Gentlemen of the old South.
The hour had struck for the abasement of the like of this.
In this forlorn extremity, beautiful once more was the hero's scorn of self; once more holding the hearts of followers by the spell of that beauty.
As in camp the general sought to fare no better than his men, so it was in the ravages of peace.
, in his need, South Carolina
offered the gift of a home.
Great as was the need of him who had sacrificed wealth and home, the offer was declined.
The people of Texas
contributed a purse to enable Magruder
to buy a plantation.
The knightly answer came: ‘No, gentlemen, when I espoused the cause of the South
, I embraced poverty and willingly accepted it.’
The trustees of Washington
offered to their president a deed to the house he occupied.
With appreciation it was declined.
It was offered to his wife, and again declined.
To his son and successor, for the third time, it was offered.
With renewed appreciation for the third time it was declined.
This was that old South, on the final passing of which we are from time to time felicitated.
Answer might be made.
‘In that old South, power was sought for the eminence of which it was the witness; for the sincere “honor, love, obedience” which followed; and no longer follows.
When power is sought because it puts money in the purse, it ceases to be a spiritual power.
It becomes that for which it is sought, pursued, possessed—material power.
That old South left record proof (nobler than proof of mail), that greatness is in the world not to get for nothing, but to give for nothing; that the sign manual of heroic love–the seal wherewith it is sealed—is sacrifice.
Because of this spiritual source of power that old South knew how to follow truth and suffer for it. Because thereof, though forty years and more look back upon it, our hearts invincibly are held.’
This is the meed of greatness—falling overborne by numbers—to fall without loss of greatness; to be glorious in ruin; nay, to be glorified by ruin; because the greatness is deserved, the ruin undeserved.
had shown the futility of a whole hostile world against that armor of proof called character.
The enmities which would if they could humiliate become the apparel