OUR nation is now paying the price, not only of its vice, but also of its virtue,— not alone of its evil doing, but of its noble and admirable doing as well. It has of late been a customary cry with a certain class, that those who cherish freedom and advocate social justice are the proper authors of the present war. No doubt there is in this allegation an ungracious kind of truth ; that is, had the nation been destitute of a political faith and of moral feeling, there would have been no contest. But were one lying ill of yellow-fever or small-pox, there would be the same sort of lying truth in the statement, that the life in him, which alone resists the disease, is really its cause; since to yellowfever, or to any malady, dead bodies are not subject. There is no preventive of disease so effectual as death itself, — no place so impregnable to pestilence as the grave. So, had the vitality gone out of the nation’s heart, had that lamp of love for freedom and justice and of homage to the being of man, which once burned in its bosom so brightly, already sunk into death-flicker and extinction, then in the sordid and icy dark that would remain there could be no war of like nature with this that today gives the land its woful baptism of blood and tears. Oh, no ! there would have been peace — and putrefaction: peace, but without its sweetness, and death, but without its hopes.
In one important sense, however, this war — hateful and horrible though it be — is the price which the nation must pay for its ideas and its magnanimity. If you take a clear initial step toward any great end, you thereby assume as a debt to destiny the pursuit and completion of your action ; and should you fail to meet this debt, it will not fail to meet you, though now in the shape of retribution and with a biting edge. The seaman who has signed shipping-papers owes a voyage, and must either sail or suffer. The nation which has recognized absolute rights of man, and in their name assumed to shed blood, has taken upon itself the burden of a high destination, and must bear it, if not willingly, reluctantly, if not in joy and honor, then in shame and weeping.
Our nation, by the early nobility of its faith and action, assumed such a debt to destiny, and now must pay it. It needed not to come in this shape : there need have been no horror of carnage,— no feast of vultures, and carnival offiends,—no weeping of Rachel, mourning for her children, and refusing to be comforted, because they are not. There was required only a magnanimity in proceeding to sustain that of our beginning,— only a sympathy broad enough to take our little planet and all her human tribes in its arms, deep enough to go beneath the skin in which men dif fer, to the heart’s blood in which they agree, — only pains and patience, faith and forbearance,—only a national obedience to that profound precept of Christianity which prescribes service to him that would be greatest, making the knowledge of the wise due to the ignorant, and the strength of the strong due to the weak. The costs of freedom would have been paid in the patient lifting up of a degraded race from the slough of servitude; and the nation would at the same time have avoided that slough of lava and fire wherein it is now ingulfed.
It was not to be so. History is coarse ; it gets on by gross feeding and fevers, not by delicacy of temperance and wisdom of regimen. Our debt was to be paid, not in a pure form, but mixed with the costs of unbelief, cowardice, avarice. Yet primarily it is the cost, not of meanness, but of magnanimity, that we are now paying, — not of a base skepticism, but of a noble faith. For, in truth, normal qualities and actions involve costs no less than vicious and abnormal. Such is the law of the world ; and it is this law of the costs of worthiness, of knowledge and nobility, of all memorable being and doing, that I now desire to set forth. Having obtained the scope and power of the law, having considered it also as applying to individuals, we may proceed to exhibit its bearing upon the present struggle of our Republic.
The general statement is this, —that whatever has a worth has also a cost. “ The law of the universe,” says a wise thinker, “is, Pay and take.” If you desire silks of the mercer or supplies at the grocery, you, of course, pay money. Is it a harvest from the field that you seek ? Tillage must be paid. Would you have the river toil in production of cloths for your raiment ? Only pay the due modicum of knowledge, labor, and skill, and you shall bind its hand to your water-wheels, and turn all its prone strength into pliant service. Or perhaps you wish the comforts of a household. By payment of the due bearing of its burdens, you may hope to obtain it, —surely not otherwise. Do you ask that this house may be a true home, a treasury for wealth of the heart, a little heaven ? Once more the word is pay, — pay your own heart’s unselfish love, pay a generous trustfulness, a pure sympathy, a tender consideration, and a sweet firm-heartedness withal. And so, wherever there is a gaining, there is a warning, — wherever a wellbeing, a well-doing,—wherever a preciousness, a price of possession ; and he who scants the payment stints the purchase; and he that will proffer nothing shall profit nothing ; but he that freely and wisely gives shall receive as freely.
