Слике страница
PDF
ePub

declaration

may be recorded also; lest hereafter, when I shall be forgotten, some blemish may lie upon my posterity, when there shall be nothing to clear it.” Two centuries and a half have now passed away, and it is safe to say that he is not forgotten yet, nor altogether in the way of being forgotten; while, if any blemish rests on his posterity, they alone must bear it, as they are ready to bear it, for themselves.

But the grand celebration of to-morrow, I need not say, has a far wider range, and a far more comprehensive reference, than to any individual man or to any single period of our history. It is to commemorate Boston, as planted, indeed, in 1630, but as taking root, and springing up, and spreading forth its leaves and branches, and bearing fruit abundantly, for a full quarter of a thousand years, — leaves for the healing of the nations, branches for the shelter and refuge of the oppressed, and fruit for the nourishment of freedom everywhere. It is to commemorate all the great events, and all the great men of its whole continuous and consistent history, from those small beginnings, when, as Cotton Mather tells us, it was once contemptuously called "Lost Town,” owing to its sad and mean circumstances, until it became not only the chief town of New England, as it still is, but the metropolis of all English America, as it was before the Revolution.

From that period the growth of the country, and the rise and progress of other cities north and south, east and west, and, above all, the development and expansion of our imperial sister, New York, to whom we all do willing homage, have reduced its relative rank in all the material elements which make up the importance and grandeur of a great metropolis. But there is enough left this day for us to contemplate with gratitude and pride. It has been from the first a city set on a hill, - yes, on three hills. It has never been hid. It never can be hid. The hills on which it was built, and which gave it the designation which was changed for Boston, on the 17th of September, 1630, have been levelled and swept into the sea, and we, who knew them and played on them as boys, now look for them in vain. But Boston remains, — with a character all its own, with a history which can never be obliterated, and with a future, as we all hope and believe, not less prosperous or less glorious than its past. Oh, if those who laid its strong and deep foundations, two centuries and a half ago, could look down upon it to-day, and see to what greatness it has grown; what a fame it has acquired at home and abroad; what wideinfluences it has exerted in every good cause over this whole continent, and how they themselves are now honored and revered, they would be more than rewarded for all their toils and tears, and sacrifices and sufferings, and would fully realize that, by God's blessing, they had achieved a work worthy to be commemorated throughout all generations!

But "Not unto us, not unto us,” would be their cry, e but unto God's name give the praise!” The statue which is to be unveiled to-morrow has in one hand the Charter of Massachusetts, and in the other the Word of God, — copied carefully from the old family Bible which the governor himself brought over with the charter, and which is now a precious possession of my own. Divine and human laws are thus presented together, - faith and freedom, religion and liberty, — a liberty, as Winthrop defined it, " to do that only which is good, just, and honest.” So may it ever be!

Let me hasten to a conclusion, Mr. Mayor, by expressing the hope, and trust, and earnest prayer of one who, having witnessed and participated in two of these jubilees, can only contemplate a third with the eye of faith, that, as half centuries and whole centuries shall roll away in the long future, our beloved city may still and ever preserve its ancient character for honor and public spirit; may still maintain its old renown for devotion to union, liberty, and law; may still be famed for its institutions of religion, education, and charity; and, above all, may still be upheld and blessed, ruled over and overruled, by the God of our fathers, and our God! In the familiar words of the chosen motto of our city seal, -as borrowed from the invocation of the wisest of kings and of men, at the dedication of the Temple of Jerusalem, " Sicut patribus, sit Deus nobis.

The Mayor then presented the Hon. William A. COURTENAY, Mayor of Charleston, S.C., whó spoke as follows:

ADDRESS OF HON. WILLIAM ASHMEAD COURTENAY, MAYOR OF

CHARLESTON, S.C.

Fellow-Citizens of Boston, — It is to me a high privilege to share in the festivities of this most interesting occasion, which carries our thoughts in retrospect through the centuries to that early settlement, the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of which you are about to commemorate. Surveying from this point of time our impressive past, it is permitted us to feel that we are actors in the vast unfolding of a continent which the voice of prophecy in the remote past had so clearly foretold: “There shall come a time in later ages when ocean shall relax his chains and a vast continent appear, and a pilot shall find a new world, and Thule shall be no longer earth's bounds." The prophecy has been fulfilled. In the wonderful century which saw at its beginning the coronation of Elizabeth, and at its close the death of the great commoner, the shores of this, our now wide domain, were being trod by the first settlers of Port Royal and Jamestown, of New Amsterdam and Plymouth, of Boston and Charleston. In

In looking over the fields of our great conquests we are reminded of an origin from different lands, under different languages, in a magnificent age, and of the duties which should go hand in hand with our privileges; and so it concerns us all, as citizens of a common country, that our great republic shall grow even more and more in wisdom, power, and splendor, in the years to come, and that this western world of civil liberty and selfgovernment shall remain to those who are to come after us.

You have been pleased to honor South Carolina and her chief city, in these anniversary ceremonies, by special mention. I recall the circumstance, that on a festive occasion, in a neighboring city, only a few years ago, a friend who responded for our State said in plaintive accents, "I feel that in answering for South Carolina at this time and on this occasion I am introducing a spectre at your feast.”

How happily different I am circumstanced to-night! I speak now for a State with renewed life; with a wise and beneficent government; with her fields and forests weighted with thirty millions of remunerative crops; with the hum of many profitable industries everywhere heard within her borders, and with fresh population coming to her from many quarters. But, above and beyond all these evidences of material prosperity, I speak for a people not only prosperous and contented, but who, having bravely survived the sorrows and sacrifices of the near past, are looking forward to an inviting future, keenly alive to impulse and achievement, with ardent hopes and large plans, in this the birth-time of their new public life, and no political aspirations outside of the union of States, which is "' to give to liberty a continent to exist in.”

Boston, with her ampler resources and larger responsibilities, sends cordial greetings, too, to the old city of Gadsden and Moultrie. Happy reunion of early friends! What though the two cities have been separated in thought and deed, since the heroic days when Moultrie's guns sent answer back in no unintelligible signal to Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill! The issues which had divided them have now passed away forever! Time is valuable for the lessons it imparts. Behind St. George's chapel, at Windsor Castle, there is a nook whose sombre shadow matches well the significance of its centre-piece, — for there stands a memorial, harmonizing with the noble arches, the knightly banners, and the grand monuments of its historic interior and shadowy cloisters. In the midst of this emerald grass-plot rises a tall, slender cross of stone, without ornament of any kind, nothing to rivet the attention or take captive the imagination. Yet in the panorama of this great museum of history there are few spots more profoundly impressive. Men stand around this simple royal memorial, and tell how the last of the Bonapartes, dying in a distant land, in the ranks of his hereditary enemies, is honored at this ancient home of kings by a queen who has happily outlived the antagonisms and passions of her people in the early years of this century. And so, too, may the people of our wide-spreading Union, with grateful hearts, tell of this noble city, whose distinguished son uttered the first potent word of reconciliation, when he asked that the names of the places of civil strife should be removed from the victorious flags of the restored Union. Other sons of Boston, acting out this noble thought, have since done the work which that symbol of St. George's chapel teaches. The schoolhouse, the Home of Rest, the private charities of Charleston, have each felt the ministering hand of the sons and daughters of this generous city, and on every New Year's day the widows

« ПретходнаНастави »