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Title: Modern Eloquence: Vol II, After-Dinner Speeches E-O
Author: Various
Language: English
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_Photo-engraving in colors after the original painting by George W.

This picture is one of a series of eight panels representing "The
Virtues"--Fortitude, Justice, Patriotism, Courage, Temperance, Prudence,
Industry, and Concord. The number of virtues to be represented was
limited to the number of panels, so the selection was necessarily
somewhat arbitrary. Each figure is about five and a half feet high, clad
in floating classic drapery, and represented to the spectator as
appearing before him in the air, without a support or background other
than the deep red of the wall. "Justice" holds the globe in one hand,
signifying the extent of her sway. In the other hand she holds a naked
sword upright, in token of the terribleness of her punishment.]







After-Dinner Speeches


Copyright, 1903


  EDWARD EVERETT HALE, Author of "The Man Without a

  JOHN B. GORDON, Former United States Senator.

  NATHAN HASKELL DOLE, Associate Editor "International
  Library of Famous Literature."

  JAMES B. POND, Manager Lecture Bureau; Author of "Eccentricities
  of Genius."

  GEORGE MCLEAN HARPER, Professor of English Literature,
  Princeton University.

  LORENZO SEARS, Professor of English Literature, Brown University.

  EDWIN M. BACON, Former Editor "Boston Advertiser" and
  "Boston Post."

  J. WALKER MCSPADDEN, Managing Editor "Édition Royale"
  of Balzac's Works.

  F. CUNLIFFE OWEN, Member Editorial Staff "New York

  TRUMAN A. DEWEESE, Member Editorial Staff "Chicago

  CHAMP CLARK, Member of Congress from Missouri.

  MARCUS BENJAMIN, Editor, National Museum, Washington,
  D. C.

  CLARK HOWELL, Editor "Atlanta Constitution."



NOTE--A large number of the most distinguished speakers of this country
and Great Britain have selected their own best speeches for this
Library. These speakers include Whitelaw Reid, William Jennings Bryan,
Henry van Dyke, Henry M Stanley, Newell Dwight Hillis, Joseph Jefferson,
Sir Henry Irving, Arthur T. Hadley, John D. Long, David Starr Jordan,
and many others of equal note.



    Southern Literature                                              423

    Harvard and Yale                                                 427

    The Source of Song and Story                                     431

    England, Mother of Nations                                       437
    The Memory of Burns                                              439
    War                                                              442
    The Wisdom of China                                              445

    International Arbitration                                        448
    The Republic and Its Outlook                                     452
    The French Alliance                                              457
    Tribute to Herbert Spencer                                       462
    The Classics in Education                                        465
    Liberty Enlightening the World                                   469

    Ohio and the Northwest                                           474

    Poet and Painter                                                 479

    North and South                                                  482

    The Telegraph                                                    490
    Early Connecticut                                                493

    The Office of the Law                                            496

    The Land o' Cakes                                                500

    Me and Sir Henry                                                 505
    A Run on the Banker                                              507

    Men of Letters                                                   510

    The Supreme Court                                                513

    Realism versus Romanticism                                       518

    Playing Old Men Parts                                            522

    Pinafore                                                         524

    The Era of Universities                                          528

    The Age of Research                                              530

    The Race Problem                                                 534

    Mere Man                                                         551

    A Remarkable Climate                                             557
    Characteristics of Newspaper Men                                 559
    The Adopted Citizen                                              561

    Social Discontent                                                564

    The Mission of Culture                                           570
    Boston                                                           577

    Yarn of the Manager Bold                                         581

    Our New Country                                                  584

    The Union of States                                              589

    The Press                                                        593

    Omar Khayyam                                                     598

    National Sentiments                                              601

    The Wampum of the Indians                                        603

    Great Britain and the United States                              609

    The Influence of Men of Genius                                   616

    With Brains, Sir!                                                622

    Welcome to the Alumni                                            625
    Dorothy Q.                                                       627

    Sons of Harvard Who Fell in Battle                               630
    The Joy of Life                                                  645

    Your Speech and Ours                                             635
    Bonds of National Sympathy                                       639

    Tribute to Oliver Wendell Holmes                                 645

    Our Reunited Country                                             647

    The "Atlantic" and Its Contributors                              653

    Russia                                                           657
    Our Ancestors and Ourselves                                      661

    Science and Art                                                  670

    The Music of Wagner                                              672

    Looking Forward                                                  676
    The Drama                                                        678
    The Function of the Newspaper                                    681

    Literature and Art                                               686

    My Farm in Jersey                                                688
    In Memory of Edwin Booth                                         691

    The Relief of Khartum                                            694

    Problem Novels                                                   698

    Canada                                                           702

    The Future of New York                                           705

    The Artistic Side of Literature                                  708

    The Flag of the Union Forever                                    710

    Variety in British Art                                           713

    Hans Breitmann's Return                                          717

    Central Ideas of the Republic                                    720

    The Blue and the Gray                                            723

    The Navy                                                         727

    The Chamber of Commerce                                          731

    Harvard Alumni                                                   737
    National Growth of a Century                                     741
    The Stage                                                        745
    Commerce                                                         748
    After-Dinner Speaking                                            750
    "The Return of the Native"                                       753
    Literature                                                       758
    International Copyright                                          761

    Humors of the Bench                                              766

    Macready and the English Stage                                   769
    Farewell to Charles Dickens                                      774

    Spirit of New England Literature                                 778

    The Dutch Domine                                                 782

    Music                                                            787

    Farewell to the Stage                                            791

    Ireland's Struggle                                               795

    An Editorial Retrospect                                          799

    Smashed Crockery                                                 807
    Tribute to Mark Twain                                            811

    Our Country                                                      815
    The Future of the Philippines                                    818

    The Ladies                                                       825

    The Spanish-American War                                         831

    Federal Judges                                                   834

    Literature and Politics                                          838

    The Poets' Corner                                                842

    Commerce                                                         845

    Castles in Spain                                                 850

    The Royal Corn                                                   853

    Moore, the Bard of Erin                                          856



  "JUSTICE"                                                _Frontispiece_
    Photo-engraving in colors after an original painting
    by George W. Maynard

  HENRY WOODFIN GRADY                                                534
    Photogravure after a photograph from life

  OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES                                              625
    Photogravure after a photograph from life

  ROBERT GREEN INGERSOLL                                             672
    Photogravure after a photograph from life

  MENU CARD                                                          676
    Photogravure after a design by Thompson Willing

  FANEUIL HALL                                                       723
    Photogravure after a photograph

  "PATRIOTISM"                                                       815
    Photo-engraving in colors after an original painting
    by George W. Maynard



[Speech of George Cary Eggleston at the first annual banquet of the New
  York Southern Society, February 22, 1887. Algernon Sidney Sullivan,
  President of the Society, was in the chair. In introducing the speaker
  Mr. Sullivan said: "We want to hear a word about 'Southern
  Literature,' and we will now call upon Mr. George Cary Eggleston to
  respond to that sentiment."]

MR. PRESIDENT:--I have cheered myself so hoarse that I do not
think I can make a speech at all. I will say a word or two if my voice
holds out. It is patriotically hoarse.

If I manage to make a speech it will be the one speech of the evening
which was most carefully prepared. The preparations were all made,
arrangements were completed and it was perfectly understood that I
should not make it. The name set down under this toast is that of Hon.
John Randolph Tucker, and the wild absurdity of asking a writer who does
not make speeches, to take the place of such an orator as John Randolph
Tucker would seem to be like asking a seasick land-lubber to take the
captain's place upon the bridge of the ocean steamer in a storm, and
there is another reason by which I am peculiarly unfit to speak in
response to the toast--"Southern Literature," and that is, that I am
firmly convinced that there is no Southern Literature; that there never
was a Southern Literature; that there never will be a Southern
Literature, and that there never ought to be a Southern Literature. Some
very great and noble work in literature has been produced by men of
Southern lineage and birth and residence. John Marshall, if he had not
been the greatest of American jurists, would have been counted, because
of his "Life of Washington," the greatest of biographers. I might name
an extended list of workers in this field, all of Southern birth. Sims;
my dead friend, John Esten Cooke; his brother, Philip Cooke; Cable, who
is married to New England; the gifted woman who calls herself Charles
Egbert Craddock; and a host of others including that noble woman now
going blind in Lexington, who has done some of the sweetest work in
American poetry, Margaret J. Preston. [Applause.] I might go further and
claim Howells, every drop of whose blood is Virginian. If it were not
getting personal and becoming a family affair, I might mention the fact
that the author of the "Hoosier Schoolmaster," with whom I used to play
on the hills of Ohio River, was of direct Southern descent; that he was
born as I was, exactly on Mason and Dixon's line, and one of us fell
over on one side and the other on the other when the trouble came.

Notwithstanding all this, I hold that there can be no such thing as a
Southern Literature, because literature is never provincial, and to say
of any literature that it is Southern or Western or Northern or Eastern
is to say that it is a provincial utterance and not a literature. The
work to which I have referred is American literature. It is work of
which American literature is proud and will ever be proud, whatever is
worthy in literature or in achievement of any kind in any part of the
country goes ultimately in the common fund of American literature or of
American achievement; and that is the joy I have had in being here
to-night, when I ought to have been at home. The joy I have had to-night
has been that this sentiment of Americanism has seemed to be all around
me, and to run through and through everything that has been said here
to-night--a sentiment which was taken out of my mouth, as it were, by
the President this evening, that our first devotion above all is to what
I call the American idea. It seems to me that we are sometimes
forgetting what idea it is that has made this country great; what it is
that has made of it a nation of free men and educated men--a nation in
which the commonest laborer has the school open to him, as well as the
workshop; in which the commonest laborer can sit down three times every
day to a bountiful table. We sometimes forget the idea on which our
country was founded; the idea which prompted Jefferson, as a young man,
to stand up in the legislature of Virginia and fight through three bills
directly affecting mere questions of law, but determining the future of
this country more largely than any other acts,--even the acts of
Washington himself. Those three bills, one providing for the separation
of Church and State, one for the abolition of primogeniture, and the
third for the abolition of entail. The idea that ran through that time
was the idea of equal individual manhood--of the supremacy of the man to
all else, to the State itself, to Government and Society; that the
individual man was the one thing to be taken care of; that it is the
sole business of the Government to give him rights of manhood, to
protect him in his personal freedom, and then to let him alone.

We have imported of late subtly sophistical advocates of socialism who
would set up in opposition to these American ideas the system of State
paternalism, and assert the doctrine that the State should not let a man
alone to make the best use he can of his abilities and opportunities,
but should guide him and support him and direct him and provide for him
and, in short, make a moral and intellectual cripple of him. That is the
new and un-American idea which has recently been promulgated and which
has found expression in New York in 60,000 votes; it is the idea which
has been seized upon by those persons who have leagued themselves
together to secure to themselves larger profits upon their industry or
investments by taxing the whole people for the benefit of the few,
making the State the pap-giver, taking from the people the taxes that
should be rigidly limited to the needs of the government and turning
them into the pockets of the individual; supporting, helping and making,
as I have said, a cripple of him. That is the idea which has prompted in
large degree disturbances through which we have passed, and to which
reference has been made here to-night. It is the idea that somehow or in
some particular way a man should have some support other than his own
individual exertion, and absolute freedom can provide for him.

It seems to me that one lesson we here to-night should take most to
heart is that lesson taught by the whole history of our country, that
the American idea--the idea of the individuality and manhood of man,
the idea of a government formed simply to protect man, as individuals in
their rights, and leave them free in their action and mode of
thought--is the idea that has made this country great. It is in
pursuance of that that we have become the nation we are; it is by
adherence to that that we have become a model to all other nations, so
much so that in the German election yesterday, with the aid of friendly
foreign despots, with the aid of a threatened war, with all the aids
that imperialism can call to its assistance, Bismarck was able to carry
his point only by a small majority. This is the idea under which we have
founded our nation and grown great, and it is by that idea that we shall
continue great, if we are so to continue. [Applause.]



[Speech of Charles W. Eliot, President of Harvard University, at the
  seventy-second anniversary banquet of the New England Society in the
  City of New York, December 22, 1877. The President of the Society,
  William Borden, presided, and said by way of introducing the speaker:
  "Gentlemen, I now give you the sixth regular toast: 'Harvard and Yale,
  the two elder sisters among the educational institutions of New
  England, where generous rivalry has ever promoted patriotism and
  learning. Their children have, in peace and war, in life and death,
  deserved well of the Republic. Smile, Heaven, upon this fair
  conjunction.' [Applause.] We are fortunate to-night, gentlemen, in
  having with us the representatives of both these institutions, and I
  will ask President Eliot, of Harvard, first, to respond." The allusion
  made by President Eliot to the words of the Secretary of State refers
  to the following remarks which William M. Evarts made in the course of
  his address: "New England, I observe, while it retains all its
  sterling qualities, is nevertheless moving forward in the direction of
  conciliation and peace. I remember when I was a boy, I travelled 240
  miles by stage-coach from Boston to New Haven to avoid going to
  Harvard University which was across the Bridge. [Great applause and
  laughter.] It was because of the religious animosities which pervaded
  the community, and I suppose animated my youthful breast; and now here
  I come to a New England Society, and sit between the Presidents of
  those renowned universities, who have apparently come here for the
  purpose of enjoying themselves, and of exhibiting that proximity is no
  longer dangerous to the peace of those universities. [Applause and
  laughter.] No doubt there is a considerable warfare going on between
  them as to the methods of instruction; but to us who have looked on,
  we have seen no more obtrusive manifestation of it than that the
  President on my left, of Yale, in dealing with the subjects that have
  successively been placed before him, has pursued the methods of that
  university, its comprehensive method, that takes in the whole
  curriculum; while on my right, the eclectic principle is exercised by
  my friend, President Eliot [applause and laughter], and he has
  confined himself to the dainty morsels of the repast. I speak of this
  to show that, although an amelioration of climate or an obliteration
  of virtues is not to be expected in New England, or in New England
  men, yet there may be an advancement of the sunshine of the heart, and
  that an incorporation of our narrow territory in a great nation, and a
  transfusion of our opinions, our ideas, our purposes into the veins
  of a nation of forty millions of people, may enlarge and liberalize
  even the views, the plans, and the action of New England."]

MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN:--I am obliged to my friend Dr.
Clarke [James Freeman Clarke, D.D.] for the complimentary terms in which
he has presented me to you. But I must appeal to your commiseration.
Harvard and Yale! Can any undergraduate of either institution, can any
recent graduate of either institution, imagine a man responding to that
toast? [Laughter.] However, I must make the best of the position, and
speak of some points upon which the two institutions are clearly agreed.
And here I am reminded of a story of a certain New England farmer, who
said that he and 'Squire Jones had more cows between them than all the
rest of the village; and his brag being disputed, he said he could prove
it, for the 'Squire had forty-five cows and he had one, and the village
altogether had not forty-six. [Laughter.]

We shall all agree that it is for the best interests of this country
that it have sundry universities, of diverse tone, atmosphere, sphere,
representing different opinions and different methods of study to some
extent, and in different trainings, though with the same end.
[Applause.] Holding this view, I have been somewhat concerned to see of
late that the original differences between Harvard and Yale seem to be
rapidly disappearing. For example, a good many years ago, Harvard set
out on what is called the "elective" system, and now I read in the Yale
catalogue a long list of studies called "optional," which strikes me as
bearing a strong resemblance to our elective courses. [Laughter.] Again,
my friend the Secretary of State has done me the honor of alluding to
the reasons which induced his father, I suppose, rather than himself, to
send him on that journey, which we Harvard men all deplore. [Laughter.]

Now, it is unquestioned, that about the year 1700 a certain number of
Congregationalist clergymen, who belonged to the Established Church (for
we are too apt to forget that Congregationalism was the "Established
Church" of that time, and none other was allowed), thought that Harvard
was getting altogether too latitudinarian, and though they were every
one of them graduates of Harvard, they went off and set up another
college in Connecticut, where a stricter doctrine should be taught.
Harvard men have rather nursed the hope that this distinction between
Harvard and Yale might be permanent. [Laughter.] But I regret to say
that I have lately observed many strong indications that it is wholly
likely to disappear. For example, to come at once to the foundations, I
read in the papers the other day, and I am credibly informed it is true,
that the head of Yale College voted to install a minister whose opinions
upon the vital, pivotal, fundamental doctrine of eternal damnation are
unsound. [Laughter.] Then, again, I look at the annual reports of the
Bureau of Education on this department at Washington, and I read there
for some years that Harvard College was unsectarian; and I knew that it
was right, because I made the return myself. [Laughter.] I read also
that Yale College was a Congregationalist College; and I had no doubt
that that was right, because I supposed Dr. Porter had made the report.
But now we read in that same report that Yale College is unsectarian.
That is a great progress. The fact is, both these universities have
found out that in a country which has no established church and no
dominant sect you cannot build a university on a sect at all--you must
build it upon the nation. [Applause.]

But, gentlemen, there are some other points, I think, of national
education on which we shall find these two early founded universities to
agree. For example, we have lately read, in the Message of the Chief
Magistrate, that a national university would be a good thing.
[Applause.] Harvard and Yale are of one mind upon that subject, but they
want to have a national university defined. [Laughter.] If it means a
university of national resort, we say amen. If it means a university
where the youth of this land are taught to love their country and to
serve her, we say amen [applause]; and we point, both of us, to our past
in proof that we are national in that sense. [Applause.] But if it means
that the national university is to be a university administered and
managed by the wise Congress of the United States, then we should agree
in taking some slight exceptions. [Laughter.] We should not question for
a moment the capacity of Congress to pick out and appoint the
professors of Latin and Greek, and the ancient languages, because we
find that there is an astonishing number of classical orators in
Congress, and there is manifested there a singular acquaintance with the
legislation of all the Latin races. [Laughter.] But when it should come
to some other humbler professorships we might perhaps entertain a doubt.
For example, we have not entire faith in the trust that Congress has in
the unchangeableness of the laws of arithmetic. [Laughter.] We might
think that their competency to select a professor of history might be
doubted. They seem to have an impression that there is such a thing as
"American" political economy, which can no more be than "American"
chemistry or "American" physics. [Applause.] Finally, gentlemen, we
should a little distrust the selection by Congress of a professor of
ethics. [Laughter.] Of course, we should feel no doubt in regard to the
tenure of office of the professors being entirely suitable, it being the
well-known practice of both branches of Congress to select men solely
for fitness, without regard to locality, and to keep them in office as
long as they are competent and faithful. [Laughter and applause.]

But, gentlemen, I think we ought to recur for a moment, perhaps, to the
Pilgrim Fathers [laughter], and I desire to say that both Harvard and
Yale recognize the fact that there are some things before which
universities "pale their ineffectual fires."

 "Words are but breath; but where great deeds were done,
  A power abides, transferred from sire to son."

Now, gentlemen, on that sandy, desolate spot of Plymouth great deeds
were done, and we are here to commemorate them. Those were hard times.
It was a terrible voyage, and they were hungry and cold and worn out
with labor, and they took their guns to the church and the field, and
the half of them died in the first winter. They were not prosperous
times that we recall with this hour. Let us take some comfort from that
in the present circumstances of our beloved country. She is in danger of
a terrible disaster, but let us remember that the times which future
generations delight to recall are not those of ease and prosperity, but
those of adversity bravely borne. [Applause.]



[Speech of Rev. Samuel A. Eliot at the fifteenth annual dinner of the
  New England Society in the City of Brooklyn, December 21, 1894. The
  President of the Society, Robert D. Benedict, presided. In introducing
  Mr. Eliot, he said: "I am not aware that there were any poets among
  the Pilgrim Fathers. They had something else to do besides versifying.
  But poesy has found many a home among the hills of New England. And
  many a home, not only in New England, but in Old England also, was
  saddened during the year that is gone to hear that the song of one of
  the poets of New England was hushed forever. I give you as the next
  sentiment: 'The Poets and Poetry of New England,' and I call upon the
  Rev. Samuel A. Eliot, of the Church of the Saviour, in this city, to

BROOKLYN:--I have been given to understand, sir, that in these
unpuritanic days lovers keep late hours; and as I listened to the wooing
of fair Brooklyn by the eloquent son[1] of New York I thought we might
be here till papa turned out the gas. Brooklyn is a New England maiden
and a trifle coy, and it may take even more than an hour's pleading and
persuasive wooing to win her. [Applause.] You ask me, sir, to turn our
thoughts back from these considerations of pressing and immediate
problems, from discussion of international and even intercontinental
relations, to the beginnings and the causes of our rejoicings here. I am
glad to do that, for I love to trace the connections and contrasts of
past and present, and to mark the growth and evolution of that New
England genius and character which are illustrated at these tables.

The early history of New England seems to many minds as dry and
unromantic as it was hard and narrow. No mist of distance softens the
harsh outlines, no mirage of tradition lifts events and characters into
picturesque beauty. There seems a poverty of sentiment. The
transplanting of a people breaks the successions and associations of
history. No memories of conqueror and crusader stir for us poetic fancy.
Instead of the glitter of chivalry there is but the sombre homespun of
Puritan peasants. In place of the "long-drawn aisle and fretted vault"
of Gothic cathedral there is but the rude log meeting-house and
schoolhouse. Instead of Christmas merriment there is only the noise of
axe and hammer or the dreary droning of psalms. It seems a history bleak
and barren of poetic inspiration, at once plebeian and prosaic.

How is it then that out of the hard soil of the Puritan thought and
character, out of the sterile rocks of the New England conscience, have
sprung the flowers of poetry which you bid me celebrate to-night? From
those songless beginnings have burst, in later generations, melodies
that charm and uplift our land--now a deep organ peal filling the air
with music, now a trumpet blast thrilling the blood of patriotism, now a
drum-beat to which duty delights to march, now a joyous fantasy of the
violin bringing smiles to the lips, now the soft vibrations of the harp
that fill the eyes with tears. What is it in the Puritan heritage,
externally so bare and cold, that make it intrinsically so poetic and

There is no poetry in the darkness of the Puritan's creed nor in the
rigid rectitude of his morality. His surly boldness, his tough hold on
the real, his austere piety enforce respect, but do not allure
affection. The genial graces cannot bear company with ruthless bigotry
and Hebraic energy. Nor is there any poetry in the mere struggle for
existence, and the mean poverty that marked the outward life. The
Pilgrims were often pinched for food; they suffered in a bitter climate;
they lived in isolation. We think lightly of these things because we
cannot help imagining that they knew that they were founding a mighty
nation. But that knowledge was denied them. Generations of them sank
into nameless graves without any vision of the days when their
descendants should rise up and call them blessed. Nor is there any
inspiration in the measure of their outward success. Judged by their own
ideals, the Puritans failed. They would neither recognize nor approve
the civilization that has sprung from the seeds of their planting. They
tried to establish a theocracy; they stand in history as the heroes of
democracy. Alike in their social and religious aims they ignored
ineradicable elements in human nature. They attempted the impossible.
How then have their deeds become the source of song and story? Why all
the honor that we pay them? It is not because in danger, in sacrifice,
and in failure, they were stout-hearted. Many a freebooter or soldier of
fortune has been that. It is, as one said whose name I bear, "because
they were stout-hearted for an ideal--their ideal, not ours, of civil
and religious liberty. Wherever and whenever resolute men and women
devote themselves, not to material, but to spiritual ends, there the
world's heroes are made," and made to be remembered, and to become the
inspiration of poem and romance and noble daring.

Scratch a New Englander to-day, it is said, and you find the Puritan.
That is no less true of the poets than of the warriors and the men of
facts and figures. The New England poets derived their nourishment from
the deep earth of that wholesome past, into which the roots of all our
lives go down. The mystical and mediæval side of Puritanism finds its
embodiment in Hawthorne; its moral ideals shine in Bryant; its
independency is incarnated in Emerson. Emerson is the type of the
nineteenth-century Puritan, in life pure, in temperament saintly, in
spirit detached from the earth, blazing a path for himself through the
wilderness of speculation, seeing things from the centre, working for
the reconstruction of Christian society and the readjustment of the
traditional religion. An enfranchised Puritan is a Puritan still. Of
such is Holmes, who shot his flashing arrows at all shams and
substitutes for reality, and never failed to hit the mark; of such is

 "Whose swelling and vehement heart
  Strains the strait-breasted drab of the Quaker apart;"

of such is Lowell, to whom belongs the supreme distinction of having
written the greatest poem yet produced on this continent.

We who have undergone the shock of material, intellectual and spiritual
growth too often fail to recognize our debt to the deserted cause. Our
poets remind us that our very freedom is our inheritance from the system
we reject. It was inevitable that our six great poets should have been
in literature, idealists; in politics, abolitionists; in religion,
Unitarians. It was the progressive independency of a Puritan ancestry
declaring itself. Save, perhaps, in Longfellow, no gloss or glamour of
Europe obscures their poetry. No hush of servility rests on it. No
patronage summoned it, and no indifference silenced it. Our poetry is
the genuine utterance of democracy, and betrays in every syllable the
fibre of freemen.

New England poetry is well nigh as Puritan in its form as in its spirit.
There is in it a true Cromwellian temper. Our poets have been patriots,
firm and prophetic believers in their country's destiny, loving their
country so well that they dared to tell the sometimes unwelcome truth
about her. The Biblical strain is in our poetry. If our English Bible
were lost to us we could reconstruct almost all of its best verses out
of Whittier's poems. The thunders of Sinai still roll in Lowell's fiery
denunciations of smug conventionalities and wickedness in high places.
The music of the psalmist is in Longfellow's meditations, and all the
prophet's vision in Emerson's inspired utterance. The Puritan restraint
is on New England poetry. There is no noisy rhetoric, no tossing about
of big adjectives and stinging epithets, no abuse of our noble English
tongue by cheap exaggerations. Our poets do not need to underscore words
or to use heavy headlines and italics. Their invective has been mighty
because so restrained and so compressed. There is none of the common
cant or the common plausibilities. There is no passing off of
counterfeits for realities, no "pouring of the waters of concession into
the bottomless buckets of expediency."

Thus do our poets declare their inheritance. But they do not stop there.
To the indomitable power of the Puritan conscience they have added a
wealth of imaginative sympathy. They have made sweetness to be the issue
of strength, and beauty to be the halo of power. They have seen the
vision of the rainbow round the throne. They have touched with divine
light the prosaic story of New England, and found the picturesque in
what seemed commonplace. They have seen the great in the little, and
ennobled the humbler ways of existence with spiritual insight. They have
set to music the homely service and simple enjoyments of common life.
They have touched the chords that speak to the universal heart. The very
provincialism of our poets endears them to us. Their work, as some
foreign critic said, has been done in a corner. We do not deny it. But,
verily we believe, that New England is the corner lot of our national
estate. Our poets have preserved for us in ballads our homespun legends.
They have imaged in verse the beauty of New England's hills and waters.
As we read there comes the whiff of fragrance which transports us to the
hillside pasture where the sweet fern and sorrel grow, or the salt
breeze of the sea blows again on our cheeks, or the rippling Merrimac
sings in our ears, or the heights of Katahdin or Wachusett, lift our
eyes upward. Finally, our poets, in their characters, disprove the
reproach that a democracy can produce only average men. As they wrote,
they were.

The harp of New England is silent. The master hands sweep the chords no
more. But shall we dare to think that the coming generation will have no
songs and no singers? Shall we build the sepulchre of poetry? Shall we
express ourselves only in histories and criticisms? Shall man no longer
behold God and nature face to face? "Things are in the saddle to-day,"
said Emerson; and indeed it may well depress us to see our greatness as
a nation measured by the number of bushels of wheat raised, or the
number of hogs packed. "The value of a country," said Lowell, "is
weighed in scales more delicate than the balance of trade. On a map of
the world you may cover Judea with your thumb, Athens with a finger tip,
and neither of them figures in the prices current, yet they still live
in the thought and action of every civilized man. Material success is
good, but only as the necessary preliminary of better things. The
measure of a nation's true success is the amount it has contributed to
the thought, the moral energy, the intellectual happiness, the
spiritual hope and consolation of mankind." Before we can have a rebirth
of poetry, we must have a fresh infusion of the Puritan devotion to
ideal ends. We must be baptized again into the spirit of non-conformity,
of intellectual and moral honesty, the spirit which does not suffer men
to go with the crowd, when reason and conscience and a living God bid
them go alone. There never was a time when we needed more the background
of Puritanism. We need in our business and our politics a sterner sense
of the fear of God, and in our home life a renewed simplicity. If we are
to build up to the level of our best opportunities, we must build down
to solid foundation on the sense of obligation. We have new times, new
land and new men. Shall we not have new thought, new work and new
worship? [Applause.]



[Speech of Ralph Waldo Emerson at the annual banquet of the Manchester
  Athenæum, Manchester, England, November, 1847. Sir Archibald Alison,
  the historian, presided]

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN:--It is pleasant to me to meet this
great and brilliant company, and doubly pleasant to see the faces of so
many distinguished persons on this platform. But I have known all these
persons already. When I was at home, they were as near to me as they are
to you. The arguments of the League and its leader are known to all the
friends of free trade. The gaieties and genius, the political, the
social, the parietal wit of "Punch" go duly every fortnight to every boy
and girl in Boston and New York. Sir, when I came to sea, I found the
"History of Europe"[2] on the ship's cabin table, the property of the
captain;--a sort of programme or play-bill to tell the seafaring New
Englander what he shall find on landing here. And as for Dombey, sir,
there is no land where paper exists to print on, where it is not found;
no man who can read, that does not read it, and, if he cannot, he finds
some charitable pair of eyes that can, and hears it.

But these things are not for me to say; these compliments, though true,
would better come from one who felt and understood these merits more. I
am not here to exchange civilities with you, but rather to speak of that
which I am sure interests these gentlemen more than their own praises;
of that which is good in holidays and working-days, the same in one
century and in another century. That which lures a solitary American in
the woods with the wish to see England, is the moral peculiarity of the
Saxon race,--its commanding sense of right and wrong,--the love and
devotion to that,--this is the imperial trait, which arms them with the
sceptre of the globe. It is this which lies at the foundation of that
aristocratic character, which certainly wanders into strange vagaries,
so that its origin is often lost sight of, but which, if it should lose
this, would find itself paralyzed; and in trade, and in the mechanic's
shop, gives that honesty in performance, that thoroughness and solidity
of work, which is a national characteristic. This conscience is one
element, and the other is that loyal adhesion, that habit of friendship,
that homage of man to man, running through all classes,--the electing of
worthy persons to a certain fraternity, to acts of kindness and warm and
staunch support, from year to year, from youth to age,--which is alike
lovely and honorable to those who render and those who receive
it;--which stands in strong contrast with the superficial attachments of
other races, their excessive courtesy, and short-lived connection.

You will think me very pedantic, gentlemen, but holiday though it be, I
have not the smallest interest in any holiday, except as it celebrates
real and not pretended joys; and I think it just, in this time of gloom
and commercial disaster, of affliction and beggary in these districts,
that on these very accounts I speak of, you should not fail to keep your
literary anniversary. I seem to hear you say that, for all that is come
and gone, yet we will not reduce by one chaplet or one oak-leaf the
braveries of our annual feast. For I must tell you, I was given to
understand in my childhood that the British island, from which my
forefathers came, was no lotus-garden, no paradise of serene sky and
roses and music and merriment all the year round, no, but a cold, foggy,
mournful country, where nothing grew well in the open air, but robust
men and virtuous women, and these of a wonderful fibre and endurance;
that their best parts were slowly revealed; their virtues did not come
out until they quarrelled; they did not strike twelve the first time;
good lovers, good haters, and you could know little about them till you
had seen them long, and little good of them till you had seen them in
action; that in prosperity they were moody and dumpish, but in adversity
they were grand.

Is it not true, sir, that the wise ancients did not praise the ship
parting with flying colors from the port, but only that brave sailor
which came back with torn sheets and battered sides, stript of her
banners, but having ridden out the storm? And so, gentlemen, I feel in
regard to this aged England, with the possessions, honors and trophies,
and also with the infirmities of a thousand years gathering around her,
irretrievably committed as she now is to many old customs which cannot
be suddenly changed; pressed upon by the transitions of trade, and new
and all incalculable modes, fabrics, arts, machines and competing
populations,--I see her not dispirited, not weak, but well remembering
that she has seen dark days before; indeed, with a kind of instinct that
she sees a little better in a cloudy day, and that in storm of battle
and calamity, she has a secret vigor and a pulse like a cannon. I see
her in her old age, not decrepit, but young, and still daring to believe
in her power of endurance and expansion. Seeing this, I say, All hail!
mother of nations, mother of heroes, with strength still equal to the
time; still wise to entertain and swift to execute the policy which the
mind and heart of mankind require in the present hour, and thus only
hospitable to the foreigner, and truly a home to the thoughtful and
generous who are born in the soil. So be it! so let it be! If it be not
so, if the courage of England goes with the chances of a commercial
crisis, I will go back to the capes of Massachusetts, and my own Indian
stream, and say to my countrymen, the old race are all gone, and the
elasticity and hope of mankind must henceforth remain on the Alleghany
ranges, or nowhere.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of Ralph Waldo Emerson at the festival of the Boston Burns Club,
  at the Parker House, Boston, Mass., January 25, 1859, commemorating
  the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the Scottish bard. Around
  the tables were gathered a company numbering nearly three hundred,
  including Emerson, Lowell, Holmes, George S. Hillard, Nathaniel P.
  Willis, and others of the literary guild. Among the decorations of the
  banqueting-hall was displayed a bust of Burns crowned with a wreath of
  roses and bays. Mr. Emerson spoke to the principal toast of the
  evening, "The Memory of Burns," and his graceful flights of oratory
  were received with cheers, and calls for "More! More!" which the
  presiding officer, General John S. Tyler, quieted with the remark:
  "Mr. Emerson begs to be excused, not because the well of gushing
  waters is exhausted, but because, in the kindness of his heart, he
  thinks he ought to leave room for gentlemen who are to succeed him."
  Willis, writing later of the festival, said of this speech, "Why, in
  that large and convivially excited audience, there was not, while he
  spoke, a wandering eye--not a pulse or a breath that was not held
  absolutely captive. Wherein lies the wonderful spell?"]

MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN:--I do not know by what untoward
accident it has chanced--and I forbear to inquire--that, in this
accomplished circle, it should fall to me, the worst Scotsman of all, to
receive your commands, and at the latest hour, too, to respond to the
sentiment just offered, and which, indeed, makes the occasion. But I am
told there is no appeal, and I must trust to the inspiration of the
theme to make a fitness which does not otherwise exist.

Yet, sir, I heartily feel the singular claims of the occasion. At the
first announcement, from I know not whence, that the twenty-fifth of
January was the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, a
sudden consent warned the great English race, in all its kingdoms,
colonies and states, all over the world, to keep the festival. We are
here to hold our parliament with love and poesy, as men were wont to do
in the Middle Ages. Those famous parliaments might or might not have had
more stateliness, and better singers than we--though that is yet to be
known--but they could not have better reason.

I can only explain this singular unanimity in a race which rarely acts
together--but rather after their watchword, each for himself--by the
fact that Robert Burns, the poet of the middle class, represents in the
mind of men to-day that great uprising of the middle class against the
armed and privileged minorities--that uprising which worked politically
in the American and French Revolutions, and which, not in governments so
much as in education and in social order, has changed the face of the
world. In order for this destiny, his birth, breeding and fortune were
low. His organic sentiment was absolute independence, and resting, as it
should, on a life of labor. No man existed who could look down on him.
They that looked into his eyes saw that they might look down the sky as
easily. His muse and teaching was common sense, joyful, aggressive,
irresistible. Not Latimer, nor Luther, struck more telling blows
against false theology than did this brave singer. The "Confession of
Augsburg," the "Declaration of Independence," the French "Rights of
Man," and the "Marseillaise," are not more weighty documents in the
history of freedom than the songs of Burns. His satire has lost none of
its edge. His musical arrows yet sing through the air. He is so
substantially a reformer, that I find his grand, plain sense in close
chain with the greatest masters--Rabelais, Shakespeare in comedy,
Cervantes, Butler, and Burns. If I should add another name, I find it
only in a living countryman of Burns. He is an exceptional genius. The
people who care nothing for literature and poetry care for Burns. It was
indifferent--they thought who saw him--whether he wrote verse or not; he
could have done anything else as well.

Yet how true a poet is he! And the poet, too, of poor men, of
hodden-gray, and the Guernsey-coat, and the blouse. He has given voice
to all the experiences of common life; he has endeared the farmhouse and
cottage, patches and poverty, beans and barley; ale, the poor man's
wine; hardship, the fear of debt, the dear society of weans and wife, of
brothers and sisters, proud of each other, knowing so few, and finding
amends for want and obscurity in books and thought. What a love of
nature! and--shall I say it?--of middle-class nature. Not great, like
Goethe, in the stars, or like Byron, on the ocean, or Moore, in the
luxurious East, but in the homely landscape which the poor see around
them--bleak leagues of pasture and stubble, ice, and sleet, and rain,
and snow-choked brooks; birds, hares, field-mice, thistles, and heather,
which he daily knew. How many "Bonny Doons," and "John Anderson my
Joes," and "Auld Lang Synes," all around the earth, have his verses been
applied to! And his love songs still woo and melt the youths and maids;
the farm work, the country holiday, the fishing cobble, are still his
debtors to-day.

And, as he was thus the poet of the poor, anxious, cheerful, working
humanity, so had he the language of low life. He grew up in a rural
district, speaking a patois unintelligible to all but natives, and he
has made that Lowland Scotch a Doric dialect of fame. It is the only
example in history of a language made classic by the genius of a single
man. But more than this. He had that secret of genius to draw from the
bottom of society the strength of its speech, and astonish the ears of
the polite with these artless words, better than art, and filtered of
all offence through his beauty. It seemed odious to Luther that the
devil should have all the best tunes; he would bring them into the
churches; and Burns knew how to take from fairs and gypsies, blacksmiths
and drovers, the speech of the market and street, and clothe it with

But I am detaining you too long. The memory of Burns--I am afraid heaven
and earth have taken too good care of it to leave us anything to say.
The west winds are murmuring it. Open the windows behind you, and
hearken for the incoming tide, what the waves say of it. The doves,
perching always on the eaves of the Stone Chapel [King's Chapel]
opposite, may know something about it. Every home in broad Scotland
keeps his fame bright. The memory of Burns--every man's, and boy's, and
girl's head carries snatches of his songs, and can say them by heart,
and, what is strangest of all, never learned them from a book, but from
mouth to mouth. The wind whispers them, the birds whistle them, the
corn, barley, and bulrushes hoarsely rustle them; nay, the music-boxes
at Geneva are framed and toothed to play them; the hand-organs of the
Savoyards in all cities repeat them, and the chimes of bells ring them
in the spires. They are the property and the solace of mankind.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of Ralph Waldo Emerson at the dinner of Harvard Alumni at
  Cambridge, Mass., July 21, 1865, on the occasion of the commemoration
  of the patriot heroes of Harvard College in the Civil War.]

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN:--With whatever opinions we come
here, I think it is not in man to see, without a feeling of pride and
pleasure, a tried soldier, the armed defender of the right. I think
that, in these last years, all opinions have been affected by the
magnificent and stupendous spectacle, which Divine Providence has
offered us, of the energies that slept in the children of this
country,--that slept and have awakened. I see thankfully those who are
here; but dim eyes in vain explore for some who are not. They shine the
brighter "in the domain of tender memory." The old Greek, Heraclitus,
said: "War is the father of all things." He said it, no doubt, as
science, but we of this day can repeat it as a political and social

War passes the power of all chemical solvents, breaking up the old
cohesions, and allowing the atoms of society to take a new order. It is
not the Government but the war that has appointed the great generals,
sifted out the pedants, put in the new and vigorous blood. [Great
applause.] The war has lifted many other people, besides Grant and
Sherman, into their true places. Even Divine Providence, we may say,
always seems to work after a certain military necessity. Every nation
punishes the general who is not victorious. It is a rule in games of
chance that "the cards beat all the players," and revolutions disconcert
and outwit all the insurgents. The revolutions carry their own points,
sometimes to the ruin of those who set them on foot. The proof that war
also is within the highest right, is a marked benefactor in the hands of
Divine Providence, is its _morale_. The war gave back integrity to the
erring and immoral nation. It charged with power, peaceful, amiable,
men, to whose whole life war and discord were abhorrent. What an
infusion of character went out from this and the other colleges! What an
infusion of character down to the ranks! The experience has been
uniform, that it is the gentle soul that makes the firm hero, after all.
It is easy to recall the mood in which our young men, snatched from
every peaceful pursuit, went to war. Many of them had never handled a
gun. They said, "It is not in me to resist. I go because I must. It is a
duty which I shall never forgive myself if I decline. I do not know that
I can make a soldier. I may be very clumsy; perhaps I shall be timid;
but you can rely on me. Only one thing is certain, I can well die, but I
cannot afford to misbehave." [Loud applause.]

In fact, the infusion of culture and tender humanity from these scholars
and idealists who went to the war in their own despite,--God knows they
had no fury for killing their old friends and countrymen,--had its
signal and lasting effect. It was found that enthusiasm was a more
potent ally than science and munitions of war without it. "'Tis a
principle of war," said Napoleon--_principe de guerre_--"that when you
can use the thunderbolt, you must prefer it to the cannon." Enthusiasm
was the thunderbolt. Here in this little Massachusetts, in smaller Rhode
Island, in this little nest of New England republics, it flamed out when
that guilty gun was aimed at Sumter.

Mr. Chairman, standing here in Harvard College, the parent of all the
colleges, in Massachusetts, the mother of all the North, when I consider
her influence on the country as a principal planter of the Western
States, and now by her teachers, preachers, journalists and books, as
well as by traffic and production, the diffuser of religious, literary
and political opinion, and when I see how irresistible the convictions
of Massachusetts are on those swarming populations, I think the little
State bigger than I knew; and when her blood is up, she has a fist that
could knock down an empire. And her blood was roused. [Great applause.]
Scholars exchanged the black coat for the blue. A single company in the
44th Massachusetts contained thirty-five sons of Harvard. You all know
as well as I the story of these dedicated men, who knew well on what
duty they went, whose fathers and mothers said of each slaughtered son,
"We gave him up when he enlisted." One mother said, when her son was
offered the command of the first negro regiment, "If he accepts it, I
shall be as proud as if I had heard that he was shot." [Applause.] These
men, thus tender, thus high-bred, thus peaceable, were always in the
front, and always employed. They might say with their forefathers, the
old Norse Vikings, "We sang the mass of lances from morning until
evening;" and in how many cases it chanced, when the hero had fallen,
they who came by night to his funeral on the morrow returned to his
war-path, to show his slayers the way to death!

Ah! young brothers, all honor and gratitude to you! you, manly
defenders, Liberty's and Humanity's home guard. We shall not again
disparage America, now that we have seen what men it will bear. We
see--we thank you for it--a new era, worth to mankind all the treasure
and the lives it has cost; yes, worth to the world the lives of all this
generation of American men, if they had been demanded. [Loud applause.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of Ralph Waldo Emerson at the banquet given by the City of
  Boston, August 21, 1868, to the Hon. Anson Burlingame, Envoy
  Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary from China, and his
  associates, Chih Ta-Jin and Sun Ta-Jin, of the Chinese Embassy to the
  United States and the European powers. Mr. Emerson responded to the
  toast: "The union of the farthest East and the farthest West."]

MR. MAYOR:--I suppose we are all of one opinion on this
remarkable occasion of meeting the Embassy sent from the oldest Empire
in the world to the youngest Republic. All share the surprise and
pleasure when the venerable oriental dynasty, hitherto a romantic legend
to most of us, suddenly steps into the fellowship of nations. This
auspicious event, considered in connection with the late innovations in
Japan, marks a new era, and is an irresistible result of the science
which has given us the power of steam and the electric telegraph. It is
the more welcome for the surprise. We had said of China, as the old
prophet said of Egypt, "Her strength is to sit still." Her people had
such elemental conservatism, that by some wonderful force of race and
national manners the wars and revolutions that occur in her annals
proved but momentary swells or surges on the Pacific Ocean of her
history, leaving no trace. But in its immovability this race has claims.

China is old not in time only, but in wisdom, which is gray hair to a
nation, or rather, truly seen, is eternal youth. As we know, China had
the magnet centuries before Europe; and block-printing and stereotype,
and lithography, and gunpowder, and vaccination, and canals; had
anticipated Linnæus's nomenclature of plants; had codes, journals,
clubs, hackney coaches, and, thirty centuries before New York, had the
custom of New-Year's calls of comity and reconciliation. I need not
mention its useful arts,--its pottery, indispensable to the world; the
luxury of silks; and its tea, the cordial of nations. But I must
remember that she had respectable remains of astronomic science, and
historic records of forgotten time, that have supplied important gaps in
the ancient history of the western nations.

Then she has philosophers who cannot be spared. Confucius has not yet
gathered all his fame. When Socrates heard that the oracle declared that
he was the wisest of men, he said, it must mean that other men held that
they were wise, but that he knew that he knew nothing. Confucius had
already affirmed this of himself: and what we call the Golden Rule of
Jesus, Confucius had uttered in the same terms, five hundred years
before. His morals, though addressed to a state of society utterly
unlike ours, we read with profit to-day. His rare perception appears in
his Golden Mean, his doctrine of Reciprocity, his unerring insight,
putting always the blame of our misfortunes on our selves; as when to
the governor who complained of thieves he said: "If you, sir, were not
covetous, though you should reward them for it, they would not steal."
His ideal of greatness predicts Marcus Antoninus. At the same time, he
abstained from paradox, and met the ingrained prudence of his nation by
saying always: "Bend one cubit to straighten eight."

China interests us at this moment in a point of politics. I am sure that
gentlemen around me bear in mind the bill which Hon. Mr. Jenckes, of
Rhode Island, has twice attempted to carry through Congress, requiring
that candidates for public offices shall first pass examination on their
literary qualifications for the same. Well, China has preceded us, as
well as England and France, in this essential correction of a reckless
usage; and the like high esteem of education appears in China in social
life, to whose distinctions it is made an indispensable passport.

It is gratifying to know that the advantages of the new intercourse
between the two countries are daily manifest on the Pacific coast. The
immigrants from Asia come in crowds. Their power of continuous labor,
their versatility in adapting themselves to new conditions, their
stoical economy, are unlooked-for virtues. They send back to their
friends, in China, money, new products of art, new tools, machinery, new
foods, etc., and are thus establishing a commerce without limit.

I cannot help adding, after what I have heard to-night, that I have read
in the journals a statement from an English source, that Sir Frederic
Bruce attributed to Mr. Burlingame the merit of the happy reform in the
relations of foreign governments to China. I am quite sure that I heard
from Mr. Burlingame in New York, in his last visit to America, that the
whole merit of it belonged to Sir Frederic Bruce. It appears that the
ambassadors were emulous in their magnanimity. It is certainly the best
guaranty for the interests of China and of humanity.



[Speech of William M. Evarts at the sixty-seventh anniversary banquet of
  the New England Society in the City of New York, December 23, 1872.
  The President, Elliot C. Cowden, occupied the chair. Introducing the
  speaker, he said: "I now ask your attention to the eighth regular
  toast: 'The Geneva Tribunal of Arbitration, a victory of peace,
  demonstrating that the statesman's wisdom is mightier than the
  warrior's sword.' This sentiment will be responded to by one who has
  added a new lustre to a fame already achieved by his consummate
  argument in defence of our claims before the late Tribunal of
  Arbitration, your honored ex-President, Mr. Evarts."]

has, I believe, in the history of our race, never been permitted that a
great nation should pass through the perils of a serious internal
conflict without suffering, in some form or other, an intervention in
its affairs by other nations that would not have been permitted, or been
possible, but for the distraction of its power, or the stress to which
it was exposed by its intestine strifes. And when, in our modern
civilization, a nation so great as ours was pressed by so great a stress
as our Civil War imposed upon us, we could not escape this common fate
in human affairs. It has rarely, in the history of our race, been
permitted to a nation that has suffered this foreign intervention, in
whatever form, to preserve its peace and the peace of the world, and yet
settle its account with the nations which had interposed in its affairs.

When the great power of France seized upon the occasion of our Civil War
to renew a European possession upon our boundaries, and when England,
upon the same opportunity, swept the seas of our commerce; properly to
deal with those forms of intervention, when our domestic troubles were
ended by the triumph of our arms, called for the exercise of the highest
statesmanship and the most powerful diplomacy. It was at this juncture
that our great minister of foreign affairs (than whom no greater has
been seen in our country, and than whom no greater has been presented in
the service of any foreign nation) was able, without war, to drive the
French from Mexico, and to establish the _principle_ of arbitration, for
the settlement of our controversy with England. [Applause.] It was
reserved for the present administration to extricate the imperfect work
of the adjustment of the differences between England and the United
States from a difficulty of the gravest character, and to place the
negotiations upon a footing satisfactory to the public sense of our
people by the illustrious work of the Joint High Commission at
Washington. It was reserved for that administration to complete, within
its first term of power, the absolute extinction of all antecedent
causes, occasions or opportunities for future contention between our
nation and the mother country, by the actual result of the Geneva
arbitration. [Applause.]

And now, gentlemen, I think we may well be proud of that self-contained,
yet adequate, appreciation of our power, of our right, and of our duty,
that could thus, while abating not one jot or tittle of our rights,
compose such grave differences by the wisdom of statesmanship, instead
of renewing the struggles of war. I may, I think, recognize in the
general appreciation by our countrymen of the excellence of this great
adjustment between England and the United States, their satisfaction
with this settlement, which, without in the least abating the dignity or
disturbing the peace of England, has maintained the dignity and made
secure the peace of the United States. [Applause.] I think I may
recognize in this general satisfaction of our countrymen, their
conviction that the result of the Geneva arbitration has secured for us
every point that was important as indemnity for the past, and yet has so
adjusted the difficult question between neutrality and belligerency as
to make it safe for us, in maintaining our natural, and, as we hope, our
perpetual, position in the future, of a neutral, and not a belligerent.

The gentlemen to whom were entrusted, by the favor of the President of
the United States, the representation of our country in this great
forensic controversy, have been somewhat differently situated from
lawyers, in ordinary lawsuits, charged with the interests of clients.
For, as we all know, the interest of the client and the duty of the
lawyer are, for the most part, limited to success in the particular
controversy that is being agitated, and, therein, the whole power of the
lawyer and all his resources may be properly directed to secure the
completest victory in the particular suit. But, when a nation is a
party, and when the lawsuit is but an incident, in its perpetual duty
and its perpetual interests, in which it must expect to change sides, in
the changing circumstances of human affairs, it is very plainly its
interest, and the duty of those to whom its interests are entrusted, to
see to it, that in the zeal of the particular contest there shall be no
triumph that shall disturb, embarrass, or burden its future relations
with foreign nations. [Applause.] In other words, when our government
was calling to account a neutral which had interfered with our rights as
belligerents, it was of very great importance that we should insist upon
neither a measure of right nor a measure of indemnity, that we could
not, wisely and safely, submit to in the future ourselves. [Applause.]

While, then, there was a preliminary question of gravest importance to
be determined in this arbitration--this peaceful substitute for
war--"the terrible litigation of States"--no less than this, how widely
and how heavily we should press the question of accountability against a
neutral, and how far the question should be pressed, in the future,
against us, I must congratulate the country for having received, at the
outset of the deliberations at Geneva, a determination from the
Tribunal, upon the general principles of public law, that when peaceful
adjustments in redress of wrongs are attempted between friendly States,
no measure of indemnity can be claimed which at all savors of the
exactions made only by a victorious over a beaten foe. [Applause.]

And when we come to the final award of this High Tribunal, I think the
country may be congratulated, and the world may be congratulated, that
while we have secured a judgment of able and impartial publicists in
favor of the propositions of international law on which we had
insisted, and have received amends by its judgment for the wrongs we had
suffered from Great Britain, we have also secured great principles in
favor of neutrality in the future, making it easier, instead of harder,
for nations to repress the sympathies, the passions and the enlistments
of their people, and to keep, during the pendency of war, the action of
a neutral State within and subject to the dictates of duty and of law.
For we have there established that the duty of a neutral government to
preserve its subjects from interference with belligerent rights is in
proportion to the magnitude of the evils that will be suffered by the
nation against whom, and at whose cost, the infraction of neutrality is
provoked. We have made it apparent, also, that a powerful nation, in the
advanced civilization of our age, cannot escape from an accountability
upon the rough calculation, upon which so much reliance has doubtless
been placed in the past, upon the unwillingness of the offended and
injured nation, in the correction of its wrongs, to rush into the costs
and sacrifices of war. And we have made it apparent to the proudest
power in the world (and there is none prouder than our own nation,) that
there must be a peaceful accounting for errors and wrongs, in which
justice shall be done without the effusion of blood. [Prolonged
applause.] Practically, too, we have established principles of great
importance in aid of the efforts of every Government to preserve its
neutrality in trying and difficult situations of sympathy. An error long
provided, that if a vessel, in violation of neutrality, should escape to
commit its ravages upon the sea, and should once secure the protection
of a commission from the offending belligerent, that that was an end of
it, and all the nations of the world must bow their heads before these
bastard flags of belligerency. But the tribunal has determined, as the
public law of the world, that a commission from a belligerent gives no
protection to a vessel that owes its power and place upon the seas to a
violation of neutrality. [Applause.] The consequence is, that so far
from our success in this arbitration having exposed us, as a neutral
nation, in the future, to greater difficulties, we have established
principles of law that are to aid our Government, and every other
Government, to restrain our people and every other people, in the
future, from such infractions of neutrality.

And now, gentlemen, is it too much for us to say that, coming out from a
strife with our own blood and kindred, upon the many hard-fought fields
of our Civil War, with our government confirmed, with the principles of
our confederation made secure forever, we have also come out from this
peaceful contest with a great power of the world, with important
principles established between this nation and our principal rival in
the business affairs of the world, and with an established conviction,
alike prevalent in both countries, that, hereafter, each must do its
duty to the other, and that each must be held accountable for that duty?

I give you, gentlemen, in conclusion, this sentiment: "The little
Court-room at Geneva--where our royal mother England, and her proud
though untitled daughter, alike bent their heads to the majesty of Law
and accepted Justice as a greater and better arbiter than Power."
[Prolonged applause.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of William M. Evarts at the first banquet of the New England
  Society of the City of Brooklyn, December 21, 1880. Benjamin D.
  Silliman, President of the Society, occupied the chair and introduced
  Mr. Evarts to speak to the toast, "The Republic and its Outlook,"
  saying: "He may well speak of the 'Outlook' who is on the watch-tower.
  His brethren of the bar would prefer his remaining here but if he will
  return to the competitions and collisions of the courts, he will be
  welcomed as a brother, however unwelcome he may be as an adversary.
  Meantime, that he may tell us of the outlook of the Republic, let us
  listen to the Secretary of State, the Honorable William M. Evarts."]

BROOKLYN:--I have been accustomed to the City of New York, and have
been accustomed to the estimate which the people of New York make of the
people of Brooklyn. [Laughter.] I now come to make some trial of the
estimate which the people of Brooklyn put upon the people of New York.
[Applause.] In one distinct feature of the City of New York--I mean in
its population--and in one distinct feature of the City of Brooklyn--in
its population--you will see the secret of your vast superiority to us.
[Laughter.] In the City of New York there are more Irishmen than there
are in Dublin. [Applause.] In the City of Brooklyn there are more
Bostonians than there are in Boston. [Laughter.] We have always felt it
as a reproach, however little we relish the satire, that our New England
festivals--mean in New York--were little in keeping with the poverty and
frugality, and perhaps with the virtues, of our ancestors. But here I
see exactly such a company, and exactly such a feast, as in the first
years of the emigration, our ancestors would have sat down to.
[Laughter.] We honor our fathers with loud praises, you, by noble and
self-denying example. [Laughter.]

The Republic, which is the theme I am to speak to, is the Republic which
has grown from the seed that was planted in New England. It has gained
as the oak has gained in its growth, from the soil, and from the air; so
in the body and the strength, and the numbers and the wealth of the
Republic, it has gained by the accretions of other races, and the
incoming population from many shores. But the oak, nevertheless, is an
oak, because the seed which was planted was the seed of an oak. [Loud
applause.] Now, our Pilgrim Fathers seem to have been frustrated by
Providence a good deal, in many of their plans. They came with the
purpose, it is said, of occupying the pleasant seat of all this wealth
and prosperity which these great cities enjoy. But the point was to
plant them in New England, where they might grow, but would never stay.
One of the first letters which I received after taking charge of the
Department over which I preside was an extremely well-written one from a
western State, asking for a Consulate, and beginning in this wise: "I
have no excuse for intruding on your busy occupations except a
pardonable desire to live elsewhere." [Laughter.] Now that has been the
mainspring of New Englanders ever since they were seated by Providence
on its barren shores, a pardonable desire to live elsewhere. [Laughter.]
If they had been planted here--if they had been seated in the luxurious
climate and with the fertile soil of the South, they would have had no
desire, pardonable or otherwise, to live elsewhere. Though they might
have grown and lived they never would have proved the seed that was to
make the Great Republic as it now is. [Applause.]

There has been an idea that some part of the active, spreading and
increasing influence of the New England people as they moved about the
world, was from a meddlesome disposition to interfere with other people.
There is nothing in that. If there ever was a race that confined itself
strictly to minding its own business, it is the New Englanders; and they
mind it, with great results. The solution of this apparent discord is
simply this: that a New Englander considers everybody else's business
his business. [Loud laughter.] Now these two essential notions of
wishing to live elsewhere, and regarding everybody else's business as
our business, furnish the explanation of the processes by which this
Republic has come to be what it is--great in every form of power, of
strength, of wealth. This dissemination of New England men, and this
permeation through other people's business--of our control of it--have
made the nation what it is. [Applause.]

The statesmanship of the New England character, was the greatest
statesmanship of the world. It did not undertake to govern by authority,
or by power, but by those ideas and methods which were common to human
nature, and were to make a people great, and able to govern themselves.
[Applause.] The great elements of that State thus developed, were
education, industry and commerce. Education which, as Aristotle says,
"makes one do by choice what others do by force;" industry, which by
occupying and satisfying all the avidities of our nature, leaves to
government only the simple duty of curbing the vicious and punishing the
wicked. Commerce, that, by unfolding to the world the relations of
people with people, makes a system of foreign relations that is greater
and firmer, and more beneficent, than can be brought about by all the
powers of armies, or all the skill of cabinets. [Applause.]

This being, then, the Republic which has grown up from the seed thus
planted, that has established our relations among ourselves over our
wide heritage, and established our relations with the rest of the world,
what is its outlook to-day? What is it in the sense of material
prosperity? Who can measure it? Who can circumscribe it? Who can,
except by the simple rule of three, which never errs, determine its
progress? As the early settlement of Plymouth is to the United States of
America, as it now is, so is the United States of America to the future
possession and control of the world as they are to be. [Cheering.] This
is to be, not by armies of invasion, nor by navies that are to carry the
thunders of our powers. It is to be by our finding our place in the
moral government of the world, and by the example, and its magnificent
results, of a free people, governed by education, occupied by industry,
and maintaining our connection with the world by commerce. Thus we are
to disarm the armies of Europe, when they dare not disarm them
themselves. [Cheers.] We present to mankind the simple, yet the
wonderful evidence that a peasant in Germany, or France, or Ireland, or
England carrying a soldier on his back, cannot compete in their own
markets with a peasant in America who has no soldier on his back, though
there be 5,000 miles distance between their farms. [Loud applause.] No
doubt wonderful commotions are to take place in the great nations of
Europe, under this example. There is to be overturning, and overturning,
for which we have no responsibility, except, that by this great
instruction, worked out by Providence on this continent, there is to be
a remodelling of society in the ancient countries of the world.
[Applause.] Now you see in the magnitude of the designs of Providence,
how, planting the Puritans where they would desire to spread themselves
abroad, and filling a continent, whence the ideas that they develop
intelligibly to the whole world, are to distribute themselves over the
world, that this is the way in which the redemption of society at home
first, and abroad afterward, is to be accomplished by the power of the
wisdom of God.

And now for the outlook in other senses than that of material
prosperity, how is it? As difficult and critical junctures have been
reached in the development of the nation, and collisions, as when two
tides meet, have awakened our own fears, and tried our own courage, and
have raised the question whether these true ideas of our Republic were
to triumph or to be checked--has not the issue always shown us, that
faith in God, and faith in man, are a match for all the powers of evil
in our midst and elsewhere? [Cheering.] If there needed to be a march
to the sea, it was to be through the Southern country. [Loud applause.]
If there needed to be a surrender of one portion of this people to the
other, it was to be in and of Virginia, and not in and of New England.
[Applause.] And now what a wonderful spectacle is presented to our
nation, and to the world, when the direst calamities that ever afflict a
people--those of Civil War, had fallen upon us; when the marshalling of
armies, in a nation that tolerated no armies, was greater and more
powerful than the conflicts of the world had ever seen; when the
exhaustion of life, of treasure, of labor, had been such as was
unparalleled; yet, in the brief space of fifteen years, the nation is
more homogeneous, more bound together, more powerful and richer than it
ever could have been but for the triumph of the good over the weak
elements of this Republic. [Applause.]

And what does all this show but the essential idea that it is man--man
developed as an individual--man developed by thousands, by hundreds of
thousands, by millions, and tens of millions, these make the strength
and the wealth of a nation. These being left us, the nation, the
consumption as by a fire, attacking a city, or ravaging a whole
territory, or sweeping the coffers of the rich, or invading the cottages
of the poor--all this material wealth may easily be repaired. If the
nation remains with its moral and intellectual strength, brighter and
larger and more indestructible possessions than the first will soon
replace them. On the three great pillars of American society--equality
of right, community of interest, and reciprocity of duty, rests this
great Republic. Riches and honor and length of days will mark the nation
which rests on that imperishable basis. [Prolonged applause.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of William M. Evarts at a banquet of the Chamber of Commerce of
  the State of New York, New York City, November 5, 1881. The banquet
  was given in honor of the guests of the nation, the French diplomatic
  representatives in America, and members of the families descended from
  our foreign sympathizers and helpers, General Lafayette, Count de
  Rochambeau, Count de Grasse, Baron von Steuben, and others, who were
  present at the Centennial celebration of the victory at Yorktown. The
  chairman, James M. Brown, Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce,
  proposed the following toast: "The French Alliance; the amicable
  relations between our two countries founded in 1778, by the Treaty of
  Amity and Commerce, between the nation of France and the American
  people, cemented in blood in 1781, renewed by this visit of our
  distinguished guests, will, we trust, be perpetuated through all

with great pride, as well as with great pleasure, that I respond to the
call in behalf of the merchants of the United States, as represented by
the merchants of the great city of the United States, through this
ancient guild of the Chamber of Commerce, in paying their tribute of
honor and applause to the French nation, that was present as a nation in
the contest of our Revolution, and is present here as a nation by its
representatives to-day [applause]; and to the great Frenchmen that were
present with their personal heroism in the struggles of the Revolution,
and are present here in their personal descendants, to see the fruits of
that Revolution, and to receive our respectful greeting [applause]; and
to the Germans who were present, where they could not have been spared
in the great trials of our feeble nation in its struggles against the
greatest power in the world, and who are here, by the descendants of
those heroic Germans, to join in this feast of freedom and of glory.

But I felt a little doubt, Mr. Chairman, whether the etiquette of this
occasion required me to speak in my own tongue, or in the German or the
French, for I speak French and German equally well [laughter], but I
thought it would be a poor compliment, after all, to talk to these
Frenchmen, or these Germans, in their native tongues. They surely hear
enough of that at home. [Laughter.]

Well, Mr. President, the French Alliance was one of the noblest
transactions in history. The sixth day of February, 1778, witnessed the
Treaty of Alliance and the accompanying Treaty of Amity and Commerce
which filled out our Declaration of Independence, and made that an
assured triumph, which was until then nothing but a heroic effort on our
part. [Cheers.] I do not know that the sixth of February has anywhere
been honored in any due proportion to the Fourth of July; but for my
part, as an humble individual, from the earliest moment I have done all
in my power to show my homage to that day, for on that day I was born.
[Laughter and applause.]

Now, we talk the most and must feel the most and with great propriety,
of the presence of our French and of our German aids, and of our own
presence at the battle of Yorktown and the surrender. But what would
that occasion have amounted to, either in the fact of it or in the
celebration of it, if the English had not been there? [Laughter.] You
may remember the composure of the hero that was going to the block and
felt that there was no occasion for hurry or confusion in the attendant
crowd, as nothing important could take place until he got there
[laughter]; and so, in this past history and in the present celebration,
we recognize that it is not a question of personal mortification or of
personal triumph--not even of national mortification or of national
triumph. This was one of the great battles of the world, in which all
the nations engaged, and all other nations had an everlasting interest
and one through which they were to reap an everlasting good. [Applause.]

And I would like to know if the granddaughter of George III has ever had
from her subjects, British or Indian, any sweeter incense than has just
now been poured out from the hearts of the American people, who freely
give that homage to her virtues as a woman that they deny to her sceptre
and her crown as a queen. [Applause.] Who would not rather be a great
man than a great king? Who would not rather be a great woman than a
great queen? [Applause.] Ah, is there not a wider sovereignty over the
race, and a deeper homage from human nature than ever can come from an
allegiance to power? And for woman, though she be a queen, what personal
power in human affairs can equal that of drawing a throb from every
heart and a tear from every eye, when she spoke to us as a woman in the
distress of our nation? [Applause.]

It was a very great thing for France to make the Treaty of Alliance and
the Treaty of Amity and Commerce with a nation that, as yet, had
received no acceptance from the powers of the earth. And when we
remember that France, in the contests of a thousand years, had found
England no unequal match in the quarrels that belonged to the two
nations, I must think that human history has shown nothing nobler than
her espousal of this growing struggle between these colonists and the
great power of England. [Applause.] How much nearer France was to
England than we! How much wider her possessions through the world, open
to the thunders of the British navy and the prowess of the British arms!
And when France, in a treaty, the equal terms of which will strike every
reader with wonder, speaks of the "common cause" to be pursued until the
result of our complete independence, governmental and commercial, was
attained, I know nothing in the way of the "bearing the burdens of one
another," enjoined as the Christian spirit, that is greater than this
stupendous action of France. [Applause.]

The relations of blood and history that make England and us one, as we
always shall be, do not, nevertheless, make it clear that there is not a
closer feeling of attachment, after all, between us and France. It is a
very great compliment, no doubt, in classical phrase, to bespoken of as
"_matre pulchra filia pulchrior"_--the fairer daughter of a fair mother,
but, after all, it is a greater compliment to the daughter than to the
mother. I don't know that maternal affection, the purest sentiment on
earth, is ever quite pleased that the daughter is taller and fairer and
more winning in her ways than the mother is, or ever was [laughter]; and
I do know that there comes a time when the daughter leaves the mother
and cleaves to a closer affection. And here were we, a young, growing,
self-conscious, self-possessed damsel, just peeping from out our
mother's apron, when there comes a gallant and noble friend, who takes
up our cause, and that, too, at a time when it was not quite apparent
whether we should turn out a beauty or a hoyden. [Laughter and
applause.] And that is our relation to France. Nothing can limit,
nothing can disturb it; nothing shall disparage it. It is that we, from
that time and onward, and now finally in the great consummation of two
Republics united together against the world, represent in a new sense
Shakespeare's figure of the "unity and married calm of states."

The French people have the advantage of us in a great many things, and I
don't know that we have any real advantage of them, except in a superior
opinion of ourselves. [Laughter.] God forbid that anybody should take
that from us! Great as is our affection and gratitude toward the French
and German nations, there is one thing that we cannot quite put up with
in those nations, and that is, that, but for them, the English and we
should think ourselves the greatest nations in the world. [Laughter.]
So, with all the bonds of amity between us and them, we must admit that
the Frenchmen and Germans make a pretty good show on the field of
history in the past, and, apparently, mean to have a pretty good share
of the future of this world. [Applause.]

In comparing the Yorktown era with the present day, we find that then a
great many more Frenchmen came here than Germans; but now a great many
more Germans come here than Frenchmen. The original disparity of numbers
seems to have been redressed by the later immigration, and we are
reduced to that puzzling equilibrium of the happy swain whenever we are
obliged to choose sides in the contest between these nations:--

 "How happy could I be with either,
  Were t'other dear charmer away."


The French are a great people in their conduct toward us in this
respect, that the aid and sympathy and alliance has been all in our
favor; they have done everything for us, and have been strong enough not
to need anything from us. [Applause.] The fault of the French, changing
a little Mr. Canning's memorable lines:--

 "The fault of the French, unlike the Dutch,
  Is asking too little, and giving too much."

[Laughter and applause.]

Now, this treaty commences with the very sensible statement that the two
nations being desirous of placing their commerce and correspondence upon
permanent and equitable grounds, His Most Christian Majesty and the
United States of America had thought, to that end, it was best to place
these relations upon perfect equality and reciprocity, without any of
those burdensome preferences which are the source of debate and
misunderstanding and of discontent between nations. In this spirit it
is, no doubt, that we have each pursued toward each other, in commerce,
that most equitable and equal system, by prohibitory duties, of keeping
all of each other's products out of the other that we can. [Laughter.]
Well, the Frenchmen knew, after all, that the Americans can never get
along without their wines, and without their silks, and without their
jewels, and without their art, and without their science, and without
the numberless elegancies which make life even in our backwoods
tolerable. And we know that they cannot very well dispense with our
wheat and corn and the oil from the earth and the cotton to weave into
those delicate tissues with which they clothe the world. [Applause.] So
that, after all, these superficial barriers of customs duties do not
really obstruct our commerce; and even if they have too much of our
pork, as would seem to be the notion at present, we have no desire to
dispense with their wines. [Laughter.]

But there are some other interchanges between nations besides those of
commerce in the raw material or in the products of industry. If we could
make more of a moral interchange with the French; if we could take some
of the moral sunlight which shines upon that great nation; if we could
be more cheerful, more gay, more debonair, and if they could take from
us some of the superfluous ice which we produce morally as well as
naturally, and some of that cold resistance against the inflammation of
enthusiasm which sometimes raises a conflagration among their citizens
at home, we have no tariff on either side that would interfere in the
blending and intercommunication of the moral resources of both nations,
that shall make us more and more one people, in laws, liberties and
national glory, and in all the passions that guide and animate the
conduct of nations. [Applause.]

I am happy to announce myself to you, gentlemen, what I am vain enough
to suppose you would not suspect, that I am a contemporary of Lafayette.
As a Boston schoolboy, I stood in the ranks at Boston when Lafayette in
1825 passed with a splendid cortége along the malls of Boston Common. I
had the pleasure, as a descendant of one of his Revolutionary friends,
to be presented to him personally, and to hear him say that he well
remembered his old friend, my grandfather. [Cheers.] This pleasing
courtesy, it may be said, was all French politeness; but I can say to
these Frenchmen that whether they believe one another at home or not, we
always believe them in this country. [Applause.]

And now your toast desires that this friendship, thus beginning and
continued, shall be perpetual. Who is to stop it? No power but ourselves
and yourselves, sir (turning to the French Minister), can interrupt it.
What motive have you--what motive have we--what sentiment, but that on
either side would be dishonor to the two nations--can ever breathe a
breath to spoil its splendor and its purity? [Applause.] And, sir, your
munificence and your affection is again to be impressed upon the
American people in that noble present you are designing to make to us,
in the great statue of "Liberty enlightening the World," an unexampled
munificence from the private citizens of one nation to the people of
another. We are to furnish the island for its site and the pedestal to
place the statue on. This our people will do with an enthusiasm equal to
your own. But, after all, the obligation will be wholly ours, for it is
to be a lighthouse in our great harbor, a splendid monument to add new
beauty to the glorious Bay of New York. [Applause.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of William M. Evarts at a dinner given to Herbert Spencer, New
  York City, November 9, 1882, the day before his return to England. Mr.
  Evarts presided, and delivered this speech, in introducing Mr. Spencer
  to the company.]

GENTLEMEN:--We are here to-night, to show the feeling of
Americans toward our distinguished guest. As no room and no city can
hold all his friends and admirers, it was necessary that a company
should be made up by some method out of the mass, and what so good a
method as that of natural selection [laughter] and the inclusion, within
these walls, of the ladies? It is a little hard upon the rational
instincts and experience of man that we should take up the abstruse
subjects of philosophy and of evolution, of all the great topics that
make up Mr. Spencer's contribution to the learning and the wisdom of his
time, at this end of the dinner.

The most ancient nations, even in their primitive condition, saw the
folly of this, and when one wished either to be inspired with the
thoughts of others or to be himself a diviner of the thoughts of others,
fasting was necessary, and a people from whom I think a great many
things might be learned for the good of the people of the present time
have a maxim that will commend itself to your common-sense. They say the
continually stuffed body cannot see secret things. [Laughter.] Now, from
my personal knowledge of the men I see at these tables, they are owners
of continually stuffed bodies. [Laughter.] I have addressed them at
public dinners, on all topics and for all purposes, and whatever
sympathy they may have shown with the divers occasions which brought
them together, they come up to this notion of continually stuffed
bodies. In primitive times they had a custom which we only under the
system of differentiation practise now at this dinner. When men wished
to possess themselves of the learning, the wisdom, the philosophy, the
courage, the great traits of any person, they immediately proceeded to
eat him up as soon as he was dead. [Laughter.] Having only this
diversity in that early time, that he should be either roasted or boiled
according as he was fat or thin. [Laughter.] Now, out of that narrow
compass, see how by the process of differentiation and of multiplication
of effects we have come to a dinner of a dozen courses and wines of as
many varieties; and that simple process of appropriating the virtue and
the wisdom of the great man that was brought before the feast is now
diversified into an analysis of all the men here under the cunning
management of many speakers. No doubt, preserving as we do the identity
of all these institutions, it is often considered a great art, or at
least a great delight, to roast our friends and put in hot water those
against whom we have a grudge. [Laughter.]

Now, Mr. Spencer, we are glad to meet you here. [Applause.] We are glad
to see you and we are glad to have you see us. [Laughter.] We are glad
to see you, for we recognize in the breadth of your knowledge, such
knowledge as is useful to your race, a greater comprehension than any
living man has presented to our generation. [Applause.] We are glad to
see you, because in our judgment you have brought to the analysis and
distribution of this vast knowledge a more penetrating intelligence and
a more thorough insight than any living man has brought even to the
minor topics of his special knowledge. [Applause.] In theology, in
psychology, in natural science, in the knowledge of individual man and
his exposition, and in the knowledge of the world, in the proper sense
of society, which makes up the world, the world worth knowing, the world
worth speaking of, the world worth planning for, the world worth working
for, we acknowledge your labors as surpassing those of any of our kind.
[Applause.] You seem to us to carry away and maintain in the future the
same measure of fame among others that we are told was given in the
Middle Ages to Albertus Magnus, the most learned man of those times,
whose comprehension of theology, of psychology, of natural history, of
politics, of history and of learning comprehended more than any man
since the classic time certainly; and yet it was found of him that his
knowledge was rather an accumulation, and that he had added no new
processes and no new wealth to the learning which he had achieved.

Now, I have said that we are glad to have you see us. You have already
treated us to a very unique piece of work in this reception, and we are
expecting perhaps that the world may be instructed after you are safely
on the other side of the Atlantic in a more intimate and thorough manner
concerning our merits and our few faults. [Applause and laughter.] This
faculty of laying on a dissecting board an entire nation or an entire
age and finding out all the arteries and veins and pulsations of their
life is an extension beyond any that our own medical schools afford. You
give us that knowledge of man which is practical and useful, and
whatever the claims or the debates may be about your system of the
system of those who agree with you, and however it may be compared with
other competing systems that have preceded it, we must all agree that
it is practical, that it is benevolent, that it is serious, and that it
is reverent; that it aims at the highest results in virtue; that it
treats evil, not as eternal, but as evanescent, and that it expects to
arrive at what is sought through the aid of the millennium--that
condition of affairs in which there is the highest morality and the
greatest happiness. [Applause.] And if we can come to that by these
processes and these instructions it matters little to the race whether
it be called scientific morality and mathematical freedom or by another
less pretentious name. [Applause.] You will please fill your glasses
while we propose the health of our guest, Herbert Spencer. [Continued

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of William M. Evarts at the Thanksgiving Jubilee of the Yale
  Alumni, New York City, December 7, 1883. Chauncey M. Depew presided.
  Mr. Evarts responded for the Alumni.]

Mr. President, on having such a noble, such a generous, such a patient,
such an appreciative body to preside over. I congratulate you,
gentlemen, on having a President who combines in himself in a marked
degree these two great traits of a presiding officer:--confidence in
himself [great laughter], and distrust of all who are to come after him.
[Laughter.] I remember forty years ago to have heard a Senator of the
United States, making a stump speech in a quiet town in Vermont, amuse
his audience with a story of a woodsawyer who had worked for him and who
had the habit of accompanying the movement of his saw with talking to
himself. He asked him one day why he did so. "Why," said he, "for two
reasons. The first is, that it is a great pleasure to hear a sensible
man talk, and the second is that it is a great pleasure to talk to a
sensible man." [Laughter.]

Now, sir, I have but one warning to give you. It is said of Mercutio,
the wittiest creation of Shakespeare, who is despatched very early in
the play, "My sore wound hath served its turn, although it were not as
deep as a well nor as wide as a church door." It is said that if
Shakespeare hadn't killed Mercutio early, Mercutio would have killed
him. If you [turning to the President] are to preside year after year or
to attempt it upon so high and brilliant and bold a key as you have
assumed here to-night, if you don't kill the Alumni dinners, the Alumni
dinners will kill you. [Great laughter.] Yale College, as represented by
its graduates, is not self-conceited nor obtrusive. It is true they have
always felt the magnificent compliment paid to the College by that
greatest of English thinkers and philosophers Lord Bacon, who said in a
famous passage, as you will recall: "Eating makes a full man, drinking a
ready man, but to be an Alumnus of Yale, a wise man." Yet we are modest
and even reverent toward the claims of other universities. We are
satisfied at the humble position which the French bishop took towards
that great berry, the strawberry. "Doubtless," said he, "God Almighty
might have made a better berry than the strawberry, but doubtless He has
not." [Laughter.] That is our opinion of Yale College. [Applause.]

Now, to be an Alumnus of Yale College, is the object of all those who
enter the college and the object after getting there is to get out.
Sometimes indeed, the four years are spent without that fortunate
result. I remember to have heard of the son of a somewhat conspicuous
gentleman who had desired to give his children the benefit of an
education such as Yale affords, who had spent four years there; but the
entire four years were spent as a member of the Freshman class.
[Laughter.] What a fortunate condition to be continually towering over
more and more of those who are competing with him in scholarship and for
distinction! I know of none greater unless some mode might be
discovered by which one could be a Senior for four years. There is
nothing in human affairs that could equal that happiness! [Laughter.]
Well, college life in my generation--and I certainly had a singular
reminder to-night from you, Mr. President, that I belonged to a
generation that has passed out of memory, for you have excited the
enthusiasm of this company only in the applause that you have drawn
from those who were graduated under Presidents Woolsey and Porter. What
are you to say for us who graduated under President Day? College life, I
was about to say, is a charming life. The best men, we may presume, are
collected from the community, placed under the happiest relations one to
another and under the happiest influences from above and around them.

The President of the college has spoken to you of the pleasing fact that
there is an endowment of seventy thousand dollars for fellowships. Well,
when I was in college, a very moderate endowment of five dollars
contributed by those who were associated as companions was a very good
endowment for good fellowship. [Laughter.] And now in looking at life as
it is, as we remember it in college and have seen it since, who is there
that would compare mere fellowship with good-fellowship? What is there
that is heartier, what sincerer, what more generous and what more just
than the relations of young men of a liberal spirit toward one another
in college? How many of us as we have gone on in life, prosperous, as we
may have been, with nothing to complain of as to our success or our
situation--how many of us have been disposed to repeat that lament of
Æneas where he was continually baffled in holding closer conversation
with his goddess-mother who was always carried off in a nimbus or her
accents lost in the whisper of the wind:--

                 "cur dextrae jungere dextram
 Non datur, ac veras audire et reddere voces?"

Maybe in the good-fellowship of after-life, you, Mr. President, will not
hesitate to walk down Broadway with your arm over General Jackson's
shoulder and his about your waist, and then all the people shall cry
with applause: "See how Yale men love one another!"

You will observe, from this little classic allusion that I am on the
side of those who favor in the curriculum the maintenance of the learned
languages. For myself, whether an education in the classic languages and
in the classic literature should or should not be discarded from the
education of the noble youth of the country is the question whether it
is worth while in the advancing and strenuous life of modern times that
men should have a liberal education. For be sure that there is no trait
in that education that entitles it to the name of liberal more sure and
more valuable than this education in the literature, in the history, in
the language of the great men of the ages past. If any boy is put
through what is called a liberal education, and finds when he goes out
from it, that he is not on a level with those who understand and cherish
the Greek language and literature, he will find that he is mistaken in
wishing to dispense with that distinguishing trait.

I am able to give you a very interesting anecdote, as it seems to me, of
this very point, of how a great man, great in his power, great in his
fame, yet of an ingenuous and simple nature, may look at this
accomplishment. On my return from Europe, when I first visited it, upon
a public errand, while President Lincoln was at the height of his fame
from the assured although not completed success and triumph in the war,
and from the great transaction that had made him one of the famous men
for all ages--the emancipation of the slaves--I had occasion, in a
friendly meeting with him, to express a hope that he would find it in
his power after the cares of State were laid aside to visit Europe and
see the statesmen and great men there whose mouths were full of plaudits
for his assured accomplished fame. Said he: "You are very kind in
thinking I should meet with a reception so gratifying as you have
proposed, and I certainly should enjoy as much as any one the
acquisition and the observation that such a visit would give; but,"
added he, "as you know very well my early education was of the
narrowest, and in the society in which I should move I should be
constantly exposed in conversation to have a scrap of Greek or Latin
spoken that I should know nothing about." Certainly that was a very
peculiar statement to be made by this wonderful man, but it struck me at
the moment that his clear mind, his self-poised nature, recognized the
fact that his greatness and his fame did not lie in the direction of an
association with what he regarded as the accomplished men of society and
of public life brought.

I believe, therefore, that we will stand by the college while it stands
by the Greek and the Latin, and certainly as representatives of the
great mass of graduates we can now talk more of Greek and Latin as a
common accomplishment than the greatest genius and orators of ancient
times, Demosthenes or Cicero, could of English. [Laughter.]

There are many things, gentlemen, that if I were the President of this
association or the President of the University, I should say and expect
to be listened to, while saying it. But I confess that I have pretty
much exhausted, as I perceive, your patience and my own capacity. I am
now living for the reputation of making short speeches, and I am only
afraid that my life will not be long enough to succeed. But I promise
you that if I get a good forum and a good audience like this I will run
a short speech even if I run it into the mud. [Applause.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of William M. Evarts at the banquet given by the Chamber of
  Commerce of the State of New York, June 24, 1885, to the officers of
  the French national ship "Isere," which brought over the Bartholdi
  statue. Charles Stewart Smith, vice-President of the Chamber, presided
  at the dinner and introduced the speaker as follows: "Gentlemen, fill
  your glasses for the seventh regular toast: 'Liberty Enlightening the
  World, a great truth beautifully and majestically expressed by the
  unique gift which our guests of to-night have brought safely to our
  shores.' The gentleman who will respond to this toast needs no
  introduction--Senator William M. Evarts."]

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN:--I may be permitted at the outset,
to speak a little about the share that we have taken on this side of the
water in this great achievement which in its glorious consummation, now
receives the applause of the world.

When this great conception of friendship for America, joy at our
triumph, and their own undaunted love of liberty, liberty for France,
liberty for the United States, liberty for the world, arose, then the
French people were set aflame with a desire to bring, as it were, their
gifts of frankincense and myrrh to lay on this altar of liberty, that
its censer might never die out, but forever perfume and ennoble the air
of the world. [Applause.]

The genius of Art, the patriotism of France, the enthusiasm of its
people, accomplished by contributions drawn from more than one hundred
thousand, perhaps two hundred thousand givers, made up this statue, not
equalled in the history of the world, and not conceived in its genius or
its courage before. [Applause.]

Then it was for us to say whether we would furnish the pedestal upon
which this great gift and emblem of Liberty should find its secure and
permanent home; without the aid of the Government and by the movement of
our own people in this city, an organization wholly voluntary, and
without pretension or assumption had the faith that the American people
would furnish a home fit for the statue of Liberty, however magnificent
should be the reception, that would comport with its own splendor.

This organization undertook actively its work in 1882, before the statue
was completed, and while it remained somewhat uncertain to many who
doubted whether the great statue would really be brought to its
anticipated prosperity and success. But we went on, and now, within
three years, this work, both of receiving and collecting subscriptions
and of raising the pedestal itself, will have been completed, and I do
not hesitate to say, in the face of all critics and all doubters, that a
work of so great magnitude, either in its magnificence, or in its labor,
has never before been completed in so short a time. [Applause.]

When we were reasonably assured of adequate funds, we commenced the
concrete base on which this pedestal was to rest; and no structure of
that kind, of that magnitude, of that necessity, of that perfection and
permanence has ever been accomplished in the works of masonry before.
[Cheers.] Commencing on the ninth of October, 1883, it was completed on
the seventeenth day of May, 1884--and then commenced the work of the
structure proper, of the pedestal, and it went on, and it went on, and
it went sure, and it went safe, if it went slow, and there it stands.

And now a word or two about the Committee. An eminent lawyer of our city
was once detected and exposed and applauded for being seen standing with
his hands in his own pockets [laughter], and for about three months, if
you had visited the meetings of this Committee of ours, you would have
seen the whole assembly standing with their hands in their own pockets
[applause], and taking the first step forward asking their
fellow-citizens to follow us, and not for us to follow them. [Cheers.]
And so we went on, and on the tenth of this present month, we had
received in hand $241,000, of which $50,000 came from the grand and
popular movement of a great newspaper--"The World" [three cheers for
"The World"]--fifty thousand dollars! and that made up substantially
what we had announced in advance as what would be required to complete
the pedestal. But where did we miscarry even in that calculation? The
exploration showed us that the concrete mass must go deeper in the
ground, and that cost us alone $85,000, about $30,000 more than we had
counted upon before the exploration; and then the $20,000 more that
makes it up to the $300,000 as our need to complete the pedestal (when
we had counted upon $250,000), is made by such delay and such expenses
as made the general outlay for this immense structure, continuing longer
than would have been necessary, had the promptness of contributions kept
pace with the possibility of completion.

Now, gentlemen, we have been patient and quiet. Nearly one-fourth of the
contributions of the general citizens came from the pockets of the
Committee. Instead of hearing from enterprising Chicago, and ambitious
Boston, they are talking about the slowness and the dulness of New
York's appreciation, of the delays in its contributions. Let the example
of our patriotism and munificence be an example for them to imitate; and
this city of Boston--let their people there reflect that, when they
built Bunker Hill monument, it cost I am informed scarcely $100,000.
They were twenty years in raising it, although the whole country was
canvassed in its aid. [Laughter.]

