warm blood courses the veins of man, as long as the human heart beats high and quick at the recital of brave deeds and patriotic sacrifices, so long will the lesson still incite generous men to emulate the heroism of the past.
Among the Greeks, it was the custom that the fathers of the most valiant of the slain should pronounce the eulogies of the dead.
Sometimes it devolved upon their great statesmen and orators to perform this mournful duty.
Would that a new Demosthenes
or a second Pericles
could arise and take my place to-day!
for he would find a theme worthy of his most brilliant powers, of his most touching eloquence.
I stand here now, not as an orator, but as a whilom commander, and in the place of the fathers, of the most valiant dead,--as their comrade, too, on many a hard-fought field against domestic and foreign foe,--in early youth and mature manhood,--moved by all the love that David felt when he poured forth his lamentations for the mighty father and son who fell on Mount Gilboa
. God knows that David's love for Jonathan was no more deep than mine for the tried friends of many long and eventful years, whose names are to be recorded upon the structure that is to rise upon this spot.
Would that his more than mortal eloquence could grace my lips and do justice to the theme!
We have met to-day, my comrades, to do honor to our own dead; brothers united to us by the closest and dearest ties, who have freely given their lives for their country in this war,--so just and righteous, so long as its purpose is to crush rebellion and to save our nation from the infinite evils of dismemberment.
Such an occasion as this should call forth the deepest and noblest emotions of our nature,--pride, sorrow, and prayer: pride that our country has possessed such sons; sorrow that she has lost them; prayer that she may have others like them,--that we and our successors may adorn her annals as they have done, and that when our parting hour arrives, whenever and