But these desiderata which I have named are all prices either of ordinary use, of comfort, or felicity ; and it is generally understood that happiness is costly : but virtue ? Virtue, so far from costing anything, is often supposed to be itself a price that you pay for happiness. It is told us that we shall be rewarded for our virtue ; what moralistic commonplace is more common than this? But rewarded for your virtue you are not to be ; yon are to pay for it ; at least, payment made, rather than received, is the principal fact. He who is honest for reward is a knave without reward. He who asks pay for telling truth has truth only on his tongue and a double lie in his heart. Do you think that the true artist strives to paint well that he may get money for his work ? Or rather, is not his desire to pay money, to pay anything in reason, for the sake of excellence in his art? And, indeed, what is worthier than Worth? What fitter, therefore, to be paid for? And that payment is made, even under penal forms, every one may see. For what did Raleigh give his lofty head ? For the privilege of being Raleigh, ot being a man of great heart and a statesman of great mind, with a King James, a burlesque of all sovereignty, on the throne. For what did Socrates quaff the poison ? For the privilege of that divine sincerity and penetration which characterized his life. For what did Kepler endure the last straits of poverty, his children crying for bread, while his own heart was pierced with their wailing? For the privilege—in his own noble words — “ of reading God’s thoughts after Him,” — God’s thoughts written in stellar signs on the Scroll of the skies. And Cicero and Thomas Cromwell, John Huss and John Knox, John Rogers and John Brown, and many another, high and low, famed and forgotten, must they not all make, as it were, penal payment for the privilege of being true men, truest among true ? And again I say, that, if one knows something worthier than Worth, something more excellent than Excellence, then only does he know something fitter than they to be paid for.
Payment may assume a penal form : do not think this its only form. And to take the law at once out of the limitations which these examples suggest, let me show you that it is a law of healthy and unlamenting Nature. Look at the scale of existence, and you will see that for every step of advance in that scale payment is required. The animal is higher than the vegetable; the animal, accordingly, is subject to the sense of pain, the vegetable not ; and among animals the pain may be keener as the organization is nobler. The susceptibility not only to pain, but to vital injury, observes the same gradation. A little girdling kills an oak ; but some low fungus may be cut and troubled and trampled ad libitum, and it will not perish ; and along the shores, farmers year after year pluck sea-weed from the rocks, and year after year it springs again lively as ever. Among the lowest orders of animals you shall find a creature that, if you cut it in two, straightway duplicates its existence and floats away twice as happy as before ; but of the prick of a bodkin or the sting of a bee the noblest of men may die.
In the animal body the organs make a draft from the general vigors of the system just in proportion to their dignity. The eye, — what an expensive boarder at the gastric tables is that ! Considerable provinces of the brain have to be made over to its exclusive use ; and it will be remembered that a single ounce of delicate, sensitive brain, full of mysterious and marvellous powers, requires more vital support than many pounds of common muscle. The powers of the eye are great; it has a right to cost much, and it does cost. Also we observe that in this organ there is the exceeding susceptibility to injury, which, as we have observed, invariably accompanies powers of a lofty grade.
Noble senses cost much ; noble susceptibilities cost vastly more. Compare oxen with men in respect to the amount of feeling and nervous wear and tear which they severally experience. The ox enjoys grass and sleep ; he feels hunger and weariness, and he is wounded by that which goes through his hide. But upon the nerve of the man what an incessant thousandfold play ! Out of the eyes of the passers-by pleasures and pains are rained upon him ; a word, a look, a tone thrills his every fibre ; the touch of a hand warms or chills the very marrow in his bones. Anticipation and memory, hope and regret, love and hate, ideal joy and sorrow and shame, ah what troons of visitants are ever present with his soul, each and all, whether welcome guests or unwelcome, to be nourished from the resources of his bosom! And out of this high sensibility of man must come what innumerable stabs of quick agony, what slow, gasping hours of grief and pain, that to the cattle upon the hills are utterly unknown ! But do you envy the ox his bovine peace ? It is precisely that which makes him an ox. It is due to nothing but his insensibility, — by no means, as I take occasion to assure those poets who laud outward Nature and inferior creatures to the disparagement of man, — by no means due to composure and philosophy. The ox is no great hero, after all, for he will bellow at a thousandth part the sense of pain which from a Spartan child wrings no tear nor cry.
Yes, it is precisely this sensibility which makes man human. Were he incapable of ideal joy and sorrow, he, too, were brute. It is through this delicacy of conscious relationship, it is through this openness to the finest impressions, that he can become an organ of supernal intelligence, that he is capable of social and celestial inspirations. High spiritual sensibility is the central condition of a noble and admirable life ; it is the hinge on which turn and open to man the gates of his highest glory and purest peace. Yet for this he must pay away all that induration of brutes and boors which sheds off so many a wasting excitement and stinging chagrin, as the feathers of the water-fowl shed rain.