Well, gentlemen, so much for that. And how great is this monument! How
noble! How beautiful! How inspiring for the time that looks upon its
completion and for the ages that shall mark it hereafter! If our country
and France, as we hope, may go on in the enlargement and advancement of
a glorious civilization, we may feel sure that if our descendants shall
overtop us in wealth, in strength, in art, and equal us in love of
liberty, they will not say that this was not a worthy triumph for the
age in which we live [applause]; and if, unhappily, malign influences
shall degrade our civilization and our fame, and travellers and
dwellers here shall find their power has waned, and their love of
liberty declined, if they shall have become a poverty-stricken and
debased people, what will they think of this remaining monument of a
past and lost age, but that it was a creation of the gods and that no
men ever lived. [Cheers.]

Well, these French gentlemen, the Admiral and the Commandant, how shall
we appreciate the beneficence of their visit, the urbanity of their
attentions to us, and the happy and hearty manner in which they have
accepted our hospitality. Why the Admiral--a greater triumph, let me
say, than he could ever have by the power of his navy--has come here and
carried New York by storm, without firing a gun. [Cheers.] And as for
Commandant De Saune, he has done what in the history of the world--of
our modern world, at least--no nation, no ruler has successfully
attempted: he has kept "Liberty enlightening the World" under the
hatches for thirty days. [Applause.]

It was tried in England, and "Liberty enlightening the World" cut off
the head of the king. Tried again, it drove the dynasty of the Stuarts
forever from that free island. In France, they tried to suppress it, and
it uprooted the ancient monarchy and scattered the forces which were
expected to repress it. The milder form of a limited monarchy, even,
France would not submit to as a repression of liberty, and again twice
over, under an Imperial government, "Liberty enlightening the World" has
broken out from under the hatches. [Cheers.]

But Commandant De Saune is not only a bold represser of mutiny on board
his vessel, but he is a great and cunning navigator; he did not tell it,
but he planned it, and how narrow the calculation was. He arrived here
on the seventeenth of June, Bunker Hill day [applause], and missed the
eighteenth, the day of Waterloo. [Laughter and applause.]--It is thus
that this French genius teaches us new lessons, and evokes irrepressible
applause. [Cheers.]

I imagine that a navigator who could thus seize the golden moment, and
miss the disastrous one, might, if he undertook it, discover the North
Pole. [Laughter.] But I am sure he has better work before him in the
world than that. [Applause.] But if he goes on to that destination, oh,
let us contribute some portion of the cargo that he will put under the
hatches! [Laughter.]

Well, gentlemen, this is a great event, this great triumph of
civilization is indeed laden with many instructions, and many
illustrations. No doubt "Liberty enlightening the World" in modern
history finds its greatest instance in that torch which was lighted
here; but from the enthusiasm and the inexorable logic of French
philosophy on the "equality of man," was furnished we can never say how
much of the zeal and of the courage that enabled our forefathers to
shape the institutions of equality and liberty here [cheers], and all
can mark the reaction upon France, by which our interests, our
prosperity under them encouraged, ennobled and maintained the struggle
for liberty there which overthrew ancient establishments and raised in
their place new. And now both countries, at least, stand on the same
happy combination of liberty regulated by law, and law enlightened by
liberty. [Cheers.] And this great structure, emblem of so much else,
example of so much else, guide to so much else, yet this emblem, this
example, this guide is of the union between the genius and enthusiasm of
liberty, the graceful statue and the massive and compact pedestal of our
own granite by which it is upheld. [Cheers.]

Liberty can only be supported by solid and sober institutions, founded
upon law as built upon a rock; and the structure solid and sober which
sustains it, if Liberty has fled, is but a shapeless and unsightly mass
that is no longer worthy of respect as a structure, to be torn apart
until it can be better rebuilt as the home of liberty. [Prolonged



[Speech of Thomas C. Ewing at the first annual banquet of the New York
  Southern Society, February 22, 1887. Algernon S. Sullivan, the
  President of the Society, was in the chair, and announced that General
  Ewing would respond to the toast "Ohio and the Northwest." General
  Ewing was greeted with applause and cheers for Ohio.]

MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN:--Ohio and her four sisters of the
Northwest are always proud and happy to be reminded of the fact of their
kinship to Virginia. It was the valor and the intrepidity of the Old
Dominion which, long before the Confederation was formed, wrested that
great territory from the Frenchmen and the savages. It was her lofty
generosity which gave to the poor young Republic that vast territory out
of which has been formed five of our greatest States, and in which dwell
millions of our people. It was her humane and unselfish statesmanship
which annexed to the gift the condition that neither slavery nor
involuntary servitude, excepting punishment for crime, should ever exist
in that magnificent domain. Thousands of our Revolutionary heroes sleep
in Ohio in land given to them as a recognition of their own priceless
services, and the beautiful district between the Scioto and the Little
Miami is filled with their descendants. Therefore, Mr. President,
whenever Virginia sits at the head of the table, Ohio claims a seat as
one of the family.

I, too, coming from that great State, and proud of it and its condition,
may join in congratulating you, gentlemen, on the establishment of this
"Southern Society of New York." After the long season of strife and
discontent this is one of the many signs which mark the vernal equinox,
and foretell the coming summer. I believe, notwithstanding the infinite
disasters of the war, the overthrow of slavery, and with it all the
industrial system of the South, and the needless loss and the
humiliations of reconstruction--I believe that there is to-day a kinder
and more cordial fraternity between the North and South than ever
existed since the agitation of the slavery question sixty or seventy
years ago. This society formed, and meeting here in this great centre of
American political and business life, can do much to promote that peace.
We need more social intercourse between the Northern and Southern men,
and we need, above all, a clearer and manlier understanding of each
other, in order that the recollections of the war may cease to check the
growing accord between us.

Gentlemen, the North craves a living and lasting peace with the South;
it asks no humiliating conditions; it recognizes the fact that the
proximate cause of the war was the constitutional question of the right
of secession--a question which, until it was settled by the war, had
neither a right nor wrong side to it. Our forefathers, in framing the
Constitution purposely left the question unsettled; to have settled it
distinctly in the Constitution would have been to prevent the formation
of the union of the Thirteen States. They, therefore, committed that
question to the future and the war came on and settled it forever. Now,
the Northern people are not so mean, fanatical or foolish as to blame
the South because it believed then and believes now that it had the
right side of that question. How could we respect the South if it were
to say now that it was insincere then, or if it were to pretend that its
convictions on a question of constitutional construction had been
changed by the cuffs and blows of the war? It is enough that the North
and South alike agree that the war settled that question in favor of the
Northern construction finally and forever.

The North does ask that the settlement of the war as embodied in the
constitutional amendments shall be accepted, and obeyed in the letter
and spirit, as good faith and good citizenship require. There have been
undoubtedly very many instances of violation of the spirit of the
amendments and there will be in the future, but no more than from the
very nature of things was to have been expected; and I have no doubt
that they will decrease in number as time goes on, and will finally
disappear in the breaking-up of the color line in the South; and under
the influence of that great sentiment become more familiar and more
general every year, in favor of equal political rights to every American
citizen. Aside from these questions, there is nothing to perpetuate
alienation between the North and South. The new questions will lead to
new divisions on other lines; already the representatives of Alabama are
getting ready to stand with Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey in support
of the tariff on the iron industry; the spinners of the Dan and the Saco
will stand very soon with the spinners of the Willimantic and the
Merrimac in supporting the cotton interests, and now we see the
cotton-growers of the South and the wheat-growers of the Northwest
united in demanding a tariff for revenue only.

Common political interests, the ministry of social and political
intercourse, and perhaps higher than all, the pride of a common
citizenship are rapidly supplanting sectionalism among our own people
and leading us to stand together and work out our common destiny in
fraternal reunion. It has often occurred to me, as a cause of
thankfulness to Almighty God--and I believe He is guiding this Republic
so as to work out the problem of self-government for all mankind--that
the tremendous fact of the war has caused so little change in our system
of government; constitutional amendments have been so limited by
interpretation by the Supreme Court of the United States that they have
hardly added anything to the powers of the general Government or
impaired the powers of the States. The legislation following the war
when Congress seemed to have run mad with the theory that it could
legislate outside of the Constitution has to a large extent fallen under
the decisions of that high tribunal. One would have supposed that it
could have been certain that, considering the fact that the war was
waged to extend the extremest proposition of State sovereignty, that the
triumph of the Federal theory would have added enormously and
permanently to the powers of the general Government and diminished very
greatly and permanently the powers of the States. It is well for
Republican government that that evil was averted. We have our free State
Government, States still stand as the fortresses of American liberty,
and our Federal government moves in its orb with scarcely a perturbation
to mark the influence of the war upon it.

Gentlemen, we have successfully worked out the problem of
self-government, and our example will undoubtedly and in due time be
followed by the world. What else is there for this Republic to do? There
is a tremendous question yet unsolved which is now rising unbidden in
this and in every enlightened nation. It is the question of the proper
distribution of the earnings of labor and capital combined. This is a
question that will not down, and we have got to meet it. British
publicists and statesmen from whom we have taken in the past far too
much of our politics have either ignored that question entirely, or have
treated it as practically settled by the apothegm of Ricardo, that the
laborer is entitled out of his earnings to just enough food and clothing
to keep the machine of his body in working order, and that when that
machine becomes disarranged or worn out, he must go to the almshouse.

In the United States, so far as the question does not lie outside of the
powers of the State or general Government, so far as those powers can be
used fairly to adjust the question, methods of adjustment will fall
within the lines relating to revenue, currency, corporations, police
regulations. The settlement of the intricate problem and of that
immensely important one, will not be added to by flagrant assaults on
public authority, nor by the interference by bodies or individuals with
the free right of every single workingman to work for whatever he
pleases and for whomever he pleases and as many hours as he pleases; nor
by the confiscation of real or personal property. And on the other hand
that question will not be solved nor aided in its solution by police
interference with the right of free assembly and discussion, nor by
police interference with the right to form organizations open or secret,
nor by police interference with the right of laboring men to combine for
their own benefit if they keep within the limits of the law. On the
other hand, I dissent _in toto_ from some of the sentiments expressed in
the letter of Mr. Hewitt. [Abram S. Hewitt, Mayor of the City of New
York.] This question will only be settled by the people at the
ballot-box and by the enactment of such laws as will fairly distribute
the net earnings which labor and capital combine to make.

Gentlemen, let us who have borne the heat and burden of the Civil War,
commit it and its issues to the past, and join the incoming generation
in settling this great industrial question in such a way as will be just
to all, and best for the masses of the people. The South has always
produced great statesmen. It was her peerless and immortal son whose
love of the people and whose faith in their power of self-government did
most to establish and animate our free institutions. And again let the
New South send forth other statesmen armed with the power and animated
with the spirit of Jefferson, [Applause.]



[Speech of Frederic W. Farrar, D.D., at the banquet of the Royal
  Academy, London, May 3, 1884. He was at that time Canon and Archdeacon
  of Westminster, and in 1895 became Dean of Canterbury. The President,
  Sir Frederic Leighton, in introducing the speaker said: "In literature
  as in science a different side of our subject is each year brought
  into prominence according to the guest who does us the honor to
  respond to it. To-night I have the pleasure to call on an accomplished
  and eloquent divine, a writer whose sentences are pictures and his
  language rich with color and who is known to you not only by his books
  on the most sacred subjects, but also by the valuable chapters which
  he has contributed to the study of language, the venerable Archdeacon

MY LORDS AND GENTLEMEN:--I have no pretension to be regarded as
an adequate representative of English Literature, but the toast itself
is one which could never be omitted at any banquet of the Royal Academy.
The artist and the man of letters, though they differ in their gifts and
in their methods, are essentially united in feeling and in purpose. They
appeal to the same emotions; they enforce the same lessons; they
illustrate the same truths; they labor for the same objects. The common
aim of both is the emancipation and free development of our spiritual
nature. The humblest artist as he reads the great works written by men
of genius in all ages,--the humblest man of letters as year after year
he has the delight of gazing on these splendidly illuminated walls--may
claim that he belongs to one and the same great brotherhood--the
brotherhood of those who have consistently labored to cheer, to bless
and to elevate mankind. Turner called himself the "author" not the
artist of his pictures; and indeed, writing and painting are but
different forms of that one eternal language of which not even Babel
could confound the significance. There is hardly a single work in this
Exhibition which does not illustrate the close connection between
literature and art.

Landscape painting has always been the chief glory of our English
school, and what are the great poets of all ages but landscape painters,
and what are the best landscape painters but poets? Alike they reproduce
for us aspects of nature translated into human thoughts and tinged with
human emotion. When Homer shows us bees swarming out of the hollow rock
and hanging in grapelike clusters on the blossoms of spring; when
Æschylus flashes upon us the unnumbered laughter of the sea-waves; when
Virgil in a single line paints for us the silvery Galæsus flowing now
under dark boughs, and now through golden fields; when Dante bids us
gaze on a sky which is of the sweet color of the Eastern sapphire; when
Wordsworth points us to the daffodils tossing in the winds of March
beside the dancing waves of the lake; when Tennyson shows us "the gummy
chestnut buds that glisten in the April blue;" when even in prose Mr.
Ruskin produces scenes and sunsets as gorgeous as those of his own
Turner--what are they but landscape painters.

Again, how many memorable scenes of history are inseparable in our minds
alike, and almost equally, from the descriptions of the writer or the
conceptions of the artist? Shall we ever think of the execution of Mary
Queen of Scots without recalling Mr. Froude's description of her, as she
stood, a blood-red figure on the black-robed scaffold? Shall we ever
think of Monmouth pleading for his life with James II, without
remembering the picture which hung last year upon these walls? Is there
no affinity between novelist and our many painters of ordinary scenes,
with their kindred endeavor to shed light and beauty on the hopes and
fears, the duties and sorrows of human life? Nay, even if the preacher
and the divine may claim any part in the domain of letters, they, too,
look to the artist for the aid and inspiration which, in their turn,
they lend to him. Which of us can ever read the words, "These are the
wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends," or,
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock," without being helped to realize
their meaning by the pathetic allegories of Mr. Millais and Mr. Holman
Hunt? And if, sir, you will pardon the allusion, the verse, "Oh! had I
the wings of a dove," is in my own mind henceforth inseparably
associated, not only with the melody of Mendelssohn, in which we seem to
see the dove hovering, as it were, in a cloud of golden music, but also
with the picture I saw many years ago in this room, of a weary king
sitting on his palace roof, his hair sable silvered, and his crown laid
humbly upon the parapet beside him, whose eyes wistfully follow the
flight of a flock of doves towards the twilight sky.

I am sure that I echo the sentiment of every painter, and of every
author here when I say we are brothers in the effort to make the happy
happier, and the sad less miserable, and in the poet's words, "to teach
the young and the gracious of every age to see, to think, to feel, and
therefore to become more actively and securely virtuous."

 "High is our calling, friends! creative art,
  (Whether the instruments of words she use
  Or pencil pregnant with ethereal hues,)
  Demands the service of a mind and heart
  Though sensitive, yet in their weakest part
  Heroically fashioned--to infuse
  Faith in the whispers of the lonely muse,
  While the whole world seems adverse to desert
  Great is the glory, for the strife was hard."




[Speech of Col. John R. Fellows at the third annual banquet of the New
  York Southern Society, New York City, February 22, 1889. Col. John C.
  Calhoun, President of the Society, said, in introducing him. "Now,
  gentlemen, the next toast is: 'The Day We Celebrate.' I have been an
  Arkansas traveller. We have here with us to-night as our guest another
  who has also been an Arkansas traveller, but he has come on to this
  great metropolis and located here, and to-day voices the sentiment of
  a vast portion of our population. We now propose to hear from the Hon.
  John R. Fellows."]

GUESTS:--I have just come from a banquet board, the twenty-second
of February gathering of a society over which for some time past I have
had the honor of presiding, and which, therefore, commanded my first
allegiance to-night. It is not often that I am accustomed to appear in
the attitude of an apologist when called upon to respond to a sentiment
such as you have assigned to me to-night, for it would be but the
affectation of modesty to say that I have been unaccustomed to positions
of this kind; yet I do feel something of reluctance in your presence
to-night, at the first banquet of your society which I have done myself
the honor of attending. I do feel some hesitation in attempting to
respond to a toast which includes so much, and is so large in its scope
as the one your partiality has given to me. It is altogether unexpected,
for I had announced to your committee that my presence here would be of
exceedingly limited duration, as I am compelled to leave your midst to
visit another gathering, where I have other duties to perform to-night.

Yet I shall not hesitate to say something in response to the toast. He
must be very far less than imbued with sentiments of love for his
country and of a just conception of its greatness, who can fail to have
something of that sentiment awakened upon an occasion like this, or in
the presence of such a toast as you have given me.

I congratulate you, Mr. President, upon the auspicious character of this
gathering. The youngest of all the societies which have now arisen to
prominence in our midst, you give tokens in your infancy of what your
future greatness is to be. It is exceedingly gratifying to hear a
statement of your prosperity which insures for you so much of the
future, confers so much of hope and promise upon your society as that to
which we have listened to-night.

Especially is it gratifying to know of your financial condition; "the
society owes nothing." In that respect the society differs radically
from each of its individual members. [Laughter.] It is a Southern
characteristic to owe all you can, to pay if you possibly can. There is
a sentiment of honor about the Southerner that induces him to pay if he
possibly can; but there is a sentiment of chivalry which always actuates
him to contract debts without any reference whatever. [Laughter.] Having
started your society on a basis so different from that which
characterizes the units of the society is an evidence of how you have
become permeated and tinctured with Yankee influences. I am glad to hear
of your financial prosperity. It is a good augury, a hopeful sign of the
success which awaits your efforts.

You have called upon me to respond to the toast of "The Day we
Celebrate." I should rather have listened to what would be said of that
toast from the lips of the eloquent Virginian who so admirably
represents the State that was the birthplace of Washington, whose
personal character and whose family have given so much of additional
lustre and glory to the State. [Applause and cheers for General Lee.]

I may not venture, gentlemen, upon a review of the character of
Washington, upon all that his life, and services, and influence meant to
the world. The world, in the language of another, knows that history by
heart. An hundred and fifty-seven years ago, I believe, this day, he was
born. He lived almost the full age allotted to man, but he crowded that
narrow life with deeds that would have rendered illustrious and
immortal the history of a thousand years. He gave to the world an
impetus, he impressed upon it a character and force, he gave it a
conception of new power, of solidity of judgment, of strength of
character, of unbending and unyielding integrity, of high devotion to
principle, of just conception of duty, of patriotism and heroic resolve
in the midst of temptation to wander and be subservient, of
self-abnegation, of sacrifices for the benefit of others, such as would
have adorned and rendered immortal--I repeat--the history of the lives
of ten thousand ordinary men. [Applause.] You claim him for Virginia,
but I speak the universal language when I repeat the eloquent expression
of the most eloquent Irishman--"No country can claim, no age appropriate
him; the boon of Providence to the human race, his fame is eternity, and
his residence Creation." [Applause.] Well was it that the English
subject could say (though it was the defeat of their armies and the
disgrace of their policy--even they could bless the convulsion in which
he had his origin), "for if the heavens thundered and the earth rocked
yet when the storm had passed how pure was the atmosphere it cleared,
how bright in the brow of the firmament was the planet it revealed to
earth." An hundred years have passed since Washington, crowned with the
honors of the successful chieftain, having led his country through the
turmoil of seven years of blood and strife, in these streets and under
these skies was crowned with the highest civic triumph this Republic can
bestow upon its citizen.

And to-night we come to inquire less, perhaps, of Washington's history,
of Washington's influence and character--for every child knows
that--than we do of the country of which Washington was so conspicuous a
part. It seems to me, gentlemen, that the great national holiday we
celebrate, the Fourth of July, is the most significant of all holidays
in the history of all the nations of the world. What does it typify,
sirs? What does it signify to us? Your chairman has said that we have
had an hundred years of national history. It is a little less than an
hundred years since we inaugurated our first President. The Fourth of
July does not celebrate the establishment of the independence of the
United States; it marks but the beginning of the strife instead of its
successful close. It was at the outset of the Revolutionary struggle
that the Colonies threw down that gauge which defied all tradition,
which stamped upon all past history, which mocked at ancient dogmas and
hoary traditions, which introduced upon earth an entirely new and
distinctive doctrine! Before that time men had fought for the
realization of noble purposes and high aims; they had fought to win
succor from distressful conditions; they had fought for relief against
oppression; but they had fought for these only as the gaining of a boon
and a privilege from powers that were; and everywhere it was conceded
that there was upon earth a class of men ordained by Providence to rule,
and that the vassal's obedience was the inheritance of the many. And
when men rose up in their might to fight upon the plains of Runnymede,
in earnest contest, for ancient rights, for ancient privileges, it was
after all only asking something of the grace of the sovereign, and no
one denied his absolute power to withhold or to grant it as he would.
But the colonies threw down this defiance to earth--that there was no
heaven-ordained class to govern men; that man, by virtue of his
existence, by reason of his creation, was a sovereign in his own right;
and that in these latter days all just rights in government were
derived, not from the will of the ruler, but from the consent of the
governed. [Applause.]

It was a new doctrine, I repeat, and if it could be successfully
maintained there was no foundation strong enough for a throne to rest
securely upon! And so all the startled nations rose up to oppose it,
this innovation of all that had been in the preceding centuries; but
guided by that star, led on by the resolute courage, the steadfast
integrity of Washington, our fathers went on and on in pursuit of this
doctrine, in quest of this precious boon, on through blood and toil, on
when the struggle seemed like the very madness of despair, on and on
when hope seemed to have fled, but patriotism remained; on over
trembling dynasties and crumbling thrones, until they wrested that jewel
of their love from the reluctant hand of a sullen king, and set it to
glitter forever upon the brow of a new-born nation. [Applause.]
Auspicious day, which an hundred years ago proclaimed both civil and
religious liberty to all the populations of the earth! To-day we have
set four other stars in our national heaven. [Applause.] Through all the
years we shall go on adding to the glories of the constellation, each
one with a radiance of its own, each one with an orbit of its own, but
all swinging in delightful harmony in that larger orbit within which we
recognize our common country, our Federal Union. [Applause.]

What did Washington do for us? Look around you! I cannot but say, as
that monument in St. Paul's says of the architect of that splendid pile,
Sir Christopher Wren. All of him that could die sleeps under the marble,
but above his mouldering ashes there is this inscription: "Here lies the
body of Sir Christopher Wren, architect of St. Paul's. Reader, would you
see his monument, then look around you." [Applause.] There could be no
higher evidence of the grandeur and greatness, the strength and
character of the man and of his mind, than to point to the works he did.
So we say of Washington. We have had an hundred years of experience in
the form of government that his sword conquered for us, and that his
statesman-like mind fashioned and controlled at the outset. The guidance
he gave us we have never lost; the teachings he inculcated we cherish as
dearly to-day as when they were uttered. Nay! nay! his memory and his
fame grow brighter as the years recede, and as we get away from the
frailties and foibles which attach to the weakness of our common
humanity, even in the person of the strongest. As we get away it is like
moving from some grand mountain peak. As you go away you see its
symmetrical form rise clear in the clouds, with the eternal blue around
the summit, with all its harsh and rugged outlines obliterated by
distance; it is there in its perfect grandeur, in its completeness and
beauty, without any of the weaknesses or foibles which attach to it.

I think there is no better evidence of the character and influence of
Washington upon the American mind than what has transpired during and
since the war. Look, sir, at the South of which you spoke! She was
largely a lethargic people prior to the war. She lived in luxury; she
was in the midst of a condition which yielded to her abundant support,
and eliminated from her life the necessity of hard labor and earnest
effort. The war came. We were bound around with a cordon we could not
break; we were encircled by fire; we were thrown upon our resources.
What resulted? Ah, sir, at once there leaped into life, with a splendor
and with a giant's strength such as the world, such as ourselves had
never conceived of, the true manhood of the South. Every man became a
laborer, every woman a worker. There was nothing that the necessities of
our life demanded that we did not fashion with our own hands. Deprived
of all support, of all assistance from the outside world, we dug from
our hills, and wrested from our soil, and evoked from resources the
measure and extent of which we had never dreamed before, whatever was
necessary for the support of the loved ones at home and the armies we
maintained in the field. [Applause.] We illustrated a heroism and valor
which is the admiration of the world, which is the highest pride and
admiration of our gallant adversaries. They conquered no ignoble foe;
the field was worthy even of their efforts. And when the war was over,
the terrible strife had ended, while yet the land was filled with
mourning, while every church on every Sunday in this North was crowded
with women wearing the sable garments of woe for sons, for brothers, for
husbands, for the loved of every kind and condition who were sleeping
their last sleep on Southern hillsides--how did the spirit of
Washington, the toleration, the kindness, the generosity, the
magnanimity which in all his life he breathed out toward all exhibit
itself here in the North? They took us by the hand. They lifted us to
our feet again, or assisted in doing so. They gave us the recognition
which one gallant man extends to another whose heroism and courage he
has tested; they wrote the title of American Citizen upon our brows
again, and told us to go on as parts of the Union, with our loves and
hopes bound up in its common destiny. [Applause.]

The spirit of Washington has never died. The courage of Washington has
never died. This war was a vital necessity--let us recognize it. This
war was an ordination of Providence--let us confess it. There were
issues distracting and dividing this country which no legislation, no
government, and no decrees of courts could settle. At one time or
another they had to be fought to their final conclusion upon the
battle-field. When the contest was ended it eliminated from our national
condition every element of strife, and welded us together in a bond ten
thousandfold stronger and better than we had known before. [Applause.]

Now, what remains? Ah! so much remains that can never die! There are
Northern soldiers here, there are Southern soldiers here. We stood face
to face through the bitterness of that conflict; we stand heart to heart
now. [Applause.] Whenever this country shall call upon her sons to do
battle against a common foe, when North and South Carolina with
Massachusetts and Vermont, when Georgia and Ohio, when all the South and
all the North march side by side in behalf of Old Glory, then at the
bivouac, then around our council fires, the sons will recall the
valorous deeds their fathers wrought upon either side and under opposing
flags during the civil strife, as the loudest call and the strongest
inspiration to awaken effort in behalf of the rescued and re-united
country. [Applause.] Has it not always been so? If you would awaken a
flame of martial life in the sons of France, appeal to them as those
whose eagles flew in triumph above Wagram, and Austerlitz, and Lodi
Bridge, and bore upon the outstretched wings the glorious destinies of
her favored child of fortune, her thunderbolt of war! If you would
awaken Caledonia to battle, appeal to her sons as descendants of--

 "Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
  Scots whom Bruce has often led,"

and at once, from Loch Lomond, from Ben Nevis, and from the Grampian
Hills, her kilted warriors will troop to death as to a feast, stimulated
by the recollection of the glorious deeds of those from whose loins they
sprang! And hereafter, sir, if eloquence shall want a theme to awaken
her sublimest efforts, or poetry shall seek some shrine at which to
offer its most harmonious numbers, orator and bard will not go back to
the romantic period of Agincourt and Crecy, when Henry V led his armies
to victory, and Douglas poured the vials of his wrath across
Northumbrian plains--no need to go back there--but they will tell of the
deeds of the glorious men who drew their swords at Lee's, or
Johnston's, or Longstreet's bidding, or of those who flamed the demigods
of war where Grant and Sherman and Sheridan led [applause]; of those
whose camp-fires shone out on the dark walls of Blue Ridge, or lit up
with their glow the waters of Gauley and of Shenandoah; of those who
sleep in graves consecrated forevermore, where the starts look down
to-night through shadowy trees in Spottsylvanian woods and Stafford
groves; of the long lines whose musketry rang out their sublime peal in
the early gray of that April morning at Shiloh, whose fierce
battle-shout at Chancellorsville or in the Wilderness mingled with the
farewell sounds that broke on Jackson's and on Sedgwick's ears, sounds
scarcely stilled ere the acclamations of angels woke them to sublimer
greeting. [Applause.]

We may safely trust the story of the unequalled valor, the peerless
chivalry of those years, on whichever side they fought, to the verdict
which the unprejudiced future will utter. But I know if ever this
country shall ask us again to flock to her standard and to do duty for
her cause, there is no stronger inspiration that can be invoked, there
is no enthusiasm that can be created or awakened that will lead men so
quickly into the ranks of the foe and hold them so steadily in the face
of death as to talk to each other of the deeds their fathers did when
they stood as foes battling for what they thought was right. [Applause.]
Nay! out of our very strife we have grown strong. The magnanimity of the
conquering party has fused and welded us together in one irresistible,
unbreakable party. No internal dissension shall disturb us henceforth;
and the world arrayed in arms against us we do not fear. And all of this
we derive from the teachings, the heroism, the courage, the patience,
the faith, the example of the fathers, at the head of whom stood the
illustrious one in whose behalf we celebrate this day. [Applause and
cheers for Colonel Fellows.]



[Speech of David Dudley Field at the dinner given in honor of Samuel F.
  B. Morse, New York City, December 27, 1863.]

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN:--In the early days of the electric
telegraph, a proposition was made that it should be called the
Morseograph. I cannot but think that that would have been a distinctive
and appropriate designation; thus, in all future time, when the thing
should be mentioned, recalling the history of its origin. But the name
of the inventor is no secret; and the world will ratify the judgment we
pronounce to-night that, as benefactor and discoverer, his name will be

If we were to measure the future of the telegraph by what it has already
accomplished, we should predict for it an indefinite extension. Less
than twenty years ago, the first line was built in the United States.
Though it extended only from Washington to Baltimore, it was begun in
doubt and completed with difficulty. Thence it stretched itself out
first to Philadelphia and New York, then to other principal cities, and
afterward along the great thoroughfares. On the other side of the sea it
advanced from city to city, and from one market to another.

At first laid with hesitation underneath the rivers, it was next carried
beneath narrow seas, and at last plunged into the ocean and passed from
continent to continent. Compare its feeble beginning with its
achievement of to-day. Think of the uncertainty with which, after weary
months upon dusty Maryland roads, the last link of that first line was
closed, and then think of the exultation with which great ships in
mid-ocean brought up from the bottom of the sea a cable lost two miles
down, and the problem was forever solved, not only that an
ocean-telegraph cable was possible, but that it could not be so lost as
that it might not be found.

Standing in the presence of the great inventor, I am constrained to
congratulate him upon the fulness of his triumph as he remembers the
early effort, and contrasts it with the marvels of this night in this
hall. That little instrument, no larger than the clock upon the chamber
mantel, and making as little noise, is yet speaking to both America and
Europe; and what it says will be printed before the dawn, and laid at
morning under the eyes of millions of readers. Did I say before the
dawn? It will meet the dawn in its circuit before it reaches the
confines of eastern Europe. In the opposite quarter, we know that the
message which has just left us for the West will outstrip the day. Even
while I have been speaking, the message has crossed the Mississippi,
passed the workmen laying the farthest rail of the Pacific road, bounded
over the Sierra Nevada, and dashed into the plains of California, as the
last ray of to-day's sun is fading from the shore, and the twilight is
falling upon the Pacific Sea.

It is, however, not alone its history which justifies us in predicting
for the telegraph indefinite extension. Its essential character must
sooner or later carry it to every part of the habitable globe. Of all
the agencies yet vouchsafed to man, it is the most accessible and the
most potent. While the machinery itself is simple and cheap, the element
from which it is fed is abundant and all-pervading. It is in the heaven
above, in the earth beneath, and in the water under the earth. You take
a little cup and pass into it a slender wire, when lo! there comes to it
a spark from air and water, from the cloud and the solid earth, which
the highest mountains cannot stop, nor the deepest seas drown, as it
dashes on its fiery way, indifferent whether its errand be to the next
village or to the antipodes. No other voice can speak to the far and
near at the same time. No other hand can write a message which may be
delivered within the same hour at Quebec and at Moscow. By no other
means may you converse at once with the farmer of Illinois and the
merchant of Amsterdam, with the German on the Danube and the Arab under
his palm.

To the use of such an instrument there can be no limit but the desire of
man to converse with man. If from this populous and opulent capital you
would speak with any inhabitant of either hemisphere, you have here an
agent which may be brought to do your bidding. If any, however distant,
desire to speak with us, they have these means at their command. How
great will be the effect of all this upon the civilization of the human
race, I do not pretend to foresee. But this I foresee, as all men may,
that the necessities of governments, the thirst for knowledge, and the
restless activity of commerce will make the telegraph girdle the earth
and bind it in a network of electric wire.

The Atlantic, the most dangerous and difficult of all the seas, has been
crossed. In the Pacific you may pass easily from island to island, till
you reach the shores of Eastern Asia. There an American company will
take it up and extend it from side to side of the central Flowery Land.
And an English company is about to cross the straits which divide
Australia from the elder continent. Indeed, I think that I declare not
only what is possible but what will come to pass within the next decade,
that there will be a telegraph-office wherever there is now a
post-office, and that messages by the telegraph will pass almost as
frequently as messages by the mail.

Then the different races and nations of men will stand, as it were in
the presence of one another. They will know one another better. They
will act and react upon one another. They may be moved by common
sympathies and swayed by common interests. Thus the electric spark is
the true Promethean fire, which is to kindle human hearts. Then will men
learn that they are brethren, and that it is not less their interest
than their duty to cultivate good-will and peace throughout all the

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of David Dudley Field at a complimentary dinner given by the
  Saturday Night Club to the judges of the Supreme Court, New York City,
  April 5, 1890. Clark Bell, President of the Club, said in the course
  of his introductory remarks: "It is our grand good fortune to have
  with us to-night the Nestor of the American bar, who was born in
  Connecticut, and whose useful life has covered nearly all the years of
  our present century. His eye has seen much that is far in the past,
  and beside that love and affection he bears to his birthplace are the
  reminiscences of the men conspicuous in the judicial annals of his
  native State, who have been upon the stage of action during the
  eventful years of the present century. When we shall have separated,
  when this banquet shall be but a memory and a reminiscence, that which
  will give us most pleasure, the reminiscence we shall prize among the
  highest, will be that of the presence of the Hon. David Dudley Field,
  whose illustrious name I will connect with the toast--'Reminiscences
  of the Bench and Bar of Connecticut'"]

MR. PRESIDENT:--When you did me the honor to invite me to this
banquet, I was quick to accept the invitation, because I expected to
meet the judges of my native State, of which I bear so pleasant a
remembrance. I find, however, representatives from other seats of
justice come to greet the judges of Connecticut. You have here a judge
from the Dominion of Canada, over which shines the mild light of
Arcturus, and on the other side a representative from Texas where glows,
not the Lone Star of other days, but the bright constellation of the
Southern Cross. You have judges from the neighboring State of New
Jersey, from the further State of Pennsylvania, and from Delaware, about
which I may use the language of John Quincy Adams, speaking of Rhode
Island: "She is to be measured, not by the smallness of her stature, but
by the loftiness of her principles." All these eminent judges are here
to join in the salutation to the judges of Connecticut, and to them
therefore our attention is to be chiefly directed.

I am old enough to remember the judges of Connecticut when they sat
under the authority of the Colonial charter, that charter which was
hidden in the famous oak of Hartford to escape seizure by an emissary of
the King of England. I was present at the trial in Haddam, my native
town, of a man for murder. Trumbull was the judge, that Trumbull who
wrote "McFingal," and who, being elected for a single year, as was
then the rule, was re-elected as long as he lived. He was neatly
dressed, wearing ruffles in the bosom, and at the wrists, and was in
trim knee-breeches.

I remember this incident of the trial. The crowd was so great that the
court was adjourned from the court house to the church, then called the
meeting-house. The jurors sat in the square pews. One of the jurors, a
respectable farmer of the neighborhood, thinking that he had detected
some mistake of the counsel rose to correct him, when the counsel
retorted that the juror was the one mistaken, and added: "Let him that
thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." The prisoner was convicted
and was hanged at Middletown. I went up to see the execution, and when I
reached the place trained bands were marching through the streets,
playing their music as if for a great festivity. A sermon was preached
to a crowded house, and the prisoner was then taken, dressed in a
shroud, to a hill near by, and in the presence of thousands of
spectators was executed. These scenes were of course impressed strongly
on the memory of a boy. I remember the session of the county court at
Haddam, when the judges, headed by the sheriff, marched in order from
the tavern to the court house. I remember seeing in court David Daggett,
wearing white top boots, and I met Roger Minot Sherman, driving into the
village in a sulky. I remember Staples and Hungerford. The latter went
into court one day with a Bible under his arm, to show from the first
chapter of Genesis, as authority in an insurance case, that the day
began at sunset, "and the evening and the morning were the first day."

In those days party feeling ran high in Connecticut, between the
Democrats and the Federalists--"Demos" and "Feds," as they were called
for shortness--and contempt as well. Let me recount two anecdotes: The
Rev. Dr. Backus, riding along the highway, stopped at a brook to water
his horse, when another rider came up from the opposite side, and thus
addressed the good man: "Good-morning, Mr. Minister." The latter
replied, "Good-morning, Mr. Democrat. How did you know that I was a
minister?" "By your dress. How did you know that I was a Democrat?" "By
your address."

At another time Dr. Backus, being prosecuted for a libel upon Mr.
Jefferson, was taken from his home to Hartford to be bailed. The
minister and the marshal rode of course, for that was not the heyday of
vehicles. The minister rode very fast, so fast that the marshal called
out after him: "Dr. Backus, Dr. Backus, you ride as if the devil were
after you." The Doctor turning his head replied, "Just so!"

Mr. President, Connecticut has been often abused for the frugality and
thrift of its people, and called in derision the Nutmeg State. I
remember hearing that a New Yorker once put into his will an injunction
against any child of his being educated in Connecticut.

An Episcopal clergyman removing from New York into a Connecticut town
was actually boycotted. The people would not sell him anything to eat,
and I believe he returned for food and shelter to the hither side of
Byram River. I remember such a joke as this current in New York; that
they had a singular habit in Connecticut, when a man cast up his
accounts with his neighbor and gave him a note for the balance, he used
to exclaim: "Thank God, that debt is paid." Some of the people have
singular tastes now and then; as for example there is a hill behind East
Haddam that used to be called "Stagger-all-hill," but inquiring the
other day, I was told its name was now "Mount Parnassus."

They may say all these things if they please, but Connecticut has no
public debt, or a very small one at most, and her people are
industrious, educated, polite to strangers, jealous of their rights and
brave enough to defend them. I remember hearing Mrs. Fanny Kemble say,
some years ago, of the twelve hundred thousand people then inhabiting
Massachusetts, that, taking them all in all, she thought they were the
foremost twelve hundred thousand people living together in the world,
and I can speak in similar terms of the inhabitants of Connecticut, as
really a part of the same people.

In conclusion, Mr. President, may I without affectation utter these
words of love for my native State, its scenery and its people. Flow on,
gentle river, shine on, rugged and wooded hills, smile on, green meadows
basking in the sun, and you, brave people, who dwell amid these scenes,
prove yourselves ever worthy of your progenitors, and flaunt high as you
will, the old banner with its hopeful and trustful motto--_qui
transtulit sustinet_.



[Speech of Francis M. Finch on assuming the chair of the President of
  the New York State Bar Association, at their annual dinner, Albany,
  N. Y., January 17, 1900. The ex-President, Walter J. Logan, introduced
  him in the following words: "Before I introduce to you Judge Finch, I
  want to say just one word for myself. The New York State Bar
  Association has treated me with distinguished consideration, and I
  shall ever regard every member of the Association as my personal
  friend, and among the pleasantest experiences of my life, which I am
  only just commencing, that the lawyers of the State of New York
  thought me worthy of the position which I am now surrendering. Allow
  me to introduce to you Judge Finch. [Applause.] I want to introduce to
  you, Judge Finch, the most splendid body of men in the American
  nation,--the New York State Bar Association. Judge Finch is now

GENTLEMEN:--I regard it as a very great honor to be called upon
to preside over the work of this Association for the coming year. I do
not know of any other temptation which would have drawn me away from the
quiet of my ordinary life into an arena so public and so open to
critical observation. It is entirely natural that one who has crossed
the line of threescore and ten should covet a life of rest, or at least
some restful work which makes no heavy demand upon brain and nerves, but
I have received from the Bar of the State of New York, in the years that
have gone by, and which seem to me now almost like a dream, I have
received at their hands so much kindness and courtesy, so much of that
encouragement and generous approval which makes the hardest work a
pleasure and happiness, that it seemed to me almost ungrateful and
ungracious to refuse the duty which was sought to be imposed upon me,
and so I have surrendered, with such grace as I may, and will endeavor,
to the best of my ability, to push forward the work of this Association.

Indeed, gentlemen, I confess, as over our cups confessions are sometimes
excusable and in order--I confess that it is something of a comfort not
to be quite forgotten. [Applause.] It is the lot of the average judge--I
don't mean by that these old associates of mine, sitting by me, who are
a long way above the average [applause]--it is the lot of the average
judge to disappear from the public memory very soon after his work is
done. Occasionally there is one who makes his appearance in the flush of
some new and remarkable era, and fastens his name to its beginning.
Occasionally there are others who do some excellent work, not altogether
judicial, and in that manner keep their memories alive; but the most of
us, when our work is done, step down into the mist and the darkness of a
very swift and prompt oblivion. And if you, gentlemen of the Bar, have
chosen for me to draw back the curtains a little, to dissipate somewhat
the mist and the darkness, it is just like you; it is only another of
those kindly deeds which it is pleasant to remember, and for which I am
grateful, and glad to have the opportunity of saying so. [Applause.]

I wished to confine what I have to say to-night simply to these words of
acknowledgment, but the thought comes to me, and I think I must give it
expression, that there never was a year in the history of this nation
when the work of the intelligent, of the able and of the scholarly
lawyer was more imperatively demanded in the interest of the nation and
of the race, than this year which now opens before us. [Applause.] I
have long been of the conviction that the law never leads civilization,
but always follows in its wake; that its purpose and its object is to
regulate and control the relations of men with each other, and their
relations to the State; but those relations must first come, must first
be established before there is anything for the law to regulate.
Progress goes on; new inventions are made; new relations between men
occur, and it is the office and the purpose of the law to march behind
them, to regulate and order and systematize them, and produce, if need
be, justice out of injustice; and to-day beyond the questions of
taxation, which are an almost insoluble problem, we have already the
beginnings in the metropolis of the State of an underground railway,
likely to open and introduce questions as difficult and as remarkable
as those which attended the elevated railways. We have a mass of
colossal trusts, as they are called, combinations of capital, in an
extraordinary degree, with which some of you have already been
wrestling, and others of you will be called upon to confront or defend.
Beyond that the student of international law is about to be obliged to
look away from home and reconsider his foundations, to reflect anew upon
the conclusions to which he has come in the application of the questions
of what is contraband and what is not in the light of an extending
commerce. Beyond that, again, and what interested me, perhaps, more than
it may you, I saw the other day in one of our leading city journals, a
statement which I have been able to verify, that the German nation on
the first day of January in this year, set in operation a new Prussian
code, which substituted for the civil law and the Latin doctrine the
Teutonic law of Germany. I myself cannot read the German language; but,
if there are some among you, within the sound of my voice, who are
capable of doing that, I set you the task between now and one year from
to-day of studying and examining that new Prussian code, which must be a
marked departure, and giving us the benefit of your knowledge and your
judgment. And, beyond that still, the nation itself stands to-day at the
parting of the ways; stands to-day upon the verge of a new and most
unexpected and remarkable destiny, and, I repeat, that there never was,
I think, there never will be, gentlemen, another year in which the labor
and the study and the thought of the scholarly and intelligent and
learned lawyer could be more needed or more in demand. [Applause.]

Let me add one word, not quite so serious, and that, with reference to
my friend who has been your President during the past year, and who, for
his patient industry in your behalf, for the manner in which he has
conducted your affairs and looked after your interests, deserves the
thanks of this Association, which, in your name and behalf, I venture to
give him. [Applause.] What I want to say, however, outside of that, is a
little bit in the line of complaint. He has undertaken to take away from
me my surplus over and above ten millions of dollars [laughter], and
give it to the State of New York. He says in justification that he
thinks and believes that it would be for the best, but, with all
deference to his opinion, I venture to say that I would rather trust my
children to spend that surplus than the average legislature. [Laughter.]
More than that, and the suggestion will relieve my friend somewhat, I do
not intend to have any surplus over his ten millions, not if I know it.
When I reach that happy point, and find that my inventory is running
above it, I propose quietly to take that surplus and hand it over,
first, on one side, and then on the other, to my children, and that
beautiful inheritance law of his will have no application to me
whatever. [Laughter.] Nevertheless, while I disagree with him about
those things, and think I see my way out of the difficulty, I pardon all
of it, because he has promised me faithfully on his honor that until the
close of the festivities he would remain your President, and when in the
end he bade you good-night he would do it for me, as well as for
himself, and wish you each and all a happy journey to your homes and a
safe return to these same tables one year from to-day. [Applause.]



[Speech of John Foord at the 143d annual banquet of the St. Andrew's
  Society of the State of New York, December 1, 1899. The speech was
  delivered in response to the toast, "The Land O' Cakes."]

SOCIETY:--I suppose there are some in this company who would find
it hard to tell the difference between a bear bannock and a pease scone.
For the benefit of such, I may be permitted to say that there was no
suggestion of fancy bread about the "cakes" with which the name of
Scotland has been associated. They were very plain bread, indeed, and
quite as destitute of leaven as that which the Children of Israel were
condemned to eat in the wilderness. The only sweetening they had came
from the fact that they were the fruit of honest toil; and hunger, as
you know, is "gude kitchen." Together with the "hale-some parritch,
chief o' Scotia's food," they formed the staff of life of a people whose
tastes were as simple as their ideals were high. "We cultivate
literature on a little oatmeal," was the motto proposed by Sydney Smith
for the "Edinburgh Review"; and, jocular as was the suggestion, it
touches the keynote of Scottish character and history. For, what have we
not done on a little oatmeal? Our fathers fought on it, worked on it,
thought and studied on it, wrote ballads and preached sermons on it, and
created the Scotland, kinship with which we are all so proud to claim,
on a diet chiefly composed of oat cakes and oatmeal porridge. On such
frugal fare, they subdued a harsh and stubborn soil and made it yield
its yearly toll of harvest; they took tribute of wool and mutton from
the moorland and the hillside, and of hide and beef from the fallow
lea; they levied on loch and sea to support their fisher-folk; and kept
the rock and the reel and the flying shuttle busy to clothe themselves
with homespun, so that the old Arbroath toast became a very epitome of
the vocations of that primitive time: "The life o' man, the death o'
fish, the shuttle, and the plough; corn, horn, linen, yarn, lint, and
tarry 'oo." Nay more, defying the rigors of an ungenial climate, they
set themselves, in their dour and stubborn way, to make flowers grow
where Nature never intended such flowers to be; and they became so
cunning in the mystery of Adam's art that the Scottish gardener took the
place of direction wherever men laid out flower-beds or built
greenhouses throughout the civilized world.

On such simple lines of industry were laid the foundations of the
material greatness of Scotland--its mines, its furnaces, its machine
shops, its shipyards, its flax and jute mills, and all the other forms
of productive energy that have placed this little country and its few
millions of people in the front rank of the mechanical activity of the
world. But is it because of such triumphs as these that the name of
Scotland appeals so powerfully to the heart and the imagination of men?
I think not. Had our race been distinguished only for its care of the
bawbees, for its indomitable perseverance, its capacity to endure
hardship, its adaptiveness, and its enterprise, I trow that the
passionate pilgrim would not turn so eagerly to Scotland to cull the
flowers of poesy and breathe the air of romance. And remember, our
Scottish people are rather what the country has made them, than the
country is what it has been made by them. I heard Governor Roosevelt say
the other evening that the State of New York was merely another name for
the aggregate of the people in it, and I could not help thinking that
there must be in the Dutch blood a certain deficiency of imagination.
Can you imagine a Scotsman, however matter-of-fact and commonplace,
offering such a definition of his native land? The land of brown heath
and shaggy wood, land of the mountain and the flood, the land of our
sires, must be, indeed, part of ourselves; but it is also something
beyond and above ourselves,--the cradle of memories that will fade only
with our latest breath, the home of traditions, whose spell we could
not, if we would, shake off, the seat of beauty and of grandeur that we
somehow think are finer than the fairest or sublimest scenes that earth
can show. We know the feeling that prompted Byron to say:--

 "When I see some tall rock lift its head to the sky,
  Then I think of the hills that o'ershadow Culbean."

For, to most of us, in all our intercourse with Nature, the Scottish
mind supplies a Scottish background. There is nothing that affects me
quite so powerfully as a fine sunset; but I confess that, from all the
magnificent sunsets that I have seen between the Palisades and the Rocky
Mountains, I have derived no such emotion as I have felt when,
"gathering his glory for a grand repose," the sun set behind the
Grampians; and the peak of Schehallion, like a spearhead, cleft the
evening sky. Why, the Scottish exile thinks that the sun turns a
kindlier face to his native land than it does to countries less favored,
like the one who sang:--

 "The sun rises bright in France,
    And fair sets he;
  But he's tint the blythe blink he had
    In my ain countrie."

We are what we are, gentlemen, because the land of our birth is "Bonnie
Scotland," as well as the "Land o' Cakes." Its beauty has entered into
our blood; its majesty and sublimity have given us a certain elevation
of soul. Thus it came about that, beside the homely kailyard virtues of
our forefathers, and their stern uncompromising religious zeal, there
grew up in all their wild beauty such a profusion of the flowers of
song, of poetry, and of romance that you shall hardly find between
Tweed's silver stream and where the ocean billows break in thunder on
Cape Wrath, ten square miles of Scottish ground which have not been
celebrated in ballad, legend, song or story. Whence, think you, came
that affluence of melody with which every strath and glen and carse of
Scotland was vocal--melody that auld wives crooned at their spinning
wheel: lasses lilted at ewe-milking, before the dawn of day; fiddlers
played at weddings and christenings; and pipers sent echoing among the
hills to inspire the march of the warlike living or sound a lament for
the heroic dead? A long line of nameless Scottish minstrels had lived
and died generations before Burns and Ferguson, Tannahill and Lady
Nairne, and all the rest of our sweet singers took the old tunes and
gave them a form and vesture as immortal as their own fame. We are
called a practical, hard-headed people, and so we are; but the most
enduring part of our literature tells of the romantic ideals that
Scotsmen have cherished and the chivalrous deeds they have done. We are
thought to be severely logical; and if allowance be made for our point
of view, we are that also. But the unsympathetic student of Scottish
history will not get very far with his subject by keeping steadily in
mind our practicalness and our logic. If he thinks of these alone, he
will be apt to pronounce those Scotsmen fools who sacrificed two
centuries of progress for the barren, if glorious, privilege of national
independence; he will think they must have been pure fanatics who spilt
their blood that they might have Christ's Kirk and Covenant regulated in
their own peculiar way; and he will hold them as mere feather-brains who
sacrificed their lands and their lives to an obstinate loyalty to the
House of Stuart. Yet it is of such unreason, if unreason it be, that the
warp and the woof of the historic annals of Scotland have been spun: it
is this defiance of what the utilitarian philosopher calls the rules of
common sense, as applied to human conduct, that has given the Scottish
race their unique position among the tribes of men.

And, even in this age of steam and electricity, they will still cherish
their romance. It was but the other day that there was pointed out to
the Gordon Highlanders in the Transvaal the expediency of exchanging the
garb of old Gaul for a uniform of khaki: the one would be less of a
shining mark for the enemy than the other, and, its adoption would
probably result in saving many lives. You know their decision. I think I
hear them say, "All this may well be true; but we stand by the kilt and
the tartan." That, a critical world may say, is magnificent, but it is
not war. We say, magnificent or not, it is war; for the kilt and the
tartan are inseparable from the sentiment that makes these men the
redoubtable soldiers they are. Take those away, and you break their
touch with a continuous tradition which transforms every man in the
regiment, be he Scottish, English or Irish, into a Gordon, with all the
dash and vim and dare-devil courage that centre around the name. The
Gordon blood in him helped Byron to understand and express the potency
of the Highland tradition:--

            "But, with the breath that fills
 Their mountain pipe, so fill the mountaineers
   With the fierce native daring which instills
 The stirring memories of a thousand years.
 And Evan's, Donald's fame rings in each clansman's ears."

May there never come a time when the mind of our race will be closed
against such a sentiment as that! Let us go on doing our share,
resolutely, faithfully, conscientiously, of the work of the world; let
us keep well to the front with the same success that we have done of
yore; but let us not forget that we owe the unconquerable spirit in us
to our Auld Mither Scotland, that it is from her breast there has been
drawn the celestial ichor which has nourished genius in the cottage as
generously as in the Hall, and that has made the inheritance of the
ploughman's son more precious than a Dukedom. We shall, as your
President has said, be better, and not worse citizens of this great
Republic; we shall play our part all the more worthily, in public or
private station, if every fibre of our being thrills to an auld Scotch
sang, and we feel in our inmost heart that--

 "Where the caller breezes sweep
    Across the mountain's breast,
  Where the free in soul are nurst,
    Is the land that we lo'e best."



[Speech of Simeon Ford at a banquet given to Sir Henry Irving by the
  Lotos Club, New York City, October 29, 1899. The President, Frank R.
  Lawrence, occupied the chair.]

GENTLEMEN:--I cannot but envy you the intellectual treat in
which you are revelling, in being permitted to listen to the resistless
eloquence of both me and Sir Henry Irving. It is not often that two such
stars as me and Sir Henry will consent to twinkle in the same firmament.
But your gifted President can accomplish wonders. He is what Weber and
Fields[3] call a "hypnotister."

As the President has said, I am not one of the set speakers. I just blew
in here, and blew in my good money to attend this feast, like the rest
of the rank and file, and now I have to work my passage as well. I am
simply put in as a filler. The President, with his awe-inspiring,
chill-producing gavel, is the "wrapper," and I am the filler; and you,
who smoke, have observed ere this that a mighty fine wrapper is often
associated with a very rank filler.

If I had had about twenty minutes' warning I could have prepared a
eulogy on Sir Henry, setting forth his virtues as a man and an actor in
such a way that he never would have recognized himself, and with such
eloquence that Dr. Greer [David H. Greer] would have looked like thirty
cents. But I did not get the twenty minutes, so poor Sir Henry must
content himself with the few scant bouquets with which he has already
been bombarded.

A sober, able-bodied eulogizer with a good address and a boiled shirt
can get a pretty steady winter's job in this Club at board wages. I
have, in my poor, weak way, eulogized several distinguished men in this
historic room, all of whom I am happy to say, are now convalescent. I
eulogized Joe Choate and he got a job at the Court of St. James; I
eulogized Horace Porter, and he is now playing one night stands at the
Moulin Rouge; Dr. Depew, and he not only got sent to Washington, but got
a raise of wages at the Grand Central Depot; yet when I saw him the next
day and delicately intimated that I was yearning to view the scenic
beauty of his great four track system, his reception reminded me of the
lines of Longfellow, beginning--

 "Try not the pass, the old man said
  Dark lowers the tempest overhead."

and so, instead of resting that night on a beautiful Wagner
hair-mattress, I had to be content with "excelsior."

The only man who really appreciated my efforts was dear old Joe
Jefferson. When I gave him to understand that I was anxious to see him
in one of his matchless characterizations, he inquired if I had a family
that shared my anxiety, and when informed that I had, he generously
tendered all hands a pass to the family circle. The Lord loves a
cheerful giver, but the Lord help any one who strikes Joe for a free

I can understand that the life of an actor must be a trying one, and
success difficult to achieve, and it must be a source of great
gratification to Sir Henry to feel that he has done so much to elevate
the stage as well as the price of admission. But he deserves success,
and the last time I gave up three dollars to behold him, and afterwards,
with a lot of enthusiasts, took his horses from his carriage and dragged
him in triumph two miles to his hotel, I really felt that I had had a
run for my money.

But if, Sir Henry, in gratitude for this beautiful tribute which I have
just paid you, you should feel tempted to reciprocate by taking my
horses from my carriage and dragging me in triumph through the streets,
I beg that you will restrain yourself for two reasons. The first reason
is--I have no horses; the second is--I have no carriage.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of Simeon Ford at the Annual dinner of the Manhattan Bankers of
  the New York State Bankers' Association, February 7, 1900. The
  President, Warner Van Norden, presided.]

GENTLEMEN:--As I sat here this evening, listening to the
strains of that fine old Bankers' anthem entitled "When you ain't got no
money, why you needn't come around," I was thinking what a grand idea it
was for you magnates to get together once a year to exchange ideas and
settle among yourselves what shall be done, and who shall be done, and
how you will do them. Personally, I'd prefer to exchange cheques rather
than ideas with many here present; not but what the ideas are all right,
but somehow, when money talks I am always a fascinated listener.

I did not come here voluntarily, but at the pressing invitation of some
of my most pressing creditors on your committee. They said Secretary
Gage would be here, and Mr. J. P. Morgan, and that without my presence
the affair would seem incomplete, but that if we three got together we
could settle various perplexing financial problems right on the spot.
The committee told me to choose my own subject and they would endorse
anything I would say--without recourse. They delicately intimated,
however, that any playful allusions to the City Bank better be left
unsaid; and so I can only remark:--

 "And I would that my tongue could utter,
  The thoughts that arise in me!"

and let it go at that.

I must say, however, that Secretary Gage made one serious mistake. If he
had consulted me (which he never did, although he had abundant
opportunity) I would have advised him to put his money in an institution
I know about where it would have received a rousing welcome and where I
could have taken a fall out of it myself. If the price of the
Custom-House had gotten into my hands, and I'd been given twenty-four
hours' start, I believe I could have given the secretary a run for his
money. But, instead, he placed it in a rich, smooth-running, well-oiled
institution where it was used in averting a panic and straightening out
financial tangles, and greasing the wheels of commerce, and similar

This is the first opportunity I have had of meeting you Bank Presidents
collectively, and when you are thawed out. I have met most of you,
individually, when you were frozen stiff. I never supposed you could
warm up, as you seem to have done, my previous impressions having been
of the "How'd you like to be the iceman" order. Sometimes I have thought
I'd almost rather go without the money than get a congestive chill in a
Bank President's office, and have him gaze into my eyes, and read the
inmost secrets of my soul, and ask unfeeling questions, and pry rudely
into my past, and throw out wild suggestions about getting Mr. Astor to
endorse for me, and other similar atrocities. And even if I succeed in
deceiving him he leads me, crushed, humiliated and feeling like thirty
cents, to a fly cashier, who, taking advantage of my dazed condition,
includes in my three-months' note, not only Christmas and the Fourth of
July, but St. Patrick's Day, Ash Wednesday and sixteen Sundays, so that,
by the time he has deducted the interest, what's coming to me looks like
a Jaeger undershirt after its first interview with an African
_blanchisseuse_. That's the kind of thing the poet had in mind when he
wrote--"I know a bank whereon the wild thyme grows."

I have observed that one's reception at a bank varies somewhat with the
condition of the money market. Go in when money is easy and the
President falls on your neck, calls you by your first name, and
cheerfully loans you large sums on your "Balloon Common" and your "Smoke
Preferred," and you go on your way rejoicing. The next day, news having
arrived that a Gordon Highlander has strained a tendon in his leg while
sprinting away from a Dutchman near Ladysmith, or an Irish lady _chef_
has sent home two pounds sterling to her family, money goes up to one
hundred and eighty per cent. a minute, and you get a note requesting you
to remove your "Balloon Common" and your "Smoke Preferred" and
substitute Government Bonds therefor. And still you wonder at crime.

But if you really want to know the meaning of the terms "Marble Heart"
and "Icy Eye" go into one of these refrigerating plants for a loan when
money is tight. It is prudent at such times to wear ear-muffs and red
mittens fastened together by tape so they can't be lost, for you will
need 'em.

As soon as you reach the outer air--which will be in about a second--run
home and plunge the extremities in hot water, and place a porous plaster
on what remains of your self-esteem.

Bankers are too prone to judge a man by his appearance, so that the very
men who need the money most have the hardest work to get it. They are
apt, especially at the City Bank, to discriminate against the "feller"
who looks rocky, in favor of the Rockafeller. Clothes do not make the
man! If they did, Hetty Green wouldn't be where she is and Russell Sage
would be in the Old Ladies' Home. If Uncle Russell had to travel on his
shape, he never would see much of the world. Yet, beneath that ragged
coat there beats a heart which as a beater can't be beat--a heart as
true (so the Standard Gas people say)--as true as "steal."

But after all, Banks and Trust Companies do a lot of good in a quiet
way, especially to their directors--in a quiet way. See what a
convenience some of our Trust Companies have been to their directors of
late. It would sometimes be mortifying for these directors to have to
attempt to borrow money on certain securities, in institutions with
which they were not connected, because, instead of getting the money,
they might get six months.

I had intended to touch upon a few vital questions concerning finance
this evening, but the night is waning and I guess you've all been
"touched" sufficiently of late, so I will restrain myself, and give some
other orator a chance to get himself disliked.



[Speech of James A. Froude at the banquet of the Royal Academy, London,
  April 29, 1876. The President, Sir Francis Grant, in introducing Mr.
  Froude, said: "The next toast is 'The Interests of Literature and
  Science.' This toast is always so welcome and so highly appreciated
  that it needs no exordium from the chair. I cannot associate with the
  interests of literature a name more worthy than that of Mr. Froude,
  the scholar and distinguished historian."]

GENTLEMEN:--While I feel most keenly the honor which you confer
upon me in connecting my name with the interests of literature, I am
embarrassed, in responding, by the nature of my subject. What is
literature, and who are men of letters? From one point of view we are
the most unprofitable of mankind--engaged mostly in blowing
soap-bubbles. [Laughter.] From another point of view we are the most
practical and energetic portion of the community. [Cheers.] If
literature be the art of employing words skillfully in representing
facts, or thoughts, or emotions, you may see excellent specimens of it
every day in the advertisements in our newspapers. Every man who uses a
pen to convey his meaning to others--the man of science, the man of
business, the member of a learned profession--belongs to the community
of letters. Nay, he need not use his pen at all. The speeches of great
orators are among the most treasured features of any national
literature. The orations of Mr. Grattan are the text-books in the
schools of rhetoric in the United States. Mr. Bright, under this aspect
of him, holds a foremost place among the men of letters of England.

Again, sir, every eminent man, be he what he will, be he as unbookish
as he pleases, so he is only eminent enough, so he holds a conspicuous
place in the eyes of his countrymen, potentially belongs to us, and if
not in life, then after he is gone, will be enrolled among us. The
public insist on being admitted to his history, and their curiosity will
not go unsatisfied. [Cheers.] His letters are hunted up, his journals
are sifted; his sayings in conversation, the doggerel which he writes to
his brothers and sisters are collected, and stereotyped in print.
[Laughter.] His fate overtakes him. He cannot escape from it. We cry
out, but it does not appear that men sincerely resist the liberty which
is taken with them. We never hear of them instructing their executors to
burn their papers. [Laughter.] They have enjoyed so much the exhibition
that has been made of their contemporaries that they consent to be
sacrificed themselves.

Again, sir, when we look for those who have been most distinguished as
men of letters, in the usual sense of the word; where do we find them?
The famous lawyer is found in his chambers, the famous artist is found
in his studio. Our foremost representatives we do not find always in
their libraries; we find them, in the first place, in the service of
their country. ["Hear! Hear!"] Owen Meredith is Viceroy of India, and
all England has applauded the judgment that selected and sent him there.
[Cheers.] The right honorable gentleman [Mr. Gladstone] who three years
ago was conducting the administration of this country with such
brilliant success was first generally known to his countrymen as a
remarkable writer. During forty years of arduous service he never wholly
deserted his original calling. ["Hear! Hear!"] He is employing an
interval of temporary retirement to become the interpreter of Homer to
the English race [cheers], or to break a lance with the most renowned
theologians in defence of spiritual liberty. [Cheers.]

A great author, whose life we have been all lately reading with delight,
contemplates the year 3000 as a period at which his works may still be
studied. If any man might be led reasonably to form such an anticipation
for himself by the admiration of his contemporaries, Lord Macaulay may
be acquitted of vanity. The year 3000 is far away, much will happen
between now and then; all that we can say with certainty of the year
3000 is that it will be something extremely different from what any one
expects. I will not predict that men will then be reading Lord
Macaulay's "History of England." I will not predict that they will then
be reading "Lothair." [Laughter.] But this I will say, that if any
statesman of the age of Augustus or the Antonines had left us a picture
of patrician society at Rome, drawn with the same skill, and with the
same delicate irony with which Mr. Disraeli has described a part of
English society in "Lothair," no relic of antiquity would now be
devoured with more avidity and interest. [Loud cheers.] Thus, sir, we
are an anomalous body, with very ill-defined limits. But, such as we
are, we are heartily obliged to you for wishing us well, and I give you
our most sincere thanks. [Cheers.]



[Speech of Melville W. Fuller at the fifth annual dinner of the New
  England Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, December 22, 1888. The
  President, Heman L. Wayland, D.D., said in introducing Justice
  Fuller:--"The reverence of New England for law and her readiness to
  make law (a readiness, perhaps our enemies will say, to make them for
  other people) naturally suggests the topic which is first on the
  programme--'New England in the Supreme Court.' I shall not enlarge
  upon the sentiment, lest I should only mar the canvas which will
  shortly be illumined by the hand of a master. The case of New England
  versus The World has long been in court; the evidence is in; the
  learned counsel have been heard; and now, before the case is finally
  given to the intelligent jury of the human race, it remains only that
  we hear a charge from his honor, the Chief Justice of the United

thank you sincerely for the courtesy which has afforded me the
opportunity of being with you this evening, and am deeply sensible of
the compliment paid in the request to respond to the sentiment just

We all know--we have heard over and over again--that the "Day We
Celebrate" commemorates an emigration peculiar in its causes. It was not
the desire to acquire wealth or power, nor even the spirit of adventure,
that sent these colonists forth. They did not go to return, but to
abide; and while they sought to make another country theirs, primarily
to enjoy religious independence, they were much too sagacious not to
know that emancipation from the ecclesiastical thraldom, of which they
complained, involved the attainment of political rights and immunities
as well. And so this day commemorates not simply the heroism of struggle
and endurance in silence and apart, for a great cause, not simply the
unfeigned faith which rendered such heroism possible, but the planting
of that germ of local self-government which has borne glorious fruit in
the reconcilement of individual freedom with a national sway of imperial

It commemorates the advent of that first written constitution of civil
government, that first attempt of a people in that form, by self-imposed
fundamental law, to put it out of their own power to work injustice;
that agreement, signed upon the sea, "to enact, constitute and frame
such just and equal laws and ordinances, acts, constitutions and
offices," as should be "thought most meet and convenient for the general
good of the colony," to which all "due submission and obedience" was
promised. And this was followed a few years later in the sister colony
of Massachusetts Bay by that "Body of Liberties" which, it is well said,
may challenge comparison with Magna Charta itself or the latest Bill of
Rights. Instinct with the spirit of common law, though somewhat
ameliorating its rigor, these "rites, privileges and liberties," to be
"impartially and inviolably enjoyed and observed throughout our
jurisdiction forever," commence with the preamble that "the free
fruition of such liberties, Immunities and privileges humanitie,
Civilitie and Christianitie call for as due to every man in his place
and proportion without impeachment and Infringement, hath ever been and
ever will be the tranquillitie and Stabilitie of Churches and
Commonwealths. And the deniall and deprivall thereof, the disturbance.
If not the ruine of both. We hould it therefore our dutie and saftie,
whilst we are about the further establishment of this Government, to
collect and expresse all such freedomes as for present we foresee may
concern us, and our posteritie after us."

And so they ordain that no man's life or liberty or property can be
taken away, or his honor or good name stained, or his goods or estate in
any way damaged under color of law or countenance of authority, unless
by due process; that every person, inhabitant or foreign, shall enjoy
the same justice and law general to the plantation; that there shall be
no monopolies, except for new inventions profitable to the country, and
for a short time; no imprisonment without bail except for crimes capital
and contempts in open court; freedom of alienation and power to devise;
no primogeniture, no escheats on attainder and execution for felony;
succor to those fleeing from tyranny; full freedom to advise, vote, give
verdict or sentence according to true judgment and conscience; in short,
the expression or the indication of those safeguards to liberty, the
possession of which enables a people to become and to remain free.

Well may we claim for these documents large influence in forerunning the
organic laws of the several States, and that matchless instrument which
a century ago was framed in this fortunate city, which had been blessed
before as the place where the Declaration put on immortality.

And now in the latter half of the third century, since the bearers of
the underlying principles of Republican rule placed their feet upon that
rock, whose shadow was to become a solace to the weariness of the
perpetual toils and encounters of the land, we may well hope that what
they sought has been achieved, an enduring Government of laws and not of
men; security to freedom and to justice, "justice, that venerable
virtue, without which," as exclaimed New England's eloquent orator,
"freedom, valor and power are but vulgar things."

It is delightful to keep these remembrances alive, and while duly
recognizing the rightful claims of all our brothers to their share in
the foundation of the institutions of a common country, to dwell upon
what the forefathers were, what they accomplished and what they still
accomplish through the works that follow them. And as it is not
unnatural that at the same time we should felicitate ourselves upon
whatever of eminence or good fortune has attended the efforts of their
descendants, the reference, Mr. President, you have made in connection
with this toast to the court over which I have the honor to preside
enables me with propriety to indulge in an allusion to those from New
England who have labored in that field.

On the seventh of April, 1789, a committee was appointed by the Senate
"to bring in a bill for organizing the judiciary of the United States."
Able as were his colleagues, it has been generally conceded that "that
great act was penned" by the chairman of that committee, Oliver
Ellsworth, of Connecticut. On the twenty-fourth of September--the day
upon which the Judiciary Act became a law--President Washington
nominated for the Supreme Court of the United States a chief justice and
five associates, among the latter William Cushing, of Massachusetts,
who, after holding high judicial office under the Crown, but supporting
the cause of his country in the Revolution, becoming the first chief
justice of the State of Massachusetts, passed from that distinguished
station to the Federal bench, as one of his eminent successors has done
in our day, and who was commissioned to, but compelled to decline, the
headship of the court. Then came Ellsworth, whose great services in
framing the Federal Constitution in the Connecticut Convention, in the
United States Senate, in high diplomatic position, were complemented by
those he performed in the discharge of the duties of this exalted

And so, following the careers of Marshall and Taney, Chase (fresh from
magnificent conduct of the national finances under circumstances of
tremendous difficulty), and Waite, from long and successful practice at
the bar, won enduring fame by deserving and obtaining the commendation
that a place rendered so illustrious by their predecessors had lost
nothing in their hands; men of New England birth, thus dividing in
number the incumbency in succession to Ellsworth, while he who has but
just entered upon that service, proud of the Prairie State from whence
he comes, has never ceased to regard with affection that particular
portion of the Fatherland in which he first saw the light.

Ellsworth and Waite, Baldwin and Field, and Strong, of Connecticut;
Chase and Woodbury, and Clifford, of New Hampshire; Cushing and Storey,
and Curtis, and Gray, of Massachusetts--these are names written
imperishably upon the records of the Court. But of the five from
Connecticut, Pennsylvania and California and Ohio claim four, and of the
three from New Hampshire, Ohio and Maine two; while the Old Bay State
preserved her hold on hers.

Surely it is not too much for me to say, that up to the present time New
England has in this sphere of public usefulness vindicated her title to
regard by the exhibition on the part of her sons of that devotion to
duty and that adherence to principle which characterized the men to
whose memory the celebration of this day is dedicated.

May that memory ever be precious, and reliance upon that Providence
which sustained them under the tribulations of their time, and has
conducted their children in triumphant progress through succeeding
years, never be less. [Applause.]



[Speech of Hamlin Garland at the eighty-second dinner of the Sunset
  Club, Chicago, Ill., January 31, 1895. The chairman of the evening,
  Arthur W. Underwood, introduced Mr. Garland to speak in relation to
  the general subject of the evening's discussion, "The Tendency and
  Influence of Modern Fiction." Mr. Underwood said: "To some of us the
  field of modern fiction may have seemed before this evening a
  wilderness without a chart. We are fortunate in having with us a man
  who has left the 'main travelled roads' of fiction and, to mix
  metaphors a little, a man who can tell us whether the 'idols' that are
  'crumbling' are those of the realist or those of the idealist,--Mr.
  Hamlin Garland."]

GENTLEMEN:--It is very interesting and pleasant to have the
critic come at the problem in his mathematical fashion, but that will
not settle it. I will tell you what will settle it--the human soul of
the creative man; because if he has the creative power and impulse in
him it will make no difference to him whether or not a single person in
the world reads or understands his book, or appreciates and understands
his painting. What could the critic do with Claude Monet thirty-five
years ago? What could the critic do with Robert Browning when he
appeared? What has the critic done thus far with Walt Whitman, the
greatest spiritual democrat this nation has ever produced? This question
is not settled by the schools; it is not settled by critics; it is not
to be settled by a group of realists or a group of veritists, or the
latest group of impressionists. It is to be settled by the creative
impulse of the man, first; and second, and always subordinate to the
real artist, the public.

Now, I am perfectly willing to admit that there has been for the past
year or two a revival of what might be called the "shilling shocker" in
literature, but it seems to me Professor McClintock entirely
overestimates and exaggerates the influence of the "yore and gore"
fictionists; and even if it were true that they filled the magazines to
the exclusion of Mr. Read [Opie P. Read] and myself--

[Mr. Read: Which they don't:]

Which they don't--and if it were true that the pendulum is swinging
toward the "shilling shocker," it does not follow that it will be a
century before there is a return to the thoughtful study of social life.
This romance can die, and these books be as dead as Hugh Conway's
"Called Back" in less than ten years. I am perfectly willing to admit
all these mutations of taste, but there is something deeper than that.
Do you know, I have a notion that the reign of cheap melodrama and
farce-comedy on our stage and of the "shilling shocker" during the last
two years is due largely to our financial condition. Many of you are
business men, and I know how you talk. I ask you to go to see a serious
play, and you say: "Well, I will tell you; I am pretty well worn out
when business is done, and things are not going just as they should, and
I would rather go to the theatre to laugh these days. I don't care to go
to the theatre to think."

In precisely the same way, when you are called upon, after a hard day of
business care and worry, to read a book, and I say to you: "Read Israel
Zangwill's 'Children of the Ghetto'; it is one of the greatest studies
of our day," you say: "The fact is, I should go to sleep over it. I must
have something that has fighting in it. I want 'yore and gore' fiction
this year. Later on, when I get over my business difficulties and get
where things are easy with me, I'll try Zangwill's 'Children of the
Ghetto.' I will sit down with my wife and have her read it aloud." There
is great significance in this confession as it appears to me.

And what is this "yore and gore" fiction when you analyze it? It is
simply a sublimated "dime novel" which, by reason of increased demand
for easy reading, on the part of the tired brain, has been put into a
little better cover, and published by Harpers. Hitherto it was published
by Beadle or some other fellow of that sort. It is current now. The
people are reading it. They will continue to do so for a year or two,
and then it will disappear. I like what Zangwill said of it a while ago.
I cannot quote it exactly, but it was like this: "I had a dream the
other night, wherein I scrambled over the roofs of buildings pursued by
detectives. I lowered myself by drain pipes. I did business in dark
corridors. I retreated up narrow passages with my good broadsword
flaming, and laid scores of men at my feet. I was sealed up in dungeons.
I was snatched out of the deep by the hair of my head. I slew men in
hecatombs; and then, when the morning came and I awoke, there was not a
shred of intellectual wrack left behind on which my mind could take
hold. I had dreamed it all with the cerebellum. It was all organic. Why
didn't I dream a novel by Turgenef, or Bjornsen? It takes brains to
write "Fathers and Sons" or the "Bankrupt," and it takes brains to read
such masterpieces."

With all due respect to the very calm and fine position taken by
Professor McClintock [Prof. W. D. McClintock had asserted his belief
that the twentieth century would stand for a great revival of romantic
literature], this novel of lust and war does not strike me as being very
high-class art. It may seem good and fine and fresh and inspiring, this
fiction which slays its millions, but I am a good deal of a Quaker. I
would not slay anybody for anything. Therefore, such art does not appear
beautiful to me. I do not believe it is good for our youth to read "yore
and gore" fiction.

There _are_ romancers--Prof. McClintock named one--who have personal
quality. I don't care what school of fiction a man belongs to if he has
something to say to me which has not been said a thousand times by
somebody else. Such a man is Robert Louis Stevenson. He slew men also,
but he uttered something beside war cries. But this "shilling shocker,"
this searching after the dreadful and the unknown which is red with
blood, does not strike me as literature at all. It is all the work of
the cerebellum. It is not the work of the cerebrum. I should put it like
this--If a man can tell us something that has not been told before; if
he can add something to the literature of the world--a real creation--if
he can, like the coral insect, build his own little cell upon the
great underlying mass of English literature, I do not care what you call
him, nor what he calls himself, he is worthy my support.

It is not safe to always reckon a man's merit by the sale of his books.
The author of "Old Sleuth" measured in that way would be the greatest
American writer, in fact, the greatest writer of any time. You can't
reckon the sale of such books by numbers; you reckon them by tons. It is
easy to make a book sell, but the thing is to produce an original work
of art, to put something forth with the imprint of your own personality
as a creative artist.

I believe old Walt Whitman stated the whole problem when he said: "All
that the past was not, the future will be." I do not believe that the
future of the world is to be a future of war. I believe it is to be a
future of industrial peace as Professor Pearson [Charles W. Pearson] has
indicated. And I believe that the literature and the art of that future
will not be based upon war; it will be humanitarian, and at its best
always an individual statement of life. In other words, the whole
tendency of modern art is towards the celebration of the individual by
the individual, and you cannot class writers in any hard and fast
division. There is not an artist living who delineates "things as they
are." There is not a writer living holding that for a theory, or who has
that desire for a fundamental impulse. Art is selection, and upon the
individual soul of the creative artist is laid the burden of choice. It
is in the way he chooses his material and in the way he works it out
that he is to be judged. He may be a story-teller like Stevenson, or he
may be a novelist like Zangwill. All I ask of him is just simply
this--he must be an individual creative artist; he must not repeat, must
not imitate for the sake of gain.



[Speech of John Gilbert at a banquet given by the Lotos Club in
  recognition of the fiftieth anniversary of his first appearance on the
  stage, New York City, November 30, 1878. The chairman of the dinner
  was Whitelaw Reid, President of the Lotos.]

gladiator's cry in the arena standing face to face with death. There is
a certain appositeness in the words I have just uttered that probably
may correspond to my position. Understand me, I do not mean to die
theatrically at present. [Laughter.] But when a man has arrived at my
age, he can scarcely look forward to very many years of professional
exertion. When my old friend, John Brougham [Mr. Brougham:--"I am not
going to die just yet."] [laughter], announced to me the honor that the
Lotos Club proffered me, I was flattered and complimented. But I said:
"John, you know I am no speechmaker." He replied, "Say anything."
"Anything," I said, "anything won't do." "Then," said he, "repeat the
first speech of Sir Peter Teazle, 'When an old bachelor marries a young
wife, what is he to expect?'" [Laughter.] Well, I think I can paraphrase
that and say, "When a young man enters the theatrical profession, what
is he to expect?" Well, he may expect a good many things that are never
realized. However, suffice it to say that fifty years ago I made my
debut as an actor in my native city of Boston. I commenced in the
first-class character of Jaffier in Otway's charming tragedy of "Venice
Preserved." The public said it was a success, and I thought it was.
[Laughter.] The manager evidently thought it was, too, for he let me
repeat the character. Well, I suppose it was a success for a young man
with such aspirations as I had. There might have been some inspiration
about it--at least there ought to have been--for the lady who personated
Belvidera was Mrs. Duff, a lovely woman and the most exquisite tragic
actress that I ever saw from that period to the present.

After this, I acted two or three parts, Mortimer, Shylock, and some of
those little, trifling characters [laughter], with comparative success.
But shortly after, and wisely, I went into the ranks to study my
profession--not to commence at the top and go to the bottom
[laughter]--but to begin at the bottom and go to the top, if possible.
As a young man, I sought for pastures fresh and new. I went to the South
and West, my ambition still being, as is that of all youthful aspirants
for dramatic honors, for tragedy. At last I went to a theatre, and to my
great disgust and indignation I was cast for an old man--at the age of
nineteen. [Laughter.] However, I must do it. There was no alternative
and I did it. I received applause. I played a few more old men
[laughter]; I found at last that it was my point, my forte, and I
followed it up and after this long lapse of years, I still continue in
that department. I went to England and was received with kindness and
cordiality and, returning to my own country in 1862, I was invited to
join Wallack's Theatre by the father of my dear friend here [alluding to
Mr. Lester Wallack], his father whom I am proud to acknowledge as a
friend of mine nearly fifty years ago, and I am also proud to say my
dramatic master. [Applause.] I need not tell you that since that time I
have been under the direction of his son. What my career has been up to
the present time you all know. It requires no comment from me. I am no
longer a young man, but I do not think I am an old man. [Applause and
laughter.] I owe this to a good constitution and moderately prudent
life. [Shouts of laughter.] I may say with Shakespeare's Adam, that

 "In my youth I never did apply
  Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood,
  Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,
  Frosty, but kindly."

Will you permit me, gentlemen, to thank you for the very high honor you
have conferred upon me this evening and allow me to drink the health and
prosperity and happiness of the Lotos Club? [Cheers.]



[Speech of William S. Gilbert at a dinner given to him and to Sir Arthur
  Sullivan by the Lotos Club, New York City, November 8, 1879. Whitelaw
  Reid, the President, in introducing Mr. Gilbert and Mr. Sullivan,
  said: "We do not welcome them as men of genius. It sometimes happens
  that men of genius do not deserve welcome. But we do greet them as men
  who have used their undoubted genius to increase the happiness of
  their kind [applause]; men whose success has extended throughout the
  nations and has added bright hours to the life of every man and woman
  it has touched. [Applause.] That success has depended on no unworthy
  means. Respecting themselves and their art, they have always respected
  their audiences. They have so married wit and humor, and a most
  delicate fancy, and the best light music of the time, to the public
  temper, that we have seen here in New York, for example, their piece
  so popular that we hadn't theatres enough in town to hold the people
  who simultaneously and unanimously wanted to hear it. I propose first
  the health of a gentleman who, not merely in the piece that has so
  long been the rage of the town, but in a brilliant series of previous
  successes, has always given us wit without dirt [applause]--a drama in
  which the hero is not a rake, and the heroine is not perpetually
  posing and poising between innocence and adultery."]

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN:--As my friend Sullivan and I were
driving to this Club this evening, both of us being very nervous and
very sensitive, and both of us men who are highly conscious of our
oratorical defects and deficiencies, and having before us vividly the
ordeal awaiting us, we cast about for a comparison of our then
condition. We likened ourselves to two authors driving down to a theatre
at which a play of theirs was to be played for the first time. The
thought was somewhat harassing, but we dismissed it, because we
remembered that there was always an even chance of success [laughter],
whereas in the performance in which we were about to take part there was
no prospect of aught but humiliating failure.

We were rather in the position of prisoners surrendering to their bail,
and we beg of you to extend to us your most merciful consideration. But
it is expected of me, perhaps, that in replying to this toast with which
your chairman has so kindly coupled my name, I shall do so in a tone of
the lightest possible comedy. [Laughter.] I had almost said that I am
sorry to say that I cannot do so; but in truth I am not sorry. A man who
has been welcomed as we have been here by the leaders in literature and
art in this city, a man who could look upon that welcome as a string on
which to hang a series of small jokes would show that he was responding
to an honor to which he was not entitled. For it is no light thing to
come to a country which you have been taught to regard as a foreign
country, and to find ourselves in the best sense of the word "at home"
[applause] among a people whom we are taught to regard as strangers, but
whom we are astonished to find are our intimate friends [applause]; and
that proffered friendship is so dear to us that I am disposed, in behalf
of my collaborateur and myself, to stray somewhat from the beaten paths
of after-dinner oratory, and to endeavor to justify ourselves in respect
to a matter in which we have some reason to feel that we have been

I have seen in several London journals well-meant but injudicious
paragraphs saying that we have a grievance against the New York managers
because they have played our pieces and have offered us no share of the
profits. [Laughter.] We have no grievance whatever. Our only complaint
is that there is no international copyright act. [Applause.] The author
of a play in which there is no copyright is very much in the position
of an author or the descendants of an author whose copyright has
expired. I am not aware that our London publishers are in the habit of
seeking the descendants of Sir Walter Scott or Lord Byron, or Captain
Marryat, and offering them a share of the profits on their publications.
[Laughter.] I have yet to learn that our London managers seek out the
living representatives of Oliver Goldsmith, or Richard Brinsley Sheridan
or William Shakespeare, in order to pay them any share of the profits
from the production of "She Stoops to Conquer," or "The Good-Natured
Man," or "The Merchant of Venice." [Laughter.] If they do so, they do
it on the principle that the right hand knows not what the left hand
doeth [laughter], and as we have not heard of it, we presume, therefore,
that they have not done so. And we believe that if those eminent men
were to request a share of the profits, they would be met with the reply
that the copyright on those works had expired.

And so if we should suggest it to the managers of this country, they
would perhaps reply with at least equal justice: "Gentlemen, your
copyright never existed." That it has never existed is due entirely to
our own fault.

We consulted a New York lawyer, and were informed that, although an
alien author has no right in his works, yet so long as they remain
unpublished, we held the real title in them, and there was no process
necessary to make them our own. We, therefore, thought we would keep it
in unpublished form, and make more profit from the sale of the
pianoforte score and the words of the songs at the theatres and at the
music publishers.

We imagined that the allusions in the piece were so purely British in
their character, so insular in fact, that they would be of no interest
on this side; but events have shown that in that conclusion we were
mistaken. At all events, we have also arrived at the conclusion that we
have nobody to blame but ourselves. As it is, we have realized by the
sale of the book and the piano score in London about $7,500 apiece, and
under those circumstances I do not think we need to be pitied.
[Laughter.] For myself, I certainly do not pose as an object of
compassion. [Laughter.]

We propose to open here on the first of December at the Fifth Avenue
Theatre with a performance of "Pinafore." I will not add the prefixing
initials, because I have no desire to offend your republican sympathies.
[Laughter.] I may say, however, that I have read in some journals that
we have come over here to show you how that piece should be played, but
that I disclaim, both for myself and my collaborateur. We came here to
teach nothing--we have nothing to teach--and perhaps we should have no
pupils if we did. [Laughter.] But apart from the fact that we have no
copyright, and are not yet managers in the United States, we see no
reason why we should be the only ones who are not to be permitted to
play this piece here. [Laughter and applause.]

I think you will admit that we have a legitimate object in opening with
it. We have no means of knowing how it has been played in this country,
but we are informed that it has been played more broadly than in the old
country--and you know that may be better or worse. [Laughter.]

