Page:The Scholar in a Republic.djvu/36

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covered with the same fulsome flattery, and where what men say in the streets is the exact opposite of what they say to each other. De mortuis nil nisi bonum most men translate, "Speak only good of the dead." I prefer to construe it, "Of the dead say nothing unless you can tell something good." And if the sin and the recreancy have been marked and far-reaching in their evil, even the charity of silence is not permissible.

To be as good as our fathers we must be better. They silenced their fears and subdued their prejudices, inaugurating free speech and equality with no precedent on the file. Europe shouted "Madmen!" and gave us forty years for the shipwreck. With serene faith they persevered. Let us rise to their level. Crush appetite and prohibit temptation if it rots great cities. Intrench labor in sufficient bulwarks against that wealth, which, without the tenfold strength of modern incorporation, wrecked the Grecian and Roman States; and, with a sterner effort still, summon women into civil life as re-enforcement to our laboring ranks in the effort to make our civilization a success.

Sit not, like the figure on our silver coin, looking ever backward.

"New occasions teach new duties;
 Time makes ancient good uncouth;
 They must upward still, and onward,
 Who would keep abreast of Truth.
 Lo! before us gleam her camp-fires!
 We ourselves must Pilgrims be,
 Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly
 Through the desperate winter sea,
 Nor attempt the Future's portal
 With the Past's blood-rusted key."