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[125] often make legislation interminable, contradictory, and deceptive. The diamond-cut-diamond system, now in such terrible activity among us, was not known to our fathers. Their laws were only the republication of those few general principles of justice and humanity which are easily gathered from the sacred pages. Such legislation, while the most simple, was the most effective and the least changeable.

Another cause of prosperity was the poverty of the soil, and the severity of the winter. Agriculture was the chief business and main support of society; and to make the earth produce in six months sufficient food for twelve required an ingenuity of mind, a force of will, and a strength of muscle, which is synonymous with intellectual and moral greatness. If we would produce athletic frames, creative minds, and brave hearts, let the soil be light and thin. Our primitive granite soil produces the true granite men; and one of them here in Medford can do as much as three Cubans under the line. The stern necessities, which grew out of the soil and climate of New England, became schoolmasters, teaching our fathers the highest lessons of intelligence, watchfulness, perseverence, and economy.

“Man is the noblest growth our realms supply,
And souls are ripened in our northern sky.”

If we wish to see a race that need not think, cannot plan, and will not work, we have only to find those who have every thing done for them. We therefore conclude that what has been called the “hard lot” of the New Englander has been the making of him.

The causes of prosperity, so briefly noticed above, are introduced that we may here say, that each one of them has been brought to bear, in its true relation and natural force, upon the town of Medford, which is at this moment enjoying the distinguished benefits. With Medford before us, we conclude by saying, that these elements of growth have produced, throughout New England, a remarkable activity of mind and body, a general diffusion of knowledge, an indomitable perseverance of will, social and civil order, self-forgetful patriotism, domestic love, and religious enthusiasm. These effects have, in their turn, become causes; and the glorious results are extensive wealth, great moral influence, elevated Christian character, and solid happiness.

“Surely the lines have fallen to us in pleasant places, and God hath given to us a goodly heritage.”

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