Afterward we propose to produce another piece, and in the fulness of
time the longer it is delayed perhaps the better for us [laughter], and
we propose to present it to an audience [laughter] in the same spirit in
which we presented "Pinafore"--in a most serious spirit--not to permit
the audience to see by anything that occurs on the stage that the actors
are conscious of the really absurd things they are doing. Whether right
or not, that is the way in which it was presented in London. We open
with "Pinafore," not to show how that ought to be played, but to show
how the piece that succeeds is about to be played, and to prepare the
audiences for the reception of our new and highly preposterous story.

The kindness with which we have been received this evening emboldens me
to believe that perhaps you will not consider this explanation
altogether indecent or ill-timed. I have nothing more, gentlemen, to
say, except to thank you most heartily for the complimentary manner in
which you proposed our health, and to assure you that it is a compliment
which is to me personally as delightful as it is undeserved.



[Speech of Daniel C. Gilman, President of Johns Hopkins University at
  the Harvard Alumni dinner, at Cambridge, Mass., June 29, 1881.]

MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN:--There are so many in this room to
whom this scene is familiar and so many whose voices have been heard
within these walls, that you can hardly understand how one feels who for
the first time stands and endeavors to make his voice reach over this
large assembly. It is not merely the sea of upturned faces, this noble
company of noblemen, this regiment of brigadiers, as it might be called,
it is not alone these pictures and busts, the devices and mottoes which
adorn this edifice, nor is it alone the recollection of all the
illustrious teachers who have been here brought together or the
consciousness that we stand among museums and cabinets and laboratories
unrivalled on this continent,--all this is noble and worthy of noble
men. But there is one thing that seems to me more impressive than all
this. It is the power which Harvard College has had throughout all the
land and throughout all its history. [Applause.]

I have had the opportunity of seeing on the shores of the Pacific how
every act of the corporation of Harvard College, every new measure
adopted by the faculty, every additional gift to its treasury, was
watched as men look toward the east and watch the rising sun, rejoicing
in its boundless store and radiant energy. [Applause.] And I have stood
on the shores of a Southern river and have seen the development of a
young college on the banks of the Patapsco, and I can truly say that if
there had not been a John Harvard, there never would have been a Johns
Hopkins [applause]; if there had never been a university in Cambridge,
there never would have been a university in Baltimore; and if there is
any merit in the plans adopted in that distant city, if there is any
hope to be derived from the experiment which is there in vogue, it is
largely due--and I rejoice in an opportunity of saying so in this public
way--it is largely due to the kindly sympathy, the wise counsel, the
generous help and the noble example of Harvard College. [Applause.] To
the President of this university, to his associates in the corporation
and in the faculty, to many of its alumni the plans adopted in Baltimore
owe a most generous and hearty acknowledgment.

The speaker who preceded me characterized Harvard College as the Alma
Mater of Colleges, and well he did so. But, gentlemen, you can hardly
fail to observe that in the progress of education in this country we are
getting beyond the college period and we are entering the period of
universities. What they are to be, none of us are wise enough to tell,
but whatever they are will largely depend upon what you make of Harvard
University. [Applause.] Many years ago I received a lesson from one
whose name I can never mention without respect and honor, the late
Benjamin Pierce. He said, in speaking of the formation of a university,
"It will never succeed without eminent professors. They will tell you
that great professors make poor teachers, but I will tell you it is only
the eagle that is fit to teach the eaglets. Let the barn-door fowl take
care of themselves." And so I say here, let there be a staff of
professors the most eminent, the most earnest, the most free in their
work that Harvard can bring together, and all the rest goes with it.

I trust, then, that as the years roll on, as the era of universities in
this country is developed from the period of college instruction, we
shall find that the same wisdom that has governed the councils of our
learned bodies, the same adherence to right principles, the same love of
truth, will ever be present, and that Harvard College and all its
younger sisters as they go on will repeat the lesson which they have
taught from the beginning, and which they still teach, whether we turn
our eyes to the depths of the sea or the boundless regions of space,
that beyond the things which are seen and temporal are the things which
are unseen and eternal. [Applause.]



[Speech of William B. Gladstone at the annual banquet of the Royal
  Academy, May 5, 1877. Sir Francis Grant, the President of the Academy,
  being indisposed, Sir Gilbert Scott, the eminent architect, took the
  chair at the special request of the President. In introducing Mr.
  Gladstone, he said: "The next toast is, 'The Interests of Literature.'
  I have been somewhat perplexed myself to think why the custom of the
  Academy places Science before Literature. I see, however, that it is
  quite right, for Literature is a member of our own family--our sister.
  [Cheers.] I am old enough to recollect that when Sir Morton Archer
  Shee, who united Art with Poetry, was elected President of the
  Academy, this epigram appeared in the 'Times':

 "'So Painting crowns her sister Poesie,
   The world is all astonished, so is She (e).'

  Many present will remember in more recent times how Charles Dickens,
  when returning thanks for this toast, expressed the same sentiment of
  relationship by altering some words of Rob Roy's and saying that when
  at our Academy he felt so much at home, as to be inclined to exclaim:
  'My foot is on my native heath, although my name is not Macgregor.'
  Next to religion, literature in very many of its phases supplies the
  noblest subjects for Art. History, Biography, and works of fiction all
  contribute their share; while poetry enjoys the cumulative privilege
  of uniting in itself the incentives to Art which are commanded by all
  other branches of Literature as well as the ennobling sentiments
  inspired by religion, patriotism and other affections of the human
  heart. An elevating mission, indeed, be it only directed in a worthy
  course. Frivolity and license are alike the bane of literature and
  art. Earnestness of purpose and severity of moral tone are the stamina
  of both. Shorn of these, both alike find their strength is gone from
  them. It is consoling to reflect that notwithstanding the laborious
  turmoil of politics we have had three, and I think successive, Prime
  Ministers who have made Literature the solace of their scanty leisure
  and delighted the world by their writings on subjects extraneous to
  State politics. I give you the 'Interests of Literature,' and I have
  the honor to connect the toast with the name of one of that
  distinguished trio, the Right Honorable William Ewart Gladstone."]

think no question can be raised as to the just claims of literature to
stand upon the list of toasts at the Royal Academy, and the sentiment is
one to which, upon any one of the numerous occasions of my attendance at
your hospitable board, I have always listened with the greatest
satisfaction until the present day arrived, when I am bound to say that
that satisfaction is extremely qualified by the arrangement less
felicitous, I think, than any which preceded it that refers to me the
duty of returning thanks for Literature. [Cheers and laughter.] However,
obedience is the principle upon which we must proceed, and I have at
least the qualification for discharging the duty you have been pleased
to place in my hands--that no one has a deeper or more profound sense of
the vital importance of the active and constant cultivation of letters
as an essential condition of real progress and of the happiness of
mankind [cheers], and here every one at once perceives that that
sisterhood of which the poet spoke, whom you have quoted, is a real
sisterhood, for literature and art are alike the votaries of beauty. Of
these votaries I may thankfully say that as regards art I trace around
me no signs of decay, and none in that estimation in which the Academy
is held, unless to be sure, in the circumstance of your poverty of
choice of one to reply to this toast. [Cheers.]

During the present century the artists of this country have gallantly
and nobly endeavored to maintain and to elevate their standard [cheers],
and have not perhaps in that great task always received that assistance
which could be desired from the public taste which prevails around them.
But no one can examine even superficially the works which adorn these
walls without perceiving that British art retains all its fertility of
invention [cheers], and this year as much as in any year that I can
remember, exhibits in the department of landscape, that fundamental
condition of all excellence, intimate and profound sympathy with nature.

As regards literature one who is now beginning at any rate to descend
the hill of life naturally looks backwards as well as forwards, and we
must be becoming conscious that the early part of this century has
witnessed in this and other countries what will be remembered in future
times as a splendid literary age. [Cheers.] The elder among us have
lived in the lifetime of many great men who have passed to their
rest--the younger have heard them familiarly spoken of and still have
their works in their hands as I trust they will continue to be in the
hands of all generations. [Cheers.] I am afraid we cannot hope for
literature--it would be contrary to all the experience of former times
were we to hope that it should be equally sustained at that
extraordinarily high level which belongs, speaking roughly, to the first
fifty years after the peace of 1815. That was a great period--a great
period in England, a great period in Germany, a great period in France,
and a great period, too, in Italy. [Cheers.]

As I have said, I think we can hardly hope that it should continue on a
perfect level at so high an elevation. Undoubtedly the cultivation of
literature will ever be dear to the people of this country; but we must
remember what is literature, and what is not. In the first place, we
should be all agreed that bookmaking is not literature. ["Hear!"] The
business of bookmaking I have no doubt may thrive and will be continued
upon a constantly extending scale from year to year. But that we may put
aside. For my own part if I am to look a little forward, what I
anticipate for the remainder of the century is an age not so much of
literature proper--not so much of great, permanent and splendid
additions to those works in which beauty is embodied as an essential
condition of production, but I rather look forward to an age of
research. [Cheers.] This is an age of great research--of great research
in science, great research in history--an age of research in all the
branches of inquiry that throw light upon the former condition whether
of our race, or of the world which it inhabits [cheers]; and it may be
hoped that, even if the remaining years of the century be not so
brilliant as some of its former periods, in the production of works
great in themselves, and immortal,--still they may add largely to the
knowledge of mankind; and if they make such additions to the knowledge
of mankind, they will be preparing the materials of a new tone and of
new splendors in the realm of literature. There is a sunrise and sunset.
There is a transition from the light of the sun to the gentler light of
the moon. There is a rest in nature which seems necessary in all her
great operations. And so with all the great operations of the human
mind. But do not let us despond if we seem to see a diminished efficacy
in the production of what is essentially and immortally great. Our sun
if hidden is hidden only for a moment. He is like the day star of

 "Which anon repairs his drooping head
  And tricks his beams, and with new spangled ore,
  Flames in the forehead of the morning sky."


I rejoice in an occasion like this which draws the attention of the
world to topics which illustrate the union of art with literature and of
literature with science, because you have a hard race to run, you have a
severe competition against the attraction of external pursuits, whether
those pursuits take the form of business or pleasure. It is given to you
to teach lessons of the utmost importance to mankind, in maintaining the
principle that no progress can be real which is not equable, which is
not proportionate, which does not develop all the faculties belonging to
our nature. [Cheers.] If a great increase of wealth in a country takes
place, and with that increase of wealth a powerful stimulus to the
invention of mere luxury, that, if it stands alone, is not, never can
be, progress. It is only that one-sided development which is but one
side of deformity. I hope we shall have no one-sided development. One
mode of avoiding it is to teach the doctrine of that sisterhood you have
asserted to-day, and confident I am that the good wishes you have
expressed on behalf of literature will be re-echoed in behalf of art
wherever men of letters are found. [Loud cheers.]



[Speech of Henry W. Grady at the annual banquet of the Boston
  Merchants' Association, at Boston, Mass., December 12, 1889. Mr. Grady
  was introduced by the President of the Association, Jonathan A. Lane,
  as the spokesman for the South on the subject he was to treat. His
  speech electrified his hearers, and was the feature of the occasion.]

MR. PRESIDENT:--Bidden by your invitation to a discussion of
the race problem--forbidden by occasion to make a political speech--I
appreciate, in trying to reconcile orders with propriety, the perplexity
of the little maid, who, bidden to learn to swim, was yet adjured, "Now
go, my darling, hang your clothes on a hickory limb and don't go near
the water."

The stoutest apostle of the Church, they say, is the missionary, and the
missionary wherever he unfurls his flag, will never find himself in
deeper need of unction and address than I, bidden to-night to plant the
standard of a Southern Democrat in Boston's banquet hall, and to discuss
the problem of the races in the home of Phillips and of Sumner. But, Mr.
President, if a purpose to speak in perfect frankness and sincerity; if
earnest understanding of the vast interests involved; if a consecrating
sense of what disaster may follow further misunderstanding and
estrangement; if these may be counted to steady undisciplined speech and
to strengthen an untried arm--then, sir, I shall find the courage to

Happy am I that this mission has brought my feet at last to press New
England's historic soil and my eyes to the knowledge of her beauty and
her thrift. Here within touch of Plymouth Rock and Bunker Hill--where
Webster thundered and Longfellow sang, Emerson thought and Channing
preached--here in the cradle of American letters and almost of American
liberty, I hasten to make the obeisance that every American owes New
England when first he stands uncovered in her mighty presence. Strange
apparition! This stern and unique figure--carved from the ocean and the
wilderness--its majesty kindling and growing amid the storms of winter
and of wars--until at last the gloom was broken, its beauty disclosed in
the sunshine, and the heroic workers rested at its base--while startled
kings and emperors gazed and marvelled that from the rude touch of this
handful cast on a bleak and unknown shore, should have come the embodied
genius of human government and the perfected model of human liberty! God
bless the memory of those immortal workers, and prosper the fortunes of
their living sons--and perpetuate the inspiration of their handiwork.

[Illustration: _HENRY WOODFIN GRADY Photogravure after a photograph
from life_ ]

Two years ago, sir, I spoke some words in New York that caught the
attention of the North. As I stand here to reiterate, as I have done
everywhere, every word I then uttered--to declare that the sentiments I
then avowed were universally approved in the South--I realize that the
confidence begotten by that speech is largely responsible for my
presence here to-night. I should dishonor myself if I betrayed that
confidence by uttering one insincere word, or by withholding one
essential element of the truth. Apropos of this last, let me confess,
Mr. President, before the praise of New England has died on my lips,
that I believe the best product of her present life is the procession of
17,000 Vermont Democrats that for twenty-two years, undiminished by
death, unrecruited by birth or conversion, have marched over their
rugged hills, cast their Democratic ballots and gone back home to pray
for their unregenerate neighbors, and awake to read the record of 26,000
Republican majority. May the God of the helpless and the heroic help
them, and may their sturdy tribe increase.

Far to the South, Mr. President, separated from this section by a
line--once defined in irrepressible difference, once traced in
fratricidal blood, and now, thank God, but a vanishing shadow--lies the
fairest and richest domain of this earth. It is the home of a brave and
hospitable people. There is centred all that can please or prosper
humankind. A perfect climate above a fertile soil yields to the
husbandman every product of the temperate zone. There, by night the
cotton whitens beneath the stars, and by day the wheat locks the
sunshine in its bearded sheaf. In the same field the clover steals the
fragrance of the wind, and the tobacco catches the quick aroma of the
rains. There are mountains stored with exhaustless treasures;
forests--vast and primeval; and rivers that, tumbling or loitering,
run wanton to the sea. Of the three essential items of all
industries--cotton, iron and wood--that region has easy control. In
cotton, a fixed monopoly--in iron, proven supremacy--in timber, the
reserve supply of the Republic. From this assured and permanent
advantage, against which artificial conditions cannot much longer
prevail, has grown an amazing system of industries. Not maintained by
human contrivance of tariff or capital, afar off from the fullest and
cheapest source of supply, but resting in divine assurance, within touch
of field and mine and forest--not set amid costly farms from which
competition has driven the farmer in despair, but amid cheap and sunny
lands, rich with agriculture, to which neither season nor soil has set a
limit--this system of industries is mounting to a splendor that shall
dazzle and illumine the world. That, sir, is the picture and the promise
of my home--a land better and fairer than I have told you, and yet but
fit setting in its material excellence for the loyal and gentle quality
of its citizenship. Against that, sir, we have New England, recruiting
the Republic from its sturdy loins, shaking from its overcrowded hives
new swarms of workers, and touching this land all over with its energy
and its courage. And yet--while in the Eldorado of which I have told you
but fifteen per cent. of its lands are cultivated, its mines scarcely
touched, and its population so scant that, were it set equidistant, the
sound of the human voice could not be heard from Virginia to
Texas--while on the threshold of nearly every house in New England
stands a son, seeking, with troubled eyes, some new land in which to
carry his modest patrimony, the strange fact remains that in 1880 the
South had fewer northern-born citizens than she had in 1870--fewer in
'70 than in '60. Why is this? Why is it, sir, though the sectional line
be now but a mist that the breath may dispel, fewer men of the North
have crossed it over to the South, than when it was crimson with the
best blood of the Republic, or even when the slaveholder stood guard
every inch of its way?

There can be but one answer. It is the very problem we are now to
consider. The key that opens that problem will unlock to the world the
fairest half of this Republic, and free the halted feet of thousands
whose eyes are already kindling with its beauty. Better than this, it
will open the hearts of brothers for thirty years estranged, and clasp
in lasting comradeship a million hands now withheld in doubt. Nothing,
sir, but this problem and the suspicions it breeds, hinders a clear
understanding and a perfect union. Nothing else stands between us and
such love as bound Georgia and Massachusetts at Valley Forge and
Yorktown, chastened by the sacrifices of Manassas and Gettysburg, and
illumined with the coming of better work and a nobler destiny than was
ever wrought with the sword or sought at the cannon's mouth.

If this does not invite your patient hearing to-night--hear one thing
more. My people, your brothers in the South--brothers in blood, in
destiny, in all that is best in our past and future--are so beset with
this problem that their very existence depends on its right solution.
Nor are they wholly to blame for its presence. The slave-ships of the
Republic sailed from your ports, the slaves worked in our fields. You
will not defend the traffic, nor I the institution. But I do here
declare that in its wise and humane administration in lifting the slave
to heights of which he had not dreamed in his savage home, and giving
him a happiness he has not yet found in freedom, our fathers left their
sons a saving and excellent heritage. In the storm of war this
institution was lost. I thank God as heartily as you do that human
slavery is gone forever from American soil. But the free man remains.
With him a problem without precedent or parallel. Note its appalling
conditions. Two utterly dissimilar races on the same soil--with equal
political and civil rights--almost equal in numbers, but terribly
unequal in intelligence and responsibility--each pledged against
fusion--one for a century in servitude to the other, and freed at last
by a desolating war, the experiment sought by neither but approached by
both with doubt--these are the conditions. Under these, adverse at
every point, we are required to carry these two races in peace and honor
to the end.

Never, sir, has such a task been given to mortal stewardship. Never
before in this Republic has the white race divided on the rights of an
alien race. The red man was cut down as a weed, because he hindered the
way of the American citizen. The yellow man was shut out of this
Republic because he is an alien, and inferior. The red man was owner of
the land--the yellow man highly civilized and assimilable--but they
hindered both sections, and are gone! But the black man, affecting but
one section, is clothed with every privilege of government and pinned to
the soil, and my people commanded to make good at any hazard, and at any
cost, his full and equal heirship of American privilege and prosperity.
It matters not that every other race has been routed or excluded without
rhyme or reason. It matters not that wherever the whites and the blacks
have touched, in any era or in any clime, there has been an
irreconcilable violence. It matters not that no two races, however
similar, have lived anywhere, at any time, on the same soil with equal
rights in peace! In spite of these things we are commanded to make good
this change of American policy which has not perhaps changed American
prejudice--to make certain here what has elsewhere been impossible
between whites and blacks--and to reverse, under the very worst
conditions, the universal verdict of racial history. And driven, sir, to
this superhuman task with an impatience that brooks no delay--a rigor
that accepts no excuse--and a suspicion that discourages frankness and
sincerity. We do not shrink from this trial. It is so interwoven with
our industrial fabric that we cannot disentangle it if we would--so
bound up in our honorable obligation to the world, that we would not if
we could. Can we solve it? The God who gave it into our hands, He alone
can know. But this the weakest and wisest of us do know; we cannot solve
it with less than your tolerant and patient sympathy--with less than the
knowledge that the blood that runs in your veins is our blood--and that,
when we have done our best, whether the issue be lost or won, we shall
feel your strong arms about us and hear the beating of your approving

The resolute, clear-headed, broad-minded men of the South--the men
whose genius made glorious every page of the first seventy years of
American history--whose courage and fortitude you tested in five years
of the fiercest war--whose energy has made bricks without straw and
spread splendor amid the ashes of their war-wasted homes--these men wear
this problem in their hearts and brains, by day and by night. They
realize, as you cannot, what this problem means--what they owe to this
kindly and dependent race--the measure of their debt to the world in
whose despite they defended and maintained slavery. And though their
feet are hindered in its undergrowth, and their march cumbered with its
burdens, they have lost neither the patience from which comes clearness,
nor the faith from which comes courage. Nor, sir, when in passionate
moments is disclosed to them that vague and awful shadow, with its lurid
abysses and its crimson stains, into which I pray God they may never go,
are they struck with more of apprehension than is needed to complete
their consecration!

Such is the temper of my people. But what of the problem itself? Mr.
President, we need not go one step further unless you concede right here
that the people I speak for are as honest, as sensible and as just as
your people, seeking as earnestly as you would in their place to rightly
solve the problem that touches them at every vital point. If you insist
that they are ruffians, blindly striving with bludgeon and shotgun to
plunder and oppress a race, then I shall sacrifice my self-respect and
tax your patience in vain. But admit that they are men of common sense
and common honesty, wisely modifying an environment they cannot wholly
disregard--guiding and controlling as best they can the vicious and
irresponsible of either race--compensating error with frankness, and
retrieving in patience what they lose in passion--and conscious all the
time that wrong means ruin--admit this, and we may reach an
understanding to-night.

The President of the United States, in his late message to Congress,
discussing the plea that the South should be left to solve this problem,
asks: "Are they at work upon it? What solution do they offer? When will
the black man cast a free ballot? When will he have the civil rights
that are his?" I shall not here protest against a partisanry that, for
the first time in our history, in time of peace, has stamped with the
great seal of our government a stigma upon the people of a great and
loyal section; though I gratefully remember that the great dead soldier,
who held the helm of State for the eight stormiest years of
reconstruction, never found need for such a step; and though there is no
personal sacrifice I would not make to remove this cruel and unjust
imputation on my people from the archives of my country! But, sir,
backed by a record, on every page of which is progress, I venture to
make earnest and respectful answer to the questions that are asked. We
give to the world this year a crop of 7,500,000 bales of cotton, worth,
$450,000,000, and its cash equivalent in grain, grasses, and fruit. This
enormous crop could not have come from the hands of sullen and
discontented labor. It comes from peaceful fields, in which laughter and
gossip rise above the hum of industry, and contentment runs with the
singing plough. It is claimed that this ignorant labor is defrauded of
its just hire. I present the tax books of Georgia which show that the
negro, twenty-five years ago a slave, has in Georgia alone $10,000,000
of assessed property, worth twice that much. Does not that record honor
him, and vindicate his neighbors?

What people, penniless, illiterate, has done so well? For every
Afro-American agitator, stirring the strife in which alone he prospers,
I can show you a thousand negroes, happy in their cabin homes, tilling
their own land by day, and at night taking from the lips of their
children the helpful message their State sends them from the schoolhouse
door. And the schoolhouse itself bears testimony. In Georgia we added
last year $250,000 to the school fund, making a total of more than
$1,000,000,--and this in the face of prejudice not yet conquered--of the
fact that the whites are assessed for $368,000,000, the blacks for
$10,000,000, and yet forty-nine per cent. of the beneficiaries are black
children; and in the doubt of many wise men if education helps, or can
help, our problem. Charleston, with her taxable values cut half in two
since 1860, pays more in proportion for public schools than Boston.
Although it is easier to give much out of much than little out of little
the South, with one-seventh of the taxable property of the country, with
relatively larger debt, having received only one-twelfth as much of
public lands, and having back of its tax books none of the $500,000,000
of bonds that enrich the North--and though it pays annually $26,000,000
to your section as pensions--yet gives nearly one-sixth to the public
school fund. The South, since 1865, has spent $122,000,000 in education,
and this year is pledged to $32,000,000 more for State and city schools,
although the blacks, paying one-thirtieth of the taxes, get nearly
one-half of the fund. Go into our fields and see whites and blacks
working side by side. On our buildings in the same squad. In our shops
at the same forge. Often the blacks crowd the whites from work, or lower
wages by their greater need and simpler habits, and yet are permitted,
because we want to bar them from no avenue in which their feet are
fitted to tread. They could not there be elected orators of white
universities, as they have been here, but they do enter there a hundred
useful trades that are closed against them here. We hold it better and
wiser to tend the weeds in the garden than to water the exotic in the

In the South there are negro lawyers, teachers, editors, dentists,
doctors, preachers, multiplying with the increasing ability of their
race to support them. In villages and towns they have their military
companies equipped from the armories of the State, their churches and
societies built and supported largely by their neighbors. What is the
testimony of the courts? In penal legislation we have steadily reduced
felonies to misdemeanors, and have led the world in mitigating
punishment for crime, that we might save, as far as possible, this
dependent race from its own weakness. In our penitentiary record sixty
per cent. of the prosecutors are negroes, and in every court the negro
criminal strikes the colored juror, that white men may judge his case.

In the North, one negro in every 185 is in jail--in the South only one
in 446. In the North the percentage of negro prisoners is six times as
great as that of native whites, in the South, only four times as great.
If prejudice wrongs him in Southern courts, the record shows it to be
deeper in Northern courts. I assert here, and a bar as intelligent and
upright as the bar of Massachusetts will solemnly indorse my assertion,
that in the Southern courts, from highest to lowest, pleading for life,
liberty or property, the negro has distinct advantage because he is a
negro, apt to be over-reached, oppressed--and that this advantage
reaches from the juror in making his verdict to the judge in measuring
his sentence.

Now, Mr. President, can it be seriously maintained that we are
terrorizing the people from whose willing hands comes every year
$1,000,000,000 of farm crops? Or have robbed a people who, twenty-five
years from unrewarded slavery, have amassed in one State $20,000,000 of
property? Or that we intend to oppress the people we are arming every
day? Or deceive them, when we are educating them to the utmost limit of
our ability? Or outlaw them when we work side by side with them? Or
re-enslave them under legal forms, when for their benefit we have even
imprudently narrowed the limit of felonies and mitigated the severity of
law? My fellow-countrymen, as you yourselves may sometimes have to
appeal at the bar of human judgment for justice and for right, give to
my people to-night the fair and unanswerable conclusion of these
incontestable facts.

But it is claimed that under this fair seeming there is disorder and
violence. This, I admit. And there will be until there is one ideal
community on earth after which we may pattern. But how widely is it
misjudged. It is hard to measure with exactness whatever touches the
negro. His helplessness, his isolation, his century of servitude, these
dispose us to emphasize and magnify his wrongs. This disposition
inflamed by prejudice and partisanry has led to injustice and delusion.
Lawless men may ravage a county in Iowa and it is accepted as an
incident--in the South a drunken row is declared to be the fixed habit
of the community. Regulators may whip vagabonds in Indiana by platoons
and it scarcely arrests attention--a chance collision in the South among
relatively the same classes is gravely accepted as evidence that one
race is destroying the other. We might as well claim that the Union was
ungrateful to the colored soldiers who followed its flag because a Grand
Army post in Connecticut closed its doors to a negro veteran as for you
to give racial significance to every incident in the South, or to accept
exceptional grounds as the rule of our society. I am not one of those
who becloud American honor with the parade of the outrages of either
sections, and belie American character by declaring them to be
significant and representative. I prefer to maintain that they are
neither, and stand for nothing but the passion and sin of our poor
fallen humanity. If society, like a machine, were no stronger than its
weakest part, I should despair of both sections. But, knowing that
society, sentient and responsible in every fibre, can mend and repair
until the whole has the strength of the best, I despair of neither.
These gentlemen who come with me here, knit into Georgia's busy life as
they are, never saw, I dare assert, an outrage committed on a negro! And
if they did, no one of you would be swifter to prevent or punish. It is
through them, and the men who think with them--making nine-tenths of
every southern community--that these two races have been carried thus
far with less of violence than would have been possible anywhere else on
earth. And in their fairness and courage and steadfastness--more than
in all the laws that can be passed, or all the bayonets that can be
mustered--is the hope of our future.

When will the blacks cast a free ballot? When ignorance anywhere is not
dominated by the will of the intelligent. When the laborer anywhere
casts a vote unhindered by his boss. When the vote of the poor anywhere
is not influenced by the power of the rich. When the strong and the
steadfast do not everywhere control the suffrage of the weak and
shiftless--then, and not till then, will the ballot of the negro be
free. The white people of the South are banded, Mr. President, not in
prejudice against the blacks--not in sectional estrangement--not in the
hope of political dominion--but in a deep and abiding necessity. Here is
this vast ignorant and purchasable vote--clannish, credulous, impulsive
and passionate--tempting every art of the demagogue, but insensible to
the appeal of the statesman. Wrongly started, in that it was led into
alienation from its neighbor and taught to rely on the protection of an
outside force, it cannot be merged and lost in the two great parties
through logical currents, for it lacks political conviction and even
that information on which conviction must be based. It must remain a
faction--strong enough in every community to control on the slightest
division of the whites. Under that division it becomes the prey of the
cunning and unscrupulous of both parties. Its credulity is imposed upon,
its patience inflamed, its cupidity tempted, its impulses
misdirected--and even its superstition made to play its part in a
campaign in which every interest of society is jeopardized and every
approach to the ballot-box debauched. It is against such campaigns as
this--the folly and the bitterness and the danger of which every
southern community has drunk deeply--that the white people of the South
are banded together. Just as you in Massachusetts would be banded if
300,000 men, not one in a hundred able to read his ballot--banded in
race instinct holding against you the memory of a century of slavery,
taught by your late conquerors to distrust and oppose you, had already
travestied legislation from your State House, and in every species of
folly or villainy had wasted your substance and exhausted your credit.

But admitting the right of the whites to unite against this tremendous
menace, we are challenged with the smallness of our vote. This has long
been flippantly charged to be evidence and has now been solemnly and
officially declared to be proof of political turpitude and baseness on
our part. Let us see. Virginia--a State now under fierce assault for
this alleged crime--cast in 1888 seventy-five per cent. of her vote,
Massachusetts, the State in which I speak, sixty per cent. of her vote.
Was it suppression in Virginia and natural causes in Massachusetts? Last
month Virginia cast sixty-nine per cent. of her vote, and Massachusetts,
fighting in every district, cast only forty-nine per cent. of hers. If
Virginia is condemned because thirty-one per cent. of her vote was
silent, how shall this State escape in which fifty-one per cent. was
dumb? Let us enlarge this comparison. The sixteen Southern States in '88
cast sixty-seven per cent. of their total vote--the six New England
States but sixty-three per cent. of theirs. By what fair rule shall the
stigma be put upon one section, while the other escapes? A congressional
election in New York last week, with the polling place in touch of every
voter, brought out only 6,000 votes of 28,000--and the lack of
opposition is assigned as the natural cause. In a district in my State,
in which an opposition speech has not been heard in ten years and the
polling places are miles apart--under the unfair reasoning of which my
section has been a constant victim--the small vote is charged to be
proof of forcible suppression. In Virginia an average majority of
12,000, under hopeless division of the minority, was raised to 42,000;
in Iowa, in the same election, a majority of 32,000 was wiped out and an
opposition majority of 8,000 was established. The change of 40,000 votes
in Iowa is accepted as political revolution--in Virginia an increase of
30,000 on a safe majority is declared to be proof of political fraud.

It is deplorable, sir, that in both sections a larger percentage of the
vote is not regularly cast. But more inexplicable that this should be so
in New England, than in the South. What invites the negro to the
ballot-box? He knows that of all men it has promised him most and
yielded him least. His first appeal to suffrage was the promise of
"forty acres and a mule." His second, the threat that Democratic success
meant his re-enslavement. Both have been proved false in his experience.
He looked for a home, and he got the Freedman's Bank. He fought under
promise of the loaf, and in victory was denied the crumbs. Discouraged
and deceived, he has realized at last that his best friends are his
neighbors with whom his lot is cast, and whose prosperity is bound up in
his--and that he has gained nothing in politics to compensate the loss
of their confidence and sympathy, that is at last his best and enduring
hope. And so, without leaders or organization--and lacking the resolute
heroism of my party friends in Vermont that make their hopeless march
over the hills a high and inspiring pilgrimage--he shrewdly measures the
occasional agitator, balances his little account with politics, touches
up his mule, and jogs down the furrow letting the mad world wag as it

The negro vote can never control in the South, and it would be well if
partisans at the North would understand this. I have seen the white
people of a State set about by black hosts until their fate seemed
sealed. But, sir, some brave man, banding them together, would rise, as
Elisha rose in beleaguered Samaria, and, touching their eyes with faith,
bid them look abroad to see the very air "filled with the chariots of
Israel and the horsemen thereof." If there is any human force that
cannot be withstood, it is the power of the banded intelligence and
responsibility of a free community. Against it, numbers and corruption
cannot prevail. It cannot be forbidden in the law, or divorced in force.
It is the inalienable right of every free community--the just and
righteous safeguard against an ignorant or corrupt suffrage. It is on
this, sir, that we rely in the South. Not the cowardly menace of mask or
shotgun, but the peaceful majesty of intelligence and responsibility,
massed and unified for the protection of its homes and the preservation
of its liberty. That, sir, is our reliance and our hope, and against it
all the powers of earth shall not prevail. It was just as certain that
Virginia would come back to the unchallenged control of her white
race--that before the moral and material power of her people once more
unified, opposition would crumble until its last desperate leader was
left alone, vainly striving to rally his disordered hosts--as that night
should fade in the kindling glory of the sun. You may pass force bills,
but they will not avail. You may surrender your own liberties to federal
election law, you may submit, in fear of a necessity that does not
exist, that the very form of this government may be changed, you may
invite federal interference with the New England town meeting, that has
been for a hundred years the guarantee of local government in
America--this old State which holds in its charter the boast that it "is
a free and independent commonwealth"--it may deliver its election
machinery into the hands of the government it helped to create--but
never, sir, will a single State of this Union, North or South, be
delivered again to the control of an ignorant and inferior race. We
wrested our State governments from negro supremacy when the Federal
drum-beat rolled closer to the ballot-box, and Federal bayonets hedged
it deeper about than will ever again be permitted in this free
government. But, sir, though the cannon of this Republic thundered in
every voting district of the South, we still should find in the mercy of
God the means and the courage to prevent its re-establishment. I regret,
sir, that my section, hindered with this problem, stands in seeming
estrangement to the North. If, sir, any man will point out to me a path
down which the white people of the South, divided, may walk in peace and
honor, I will take that path though I take it alone--for at its end, and
nowhere else, I fear, is to be found the full prosperity of my section
and the full restoration of this Union. But, sir, if the negro had not
been enfranchised, the South would have been divided and the republic
united. His enfranchisement--against which I enter no protest--holds
the South united and compact. What solution, then, can we offer for the
problem? Time alone can disclose it to us. We simply report progress,
and ask your patience. If the problem be solved at all--and I firmly
believe it will, though nowhere else has it been--it will be solved by
the people most deeply bound in interest, most deeply pledged in honor
to its solution. I had rather see my people render back this question
rightly solved than to see them gather all the spoils over which faction
has contended since Catiline conspired and Cæsar fought. Meantime we
treat the negro fairly, measuring to him justice in the fulness the
strong should give to the weak, and leading him in the steadfast ways of
citizenship that he may no longer be the prey of the unscrupulous and
the sport of the thoughtless. We open to him every pursuit in which he
can prosper, and seek to broaden his training and capacity. We seek to
hold his confidence and friendship--and to pin him to the soil with
ownership, that he may catch in the fire of his own hearthstone that
sense of responsibility the shiftless can never know. And we gather him
into that alliance of intelligence and responsibility, that, though it
now runs close to racial lines, welcomes the responsible and intelligent
of any race. By this course, confirmed in our judgment, and justified in
the progress already made, we hope to progress slowly but surely to the

The love we feel for that race, you cannot measure nor comprehend. As I
attest it here, the spirit of my old black mammy, from her home up
there, looks down to bless, and through the tumult of this night steals
the sweet music of her croonings as thirty years ago she held me in her
black arms and led me smiling to sleep. This scene vanishes as I speak,
and I catch a vision of an old Southern home with its lofty pillars and
its white pigeons fluttering down through the golden air. I see women
with strained and anxious faces, and children alert yet helpless. I see
night come down with its dangers and its apprehensions, and in a big
homely room I feel on my tired head the touch of loving hands--now worn
and wrinkled, but fairer to me yet than the hands of mortal woman, and
stronger yet to lead me than the hands of mortal man--as they lay a
mother's blessing there, while at her knees--the truest altar I yet
have found--I thank God that she is safe in her sanctuary, because her
slaves, sentinel in the silent cabin, or guard at her chamber door, puts
a black man's loyalty between her and danger.

I catch another vision. The crisis of battle--a soldier struck,
staggering, fallen. I see a slave, scuffling through the smoke, winding
his black arms about the fallen form, reckless of hurtling
death--bending his trusty face to catch the words that tremble on the
stricken lips, so wrestling meantime with agony that he would lay down
his life in his master's stead. I see him by the weary bedside,
ministering with uncomplaining patience, praying with all his humble
heart that God will lift his master up, until death comes in mercy and
in honor to still the soldier's agony and seal the soldier's life. I see
him by the open grave, mute, motionless, uncovered, suffering for the
death of him who in life fought against his freedom. I see him, when the
mould is heaped and the great drama of his life is closed, turn away and
with downcast eyes and uncertain step start out into new and strange
fields, faltering, struggling, but moving on, until his shambling figure
is lost in the light of this better and brighter day. And from the grave
comes a voice saying, "Follow him! put your arms about him in his need,
even as he put his about me. Be his friend as he was mine." And out into
this new world--strange to me as to him, dazzling, bewildering both--I
follow! And may God forget my people--when they forget these!

Whatever the future may hold for them, whether they plod along in the
servitude from which they have never been lifted since the Cyrenian was
laid hold upon by the Roman soldiers, and made to bear the cross of the
fainting Christ--whether they find homes again in Africa, and thus
hasten the prophecy of the psalmist, who said: "And suddenly Ethiopia
shall hold out her hands unto God"--whether for ever dislocated and
separate, they remain a weak people, beset by stronger, and exist, as
the Turk, who lives in the jealousy rather than in the conscience of
Europe--or whether in this miraculous Republic they break through the
caste of twenty centuries, and, belying universal history, reach the
full stature of citizenship, and in peace maintain it--we shall give
them uttermost justice and abiding friendship. And whatever we do, into
whatever seeming estrangement we may be driven, nothing shall disturb
the love we bear this Republic, or mitigate our consecration to its
service. I stand here, Mr. President, to profess no new loyalty. When
General Lee, whose heart was the temple of our hopes, and whose arm was
clothed with our strength, renewed his allegiance to this government at
Appomattox, he spoke from a heart too great to be false, and he spoke
for every honest man from Maryland to Texas. From that day to this
Hamilcar has nowhere in the South sworn young Hannibal to hatred and
vengeance, but everywhere to loyalty and to love. Witness the veteran
standing at the base of a Confederate monument, above the graves of his
comrades, his empty sleeve tossing in the April wind, adjuring the young
men about him to serve as earnest and loyal citizens the government
against which their fathers fought. This message, delivered from that
sacred presence, has gone home to the hearts of my fellows! And, sir, I
declare here, if physical courage be always equal to human aspiration,
that they would die, sir, if need be, to restore this Republic their
fathers fought to dissolve!

Such, Mr. President, is this problem as we see it, such is the temper in
which we approach it, such the progress made. What do we ask of you?
First, patience; out of this alone can come perfect work. Second,
confidence; in this alone can you judge fairly. Third, sympathy; in this
you can help us best. Fourth, give us your sons as hostages. When you
plant your capital in millions, send your sons that they may know how
true are our hearts and may help to swell the Caucasian current until it
can carry without danger this black infusion. Fifth, loyalty to the
Republic--for there is sectionalism in loyalty as in estrangement. This
hour little needs the loyalty that is loyal to one section and yet holds
the other in enduring suspicion and estrangement. Give us the broad and
perfect loyalty that loves and trusts Georgia alike with
Massachusetts--that knows no South, no North, no East, no West, but
endears with equal and patriotic love every foot of our soil, every
State of our Union.

A mighty duty, sir, and a mighty inspiration impels every one of us
to-night to lose in patriotic consecration whatever estranges, whatever
divides. We, sir, are Americans--and we stand for human liberty! The
uplifting force of the American idea is under every throne on earth.
France, Brazil--these are our victories. To redeem the earth from
kingcraft and oppression--this is our mission! And we shall not fail.
God has sown in our soil the seed of His millennial harvest, and He will
not lay the sickle to the ripening crop until His full and perfect day
has come. Our history, sir, has been a constant and expanding miracle
from Plymouth Rock and Jamestown all the way--aye, even from the hour
when, from the voiceless and traceless ocean, a new world rose to the
sight of the inspired sailor. As we approach the fourth centennial of
that stupendous day--when the old world will come to marvel and to learn
amid our gathered treasures--let us resolve to crown the miracles of our
past with the spectacle of a Republic, compact, united, indissoluble in
the bonds of love--loving from the lakes to the gulf--the wounds of war
healed in every heart as on every hill, serene and resplendent at the
summit of human achievement and earthly glory, blazing out the path and
making clear the way up which all the nations of the earth must come in
God's appointed time! [Great applause.]



[Speech of Sarah Grand [Mrs. M'Fall] at the annual ladies' banquet of
  the Whitefriars Club, London, May 4, 1900. Max O'Rell [Paul Blouet]
  acted as chairman. L. F. Austin, who spoke earlier than Madame Grand,
  said, turning to Max O'Rell: "It used to be said of certain
  politicians by way of odium that they mumbled the dry bones of
  political economy; but you, sir, who sit trembling in that chair
  [laughter]--you are trying not to look it, but you are trembling with
  apprehension of the delicately anointed barb with which Madame Sarah.
  Grand will presently transfix you [laughter]; you must feel that we
  shall not very long be permitted even to mumble the barren epigrams of
  a vanished ascendancy."]

MR. CHAIRMAN:--I have the honor to propose the toast of "Mere
Man" [laughter], but why "Mere Man," I want to know? After all that has
been said this evening so truthfully on the subject of "Sovran Woman,"
it is impossible for me to use such an epithet without feeling myself in
an invidious position, in the position of the dog that bites the hand
which has just caressed it--or rather I should feel myself in that
position if I were in any way responsible for the use of the ungracious
word. I beg most emphatically to state that I am not in any way
responsible for it. I decline to be identified with such an expression:
I decline to be accused of calling man any names [laughter], any names
that I have not already called him. [Laughter.] I do not decline out of
consideration for mere man altogether, but in self-defence. To use such
an expression deprives me of any dignity which I might myself derive
from the dignity of my subject. Besides, the words in my mouth, were I
to be identified with them, would be used against me as a bomb by a
whole section of the press, to blow me up. [Laughter.] I object to be
blown up for nothing by a whole section of the press. [Laughter.] That
is the sort of thing which almost ruffles my equanimity. My comfort is,
that no one can accuse me of having originated such an expression,
because it is well known no woman ever originated anything. [Laughter.]
I assure you I have seen it so stated in print; and in one article I
read on the subject the perturbation of the writer, lest there should be
any mistake about it, so agitated his grammar that it was impossible to
parse it. I should like to know who was responsible in the first place
for the expression which has been imposed upon me. It seems to me there
is strong presumptive evidence that it was by man himself that man was
dubbed mere man. If the lords of creation choose to masquerade sometimes
as mere man by all means let them.

The saying is, "In small things, liberty; in great things, unity; in all
things, charity," but when you meet a man who describes himself as a
mere man, you would always do well to ask what he wants, because, since
man first swung himself from his bough in the forest primeval and stood
upright on two legs, he has never assumed that position for nothing.
[Laughter.] My own private opinion, which I confide to you, knowing it
will go no further, is that he assumes that tone, as a rule, to draw
sovran woman. [Laughter.] Mere man is a paradoxical creature--it is not
always possible to distinguish between his sober earnest and his
leg-pulling exercises. [Laughter.] One has to be on one's guard, and woe
be to the woman who in these days displays that absence of the sense of
humor which is such a prominent characteristic of our comic papers.
[Laughter.] I do not mean to say for a moment that man assumes his
"mere man" tone for unpleasant purposes. On the contrary, he assumes it
for party purposes as a rule--for dinner party purposes. [Laughter.]
When man is in his mere man mood sovran woman would do well to ask for
anything that she wants--for it is then that he holds the sceptre out to
her. [Laughter.] Unfortunately, the mood does not last; if it did he
would have given us the suffrage ages ago. Sovran woman is the Uitlander
of civilization--and man is her Boer. [Laughter.] It seems to me that
sovran woman is very much in the position of Queen Esther; she has her
crown, and her kingdom, and her royal robes, but she is liable to have
her head snapped off at any moment. [Laughter.] On the other hand,
there are hundreds of men who have their heads snapped off every day.
[Laughter.] Mere man has his faults, no doubt, but sovran woman also can
be a rasping sort of creature, especially if she does not cultivate
sympathy with cigarettes as she gets older. [Laughter.] Let us be fair
to mere man. Mere man has always treated me with exemplary fairness, and
I certainly have never maintained that the blockhead majority is
entirely composed of men; neither have I ever insinuated that it is man
that makes all the misery.

Personally, and speaking as a woman whose guiding principle through life
has been never to do anything for herself that she can get a nice man to
do for her [laughter], a principle which I have found entirely
successful, and which I strongly recommend to every other
woman--personally I have always found mere man an excellent comrade.
[Applause.] He has stood by me loyally, and held out an honest hand to
me, and lent me his strength when mine was failing, and helped me
gallantly over many an awkward bit of the way, and that, too, at times
when sovran woman, whom I had so respected and admired and championed,
had nothing for me but bonnet-pins. [Laughter.] It does upset one's
ideas and unsettle one's principles when sovran woman has nothing for
one but bonnet-pins. [Laughter.] The sharp points of those pins have
made me a little doubtful about sovran woman at times--a little apt to
suspect that in private life her name is Mrs. Harris [laughter], but I
must be careful about what I say in this connection lest it should be
supposed that I have been perverted.

In the great republic of letters to which I have the honor to belong--in
the distinguished position of the letter "Z"--my experience is that
woman suffers no indignity at the hands of man on account of her sex.
That is the sort of experience which creates a prejudice. It is apt to
color the whole of one's subsequent opinions. It gives one a sort of
idea that there are men in the world who would stand by a woman on
occasion; and I must confess that I began life with a very strong
prejudice of that kind. For a woman to have had a good father is to have
been born an heiress. If you had asked me as a child who ran to help me
when I fell, I should have answered, "My daddy." When a woman begins
life with a prejudice of this kind she never gets over it. The prejudice
of a man for his mother is feeble in comparison with the prejudice of a
woman for her father, when she has had a man for her father and not one
of what Shelley called, those--

 "Things whose trade is over ladies
    To lean and flirt and stare and simper,
  Till all that is divine in woman
  Grows cruel, courteous, smooth, inhuman,
    Crucified 'twixt a smile and whimper."'

Whatever that woman has to suffer she never loses her faith in man.
Remembering what her father was, she always believes there are good men
and true in the world somewhere. The recollection of her father becomes
a buffer between that woman and the shocks and jars of her after life;
because of him, there is nothing distorted in her point of view, and she
remains sane. It rather spoils a woman in some ways to have a good
husband as well as a good father, because then she is so sure that

 "God's in His heaven,
  All's well with the world,"

that she becomes utterly selfish, and cares for nothing that is outside
her own little circle. But the thing to guard against is loss of faith.
Men and women who have lost faith in each other never rise above the
world again--one wing is broken, and they cannot soar. It has been said
that the best way to manage man is to feed the brute [laughter], but
sovran woman never made that discovery for herself--I believe it was a
man in his mere man mood who first confided the secret to some young
wife in distress--somebody else's young wife. [Laughter.] Feed him and
flatter him. Why not? Is there anything more delightful in this world
than to be flattered and fed? Let us do as we would be done by. It seems
to me sometimes that it is impossible in reviewing our social relations
ever to be wholly in earnest. One's opinions do wobble so. [Laughter.]
If one would earn a reputation for consistency one must be like that
great judge who declined to hear more than one side of the case because
he found that hearing the other side only confused him. [Laughter.]

The thing about mere man which impresses me most, which fills me with
the greatest respect, is not his courage in the face of death, but the
courage with which he faces life. The way in which we face death is not
necessarily more heroic than the way in which we face life. The
probability is that you never think less about yourself than you do at
the moment when you and eternity are face to face. When you are sick
unto death you are too sick to care whether you live or die. In some
great convulsion of nature, a great typhoon, for instance, when the wind
in its fury lashes the walls of the house till they writhe, and there
are the shrieks of people in dire distress, and fire, and the crash of
giant waves, and all that makes for horror, the shock of these brute
irresponsible forces of nature is too tremendous for fear to obtrude.
Thought is suspended--you are in an ecstasy of awful emotion, emotion
made perfect by the very strength of it.

But when it comes to facing life day after day, and day after day, as so
many men have to face it, the workingmen, in all classes of society,
upon whom the home depends, men whose days are only too often a weary
effort, and whose nights are an ache of anxiety, lest the strength
should give out which means bread, when one thinks of the lives these
men live, and the way in which they live them, the brave, uncomplaining
way in which they fight to the death for those dear to them, when one
considers mere man from this point of view, one is moved to enthusiasm,
and one is fain to confess that "sovran woman" on a pedestal is a poor
sort of creature compared with this kind of mere man in that so often
she not only fails to help and cheer him in his heroic efforts, but to
appreciate that he is making any effort at all. I positively refuse to
subscribe to the assertion, "How poor a thing is man!" [Laughter.] It
takes more genius to be a man than manhood to be a genius. [Applause.]
As to the differences between men and women, I believe that when finally
their accounts have been properly balanced it will be found that it has
been a case of six of one and half-a-dozen of the other, both in the
matter of sovereignty and of mereness [laughter], and, therefore, without
prejudice, I propose that the sixes to which I belong shall rise and
cordially drink to the health of the other half dozens, our kind and
generous hosts of to-night. [Applause.]



[Speech of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at the seventy-fifth annual dinner of
  the New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1880.
  The President, James C. Carter, in introducing General Grant, said:
  "Gentlemen, it is our good fortune to have with us to-night as a guest
  an illustrious fellow citizen, who in a great and fortunate career has
  been enabled to render signal service to his country and to achieve a
  just renown for himself. [Applause.] Long may he live! But however
  long, he cannot outlive the regard or the affection of the sons of New
  England. I give you, gentlemen, 'The Health of General Grant.'" The
  announcement of the toast was greeted with loud and prolonged cheers,
  the company standing.]

OF NEW YORK:--I suppose on an occasion of this sort that you will
expect me to say something about this Society and the people of New
England and the pilgrims who first landed on Plymouth Rock. It was my
fortune last night to attend a banquet of this sort in the principal
city on New York harbor. [Applause and laughter.] I did not know until I
went there [Brooklyn] that it was the principal city [laughter]--the
principal city of the harbor of New York, a city whose overflow has
settled up Manhattan Island, which has built up fine houses, business
streets, and shown many evidences of prosperity for a suburb, with a
waste of people flowing across the North River that forms a third if not
one-half the population of a neighboring state. [Applause.] As I say, it
was my good fortune to attend a banquet of this sort of the parent
society [laughter], and to which all the societies known, even including
the one which is now celebrating its first anniversary in Las Vegas, New
Mexico, owe their origin. [Laughter.] I made a few remarks there, in
which I tried to say what I thought were the characteristics of the
people who have descended from the Pilgrims. I thought they were a
people of great frugality, great personal courage, great industry, and
possessed within themselves of qualities which built up this New England
population which has spread out over so much of this land and given so
much character, prosperity, and success to us as a people and a nation.
[Applause.] I retain yet some of the views I then expressed [peals of
laughter], and should have remained convinced that my judgment was
entirely right if it were not that some speakers came after me who have
a better title to speak for the people of New England than myself, and
who dispelled some of those views. [Renewed laughter.]

It is too many generations back for me to claim to be a New Englander.
Those gentlemen who spoke are themselves New Englanders who have, since
their manhood, emigrated to this great city that I speak of. They
informed me that there was nothing at all in the Pilgrim fathers to give
them the distinguishing characteristics which we attribute to them
[laughter], and that it was all entirely dependent upon the poverty of
the soil and the inclemency of the climate where they landed. [Shouts of
laughter.] They fell upon an ungenial climate, where there were nine
months of winter and three months of cold weather [laughter], and that
had called out the best energies of the men and of the women, too, to
get a mere subsistence out of the soil, with such a climate. In their
efforts to do that they cultivated industry and frugality at the same
time, which is the real foundation of the greatness of the Pilgrims.
[Laughter.] It was even suggested by some that if they had fallen upon a
more genial climate and more fertile soil, they would have been there
yet, in poverty and without industry. [Laughter.] I shall continue to
believe better of them myself, and I believe the Rev. Dr. Storrs, who
spoke here, will agree with me that my first judgment of them was
probably nearly correct.

However, all jesting aside, we are proud in my section of the country of
the New Englanders and of their descendants. We hope to see them spread
over all this land, and carry with them the principles inculcated in
their own sterile soil from which they sprang. [Applause.] We want to
see them take their independence of character, their self-reliance,
their free schools, their learning, and their industry, and we want to
see them prosper and teach others among whom they settle how to be
prosperous. [Applause.] I am very much obliged to the gentlemen of the
infant New England Society [laughter] for the reception which they have
accorded to me and the other guests of this evening. I shall remember it
with great pleasure, and hope that some day you will invite me again.
[Long-continued applause.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at the eighth annual dinner of the New
  York Press Club, January 6, 1881. John C. Hennessy, President of the
  Press Club, was in the chair, and read the third toast: "The
  Republic's Honored ex-President." General Grant, on being introduced
  to respond to this toast, was received with a tumult of applause.]

to a little embarrassment this evening in being called upon unexpectedly
to say a word to a set of such different men as compose not only the
Press Club, but those associated with the Press of the country. I
thought this was an evening that I was going to spend where all would be
quiet and good order [laughter]; where nobody would have anything to
say. We all know the characteristic modesty of the people associated
with the Press [laughter], they never want to inquire into anybody's
affairs, [laughter], to know where they are going, what they are going
to do, what they are going to say when they get there. [Uproarious
laughter.] I really thought that you would excuse me this evening, but I
suppose you will expect me to say something about the Press--the Press
of New York, the Press of the United States, the Press of the world. It
would take a good deal to tell what is possible for the Press to do. I
confess that, at some periods of my life when I have read what they had
to say about me, I have lost all faith and all hope. [Great laughter.]
But since a young editor has spoken of the Press, and has fixed the
lifetime, the generation of newspaper men at about twelve years
[laughter], I have a growing hope within me that in the future the Press
may be able to do some of the great good which we all admit is possible
for it to do. [Laughter.] I have been somewhat of a reader of the
newspapers for forty years--I could read very well when I was eight
years of age. [Laughter.] It has given me forty years of observation of
the Press; and there is one peculiarity that I have observed from
reading it, and that is, in all of the walks of life outside of the
Press, people have entirely mistaken their profession, their occupation.
[Laughter.] I never knew the Mayor of a city, or even a Councilman in
any city, any public officer, any government official--I never knew a
member of Congress, a Senator or a President of the United States, who
could not be enlightened in his duties by the youngest member of the
profession. [Great laughter and applause.] I never knew a general of the
Army to command a brigade, a division, a corps of the Army who could
begin to do it as well as men far away in their sanctums. [Renewed
laughter.] I was very glad to see that the newspaper fraternity were
ready to take with perfect confidence any office that might be tendered
to them, from President to Mayor [laughter], and I have often been
astonished that the citizens have not done so, because then all these
offices would have been well and properly filled. [Laughter and

Well, gentlemen, I am very happy to have been here with you, and I hope
when a new generation, about twelve years hence, comes on, that I shall
again dine with the Press Club of New York City, and that I shall see
that those of this generation who were so well fitted to fill all of the
civil offices have all been chosen, and that there will be nothing left
for them to criticise. [Peals of laughter.] Thank you, gentlemen. [Great
applause, with "Three cheers" for General Grant.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at the 115th annual banquet of the
  Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, May 8, 1883. George W.
  Lane, President of the Chamber of Commerce, presided, and announced as
  the first regular toast: "The United States--the great modern
  Republic--the home of a new cosmopolitan race; may those who seek the
  blessings of its free institutions and the protection of its flag
  remember the obligations they impose." The orchestra played "The
  Star-Spangled Banner," and General Grant, who was called upon to
  respond to this toast, was received with great enthusiasm.]

GUESTS:--I am very much obliged to your President for calling upon
me first, because the agony will soon be over and I shall enjoy the
misery of the rest of you. [Laughter.]

The first part of this toast--The United States--would be a voluminous
one to respond to on a single occasion. Bancroft commenced to publish
his notes on the History of the United States, starting even before
President Lane established this Chamber, which I think was something
over one hundred years ago. [Laughter.] Bancroft, I say, commenced
earlier, and I am not prepared to dispute his word if he should say that
he had kept an accurate journal from the time he commenced to write
about the country to the present, because there has been no period of
time when I have been alive that I have not heard of Bancroft, and I
should be equally credulous if President Lane should tell me that he was
here at the founding of this Institution. [Laughter.] But instead of
bringing those volumes of Bancroft's here, and reading them to you on
this occasion, I will let the reporters publish them as the prelude to
what I am going to say. [Laughter.]

I think Bancroft has finished up to a little after the time that
President Lane established this Chamber of Commerce, and I will let you
take the records of what he [Lane] has written and what he has said in
their monthly meetings and publish them as the second chapter of my
speech. And, gentlemen, those two chapters you will find the longest;
they will not amount to much more than what I have to say taking up the
subject at the present time. [Laughter.]

But in speaking of the United States, we who are native-born have a
country of which we may well be proud. Those of us who have been abroad
are better able, perhaps, to make the comparison of our enjoyments and
our comforts than those who have always stayed at home. [Applause.] It
has been the fortune, I presume, of the majority here to compare the
life and the circumstances of the average people abroad with ours here.
We have here a country that affords room for all and room for every
enterprise. We have institutions which encourage every man who has
industry and ability to rise from the position in which he may find
himself to any position in the land. [Applause.] It is hardly worth my
while to dwell upon the subject, but there is one point which I notice
in the toast, that I would like to say a word about--"May those who
seek the blessings of its free institutions and the protection of its
flag remember the obligations they impose." I think there is a text that
my friend Mr. Beecher,[4] on the left, or my friend Dr. Newman,[5] on
the right, might well preach a long sermon upon. I shall say only a few

We offer an asylum to every man of foreign birth who chooses to come
here and settle upon our soil; we make of him, after a few years'
residence only, a citizen endowed with all the rights that any of us
have, except perhaps the single one of being elected to the Presidency
of the United States. There is no other privilege that a native, no
matter what he has done for the country, has that the adopted citizen of
five years' standing has not got. [Applause.] I contend that that places
upon him an obligation which, I am sorry to say, many of them do not
seem to feel. [Applause,]

We have witnessed on many occasions here the foreign, the adopted,
citizen claiming many rights and privileges because he was an adopted
citizen. That is all wrong. Let him come here and enjoy all the
privileges that we enjoy, but let him fulfil all the obligations that we
are expected to fulfil. [Loud applause.] After he has adopted it, let
this be his country--a country that he will fight for, and die for, if
necessary. I am glad to say that the great majority of them do it, but
some of them who mingle in politics seem to bank largely on the fact
that they are adopted citizens; and that class I am opposed to as much
as I am opposed to many other things that I see are popular now.

I know that other speakers will come forward, and when Mr. Beecher and
Dr. Newman speak, I hope they will say a few words on the text which I
read. [Applause.]



[Speech of John William Griggs, ex-Governor of New Jersey, at the 128th
  annual banquet of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York,
  November 17, 1896. Alexander E. Orr, President of the Chamber,
  presided. In 1897 ex-Governor Griggs succeeded Joseph McKenna as
  Attorney-General in the Cabinet of President McKinley.]

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN:--I did not know this was
Thanksgiving day. [Laughter.] I did not know that there were any
discontents till I got over here to-night. When I arrive at this period
on an occasion like this, and see you sitting in comfortable
expectation, with your cigars lighted, and your intellects also lighted
by the contact of such a flame as we have received from the
distinguished Postmaster-General [William L. Wilson], I always think
that the composition of the boy on Sir Walter Raleigh is applicable. He
wrote a composition, and it was like this: "Sir Walter Raleigh was a
very great man; he took a voyage and discovered America, and then he
took another voyage and discovered Virginia, and when he had discovered
Virginia he discovered the potato; and when he had discovered the
potato, he discovered tobacco. And when he had done so, he called his
associates about him, and said: 'My friends, be of good cheer; for we
have this day lighted in England a flame which, by God's grace, shall
never be quenched.'" [Laughter.]

New Jersey greets to-night the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New
York. [Applause.] We are your friends and your neighbors. We have
furnished you a candidate in this election, who represents in the person
of Garret A. Hobart [applause] the sympathies and the sentiments of such
men as I see gathered here. We take much of our inspiration from New
York; not all of it. [Laughter.] We have some kinds of inspiration
peculiar to ourselves, of which we are always glad to invite our New
York friends to partake in moderation and properly diluted. [Laughter.]

Our citizens mingle with yours in all the daily walks of life. We read
the same newspapers. We dress as you do, only not so well; and we vote
the same ticket, by a large majority. [Applause.] This similarity is not
always apparent. The impressions of the traveller through New Jersey are
generally of salt marsh and sand banks and long monotonous stretches of
landscape, and, where the railroad pierces some shabby neighborhood, the
weather-boards bear shining invitations to take various brands of liver
pills [laughter], to chew "Virgin leaf," or to "give the baby Castoria;"
but we have green meadows bright with shining brooks; we have high
mountains and pleasant valleys as well as marsh and sand dunes; and,
instead of liver-pills and Castoria, by a large majority, we are for the
gold cure. [Great applause.]

I cannot let this opportunity pass without referring to the great work
which this Chamber has wrought for the state and city whose name it
bears and for the country at large. It is a long interval since these
dinners were held at Fraunce's tavern, but during all that period, this
institution has stood as the pilot, the guide, the director, and pioneer
in all wise policies of commerce and trade and patriotism. [Applause.]
You have bestowed not only wisdom and enlightenment and courage on the
world of commerce, but millions of dollars upon the unfortunate victims
of fire and flood and fever. You have been the promoters of good fortune
and the comforters of misfortune. I wish that the people of this land
could understand how much true and loyal patriotism, how much
disinterested devotion to the highest interests of the country are found
among just such men as compose the Chamber of Commerce of the State of
New York. [Applause.]

During your corporate life you have seen a great country grow into
independence; you have seen it advance and extend along all the lines of
progress and prosperity until the seven wonders of the world, of which
we learned in our youth, have been lost sight of and forgotten in the
thousand greater wonders of this industrial age. You have seen
education become the common provision of every State for every child of
the Republic. You have seen intelligence increase; you have seen reason
and reasonableness, the ability to take right views of things, become
more universal among this people than among the people of any other
land. [Applause.] You have seen the average of comfort and prosperity
higher among all classes in this country than could be found at any
other age of the world and any other land upon the surface of the earth.

And yet there are complainings, there are discontents, and there are
dissatisfactions, and gloomy minds think they see, in these, evidences
and signs that there is coming a social revolution, an overturning of
our system of popular government, and the substitution for it of some
plan whereby, by legal enactments, all the citizens of the Republic can
be made comfortable and rich without regard to fortune or ability or
frugality or merit.

In one sense discontent is a good thing. It is the opposite of
self-satisfaction. [Laughter.] It is a good thing to appreciate that we
have not done our best, and then try to do it. It is a good thing to
understand that we have not made the most of our opportunities. In this
sense, discontent is the spur of ambition, the incentive to better work,
the mountain of progress up which, from height to height, civilization
has climbed to where now with shining face she stands still pointing
upward to heights unknown. [Applause.]

But there is another kind of discontent, born of ignorant and jealous
envy, that seeks not to repair its mistakes nor to profit by its
failures, not to build up, but to tear down. There is in many a sense of
hopelessness over hopeless misfortune; and with these it is more to
pity than to blame. But, withal, in these discontents there is a menace
to the Republic. They afford the opportunity for the demagogue and the
cheap candidate for public office. [Laughter and applause.] Glory to the
American people! They cannot be fooled all the time, nor some of the
time. They are too level-headed, too intelligent, too patriotic to be
caught by appeals of the demagogue and the social revolutionist, to the
dictates and sentiments of envy, hatred and malice.

May I venture to suggest that there are some ways by which it is
possible for us to minimize the danger we find in these discontents? The
American people, as I have said, have not up to date been fooled. They
are the nation's court; they deserve a better certificate of character
than a certain colored man who, when he was about to leave his master's
employ because of the mysterious disappearance of certain small articles
about the house, asked for a certificate of character to take to his
next employer, and his employer said: "Well, 'Rastus, I can give you a
good certificate for energy and ability, but I cannot say much about
your honesty." "Tell you what, boss," says 'Rastus, after a moment's
reflection: "can't you put it in that I am just as honest as my
instincts will let me be?" [Laughter.]

The first remedy I would suggest, and it is one that is to be ever
applied, is education. Reduce the percentage of illiteracy. Let the
public schools teach not only reading and writing, but let public
schools teach all the principles of American popular government.
[Applause.] Let us go back to the days in which I was taught to write,
when the copybook bore a text taken from Poor Richard--"Industry and
frugality lead to wealth," or "Who by the plough would thrive, himself
must either hold or drive,"--there was not anything said in those days
about legislating a boy into wealth or comfort or ease, especially at
the expense of anybody else. [Applause.]

The next remedy I would speak of is to cast out the demagogue. They are
the fellows that are the curse of both and of all political parties. We
have had them from the days of Julius Cæsar and Marc Antony down to
date. [Laughter.] These smooth, sleek, mellifluous-tongued fellows that
always have the same blood-stained garment to hold up before the
populace, and some forged will to read, whereby the people were to get
great legacies which they never could collect, let us cast them out. Let
us frown upon them in both parties, so that they never have a standing
on any political platform. [Applause.] Why, it makes the blood of an
honest, straightforward, intelligent, American citizen boil to see the
impudence, the hypocrisy, of men of this kind,--and they belong to both
parties. I heard a story of one who used, when Long Branch was more
popular than it is now, to go down there for a summer outing. One day
he went out in the surf to bathe. He was strong and vigorous and bold,
and he swam out beyond the breakers; he was heading strongly and
fearlessly for the European shore. All at once, a shark, a man-eater,
was coming the other way, and swam up squarely in front of him. They
eyed each other for a moment, and then the shark blushed and swam out.
[Laughter and applause.]

Then, let us have more mutual sympathy and confidence between all
classes and conditions of men. The man who works for wages, day by day,
is our equal in right and our equal at the ballot-box. Very often he
has, generally he has, as high instincts, as loyal and true a heart, as
his employer. [Applause.] There is no reason why his employer or the
candidate for office or anybody else should make friends with him only
about election-time. Be his friend all the year round. Show him that you
sympathize with him as a fellow-citizen. This is not condescension. It
is his right. It is not altruism. You understand what that is. The
teacher told her class in Sunday-school: "Now, my children, you know an
altruist is one who sacrifices his own interests to the interests of his
fellows." "Oh! yes," says one boy, "I know; a fellow who makes his
sacrifice hit." [Laughter.]

But let there be confidence between the men that earn wages and the men
that pay wages. Let them meet together on a plane of political equality,
and they will learn to respect the employer, and the employer, take my
word for it, will learn to respect them. [Applause.]

And then, let us stop making citizens out of unworthy material.
[Applause.] We welcome all those that come from over the sea, men of
merit and worth and proper instincts who want to build and work among
us. We do not want those who only come here to tear down and destroy. We
have had the gates wide open. They have been coming--all sorts and all
conditions and all beliefs. Let us shut those gates, and open them
hereafter only to men of merit with right instincts. [Applause.] The law
of the land declares that no subject of any foreign government shall be
naturalized unless he can prove to the satisfaction of the court that he
has been well attached to the principles of the Constitution of the
United States. How that provision has been mocked! Why, we have taken
into citizenship with us thousands of men who not only were not attached
to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, who not only
did not know what those principles are, but who held principles
diametrically opposed to it. Now, let us see that America suffers no
longer from indigestion [laughter], from a surfeited feast of foreign
anarchists and socialists and revolutionists; give us good men and true,
who will not impede our digestion, and keep out those that tend to
indigestion. [Applause.]

And then, let every citizen go into politics. [Laughter.] Oh, not for
what is in it, but for the good of his country, to speak, write,
organize, lead processions and keep it up. Rally round the flag, and
keep on rallying! [Applause.] Do not let your enthusiasm and your
patriotism evaporate and die away in the shouts that follow one
triumphant campaign. Keep them up the whole year round--the four years
round. You have heard from two sources, to-night, how important it is
that we should always be vigilant and alert to defend, to educate and
scatter knowledge and the spirit of intelligence among all the people.
It is a very old saying but can never be too often repeated, that
"eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

 "O freedom! thou art not, as poets dream,
  A fair young girl with light and delicate limbs,
  And wavy tresses gushing from the cap
  With which the Roman master crowned his slave,
  When he took off the gyves. A bearded man,
  Arm'd to the teeth, art thou; one mailed hand
  Grasps the broad shield, and one the sword; thy brow,
  Glorious in beauty though it be, is scarr'd
  With tokens of old wars; thy massive limbs
  Are strong with struggling.... Oh! not yet,
  Mayst thou unbrace thy corselet nor lay by
  Thy sword; nor yet, O Freedom! close thy lids
  In slumber; for thine enemy never sleeps,
  And thou must watch and combat till the day
  Of the new earth and heaven."

[Great applause.]



[Speech of Edward Everett Hale, D.D., at the seventy-first annual
  dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December
  22, 1876. The President, William Borden, gave the fifth regular toast,
  to which Dr. Hale responded, as follows: "New England Culture--the
  open secret of her greatness."

  "Yet on her rocks, and on her sands,
   And wintry hills the school-house stands,
   And what her rugged soil denies,
   The harvest of the mind supplies.
   The riches of the Commonwealth
   Are free strong minds and hearts of health
   And, more to her than gold or grain
   The cunning hand and cultured brain."]

MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN:--You seem to have a very frank way
of talking about each other among yourselves here. I observe that I am
the first stranger who has crossed the river which, I recollect Edward
Winslow says, divides the Continent of New England from the Continent of
America [laughter], and, as a stranger, it is my pleasure and duty at
once to express the thanks and congratulations of the invited guest here
for the distinguished care which has been taken on this occasion
outdoors to make us feel entirely at home. [Laughter.] As I came down in
the snow-storm, I could not help feeling that Elder Brewster, and
William Bradford, and Carver, and Winslow could not have done better
than this in Plymouth; and indeed, as I ate my pork and beans just now,
I felt that the Gospel of New England is extending beyond the
Connecticut to other nations, and that what is good to eat and drink in
Boston is good to eat and drink even here on this benighted point at
Delmonico's. [Laughter.]

When you talk to us about "culture," that is rather a dangerous word. I
am always a little afraid of the word "culture." I recollect the very
brightest squib that I read in the late election campaign--and as the
President says, gentlemen, I am going to respect the proprieties of the
occasion. It was sent to one of the journals from the Western Reserve;
and the writer, who, if I have rightly guessed his name, is one of the
most brilliant of our younger poets, was descanting on the Chinook
vocabulary, in which a Chinook calls an Englishman a Chinchog to this
day, in memory of King George. And this writer says that when they have
a young chief whose war-paint is very perfect, whose blanket is
thoroughly embroidered, whose leggins are tied up with exactly the right
colors, and who has the right kind of star upon his forehead and cheeks,
but who never took a scalp, never fired an arrow, and never smelled
powder, but was always found at home in the lodges whenever there was
anything that scented of war--he says the Chinooks called that man by
the name of "Boston Cultus." [Applause and laughter.] Well, now,
gentlemen, what are you laughing at? Why do you laugh? Some of you had
Boston fathers, and more of you had Boston mothers. Why do you laugh?
Ah! you have seen these people, as I have seen them, as everybody has
seen them--people who sat in Parker's and discussed every movement of
the campaign in the late war, and told us that it was all wrong, that we
were going to the bad, but who never shouldered a musket. They are
people who tell us that the emigration, that the Pope of Rome, or the
German element, or the Irish element, is going to play the dogs with our
social system, and yet they never met an emigrant on the wharf or had a
word of comfort to say to a foreigner. We have those people in Boston.
You may not have them in New York, and I am very glad if you have not;
but if you are so fortunate, it is the only place on God's earth where I
have not found such people. [Laughter and applause.] But there is
another kind of culture which began even before there was any
Boston--for there was such a day as that. [Laughter.] There were ten
years in the history of this worlds ten long years, too, before Boston
existed, and those are the years between Plymouth Rock and the day when
some unfortunate men, not able to get to Plymouth Rock, stopped and
founded that city. [Laughter.] This earlier culture is a culture not of
the schoolhouse, or of the tract, but a culture as well of the church,
of history, of the town-meeting, as John Adams says; that nobler culture
to which my friend on the right has alluded when he says that it is born
of the Spirit of God--the culture which has made New England, which is
born of God, and which it is our mission to carry over the world.

In the very heart of that culture--representing it, as I think, in a
very striking way, half-way back to the day we celebrate--Ezra Styles,
one of the old Connecticut men, published a semi-centennial address. It
seems strange that they should have centennials then, but they had. He
published a semi-centennial address in the middle of the last century,
on the condition of New England, and the prospects before her. He
prophesied what New England was to be in the year 1852. He calculated
the population descending from the twenty thousand men who emigrated in
the beginning, and he calculated it with great accuracy. He said, "There
will be seven million men, women, and children, descended from the men
who came over with Winslow and with Winthrop," and it proved that he was
perfectly right. He went on to sketch the future of New England when
these seven million should crowd her hillsides, her valleys, her farms,
and her shops all over the four States of New England. For it didn't
occur to him, as he looked forward, that one man of them all would ever
go west of Connecticut, or west of Massachusetts. [Applause.] He cast
his horoscope for a population of seven million people living in the old
New England States, in the midst of this century. He did not read, as my
friend here does, the missionary spirit of New England. He did not know
that they would be willing to go across the arm of the ocean which
separated the Continent of New England from the Continent of America.
[Laughter.] All the same, gentlemen, seven million people are somewhere,
and they have not forgotten the true lessons which make New England what
she is. They tell me there are more men of New England descent in San
Francisco than in Boston to-day. All those carried with them their
mothers' lessons, and they mean their mothers' lessons shall bear fruit
away out in Oregon, in California, in South Carolina, in Louisiana.
[Applause.] They have those mothers' lessons to teach them to do
something of what we are trying to do at home in this matter.
[Applause.] We have been so fortunate in New England in this Centennial
year that we are able to dedicate a noble monument of the past to the
eternal memory of the Pilgrim principle. We have been so fortunate that
we are able to consecrate the old South Meeting-House in Boston to the
cause of fostering this Pilgrim principle [applause], that it may be
from this time forward a monument, not of one branch of the Christian
religion, not of one sect or another, but of that universal religion,
that universal patriotism, which has made America, and which shall
maintain America. [Applause.] For myself, I count it providential that
in this Centennial year of years this venerable monument, that monument
whose bricks and rafters are all eloquent of religion and liberty, that
that monument has passed from the possession of one sect and one State
to belong to the whole nation, to be consecrated to American liberty,
and to nothing but American liberty. [Applause.] I need not say--for it
is taken for granted when such things are spoken of--that when it was
necessary for New England to act at once for the security of this great
monument, we had the active aid and hearty assistance of the people of
New York, who came to us and helped us and carried that thing right
through. [Applause.] I am surrounded here with the people who had to do
with the preservation of that great monument for the benefit of the
history of this country for ever.

Let me say, in one word, what purposes it is proposed this great
monument shall serve, for I think they are entirely in line with what we
are to consider to-night. We propose to establish here what I might
fairly call a university for the study of the true history of this
country. And we propose, in the first place, to make that monument of
the past a great Santa Croce, containing the statues and portraits of
the men who have made this country what it is. Then we propose to
establish an institute for the people of America from Maine to San
Francisco, the people of every nationality and every name; and we hope
that such societies as this, and all others interested in the progress
and preservation of the interest of our country, will aid us in the
work. [Applause.] For we believe that the great necessity of this hour
is that higher education in which this people shall know God's work with
man. We hope that the Forefathers' societies, the Sam Adams clubs, the
Centennial clubs over the land, shall make the State more proud of its
fathers, and more sure of the lessons which they lived. We mean by the
spoken voice and by the most popular printed word, circulated
everywhere, to instil into this land that old lesson of New England
culture. We stand by the side of those of you who believe in compulsory
education. We desire, in looking to the future, that the determination
shall be made here by us, as it has been in England, that every child
born on American soil shall learn to read and write. [Applause.]

But there is a great deal more to be taught than that. There is a great
deal which the common school does not teach and cannot teach, when it
teaches men to read. We not only want to teach them to read, but we want
to teach them what is worth reading. And we want to instil the
principles by which the nation lives. We have got to create in those who
came from the other side of the water the same loyalty to the whole of
American principles that each man feels to his native country.

What is this Constitution for which we have been fighting, and which
must be preserved? It is a most delicate mutual adjustment of the powers
and rights of a nation, among and because of the powers and rights of
thirty or forty States. It exists because they exist. That it may stand,
you need all their mutual rivalries, you need every sentiment of local
pride, you need every symbol and laurel of their old victories and
honors. You need just this homestead feeling which to-night we are

But that balance is lost, that whole system is thrown out of gear, if
the seven million people of foreign parentage here are indifferent to
the record of New York as they are to that of Illinois, to that of
Illinois as to that of Louisiana, to that of Louisiana as to that of
Maine; if they have no local pride; if to them the names of Montgomery,
of John Hancock, of Samuel Adams, have no meaning, no association with
the past. [Applause.] Unless they also acquire this local feeling,
unless they share the pride and reverence of the native American for the
State in which he is born, for the history which is his glory, all these
delicate balances and combinations are worthless, all your revolving
planets fall into your sun! It is the national education in the
patriotism of the Fathers, an education addressing itself to every man,
woman, and child from Katahdin to the Golden Gate--it is this, and only
this, which will insure the perpetuity of your republic. [Applause.]

Now, gentlemen, if you would like to try an experiment in this matter,
go into one of your public schools, next week, and ask what Saratoga
was, and you will be told it is a great watering-place where people go
to spend money. You will find there is not one in ten who will be able
to tell you that there the Hessian was crushed, and foreign bayonets
forever driven from the soil of New York. [Applause.] Ask about
Brandywine, the place where Lafayette shed his young blood, where a
little handful of American troops were defeated, yet, although they were
defeated, broke the force of the English army for one critical year. Put
the word Brandywine in one of your public schools, and you will see that
the pupils laugh at the funny conjunction of the words "brandy" and
"wine," but they can tell you nothing about the history which made the
name famous. It seems to me it is dangerous to have your children
growing up in such ignorance of the past. [Applause.] How much did they
know here about the day when, a short time since, you celebrated the
battle of Haarlem Heights, where the British were shown that to land on
American soil was not everything? Is it quite safe for your children to
grow up in ignorance of your past, while you are looking down upon the
century of the future? The great institution we are hoping for in the
future is to carry this New England culture above the mere mathematics
of life, and to incorporate into all education that nobler culture which
made the men who made the Revolution, which made the men who have
sustained this country. [Applause.] We shall ask for the solid
assistance of all the Forefathers' stock in the country to carry out
this great work of national education, and I am quite sure, from what I
have seen here to-night, that we shall not ask in vain. [Applause.]

I ought to apologize for speaking so long. I am conscious of the fact
that I am a fraud, and I am nothing but a fraud. [Laughter.] The truth
is, gentlemen (I say this as I am sitting down), I have no business to
be here at all. I am not a Pilgrim, nor the son of a Pilgrim, nor the
grandson of a Pilgrim; there is not one drop of Pilgrim blood in my
veins. I am a "forefather" myself (for I have six children), but I am
not the son of a forefather. I had one father; most men have [laughter];
I have two grandfathers, I have four great-grandfathers, but I have not
four-fathers. [Laughter.] I want to explain, now, how all this happened,
because something is due to me before you put me out of the room. Like
most men, I had eight great-great-grandfathers--so have you; so have
you. If you run it up, I have got sixty-four great-grandfathers
of the grandfathers of my grandfathers, and I have sixty-four
great-grandmothers of the grandmothers of my grandmothers. There were
one hundred and twenty-eight of these people the day the "Mayflower"
sailed. There were one hundred and twenty-eight of them in England eager
to come over here, looking forward to this moment, gentlemen, when we
meet here at Delmonico's, and they were hoping and praying, every man of
them and every woman of them, that I might be here at this table
to-night [laughter], and they meant me to be; and every one of them
would have come here in the "Mayflower" but for Miles Standish, as I
will explain. The "Mayflower," you know, started from Holland. They had
to go to Holland first to learn the Dutch language. [Laughter.] They
started from Holland, and they came along the English Channel and
stopped at Plymouth in England. They stopped there to get the last
edition of the London "Times" for that day, in order that they might
bring over early copies to the New York "Tribune" and New York "World".
These ancestors of mine, the legend says, were all on the dock at
Plymouth waiting for them. It was a bad night, a very bad night. It
fogged as it can only fog in England. [Laughter.] They waited on the
wharf there two hours, as you wait at the Brooklyn and Jersey ferries,
for the "Mayflower" to come along. Methinks I see her now, the
"Mayflower" of a forlorn hope, freighted with the prospect of a fertile
State and bound across an unknown sea. Her dark and weather-beaten form
looms wearily from the deep, when the pilot brings her up at the
Plymouth dock, and a hundred and twenty-eight of my ancestors press
forward. They were handsome men and fair women. When they all pressed
forward, Miles Standish was on hand and met them. He was on board and
looked at them. He went back to the governor, and said, "Here are one
hundred and twenty-eight of as fine emigrants as I ever saw." "Well,"
Governor Carver said, "the capacity of the vessel, as prescribed in the
emigrant act, is already exceeded." Miles Standish said, "I think we
could let them in." The Governor said, "No, they cannot come in." Miles
Standish went back to the gangway, and said, "You are handsome men, but
you can't come in;" and they had to stand there, every man and every
woman of them. [Laughter.]

That is the unfortunate reason why I had no ancestors at the landing of
the Pilgrims. [Laughter.] But my ancestors looked westward still. They
stayed in England, praying that they might come, and when Winthrop, ten
years afterwards, sailed, he took them all on board, and if the little
State of Massachusetts has done anything to carry out the principles of
the men who landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620, why, some little part of
the credit is due to my humble ancestry. [Laughter and applause.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of Edward Everett Hale, D.D., at the first annual dinner of the
  New England Society in the City of Brooklyn, December 21, 1880. The
  President, Benjamin D. Silliman, in proposing the toast, "Boston,"
  said: "We are favored with the company of a typical and eloquent
  Bostonian, identified with all that is learned and benevolent in that
  ancient home of the Puritans, and familiar with all its notions. In
  response to the toast, we call on the Rev. Edward Everett Hale."]

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN:--I am sure that there is not a
Boston boy who hears me to-night who does not recollect that when he
went out to his first Pilgrim dinner, or to see Fanny Kemble or to any
other evening dissipation of fifty years ago, the last admonition of his
mother was, "We will leave the candle burning for you, John, but you
must be sure and be home before twelve o'clock!" I am sure that the
memory of this admonition is lingering among our friends now, that we
are entering on the small hours, and that I must only acknowledge your
courtesy and sit down. I feel, indeed, all along in your talk of hoar
antiquity, that I owe my place here only to your extreme hospitality. In
these aged cities you may well say to me, "You Bostonians are children.
You are of yesterday," as the Egyptians said to the Greek traveller. For
we are still stumbling along like little children, in the anniversaries
of our quarter-millennium; but we understand perfectly well that the
foundations of this city were laid in dim antiquity. I know that nobody
knows when Brooklyn was founded. Your commerce began so long ago that
nobody can remember it, but I know that there was a beaver trap on every
brook in Kings County, while Boston was still a howling wilderness.
These noble ancestors of yours had made themselves at home on Plymouth
Rock before we had built a flat-boat on any river in Massachusetts Bay.

It is only as the youngest daughter, quite as a Cinderella, that we of
Boston have any claim on your matchless hospitality. But, as Cinderella
should, we have done our best at home to make ready our sisters when
they should go to the ball. When my brother Beecher, just now, closed
his speech with a Latin quotation, I took some satisfaction in
remembering that we taught him his Latin at the Boston Latin school. And
I could not but remember when I listened with such delight to the
address of Mr. Secretary Evarts, which you have just now been cheering,
that the first time I heard this persuasive and convincing orator, was
when he took the prize for elocution, a boy of thirteen, on the platform
in the great hall in our old schoolhouse in School Street. Nay, I
confess also, to a little feeling of local as well as national pride,
when the President of the United States [Rutherford B. Hayes] was
speaking. Just as he closes this remarkable administration, which is
going to stand out in history, distinguished indeed among all
administrations from the beginning, so pure has it been, so honorable
and so successful--just as he closes this administration he makes here
this statement of the principles on which are based the success of an
American statesman, in a few fit words so epigrammatic that they will be
cited as proverbs by our children and our children's children. I heard
that masterly definition of the laws which have governed the New
Englander, I took pride in remembering that the President also was a
graduate of our law school. These three are the little contributions
which Cinderella has been preparing in the last half-century, for the
first dinner-party of the Brooklyn Pilgrim Society. [Applause.]

I read in a New York newspaper in Washington the other day that
something done in Boston lately was done with the "usual Boston
intensity." I believe the remark was not intended to be a compliment,
but we shall take it as one, and are quite willing to accept the phrase.
I think it is true in the past, I hope it will be true in the future,
that we go at the things which we have to do with a certain intensity,
which I suppose we owe to these Puritan Fathers whom to-night we are
celebrating. Certainly we have gone at this business of emigration with
that intensity. It is perfectly true that there are in Brooklyn to-day
more people than there are in Boston, who were born in Boston from the
old New England blood. Not that Brooklyn has been any special favorite.
When I met last year in Kansas, a mass meeting of twenty-five thousand
of the old settlers and their children, my daughter said to me: "Papa, I
am glad to see so many of our own countrymen." She certainly had never
seen so many before, without intermixture of people of foreign races.
Now it is certainly our wish to carry that intensity into everything. If
the thing is worth doing at all it is worth doing thoroughly. What we do
we mean to do it for everybody. You have seen the result. We try, for
instance, if we open a Latin school at all, to have it the best Latin
school in the world. And then we throw it open to everybody, to native
and heathen, to Jew and to Greek, to white and black and red, and we
advise you to go and do likewise. [Applause.]

You recollect the old joke, I think it began with Preston of South
Carolina, that Boston exported no articles of native growth but granite
and ice. That was true then, but we have improved since, and to these
exports we have added roses and cabbages. Mr. President, they are good
roses, and good cabbages, and I assure you that the granite is excellent
hard granite, and the ice is very cold ice. [Laughter and applause.]



[Speech of William P. Hall (popularly known by his pen name, "Biff"
  Hall) at the fortieth dinner of the Sunset Club, Chicago, Ill.,
  January 7, 1892. The Secretary, Joseph B. Mann, acted as Chairman. The
  general subject of the evening's discussion was, "The Modern Stage;
  its Mission and Influence."]

