nor the sorrow of our women, can answer to God and mankind
in the place of righteousness and truth. It may be that Seces
sion was not the wisest course of action at the time. So
thought Mr. Stephens and many true men among us. That is
simply a question of expediency.
But the questions involved in our relations to the Africans,
and in our allegiance to the Federal Government are not mat
ters of expediency As to these we held with our fathers and
acted as they did. They succeeded. We failed from, lack of
physical force. What is the difference.
I anticipate the cry of fools and cowards, “You are promoting
sectionalism.” I’m doing nothing of the kind. Was your Ste
vens a narrow-minded bigot? Was he uncharitable towards
others, because he spent years of his life in composing that mas
terly defense of his people? Was Lee narrow-minded because
to his last breath he cherished his convictions? Did not our
unbending chieftain who now lies in his coffin advise us again
and again to enter heartily into our duties as citizens of the
United States? And have not the newspapers been telling of
late how he received into Beauvoirthe Federal trooper who first
laid hands on him when arrested, talked kindly with him, and
sent him away with a purse of money to supply his wants a
beautiful example of that commandment “Love your enemies,”
When General Garfield lay dying did not your Legislature set
apart a day for special prayer in behalf of the Federal officer
and his afflicted family? And when Gen. Graut was wasting
away inch by inch, did not the South speak tenderly of him J
Did she not stand with uncovered head before the dead soldier?
So may it ever be with us! Let others be ruffians to insult the
living by reviling the dead.
Again I charge my young friends to cherish the courteous
manners of the “Old South.” Gentlemen bred in the courts of
Europe admired the courtly manners of the Old South. I have
heard learned Professors from great European Universities ad
mit the charm of Southern courtesy, and praise the charm of our
lovely women. Do not, I beg, lose sight of the courtesies of
life. There is danger ahead of you, candor compels n\e to say
Strangers with brusque ways are coming among us. The race
for money is becoming more and more heated. These things
are not friendly to gentle manners.