Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 14.djvu/180
Southern Historical Society Papers.
than the din of battle, like the bugle blast of a Highland Chief re-sounding over hill and mountain and glen, summoning his clans to the defence of home and liberty, and thrilled every heart and nerved every arm.
It was the form and voice of Hill.
Not only is he entitled to the honor we confer upon him by the events of this day, and higher honor, if higher there could be, as a Georgian, but as a son of the South. The great West boasts that it gave Lincoln to the country and the world. New England exults with peculiar pride in the name and history of Webster, and one of her most distinguished sons, upon the recent occasion of the completion of the Washington monument, in an oration worthy of his subject, did not hesitate to say: " I am myself a New Englander by birth. A son of Massachusetts, bound by the strongest ties of affection and of blood to honor and venerate the earlier and the later worthies of the old Puritan Commonwealth, jealous of their fair fame, and ever ready to assert and vindicate their just renown." Why should not we cherish the same honorable sentiment, and point with pride to the names with which we have adorned our country's history? What is there in our past of which we need be ashamed? What is there in which we ought not to glory?They tell us to let the dead Past be buried. Well, be it so. We are willing to forget; we this day proclaim and bind it by the highest sanction—the sacred obligation of Southern honor—that we have forgotten all of the past that should not be cherished. We stand in the way of no true progress. We freely pledge our hearts and hands to every thing that will promote the prosperity and glory of our country. But there is a past that is not dead—that cannot die. It moves upon us, it speaks to us. Every instinct of noble manhood, every impulse of gratitude, every obligation of honor demand that we cherish it. We are bound to it by ties stronger than the cable that binds the continents, and laid as deep in human nature. We cannot cease to honor it until we lose the sentiment that has moved all ages and countries. We find the expression of that sentiment in every memorial we erect to commemorate those we love. In the unpretentious slab of the country churchyard, in the painted windows of the cathedral, in the unpolished head stone and the costhest mausolem of our cities of the dead. It dedicated the Roman Pantheon. It has filled Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey with memorials of those who for centuries have made the poetry, the literature, the science, the statesmanship, the oratory, the military and