GENTLEMEN.:--I must confess that I have never regarded the
drama in a very serious light. As to its purpose and mission, if I was
trying to find out, I should consult the pleasant-faced young man who
sits in the box-office. He knows how these things stand with the public.
Perhaps the reason I do so regard the matter may be found in my early
experiences. The first theatrical performance I ever saw was in this
city twenty-five years ago, and one of the prominent features was our
old friend, Billy Rice.[6] Billy Rice never gives rise to a serious
thought on any occasion. Why, the other night I went to hear Billy Rice,
and I heard him tell that same old story that he told in the same old
way twenty-five years ago. It really gave me the idea that the drama is
not progressive. [Laughter.]

I consider that the theatre and the newspaper are brother and sister;
they are always together. Wherever two or three are gathered together in
the wilderness some venturesome individual starts a newspaper, and then
immediately through its columns induces some other equally venturesome
individual to build an opera-house. The people who act there are called
turkey actors, for the reason that they hibernate during most of the
year and only appear when the turkey is ripe for plucking in holiday
time. They then go out and depredate the country. They have a wonderful
repertoire, from Howard's "Shenandoah" to Hood's "Sarsaparilla." They
play everywhere; it is called the kerosene circuit. If there is nothing
else available they let the water out of the water-tank at the station
and play in that. [Laughter.] Gentlemen, these are the pioneers of the
drama. They convey to the rural mind what knowledge it has of real
fire-engines and the triumphs of the scenic artist, and I think we
should give to them the credit of spreading through this land those
beautiful dramas, "Jim the Westerner," and "The Scout of the Rockies." I
do not know what their influence may be; I don't care to touch upon that
part of the subject; but I think I cannot better illustrate the straits
they are in sometimes than by reciting a little parody on W. S.
Gilbert's Bab Ballad, the "Yarn of the Nancy Bell." It is entitled:--


  It was near the town they call Detroit,
    In the State of Mich-i-gan,
  That I met on the rocks, with a property-box,
    A gloomy theatrical man.
  His o. p. heel was quite worn off,
    And weary and sad was he,
  And I saw this "fake" give himself a shake,
    As he croaked in a guttural key:
   "Oh, I am the star and the manager bold,
    And the leading and juvenile man,
  And the comedy pet, and the pert soubrette,
    And the boss of the box-sheet plan."

  He wiped his eye on a three-sheet bill,
    'Twas lettered in blue and red,
  He cursed the fates and the open dates,
    And I spoke to him, and said:
  "'Tis little I know of the mimic show,
    But if you will explain to me--
  I'll eat my vest if I can digest
    How you can possibly be,
  At once a star, and a manager bold,
    And a leading and juvenile man,
  And a comedy pet, and a pert soubrette,
    And a boss of a box-sheet plan."

  He ran his hand through his dusty hair,
    And pulled down a brunette cuff,
  And on the rocks, with his property-box,
    He told me his story tough:
  "It was in the year of eighty-three,
    When a party of six and me
  Went on the road with a show that's knowed
    As a 'musical com-i-dee.'
  I writ it myself--it knocked 'em cold--
    It made 'em shriek and roar;
  But we struck a reef and came to grief,
    On the west of the Michigan shore.
  Each night it rained, or snowed or blowed,
    And when the weather was clear
  They'd say: 'It's sad your house is bad.
    But wait till you come next year.'
  We travelled along from town to town
    A-tryin' to change our luck--
  With nothin' to taste but bill-board paste
    An' the 'property' canvas duck.
  At last we got to Kankakee,
    All travel-stained and sore,
  When the star got mad and shook us bad
    For a job in a dry-goods store--
  And then the leading heavy man
    Informed me with a frown
  He was going away the very next day
    With a circus then in town;
  And the comedy pet and the pert soubrette
    Engaged as cook and waiter--
  They are still doing well in a small hotel
    Near the Kankakee the-ay-ter.
  Then only the 'comic' and me remained,
    For to leave he hadn't the heart;
  Each laugh was a drop of blood to him,
    And he loved that comedy part.
  We played one night to a right good house,
    Eight dollars and a half;
  But to my ill-luck in my lines I stuck
    And I queered the comedian's laugh.
  He fell down dead of a broken heart--
    The coroner, old and sage,
  Said his brain was cracked with a bad attackt
    Of the centre of the stage.
  I played that part all by myself
    For a week in Kankakee;
  O'er rails and rocks with this property-box
    I've walked to where I be.
  I never say an actor's good,
    I always damn a play;
  I always croak, and a single joke
    I have, which is to say:
  That I am the star, and the manager bold,
    And the leading and juvenile man
  And the comedy pet, and the pert soubrette,
    And the boss of the box-sheet plan."

[Laughter and applause.]



[Speech of Murat Halstead at the 126th annual banquet of the Chamber of
  Commerce of the State of New York, November 20, 1894. Alexander B.
  Orr, President of the Chamber, in proposing this toast, said: "I now
  have the honor of introducing to you that eminent journalist, the Hon.
  Murat Halstead, who will respond to the toast, 'Our New Country.'"]

MR. PRESIDENT:--In the Orkney Islands there is a cathedral
described by the guide as of two parts--the old and the new. The story
is glibly told that when it had stood for five hundred years a storm
beat down the tower and did other damage, making reconstruction
necessary; and that tempest was six hundred years ago. On the road from
Geneva to Chamouni there is a point of which Bædeker says: "The rocks
on the left are seven thousand feet high." In the Orkneys a tower six
hundred years old is new, and in the Alps a precipice seven thousand
feet high is a moderate bit of scenery. The standards of the measurement
of time and space may be exact, and yet are comparative, affected by the
atmosphere of history and the scale of landscapes.

In that portion of this country which was the West a generation ago, a
farm was old when the stumps had rotted in the fields, and the land was
improved when the trees were cut. New ground was that which had not been
ploughed. Once a man of varied experiences accounted to a pious woman
for an unhappy bit of profanity by saying that when a boy he had
ploughed new ground, and the plough caught in the roots, and the horses
balked, and his feet were torn with splinters and thorns, and the
handles of the plough kicked and hurt him, until depravity was
developed. The lady said she would pray for his forgiveness, if he
never would do so any more, and he promised, and I am told he did not
keep that promise.

Daniel Boone's new country, when he lived on the Yadkin, in North
Carolina, was Kentucky, and afterward it was Missouri. Washington's new
country was first Ohio, and then Indiana. Lincoln's new country, when he
was a child, was Indiana, and then Illinois. Beyond the Alleghany
Mountains was the land of promise of the original States; beyond the
Mississippi was the new world of those who moved west in wagons, before
the Mexican war and the railroads broadened our dominions, and we were
bounded east and west by the oceans. It was for the new country of their
ages that Columbus and the Puritans and Captain John Smith set sail. In
the new country there is always, at least, the dream of liberty and the
hope that the earth we inherit may be generous in the bounties it yields
to toil.

The march of manhood westward has reached the shores of the seas that
look out on ancient Asia. We have realized the vision of the
Genoese--finding in the sunset the footsteps of Marco Polo. We have
crossed the mountain ranges and followed the majestic rivers, have
traced the borders of the great lakes, whitened by the sails and
darkened by the smoke of a commerce that competes in magnitude with that
of the salted sea; and Texas, our France, confronts the Mediterranean of
our hemisphere.

We have crushed the rocks and sifted the sand that yielded silver and
gold, and the soil is ours that is richer than gold mines, whether we
offer in evidence South Carolina, whose Sea-Island cotton surpasses the
long staple of Egypt; or the Dakotas, matchless for wheat; or the lands
of the cornstalk in the Mississippi Valley, that could feed all the
tribes of Asia; or Nebraska, whose beets are sweeter with sugar than
those that were the gift of Napoleon to Germany.

We have found the springs that yield immortal youth, not in bubbling
waters in a flowery wilderness, but in the harvests of the fields and
the stored energies of inexhaustible mines, not for the passing person
who perishes when his work is done, but for the imperishable race.

All this in our country, "rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun," but with
the clothing of life on the ribs, and new in the evolution of
conditions by the works of man that make the nations of the earth a
family--achievements wonderful in scope, splendid in promise, marvellous
in the renown that is of peace; in the fame of the genius that is labor,
the spell-binder that gathers and builds, creates and glorifies.

Within the historic record of this Chamber of Commerce of New York, the
waters of Lake Erie have been carried through our canals and rivers to
the Atlantic, making the Hudson River what Henry Hudson thought it was
when he sailed through the beautiful gate of the incomparable
continent--the road from the east to the west around the world; and the
statue of Thomas Benton points westward from the great cross of the
rivers in the heart of the continent--the Ohio, Missouri and
Mississippi--and the inscription reads: "There is the road to India."

How familiar is the construction of the Pacific railroad; of the
telegraph lines across the continent and through the oceans; the record
of steamers of ten thousand tons, five hundred knots a day; the
miraculous telephone; the trolley, that is with us to stay and to
conquer, introducing all the villages to the magic of rapid transit,
promoting, with the incessant application of a new force, the American
homogeneity of our vast and various population--blending them for one
destiny. One is not venturing upon disputed ground--there is no
prohibited politics in it to say that slavery is gone--for all classes
and sections of our common country will agree it is well. The earth has
grown both small and great for us. Its gigantic mysteries are no more.
Its circumnavigation is commonplace. The kinetoscope comes to aid the
phonograph to make pictures of action and lasting records of music and
of speech. The people of coming generations are to hear the voices that
have charmed or awed, persuaded, bewitched or commanded, in departed
centuries. There will be libraries of rolls, storing for all time these
treasures; rolls not unlike those cylinders preserved in the Babylonish
deserts. Photography is bringing to us, as on parchment leaves painted
with sunlight, the secrets of the depths of the seas and the skies; it
is finding new stars, and with the telescopic camera likenesses may be
snatched across spaces impenetrable by the naked eye. The aristocracy of
intelligence becomes a democracy for the diffusion of the knowledge of
the history of the day, which is the most important chapter that has
been written, impartial, instantaneous, and is becoming universal.

This is more than a new country; it is a new world. Our own farmers are
in competition with those of Egypt, India, Russia and Argentina.
Australia with her wool and beef and mutton, Egypt and India with cotton
and wheat, South America, Africa and Asia, made fruitful with resources,
seek the same markets with our producers; and the mills of Old England
are within a few cents and hours, in cost of transportation and time, as
cheap and nigh as those of New England to New York. Once, a war between
Japan and China would have been so remote that, as they say in the
newspapers, there could have been no news in it; but it means matter of
business for us now. With the novel conditions, there come upon us new
and enormous problems for solution, and responsibilities that cannot be
evaded. Once, we were an isolated nation. There was no trouble about
becoming involved in the "entangling alliances" that were the cause of
alarm to the Father of his Country. Now, the ends of the earth are in
our neighborhood, and we touch elbows with all the races of mankind, and
all the continents and the islands are a federation. The newspapers are,
to continue the poetic prophecy, "the parliament of man."

The drift of human experience is to increased aggregations, to
concentration and to centralization. This mighty city, in her material
grandeur, and, we may trust, her moral redemption, stands for forty-six
indestructible States and one indivisible nation. Her lofty structures
far surpass already the palaces of the merchant princes of Tyre and
Venice and Liverpool, and we behold, in these imperial towers, the types
of the magnificence of the coming time. There never was so fair and
superb, ample and opulent a bride as she, in the wholesome arms of the
ocean that embrace these islands, adorned with the trophies of the
wealth of the world, and whose rulers, the slavery of crime abolished,
are the sovereign millions. These are new developments of authority, new
growths of responsibility.

The Congress, forty years ago, was a body insignificant in its relations
with the masses of the people, in comparison with what it is to-day. It
grapples, of necessity, with the new conditions, and the character of
the public service is of enlarged consequence, for it is to all the
communities and commonwealths far more comprehensive and penetrating in
its influence than in other days; and it is well the citizens of the
Republic are aroused to appreciation of their added requirements in the
care that public life must give the general welfare.

During the recent popular experience of Christian science applied to
practical politics, that resulted, among other things, in the intimacy
of representative men of the Bowery and the Fifth Avenue, that allows
the citizens of each locality to walk into the other locality at bedtime
and select their sleeping-rooms, without asking whether the folks are at
home, and to depart with or without leaving their P. P. C. cards, one of
the speakers, noting in his audience evidences of dissent, said: "If I
am speaking in a way that is prerogatory, while I want to go on, I am
willing to quit." He honored his nativity by his modesty, and was
allowed to go on; but he preferred to sit down, though his theme seemed
to him to expand under treatment, and with his new word he retired. I
quote him as a precedent and example for immediate imitation. It is more
than a joke, though, that Fifth Avenue and the Bowery have got together,
and we may hope they will work well for the good of this new country.
[Prolonged applause.]



[Speech of Benjamin Harrison at the thirteenth annual dinner of the New
  England Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, December 22, 1893. In
  proposing the first toast, "The President of the United States," the
  Chairman, Charles Emory Smith, said: "Gentlemen, my first duty is to
  give a welcome to our honored guests and a greeting to our worthy
  members. My second duty is to make an immediate change of the
  programme. Among the distinguished guests who honor us by their
  presence to-night is the illustrious patriot and statesman who has
  filled--yes, filled, not rattled around in--the great dignity of the
  Presidency of the United States. [Applause.] In his career he has won
  the admiration of the country not merely by his transcendent abilities
  as a statesman, but by his noble qualities as a man. Among other
  characteristics, his love of children has touched the heart of the
  country. He has promised the little children who are gathered in his
  distant home that he will join them in preparing and sharing the joys
  of Christmas. It is imperative not that he shall leave us at this
  moment but that he shall terminate the three days of cordial and
  perhaps somewhat burdensome hospitality which he has enjoyed in
  Philadelphia, at a later stage of this evening. In order that he may
  be entirely free, and because the first word should be spoken by the
  first man at the table, I ask you to join me, at this time, in
  drinking a toast to the health of the illustrious patriot, who is as
  greatly respected and honored in private life as he was in the
  Presidency--General Benjamin Harrison, whom I now have the pleasure of
  presenting to you."]

PENNSYLVANIA:--When my good friend and your good neighbor and
President, Mr. Charles Emory Smith, invited me to be present to-night, I
felt a special demand upon me to yield to his request. I thought I owed
him some reparation for appointing him to an office the emoluments of
which did not pay his expenses. [Merriment.] Your cordial welcome
to-night crowns three days of most pleasurable stay in this good City of
Philadelphia. The days have been a little crowded; I think there have
been what our friends of The Four Hundred would probably call "eight
distinct functions;" but your cordiality and the kind words of your
presiding officer quite relieve my fatigue and suggest to me that I
shall rightly repay your kindness by making a very short speech. ["No,
no!"] It is my opinion that these members of the New England Society are
very creditable descendants of the Forefathers. I'm not quite sure that
the Forefathers would share this opinion if they were here; but that
would be by reason of the fact that, notwithstanding the load of
substantial virtues, which they carried through life, their taste had
not been highly cultivated. [Laughter.]

I dread this function which I am now attempting to discharge more than
any other that confronts me in life. The after-dinner speaker, unlike
the poet, is not born,--he is made. I am frequently compelled to meet in
disastrous competition about some dinner-table gentlemen who have
already had their speeches set up in the newspaper offices. They are
given to you as if they were fresh from the lip; you are served with
what they would have you believe to be "impromptu boned turkey;" and
yet, if you could see into the recesses of their intellectual kitchen,
you would see the days of careful preparation which have been given to
these spontaneous utterances. The after-dinner speaker needs to find
somewhere some unworked joker's quarry, where some jokes have been left
without a label on them; he needs to acquire the art of seeming to
pluck, as he goes along in the progress of his speech, as by the
wayside, some flower of rhetoric. He seems to have passed it and to have
plucked it casually,--but it is a boutonniere with tin foil round it.
[Laughter.] You can see, upon close inspection, the mark of the planer
on his well-turned sentences. Now, the competition with gentlemen who
are so cultivated is severe upon one who must speak absolutely upon the
impulse of the occasion. It is either incapacity or downright laziness
that has kept me from competing in the field I have described.

It occurred to me to-day to inquire why you had to associate six States
in order to get up a respectable Society. My friend Halstead [Murat
Halstead] and I have no such trouble. We are Ohio-born, and we do not
need to associate any other State in order to get up a good Society,
wherever there is a civil list of the Government. If you would adopt the
liberal charter method of the Ohio Society, I have no doubt you could
subdivide yourselves into six good societies. The Ohio Society admits to
membership everybody who has lived voluntarily six months in Ohio. No
involuntary resident is permitted to come in. [Laughter.]

But the association of these States and the name "New England" is a part
of an old classification of the States which we used to find in the
geography, and all of that classification has gone except New England
and the South. "The West" has disappeared and "the Middle States" cannot
be identified. Where is "the West"? Why, just now it is at the point of
that long chain of islands that puts off from the Alaska coast; and, if
I am to credit what I read (for I have no sources of information now
except the not absolutely reliable newspaper press), there are some who
believe there are wicked men who want to hitch the end of that chain
into an island farther out in the sea. [Applause.] If that is to be
done, the West would become the East, for I think the Orient has
generally been counted to be the East.

I would not, however, suggest a division of the New England Society. It
is well enough to keep up an association that is one, not only of
neighborhood and of historical association, but of sentiment. Let the
New England Society live, and I fancy it will not be long until you
enjoy the distinction of being the only great subdivision of the States;
for, my fellow-citizens, whatever barriers prejudice may raise, whatever
obstruction the interests of men may interpose, whatever may be the
outrages of cruelty to stay the march of men, that which made the
subdivision called "the Southern States," and all that separated them
from the States of the West and of the North, will be obliterated.

I am not sure, though the story runs so, that I have a New England
strain. The fact is that I have recently come to the conclusion that my
family was a little overweighted with ancestry, and I have been looking
after posterity. [Merriment.]

One serious word, gentlemen. The New England character and the
influence of New England men and women have made their impress upon the
whole country; for, even in the South, during the time of slavery,
educated men and women from New England were the tutors and instructors
of the youth of the South in the plantation home. The love of education,
the resolve that it should be general, the love of home with all the
pure and sacred influences that cluster about it, are elements in the
New England character that have a saving force which is incalculable in
this great nation in which we live. Your civil institutions have been
free, high and clean. From the old town-meeting days till now, New
England has believed in and practised the Free Election and the Fair
Count. But, gentlemen, I cannot enumerate all of your virtues--time is
brief, the catalogue long. Will you permit me to thank you and your
honored President for your gracious reception of me to-night?
[Long-continued cheering.]



[Speech of Gen. Joseph R. Hawley at the seventieth annual dinner of the
  New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1875. The
  President, Isaac H. Bailey, said by way of introduction: "Gentlemen, I
  will now give you the tenth regular toast: 'The Press.' This toast,
  gentlemen, will be responded to by a member of the press who has
  always adorned his profession--General Hawley, of Connecticut."]

GENTLEMEN:--Our distinguished President paid the very highest
compliment to the Press to-night; for, while he has given at least a
fortnight's notice to every other gentleman, he only told me to-night
that I had to respond to the toast of "The Press." But as I have
attended a good many dinners of the New England Society, and never knew
"The Press" to be called upon before midnight, I felt entirely safe.
[Laughter.] Now, sir, I have spent an evening--some six hours--here,
enjoying all the festivities and hospitalities of this occasion to the
utmost, and at last I am called upon, at an hour when we are all full of
jollity and mirth, to respond to a toast that in reality calls upon me
for my most serious effort. [Applause.] I assure you that, had I known
that I was to speak upon this subject to-night, I would, contrary to my
usual custom, have been deliberately prepared [laughter]; for I, in
reality, have a great deal to say upon that matter; and permit me to add
that I have a somewhat peculiar qualification, for I have been a man
within the press, "a chiel amang ye takin' notes, an' prentin' them;"
and I have been again a man altogether outside of the press, not writing
for months to his own people, and subject to receive all the gibes and
criticisms and attacks of the press. [Applause.] "I know how it is
myself." [Laughter.]

"The Press of the Republic" is a text worthy of the noblest oration. It
has a great, a high, and a holy duty. It is at once the leader and
educator, and, on the other hand, the representative of the people. I
can only touch on some points that I have in my mind, upon this
occasion. It seems to me that we are passing through a period of
peculiar importance regarding the value and influence of the press of
the American Republic. There are times when I join with them in the most
indignant denunciation, in the warmest appeal. There are times when I
feel the cutting, cruel, stinging injustice of the American press.
[Applause.] It is the duty of an editor, sitting, as he does, as a
judge--and I mean all that the word implies--upon all that goes on about
him in public life--it is his duty to hear both sides, and all sides, as
deliberately and calmly as he may, and to pronounce a judgment that, so
far as he knows, may be the judgment of posterity. [Applause.] It is
true that he has two duties. We know that it is his duty to condemn the
bad. When it is made perfectly clear that the bad man is really a bad
man, a corrupter of youth, make him drink the hemlock, expel him, punish
him, crush him. [Applause.]

But there is another duty imposed upon the American press, quite as
great. If there be a man who loves the Republic, who would work for it,
who would talk for it, who would fight for it, who would die for
it--there are millions of them, thank God!--it is the duty of the
American press to uphold him, and to praise him when the time comes, in
the proper place, on the proper occasion. [Applause.] The press is to
deal not alone in censure of the bad, but in praise of the good. I like
the phrase, "The independent press." [Applause.] I am an editor myself.
I love my calling. I think it is growing to be one of the great
professions of the day. I claim, as an editor (and that is my chief
pursuit in life), to be a gentleman also. [Applause, and cries of "Good!
Good!"] If I see or know anything to be wrong in the land, high or low,
I will say so. If it be in my own party, I will take special pains to
say so [applause]; for I suppose it to be true of both parties that we
have a very high, a very glorious, a very beautiful, a very lovable idea
of the future American Republic. [Applause.]

So I will condemn, I say, whatever may be wrong. I hold myself to be an
independent journalist. [Cries of "Good!"]

But, my friends, I hope you will excuse the phrase--I am going to follow
it by another--at the same time I do freely avow that I am a _partisan_;
for I never knew anything good, from Moses down to John Brown, that was
not carried through by partisanship. [Applause.] If you believe in
anything, say so; work for it, fight for it. There are always two sides
in the world. The good fight is always going on. The bad men are always
working; the devil is always busy. And again, on the other side you have
your high idea of whatever is beautiful and good and true in the world;
and God is always working also. The man who stands between them--who
says: "This is somewhat good, and that is somewhat good; I stand between
them"--permit me to say, is a man for whom I have very little respect.
[Applause.] Some men say there is a God; some men say there is no God.
Some of the independents say that the truth lies between them.
[Laughter.] I cannot find it between them. Every man has a God. If you
believe in your God,--he may be another God from mine--if you are a man,
I want you to fight for him, and I may have to fight against you, but do
you fight for the God that you believe in. [Applause.]

I do sincerely think (and I wish that this was a congregation of my
fellow-editors of the whole land, for my heart is in reality full of
this thing)--I do sincerely think that there is something of a danger
that our eloquent, ready, powerful, versatile, indefatigable, vigorous,
omnipresent, omniscient men of the press may drive out of public
life--and they will ridicule that phrase--may drive out of public life,
not all, but a very considerable class of sensitive, high-minded,
honorable, ambitious gentlemen. [Applause.] Now, I do not say anything
about the future for myself. I have got a "free lance," I have got a
newspaper, and I can fight with the rest of them; but I will give you a
bit of my experience in public life. I tell you, my friends of the New
England Society, that one of the sorest things that a man in public life
has to bear is the reckless, unreasonable censure of members of the
press whom individually he respects. [Applause.] That large-hearted man,
whom personally I love, with whom I could shake hands, with whom I did
shake hands, with whom I sat at the social board time and again, grossly
misinterprets my public actions; intimates all manner of dishonorable
things, which I would fight at two paces rather than be guilty of; and
it would be useless for me to write a public letter to explain or
contradict. [Applause.]

Now, I am only one of hundreds. I can stand still and wait the result,
in the confidence that, if not all, yet some, men believe me to be
honorable and true; if they do not, God and I know it, and I would
"fight it out on that line." [Applause.]

Gentlemen, it is rather my habit to talk in earnest. Next to the evil of
having all public men in this land corrupt; next to the evil of having
all our governmental affairs in the hands of men venal and weak and
narrow, debauching public life and carrying it down to destruction, is
the calamity of having all the young men believe it is so, whether it be
so or not. [Applause.] Teach all the boys to believe that every man who
goes into public life has his price; teach all the boys to believe that
there is no man who enters public life anywhere that does not look out
for his own, and is not always scheming to do something for himself or
his friends, and seeking to prolong his power; teach every young man who
has a desire to go into political life, to think--because you have told
him so--that the way to succeed is to follow such arts, and by that kind
of talk you may ruin your country. [Applause.]

Now, gentlemen, as I have said, this is a matter for an evening oration.
I have barely touched some of the points. I have said the press has a
twofold duty and fortune: it is the leader, the educator, the director
of the people. It is, at the same time, the reflector of the people. I
could spend an hour upon the theme.

I cannot cease, however, without thanking the President of the St.
Patrick's Society [Denis MacMahon], the only gentleman who has mentioned
the word "centennial." When I was leaving Philadelphia, my wife warned
me not to use that word, knowing to what it might lead me [laughter];
and so I shall simply ask you all to come to Philadelphia next year, and
join in the great national exhibition, where you will have an
opportunity of seeing the progress which this nation has made under the
ideas of liberty, government, industry, and thrift which were instilled
by the Pilgrim Fathers. [Applause.]



[Speech of John Hay, American Ambassador to Great Britain, at a dinner
  of the Omar Khayyam Club, London, December 8, 1897. Henry Norman,
  President of the Club, took the chair and in introducing Colonel Hay,
  as the guest of the evening, spoke of him as soldier, diplomatist,
  scholar, poet and Omarian.]

GENTLEMEN:--I cannot sufficiently thank you for the high and
unmerited honor you have done me to-night. I feel keenly that on such an
occasion, with such company, my place is below the salt, but as you
kindly invited me it was not in human nature for me to refuse. Although
in knowledge and comprehension of the two great poets whom you are met
to commemorate I am the least among them, there is no one who regards
them with greater admiration, or reads them with more enjoyment than
myself. I can never forget my emotions when I first saw Fitzgerald's
translation of the Quatrains. Keats, in his sublime ode on Chapman's
Homer, has described the sensation once for all:--

 "Then felt I like some watcher of the skies,
  When a new planet swims into his ken."

The exquisite beauty, the faultless form, the singular grace of those
amazing stanzas, were not more wonderful than the depth and breadth of
their profound philosophy, their knowledge of life, their dauntless
courage, their serene facing of the ultimate problems of life and of

Of course the doubt did not spare me, which has assailed many as
ignorant as I was of the literature of the East, whether it was the poet
or his translator to whom was due this splendid result. Was it, in fact,
a reproduction of a new song, or a mystification of a great modern,
careless of fame and scornful of his time? Could it be possible that in
the eleventh century, so far away as Khorassan, so accomplished a man of
letters lived, with such distinction, such breadth, such insight, such
calm disillusion, such cheerful and jocund despair? Was this
Weltschmerz, which we thought a malady of our day, endemic in Persia in
1100? My doubt lasted only till I came upon a literal translation of the
Rubaiyat, and I saw that not the least remarkable quality of
Fitzgerald's was its fidelity to the original. In short, Omar was a
Fitzgerald before the latter, or Fitzgerald was a reincarnation of Omar.
It is not to the disadvantage of the later poet that he followed so
closely in the footsteps of the earlier. A man of extraordinary genius
had appeared in the world; had sung a song of incomparable beauty and
power in an environment no longer worthy of him, in a language of narrow
range; for many generations the song was virtually lost; then by a
miracle of creation, a poet, a twin-brother in the spirit to the first,
was born, who took up the forgotten poem and sung it anew with all its
original melody and force, and all the accumulated refinement of ages of
art. [Cheers.]

It seems to me idle to ask which was the greater master; each seems
greater than his work. The song is like an instrument of precious
workmanship and marvellous tone, which is worthless in common hands, but
when it falls, at long intervals, into the hands of the supreme master,
it yields a melody of transcendent enchantment to all that have ears to
hear. If we look at the sphere of influence of the two poets there is no
longer any comparison. Omar sang to a half barbarous province;
Fitzgerald to the world. Wherever the English speech is spoken or read,
the Rubaiyat have taken their place as a classic. There is not a
hill-post in India, nor a village in England, where there is not a
coterie to whom Omar Khayyam is a familiar friend and a bond of union.
In America he has an equal following, in many regions and conditions. In
the Eastern States his adepts form an esoteric sect; the beautiful
volume of drawings by Mr. Vedder is a centre of delight and suggestion
wherever it exists. In the cities of the West you will find the
Quatrains one of the most thoroughly read books in every Club Library.
I heard Omar quoted once in one of the most lovely and desolate spots of
the High Rockies. We had been camping on the Great Divide, our "roof of
the world," where in the space of a few feet you may see two springs,
one sending its water to the Polar solitudes, the other to the eternal
Carib summer. One morning at sunrise as we were breaking camp, I was
startled to hear one of our party, a frontiersman born, intoning these
words of sombre majesty:--

 "'Tis but a tent where takes his one day's rest
   A Sultan to the realm of death addressed.
   The Sultan rises and the dark Ferrash
   Strikes, and prepares it for another guest."

I thought that sublime setting of primeval forest and pouring cañon was
worthy of the lines; I am sure the dewless, crystalline air never
vibrated to strains of more solemn music.

Certainly our poet can never be numbered among the great popular writers
of all times. He has told no story; he has never unpacked his heart in
public; he has never thrown the reins on the neck of the winged horse,
and let his imagination carry him where it listed. "Ah! the crowd must
have emphatic warrant." Its suffrages are not for the cool, collected
observer, whose eye no glitter can ever dazzle, no mist suffuse. The
many cannot but resent that air of lofty intelligence, that pale and
subtle smile. But he will hold a place forever among that limited number
who, like Lucretius and Epicurus--without rage or defiance, even without
unbecoming mirth--look deep into the tangled mysteries of things; refuse
credence to the absurd, and allegiance to the arrogant authority,
sufficiently conscious of fallibility to be tolerant of all opinions;
with a faith too wide for doctrine and a benevolence untrammelled by
creed, too wise to be wholly poets, and yet too surely poets to be
implacably wise. [Loud cheers.]



[Speech of Rutherford B. Hayes, President of the United States, at the
  first annual banquet of the New England Society in the City of
  Brooklyn, December 21, 1880. The President of the Society, Benjamin D.
  Silliman, in introducing him, said: "Gentlemen, we are honored this
  evening by the presence of an illustrious descendant of New England,
  the Chief Magistrate of the Nation. [Cheers.] He is about retiring
  from his high position, with the respect, admiration and the gratitude
  of the people for the great wisdom, the pure purpose, the steady will
  and the unwavering firmness with which he has administered the
  government, preserved its honor and secured its property. [Loud
  cheers.] I propose to you, as our first toast, 'The President of the
  United States.'"]

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN:--We have often heard, we often
hear, the phrase "New England ideas." It is said, and I think said
truly, that these ideas have a large and growing influence in shaping
the affairs of the people of the United States. It is not meant, I
suppose, that the principles referred to in this phrase, are peculiar to
New England, but merely that in New England they are generally accepted,
and that perhaps there they had their first practical illustration.
These ideas, these principles generally termed New England ideas, and
New England principles, it seems to me, have had much to do with that
prosperity which we are now enjoying, and about which we are perhaps apt
to be too boastful, but for which it is certain we cannot be too
grateful. [Applause.]

The subject, New England ideas, is altogether too large a one for me, or
anybody, to discuss this evening. If it were to be done at length, in
protracted speaking, we have our friends here, able and with a
reputation for capacity in that way. Our friend, Mr. Evarts, for example
[applause], Mr. Beecher [applause], and I am confident that I shall be
excused for naming in this connection, above all, our friend General
Grant. [Loud applause.]

Leaving then to them the discussion of the larger topic, I must content
myself with the humbler duty of merely naming the New England ideas to
which I refer.

New England believes that every man and woman, under the law ought to
have an equal chance and an equal hope with every other man and woman
[applause], and believes that in a country where that is secured
individuals and society will have their highest development and the
largest allotment of human happiness. [Applause.] New England believes
that equal rights can be best secured in a country where every child is
provided freely with the means of education. [Applause.] New England
believes that the road--the only road, the sure road--to unquestioned
credit and a sound financial condition is the exact and punctual
fulfilment of every pecuniary obligation, public and private [applause],
according to its letter and spirit. [Applause.] New England believes in
the home, and in the virtues that make home happy [cries of "Good!"],
and New England will tolerate, so far as depends on her, no institutions
and no practices in any state or territory which are inconsistent with
the sacredness of the family relation. [Cries of "Good!"] New England
cherishes the sentiment of nationality and believes in a general
government strong enough to maintain its authority, to enforce the laws
and to preserve and to perpetuate the Union. [Applause.]

Now, with these New England ideas everywhere accepted and prevailing--to
repeat, with just and equal laws, administered under the watchful eyes
of educated voters; with honesty in all moneyed transactions; with the
New England home and the New England family as the foundation of
society; with national sentiments prevailing everywhere in the country;
we shall not lack that remaining crowning merit of New England life
which lends to every peopled landscape its chief interest and glory, the
spires pointing heavenward that tell to every man who sees them that the
descendants of the Pilgrims still hold to and cherish, and love that
which brought their fathers to this continent, which they here sought
and here found--freedom to worship God. [Long-continued applause.]



[Speech of Joseph C. Hendrix at the fifteenth annual dinner of the New
  England Society in the City of Brooklyn, December 21, 1894. The
  President, Robert D. Benedict, introducing the speaker, said: "I do
  not remember ever to have heard at any of the New England festivals
  which I have attended any discussion of the currency questions which
  plagued the Pilgrims. We cannot doubt that they had such questions for
  such questions must arise where there are different currencies. But
  the attention of our committee this year has naturally been drawn in
  that direction, and they have selected as the next subject one of the
  currencies with which the Pilgrims had to deal: 'The Wampum of the
  Indians.' Upon this subject they have invited the Hon. Joseph C.
  Hendrix to speak. Doubtless he may draw from that subject lessons that
  will be of interest and of use for the present day."]

your poetic souls are attuned to the sweet music of the last speech, I
must chide the Fates which compel me to so suddenly precipitate upon you
a discussion of a practical nature, especially when at the very outset I
must begin to talk about clams. [Laughter.] For when we begin to
consider wampum we have to begin to consider the familiar hard-shell
clam of daily use, which was the basis of wampum. At this stage of the
feast, after the confections contained in that eulogium passed upon you
by the Governor of Massachusetts [Frederick T. Greenhalge], and after
that private parlor-car, canvas-back-duck, cold-champagne view of
consolidation taken by the great trunk-line president [Chauncey M.
Depew] [laughter], can you endure anything savoring of the clam? Would
you not prefer to go home and sleep upon what you already have? Yet
every loyal son of Long Island ought to be partial to clams. The Mayor
[Charles A. Schieren], who typifies what a German head can do in a
contest with an Irish appetite, should love them because they reside
within the city limits, and have ceased to vote in Gravesend. You, Mr.
Chairman, as a lawyer, ought to tolerate the clam, for there are two
sides to the case, and there's meat inside. Our friend the preacher
[Rev. Samuel A. Eliot] knows that they are as good every day in the week
as they are on Sunday. Dr. Johnson [Dr. J. G. Johnson] there favors them
as part of his internal revenue system. The Mugwumps cannot object to
them, because they change from side to side so easily. The Democrats
ought to like anything that is always digging a hole for itself, and the
Republicans cannot but be patient with what comes on top at the change
of the tide. [Laughter.] So, gentlemen, I present to you the clam.
Professor Hooper [Franklin W. Hooper] tells me to call it the _Venus
Mercenaria_, but we shall have to wait for our free public library
before venturing so far.

You remember, when you were children, looking over the old story-book
handed down to you by the Puritan fathers, that one of the conundrums
with which the gayety of their times was illustrated was, "Who was the
shortest man in the Bible?" The answer was, "Bildad, the Shuhite;" but
now, in the revised text it is Peter, because Peter said: "Silver and
gold have I none," and no one could be shorter than that. The North
American Indian was no better off than Peter in his gold reserve or
silver supply; but he managed to get along with the quahog clam. That
was the money substance out of which he made the wampum, and the
shell-heaps scattered over the island are mute monuments to an industry
which was blasted by the demonetization of the hard-shell clam. Wampum
was a good money in the Indian civilization. It was the product of human
labor as difficult and tedious as the labor of the gold-miner of to-day.
It had intrinsic value, for it was redeemable in anything the Indian had
to give, from his skill in the chase to his squaw. It took time,
patience, endurance and skill to make a thing of beauty out of a clam,
even in the eyes of an Indian, but when the squaws and the old men had
ground down the tough end of the shell to the size of a wheat straw, and
had bored it with a sliver of flint, and strung it upon a thew of
deerskin, and tested its smoothness on the noses, they had an article
which had as much power over an Indian mind as a grain of gold to-day
has over us. There were two kinds of wampum, the blue and the white. The
Montauks to this day know that there is a difference between the two.
The blue came from our clam. The white, which was the product of the
periwinkle, did not need so much labor to fit it for use as wampum, and
it was cheaper. The blue was the gold; the white was the silver. One
blue bead was worth two white ones. The Indians did not try to keep up
any parity of the beads. They let each kind go for just what it was
worth. The Puritans used to restring the beads and keep the blue ones.
Then the Indians strung their scalps.

Why was wampum good money in its time? The supply was limited. It took a
day to make four or five beads. It was in itself a thing of value to the
Indian for ornament. It was easily carried about from place to place. It
was practically indestructible. It was always alike. It was divisible.
The value attached to it did not vary. It was not easily counterfeited.
So it was that it became the money of the colonists; a legal tender in
Massachusetts and the tool of the primitive commerce of this continent.
The Puritan took it for firewater and gave it back for furs. Long Island
was the great mint for this pastoral coinage. It was called the "Mine of
the New Netherlands." The Indian walked the beach at Rockaway, dug his
toes in the sand, turned up a clam, and after swallowing the contents
carried the shells to the mint. Gold and silver at the mouth of a mine
obtain their chief value from the labor it takes to get the metals;
wampum was the refinement by labor of a money substance free to all. The
redemption of wampum was perfect. To the Indians it was a seal to
treaties, an amulet in danger, an affidavit, small change, a savings'
bank, a wedding ring and a dress suit. To this day the belt of wampum is
the storehouse of Indian treasure. In the Six Nations, when a big chief
made an assertion in council, he laid down a belt of wampum, as though
to say, "Money talks." The Iroquois sent a belt of it to the King of
England when they asked his protection. William Penn got a strip when he
made his treaty. The Indians braided rude pictures into it, which
recorded great events. They talked their ideas into it, as we do into a
phonograph. They sent messages in it. White beads between a row of dark
ones represented a path of peace, as though to say: "Big chief no longer
got Congress on his hands." A string of dark beads was a message of war
or of the death of a chief, and a string of white beads rolled in mud
was equivalent to saying that there was crape on the door of Tammany
Hall. So you see that it was a combined post-office, telegraph,
telephone, phonograph and newspaper.

The Iroquois had a keeper of wampum--a sort of secretary of the treasury
without the task of keeping nine different kinds of money on a parity.
This old Indian financier had simple and correct principles. No one
could persuade him to issue birch-bark promises to pay and delude
himself with the belief that he could thus create money. He certainly
would have called them a debt, and would have paid them off as fast as
he could. Nor can we imagine him trying to sustain the value of the
white wampum after the Puritans started in to make it out of oyster
shells by machinery. Nor would he have bought it, not needing it, and
have issued against it his promises to pay in good wampum as fast and as
often as they were presented.

It was said that wampum was so cunningly made that neither Jew nor Devil
could counterfeit it. Nevertheless a Connecticut Yankee rigged up a
machine that so disturbed the market value of the beads that in a short
time the Long Island mints were closed to the free coinage of clams.
Wampum was demonetized through counterfeit, overproduction and
imitation; but when this occurred the gentle Puritan didn't have enough
of it left to supply the museums. The Indian had parted with his lands
and his furs, had redeemed all the outstanding wampum with his labor,
and when he went to market to get firewater, he was taught that he must
have gold and silver to get it. Then he wanted to ride in blood up to
his horse's bridles. Commerce had found a better tool than wampum had
become. The buccaneers and the pirates had brought in silver and that
defied the Connecticut man's machinery or the Dutchman's imitations. The
years pass by and commerce finds that silver, because of overproduction,
becomes uncertain and erratic in value, and with the same instinct it
chooses gold as a standard of value. A coin of unsteady value is like a
knife of uncertain sharpness. It is thrown aside for one that can do all
that is expected of it. Gold is such a tool. It is the standard of all
first-class nations. It is to-day, and it will remain, the standard of
this Republic.

The value of the gold dollar is not in the pictures on it. It is in the
grains of gold in it. Smash it and melt it, and it buys one hundred
cents' worth the world over. Deface a silver dollar and fifty cents of
its value goes off yonder among the silent stars. Free coinage means
that the silver miner may make fifty cents' worth of silver cancel a
dollar's worth of debts. This is a greenback doctrine in a silver
capsule. Bimetallism is a diplomatic term for international use.
Monometallism with silver as the metal is the dream of the Populist and
of the poor deluded Democratic grasshoppers who dance by the moonshine
until they get frost-bitten.

The free-silver heresy is about dead. It has cost this country, at
to-day's price for silver, $170,000,000. The few saddened priests of
this unhappy fetich who remain active find their disciples all rallying
round the standard of currency reform. The report of the Secretary of
the Treasury is a confession of national financial sins, and a
profession of faith in sound money doctrines. Every business man will
watch with keen interest the progress of a plan for the reform in our
currency. You all know that the straight road is the retirement of the
greenback and the Treasury note, and the withdrawal of the Government
from the banking business, and you will naturally distrust any makeshift
measures. The greenback is a war debt, and a debt that is now
troublesome. We are funding and refunding it in gold daily, and are
still paying it out as currency to come back after gold. Any scheme to
sequestrate, to hide it under a bushel, or to put it under lock and key,
is a shallow device. The way to retire it is to retire it. It has served
its full purpose, and there never was a better time than now to call it

In twelve years all our Government debt matures. The national banking
system based upon it must expire with it, unless existing laws are
changed. This system has served the nation well. No one has ever lost a
dollar by a national bank note. The system is worth preserving, and
with a little more liberal treatment it can be made to serve until a
currency based upon commercial credits and linked to a safety fund, a
system which works so admirably in Canada, can be engrafted upon it.
There is a great hurry to create such a system now on a basis of the
partial sequestration of the greenback and the Treasury note, but the
bottom principle is wrong. The Government should discourage a commercial
credit currency based upon a public credit currency, which, in turn,
rests upon a slender gold deposit, exposed to every holder of a
Government demand note. A credit currency is a double-edged tool, and
needs to be handled with great care. We have had so much crazy-quilt
finance that I am sure that we want no more of it. We have been sorely
punished for our financial sins in the past, and now that we are
repentant, we want to get everything right before we go ahead with our
full native energy. We have suffered from the distrust of the world, and
then from our own distrust. In retracing our steps let us be sure that
we are on solid ground, and make our "wampum" as good as the best there
is in the world. [Applause.]



[Speech of Lord Farrer Herschell at the 130th annual banquet of the
  Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, November 15, 1898. Lord
  Herschell was present in this country as President of the Joint High
  Commission appointed to arbitrate the dispute between Canada and the
  United States relative to the Bering Sea seal fisheries. Alexander E.
  Orr, President of the Chamber, proposed the toast to which Lord
  Herschell spoke: "The Future Relations between Great Britain and the
  United States--a determined union of heart and purpose will carry the
  forces of justice and humanity the world over."]

assure you that I am most deeply sensible of the warm welcome that you
have extended to me, and grateful for the manner in which you have
received the words which were uttered introducing me to you. But I can
assure you that I rejoiced to hear the cheers with which this toast was
greeted, not merely because they were a compliment to myself, but
because I was satisfied that you were regarding me rather in the
character of a representative of my country, and that there rang in
those cheers sentiments of good will to the country that I have the
honor to represent to-night. [Applause.] And I heard in them something
more than that--they indicated to me a conviction that in the
continuance of good relations between your country and mine, there were
involved blessings, priceless blessings, to the countries we love so
well. [Applause.]

I can assure you that all my countrymen reciprocate the feeling which
has been expressed; that they desire, as you do, that the cordial
relationship should continue, and that they have toward the United
States of America nothing but feelings of good will and a desire for its
welfare and progress. [Applause.] I have said--all my countrymen. I
ought, perhaps, not to have been so bold. There are some fools in all
lands. [Laughter.] They are the product of every soil. No nation has a
monopoly of them. [Laughter.] But with these exceptions, I can speak, I
think, for all my countrymen. The echoes of those now distant events of
a century and a quarter ago, which left much soreness behind them, have
died away in England. [Applause.] We can rejoice as much as you rejoice
to-day, in the fact that you are one of the leading nations of the
world. [Applause.] And there is to me a peculiar interest in the fact
that I, who have had the honor to fill the office of Lord Chancellor,
should be here as the representative of my country engaged in
negotiations between Great Britain and the United States. A century and
a quarter ago or more, a predecessor of mine in that high office made a
most unfortunately foolish prediction. He said, with reference to these
(at that time) colonies: "If they withdraw their allegiance, we shall
withdraw our protection; and then they will soon be overrun by the
little States of Genoa and San Marino." [Laughter.] I am happy to say--I
must say it for the credit of the office--that there was even then a
distinguished lawyer who was to succeed the Lord Chancellor to whom I
have referred, who made a speech at which to-day neither I nor any one
else need blush. But I could not help thinking of those words when I
reflected that I was here negotiating with the representatives of a
mighty nation of seventy millions of people, who have not been overrun
by the little Republics of Genoa and San Marino [laughter], although
undoubtedly, in a sense very different from that which the speaker
intended, you may have been overrun by the natives of some of the
Italian towns. [Laughter.]

Gentlemen, there is to-day in my country, as in yours, a pride in the
United States. We cannot forget that if you won your independence, if
you achieved your liberties, if you laid the foundations of your
constitution, if you prepared for such a nation as exists here to-day,
you were at that time colonists of Great Britain. The men who laid the
foundation stones of the United States, in which you to-day glory, were
those who had gone out from amongst us, who had in the country of my
birth imbibed for the most part their traditions of liberty, and their
desire and determination to achieve it; and, therefore, with no
misgiving, with nothing but a feeling of pride, we may rejoice in your
success and in your progress. We long ago admitted the follies and the
wrong-doings of those times, as freely as you could insist upon them
yourselves. [Applause.]

I am not going to dwell upon that aspect of the case to-night, because I
am quite aware that sometimes the ready admission of wrong-doing is
rather irritating than soothing. [Laughter.] I remember once hearing a
learned counsel, who was conducting the trial of a case before a judge
of great ability but not of the best of tempers, put a question of a
character such as to shock any one accustomed to be guided by the rigid
rules of evidence. Strictly in confidence, I don't think he had the
least idea that it was a wrong question, but the learned judge
interposed and said: "That was an improper question, Mr. so and so."
"Yes, my Lord, it was very improper." "Yes," said the judge, "you ought
not to have put the question,--a most improper question." "Yes, sir; I
ought not to have put it, a more improper question never was." And the
more the judge reproached him the more submissive he became, until he
drove the judge nearly mad. [Laughter.]

Gentlemen, there has been a great deal of discussion lately as to the
exact nature of the bond which united Great Britain and the United
States. Some one says blood is thicker than water, whereupon another
with perverse ingenuity begins at once to analyze the blood and
discovers that the elements are not, when resolved, precisely the same.
That, it is said, is the bond of the Anglo-Saxon race; whereupon a
Scotchman insists, or a Welshman insists, that it is not all
Anglo-Saxon, that there is something Celtic in its constitution, and
that to speak of it as the Anglo-Saxon race, either in my country or in
yours, is not in strictness historically accurate. Another finds that
they are the great English-speaking peoples, whereupon an ingenious man
points out that there are people in Great Britain and its dependencies
to whom the English language is not the most natural means of
communication, and that not every inhabitant of the United States is a
perfect master of the English tongue. [Laughter.]

Well, then, I saw an ingenious argument the other day to prove that it
is a gross impropriety to speak of England as the mother country; that
the two countries were really in the relation of sisters, and that we
ought to call them sister countries, and not speak of them as mother and
daughter. I am not going to enter into any of this controversy to-night.
The probability is that none of these suggested explanations is a
completely adequate explanation of the bond that binds the two nations
together, but that in each of them is to be found some element of truth.
I am not going to dwell on them to-night; I prefer a practical rather
than a theoretical view of any subject, and they all agree in this: a
tacit assertion of the fact that there is a bond which unites Great
Britain and the United States such as unites no two other nations
[applause and cheers]; and they express a realization of the fact that
there is a very close relationship between the two countries. Now,
undoubtedly we have at times said nasty things of one another
[laughter]; but then that is not proof that we are not near relations.
[Laughter.] Indeed, it might, perhaps, be cited by some as evidence the
other way. We have sometimes seemed to be very near serious--what shall
I say?--attacks upon one another. But, again, that is no proof that a
close relationship does not exist between us. It is not impossible that
at some future time, when we are either of us menaced by the
intervention of some third party which seriously threatens our existence
or our prosperity, we may find that, whatever differences arise amongst
ourselves from time to time, we shall be ready to unite in defence of
each other against a stranger. [Applause and cheers.] A friend of mine
who is a great champion of woman's rights, and a man of the most
chivalrous disposition, when walking home one night, found a man and a
woman, husband and wife, in serious controversy, and the man was just
about to strike his wife. With his usual chivalry he intervened between
them. In a moment they were both upon him [laughter], and he had much
ado to withdraw himself from their clutches. May not that, perhaps, be
an indication of the kind of action which relations may show who are not
always perfectly peaceably disposed toward one another?

Gentlemen, I rejoice to think that I am here to take part in an
endeavor to compose such differences as exist at present between the two
nations. There is another bond of union beyond the natural one to which
I have alluded, and that is the commercial interests of the two
countries. I know there are some who think that no country can gain in
commercial prosperity or make real progress in commerce except at the
expense of some other. I believe that to be a profound mistake. I do
not, of course, deny that a particular interest here or there--perhaps
many interests--may suffer from the stress of international competition,
but I think we take too narrow a view when in gazing on the industrial
world we fix our eyes upon this local spot or that, and consider how
this or that particular place may be affected. Our interests are more
widespread, strike deeper roots, roots in more different directions than
we are at all times ready to admit or to conceive. And of this I am
perfectly certain, that where two nations are so closely bound up in
commercial intercourse as we are, neither of those nations can possibly
progress in commercial prosperity, without a reflection of that
commercial prosperity upon the other nation with which it deals.

Gentlemen, many of the events which to-day bulk largely in our eyes will
look strangely insignificant when seen through the vista of time; but of
this I feel satisfied, that if the men of to-day by their actions can do
anything to put upon a permanent basis cordial, friendly relations and
co-operation between your Republic and the British Empire, these actions
will grow in men's estimation larger rather than smaller, and
generations to come will rise to call those blessed who put the
relations of the two countries upon a sound and satisfactory footing.

Gentlemen, however successful we may be, as I trust we shall be
successful, in composing such differences as now exist--in the nature of
things it is impossible but that difficulties from time to time will
arise--in the future, how are we going to treat them? In what spirit
shall we meet them as they arise? It sometimes seems to me strange that
nations which, after all, are but collections of individuals should deal
with their differences in a manner in which sensible men as individuals
never would dream of treating them. [Applause.] We seem, somehow, when
once we have taken up a position, to feel as if it were impossible to
withdraw from it. We must adhere to it, whether originally we took it up
wisely or unwisely, whether it was sound or unsound. We lash ourselves
into a white heat over the differences that arise, although the
relations that they bear to our national life and our national interests
may be of comparative insignificance. If an individual were to deal in
that way, always to stand out in every case for his strict rights,
always to be prepared to contest everything, to adhere always to what he
claims as his right, to get into a rage with his neighbor because he
would not see as he saw himself--well, we should call that man an
intolerably quarrelsome fellow who was not fit for civilized human
society [cheers]; and yet, as nations, apparently there seems nothing
strange in our doing that which, as individuals, we should be the last
to dream of doing.

A friend, a former colleague of mine--now, alas! no more,--told me that
he was, many years ago, travelling up to London with an owner of race
horses who was accompanied by his trainer. When they arrived at the
station near the metropolis where the tickets are collected, the
ticket-collector came, and my friend said, "My servant has my ticket in
the next carriage." The ticket-collector retired and presently came back
rather angry and said, "I cannot find him." My friend said, "he is in
the next carriage--or the next carriage but one; he is there." As soon
as the ticket-collector retired for the second time the trainer leaned
forward and said, "Stick to it, my Lord, you will tire him out."
[Laughter and cheers.] Is not that sometimes a little indicative of the
spirit in which we are inclined to act nationally when we have taken up
any position, even though it be a false one?

Gentlemen, it seems to me that these questions of our future relations
with one another are questions of special moment just now. You are at a
parting of the ways. It would be presumptuous, as it would be unwise, in
me to forecast or to attempt to forecast the decision at which you will
arrive on questions that have yet to be solved. But, putting these
questions that remain for solution aside, and dealing only with the
events as they are now known and fixed, it is impossible not to feel
that this year marks an epoch in the history of the United States, and
the relation which the United States is to bear to Great Britain, and
the relation which Great Britain is to bear to the United States; and
the spirit which is to animate those two peoples becomes of more
importance than it ever has been before. I rejoice to see those flags
joined as they are around this room to-night. [Applause.] God grant that
they may never be flaunted in defiance of one another. [Applause.] I
rejoice to see them united in concord, not in any spirit of arrogance
toward other peoples, not as desiring to infringe the rights of any
other power, but because I see in that union a real safeguard for the
maintenance of peace in the world [applause], and because I see more
than that--I see the surest guaranty of an extended reign of liberty and
justice. [Prolonged applause.]



[Speech of George S. Hillard at the banquet given to Charles Dickens by
  the "Young Men of Boston," February 1, 1842. The company consisted of
  about two hundred, among whom were George Bancroft, Washington Allston
  and Oliver Wendell Holmes.]

MR. PRESIDENT:--Our meeting together this evening is one of the
agreeable results of the sympathy established between two great and
distant nations by a common language and a common literature. We are
paying our cheerful tribute of gratitude and admiration to one who,
though heretofore a stranger to us in person, has made his image a
familiar presence in innumerable hearts, who has brightened the sunshine
of many a happy, and cheered the gloom of many a desponding breast,
whose works have been companions to the solitary and a cordial in the
sick man's chamber, and whose natural pathos and thoughtful humor,
flowing from a genius as healthy as it is inventive, have drawn more
closely the ties which bind man to his brother man, and have given us a
new sense of the wickedness of injustice, the deformity of selfishness,
the beauty of self-sacrifice, the dignity of humble virtue, and the
strength of that love which is found in "huts where poor men lie."

The new harvest of applause which is gathered by the gifted minds of
England, in a country separated from their own by three thousand miles
of ocean, is a privilege peculiar to them, and one to which no author,
however rich in golden opinion won at home, can feel himself
indifferent. No brow can be so thickly shaded with indigenous laurels,
as not to wear, with emotion, those which are the growth of a foreign
soil. There is no homage so true and unquestionable as that which the
stranger offers. At home the popularity of an author may, during his own
life at least, be greatly increased by circumstances not at all
affecting the intrinsic value of his writings. The caprice of fashion,
the accident of high rank or distinguished social position, the zeal of
a literary faction or a political party, may invest some "Cynthia of the
minute" with a brief notoriety, which resembles true fame only as the
meteor resembles the star. But popularity of this kind is of too flimsy
and delicate a texture to bear transportation. It is only merit of a
solid and durable fabric which can survive a voyage across the Atlantic.
It has been said, with as much truth as point, that a foreign nation is
a sort of contemporaneous posterity. Its judgment resembles the calm,
unbiased voice of future ages. It has no infusion of personal feeling;
it is a serene and unimpassioned verdict, neither won by favor, nor
withheld from prejudice. The admiration which comes from afar off is
valuable in the direct ratio of its distance, as there is the same
degree of assurance that it springs from no secondary cause, but is a
spontaneous and unbought tribute. An English author might see with
comparative unconcern his book upon a drawing-room table in London, but
should he chance to meet a well-thumbed copy of it in a log-house beyond
our western mountains, would not his heart swell with just pride at the
thought of the wide space through which his name was diffused and his
influence felt, and would not his lips almost unconsciously utter the
expression of the wandering Trojan:--

    "_Quæ regio in terris nostri non plena laboris?_"

It is also probably true that, in our country, English authors find
their warmest and most impassioned admirers. It is as true of the mind
as of the eye, that distance lends enchantment to the view. There are no
hues so soft and delicate as those with which the imagination invests
that which is unseen or faintly discerned. Remoteness in space has the
same idealizing effect as remoteness of time. The voice that comes to us
from the dim distance is like that which comes to us from the dim past.
We know, but we do not feel, the interval which separates Shakespeare
from Scott, Milton from Wordsworth, Hume from Hallam. We know them only
by those airy creations of the brain which speak to us through the
printed page. Solitude, and silence too, are the nurses of deep and
strong feeling. That imaginative element which exalts the love of Dante
for Beatrice, and of Burns for his "Mary in Heaven," deepens the fervor
of admiration with which the pale, enthusiastic scholar, in some lonely
farmhouse in New England, hangs over a favorite author, who, though
perhaps a living contemporary, is recognized only as an absolute essence
of genius, wisdom or truth. The minds of men whom we see face to face
appear to shine upon us darkly through the infirmities of a mortal
frame. Their faculties are touched by weariness or pain, or some
humiliating weakness or unhandsome passion thrusts its eclipsing shadow
between us and the light of their genius. Not so with those to whom they
speak only through the medium of books. In these we see the products of
those golden hours, when all that was low is elevated, when all that was
dark is illumined, and all that was earthly is transfigured. Books have
no touch of personal infirmity--theirs is undying bloom, immortal youth,
perennial fragrance. Age cannot wrinkle, disease cannot blight, death
cannot pierce them. The personal image of the author is quite as likely
to be a hindrance as a help to his book. The actor who played with
Shakespeare in his own "Hamlet" probably did but imperfect justice to
that wonderful play, and the next-door neighbor of a popular author will
be very likely to read his books with a carping, censorious spirit,
unknown to him who has seen his vision only in his mind.

Mr. President, I dwell with pleasure on the considerations to which an
occasion like this gives birth. It is good for us to be here. Whatever
has a tendency to make two great nations forget those things in which
they differ, and remember those only in which they have a common
interest, is a benefit to them both. Whatever makes the hearts of two
countries beat in unison, makes them more enamored of harmony, more
sensitive to discord. Honor to the men of genius who made two
hemispheres thrill to the same electric touch, who at the same time, and
with the same potent spell, are ruling the hearts of men in the
mountains of Scotland, the forests of Canada, the hillsides of New
England, the prairies of Illinois, and the burning plains of India.
Their influence, so far as it extends, is a peaceful and a humanizing
one. When you have instructed two men with the same wisdom, and charmed
them with the same wit, you have established between them a bond of
sympathy, however slight, and made it so much the more difficult to set
them at variance. When I remember the history of England, how much she
has done for law, liberty, virtue and religion--for all that beautifies
and dignifies life--when I realize how much that is most valuable and
characteristic in our own institutions is borrowed from her--when I
recall our obligations to her matchless literature, I feel a throb of
gratitude that "Chatham's language is my mother-tongue," and my heart
warms to the land of my fathers. I embrace with peculiar satisfaction
every consideration that tends to give us an unity of spirit in the bond
of peace--to make us blind to each other's faults, and kind to each
other's virtues. I feel all the force of the fine lines of one whom we
have the honor to receive as a guest this evening:--

 "Though ages long have passed
    Since our fathers left their home,
  Their pilot in the blast,
    O'er untravelled seas to roam,
  Yet lives the blood of England in our veins.
    And shall we not proclaim
    That blood of honest fame,
    Which no tyranny can tame
      By its chains?

 "While the manners, while the arts
    That mould a nation's soul,
  Still cling around our hearts,--
    Between, let ocean roll,
  Our joint communion breaking with the sun.
  Yet still from either beach
  The voice of blood shall reach,
  More audible than speech--
    We are one."

It is now more than sixty-seven years since the rapid growth of our
country was sketched by Mr. Burke, in the course of his speech on
conciliation with America, in a passage whose picturesque beauty has
made it one of the commonplaces of literature, in which he represents
the angel of Lord Bathurst drawing up the curtain of futurity,
unfolding the rising glories of England, and pointing out to him
America, a little speck scarce visible in the mass of the national
interest, yet which was destined before he tasted of death to show
itself equal to the whole of that commerce which then attracted the
admiration of the world. There are many now living whose lives extend
over the whole of this period--and during that space, what memorable
changes have taken place in the relations of the two countries! Let us
imagine the angel of that illustrious author and statesman, when the
last words of that profound and beautiful speech were dying upon the
air, withdrawing him from the congratulations of his friends, and
unfolding to him the future progress of that country, whose growth up to
that period he had so felicitously sketched:--"There is that America,
whose interests you have so well understood and so eloquently
maintained, which, at this moment, is taking measures to withdraw from
the protection and defy the power of the mother country. But mourn not
that this bright jewel is destined to fall from your country's crown. It
is an obedience to the same law of Providence which sends the
full-fledged bird from the nest, and the man from his father's house.
Man shall not be able to sever what the immutable laws of Providence
have joined together. The chafing chains of colonial dependence shall be
exchanged for ties light as air, yet strong as steel. The peaceful and
profitable interchange of commerce--the same language--a common
literature--similar laws, and kindred institutions shall bind you
together with cords which neither cold-blooded policy, nor grasping
selfishness, nor fratricidal war, shall be able to snap. Discoveries in
science and improvements in art shall be constantly contracting the
ocean which separates you, and the genius of steam shall link your
shores together with a chain of iron and flame. A new heritage of glory
shall await your men of genius in those now unpeopled solitudes. The
grand and lovely creations of your myriad-minded Shakespeare--the
majestic line of Milton--the stately energy of Dryden, and the compact
elegance of Pope, shall form and train the minds of uncounted multitudes
yet slumbering in the womb of the future. Her gifted and educated sons
shall come over to your shores with a feeling akin to that which sends
the Mussulman to Mecca. Your St. Paul's shall kindle their devotion;
your Westminster Abbey shall warm their patriotism; your
Stratford-on-Avon and Abbotsford shall awaken in their bosoms a depth of
emotion in which your own countrymen shall hardly be able to sympathize.
Extraordinary physical advantages and the influence of genial
institutions shall there give to the human race a rate of increase
hitherto unparalleled; but the stream, however much it be widened and
prolonged, shall retain the character of the fountain from which it
first flowed. Every wave of population that gains upon that vast green
wilderness shall bear with it the blood, the speech, and the books of
England, and aid in transmitting to the generations that come after it,
her arts, her literature, and her laws." If this had been revealed to
him, would it not have required all the glow of his imagination and all
the strength of his judgment to believe it? Let us who are seeing the
fulfilment of this vision, utter the fervent prayer that no sullen
clouds of coldness or estrangement may ever obscure these fair
relations, and that the madness of man may never mar the benevolent
purposes of God.



[Speech of Samuel Reynolds Hole, Dean of Rochester Cathedral, at a
  banquet given in his honor by the Lotos Club, New York City, October
  27, 1894. Frank R. Lawrence, the President of the Club, in introducing
  Dean Hole recalled the fact that the Club had had the honor of
  receiving Dean Stanley and Charles Kingsley.]

GENTLEMEN:--I can assure you that when I received your
invitation, having heard so much of the literary, artistic and social
amenities of your famous Club, I resembled in feelings, not in feature,
the beautiful bride of Burleigh, when--

 "A trouble weighed upon her,
    And perplexed her, night and morn,
  With the burthen of an honor
    Unto which she was not born."

I could have quoted the words of the mate in Hood's "Up the Rhine," when
during a storm at sea a titled lady sent for him, and asked him if he
could swim. "Yes, my lady," says he, "like a duck." "That being the
case," says she, "I shall condescend to lay hold of your arm all night."
"Too great an honor for the likes of me," says the mate. [Laughter.]

Even when I came into this building--though I am not a shy man, having
been educated at Brazenose College, and preposterously flattered
throughout my life, most probably on account of my size,--I had not lost
this sense of unworthiness; but your gracious reception has not only
reassured me, but has induced the delicious hallucination that, at some
period forgotten, in some unconscious condition, I have said something
or done something, or written something, which really deserved your
approbation. [Applause.] To be serious, I am, of course, aware why this
great privilege has been conferred upon me. It is because you have
associated me with those great men with whom I was in happy intercourse,
that you have made my heart glad to-night.

It has ever been my ambition to blend my life, as the great painter does
his colors, "with brains, sir;" and I venture to think that such a
yearning is a magnificent proof that we are not wholly destitute of this
article, as when the poor wounded soldier exclaimed, on hearing the
doctor say that he could see his brains: "Oh, please write home and tell
father, for he has always said I never had any." [Laughter.] Be that as
it may, my appreciation of my superiors has evoked from them a
marvellous sympathy, has led to the formation of very precious
friendships, and has been my elevator unto the higher abodes of
brightness and freshness, as it is to-night.

Yes, my brothers, it is delightful to dwell "with brains, sir,"
condensed in books in that glorious world, a library--a world which we
can traverse without being sick at sea or footsore on land; in which we
can reach heights of science without leaving our easy-chair, hear the
nightingales, the poets, with no risk of catarrh, survey the great
battle-fields of the world unscathed; a world in which we are surrounded
by those who, whatever their temporal rank may have been, are its true
kings and real nobility, and which places within our reach a wealth more
precious than rubies, "for all things thou canst desire are not to be
compared with it." In this happy world I met Washington Irving, Fenimore
Cooper, Hawthorne, Willis, Longfellow, Whittier and all your great
American authors, historical, poetical, pathetic, humorous; and ever
since I have rejoiced to hold converse with them. Nevertheless, it is
with our living companions, with our fellow-men who love books as we do,
that this fruition is complete, and so it comes to pass in the words of
one whose name I speak with a full heart, Oliver Wendell Holmes, that "a
dinner-table made up of such material as this is the last triumph of
civilization over barbarism." [Applause.]

We feel as our witty Bishop (afterward Archbishop) Magee described
himself, when he said: "I am just now in such a sweet, genial
disposition, that even a curate might play with me." [Great laughter.]
We are bold to state with Artemus Ward, of his regiment composed
exclusively of major-generals, that "we will rest muskets with anybody."

 "Linger, I cried, O radiant Time, thy pow'r
    Hath nothing else to give; life is complete,
  Let but the happy present, hour by hour.
    Itself remember and itself repeat."

And yet one more quotation we are glad to make, wherewith to make some
amends for the stupidity of him who quotes lines most appropriate, by
Tennyson, from the "Lotos-Eaters," and repeated by one who has just
crossed the Atlantic:--

 "We have had enough of action, and of motion we,
  Rolled to starboard, rolled to larboard, when the surge was seething free
  Where the wallowing monster spouted his foam-fountains in the sea.
  Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind,
  In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie reclined
  On the hills, like gods together, careless of mankind."

Now, gentlemen, let me give, "evermore thanks, the exchequer of the
poor." [Long applause.]


_OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES Photogravure after a photograph from life_



[Speech of Oliver Wendell Holmes as President of the day, at the annual
  dinner of the Harvard Alumni Association, in Cambridge, July 19, 1860,
  inaugurating the practice of public speaking at the "Harvard Dinners."
  That year also took place the inauguration of President C. Felton, an
  event to which the speaker alludes in his graceful reference to the
  "goodly armful of scholarship, experience and fidelity" once more
  filling the "old chair of office."]

common parent who should have greeted you from this chair of office,
being for different reasons absent, it has become my duty to half fill
the place of these honored, but truant, children to the best of my
ability--a most grateful office, so far as the expression of kind
feeling is concerned; an undesired duty, if I look to the comparisons
you must draw between the government of the association existing _de
jure_, and its government _de facto_. Your President [Robert C.
Winthrop] so graces every assembly which he visits, by his presence, his
dignity, his suavity, his art of ruling, whether it be the council of a
nation, the legislature of a State, or the lively democracy of a
dinner-table, that when he enters a meeting like this, it seems as if
the chairs stood back of their own will to let him pass to the head of
the board, and the table itself, that most intelligent of quadrupeds,
the half reasoning mahogany, tipped him a spontaneous welcome to its
highest seat, and of itself rapped the assembly to order. [Applause.]

Your first Vice-President [Charles Francis Adams], whose name and
growing fame you know so much better than his bodily presentment, has
not been able to gratify your eyes and ears by showing you the
lineaments and stirring you with the tones inherited from men who made
their country or shaped its destinies. [Applause.] You and I have no
choice therefore, and I must submit to stand in this place of eminence
as a speaker, instead of sitting a happy listener with my friends and
classmates on the broader platform beneath. Through my lips must flow
the gracious welcome of this auspicious day, which brings us all
together in this family temple under the benignant smile of our
household divinities, around the ancient altar fragrant with the incense
of our grateful memories.

This festival is always a joyous occasion. It resembles a scattered
family without making any distinction except that which age establishes,
an aristocracy of silver hairs which all inherit in their turn, and none
is too eager to anticipate. In the great world outside there are and
must be differences of lot and position; one has been fortunate,
another, toiling as nobly perhaps, has fallen in with adverse currents;
one has become famous, his name stares in great letters from the
hand-bills of the drama of his generation; another lurks in small type
among the supernumeraries. But here we stand in one unbroken row of
brotherhood. No symbol establishes a hierarchy that divides one from
another; every name which has passed into our golden book, the triennial
catalogue, is illuminated and emblazoned in our remembrance and
affection with the purple and sunshine of our common Mother's hallowed
past and hopeful future.

We have at this time a twofold reason for welcoming the return of our
day of festive meeting. The old chair of office, against whose uneasy
knobs have rested so many well-compacted spines, whose uncushioned arms
have embraced so many stately forms, over whose inheritance of cares and
toils have ached so many ample brows, is filled once more with a goodly
armful of scholarship, experience and fidelity. The President never
dies. Our precious Mother must not be left too long a widow, for the
most urgent of reasons. We talk so much about her maternity that we are
apt to overlook the fact that a responsible _Father_ is as necessary to
the good name of a well-ordered college as to that of a well-regulated
household. As children of the College, our thoughts naturally centre on
the fact that she has this day put off the weeds of her nominal
widowhood, and stands before us radiant in the adornment of her new
espousals. You will not murmur, that, without debating questions of
precedence, we turn our eyes upon the new head of the family, to whom
our younger brothers are to look as their guide and counsellor as we
hope and trust through many long and prosperous years.

Brothers of the Association of the Alumini! Our own existence as a
society is so bound up with that of the College whose seal is upon our
foreheads, that every blessing we invoke on our parent's head returns
like the dew from Heaven upon our own. So closely is the welfare of our
beloved Mother knitted to that of her chief counsellor and official
consort, that in honoring him we honor her under whose roof we are
gathered, at whose breast we have been nurtured, whose fair fame is our
glory, whose prosperity is our success, whose lease of long life is the
charter of our own perpetuity.

I propose the health of the President of Harvard University: We greet
our brother as the happy father of a long line of future alumni.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of Oliver Wendell Holmes at the banquet of the Boston
  Merchants' Association at Boston, Mass., May 23, 1884, in honor of the
  Hon. John Lowell.]

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN:--It was my intention, when I
accepted the public invitation to be with you this evening, to excuse
myself from saying a word. I am a professor emeritus, which means pretty
nearly the same thing as a tired-out or a worn-out instructor. And I do
seriously desire that, having during the last fifty years done my share
of work at public entertainments, I may hereafter be permitted, as a
post-prandial emeritus, to look on and listen in silence at the
festivals to which I may have the honor of being invited--unless,
indeed, I may happen to wish to be heard. [Applause.] In that case I
trust I may be indulged, as an unspoken speech and an unread poem are
apt to "strike in," as some complaints are said to, and cause inward
commotions. [Applause.] Judge Lowell's eulogy will be on every one's
lips this evening. His soundness, his fairness, his learning, his
devotion to duty, his urbanity,--these are the qualities which have
commended him to universal esteem and honor. [Applause.] I will not say
more of the living; I wish to speak of the dead.

In respectfully proposing the memory of his great-great-grandmother
[laughter], I am speaking of one whom few if any of you can remember.
[Laughter.] Yet her face is as familiar to me as that of any member of
my household. She looks upon me as I sit at my writing-table; she does
not smile, she does not speak; even the green parrot on her hand has
never opened his beak; but there she is, calm, unchanging, in her
immortal youth, as when the untutored artist fixed her features on the
canvas. To think that one little word from the lips of Dorothy Quincy,
your great-great-grandmother, my great-grandmother, decided the question
whether you and I should be here to-night [laughter], in fact whether we
should be anywhere [laughter] at all, or remain two bodiless dreams of
nature! But it was Dorothy Quincy's "Yes" or "No" to Edward Jackson
which was to settle that important matter--important to both of us,
certainly--yes, Your Honor; and I can say truly, as I look at you and
remember your career, important to this and the whole American
community. [Applause.]

The picture I referred to is but a rude one, and yet I was not ashamed
of it when I wrote a copy of verses about it, three or four of which
this audience will listen to for the sake of Dorothy's great-grandson. I
must alter the pronouns a little, for this occasion only:--

  Look not on her with eyes of scorn--
  Dorothy Q. was a lady born;
  Ay! since the galloping Normans came
  England's annals have known her name;
  And still to the three-hilled rebel town
  Dear is that ancient name's renown,
  For many a civic wreath they won,
  The youthful sire and the gray-haired son.

  O damsel Dorothy! Dorothy Q.!
  Strange is the gift (we) owe to you!
  Such a gift as never a king
  Save to daughter or son might bring--
  All (our) tenure of heart and hand,
  All (our) title to house and land;
  Mother and sister and child and wife
  And joy and sorrow and death and life!

  What if a hundred years ago
  Those close-shut lips had answered "No!"
  When forth the tremulous question came
  That cost the maiden her Norman name,
  And under the folds that look so still
  The bodice swelled with the bosom's thrill--
  Should (we) be (we), or could it be
  One-tenth (two others) and nine-tenths (we)?

  Soft is the breath of a maiden's Yes:
  Not the light gossamer stirs with less;
  But never a cable that holds so fast
  Through all the battles of wave and blast,
  And never an echo of speech or song
  That lives in the babbling air so long!
  There were tones in the voice that whispered then
  You may hear to-day in a hundred men.

  O lady and lover, now faint and far
  Your images hover--and here we are,
  Solid and stirring in flesh and bone--
  Edwards and Dorothys--all their own--
  A goodly record for time to show
  Of a syllable whispered so long ago.

[Applause prolonged.]

I give you: "The memory of Dorothy Jackson, born Dorothy Quincy, to
whose choice of the right monosyllable we owe the presence of our
honored guest and all that his life has achieved for the welfare of the
community." [Great applause and cheers.]



[Speech of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, son of the "Autocrat," at the
  Harvard Alumni Dinner, at Cambridge, June 25, 1884.]

this has been consecrated to the memories of the war. On that day we
think not of the children of the university or the city, hardly, even,
of the children whom the State has lost, but of a mighty brotherhood
whose parent was our common country. To-day the college is the centre of
all our feeling, and if we refer to the war it is in connection with the
college, and not for its own sake that we do so. What then did the
college do to justify our speaking of the war now? She sent a few
gentlemen into the field, who died there becomingly. I know of nothing
more. The great forces which ensured the North success would have been
at work even if those men had been absent. Our means of raising money
and troops would not have been less, I dare say. The great qualities of
the race, too, would still have been there. The greatest qualities,
after all, are those of a man, not those of a gentleman, and neither
North nor South needed colleges to learn them.

And yet--and yet I think we all feel that, to us, at least, the war
would seem less beautiful and inspiring, if those few gentlemen had not
died as they did. Look at yonder portrait[7] and yonder bust[8] and tell
me if stories such as they commemorate do not add a glory to the bare
fact that the strongest legions prevailed. So it has been since wars
began. After history has done its best to fix men's thoughts upon
strategy and finance, their eyes have turned and rested on some single
romantic figure--some Sidney, some Falkland, some Wolfe, some Montcalm,
some Shaw. This is that little touch of the superfluous which is
necessary. Necessary as art is necessary, and knowledge which serves no
mechanical end. Superfluous only as glory is superfluous, or a bit of
red ribbon that a man would die to win.

It has been one merit of Harvard College that it has never quite sunk to
believing that its only function was to carry a body of specialists
through the first stage of their preparation. About these halls there
has always been an aroma of high feeling not to be found or lost in
science or Greek--not to be fixed, yet all-pervading. And the warrant of
Harvard College for writing the names of its dead graduates upon its
tablets is not in the mathematics, the chemistry, the political economy
which it taught them, but that, in ways not to be discovered, by
traditions not to be written down, it helped men of lofty natures to
make good their faculties. I hope and I believe that it will long give
such help to its children. I hope and I believe that long after our
tears for the dead have been forgotten, this monument to their memory
will still give such help to generations to whom it is only a symbol--a
symbol of man's destiny and power for duty, but a symbol also of that
something more by which duty is swallowed up in generosity, that
something more which led men like Shaw to toss life and hope like a
flower before the feet of their country and their cause. [Cheers.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, at a banquet in his honor
  given by the Suffolk Bar Association, Boston, March 7, 1900, upon his
  elevation to the Chief Justiceship of the Supreme Judicial Court of
  Massachusetts. Justice Holmes, upon rising to the toast of the
  presiding officer, was received with cheers, the entire company

GENTLEMEN OF THE SUFFOLK BAR:--The kindness of this reception
almost unmans me, and it shakes me the more when taken with a kind of
seriousness which the moment has for me. As with a drowning man, the
past is telescoped into a minute, and the stages are all here at once in
my mind. The day before yesterday I was at the law school, fresh from
the army, arguing cases in a little club with Goulding and Beaman and
Peter Olney, and laying the dust of pleading by certain sprinklings
which Huntington Jackson, another ex-soldier, and I managed to contrive
together. A little later in the day, in Bob Morse's, I saw a real writ,
acquired a practical conviction of the difference between assumpsit and
trover, and marvelled open-mouthed at the swift certainty with which a
master of his business turned it off.

Yesterday I was at the law school again, in the chair instead of on the
benches, when my dear partner, Shattuck, came out and told me that in
one hour the Governor would submit my name to the council for a
judgeship, if notified of my assent. It was a stroke of lightning which
changed the whole course of my life.

And the day before yesterday, gentlemen, was thirty-five years, and
yesterday was more than eighteen years, ago. I have gone on feeling
young, but I have noticed that I have met fewer of the old to whom to
show my deference, and recently I was startled by being told that ours
is an old bench. Well, I accept the fact, although I find it hard to
realize, and I ask myself, what is there to show for this half lifetime
that has passed? I look into my book in which I keep a docket of the
decisions of the full court which fall to me to write, and find about a
thousand cases. A thousand cases, many of them upon trifling or
transitory matters, to represent nearly half a lifetime! A thousand
cases, when one would have liked to study to the bottom and to say his
say on every question which the law ever has presented, and then to go
on and invent new problems which should be the test of doctrine, and
then to generalize it all and write it in continuous, logical,
philosophic exposition, setting forth the whole corpus with its roots in
history and its justifications of expedience, real or supposed!

Alas, gentlemen, that is life. I often imagine Shakespeare or Napoleon
summing himself up and thinking: "Yes, I have written five thousand
lines of solid gold, and a good deal of padding--I, who have covered the
milky way with words which outshine the stars!" "Yes, I beat the
Austrians in Italy and elsewhere; I made a few brilliant campaigns, and
I ended in middle life in a _cul-de-sac_--I who had dreamed of a world
monarchy and of Asiatic power!" We cannot live in our dreams. We are
lucky enough if we can give a sample of our best, and if in our hearts
we can feel that it has been nobly done.

Some changes come about in the process: changes not necessarily so much
in the nature as in the emphasis of our interest. I do not mean in our
wish to make a living and to succeed--of course, we all want those
things--but I mean in our ulterior intellectual or spiritual interests,
in the ideal part, without which we are but snails or tigers.

One begins with a search for a general point of view. After a time he
finds one, and then for a while he is absorbed in testing it, in trying
to satisfy himself whether it is true. But after many experiments or
investigations, all have come out one way, and his theory is confirmed
and settled in his mind; he knows in advance that the next case will be
but another verification, and the stimulus of anxious curiosity is gone.
He realizes that his branch of knowledge only presents more
illustrations of the universal principle; he sees it all as another case
of the same old ennui, or the same sublime mystery--for it does not
matter what epithets you apply to the whole of things, they are merely
judgments of yourself. At this stage the pleasure is no less, perhaps,
but it is the pure pleasure of doing the work, irrespective of further
aims, and when you reach that stage you reach, as it seems to me, the
triune formula of the joy, the duty and the end of life.

It was of this that Malebranche was thinking when he said that, if God
held in one hand truth and in the other the pursuit of truth, he would
say: "Lord, the truth is for thee alone; give me the pursuit." The joy
of life is to put out one's power in some natural and useful or harmless
way. There is no other. And the real misery is not to do this. The hell
of the old world's literature is to be taxed beyond one's powers. This
country has expressed in story--I suppose because it has experienced it
in life--a deeper abyss of intellectual asphyxia or vital ennui, when
powers conscious of themselves are denied their chance.

The rule of joy and the law of duty seem to me all one. I confess that
altruistic and cynically selfish talk seem to me about equally unreal.
With all humility, I think "Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with
thy might," infinitely more important than the vain attempt to love
one's neighbor as one's self. If you want to hit a bird on the wing,
you must have all your will in a focus, you must not be thinking about
yourself, and, equally, you must not be thinking about your neighbor;
you must be living in your eye on that bird. Every achievement is a bird
on the wing.

The joy, the duty, and, I venture to add, the end of life. I speak only
of this world, of course, and of the teachings of this world. I do not
seek to trench upon the province of spiritual guides. But from the point
of view of the world the end of life is life. Life is action, the use of
one's powers. As to use them to their height is our joy and duty, so it
is the one end that justifies itself. Until lately the best thing that I
was able to think of in favor of civilization, apart from blind
acceptance of the order of the universe, was that it made possible the
artist, the poet, the philosopher, and the man of science. But I think
that is not the greatest thing. Now I believe that the greatest thing is
a matter that comes directly home to us all. When it is said that we are
too much occupied with the means of living to live, I answer that the
chief work of civilization is just that it makes the means of living
more complex; that it calls for great and combined intellectual
efforts, instead of simple, uncoordinated ones, in order that the crowd
may be fed and clothed and housed and moved from place to place. Because
more complex and intense intellectual efforts mean a fuller and richer
life. They mean more life. Life is an end in itself, and the only
question as to whether it is worth living is whether you have enough of

I will add but a word. We are all very near despair. The sheathing that
floats us over its waves is compounded of hope, faith in the
unexplainable worth and sure issue of effort, and the deep,
sub-conscious content which comes from the exercise of our powers. In
the words of a touching negro song: "sometimes I's up, sometimes I's
down, sometimes I's almost to the groun'," but these thoughts have
carried me, as I hope they will carry the young men who hear me, through
long years of doubt, self-distrust and solitude. They do now, for,
although it might seem that the day of trial was over, in fact it is
renewed each day. The kindness which you have shown me makes me bold in
happy moments to believe that the long and passionate struggle has not
been quite in vain. [Applause.]




[Speech of Lord Houghton, in response to William Cullen Bryant, at a
  breakfast given in his honor at the Century Club, New York, October
  17, 1875. William Cullen Bryant, President of the Club, presided, and
  said in part: "Our guest, Lord Houghton, was not born a lord, but he
  was born a poet, which I take to be something better. Some forty years
  ago, I think it was, he wandered in Switzerland, Italy and Greece, and
  the impressions made upon his mind are woven into his beautiful series
  of poems published under the title of 'Memorials of Many Scenes.' At a
  later period, perhaps ten years afterward, he traveled in Egypt and
  the western coast of Asia, and returned, bringing with him a sheaf of
  'Palm-Leaves,' a series of charming poems, inspired by the remarkable
  places which he visited, and by the incidents of his journey. These
  'palm-leaves,' let me say, have a perennial verdure, they are yet as
  green as when they were gathered and still breathe Sabæan odors--the
  spicy perfume of the Orient--what the old poet Donne calls 'the
  almighty balm of the early East.' He is now a traveler in our
  territory, a region almost without antiquities, but of sufficient
  interest to attract his steps hither. He will doubtless see faults in
  our social and political condition--the eyes of a stranger are quicker
  to discern them than our own can be--but let us hope that he will
  carry back to his native land the recollections of a cordial reception
  among our people, such as I hope we are ever ready to accord to
  personal worth, to genius, and to services rendered to the human race.
  The only time I ever saw Dr. Bowring, which was some thirty years
  since, when he was a member of Parliament, of the party called
  Radical, is memorable with me on account of the eulogy of our guest,
  which he uttered with much warmth and enthusiasm. He praised the
  generosity of his sentiments and the largeness of his sympathies. 'At
  his table,' he added, 'you meet with men of various differing
  opinions; the only title to his hospitality and esteem is personal
  merit.' The same rule of preference which he applied to the
  individuals whom he admitted to his friendship, had governed him
  throughout a long public life in the measures which he had supported.
  His co-operation and efficient aid have been given to proceedings and
  measures which contemplate the well-being of the people--to useful and
  beneficial reforms. In their favor he steadily gave his vote and
  raised his voice. In honoring him we, therefore, honor not only the
  poet, but the philanthropist and the statesman. I propose, therefore,
  the health of Lord Houghton."]

MR. BRYANT AND GENTLEMEN:--In finding myself here now for the
first time, I am agitated by conflicting emotions, by my pleasure in
being among you, and by my regret at not having been here before.

In alluding to my poetic experience, Mr. Bryant mentioned that I had
passed many years of my early life in Italy, and while he was so doing
there arose in my memory a little incident not inapplicable to my
present position. I passed some time at Venice; and one summer evening,
on the Piazza di San Marco, my attention was attracted by an old man,
who walked up and down with a mingled air of wonder and delight, and
who, after I had observed him for some moments, came and asked me in the
Venetian dialect what streets he was to take toward a certain remote
portion of the city. I said I was a foreigner, and that he, being a
native of the place, must know its geography better than I could. He
then told me that he was there for the first time. He had passed all his
life in his own distinct world, there earning his daily bread, and
occupied by its little local interests. At last a friend had told him
that he must see the Place and Church of San Marco before he died, and
put him in a boat and landed him there, and now he wanted to find his
way home, charmed and contented.

