The Project Gutenberg eBook of Modern Eloquence: Vol III, After-Dinner Speeches P-Z

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: Modern Eloquence: Vol III, After-Dinner Speeches P-Z

Editor: Thomas B. Reed

Release date: May 19, 2006 [eBook #18422]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Audrey Longhurst, Janet Blenkinship and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at





Photogravure after a painting by Lasalett J. Potts

An admirable conception of the old story of an early Puritan courtship famous in song and story, and made use of by many New England orators.

Title Page







Copyright, 1903


Edward Everett Hale, Author of "The Man Without a Country."

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 Tribune."

Truman A. DeWeese, Member Editorial Staff "Chicago Times-Herald."

Champ Clark, Member of Congress from Missouri.

Marcus Benjamin, Editor, National Museum, Washington, D. C.

Clark Howell, Editor "Atlanta Constitution."


Thomas B. Reed,Hamilton Wright Mabie,
Lorenzo Sears,Jonathan P. Dolliver,
Champ Clark,Edward Everett Hale,
Albert Ellery Bergh.

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.



Page, Thomas Nelson
The Torch of Civilization861
Palmer, George M.
The Lawyer in Politics872
Palmerston, Lord (Henry John Temple)
Illusions Created by Art876
Paxton, John R.
A Scotch-Irishman's Views of the Puritan880
Phelps, Edward John
Farewell Address887
Pinero, Arthur Wing
The Drama892
Porter, Horace
Men of Many Inventions897
How to Avoid the Subject904
A Trip Abroad with Depew908
Friendliness of the French919
The Citizen Soldier924
The Many-Sided Puritan928
Abraham Lincoln931
Sires and Sons935
The Assimilated Dutchman939
Tribute to General Grant944
Porter, Noah
Teachings of Science and Religion950
Potter, Henry Codman
The Church955
Pryor, Roger Atkinson
Virginia's Part in American History959
Quincy, Josiah
Welcome to Dickens964
Raymond, Andrew V. V.
The Dutch as Enemies970
Read, Opie P.
Modern Fiction976
Reid, Whitelaw
The Press—Right or Wrong979
Gladstone, England's Greatest Leader981
Robbins, W. L.
The Pulpit and the Bar985
Roche, James Jeffrey
The Press988
Roosa, D. B. St. John
The Salt of the Earth992
Roosevelt, Theodore
The Hollander as an American998
True Americanism and Expansion1002
Rosebery, Lord (Archibald Philip Primrose)
Portrait and Landscape Painting1008
Sala, George Augustus
Friend and Foe1014
Salisbury, Lord (Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil)
Kitchener in Africa1018
Sampson, William Thomas
Victory in Superior Numbers1023
Schenck, Noah Hunt
Truth and Trade1026
Schley, Winfield Scott
The Navy in Peace and in War1031
Schliemann, Heinrich
The Beginnings of Art1034
Schurz, Carl
The Old World and the New1036
Seward, William H.
A Pious Pilgrimage1042
Sherman, William Tecumseh
The Army and Navy1046
A Reminiscence of the War1051
Smith, Ballard
The Press of the South1057
Smith, Charles Emory
Ireland's Struggles1059
The President's Prelude1062
Spencer, Herbert
The Gospel of Relaxation1067
Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn
America Visited1073
Stanley, Henry Morton
Through the Dark Continent1077
Stedman, Edmund Clarence
Tribute to Richard Henry Stoddard1085
Stephen, Leslie
The Critic1091
Storrs, Richard Salter
The Victory at Yorktown1094
Stryker, William Scudder
Dutch Heroes of the New World1104
Sullivan, Sir Arthur
Sumner, Charles
Intercourse with China1110
The Qualities that Win1115
Talmage, Thomas Dewitt
Behold the American!1122
What I Know about the Dutch1128
Taylor, Bayard
Tribute to Goethe1136
Thompson, Slason
The Ethics of the Press1139
Tilton, Theodore
Twichell, Joseph Hopkins
Yankee Notions1147
The Soldier Stamp
Tyndall, John
Art and Science1160
Van de Water, George Roe
Dutch Traits1162
Verdery, Marion J.
The South in Wall Street1168
Wales, Prince of (Albert Edward)
The Colonies1175
Wallace, Hugh C.
The Southerner in the West1178
Ward, Samuel Baldwin
The Medical Profession1182
Warner, Charles Dudley
The Rise of "The Atlantic"1186
Watterson, Henry
Our Wives1189
The Puritan, and the Cavalier1191
Wayland, Heman Lincoln
The Force of Ideas1197
Causes of Unpopularity1201
Webster, Daniel
The Constitution and the Union1210
Wheeler, Joseph
The American Soldier1220
Whipple, Edwin Percy
China Emerging from Her Isolation1225
The Sphere of Woman1229
White, Andrew Dickson
Commerce and Diplomacy1232
Wiley, Harvey Washington
The Ideal Woman1240
Wilson, Woodrow
Our Ancestral Responsibilities1248
Winslow, John
The First Thanksgiving Day1253
Winter, William
Tribute to John Gilbert1257
Tribute to Lester Wallack1260
Winthrop, Robert C.
The Ottoman Empire1263
Wise, John Sergeant
Captain John Smith1266
The Legal Profession1271
Wolcott, Edward Oliver
The Bright Land to Westward1273
Wolseley, Lord (Garnet Joseph Wolseley)
The Army in the Transvaal1280
Wu Ting-fang
China and the United States1284
Wyman, Walter
Sons of the Revolution1288



Priscilla and John AldenFrontispiece
Photogravure after a painting by Lasalett J. Potts
Photo-engraving in colors after the original mosaic
panel by Frederick Dielman
Horace Porter897
Photogravure after a photograph from life
The Minute Man936
Photogravure after a photograph
Theodore Roosevelt998
Photogravure after a photograph from life
Lord Rosebery (Archibald Philip Primrose)1008
Photogravure after a photograph from life
Henry Watterson1189
Photogravure after a photograph from life
The National Monument To the Forefathers1210
Photogravure after a photograph

[Pg 861]



[Speech of Thomas Nelson Page at the twentieth annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of Brooklyn, December 21, 1899. The President, Frederic A. Ward, said: "In these days of blessed amity, when there is no longer a united South or a disunited North, when the boundary of the North is the St. Lawrence and the boundary of the South the Rio Grande, and Mason and Dixon's Line is forever blotted from the map of our beloved country, and the nation has grown color-blind to blue and gray, it is with peculiar pleasure that we welcome here to-night a distinguished and typical representative of that noble people who live in that part of the present North that used to be called Dixie, of whom he has himself so beautifully and so truly said, 'If they bore themselves haughtily in their hour of triumph, they bore defeat with splendid fortitude. Their entire system crumbled and fell around them in ruins; they remained unmoved; they suffered the greatest humiliation of modern times; their slaves were put over them; they reconquered their section and preserved the civilization of the Anglo-Saxon.' It is not necessary, ladies and gentlemen, that I should introduce the next speaker to you, for I doubt not that you all belong to the multitude of mourners, who have wept real tears with black Sam and Miss Annie beside the coffin of Marse Chan; but I will call upon our friend, Thomas Nelson Page, to respond to the next toast, 'The Debt Each Part of the Country Owes the Other.'"]

Ladies and Gentlemen:—I did not remember that I had written anything as good as that which my friend has just quoted. It sounded to me, as he quoted it, very good indeed. At any rate, it is very true, and, perhaps, that it is true is the reason that you have done me the honor to invite me here to-night. I have been sitting for an hour in such a state of tremulousness and fright, facing this audience I was to address, that the ideas I had carefully gathered together have, I fear, rather taken flight; but I shall give them to you as they come, though they may not be in quite[Pg 862] as good order as I should like them. The gift of after-dinner speaking is one I heard illustrated the other day very well at a dinner at which my friend, Judge Bartlett and I were present. A gentleman told a story of an English bishop travelling in a third-class railway carriage with an individual who was swearing most tremendously, originally, and picturesquely, till finally the bishop said to him: "My dear sir, where in the world did you learn to swear in that extraordinary manner?" And he said, "It can't be learned, it is a gift." After-dinner speaking is a gift I have often envied, ladies and gentlemen, and as I have not it I can only promise to tell you what I really think on the subject which I am here to speak about to-night.

I feel that in inviting me here as the representative of the South to speak on this occasion, I could not do you any better honor than to tell you precisely what I do think and what those, I in a manner represent, think; and I do not know that our views would differ very materially from yours. I could not, if I would, undertake merely to be entertaining to you. I am very much in that respect like an old darky I knew of down in Virginia, who on one occasion was given by his mistress some syllabub. It was spiced a little with—perhaps—New England rum, or something quite as strong that came from the other side of Mason and Dixon's Line, but still was not very strong. When he got through she said, "How did you like that?" He said, "If you gwine to gimme foam, gimme foam; but if you gwine to gimme dram, gimme dram." You do not want from me syllabub I am sure.

When I came here I had no idea that I was to address so imposing an assemblage as this. I had heard about forefathers and knew that there were foremothers also, but did not know that they were going to grace this assembly with their presence as they do to-night. When a youngster, I was told by an old gentleman, before the day of the unhappy stenographer, "You can go out in the world all right if you have four speeches. If you have one for the Fourth of July, one for a tournament address, one to answer the toast to 'Woman,' and the fourth 'to sweep all creation.'" I thought of bringing with me my Fourth of July speech. If I had known I was going to address this audience I would[Pg 863] have brought along the one that answered the toast to "Woman."

But I do not know any man in the world better prepared to address you on the subject of my toast, "The Debt Each Part of the Country Owes the Other," than myself, for I married a lady from the North. She represented in her person the blood both of Virginia and of New England. Her mother was a Virginian and her father a gentleman from New Hampshire; consequently, as I have two young daughters, who always declare themselves Yankees, I am here to speak with due gratitude to both sections, and with strong feeling for both sections to-night.

It seems to me that the two sections which we have all heard talked about so much in the past, have been gradually merging into one, and Heaven knows I hope there may never be but one again. In the nature of things it was impossible at first that there could be only one, but of late the one great wall that divided them has passed away, and, standing here facing you to-night, I feel precisely as I should if I were standing facing an audience of my own dear Virginians. There is no longer division among us. They say that the South became reconciled and showed its loyalty to the Union first at the time of the war with Spain. It is not true; the South became reconciled and showed its loyalty to the Union after Appomattox. When Lee laid down his arms and accepted the terms of the magnanimous Grant, the South rallied behind him, and he went to teach peace and amity and union to his scholars at Lexington, to the sons of his old soldiers. It is my pride that I was one of the pupils at that university, which bears the doubly-honored names of Washington and Lee. He taught us only fealty to the Union and to the flag of the Union. He taught us also that we should never forget the flag under which our fathers fought during the Civil War. With it are embalmed the tears, the holy memories that cluster thick around our hearts, and I should be unworthy to stand and talk to you to-night as an honorable man if I did not hold in deepest reverence that flag that represented the spirit that actuated our fathers. It stood for the principles of liberty, and, strange as it may seem, both sides, though fighting under different banners, fought for the[Pg 864] same principles seen from different sides. It has not interfered with our loyalty to the Union since that flag was furled.

I do not, however, mean to drift into that line of thought. I do not think that it is really in place here to-night, but I want you to know how we feel at the South. Mason and Dixon's Line is laid down on no map and no longer laid down in the memory of either side. The Mason and Dixon's Line of to-day is that which circumscribes this great Union, with all its advantages, all its hopes, and all its aspirations. This is the Mason and Dixon's Line for us to-day, and as a representative of the South, I am here to speak to you on that account. We do owe—these two sections do owe—each other a great deal. But I will tell you what we owe each other more, perhaps, than anything else. When this country was settled for us it was with sparsely scattered settlements, ranging along the Atlantic coast. When the first outside danger threatened it, the two sections immediately drew together. New England had formed her own confederation, and at the South the Carolinas and Virginia had a confederation of their own, though not so compact; but the first thing formed when danger threatened this country was a committee of safety, which immediately began correspondence among the several colonies, and it was the fact that these very colonies stood together in the face of danger, shoulder to shoulder, and back to back, that enabled us to achieve what we did achieve.

Standing here, on this great anniversary at the very end of the century, facing the new century, it is impossible that one should not look back, and equally impossible that one should not look forward. We are just at the close of what we call, and call rightly, a century of great achievements. We pride ourselves upon the work this country has accomplished. We point to a government based upon the consent of the governed, such as the world has never seen; wealth which has been piled up such as no country has ever attained within that time, or double or quadruple that time. It is such a condition of life as never existed in any other country. From Mount Desert to the Golden Gate, yes, from the islands which Columbus saw, thinking he had found the East Indies, to the East Indies themselves, where,[Pg 865] even as I speak, the American flag is being planted, our possessions and our wealth extend. We have, though following the arts of peace, an army ready to rise at the sound of the bugle greater than Rome was ever able to summon behind her golden eagles. We are right to call it a century of achievement. We pride ourselves upon it. Now, who achieved that? Not we, personally; our fathers achieved it; your fathers and my fathers; your fathers, when they left England and set their prows westward and landed upon the rock-bound coast; when they drew up their compact of civil government, which was a new thing in the history of the world. We did our part in the South, and when the time came they staked all that they had upon the principle of a government based only upon the consent of the governed.

We pride ourselves upon the fact that we can worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience. We speak easily of God, "whose service is perfect freedom," but it was not we, but our fathers who achieved that. Our fathers "left us an heritage, and it has brought forth abundantly."

I say this to draw clearly the line between mere material wealth and that which is the real wealth and welfare of a people. We are rich, but our fathers were poor. How did they achieve it? Not by their wealth, but by their character—by their devotion to principle. When I was thinking of the speech I was to make here to-night, I asked the descendant of a New Englander what he would say was the best thing that the fathers had left to the country. He thought for a second and made me a wise answer. He said, "I think it was their character." That is indeed the heritage they left us; they left us their character. Wealth will not preserve that which they left us; not wealth, not power, not "dalliance nor wit" will preserve it; nothing but that which is of the spirit will preserve it, nothing but character.

The whole story of civilization speaks this truth with trumpet voice. One nation rises upon the ruins of another nation. It is when Samson lies in the lap of Delilah that the enemy steals upon him and ensnares him and binds him. It was when the great Assyrian king walked through[Pg 866] his palace, and looking around him said in his pride, "Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the honor of the kingdom and for the honor of my majesty?" that the voice came to him, even while the words were in the king's mouth (saith the chronicle), "Thy kingdom is departed from thee." It was when Belshazzar sat feasting in his Babylonian palace, with his lords and ladies, eating and drinking out of the golden vessels that had been sacred to the Lord, that the writing came upon the wall, "Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting." Not only in the palace, but all through the great city there was feasting and dancing. Why should they not feast and why should they not dance? They were secure, with walls that were 350 feet high, eighty-five feet thick, with a hundred brazen gates, the city filled with greater wealth than had ever been brought before within walls. But out in the country a few hardy mountaineers had been digging ditches for some time. Nobody took much account of them, yet even that night, in the midst of Belshazzar's luxury and feasting, the veteran troops of Cyrus were marching silently under the dripping walls, down the bed of the lowered Euphrates, so that that which had been the very passageway of Babylon's wealth became the pathway of her ruin.

Unless we preserve the character and the institutions our fathers gave us we will go down as other nations have gone. We may talk and theorize as much as we please, but this is the law of nature—the stronger pushes the weaker to the wall and takes its place.

In the history of civilization first one nation rises and becomes the torch-bearer, and then another takes the torch as it becomes stronger, the stronger always pushing the weaker aside and becoming in its turn the leader. So it has been with the Assyrian, and Babylonian, and Median, and, coming on down, with the Greek, the Roman, the Frank, and then came that great race, the Anglo-Saxon-Teutonic race, which seems to me to-day to be the great torch-bearer for this and for the next coming time. Each nation that has borne the torch of civilization has followed some path peculiarly its own. Egyptian, Syrian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Frank, all had their ideal of power—order and progress directed under Supreme authority, main[Pg 867]tained by armed organization. We bear the torch of civilization because we possess the principles of civil liberty, and we have the character, or should have the character, which our fathers have transmitted to us with which to uphold it. If we have it not, then be sure that with the certainty of a law of nature some nation—it may be one or it may be another—it may be Grecian or it may be Slav, already knocking at our doors, will push us from the way, and take the torch and bear it onward, and we shall go down.

But I have no fear of the future. I think, looking around upon the country at present, that even if it would seem to us at times that there are gravest perils which confront us, that even though there may be evidence of weakening in our character, notwithstanding this I say, I believe the great Anglo-Saxon race, not only on the other side of the water, but on this side of the water—and when I say the Anglo-Saxon race I mean the great white, English-speaking race—I use the other term because there is none more satisfactory to me—contains elements which alone can continue to be the leaders of civilization, the elements of fundamental power, abiding virtue, public and private. Wealth will not preserve a state; it must be the aggregation of individual integrity in its members, in its citizens, that shall preserve it. That integrity, I believe, exists, deep-rooted among our people. Sometimes when I read accounts of vice here and there eating into the heart of the people, I feel inclined to be pessimistic; but when I come face to face with the American and see him in his life, as he truly is; when I reflect on the great body of our people that stretch from one side of this country to the other, their homes perched on every hill and nestled in every valley, and recognize the sterling virtue and the kind of character that sustains it, built on the rock of those principles that our fathers transmitted to us, my pessimism disappears and I know that not only for this immediate time but for many long generations to come, with that reservoir of virtue to draw from, we shall sustain and carry both ourselves and the whole human race forward.

There are many problems that confront us which we can only solve by the exercise of our utmost courage and wisdom. I do not want anything I say here this evening to[Pg 868] have in the least degree the complexion of a political talk. I am like a friend of mine down in Virginia who told me that he never could talk politics with a man, "Because," he says, "I am that sort of a blanked fool that thinks if a man disagrees with him in politics he has insulted him." Consequently, I am not discussing this matter in any political sense whatever. But I feel quite sure, though I see many men whose opinion I respect who disagree with me, that yet this great people of ours is strong enough to carry through any obligations whatever which they may take up. I have no fear, however it may cause trouble, or may create difference and complication, of our extending our flag in the way we have done of late. I know that I differ with a very considerable section of the people of the South from whom I come, but I have no question whatever that we possess the strength to maintain any obligation that we assume, and I feel sure that in the coming years this great race of ours will have shown strength and resolution enough not only to preserve itself, to preserve the great heritage our fathers have given us of civil liberty here, but also to carry it to the isles of the sea, and, if necessary, to the nations beyond the sea. Of one thing I am very sure, that had our fathers been called on to solve this problem they would have solved it, not in the light of a hundred years ago, but in that of the present.

Among the problems that confront us we have one great problem, already alluded to indirectly to-night. You do not have it here in the North as we have it with us in the South, and yet, I think, it is a problem that vitally concerns you too. There is no problem that can greatly affect one section of this country that does not affect the other. As I came into your city to-night I saw your great structure across the river here, binding the two great cities together and making them one, and I remember that as I came the last time into your beautiful bay down yonder, I saw what seemed to be a mere web of gossamer, a bare hand's breadth along the horizon. It seemed as if I might have swept it away with my hand if I could have reached it, so airy and light it was in the distance, but when I came close to it to-night I found that it was one of the greatest structures that human intellect has ever devised. I saw[Pg 869] it thrilling and vibrating with every energy of our pulsating, modern life. At a distance it looked as if the vessels nearest would strike it, full head, and carry it away. When I reached it I saw that it was so high, so vast, that the traffic of your great stream passed easily backward and forward under it. So it is with some of these problems. They may appear very small to you, ladies and gentlemen, or to us, when seen at a distance—as though merely a hand-sweep would get rid of them; but I tell you they are too vast to be moved easily.

There is one that with us overshadows all the rest. The great Anglo-Saxon race in the section of this country containing the inhabitants of the South understands better than you do the gravity of that great problem which confronts them. It is "like the pestilence that walketh in darkness, the destruction that wasteth at noonday." It confronts us all the day; it is the spectre that ever sits beside our bed. No doubt we make mistakes about it; no doubt there are outbreaks growing out of some phases of it that astound, and shock, and stun you, as they do ourselves. But believe me, the Anglo-Saxon race has set itself, with all its power, to face it and to overcome it; to solve it in some way, and in the wisest way. Have patience and it will be solved. Time is the great solver, and time alone. If you knew the problem as I do, my words would have more weight with you than they have. I cannot, perhaps, expect you even to understand entirely what I am saying to you, but when I tell you that it is the greatest problem that at present faces the South, as it has done for the last thirty years, I am saying it to you as an American—one of yourselves, who wants to get at the right, and get at the truth, and who will get on his knees and thank God for anyone who will tell him how to solve the problem and meet the dangers that are therein.

Those dangers are not only for us, they are for you. The key to it, in our opinion, is that to which I alluded but just now; that for the present, at least, the white race is the torch-bearer of civilization, not only for itself, but for the world. There is only one thing that I can say assuredly, and that is that never again will that element of the white race, the white people of the South, any more than you[Pg 870] of the North, consent to be dominated by any weaker race whatsoever. And on this depends your salvation, no less than ours. Some of you may remember that once, during that great siege of Petersburg, which resulted, in the beginning of April, 1865, in the capture of the city and the overthrow of the Confederacy, there was an attempt made to mine the hitherto impregnable lines of General Lee. Finally, one cold morning, the mine was sprung, and a space perhaps double the length of one of your squares was blown up, carrying everything adjacent into the air and making a breach in the lines. Beside a little stream under the hill in the Union lines was massed a large force, a section of which, in front, was composed of negroes. They were hurried forward to rush the breach that had been created. They were wild with the ardor of battle. As it happened, a part of the gray line which had held the adjacent trenches, knowing the peril, had thrown themselves, in the dim dawn of the morning, across the newly made breach, and when they found the colored troops rushing in they nerved themselves anew to the contest. I may say to you calmly, after thirty odd years of experience with the negro race, that it was well for the town of Petersburg that morning that that attempt to carry the lines failed. That thin gray line there in the gray dawn set themselves to meet the on-rushing columns and hold them till knowledge of the attack spread and succor arrived. You may not agree with me that what happened at that time is happening now; but I tell you as one who has stood on the line, that we are not only holding it for ourselves, but for you. It is the white people of the South that are standing to-day between you and the dread problem that now confronts us. They are the thin line of Anglo-Saxons who are holding the broken breach with all their might till succor comes. And I believe the light will come, the day will break and you yourselves stand shoulder to shoulder with us, and then with this united, great American people we can face not only the colored race at the South, but we can face all other races of the world. That is what I look for and pray for, and there are many millions of people who are doing the same to-night.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am not speaking in any spirit[Pg 871] which I think will challenge your serious criticism. We are ready to do all we can to accord full justice to that people. I have many, many friends among them. I know well what we owe to that race in the past. I am their sincere well-wisher in the present and for the future. They are more unfortunate than to blame; they have been misdirected, deceived. Not only the welfare of the white people of the South and the welfare of the white people of the North, but the salvation of the negro himself depends upon the carrying out, in a wise way, the things which I have outlined, very imperfectly, I know. When that shall be done we will find the African race in America, instead of devoting its energies to the uncomprehended and futile political efforts which have been its curse in the past, devoting them to the better arts of peace, and then from that race will come intellects and intellectual achievements which may challenge and demand the recognition of the world. Then those intellects will come up and take their places and be accorded their places, not only willingly, but gladly. This is already the new line along which they are advancing, and their best friends can do them no greater service than to encourage and assist them in it; their worst enemy could do them no greater injury than to deflect them from it.

This is a very imperfect way, I am aware, ladies and gentlemen, of presenting the matter, but I hope you will accept it and believe that I am sincere in it. Accept my assurance of the great pleasure I have had in coming here this evening.

I remember, when I was a boy, hearing your great fellow-townsman, Mr. Beecher, in a lecture in Richmond, speak of this great city as "The round-house of New York," in which, he said, the machinery that drove New York and moved the world was cleaned and polished every night. I am glad to be here, where you have that greatest of American achievements, the American home and the American spirit. May it always be kept pure and always at only the right fountains have its strength renewed. [Prolonged applause.][Pg 872]



[Speech of George M. Palmer at the annual banquet of the New York State Bar Association, given in Albany, January 18, 1899. President Walter S. Logan introduced Mr. Palmer in the following words: "The next speaker is the Hon. George M. Palmer, minority leader of the Assembly. [Applause.] He is going to speak on 'The Lawyer in Politics,' and I am very glad to assure you that his politics are of the right kind."]

Mr. President And Members of the Bar Association of the State of New York:—Through the generous impulse of your committee I enjoy the privilege of responding to this toast. I was informed some four weeks ago I would be called upon, the committee thinking I would require that time in preparation, and I have devoted the entire time since in preparing the address for this occasion. "The Lawyer in Politics." The first inquiry of the lawyer and politician is, "What is there in it?" [Laughter.] I mean by that, the lawyer says in a dignified way, "What principle is involved, and how can I best serve my client, always forgetting myself?" The politician, and not the statesman, says, "What is in it?" Not for himself, oh, never. Not the lawyer in politics; but "What is there in it for the people I represent? How can I best serve them?"

You may inquire what is there in this toast for you. Not very much. You remember the distinguished jurist who once sat down to a course dinner similar to this. He had been waited on by one servant during two courses. He had had the soup. Another servant came to him and said, "Sir, shall I take your order? Will you have some of the chicken soup?" "No, sir; I have been served with chicken soup, but the chicken proved an alibi." [Laughter.] A [Pg 873]distinguished judge in this presence said he was much indebted to the Bar. I am very glad to say that the lawyer in politics formed a resolution on the first day of last January to square himself with the Bar, and he now stands without any debt. [Laughter.] I remember a reference made by the distinguished gentleman to a case that was tried by a young, struggling attorney. I also remember a young judge who appeared in one of the rural counties, who sat and heard a case very similar to the one to which reference was made, and I remember the fight of the giants before him. Points were raised of momentous importance. They were to affect the policy of the State. One lawyer insisted upon the correctness of an objection and succeeded. He felt so elated over that success he in a short time objected again, and the judge ruled against him, but in his ardor he argued with the court. "Why, I can't conceive why you make this ruling." "Why," the judge says, "I have just ruled with you once, I must rule with the other fellow this time." [Laughter.]




Photo-engraving in colors after the original mosaic panel by Frederick Dielman

The mosaics by Mr. Dielman are remarkable for their wealth of color and detail—properties so elusive as to defy the reproducer's art. But the picture here given preserves the fundamental idea of the artist. "Law" is typified by the central figure of a woman seated on a marble throne and holding in one hand the sword of punishment, and in the other the palm branch of reward. She wears on her breast the Ægis of Minerva. On the steps of the throne are the scales of Justice, the book of Law and the white doves of Mercy. On her right are the emblematic figures of Truth, Peace, and Industry, on her left are Fraud, Discord, and Violence. "Law" is a companion piece to "History."

"The Lawyer in Politics." It is sometimes a question which way the lawyer will start when he enters politics. I remember reading once of a distinguished lawyer who had a witness upon the stand. He was endeavoring to locate the surroundings of a building in which an accident occurred, and he had put a female witness on the stand. "Now the location of the door: please give it," and she gave it in a timid way. "Will you now kindly give the location of the hall in which the accident occurred?" She gave it. "Now," he says, "we have arrived at the stairs; will you kindly tell me which way the stairs run?" She became a little nervous and she says, "I will tell you the best I can; if you are at the foot of the stairs they run up, and if you are to the top of the stairs they run down." [Laughter.] So sometimes it is pretty important to find out which way the lawyer is going when he enters in politics. He should be tried and tested before being permitted to enter politics, in my judgment, and while the State is taking upon itself the paternal control of all our professions and business industries, it seems to me they should have a civil service examination for the lawyer before he enters the realm of politics.

A lawyer that I heard of, coming from a county down the[Pg 874] river—a county that has produced distinguished judges who have occupied positions on the Court of Appeals and in the Supreme Court of the State—said of a lawyer there who had been in politics, that he had started with bright prospects, but had become indebted to the Bar during his period in politics. He had gone back and had taken up the small cases, and yet in his sober moments it was said the sparks of genius still exhibited themselves at times. He was called upon to defend a poor woman at one time who was arrested by a heartless corporation for stealing a lot of their coal. He sobered up and squared himself before the jury, conducted the examination of the case and the trial of it, and in a magnificent burst of eloquence the case went to the jury. And after the jury retired, he sat, while they deliberated, by his client. And finally the jury came in. The foreman rose and said that "The jury find the defendant not guilty." The distinguished lawyer, in the presence of the crowd and jury, and justice of the peace, straightened back in his chair. "My dear Miss Smith, you are again a free woman. No longer the imputation of this heinous crime rests upon you. You may go from this court-room as free as the bird that pinions its wings and flies toward the heavens, to kiss the first ray of the morning sunshine. You may go as free as that bird, but before you go pay me that $3.00 you owe me on account." [Laughter.] What I mean to enforce by this is that the lawyer who is in politics solely for the $3.00 is not a safe man to intrust with political power.

Judge Baldwin, of Indiana, it is said, in giving his advice to lawyers upon one occasion, told them that the course to be pursued by a lawyer was first to get on, second to get honor, and third to get honest. [Laughter.] A man who follows that policy in my judgment is not such a lawyer as should be let loose in politics. Rather, it seems to me, that the advice to give to lawyers, and the principle to follow is, first to be honest, second to get on, and third, upon this broad basis, get honor if you can. [Applause.] It is unnecessary for me at this time to refer to the distinguished men who have entered politics from the profession of the law. I could point to those who have occupied the highest positions in the gift of the people, who have been the chief executives of this great Nation, and who have stood in the halls[Pg 875] of Congress, and in the legislative halls of our various States, and in these important positions have helped formulate the fundamental principles which to-day govern us as a free people, and upon which the ark of our freedom rests. I believe that while in the past opportunities have presented themselves for lawyers in politics, yet no time was ever more favorable than now, when it seems to me that the service of the Bar is required in helping shape the policies and destinies of our country. We are confronted with new conditions, with new propositions, and it seems to me that the man who is learned in the law, who, as was once said of the great Peel, that his entire course in life, in and out of the profession, was guided by the desire to do right and justice, should aid in our adjustment to these new conditions.

Professional men who are superior to the fascination of power, or the charms of wealth, men who do not employ their power solely for self-aggrandizement, but devote their energies in favor of the public weal, are men who should be found in the councils of the State. Ours is the country and this the occasion when patriotism and legal learning are at a premium.

In the settling of the policy of the United States with reference to territory recently acquired, lawyers are destined to play a leading part. They are very well fitted to appreciate the fundamental principles of a free government and of human liberty. It seems the patriotic duty of the lawyer to give the country the benefit of his study and experience, not as a mere politician, but as a high-minded and learned statesman and citizen of our common country.

This is the time when high-minded, learned, and professional men should assist to plant and protect the flower of our American policy under our new conditions so that the fruitage of our system may be naturalized in new fields as a correct policy.

Duty, therefore, seems to call the lawyer to the councils of State. Our Country is his client, her perpetuity will be his retainer, fee, and compensation. [Applause.][Pg 876]




[Speech of Henry John Temple, Viscount Palmerston, Prime Minister of England 1859-1865, at the annual banquet of the Royal Academy, London, May 2, 1863. Sir Charles Eastlake, the President of the Royal Academy, said, in introducing Lord Palmerston: "I now have the honor to propose the health of one who is entitled to the respect and gratitude of the friends of science and art, the promoters of education and the upholders of time-honored institutions. I have the honor to propose the health of Viscount Palmerston."]

Mr. President, Your Royal Highnesses, My Lords, and Gentlemen:—I need not, I am certain, assure you that nothing can be more gratifying to the feelings of any man than to receive that compliment which you have been pleased to propose and which this distinguished assembly has been kind enough so favorably to entertain in the toast of his health. It is natural that any man who is engaged in public life should feel the greatest interest in the promotion of the fine arts. In fact, without a great cultivation of art no nation has ever arrived at any point of eminence. We have seen great warlike exploits performed by nations in a state, I won't say of comparative barbarism, but wanting comparative civilization; we have seen nations amassing great wealth, but yet not standing thereby high in the estimation of the rest of the world; but when great warlike achievements, great national prosperity, and a high cultivation of the arts are all combined together, the nation in which those conditions are found may pride itself on holding that eminent position among the nations of the world which I am proud to say belongs to this country. [Loud cheers.][Pg 877]

It is gratifying to have the honor of being invited to these periodical meetings where we find assembled within these rooms a greater amount of cultivation of mind, of natural genius, of everything which constitutes the development of human intellect than perhaps ever has assembled within the same space elsewhere. And we have besides the gratification of seeing that in addition to those living examples of national genius the walls are covered with proofs that the national genius is capable of the most active and admirable development. [Cheers.] Upon the present occasion, Mr. President, every visitor must have seen with the greatest delight that by the side of the works of those whose names are familiar to all, there are works of great ability brought hither by men who are still rising to fame; and, therefore, we have the satisfaction of feeling that this country will never be wanting in men distinguished in the practice of the fine arts. [Cheers.] One great merit of this Exhibition is that whatever may be the turn of a man's mind, whatever his position in life, he may at least during the period he is within these walls, indulge the most pleasant illusions applicable to the wants his mind at that time may feel. A man who comes here shivering in one of those days which mark the severity of an English summer, may imagine that he is basking in an African sun and he may feel an imaginary warmth from the representation of a tropical climate. If, on the other hand, he is suffering under those exceptional miseries which one of the few hot days of an English summer is apt to create, he may imagine himself inhaling the fresh breezes of the seaside; he may suppose himself reclining in the cool shade of the most luxuriant foliage; he may for a time, in fancy, feel all the delights which the streets and pavements of London deny in reality. [Cheers and laughter.] And if he happens to be a young man, upon what is conventionally said to be his preferment, that is to say, looking out for a partner in life, he may here study all kinds and descriptions of female beauty [laughter and cheers]; he may satisfy his mind whether light hair or dark, blue eyes or black, the tender or the serious, the gay or the sentimental, are most likely to contribute to the happiness of his future life. [Cheers.] And without exposing himself to any of those embarrassing questions as to his intentions [laughter][Pg 878] which sometimes too inquisitive a scrutiny may bring [much laughter], without creating disappointment or breaking any hearts, by being referred to any paternal authority, which, he may not desire to consult, he may go and apply to practical selection those principles of choice which will result from the study within these walls.

Then those of a more serious turn of mind who direct their thoughts to State affairs, and who wish to know of what that august assembly the House of Commons is composed, may here [pointing to Phillips's picture behind the chair], without the trouble of asking an order, without waiting in Westminster Hall until a seat be vacant, without passing hours in a hot gallery listening perhaps to dull discourses in an uninteresting debate—they may here see what kind of thing the House of Commons is, and go back edified by the sight without being bored by dull speeches. [Cheers and laughter.]

Now, don't, gentlemen, imagine that I am romancing when I attribute this virtue to ocular demonstration—don't imagine that that which enters the eye does not sometimes penetrate to the mind and feelings. I will give you an instance to the contrary. I remember within these walls seeing two gentlemen who evidently, from their remarks, were very good judges of horses, looking with the greatest admiration upon the well-known picture of Landseer, "The Horseshoeing at the Blacksmith's;" and after they had looked at it for some time one was approaching nearer, when the other in an agony of enthusiasm said: "For heaven's sake, don't go too near, he will kick you." [Cheers and laughter.]

Well, gentlemen, I said that a public man must take great interest in art, but I feel that the present Government has an apology to make to one department of art, and that is to the sculptors; for there is an old maxim denoting one of the high functions of art which is "Ars est celare artem." Now there was a cellar in which the art of the most distinguished sculptors was concealed to the utmost extent of the application of that saying. We have brought them comparatively into light; and if the sculptors will excuse us for having departed from that sage and ancient maxim, I am sure the public will thank us for having given them an opportunity[Pg 879] of seeing those beautiful works of men of which it may be said: "Vivos ducunt de marmore vultus." I trust, therefore, the sculptors will excuse us for having done, not perhaps the best they might have wished, but at least for having relieved them a little from the darkness of that Cimmerian cellar in which their works were hid. [Cheers.] I beg again to thank you, gentlemen, for the honor you have done me in drinking my health. [Loud cheers.][Pg 880]



[Speech of Rev. John R. Paxton, D.D., at the seventy-seventh annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1882. Josiah M. Fiske, the President, occupied the chair. Dr. Paxton responded for "The Clergy."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—There is no help for it, alas! now. The Pilgrim or Puritan doth bestride the broad continent like another Colossus and we Dutch, English, Scotch, Scotch-Irish, and Irish walk about under his huge legs [laughter]; "we must bend our bodies when he doth carelessly nod to us." For the Puritan is the pious Joseph of the land, and to his sheaf all our sheaves must make obeisance. As he pipes unto us so we dance. He takes the chief seat at every national feast and compels us highway-and-hedge people, us unfortunate Dutch and Scotch-Irish, to come in and shout his triumphs and praise at his own self-glorification meetings. [Laughter and applause.] Of course we all know it's a clear case of the tail wagging the dog. But it is too late now to go back to the order of nature or the truth of history. The Puritan, like another Old Man of the Sea, is astride our shoulders and won't come down, protest, pray, roll, wriggle as Sindbad may. Why, the Puritan has imposed his Thanksgiving Day and pumpkin-pie upon South Carolina, even. [Applause.] He got mad at the old Whig party, on account of his higher law and abolitionism, and put it to death. When the Puritan first came to these shores, he made the way to heaven so narrow that only a tight-rope performer could walk it. [Laughter.] Now, what with his Concord philosophies, transcendental[Pg 881]isms, and every heresy, he has made it so wide that you could drive all Barnum's elephants abreast upon it and through the strait gate. He compels us to send our sons to his colleges for his nasal note. He is communicating his dyspepsia to the whole country by means of codfish-balls and baked beans. He has encouraged the revolt of women, does our thinking, writes our books, insists on his standard of culture, defines our God, and, as the crowning glory of his audacity, has imposed his own sectional, fit, and distinguishing name upon us all, and swells with gratified pride to hear all the nations of the earth speak of all Americans as Yankees. [Laughter and applause.]

I would enter a protest, but what use? We simply grace his triumph, and no images may be hung at this feast but the trophies of the Puritan. For all that, I mean to say a brief word for my Scotch-Irish race in America. Mr. President, General Horace Porter, on my left, and I, did not come over in the Half Moon or the Mayflower. We stayed on in County Donegal, Ireland, in the loins of our forefathers, content with poteen and potatoes, stayed on until the Pilgrims had put down the Indians, the Baptists, and the witches; until the Dutch had got all the furs this side Lake Erie. [Laughter and applause.] By the way, what hands and feet those early Knickerbockers had! In trading with the Indians it was fixed that a Dutchman's hand weighed one pound and his foot two pounds in the scales. But what puzzled the Indian was that no matter how big his pack of furs, the Dutchman's foot was its exact weight at the opposite end of the scale. Enormous feet the first Van—or De—or Stuy—had. [Continued laughter.]

But in course of time, after the Pilgrims had come for freedom, the Dutch for furs, Penn for a frock—a Quaker cut and color—we came, we Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, for what? Perhaps the king oppressed the presbytery, or potatoes failed, or the tax on whiskey was doubled. Anyway we came to stay: some of us in New England, some in the valleys of Virginia, some in the mountains of North Carolina, others in New York; but the greater part pushed out into Pennsylvania—as far away as they could get from the Puritans and the Dutch—settled the great Cumberland Valley; then, crossing the Alleghany Mountains, staked out their farms[Pg 882] on the banks of the Monongahela River, set up their stills, built their meeting-houses, organized the presbytery—and, gentlemen, the reputation of our Monongahela rye is unsurpassed to this day [long applause], and our unqualified orthodoxy even now turns the stomach of a modern Puritan and constrains Colonel Ingersoll[1] not to pray, alas! but to swear. [Loud laughter.]

Mr. President, I hope General Porter will join me in claiming some recognition for the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians from these sons of the Puritans. For do you not know that your own man Bancroft says that the first public voice in America for dissolving all connection with Great Britain came not from the Puritans of New England, the Dutch of New York, nor the planters of Virginia, but from the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians? [Applause.] Therefore, Mr. President, be kind enough to accept from us the greeting of the Scotch-Irish of Pennsylvania, our native State—that prolific mother of pig-iron and coal, whose favorite and greatest sons are still Albert Gallatin, of Switzerland, and Benjamin Franklin, of Massachusetts. [Laughter and applause.]

The first son of a Forefather I ever fell in with was a nine-months Connecticut man at Fredericksburg, Virginia, in the spring of '62. Now, I was a guileless and generous lad of nineteen—all Pennsylvanians are guileless and generous, for our mountains are so rich in coal, our valleys so fat with soil, that our living is easy and therefore our wits are dull, and we are still voting for Jackson. [Great laughter.] The reason the Yankees are smart is because they have to wrest a precarious subsistence from a reluctant soil. "What shall I do to make my son get forward in the world?" asked an English lord of a bishop. "I know of only one way," replied the bishop; "give him poverty and parts." Well, that's the reason the sons of the Pilgrims have all got on in the world. They all started with poverty, and had to exercise their wits on nutmegs or notions or something to thrive. [Laughter.] Yes, they had "parts." Why, they have taken New York from the Dutch; they are half of Wall Street, and only a Jew, or a long-headed Sage, or that surprising and surpassing genius in finance, Jay,[2] can wrestle with them on equal terms. Ah! these Yankees have "parts"—lean bodies, sterile soil, [Pg 883]but such brains that they grew a Webster. [Applause.] Well, this Connecticut man invited me to his quarters. When I got back to my regiment I had a shabby overcoat instead of my new one, I had a frying-pan worth twenty cents, that cost me five dollars, and a recipe for baked beans for which I had parted with my gold pen and pencil. [Continued laughter.] I was a sadder and a wiser man that night for that encounter with the Connecticut Pilgrim.

But my allotted time is running away, and, preacher-like, I couldn't begin without an introduction. I am afraid in this case the porch will be bigger than the house. But now to my toast, "The Clergy." Surely, Mr. President and gentlemen, you sons of the Pilgrims appreciate the debt you owe the Puritan divines. What made your section great, dominant, glorious in the history of our common country? To what class of your citizens—more than to any other, I think—do you owe the proud memories of your past, and your strength, achievements, and culture in the present? Who had the first chance on your destiny, your character, your development? Why, the Puritan preacher, of course; the man who in every parish inculcated the fear of God in your fathers' souls, obedience to law, civil and divine, the dignity of man, the worth of the soul and right conduct in life. [Applause.] Believe me, gentlemen, the Puritan clergy did a great work for New England. Our whole country feels yet the impulse and movement given it by those stern preachers of righteousness, who had Abrahamic eyes under their foreheads and the stuff of Elijah in their souls. [Applause.] I know it's the fashion now to poke fun at the Puritans, to use the "Blue Laws" as a weapon against them, to sneer at them as hard, narrow, and intolerant. Yes, alas! we do not breathe through their lungs any more. The wheel has gone round, and we have come back to the very things the Puritans fled from in hatred and in horror.

We pride ourselves these days on our "sweetness and light," on our culture and manners. The soul of the age is hospitable and entertains, like an inn, "God or the devil on equal terms," as George Eliot says. Alas! the Puritan chart has failed us in the sea through which we are passing; the old stars have ceased to shine; too many of us know neither our course nor destination; "authority is mute;"[Pg 884] the "Thus saith the Lord" of the Puritan is not enough now for our guidance. For the age is in all things not one of reason or of faith, but of speculation not only in the business of the world, but in all moral and spiritual questions as well. Well, we shall see what we shall see. But for one, I admire with all my soul a man who knows just what he was put into this world for, what his chief end in it is, what he believes, must do and must be, and in the ways thereof is willing to inflict or to suffer death. [Applause.] The Puritan divine was such a man. He sowed your rocky coasts and sterile hills with conscience and God. You are living on the virtue that came out of the hem of his garment; he is our bulwark still in this land against superstition on the one hand and infidelity on the other. [Applause.] Grand man he was, the old Puritan; once arrived he was always arrived; while other men hesitated he acted; while others debated he declared; fearing God, he was lifted above every other fear; and though he has passed away for a time—only for a time, remember: the wheel is still turning, we can't stand on air—he will come back again, but in the meantime he is still a "preacher of righteousness" to our souls as effective in death as in life. [Applause.]

In your presence I greet with my warmest admiration, I salute with my profound reverence, the old Puritan divines of New England who had a scorn for all base uses of life, who were true to duty as they saw it, who had convictions for which they would kill or die, who formed their characters and guided their lives by the law of righteousness in human conduct. To these men under God we largely owe our liberties and our laws in this land. I take off my hat to his ghost, and salute him as greater than he who has taken a city, for the Puritan divine conquered himself. He was an Isaac, not an Ishmael; he was a Jacob, not an Esau; a God-born man who knew what his soul did wear. Great man he was, hard, stern, and intolerant. Yes, but what would you have, gentlemen? The Puritan was not a pretty head carved on a cherry-stone, but a Colossus cut from the rock, huge, grim, but awe-inspiring, fortifying to the soul if not warming to the heart. [Applause.]

Well, would he know you to-night, I wonder, his own sons, if he came in upon you now, in circumstances so dif[Pg 885]ferent and with manners and customs so changed? Would he gaze at you with sad, sad eyes, and weep over you as the degenerate sons of noble sires? [Laughter.] No, no; you are worthy, I think. The sons will keep what the fathers won. After all, you are still one with the Puritan in all essential things. [Applause.] You clasp hands with him in devotion to the same principle, in obedience to the same God. True, the man between doublet and skin plays many parts; fashions come and go, never long the same, but "clothe me as you will I am Sancho Panza still." So you are Puritans still. Back of your Unitarianism, back of your Episcopalianism, back of your Transcendentalism, back of all your isms, conceits, vagaries—and there is no end to them—back of them all there beats in you the Puritan heart. Blood will tell. Scratch a child of sweetness and light on Beacon Hill to-day and you will find a Puritan. [Laughter.] Scratch your Emerson, your Bellows, your Lowell, your Longfellow, your Wendell Phillips, your Phillips Brooks, and you find the Puritan. [Applause.] In intellectual conclusions vastly different, in heart, at bottom, you're all one in love of liberty, in fear of God, contempt for shams, and scorn of all things base and mean. [Applause.]

So, ye ghosts of old Puritan divines, ye cannot look down on your sons to-night with sad and reproachful eyes. For the sons have not wasted what the fathers gained, nor failed in any critical emergency, nor yet forsaken the God ye feared so well, though they have modified your creed. Gentlemen, I cannot think that the blood has run out. Exchange your evening dress for the belted tunic and cloak; take off the silk hat and put on the wide brim and the steeple crown, and lo! I see the Puritan. And twenty years ago I heard him speak and saw him act. "If any man hauls down the American flag, shoot him on the spot." Why, Warren in old Boston did not act more promptly or do a finer thing. Well, what moved in your splendid Dix when he gave that order? The spirit of the old Puritan. And I saw the sons of the sires act. Who reddened the streets of Baltimore with the first Union blood?—Massachusetts. [Loud applause.] Who to-day are the first to rally to the side of a good cause, on trial in the community? Who are Still first in colleges and letters in this land? Who, east or[Pg 886] west, advocate justice, redress wrongs, maintain equal rights, support churches, love liberty, and thrive where others starve? Why, these ubiquitous sons of the Puritans, of course, who dine me to-night. Gentlemen, I salute you. "If I were not Miltiades I would be Themistocles;" if I were not a Scotch-Irishman I would be a Puritan. [Continued applause.][Pg 887]



[Speech of Edward J. Phelps, Minister to England, on the occasion of the farewell banquet given to him by the Lord Mayor of London, James Whitehead, at the Mansion House, London, January 24, 1889. The Lord Mayor, in proposing the toast of the evening, said, in the course of his introductory remarks: "It now becomes my pride and privilege to ask you to join with me in drinking the health of my distinguished guest, Mr. Phelps. I have invited you here this evening because I felt it was my duty as Chief Magistrate of the City of London to take the initiative in giving you an opportunity to testify to the very high esteem in which Mr. Phelps is held by all classes of society. It is to me a very sincere satisfaction that I am able to be the medium of conveying to him, on the eve of his departure, the fact that his presence here in this country has been appreciated by the whole British nation. If anything were required to give force to what I have said, it is the fact that on this occasion we are honored by the presence of members of governments past and present, of statesmen without distinction of party, of members of both Houses of Parliament, and of nearly all the judges of the land. We have here also the highest representatives of science, of art, of literature, and of the press; and we are also honored with the presence of neighbors and friends in some of the most eminent bankers and merchants of the city. I am glad to add that all the distinguished Americans that I know of at present visiting this city have come here to show their esteem for their fellow-countryman. It may be said that this remarkable gathering is a proof not only of the fact that our distinguished guest is personally popular, but also that we are satisfied that, so far as he could, he has endeavored to do his duty faithfully and well between the country he represents and the country to which he is delegated. Mr. Phelps in leaving our shores, I think, will take with him a feeling that he has been received in the most cordial spirit, in the most friendly manner in this country. I think he will feel also—at any rate, I should like to assure him so far as I am able to observe—that he has greatly tended, by his manner and by his courteous bearing, to consolidate those friendly relations which we desire should forever exist between his country and our own. Those of us who have had the honor from time to time to meet his[Pg 888] Excellency, know what high and good qualities he possesses, and we feel sure he will take with him to the United States a not unfavorable impression of the old country, and that so far as he can he will endeavor in the future, as I believe he has done in the past, to promote those feelings of peace, of amity between the two countries, the maintenance of which is one of the objects to be most desired in the interests of the world at large I give you 'His Excellency, the American Minister, Mr. Phelps,' and I ask you, if you please, to rise and give the toast standing, in the usual manner."]

My Lord Mayor, my Lords, and Gentlemen:—I am sure you will not be surprised to be told that the poor words at my command do not enable me to respond adequately to your most kind greeting, nor the too flattering words which have fallen from my friend, the Lord Mayor, and from my distinguished colleague, the Lord Chancellor. But you will do me the justice to believe that my feelings are not the less sincere and hearty if I cannot put them into language. I am under a very great obligation to your Lordship not merely for the honor of meeting this evening an assembly more distinguished I apprehend than it appears to me has often assembled under one roof, but especially for the opportunity of meeting under such pleasant circumstances so many of those to whom I have become so warmly attached, and from whom I am so sorry to part. [Cheers.]

It is rather a pleasant coincidence to me that about the first hospitality that was offered me after my arrival in England came from my friend, the Lord Mayor, who was at the time one of the Sheriffs of London. I hope it is no disparagement to my countrymen to say that under existing circumstances the first place that I felt it my duty to visit was the Old Bailey Criminal Court. [Laughter.] I had there the pleasure of being entertained by my friend, the Lord Mayor. And it happens also that it was in this room almost four years ago at a dinner given to Her Majesty's Judges by my friend Sir Robert Fowler, then Lord Mayor, whose genial face I see before me, that I appeared for the first time on any public occasion in England and addressed my first words to an English company. It seems to me a fortunate propriety that my last public words should be spoken under the same hospitable roof, the home of the Chief Magistrate of the city of London. ["Hear![Pg 889] Hear!"] Nor can I ever forget the cordial and generous reception that was then accorded, not to myself personally, for I was altogether a stranger, but to the representative of my country. It struck what has proved the keynote of all my relations here. It indicated to me at the outset how warm and hearty was the feeling of Englishmen toward America. [Cheers.]

And it gave me to understand, what I was not slow to accept and believe, that I was accredited not merely from one government to the other, but from the people of America to the people of England—that the American Minister was not expected to be merely a diplomatic functionary shrouded in reticence and retirement, jealously watching over doubtful relations, and carefully guarding against anticipated dangers; but that he was to be the guest of his kinsmen—one of themselves—the messenger of the sympathy and good-will, the mutual and warm regard and esteem that bind together the two great nations of the same race, and make them one in all the fair humanities of life. [Cheers.] The suggestion that met me at the threshold has not proved to be mistaken. The promise then held out has been generously fulfilled. Ever since and through all my intercourse here I have received, in all quarters, from all classes with whom I have come in contact, under all circumstances and in all vicissitudes, a uniform and widely varied kindness, far beyond what I had personally the least claim to. And I am glad of this public opportunity to acknowledge it in the most emphatic manner.

My relations with the successive governments I have had to do with have been at all times most fortunate and agreeable, and quite beyond those I have been happy in feeling always that the English people had a claim upon the American Minister for all kind and friendly offices in his power, and upon his presence and voice on all occasions when they could be thought to further any good work. [Cheers.]

And so I have gone in and out among you these four years and have come to know you well. I have taken part in many gratifying public functions; I have been the guest at many homes; and my heart has gone out with yours in memorable jubilee of that Sovereign Lady whom all Englishmen love and all Americans honor. I have stood with[Pg 890] you by some unforgotten graves; I have shared in many joys; and I have tried as well as I could through it all, in my small way, to promote constantly a better understanding, a fuller and more accurate knowledge, a more genuine sympathy between the people of the two countries. [Cheers.]

And this leads me to say a word on the nature of these relations. The moral intercourse between the governments is most important to be maintained, and its value is not to be overlooked or disregarded. But the real significance of the attitude of nations depends in these days upon the feelings which the general intelligence of their inhabitants entertains toward each other. The time has long passed when kings or rulers can involve their nations in hostilities to gratify their own ambition or caprice. There can be no war nowadays between civilized nations, nor any peace that is not hollow and delusive, unless sustained and backed up by the sentiment of the people who are parties to it. [Cheers.] Before nations can quarrel, their inhabitants must first become hostile. Then a cause of quarrel is not far to seek. The men of our race are not likely to become hostile until they begin to misunderstand each other. [Cheers.] There are no dragon's teeth so prolific as mutual misunderstandings. It is in the great and constantly increasing intercourse between England and America, in its reciprocities, and its amenities, that the security against misunderstanding must be found. While that continues, they cannot be otherwise than friendly. Unlucky incidents may sometimes happen; interests may conflict; mistakes may be made on one side or on the other, and sharp words may occasionally be spoken by unguarded or ignorant tongues. The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything. [Cheers and laughter.] The nation that comes to be without fault will have reached the millennium, and will have little further concern with the storm-swept geography of this imperfect world. But these things are all ephemeral; they do not touch the great heart of either people; they float for a moment on the surface and in the wind, and then they disappear and are gone—"in the deep bosom of the ocean buried."

I do not know, sir, who may be my successor, but I venture to assure you that he will be an American gentleman, fit by[Pg 891] character and capacity to be the medium of communication between our countries; and an American gentleman, when you come to know him, generally turns out to be a not very distant kinsman of an English gentleman. [Cheers.] I need not bespeak for him a kindly reception. I know he will receive it for his country's sake and his own. ["Hear! Hear!"]

"Farewell," sir, is a word often lightly uttered and readily forgotten. But when it marks the rounding-off and completion of a chapter in life, the severance of ties many and cherished, of the parting with many friends at once—especially when it is spoken among the lengthening shadows of the western light—it sticks somewhat in the throat. It becomes, indeed, "the word that makes us linger." But it does not prompt many other words. It is best expressed in few. What goes without saying is better than what is said. Not much can be added to the old English word "Good-by." You are not sending me away empty-handed or alone. I go freighted and laden with happy memories—inexhaustible and unalloyed—of England, its warm-hearted people, and their measureless kindness. Spirits more than twain will cross with me, messengers of your good-will. Happy the nation that can thus speed its parting guest! Fortunate the guest who has found his welcome almost an adoption, and whose farewell leaves half his heart behind! [Loud cheers.][Pg 892]



[Speech of Arthur Wing Pinero at the annual banquet of the Royal Academy, London, May 4, 1895. The toast to the "Drama" was coupled with that to "Music," to which Sir Alexander Mackenzie responded. Sir John Millais in proposing the toast said: "I have already spoken for both music and the drama with my brush. ["Hear! Hear!"] I have painted Sterndale Bennett, Arthur Sullivan, Irving, and Hare."]

Your Royal Highness, My Lords, and Gentlemen:—There ought to be at least one strong link of sympathy between certain painters and certain dramatists, for in the craft of painting as in that of play-writing, popular success is not always held to be quite creditable. Not very long ago I met at an exhibition of pictures a friend whose business it is to comment in the public journals upon painting and the drama. The exhibition was composed of the works of two artists, and I found myself in one room praising the pictures of the man who was exhibiting in the other. My friend promptly took me to task. "Surely," said he, "you noticed that two-thirds of the works in the next room are already sold?" I admitted having observed that many of the pictures were so ticketed. My friend shrugged his shoulders. "But," said I, anxiously, "do you really regard that circumstance as reflecting disparagingly upon the man's work in the next room?" His reply was: "Good work rarely sells." [Laughter.] My lords and gentlemen, if the dictum laid down by my friend be a sound one, I am placed to-night in a situation of some embarrassment. For, in representing, as you honor me, by giving me leave to do, my brother dramatists, I confess I am not in the position to deny that their wares frequently "sell." [Laughter.] I[Pg 893] might, of course, artfully plead in extenuation of this condition of affairs that success in such a shape is the very last reward the dramatist toils for, or desires; that when the theatre in which his work is presented is thronged nightly no one is more surprised, more abashed than himself; that his modesty is so impenetrable, his artistic absorption so profound, that the sound of the voices of public approbation reduces him to a state of shame and dismay. [Laughter.] But did I advance this plea, I think it would at once be found to be a very shallow plea. For in any department of life, social, political, or artistic, nothing is more difficult than to avoid incurring the suspicion that you mean to succeed in the widest application of that term, if you can. If therefore there be any truth in the assertion that "good work rarely sells," it would appear that I must, on behalf of certain of my brother dramatists, either bow my head in frank humiliation, or strike out some ingenious line of defence. ["Hear! Hear!"]

But, my lords and gentlemen, I shall, with your sanction, adopt neither of those expedients; I shall simply beg leave to acknowledge freely, to acknowledge without a blush, that what is known as popular success is, I believe, greatly coveted, sternly fought for, by even the most earnest of those writers who deal in the commodity labelled "modern British drama." And I would, moreover, submit that of all the affectations displayed by artists of any craft, the affectation of despising the approval and support of the great public is the most mischievous and misleading. [Cheers.] Speaking at any rate of dramatic art, I believe that its most substantial claim upon consideration rests in its power of legitimately interesting a great number of people. I believe this of any art; I believe it especially of the drama. Whatever distinction the dramatist may attain in gaining the attention of the so-called select few, I believe that his finest task is that of giving back to a multitude their own thoughts and conceptions, illuminated, enlarged, and if needful, purged, perfected, transfigured. The making of a play that shall be closely observant in its portrayal of character, moral in purpose, dignified in expression, stirring in its development, yet not beyond our possible experience of life; a drama, the unfolding of whose story shall be watched intently, respon[Pg 894]sively, night after night by thousands of men and women, necessarily of diversified temperaments, aims, and interests, men and women of all classes of society—surely the writing of that drama, the weaving of that complex fabric, is one of the most arduous of the tasks which art has set us; surely its successful accomplishment is one of the highest achievements of which an artist is capable.

I cannot claim—it would be immodest to make such a claim in speaking even of my brother dramatists—I cannot claim that the thorough achievement of such a task is a common one in this country. It is indeed a rare one in any country. But I can claim—I do claim for my fellow-workers that they are not utterly unequal to the demands made upon them, and that of late there have been signs of the growth of a thoughtful, serious drama in England. ["Hear! Hear!"] I venture to think, too, that these signs are not in any sense exotics; I make bold to say that they do not consist of mere imitations of certain models; I submit that they are not as a few critics of limited outlook and exclusive enthusiasm would have us believe—I submit that they are not mere echoes of foreign voices. I submit that the drama of the present day is the natural outcome of our own immediate environment, of the life that closely surrounds us. And, perhaps, it would be only fair to allow that the reproaches which have been levelled for so long a period at the British theatre—the most important of these reproaches being that it possessed no drama at all—perhaps I say we may grant in a spirit of charity that these reproaches ought not to be wholly laid at the door of the native playwright. If it be true that he has been in the habit of producing plays invariably conventional in sentiment, trite in comedy, wrought on traditional lines, inculcating no philosophy, making no intellectual appeal whatever, may it not be that the attitude of the frequenters of the theatre has made it hard for him to do anything else? If he has until lately evaded in his theatrical work any attempt at a true criticism of life, if he has ignored the social, religious, and scientific problems of his day, may we not attribute this to the fact that the public have not been in the mood for these elements of seriousness in their theatrical entertainment, have not demanded these special elements of seriousness either in plays[Pg 895] or in novels? But during recent years, the temper of the times has been changing; it is now the period of analysis, of general restless inquiry; and as this spirit creates a demand for freer expression on the part of our writers of books, so it naturally permits to our writers of plays a wider scope in the selection of subject, and calls for an accompanying effort of thought, a large freedom of utterance.

At this moment, perhaps, the difficulty of the dramatist lies less in paucity of subject, than in an almost embarrassing wealth of it. The life around us teems with problems of conduct and character, which may be said almost to cry aloud for dramatic treatment, and the temptation that besets the busy playwright of an uneasy, an impatient age, is that in yielding himself to the allurements of contemporary psychology, he is apt to forget that fancy and romance have also their immortal rights in the drama. ["Hear! Hear!"] But when all is claimed for romance, we must remember that the laws of supply and demand assert themselves in the domain of dramatic literature as elsewhere. What the people, out of the advancement of their knowledge, out of the enlightenment of modern education, want, they will ask for; what they demand, they will have. And at the present moment the English people appear to be inclined to grant to the English dramatist the utmost freedom to deal with questions which have long been thought to be outside the province of the stage. I do not deplore, I rejoice that this is so, and I rejoice that to the dramatists of my day—to those at least who care to attempt to discharge it, falls the duty of striking from the limbs of English drama some of its shackles. ["Hear! Hear!"] I know that the discharge of this duty is attended by one great, one special peril. And in thinking particularly of the younger generation of dramatists, those upon whom the immediate future of our drama depends, I cannot help expressing the hope that they will accept this freedom as a privilege to be jealously exercised, a privilege to be exercised in the spirit which I have been so presumptuous as to indicate.

It would be easy by a heedless employment of the latitude allowed us to destroy its usefulness, indeed to bring about a reaction which would deprive us of our newly granted liberty altogether. Upon this point the young, the coming dram[Pg 896]atist would perhaps do well to ponder; he would do well, I think, to realize fully that freedom in art must be guarded by the eternal unwritten laws of good taste, morality, and beauty, he would do well to remember always that the real courage of the artist is in his capacity for restraint. [Cheers.] I am deeply sensible of the honor which has been done me in the association of my name with this toast, and I ask your leave to add one word—a word of regret at the absence to-night of my friend, Mr. Toole, an absence unhappily occasioned by an illness from which he is but slowly recovering. Mr. Toole charges me to express his deep disappointment at being prevented from attending this banquet. He does not, however, instruct me to say what I do say heartily—that Mr. Toole fitly represents in any assemblage, his own particular department of the drama; more fitly represents his department than I do mine. I know of no actor who stands higher in the esteem, who exists more durably in the affection of those who know him, than does John Lawrence Toole.


Photogravure after a photograph from life
[Pg 897]



[Speech of Horace Porter at the seventy-second annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1877. The President, William Borden, said: "Gentlemen, in giving you the next toast, I will call upon one whom we are always glad to listen to. I suppose you have been waiting to hear him, and are surprised that he comes so late in the evening; but I will tell you in confidence, he is put there at his own request. [Applause.] I give you the eleventh regular toast: 'Internal Improvements.'—The triumph of American invention. The modern palace runs on wheels.

'When thy car is loaden with [dead] heads,
Good Porter, turn the key.'

General Horace Porter will respond."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the New England Society:—I suppose it was a matter of necessity, calling on some of us from other States to speak for you to-night, for we have learned from the history of Priscilla and John Alden, that a New Englander may be too modest to speak for himself. [Laughter.] But this modesty, like some of the greater blessings of the war, has been more or less disguised to-night.

We have heard from the eloquent gentleman [Noah Porter, D.D.] on my left all about the good-fellowship and the still better fellowships in the rival universities of Harvard and Yale. We have heard from my sculptor friend [W. W. Story] upon the extreme right all about Hawthorne's tales, and all the great Storys that have emanated from Salem; but I am not a little surprised that in this age, when speeches are made principally by those running for office, you should call upon one engaged only in running cars, and more par[Pg 898]ticularly upon one brought up in the military service, where the practice of running is not regarded as strictly professional. [Laughter.] It occurred to me some years ago that the occupation of moving cars would be fully as congenial as that of stopping bullets—as a steady business, so when I left Washington I changed my profession. I know how hard it is to believe that persons from Washington ever change their professions. [Laughter.] In this regal age, when every man is his own sovereign, somebody had to provide palaces, and, as royalty is not supposed to have any permanent abiding place in a country like this, it was thought best to put these palaces on wheels; and, since we have been told by reliable authority that "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown," we thought it necessary to introduce every device to enable those crowned heads to rest as easily as possible. Of course we cannot be expected to do as much for the travelling public as the railway companies. They at times put their passengers to death. We only put them to sleep. We don't pretend that all the devices, patents, and inventions upon these cars are due to the genius of the management. Many of the best suggestions have come from the travellers themselves, especially New England travellers. [Laughter.]

Some years ago, when the bedding was not supposed to be as fat as it ought to be, and the pillows were accused of being constructed upon the hom[oe]opathic principle, a New Englander got on a car one night. Now, it is a remarkable fact that a New Englander never goes to sleep in one of these cars. He lies awake all night, thinking how he can improve upon every device and patent in sight. [Laughter.] He poked his head out of the upper berth at midnight, hailed the porter and said, "Say, have you got such a thing as a corkscrew about you?" "We don't 'low no drinkin' sperits aboa'd these yer cars, sah," was the reply. "'Tain't that," said the Yankee, "but I want to get hold onto one of your pillows that has kind of worked its way into my ear." [Loud laughter.] The pillows have since been enlarged.

I notice that, in the general comprehensiveness of the sentiment which follows this toast, you allude to that large and liberal class of patrons, active though defunct, known[Pg 899] as "deadheads." It is said to be a quotation from Shakespeare. That is a revelation. It proves conclusively that Shakespeare must at one time have resided in the State of Missouri. It is well-known that the term was derived from a practice upon a Missouri railroad, where, by a decision of the courts, the railroad company had been held liable in heavy damages in case of accidents where a passenger lost an arm or a leg, but when he was killed outright his friends seldom sued, and he never did; and the company never lost any money in such cases. In fact, a grateful mother-in-law would occasionally pay the company a bonus. The conductors on that railroad were all armed with hatchets, and in case of an accident they were instructed to go around and knock every wounded passenger in the head, thus saving the company large amounts of money; and these were reported to the general office as "deadheads," and in railway circles the term has ever since been applied to passengers where no money consideration is involved. [Laughter.]

One might suppose, from the manifestations around these tables for the first three hours to-night, that the toast "Internal Improvements" referred more especially to the benefiting of the true inwardness of the New England men; but I see that the sentiment which follows contains much more than human stomachs, and covers much more ground than cars. It soars into the realms of invention. Unfortunately the genius of invention is always accompanied by the demon of unrest. A New England Yankee can never let well enough alone. I have always supposed him to be the person specially alluded to in Scripture as the man who has found out many inventions. If he were a Chinese Pagan, he would invent a new kind of Joss to worship every week. You get married and settle down in your home. You are delighted with everything about you. You rest in blissful ignorance of the terrible discomforts that surround you, until a Yankee friend comes to visit you. He at once tells you you mustn't build a fire in that chimney-place; that he knows the chimney will smoke; that if he had been there when it was built he could have shown you how to give a different sort of flare to the flue. You go to read a chapter in the family Bible. He tells you to drop that; that he has just written an enlarged and improved version, that[Pg 900] can just put that old book to bed. [Laughter.] You think you are at least raising your children in general uprightness; but he tells you if you don't go out at once and buy the latest patented article in the way of steel leg-braces and put on the baby, the baby will grow up bow-legged. [Laughter.] He intimates, before he leaves, that if he had been around to advise you before you were married, he could have got you a much better wife. These are some of the things that reconcile a man to sudden death. [Continued laughter and applause.]

Such occurrences as these, and the fact of so many New Englanders being residents of this city and elsewhere, show that New England must be a good place—to come from.

At the beginning of the war we thought we could shoot people rapidly enough to satisfy our consciences, with single-loading rifles; but along came the inventive Yankee and produced revolvers and repeaters, and Gatling guns, and magazine guns—guns that carried a dozen shots at a time. I didn't wonder at the curiosity exhibited in this direction by a backwoods Virginian we captured one night. The first remark he made was, "I would like to see one of them thar new-fangled weepons of yourn. They tell me, sah, it's a most remarkable eenstrument. They say, sah, it's a kind o' repeatable, which you can load it up enough on Sunday to fiah it off all the rest of the week." [Laughter.] Then there was every sort of new invention in the way of bayonets. Our distinguished Secretary of State has expressed an opinion to-night that bayonets are bad things to sit down on. Well, they are equally bad things to be tossed up on. If he continues to hold up such terrors to the army, there will have to be important modifications in the uniform. A soldier won't know where to wear his breastplate. [Laughter.] But there have not only been inventions in the way of guns, but important inventions in the way of firing them. In these days a man drops on his back, coils himself up, sticks up one foot, and fires off his gun over the top of his great toe. It changes the whole stage business of battle. It used to be the man who was shot, but now it is the man who shoots that falls on his back and turns up his toes. [Laughter and applause.] The consequence is, that the whole world wants American arms, and[Pg 901] as soon as they get them they go to war to test them. Russia and Turkey had no sooner bought a supply than they went to fighting. Greece got a schooner-load, and, although she has not yet taken a part in the struggle, yet ever since the digging up of the lost limbs of the Venus of Milo, it has been feared that this may indicate a disposition on the part of Greece generally to take up arms. [Laughter and applause.]

But there was one inveterate old inventor that you had to get rid of, and you put him on to us Pennsylvanians—Benjamin Franklin. [Laughter.] Instead of stopping in New York, in Wall Street, as such men usually do, he continued on into Pennsylvania to pursue his kiting operations. He never could let well enough alone. Instead of allowing the lightning to occupy the heavens as the sole theatre for its pyrotechnic displays, he showed it how to get down on to the earth, and then he invented the lightning-rod to catch it. Houses that had got along perfectly well for years without any lightning at all, now thought they must have a rod to catch a portion of it every time it came around. Nearly every house in the country was equipped with a lightning-rod through Franklin's direct agency. You, with your superior New England intelligence, succeeded in ridding yourselves of him; but in Pennsylvania, though we have made a great many laudable efforts in a similar direction, somehow or other we have never once succeeded in getting rid of a lightning-rod agent. [Laughter.] Then the lightning was introduced on the telegraph wires, and now we have the duplex and quadruplex instruments, by which any number of messages can be sent from opposite ends of the same wire at the same time, and they all appear to arrive at the front in good order. Electricians have not yet told us which messages lies down and which one steps over it, but they all seem to bring up in the right camp without confusion. I shouldn't wonder if this principle were introduced before long in the operating of railroads. We may then see trains running in opposite directions pass each other on a single-track road. [Laughter.]

There was a New England quartermaster in charge of railroads in Tennessee, who tried to introduce this principle during the war. The result was discouraging. He suc[Pg 902]ceeded in telescoping two or three trains every day. He seemed to think that the easiest way to shorten up a long train and get it on a short siding was to telescope it. I have always thought that if that man's attention had been turned in an astronomical direction, he would have been the first man to telescope the satellites of Mars. [Laughter.]

The latest invention in the application of electricity is the telephone. By means of it we may be able soon to sit in our houses, and hear all the speeches, without going to the New England dinner. The telephone enables an orchestra to keep at a distance of miles away when it plays. If the instrument can be made to keep hand-organs at a distance, its popularity will be indescribable. The worst form I have ever known an invention to take was one that was introduced in a country town, when I was a boy, by a Yankee of musical turn of mind, who came along and taught every branch of education by singing. He taught geography by singing, and to combine accuracy of memory with patriotism, he taught the multiplication-table to the tune of Yankee Doodle. [Laughter.] This worked very well as an aid to the memory in school, but when the boys went into business it often led to inconvenience. When a boy got a situation in a grocery-store and customers were waiting for their change, he never could tell the product of two numbers without commencing at the beginning of the table and singing up till he had reached those numbers. In case the customer's ears had not received a proper musical training, this practice often injured the business of the store. [Laughter.]

It is said that the Yankee has always manifested a disposition for making money, but he never struck a proper field for the display of his genius until we got to making paper money. [Laughter.] Then every man who owned a printing-press wanted to try his hand at it. I remember that in Washington ten cents' worth of rags picked up in the street would be converted the next day into thousands of dollars.

An old mule and cart used to haul up the currency from the Printing Bureau to the door of the Treasury Department. Every morning, as regularly as the morning came, that old mule would back up and dump a cart-load of the[Pg 903] sinews of war at the Treasury. [Laughter.] A patriotic son of Columbia, who lived opposite, was sitting on the doorstep of his house one morning, looking mournfully in the direction of the mule. A friend came along, and seeing that the man did not look as pleasant as usual, said to him, "What is the matter? It seems to me you look kind of disconsolate this morning." "I was just thinking," he replied, "what would become of this government if that old mule was to break down." [Laughter and applause.] Now they propose to give us a currency which is brighter and heavier, but not worth quite as much as the rags. Our financial horizon has been dimmed by it for some time, but there is a lining of silver to every cloud. We are supposed to take it with 412½ grains of silver—a great many more grains of allowance. [Laughter.] Congress seems disposed to pay us in the "dollar of our daddies"—in the currency which we were familiar with in our childhood. Congress seems determined to pay us off in something that is "child-like and Bland." [Laughter and applause.] But I have detained you too long already. [Cries of "No, no; go on!"]

Why, the excellent President of your Society has for the last five minutes been looking at me like a man who might be expected, at any moment, to break out in the disconsolate language of Bildad the Shuhite to the patriarch Job, "How long will it be ere ye make an end of words?" Let me say then, in conclusion, that, coming as I do from the unassuming State of Pennsylvania, and standing in the presence of the dazzling genius of New England, I wish to express the same degree of humility that was expressed by a Dutch Pennsylvania farmer in a railroad car, at the breaking out of the war. A New Englander came in who had just heard of the fall of Fort Sumter, and he was describing it to the farmer and his fellow-passengers. He said that in the fort they had an engineer from New England, who had constructed the traverses, and the embrasures, and the parapets in such a manner as to make everybody within the fort as safe as if he had been at home; and on the other side, the Southerners had an engineer who had been educated in New England, and he had, with his scientific attainments, succeeded in making the batteries of the bombarders as safe as any harvest field, and the bombardment had raged for two[Pg 904] whole days, and the fort had been captured, and the garrison had surrendered, and not a man was hurt on either side. A great triumph for science, and a proud day for New England education. Said the farmer, "I suppose dat ish all right, but it vouldn't do to send any of us Pennsylvany fellers down dare to fight mit does pattles. Like as not ve vould shoost pe fools enough to kill somepody." [Loud applause and laughter, and cries of "Go on; go on."]


[Speech of Horace Porter at the seventy-fifth annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1880. "We have been told here to-night," said the President, James C. Carter, "that New York has been peopled by pilgrims of various races, and I propose, as our next toast, 'The Pilgrims of Every Race.' And I call upon our ever welcome friend, General Horace Porter, for a response."]

Mr. President:—I am here, like the rest of your guests, to-night, in consequence of these notes of invitation that we have received. I know it is always more gratifying to an audience for speakers to be able to assure them, in the outset of their remarks, that they are here without notes; but such is not my case. I received the following:

"The Committee of Arrangements of the New England Society respectfully invite you to be present at the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Society, and the two hundred and sixtieth of the landing of the Pilgrims at Metropolitan Concert Hall." [Laughter.]

Such is the ignorance of those of us upon whom Providence did not sufficiently smile to permit us to be born in New England, that I never knew, until I received that note, anything about the landing of the Pilgrims at Metropolitan Concert Hall. This certainly will be sad news to communicate to those pious people who assembled in Brooklyn last night, and who still rest happy in the belief that the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Church. [Laughter.] From the day they have chosen for the anniversary,[Pg 905] it seems very evident that the Pilgrims must have landed somewhere one day before they struck Plymouth Rock. [Laughter.]

The poet Longfellow tells us, in one of his short poems, "learn to labor and to wait." I have labored through about twenty-five courses at this table, and then I have waited until this hour, in the hope that I might be spared the inevitable ordeal. But when the last plate had been removed, and your president, who is a stern man of duty, rapped upon the table, I saw there was no escape, and the time had come when he was going to present to you one of the most popular of all dishes at a New England banquet, tongue garnished with brains. He seems, following the late teachings of Harvard and Yale, to have invited the guests to enter for a sort of skull-race. [Laughter.] Now, I suppose that, in calling first upon those on his right and left, it is a matter of convenience for himself, and he has acted from the same motives that actuated a newly fledged dentist who, when his first patient applied, determined to exercise all that genius and understanding which Boston men generally exercise in the practice of their profession. The patient, coming from the country, told him he wanted two back teeth, which he pointed out to him, pulled. The dentist placed him in a chair, and in a few moments he had pulled out his two front teeth. The patient left the chair, and it occurred to him that the circumstance might be deemed of sufficient importance to call the dentist's attention to it. He said, "I told you to pull out these two back teeth." "Yes," said the dentist, "so you did; but I found that the front ones were kind of handier to get at." [Laughter and applause.] I suppose the reason your president called upon those of us nearest the platform to-night was because he found us a little handier to get at. But there is no use in speakers coming here and pleading want of preparation, because, doubtless, the New Englanders who expected to take part to-night might have been found at any time within the last six months sitting under blue glass to enlarge their ideas. [Laughter.] I ventured to say to the committee that, this being such a large room, some of your speakers might not have a high enough tone of voice to be heard at the other end. They looked unutterable things at me, as much as to[Pg 906] say that at New England dinners I would find the speakers could not be otherwise than high-toned. [Laughter.]

The first New Englander I ever had the pleasure to listen to was a Pilgrim from Boston, who came out to the town in Pennsylvania, where I lived, to deliver a lecture. We all went to the lecture. We were told it was worth twice the price of admission to see that man wipe the corners of his mouth with his handkerchief before he commenced to speak. Well, he spoke for about two hours on the subject of the indestructibility of the absolute in connection with the mutability of mundane affairs. The pitch and variety of the nasal tones was wonderful, and he had an amazing command of the longest nouns and adjectives. It was a beautiful lecture. The town council tried to borrow it and have it set to music. It was one of those lectures that would pay a man to walk ten miles in wet feet—to avoid. After he got through, a gentleman in the audience, thinking it the part of good nature, stepped up and congratulated him upon his "great effort." The lecturer took it as a matter of course, and replied, "Oh, yes, you will find the whole atmosphere of Boston exhilarant with intellectual vitality." [Laughter.]

Now, if there is one thing which modern Pilgrims pride themselves upon more than another, it is in being the lineal descendants of those who came over by the Mayflower. To prove this, when you visit their homes, they bring forth family records in the shape of knives, forks, and spoons that were taken from the Mayflower. From the number of those articles I have seen, I have come to the conclusion that the captain of the Mayflower did not get back to England with a single article belonging to the ship that was not nailed fast to the deck. Such a dread have the people of that island of this wide-spread Puritanical kleptomania attaching to people coming here, that even as late as 1812 the commander of one of the British frigates took the wise precaution to nail his flag fast to the mast. [Laughter.]

We have heard that the Pilgrim fathers made amends for their shortcomings, from the fact of their having determined, after landing, to fill the meeting-houses and have worship there, and that brave men were detailed from the congregation to stand sentinels against a surprise by the Indians. It is even said that during those long and solemn sermons some[Pg 907] of the members vied with each other in taking their chances with the Indians outside. Some of these acts of heroism re-appear in the race. I have been told that some of the lineal descendants of these hardy men that paced up and down in front of the meeting-house have recently been seen pacing up and down all night in front of the Globe Theatre, in Boston, ready in the morning to take their chance of the nearest seat for Sara Bernhardt's performance. [Laughter.]

