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THE RESTORED UNION.
HENRY WOODFIN GRADY was born at Athens, Georgia, in the year 1851. As the editor of the Atlanta Constitution, he became widely and favorably known. He was a conspicuous leader in the promotion of the industries of his native state. By the fervor of his eloquence he did much to broaden the sympathies of his fellowcountrymen wherever they dwell.
His death — deeply lamented curred at Atlanta, Dec. 23, 1889.
In my native town of
Athens is a monument that crowns its central bill; a plain, white shaft. Deep cut into its shining side is a name dear to me above the names of men that of a brave and simple man who died in brave and simple faith. Not for all the glories of New England, from Plymouth Rock all the way, would I exchange the heritage he left me in his soldier's death. To the foot of that shall I send my children's children to reverence him who ennobled their name with his heroic blood.
But, sir, speaking from the shadow of that memory which I honor as I do nothing else on earth, I say that the cause in which he suffered and for which he gave his life was adjudged by higher and fuller wisdom than his or mine, and I am glad that the omniscient God held the balance of battle in His Almighty hand and that human slavery was swept forever from American soil, the American Union was saved from the wreck of war.
This message, Mr. President, comes to you from consecrated ground. Every foot of the soil about the city in which I live is as sacred as a battle ground of the republic.
Every hill that invests it is hallowed to you by the blood of your brothers who died for your victory, and doubly hallowed to us by the blood of those who died hopeless, but undaunted in defeat — sacred soil to all of us — rich with memories that make us purer and stronger and better — silent but stanch witnesses in its red desolation of the matchless valor of American hearts and the deathless glory of American arms
speaking an eloquent witness in its white peace and prosperity to the indissoluble union of American States and the imperishable brotherhood of the American people.
Now, what answer has New England to this message? Will she permit the prejudice of war to remain in the hearts of the conquerors, when it has died in the hearts of the conquered ? Will she transmit this prejudice to the next generation, that in their hearts which never felt the generous ardor of the conflict it may perpetuate itself ?
Will she withhold, save in strained courtesy, the hand which straight from his soldier's heart, Grant offered to Lee at Appomattox? Will she make the vision of a restored and happy people, which gathered above the couch of your dying captain, filling his heart with grace, touching his lips with praise, and glorifying his path to the grave — will she make this vision on which the last sigh of his expiring soul breathed a benediction, a cheat and delusion?
If she does, the South, never abject in asking for comradeship, must accept with dignity its refusal; but if she does not refuse to accept in frankness and sincerity this message of good will and friendship, then will the prophecy of Webster, delivered in this very society forty years ago amid tremendous applause, become true, be verified in its fullest extent, when he said :
“ Standing hand to hand and clasping hands, we should remain united as we have been for sixty years, citizens of the same common country, members of the same government, united, all united now and united forever.”
There have been difficulties, contentions, and controversies, but I tell you that in my judgment,
“those opposéd eyes,
HENRY WOODFIN GRADY.
CHRISTMAS REVELS IN ENGLAND.
WASHINGTON IRVING was born in the city of New York, April 3, 1783. His childhood and early youth were passed in that city. In 1806 he was admitted to the practice of the law. His first notable work in literature was “Knickerbocker's History of New York,” a humorous book. Sketch Book” was published in 1820, and was received with great favor. Perhaps the most popular of these sketches are “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Irving wrote a variety of books that became noted — story, adventure, history, biography, and travel.
He died at his home, Sunnyside, near Tarrytown, New York, Nov. 28, 1859.
That indefatigable spirit, Master Simon, in the faithful discharge of his duties as lord of misrule, had conceived the idea of a Christmas mummery or masking; and having called in to his assistance the Oxonian and the young officer, who were equally ripe for anything that should occasion romping and merriment, they had carried it into instant effect.
The old housekeeper had been consulted; the antique clothespresses and wardrobes rummaged, and made to yield up the relics of finery that had not seen the light for several generations; the younger part of the company had been privately convened from parlor and hall, and the whole had been bedizened out, into a burlesque imitation of an antique mask.
Master Simon led the van, as“ Ancient Christmas," quaintly appareled in a ruff, a short cloak, which had very much the appearance of one of the old housekeeper's petticoats, and a hat that might have served for a village steeple, and must indubitably have figured in the days of the Covenanters. From under this his nose curved boldly forth, flushed with a frost-bitten bloom, that seemed the very trophy of a December blast.
He was accompanied by the blue-eyed romp, dished up as “Dame Mince Pie,” in the venerable magnificence of a faded brocade, long stomacher, peaked hat, and high-heeled shoes.
The young officer appeared as Robin Hood, in a sporting dress of Kendal green, and a foraging cap with a gold tassel. The fair Julia hung on his arm in a pretty rustic dress, as “ Maid Marian.”
The rest of the train had been metamorphosed in various ways: the girls trussed up in the finery of the ancient belles of the Bracebridge line, and the striplings bewhiskered with burnt cork, and gravely clad in broad skirts, hanging sleeves, and full-bottomed wigs, to represent the character of Roast Beef, Plum Pudding, and other worthies celebrated in ancient maskings.
The whole was under the control of the Oxonian, in the appropriate character of Misrule; and I ob