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THE RECEPTION IN FANEUIL HALL.
On the evening of the 16th of September His Honor the Mayor and the Committee of Arrangements gave a reception in Faneuil Hall to the distinguished guests from other cities.
The hall was handsomely decorated with bunting and drapery. The platform was reserved for distinguished visitors and citizens, while the body of the hall and the balconies were filled by an interested and attentive audience. The Boston Cadet Band was stationed in the east balcony, and rendered the following selections at intervals during the evening :
1. Overture. “Fra Diavolo" 2. Duo for cornets
(Performed by Thomas W. Henry and Mace Gay.) 3. Concert gavotte 4. Selections from “Nabuco” 5. Cornet solo. " Surf”
(Performed by Thomas W. Henry.) 6. Potpourri. “Boccacio”
At eight o'clock the Mayor called the assemblage to order, and spoke as follows:
REMARKS OF HIS HONOR THE MAYOR.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Two hundred and fifty years ago to-morrow, John Winthrop, and the brave band of Puritan emigrants who had recently arrived in the country, came to this peninsula and laid the foundations of Boston. There was then but one inhabitant here. I need not refer to the hardships and sufferings of the early settlers; I need not speak to you of their courage, their fortitude, and their heroism; I need not remind you of their piety, and godliness, and religious devotion. Their story is known to all of you, and is as familiar as household words. We are largely indebted to them for most of the blessings we enjoy to-day. They sowed, and we reap. This territory, which was occupied by the single inhabitant whom Winthrop found here, has now become a great and prosperous city, containing a large and an intelligent, thrifty, and happy population. In comparison with all cis-Atlantic institutions it is ancient and venerable. Its two hundred and fifty years of life are closely interwoven with the history of all the rest of the country. Our most important political ante-revolutionary events are associated with it. Here was first proclaimed the capacity of man for self-government; here was first promulgated the political truth that all power emanates from the people; here was first enunciated the right of education at the public expense, because the safety of society cannot be assured if the people are ignorant. Here was erected the first church, the first school-house, and the first printing-press, those mighty agents in the progress of civilization. Here, on the landing of Winthrop, was kindled the vestal flame of liberty, civil and religious. Watched by Puritan care, and protected by Puritan valor, it has spread and become the beacon of hope to all the oppressed nations of the earth. It is becoming and proper, then, that we should celebrate so important an event as the anniversary of this city. If there be any place in the land which Americans and the lovers of free institutions should regard with reverence and affection, if there be any spot which should be deemed classic ground, it is the city of Boston. We should celebrate it from regard to the memories of those who laid the foundations of our prosperity, and established those free institutions which have made Boston what it is. It should be celebrated with thanksgiving and praise, and at such time we should review our history, recognize its suggestions, and heed its lessons. As a part of our commemoration we are assembled here in the old hall, so full of historic memories and patriotic associations, to congratulate each other on the glorious hopes and indulge in pleasing anticipations of the future. Distinguished citizens from every part of the land — statesmen, priests, divines, scholars, merchants, representatives of all the professions honor us here to-night with their presence, and will speak to you words of interest and sympathy appropriate to the occasion. I will now first ask your attention to one who needs no introduction from me, - one whom you know well, and whose eloquent voice has often been heard here; a descendant from our old first governor, — the Hon. Robert C. Winthrop.
After the applause which greeted the introduction had subsided Mr. WINTHROP spoke as follows:
ADDRESS OF THE HON. ROBERT C. WINTHROP.
I heartily wish I had language, fellow-citizens, for any adequate acknowledgment of the kind and complimentary words of the Mayor, and the flattering manner in which you have responded to them. I can only assure you that I am most deeply grateful for such a demonstration of your regard. I have come, Mr. Mayor, agreeably to your summons and to my own promise, to unite with you in the congratulations of this anniversary. But I am not quite sure in what capacity I am called to appear here. The City Council have done me the honor to include me among their distinguished guests, and I thank them heartily for so agreeable a compliment. But I am unwilling to forget, or to have it forgotten by others, that I can claim a place here as my birthright, the birthright of a native Bostonian. Perhaps, too, I might be pardoned for asserting some peculiar inherited interest in the historical event which we are about to celebrate. Yet in neither of these relations, nor indeed in any other relation, do I propose to detain you many minutes. .
The time has been, my friends, when such a scene as this; when such a reception as you have given me; when such an audience as I see before me and around me, assembled in this grand old hall of the heroes and patriots of independence, would have stirred and kindled me to no mere brief or formal utterances, and when I should eagerly have clutched at the opportunity to be heard at length. But that time is past. I am unfeignedly conscious that orations and long speeches are for younger lips than mine, and I willingly renounce them for the future.
And there is still another reason why I may fairly excuse myself from attempting any elaborate effort on this occasion. It is that I have already had a part in one of these same historical jubilees of Boston. Fifty years ago, when the two hundredth anniversary of our city was celebrated, I was something more than a witness of the festival. I was then a young officer of volunteers, and at the same time an active member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, which did the escort duty for the City Government on that day, as it is to do it again to-morrow. It happened, as I well remember, that I was appointed the “grand guide of the right” for that parade, and it seems but yesterday that I was engaged in aligning the battalion, in front of the State-House, to receive the authorities of the State and city, before marching with them between the long rows of school-children, of whom my friend Mr. Evarts may have been one, and possibly the Mayor another, — to hear, as I did hear, the noble oration of the elder Quincy and the charming poem of Charles Sprague, at the Old South. And then came the dinner at the Exchange Coffee House, where I was privileged to sit down with Otis and Quincy, and the Appletons and the Lawrences, and Governor Lincoln, and Judge Story, and Leverett Saltonstall, and Everett, and Webster, and so many more of the illustrious men who were the pride and glory of the Commonwealth in those days. Certainly, my friends, to have played ever so humble a part in one such jubilee festival is enough for a lifetime, and I may well leave it to other and younger men to be heard on this occasion.
For myself, I am here, fellow-citizens, only to recognize, as the law phrase is, and to be recognized as one of the old Puritan stock, in lineal descent from the foremost of the founders of Massachusetts and of Boston, whose statue is to be unveiled and inaugurated to-morrow. My veneration for his character would alone have brought me here to-night. To him belong all the honors which may attach to the name which he first rendered familiar and famous in the American hemisphere. And, in view of the tribute which the city is now paying to his memory, I may be excused for recalling the fact that three or four years only after his arrival with the Charter of Massachusetts, when he had been called on, somewhat invidiously, to present a statement of his public receipts and expenditures to the little colonial legislature, he concluded the statement with an humble request in these words, — that “as it stands upon the record that, upon the discharge of my office, I was called to accompt, so this