Now, sir, the New Englanders are eminently reformers. I have never seen anything they did not attempt to reform. They even introduced the Children of the Sun to the shoe-shops of Lynn, with the alleged purpose of instructing the Chinese in letters, yet recently in Massachusetts they themselves showed such lamentable ignorance as not to know a Chinese letter when they saw it. [Laughter.] But the poor Chinese have been driven away. They have been driven away from many places by that formidable weapon—the only weapon which Dennis Kearney has ever been able to use against them—the Chinese must-get. [Laughter.]

I have never seen but one thing the Yankee could not reform, and that was the line of battle at Bull Run, and I call upon Pilgrim Sherman as a witness to this. He was there, and knows. Bulls have given as much trouble to Yankees as to Irishmen. Bulls always seem to be associated with Yankee defeat, from the time of Bull Run down to Sitting Bull, and I will call upon Pilgrim Miles as a witness to that.

Now, gentlemen, let me say that the presence of General Grant to-night will enable you to settle forever that question which has vexed the New England mind all the period during which he was making his triumphal journey round the globe—the question as to whether, in his intercourse with kings and potentates, he was always sure to keep in sufficient prominence the merits of the Pilgrim fathers, and more especially of their descendants. I have no doubt he did. I have no doubt that to those crowned heads, with numerous recalcitrant subjects constantly raising Cain in their dominions, the recital of how the Pilgrims went voluntarily to a distant country to live, where their scalps were in danger, must have been a pleasant picture. [Laughter.][Pg 908]

If I am to have any reputation for brevity I must now close these remarks. I remember a lesson in brevity I once received in a barber's shop. An Irishman came in, and the unsteady gait with which he approached the chair showed that he had been imbibing of the produce of the still run by North Carolina Moonshiners. He wanted his hair cut, and while the barber was getting him ready, went off into a drunken sleep. His head got bobbing from one side to the other, and at length the barber, in making a snip, cut off the lower part of his ear. The barber jumped about and howled, and a crowd of neighbors rushed in. Finally the demonstration became so great that it began to attract the attention of the man in the chair, and he opened one eye and said, "Wh-wh-at's the matther wid yez?" "Good Lord!" said the barber, "I've cut off the whole lower part of your ear." "Have yez? Ah, thin, go on wid yer bizness—it was too long, anyhow!" [Laughter.] If I don't close this speech, some one of the company will be inclined to remark that it has been too long, anyhow. [Cheers and laughter.]


[Speech of Horace Porter at the seventy-seventh annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1882. Josiah M. Fiske, the President, occupied the chair and called upon General Porter to respond to the toast: "The Embarkation of the Pilgrims."]

Gentlemen:—Last summer two pilgrims might have been seen embarking from the port of New York to visit the land from which the Pilgrim Fathers once embarked. One was the speaker who just sat down [Chauncey M. Depew], and the other the speaker who has just arisen. I do not know why we chose that particular time. Perhaps Mr. Choate, with his usual disregard of the more accurate bounds of veracity, would have you believe that we selected that time because it was a season when there was likely to be a general vacation from dinners here. [Laughter.] Our hopes of pleasure abroad had not risen to any dizzy height. We did not expect that the land which so discriminating a band as the Pilgrim Fathers had deliberately[Pg 909] abandoned, and preferred New England thereto, could be a very engaging country. We expected to feel at home there upon the general principle that the Yankees never appear so much at home as when they are visiting other people. [Laughter.]

I have noticed that Americans have a desire to go to Europe, and I have observed, especially, that those who have certain ambitions with regard to public life think that they ought to cross the ocean; that crossing the water will add to their public reputations, particularly when they think how it added to the reputation of George Washington even crossing the Delaware River. [Laughter and applause.] The process is very simple. You get aboard a steamer, and when you get out of sight of land you suddenly realize that the ship has taken up seriously its corkscrew career through the sea. Certain gastronomic uncertainties follow. You are sailing under the British flag. You always knew that "Britannia ruled the waves;" but the only trouble with her now is that she don't appear to rule them straight. [Laughter.] Then you lean up against the rail; soon you begin to look about as much discouraged as a Brooklyn Alderman in contempt of court. Your more experienced and sympathizing friends tell you that it will soon pass over, and it does. You even try to beguile your misery with pleasant recollections of Shakespeare. The only line that seems to come to your memory is the advice of Lady Macbeth—"To bed, to bed!"—and when you are tucked away in your berth and the ship is rolling at its worst, your more advisory friends look in upon you, and they give you plenty of that economical advice that was given to Joseph's brother, not to "fall out by the way." [Laughter.]

For several days you find your stomach is about in the condition of the tariff question in the present Congress—likely to come up any minute. This is particularly hard upon those who had been brought up in the army, whose previous experience in this direction had been confined entirely to throwing up earthworks. [Laughter.] You begin to realize how naval officers sometimes have even gone so far as to throw up their commissions. If Mr. Choate had seen Mr. Depew and myself under these circumstances he would not have made those disparaging remarks which he uttered to-[Pg 910]night about the engorgement of our stomachs. If he had turned those stomachs wrong side out and gazed upon their inner walls through that opera-glass with which he has been looking so intently lately upon Mrs. Langtry, he would have found that there was not even the undigested corner of a carbuncular potato to stop the pyloric orifice; he would have found upon those inner walls not a morsel of those things which perish with using. [Laughter.]

But Mr. Choate must have his joke. He is a professional lawyer, and I have frequently observed that lawyers' jokes are like an undertaker's griefs—strictly professional. You begin now to sympathize with everybody that ever went to sea. You think of the Pilgrim Fathers during the tempestuous voyage in the Mayflower. You reflect how fully their throats must have been occupied, and you can see how they originated the practice of speaking through their noses. [Great laughter and applause.] Why, you will get so nauseated before the trip is over at the very sight of the white caps that you can't look at the heads of the French nurses in Paris without feeling seasick. There are the usual "characters" about. There is the customary foreign spinster of uncertain age that has been visiting here, who regales you with stories of how in New York she had twelve men at her feet. Subsequent inquiry proves that they were chiropodists. [Laughter.]

And then you approach Ireland. You have had enough of the ocean wave, and you think you will stop there. I have no doubt everybody present, after hearing from the lips of the distinguished chaplain on my right as to the character of the men who come from that country, will hereafter always want to stop there. And when you land at Queenstown you are taken for an American suspect. They think you are going to join the Fenian army. They look at you as if you intended to go forth from that ship as the dove went forth from the ark, in search of some green thing. You assure them that the only manner in which you can be compared with that dove is in the general peacefulness of your intentions. Then you go wandering around by the shores of the Lakes of Killarney and the Gap of Dunloe, that spot where the Irishman worked all day for the agent of an absentee landlord on the promise of getting a glass of grog.[Pg 911] At night the agent brought out the grog to him, and the Irishman tasted it, and he said to the agent, "Which did you put in first, the whiskey or the water?" "Oh," said he, "the whiskey." "Ah, ha! Well, maybe I'll come to it by and by." [Laughter.] You look around upon the army, the constabulary, the police, and you begin to think that Ireland is a good deal like our own city of Troy, where there are two police forces on duty—that it is governed a great deal. You can't help thinking of the philosophical remark made by that learned Chinese statesman, Chin Lan Pin, when he was here at the time Dennis Kearney was having an unpleasantness with the Orientals. A man said to him, "Your people will have to get out of here; the Irish carry too much religion around to associate with Pagans." "Yes," said Chin Lan Pin, "we have determined to go. Our own country is too overcrowded now, we can't go there, and I think we'll go to Ireland." Said the man, "To Ireland? You will be jumping out of the frying-pan into the fire." Said Chin Lan Pin, "I have travelled in your country and all around a good deal, and I have come to the conclusion that nowadays Ireland is about the only country that is not governed by the Irish." [Applause and laughter.]

Then you go to Scotland. You want to learn from personal observation whether the allegation is true that the Scotch are a people who are given to keeping the Sabbath day—and everything else they can lay their hands on. [Laughter.] You have heard that it is a musical country, and you immediately find that it is. You hardly land there before you hear the bag-pipes. You hear that disheartening music, and you sit down and weep. You know that there is only one other instrument in the world that will produce such strains, and that is a steam piano on a Mississippi steamboat when the engineer is drunk. And in this musical country they tell you in song about the "Lassies Comin' Through the Rye;" but they never tell you about the rye that goes through the "laddies." And they will tell you in song about "bodies meeting bodies coming through the rye," and you tell them that the practice is entirely un-American; that in America bodies usually are impressed with the solemnity of the occasion and the general propriety of the thing, and lie quiet until the arrival of the coroner, but that the cor[Pg 912]oners are disputing so much in regard to their jurisdiction, and so many delays occur in issuing burial permits, that, altogether, they are making the process so tedious and disagreeable that nowadays in America hardly anybody cares to die. You tell them this in all seriousness, and you will see from their expression that they receive it in the same spirit. [Laughter.]

Then you go to England. You have seen her colonies forming a belt around the circle of the earth, on which the sun never sets. And now you have laid eyes on the mother-country, on which it appears the sun never rises. Then you begin to compare legislative bodies, Parliament and Congress. You find that in Parliament the members sit with their hats on and cough, while in Congress the members sit with their hats off and spit. I believe that no international tribunal of competent jurisdiction has yet determined which nation has the advantage over the other in these little legislative amenities. And, as you cross the English Channel, the last thing you see is the English soldier with his blue trousers and red coat, and the first you see on landing in France is the French soldier with his red trousers and blue coat, and you come to the conclusion that if you turn an English soldier upside down he is, uniformly speaking, a Frenchman. [Laughter.]

We could not tarry long in France; it was the ambition of my travelling companion to go to Holland, and upon his arrival there the boyish antics that were performed by my travelling companion in disporting himself upon the ancestral ground were one of the most touching and playful sights ever witnessed in the open air. [Laughter.] Nobody knows Mr. Depew who has not seen him among the Dutch. He wanted especially to go to Holland, because he knew the Pilgrims had gone from there. They did not start immediately from England to come here. Before taking their leap across the ocean they stepped back on to Holland to get a good ready. [Laughter.] It is a country where water mingles with everything except gin—a country that has been so effectually diked by the natives and damned by tourists. [Laughter.] There is one peculiar and especial advantage that you can enjoy in that country in going out to a banquet like this. It is that rare and peculiar privilege[Pg 913] which you cannot expect to enjoy in a New England Society even when Mr. Choate addresses you—the privilege of never being able to understand a word that is said by the speakers after dinner. But we had to hurry home. We were Republicans, and there was going to be an election in November. We didn't suppose that our votes would be necessary at all; still it would look well, you know, to come home and swell the Republican majority. [Laughter.] Now when you get on that ship to come back, you begin for the first time to appreciate the advantage of the steam lanes that are laid down by the steamship company, by which a vessel goes to Europe one season over one route and comes back another season over another route, so that a man who goes to Europe one season and comes back another is treated to another change of scenery along the entire route. [Laughter.]

As I said, we thought it was the thing for Republicans to come home to vote. At the polls we found it was rather the thing for them to stay away. But we acted upon that impulse which often seizes upon the human breast—the desire to come home to die. I never for one moment realized the overwhelming defeat that we were going to suffer until one day Mr. Choate confided to me his determination to speak for the Citizens' candidate. [Loud laughter.] And this left us the day after that election and left the other members of our party standing around the highways and byways with that one supplication upon each one's lips: "Lord, be merciful unto me a Republican and a sinner." [Loud applause and laughter.]


[Speech of Horace Porter at the seventy-eighth annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1883. The President, Marvelle W. Cooper, in introducing the speaker, arose, mentioned the single word "Woman"—and said: "This toast will be responded to by one whom you know well, General Horace Porter."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—When this toast was proposed to me, I insisted that it ought to be responded to by a bachelor, by some one who is known as a ladies' man;[Pg 914] but in these days of female proprietorship it is supposed that a married person is more essentially a ladies' man than anybody else, and it was thought that only one who had had the courage to address a lady could have the courage, under these circumstances, to address the New England Society. [Laughter.]

The toast, I see, is not in its usual order to-night. At public dinners this toast is habitually placed last on the list. It seems to be a benevolent provision of the Committee on Toasts in order to give man in replying to Woman one chance at least in life of having the last word. [Laughter.] At the New England dinners, unfortunately the most fruitful subject of remark regarding woman is not so much her appearance as her disappearance. I know that this was remedied a few years ago, when this grand annual gastronomic high carnival was held in the Metropolitan Concert Hall. There ladies were introduced into the galleries to grace the scene by their presence; and I am sure the experiment was sufficiently encouraging to warrant repetition, for it was beautiful to see the descendants of the Pilgrims sitting with eyes upturned in true Puritanic sanctity; it was encouraging to see the sons of those pious sires devoting themselves, at least for one night, to setting their affections upon "things above." [Applause and laughter.]

Woman's first home was in the Garden of Eden. There man first married woman. Strange that the incident should have suggested to Milton the "Paradise Lost." [Laughter.] Man was placed in a profound sleep, a rib was taken from his side, a woman was created from it, and she became his wife. Evil-minded persons constantly tell us that thus man's first sleep became his last repose. But if woman be given at times to that contrariety of thought and perversity of mind which sometimes passeth our understanding, it must be recollected in her favor that she was created out of the crookedest part of man. [Laughter.]

The Rabbins have a different theory regarding creation. They go back to the time when we were all monkeys. They insist that man was originally created with a kind of Darwinian tail, and that in the process of evolution this caudal appendage was removed and created into woman. This might better account for those Caudle lectures which[Pg 915] woman is in the habit of delivering, and some color is given to this theory, from the fact that husbands even down to the present day seem to inherit a general disposition to leave their wives behind. [Laughter.]

The first woman, finding no other man in that garden except her own husband, took to flirting even with the Devil. [Laughter.] The race might have been saved much tribulation if Eden had been located in some calm and tranquil land—like Ireland. There would at least have been no snakes there to get into the garden. Now woman in her thirst after knowledge, showed her true female inquisitiveness in her cross-examination of the serpent, and, in commemoration of that circumstance, the serpent seems to have been curled up and used in nearly all languages as a sign of interrogation. Soon the domestic troubles of our first parents began. The first woman's favorite son was killed with a club, and married women even to this day seem to have an instinctive horror of clubs. The first woman learned that it was Cain that raised a club. The modern woman has learned it is a club that raises cain. Yet, I think, I recognize faces here to-night that I see behind the windows of Fifth Avenue clubs of an afternoon, with their noses pressed flat against the broad plate glass, and as woman trips along the sidewalk, I have observed that these gentlemen appear to be more assiduously engaged than ever was a government scientific commission in taking observations upon the transit of Venus. [Laughter.]

Before those windows passes many a face fairer than that of the Ludovician Juno or the Venus of Medici. There is the Saxon blonde with the deep blue eye, whose glances return love for love, whose silken tresses rest upon her shoulders like a wealth of golden fleece, each thread of which looks like a ray of the morning sunbeam. There is the Latin brunette with the deep, black, piercing eye, whose jetty lashes rest like silken fringe upon the pearly texture of her dainty cheek, looking like raven's wings spread out upon new-fallen snow.

And yet the club man is not happy. As the ages roll on woman has materially elevated herself in the scale of being. Now she stops at nothing. She soars. She demands the coeducation of the sexes. She thinks nothing of delving[Pg 916] into the most abstruse problems of the higher branches of analytical science. She can cipher out the exact hour of the night when her husband ought to be home, either according to the old or the recently adopted method of calculating time. I never knew of but one married man who gained any decided domestic advantage by this change in our time. He was an habitué of a club situated next door to his house. His wife was always upbraiding him for coming home too late at night. Fortunately, when they made this change of time, they placed one of those meridians from which our time is calculated right between the club and his house. [Laughter.] Every time he stepped across that imaginary line it set him back a whole hour in time. He found that he could then leave his club at one o'clock and get home to his wife at twelve; and for the first time in twenty years peace reigned around that hearthstone.

Woman now revels even in the more complicated problems of mathematical astronomy. Give a woman ten minutes and she will describe a heliocentric parallax of the heavens. Give her twenty minutes and she will find astronomically the longitude of a place by means of lunar culminations. Give that same woman an hour and a half, with the present fashions, and she cannot find the pocket in her dress.

And yet man's admiration for woman never flags. He will give her half his fortune; he will give her his whole heart; he seems always willing to give her everything that he possesses, except his seat in a horse-car. [Laughter.]

Every nation has had its heroines as well as its heroes. England, in her wars, had a Florence Nightingale; and the soldiers in the expression of their adoration, used to stoop and kiss the hem of her garment as she passed. America, in her war, had a Dr. Mary Walker. Nobody ever stooped to kiss the hem of her garment—because that was not exactly the kind of garment she wore. [Laughter.] But why should man stand here and attempt to speak for woman, when she is so abundantly equipped to speak for herself. I know that is the case in New England; and I am reminded, by seeing General Grant here to-night, of an incident in proof of it which occurred when he was making that marvellous tour through New England, just after the war. The[Pg 917] train stopped at a station in the State of Maine. The General was standing on the rear platform of the last car. At that time, as you know, he had a great reputation for silence—for it was before he had made his series of brilliant speeches before the New England Society. They spoke of his reticence—a quality which New Englanders admire so much—in others. [Laughter.] Suddenly there was a commotion in the crowd, and as it opened a large, tall, gaunt-looking woman came rushing toward the car, out of breath. Taking her spectacles off from the top of her head and putting them on her nose, she put her arms akimbo, and looking up, said: "Well, I've just come down here a runnin' nigh onto two mile, right on the clean jump, just to get a look at the man that lets the women do all the talkin'." [Laughter.]

The first regular speaker of the evening [William M. Evarts] touched upon woman, but only incidentally, only in reference to Mormonism and that sad land of Utah, where a single death may make a dozen widows. [Laughter.]

A speaker at the New England dinner in Brooklyn last night [Henry Ward Beecher] tried to prove that the Mormons came originally from New Hampshire and Vermont. I know that a New Englander sometimes in the course of his life marries several times; but he takes the precaution to take his wives in their proper order of legal succession. The difference is that he drives his team of wives tandem, while the Mormon insists upon driving his abreast. [Laughter.]

But even the least serious of us, Mr. President, have some serious moments in which to contemplate the true nobility of woman's character. If she were created from a rib, she was made from that part which lies nearest a man's heart.

It has been beautifully said that man was fashioned out of the dust of the earth while woman was created from God's own image. It is our pride in this land that woman's honor is her own best defence; that here female virtue is not measured by the vigilance of detective nurses; that here woman may walk throughout the length and the breadth of this land, through its highways and its byways, uninsulted, unmolested, clothed in the invulnerable panoply of her own woman's virtue; that even in places where crime lurks and vice prevails in the haunts of our great cities, and in the rude mining gulches of the West, owing to the noble efforts[Pg 918] of our women, and the influence of their example, there are raised up, even there, girls who are good daughters, loyal wives, and faithful mothers. They seem to rise in those rude surroundings as grows the pond lily, which is entangled by every species of rank growth, environed by poison, miasma and corruption, and yet which rises in the beauty of its purity and lifts its fair face unblushing to the sun.

No one who has witnessed the heroism of America's daughters in the field should fail to pay a passing tribute to their worth. I do not speak alone of those trained Sisters of Charity, who in scenes of misery and woe seem Heaven's chosen messengers on earth; but I would speak also of those fair daughters who come forth from the comfortable firesides of New England and other States, little trained to scenes of suffering, little used to the rudeness of a life in camp, who gave their all, their time, their health, and even life itself, as a willing sacrifice in that cause which then moved the nation's soul. As one of these, with her graceful form, was seen moving silently through the darkened aisles of an army hospital, as the motion of her passing dress wafted a breeze across the face of the wounded, they felt that their parched brows had been fanned by the wings of the angel of mercy.

Ah! Mr. President, woman is after all a mystery. It has been well said, that woman is the great conundrum of the nineteenth century; but if we cannot guess her, we will never give her up. [Applause.]

[Pg 919]


[Speech of Horace Porter 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 statue of "Liberty Enlightening the World." Charles Stewart Smith, vice-President of the Chamber, proposed the following toast: "The French Alliance; initiated by noble and sympathetic Frenchmen; grandly maintained by the blood and treasure of France; now newly cemented by the spontaneous action of the French people; may it be perpetuated through all time." In concluding his introduction, the Chairman said: "We shall hear from our friend, General Porter."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—[3]Voulez-vous me permettre de faire mes remarques en français? Si je m'addresse à vous dans une langue que je ne parle pas, et que personne ici ne comprends, j'en impute la faute entièrement à l'example malheureux de Monsieur Coudert. Ce que je veux dire est que—this is the fault of Coudert. He has been switching the languages round in every direction, and has done all he could to sidetrack English.

What I mean to say is, that if I were to mention in either language one tithe of the subjects which should be alluded to to-night in connection with the French Alliance, I should keep you all here until the rising of another sun, and these military gentlemen around me, from abroad, in attempting to listen to it, would have to exhibit what Napoleon considered the highest quality in a soldier: "Two-o'clock-in-the-morning courage." [Applause.]

One cannot speak of the French Alliance without recalling the services of Benjamin Franklin in connection with it. When he was in Paris and was received in a public assemblage, not understanding anything of the language, and believing, very properly, that it was a good thing always to follow the example of the French in society, he vociferously applauded every time the rest of them applauded, and he did not learn until it was all over that the applause was, in each instance, elicited by a reference to his name and distinguished [Pg 920]public services, and so, during the eloquent speech of our friend, Mr. Coudert, I could not but look upon the American members of this assemblage, and notice that they applauded most vociferously when they supposed that the speaker was alluding particularly to their arduous services as members of the Chamber of Commerce. [Laughter.]

I congratulate our friends from abroad, who do not understand our language, upon the very great privilege they enjoy here to-night, a privilege that is not enjoyed by Americans or by Englishmen who come among us. It is the rare and precious privilege at an American banquet of not being expected to pay the slightest attention to the remarks of the after-dinner speakers. [Laughter.] If there is one thing I feel I can enjoy more than another, it is standing upon firm land and speaking to those whose life is on the sea, to these "toilers of the deep." There is in this a sort of poetic justice, a sentimental retribution; for on their element I am never able to stand up, and, owing to certain gastronomic uncertainties, my feelings on that element are just the reverse of those I experience at the present moment. For in the agonies of a storm I have so much on my mind that I have nothing whatever on my stomach. But after this feast to-night I have so much on my stomach that I fear I have nothing whatever on my mind. And when I next go to sea I want to go as the great statue of Liberty: first being taken all apart with the pieces carefully stored amidships. [Laughter.]

While they were building the statue in France, we were preparing slowly for the pedestal. You cannot hurry constructions of this kind; they must have time to settle. We long ago prepared the stones for that pedestal, and we first secured the services of the most useful, most precious stone of all—the Pasha from Egypt. [Laughter.] We felt that his services in Egypt had particularly fitted him for this task. There is a popular belief in this country, which I have never once heard contradicted, that he took a prominent part in laying the foundations of the great Pyramids, that he assisted in placing the Egyptian Sphinx in position, and that he even had something to do with Cleopatra's Needle. [Laughter.]

When Napoleon was in Egypt he said to his people:[Pg 921] "Forty centuries are looking down upon you." We say to General Stone, as he stands upon that pedestal: "Fifty-five millions of people are looking up to you! and some of them have contributed to the fund." [Laughter.] When we read of the size of that statue, we were troubled, particularly when we saw the gigantic dimensions of the Goddess's nose, but our minds were relieved when we found that that nose was to face southward, and not in the direction of Hunter's Point. [Laughter and applause.]

Monsieur le President:—[4]Quand le c[oe]ur est plein il deborde, et ce soir mon c[oe]ur est plein de la France, mais—Oh, there I go, again wandering with Coudert away from the mother-tongue. [Laughter.]

I have no doubt all the gentlemen here to-night of an American turn of mind wish that the mantle of Elijah of old had fallen upon the shoulders of Mr. Coudert, for then he might have stood some chance of being translated. [Laughter.] A few years ago distinguished military men from abroad came here to participate in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the surrender of Yorktown by Lord Cornwallis. They were invited here by the Government, the descendants of all distinguished foreigners, to participate in that historical event, except the descendants of Lord Cornwallis. [Laughter.] And if our French guests had been here then, and had gone down and seen Yorktown, they would not have wondered that Cornwallis gave up that place; their only astonishment would have been that he consented to remain there as long as he did. [Laughter.]

But, Mr. President, upon a subject fraught with so much interest to us all, and with so much dignity, let me, before I close, speak a few words in all seriousness. If we would properly appreciate the depth and the lasting nature of that traditional friendship between the two nations, which is the child of the French Alliance, we must consider the conditions of history at the time that alliance was formed. For years a desperate war had been waged between the most powerful of nations and the weakest of peoples, struggling to become a nation. The American coffers had been drained, the spirit of the people was waning, hope was fading, and [Pg 922]patriot hearts who had never despaired before were now bowed in the dust. The trials of the Continental army had never been matched since the trade of war began. Their sufferings had never been equalled since the days of the early Christian martyrs. While courage still animated the hearts of the people, and their leaders never took counsel of their fears, yet a general gloom had settled down upon the land. Then we saw a light breaking in upon our eastern horizon, a light which grew in brilliancy until it became to us a true bow of promise. That light came from the brave land of France. [Enthusiastic cheering.]

Then hope raised our standards; then joy brightened our crest; then it was, that when we saw Gates and Lincoln and Greene and Washington, we saw standing shoulder to shoulder with them, D'Estaing, De Grasse, Rochambeau, and that princely hero [pointing to a portrait against the wall], that man who was the embodiment of gallantry, of liberty, of chivalry, the immortal Lafayette. [Loud cheers.] Then the two armies moved hand-in-hand to fight the common foe. They vied nobly with each other and, by an unselfish emulation and by a generous rivalry, showed the world that the path of ambition had not become so narrow that two could not walk it abreast. [Cries of "Good! Good!" and cheers.]

Two treaties were made; one was military in its terms, and was called the Defensive Treaty. The other we recall with great interest in the presence of an assemblage of business men such as this. The second treaty was called the Treaty of Friendship and Commerce. The results of those treaties have passed into history. That alliance taught many worthy lessons. It taught that tyranny you may find anywhere; it is a weed that grows on any soil. But if you want liberty, you must go forth and fight for it. [Applause.] It taught us those kindly sentiments between nations which warm the heart, liberalize the mind, and animate the courage. It taught men that true liberty can turn blind submission into rational obedience. It taught men, as Hall has said, that true liberty smothers the voice of kings, dispels the mists of superstition, and by its magic touch kindles the rays of genius, the enthusiasm of poetry, the flame of eloquence, pours into our laps opulence and art, and embel[Pg 923]lishes life with innumerable institutions and improvements which make it one grand theatre of wonders. [Cheers.]

And now that this traditional friendship between the two nations is to be ever cemented by that generous gift of our ally, that colossal statue, which so nobly typifies the great principle for which our fathers fought, may the flame which is to arise from its uplifted arm light the path of liberty to all who follow in its ways, until human rights and human freedom become the common heritage of mankind.

Ariosto tells us a pretty story of a gentle fairy, who, by a mysterious law of her nature, was at certain periods compelled to assume the form of a serpent and to crawl upon the ground. Those who in the days of her disguise spurned her and trod upon her were forever debarred from a participation in those gifts that it was her privilege to bestow, but to those who, despite her unsightly aspect, comforted her and encouraged her and aided her, she appeared in the beautiful and celestial form of her true nature, followed them ever after with outstretched arms, lavished upon them her gifts, and filled their homes with happiness and wealth.

And so, when America lay prostrate upon the ground, after throwing off the British yoke, yet not having established a government which the nations of the earth were willing to recognize, then it was that France sympathized with her, and comforted her, and aided her, and now that America has arisen in her strength and stands erect before the nations of the world, in the true majesty and glory of that form in which God intended she should thenceforth tread the earth, she always stands with arms outstretched towards France in token of the great gratitude she bears her. [Applause and cheers.]

[Pg 924]


[Speech of Horace Porter at the eighth annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of Brooklyn, December 21, 1887. The President, John Winslow, proposed the toast, "The Citizen Soldier," saying: "The next regular toast is 'The Citizen Soldier.' I have already referred to the embarrassment which a presiding officer feels in introducing a well-known and distinguished man. If I refer to the distinguished gentleman who is to respond to this toast as a pathetic speaker, you will immediately recall some of his fine humor; and if I should speak of him as a humorous speaker you will recall some pathetic sentence; so it is better to let General Horace Porter speak for himself."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—After General Sherman the deluge. I am the deluge. It is fortunate for me this evening that I come after General Sherman only in the order of speech, and not in the order of dinner, for a person once said in Georgia—and he was a man who knew regarding the March to the Sea—that anyone who came after General Sherman wouldn't find much to eat. Having been brought up in Pennsylvania, I listened with great interest to General Sherman's reference to the proposed names of the States in the country. He mentioned one as "Sylvania." That was evidently a dead letter till we put the Pen(n) to it. [Laughter.] I noticed that President Dwight listened with equal interest to the statement of that expedition which went West and carried such a large quantity of whiskey with it, in consequence of which the first University was founded. [Laughter.]

But, gentlemen, when I am requested in such an august presence as this to speak of the "Citizen Soldier," I cannot help feeling like the citizen soldier of Hibernian extraction who came up, in the streets of New York, to a general officer and held out his hand for alms, evidently wanting to put himself temporarily on the General's pay-roll, as it were. The General said: "Why don't you work?" He said he couldn't on account of his wounds. The General asked where he was wounded. He said, "In the retrate at Bull Run." "But whereabouts on your person?" He replied, "You'll notice the scar here." [Pointing to his face.] "Now, how could you get wounded in the face while on the[Pg 925] retreat?" "I had the indiscrition to look back." [Laughter.] "Well," said the General, "that wouldn't prevent your working." "Ah," answered the man, "the worst wound is here." [Left breast.] The General said, "Oh, that's all bosh; if the bullet had gone in there it would have passed through your heart and killed you." "I beg your pardon, sir, at that moment me heart was in me mouth!" [Great laughter.] So if I had known that such an early attack was to be made upon me here to-night, I should have thrown my pickets farther out to the front, in hopes of getting sufficient information to beat a hasty retreat; for if there is one lesson better than another taught by the war, it is that a man may retreat successfully from almost any position, if he only starts in time. [Laughter.]

In alluding to the Citizen Soldier I desire it to be distinctly understood that I make no reference to that organization of Home Guards once formed in Kansas, where the commanding officer tried to pose as one of the last surviving heroes of the Algerine War, when he had never drawn a sword but once and that was in a raffle, and where his men had determined to emulate the immortal example of Lord Nelson. The last thing that Nelson did was to die for his country, and this was the last thing they ever intended to do. [Laughter.]

I allude to that Citizen Soldier who breathed the spirit of old Miles Standish, but had the additional advantage of always being able to speak for himself; who came down to the front with hair close cropped, clean shaven, newly baptized, freshly vaccinated, pocket in his shirt, musket on his shoulder, ready to do anything, from squirrel hunting up to manslaughter in the first degree. He felt that with a single rush he could carry away two spans of barbed-wire fence without scratching himself. If too short-sighted to see the enemy, he would go nearer; if lame, he would make this an excuse to disobey an order to retreat; if he had but one stocking, he would take it off his foot in wet weather and wrap it around the lock of his gun; and as to marching, he would keep on the march as long as he had upper garments enough left to wad a gun or nether garments enough to flag a train with. [Laughter.] He was the last man in a retreat, the first man in an enemy's smoke-house.[Pg 926] When he wanted fuel he took only the top rail of the fence, and kept on taking the top rail till there was none of that fence left standing. The New England soldier knew everything that was between the covers of books, from light infantry tactics to the new version of the Scriptures. One day, on a forced march in Virginia, a New England man was lagging behind, when his colonel began stirring him up and telling him he ought to make better time. He at once started to argue the case with the colonel, and said: "See here, colonel, I've studied the tactics and hev learned from 'em how to form double column at half distance, but I hev never yet learned how to perform double distance on half rations." [Laughter.]

But, Mr. President, this is a subject which should receive a few serious words from me before I sit down. It was not until the black war cloud of rebellion broke upon us that we really appreciated the Citizen Soldier at his full worth. But when the country was struck we saw, pouring down from the hill tops, and surging up from the valleys, that magnificent army of citizen soldiery, at the sight of which all Christendom stood amazed. They gathered until the streets of every hamlet in the land were lighted by the glitter of their steel and resounded to the tread of their marching columns. It seemed that the middle wall of partition was broken down between all classes, that we were living once more in the heroic ages, that there had returned to us the brave days of old, when "none were for a party but all were for the state." [Applause.] And then that unbroken line swept down to the front. But in that front what scenes were met! There was the blistering Southern sun; swamps which bred miasma and death; rivers with impassable approaches; heights to be scaled, batteries to be captured, the open plain with guns in front and guns in flank, which swept those devoted columns until human blood flowed as freely as festal wine; there was the dense forest, the under-growth barring the passage of man, the upper-growth shutting out the light of heaven; ammunition-trains exploding, the woods afire, the dead roasted in the flames, the wounded dragging their mangled limbs after them to escape its ravages, until it seemed that Christian men had turned to fiends, and hell itself had usurped the place of earth. [Applause.][Pg 927]

And when success perched upon our banners, when the bugle sounded the glad notes of final and triumphal victory, the disbanding of that army was even more marvellous than its organization. It disappeared, not as the flood of waters of the spring, which rend the earth, and leave havoc and destruction in their course; but rather, as was once eloquently said, like the snows of winter under a genial sun, leaving the face of Nature untouched, and the handiwork of man undisturbed; not injuring, but moistening and fructifying the earth. [Applause.] But the mission of the Citizen Soldier did not end there, it has not ended yet. We have no European enemy to dread, it is true; we have on our own continent no foeman worthy of our steel; for, unlike the lands of Europe, this land is not cursed by propinquity. But we must look straight in the face the fact that we have in our midst a discontented class, repudiated alike by employers and by honest laborers. They come here from the effete monarchies of the old world, rave about the horrors of tyrannous governments, and make no distinction between them and the blessings of a free and independent government. They have, but a little while ago, created scenes in which mob-law ruled the hour, riot held its sanguinary sway, and the earth of our streets tasted the blood of our citizens. When such scenes as these occur, we cannot wait for aid from the crews of vessels in the offing, we cannot look for succor to the army garrisons of distant forts; but in our great cities—those plague spots in the body politic—we want trained militia who can rally as rapidly as the long roll can be beaten. And I know that all property-owners feel safer, that all law-abiding citizens breathe freer, when they see a militia, particularly like that in our own State, go forth in the summer to be inured to the hardships of the march, to the discipline of tent-life in the field, exhibiting an esprit de corps, a discipline, a true touch of the elbow, which is beyond all praise. I love to take off my hat to their marching column; I love to salute its passing banners. They will always be the true bulwark of our defence. I know of no man, and no set of men, who more gladly or more eagerly make this statement than those who have been reared in the regular army; and I take particular pride in making this acknowledgment and paying this tribute in the presence of the senior and the most[Pg 928] illustrious living commander of our Citizen Soldiery. [Allusion to General Sherman followed by great applause.]


[Speech of Horace Porter at the eighty-second annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1887. Ex-Judge Horace Russell, the President of the Society, in introducing General Porter, said: "James T. Brady used to say that a good lawyer imbibed his law rather than read it. [Laughter.] If that proposition holds true in other regards, the gentleman whom I am to call to the next toast is one of the very best of New Englanders—General Horace Porter [applause], who will speak to 'Puritan Influence.'"]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—While you were eating Forefathers' dinner here a year ago, I happened to be in Mexico, but on my return I found that the Puritan influence had extended to me, for I was taken for the distinguished head of this organization, and was in receipt of no end of letters addressed to General Horace Russell and Judge Horace Porter and Mr. Horace Russell and Porter, President of the New England Society, and all begging for a copy of Grady's[5] speech. Distant communities had got the names of the modern Horatii mixed. [Laughter.] In replying I had to acknowledge that my nativity barred me out from the moral realms of this puritanical society, and I could only coincide with Charles II when he said he always admired virtue, but he never could imitate it. [Laughter and applause.] When the Puritan influence spread across the ocean; when it was imported here as part of the cargo of the Mayflower, the crew of the craft, like sensible men, steered for the port of New York, but a reliable tradition informs us that the cook on board that vessel chopped his wood on deck and always stood with his broadaxe on the starboard side of the binnacle, and that this mass of ferruginous substance so attracted the needle that the ship brought up in Plymouth harbor. And the Puritans did not reach New York harbor for a couple of hundred years thereafter, and then in the persons of the members of the New England[Pg 929] Society. It is seen that the same influences are still at work, for the fact that these Puritans have brought up in Delmonico's haven of rest is entirely owing to the attractions of the cook. [Laughter and applause.]

The old Puritan was not the most rollicking, the jolliest, or the most playful of men. He at times amused himself sadly; he was given to a mild disregard of the conventionalities. He had suppressed bear-baiting, not, it is believed, because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the audience. He found the Indians were the proprietors of the land, and he felt himself constrained to move against them with his gun with a view to increasing the number of absentee landlords. [Laughter and applause.] He found the Indians on one side and the witches on the other. He was surrounded with troubles. He had to keep the Indians under fire and the witches over it. These were some of the things that reconciled that good man to sudden death. He frequently wanted to set up a mark and swear at it, but his principles would not permit him. He never let the sun go down upon his wrath, but he, no doubt, often wished that he was in that region near the pole where the sun does not go down for six months at a time, and gives wrath a fair chance to materialize. He was a thoughtful man. He spent his days inventing snow-ploughs and his evenings in sipping hot rum and ruminating upon the probable strength of the future Prohibition vote. Those were times when the wives remonstrated with their husbands regarding the unfortunate and disappointing results of too much drink, particularly when it led the men to go out and shoot at Indians—and miss them. [Long continued laughter.] It is supposed that these men, like many others, generally began drinking on account of the bite of a snake, and usually had to quit on account of attacks from the same reptiles.

But, Mr. President, if you will allow me a few words of becoming gravity with which to retract any aspersions which I may have inadvertently cast upon the sacred person of the ancient Puritan, I assure you I will use those words with a due sense of the truth of the epigram—that "gravity is a stratagem invented to conceal the poverty of the mind." That rugged old Puritan, firm of purpose and stout of heart, had been fittingly trained by his life in the Old World, for[Pg 930] the conspicuous part he was to enact in the New. He was acquainted with hardships, inured to trials, practised in self-abnegation. He had reformed religions, revolutionized society, and shaken the thrones of tyrants. He had learned that tyranny you may have anywhere—it is a weed which grows on any soil—but if you want freedom you must go forth and fight for it. [Long continued applause.]

At his very birth he had had breathed into his nostrils the breath of that true liberty which can turn blind submission into rational obedience, which, as Hall says, can "smother the voice of kings, dissipate the mists of superstition, and by its magic touch kindle the rays of genius, the enthusiasm of poetry, the flames of eloquence." [Applause.] He had the courage of his convictions, he counselled not with his fears. He neither looked to the past with regret nor to the future with apprehension. He might have been a zealot—he was never a hypocrite; he might have been eccentric—he was never ridiculous. He was a Hercules rather than an Adonis. In his warfare he fired hot shot; he did not send in flags of truce; he led forlorn hopes; he did not follow in the wake of charges. When he went forth with his sledge-hammer logic and his saw-mill philosophy, all who stood in the path of his righteous wrath went down before him, with nothing by which to recognize them except the pieces he had left of them. When he crossed the seas to plant his banners in the West, when he disembarked upon the bleak shores of America, the land which was one day to speak with the voice of a mighty prophet, then the infant just discovered in the bulrushes of the New World, he came with loins girded and all accoutred for the great work of founding a race which should create a permanent abiding place for liberty, and one day dominate the destinies of the world. [Prolonged applause.] Unlike the Spanish conqueror upon far southern coasts, the leader did not have to burn his ship to retain his followers, for when the Mayflower spread her sails for home, not a man of Plymouth Colony returned on board her.

The Puritan early saw that in the new land, liberty could not flourish when subject to the caprices of European Courts; he realized with Burke that there was "more wisdom and sagacity in American workshops than in the cabi[Pg 931]nets of princes." He wanted elbow-room; he was philosophic enough to recognize the truth of the adage that it is "better to sit on a pumpkin and have it all to yourself than to be crowded on a velvet cushion."

When the struggle for independence came, the Puritan influence played no small part in the contest. When a separate government had been formed he showed himself foremost in impressing upon it his principles of broad and comprehensive liberty. He dignified labor; he believed that as the banner of the young Republic was composed of and derived its chief beauty from its different colors, so should its broad folds cover and protect its citizens of different colors.

He was a grand character in history. We take off our hats to him. We salute his memory. In his person were combined the chivalry of Knighthood, the fervor of the Crusader, the wit of Gascony, and the courage of Navarre. [Prolonged applause.]


[Speech of Horace Porter at a dinner given by the Republican Club in honor of the ninetieth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birthday, New York City, February 12, 1889. Mortimer C. Addams, the newly elected President of the Club, occupied the chair. General Porter was called upon for a response to the first toast, "Abraham Lincoln—the fragrant memory of such a life will increase as the generations succeed each other." General Porter was introduced by the chairman, as one "whose long acquaintance with Abraham Lincoln, intimate relationship, both official and personal, with our illustrious chieftain, General Grant, and distinguished career as a brave defender of his country in the time of her peril, have eminently fitted him to tell the story of our great War President."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—I am encumbered with diverse misgivings in being called upon to rise and cast the first firebrand into this peaceful assemblage, which has evidently been enjoying itself so much up to the present time. From the herculean task accomplished by the Republican party last fall we have come to think of its members[Pg 932] as men of deeds and not of words, except the spellbinders. [Laughter.] I fear your committee is treating me like one of those toy balloons that are sent up previous to the main ascension, to test the currents of the air; but I hope that in this sort of ballooning I may not be interrupted by the remark that interrupted a Fourth of July orator in the West when he was tickling the American Eagle under both wings, delivering himself of no end of platitudes and soaring aloft into the brilliant realms of fancy when a man in the audience quietly remarked: "If he goes on throwing out his ballast, in that way, the Lord knows where he will land." [Laughter.] If I demonstrate to-night that dryness is a quality not only of the champagne but of the first speech as well, you may reflect on that remark as Abraham Lincoln did at City Point after he had been shaken up the night before in his boat in a storm in Chesapeake Bay. When he complained of the feeling of gastronomic uncertainty which we suffer on the water, a young staff officer rushed up to him with a bottle of champagne and said: "This is the cure for that sort of an ill." Said the President: "No, young man, I have seen too many fellows seasick ashore from drinking that very article." [Laughter.]

The story of the life of Abraham Lincoln savors more of romance than reality. It is more like a fable of the ancient days than a story of a plain American of the nineteenth century. The singular vicissitudes in the life of our martyred President surround him with an interest which attaches to few men in history. He sprang from that class which he always alluded to as the "plain people," and never attempted to disdain them. He believed that the government was made for the people, not the people for the government. He felt that true Republicanism is a torch—the more it is shaken in the hands of the people the brighter it will burn. He was transcendently fit to be the first successful standard-bearer of the progressive, aggressive, invincible Republican party. [Loud applause.] He might well have said to those who chanced to sneer at his humble origin what a marshal of France raised from the ranks said to the haughty nobles of Vienna boasting of their long line of descent, when they refused to associate with him: "I am an ancestor; you are only descendants!" [Laughter and cheers.] He was never[Pg 933] guilty of any posing for effect, any attitudinizing in public, any mawkish sentimentality, any of that puppyism so often bred by power, that dogmatism which Johnson said was only puppyism grown to maturity. [Laughter.] He made no claim to knowledge he did not possess. He felt with Addison that pedantry and learning are like hypocrisy in religion—the form of knowledge without the power of it. He had nothing in common with those men of mental malformation who are educated beyond their intellects. [Laughter.]

The names of Washington and Lincoln are inseparably associated, and yet as the popular historian would have us believe one spent his entire life in chopping down acorn trees and the other splitting them up into rails. Washington could not tell a story. Lincoln always could. [Laughter.] And Lincoln's stories always possessed the true geometrical requisites, they were never too long, and never too broad. [Laughter.] He never forgot a point. A sentinel pacing near the watchfire while Lincoln was once telling some stories quietly remarked that "He had a mighty powerful memory, but an awful poor forgettery." [Laughter.]

The last time I ever heard him converse, he told one of the stories which best illustrated his peculiar talent for pointing a moral with an anecdote. Speaking of England's assistance to the South, and how she would one day find she had aided it but little and only injured herself, he said: "Yes, that reminds me of a barber in Sangamon County. He was about going to bed when a stranger came along and said he must have a shave. He said he had a few days' beard on his face, and he was going to a ball, and the barber must cut it off. The barber got up reluctantly, dressed, and put the stranger in a chair with a low back to it, and every time he bore down he came near dislocating his patient's neck. He began by lathering his face, including nose, eyes, and ears, strapped his razor on his boot, and then made a drive scraping down the right cheek, carrying away the beard and a pimple and two or three warts. The man in the chair said: 'You appear to make everything level as you go.' [Laughter.] The barber said: 'Yes, if this handle don't break, I will get away with what there is there.' The man's cheeks were so hollow that the barber could not get down into the valleys with the razor and an ingenious idea oc[Pg 934]curred to him to stick his finger in the man's mouth and press out the cheeks. Finally he cut clean through the cheek and into his own finger. He pulled the finger out of the man's mouth, and snapped the blood off it, looked at him, and said: 'There, you lantern-jawed cuss, you have made me cut my finger.'" [Laughter.] "Now," said Lincoln, "England will find she has got the South into a pretty bad scrape from trying to administer to her. In the end she will find she has only cut her own finger." [Applause.]

But his heart was not always attuned to mirth; its chords were often set to strains of sadness. Yet throughout all his trials he never lost the courage of his convictions. When he was surrounded on all sides by doubting Thomases, by unbelieving Saracens, by discontented Catilines, his faith was strongest. As the Danes destroyed the hearing of their war-horses in order that they might not be affrighted by the din of battle, so Lincoln turned a deaf ear to all that might have discouraged him, and exhibited an unwavering faith in the justice of the cause and the integrity of the Union. [Cries of "Bravo!" and cheers.]

It is said that for three hundred years after the battle of Thermopylæ every child in the public schools of Greece was required to recite from memory the names of the three hundred martyrs who fell in the defence of that Pass. It would be a crowning triumph in patriotic education if every school child in America could contemplate each day the grand character and utter the inspiring name of Abraham Lincoln. [Loud applause.]

He has passed from our view. We shall not meet him again until he stands forth to answer to his name at the roll-call when the great of earth are summoned in the morning of the last great reveille. Till then [apostrophizing Lincoln's portrait which hung above the President's head], till then, farewell, gentlest of all spirits, noblest of all hearts! The child's simplicity was mingled with the majestic grandeur of your nature. You have handed down unto a grateful people the richest legacy which man can leave to man—the memory of a good name, the inheritance of a great example! [Loud and enthusiastic applause.][Pg 935]


[Speech of Horace Porter at the eighty-sixth annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1891. J. Pierpont Morgan, the President, occupied the chair, and called upon General Porter to speak on "Sires and Sons."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—All my shortcomings upon this occasion must be attributed to the fact that I have just come from last night's New England dinner, in Brooklyn, which occurred largely this morning. They promised me when I accepted their invitation that I should get away early, and I did. I am apprehensive that the circumstance may give rise to statements which may reflect upon my advancing years, and that I may be pointed out as one who has dined with the early New Englanders.

I do not like the fact of Depew's coming into the room so late to-night and leaving so short an interval between his speech and mine. His conduct is of a piece with the conduct of so many married men nowadays who manifest such exceedingly bad taste and want of tact in dying only such a very short time before the remarriage of their wives.

I have acquired some useful experience in attending New England Society dinners in various cities. I dine with New Englanders in Boston; the rejoicing is marked, but not aggressive. I dine with them in New York; the hilarity and cheer of mind are increased in large degree. I dine with them in Philadelphia; the joy is unconfined and measured neither by metes nor bounds. Indeed, it has become patent to the most casual observer that the further the New Englander finds himself from New England the more hilarious is his rejoicing. Whenever we find a son of New England who has passed beyond the borders of his own section, who has stepped out into the damp cold fog of a benighted outside world and has brought up in another State, he seems to take more pride than ever in his descent—doubtless because he feels that it has been so great. [Laughter.]

The New England sire was a stern man on duty and determined to administer discipline totally regardless of previous acquaintance. He detested all revolutions in which he had taken no part. If he possessed too much piety, it[Pg 936] was tempered by religion; while always seeking out new virtues, he never lost his grip on his vices. [Laughter.] He was always ambitious to acquire a reputation that would extend into the next world. But in his own individual case he manifested a decided preference for the doctrine of damnation without representation.

When he landed at Plymouth he boldly set about the appalling task of cultivating the alleged soil. His labors were largely lightened by the fact that there were no agricultural newspapers to direct his efforts. By a fiction of speech which could not have been conceived by a less ingenious mind, he founded a government based upon a common poverty and called it a commonwealth. He was prompt and eminently practical in his worldly methods. In the rigors of a New England winter when he found a witch suffering he brought her in to the fire; when he found an Indian suffering he went out and covered him with a shotgun. [Laughter.]

The discipline of the race, however, is chiefly due to the New England mother. She could be seen going to church of a Sabbath with the Bible under one arm and a small boy under the other, and her mind equally harassed by the tortures of maternity and eternity. When her offspring were found suffering from spring fever and the laziness which accompanies it, she braced them up with a heroic dose of brimstone and molasses. The brimstone given here was a reminder of the discipline hereafter; the molasses has doubtless been chiefly responsible for the tendency of the race to stick to everything, especially their opinions. [Laughter.]

The New Englanders always take the initiative in great national movements. At Lexington and Concord they marched out alone without waiting for the rest of the Colonies, to have their fling at the red-coats, and a number of the colonists on that occasion succeeded in interfering with British bullets. It was soon after observed that their afternoon excursion had attracted the attention of England. They acted in the spirit of the fly who bit the elephant on the tail. When the fly was asked whether he expected to kill him he said: "No, but I notice I made him look round." [Laughter.]



Photogravure after a photograph

In commemoration of the famous Revolutionary struggle of the farmers of Concord, Mass., April 19, 1775, this statue was erected. The sculptor was Daniel Chester French, a native of Concord. The statue was unveiled at the centennial celebration of the battle, 1875. It is of bronze, heroic size, and stands near the town of Concord, by the battlefield, on the side of the Concord River occupied by the Americans. The position is described by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his lines which are graven in the pedestal of the statue:

"By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world."

[Pg 937]

Such are the inventive faculty and self-reliance of New Englanders that they always entertain a profound respect for impossibilities. It has been largely owing to their influence that we took the negro, who is a natural agriculturist, and made a soldier of him; took the Indian, who is a natural warrior, and made an agriculturist of him; took the American, who is a natural destructionist, and made a protectionist of him. They are always revolutionizing affairs. Recently a Boston company equipped with electricity the horse-cars, or rather the mule-cars, in the streets of Atlanta. When the first electric-motor cars were put into service an aged "contraband" looked at them from the street corner and said: "Dem Yankees is a powerful sma't people; furst dey come down h'yar and freed de niggers, now dey've done freed de mules." [Laughter.]

The New Englander is so constantly engaged in creating changes that in his eyes even variety appears monotonous. When a German subject finds himself oppressed by his Government he emigrates; when a French citizen is oppressed he makes the Government emigrate; when Americans find a portion of their Government trying to emigrate they arm themselves and spend four years in going after it and bringing it back. [Laughter and applause.]

You will find the sons of New England everywhere throughout the world, and they are always at the fore. I happened to be at a French banquet in Paris where several of us Americans spoke, employing that form of the French language which is so often used by Americans in France, and which is usually so successful in concealing one's ideas from the natives. There was a young Bostonian there who believed he had successfully mastered all the most difficult modern languages except that which is spoken by the brake-men on the elevated railroads. When he spoke French the only departure from the accent of the Parisian was that nuance of difference arising from the mere accidental circumstance of one having learned his French in Paris and the other in Boston. The French give much praise to Molière for having changed the pronunciation of a great many French words; but his most successful efforts in that direction were far surpassed by the Boston young man. When he had finished his remarks a French gentleman sitting be[Pg 938]side me inquired: "Where is he from?" I replied: "From New England." Said he: "I don't see anything English about him except his French." [Laughter.]

In speaking of the sons of New England sires, I know that one name is uppermost in all minds here to-night—the name of one who added new lustre to the fame of his distinguished ancestors. The members of your Society, like the Nation at large, found themselves within the shadow of a profound grief, and oppressed by a sense of sadness akin to the sorrow of a personal bereavement, as they stood with uncovered heads beside the bier of William T. Sherman; when the echo of his guns gave place to the tolling of cathedral bells; when the flag of his country, which had never been lowered in his presence, dropped to half-mast, as if conscious that his strong arm was no longer there to hold it to the peak; when he passed from the living here to join the other living, commonly called the dead. We shall never meet the great soldier again until he stands forth to answer to his name at roll-call on the morning of the last great reveille. At this board he was always a thrice welcome guest. The same blood coursed in his veins which flows in yours. All hearts warmed to him with the glow of an abiding affection. He was a many-sided man. He possessed all the characteristics of the successful soldier: bold in conception, vigorous in execution, and unshrinking under grave responsibilities. He was singularly self-reliant, demonstrating by all his acts that "much danger makes great hearts most resolute." He combined in his temperament the restlessness of a Hotspur with the patience of a Fabius. Under the magnetism of his presence his troops rushed to victory with all the dash of Cæsar's Tenth Legion. Opposing ranks went down before the fierceness of his onsets, never to rise again. He paused not till he saw the folds of his banners wave above the strongholds he had wrested from the foe.

While mankind will always appreciate the practical workings of the mind of the great strategist, they will also see in his marvellous career much which savors of romance as well as reality, appeals to the imagination and excites the fancy. They will picture him as a legendary knight moving at the head of conquering columns, whose marches were measured not by single miles, but by thousands; as a gen[Pg 939]eral who could make a Christmas gift to his President of a great seaboard city; as a chieftain whose field of military operations covered nearly half a continent; who had penetrated everglades and bayous; the inspiration of whose commands forged weaklings into giants; whose orders all spoke with the true bluntness of the soldier; who fought from valley's depth to mountain height, and marched from inland rivers to the sea. No one can rob him of his laurels; no man can lessen the measure of his fame. His friends will never cease to sing pæans in his honor, and even the wrath of his enemies may be counted in his praise. [Prolonged applause.]


[Speech of Horace Porter at the fourth annual dinner of 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, introduced General Porter as follows: "Gentlemen, we will now proceed to a toast that we shall all enjoy, I am sure, after so much has been said about the Dutch. This toast is to be responded to by a gentleman whom we all know. It is hardly necessary to introduce him. But I will read the sentiment attached to this toast: 'The American: Formed of the blendings of the best strains of Europe, he cannot be worthy of his ancestry without combining in himself the best qualities of them all.' And I call upon General Horace Porter to respond."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—We speakers have naturally been a little embarrassed at the outset this evening, for just as we were about to break into speech, your President reminded us that the only one worthy of having a monument built to his memory was William the Silent. Well, it seemed to carry me back to those ancient days of Greece, when Pythagoras inaugurated his School of Silence, and called on Damocles to make the opening speech.

Your President has shown from the start this evening that he is determined to enforce discipline, totally regardless of previous acquaintance. He appears to have been in a Shakespearian mood to-night. He seemed to be looking at each one of these alleged speakers and saying of him: "Therefore, I'll watch him till he be dieted to my request[Pg 940] and then I will set upon him." But he must remember that Shakespeare also said: "Dainty bits make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits."

I do not know how the rest of you feel, but after these delicious but somewhat plethoric dinners, I feel very much like Mr. Butterby, when his lavender-colored trousers were sent to him the night before his wedding, and he returned them to the tailor with a note saying, "Let them out two inches around the waist, which will leave a margin for emotion and the wedding breakfast." [Laughter.]

Now, we speakers to-night cannot expect to be received with any vast ebullition of boisterous enthusiasm here, for we understand that every member pays for his own wine. Besides, I am sure that you will not be likely to get any more ideas from me than you would get lather from a cake of hotel soap.

After having wrestled with about thirty dishes at this dinner, and after all this being called upon to speak, I feel a great sympathy with that woman in Ireland who had had something of a field-day on hand. She began by knocking down two somewhat unpopular agents of her absentee landlord, and was seen, later in the day, dancing a jig on the stomach of the prostrate form of the Presbyterian minister. One of her friends admired her prowess in this direction and invited her in, and gave her a good stiff glass of whiskey. Her friend said, "Shall I pour some water in your whiskey?" and the woman replied, "For God's sake, haven't I had trouble enough already to-day?" [Laughter.]

I am a little at a loss still to know how I got into this company to-night. I begin to feel like some of those United States Senators who, after they have reached Washington, look around and wonder how they got there. The nearest approach to being decorated with a sufficiently aristocratic epithet to make me worthy of admission to this Society was when I used to visit outside of my native State and be called a "Pennsylvania Dutchman." But history tells us that at the beginning of the Revolution there was a battle fought at Breed's Hill, and it was called the Battle of Bunker Hill, because it was not fought there; and I suppose I have been brought into this Dutch Society to-night because I am not a Dutchman. [Laughter.][Pg 941]

I have great admiration for these Dutchmen; they always get to the front. When they appear in New York they are always invited to seats on the roof; when they go into an orchestra, they are always given one of the big fiddles to play; and when they march in a procession, they are always sure to get a little ahead of the band. This Society differs materially from other so-called foreign societies. When we meet the English, we invariably refer to the common stock from which we sprang, but in the Dutch Society the stock is always preferred! and when a Dutchman dies, why, his funeral is like that funeral of Abel, who was killed by his brother Cain—no one is allowed to attend unless he belongs to a first family. [Laughter.]

Now, a Dutchman is only happy when he gets a "Van" attached to the front of his name, and a "dam" to the rear end of the city from which his ancestors came. I notice they are all very particular about the "dam." [Laughter.]

There was a lady—a New York young lady—who had been spending several years in England and had just returned. She had posed awhile as a professional beauty. Then she attempted to marry into the aristocracy, but the market for titles was a little dull that year and she came home. She had lived there long enough to become an Anglomaniac. She met a Dutchman in New York—I think he was a member of the Holland Society—and she said: "Everything seems so remarkably commonplace here, after getting back from England; I am sure you must admit that there is nothing so romantic here as in England." The Dutchman remarked: "Well, I don't know about that." She said: "I was stopping at a place in the country, with one of the members of the aristocracy, and there was a little piece of water—a sort of miniature lake, as it were—so sweet. The waters were confined by little rustic walls, so to speak, and that was called the 'Earl's Oath'; we have nothing so romantic in New York, I'm sure." Said the Dutchman: "Oh, yes, here we have McComb's Dam." [Laughter.]

But, Mr. President, I certainly am in earnest sympathy with the patriotic sentiment expressed in the toast which you have been pleased to assign to me to-night, saying, in effect, that the American is composed of the best strains of[Pg 942] Europe, and the American cannot be worthy of his ancestors unless he aims to combine within himself the good qualities of all. America has gained much by being the conglomerate country that she is, made up of a commingling of the blood of other races. It is a well-known fact in the crossing of breeds that the best traits predominate in the result. We in this land, have gained much from the purity of those bloods; we have suffered little from the taint.

It is well in this material age, when we are dwelling so much upon posterity, not to be altogether oblivious to pedigree. It has been well said that he who does not respect his ancestors will never be likely to achieve anything for which his descendants will respect him. Man learns but very little in this world from precept; he learns something from experience; he learns much from example, and the "best teachers of humanity are the lives of worthy men."

We have a great many admirable so-called foreign societies in New York, and they are all doing good work—good work in collecting interesting historical data in regard to the ancestors who begat them; in regard to the lands from which they came—good work in the broad field of charity. But it is the Holland Society which seems to be a little closer to us than the others—more our Society, even with those of us who have no Dutch blood in our veins. We feel that these old Dutch names are really more closely associated in our minds with the city of New York than with Holland itself.

The men from whom you sprang were well calculated to carry on the great work undertaken by them. In the first place, in that good old land they had educated the conscience. The conscience never lost its hold upon the man. He stood as firm in his convictions as the rock to its base. His religion was a religion of the soul, and not of the senses. He might have broken the tables of stone on which the laws were written; he never would have broken those laws themselves. He turned neither to the past with regret nor to the future with apprehension. He was a man inured to trials; practised in self-abnegation; educated in the severe school of adversity; and that little band which set out from Holland to take up its career in the New World was well calculated to undertake the work which Providence had[Pg 943] marked out for them. Those men had had breathed into their nostrils at their very birth the true spirit of liberty. Somehow or other liberty seemed to be indigenous in that land. They imbibed that true spirit of liberty which does not mean unbridled license of the individual, but that spirit of liberty which can turn blind submission into rational obedience; that spirit of liberty which Hall says stifles the voices of kings, dissipates the mists of superstition, kindles the flames of art, and pours happiness into the laps of the people. Those men started out boldly upon the ocean; they paused not until they dipped the fringes of their banners in the waters of the western seas. They built up this great metropolis. They bore their full share in building up this great nation and in planting in it their pure principles. They builded even better than they knew.

In the past year I think our people have been more inclined than ever before to pause and contemplate how big with events is the history of this land. It was developed by people who believed not in the "divine right of kings," but in the divine right of human liberty. If we may judge the future progress of this land by its progress in the past, it does not require that one should be endowed with prophetic vision to predict that in the near future this young but giant Republic will dominate the policy of the world. America was not born amidst the mysteries of barbaric ages; and it is about the only nation which knows its own birthday. Woven of the stoutest fibres of other lands, nurtured by a commingling of the best blood of other races, America has now cast off the swaddling-clothes of infancy, and stands forth erect, clothed in robes of majesty and power, in which the God who made her intends that she shall henceforth tread the earth; and to-day she may be seen moving down the great highways of history, teaching by example; moving at the head of the procession of the world's events; marching in the van of civilized and christianized liberty, her manifest destiny to light the torch of liberty till it illumines the entire pathway of the world, and till human freedom and human rights become the common heritage of mankind. [Applause.][Pg 944]


[Speech of Horace Porter at the banquet of the Army of the Tennessee, upon the occasion of the inauguration of the Grant Equestrian Statue in Chicago, October 8, 1891.]

Mr. Chairman:—When a man from the armies of the East finds himself in the presence of men of the armies of the West, he feels that he cannot strike their gait. He can only look at them wistfully and say, in the words of Charles II, "I always admired virtue, but I never could imitate it." [Laughter.] If I do not in the course of my remarks succeed in seeing each one of you, it will be because the formation of the Army of the Tennessee to-night is like its formation in the field, when it won its matchless victories, the heavy columns in the centre. [An allusion to the large columns in the room.] [Laughter.]

Almost all the conspicuous characters in history have risen to prominence by gradual steps, but Ulysses S. Grant seemed to come before the people with a sudden bound. Almost the first sight they caught of him was in the flashes of his guns, and the blaze of his camp-fires, those wintry days and nights in front of Donelson. From that hour until the closing triumph at Appomattox he was the leader whose name was the harbinger of victory. From the final sheath of his sword until the tragedy on Mount McGregor he was the chief citizen of the republic and the great central figure of the world. [Applause.] The story of his life savors more of romance than reality. It is more like a fabled tale of ancient days than the history of an American citizen of the nineteenth century. As light and shade produce the most attractive effects in a picture, so the singular contrasts, the strange vicissitudes in his marvellous career, surround him with an interest which attaches to few characters in history. His rise from an obscure lieutenancy to the command of the veteran armies of the republic; his transition from a frontier post of the untrodden West to the Executive Mansion of the nation; his sitting at one time in his little store in Galena, not even known to the Congressman from his own district; at another time striding through the palaces of the Old World, with the descendants of a line of Kings rising and standing[Pg 945] uncovered in his presence [Applause.]—these are some of the features of his extraordinary career which appeal to the imagination, excite men's wonder, and fascinate all who read the story of his life. [Applause.]

General Grant possessed in a striking degree all the characteristics of the successful soldier. His methods were all stamped with tenacity of purpose, with originality and ingenuity. He depended for his success more upon the powers of invention than of adaptation, and the fact that he has been compared, at different times, to nearly every great commander in history is perhaps the best proof that he was like none of them. He was possessed of a moral and physical courage which was equal to every emergency in which he was placed: calm amidst excitement, patient under trials, never unduly elated by victory or depressed by defeat. While he possessed a sensitive nature and a singularly tender heart, yet he never allowed his sentiments to interfere with the stern duties of the soldier. He knew better than to attempt to hew rocks with a razor. He realized that paper bullets cannot be fired in warfare. He felt that the hardest blows bring the quickest results; that more men die from disease in sickly camps than from shot and shell in battle.

His magnanimity to foes, his generosity to friends, will be talked of as long as manly qualities are honored. [Applause.]

You know after Vicksburg had succumbed to him he said in his order: "The garrison will march out to-morrow. Instruct your commands to be quiet and orderly as the prisoners pass by, and make no offensive remarks." After Lee's surrender at Appomattox, when our batteries began to fire triumphal salutes, he at once suppressed them, saying, in his order: "The war is over; the rebels are again our countrymen; the best way to celebrate the victory will be to abstain from all demonstrations in the field." [Applause.] After the war General Lee and his officers were indicted in the civil courts of Virginia by directions of a President who was endeavoring to make treason odious and succeeding in making nothing so odious as himself. [Applause.] General Lee appealed to his old antagonist for protection. He did not appeal to that heart in vain. General Grant at once took up the cudgels in his defence, threatened to resign his[Pg 946] office if such officers were indicted while they continued to obey their paroles, and such was the logic of his argument and the force of his character that those indictments were soon after quashed. So that he penned no idle platitude; he fashioned no stilted epigrams; he spoke the earnest convictions of an honest heart when he said, "Let us have peace." [Applause.] He never tired of giving unstinted praise to worthy subordinates for the work they did. Like the chief artists who weave the Gobelin tapestries, he was content to stand behind the cloth and let those in front appear to be the chief contributors to the beauty of the fabric. [Applause.]

One of the most beautiful chapters in all history is that which records the generous relations existing between him and Sherman, that great soldier who for so many years was the honored head of this society, that great chieftain whom men will always love to picture as a legendary knight moving at the head of conquering columns, whose marches were measured not by single miles, but by thousands; whose field of military operations covered nearly half a continent; whose orders always spoke with the true bluntness of the soldier; who fought from valley's depths to mountain heights, and marched from inland rivers to the sea. [Applause.] Their rivalry manifested itself only in one respect—the endeavor of each to outdo the other in generosity. With hearts untouched by jealousy, with souls too great for rivalry, each stood ready to abandon the path of ambition when it became so narrow that two could not tread it abreast. [Applause.]

If there be one single word in all the wealth of the English language which best describes the predominating trait of General Grant's character, that word is "loyalty." [Applause.] Loyal to every great cause and work he was engaged in; loyal to his friends; loyal to his family; loyal to his country; loyal to his God. [Applause.] This produced a reciprocal effect in all who came in contact with him. It was one of the chief reasons why men became so loyally attached to him. It is true that this trait so dominated his whole character that it led him to make mistakes; it induced him to continue to stand by men who were no longer worthy of his confidence; but after all, it was a trait so grand, so[Pg 947] noble, we do not stop to count the errors which resulted. [Applause.] It showed him to be a man who had the courage to be just, to stand between worthy men and their unworthy slanderers, and to let kindly sentiments have a voice in an age in which the heart played so small a part in public life. Many a public man has had hosts of followers because they fattened on the patronage dispensed at his hands; many a one has had troops of adherents because they were blind zealots in a cause he represented, but perhaps no man but General Grant had so many friends who loved him for his own sake; whose attachment strengthened only with time; whose affection knew neither variableness, nor shadow of turning; who stuck to him as closely as the toga to Nessus, whether he was Captain, General, President, or simply private citizen. [Great applause.]

General Grant was essentially created for great emergencies; it was the very magnitude of the task which called forth the powers which mastered it. In ordinary matters he was an ordinary man. In momentous affairs he towered as a giant. When he served in a company there was nothing in his acts to distinguish him from the fellow-officers; but when he wielded corps and armies the great qualities of the commander flashed forth and his master strokes of genius placed him at once in the front rank of the world's great captains. When he hauled wood from his little farm and sold it in the streets of St. Louis there was nothing in his business or financial capacity different from that of the small farmers about him; but when, as President of the Republic, he found it his duty to puncture the fallacy of the inflationists, to throttle by a veto the attempt of unwise legislators to tamper with the American credit, he penned a State paper so logical, so masterly, that it has ever since been the pride, wonder, and admiration of every lover of an honest currency. [Applause.] He was made for great things, not for little. He could collect for the nation $15,000,000 from Great Britain in settlement of the Alabama claims; he could not protect his own personal savings from the miscreants who robbed him in Wall Street.

But General Grant needs no eulogist. His name is indelibly engraved upon the hearts of his countrymen. His services attest his greatness. He did his duty and trusted[Pg 948] to history for his meed of praise. The more history discusses him, the more brilliant becomes the lustre of his deeds. His record is like a torch; the more it is shaken, the brighter it burns. His name will stand imperishable when epitaphs have vanished utterly, and monuments and statues have crumbled into dust; but the people of this great city, everywhere renowned for their deeds of generosity, have covered themselves anew with glory in fashioning in enduring bronze, in rearing in monumental rock that magnificent tribute to his worth which was to-day unveiled in the presence of countless thousands. As I gazed upon its graceful lines and colossal proportions I was reminded of that child-like simplicity which was mingled with the majestic grandeur of his nature. The memories clustering about it will recall the heroic age of the Republic; it will point the path of loyalty to children yet unborn; its mute eloquence will plead for equal sacrifice, should war ever again threaten the Nation's life; generations yet to come will pause to read the inscription which it bears, and the voices of a grateful people will ascend from the consecrated spot on which it stands, as incense rises from holy places, invoking blessings upon the memory of him who had filled to the very full the largest measure of human greatness and covered the earth with his renown. [Applause.]

An indescribably touching incident happened which will ever be memorable and which never can be effaced from the memory of those who witnessed it. Even at this late date I can scarcely trust my own feelings to recall it. It was on Decoration Day in the City of New York, the last one he ever saw on earth. That morning the members of the Grand Army of the Republic, the veterans in that vicinity, arose earlier than was their wont. They seemed to spend more time that morning in unfurling the old battle flags, in burnishing the medals of honor which decorated their breasts, for on that day they had determined to march by the house of their dying commander to give him a last marching salute. In the streets the columns were forming; inside the house on that bed, from which he was never to rise again, lay the stricken chief. The hand which had seized the surrendered swords of countless thousands could scarcely return the pressure of the friendly grasp. The voice which had cheered[Pg 949] on to triumphant victory the legions of America's manhood, could no longer call for the cooling draught which slaked the thirst of a fevered tongue; and prostrate on that bed of anguish lay the form which in the New World had ridden at the head of the conquering column, which in the Old World had been deemed worthy to stand with head covered and feet sandaled in the presence of princes, kings, and emperors. Now his ear caught the sound of martial music. Bands were playing the same strains which had mingled with the echoes of his guns at Vicksburg, the same quick-steps to which his men had sped in hot haste in pursuit of Lee through Virginia. And then came the heavy, measured steps of moving columns, a step which can be acquired only by years of service in the field. He recognized it all now. It was the tread of his old veterans. With his little remaining strength he arose and dragged himself to the window. As he gazed upon those battle-flags dipping to him in salute, those precious standards bullet-riddled, battle-stained, but remnants of their former selves, with scarcely enough left of them on which to print the names of the battles they had seen, his eyes once more kindled with the flames which had lighted them at Shiloh, on the heights of Chattanooga, amid the glories of Appomattox; and as those war-scarred veterans looked with uncovered heads and upturned faces for the last time upon the pallid features of their old chief, cheeks which had been bronzed by Southern suns and begrimed with powder, were bathed in the tears of a manly grief. Soon they saw rising the hand which had so often pointed out to them the path of victory. He raised it slowly and painfully to his head in recognition of their salutations. The column had passed, the hand fell heavily by his side. It was his last military salute. [Long continued applause and cheers.][Pg 950]



[Speech of Rev. Dr. Noah Porter, President of Yale College, 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, occupied the chair. This speech of President Porter followed a speech of President Eliot of Harvard. The two Presidents spoke in response to the 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."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the New England Society:—The somewhat miscellaneous character of the sentiment which has called me up embarrasses me not a little as to which of the points I should select as the subject of my remarks. I am still more embarrassed by the introduction of additional topics on the part of my friend, the President of Harvard College. The president knows that it is our custom to meet once a year, and discuss all the matters to which he has referred, as often as we meet. [Laughter.] He knows also that he was providentially prevented, by a very happy occurrence to himself, from attending our last College Convention; and in consequence of his absence, for which we all excused and congratulated him, the meeting was more than usually tame. [Laughter.] Now, I find that all the sentiments which he had been gathering for a year have been precipitated upon me on this occasion. [Laughter.] I rejoice that His Excellency, the President of the United States, and the distinguished Secretary of State [Rutherford B. Hayes and William M. Evarts], are between us. [Laughter.] For here is a special occasion for[Pg 951] the application of the policy of peace. [Laughter.] I therefore reserve what few remarks I shall make upon this special theme for a moment later.

The first point in the sentiment proposed recognizes New England as the mother of two colleges. I think we should do well also to call to mind, especially under the circumstances by which we are surrounded this evening, that New England was not merely the mother of two colleges which have had some influence in this land, but that New England, with all its glory and its achievements, was, in a certain sense, the creation of a college. It would be easy to show that had it not been for the existence of one or two rather inferior colleges of the University of Cambridge in England, there never would have been a New England. In these colleges were gathered and trained not a few of the great leaders of opinion under whose influence the father of New England became a great political power in the mother country. It is not to the Pilgrim Fathers alone who landed at Plymouth on December 22, 1620, that New England owes its characteristic principles and its splendid renown, but it is also to the leaders of the great Puritan party in England, who reinforced that immigration by the subsequent higher and nobler life of the planters of Massachusetts Bay, conspicuous among whom was the distinguished and ever-to-be-honored Governor Winthrop. [Applause.]

It was from these colleges that so many strong-hearted young men went forth into political public life in England to act the scholar in politics, and who, as scholars in politics, enunciated those new principles and new theories of government which made Old England glorious for a time, and which made New England the power for good which she afterward became, first at her home in the old States, and in all their extension westward even to this hour. These scholars sought emphatically a reform of the civil service in England. That was their mission. They vindicated their principles upon the scaffold and their rights upon the field of battle at home, and they transmitted that spirit to the emigrants who came out from among them before the great rebellion reached its great crisis and finished its memorable history.

While, then, we honor the universities of which New Eng[Pg 952]land has been the mother, let us remember that New England owes its being to a university. In remembering this, we shall be prepared to follow in the steps of our fathers, and to be mindful of what we ourselves owe to our own institutions of learning.

In respect to the rivalry between Yale and Harvard, which was noticed in the sentiment to which I speak, and in reply to the suggestions which have been offered by the President of Harvard, I will venture a single remark. You, sir, who are learned in our New England history, are not unfamiliar with the saying which was once somewhat current, that when a man was found in Boston, in the earlier generations, who was a little too bad to live with, they sent him to Rhode Island [Laughter.]; and when they found a man who was a little too good to be a comfortable neighbor, they sent him to Connecticut. [Laughter.] The remainder—the men of average respectability and worth—were allowed to remain on the shores of Massachusetts Bay and in Boston. And so it happened that these people of average goodness, from constantly looking each other in the face, contracted the habit of always praising one another with especial emphasis; and the habit has not been altogether outgrown. [Laughter.] The people of Rhode Island, being such as I have described, found it necessary to have certain principles of toleration to suit their peculiar condition, which they denominated the principles of soul liberty.

The people of Connecticut, being so very good, could not allow their goodness to remain at home, and they very soon proceeded on a missionary errand westward toward the city of New York, and in due time captured the harbor and the infant city, and the great river of the North. In this way, New York fell into the hands of those super-excellent Connecticut Yankees, and with that began the stream of emigration westward which has made our country what it is. [Laughter and applause.] Perhaps this piece of history is about as good an explanation of the jealousy of Yale toward Harvard as the interpretation which has been given by the President of that honorable university—that Yale College was founded because of the discontent of the self-righteous Puritans of Connecticut with the religious opinions of the ruling spirits at Harvard. [Laughter.] That piece of in[Pg 953]formation has been amply discussed and exploded by an able critic, and I will not repeat the arguments here.

As to any present rivalry which may exist between those institutions, we disclaim it altogether. We know no jealousy of Harvard College now. We acknowledge no rivalry except in the great enterprise of training upright and intelligent and good-principled men for the service and the glory of our common land. [Applause, and cries of "Hear! Hear!"] But there is one means to this end you may be sure we shall always insist upon—and that is the principle which we have received from our fathers, that manhood and character are better than knowledge. The training which our country demands is that which we intend always to give; and it is a training in manhood of intelligence, in manhood of character, and in a constant, ever-present faith in the providence and goodness of the living God. [Applause.]

I deem it proper here to remind you, that Yale College was foremost among the American colleges in cherishing the taste for physical science, and that these sciences, in all their forms, have received from us the most liberal attention and care. If any of you doubt this, we would like to show you our museum, with its collections, which represent all that the most recent explorations have been able to gather. In these well-ordered collections you would find as satisfactory an exhibition of results as you could ask for. [Applause.] You need not fear, however, that, because we believe in science, we have learned any more to disbelieve in the living God. As we stand in the midst of one of the halls of our splendid museum, and see arrayed before us all the forms of vertebrate life, from man down to the lowest type, and see how one and the other suggests the progress—the evolution, if you please—during we care not how many centuries of advancing life; the more closely we study these indications, the more distinctly do we see lines of thought, of intelligence, and goodness reflected from one structure to another, and all declaring that a divine thought and love has ordered each and all. [Applause.] Hence we find no inconsistency between the teachings of this museum on the one corner and the teachings of the college chapel on the other. [Applause.] We therefore commit ourselves, in the presence of all these sons of New England, whether[Pg 954] they live in this city of their habitation and their glory, or whether they are residents of other cities and States of the North and Northwest, to the solemn declaration, that we esteem it to be our duty to train our pupils on the one hand in enlightened science, and on the other in the living power of the Christian faith. [Applause.] We are certainly not sectarian. It is enough that I say that we aim to be enlightened Christian believers, and with those hopes and those aspirations we trust that the next generation of men whom we shall educate will do their part in upholding this country in fidelity to its obligations of duty, in fidelity to every form of integrity, in generous self-sacrifice on the field of contest, if it be required, and in Christian sympathy with the toleration and forbearance which should come after the fight. [Applause.][Pg 955]



[Speech of Rev. Dr. Henry C. Potter, Protestant Episcopal Bishop of New York, at the seventy-third annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 23, 1878. Daniel F. Appleton presided and proposed the toast, "The Church—a fountain of charity and good works, which is not established, but establishes itself, by God's blessing, in men's hearts."]