Gentlemen, I am in the position of that Venetian veteran, and shall
return to my country, happy that I have at last found my way to this
great place and habitation--the civitas of English-speaking people. Not
that I have ever failed to regard this country in many senses as my own,
from the time when I took moral comfort from the flight of Mr. Bryant's
"Wild Fowl" across the ocean, and took the best lesson of life from the
Psalm of Longfellow. Since then I have ever been with you in all your
intellectual progress, and in the necessarily checkered course of your
constitutional history, and never more than in the late solemn years, in
all the national difficulties which you have so energetically, so
persistently, and so humanely surmounted.

In looking back to my impressions of those times, I sometimes think that
my sympathy with you was not wholly unselfish, but that I felt that, if
I had ever written anything which has a chance of a prolonged existence,
I should wish it to be read, not by any distracted and impotent
communities of British race, but by America, one and indivisible. And,
gentlemen, this is not unnatural, for amid all the divisions or
distractions of your history, your literature has ever been patriotic
and national. Literature, in truth, has been to you a good and faithful
emigrant, reproductive not only of all intellectual growth, but of the
sympathies--the largest sympathies--which bind together man to man. It
has settled among you every classic writer of British origin, and from
the Continent it has brought to you Goethe, Schiller, and Heinrich
Heine. It is also noticeable that by the side of these great
colonizations of thought you have not refused to receive and to pass to
your furthest Territories the humblest addition, the single volume of
verse, the chance felicitous expression of combined thought and feeling,
even some accidental refrain of song that had pleasantly caught the ear
and gone to the heart of man.

And this brings me to say to you one professional word respecting that
art and the nature of poetry that you have been kind enough to connect
with my name. The greater part of the verses I have written were that
product of the lyrical period of youth which is by no means uncommon in
modern civilization. It exhibits itself sometimes in the strangest
manner, without connection with other culture, or even the most common
intellectual opportunities. Of this I happen to have given to the world
a signal instance in the volume I published of the poems of David Gray,
a Scotch weaver-boy, who, without one advantage beyond the common
education of his class, described all the nature within his ken in the
highest poetic perfection, and passed away, leaving a most pathetic
record of a short life of imaginative sensibility. You can contrast this
simple and wayside flower of a faculty with such rich and complete
cultivation as it can assume in the efflorescence of Tennyson or
Swinburne; but in whatever form you find it, do not the less value the
faculty itself. Permit me to say that in no condition of society can it
be encouraged and fertilized more usefully than among yourselves. For
not only will it bring with it calm and comfort amid all the
superabundant activities, ambitions, and confusions of daily life, but
it has also the regulative powers teaching men to divide the sphere of
the imagination from that of practical life, and thus obviating the
dangers that so often arise from the want of this distinction.

There is no better preservative than the exercise of the poetic faculty
from religious hallucinations, from political delusions, and I would say
even from financial extravagances. Therefore, through the whole vast
range of this new world, be on the watch to look out for and to
encourage this great gift to man. Do not be too hard with any
imperfections or absence of refinement which may accompany its
exhibition. Do not treat it too critically or with too much scholastic
censure. Recognize also its value on another ground--the extension and
the perpetuation of our great common language--an interest not less dear
to every one of us here present than to the future welfare of mankind:--

 "Beyond the vague Atlantic deep,
  Far as the farthest prairies sweep,
  Where mountain wastes the sense appall
  Where burns the radiant Western Fall,
  One duty lies on old and young--
    With filial piety to guard,
    As on its greenest native sward,
  The glory of the English tongue!

 "That ample speech, that subtle speech,
  Apt for the needs of all in each,
  Strong to endure, yet prompt to bend
  Wherever human feelings tend,
  Preserve its force, expand its powers,
    And through the maze of civil life,
    In letters, commerce, e'en in strife,
  Remember, it is yours and ours!"

       *       *       *       *       *


[Response of Lord Houghton to the address of Joseph H. Choate at the
  farewell reception given in honor of Lord Houghton by the Union League
  Club, New York City, November 23, 1875.]

MR. CHOATE AND GENTLEMEN:--Before you spoke I had much
difficulty to interpret to myself the meaning of my reception here. So
unimportant as I know myself to have been before, in political and
social life, I have been surprised at the manner in which I have been
received in the United States of America. You, sir, have given an
explanation of that problem which I am very thankful to receive. The
habit of Americans to welcome Englishmen, whatever may be their
position, in itself proves to me that you regard us as something above
individuals, and that, somehow or other, you connect us in every way by
imagination, if no other, as present with that great country over the
Atlantic which was your mother, and which it has been the habit of many
of your ancestors to call their home. [Applause.] Mr. Choate has alluded
to certain events in my political life, which he says fully justify your
kindness and remarkable sympathy of to-day, and on that matter, if there
are to be any relations between myself and the Americans, upon that
point I can say that I deserve credit. I do not say this with any
affectation, because I understand fully your feelings upon that matter.
I fully recognize, I completely comprehend, as man to man, that in that
day of your greatest trouble, even the small voice that came over the
great Atlantic was listened to with extreme pleasure and unexaggerated

But when I look to myself, I am bound to say I find extremely little
merit in the matter. There was one ground of sympathy between you and
the English people, which you had the holiest right to believe would
have been absolute and overpowering. The English nation had put itself
forward as the great opponent of slavery in the world. [Applause.] It
had stated at the Congress of Vienna that the one point which England
required as the _sine qua non_ was the abolition of the slave trade. For
that purpose England not only asserted itself, but interfered up to the
utmost limit, perhaps beyond the limits of the law of nations, with all
the powers of the world. Therefore, you had a perfect right to believe,
to suppose, that in a question, in a matter in which we were not only
internationally but morally interested, the questions would be fully

Well, gentlemen, I cannot say that it was so. As an individual I have
not the right to reproach my country upon that point. That was not my
first feeling in the matter. I felt, I knew, slavery was doomed from the
civilized world. My heart, my instincts, my sense of the well-being of
every civilized state was against the continuance of that institution.
[Applause.] I knew, though it was possible--aye, I would fain say
probable--that the condition of the slave, under many conditions, under
many circumstances, might be better than that of the free laborer of the
world, that the condition of the slave owner was incompatible with the
highest form of moral culture and highest ambition. I always think that
question had political as well as moral and religious considerations,
and that, through the unhappy condition of this continent, the question
of slavery got so intermixed with the question of property that, however
humane, however wise men were, yet nevertheless it would bring with it
an incidental condition of cruelty abhorrent to mankind, and that,
therefore, that institution could not continue to the end. [Applause.]

But, making a clean breast of it, that was not the bottom of my
sympathy. My sympathy with you comes, as Mr. Choate has said, by "an
instinct unawares," and this was confirmed by any reasoning and any
deductions I might have had. From the imagination of my earliest youth,
from the sympathy of the most vivid time, and from the most logical look
at the situation in my mature life, I came to the conclusion that the
destiny of the present and the future world rests with great and
undivided empires. [Applause.] I had lived to see Italy, out of its
confusion of States, growing up into a great integrity, renewing the
promises of the wonderful classic times and the glory of Rome renovated
into a new and prosperous nation. I have lived to see, we have all lived
to see, the same process taking place in Germany. In Germany,
notwithstanding the greatest division, the most peculiar separation of
religion and even of races, yet nevertheless that great German empire is
coming forward as a monument of the civilization of the future world,
and as the centre of all Europe against any form of Oriental barbarism.
And I knew from the history of my own country that that was no new
principle, but one we had always maintained. England never at any moment
thought of giving up the principle of the integrity of its empire. You
yourselves are the evidences of the energy with which we sustained it.
[Prolonged applause.] And we had at our doors, we had within us, another
nation, in many points alien to ourselves; of a different race largely,
of a different religion almost generally; a nation which we had treated
sometimes with kindness, sometimes with harshness, sometimes with
justice, and many other times with injustice; but always on the
principle of the integrity of the empire. [Applause.] And I could not
see how an intelligent man could see what Italy was growing to, prophesy
what Germany would become, and, knowing the difficulties of the present
Ireland, how that man could wish to destroy the integrity of the United
States. Fact and history were against him, and in addition to that I
felt that--in favoring or in sustaining your separation, in allowing
special and local sympathy to act upon me, instead of the great logic of
historical truths--if I could have allowed myself to act in that line of
sympathy which would have bound me to my countrymen, I should have felt
I had belied the truth of history as well as, I believe, the foundation
of general morality. [Great applause.]

Therefore, gentlemen, I have little individual merit for whatever I may
have said upon that matter. I tell you that that was the calculation,
the best calculation of my own mind, that it was the simple result of
the deduction of my own reasoning [applause], and if you have shown me
gratitude on this matter I will not say that I have not felt in a
certain sense it was not deserved, from the motives I have alluded to.
And if, as some cynic has said, gratitude is nothing whatever but the
means of securing favors to come, I can assure you that you have
accomplished your object [laughter and applause], and if you have
desired that, in any means which Providence has placed in my power, in
any influence direct or indirect which I may exert, I shall speak as I
have spoken and think as I have thought of the United States of America,
you may be well sure that I will do so. [Applause.]

On another occasion when I have been kindly received, I have spoken of
my literary sympathy with this country. Every Englishman rightly looks
to this country as he would with a sense of appeal to posterity. He
feels that if he has said anything, if he has written anything, if he
has touched any chord, if he has struck even any verbal assurance that
pleases mankind, if you take it up you pass it on; it does not go from
tongue to tongue in the little distant Anglia of Europe.

I recognize that I have met in this country men whom I shall be glad to
meet anywhere and with whose familiarity I have been honored. And I
might say this, that if I were to compare the best men that I have met
here with the best men that I have known in Europe, I should say simply
this, that the men that I have found here seem to me as equal to the
circumstances in which they have been placed, as intelligent in all
their relations of life, as noble in their innermost impulses, as just
in their expressions, as any I have ever met with in my intercourse with
people in Europe. [Applause.] I have been honored with the familiarity
of many distinguished men, I have been received with great kindness by
your intelligent and able President. I had the fortune, the other day,
to sit by the deathbed of that amiable, honest man, your Vice-President
[Henry Wilson], in the Capitol at Washington, dying under the portrait
of Jefferson. I have seen some of your able men with whom I have been
intimate in Europe, and one whom you will allow me to mention above all
others, a man whose career I witnessed during the great and stormy times
of your troubles in England--Charles Francis Adams [long
applause]--whose maintenance of your dignity was concurrent with a sense
of the importance of good relations between England and America.

Gentlemen, next year you will celebrate your Centennial, and I have been
kindly asked by every person who wished me good-bye to come back to this
Centennial. [Laughter.] As for the Centennial itself, I have no
particular inclination to come back. I think it is quite right you
should have your Centennial, but I do not quite see what an Englishman
has to do with it. [Long laughter and applause.] It is a thing which a
philosopher might almost make the foundation of a theory, that you who
are going to have this magnificent celebration of the one hundredth year
of your liberation from the horrible rule of England, at the same time
accompany it with the warmest feelings toward the British nation.
[Laughter and applause.] Now, if you will clearly understand that this
Centennial is to be your last celebration of this kind, and that from
that moment you become part of the great community of Europe, then I say
it will be a very useful celebration and one which all the world will be
ready to honor. Celebrating your independence, you call it. A very noble
act at a very noble time! Your repulsion was fully justified by the
folly and the stupidity and the ignorance of England.

The causes of England and America are not different, but common to both.
You have your own local difficulties, just as we have. You have your own
religious difficulties, just as we have. Take a single instance. The
question of local taxation--a very serious question with you, a question
agitated in the great States. That question is one of the greatest
importance that we are at this moment discussing in politics. It is a
matter of great interest to us whether local taxation should be
entrusted and commissioned to a body of persons specially appointed for
that purpose by the Crown, or whether it should be entrusted to certain
persons selected by the people. That will be one of the most important
questions we shall have to consider in the next session or two of
Parliament. It is said that there is great profusion, great waste, in
our present arrangement of those matters, and that if our local
expenditure were conducted by persons specially appointed for that
purpose, it would be cheaper. I don't say more honestly, but more
economically managed. This is a question that you are agitating at the
present moment, and one that affects the politics of your great cities.

Take again railroads. It is a question whether the railroad should be in
the hands of the State or of private companies. We are talking about it
every day. Our interest in rapid transit has been very much the same as
yours. Our rapid transit has not only gone over certain unfortunate
persons who stood in the way, but it has gone over ruined hopes and
prostrated energies. There is hardly a question that I see agitated in
American newspapers that, in one form or another, is not agitated with
us. The act of Parliament which restored to England specie payments was
met with exactly the same argument, exactly the same controversy,
exactly the same speciousness as meet you in this country. We have
followed you on the matter of popular education. You have been our
teachers in that branch. We are at present following in your footsteps.



[Speech of Julia Ward Howe at the breakfast in celebration of the
  seventieth birthday of Oliver Wendell Holmes, given by the publishers
  of the "Atlantic Monthly," Boston, Mass., December 3, 1879. Mrs. Howe
  sat at the right of Mr. Howells, then the editor of the "Atlantic,"
  who presided at one end of the tables, with Mr. Emerson on his left.
  Dr. Holmes sat on the right of Mr. Houghton, who presided at the other
  end of the table, with Mrs. Stowe on his left. Mrs. Howe was called up
  by the toast, "The girls we have not left behind us."]

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:--One word in courtesy I must say in
replying to so kind a mention as that which is made, not only of me, but
of those of my sex who are so happy as to be present here to-day. I
think, in looking on this scene, of a certain congress which took place
in Paris more than a year ago, and it was called a congress of literary
people, _gens de lettres_. When I heard that this was to take place I
immediately bestirred myself to attend its sittings and went at once to
the headquarters to find how I might do so. I then learned to my great
astonishment that no women were to be included among these _gens de
lettres_, that is, literary people. [Laughter.] Now, we have thought it
a very modest phrase sometimes to plead that, whatever women may not be,
they are people. [Laughter and applause.] And it would seem to-day that
they are recognized as literary people, and I am very glad that you
gentlemen have found room for the sisterhood to-day, and have found room
to place them so numerously here, and I must say that to my eyes the
banquet looks very much more cheerful than it would without them.
[Applause.] It looks to me as though it had all blossomed out under a
new social influence, and beside each dark stem I see a rose. [Laughter
and applause.] But I must say at once that I came here entirely
unprovided with a speech, and, not dreaming of one, yet I came provided
with something. I considered myself invited as a sort of
grandmother--indeed, I am, and I know a grandmother is usually expected
to have something in her pocket. [Laughter and applause.] And I have a
very modest tribute to the illustrious person whom we are met to-day to
honor. With your leave I will read it. [Applause.]

    Thou metamorphic god!
  Who mak'st the straight Olympus thy abode,
    Hermes to subtle laughter moving,
    Apollo with serener loving,
  Thou demi-god also!
  Who dost all the powers of healing know;
    Thou hero who dost wield
    The golden sword and shield,--
  Shield of a comprehensive mind,
  And sword to wound the foes of human kind;

    Thou man of noble mould!
    Whose metal grows not cold
  Beneath the hammer of the hurrying years;
    A fiery breath doth blow
    Across its fervid glow,
  And still its resonance delights our ears;

    Loved of thy brilliant mates,
    Relinquished to the fates,
  Whose spirit music used to chime with thine,
    Transfigured in our sight,
    Not quenched in death's dark night,
  They hold thee in companionship divine.

    O autocratic muse!
    Soul-rainbow of all hues,
  Packed full of service are thy bygone years;
    Thy winged steed doth fly
    Across the starry sky,
  Bearing the lowly burthens of thy tears.

    I try this little leap,
    Wishing that from the deep,
  I might some pearl of song adventurous bring.
    Despairing, here I stop,
    And my poor offering drop,--
  Why stammer I when thou art here to sing?



[Speech of Clark Howell at the Peace Jubilee Banquet in Chicago, October
  19, 1898, in response to the toast, "Our Reunited Country: North and

my State, in a county remote from the quickening touch of commerce, and
railroads and telegraphs--so far removed that the sincerity of its
rugged people flows unpolluted from the spring of nature--two
vine-covered mounds, nestling in the solemn silence of a country
churchyard, suggest the text of my response to the sentiment to which I
am to speak to-night. A serious text, Mr. Toastmaster, for an occasion
like this, and yet out of it there is life and peace and hope and
prosperity, for in the solemn sacrifice of the voiceless grave can the
chiefest lesson of the Republic be learned, and the destiny of its real
mission be unfolded. So bear with me while I lead you to the
rust-stained slab, which for a third of a century--since
Chickamauga--has been kissed by the sun as it peeped over the Blue
Ridge, melting the tears with which the mourning night had bedewed the

 "Here lies a Confederate soldier.
      He died for his country."

The September day which brought the body of this mountain hero to that
home among the hills which had smiled upon his infancy, been gladdened
by his youth, and strengthened by his manhood, was an ever memorable one
with the sorrowing concourse of friends and neighbors who followed his
shot-riddled body to the grave. And of that number no man gainsaid the
honor of his death, lacked full loyalty to the flag for which he fought,
or doubted the justice of the cause for which he gave his life.

Thirty-five years have passed; another war has called its roll of
martyrs; again the old bell tolls from the crude latticed tower of the
settlement church; another great pouring of sympathetic humanity, and
this time the body of a son, wrapped in the stars and stripes, is
lowered to its everlasting rest beside that of the father who sleeps in
the stars and bars.

There were those there who stood by the grave of the Confederate hero
years before, and the children of those were there, and of those present
no one gainsaid the honor of the death of this hero of El Caney, and
none were there but loved, as patriots alone can love, the glorious flag
that enshrines the people of a common country as it enshrouds the form
that will sleep forever in its blessed folds. And on this tomb will be

 "Here lies the son of a Confederate soldier.
      He died for his country."

And so it is that between the making of these two graves human hands and
human hearts have reached a solution of the vexed problem that has
baffled human will and human thought for three decades. Sturdy sons of
the South have said to their brothers of the North that the people of
the South had long since accepted the arbitrament of the sword to which
they had appealed. And likewise the oft-repeated message has come back
from the North that peace and good will reigned, and that the wounds of
civil dissension were but as sacred memories. Good fellowship was wafted
on the wings of commerce and development from those who had worn the
blue to those who had worn the gray. Nor were these messages delivered
in vain, for they served to pave the way for the complete and absolute
elimination of the line of sectional differences by the only process by
which such a result was possible. The sentiment of the great majority of
the people of the South was rightly spoken in the message of the
immortal Hill, and in the burning eloquence of Henry Grady--both
Georgians--the record of whose blessed work for the restoration of peace
between the sections becomes a national heritage, and whose names are
stamped in enduring impress upon the affection of the people of the

And yet there were still those among us who believed your course was
polite, but insincere, and those among you who assumed that our
professed attitude was sentimental and unreal. Bitterness had departed,
and sectional hate was no more, but there were those who feared, even if
they did not believe, that between the great sections of our greater
government there was not the perfect faith and trust and love that both
professed; that there was want of the faith that made the American
Revolution a successful possibility; that there was want of the trust
that crystallized our States into the original Union; that there was
lack of the love that bound in unassailable strength the united
sisterhood of States that withstood the shock of Civil War. It is true
this doubt existed to a greater degree abroad than at home. But to-day
the mist of uncertainty has been swept away by the sunlight of events,
and there, where doubt obscured before stands in bold relief, commanding
the admiration of the whole world, the most glorious type of united
strength and sentiment and loyalty known to the history of nations.

Out of the chaos of that civil war had risen a new nation, mighty in the
vastness of its limitless resources, the realities within its reach
surpassing the dreams of fiction, and eclipsing the fancy of fable--a
new nation, yet rosy in the flesh, with the bloom of youth upon its
cheeks and the gleam of morning in its eyes. No one questioned that
commercial and geographic union had been effected. So had Rome re-united
its faltering provinces, maintaining the limit of its imperial
jurisdiction by the power of commercial bonds and the majesty of the
sword, until in its very vastness it collapsed. The heart of its people
did not beat in unison. Nations may be made by the joining of hands, but
the measure of their real strength and vitality, like that of the human
body, is in the heart. Show me the country whose people are not at heart
in sympathy with its institutions, and the fervor of whose patriotism is
not bespoken in its flag, and I will show you a ship of state which is
sailing in shallow waters, toward unseen eddies of uncertainty, if not
to the open rocks of dismemberment.

Whence was the proof to come, to ourselves as well as to the world, that
we were being moved once again by a common impulse, and by the same
heart that inspired and gave strength to the hands that smote the
British in the days of the Revolution, and again at New Orleans; that
made our ships the masters of the seas; that placed our flag on
Chapultepec, and widened our domain from ocean to ocean? How was the
world to know that the burning fires of patriotism, so essential to
national glory and achievement, had not been quenched by the blood
spilled by the heroes of both sides of the most desperate struggle known
in the history of civil wars? How was the doubt that stood, all
unwilling, between outstretched hands and sympathetic hearts, to be, in
fact, dispelled?

If from out the caldron of conflict there arose this doubt, only from
the crucible of war could come the answer. And, thank God, that answer
has been made in the record of the war, the peaceful termination of
which we celebrate to-night. Read it in every page of its history; read
it in the obliteration of party and sectional lines in the congressional
action which called the nation to arms in the defence of prostrate
liberty, and for the extension of the sphere of human freedom; read it
in the conduct of the distinguished Federal soldier who, as the chief
executive of this great Republic,[9] honors this occasion by his
presence to-night, and whose appointments in the first commissions
issued after war had been declared made manifest the sincerity of his
often repeated utterances of complete sectional reconciliation and the
elimination of sectional lines in the affairs of government. Differing
with him, as I do, on party issues, utterly at variance with the views
of his party on economic problems, I sanction with all my heart the
obligation that rests on every patriotic citizen to make party second to
country, and in the measure that he has been actuated by this broad and
patriotic policy he will receive the plaudits of the whole people: "Well
done, good and faithful servant."

Portentous indeed have been the developments of the past six months; the
national domain has been extended far into the Caribbean Sea on the
south, and to the west it is so near the mainland of Asia that we can
hear grating of the process which is grinding the ancient celestial
empire into pulp for the machinery of civilization and of progress.

In a very short while the last page of this war will have been written,
except for the effect it will have on the future. Our flag now floats
over Porto Rico, a part of Cuba, and Manila. It must soon bespeak our
sovereignty over the island of Luzon, or possibly over the whole
Philippine group. It will, ere long, from the staff on Havana's Morro,
cast its shadow on the sunken and twisted frame of the Maine--a grim
reminder of the vengeance that awaits any nation that lays unholy hands
on an American citizen or violates any sacred American right. It has
drawn from an admiring world unstinted applause for the invincible army,
that under tropic suns, despite privations and disease, untrained but
undismayed, has swept out of their own trenches and routed from their
own battlements, like chaff before the wind, the trained forces of a
formidable power. It has bodily stripped the past of lustre and
defiantly challenged the possibilities of the future in the
accomplishment of a matchless navy, whose deeds have struck the universe
with consternation and with wonder.

But speaking as a Southerner and an American, I say that this has been
as naught compared to the greatest good this war has accomplished.
Drawing alike from all sections of the Union for her heroes and her
martyrs, depending alike upon north, south, east and west for her
glorious victories, and weeping with sympathy with the widows and the
stricken mothers wherever they may be, America, incarnated spirit of
liberty, stands again to-day the holy emblem of a household in which the
children abide in unity, equality, love and peace. The iron sledge of
war that rent asunder the links of loyalty and love has welded them
together again. Ears that were deaf to loving appeals for the burial of
sectional strife have listened and believed when the muster guns have
spoken. Hearts that were cold to calls for trust and sympathy have
awakened to loving confidence in the baptism of their blood.

Drawing inspiration from the flag of our country, the South has shared
not only the dangers, but the glories of the war. In the death of brave
young Bagley at Cardenas, North Carolina furnished the first blood in
the tragedy. It was Victor Blue of South Carolina, who, like the Swamp
Fox of the Revolution, crossed the fiery path of the enemy at his
pleasure, and brought the first official tidings of the situation as it
existed in Cuba. It was Brumby, a Georgia boy, the flag lieutenant of
Dewey, who first raised the stars and stripes over Manila. It was
Alabama that furnished Hobson--glorious Hobson--who accomplished two
things the Spanish navy never yet has done--sunk an American ship, and
made a Spanish man-of-war securely float.

The South answered the call to arms with its heart, and its heart goes
out with that of the North in rejoicing at the result. The demonstration
lacking to give the touch of life to the picture has been made. The open
sesame that was needed to give insight into the true and loyal hearts
both North and South has been spoken. Divided by war, we are united as
never before by the same agency, and the union is of hearts as well as

The doubter may scoff, and the pessimist may croak, but even they must
take hope at the picture presented in the simple and touching incident
of eight Grand Army veterans, with their silvery heads bowed in
sympathy, escorting the lifeless body of the Daughter of the Confederacy
from Narragansett to its last, long rest at Richmond.

When that great and generous soldier, U. S. Grant, gave back to Lee,
crushed, but ever glorious, the sword he had surrendered at Appomattox,
that magnanimous deed said to the people of the South: "You are our
brothers." But when the present ruler of our grand republic on awakening
to the condition of war that confronted him, with his first commission
placed the leader's sword in the hands of those gallant confederate
commanders, Joe Wheeler and Fitzhugh Lee, he wrote between the lines in
living letters of everlasting light the words: "There is but one people
of this Union, one flag alone for all."

The South, Mr. Toastmaster, will feel that her sons have been well
given, that her blood has been well spilled, if that sentiment is to be
indeed the true inspiration of our nation's future. God grant it may be
as I believe it will.



[Speech of William Dean Howells, as editor of the "Atlantic Monthly," at
  the dinner given to John Greenleaf Whittier, at Boston, Mass.,
  December 17, 1877, in celebration of the poet's seventieth birthday,
  and in celebration also of the twentieth year of the magazine.]

MONTHLY":--The serious moment has approached which sooner or later
arrives at most banquets of the dinner-giving Anglo-Saxon race--a moment
when each commensal, like the pampered sacrifice of the Aztecs, suddenly
feels that the joys which have flattered him into forgetfulness of his
fate are at an end, and that he must now gird himself for expiation. It
is ordinarily a moment when the unprepared guest abandons himself to
despair, and when even the more prophetic spirit finds memory forsaking
it, or the treacherous ideas committed to paper withering away till the
manuscript in the breast-pocket rustles sere and sad as the leaves of
autumn. But let no one at this table be under a fearful apprehension.
This were to little purpose an image of the great republic of letters,
if the mind of any citizen might be invaded, and his right to hold his
peace denied. Any gentleman being called upon and having nothing to say,
can make his silent bow and sit down again without disfavor; he may even
do so with a reasonable hope of applause. Reluctant orators, therefore,
who are chafing under the dread of being summoned to stand and deliver
an extorted eloquence, and who have already begun to meditate reprisals
upon the person or the literature of the present speaker, may safely
suspend their preparations; it shall not be his odious duty to molest

We are met, gentlemen, upon the seventieth birthday of a man and poet
whose fame is dear to us all, but whose modesty at first feared too much
the ordeal by praise, to consent to his meeting with us. But he must
soon have felt the futility of trying to stay away, of endeavoring to
class himself with the absent, who are always wrong. There are renowns
to which absence is impossible, and whether he would or no, Whittier
must still have been in every heart. Therefore he is here in person, to
the unbounded pleasure of those assembled to celebrate this day. I will
leave him to the greetings of others, and for my own part will invite
the goldenest silence of his sect to muse a fitting tribute to the verse
in which a brave and beautiful and lofty life is enshrined.

As to the periodical which unites us all, without rivalry, without
jealousy, the publisher has already spoken, and where there is so much
for the editor to say he cannot, perhaps, say too little. For twenty
years it has represented, and may almost be said to have embodied,
American letters. With scarcely an exception, every name known in our
literature has won fame from its pages, or has added lustre to them; and
an intellectual movement, full of a generous life and of a high ideal,
finds its record there in vastly greater measure than in any or all
other places. Its career is not only distinguished among American
periodicals, but upon the whole is unique. It would not be possible, I
think, to point to any other publication of its sort, which so long
retained the allegiance of its great founders, and has added so
constantly so many names of growing repute to its list of writers. Those
who made its renown, as well as those whose renown it has made or is
making, are still its frequent contributors, and even in its latest
years have done some of their best work in it. If from time to time a
valued "Atlantic" writer ceases to appear, he is sure, finally, to
reappear; he cannot even die without leaving it a rich legacy of
manuscript. All young writers are eager to ally their names with the
great memories and presences on its roll of fame; its stamp gives a new
contributor immediate currency; it introduces him immediately into the
best public, the best company, the company of those Boston authors who
first inspired it with the life so vigorous yet. It was not given us all
to be born in Boston, but when we find ourselves in the "Atlantic" we
all seem to suffer a sea-change, an æsthetic renaissance; a livelier
literary conscience stirs in us; we have its fame at heart; we must do
our best for Maga's name as well as for our own hope; we are naturalized
Bostonians in the finest and highest sense. With greater reverence and
affection than we can express, we younger and youngest writers for the
Atlantic regard the early contributors whom we are so proud and glad to
meet here, and it is with a peculiar sense of my own unworthiness that I
salute them, and join the publishers in welcoming them to this board.

I know very well the difference between an author whom the "Atlantic"
has floated and an author who has floated the "Atlantic," and confronted
with this disparity I have only an official courage in turning to invoke
the poet, the wit, the savant whose invention gave the "Atlantic" its
name, and whose genius has prospered an adventurous enterprise. If I did
not name him I am sure the common consciousness would summon Dr. Holmes
to his feet. I have felt authorized to hail the perpetual autocrat of
all the "Breakfast Tables" as the chief author of the "Atlantic's"
success, by often hearing the first editor of the magazine assert the
fact. This generous praise of his friend--when in a good cause was his
praise ever stinted?--might be spoken without fear that his own part
would be forgotten. His catholic taste, his subtle sense of beauty, his
hearty sympathy and sterling weight of character gave the magazine an
impress which it has been the highest care to his successors to keep
clear and bright. He imparted to it above all that purpose which I hope
is forever inseparable from it, when in his cordial love of good
literature he stretched a welcoming grasp of recognition to every young
writer, East, West, North, or South, who gave promise of good work.
Remembering his kindness in those days to one young writer, very
obscure, very remote (whose promise still waits fulfilment), I must not
attempt to praise him, lest grateful memories lead me into forbidden
paths of autobiography; but when I name Mr. Lowell I am sure you will
all look for some response to Mr. Charles Eliot Norton, a contributor
whose work gave peculiar quality and worth to the numbers of the
magazine, and whose presence here is a grateful reminder of one with
whom he has been so long bound in close ties of amity.



[Speech of Henry E. Howland at a banquet given by the Chamber of
  Commerce of the State of New York, April 28, 1893, to the Officers of
  foreign and United States vessels escorting the Spanish caravels to
  the harbor of New York City. The President of the Chamber of Commerce,
  Alexander E. Orr, in introducing Judge Howland, said: "Gentlemen, our
  next toast is 'Russia' and will be responded to by the Hon. Henry E.

MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN:--The pleasing duty is assigned me
of recognizing the largest and one of the famous powers of Europe,
accompanied by the suggestion that my time is limited. The situation is
like that of the clergyman who was sent for in great haste by a man who
was very ill, and thought the end was approaching. He said to the
minister, when he arrived: "I have been a great sinner, I am pretty
sick, and I am afraid my time is short, and I want you to pray with me.
You must be brief but fervent." [Laughter.]

Most of us who sit at this table, judging from the opportunities I have
had of hearing them discourse, fulfil the requirement of Mr. Disraeli's
great traveller in that they have seen more than they have remembered
and remembered more than they have seen. [Laughter.] But I doubt if in
all their experiences they ever sat in a more genial and attractive
company than this. We have here in this year of peace the chosen
representatives of ten nations, with all the romance of the sea, the
splendid histories and traditions of their countries, and their own
personal distinction and fame to make them welcome and interesting.

Already have you conquered the land, and from the time you effected a
lodgment at Fortress Monroe until you are hull down on the horizon, on
your homeward voyages, your progress will prove to have been a
triumphant march into the hearts and homes of the people. [Applause.]
You have stores of wisdom and most agreeable experiences to accumulate.
Judging from press reports you may have thought you met a fair type of
the girls of America at Hampton Roads. [Laughter.] Wait till the
wonderful resources of this country in this its richest and unparalleled
product are spread before you. [Laughter.] Then you will not wonder at
the mysterious power of Helen of Troy, who set nations by the ears, or
the fascination of the Queen of the Nile, who made heroes forget their
duty and their homes. If you should take any for themselves, alone, we
should commend your choice, and though parting with them reluctantly,
should wish you God-speed. But if their money should be your object we
are just now objecting to the exportation of gold and trying to maintain
our reserves. [Laughter.]

Whatever your nationality, you will find a large and prosperous
contingent of it in this city, the majority of whose municipal officers,
however, belong to that race which looks to Mr. Gladstone as its
saviour, and believes that when an Irishman dies it's because there is
an angel short. [Great laughter.] You will find here a wonderful power
of brag which develops as you seek the setting sun. Some inquiring
spirits will be moved to ask you what you think of this country, and, if
you visit the World's Fair some adventurous person may ask your opinion
of Chicago. It is needless to say that a favorable opinion cannot be too
highly colored, and if tinted with vermilion, will conduce to the
pleasure of your stay. [Laughter.] You will have little opportunity to
admire the wonders of our natural scenery save at Niagara. You will be
able to appreciate the reply of an American Naval officer to an English
friend in Italy when each had been maintaining the superiority of his
own country. Finally the grand spectacle of Mount Vesuvius in eruption,
throwing its brilliant rays across the Bay of Naples, burst upon their
astonished gaze.

"Now, look at that," said the Englishman. "You haven't got anything in
America that comes anywhere near that."

"No," replied the Yankee, "we haven't got Vesuvius, but we have got a
waterfall that could put that thing out in less than five minutes."

At Chicago your professional instinct will lead you to admire the
magnificent turreted battleship which, in consequence of a convention
with England that neither shall maintain a fleet upon the Great Lakes,
is built upon piles, and of such substantial material that there are
fears it cannot withstand the atmospheric concussion from the fire of
the big Krupp gun. But I need not rehearse the experiences to come. You
would weary in their telling. We shall keep you as long as possible and
be loath to part with you. And if we have our way, your experience will
be like that of the old lady, who was travelling on the underground
railroad in London. Just as they were approaching a station, she said to
a gentleman, in the compartment with her: "Will you assist me to alight
at this station, sir? I am, as you see, rather stout, and I have a
physical infirmity which makes it necessary for me to step out
backwards, and every time I try to get out the guard bundles me back
into the car, shouts 'All aboard,' shuts the door, and I have gone
around this line three times already." [Great laughter.]

At this gate of the continent we begin the pageant of the Columbian
Exposition. By the cruel irony of fate the promoters and sponsor of this
great display cannot have any hand in the Fair. The Spaniards have a
proverb that you can't at the same time ring the bell and be in the
procession [laughter]; and although you can make Chicago a seaport by
Act of Congress, you cannot get a fleet of six thousand ton ironclads
over 1,000 miles of land, even on the Chicago Limited, or the Empire
Express. [Laughter.] And so we New Yorkers appropriate this as our
private, peculiar, particular Exhibition; as Touchstone says, "A poor
thing, sir, but our own."

It is not given to many men in their experience to see such a sight as
is now spread before us on the waters of the harbor of New York. The
might and majesty of the great nations of the earth are here represented
in their fleets which typify the country afloat, as the valor, the
ability and the distinction of their officers represent that of their
peoples. Former antagonists here float side by side; peace broods over
the armored sides of battleships and the feverish lips of their guns
speak only salutes of friendship and courtesy. It is a pity that it is
not always so.

Among the flags that float from the mastheads of the fleet in yonder
harbor there is one--the blue St. Andrew's Cross--that represents an
empire of over 8,000,000 square miles, of more diversified races than
any other in Europe; that reaches from the Baltic to the Pacific--from
the Arctic to the Black Sea; that receives the allegiance of 103,000,000
of people, and from its great white throne on the shores of the Gulf of
Finland directs the destinies of its subjects and shapes the policy of
Europe. [Applause.]

That flag is not unfamiliar in these waters. In the battle summer of
1863--thirty years ago--while we were engaged in a life-and-death
struggle for national existence and the preservation of the Union, it
floated over the fleet of Admiral Lissoffski in this harbor--a signal of
friendship, encouragement and protection against foreign interference,
pending the settlement of the issues of our Civil War. No diplomatic
declaration was made, no threat was uttered, no sign was given; we only
knew the flag was there, and if it meant anything, that the power of one
of the mightiest nations of Europe was behind it. We now know from what
it saved us:--

 "When darkness hid the starry skies,
    In war's long winter night,
  One ray still cheered our straining eyes,
    The far-off Northern Light."

No American who loves his country can forget that incident in our hour
of agony, nor the friendly significance of that flag. It was an American
captain who used the expression which has become historic, when he went
to the relief of his English brother-in-arms at the storming of the
Pei-Ho forts, that "blood is thicker than water," and while it courses
in the veins of a loyal American, he will remember with grateful
appreciation the sympathy and the moral support, more powerful than
armed battalions or cruisers, of Alexander II, who, like our Lincoln,
freed his serfs, and like him, while serving his people, fell by the
hand of an assassin.

Gentlemen, who serve His Imperial Majesty the Czar, we salute you and
your flag under whatever skies or on whatever sea it floats. We remind
you that we are not ungrateful. The best we have is yours; the Nation
presents arms as you pass in review, and as our borders approach each
other in the frozen zone so when we meet you here:--

 "Though our hearts were dry as the shell on the sand,
    They would fill like the goblet I hold in my hand."

 "Bleak are our shores in the blast of December,
    Fettered and chill is the rivulet's flow,
  Throbbing and warm are the hearts that remember
    Who was our friend when the world was our foe.

 "Fires of the North, in eternal communion
    Blend your broad flashes with evening's bright star,
  God bless the Empire that loves our great Union!
    Strength to her people! Long life to the Czar!"

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of Henry E. Howland, President of the New England Society in the
  City of New York, at their ninety-fourth annual dinner, New York,
  December 22, 1899.]

duty to receive this weary, way-worn band of Pilgrims upon the occasion
of their 279th landing upon these bleak and arid shores, and, like
Samoset on the occasion of your first arrival, to welcome you to the
scanty fare and the privations and sufferings that are incident to this
ledge of the old Plymouth Rock. [Applause.]

The traditions of the early entertainment of Massasoit and his warriors
at Plymouth, lasting several days, to cement a friendship which was
never broken, when heavy drafts were made upon the little stock of New
England rum, imported Hollands, bear's meat and Indian corn, have here
been renewed to such an extent that, like them, we doubtless feel that
the "earth is ours and the fulness thereof." [Laughter.] Though, if
Plymouth Rock and the Waldorf-Astoria are synonymous terms for fulness,
we should think that the latter was the more synonymous of the two.
[Laughter.] The surroundings of the two occasions may differ--velvet
carpets, groaning tables, genial temperature and electric lights are an
excellent substitute for log floors, a restricted larder, the icy chill
and the winter stars. The grim, stern Pilgrim with the austere face and
peaked hat, and the lean, wild, loping Indian are here supplanted by a
company whose well-rounded figures and genial faces reflect the
assurance of the possession of sky-scraping buildings, pipe lines,
through lines, warehouses, well-stuffed deposit vaults and comfortable
bank accounts [laughter], upon whom smile from the boxes the blessings
which, like those of Providence, come from above [applause] and cause us
to echo the sentiment unconsciously expressed by the lady who was
distributing tracts in the streets of London. She handed one to a
cabman; he glanced at it, handed it back, touched his hat and politely
said: "Thank you, lady, I am a married man." [Laughter.] She looked
nervously at the title, which was, "Abide with me" [laughter], and
hurriedly departed. Under this inspiration we agree with the proverb of
the Eastern sage: "To be constant in love to one is good; to be constant
to many is great." [Laughter.] But we must remember, while the critical
eyes of our households are upon us, that our halos will never be too
small for our heads. [Laughter.]

Under these favoring conditions we celebrate the glories of our
ancestors, the unparalleled results of their achievements, and
ourselves. I hope you will find that the only defect in my perfunctory
remarks as the presiding officer will be their brevity.

Remembering some past occurrences on occasions like this, we agree with
the pupil who was asked by his teacher, "What is the meaning of
elocution?" and he answered: "It is the way people are put to death in
some States." [Laughter.] But with this array of speakers before you,
full of unwonted possibilities, you will not wonder if I feel like the
undertaker in Sixth Avenue who displayed a sign in his window: "It is a
pleasure to show goods." [Laughter.]

The Society has shared in the all-pervading prosperity which illumines
the land with a prospect of its indefinite continuance. It numbers 1,504
members, and its invested funds aggregate the sum of $108,750. It has
been liberal in its charitable contributions; it has resisted all
attempts like those made against some of our large life insurance
companies to compel it to distribute its surplus [laughter], and,
refuting the statement of Lord Chief Justice Coleridge, who said that
the "chief duty of trustees was to commit judicious breaches of trust,"
it has imitated the stern integrity of that bank cashier who upon a warm
day sat down on the neighborly side of a sheet of postage stamps, and
had to go home and make a change of clothing before he could get his
books to balance. [Laughter.] And, taking warning from the slogan of the
Bryanized Democracy, which caused a quotation from a message of one of
our modern statesmen that "a public office is a public trust," to be met
with the cry "Down with the trusts," our treasurer carefully avoids
handling United States nickels, for they bear the motto "In God We
Trust," and the Society might be met with the same attack and come into
disrepute on that account. [Laughter.]

In these days, when the Populist, fusionist, and demagogue is
endeavoring, like Mrs. Partington, to sweep back the ocean tide of
prosperity with a broom, clogging the wheels of industry and seeking by
legislative enactment to reverse the laws of nature and of political
economy, which are immutable by Divine decree, we can commend to them
the answer of an examiner of a young man who applied for admission to
the bar. He failed utterly in questions upon contracts, partnership,
corporation law, commercial paper and real estate, and was told so.
"Well," he said, "won't you try me on the statutes? I am pretty strong
on them." "Well, what's the use," the examiner replied, "when some d--n
fool Legislature may repeal all you know." [Laughter and applause.]

Forty-seven members have died during the year. The list is entirely made
up of men distinguished in all the pursuits of life--who wrote their
names in bright characters upon the history of the City and State, and
whose memory will always remain as a precious legacy and an example to
those who succeed them. Fourteen had passed the Psalmist's limit of
life, and nine had passed their eightieth year. In it are enrolled the
names of William H. Appleton, the honored head of the great publishing
firm known wherever the English language is spoken, to whose reputation
he contributed so much by his clear intelligence, breadth of views and
spotless character.

Isaac H. Bailey, for several years the President of this Society, an
honorable merchant and a trusted public officer.

William Dowd, the treasurer of the Society for fifteen years;
distinguished in finance and the management of large corporate
interests, and endeared to a host of friends by the charm of his genial

Gen. George S. Greene, the oldest living graduate of the West Point
Military Academy, who rendered valiant and distinguished service on many
battle-fields of the Civil War, who was the faithful and efficient head
of the Croton Aqueduct Board for many years; was represented in the
military service of his country by several distinguished sons and, until
his death, in his ninety-eighth year, retained all his faculties
undimmed--a soldier and a citizen of whom his country was justly proud.

Roswell P. Flower, an honored Governor of this State, eminent as a
philanthropist and financier, a leader among strong men.

William H. Webb, a pioneer shipbuilder, with a name famous wherever
American commerce extended, a rugged, iron man who stood four square to
all the winds of heaven, generous and tender-hearted as a child, who for
forty-five years never failed in his attendance at the dinners of this
Society, and who left a reputation for philanthropy and public spirit
unsurpassed in this city of generous giving.

John G. Moore, John Brooks, Edward H. R. Lyman, Edward A. Quintard, Dr.
Charles Inslee Pardee, and all the others to whom the limit of time will
not allow a tribute worthy of their honorable lives and work.

We do well to recall upon such occasions as this, as an inspiration, the
story of the emigration of our Pilgrim ancestors to America, involving,
as it does, the whole modern development, diffusion and organization of
English liberty, which lives and breathes and burns in legend and in
song. It is unparalleled in the annals of the world, in the majesty of
its purpose and the poverty of its means, the weakness of the beginning
and the grandeur of the result. It is unparalleled in classic or modern
history, in its exhibition of courage, patience, persistence,
steadfastness in devotion to principle. Beginning with the hasty flight
from Lincolnshire to Holland, the peaceful life in exile, the perilous
ocean voyage in a crazy craft in mid-winter, the frail settlement at
Plymouth--a shred of the most tenacious life in Europe--floating over
the waste of waters and clinging on the bleakest edge of America, beset
by Indians, wild beasts and disease, starving, frozen and dying, remote
from succor and beyond the knowledge of their kin, like a seed from the
Old World floated to the New by ocean currents, containing the elements
which, like the mustard seed, should yield a hundred fold and overspread
and dominate a continent, until the prophecy familiar to the Pilgrims
should be fulfilled: "The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose,
a little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a great nation."

The Archbishop and Ministers of King James, who drove these men and the
26,000 who followed them, the flower of the English Puritans, from
England, like Louis XIV, when he sent the Huguenots into exile by the
revocation of the Edict of Nantes, furnished an example to that master
of the school where the Eton system of flogging prevailed. On a Saturday
morning the delinquents were called up to be flogged. One of the boys
inquired, "What am I to be punished for, sir?" "I don't know, but your
name is down on the list, and I shall have to go through with it," and
the flogging was administered. The boy made such a fuss that the master
looked over the list on his return to his rooms, to see whether he had
made a mistake, and found that he had whipped the confirmation class.

They brought the foundation of a free people, they converted the
wilderness of a continent, they established the New England home, rich
only in piety, education, liberty, industry and character, from which
has gone out the best inspiration of the Republic they forecast.

There have been times in the later history of the country when the
Puritan was not altogether popular, and the feeling entertained toward
him and his descendants was expressed like that at a Liberal meeting in
Scotland, where the proceedings were being opened by prayer, and the
reverend gentleman prayed fervently that "the Liberals might hang a'
thegither." He was interrupted by a loud and irreverent "Amen" from the
back of the hall. "Not, O Lord," went on the clergyman, "in the sense
which that profane scoffer would have ye to understand, but that they
may hang thegither in accord and concord." "I dinna care so much what
kind of a cord it is," struck in the voice, "sae lang as it is a strong
cord." [Laughter.]

Fortunately for them, and perhaps for the world, opinions differed
enough to give them a chance. "You can't always tell," said a man, at
the end of a discussion, "what one's neighbors think of him." "I came
mighty near knowing once," said a citizen, with a reminiscent look, "but
the jury disagreed." [Laughter.] But with the Puritans, when discussion
ceased and other arguments began, the result was like that when the lady
said to her clergyman, who was paying her an afternoon call, of her
little boy, who bore the marks of a struggle: "Johnny has been a bad
little boy to-day; he has been fighting and has got a black eye." "So I
see," said the clergyman. "Come into the next room with me, Johnny, and
I will pray with you." "You had better go home and pray with your own
little boy, he has got two black eyes." [Laughter.]

The forty-one families who came in the "Mayflower," and the thousand of
English Puritans who came in the next decade, are not entitled to all
the credit for the development of the country, for there were others of
their kind in Virginia, and, unlike the Boers of the Transvaal, they
gave later comers a show. [Laughter and applause.] The process of
appropriation by one people of a country, even if they are the first
settlers, can be carried too far even for advantage to them or to
inspire credulity in its possibility. A returned traveller, relating his
adventures, said: "The most remarkable experience I ever had occurred a
short time ago in Russia. I was sleighing on the Steppes, miles from my
destination, when, to my horror, I found I was pursued by a pack of
wolves; I fired blindly into the pack, killing one of them, and, to my
relief, saw the others stop to devour him; after doing this, however,
they still came on. I repeated the shot, with the same result, and each
shot gave me an opportunity to whip up my horses. Finally there was only
one wolf left, yet on it came with its fierce eyes glaring in
anticipation of a good hot supper." "Hold on, there," said a man who had
been listening, "by your way of reckoning, that last wolf must have had
the rest of the pack inside of him." [Laughter.] "Well," said the
traveller, "now I remember it, he did wobble a bit." [Laughter.]

It was wise in our forefathers to welcome those who, like them, were
pioneers in the wilderness, to give them equal rights and to assimilate
them into American citizenship. The qualities of which we boast in our
Pilgrim ancestors still linger with their descendants, though among
75,000,000 of people there may not be enough to go around. The
expectation of it would be what Dr. Johnson said of a man who had
married his third wife, as the "triumph of hope over experience."
[Laughter.] But we must, on occasions like this, make some assumptions,
like the lady of whom a friend said: "She puts on a good deal of style
now she has a box at the opera." "Good gracious," said the other lady,
"the woman must put on something when she goes to the opera."

Too many, it is true, deserve to be under the suspicion expressed by the
market-man who was exhibiting his _array_ of "newly-laid eggs, fresh
eggs, and plain eggs," to a young housekeeper, who finally asked, as to
the latter: "Are these eggs really fresh?" "Well, madam," he replied,
"we call them Saturday night eggs; they've tried all the week to be
good." [Laughter.] And we are so compromising and tender in dealing with
doubtful subjects that we follow the advice given to a man who asked how
to tell a bad egg: Well, if you have anything to tell to a bad egg you
had better break it gently. [Laughter.] Some have that kind of a
conscience which was described by a small boy as the thing that makes
you feel sorry when you get found out, and their idea of commercial
integrity was expressed by the man who said, proudly, "At last I can
look the world in the face as an honest man. I owe no one anything; the
last claim against me is outlawed." Some aim high, but from the result
they must have shut their eyes when they fired, and although as a Nation
we pride ourselves upon our common sense, so that we can truly say not
every man is made a fool of, the observer of men and things might say
every man has the raw material in him. [Laughter.]

But seriously speaking, we abate in no degree the claim that the best
traditions of our forefathers have not degenerated in these modern days.
Our hearts beat with a quicker throb at the recollection of the
achievements of these last pregnant years; the eye lights with
enthusiasm at the sight of the flag whose fluttering folds have
witnessed such scenes of danger and inspired such daring deeds, and our
voices shout in unison of acclaim the achievements of what a wondering
African called "the angry Saxon race." [Applause.]

The people have stood for humanity, honesty, order and progress. Its
representatives in civil life have obeyed their behests. The American
Regular has shown in his stern resolve, his self-control, his obedience
to orders, his contempt of danger, that while he leads a forlorn hope in
war, he is the advance guard of liberty and justice, law and order,
peace and happiness. [Applause.]

 "No State'll call him noble son,
    He ain't no lady's pet;
  But let a row start anyhow,
    They'll send for him, you bet.
  He packs his little knapsack up
    And starts off in the van,
  To start the fight, and start it right,
    The Regular Army man."


The gallant officers who, true to the spirit of the service, stood up on
the firing line in Cuba and the Philippines, charging heights, wading
rivers and storming the trenches at the head of their men, have shed new
glory upon the American Army, and none more illustriously than that
splendid soldier, Major-General Henry W. Lawton [prolonged applause],
who, after a distinguished and brilliant service of nearly forty years
in two wars, and continuous Indian fighting, has received the soldier's
summons on the field of battle, and given with his life his last pledge
of devotion to his country. The flag that covers him never shrouded a
finer soldier or a more typical American. [Applause.]

 "Close his eyes; his work is done!
    What to him is friend or foeman,
  Rise of moon or set of sun,
    Hand of man or kiss of woman?

 "As man may he fought his fight,
     Proved his truth by his endeavor--
   Let him sleep in solemn night,
     Sleep forever and forever."

Such men have their counterparts in the very pink and flower of the
chivalry of England, who face their foe standing, and are now charging
full front and fearlessly into the storm of shot and shell that awaits
them, deeming it, in the language of young Hubert Hervey, "a grand thing
to die for the expansion of the Empire." [Applause.]

The pride of England in its navy, is justly matched by that of every
American in his own. [Applause.] Its record, from the days of John Paul
Jones to those of Dewey and Sampson [applause and cheers], is
unsurpassed in the history of the world. During these hundred glorious
years, its whole personnel, from Admiral to blue-jacket, has left upon
the pages of history a shining story, stainless, brilliant and undying,
of honor, skill, devotion and daring that stirs the heart because
inspiring and ennobling. The English poet might justly say:--

 "The spirit of our fathers
    Shall start from every wave;
  For the deck it was their field of fame,
    And ocean was their grave."

And the American can as justly reply:--

 "Know that thy highest dwells at home, there art
    And loyal inspiration spring;
  If thou would'st touch the universal heart,
    Of thine own country sing."

Remembering its glorious past, its happy, peaceful, prosperous
present--for it is the happiest land the sun shines upon--and the
auspicious omens for the bright opening future, I ask you to pledge with
me its representative head, the Commander-in-Chief of its Army and Navy,
the President of the United States. [Toast drunk standing.]



[Speech of Thomas H. Huxley at the annual banquet of the Royal Academy,
  London, May 5, 1883. Sir Frederic Leighton, President of the Academy,
  said in introducing him: "With science I couple the name under which
  we know one of the most fearless, keen and lucid intellects which have
  ever in this country grappled with the problems of natural science and
  set them solved before us, the name of Professor Huxley [cheers], a
  name known far and wide wherever the pregnant science of biology is
  studied, and through the vehicle of other tongues besides that strong
  and trenchant English with which he is wont to strike his thoughts so
  vigorously home."]

GENTLEMEN:--I beg leave to thank you for the extremely kind and
appreciative manner in which you have received the toast of Science. It
is the more grateful to me to hear that toast proposed in an assembly of
this kind, because I have noticed of late years a great and growing
tendency among those who were once jestingly said to have been born in a
pre-scientific age to look upon science as an invading and aggressive
force, which if it had its own way would oust from the universe all
other pursuits. I think there are many persons who look upon this new
birth of our times as a sort of monster rising out of the sea of modern
thought with the purpose of devouring the Andromeda of art. And now and
then a Perseus, equipped with the shoes of swiftness of the ready
writer, with the cap of invisibility of the editorial article, and it
may be with the Medusa-head of vituperation, shows himself ready to try
conclusions with the scientific dragon. Sir, I hope that Perseus will
think better of it [laughter]; first, for his own sake, because the
creature is hard of head, strong of jaw, and for some time past has
shown a great capacity for going over and through whatever comes in his
way; and secondly, for the sake of justice, for I assure you, of my own
personal knowledge that if left alone, the creature is a very debonair
and gentle monster. [Laughter.] As for the Andromeda of art, he has the
tenderest respect for that lady, and desires nothing more than to see
her happily settled and annually producing a flock of such charming
children as those we see about us. [Cheers.]

But putting parables aside, I am unable to understand how anyone with a
knowledge of mankind can imagine that the growth of science can threaten
the development of art in any of its forms. If I understand the matter
at all, science and art are the obverse and reverse of Nature's medal,
the one expressing the eternal order of things, in terms of feeling, the
other in terms of thought. When men no longer love nor hate; when
suffering causes no pity, and the tale of great deeds ceases to thrill,
when the lily of the field shall seem no longer more beautifully arrayed
than Solomon in all his glory, and the awe has vanished from the
snow-capped peak and deep ravine, then indeed science may have the world
to itself, but it will not be because the monster has devoured art, but
because one side of human nature is dead, and because men have lost the
half of their ancient and present attributes. [Cheers.]



[Speech of Robert G. Ingersoll at the banquet given in New York City,
  April 2, 1891, by the Liederkranz Society to Edmund C. Stanton,
  director of German Opera in New York, and Anton Seidl, orchestral
  conductor. William Steinway presided, and called upon Robert Ingersoll
  to speak to the toast, "Music, Noblest of the Arts."]

MR. TOAST-MASTER:--It is probable that I was selected to speak
about music, because, not knowing one note from another, I have no
prejudice on the subject. All I can say is, that I know what I like,
and, to tell the truth, I like every kind, enjoy it all, from the
hand-organ to the orchestra.

Knowing nothing of the science of music, I am not always looking for
defects, or listening for discords. As the young robin cheerfully
swallows whatever comes, I hear with gladness all that is played.

Music has been, I suppose, a gradual growth, subject to the law of
evolution; as nearly everything, with the possible exception of
theology, has been and is under this law.

Music may be divided into three kinds: First, the music of simple time,
without any particular emphasis--and this may be called the music of the
heels; second, music in which time is varied, in which there is the
eager haste and the delicious delay, that is, the fast and slow, in
accordance with our feelings, with our emotions--and this may be called
the music of the heart; third, the music that includes time and
emphasis, the hastening and the delay, and something in addition, that
produces not only states of feeling, but states of thought. This may be
called the music of the head,--the music of the brain.

Music expresses feeling and thought, without language. It was below and
before speech, and it is above and beyond all words. Beneath the
waves is the sea--above the clouds is the sky.

_ROBERT GREEN INGERSOLL Photogravure after a photograph from life_


Before man found a name for any thought, or thing, he had hopes and
fears and passions, and these were rudely expressed in tones.

Of one thing, however, I am certain, and that is, that Music was born of
love. Had there never been any human affection, there never could have
been uttered a strain of music. Possibly some mother, looking in the
eyes of her babe, gave the first melody to the enraptured air.

Language is not subtle enough, tender enough, to express all that we
feel; and when language fails, the highest and deepest longings are
translated into music. Music is the sunshine--the climate--of the soul,
and it floods the heart with a perfect June.

I am also satisfied that the greatest music is the most marvellous
mingling of Love and Death. Love is the greatest of all passions, and
Death is its shadow. Death gets all its terror from Love, and Love gets
its intensity, its radiance, its glory and its rapture from the darkness
of Death. Love is a flower that grows on the edge of the grave.

The old music, for the most part, expresses emotion, or feeling, through
time and emphasis, and what is known as melody. Most of the old operas
consist of a few melodies connected by unmeaning recitative. There
should be no unmeaning music. It is as though a writer should suddenly
leave his subject and write a paragraph consisting of nothing but a
repetition of one word like "the," "the," "the," or "if," "if," "if,"
varying the repetition of these words, but without meaning,--and then
resume the subject of his article.

I am not saying that great music was not produced before Wagner but I am
simply endeavoring to show the steps that have been taken. It was
necessary that all the music should have been written, in order that the
greatest might be produced. The same is true of the drama. Thousands and
thousands prepared the way for the supreme dramatist, as millions
prepared the way for the supreme composer.

When I read Shakespeare, I am astonished that he has expressed so much
with common words, to which he gives new meaning; and so when I hear
Wagner, I exclaim: Is it possible that all this is done with common

In Wagner's music there is a touch of chaos that suggests the infinite.
The melodies seem strange and changing forms, like summer clouds, and
weird harmonies come like sounds from the sea brought by fitful winds,
and others moan like waves on desolate shores, and mingled with these,
are shouts of joy, with sighs and sobs and ripples of laughter, and the
wondrous voices of eternal love.

Wagner is the Shakespeare of Music.

The funeral march for Siegfried is the funeral music for all the dead.
Should all the gods die, this music would be perfectly appropriate. It
is elemental, universal, eternal.

The love-music in Tristan and Isolde is, like Romeo and Juliet an
expression of the human heart for all time. So the love-duet in "The
Flying Dutchman" has in it the consecration, the infinite self-denial,
of love. The whole heart is given; every note has wings, and rises and
poises like an eagle in the heaven of sound.

When I listen to the music of Wagner, I see pictures, forms, glimpses of
the perfect, the swell of a hip, the wave of a breast, the glance of an
eye. I am in the midst of great galleries. Before me are passing the
endless panoramas. I see vast landscapes with valleys of verdure and
vine with soaring crags, snow-crowned. I am on the wide seas, where
countless billows burst into the whitecaps of joy. I am in the depths of
caverns roofed with mighty crags, while through some rent I see the
eternal stars. In a moment the music becomes a river of melody, flowing
through some wondrous land; suddenly it falls in strange chasms, and the
mighty cataract is changed to seven-hued foam.

Great music is always sad, because it tells us of the perfect; and such
is the difference between what we are and that which music suggests,
that even in the vase of joy we find some tears.

The music of Wagner has color, and when I hear the violins, the morning
seems to slowly come. A horn puts a star above the horizon. The night,
in the purple hum of the bass, wanders away like some enormous bee
across wide fields of dead clover. The light grows whiter as the violins
increase. Colors come from other instruments, and then the full
orchestra floods the world with day.

Wagner seems not only to have given us new tones, new combinations, but
the moment the orchestra begins to play his music, all the instruments
are transfigured. They seem to utter the sounds that they have been
longing to utter. The horns run riot; the drums and cymbals join in the
general joy; the old bass viols are alive with passion; the 'cellos
throb with love; the violins are seized with a divine fury, and the
notes rush out as eager for the air as pardoned prisoners for the roads
and fields.

The music of Wagner is filled with landscapes. There are some strains,
like midnight, thick with constellations, and there are harmonies like
islands in the far seas, and others like palms on the desert's edge. His
music satisfies the heart and brain. It is not only for memory; not only
for the present, but for prophecy.

Wagner was a sculptor, a painter in sound. When he died, the greatest
fountain of melody that ever enchanted the world, ceased. His music will
instruct and refine forever.

All that I know about the operas of Wagner I have learned from Anton
Seidl. I believe that he is the noblest, tenderest and most artistic
interpreter of the great composer that has ever lived.



[Speech of Henry Irving[10] at a banquet given in his honor, London,
  July 4, 1883, in view of his impending departure for a professional
  tour of America. The Lord Chief Justice of England, John Duke
  Coleridge, occupied the chair.]

    [Illustration: _MENU CARD Photogravure after a design by Thompson

    Through the courtesy of the Lotus Club, we are enabled to reproduce
    this typical dinner card, especially drawn and engraved for a
    complimentary banquet to Sir Henry Irving. The original card is
    about three times the size of this reproduction.







conceive a greater honor entering into the life of any man than the
honor you have paid me by assembling here to-night. To look around this
room and scan the faces of my distinguished hosts, would stir to its
depths a colder nature than mine. It is not in my power, my lords and
gentlemen, to thank you for the compliment you have to-night paid me.

 "The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
  Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel."

Never before have I so strongly felt the magic of those words; but you
will remember it is also said in the same sentence, "Give thy thoughts
no tongue." [Laughter.] And gladly, had it been possible, would I have
obeyed that wise injunction to-night. [Renewed laughter.]

The actor is profoundly influenced by precedent, and I cannot forget
that many of my predecessors have been nerved by farewell banquets for
the honor which awaited them on the other side of the Atlantic; but this
occasion I regard as much more than a compliment to myself: I regard it
as a tribute to the art which I am proud to serve and I believe that
feeling will be shared by the profession to which you have assembled to
do honor. [Cheers.] The time has long gone by when there was any need to
apologize for the actor's calling. ["Hear! Hear!"] The world can no
more exist without the drama than it can without its sister art, music.
The stage gives the readiest response to the demand of human nature to
be transported out of itself into the realms of the ideal--not that all
our ideals on the stage are realized--none but the artist knows how
immeasurably he may fall short of his aim or his conception,--but to
have an ideal in art and to strive through one's life to embody it, may
be a passion to the actor as it may be to the poet.

Your lordship has spoken most eloquently of my career. Possessed of a
generous mind and a high judicial faculty, your lordship has been
to-night, I fear, more generous than judicial. But if I have in any way
deserved commendation, I am proud that it was as an actor that I won it.
As the director of a theatre my experience has been short, but as an
actor I have been before the London public for seventeen years; and on
one thing I am sure you will all agree--that no actor or manager has
ever received from that public more generous and ungrudging
encouragement and support. [Cheers.]

Concerning our visit to America, I need hardly say that I am looking
forward to it with no common pleasure. It has often been an ambition
with English actors to gain the good-will of the English-speaking race,
a good-will which is right heartily reciprocated towards our American
fellow-workers, when they gratify us by sojourning here. Your God-speed
would alone assure me a hearty welcome in any land. But I am not going
amongst strangers; I am going amongst friends, and when I, for the first
time, touch American ground, I shall receive many a grip of the hand
from men whose friendship I am proud to possess. [Cheers.] Concerning
our expedition the American people will no doubt exercise an independent
judgment--a prejudice of theirs and a habit of long standing [laughter],
as your lordship has reminded us, by the fact that to-day is the fourth
of July, an anniversary rapidly becoming an English institution. Your
lordship is doubtless aware, as to-night has so happily proved, that the
stage has reckoned amongst its staunchest supporters many great and
distinguished lawyers. There are many lawyers, I am told, in America,
and as I am sure that they all deserve to be judges, I am in hopes that
they will materially help me to gain a favorable verdict from the
American people. [Cheers and laughter.]

I have given but poor expression to my sense of the honor you have
conferred upon me, and upon the comrades associated with me in this our
enterprise--an enterprise which, I hope, will favorably show the method
and discipline of a company of English actors. On their behalf I thank
you, and I also thank you on behalf of the lady who has so adorned the
Lyceum stage, and to whose rare gifts your lordship has paid so just and
gracious a tribute. The climax of the favor extended to me by my
countrymen has been reached to-night. You have set upon me a burden of
responsibility, a burden which I gladly and proudly bear. The memory of
to-night will be to me a sacred thing, a memory which will, throughout
my life, be ever treasured, a memory which will stimulate me to further
endeavor, and encourage me to loftier aim. [Loud and continued cheers.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of Sir Henry Irving at the fourteenth annual dinner of the
  Playgoer's Club, London, February 14, 1898. The toast of "The Drama"
  was proposed by B. W. Findon, and Sir Henry Irving was called upon to

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN:--It is five years since I had the
pleasure of sitting at your hospitable board and listening to that
delightfully soothing and digestive eloquence with which we medicine one
another after dinner. [Laughter.] In the course of those five years I
daresay we have had many differences of opinion. The playgoer does not
always agree with the player, still less with that unfortunate object,
the poor actor-manager. But whatever you may have said of me in this
interval, and in terms less dulcet, perhaps, than those which your
chairman has so generously employed, it is a great satisfaction to me to
feel that I still retain your esteem and good-will. In a certain sense
you are the manager's constituents. You cannot eject him from the
office, perhaps, with that directness which distinguishes the
Parliamentary operations. But you can stay away from the theatre, and so
eject his play. [Laughter.] On the whole that is a more disconcerting
process than the fiercest criticism. One can always argue with the
critics, though on the actor's part I know that is gross presumption.
[Laughter.] But you cannot argue with the playgoer who stays away.

I am not making any specific accusations--only remarking that it is
staying-power which impresses the importance of the Playgoer's Club upon
the managerial mind. Moreover, to meet you like this has the effect of a
useful tonic. I can strongly recommend it to some gentlemen who write to
the newspapers. [Laughter.] In one journal there was a long
correspondence--the sort of thing we generally get at one season of the
year--about the condition of the stage, and a well-known writer who, I
believe, combines the function of a dramatic critic with the
responsibility of a watch-dog to the Navy, informed his readers that the
sad decadence of the British Drama was due to the evils of party
government. That is certainly an original idea; but I fancy that if the
author were to unfold it to this company, he would be told that he had
mistaken the Playgoer's Club for the War Office or the Admiralty. Still
we ought to be grateful to the man who reveals a perfectly fresh reason
for the eternal decline of the drama, though we may not, perhaps,
anticipate any revolution in theatrical amusements even from the most
thorough-going reform of the British Constitution.

In the public correspondence to which I have referred, a good deal was
said about the need for a dramatic conservatoire. If such an institution
could be rooted in this country, I have no doubt that it might yield
many advantages. Years ago I ventured to suggest that the municipal
system might be applied to the theatre, as it is on the Continent,
though I do not observe that this is yet a burning question in the
county council politics, or that any reforming administrator has
discovered that the drama ought to be laid on, like gas or water.
[Laughter.] With all our genius for local government we have not yet
found, like some Continental peoples, that the municipal theatre is as
much a part of the healthy life of the community as the municipal
library or museum. ["Hear! hear!"] Whether that development is in store
for us I do not know, but I can imagine certain social benefits that
would accrue from the municipal incorporation of a dramatic
conservatoire. It might check the rush of incompetent persons into the
theatrical profession. Some persons who were intended by Nature to adorn
an inviolable privacy are thrust upon us by paragraphers and
interviewers, whose existence is a dubious blessing--[laughter]--until
it is assumed by censors of the stage that this business is part and
parcel of theatrical advertisement.

Columns of this rubbish are printed every week, and many an actor is
pestered to death for tit-bits about his ox and his ass and everything
that is his. [Laughter.] Occasionally you may read solemn articles about
the insatiable vanity of the actor, which must be gratified at any cost,
as if vanity were peculiar to any section of humanity. But what this
organized gossip really advertises is the industry of the gentlemen who
collect it, and the smartness of the papers in which it is circulated.
"We learn this," "We have reason to believe"--such forms of intolerable
assurance give currency too often to scandalous and lying rumors which I
am sure responsible journalism would wish to discourage. But this, I
fear, is difficult, for contradiction makes another desirable paragraph,
and it is all looked upon as desirable copy. [Laughter.]

Of course, gentlemen, the drama is declining--it always has been
declining since the time of Roscius and beyond the palmy days when the
famous Elephant Raja was "starred" over the head of W. C. Macready, and
the real water tank in the Cataract of the Ganges helped to increase the
attractions of John Kemble and Mrs. Siddons. But we ourselves are
evidently in a parlous state at the present day, when actors vainly
endeavor to struggle through twenty lines of blank verse--when we are
told mechanical effects and vast armies of supers make up the production
of historical plays--when pathological details, we are told, are always
well received--when the "psychonosological" (whatever that may
be)--[laughter], is invariably successful--and when Pinero and Grundy's
plays do not appeal to men of advanced thought, as I read the other day.

In all the lament about the decline of the drama there is one recurring
note: the disastrous influence of long runs. If the manager were not a
grossly material person, incapable of ideals, he would take off a
successful piece at the height of its popularity and start a fresh
experiment. [Laughter.] But he is sunk in the base commercialism of the
age, and, sad to relate, he has the sympathies of the dramatic author,
who wants to see his piece run say a hundred nights, instead of twenty.
I don't know how this spirit of greed is to be subdued, though with the
multiplication of Play-houses, long runs may tend to become rare. A
municipal subsidy or an obliging millionaire might enable a manager to
vary his bill with comparative frequency, when he has persuaded the
dramatic author that the run of a play till the crack of doom is
incompatible with the interest of art. [Laughter.] I cannot help
suspecting that the chief difficulty of a manager, under even the most
artistic and least commercial conditions, will always be, not to check
the inordinate proportions of success, but to secure plays which may
succeed at all.

I hope you will not accuse me of taking a too despondent view of the
drama, for believe me, I do not. To be sure, we sometimes hear that
Shakespeare is to be annihilated, and that the poet's intellect has been
overrated. And lately a reverend gentleman at Hampstead announced his
intention of putting down the stage altogether. [Laughter.] The
atmosphere of Hampstead seems to be intellectually intoxicating; at any
rate it has a rather stimulating effect on a certain kind of dogmatic
mind. This intolerance has been very eloquently rebuked by a
distinguished man who is an ornament of the Church of England. It is
Dean Farrar who says that these pharisaical attacks on the stage are
inspired only by "concentrated malice." Well, the periodical
misunderstanding to which the stage is exposed need cause but little
disquiet. I have no doubt it will survive its many adventures, and that
it will owe not a little of its tenacious vitality to your unflagging
sympathy and hearty and generous encouragement. [Cheers.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of Sir Henry Irving, as Chairman, at the thirty-fifth
  anniversary dinner of the Newspaper Press Fund, London, May 21, 1898.]

GENTLEMEN:--When I received the great compliment of an
invitation to occupy this chair, I was conscious of a certain ironical
fitness in my position. The politician and the actor divide between
them the distinction of supplying the most constant material for the
most intimate and searching vigilance of the newspaper press.
[Laughter.] So when this great corporation of the newspaper press fund
gives its annual dinner, what more natural and fitting than a politician
or an actor in the chair, who illustrates in his person and in his own
fortunes both the appreciation and the discipline which it is the
function of the press so liberally to bestow? I can imagine that when
such a chairman happens to be a pretty old stager like myself, there may
be journalists in such a distinguished company as this who will look at
him with the moistened eye of emotional reminiscence and murmur: "Ah, it
was upon that man I fleshed my maiden pen!" [Laughter.] Thoughts like
these shed the mellowing influence of time over the volumes of press
cuttings which no actor's library is without. I have heard of public men
who say they never read the newspapers. That remark has been attributed
to a bishop, and perhaps there are kinds of abstinence quite easy to
bishops but difficult to other mortals. [Laughter.] If it were possible
for a man whose doings are considered worthy of public notice to avoid
the newspaper, he could scarcely hope to make his friends practice the
same denial. Even a bishop who is not inquisitive must occasionally meet
deans and chapters who are. [Laughter.] There's the rub. You may not
read the newspapers, but as soon as you scent the morning air you know
whether those proverbial little birds who spread the news with such
alacrity, are chirping about yourself, and the first feathered
acquaintance that you hit upon is generously eager to share with you the
crumb picked from a newspaper with a special flavor for your own palate.

Gentlemen, I mention this, not by way of complaint, but simply to
illustrate the futility of that philosophy which fondly imagines that
the newspaper can be ignored. But I am chiefly conscious to-night of the
debt of gratitude we all owe to the press. The newspaper--say what you
will of it--is the immediate recorder and interpreter of life. Morning
and evening it offers us that perpetual stimulus which makes the zest of
living. Be your interests what they may, though you abstract your mind
from the tumult of affairs and devote it to art or science, you cannot
open a newspaper without the sensation of laying your hand upon the
throbbing pulse of the world. And it has throbbed within but a few days,
throbbed with a widespread grief at the passing of a great man [Mr.
Gladstone], a great statesman, a great and noble figure in productive
and national life, who for more than half a century has helped largely
to mould the destinies of the nation and the world. [Loud cheers.]
Gentlemen, in a newspaper, at a glance, you are in touch with the
elemental forces of nature--war, pestilence and famine; you are
transported by this printed sheet, as it were the fairy carpet of the
Arabian, from capital to capital, from the exultation of one people to
the bitter resentment and chagrin of another. You behold on every scale
every quality of humanity, everything that piques the sense of mystery,
everything that inspires pity, dread, or anger. It is a vast and
ever-changing panorama of the raw material of art and literature.

Well, there are some complaints, gentlemen, that the raw material is
more generally interesting than the artistic product. The newspaper is a
dangerous competitor of books, and those of us who write plays and
produce them may wish that the circulation of a great daily journal
would repeat itself at the box-office. [Laughter.] But it is no use
protesting against rivalry, if it be the rivalry of life, and the
gentlemen of the press who are engaged in stage-managing and drama
which, after all, is the real article, must always command more
spectators than the humble artists who seek truth in the garb of
illusion. I cannot sufficiently admire the enterprise of these great
newspapers which keep the diary of mankind. In time of war their
representatives are in the thick of danger; and though he may subscribe
to the _dictum_, so familiar to playgoers, that the pen is mightier than
the sword, the war correspondent is always ready to give lessons to the
enemy with the less majestic weapon. ["Hear! hear!"] In our own military
annals no little glory shines on the names of civilians who, in the
faithful discharge of duty to a multitude of readers, gave their lives
as truly for their country as if they had died in the Queen's uniform.
There are veteran campaigners of the press still amongst us, one of the
most distinguished of whom is my old and valued friend, Sir William
Russell [cheers], the vice-president of this fund, by whom I have the
pleasure of being seated to-night. I say there are many veterans of the
press whose services to the British Army will not be forgotten, though
they never set a squadron in the field. I have heard it said that in
diplomacy the press is sometimes indiscreetly ahead of events
[laughter], but you must remember that nothing is so characteristic of
the modern spirit as the art of publishing things before they happen.
Nowadays all the world is on tiptoe, and the soul of journalism must be
prophetic, because it has to do for a curious and wide-eyed public what
was done for a much simpler generation by the alchemists and the
astrologer. We ought to be thankful that this somewhat perilous business
is conducted, on the whole, with so much discretion and breadth of mind.
We have no less admiration, gentlemen, for the judgment of our press
than for the enterprise which is born of competition, and, although that
judgment has often to be framed under conditions which demand almost
breathless rapidity, it does not always bear unfavorable comparison with
the protracted meditation of the philosophic recluse. [Cheers.]

But there is one thing which the ubiquitous energies of the press cannot
command, and that is immunity for its members from the chances of evil
fortune, from sickness and decay. ["Hear! Hear!"] I suppose there is no
profession which makes such heavy calls upon the bodily and mental vigor
of its servants as the profession of the journalist. Whoever nods, he
must be always fresh and alert. Whoever is content with the ideas of
yesterday, the journalist must be equipped with the ideas of to-morrow.
In the course of my life it has been my privilege to number many
brilliant journalists amongst my dearest friends, and I sorrowfully call
to mind now more than one undaunted spirit who has suffered the
penalties of overtaxed strength. It is in these cases that this fund
should be of special benefit. It is in your power to give that timely
help which saves the exhausted brain and restores the broken nerve. I
stand to-night in a place which has been occupied by many distinguished
advocates of this fund--advocates who have spoken with eloquence to
which I can make no pretension. But I would earnestly impress upon you
this thought, than which no plea can be more eloquent--remember that
whatever you may give out of goodness of heart, from the memories of old
comradeship, from the thousand and one associations which bind together
fellow-workers in various arts and callings, remember that it may be the
means some day of snatching from the last despond some one whose hand
you have pressed in friendship, and whose voice has an echo in your
hearts. I ask you to drink "Prosperity to the Newspaper Press Fund."
[Loud cheers.]



[Speech of Richard Claverhouse Jebb, professor in the University of
  Cambridge, in responding to the toast, "The Interests of Literature,"
  coupled, according to custom, with "The Interests of Science," at the
  banquet of the Royal Academy, London, May 4, 1885. Sir Frederic
  Leighton, President of the Academy, said in introducing him: "I invite
  you to join me in a tribute, never wanting at this table, to science
  and to letters. With literature I connect the name of a guest whom his
  grateful country has brought from the far banks of the Clyde to our
  table to-night--one among the very foremost and most elegant of our
  scholars; and a speaker on whose lips we trace, though Latin has been
  the chief vehicle of his oratory, a savor of those Attic orators with
  whom his name is associated in our minds--Professor Jebb."]

GENTLEMEN:--In responding for the second part of the toast, which
has been so eloquently proposed and so graciously received, I trust that
I shall have the indulgence of this distinguished company if the words
in which the response is tendered are simple and few. It is now just a
hundred years since the earliest occupant of the presidential chair
which Sir Frederic Leighton so brilliantly adorns, in addressing the
students of the Royal Academy, counseled them to practice "the
comparison of art with art, and of all arts with the nature of man."

Among the various fields in which literature works, there is none,
perhaps, in which the reciprocal influence of art and literature can be
more vividly apprehended than in the province of classical study, and
especially in the domain of those pursuits which are conversant with the
life and thought of ancient Greece. The inheritor of a shapeless
mythology and a rude tradition, Homer emerges as the first artist in
European poetry, giving clear outline and beautiful form to types of
godhead and heroism. The successor to schools which had rather combated
than conquered their material, Phidias, is recalled as the first poet in
European art, creating a visible embodiment for the Homeric vision of
those imperial brows which made Olympus to tremble at their nod.

England has no Academy of Letters. All the more, perhaps, is it
desirable that our literature should be penetrated by those regulative
lessons of form, those suggestions of a spiritual harmony, which emanate
from an Academy such as this ["Hear! Hear!"]--from a true and noble
Academy of arts. It has never been better with art, it has never been
better with literature than when each has been most willing to receive
the highest teachings of the other, acknowledging the bond of an eternal
sisterhood in that Hellenic message for which Keats has found an English
voice,--"Beauty is truth, truth beauty." [Cheers.]



[Speech of Joseph Jefferson at a dinner given by the Authors' Club, in
  honor of the tenth anniversary of its founding, New York, February 28,
  1893. Edward Eggleston acted as chairman. On rising to speak, Mr.
  Jefferson received an enthusiastic greeting.]

GENTLEMEN:--I need not say how I thank you for this generous
greeting. I am very glad that your worthy chairman has defined my
position. I knew I was a guest, but I did not know I was an
author--however, I will begin my remarks here because I think it is
appropriate at an Authors' Club to quote from so able and so lovely a
man as Charles Lamb. Charles Lamb has said that the world is divided
into two classes, those who are born to borrow and those who are born to
lend, and if you happen to be of the latter class, why, do it
cheerfully. Now the world seems to be divided into two other classes,
those who are always anxious to make speeches and those who are not. If
of the latter one, you are rather uncertain of yourself, as I am now,
and you have to make a speech, why, do it cheerfully. [Applause.]

Making a speech cheerfully and making a cheerful speech are two very
different matters. [Laughter and applause.] You know how dangerous it is
for any man to wander away from the legitimate paths of his profession.
I fear I have been over-impertinent; I have even been rude enough to
exhibit my pictures, impertinent enough to write a book. I have become
an author of one book and the authors have kindly admitted me and
invited me to their board. To-morrow night, or after to-morrow night, I
presume that the orators will invite me to their board. [Applause.] I am
almost ashamed of my presumption, and it would serve me very right if I
failed to-morrow night. That will teach me better and I shall extend the
field of my operation no further, I assure you.

But it is curious that there is one path in which the actor always
wanders--he always likes to be a land-owner. It is a curious thing that
the actors of England and--of course in the olden times you must
remember that we had none but English actors in this country,--and as
soon as they came here, they wanted to own land. They could not do it in
England. The elder Booth owned a farm at Bellaire. Thomas Cooper, the
celebrated English tragedian, bought a farm near Philadelphia, and it is
a positive fact that he is the first man who ever owned a fast trotting
horse in America. He used to drive from the farm to rehearsal at the
theatre, and I believe has been known on some occasions, when in
convivial company, even to drive out at night afterwards. [Laughter.]
Following and emulating the example of my illustrious predecessors I
became a farmer. I will not allude to my plantation in Louisiana; my
overseer takes care of that. I have not heard from him lately but I am
told he takes very good care of it. [Laughter.] I trust there was no
expression of distrust on my part. But I allude to my farm in New
Jersey. I have not been so successful as Mr. Burroughs, but I was
attracted by a townsman and I bought a farm in New Jersey. I went out
first to examine the soil. I told the honest farmer who was about to
sell me this place that I thought the soil looked rather thin; there was
a good deal of gravel. He told me that the gravel was the finest thing
for drainage in the world. I told him I had heard that, but I had always
presumed that if the gravel was underneath it would answer the purpose
better. He said: "Not at all; this soil is of that character that it
will drain both ways," by what he termed I think catepillary attraction.
[Laughter.] I bought the farm and set myself to work to increase the
breadth of my shoulders, to help my appetite, and so forth, about work
of a farm. I even went so far as to emulate the example set by Mr.
Burroughs, and split the wood. I did not succeed at that. Of course, as
Mr. Burroughs wisely remarks, the heat comes at both ends; it comes when
you split the wood and again when you burn it. But as I only lived at my
farm during the summer time, it became quite unnecessary in New Jersey
to split wood in July, and my farming operations were not successful.

We bought an immense quantity of chickens and they all turned out to be
roosters [laughter]; but I resolved--I presume as William Nye says about
the farm--to carry it on; I would _carry_ on that farm as long as my
wife's money lasted. [Laughter.] A great mishap was when my Alderney
bull got into the greenhouse. There was nothing to stop him but the
cactus. He tossed the flower-pots right and left. Talk about the flowers
that bloom in the spring,--why, I never saw such a wreck, and I am fully
convinced that there is nothing that will stop a thoroughly well-bred
bull but a full-bred South American cactus. [Laughter.] I went down to
look at the ruins and the devastation that this animal had made, and I
found him quietly eating black Hamburg grapes. I don't know anything
finer than black Hamburg grapes for Alderney bulls. A friend of mine,
who was chaffing me for my farming proclivities, said: "I see you have
got in some confusion here. It looks to me from seeing that gentleman
there--that stranger in the greenhouse--that you are trying to raise
early bulls under glass." [Laughter.]

Well, I will not tire you with these experiences. I can only
congratulate Mr. Burroughs upon his success, and I beg that you will
sympathize with me upon my failure; and now then allow me to conclude my
crude remarks by thanking you for the very kind manner in which you have
listened to my remarks and my experiences. I assure you--they are all of
them true. And I thank you, sir, for your kind introduction, which I am
afraid I do not deserve. And so, gentlemen, I wish you success and
happiness, and long life to your honorable Club. [Long-continued

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of Joseph Jefferson at the annual banquet held on Founders'
  Night at the Players' Club, New York City, December 30, 1893. This was
  the first time that Mr. Jefferson, the newly-elected President, spoke
  to his fellow-players in his official capacity.]

FELLOW-PLAYERS:--Founders' Night should be of joy, unshaded by
the slightest tinge of gloom. I know this, but how can I speak to-night
without a loving reference to the one whose gift we now hold--a gift in
which our children and theirs for many generations will take pride,
delight and comfort. It would be a twice-told tale to rehearse the
career of Edwin Booth. You are as familiar with it as I am. But there
are incidents in his early life that may interest you, and possibly that
no one but myself could tell you.

An early remembrance of the stage brings before me the figure of the
elder Booth. When I was but five years of age I acted the Duke of York
to his Richard III. You may think it strange that I remember this
circumstance; but even a child as young as I was could not have stood in
the presence of this superb and magnetic actor without being indelibly
impressed with the scene. His son, Edwin, was then just born. We first
met when he was a handsome youth of sixteen. A lithe and graceful
figure, buoyant in spirits, and with the loveliest eyes I ever looked
upon. We were friends from the first, and it is a comfort to me to know
that our friendship lasted nearly half a century, unbroken by a single
act or word. His early performances upon the stage did not give much
promise, and there were grave fears that he had not inherited the genius
of his father. But after the death of that father young Booth's friends
and the public were suddenly startled by the news from across the
Continent that a new star had arisen, not in the East, but in the West,
and was wending its way homeward.

In 1854 I became the stage manager for Henry C. Jarrett in Baltimore.
That gentleman is a member of our Club and now stands before me. He one
day brought a young girl who had been given to his care and placed her
in mine--a beautiful child, but fifteen years of age. Her family, a most
estimable one, had met with some reverse, and she had decided to go upon
the stage to relieve them from the burden of her support, and possibly
to contribute to the comfort of her father. This loving duty she
faithfully performed. She lived in my family as the companion of my wife
for three years, and during that time became one of the leading
actresses of the stage. One morning I said to her: "To-morrow you are to
rehearse Juliet to the Romeo of our new and rising young tragedian." At
this distance I can scarcely say whether I had or had not a premonition
of the future, but I knew at the conclusion of that rehearsal that Edwin
Booth and Mary Devlin would soon be man and wife; and so it came about,
for at the end of the week he came to me in the green-room, with his
affianced bride by the hand, and with a quaint smile they fell upon
their knees in a mock-heroic manner, as though acting a scene in the
play, and said: "Father, your blessing," to which I replied in the same
mock-heroic vein, extending my hands like the old Friar: "Bless you, my
children!" Shortly they were married. We know that his life was filled
with histrionic triumphs and domestic bereavements.

