service of the future and the distant, to the student, and left to his children only education and example.
They stand now around us, eminent in every profession, and equally eminent for the same enthusiastic devotion, and the same prodigal liberality in every good cause.
How proud might the State
be, if, by opening similar libraries and museums, she educated a community of Bowditches, fathers of such children in the generations to come!
There is another consideration.
I will not pursue this subject, merely on this level; I will present even a lower one, if you please.
I mean to come down to the business level.
We never shall compete with New York in the allurements of a great city life.
As far as magnificent spectacles, as far as metropolitan wealth, as far as the splendors and amusements of the world are concerned, the great focal metropolis of the Empire
, New York, must always outdo us, in drawing vast numbers of business men and strangers to enter her streets.
She can make the tide set that way constantly, and turn New England
into a dependency on her great central power.
But it lies with Boston
to create an attraction only second to hers.
The blood of the Puritans, the old New England
peculiarities, can never compete with the Parisian life of New York.
But if we create here a great intellectual centre by our museums, by our scientific opportunities, if we become really “the Athens
,” as we assume to be, if we guard and preserve the precious gatherings of science now with us, we shall attract here a large class of intelligent and cultivated men, and thus do something to counterbalance the overshadowing influence of the great metropolis.
Why, here is the museum in Mason Street
, which has laid a petition upon the table of this House
to-day, possessed of treasures which, if lost, no skill, no industry, would replace,