Mr. President:—I take up the strain where the distinguished Senator from Maine [James G. Blaine] has dropped it. I would fain be with him one of those who should see a typical New England dinner spread upon a table at which Miles Standish and John Alden sat, and upon which should be spread viands of which John Alden and Miles Standish and the rest, two hundred and seventy-three years ago, partook. I would fain see something more, or rather I would fain hear something more—and that is, the sentiments of those who gathered about that table, and the measure in which those sentiments accorded with the sentiments of those who sit at these tables to-night. [Applause.] Why, Mr. President, the viands of which John Alden and Miles Standish partook did not differ more radically from the splendor of this banquet than did the sentiments with which the Puritans came to these shores differ from the sentiments of the men who gather in this room to-night. If it had happened to them as it happened to a distinguished company in New England, where an eminent New England divine was called upon to lead in prayer, their feelings would have been as little wounded as those against whom he offered up his petition; or rather, if I were here to-night to denounce their sentiments as to religious toleration, in which they did[Pg 956] not believe; their sentiments as to the separation of the Church from the State, in which they did not believe any more than they believed in religious toleration; their sentiments as to Democracy, in which they did not believe any more than they believed in religious toleration—those of us who are here and who do believe in these things would be as little wounded as the company to which I have referred. The distinguished divine to whom I have alluded was called upon to offer prayer, some fifty years ago, in a mixed company, when, in accordance with the custom of the times, he included in his petition to the Almighty a large measure of anathema, as "We beseech Thee, O Lord! to overwhelm the tyrant! We beseech Thee to overwhelm and to pull down the oppressor! We beseech Thee to overwhelm and pull down the Papist!" And then opening his eyes, and seeing that a Roman Catholic archbishop and his secretary were present, he saw he must change the current of his petitions if he would be courteous to his audience, and said vehemently, "We beseech Thee, O Lord! we beseech Thee—we beseech Thee—we beseech Thee to pull down and overwhelm the Hottentot!" Said some one to him when the prayer was over, "My dear brother, why were you so hard upon the Hottentot?" "Well," said he, "the fact is, when I opened my eyes and looked around, between the paragraphs in the prayer, at the assembled guests, I found that the Hottentots were the only people who had not some friends among the company." [Laughter.]

Gentlemen of the New England Society, if I were to denounce the views of the Puritans to-night, they would be like the Hottentots. [Laughter.] Nay more, if one of their number were to come into this banqueting hall and sit down at this splendid feast, so unlike what he had been wont to see, and were to expound his views as to constitutional liberty and as to religious toleration, or as to the relations of the Church to the State, I am very much afraid that you and I would be tempted to answer him as an American answered an English traveller in a railway-carriage in Belgium. Said this Englishman, whom I happened to meet in Brussels, and who recognized me as an American citizen: "Your countrymen have a very strange conception of the English tongue: I never heard any people who speak the[Pg 957] English language in such an odd way as the Americans do." "What do you mean?" I said; "I supposed that in the American States the educated and cultivated people spoke the English tongue with the utmost propriety, with the same accuracy and the same classical refinement as yours." He replied: "I was travelling hither, and found sitting opposite an intelligent gentleman, who turned out to be an American. I went on to explain to him my views as to the late unpleasantness in America. I told him how profoundly I deplored the results of the civil war. That I believed the interests of good government would have been better advanced if the South, rather than the North, had triumphed. I showed him at great length how, if the South had succeeded, you would have been able to have laid in that land, first, the foundations of an aristocracy, and then from that would have grown a monarchy; how by the planters you would have got a noble class, and out of that class you would have got a king; and after I had drawn this picture I showed to him what would have been the great and glorious result; and what do you think was his reply to these views? He turned round, looked me coolly in the face, and said, 'Why, what a blundering old cuss you are!'" [Great laughter.] Gentlemen, if one of our New England ancestors were here to-night, expounding his views to us, I am very much afraid that you and I would be tempted to turn round and say: "Why, what a blundering old cuss you are!" [Renewed laughter.]

But, Mr. President, though all this is true, the seeds of our liberty, our toleration, our free institutions, our "Church, not established by law, but establishing itself in the hearts of men," were all in the simple and single devotion of the truth so far as it was revealed to them, which was the supreme characteristic of our New England forefathers. With them religion and the Church meant supremely personal religion, and obedience to the personal conscience. It meant truth and righteousness, obedience and purity, reverence and intelligence in the family, in the shop, in the field, and on the bench. It meant compassion and charity toward the savages among whom they found themselves, and good works as the daily outcome of a faith which, if stern, was steadfast and undaunted.[Pg 958]

And so, Mr. President, however the sentiments and opinions of our ancestors may seem to have differed from ours, those New England ancestors did believe in a church that included and incarnated those ideas of charity and love and brotherhood to which you have referred; and if, to-day, the Church of New York, whatever name it may bear, is to be maintained, as one of your distinguished guests has said, not for ornament but for use, it is because the hard, practical, and yet, when the occasion demanded, large-minded and open-hearted spirit of the New England ancestors shall be in it. [Applause.] Said an English swell footman, with his calves nearly as large as his waist, having been called upon by the lady of the house to carry a coal-scuttle from the cellar to the second story, "Madam, ham I for use, or ham I for hornament?" [Laughter.]

I believe it to be the mind of the men of New England ancestry who live in New York to-day, that the Church, if it is to exist here, shall exist for use, and not for ornament; that it shall exist to make our streets cleaner, to make our tenement-houses better built and better drained and better ventilated; to respect the rights of the poor man in regard to fresh air and light, as well as the rights of the rich man. And in order that it shall do these things, and that the Church of New York shall exist not for ornament but for use, I, as one of the descendants of New England ancestors, ask no better thing for it than that it shall have, not only among those who fill its pulpits, men of New England ancestry, but also among those who sit in its pews men of New England brains and New England sympathies, and New England catholic generosity! [Continued applause.][Pg 959]



[Speech of Roger A. Pryor at the annual banquet of the New York State Bar Association, given in the City of Albany, January 15, 1889. The President, Martin W. Cooke, introduced Justice Pryor in these words: "The next in order is the benediction. There is no poetical sentiment accompanying this toast, but if you will bear with me I promise you learning, poetry, and eloquence. To that end I call upon General Roger A. Pryor."]

Mr. Chairman:—I don't know what I am to respond to. I have no text; I have no topic. What am I to talk about? I am not only unlike other gentlemen, taken by surprise, but I am absolutely without a subject, and what am I to say? I don't know but that, as His Excellency the Governor of this Imperial State expatiated, eloquently and justly, upon the achievements and glories of New York, it might be pardoned me in saying something of my own native State.

What has Virginia done for our common country? What names has she contributed to your historic roll? She has given you George Washington. [Applause.] She has given you Patrick Henry, who first sounded the signal of revolt against Great Britain. She has given you John Marshall, who so profoundly construed the Constitution formed by Madison and Hamilton. She has given you Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence. [Applause.] She has given you Madison and Monroe. Where is there such a galaxy of great men known to history? You talk of the age of Pericles and of Augustus, but remember, gentlemen, that at that day Virginia had a population of only one-half the population of the city of Brooklyn to-day, and[Pg 960] yet these are the men that she then produced to illustrate the glory of Americans.

And what has Virginia done for our Union? Because sometime a rebel, as I was, I say now that it is my Union. [Applause.] As I have already said it was a Virginian—Patrick Henry—kinsman, by the way, of Lord Brougham, kinsman of Robertson, the historian, not a plebeian as some would represent, and one nominated by George Washington to be Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, which nomination was carried to him by Light-Horse Harry Lee—I mention that because there is a notion that Patrick Henry was no lawyer. He was a consummate lawyer, else George Washington would never have proposed him to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States; and he was a reading man, too, a scholar, deeply learned, and he printed at his own expense Soame Jenyns' work upon the internal evidence of Christianity. He was a profound student, not of many books, but of a few books and of human nature. He first challenged Great Britain by his resolutions against the Stamp act in 1765, and then it was that Virginia, apropos of what you said to-day in your admirable discourse—I address myself to Judge Cooley—Virginia was the first free and independent people on earth that formulated a written complete Constitution. I affirm that the Constitution of Virginia in 1776 was the first written Constitution known to history adopted by the people. And the frontispiece and the fundamental principle of that Constitution, was the Bill of Rights—that Bill of Rights, drawn by George Mason, you, gentlemen, in your Constitution of New York, from your first Constitution to your last, have adopted. So when you expatiate upon the merits of written-over prescriptive constitutions, and with such eloquence and convincing force, I beg you to remember that this now forlorn and bereaved Commonwealth was the first people on earth that ever promulgated a formal, complete, written Constitution, dividing the functions of government in separate departments and reposing it for its authority upon the will of the people. Jefferson gave you the Declaration of Independence in pursuance of a resolution adopted by the Legislature of Virginia, instructing the delegates in the Continental Congress to propose a Declaration of Independence.[Pg 961] The first suggestion of your more perfect union came from the Legislature of Virginia in January, 1786, and your Federal Constitution is construed upon the lines laid down by Edmund Randolph, and proposed in the convention as the basis of the Constitution which resulted in your now incomparable, as Mr. Gladstone says, incomparable instrument of government.

Furthermore, your great Northwest, your States of Ohio and Michigan, whose jurisprudence Judge Cooley so signally illustrates, Indiana and others, to whom are you indebted that this vast and fertile and glorious country is an integral part of our Union? You are indebted to a Virginian, to Patrick Henry, then the Governor of Virginia, for the expedition to the Northwest headed by George Rogers Clark, as he was called, the Hannibal of the New World, who with three hundred untrained militia conquered for you that vast domain of the Northwest, which Virginia, in her devotion to the Union gave, a free donation with magnanimity surpassing that of Lear. She divided her possession with her associates, and let me add, it has not been requited with the ingratitude of Lear's daughters, for the disposition and the policy of this Government toward Virginia at the end of the war, and toward the people of the South has been characterized by a magnanimity and clemency unparalleled in the history of the world. [Applause.]

You must remember that the war commenced, as you gentlemen believe, without provocation; we believe otherwise. This war so commenced, costing a million of lives and countless millions of treasure, has not been expiated by one drop of retributive blood. [Applause.] You must further remember, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, that at the formation of the Constitution every distinguished Virginian was hostile to slavery and advocated its abolition. [Applause.] Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, all without exception, were the enemies of slavery and desired its extinction, and why it was not then abolished I leave you gentlemen to determine by consulting history; it was certainly not the fault of Virginia.

Now will you pardon me, I have been led into these remarks because you did not give me a text, and I had to extemporize one, or rather adopt the suggestion of his Ex[Pg 962]cellency, the Governor of this State. Now, here we are asked, why did Virginia go into the War of Secession? Let me tell you as one who was personally cognizant of the events. Twice Virginia in her convention voted against the ordinance of secession, the deliberate will of the people of Virginia, expressed under circumstances which did not coerce their opinion, was that it was her interest and her duty to remain loyal to the Union, but meanwhile a blow was struck at Sumter, war, actual war, occurred. What then was the course of Virginia? She said to herself, I know I am to be the Flanders of this conflict; I know that my fields are to be ravaged and my sons to be slaughtered and my homes to be desolated, but war has occurred, the South is my sister and I will go with her. It was a magnanimous and it was a disinterested resolution, and if her fault was grievous, grievously hath she answered it. When this war occurred, she, beyond dispute, occupied the primacy in the Union; she is to-day the Niobe of nations, veiled and weeping the loss of her sons, her property confiscated and her homes in ashes. Perhaps, you may say, the punishment is not disproportionate to her trespass, but nevertheless there she is, and I say for her, that Virginia is loyal to the Union. [Applause.] And never more, mark what I say, never more will you see from Virginia any intimations of hostility to the Union; she has weighed the alternative of success, and she sees now, every sensible man in the South sees, that the greatest calamity that could have befallen the South would have been the ascendency of this ill-starred Confederacy. [Applause.] Because that Confederacy carried to the utmost extreme, to the reductio ad absurdum, the right of secession, carried in its bosom the seed of its own destruction, and even in the progress of war, welded together as we were under pressure, some were so recalcitrant, that the president of the Confederacy recommended the suspension of the habeas corpus act for the suppression of disaffection, and let me say, rebels as we were, so true were we to the traditions of Anglo-Saxon liberty that we never would suspend for a moment that sacred sanction of personal freedom. [Applause.] And, moreover, we see now, you will be surprised at what I say, I voice the sentiment of every reflecting man in Virginia, and woman too. We see now that slavery[Pg 963] was a material and a moral evil, and we exult that the black man is emancipated and stands as our equal under the law.

Why didn't we see it before? You know the story of the view of the opposite sides of the shield. We had been educated under slavery, our preachers had taught us that it had the sanction of the Divine Scripture, we never saw any other aspect of the question, but now since it is changed, we look at it and we perceive that slavery is not only incompatible with the moral principles of government, but is hostile to the material interests of the country, and I repeat that to-day, if the people of the South were permitted to vote upon the question to re-establish African slavery, there would not be a hundred votes in the entire South, in favor of reshackling the limbs of the liberated negro.

Gentlemen, that is the attitude of old Virginia, the Old Dominion, as we proudly call her, and as such I am sure you will pardon her, because when she was in the Union she never failed you in any emergency; when you were menaced by the invasion of the British, it was Winfield Scott and the Cockade Corps of Virginia that repelled the enemy from your shores. Old Virginia has always been true to the Union, if you blot from her history that recent episode which I say you have blotted generously from your memory, and she from hers; we stand now with you, and I have personal testimony of the fact, because coming among you, not only an utter stranger, and having against me natural prejudices as a rebel, nevertheless, I have been received in the State of New York with nothing but courtesy and kindness. Mr. Benjamin, in England, is no parallel instance, because he went among a people who sympathized with the Rebellion, and who, if they had dared to strike would have taken sides with the Rebellion, but I came here to those who naturally would have repelled me, but instead of rejecting me, they have kindly taken me to the bosom of their hospitalities and have rewarded me infinitely beyond my merits; and to them, and especially to my brother lawyers of the State of New York, I feel the profoundest gratitude, in attestation of which I trust that when I go, my bones may rest under the green sod of the Imperial State. [Applause.][Pg 964]



[Speech of Josiah Quincy, Jr., at the banquet given by the "Young Men of Boston" at Boston, Mass., February 1, 1842, to Charles Dickens, upon his first visit to America. Mr. Quincy was the President of the evening. About two hundred gentlemen sat at the tables, the brilliant company including George Bancroft, Richard H. Dana, Sr., Richard H. Dana, Jr., Washington Allston, the painter, Oliver Wendell Holmes, George S. Hillard, Josiah Quincy, President of Harvard College, the Governor of the State, the Mayor of the city, and Thomas C. Grattan, the British Consul.]

Gentlemen:—The occasion that calls us together is almost unprecedented in the annals of literature. A young man has crossed the ocean, with no hereditary title, no military laurels, no princely fortune, and yet his approach is hailed with pleasure by every age and condition, and on his arrival he is welcomed as a long-known and highly valued friend. How shall we account for this reception? Must we not at the first glance conclude with Falstaff, "If the rascal have not given me medicines to make me love him, I'll be hanged: it could not be else—I have drunk medicines."

But when reflection leads us to the causes of this universal sentiment, we cannot but be struck by the power which mind exercises over mind, even while we are individually separated by time, space, and other conditions of our present being. Why should we not welcome him as a friend? Have we not walked with him in every scene of varied life? Have we not together investigated, with Mr. Pickwick, the theory of Tittlebats? Have we not ridden together to the "Markis of Granby" with old Weller on the box, and his son Samivel on the dickey? Have we not been rook-shoot[Pg 965]ing with Mr. Winkle, and courting with Mr. Tupman? Have we not played cribbage with "the Marchioness," and quaffed the rosy with Dick Swiveller? Tell us not of animal magnetism! We, and thousands of our countrymen, have for years been eating and talking, riding and walking, dancing and sliding, drinking and sleeping, with our distinguished guest, and he never knew of the existence of one of us. Is it wonderful that we are delighted to see him, and to return in a measure his unbounded hospitalities? Boz a stranger! Well may we again exclaim, with Sir John Falstaff, "D'ye think we didn't know ye?—We knew ye as well as Him that made ye."

But a jovial fellow is not always the dearest friend; and, although the pleasure of his society would always recommend the progenitor of Dick Swiveller, "the perpetual grand of the glorious Appollers," in a scene like this, yet the respect of grave doctors and of fair ladies proves that there are higher qualities than those of a pleasant companion to recommend and attach them to our distinguished guest. What is the charm that unites so many suffrages? It is that in the lightest hours, and in the most degraded scenes which he has portrayed, there has been a reforming object and a moral tone, not formally thrust into the canvas, but infused into the spirit of the picture, with those natural touches whose contemplation never tires.

With what a power of delineation have the abuses of his institutions been portrayed! How have the poor-house, the jail, the police courts of justice, passed before his magic mirror, and displayed to us the petty tyranny of the low-minded official, from the magnificent Mr. Bumble, and the hard-hearted Mr. Roker, to the authoritative Justice Fang, the positive Judge Starleigh! And as we contemplate them, how strongly have we realized the time-worn evils of some of the systems they revealed to our eyesight, sharpened to detect the deficiencies and malpractices under our own.

The genius of chivalry, which had walked with such power among men, was exorcised by the pen of Cervantes. He did but clothe it with the name and images of Don Quixote de la Mancha and his faithful Squire, and ridicule destroyed what argument could not reach.

This power belongs in an eminent degree to some of the[Pg 966] personifications of our guest. A short time ago it was discovered that a petty tyrant had abused the children who had been committed to his care. No long and elaborate discussion was needed to arouse the public mind. He was pronounced a perfect Squeers, and eloquence could go no further. Happy is he who can add a pleasure to the hours of childhood, but far happier he who, by fixing the attention of the world on their secret sufferings, can protect or deliver them from their power.

But it is not only as a portrayer of public wrongs that we are indebted to our friend. What reflecting mind can contemplate some of those characters without being made more kind-hearted and charitable? Descend with him into the very sink of vice—contemplate the mistress of a robber—the victim of a murderer—disgraced without—polluted within—and yet when, in better moments, her natural kindness breaks through the cloud, then she tells you that no word of counsel, no tone of moral teaching, ever fell upon her ear. When she looks forward from a life of misery to a death by suicide, you cannot but feel that there is no condition so degraded as not to be visited by gleams of a higher nature, and rejoice that He alone will judge the sin who knows also the temptation. Again, how strongly are the happiness of virtue and the misery of vice contrasted. The morning scene of Sir Mulberry Hawk and his pupil brings out in strong relief the night scene of Kit Nubbles and his mother. The one in affluence and splendor, trying to find an easier position for his aching head, surrounded with means and trophies of debauchery, and thinking "there would be nothing so snug and comfortable as to die at once." The other in the poorest room, earning a precarious subsistence by her labors at the wash-tub—ugly, and ignorant, and vulgar, surrounded by poverty, with one child in the cradle, and the other in the clothes-basket, "whose great round eyes emphatically declared that he never meant to go to sleep any more, and thus opened a cheerful prospect to his relations and friends"—and yet in this situation, with only the comfort that cleanliness and order could impart, kindness of heart and the determination to be talkative and agreeable throws a halo round the scene, and as we contemplate it we cannot but feel that Kit Nubbles attained[Pg 967] to the summit of philosophy, when he discovered "there was nothing in the way in which he was made that called upon him to be a snivelling, solemn, whispering chap—sneaking about as if he couldn't help it, and expressing himself in a most unpleasant snuffle—but that it was as natural for him to laugh as it was for a sheep to bleat, a pig to grunt, or a bird to sing."

Or take another example, when wealth is attained, though by different means and for different purposes. Ralph Nickleby and Arthur Gride are industrious and successful; like the vulture, they are ever soaring over the field that they may pounce on the weak and unprotected. Their constant employment is grinding the poor and preying upon the rich. What is the result? Their homes are cold and cheerless—the blessing of him that is ready to perish comes not to them, and they live in wretchedness to die in misery. What a contrast have we in the glorious old twins—brother Charles and brother Ned. They have never been to school, they eat with their knives (as the Yankees are said to do), and yet what an elucidation do they present of the truth that it is better to give than to receive! They acquire their wealth in the honorable pursuits of business. They expend it to promote the happiness of every one within their sphere, and their cheerful days and tranquil nights show that wealth is a blessing or a curse, as it ministers to the higher or lower propensities of our nature.

"He that hath light within his own clear breast,
May sit in the centre and enjoy bright day;
But he that hides a dark soul, and foul thoughts,
Benighted walks under the mid-day sun;
Himself is his own dungeon."

Such men are powerful preachers of the truth that universal benevolence is the true panacea of life; and, although it was a pleasant fiction of brother Charles, "that Tim Linkinwater was born a hundred and fifty years old, and was gradually coming down to five and twenty," yet he who habitually cultivates such a sentiment will, as years roll by, attain more and more to the spirit of a little child; and the hour will come when that principle shall conduct the possessor to immortal happiness and eternal youth.[Pg 968]

If, then, our guest is called upon to state what are

"The drugs, the charms,
The conjuration and the mighty magic,
He's won our daughters with,"

well might he reply, that in endeavoring to relieve the oppressed, to elevate the poor, and to instruct and edify those of a happier condition, he had only held "the mirror up to Nature. To show virtue her own form—scorn her own image." That "this only was the witchcraft he had used;" and, did he need proof of this, there are many fair girls on both sides of the water who, though they might not repeat the whole of Desdemona's speech to a married man, yet could each tell him,

"That if he had a friend that loved her,
He should but teach him how to tell his stories,
And that would win her."

I would, gentlemen, it were in my power to present, as on the mirror in the Arabian tale, the various scenes in our extended country, where the master-mind of our guest is at this moment acting. In the empty school-room, the boy at his evening task has dropped his grammar, that he may roam with Oliver or Nell. The traveller has forgotten the fumes of the crowded steamboat, and is far off with our guest, among the green valleys and hoary hills of old England. The trapper, beyond the Rocky Mountains, has left his lonely tent, and is unroofing the houses in London with the more than Mephistopheles at my elbow. And, perhaps, in some well-lighted hall, the unbidden tear steals from the father's eye, as the exquisite sketch of the poor schoolmaster and his little scholar brings back the form of that gifted boy, whose "little hand" worked its wonders under his guidance, and who, in the dawning of intellect and warm affections, was summoned from the school-room and the play-ground forever. Or to some bereaved mother the tender sympathies and womanly devotion, the touching purity of little Nell, may call up the form where dwelt that harmonious soul, which uniting in itself God's best gifts, for a short space shed its celestial light upon her household, and then vanishing, "turned all hope into memory."[Pg 969]

But it is not to scenes like these that I would now recall you. I would that my voice could reach the ear of every admirer of our guest throughout the land, that with us they might welcome him, on this, his first public appearance to our shores. Like the rushing of many waters, the response would come to us from the bleak hills of Canada, from the savannas of the South, from the prairies of the West, uniting in an "earthquake voice" in the cheers with which we welcome Charles Dickens to this new world.[Pg 970]



[Speech of Rev. Dr. Andrew V. V. Raymond at the thirteenth annual dinner of the Holland Society of New York, January 12, 1898. The President, John W. Vrooman, said: "I must now make good a promise, and permit me to illustrate it by a brief story. A minister about to perform the last rites for a dying man, a resident of Kentucky, said to him with solemnity that he hoped he was ready for a better land. The man instantly rallied and cried out, 'Look here, Mr. Minister, there ain't no better land than Kentucky!' To secure the attendance of our genial and eloquent College President I made a promise to him to state publicly at this time that there is no better college in the world than Union College; that there is no better president in the world than the president of old Union; and I may add that there is no better man than my valued friend, President Andrew V. V. Raymond, of Union College, who will respond to the toast: 'The Dutch as Enemies.—Did a person but know the value of an enemy he would purchase him with fine gold.'"]

Mr. President:—Ladies—to whom now, as always, I look up for inspiration—and gentlemen of the Holland Society, when one has been rocked in a Dutch cradle, and baptized with a Dutch name and caressed with a Dutch slipper, and nursed on Dutch history, and fed on Dutch theology, he is open to accept an invitation from the Holland Society. It is now four years since I had the pleasure of speaking my mind freely about the Dutch, and in the meantime so much mind—or is it only speech—has accumulated that the present opportunity comes very much like a merciful interposition of Providence on my behalf. During these years my residence has been changed, for whereas I used to live in Albany now I live in Schenectady, which is like moving from The Hague to Leyden, or in other words, going a little farther into the heart of Dutchdom, for nowhere else is Dutch spelled with a larger D than[Pg 971] in the city of my residence to-day, with Lisha's Kill on one side, and Rotterdam on another, and Amsterdam on the third, and a real dyke on the fourth, to say nothing of the canal.

You do not remember that speech of mine four years ago for you did not hear it. That was not my fault, however, but your misfortune, of course. You did not hear it because you were not here. You were asleep in your own beds, of course, where Dutchmen always go when they are sleepy, which is perhaps the principal reason why they are not caught napping in business hours. Unfortunately, however, that speech was printed in full, or I might repeat it now. One learns from such little experiences what not to do the next time. But if you do not remember the speech, I do—at least the subject—which was "The Dutch as Neighbors," and it has seemed wise to get as far as possible from that subject to-night lest I might be tempted to plagiarize, and so I propose to talk for a moment only about "The Dutch as Enemies."

I do not like the first suggestion of this subject any more than do you. For to think of a man as an enemy is to think ill of him, and to intimate that the Dutchman was not and is not perfect is to intimate something which no one here will believe, and which no one certainly came to hear. But as a matter of fact, gentlemen, no one can be perfect without being an enemy any more than he can be perfect without being a friend. The two things are complementary; the one is the reverse side of the other. Everything in this universe, except a shadow, has two sides—unless, perhaps, it may be a political machine whose one-sidedness is so proverbial as to suggest that it also is a thing wholly of darkness caused by someone standing in the way of the light. The Dutchman, however, is not a shadow of anything or of anybody. You can walk around him, and when you do that you find that he has not only a kindly face and a warm hand, but something called backbone, and it is that of which I am to speak to-night, for it suggests about all that I mean by the Dutchman as an enemy.

Some people are enemies, or become enemies, because of their spleen; others because of their total depravity; and others still because they persist in standing upright when[Pg 972] someone wants them to lie down and be stepped on. That is the meaning of backbone, in this world of human strife, and if, from time to time, it has made an enemy of the peace-loving Dutchman, it has been the kind of enmity that has gathered to itself not a little gratitude, for after all it is the kind of enmity that has made this world more tolerable as a place of temporary abode. If no one opposes tyrants and thieves and heretics and franchise-grabbers, city lots fall rapidly in price. It is the Dutchman who keeps up the real estate market. When I have suggested that it is because of his opposition that he is regarded as an enemy, I have come to the heart of all that
I propose to say to-night. As a matter of fact, the Dutchman has never
been very aggressive. He may not be enterprising, but his powers of resistance are superb, and as this world wags it is often better to hold fast than it is to be fast.

If the Dutchman has not been aggressive, he has certainly been steadfast. He has never become an enemy willingly, but always under compulsion; willing to let other people alone if they will let him alone, and if they will not do that, then he makes them do it. Those dykes tell the whole story. The Dutchman did not want the sea—only the earth. But when the sea wanted him he took up arms against it. It was so with those Roman legions. The Dutchman had no quarrel with Rome until Rome wanted to extend its empire that way, and to acquire him and grow fat from his tribute money. But the Dutchman had no need of an empire up his way, and so kept his tribute money, and sent the eagles home hungry. If Spain had not wanted to whip the Dutchman, the Dutchman would not have whipped Spain. If England had not wanted a brush with the Dutch, that broom would never have been nailed to Tromp's masthead. If Jameson had not tried to raid the Dutchman, the Dutchman would not have corralled Jameson. From first to last, his battles have been on the defensive. He has always been ambitious to be a good friend with the latch-string always on the outside, and has only become an enemy when somebody has tried to get into his house through the window. That kind of enmity hurts no one who does not deserve to be hurt.

As this world goes, it is a great thing to say of a man[Pg 973] that he never gets down his gun until he sees another gun pointed his way, but it is a greater thing to say that when he does see that other gun he does not get under the bed, and that is what can be said of the Dutchman more than of any other man in the world. He will not run into a fight; he will not run away from a fight—in fact he has no reputation whatever as a runner in any direction. But he can take a stand, and when the smoke has cleared away there he is, still standing. He will not vote himself an enemy, but if against his will he is voted an enemy, he accepts the election, and discharges the duties of his office with painstaking vigilance and care. Now, no one does that, and ever gets re-elected, no matter what the office. Such is the world. And so the Dutchman has never been voted an enemy twice by the same people. One term of his vigorous administration of hostile forces is quite enough, and inasmuch as he does not care for the office personally, and takes it only from a sense of duty, he never seeks a re-election. He is always ready to step down and out, and resume his old occupation of being a good neighbor and a peace-loving citizen.

That is perhaps his greatest virtue, and it all grows out of the fact that his spirit of antagonism is located in his backbone, leaving his heart free. He does not love strife and he does not hate the man with whom he fights, and so, in all his battles, he has never been vindictive, cruel, merciless. When he has had to fight he has fought like a man and a Christian, for righteousness' sake, and not like a demon to humiliate and to annihilate his foes. That makes the Dutchman a rare kind of enemy, and that, more than anything else, I think, has distinguished his enmity through all the years of his history. He has gone far toward obeying the precept, "Love your enemies, and bless them that curse you." If he has not been able to keep men from hating him, and cursing him, and persecuting him, he has been able to keep himself from hating and cursing and persecuting in return; and so, while he is one of the greatest of military heroes in history, he is also one of the greatest of moral heroes, and that is a greater honor, inasmuch as "He that ruleth his own spirit is greater than he that taketh a city."[Pg 974]

I do not claim all glory for the Dutch. It is not given to any one nation to monopolize virtue. I only assert that the Dutchman's virtue is of a peculiarly exalted type. The Englishman's virtue is just as real, only another kind of virtue. If the Dutchman's spirit of hostility or of antagonism resides in his backbone, the Englishman's spirit of hostility or antagonism resides in his breastbone. That makes all the difference between them. The Englishman fights, but he fights aggressively. And as the heart lies back of the breastbone it never gets into his fighting. He neither loves his enemies nor hates them. He simply loves England. If it has been the mission of the Dutch to keep, it has been the mission of the English to get, and in the getting he has had to do a world of fighting.

It comes with ill grace from us, however, to condemn the Englishman when to-day Uncle Sam is standing on the Pacific Slope expanding his chest toward Hawaii. But if we cannot condemn with good grace, there is no need to praise English aggressiveness and acquisitiveness overmuch; what we do need to praise and cultivate is the Dutch virtue of holding fast our own. We have institutions and principles, rights and privileges, in this country which are constantly attacked, and the need of America is that the backbone which the Dutch have given to this country should assert itself. Hospitality loses its virtue when it means the destruction of the Lares and Penates of our own firesides. When a guest insists on sitting at the head of the table, then it is time for the host to become hostis. What America needs in this new year of grace is not less hospitality toward friends but more hostility toward intruders.

The spirit of this age is iconoclastic. It seeks to destroy sacred memorials, hallowed associations, holy shrines, everything that tells of the faith and the worship of a God-fearing past. The spirit of the age is irreverent, destructive, faithless. Against this and all despoiling forces we as patriots are called to arms. For what does America stand? What are the truths that have gone into her blood and made her strong and beautiful and dominant? The divineness of human rights, the claims of men superior to the claims of property; popular government—not an oligarchy; popular government—not a dictatorship; the sacredness of the[Pg 975] home, the holiness of the sanctuary, faith in humanity, faith in God. These have made America, and without these there can be no America. And because they are attacked, gentlemen, the need of the hour is a patriotism that shall breathe forth the spirit of the people who above all others in history have known how to keep their land, their honor, and their faith. The mission of little Holland will never be ended so long as America needs the inspiration of her glorious example, and the devoted citizenship of her loving sons.[Pg 976]



[Speech of Opie P. Read at the eighty-second dinner of the Sunset Club, Chicago, Ill., January 31, 1895. The general subject of the evening's discussion was "The Tendency and Influence of Modern Fiction." The chairman of the evening, Arthur W. Underwood, said in introducing Mr. Read, "It is very seldom that the Sunset Club discharges its speakers in batteries of four, but something is due to the speakers. Four barrels is a light load, I am told, for a Kentucky colonel, and I have the pleasure of introducing the original 'Kentucky Colonel,' Mr. Opie P. Read."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—The drift of latter-day fiction is largely shown by the department store. The selling of books by the ton proves a return to the extremes of romanticism. People do not jostle one another in their eagerness to secure even a semblance of the truth. The taste of to-day is a strong appetite for sadism; and a novel to be successful must bear the stamp of society rather than the approval of the critic. The reader has gone slumming, and must be shocked in order to be amused. Reviewers tell us of a revolt against realism, that we no longer fawn upon a dull truth, that we crave gauze rather than substance. In fact, realism was never a fad. Truth has never been fashionable; no society takes up philosophy as an amusement.

But after all, popular taste does not make a literature. Strength does not meet with immediate recognition; originality is more often condemned than praised. The intense book often dies with one reading, its story is a wild pigeon of the mind, and sails away to be soon forgotten; but the novel in which there is even one real character, one man of the soil, remains with us as a friend. In the minds of thinking[Pg 977] people, realism cannot be supplanted. But by realism, I do not mean the commonplace details of an uninteresting household, nor the hired man with mud on his cowhide boots, nor the whining farmer who sits with his feet on the kitchen-stove, but the glory that we find in nature and the grandeur that we find in man, his bravery, his honor, his self-sacrifice, his virtue. Realism does not mean the unattractive. A rose is as real as a toad. And a realistic novel of the days of Cæsar would be worth more than Plutarch's Lives.

Every age sees a literary revolution, but out of that revolution there may come no great work of art. The best fiction is the unconscious grace of a cultivated mind, a catching of the quaint humor of men, a soft look of mercy, a sympathetic tear. And this sort of a book may be neglected for years, no busy critic may speak a word in its behalf, but there comes a time when by the merest accident a great mind finds it and flashes its genius back upon the cloud that has hidden it.

Yes, there is a return to romanticism, if indeed there was ever a turn from it. The well-told story has ever found admirers. To the world all the stories have not been told. The stars show no age, and the sun was as bright yesterday as it was the morning after creation. But a simple story without character is not the highest form of fiction. It is a story that may become a fad, if it be shocking enough, if it has in it the thrill of delicious wickedness, but it cannot live. The literary lion of to-day may be the literary ass of to-morrow, but the ass has his bin full of oats and cannot complain.

One very striking literary tendency of to-day is the worship of the English author in America and the hissing of the American author in London. And this proves that American literature is scarcely more popular in England than it is at home. But may not American publishers after awhile take up a London hissing and use it as an advertisement. Hissing is surely a recognition, and proves that an author has not been wholly neglected.

The novel, whether it be of classic form or of faddish type, makes a mark upon the mind of the public. Fiction is a necessary element of modern education. A man may[Pg 978] be a successful physician or a noted lawyer without having read a novel; but he could not be regarded as a man of refined culture. A novel is an intellectual luxury, and in the luxuries of a country we find the refinements of the nation. It was not invention but fancy that made Greece great. A novel-reading nation is a progressive nation. At one time the most successful publication in this country was a weekly paper filled with graceless sensationalism, and it was not the pulpit nor the lecture-platform that took hold of the public taste and lifted it above this trash—it was the publication in cheap form of the English classics. And when the mind of the masses had been thus improved, the magazine became a success.

One slow but unmistakable drift of fiction is toward the short story, and the carefully edited newspaper may hold the fiction of the future.[Pg 979]



[Speech of Whitelaw Reid at the 108th annual banquet of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, May 4, 1876. Samuel D. Babcock, President of the Chamber, was in the chair, and proposed the following toast, to which Mr. Reid was called upon for a response: "The Press—right or wrong; when right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be set right."]

Mr. President:—Lastly, Satan came also, the printer's, if not the public's devil, in propria persona! [Laughter.] The rest of you gentlemen have better provided for yourselves. Even the Chamber of Commerce took the benefit of clergy. The Presidential candidates and the representatives of the Administration and the leading statesmen who throng your hospitable board, all put forward as their counsel the Attorney-General [Alphonso Taft] of the United States. And, as one of his old clients at my left said a moment ago, "a precious dear old counsel he was." [Laughter.]

The Press is without clergymen or counsel; and you doubtless wish it were also without voice. At this hour none of you have the least desire to hear anything or to say anything about the press. There are a number of very able gentlemen who were ranged along that platform—I utterly refuse to say whether I refer to Presidential candidates or not—but there were a number of very able gentlemen who were ranged along that table, who are very much more anxious to know what the press to-morrow morning will have to say about them [laughter], and I know it because I saw the care with which they handed up to the reporters the manuscript copies of their entirely unprepared and extempore remarks. [Laughter.][Pg 980]

Gentlemen, the press is a mild-spoken and truly modest institution which never chants its own praises. Unlike Walt Whitman, it never celebrates itself. Even if it did become me—one of the youngest of its conductors in New York—to undertake at this late hour to inflict upon you its eulogy, there are two circumstances which might well make me pause. It is an absurdity for me—an absurdity, indeed, for any of us—to assume to speak for the press of New York at a table where William Cullen Bryant sits silent. Besides, I have been reminded since I came here, by Dr. Chapin, that the pithiest eulogy ever pronounced upon the first editor of America, was pronounced in this very room and from that very platform by the man who at that time was the first of living editors in this country, when he said that he honored the memory of Benjamin Franklin because he was a journeyman printer who did not drink, a philosopher who wrote common sense, and an office-holder who did not steal. [Applause.]

One word only of any seriousness about your toast; it says: "The Press—right or wrong; when right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be set right." Gentlemen, this is your affair. A stream will not rise higher than its fountain. The Hudson River will not flow backward over the Adirondacks. The press of New York is fed and sustained by the commerce of New York, and the press of New York to-day, bad as it is in many respects—and I take my full share of the blame it fairly deserves—is just what the merchants of New York choose to have it. If you want it better, you can make it better. So long as you are satisfied with it as it is, sustain it as it is, take it into your families and into your counting-rooms as it is, and encourage it as it is, it will remain what it is.

If, for instance, the venerable leader of your Bar, conspicuous through a long life for the practice of every virtue that adorns his profession and his race, is met on his return from the very jaws of the grave, as he re-enters the Court-room to undertake again the gratuitous championship of your cause against thieves who robbed you, with the slander that he is himself a thief of the meanest kind, a robber of defenceless women—I say if such a man is subject to persistent repetition of such a calumny in the very city he has honored[Pg 981] and served, and at the very end and crown of his life, it is because you do not choose to object to it and make your objection felt. A score of similar instances will readily occur to anyone who runs over in his memory the course of our municipal history for the last dozen years, but there is no time to repeat or even to refer to them here.

And so, Mr. President, because this throng of gentlemen, gathered about the doors, pay me the too great compliment by remaining standing to listen when they have started to go home—let me come back to the text you gave me, and the sentiment with which we began: "The Press—right or wrong; when right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be set right." [Applause.] The task in either case is to be performed by the merchants of New York, who have the power to do it and only need resolve that they will.

I congratulate you, gentlemen, on the continued attractions of the annual entertainment you offer us; above all, I congratulate you on having given us the great pleasure of meeting once more and seeing seated together at your table the first four citizens of the metropolis of the Empire State: Charles O'Conor, Peter Cooper, William Cullen Bryant, and John A. Dix. I thank you for the courtesy of your remembrance of the Press; and so to one and all, good-night. [Applause.]


[Speech of Whitelaw Reid at a dinner given by the Irish-Americans to Justin McCarthy, New York City, October 2, 1886. Judge Edward Browne presided. Mr. Reid was called upon to speak to the toast, "Gladstone, England's Greatest Leader."]

Gentlemen:—I am pleased to see that since this toast was sent me by your committee, it has been proof-read. As it came to me, it describes Mr. Gladstone as England's greatest Liberal leader. I thought you might well say that and more. It delights me to find that you have said more—that you have justly described him as England's greatest leader. ["Hear! Hear!"] I do not forget that other, always remembered when Gladstone is mentioned, who edu[Pg 982]cated his party till it captured its opponents' place by first disguising and then adopting their measures. That was in its way as brilliant party leadership as the century has seen, and it placed an alien adventurer in the British peerage and enshrined his name in the grateful memory of a great party that vainly looks for Disraeli's successor. [Applause.] I do not forget a younger statesman, never to be forgotten henceforth by Irishmen, who revived an impoverished and exhausted people, stilled their dissensions, harmonized their conflicting plans, consolidated their chaotic forces, conducted a peaceful Parliamentary struggle in their behalf with incomparable pertinacity, coolness, and resources; and through storms and rough weather has held steadily on till even his enemies see now, in the very flush of their own temporary success, that in the end the victory of Parnell is sure. [Loud applause.] Great leaders both; great historic figures whom our grandchildren will study and analyze and admire.

But this man whom your toast honors, after a career that might have filled any man's ambition, became the head of the Empire whose mourning drum-beat heralds the rising sun on its journey round the world. That place he risked and lost, and risked again to give to an ill-treated powerless section of the Empire, not even friendly to his sway, Church Reform, Educational Reform, Land Reform, Liberty! [Cheers.] It was no sudden impulse and it is no short or recent record. It is more than seventeen years since Mr. Gladstone secured for Ireland the boon of disestablishment. It is nearly as long since he carried the first bill recognizing and seriously endeavoring to remedy the evils of Irish land tenure.

He has rarely been able to advance as rapidly or as far as he wished; and more than once he has gone by a way that few of us liked. But if he was not always right, he has been courageous enough to set himself right. If he made a mistake in our affairs when he said Jefferson Davis had founded a nation, he offered reparation when he secured the Geneva Arbitration, and loyally paid its award. If he made a mistake in Irish affairs in early attempts at an unwise coercion he more than made amends when he led that recent magnificent struggle in Parliament and before the English people, which ended in a defeat, it is true, but a[Pg 983] defeat more brilliant than many victories and more hopeful for Ireland. [Applause.]

And over what a length of road has he led the English people! From rotten boroughs to household suffrage; from a government of classes to a government more truly popular than any other in the world outside of Switzerland and the United States. Then consider the advance on Irish questions. From the iniquitous burden of a gigantic and extravagant church establishment, imposed upon the people of whom seven-eighths were of hostile faith, to disestablishment; from the principle stated by Lord Palmerston with brutal frankness that "tenant-right is landlord's wrong," to judicial rents and the near prospect of tenant ownership on fair terms; from the arbitrary arrests of Irish leaders to the alliance of the Prime Minister and ruling party with the prisoner of Kilmainham Jail! [Loud cheers.] It has been no holiday parade, the leadership on a march like that. Long ago Mr. Disraeli flung at him the exultant taunt that the English people had had enough of his policy of confiscation; and so it proved for a time, for Mr. Disraeli turned him out. But Mr. Gladstone knew far better than his great rival did the deep and secret springs of English action, and he never judged from the temper of the House or a tour of the London drawing-rooms. Society, indeed, always disapproved of him, as it did of those kindred spirits, the anti-slavery leaders of American politics. But the frowns of Fifth Avenue and Beacon Street have not dimmed the fame of Sumner and Chase; of Seward and Lincoln [a voice: "And of Wendell Phillips." Cheers]; nor does Belgravia control the future of Mr. Gladstone's career any more than it has been able to hinder his past.

More than any other statesman of his epoch, he has combined practical skill in the conduct of politics with a steadfast appeal to the highest moral considerations. To a leader of that sort defeats are only stepping-stones, and the end is not in doubt. A phrase once famous among us has sometimes seemed to me fit for English use about Ireland. A great man, a very great man, whose name sheds lasting honor upon our city said in an impulsive moment—that he "never wanted to live in a country where the one-half was pinned to the other by bayonets." If Mr. Gladstone ever[Pg 984] believed in thus fastening Ireland to England, he has learned a more excellent way. Like Greeley he would no doubt at the last fight, if need be, for the territorial integrity of his country. But he has learned the lesson Charles James Fox taught nearly a hundred years before: "The more Ireland is under Irish Government, the more she will be bound to English interests." That precept he has been trying to reduce to practice. God grant the old statesman life and light to see the sure end of the work he has begun! [Loud applause.]

I must not sit down without a word more to express the personal gratification I feel in seeing an old comrade here as your guest. Twelve or fourteen years ago he did me the honor to fill for a time an important place on the staff of my newspaper. With what skill and power he did his work; with what readiness and ample store of information you need not be told, for the anonymous editorial writer of those days is now known to the English-speaking world as the brilliant historian of "Our Own Times." Those of us who knew him then have seen his sacrifice of private interests and personal tastes for the stormy life of an Irish member of Parliament, and have followed with equal interest and admiration his bold yet prudent and high-minded Parliamentary career. He has done all that an Irishman ought for his country; he has done it with as little sympathy or encouragement for the policy of dynamite and assassination in England as we have had for bomb-throwing in Chicago. [Loud and prolonged applause.][Pg 985]



[Speech of Rev. W. L. Robbins at the annual dinner of the New York State Bar Association, given in the City of Albany, N. Y., January 20, 1891, in response to the sentiment, "The Relation of the Pulpit to the Bar." Matthew Hale presided.]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—I am so dazed at the temerity which has ventured to put so soporific a subject as "The Pulpit" at so late an hour in the evening, that I can only conceive of but one merit in any response to the present toast, and that is brevity. I had always supposed that the pulpit was "sleepy" enough in its effect upon men in the early hours of the day, at least that was my conclusion, in so far as it has been my privilege to see men present, at pulpit ministrations, leaving us as they do for the most part to preach to women and children. Shall I confess that the feeling came over me during the first part of the evening that I was rather out of place among so many laymen, alone as a representative of the clergy; but later, I found confidence through a sense of kinship in suffering, for is it not true that we represent two of the best abused professions in the world? I do not mean by that, abuse ab extra. I am told indeed, occasionally, that the pulpit is effete, that its place has been filled by the press and lecture platform, that there is no further use for it. But I do not know that I have heard abuse ab extra of the Bar, unless some ill-natured person should read it into the broad Scotch pronunciation of an old friend of mine who used to say to me, "Ah, the lieyers, the lieyers."

But what we must needs guard against is abuse from within. In the first place we are a good deal given to self-[Pg 986]congratulation. I use the first person plural and not the second person; I remember a friend of mine, a distinguished clergyman in Boston, an Englishman, who once ventured to preach upon political corruption in the municipal government, and the next day he had the audacity to drop into the office of one of the business men of his congregation and say, "What did you think of that sermon?"—a very dangerous question, by the way, always to ask—and the reply came promptly, "You had better go and be naturalized so that you can say 'we sinners,' instead of 'you sinners.'" [Laughter.] Since that time, from the pulpit or from any other place, I have hesitated to say, "You sinners," and I will promise to say "we sinners" to-night.

But truly the pulpit and the Bar, in their ideal, are, as it were, "the voice of one crying in the wilderness," a witness to the eternal truth. Are they not? The pulpit is sent forth to herald the love of God, and the Bar is sent forth to herald the justice of God; but they don't always succeed. I can speak from experience for the pulpit, that the position of authority, the claim of a divine mission, is often turned into the excuse for the airing of a man's individual fads, and is naught but a cloak for pretentious ignorance. [Applause.] And for the Bar, I wonder if I might venture to quote the definition of legal practice which was given me the other night, apropos of this toast, by a distinguished representative of the New York Bar Association, that it was "a clever device for frustrating justice, and getting money into the lawyer's pocket." [Laughter.] But if it be true that we have a mission, it is equally true that we must join hands if we are going to accomplish that mission. I am tired of hearing about the Pulpit as the voice of the public conscience. I do not know why the Bar should not be the voice of the public conscience quite as much as the Pulpit. If there are laws on the statute book that are not obeyed, I don't know why the clergy should make public protest rather than the lawyers, who are representatives of the law. [Applause.] And if principles of our Constitution are being subtly invaded to-day under the mask, for instance, of State subsidies or national subsidies to sectarian institutions either of learning or of charity, I don't know why the first voice of warning should come from the Pulpit rather than[Pg 987] from the Bar. Indeed, when the clergy initiate reforming movements it always seems to me as though there is need of rather more ballast in the boat, need of one of those great wheels which act as a check on the machinery in an engine; and the best fly-wheel is the layman. The tendency, you know, of the Pulpit is toward an unpractical sort of idealism. Its theories are all very good, but my professor in physics used to tell me that the best mathematical theory is put out of gear by friction when you come to illustrate it in practical physics, and so with even the best kind of theoretical philanthropy. The theoretical solution of the problems, social and economic, which confront us is put "out of gear" by facts, about which, alas, the clergy are not as careful as they are about their theory; and, therefore, I plead for a lay enthusiasm. But surely there is no better lay element than the legal to act as ballast for the clergy in pleading the cause of philanthropy and piety and righteousness.

Then I would suggest first of all, that the Pulpit needs to leave the A, B, C's of morality, about which it has been pottering so long, and begin to spell words and sometimes have a reading lesson in morals. That is, that it should apply its principles to practical living issues and questions of the day. And I plead to the lawyers to come out once in awhile from the technicalities of practice, and from their worship of cleverness and success, and look to the mission which is laid on them, namely, to bear witness to justice and righteousness. [Applause.] My toast would be "Common sense in the Pulpit and a love of righteousness at the Bar."[Pg 988]



[Speech of James Jeffrey Roche at the banquet of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, New York City, March 17, 1894. John D. Crimmins presided. Mr. Roche, as editor of the "Boston Pilot," responded for "The Press."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick:—I am deeply sensible of the honor you have done me in inviting me to respond to the toast which has just been read.

The virtues of the Press are so many and so self-evident that they scarcely need a eulogist. Even the newspapers recognize and admit them. If you had asked a New York journalist to sing the praises of his craft, his native and professional modesty would have embarrassed his voice. If you had asked a Chicagoan, the honorable chairman would have been compelled to resort to cloture before the orator got through. If you had asked a Philadelphian, he would have been in bed by this hour.

Therefore, you wisely went to the city which not only produces all the virtues—but puts them up in cans, for export to all the world. We do not claim to know everything, in Boston—but we do know where to find it. We have an excellent newspaper press, daily and weekly, and should either or both ever, by any chance, fail to know anything—past, present, or to come—we have a Monday Lectureship, beside which the Oracle of Delphi was a last year's almanac. [Applause.]

I met a man, on the train, yesterday—a New York man (he said he was)—of very agreeable manners. He told me what his business was, and when I told him my business in[Pg 989] New York, he surprised me by asking: "What are you going to say to them in your speech that will be real sassy, and calculated to make all their pet corns ache?" I told him I did not know what he meant, that of course I should say nothing but the most pleasant things I could think of; that, in fact, I intended to read my speech, lest, in the agitation of the moment, I might overlook some complimentary impromptu little touch. Then he laughed and said: "Why, that isn't the way to do at all—in New York. It is easy to see you are a stranger, and don't read the papers. The correct thing nowadays is for the guest to criticise his entertainers. Mayor So-and-So always does it. And only last year—it was at an Irish banquet, too—the speaker of the evening, a Down-Easter like yourself, just spilled boiling vitriol over the whole company, and rubbed it in."

I told him I didn't believe that story, and asked him to tell me the gentleman's name. And he only answered me, evasively: "I didn't say he was a gentleman."

I trust I know better than to say anything uncomplimentary about the Press of New York, which compiles, or constructs, news for the whole Continent, not only before our slower communities have heard of the things chronicled, but often, with commendable enterprise, before they have happened.

I admire the Press of New York. There are a great many Boston men on it, and I have no mission to reform it. In New York, when you have a surplus of journalistic talent, you export it to London, where it is out of place—some of it. The feverish race for priority, which kills off so many American journalists, sometimes, it would seem, almost before their time (but that is a matter of opinion), is unknown in London. A man who reads the "London Times," regularly and conscientiously, is guaranteed forever against insomnia. London "Punch" is a paper which the severest ascetic may read, all through Lent, without danger to his sobriety of soul.

London gets even with you, too. You send her an Astor, and she retaliates with a Stead. We ought to deal gently with Mr. Stead; for he says that we are all children of the one "Anglo-Saxon" family—without regard to race, color, or previous condition of servitude. He avers that England[Pg 990] looks upon America as a brother, and that may be so. It is not easy, at this distance of time, to know just how Romulus looked upon Remus, how Esau looked upon Jacob, how Cain looked upon Abel—but I have no doubt that it was in about the same light that England looks upon America—fraternally! But she ought not to afflict us with Mr. Stead. We have enough to bear without him.

We know that the Press has its faults and its weaknesses. We can see them every day, in our miserable contemporaries, and we do not shirk the painful duty of pointing them out. We know that it has also virtues, manifold, and we do not deny them, when an appreciative audience compliments us upon them. A conscientious journalist never shrinks from the truth, even when it does violence to his modesty. In fact, he tells the truth under all circumstances, or nearly all. If driven to the painful alternative of choosing between that which is new and that which is true, he wisely decides that "truth" is mighty, and will prevail, whereas news won't keep. Nevertheless, it is a safe rule not to believe everything that you see in the papers. Advertisers are human, and liable to err.

Lamartine predicted, long ago, that before the end of the present century the Press would be the whole literature of the world. His prediction is almost verified already. The multiplication and the magnitude of newspapers present, not a literary, but an economic problem. The Sunday paper alone has grown, within a decade, from a modest quarto to a volume of 48, 60, 96, 120 pages, with the stream steadily rising and threatening the levees on both banks. At a similar rate of expansion in the next ten years, it will be made up of not less than 1,000 pages, and the man who undertakes to read it will be liable to miss First Mass.

The thoughtful provision of giving away a "farm coupon" with every number may avert trouble for a time, but it will be only for a time. The reader will need a farm, on which to spread out and peruse his purchase; but the world is small, and land has not the self-inflating quality of paper.

But to speak more seriously: Is modern journalism, then, nothing but a reflection of the frivolity of the day, of the passing love of notoriety? I say no! I believe that the day of sensational journalism, of the blanket sheet and the fear[Pg 991]ful woodcut, is already passing away. Quantity cannot forever overcome quality, in that or any other field. When we think of the men who have done honor to the newspaper profession, we do not think so proudly of this or that one who "scooped" his contemporaries with the first, or "exclusive," report of a murder or a hanging, but of men like the late George W. Childs, whom all true journalists honor and lament.

We think of the heroes of the pen, who carried their lives in their hands as they went into strange, savage countries, pioneers of civilization. It would be invidious to mention names, where the roll is so long and glorious; but I think, at the moment, of O'Donovan, Forbes, Stanley, Burnaby, Collins, and our own Irish-American, MacGahan, the great-hearted correspondent, who changed the political map of Eastern Europe by exposing the Bulgarian atrocities. The instinct which impelled those men was the same which impelled Columbus.

I think, in another field, of the noblest man I have ever known, the truest, most chivalrous gentleman, a newspaper man, an editor—I am proud to say, an Irish-American editor—the memory of whose honored name, I well know, is the only excuse for my being here to-night—John Boyle O'Reilly! You have honored his name more than once here to-night, and in honoring him you honor the profession which he so adorned.[Pg 992]



[Speech of Dr. D. B. St. John Roosa, as President of the Holland Society of New York, at the eleventh annual dinner of the Society, New York City, January 15, 1896.]

Gentlemen, Members of the Holland Society, and our Honored Guests:—My first duty is to welcome to our Board the representatives of the various societies who honor us by their presence: St. George's, St. Nicholas, New England, St. Andrew's, Colonial Order, and Colonial Wars, Southern Society, the Holland Society welcomes you most heartily. I ought to say that the Holland Society, as at present constituted, could run a Police Board [applause], furnish the Mayors for two cities, and judges to order, to decide on any kind of a case. As a matter of fact, when they get hard up down-town for a judge, they just send up to the man who happens to be President of the Holland Society and say "Now we want a judge," and we send Van Hoesen, Beekman, Truax, or Van Wyck. [Applause.] They are all right. They are Dutch, and they will do. [Laughter.] All the people say it does not make any difference about their politics, so long as the blood is right.

Now, gentlemen, seriously, I thank you very sincerely for the honor which you have conferred upon me—and which I was not able, on account of circumstances entirely beyond my control, to acknowledge at the annual meeting of the Society—in making me your President. I do not think there is any honor in the world that compares with it, and if you think over the names of the Presidents of this Society you may imagine that a doctor, especially knowing what the Dutch in South Africa think of doctors just now [laughter and applause], would have a mighty slim chance to come[Pg 993] in against a Van Vorst, a Roosevelt, a Van Hoesen, a Beekman, a Van Wyck, or a Van Norden. But my name is not Jameson. [Laughter.]

Gentlemen, there seems to be an impression that the Holland Society, because it does not have a Club-house—and it may have a Club-house, that remains for you to decide; and because it does not have a great many other things, has no reason for its existence. But, gentlemen, there is one sufficient reason for the existence of the Hollanders in a Society. We have eight hundred and forty members, and each one of us has a function—to teach our neighboring Yankees just exactly what we are, whence we came, and where we mean to go. [Laughter and applause.] The colossal ignorance of the ordinary New Englander [laughter and applause]—I mean in regard to the Dutch [laughter]—is something that I would delineate were it not for the presence of the President of the Mayflower Society. [Renewed laughter.] Why, it was only the other night that at one of these entertainments when I was representing you and doing the best I could with my medal and my ribbon, that a friend came up to me and said: "You belong to the Holland Society, don't you?" I said, "Yes." "Well," he said," you Dutch did lick us on the Excise question, didn't you?" [Great laughter and applause.] Now what are you going to do with a people like that? We got the credit of that thing, anyhow. [Renewed laughter.] There is a Governor of Connecticut here to-night [P. C. Lounsbury], and I was going to say something about Governors of Connecticut of years and years ago. A man could not properly relate the history of New Amsterdam without remarking on the Governors of Connecticut, but out of respect to the distinguished gentleman, whom we all delight to honor, I shall draw it very mild. I shall only tell one or two things that those Governors of Connecticut used to do. There was one of them, I have forgotten his name and I am glad I have [laughter], who used to say in all his letters to his subordinates when they were pushing us to the wall and getting the English over to help them push: "Don't you say anything to those people, don't you talk to those people, but always keep crowding the Dutch." [Laughter.] That is what a Connecticut Governor gave as official advice years[Pg 994] ago. And they did crowd us. But Governor Lounsbury told me that if they really had their rights Manhattan Island would belong to Connecticut. So you see they are crowding the Dutch still. [Laughter.]

Now, every once in a while, one of these New Englanders that owns the earth, especially that little stone portion called Plymouth Rock, which we never begrudged them, gets up at a great dinner and reads a fine speech and talks about civil and religious liberty which the Puritan came over to cause to flourish. Why, the poor Puritan did not know any more about religious liberty than an ordinary horse does about astronomy. What the Puritan came over here for, was to get a place to do what he liked, in his own way, without interference from anybody else, with power to keep everybody out that wanted to do anything the least bit different from his way. [Great laughter and applause. A voice—"I'm glad I voted for you."] I never can get elected from New England.

I want to tell you just a thing or two about this business. The Dutch tried very hard to teach them civil and religious liberty before they came over, and then they put the Yankees in a ship and sent them over from Leyden and Delfshaven, saying: "It is utterly useless; we cannot teach you." [Great laughter.] But we came over to New Amsterdam and we had free schools in New York until the English took the city by treachery when there was only Peter Stuyvesant to fire one gun against the invaders, and then they abolished free schools and had their church ones, and they are fighting over that question in England now. Free schools! New York established them when we were free again, years and years afterwards, but they are an invention of the Dutch.

Civil and religious liberty! it was born in Holland, it was nourished by the valor of the Beggars of the Sea, and finally it began to grow into the minds of the peoples of the earth, that it was not only right to enjoy your own religion, but it was also right to let your neighbor enjoy his. [Applause.]

Then there is another story, that the English conquered Manhattan Island, and that we are here by the grace of any people on earth except our own. That is another mistake. Just read Theodore Roosevelt's "Rise of New York."[Pg 995] [Great laughter.] Now I am going to tell you this story because you must go up to Ulster County and up to Dutchess and Albany Counties, and you must tell every Yankee you meet the truth about this, and not let him talk any more about the English having subjugated the Dutch.

It is true the English captured Manhattan Island, but nine years afterwards Admiral Evertsen and another Admiral whose name escapes me, came up the harbor in two frigates with guns well shotted, got beyond Staten Island, and gave the military authorities of New York notice that they were going to take that town, and granted them thirty minutes to make up their minds whether they would give it up or not. When the thirty minutes elapsed, six hundred Dutch troops were landed just back of where Trinity Church now is, and New York became New Amsterdam again. Then how did we lose it? Because the Dutch States-General, which did not know enough, in deciding between New York and Surinam, to choose New York, took Surinam, and they have been wishing ever since they never had been born. Now talk about anybody conquering the Dutch! We generally get there. They sometimes say: "That is all very well, they were very brave people and all that, but they don't do anything now." Waterloo, Van Speyk, Majuba Hill, and the Boers of the Transvaal show what their courage has been in the later generations. What are the Dutch? Why, we are the salt of the earth! We do not pretend to be the bread and butter and the cheese, but we are the salt [laughter], and I think the Boers in South Africa very lately salted some people I know of. [Great laughter and applause.]

If you want to see a city that is well salted, look at New York. Go to the St. Nicholas Society dinner and see that grand assembly; if there is ever a society in New York that is well salted with Dutch, that is, and we are all proud of it. And so it is with every other society, New York society, but not on the paternal side! [Great laughter and applause.]

But if you want to see a place where the Yankee is salt, pepper, bread, butter, and everything, go to Boston. It is a great city. That is all right. But we prefer New York, and we prefer just what God has ordained us to be—the[Pg 996] people not always getting the credit of it, but always accomplishing all the good that is ever accomplished on the face of the earth! [Laughter and applause.] Now you may think that I have not whooped it up enough for the Dutch [great laughter], so I will go on, just for a minute.

The State of North Carolina is always talking about having had a Declaration of Independence in Mecklenburg County, about six months before they had one in Philadelphia. Why, the Dutch farmers up in the Mamacotting Valley of Ulster County signed a Declaration of Independence in April, 1775, and they would have signed it six months before if the New York Council of Safety had given it to them! [Laughter.] This same New England gentleman to whom I have alluded—I have it rather mixed up in my mind which gentleman said it—but some one said that the New Englanders were very unwilling to part from the English, who were patronizing them with tea and stamps. Why, the liberty boys of New York had made up their minds many months before the Declaration of Independence. The Dutch, and notably the Scotch-Irish, had made up their minds. As I say, up in Ulster County they circulated that Declaration of Independence a year and three months before it was really signed in Philadelphia. They knew what they meant. They said, "We shall never be slaves." If you will excuse the fact that I did have a great-grandfather—I am happy to say that my great-grandfather signed that paper and he had a commission in the Continental Army, which I possess, signed by John Hancock, and he was at Saratoga. He was in the 2d New York Line. The Dutch knew that what we wanted was to be a free and independent people, even if our friends over there had not made up their minds. The Dutch are satisfied with a very modest position in the world—so that they have the goods and control its destinies. [Great laughter.] Others may call it New York, if they like, or Manhattan, but we call it Dutch.

Now this Society, gentlemen, has a great work before it; our President, who is very much like the President of the French Republic, goes around with a big ribbon, but he has no authority of any kind whatever. He might have some at the Board of Trustees meeting, but that is such an orderly set that there is no use for authority there, and as[Pg 997] for the dinner, Judge Van Hoesen and Mr. Van Schaick manage it very well. But the President does not wish any authority, and glories in the great honor, which it seems to him to be one that any one in this Society might be proud of. We have, however, work to do, and in that your President, by your grace, as a private member and as a trustee, hopes to co-operate with you.

It is a strange thing that this great city of New York has allowed the Puritans first to commemorate the virtues of their heroic race which we all admire, and all love to speak of in terms of praise in our serious moments. It is strange that Central Park is adorned by them with that beautiful statue, while the Dutch have no monument. I well remember the day that that silver-tongued orator, George William Curtis, made the dedication address. But why is it that on this Hudson, which was first ploughed by a Dutch keel, over which first of all a Dutch flag floated, along this Hudson which was first discovered and explored and made habitable by Dutch industry and Dutch thrift, there is no Dutch monument to which we may proudly point as we pass by. There ought to be a statue of that great Dutchman, William the Silent, on Riverside Drive. [Great applause.] Do you ever think of him? Do you ever think of his career, that of the prototype of our own Washington? At fifteen years of age the companion of an emperor; at twenty-one years of age, the commander of a great army, and later giving up wealth and pomp and power, preferring to be among the people of God, than to dwell at ease in the tents of wickedness; giving up everything for a life of tedious struggle in the cold marshes of the Netherlands, finally to die at the hand of an assassin with a prayer for his country upon his lips as he passed away. He was the first human being on the face of this earth, who fairly and fully understood the principles of religious and civic freedom. This great city, the exemplifier of those principles to which it owes so much for its prosperity and magnificence, has not yet commemorated that man. How long shall it be, sons of Hollanders, before William the Silent shall be there looking out upon the Hudson and lifted on high as an example for all time? I hope our eyes will see the day! [Great applause.][Pg 998]



[Speech of Theodore Roosevelt at the eleventh annual dinner of the Holland Society of New York, January 15, 1896. The President, Dr. D. B. St. John Roosa, said: "The next regular toast is: 'The Hollander as an American,' and I shall have the pleasure of introducing a gentleman who is a member of this Society, and, therefore, descended on the male line [laughter] from some one who came here before 1675, is it not? [A voice—"That is right; 1675."] One of the first Roosevelts came very near outstripping Robert Fulton and inventing the steamboat. He did invent a steamboat, and you know the Roosevelts have had something of a steamboat in them ever since. Now there is another thing I want you Dutchmen to teach the Yankees to do—pronounce his name Rosavelt and not Rusevelt. And, by the way, mine is pronounced Rosa too. Now Mr. Roosevelt is a man, evidently, who has the courage of his convictions [A Voice—"That is right." Applause], and it will be a cold day for the party to which he belongs if they undertake to turn him down. I hoped that you all thought so. There was an old darky that used to say about the Commandments: 'Yes, preacher, they are all right, but in this here neighborhood the eighth Commandment ought to be taught with some discreetions.' [Great laughter.] [A Voice: "Which is the eighth Commandment?"] 'Thou shalt not steal.' Now in New York there are some people who think there are some commandments that ought to be taught with some 'discreetions.' But they had better alter their law if they don't like it, and they had better not put a Dutchman in office after an oath to enforce the law and then ask him why he does enforce it. [Great applause.] This gentleman does not need any introduction, evidently—the Hon. Theodore Roosevelt." [Great applause. Three cheers were proposed and given for Mr. Roosevelt. A Voice: "Tiger!"] Mr. Roosevelt: "In the presence of the judiciary, no!" [Laughter.] There was great cheering when Mr. Roosevelt rose to respond.]

Mr. President, Gentlemen, and Brethren of the Holland Society:—I am more than touched, if you will permit me to begin rather seriously, by the way you have greeted me to-night. When I was in Washington, there [Pg 999]was a story in reference to a certain President, who was not popular with some of his own people in a particular Western State. One of its Senators went to the White House and said he wanted a friend of his appointed postmaster of Topeka. The President's Private Secretary said: "I am very sorry, indeed, sir, but the President wants to appoint a personal friend." Thereupon the Senator said: "Well, for God's sake, if he has one friend in Kansas, let him appoint him!" [Great laughter.]



Photogravure after a photograph from life

There have been periods during which the dissembled eulogies of the able press and my relations with about every politician of every party and every faction have made me feel I would like to know whether I had one friend in New York, and here I feel I have many. [Great applause.] And more than that, gentlemen, I should think ill of myself and think that I was a discredit to the stock from which I sprang if I feared to go on along the path that I deemed right, whether I had few friends or many. [Cries of "Good! Good!" and great applause.]

I am glad to answer to the toast, "The Hollander as an American." The Hollander was a good American, because the Hollander was fitted to be a good citizen. There are two branches of government which must be kept on a high plane, if any nation is to be great. A nation must have laws that are honestly and fearlessly administered, and a nation must be ready, in time of need, to fight [applause], and we men of Dutch descent have here to-night these gentlemen of the same blood as ourselves who represent New York so worthily on the bench, and a Major-General of the Army of the United States. [Applause.]

It seems to me, at times, that the Dutch in America have one or two lessons to teach. We want to teach the very refined and very cultivated men who believe it impossible that the United States can ever be right in a quarrel with another nation—a little of the elementary virtue of patriotism. [Cries of "Good! Good!" and applause.] And we also wish to teach our fellow-citizens that laws are put on the statute books to be enforced [cries of "Hear! Hear!" and applause]; and that if it is not intended they shall be enforced, it is a mistake to put a Dutchman in office to enforce them.[Pg 1000]

The lines put on the programme underneath my toast begin: "America! half-brother of the world!" America, half-brother of the world—and all Americans full brothers one to the other. That is the way that the line should be concluded. The prime virtue of the Hollander here in America and the way in which he has most done credit to his stock as a Hollander, is that he has ceased to be a Hollander and has become an American, absolutely. [Great applause.] We are not Dutch-Americans. We are not "Americans" with a hyphen before it. We are Americans pure and simple, and we have a right to demand that the other people whose stocks go to compose our great nation, like ourselves, shall cease to be aught else and shall become Americans. [Cries of "Hear! Hear!" and applause.]

And further than that, we have another thing to demand, and that is that if they do honestly and in good faith become Americans, those shall be regarded as infamous who dare to discriminate against them because of creed or because of birthplace. When New Amsterdam had but a few hundred souls, among those few hundred souls no less than eighteen different race-stocks were represented, and almost as many creeds as there were race-stocks, and the great contribution that the Hollander gave to the American people was, as your President has so ably said, the inestimable lesson of complete civil and religious liberty. It would be honor enough for this stock to have been the first to put on American soil the public school, the great engine for grinding out American citizens, the one institution for which Americans should stand more stiffly than for aught other. [Great applause.]

Whenever America has demanded of her sons that they should come to her aid, whether in time of peace or in time of war, the Americans of Dutch stock have been among the first to spring to the aid of the country. We earnestly hope that there will not in the future be any war with any power, but assuredly if there should be such a war one thing may be taken for certain, and that is that every American of Dutch descent will be found on the side of the United States. We give the amplest credit, that some people now, to their shame, grudge to the profession of arms, which we have here to-night represented by a man, who, when he has[Pg 1001] the title of a Major-General of the Army of the United States [Thomas H. Ruger], has a title as honorable as any that there is on the wide earth. [Applause.] We also need to teach the lesson, that the Hollander taught, of not refusing to do the small things because the day of large things had not yet come or was in the past; of not waiting until the chance may come to distinguish ourselves in arms, and meanwhile neglecting the plain, prosaic duties of citizenship which call upon us every hour, every day of our lives.

The Dutch kept their freedom in the great contest with Spain, not merely because they warred valiantly, but because they did their duty as burghers in their cities, because they strove according to the light that was in them to be good citizens and to act as such. And we all here to-night should strive so to live that we Americans of Dutch descent shall not seem to have shrunk in this respect, compared to our fathers who spoke another tongue and lived under other laws beyond the ocean; so that it shall be acknowledged in the end to be what it is, a discredit to a man if he does not in times of peace do all that in him lies to make the government of the city, the government of the country, better and cleaner by his efforts. [Great applause.]

I spoke of the militant spirit as if it may only be shown in time of war. I think that if any of you gentlemen, no matter how peaceful you may naturally be, and I am very peaceful naturally [laughter], if you would undertake the administration of the Police Department you would have plenty of fighting on hand before you would get through [renewed laughter]; and if you are true to your blood you will try to do the best you can, fighting or not fighting. You will make up your mind that you will make mistakes, because you won't make anything if you don't make some mistakes, and you will go forward according to your lights, utterly heedless of what either politicians or newspapers may say, knowing that if you act as you feel bound according to your conscience to act, you will then at least have the right when you go out of office, however soon [laughter], to feel that you go out without any regret, and to feel that you have, according to your capacity, warred valiantly for what you deemed to be the right. [Great applause.]

These, then, are the qualities that I should claim for the[Pg 1002] Hollander as an American: In the first place, that he has cast himself without reservation into the current of American life; that he is an American, pure and simple, and nothing else. In the next place, that he works hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder with his fellow Americans, without any regard to differences of creed or to differences of race and religion, if only they are good Americans. [Great applause.] In the third place, that he is willing, when the need shall arise, to fight for his country; and in the fourth place, and finally, that he recognizes that this is a country of laws and not men, that it is his duty as an honest citizen to uphold the laws, to strive for honesty, to strive for a decent administration, and to do all that in him lies, by incessant, patient work in our government, municipal or national, to bring about the day when it shall be taken as a matter of course that every public official is to execute a law honestly, and that no capacity in a public officer shall atone if he is personally dishonest. [Tremendous applause.]


[Speech of Theodore Roosevelt at the nineteenth annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of Brooklyn, December 21, 1898. The President, William B. Davenport, in calling upon Theodore Roosevelt to speak to the toast, "The Day we Celebrate," said: "For many years we have been celebrating this day and looking at ourselves through Yankee eyes. To-night it is to be given us to see ourselves as others see us. We have with us one of whom it may be said, to paraphrase the epitaph in the Welsh churchyard:—

"'A Dutchman born, at Harvard bred,
In Cuba travelled, but not yet dead.'

In response to this toast, I have the honor of introducing Hon. Theodore Roosevelt."]

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:—The gentleman on my right, with the unmistakably Puritan name of McKelway, in the issue of the "Eagle" to-night alluded to me as a Yankeeized Hollander. I am a middling good Yankee. I always felt that at these dinners of the New England Society, to which I come a trifle more readily than to any other like affairs, I and the president of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, who is also invariably in attendance, repre[Pg 1003]sent, what you would say, the victims tied to the wheels of the Roman chariot of triumph. You see I am half Irish myself, and, as I told a New England Senator with whom I am intimate, when he remarked that the Dutch had been conquered by the New Englanders, "the Irish have avenged us."

I want to say to you seriously, and, singularly enough, right along the lines of the admirable speech made by your President, a few words on the day we celebrate and what it means.

As the years go by, this nation will realize more and more that the year that has just passed has given to every American the right to hold his head higher as a citizen of the great Republic, which has taken a long stride forward toward its proper place among the nations of the world. I have scant sympathy with this mock humanitarianism, a mock humanitarianism which is no more alien to the spirit of true religion than it is to the true spirit of civilization, which would prevent the great, free, liberty and order-loving races of the earth doing their duty in the world's waste spaces because there must needs be some rough surgery at the outset. I do not speak simply of my own country. I hold that throughout the world every man who strives to be both efficient and moral—and neither quality is worth anything without the other—that every man should realize that it is for the interests of mankind to have the higher supplant the lower life. Small indeed is my sympathy with those people who bemoan the fact, sometimes in prose, sometimes in even weaker verse, that the champions of civilization and of righteousness have overcome the champions of barbarism or of an outworn tyranny, whether the conflict be fought by the Russian heralds of civilization in Turkestan, by the English champion of the higher life in the Eastern world, or by the men who upheld the Stars and Stripes as they freed the people of the tropic islands of the sea from the mediæval tyranny of Spain.

I do not ask that you look at this policy from a merely national standpoint, although if you are good Americans you must look from the national standpoint first. I ask that you look at it from the standpoint of civilization, from the standpoint of righteousness, and realize that it is better for[Pg 1004] the men who are as yet ages behind us in the struggle upward that they be helped upward, and that it does not cease to be better for them, merely because it is better for us also. As I say, cast aside the selfish view. Consider whether or not it is better that the brutal barbarism of northern Asia should be supplanted by the civilization of Russia, which has not yet risen to what we of the Occident are proud to claim as our standard, but which, as it stands, is tens of centuries in advance of that of the races it supplants. Again, from the standpoint of the outsider, look at the improvement worked by the Englishmen in all the islands of the sea and all the places on the dark continents where the British flag has been planted; seriously consider the enormous, the incalculable betterment that comes at this moment to ninety-five per cent. of the people who have been cowering under the inconceivably inhuman rule of Mahdism in the Sudan because it has been supplanted by the reign of law and of justice. I ask you to read the accounts of the Catholic missionary priests, the Austrian priests who suffered under Mahdism, to read in their words what they have suffered under conditions that have gone back to the stone age in the middle of the nineteenth century. Then you will realize that the Sirdar and his troops were fighting the battle of righteousness as truly as ever it was fought by your ancestors and mine two or three or four centuries ago.

I think you can now understand that I admire what other nations have done in this regard, and, therefore, that you will believe that I speak with sincerity when I speak of what we ourselves have done. Thank heaven that we of this generation, to whom was denied the chance of taking part in the greatest struggle for righteousness that this century has seen, the great Civil War, have at least been given the chance to see our country take part in the world movement that has gone on around about us. Of course it was partly for our own interest, but it was also largely a purely disinterested movement. It is a good thing for this nation that it should be lifted up beyond simply material matters. It is a good thing for us that we should have interests outside of our own borders. It is a good thing for us that we must look outward; that we must consider more than the question of exports and imports; that we must consider more[Pg 1005] than whether or not in one decade we have increased one and a half per cent. more than the average rate of increase in wealth or not. It is a good thing that we of this nation should keep in mind, and should have vividly brought before us the fact to which your ancestors, Mr. President and members of this Society, owe their greatness; that while it pays a people to pay heed to material matters, it pays infinitely better to treat material as absolutely second to moral considerations. I am glad for the sake of America that we have seen the American Army and the American Navy driving the Spaniard from the Western world. I am glad that the descendants of the Puritan and the Hollander should have completed the work begun, when Drake and Hawkins and Frobisher singed the beard of the King of Spain, and William the Silent fought to the death to free Holland. I am glad we did it for our own sake, but I am infinitely more glad because we did it to free the people of the islands of the sea and tried to do good to them.

I have told you why I am glad, because of what we have done. Let me add my final word as to why I am anxious about it. We have driven out the Spaniards. This did not prove for this nation a very serious task. Now we are approaching the really serious task. Now it behooves us to show that we are capable of doing infinitely better the work which we blame the Spaniards for doing so badly; and woe to us unless we do show not merely a slight but a well-nigh immeasurable improvement! We have assumed heavy burdens, heavy responsibilities. I have no sympathy with the men who cry out against our assuming them. If this great nation, if this nation with its wealth, with its continental vastness of domain, with its glorious history, with its memory of Washington and Lincoln, of its statesmen and soldiers and sailors, the builders and the wielders of commonwealths, if this nation is to stand cowering back because it is afraid to undertake tasks lest they prove too formidable, we may well suppose that the decadence of our race has begun. No; the tasks are difficult, and all the more for that reason let us gird up our loins and go out to do them. But let us meet them, realizing their difficulty; not in a spirit of levity, but in a spirit of sincere and earnest desire to do our duty as it is given us to see our duty. Let us not do it in the[Pg 1006] spirit of sentimentality, not saying we must at once give universal suffrage to the people of the Philippines—they are unfit for it. Do not let us mistake the shadow for the substance. We have got to show the practical common sense which was combined with the fervent religion of the Puritan; the combination which gave him the chance to establish here that little group of commonwealths which more than any others have shaped the spirit and destiny of this nation; we must show both qualities.

Gentlemen, if one of the islands which we have acquired is not fit to govern itself, then we must govern it until it is fit. If you cannot govern it according to the principles of the New England town meeting—because the Philippine Islander is not a New Englander—if you cannot govern it according to these principles, then find out the principles upon which you can govern it, and apply those principles. Fortunately, while we can and ought with wisdom to look abroad for examples, and to profit by the experience of other nations, we are already producing, even in this brief period, material of the proper character within our own border, men of our own people, who are showing us what to do with these islands. A New Englander, a man who would be entitled to belong to this Society, a man who is in sympathy with all that is best and most characteristic of the New England spirit, both because of his attitude in war and of his attitude toward civic morality in time of peace, is at present giving us a good object lesson in administering those tropic provinces. I allude to my former commander, the present Governor-General of Santiago, Major-General Leonard Wood. General Wood has before him about as difficult a task as man could well have. He is now intrusted with the supreme government of a province which has been torn by the most hideously cruel of all possible civil wars for the last three years, which has been brought down to a condition of savage anarchy, and from which our armies, when they expelled the armies of Spain, expelled the last authoritative representatives of what order there still was in the province. To him fell the task of keeping order, of preventing the insurgent visiting upon the Spaniard his own terrible wrongs, of preventing the taking of that revenge which to his wild nature seemed eminently justifiable, the preserving of the rights of property, of keeping unharmed the people who had[Pg 1007] been pacific, and yet of gradually giving over the administration of the island to the people who had fought for its freedom, just as fast as, and no faster than, they proved that they could be trusted with it. He has gone about that task, devoted himself to it, body and soul, spending his strength, his courage, and perseverance, and in the face of incredible obstacles he has accomplished very, very much.

