But noble as is this statue, impressive as is the monument, which but a few months ago you erected to the memory of this hero in the capital of our ancient Commonwealth, there is yet a nobler, a more impressive, a more enduring monument, that, under God, may be reared by even the humblest of his followers to commemorate the virtues of this stainless soldier. High and clear the greatest historian of the Roman world strikes the key-note of this immortal truth, when he bids the wife and daughter of Agricola to honor the memory of that illustrious soldier by pondering in their thoughts all his deeds and words, and by cherishing the features and lineaments of his character rather than those of his person. ‘It is not,’ he says, ‘that I would forbid the likenesses that are wrought in marble and in bronze, but as the faces of men, so all similitudes of the face are weak and perishable things, while the fashion of the soul is everlasting, such, as may be expressed, not in some foreign substance or by the help of art, but in our own lives.’ So, oh! my comrades, shall we rear a monument more enduring than bronze statue or marble shaft, if in the lives of such men as A. P. Hill we and our children and children's children shall find their highest inspiration to be fearless, to be constant, to be loyal to duty in ‘the homelier fray’ of daily life! I have spoken of the stainless purity of Sir Galahad and the knightly valor of those stout Paladins who died in Roncevalle's Pass, but, in truth, no Southern man in illustrating to his children all those stern and gentle virtues, which noble souls reckon the highest, need even turn to poet's lay or stirring page of Plutarch, but rather tell in simplest phrase how lived and died a Hill, a Jackson, and a Lee.
Blood is not wasted when a hero bleeds—The war has now been over more than a quarter of a century, and time, as is inevitable, has brought with it new conditions and new duties, which, none worthy of the name of man, may shirk. A great English thinker has pithily said that ‘the reward of one duty is the power to fulfil another,’ and who that knows our people can deny that the best guarantee of fitness for dealing with the problems in every relation of life that have confronted us in these days of peace, has been single-minded devotion in the stormy days of war to that
Earth drinks it not alone; a nation's heart
Absorbs the precious rain, whose atoms start
New life that runs its course in noble deeds.