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tenance and hands unsullied. Here, in old Virginia's land, I would surround you with spirits more glorious than any worshipped in marble fane on Thessalian mountain-top. Here would I assemble your fathers, proud spirits of freedom, and, uplifted by their unseen presence, pray that the civilization erected by them should never be sullied by wrong. Where, in what land, can you touch such holy inspiration for love of country, and if, holding for naught their sacrifices and tears, with impious hands you should touch this temple of the world's hopes, where so deep a curse? With every swelling mountain a temple of memories, holy and sweet, and every valley a tented field where wait in rest the spectred hosts of Virginia's glorious dead, touched with the grace of such example, you can do naught of dishonor to your country's life. Proud Virginia, matchless mother of stately sons, self-immolated on freedom's altar, with thy bosom seamed and torn, yet with thy soul white and pure, thy sons greet thee, and touching hands around thy altar, they swear fealty to truth and honor. And oh, my country, above thy stately palaces, higher than the splendors of thy labor born from thy heart of endeavor, may thou erect a temple, enduring and glorious, which will be crowned with a citizenship matchless in its intelligence, unapproachable in its virtue, whose light shall touch with gladness and hope all the nations which on this earth do dwell
Mr. President, Ladies, and Gentlemen :
W M 7 HEN your honored invitation came it carried me in my thoughts to Virginia, to the Great Valley where I first saw the light. With the glamour of youth's enchantment lingering yet a little, I saw old Virginia's hills with the sunshine glorifying farm and village, mirroring itself in the bright waters, and clothing mountain and valley with wealth of green and gold. A vision came to me of the old Commonwealth as I remember it in my childhood. Again I saw her worn from battle-field and adversity, again Iwitnessed her sorrows, her sacrifices, her courage, her high honor, her glory, everything save dishonor. This fair valley still reverberated with the thunderous tread of the angel of the spear and the sword. Never since Alaric harried Italy and Gaul, never since Alva ravaged the Low Countries has the hand of fate held for a people such hard conditions. I wish to awaken no sad memories, for your faces are turned to the glory of the rising morning, not to the rays of the setting sun. Yet, in the pages of what "An address delivered June 17, 1908, before the Literary
Societies of Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va. 248
book, from the broad field of what experience, can I better gather for you lessons of high resolve than from the heroic endeavor and exalted ideals with which our fathers and mothers crowned with unexampled grace this land of the South 2 Here in this old State, my native land, under the portal of this hoary University, listening to the heartthrobs of those whose blood flows with mine, feeling the touch of unseen hands, and hearing the music of a voice tuned to the choir of the Blessed, I am surrounded by the tender memories of the days that are gone. An angel winged its way to our earth to find here the sweetest and best to take back to the radiance of Heaven. There was wafted on the sunshine the perfume of the rose and it was garnered as worthy to enter the holy streets. Anon, under the shadows of the gathering evening, the smile of a babe as it slept in its cradle was clasped to the bosom of the messenger, and then, beneath the drooping eaves of an humble cottage, there was found a mother's love. When at the Pearly Gates the bosom of the angel was loosed of its burden, the perfume of the rose had wasted, the smile of the babe had waned, and the mother's love alone was left to pass the lintel of Heaven. God bless my mother's love. Everything that I am is her honor and here at her old home, glorified with her love and ennobled by her sacrifices, I wish in this splendid presence to make to her memory my loving obeisance. God bless our mothers of our South, from whose spotless souls came our earliest aspirations for good, who, when the cruse of oil was failing and the meal in the barrel was wasting, looked with eyes of hope beyond that of men, to that better land where the dews are distilled into plenty and where the prayers of faith are always answered God bless the mothers of the South ! When our fair land was wasted and war had ploughed deep and broad the furrow which divided the affections of our country, it was the mother who, walking firmly and securely with Him who said, “And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek, offer also the other,” taught the sections those exalted humanities which bound again in love and confidence the peoples of this great nation. With splendid resolve the men and women of the South turned their lives to the broken home and the desolate field, to the rebuilding of our prostrate civilization, and the song of the wheels is not their requiem but a paean of victory. These fields of plenty about us, this glory of completed endeavor, this marvellous re-creation and perpetuation of the life of the South attest to us the exalted patriotism of our fathers, which is of infinite importance to the country in the changes of the day. It is this patriotism of the South, and its influences upon the present, which in my homely manner I wish to present in this discourse. From the very texture of its civilization, the origin and habits of its people, and their political and social as well as local environment, the South has been beyond other people with whom I am acquainted controlled by ideals. The controlling ideal of the South has been patriotism, the patriotism of State and locality.
I do not apologize for the theme. It is old fashioned, but amidst the complication of the affairs of modern life, and considering the change of the texture of thought as to governmental direction, is it not best for us to recur to those fundamental ideals which controlled in the formation of our country's government?
Under the conditions of the day the patriotism of the South along its conservative lines as to governmental direction should have the amplest and fullest play. As the country grows in power it grows naturally along the lines of organization and concentration. That organization is directed largely to results. Those results, under the general ideals of the day, are peculiarly economic. The consequence is that the man becomes a mere unit in the sum-total of production. He looks at the marvellous results, and, in a way, is proud of his country, yet he is endangered of becoming lessened in his dignity, his aspirations, and his patriotism. The patriotism which I mean is not that which counts the glory of our country solely by the ships on the sea, the glowing furnaces, and the fertile acres, but the patriotism which cherishes and loves this wonderful combination of State and Union, and ennobles and glorifies the aspirations of the citizen.