words and spirit of our Constitution. “These principles,” says the Father of the Constitution, “form the bright constellation that has gone before and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust. And should we wander from them in moments of error and alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.” The witnesses are about us to-night that these words are as true to-day as they were in the springtime of the Republic. The splendor of this presence of the learned, the great, and the powerful within the gates of this imperial city, listening to the words of a plain mountain man as he tells of the simple faiths of the Republic, fills me with hopes unspeakable for the perpetuity of our free government. Aye, sir, I can bear the message to the plain people of the country that here, amidst the silks and spices, the glitter and power of incomprehensible wealth, the hurry of trade, surrounded by all of the novel concomitants of our civilization, still abide the simple faiths of our ancestors. In my home, on the banks of a sweet Southern river, under the shadows of the mountains keeping their eternal watch and ward over the men who ceaselessly come and go, in the simple room where I read my books, stands a marble pedestal surmounted by a broken slab of stone. Traced in its brazen binding are the momentous words: “On this stone, at Montgomery, Alabama, February the eighteenth, 1861, Jefferson Davis was inaugurated President of the Confederate States of America.” By some chance of the books, I found on the broken, worn piece of stone the Life of Abraham Lincoln, and from its white leaves there breathed, as the glory of the fruition of a good man's prayer, louder and clearer than the relic freighted with the precious argosy of our tears, these words of encouragement to those who hope and believe in the immortality of our free institutions: “That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth.” And may the Almighty, who has glorified the Republic and blessed its people, in all of the days keep ever present to you of the city your faith in these almost inspired words, for it is of more permanent value to mankind than all the jewels, the gold and the silver, and the houses within your encircling waters.
HEN in a great city, surrounded by all of the W W concomitants of the material glory of this era, in sight of ships laden for far-off lands, jostled with hurrying crowds filled with the absorbing spirit of the age, I received the courteous note of the distinguished president of your college asking me to be here on this day, it seemed to be redolent with the spirit of the old Virginia and her sacrifices for this country's good. The splendid and self-sacrificing labors of your president for Virginia surely entitles him to call upon her sons to hold up his hands in his earnest and effective work for the re-creation of the glories of the old State. Hoping that we may be touched with the spirit of Virginia life, I am here to discuss, in my humble way, the manner in which we should meet the duties of this important era. On occasions like this, fraught with such importance to the developing minds and energies of the young men of my country, I would wish for opportunity for that reflection which indulgence from exacting labor alone can give. Such, however, cannot be allowed by
the spirit of the day. Our country is building a majestic temple to this era, and it is only when the censers are swinging slowly and the keys of our resounding progress are touched for the moment on a minor note, that the humble workman, in the shade of lintel and architrave, even for a time, can allow plummet, trowel, and plane to fall from his busy hands. In the life of every country, there arrive eras or epochs dominated by the spirit or tendency of the time. These eras take their course, affecting the country for good or for evil, according as their spirit is met by the people. The bad effects of an era are as plainly to be observed upon the habits and thought of a people as the murky waters of a sewer are to be seen discoloring a pellucid stream. If, however, an era is wisely met, its passing leaves a nation tingling with an exalted patriotism. If a nation fails at the crucial time to so meet the bad tendency of an era, it is left struggling with the seeds of disease. These statements are the oft-told tales, the mere truisms of political history, and I will not expend the time, which your partiality has so kindly allotted to me, in discussing other eras of our history; but, without further delay, we will call to your attention the era of to-day, with its power for good or for evil, and to your tremendous part in preserving its real spirit and glory, and in protecting our institutions from its inherent dangers. The untold wealth garnered from our fertile land; the golden incense drifting from the tall towers of our manufactories, flooding new countries, enveloping