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efforts which have consigned them to the dungeon or to exile. Should not we who enjoy the blessing, appreciate it as fully as those who can only sigh for it? Should not their efforts to obtain it, make us all the more jealous of its care?
In the faithful performance of our duties, we discharge an obligation due to humanity. We are entrusted with a principle, whose preservation should be as dear to us as life and honor. When the Fathers announced it, they pledged to its success “their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.” That pledge was redeemed; the principle triumphed, and we to-day are living witnesses of their devotion. From this we learn to value our inheritance, and to perform the conditions upon which it is ours. When we forget by what tenure we hold this inheritance, we pronounce our own sentence of deprivation. But can it be that we shall ever forget? Is the victory of the Revolution to be sacrificed ? Is the spirit of the Constitution to be thwarted ? Are the glorious results of more than eighty years of freedom to be nullified ? What say the men of America ? Shall it be written in history that the last experiment of freedom failed, because the citizens of the re
public forgot their duties? It is not because we are prosperous, not because our growth has no parallel in the experience of centuries, not because our strength is greater than at any other period, that we are to defy the possibility of national ruin. It is for these very reasons that we are to guard more jealously than ever the bulwarks of our strength; that we are to avoid the false expediences that usurp the place of principle; that we are to inculcate the elemental truths upon which our government is based, and upon whose preservation depends our perpetuity as a union.
Let us not boast of our strength. It is in the hour of success that the germ of decay is unfolded. It is in the day of prosperity that we should cling most firmly to that truth and virtue which sustained our patriot fathers, and made us free. .
Men of America! Forget not your trust.' Liberty, battling everywhere with oppression, looks to you as her standard-bearers. See to it, that no stain sullies the stars and stripes. See to it that the glorious emblem of our freedom waves ever from our shores, the signal of rescue and assistance to oppressed humanity. The genius of our institutions, in the name of that
spirit of universal freedom before whose resistless presence the shackles of the slave fall off, and the man arises in the dignity of his nature, charges you to think of your privileges and your duties; to remember that Providence permitted you to exist as representatives of those great ideas which will one day vindicate their truth to the nations of the earth; to remember that your duty is to give these ideas that expansion and direction which their importance claims : to remember that liberty is unselfish, confined to no land, but belongs as a God-given right to every man that breathes; to remember, above all else, that, possessing liberty, it is your duty to protect it from the degrading contact with corruption at home, as well as against the attack of enemies from abroad. Make it a bright and burning light, an example to the nations, a reproach to despotism, an incentive to arouse the oppressed to vindicate their humanity.
And when, my countrymen, you have accomplished all this, you can claim, with just pride, descent from those patriot fathers whose lives were spent in stern conflict for great principles, whose deaths were blessed by the sweet consciousness of duty well, performed. Then can you claim as your countryman, him whose
name, luminous with the glory of the noblest life which history records, is written in the heart of humanity, as before all others her chosen champion ; whose pure and devoted patriotism is the corner-stone of our liberties.
Citizens, on this day renew your vows to your common country. Swear, at her altar, that no defection of yours shall cause her to swerve from the path of right. Swear that the holy flame of patriotism shall burn
“Unquenched through ages,
Like Vesta's sacred fire.” Make your standard of political excellence the faithful performance of your duties, and you secure to yourselves and your posterity the enjoyment of a freedom which will be purified and exalted with time.
The following poem and letter are introduced here as an appropriate accompaniment to the preceding address.
O friend of other days!
So early fallen in thy manly prime !
Another victim of the traitor's crime.
That Spartan training for the Forum’s strife ;
We saw thee move with splendor into life?
All had been lost, but that true hearts like thine,
When “shrieked the timid and stood still the brave," Strove to arrest the nation's swift decline
To an untimely, an ignoble grave.
I would not look upon thee, dead.
Well memory holds the living form, That, when our last farewell was said,
Vanished in darkness and in storm.*
O grave! there comes a princely guest!
Within thy chambers dim and cold, Where sleep the brave, there give him rest,
With heroes of the Days of Old.
No more I hear that martial tone
Ring boldly out on Freedom's side: There are, whose words are words alone ; But thou in Freedom's cause hast died.
0. B. HITCHCOCK, Class of '52.
* At our Class Meeting in '55, the late Col. JACKSON was present by invitation. We separated at a late hour.