May I not speak here of this gift of the Players? It is comparatively
easy for those who are rocked in a golden cradle, and who at their birth
are endowed with great wealth, to dispense their bounty. I do not desire
to disparage the generosity of the rich. Those of our land have done
much good, are now freely dispensing their wealth, and will continue to
do so; but we must remember that the fortune of Edwin was not inherited.
The walls within which we stand, the art, the library, and the comforts
that surround us, represent a life of toil and travel, sleepless nights,
tedious journeys and weary work; so that when he bestowed upon us this
Club it was not his wealth only, but it was himself that he gave.

But a few years ago he was (though rich in genius) poor in pocket. He
had been wealthy, and had seen the grand dramatic structure he had
reared taken from him and devastated. His reverse of fortune was from no
fault of his own, but from a confiding nature. When he again, by
arduous toil, accumulated wealth, one would have supposed that the
thoughts of his former reverses would have startled him and that he
would have clutched his newly-acquired gold and garnered it to himself,
fearful lest another stroke of ill-fortune should fall upon him. But
instead of making him a coward it gave him courage. It did not warp his
mind or steel his heart against humanity. No sterility settled upon him.
His wrongs seemed to have fertilized his generosity, and here we behold
the fruit.

When the stranger comes here and asks us for the monument of Edwin Booth
we can say: "Look around you." For some time past he had looked forward
calmly to his dissolution. One year ago to-night in this room, and at
this very hour, he said to me the memorable words: "They drink to my
health to-night, Joe. When they meet again, it will be to my memory."

Two years ago last autumn, we walked on the sea beach together, and with
a strange and prophetic kind of poetry, he likened the scene to his own
failing health, the falling leaves, the withered sea-weed, the dying
grass upon the shore, and the ebbing tide that was fast receding from
us. He told me that he felt prepared to go, for he had forgiven his
enemies, and could even rejoice in their happiness. Surely this was a
grand condition in which to step from this world across the threshold to
the next!



[Speech of Horatio Herbert, Lord Kitchener, at a banquet given by the
  Lord Mayor of London, at the Mansion House, London, November 4, 1898,
  in celebration of the campaign in the Sudan and the successful
  recovery of Khartum from the Dervishes, thereby avenging the death of
  General Gordon. Lord Salisbury, in a brilliant speech, proposed the
  health of Lord Kitchener, to which the latter replied with the speech
  that follows.]

GENTLEMEN:--It is not easy for me to find words to express the
gratitude I feel for the manner in which the toast proposed by Lord
Salisbury has been received by this magnificent audience, or for the too
kind and too flattering words in which it has been recommended to your
notice. Such a recognition by such an audience is more than sufficient
recompense for any services which it may have been my good fortune to
render. But, my lords and gentlemen, I am fully aware that it is not in
my individual capacity but as representing the Anglo-Egyptian army that
this great honor has been done me. [Cheers.] It is to the excellent and
devoted services of the troops that the success of the campaign is due.
A general would have been indeed incapable who failed to lead such men
to victory; for it was not only, nor even principally, on the day of
battle, that the great qualities of these troops were displayed. The
cheerful endurance and soldier-like spirit with which they bore long
delay during the Sudan summer, between the battle of Atbara and the
advance on Omdurman, was as high a test of discipline and efficiency as
the endurance exhibited in the long marches, or the courage shown at
the trenches at Atbara or on the plains of Omdurman. [Cheers.]

A man may be proud indeed whose good fortune has placed him in command
of troops capable of deeds like these. And remember, my lords and
gentlemen, I include in this not merely the British army but the
Egyptian army also. [Loud cheers.] For, proud as I may well be of having
commanded the British troops in the Sudan, I am no less proud of having
as Sirdar led the Egyptian and Sudanese troops to victory, side by side
with men of my own race and blood. It is on behalf of those and the
combined forces that are absent as well as those that are present that I
desire to tender you our sincere thanks for the great honor you have
done us. It has been contended and in former days with some
plausibility, that the material from which the Egyptian army is
recruited is not capable of being made into good soldiers, but we in the
Egyptian army never held that view; we felt confidence in our men, and
that confidence has been justified. We tested them at Gemeizeh, Tokar,
Toski, Ferkeh, and Abu Hamed, and were not disappointed; and under the
circumstances, perhaps the most competent military critics, the
Dervishes [laughter] showed no disposition to underrate the fighting
power of our men. And when the _rôle_ was changed and from the defensive
we were able to take the offensive they soon acquired that respect for
the Egyptian soldiers that all good troops engender in the minds of
their opponents. [Cheers.]

I had to give the Egyptian army arduous work. They had to construct the
railway; they had to build gunboats, and sailing craft through the
dangerous cataracts, they had to be on incessant fatigues, moving stores
and cutting wood for the steamers. It may be fairly said that had it not
been for the work of the Egyptian army the British troops could not have
reached Omdurman without far greater suffering and loss of life, and it
was not only in these pioneer duties that the Egyptian army
distinguished themselves, for when they came in contact with the enemy
their discipline, steadiness and courage were prominently displayed. At
Ferkeh, and at Abu Hamed, they, with the Sudanese troops, turned the
Dervishes out of their positions. At Atbara, they were not behind their
British comrades, and at Omdurman, when Macdonald's brigade repulsed the
fierce and determined attacks that were brought against them, I am sure
that the thought occurred to the mind of every officer in the British
brigades, who saw it: "We might have done it as well; we could not have
done it better." ["Hear! Hear!"] And how was this obtained? By good
training, good discipline and mutual confidence between officers and
men. It was on these lines that the army was formed and organized under
Sir Evelyn Wood and Sir Francis Grenfell, and I, with the assistance of
the finest body of officers that the British army can produce, have
merely followed in their footsteps, and developed the principles that
they had already laid down.

There is one other point to which I would like to refer before bringing
a speech which may have already been too long ["No! No!"] to a
conclusion. In this great commercial centre it may be of interest if I
allude to the financial side of the campaign. Although the accounts have
not yet been absolutely closed, you may take it as very nearly accurate
that during the two and a half years' campaign, extra military credits
to the amount of two and a half millions have been expended. In this sum
I have included the recent grant that has been made for the extension of
the railway from Atbara to Khartum, the work on which is already on
hand. Well, against this large expenditure we have some assets to show.
We have, or shall have, 760 miles of railway, properly equipped with
engines, rolling stock, and a track with bridges in good order. I must
admit that the railway stations and waiting-rooms are somewhat
primitive, but then we do not wait long in the Sudan. [Laughter.] Well,
for this running concern I do not think that £3,000 a mile will be
considered too high a value. This represents two and a half millions out
of the money granted, and for the other quarter of a million, we have
2,000 miles of telegraph lines, six new gunboats, besides barges and
sailing craft, and--the Sudan. [Laughter and cheers.]

Of course the railway did not cost me £3,000 a mile to construct, and
many other heavy charges for warlike stores, supplies and transport on
our long line of communication, including sea transports of troops from
England and elsewhere had to be made; but however it was done the
result remains the same. We have freed the vast territories of the Sudan
from the most cruel tyranny the world has ever known, and we have
hoisted the Egyptian and British flags at Khartum, never, I hope, to be
hauled down. I have again to thank you, my Lord Mayor, for the great
honor done us on this occasion. I have only one regret which, I feel
sure, is shared by all present, and which has been given expression to
by Lord Rosebery and Lord Salisbury, and that is, that Lord Cromer, who
has supported me during the last two and a half years, is not here to
support me to-night and to receive in person the thanks to which he is
so justly entitled, and which, I am sure, you would willingly have
given. [Loud cheers.]



[Speech of Andrew Lang at the annual banquet of the Royal Academy,
  London, May 6, 1894. This speech on some of the aspects of modern
  fiction was delivered by Mr. Lang in response to the toast "The
  Interests of Literature," regularly proposed on these occasions. The
  President of the Academy, Sir Frederic Leighton, said in introducing
  Mr. Lang: "Your Royal Highness, My Lords and Gentlemen: Let us drink
  to the honor of science and of letters. If of the latter it may be
  affirmed without fear that few things are more often misapprehended
  than their true relation to art, it is not less certain that no body
  of men are more than artists responsive to their stimulating force.
  How closely science, which is knowledge, is interwoven on many sides
  with art, it is needless here to say. In the name of letters I have to
  call upon one of the most versatile of their votaries, a man whose
  nimble intellect plays with luminous ease round many and various
  subjects; delicate as a poet, acute and picturesque as a critic, a
  sparkling journalist, no one has pursued with more earnest and more
  fruitful zeal the graver study of the birth and evolution of natural
  myths than Mr. Andrew Lang, to whom I turn for response."]

to whom it falls or rather on whom falls the task of replying for
English literature may well feel ground to dust by the ponderous honor.
Who can be the representative of such a Parnassian constituency of
divine poets, philosophers, romancers, historians, from Beowulf to the
last new novel? The consciousness is crushing. The momentary
representative feels himself to be like Mr. Chevy Slyme "the most
littery fellow in the world," who is over-borne like the bride of the
Lord of Burleigh--

 "By the burden of an honor
   Unto which she was not born."

Naturally he flies to thoughts which whisper of humility. He finds them
easily. In the first place literature is but a very insignificant flake
on the foam of the wave of the world. As Mr. Pepys reminds us, most
people please themselves "with easy delights of the world, eating,
drinking, dancing, hunting, fencing," and not with book learning. Easy
he calls them! I wish they were:--

 "I cannot eat but little meat,
  My stomach is not good."

Still less can I dance or hunt. Yet to the general public these things
come easier than reading; and their good-humored contempt keeps us poor
"littery gents" in our proper place and frame of mind. I have lately
read somewhere about a man of letters who conceived himself to be the
idol of the great and good-natured American people. They sent him the
kindest letters, they invited him to lecture, but ah! when his
publishers' accounts came in, he found there "To American sales: six and
twopence!" [Laughter.] Here is matter for mortification!

Again, one is not so much to speak for English literature as to speak
about it; one is not a representative but a reporter; we critics are but
the cagots or despised pariah class in the world of letters. If we ever
give in to the belief that we might attempt something creative, we, like
the insects celebrated by the poet, "have lesser" critics upon our backs
to bite us [laughter] and to remind us of our limitations. Our function
in the game is like that of the scorers and umpires at Lords or the
Oval; men of accurate intellectual habit, and incorruptible integrity
from whom not much is to be expected with bat or ball. We are not to do
anything "off our own bats." For these reasons I only talk humbly of
literature as an interested professional observer. When the philosopher
Square spoke of religion, he meant the true religion, and when he said
the true religion he indicated the Protestant religion, and by the
Protestant religion he meant the religion of the Church of England. In
the same way if I venture a few remarks on English literature I mean
modern English literature, and by modern English literature I mean
modern English novels.

We are indeed quite destitute of poets. As Henry V is said by a French
chronicler to have ennobled all his army on the eve of Agincourt, so
perhaps it might be well to make all our poets poets-laureate
[laughter]--there must be a sip for each of them in the butt of malmsey
or sack. But when the general public says "literature" the general
public means fiction.

Now, though I have some optimistic remarks to end with, it does appear
to myself that the British novel suffers from diverse banes or curses.
The first is the spread of elementary education. Too many naturally
non-literary people of all ranks are now goaded into acquiring a
knowledge of the invention of Cadmus. When nobody could read, except
people whose own literary nature impelled them to learn, better books
were written, because the public, if relatively few, was absolutely fit.
Secondly, these new educated people insist on our national cursed
"actuality." They live solely in the distracted moment, whereas true
literature lives in the absolute; in the past that perhaps never was
present, and that is eternal; "lives in fantasy."

Shakespeare did not write plays about contemporary problems. The Greek
dramatists deliberately chose their topics in the tales of Troy and
Thebes and Atreus's line. The very Fijians, as Mr. Paisley Thomson
informs us, "will tell of gods and giants and canoes greater than
mountains and of women fairer than the women of these days, and of
doings so strange that the jaws of the listeners fall apart." They do
not deal with "problems" about the propriety of cannibalism or the
casuistry of polygamy [Laughter.] The Athenians fined for his
_modernité_ the author of a play on the fall of Miletus because he
reminded them of their misfortunes. But many of our novelists do nothing
but remind us of our misfortunes. Novels are becoming tracts on parish
councils, free love and other inflammatory topics [laughter], and the
reason of this ruin is that the vast and the naturally non-literary
majority can now read, and of course can only read about the actual,
about the noisy wrangling moment. This is the bane of the actual.

Of course I do not maintain that contemporary life is tabooed against
novelists, but if novels of contemporary life are to be literature, are
to be permanent, that life must either be treated in the spirit of
romance and fantasy as by Balzac and the colossally fantastic Zola; or
in the spirit of humor as by Charles de Bernard, Fielding, Thackeray,
Dickens. The thrifty plan of giving us sermons, politics, fiction, all
in one stodgy sandwich [laughter] produces no permanent literature,
produces but temporary "Tracts for the Times."

Fortunately we have among us many novelists--young ones luckily--who are
true to the primitive and eternal Fijian canons of fiction. [Laughter.]
We have Oriental romance from the author of "Plain Tales from the
Hills." We have the humor and tenderness--certainly not Fijian I
admit--which produced the masterpiece, "A Window in Thrums." We have the
adventurous fancy that gives us "A Gentleman of France," "The Master of
Ballantrae," "Micah Clarke," "The Raiders," "The Prisoner of Zenda," and
the truly primeval or troglodyte imagination which, as we read of a
fight between a knob-nosed Kaffir dwarf and a sacred crocodile, brings
us in touch with the first hearers of Heracles's or Beowulf's or
Grettir's deeds, "so strange that the jaws of the listeners fall apart."
Thus we possess outlets for escape from ourselves and from to-day. We
can still dwell now and then in the same air of pleasure as our fathers
have breathed since the days of Homer.

Such are the rather intolerant ideas of a bookworm who by no means
grudges the pleasure which other readers receive from what does not
please him to enthusiasm. And pleasure, not edification, is the end of
all art. We are all pleased when we write; the public of one enthusiast
every author enjoys, and the literary men who depreciate the joys of
their own art or profession may not be consciously uncandid, but they
are decidedly perverse. [Laughter and applause.]



[Speech of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Premier of Canada, at a banquet given by
  the Imperial Institute to the Colonial Premiers, London, June 18,
  1897, on the occasion of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee. The Prince of
  Wales presided. In introducing Sir Wilfrid Laurier, he said:
  "Gentlemen, this is not the time nor is it necessary to allude to the
  loyalty of our great colonies. We have heard what has been spoken here
  to-night, and we shall hear still more. We know that our colonies look
  toward the mother country with affection; and in the hour of need and
  danger I feel convinced that they will always come forward to our
  assistance. [Cheers.] During the remarkable record reign of Her
  Majesty the Queen great changes have occurred. When she came to the
  throne, there were only thirty-two colonies; now there are sixty-five.
  [Cheers.] As Lord Lansdowne has said we have met here in times of
  peace. God grant that it may last, but should the occasion come when
  our national flag is endangered I have but little doubt, gentlemen,
  that the colonies will unite like one man to maintain what exists and
  what I hope will remain forever as integral parts of the British
  Empire. It is now my pleasant duty to propose the toast of the
  evening: 'Our Guests the Colonial Premiers.' We welcome them as
  ourselves. We hope that their stay here may not be made in any way
  irksome to them. I feel sure that no one will be more grateful than
  the Queen herself to see that these gentlemen have come here on the
  invitation of the Colonial Office to do honor to a great epoch in our
  history. This toast we connect with the health of the Hon. Wilfrid
  Laurier. I now beg you with all the honors to drink this toast--'Our
  Guests, I may say, our friends, the Colonial Premiers.'"]

your Royal Highness has just proposed in such graceful terms is one
which is important at all times and opens a subject which at the present
time perhaps more than at any other engrosses and absorbs the minds of
all thinking men. ["Hear! Hear!"] During the few days in which my
colleagues and myself have had the privilege to be in England, we have
had hourly evidences that the Colonies at the present moment occupied no
small part in the affections of the people of England. [Cheers.] Sir,
Colonies were born to become nations. In my own country, and perhaps
also in England, it has been observed that Canada has a population which
in some instances exceeds, in many others, rivals the populations of
independent nations, and it has been said that perhaps the time might
come when Canada might become a nation of itself. My answer is this
simply: Canada is a nation. [Cheers.] Canada is free, and freedom is its
nationality. Although Canada acknowledges the suzerainty of a Sovereign
Power, I am here to say that independence can give us no more rights
than we have at present. ["Hear! Hear!"]

Lord Lansdowne has spoken of a day when perhaps our Empire might be in
danger. England has proved at all times that she can fight her own
battles, but if a day were ever to come when England was in danger, let
the bugle sound, let the fires be lit, on the hills and in all parts of
the Colonies, though we might not be able to do much, whatever we can do
shall be done by the Colonies to help her. [Cheers.] From all parts of
this country since I have been here, both in conversation and in
letters, I have been asked if the sentiments of the French population of
Canada were characterized by absolute loyalty towards the British
Empire. I have been reminded that feuds of race are long and hard to
die, and that the feuds of France--the land of my ancestors--with
England have lasted during many generations. Let me say at once that
though it be true that the wars of France and England have their place
in history, it was the privilege of the men of our generation to see the
banners of France and England entwined together victoriously on the
banks of the Alma, on the heights of Inkerman, and on the walls of
Sebastopol. [Cheers.]

It is true that during the last century and the century before, a long
war, a long duel, I might call it, was waged between England and France
for the possession of North America, but in the last battle that took
place on the plains of Abraham, both generals, the one who won and the
one who failed, fell. If you go to the city of Quebec, you will see a
monument erected in commemoration of that battle. What is the character
of that monument? Monuments to record victories are not scarce in
England or in France; but such a monument as this which is in Quebec, I
do not think you will find in any other part of the world, for it is a
monument not only to him who won but also to him who failed. [Cheers.]
It is a monument dedicated to the memory of Wolfe and Montcalm, and the
dedication, which is one of the noblest and best of the kind, not only
for the sentiments which it records but also as a literary expression,
is as follows: "_Mortem virtus communem famam historia monumentum
posteritas dedit_." Here is a monument to the two races equal in fame,
courage, and glory, and that equality exists at the present time in
Canada. In this you have the sentiments of my countrymen--we are equal
to-day with those who won on the battle-field on the plains of Abraham.
It is by such acts that England has won the hearts of my
fellow-countrymen; it is by such acts that she can ever claim our
loyalty. Your Royal Highness, let me now thank you from the bottom of my
heart for the kind words you have just spoken. Your Royal Highness has
been kind enough to remind us that at one time in its earlier day you
visited Canada. Many changes have taken place since that time, but let
me assure your Royal Highness there has been no change in the loyalty of
the people of Canada. [Cheers.]



[Speech of Frank R. Lawrence at the fourth annual dinner given by the
  Poughkeepsie District Members of the Holland Society of New York,
  October 3, 1893. The banquet was held in commemoration of the relief
  of the Siege of Leyden, 1574. J. William Beekman, the President of the
  Holland Society, said: "Gentlemen, we will now proceed to the next
  regular toast. It is of interest to all: 'New York, the child of New
  Amsterdam--Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined.' I call upon
  Mr. Frank R. Lawrence, President of the Lotos Club, to respond to that

GENTLEMEN OF THE HOLLAND SOCIETY:--Under any circumstances it
would be difficult to follow the distinguished master of the art [Horace
Porter] who has just taken his seat, but when to his glowing words is
added the diffidence inspired by this illustrious company, the
difficulty of the succeeding speaker is great indeed.

Mr. President, I am like the needy knife-grinder, when asked for his
tale: "Story--God bless you, I have none to tell, sir,"--and must beg
you to accept from me a few disjointed sentences instead of a more
formal speech. Indeed, it is not entirely clear to me which side of the
question suggested by the text I am to take; I do not entirely know
whether I am expected to prove the truth or to expose the falsehood of
the old proverb which adorns your menu, and it is commonly the case with
sayings that are supposed to represent the wisdom of the ages, that the
one may as readily be established as the other. It might be suggested by
one of sceptical mind that the saying that "as the twig is bent the
tree's inclined," may not be literally true as applied to this company
and this occasion; on the contrary, might it not be true that if your
early Dutch ancestors could come back and gaze for a moment upon this
sumptuous banquet and these gorgeous surroundings, their first impulse,
in accordance with the frugal simplicity of their lives and their
habits, would be to repudiate it, and repudiate their descendants, with
reprehension and with horror? [Laughter.] And would they not straightway
proceed, had they the power, to enact such sumptuary laws as should
confine you all henceforth and for evermore, to the same simple fare
upon which they and their children throve a couple of centuries ago?

Yet, Mr. President, by whatever strange process of evolution the simple
festivities of the first settlers upon this island may have grown into
an occasion so distinguished as this, I conceive that, after all, the
adage which you quote is well applied and has a serious meaning; for
despite the lapse of time and the introduction of new races of men, New
York is the child of Nieuw Amsterdam--and how the child has outgrown the

I believe it to be true, sir, that New York to-day bears more traces of
the less than fifty years of Dutch government than of the more than one
hundred years of British rule which followed. New York is, indeed,
erected upon the foundation of Nieuw Amsterdam; yet how impossible to
compare the New York of to-day with the original settlement established
by your forefathers. As well might we compare the great gathering of the
navies of the world which occurred in the Hudson River a year ago with
the first expedition sent hither by their High Mightinesses the
States-General two hundred and fifty years before. New York to-day,
grown up from the Nieuw Amsterdam of a former generation, is a great
emporium and a mighty city. To appreciate the greatness and the
swiftness of its growth, we must recall that since this century began
its population has increased more than twenty-fold. When this city and
its vicinity shall once more have doubled their inhabitants, the result
will be the formation of almost the largest mass of people congregated
upon the globe. [Applause.]

Contemplating these marvellous changes, past and to come, our
reflections are not all pleasant. Often do we regret with Washington
living the passing away of the Arcadian simplicity which once prevailed
upon this island. Often do we recall his plaintive words, applied to
this very community: "Let no man congratulate himself when he beholds
the child of his bosom or the city of his birth increasing in magnitude
and importance." Yet mournful reflections over the passing away of
childhood's days have small place in the ceaseless activity of modern
life. New York can no more again become the happy village whose
departure Irving laments, than the river which nears the ocean can turn
back and again become a tiny stream. Like a man approaching his prime,
it must go forward to its destiny--and what a destiny seems to await our
city! As the nineteenth century--greatest of periods known to man--draws
to a close, and opens the way for its successor which we expect will be
rich with broader and greater and higher achievements still than the
century of our birth, what a future seems to await our city of New York!
Is it not manifest destiny that old Nieuw Amsterdam, the present New
York, should become a greater city than any on the earth to-day? And it
seems to me, sir, that it is in a very large measure, indeed, to the
rugged industry--to the sturdy honesty--to the indomitable will of your
Dutch ancestors,--to the spirit which animated William the Silent, to
the spirit and the qualities which sustained the early Dutch settlers
upon this island, Wouter Van Twiller and Peter Stuyvesant and the men of
their generation, that we and our children must look, to maintain civic
virtue, to foster commercial enterprise, and to make the city of New
York in the twentieth century the metropolis of the civilized world.



[Speech of William B. H. Lecky at the annual banquet of the Royal
  Academy, London, May 5, 1888. Sir Frederic Leighton, the President of
  the Academy, said in introducing him: "In connection with 'Letters,' I
  turn to yet another son of that many-gifted sister island [This toast
  was coupled with that of "Science," to which John Tyndall was called
  upon to respond.] on which all Englishmen must heartily invoke the
  blessings of prosperity and of peace restored [cheers], to a man whose
  subtle and well-balanced mind has delighted, now in tracing through
  the centuries the growth of the spirit of Rationalism, now in
  following the history of morals in Europe, through the first eight
  centuries of our era, and more lately in illuminating the great page
  of English history in the century which precedes our own, Mr. William
  Edward Lecky."]

remember that the last time I heard this toast proposed in this room the
task which now devolves upon me was discharged by that true poet and
great critic whose recent loss all England is deploring. In few respects
did Mr. Arnold render a greater service to Literature than by the stress
he always placed upon the importance of its artistic side--upon that
"grand style," as he loved to call it, which the very last words he
uttered in public were employed in extolling. It was not without a
sound, critical instinct that he dwelt on it, for it is, I think, on
this side, that contemporary literature is apt to be weakest. A great
wave of German influence has swept over English literature, and however
admirable may be the German intellect in its industry and its
thoroughness, in its many-sided sympathies, and in its noble love for
truth, it will hardly be claimed for it, even by its greatest admirers,
that it is equally distinguished for its sense of the beauty of form or
for the great art of perspective or proportion. [Cheers.]

Whether it be owing to this cause, or to the reaction from the
brilliantly pictorial literature of Macaulay and his contemporaries, or
to the excessive predominance of the critical spirit, or to some other
more subtle or far-reaching cause, I know not; but I cannot but think
that we find in contemporary literature some want of the freshness, the
simplicity, or the directness of the great literatures of the past.
History is apt to resolve itself into archeology or politics. In poetry
or fiction we find more traces of the mind that dissects and analyzes
than of the mind that embodies and creates. Passion itself assumes the
aspects or affects the subtleties of metaphysics, and much of our modern
literary art bears a strong resemblance to a school of painting which
seems very popular beyond the Channel, in which all definite forms and
outlines seem lost under vague masses of luminous but almost unorganized

And yet, though this be true of a large part of our literature, we have
still great painters among us. It would be idle, it would be, perhaps,
invidious, for me to mention names, many of which will rise unbidden to
your minds; but it is not, I think, out of place to remind you that it
is since the doors of the last Academy exhibition closed that the
illustrious historian [Kinglake] of the Crimean war has completed that
noble historic gallery, hung with battlepieces as glowing and as
animated, with portraits as vivid and as powerful, as any that have
adorned these walls. And if it be said that this great master of
picturesque English was reared in the traditions of a more artistic age,
I would venture to point to a poem which has been but a few weeks in the
world, but which is destined, if I am not much mistaken, to take a more
prominent place in the literature of its time--poem which among many
other beauties contains pictures of the old Greek mythology that are
worthy to compare even with those with which you, Mr. President, have so
often delighted us. I refer to "The City of Dreams," by Robert Buchanan.
["Hear! Hear!"] While such works are produced in England, it cannot, I
think, be said that the artistic spirit in English literature is very
seriously decayed. [Cheers.]



[Speech of General Fitzhugh Lee at a dinner given by the Friendly Sons
  of St. Patrick and the Hibernian Society of Philadelphia, at the city
  of Philadelphia, September 17, 1887. The occasion of the dinner was
  the one hundredth anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of
  the United States. General Lee, then Governor of Virginia, was the
  guest of Governor Beaver at the dinner. The Chairman, Hon. Andrew G.
  Curtin [Pennsylvania's war governor], in introducing General Lee said:
  "We have here to-day a gentleman whom I am glad to call my friend,
  though during the war he was in dangerous and unpleasant proximity to
  me. He once threatened the Capitol of this great State. I did not wish
  him to come in, and was very glad when he went away. He was then my
  enemy and I was his. But, thank God, that is past; and in the
  enjoyment of the rights and interests common to all as American
  citizens, I am his friend and he is my friend. I introduce to you,
  Governor Fitzhugh Lee."]

glad, indeed, to have the honor of being present in this Society once
more; as it was my good fortune to enjoy a most pleasant visit here and
an acquaintance with the members of your Society last year. My
engagements were such to-day that I could not get here earlier; and just
as I was coming in Governor Beaver was making his excuses because, as he
said, he had to go to pick up a visitor whom he was to escort to the
entertainment to be given this evening at the Academy of Music. I am the
visitor whom Governor Beaver is looking for. He could not capture me
during the war, but he has captured me now. I am a Virginian and used to
ride a pretty fast horse, and he could not get close enough to me.

By the way, you have all heard of "George Washington and his little
hatchet." The other day I heard a story that was a little variation
upon the original, and I am going to take up your time for a minute by
repeating it to you. It was to this effect: Old Mr. Washington and Mrs.
Washington, the parents of George, found on one occasion that their
supply of soap for the use of the family at Westmoreland had been
exhausted, and so they decided to make some family soap. They made the
necessary arrangements and gave the requisite instructions to the family
servant. After an hour or so the servant returned and reported to them
that he could not make that soap. "Why not," he was asked, "haven't you
all the materials?" "Yes," he replied, "but there is something wrong."
The old folks proceeded to investigate, and they found they had actually
got the ashes of the little cherry tree that George had cut down with
his hatchet, and there was no lye in it. [Laughter.]

Now, I assure you, there is no "lie" in what I say to you this
afternoon, and that is, that I thank God for the sun of the Union which,
once obscured, is now again in the full stage of its glory; and that its
light is shining over Virginia as well as over the rest of this country.
We have had our differences. I do not see, upon reading history, how
they could well have been avoided, because they resulted from different
constructions of the Constitution, which was the helm of the ship of the
Republic. Virginia construed it one way. Pennsylvania construed it in
another, and they could not settle their differences; so they went to
war, and Pennsylvania, I think, probably got a little the best of it.
[General laughter.]

The sword, at any rate, settled the controversy. But that is behind us.
We have now a great and glorious future in front of us, and it is
Virginia's duty to do all that she can to promote the honor and glory of
this country. We fought to the best of our ability for four years; and
it would be a great mistake to assume that you could bring men from
their cabins, from their ploughs, from their houses and from their
families to make them fight as they fought in that contest unless they
were fighting for a belief. Those men believed that they had the right
construction of the Constitution, and that a State that voluntarily
entered the Union could voluntarily withdraw from it. They did not fight
for Confederate money. It was not worth ten cents a yard. They did not
fight for Confederate rations--you would have had to curtail the demands
of your appetite to make it correspond with the size and quality of
those rations. They fought for what they thought was a proper
construction of the Constitution. They were defeated. They acknowledged
their defeat. They came back to their father's house, and there they are
going to stay. But if we are to continue prosperous, if this country,
stretching from the Gulf to the lakes and from ocean to ocean, is to be
mindful of its own best interests, in the future, we will have to make
concessions and compliances, we will have to bear with each other and to
respect each other's opinions. Then we will find that that harmony will
be secured which is as necessary for the welfare of States, as it is for
the welfare of individuals. [Applause.]

I have become acquainted with Governor Beaver--I met him in Richmond.
You could not make me fight him now. If I had known him before the war,
perhaps we would not have got at it. If all the Governors had known each
other, and if all the people of different sections had been known to
each other, or had been thrown together in business or social
communication, the fact would have been recognized at the outset, as it
is to-day, that there are just as good men in Maine as there are in
Texas, and just as good men in Texas as there are in Maine. Human nature
is everywhere the same; and when intestine strifes occur, we will
doubtless always be able by a conservative, pacific course to pass
smoothly over the rugged, rocky edges, and the old Ship of State will be
brought into a safe, commodious, Constitutional harbor with the flag of
the Union flying over her, and there it will remain. [Applause.]



[Speech of Sir Frederic Leighton, as President of the Royal Academy, at
  the banquet held by that society, May 5, 1894. This speech followed
  upon that of Dr. Mandell Creighton, Bishop of Peterborough, who had
  proposed the "Prosperity of the Royal Academy," and the health of the

MY LORD BISHOP:--I thank you for the appreciative tone in which
you have spoken of art in general and of English art in particular. The
kind terms in which you have commended this institution and its work to
this distinguished assembly must have gratified my colleagues as much as
it has gratified me, and we thank you most warmly. I would also
gratefully acknowledge the lenient words you have addressed to the
occupant of this chair. More fortunate than last year at this season, I
have to note to-day the loss of one only among the acting members of
this body--that of a sculptor of much repute, whose first steps in art
were taken under the stimulating guidance of a powerful artist, whose
name is a just boast to the green island which gave him birth--John
Henry Foley. Less vigorous, no doubt, than his eminent master, Charles
Bell Birch, he yet imparted to his works great life and spirit, and the
charm of a facile and picturesque execution, and, even in this day of
renovation and growing strength in the practice of that stately art,
sculpture in this country will miss him in its ranks. ["Hear! Hear!"]
From amongst the honorary retired Associates of this body another
sculptor, W. F. Woodington, has been removed by death--an artist whom,
for many years, age and infirmity had withdrawn altogether from public
ken. The work of his vigorous prime may still be appreciated on the base
of the Nelson column of Trafalgar Square.

But whilst our active ranks have suffered diminution by one death only
within the year, two justly conspicuous men have fallen in the wider
field of English art, both of them men of marked and distinctive
personality--both painters, both, to me, deeply interesting. One of
them, Albert Moore, an unbending upholder of the sufficiency in art of
whatever is nobly decorative, was a devoted student of the severer
graces of Hellenic art, and married in his works spontaneous and supple
gesture with forms of chaste sobriety, clothing them in delicately
harmonious tones, of which the studied arrangement announced to the
first glance the refined idiosyncrasy of his artistic temper. ["Hear!

How great a psychological contrast is offered to the placid charm of
these works by the fervor of those of the artist whom I have next to
name, an artist of strong intellectual bent and steeped in human
sympathies, the originator of the movement which startled humdrum people
forty or more years ago, and produced a most interesting phase of
English art! I speak of Ford Madox Brown, who recently passed away in
the fulness of respected years and in the unabated intensity of his
convictions. I am not here to defend in every point the nature of those
convictions; I am not wholly at one with them. Ardently admired by many,
stimulating and highly interesting to a still larger circle of the
intelligent, who did not, perhaps, wholly follow his doctrine, he was
not altogether acceptable to the wider and less cultured public, which
so largely influences the creation of that empty and fickle thing called
popularity; for there was that in his work which was apt to rouse the
uneasy dread of the not usual, which mostly marks the middling mind. But
this, I fearlessly affirm, apart from his technical endowments and rare
vividness of dramatic vision, in the work of no English hand burns a
more ardent sympathy with human emotion or is revealed a more subtle
observation of the outward signs and gestures by which these emotions
are conveyed. [Cheers.]

The artistic memories which associate themselves in our mind with Madox
Brown and his concentrated energies, bring vividly before us, as we look
upon the walls of this exhibition, or glance in thought over the wide
area of contemporary production in England, the changes which two-score
years have wrought in the character and tendencies of art in this
country. As we wander through these--I rejoice to say, more than ever
catholic and hospitable--galleries, within which the still young unfold,
this year, so much vitality and promise--and, gentlemen, to us, the old,
there is, believe me, no gladder sight or one more full of comfort--we
are struck, not with a concentration of aim or purpose in the school,
but rather with a radiation and scattering of effort in innumerable
directions. No one, I think, can fail to observe the extraordinary
differences of mood and manner shown in the works which have found equal
shelter on these walls, and the wide multiplicity of individual
personalities which they proclaim. In the range of figure painting, for
instance, what variety of subject as well as of temper meets us! We see,
not historic or domestic scenes alone; not alone scenes in which the
rhythmic dream of beauty and of style is aimed at; but works also, not a
few, of purely imaginative character--fanciful, mythological,
allegorical, symbolic--amongst which latter, one especially, I think, is
dominant in its powerful originality and the weird charm of its
decorative pomp. In the region of landscape, no less, every mood is
touched, and every association evoked, from the infinite solemnity of
the silent Arctic solitudes to the infinite sweetness of a Surrey
homestead nestling within its sheltered nook, or the laughter of the
flower-fields of the Alps in June. What various temperament, too, we
note in the expressional use of tone and color--here vivid and
vibratory; there grave and soberly subdued.

In sculpture, again, though the display is numerically small, there are
amongst various good works some that are salient. I will name one by a
late alumnus of these schools, which has passed into the hands of the
nation, and, in another room, the dazzling sketch of a monument deeply
pathetic in its occasion, and of which this country will, I believe, be
justly and lastingly proud. On all hands then, in sum, we are conscious
of Life. With it, we are aware in much of the art of the day of a
certain feverish tentativeness, groping, as it were, sometimes after a
new spirit, sometimes after a repristination of the old in a modern
form; but everywhere, I repeat, we see Life. And, gentlemen, to those
who, like myself, believe in the necessary triumph of the high over the
less high, in the eventual sure survival of the wholesome and the
strong, and in the falling away and withering of the vicious or the
morbid, this sign is the most welcome, the most inspiriting, and the
most hopeful sign of all. [Loud cheers.]



[Speech of Charles G. Leland at a dinner given in his honor by the Lotos
  Club, New York, January 31, 1880. Mr. Leland had just returned from a
  sojourn of eleven years abroad. Whitelaw Reid, the President of the
  Club, introduced Mr. Leland, and said in part: "Well, his long exile
  is over. With a true Philadelphian's fear of envious and jealous New
  York, he stayed abroad till they started a Pennsylvania line of
  steamers for him, and so smuggled him past Manhattan Island and into
  the Quaker City direct. Captured as he is to-night, I will not abuse
  his modesty by eulogy, yet this much I venture to say, and it is the
  eulogy the true humorist and the true man of letters will most highly
  prize. He deserves all the grateful honor we can pay him because he
  has made substantial additions to the sum of human enjoyment in the
  world. I give you the health of Mr. Leland, and with it our best
  wishes for his long life and prosperity to the end."]

MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN:--I have been asked several times
since my return what struck me most, after an eleven years' absence, and
I should say it is the fact that I am remembered. It has never struck me
so forcibly as this evening. I have been for eleven years over the sea;
I have returned like the proverbial story, somewhat worn, perhaps, but
still accepted, and I am very much gratified that it is so. Time passes
so rapidly, and especially here in New York, that to be remembered after
so long an absence is especially gratifying.

I met in Europe a Mr. Boyd, whose family two centuries before had
resided in Ireland. Mr. Boyd thought one day that he would go back and
visit his relatives, and so he went back and met with an Irish cousin.
"Ah, Cousin Boyd," said his relative, "I am glad to see you, and though
you have not been here for more than two hundred years, still I can
easily trace the illegant resemblance." [Laughter.] Gentlemen, you seem
inclined to trace the resemblance. I am still known, and that has
touched me more than anything.

But I am not altogether so great a stranger to New York. To be sure, I
was born in Philadelphia; that cannot be denied; but I have also lived
in New York. I was a long time in New York, and, indeed, was a
freeholder of the city. I once owned a piece of property here, on which
a Dutchman planted his cabbages but never paid any rent--and I never
asked him for any; finally I gave a man eighty dollars to take the
property off my hands altogether. I also voted in New York; and in this
I fared better than in freeholding, for I voted for Abraham Lincoln at
his first election. [Applause.]

I have also been a business man in New York. I started "Vanity Fair,"
with Charles Browne [Artemus Ward] as an assistant, and I remember how I
used to suggest the subjects to him, and how he used to write out the
series of articles which have since become so widely known. The "Revue
des Deux Mondes" recently gave a detailed account of the manner in
which I brought out Artemus Ward, in which by far too much credit was
given to me and too little to him. But this was all done in New York,
and you will give me some credit for having aided such a man as Artemus
Ward. But I am growing gossipy. I say all this, however, just to show
that I have some claim to call myself a New Yorker. I was here for a
long time, and here some of my best work was done. But what can I say to
thank you for the kind manner in which you have received me?

Before I left London a gentleman said to me: "The two greatest honors of
your country are to get a degree from Harvard, and to be a guest of the
Lotos Club;" for you must know that they talk a great deal about you.
[Laughter.] This was said to me by an English gentleman of letters, for,
as I said, you are extremely well known over there, and your hospitality
is so celebrated that to have received the stamp of it is to be

I said it was very strange, but the last thing that happened to me
before leaving America was to receive the degree of A. M. from
Cambridge, but I did not venture to aspire to the other one. And now the
first thing that happens to me on my return is to receive your
invitation. Gentlemen, ambition can no further go. [Laughter.] As Horace
says, a man may change his skies, but not his disposition, and I wish to
show you that I have not forgotten my manners while abroad; and, in this
connection, that a good speech should have a short answer. A very
excellent speech preceded mine. I have made my answer altogether too
long. Thanking you from my heart, for your courteous kindness, I now take
my seat. [Applause.]



[Fragment of a speech of Abraham Lincoln at the Republican banquet in
  Chicago, December 10, 1856. The rest of this speech, if it was ever
  reported, is presumably no longer extant, as it is not published in
  any collection of Lincoln's speeches.]

GENTLEMEN:--We have another annual presidential message. Like a
rejected lover making merry at the wedding of his rival, the President
felicitates himself hugely over the late presidential election. He
considers the result a signal triumph of good principles and good men,
and a very pointed rebuke of bad ones. He says the people did it. He
forgets that the "people," as he complacently calls only those who voted
for Buchanan, are in a minority of the whole people by about four
hundred thousand votes--one full tenth of all the votes. Remembering
this, he might perceive that the "rebuke" may not be quite as durable as
he seems to think--that the majority may not choose to remain
permanently rebuked by that minority.

The President thinks the great body of us Fremonters, being ardently
attached to liberty, in the abstract, were duped by a few wicked and
designing men. There is a slight difference of opinion on this. We think
he, being ardently attached to the hope of a second term, in the
concrete, was duped by men who hate liberty every way. He is the
cat's-paw. By much dragging of chestnuts from the fire for others to
eat, his claws are burnt off to the gristle, and he is thrown aside as
unfit for further use. As the fool said of King Lear, when his daughters
had turned him out of doors, "He's a shelled peascod."

So far as the President charges us with a desire to "change the
domestic institutions of existing States," and of "doing everything in
our power to deprive the Constitution and the laws of moral authority,"
for the whole party on belief, and for myself on knowledge, I pronounce
the charge an unmixed and unmitigated falsehood.

Our government rests in public opinion. Whoever can change public
opinion can change the government practically just so much. Public
opinion, on any subject, always has a central idea, from which all its
minor thoughts radiate. That central idea in our political public
opinion at the beginning was, and until recently has continued to be,
the equality of men. And although it has always submitted patiently to
whatever of inequality there seemed to be as matter of actual necessity,
its constant working has been a steady progress toward the practical
equality of all men. The late presidential election was a struggle by
one party to discard that central idea and to substitute for it the
opposite idea that slavery is right in the abstract, the workings of
which as a central idea may be the perpetuity of human slavery and its
extension to all countries and colors. Less than a year ago the Richmond
"Enquirer," an avowed advocate of slavery regardless of color, in order
to favor his views, invented the phrase "State equality," and now the
President, in his message, adopts the "Enquirer's" catch-phrase, telling
us the people "have asserted the constitutional equality of each and all
the States of the Union as States." The President flatters himself that
the new central idea is completely inaugurated; and so indeed it is, so
far as the mere fact of a presidential election can inaugurate it. To us
it is left to know that the majority of the people have not yet declared
for it, and to hope that they never will. All of us who did not vote for
Mr. Buchanan, taken together, are a majority of four hundred thousand.
But in the late contest we were divided between Fremont and Fillmore.
Can we not come together for the future? Let every one who really
believes, and is resolved, that free society is not and shall not be a
failure, and who can conscientiously declare that in the past contest he
has done only what he thought best--let every such one have charity to
believe that every other one can say as much. Thus let bygones be
bygones; let past differences as nothing be; and with steady eye on the
real issue, let us reinaugurate the good old central ideas of the
Republic. We can do it. The human heart is with us: God is with us. We
shall again be able not to declare that "all States as States are
equal," nor yet that "all citizens as citizens are equal," but to renew
the broader, better declaration, including both these and much more,
"that all men are created equal." [Applause.]

[Illustration: _FANEUIL HALL_

_Photogravure after a photograph_

This historic "Cradle of Liberty" yields to no building in America, save
perhaps Independence Hall, in interest. Faneuil Hall, in Boston, was
built in 1740, by Peter Faneuil, a wealthy merchant, and presented to
the town for a town-hall and market uses, to which it has been devoted
ever since. In 1761 it was injured by fire, but was rebuilt by the town
in the following year. In 1805 it was considerably enlarged and
improved. During the troublous times which preceded the Revolution, it
was the scene of most exciting public meetings; and the great patriot
orators of that day sounded from this platform the stirring notes that
gave the chief impulse of patriotism to the whole country.]



[Speech of Henry Cabot Lodge, delivered at a banquet complimentary to
  the Robert E. Lee Camp of Confederate Veterans, of Richmond, Va.,
  given in Faneuil Hall, Boston, June 17, 1887. The Southerners were
  visiting Boston as the special guests of the John A. Andrew Post 15,
  Department of Massachusetts, Grand Army of the Republic. At the
  banquet Commander William B. Daley, of Post 15, presided. On either
  side of the presiding officer were seated, Col. A. L. Phillips,
  commander of the visiting camp, ex-Solicitor Gen. Goode of Virginia,
  the Hon. George D. Wise of Virginia, Governor Ames of Massachusetts.
  Mr. Lodge [now United States Senator from Massachusetts] responded to
  the toast, "The Blue and the Gray."]

MR. CHAIRMAN:--To such a toast, sir, it would seem perhaps most
fitting that one of those should respond who was a part of the great
event which it recalls. Yet, after all, on an occasion like this, it may
not be amiss to call upon one who belongs to a generation to whom the
Rebellion is little more than history, and who, however insufficiently,
represents the feelings of that and the succeeding generations as to our
great Civil War. I was a boy ten years old when the troops marched away
to defend Washington, and my personal knowledge of that time is confined
to a few broken but vivid memories. I saw the troops, month after month,
pour through the streets of Boston. I saw Shaw go forth at the head of
his black regiment, and Bartlett, shattered in body but dauntless in
soul, ride by to carry what was left of him once more to the
battle-fields of the Republic. I saw Andrew, standing bareheaded on the
steps of the State House, bid the men God-speed. I cannot remember the
words he said, but I can never forget the fervid eloquence which brought
tears to the eyes and fire to the hearts of all who listened. I
understood but dimly the awful meaning of these events. To my boyish
mind one thing alone was clear, that the soldiers as they marched past
were all, in that supreme hour, heroes and patriots. Amid many changes
that simple belief of boyhood has never altered. The gratitude which I
felt then I confess to to-day more strongly than ever. But other
feelings have in the progress of time altered much. I have learned, and
others of my generation as they came to man's estate have learned, what
the war really meant, and they have also learned to know and to do
justice to the men who fought the war upon the other side.

I do not stand up in this presence to indulge in any mock
sentimentality. You brave men who wore the gray would be the first to
hold me or any other son of the North in just contempt if I should say
that, now it was all over, I thought the North was wrong and the result
of the war a mistake, and that I was prepared to suppress my political
opinions. I believe most profoundly that the war on our side was
eternally right, that our victory was the salvation of the country, and
that the results of the war were of infinite benefit to both North and
South. But however we differed, or still differ, as to the causes for
which we fought then, we accept them as settled, commit them to history,
and fight over them no more. To the men who fought the battles of the
Confederacy we hold out our hands freely, frankly, and gladly. To
courage and faith wherever shown we bow in homage with uncovered heads.
We respect and honor the gallantry and valor of the brave men who fought
against us, and who gave their lives and shed their blood in defence of
what they believed to be right. We rejoice that the famous general whose
name is borne upon your banner was one of the greatest soldiers of
modern times, because he, too, was an American. We have no bitter
memories to revive, no reproaches to utter. Reconciliation is not to be
sought, because it exists already. Differ in politics and in a thousand
other ways we must and shall in all good-nature, but let us never differ
with each other on sectional or State lines, by race or creed.

We welcome you, soldiers of Virginia, as others more eloquent than I
have said, to New England. We welcome you to old Massachusetts. We
welcome you to Boston and to Faneuil Hall. In your presence here, and at
the sound of your voices beneath this historic roof, the years roll
back and we see the figure and hear again the ringing tones of your
great orator, Patrick Henry, declaring to the first Continental
Congress, "The distinctions between Virginians, Pennsylvanians, New
Yorkers, and New Englanders are no more. I am not a Virginian, but an
American." A distinguished Frenchman, as he stood among the graves at
Arlington, said, "Only a great people is capable of a great civil war."
Let us add with thankful hearts that only a great people is capable of a
great reconciliation. Side by side, Virginia and Massachusetts led the
colonies into the War for Independence. Side by side they founded the
government of the United States. Morgan and Greene, Lee and Knox,
Moultrie and Prescott, men of the South and men of the North, fought
shoulder to shoulder, and wore the same uniform of buff and blue--the
uniform of Washington.

Your presence here brings back their noble memories, it breathes the
spirit of concord, and unites with so many other voices in the
irrevocable message of union and good-will. Mere sentiment all this,
some may say. But it is sentiment, true sentiment, that has moved the
world. Sentiment fought the war, and sentiment has re-united us. When
the war closed, it was proposed in the newspapers and elsewhere to give
Governor Andrew, who had sacrificed health and strength and property in
his public duties, some immediately lucrative office, like the
collectorship of the port of Boston. A friend asked him if he would take
such a place. "No," said he; "I have stood as high priest between the
horns of the altar, and I have poured out upon it the best blood of
Massachusetts, and I cannot take money for that." Mere sentiment, truly,
but the sentiment which ennobles and uplifts mankind. It is sentiment
which so hallows a bit of torn, stained bunting, that men go gladly to
their deaths to save it. So I say that the sentiment manifested by your
presence here, brethren of Virginia, sitting side by side with those who
wore the blue, has a far-reaching and gracious influence, of more value
than many practical things. It tells us that these two grand old
commonwealths, parted in the shock of the Civil War, are once more side
by side as in the days of the Revolution, never to part again. It tells
us that the sons of Virginia and Massachusetts, if war should break
again upon the country, will, as in the olden days, stand once more
shoulder to shoulder, with no distinction in the colors that they wear.
It is fraught with tidings of peace on earth and you may read its
meaning in the words on yonder picture, "Liberty and Union, now and
forever, one and inseparable."



[Speech of John D. Long, Secretary of the Navy, at the banquet of the
  Fall Festival Celebration, Chicago, October 9, 1899. The Secretary was
  introduced by the toast-master, Hon. Melville E. Stone, to speak in
  response to the toast, "The Navy."]

MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN:--Your toast to the Navy is all the
more a compliment because you are a thousand miles from the sea. It
signifies the place that the Navy has in the hearts of all the people
and how much they all alike share its glories. It has always been dear
to the American heart, and has contributed some of the most brilliant
pages in American history; but its exploits during the recent war have
given it a stronger and broader hold than ever before. Besides, it is
not a department which pertains to any section of the country nor to any
class among the people; it is one of the fundamental elements of
American popular growth. It is as much the product of our schools, our
homes, and common life, as is the shop of the mechanic, the warehouse of
the merchant, the harvest of the farmer. Jack hails from the inland
hamlet as well as from the seaport town.

The Admiral commanding one of our great squadrons, winning a victory
unprecedented in naval history, is the son of a prominent financial
business man; another, the son of an Irish laborer, working in a ditch
by his father's side, went from it to the Naval academy. Every
congressional district in the Union is represented there by its cadet.

The result is that the splendid body of naval officers who to-day so
highly command the confidence and admiration of the people are
themselves the immediate representatives of the people, and of their
common intelligence, spirit and standards. Our late antagonist had
officers and men of undoubted bravery. But in education, versatility,
ability to plan and do, and to meet emergencies: in short, in what Mrs.
Stowe called "faculty," our superiority was such that the battle was won
the moment it began.

In this connection I remind myself that in Congress the Naval Committees
of the Senate and House are made up also of men from all parts of our
common country. That great branch of our government which nurses the
Navy and provides for it is also representative of all the people.
Indeed, your own great city, with all its tremendous commercial and
industrial interests, has contributed a member of that committee, who
has put his heart into our naval development, rendered signal service in
that behalf, and by his recent voluntary study of naval affairs abroad
has prepared himself for still more valuable work--your able
representative in Congress, and my good friend, George Edmund Foss.

I can the more properly, gentlemen, join with you in your appreciation
of the Navy because, although its head, I am yet only temporarily
connected with it and can look at it from the outside. I sometimes
think, however, that the great public, applauding the salient merits,
overlook others which are quite as deserving.

You cheer for the men behind the guns; you give swords and banquets here
and there to an Admiral--and both most richly deserve the tribute--but
remember that all up and down the line there are individuals whose names
never got to your ears--or, if so, are already half forgotten--who have
earned unfading laurels. No man in the Navy has rendered such service,
however great, that others were not ready to fill the place and do as
well. The Navy is full of heroes unknown to fame. Its great merit is the
professional spirit which runs through it; the high sense of duty, the
lofty standards of service to which its hearts are loyal and which make
them all equal to any duty.

Who sings the praises of the chiefs of the naval stations and bureaus of
the Navy department, who wept that there were no battles and glory for
them; and who, remaining at their departmental posts, made such
provision for the fitting out, the arming, the supplying, the feeding,
the coaling, the equipping of your fleets that the commanding officer
on the deck had only to direct and use the forces which these, his
brothers, had put in his hands?

Who repeats the names of the young officers who pleaded for Hobson's
chance to risk his life in the hull and hell of the Merrimac? Who
mentions the scores of seamen who begged to be of the immortal seven who
were his companions in that forlorn hope?

In the long watch before Santiago the terror of our great battleships
was the two Spanish torpedo-boat destroyers, those swift, fiendish
sharks of the sea, engines of death and destruction, and yet, when the
great battle came, it was the unprotected Gloucester, a converted yacht,
the former plaything and pleasure-boat of a summer vacation, which,
without hesitation or turning, attacked these demons of the sea and sunk
them both. I have always thought it the most heroic and gallant
individual instance of fighting daring in the war. It was as if some
light-clad youth, with no defence but his sword, threw himself into the
arena with armored gladiators and by his dash and spirit laid them low.
And yet who has given a sword or spread a feast to that purest flame of
chivalrous heroism, Richard Wainwright?

Who recalls all the still more varied services of our Navy--its exploits
and researches in the interest of science, its stimulus to international
commerce, its surveys in foreign harbors, its charting of the sea and
marking of the pathway of the merchant marine, its study of the stars,
its contributions--in short, to all the interests of an enlightened and
progressive country?

May I suggest, therefore, that with this broader view of our Navy, as
not an outside conception of our institutions, but an integral part of
them, it is a partial conception that criticises its recent development
and its continued developments in the future? It has not only given
dignity and variety of service and strength to your government, but
think how it is linked in with all your industrial interests, with the
employment of large bodies of labor, with the consumption of all sorts
of material stimulating marine construction, building docks, and
contributing to this business activity and prosperity which are the
features of this thrifty town. It is not too much to predict that the
development of our navy is the beginning also of a new era of our
merchant marine, in maritime construction, and, hence, in maritime
transportation, of the American bottom carrying the American flag again
on all the oceans of the globe.

In the war with Spain our fleet was ordered to Manila because there was
a Spanish fleet there, and every military interest demanded its capture
or destruction. When that was done, every military interest required,
not that our fleet be withdrawn, but that our hand on the enemy's throat
should there remain until his surrender. When that surrender came, and
with it the transfer of the sovereignty of those islands from Spain to
the United States, every consideration demanded that the President
should hold them up, not toss them into the caldron of anarchy, and when
violence began should restore order, yet stretching out always in his
hands the tender and opportunity for peace and beneficent government
until Congress in its wisdom shall determine what their future status
shall be. What more, or what less, should he do and do his duty?



[Speech of Seth Low at the 112th annual banquet of the Chamber of
  Commerce of the State of New York, May 11, 1880. George W. Lane, the
  second vice-President of the Chamber, presided, and called upon Mr.
  Low to respond to the tenth regular toast: "The Chamber of Commerce of
  the State of New York--its Past, Present, and Future."]

historian wished to convey to your minds some idea of the antiquity of
this Chamber, he would scarcely do it, I think, by saying it was founded
in 1768. So few besides the reporters would personally recollect those
times. He would rather tell you that it dates back to an epoch when each
absentee from the annual dinner was fined five shillings sterling for
the offence. Think of that! How eloquently it seems to tell us that
there was no Delmonico in those days. I can understand how a people that
punished such a slight to commerce in such a way, would rebel at stamp
acts and other burdens of the sort. The Revolution itself seems to get a
new interpretation from this early custom of the Chamber. [Laughter.]

But, perhaps, a better way of making vivid to this generation the age of
this body, would be to say that it dates back to a time when New York
actually had a foreign commerce of its own, carried on chiefly under the
American flag. It sounds like a fairy tale to one who counts the ensigns
in our harbor now, to be told that tradition speaks of a day when the
Stars and Stripes floated over a larger fleet of common carriers on the
highways of the world--at least, so far as American business was
concerned--than even that omnipresent banner of St. George. Strange, is
it not, that a nation which surpasses all others in its use of machinery
on the land, should have been content to yield up the sea, almost
without a struggle, to the steamships of the older world? Events over
which we have had no control have had much to do with it, I know; but is
a single misused subsidy to keep us off the sea forever, or so long as
the dominion of the steamship lasts? Are we to wait until England can
build our steamers for us, and hear her say, as we run up the Stars and
Stripes to the mast-head of the ship which she has built: "See, Brother
Jonathan, how cheap these subsidies which I have given all these years
enable me now to build for you!" It may be we must wait for this, but
let us hope for a happier consummation. Nevertheless, Mr. Chairman, this
Chamber does date back to the time when we had a commerce of our own.

In glancing over our old records, it is interesting to see what a
perennial source of discussion in this body have been the pilots of the
port. They have been mentioned, I think, even the past year. The first
formal reference to the pilots appears in 1791, and the minutes ever
since teem with memorials, protests, bills, measures, conferences and
the like.

A story is told of a Chinese pilot, who boarded the vessel of a captain
who had never been on the China coast before, and who asked the captain
one hundred dollars for his fee. The captain demurred, and the
discussion waxed warm, until the white head of an old China merchant
appeared in the companion-way, and caught the pilot's eye, when he cut
the dispute short by crying out: "Hi-ya! G'long olo Foxee! ten dollar
can do!" [Laughter and applause.]

I apprehend there is much wisdom in this appeal. In the olden days, the
complaint against our pilotage system was not only that it was costly,
but that it was inefficient; and so even more costly in the losses of
vessels and cargoes than in fees. But, after half a century of contest,
the present system was reached in 1853, and it is, beyond dispute,
acknowledged by underwriters and by merchants that, as a system, it has
worked well--uncommonly well. If, therefore, the present dispute between
the merchants and the pilots be, as I understand that it is, in all its
vital points a dispute as to fees, I recommend to the merchants and to
the pilots the Chinese method of adjustment--by compromise. Do not let
us expose to the hazard of legislative interference a system which is
not likely to be bettered, and which gives us certainly efficient
pilotage, because we cannot all at once get by compromise a reduction in
our favor quite equal to what we think our due. [Applause.]

But what can I say, Mr. Chairman, of the Chamber of to-day? The subject
is full, very full, of interest and of other good things. "May good
digestion wait on appetite, and health on both." It is curious to see,
all along the history of the Chamber, how coming events have cast their
shadows before. In 1837 the Chamber petitioned Congress to improve the
navigation at Hell Gate; in 1846 they approved a report suggesting as
feasible a railroad across the continent to the Pacific; and in 1852
they asked Congress to remove the mint from Philadelphia, intimating
pretty plainly that Philadelphia was too insignificant a place to enjoy
so great a luxury. The first two achievements have been accomplished.
The mint is almost due in Wall Street. Let Philadelphia hear and
tremble. [Applause.]

When I think, Mr. Chairman, of the influence the Chamber wields, and of
the influence it ought to wield, it seems to me one thing of all others
should be avoided. The Chamber ought never to be put upon record in an
important matter until full discussion upon fair notice has preceded
action, whenever this is possible. Sometimes I have thought the action
of the Chamber was somewhat the result of chance, even with reference to
questions of great importance. If the Chamber is to continue free, as in
the main it has been free, from being used for personal ends, and at the
same time is to exert an influence at all commensurate with its power as
a representative of commercial New York, the action of the Chamber ought
to be the result of intelligent discussion. I would only suggest one
definite thing. Why might not the notice of each monthly meeting state
the items of unfinished business that may come up, and also give notice,
so far as possible, of the matters to be submitted by the Executive
Committee? The attendance at our meetings would be better, I am sure, if
men knew when matters of interest to them were to be discussed.

Glancing towards our future, I seem to see the day when Judge Fancher
shall sit in a telephone exchange and receive his testimony in ghastly
whispers from unseen mouths when the president of the Chamber shall
take the ayes and nays of a meeting whose component parts are sitting in
a thousand counting rooms in this city. But I never can seem to see the
day when the annual dinner can be conducted by the members except
face-to-face. At all events, we can wait till Edison perfects the
electric light, before asking him to make a dinner available with
Delmonico fifteen miles away. [Laughter and cheers.]

In 1861 the Pacific Mail Steamship Line was petitioned for, or, at
least, a mail line on the Pacific, between the United States and the
Orient world, and that, while the nation was engaged in a mighty
struggle for its life. The Pacific Mail Line to the East, the Pacific
Railroad across the continent, the superb government buildings at
Washington,--all constructed, in whole or in part, while the nation
seemed to be strained to its utmost by the demands of a civil
war,--these things are to me among the mightiest evidences of the faith
of the men of those days who, while the present seemed to be surcharged
with duties and burdens for their hands, still laid hold upon the future
with such powerful grasp. Are we, of the Chamber of Commerce, worthy of
the blessings that have come down to us out of the glorious past? If we
wish to be, we must live partly for the future as did they.

We need a building of our own, commodious, and in some way proportioned
to the great interests we represent. We need a fire-proof building for
the safe-keeping of our records. Once already in our history our seal
has been returned to us from an obscure shop in London. Our Charter was
rescued from an old trunk in the Walton house on Pearl Street, and our
historic paintings were only discovered after long loss, as the result
of the fire of 1835. The Chamber of Commerce is standing now at the door
of Congress, and asks them to sell at public auction the site of the old
Post Office, for not less than three hundred thousand dollars and to pay
to the Chamber from the proceeds of the sale the sum of fifty thousand
dollars, originally subscribed, in the main, by members of the Chamber
when that site was purchased from the General Government a few years
ago. It is the purpose of the Chamber to buy this plot, and to build
there a building worthy of itself and of this great city. [Applause.]
But so far we ask in vain.

The House Committee of Ways and Means has reported our bill favorably,
but Congress does nothing. The Chamber wants this plot, not so much
because of the fifty thousand dollars it has of _quasi_ interest in it,
but because of its eligibility. The Chamber believes it deserves well of
this community and of the nation, and, so believing, it asks of Congress
the passage of this bill.

I look back over the past twenty years, and I find the Chamber of
Commerce has been always alive to encourage gallantry, to reward
conspicuous service, and to relieve distress. Eighteen hundred thousand
dollars--almost two millions of dollars--has been given by this Chamber
in these twenty years. The money has not all come from members of the
Chamber, but the Chamber has always been recognized as the fitting
leader and minister in this city in deeds of public spirit. [Cheers.]

In 1858 it celebrated the completion of the first Atlantic cable, by
giving medals of gold, with generous impartiality, to the officers of
the British ship "Agamemnon" and the American ship "Niagara" alike. And
in 1866 it feasted the distinguished and persevering American citizen
whose pluck and courage, with reference to this cable, no disaster and
no faint-heartedness anywhere could dismay.

In 1861, in token of gratitude and of patriotic admiration, the Chamber
placed a medal of bronze upon the breast of every officer and private
who sustained the national honor in the defense of Fort Sumter and Fort

In 1862 it sprang to the relief of famished Lancashire; in 1865 our own
sufferers in East Tennessee and in Savannah partook of its bounty; and
in 1871 the bread cast upon the waters by Rochambeau and Lafayette, a
hundred years before, returned through the ministry of the Chamber in an
abundant harvest to the war-stricken plains of unhappy France.

In 1865 the Chamber honored itself by giving testimonials to the
officers and crew of the "Kearsarge."

In 1866 it presented to the widow of a Southern officer in the United
States Navy several historic swords, sending with them a purse, "in
recognition of the valuable services rendered to our country by the
father and son, and as a token that gratitude for fidelity to the flag
of the Union is an abiding sentiment with the citizens of New York,
descending from generation to generation."

The cities of Troy, Portland, Richmond, Chicago, three of them when
swept by fire, and Richmond when cast into gloom by the fall of the
State Capitol, all in turn have realized, through the prompt action of
the Chamber, the large brotherliness of commercial New York.

And, finally, in 1876, at Savannah, and in 1878, through the whole
southwestern district of the country, and again in 1879 at Memphis, the
contributions made through the Chamber of Commerce gave substantial
relief to the distressed victims of yellow fever. Thus has the Chamber
contributed to promote a union of hearts throughout the broad expanse of
this great Union of States. Thus has the Chamber done what it could to
show that the spirit of commerce is a large and a liberal spirit, too
large to be bounded by the lines that divide nations. Thus has the
Chamber shown itself not unworthy of the Empire State of the New World.
May the future of the Chamber be in every respect worthy of the past.
[Loud applause,]



[Speech of James Russell Lowell at the Harvard Alumni dinner at
  Cambridge, Mass., June 30, 1875. Mr. Lowell was the presiding

BRETHREN OF THE ALUMNI:--It is, I think, one of the greatest
privileges conferred upon us by our degree that we can meet together
once a year in this really majestic hall [Memorial Hall], commemorative
of our proudest sorrows, suggestive only of our least sordid ambitions;
that we can meet here to renew our pledge of fealty to the ancient
mother who did so much for the generations that have gone before us, and
who will be as benign to those who, by-and-by, shall look back and call
us fathers. The tie that binds us to our college is one of the purest,
since it is that which unites us also with our youth; it is one of the
happiest, for it binds us to the days when we looked forward and not
backward, for in hope there is nothing to regret, while in retrospect
there is a touch of autumn and a premonition of winter.

In this year of centennials, when none of us would be surprised if a
century plant should blossom in our back yard [laughter], when I myself
am matured, as I look to complete my second centennial on Saturday
afternoon [laughter and applause], there is a kind of repose, as it
seems to me, in coming back here to sit in the lap of this dear old
nurse who is well on toward her three hundred, and who will certainly
never ask any of us to celebrate her centennial either in prose or
verse. To this college our Revolution which we are celebrating this year
is modern. And I think also one of the great privileges which she
confers upon us is that she gives us a claim of kindred still with the
mother country--a claim purely intellectual and safe from the
embitterment of war or the jealousies of trade. It was an offshoot of
Cambridge and Oxford that was planted on the banks of the Charles, and
by men from Cambridge and Oxford; and when I visited those renowned
nurseries of piety, scholarship, and manliness of thought, my keenest
pleasure in the kindness I received was the feeling that I owed the
greater part of it to my connection with Harvard, whom they were pleased
to acknowledge as a plant not unworthy of the parent stock. [Applause.]

In their halls I could not feel myself a stranger, and I resented the
imputation of being a foreigner when I looked round upon the old
portraits, all of whom were my countrymen as well as theirs, and some of
whom had been among our founders and benefactors. In this year of
reconciliations and atonements, too, the influence of college
associations is of no secondary importance as a bond of union. On this
day, in every State of our more than ever to be united country, there
are men whose memories turn back tenderly and regretfully to those
haunts of their early manhood. Our college also, stretching back as it
does toward the past, and forward to an ever-expanding future, gives a
sense of continuity which is some atonement for the brevity of life.
These portraits that hang about us seem to make us contemporaries with
generations that are gone, and the services we render her will make us
in turn familiar to those who shall succeed us here. There is no way so
cheap of buying what I may call a kind of mitigated immortality,--mean
by that an immortality without the pains and penalty attached commonly
to it, of being dug up once in fifty years to have your claims
reconsidered [laughter]--as in giving something to the college.
[Applause.] Nay, I will say in parenthesis, that even an intention to
give it secures that place of which I have spoken. [Laughter.] I find in
the records of the college an ancestor of my own recorded as having
intended to give a piece of land. He remains there forever with his
beneficent intention. It is not certain that he didn't carry it out. The
land certainly never came to me, or I should make restitution. [Laughter
and applause.]

Consider, for example, William Pennoyer; how long ago would he have sunk
in the tenacious ooze of oblivion, not leaving rack nor even rumor of
himself behind. No portrait of him exists, and no living descendant, so
far as I know, and yet his name is familiar with all of us who are
familiar with the records of the college, and he always presents himself
to our imaginations in the gracious attitude of putting his hand into
his pocket. [Laughter.] And tell me, if you please, what widow of a
London alderman ever insured her life with so sure return or perdurable
interest as Madame Holden. Even the bodiless society, _pro propaganda
fide,_ is reincorporated forever in the perpetuity of our gratitude. It
is the genteelest of immortalities, as the auctioneer would call it, the
immortality of perfect seclusion.

The value of such an association as this as a spur to honorable exertion
is also, as it seems to me, no small part of its benefit. Leigh Hunt,
says, somewhere, that when he was writing an essay he always thought of
certain persons and said to himself, "A will like this, B will rub his
hands at that"; and it is safe to say that any graduate of this college
would prefer the suffrages of his brethren here to those of any other
public. And when any of the sons of Harvard who has done her honor and
his country upright service, meets us here on this day, it is not only a
fitting recognition, but a powerful incentive, that he receives in the
"Well done" of our plaudits. I had hoped that we should have heard
to-day the voice of one graduate of Harvard who sits almost immediately
upon my right. [Charles Francis Adams.] I will not press upon his
modesty, but I will ask you to bear witness once more that Peace hath
her victories, and more renowned than war [long continued applause]; and
honor with me those truly durable years of service and that of victory,
which if it hath not so loud an echo as that of the battle-field, will
be seen to have a longer one. [Renewed and loud applause.] It appears to
me that there is nothing more grateful to the human heart than this
appreciation of cultivated men. If it be not the echo of posterity, it
was something more solid and well-pleasing. But better and more
wholesome than even this must it be, I should think, for men spending
their lives in the dusty glare of public life, to come back once a year
to our quiet shades and be, as Dr. Holmes has so delightfully sung,
plain Bill and Joe again. It must renew and revive in them the early
sweetness of their nature, the frank delight in simple things which
makes so large a part of the better happiness of life.

But, gentlemen, I will not longer detain you with the inevitable
suggestions of the occasion. These sentimentalities are apt to slip from
under him who would embark on them, like a birch canoe under the clumsy
foot of a cockney, and leave him floundering in retributive commonplace.
I had a kind of hope, indeed, from what I had heard, that I should be
unable to fill this voice-devouring hall. I had hoped to sit serenely
here with a tablet in the wall before me inscribed: _Guilielmo Roberto
Ware, Henrico Van Brunt, optime de Academia meritis, eo quod facundiam
postprandialem irritam fecerunt._ I hope you understood my Latin
[laughter], and I hope you will forgive me the antiquity of my
pronunciation [laughter]; but it is simply because I cannot help it.
Then on a blackboard behind me I could have written in large letters the
names of our guests who should make some brief dumb show of
acknowledgment. You, at least, with your united applause, could make
yourselves heard. If brevity ever needed an excuse, I might claim one in
the fact that I have consented at short notice to be one of the
performers in our domestic centennial next Saturday, and poetry is not a
thing to be delivered on demand without an exhausting wear upon the
nerves. When I wrote to Dr. Holmes and begged for a little poem, I got
the following answer, which I shall take the liberty of reading. I don't
see the Doctor himself in the hall, which encourages me to go on:--

     "MY DEAR JAMES:--Somebody has written a note in your name
     requesting me to furnish a few verses for some occasion which he
     professed to be interested in. I am satisfied, of course, that it
     is a forgery. I know you would not do such a thing as to ask a
     brother rhymer, utterly exhausted by his centennial efforts, to
     endanger his health and compromise his reputation by any damnable
     iteration of spasmodic squeezing. [Laughter.] So I give you warning
     that some dangerous person is using your name, and taking advantage
     of the great love I bear you, to play upon my feelings. Don't think
     for a moment that I hold you in any way responsible for this note,
     looking so nearly like your own handwriting as for a single instant
     to deceive me, and suggest the idea that I would take a passage for
     Europe in season to avoid all the college anniversaries."

I readily excused him, and I am sure you will be kind enough to be
charitable to me, gentlemen.

I know that one of the things which the graduates of the college look
forward to with the most confident expectation and pleasure is the
report of the President of the University. [Applause.] I remember that
when I was in the habit of attending the meetings of the faculty, some
fourteen or fifteen years ago, I was very much struck by the fact that
almost every matter of business that required particular ability was
sure to gravitate into the hands of a young professor of chemistry. The
fact made so deep an impression upon me that I remember that I used to
feel, when our war broke out, that this young professor might have to
take the care of one of our regiments, and I know that he would have led
it to victory. And when I heard that the same professor was nominated
for President, I had no doubt of the result which all of us have seen to
follow. I give you, gentlemen, the health of President Eliot of Harvard
College. [Applause.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of James Russell Lowell at the Harvard Alumni dinner at
  Cambridge, Mass., June 28, 1876. Mr. Lowell, as President of the
  Alumni Association, occupied the chair.]

BRETHREN:--Though perhaps there be nothing in a hundredth year
to make it more emphatic than those years which precede it and which
follow it, and though the celebration of centennials be a superstitious
survival from the time when to count ten upon the fingers was a great
achievement in arithmetic, and to find the square of that number carried
with it something of the awe and solemnity which invests the higher
mathematics to us of the laity, yet I think no wise man can be
indifferent to any sentiment which so profoundly and powerfully affects
the imagination of the mass of his fellows. The common consent of
civilized mankind seems to have settled on the centennial commemoration
of great events as leaving an interval spacious enough to be impressive,
and having a roundness of completion in its period. We, the youngest of
nations, the centuries to us are not yet grown so cheap and commonplace
as to Napoleon when he saw forty of them looking in undisguised
admiration upon his army, bronzed from their triumphs in Italy. For my
own part I think the scrutiny of one age is quite enough to bear without
calling in thirty-nine others to its assistance. [Applause.]

It is quite true that a hundred years are but as a day in the life of a
nation, are but as a tick of the clock to the long-drawn æons in which
this planet hardened itself for the habitation of man, and man
accommodated himself to his habitation; but they are all we have, and we
must make the best of them. Perhaps, after all, it is no such great
misfortune to be young, especially if we are conscious at the time that
youth means opportunity, and not accomplishment. I think that, after
all, when we look back upon a hundred years through which the country
has passed, the vista is not so disheartening as to the indigestive
fancy it might at first appear. If we have lost something of that
Arcadian simplicity which the French travellers of a hundred years ago
found here,--perhaps because they looked for it, perhaps because of
their impenetrability by the English tongue,--we have lost something
also of that self-sufficiency which is the mark as well of provincials
as of barbarians, and which is the great hindrance to all true
advancement. It is a wholesome symptom, I think, if we are beginning to
show some of that talent for grumbling which is the undoubted heirloom
of the race to which most of us belong. [Laughter and applause.] Even
the Fourth-of-July oration is edging round into a lecture on our
national shortcomings, and the proud eagle himself is beginning to have
no little misgiving at the amplitude between the tips of his wings.

But while it may be admitted that our government was more decorously
administered one hundred years ago, if our national housekeeping of
to-day is further removed from honest business principles, and therefore
is more costly, both morally and financially, than that of any other
Christian nation, it is no less true that the hundredth year of our
existence finds us in the mass very greatly advanced in the refinement
and culture and comfort that are most operative in making a country
civilized and in keeping it so. [Applause.] When we talk of decline of
public and private virtue I think that we forget that that better former
day was a day of small communities and of uneasy locomotion, when public
opinion acted more directly and more sharply, was brought to bear more
convincingly upon the individual than is possible now. But grant that
though the dread of what is said and thought be but a poor substitute
and makeshift for conscience,--that austere and sleepless safeguard of
character, which, if not an instinct, acquires all the attributes of an
instinct, and whose repeated warnings make duty at least an unconscious
habitude,--after all, this outside substitute is the strongest motive
for well-doing in the majority of our race, and men of thought and
culture should waste no opportunity to reinforce it by frankness in
speaking out invidious truths, by reproof and by warning. I, for one,
greatly doubt whether our national standard of right and wrong has been
really so much debased as we are sometimes tempted to think [applause];
and whether the soft money of a sentimental sort of promises to pay has
altogether driven out the sterling coin of upright purpose and
self-denying fulfilment. [Applause.] I could wish that this belief,
almost, provided it did not mislead us into prophesying smooth things,
were more general among our cultivated class; for the very acceptance of
such a belief tends in large measure toward its accomplishment. No finer
sentence has come down to us from antiquity, no higher witness was ever
borne to the quality of a nation, than in that signal of Nelson's:
"England expects every man to do his duty." [Applause.]

Brethren, I thought on this occasion of the centennial celebration of
our independence it was fit that some expression should go forth from us
that should in some measure give contradiction to the impression that
the graduates of Harvard College take a pessimistic view of their
country and its institutions. [Applause.] Certainly I know that it is
not true, and I wish to have that sentiment expressed here. Our college
takes no official part in celebrating the nation's first completed
century; she who is already half-way through her third has become too
grave for these youthful elations. [Laughter.] But she does not forget
that in Samuel and John Adams, Otis, Josiah Quincy, Jr., and John
Hancock, she did her full share toward making such a commemoration
possible. [Applause.] As in 1776, so in 1876, we have sent John Adams to
represent us at Philadelphia, and, perhaps with some prescience of what
the next century is to effect, we have sent with him Madame Boylston as
his colleague [applause]; and it may be that Alma Mater in this has
possibly shown a little feminine malice, for it is to a silent congress
that she is made her deputy. [Laughter and applause.] And in the hundred
years since we asserted for ourselves a separate place and proper name
among the nations, our college has been no palsied or atrophied limb in
the national organization. To the jurisprudence, to the legislation, the
diplomacy, the science, the literature, the art of the country, her
contribution has certainly not fallen short of its due proportion. Our
triennial catalogue is hung thick with our trophies from many fields. I
may say in parenthesis, gentlemen, brethren of the alumni, that I am
glad the July number of the "North American Review" is not yet
published. In the January number there was so disheartening a report of
everything--I am glad to say our religion is excepted, we have grown
perhaps in grace--but we had no science, we had none of this and none of
the other.

Brethren, we whom these dumb faces on the wall make in imagination the
contemporaries of eight generations of men, let us remember, and let us
inculcate on those who are to fill the places that so soon shall know us
no more, let us remember, I say, that if man seem to survive himself and
to be mutely perpetuated in these fragile semblances, it is only the
stamp of the soul that is eternally operative; it is only the image of
ourselves that we have left in some sphere of intellectual or moral
achievement, that is indelible, that becomes a part of the memory of
mankind, reproductive and beneficent, inspiring and admonitory.

But, brethren, as Charles Lamb said of Coleridge's motto, _Sermoni
propriori_, this is more proper for a sermon than for a dinner-table.
But birthdays, after all, gentlemen, are serious things; and as the
chance of many more of them becomes precarious, and the approaching
birthday of the nation begets in all of us, I should hope, something of
a grave and meditative mood, it would be an indecorum to break in upon
it too suddenly with the licensed levity of festival. You are waiting to
hear other voices, and I trust my example of gravity may act rather as a
warning than as precedent to those who are to follow me.

Brethren, at our table there is always one toast, that by custom and
propriety takes precedence of all others. It is, I admit, rather an
arduous task to pay the most many-sided man a different compliment year
after year, and the President of the University must pardon me for
saying that he gives a good deal of trouble to the President of the
Alumni, as he is apt to do in the case of inefficient persons generally.
[Laughter and applause.] One eminent quality, however, I can illustrate
in a familiar Latin quotation, which, with your permission, I will put
in two ways, thus securing, I should hope, the understanding of the
older and younger among you: "_Justum et tenacem propositi virum_." [Mr.
Lowell evoked considerable laughter by pronouncing the Latin according
to the continental method.] I give you the health of President Eliot.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of James Russell Lowell at a breakfast given to American actors
  at the Savage Club, London, August, 1880. Charles Dickens [the son of
  the novelist] occupied the post of chairman and called upon Mr. Lowell
  to respond to the toast proposed in his honor: "The Health of the
  American Minister."]

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN:--In listening to the kind words and
still more in hearing the name of the gentleman who was kind enough to
propose the toast to which I am replying, I cannot help recalling the
words of one of your English poets:--

 "Oh, for the touch of a vanished hand,
  And the sound of a voice that is still!"

I was honored with the acquaintance, in some sort, I may say, with the
friendship of the father of the gentleman who proposed my name, and
before saying anything further you will allow me to remark that my
countrymen are always ready to recognize the hereditary claims when
based upon hereditary merit. ["Hear! Hear!"]

Gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to me to be here, but in some sense I
regard it also as a kind of duty to be present on any occasion when the
star-spangled banner and the red cross of England hang opposite each
other, in friendly converse. May they never hang opposite each other in
any other spirit. [Cheers.] I say so because I think it is the duty of
any man who in any sense represents one of the English-speaking races,
to be present on an occasion which indicates, as this does, that we are
one in all those great principles which lie at the basis of civilized
society--never mind what the form of government may be.

As I sat here, gentlemen, endeavoring to collect my thoughts and finding
it, I may say, as difficult as to make a collection for any other
charitable occasion [laughter], I could not help thinking that the
Anglo-Saxon race--if you will allow me to use an expression which is
sometimes criticised--that the Anglo-Saxon race has misinterpreted a
familiar text of Scripture and reads it: "Out of the fulness of the
mouth the heart speaketh." I confess that if Alexander, who once offered
a reward for a new pleasure, were to come again upon earth, I should
become one of the competitors for the prize, and I should offer for his
consideration a festival at which there were no speeches. [Laughter.]
The gentlemen of your profession have in one sense a great advantage
over the rest of us. Your speeches are prepared for you by the cleverest
men of your time or by the great geniuses for all time. You can be witty
or wise at much less expense than those of us who are obliged to fall
back upon our own resources. Now I admit that there is a great deal in
the spur of the moment, but that depends very much upon the flank of the
animal into which you dig it. There is also a great deal in that
self-possessed extemporaneousness which a man carries in his pocket on a
sheet of paper. It reminds one of the compliment which the Irishman paid
to his own weapon, the shillalah, when he said: "It's a weapon which
never misses fire." But then it may be said that it applies itself more
directly to the head than to the heart. I think I have a very capital
theory of what an after-dinner speech should be; we have had some
examples this afternoon and I have made a great many excellent ones
myself; but they were always on the way home, and after I had made a
very poor one when I was on my legs. [Laughter.] My cabman has been the
confidant of an amount of humor and apt quotations and clever sayings
which you will never know, and which you will never guess. But something
in what has been said by one of my countrymen recalls to my mind a
matter of graver character. As a man who has lived all his life in the
country, to my shame be it said I have not been an habitual
theatre-goer. I came too late for the elder Kean. My theatrical
experience began with Fanny Kemble--I forget how many years ago, but
more than I care to remember--and I recollect the impression made upon
me by her and by her father. I was too young to be critical; I was young
enough to enjoy; but I remember that what remained with me and what
remains with me still of what I heard and saw, and especially with
regard to Charles Kemble, was the perfection of his art. It was not his
individual characteristics--though of course I remember those--it was
the perfection of his art. My countryman has alluded to the fact that at
one time it was difficult for an actor to get a breakfast, much more to
have one offered to him; and that recalls to my mind the touching words
of the great master of your art, Shakespeare, who in one of his sonnets

 "O for my sake do you with Fortune chide,
    The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,
  That did not better for my life provide
    Than public means, which public manners breeds:
  Thence comes it that my name receives a brand;
    And almost thence my nature is subdu'd
  To what it works in, like the dyer's hand."

Certainly the consideration in which the theatrical profession is held
has risen greatly even within my own recollection. It has risen greatly
since the time when Adrienne Lecouvreur was denied burial in that
consecrated ground where rakes and demireps could complete the
corruption they had begun on earth; and this is due to the fact that it
is now looked upon not only by the public in general but by the members
of your profession as a fine art. It is perfectly true that the stage
has often lent itself, I will not say to the demoralization of the
public, but to things which I think none of us would altogether approve.
This, however, I think has been due, more to the fact that it not only
holds up the mirror to nature, but that the stage is a mirror in which
the public itself is reflected. And the public itself is to blame if the
stage is ever degraded. [Cheers.]

It has been to men of my profession, perhaps, that the degradation has
been due, more than to those who represent their plays. They have
interpreted, perhaps in too literal a sense, the famous saying of Dryden

    "He who lives to write, must write to live."

But I began with the Irishman's weapon and I shall not forget that among
its other virtues is its brevity, and as in the list of toasts which are
to follow I caught the name of a son of him who was certainly the
greatest poet, though he wrote in prose, and who perhaps possessed the
most original mind that America has given to the world, I shall, I am
sure, with your entire approbation make way for the next speaker.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of James Russell Lowell at the second annual dinner of the
  London Chamber of Commerce, January 29, 1883. H. C. E. Childers,
  Chancellor of the Exchequer, was in the chair. The company included
  representatives of the English-speaking race in every part of the
  world. On the chairman's left sat James Russell Lowell, United States
  Minister. In proposing "The Chambers of Commerce of the United Kingdom
  and of the Whole World," he delivered the following speech.]

MR. CHAIRMAN, MY LORDS AND GENTLEMEN:--I was a few moments ago
discussing with my excellent friend upon the left what a diplomatist
might be permitted to say, and I think the result of the discussion was
that he was left to his choice between saying nothing that had any
meaning or saying something that had several [laughter]; and as one of
those diplomatists to whom the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs
alluded a short time ago, I should rather choose the latter course,
because it gives one afterwards a selection when the time for
explanation comes round. [Laughter.]

I shall not detain you long, for I know that there are speakers both on
the right and on the left of me who are impatient to burst the bud; and
I know that I have not been selected for the pleasant duty that has been
assigned to me for any merits of my own. [Cries of dissent.] You will
allow me to choose my own reason, gentlemen. I repeat, I have not been
chosen so much for my own merits as for the opportunity afforded you of
giving expression to your kindness and good feeling towards the country
I represent--a country which exemplifies what the colonies of England
may come to if they are not wisely treated. [Laughter and cheers.]
Speaking for myself and for one or two of my compatriots whom I see here
present, I should certainly say that that was no unpleasant destiny in
itself. But I do not, nor do my countrymen, desire that those great
commonwealths which are now joined to England by so many filial ties
should ever be separated from her.

I am asked to-night to propose the "Chambers of Commerce of the United
Kingdom and of the World," and I might, if the clock did not warn me
against it--["Go on!"] if my own temperament did not stand a little in
the way--I might say to you something very solemn on the subject of
commerce. I might say how commerce, if not a great civilizer in itself,
had always been a great intermediary and vehicle of civilization. I
might say that all the great commercial States have been centres of
civilization, and centres of those forces which keep civilization from
becoming stupid. I do not say which is the _post_ and which the _propter_
in this inference; but I do say that the two things have been almost
invariably associated.