Now, if we are going to administer the government of the West Indies Islands which we have acquired, and the Philippines, in a way that will be a credit to us and to our institutions, we must see that they are administered by the General Woods. We have got to make up our minds that we can only send our best men there; that we must then leave them as largely unhampered as may be. We must exact good results from them, but give them a large liberty in the methods of reaching these results. If we treat those islands as the spoil of the politician, we shall tread again the path which Spain has trod before, and we shall show ourselves infinitely more blameworthy than Spain, for we shall sin against the light, seeing the light.

The President says that this is New England doctrine. So it is. It is Dutch doctrine, too. It is the doctrine of sound Americanism, the doctrine of common sense and common morality. I am an expansionist. I am glad we have acquired the islands we have acquired. I am not a bit afraid of the responsibilities which we have incurred; but neither am I blind to how heavy those responsibilities are. In closing my speech, I ask each of you to remember that he cannot shove the blame on others entirely, if things go wrong. This is a government by the people, and the people are to blame ultimately if they are misrepresented, just exactly as much as if their worst passions, their worst desires are represented; for in the one case it is their supineness that is represented exactly as in the other case it is their vice. Let each man here strive to make his weight felt on the side of decency and morality. Let each man here make his weight felt in supporting a truly American policy, a policy which decrees that we shall be free and shall hold our own in the face of other nations, but which decrees also that we shall be just, and that the peoples whose administration we have taken over shall have their condition made better and not worse by the fact that they have come under our sway.[Pg 1008]




[Speech of Lord Rosebery at the annual banquet of the Royal Academy, London, May 5, 1894. Sir Frederic Leighton, President of the Royal Academy, was in the chair, and in proposing "The Health of Her Majesty's Ministers," to which Lord Rosebery replied, he said: "No function could be more lofty, no problem is more complex than the governance of our Empire, so vast and various in land and folk as that which owns the sceptre of the Queen. No toast, therefore, claims a more respectful reception than that to which I now invite your cordial response—the health of the eminent statesmen in whose hands that problem lies—Her Majesty's Ministers. And not admiration only for high and various endowments, but memories also of a most sparkling speech delivered twelve months ago at this table, sharpens the gratification with which I call for response on the brilliant statesman who heads Her Majesty's Government, the Earl of Rosebery."]

Your Royal Highness, My Lords, and Gentlemen: No one, I think, can respond unmoved for the first time in such an assembly as this in the character in which I now stand before you. You have alluded, sir, to the speech which I delivered here last year. But I have to confess with a feeling of melancholy that since that period I have made a change for the worse. [Laughter.] I have had to exchange all those dreams of imagination to which I then alluded, which are, I believe, the proper concomitants of the Foreign Office intelligently wielded, and which, I have no doubt, my noble friend on my right sees in imagination as I did then—I have had to exchange all those dreams for the dreary and immediate prose of life—all the more dreary prose because a great deal of it is my own.




Photogravure after a photograph from life

There is one function, however, which has already de[Pg 1009]volved upon me, and which is not without interest for this Academy. My great predecessor, much to my regret, left in my hands the appointment of a successor to Sir Frederick Burton. That has cost me probably more trouble and travail than any other act of this young administration. [Laughter.] I have sought, and I have abundantly received, counsels, and it is after long consideration, and with the most earnest and conscientious desire to do not what is most agreeable to individuals themselves, but what is best for art in general, that I have nominated Mr. Poynter to succeed Sir Frederick Burton. [Cheers.]

I have at the same time made a change in the minute relating to the conditions of that post, which to a greater extent than was formerly the case associates the trustees of the National Gallery in the work of selection with the new director. The trustees have been hitherto rather those flies on the wheel of which we read in ancient fable. It is now proposed to make them working wheels, and to make them work well and co-operatively with the new director. ["Hear! Hear!"] I hope that this arrangement will be satisfactory in its results. But, Mr. President, I have long thought, as an individual, that the task of a Minister or of a Government in co-operating with the Royal Academy, and with those who have art at heart, ought not to end with a mere appointment of this description. I take a larger view of the responsibilities of my office, and I should be glad to offer to you with great respect a few suggestions that have recently occurred to me with regard to the present position of English art, which I regard with some misgivings.

There is, first, the subject of portraiture. I am deeply concerned for the future condition of portrait-painting. It is not, as you may imagine, with any distrust whatever of those distinguished men who take a part in that branch of art; it is much more for the subjects that I am concerned. [Laughter.] And it is not so much with the subjects as with that important part of the subject which was illustrated in the famous work "Sartor Resartus," by the great Carlyle, that I chiefly trouble myself. How can it be that any man should make a decent portrait of his fellow-man in these days? No one can entertain so vindictive a hatred of his fellow-creature as to wish to paint him in the costume[Pg 1010] in which I am now addressing you. [Laughter.] I believe that that costume is practically dropped for all purposes of portraiture; and if that be so, in what costume is the Englishman of the present century to descend to remotest posterity through the vehicle of the gifted artists whom I see around me? We are not all sufficiently fortunate to be the Chancellor of the University. [Laughter and cheers.] We have not always even the happy chance to be a municipal dignitary, with a costume which I will not at present characterize. [Laughter.] We are not all of us masters of hounds; and I think that the robes of a peer, unattractive in their æsthetic aspect, have lost something of their popularity. [Laughter.] Again, the black velvet coat, with which we are accustomed to associate deep thought and artistic instincts, has become a little faded. [Laughter.]

I am told, and told four or five times every day in speeches delivered in various parts of the country, that I have no right to offer a criticism without offering a suggestive remedy. Well, Sir Frederic, I am prepared to offer my remedy for what it is worth, and for that reason I ask your co-operation. Why should not a committee of the Royal Academy gather together in order to find some chaste and interesting national costume, in which the distinguished men of the nineteenth century might descend to posterity without the drawbacks which I have pointed out? Robespierre had such a costume designed, and other great sumptuary legislators have had the same idea in their minds; and I would not push the suggestion so far as to imply that we should be compelled to wear this costume in ordinary life. It might be one kept to gratify the artistic instincts of those to whom we sit. [Laughter.] And I will make a practical suggestion by which this costume—when you, sir, have selected it—might be associated with the ordinary run of life. It might be made an official costume of a justice of the peace, and in that way the great mass of our fellow-countrymen, with only a few and insignificant exceptions, of whom I am one, might descend to remotest posterity in a graceful, becoming, and official costume. [Laughter.]

I pass on from that, because I should not limit myself to portraiture in a great survey of this kind; and I may say that I am seriously concerned for the prospects of landscape[Pg 1011] painting in this country. I have of late been doing a great deal of light travelling in behalf of the respectable firm which I represent [laughter], and I beg at once to give notice, in the hearing of the noble marquis who is more to your left [Lord Salisbury], that I now nail to the counter any proposal to call me a political bagman as wanting in originality and wit. [Laughter.]

But I have been doing a certain amount of light travelling in behalf of our excellent and creditable firm. The other day, on returning from Manchester, I was deeply and hideously impressed with the fact that all along that line of railway which we traversed, the whole of a pleasing landscape was entirely ruined by appeals to the public to save their constitutions but ruin their æsthetic senses by a constant application of a particular form of pill. [Laughter and cheers.]

Now, Sir Frederic, I view that prospect with the gravest misgiving. What is to become of our English landscape if it is to be simply a sanitary or advertising appliance? [Laughter.] I appeal to my right honorable friend the Chancellor of the Duchy [James Bryce], who sits opposite to me. His whole heart is bound up in a proposition for obtaining free access to the mountains of the Highlands. But what advantage will it be to him, or to those whose case he so justly and eloquently espouses, if at the top of Schiehallion, or any other mountain which you may have in your mind's eye, the bewildered climber can only find an advertisement of some remedy of the description of which I have mentioned [cheers], an advertisement of a kind common, I am sorry to say, in the United States—and I speak with reverence in the presence of the ambassador of that great community—but it would be in the Highlands distressing to the deer and infinitely perplexing even to the British tourist. [Laughter and cheers.]

But I turned my eyes mentally from the land, and I said that, after all, the great painter of the present may turn to the sea, and there at least he is safe. There are effects on the ocean which no one can ruin, which not even a pill can impair. [Laughter.] But I was informed in confidence—it caused me some distress—that the same enterprising firm which has placarded our rural recesses, has offered a main[Pg 1012]sail free of expense to every ship that will accept it, on condition that it bears the same hideous legend upon it to which I have referred. [Laughter.] Think, Mr. President, of the feelings of the illustrious Turner if he returned to life to see the luggers and the coasting ships which he has made so glorious in his paintings, converted into a simple vehicle for the advertisement of a quack medicine—although I will not say "quack," because that is actionable [laughter]—I will say of a medicine of which I do not know the properties. [Laughter.]

But I turned my eyes beyond the land and ocean, and I turned them to the heavens, and I said, "There, at any rate, we are safe." The painter of the present may turn his eye from the land and ocean, but in the skies he can always find some great effect which cannot be polluted. At this moment I looked from the railway-carriage window, and I saw the skeleton of a gigantic tower arising. It had apparently been abandoned at a lofty stage, possibly in consequence of the workmen having found that they spoke different languages at the height at which they had arrived. [Laughter.] I made inquiries, and I found that it was the enterprise of a great speculator, who resides himself on a mountain, and who is equally prepared to bore under the ocean or ascend into the heavens. I was given to understand that this admirable erection comprised all the delights of a celestial occupation without any detachment from terrestrial pursuits. [Laughter.] But I am bound to say that if buildings of that kind are to cover this country, and if they are to be joined to the advertising efforts to which I have alluded, neither earth, nor sea, nor sky in Great Britain will be fit subject for any painter. [Cheers.]

What, then, is the part of Her Majesty's Government in this critical and difficult circumstance? We have—no, I will not say we have, because there would be a protest on the left—but different governments have added allotments to the attractions of rural neighborhoods. I venture to think that an allotment is not an unpicturesque thing. Certainly, small holdings are more picturesque than large holdings, but I do not say that from the point of view in which Sydney Smith said that the difference between the picturesque and the beautiful was that the rector's horse was beautiful, and[Pg 1013] that the curate's horse was picturesque. [Laughter.] I simply mean that a small holding is more picturesque than a large holding, and I think we may hope that the parish councils, if they meet, as they did in primeval times, under the shade of some large spreading oak, and not in the public house which we so much fear, as their headquarters, may yet add a picturesque feature to the rural landscape of Great Britain.

But there is one feature at which a government can always aim as adding to the landscape of Great Britain. In a very famous but too little read novel, "Pelham," by the late Lord Lytton, there is a passage which always struck me greatly. It is where Pelham goes to see an uncle from whom he is to inherit a great estate, and he asks what the uncle has done to beautify that exquisite spot. The uncle says that he has done nothing but added the most beautiful feature of landscape, which is happy faces. Well, the Government in its immediate neighborhood has little to do with making happy faces. [Laughter.] It certainly does not make its opponents happy, except on rare occasions when it leaves office, and it is not always so fortunate as to make its supporters happy. [Laughter.] But I believe that in this country all governments do aim in their various ways and methods at making a happy population around them; and in that respect, in adding happy faces to the landscape, whether we fail or whether we succeed, we have a good-will in the work, and I am quite sure we have the hearty encouragement of the great and brilliant assembly which I address. [Loud cheers.][Pg 1014]



[Speech of George Augustus Sala at a banquet given in his honor by the Lotos Club, January 10, 1885. The President, Whitelaw Reid, sat at the centre table, having on his right hand the guest of the evening. He said, in welcoming Mr. Sala: "The last time we met here it was my pleasant duty to give your welcome to an old friend. Now you make it my duty—still a pleasant one—to give your welcome to an old enemy. ["Hear! Hear!"] Yes; an old enemy! We shall get on better with the facts by admitting them at the outset. Our guest was more or less against us in the great struggle twenty years ago in which everybody now wishes to be thought to have been with us. He did not believe this nation would down the slaveholders' rebellion and he did not want it to; and he wrote frankly as he believed and wished. [Laughter.] He never made any disguise about it then or since; and for that, at least, we think the better of him! [Applause.] He came of a slaveholding family; many personal and social influences drew him toward those of our countrymen who were on the wrong side; and now that it is all over, we bear no malice! [Applause.] More than that; we are heartily glad to see him. The statute of limitations runs in his favor; and his old opinions are outlawed. He revisited the country long after the war—and he changed his mind about it. He thought a great deal better of us; and we in turn found his letters a great deal pleasanter reading. We like a man who can change his mind [applause]; and if a bit of international frankness may be permitted in the good-fellowship of this board, perhaps I may venture to add that we particularly like to discover that trait in an Englishman! [Applause and laughter.] We've changed our minds—at least about some things. We've not only forgiven our countrymen; whom our guest used to sympathize with; but we have put—and are getting ready to put—the most of them into office! What we are most anxious about just now is, whether they are going to forgive us! Seriously, gentlemen, we are very glad to see Mr. Sala here again. He was a veteran in the profession in which so many of you are interested, worthily wearing the laurels won in many fields, and enjoying the association, esteem, and trust of a great master whose fame the world holds precious, when the most of us were fledglings. We all know him as a wit, a man of letters, and a man of the world. Some of us have known him also in that pleasanter character of all clubmen described in the old phrase,[Pg 1015] 'a jolly good fellow.' On the other side of the Atlantic the grasp he gives an American hand is a warm one; and we do not mean that in New York he shall feel away from home. I give you, gentlemen, 'The health and prosperity of George Augustus Sala.'"]

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Lotos Club: I am under the deepest feeling of gratitude to Mr. Whitelaw Reid for having torn the mask from the face of the stealthy conspirator, for having exposed the wily plotter and insidious libeller, and defied the malignant Copperhead. [Applause.] I thought that I had long ago been choked with that venom; but no, it rises still and poisons all that belongs to his otherwise happy condition. Gentlemen, I am indeed an enemy of the United States. I am he who has come here to requite your hospitalities with unfounded calumny and to bite the hand that has fed me. Unfortunately there are so many hands that have fed me that it will take me from this time until to-morrow morning to bite all the friendly hands.

With regard to events that took place twenty years ago and of which I was an interested spectator, I may say that albeit I was mistaken; but the mistake was partaken of by many hundred thousands of my fellow-countrymen, who had not the courage subsequently to avow that they had been mistaken, but yet set to curry favor with the North by saying that they had always been their friends. The only apology—if apology I should choose to make—would be this: that that which I had to say against you I said while I was in your midst, when I was living at the Brevoort House; and when my letters came weekly back from England; and when it was quite in your power to have ridden me out on a rail or to have inflicted on me any of the ordinary visitations which a malignant Copperhead was supposed to deserve. But you did not do so, and I remember that when I left New York, I had quite as many good, kind, cordial friends on the Union League side as I had on the Democratic side. I would say further that when I came to publish my letters I found that there were many statements which I had made, which seemed to me to have been hasty and inconsiderate, and I did my best to modify them; and I did not wait until I got home to malign the people from whom I had received hospitality.[Pg 1016]

But I have been indeed an enemy to the United States; so much so that when I came here again in 1879-80 with my wife, the enemy was received on all sides with the greatest kindness and cordiality. So much am I an enemy to the United States, that for years while I was connected with the weekly paper called "The Echo" there was hardly a week when I did not receive scores of letters from Americans from every part of the Union—from down South, from the West, the North, and the East—full of kindly matter and expressions bearing out the idea that I am a friend rather than an enemy to the United States. And I know perfectly well that there is no American who comes to London, be he lawyer, diplomatist, actor, artist, or man of letters, but I am always glad to see him, and always glad to show him, that, although an enemy, I still retain some feelings of gratitude toward my friends in the United States.

I have seen it stated in one of your remarkably versatile and "Graphic" journals that I have boasted of having come here with the idea of making some money in the United States. But bless your hearts and souls, gentlemen of the Lotos Club, I assure you that I have no such idea! [Laughter.] I am really speaking to you seriously when I say that it was by merest accident that upon taking my ticket for Australia, I was told by my energetic manager that I might see a most interesting and picturesque country by crossing the Rocky Mountains and embarking at San Francisco, instead of going by way of the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. I had seen your Rocky Mountains, it is true, but I had seen them in March; and now I shall see them at the end of January, and that is really one of the main purposes of my journey. If from time to time in my passage I do deliver a few incoherent utterances, these utterances will not be prompted by any desire for pelf. That is far from my thoughts, but still if anyone wants to pay two dollars, or seventy-five cents, to hear those incoherent utterances you may be assured that my managers and myself will do our utmost to devote the funds accruing therefrom to purposes of mercy and of charity. [Applause.] I am sure you believe every word that I say; and that Australia is my objective. [Laughter.]

But, seriously, I only conclude by saying that I do not[Pg 1017] believe a word of what your President has said. He does not believe now that for the past twenty years I have been and am an enemy of the United States. We were blinded, many of us, for the time being; we took a wrong lane for the time, just as many of your tourists and many of your Radicals have taken the wrong lane in England; but I think that differences of opinion should never alter friendships. And when we consider the number of years that have elapsed; when we consider that the wounds which I saw red and gaping and bleeding are now healed, scarcely leaving a scar, I think that the enemy might now be regarded as a friend; and that whatever unkind feelings were begotten in that terrible time should be now buried in the Red Sea of oblivion. [Applause.] There never before was a time when it was so expedient for England to say to America: "Don't quarrel!"

England is surrounded by enemies—by real enemies who hate her. Why? Because she tries to be honest; and she tries to be free. She is hated by Germans; and Germany equally hates the institutions of this country, because she sees the blood and the bone of intelligent Germany coming to the United States and becoming capable citizens, instead of carrying the needle-musket at home. She is hated by France, because France has got a Republic which she calls democratic and social, but which is still a tyranny—and the worst of all tyrannies, because the tyrant is a mob. I do not disguise the fact that we are surrounded by foes of every description; and for that reason and because blood is thicker than water, I say to Americans that, inasmuch as we have atoned for past offences (the Alabama and all other difficulties having been settled), no other difficulty should be permitted to rise; and if there be a place in all the world where real peace may be secured and perfect freedom reign, England and America should there join hands as against all the world in arms. [Applause.]

I have nothing more to say, except to entreat you to pardon my somewhat serious utterances because of the many painful reminiscences which your good-natured sarcasm has brought to my lips, although softened by the kindly and genial terms in which you have received me, and I beg you to accept the grateful expression of my heartfelt gratitude for this glorious reception. [Applause.][Pg 1018]




[Speech of Robert Cecil, Marquis of Salisbury, at a banquet given in honor of Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener, by the Lord Mayor of London, Right Hon. Horatio David Davies, at the Mansion House, London, November 4, 1898.]

My Lord Mayor, Your Royal Highness, My Lords, and Gentlemen:—The task has been placed in my hands of proposing the toast of the evening: "The Health of the Sirdar." [Loud cheers.] It is the proud prerogative of this city that, without any mandate from the Constitution, without any legal sanction it yet has the privilege of sealing by its approval the reputation and renown of the great men whom this country produces; and the honors which it confers are as much valued and as much desired as any which are given in this country. [Cheers.] It has won that position not because it has been given to it, but because it has shown discrimination and earnestness and because it has united the suffrage of the people in the approval of the course that it has taken and of the honors it has bestowed. [Cheers.] My Lord Mayor, it is in reference to that function which you have performed to-day and the most brilliant reception which has been accorded to the Sirdar that I now do your bidding and propose his health. [Cheers.] But if the task would be in any circumstances arduous and alarming, it is much more so because all that can be said in his behalf has already been said by more eloquent tongues than mine. I have little hope that I can add anything to the picture that has been already drawn [allusion to previous[Pg 1019] speeches made by the Earl of Cambridge, Lord Lansdowne, and Lord Rosebery], but no one can wonder at the vast enthusiasm by which the career of this great soldier has been received in this city. It is not merely his own personal qualities that have achieved it. It is also the strange dramatic interest of the circumstances, and the conditions under which his laurels have been won. [Cheers.]

It has been a long campaign, the first part of which we do not look back to with so much pleasure because we had undertaken a fearful task without a full knowledge of the conditions we had to satisfy or the real character of the foes to whom we were opposed. ["Hear! Hear!"] The remembrance of that heroic figure whose virtues and whose death are impressed so deeply upon the memory of the whole of the present generation of Englishmen, the vicissitudes of those anxious campaigns in which the most splendid deeds of gallantry were achieved are yet fresh in the minds of the English people and Lord Rosebery has not exaggerated when he has said that the debt was felt deeply in the mind of every Englishman, however little they might talk of it at the time and when the opportunity arrived with what eagerness, in spite of any possible discouragement—with what eagerness the opportunity was seized. [Cheers.] It was a campaign—the campaign which your gallant guest has won—it was a campaign marked by circumstances which have seldom marked a campaign in the history of the world. [Cheers.] I suppose that wonderful combination of all achievements and discoveries of modern science, in support of the gallantry and well-tried strategy of a British leader—I suppose these things have not been seen in our history before. [Cheers.] But the note of this campaign was that the Sirdar not only won the battles which he was set to fight, but he furnished himself the instruments by which they were won, or rather, I should say, he was the last and perhaps by the nature of the circumstances the most efficient of a list of distinguished men whose task it has been to rescue the Egyptian army from inefficiency and contempt in order to put it on the pinnacle of glory it occupies now. [Cheers.]

I remember in our debates during that terrible campaign of 1884-85 a distinguished member of the Government of that day observing with respect to Egyptian troops that they[Pg 1020] were splendid soldiers if only they would not run away. [Laughter.]

It was a quaint way of putting it, but it was very accurate. They had splendid physique; they had great fidelity and loyalty to their chiefs; they had many of the qualities of the soldier, but like men who had been recruited under the slave whip, and who had been accustomed to the methods of despotism, they had not that courage which can only be obtained by freedom and by united military training. [Cheers.] What they lacked has been supplied to them, and the Egyptian army, as it has issued from the hands of Sir Evelyn Wood, Sir Francis Grenfell, and the Sirdar, is a magnificent specimen of the motive power of the English leader. [Cheers.] We do not reflect on it, yet if we have any interest in the administrative processes that go on in various parts of the Empire we cannot help being impressed by the fact that numbers on numbers of educated young men, who at home, in this country, would show no very conspicuous qualities except those we are accustomed to look for in an English gentleman, yet, if thrown on their own resources, and bidden to govern and control and guide large bodies of men of another race, they never or hardly ever fall short of the task which has been given to them; but they will make of that body of promising material splendid regiments by which the Empire of England is extended and sustained. [Cheers.]

It is one of the great qualities of the Sirdar that he has been able to direct the races that are under him, to make them effective and loyal soldiers, to attach them to himself, and insure their good conduct in the field of battle. [Cheers.] He has many other qualities upon which I might dilate if time permitted. Lord Cromer, who I am glad to see Lord Rosebery noted as one who ought to have his full share in any honors you confer on those who have built up Egyptian prosperity, who is one of the finest administrators the British race has ever produced—Lord Cromer is in the habit of saying that the Sirdar has almost missed his vocation, and that if he was not one of the first generals in the world, he would be one of the first Chancellors of the Exchequer. [Laughter and cheers.] I daresay many people think it a small thing that a soldier should be able to save[Pg 1021] money [laughter], but it is not so if you will only conceive for yourselves the agony of mind with which in former times the Chancellors of the Exchequer or financial members of the Council have received from time to time accounts of brilliant victories, knowing all the time what a terrible effect upon the ultimate balance of the budget those victories will entail. [Laughter.] It is a hazardous thing to say, but I am almost inclined to believe that the Sirdar is the only general that has fought a campaign for £300,000 less than he originally promised to do it. [Laughter.] It is a very great quality, and if it existed more generally, I think that terror which financiers entertain of soldiers, and that contempt which soldiers entertain for financiers would not be so frequently felt. ["Hear! Hear!" and laughter.]

Well, then, the Sirdar has another great quality: he is a splendid diplomatist. It would require talents of no small acuteness and development to enable him to carry to so successful a result as he did that exceedingly delicate mission up the Nile which conducted him into the presence of Major Marchand. The intercourse of that time has ended apparently in the deepest affection on both sides [laughter]—certainly in the most unrestricted and unstinted compliments and expressions of admiration and approval. I think these things show very much for the diplomatic talents of the Sirdar. He recently expressed his hope that the differences which might have arisen from the presence of Major Marchand would not transcend the powers of diplomacy to adjust. I am glad to say that up to a certain point he has proved a true prophet. [Cheers.] I received from the French Ambassador this afternoon the information that the French Government had come to the conclusion that the occupation of Fashoda was of no sort of value to the French Republic. [Loud cheers and some laughter.] And they thought that in the circumstances to persist in an occupation which only cost them money and did them harm merely because some bad advisers thought it might be disagreeable to an unwelcome neighbor, would not show the wisdom by which I think the French Republic has been uniformly guided, and they have done what I believe the government of any other country would have done, in the same position—they have resolved that that occupation must cease.[Pg 1022] [Cheers.] A formal intimation of that fact was made to me this afternoon and it has been conveyed to the French authorities at Cairo. I believe that the fact of that extremely difficult juxtaposition between the Sirdar and Major Marchand has led to a result which is certainly gratifying and, to some extent, unexpected; and that it is largely due to the chivalrous character and diplomatic talents which the Sirdar displayed on that occasion. [Cheers.] I do not wish to be understood as saying that all causes of controversy are removed by this between the French Government and ourselves. It is probably not so, and I daresay we shall have many discussions in the future; but a cause of controversy of a somewhat acute and dangerous character has been removed and we cannot but congratulate ourselves upon that. [Cheers.]

I will only say that alike in his patient and quiet forethought, lasting over three years, in his brilliant strategy on the field of battle, in his fearless undertaking of responsibility and his contempt of danger, and last but not least in the kindness and consideration which he displayed for men who were for a moment in a position of antagonism to himself—in these things he has shown a combination of the noblest qualities which distinguish the race to which he belongs and by the exercise of which the high position of England in this generation in the world and in her great Empire has been won. [Loud cheers.][Pg 1023]



[Speech of Rear-Admiral William T. Sampson at a banquet given in his honor by citizens of Boston, Mass., February 6, 1899. Hon. Richard Olney presided on the occasion.]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—I rise to thank you for your most generous greeting for myself, for my friends, and for all of the Navy that you have included in the various remarks which have been made. I want you to understand that I do not take it all to myself, but that this is divided with all the men; and while with great hesitation I attempt to make a speech at all, I feel that this is an opportunity which should not be thrown away. I do not propose to say anything, as you might expect, about the battle of Santiago, but I would like to say a few words about the lessons which we have learned, or should learn, from that battle.

First, I would say that neither that battle nor any other that I know of, was won by chance. It requires an adequate means to accomplish such a result. That battles are not won by chance, you have only to consider for a moment a few—one or two—of the principal battles of the world. Not that I mean to class the battle of Santiago as one of the great battles of the world—but just as an illustration. You will see the result of adequate means in the case of the battle of Waterloo, for instance. When we remember that Wellington fought that battle with 130,000 men opposed to Napoleon's 80,000, we are not surprised that it was Wellington's battle. Take another decisive battle—Sedan. When the Germans had 125,000 men opposed to 84,000, it does not seem possible that the result could have been anything else.[Pg 1024]

So we might go over a long list. The sea fights furnish many instances where it was found that the most powerful fleet was the one that was successful. Nelson was always in favor of overwhelming fleets, though he did not have them always at his command. Our own war of 1812 furnishes numerous instances where our victories depended upon the superior force. It seems unnecessary that such self-evident truths should be stated before this assemblage of intelligent gentlemen, but we are apt to forget that a superior force is necessary to win a victory. As I said before, victory is not due to chance. Had superior force not been our own case at the battle of Santiago, had it been the reverse, or had it been materially modified, what turned out to be a victory might have been a disaster; and that we must not forget.

The second lesson, if we may call it so, is closely allied, perhaps, to the first. Shall we learn the lesson which is taught us in this recent war? Shall we rest on the laurels which we may have won, or shall we prepare for the future? Shall we not imagine our foe in the future, as might well be the case, to be superior to the one over which we have been victorious? It is a question that comes home to us directly. On July 3d, when Cervera was returned, on board the "Iowa," to the mouth of the harbor at Santiago, he requested permission to send a telegram reporting the state of the case to Captain-General Blanco. Of course, no objection was raised to this, and Cervera wrote out a telegram and sent it on board the flagship to be scrutinized and forwarded to Blanco. He stated in this telegram that he obeyed his (General Blanco's) orders and left the harbor of Santiago at 9.30 Sunday morning, and "now," he said, "it is with the most profound regret that I have to report that my fleet has been completely destroyed. We went out to meet the forces of the enemy, which outnumbered us three to one."

I had so much sympathy with old Admiral Cervera that I did not have it in my heart to modify or change in any respect the report which he proposed to make to Captain-General Blanco. I felt that the truth would be understood in the course of time, and that while I would not now, or then, under any circumstances, admit that he was outnum[Pg 1025]bered in the proportion of three to one, I still felt that he should be at liberty to defend himself in that manner.

The fleets that were opposed to each other on that Sunday morning were, as regards the number of the ships, about six to seven. Leaving out the torpedo-destroyers and the "Gloucester," which may be said not to have been fighting ships, the proportion was six to four. The fleet of the Spaniards consisted of four beautiful ships. I think I am stating the case within bounds when I say that they were—barring their condition at that time, which, of course, we did not all know, in many respects—that they were all our imaginations had led us to suppose. We outnumbered them, but this is only another illustration of the fact which I wish to bring before you, that it is necessary to have a superior force to make sure of victory in any case.

It seems to me that you, gentlemen, who are so influential in determining and deciding what the Navy of the United States should be, should bear this emphatically in mind—that we must have more ships, more guns, and all that goes to constitute an efficient navy. I am not advocating a large navy. I do not believe that we should support a large navy, but that it should be much larger than it is at present I think you will all concede. The increased territory which we have added to our country will probably produce an increase in our chances for war by at least one hundred per cent.—not that we need increase the Navy to that extent—but probably will.[Pg 1026]



[Speech of Rev. Dr. Noah Hunt Schenck at the 110th annual banquet of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, New York City, May 14, 1878. In introducing Dr. Schenck, the President, Samuel D. Babcock, said: "The loose manner in which the Dinner Committee have conducted their business is now becoming evident. The chairman has got considerably mixed on the toasts. You may recollect that the toast to which Dr. Chapin responded referred to twins [Rev. Dr. Edwin H. Chapin had spoken to the toast 'Commerce and Capital, twin forerunners of civilization and philanthropy'], and here is one that refers to matrimony, and it is very evident that this one ought to have preceded the other. [Laughter and applause.] Eighth regular toast, 'Truth and Trade: those whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.'"]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—It were an ambitious effort to hold the attention of this distinguished body directly after its ears had been ravished by the eloquent deliverances of the finished orators who have just preceded me. In fact, I can scarcely imagine why you enlist another voice from Brooklyn, unless it be to show that there is a possibility of exhausting Brooklyn, and you would make it my sad office to afford you the illustration. [Applause.]

The Chairman said at the beginning that the best speeches were to be at the last. You have already discovered that this was designed for irony, for thus far the speeches have been incomparable, but mine is to be the beginning of the end. [Laughter and applause.]

I know that what I say is true when I charge the Chairman with irony, for do not I feel his iron entering my soul? [Laughter and applause.] It is an act of considerable temerity, even though the ground has been so gracefully broken[Pg 1027] by the Rev. Dr. Chapin, for a clergyman to rise before this common-sense body of three hundred business men (unless we had you in our churches), for you well know that this precious quality of common sense is supposed to have its habitat almost entirely with business men, and rarely with the clergy.

I know full well that the men of the pulpit are held to be wanting in practical knowledge, and that we know but little of the dark and devious ways of this naughty world. So that, rising here, I feel as if I were but a little one among a thousand, and yet I would venture to submit that the clergy are not wholly unpractical. Nay, I sometimes am led to think that the men of my cloth are the most practical, common-sense business men in the world. [Laughter and applause.]

There is certainly no class of men who can make so little go so far, who can live so comfortably on such small incomes, who can fatten on pastures where the members of this Chamber of Commerce would starve. [Applause and laughter.] There is no class of men that go through life in such large proportion without bankruptcy. [Laughter and applause.]

While 25,000 merchants in the United States during the four years from 1871 to 1875 failed in business, with liabilities amounting to $800,000,000 (I quote statistics from accepted authority), I do not believe that one-quarter of that number of clergymen failed [laughter and applause], or that their liabilities amounted to anything like that sum. [Laughter and applause.] I have seen the estimate that eighty-five per cent. of merchants fail within two years after they embark in business, notwithstanding their common sense, and that only three per cent, make more money in the long run than is enough for a comfortable livelihood.

Having thus attempted to fortify my waning "Dutch courage" by an off-hand attack upon my hospitable entertainers, and having in some sense, even though it be Pickwickian, vindicated my cloth, let me go on for a moment and cut my garment according to it. [Laughter and applause.]

I have been asked to say a word upon the wedlock of Truth and Trade, and advocate the idea that what in the nature of things has been joined together of God, should not, should never be sundered by man. We know that Truth[Pg 1028] is eternal. Trade, thank God, is not. [Laughter and applause.] Still, so far as time and earth are concerned, trade endures from first to last and everywhere. God married it to truth with the fiat that men should eat bread in the sweat of their faces. From that moment men have been wrangling in every court of conscience and society to secure decrees of divorce. How manifold and multitudinous the tricks, dodges, and evasions to which men have resorted to be rid of the work which conditions bread. [Laughter and applause.] The great art of life in the estimate of the general, said a great economist, is to have others do the face-sweating and themselves the bread-eating. [Laughter and applause.]

But all along the line of the centuries the divine utterances have given forth with clarion clearness that God would have men illustrate morals and religion in the routine of business life. And so in all the upper levels of civilization we observe that society points with pride to the integrity that is proof against the temptations of trade. The men who have honored sublime relations of business and religion are they whom the world has delighted to honor. With but rare exceptions trade, wherever it has been prosperous, has had truth for its wedded partner. For the most part, wherever men have achieved high success in traffic, it has been not upon the principle that "Honesty is the best policy," for honesty is never policy, but upon the basis of fidelity to truth and right under every possible condition of things. The man who is honest from motives of policy will be dishonest when policy beckons in that direction. The men who have illumined the annals of trade are those who have bought the truth and sold it not, who held it only to dispense it for the welfare of others.

We cannot too highly honor the temper of that generation of business men who half a century ago sternly refused to compromise with any form of deceit in the details of traffic, visiting with the severest penalties those who at all impinged upon the well-accepted morals of trade. The story is told of a young merchant who, beginning business some fifty years ago, overheard one day a clerk misrepresenting the quality of some merchandise. He was instantly reprimanded and the article was unsold. The clerk resigned[Pg 1029] his position at once, and told his employer that the man who did business that way could not last long. But the merchant did last, and but lately died the possessor of the largest wealth ever gathered in a single lifetime.

Permit me another incident and this not from New York, but Philadelphia. One of the Copes had but just written his check for $50 for some local charity, when a messenger announced the wreck of an East Indiaman belonging to the firm, and that the ship and cargo were a total loss. Another check for $500 was substituted at once, and given to the agent of the hospital with the remark: "What I have God gave me, and before it all goes, I had better put some of it where it can never be lost." [Applause.]

Such illustrations as these are not infrequent in the biographies of those noble men who in days gone by as well as in our own times, have never divorced truth from trade, but have always reverenced the sacred relations. I dare venture the remark that the prosperity of a nation is more largely dependent upon the probity of its merchants than upon any other one class of men. [Applause.] This because of their numbers, their influence over so many who are subject to them in business, and their close relation to, and important control over, the financial interests of the country.

What a wide area of opportunity is afforded in the counting-room, where so many students of trade are preparing for the uncertain future! Accept, I beseech you, the responsibility of moulding the characters of your young men and so prepare a generation of merchants who shall know of nothing but honesty and honor, and who will cherish nobility of sentiment in all their business transactions. [Applause.]

And can you not help the world abroad as well as at home? I believe that merchants engaged in commerce with foreign nations, have it within the scope and purview of their business relations to do as much for the propagation of Christian truth as the Church itself. If your ventures are intrusted to the direction of men of character; if your agents are men who recognize in practice the morals of the religion they profess, you will not only not negative as now, alas! but too often the efforts of the Church's envoys, by the frequent violations of Christian law, on the part of those who pro[Pg 1030]pose to be governed by it; but through the illustrations you can send out of Christian consistency—by the living representatives of our higher civilization, which you can furnish to remote nations, to say nothing of the voluntary agency in scattering the printed powers of our faith in all quarters of the globe, how much may not be accomplished in this and in other ways by your men and your ships—Trade thus travelling round the world with Truth by her side, helping each other and healing the nations. [Applause.][Pg 1031]



[Speech of Winfield S. Schley at the eighteenth annual dinner of the New England Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, December 22, 1898. The President, Stephen W. Dana, presented Admiral Schley in these words: "Admiral Schley needs no introduction from me—he speaks for himself."]

Mr. President, Gentlemen of the New England Society:—I am very much in the condition of the gentleman who, being about to be married and having had his wedding suit brought home a day before the event, returned it to the tailor with instructions to increase the girth just two inches. His explanation was that not enough room had been left to accommodate the wedding breakfast he had to eat or for the emotion that was to follow the event.

I am always glad to meet my countrymen anywhere and everywhere. They stand for all that is representative; they stand for all that is progressive; they stand for all that represents humanity, and they stand for all that is fair-minded, high-minded, and honorable. As to those of us who by the circumstances of our service are obliged to pass the greater part of our lives away from home, away from kindred, and away from the flag, it may be difficult to understand how to keep the altar of one's patriotism burning when we are separated from the sweetest and kindest influences of life and performing a service and a duty that are outside of the public observation. But there is a large-heartedness at home that never forgets us. We are bound to our country by ties that are not only sweet in their nature, but the circumstances of service generate a love of home and a patriotism that[Pg 1032] are the surest guarantees of the welfare and the safety of our people.

The Navy is that arm of the public defence the nature of whose duties is dual in that they relate to both peace and war. In times of peace the Navy blazes the way across the trackless deep, maps out and marks the dangers which lie in the routes of commerce, in order that the peaceful argosies of trade may pursue safe routes to the distant markets of the world, there to exchange the varied commodities of commerce. It penetrates the jungle and the tangle of the inter-tropical regions. It stands ready to starve to death or to die from exposure. It pushes its way into the icy fastnesses of the North or of the South, in order that it may discover new channels of trade. It carries the influence of your power and the beneficent advantages of your civilization to the secluded and hermit empires of the Eastern world, and brings them into touch with our Western civilization and its love of law for the sake of the law rather than for fear of the law's punishments. It stands guard upon the outer frontiers of civilization, in pestilential climates, often exposed to noisome disease, performing duties that are beyond the public observation but yet which have their happy influence in maintaining the reputation and character of our country and extending the civilizing agency of its commerce.

The bones of the officers and men of the Navy lie in every country in the world, or along the highways of commerce; they mark the resting-places of martyrs to a sense of duty that is stronger than any fear of death. The Navy works and strives and serves, without any misgivings and without any complaints, only that it may be considered the chief and best guardian of the interests of this people, of the prestige of this nation, and of the glory and renown of its flag.

These are some of the duties of peace, which has its triumphs "no less renowned than war." But it is the martial side of the Navy that is the more attractive one to us. It is that side of its duty which presents to us its characters who have written their names and their fames in fire. No matter what may be our ideas of civilization or how high our notions of peace, there is no one of us who has not felt his heart beat a little bit faster and his blood course a little bit more rapidly when reading of the daring and thrilling deeds[Pg 1033] of such men as John Paul Jones or of Decatur or of Stewart or of Hull or of Perry or of MacDonald or of Tatnall or of Ingram or of Cushing or of Porter or of Farragut.

The war so happily ended has added new names to the galaxy of naval worthies. New stars are in the firmament. The records indicate that your naval representatives have been faithful to the lesson of their traditions, that they have been true to their history, whilst the men of our Navy have shown that they have lost none of the skill and none of the tact that they have inherited. But they have proven again that a generation of men who are able to defend their title to the spurs they inherited are proper successors to their progenitors. [Applause.][Pg 1034]



[Speech of Heinrich Schliemann at the annual banquet of the Royal Academy, London, May 5, 1877. Sir Gilbert Scott, the eminent architect, took the chair in the absence of Sir Frederick Grant, the President of the Academy. In introducing Dr. Schliemann, Sir Gilbert Scott spoke as follows: "There is one gentleman present among us this evening who has special claims upon an expression of our thanks. Antiquarian investigation is emphatically a subject of our own day. More has been discovered of the substantial vestiges of history in our own than probably in any previous age; and it only needs the mention of the names of Champollion, Layard, Rawlinson, and Lipsius to prove that we have in this age obtained a genuine knowledge of the history of art as practised in all previous ages. Not only have we obtained a correct understanding of the arts of our own race as exemplified in our own mediæval antiquities, but lost buildings of antiquity such as the Egyptian labyrinth, the palace of Nineveh, the mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the temple and statues of Olympia, and the temple of Diana at Ephesus have been re-discovered and disinterred. ["Hear! Hear!"] There remained, however, one great hiatus. We knew something of the more archaic periods of Greek art, and we knew that on the gate of Mycenæ there were evidences of an art far more archaic and apparently not allied with true Hellenic art, but we knew no more nor had an idea how the great gulf in art history was to be bridged over. It still remains a great gulf, but Dr. Schliemann by his excavations, first on the site of Troy and then of Mycenæ, has brought to open daylight what, without prejudging questions as yet sub judice, seem to be the veritable works of the heroes of the Iliad; and if he has not yet actually solved the mysteries which shroud that age, he has brought before us a perfect wealth of fact at the least calculated to sharpen our antiquarian appetite for more certain knowledge. Knowing that Dr. Schliemann is like one in old times, who, while longing to tell of the Atrides and of Cadmus, yet allowed the chords of his heart to vibrate to softer influences, I will, while proposing his health, conjoin with his name that of his energetic fellow-explorer, Madame Schliemann."]

Mr. President, My Lords, and Gentlemen:—You have been pleased to confer upon me two of the greatest[Pg 1035] honors which this country can possibly bestow upon a foreigner—first, by your kind invitation to this hospitable banquet to meet the most illustrious statesmen, the most eminent scholars, and the most distinguished artists; and secondly, by your toast to my health. In warmly thanking you, I feel the greatest satisfaction to think that for these signal honors, I am solely indebted to my labors in Troy and Mycenæ. ["Hear! Hear!"]

In Troy art was only in its first dawn; color was still completely unknown, and instead of painting, the vases were decorated with incised patterns filled with white clay. The productions of sculpture were limited to carving of small flat idols of Minerva [Greek: glaukôpis][6] of marble, almost in the forms of two discs, which adhered to each other, and upon which the owl's face is rudely scratched. The Trojan treasure certainly shows more art, but it is characterized by an absence of ornamentation. In Mycenæ, on the contrary, the monuments which I have brought to light show a high state of civilization, and the skill with which the gold ornaments are made leads us to pre-suppose a school of domestic artists which had flourished for ages before it reached such perfection.

The very great symmetry we see also in the vase-paintings and in the carvings of spirals and rosettes on stone, whereas representations of men or animals are exceedingly rude and appear to be the primitive Mycenean sculptor's first essay. But rude as they are, and childish as they look, these primitive productions of Greek art are of paramount interest to science, because we see in them the great-grandfathers of the masterpieces of Phidias and Praxiteles; they prove to us in the most certain manner that the artistic genius of the epoch of Pericles did not come suddenly down from heaven like Minerva from the head of Jove, but that it was the result of a school of artists, which had gradually developed in the course of ages.

Once more, I tender my thanks for the patience with which you have listened to a stranger. ["Hear! Hear!"][Pg 1036]



[Speech of Carl Schurz at a banquet given by the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, New York City, November 5, 1881, 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 toast, "The Old World and the New," to which Carl Schurz was called upon for a response.]

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Chamber of Commerce:—If you had been called upon to respond to the toast: "The Old World and the New" as frequently as I have, you would certainly find as much difficulty as I find in saying anything of the Old World that is new or of the New World that is not old. [Applause.]

And the embarrassment grows upon me as I grow older, as it would upon all of you, except perhaps my good friend, Mr. Evarts, who has determined never to grow old, and whose witty sayings are always as good as new. [Laughter.] Still, gentlemen, the scenes which we have been beholding during the last few weeks have had something of a fresh inspiration in them. We have been celebrating a great warlike event—not great in the number of men that were killed in it, but very great in the number of people it has made happy. It has made happy not only the people of this country who now count over fifty millions, but it has made happier than they were before the nations of the Old World, too; who, combined, count a great many more. [Applause.][Pg 1037]

American Independence was declared at Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, by those who were born upon this soil, but American Independence was virtually accomplished by that very warlike event I speak of, on the field of Yorktown, where the Old World lent a helping hand to the New. [Applause.] To be sure, there was a part of the Old World consisting of the British, and I am sorry to say, some German soldiers, who strove to keep down the aspirations of the New, but they were there in obedience to the command of a power which they were not able to resist, while that part of the Old World which fought upon the American side was here of its own free will as volunteers. [Cheers.]

It might be said that most of the regular soldiers of France were here also by the command of power, but it will not be forgotten that there was not only Lafayette, led here by his youthful enthusiasm for the American cause, but there was France herself, the great power of the Old World appearing as a volunteer on a great scale. [Cheers.] So were there as volunteers those who brought their individual swords to the service of the New World. There was the gallant Steuben, the great organizer who trained the American army to victory, a representative of that great nation whose monuments stand not only upon hundreds of battle-fields of arms, but whose prouder monuments stand upon many more battle-fields of thought. [Cheers.] There was Pulaski, the Pole, and DeKalb who died for American Independence before it was achieved. And there were many more Frenchmen, Germans, Swedes, Hollanders, Englishmen even, who did not obey the behests of power. [Cheers.] And so it may be said that the cause of the New World was the cause of the volunteers of the Old. And it has remained the cause of volunteers in peace as well as in war, for since then we have received millions of them, and they are arriving now in a steady stream, thousands of them every week; I have the honor to say, gentlemen, that I am one of them. [Cheers.]

Nor is it probable that this volunteering in mass will ever stop, for it is in fact drawn over here by the excitement of war as much as by the victories of peace. It was, therefore, natural that the great celebration of that warlike event should have been turned or rather that it should have turned[Pg 1038] itself into a festival of peace on the old field of Yorktown—peace illustrated by the happy faces of a vast multitude, and by all the evidence of thrift and prosperity and well-being; peace illustrated by the very citizen-soldiery who appeared there to ornament as a pageant, with their brilliant bayonets that peaceful festival; peace illustrated by the warmth of a grand popular welcome offered to the honored representatives of the Old World; peace illustrated, still more, by their friendly meeting upon American soil whatever their contentions at home may have been; peace glorified by what has already been so eloquently referred to by Dr. Storrs and Mr. Evarts; that solemn salute offered to the British flag, to the very emblem of the old antagonism of a hundred years ago; and that salute, echoing in every patriotic American heart, to be followed as the telegraph tells us now, by the carrying of the American flag in honor in the Lord Mayor's procession in London—all this a cosmopolitan peace festival, in which the Old World sent its representatives to join in rejoicing over the prosperity and progress of the New. [Cheers.]

There could hardly have been a happier expression of this spirit of harmony than was presented in the serenade offered to these gentlemen—representatives of the honored name of Steuben on the evening of their arrival in New York, the band playing first "The Watch on the Rhine," followed by the "Marseillaise" and "God Save the Queen," and then the martial airs of the Old World resolving themselves into the peaceful strains of the crowning glory of "Hail, Columbia!" and "Yankee Doodle." [Cheers.]

The cordiality of feeling which binds the Old and the New World together, and which found so touching, so tender, so wonderful an expression in the universal heartfelt sorrow of all civilized mankind at the great national bereavement, which recently has befallen us [the assassination of President Garfield], can hardly fail to be strengthened by this visit of the Old World guests whom we delight to honor. [Cheers.]

They have seen now something of our country, and our people; most of them, probably, for the first time, and I have no doubt they have arrived at the conclusion that the country for which Lafayette and Steuben and Rochambeau[Pg 1039] fought is a good country, inhabited by a good people [cheers]; a good country and a good people, worthy of being fought for by the noblest men of the earth; and I trust also when these gentlemen return to their own homes they will go back with the assurance that the names of their ancestors who drew their swords for American liberty stand in the heart of every true American side by side with the greatest American names, and that, although a century has elapsed since the surrender of Yorktown, still the gratitude of American hearts is as young and fresh and warm to-day as it was at the moment when Cornwallis hauled down his flag. [Applause.]

It seems to me also, gentlemen, that we have already given some practical evidence of that gratitude. The independence they helped to achieve has made the American nation so strong and active and prosperous that when the Old World runs short of provisions, the New stands always ready and eager even, to fill the gap, and by and by we may even send over some products of other industries for their accommodation. [Applause.]

In fact, we have been so very liberal and generous in that respect, that some of our friends on the other side of the sea are beginning to think that there may be a little too much of a good thing, and are talking of shutting it off by tricks of taxation. [Laughter.] However, we are not easily baffled. Not content with the contribution of our material products, we even send them from time to time, some of our wisdom, as, for instance, a few months ago, our friend, Mr. Evarts, went over there to tell them about the double standard—all that we knew and a good deal more. [Laughter.] We might even be willing to send them all the accumulated stock of our silver, if they will give us their gold for it. [Cheers.] It is to be apprehended that this kind of generosity will not be fittingly appreciated and in that respect they may prefer the wisdom of the Old World to that of the New. [Laughter.]

However, we shall not quarrel about that, for seriously speaking, the New and the Old World must and will, in the commercial point of view, be of infinite use one to another as mutual customers, and our commercial relations will grow more fruitful to both sides from year to year, and from day[Pg 1040] to day, as we remain true to the good old maxim: "Live and let live." [Cheers.] Nor is there the least speck of danger in the horizon threatening to disturb the friendliness of an international understanding between the Old World and the New. That cordial international understanding rests upon a very simple, natural, and solid basis. We rejoice with the nations of the Old World in all their successes, all their prosperity, and all their happiness, and we profoundly and earnestly sympathize with them whenever a misfortune overtakes them. But one thing we shall never think of doing, and that is, interfering in their affairs. [Cheers.]

On the other hand they will give us always their sympathy in good and evil as they have done heretofore, and we expect that they will never think of interfering with our affairs on this side of the ocean. [Loud cheers.] Our limits are very distinctly drawn, and certainly no just or prudent power will ever think of upsetting them. The Old World and the New will ever live in harmonious accord as long as we do not try to jump over their fences and they do not try to jump over ours. [Cheers.]

This being our understanding, nothing will be more natural than friendship and good-will between the nations of the two sides of the Atlantic. The only danger ahead of us might be that arising from altogether too sentimental a fondness for one another which may lead us into lovers' jealousies and quarrels. Already some of our honored guests may feel like complaining that we have come very near to killing them with kindness; at any rate, we are permitted to hope that a hundred years hence our descendants may assemble again to celebrate the memory of the feast of cordial friendship which we now enjoy, and when they do so, they will come to an American Republic of three hundred millions of people, a city of New York of ten million inhabitants, and to a Delmonico's ten stories high with a station for airships running between Europe and America on the top of it [cheers], and then our guests may even expect to find comfortable hotels and decent accommodations at the deserted village of Yorktown. [Laughter and cheers.]

But, in the meantime, I am sure our Old World guests who to-night delight us with their presence, will never cease[Pg 1041] to be proud of it that the great names of which they are the honored representatives are inscribed upon some of the most splendid pages of the New World's history, and will live forever in the grateful affection of the New World's heart. [Loud applause.][Pg 1042]



[Speech of William H. Seward at a banquet held at Plymouth, Mass., December 21, 1855. Preceding this banquet Mr. Seward delivered an oration on "The Pilgrims and Liberty." The speech here given is his response to the toast proposed at the banquet, "The Orator of the Day, eloquent in his tribute to the virtues of the Pilgrims; faithful, in his life, to the lessons they taught."]

Ladies and Gentlemen:—The Puritans were Protestants, but they were not protestants against everybody and everything, right or wrong. They did not protest indiscriminately against everything they found in England. On the other hand, we have abundant indications in the works of genius and art which they left behind them that they had a reverence for all that is good and true; while they protested against everything that was false and vicious. They had a reverence for the good taste and the literature, science, eloquence, and poetry of England, and so I trust it is with their successors in this once bleak and inhospitable, but now rich and prosperous land. They could appreciate poetry, as well as good sense and good taste, and so I call to your recollection the language of a poet who had not loomed up at the time of the Puritans as he has since. It was addressed to his steed, after an ill-starred journey to Islingtontown. The poet said:—

"'Twas for your pleasure you came here,
You shall go back for mine."

Being a candid and frank man, as one ought to be who addresses the descendants of the Puritans, I may say that it was not at all for your pleasure that I came here. Though[Pg 1043] I may go back to gratify you, yet I came here for my own purposes. The time has passed away when I could make a distant journey from a mild climate to a cold though fair region, without; inconvenience; but there was one wish, I might almost say there was only one wish of my heart that I was anxious should be gratified. I had been favored with many occasions to see the seats of empire in this western world, and had never omitted occasions to see where the seats of empire were planted, and how they prospered. I had visited the capital of my own and of many other American States. I had regarded with admiration the capital of this great Republic, in whose destinies, in common with you all, I feel an interest which can never die. I had seen the capitals of the British Empire, and of many foreign empires, and had endeavored to study for myself the principles which have prevailed in the foundation of states and empires. With that view I had beheld a city standing where a migration from the Netherlands planted an empire on the bay of New York, at Manhattan, or perhaps more properly at Fort Orange. They sought to plant a commercial empire, and they did not fail; but in New York now, although they celebrate the memories and virtues of fatherland, there is no day dedicated to the colonization of New York by the original settlers, the immigrants from Holland. I have visited Wilmington, on Christina Creek, in Delaware, where a colony was planted by the Swedes, about the time of the settlement of Plymouth, and though the old church built by the colonists still stands there, I learned that there did not remain in the whole State a family capable of speaking the language, or conscious of bearing the name of one of the thirty-one original colonists.

I have stood on the spot where a treaty was made by William Penn with the aborigines of Pennsylvania, where a seat of empire was established by him, and, although the statue of the good man stands in public places, and his memory remains in the minds of men, yet there is no day set apart for the recollection of the time and occasion when civil and religious liberty were planted in that State. I went still farther south, and descending the James River, sought the first colony of Virginia at Jamestown. There remains nothing but the broken, ruined tower of a poor church built of[Pg 1044] brick, in which Pocahontas was married, and over the ruins of which the ivy now creeps. Not a human being, bond or free, is to be seen within a mile from the spot, nor a town or city as numerously populated as Plymouth, on the whole shores of the broad, beautiful, majestic river, between Richmond at the head, and Norfolk, where arms and the government have established fortifications. Nowhere else in America, then, was there left a remembrance by the descendants of the founders of colonies, of the virtues, the sufferings, the bravery, the fidelity to truth and freedom of their ancestors; and more painful still, nowhere in Europe can be found an acknowledgment or even a memory of these colonists. In Holland, in Spain, in Great Britain, in France, nowhere is there to be found any remembrance of the men they sent out to plant liberty on this continent. So on the way to the Mississippi, I saw where De Soto planted the standard of Spain, and, in imagination at least, I followed the march of Cortez in Mexico, and Pizarro in Peru; but their memory has gone out. Civil liberty perishes, and religious liberty was never known in South America; nor does Spain, any more than other lands, retain the memory of the apostles she sent out to convert the new world to a purer faith, and raise the hopes of mankind for the well-being of the future.

There was one only place, where a company of outcasts, men despised, contemned, reproached as malcontents and fanatics, had planted a colony, and that colony had grown and flourished; and there had never been a day since it was planted that the very town, and shore, and coast, where it was planted had not grown and spread in population, wealth, prosperity, and happiness, richer and stronger continually. It had not only grown and flourished like a vigorous tree, rejoicing in its own strength, but had sent out offshoots in all directions. Everywhere the descendants of these colonists were found engaged in the struggles for civil and religious liberty, and the rights of man. I had found them by my side, the champions of humanity, upon whose stalwart arms I might safely rely.

I came here, then, because the occasion offered, and if I pretermitted this, it might be the last, and I was unwilling that any friend or any child, who might lean upon me, who[Pg 1045] reckoned upon my counsel or advice, should know that I had been such a truant to the cause of religious liberty and humanity, as never to have seen the Rock of Plymouth.

My mission being now accomplished, having shed tears in the first church of the Puritans, when the heartfelt benediction was pronounced over my unworthy head by that venerable pastor, I have only to ask that I be dismissed from further service with your kind wishes. I will hold the occasion ever dear to my remembrance, for it is here I have found the solution of the great political problem. Like Archimedes, I have found the fulcrum by whose aid I may move the world—the moral world—and that fulcrum is Plymouth Rock.[Pg 1046]



[Speech of General William T. Sherman at the first annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of Brooklyn, December 21, 1880. The President, Benjamin D. Silliman, on announcing the toast, "The Army and Navy—Great and imperishable names and deeds have illustrated their history," said: "In response to this toast, I have the privilege of calling on the great Captain who commands the armies of the Republic; of whom it has been said, that he combines the skill and valor of the soldier, with the wisdom of the statesman, and whose name will ever live in the history of the nation. We shall have the great satisfaction of listening to General Sherman."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—While in Washington I was somewhat embarrassed by receiving invitations from two different New England societies to dine with them on different days in commemoration of the same event. I hoped, under cover of that mistake, to escape one or the other, but I find that each claims its day to be the genuine anniversary of the landing of their Fathers on Plymouth Rock. I must leave some of you to settle this controversy, for I don't know whether it was the 21st or 22d; you here in Brooklyn say the 21st; they in New York say it was the 22d. Laboring under this serious doubt, when I came on the stand and found my name enrolled among the orators and statesmen present, and saw that I was booked to make a speech, I appealed to a learned and most eloquent attorney to represent me on this occasion. I even tried to bribe him with an office which I could not give; but he said that he belonged to that army sometimes described as "invincible in peace, invisible in war." [Laughter.] He would not respond for me. Therefore I find myself upon the stand[Pg 1047] at this moment compelled to respond, after wars have been abolished by the Honorable Secretary of State, and men are said to have risen to that level where they are never to do harm to each other again—with the millennium come, in fact, God grant it may be so? [Applause.]

I doubt it. I heard Henry Clay announce the same doctrine long before our Civil War. I heard also assertions of the same kind uttered on the floor of our Senate by learned and good men twenty years ago when we were on the very threshold of one of the most bloody wars which ever devastated this or any other land. Therefore I have some doubt whether mankind has attained that eminence where it can look backward upon wars and rumors of war, and forward to a state of perpetual peace.

No, my friends, I think man remains the same to-day, as he was in the beginning. He is not alone a being of reason; he has passions and feelings which require sometimes to be curbed by force; and all prudent people ought to be ready and willing to meet strife when it comes. To be prepared is the best answer to that question. [Applause.]

Now my friends, the toast you have given me to-night to respond to is somewhat obscure to me. We have heard to-night enumerated the principles of your society—which are called "New England ideas." They are as perfect as the catechism. [Applause and laughter.] I have heard them supplemented by a sort of codicil, to the effect that a large part of our country—probably one-half—is still disturbed, and that the Northern man is not welcome there. I know of my own knowledge that two-thirds of the territory of the United States are not yet settled. I believe that when our Pilgrim Fathers landed on Plymouth Rock, they began the war of civilization against barbarism, which is not yet ended in America. The Nation then, as Mr. Beecher has well said, in the strife begun by our fathers, aimed to reach a higher manhood—a manhood of virtue, a manhood of courage, a manhood of faith, a manhood that aspires to approach the attributes of God Himself.

Whilst granting to every man the highest liberty known on earth, every Yankee believes that the citizen must be the architect of his own fortune; must carry the same civilization wherever he goes, building school-houses and[Pg 1048] churches for all alike, and wherever the Yankee has gone thus far he has carried his principles and has enlarged New England so that it now embraces probably a third or a half of the settled part of America. That has been a great achievement, but it is not yet completed. Your work is not all finished.

You who sit here in New York, just as your London cousins did two hundred and fifty years ago, know not the struggle that is beyond. At this very moment of time there are Miles Standishes, under the cover of the snow of the Rocky Mountains, doing just what your forefathers did two hundred and fifty years ago. They have the same hard struggle before them that your fathers had. You remember they commenced in New England by building log cabins and fences and tilling the sterile, stony, soil, which Mr. Beecher describes, and I believe these have been largely instrumental in the development of the New England character. Had your ancestors been cast on the fertile shores of the lower Mississippi, you might not be the same vigorous men you are to-day. Your fathers had to toil and labor. That was a good thing for you, and it will be good for your children if you can only keep them in the same tracks. But here in New York and in Brooklyn, I do not think you now are exactly like your forefathers, but I can take you where you will see real live Yankees, very much the same as your fathers were. In New York with wealth and station, and everything that makes life pleasant, you are not the same persons physically, though you profess the same principles, yet as prudent men, you employ more policemen in New York—a larger proportion to the inhabitants of your city than the whole army of the United States bears to the people of the United States. You have no Indians here, though you have "scalpers." [Applause and laughter.] You have no "road-agents" here, and yet you keep your police; and so does our Government keep a police force where there are real Indians and real road-agents, and you, gentlemen, who sit here at this table to-night who have contributed of your means whereby railroads have been built across the continent, know well that this little army, which I represent here to-night, is at this moment guarding these great roadways against incursions of desperate men who would stop the[Pg 1049] cars and interfere with the mails and travel, which would paralyze the trade and commerce of the whole civilized world, that now passes safely over the great Pacific road, leading to San Francisco. Others are building roads north and south, over which we soldiers pass almost yearly, and there also you will find the blue-coats to-day, guarding the road, not for their advantage, or their safety, but for your safety, for the safety of your capital.

So long as there is such a thing as money, there will be people trying to get that money; they will struggle for it, and they will die for it sometimes. We are a good-enough people, a better people it may be than those of England, or France, though some doubt it. Still we believe ourselves a higher race of people than have ever been produced by any concatenation of events before. [Laughter.] We claim to be, and whether it be due to the ministers of New England, or to the higher type of manhood, of which Mr. Beecher speaks—which latter doctrine I prefer to submit to—I don't care which, there is in human nature a spark of mischief, a spark of danger, which in the aggregate will make force as necessary for the government of mankind as the Almighty finds the electric fluid necessary to clear the atmosphere. [Applause.]

You speak in your toast of "honored names"; you are more familiar with the history of your country than I am, and know that the brightest pages have been written on the battle-field. Is there a New Englander here who would wipe "Bunker Hill" from his list for any price in Wall Street? Not one of you! Yet you can go out into Pennsylvania and find a thousand of bigger hills which you can buy for ten dollars an acre. It is not because of its money value, but because Warren died there in defence of your government which makes it so dear to you. Turn to the West. What man would part with the fame of Harrison and of Perry? They made the settlement of the great Northwest by your Yankees possible. They opened that highway to you, and shall no honor be given to them? Had it not been for the battles on the Thames by Harrison, and by Perry on Lake Erie, the settlement of the great West would not have occurred by New England industry and thrift. Therefore I say that there is an eloquence of thought in those names[Pg 1050] as great as ever was heard on the floor of Congress, or in the courts of New York. [Applause.]

So I might go on, and take New Orleans, for example, where General Jackson fought a battle with the assistance of pirates, many of them black men and slaves, who became free by that act. There the black man first fought for his freedom, and I believe black men must fight for their freedom if they expect to get it and hold it secure. Every white soldier in this land will help him fight for his freedom, but he must first strike for it himself. "Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow." [Cheers.] That truth is ripening, and will manifest itself in due time. I have as much faith in it as I have that the manhood, and faith, and firmness, and courage of New England has contributed so much to the wealth, the civilization, the fame, and glory of our country. There is no danger of this country going backward. The Civil War settled facts that remain recorded and never will be obliterated. Taken in that connection I say that these battles were fought after many good and wise men had declared all war to be a barbarism—a thing of the past. The fields stained with patriotic blood will be revered by our children and our children's children, long after we, the actors, may be forgotten. The world will not stop; it is moving on; and the day will come when all nations will be equal "brothers all," when the Scotchman and the Englishman will be as the son of America. We want the universal humanity and manhood that Mr. Beecher has spoken of so eloquently. You Yankees don't want to monopolize all the virtues; if you do, you won't get them. [Laughter.]

The Germans have an industry and a type of manhood which we may well imitate. We find them settling now in South America, and in fact they are heading you Yankees off in the South American trade. It won't do to sit down here and brag. You must go forth and settle up new lands for you and your children, as your fathers did. That is what has been going on since Plymouth Rock, and will to the end. The end is not yet, but that it will come and that this highest type of manhood will prevail in the end I believe as firmly as any man who stands on this floor. It will be done not by us alone, but by all people uniting, each acting his own part; the merchant, the lawyer, the mechanic, the[Pg 1051] farmer, and the soldier. But I contend that so long as man is man there is a necessity for organized force, to enable us to reach the highest type of manhood aimed at by our New England ancestors. [Loud applause.]


[Speech of General William T. Sherman at the eighty-first annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1886. Judge Horace Russell presided and introduced General Sherman as a son of New England whom the Society delighted to honor. The toast proposed was, "Health and Long Life to General Sherman." The General was visibly affected by the enthusiastic greeting he received when he rose to respond.]

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the New England Society of New York:—Were I to do the proper thing, I would turn to my friend on the left [T. DeWitt Talmage] and say, Amen; for he has drawn a glorious picture of war in language stronger than even I or my friend, General Schofield, could dare to use. But looking over the Society to-night—so many young faces here, so many old and loved ones gone—I feel almost as one of your Forefathers. [Laughter and applause.] Many and many a time have I been welcomed among you. I came from a bloody Civil War to New York twenty or twenty-one years ago, when a committee came to me in my room and dragged me unwillingly before the then New England Society of New York. They received me with such hearty applause and such kindly greetings that my heart goes out to you now to-night as their representatives. [Applause.] God knows I wish you, one and all, the blessings of life and enjoyment of the good things you now possess, and others yet in store for you.

I hope not to occupy more than a few minutes of your time, for last night I celebrated the same event in Brooklyn, and at about two or three o'clock this morning I saw this hall filled with lovely ladies waltzing [laughter], and here again I am to-night. [Renewed laughter. A voice, "You're a rounder, General."] But I shall ever, ever recur to the[Pg 1052] early meetings of the New England Society, in which I shared, with a pride and satisfaction which words will not express; and I hope the few I now say will be received in the kindly spirit they are made in, be they what they may, for the call upon me is sudden and somewhat unexpected.

I have no toast. I am a rover. [Laughter.] I can choose to say what I may—not tied by any text or formula. I know when you look upon old General Sherman, as you seem to call him [Oh, oh!]—pretty young yet, my friends, not all the devil out of me yet, and I hope still to share with you many a festive occasion—whenever you may assemble, wherever the sons of New England may assemble, be it here under this Delmonico roof, or in Brooklyn, or even in Boston, I will try to be there. [Applause.]

My friends, I have had many, many experiences, and it always seems to me easier to recur to some of them when I am on my feet, for they come back to me like the memory of a dream, pleasant to think of. And now, to-night, I know the Civil War is uppermost in your minds, although I would banish it as a thing of trade, something too common to my calling; yet I know it pleases the audience to refer to little incidents here and there of the great Civil War, in which I took a humble part. [Applause.] I remember, one day away down in Georgia, somewhere between, I think, Milledgeville and Millen, I was riding on a good horse and had some friends along with me to keep good-fellowship. [Laughter.] A pretty numerous party, all clever good fellows. [Renewed laughter.] Riding along, I spied a plantation. I was thirsty, rode up to the gate and dismounted. One of these men with sabres by their side, called orderlies, stood by my horse. I walked up on the porch, where there was an old gentleman, probably sixty years of age, white-haired and very gentle in his manners—evidently a planter of the higher class. I asked him if he would be kind enough to give me some water. He called a boy, and soon he had a bucket of water with a dipper. I then asked for a chair, and called one or two of my officers. Among them was, I think, Dr. John Moore, who recently has been made Surgeon-General of the Army, for which I am very glad—indebted to Mr. Cleveland. [Laughter and applause.] We sat on the porch, and the old man held the bucket, and I[Pg 1053] took a long drink of water, and maybe lighted a cigar [laughter], and it is possible I may have had a little flask of whiskey along. [Renewed laughter.]

At all events, I got into a conversation; and the troops drifted along, passing down the roadway closely by fours, and every regiment had its banner, regimental or national, sometimes furled and sometimes afloat. The old gentleman says:—

"General, what troops are these passing now?"

As the color-bearer came by, I said: "Throw out your colors. That is the 39th Iowa."

"The 39th Iowa! 39th Iowa! Iowa! 39th! What do you mean by 39th?"

"Well," said I, "habitually, a regiment, when organized, amounts to 1,000 men."

"Do you pretend to say Iowa has sent 39,000 men into this cruel Civil War?" [Laughter.]

"Why, my friend, I think that may be inferred."

"Well," says he, "where's Iowa?" [Laughter.]

"Iowa is a State bounded on the east by the Mississippi, on the south by Missouri, on the west by unknown country, and on the north by the North Pole."

"Well," says he, "39,000 men from Iowa! You must have a million men."

Says I: "I think about that."

Presently another regiment came along.

"What may that be?"

I called to the color-bearer: "Throw out your colors and let us see," and it was the 21st or 22d Wisconsin—I have forgotten which.

"Wisconsin! Northwest Territory! Wisconsin! Is it spelled with an O or a W?"

"Why, we spell it now with a W. It used to be spelled Ouis."

"The 22d! that makes 22,000 men?"

"Yes, I think there are a good many more than that. Wisconsin has sent about 30,000 men into the war."

Then again came along another regiment from Minnesota.

"Minnesota! My God! where is Minnesota?" [Laughter.] "Minnesota!"

"Minnesota is away up on the sources of the Mississippi[Pg 1054] River, a beautiful Territory, too, by the way—a beautiful State."

"A State?"

"Yes; has Senators in Congress; good ones, too. They're very fine men—very fine troops."

"How many men has she sent to this cruel war?"

"Well, I don't exactly know; somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 men, probably. Don't make any difference—all we want." [Laughter.]

"Well," says he, "now we must have been a set of fools to throw down the gage of battle to a country we didn't know the geography of!" [Laughter and applause.] "When I went to school that was the Northwest Territory, and the Northwest Territory—well," says he, "we looked upon that as away off, and didn't know anything about it. Fact is, we didn't know anything at all about it."

Said I: "My friend, think of it a moment. Down here in Georgia, one of the original thirteen States which formed the great Union of this country, you have stood fast. You have stood fast while the great Northwest has been growing with a giant's growth. Iowa to-day, my friend, contains more railroads, more turnpikes, more acres of cultivated land, more people, more intelligence, more schools, more colleges—more of everything which constitutes a refined and enlightened State—than the whole State of Georgia."

"My God," says the man, "it's awful. I didn't dream of that."

"Well," says I, "look here, my friend; I was once a banker, and have some knowledge of notes, indorsements, and so forth. Did you ever have anything to do with indorsements?"

Says he: "Yes, I have had my share. I have a factor in Savannah, and I give my note and he indorses it, and I get the money somehow or other. I have to pay it in the end out of the crop."

"Well," says I, "now look here. In 1861 the Southern States had 4,000,000 slaves as property, for which the States of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and so forth, were indorsers. We were on the bond. Your slaves were protected by the same law which protects land and other property. Now, you got mad at them because they[Pg 1055] didn't think exactly as you did about religion, and about this thing and t'other thing; and like a set of fools you first took your bond and drew your pen through the indorser's names. Do you know what the effect will be? You will never get paid for those niggers at all." [Laughter.] "They are gone. They're free men now."

"Well," says he, "we were the greatest set of fools that ever were in the world." [Laughter.]

And so I saw one reconstructed man in the good State of Georgia before I left it. [Laughter and applause.]

Yes, my friends, in those days things looked gloomy to us, but the decree came from a higher power. No pen, no statesman, in fact, no divine could have solved the riddle which bound us at that time; nothing but the great God of War. And you and your fathers, your ancestors, if you please, of whom I profess to be one [applause], had to resort to the great arbiter of battles, and call upon Jove himself. And now all men in America, North and South, East and West, stand free before the tribunal of the Almighty, each man to work out his own destiny according to his ability, and according to his virtue, and according to his manhood. [Applause.] I assure you that we who took part in that war were kindly men. We did not wish to kill. We did not wish to strike a blow. I know that I grieved as much as any man when I saw pain and sorrow and affliction among the innocent and distressed, and when I saw burning and desolation. But these were incidents of war, and were forced upon us—forced upon us by men influenced by a bad ambition; not by the men who owned those slaves, but by politicians who used that as a pretext, and forced you and your fathers and me and others who sit near me, to take up arms and settle the controversy once and forever. [Cries of "good," and loud applause.]

Now, my friends of New England, we all know what your ancestors are recorded to have been; mine were of the same stock. Both my parents were from Norwalk, Connecticut. I think and feel like you. I, too, was taught the alphabet with blows, and all the knowledge I possessed before I went to West Point was spanked into me by the ferule of those old schoolmasters. [Laughter.] I learned my lesson well, and I hope that you, sons of New England, will ever stand[Pg 1056] by your country and its flag, glory in the achievements of your ancestors, and forever—and to a day beyond forever, if necessary, giving you time to make the journey to your last resting-place—honor your blood, honor your Forefathers, honor yourselves, and treasure the memories of those who have gone before you. [Enthusiastic applause.][Pg 1057]



[Speech of Ballard Smith at the annual banquet given by the Southern Society of New York, February 22, 1888. John C. Calhoun, one of the Vice-Presidents of the Society, presided. Mr. Smith spoke to the toast, "The Press of the South."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—The newspaper has always been a potent factor in the South—for many years almost exclusively political, but since the war occupying its more proper sphere and assisting more largely in the material development of the country. I think every Southern man will agree with me that the change of procession has been to the very great advantage of our section. The columns of the ante-bellum newspaper were too often the opportunity for the indulgence of excited passions, political and social, and I doubt if our people could not have better spared the newspaper altogether than to have permitted the license of accusation, political incitement, and personal rancor which characterized so largely the journals of thirty years ago. [Applause.] But they were virile hands which held editorial pens in those days and the faults were doubtless faults of the period rather than of the men themselves. It was a splendid galaxy—that company which included George D. Prentiss, Rhett, Forsythe, Hughes, Henry D. Wise, John Mitchell, and Thomas Ritchie.

But it is of Southern journalism during these last twenty years of which I would speak. I have known something of it because my own apprenticeship was served in one of the most brilliant journals of this or any other time and of this or any other country. The services of Henry Watterson to the South and to the country are a part of the history of our time. [Applause.] His loyalty toward his section could never have been doubted, and his firmness and broad patriotism served it at a time of need to a degree which per[Pg 1058]haps the firmness and patriotism of no other man in the South could have equalled. He had for the vehicle of his eloquent fervor a newspaper which commanded the affection of his own people and the respect of the North. [Applause.] With the restoration of order great newspapers—fair rivals to their great contemporaries in the Eastern and Northern States—have grown to prosperity in the various centres of the South, and they have acted out a mission which is in some respects peculiar to themselves.

More important than politics to the South, more important than the advocacy of good morals—for of that our people took good care themselves in city as in country—has been the material development of our resources. The War left us very poor. The carpet-bag governments stole a very large part of the little that was left. Injudicious speculations in cotton during a few years of madness almost completed our bankruptcy. With fertile fields, cheap labor, extraordinary mineral resources, our almost undisputed control of one of the great staples of the world, the year 1876 found us a prostrate people almost beyond precedent. To this breach came several thoughtful, public-spirited, eloquent men of the newspaper guild. It was our good fortune that in Dawson of the "Charleston News and Courier," in Major Burke, Page M. Baker, and Colonel Nicholson of New Orleans; in Major Belo of Galveston; in the editors of "The Nashville Banner," "The American," "The Memphis Appeal," "The Richmond Dispatch and State," and above all, in Henry W. Grady, of "The Atlanta Constitution" [applause], we had spokesmen who, day in and day out, in season and out, year after year devoted their thoughts, their study, and their abilities to showing the world, first, the sturdy intention of our people to recuperate their lost fortunes; and second, the extraordinary resources of their section. [Applause.] Certainly not in the history of my profession and perhaps not in any history of such endeavor, have men, sinking mere personal interests and ignoring the allurements of ambition, through a more dramatic exercise of their talents so devoted themselves to the practical interests of their people. [Applause.] We saw the results in the awakened curiosity of the world, and in the speedy influx of capital to aid us in our recuperation. [Applause.][Pg 1059]



[Speech of Charles Emory Smith at the banquet given by the Hibernian Society of Philadelphia, St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1887. Mr. Smith was introduced by the Society's President, John Field, and called upon to speak to the toast, "The Press."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—These annual dinners of the Hibernian Society, several of which I have had the honor of attending, are distinguished by a peculiar association and spirit. The sons of other nationalities, Englishmen, Welshmen, Scotchmen, Germans, and those among whom I count myself—the sons of New England—are accustomed to meet annually on the anniversary of a patron saint or on some great historic occasion as you do. And those of us who have the opportunity of going from one to the other will, I am sure, agree with me that nowhere else do we find the patriotic fire and the deep moving spirit which we find here. Something of this, Mr. President, is due to the buoyant quality of blood which flows in every Irishman's veins—a quality which makes the Irishman, wherever he may be and under all circumstances, absolutely irrepressible. Something, I say, is due to this buoyant quality of the Irish blood. Still, some of it is due to the fact that he is moved by a deep sense of the woes and the wrongs, of the sadness and the sorrows of his native land. Oppression and injustice only inflame the spirit of nationality. The heel of the oppressor may crush and tear the form or reduce the strength, but nothing crushes the inward resolve of the heart. The Americans were never so American as when they revolted against England and threw the tea overboard into Boston harbor, and punished the Red-[Pg 1060]Coats at Bunker Hill. The heavy yoke of Austria rested grievously upon Hungary, but they raised themselves in revolt and fought fearlessly for their home rule, for their freedom and their rights. And they were defeated by treason in their camps and by the combined forces of Austria and Russia. Yet, sir, they persevered until they achieved home rule—as will Ireland at no distant day.

The long history of oppression and injustice in Ireland has not only not extinguished the flame of Irish patriotism and feeling, but has served to kindle it, to make it more glowing to-day than ever before. For seven centuries Ireland has wrestled with and been subjected to misrule—to England's misrule: a rule great and noble in many things, as her priceless statesman says, but with this one dark, terrible stain upon an otherwise noble history. Only a day or two ago there reached our shores the last number of an English periodical, containing an article from the pen of that great statesman, to whom not only all Ireland, but all the civilized world is looking to-day to battle for freedom in England. The article presents, in the most striking form that I have ever seen, statements of what is properly called Ireland's demands. And I was struck there with the most extraordinary statement coming from this great statesman of England, of the character of England's rule, or rather England's misrule, of Ireland during those seven centuries. For all those centuries, he says, were centuries not only of subjection, but of extreme oppression. The fifth century was the century of confiscation; the sixth was a century of penal laws—penal laws, which, he says, "we cannot defend and which we must condemn and wash our hands of the whole proceedings"—a century of penal laws, except from 1778 to 1795, which he calls the golden age of Ireland. And as I stop for a moment to recollect what had distinguished that period, and as you stop here to-night and recollect for a single moment what had distinguished that short period of that century and made it the golden age of Ireland, you will understand why it was so called. It was the period when Henry Grattan, the great leader of the first battle for home rule, poured forth his learned and masterly eloquence; when Curran made his powerful plea for religious emancipation. The period when Robert Emmet—to whom such[Pg 1061] glorious tribute has been paid here to-night—was learning, in the bright early morn of that career which promised to be so great and to do so much, those lessons of patriotism which enabled him, when cut down in the flower of youth, to meet even his ignominious death with marvellous nerve and firm confidence, with courage and patriotism.

