Address Before the Alumni of the University of Pennsylvania by William B Reed

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William B Reed
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Address Before the Alumni of the University of Pennsylvania

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Excerpt from Address Before the Alumni of the University of Pennsylvania

Gentlemen of the Alumni Association:

On Dr. Franklin's return from his most brilliant visit to Europe, where for eight years he had been the companion of princes and nobles, of philosophers and wits, - the inmate of a Court, even in its decay, the most fascinating and luxurious the modern world had ever seen, the following entry appears to have been made in his Diary :

"Wednesday, September 14, 1785. With the flood-tide in the morning came a light breeze, which brought us above Glocester Point, and then we saw Dear Philadelphia."

This is my text to-night, 'Dear Philadelphia;' the home of our nativity, of our education, of our school and college days - of our manhood and active life; whose modest charms, simple and unobtrusive in every sense, are more interwoven in our fancy than we are aware of; whose resources, physical and intellectual, we enjoy half the time without appreciating them; whose honors any one may be proud to share; - in short, this City of ours, with its claims, especially in relation to mental culture and high education, is a theme which, in a spirit of honest and manly self-complacency, I think well worth illustration. Especially is it so at the hands of those who have met together as children of an Institution of learning so venerable and so beneficent as this. For self-complacency I have no apologies to make. I am speaking to Philadelphians of Philadelphia; and my wish is to utter some words that may invigorate the sentiment of local pride which is a community's surest reliance.

There is no one amongst us, who has ever bestowed a serious thought on the subject, that does not feel, - strangers have discovered it, and we may as well confess it, - that the defect of our character is a habit of mutual and self-disparagement. We are not true to each other. We are not loyal to our home. We have allowed other parts of the country to boast us into silence.

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