Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

language, to-day the leading language of the world. Mr. Bryce justly boasts that “England has sent her language, her commerce, her laws, and institutions forth from herself óver an even wider and more populous area than that whose races were molded into new forms by the laws and institutions of Rome.”

The marvelous achievements of the English-speaking people, reaching forth from their little island world, are sure to be surpassed by several hundred millions of English-speaking people of fifty powerful States in an invincible Republic whose home is the vast center of a continent washed by both oceans.

Lord Rosebery, the foremost statesman and orator of the British Empire in our day, has outlined in historic vision what would have been the future of the English-speaking people had George III listened to reason and had the thirteen colonies sent representatives to the Imperial Parliament. He predicted that at last when the Americans became the majority, the seat of empire would have been moved across the Atlantic, and Britain would have become the historic shrine and European outpost of the world empire, with the English-speaking Federal Parliament sitting in Columbia territory somewhere in the Mississippi Basin.

Simpler and grander far is the historic reality. The great Republic has been worthy of its heritage. It has lifted up humanity and liberty. It has advanced civilization. It leads the commerce of the world. It is the richest nation on the globe. It is now the world's center of finance. It is invincible in war, if war approach its shores. It is fast reaching out to control the seas. Its people are happy, free, homogeneousthe most intelligent, and soon to be the most numerous. It is the greatest self-governing nation and the greatest world power. Its foreign policy is a synonym for justice. Its creed is peace.

The future of the English-speaking peoples depends upon our Republic, and that future, in the vigorous embrace of the younger world, is boundless.

ADDRESS OF MR. HOAR, OF MASSACHUSETTS. Mr. PRESIDENT: Every man who has visited a great gallery will remember some picture that caught his attention and dwells in his memory because of some single stroke or feature. It will seem of little importance when he comes to tell of it. But that is what caught his eye and led him to pause before it when a hundred more celebrated works of more famous painters were neglected or forgotten. It abides with him for the rest of his life. If it be a landscape, it may be some single rock or tree. If it be a Dutch interior, it may be only a ray of light through a window. If it be a portrait, it is but a glance of the eye, or a curl of the lip, or the pose of the head. But it penetrates the soul, and it abides.

Most of our great popular reputations are made in that way. There are a few men like Washington, or like Marshall, or like Webster, or like Lincoln, whose service is so great that their countrymen know every detail of it by heart. But, in general, our great men are remembered not because of sober and faithful labor, not because of long service in legislation, or in the Executive chair, or even in war. Something has found its way to the people's heart and keeps the name fresh.

Old John Adams, though he was President of the United States, is remembered by nine men out of ten for the immortal argument for the Declaration of Independence, ascribed to him by Webster; for the fact that he was our first representative to Great Britain, and for his sublime death at the height of human fame, with the undying words “Independence forever") on his dying lips. As was said of Lord Nelson, by his biographer, “If the chariot and the horses of fire had been vouchsafed for his translation he could scarcely have departed in a brighter blaze of glory."

John Hancock was a great power in the time of the Revolution, and before. But his countrymen in general only know that he signed his name to the Declaration in letters visible across the broad Atlantic, and that he told the patriots to burn Boston, though it contained his whole fortune, if it were needful for the cause of liberty; that he was President of the Continental Congress, and that he was excepted, with Sam Adams, in the royal proclamation of amnesty, as a rebel whose offenses were too flagitious for pardon.

Ask even the men of his own State of Massachusetts, and of his own town of Boston, what they know of Sam Adams. They will tell you that they know that he was a man who was excepted with Hancock from the royal pardon; that he was the man who demanded of Hutchinson the removal of the regiments from Boston, and that when Hutchinson told him he would remove one, answered, “ If you have power to remove one you have power to remove both,” and that when he told the story afterwards he said, “It was then that I observed his knees tremble, and I enjoyed the sight.”

There is an admirable memoir of CHARLES CARROLL, which shows a life extending over almost a century. A large part of it is crowded with honorable public service of the first quality. It shows him fully entitled to rank not only as a foremost statesman of a foremost State, but among the great men of his time, from whatever State they may have come. There has been no time since the Revolution ended when the name of CHARLES CARROLL of Carrollton was not a familiar household word in every home through the length and breadth of the country.

