This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 help in times of peril: of all manly qualities, whether of person, or mind or heart, and all womanly gentleness and melting pity for the weak and helpless it evokes! In contemplating the latter phase of his singularly beautiful character how peculiarly applicable to Wade Hampton are the words of the poet: The very gentlest of all human natures
He joined to courage strong,
And love outstretching unto all God's creatures
With sturdy hate of wrong.
Notwithstanding, my comrades, a tendency grown somewhat into a habit in these later times—a habit more honored in the breach than the observance—to depreciate the value of gentle birth and its usual, but alas! not invariable influence on one's subsequent career, I nevertheless take for granted that no member of R. E. Lee Camp, No. 1, which tonight accepts any more than any member of the Washington Light Infantry Battalion, which to-night presents this portrait; in short, that no South Carolinian and no Virginian, par nobile fratrum, will sneer when I repeat the well-known fact that Wade Hampton was born a gentleman; was surrounded from childhood with all that was wont to embellish the planter's home, in the golden life, before ‘those people’ came over the border to forever destroy, and left not a hope of restoration behind, not a hope, not one. For my friends (we are all friends who are here to-night, I trust) ages may come, ages may go, go on forever; but never again will be seen beneath the silent stars, so beautiful a civilization as that of our Southern States, in the halcyon days of the quarter century and something more, just preceding those four bloody years that opened up the pathway to immortal fame for him whose handsome, strong face, with its clear-cut, elastic features is before you; is before you as I remember him near the close rather than in the heyday of his eventful life, in which heyday he is described by the pleasing and intelligent author of Hampton and His Cavalry, Mr. Edward L. Wells, as being, when in his forty-sixth year, the meridian of his splendid manhood, he became Chief of Cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia, ‘of impressive personal appearance, full-bearded, tall, erect and massive; a horseman from life-long habit,’ and (I may well and truthfully add a word here) a grand military
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.