And, Gentlemen, I believe that it is one glorious trait of the American press that during this struggle which has gone on now for years, this struggle for justice in Ireland, that the press of America has been true to the best inspirations of liberty; and I unhesitatingly say to England and to the English ministers, that if they would conform to the judgment of the civilized world they must abandon their course of intoleration and oppression, and must do justice to long oppressed Ireland. The press, the united press of Philadelphia, and of other great cities of the country, have done their part in promoting that work which has been going on among our people for the last few years to attain this end.

The press of Philadelphia aided in raising that magnificent fund of $50,000 which went from this side; and if it need be, it will put its hand to the plough and renew work. It was the remark of Mr. Gladstone, that looking at past events, they [England] could not cite a single witness in behalf of the cause which they represented. The American people began their contributions in 1847, to prevent the starvation of many of those people, and they continued their contributions to stop evictions, and to pay the landlords; they continued their contributions to promote that work of freedom and justice and home rule, for which we stand united, inflexible and immovable until it shall be finally accomplished. [Applause.]

[Pg 1062]


[Speech of Charles Emory Smith at the thirteenth annual dinner of the New England Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, December 22, 1893. Mr. Smith, then President of the Society, delivered the usual introductory address of the presiding officer, immediately after ex-President Benjamin F. Harrison had spoken.]

Honored Guests and Fellow-members:—I am sure that you have greatly enjoyed the brilliant and witty speech to which you have just listened—a speech which shows that our distinguished guest is as felicitous at the dinner-table as he is signally successful in other fields of oratory. But if you have deluded yourself with the idea that because of this change in the programme you are to escape the infliction of the usual address by the President of the Society, it is now my duty to undeceive you. [Laughter.] Even the keen reflections of General Harrison respecting the prepared impromptu speeches shall not deter us. The rest of us who are not as gifted as he is have expended too much midnight oil and sacrificed too much of the gray matter of the brain to lose our opportunity. You will see that we have anticipated his impromptu observations by carefully premeditating our impromptu reply. [Laughter.] Lord Beaconsfield said that Carlyle had reasons to speak civilly of Cromwell, for Cromwell would have hanged him. [Laughter.] General Harrison has been hanging the rest of us—yes, hanging and quartering us—though this is far from being the only reason for speaking civilly of him, and yet we must go on with the exhibition.

You have observed that on the programme, as arranged by the Committee, the first number is a prelude by the President and the last a hymn by the Society. The Committee evidently intended to begin and end with music. What particular solo they expect me to perform I am somewhat uncertain. But the truth is you have already had a part of the music and you will have the rest when I am done. For my part is only that of the leader in the old Puritan choir—to take up the tuning fork and pitch the key; and I do this when I say that we are assembled for the two hundred[Pg 1063] and seventy-third time [laughter] to commemorate the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock. If any one doubts the correctness of that chronology, let him consult Brothers Shortridge and Lewis and Clark and Cornish, who have been with us from the beginning. [Laughter.] We have met to celebrate these fourfathers [laughter], as well as some others, and to glorify ourselves. If we had any doubts about the duty we owe our ancestors, we have no scruples about the satisfaction we take in their posterity. "My idea of first-rate poetry," said Josh Billings, "is the kind of poetry that I would have writ." So our idea of first-rate posterity is the kind of posterity we are. [Laughter.]

But while not forgetting the posterity, it is not forbidden at these dinners to make an occasional and casual allusion to the Pilgrim Fathers. Thackeray tells us of an ardent young lady who had a devotion of the same sort to "Nicholas Nickleby." When she wanted instruction, she read "Nicholas Nickleby." When she wanted amusement, she read "Nicholas Nickleby." When she had leisure, she read "Nicholas Nickleby." When she was busy, she read "Nicholas Nickleby." When she was sick, she read "Nicholas Nickleby," and when she got well, she read "Nicholas Nickleby" over again. [Laughter.] We return with the same infrequent, inconstant and uncertain fidelity to the memory of the Pilgrim Fathers. If we seek the light persiflage and airy humor of the after-dinner spirit, we find an inexhaustible fountain in the quaint customs and odd conceits of the Pilgrim Fathers. If we seek the enkindling fire and the moral elevation of high principle and profound conviction and resolute courage, we find a never-ceasing inspiration in the unfaltering earnestness and imperishable deeds of the Pilgrim Fathers. [Applause.] After praying for all the rest of mankind, the good colored preacher closed up with the invocation "And, finally, O Lord! bless the people of the uninhabited portions of the globe." [Laughter.] We are sometimes as comprehensive in our good-will as the colored brother; but to-night we fix our thoughts upon that more limited portion of mankind which belongs in nativity or ancestry to that more restricted part of the globe known as New England.

We are here to sing the praises of these sturdy people. They, too, sang—and sang with a fervor that was celebrated[Pg 1064] in the memorable inscription on one of the pews of old Salem Church:—

"Could poor King David but for once
To Salem Church repair,
And hear his Psalms thus warbled out,
Good Lord! how he would swear."

And it was not in Salem Church, either, that the Psalms were sung with the peculiar variations of which we have record. An enterprising establishment proposed to furnish all the hymn-books to a congregation not abundantly blessed with this world's goods, provided it might insert a little advertisement. The thrifty congregation in turn thought there would be no harm in binding up any proper announcement with Watt and Doddridge; but when they assembled on Christmas morning, they started back aghast as they found themselves singing—

"Hark! The herald angels sing,
Beecham's Pills are just the thing;
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
Two for man and one for child."

But if the Pilgrim Fathers were not the sweetest warblers, they at least never wobbled. They always went direct to their mark. As Emerson said of Napoleon, they would shorten a straight line to get at a point. They faced the terrors of the New England northeast blast and starved in the wilderness in order that we might live in freedom. We have literally turned the tables on them and patiently endure the trying hardships of this festive board in order that their memories may not die in forgetfulness.

We can never forget the hardships which they were forced to endure, but at the same time we must recognize that they had some advantages over us. They escaped some of the inflictions to which we have been compelled to submit. They braved the wintry blast of Plymouth, but they never knew the everlasting wind of the United States Senate. [Laughter.] They slumbered under the long sermons of Cotton Mather, but they never dreamed of the fourteen consecutive hours of Nebraska Allen or Nevada Stewart. They battled with Armenian dogmas and Antinomian heresies, but they never experienced the exhilarating delights of the[Pg 1065] Silver debate or throbbed under the rapturous and tumultuous emotions of a Tariff Schedule. [Laughter.]

They had their days of festivity. They observed the annual day of Thanksgiving with a reverent, and not infrequently with a jocund, spirit; but advanced as they were in many respects, they never reached that sublime moral elevation and that high state of civilization which enable us in our day to see that the only true way to observe Thanksgiving is to shut up the churches and revel in the spiritual glories of the flying wedge and the triumphant touchdown. [Laughter.] Their calendar had three great red-letter days of celebration: Commencement day, which expressed and emphasized the foremost place they gave to education in their civil and religious polity; Training or Muster day, which illustrated the spirit and the skill that gave them victory over the Indians and made them stand undaunted on Bunker Hill under Warren and Putnam until above the gleaming column of red-coats they could look into the whites of the enemies' eyes; and Election day, upon which, with its election sermon and its solemn choice of rulers, they acted out their high sense of patriotic duty to the Commonwealth. We are deeply concerned in these days about the debasement of the ballot-box. Perhaps we could find a panacea in the practice of our Pilgrim Fathers. They enacted a law that the right of suffrage should be limited to church members in good standing. Suppose we had such a law now, what a mighty revolution it would work either in exterminating fraud or in promoting piety! "Men and Brethren!" said the colored parson, "two ways are open before you, the broad and narrow way which leads to perdition, and the straight and crooked way which leads to damnation." [Laughter.] We have before us now the two ways of stuffed ballot-boxes and empty pews, and our problem is to change the stuffing from the ballot-boxes to the pews. I am not altogether sure which result would be accomplished; but it is quite clear that if the law of our Fathers did not destroy corruption in politics, it would at least kindle a fresh interest in the church. [Laughter.]

Gentlemen, it is with honest pride and fresh inspiration that we gather once a year to revive our enkindling story. The Santa Maria, with its antique form and its flying pen[Pg 1066]nant, contrasting the past with the present, amid the dazzling and now vanishing splendors of the wondrous White City, has this year recalled the discovery of America. But the jewel is more precious than the casket. The speaking picture appeals to us more than its stately setting. And heroic as was the voyage of the Santa Maria across a trackless sea to an unknown continent, it was the nobler mission of the Mayflower to bring the priceless seeds of principle and liberty which have blossomed in the resplendent development and progress of our great free Republic. Conscience incarnate in Brewster and Bradford, in Winthrop and Winslow, smote Plymouth Rock; and from that hour there has poured forth from its rich fountain a perennial stream of intellectual and moral force which has flooded and fertilized a broad continent. The Puritan spirit was duty; the Puritan creed was conscience; the Puritan principle was individual freedom; the Puritan demand was organized liberty, guaranteed and regulated by law. [Applause.] That spirit is for to-day as much as for two centuries ago. It fired at Lexington the shot heard round the world, and it thundered down the ages in the Emancipation Proclamation. It lives for no narrow section and it is limited to no single class. The soul that accepts God and conscience and equal manhood has the Puritan spirit, whether he comes from Massachusetts or Virginia, from Vermont or Indiana; whether you call him Quaker or Catholic, disciple of Saint Nicholas or follower of Saint George. [Applause.] The Puritan did not pass away with his early struggles. He has changed his garb and his speech; he has advanced with the progress of the age; but in his fidelity to principle and his devotion to duty he lives to-day as truly as he lived in the days of the Puritan Revolution and the Puritan Pilgrimage. His spirit shines in the lofty teachings of Channing and in the unbending principles of Sumner, in the ripened wisdom of Emerson and in the rhythmical lessons of Longfellow. The courageous John Pym was not more resolute and penetrating in leading the great struggle in the Long Parliament than was George F. Edmunds in the Senate of the United States. And the intrepid and sagacious John Hampden, heroic in battle and supreme in council, wise, steadfast, and true, was but a prototype of Benjamin Harrison.[Pg 1067]



[Speech of Herbert Spencer at a dinner given in his honor in New York City, November 9, 1882. William M. Evarts presided.]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—Along with your kindness there comes to me a great unkindness from Fate; for now, that above all times in my life I need the full command of what powers of speech I possess, disturbed health so threatens to interfere with them, that I fear I shall often inadequately express myself. Any failure in my response you must please ascribe, in part at least, to a greatly disordered nervous system. Regarding you as representing Americans at large, I feel that the occasion is one on which arrears of thanks are due. I ought to begin with the time, some two and twenty years ago, when my highly valued friend, Professor Youmans, making efforts to diffuse my books here, interested on their behalf Messrs. Appleton, who have ever treated me so honorably and so handsomely; and I ought to detail from that time onward the various marks and acts of sympathy by which I have been encouraged in a struggle which was for many years disheartening.

But intimating thus briefly my general indebtedness to my numerous friends most of them unknown on this side of the Atlantic, I must name more especially the many attentions and proffered hospitalities met with during my late tour as well as, lastly and chiefly, this marked expression of the sympathies and good wishes which many of you have travelled so far to give at great cost of that time which is so precious to an American. I believe I may truly say that the better health which you have so cordially wished me will be in a measure furthered by the wish; since all pleasur[Pg 1068]able emotion is conducive to health, and as you will fully believe, the remembrance of this evening will ever continue to be a source of pleasurable emotion exceeded by few if any of my remembrances.

And now that I have thanked you sincerely though too briefly, I am going to find fault with you. Already in some remarks drawn from me respecting American affairs and American character, I have passed criticisms which have been accepted far more good-naturedly than I could reasonably have expected; and it seems strange that I should now again propose to transgress. However, the fault I have to comment upon is one which most will scarcely regard as a fault. It seems to me that in one respect Americans have diverged too widely from savages. I do not mean to say that they are in general unduly civilized. Throughout large parts of the population even in long-settled regions there is no excess of those virtues needed for the maintenance of social harmony. Especially out in the West men's dealings do not yet betray too much of the "sweetness and light" which we are told distinguish the cultured man from the barbarian; nevertheless there is a sense in which my assertion is true.

You know that the primitive man lacks power of application. Spurred by hunger, by danger or revenge he can exert himself energetically for a time, but his energy is spasmodic. Monotonous daily toil is impossible to him. It is otherwise with the more developed man. The stern discipline of social life has gradually increased the aptitude for persistent industry; until among us, and still more among you, work has become with many a passion. This contrast of nature is another aspect. The savage thinks only of present satisfactions and leaves future satisfactions uncared for. Contrariwise the American, eagerly pursuing a future good almost ignores what good the passing day offers him; and when the future good is gained, he neglects that while striving for some still remoter good.

What I have seen and heard during my stay among you has forced on me the belief that this slow change from habitual inertness to persistent activity has reached an extreme from which there must begin a counter-change—a reaction. Everywhere I have been struck with the number of faces[Pg 1069] which told in strong lines of the burdens that had to be borne. I have been struck, too, with the large proportion of gray-haired men; and inquiries have brought out the fact that with you the hair commonly begins to turn some ten years earlier than with us. Moreover, in every circle I have met men who had themselves suffered from nervous collapse due to the stress of business, or named friends who had either killed themselves by overwork or had been permanently incapacitated or had wasted long periods in endeavors to recover health. I do but echo the opinion of all the observant persons I have spoken to that immense injury is being done by this high-pressure life—the physique is being undermined. That subtle thinker and poet whom you have lately had to mourn—Emerson,—says in his "Essay on the Gentleman," that the first requisite is that he shall be a good animal. The requisite is a general one—it extends to man, the father, the citizen. We hear a great deal about the "vile body"; and many are encouraged by the phrase to transgress the laws of health. But Nature quietly suppresses those who treat thus disrespectfully one of her highest products and leaves the world to be peopled by the descendants of those who are not so foolish.

Beyond these immediate mischiefs, there are remoter mischiefs. Exclusive devotion to work has the result that amusements cease to please; and when relaxation becomes imperative, life becomes dreary from lack of its sole interest—the interest in business. The remark current in England that when the American travels, his aim is to do the greatest amount of sight-seeing in the shortest time, I find current here also; it is recognized that the satisfaction of getting on devours nearly all other satisfactions. When recently at Niagara, which gave us a whole week's pleasure, I learned from the landlord of the hotel that most Americans come one day and go away the next. Old Froissart, who said of the English of his day that "they take their pleasures sadly after their fashion," would doubtless, if he lived now, say of the Americans that "they take their pleasures hurriedly after their fashion." In large measure with us, and still more with you, there is not that abandonment to the moment which is requisite for full enjoyment; and this abandonment is prevented by the ever-present sense of mul[Pg 1070]titudinous responsibilities. So that beyond the serious physical mischief caused by overwork, there is the further mischief that it destroys what value there would otherwise be in the leisure part of life. Nor do the evils end here. There is the injury to posterity. Damaged constitutions re-appear in their children and entail on them far more of ill than great fortunes yield them of good. When life has been duly rationalized by science, it will be seen that among a man's duties the care of the body is imperative not only out of regard for personal welfare, but also out of regard for descendants. His constitution will be considered as an entailed estate which he ought to pass on uninjured if not improved to those who follow; and it will be held that millions bequeathed by him will not compensate for feeble health and decreased ability to enjoy life.

Once more, there is the injury to fellow-citizens taking the shape of undue regard of competitors. I hear that a great trader among you deliberately endeavored to crush out everyone whose business competed with his own; and manifestly the man who, making himself a slave to accumulation, absorbs an inordinate share of the trade or profession he is engaged in, makes life harder for all others engaged in it and excludes from it many who might otherwise gain competencies. Thus, besides the egoistic motive, there are two altruistic motives which should deter from this excess in work.

The truth is there needs a revised ideal of life. Look back through the past, or look abroad through the present, and we find that the ideal of life is variable and depends on social conditions. Everyone knows that to be a successful warrior was the highest aim among all ancient peoples of note, as it is still among many barbarous peoples. When we remember that in the Norseman's heaven, the time was to be passed in daily battles with magical healing of wounds, we see how deeply rooted may become the conception that fighting is man's proper business and that industry is fit only for slaves and people of low degree. That is to say, when the chronic struggles of races necessitate perpetual wars there is evolved an ideal of life adapted to the requirements. We have changed all that in modern civilized societies, especially in England and still more in America. With the decline[Pg 1071] of militant activity and the growth of industrial activity the occupations once disgraceful have become honorable. The duty to work has taken the place of the duty to fight; and in the one case as in the other the ideal of life has become so well established that scarcely anybody dreams of questioning it. Practical business has been substituted for war as the purpose of existence.

Is this modern ideal to survive throughout the future? I think not. While all other things undergo continuous change, it is impossible that ideals should remain fixed. The ancient ideal was appropriate to the ages of conquest by man over man and spread of the strongest races. The modern ideal is appropriate to ages in which conquest of the earth and subjection of the powers of Nature to human use is the predominant need. But hereafter, when both these ends have in the main been achieved, the ideal formed will probably differ considerably from the present one. May we not foresee the nature of the difference? I think we may.

Some twenty years ago, a good friend of mine and a good friend of yours, too, though you never saw him, John Stuart Mill, delivered at St. Andrew's an inaugural address on the occasion of his appointment to the Lord Rectorship. It contained much to be admired, as did all he wrote; there ran through it, however, the tacit assumption that life is for learning and working. I felt at the time that I should have liked to take up the opposite thesis. I should have liked to contend that life is not for learning nor is life for working, but learning and working are for life. The primary use of knowledge is for such guidance of conduct under all circumstances as shall make living complete—all other uses of knowledge are secondary. It scarcely needs saying that the primary use of work is that of supplying the materials and aids to living completely; and that any other uses of work are secondary. But in men's conceptions the secondary has in great measure usurped the place of the primary.

The apostle of culture, as culture is commonly conceived, Mr. Matthew Arnold, makes little or no reference to the fact that the first use of knowledge is the right ordering of all actions; and Mr. Carlyle, who is a good exponent of current ideas about work, insists on its virtues for quite other[Pg 1072] reasons than that it achieves sustentation. We may trace everywhere in human affairs a tendency to transform the means into the end. All see that the miser does this when making the accumulation of money his sole satisfaction; he forgets that money is of value only to purchase satisfactions. But it is less commonly seen that the like is true of the work by which the money is accumulated—that industry, too, bodily or mental, is but a means, and that it is as irrational to pursue it to the exclusion of that complete living it subserves as it is for the miser to accumulate money and make no use of it. Hereafter when this age of active material progress has yielded mankind its benefits there will, I think, come a better adjustment of labor and enjoyment. Among reasons for thinking this there is the reason that the processes of evolution throughout the world at large bring an increasing surplus of energies that are not absorbed in fulfilling material needs and point to a still larger surplus for humanity of the future. And there are other reasons which I must pass over. In brief, I may say that we have had somewhat too much of the "gospel of work." It is time to preach the gospel of relaxation.

This is a very unconventional after-dinner speech. Especially it will be thought strange that in returning thanks I should deliver something very much like a homily. But I have thought I could not better convey my thanks than by the expression of a sympathy which issues in a fear. If, as I gather, this intemperance in work affects more especially the Anglo-American part of the population, if there results an undermining of the physique not only in adults, but also in the young, who as I learn from your daily journals are also being injured by overwork—if the ultimate consequence should be a dwindling away of those among you who are the inheritors of free institutions and best adapted to them, then there will come a further difficulty in the working out of that great future which lies before the American nation. To my anxiety on this account you must please ascribe the unusual character of my remarks.

And now I must bid you farewell. When I sail by the Germanic on Saturday, I shall bear with me pleasant remembrances of my intercourse with many Americans, joined with regrets that my state of health has prevented me from seeing a larger number.[Pg 1073]



[Speech of Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, Dean of Westminster, at the breakfast given by the Century Club, New York City, November 2, 1878.]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—The hospitality shown to me has been no exception to that with which every Englishman meets in this country, in the endless repetition of kind words and the overwhelming pressure of genial entertainment which has been thrust upon me. That famous Englishman, Dr. Johnson, when he went from England to Scotland, which, at that time, was a more formidable undertaking than is a voyage from England to America at the present time, met at a reception at St. Andrew's a young professor who said, breaking the gloomy silence of the occasion: "I trust you have not been disappointed!" And the famous Englishman replied: "No; I was told that I should find men of rude manners and savage tastes, and I have not been disappointed." So, too, when I set out for your shores I was told that I should meet a kindly welcome and the most friendly hospitality. I can only say, with Dr. Johnson, I have not been disappointed.

But in my vivid though short experience of American life and manners, I have experienced not only hospitality, but considerate and thoughtful kindness, for which I must ever be grateful. I can find it in my heart even to forgive the reporters who have left little of what I have said or done unnoted, and when they have failed in this, have invented fabulous histories of things which I never did and sayings which I never uttered. Sometimes when I have been questioned as to my impressions and views of America, I have been tempted to say with an Englishman who was hard[Pg 1074] pressed by his constituents with absurd solicitations: "Gentlemen, this is the humblest moment of my life, that you should take me for such a fool as to answer all your questions." But I know their good intentions and I forgive them freely.

The two months which I have spent on these shores seem to me two years in actual work, or two centuries rather, for in them I have lived through all American history. In Virginia I saw the era of the earliest settlers, and I met John Smith and Pocahontas on the shores of the James River. In Philadelphia I lived with William Penn, but in a splendor which I fear would have shocked his simple soul. At Salem I encountered the stern founders of Massachusetts; at Plymouth I watched the Mayflower threading its way round the shoals and promontories of that intricate bay. On Lake George and at Quebec I followed the struggle between the English and the French for the possession of this great continent. At Boston and Concord I followed the progress of the War of Independence. At Mount Vernon I enjoyed the felicity of companionship with Washington and his associates. I pause at this great name, and carry my recollections no further. But you will understand how long and fruitful an experience has thus been added to my life, during the few weeks in which I have moved amongst the scenes of your eventful history.

And then, leaving the past for the present, a new field opens before me. There are two impressions which are fixed upon my mind as to the leading characteristics of the people among whom I have passed, as the almanac informs me, but two short months. On the one hand I see that everything seems to be fermenting and growing, changing, perplexing, bewildering. In that memorable hour—memorable in the life of every man, memorable as when he sees the first view of the Pyramids, or of the snow-clad range of the Alps—in the hour when for the first time I stood before the cataracts of Niagara, I seemed to see a vision of the fears and hopes of America. It was midnight, the moon was full, and I saw from the Suspension Bridge the ceaseless contortion, confusion, whirl, and chaos, which burst forth in clouds of foam from that immense central chasm which divides the American from the British dominion; and as I looked on[Pg 1075] that ever-changing movement, and listened to that everlasting roar, I saw an emblem of the devouring activity, and ceaseless, restless, beating whirlpool of existence in the United States. But into the moonlight sky there rose a cloud of spray twice as high as the Falls themselves, silent, majestic, immovable. In that silver column, glittering in the moonlight, I saw an image of the future of American destiny, of the pillar of light which should emerge from the distractions of the present—a likeness of the buoyancy and hopefulness which characterize you both as individuals and as a nation.

You may remember Wordsworth's fine lines on "Yarrow Unvisited," "Yarrow Visited," and "Yarrow Revisited." "America Unvisited"—that is now for me a vision of the past; that fabulous America, in which, before they come to your shores, Englishmen believe Pennsylvania to be the capital of Massachusetts, and Chicago to be a few miles from New York—that has now passed away from my mind forever. "America Visited"; this, with its historic scenes and its endless suggestions of thought, has taken the place of that fictitious region. Whether there will ever be an "America Revisited" I cannot say; but if there should be, it will then be to me not the land of the Pilgrim Fathers and Washington, so much as the land of kindly homes, and enduring friendships, and happy recollections, which have now endeared it to me. One feature of this visit I fear I cannot hope to see repeated, yet one without which it could never have been accomplished. My two friends, to whom such a pleasing reference has been made by Dr. Adams, who have made the task easy for me which else would have been impossible; who have lightened every anxiety; who have watched over me with such vigilant care that I have not been allowed to touch more than two dollars in the whole course of my journey—they, perchance, may not share in "America Revisited." But if ever such should be my own good fortune, I shall remember it as the land which I visited with them; where, if at first they were welcomed to your homes for my sake, I have often felt as the days rolled on that I was welcomed for their sake. And you will remember them. When in after years you read at the end of some elaborate essay on the history of music or on Biblical geog[Pg 1076]raphy the name of George Grove, you will recall with pleasure the incessant questionings, the eager desire for knowledge, the wide and varied capacity for all manner of instruction, which you experienced in your conversations with him here. And when also hereafter there shall reach to your shores the fame of the distinguished physician, Dr. Harper, whether in England or in New Zealand, you will be the more rejoiced because it will bring before you the memory of the youthful and blooming student who inspected your hospitals with such keen appreciation, so impartially sifting the good from the evil.

I part from you with the conviction that such bonds of kindly intercourse will cement the union between the two countries even more than the wonderful cable, on which it is popularly believed in England that my friend and host, Mr. Cyrus Field, passes his mysterious existence appearing and reappearing at one and the same moment in London and in New York. Of that unbroken union there seemed to me a likeness, when on the beautiful shores of Lake George, the Loch Katrine of America, I saw a maple and an oak-tree growing together from the same stem, perhaps from the same root—the brilliant fiery maple, the emblem of America; the gnarled and twisted oak, the emblem of England. So may the two nations always rise together, so different each from each, and representing so distinct a future, yet each springing from the same ancestral root, each bound together by the same healthful sap, and the same vigorous growth.[Pg 1077]



[Speech of Henry M. Stanley at a dinner given in his honor by the Lotos Club, New York City, November 27, 1886. Whitelaw Reid, President of the Lotos Club, in welcoming Mr. Stanley, said: "Well, gentlemen, your alarm of yesterday and last night was needless. The Atlantic Ocean would not break even a dinner engagement for the man whom the terrors of the Congo and the Nile could not turn back, and your guest is here. [Applause.] It is fourteen years since you last gave him welcome. Then he came to you fresh from the discovery of Livingstone. The credulity which even doubted the records of that adventurous march or the reality of his brilliant result had hardly died out. Our young correspondent, after seeing the war end here without his having a fair chance to win his spurs, had suddenly made a wonderful hit out of the expedition which nobody had really believed in and most people had laughed at. We were proud of him, and right glad to see him, and a little bit uneasy, but vastly amused over his peppery dealings with the Royal Geographers. [Laughter.] In spite of our admiration for his pluck and his luck we did not take him quite seriously. [Laughter.] In fact we did not take anything very seriously in those days. The Lotos Club at first was younger in that hearty enthusiastic reception to Stanley fourteen years ago in that gay little clubhouse next to the Academy of Music; we were thinking far more of a hearty greeting to the comrade of the quill who had been having a hard time but had scored 'a big beat' [laughter] than of adequate recognition to the man already well launched on a career that ranks him among the foremost explorers of the century. [Loud cheers.] It is the character in which you must welcome him now. The Royal Geographical Society has no further doubt as to the credit to which he is entitled. He brings its diploma of honorary membership ["Hear! Hear!"], he bears the gold medal of Victor Emmanuel, the decorations of the Khedive, the commission of the King of the Belgians. More than any of them he cherishes another distinction—what American would not prize it?—the vote of thanks of the Legislature and the recognition of his work by our Government. The young war-correspondent has led expeditions of his own—the man who set out merely to find Livingstone, has himself done a work greater than Livingstone's.[Pg 1078] [Applause.] He has explored Equatorial Africa, penetrated the Dark Continent from side to side, mapped the Nile, and founded the Free State on the Congo.' [Applause.] All honor to our returning guest! The years have left their marks upon his frame and their honors upon his name. Let us make him forget the fevers that have parched him, the wild beasts and the more savage men that have pursued him. ["Hear! Hear!"] He is once more among the friends of his youth, in the land of his adoption. Let us make him feel at home. [Applause.] I give you the health of our friend and comrade."]

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Lotos Club: One might start a great many principles and ideas which would require to be illustrated and drawn out in order to present a picture of my feelings at the present moment. I am conscious that in my immediate vicinity there are people who were great when I was little. I remember very well when I was unknown to anybody, how I was sent to report a lecture by my friend right opposite, Mr. George Alfred Townsend, and I remember the manner in which he said: "Galileo said: 'The world moves round,' and the world does move round," upon the platform of the Mercantile Hall in St. Louis—one of the grandest things out. [Laughter and applause.] The next great occasion that I had to come before the public was Mark Twain's lecture on the Sandwich Islands, which I was sent to report. And when I look to my left here I see Colonel Anderson, whose very face gives me an idea that Bennett has got some telegraphic despatch and is just about to send me to some terrible region for some desperate commission. [Laughter.]

And, of course, you are aware that it was owing to the proprietor and editor of a newspaper that I dropped the pacific garb of a journalist and donned the costume of an African traveller. It was not for me, one of the least in the newspaper corps, to question the newspaper proprietor's motives. He was an able editor, very rich, desperately despotic. [Laughter.] He commanded a great army of roving writers, people of fame in the news-gathering world; men who had been everywhere and had seen everything from the bottom of the Atlantic to the top of the very highest mountain; men who were as ready to give their advice to National Cabinets [laughter] as they were ready to give it to the smallest police courts in the United States. [Laughter.] I[Pg 1079] belonged to this class of roving writers, and I can truly say that I did my best to be conspicuously great in it, by an untiring devotion to my duties, an untiring indefatigability, as though the ordinary rotation of the universe depended upon my single endeavors. [Laughter.] If, as some of you suspect, the enterprise of the able editor was only inspired with a view to obtain the largest circulation, my unyielding and guiding motive, if I remember rightly, was to win his favor by doing with all my might that duty to which according to the English State Church Catechism, "it had pleased God to call me." [Laughter and applause.]

He first despatched me to Abyssinia—straight from Missouri to Abyssinia! What a stride, gentlemen! [Laughter.] People who lived west of the Missouri River have scarcely, I think, much knowledge of Abyssinia, and there are gentlemen here who can vouch for me in that, but it seemed to Mr. Bennett a very ordinary thing, and it seemed to his agent in London a very ordinary thing indeed, so I of course followed suit. I took it as a very ordinary thing, and I went to Abyssinia, and somehow or other good-luck followed me and my telegrams reporting the fall of Magdala happened to be a week ahead of the British Government's. The people said I had done right well, though the London papers said I was an impostor. [Laughter.]

The second thing I was aware of was that I was ordered to Crete to run the blockade, describe the Cretan rebellion from the Cretan side, and from the Turkish side; and then I was sent to Spain to report from the Republican side and from the Carlist side, perfectly dispassionately. [Laughter.] And then, all of a sudden, I was sent for to come to Paris. Then Mr. Bennett, in that despotic way of his, said: "I want you to go and find Livingstone." As I tell you, I was a mere newspaper reporter. I dared not confess my soul as my own. Mr. Bennett merely said: "Go," and I went. He gave me a glass of champagne and I think that was superb. [Laughter.] I confessed my duty to him, and I went. And as good-luck would have it, I found Livingstone. [Loud and continued cheering.] I returned as a good citizen ought and as a good reporter ought and as a good correspondent ought, to tell the tale, and arriving at Aden, I telegraphed a request that I might be permitted to[Pg 1080] visit civilization before I went to China. [Laughter.] I came to civilization, and what do you think was the result? Why, only to find that all the world disbelieved my story. [Laughter.] Dear me! If I were proud of anything, it was that what I said was a fact ["Good!"]; that whatever I said I would do, I would endeavor to do with all my might, or, as many a good man had done before, as my predecessors had done, to lay my bones behind. That's all. [Loud cheering.] I was requested in an off-hand manner—just as any member of the Lotos Club here present would say—"Would you mind giving us a little résumé of your geographical work?" I said: "Not in the least, my dear sir; I have not the slightest objection." And do you know that to make it perfectly geographical and not in the least sensational, I took particular pains and I wrote a paper out, and when it was printed, it was just about so long [indicating an inch]. It contained about a hundred polysyllabic African words. [Laughter.] And yet "for a' that and a' that" the pundits of the Geographical Society—Brighton Association—said that they hadn't come to listen to any sensational stories, but that they had come to listen to facts. [Laughter.] Well now, a little gentleman, very reverend, full of years and honors, learned in Cufic inscriptions and cuneiform characters, wrote to "The Times" stating that it was not Stanley who had discovered Livingstone but that it was Livingstone who had discovered Stanley. [Laughter.]

If it had not been for that unbelief, I don't believe I should ever have visited Africa again; I should have become, or I should have endeavored to become, with Mr. Reid's permission, a conservative member of the Lotos Club. [Laughter.] I should have settled down and become as steady and as stolid as some of these patriots that you have around here, I should have said nothing offensive. I should have done some "treating." I should have offered a few cigars and on Saturday night, perhaps, I would have opened a bottle of champagne and distributed it among my friends. But that was not to be. I left New York for Spain and then the Ashantee War broke out and once more my good-luck followed me and I got the treaty of peace ahead of everybody else, and as I was coming to England from the Ashantee War a telegraphic despatch was put into my hands at the[Pg 1081] Island of St. Vincent, saying that Livingstone was dead. I said: "What does that mean to me? New Yorkers don't believe in me. How was I to prove that what I have said is true? By George! I will go and complete Livingstone's work. I will prove that the discovery of Livingstone was a mere fleabite. I will prove to them that I am a good man and true." That is all that I wanted. [Loud cheers.]

I accompanied Livingstone's remains to Westminster Abbey. I saw those remains buried which I had left sixteen months before enjoying full life and abundant hope. The "Daily Telegraph's" proprietor cabled over to Bennett: "Will you join us in sending Stanley over to complete Livingstone's explorations?" Bennett received the telegram in New York, read it, pondered a moment, snatched a blank and wrote: "Yes. Bennett." That was my commission, and I set out to Africa intending to complete Livingstone's explorations, also to settle the Nile problem, as to where the head-waters of the Nile were, as to whether Lake Victoria consisted of one lake, one body of water, or a number of shallow lakes; to throw some light on Sir Samuel Baker's Albert Nyanza, and also to discover the outlet of Lake Tanganyika, and then to find out what strange, mysterious river this was which had lured Livingstone on to his death—whether it was the Nile, the Niger, or the Congo. Edwin Arnold, the author of "The Light of Asia," said: "Do you think you can do all this?" "Don't ask me such a conundrum as that. Put down the funds and tell me to go. That is all." ["Hear! Hear!"] And he induced Lawson, the proprietor, to consent. The funds were put down, and I went.

First of all, we settled the problem of the Victoria that it was one body of water, that instead of being a cluster of shallow lakes or marshes, it was one body of water, 21,500 square miles in extent. While endeavoring to throw light upon Sir Samuel Baker's Albert Nyanza, we discovered a new lake, a much superior lake to Albert Nyanza—the dead Locust Lake—and at the same time Gordon Pasha sent his lieutenant to discover and circumnavigate the Albert Nyanza and he found it to be only a miserable 140 miles, because Baker, in a fit of enthusiasm had stood on the brow of a high plateau and looking down on the dark blue waters[Pg 1082] of Albert Nyanza, cried romantically: "I see it extending indefinitely toward the southwest!" Indefinitely is not a geographical expression, gentlemen. [Laughter.] We found that there was no outlet to the Tanganyika, although it was a sweet-water lake; we, settling that problem, day after day as we glided down the strange river that had lured Livingstone to his death, we were in as much doubt as Livingstone had been, when he wrote his last letter and said: "I will never be made black man's meat for anything less than the classic Nile."

After travelling 400 miles we came to the Stanley Falls, and beyond them, we saw the river deflect from its Nileward course toward the Northwest. Then it turned west, and then visions of towers and towns and strange tribes and strange nations broke upon our imagination, and we wondered what we were going to see, when the river suddenly took a decided turn toward the southwest and our dreams were put an end to. We saw then that it was aiming directly for the Congo, and when we had propitiated some natives whom we encountered, by showing them crimson beads and polished wire, that had been polished for the occasion, we said: "This is for your answer. What river is this?" "Why, it is the river, of course." That was not an answer, and it required some persuasion before the chief, bit by bit digging into his brain, managed to roll out sonorously that, "It is the Ko-to-yah Congo." "It is the river of Congo-land." Alas for our classic dreams! Alas for Crophi and Mophi, the fabled fountains of Herodotus! Alas for the banks of the river where Moses was found by the daughter of Pharaoh! This is the parvenu Congo! Then we glided on and on past strange nations and cannibals—not past those nations which have their heads under their arms—for 1,100 miles, until we arrived at the circular extension of the river and my last remaining companion called it the Stanley Pool, and then five months after that our journey ended.

After that I had a very good mind to come back to America, and say, like the Queen of Uganda: "There, what did I tell you?" But you know, the fates would not permit me to come over in 1878. The very day I landed in Europe the King of Italy gave me an express train to convey me to France, and the very moment I descended from it at[Pg 1083] Marseilles there were three ambassadors from the King of the Belgians asked me to go back to Africa. "What! go back to Africa? Never! [Laughter.] I have come for civilization; I have come for enjoyment. I have come for love, for life, for pleasure. Not I. Go and ask some of those people you know who have never been to Africa before. I have had enough of it." "Well, perhaps, by and by?" "Ah, I don't know what will happen by and by, but, just now, never! never! Not for Rothschild's wealth!" [Laughter and applause.]

I was received by the Paris Geographical Society, and it was then I began to feel "Well, after all, I have done something, haven't I?" I felt superb [laughter], but you know I have always considered myself a Republican. I have those bullet-riddled flags, and those arrow-torn flags, the Stars and Stripes that I carried in Africa, for the discovery of Livingstone, and that crossed Africa, and I venerate those old flags. I have them in London now, jealously guarded in the secret recesses of my cabinet. I only allow my very best friends to look at them, and if any of you gentlemen ever happen in at my quarters, I will show them to you. [Applause.]

After I had written my book, "Through the Dark Continent," I began to lecture, using these words: "I have passed through a land watered by the largest river of the African continent, and that land knows no owner. A word to the wise is sufficient. You have cloths and hardware and glassware and gunpowder and these millions of natives have ivory and gums and rubber and dye-stuffs, and in barter there is good profit." [Laughter.]

The King of the Belgians commissioned me to go to that country. My expedition when we started from the coast numbered 300 colored people and fourteen Europeans. We returned with 3,000 trained black men and 300 Europeans. The first sum allowed me was $50,000 a year, but it has ended at something like $700,000 a year. Thus, you see, the progress of civilization. We found the Congo, having only canoes. To-day there are eight steamers. It was said at first that King Leopold was a dreamer. He dreamed he could unite the barbarians of Africa into a confederacy and called it the Free State, but on February 25, 1885, the[Pg 1084] Powers of Europe and America also ratified an act, recognizing the territories acquired by us to be the free and independent State of the Congo. Perhaps when the members of the Lotos Club have reflected a little more upon the value of what Livingstone and Leopold have been doing, they will also agree that these men have done their duty in this world and in the age that they lived, and that their labor has not been in vain on account of the great sacrifices they have made to the benighted millions of dark Africa. [Loud and enthusiastic applause.][Pg 1085]



[Speech of Edmund Clarence Stedman as chairman of the dinner given by the Authors' Club to Richard Henry Stoddard, New York City, March 26, 1897.]

Gentlemen:—The members of the Authors' Club are closely associated to-night with many other citizens in a sentiment felt by one and all—that of love and reverence for the chief guest of the evening. He has our common pride in his fame. He has what is, I think, of even more value to him, our entire affection. We have heard something of late concerning the "banquet habit," and there are banquets which make it seem to the point. But there are also occasions which transfigure even custom, and make it honored "in the observance." Nor is this a feast of the habitual kind, as concerns its givers, its recipient, and the city in which it is given. The Authors' Club, with many festivals counted in its private annals, now, for the first time, offers a public tribute to one of its own number; in this case, one upon whom it long since conferred a promotion to honorary membership. As for New York, warder of the gates of the ocean, and by instinct and tradition first to welcome the nation's visitors, it constantly offers bread and salt—yes, and speeches—to authors, as to other guests, from older lands, and many of us often have joined in this function. But we do not remember that it has been a habit for New York to tender either the oratorical bane or the gustatory antidote to her own writers. Except within the shade of their own coverts they have escaped these offerings, unless there has been something other than literary service to bring them public recognition. In the latter case, as when men[Pg 1086] who are or have been members of our club become Ambassadors, because they are undeniably fitted for the missions to Great Britain and France, even authors are made to sit in state. To-night's gathering, then, is, indeed, exceptional, being in public honor of an American author here resident—of "one of our own"—who is not booked for a foreign mission, nor leaving the country, nor returning, nor doing anything more unusual than to perform his stint of work, and to sing any song that comes to him—as he tells us,

"Not because he woos it long,
But because it suits its will,
Tired at last of being still."

Our homage is rendered, with love and enthusiasm, for his service to "mere literature"—for his indomitable devotion throughout half a century to the joy and toil of his profession, in which he has so fought the fight and kept the faith of a working man of letters. It is rendered to the most distinguished poet, of his country and generation, still remaining with us and still in full voice. It is rendered to the comrade—to the man who, with his modesty and fortitude and the absence of self-seeking—with the quips and quirks that cover his gravest moods, with his attachment for the city which has given him that which Lamb so loved, "the sweet security of streets"—it is rendered, I say, to the man who best preserves for us, in his living presence, the traditions of all that an English-speaking poet and book-fellow should be to constitute a satisfying type.

There is, perhaps, a special fitness in our gathering at this time. I sometimes have thought upon the possible career of our poet if his life had been passed in the suburbs of the down-east Athens, among serenities and mutualities so auspicious to the genius and repute of that shining group lately gathered to the past. One thing is certain, he would not have weathered his seventieth birthday, at any season, without receiving such a tribute as this, nor would a public dinner have reminded him of days when a poet was glad to get any dinner at all. Through his birth, Massachusetts claims her share in his distinction. But, having been brought to New York in childhood, he seems to have reasoned out for himself the corollary to a certain famous epigram, and to[Pg 1087] have thought it just as well to stay in the city which resident Bostonians keep as the best place to go to while still in the flesh. Probably he had not then realized the truth, since expressed in his own lines:—

"Yes, there's a luck in most things, and in none
More than in being born at the right time!"

His birthday, in fact, comes in midsummer, when New York is more inert than an analytic novel. This dinner, then, is one of those gifts of love which are all the more unstinted because by chance deferred.

It was in the order of things, and no cause for blame, that, after this town passed from the provincial stage, there was so long a period when it had to be, as De Quincey said of Oxford Street, a stony-hearted mother to her bookmen and poets; that she had few posts for them and little of a market. Even her colleges had not the means, if they had the will, to utilize their talents and acquirements. We do owe to her newspapers and magazines, and now and then to the traditional liking of Uncle Sam for his bookish offspring, that some of them did not fall by the way, even in that arid time succeeding the Civil War, when we learned that letters were foregone, not only inter arma, but for a long while afterward. Those were the days when English went untaught, and when publishers were more afraid of poetry than they now are of verse. Yet here is one who was able to live through it all, and now sees a changed condition, to the evolution of which he contributed his full share. But he is no more a child of the past than of the present, nor need he repine like Cato, as one who has to account for himself to a new generation. He is with us and of us, and in the working ranks, as ever.

For all this he began long enough ago to have his early poetry refused by Poe, because it was too good to be the work of an obscure stripling, and to have had Hawthorne for his sponsor and friend. His youth showed again how much more inborn tendency has to do with one's life than any external forces—such as guardianship, means, and what we call education. The thrush takes to the bough, wheresoever hatched and fledged. Many waters cannot quench genius, neither can the floods drown it. The story of Dick[Pg 1088]ens's boyhood, as told by himself, is not more pathetic—nor is its outcome more beautiful—than what we know of our guest's experiences—his orphanage, his few years' meagre schooling, his work as a boy in all sorts of shifting occupations, the attempt to make a learned blacksmith of him, his final apprenticeship to iron-moulding, at which he worked on the East Side from his eighteenth to his twenty-first year. As Dr. Griswold put it, he began to mould his thoughts into the symmetry of verse while he moulded the molten metal into shapes of grace. Mr. Stoddard, however, says that a knowledge of foundries was not one of the learned Doctor's strong points. Yet the young artisan somehow got hold of books, and not only made poetry, but succeeded in showing it to such magnates as Park Benjamin and Willis. The kindly Willis said that he had brains enough to make a reputation, but that "writing was hard work to do, and ill paid when done." But the youth was bound to take the road to Arcady. He asked for nothing better than this ill-paid craft. His passion for it, doubtless was strengthened by his physical toil and uncongenial surroundings. For one I am not surprised that much of his early verse, which is still retained in his works, breathes the spirit of Keats, though where and how this strayed singer came to study that most perfect and delicate of masters none but himself can tell. The fact remains that he somehow, also, left his moulding and trusted to his pen. To use his own words, he "set resolutely to work to learn the only trade for which he seemed fitted—that of literature." From that time to this, a half century, he has clung to it. Never in his worst seasons did he stop to think how the world treated him, or that he was entitled to special providences. He accepted poverty or good-luck with an equal mind, content with the reward of being a reader, a writer, and, above all, a poet. He managed not to loaf, and yet to invite his soul—and his songs are evidence that the invitation was accepted. If to labor is to pray, his industry has been a religion, for I doubt if there has been a day in all these fifty years when, unless disabled bodily, he has not worked at his trade.

We all know with what results. He has earned a manly living from the first, and therewithal has steadily contributed a vital portion to the current, and to the enduring, literature[Pg 1089] of his land and language. There was one thing that characterized the somewhat isolated New York group of young writers in his early prime—especially himself and his nearest associates, such as Taylor and Boker, and, later, Aldrich and Winter. They called themselves squires of poesy, in their romantic way, but they had neither the arrogance nor the chances for a self-heralding, more common in these chipper modern days. They seem to have followed their art because they adored it, quite as much as for what it could do for them.

Of Mr. Stoddard it may be said that there have been few important literary names and enterprises, North or South, but he has "been of the company." If he found friends in youth, he has abundantly repaid his debt in helpful counsel to his juniors—among whom I am one of the eldest and most grateful. But I cannot realize that thirty-seven years of our close friendship have passed since I showed my first early work to him, and he took me to a publisher. Just as I found him then, I find him any evening now, in the same chair, in the same corner of the study, "under the evening lamp." We still talk of the same themes; his jests are as frequent as ever, but the black hair is silvered and the active movements are less alert. I then had never known a mind so stored with bookish lore, so intimate with the lives of rare poets gone by, yet to what it then possessed he, with his wonderful memory, has been adding ever since.

If his early verse was like Keats, how soon he came to that unmistakable style of his own—to the utterance of those pure lyrics, "most musical, most melancholy"—"to the perfection of his matchless songs," and again, to the mastery of blank verse, that noblest measure, in "The Fisher and Charon"—to the grace and limpid narrative verse of "The King's Bell," to the feeling, wisdom—above all, to the imagination—of his loftier odes, among which that on Lincoln remains unsurpassed. This is not the place to eulogize such work. But one thing may be noted in the progress of what in Berkeley's phrase may be called the planting of arts and letters in America. Mr. Stoddard and his group were the first after Poe to make poetry—whatever else it might be—the rhythmical creation of beauty. As an outcome of this, and in distinction from the poetry[Pg 1090] of conviction to which the New England group were so addicted, look at the "Songs of Summer" which our own poet brought out in 1857. For beauty pure and simple it still seems to me fresher and more significant than any single volume produced up to that date by any Eastern poet save Emerson. It was "poetry or nothing," and though it came out of time in that stormy period, it had to do with the making of new poets thereafter.

In conclusion, I am moved to say, very much as I wrote on his seventieth birthday, that our poet's laborious and nobly independent life, with all its lights and shadows, has been one to be envied. There is much in completeness—its rainbow has not been dissevered—it is a perfect arc. As I know him, it has been the absolute realization of his young desire, the unhasting, unresting life of a poet and student, beyond that of any other writer among us. Its compensations have been greater than those of ease and wealth. Even now he would not change it, though at an age when one might well have others stay his hands. He had the happiness to win in youth the one woman he loved, with the power of whose singular and forceful genius his own is inseparably allied. These wedded poets have been blessed in their children, in the exquisite memory of the dead, in the success and loyalty of the living. His comrades have been such as he pictured to his hope in youth—poets, scholars, artists of the beautiful, with whom he has "warmed both hands before the fire of life." None of them has been a more patient worker or more loved his work. To it he has given his years, whether waxing or waning; he has surrendered for it the strength of his right hand, he has yielded the light of his eyes, and complains not, nor need he, "for so were Milton and Mæonides." What tears this final devotion may have caused to flow, come from other eyes than his own. And so, with gratulation void of all regrets, let us drink to the continued years, service, happiness of our strong and tender-hearted elder comrade, our white-haired minstrel, Richard Henry Stoddard.[Pg 1091]



[Speech of Leslie Stephen at the annual banquet of the Royal Academy, London, April 29, 1893, in response to the toast, "Literature." Sir Frederic Leighton, President of the Academy, spoke of Literature as "that in which is garnered up the heat that feeds the spiritual life of men." In the vein of personal compliment he said: "For literature I turn to a distinguished writer whose acute and fearless mind finds a fit vehicle in clear and vigorous English and to me seems winged by that vivid air which plays about the Alpine peaks his feet have in the past so dearly loved to tread—I mean my friend, Mr. Leslie Stephen."]

Mr. President, Your Royal Highness, My Lords, and Gentlemen:—When a poet or a great imaginative writer has to speak in this assembly he speaks as to brethren-in-arms, to persons with congenial tastes and with mutual sympathies, but when, instead of the creative writer, the Academy asks a critic to speak to them, then nothing but your proverbial courtesy can conceal the fact that they must really think they are appealing to a natural enemy. I have the misfortune to be a critic [laughter], but in this assembly I must say I am not an art critic. Friends have made a presumptuous attempt to fathom the depth of my ignorance upon artistic subjects, and they have thought that in some respects I must be admirably qualified for art criticism. [Laughter.]

As a literary critic I have felt, and I could not say I was surprised to find how unanimously critics have been condemned by poets and artists of all generations. I need only quote the words of the greatest authority, Shakespeare, who in one of his most pathetic sonnets reckons up the causes of the weariness of life and speaks of the spectacle of—

"Art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly (doctor-like), controlling skill."
[Pg 1092]

The great poet probably wrote these words after the much misrepresented interview with Lord Bacon in which the Chancellor explained to the poet how "Hamlet" should have been written, and from which it has been inferred that he took credit for having written it himself. [Laughter.] Shakespeare naturally said what every artist must feel; for what is an artist? That is hardly a question to be asked in such an assembly, where I have only to look round to find plenty of people who realize the ideal artist, persons who are simple, unconventional, spontaneous, sweet-natured [laughter], who go through the world influenced by impressions of everything that is beautiful, sublime, and pathetic. Sometimes they seem to take up impressions of a different kind [laughter]; but still this is their main purpose—to receive impressions of images, the reproduction of which may make this world a little better for us all. For such people a very essential condition is that they should be spontaneous; that they should look to nothing but telling us what they feel and how they feel it; that they should obey no external rules, and only embody those laws which have become a part of their natural instinct, and that they should think nothing, as of course they do nothing, for money; though they would not be so hard-hearted as to refuse to receive the spontaneous homage of the world, even when it came in that comparatively vulgar form. [Laughter.]

But what is a critic? He is a person who enforces rules upon the artist, like a gardener who snips a tree in order to make it grow into a preconceived form, or grafts upon it until it develops into a monstrosity which he considers beautiful. We have made some advance upon the old savage. The man who went about saying, "This will never do," has become a thing of the past. The modern critic if he has a fault has become too genial; he seems not to distinguish between the functions of a critic and the founder of a new religious sect. [Laughter.] He erects shrines to his ideals, and he burns upon them good, strong, stupefying incense. This may be less painful to the artist than the old-fashioned style; but it may be doubted whether it is not equally corrupting, and whether it does not stimulate a selfishness equally fatal to spontaneous production; whether it does not in the attempt to encourage originality favor a spurious[Pg 1093] type which consists merely in setting at defiance real common sense, and sometimes common decency.

I hope that critics are becoming better, that they have learned what impostors they have been, and that their philosophy has been merely the skilful manipulation of sonorous words, and that on the whole, they must lay aside their magisterial role and cease to suppose they are persons enforcing judicial decisions or experts who can speak with authority about chemical analysis. I hope that critics will learn to lay aside all pretension and to see only things that a critic really can see, and express genuine sympathy with human nature; and when they have succeeded in doing that they will be received as friends in such gatherings as the banquet of the Royal Academy. [Cheers.][Pg 1094]



[Speech of Rev. Dr. Richard S. Storrs at a banquet of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York, given November 5, 1881, in New York City, 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 had been present at the centennial celebration of the victory at Yorktown. The chairman, James M. Brown, vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, proposed the toast to which Dr. Storrs responded, "The Victory at Yorktown: it has rare distinction among victories, that the power which seemed humbled by it looks back to it now without regret, while the peoples who combined to secure it, after the lapse of a century of years, are more devoted than ever to the furtherance of the freedom to which it contributed."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Chamber of Commerce:—It is always pleasant to respond to your invitations and to join with you on these festival occasions. You remember the reply of the English lady [Lady Dufferin] perhaps, when the poet Rogers sent her a note saying: "Will you do me the favor to breakfast with me to-morrow?" To which she returned the still more laconic autograph, "Won't I?" [Laughter.]

Perhaps one might as well have that lithographed as his reply to your cordial and not infrequent invitations. [Laughter.] I do not know whether you are aware of it, on this side of the East River—perhaps you don't read the newspapers much—but in that better part of the great metropolis in which it is my privilege to live, we think of showing our appreciation of this Chamber of Commerce by electing for Mayor next week, one of your younger mem[Pg 1095]bers, the son of one of your older and most distinguished members, my honored friend, Mr. Low. [Applause.]

It is certainly especially pleasant to be here this evening, Mr. President and gentlemen, when we meet together, men of commerce, men of finance, lawyers, journalists, physicians, clergymen, of whatever occupation, all of us, I am sure, patriotic citizens, to congratulate each other upon what occurred at Yorktown a hundred years ago, on the 19th of October, 1781, and to express our hearty honor and esteem for these distinguished descendants or representatives of the gallant men who then stood with our fathers as their associates and helpers. [Applause.]

It has always seemed to me one of the most significant and memorable things connected with our Revolutionary struggle, that it attracted the attention, elicited the sympathy, inspired the enthusiasm, and drew out the self-sacrificing co-operation of so many noble spirits, loving freedom, in different parts of Western and Central Europe. [Applause.] You remember that Lord Camden testified from his own observation in 1775, about the time of the battle of Concord Bridge, that the merchants, tradesmen, and common people of England were on the side of the Colonists, and that only the landed interest really sustained the Government. So the more distant Poland sent to us Count Pulaski of noble family, who had been a brilliant leader for liberty at home, who fought gallantly in our battles, and who poured out his life in our behalf in the assault upon Savannah. [Cheers.] And it sent another, whose name has been one to conjure with for freedom from that day to this; who planned the works on Bemis Heights, against which Burgoyne in vain hurled his assault; who superintended the works at West Point; who, returning to his own country, fought for Poland as long as there was a Poland to fight for; whom the very Empire against which he had so long and so fiercely contended on behalf of his country, honored and eulogized after his death—Thaddeus Kosciusko. [Cheers.]

Germany sent us Von Steuben; one, but a host, whose services in our war were of immense and continual aid to our troops; who fought gallantly at Yorktown; and who, chose afterwards, to finish his life in the country for which[Pg 1096] he had fearlessly drawn his sword. [Applause.] France sent us Lafayette [loud cheers], young, brilliant, with everything to detain him at home, who had heard of our struggle, at Metz, you remember, in a conversation with the Duke of Gloucester, in whom the purpose was there formed, in a flash, to identify himself with the fortunes of the remote, poor, unfriended, and almost unknown colonists; who came, against every opposition, in a ship which he had bought and fitted for the purpose, and whose name, as has well been said in the sentiment in which we have already united, will be joined imperishably with that of Washington, as long as the history of our country continues. [Applause.]

With him came John DeKalb, the intrepid Alsatian, who, after fighting gallantly through the war, up to the point of his death, fell at Camden, pierced at last by many wounds. [Cheers.] With them, or after them, came others, Gouvion, Duportail—some of their names are hardly now familiar to us—Duplessis, Duponceau, afterward distinguished in literature and in law, in the country in which he made his residence. There came great supplies of military equipment, important, we may say indispensable, aids of money, clothing, and of all the apparatus of war; and, finally, came the organized naval and military force, with great captains at the head, Rochambeau [loud cheers], Chastellux, De Choisy, De Lauzun, St. Simon, De Grasse—all this force brilliantly representative, as we know, of our foreign allies, in the victory at Yorktown. [Applause.]

I suppose there has never been a stranger contrast on any field of victory, than that which was presented, between the worn clothing of the American troops, soiled with mud, rusted with storm, wet with blood, and the fresh white uniforms of the French troops, ornamented with colored trimmings; the poor, plain battle-flags of the Colonists, stained with smoke and rent with shot, compared with the shining and lofty standards of the French army, bearing on a ground of brilliant white silk emblazoned in gold embroidery the Bourbon lilies. [Applause.] Indeed such a contrast went into everything. The American troops were made up of men who had been, six years before, mechanics, farmers, merchants, fishermen, lawyers, teachers, with no more thought of any exploits to be accomplished by them on[Pg 1097] fields of battle than they had of being elected Czars of all the Russias. They had a few victories to look back to; Bennington, Stillwater, Cowpens, Kings Mountain, and the one great triumph of Saratoga. They had many defeats to remember; Brandywine, where somebody at the time said that the mixture of the two liquors was too much for the sober Americans [laughter], Camden, Guilford Court-house, and others, with one tragic and terrible defeat on the heights of Long Island. There were men who had been the subjects, and many of them officers of the very power against which they were fighting; and some of the older among them might have stood for that power at Louisbourg or Quebec. On the other hand, the French troops were part of an army, the lustre of whose splendid history could be traced back for a thousand years, beyond the Crusaders, beyond Charlemagne. Their officers had been trained in the best military schools of the time. They were amply provided with the last and choicest equipments of war. They had gallantly achieved victory, or as gallantly sustained defeat on almost every principal battle-field in Europe. They were now confronting an enemy whom that army had faced in previous centuries on sea and land; and very likely something of special exhilaration and animation went into their spirit from thought of this, as they assailed the English breastworks, swarming into the trenches, capturing the redoubts, storming the lines with that strange battle-shout, in our republican American air: "Vive le Roi!" [Applause.]

A singular combination! Undoubtedly, to unfold the influences which had led to it would take months instead of minutes, and occupy volumes rather than sentences. I think however, that we reckon too much on national rivalry, or national animosity, when we seek to explain it, although these no doubt had their part in it. Doubtless the eager efforts of Silas Dean, our first diplomatic representative in Europe—efforts too eager for courtesy or wisdom—had a part in it; and the skilful diplomacy of Franklin had, as we know, a large and important influence upon it. The spirit of adventure, the desire for distinction upon fresh fields, had something to do with it. But the principal factor in that great effort was the spirit of freedom—the spirit that looked to the advancement and the maintenance of popular liberty[Pg 1098] among the peoples of the earth, wherever civilization had gone; that spirit which was notably expressed by Van der Capellen, the Dutch orator and statesman, when he vehemently said, in presence of the States-General of Holland, in reply to an autograph letter of George III soliciting their aid, that this was a business for hired janissaries rather than for soldiers of a free State; that it would be, in his judgment, "superlatively detestable" to aid in any way to overcome the Americans, whom he regarded as a brave people, righting in a manly, honorable, religious manner, not for the rights which had come to them, not from any British legislation but from God Almighty. [Applause.]

That spirit was native to Holland. But that spirit was also widely in France. The old temper and enthusiasm for liberty, both civil and religious, had not passed away. Sixty years and more since the accession of Louis XV had perhaps only intensified this spirit. It had entered the higher philosophical minds. They were meditating the questions of the true social order, with daring disregard of all existing institutions, and their spirit and instructions found an echo even in our Declaration of Independence. They made it more theoretical than English state papers have usually been. Palpably, the same spirit which afterward broke into fierce exhibition, when the Bastille was stormed in 1789, or when the First Republic was declared in 1792, was already at work in France, at work there far more vitally and energetically than was yet recognized by those in authority; while it wrought perhaps in the field offered by this country, more eagerly and largely because it was repressed at home. So it was that so many brilliant Frenchmen came as glad volunteers. It was because of this electric and vital spirit looking toward freedom. Travelling was slow. Communication between continents was tardy and difficult. A sailing ship, dependent upon the wind, hugged the breeze or was driven before the blast across the stormy North Atlantic. The steamship was unknown. The telegraph wire was no more imagined than it was imagined that the Rhine might flow a river of flame or that the Jungfrau or the Weisshorn might go out on a journey.

But there was this distributed spirit of freedom, propagating itself by means which we cannot wholly trace, and[Pg 1099] to an extent which was scarcely recognized, which brought volunteers in such numbers to our shores, that Washington, you know, at one time, expressed himself as embarrassed to know what to do with them; and there were fervent and high aspirations going up from multitudes of households and of hearts in Central and in Western Europe, which found realization in what we claim as the greatest and most fruitful of American victories. [Applause.] The impulse given by that victory to the same spirit is one on which we can never look back without gratitude and gladness. It was an impulse not confined to one nation but common to all which had had part in the struggle. We know what an impulse it gave to everything greatest and best in our own country. The spirit of popular exhilaration, rising from that victory at Yorktown, was a force which really established and moulded our national Government. The nation rose to one of those exalted points, those supreme levels, in its public experience, where it found a grander wisdom, where it had nobler forecast than perhaps it otherwise could have reached. In consequence of it, our Government came, which has stood the storm and stress of a hundred years. We may have to amend its Constitution in time to come, as it has been amended in the past; but we have become a nation by means of it. It commands the attention—to some extent, the admiration—of other people of the earth; at all events, it is bound to endure upon this continent as long as there remains a continent here for it to rest upon. [Cheers.]

Then came the incessant movement westward: the vast foreign immigration, the occupation of the immense grainfields, which might almost feed the hungry world; the multiplication of manufacturers, supplying everything, nearly, that we need; the uncovering of mines, bringing out the wealth which has actually disturbed the money standards of the world; the transforming of territories into States by a process as swift and magical almost as that by which the turbid mixture of the chemist is crystallized into its delicate and translucent spars; the building of an empire on the Western coast, looking out toward the older continent of Asia. [Cheers.]

We know, too, what an impulse was given to popular[Pg 1100] rights and hopes in England. We rejoice in all the progress of England. That salute fired at the British flag the other day at Yorktown [cheers] was a stroke of the hammer on the horologe of time, which marks the coming of a new era, when national animosities shall be forgotten, and only national sympathies and good-will shall remain. It might seem, perhaps, to have in it a tone of the old "diapason of the cannonade"; but on the thoughtful ear, falls from the thundering voice of those guns, a note of that supreme music which fell on the ear of Longfellow, when "like a bell with solemn sweet vibration" he heard "once more the voice of Christ say: 'Peace!'" [Loud applause.]

We rejoice in the progress of English manufactures, which extracts every force from each ounce of coal, and pounds or weaves the English iron into nearly everything for human use except boots and brown-bread [laughter]; in the commerce which spreads its sails on all seas; in the wealth and splendor that are assembled in her cities; but we rejoice more than all in the constant progress of those liberal ideas to which such an impulse was given by this victory of Yorktown. [Cheers.] You remember that Fox is said to have heard of it "with a wild delight"; and even he may not have anticipated its full future outcome. You remember the hissing hate with which he was often assailed, as when the tradesman of Westminster whose vote he had solicited, flung back at him the answer: "I have nothing for you, sir, but a halter," to which Fox, by the way, with instant wit and imperturbable good-nature, smilingly responded: "I could not think, my dear sir, of depriving you of such an interesting family relic." [Laughter.] Look back to that time and then see the prodigious advance of liberal ideas in England, the changed political condition of the workingman. Look at the position of that great Commoner, who now regulates the English policy, who equals Fox in his liberal principles and surpasses him in his eloquence—Mr. Gladstone. [Cheers.] The English troops marched out of Yorktown, after their surrender, to that singularly appropriate tune, as they thought it, "The World Turned Upside Down." [Laughter.] But that vast disturbance of the old equilibrium which had balanced a King against a Nation, has given to England the treasures of statesmanship, the treas[Pg 1101]ures of eloquence, a vast part of the splendor and the power which are now collected under the reign of that one royal woman in the world, to whom every American heart pays its eager and unforced fealty—Queen Victoria. [Loud applause.]

We know what an impulse was given to the same spirit in Germany. Mr. Schurz will tell us of it in eloquent words. But no discourse that he can utter, however brilliant in rhetoric; no analysis, however lucid; no clear and comprehensive sweep of his thought, though expressed in words which ring in our ears and live in our memories, can so fully and fittingly illustrate it to us as does the man himself, in his character and career—an Old World citizen of the American Republic whose marvellous mastery of our tough English tongue is still surpassed by his more marvellous mastery over the judgments and the hearts of those who hear him use it. [Cheers.]

What an impulse was given to the same spirit in France we know. At first, it fell upon a people not altogether prepared to receive it. There was, therefore, a passionate effervescence, a fierce ebullition into popular violence and popular outrage which darkened for the time the world's annals. But we know that the spirit never died; and through all the winding and bloody paths in which it has marched, it has brought France the fair consummation of its present power and wealth and renown. [Cheers.] We rejoice in its multiform manufactures, which weave the woollen or silken fibre into every form and tissue of fabric; in the delicate, dainty skill which keeps the time of all creation with its watchwork and clockwork; which ornaments beauty with its jewelry, and furnishes science with its finest instruments; we rejoice in the 14,000 miles of railway there constructed, almost all of it within forty years; we rejoice in the riches there accumulated; we rejoice in the expansion of the population from the twenty-three millions of the day of Yorktown to the thirty-eight millions of the present; but we rejoice more than all in the liberal spirit evermore there advancing, which has built the fifteen universities, and gathered the 41,000 students into them; which builds libraries and higher seminaries, and multiplies common schools: which gives liberty if not license to the press. [Cheers.][Pg 1102]

We rejoice in the universal suffrage which puts the 532 deputies into the Chamber and which combines the Chamber of Deputies with the Senate into a National Assembly to elect the President of the Republic. We rejoice in the rapid political education now and always going on in France, and that she is to be hereafter a noble leader in Europe, in illustrating the security and commending the benefits of Republican institutions. [Applause.]

France has been foremost in many things; she was foremost in chivalry, and the most magnificent spectacles and examples which that institution ever furnished were on her fields. She was foremost in the Crusades and the volcanic country around Auvergne was not more full of latent fire than was the spirit of her people at the Council of Clermont or before the appeal of Peter the Hermit and St. Bernard. She led the march of philosophical discussion in the Middle Ages. She has been foremost in many achievements of science and art. She is foremost to-day in piercing with tunnels the mountain-chains, that the wheels of trade may roll unobstructed through rocky barriers, and cutting canals through the great isthmuses that the keels of commerce may sweep unhindered across the seas. But she has never yet had an office so illustrious as that which falls to her now—to show Europe how Republican institutions stimulate industry, guarantee order, promote all progress in enterprise and in thought, and are the best and surest security for a nation's grandest advancement.

That enthusiasm which has led her always to champion ideas, which led her soldiers to say in the first Revolution: "With bread and iron we will march to China," entering now into fulfilment of this great office, will carry her influence to China and beyond it; her peaceful influence on behalf of the liberty for which she fought with us at Yorktown, and for which she has bled and struggled with a pathetic and lofty stubbornness ever since. [Cheers.]

I do not look back merely then from this evening; I see illustrated at Yorktown the lesson of that hour; that colonies maturing into great commonwealths, and peoples combining for common liberties are the best pledges of the world's future, but I look forward as well and see France in Europe, a Republic, the United States on this continent, a[Pg 1103] Republic, standing again in the future as before, shoulder to shoulder, expecting with tranquil and exultant spirit the grander victory yet to come, the outcome of which shall be liberty to all the peoples of the world, and that benign and divine peace which is the sure and sovereign fruit of such a liberty. [Applause.][Pg 1104]



[Speech of William S. Stryker at the fifth annual dinner of the Holland Society of New York, January 10, 1890. The vice-President, Robert B. Roosevelt, presided, and called upon General Stryker to respond to the toast, "The Dutch Soldier in America."]

Mr. President:—As well-born Dutchmen, full, of course, to-night of the spirit which creates Dutch courage, it is pleasant for us to look across the seas, to recall the martial life of our progenitors and to speak of their great deeds for liberty. It is conducive to our family pride to trace back the source of the blessings we enjoy to-day through all the brilliant pages of Netherland history to the time when the soldiers of freedom—the "Beggars"—chose rather to let in the merciless ocean waves than to surrender to the ruthless invader. [Applause.]

We love to say that we can see in the glory of free institutions in this century the steady outgrowth of that germ of human liberty which was planted by the sturdy labor, which was watered by the tears and blood, and fructified by the precious lives of those who fought by land and sea in the battles of the sixteenth century. [Applause.]

Although we make our boast of the indomitable courage, the many self-denials, the homely virtues of our forefathers, think you that we in America are degenerate sons of noble sires? I trow not! [Renewed applause.]

That irascible old Governor who stamped his wooden leg on the streets of New Amsterdam, who ruled with his iron will and his cane the thrifty burghers of this young city, did he not, when called upon to show a soldier's courage, wage a successful contest with savage foes, with the testy Puritans[Pg 1105] of Connecticut and with the obdurate Swedes on Christiana Creek?

Before the old Dutch church in Millstone on the Raritan River, in the summer of 1775, a hundred of the young men of the village were drilled every night. They had on their long smock-frocks, broad-brimmed black hats, and leggings. Their own firelocks were on their shoulders, twenty-three cartridges in their cartouches, the worm, the priming-wire, and twelve flints in their pockets. These were the bold minute-men of New Jersey, and Frederick Frelinghuysen was their gallant Dutch captain, who stood ready to march, in case an alarm bonfire burned on Sourland Mountain, to fight any enemy. [Applause.]

When fighting under Bradstreet on the Oswego River in the old French war, when laboring against great odds at Fort Edward, when retarding the British advance after the evacuation of Ticonderoga, when urging on a force to the relief of Fort Stanwix, when planning the campaign which ended in the capture of Burgoyne, and placing laurels, now faded, on the head of Gates, the character of our own Knickerbocker General, Philip Schuyler, the pure patriot, the noble soldier, is lustrous with evidences of his sagacious counsels, his wonderful energy, and his military skill. [Renewed applause.]

The good blood of the patroons never flowed purer or brighter than when, as soldiers, they battled for a nation's rights. In the fight at Saratoga, Colonel Henry Kiliaen Van Rensselaer greatly distinguished himself and carried from the field an ounce of British lead, which remained in his body thirty-five years. Captain Solomon Van Rensselaer fought most courageously by the side of Mad Anthony Wayne in the Miami campaign. Being seriously wounded in a brilliant charge, he refused to be carried off the field on a litter, but insisted that, as a dragoon, he should be allowed to ride his horse from the battle and, if he dropped, to die where he fell. [Applause.]

Worn and bleeding were the feet, scant the clothing of our ragged Continentals, as, turning upon their foe, they recrossed the icy Delaware on Christmas night, surprised Rall and his revellers in Trenton's village, punished the left of Cornwallis's column at Princeton, and then, on their way to[Pg 1106] the mountains of Morris County, fell by the wayside with hunger and wretchedness, perishing with the intense cold. But, in the darkness of the night, a partisan trooper, with twenty horsemen, surrounded the baggage-wagons of the British force, fired into the two hundred soldiers guarding them, and, shouting like a host of demons, captured the train, and the doughty captain with my own ancestral name woke up the weary soldiers of Washington's army with the rumbling of wagons heavily laden with woollen clothing and supplies, bravely stolen from the enemy. [Applause.]

The poisoned arrows whistled in the Newtown fight as the New York contingent pressed forward toward Seneca Castle, the great capitol-house of the Six Nations. The redskins and their Tory allies, under Brant, tried hard to resist the progress of that awful human wedge that was driven with relentless fury among the wigwams of those who had burned the homes in beautiful Wyoming, who had despoiled with the bloody tomahawk the settlement at German Flats, and had closed the horrid campaign with the cruel massacre at Cherry Valley. Bold and daring in this revengeful expedition was Colonel Philip Van Cortlandt, a name honored in all Dutch civil and military history. [Continued applause.]

As a leader of three thousand cavalrymen the youthful General Bayard [great cheers], proud of his Dutch descent, fell on the heights of bloody Fredericksburg. Like the good knight, he was "without fear and without reproach." Full of zeal for the cause, the bravest of the brave, his sword flashed always where dangers were the thickest. When a bursting shell left him dead on the field of honor, his brave men mourned him and the foe missed him. [Cheers.]

In the leaden tempest which rained around Drury's Bluff, a boyish officer led a column of riflemen, gallant and daring. His uniform was soiled with the grim dirt of many a battle, but his bright blue eye took in every feature of the conflict. The day was just closing when an angry bullet pierced his throat as he was cheering on his men, and the young life of my college friend, Abram Zabriskie, of Jersey City, as chivalric a Dutch colonel as ever drew a blade in battle, was breathed out in the mighty throes of civil war. [Applause.]

As we picture to ourselves the appearance of that grand[Pg 1107] figure of William of Orange, as he led his heroic people through and out of scenes of darkness and hunger and death into the sweet light of freedom; as we turn the pages of history that recount the deeds of glory of Vander Werf, the burgomaster of Leyden; of Count Egmont and Count Horn, of de Ruyter and Van Tromp, let us not forget that the same sturdy stock has developed in the New World the same zeal for human rights, the same high resolves of duty, the same devotion to liberty. If ever again this nation needs brave defenders, your sons and mine will, I trust, be able to show to the world that the patriotism of Dutchmen, that true Dutch valor, still fills the breasts of the soldiers of America! [Prolonged cheering.][Pg 1108]



[Speech of Sir Arthur Sullivan at the annual banquet of the Royal Academy, May 2, 1891. Sir Frederic Leighton, President of the Academy, occupied the chair. "In response for Music," said the President, "I shall call on a man whose brilliant and many-sided gifts are not honored in his own country alone, and who has gathered laurels with full hands in every field of musical achievement—my old friend, Sir Arthur Sullivan."]

Your Royal Highness, My Lords and Gentlemen: It is gratifying to find that at the great representative art-gathering of the year the sister arts are now receiving at the hands of the painters and sculptors of the United Kingdom that compliment to which their members are justly entitled. Art is a commonwealth in which all the component estates hold an equal position, and it has been reserved for you, sir, under your distinguished presidency, to give full and honorable recognition to this important fact. You have done so in those terms of delicate, subtle compliment, which whilst displaying the touch of the master, also bear the impress of genuine sympathy, by calling upon my friend Mr. Irving, and myself, as representatives of the drama and of music, to return thanks for those branches of art to which our lives' efforts have been devoted.

I may add, speaking for my own art, that there is a singular appropriateness that this compliment to Music should be paid by the artist whose brain has conceived and whose hand depicted a most enchanting "Music Lesson." You, sir, have touched with eloquence and feeling upon some of the tenderer attributes of music; I would with your permission, call attention to another—namely, its power and in[Pg 1109]fluence on popular sentiment; for of all the arts I think Music has the most mighty, universal, and immediate effect. ["Hear! hear!"] I know there are many educated and intelligent people who, absorbed in commerce, politics, and other pursuits, think that music is a mere family pastime—an ear-gratifying enjoyment. Great popularity has its drawbacks as well as its advantages, and there is no doubt that the widespread, instantaneous appreciation and popularity of melody has detracted somewhat from the proper recognition of the higher and graver attributes of music. But that music is a power and has influenced humanity with dynamic force in politics, religion, peace, and war, no one can gainsay. Who can deny the effect in great crises of the world's history of the Lutheran Chorale, "Ein' feste Burg," which roused the enthusiasm of whole towns and cities and caused them to embrace the reformed faith en masse—of the "Ça ira," with its ghastly association of tumbril and guillotine, and of the still more powerful "Marseillaise?" These three tunes alone have been largely instrumental in varying the course of history. [Cheers.]

Amongst our own people, no one who has visited the Greater Britain beyond the seas but must be alive to the depth of feeling stirred by the first bar of "God Save the Queen." It is not too much to say that this air has done more than any other single agency to consolidate the national sentiment which forms the basis of our world-wide Empire. [Cheers.] But, sir, my duty is not to deliver a dissertation on music, my duty is to thank you for the offering and the acceptation of this toast, which I do most sincerely.

With regard to the more than generous terms in which you, sir, have alluded to my humble individuality, I need not say how deeply I feel the spirit in which they were spoken. This much I would add—that highly as I value your kindly utterances, I count still more highly the fact that I should have been selected by you to respond for Music, whose dignity and whose progress in England are so near and dear to me at heart. [Cheers.][Pg 1110]



[Speech of Charles Sumner 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 powers of Europe.]

Mr. Mayor:—I cannot speak on this interesting occasion without first declaring the happiness I enjoy at meeting my friend of many years in the exalted position which he now holds. Besides being my personal friend, he was also an honored associate in representing the good people of this community, and in advancing a great cause, which he championed with memorable eloquence and fidelity. Such are no common ties. Permit me to say that this splendid welcome, now offered by the municipal authorities of Boston, is only a natural expression of the sentiments which must prevail in this community. Here his labors and triumphs began. Here, in your early applause and approving voices, he first tasted of that honor which is now his in such ample measure. He is one of us, who, going forth into a strange country, has come back with its highest trusts and dignities. Once the representative of a single Congressional district, he now represents the most populous nation of the globe. Once the representative of little more than a third of Boston, he is now the representative of more than a third part of the human race. The population of the globe is estimated at twelve hundred millions; that of China at more than four hundred millions, and sometimes even at five hundred millions.

If, in this position, there be much to excite wonder,[Pg 1111] there is still more for gratitude in the unparalleled opportunity which it affords. What we all ask is opportunity. Here is opportunity on a surpassing scale—to be employed, I am sure, so as to advance the best interests of the Human Family; and, if these are advanced, no nation can suffer. Each is contained in all. With justice and generosity as the reciprocal rule, and nothing else can be the aim of this great Embassy, there can be no limits to the immeasurable consequences. For myself, I am less solicitous with regard to concessions or privileges, than with regard to that spirit of friendship and good neighborhood, which embraces alike the distant and the near, and, when once established, renders all else easy.

The necessary result of the present experiment in diplomacy will be to make the countries which it visits better known to the Chinese, and also to make the Chinese better known to them. Each will know the other better and will better comprehend that condition of mutual dependence which is the law of humanity. In the relations among nations, as in common life, this is of infinite value. Thus far, I fear that the Chinese are poorly informed with regard to us. I am sure that we are poorly informed with regard to them. We know them through the porcelain on our tables with its lawless perspective, and the tea-chest with its unintelligible hieroglyphics. There are two pictures of them in the literature of our language, which cannot fail to leave an impression. The first is in "Paradise Lost," where Milton, always learned even in his poetry, represents Satan as descending in his flight,

... on the barren plains
Of Sericana, where Chineses drive,
With sails and wind their cany wagons light.

The other is that admirable address on the study of the law of nature and nations, where Sir James Mackintosh, in words of singular felicity, alludes to "the tame but ancient and immovable civilization of China." It will be for us now to enlarge these pictures and to fill the canvas with life.

