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[245] as to what they should do. Some, unable to reconcile themselves to submission to the Government of the United States, sought homes and service in foreign lands. Others doubted whether they should stand aloof and let things take their course, or whether they should, with good will and cheerfulness, perform the new duties that devolved upon them. The advice and example of General Lee did more to incline the scale in favor of a frank and manly adoption of that course of conduct which tended to the restoration of peace and harmony than all the Federal garrisons in all the military districts.

But I shall not attempt to put his noble sentiments in my unworthy words. You shall hear them in his own words—words that I think should be inscribed upon the pedestal of this statue as a more faithful representation of the man than the art of the sculptor can produce. Hear him, all ye sons of the Republic:

My experience of men has neither disposed me to think worse of them, nor indisposed me to serve them; nor, in spite of failures, which I lament, of errors, which I now see and acknowledge, or, of the present aspect of affairs, do I despair of the future. This truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow, and our desires so impatient, the work of progress is so immense, and our means of aiding it so feeble, the life of humanity is so long, and that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave, and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope.’

Colonel Marshall's able speech was listened to with profound attention, and was frequently and loudly applauded, while his allusions to General Early as the last to secede, his tribute to the military genius of Lee, his tribute to President Davis, some of the incidents which he related, and his peroration, elicited enthusiastic applause and cheers.

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