In entering, therefore, upon any noble course of life, any generous and brave pursuit of excellence, understand, that, so far as ordinary coin is concerned, you are rather to pay, than to be paid, for your superiorities. Understand that the pursuit of excellence must indeed be brave to be prosperous,— that is, it is always in some way opposed and imperilled. Understand, that, with every step of spiritual elevation which you attain, some part of your audience and companionship will be left behind. Understand, that, if you carry lofty principles and philosophic intelligence into camps, these possessions will in general not be passed to your credit, but will be charged against you ; and you must surpass your inferiors in their own kinds of virtue to regain what of popular regard these cost you. Understand, that, if you have a reverence for theoretical and absolute truth, less of common fortune will come to you in answer to equal business and professional ability than to those who do care for money, and do not care for truth. Are you a physician ? Let me tell you that there is a possible excellence in your profession which will rather limit than increase your practice ; yet that very excellence you must strive to attain, for your soul's life is concerned in your doing so. Are you a lawyer ? Know that there is a depth and delicacy in the sense of justice, which will sometimes send clients from your office, and sometimes tie your tongue at the bar; yet, as you would preserve the majesty of your manhood, strive just for that unprofitable sense of justice, — unprofitable only because infinitely, rather than finitely, profitable. In a stormy and critical time, when much is ending and much beginning, and a great land is heaving and quivering with commingled agonies of dissolution and throes of new birth, are you a statesman of earnestness and insight, with your eye on the cardinal question of your epoch, its answer clearly in your heart, and your will irrevocably set to give it due enunciation and emphasis ? Expect calumny and affected contempt from the base ; expect alienation and misconstruction and undervaluing on the part of some who are honorable. Are you a woman rich in high aims, in noble sympathies and thrilling sensibilities, and, as must ever be the case with such, not too rich in a meet companionship ? Expect loneliness, and wear it as a grace upon your brow ; it is your laurel. Are you a true artist or thinker ? Expect to go beyond popular appreciation ; go beyond it, or the highest appreciation you will not deserve. In fine, for all excellence expect and seek to pay.
No one ever held this law more steadily in view than Jesus ; and when ardent young people came to him proposing pupilage, he was wont at once to bring it before their eyes. It was on such an occasion that he uttered the words, so simple and intense that they thrill to the touch like the string of a harp, “ The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.” Of like suggestion his question of the king going to war, who first sitteth down and consulteth whether he be able, and of the man about to build a house, who begins by counting the cost.
The cost, — question of this must arise ; question of this must on all sides either be honestly met or dishonestly eluded. For observe, that attempt to escape payment for the purest values, no less than for the grossest, is dishonest. If one seek to compass possession of ordinary goods without compensation, we at once apply the opprobrious term of theft or fraud. Why does the same sort of attempt cease to be fraudulent when it is carried up to a higher degree and applied to possessions more precious ? If he that evades the revenue law of the State be guilty of fraud, what of him who would import Nature’s goods and pay no duties ? For Nature has her own system of impost, and permits no smuggling. There was a tax on truth ere there was one on tea or on silver plate. Character, genius, high parts in history are all assessed upon. Nature lets out her houses and lands on liberal terms ; but resorts to distraint, if her dues be not forthcoming. Be sure, therefore, that little success and little honor will wait upon any would-be thieving from God. He who attempts to purloin on this high scale has set all the wit of the universe at work to thwart him, and will certainly be worsted sorely in the end.
The moment, therefore, that any man is found engaged in this business, how to estimate him is clear. Daniel O’Connell tried the experiment of being an heroic patriot and making money by it. It is conceded by his friends that he applied to his private uses, to sustaining the magnificence of his household, the rent - moneys sweated from the foreheads of Irish peasants. But, they say, he had sacrificed many ambitions in taking up the rôle of a patriot ; and he felt entitled to revenues as liberal as any indulgence of them could have procured him ! The apology puts his case beyond all apology. He who — to employ the old phraseology — seeks to exact the same bribe of God that he might have obtained from the Devil is always the Devil’s servant, no matter whose livery he wears. Had one often to apply the good word patriot to such men, it would soon blister his mouth. I find, in fact, no vice so bad as this Spurious virtue, no sinners so unsavory as these mock saints.
