town, in uniform, were stationed in order to salute him, and the huzzas of the crowded streets testified to the triumph and gladness of the occasion. Opposite the front door of the meeting-house of the first parish, a graceful arch spanned the street, having this inscription, “Welcome to our hills and brooks.” And there, under a canopy of trees, garlands, and flowers, the Selectmen of the town met the General and his cortege; and they thus addressed him, by Turell Tufts, Esq., their Chairman:--
General Lafayette,--The Selectmen of Medford, as representatives of the town, deem it a grateful and honorable part of their duty to bid you welcome. They are proud, sir, that Medford is the birthplace of one of your companions in arms; a man who, by his bravery in the field, his patriotism and civic virtues, contributed to acquire as much of glory to our country as honor to himself. We rejoice, sir, that you both live to meet again and to enjoy together the consolations fairly derived from your virtuous and heroic deeds. The minds of our countrymen traced your course with anxious solicitude through the French Revolution, from your first success in the cause of liberty until the spirit of oppression confined you in a dungeon; and their hearts were gladdened when, by the influence of our great and good Washington, their friend was at last set free. In the rich harvest you are now gathering of the expressions of interest and gratitude of this numerous people, whose freedom and happiness your exertions so essentially contributed to establish, we hope you will find some compensation for all your toils, sacrifices, and sufferings; and we feel much complacency, that in this respect you have gained so complete a triumph over the monarchs of the world. Again, sir, we bid you a most cordial welcome; and hope the testimonials of approbation you are receiving from every heart and every tongue will for ever remain an instructive lesson to mankind,--that patriots who endure faithfully to the end shall not lose their reward.To this, the General replied, in substance, as follows:--
Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen,--I am most happy, in visiting the town of my old brother-soldier and friend, General Brooks, to be received with so kind a welcome. You speak of “some compensation.” Compensation! Sir, the smallest part of the delight which I have experienced would more than repay me for all sufferings past or to come. I beg you to accept my grateful acknowledgments for this cheering welcome.