I do not know if it has occurred to our honored guest, that he is not the first stranger who, after sojourning in this distant unknown land, has come back loaded with its honors,[Pg 1112] and with messages to the Christian powers. He is not without a predecessor in his mission. There is another career as marvellous as his own. I refer to the Venetian, Marco Polo, whose reports, once discredited as the fables of a traveller, are now recognized among the sources of history, and especially of geographical knowledge. Nobody can read them without feeling their verity. It was in the latter part of the far-away thirteenth century, that this enterprising Venetian, in company with his father and uncle, all of them merchants, journeyed from Venice, by the way of Constantinople, Trebizond, on the Black Sea, and Central Asia, until they reached first the land of Prester John, and then that golden country, known as Cathay, where the great ruler, Kubla Khan, treated them with gracious consideration, and employed young Polo as his ambassador. This was none other than China, and the great ruler, called the Grand Khan, was none other than the first of its Mongolian dynasty, having his imperial residence in the immense city of Kambalu, or Peking. After many years of illustrious service, the Venetian, with his companions, was dismissed with splendor and riches, charged with letters for European sovereigns, as our Bostonian is charged with similar letters now. There were letters for the Pope, the King of France, the King of Spain, and other Christian princes. It does not appear that England was expressly designated. Her name, so great now, was not at that time on the visiting list of the distant Emperor. Such are the contrasts in national life. Marco Polo, with his companions, reached Venice on his return in 1295, at the very time when Dante, in Florence, was meditating his divine poem, and when Roger Bacon, in England, was astonishing the age with his knowledge. These were two of his greatest contemporaries.

The return of the Venetian to his native city was attended by incidents which have not occurred among us. Bronzed by long residence under the sun of the East—wearing the dress of a Tartar—and speaking his native language with difficulty, it was some time before he could persuade his friends of his identity. Happily there is no question on the identity of our returned fellow-citizen; and surely it cannot be said that he speaks his native language with difficulty. There was a dinner given at Venice, as now at Boston, and[Pg 1113] the Venetian dinner, after the lapse of nearly five hundred years, still lives in glowing description. On this occasion Marco Polo, with his companions, appeared first in long robes of crimson satin reaching to the floor, which, after the guests had washed their hands, were changed for other robes of crimson damask, and then again, after the first course of the dinner, for other robes of crimson velvet, and at the conclusion of the banquet, for the ordinary dress worn by the rest of the company. Meanwhile the other costly garments were distributed in succession among the attendants at the table. In all your magnificence to-night, Mr. Mayor, I have seen no such largess. Then was brought forward the coarse threadbare clothes in which they had travelled, when, on ripping the lining and patches with a knife, costly jewels, in sparkling showers, leaped forth before the eyes of the company, who for a time were motionless with wonder. Then at last, says the Italian chronicler, every doubt was banished, and all were satisfied that these were the valiant and honorable gentlemen of the house of Polo. I do not relate this history in order to suggest any such operation on the dress of our returned fellow-citizen. No such evidence is needed to assure us of his identity.

The success of Marco Polo is amply attested. From his habit of speaking of millions of people and millions of money, he was known as millioni, or the millionnaire, being the earliest instance in history of a designation so common in our prosperous age. But better than "millions" was the knowledge he imparted, and the impulse that he gave to that science, which teaches the configuration of the globe, and the place of nations on its surface. His travels, as dictated by him, were reproduced in various languages, and, after the invention of printing, the book was multiplied in more than fifty editions. Unquestionably it prepared the way for the two greatest geographical discoveries of modern times, that of the Cape of Good Hope, by Vasco de Gama, and the New World, by Christopher Columbus. One of his admirers, a learned German, does not hesitate to say that, when, in the long series of ages, we seek the three men, who, by the influence of their discoveries, have most contributed to the progress of geography and the knowledge of the globe, the modest name of the Venetian finds a place in the[Pg 1114] same line with Alexander the Great and Christopher Columbus. It is well known that the imagination of the Genoese navigator was fired by the revelations of the Venetian, and that, in his mind, all the countries embraced by his transcendent discovery were none other than the famed Cathay, with its various dependencies. In his report to the Spanish Sovereigns, Cuba was nothing else than Xipangu, or Japan, as described by the Venetian, and he thought himself near a grand Khan, meaning, as he says, a king of kings. Columbus was mistaken. He had not reached Cathay or the Grand Khan; but he had discovered a new world, destined in the history of civilization to be more than Cathay, and, in the lapse of time, to welcome the ambassador of the grand Khan.

The Venetian on his return home, journeyed out of the East, westward. Our Marco Polo on his return home, journeyed out of the west, eastward; and yet they both came from the same region. Their common starting-point was Peking. This change is typical of that transcendent revolution under whose influence the Orient will become the Occident. Journeying westward, the first welcome is from the nations of Europe. Journeying eastward, the first welcome is from our Republic. It only remains that this welcome should be extended until it opens a pathway for the mightiest commerce of the world, and embraces within the sphere of American activity that ancient ancestral empire, where population, industry and education, on an unprecedented scale, create resources and necessities on an unprecedented scale also. See to it, merchants of the United States, and you, merchants of Boston, that this opportunity is not lost.

And this brings me, Mr. Mayor, to the treaty, which you invited me to discuss. But I will not now enter upon this topic. If you did not call me to order for speaking too long, I fear I should be called to order in another place for undertaking to speak of a treaty which has not yet been proclaimed by the President. One remark I will make and take the consequences. The treaty does not propose much; but it is an excellent beginning, and, I trust, through the good offices of our fellow-citizen, the honored plenipotentiary, will unlock those great Chinese gates which have been bolted and barred for long centuries. The embassy is more[Pg 1115] than the treaty, because it will prepare the way for further intercourse and will help that new order of things which is among the promises of the future.


[Speech of Charles Sumner at the sixty-eighth annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1873. The President, Isaac H. Bailey, in proposing the toast, "The Senate of the United States," said: "We are happy to greet on this occasion the senior in consecutive service, and the most eminent member of the Senate, whose early, varied, and distinguished services in the cause of freedom have made his name a household word throughout the world—the Honorable Charles Sumner." On rising to respond, Mr. Sumner was received with loud applause. The members of the Society rose to their feet, applauded and waved handkerchiefs.]

Mr. President and Brothers of New England:—For the first time in my life I have the good fortune to enjoy this famous anniversary festival. Though often honored by your most tempting invitation, and longing to celebrate the day in this goodly company of which all have heard so much, I could never excuse myself from duties in another place. If now I yield to well-known attractions, and journey from Washington for my first holiday during a protracted public service, it is because all was enhanced by the appeal of your excellent president, to whom I am bound by the friendship of many years in Boston, in New York, and in a foreign land. [Applause.] It is much to be a brother of New England, but it is more to be a friend [applause], and this tie I have pleasure in confessing to-night.

It is with much doubt and humility that I venture to answer for the Senate of the United States, and I believe the least I say on this head will be the most prudent. [Laughter.] But I shall be entirely safe in expressing my doubt if there is a single Senator who would not be glad of a seat at this generous banquet. What is the Senate? It is a component part of the National Government. But we celebrate to-day more than any component part of any government. We celebrate an epoch in the history of mankind—not only never to be forgotten, but to grow in grandeur[Pg 1116] as the world appreciates the elements of true greatness. Of mankind I say—for the landing on Plymouth Rock, on December 22, 1620, marks the origin of a new order of ages, by which the whole human family will be elevated. Then and there was the great beginning.

Throughout all time, from the dawn of history, men have swarmed to found new homes in distant lands. The Tyrians, skirting Northern Africa, stopped at Carthage; Carthaginians dotted Spain and even the distant coasts of Britain and Ireland; Greeks gemmed Italy and Sicily with art-loving settlements; Rome carried multitudinous colonies with her conquering eagles. Saxons, Danes, and Normans violently mingled with the original Britons. And in more modern times, Venice, Genoa, Portugal, Spain, France, and England, all sent forth emigrants to people foreign shores. But in these various expeditions, trade or war was the impelling motive. Too often commerce and conquest moved hand in hand, and the colony was incarnadined with blood.

On the day we celebrate, the sun for the first time in his course looked down upon a different scene, begun and continued under a different inspiration. A few conscientious Englishmen, in obedience to the monitor within, and that they might be free to worship God according to their own sense of duty, set sail for the unknown wilds of the North American continent. After a voyage of sixty-four days in the ship Mayflower, with Liberty at the prow and Conscience at the helm [applause], they sighted the white sandbanks of Cape Cod, and soon thereafter in the small cabin framed that brief compact, forever memorable, which is the first written constitution of government in human history, and the very corner-stone of the American Republic; and then these Pilgrims landed.

This compact was not only foremost in time, it was also august in character, and worthy of perpetual example. Never before had the object of the "civil body public" been announced as "to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices from time to time as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony." How lofty! how true! Undoubtedly, these were the grandest words[Pg 1117] of government with the largest promise of any at that time uttered.

If more were needed to illustrate the new epoch, it would be found in the parting words of the venerable pastor, John Robinson, addressed to the Pilgrims, as they were about to sail from Delfshaven—words often quoted, yet never enough. How sweetly and beautifully he says: "And if God should reveal anything to you by any other instrument of his, be as ready to receive it as ever you were to receive any truth by my ministry; but I am confident that the Lord hath more light and truth yet to break forth out of his holy word." And then how justly the good preacher rebukes those who close their souls to truth! "The Lutherans, for example, cannot be drawn to go beyond what Luther saw, and whatever part of God's will he hath further imparted to Calvin, they will rather die than embrace, and so the Calvinists stick where he left them. This is a misery much to be lamented, for though they were precious, shining lights in their times, God hath not revealed his whole will to them." Beyond the merited rebuke, here is a plain recognition of the law of human progress little discerned at the time, which teaches the sure advance of the human family, and opens the vista of the ever-broadening, never-ending future on earth.

Our Pilgrims were few and poor. The whole outfit of this historic voyage, including £1,700 of trading stock, was only £2,400, and how little was required for their succor appears in the experience of the soldier Captain Miles Standish, who, being sent to England for assistance—not military, but financial—(God save the mark!) succeeded in borrowing—how much do you suppose?—£150 sterling. [Laughter.] Something in the way of help; and the historian adds, "though at fifty per cent. interest." So much for a valiant soldier on a financial expedition. [Laughter, in which General Sherman and the company joined.] A later agent, Allerton, was able to borrow for the colony £200 at a reduced interest of thirty per cent. Plainly, the money-sharks of our day may trace an undoubted pedigree to these London merchants. [Laughter.] But I know not if any son of New England, oppressed by exorbitant interest, will be consoled by the thought that the Pilgrims paid the same.

And yet this small people—so obscure and outcast in con[Pg 1118]dition—so slender in numbers and in means—so entirely unknown to the proud and great—so absolutely without name in contemporary records—whose departure from the Old World took little more than the breath of their bodies—are now illustrious beyond the lot of men; and the Mayflower is immortal beyond the Grecian Argo, or the stately ship of any victorious admiral. Though this was little foreseen in their day, it is plain now how it has come to pass. The highest greatness surviving time and storm is that which proceeds from the soul of man. [Applause.] Monarchs and cabinets, generals and admirals, with the pomp of courts and the circumstance of war, in the gradual lapse of time disappear from sight; but the pioneers of truth, though poor and lowly, especially those whose example elevates human nature and teaches the rights of man, so that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth [great applause], such harbingers can never be forgotten, and their renown spreads coextensive with the cause they served.

I know not if any whom I now have the honor of addressing have thought to recall the great in rank and power filling the gaze of the world as the Mayflower with her company fared forth on their adventurous voyage. The foolish James was yet on the English throne, glorying that he had "peppered the Puritans." The morose Louis XIII, through whom Richelieu ruled, was King of France. The imbecile Philip III swayed Spain and the Indies. The persecuting Ferdinand the Second, tormentor of Protestants, was Emperor of Germany. Paul V, of the House of Borghese, was Pope of Rome. In the same princely company and all contemporaries were Christian IV, King of Denmark, and his son Christian, Prince of Norway; Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden; Sigismund the Third, King of Poland; Frederick, King of Bohemia, with his wife, the unhappy Elizabeth of England, progenitor of the house of Hanover; George William, Margrave of Brandenburg, and ancestor of the Prussian house that has given an emperor to Germany; Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria; Maurice, landgrave of Hesse; Christian, Duke of Brunswick and Lunenburg; John Frederick, Duke of Würtemberg and Teck; John, Count of Nassau; Henry, Duke of Lorraine; Isabella, Infanta of Spain[Pg 1119] and ruler of the Low Countries; Maurice, fourth Prince of Orange; Charles Emanuel, Duke of Savoy and ancestor of the King of United Italy; Cosmo de' Medici, third Grand Duke of Florence; Antonio Priuli, ninety-third Doge of Venice, just after the terrible tragedy commemorated on the English stage as "Venice Preserved"; Bethlehem Gabor, Prince of Unitarian Transylvania, and elected King of Hungary, with the countenance of an African; and the Sultan Mustapha, of Constantinople, twentieth ruler of the Turks.

Such at that time were the crowned sovereigns of Europe, whose names were mentioned always with awe, and whose countenances are handed down by art, so that at this day they are visible to the curious as if they walked these streets. Mark now the contrast. There was no artist for our forefathers, nor are their countenances now known to men; but more than any powerful contemporaries at whose tread the earth trembled is their memory sacred. [Applause.] Pope, emperor, king, sultan, grand-duke, duke, doge, margrave, landgrave, count—what are they all by the side of the humble company that landed on Plymouth Rock? Theirs, indeed, were the ensigns of worldly power, but our Pilgrims had in themselves that inborn virtue which was more than all else besides, and their landing was an epoch.

Who in the imposing troop of worldly grandeur is now remembered but with indifference or contempt? If I except Gustavus Adolphus, it is because he revealed a superior character. Confront the Mayflower and the Pilgrims with the potentates who occupied such space in the world. The former are ascending into the firmament, there to shine forever, while the latter have been long dropping into the darkness of oblivion, to be brought forth only to point a moral or illustrate the fame of contemporaries whom they regarded not. [Applause.] Do I err in supposing this an illustration of the supremacy which belongs to the triumphs of the moral nature? At first impeded or postponed, they at last prevail. Theirs is a brightness which, breaking through all clouds, will shine forth with ever-increasing splendor.

I have often thought that if I were a preacher, if I had the honor to occupy the pulpit so grandly filled by my[Pg 1120] friend near me [gracefully inclining toward Mr. Beecher], one of my sermons should be from the text, "A little leaven shall leaven the whole lump." Nor do I know a better illustration of these words than the influence exerted by our Pilgrims. That small band, with the lesson of self-sacrifice, of just and equal laws, of the government of a majority, of unshrinking loyalty to principle, is now leavening this whole continent, and in the fulness of time will leaven the world. [Great applause.] By their example, republican institutions have been commended, and in proportion as we imitate them will these institutions be assured. [Applause.]

Liberty, which we so much covet, is not a solitary plant. Always by its side is Justice. [Applause.] But Justice is nothing but right applied to human affairs. Do not forget, I entreat you, that with the highest morality is the highest liberty. A great poet, in one of his inspired sonnets, speaking of this priceless possession, has said, "But who loves that must first be wise and good." Therefore do the Pilgrims in their beautiful example teach liberty, teach republican institutions, as at an earlier day, Socrates and Plato, in their lessons of wisdom, taught liberty and helped the idea of the republic. If republican government has thus far failed in any experiment, as, perhaps, somewhere in Spanish America, it is because these lessons have been wanting. There have been no Pilgrims to teach the moral law.

Mr. President, with these thoughts, which I imperfectly express, I confess my obligations to the forefathers of New England, and offer to them the homage of a grateful heart. But not in thanksgiving only would I celebrate their memory. I would if I could make their example a universal lesson, and stamp it upon the land. [Applause.] The conscience which directed them should be the guide for our public councils. The just and equal laws which they required should be ordained by us, and the hospitality to truth which was their rule should be ours. Nor would I forget their courage and steadfastness. Had they turned back or wavered, I know not what would have been the record of this continent, but I see clearly that a great example would have been lost. [Applause.] Had Columbus yielded to his mutinous crew and returned to Spain without his great discovery; had Washington shrunk away disheartened by Brit[Pg 1121]ish power and the snows of New Jersey, these great instances would have been wanting for the encouragement of men. But our Pilgrims belong to the same heroic company, and their example is not less precious. [Applause.]

Only a short time after the landing on Plymouth Rock, the great republican poet, John Milton, wrote his "Comus," so wonderful for beauty and truth. His nature was more refined than that of the Pilgrims, and yet it requires little effort of imagination to catch from one of them, or at least from their beloved pastor, the exquisite, almost angelic words at the close—

"Mortals, who would follow me,
Love Virtue; she alone is free;
She can teach ye how to climb
Higher than the sphery chime.
Or if Virtue feeble were,
Heaven itself would stoop to her."

[At the conclusion of Senator Sumner's speech the audience arose and gave cheer upon cheer.][Pg 1122]



[Speech of Rev. Dr. T. DeWitt Talmage at the eighty-first annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1886. The President of the Society, Judge Horace Russell, introduced Dr. Talmage to speak to the toast, "Forefathers' Day."]

Mr. President, and all you good New Englanders: If we leave to the evolutionists to guess where we came from and to the theologians to prophesy where we are going to, we still have left for consideration the fact that we are here; and we are here at an interesting time. Of all the centuries this is the best century, and of all the decades of the century this is the best decade, and of all the years of the decade this is the best year, and of all the months of the year this is the best month, and of all the nights of the month this is the best night. [Applause and laughter.] Many of these advantages we trace straight back to Forefathers' Day, about which I am to speak.

But I must not introduce a new habit into these New England dinners and confine myself to the one theme. For eighty-one years your speakers have been accustomed to make the toast announced the point from which they start, but to which they never return. [Laughter.] So I shall not stick to my text, but only be particular to have all I say my own, and not make the mistake of a minister whose sermon was a patchwork from a variety of authors, to whom he gave no credit. There was an intoxicated wag in the audience who had read about everything, and he announced the authors as the minister went on. The clergyman gave an extract without any credit to the author, and the man in[Pg 1123] the audience cried out: "That's Jeremy Taylor." The speaker went on and gave an extract from another author without credit for it, and the man in the audience said: "That is John Wesley." The minister gave an extract from another author without credit for it, and the man in the audience said: "That is George Whitefield." When the minister lost his patience and cried out, "Shut up, you old fool!" the man in the audience replied: "That is your own." [Laughter.]

Well, what about this Forefathers' Day? In Brooklyn they say the Landing of the Pilgrims was December the 21st; in New York you say it was December the 22d. You are both right. Not through the specious and artful reasoning you have sometimes indulged in, but by a little historical incident that seems to have escaped your attention. You see, the Forefathers landed in the morning of December the 21st, but about noon that day a pack of hungry wolves swept down the bleak American beach looking for a New England dinner [laughter], and a band of savages out for a tomahawk picnic hove in sight, and the Pilgrim Fathers thought it best for safety and warmth to go on board the Mayflower and pass the night. [Renewed laughter.] And during the night there came up a strong wind blowing off shore that swept the Mayflower from its moorings clear out to sea, and there was a prospect that our Forefathers, having escaped oppression in foreign lands, would yet go down under an oceanic tempest. But the next day they fortunately got control of their ship and steered her in, and the second time the Forefathers stepped ashore.

Brooklyn celebrated the first landing; New York the second landing. So I say Hail! Hail! to both celebrations, for one day, anyhow, could not do justice to such a subject; and I only wish I could have kissed the blarney stone of America, which is Plymouth Rock, so that I might have done justice to this subject. [Laughter and applause.] Ah, gentlemen, that Mayflower was the ark that floated the deluge of oppression, and Plymouth Rock was the Ararat on which it landed.

But let me say that these Forefathers were of no more importance than the Foremothers. [Applause.] As I understand it, there were eight of them—that is, four fathers[Pg 1124] and four mothers—from whom all these illustrious New Englanders descended. Now I was not born in New England, though far back my ancestors lived in Connecticut, and then crossed over to Long Island and there joined the Dutch, and that mixture of Yankee and Dutch makes royal blood. [Applause.] Neither is perfect without the other, the Yankee in a man's nature saying "Go ahead!" the Dutch in his blood saying, "Be prudent while you do go ahead!" Some people do not understand why Long Island was stretched along parallel with all of the Connecticut coast. I have no doubt that it was so placed that the Dutch might watch the Yankees. [Laughter.]

But though not born in New England, in my boyhood I had a New England schoolmaster, whom I shall never forget. He taught us our A, B, C's. "What is that?" "I don't know, sir." "That's A" [with a slap]. "What is that?" "I don't know, sir." [With a slap]—"That is B." [Laughter.] I tell you, a boy that learned his letters in that way never forgot them; and if the boy was particularly dull, then this New England schoolmaster would take him over the knee, and then the boy got his information from both directions. [Renewed laughter.]

But all these things aside, no one sitting at these tables has higher admiration for the Pilgrim Fathers than I have—the men who believed in two great doctrines, which are the foundation of every religion that is worth anything: namely, the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of Man—these men of backbone and endowed with that great and magnificent attribute of stick-to-it-iveness. Macaulay said that no one ever sneered at the Puritans who had met them in halls of debate or crossed swords with them on the field of battle. [Applause.] They are sometimes defamed for their rigorous Sabbaths, but our danger is in the opposite direction of no Sabbaths at all. It is said that they destroyed witches. I wish that they had cleared them all out, for the world is full of witches yet, and if at all these tables there is a man who has not sometimes been bewitched, let him hold up his glass of ice-water. [Laughter.] It is said that these Forefathers carried religion into everything, and before a man kissed his wife he asked a blessing, and afterward said: "Having received another favor from the Lord,[Pg 1125] let us return thanks." [Laughter.] But our great need now is more religion in every-day life.

I think their plain diet had much to do with their ruggedness of nature. They had not as many good things to eat as we have, and they had better digestion. Now, all the evening some of our best men sit with an awful bad feeling at the pit of their stomach, and the food taken fails to assimilate, and in the agitated digestive organs the lamb and the cow lie down together and get up just as they have a mind to. [Laughter.] After dinner I sat down with my friend to talk. He had for many years been troubled with indigestion. I felt guilty when I insisted on his taking that last piece of lemon pie. I knew that pastry always made him crusty. I said to him: "I never felt better in all my life; how do you feel?" And putting one hand over one piece of lemon pie and the other hand over the other piece of lemon pie, he said: "I feel miserable." Smaller varieties of food had the old Fathers, but it did them more good.

Still, take it all in all, I think the descendants of the Pilgrim Fathers are as good as their ancestors, and in many ways better. Children are apt to be an echo of their ancestors. We are apt to put a halo around the Forefathers, but I expect that at our age they were very much like ourselves. People are not wise when they long for the good old days. They say: "Just think of the pride of people at this day! Just look at the ladies' hats!" [Laughter.] Why, there is nothing in the ladies' hats of to-day equal to the coal-scuttle hats a hundred years ago. They say: "Just look at the way people dress their hair!" Why, the extremest style of to-day will not equal the top-knots which our great-grandmothers wore, put up with high combs that we would have thought would have made our great-grandfathers die with laughter. The hair was lifted into a pyramid a foot high. On the top of that tower lay a white rose. Shoes of bespangled white kid, and heels two or three inches high. Grandfather went out to meet her on the floor with a coat of sky-blue silk and vest of white satin embroidered with gold lace, lace ruffles around his wrist and his hair flung in a queue. The great George Washington had his horse's hoofs blackened when about to appear on a parade, and writes to Europe ordering sent for the use of himself and[Pg 1126] family, one silver-lace hat, one pair of silver shoe-buckles, a coat made of fashionable silk, one pair of gold sleeve-buttons, six pairs of kid gloves, one dozen most fashionable cambric pocket-handkerchiefs, besides ruffles and tucker. That was George. [Laughter.]

Talk about dissipations, ye who have ever seen the old-fashioned sideboard! Did I not have an old relative who always, when visitors came, used to go upstairs and take a drink through economical habits, not offering anything to his visitors? [Laughter.] On the old-fashioned training days the most sober men were apt to take a day to themselves. Many of the familiar drinks of to-day were unknown to them, but their hard cider, mint julep, metheglin, hot toddy, and lemonade in which the lemon was not at all prominent, sometimes made lively work for the broad-brimmed hats and silver knee-buckles. Talk of dissipating parties of to-day and keeping of late hours! Why, did they not have their "bees" and sausage-stuffings and tea-parties and dances, that for heartiness and uproar utterly eclipsed all the waltzes, lanciers, redowas, and breakdowns of the nineteenth century, and they never went home till morning. And as to the old-time courtships, oh, my! Washington Irving describes them. [Laughter.]

But though your Forefathers may not have been much, if any, better than yourselves, let us extol them for the fact that they started this country in the right direction. They laid the foundation for American manhood. The foundation must be more solid and firm and unyielding than any other part of the structure. On that Puritanic foundation we can safely build all nationalities. [Applause.] Let us remember that the coming American is to be an admixture of all foreign bloods. In about twenty-five or fifty years the model American will step forth. He will have the strong brain of the German, the polished manners of the French, the artistic taste of the Italian, the stanch heart of the English, the steadfast piety of the Scotch, the lightning wit of the Irish, and when he steps forth, bone, muscle, nerve, brain entwined with the fibres of all nationalities, the nations will break out in the cry: "Behold the American!" [Applause.]

Columbus discovered only the shell of this country.[Pg 1127] Agassiz came and discovered fossiliferous America. Silliman came and discovered geological America. Audubon came and discovered bird America. Longfellow came and discovered poetic America; and there are a half-dozen other Americas yet to be discovered.

I never realized what this country was and is as on the day when I first saw some of these gentlemen of the Army and Navy. It was when at the close of the War our armies came back and marched in review before the President's stand at Washington. I do not care whether a man was a Republican or a Democrat, a Northern man or a Southern man, if he had any emotion of nature, he could not look upon it without weeping. God knew that the day was stupendous, and He cleared the heaven of cloud and mist and chill, and sprung the blue sky as the triumphal arch for the returning warriors to pass under. From Arlington Heights the spring foliage shook out its welcome, as the hosts came over the hills, and the sparkling waters of the Potomac tossed their gold to the feet of the battalions as they came to the Long Bridge and in almost interminable line passed over. The Capitol never seemed so majestic as that morning: snowy white, looking down upon the tides of men that came surging down, billow after billow. Passing in silence, yet I heard in every step the thunder of conflicts through which they had waded, and seemed to see dripping from their smoke-blackened flags the blood of our country's martyrs. For the best part of two days we stood and watched the filing on of what seemed endless battalions, brigade after brigade, division after division, host after host, rank beyond rank; ever moving, ever passing; marching, marching; tramp, tramp, tramp—thousands after thousands, battery front, arms shouldered, columns solid, shoulder to shoulder, wheel to wheel, charger to charger, nostril to nostril.

Commanders on horses with their manes entwined with roses, and necks enchained with garlands, fractious at the shouts that ran along the line, increasing from the clapping of children clothed in white, standing on the steps of the Capitol, to the tumultuous vociferation of hundreds of thousands of enraptured multitudes, crying "Huzza! Huzza!" Gleaming muskets, thundering parks of artillery, rumbling pontoon wagons, ambulances from whose wheels seemed to[Pg 1128] sound out the groans of the crushed and the dying that they had carried. These men came from balmy Minnesota, those from Illinois prairies. These were often hummed to sleep by the pines of Oregon, those were New England lumbermen. Those came out of the coal-shafts of Pennsylvania. Side by side in one great cause, consecrated through fire and storm and darkness, brothers in peril, on their way home from Chancellorsville and Kenesaw Mountain and Fredericksburg, in lines that seemed infinite they passed on.

We gazed and wept and wondered, lifting up our heads to see if the end had come, but no! Looking from one end of that long avenue to the other, we saw them yet in solid column, battery front, host beyond host, wheel to wheel, charger to charger, nostril to nostril, coming as it were from under the Capitol. Forward! Forward! Their bayonets, caught in the sun, glimmered and flashed and blazed, till they seemed like one long river of silver, ever and anon changed into a river of fire. No end to the procession, no rest for the eyes. We turned our heads from the scene, unable longer to look. We felt disposed to stop our ears, but still we heard it, marching, marching; tramp, tramp, tramp. But hush,—uncover every head! Here they pass, the remnant of ten men of a full regiment. Silence! Widowhood and orphanage look on and wring their hands. But wheel into line, all ye people! North, South, East, West—all decades, all centuries, all millenniums! Forward, the whole line! Huzza! Huzza! [Great applause.]


[Speech of Rev. Dr. T. DeWitt Talmage at the seventh annual dinner of the Holland Society of New York, January 14, 1892. The President of the Society, George M. Van Hoesen, said: "The next regular toast is: 'What I Know about the Dutch,' which will be responded to by a gentleman who needs no introduction—the Rev. Dr. T. DeWitt Talmage."]

Oh, Judge Van Hoesen, this is not the first time we have been side by side, for we were college boys together; and I remember that there was this difference between us—you seemed to know about everything, and it would take a very large library, a library larger than the Vatican, to tell all that[Pg 1129] I didn't know. It is good to be here. What a multitude of delightful people there are in this world! If you and I had been consulted as to which of all the stars we would choose to walk upon, we could not have done a wiser thing than to select this. I have always been glad that I got aboard this planet. There are three classes of people that I especially admire—men, women, and children. I have enjoyed this banquet very much, for there are two places where I always have a good appetite—at home and away from home. I have not been interfered with as were some gentlemen that I heard of at a public dinner some years ago. A greenhorn, who had never seen a great banquet, came to the city, and, looking through the door, said to his friends who were showing him the sights: "Who are those gentlemen who are eating so heartily?" The answer was: "They are the men who pay for the dinner." "And who are those gentlemen up there on the elevation looking so pale and frightened and eating nothing?" "Oh," said his friend, "those are the fellows who make the speeches."

It is very appropriate that we should celebrate the Hollanders by hearty eating, for you know the royal house that the Hollanders admire above any other royal house, is named after one of the most delicious fruits on this table—the house of Orange. I feel that I have a right to be here. While I have in my arteries the blood of many nationalities, so that I am a cosmopolitan and feel at home anywhere, there is in my veins a strong tide of Dutch blood. My mother was a Van Nest, and I was baptized in a Dutch church and named after a Dutch Domini, graduated at a Dutch theological seminary, and was ordained by a Dutch minister, married a Dutch girl, preached thirteen years in a Dutch church, and always took a Dutch newspaper; and though I have got off into another denomination, I am thankful to say that, while nearly all of our denominations are in hot water, each one of them having on a big ecclesiastical fight—and you know when ministers do fight, they fight like sin—I am glad that the old Dutch Church sails on over unruffled seas, and the flag at her masthead is still inscribed with "Peace and good-will to men." Departed spirits of John Livingston and Gabriel Ludlow, and Dr. Van Draken and magnificent Thomas de Witt, from your thrones witness![Pg 1130]

Gentlemen here to-night have spoken much already in regard to what Holland did on the other side of the sea; and neither historian's pen, nor poet's canto, nor painter's pencil nor sculptor's chisel, nor orator's tongue, can ever tell the full story of the prowess of those people. Isn't it strange that two of the smallest sections of the earth should have produced most of the grandest history of the world? Palestine, only a little over 100 miles in length, yet yielding the most glorious event of all history; and little Holland, only about one quarter of the size of the State of New Jersey, achieving wonderful history and wonderful deeds not only at home, but starting an influence under which Robert Burns wrote "A man's a man for a' that," and sending across the Atlantic a thunder of indignation against oppression of which the American Declaration of Independence, and Yorktown and Bunker Hill, and Monmouth and Gettysburg, are only the echoes!

As I look across the ocean to-night, I say: England for manufactories, Germany for scholarship, France for manners, Italy for pictures—but Holland for liberty and for God! And leaving to other gentlemen to tell that story—for they can tell it better than I can—I can to-night get but little further than our own immediate Dutch ancestors, most of whom have already taken the sacrament of the dust. Ah, what a glorious race of old folks they were! May our right hand forget its cunning, and our tongue cleave to the roof of the mouth, if we forget to honor their memories! What good advice they gave us; and when they went away forever—well, our emotions were a little different as we stood over the silent forms of the two old folks. In one case I think the dominant emotion was reverence. In the other case I think it was tenderness, and a wish that we could go with her.—

"Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight;
Make me a child again, just for to-night!
Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of yore;
Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care,
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair;
Over my slumbers a loving watch keep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother—rock me to sleep!"
[Pg 1131]

My, my! doesn't the old Dutch home come back to us, and don't we see the plain cap, and the large round spectacles, and the shoulders that stoop from carrying our burden! Was there ever any other hand like hers to wipe away a tear, or to bind up a wound; for when she put the far-sighted spectacles clear up on her forehead, so that her eyes might the nearer look at the wound, it felt better right away! And have we ever since heard any music like that which she hushed us to sleep with—could any prima donna sing as she could! And could any other face so fill a room with light and comfort and peace!

Mr. President, Dutch blood is good blood. We do not propose to antagonize any other to-night; but at our public dinners, about December 21st, we are very apt to get into the Mayflower and sail around the New England coast. I think it will be good for us to-night to take another boat quite as good, and sail around New York harbor in the Half-Moon.

I heard, years ago, the difference illustrated between the Yankee and the Dutchman. There was an explosion on a Mississippi River steamboat; the boiler burst, and the passengers were thrown into the air. After the accident, the captain came around to inquire in regard to them, and he found the Dutchman, but not the Yankee; and he said to the Dutchman, "Did you see anything of that Yankee?" The Dutchman replied, "Oh, yes; when I vas going up, he vas coming down." Now, the Dutch blood may not be quite so quick as the Yankee, but it is more apt to be sure it is right before it goes ahead. Dutch blood means patience, fidelity, and perseverance. It means faith in God also. Yes, it means generosity. I hardly ever knew a mean Dutchman. That man who fell down dead in my native village couldn't have had any Dutch blood in him. He was over eighty years of age, and had never given a cent to any benevolent object during his life; but in a moment of weakness, when he saw a face of distress, he gave a cent to an unfortunate man, and immediately dropped dead; and the surgeon declared, after the post-mortem examination, that he died of sudden enlargement of the heart. Neither is there any such mean man among the Dutch as that man who was so economical in regard to meat that he cut off a dog's[Pg 1132] tail and roasted it and ate the meat, and then gave the bone back to the dog. Or that other mean man I heard of, who was so economical that he used a wart on the back of his neck for a collar-button. I have so much faith in Holland blood, that I declare the more Hollanders come to this country the better we ought to like it. Wherever they try to land, let them land on our American soil; for all this continent is going to be after a while under one government. I suppose you have noticed how the governments on the southern part of the continent are gradually melting into our own; and soon the difficulty on the north between Canada and the United States will be amicably settled and the time will come when the United States Government will offer hand and heart in marriage to beautiful and hospitable Canada; and when the United States shall so offer its hand in marriage, Canada will blush and look down, and, thinking of her allegiance across the sea, will say, "Ask mother."

In a suggestive letter which the chairman of the committee wrote me, inviting me to take part in this entertainment, he very beautifully and potently said that the Republic of the Netherlands had given hospitality in the days that are past to English Puritans and French Huguenots and Polish refugees and Portuguese Jews, and prospered; and I thought, as I read that letter, "Why, then, if the Republic of the Netherlands was so hospitable to other nations, surely we ought to be hospitable to all nations, especially to Hollanders." Oh, this absurd talk about "America for Americans!" Why, there isn't a man here to-night that is not descended from some foreigner, unless he is an Indian. Why, the native Americans were Modocs, Chippewas, Cherokees, Chickasaws, and Seminoles, and such like. Suppose, when our fathers were trying to come to this country, the Indians had stood on Plymouth Rock and at the Highlands of the Navesink, and when the Hollanders and the Pilgrim Fathers attempted to land, had shouted, "Back with you to Holland and to England; America for Americans!" Had that watchword been an early and successful cry, where now stand our cities would have stood Indian wigwams; and canoes instead of steamers would have tracked the Hudson and the Connecticut; and, instead of the Mississippi being the main artery of the continent,[Pg 1133] it would have been only a trough for deer and antelope and wild pigeons to drink out of. What makes this cry of "America for the Americans" the more absurd and the more inhuman is that some in this country, who themselves arrived here in their boyhood or only one or two generations back, are joining in the cry. Having escaped themselves into this beautiful land, they say: "Shut the door of escape for others." Getting themselves on our shores in the life-boat from the shipwreck, they say: "Haul up the boat on the beach, and let the rest of the passengers go to the bottom." Men who have yet on them a Holland, or Scotch, or German, or English, or Irish brogue, are crying out: "America for the Americans!" What if the native inhabitants of heaven (I mean the angels, the cherubim, and the seraphim, for they were born there) should say to us when we arrive there at last, "Go back. Heaven for the Heavenians!"

Of course, we do not want foreign nations to make this a convict colony. We wouldn't let their thieves and anarchists land here, nor even wipe their feet on the mat of the outside door of this continent. When they send their criminals here, let us put them in chains and send them back. This country must not be made the dumping-ground for foreign vagabondism. But for the hard-working and industrious people who come here, do not let us build up any wall around New York harbor to keep them out, or it will after a while fall down with a red-hot thunderburst of God's indignation. Suppose you are a father, and you have five children. One is named Philip, and Philip says to his brothers and sisters: "Now, John, you go and live in the small room at the end of the hall. George, you go and stay up in the garret. Mary, you go and live in the cellar, and Fannie, you go and live in the kitchen, and don't any of you come out. I am Philip, and will occupy the parlor; I like it; I like the lambrequins at the window, and I like the pictures on the wall. I am Philip, and, being Philip, the parlor shall only be for the Philipians." You, the father, come home, and you say: "Fannie, what are you doing in the kitchen? Come out of there." And you say to Mary, "Mary, come out of that cellar." And you say to John, "John, don't stay shut up in that small room. Come out of there." And you say to George, "George, come down[Pg 1134] out of that garret." And you say to the children, "This is my house. You can go anywhere in it that you want to." And you go and haul Philip out of the parlor, and you tell him that his brothers and sisters have just as much right in there as he has, and that they are all to enjoy it. Now, God is our Father, and this world is a house of several rooms, and God has at least five children—the North American continent, the South American continent, the Asiatic continent, the European continent, and the African continent. The North American continent sneaks away, and says: "I prefer the parlor. You South Americans, Asiatics, Europeans, and Africans, you stay in your own rooms; this is the place for me; I prefer it, and I am going to stay in the parlor; I like the front windows facing on the Atlantic, and the side windows facing on the Pacific, and the nice piazza on the south where the sun shines, and the glorious view from the piazza to the north." And God, the Father, comes in and sends thunder and lightning through the house, and says to his son, the American continent: "You are no more my child than are all these others, and they have just as much right to enjoy this part of my house as you have."

It will be a great day for the health of our American atmosphere when this race prejudice is buried in the earth. Come, bring your spades, and let us dig a grave for it; and dig it deep down into the heart of the earth, but not clear through to China, lest the race prejudice should fasten the prejudice on the other side. Having got this grave deeply dug, come, let us throw in all the hard things that have been said and written between Jew and Gentile, between Protestant and Catholic, between Turk and Russian, between French and English, between Mongolian and anti-Mongolian, between black and white; and then let us set up a tombstone and put upon it the epitaph: "Here lies the monster that cursed the earth for nearly three thousand years. He has departed to go to perdition, from which he started. No peace to his ashes."

From this glorious Holland dinner let us go out trying to imitate the virtues of our ancestors, the men who built the Holland dikes, which are the only things that ever conquered the sea, slapping it in the face and making it go[Pg 1135] back. There was a young Holland engineer who was to be married to a maiden living in one of the villages sheltered by these dikes, and in the evening there was to be a banquet in honor of the wedding, which was to be given to the coming bridegroom. But all day long the sea was raging and beating against the dikes. And this engineer reasoned with himself: "Shall I go to the banquet which is to be given in my honor, or shall I go and join my workmen down on the dikes?" And he finally concluded that it was his duty to go and join his workmen on the dikes, and he went. And when the poor fellows toiling there saw that their engineer was coming to help them, they set up a cheer. The engineer had a rope put around him and was lowered down into the surf, and other men came and had ropes put about them, and they were lowered down. And after a while the cry was heard: "More mortar and more blocks of stone!" But there were no more. "Now," said the Holland engineer, "men, take off your clothes!" and they took them off, and they stopped up the holes in the dikes. But still the stones were giving way against the mighty wrath of the strong sea which was beating against them. And then the Holland engineer said: "We cannot do any more. My men, get on your knees and pray to God for help." And they got down on their knees and they prayed; and the wind began to silence, and the sea began to cease its angry wavings, and the wall was saved; and all the people who lived in the village went on with the banquet and the dance, for they did not know their peril, and they were all saved.

What you and I ought to do is to go out and help build up the dikes against the ocean of crime and depravity and sin which threatens to overwhelm this nation. Men of Holland, descend!—to the dikes! to the dikes! Bring all the faith and all the courage of your ancestors to the work, and then get down on your knees, and kneel with us on the creaking wall, and pray to the God of the wind and of the sea that He may hush the one and silence the other.[Pg 1136]



[Speech of Bayard Taylor at a reception given in his honor by the Goethe Club, New York City, March 20, 1878. The reception was held in recognition of Mr. Taylor's appointment as United States Minister to Germany. Dr. A. Ruppaner, President of the Club, presided.]

It is difficult for me to respond fitly to what you have done, fellow-members of the Goethe Club, and what my old friend Parke Godwin has said. I may take gratefully whatever applies to an already accomplished work, but I cannot accept any reference to any work yet to be done without a feeling of doubt and uncertainty. No man can count on future success without seeming to invoke the evil fates.

I am somewhat relieved in knowing that this reception, by which I am so greatly honored, is not wholly owing to the official distinction which has been conferred upon me by the President. I am informed that it had been already intended by the Goethe Club as a large and liberal recognition of my former literary labors, and I will only refer a moment to the diplomatic post in order that there may be no misconception of my position in accepting it.

The fact that for years past I have designed writing a new biography of the great German master, is generally known; there was no necessity for keeping it secret; it has been specially mentioned by the press since my appointment, and I need not hesitate to say that the favor of our government will give me important facilities in the prosecution of the work. [Applause.]

But the question has also been asked, here and there—and very naturally—is a Minister to a foreign Court to be appointed for such a purpose? I answer, No! The Min[Pg 1137]ister's duty to the government and to the interests of his fellow-citizens is always paramount. I shall go to Berlin with the full understanding of the character of the services I may be expected to render, and the honest determination to fulfil them to the best of my ability.

But, as my friends know, I have the power and the habit of doing a great deal of work; and I think no one will complain if, instead of the recreation which others allow themselves, I should find my own recreation in another form of labor.

I hope to secure at least two hours out of each twenty-four for my own work, without detriment to my official duties—and if two hours are not practicable, one must suffice. I shall be in the midst of the material I most need—I shall be able to make the acquaintance of the men and women who can give me the best assistance—and without looking forward positively to the completion of the task, I may safely say that this opportunity gives me a cheerful hope of being able to complete it.

I was first led to the study of Goethe's life by the necessity of making the full meaning of his greatest poem clear to the readers of our language. I found that he himself was a better guide for me than all his critics and commentators. I learned to understand the grand individuality of his nature, and his increasing importance as an intellectual force in our century. I owe as much to him in the way of stimulus as to any other poet whatever. Except Shakespeare, no other poet has ever so thoroughly inculcated the value of breadth, the advantage of various knowledge, as the chief element of the highest human culture. Through the form of his creative activity, Shakespeare could only teach this lesson indirectly. Goethe taught it always in the most direct and emphatic manner, for it was the governing principle of his nature. It is not yet fifty years since he died, but he has already become a permanent elemental power, the operation of which will continue through many generations to come. The fact that an association bearing his name exists and flourishes here in New York is a good omen for our own development.

We grow, not by questioning or denying great minds—which is a very prevalent fashion of the day—but by rever[Pg 1138]ently accepting whatever they can give us. The "heir of all the ages" is unworthy of his ancestors if he throws their legacy away. It is enough for me if this honor to-night reaches through and far beyond me, to Goethe. It is his name not mine, which has brought us together. Let me lay upon him—he is able to bear even that much—whatever of the honor I am not truly worthy to receive, and to thank you gratefully for what remains. [Applause.][Pg 1139]



[Speech of Slason Thompson at the seventy-fourth dinner and fourth "Ladies' Night" of the Sunset Club, Chicago, Ill., April 26, 1894. The Secretary, Alexander A. McCormick, presided. Mr. Thompson spoke on the general topic of the evening's discussion, "The Ethics of the Press."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—It would be interesting, I think, for the gentlemen of the press who are here to-night if they could find out from what newspaper in Chicago the last speaker [Howard L. Smith] derives his idea of the press of Chicago. I stand here to say that there is no such paper printed in this city. There may be one that, perhaps, comes close down to his ideas of the press of Chicago, but there is only one—a weekly—and I believe it is printed in New York. The reverend gentleman who began the discussion to-night started into this subject very much like a coon, and as we listened, as he went on, we perceived he came out a porcupine. He was scientific in everything he said in favor of the press; unscientific in everything against it. He spoke to you in favor of the suppression of news, which means, I take it, the dissemination of crime. He spoke to you in favor of the suppression of sewer-gas. Chicago to-day owes its good health to the fact that we do discuss sewer-gas. A reverend gentleman once discussing the province of the press, spoke of its province as the suppression of news. If some gentlemen knew the facts that come to us, they would wonder at our lenience to their faults. The question of an anonymous press has been brought up. If you will glance over the files of the newspapers throughout the world, you will find in that country[Pg 1140] where the articles are signed the press is most corrupt, weakest, most venal, and has the least influence of any press in the world. To tell me that a reporter who writes an article is of more consequence than the editor, is to tell me a thing I believe you do not believe.

When Charles A. Dana was asked what was the first essential in publishing a newspaper, he is said to have replied, "Raise Cain and sell papers." Whether the story is true or not, his answer comes as near a general definition of the governing principle in newspaper offices as you are likely to get.

Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as ethics of the press. Each newspaper editor, publisher, or proprietor—whoever is the controlling spirit behind the types, the man who pockets the profits, or empties his pockets to make good the losses—his will, his judgment, his conscience, his hopes, necessities, or ambitions, constitute the ethics of one newspaper—no more! There is no association of editors, no understanding or agreement to formulate ethics for the press. And if there were, not one of the parties to it would live up to it any more than the managers of railways live up to the agreements over which they spend so much time.

The general press prints what the public wants; the specific newspaper prints what its editor thinks the class of readers to which it caters wants. If he gauges his public right, he succeeds; if he does not, he fails. You can no more make the people read a newspaper they do not want than you can make a horse drink when he is not thirsty. In this respect the pulpit has the better of the press. It can thrash over old straw and thunder forth distasteful tenets to its congregations year after year, and at least be sure of the continued attention of the sexton and the deacon who circulates the contribution-box.

What are the ethics of the press of Chicago? They are those of Joseph Medill, Victor F. Lawson, H. H. Kohlsaat, John R. Walsh, Carter Harrison, Jr., Washington Hesing, individually, not collectively. As these gentlemen are personally able, conscientious, fearless for the right, patriotic, incorruptible, and devoted to the public good, so are their respective newspapers. If they are otherwise, so are their respective newspapers.[Pg 1141]

As I have said before this club on another occasion, the citizens of Chicago are fortunate above those of any other great city in the United States in the average high character of their newspapers. They may have their faults, but who has not? Let him or her who is without fault throw stones.

If the newspaper press is as bad as some people always pretend to think, how comes it that every good cause instinctively seeks its aid with almost absolute confidence of obtaining it? And how comes it that the workers of evil just as instinctively aim to fraudulently use it or silence it, and with such poor success?

To expose and oppose wrong is an almost involuntary rule among newspaper workers—from chief to printer's devil. They make mistakes like others, they are tempted and fall like others, but I testify to a well-recognized intention of our profession, the rule is to learn the facts, and print them, too—to know the truth and not hide it under a bushel. Nine-tenths of the criticisms of the press one hears is the braying of the galled jades or the crackling of thorns under a pot.

The press stands for light, not darkness. It is the greatest power in our modern civilization. Thieves and rascals of high and low degree hate and malign it, but no honest man has reasonable cause to fear the abuse of its power. It is a beacon, and not a false light. It casts its blessed beams into dark places, and while it brings countless crimes to light, it also reveals to the beneficence of the world the wrongs and needs of the necessitous. It is the embodiment of energy in the pursuit of news, for its name is Light, and its aim is Knowledge. Ignorance and crime flee from before it like mist before the God of Light. It stands to-day

"For the truth that lacks assistance,
For the wrong that needs resistance,
For the future in the distance,
And the good that it can do."

It has no license to do wrong; it has boundless liberty and opportunity to do good.[Pg 1142]



[Speech of Theodore Tilton at the sixtieth annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1865. The Chairman, Joseph H. Choate, gave the following toast, "Woman—the strong staff and beautiful rod which sustained and comforted our forefathers during every step of the pilgrims' progress." Theodore Tilton was called upon to respond.]

Gentlemen:—It is somewhat to a modest man's embarrassment, on rising to this toast, to know that it has already been twice partially spoken to this evening—first by my friend, Senator Lane from Indiana, and just now, most eloquently, by the mayor-elect of New York [John T. Hoffman], who could not utter a better word in his own praise than to tell us that he married a Massachusetts wife. [Applause.] In choosing the most proper spot on this platform as my standpoint for such remarks as are appropriate to such a toast, my first impulse was to go to the other end of the table; for hereafter, Mr. Chairman, when you are in want of a man to speak for Woman, remember what Hamlet said, "Bring me the recorder!"[7] [Laughter.] But, on the other hand, here, at this end, a prior claim was put in from the State of Indiana, whose venerable Senator [Henry S. Lane] has expressed himself disappointed at finding no women present. So, as my toast introduces that sex, I feel bound to stand at the Senator's end of the room—not, however, too near the Senator's chair, for it may be dangerous to take Woman too near that "good-looking man." [Laughter and applause.] Therefore, gentlemen, I [Pg 1143]stand between these two chairs—the Army on my right [General Hancock], the Navy on my left [Admiral Farragut]—to hold over their heads a name that conquers both—Woman! [Applause.] The Chairman has pictured a vice-admiral tied for a little while to a mast; but it is the spirit of my sentiment to give you a vice-admiral tied life-long to a master. [Applause.] In the absence of woman, therefore, from this gilded feast, I summon her to your golden remembrance. There is an old English song—older, sir, than the Pilgrims:—

"By absence, this good means I gain,
That I can catch her
Where none can watch her,
In some close corner of my brain:
There I embrace and kiss her:
And so I both enjoy and miss her!"

You must not forget, Mr. President, in eulogizing the early men of New England, who are your clients to-night, that it was only through the help of the early women of New England, who are mine, that your boasted heroes could ever have earned their title of the Pilgrim Fathers. [Great laughter.] A health, therefore, to the women in the cabin of the Mayflower! A cluster of May-flowers themselves, transplanted from summer in the old world to winter in the new! Counting over those matrons and maidens, they numbered, all told, just eighteen. Their names are now written among the heroines of history! For as over the ashes of Cornelia stood the epitaph "The Mother of the Gracchi," so over these women of the Pilgrimage we write as proudly "The Mothers of the Republic." [Applause.] There was good Mistress Bradford, whose feet were not allowed of God to kiss Plymouth Rock, and who, like Moses, came only near enough to see but not to enter the Promised Land. She was washed overboard from the deck—and to this day the sea is her grave and Cape Cod her monument! [Applause.] There was Mistress Carver, wife of the first governor, and who, when her husband fell under the stroke of sudden death, followed him first with heroic grief to the grave, and then, a fortnight after, followed him with heroic joy up into Heaven! [Applause.] There was Mistress[Pg 1144] White—the mother of the first child born to the New England Pilgrims on this continent. And it was a good omen, sir, that this historic babe was brought into the world on board the Mayflower between the time of the casting of her anchor and the landing of her passengers—a kind of amphibious prophecy that the new-born nation was to have a birthright inheritance over the sea and over the land. [Great applause.] There, also, was Rose Standish, whose name is a perpetual June fragrance, to mellow and sweeten those December winds. And there, too, was Mrs. Winslow, whose name is even more than a fragrance; it is a taste; for, as the advertisements say, "children cry for it"; it is a soothing syrup. [Great laughter.]

Then, after the first vessel with these women, there came other women—loving hearts drawn from the olden land by those silken threads which afterwards harden into golden chains. For instance, Governor Bradford, a lonesome widower, went down to the sea-beach, and, facing the waves, tossed a love-letter over the wide ocean into the lap of Alice Southworth in old England, who caught it up, and read it, and said, "Yes, I will go." And she went! And it is said that the governor, at his second wedding, married his first love! Which, according to the New Theology, furnishes the providential reason why the first Mrs. Bradford fell overboard! [Great laughter.]

Now, gentlemen, as you sit to-night in this elegant hall, think of the houses in which the Mayflower men and women lived in that first winter! Think of a cabin in the wilderness—where winds whistled—where wolves howled—where Indians yelled! And yet, within that log-house, burning like a lamp was the pure flame of Christian faith, love, patience, fortitude, heroism! As the Star of the East rested over the rude manger where Christ lay, so—speaking not irreverently—there rested over the roofs of the Pilgrims a Star of the West—the Star of Empire; and to-day that empire is the proudest in the world! [Applause.] And if we could summon up from their graves, and bring hither to-night, that olden company of long-mouldered men, and they could sit with us at this feast—in their mortal flesh—and with their stately presence—the whole world would make a pilgrimage to see those pilgrims! [Applause.] How quaint[Pg 1145] their attire! How grotesque their names! How we treasure every relic of their day and generation! And of all the heirlooms of the earlier times in Yankeeland, what household memorial is clustered round about with more sacred and touching associations than the spinning-wheel! The industrious mother sat by it doing her work while she instructed her children! The blushing daughter plied it diligently, while her sweetheart had a chair very close by. And you remember, too, another person who used it more than all the rest—that peculiar kind of maiden, well along in life, who, while she spun her yarn into one "blue stocking," spun herself into another. [Laughter.] But perhaps my toast forbids me to touch upon this well-known class of Yankee women—restricting me, rather, to such women as "comforted" the Pilgrims. [Laughter.]

But, my friends, such of the Pilgrim Fathers as found good women to "comfort" them had, I am sure, their full share of matrimonial thorns in the flesh. For instance, I know of an early New England epitaph on a tombstone, in these words: "Obadiah and Sarah Wilkenson—their warfare is accomplished." [Uproarious laughter.] And among the early statutes of Connecticut—a State that began with blue laws, and ends with black [laughter]—there was one which said: "No Gospel minister shall unite people in marriage; the civil magistrates shall unite people in marriage; as they may do it with less scandal to the church." [Loud laughter.] Now, gentlemen, since Yankee clergymen fared so hard for wedding-fees in those days, is it to be wondered at that so many Yankee clergymen have escaped out of New England, and are here to-night? [Laughter.] Dropping their frailties in the graves which cover their ashes, I hold up anew to your love and respect the Forefathers of New England! And as the sons of the Pilgrims are worthy of their sires, so the daughters of the Pilgrims are worthy of their mothers. I hold that in true womanly worth, in housewifely thrift, in domestic skill, in every lovable and endearing quality, the present race of Yankee women are the women of the earth! [Applause.] And I trust that we shall yet have a Republic which, instead of disfranchising one-half its citizens, and that too by common consent its "better half," shall ordain the political equality, not only[Pg 1146] of both colors, but of both sexes! I believe in a reconstructed Union wherein every good woman shall have a wedding-ring on her finger, and a ballot in her hand! [Sensation.]

And now, to close, let me give you just a bit of good advice. The cottages of our forefathers had few pictures on the walls, but many families had a print of "King Charles's Twelve Good Rules," the eleventh of which was, "Make no long meals." Now King Charles lost his head, and you will have leave to make a long meal. But when, after your long meal, you go home in the wee small hours, what do you expect to find? You will find my toast—"Woman, a beautiful rod!" [Laughter.] Now my advice is, "Kiss the rod!" [Great laughter, during which Mr. Tilton took his seat.][Pg 1147]



[Speech of Rev. Joseph H. Twichell, of Hartford, Conn., at the eighty-second annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1887. The President, Horace Russell, occupied the chair. Mr. Twichell responded to the first toast, "Forefathers' Day."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—I have heard of an Irishman who, on being asked by a kind-hearted person if he would have a drink of whiskey, made no reply at first, but struck an attitude and stood gazing up into the sky. "What are you looking at, Mike?" inquired his friend. "Bedad, sir," said Mike, "I thought an angel spoke to me." [Much laughter.]

Somewhat so did I feel, Mr. President, when I got your invitation to be here this evening and speak. I own I was uncommonly pleased by it. I considered it the biggest compliment of the kind I had ever received in my life. For that matter it was too big, as I had to acknowledge. That, however, sir, was your affair; and so, without stopping much to think, and before I could muster the cowardice to decline, I accepted it. [Laughter.] But as soon as I began to reflect, especially when I came to ask myself what in the world I had or could have to say in this august presence, I was scared to think of what I had done. I was like the man who while breaking a yoke of steers that he held by a rope, having occasion to use both his hands in letting down a pair of bars, fetched the rope a turn around one of his legs. That instant something frightened the steers, and that unfortunate farmer was tripped up and snaked off feet first on a wild, erratic excursion, a mile or so, over rough[Pg 1148] ground, as long as the rope lasted, and left in a very lamentable condition, indeed. His neighbors ran to him and gathered him up and laid him together, and waited around for him to come to; which, when he did, one of them inquired of him how he came to do such a thing as hitch a rope around his leg under such circumstances. "Well," said he, "we hadn't gone five rods 'fore I see my mistake." [Hearty laughter.]

But here I am, and the President has passed the tremendous subject of Forefathers' Day, like a Rugby ball, into my hands—after making elegant play with it himself—and, frightful as the responsibility is, I realize that I've got to do something with it—and do it mighty quick. [Laughter.] This is a festive hour, and even a preacher mustn't be any more edifying in his remarks, I suppose, than he can help. And I promise accordingly to use my conscientious endeavors to-night to leave this worshipful company no better than I found it. [Laughter.]

But, gentlemen, well intending as one may be to that effect, and lightly as he may approach the theme of the Forefathers, the minute he sets foot within its threshold he stops his fooling and gets his hat off at once. [Applause.]

Those unconscious, pathetic heroes, pulling their shallop ashore on the Cape yonder in 1620—what reverence can exceed their just merit! What praise can compass the virtue of that sublime, unconquerable manhood, by which in the calamitous, woful days that followed, not accepting deliverance, letting the Mayflower go back empty, they stayed perishing by the graves of their fallen; rather, stayed fast by the flickering flame of their living truth, and so invoked and got on their side forever the force of that great law of the universe, "except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." How richly and how speedily fruitful that seed was, we know. It did not wait for any large unfolding of events on these shores to prove the might of its quickening. "Westward the star of empire takes its way." Yes, but the first pulse of vital power from the new State moved eastward. For behold it still in its young infancy—if it can be said to have had an infancy—stretching a strong hand of help across the sea to reinforce the cause of that Common[Pg 1149]wealth, the rise of which marks the epoch of England's new birth in liberty. [Applause.]

The pen of New England, fertilized by freedom and marvellously prolific ere a single generation passed, was indeed the Commonwealth's true nursing mother. Cromwell, Hampden, Sidney, Milton, Owen, were disciples of teachers mostly from this side the Atlantic. Professor Masson, of Edinburgh University, in his admirable "Life of Milton," enumerates seventeen New England men whom he describes as "potent" in England in that period. Numbers went to England in person, twelve of the first twenty graduates of Harvard College prior to 1646, among them; and others, not a few representing the leading families of the colonies, who going over with their breasts full of New England milk, nourished the heart of the great enterprise; "performed," so Palfrey tells us, "parts of consequence in the Parliamentary service, and afterward in the service of the Protectorate." It is not too much to say that on the fields of Marston Moor and Naseby New England appeared; and that those names may fairly be written on her banners. [Applause.]

That, I would observe—and Mr. Grady would freely concede it—was before there was much mingling anywhere of the Puritan and the Cavalier blood, save as it ran together between Cromwell's Ironsides and Rupert's troopers. I would observe also that the propagation eastward inaugurated in that early day has never ceased. The immigration of populations hither from Europe, great a factor as it has been in shaping the history of this continent, has not been so great a factor as the emigration of ideas the other way has been, and continues to be, in shaping the history of Europe, and of the mother country most of all. But that carries me where I did not intend to go.

An inebriated man who had set out to row a boat across a pond was observed to pursue a very devious course. On being hailed and asked what the matter was, he replied that it was the rotundity of the earth that bothered him; he kept sliding off. So it is the rotundity of my subject that bothers me. But I do mean to stay on one hemisphere of it if possible. [Laughter.]

The Forefathers were a power on earth from the start[Pg 1150]—and that by the masterful quality of their mind and spirit. They had endless pluck, intellectual and moral. They believed that the kingdom in this world was with ideas. It was, you might say, one of their original Yankee notions that it was the property of a man to have opinions and to stand by them to the death. Judged from the standpoint of their times, as any one who will take the pains to look will discover, they were tolerant men; but they were fell debaters, and they were no compromisers. They split hairs, if you will, but they wouldn't split the difference. [Laughter.]

A German professor of theology is reported to have said in lecturing to his students on the Existence of God, that while the doctrine, no doubt, was an important one, it was so difficult and perplexed that it was not advisable to take too certain a position upon it, as many were disposed to do. There were those, he remarked, who were wont in the most unqualified way to affirm that there was a God. There were others who, with equal immoderation, committed themselves to the opposite proposition—that there was no God. The philosophical mind, he added, will look for the truth somewhere between these extremes. The Forefathers had none of that in theirs. [Laughter and applause.]

They were men who employed the great and responsible gift of speech honestly and straightforwardly. There was a sublime sincerity in their tongues. They spoke their minds.

Their sons, I fear, have declined somewhat from their veracity at that precise point. At times we certainly have, and have had to be brought back to it by severest pains—as, for example, twenty-six years ago by the voice of Beauregard's and Sumter's cannon, which was a terrible voice indeed, but had this vast merit that it told the truth, and set a whole people free to say what they thought once more. [Great applause.]

Our fathers of the early day were not literary; but they were apt, when they spoke, to make themselves understood.

There was in my regiment during the war—I was a chaplain—a certain corporal, a gay-hearted fellow and a good soldier, of whom I was very fond—with whom on occasion of his recovery from a dangerous sickness I felt it my duty[Pg 1151] to have a serious pastoral talk; and while he convalesced I watched for an opportunity for it. As I sat one day on the side of his bed in the hospital tent chatting with him, he asked me what the campaign, when by and by spring opened, was going to be. I told him that I didn't know. "Well," said he, "I suppose that General McClellan knows all about it." (This was away back in 1861, not long after we went to the field.) I answered: "General McClellan has his plans, of course, but he doesn't know. Things may not turn out as he expects." "But," said the corporal, "President Lincoln knows, doesn't he?" "No," I said, "he doesn't know, either. He has his ideas, but he can't see ahead any more than General McClellan can." "Dear me," said the corporal, "it would be a great comfort if there was somebody that did know about things"—and I saw my chance. "True, corporal," I observed, "that's a very natural feeling; and the blessed fact is there is One who does know everything, both past and future, about you and me, and about this army; who knows when we are going to move, and where to, and what's going to happen; knows the whole thing." "Oh," says the corporal, "you mean old Scott!" [Laughter.]

The Forefathers generally spared people the trouble of guessing what they were driving at. [Applause.]

That for which they valued education was that it gave men power to think and reason and form judgments and communicate and expound the same, and so capacitated them for valid membership of the Church and of the State. And that was still another original Yankee notion.

Not often has the nature and the praise of it been more worthily expressed, that I am aware of, than in these sentences, which I lately happened upon, the name of whose author I will, by your leave, reserve till I have repeated them: "Next to religion they prized education. If their lot had been cast in some pleasant place of the valley of the Mississippi, they would have sown wheat and educated their children; but as it was, they educated their children and planted whatever might grow and ripen on that scanty soil with which capricious nature had tricked off and disguised the granite beds beneath. Other colonies would have brought up some of the people to the school; they, if I may[Pg 1152] be allowed so to express it, let down the school to all the people, not doubting but by doing so the people and the school would rise of themselves."

I do not know if Cardinal Gibbons is present; I do not recognize him. If he is, I am pleased to have had the honor to recite in his hearing and to commend to his attention these words, so true, so just, so appreciative, of a distinguished ecclesiastic of his communion; for they were spoken by the late Archbishop Hughes in a public lecture in this city in 1852. [Applause.]

I would, however, much rather have recited them in the ears of those Protestant Americans—alas, that there should be born New Englanders among them, that is, such according to the flesh, not according to the spirit—who are wont to betray a strange relish for disparaging both the principles and the conduct of our great sires in that early day when they were sowing in weakness what has ever since been rising with power.

There have always, indeed, been those who were fond of spying the blemishes of New England, of illustrating human depravity by instances her sinners contributed. With the open spectacle of armies of beggars—God's beggars they are; I do not object to them—continually swarming in across her borders, as bees to their meadows, and returning not empty, they keep on calling her close-fisted. They even blaspheme her weather—her warm-hearted summers and her magnificent winters. There is, to be sure, a time along in March—but let that pass. [Laughter.]

I refer to this without the least irritation. I do not complain of it. On the contrary, I glory in it. I love her for the enemies she has made. [Laughter.]

She is the church member among the communities, and must catch it accordingly. It is the saints who are always in the wrong. [Laughter.]

Elijah troubled Israel. Daniel was a nuisance in Babylon. And long may New England be such as to make it an object to find fault with her. [Hearty applause.]

Such she will be so long as she is true to herself—true to her great traditions; true to the principles of which her life was begotten; so long as her public spirit has supreme regard to the higher ranges of the public interest; so long[Pg 1153] as in her ancient glorious way she leaves the power of the keys in the hands of the people; so long as her patriotism springs, as in the beginning it sprang, from the consciousness of rights wedded to the consciousness of duties; so long as by her manifold institutions of learning, humanity, religion, thickly sown, multitudinous, universal, she keeps the law of the Forefathers' faith, that "Man lives not by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." [Prolonged applause.]


[Speech of Rev. Joseph H. Twichell, of Hartford, Conn., at the eighty-sixth annual dinner of the New England Society in the city of New York, December 22, 1891. J. Pierpont Morgan, the President, occupied the chair. Mr. Twichell responded to the toast, "Forefathers' Day."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the New England Society:—The posture of my mind the last fortnight relative to the duty of the present hour—which, indeed, I was proud to be assigned to, as I ought to have been, but which has been a black care to me ever since I undertook it—has a not inapt illustration in the case of the old New England parson who, when asked why he was going to do a certain thing that had been laid upon him, yet the thought of which affected him with extreme timidity, answered: "I wouldn't if I didn't suppose it had been foreordained from all eternity—and I'm a good mind to not as it is." [Laughter.] However, I have the undisguised good-will of my audience to begin with, and that's half the battle. The forefathers, in whose honor we meet, were men of good-will, profoundly so; but they were, in their day, more afraid of showing it, in some forms, than their descendants happily are.

The first time I ever stood in the pulpit to preach was in the meeting-house of the ancient Connecticut town where I was brought up. That was a great day for our folks and all my old neighbors, you may depend. After benediction, when I passed out into the vestibule, I was the recipient[Pg 1154] there of many congratulatory expressions. Among my friends in the crowd was an aged deacon, a man in whom survived, to a rather remarkable degree, the original New England Puritan type, who had known me from the cradle, and to whom the elevation I had reached was as gratifying as it could possibly be to anybody. But when he saw the smile of favor focussed on me there, and me, I dare say, appearing to bask somewhat in it, the dear old man took alarm. He was apprehensive of the consequences to that youngster. And so, taking me by the hand and wrestling down his natural feelings—he was ready to cry for joy—he said: "Well, Joseph, I hope you'll live to preach a great deal better than that!" [Laughter.] It was an exceedingly appropriate remark, and a very tender one if you were at the bottom of it.

That severe, undemonstrative New England habit, that emotional reserve and self-suppression, though it lingers here and there, has mostly passed away and is not to be regretted. As much as could be has been made of it to our forefathers' discredit, as has been made of everything capable of being construed unfavorably to them. They to whom what they call the cant of the Puritan is an offence, themselves have established and practise a distinct anti-Puritan cant with which we are all familiar. The very people who find it abhorrent and intolerable that they were such censors of the private life of their contemporaries, do not scruple to bring to bear on their private life a search-light that leaves no accessible nook of it unexplored, and regarding any unpretty trait espied by that unsparing inquest the rule of judgment persistently employed—as one is obliged to perceive—tends to be: "No explanation wanted or admitted but the worst." [Applause.]

Accordingly, the infestive deportment characteristic of the New England colonist has been extensively interpreted as the indisputable index of his sour and morose spirit, begotten of his religion. I often wonder that, in computing the cause of his rigorous manners, so inadequate account is wont to be made of his situation, as in a principal and long-continuing aspect substantially military—which it was. The truth is, his physiognomy was primarily the soldier stamp on him.[Pg 1155]

If you had been at Gettysburg on the morning of July 2, 1863, as I was, and had perused the countenance of the First and Eleventh Corps, exhausted and bleeding with the previous day's losing battle, and the countenance of the Second, Third, and Twelfth Corps, getting into position to meet the next onset, which everybody knew was immediately impending, you would have said that it was a sombre community—that Army of the Potomac—with a good deal of grimness in the face of it; with a notable lack of the playful element, and no fiddling or other fine arts to speak of.

As sure as you live, gentlemen, that is no unfair representation of how it was with the founders of the New England commonwealths in their planting period.

The Puritan of the seventeenth century lived, moved, and had his being on the field of an undecided struggle for existence—the New England Puritan most emphatically so. He was under arms in body much of the time—in mind all the time. Nothing can be truer than to say that. And yet people everlastingly pick and poke at him for being stern-featured and deficient in the softer graces of life.

It was his beauty that he was so, for it grew out of and was befitting his circumstances. And I, for one, love to see that austere demeanor so far as it is yet hereditary on the old soil—and some of it is left—thinking of its origin. It is the signature of a fighting far more than of an ascetic ancestry—memorial of a new Pass of Thermopylæ held by the latest race of Spartans on the shores of a new world. [Applause.]

It may be doubted if ever in the history of mankind was displayed a quality of public courage—of pure, indomitable pluck—surpassing that of the New England plantations in their infant day. No condition of its extremest proof was lacking. While the Bay Colony, for example, was in the pinch of its first wrestle with Nature for a living, much as ever able to furnish its table with a piece of bread—with the hunger-wolf never far away from the door, and behind that wolf the Narragansett and the Pequot, at what moment to burst into savagery none could tell—in the season when mere existence was the purchase of physical toil, universal and intense, and of watching night and day—there came from the old country, from the high places of authority, the[Pg 1156] peremptory mandate: Send us back that charter! Under the clause of it granting you the rule of your own affairs, you are claiming more than was intended or can be allowed. Send it back! And what was the answer? Mind, there were less than 5,000 souls of them, all told: less than 1,000 grown men. On the one hand the power of England—on the other that scrap of a new-born State, sore pressed with difficulties already.

What was the answer? Why, they got out some old cannon they had and mounted them, and moulded a stock of bullets, and distributed powder, and took of every male citizen above the age of sixteen an oath of allegiance to Massachusetts—and then set their teeth and waited to see what would happen. And that was their answer. It meant distinctly: Our charter, which we had of the King's majesty (and therefore came we hither), is our lawful possession—fair title to the territory we occupy and the rights we here exercise. And whoever wants it has got to come and take it. Surrender it we never will! [Applause.]

Nor was that the only time. Again and again during the Colony's initial stage, when it was exceedingly little of stature and had enough to do to keep the breath of life in it, that demand was renewed with rising anger and with menaces; yet never could those Puritans of the Bay be scared into making a solitary move of any kind toward compliance with it. David with his sling daring Goliath in armor is an insufficient figure of that nerve, that transcendent grit, that superb gallantry. Where will you look for its parallel? I certainly do not know. [Applause.]

They used to tell during the war of a colonel who was ordered to assault a position which his regiment, when they had advanced far enough to get a good look at it, saw to be so impossible that they fell back and became immovable. Whereupon (so the story ran) the colonel, who took the same sense of the situation that his command did, yet must do his duty, called out in an ostensibly pleading and fervid voice: "Oh, don't give it up so! Forward again! Forward! Charge! Great heavens, men, do you want to live forever?" [Laughter.]

How those first New England Puritans we are speaking of were to come off from their defiance of the crown alive[Pg 1157] could scarcely be conjectured. The only ally they had was distance. The thing they ventured on was the chance that the Royal Government, which had troubles nearer home, would have its hands too full to execute its orders 3,000 miles away across the sea by force. But they accepted all hazards whatsoever of refusing always to obey those orders. They held on to their charter like grim death, and they kept it in their time. More than once or twice it seemed as good as gone; but delay helped them; turns of events helped them; God's providence delivered them, they thought; anyhow, they kept it; that intrepid handful against immeasurable odds, mainly because it lay not in the power of mortal man to intimidate them. And I contend that, all things considered, no more splendid exhibition of the essential stuff of manhood stands on human record. They were no hot-heads. All that while, rash as they appeared, their pulse was calm. The justifying reasons of their course were ever plain before their eyes. They were of the kind of men who understood their objects.

The representative of an English newspaper, sent some time since to Ireland to move about and learn by personal observation the real political mind of the people there, reported on his return that he had been everywhere and talked with all sorts, and that as nearly as he could make out, the attitude of the Irish might be stated about thus: "They don't know what they want—and they are bound to have it." [Laughter.]

But those unbending Forefathers well knew what they wanted that charter for. It was their legal guarantee of the privilege of a spacious freedom, civil and religious, and all that they did and risked for its sake is witness of the price at which they held that privilege. It was not that they had any special objection to the interference in the province of their domestic administration of the king as a king; for you find them presently crying "Hands Off!" to the Puritan Parliament as strenuously as ever they said it to the agents of Charles I. It was simply and positively the value they set on the self-governing independence that had been pledged them at the beginning of the enterprise.

And who that has a man's heart in him but must own that their inspiration to such a degree, with such an idea[Pg 1158] and sentiment in the time, place, and circumstances in which they stood, was magnificent? Was the inexorable unrelaxing determination with which they, being so few and so poor, maintained their point somewhat wrought into their faces? Very probably. Strange if it had not been. Of course, it was. But if they were stern-visaged in their day, it was that we in our day, which in vision they foresaw, might of all communities beneath the sun have reason for a cheerful countenance. [Applause.]

They achieved immense great things for us, those Puritan men who were not smiling enough to suit the critics. The real foundation on which the structure of American national liberty subsequently rose was laid by them in those first heroic years.

And what a marvel it was, when you stop to think, that in conditions so hard, so utterly prosaic, calculated to clip the wings of generous thought, they maintained themselves in that elevation of sentiment, that supreme estimate of the unmaterial, the ideal factors of life that distinguished them—in such largeness of mind and of spirit altogether. While confronting at deadly close quarters their own necessities and perils, their sympathies were wide as the world. To their brethren in old England, contending with tyranny, every ship that crossed the Atlantic carried their benediction. Look at the days of thanksgiving and of fast with which they followed the shifting fortunes of the wars of Protestantism—which were wars for humanity—on the continent! Look at the vital consequence they attached to the interest of education; at the taxes that in their penury, and while for the most part they still lived in huts, they imposed on themselves to found and to sustain the institution of the school! [Applause.]

"Child," said a matron of primitive New England to her young son, "if God make thee a good Christian and a good scholar, thou hast all that ever thy mother asked for thee." And so saying she spoke like a true daughter of the Puritans.

They were poets—those brave, stanch, aspiring souls, whose will was adamant and who feared none but God. Only, as Charles Kingsley has said, they did not sing their poetry like birds, but acted it like men. [Applause.] It[Pg 1159] was their high calling to stand by the divine cause of human progress at a momentous crisis of its evolution, and they were worthy to be put on duty at that post. Evolution! I hardly dare speak the word, knowing so little about the thing. It represents a very great matter, which I am humbly conscious of being about as far from surrounding as was a simple-minded Irish priest I have been told of, who, having heard that we were descended from monkeys, yet not quite grasping the chronology of the business, the next time he visited a menagerie, gave particular and patient attention to a large cage of our alleged poor relations on exhibition there. He stood for a long time intently scrutinizing their human-like motions, gestures, and expressions. By and by he fancied that the largest of them, an individual of a singularly grave demeanor, seated at the front of the cage, gave him a glance of intelligence. The glance was returned. A palpable wink followed, which also was returned, as were other like signals; and so it went on until his Reverence, having cast an eye around to see that nobody was observing him, leaned forward and said, in a low, confidential tone: "Av ye'll spake one w-u-r-r-d, I'll baptize ye, begorra!" [Laughter.]

But, deficient as one's knowledge of evolution, scientifically and in detail, may be, he may have attained to a not unintelligent perception of the all-embracing creative process called by that name as that in which, in the whole range of the advancing universal movement of life, what is ascends from what was, and fulfils it.

And what I wish to say for my last word is, that whoever of us in tracing back along the line of its potent and fruitful sources that which is his noblest heritage as an American and a member of the English race, leaves out that hard-featured forefather of ours on the shore of Massachusetts Bay in the seventeenth century, and makes not large account of the tremendous fight he fought which was reflected in the face he wore, misses a chief explanation of the fortune to which we and our children are born. [Loud applause.][Pg 1160]



[Speech of Professor John Tyndall at the annual banquet of the Royal Academy, London, May 5, 1888. The toast to Science was coupled with that to Literature, to the latter of which William E. H. Lecky was called upon to respond. In introducing Professor Tyndall, the President, Sir Frederic Leighton, said: "On behalf of Science, on whom could I call more fitly than on my old friend Professor Tyndall. ["Hear! Hear!"] Fervid in imagination, after the manner of his race, clothing thoughts luminous and full of color in a sharply chiselled form, he seems to me to be, in very deed, an artist and our kin; and I, as an artist, rejoice to see that in this priest within the temple of Science, Knowledge has not clipped the wings of wonder, and that to him the tint of Heaven is not the less lovely that he can reproduce its azure in a little phial, nor does, because Science has been said to unweave it, the rainbow lift its arc less triumphantly in the sky."]

Your Royal Highness, my Lords, and Gentlemen: Faraday, whose standing in the science of the world needs not to be insisted on, used to say to me that he knew of only two festivals that gave him real pleasure. He loved to meet, on Tower Hill, the frank and genial gentlemen-sailors of the Trinity House; but his crowning enjoyment was the banquet of the Royal Academy. The feeling thus expressed by Faraday is a representative feeling: for surely it is a high pleasure to men of science to mingle annually in this illustrious throng, and it is an honor and a pleasure to hear the toast of Science so cordially proposed and so warmly responded to year after year.

Art and Science in their widest sense cover nearly the whole field of man's intellectual action. They are the outward and visible expressions of two distinct and supplementary portions of our complex human nature—distinct, but[Pg 1161] not opposed, the one working by the dry light of the intellect, the other in the warm glow of the emotions; the one ever seeking to interpret and express the beauty of the universe, the other ever searching for its truth. One vast personality in the course of history, and one only, seems to have embraced them both. ["Hear! Hear!"] That transcendent genius died three days ago plus three hundred and sixty-nine years—Leonardo da Vinci.

Emerson describes an artist who could never paint a rock until he had first understood its geological structure; and the late Lord Houghton told me that an illustrious living poet once destroyed some exquisite verses on a flower because on examination he found that his botany was wrong. This is not saying that all the geology in the world, or all the botany in the world, could create an artist.

In illustration of the subtle influences which here come into play, a late member of this Academy once said to me—"Let Raphael take a crayon in his hand and sweep a curve; let an engineer take tracing paper and all other appliances necessary to accurate reproduction, and let him copy that curve—his line will not be the line of Raphael." In these matters, through lack of knowledge, I must speak, more or less, as a fool, leaving it to you, as wise men, to judge what I say. Rules and principles are profitable and necessary for the guidance of the growing artist and for the artist full-grown; but rules and principles, I take it, just as little as geology and botany, can create the artist. Guidance and rule imply something to be guided and ruled. And that indefinable something which baffles all analysis, and which when wisely guided and ruled emerges in supreme excellence, is individual genius, which, to use familiar language, is "the gift of God." [Cheers.]

