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closet and for the field; it is of practical use to a practicat people; its secrets are a shield and not a sword; it believes in the royal heritage of man and in the divine right of self-advancement. Teaching loyalty to established government, and obedience to law, it holds that governments are made for man and that the citizen who controls himself, who recognizes the rights of, and has faith in, his fellow citizens is the best prop and support of such a government. It believes in truth, in honor, in temperance, in the overshadowing Fatherhood of God; in the lasting, eternal brotherhood of man; in charity in thought and charity in acts; to the cry of Cain it answers, “I am my brother's keeper,” and in every hour of its existence it has blessed humanity and lessened human toil and suffering.
Bear with me for a moment. If I am correctly informed, the present total taxable valuation, real and personal, of this city is $69,215,240. Raze beautiful Richmond to the ground; convert into coin every foot of land within its corporate limits; let every stone and timber of every factory, every business block, every dwelling-house, contribute to the sum; into the crucible put your jewels and your stores of gold and silver; market the securities, bonds, and stocks of your people; and when you shall have done all this, when you shall have converted your city's soil and buildings into scrip, when you shall have stripped your citizens of all their taxable property, you will, even then, be over fifteen million dollars short of the amount of money that this Order has expended, since 1830, in brotherly relief. You will then be short a sum equal to seven-twelfths of the entire taxable valuation of the personal property here owned. At the present rate of charitable expenditure we distribute, for such purposes, the wealth of a Richmond every nineteen years; a distribution in which there is no expense account and in which every dollar finds the pocket of the beneficiary. Pardon the illustration, Mr. Mayor. We like your city too well to despoil it; we hope to come again; but the comparison made demonstrates the magnitude of this Order's silent charitable work.
Can you question the fraternal spirit of such a brotherhood? Dare you challenge its right to live? Can you
define the future's bounds? It is not my purpose to enter into a discussion of the Order's principles, or to pronounce an eulogy upon its work. To-day it holds one million souls within its fond embrace. The streams of its unostentatious charity have flowed to every corner of our land; its white banner has led the march of fraternal life. Today we salute our comrades across the seas; our flag is uplifted in the isles of the Pacific. Our faith has overleaped the barriers of States, nor has it been retarded by the artificial distinctions of society. Virginia's sons have shared our Order's struggles and its honors. They have taught its lessons on your soil, and " by their works ye shall know them."
We come to-day representing every State and Territory of this great Union in answer to Virginia's call, and in response to Richmond's welcome. With us as comrades, brothers, and friends are citizens of that northward land, with whose sons we claim kinship, whose national hymn is set to the same air as ours, and whose gentle ruler is Queen of American as well as of English hearts. Within our convention hall are clustered the flags of sixteen different lands wherein this Order dwells, and over all hangs the white flag of peace, emblazoned with the scarlet links of truth.
Such an Order it is my proud privilege to represent. In its name I accept your greeting, and in its name I thank you for it. Generous as have been the spoken words, more generous has been the manner of your salutation. From the moment we entered Virginia until this hour we have been the recipients of boundless hospitality. We have traveled your beautiful valleys with delight-we have shared in a true Virginia welcome—we are glad that we have come, and we shall bear to our several homes brightest recollections of the Old Dominion and of its sons and daughters.
To your Excellency, to you, Mr. Mayor, to the several representatives of our Order, and to you who represent our gentle sisterhood, I tender the thanks and the fraternal salutations of the Sovereign Grand Lodge, and I trust that our sojourn among you may be as pleasant to you as it is profitable and enjoyable to us.
Representatives: Virginia has formally welcomed us to
her heart; Richmond has opened wide her gates; our brothers and sisters, the portals of their homes; let us repay this courtesy by making this the most memorable session of our history-memorable for the good we accomplish, for the inspiration given to our brotherhood, for the assistance rendered to the weary soul. As the gates of a new century swing outward at our touch, let us lift our flag to loftier heights, and let us dedicate our Order anew to the great purposes that gave it birth.
We meet among a generous people and amid historic surroundings. Here, in more ancient days, people of our blood and kin laid the foundations of a mighty power. The history of this commonwealth is interwoven with that of this nation and of the English-speaking race.
Its sons have been conspicuous in the forum and on the battlefield. Again and again has it sent forth its bravest to build up other States, and to the nation it has given rulers whose name and fame will live while centuries pass away. We know its splendid history; we have faith in its bright future, and
' Again we hail thee
(Eulogy by Sargent S. Prentiss, lawyer, orator, Member of Congress, from Mississippi (born in Portland, Maine, September 30, 1808; died in Laguerre, near Natchez, Miss., July 1, 1850), delivered in Jackson, Miss., August, 1835, after the death of Lafayette.)
Death, who knocks with equal hand at the door of the cottage and the palace gate, has been busy at his appointed work. Mourning prevails throughout the land, and the countenances of all are shrouded in the mantle of regret. Far across the wild Atlantic, amid the pleasant vineyards in the sunny land of France, there, too, is mourning; and the weeds of sorrow are alike worn by prince and peasant. Against whom has the monarch of the tomb turned his remorseless dart that such widespread sorrow prevails? Hark, and the agonized voice of Freedom, weeping for her favorite son, will tell you in strains sadder than those with which she “ shrieked when Kosciusko fell” that Lafayette—the gallant and the good-has ceased to live.
The friend and companion of Washington is no more. He who taught the eagle of our country, while yet unfledged, to plume his young wing and mate his talons with the lion's strength, has taken his flight far beyond the stars, beneath whose influence he fought so well. Lafayette is dead! The gallant ship, whose pennon has so often bravely streamed above the roar of battle and the tempest's rage, has at length gone slowly down in the still and quiet waters. Well mightest thou, O Death, now recline beneath the laurels thou hast won; for never since, as the grim messenger of Almighty Vengeance, thou camest into this world, did a more generous heart cease to
heave beneath thy chilling touch, and never will thy insatiate dart be hurled against a nobler breast! Who does not feel at the mournful intelligence, as if he had lost something cheering from his own path through life; as if some bright star, at which he had been accustomed frequently and fondly to gaze, had been suddenly extinguished in the firmament?
History's page abounds with those who have struggled forth from the nameless crowd, and, standing forward in the front ranks, challenged the notice of their fellow men; but when, in obedience to their bold demands, we examine their claims to our admiration, how seldom do we find aught that excites our respect or commands our veneration. With what pleasure do we turn from the contemplation of the Cæsars and Napoleons of the human race to meditate upon the character of Lafayette! We feel proud that we belong to the same species; we feel proud that we live in the same age; and we feel still more proud that our own country drew forth and nurtured those generous virtues which went to form a character that for love of liberty, romantic chivalry, unbounded generosity and unwavering devotion, has never had a parallel.
The history of this wonderful man is engraved upon the memory of every American, and I shall only advert to such portions of it as will best tend to illustrate his character. In 1777 our fathers were engaged in rescuing from the fangs of the British lion the rights which their sons are now enjoying. It was the gloomiest period of the Revolutionary struggle. Our army was feeble; an insolent and victorious enemy was pressing hard upon it; despondency had spread through its ranks. It seemed as if the last hope of Freedom was gone. Deep gloom had settled over the whole country; and men looked with a despairing aspect upon the future of a contest which their best wishes could not flatter them was doubtful. It was at this critical period that their hopes were renovated and their spirits roused by the cheering intelligence that at Charleston, in the State of South Carolina, there had just arrived a gallant French nobleman of high rank and immense wealth, eager to embark his person and his fortunes in the sacred cause of Liberty! New impulse was given to the energies of our dispirited troops. As the first ray