Report of the Committee of Arrangements of the Common Council of New York, of the Obsequies in Memory of the Hon. Henry Clay (Classic Reprint)by New York Common Council
Your Committee deem it highly proper that something more than a superficial notice of the events of the day should be recorded in connection with their report of the obsequies of the man whose name stands first among the giant
Excerpt from Report of the Committee of Arrangements of the Common Council of New York, of the Obsequies in Memory of the Hon. Henry Clay
Your Committee deem it highly proper that something more than a superficial notice of the events of the day should be recorded in connection with their report of the obsequies of the man whose name stands first among the giant intellects of our great statesmen. Long as we had expected the event of his demise, and prepared as the whole country should have been for its announce ment, we find ourselves wholly unfitted to record the sad intelligence. A great and good man has fallen. A nation mourns at his bier, and laments the loss of one who, in its greatest perils, has been its savior. One so far above and beyond ordinary men; so pure in public life; so unselfish and disinterested in his private life; so excellent a husband; so good a father; so faithful a friend, and so bold and inﬂex ible a patriot, that we feel entirely unable to speak of him according to his worth.
Henry clay was a man to mark the age in which he lived. His mind was a fitting counterpart of the whole casket in which it was enshrined. His manners were graceful and impressive. Those who came in contact with him felt the charm of his inﬂuence; and this attachment of his friends grew upon them, till no political misfortune could remove it. They were his friends in prosperity and in the prospect of power, but more his friends in adversity. Nature had formed him in her finest mould, and had stamped him with the seal of her own nobility. The heart of the nation throbs with melancholy emotions at the departure, from the field of his glories, of the man whom the whole world revered as a patriot, from his innate love of country - as a statesman, from intuition and from practice - as a philanthropist, from pure benevolence and a love of liberty. The dignified graces of Mr. Clay's char acter can best be appreciated by those who knew him in the private walks of life. His impulses were generous and disinterested. He had an utter scorn of all that was sor did, selfish or deceitful. He who could say, I would rather be right than be President, was not likely to hold in high esteem those whose ambition was unregulated by principle, or whose moral sense was facile to the moulding touch of self-interest. His eminent services in the councils of the nation, rendered during a series of more than fifty years, (a circumstance with few parallels in the annals of the world,) will ever adorn the brightest pages of American history. The purity of his motives, his stern and unre lenting intrepidity for his country's rights and her glory, will forever exist with fervency and freshness in the mem ory of a grateful people. When foreign outrage left his country no alternative but disgrace, or a resort to arms, he was found among the foremost to maintain the dignity and honor of his country. Born and cradled amid the excitement of the Revolution, the first songs which the ears of his childhood heard, were those which the struggle for freedom inspired. The important period through which he has lived in such prominence before the world, will ever render his memory inseparable from the history of his country. As in future years the results of civil and religious liberty in South America shall glow with increas ing brightness, their fires shall add new lustre to the name of him who was the early and ardent advocate of their rights. As long as the heroism of Greece shall be admired, and the garlands of her poets endure, so long shall the name of henry clay be cherished by every heart that beats in unison with the pantings of liberty.
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