that I have done so, for I have builded better than I know, and all I am and all I hope to be I owe to these dear people of old Virginia.
Ladies and gentlemen, I beg to assure you that I most profoundly appreciate the honor to which your courtesy has invited me. I bring no gaudy flower to lay upon the monument your noble hearts have placed upon consecrated ground.
It stands like a sentinel of your love pointing heavenward, simple, grand, and beautiful as the story of their lives.
As Macaulay has so fittingly said:
To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late; And how can men die better Than facing fearful odds— For the ashes of his fathers And the temples of his gods.
I have not spoken of the brave leaders who led those valiant men. Never was a valiant army more valiantly led. One reason why their few numbers stood so well against the many was that Lee and Jackson and Stuart knew their men. They were like deft masters who knew the keys of their instruments a
t—a good one it is—and now hangs in the rotunda of our Capitol beside Lee's. I was asked to go and keep him in chat while the artist was at work.
The first sitting was occupied by him in discussing Napoleon, Marlborough, and Wellington, and a short-hand writer might then have recorded the most terse critique ever pronounced on these great commanders.
The little Corporal.
He placed Napoleon above all of the generals of history.
Marlborough he ranked above all Englishmen, and censured Macaulay for allowing his partisan feelings for King William to transmit as history his aspersions of Marlborough.
Wellington he considered a very great general, but denounced his brutality in Spain in giving to sack by his British soldiery the cities of the people he was sent there to defend and protect.
His opinion of Forrest.
The next day we had another sitting, and he discussed the generals of our war. He spoke most highly of Forrest, whom he had closely observed, and declared to be the
r him, assured that no child can arise to be ashamed of his father or of the deeds he has wrought.
Another consequence ensues.
Such a conflict can only occur among a people both intelligent and brave; and so far from necessarily disrupting them, often consolidates them in a union more strong and lasting.
Ours is not the only country which has been torn by internal strife.
There is England, for example, in her long conflict between prerogative and privilege, so graphically described by Macaulay, yet more securely standing than ever before upon the principles of constitutional freedom.
So it must prove with ourselves.
The principles which are true will survive all conflicts, and while it has been determined that we remain together, all else is remanded as before to the council chamber and the halls of debate, until the mind of God shall be further disclosed in the future fortunes of our people.
The practical lesson taught us to-night has already been set before our eyes in th