In like manner all the precepts of Bacon, linked together and applied in one great integration, would fail to produce a complete man of science. In this respect Art and Science are identical—that to reach their highest outcome and achievement they must pass beyond knowledge and culture, which are understood by all, to inspiration and creative power, which pass the understanding even of him who possesses them in the highest degree. [Cheers.][Pg 1162]



[Speech of Rev. Dr. George R. Van de Water at the eighth annual dinner of the Holland Society of New York, January 15, 1893. The President, Judge Augustus Van Wyck, said: "The next toast is: 'Holland—a lesson to oppressors, an example to the oppressed, and a sanctuary for the rights of mankind.' This toast will be responded to by one of the greatest stars in New York's constellation of the Embassadors of Him on High—Rev. Dr. George R. Van de Water, rector of St. Andrew's Church, Harlem."]

Mr. President and Members of The Holland Society:—One loves to observe a fitness in things. There is manifest fitness in one coming to New York from Harlem to speak to the members of the Holland Society and their friends. There is also manifest fitness in taking the words of this country's earliest benefactor, the Marquis de Lafayette, and, removing them from their original association with this fair and favored land, applying them to that little but lovely, lowly yet lofty, country of the Netherlands. Geologists tell us that, minor considerations waived, the character of a stream can be discerned as well anywhere along its course as at its source. Whether this be true or not, anything that can be said of the fundamental principles of liberty, upon which our national fabric has been built, can be said with even increased emphasis of the free States of the Netherlands.

From the Dutch our free America has secured the inspiration of her chartered liberties. Of the Dutch, then, we can appropriately say, as Lafayette once said of free America, "They are a lesson to oppressors, an example to the oppressed, and a sanctuary for the rights of mankind."

We are here to-night to glorify the Dutch. Fortunately[Pg 1163] for us, to do this we have not by the addition of so much as a jot or a tittle to magnify history. The facts are sufficient to justify our boast and fortify our pride. We need to detract nothing from other nationalities that have contributed much to the formation of our modern national conglomerate, although it is easily seen that the superior qualities of other nations have had a large infusion of Dutch virtue. All that we claim is that no nation under the heavens can make such an exhibit of marvellous success against adverse circumstances as does Holland. From the days when Julius Cæsar mentions their bravery under the name of Batavians, to the notable time when, voluntarily assuming the title of reproach, they became "the beggars of the sea," and for nearly a century fought for their chartered rights against the most powerful and unscrupulous of foes, the Dutch have shown the most splendid of human virtues in most conspicuous light. In doing this they have made a noble name for themselves, and furnished the worthiest of examples for all the nations of the earth. This is not the time nor the place to deal with mere facts of history. Yet I take it that even this jolly assembly will take pleasure in the mention of the deeds that have now become eternally historic. Who that knows anything of the son of Charles V, who in 1555 made promises to Holland that he never meant to keep, and for years after sought in every way to break; who that has ever read of this fanatical, heartless, cruel, and despotic Philip II of Spain, or of that wonderful, pure, magnanimous, noblest Dutchman of all, William of Orange, or of that fickle and false Margaret of Parma, the wicked sister in Holland, who lived to execute the will of a wicked brother in Spain, or of those monsters at the head of Spanish armies, Alva, Requesens, and Don Juan; who that has been fired by the sieges of Leyden and Haarlem, by the assassinations concocted in the Council of Blood, by the patient, faithful, undying patriotism of the Netherlanders in protesting for the truth of God and the rights of man, will need any response to the toast "a lesson to oppressors"? A little land, fighting for the right, succeeded in overcoming the power of the mightiest nation of Europe.

"Truth crushed to earth will rise again."
[Pg 1164]

When once we consider the earnestness for civil and religious liberty, the record of no nation can stand comparison with that of Holland. Some of the English Puritans fled across the Atlantic from persecutions very slight compared with those inflicted upon Dutchmen by Philip, here to found a New England. Those who did not flee remained in old England, fought a few battles, and tried to establish a commonwealth, which in less than fifteen years ended disastrously, because the founders were unfit for government. But these Puritans of Holland, to their everlasting praise be it remembered, battled for their homes, lives, and liberty for eighty years. For four-fifths of a century they faced not only the best and bravest soldiers of Europe, but they faced, along with their wives, their children, and their old folk, the flame, the gibbet, the flood, the siege, the pestilence, the famine, "and all men know, or dream, or fear of agony," all for one thing—to teach the oppressor that his cause must fail. It is difficult, sitting around a comfortable board at a public dinner, to make men realize what their forefathers suffered that the heritage of priceless liberty should be their children's pride. But read Motley, or the recent and remarkably well-written volumes of Douglas Campbell, and you will see that every atrocity that Spanish hatred, religious intolerance, and mediæval bigotry could invent, every horror that ever followed in the train of war, swept over and desolated Holland. And yet, to teach a lesson to oppressors, they endured, they fought, they suffered, they conquered; and when they conquered, the whole world was taught the lesson—worth all the Dutchmen's agony to teach it—that the children of a heavenly Father are born free and equal, and that it is neither the province of nation or church to coerce them into any religious belief or doctrine whatsoever.

The principle of Protestantism was won in the eighty-year war of the Netherlanders. During all this time the Dutch were notably giving a lesson to oppressors. But then and afterward they furnished a brilliant and commendable example to the oppressed. Though they fought the wrong, they never opposed the truth. They were fierce, but never fanatical. They loved liberty, but they never encouraged license; they believed in freedom and the main[Pg 1165]tenance of chartered rights, but they never denied their lawful allegiance to their governor, nor refused scriptural submission to the powers ordained of God. The public documents throughout the eighty years of war invariably recognized Philip as lawful king. Even the University of Leyden, founded as a thanksgiving offering for their successful resistance to the Spanish siege, observed the usual legal fiction, and acknowledged the King as ruler of the realm. And, although the Dutch had abundant reason to be vindictive, once the opportunity offered, the desire for persecution vanished. William the Silent, as early as 1556, in a public speech before the regent and her council, says, "Force can make no impression on one's conscience." "It is the nature of heresy," he goes on to say (would we had the spirit of William in our churches to-day)—"it is the nature of heresy, if it rests it rusts: he that rubs it whets it." His was an age when religious toleration, except as a political necessity, was unknown. Holland first practised it, then taught it to the world. No less in her example to the oppressed than in her warning to oppressors, is Holland conspicuous, is Holland great. During the reign of William of Orange, first a Romanist, then a Calvinist, never a bigot, always gentle, at last a Christian, in Holland and in Zeeland, where for years he was almost military dictator, these principles of tolerance were put to severest test. Fortunately for the world, they were sufficiently strong to stand the strain. The people about him had been the sad victims of a horrible persecution which had furrowed their soil with graves, and filled their land with widows and orphans. We know what is human nature. But Dutch nature is a little more generous than ordinary human nature. A Dutchman's heart is big, a Dutchman travels on a broad-gauge track; a Dutchman can forgive and forget an injury; a Dutchman has no fears and few frowns; a Dutchman is never icebergy, nor sullen, nor revengeful. He may make mistakes from impulse, he never wounds with intention; he will never put his foot twice in the same trap, nor will he take any pleasure in seeing his enemy entrapped. All of a Dutchman's faults come from an over-indulgence of a Dutchman's virtues. He is not cold, nor calculating, nor cruel. Generally happy himself, he desires others to be happy also. If he cannot get[Pg 1166] on with people, he lets them alone. He does not seek to ruin them.

Such are traits of the Dutch character. When, after driving out the awful, vindictive, bloodthirsty Spaniards, the Dutch came into power, it was but natural to think of retaliation: banish the Papists, or persecute the Anabaptists, suppress their paganism, or crush their fanaticism, would have been most natural. Against any such ideas the nation as a whole set its face like a wall of adamant. Very soon the sober convictions of the people were triumphant. And after the most atrociously cruel war, in which these men had suffered untold agonies, they became an example to the oppressed, the like of which the world had never witnessed since the Son of God and Saviour of men cried out from his cross, "Father, forgive them: they know not what they do." When the union was formed between Holland and Zeeland, it was provided that no inquisition should be made into any man's belief or conscience, nor should any man by cause thereof suffer injury or hindrance. Toleration for the oppressor by the oppressed, full forgiveness of enemies by the victors, became thus the corner-stone of the republic, under which all sects of Christians, the Roman Catholic Church, Jews, Turks, infidels, and even heretics, throve and prospered.

Now, do you need anything said after thus showing Holland to have been the teacher of a lesson to oppressors, and the example to the oppressed, to show that she has ever been the sanctuary for the rights of mankind?

In the nature of things, she could not have been otherwise. The little country of Holland, that in 1555, on the accession of Philip II to the sovereignty, was the richest jewel in his crown, and of the five millions poured annually into his treasury contributed nearly half, emerged as a republic out of the war with Spain of eighty years' duration, and remained for two full centuries the greatest republic in the world. She has been the instructor of the world in art, in music, in science; has outstripped other nations in the commercial race; had wealth and luxury, palaces and architectural splendor, when England's yeomanry lived in huts and never ate a vegetable; discovered oil-painting, originated portrait and landscape-painting, was foremost in all[Pg 1167] the mechanical arts; invented wood-engraving, printing from blocks, and gave to the world both telescope and microscope, thus furnishing the implements to see the largest things of the heavens above, and the smallest of both earth beneath and waters under the earth. The corner-stone was liberty, and especially religious liberty and toleration. As such Holland could not have been other than the sanctuary for the rights of mankind. The great number of Englishmen in the Netherlands, and the reciprocal influence of the Netherlands upon these Englishmen—an influence all too little marked by English historians—prepared the way for transplanting to this country the seeds from which has sprung the large tree beneath the bounteous shade of which nearly seventy millions of people take shelter to-day, and, while they rest, rejoice in full security of their rights and their freedom.

Two hundred years ago, the English courtiers about Charles II, regardless of the fact that the Netherlands had been the guide and the instructor of England in almost everything which had made her materially great, regarded the Dutchman as a boor, plain and ill-mannered, and wanting in taste, because as a republican the Hollander thought it a disgrace to have his wife or his daughter debauched by king or noble. From the aristocratic point of view, the Dutchman was not altogether a gentleman. To-day we have some representatives of the Charles II courtiers, who affect to ape the English, and would, no doubt, despise the Dutch. But he who appreciates the genuine meaning of a man, born in the image and living in the fear of his God, has nothing but direst disgust for a dude, nothing but the rarest respect for a Dutchman.[Pg 1168]



[Speech of Marion J. Verdery at the third annual banquet of the Southern Society of New York, February 22, 1889. The President, John C. Calhoun, presided, and in introducing Mr. Verdery, said: "The next toast is 'The South in Wall Street.' What our friend Mr. Verdery has to say in response to this toast I'm sure I don't know; but if he proposes to tell us how there is any money for the South in Wall Street—to give us a straight tip on the market—he may be sure of a very attentive audience. Now, Mr. Verdery, if you will tell us what to do to-morrow, we will all of us cheerfully give you half of what we make—that is, of course, if you will guarantee us against loss.".]

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen:—When Colonel Fellows concluded his speech and sat down next to me, after he had by his matchless oratory electrified this audience and had immersed me in the flood of his eloquence, both literally and figuratively, for in the graceful swing of his gestures, he turned over a goblet of water in my lap [laughter], I felt very much as the little boy did who had stood at the head of his spelling-class for three weeks, and then was stumped by the word kaleidoscope. He thought for a moment or two, and then seriously said, "he didn't believe there was a boy on earth who could spell it." I did not believe, after Colonel Fellows finished, that there was another man on earth who could follow him. [Applause.]

Mr. Chairman, in the course of my experience I never knew of but one absolutely straight tip in Wall Street. To that, you and this Society are perfectly welcome. If you act on it, I will cheerfully guarantee you against loss, without exacting that you shall divide with me the profits. It is a point that the late Mr. Travers gave our friend Henry Grady. [Laughter.] They had been to attend a national[Pg 1169] convention at Chicago, and on returning were seriously disappointed because of the failure to have nominated their chosen candidate. As they came across the ferry in the gray light of the morning, Grady, who was seeking consolation, said: "Mr. Travers, what is the best thing I can buy in Wall Street?" The noted wit of the Stock Exchange replied: "The best thing you can buy is a ticket back to Atlanta." [Laughter.]

Two old darkies, lounging on a street corner in Richmond, Va., one day, were suddenly aroused by a runaway team that came dashing toward them at breakneck speed. The driver, scared nearly to death, had abandoned his reins, and was awkwardly climbing out of the wagon at the rear end. One of the old negroes said: "Brer' Johnson, sure as you born man, de runaway horse am powerful gran' and a monstrous fine sight to see." Johnson shook his head doubtfully, and then replied, philosophically, "Dat 'pends berry much, nigger, on whedder you be standin' on de corner obsarvin' of him, or be gittin' ober de tail-board ob de waggin." And likewise, it strikes me that any keen enjoyment to be gotten out of after-dinner speaking is peculiarly contingent—"'pendin' berry much on whedder you is standin' off lookin' on, or gittin' ober de tail-board of de waggin." [Laughter.]

If Wall Street is all that spiteful cynics and ignorant fanatics say of it—if we are to admit that it is a den of thieves, where only falsehood, treachery, and iniquitous schemes are propagated; if there is any ground for believing that all the exchanges are side-shows to hell [laughter], and their members devils incarnate [laughter], I fail to appreciate any advantage to the South in being there, and in no place where her presence could not be counted a credit would I assist in discovering her.

But if, on the other hand, we repudiate such wholesale abuse of the place, and insist, for truth's sake, upon an acknowledgment of facts as they exist, then the South can well afford to be found in Wall Street, and if prominent there we may proudly salute her.

Wall Street is the throbbing heart of America's finance. It is a common nursery for an infinite variety of enterprises, all over our land. Innumerable manufactories, North,[Pg 1170] South, East, and West, have drawn their capital from Wall Street. The industrial progress and material development of our blessed Southland is being pushed forward vigorously to-day by the monetary backing of Wall Street. The vast fields of the fertile West, luxurious in the beauty and rich in the promise of tasselled corn and bearded grain, are tilled and harvested by helpful loans from Wall Street. Old railroads, run down in their physical condition and thereby seriously impaired for public service, are constantly being rehabilitated with Wall Street money, while eight out of every ten new ones draw the means for their construction and equipment from this same source of financial supply.

To all attacks recklessly made on the methods of Wall Street, it seems to me there is ample answer in this one undeniable fact—the daily business done there foots up in dollars and cents more than the total trade of any whole State of the Union, except New York; and, although the great bulk of transactions are made in the midst of intense excitement, incident to rapid and sometimes violent fluctuation of values, and, although gigantic trades are made binding by only a wink or a nod, nine hundred and ninety-nine times out of a thousand, the contracting parties stand rigidly by their bargains, prove they good or bad. [Applause.] So much for the heroic integrity of the so-called bulls and bears. Out in the broader realm of commercial vocation, and through the wider fields of pastoral pursuit, it occurs to me this lesson might be learned without any reduction of existing morality. [Applause.]

In Wall Street the brainiest financiers are congregated. Vigorous energy, unremitting industry, clear judgment, and unswerving nerve are absolutely essential to personal success. In the light of those requirements, we venture to ask what place has the South taken.

Honorable Abram S. Hewitt in his speech before this Society one year ago, said: "If by some inscrutable providence this list of gentlemen [meaning members of the Southern Society] were suddenly returned to the homes which I suppose will know them no longer, there would be in this city what the quack medicine men call 'a sense of goneness,' and I think we should have to send to the wise men of the East, Dr. Atkinson, for example, to tell us how to[Pg 1171] supply the vacuum." Taking my cue from that generous compliment, I venture to suggest that if the South should suddenly withdraw from Wall Street, it would occasion such a contraction of the currency in that district as would demand even a more liberal policy than Secretary Fairchild has practised in purchasing Government bonds. [Applause and laughter.] The aggregate wealth of Southerners in Wall Street to-day is over $100,000,000 and the great bulk of that vast amount has been accumulated within the last twenty years. That is to say, "The South in Wall Street," has made at least $4,000,000 annually since the war. Under all the circumstances, who will dispute the magnificence of that showing? It must be remembered that the great majority of Southern men on entering Wall Street were poor; so poor, indeed, that they might almost have afforded to begin their career on the terms that I once heard of a man in South Carolina proposing to some little negroes. He told them if they would pick wild blackberries from morning till night he would give them half they gathered. [Laughter.] The Southerners of Wall Street, with but very few exceptions, entered that great field of finance with but one consolation, and that was the calm consciousness of being thoroughly protected against loss from the simple fact that they had nothing to lose. [Applause and laughter.] A hundred millions of dollars is no small pile when stacked up beside—nothing. Of course we are not called upon to analyze this fortune, nor do I mean to imply that it is evenly divided. Some of us it must be admitted spoil the average dreadfully, but we all may get the same satisfaction out of it that the childless man derived, who said that he and his brother together had three boys and two girls. [Laughter.]

The South is a power in Wall Street. She is identified with the management of many leading financial institutions, and has also founded private banking-houses and built up other prosperous business establishments on her own account. It would be in bad taste to mention names unless I had the roll of honor at hand and could read it off without exception. The President of the Cotton Exchange and nearly forty per cent. of its members are Southerners. One of the oldest and strongest firms on the Produce Exchange[Pg 1172] is essentially Southern. That private banking-house in Wall Street, which has stood longest without any change in the personnel of its partnership, and which ranks to-day with the most reputable and successful establishments of its kind, is Southern in every branch of its membership. Seven of the National Banks have Southern men for Presidents, and the list of Southern cashiers and tellers is long and honorable. It was a Southern boy who, ten years ago, counted himself lucky on getting the humble place of mail carrier in one of the greatest banking houses of America. That very boy, when not long since he resigned to enter business on his own account, was filling one of the most responsible positions and drawing the third largest salary in that same great establishment.

Another instance of signal success is told in this short story: Less than six years ago a young Georgian tacked up a cheap little sign on the door of a sky-lit room in the "Evening Post" building. To-day his is the leading name of one of the most conspicuous houses in the Street, and the rent of his present quarters is more per month than the first office he occupied cost for a whole year. One of the most famous Southern leaders in Wall Street to-day [John H. Inman] was so little known when he first attracted attention there that many people assumed he must in some way be connected with a certain great ocean steamship line, simply because he bore the same name. To-day it is just as often supposed that the steamship line is an offshoot from him, because it bears his name. A great Italian painter once vitalized a canvas with the expression of his poetic thought and called it "Aurora." In looking at that masterpiece of art I have sometimes been reminded of this distinguished Southerner. Immediately after the war the South was enveloped in darkness. Out of that gloom this man emerged and came here to the East, where the sun shines first in the morning. Judging him to-day by the record he has made, we are warranted in saying that on coming here he adopted Usefulness as his chariot, and that thereto he harnessed the spirited steeds of Enterprise, Progress, and Development. To-day we see him driving that triumphal car through the land of his birth, and making the sunlight of prosperity to shine there. [Tremendous[Pg 1173] applause.] Sharing with him the honors of their firm name is another Southerner, whose career of usefulness and record of splendid success suffer nothing by comparison. Two other Southern representatives, because of admirable achievements and brilliant strokes of fortune, have recently gained great distinction and won much applause in Wall Street. If I called their names it would awake an echo in the temple of history, where an illustrious ancestor is enshrined in immortal renown. [Applause and cries of "Calhoun! Calhoun!"]

It is not only as financiers and railroad magnates that the South ranks high in Wall Street, but Southern lawyers likewise have established themselves in this dollar district, and to-day challenge attention and deserve tribute. Under the brilliant leadership of two commanding generals, the younger barristers are steadily winning wider reputation and pressing forward in professional triumph.

One question, with its answer, and I shall have done: Are these Southerners in Wall Street divorced in spirit and sympathy from their old homes? [Cries of "No! No!"] You say "No." Let the record of their deeds also make reply. One of them had done a thing so unique and beautiful that I cannot refrain from alluding to it. It touches the chord of humanity in every true heart and makes it vibrate with sacred memories. In the cemetery of the little town of Hopkinsville, Ky., there stands a splendid monument dedicated to "The Unknown Confederate Dead." There is no inscription that even hints at who erected it. The builder subordinated his personality to the glory of his purpose, and only the consummate beauty of the memorial stands forth. The inspiration of his impulse was only equalled by the modesty of his method. Truth, touched by the tenderness and beauty of the tribute to those heroes who died "for conscience sake," has revealed the author, and in him we recognize a generous surviving comrade. [Applause, and cries of "Latham! Latham! John Latham!"]

Turning from this epitome of sentiment, we are confronted by abundant evidence of the substantial interest taken by Wall Street Southerners in the material affairs of the South. What they have done to reclaim the waste places and develop the resources of their native States is[Pg 1174] beyond estimate. They have not only contributed liberally by personal investment, but they have used every honorable endeavor to influence other men to do likewise. Loyalty has stimulated their efforts. Their hearts are in the present and prospective glory of the New South. They are untiring in their furtherance of legitimate enterprises, and the fruit of their labor is seen to-day in every Southern State where new railroads are building, various manufacturing enterprises springing up, and vast mining interests being developed. The steady flow of capital into all those channels is greatly due to their influence. There is more money drifting that way to-day than ever before, and the time will soon come, if it is not already here, when the sentiment to which I have responded will admit of transposition, and we can with as much propriety toast "Wall Street in the South," as to-night we toast "The South in Wall Street." [Great and long-continued applause.][Pg 1175]



[Speech of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales [Edward VII, crowned King of England January 23, 1901], at the banquet given at the Mansion House, London, July 16, 1881, by the Lord Mayor of London [Sir William McArthur], to the Prince of Wales, as President of the Colonial Institute, and to a large company of representatives of the colonies—governors, premiers, and administrators. This speech was delivered in response to the toast proposed by the Lord Mayor, "The Health of the Prince of Wales, the Princess of Wales, and the other members of the Royal Family."]

My Lord Mayor, Your Majesty, My Lords, and Gentlemen:—For the kind and remarkably flattering way in which you, my Lord Mayor, have been good enough to propose this toast, and you, my lords and gentlemen, for the kind and hearty way in which you have received it, I beg to offer you my most sincere thanks. It is a peculiar pleasure to me to come to the City, because I have the honor of being one of its freemen. But this is, indeed, a very special dinner, one of a kind that I do not suppose has ever been given before; for we have here this evening representatives of probably every Colony in the Empire. We have not only the Secretary of the Colonies, but Governors past and present, ministers, administrators, and agents, are all I think, to be found here this evening. I regret that it has not been possible for me to see half or one-third of the Colonies which it has been the good fortune of my brother, the Duke of Edinburgh, to visit. In his voyages round the world he has had opportunities more than once of seeing all our great Colonies. Though I have not been able personally to see them, or have seen only a small portion of them, you may rest assured it does not diminish in any way the interest I take in them.[Pg 1176]

It is, I am sorry to say, now going on for twenty-one years since I visited our large North American Colonies. Still, though I was very young at the time, the remembrance of that visit is as deeply imprinted upon my memory now as it was at that time. I shall never forget the public receptions which were accorded to me in Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, and if it were possible for me at any time to repeat that visit, I need not tell you gentlemen, who now represent here those great North American Colonies, of the great pleasure it would give me to do so. It affords me great gratification to see an old friend, Sir John Macdonald, the Premier of Canada, here this evening.

It was a most pressing invitation, certainly, that I received two years ago to visit the great Australasian Colonies, and though at the time I was unable to give an answer in the affirmative or in the negative, still it soon became apparent that my many duties here in England, would prevent my accomplishing what would have been a long, though a most interesting voyage. I regret that such has been the case, and that I was not able to accept the kind invitation I received to visit the Exhibitions at Sydney and at Melbourne. I am glad, however, to know that they have proved a great success, as has been testified to me only this evening by the noble Duke [Manchester] by my side, who has so lately returned. Though, my lords and gentlemen, I have, as I said before, not had the opportunity of seeing these great Australasian Colonies, which every day and every year are making such immense development, still, at the International Exhibitions of London, Paris, and Vienna, I had not only an opportunity of seeing their various products there exhibited, but I had the pleasure of making the personal acquaintance of many colonists—a fact which has been a matter of great importance and great benefit to myself.

It is now thirty years since the first International Exhibition took place in London, and then for the first time Colonial exhibits were shown to the world. Since that time, from the Exhibitions which have followed our first great gathering in 1851, the improvements that have been made are manifest. That in itself is a clear proof of the way in which the Colonies have been exerting themselves to make[Pg 1177] their vast territories of the great importance that they are at the present moment. But though, my Lord Mayor, I have not been to Australasia, as you have mentioned, I have sent my two sons on a visit there; and it has been a matter of great gratification, not only to myself, but to the Queen, to hear of the kindly reception they have met with everywhere. They are but young, but I feel confident that their visit to the Antipodes will do them an incalculable amount of good. On their way out they visited a Colony in which, unfortunately, the condition of affairs was not quite as satisfactory as we could wish, and as a consequence they did not extend their visits in that part of South Africa quite so far inland as might otherwise have been the case.

I must thank you once more, my Lord Mayor, for the kind way in which you have proposed this toast. I thank you in the name of the Princess and the other members of the Royal Family, for the kind reception their names have met with from all here to-night, and I beg again to assure you most cordially and heartily of the great pleasure it has given me to be present here among so many distinguished Colonists and gentlemen connected with the Colonies, and to have had an opportunity of meeting your distinguished guest, the King of the Sandwich Islands. If your lordship's visit to his dominions remains impressed on your mind, I think your lordship's kindly reception of his Majesty here to-night is not likely soon to be forgotten by him.[Pg 1178]



[Speech of Hugh C. Wallace at the fifth annual banquet of the New York Southern Society, February 21, 1891. The President, Hugh R. Garden, occupied the chair. In introducing Mr. Wallace, he said: "It was said of old that the Southerner was wanting in that energy and fixedness of purpose which make a successful American. No broader field has existed for the exercise of those qualities than the great region west of the Rocky Mountains. We are fortunate in the presence of a gentleman whose young life is already a successful refutation of that opinion, and I turn with confidence to 'The Southerner of the Pacific Slope,' and invite Mr. Hugh C. Wallace, of the State of Washington, to respond."]

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen:—For more than one hundred years upon this continent a silent army has been marching from the East toward the West. No silken banners have waved above it, and no blare of trumpet or beat of drum has heralded its progress. And yet its conquests have been grander than those of Peru or Mexico, its victories more glorious than those of Marengo, of Friedland, or of Austerlitz. It has subdued an empire richer than the Indies without inflicting the cruelties of Clive, or the exactions of Hastings, and that empire is to-day, Mr. President, a part of your heritage and mine. [Applause.] For more than thirty years past the region in which most of those I see around me first saw the light has lain prostrate, borne down by a Titanic struggle whose blighting force fell wholly upon her. For more than a generation her enterprise has seemed exhausted, her strength wasted, and her glory departed. And yet she has not failed to furnish her full quota to the grand army of conquest to carry to completion the great work which[Pg 1179] Boone, Crockett, and Houston, all her sons—began, and which her genius alone made possible. [Applause.]

Turn back with me the pages of time to the beginning of this imposing march and glance for a moment at its resplendent progress. Its beginning was in Virginia. Virginians led by that first of Southerners whose natal day we celebrate to-night and whose fame grows brighter in the lengthening perspective of the years, conquered the savage and his little less than savage European ally, and saved for the Nation then unborn the whole Northwest. The Pinckneys, the Rutledges, and the Gwinetts forced the hand of Spain from the throat of the Mississippi, and left the current of trade free to flow to the Gulf unvexed by foreign influence.

Another Virginian, illustrious through all time as the great vindicator of humanity, doubled the area of the national possession of his time by the Louisiana purchase, and Lewis and Clarke, both sons of the Old Dominion, in 1804 first trod the vast uninhabited wilds of the far Northwest to find a land richer in all the precious products of the East than mortal eyes had yet beheld. So were our borders extended from the Gulf and the Rio Grande to the 49th parallel and from the Atlantic to the Pacific—but for Southern enterprise they might have stopped at Ohio, the Monongahela, and the Niagara. [Applause.]

The empire thus secured remained to be subdued. From the States in which you and I, gentlemen, were born has come a noble wing of the grand army of subjugation, all of whose battles have been victories and all of whose victories have been victories of civilization. Moving first from the old States of the South it took possession of territory along the Gulf and of Tennessee and of Kentucky's "dark and bloody ground." Fame crowned the heroes of these campaigns with the patriot's name, and glorified them as pioneers. As their advance guards swept across the Mississippi and took possession of Missouri, Arkansas, and territory farther north, envy called it invasion, and when their scouts appeared in Nebraska and Kansas they were repelled amid the passion of the hour. Meanwhile, a new element, whose quickening power is scarcely yet appreciated, had joined the grand movement. Early in the forties a South Carolinian[Pg 1180] captain of engineers, the Pathfinder, John C. Fremont, had marked the way to the far West coast, and added a new realm to the National domain. [Applause.] It was the domain soon famed for its delightful climate, its wealth of resources, and its combination of every natural advantage that human life desires. The gleaming gold soon after found in the sands of Sutter's Fort spread its fame afar and attracted to it the superb band of men who came from every State to lay firm and sure the foundation of the new commonwealth.

There were only fourteen Southerners in the Constitutional Convention at Monterey, but their genius for government made them a fair working majority in the body of forty-eight members. Not content with building a grand State like this, the united army gathered from the North and South alike turned its face toward the desert and fastnesses of the eternal hills and "continuous woods where rolls the Oregon and hears no sound save his own dashings," and pitched their tents, rolled back the awful silence that through ages had reigned there; and learned the secrets that desolation guarded, alluring to them from their fastnesses a renewed stream of treasure which has resulted in making us the envy of all other nations.

In conspicuous contrast to the attitude and sentiment of the South, the East has never followed to encourage nor sympathize with the West. Whether it be in legislation or politics or finance, the Western idea has ever failed to command the earnest attention to which it is entitled. There is a sentiment which is growing more general and vigorous every day in the far West, that the time is near at hand when it will decline to adhere to the fortunes of any leader or body which recklessly ignores its claims or persistently refuses to it recognition. It is a very significant fact, Mr. President, that this great region, containing one-fourth of the National area, one-seventeenth of the population, and constituting one-seventh of the whole number of States has had up to this time, but one member of the Cabinet. In the present Cabinet, fourteen States (east of the Mississippi and North of the old Mason and Dixon's Line) have seven members and the remaining thirty States have but one. Those thirty States will see to it in the future that the party[Pg 1181] which succeeds through their support has its representation their efforts have deserved.

I cannot close, Mr. President, without giving expression to a sentiment to which Southerners in the West are peculiarly alive—the sentiment of sympathy and fraternity which exists between the South and the West. [Applause.] The course of historical development which I have outlined of the Western man has wrought a bond of friendship between them, and that bond is not a reminiscence, but a living, vital, and efficient fact. Only but yesterday, politicians, thank God not the people, sought for selfish ends to cast back the South into Stygian gloom from which she had slowly and laboriously but gloriously emerged, to forge upon her again hope-killing shackles of a barbarous rule. In that hour of trial which you and I, sir, know to have been a menace and a reality to whom did she turn for succor? To this man of the West, and quick and glorious was the response.[Pg 1182]



[Speech of Dr. Samuel B. Ward at the annual banquet of the New York State Bar Association, in the City of Albany, January 18, 1887.]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—That a medical man should be asked to be in attendance at a banquet such as this was natural, and when I looked over the list of toasts and found that the clergymen had been omitted, I took it as an intended though perhaps rather dubious compliment to my profession, the supposition being that the services of the clergy would not of course be required. When I was asked to respond to this toast, in an unguarded moment of good nature, which is remarkable even in me, I was beguiled into consenting by the persuasive eloquence of your worthy President and Secretary, and a day or two after I visited the Executive chamber with the view of endeavoring to make "a little bargain" with his Excellency. Being myself neither a lawyer, a politician, nor the editor of a Brooklyn newspaper [laughter], I was totally unacquainted with such things, but still I am the reader of a weekly Republican newspaper (that is spelled with two e's and not an a, and has no reference to the "Albany Evening Journal"), and have ascertained that among a certain class of men, these "bargains" were exceedingly common. Respecting the exact nature of the proposition I shall not reveal? but suffice it to say I failed most ignominiously.

After leaving the executive chamber I spent a good part of the morning in reflection as to the cause of the failure. Among other things it occurred to me that perhaps the newspaper statement, that "bargains" were so common[Pg 1183] among officials was untrue, but when I reflected that my newspaper was a republican organ and that the Executive was a democratic official I knew that every word that organ would say about a political opponent must be absolutely true. It occurred to me that perhaps inasmuch as I was not a politician, his Excellency might have feared to trust me, but I recollected to have read of the dire misfortune that befalls certain politicians in New York from trusting each other. As the Governor's shrewdness was well-known, I knew that he felt that if he could trust any one, it would be one of my profession, and therefore that excuse would not answer. It also occurred to me, that perhaps I was somewhat green and unwise in consenting to make this bargain in the presence of witnesses, but when I thought of all the sagacity and shrewdness and reticence that was concealed behind Colonel Rice's outspoken countenance, and of the numerous "arrangements" of which he was cognizant, and in relation to which he had never said a word, I felt assured that that was not the reason. I finally came to the conclusion that the Governor was a man to be trusted; that if there still be cynics who believe that "every man has his price," they would find the Governor's price far too high for them ever to reach. [Applause.]

In the play of King Henry VI occurs an expression by Dick, the butcher, which is so short and so pointed that I may be pardoned for reproducing it in its completeness. It runs thus: "The first thing we do, let's kill the lawyers." This is not at all the attitude of our profession toward yours. On the contrary the most stupid charge that is ever laid to the door of the medical man is that he intentionally, or ever either by luck or intention, kills his patients. Ere the coffin-lid closes the doctor's harvest is reaped, but how different it is with you gentlemen. [Laughter.] Not more than a few days after the debt of nature has been paid by the unfortunate patient, your harvest—and especially if he has had the unusual fortune to make a will—begins, and oh! how we are sometimes tempted to envy you. Through how many seasons this harvest will be prolonged no one can foretell. That it will be carefully garnered to the last we can fully rely upon.

There is perhaps only one state of circumstances under[Pg 1184] which the medical man is likely to re-echo the sentiment, and that is when he steps down from the witness-stand, having served as an "expert." You lawyers have a duty to discharge to your clients which necessitates your "taking a part." Even though a man be guilty, there may be "extenuating circumstances," and it is your right, as it is your duty, "to do all that lies within your power in his behalf." The "medical expert" should go upon the stand in a purely judicial frame of mind, and as a rule I believe he does. But by the manner in which questions are propounded to him, and by the exercise of every little persuasive art incident to your calling, he is inevitably led into taking "sides." He is surrounded by circumstances that are to him entirely strange. He is more or less annoyed and flurried by his surroundings, and then comes the necessity of making a categorical answer to questions that are put to him more especially upon the cross-examination, which cannot be correctly answered categorically. Unfortunately in a profession like ours, in a science of art like ours, it often is absolutely impossible to answer a question categorically without conveying an erroneous impression to the jury.

In addition to this, we are subjected at the close of the examination to what you are pleased to term a "hypothetical question." The theory of this "hypothetical question" is that it embraces or expresses in a few words, and not always so very few either [laughter], the main features of the case under consideration. In nine cases out of ten if the expert makes a direct and unqualified answer to the question he leaves an absolutely erroneous idea upon the minds of the jury, and this is the explanation of why so many experts have made answers to questions which have elicited adverse criticism.

In my judgment, after a not very long experience I must admit, but a sorry one, in some instances, there is but one way in which this matter of expert evidence should be conducted. The judge should appoint three experts, one of them at the suggestion of the counsel upon either side, and the third one at his own discretion. These three appointees should present their report in writing to the court, and the compensation for the service should be equally divided between the parties interested. In that way can expert evi[Pg 1185]dence escape the disrepute now attaching to it, and the ends of justice be furthered. Now, gentlemen, the hour is getting late, and I have but one wish to express to you. The medical profession of the State of New York has an organization very similar to your own, which has now reached very nearly its ninetieth year, with a membership of almost 1,000, and with an annual attendance something double that of your own. I can only hope that your Association may live on and develop until it reaches as vigorous and flourishing an old age as that of the medical profession. [Applause.][Pg 1186]



[Speech of Charles Dudley Warner at the "Whittier Dinner" in celebration of the poet's seventieth birthday and the twentieth birthday of "The Atlantic Monthly," given by the publishers, Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin & Co., at Boston, Mass., December 17, 1877.]

Mr. Chairman:—It is impossible to express my gratitude to you for calling on me. There is but one pleasure in life equal to that of being called on to make an after-dinner speech, and that is not being called on. It is such an enjoyment to sit through the courses with this prospect like a ten-pound weight on your digestive organs! If it were ever possible to refuse anything in this world, except by the concurrence of the three branches of government—the executive, the obstructive, and the destructive, I believe they are called—I should hope that we might some time have our speeches first, so that we could eat our dinner without fear or favor.

I suppose, however, that I am called up not to grumble, but to say that the establishment of "The Atlantic Monthly" was an era in literature. I say it cheerfully. I believe, nevertheless, it was not the first era of the sort. The sanguine generations have been indulging in them all along, and as "eras" they are apt to flat out, or, as the editor of the "Atlantic" would say, they "peter out." But the establishment of the "Atlantic" was the expression of a genuine literary movement. That movement is the most interesting because it was the most fruitful in our history. It was nicknamed transcendentalism. It was, in fact, a recurrence to realism. They who were sitting in Boston saw a great light. The beauty of this new realism was that it[Pg 1187] required imagination, as it always does, to see truth. That was the charm of the Teufelsdröckh philosophy; it was also poetry. Mr. Emerson puts it in a phrase—the poet is the Seer. Most of you recall the intellectual stir of that time. Mr. Carlyle had spread the German world to us. Mr. Emerson lighted his torch. The horizon of English literature was broken, and it was not necessary any longer to imitate English models. Criticism began to assert itself. Mr. Lowell launched that audacious "Fable for Critics"—a lusty colt, rejoicing in his young energy, had broken into the old-fashioned garden, and unceremoniously trampled about among the rows of box, the beds of pinks and sweet-williams, and mullen seed. I remember how all this excited the imagination of the college where I was. It was what that great navigator who made the "swellings from the Atlantic" called "a fresh-water college." Everybody read "Sartor Resartus." The best writer in college wrote exactly like Carlyle—why, it was the universal opinion—without Carlyle's obscurity! The rest of them wrote like Jean Paul Richter and like Emerson, and like Longfellow, and like Ossian. The poems of our genius you couldn't tell from Ossian. I believe it turned out that they were Ossian's. [Laughter.] Something was evidently about to happen. When this tumult had a little settled the "Atlantic" arose serenely out of Boston Bay—a consummation and a star of promise as well.

The promise has been abundantly fulfilled. The magazine has had its fair share in the total revolution of the character of American literature—I mean the revolution out of the sentimental period; for the truth of this I might appeal to the present audience, but for the well-known fact that writers of books never read any except those they make themselves. [Laughter.] I distinctly remember the page in that first "Atlantic" that began with—"If the red slayer thinks he slays—" a famous poem, that immediately became the target of all the small wits of the country, and went in with the "Opinions," paragraphs of that Autocratic talk, which speedily broke the bounds of the "Atlantic," and the Pacific as well, and went round the world. [Applause.]

Yes, the "Atlantic" has had its triumphs of all sorts.[Pg 1188] The Government even was jealous of its power. It repeatedly tried to banish one of its editors, and finally did send him off to the court of Madrid [James Russell Lowell]. And I am told that the present editor [William Dean Howells] might have been snatched away from it, but for his good fortune in being legally connected with a person who is distantly related to a very high personage who was at that time reforming the civil service.

Mr. Chairman, there is no reason why I should not ramble on in this way all night; but then, there is no reason why I should. There is only one thing more that I desire to note, and that is, that during the existence of the "Atlantic," American authors have become very nearly emancipated from fear or dependence on English criticisms. In comparison with former days they care now very little what London says. This is an acknowledged fact. Whether it is the result of a sturdy growth at home or of a visible deterioration of the quality of the criticism—a want of the discriminating faculty—the Contributors' Club can, no doubt, point out.

[In conclusion, Mr. Warner paid a brief but eloquent tribute to the Quaker poet.]



Photogravure after a photograph from life[Pg 1189]



[Speech of Henry Watterson at the dinner held on the anniversary of General W. T. Sherman's birthday, Washington, D. C., February 8, 1883. Colonel George B. Corkhill presided, and introduced Mr. Watterson to speak to the toast, "Our Wives."]

Gentlemen:—When one undertakes to respond to such a sentiment as you do me the honor to assign me, he knows in advance that he is put, as it were, upon his good behavior. I recognize the justice of this and accepted the responsibility with the charge; though I may say that if General Sherman's wife resembles mine—and I very much suspect she does—he has a sympathy for me at the present moment. Once upon a festal occasion, a little late, quite after the hour when Cinderella was bidden by her godmother to go to bed, I happened to extol the graces and virtues of the newly wedded wife of a friend of mine, and finally, as a knockdown argument, I compared her to my own wife. "In this case," said he, dryly, "you'll catch it when you get home." It is a peculiarity they all have: not a ray of humor where the husband is concerned; to the best of them and to the last he must be and must continue to be—a hero!

Now, I do not wish you to believe, nor to think that I myself believe, that all women make heroes of their husbands. Women are logical in nothing. They naturally hate mathematics. So, they would have their husbands be heroes only to the rest of the world. There is a charming picture by John Leech, the English satirist, which depicts Jones, who never looked askance at a woman in his life, sitting demurely at table, stuck with his nose on his plate, and Mrs. Jones opposite, redundant to a degree, observing with grati[Pg 1190]fied severity, "Now, Mr. Jones, don't let me see you ogling those Smith girls again!" She, too, was like the rest—the good ones, I mean—seeing the world through her husband; no happiness but his comfort; no vanity but his glory; sacrificing herself to his wants, and where he proves inadequate putting her imagination out to service and bringing home a basket of flowers to deck his brow. Of our sweethearts the humorist hath it:—

"Where are the Marys and Anns and Elizas,
Lovely and loving of yore?
Look in the columns of old 'Advertisers,'
Married and dead by the score."

But "our wives." We don't have far to look to find them; sometimes, I am told, you army gentlemen have been known to find them turning unexpectedly up along the ranges of the Rocky Mountains, and making their presence felt even as far as the halls of the Montezumas. Yet how should we get on without them? Rob mankind of his wife and time could never become a grandfather. Strange as you may think it our wives are, in a sense, responsible for our children; and I ask you seriously how could the world get on if it had no children? It might get on for a while, I do admit; but I challenge the boldest among you to say how long it could get on without "our wives." It would not only give out of children; in a little—a very little—while it would have no mother-in-law, nor sister-in-law, nor brother-in-law, nor any of those acquired relatives whom it has learned to love, and who have contributed so largely to its stock of harmless pleasure.

But, as this is not exactly a tariff discussion, though a duty, I drop statistics; let me ask you what would become of the revenues of man if it were not for "our wives?" We should have no milliners but for "our wives." But for "our wives" those makers of happiness and furbelows, those fabricators of smiles and frills, those gentle beings who bias and scollop and do their sacking at both ends of the bill, and sometimes in the middle, would be compelled to shut up shop, retire from business, and return to the good old city of Mantua, whence they came. The world would grow too rich; albeit, on this promise I do not propose to con[Pg 1191]struct an argument in favor of more wives. One wife is enough, two is too many, and more than two are an abomination everywhere, except in Utah and the halls of our national legislature.

I beg you will forgive me. I do but speak in banter. It has been said that a good woman, fitly mated, grows doubly good; but how often have we seen a bad man mated to a good woman turned into a good man? Why, I myself was not wholly good till I married my wife; and, if the eminent soldier and gentleman in whose honor we are here—and may he be among us many and many another anniversary, yet always sixty-three—if he should tell the story of his life, I am sure he would say that its darkest hours were cherished, its brightest illuminated by the fair lady of a noble race, who stepped from the highest social eminence to place her hand in that of an obscure young subaltern of the line. The world had not become acquainted with him, but with the prophetic instinct of a true woman she discovered, as she has since developed, the mine. So it is with all "our wives." Whatever there is good in us they bring it out; wherefor may they be forever honored in the myriad of hearts they come to lighten and to bless. [Loud applause.]


[Speech of Henry Watterson at the eighty-ninth anniversary banquet of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1894. Elihu Root, President of the Society, introduced Mr. Watterson in the following words: "Gentlemen, we are forced to recognize the truth of the observation that all the people of New England are not Puritans; we must admit an occasional exception. It is equally true, I am told, that all the people of the South are not cavaliers; but there is one cavalier without fear and without reproach [applause], the splendid courage of whose convictions shows how close together the highest examples of different types can be among godlike men—a cavalier of the South, of southern blood and southern life, who carries in thought and in deed all the serious purpose and disinterested action that characterized the Pilgrim Fathers whom we commemorate. He comes from an impressionist State where the grass is blue [laughter], where the men are either all white or all black, and where, we are told, quite often the settlements are painted red. [Laughter.] He is a soldier, a statesman, a scholar, and, above all, a lover; and among all[Pg 1192] the world which loves a lover the descendants of those who, generation after generation, with tears and laughter, have sympathized with John Alden and Priscilla, cannot fail to open their hearts in sympathy to Henry Watterson and his star-eyed goddess. [Applause.] I have the honor and great pleasure of introducing him to respond to the toast of 'The Puritan and the Cavalier.'"]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—Eight years ago, to-night, there stood where I am standing now a young Georgian, who, not without reason, recognized the "significance" of his presence here—"the first southerner to speak at this board"—a circumstance, let me add, not very creditable to any of us—and in words whose eloquence I cannot hope to recall, appealed from the New South to New England for a united country.

He was my disciple, my protege, my friend. He came to me from the southern schools, where he had perused the arts of oratory and letters, to get a few hints in journalism, as he said; needing so few, indeed, that, but a little later, I sent him to one of the foremost journalists of this foremost city, bearing a letter of introduction, which described him as "the greatest boy ever born in Dixie, or anywhere else."

He is gone now. But, short as his life was, its heaven-born mission was fulfilled; the dream of his childhood was realized; for he had been appointed by God to carry a message of peace on earth, good-will to men, and, this done, he vanished from the sight of mortal eyes, even as the dove from the ark.

I mean to take up the word where Grady left it off, but I shall continue the sentence with a somewhat larger confidence, and, perhaps, with a somewhat fuller meaning; because, notwithstanding the Puritan trappings, traditions, and associations which surround me—visible illustrations of the self-denying fortitude of the Puritan character and the sombre simplicity of the Puritan taste and habit—I never felt less out of place in all my life.

To tell you the truth, I am afraid that I have gained access here on false pretences; for I am no Cavalier at all; just plain Scotch-Irish; one of those Scotch-Irish southerners who ate no fire in the green leaf and has eaten no dirt in the brown, and who, accepting, for the moment, the terms Puritan and Cavalier in the sense an effete sectional[Pg 1193]ism once sought to ascribe to them—descriptive labels at once classifying and separating North and South—verbal redoubts along that mythical line called Mason and Dixon, over which there were supposed by the extremists of other days to be no bridges—I am much disposed to say, "A plague o' both your houses!"

Each was good enough and bad enough in its way, whilst they lasted; each in its turn filled the English-speaking world with mourning; and each, if either could have resisted the infection of the soil and climate they found here, would be to-day striving at the sword's point to square life by the iron rule of Theocracy, or to round it by the dizzy whirl of a petticoat! It is very pretty to read about the Maypole in Virginia and very edifying and inspiring to celebrate the deeds of the Pilgrim Fathers. But there is not Cavalier blood enough left in the Old Dominion to produce a single crop of first families, whilst out in Nebraska and Iowa they claim that they have so stripped New England of her Puritan stock as to spare her hardly enough for farm hands. This I do know, from personal experience, that it is impossible for the stranger-guest, sitting beneath a bower of roses in the Palmetto Club at Charleston, or by a mimic log-heap in the Algonquin Club at Boston, to tell the assembled company apart, particularly after ten o'clock in the evening! Why, in that great, final struggle between the Puritans and the Cavaliers—which we still hear sometimes casually mentioned—although it ended nearly thirty years ago, there had been such a mixing up of Puritan babies and Cavalier babies during the two or three generations preceding it, that the surviving grandmothers of the combatants could not, except for their uniforms, have picked out their own on any field of battle!

Turning to the Cyclopædia of American Biography, I find that Webster had all the vices that are supposed to have signalized the Cavalier, and Calhoun all the virtues that are claimed for the Puritan. During twenty years three statesmen of Puritan origin were the chosen party leaders of Cavalier Mississippi: Robert J. Walker, born and reared in Pennsylvania; John A. Quitman, born and reared in New York, and Sargent S. Prentiss, born and reared in the good old State of Maine. That sturdy Puritan, John Slidell,[Pg 1194] never saw Louisiana until he was old enough to vote and to fight; native here—an alumnus of Columbia College—but sprung from New England ancestors. Albert Sidney Johnston, the most resplendent of modern Cavaliers—from tip to toe a type of the species—the very rose and expectancy of the young Confederacy—did not have a drop of Southern blood in his veins; Yankee on both sides of the house, though born in Kentucky a little while after his father and mother arrived there from Connecticut. The Ambassador who serves our Government near the French Republic was a gallant Confederate soldier and is a representative southern statesman; but he owns the estate in Massachusetts where his father was born, and where his father's fathers lived through many generations.

And the Cavaliers, who missed their stirrups, somehow, and got into Yankee saddles? The woods were full of them. If Custer was not a Cavalier, Rupert was a Puritan. And Sherwood and Wadsworth and Kearny, and McPherson and their dashing companions and followers! The one typical Puritan soldier of the war—mark you!—was a Southern, and not a Northern, soldier; Stonewall Jackson, of the Virginia line. And, if we should care to pursue the subject farther back, what about Ethan Allen and John Stark and Mad Anthony Wayne—Cavaliers each and every one? Indeed, from Israel Putnam to "Buffalo Bill," it seems to me the Puritans have had rather the best of it in turning out Cavaliers. So the least said about the Puritan and the Cavalier—except as blessed memories or horrid examples—the better for historic accuracy.

If you wish to get at the bottom facts, I don't mind telling you—in confidence—that it was we Scotch-Irish who vanquished both of you—some of us in peace—others of us in war—supplying the missing link of adaptability—the needed ingredient of common sense—the conservative principle of creed and action, to which this generation of Americans owes its intellectual and moral emancipation from frivolity and pharisaism—its rescue from the Scarlet Woman and the mailed hand—and its crystallization into a national character and polity, ruling by force of brains and not by force of arms.

Gentlemen—Sir—I, too, have been to Boston. Strange[Pg 1195] as the admission may seem, it is true; and I live to tell the tale. I have been to Boston; and when I declare that I found there many things that suggested the Cavalier and did not suggest the Puritan, I shall not say I was sorry. But among other things, I found there a civilization perfect in its union of the art of living with the grace of life; an Americanism ideal in its simple strength. Grady told us, and told us truly, of that typical American who, in Dr. Talmage's mind's eye, was coming, but who, in Abraham Lincoln's actuality, had already come. In some recent studies into the career of that great man, I have encountered many startling confirmations of this judgment; and from that rugged trunk, drawing its sustenance from gnarled roots, interlocked with Cavalier sprays and Puritan branches deep beneath the soil, shall spring, is springing, a shapely tree—symmetric in all its parts—under whose sheltering boughs this nation shall have the new birth of freedom Lincoln promised it, and mankind the refuge which was sought by the forefathers when they fled from oppression. Thank God, the axe, the gibbet, and the stake have had their day. They have gone, let us hope, to keep company with the lost arts. It has been demonstrated that great wrongs may be redressed and great reforms be achieved without the shedding of one drop of human blood; that vengeance does not purify, but brutalizes; and that tolerance, which in private transactions is reckoned a virtue, becomes in public affairs a dogma of the most far-seeing statesmanship. Else how could this noble city have been redeemed from bondage? It was held like a castle of the Middle Ages by robber barons, who levied tribute right and left. Yet have the mounds and dykes of corruption been carried—from buttress to bell-tower the walls of crime have fallen—without a shot out of a gun, and still no fires of Smithfield to light the pathway of the victor, no bloody assizes to vindicate the justice of the cause; nor need of any.

So I appeal from the men in silken hose who danced to music made by slaves—and called it freedom—from the men in bell-crowned hats, who led Hester Prynne to her shame—and called it religion—to that Americanism which reaches forth its arms to smite wrong with reason and truth, secure in the power of both. I appeal from the patriarchs of New[Pg 1196] England to the poets of New England; from Endicott to Lowell; from Winthrop to Longfellow; from Norton to Holmes; and I appeal in the name and by the rights of that common citizenship—of that common origin—back both of the Puritan and the Cavalier—to which all of us owe our being. Let the dead past, consecrated by the blood of its martyrs, not by its savage hatreds—darkened alike by kingcraft and priestcraft—let the dead past bury its dead. Let the present and the future ring with the song of the singers. Blessed be the lessons they teach, the laws they make. Blessed be the eye to see, the light to reveal. Blessed be Tolerance, sitting ever on the right hand of God to guide the way with loving word, as blessed be all that brings us nearer the goal of true religion, true Republicanism and true patriotism, distrust of watchwords and labels, shams and heroes, belief in our country and ourselves. It was not Cotton Mather, but John Greenleaf Whittier, who cried:

"Dear God and Father of us all,
Forgive our faith in cruel lies,
Forgive the blindness that denies.

"Cast down our idols—overturn
Our bloody altars—make us see
Thyself in Thy humanity!"

[Applause and cheers.][Pg 1197]



[Speech of Rev. Dr. Heman L. Wayland at the fourth annual dinner of the New England Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, December 22, 1884. Dr. Wayland, as President of the Society, occupied the chair, and delivered the following address in welcoming the guests.]

Fellow New Englanders—Or, in view of our habitual modesty and self-depreciation, I ought, perhaps, rather to say, Fellow Pharisees [laughter]—I congratulate you that we are able to show our guests a little real New England weather—weather that recalls the sleigh-rides, and crossing the bridges, and the singing-school. You are reminded of the observation of the British tar, who, after a long cruise in the Mediterranean, as he came into the eternal fog which surrounds the "tight little island," exclaimed, "This is weather as is weather; none of your blasted blue sky for me!" [Laughter.]

Let me also apologize to our guests for the extreme plainness and frugality of the entertainment. They will kindly make allowance, when they remember that this is washing-day. [Laughter.]

I am aware that the occasion is so large as to dwarf all merely personal considerations; but I cannot omit to return you my thanks for the unmerited kindness which has placed me in the position I occupy. I must add that the position is at once the more honorable and the more onerous, because I am called to follow a gentleman whose administration of the office has been so superlatively successful.

In making this allusion to my honored predecessor, I am reminded of an event in which we all feel a common pride. On the 25th of last June, amid the hills which overshadow[Pg 1198] Dartmouth College, our then president laid the corner-stone of "Rollins Chapel" for Christian worship, while on the same day, at the same place, on the grounds traversed in earlier years by Webster and Choate, another son of New England laid the corner-stone of the "Wilson Library Building." Thus does intelligent industry, large-hearted benevolence, and filial piety, plant upon the granite hills of New England the olive-groves of Academus and the palms of Judea. [Applause.]

But perhaps there may be here some intelligent stranger who asks me to define an expression which is now and then heard on these occasions: "What is this New England of which you speak so seldom and so reluctantly? Is it a place?" Yes, it is a place; not indeed only a place, but it is a place; and he cannot know New England who has not traversed it from Watch Hill to Mount Washington, from Champlain to Passamaquoddy. In no other wise can one realize how the sterile soil and the bleak winds and the short summer have been the rugged parents of that thrift, that industry, that economy, that regard for the small savings, which have made New England the banker of America. As the population grew beyond the capacity of the soil, her sons from her myriad harbors swarmed out upon the sea, an army of occupation, and annexed the Grand Banks, making them national banks before the days of Secretary Chase. [Laughter.] When the limits of agriculture were reached, they enslaved the streams, and clothed the continent. They gathered hides from Iowa and Texas, and sold them, in the shape of boots, in Dubuque and Galveston. Sterile New England underlaid the imperial Northwest with mortgages, and overlaid it with insurance. I chanced to be in Chicago two or three days after the great fire of 1871. As I walked among the smoking ruins, if I saw a man with a cheerful air, I knew that he was a resident of Chicago; if I saw a man with a long face, I knew that he represented a Hartford insurance company. [Laughter.] Really, the cheerful resignation with which the Chicago people endured the losses of New England did honor to human nature. [Laughter.]

Perhaps it is well that New England is not yet more sterile, for it would have owned the whole of the country,[Pg 1199] and would have monopolized all the wealth, as it has confessedly got a corner on all the virtues.

And while the narrow limit of the season, called by courtesy "summer," has enforced promptness and rapidity of action, the long winters have given pause for reflection, have fostered the red school-house, have engendered reading and discussion, have made her sons and her daughters thoughtful beings.

The other day, in reading the life of a New England woman,[8] I met with a letter written when she was seventeen years old: "I have begun reading Dugald Stewart. How are my sources of enjoyment multiplied. By bringing into view the various systems of philosophers concerning the origin of our knowledge, he enlarges the mind, and extends the range of our ideas, ... while clearly distinguishing between proper objects of inquiry and those that must forever remain inexplicable to man in the present state of his faculties. Reasonings from induction are delightful." [Laughter.]

I think you will agree with me that only where there was a long winter, and long winter evenings, would such a letter be written by a girl in her teens.

The question has often been asked why there are so many poets in New England. A traveller passing through Concord inquired, "How do all these people support themselves?" The answer was, "They all live by writing poems for 'The Atlantic Monthly.'" [Laughter.]

Now, any one who thinks of it must see that it is the weather which makes all these poets, or rather the weathers, for there are so many. As Mr. Choate said: "Cold to-day, hot to-morrow; mercury at eighty in the morning, with wind at southeast; and in three hours more a sea-turn, wind at east, a thick fog from the bottom of the ocean, and a fall of forty degrees; now, so dry as to kill all the beans in New Hampshire; then, a flood, carrying off the bridges on the Penobscot; snow in Portsmouth in July, and the next day a man and a yoke of oxen killed by lightning down in Rhode Island." [Laughter.]

The commonplace question: "How is the weather going to be?" gives a boundless play to the imagination, and [Pg 1200]makes a man a poet before he knows it. And then a poet must have grand subjects in nature. And what does a poet want that he does not find in New England? Wooded glens, mysterious ravines, inaccessible summits, hurrying rivers; the White Hills, keeping up, as Starr King said, "a perpetual peak against the sky"; the Old Man of the Mountains looking down the valley of the Pemigewasset, and hearing from afar the Ammonoosuc as it breaks into a hundred cataracts; Katahdin, Kearsarge, setting its back up higher than ever since that little affair off Cherbourg; the everlasting ocean inviting to adventure, inspiring to its own wild freedom, and making a harbor in every front yard, so that the hardy mariner can have his smack at his own doorstep. [Laughter.] (Need I say I mean his fishing-smack?) What more can a poet desire?

And then life in New England, especially New England of the olden time, has been an epic poem. It was a struggle against obstacles and enemies, and a triumph over nature in behalf of human welfare.

What would a poet sing about, I wonder, who lived on the Kankakee Flats? Of course, the epic poet must have a hero, and an enemy, and a war. The great enemy in those parts is shakes; so, as Virgil began, "I sing of arms and the man," the Kankakee poet would open:

"I sing the glories of cinchona and the man
Who first invented calomel."

Yes, if the Pilgrims had landed upon the far Western prairies or the Southern savannas, they would never have made America; they would never have won a glory beyond that of Columbus, who only discovered America, whereas these men created it. [Applause.]

But not a place alone. New England is also a race; the race that plants colonies and makes nations; the race that carries everywhere a free press, a free pulpit, an open Bible, and that has almost learned to spell and parse its own language; the race which began the battle for civil and religious liberty in the time of Elizabeth, which fought the good fight at Edgehill, which, beside Concord Bridge, "fired the shot heard round the world," which made a continent secure for liberty at Appomattox. [Applause.][Pg 1201]

And New England is not alone a place and a race; it is as well an idea, or a congeries of ideas, so closely joined as properly to be called but one; and this idea is not the idea of force, but the force of ideas.

But, gentlemen, I am in danger of forgetting that a marked characteristic of New Englanders is an unwillingness to talk, and especially to talk about themselves. And I know that you are eager to listen to the illustrious men whom we have the honor to gather about our humble board this evening.


[Speech of Rev. Dr. Heman L. Wayland at the eighty-fourth annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 23, 1889. The President, Cornelius N. Bliss, proposed the query for Dr. Wayland, "Why are New Englanders Unpopular?" enforcing it with the following quotations: "Do you question me as an honest man should do for my simple true judgment?" [Much Ado About Nothing, Act I, Sc. I], and "Merit less solid less despite has bred: the man that makes a character makes foes" [Edward Young]. Turning to Dr. Wayland, Mr. Bliss said: "Our sister, the New England Society of Philadelphia, to-night sends us greeting in the person of her honored President, whom I have the pleasure of presenting to you." The eloquence of Dr. Wayland was loudly applauded; and Chauncey M. Depew declared that he had heard one of the best speeches to which he had ever listened at a New England dinner.]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—That I am here this evening is as complete a mystery to me as to you. I do not know why your Society, at whose annual meetings orators are as the sand upon the seashore for multitude, should call upon Philadelphia, a city in which the acme of eloquence is attained by a Friends' Yearly Meeting, "sitting under the canopy of silence." I can only suppose that you designed to relieve the insufferable brilliancy of your annual festival, that you wished to dilute the highly-flavored, richly-colored, full-bodied streams of the Croton with the pure, limpid, colorless (or, at any rate, only drab-colored) waters of the Schuylkill. [Laughter.]

My first and wiser impulse was to decline the invitation with which you honored me, or rather the Society of which[Pg 1202] I am the humblest member. But I considered the great debt we have been under to you for the loan of many of your most accomplished speakers: of Curtis, whose diction is chaste as the snows of his own New England, while his zeal for justice is as fervid as her July sun; of Depew, who, as I listen to him, makes me believe that the doctrine of transmigration is true, and that in a former day his soul occupied the body of one of the Puritan fathers, and that for some lapse he was compelled to spend a period of time in the body of a Hollander [laughter]; of Beaman,[9] one of the lights of your bar; of Evarts, who, whether as statesman or as orator, delights in making historic periods. And this year you have favored us with General Porter,[10] whom we have been trying to capture for our annual dinner, it seems to me, ever since the Mayflower entered Plymouth Bay.

We have condoled with these honored guests as they with tears have told us of their pitiful lot, have narrated to us how, when they might have been tilling the soil (or what passes for soil) of the New Hampshire hills, shearing their lambs, manipulating their shares (with the aid of plough-handles), and watering their stock at the nearest brook, and might have been on speaking acquaintance with the Ten Commandments and have indulged a hope of some day going to heaven, and possibly to Boston [laughter]—on the other hand, a hard fate has compelled them to be millionaires, living in palaces on Murray Hill, to confine their agricultural operations to the Swamp, and to eke out a precarious livelihood by buying what they do not want and selling what they have not got. [Laughter and applause.] Remembering this debt, I thought that it was at least due to you that, in recognition of your courtesy, I should come over and confess judgment, and put you out of suspense by telling you at once that the assets will not pay for the expenses of distribution. The best I can do is to make you a preferred creditor. [Laughter.] I have heard that an Israelite without guile, doing business down in Chatham Street, called his creditors together, and offered them in settlement his note for ten per cent, on their claims, payable in four months. His brother, one of the largest creditors, rather "kicked"; but the debtor took him aside and said, "Do not make any [Pg 1203]objections, and I will make you a preferred creditor." [Laughter and applause.] So the proposal was accepted by all. Presently, the preferred brother said, "Well, I should like what is coming to me." "Oh," was the reply, "you won't get anything; they won't any of them get anything." "But I thought I was a preferred creditor." "So you are. These notes will not be paid when they come due; but it will take them four months to find out that they are not going to get anything. But you know it now; you see you are preferred." [Renewed laughter.]

In casting about for a subject (in case I should unhappily be called on to occupy your attention for a moment), I had thought on offering a few observations upon Plymouth Rock; but I was deterred by a weird and lurid announcement which I saw in your papers, appearing in connection with the name of an eminent clothing dealer, which led me to apprehend that Plymouth Rock was getting tired. [Laughter.] The announcement read, "Plymouth Rock pants!" I presumed that Plymouth Rock was tired in advance, at the prospect of being trotted out once more, from the Old Colony down to New Orleans, thence to San Francisco, thence to the cities of the unsalted seas, and so on back to the point of departure. [Great laughter.] Upon fuller examination, I found that the legend read, "Plymouth Rock pants for $3." It seemed to me that, without solicitation on my part, there ought to be public spirit enough in this audience to make up this evening the modest sum which would put Plymouth Rock at ease. [Great laughter.]

As I look along this board, Mr. President, and gaze upon these faces radiant with honesty, with industry, with wisdom, with benevolence, with frugality, and, above all, with a contented and cheerful poverty, I am led to ask the question, suggested by the topic assigned me in the programme, "Why are we New Englanders so unpopular?" Why those phrases, always kept in stock by provincial orators and editors, "the mean Yankees," "the stingy Yankees," "the close-fisted Yankees," "the tin-peddling Yankees," and, above all, the terse and condensed collocation, "those d——d—those blessed Yankees," the blessing being comprised between two d's, as though conferred by a benevolent doctor of divinity. [Laughter.] I remember in the olden[Pg 1204] time, in the years beyond the flood, when the Presidential office was vacant and James Buchanan was drawing the salary, at a period before the recollection of any one present except myself, although possibly my esteemed friend, your secretary, Mr. Hubbard, may have heard his grandparents speak of it as a reminiscence of his youth, there was a poem going about, descriptive of the feelings of our brethren living between us and the Equator, running somewhat thus:

"'Neath the shade of the gum-tree the Southerner sat,
A-twisting the brim of his palmetto hat,
And trying to lighten his mind of a'load
By humming the words of the following ode:
'Oh! for a nigger, and oh! for a whip;
Oh! for a cocktail, and oh! for a nip;
Oh! for a shot at old Greeley and Beecher;
Oh! for a crack at a Yankee school-teacher.'
And so he kept oh-ing for all he had not,
Not contented with owing for all that he'd got."

Why does the world minify our intelligence by depreciating our favorite article of diet, and express the ultimate extreme of mental pauperism by saying of him on whose intellect they would heap contempt, "He doesn't know beans"? [Laughter.] And it is within my recollection that there was a time when it was proposed to reconstruct the Union of the States, with New England left out. Why, I repeat it, the intense unpopularity of New England?

For one thing, it seems to me, we are hated because of our virtues; we are ostracized because men are tired of hearing about "New England, the good." The virtues of New England seem to italicize the moral poverty of mankind at large. The fact that the very first act of our foremothers, even before the landing was made, two hundred and sixty-nine years ago, was to go on shore and do up the household linen, which had suffered from the voyage of ninety days, is a perpetual reproof to those nations among whom there is a great opening for soap, who have a great many saints' days, but no washing day. [Laughter and applause.] When men nowadays are disposed to steal a million acres from the Indians, it detracts from their enjoyment to read what Governor Josiah Winslow wrote in 1676: "I[Pg 1205] think I can clearly say that, before the present troubles broke out, the English did not possess one foot of land in this colony but what was fairly obtained by honest purchase of the Indian proprietors." When our fellow-citizens of other States look at their public buildings, every stone in which tells of unpaid loans; when they remember how they have scaled and scaled the unfortunate people who were guilty of the crime of having money to lend, until the creditors might be considered obnoxious to the Mosaic law, which looked with disfavor upon scaleless fish, it is naturally aggravating to them to remember that, at the close of King Philip's war, Plymouth Colony was owing a debt more than equal to the personal property of the colony, and that the debt was paid to the last cent [applause]; to remember the time, not very far gone by, when the Bay State paid the interest on her bonds in gold, though it cost her two hundred and seventy-six cents on every dollar to do it, and when it was proposed to commend the bonds of the United States to the bankers of the world by placing upon them the indorsement of Massachusetts [applause]; to remember that never has New England learned to articulate the letters that spell the word "Repudiation." [Great applause.]

To those members of the human family who are disposed to entertain too high an estimate of themselves there is something aggravating in the extreme humility and sensitive self-depreciation of the real New Englander.

And the virtues of New England are all the more offensive because they are exhibited in such a way as to take from her enemies the comfort that grows out of a grievance. Said a Chicago wife, "It is real mean for Charlie to be so good to me; I want to get a divorce and go on the stage; but he is so kind I cannot help loving him, and that is what makes me hate him so." When there comes the news that some far-off region is desolated by fire, or flood, or tempest, or pestilence, the first thing is a meeting in the metropolis of New England, and the dispatching of food and funds and physicians and nurses; and the relieved sufferers are compelled to murmur, "Oh, dear, it is too bad! We want to hate them, and they won't let us." [Applause.]

One can manage to put up with goodness, however, if it is not too obtrusive. The honored daughter of Connecticut,[Pg 1206] the author of "Uncle Tom" and "Dred," now in the peaceful evening of her days,[11] has said, "What is called goodness is often only want of force." A good man, according to the popular idea, is a man who doesn't get in anybody's way. But the restless New Englanders not only have virtues, but they have convictions which are perpetually asserting themselves in the most embarrassing manner. [Applause.] I pass over the time, two centuries ago, when Cromwell and Hampden, those New Englanders who have never seen New England, made themselves exceedingly offensive to Charles I, and gave him at last a practical lesson touching the continuity of the spinal column.

Later, when our fellow-citizens desired to "wallop their own niggers," and to carry the patriarchal institution wherever the American flag went, they were naturally irritated at hearing that there was a handful of meddling fanatics down in Essex County who, in their misguided and malevolent ingenuity, had invented what they called liberty and human rights. [Applause.] Presently, when it was proposed (under the inspiration of a man recently deceased, who will stand in history as a monument to the clemency and magnanimity of a great and free people) to break up the Union in order to insure the perpetuity of slavery, then a man, plain of speech, rude of garb[12] descended from the Lincolns of Hingham, in Plymouth County, sounded a rally for Union and freedom [tremendous applause]; and, hark! there is the tramp, tramp of the fishermen from Marblehead; there are the Connecticut boys from old Litchfield; and there is the First Rhode Island; and there are the sailors from Casco Bay; and the farmers' sons from old Coos, and from along the Onion River, their hearts beating with the enthusiasm of liberty, while their steps keep pace with the drum-beat that salutes the national flag. [Applause.] And, see! is that a thunder-cloud in the North? No, it is the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, made up of American citizens of African descent, officered by the best blood of Suffolk, and at their head Robert G. Shaw, going down to die in the trenches before Fort Wagner. And there is the man whom a kindly Providence yet spares to us, descended from the [Pg 1207]Shermans of Connecticut, preparing for the march that is to cleave the Confederacy in twain. [Cheers for General Sherman.] And there is the silent man, eight generations removed from Matthew Grant (who landed at Dorchester in 1630), destined to make the continent secure for liberty and to inaugurate the New South, dating from Appomattox, with traditions of freedom, teeming with a prosperity rivalling that of New England, a prosperity begotten of the marriage of labor and intelligence. [Continued applause.]

In times somewhat more recent, when a political campaign was under full headway, and when politicians were husbanding truth with their wonted frugality and dispensing fiction with their habitual lavishness, there sprung up a man removed by only two generations from the Lows of Salem, who, in the resources of a mind capable of such things, devised what he was pleased to call "Sunday-school politics"; who has had the further hardihood to be made president of the college which is the glory of your metropolis, designing, no doubt, to infuse into the mind of the tender youth of the New Amsterdam his baleful idea, which, so far as I can make out, has as its essence the conduct of political affairs on the basis of the Decalogue.

The campaign over, when the victors are rolling up their sleeves and are preparing to dispense the spoils according to the hunger and thirst of their retainers, to their amazed horror there is heard the voice of a native of Rhode Island, who has conceived a scheme almost too monstrous for mention, which he designates "Civil Service Reform," and who with characteristic effrontery has got up a society, of which he is president, for the purpose of diffusing his blood-curdling sentiments. Do we need to look further for a reply to the question, "Why are the New Englanders unpopular?" Almost any man is unpopular who goes around with his pockets full of moral dynamite. [Applause.]

But perhaps I have not yet reached the most essential cause of the odium. Men will forgive a man almost anything if he only fails; but we, alas! have committed the crime of success. [Laughter and applause.] It makes people angry when they see New England prospering, influential, the banker of the country, leading public sentiment, shaping legislation. Men would not mind so much if this[Pg 1208] success were attained by a happy accident, or were the result of a favoring fortune; but it is aggravating to see the New Englanders, to whom Providence has given nothing but rocks and ice and weather—a great deal of it—and a thermometer [laughter], yet mining gold in Colorado, chasing the walrus off the Aleutian Islands, building railroads in Dakota, and covering half the continent with insurance, and underlying it with a mortgage. Success is the one unpardonable crime. [Renewed laughter and applause.]

It is true, when a man has so far acknowledged his participation in the common frailty as to die, then men begin to condone his faults; and by the time he is dead one or two hundred years they find him quite tolerable. An eminent ecclesiastic in the Anglican Church recently pronounced the greatest of the Puritans, Oliver Cromwell, "the most righteous ruler England ever had." A man who is dead is out of the way. We live in the home which he built, and are not disturbed by the chips and sawdust and noise, and perhaps the casualties and mistakes, which attended its building. I will offer a definition (without charge) to the editors of the magnificent "Century Dictionary": "Saint—a man with convictions, who has been dead a hundred years; canonized now, cannonaded then." [Laughter and applause.]

We are building monuments now to the Abolitionists. It is quite possible that when a hundred winters shall have shed their snows upon the lonely grave at North Elba, the Old Dominion will take pride in the fact that she for a little while gave a home to the latest—I trust not the last—of the Puritans; and the traveller, in 1959, as he goes through Harper's Ferry, may see upon the site of the old engine-house, looking out upon the regenerate Commonwealth, cunningly graven in bronze, copied perhaps from the bust in your own Union League, the undaunted features of John Brown. [Applause.] And the South that is to be, standing uncovered beside the grave of the Union soldier, will say: "It was for us, too, that he died," and will render beside the tomb in the capital city of Illinois a reverence akin to that which she pays amid the shades of Mount Vernon. [Great applause.]

The Czar of to-day honors the memory of John Howard[Pg 1209] (who died a hundred years ago next January), and offers 15,000 roubles for an essay on his life; but when George Kennan, following in the steps of Howard, draws back the curtain and shows the shuddering horrors in the prisons of Siberia, the Czar would willingly offer much more than 15,000 roubles for a successful essay upon his life. John Howard sleeps in innocuous silence at Kherson; George Kennan speaks through the everywhere-present press to the court of last appeal, the civilized world. [Applause.]

There was not much money, there was not much popularity then, in being a Puritan, in being a Pilgrim; there is not much profit, there is not much applause, in being to-day a son of the Puritans, in standing as they did for great ideas and convictions, for liberty and righteousness, in holding the same relation to our age that they held to theirs. But let us be satisfied if, through unpopularity and loneliness and obloquy, we shall have done our duty as they did theirs, and let us hope that when another hundred years have passed, and when the ideal of to-day has become the commonplace of to-morrow, another generation may write over your grave and mine, "A Son of the Puritans."[Pg 1210]



[Speech of Daniel Webster at the dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 23, 1850. The early published form of this address is very rare. It bears the following title-page: "Speech of Mr. Webster at the Celebration of the New York New England Society, December 23, 1850. Washington: printed by Gideon & Co., 1851." The presiding officer of the celebration, Moses H. Grinnell, asked attention of the company to a toast not on the catalogue. He gave, "The Constitution and the Union, and their Chief Defender." This sentiment was received with great applause, which became most tumultuous when Mr. Webster rose to respond.]

Mr. President, and Gentlemen of the New York New England Society:—Ye sons of New England! Ye brethren of the kindred tie! I have come hither to-night, not without some inconvenience, that I might behold a congregation whose faces bear lineaments of a New England origin, and whose hearts beat with full New England pulsations. [Cheers.] I willingly make the sacrifice. I am here, to meet this assembly of the great off-shoot of the Pilgrim Society of Massachusetts, the Pilgrim Society of New York. And, gentlemen, I shall begin what I have to say, which is but little, by tendering to you my thanks for the invitation extended to me, and by wishing you, one and all, every kind of happiness and prosperity.

Gentlemen, this has been a stormy, a cold, a boisterous and inclement day. The winds have been harsh, the skies have been severe; and if we had no houses over our heads; if we had no shelter against this howling and freezing tempest; if we were wan and worn out; if half of us were sick and tired, and ready to descend into the grave; if we were on the bleak coast of Plymouth, houseless, homeless, with nothing over our heads but the Heavens, and that God who sits above the Heavens; if we had distressed wives on [Pg 1211]our arms, and hungry and shivering children clinging to our skirts, we should see something, and feel something, of that scene, which, in the providence of God, was enacted at Plymouth on December 22, 1620.



Photogravure after a photograph

The corner-stone of the National Monument to the Forefathers at Plymouth, Mass., was laid August 2, 1859. The monument was completed in October, 1888, and dedicated with appropriate ceremonies, August 1, 1889. It is built entirely of granite. The plan of the principal pedestal is octagonal, with four small, and four large faces; from the small faces project four buttresses. On the main pedestal stands the heroic figure of Faith, said to be the largest and finest piece of granite statuary in the world. The sculptor was Joseph Archie, a Spaniard. Upon the four buttresses are seated figures emblematical of the principles upon which the Pilgrims founded their Commonwealth—Morality, Education, Law, and Freedom. Each was wrought from a solid block of granite. On the face of the buttresses, beneath these figures are alto-reliefs in marble, representing scenes from Pilgrim history. Upon the four faces of the main pedestal are large panels for records. The right and left panels contain the names of those who came over in the Mayflower. The rear panel is plain, being reserved for an inscription at some future day. The front panel is inscribed as follows: "National Monument to the Forefathers. Erected by a grateful people in remembrance of their labors, sacrifices and sufferings for the cause of civil and religious liberty."

Thanks to Almighty God, who from that distressed, early condition of our fathers, has raised us to a height of prosperity and of happiness, which they neither enjoyed, nor could have anticipated! We have learned much of them; they could have foreseen little of us. Would to God, my friends, would to God, that when we carry our affections and our recollections back to that period, we could arm ourselves with something of the stern virtues which supported them, in that hour of peril, and exposure, and suffering. Would to God that we possessed that unconquerable resolution, stronger than bars of brass or iron, which nerved their hearts; that patience, "sovereign o'er transmuted ill," and, above all, that faith, that religious faith, which, with eyes fast fixed upon Heaven, tramples all things earthly beneath her triumphant feet! [Applause.]

Gentlemen, the scenes of this world change. What our ancestors saw and felt, we shall not see nor feel. What they achieved, it is denied to us even to attempt. The severer duties of life, requiring the exercise of the stern and unbending virtues, were theirs. They were called upon for the exhibition of those austere qualities, which, before they came to the Western wilderness, had made them what they were. Things have changed. In the progress of society, the fashions, the habits of life, and all its conditions, have changed. Their rigid sentiments, and their tenets, apparently harsh and exclusive, we are not called on, in every respect, to imitate or commend; or rather to imitate, for we should commend them always, when we consider that state of society in which they had been adopted, and in which they seemed necessary. Our fathers had that religious sentiment, that trust in Providence, that determination to do right, and to seek, through every degree of toil and suffering, the honor of God, and the preservation of their liberties, which we shall do well to cherish, to imitate, and to equal, so far as God may enable us. It may be true, and it is true, that in the progress of society the milder virtues have come to belong more especially to our day and our[Pg 1212] condition. The Pilgrims had been great sufferers from intolerance; it was not unnatural that their own faith and practice, as a consequence, should become somewhat intolerant. This is the common infirmity of human nature. Man retaliates on man. It is to be hoped, however, that the greater spread of the benignant principles of religion, and of the divine charity of Christianity, has, to some extent, improved the sentiments which prevailed in the world at that time. No doubt the "first comers," as they were called, were attached to their own forms of public worship and to their own particular and strongly cherished religious sentiments. No doubt they esteemed those sentiments, and the observances which they practised, to be absolutely binding on all, by the authority of the word of God. It is true, I think, in the general advancement of human intelligence, that we find what they do not seem to have found, that a greater toleration of religious opinion, a more friendly feeling toward all who profess reverence for God, and obedience to His commands, is not inconsistent with the great and fundamental principles of religion—I might rather say is, itself, one of those fundamental principles. So we see in our day, I think, without any departure from the essential principles of our fathers, a more enlarged and comprehensive Christian philanthropy. It seems to be the American destiny, the mission which God has intrusted to us here on this shore of the Atlantic, the great conception and the great duty to which we are born, to show that all sects, and all denominations, professing reverence for the authority of the Author of our being, and belief in His Revelations, may be safely tolerated without prejudice either to our religion or to our liberties. [Cheers.]