One word as to commerce in another relation which touches me more
nearly. Commerce and the rights and advantages of commerce, ill
understood and ignorantly interpreted, have often been the cause of
animosities between nations. But commerce rightly understood is a great
pacificator; it brings men face to face for barter. It is the great
corrector of the eccentricities and enormities of nature and of the
seasons, so that a bad harvest and a bad season in England is a good
season for Minnesota, Kansas, and Manitoba.

But, gentlemen, I will not detain you longer. It gives me great pleasure
to propose, as the representative of the United States, the toast of
"The Chambers of Commerce of the United Kingdom and of the Whole World,"
with which I associate the names of Mr. C. M. Norwood, M. P.,
vice-president of the Associated Chambers of the United Kingdom, and the
Hon. F. Strutt, president of the Derby Chamber. [Cheers.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of James Russell Lowell at a banquet given to Sir Henry Irving,
  London, July 4, 1883, in view of his impending departure for a
  professional tour of America. Lord Coleridge, Lord Chief Justice of
  England, occupied the chair. The toast, "Literature, Science, and
  Art," was proposed by Viscount Bury, and Mr. Lowell was called upon to
  respond for Literature. Professor Tyndall replied on behalf of
  Science, and Alma Tadema for Art.]

that my mind was a little relieved when I found that the toast to which
I am to respond rolled three gentlemen, Cerberus-like, into one
[laughter], and when I saw Science pulling impatiently at the leash on
my left, and Art on my right, and that therefore the responsibility of
only a third part of the acknowledgment has fallen to me. You, my lord,
have alluded to the difficulties of after-dinner oratory. I must say
that I am one of those who feel them more keenly the more after-dinner
speeches I make. [Laughter.] There are a great many difficulties in the
way, and there are three principal ones, I think. The first is the
having too much to say, so that the words, hurrying to escape, bear down
and trample out the life of each other. The second is when, having
nothing to say, we are expected to fill a void in the minds of our
hearers. And I think the third, and most formidable, is the necessity of
following a speaker who is sure to say all the things you meant to say,
and better than you, so that we are tempted to exclaim, with the old
grammarian, "Hang these fellows, who have said all our good things
before us!" [Laughter.]

Now the fourth of July has several times been alluded to, and I believe
it is generally thought that on that anniversary the spirit of a certain
bird known to heraldic ornithologists--and I believe to them alone--as
the spread eagle, enters into every American's breast, and compels him,
whether he will or no, to pour forth a flood of national self-laudation.
[Laughter and cheers.] This, I say, is the general superstition, and I
hope that a few words of mine may serve in some sort to correct it. I
ask you, if there is any other people who have confined their national
self-laudation to one day in the year. [Laughter.] I may be allowed to
make one remark as to a personal experience. Fortune has willed it that
I should see as many--perhaps more--cities and manners of men as
Ulysses; and I have observed one general fact, and that is, that the
adjectival epithet which is prefixed to all the virtues is invariably
the epithet which geographically describes the country that I am in. For
instance, not to take any real name, if I am in the kingdom of Lilliput,
I hear of the Lilliputian virtues. I hear courage, I hear common sense,
and I hear political wisdom called by that name. If I cross to the
neighboring Republic Blefusca--for since Swift's time it has become a
Republic--I hear all these virtues suddenly qualified as Blefuscan.

I am very glad to be able to thank Lord Coleridge for having, I believe
for the first time, coupled the name of the President of the United
States with that of her Majesty on an occasion like this. I was struck,
both in what he said, and in what our distinguished guest of this
evening said, with the frequent recurrence of an adjective which is
comparatively new--I mean the word "English-speaking." We continually
hear nowadays of the "English-speaking race," of the "English-speaking
population." I think this implies, not that we are to forget, not that
it would be well for us to forget, that national emulation and that
national pride which is implied in the words "Englishman" and
"American," but the word implies that there are certain perennial and
abiding sympathies between all men of a common descent and a common
language. [Cheers.] I am sure, my lord, that all you said with regard to
the welcome which our distinguished guest will receive in America is
true. His eminent talents as an actor, the dignified--I may say the
illustrious--manner in which he has sustained the traditions of that
succession of great actors who, from the time of Burbage to his own,
have illustrated the English stage, will be as highly appreciated there
as here. [Cheers.]

And I am sure that I may also say that the chief magistrate of England
will be welcomed by the bar of the United States, of which I am an
unworthy member, and perhaps will be all the more warmly welcomed that
he does not come among them to practise. He will find American law
administered--and I think he will agree with me in saying ably
administered--by judges who, I am sorry to say, sit without the
traditional wig of England. [Laughter.] I have heard since I came here
friends of mine gravely lament this as something prophetic of the decay
which was sure to follow so serious an innovation. I answered with a
little story which I remember hearing from my father. He remembered the
last clergyman in New England who still continued to wear the wig. At
first it became a singularity and at last a monstrosity; and the good
doctor concluded to leave it off. But there was one poor woman among his
parishioners who lamented this sadly, and waylaying the clergyman as he
came out of church she said, "Oh, dear doctor, I have always listened to
your sermon with the greatest edification and comfort, but now that the
wig is gone all is gone." [Laughter.] I have thought I have seen some
signs of encouragement in the faces of my English friends after I have
consoled them with this little story.

But I must not allow myself to indulge in any further remarks. There is
one virtue, I am sure, in after-dinner oratory, and that is brevity; and
as to that I am reminded of a story. [Laughter.] The Lord Chief Justice
has told you what are the ingredients of after-dinner oratory. They are
the joke, the quotation, and the platitude; and the successful
platitude, in my judgment, requires a very high order of genius. I
believe that I have not given you a quotation, but I am reminded of
something which I heard when very young--the story of a Methodist
clergyman in America. He was preaching at a camp meeting, and he was
preaching upon the miracle of Joshua, and he began his sermon with this
sentence: "My hearers, there are three motions of the sun. The first is
the straightforward or direct motion of the sun; the second is the
retrograde or backward motion of the sun; and the third is the motion
mentioned in our text--'the sun stood still.'" [Laughter.]

Now, gentlemen, I don't know whether you see the application of the
story--I hope you do. The after-dinner orator at first begins and goes
straight forward--that is the straightforward motion of the sun. Next he
goes back and begins to repeat himself--that is the backward motion of
the sun. At last he has the good sense to bring himself to the end, and
that is the motion mentioned in our text, as the sun stood still. [Great
laughter, in the midst of which Mr. Lowell resumed his seat.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of James Russell Lowell at the annual Ashfield Dinner at
  Ashfield, Mass., August 27, 1885,--the harvest-time festival in behalf
  of Sanderson Academy, given for several years under the leadership of
  Charles Eliot Norton and George William Curtis, long summer residents
  in this country town. Mr. Lowell had recently returned from his post
  as Minister to England; and he was presented to the literary gathering
  by Professor Norton, President of the day. Professor Norton closed his
  eloquent words of introduction as follows: "On our futile laurels he
  looks down, himself our highest crown.--Ashfield speaks to you to-day,
  and the welcome is your own to New England."]

MR. PRESIDENT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:--I cannot easily escape
from some strength of emotion in listening to the words of my friend who
has just sat down, unless I receive it on the shield which has generally
been my protection against many of the sorrows and some of the hardships
of life. I mean the shield of humor, and I shall, therefore, take less
seriously than playfully the portrait that he has been kind enough to
draw of me. It reminds me of a story I once heard of a young poet, who
published his volume of verses and prefixed to it his own portrait drawn
by a friendly artist. The endeavor of his life from that time forward
was to look like the portrait that his friend had drawn. [Applause.] I
shall make the same endeavor.

It is a great pleasure to me to come here to-day, not only because I
have met some of the oldest friends of my life, but also that after
having looked in the eyes of so many old English audiences I see face to
face a new English one, and when I looked at them I was reminded of a
family likeness and of that kinship of blood which unites us. When I
look at you I see many faces that remind me of faces I saw on the other
side of the water, and I feel that whether I speak there or here I am
essentially speaking to one people. I am not going to talk about myself,
and I am not going to make a speech. I have spoken so often for you on
the other side of the water that I feel as though I had a certain claim,
at least, to be put on the retired list. But I could not fail to observe
a certain distrust of America that has peeped out in remarks made,
sometimes in the newspapers, sometimes to myself, as to whether a man
could live eight years out of America, without really preferring Europe.
It seems to me to imply what I should call a very unworthy distrust in
the powers of America to inspire affection. I feel to-day, in looking in
your faces, somewhat as I did when I took my first walk over the hills
after my return, and the tears came into my eyes as I was welcomed by
the familiar wayside flowers, the trees, the birds that had been my
earliest friends.

It seems to me that those who take such a view quite miscalculate the
force of the affection that a man feels for his country. It is something
deeper than a sentiment. If there were anything deeper, I should say it
was something deeper than an instinct. It is that feeling of
self-renunciation and of identification with another which Ruth
expressed when she said: "Entreat me not to leave thee nor to depart
from following after thee, for whither thou goest I will go: where thou
livest I will live, and where thou diest there will I die also." That,
it seems to me, is the instinctive feeling that a man has. At the same
time, this does not exclude the having clear eyes to see the faults of
one's country. I think that, as an old President of Harvard College said
once to a person who was remonstrating with him: "But charity, doctor,
charity." "Yes, I know; but charity has eyes and ears and won't be made
a fool of." [Laughter.]

I notice a good many changes in coming home, a few of which I may,
perhaps, be allowed to touch upon. I notice a great growth in luxury,
inevitable, I suppose, and which may have good in it--more good,
perhaps, than I can see. I notice, also, one change that has impressed
me profoundly, and when I hear that New England is drawing away, I
cannot help thinking to myself how much more prosperous the farms look
than they did when I was young; how much more neat is the farming, how
much greater the attention to what will please the eye about the farm,
as the planting of flowers and trimming the grass, which seems to me a
very good sign. I had an opportunity, by a strange accident, of becoming
very intimate with the outward appearance of New England during my youth
by going about when a little boy with my father when he went on
exchanges. He always went in his own vehicle, and he sometimes drove as
far west as Northampton. I do not wish to detain you on this point,
except as it interested me and is now first in my mind.

While I was in England I had occasion once to address them on the
subject of Democracy, and I could not help thinking when I came up here
that I was coming to one of its original sources, for certain it is that
in the village community of New England, in its "plain living and high
thinking," began that social equality which afterwards developed on the
political side into what we call Democracy. And Democracy--while surely
we cannot claim for it that it is perfect--yet Democracy, it seems to
me, is the best expedient hitherto invented by mankind, not for
annihilating distinctions and equalities, for that is impossible, but,
so far as it is humanly possible, for compensating them. Here in our
little towns in the last century, people met without thinking of it on a
high table-land of common manhood. There was no sense of presumption
from below, there was no possibility of condescension from above,
because there was no above and below in the community. Learning was
always respected in the clergyman, in the doctor, in the squire, the
justice of the peace, and the rest of the community. This made no
artificial distinction.

I observe, also, that our people are getting over their very bad habit
with regard to politics, for Democracy, you must remember, lays a
heavier burden on the individual conscience than any other form of
government; and I have been glad to observe that we have been getting
over that habit of thinking that our institutions will go of
themselves. Now it seems to me that there is no machine of human
construction, or into which the wit of man has entered, that can go of
itself without supervision, without oiling; that there are no wheels
which will revolve without our help, except the great wheel of the
constellations or that great circle of the sun's which has its hand upon
the dial plate, and which was made by a hand much less fallible than

It also pleases me very much to see a friend whose constancy, whose
faith, and whose courage have done so much more than any other man's to
bring about that reform [great applause], though when I speak of civil
service reform the friend who stands at our elbow on all these occasions
will suggest to me a certain parallel, that is, that as Mr. Curtis is
here to-day and I am here to-day, it reminds one of the temperance
lecturer who used to go about carrying with him an unhappy person as the
awful example [great laughter], and it may have flickered before some of
your minds that I was the "awful example" of the very reform I had
preached. However, I say that it is to me a very refreshing thing to
find that this old happy-go-lucky feeling about our institutions has a
very good chance of passing away.

One thing which always impressed me on the other side of the water as an
admirable one, and as one which gave them a certain advantage over us,
is the number of men who train themselves specifically for politics, for
government. We are apt to forget, over here, that the art of governing
men, as it is the highest, so it is the most difficult, of all arts. We
are particular how our boots are made, but about our constitutions we
"trust in the Lord," without even, as Cromwell advised, keeping our
powder dry. We commit the highest destinies of this Republic, which some
of us hope bears the hope of the world in her womb--to whom? Certainly
not always to those who are most fit on any principle of natural
selection: certainly, sometimes to those who are most unfit on any
principle of selection,--and this is a very serious matter, for if you
will allow me to speak with absolute plainness, no country that allows
itself to be governed for a moment by its blackguards is safe.
[Applause.] That was written before the United States of America
existed. It is one of the truths of human nature and of destiny. If I
were a man who had any political aspiration,--which, thank Heaven, I
have not,--if I had any official aspiration--which, thank Heaven, also,
I have not,--I should come home here, and when I first met an American
audience I should say to them: My friends, America can learn nothing of
Europe; Europe must come to school here. You have the tallest monument,
you have the biggest waterfall, you have the highest tariff of any
country in the world. [Great laughter and applause.] I would tell you
that the last census showed that you had gained so many millions, as if
the rabbits did not beat us in that way of multiplication, as if it
counted for anything! It seems to me that what we make of our several
millions is the vital question for us.

I was very much interested in what Prof. Stanley Hall said. I am heretic
enough to have doubted whether our common schools are the panacea we
have been inclined to think them. I was exceedingly interested in what
he said about the education which a boy gained on the hills here. It
seems to me we are going to fall back into the easy belief that because
our common schools teach more than they used--and in my opinion much
more than they ought--we can dispense with the training of the
household. When Mr. Harrison [J. P. Harrison, author of "Some Dangerous
Tendencies in American Life," one of the preceding speakers] was telling
us of the men who were obliged to labor without hope from one end of the
day to the other, and one end of the year to the other, he added, what
is quite true--that, perhaps, after all, they are happier than that very
large class of men who have leisure without culture, and whose sole
occupation is either the killing of game or the killing of time--that is
the killing of the most valuable possession that we have.

But I will not detain you any longer for, as I did say, I did not come
here to make a speech, and I did not know what I was going to say when I
came. I generally, on such occasions, trust to the spur of the moment,
and sometimes the moment forgets its spur. [Laughter and applause.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of James Russell Lowell at the annual banquet of the Royal
  Academy, London, May 1, 1886, in response to the toast, "The Interests
  of Literature." The President of the Academy, Sir Frederic Leighton,
  said, in introducing Mr. Lowell: "In the name of letters, of English
  letters, in the broadest sense, I rejoice to turn, not for the first
  time at this table, to one who counts among the very foremost of their
  representatives. As a poet richly endowed, as a critic most subtle and
  penetrating, among humorists the most genial, as a speaker not
  surpassed--who shall more fittingly rise in the name of Literature
  than Mr. Russell Lowell, whom I welcome once more to this country, as
  one not led to it to-day by mere hap and chance of diplomatic need,
  but drawn, I would fain believe, as by the memory of many friends."]

can explain who the artist might have been who painted the reversed
rainbow of which the Professor[11] has just spoken. I think, after
hearing the too friendly remarks made about myself, that he was probably
some artist who was to answer for his art at a dinner of the Royal
Society; and, naturally, instead of painting the bow of hope, he painted
the reverse, the bow of despair. [Laughter.] When I received your
invitation, Mr. President, to answer for "Literature," I was too well
aware of the difficulties of your position not to know that your choice
of speakers must be guided much more by the necessities of the occasion
than by the laws of natural selection. [Laughter and cheers.] I
remembered that the dictionaries give a secondary meaning to the phrase
"to answer for," and that is the meaning which implies some expedient
for an immediate necessity, as, for example, when one takes shelter
under a tree from shower he is said to make the tree answer for shelter.
[Laughter.] I think even an umbrella in the form of a tree has certainly
one very great advantage over its artificial namesake--viz., that it
cannot be borrowed, not even for the exigencies for which the instrument
made of twilled silk is made use of, as those certainly will admit who
have ever tried it during one of those passionate paroxysms of weather
to which the Italian climate is unhappily subject. [Laughter.]

I shall not attempt to answer for Literature, for it appears to me that
Literature, of all other things, is the one which most naturally is
expected to answer for itself. It seems to me that the old English
phrase with regard to a man in difficulties, which asks: "What is he
going to do about it?" perhaps should be replaced in this period of
ours, when the foundations of everything are being sapped by universal
discussion, with the more pertinent question: "What is he going to say
about it?" ["Hear! Hear!" and laughter.] I suppose that every man sent
into the world with something to say to his fellow-men could say it
better than anyone else if he could only find out what it was. I am sure
that the ideal after-dinner speech is waiting for me somewhere with my
address upon it, if I could only be so lucky as to come across it. I
confess that hard necessity, or, perhaps I may say, too soft good
nature, has compelled me to make so many unideal ones that I have almost
exhausted my natural stock of universally applicable sentiment and my
acquired provision of anecdote and allusion. I find myself somewhat in
the position of Heine, who had prepared an elaborate oration for his
first interview with Goethe, and when the awful moment arrived could
only stammer out that the cherries on the road to Weimar were uncommonly
fine. [Laughter.]

But, fortunately, the duty which is given to me to-night is not so
onerous as might be implied in the sentiment that has called me up. I am
consoled, not only by the lexicographer as to the meaning of the phrase
"to answer for," but also by an observation of mine, which is, that
speakers on an occasion like this are not always expected to allude
except in distant and vague terms to the subject on which they are
specially supposed to talk.

Now, I have a more pleasing and personal duty, it appears to me, on this
my first appearance before an English audience on my return to England.
It gives me great pleasure to think that, in calling upon me, you call
upon me as representing two things which are exceedingly dear to me, and
which are very near to my heart. One is that I represent in some sense
the unity of English literature under whatever sky it may be produced;
and the other is that I represent also that friendliness of feeling,
based on a better understanding of each other, which is growing up
between the two branches of the British stock. [Cheers.] I could wish
that my excellent successor here as American Minister could fill my
place to-night, for I am sure that he is as fully inspired as I ever was
with a desire to draw closer the ties of friendship between the mother
and the daughter, and could express it in a more eloquent and more
emphatic manner than even I myself could do--at any rate in a more
authoritative manner.

For myself, I have only to say that I come back from my native land
confirmed in my love of it and in my faith in it. I come back also full
of warm gratitude for the feeling that I find in England; I find in the
old home a guest-chamber prepared for me, and a warm welcome. [Cheers.]
Repeating what his Royal Highness the Commander-in-Chief has said, that
every man is bound in duty, if he were not bound in affection and
loyalty, to put his own country first, I may be allowed to steal a leaf
out of the book of my adopted fellow-citizens in America; and while I
love my native country first, as is natural, I may be allowed to say I
love the country next best which I cannot say has adopted me, but which,
I will say, has treated me with such kindness, where I have met with
such universal kindness from all classes and degrees of people, that I
must put that country at least next in my affection.

I will not detain you longer. I know that the essence of speaking here
is to be brief, but I trust that I shall not lay myself open to the
reproach that in my desire to be brief I have resulted in making myself
obscure. [Laughter.] I hope I have expressed myself explicitly enough;
but I would venture to give another translation of Horace's words, and
say that I desire to be brief, and therefore I efface myself. [Laughter
and cheers.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of James Russell Lowell at the dinner of the Incorporated
  Society of Authors, London, July 25, 1888, given to the "American Men
  and Women of Letters" who happened to be in London on that date.]

under a certain oppression. There was a time when I went to make an
after-dinner speech with a light heart, and when on my way to the dinner
I could think over my exordium in my cab and trust to the spur of the
moment for the rest of my speech. But I find as I grow older a certain
aphasia overtakes me, a certain inability to find the right word
precisely when I want it; and I find also that my flank becomes less
sensitive to the exhilarating influences of that spur to which I have
just alluded. I had pretty well made up my mind not to make any more
after-dinner speeches. I had an impression that I had made quite enough
of them for a wise man to speak, and perhaps more than it was profitable
for other wise men to listen to. [Laughter.] I confess that it was with
some reluctance that I consented to speak at all to-night. I had been
bethinking me of the old proverb of the pitcher and the well which is
mentioned, as you remember, in the proverb; and it was not altogether a
consolation to me to think that that pitcher, which goes once too often
to the well, belongs to the class which is taxed by another proverb with
too great length of ears. [Laughter.] But I could not resist. I
certainly felt that it was my duty not to refuse myself to an occasion
like this--an occasion which deliberately emphasizes, as well as
expresses, that good feeling between our two countries which, I think,
every good man in both of them is desirous to deepen and to increase. If
I look back to anything in my life with satisfaction, it is to the fact
that I myself have, in some degree, contributed--and I hope I may
believe the saying to be true--to this good feeling. [Applause.]

You alluded, Mr. Chairman, to a date which gave me, I must confess, what
we call on the other side of the water "a rather large contract." I am
to reply, I am to answer to Literature, and I must confess that a
person like myself, who first appeared in print fifty years ago, would
hardly wish to be answerable for all his own literature, not to speak of
the literature of other people. But your allusion to sixty years ago
reminded me of something which struck me as I looked down these tables.

Sixty years ago the two authors you mentioned, Irving and Cooper, were
the only two American authors of whom anything was known in Europe, and
the knowledge of them in Europe was mainly confined to England. It is
true that Bryant's "Water-Fowl" had already begun its flight in immortal
air, but these were the only two American authors that could be said to
be known in England. And what is even more remarkable, they were the
only American authors at that time--there were, and had been, others
known to us at home--who were capable of earning their bread by their
pens. Another singular change is suggested to me as I look down these
tables, and that is the singular contrast they afford between the time
when Johnson wrote his famous lines about those ills that assail the
life of the scholar, and by the scholar he meant the author--

    "Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the gaol."

And I confess when I remember that verse it strikes me as a singular
contrast that I should meet with a body of authors who are able to offer
a dinner instead of begging one; that I have sat here and seen "forty
feeding like one," when one hundred years ago the one fed like forty
when he had the chance. [Laughter.]

You have alluded also, in terms which I shall not qualify, to my own
merits. You have made me feel a little as if I were a ghost revisiting
the pale glimpses of the moon, and reading with considerable wonder my
own epitaph. But you have done me more than justice in attributing so
much to me with regard to International Copyright. You are quite right
in alluding to Mr. Putnam, who, I think, wrote the best pamphlet that
has been written on the subject; and there are others you did not name
who also deserve far more than I do for the labor they have expended and
the zeal they have shown on behalf of International Copyright,
particularly the secretaries of our international society--Mr. Lathrop
and Mr. G. W. Green. And since I could not very well avoid touching upon
the subject of International Copyright, I must say that all American
authors without exception have been in favor of it on the moral ground,
on the ground of simple justice to English authors. But there were a
great many local, topical considerations, as our ancestors used to call
them, that we were obliged to take into account, and which, perhaps, you
do not feel as keenly here as we did. But I think we may say that the
almost unanimous conclusion of American authors latterly has been that
we should be thankful to get any bill that recognized the principle of
international copyright, being confident that its practical application
would so recommend it to the American people that we should get
afterwards, if not every amendment of it that we desire, at least every
one that is humanly possible. I think that perhaps a little injustice
has been done to our side of the question; I think a little more heat
has been imported into it than was altogether wise. I am not so sure
that our American publishers were so much more wicked than their English
brethren would have been if they had had the chance. [Laughter.] I
cannot, I confess, accept with patience any imputation that implies that
there is anything in our climate or in our form of government that tends
to produce a lower standard of morality than in other countries. The
fact is that it has been partly due to a certain--may I speak of our
ancestors as having been qualified by a certain dulness? I mean no
disrespect, but I think it is due to the stupidity of our ancestors in
making a distinction between literary property and other property. That
has been at the root of the whole evil.

I, of course understand, as everybody understands, that all property is
the creature of municipal law. But you must remember that it is the
conquest of civilization, that when property passes beyond the
boundaries of that _municipium_ it is still sacred. It is not even yet
sacred in all respects and conditions. Literature, the property in an
idea, has been something that it is very difficult for the average man
to comprehend. It is not difficult for the average man to comprehend
that there may be property in a form which genius or talent gives to an
idea. He can see it. It is visible and palpable, this property in an
idea when it is exemplified in a machine, but it is hardly so
apprehensible when it is subtly interfused in literature. Books have
always been looked on somewhat as _feræ naturæ_, and if you have ever
preserved pheasants you know that when they fly over your neighbor's
boundaries he may take a pot shot at them. I remember that something
more than thirty years ago Longfellow, my friend and neighbor, asked me
to come and eat a game pie with him. Longfellow's books had been sold in
England by the tens of thousands, and that game pie--and you will
observe the felicity of its being a game pie, _feræ naturæ_ always you
see--was the only honorarium he had ever received from this country for
reprinting his works.

I cannot help feeling as I stand here that there is something especially--I
might almost use a cant word and say monumentally--interesting in a meeting
like this. It is the first time that English and American authors, so
far as I know, have come together in any numbers, I was going to say
to fraternize, when I remembered that I ought perhaps to add to
"sororize." We, of course, have no desire, no sensible man in
England or America has any desire, to enforce this fraternization at the
point of the bayonet. Let us go on criticising each other; it is good for
both of us. We Americans have been sometimes charged with being a little
too sensitive; but perhaps a little indulgence may be due to those who
always have their faults told to them, and the reference to whose virtues
perhaps is sometimes conveyed in a foot-note in small print. I think that
both countries have a sufficiently good opinion of themselves to have a
fairly good opinion of each other. They can afford it; and if difficulties
arise between the two countries, as they unhappily may,--and when you
alluded just now to what De Tocqueville said in 1828 you must remember that
it was only thirteen years after our war,--you must remember how long it
has been to get in the thin end of the wedge of International Copyright;
you must remember it took our diplomacy nearly one hundred years to enforce
its generous principle of the alienable allegiance, and that the greater
part of the bitterness which De Tocqueville found in 1828 was due to the
impressment of American seamen, of whom something like fifteen hundred
were serving on board English ships when at last they were delivered.
These things should be remembered, not with resentment but for
enlightenment. But whatever difficulties occurred between the two
countries, and there may be difficulties that are serious, I do not
think there will be any which good sense and good feeling cannot settle.

I think I have been told often enough to remember that my countrymen are
apt to think that they are in the right, that they are always in the
right; that they are apt to look at their side of the question only.
Now, this conduces certainly to peace of mind and imperturbability of
judgment, whatever other merits it may have. I am sure I do not know
where we got it. Do you? I also sympathize most heartily with what has
been said by the chairman with regard to the increasing love for England
among my countrymen. I find on inquiry that they stop longer and in
greater numbers every year in the old home, and feel more deeply its
manifold charms. They also are beginning to feel that London is the
centre of the races that speak English, very much in the sense that Rome
was the centre of the ancient world. And I confess that I never think of
London, which I also confess that I love, without thinking of that
palace which David built, sitting in hearing of a hundred
streams--streams of thought, of intelligence, of activity. And one other
thing about London, if I may be allowed to refer to myself, impresses me
beyond any other sound I have ever heard, and that is the low, unceasing
roar that one hears always in the air. It is not a mere accident, like
the tempest or the cataract, but it is impressive because it always
indicates human will and impulse and conscious movement, and I confess
that when I hear it I almost feel that I am listening to the roaring
loom of time. A few words more. I will only say this, that we, as well
as you, have inherited a common trust in the noble language which, in
its subtle compositiveness, is perhaps the most admirable instrument of
human thought and human feeling and cunning that has ever been
unconsciously devised by man. May our rivalries be in fidelity to that
trust. We have also inherited certain traditions, political and moral,
and in doing our duty towards these it seems to me that we shall find
quite enough occupation for our united thought and feeling.
[Long-continued applause.]



[Speech of Judge John Lowell at a banquet given by the Boston Merchants'
  Association in Boston, May 23, 1884, in his honor, upon his retirement
  from the bench of the United States Circuit Court.]

GENTLEMEN:--I hardly know why I am here. I suppose I must have
decided some case in favor of our honored chairman. But, then, if every
one in whose favor I have decided a case should give me a dinner I
should have some thousands to eat, if I could live long enough.

I observe that in your invitation to me you say very little, if
anything, about any judicial qualities which I may have displayed in
office, but you do mention my courtesy and patience. You are right.
There are better judges here to-night than I ever was; but in courtesy
and consideration, which I learned at my mother's knee, I hope I have
not been surpassed. I have received several compliments of the same
kind. I will tell you one story about that.

I was sitting one day up in court. The jury had just gone out, when a
very nice looking young man came up. His hair was a little short, I
believe, but I didn't notice it particularly. Said he, "Good-morning,
Jedge." "Good morning." "You don't remember me?" he said. "Your
countenance is familiar to me," I said, "but it does not impress itself
on my memory." Said he: "Four years ago to-day you sentenced me to four
years' imprisonment in the State prison." I suppose it ought to have
been five, I don't know. He said: "I got out to-day, and I thought I
would make my first call on you." [Laughter. A voice: "That was his
courtesy."] True; and mine then came in. Said I: "Many happy returns of
the day." [Great laughter and applause.] He took it very kindly and
went off. I haven't seen him since.

I might have resigned some time ago. I was waiting to be turned out.
[Laughter.] I got tired of waiting. I will tell you how that is now. My
great-grandfather was judge of the District Court, appointed by
Washington; then he was made circuit judge by Adams. Well, Adams made a
good many circuit judges, and they were all Federalists; and when the
Democrats--they called themselves Republicans--all the same, you know
[laughter]--when the Republicans came in they abolished the court to get
rid of the judges. They made a circuit court here about nineteen years
ago, and they appointed my friend Shepley the first judge. I told him if
the Democrats only got in soon enough he would go the way of my
grandfather. He admitted it. When I was appointed I expected the same
thing. In fact, some of our prominent Democrats told me so. I said, "All
right, bring on your bear. Bring on your Democratic President." So I
waited for that Democratic President about eight years. I got tired of
waiting. That is the only reason I resign now. [Laughter and applause.]

You take things so good-naturedly I will tell you one or two more
stories. One of the principal difficulties we have is in serving on the
jury. The members of the Merchants' Association always presented me with
a certificate showing that they were members of the Ancient and
Honorable Artillery Company.[12] [Laughter.] But a man who was not a
house guard came into my private office one day just as the jury was
about to be impanelled. Said he: "Judge, I hear you live out of town."
Said I: "Yes." Said he: "I guess you burn kerosene. You don't have
electric lights or anything of that kind? Well," said he, "if you will
let me off this jury I will give you the darnedest nice can of kerosene
ever you see." Said I: "Young man, I see in your mind the exact virtues
which would be most useful,--a justice and probity which will make you
serve the country most admirably as a juryman." So he served. I don't
know but that if it had been a barrel it might have been different.
[Great laughter.]

Another tried the intimidation dodge. He says: "Jedge, I have been
exposed to the small-pox, and expect it to break out every minute." Said
I: "Break!" [Laughter.] He broke into the jury box and served his
country well, and had no incapacitating disease that I ever heard of.

I don't know that there is much of anything else, except that I would
give some advice. I am going to draw up some rules for my successor, and
the first one will be: "Always decide in favor of the Merchants'
Association." When there are two Merchants' Associations together, in
different interests, then you must do like that jury in Kennebec county.
There was a jury there which was very prompt and satisfactory. When they
got through, the judge said: "Gentlemen, I thank you very much for the
very satisfactory character of your verdicts, for the great promptness
with which they have been rendered, without a single disagreement." The
foreman returned thanks for the compliment, and said that the jury had
escaped the delays and disagreements to which his Honor had referred, by
always tossing up a copper as soon as they had retired, and abiding by
the result of the throw.

One word in a more serious vein. I wish to express, in closing, my
profound gratification that my efforts to do my duty simply and
industriously should have met with your approval, and my gratitude for
its public and spontaneous expression. [Applause.]




[Speech of Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton at a public dinner given to William
  C. Macready, London, March 1, 1851, on the occasion of the tragedian's
  withdrawal from the stage. Lord Lytton, in proposing the toast of the
  evening, delivered the following speech.]

GENTLEMEN:--When I glance through this vast hall, and feel how
weak and indistinct is my voice, I feel that I must frankly throw myself
upon your indulgence, and entreat your most patient and courteous
attention while I approach that subject which unites to-day an assembly
so remarkable for the numbers and distinction of those who compose it.
We are met to do honor to an eminent man, who retires into private life
after those services to the public which are most felt at the moment we
are about to lose them. There are many among you far better qualified
than I am to speak critically of the merits of Mr. Macready as an actor,
but placed as I am in this chair, I feel that I should justly disappoint
you if I did not seek to give some utterance to those sentiments of
admiration of which you have made me the representative.

Gentlemen, this morning I read in one of the literary journals, some
qualifying remarks as to the degree of Mr. Macready's genius; and now,
as I recognize here many who are devoted to literature and art, I will
ask them if I am not right in this doctrine--that the true measure of
the genius of an artist is the degree of excellence to which he brings
the art that he cultivates. Judge of Mr. Macready by this test, and how
great is that genius that will delight us no more; for it is because it
has so achieved what I will call the symmetry of art that its height and
its breadth have been often forgotten. We know that it is the uneven
and irregular surface that strikes us as the largest, and the dimensions
of a genius, like those of a building, are lost in the justness of its
proportions; and therefore it is that in recalling the surpassing
excellence of our guest as an artistical performer, one is really at a
loss to say in what line of character he has excelled the most. The
Titanic grandeur of Lear, the human debasement of Werner, the frank
vivacity of Henry V, the gloomy and timorous guilt of King John, or
that--his last--personation of Macbeth, in which it seemed to me that he
conveyed a more correct notion of what Shakespeare designed than I can
recollect to have read in the most profound of the German critics; for I
take it, what Shakespeare meant to represent in Macbeth was the kind of
character which is most liable to be influenced by a belief in
supernatural agencies--a man who is acutely sensitive to all
impressions, who has a restless imagination more powerful than his will,
who sees daggers in the air and ghosts in the banquet-hall, who has
moral weakness and physical courage, and who--as our guest represented
him--alternates perpetually between terror and daring--a trembler when
oppressed by his conscience, and a warrior when defied by his foe. But
in this and in all that numberless crowd of characters which is too
fresh in your memories for me to enumerate, we don't so much say "How
well this was spoken," or "How finely that was acted," but we feel
within ourselves how true was the personation of the whole.

Gentlemen, there is a word that is often applied to artists and to
authors, and I think we always apply it improperly when we speak of a
superior intellect--I mean the word "versatile." Now, I think the proper
word is "comprehensive." The man of genius does not vary and change,
which is the meaning of the word versatile, but he has a mind
sufficiently expanded to comprehend variety and change. If I can succeed
in describing the circle, I can draw as many lines as I please from the
centre straight to the circumference, but it must be upon the
condition--for that is the mathematical law--that all these lines shall
be equal, one to the other, or it is not a circle that I describe. Now,
I do not say our guest is versatile; I say that he is comprehensive; and
the proof that he has mastered the most perfect form of the
comprehensive faculty is this--that all the lines he has created within
the range of his art are equal the one to the other. And this,
gentlemen, explains to us that originality which even his detractors
have conceded to him.

Every great actor has his manner as every great writer has his style.
But the originality of our guest does not consist in his manner alone,
but in his singular depth of thought. He has not only accomplished the
obvious and essential graces of the actor--the look, the gesture, the
intonation, the stage play--but he has placed his study far deeper. He
has sought to penetrate into the subtlest intentions of the poet, and
made poetry itself the golden key to the secrets of the human heart. He
was original because he never sought to be original but to be truthful;
because, in a word, he was as conscientious in his art as he is in his
actions. Gentlemen, there is one merit of our guest as an actor upon
which, if I were silent, I should be indeed ungrateful. Many a great
performer may attain to a high reputation if he restrains his talents to
acting Shakespeare and the great writers of the past; but it is
perfectly clear that in so doing he does not advance one inch the
literature of his time. It has been the merit of our guest to recognize
the truth that the actor has it in his power to assist in creating the
writer. He has identified himself with the living drama of his period,
and by so doing, he has half created it. Who does not recollect the
rough and manly vigor of Tell, the simple grandeur of Virginius or the
exquisite sweetness and dignity and pathos with which he invested the
self-sacrifice of Ion; and who does not feel that but for him, these
great plays might never have obtained their hold upon the stage, or
ranked among those masterpieces which this age will leave to posterity?
And what charm and what grace, not their own, he has given to the lesser
works of an inferior writer, it is not for me to say.

But, gentlemen, all this, in which he has sought to rally round him the
dramatic writers of his time, brings me at once from the merits of the
actor to those of the manager. I recall, gentlemen, that brief but
glorious time when the drama of England appeared suddenly to revive and
to promise a future that should be worthy of its past; when by a union
of all kindred arts, and the exercise of a taste that was at once
gorgeous and severe, we saw the genius of Shakespeare properly embodied
upon our stage, though I maintain that the ornament was never superior
to the work. Just remember the manner in which the supernatural agency
of the weird sisters was made apparent to our eye, in which the magic
Isle of Prospero rose before us in its mysterious and haunted beauty,
and in which the knightly character of the hero of Agincourt received
its true interpretation from the pomp of the feudal age, and you will
own you could not strip the scene of these effects without stripping
Shakespeare himself of half the richness and depth of his conceptions.
But that was the least merit of that glorious management. Mr. Macready
not only enriched the scene, but he purified the audience; and for the
first time since the reign of Charles II, a father might have taken his
daughters to a public theatre with as much safety from all that could
shock decorum as if he had taken them to the house of a friend. And for
this reason the late lamented Bishop of Norwich made it a point to form
the personal acquaintance of Mr. Macready, that he might thank him, as a
prelate of the Church, for the good he had done to society.

Gentlemen, I cannot recall that period without a sharp pang of indignant
regret, for if that management had lasted some ten or twelve years, I
know that we would have established a permanent school for actors--a
fresh and enduring field for dramatic poetry and wit--while we should
have educated an audience up to feel that dramatic performances in their
highest point of excellence had become an intellectual want that could
no more be dispensed with than the newspaper or review. And all this to
be checked or put back for ages to come! Why? Because the public did not
appreciate the experiment! Mr. Macready has told us that the public
supported him nobly, and that his houses overflowed. Why then? Because
of the enormous rent and exactions, for a theatre which even in the most
prosperous seasons, make the exact difference between profit and loss.
Gentlemen, it is not now the occasion to speak of remedies for that
state of things. Remedies there are, but they are for legislation to
effect. They involve considerations with regard to those patents which
are secured to certain houses for the purpose of maintaining in this
metropolis the legitimate drama, and which I fear, have proved the main
obstacle to its success.

But these recollections belong to the past. The actor--the manager--are
no more. Whom have we with us to-day? Something grander than actor, or
manager: to-day we have with us the man. Gentlemen, to speak of those
virtues which adorn a home, and are only known in secret, has always
appeared to me to be out of place upon public occasions; but there are
some virtues which cannot be called private, which accompany a man
everywhere, which are the essential part of his public character, and of
these it becomes us to speak, for it is to these that we are met to do
homage. I mean integrity, devotion to pure ends, a high ambition, manly
independence, and honor that never knew a stain. Why should we disguise
from ourselves that there are great prejudices to the profession of an
actor? Who does not know that our noble guest has lived down every one
such prejudice, not falling into the old weakness of the actor, and for
which Garrick could not escape the sarcasm of Johnson, of hankering
after the society and patronage of the great? The great may have sought
in him the accomplished gentleman, but he has never stooped his bold
front as an Englishman to court any patronage meaner than the public, or
to sue for the smile with which fashion humiliates the genius it
condescends to flatter. And therefore it is that he has so lifted up
that profession to which he belongs into its proper rank amid the
liberal arts; and therefore it is, that in glancing over the list of our
stewards we find every element of that aristocracy upon which he has
never fawned uniting to render him its tribute of respect. The ministers
of foreign nations--men among the noblest of the peers of
England--veterans of those professions of which honor is the
lifespring--the chiefs of literature and science and art--ministers of
the Church, sensible of the benefits he has bestowed upon society in
banishing from the stage what had drawn upon it the censure of the
pulpit--all are here and all unite to enforce the truth, the great
truth, which he leaves to those who come after him--that let a man but
honor his calling, and the calling will soon be the honor of the man.

Gentlemen, I cannot better sum up all I would say than by the words
which the Roman orator applied to the actor of his day; and I ask you if
I may not say of our guest as Cicero said of Roscius--"He is a man who
unites yet more of virtues than of talents, yet more of truth than of
art, and who, having dignified the scene by the various portraitures of
human life, dignifies yet more this assembly by the example of his own."

Gentlemen, the toast I am about to propose to you is connected with many
sad associations but not to-day. Later and longer will be cherished
whatever may be sad of these mingled feelings that accompany this
farewell--later, when night after night we shall miss from the play-bill
the old familiar name, and feel that one source of elevated delight is
lost to us forever. To-day let us rejoice that he whom we prize and
admire is no worn-out veteran retiring to a rest he can no longer
enjoy--that he leaves us in the prime of his powers, with many years to
come, in the course of nature, of that dignified leisure for which every
public man must have sighed in the midst of his triumphs, and though we
cannot say of him that his "way of life is fall'n into the sere, the
yellow leaf," yet we can say that he has prematurely obtained "that
which should accompany old age, as honor, love, obedience, troops of
friends;" and postponing for this night all selfish regret, not thinking
of the darkness that is to follow, but of the brightness of the sun that
is to set, I call upon you to drink with full glasses and full hearts,
"Health, happiness and long life to William Macready."

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton at a farewell banquet given to
  Charles Dickens, London, November 2, 1867, prior to his departure on a
  reading tour in the United States. In giving the toast of the evening,
  Lord Lytton, the chairman, delivered the following speech.]

MY LORDS AND GENTLEMEN:--I now approach the toast which is
special to the occasion that has brought together a meeting so numerous
and so singularly distinguished. You have paid the customary honors to
our beloved sovereign, due not only to her personal virtues, but to that
principle of constitutional monarchy in which the communities of Europe
recognize the happiest mode of uniting liberty with order, and giving to
the aspirations for the future a definite starting-point in the
experience and the habits of the past. You are now invited to do honor
to a different kind of royalty, which is seldom peacefully acknowledged
until he who wins and adorns it ceases to exist in the body, and is no
longer conscious of the empire which his thoughts bequeath to his name.
Happy is the man who makes clear his title-deeds to the royalty of
genius while he yet lives to enjoy the gratitude and reverence of those
whom he has subjected to his sway. Though it is by conquest that he
achieves his throne, he at least is a conqueror whom the conquered
bless; and the more despotically he enthralls, the dearer he becomes to
the hearts of men.

Seldom, I say, has that kind of royalty been quietly conceded to any man
of genius until his tomb becomes his throne, and yet there is not one of
us now present who thinks it strange that it is granted without a murmur
to the guest whom we receive to-night. It has been said by a Roman poet
that Nature, designing to distinguish the human race from the inferior
animals by that faculty of social progress which makes each combine with
each for the aid and defence of all, gave to men _mollissima
corda_,--hearts the most accessible to sympathy with their fellow kind;
and hence tears,--and permit me to add, and hence laughter,--became the
special and the noblest attributes of humanity. Therefore it is humanity
itself which obeys an irresistible instinct when it renders homage to
one who refines it by tears that never enfeeble, and by a laughter that
never degrades.

You know that we are about to intrust our honored countryman to the
hospitality of those kindred shores in which his writings are as much
"household words" as they are in the homes of England. And if I may
presume to speak as a politician, I should say that no time could be
more happily chosen for his visit; because our American kinsfolk have
conceived, rightly or wrongfully, that they have some cause of complaint
against ourselves, and out of all England we could not have selected an
envoy more calculated to allay irritation and to propitiate good-will.

In the matter of good-will there is a distinction between us English and
the Americans which may for a time operate to our disadvantage; for we
English insist upon claiming all Americans as belonging to our race, and
springing from the same ancestry as ourselves, and hence the idea of any
actual hostility between them and us shocks our sense of relationship;
and yet in reality a large and very active proportion of the American
people derives its origin from other races besides the Anglo-Saxon.
German and Dutch and Celtic forefathers combine to form the giant family
of the United States; but there is one cause forever at work to cement
all these varieties of origin, and to compel the American people, as a
whole, to be proud as we are of their affinity with the English race.
What is that cause? What is that agency? Is it not that of one language
in common between the two nations? It is in the same mother tongue that
their poets must sing, that their philosophers must reason, that their
orators must argue upon truth or contend for power.

I see before me a distinguished guest, distinguished for the manner in
which he has brought together all that is most modern in sentiment with
all that is most scholastic in thought and language; permit me to say,
Mr. Matthew Arnold. I appeal to him if I am not right when I say that it
is by a language in common that all differences of origin sooner or
later we are welded together--that Etruscans, and Sabines, and Oscans,
and Romans, became one family as Latins once, as Italians now? Before
that agency of one language in common have not all differences of
ancestral origin in England between Britons, Saxons, Danes, and Normans,
melted away; and must not all similar differences equally melt away in
the nurseries of American mothers, extracting the earliest lessons of
their children from our own English Bible, or in the schools of
preceptors who must resort to the same models of language whenever they
bid their pupils rival the prose of Macaulay and Prescott, or emulate
the verse of Tennyson and Longfellow? Now, it seems to me that nothing
can more quicken the sense of that relationship which a language in
common creates, than the presence and voice of a writer equally honored
and beloved in the old world and in the new; and I cannot but think that
where-ever our American kinsfolk welcome that presence, or hang
spell-bound on that voice, they will feel irresistibly how much of
fellowship and unison there is between the hearts of America and
England. So that when our countrymen quits their shores he will leave
behind him many a new friend to the old fatherland which greets them
through him so cordially in the accents of the mother tongue. And in
those accents what a sense of priceless obligations--obligations
personal to him and through him to the land he represents--must steal
over his American audience! How many hours in which pain and sickness
have changed into cheerfulness and mirth beneath the wand of this
enchanter! How many a combatant beaten down in the battle of life--and
nowhere is the battle of life more sharply waged than in the
commonwealth of America--has caught new hope, new courage, new force
from the manly lessons of this unobtrusive teacher!

Gentlemen, it is no wonder that the rising generation of people who have
learned to think and to feel in our language, should eagerly desire to
see face to face the man to whose genius, from their very childhood,
they have turned for warmth and for light as instinctively as young
plants turn to the sun. But I must not forget that it is not I whom you
have come to hear; and all I might say, if I had to vindicate the fame
of our guest from disparagement or cavil, would seem but tedious and
commonplace when addressed to those who know that his career has passed
beyond the ordeal of contemporaneous criticism, and that in the applause
of foreign nations it has found a foretaste of the judgment of
posterity. I feel as if every word that I have already said had too long
delayed the toast which I now propose: "A prosperous voyage, health and
long life, to our illustrious guest and countryman, Charles Dickens."



[Speech of Hamilton W. Mabie at the ninety-first annual dinner of the
  New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1896. Henry
  E. Howland, vice-President of the Society, presided and introduced the
  speaker as follows: "There is no person better qualified to speak upon
  any literary subject than the editor of a great paper. He scans the
  whole horizon of literature, and his motto is: 'Where the bee sups
  there sup I.' As a gentleman eminently fitted to speak upon the
  literature of New England or any kindred subject, I have the pleasure
  of introducing to you Mr. Hamilton W. Mabie, of 'The Outlook.'"]

MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN:--When one has the army and navy
behind him, he is impelled to be brief. And when one has a subject which
needs no interpreter, when one has a theme the very recital of the
details of which recalls the most splendid chapter in our intellectual
history, one feels that any words would be impertinent. We are indebted
to New England, in the first place, for giving us a literature. I know
it has been questioned in Congress, why anybody should want a
literature; but if the spiritual rank of a people is to be determined by
depth and richness of life, and if the register of this life of a people
is its art, and especially its art in books, then no country is
reputable among the nobler countries unless it has produced a
literature; and we are, therefore, indebted to New England for
literature. Not the greatest we shall produce, but a literature
continuous from the first settlement of the colonies. It is a very
significant fact that the three men before the Revolution whom we may
call literary men were men born in New England--Benjamin Franklin, who
is too well known to all of you for comment; John Woolman, of whose work
Charles Lamb said: "Woolman's writings should be learned by heart;" and
that great theologian, who wrote in a stately style, Jonathan Edwards.
After the Revolution I have but to call the roll of those names which
are the glory of New England--Hawthorne, the man of finest literary gift
who has yet appeared upon this continent; Longfellow, with his tender
touch; Holmes, with his three o'clock wit, as some one has called it,
the man who was always awake; Lowell, with his rich culture and his
passionate loyalty to all that was best in life and art; and the
historians of the country, Motley, Prescott, Bancroft, and Francis
Parkman, with his splendid record of patient and tireless energy. And
then we have the New England writers of the second generation in Edmund
Clarence Stedman, Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Thomas Wentworth Higginson,
Charles Dudley Warner, John Fiske, and Henry James; and we have also a
third generation.

The most striking characteristic of the older, as of the younger, New
England literature is its deep and beautiful humanism, the closeness of
its touch upon experience, the warmth of its sympathy with men and women
in contact with the great movement of life. Growing out of such a soil,
it could hardly have been otherwise, for New England represents, not an
abstraction, but a commanding faith in personality, the clear
self-realization of a man whose obligation goes straight to God, and to
whom God's word travels like an arrow's flight. In one form or another,
all the New England writers deal with this theme; they are concerned,
not with abstractions, but with the hopes and fears and temptations of
man. Hawthorne is absorbed in the problem of the return of a man's deed,
or of his ancestors' deed upon himself; Lowell cares supremely for
nobility and freedom of impulse, act and deed; Whittier for truth and
spiritual fellowship; Emerson, for the reality of spiritual force and
meaning in common duties and ordinary relations; Longfellow, for the
tenderness and purity of childhood, the sweetness and fragrance of
family relations, the charm of historic association; Holmes, for the
endless paradox and surprise which are in human thought and conduct;
Brooks, for the abundance of man's life and the fulness of its spiritual
possibilities; Curtis, for a public life at once pure, free, rich and
stable. For all these writers organization and institutions had great
interest, but they cared primarily for the men whose history these
institutions represent. The quays at Geneva are massive and shine at
night like a constellation; but our interest centres in the river which
rushes between them from the Alps to the sea. This is a democratic note,
but there is another quite as distinct and characteristic--the note of
buoyant cheerfulness, faith in God and man.

There is a ringing tone in the literature of New England which is not
only a protest against any form of oppression, but a challenge to fate.
That courage came from faith in the divine order of life. And that
buoyant courage and cheerfulness were possible because these writers
kept life and art in harmony. There was no schism between ideal and
action in them. They not only followed the vision in spirit; they lived
in the light of it. They illustrated that unity of life without which
there is no God. They kept in the way of growth and truth and
inspiration because they lived wisely. We do not half value their
splendid sanity. A manly and noble moral health was theirs. They rang
true to every moral appeal. They were not only men of letters, but they
were also gentlemen, and they have associated literature in the thought
of the country with dignity, culture and beauty of life--Emerson's
unworldliness, Lowell's loyalty to truth, and Curtis's splendid
rectitude, as enduring as the granite, are of lasting value to the
higher life of the nation.

Their courage and buoyancy were of higher value than we yet understand.
Faith is absolutely essential in a great democratic society. When we
cease to believe in God we cease to believe in man, and when our faith
in man goes, democracy becomes a vast, irrational engine of tyranny and
corruption. In the last analysis democracy rests in the belief that
there is something of the divine in every man, and that through every
life there shines a glimpse of the eternal order. For Government rests,
not in the will of the majority, but on the will of God; and democracy
is but a vaster surface upon which to discover the play of that will. It
follows from these characteristics that the real significance of the New
England writers lies not in what they did, but in what they
unconsciously predicted. Clear and ringing as are the notes they struck,
these notes are prelusive; they suggest the great _motifs_, but they do
not completely unfold them; they could not, for the time was not yet
ripe; they announced the principle of individuality, and they sang the
great idea of nationality; but the depth and richness of national life
was not theirs to express. That vast life rises more and more into the
national consciousness, but its Homer or Dante or Shakespeare has not
appeared--probably cannot appear for a long time to come. That life is
too wide and still too inharmonious for clear expression. Its very
richness postpones the day of its ultimate expression; but when the hour
is ripe it will embody an ideal as significant as any in history, with
illustration more varied and vital. We are still the victims of our
continent; we shall one day be its masters.

One of the oldest drawings in the world is on the side of a cave in
France, and represents a man fleeing naked and defenceless from a great
serpent--man still in bondage to material conditions. One of the most
stirring of modern scenes is that in which Siegfried waits at the mouth
of the cavern--leaves rustling, light shimmering, birds singing about
him. The glory of youth is on him and the beauty of the world about him;
but he cannot understand what the sounds mean. Then comes the struggle,
the victory, the revelation of song and light; and the hero passes
swiftly up the heights, where, encircled with flame, sleeps the soul of
his strength. In some other day, when the continent is tamed and we have
struck to the heart that materialism which is our only real foe, we,
too, shall climb the heights of achievement, and we shall stand face to
face with that ideal which is now so dim and remote. Then comes the poet
of the real new world--the world of opportunity, of sacrifice, of
unselfish freedom of the larger art and diviner life. And when that day
comes and the great poet sings and the great writer speaks, we shall
hear faint and far the sounds of those old voices of New England; not so
vast as the later music, but as pure and harmonious and true. We shall
understand how they made the later music possible; how they have made
possible the fulfilment of the prediction of one of their own number:
between Shakespeare in the cradle and Shakespeare in "Hamlet" there was
needed but an interval of time, and the same sublime condition is all
that lies between the America of toil and the America of art.



[Speech of Rev. Dr. D. Sage Mackay at the eleventh annual dinner of the
  Holland Society of New York, January 15, 1896. The President, Dr. D.
  B. St. John Roosa, said in introducing the speaker: "Before I announce
  the next toast I want to remark that one of our distinguished
  speakers, a Huguenot, said at the St. Nicholas dinner, that it was
  such a particularly good dinner, that there were such particularly
  good speeches, and that very few of them had been made by Dutchmen.
  But now we shall have a gentleman who represents the profession we all
  delight to honor, and who will delineate the next regular toast:--

     'The Dutch. Domine: guide, philosopher, and friend,
      A man he was to all the country dear.'

"I have the pleasure of introducing a gentleman who wishes he had been
born a Dutchman but who is not entitled, I suppose, to that great honor,
as he is to many others deservedly showered upon him--the Rev. Dr. D.
Sage Mackay."]

MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN:--I will confess, at the outset
here to-night, that when by the courtesy of your Committee I was asked
to respond to this sentiment, which so poetically and yet so truly
enshrines the memory of the old Dutch Domine, that I felt somewhat in
the condition in which a member of the Glasgow Fire Brigade found
himself some years ago. One night, being on duty, he had the misfortune
to fall asleep, and to insure his comfort before doing so he had
divested himself of his heavy overalls. About midnight the alarm bell
rang. He staggered to his feet, and in the condition of a man suddenly
aroused from sleep drew on the overalls so that back was front and front
was back. In the excitement of the moment he forgot all about his
abnormal condition. Coming down the staircase of the burning building he
had the misfortune to slip and fall heavily to the ground, in a heap of
cinders. His companions eagerly asked him if he was hurt. "No," he
replied, with true Scotch canniness. "No, chaps, I canna' say I am
hurt, but eh, sirs, I maun hae got an awfu' twist." [Laughter.] And so,
sir, when I, unfortunately to-night, a Scotchman born and bred, was
asked to reply to the toast "The Dutch Domine," I felt that in the
arrangements of the evening there was something of a twist. [Laughter.]
And yet, if twist it may be called, it was only on the surface.

After a happy experience in the Dutch ministry, and after enjoying for a
second time the hospitality of this honorable Society, I know nowhere
where a Scotchman can feel himself so at home as in the genial
influences of Dutch custom and Dutch tradition. [Applause.] We gladly
echo all these patriotic and inspiring sentiments which have fallen from
the lips of the speakers to-night. We believe that Dutch influences have
salted America, but we Scotchmen have got the idea somehow that Scotland
was leavening if not salting Holland for a hundred years before that
exodus to these shores took place. [Laughter.]

General Morgan, on one occasion, in discussing the fighting qualities of
the soldiers of different nations, came to the conclusion that in many
respects they were about the same, with one notable exception. "After
all," he said, "for the possession of the ideal quality of the soldier,
for the grand essential, give me the Dutchman--he starves well."
[Laughter.] And, no doubt, when provisions are scarce, no man can afford
to starve better than he, for the simple reason that when provisions are
plentiful no man can manage to eat better. [Laughter.]

I feel like mentioning as the first quality of the Dutch Domine to-night
the possession of a good digestion. I myself have fared so well on Dutch
fare for these last two or three years that I feel I could almost claim
to be a Dutchman, very much as a man once claimed to be a native of a
certain parish in Scotland. He was being examined by counsel. Counsel
asked him, "Were you born here?" "Maistly, your honor," was the reply.
"What do you mean by 'maistly'? Did you come here when you were a
child?" "Na, I didna' cam here when I was a chiel," he replied. "Then
what do you mean by 'maistly,' if you have not lived here most of your
life?" counsel asked. "Weel, when I cam here I weighed eighty pun, and
now I weigh three hundred, so that I maun be maistly a native."
[Laughter.] So, perhaps, that "maistly" may be the claim to be a
Dutchman which some of us may make, if we go on.

The sentiment to which I have been asked to respond is one which I doubt
not will strike a responsive chord in the memories of most of you
Hollanders here to-night. Across the vanished years will come back the
picture of the old Dutch village, nestling in some sheltered nook behind
the Hudson, and there in the old-fashioned pulpit arises the quaint,
once well-loved face and form of the Domine, with big, dome-shaped head,
full mouth and nose, marked with lines of humor, the fringe of white
whiskers, and underneath, around the throat, the voluminous folds of the
white choker, a kind of a combination of a swaddling-band and a
winding-sheet, suggestive of birth or death, as the occasion demanded.
[Laughter.] So he appeared an almost essential feature in the landscape,
as year in and out he ministered in unassuming faithfulness to the needs
of his people. By the bedside of the dying, or in the home of the widow,
a comforter and friend; in the stirring days of revolutionary struggle,
a leader and patriot, and sometimes a martyr too; in the social
gatherings around the great open fireplace in the long dark nights, pipe
in hand, a genial companion, so in every walk of life, in scenes
gladsome or sad, the old Domine was a constant presence, an influence
for righteousness, moulding his people in that simplicity of life and
independence of spirit, which in all times have been preeminent as
features in the Dutch character. Into the homespun of common life, he
wove the threads of gold, revealing by life and precept that type of
religion which is not "too bright and good for human nature's daily

What were some of the distinctive features in the character of the old
Domine? Pre-eminently, we remember him for his wide and genial humanity,
as a man strong in his convictions yet generous in his sympathies,
faithful in his denunciation of sin yet holding outstretched hands of
brotherhood to the weak and tempted. In a parish near by to where my
grandfather was settled, there had been three ministers, one after the
other in quick succession. The old beadle compared them to a friend
something after this fashion: "The first yin was a mon, but he was na' a
meenister; the second yin was a meenister, but he was na' a mon; but the
third was neither a mon nor a meenister." [Great laughter.] But the
Dutch Domine was at once a man and a minister. The official never
overshadowed the man, neither did the humanity of the man degrade the
sacred office. All strong character is the union of two opposite
qualities, and in the Dutch minister I trace the harmonious presence of
two elements not often found in one personality. On the one hand there
was a rigid adherence to his own church and creed, so that to the
orthodox Dutch mind, whatever may happen elsewhere, heaven will be
peopled by Reformed Dutchmen, and in the celestial hymn-book an appendix
will be found for the Heidelberg Catechism and liturgical forms of the
Dutch Church [laughter]; but on the other hand, with this loyalty to his
own creed, there was a generous tolerance towards the view of others, a
broad-minded charity, expressed in thought and life, towards those whose
standpoint in religion differed from his own. In reality, your old
Domine had, and I venture to say, has, little sympathy with that narrow
ecclesiasticism, which in effect claims a monopoly in religion and would
practically hand over the salvation of the race to the hands of a close
corporation. Now, whence did it come; where did he learn this
steadfastness to his own principles, yet this generosity towards the
convictions of other men, which has been so eloquently dwelt on to-night
as a cardinal feature of the American character through the leavening
power of Dutch influence? It came, gentlemen, as part of his birthright.
We have been told that to study and appreciate Dutch character and Dutch
history we must keep in view what has been called the geographical
factor, that constant war with the elements, which trained the Dutchman
to patience, to endurance, and to self-mastery. So, in studying the
Dutch Domine, you must keep in view the historic factor out of which he
and his church have come. I make no extravagant claim for the old Dutch
Church of New Amsterdam and New York, when I say she stands to-day for a
great and a splendid tradition in American life. She enshrines within
her history facts and forces which have been woven into the texture of
her most enduring institutions. Out of the darkness of persecution she
came, bearing to these shores the precious casket of civil and religious
liberty. When with prophetic vision she gazed across the Western sea,
and saw the red dawn of a new day glow upon the waters, that dawn but
reflected the red blood that dripped like sacramental wine from her
robes--the blood of martyrdom poured forth for that sacred trophy of
liberty of conscience which it is your privilege and mine to hand on to
the generations yet to come. For full forty years, the Dutch Church was
the only religious institution on this island, and who in these early
times, when the great ideas for which America stands to-day were in
their formative stage, guided in the light of truth the young country to
a larger conception of her destiny? Not only from the standpoint of
religion, but from the standpoint of education, the Dutch Church and her
clergy were a mighty factor in the evolution of the great twin truths of
civil and religious liberty. To the Dutch Church we owe it, that
liberty, in the reaction from old-world despotism, was not allowed to
degenerate into license. To them we owe it that freedom of conscience
was impressed not merely as a right to be claimed, but as a duty to be
safe-guarded, and, need I say?--this sense of personal duty and
responsibility in respect of the rights of conscience is the note above
all others that we have to strike in our nation's life to-day.

Gentlemen, in the old country, among others, I have looked at the
monument of your noble old Dutch Admiral, Tromp, and there it says,
"Unconquered by the English, he ceased to triumph only when he ceased to
live," and I take these words, the epitaph of the old hero, not indeed
as the epitaph of Dutch influence--that will never die--but as the ideal
of Dutch character in this country in the years to come. Let it cease to
triumph only when it ceases to live; let it seek to lead onward and
upward to a diviner freedom this country, whose history is the evolution
of the great God-given idea--civil and religious liberty. [Applause.]



[Speech of Sir Alexander C. Mackenzie at the annual banquet of the Royal
  Academy, London, May 4, 1895. The toast to "Music," to which Sir
  Alexander C. Mackenzie responded, was coupled with that of the "Drama"
  for which Arthur W. Pinero spoke. Sir John Millais, who proposed the
  toast, said: "I have already spoken for both Music and the Drama with
  my brush. I have painted Sterndale Bennett, Arthur Sullivan, Irving,
  and Hare."]

am aware that there are some of my most distinguished colleagues now
present whose claims to the honor of replying to your amiable words far
exceed my own. But I also know that they will not grudge me that
distinction and none of them would appreciate it more than myself, whom
you have elected to mention in connection with your toast. I only hope
that my companion, the brilliant representative of the Drama, may be
inclined to forgive me for taking precedence of him, for his art had
already attained a state of perfection while ours was still lisping on a
feeble tibia to the ill-balanced accompaniment of some more sonorous
instrument of percussion. It was all we had to offer at the time, but I
am sure that since then we have steadily improved. But even then we were
accustomed to ring up the curtain, and so I look upon myself as a mere
overture or prelude to the good thing, the word-painting, which will
follow. ["Hear! Hear!"] Let me assure him that the composer knows no
greater delight than when he is called upon to combine his art with that
of the dramatic author, even should our most divinely-inspired moments
be but faintly conveyed to the audience through the medium of
the--otherwise excellent but still metropolitan--under ground
orchestras at our disposal. My only regret is that none of us were
permitted to accompany the fascinating heroine of his latest work
through the play. Some correspondingly alluring music has doubtless been
lost to the world.

On the last occasion that the toast of Music was responded to in this
room, it was remarked that popularity was not without its drawbacks. I
fear, sir, there are not many of us who are actually groaning under the
oppressive weight of over-popularity--at least not to any very alarming
extent. [Cheers.] But I may permit myself to say that while the
popularity of music itself is undeniable, it is not so equally obvious
that the fact is an absolutely unmixed blessing; perhaps the very
familiarity which it undoubtedly enjoys subjects it more than any other
art to the fitful temper of fashion--to rash and hastily-formed
judgments--as well as to the humors of self-complacent guides whose
dicta all too frequently prove the dangerous possession of a very small
allowance of real knowledge.

"Academic" is, I believe, sir, the winged word in daily use to mark
those of us who may still cling to the effete and obsolete belief that
music remains a science, difficult of acquirement and not either a toy
art, or a mere nerve titillater. We are not, sir, by any means ashamed
to bear the stigma of being academic; on the contrary, we feel it a
genuine compliment--gratifying because, although perhaps unintentionally
it implies that we have acquired the possession of "that one thing"
which (as Wilhelm Meister was informed by the venerable Three) "no child
brings into the world with him,"--that is, "reverence"--reverence for
our great past as well as, I hope, a due estimation of the vigorous
activity of the present. So our sweet-natured muse smiles benignly upon
the impish gambols of the "new boy" who has the supreme advantage of not
having been to school, for any appreciable length of time at least, and
who seems to derive considerable satisfaction from his endeavors to
improve the education of those who have never left it. [Laughter.]

We are sometimes instructed that English Purcell (whose glorious memory
our musicians mean to honor in a few months), that German Bach ought to
be considerably touched up to suit the altered requirements of the day,
and that the rich hues of romantic Weber--nay, even of his giantship the
great Beethoven himself--are fading visibly and rapidly. Far be it from
the academics to undervalue the great significance of "modernity." Our
musical palette, the orchestra, has in our own time been enriched by the
addition of many brilliant colors. Music has become, if possible, still
more closely allied with and indebted for inspiration to each and all of
the sister arts: while the peremptory and ever-increasing demand upon
the dexterity as well as the intellectual grasp of the executant has
brought into the field such an array of splendid artist interpreters as
possibly the world has never before seen. ["Hear! Hear!"] What the
effect produced by audible performance of the works of the great
past-masters in music may be upon the ricketty understandings is
difficult even to guess at. The healthily trained student, however, to
whom the preservation of the history of his art is still of some
consequence, shows that the word "perishable" has positively no meaning
to him so long as tough paper and honest leather hold together. To him
those noble scores can never become dumb, sealed, or silent books; he
has only to reach them down and, reading, hear them speak--each master
in the language of his own time--in living notes, as glowing now as when
they were first penned.

It is not without some diffidence, sir, that I allude before sitting
down to that time when our own English music had a high and most
honorable place among the arts of the nations--because, alas! that
recollection necessarily compels the remembrance of a subsequent and too
prolonged period of decayed fortunes. But I must allow myself to say a
few words in recognition of the efforts of the three of our native
contemporary composers, who never tire in the endeavor to reclaim the
lost ground. For, within very recent years, much has been achieved which
has been helpful towards the recapture of the position, towards the
recovery of the old-time renown. That "artist corps" may perhaps not be
a very numerous company and besides it is without doubt, in the words of
a popular lyrical humorist, a somewhat "nervous, shy, low-spoken" little
band, which is content to wait and work incessantly in the service of
its national music. Generous in acknowledgment of the efforts of all
who assist its onward progress, it has already done much, can and will
do more. I said advisedly "national music" because its members, hailing
as they do from all the subdivisions of this country, are no doubt, with
so many widely differing musical characteristics by birthright, that it
is not at all unreasonable even for the most modest among them--and this
virtue still attaches to some, I should say, to all, of them--build
great hopes of a definitely distinct British music, such as you, Sir
John [Millais], doubtless had in your mind when you honored our art by
proposing this toast; such our very best painters would willingly hail
and acknowledge; such as your own Academy would welcome in that genial
manner which for many years past it has so generously taught us to
expect. [Cheers.]



[Speech of William C. Macready at a farewell banquet given in his honor,
  London, March 1, 1851, on the occasion of his retirement from the
  stage. Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton acted as chairman. He said:
  "Gentlemen, I cannot better sum up all I would say than by the words
  which the Roman orator applied to the actor of his day, and I ask you
  if I may not say of our guest as Cicero said of Roscius, 'He is a man
  who unites yet more of virtues than of talents, yet more of truth than
  of art, and who, having dignified the scene by various portraitures of
  human life, dignifies yet more this assembly by the example of his
  own.' [Great applause.] Gentlemen, the toast I am about to propose to
  you is connected with many sad associations, but not to-day. Later and
  long will be cherished whatever may be sad of these mingled feelings
  that accompany this farewell,--later when night after night we shall
  miss from the play-bill the old familiar name, and feel that one
  source of elevated delight is lost to us forever. ["Hear! Hear!"]
  To-day let us only rejoice that he whom we so prize and admire is no
  worn-out veteran retiring to a rest he can no longer enjoy
  [cheers]--that he leaves us in the prime of his powers, with many
  years to come, in the course of nature, of that dignified leisure for
  which every public man must have sighed in the midst of his triumphs;
  and though we cannot say of him that his 'way of life is fall'n with
  the sere, the yellow leaf,' yet we can say that he has prematurely
  obtained 'that which should accompany old age, as honor, love,
  obedience, troops of friends'--[cheers]--and postponing for this night
  all selfish regrets, not thinking of the darkness that is to follow,
  but of the brightness of the sun that is to set, I call upon you to
  drink with full glasses and full hearts, health, happiness, and long
  life to William Macready."]

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN:--I rise to thank you, I should say
to attempt to thank you, for I feel the task is far beyond my power.
What can I say in reply to all that the kindly feeling of my friend has
dictated? I have not the skill to arrange and address in attractive
language the thoughts that press upon me, and my incompetency may
perhaps appear like a want of sensibility to your kindness, for we are
taught to believe that out of the heart's fulness the mouth speaks. But
my difficulty, let me assure you, is a contradiction to this moral.
[Cheers.] I have to thank my friend, your distinguished chairman, for
proposing my health to you and for the eloquence--may I not add the
brilliant fancy, with which he has enriched and graced his subject. But
that we may readily expect from him, who in the wide and discursive
range of his genius touches nothing that he does not adorn. ["Hear!" and
cheers.] I have to thank you for the cordiality and--if I may without
presumption say so,--the enthusiasm with which the compliment proposed
has been received, and for the honor--never to be forgotten--that you
have conferred on me, by making me your guest to-day.

Never before have I been so oppressed with a sense of my deficiency as
at this moment, looking on this assemblage of sympathizing friends
crowded here to offer me a spontaneous testimony of their regard. I
observe among you many who for years have been the encouraging
companions of my course; and there are present too those who have
cheered even my very earliest efforts. To all who have united in this
crowning tribute, so far beyond my dues or expectations--my old friends,
friends of many years, who welcomed me with hopeful greeting in the
morning of my professional life, and to younger ones who now gather
round to shed more brightness on my setting, I should wish to pour forth
the abundant expression of my gratitude. [Loud cheers.] You are not, I
think, aware of the full extent of my obligations to you. Independent of
the substantial benefits due to the liberal appreciation of my
exertions, my very position in society is determined by the stamp which
your approbation has set upon my humble efforts. [Cheers.] And let me
unhesitatingly affirm that without undervaluing the accident of birth or
titular distinction, I would not exchange the grateful pride of your
good opinion which you have given me the right to cherish, for any favor
or advancement that the more privileged in station could receive. [Great

I really am too much oppressed, too much overcome to attempt to detain
you long; but with the reflection and under the conviction that our
drama, the noblest in the world, can never lose its place from our
stage while the English language lasts, I will venture to express one
parting hope--that the rising actors may keep the loftiest look, may
hold the most elevated views of the duties of their calling. ["Hear!
Hear!" and cheers.] I would also hope that they will strive to elevate
their art, and also to raise themselves above the level of the player's
easy life, to public regard and distinction by a faithful ministry to
the genius of our incomparable Shakespeare. [Cheers.] To effect this
creditable purpose, they must bring resolute energy and unfaltering
labor to their work; they must be content "to scorn delights, and live
laborious days;" they must remember that whate'er is excellent in art
must spring from labor and endurance:--

                                "Deep the oak,
 Must sink in stubborn earth its roots obscure
 That hopes to lift its branches to the sky."

This, gentlemen, I can assure you, was the doctrine of our own Siddons,
and of the great Talma; and this is the faith I have ever held as one of
their humblest disciples. [Applause.]

Of my direction of the two patent theatres on which my friend has so
kindly dilated, I wish to say but little. The preamble of their patents
recites as a condition of their grant, that the theatres shall be
instituted for the promotion of virtue and to be instructive to the
human race. I think those are the words. I can only say that it was my
ambition to the best of my ability to obey that injunction ["Hear!
Hear!"] and believing in the principle that property has its duties as
well as its rights, I conceived that the proprietors should co-operate
with me. [General cries of "Hear!"] They thought otherwise, and I was
reluctantly compelled to relinquish on disadvantageous terms my
half-achieved enterprise. Others will take up this uncompleted work, and
if inquiry were set on foot for one best qualified to undertake the task
I should seek him in the theatre which, by eight years' labor, he has
from the most degraded condition raised high in public estimation, not
only as regards the intelligence and respectability of his audiences,
but by the learned and tasteful spirit of his productions. [Cheers.]

Gentlemen, I shall not detain you longer. All that I could desire and
far more than I ever could expect you have conferred upon me in the
honor you have done me to-day. It will be a memory that must remain as
an actual possession to me and mine, which nothing in life can take from
us. The repetition of thanks adds little to their force, and therefore,
deeply as I am already obliged to you, I must draw still further on your
indulgence. You have had faith in my zeal for your service; you will, I
am sure, continue that faith in my gratitude, for the value you have set
upon it. With a heart more full than the glass I hold, I return you my
most grateful thanks, and have the honor of drinking all your healths.
[Mr. Macready who had displayed considerable emotion during some
portions of his address, then resumed his seat amid enthusiastic



[Speech of Justin McCarthy at a dinner given in his honor, New York
  City, October 2, 1886. When the speaking began, Judge Browne, who
  presided, asked the audience to drink the health of Justin McCarthy,
  the guest of the evening, with this quotation from Thomas Moore:--

 "Here's the Poet who drinks; here's the warrior who fights;
  Here's the statesman who speaks in the cause of men's rights;
         Charge! hip, hip, hurrah! hurrah!"

Continuing, Judge Browne said: "We feel it a proud privilege to be
  permitted to gather and do honor to one who has done honor to our name
  and nation in a foreign land. When the great leader of the Irish
  people was bidding you good-by at the other side of the water, he said
  that the aid you had rendered him and his colleagues had largely
  helped to advance the interests of Ireland in her onward march to
  freedom. Our knowledge of you enables us to indorse that statement.
  [Applause.] What you have written in one of our city papers has shown
  us step by step the progress of the Home Rule movement. That great
  work has been accomplished by the Irish leader there can be no doubt.
  I witnessed it personally a few short weeks ago, when standing in the
  strangers' gallery in the House of Commons, I saw a handful of Irish
  members under the leadership of Parnell withstand the assaults of six
  hundred English members. [Applause.] It was an awe-inspiring sight.
  When one remembers that within the four walls of that small building
  that group of Englishmen were making laws for three hundred millions
  of people, and that the representatives of a nation numbering only
  five millions were enabled to keep them in check at the bidding of
  Parnell, I was struck with astonishment. Not only have the Irish
  people Parnell with them now, but they have Gladstone [applause], and
  more than half of the English people; and we have in addition Justin
  McCarthy [prolonged applause], and with this continuation of moral
  force we are certain to win Home Rule for Ireland soon. Gentlemen, I
  give you the health of our guest, Justin McCarthy."]

GENTLEMEN, FRIENDS, ALL:--I am very sure you will believe that
I speak with the utmost sincerity when I say that, although much in the
habit of addressing public meetings of various kinds, friendly and
hostile, I really do feel somewhat embarrassed in rising to address this
entirely friendly meeting to-night. The warmth and the kindness of your
reception, many of you Irishmen, some of you Americans, does surprise
and does, to a great extent, overpower me. Judge Browne, your chairman,
has regretted the absence of Eugene Kelly. I myself regret his absence
on personal and on public grounds; on personal grounds for his sake, and
still more, as I am rather selfish, for my own sake. [Applause.] For his
sake because ill health keeps him away, and for my own sake because I
have never yet had the chance of meeting him, and had finally hoped that
here to-night I should have the pleasure of making his acquaintance. I
should not complain very much for myself after all, for the worthy
gentleman who fills the place of Mr. Kelly so ably--I mean Judge Browne
[applause]--has said more complimentary things of me than I really
deserve before a gathering so influential and so representative as this.

Upon the great political questions which interest me, and which interest
you, I shall perhaps have occasion to say a few words, perhaps more than
a few words Monday night, and I hope to see many of the gentlemen who
are now here present then, and if they be wavering on the question of
Home Rule I am nearly certain they will go away stanch disciples of
justice to Ireland, in a legislative sense, at all events. [Applause.]
There may be some among you who do not entirely agree with me upon my
views regarding the relations between England and Ireland. Some may
regard me with more favor as a writer of books than as an expounder of
Home Rule for Ireland. [Cries of "No! No!"] I will therefore regard this
occasion as a welcome given by you to me personally, and shall not go
into any political question whatever. Regarding myself, I may assume
this much, at least, that the question of Home Rule for Ireland is now
universally regarded in America as one of those questions bound up with
the great cause of civilization and of progress, and I entirely agree
with the chairman when he said that the Irish people in this struggle do
not entertain any feelings of hate or enmity for the English people.
[Applause.] I may say sincerely that I would not have joined the
agitation if it had been selfish and merely for the sake of Ireland
alone, and not, as it has been, a movement for the advancement of
freedom and enlightened ideas among other struggling nations of the
earth. [Applause.]

I have said over and over again, in England as well as in Ireland, that
the cause that I was advocating was one of interest and of the most
vital importance to England as well as to Ireland. [Applause.] Many
years ago I heard Mr. Bright deliver a great speech in the House of
Commons in favor of a French commercial treaty. He wound up that great
speech by saying that the adoption of that treaty would be a policy of
justice to England, and of mercy to France. I call the policy that I and
my colleagues in the English Parliament are identified with, a policy of
justice to Ireland and of mercy to England. [Applause.] I call it a
policy of mercy to England because it is a policy which shall bury
forever the rancor of centuries that has existed between Irishmen and
Englishmen; a policy which will change things so far that Ireland,
instead of being the enemy at the gate shall be the friend at the gate,
who, if need be, can speak with some effect to the enemy from without.
After a long, a very long and a very bitter agitation, we now at last
are within reach of the consummation of our hopes. [Applause.]

I am glad indeed to receive from an audience in this city, composed as
it is of many nationalities, such a hearty endorsement of the policy
which I and my people have carried out in struggling to give Ireland her
rights. I see here the Irish harp and the American stars and stripes.
Long and forever may these flags wave side by side. [Prolonged
applause.] How shall we distinguish between Irishmen and Americans? Are
the echoes which resound in this hall Irish or American echoes? [Cries
of "Both! Both!"] The voices that speak are Irish certainly, but the
roof, the walls that give back the sound are American. [Applause.] May
we not therefore claim the indistinguishable unity of nationality, of
sentiment, and of feeling?

I should be ungrateful, indeed, gentlemen, did I not express my warm
acknowledgments for this greeting which you have given me--this hearty
Irish welcome. I shall never forget the words of warmth which you have
spoken to myself personally and the expressions of encouragement which
you have given to my people and my cause. I shall tell my friends when
I go back, that among the best supporters we have upon this side are
Americans and Irish-Americans who believe firmly in the justice of
Ireland's cause and of the determined yet peaceable, strictly peaceable,
character of the struggle which Ireland's representatives are making for
the re-establishment of her Parliament in College Green. [Prolonged



[Speech of Colonel A. K. McClure, editor of the "Philadelphia Times,"
  delivered at a banquet at Philadelphia, December 9, 1896,
  commemorating the fiftieth year of his connection with the press of
  Pennsylvania. Governor Daniel H. Hastings, in introducing the guest of
  the evening, concluded by saying: "I said in the beginning that he is
  the Nestor of Pennsylvania journalism. Yes, like the King of Pylos, in
  Grecian legend of the siege of Troy, he is the oldest of the living
  chieftains. Forney, Morton, McMichael and most of the pioneers of our
  modern journalism are gone. McClure has been to Pennsylvania what
  Horace Greeley was to New York journalism. Dana, of the 'Sun,' and
  McClure, of the 'Times,' are the links connecting the present with the
  past of American journalism. To-night the roses of friendship and
  fraternity are growing upon the walls that separate us in our
  life-work, and we are here to join in our congratulations and good
  wishes to him in whose honor we meet--Colonel Alexander K. McClure."]

MR. CHAIRMAN:--I cannot express the measure of my grateful
appreciation of this imposing greeting, so exceptional alike in welcome,
in numbers, and in distinction. I accept it as a tribute to the
matchless progress made by our newspapers during the present generation,
rather than a personal tribute to an humble member of the profession,
whose half century of editorial labor furnishes the occasion for leading
men of State and Nation to pay homage to American journalism, now the
great forum of our free institutions.

The duties and responsibilities of journalism are largely defined by
their environment, and there may be fitness in this occasion to refer to
the political, business, social and moral conditions under which the
Juniata "Sentinel" was founded fifty years ago, in contrast with the
greatly changed conditions which confront the journals of to-day. The
people of Juniata county were a well-to-do class, adapted to the
primitive conditions in which they lived. The enervating blight of
luxury and the despair of pinching want were strangers in their midst.
They believed in the church, in the school, in the sanctity of home, in
integrity between man and man. Christianity was accepted by them as the
common law, sincerely by many and with a respect akin to reverence by
all; and that beautiful humanity that springs from the mingled
dependence and affection of rural neighborly ties, ever taught that the
bruised reed should not be broken. They had no political convulsions
such as are common in these days. Even a sweeping political revolution
would not vary the party majority over a hundred in the few thousands of
votes they cast, and excepting in the white heat of national contests,
their personal affections often outweighed their duties to party. Public
vices and public wrongs in local administration were rarely known, and
there was little to invite the aggressive features which are so
conspicuous in modern journalism. Ministers mingled freely with the
every-day life of their flocks and were exemplars of simplicity,
frugality and integrity, and the lawyer who hoped to be successful
required first of all to command the confidence of the community in his
honesty. The ballot and the jury-box were regarded as sacred as the
sacrament itself, and the criminal courts had usually little to do
beyond the cases of vagrant offenders. Business was conducted as a rule
without the formality of contracts, and those whose lives justly
provoked scandal were shunned on every side. This community possessed
the only real wealth the world can give--content; and the local
newspaper of that day, even under the direction of a progressive
journalist, could be little more than a commonplace chronicler of
current events.

The most satisfactory newspaper work I have ever done, I mean the most
satisfactory to myself, was during the first few months after I founded
the "Sentinel." There was pardonable boyish pride in seeing my name
given with studied prominence as editor and proprietor, and the reading
of my own editorials was as soothing as the soft, sweet strains of music
on distant waters in summer evening time. They were to my mind most
exquisite in diction and logic, and it was a source of keen regret that
they were so "cabined, cribbed, and confined" within the narrowest
provincial lines, whereby the world lost so much that it greatly
needed. I knew that there were others, like Chandler, Gales, Greeley,
Ritchie, Prentice, and Kendall, who were more read and heeded, but I was
consoled by the charitable reflection that entirely by reason of
fortuitous circumstance they were known and I was not. Then to me life
was a song with my generously self-admired newspaper as the chorus.
There came rude awakenings, of course, from those blissful dreams as the
shock of editorial conflict gradually taught me that journalism was one
unending lesson in a school that has no vacations.

I have pleasant memories also of the intimate personal relations between
the village editor and his readers. Most of them were within a radius of
a few miles of the publication office, and all the influences of social
as well as political ties were employed to make them enduring patrons.
With many of them the question of sparing from their scant income three
cents a week for a county paper, was one that called for sober thought
from year to year, and it often required a personal visit and earnest
importunity to hold the hesitating subscriber. I well remember the case
of a frugal farmer of the Dunker persuasion who was sufficiently
public-spirited to subscribe for the "Sentinel" for six months, to get
the paper started, but at the end of that period he had calculated the
heavy expenses of gathering the ripening harvest and decided to stop his
paper for a while. I need not say that he was enthusiastically
confronted with many reasons why a man of his intelligence and influence
should not be without the county newspaper, but he yielded only to the
extent of further considering the matter with his wife. He returned in a
few days and spread sunshine around the editorial chair by saying that
his wife had decided to continue for another six months, as the paper
would be very handy in the fall for tying up her apple-butter crocks.

A few years after I had settled down in this quiet community to devote
my life to journalism, a shrill, weird voice was heard in the beautiful
valley of the Juniata as the iron horse made his first visit to us with
his train of cars. It was welcome music as it echoed over the foothills
of the Alleghenies, and entirely new to nearly all who heard it. With
the railway came the telegraph, the express, and the advent of the
daily newspaper among the people. In a single year the community was
transformed from its sedate and quiet ways into more energetic,
progressive, and speculative life. It was a new civilization that had
come to disturb the dreams of nearly a century, and it rapidly extended
its new influences until it reached the remotest ends of the little
county, and with this beneficent progress of civilization came also the
vices which ever accompany it, but against which the civilization itself
is ever fortified by the new factors called into requisition to
strengthen its restraining power. While advancing the better attributes
of mankind it has left unrest in the shop, the field, the forest, and
the mine, where there was content in other days, but that unrest is the
inevitable attendant of our matchless strides in the most enlightened
civilization of the age, and it will ever present new problems for our

It should be remembered that while Philadelphia had then two journals of
national fame under the direction of such accomplished editorial writers
as Joseph R. Chandler and Morton McMichael, there was not a daily
newspaper in this city, or in the State, that had a circulation of
5,000, excepting only the "Ledger," then a penny journal almost unknown
outside of the city. Even the New York "Tribune" and the New York
"Herald" then relatively quite as distinguished as national journals as
they are to-day, did not have a daily circulation of over 15,000. There
are several daily journals now published in Philadelphia, each of which
circulates more newspapers every day than did all the great dailies of
New York and Pennsylvania combined, fifty years ago. There were then
successful penny papers in New York and Pittsburg as well as
Philadelphia, but the penny journal of that day was only a local
newspaper in its way, and was unfelt as a political factor.

