pride, with what a thrill, with what tender and loyal reverence, may we not hunt up and cherish, and guard from change or desecration, the spot where this marvellous enterprise began, the roof under which its first councils were held, where the air still trembles and burns with Otis
and Sam Adams
Except the Holy City
, is there any more memorable or sacred place on the face of the earth than the cradle of such a change?
has her Acropolis, but the Greek can point to no such immediate and distinct results.
Her influence passes into the web and woof of history mixed with a score of other elements, and it needs a keen eye to follow it. London
has her Palace and Tower
, and her St. Stephen's Chapel; but the human race owes her no such memories.
has spots marked by the sublimest devotion; but the pilgrimage and the Mecca of the man who believes and hopes for the human race is not to Paris
It is to the seaboard cities of the great Republic.
And when the flag was assailed, when the merchant waked up from his gain, the scholar from his studies, and the regiments marched one by one through the streets, which were the pavements that thrilled under their footsteps?
What walls did they salute as the regimental flags floated by to Gettysburg
These! Our boys carried down to the battlefields the memory of State Street and Faneuil Hall and the Old South Church.
We had a signal prominence in those early days.
It was not our merit; it was an accident perhaps.
But it was a great accident in our favor that the British Parliament chose Boston
as the first and prominent object of its wrath.
It was on the men of Boston
that Lord North visited his revenge.
It was our port that was to be shut, and its commerce annihilated.
It was Sam Adams
and John Hancock who enjoy the everlasting reward of being