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mands of humanity and of the age. We need a profound, vigorous,
Christian literature, worthy of the New World. Such we have not.
Steam-engines have engrossed our time, to the exclusion of intel-
lectual power. We have been far more eager to build railroads on
the earth, than to trace upon our western sky a pathway of living
light, that shall illume the land for ages to come. Outward con-
veniences and splendors of life are not enough to found a nation's
glory. The fault is not of the South alone, but, of all America,
that we have not made the foundation, which we should have
made, for a substantial, noble literature. In America, public
opinion, or hard necessity pushes men, who desire to devote them-
selves to letters, into politics, trade, or into some sphere of jostling
life, in which, though consciously desirous to do their duty in the
world, yet having no heart or aptitude for labors not in keeping with
their higher aims or consciousness of power, they succeed indifferent-
ly, and gain, often, cruel obloquy, when, if allowed to spend their
strength in the severe toils of their chosen sphere, they would be hap-
pier and more successful, and would do more good, because working
in harmony with their aspirations and convictions of duty. Nothing
is more practical than a sound literature. The wildest visionary is
not he, who demands for literature due regard, but he who thinks
that the wants of man's intellectual nature can be safely thrown
out of the account, in considering claims to national protection, or
the evidence of national prosperity.

A man in America needs the invincible nerve of Christopher Co-
lumbus, to resist the tide, that would drag him down from high re-
solve and lofty aims. We pay homage to foreign writers, as we do
to foreign fashions, while we are apt to look without favor on
those who deserve praise for nobleness of aim, if not for billiancy
of success. Some, who admire, as they ought, the literary pro-
ductions of former times, and who bow, in most obsequious hom-
age, before living authors from abroad, pierce with the arrows of
sharp, bitter, unrelenting contumely, the hearts of those, at their
very side, who keep that same persistent loyalty to literature,
which never has failed of admiration in America, provided only
that it has been shown by Europeans, now or in ages past. What-
ever sound literature we have in America has not been fostered and
encouraged. It has had to fight its way, inch by inch, through
difficulties terrible, almost overwhelming. It has had to run the
gauntlet of scorn, discouragement, materialism. More than that;
it has found enemies, where it should have found friends. Yes,


even in America, where literature should be more kindly cherished
than anywhere else in the world, many, who gaze with idolatrous
veneration on the portraits of dead authors, endeavor to "kill with
looks" the young, living scholar, whose trembling ambition it is,
to add, if he can, a few worthy leaves to the precious legacies of
time. Literature, in America, has felt the whip of scorpions from
the very hands, which should have held the laurel and the palm.
The wonder is, that so much has been done, of an enduring
kind. This mountain glows with the dawn of a brighter day.
The genius of true American glory has inspired the hearts of noble
men in the South, to build substantial halls, where literature can
find a refuge for her high, assiduous labors, from the driving storm
of materialism; where, with strenuous, but delightful toil, she may
weave her splendid fabrics, of threads that never wear out, and
color them with hues that never fade. Coming ages will honor the
South for this, her grandest blessing to mankind. Millions, in the
future, when American literature shall become, not a timid hope,
but a grand fruition, will bless the memory of these benefactors of
their country and of their time, and will keep it green forever.

No enterprise, of an intellectual character, can [suceed?], but one
commensurate alike with the wants to be supplied, with the ob-
structions to be resisted. Such, in design, is the Unversity of the
South. It is right that the land of great rivers, of majestic moun-
tains, of millions of fertile acres, should sustain a University, as
grand as the scale of nature. It is right that the South should
prove to the whole country, and to the whole world, that her ener-
gies, devoted to the welfare of the minds of men, can be as power-
ful and as successful, as they have been, in drawing wealth from
the land, and in covering the sea with the white wings of ships.
May this enterprise vindicate forever the spirit, vigor and intelli-
gence of the region which sustains it. As a friend of Christian
learning, I bid you God Speed. As a Northern man, as an Amer-
ican, I bid you God Speed. Lay the foundation of our structure
deep and broad, and raise the towers high; and, on the highest,
let the Cross, the symbol of divine compassion, greet the morning
sun. Make avenues that shall wind over these gentle undulations,
and lure the feet of the thoughtful and the studious; but, also, may
reverent feet follow that holy Guide, "whose ways are ways of
pleasantness, and all whose paths are peace." Let the varied hues
of the forest and all the flowers of the field diversify the scene with
blended stateliness and beauty; yet, forget not to plant the rose of

Notes and Questions

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Page 161, line 20: due to smudged typeset or nature of the scan or both, I can't tell if it is "succed" or "suceed." Neither of which is correct, but assuming there is more value in the exact transcription of a 19th-century publication than a transcription with our 21st-century styles and spellchecks added, maybe check original to see if it can be determined which it is (granted that assumption may be erroneous from the project's point of view, but it seems valid from my editorial/publishing point of view).