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A brilliant civilization.

I doubt if the world will ever see another civilization as brilliant as that which perished in the South a third of a century ago. Its whitecolumned [362] mansions under cool spreading groves, its orange trees waving their sprays of snowy blossoms, and its cotton fields stretching away to the horizon, alive with toiling slaves, who sang as they toiled from early morn until the close of day; its pomp and pride and revelry; its splendid manhood and the dazzling beauty of its women, placed it in history as the high-tide of earthly glory. But the hurricane of civil war shattered it and swept it away. Billions of wealth dissolved, and vanished in smoke and flame. The South lost all save honor. But the Confederate soldier, the purest and proudest type of the Anglo-Saxon race, stood erect amid its charred and blackened ruins. The earth was red beneath him, the sky was black above him, his sword was broken, his country was crushed. But without a throne he was no less a ruler; his palace had perished, he was no less a king.

Slavery was dead, but magnificent in the gloom of defeat, he was still a master. Has he not mastered adversity? Has he not built the ruined South?

Look yonder at those flashing domes and glittering spires; look at the works of art and all the fabrics and pictured tapestries of beauty. Look what southern brains and southern hands have wrought. See the victories of peace we have won, all represented within the white columns of our great industrial exposition, and you will receive an inspiration of the Old South, and you will catch glimpses of her future glory.

I trust in God that the struggles of the future will be the struggles of peace and not of war. The hand of secession will never be lifted again.

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