96 Southern Historical Society Papers.
To say that Lee needs no statue to honor him is quite beside the question. It is because he needs no statue that we want to give him one. If we gave monuments only to those who need them no one who is worthy of a monument would ever have one. Already have the people of the South built other monuments to Lee than the imperishable monument of their love, and now again Virginia desires to see her ' ' snow-white chief ' stand forth in enduring bronze or monumental marble, not as in that peerless figure in Lexington, where he lies, " the flower of knighthood," with his eyes closed in peaceful, dreamless sleep, but erect and with the fire of battle in his eye that fire which blazed in the fearless face of Arthur when in the midst of conflict Sir Lancelot saw him and knew him for the King.
It may be true that we cannot thus give additional honor to Lee, but if we cannot honor him we can at least honor ourselves. Old Carlyle said: "Who is to have a statue? means whom shall we con- secrate and set apart as one of our sacred men. * * Show me that man you honor; I know by that symptom better than any other what kind of man you yourself are, for you show me there what your ideal of manhood is; what kind of a man you long inexpressibly to be, and would thank the gods, with your whole soul, for being if you could."
No, we cannot, indeed, give more honor to Lee than is already his, but we can at least show to the world the kind of man we want to honor, and if we cannot honor him more it is only because, as Swinburne sang of Tennyson:
" Far above us and all our love, beyond all reach of its voiceless praise, Shines forever the name that never shall feel the shade of the changeful
Fall and chill the delight that still sees winter's light in it shine like May's. Strong as death is the day's dark breath whose blast has withered the life
we see, Here where light is the child of night and less than visions or dreams
are we ; Strong as death ; but a word, a breath, a dream is stronger than death
Strong as truth, and superb in youth eternal, fair as the sundawn's flame, Seen when May on her first born day bids earth exult in her radiant name, Lives, clothed around with its praise, and crowned with love that dies not,
his lovelit fame."
To those who feared that the offering of the statue would arouse