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Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 2, Chapter 28: the city Oration,—the true grandeur of nations.—an argument against war.—July 4, 1845.—Age 34. (search)
ding toils of labor, to meet in gladness and congratulation, mindful of the blessings transmitted from the past, mindful also, I trust, of the duties to the present and the future. May he who now addresses you be enabled so to direct your minds, that you shall not seem to have lost a day! All hearts first turn to the Fathers of the Republic. Their venerable forms rise before us, and we seem to behold them in the procession of successive generations. They come from the frozen rock of Plymouth, from the wasted bands of Raleigh, from the heavenly companionship of William Penn, from the anxious councils of the Revolution, and from all those fields of sacrifice, on which, in obedience to the Spirit of their Age, they sealed their devotion to duty with their blood. They seem to speak to us, their children: Cease to vaunt yourselves of what you do, and of what has been done for you. Learn to walk humbly, and to think meekly of yourselves. Cultivate habits of self-sacrifice and of de