Yet if you had asked, not merely common men, but wellinformed men, students of history or graduates of the college or university, men themselves taking an important part in public affairs, they could tell you only that CHARLES CARROLL was a Catholic; that he lived to survive all his companions who signed the Declaration; and that when he signed his name he took care that there should be no doubt of his identity, if the Revolutionary war were a failure and it were in the power of the Royal Government to inflict the death penalty for treason.

CHARLES CARROLL died at 95, in the year 1832. He survived Jefferson and John Adams over six years. Jefferson and John Adams and CARROLL had been the only survivors of the signers of the Declaration for eleven years before. It seemed that as each of that immortal company died the affection his countrymen had felt for him was transferred to the survivors.

I suppose, in spite of the bitter political antagonism of that day, in which Jefferson and Adams not only shared, but in which they were the great leaders of the opposite sides, that there were never figures in the history of any people dearer to the popular heart than Thomas Jefferson, as he comes down in history with the Declaration of Independence in one hand and the title deed of Louisiana in the other, and brave and honest old John Adams, who had argued, with a power given to no other man, the side of the country in the great debate of liberty. When Adams and Jefferson died it seemed that the whole of this sentiment gathered and centered upon CARROLL.

I can remember when he died, though then but a child of 6 years. The schoolboy used to be asked the question in the school to name the only man living of that illustrious band. And I well remember when the solemn tidings went through the country that CHARLES CARROLL, was gone.

Before he died men used to make pilgrimages to his dwelling as to a shrine. My honored and accomplished friend Mr. Winthrop has left on record a graphic account of such a visit.

I can not but remember that it was my privilege to see and know that venerable person in my early manhood. Entering his drawing-room nearly five and forty years ago, I found him reposing on a sofa and covered with a shawl, and was not even aware of his presence, so shrunk and shriveled by the lapse of years was his originally feeble frame. Quot libras in duce summo! But the little heap on the sofa was soon seen stirring, and, rousing himself from his midday nap, he rose and greeted me with a courtesy and grace which I shall never forget.

In the ninety-fifth year of his age, as he was, and within a few months of his death, it is not surprising that there should be little for me to recall of that interview save his eager inquiries about James Madison, whom I had just visited at Montpelier, and his affectionate allusions to John Adams, who had gone before him; and save, too, the exceeding satisfaction for myself of having seen and pressed the hand of the last surviving signer of the Declaration.

Webster described him as “an aged oak standing alone on the plain, which time has spared a little longer after all its contemporaries have been leveled with the dust.” He says that his countrymen delight to gather around its trunk while it yet stands, and to dwell beneath its shadow.

I will not undertake to do what my honorable friend from Maryland has done so much better-draw the lesson of patriotism which is taught us by the life of CHARLES CARROLL. I have no fear that the great Declaration will ever lose its primacy among the political State papers which have been produced since the beginning of time. To find its superior or its equal we must search the inspired pages of our venerable Scriptures. There have been times, and there will be again, when the great truths on which our fathers planted the Republic, as upon a corner stone, will be denied or scorned or scoffed at by men or parties who, in some fancied stress or political necessity, will endeavor to escape their obligations.

That is true, unhappily, of the Ten Commandments and of the Sermon on the Mount. It is true of every moral and legal obligation, whether of divine or human sanction. The generation and the party and the individual who have disobeyed these high commands perish and are forgotten, while the eternal law of rectitude abides forever. The commanding authority of our great Declaration and the pure fame of the men who framed it and who signed it and who pledged to it their life, fortune, and sacred honor will remain so long as the Republic shall endure. Among them there is no purer and there are few more conspicuous reputations than that of CHARLES CARROLL.

But I should like to speak for a moment of one lesson which has been often forgotten, which the life of CHARLES CARROLL teaches alone among his illustrious companions.

CHARLES CARROLL was a devoted Catholic. He belonged to that church which preserved for mankind religion, learning, literature, and law through the gloomy centuries known as the Dark Ages. Yet it is the only denomination of Christians

« ПредишнаНапред »