Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 14.djvu/181
Address at the Unveiling of the Hill Statue.
naval glory—the civilization of England. It has adorned the squares of our own Washington City and filled every rotunda, corridor and niche of the Capitol with statues and monuments and busts, until we have assembled a congress of the dead to instruct, inspire and guide the Congress of the living, while, higher than all surrounding objects, towering above the lofty dome of the Capitol, stands the obelisk to Washington.
Long may it stand, fit but inadequate symbol of that colossal character. Of all the works of man, it lifts its head nearest to the bright luminary of nature, so that every rising sun joins all human voices, and with the first kiss of the morning proclaims him favorite of all the family of men. May it and the character it commemorates, and the lessons that character teaches, abide with us until the light of that sun is extinguished by the final darkness that shall mark the end of the days.
Taught by these high examples, moved by this lofty sentiment of mankind, we this day renew the allegiance of ourselves, and pledge that of our posterity to the memory of our Southern dead.No son of the South had higher claims upon our gratitude than he whom we this day honor. Against his convictions he followed the South into secession and war. True to her in the days of the war she waged for separate nationality; true to her in the darker days that followed that war, when she was denied admission into the Union, after her restoration he stood in the House of Representatives and the Senate Chamber the bravest and most eloquent of her defenders, resisting every invasion of her rights, and defiantly and triumphantly hurling back every assault upon her honor. Not only as a son of Georgia and the South does merit the tribute of our highest praise, but as a citizen of the Republic. He was a profound student of our system of government, and his knowledge of that system was not only displayed in his public utterances, but is written in the lives and characters of the young men of Georgia who learned from him at the State University, and who, in all the departments of the public service, are entering into careers of the highest usefulness and distinction. "Metius est petere fontes quam sectari rivulosy." Madison and Webster were his teachers. Never did student have better teachers; never teachers better student. Webster was not more intense in his love for the Union as originally established by the founders of the Republic. With the underlying principles of that Union he was familiar. To him the American Union was not the territory over which the flag floated and the laws were ad