banner to colored men, recognizing them as citizens and as soldiers.
The time shall come when the flavor of that good deed shall perfume Beacon Street, and make it worthier [cheers],--I always thought that I had a pride in being born in it; now I know the reason.
Yes, like “Old Mortality,” we come here to-night to make the monument plainer, to scrape off the moss that has gathered over it. It is only “the beginning of the end.”
The time shall come, if you, young men, do your duty, when the part your ancestors played, when the laurels they won, when the deeds they performed in our Revolutionary era, shall be raked up from forgetfulness.
I will tell you how. Do you know how great.
grandfathers get remembered?
I will tell you. The world is very forgetful,--Republics are proverbially ungrateful.
You must not expect that the white men will wake up and do you justice.
I will tell you how it is to be done.
We are very fond of finding reasons for things and explaining them away.
If we see a boy very bright, with great genius, we are fond of saying, “Well, we knew his father and mother, and they were very bright people.”
Or, if we see a grand-. son very famous, we say, “Well, he comes of a good stock; we remember his grandfather, he could do this thing or the other!”
When Theodore Parker
came into the city of Boston
, and made the boldest pulpit in the city, men said, “It is all right.
This is the blood that fired the first musket at Lexington
, and it is only cropping out in a new place.”
Now, some of you colored men, Boston
colored men, go you. to-morrow and show your valor in the field, valor in life, valor in education, valor in making money, valor in making your mark in the world,--and instantly the papers will begin to say, “Oh, yes; they have always been a brave, gallant people!