J26 Southern Historical Society Papers.
description that " Heaven and earth seemed never to have agreed better to frame a place for man's commodious and delightful habita- tion," offers sweet 1 pabulum to our regard for our generous mother, is yet most unlovely in his virulent denunciation of his fellow colo- nists. Whatever his merit, it is not easy to forget some peculiar traits of his.
From adventurous John, along the cycle of Virginia's being, have the children of her own womb bared her bosom to the shaft of the detractor.
The invitation to address you was a surprise to me. In casting about for a subject I at first thought to utilize some notes I had gathered as to the provision for education made by our forefathers, but that dutiful office has been most happily anticipated in the elabo- rate address of Mr. Wyndham R. Meredith on " Colonial Culture in Virginia," delivered before the literary societies of William and Mary College, July ist last. I am told that its publication in durable form is designed. It is eminently worthy of your consideration. There is another presentation that I would commend to you in its interest and in the attractive views it unfolds the eloquent address of Dr. Thomas Nelson Page before the literary societies of Emory and Henry College, June loth last, on "The Social Life of Old Virginia."
In serving you this evening mine shall be but a modest effort. I shall endeavor simply to add a few lights to the delineations of the gentlemen cited. If aught that I offer as to the Virginian character may prove suggestive to you I shall be sincerely gratified.
One whose labors in behalf of American history are valuable, con- fesses his " perplexity " 2 as to the sources of Virginian ability, and cites a prominent Virginian educator 3 as an authority in his mystifi- cation. Withal, he makes the somewhat singular admission that "the product was here, for the number of educated Virginians was large as compared with such persons in other colonies ; but the machinery appeared to be wanting, and in a country people with men of high culture (for that time) and of great political knowledge and experience the educational factor can hardly be traced. * * *
1 General Historic, page 114.
2 Worthington C. Ford, " Education in Colonial Virginia," The Nation, November 6, 1890.
'"Virginia Schools Before and After the Revolution," an address before the alumni of the University of Virginia, June 27, 1888, by W. Gordon McCabe.