To nations, also, this comprehensive law applies. Would you have a noble and orderly freedom ? Buy it, and it is yours. “ Liberty or death,” cried eloquent Henry; and the speech is recited as bold and peculiar; but, by an enduring ordinance of Nature, the people that does not in its heart of hearts say, “ Liberty or death,” cannot have liberty. Many of us had learned to fancy that the stern tenure by which ancient communities held their civilization was now become an obsolete fact, and that without peril or sacrifice we might forever appropriate all that blesses nations ; but by the iron throat of this war Providence is thundering down upon us the unalterable law, that man shall hold no ideal possession longer than he places all his lower treasures at its command.
But there was a special form of cost, invited by the virtue of our national existence ; and it is this in particular that we are now paying, — paying it, I am sorry to say, in the form of retribution because the nation declined to meet it otherwise. But the peculiarity of the case is, as has been affirmed, that it was chiefly the virtue and nobility of the nation which created this debt at the outset.
And now what is the peculiar virtue and glory of this nation ? Why, that its national existence is based upon a recognition of the absolute rights and duties of humanity. Theoretically this is our basis; practically there is a commixture ; much of this cosmopolitan faith is mingled with much of confined self-regard. But the theoretical fact is the one here in point: since the question now is not of the national unfaith or infidelity, but of the national faith. And beyond a question, the real faith of the nation, so far as it has one, is represented by its formal declaration, made sacred by the shedding of blood. Our belief really is not in the special right or privilege of Americans, but in the prerogative of man. This prerogative we may have succeeded well or ill in stating and interpreting; the fact, that our appeal is to this, alone concerns us here.
Now this national attitude, so far as history informs me, is unprecedented. The true-born son of Albion, save as an exceptional culture enlarges his soul, believes religiously that God is an Englishman, and that the interests of England precede those of the universe. When, therefore, he sees anything done which depletes the pocket of England, it affects him with a sense of infidelity in those to whom this loss is due. England professes to have a national religion ; she has, and in a deeper sense than is commonly meant.
We will not disparage England overmuch ; she has done good service in history. We will not boast of ourselves ; the actual politics of this country have been, in no small part, base and infidel to a degree that is simply sickening. Nevertheless, it remains true that the fundamental idea of the State here represents a new phase of human history. Every European nationality had taken shape and character while yet our globe was not known to be a globe, while before the eyes of all lookers land and sea faded away into darkness and mystery ; and it was not possible that common human sympathy should take into its arms a world of which it could not conceive. But a national spirit was here generated when the ocean had been crossed, when the earth had been rounded, when, too, Newton had, as it were, circumnavigated the solar system, — when, therefore, there could be, and must be, a new recognition of humanity. Our country, again, was peopled from the minorities of Europe, from those whom the spirit of the new time had touched, and taken away their content with old institutions, — a population restless, uncertain, yeasty, chaotic, it might be, full of the rawness of now conditions, mean and magnanimous by turns, as such people are wont, but all leavened more or less with a sentiment new in history,— all leavened with a kind of wholeworld feeling, a sense of the oneness of humanity, and, as derived from this, a sense of absolute rights of man, of prerogatives belonging to human nature as such.
The truth of all this has been brought under suspicion by the flatulent oratory of our Fourth-of-Julys ; but truth it remains. Our nation did enunciate a grand idea never equally felt by any other. Our nation has said, and said with the sword in its right hand, “ Every man born into this world has the right from God to make the most and best of his existence, and society is established only to further and guard this sacred right.” We thus established a new scale of justice; we raised a demand for the individual which had not been so made before. Freedom and order were made one; both were identified with justice, simple, broad, equal, universal justice. The American idea, then, what is it ? The identifucation of politics with justice, this it is. With justice, and this, too, not on a scale of conventional usage, but on the scale of natural right. That, as I read, is the American idea, — making politics moral by their unity with natural justice, justice world-old and world-wide.
This conception — obscurely seen and felt, and mixed with the inevitable amount of folly and self-seeking, yet, after all, this conception — our nation dared to stand up and announce, and to consecrate it by the shedding of blood, calling God and all good men to witness. The deed was grand; the hearts of men everywhere were more or less its accomplices ; all the tides of history ran in its favor; kings, forgetting themselves into virtue and generosity, lent it good wishes or even good arms; it was successful; and on its primary success waited such prosperities as the world has seldom seen.
