Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 14.djvu/170
Southern Historical Society Papers.
mine without spot or blemish, his balance in his right hand, mercy on his left, splendor and brightness at his feet, and his tongue dispensing truth, goodness, virtue and justice to mankind." And by its side and worthy of such association, another to commemorate the sturdy virtue, unswerving fidelity under great trials, and worthy public career of that other Chief Justice who so recently passed from among us. The public disposition to honor the dead too often finds its only expression in the resolutions of public assemblies, and the exhibition in public places of emblems of mourning soon to be removed.
"And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended." Too often the great and good lie in unknown sepulchres, or, if known, they are unmarked by any lasting monument. When the feeling does chrystalize in enduring marble or granite in most cases it is after painful effort and long delay. Eighteen years elapsed after the laying of the corner-stone of the Bunker Hill monument, erected by the patriotism of New England, before its completion was celebrated. The statue of Chief Justice Marshall, appointed during the second administration, was unveiled within a very recent period. Immediately after his death, in 1799, Congress voted a marble monument to Washington. Half a century elapsed before the foundation was laid. After this, for seven and thirty years, it remained unfinished. Although intended to commemorate the life and character of him who was "first in the hearts of his countrymen," and had just claims upon the treasury of the government, it stood as if insulting him whom it should have honored, symbol of nothing but the ingratitude of the country, prophecy of nothing but a broken Constitution, a divided people and a disrupted Union. Its completion was not celebrated until the 21st day of February, 1885—more than three-quarters of a century after the resolution of Congress voting it.The history of these similar organizations marks with peculiar emphasis that of the Association whose completed work we come to celebrate with becoming ceremony. Amidst profound and universal expressions of grief at the public calamity to the country inflicted by his death—on the 18th day of August, 1882, his body was buried to await the dawn of that resurrection day of which he so beautifully wrote after he could no longer speak. Within a few days after his burial, a public meeting was called to assemble in the State capitol on the 29th day of August thereafter. That meeting resolved itself into an organization that undertook the patriotic duty of commemo-