Contrast the business, political, moral, and social conditions which
confront the journalism of this great city to-day, and none can fail to
appreciate the greatly magnified duties and responsibilities of the
journalist of this age. In this City of Brotherly Love, with the highest
standard of average intelligence in any community of like numbers of the
world, and the only great city to be found on the continent that is
distinctively American in its policy, how sharp is the contrast between
the civilization met by the Juniata "Sentinel" fifty years ago and the
civilization that is met by the Philadelphia journalist of to-day?
Public wrongs ever appear like huge cancers on the body politic, and the
swarms of the idle and vicious, with the studied crimes of those who
would acquire wealth without earning it, are a constant menace to the
social order and the safety of person and property, and demand the
utmost vigilance on the part of the faithful public journal. Continued
political power under all parties becomes corrupt and demoralized, and
it is not uncommon for apparently reputable political leaders of all
parties and organized crime to make common cause for public plunder. The
business and social conditions are also radically changed, and with
these the fearless journalists of to-day must deal with courage and
fidelity. From what was many years ago regarded, and with some reason,
as the license of the public press, has grown up the well-defined duty
of reputable journalism to maintain with dignity and firmness its
mission as public censor, and to-day in Philadelphia, as in all the
leading centres of the country, American journalism is not only the
great educator of the people, but it is the faithful handmaid of law and
order and of public and private morals. Like all great callings, from
which even the sacredness of the pulpit is not exempt, there are those
who bring persistent dishonor upon journalism, and pervert its powers to
ambition and greed; but discounted by all its imperfections, it is
to-day the greatest of our great factors in maintaining the best
attributes of our civilization and preserving social order and the
majesty of law; and the duties of the journalist to-day in our great
cities have reached a standard of dignity and magnitude of which even
the wildest enthusiast of fifty years ago could not have dreamed.

Such is the revolution wrought in journalism within a single active
lifetime. The newspaper is no longer a luxury. From being confined to
the few, as it was half a century ago, the daily newspaper is now in
almost every home in the great States of the Union, and the grave
responsibility of journalism may be appreciated when it is remembered
that the newspaper to-day is the greatest educator of the people who are
to maintain our free institutions. Widely as our schools have extended
until they are accessible to the humblest of the land, the newspaper as
an educator reaches vastly more people than all the colleges and schools
of the nation. It is read not only by the men and women of mature years,
but it begins its offices as teacher in the home circle as soon as the
child becomes a pupil in the school, and it is constantly although
imperceptibly moulding the minds of millions of our youths of all
classes and all conditions, and it has no vacations in its great work.
It not only aids the more intelligent to a sound exercise of judgment on
questions of public interest, but it is ever quickening the impulses and
shaping the aims of those who are most easily impressed, and during the
important period of life when the character of men and women is formed.

I have long held that the responsible direction of a widely read and
respected daily newspaper is the highest trust in our free government. I
do not thus speak of it to claim for it honors which may be questioned,
but I speak of it to present the oppressive responsibilities which rest
upon those who are to-day educating a nation of 70,000,000 of people,
under a government where every citizen is a sovereign, and where the
people hold in their own hands the destiny of the greatest Republic of
the world. Presidents, Cabinets, Senators, and Representatives come and
play their parts on the public stage and pass away--the few to be
remembered, the many to be forgotten--and political parties are created
and perish as new necessities and new conditions arise in the progress
of our free institutions. In my own day there have been created four new
political organizations which attained national importance, all of which
have elected Governors in Pennsylvania, and two of which have elected
Presidents of the United States, but three of them exist to-day only in
history. They are the Anti-Masonic, the Whig, the American, and the
Republican parties. Thus while rulers and the parties which call them to
power, come and go in the swift mutations of American politics, the
newspaper survives them all, and continues in its great career
regardless of the success or defeat of men or political organizations.

To seek promotion in civil trust from the editorial chair of an
influential newspaper, is to sacrifice the grander opportunity and
responsibility for the unsatisfying fame of official distinction. It is
the mission of the newspaper to create Presidents and other rulers; to
judge them when in power; to sustain them when they have been faithful
and efficient in the discharge of public duties, and to defeat them when
they are forgetful of the public welfare. In the discharge of these
important duties the newspaper must, above all, be free from the
suspicion of seeking individual advantage and it can be so only by
accepting its trust as highest of all and more enduring than all. Great
editors have been presumably honored by conferring upon them high
official positions in recognition of party services, but no editor in
the entire history of American journalism who has made his newspaper
secondary to political ambition, has written any other record than
failure as both editor and statesman.

My brethren of the press need not be reminded of the often painful
duties which come to the fearless editor. They must ever remember that
"faithful are the wounds of a friend," and no class of teachers so
well-known that:--

 "Forgiveness to the injured does belong,
  But they ne'er pardon who have done the wrong."

Few, very few indeed, outside of the editorial sanctum ever learn how
the surges of ambition, in all its varied and fantastic phases from the
noblest to the meanest, assail and often vex journalistic duties. The
public know not of the many gifted men who must thus at times be saved
from themselves, and an editorial retrospect of half a century presents
a sad record of the newspaper work of making bricks without straw.
Justly excepting the comparatively few public men who tower over
mediocrity in public place, journalism gives the position and fashions
the fame of most of them. It is not done arbitrarily nor from choice, as
public and political necessities are often paramount with journalists,
as with others, in awarding public honors; but with all its exactions
and responsibilities, which are ever magnified by the greater
opportunities for usefulness, there is no calling that brings richer
compensation for fidelity to duty. The consciousness that each day the
editor whose readers are numbered by hundreds of thousands, may greatly
aid in making the world better than it was in the passing yesterday, is
a constant inspiration to the best efforts, and it is especially
gratifying that even in the many and at times impassioned conflicts of
journalistic dispute, the rugged and sharp-angled walls which divide us
are ever so beautiful and fragrant with the flowers of good-fellowship,
as is impressively taught by this assembly.

Thus charged with the highest of civil trusts in the most enlightened
government of the earth, the editor must be honored or dishonored here
by the measure of his fidelity to his exceptional duties, and must be so
judged in the hereafter, when the narrow pathway of life that divides
past and future eternities has been traversed. We come when bidden, we
know not whence; we go when bidden, we know not whither; but each and
all have duties to themselves, to their homes, to their country, and to
the common brotherhood of man, which when performed with the
faithfulness that human infirmities will permit, must greatly brighten
the brief and often fretful journey from the cradle to the grave.
Friends, in this evening twilight of my journalistic work, so sweetly
mellowed by the smiling faces, young and old, about me, I answer your
generous greeting with the gratitude that can perish only when the
gathering shadows shall have settled into the night that comes to purple
the better morn.



[Speech of St. Clair McKelway before the National Society of China
  Importers, New York City, February 6, 1896.]

MR. CHAIRMAN AND FRIENDS:--The china I buy abroad is marked
"Fragile" in shipment. That which I buy at home is marked: "Glass--This
Side Up With Care." The foreign word of caution is fact. The American
note of warning is fiction--with a moral motive. The common purpose of
both is protection from freight fractors and baggage smashers. The
European appeals to knowledge. The American addresses the imagination.
The one expresses the truth. The other extends it. Neither is entirely
successful. The skill and care of shippers cannot always victoriously
cope with the innate destructiveness of fallen human nature. There is a
great deal of smashed crockery in the world.

You who are masters in the art of packing things and we whose vocation
is the art of putting things, both have reason to know that no pains of
placing or of preparation will guarantee freight or phrases, plates or
propositions, china of any kind or principles of any sort, from the
dangers of travel or from the tests of time. Your goods and our wares
have to take their chances in their way across the seas, throughout the
land and around the world. You lose some of yours merely in handling.
The defects of firing cannot be always foreseen. The intrusion of
inferior clay cannot be always prevented. The mere friction of contact
may produce bad nicks. Nor is the fineness nor the excellence of the
product an insurance against mishaps. From your factories or stores your
output is at the mercy of carriers without compunction, and in our
homes it is exposed to the heavy hands of servants without sentiment.
The pleasure of many a dinner is impaired by the fear or the
consciousness that inapt peasants are playing havoc with the treasures
of art on which the courses are served.

If, however, the ceramic kingdom is strewn with smashed crockery, how
much more so are the worlds of theology, medicine, politics, society,
law, and the like. No finer piece of plate was ever put forth than the
one inscribed: "I will believe only what I know." It was for years
agreeable to the pride and vanity of the race. It made many a fool feel
as if his forehead was lifted as high as the heavens, and that at every
step he knocked out a star. When, however, the discovery was made that
this assumption to displace deity amounted to a failure to comprehend
nature, some disappointment was admitted. He who affected by searching
to find out and to equal God could not explain the power by which a tree
pumps its sap from roots to leaves, or why a baby rabbit rejects the
grasses that would harm it, or why a puling infant divines its mother
among the motley and multitudinous mass of sibilant saints at a sewing
society which is discussing the last wedding and the next divorce. He
"who admits only what he understands" would have to look on himself as a
conundrum and then give the conundrum up. He would have the longest
doubts and the shortest creed on record. Agnosticism is part of the
smashed crockery of the moral universe.

Nor is the smug and confident contention: "Medicine is a science, one
and indivisible," so impressive and undented as it was. Sir Astley
Cooper in his plain, blunt way is reported to have described his own
idea of his own calling as "a science founded on conjecture and improved
by murder." The State of New York has rudely stepped in and legally and
irrevocably recognized three schools of medicine and will recognize a
fourth or a fifth as soon as it establishes itself by a sufficient
number of cures or in a sufficient number of cemeteries. Medical
intolerance cannot be legislated out of existence, but it has no further
recognition in legislation. A common and considerable degree of general
learning is by the State required of all intending students of medicine.
An equal and extended degree of professional study is required. An
identical measure of final examination with state certification and
state licensure is required. The claim that men and women must die
_secundum artem_ in order to have any permit to live here or to live
hereafter, has gone to the limbo of smashed crockery in the realm of
therapeutics. The arrogant pretension that men must die _secundum artem_
has been adjourned--_sine die_. And the State which prescribes uniform
qualifications among the schools will yet require uniform consultations
between them in the interest of the people whom they impartially prod
and concurrently purge with diversity of methods, but with parity of

Other long impressive and long pretty plaques have also been
incontinently smashed. One was lovingly lettered: "Once a Democrat,
always a Democrat." Another was inscribed: "Unconditional
Republicanism." In the white light of to-day the truth that an
invariable partisan is an occasional lunatic becomes impressively
apparent. Party under increasing civilization is a factor, not a fetish.
It is a means, not an end. It is an instrument, not an idol. Man is its
master, not its slave. Not that men will cease to act on party lines.
Party lines are the true divisional boundary between schools of thought.
No commission is needed to discover or to establish those lines. They
have made their own route or course in human nature. The bondage from
which men will free themselves is bondage to party organizations. Those
organizations are combinations for power and spoils. They are feudal in
their form, predatory in their spirit, military in their methods, but
they necessarily bear no more relation to political principles than
Italian banditti do to Italian unity, or the men who hold up railway
trains do to the laws of transportation. Party slavery is a bad and
disappearing form of smashed crockery.

The smashed crockery of society and of law could also be remarked. Our
fathers' dictum, that it is the only duty of women to be charming,
deserves to be sent into retirement. It is no more their duty to be
charming than it is the duty of the sun to light, or the rose to
perfume, or the trees to cast a friendly shade. A function is not a
duty. In the right sense of the word it is a nature or a habit. It is
the property of women and it is their prerogative to be charming, but if
they made it a duty, the effort would fail, for the intention would be
apparent and the end would impeach the means. Indeed, the whole theory
of the eighteenth century about women has gone to the limbo of smashed
crockery. It has been found that education does not hurt her. It has
been discovered that learning strengthens her like a tonic and becomes
her like a decoration. It has been discovered that she can compete with
men in the domain of lighter labor, in several of the professions, and
in not a few of the useful arts. The impression of her as a pawn, a
property or a plaything, came down from paganism to Christianity and was
too long retained by the Christian world. There is even danger of excess
in the liberality now extended to her. The toast, "Woman, Once Our
Superior and Now Our Equal," is not without satire as well as
significance. There must be a measurable reaction against the ultra
tendency in progress which has evolved the New Woman, as the phrase is.
I never met one and I hope I never shall. The women of the present, the
girls of the period, the sex up-to-date, will more than suffice to
double our joys and to treble our expenses. The new fads, as well as the
old fallacies, can be thrown among the smashed crockery of demolished
and discarded misconceptions.

I intended to say much about the smashed crockery of the lawyers. I
intended to touch upon the exploded claim that clients are their slaves,
witnesses theirs for vivisection, courts their playthings, and juries
their dupes. More mummery has thrived in law than in even medicine or
theology. The disenchanting and discriminating tendency of a realistic
age has, however, somewhat reformed the bar. Fluency, without force, is
discounted in our courts. The merely smart practitioner finds his
measure quickly taken and that the conscientious members of his calling
hold him at arm's length. Judges are learning that they are not rated
wise when they are obscure, or profound when they are stupid, or
mysterious when they are reserved. Publicity is abating many of the
abuses both of the bench and the bar. It will before long, even in this
judicial department, require both rich and poor to stand equal before
the bar of justice. The conjugal complications of plutocrats will not be
sealed up from general view by sycophantic magistrates, while the
matrimonial infelicities of the less well-to-do are spread broad on the
records. The still continuing scandals of partitioning refereeships
among the family relatives of judges will soon be stopped and the shame
and scandal of damage suits or of libel suits, without cause, maintained
by procured and false testimony and conducted on sheer speculation, will
be brought to an end. The law is full of rare crockery, but it is also
replete with crockery that ought to be smashed. Much bad crockery in it
has been smashed and much more will be, if necessary, by the press,
which is itself not without considerable ceramic material that could be
pulverized with signal benefit to the public and to the fourth estate.

But why am I talking about smashed crockery when I am told that it is
the very life of your trade? Were crockery imperishable this would be
the last dinner of your association. Your members would be eating cold
victuals at area doors, passed to you on the plates you have made, by
the domestics whose free and easy carelessness is really the foundation
of your fortunes. You want crockery to be smashed, because the more
smash the more crockery and the more crockery the more output, and the
more output the more revenue, and the more revenue the more Waldorf
dinners, and the more Waldorf dinners the more opportunity for you to
make the men of other callings stand and deliver those speeches, which I
like to hear, and in the hope of hearing which I now give way.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of St. Clair McKelway at a dinner given in honor of Samuel L.
  Clemens [Mark Twain] by the Lotos Club, New York City, November 2,
  1900. The President of the Lotos, Frank R. Lawrence, introduced Dr.
  McKelway as the man whose wondrous use of adjectives has converted to
  his opinion many doubters throughout this city and country.]

MR. PRESIDENT AND FRIENDS:--Years ago we here sought to hold up
Mark Twain's hands. Now we all feel like holding up our own, in
congratulation of him and of ourselves. Of him because his warfare is
accomplished. Of ourselves because he has returned to our company. If it
was a pleasure to know him then, it is a privilege and an honor to know
him now. He has fought the good fight. He has kept the faith. He is
ready to be offered up, but we are not ready to have him offered up. For
we want the Indian summer of his life to be long, and that to be
followed by a genial winter, which, if it be as frosty as his hair,
shall also be as kindly as his heart. [Applause.]

He has enough excess and versatility of ability to be a genius. He has
enough quality and quantity of virtues to be a saint. But he has
honorably transmuted his genius into work, whereby it has been brought
into relations with literature and with life. And he has preferred warm
fellowship to cold perfection, so that sinners love him and saints are
content to wait for him. May they wait long. [Applause.]

I think he is entitled to be regarded as the Dean of America's humor;
that he is entitled to the distinction of being the greatest humorist
this nation ever had. I say this with a fair knowledge of the chiefs of
the entire corps, from Francis Hopkinson and the author of "Hasty
Pudding," down to Bill Nye and Dooley. None of them would I depreciate.
I would greatly prefer to honor and hail them all for the singular
fittedness of their gifts to the needs of the nation in their times.
Hopkinson and Joel Barlow lightened the woes of the Revolution by the
touch of nature that makes the whole world grin. Seba Smith relieved the
Yankee sense of tension under the impact of Jacksonian roughness, by
tickling its ribs with a quill. Lieutenant Derby turned the searchlight
of fun on the stiff formalities of army posts, on the raw conditions of
alkali journalism and on the solemn humbugs of frontier politics. James
Russell Lowell used dialect for dynamite to blow the front off hypocrisy
or to shatter the cotton commercialism in which the New England
conscience was encysted. Robert H. Newell, mirth-maker and mystic,
satirized military ignorance and pinchbeck bluster to an immortality of
contempt. Bret Harte in verse and story touched the parallels of tragedy
and of comedy, of pathos, of bathos, and of humor, which love of life
and lust of gold opened up amid the unapprehended grandeurs and the
coveted treasures of primeval nature. Charles F. Browne made "Artemus
Ward" as well known as Abraham Lincoln in the time the two divided the
attention of the world. Bill Nye singed the shams of his day, and Dooley
dissects for Hinnissey the shams of our own. Nor should we forget Eugene
Field, the beatifier of childhood; or Joel Chandler Harris, the fabulist
of the plantation; or Ruth McEnery Stuart, the coronal singer of the
joys and hopes, the loves and the dreams of the images of God in ebony
in the old South, ere it leaped and hardened to the new.

To these, love and honor. But to this man honor's crown of honor, for he
has made a mark none of the others has reached. Few of them have
diversified the delights to be drawn from their pages of humor. They
have, as humorists, in distinction to the work of moralists, novelists,
orators and poets, in which the rarest among them shine, they have as
humorists, in the main, worked a single vein. And some of them were
humorists for a purpose, a dreary grind that, and some of them were only
humorists for a period as well as for a purpose. The purpose served, the
period passed, the humor that was of their life a thing apart, ceased.
'Tis Clemens' whole existence! [Applause.]

As Bacon made all learning his province, so Mark Twain has made all life
and history his quarry, from the Jumping Frog to the Yankee at Arthur's
Court; from the inquested petrifaction that died of protracted exposure
to the present parliament of Austria; from the Grave of Adam to the
mysteries of the Adamless Eden known as the league of professional
women; from Mulberry Sellers to Joan of Arc, and from Edward the Sixth
to Puddin'head Wilson, who wanted to kill his half of the deathless dog.

Nevada is forgiven its decay because he flashed the oddities of its
zenith life on pages that endure. California is worth more than its
gold, because he showed to men the heart under its swagger. He annexed
the Sandwich Islands to the fun of the nation long before they were put
under its flag. Because of him the Missouri and the Mississippi go not
unvexed to the sea, for they ripple with laughter as they recall Tom
Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, poor Jim, and the Duke. Europe, Asia Minor,
and Palestine are open doors to the world, thanks to this Pilgrim's
Progress with his "Innocents Abroad." Purity, piety and pity shine out
from "Prince and Pauper" like the eyes of a wondering deer on a
torch-lighted night from a wooded fringe of mountain and of lake.

But enough of what I fear is already too much. In expressing my debt to
him, I hope I express somewhat at least of yours. I cannot repay him in
kind any more than I could rival him. None of us can. But we can render
to him a return he would like. With him we can get our way to reality,
and burn off pretence as acid eats its way to the denuded plate of the
engraver. We can strip the veneer of convention from style, and
strengthen our thought in his Anglo-Saxon well of English undefiled. We
can drop seeming for sincerity. We can be relentless toward hypocrisy
and tender to humanity. We can rejoice in the love of laughter, without
ever once letting it lead us to libertinism of fancy. We can reach
through humor the heart of man. We can make exaggeration the scourge of
meanness and the magnifier of truth on the broad screen of life. By
study of him, the nothing new under the sun can be made fresh and
fragrant by the supreme art of putting things. Though none of us can
handle his wand, all of us can be transformed by it into something
different from and finer than our dull selves. That is our delight, that
is our debt, both due to him, and long may he remain with us to
brighten, to broaden and to better our souls with the magic mirth and
with the mirthful magic of his incomparable spell. [Applause.]



_Photo-engraving in colors after an original painting by George W.

This is from a series of eight panels, representing "The
Virtues"--Fortitude, Justice, Patriotism, Courage, Temperance, Prudence,
Industry, and Concord. Each figure is about five and a half feet high
clad in drapery, and standing out on a solid red background. The style
is Pompeiian, the general tone is somewhat like marble, but relieved by
a touch of color. "Patriotism" is represented as feeding an eagle, the
emblem of America, from a golden bowl, symbolizing the nourishment given
by this Virtue to the spirit of the nation.]



[Speech of President McKinley, in response to the toast "Our Country,"
  at the Peace Jubilee banquet in the Auditorium, Chicago, October 19,
  1898. The President was introduced by Hon. Franklin MacVeagh, in the
  following words: "Since Washington, with the exception of Lincoln, no
  President has carried upon his shoulders such grave responsibilities
  or met such heavy demands upon his judgment, forbearance and wisdom as
  President McKinley. [Great applause.] And no President, not even
  Lincoln, has more willingly endured for his people, or has more
  trusted in the people, or has sought more high-mindedly to interpret
  and carry out the sober thought and ultimate will of the nation.
  [Applause.] He has a reward in the affection and confidence of the
  people. [Applause] It is this eminent President and this eminently
  patriotic man who will now address you on the subject of 'Our
  Country.'" It was several minutes before the cheering had subsided
  sufficiently to enable President McKinley to make his voice heard.]

MR. TOAST-MASTER AND GENTLEMEN:--It affords me gratification to
meet the people of the city of Chicago and to participate with them in
this patriotic celebration. Upon the suspension of hostilities of a
foreign war, the first in our history for over half a century, we have
met in a spirit of peace, profoundly grateful for the glorious
advancement already made, and earnestly wishing in the final termination
to realize an equally glorious fulfillment. With no feeling of
exultation, but with profound thankfulness, we contemplate the events of
the past five months. They have been too serious to admit of boasting or
vain-glorification. They have been so full of responsibilities,
immediate and prospective, as to admonish the soberest judgment and
counsel the most conservative action.

This is not the time to fire the imagination, but rather to discover, in
calm reason, the way to truth, and justice, and right, and when
discovered to follow it with fidelity and courage, without fear,
hesitation, or weakness. [Applause.]

The war has put upon the nation grave responsibilities. Their extent was
not anticipated and could not have been well foreseen. We cannot escape
the obligations of victory. We cannot avoid the serious questions which
have been brought home to us by the achievements of our arms on land and
sea. We are bound in conscience to keep and perform the covenants which
the war has sacredly sealed with mankind. Accepting war for humanity's
sake, we must accept all obligations which the war in duty and honor
imposed upon us. The splendid victories we have achieved would be our
eternal shame and not our everlasting glory if they led to the weakening
of our original lofty purpose or to the desertion of the immortal
principles on which the national government was founded, and in
accordance with whose ennobling spirit it has ever since been faithfully

The war with Spain was undertaken not that the United States should
increase its territory, but that oppression at our very doors should be
stopped. This noble sentiment must continue to animate us, and we must
give to the world the full demonstration of the sincerity of our
purpose. Duty determines destiny. Destiny which results from duty
performed may bring anxiety and perils, but never failure and dishonor.
Pursuing duty may not always lead by smooth paths. Another course may
look easier and more attractive, but pursuing duty for duty's sake is
always sure and safe and honorable. It is not within the power of man to
foretell the future and to solve unerringly its mighty problems.
Almighty God has His plans and methods for human progress, and not
infrequently they are shrouded for the time being in impenetrable
mystery. Looking backward we can see how the hand of destiny builded for
us and assigned us tasks whose full meaning was not apprehended even by
the wisest statesmen of their times.

Our colonial ancestors did not enter upon their war originally for
independence. Abraham Lincoln did not start out to free the slaves, but
to save the Union. The war with Spain was not of our seeking, and some
of its consequences may not be to our liking. Our vision is often
defective. Short-sightedness is a common malady, but the closer we get
to things or they get to us the clearer our view and the less obscure
our duty. Patriotism must be faithful as well as fervent; statesmanship
must be wise as well as fearless--not the statesmanship which will
command the applause of the hour, but the approving judgment of
posterity. [Applause.]

The progress of a nation can alone prevent degeneration. There must be
new life and purpose, or there will be weakness and decay. There must be
broadening of thought as well as broadening of trade. Territorial
expansion is not alone and always necessary to national advancement.
There must be a constant movement toward a higher and nobler
civilization, a civilization that shall make its conquests without
resort to war and achieve its greatest victories pursuing the arts of

In our present situation duty--and duty alone--should prescribe the
boundary of our responsibilities and the scope of our undertakings. The
final determination of our purposes awaits the action of the eminent men
who are charged by the executive with the making of the treaty of peace,
and that of the Senate of the United States, which, by our constitution,
must ratify and confirm it. We all hope and pray that the confirmation
of peace will be as just and humane as the conduct and consummation of
the war. When the work of the treaty-makers is done the work of the
lawmakers will begin. The one will settle the extent of our
responsibilities; the other must provide the legislation to meet them.
The army and navy have nobly and heroically performed their part. May
God give the executive and congress wisdom to perform theirs.

       *       *       *       *       *


[Speech of William McKinley at the eleventh annual banquet of the Home
  Market Club, Boston, Mass., February 16, 1899. William B. Plunkett,
  President of the Club, said in introducing the President of the United
  States: "Not the Home Market Club, not the city of Boston, not
  Massachusetts only, but all New England give you greeting of welcome,
  Mr. President. In our retrospective of the year past we would give
  full meed of honor and praise to the President who so nobly met and so
  faithfully discharged the grave responsibilities of that great office,
  and thanksgiving to the Divine Providence that sustained him. In such
  hands, under such guidance, we may safely trust the future of our
  Republic. I have the great honor to present to you the beloved
  President of the United States, William McKinley." The enthusiasm
  displayed when the President was introduced was tremendous. In it all
  he remained to all appearances calm and collected, as he stood and
  silently acknowledged the reception.]

MR. TOAST-MASTER AND GENTLEMEN:--I have been deeply and
profoundly moved by this manifestation of your good-will and confidence
and impressed by the expressions of good-will from the Governor of your
great Commonwealth [Roger Wolcott] as well as from the chief executive
[Josiah Quincy] of the capital city of your State. No one stands in this
magnificent presence, listening to the patriotic strains from choir and
band, without knowing what this great audience was thinking about. It
was thinking, it is thinking this moment, of country, because they love
it and have faith in themselves and in its future. I thank the Governor
of Massachusetts, I thank the Mayor of the city of Boston, for their
warm and generous words of welcome, offered in behalf of this people to
me in your presence to-night.

The years go quickly. It seems not so long, but it is in fact six years
since it was my honor to be a guest of the Home Market Club. Much has
happened in the intervening time. Issues which were then engaging us
have been settled or put aside for larger and more absorbing ones.
Domestic conditions have improved and are generally satisfactory.

We have made progress in industry and have realized the prosperity for
which we have been striving. We had four long years of adversity, which
taught us some lessons which will never be unlearned and which will be
valuable in guiding our future action. We have not only been successful
in our financial and business affairs, but have been successful in a war
with a foreign power, which has added great glory to American arms and a
new chapter to American history.

I do not know why in the year 1899 this republic has unexpectedly had
placed before it mighty problems which it must face and meet. They have
come and are here and they could not be kept away. Many who were
impatient for the conflict a year ago, apparently heedless of its larger
results, are the first to cry out against the far-reaching consequences
of their own act. Those of us who dreaded war most and whose every
effort was directed to prevent it, had fears of new and grave problems
which might follow its inauguration.

The evolution of events which no man could control has brought these
problems upon us. Certain it is that they have not come through any
fault on our own part, but as a high obligation, and we meet them with
clear conscience and unselfish purpose, and with good heart resolve to
undertake their solution.

War was declared in April, 1898, with practical unanimity by the
Congress, and, once upon us, was sustained by like unanimity among the
people. There had been many who had tried to avert it, as, on the other
hand, there were many who would have precipitated it at an earlier date.
In its prosecution and conclusion the great majority of our countrymen
of every section believed they were fighting in a just cause, and at
home or at sea or in the field they had part in its glorious triumphs.
It was the war of an undivided nation. Every great act in its progress,
from Manila to Santiago, from Guam to Porto Rico, met universal and
hearty commendation. The protocol commanded the practically unanimous
approval of the American people. It was welcomed by every lover of peace
beneath the flag. [Applause.]

The Philippines, like Cuba and Porto Rico, were intrusted to our hands
by the war, and to that great trust, under the providence of God and in
the name of human progress and civilization, we are committed. It is a
trust we have not sought; it is a trust from which we will not flinch.
The American people will hold up the hands of their servants at home to
whom they commit its execution, while Dewey and Otis and the brave men
whom they command will have the support of the country in upholding our
flag where it now floats, the symbol and assurance of liberty and
justice. [Applause.]

What nation was ever able to write an accurate programme of the war upon
which it was entering, much less decree in advance the scope of its
results? Congress can declare war, but a higher power decrees its bounds
and fixes its relations and responsibilities. The President can direct
the movements of soldiers on the field and fleets upon the sea, but he
cannot foresee the close of such movements or prescribe their limits. He
cannot anticipate or avoid the consequences, but he must meet them. No
accurate map of nations engaged in war can be traced until the war is
over, nor can the measure of responsibility be fixed till the last gun
is fired and the verdict embodied in the stipulations of peace.

We hear no complaint of the relations created by the war between this
Government and the islands of Cuba and Porto Rico. There are some,
however, who regard the Philippines as in a different relation; but
whatever variety of views there maybe on this phase of the question,
there is universal agreement that the Philippines shall not be turned
back to Spain. No true American consents to that. Even if unwilling to
accept them ourselves, it would have been a weak evasion of manly duty
to require Spain to transfer them to some other Power or Powers, and
thus shirk our own responsibility. Even if we had had, as we did not
have, the power to compel such a transfer, it could not have been made
without the most serious international complications. Such a course
could not be thought of. And yet had we refused to accept the cession of
them we should have had no power over them, even for their own good. We
could not discharge the responsibilities upon us until these islands
became ours, either by conquest or treaty. There was but one
alternative, and that was either Spain or the United States in the
Philippines. The other suggestions--first, that they should be tossed
into the arena of contention for the strife of nations; or, second, be
left to the anarchy and chaos of no protectorate at all--were too
shameful to be considered. [Applause.]

The treaty gave them to the United States. Could we have required less
and done our duty?

Could we, after freeing the Filipinos from the domination of Spain, have
left them without government and without power to protect life or
property or to perform the international obligations essential to an
independent State? Could we have left them in a state of anarchy and
justified ourselves in our own consciences or before the tribunal of
mankind? Could we have done that in the sight of God or man?

Our concern was not for territory or trade or empire, but for the people
whose interests and destiny, without our willing it, had been put in our
hands. It was with this feeling that from the first day to the last not
one word or line went from the Executive in Washington to our military
and naval commanders at Manila or to our Peace Commissioners at Paris,
that did not put as the sole purpose to be kept in mind, first after the
success of our arms and the maintenance of our own honor, the welfare
and happiness and the rights of the inhabitants of the Philippine
islands. Did we need their consent to perform a great act for humanity?
We had it in every aspiration of their minds, in every hope of their
hearts. Was it necessary to ask their consent to capture Manila, the
capital of their islands? Did we ask their consent to liberate them from
Spanish sovereignty or to enter Manila Bay and destroy the Spanish
sea-power there? We did not ask these; we were obeying a higher moral
obligation which rested on us and which did not require anybody's
consent. We were doing our duty by them, as God gave us the light to see
our duty, with the consent of our own consciences and with the approval
of civilization. Every present obligation has been met and fulfilled in
the expulsion of Spanish sovereignty from their islands, and while the
war that destroyed it was in progress we could not ask their views. Nor
can we now ask their consent. Indeed, can any one tell me in what form
it could be marshaled and ascertained until peace and order, so
necessary to the reign of reason, shall be secured and established? A
reign of terror is not the kind of rule under which right action and
deliberate judgment are possible. It is not a good time for the
liberator to submit important questions concerning liberty and
government to the liberated while they are engaged in shooting down
their rescuers.

We have now ended the war with Spain. The treaty has been ratified by
the votes of more than two-thirds of the Senate of the United States and
by the judgment of nine-tenths of its people. No nation was ever more
fortunate in war or more honorable in its negotiations in peace. Spain
is now eliminated from the problem. It remains to ask what we shall now
do. I do not intrude upon the duties of Congress or seek to anticipate
or forestall its action. I only say that the treaty of peace, honorably
secured, having been ratified by the United States, and, as we
confidently expect, shortly to be ratified in Spain, Congress will have
the power, and I am sure the purpose, to do what in good morals is right
and just and humane for these peoples in distant seas.

It is sometimes hard to determine what is best to do, and the best thing
to do is oftentimes the hardest. The prophet of evil would do nothing
because he flinches at sacrifice and effort, and to do nothing is
easiest and involves the least cost. On those who have things to do
there rests a responsibility which is not on those who have no
obligations as doers. If the doubters were in a majority, there would,
it is true, be no labor, no sacrifice, no anxiety, and no burden raised
or carried; no contribution from our ease and purse and comfort to the
welfare of others, or even to the extension of our resources to the
welfare of ourselves. There would be ease, but alas! there would be
nothing done.

But grave problems come in the life of a nation, however much men may
seek to avoid them. They come without our seeking; why, we do not know,
and it is not always given us to know; but the generation on which they
are forced cannot avoid the responsibility of honestly striving for
their solution. We may not know precisely how to solve them, but we can
make an honest effort to that end, and if made in conscience, justice,
and honor, it will not be in vain.

The future of the Philippine Islands is now in the hands of the American
people. Until the treaty was ratified or rejected the Executive
department of this government could only preserve the peace and protect
life and property. That treaty now commits the free and enfranchised
Filipinos to the guiding hand and the liberalizing influences, the
generous sympathies, the uplifting education, not of their American
masters, but of their American emancipators. No one can tell to-day what
is best for them or for us. I know no one at this hour who is wise
enough or sufficiently informed to determine what form of government
will best subserve their interests and our interests, their and our

If we knew everything by intuition--and I sometimes think that there are
those who believe that if we do not, they do--we should not need
information; but, unfortunately, most of us are not in that happy state.
This whole subject is now with Congress; and Congress is the voice, the
conscience and the judgment of the American people. Upon their judgment
and conscience can we not rely? I believe in them. I trust them. I know
of no better or safer human tribunal than the people. [Applause.]

Until Congress shall direct otherwise, it will be the duty of the
Executive to possess and hold the Philippines, giving to the people
thereof peace and order and beneficent government, affording them every
opportunity to prosecute their lawful pursuits, encouraging them in
thrift and industry, making them feel and know that we are their
friends, not their enemies, that their good is our aim, that their
welfare is our welfare, but that neither their aspirations nor ours can
be realized until our authority is acknowledged and unquestioned.

That the inhabitants of the Philippines will be benefited by this
Republic is my unshaken belief. That they will have a kindlier
government under our guidance, and that they will be aided in every
possible way to be a self-respecting and self-governing people is as
true as that the American people love liberty and have an abiding faith
in their own government and in their own institutions. No imperial
designs lurk in the American mind. They are alien to American sentiment,
thought and purpose. Our priceless principles undergo no change under a
tropical sun. They go with the flag. They are wrought in every one of
its sacred folds and are inextinguishable in its shining stars.

 "Why read ye not the changeless truth,
  The free can conquer but to save."

If we can benefit these remote peoples, who will object? If in the years
of the future they are established in government under law and liberty,
who will regret our perils and sacrifices? Who will not rejoice in our
heroism and humanity? Always perils, and always after them safety;
always darkness and clouds, but always shining through them the light
and the sunshine; always cost and sacrifice, but always after them the
fruition of liberty, education and civilization.

I have no light or knowledge not common to my countrymen. I do not
prophesy. The present is all-absorbing to me, but I cannot bound my
vision by the blood-stained trenches around Manila, where every red
drop, whether from the veins of an American soldier or a misguided
Filipino, is anguish to my heart; but by the broad range of future
years, when that group of islands, under the impulse of the year just
passed, shall have become the gems and glories of those tropical seas; a
land of plenty and of increasing possibilities; a people redeemed from
savage indolence and habits, devoted to the arts of peace, in touch with
the commerce and trade of all nations, enjoying the blessings of
freedom, of civil and religious liberty, of education and of homes, and
whose children and children's children shall for ages hence bless the
American Republic because it emancipated and redeemed their fatherland
and set them in the pathway of the world's best civilization.
[Long-continued applause and cheers.]



[Speech of William B. Melish at a banquet given in honor of the Grand
  Encampment of Knights Templars of the United States, by the Templars
  of Pennsylvania, at Pittsburg, Pa., 1898. Colonel Melish, of
  Cincinnati, Ohio, was assigned the toast, "Our ladies."]

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN:--Once in three years it falls to
the lot of a few, a happy few, of us budding blossoms of the official
corps of the Grand Encampment to be discovered by a triennial committee,
and distinguished by having our names printed on the banquet lists, and
told that we are to sit among the elect at the big centre table, and to
respond to certain toasts. With all the vanity of man we gladly accept,
and care little what the toast may be. So, when the Pittsburg Committee
asked me to select my topic, I rashly said "any old thing," and they
told me I was to talk about the ladies. Then I regretted that I had said
"any old thing." [Laughter.] In vain I told them I knew but little of
the subject, delightful though it be, and that what I did know I dare
not tell in this presence. The Chairman unearthed some ancient Templar
landmark of the Crusaders Hopkins and Gobin, about "a Knight's duty is
to obey," hence as the poet says:--

 "When a woman's in the case,
  You know all other things give place."

Last Sunday when the Grand Master, and all the Grand officers, save
possibly the Grand Prelate, made their _triennial_ appearance in church,
I picked up a book in the pew I was in, and was impressed with the
opening chapters of a story called "The Book of Genesis." It is the
first mention made of one who was entitled to be called the "first
lady in the land." I read that the Creator "saw everything that he had
made and behold it was very good," and he rested. Then He made man and
said He was good--and He rested. He then made woman out of the rib of a
man, but no mention is made of His remarks, or of His resting--in fact
there has been no rest for mankind ever since. [Laughter.] The first
lady was called woman--"because she was taken out of man," and twenty
centuries look down upon us, and we realize that what she has taken out
of man is a plenty. As the poet Moore pleasantly remarks:--

 "Disguise our bondage as we will
 'Tis woman, woman rules us still."

For two thousand years the Order of Knighthood has been endeavoring to
ameliorate and elevate the condition of womankind. Among savages they
are beasts of burden, among barbarians and Mohammedans they are toys or
slaves, but among us, thanks to American manhood, they have our love and
respect, they have all our rights, all our money, and, in these days of
tailor-made garments, they have nearly all our clothes; and we smile and
smile, and wonder what next? [Laughter.]

Is it surprising that a sedate, sober-minded, slightly bald-headed,
middle-aged Templar Knight, "used only to war's alarms [laughter] and
not to woman's charms," should be at a loss what to say on an occasion
like this, or to do justice to such a subject? It is delightful to have
the ladies here. Like Timon of Athens we can truly say:--

   "You have, fair ladies,
 Set a fair fashion to our entertainment,
 Which was not half so beautiful and kind."

In the presence of the bright eyes, rosy cheeks, and warm red lips of
the ladies it might be possible to work up to the proper degree of
enthusiasm in the short time allotted me, if it were not for the stony
glare of one which says "Beware, I am here!" [Laughter.] Now, in my
innocence, I presumed that poets were the fellows who had prepared all
the pretty things to say about the dear girls, but I find a variety of
opinions expressed. That good old Masonic bard, Bobby Burns, says:--

 "And nature swears, the lovely dears,
    Her noblest work she classes, O;
  Her 'prentice hand she tried on man
    An' then she made the lasses, O."

But you will note that Dame Nature swears this, and she is not a
competent witness, as she had nothing to do with the little surgical
episode when Brother Adam lost his rib. [Laughter.] Lord Lyttleton gave
our sisters good advice, as follows:--

 "Seek to be good, but aim not to be great,
  A woman's noblest station is Retreat,
  Her fairest virtues fly from public sight,
  Domestic worth that shuns too strong a light."

Another English authority named "Howe," in his "Advice to Wives,"

 "A wife, domestic, good and pure
  Like snail should keep within her door,
  But not, like snail, with silver track
  Place all her wealth upon her back."

But who in these latter days would preach the heresies of those
old-fashioned fellows to the hundreds of ladies present, plumed in all
the titles and distinctions of the hundred and one woman's clubs of
to-day, which they represent. Perish the thought!

Woman is being emancipated. She is enthroned in the sun, crowned with
stars, and, trampling beneath her dainty feet the burnt-out moon, emblem
of a vanished despotism that denied her the companionship of her
husband, questioned her immortality, locked her up in the harem, or
harnessed her to the plough. A hundred years from now, if she does a
man's work, she will be paid a man's wages [applause], and some of us
will not have to work for a living, but can go to our clubs in peace,
take our afternoon naps, and be ready in the evening to get Mamma's
slippers ready when she comes home from the office. [Laughter.]

But the problem for to-night is how to consider the various relations
which women bear to us weak, frail men--as mother or mother-in-law, as
sweetheart or wife. We are somewhat in the predicament of the green
bridegroom at Delmonico's who said: "Waiter, we want dinner for two."
"Will ze lady and ze gentleman haf table d'hote or a la carte?" "Oh,
bring us some of both, with lots of gravy on 'em!" Oh, ye Knights! Take
the advice of the philosopher who is talking to you, and be on the best
of terms with your mother-in-law. [Laughter.] Only get her on your side,
and you have a haven to fly to when all others fail to appreciate you,
and when some one of the others feels appointed a special agent to tell
you about it. Now, it isn't everybody that knows this, and I commend it
to you. [Laughter.]

Some men are like the two darkies I heard discussing the question of
what a man should do if he were in a boat on a wide river, with his
mother and his wife, and the boat should sink, and he could only save
one woman. "Johnson," said Billy Rice, "who would you save, yo' mudder
or yo' wife?" Johnson thought and said: "Billy! I would save my mudder.
I could get anudder wife, but where under the blue canopy of hebben
could I get anudder dear old mudder?" "But look here, Billy! 'Spose you
was in de boat, in de middle of de river, wid yo' wife and yo'
mudder-in-law?" "Oh, what a cinch!"--said Billy. "And de boat,"
continued Johnson, "was to strike a snag and smash to pieces, and
eberybody go into de water, who would you save?" "My wife, dar! my
mudder-in-law dar! and de boat strike a snag?" "Yes!" "I would save de
snag," said Billy. "I could get anudder wife, I might den have anudder
mudder-in-law, but where under de blue canopy of hebben could I find
anudder dear, thoughtful old snag?" [Laughter.]

It has been well said that "all a woman has to do in this world is
contained within the duties of a daughter, a sister, a wife, and a
mother." She has sustained at least one of these relations to even the
poorest of us; but I wonder if there is a man here to-night so miserably
abject and forlorn and God-forsaken as not, some time in his life, to
have been able to regard her in the delightful relation of sweetheart? I
hope not. I would rather he had had a dozen, than no sweetheart at all.
The most unselfish devotion we may ever know is that of our mother; a
sweet affection is that of our sisters, a most tender love is that of
our daughters, but the love and affection we all want, and without which
we are never satisfied, is that of the sweethearts who reward our
devotion--out of all proportion to our deserts--by becoming our wives
and the mothers of our daughters. [Applause.]

It is not less the pleasure than the duty of every man to have a
sweetheart--I was almost tempted to say, the more, the merrier--and the
sooner he makes one of his sweethearts his wife, the better for him. If
he is a "woman-hater," or professes to be (for, as a matter of fact,
there is no such anomaly as a genuine "woman-hater" at liberty in this
great and glorious country), let him beware, as I believe with
Thackeray, that a "woman, with fair opportunities, and without an
absolute hump, may _marry_ whom she likes. [Laughter.] Only let us be
thankful that the darlings are like the beasts of the field, and don't
know their own power." As the poet--what's-his-name--so beautifully and
feelingly and touchingly observes:--

 "Oh, woman, in our hours of ease,
  Uncertain, coy, and hard to please,"--
 "But seen too oft, familiar with her face,
  We first endure, then pity, then embrace."

Next to God, we are indebted to woman for life itself, and then for
making it worth living. To describe her, the pen should be dipped in the
humid colors of the rainbow, and the paper dried with the dust gathered
from the wings of a butterfly. There is one in the world who feels for
him who is sad a keener pang than he feels for himself; there is one to
whom reflected joy is better than that which comes direct; there is one
who rejoices in another's honor more than in her own; there is one upon
whom another's transcendent excellence sheds no beam but that of
delight; there is one who hides another's infirmities more faithfully
than her own; there is one who loses all sense of self in the sentiment
of kindness, tenderness, and devotion to another--that one is she who is
honored with the holy name of wife. [Applause.] With the immortal
Shakespeare we may say:

 "Why, man, she is mine own;
  And I as rich in having such a jewel,
  As twenty seas, if all their sands were pearl,
  The water nectar, and the rocks pure gold."

I can do no greater justice to my subject, the occasion, and myself,
than by closing with the words of Shelley: "Win her and wear her if you
can. She is the most delightful of God's creatures. Heaven's best gift;
man's joy and pride in prosperity; man's support and comfort in
affliction." I drink her health. God bless her. [Prolonged applause.]



[Speech of Major-General Nelson A. Miles at a banquet given in his honor
  by more than seven hundred of the most distinguished citizens of New
  York City, November 11, 1898. While the last course was being served,
  a unique procession made the round of the hall. It was headed by three
  figures, one fifer and two drummers, attired to represent the famous
  painting called "Spirit of '76." These three were followed by a
  procession bearing miniature ships of war manufactured of various
  confections. Joseph H. Choate was Chairman of the banquet.]


 "Joyfully dear is the homeward track,
  If we are but sure of a welcome back."

Such a generous reception has been extended to me to-night as few are
permitted to enjoy, and I should be wanting in gratitude did I not
appreciate the sentiment expressed in this cordial greeting. I should be
vain indeed to ascribe it to myself, or for a moment to accept it solely
as a personal tribute. As an expression of appreciation of the gallant
troops which I have the honor to command, it is accepted in behalf of
the living and for them I thank you, as well as for those whose lips are
forever silent and whose heroism and sacrifice I know are here
remembered and revered.

This reception is to me doubly gratifying, for I am delighted to return
once more to the shores of the Great Republic and also to be welcomed by
the men of the great Empire State and by those associated with them in
this entertainment. For many years New York has seemed like home to me.
I passed down Broadway in 1861, at the age of twenty-one, a lieutenant
in a regiment from my native State; eight months later I was honored by
that great patriot and statesman, Governor Morgan, with a commission as
lieutenant-colonel in one of the New York regiments. From that time
during the great Civil War I was largely identified with the New York
troops, commanding a regiment, a brigade, and, at one time, thirty-two
regiments from the State of New York. Many of my comrades in the field
were from New York, many of my strongest friends are New Yorkers, and I
am honored to-night by such a greeting as would make the heart of any
soldier proud.

The wars of the past have had their objects, their achievements, and
glorious results. The last war was one in the interest of humanity and
in behalf of a heroic people, who for many years had been struggling
against cruel atrocities, oppression, and the despotism of a decaying
monarchy. It has been most remarkable in many respects. It has presented
one series of victories, without a single disaster or a single defeat.
The flag of the United States has not been lowered in a single instance.
Not a foot of ground has been surrendered, not a soldier, gun or rifle
has been captured by the enemy. The American soldiers and sailors have
been true to the principles and traditions of their fathers, and
maintained the honor and glory of the American arms. One of the great
blessings to the country in this brief but decisive war has been to
unite firmly in bonds of imperishable union all sections of the United
States: North, South, East, and West. Still more, it has given us reason
and opportunity to appreciate our obligations to the mother country for
the dignified and powerful influence of the British Empire in the
maintenance of our principles and rights.

There are other fields to conquer. The past has gone, and the future
opens the door to greater responsibilities, and I trust to greater
progress and prosperity. We are ascending to a clearer atmosphere, up to
a higher level, where we should take a stronger position than ever
before occupied by our government and people. We can no longer confine
ourselves to the narrow limits that governed us as a people in the past.
Much has been said of what has been the ruling policy of the past. This
much, I think, is apparent to all, that the grave responsibilities of
the nation are too great to be contaminated by personal, partisan, or
sectional interests. Our interests are national in the highest degree.
They embrace two hemispheres. They involve the welfare of a hundred
millions of the human race. We are getting to that time when we shall
require not only the ablest men but many of them, in every department,
to protect and administer the affairs of the Nation. In those impressive
lines of Holland we might exclaim:--

 "God give us men; a time like this demands
  Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands,
  Men whom the lust of office does not kill,
    Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy,
  Men who possess opinions and a will,
    Men who have honor; men who will not lie."

The important and great questions that had to be met and that have been
decided during the last few months have had a broadening influence upon
the great mass of our people. It has been uplifting to every community
and every phase of society. It has turned the attention of our people to
the great power and responsibility of our Republic, and institutions,
and true interests as a people and a nation, not only at home, but
through every part of the globe. We have been enabled to give freedom to
millions of the oppressed, and I believe that we shall be able to extend
to them the hand of support and secure for them a full measure of
justice and enlightened government. In behalf of the army and for
myself, I wish to return my most heartfelt thanks for this most cordial
greeting. [Applause.]



[Speech of Samuel F. Miller, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United
  States, at the annual dinner of the State Bar Association, Albany,
  November 20, 1878. Justice Miller spoke in response to the toast: "The
  Supreme Court of the United States." With the toast was associated the
  following sentiment from De Tocqueville: "The peace, the prosperity,
  and the very existence of the Union are vested in Federal Judges."]

in the meeting of this State Bar Association it has devolved upon me to
inaugurate the talking on all occasions. [Laughter.] When I had supposed
last evening that I should hear the eloquent voice of your then
President, Judge Porter, to get up the enthusiasm which was necessary, I
was surprised to find that he was absent, and that the distinguished
gentleman who presided did not feel called upon to fill his place in
that regard, though he did the honors and discharged the duties of the
office very gracefully; and now when your own Governor, and when the
President of the United States are toasted in advance of the body of
which I have the honor to be a member, there is nobody with the
respectful and cordial approval of the Association here to respond to
the sentiments in their honor. But I have had the honor of sitting for a
couple of hours in this body, and to find that although a moderate
speaker myself, I had opened the way for a good deal of disposition to
talk [applause]; and I trust it will be found that there will be a
similar experience this evening, as I find here the Judges of the Court
of Appeals and of the Supreme Court of this State, and others, who know
how to speak, and who, no doubt, will speak in response to toasts.

The sentiment of De Tocqueville, to which I am in some sense called
upon to respond, is one which those of you who have read his work on
"Democracy in America," written forty-five years ago, must know has
reference to a much smaller body of judges than now existing. Perhaps I
shall entertain you a little by telling you about what are the Federal
judges, and how many of them there are. We have fifty-seven or
fifty-eight district judges who are Federal judges. We have nine judges
of the Circuit Court of the United States; we have five judges of the
District of Columbia; we have five judges of the Court of Claims; and we
have nine judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, and these
are all considered and treated as constitutional Federal judges. That is
to say, they enter their offices as officers of the United States, and
hold their offices during life or good behavior. We have, in addition to
these, eight Territories, each of which has three judges, who are
Federal judges, although in a different sense. They are not called
constitutional judges--I do not know that that is a very correct
distinction--and they are only appointed for four years. These are the
Federal judges, the name which De Tocqueville applies to them.

You will excuse me if I talk for a few minutes about the court of which
I have the honor to be a member--the Supreme Court of the United States.
That court, if it is nothing else, certainly is a hard-working court. It
is a court of which a great deal is required; and it is some solace for
the hard work that we have to do, that we are supposed to be a court of
a good deal of dignity and of a very high character. I hope you all
concur. [Laughter and applause.] Just consider what the jurisdiction of
that court is. There have come before that court often, States--States
which in the old ante-bellum times, we called "Sovereign States"--and
some of them did not come voluntarily. They were brought by the process
of that court. And when one State of the Union has a question of
juridical cognizance against another State of the Union, it must come to
that court. A subpoena is sent, and it is brought into that court just
like an individual, and it must, by the constitution of this country,
submit its rights and territorial jurisdiction, and the right which
accompanies that territorial jurisdiction, to the decision of that
Supreme Court. Except the great court which sat on Mount Olympus, I
know of no other which has ever had the right to decide, and compel
States to submit to its decision. [Applause.] It is within our province
to declare a law of one of these sovereign States, void, absolutely
null, because it may be in conflict with the Constitution and laws of
the United States; and that is a function of daily occurrence. What
other court in the world has that power? To what other court has ever
been submitted such a function as that--to declare the legislation of a
State like New York, with five millions of population, and other States
verging upon the same amount of population and wealth, to declare that
the laws which you have passed in the ordinary discharge of your powers
as legislators, are null and void?

It is a great power. We not only do that, but we decide that the laws
which the Congress of the United States shall pass are void, if they
conflict with that instrument under which we all live and move and have
our being. Though we approach these subjects with regretful hesitation,
it is a duty from which the court has never shrunk, and from which I
presume it never will shrink as long as that court has its existence.

Gentlemen, I have told you about our high prerogatives; but just look at
what we have done! see what it is that we are compelled to know or
supposed to know--but I am very sorry to say we don't know at all.
[Laughter.] We are supposed to take judicial cognizance of all questions
of international law, of treaties, of prize laws, and of the law of
nations generally. We take notice of it without its being specially
pleaded. We take notice of the laws and statutes of every State of these
thirty-eight States of the Union. They are not to be proved in our
courts; they are not brought in issue, but the judge of the Federal
courts, from the lowest one to the highest, is supposed to take judicial
cognizance of all the statute laws, and to know them, of the whole
thirty-eight States of the Union, and of the eight Territories besides.
In addition to that, we are supposed to take notice of the common law of
the country. We take notice of the equity principles, and we apply them
now in separate courts, notwithstanding you have combined them in your
processes in the State courts. We are supposed to understand the civil
law on which Texas and Louisiana have framed their system of laws; and
we are supposed to understand all the other laws, as I said, of the
States, divergent and varied as they are. We do the best we can to
understand them; but, gentlemen, permit me to say that, but for the bar
which practices before us; but for the lawyers who come up from New York
and Pennsylvania, and from the States of the West and of the South, to
tell us what the law is; but for the instruction and aid which they
afford to us, our duties would be but poorly fulfilled.

I take pleasure in saying, gentlemen, and it is the last thing that I
shall trouble you with, that a bar or set of men superior in
information, in the desire to impart that information to the court, a
set of gentlemen in the legal profession more instructive in their
arguments, could hardly be found in any country in the world.
[Applause.] I doubt whether their equals are found, when you consider
the variety of the knowledge which they must present to us, the topics
which they discuss, the sources from which they derive the matter which
they lay before us. I say that it is with pleasure that the court relies
upon the lawyers of the country to enable it to perform its high



[Speech of John Morley at the banquet of the Royal Academy, London, May
  3, 1890. Sir Frederic Leighton, President of the Academy, said in
  introducing Mr. Morley: "With Literature I associate, not for the
  first time, the name of a master of strong and sober English, a man in
  whose writings the clear vision of a seeker after truth controls the
  generous fervor of an idealist, and of whom every appreciator of a
  fine literary temper must earnestly hope that the paths upon which he
  has so long trod with growing honor may never become wholly strangers
  to his feet--I mean Mr. John Morley."]

GENTLEMEN:--I feel that I am more unworthy now than I was eight
years ago to figure as the representative of literature before this
brilliant gathering of all the most important intellectual and social
interests of our time. I have not yet been able like the Prime Minister,
to go round this exhibition and see the works of art that glorify your
walls; but I am led by him to expect that I shall see the pictures of
Liberal leaders, including M. Rochefort. [Laughter.] I am not sure
whether M. Rochefort will figure as a man of letters or as a Liberal
leader, but I can understand that his portrait would attract the Prime
Minister because M. Rochefort is a politician who was once a Liberal
leader, and who has now seen occasion to lose his faith in Parliamentary
government. [Laughter and cheers.] Nor have I seen the picture of "The
Flowing Tide," but I shall expect to find in that picture when I do see
it a number of bathing-machines in which, not the younger generation,
but the elder generation are incarcerated. [Laughter.] The younger
generation, as I understand, are waiting confidently--for the arrival of
the "Flowing Tide," and when it arrives, the elderly gentlemen who are
incarcerated in those machines [laughter] will be only too anxious for a
man and a horse to come and deliver them from their imminent peril.
[Laughter and cheers.]

I thought that I detected in the last words of your speech, in proposing
this toast, Mr. President, an accent of gentle reproach that any one
should desert the high and pleasant ways of literature for the turmoil
and the everlasting contention of public life. I do not suppose that
there has ever been a time in which there was less of divorce between
literature and public life than the present time. ["Hear! Hear!"] There
have been in the reign of the Queen two eminent statesmen who have
thrice had the distinction of being Prime Minister, and oddly enough,
one of those statesmen [Lord Derby] has left behind him a most spirited
version of Homer, while the other eminent statesman [William E.
Gladstone]--happily still among us, still examines the legends and the
significance of Homer. [Cheers.] Then when we come to a period nearer to
ourselves, and look at those gentlemen who have in the last six years
filled the office of Minister for Ireland, we find that no fewer than
three [George Otto Trevelyan, John Morley, and Arthur Balfour] were
authors of books before they engaged in the very ticklish business of
the government of men. ["Hear! Hear!"] And one of these three Ministers
for Ireland embarked upon his literary career--which promised ample
distinction--under the editorial auspices of another of the three. We
possess in one branch of the Legislature the author of the most
fascinating literary biography in our language. We possess also another
writer whose range of knowledge and of intellectual interest is so great
that he has written the most important book upon the Holy Roman Empire
and the most important book upon the American Commonwealth [James
Bryce]. [Cheers.]

The first canon in literature was announced one hundred years ago by an
eminent Frenchman who said that in literature it is your business to
have preferences but no exclusions. In politics it appears to be our
business to have very stiff and unchangeable preferences, and exclusion
is one of the systematic objects of our life. [Laughter and cheers.] In
literature, according to another canon, you must have a free and open
mind and it has been said: "Never be the prisoner of your own opinions."
In politics you are very lucky if you do not have the still harder
fate--(and I think that the gentlemen on the President's right hand will
assent to that as readily as the gentlemen who sit on his left) of being
the prisoner of other people's opinions. [Laughter.] Of course no one
can doubt for a moment that the great achievements of literature--those
permanent and vital works which we will never let die--require a
devotion as unceasing, as patient, as inexhaustible, as the devotion
that is required for the works that adorn your walls; and we have
luckily in our age--though it may not be a literary age--masters of
prose and masters of verse. No prose more winning has ever been written
than that of Cardinal Newman; no verse finer, more polished, more
melodious has ever been written than that of Lord Tennyson and Mr.
Swinburne. [Cheers.]

It seems to me that one of the greatest functions of literature at this
moment is not merely to produce great works, but also to protect the
English language--that noble, that most glorious instrument--against
those hosts of invaders which I observe have in these days sprung up. I
suppose that every one here has noticed the extraordinary list of names
suggested lately in order to designate motion by electricity [laughter];
that list of names only revealed what many of us had been observing for
a long time--namely, the appalling forces that are ready at a moment's
notice to deface and deform our English tongue. [Laughter.] These
strange, fantastic, grotesque, and weird titles open up to my prophetic
vision a most unwelcome prospect. I tremble to see the day approach--and
I am not sure that it is not approaching--when the humorists of the
headlines of American journalism shall pass current as models of
conciseness, energy, and color of style. [Cheers and laughter.]

Even in our social speech this invasion seems to be taking place in an
alarming degree and I wonder what the Pilgrim Fathers of the seventeenth
century would say if they could hear their pilgrim children of the
nineteenth century who come over here, on various missions, and among
others, "On the make." [Laughter.] This is only one of the thousand such
like expressions which are invading the Puritan simplicity of our
tongue. I will only say that I should like, for my own part, to see in
every library and in every newspaper office that admirable passage in
which Milton, who knew so well how to handle both the great instrument
of prose and the nobler instrument of verse--declared that next to the
man who furnished courage and intrepid counsels against an enemy he
placed the man who should enlist small bands of good authors to resist
that barbarism which invades the minds and the speech of men in methods
and habits of speaking and writing.

I thank you for having allowed me the honor of saying a word as to the
happiest of all callings and the most imperishable of all arts. [Loud



[Speech of John Lothrop Motley, United States Minister to England at the
  eighty-fourth annual banquet of the Royal Literary Fund, London, May
  28, 1873. The Right-Hon. William E. Gladstone, First Minister of the
  Crown, was chairman. The Bishop of Derry proposed the toast, "The
  Literature of the United States, and Mr. Motley," which was loudly

fitting words to express my gratitude for the warm and genial manner in
which the toast of "American Literature" has been received by this
distinguished assembly. I wish that the honor of responding to it had
been placed in worthier hands. Two at least of our most eminent men of
letters I thought were in England, or near it--one, that most original,
subtle, poetical and graceful of thinkers and essayists, Mr. Emerson
[cheers]; the other, one of our most distinguished poets and
prose-writers, second to none in the highest spheres of imagination and
humor: Mr. Lowell. [Cheers.] I had hoped to meet them both, but I look
in vain for their friendly and familiar faces. In their absence, I
venture to return thanks most sincerely, but briefly, for the eloquent
and sympathetic words with which the distinguished prelate has spoken of
our literature. I do so in behalf of the eminent poets and prose-writers
in every department of literature and science, many of whose names
tremble on my lips, but the long roll-call of which I will not
enumerate, who are the living illustrators of our literature, and who it
is a gratification to know are almost as familiar and highly appreciated
in the old land of our forefathers as they are at home [cheers]; but I
for one like to consider them all as fellow-citizens in the great
English-speaking Republic of letters--where all are brothers, not
strangers to each other. And as an illustration of this, I believe that
it is not long since one of our famous poets whose exquisite works are
familiar in every palace and every cottage all over the world where the
English language is spoken--Mr. Longfellow--was recently requested to
preside at one of your meetings. [Cheers.]

I can produce nothing new on that great subject, which seems the
inevitable one for an American on such an occasion as this, the
international bond of a common language, a common literature, and
centuries of common history and tradition, which connects those two
great nations, the United Empire and the United Republic. May the
shadows of both never grow less and may that international bond
strengthen its links every year! [Cheers.] What is the first hallowed
spot in the Transatlantic pilgrimage of every true American? What is the
true Mecca of his heart? Not the hoary tombs of the Pharaohs, and the
one hundred gated cities of the Nile. Not the Acropolis and the
Parthenon, the plains of Marathon, the Pass of Thermopylæ, thrilling as
they are with heroic and patriotic emotion; not the Forum and the
Coliseum and the triumphal arches of Rome. No; the pious pilgrim from
the Far West seeks a sequestered, old-fashioned little town, in the
heart of the most delicious rural scenery that even old England can
boast; he walks up a quiet, drowsy, almost noiseless street, with quaint
old houses, half brick, half timber, hardly changed of aspect since they
looked out on the Wars of the Roses. He comes to an ancient, ivy-mantled
tower hard by a placid, silvery stream on which a swan is ever sailing;
he passes through a pleached alley under a Gothic gateway of the little
church, and bends in reverence before a solitary tomb, for in that tomb
repose the ashes of Shakespeare. [Cheers.] We claim our share in every
atom of that consecrated dust. Our forefathers, who first planted the
seeds of a noble civilization in New England and Virginia, were
contemporaries and countrymen of the Swan of Avon. So long as we all
have an undivided birthright in that sublimest of human intellects, and
can enjoy, as none others can, those unrivalled masterpieces, Americans
and Englishmen can never be quite foreigners to each other though seas
between as broad have rolled since the day when that precious dust wore
human clothing. [Cheers.]

And what is the next resting-place in our pilgrim's progress--the
pilgrim of Outre-Mer? Surely that stately and beautiful pile which we
have all seen in our dreams long before we looked upon it with the eyes
of flesh, time-honored Westminster Abbey. I can imagine no purer
intellectual pleasure for an American than when he first wanders through
those storied aisles, especially if he have the privilege which many of
our countrymen have enjoyed, of being guided there by the hand of one
whose exquisite urbanity and kindliness are fit companions to his
learning and his intellect, the successor of the ancient Abbot, the
historian of the Abbey, the present distinguished Dean of Westminster
[Dean Stanley], to whom we have listened with such pleasure to-night.
[Cheers.] And it will be in the Poets' Corner that we shall ever linger
the longest. Those statues, busts and mural inscriptions are prouder
trophies than all the banners from the most ensanguined battle-fields
that the valor of England has ever won, and with what a wealth of
intellect is that nation endowed which after the centuries of immortal
names already enshrined there has had the proud although most melancholy
honor of adding in one decade--scarcely more than ten years--the names
of Macaulay, Grote, Dickens, Thackeray, and Lytton? [Cheers.] They are
our contemporaries, not our countrymen; but we cannot afford to resign
our claim to some portion of their glory as illustrators of our common
language. And I would fain believe that you take a fraternal interest in
the fame of those whom we too have lost, and who were our especial
garland--Washington Irving, Fenimore Cooper, Everett, Hawthorne, and

But I have trespassed far longer upon your attention than I meant to do
when I arose; and I shall therefore only once more thank you for the
great kindness with which you have received the toast of the Literature
of the United States. [Cheers.]



[Speech of Rev. Dr. John P. Newman, at the 115th annual banquet of the
  Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, May 8, 1883. The
  President, George W. Lane, presided, and said: "Gentlemen, I give you
  the fifth regular toast: 'Commerce--distributing to all regions the
  productions of each, and, providing for the wants of all, it combines
  in friendly intercourse the nations of the earth.' To this toast the
  Rev. Dr. Newman will respond."]

YORK:--This is a beautiful toast--beautiful both in structure and
sentiment and would that it were true. [Applause.] It is true in theory
but not in history. It may be the voice of prophecy whose fulfilment
shall be a sublime fact. It is in the highest degree worthy of this
Chamber of Commerce and cannot fail in its peaceful mission among the
nations of the earth. [Applause.] But the ages testify that selfishness
and greed have marked the commercial history of the world. How splendid
have been the achievements of commerce, and how deplorable its failure
to realize its legitimate mission--to unify the human race. "Get all you
can, and keep all you get," were the selfish maxims that influenced the
Dutch merchants in Sumatra, Java, and Ceylon. The renowned merchants of
Portugal planted their commercial colonies on the rich coasts of
Malabar, took possession of the Persian Gulf and transformed the barren
island of Ormus into a paradise of wealth and luxury. But of that
far-famed island Milton sung in these truthful and immortal lines:--

 "High, on a throne of royal state which far
  Outshone the wealth of Ormus and of Ind.
  Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand,
  Show'rs on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
  Satan exalted sat."

There is no less truth than poetry in that last line, for there the
devil sat, and Tom Moore's "Fair Isle of Kisham" has faded from the
visions of the world. [Applause.]

The Spanish merchants grasped the wealthy States of South America, and
held as captives the affluent Incas of Peru and Bolivia. But Spain has
long since retired from her commercial supremacy and the South American
Provinces are left poor indeed.

While every Anglo-Saxon is justly proud of England's greatness in art
and learning, in statesmanship and martial prowess, yet her commercial
history does not always reflect credit upon her foreign trade. Rapacity
so characterized her merchants who composed the old East India Company
that the British Government felt compelled to revoke the charter of that
famous monopoly. Influenced by some of her merchants the guns of her
invincible navy opened the treaty ports of China and forced the opium
trade upon the Celestials against their earnest protests, and in that
protest not a few of the best Englishmen joined.

To-day France and England, Belgium and Holland are contending for
commercial supremacy in the "Dark Continent," which an American explorer
and traveler opened to the foreign trade of all nations [applause]; but,
judging from the past, the sable sons of Africa are yet to learn the
selfishness of commerce.

Happily for us, the United States has been more fortunate because more
honorable in her commercial intercourse with other lands. [Applause.] By
his justice, by his prudence, by his firmness, Commodore Perry [cheers],
our great sailor diplomatist, not only opened to us Japan, that "Kingdom
of the Rising Sun," but secured for America the friendship and
admiration of the Japanese. And there is to-day, awaiting the action of
our nation, a treaty of amity and commerce, drawn by the wisest of men,
the most sagacious of statesmen, the greatest of living soldiers; and
when that treaty shall have been ratified, the United States and Mexico
will be united in friendly intercourse, sweet and pleasant, like the
love of David and Jonathan. [Applause.]

It is a great question whether this country shall repeat the commercial
history of the world, or carry to glorious consummation the noble
sentiment of this toast. All the signs of the times seem to indicate
that the commercial sceptre of the world, held by the Phoenicians for
1,000 years, held by the Romans through a whole millennium, held by the
Venetians during five centuries, held by the Portuguese for three
hundred years, and since held by the English--whether that sceptre is
not rapidly to pass into the hands of the American merchant; and when
that is an accomplished fact, we shall hear less of the decline of
American shipping or that the balance of trade is against us.
[Applause.] Our vast domain, our immense resources, our unparalleled
productive capacity, all seem to prophesy that we are largely to feed
and clothe Adam's innumerable family. [Applause.] If so, then any calm
and sagacious mind must realize that our present methods of forming
commercial treaties should be radically changed. If it has been found
necessary to have a Department of Agriculture, a Department of
Education, why not a Department of Commerce, connected with the National
Government, and from which shall come the suggestions, the facts, and
the influence for the formation of commercial treaties, and at the head
of which shall be a wise and prudent merchant conversant with the
products of all lands and familiar with the best interests of our own
country? [Applause.] The science of political economy is so profound, so
complicated, so far-reaching as to transcend the capacity of the average
statesman. It has become a specialty. Congressional committees on
Commerce and on Foreign Relations are hardly adequate to the task. Not a
few of the members of such know more about ward elections than tariff
laws, and know as little about products and trade of foreign lands as of
the geography of other nations. Let us lift the whole subject of
commerce from the arena of partisan politics. [Applause.]

This toast looks forward to the friendship of nations. The merchant is
the chosen John the Baptist of that better day. The merchant is the true
cosmopolitan--the citizen of the world. Farmers with their products of
the soil, flocks and herds are local; miners with their metallic mines
and mineral mountains are local; manufacturers with their fabrics of
skill are local; inventors with their manifold contrivances to lift the
burden of toil from the shoulders of humanity, are local; artists, with
their canvas that glows and their marble that breathes, are local;
authors, with their mighty thoughts of truth and fiction, are local;
statesmen with their laws, wise and otherwise [laughter], are local; but
the merchant is the cosmopolitan citizen of the world, the friend of
all, the enemy of none, a stranger nowhere, at home everywhere; who
sails all seas, travels all lands, and to whom all come with their fruit
of hand and brain, waiting for a home or a foreign market. [Applause.]

Commerce should ever be the voice of peace. Aided by science, and
sanctified by religion, it should be the all-powerful stimulant to
universal amity. The honest and honorable merchant is the natural
antagonist of the factious politician, the ambitious statesman, the
glory-seeking warrior. [Applause.] While the merchant is the most ardent
of patriots, commerce is the unifier of nations, whereby is to be
fulfilled the dream of poets and the vision of seers in the brotherhood
of man, in a congress of nations, and a parliament of the world. The old
German Hanseatic League, representing sixty-six maritime cities and
forty-four dependencies, seemed to prophesy an international chamber of
commerce for the peace of the whole earth. If the high interests of our
Christian civilization demand International Congresses of Law, of
Geography, of Peace, how much more an International Congress of
Commerce, to give direction to the relations of peace and trade between
all peoples. This would approach the realization of the dream of a
universal republic. [Applause.]

It is eminently proper that from this Christian city should go forth the
voice of commercial peace, honesty and honor; give us such Christian
merchants as Peter Cooper [cheers], as William E. Dodge [cheers], as
Governor Morgan [cheers], dealing fairly and honorably with the weaker
States with which we shall trade. [Applause.] For say what you please,
Christianity is the religion of industry, of thrift, of wealth demanding
the comforts of life and enriching all who follow its divine precepts,
and giving to the world that code of higher and better commercial
morality whereby wealth is permanent, and riches are a benediction.
[Applause.] Awakened by this unseen power, it is commercial enterprise
that has transformed our earth into one vast neighborhood, that has made
air and ocean whispering galleries, that has started the iron horse to
stride a continent in seven days and launched the majestic steamer which
touches two continents between two Sundays. [Applause.]

I confess to you, gentlemen, that I have no fear from the accumulations
of vast mercantile wealth when under the benign constraints of religion.
Wealth is the handmaid of religion. Such wealth has beautified the face
of society, has advanced to this consummation those great philanthropic
enterprises which have delivered the oppressed and saved the Republic,
and which have filled our city with schools of learning, galleries of
art, halls of justice, houses of mercy, and temples of piety. [Continued



[Speech of Charles Eliot Norton at the "Whittier Dinner," in celebration
  of the poet's seventieth birthday, and the twentieth birthday of the
  "Atlantic Monthly," given by the publishers of the magazine, Boston,
  December 17, 1877. William Dean Howells, then editor of the
  "Atlantic," officiated as chairman. Mr. Norton spoke for James Russell
  Lowell, the first editor of the "Atlantic," then serving as United
  States Minister to Spain.]

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN:--We miss to-night one man to whom
many names are equally befitting: the humorist, the wit, the wise
thinker, the poet, the scholar, the worker, the friend--but the man who,
of all others, should be here to do honor to our guest. We miss the
first editor of the "Atlantic," whose comprehensive sympathies, wide as
his vast, broad genius; whose cultivated taste, whose various and
thorough learning gave to our Monthly, from the beginning, first place
among American magazines and secured for it that deserved popularity
which you, sir [Mr. Howells], are doing so much to maintain. The same
qualities which made him eminent as an editor will make him eminent as
the representative abroad of what is best in the social and political
life of our country. No man could more truly exhibit, as comprehending
them in himself, the high spirit, the noble aims, the varied
achievements of a generous and large-minded nation--a nation not always
so careful as it ought to be that its ministers accredited to foreign
powers should be servants creditable to itself. But in the place that he
now fills I cannot but regard him as, in a special sense, the envoy of
the company gathered around this table. I believe that every one of us
has, or at least has had, possessions in Spain that require to be well
looked after; they are possessions of extraordinary, enormous, quite
incalculable value, of which the title deeds are not always as complete
as we could wish. Lowell himself had large estates of this sort:--

 "When I was a beggarly boy,
    I lived in a cellar damp,
  I had not a friend, nor a toy,
    But I had Aladdin's lamp.

 "When I could not sleep for the cold,
    I had fire enough in my brain,
  And I built with their roofs of gold
    My beautiful castles in Spain."

And so too, he, the friend of us all, whose presence makes us all glad
to-night, and whom we always greet with all love and honor, has had
possessions in the same fair land:--

 "How much of my heart, O Spain,
    Went out to thee in days of yore!
  What dreams romantic filled my brain,
  And summoned back to life again
  The Paladins of Charlemagne,
    The Cid Campeador?"

How many "castles in Spain not built of stone" has he dwelt in, and with
what delightful hospitality has he welcomed us as guests within their
spacious and splendid halls! And even you, sir, for whose sake we have
met to-night, even you, modest as your retirement has seemed to be in
that quiet home, which you have made dear to the lovers of poetry and
purity and peace, you have privately had your speculations in real
estate in that land of romance, from which you have drawn large
revenues. You will pardon me for reminding you of one of them, where--

 "On the banks of the Xenil, the dark Spanish maiden
  Comes up with fruit of the tangled vine laden."

I have sometimes fancied that even the Concord River had its springs
somewhere in the snowy Sierras of Estremadura, toward which the windows
of the sage-poet's dwelling were turned, and from whose heaven-reaching
summits he has so often caught the fresh airs of celestial breath. Few
of us, indeed, have had the good fortune to add to their vast real
estates in Spain any substantial articles of personal property, but one
of us, rich in the gifts of Don Quixote's land, has actually a piece of
plate, a silver punch bowl, which at times, when filled, has, I doubt
not, given him assurance of undisputed rights in the most magnificent

 "A Spanish galleon brought the bar--so runs the ancient tale--
 'Twas hammered by an Antwerp smith, whose arm was like a flail."

And even you and I, Mr. Editor, and all the rest of us, possess, as I
have said, our smaller domains in that distant land, all of them with
castles; but not all the castles, I fear, in good repair or quite
habitable; and some of us would be perplexed to say if they lay in
Granada or Andalusia, La Mancha--or to tell exactly how many turrets
they had, or how large a company they could accommodate with good
entertainment. Now, sir, such being the case, all of us having such
real, but too often, alas! neglected possessions in Spain, I am not
surprised that Lowell writes to me that he finds the Spanish Legation
one of the busiest in Europe. He is to establish our titles, and the
work is not without its difficulties. Let us send him our God-speed. May
he come back to us to assure us, as he better than any other can do, of
the henceforth undisturbed enjoyment of all our castles in Spain.



[Speech of Ex-Governor Richard Oglesby at the banquet of the Fellowship
  Club, Chicago, September 9, 1894, on the occasion of the Harvest-Home
  Festival. The Toast-master was Franklin H. Head, and the toast that he
  gave to each speaker was, "What I Know About Farming." In the report
  by Volney W. Foster, member of the Club, it is recorded that the
  Governor rose slowly, after being called upon by the toast-master, and
  was seemingly waiting for an inspiration. He looked deliberately upon
  the harvest decorations of the room and finally his eyes seemed to
  rest upon the magnificent stalks of corn that adorned the walls. He
  then slowly and impressively paid the following impromptu tribute to
  the corn.]

MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN:--The corn, the corn, the corn, that
in its first beginning and its growth has furnished aptest illustration
of the tragic announcement of the chiefest hope of man. If he die he
shall surely live again. Planted in the friendly but sombre bosom of the
mother earth it dies. Yea, it dies the second death, surrendering up
each trace of form and earthly shape until the outward tide is stopped
by the reacting vital germ which, breaking all the bonds and cerements
of its sad decline, comes bounding, laughing into life and light, the
fittest of all the symbols that make certain promise of the fate of man.
And so it died and then it lived again. And so my people died. By some
unknown, uncertain and unfriendly fate, I found myself making my first
journey into life from conditions as lowly as those surrounding that
awakening, dying, living, infant germ. It was in those days when I, a
simple boy, had wandered from Indiana to Springfield, that I there met
the father of this good man [Joseph Jefferson] whose kind and gentle
words to me were as water to a thirsty soul, as the shadow of a rock to
weary man. I loved his father then, I love the son now. Two full
generations have been taught by his gentleness and smiles, and tears
have quickly answered to the command of his artistic mind. Long may he
live to make us laugh and cry, and cry and laugh by turns as he may
choose to move us.

But now again my mind turns to the glorious corn. See it! Look on its
ripening, waving field! See how it wears a crown, prouder than monarch
ever wore, sometimes jauntily; and sometimes after the storm the
dignified survivors of the tempest seem to view a field of slaughter and
to pity a fallen foe. And see the pendant caskets of the corn-field
filled with the wine of life, and see the silken fringes that set a form
for fashion and for art. And now the evening comes and something of a
time to rest and listen. The scudding clouds conceal the half and then
reveal the whole of the moonlit beauty of the night, and then the gentle
winds make heavenly harmonies on a thousand-thousand harps that hang
upon the borders and the edges and the middle of the field of ripening
corn, until my very heart seems to beat responsive to the rising and the
falling of the long melodious refrain. The melancholy clouds sometimes
make shadows on the field and hide its aureate wealth, and now they
move, and slowly into sight there comes the golden glow of promise for
an industrious land. Glorious corn, that more than all the sisters of
the field wears tropic garments. Nor on the shore of Nilus or of Ind
does nature dress her forms more splendidly. My God, to live again that
time when for me half the world was good and the other half unknown! And
now again, the corn, that in its kernel holds the strength that shall
(in the body of the man refreshed) subdue the forest and compel response
from every stubborn field, or, shining in the eye of beauty make
blossoms of her cheeks and jewels of her lips and thus make for man the
greatest inspiration to well-doing, the hope of companionship of that
sacred, warm and well-embodied soul, a woman.

Aye, the corn, the Royal Corn, within whose yellow heart there is of
health and strength for all the nations. The corn triumphant, that with
the aid of man hath made victorious procession across the tufted plain
and laid foundation for the social excellence that is and is to be. This
glorious plant, transmuted by the alchemy of God, sustains the warrior
in battle, the poet in song, and strengthens everywhere the thousand
arms that work the purposes of life. Oh that I had the voice of song, or
skill to translate into tones the harmonies, the symphonies and
oratorios that roll across my soul, when standing sometimes by day and
sometimes by night upon the borders of this verdant sea, I note a world
of promise, and then before one-half the year is gone I view its full
fruition and see its heaped gold await the need of man. Majestic,
fruitful, wondrous plant! Thou greatest among the manifestations of the
wisdom and love of God, that may be seen in all the fields or upon the
hillsides or in the valleys!



[Speech of John Boyle O'Reilly at a banquet held in Boston, May 27,
  1879, in commemoration of the centenary of Thomas Moore. Mr. O'Reilly,
  as chairman of the banquet, sat at the head of the table, with Oliver
  Wendell Holmes on his right, and Mayor Frederick O. Prince on his
  left. The company numbered more than one hundred, and was a
  representative gathering, mostly of Irish-American citizens. The toast
  to the memory of Moore, with which Mr. O'Reilly's speech closed, was
  drunk by the company standing, the orchestra meanwhile playing "Should
  auld acquaintance be forgot?"]

GENTLEMEN:--The honorable distinction you have given me in
seating me at the head of your table involves a duty of weight and
delicacy. At such a board as this, where Genius sits smiling at
Geniality, the President becomes a formality, and the burden of his duty
is to make himself a pleasant nobody, yet natural to the position. Like
the apprentice of the armorer, it is my task only to hold the hot iron
on the anvil while the skilled craftsmen strike out the flexible
sword-blade. There is no need for me to praise or analyze the character
or fame of the great poet whose centennial we celebrate. This will be
done presently by abler hands, in eloquent verse and prose. Tom Moore
was a poet of all lands, and it is fitting that his centenary should be
observed in cosmopolitan fashion. But he was particularly the poet of
Ireland, and on this point I may be allowed to say a word, as one proud
to be an Irishman, and prouder still to be an American.

Not blindly but kindly we lay our wreath of rosemary and immortelles on
the grave of Moore. We do not look to him for the wisdom of the
statesman or the boldness of the popular leader. Neither do we look for
solidity to the rose-bush, nor for strength to the nightingale, yet
each is perfect of its kind. We take Tom Moore as God sent him--not only
the sweetest song-writer of Ireland, but even in this presence I may
say, the first song-writer in the English language, not even excepting
Burns. The harshness of nature or even of human relations found faint
response in his harmonious being. He was born in the darkness of the
penal days; he lived to manhood under the cruel law that bred a terrible
revolution; but he never was a rebel. He was the college companion and
bosom friend of Robert Emmet, who gave his beautiful life on the gibbet
in protest against the degradation of his country; but Moore took only a
fitful part in the stormy political agitation of the time. When all was
done it was clear that he was one thing and no other--neither a
sufferer, a rebel, an agitator, nor a reformer, but wholly and simply a
poet. He did not rebel, and he scarcely protested. But he did his work
as well as the best, in his own way. He sat by the patriot's grave and
sang tearful songs that will make future rebels and patriots.

It was a hard task for an Irishman, in Moore's day, to win distinction,
unless he achieved it by treason to his own country. In his own bitter

 "Unpriz'd are her sons till they've learned to betray;
    Undistinguished they live, if they shame not their sires;
  And the torch that would light them thro' dignity's way
    Must be caught from the pile where their country expires."

And yet Moore set out to win distinction, and to win it in the hardest
field. The literary man in those days could only live by the patronage
of the great, and the native nobility of Ireland was dead or banished. A
poet, too, must have an audience; and Moore knew that his audience must
not only be his poor countrymen, but all who spoke the English language.
He lived as an alien in London, and it is hard for an alien to secure
recognition anywhere, and especially an alien poet. The songs he sang,
too, were not English in subject or tone, but Irish. They were filled
with the sadness of his unhappy country. He despaired of the freedom of
Ireland, and bade her:--

 "Weep on, weep on, your hour is past,
  Your dream of pride is o'er;"

but he did not turn from the ruin to seek renown from strange and
profitable subjects. As the polished Greeks, even in defeat, conquered
their Roman conquerors by their refinement, so this poet sang of
Ireland's sorrow and wrong till England and the world turned to listen.
In one of his melodies, which is full of pathetic apology to his
countrymen for his apparent friendship to England, he sighs in secret
over Erin's ruin:--

 "For 'tis treason to love her and death to defend."

He foresaw even then the immortality of his verse and the affection of
future generations for his memory, when he wrote:--

 "But tho' glory be gone, and tho' hope fade away,
    Thy name, loved Erin, shall live in his songs;
  Not e'en in the hour when the heart is most gay,
    Will he lose the remembrance of thee and thy wrongs.
  The stranger shall hear thy lament on his plains;
    The sigh of thy harp shall be sent o'er the deep;
  Till thy masters themselves, as they rivet thy chains,
    Shall pause at the song of their captive and weep."

But this was not his entire work for Ireland and for true literature and
art; nor is it for this sentimental reason that his centenary is
observed throughout the world. In some countries we are able to see the
beginning of the artistic or literary life of the nation; we can even
name the writer or artist who began the beautiful structure; and though
the pioneer work is often crude, it merits and receives the gratitude of
the nation. Though Moore was an original poet of splendid imagination,
he undertook a national work in which his flights were restrained by the
limitations of his task. He set himself to write new words to old music.
He found scattered over Ireland, mainly hidden in the cabins of the
poor, pieces of antique gold, inestimable jewels that were purely Irish.
These were in danger of being lost to the world, or of being malformed,
or stolen from their rightful owners, by strangers who could discover
their value. These jewels were the old Irish airs--those exquisite
fabrics which Moore raised into matchless beauty in his delicious
melodies. This was his great work. He preserved the music of his nation
and made it imperishable. It can never be lost again till English
ceases to be spoken. He struck it out like a golden coin, with Erin's
stamp on it; and it has become current and unquestioned in all civilized
nations. For this we celebrate his centennial. For this, gentlemen, I
call on you to rise--for after one year, or a hundred, or a thousand, we
may pour a libation to a great man--I ask you to rise and drink--"The
memory of Tom Moore."


[1] Chauncey M. Depew, who, earlier in the evening, had spoken on the
subject of municipal consolidation.

[2] By Sir Archibald Alison.

[3] Burlesque Comedians.

[4] Henry Ward Beecher.

[5] John P. Newman.

[6] The Negro minstrel.

[7] The portrait referred to is that of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw,
killed at Fort Wagner, South Carolina, July 18, 1863.

[8] The bust is that of General Charles Russell Lowell, who died October
20, 1864, of wounds received at Cedar Creek, Va., October 19.

[9] William McKinley.

[10] He was not knighted till 1895.

[11] Professor Stokes, President of the Royal Society.

[12] Members of this organization are exempted from jury service.

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