But, because the deed was noble, great costs must needs attend it, attend it long. And first of all the cost of applying our principle within our own borders. For, when a place had been obtained for us among nations, we looked down, and, lo! at our feet the African — in chain. A benighted and submissive race, down-trodden and despised from of old, a race of outcasts, of Pariahs, covered with the shame of servitude, and held by the claim of that terrible talisman, the word property, — here it crouched at our feet, lifting its hands, imploring. Yes, America, here is your task now; never flinch nor hesitate, never begin to question now ; thrust your right hand deep into your heart’s treasury, bring forth its costliest, purest justice, and lay its immeasurable bounty into this sable palm, bind its blessing on this degraded brow. Ah, but America did falter and question. “ How can I ? ” it said. “ This is a Negro, a Negro! Besides, he is PROPERTY!” And so America looked up, determined to ignore the kneeling form. With pious blasphemy it said, “ He is here providentially; God in His own good time will dispose of him ”; as if God’s hour for a good effect were not the earliest hour at which courage and labor can bring it about, not the latest to which indolence and infidelity can postpone it. Then it looked away across oceans to other continents, and began again the chant, “Man is man; natural right is sacred forever; and of politics the sole basis is universal justice.” Joyfully it sang for a while, but soon there began to come up the clank of chains mingling with its chant, and the groans of oppressed men and violated women, and prayers to Heaven for another justice than this ; and then the words of its chant grew bitter in the mouth of our nation, and a sickness came in its heart, and an evil blusb mounted and stood on its brow ; and at length a devil spoke in its bosom and Said, “The negro has no rights that a white man is bound to respect”; and ere the words were fairly uttered, their meaning, as was indeed inevitable, changed to this, — “ A Northern ‘ mudsill ’ has no rights that a Southern gentleman is bound to respect”; and soon guns were heard booming about Sumter, and a new chapter in our history and in the world’s history began.
Our nation refused allegiance to its own principles, refused to pay the lawful costs of its virtue and nobility ; therefore it is sued in the courts of destiny, and the case is this day on trial.
The case is plain, the logic clear. Natural right is sacred, or it is not. If it is, the negro is lawfully free; if it is not, you may be lawfully a slave. Just how all this stands in the Constitution of the United States I do not presume to say. Other heads, whose business it is, must attend to that. Every man to his vocation. I speak from the stand-point of philosophy, not of politics; I attend to the logic of history, the logic of destiny, according to which, of course, final judgment will be rendered. It is not exactly to be supposed that the statute of any nation makes grass green, or establishes the relationship between cause and effeet. The laws of the world are considerably older than our calendar, and therefore date yet more considerably beyond the year 1789. And by the laws of the world, by the eternal relationship between cause and effect, it stands enacted beyond repeal, and graven upon somewhat more durable than marble or brass, that the destiny of this nation for more than one century to come hinges upon its justice to that outcast race, — outcast, but not henceforth to be cast out by us, save to the utter casting down of ourselves. Once it might have been otherwise; now we have made it so. Justice to the African is salvation to the white man upon this continent. Oh, my America, you must not, cannot, shall not be blind to this fact! America, deeper in my love and higher in my esteem than ever before, newly illustrated in worth, newly proven to be capable still, in some directions, of exceeding magnanimity, open your eyes that your feet may have guidance, now when there is such need! Open your eyes to see, that, if you deliberately deny justice and human recognition to one innocent soul in all your borders, you stab at your own existence; for, in violating the unity of humanity, you break the principle that makes you a nation and alive. Give justice to black and white, recognize man as man ; or the constituting idea, the vital faith, the crystallizing principle of the nation perishes, and the whole disintegrates, falls into dust.
I invite the attention of conservative men to the fact that in this due paying of costs lies the true conservation. I invite them to observe, that, as every living body has a principle which makes it alive, makes it a unit, harmonizing the action of its members, — as every crystal has a unitary law, which commands the arrangement of its particles, the number and arrangement of its faces and angles, — so it is with every orderly or living state. To this also there is a central, clarifying, unifying faith. Without this you may collect hordes into the brief, brutal empire of a Chingis Khan or Tamerlane; but you can have no firm, free, orderly, inspiring national life.
Whenever and wherever in history this central condition of national existence has been destroyed, there a nation has fallen into chaos, into imbecility, losing all power to produce genius, to generate able souls, to sustain the trust of men in each other, or to support any of the conditions of social health and order. Even advances in the right line of progress have to be made slowly, gradually, lest the shock of newness be too great, and break off a people from the traditions in which its faith is embodied; but a mere recoil, a mere denial and destruction of its centralizing principle, is the last and utmost calamity which can befall any nation.
