Page:Boissonnas, Un Vaincu, English, 1875.djvu/8

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iv
 

Comfort France ! Bring back to her that sweet glory that mothers wish to receive from their children. Bring back to her the crown -- all the crowns -- she wore in the past among the nations. Rebuild her peaceful, learned, powerful -- rich even, you might wish -- and pray God to restore in her the feelings of faith and justice.

Nothing of what you will do to increase your value, to extend your knowledge, to accomplish more, will be wasted. A day will come when France will harvest the fruit of all your efforts. The child who takes pain over his science lessons -- the one who molds his tongue to the harsh inflections of a foreign language -- the young man who submits himself to patient research, higher studies -- all of them should be assured that they toil for their country.

The day the defeated hero I want to present to you felt, after four years of fighting, that his broken sword was falling from his hands, he did not weaken. Virginia still existed. He should still work for her. Defeat taught him neither hatred nor anger. It instilled into his heart only a greater ardor -- a purer, deeper devotion ; and Robert Lee, heir of Washington, glorious Commander in Chief of the Confederate Armies, wanting to put his remaining strength into the service of his country, chose to become president of a college.

"I have seen," said he, "a great number of Southern young