Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 5.djvu/259

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America to human civilization this is greatest. The reign of force is not yet over, and at intervals it has its triumphant hours, but reason, justice, humanity fight with success their long and steady battle for a wider sway.

Of all the points of social advance, in my coun- try at least, during the last generation none is more marked than the change in the position of women, in respect of rights of property, of educa- tion, of access to new callings. As for the im- provement of material well-being, and its dif- fusion among those whose labor is a prime factor in its creation, we might grow sated with the jubilant monotony of its figures, if we did not take good care to remember, in the excellent words of the President of Harvard, that those gains, like the prosperous working of your insti- tutions and the principles by which they are sustained, are in essence moral contributions, "being principles of reason, enterprise, courage, faith, and justice, over passion, selfishness, inert- ness, timidity, and distrust." It is the moral impulses that matter. "Where they are safe, all is safe.

When this and the like is said, nobody sup- poses that the last word has been spoken as to the condition of the people either in America or Europe. Republicanism is not itself a panacea for economic difficulties. Of self it can neither stifle nor appease the accents of social discontent. So long as it has no root in surveyed envy, this discontent itself is a token of progress.

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