This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 the opportunity to prove himself in war. Verily the greatest captain in history was the chief of the tattered Southern forces; great as the victor of a hundred fields won by his skill and valor, but grand in the calm dignity of his quiet life of usefulness and honor, after all hope of separate Southern independence had been blotted out in darkness forever. From the day when he put away the crown and refused the chief command of all the United States armies in the field to stand by his native State, and, as he said, to ‘share the miseries of his people,’ down through his marvelous career to the hour of his christian death, General Lee's life was a lesson to mankind that there was nothing too lofty, nothing too severe, for the highest type of Southern manhood to do or to endure at the call of duty or of honor. He said that ‘human virtue should be equal to human adversity,’ and his life, and the life of Mr. Davis and the lives of thousands of their humble followers, have proven that it was so in these illustrious Southern leaders and those inspired by their example. They, whose conduct illustrated this, were the representatives and the jewels of the old South——the fair and fruitful land, where manhood and high endeavor, lofty sentiment, and open hospitality, found their favorite habitation. That old South has its waste places and its ruins to mark the track of war; it has its broken shafts and fallen temples, but it has its traditions and its memories to inspire and strengthen the hopes and hearts and hands of its men and women, and it has its history, which is the honor and glory of its people. In this day when not business alone, but public virtue and private honor, official fidelity, and even the observances of religion are looked upon and estimated too much, I fear, from the standpoint of hard practicality and ‘trade,’ men come among us and prate of building up what they are pleased to term a ‘New South’—as if the safest elements and the most valuable constituent forces which can enter into a new order and new customs here must not come from what is left of us the old. They would have us break all our cherished images, bury ‘a past that is not dead—that cannot die,’ and consign all its precious memories and splendid examples to oblivion. Undervaluing our people, and allowing nothing for the hard conditions with which they must contend, they point us to our thrifty Northern neighbors as patterns for our imitation, and exhort us to keep abreast of what they style the progressive spirit of the age. These disciples of modern progress mean well in what they say, but the common sense of those they would instruct has long ago suggested and adopted all that is worth knowing or observing in their
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.