The Fourth of July.
This is the Fourth of July.
In former days it was saluted with the firing of guns, and was honored by grand parades, orations, dinners, and toasts.
The Declaration of Independence
was generally read.
The exertions oratorical were considered too great for one man — so there was a reader and an orator.
The reader recited on solemn and emphatic tones the Declaration.
He began with energy, and rose as he continued, until he thundered in the conclusion wherein our forefathers declared that held the British
as they held "the rest of nkind
--Enemies in War, in peace, friends." Here the roof was perceptibly stated by the powerful and indignant tones the youthful patriot just from college, to the task was usually assigned, and who, again the part of the signers, boldly defiantly flag down the gauntlet to the annous King
"Enemies in war, in peace, friends!"-- let us just remark upon this magnanimous pronunciamento of our Revolutionary thers that while it was rather dramatic they were assuming new relations towards a really great people, a people who, all their arrogance and overbearing dis, they could still have some respect for that a contract, say the worst we can of do they present to the Yankees
Could Confederacy — could a State of the Confederacy
-- to-day towards the Yankees
, did our ancestors towards the British
, that we hold them as we hold the rest of man--enemies in war, in peace, friends?" ave not their brutalities — their war of ra --their burning of towns and churches-- burning of agricultural implements
--their ming the servile population against our people — their efforts, in every conceivable form robbery, destruction, and by all kinds of inbolical agencies, to break the spirit of our and starve them into subjection — formed so impassable between the North
and the South
that the sentiment of friendship is that can never exist between them as nalous? Hatred of the North
will be a legacy future generations of the South
that will as long as the Governments themselves, and probably survive them.
We can never told the Yankees
"as we hold the rest of mankind!"
But to return to the subject of the Fourth the oration was generally allotted to promising young men of the localities as a first effort, and was therefore as studied and ornate is possible for a youthful and ambitious mind all of expectation and hope to make it. It was always an animated paper.
If it did not here to the rules applicable to such efforts mattered it?
The day was one of enthusiasm, bursting patriotism, and jollification.
The eagle was in the ascendant, and that bird ing the presiding genius of the day, even thos itself was, for the time, consecrated.
After the oration the parades, the dinners, the asts, and the parting salutes.
Everybody was gay — everybody was fired with patriotism, and many with wine or whiskey.
The South was therefore a jolly day — it was a day the like of which is necessary for every nation; for no nation that is civilized and humanized can got along without its holidays-- days of festivity and general joy.
Thus we had our Fourth of July.
The day is now changed.
We have no holiday.
The ruthless enemy who has trampled upon every principle and right commemorated by the day itself, gives no intermission for festive enjoyments, were we so inclined.
It is, however, still dear to Southern people; and they prove their devotion to it by maintaining with their blood and their lives the rights and principles asserted by our fathers in 76.
will probably to-day renew their professions of respect and devotion for them, notwithstanding that they have crushed them into the dust.
They are hypocrites and Pharisees enough for that.
The Declaration of Independence
, fringed and gilt with certain transcendentalisms, imbibed from the French
philosophy of the day, with which Mr. Jefferson
and his contemporaries had become somewhat inoculated, set forth the popular rights for which we are this day battling.
The main principles it asserted the Yankees
never could approve.
It is that Governments, "derive their just powers from the consent of the governed."
think they have a right to govern the Southern
people against their consent.
They have desecrated both the day and the principles which it commemorates, and the very best way in which we can celebrate it is by whipping them.
A good victory over them would be the best tribute we could offer to the memory of the signers of the Declaration.
Let us pray for one.