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THE CITY OF PROVIDENCE.
RESOLUTIONS OF THE CITY COUNCIL,
Passed July 9, 1866.
RESOLVED, That the thanks of the City Council be and they are hereby tendered to PROFESSOR J. Lewis Diman, for the able and eloquent Oration delivered by him at the late municipal celebration of the anniversary of American Independence.
Resolved, That the Committee of Arrangements for the Fourth of July Celebration be and they are hereby authorized to request of Professor DIMAN a copy of the Oration delivered by him on that day, and to cause the same to be published in such manner as they may deem expedient, fo. the use of the City Council.
A true copy :
SAMUEL W. BROWN, CITY CLERK.
HO among us, fellow-citizens, can have forgotten
how inuch this festival, in former years, was graced by the presence of revolutionary heroes, whose venerable aspect was itself a benediction, as with mute eloquence, more expressive than the living voice, they reminded us of the great price with which our liberties were purchased. Long as they were spared, the conspicuous feature in each procession, we needed nothing to tell us of Bunker Hill, and Saratoga, and Yorktown. One by one they have passed away. I know not whether as I speak the last survives to hear the ringing of bells and the roar of artillery, that certify to our ears the constant and indissoluble ælliance of Liberty and Union. They have passed away, but their departure has taken nothing from the sacredness of our festival, for we greet to-day another presence, inspiring the same reverence and gratitude; and wben in all the years to come, we, and our children, and our children's children, gather to these annual rites, the day still shall seem apparelled with the same sacred memories, as we shall say, “ These were the men who flew with Burnside to the Capital; who braved with him the storm at Hatteras; who held with him the bridge at Antietam ; who bore with him the bitter anguish at Fredericksburg; who tasted with him the ecstacy of the supreme hour when the serpent's head was bruised at Richmond.” Long as these men survive, how can this day return without awakening in all our breasts a devout emotion ? Let it be a day, throughout all the land, of glad rejoicing. Let every bell ring its loudest peal; let cannon thunder to cannon from every city and village; let age forget its infirmity, let labor cast aside its burden; but let it also be a day dedicated to a study of the sacred obligations which those sufferings and sacrifices have imposed. From the triumphal arch that spans our streets, '76 and ’66 look down upon us.
Through the tremendous struggle which the fortitude and valor of these men have brought to a successful close, we have passed to a higher plane of political experience. Like the patriarch,crowned with the power of a new name by his mysterious wrestling with an unseen enemy, we have come from the night of conflict with a new sense of our nationality, with a far profounder appreciation of the meaning of our institutions. The day that broke over our Peniel saw realized the splendid dream of Milton, of “a noble and puissant nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks.” We had cast off forever the miserable sophistries which for a time had paralyzed political opinion, and stood erect in the consciousness of assured nationality. The night was indeed dark and terrible through which we passed, but remembering the watchful Providence that sustained us, we too may say,
“ we have seen God face to face.”