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Burke may be called the High Priest of Order-a lover of settled ways, of justice, peace, and security. His writings are a storehouse of wisdom, not the cheap shrewdness of the mere man of the world, but the noble, animating wisdom of one who has the poet's heart as well as the statesman's brain.
Nobody is fit to govern this country who has not drunk deep at the springs of Burke. “Have you read your Burke ?”' is at least as sensible a question to put to a parliamentary candidate, as to ask him whether he is a total abstainer or a desperate drunkard. Something there may be about Burke to regret, and more to dispute; but that he loved justice and hated iniquity is certain, as also it is that for the most part he dwelt in the paths of purity, humanity, and good sense. May we be found adhering to them!
ENRY CABOT LODGE, an American politician and author, was born
in Boston, Massachusetts, May 12, 1850. He was graduated at Harvard College in 1871, and at the Law School in 1874. In 1875 he received the degree of Ph.D. for his thesis on the “ Land Law of the Anglo-Saxons.” He was university lecturer on American history at Harvard from 1876 to 1879, and edited the “ North American Review” in 1873-76, and the “ International Review" in 1879-81. He served two terms in the Massachusetts legislature in 1880-81, and was a delegate to the Republican national conventions of 1880 and 1884. He was for two years chairman of the Republican state committee, and in 1886 was elected to Congress. He served through the fiftieth, fifty-first and fifty-second congresses and was re-elected to the fifty-third, but, having been elected to the United States Senate on January 17, 1893, to succeed Henry L. Dawes, he resigned his seat in the House and took his seat on the 4th of March in that year. During his congressional career Mr. Lodge was a member of several important committees, made several able speeches upon tariff, financial, and election laws, and presented the Force Bill in the Fifty-first Congress. His career in the Senate has also been signalized by notable speeches on many important measures. He was elected Overseer of Harvard University in 1884, and was awarded the honorary degree of LL.D. by Williams College in 1895. He published many notable works, among which may be mentioned the lives of “ Alexander Hamilton (1882); Daniel Webster " (1883); “George Washington " (1889); History of Boston" (1891); Certain Accepted Heroes, and Other Essays” (1897).
ORATION ON DANIEL WEBSTER
DELIVERED AT THE UNVEILING OF HIS STATUE IN WASHINGTON,
JANUARY 18, 1900
TATUES and monuments can justify their existence on
only two grounds—the nature of the subject they
commemorate or as works of art. They ought, of course, to possess both qualifications in the fullest measure. Theoretically, at least, a great art should ever illustrate and should always have a great subject.
But art cannot command at will a fit subject, and it is therefore fortunately true that if the art be great it is its
own all-sufficient warrant for existence. That Michael Angelo's unsurpassed figure called “Meditation” should be in theory a portrait statue and bear the name of one of the most worthless of the evil Medicean race is, after all, of slight moment. The immortal art remains to delight and to uplift every one who looks upon it with considerate eyes; and it matters little that all the marvellous figures which the chapel of the Medici enshrines were commanded and carved in order to keep alive the memory of a family steeped in crime and a curse to every people among whom they
On the other hand, hard as it often is, we can endure bad art if there be no question that the great man or the shining deed deserves the commemoration of bronze or marble. But when the art is bad and the subject unworthy or ephemeral, then the monument, as was said of Sir John Vanbrugh's palaces, is simply a heavy load to the patient earth and an offence to the eyes of succeeding generations.
In these days the world sins often and grievously in this way, and is much given to the raising of monuments, too frequently upon trifling provocation. Yet the fault lies not in the mere multiplication of monuments. The genius of Greece and of the Renaissance multiplied statues, and very wisely, too, because art then was at once splendid and exuberant. But great sculptors and painters are as few now as they were plentiful in the age of Phidias or of Michael Angelo and Donatello, and we erect statues and monuments with a prodigal hand chiefly because we are very rich, and because mechanical appliances have made easy the molding of metal and the carving of stone.
It behooves us, therefore, not only to choose with care artists who can give us work worthy for posterity to look upon,
but also to avoid recklessness in rearing monuments upon slight grounds. At present there seems no disposition to heed these salutary principles. The cities and towns of Europe and of England swarm with modern statues and monuments, as a rule ugly or commonplace, too often glaring and vulgar, and very frequently erected to the memory and the glory of the illustrious obscure and of the parish hero.
We Americans sin less numerously, I think, in these respects than the Old World, but we follow their practice none the less and with many melancholy results. We should break away from the example of Europe and realize that the erection of an enduring monument in a public place is a very serious matter. We should seek out the best artists and should permit no monuments to deeds or to men who do not deserve them and who will not themselves be monumental in history and before the eyes of posterity.
Here in Washington, especially, we should bear this principle in mind, for this is the city of the nation, and it should have no place for local glories or provincial heroes. Yet even here we have been so careless that while we have given space to one or more statues of estimable persons, the fact of whose existence will be known only by their effigies, we have found as yet no place for a statue of Hamilton, the greatest constructive statesman of our history, or of the great soldier whose genius made the campaign of Vicksburg rival that of Ulm.
To-day no such doubts or criticisms need haunt or perplex us. We can thank the artist who has conceived, and mosť unreservedly can we thank the generous and public spirited citizen of New Hampshire who has given the statue which we unveil this morning. If anyone among our statesmen has a title to a statue in Washington it is Daniel Webster, for this
is the national capital, and no man was ever more national in his conceptions and his achievements than he.
Born and bred in New Hampshire, which first elected him to the House, he long represented Massachusetts, the State of his adoption, in the Congress of the United States, and thus two historic Commonwealths cherish his memory. But much as he loved them both, his public service was given to the nation, and so given that no man doubts his title to a statue here in this city. Why is there neither doubt nor question as to Webster's right to this great and lasting honor half a century after his death?
If we cannot answer this question so plainly that he who runs may read, then we unveil our own ignorance when we unveil his statue and leave the act without excuse. I shall try, briefly, to put the answer to this essential question into words. We all feel in our hearts and minds the reply that should be made. It has fallen to me to give expression to that feeling.
What, then, are the real reasons for the great place which Webster fills in our history? I do not propose to answer this question by reviewing the history of his time or by retelling his biography. Both history and biography contain the answer, yet neither is the answer. They are indeed much more, for they carry with them, of necessity, everything concerning the man, his strength and his weakness, his virtues and his defects, all the criticism, all the differences of opinion which such a career was sure to arouse and which such an influence upon his country and upon its thought, upon his own time and upon the future, was equally sure to generate.
There is a place for all this, but not here to-day. We do not raise a monument to Webster upon debatable grounds, and thus make it the silent champion of one side of a dead