This is no fine-spun doctrine, fit for parlors and lecture-rooms, but not for counting-rooms and congressional halls. It is solid, durable fact. History is full of it; and he is a mere mole, and blinder than midnight, who cannot perceive it. The spectacle of nations falling into sudden, chronic, careless imbecility is frequent and glaring enough for even wilfulness to see; and the central secret of this sad phenomenon, so I am sure, has been suggested here. When the socializing faith of a nation has perished, the alternative for it becomes this, that it can be stable only as it is stagnant, and vigorous only as it is lawless.
Of this I am sure ; but whether Bullion Street can be willing to understand it I am not so sure. Yet if it cannot, or some one in its behalf, grass will grow there. And why should it refuse heed? Who is more concerned? Does Bullion Street desire chaos? Does it wish that the pith should be taken out of every statute, and the chief value from every piece of property ? If not, its course is clear. This nation has a vital faith, — or had one, — well grounded in its traditions. Conserve this ; or, if it has been impaired, renew its vigor. This faith is our one sole pledge of order, of peace, of growth, of all that we prize in the present, or hope for the future. That it is a noble faith, new in its breadth, its comprehension and magnanimity,— this would seem in my eyes rather to enhance than diminish the importance of its conservation. Yet the only argument against it is, that it is generous, broad, inspiring; and the only appeal in opposition to it must be made to the coldness of skepticism, the suicidal miserliness of egotism, or the folly and fatuity of ignorance.
Our nation has a political faith. Will you, conservative men, conserve tins, and so regain and multiply the blessing it has already brought ? or will you destroy it, and wait till, through at least a century of tossing and tumult, another, and that of less value, is grown? A faith, a crystallizing principle for many millions of people is not grown in a day; if it can be grown in a century is problematical. The fact, and the choice, are before you.
Our nation had a faith which it cherished with sincerity and sureness. If half the nation has fallen away from this, — if half the remaining moiety is doubtful, skeptical about it, — if, therefore, we are already a house divided against itself and tottering to its fall,— to what is all due ? Simply to the fact that no nation can long unsay its central principle, and yet preserve it in faithfulness and power,— that no nation can long preach the sanctity of natural right, the venerableness of man’s nature and the identity of pure justice with political interest, from an auction-block on which men and maidens are sold,— that, in fine, a nation cannot continue long with impunity to play within its own borders the part both of Gessler and Tell, both of Washington and Benedict Arnold, both of Christ and of him that betrayed him.
We must choose. For our national faith we must make honest payment, so conserving it, and with it all for which nations may hope; or else, refusing to meet these costs, we must suffer the nation’s soul to perish, and in the imbecility, the chaos, and shame that will follow, suffer therewith all that nations may lawfully fear.
What good omens, then, attend our time, now when the first officer of the land has put the trumpet to his mouth and blown round the world an intimation that, to the extent of the nation’s power, these costs will begin to be paid, this true conservation to be practised! The work is not yet done; and the late elections betoken too much of moral debility in the people. But my trust continues firm. The work will be done, — at least, so far as we are responsible for its doing. And then ! Then our shame, our misery, our deadly sickness will be taken away; no more that poison in our politics; no more that degradation in our commercial relations ; no more that careful toning down of sentiment to low levels, that it may harmonize with low conditions ; no more that need to shun the company of all healthful and heroic thoughts, such as are fit, indeed, to brace the sinews of a sincere social order, but sure to crack the sinews of a feeble and faithless conventionalism. Base men there will yet be, and therefore base politics; but when once our nation has paid the debt it owes to itself and the human race, when once it has got out of its blood the venom of this great injustice, it will, it must, arise beautiful in its young strength, noble in its newconsecrated faith, and stride away with a generous and achieving pace upon the great highways of historical progress. Other costs will come, it we are worthy ; other lessons there will be to learn. I anticipate a place for brave and wise restrictions, — for I am no Red Republican, — as well as for brave and generous expansions. Lessons to learn, errors to unlearn, there will surely be ; tasks to attempt, and disciplines to practise ; but once place the nation in the condition of health, once get it at one with its own heart, once get it out of these aimless eddies into clear sea, out of these accursed “doldrums,” (as the sailors phrase it,) this commixture of broiling calm and sky-bursting thundergust, into the great trade-winds of natural tendency that are so near at hand, — and I can trust it to meet all future emergency. All the freshest blood of the world is flowing hither: we have but to wed this with the life-blood of the universe, with eternal truth and justice, and God has in store no blessing for noblest nations that will not be secured for ours.