There is an instinct of human nature which prompts us to commemorate the virtues and heroic achievements of the illustrious dead. We delight to honor the memory and sketch the lives and erect monuments to the heroes and patriots who have achieved honor and glory for their country. Such a feeling is not only praise- worthy and commendable in itself, but it inspires the young and future generations with a laudable ambition of emulating the example of their ancestors; it teaches them to love virtue and patriotism, honor and distinction.
In all civilized nations, from the remotest antiquity, it has been their custom to celebrate on public occasions the hallowed deeds of the great and good. The polished, intellectual and æsthetic-loving Greeks were eminent in their exertions to perpetuate the remembrance of the noble deeds of their great men, their great heroes, statesmen and patriots. Hence their eloquent and thrilling funeral orations, their magnificent monuments, their exquisite statues and their beautiful paintings. A modern historian has said that "a Grecian knew that if he perished in achieving any heroic deeds his country would honor his ashes and watch over his memory; that his glory, heightened by matchless masters of eloquence, would flash like lightning from the heavens; that lovely bosoms would beat high at his name; that hands the fairest in Greece would yearly wreathe his tomb with garlands, and that tears would be shed forever on the spot by the brave." The warlike Romans, full of virtue, honor and patriotism, tried to emulate the Grecians in this respect by honoring and glorifying their ancestors. We discover the same national trait dis