We are Protestants, generally speaking; but you all know that there presides at the head of the Supreme Judicature of the United States a Roman Catholic; and no man, I suppose, through the whole United States, imagines that the judicature of the country is less safe, that the administration of public justice is less respectable or less secure, because the Chief Justice of the United States has been, and is, an ardent adherent to that religion. And so it is in every department of society amongst us. In both Houses of Congress, in all public offices, and all public affairs, we proceed[Pg 1213] on the idea that a man's religious belief is a matter above human law; that it is a question to be settled between him and his Maker, because he is responsible to none but his Maker for adopting or rejecting revealed truth. And here is the great distinction which is sometimes overlooked, and which I am afraid is now too often overlooked, in this land, the glorious inheritance of the sons of the Pilgrims. Men, for their religious sentiments, are accountable to God, and to God only. Religion is both a communication and a tie between man and his Maker; and to his own master every man standeth or falleth. But when men come together in society, establish social relations, and form governments for the protection of the rights of all, then it is indispensable that this right of private judgment should in some measure be relinquished and made subservient to the judgment of the whole. Religion may exist while every man is left responsible only to God. Society, civil rule, the civil state, cannot exist, while every man is responsible to nobody and to nothing but to his own opinion. And our New England ancestors understood all this quite well. Gentlemen, there is the "Constitution" which was adopted on board the Mayflower in November, 1620, while that bark of immortal memory was riding at anchor in the harbor of Cape Cod. What is it? Its authors honored God; they professed to obey all His commandments, and to live ever and in all things in His obedience. But they say, nevertheless, that for the establishment of a civil polity, for the greater security and preservation of their civil rights and liberties, they agree that the laws and ordinances, and I am glad they put in the word "constitutions," invoking the name of the Deity on their resolution; they say, that these laws and ordinances, and constitutions, which may be established by those they should appoint to enact them, they, in all due submission and obedience, will support.

This constitution is not long. I will read it. It invokes a religious sanction and the authority of God on their civil obligations; for it was no doctrine of theirs that civil obedience was a mere matter of expediency. Here it is:

"In the name of God, Amen: We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, and De[Pg 1214]fender of the Faith, etc., having undertaken, for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our King and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the heathen parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God and of one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation, and furtherance of the ends aforesaid, and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience."

The right of private judgment in matters between the Creator and himself, and submission and obedience to the will of the whole, upon whatsoever respects civil polity and the administration of such affairs as concerned the colony about to be established, they regarded as entirely consistent; and the common sense of mankind, lettered and unlettered, everywhere establishes and confirms this sentiment. Indeed, all must see, that it is the very ligament, the very tie, which connects man to man, in the social system; and these sentiments are embodied in that constitution. Gentlemen, discourse on this topic might be enlarged, but I pass from it.

Gentlemen, we are now two hundred and thirty years from that great event. There is the Mayflower [pointing to a small figure of a ship, in the form of confectionery, that stood before him]. There is a little resemblance, but a correct one, of the Mayflower. Sons of New England! there was in ancient times a ship that carried Jason to the acquisition of the Golden Fleece. There was a flag-ship at the battle of Actium which made Augustus Cæsar master of the world. In modern times, there have been flag-ships which have carried Hawkes, and Howe, and Nelson on the other continent, and Hull, and Decatur, and Stewart, on this, to triumph. What are they all; what are they all, in the chance of remembrance among men, to that little bark, the Mayflower, which reached these shores on December 22, 1620. Yes, brethren of New England, yes! that Mayflower was a flower destined to be of perpetual bloom! [Cheers.] Its verdure will stand the sultry blasts of summer, and the chilling winds of autumn. It will defy winter; it will defy all climate, and all time, and will continue to spread its petals[Pg 1215] to the world, and to exhale an ever-living odor and fragrance to the last syllable of recorded time. [Cheers.]

Gentlemen, brethren, ye of New England! whom I have come some hundreds of miles to meet this night, let me present to you one of the most distinguished of those personages who came hither on the deck of the Mayflower. Let me fancy that I now see Elder William Brewster entering the door at the further end of this hall. A tall and erect figure, of plain dress, of no elegance of manner beyond a respectful bow, mild and cheerful, but of no merriment that reaches beyond a smile. Let me suppose that his image stood now before us, or that it was looking in upon this assembly.

"Are ye, are ye," he would say, with a voice of exultation, and yet softened with melancholy, "Are ye our children? Does this scene of refinement, of elegance, of riches, of luxury, does all this come from our labors? Is this magnificent city, the like of which we never saw nor heard of on either continent, is this but an offshoot from Plymouth Rock?

"'... Quis jam locus ...
Quæ regio in terris nostri non plena laboris?'

"Is this one part of the great reward, for which my brethren and myself endured lives of toil and of hardship? We had faith and hope. God granted us the spirit to look forward, and we did look forward. But this scene we never anticipated. Our hopes were on another life. Of earthly gratifications we tasted little; for human honors we had little expectation. Our bones lie on the hill in Plymouth churchyard, obscure, unmarked, secreted to preserve our graves from the knowledge of savage foes. No stone tells where we lie. And yet, let me say to you, who are our descendants, who possess this glorious country, and all it contains, who enjoy this hour of prosperity, and the thousand blessings showered upon it by the God of your fathers, we envy you not; we reproach you not. Be rich, be prosperous, be enlightened. Live in pleasure, if such be your allotment on earth; but live, also, always to God and to duty. Spread yourselves and your children over the continent; accomplish the whole of your great destiny; and if so be, that[Pg 1216] through the whole you carry Puritan hearts with you; if you still cherish an undying love of civil and religious liberty, and mean to enjoy them yourselves, and are willing to shed your heart's blood to transmit them to your posterity, then are you worthy descendants of Carver and Allerton and Bradford, and the rest of those who landed from stormy seas on the rock of Plymouth." [Loud and prolonged cheers.]

Gentlemen, that little vessel, on December 22, 1620, made her safe landing on the shore of Plymouth. She had been tossed on a tempestuous ocean; she approached the New England coast under circumstances of great distress and trouble; yet amidst all the disasters of her voyage, she accomplished her end, and she placed the feet of a hundred precious souls on the shore of the New World.

Gentlemen, let her be considered this night as an emblem of New England, as New England now is. New England is a ship, stanch, strong, well-built, and particularly well-manned. She may be occasionally thrown into the trough of the sea, by the violence of winds and waves, and may wallow there for a time; but, depend upon it, she will right herself. She will, ere long, come round to the wind, and will obey her helm. [Cheers and applause.]

We have hardly begun, my brethren, to realize the vast importance, on human society, and on the history and happiness of the world, of the voyage of that little vessel which brought the love of civil and religious liberty hither, and the Bible, the Word of God, for the instruction of the future generations of men. We have hardly begun to realize the consequences of that voyage. Heretofore the extension of our race, following our New England ancestry, has crept along the shore. But now the race has extended. It has crossed the continent. It has not only transcended the Alleghany, but has capped the Rocky Mountains. It is now upon the shores of the Pacific; and on this day, or if not on this day, then this day twelvemonth, descendants of New England will there celebrate the landing—[A Voice: "To-day; they celebrate to-day."]

God bless them! Here's to the health and success of the California Society of Pilgrims assembled on the shores of the Pacific. [Prolonged applause.] And it shall yet go[Pg 1217] hard, if the three hundred millions of people of China—if they are intelligent enough to understand anything—shall not one day hear and know something of the Rock of Plymouth too! [Laughter and cheers.]

But, gentlemen, I am trespassing too long on your time. [Cries of "No, no! Go on!"] I am taking too much of what belongs to others. My voice is neither a new voice, nor is it the voice of a young man. It has been heard before in this place, and the most that I have thought or felt concerning New England history and New England principles, has been before, in the course of my life, said here or elsewhere.

Your sentiment, Mr. President, which called me up before this meeting, is of a larger and more comprehensive nature. It speaks of the Constitution under which we live; of the Union, which for sixty years has been over us, and made us associates, fellow-citizens of those who settled at Yorktown and the mouth of the Mississippi and their descendants, and now, at last, of those who have come from all corners of the earth and assembled in California. I confess I have had my doubts whether the republican system under which we live could be so vastly extended without danger of dissolution. Thus far, I willingly admit, my apprehensions have not been realized. The distance is immense; the intervening country is vast. But the principle on which our Government is established, the representative system, seems to be indefinitely expansive; and wherever it does extend, it seems to create a strong attachment to the Union and the Constitution that protects it. I believe California and New Mexico have had new life inspired into all their people. They consider themselves subjects of a new being, a new creation, a new existence. They are not the men they thought themselves to be, now that they find they are members of this great Government, and hailed as citizens of the United States of America. I hope, in the providence of God, as this system of States and representative governments shall extend, that it will be strengthened. In some respects the tendency is to strengthen it. Local agitations will disturb it less. If there has been on the Atlantic coast, somewhere south of the Potomac—and I will not define further where it is—if there has been dissatisfaction, that dissatisfaction[Pg 1218] has not been felt in California; it has not been felt that side the Rocky Mountains. It is a localism, and I am one of those who believe that our system of government is not to be destroyed by localisms, North or South! [Cheers.] No; we have our private opinions, State prejudices, local ideas; but over all, submerging all, drowning all, is that great sentiment, that always, and nevertheless, we are all Americans. It is as Americans that we are known, the whole world over. Who asks what State you are from, in Europe, or in Africa, or in Asia? Is he an American—is he of us? Does he belong to the flag of the country? Does that flag protect him? Does he rest under the eagle and the Stars and Stripes? If he does, if he is, all else is subordinate and worthy of little concern. [Cheers.]

Now it is our duty, while we live on the earth, to cherish this sentiment, to make it prevail over the whole country, even if that country should spread over the whole continent. It is our duty to carry English principles—I mean, sir [said Mr. Webster turning to Sir Henry Bulwer], Anglo-Saxon American principles, over the whole continent—the great principles of Magna Charta, of the English revolution, and especially of the American Revolution, and of the English language. Our children will hear Shakespeare and Milton recited on the shores of the Pacific. Nay, before that, American ideas, which are essentially and originally English ideas, will penetrate the Mexican—the Spanish mind; and Mexicans and Spaniards will thank God that they have been brought to know something of civil liberty, of the trial by jury, and of security for personal rights.

As for the rest, let us take courage. The day-spring from on high has visited us; the country has been called back, to conscience and to duty. There is no longer imminent danger of dissolution in these United States. [Loud and repeated cheers.] We shall live, and not die. We shall live as united Americans; and those who have supposed that they could sever us, that they could rend one American heart from another, and that speculation and hypothesis, that secession and metaphysics, could tear us asunder, will find themselves dreadfully mistaken. [Cheers.]

Let the mind of the sober American people remain sober. Let it not inflame itself. Let it do justice to all. And the[Pg 1219] truest course, and the surest course, to disappoint those who meditate disunion, is just to leave them to themselves, and see what they can make of it. No, gentlemen; the time for meditated secession is past. Americans, North and South, will be hereafter more and more united. There is a sternness and severity in the public mind lately aroused. I believe that, North and South, there has been, in the last year, a renovation of public sentiment, an animated revival of the spirit of Union, and, more than all, of attachment to the Constitution, regarding it as indispensably necessary; and if we would preserve our nationality, it is indispensable that the spirit of devotion should be still more largely increased. And who doubts it? If we give up that Constitution, what are we? You are a Manhattan man; I am a Boston man. Another is a Connecticut, and another a Rhode Island man. Is it not a great deal better, standing hand to hand, and clasping hands, that we should remain as we have been for sixty years—citizens of the same country, members of the same Government, united all—united now and united forever? That we shall be, gentlemen. There have been difficulties, contentions, controversies—angry controversies; but I tell you that, in my judgment,—

"those opposed eyes,
Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
All of one nature, of one substance bred,
Did lately meet in th' intestine shock,
Shall now, in mutual well-beseeming ranks,
March all one way."

[Mr. Webster, on closing, was greeted with the most hearty, prolonged, and tumultuous applause.][Pg 1220]



[Speech of Joseph Wheeler prepared for the tenth annual banquet of the Confederate Veteran Camp of New York, New York City, January 19, 1898. Edward Owen, Commander of the Camp, presided. As General Wheeler was ill and unable to attend the banquet, his speech was read by J. E. Graybill.]

History has many heroes whose martial renown has fired the world, whose daring and wonderful exploits have altered the boundaries of nations and changed the very face of the earth. To say nothing of the warriors of biblical history and Homeric verse, as the ages march along every great nation leaves us the glorious memory of some unique character, such as Alexander, Hannibal, Cæsar. Even the wild hordes of northern Europe and the barbaric nations of the East had their grand military leaders whose names will ever live on history's pages, to be eclipsed only by that of Napoleon, the man of destiny, who, as a military genius, stands alone and unrivalled: "Grand, gloomy, peculiar, he sat upon the throne, a sceptred hermit, wrapped in the solitude of his awful originality."

The mediæval ages gave us noble examples of devotedness and chivalry; but it belonged to the American Republic, founded and defended by Freedom's sons, to give to the world the noblest type of warrior; men in whom martial renown went hand in hand with the noblest of virtues, men who united in their own characters the highest military genius with the loftiest patriotism, the most daring courage with the gentlest courtesy, the most obstinate endurance with the utmost self-sacrifice, the genius of a Cæsar with the courage and purity of a Bayard.[Pg 1221]

Patriotism and love of liberty, the most ennobling motives that can fire the heart of man, expanding and thriving in the atmosphere of free America, added a refining touch to the martial enthusiasm of our forefathers and elevated the character of the American soldier to a standard never attained by fighting men of any other age or nation.

To recall their names and recount their deeds would lead me far beyond the time and space allotted. Volumes would never do justice to the valorous achievements of George Washington and his compeers, the boys of '76—of the heroes of 1812 and of 1848; of the men in blue who fought under Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Thomas, and Farragut; of the men in gray who followed the lead of Johnston, Jackson, and Lee from 1861 to 1865; of the intrepid band that sailed with Dewey into Manila Bay, or of the small but heroic army of 1898 that fought at Las Guasimas, El Caney, and San Juan, and left the Stars and Stripes floating in triumph over the last stronghold of Spain in the New World.

But above the grand heroic names immortalized by historian and poet shines with an undimmed lustre, all its own, the immortal name of Robert Edmund Lee.—

"Ah, Muse! You dare not claim
A nobler man than he—
Nor nobler man hath less of blame,
Nor blameless man hath purer name,
Nor purer name hath grander fame,
Nor fame—another Lee."

The late Benjamin H. Hill, of Georgia, in an address delivered at the time of General Lee's death, thus beautifully describes his character: "He was a foe without hate; a friend without treachery; a soldier without cruelty; a victor without oppression, and a victim without murmuring. He was a public officer without vices; a private citizen without wrong; a neighbor without reproach; a Christian without hypocrisy, and a man without guile. He was Cæsar without his ambition; Frederick without his tyranny; Napoleon without his selfishness, and Washington without his reward. He was as obedient to authority as a servant, and royal in authority as a true king. He was gentle as a woman in life, and modest and pure as a virgin in thought; watch[Pg 1222]ful as a Roman vestal in duty; submissive to law as Socrates, and grand in battle as Achilles!"

Forty-four years ago last June, I found myself in the presence of Colonel Lee, who was then Superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point. I have never in all my life seen another form or face which so impressed me, as embodying dignity, modesty, kindness, and all the characteristics which indicate purity and nobility. While he was then only a captain and brevet-colonel, he was so highly regarded by the Army that it was generally conceded that he was the proper officer to succeed General Scott.

His wonderful career as leader of the Army of Northern Virginia, as its commander, is so familiar to all of you that any comment would seem to be unnecessary. But to give some of the younger generation an idea of the magnitude of the struggle in which General Lee was the central and leading figure, I will call attention to the fact that in the battles of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania (which really should be called one battle), the killed and wounded in General Grant's army by the army under General Lee, was far greater than the aggregate killed and wounded in all the battles of all the wars fought by the English-speaking people on this continent since the discovery of America by Columbus.

To be more explicit: take the killed and wounded in all the battles of the French and Indian War, take the aggregate killed and wounded in the Revolutionary War, take the aggregate killed and wounded in the War of 1812, take the aggregate killed and wounded in the Mexican War, take the aggregate killed and wounded in all our wars with the Indians, and they amount to less than the killed and wounded in Grant's army in the struggle from the Wilderness to Spottsylvania.

In order further to appreciate the magnitude of the struggle, let us make a comparison between the losses in some of the great battles of our Civil War, and those of some of the most famous battles of modern Europe. The official reports give the following as the losses in killed and wounded of the Federal Army in seven, out of nearly a thousand severely contested struggles during the four years' of war: Seven Days fight, 9,291; Antietam, 11,426; Murfreesboro,[Pg 1223] 8,778; Gettysburg, 16,426; Chickamauga, 10,906; Wilderness and Spottsylvania, 24,481.

In the Battle of Marengo, the French lost in killed and wounded, 4,700, the Austrians, 6,475. In the Battle of Hohenlinden, the French loss in killed and wounded was 2,200, the Austrian loss was 5,000; at Austerlitz the French loss was 9,000; at Waterloo, Wellington lost 9,061 in killed and wounded, Blucher lost 5,613, making the total loss of the Allies, 14,674.

I mention these facts because such sanguinary conflicts as those of our Civil War could only have occurred when the soldiers of both contending armies were men of superb determination and courage. Such unquestioned prowess as this should be gratifying to all Americans, showing to the world as they did that the intrepid fortitude and courage of Americans have excelled that of any other people upon the earth. And as the world will extol the exhibition of these qualities by the soldiers that fought under Grant, the historian will find words inadequate to express his admiration of the superb heroism of the soldiers led by the intrepid Lee. Meeting a thoroughly organized, and trebly equipped and appointed army, they successfully grappled in deadly conflict with these tremendous odds, while civilization viewed with amazement this climax of unparalleled and unequal chivalry, surpassing in grandeur of action anything heretofore portrayed either in story or in song. Whence came these qualities? They were the product of Southern chivalry, which two centuries had finally perfected. A chivalry which esteemed stainless honor as a priceless gem, and a knighthood which sought combat for honor's sake, generously yielding to an antagonist all possible advantage; the chivalry which taught Southern youth to esteem life as nothing when honor was at stake, a chivalry which taught that the highest, noblest, and most exalted privilege of man was the defence of woman, family, and country. It was this Southern chivalry that formed such men as Lee and Stonewall Jackson; they were the central leading figures, but they were only prototypes of the soldiers whom they led.

It is this character of men who meet in banquet to-night to honor the name they revere and the noble life they seek to emulate. I say, God bless you all, the whole world[Pg 1224] breathes blessings upon you. Among the foremost in these sentiments are the brave soldiers against whom you were once arrayed in battle, and they, together with seventy million Americans know that in future perils to our country, you and your children will be foremost in the battle-line of duty, proud of the privilege of defending the glory, honor, and prestige of our country, presenting under the folds of our national ensign an unbroken phalanx of united hearts—an impregnable bulwark of defence against any power that may arise against us.[Pg 1225]



[Speech of Edwin P. Whipple 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. Whipple responded to the toast, "The Press."]

Mr. Mayor:—One cannot attempt to respond here for the Press, without being reminded that the Press and the Chinese Embassy have been on singularly good terms from the start. To record the progress, applaud the object, extend the influence, and cordially eulogize the members of that Embassy, have been for months no inconsiderable part of the business of all newspapers; and if China anticipated us, by some five hundred years, in the invention of printing, our Chinese guests will still admit that, in the minute account we have given both of what they have, and of what they have not, said and done, since they arrived in the country, we have carried the invention to a perfection of which they never dreamed—having not only invented printing, but invented a great deal of what we print.

But, apart from the rich material they have furnished the press in the way of news, there is something strangely alluring and inspiring to the editorial imagination in the comprehensive purpose which has prompted their mission to the civilized nations of the West. That purpose is doubly peaceful, for it includes a two-fold commerce of material products and of immaterial ideas. Probably the vastest conception which ever entered into the mind of a conqueror was that which was profoundly meditated, and, in its initial[Pg 1226] steps, practically carried out, by Alexander the Great. He was engaged in a clearly defined project of assimilating the populations of Europe and Asia, when, at the early age of thirty-three, he was killed—I tremble to state it here—by a too eager indulgence in an altogether too munificent public dinner! Alexander's weapon was force, but it was at least the force of genius, and it was exerted in the service of a magnificent idea. His successors in modern times have but too often availed themselves of force divested of all ideas, except the idea of bullying or outwitting the Asiatics in a trade.

As to China, this conduct aroused an insurrection of Chinese conceit against European conceit. The Chinese were guilty of the offence of calling the representatives of the proudest and most supercilious of all civilizations, "outside barbarians"; illustrating in this that too common conservative weakness of human nature, of holding fixedly to an opinion long after the facts which justified it have changed or passed away. It certainly cannot be questioned that at a period which, when compared with the long date of Chinese annals, may be called recent, we were outside barbarians as contrasted with that highly civilized and ingenious people. At the time when our European ancestors were squalid, swinish, wolfish savages, digging with their hands into the earth for roots to allay the pangs of hunger, without arts, letters, or written speech, China rejoiced in an old, refined, complicated civilization; was rich, populous, enlightened, cultivated, humane; was fertile in savants, poets, moralists, metaphysicians, saints; had invented printing, gunpowder, the mariner's compass, the Sage's Rule of Life; had, in one of her three State religions—that of Confucius—presented a code of morals never become obsolete; and had, in another of her State religions—that of Buddha—solemnly professed her allegiance to that equality of men, which Buddha taught twenty-four hundred years before our Jefferson was born, and had at the same time vigorously grappled with that problem of existence which our Emerson finds as insolvable now as it was then.

Well, sir, after all this had relatively changed, after the Western nations had made their marvellous advances in civilization, they were too apt to exhibit to China only their[Pg 1227] barbaric side—that is, their ravenous cupidity backed by their insolent strength. We judge, for example, of England by the poetry of Shakespeare, the science of Newton, the ethics of Butler, the religion of Taylor, the philanthropy of Wilberforce; but what poetry, science, ethics, religion, or philanthropy was she accustomed to show in her intercourse with China? Did not John Bull, in his rough methods with the Celestial Empire, sometimes literally act "like a bull in a China shop"? You remember, sir, that "intelligent contraband" who, when asked his opinion of an offending white brother, delicately hinted his distrust by replying: "Sar, if I was a chicken, and that man was about, I should take care to roost high." Well, all that we can say of China is, that for a long time she "roosted high"—withdrew suspiciously into her own civilization to escape the rough contact with the harsher side of ours.

But, by a sudden inspiration of almost miraculous confidence, springing from a faith in the nobler qualities of our Caucasian civilization, she has changed her policy. She has learned that in the language, and on the lips, and in the hearts of most members of the English race, there is such a word as equity, and at the magic of that word she has nearly emerged from her isolation. And, sir, what we see here to-day reminds me that, some thirty years ago, Boston confined one of her citizens in a lunatic asylum, for the offence of being possessed by a too intensified Boston "notion." He had discovered a new and expeditious way of getting to China. "All agree," he said, "that the earth revolves daily on its own axis. If you desire," he therefore contended, "to go to China, all you have to do is to go up in a balloon, wait till China comes round, then let off the gas, and drop softly down." Now I will put it to you, Mr. Mayor, if you are not bound to release that philosopher from confinement, for has not his conception been realized?—has not China, to-day, unmistakably come round to us?

And now, sir, a word as to the distinguished gentleman at the head of the Embassy—a gentleman specially dear to the Press. Judging from the eagerness with which the position is sought, I am led to believe that the loftiest compliment which can be paid to a human being is, that he has once represented Boston in the National House of Repre[Pg 1228]sentatives. After such a distinction as that, all other distinctions, however great, must still show a sensible decline from political grace. But I trust that you will all admit, that next to the honor of representing Boston in the House of Representatives comes the honor of representing the vast Empire of China in "The Parliament of Man, the Federation of the World." Having enjoyed both distinctions, Mr. Burlingame may be better qualified than we are to discriminate between the exultant feelings which each is calculated to excite in the human breast. But we must remember that the population, all brought up on a system of universal education, of the Empire he represents, is greater than the combined population of all the nations to which he is accredited. Most Bostonians have, or think they have, a "mission"; but certainly no other Bostonian ever had such a "mission" as he; for it extends all round the planet, makes him the most universal Ambassador and Minister Plenipotentiary the world ever saw; is, in fact, a "mission" from everybody to everybody, and one by which it is proposed that everybody shall be benefited. To doubt its success would be to doubt the moral soundness of Christian civilization. It implies that Christian doctrines will find no opponents provided that Christian nations set a decent example of Christianity. Its virtues herald the peaceful triumph of reason over prejudice, of justice over force, of humanity over the hatreds of class and race, of the good of all over the selfish blindness of each, of the "fraternity" of the great Commonwealth of Nations over the insolent "liberty" of any of them to despise, oppress, and rob the rest.

[Pg 1229]


[Speech of Edwin P. Whipple at the "Ladies' Night" banquet of the Papyrus Club, Boston, February 15, 1879, in response to a toast in his honor as "one whose gentle mind, delicate fancy, keen wit, and profound judgment have made for him a high and secure place among American authors."]

Mr. Chairman:—I suppose that one of the most characteristic follies of young men, unmarried, or in the opinion of prudent mammas, unmarriageable, is, when they arrive at the age of indiscretion, to dogmatize on what they call the appropriate sphere of woman. You remember the thundering retort which came, like a box on the ears, to one of these philosophers, when he was wisely discoursing vaguely on his favorite theme. "And pray, my young sir," asked a stern matron of forty, "will you please to tell us what is the appropriate sphere of woman?" Thus confronted, he only babbled in reply, "A celestial sphere, madam!" But the force of this compliment is now abated; for the persons who above all others are dignified with the title of "Celestials" are the Chinese; and these the Congress of the United States seems determined to banish from our soil as unworthy—not only of the right of citizenship and the right of suffrage, but the right of residing in our democratic republic. Accordingly, we must find some more appropriate sphere for women than the Celestial. Nobody, I take it, however bitterly he may be opposed to what are called the rights of women, objects to their residing in this country, or to their coming here in vast numbers. [Applause.]

Do you remember to what circumstance Chicago owed its fame? When the spot where a great city now looks out on Lake Michigan was the habitation of a small number of men only, a steamboat was seen in the distance, and the report was that it contained a cargo of women, who were coming to the desolate place for the purpose of being married to the forlorn men. Every bachelor hastened to the pier, with a telescope in one hand and a speaking-trumpet in the other. By the aid of the telescope each lover selected his mate, and by the aid of the speaking-trumpet each lover made his proposals. In honor of the women who made the[Pg 1230] venturesome voyage, the infant city was named "She-Cargo." [Laughter and applause.]

Therefore, there is no possibility of a doubt that there is no objection to women as residents of this country. The only thing to be considered is, whether or not they shall have the right of voting. I think nobody present here this evening has conceit enough to suppose that he is more competent to give an intelligent vote on any public question than the intelligent ladies who have done the Club the honor to be present on this occasion. The privilege of voting is simply an opportunity, by which certain persons legally qualified are allowed to exercise power. The formal power is so subdivided that each legally qualified person exercises but little. But where meanwhile is the substance of power? Certainly in the woman of the household as well as in the man. Indeed, I recollect that when an objection was raised that to give the right of suffrage to women would create endless quarrels between husband and wife, a married woman curtly replied that the wives would see to it that no such disturbance should really take place. [Applause.] And, as the question now stands, I pity the man who is so fortunate to be married to a noble woman, coming home to meet her reproachful glance, when he has deposited in the ballot-box a vote for a measure which is base and for a candidate who is equally base. Then, in his humiliation before that rebuking eye, he must feel that in her is the substance of power, and in him only the formal expression of power. [Applause.]

But we have the good fortune to-night to have at the table many women of letters, who have in an eminent degree exercised the substance of power, inasmuch as they have domesticated themselves at thousands of firesides where their faces have never been seen. Their brain-children have been welcomed and adopted by fathers and mothers, by brothers and sisters, as members of the family; and their sayings and doings are quoted as though they were "blood" relations. Two instances recur to my memory. In lecturing in various portions of the country, I have often been a guest in private houses. On one occasion I happened to mention Mrs. Whitney as a lady I had often met; and, instantly, old and young crowded round, pouring in a storm[Pg 1231] of questions, demanding to know where the author of "Faith Gartney" lived, how she looked, and was she so delightful in society as she was in her books. On another occasion, my importance in a large family was raised immensely when a chance remark indicated that I numbered Miss Alcott among my friends. All the little men and all the little women of the household, all the old men and all the old ladies, rallied round me, in order that I might tell them all I knew of the author of "Little Women" and "Little Men." [Applause.]

Now these are only two examples of the substance of power which cultivated women already possess. That such women, and all women, can obtain the formal power of voting at elections is, in the end, sure, if they really wish to exercise that power; and that the power is withheld from them is not due to the opposition of men, but is due to the fact that they are not, by an overwhelming majority, in favor of it themselves. When the champions of woman's rights get this majority on their side, I have a profound pity for the men who venture to oppose it. [Applause.][Pg 1232]



[Speech of Andrew D. White at the 111th annual dinner of the New York Chamber of Commerce, May 13, 1879. The President of the Chamber, Samuel D. Babcock, introduced Mr. White as follows: "The next toast is 'Commerce and Diplomacy—twin guardians of the world—Peace and Prosperity.' [Applause.] The gentleman who is to respond to the toast is one who is about to represent our country at the Court of Berlin. I am quite sure there is not a man present who does not feel that a more creditable representative of the people of the United States could not be sent abroad. [Applause.] I hope, gentlemen, you will receive him with all the honors."]

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen:—Speaking in this place and at this time I am seriously embarrassed; for when charges have been made upon the American people on account of municipal mismanagement in this city, now happily past, we have constantly heard the statement made that American institutions are not responsible for it; that New York is not an American city. [Applause.] I must confess that when very hard pressed I have myself taken refuge in this statement.

But now it comes back to plague me, for on looking over the general instructions furnished me by the State Department I find it laid down that American Ministers on the way to their posts are strictly forbidden to make speeches in any foreign city, save in the country to which they are accredited. You will pardon me, then, if I proceed very slowly and cautiously in discussing the sentiment allotted to me.

No one, I think, will dispute the statement that commerce has become a leading agency among men in the maintenance of peace. [Applause.] Commercial interests have become[Pg 1233] so vast that they embrace all the world, and so minute that they permeate every hamlet of every nation. War interferes with these interests and thwarts them. Hence commerce more and more tends to make war difficult. [Applause.] As to the fact then, involved in your toast, it needs no argument in its support. We all concede it. Were we to erect a statue of Commerce in the midst of this great commercial metropolis, we should doubtless place in her hand, as an emblem, a ship-like shuttle and represent her as weaving a web between the great nations of the earth tending every day to fasten them more securely and more permanently in lasting peace. [Applause.]

Nor, I think, will the other part of the sentiment be disputed by any thoughtful person. Of course much may be said upon the solemn nothings which have occupied diplomatists; much historic truth may be adduced to show that diplomats have often proved to be what Carlyle calls "solemnly constituted impostors." But after all, I think no one can look over the history of mankind without feeling that it was a vast step when four centuries ago the great modern powers began to maintain resident representatives at the centres of government; and from that day to this these men have proved themselves, with all their weaknesses, worth far more than all their cost in warding off or mitigating the horrors of war, and in increasing the facilities of commerce. Not long since I made a pilgrimage to that quaint town hall in that old German city of Munster, where was signed the Treaty of Westphalia. There I saw the same long table, the same old seats, where once sat the representatives of the various powers who in 1648 made the treaty which not only ended the Thirty Years' War, the most dreadful struggle of modern times—but which has forever put an end to wars of religion.

I have stood in the midst of grand cathedrals and solemn services, but never have I sat in any room or in any presence with a greater feeling of awe than in that old hall where the diplomatists of Europe signed that world-renowned treaty so fruitful in blessing not only to Germany, but to all mankind. [Applause.]

We shall all doubtless concede then that on the whole it is best to have a diplomatic body, that if it only once in[Pg 1234] ten, or twenty, or one hundred years, prevents serious misunderstanding between nations, it will far more than repay its cost. [Applause.]

But the point to which I wish to call your attention, in what little I have to say this evening, is this: That this idea of the value of commerce and diplomacy in maintaining peace has by no means always been held as fully as now, nor are commerce and diplomacy and all they represent at this moment out of danger. Two hundred years ago a really great practical statesman in France [Colbert], by crude legislation in behalf, as he thought, of manufactures and commerce, brought his country into wars which at last led her to ruin. The history of the colonial policy of England also is fruitful in mistaken legislation on commercial, political, and social questions, which have produced the most terrible evils. Indeed, in all nations we have constantly to lament the short-sighted policies, ill-considered constitutions, crude legislation, which have dealt fearful blows to the interests of commerce, of diplomacy, of political and social life, and of peace.

Nor has our own country been free from these; in our general government and in all our forty legislatures, there are measures frequently proposed striking at commercial interests, at financial interests, at vested rights, to say nothing of great political and social interests, which, though often thwarted by the common sense of the people, are sometimes too successful. At this very moment the news comes to us that a slight majority, led by arrant demagogues, have fastened upon the great Empire State of the Pacific a crude, ill-digested constitution, which while it doubtless contains some good features, embodies some of the most primitive and pernicious notions regarding commerce and manufactures and the whole political and social fabric of that Commonwealth. [Applause.]

So, too, in regard to diplomacy, there is constant danger and loss from this same crudeness in political thinking. A year or two since, in the Congress of the United States, efforts were put forth virtually to cripple the diplomatic service; but what was far worse, to cripple the whole Consular system of the United States. Although the Consular service of our country more than pays for itself directly, and[Pg 1235] pays for itself a thousand times over indirectly; although its labors are constantly directed to increasing commerce, to finding new markets, to sending home valuable information regarding foreign industries, to enlarging the foreign field for our own manufactures, and, although the question involved not only financial questions of the highest importance, but the honor of the country, the matter was argued by many of our legislators in a way which would have done discredit to a class of college sophomores. I am glad to say that the best men of both parties at Washington at last rallied against this monstrous legislation and that among them were some representing both parties of the State and City of New York. [Applause.]

The injury wrought upon this country in its national Legislature and in its multitude of State Legislatures by want of knowledge is simply enormous. No one who knows anything of the history of the legislation of any State will dispute this for a moment. The question now arises, is such a state of things necessarily connected with a Republican government? To this I answer decidedly, no. The next question is, is there any practical means of improving this state of things? To this I answer decidedly, yes. [Applause.]

Here comes the practical matter to which I would call your attention. Recently, in the presence of some of you, I spoke at length on the necessity of training men in the institutions of higher learning in this country for the highest duties of citizenship, and especially for practical leadership. I cannot here go into details as I was able to do in that paper, but I can at least say that if there is anything to which a portion of the surplus wealth of men who have been enriched in commerce and trade may well be devoted, it is to making provision in our institutions of learning for meeting this lack of young men trained in history, political and social science, and general jurisprudence—in those studies which fit men to discuss properly and to lead their fellow-citizens rightly in the discussion of the main questions relating to commerce, to diplomacy, and to various political and social subjects. [Applause.]

I fully believe that one million dollars distributed between four or five of our great institutions of learning for this pur[Pg 1236]pose would eventually produce almost a revolution for good in this country, and that in a very few years the effect of such endowments would be seen to be most powerful and most salutary. Provision on the largest scale should be made for the training of young men in political and social science, in such institutions as Harvard, Yale, Amherst, Columbia, Princeton, Union, Johns Hopkins University, the State Universities of Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, Minnesota, and California, and I trust that you will permit me to add, Cornell. [Applause.]

I do not pretend, of course, that this would supersede practical training—no theoretical training can do this—but it would give young men, at any rate, a knowledge of the best thoughts of the best thinkers, on such subjects as taxation, representation, pauperism, crime, insanity, and a multitude of similar questions; it would remove the spectacle which so often afflicts us in our National and State legislatures, of really strong men stumbling under loads of absurdity and fallacy, long ago exploded by the best and most earnest thought of the world, and it would teach young men to reason wisely and well on such subjects, and then, with some practical experience, we should have in every State a large number of well-trained men ready to reason powerfully and justly, ready to meet at a moment's warning pernicious heresies threatening commerce and trade and our best political and social interests. Had there been scattered through California during the recent canvass for their new constitution, twenty men really fitted to show in the press and in the forum the absurdities of that Constitution, it would never have been established. [Loud applause.]

Ten thousand dollars to any one of these colleges or universities would endow a scholarship or fellowship which would enable some talented graduate to pursue advanced studies in this direction. Ten thousand to twenty thousand dollars would endow a lectureship which would enable such a college or university to call some acknowledged authority on political subjects to deliver a valuable course of lectures. Thirty to fifty thousand dollars would endow a full professorship—though I must confess that in subjects like this, I prefer lectureships for brief terms to life-long professorships—and at any of these institutions the sum of two hundred[Pg 1237] thousand or three hundred thousand dollars, under the management of such men as may be found in any one of them, would equip nobly a department in which all these subjects may be fully treated and fitly presented to young men. Such a department would send out into our journalism, into our various professions, and into our public affairs, a large number of young men who could not fail to improve the political condition of the country, and would do much to ward off such dealings with commerce, with currency, with taxation, and with the diplomatic and consular service as have cost the world and our own nation so dear hitherto. [Applause.]

I can think of no more noble monument which any man of wealth could rear to himself than a lectureship or professorship or a department of this kind, at one of our greater institutions of learning, where large numbers of vigorous and ambitious youths are collected from all parts of the country; I do not, of course, say that all of these men would be elected to public office; in the larger cities, they perhaps would not, at least, at first; in the country, they would be very frequently chosen, and they could hardly fail to render excellent service. [Applause.]

Any man worthy of the name, leaving his country for a long residence outside its borders, feels more and more impressed with what is needed to improve it. If I were called upon solemnly at this hour to declare my conviction as to what can best be done by men blessed with wealth in this Republic of ours, I would name this very thing to which I have now called your attention. [Applause.] It has been too long deferred; our colleges and universities have as a rule only had the means to give a general literary and scientific education, with very little instruction fitting men directly for public affairs. But the events of the last few years show conclusively that we must now begin to prepare the natural leaders of the people for the work before them, and by something more than a little primary instruction in political economy and the elements of history in the last terms of a four years' course. [Applause.]

The complexity of public affairs is daily becoming greater; more and more it is necessary that men be trained for them. Not that practical men, trained practically in public affairs[Pg 1238] will not always be wanted—practical men will always be in demand—but we want more and more a judicious admixture of men trained in the best thought which has been developed through the ages on all the great questions of government and of society. [Applause.]

No country presents a more striking example of the value of this training than does that great nation with which my duties are shortly to connect me. [Applause.] Several years since she began to provide in all her universities for the training of men in political and social questions, for political life at home and for diplomatic life abroad. This at first was thought to be another example of German pedantry, but the events of the last fifteen years have changed that view. We can now see that it was a part of that great and comprehensive scheme begun by such men as Stein and Hardenbergh and carried out by such as Bismarck and his compeers. [Applause.]

Other nations are beginning to see this. In France, within a few years, very thoroughly equipped institutions have been established to train men in the main studies required in public life and in diplomacy; the same thing is true in England and in Italy. Can there be again, I ask, a more fitting object for some of the surplus wealth of our merchant princes than in rendering this great service to our country, in furnishing the means by which young men can have afforded them a full, thorough, and systematic instruction in all those matters so valuable to those who are able to take the lead in public affairs. [Applause.]

Mr. President, in concluding, allow me to say that in so far as any efforts of mine may be useful I shall make every endeavor that whatever diplomatic service I may render may inure to the benefit of commerce, knowing full well that, in the language of the sentiment, "Commerce and Diplomacy are the twin guardians of Peace and Prosperity." [Applause.]

In spite of the present depression of business in Germany and the United States, there are evidences of returning confidence. The great, sturdy, vigorous German nation and our own energetic people cannot long be held back in their career, and in this restoration of business, which is certain, unless gross mismanagement occurs, I believe that these[Pg 1239] two nations, America and Germany, will become more and more friendly; more and more Commerce will weave her web uniting the two countries, and more and more let us hope that Diplomacy may go hand in hand with Commerce in bringing in an era of Peace which shall be lasting, and of Prosperity which shall be substantial. [Loud applause.][Pg 1240]



[Speech of Dr. Harvey W. Wiley at the banquet of the American Chemical Society, Washington, D. C, December, 1898. Dr. Wiley responded to the toast, "Woman."]

Mr. President and Fellow-Members of the Chemical Society:—I propose to introduce an innovation to after-dinner speaking and stick to my text. In my opinion, it is too late in the day to question the Creator's purpose in making Woman. She is an accomplished fact! She is here! She has come to stay, and we might as well accept her. She has broken into our Society, which, until within a year or two, has remained entirely masculine. She has not yet appeared at our annual dinners, but I am a false prophet if she be not here to speak for herself ere long. And why not? Chemistry is well suited to engage the attention of the feminine mind. The jewels woman wears, the paints she uses, the hydrogen peroxide with which she blondines her hair are all children of chemistry. The prejudice against female chemists is purely selfish and unworthy of a great mind. There is only enough work in the world to keep half of humanity busy. Every time a woman gets employment a man must go idle. But if the woman will only marry the man, all will be forgiven.

I think I know why you have called on an old bachelor to respond to this toast. A married man could not. He would be afraid to give his fancies full rein. Someone might tell his wife. A young man could see only one side of the subject—the side his sweetheart is on. But the old bachelor fears no Caudle lecture, and is free from any romantic bias. He sees things just as they are. If he be also a true[Pg 1241] chemist, lovely woman appeals to him in a truly scientific way. Her charms appear to him in the crucible and the beaker:

I know a maiden, charming and true,
With beautiful eyes like the cobalt blue
Of the borax bead, and I guess she'll do
If she hasn't another reaction.

Her form is no bundle of toilet shams,
Her beauty no boon of arsenical balms,
And she weighs just sixty-two kilograms
To a deci-decimal fraction.

Her hair is a crown, I can truthfully state
'Tis a metre long, nor curly nor straight,
And it is as yellow as plumbic chromate
In a slightly acid solution.

And when she speaks from parlor or stump,
The words which gracefully gambol and jump
Sound sweet like the water in Sprengel's pump
In magnesic phosphate ablution.

I have bought me a lot, about a hectare,
And have built me a house ten metres square,
And soon, I think, I shall take her there,
My tart little acid radicle.

Perhaps little sailors on life's deep sea
Will be the salts of this chemistry,
And the lisp of the infantile A, B, C
Be the refrain of this madrigal.

No one but a scientific man can have any idea of the real nature of love. The poet may dream, the novelist describe the familiar feeling, but only the chemist knows just how it is:

A biochemist loved a maid
In pure actinic ways;
The enzymes of affection made
A ferment of his days.

The waves emergent from her eyes
Set symphonies afloat,
These undulations simply struck
[Pg 1242]His fundamental note.

No longer could he hide his love,
Nor cultures could he make,
And so he screwed his courage up,
And thus to her he spake:

"Oh, maid of undulations sweet,
Inoculate my veins,
And fill my thirsty arteries up
With amorous ptomaines.

"In vain I try to break this thrall,
In vain my reason fights,
My inner self tempestuous teems
With microcosmic mites.

"I cannot offer you a crown
Of gold—I cannot tell
Of terrapin or wine for us,
But rations balanced well.

"A little fat just now and then,
Some carbohydrates sweet,
And gluten in the bakers' bread,
Are what we'll have to eat.

"The days will pass in rapture by,
With antitoxine frills,
And on our Guinea-pigs we'll try
The cures for all our ills.

"O! maiden fair, wilt thou be mine?
Come, give me but one kiss,
And dwell forever blessed with me.
In symbiotic bliss."

This maiden, modest, up-to-date,
Eschewed domestic strife;
In mocking accents she replied,
"Wat t'ell—not on your life."

The philosopher and the theologian pretend to understand the origin of things and the foundation of ethics, but what one of them ever had the least idea of how love first started? What one of them can tell you a thing concerning the original osculation—that primary amatory congress which was the beginning of the beginning?—

Bathed in Bathybian bliss
And sunk in the slush of the sea,
Thrilled the first molecular kiss,
[Pg 1243]The beginning of you and of me.

The Atom of Oxygen blushed
When it felt fair Hydrogen's breath,
The Atom of Nitrogen rushed
Eager to Life out of Death.

Through Ocean's murmuring dell
Ran a whisper of rapture Elysian;
Across that Bathybian jell
Ran a crack that whispered of fission.

Alas! that such things should be,
That cruel unkind separation,
Adown in the depths of the sea
Should follow the first osculation.

O tender lover and miss,
You cannot remember too well
That the first molecular kiss
Was the first Bathybian sell.

Not only are women rapidly invading the domain of chemistry, but they are also the yellow peril of her sister science, pharmacy. A drug-store without a dimpled damsel is now a fit subject for the sheriff's hammer.—

There in the corner pharmacy,
This lithesome lady lingers,
And potent pills and philters true
Are fashioned by her fingers.

Her phiz behind the soda fount
May oft be seen in summer;
How sweetly foams the soda fizz,
When you receive it from her.

While mixing belladonna drops
With tincture of lobelia,
And putting up prescriptions, she
Is fairer than Ophelia.

Each poison has its proper place,
Each potion in its chalice;
Her dædal fingers are so deft,
They call her digit-Alice.

Love has been the theme of every age and of every tongue. It is the test of youth and of the capability of progress. So long as a man can and does love, he is young[Pg 1244] and there is hope for him. Whoever saw a satisfactory definition of love? No one, simply because the science of physical chemistry is yet young, and it is only when moulded by the principles of that science that the definition is complete and intelligible. Love is the synchronous vibration of two cardiac cells, both of which, were it not for the ethics of etymology, should begin with an S. Love is the source of eternal youth, of senile recrudescence. It is the philosopher's stone, the elixir of life, the fountain of flowers. So love changes not—the particular object is not of much importance. One should never be a bigot in anything and a wise man changes often.

The grade of civilization which a nation has reached may be safely measured by three things. If you want me to tell you where to place a nation in the scale, don't tell me the name of it, nor the country it inhabits, nor the religion it professes, nor its form of government. Let me know how much sugar it uses per head, what the consumption of soap is, and whether its women have the same rights as its men. That nation which eats the most sugar, uses the most soap, and regards its women as having the same rights as its men, will always be at the top. And nowhere else in the world is more sugar eaten, more soap used, and women more fully admitted to all the rights of men than in our own United States and in the American Chemical Society.

To the chemist, as well as to other scientific men, woman is not only real but also ideal. From the fragments of the real the ideal is reconstructed. This ideal is a trinity, a trinity innominate and incorporeal. She is Pallas, Aphrodite, Artemis, three in one. She is an incognita and an amorph. I know full well I shall not meet her; neither in the crowded street of the metropolis nor in the quiet lane of the country. I know well I shall not find her in the salon of fashion, nor as a shepherdess with her crook upon the mountain-side. I know full well that I need not seek her in the bustling tide of travel, nor wandering by the shady banks of a brook. She is indeed near to my imagination, but far, infinitely far, beyond my reach. Nevertheless, I may attempt to describe her as she appears to me. Let me begin with that part of my ideal which has been inherited from Diana. My ideal woman has a sound body. She has bone, not brittle sticks[Pg 1245] of phosphate of lime. She has muscles, not flabby, slender ribbons of empty sarcolemma. She has blood, not a thin leucocytic ichor. I have no sympathy with that pseudo-civilization which apparently has for its object the destruction of the human race by the production of a race of bodiless women. If I am to be a pessimist, I will be one out and out, and seek to destroy the race in a high-handed and manly way. Indoor life, inactivity, lack of oxygen in the lungs, these are things which in time produce a white skin, but do it by sacrificing every other attribute of beauty.

In the second place, my ideal woman is beautiful. I will confess that I do not know what I mean by this; for what is beauty? It is both subjective and objective. It depends on taste and education. It has something to do with habit and experience. I know I shall not be able to describe this trait, yet when I look up into her eyes—eyes, remember, which are mere fictions of my imagination—when I look into her face, when I see her move so statelily into my presence, I recognize there that portion of her which she has inherited from the Aphrodite of other days; and this I know is beauty. It is not the beauty of an hallucination, the halo which a heart diseased casts about the head of its idol. It is the beauty which is seen by a sober second thought, a beauty which does not so much dazzle as it delights; a beauty which does not fade with the passing hour, but stays through the heat and burden of the day and until the day is done.

The beauty which my ideal woman inherited from Aphrodite is not a fading one. It is not simply a youthful freshness which the first decade of womanhood will wither. It is a beauty which abides; it is a beauty in which the charm of seventeen becomes a real essence of seventy; it is a beauty which is not produced by any artificial pose of the head or by any possible banging of the hair; it is a beauty which the art of dressing may adorn but can never create; it is a beauty which does not overwhelm the heart like an avalanche, but which eats it slowly but surely away as a trickling stream cuts and grooves the solid granite.

I regard true beauty as the divinest gift which woman has received; and was not Pandora, the first of mythical women, endowed with every gift? And was not Eve, the[Pg 1246] first of orthodox women, the type of every feminine perfection? Only Protogyna, the first of scientific women, was poorly and meanly endowed. If I were a woman I would value health and wealth; I would think kindly of honor and reputation; I would greatly prize knowledge and truth; but above all I would be beautiful—possessed of that strange and mighty charm which would lead a crowd of slaves behind my triumphal car and compel a haughty world to bow in humble submission at my feet.

In the third place my ideal woman has inherited the intellect of Pallas. And this inheritance is necessary in order to secure for her a true possession of the gifts of Aphrodite. For a woman can never be truly beautiful who does not possess intelligence. It is a matter of the utmost indifference to me what studies my ideal has pursued. She may be a panglot or she may scarcely know her vernacular. If she speak French and German and read Latin and Greek, it is well. If she know conics and curves it is well; if she be able to integrate the vanishing function of a quivering infinitesimal, it is well; if from a disintegrating track which hardening cosmic mud has fixed and fastened on the present, she be able to build a majestic, long extinct mammal, it is well. All these things are marks of learning, but not necessarily of intelligence. A person may know them all and hundreds of things besides, and yet be the veriest fool. My ideal, I should prefer to have a good education in science and letters, but she must have a sound mind. She must have a mind above petty prejudice and giant bigotry. She must see something in life beyond a ball or a ribbon. She must have wit and judgment. She must have the higher wisdom which can see the fitness of things and grasp the logic of events. It will be seen readily, therefore, that my ideal is wise rather than learned. But she is not devoid of culture. Without culture a broad liberality is impossible. But what is culture? True culture is that knowledge of men and affairs which places every problem in sociology and politics in its true light. It is that drill and exercise which place all the faculties at their best and make one capable of dealing with the real labors of life. Such a culture is not incompatible with a broad knowledge of books, with a deep insight into art, with a clear outlook over the field[Pg 1247] of letters. Indeed it includes all these and is still something more than they are.

My ideal then, so regally endowed, is the equal of any man—even if he be the "ideal man" of the American Chemical Society.

My ideal stands before me endowed with all the majesty of this long ancestral line. Proud is she in the consciousness of her own equality. Her haughty eye looks out upon this teeming sphere and acknowledges only as her peer the "ideal man," and no one as her superior. Stand forth, O perfect maiden, sentient with the brain of Pallas, radiant with the beauty of Venus, quivering with the eager vivacity of Diana! Make, if possible, thy home on earth. At thy coming the world will rise in an enthusiasm of delight and crown thee queen. [Long and enthusiastic applause.][Pg 1248]



[Speech of Woodrow Wilson at the seventeenth annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of Brooklyn, December 21, 1896. Stewart L. Woodford, the President of the Society, said, in introducing the speaker: "The next toast is entitled 'The Responsibility of having Ancestors,' and will be responded to by Professor Woodrow Wilson,[13] of Princeton. I know you will give him such a welcome as will indicate that, while we are mostly Yale men here, we are not jealous of Princeton."]

Mr. President, Ladies, and Gentlemen:—I am not of your blood; I am not a Virginia Cavalier, as Dr. Hill [David J. Hill. See Vol. II.] has suggested. Sometimes I wish I were; I would have more fun. I come, however, of as good blood as yours; in some respects a better. Because the Scotch-Irish, though they are just as much in earnest as you are, have a little bit more gayety and more elasticity than you have. Moreover they are now forming a Scotch-Irish society, which will, as fast as human affairs will allow, do exactly what the New England Societies are doing, viz.: annex the universe. [Laughter.] We believe with a sincere belief, we believe as sincerely as you do the like, that we really made this country. Not only that, but we believe that we can now, in some sort of way, demonstrate the manufacture, because the country has obviously departed in many respects from the model which you claim to have set. Not only that, but it seems to me that you yourselves are becoming a little recreant to the traditions you yearly celebrate.

It seems to me that you are very much in the position, with reference to your forefathers, that the little boy was [Pg 1249]with reference to his immediate father. The father was a very busy man; he was away at his work before the children were up in the morning and did not come home till after they had gone to bed at night. One day this little boy was greatly incensed, as he said, "to be whipped by that gentleman that stays here on Sundays." I do not observe that you think about your ancestors the rest of the week; I do not observe that they are very much present in your thoughts at any other time save on Sunday, and that then they are most irritating to you. I have known a great many men descended from New England ancestors and I do not feel half so hardly toward my ancestors as they do toward theirs. There is a distant respect about the relationship which is touching. There is a feeling that these men are well and safely at a distance, and that they would be indulged under no other circumstances whatever; and that the beauty of it is to have descended from them and come so far away.

Now, there are serious aspects to this subject. I believe that one of the responsibilities of having ancestors is the necessity of not being ashamed of them. I believe if you have had persons of this sort as your forefathers you must really try to represent them in some sort of way. And you must set yourselves off against the other elements of population in this country. You know that we have received very many elements which have nothing of the Puritan about them, which have nothing of New England about them; and that the chief characteristic of these people is that they have broken all their traditions. The reason that most foreigners come to this country is in order to break their traditions, to drop them. They come to this country because these traditions bind them to an order of society which they will no longer endure, and they come to be quit of them. You yourselves will bear me witness that these men, some of them, stood us in good stead upon a very recent occasion: in last November. [Applause. "Hear! Hear!"] We should not at all minimize the vote of the foreign-born population as against the vote of some of the native-born population on the question of silver and gold. But you will observe that there are some things that it would be supposed would belong to any tradition. One would suppose[Pg 1250] it would belong to any tradition that it was better to earn a dollar that did not depreciate, and these men have simply shown that there are some common-sense elements which are international and not national.

One of the particulars in which we are drawn away from our traditions is in respect to the make-up and government of society, and it is in that respect we should retrace our steps and preserve our traditions; because we are suffering ourselves to drift away from the old standards, and we say, with a shrug of the shoulders, that we are not responsible for it; that we have not changed the age, though the age has changed us. We feel very much as the Scotchman did who entered the fish market. His dog, being inquisitive, investigated a basket of lobsters, and while he was nosing about incautiously one of the lobsters got hold of his tail, whereupon he went down the street with the lobster as a pendant. Says the man, "Whustle to your dog, mon." "Nay, nay, mon," quoth the Scotchman, "You whustle for your lobster." We are very much in the same position with reference to the age; we say, whistle to the age; we cannot make it let go; we have got to run. We feel very much like the little boy in the asylum, standing by the window, forbidden to go out. He became contemplative, and said, "If God were dead and there were not any rain, what fun orphan boys would have." We feel very much that way about these New England traditions. If God were only dead; if it didn't rain; if the times were only good, what times we would have.

The present world is not recognizable when put side by side with the world into which the Puritan came. I am not here to urge a return to the Puritan life; but have you forgotten that the Puritans came into a new world? The conditions under which they came were unprecedented conditions to them. But did they forget the principles on which they acted because the conditions were unprecedented? Did they not discover new applications for old principles? Are we to be daunted, therefore, because the conditions are new? Will not old principles be adaptable to new conditions, and is it not our business to adapt them to new conditions? Have we lost the old principle and the old spirit? Are we a degenerate people? We certainly must admit ourselves[Pg 1251] to be so if we do not follow the old principles in the new world, for that is what the Puritans did.

Let me say a very practical word. What is the matter now? The matter is, conceal it as we may, gloss it over as we please, that the currency is in a sad state of unsuitability to the condition of the country. That is the fact of the matter; nobody can deny that; but what are we going to do? We are going to have a new tariff. I have nothing to say with regard to the policy of the tariff, one way or the other. We have had tariffs, have we not, every few years, ever since we were born; and has not the farmer become discontented under these conditions? It was the effort to remedy them that produced the silver movement. A new tariff may produce certain economic conditions; I do not care a peppercorn whether it does or not, but this is a thing which we have been tinkering and dickering with time out of mind, and in spite of the tinkering and dickering this situation has arisen. Are we going to cure it by more tinkering? We are not going to touch it in this way. Now, what are we going to do? It is neither here nor there whether I am a protectionist, or for a tariff for revenue, or whatever you choose to call me. The amount you collect in currency for imports is not going to make any difference. The right thing to do is to apply old principles to a new condition and get out of that new condition something that will effect a practical remedy. I do not pretend to be a doctor with a nostrum. I have no pill against an earthquake. I do not know how this thing is going to be done, but it is not going to be done by having stomachs easily turned by the truth; it is not going to be done by merely blinking the situation. If we blink the situation I hope we shall have no more celebrations in which we talk about our Puritan ancestors, because they did not blink the situation, and it is easy to eat and be happy and proud. A large number of persons may have square meals by having a properly adjusted currency.

We are very much in the condition described by the reporter who was describing the murder of a certain gentleman. He said that the murderer entered the house, and gave a graphic description of the whole thing. He said that fortunately the gentleman had put his valuables in the safe[Pg 1252] deposit and lost only his life. We are in danger of being equally wise. We are in danger of managing our policy so that our property will be put in safe deposit and we will lose only our lives. We will make all the immediate conditions of the nation perfectly safe and lose only the life of the nation. This is not a joke, this is a very serious situation. I should feel ashamed to stand here and not say that this is a subject which deserves your serious consideration and ought to keep some of you awake to-night. This is not a simple gratulatory occasion, this is a place where public duty should be realized and public purposes formed, because public purpose is a thing for which our Puritan ancestors stood, yours and mine. If this race should ever lose that capacity, if it should ever lose the sense of dignity in this regard, we should lose the great traditions of which we pretend to be proud. [Applause.][Pg 1253]



[Speech of John Winslow, in the capacity of presiding officer, at the eighth annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of Brooklyn, December 21, 1887.]

Gentlemen of the New England Society of the City of Brooklyn, Guests and Friends:—This is the eighth anniversary of our Society and the two hundred and sixty-seventh of the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers. It will please you all to learn of the continued growth and prosperity of our Society. There is in our treasury the sum of $14,506.21, and we have no debts. [Applause.] This shows an increase of $1,266.26 over last year. As occasion requires this money is used for charitable purposes and in other useful ways, as provided by our by-laws. Such a gathering as we have here to-night is an inspiration. It must be especially so to the distinguished gentlemen, our guests, who will address you. So it comes to pass that you are to have to-night the advantage of listening to inspired men—an advantage not uncommon in the days of the prophets, but rare in our times. [Laughter and applause.] It is proper and agreeable to us all just here and now to recognize as with us our friend and benefactor and president emeritus, the Hon. Benjamin D. Silliman. [A voice: "Three cheers for that grand old man." The company rising gave rousing cheers.] He is with us with a young heart and a cheerful mind, and continues to be what he has been from the beginning—a loyal and devoted friend of our Society. [Applause.]

We are here this evening enjoying the sufferings of our Pilgrim Fathers. [Merriment.] Their heroic work takes[Pg 1254] in Plymouth Rock, ours takes in the Saddle Rock. They enjoyed game of their own shooting, we enjoy game of other's shooting; they drank cold water, because they could no longer get Holland beer. The fact that they must give up Dutch beer was one of the considerations (so we are told by one of their Governors) that made them loath to leave Leyden. [Laughter.] We drink cold water because we want it and like it. The Pilgrim Fathers went to church armed with muskets; we go to church with our minds stuffed and demoralized by the contents of Sunday morning newspapers. [Laughter.] The Pilgrim mothers went to church dressed in simple attire, because they could afford nothing elaborate and because they thought they could better catch and hold the devotional spirit. The Pilgrim mothers of our day go to church with costly toilets, because they can afford it, and are quite willing to take the chances as to catching and holding the aforesaid spirit. [Laughter.] The Pilgrim Fathers, when they made the compact on the Mayflower, planted the seeds of constitutional freedom; we, their worthy sons, commemorate their work; try to perpetuate it and enjoy the fruits thereof.

It is sometimes said the Pilgrims were a solemn people; that they were not cheerful. Well, in their severe experience in England and Holland and at Plymouth, there was much to make a born optimist grave and thoughtful. But it is a mistake to suppose that they could not rejoice with those who rejoiced as well as weep with those who wept. Take, for instance, the first Thanksgiving festival held by the Pilgrims. The quaint account of this by one of their Governors is always interesting. This first American Thanksgiving took place at Plymouth in 1621, only about ten months after the landing. It was like a Jewish festival, continuing out of doors for a week. The Pilgrim writer, Governor Winslow, describes it thus: "Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor (meaning Governor Bradford) sent four men out fowling, so that we might, after a special manner (meaning doubtless a gay and festive manner) rejoice together after (not counting chickens before they were hatched) we had gathered the fruit of our labors." Now, listen to this: "They killed in one day so much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week."[Pg 1255] What this "little help beside" was, is not stated. In our day it would mean that the hunter and the fisherman made heavy drafts upon Fulton Market for meat, fowl, and fish, to supply what was short. "At which time," says the writer, "among other recreations, we exercised our arms"—this probably means they shot at a mark [laughter]—"many of the Indians coming among us"—they were not the mark, at least this time—"and among the rest, their greatest king, Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted." Think of that; feasting ninety Indians three days, and the whole colony besides. What New England Society has ever made so good a showing of hospitality and good cheer? [Laughter.] "And they" (the ninety Indians), "went out and killed five deer."

Now, I submit, we have here a clear case of the application of the great principle of honest, even-handed co-operation, no modern device in that line could surpass it. It is true the Indians were not an incorporated society, and so there was no receiver appointed to wind them up. [Laughter.] "Which they brought," says the writer, "to the plantation and bestowed on our Governor" (meaning Governor Bradford), "our captain, and others." Governor Bradford, in speaking of this, tells us that among the fowl brought in "was a great store of turkeys." Thus begins the sad history in this country of the rise and annual fall on Thanksgiving days of that exalted biped—the American turkey. After this description of a Pilgrim festival day who shall ever again say the Pilgrims could not be merry if they had half a chance to be so. Why, if the Harvard and Yale football teams had been on hand with their great national game of banging each others' eyes and breaking bones promiscuously, they could not have added to the spirit of the day though they might to its variety of pastime. [Laughter.]

It is interesting to remember in this connection that in the earlier years of the colonies, Thanksgiving day did not come every year. It came at various periods of the year from May to December, and the intervals between them sometimes four or five years, gradually shortened and then finally settled into an annual festival on the last Thursday of November. A few years ago two Governors of Maine[Pg 1256] ventured to appoint a day in December for Thanksgiving. Neither of them was re-elected. [Laughter.] The crowning step in this development, which is now national, was when the fortunes of our late war were in favor of the Union, and a proclamation for a national Thanksgiving was issued by our then President, dear old Abraham Lincoln. [Applause.] That the festival shall hereafter and forever be national is a part of our unwritten law. [Applause.] It will thus be seen that we, the sons of the Pilgrims, may fairly and modestly claim that this feature of our national life, like most of the others that are valuable, proceeded directly from Plymouth Rock. The New England Society in the City of Brooklyn, will ever honor the work and the memory of the fathers. As in the sweet lines of Bryant:

"Till where the sun, with softer fires,
Looks on the vast Pacific's sleep,
The children of the Pilgrim sires
This hallowed day, like us, shall keep."

[General applause.][Pg 1257]



[Speech of William Winter at a dinner given by the Lotos Club, New York City, November 30, 1878, to John Gilbert, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of his first appearance on the stage. Whitelaw Reid presided. William Winter responded to the toast "The Dramatic Critic."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—I thank you very gratefully for this kind welcome, and I think it a privilege to be allowed to take part in a festival so delightful as this, and join with you in paying respect to a name so justly renowned and honored as that of John Gilbert. I cannot hope adequately to respond to the personal sentiments which have been so graciously expressed nor adequately celebrate the deeds and the virtues of your distinguished guest. "I am ill at these numbers ... but such answer as I can make you shall command." For since first I became familiar with the stage—in far-away days in old Boston, John Gilbert has been to me the fulfilment of one of my highest ideals of excellence in the dramatic art; and it would be hard if I could not now say this, if not with eloquence at least with fervor.

I am aware of a certain strangeness, however, in the thought that words in his presence and to his honor should be spoken by me. The freaks of time and fortune are indeed strange. I cannot but remember that when John Gilbert was yet in the full flush of his young manhood and already crowned with the laurels of success the friend who is now speaking was a boy at his sports—playing around the old Federal Street Theatre, and beneath the walls of the Franklin Street Cathedral, and hearing upon the broad causeways of Pearl Street the rustle and patter of the autumn[Pg 1258] leaves as they fell from the chestnuts around the Perkins Institution and the elms that darkened the sombre, deserted castle of Harris's Folly. With this sense of strangeness though, comes a sense still more striking and impressive of the turbulent, active, and brilliant period through which John Gilbert has lived. Byron had been dead but four years [1828] and Scott and Wordsworth were still writing when he began to act. Goethe was still living. The works of Thackeray and Dickens were yet to be created. Cooper, Irving, Bryant, Halleck, and Percival were the literary lords of that period. The star of Willis was ascending while those of Hawthorne and Poe were yet to rise; and the dramas of Talfourd, Knowles, and Bulwer were yet to be seen by him as fresh contributions to the literature of the stage. All these great names are written in the book of death. All that part of old Boston to which I have referred—the scene equally of Gilbert's birth and youth and first successes and of his tender retrospection—has been swept away or entirely changed. Gone is the old Federal Street Theatre. Gone that quaint English alley with the cosey tobacconist's shop which he used to frequent. Gone the hospitable Stackpole where many a time at the "latter end of a sea-coal fire" he heard the bell strike midnight from the spire of the Old South Church! But, though "the spot where many times he triumphed is forgot"—his calm and gentle genius and his hale physique have endured in unabated vigor, so that he has charmed two generations of play-goers, still happily lives to charm men and women of to-day. Webster, Choate, Felton, Everett, Rantoul, Shaw, Bartlett, Lunt, Halleck, Starr King, Bartol, Kirk—these and many more, the old worthies of the bar, bench, and the pulpit in Boston's better days of intellect and taste:—all saw him as we see him in the silver-gray elegance and exquisite perfection with which he illustrates the comedies of England.

His career has impinged upon the five great cities of Boston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, London, and New York. It touches at one extreme the ripe fame of Munden (who died in '32) and—freighted with all the rich traditions of the stage—it must needs at its other extreme transmit even into the next century the high mood, the scholar-like wit, and the pure style of the finest strain of acting that Time[Pg 1259] has bestowed upon civilized man. By what qualities it has been distinguished this brilliant assemblage is full well aware. The dignity which is its grandeur; the sincerity which is its truth; the thoroughness which is its massive substance; the sterling principle which is its force; the virtue which is its purity; the scholarship, mind, humor, taste, versatile aptitude of simulation, and beautiful grace of method, which are its so powerful and so delightful faculties and attributes, have all been brought home to your minds and hearts by the wealth and clear genius of the man himself!

I have often lingered in fancy upon the idea of that strange, diversified, wonderful procession—here the dazzling visage of Garrick, there the woful face of Mossop; here the glorious eyes of Kean; there the sparkling loveliness of an Abington or a Jordan—which moves through the chambers of the memory across almost any old and storied stage. The thought is endless in its suggestion, and fascinating in its charm. How often in the chimney-corner of life shall we—whose privilege it has been to rejoice in the works of this great comedian, and whose happiness it is to cluster around him to-night in love and admiration—conjure up and muse upon his stately figure as we have seen it in the group of Sir Peter and Sir Robert, of Jaques and Wolsey, and Elmore! The ruddy countenance, the twinkling gray eyes, the silver hair, the kind smile, the hearty voice, the old-time courtesy of manner—how tenderly will they be remembered! How dearly are they prized! Scholar!—Actor!—Gentleman! long may he be spared to dignify and adorn the stage—a soother of our cares, and comfort to our hearts—exemplar for our lives!—the Edelweiss of his age and of our affections! [Great applause.]

[Pg 1260]


[Speech of William Winter at a banquet of the Lotos Club, given to Lester Wallack, December 17, 1887. Whitelaw Reid, the President of the Club, occupied the chair. Mr. Winter was called upon to speak in behalf of the critics.]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—You have done me great honor in asking me to be present on this occasion, and you have conferred upon me a great privilege in permitting me to participate with you in this tribute of affection and admiration for John Lester Wallack, your distinguished and most deservedly honored guest and my personal friend these many, many years. [Cheers.]

I thank you for your thoughtful courtesy and for this distinguished mark of your favor. Being well aware of my defects both as a thinker and a speaker, I shrink from such emergencies as this, but having known him so long and having been in a professional way associated with so many of his labors and his triumphs, I should fail in duty if I were not at least to try to add my word of love, feeble and inadequate as it may be, to the noble volume of your sympathy and homage. [Cheers.]

The presence of this brilliant assemblage, the eloquent words which have fallen from the lips of your honored president and the speeches of your orators, they signify some change—I will not say in regard to the advancement of the stage—but they signify a wonderful advancement in our times in sympathetic and thoughtful and just appreciation of the theatre. This was not always so. It is not very long since so wise and gentle a man as Charles Lamb expressed his mild astonishment that a person capable of committing to memory and reciting the language of Shakespeare could for that reason be supposed to possess a mind congenial with that of the poet. The scorn of Carlyle and the scarcely less injurious pity of Emerson for the actor are indications that in a time not remote, thought and philosophy have made but little account of the stage.

Something might be said about this by a voice more competent than mine, for in our time there has been a change[Pg 1261] in the intelligent spirit of the age, and I am sure that thought and philosophy now are of the opinion that the actor is an intellectual and spiritual force; that he is connected most intimately with the cause of public education; that he brings something of his own, and that, although the part provides the soul, it is the actor who must provide the body, and without the soul and the body, you could not have dramatic representations for the benefit of them. [Applause.]

I am not one of those writers who believe that it is the business of the newspaper to manage the theatres. The question of what to do to please the public taste, to provide mankind with what they like, or what they want, or, which is the same thing, with what they think they want, opens a very complex inquiry. Our dear friend has been puzzled by it himself more than a little. I should not undertake to instruct him, but as the observer of his course I have been struck by wonder and admiration of the way he has carried his theatre through seasons of great competition and great peril.

I call to mind one season, now seventeen years ago, I think, when in the course of a very few months, he produced and presented upward of thirty-two plays, showing the best points of these plays and showing his great company to every possible advantage; so have I seen a juggler toss fifty knives in the air and catch them without cutting his fingers.

[At the close of his speech Mr. Winter read the following poem.]—


With a glimmer of plumes and a sparkle of lances,
With blare of the trumpets and neigh of the steed,
At morning they rode where the bright river glances,
And the sweet summer wind ripples over the mead;
The green sod beneath them was ermined with daisies,
Smiling up to green boughs tossing wild in their glee,
While a thousand glad hearts sang their honors and praises,
While the Knights of the Mountain rode down to the sea.

One rode 'neath the banner whose face was the fairest,
Made royal with deeds that his manhood had done,
And the halo of blessing fell richest and rarest
[Pg 1262]On his armor that splintered the shafts of the sun;

So moves o'er the waters the cygnet sedately,
So waits the strong eagle to mount on the wing,
Serene and puissant and simple and stately,
So shines among princes the form of the King.

With a gay bugle-note when the daylight's last glimmer
Smites crimson and gold on the snow of his crest,
At evening he rides through the shades growing dimmer,
While the banners of sunset stream red in the West;
His comrades of morning are scattered and parted,
The clouds hanging low and the winds making moan,
But smiling and dauntless and brave and true-hearted,
All proudly he rides down the valley alone.

Sweet gales of the woodland embrace and caress him,
White wings of renown be his comfort and light,
Pale dews of the starbeam encompass and bless him,
With the peace and the balm and the glory of night;
And, Oh! while he wends to the verge of that ocean,
Where the years like a garland shall fall from his brow,
May his glad heart exult in the tender devotion,
The love that encircles and hallows him now.

[Enthusiastic applause.][Pg 1263]



[Speech of Robert C. Winthrop made at the public dinner given to Amin Bey by the merchants of Boston, Mass., November 4, 1850.]

Mr. President:—I am greatly honored by the sentiment just proposed, and I beg my good friend, the Vice-President [Hon. Benjamin Seaver], to accept my hearty thanks for the kind and complimentary terms in which he has presented my name to the company. I am most grateful for the opportunity of meeting with so large a number of the intelligent and enterprising merchants of Boston, and of uniting with them in a tender of deserved hospitality, and in a tribute of just respect, to the Commissioner of his Imperial Majesty, the Sultan of Turkey.

And yet, I cannot but reflect, even as I pronounce these words, how strangely they would have sounded in the ears of our fathers not many generations back, or even in our own ears not many years ago. A deserved tender of hospitality, a just tribute of respect, to the Representative of the Grand Turk! Sir, the country from which your amiable and distinguished guest has come, was not altogether unknown to some of the early American discoverers and settlers. John Smith—do not smile too soon, Mr. President, for though the name has become proverbially generic in these latter days, it was once identified and individualized as the name of one of the most gallant navigators and captains which the world has ever known—that John Smith who first gave the cherished name of New England to what the Pilgrims of the Mayflower called "these Northern parts of Virginia"—he, I say, was well acquainted with Turkey;[Pg 1264] and two centuries and a half ago, he gave the name of a Turkish lady to one of the capes of our own Massachusetts Bay. But he knew Turkey as a prison and a dungeon, and he called what is now Cape Ann, Cape Tragabigzanda, only to commemorate his affection for one who had soothed the rigors of a long and loathsome captivity.

Nor was Turkey an unknown land to at least one of those Winthrops of the olden time, with whom the Vice-President has so kindly connected me. In turning over some old family papers since my return home, I have stumbled on the original autograph of a note from John Winthrop, the younger, dated "December 26th, 1628, at the Castles of the Hellespont," whither he had gone, as is supposed, as the Secretary of Sir Peter Wich, the British Ambassador at Constantinople. The associations of that day, however, with those remote regions, were by no means agreeable, and I should hardly dare to dwell longer upon them on this occasion and in this presence. I rejoice that events have occurred to break the spell of that hereditary prejudice, which has so long prevailed in the minds of not a few of us, toward the Ottoman Empire. I rejoice that our associations with Turkey are no longer those only of the plague and the bowstring; that we are encouraged and authorized to look to her hereafter for something better than a little coarse wool for our blankets, or a few figs for our dessert, or even a little opium or rhubarb for our medicine-chests; that, in a word, we are encouraged and warranted to look to her, under the auspices and administration of her young, gallant, and generous Sultan, for examples of reform, of toleration, of liberality, of a magnanimous and chivalrous humanity, which are worthy of the admiration and imitation of all mankind. I rejoice, especially, that an occasion has been afforded for testifying the deep sense which is entertained throughout our country, of the noble conduct of the Sublime Porte in regard to the unfortunate exiles of Hungary.

The influence which the Ottoman Empire seems destined to exert over the relations of Eastern and Western Europe, is of the most interesting and important character; and, while we all hold steadfastly to the great principle of neutrality which Washington established and enforced, we yet cannot suppress our satisfaction that this influence is now[Pg 1265] in the hands of one who seems determined to wield it fearlessly for the best interests of civilization and humanity.

And now, sir, let us hope that our distinguished friend, Amin Bey, may return home with some not less favorable impressions of our own land. Of our enterprise, of our industry, of our immense material production, of our rapid progress in arts and improvements of every kind, of our vast territorial extent, he cannot fail to testify. Let us hope that he may be able to speak also of internal order, of domestic tranquillity, of wise and just laws, faithfully administered and promptly obeyed, of a happy, contented, and united people, commending by their practice and example, as well as by their principles and precepts, the institutions under which they live.

The distinguished gentleman who preceded me [Mr. Webster], and whom I have been under the disadvantage of following in other scenes as well as here, has spoken of the Union of these States. There is no language so strong or so emphatic, which even he can use, as to the importance of preserving that Union, which does not meet with a prompt and cordial echo in my own bosom. To the eyes of Amin Bey, and to the eyes of all foreign nations, we are indeed but one country, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. To them there is no Boston or New York, no Carolina or Louisiana. Our commerce goes forth under one and the same flag, whether from the Bay of Massachusetts or from the "Golden Gate" of California. Under that flag, it has been protected, prospered, and extended beyond example. Under that flag, new fields are opening to it, and new triumphs are before it. May our distinguished guest take home with him an assurance, founded upon all that he has seen and all that he has heard, of the resolution of us all, that the flag of our Union shall still and always remain one and the same, from ocean to ocean, untorn and untarnished, proof alike against everything of foreign assault and everything of domestic dissension! [Great applause.][Pg 1266]



[Speech of John S. Wise at the eleventh annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of Brooklyn, December 20, 1890. The President, Willard Bartlett, occupied the chair. He called upon Mr. Wise to speak to the toast, "Captain John Smith, the Ruler of Virginia, and Admiral of New England," saying: "It was not without a purpose that your committee arranged the order of speaking this evening. I am sure that the gentlemen who have already addressed you will take it in good part, if I say we knew that, by putting one name at the end of the programme, we should be sure to hold the audience here till the doxology. Now a speaker who bears the name of the first ruler of Virginia I ever knew anything about, will address you upon Virginia's still earlier ruler, Captain John Smith."]

Mr. Chairman:—It is one of the peculiarities of Americans, that they attempt to solve the unsolvable problem of successfully mixing gastronomy and oratory. In chemistry there are things known as incompatibles, which it is impossible to blend and at the same time preserve their original characteristics. It is impossible to have as good a dinner as we have had served to-night, and preserve the intellectual faculties of your guests so that they may be seen at their best. I am not unmindful that in the menu the courses grew shorter until they culminated in the pungent and brief episode of cheese, and so I take it that as to the oratory here on tap, you desire it to become gradually more brief and more pungent.

Now, the task of condensing into a five-minute speech two hundred and seventy years of the history of America, is something that has been assigned to me, and I propose to address myself to it without further delay. [Laughter]

John Smith was at one time President of Virginia, and[Pg 1267] afterward Admiral of New England, and ever since then, until lately, New England and Virginia have been trying to pull loose from each other, so as not to be under the same ruler. [Laughter and applause.] John Smith was a godsend to the American settlers, because he was a plain man in a company of titled nonentities, and after they had tried and failed in every effort to make or perpetuate an American colony, plain John Smith, a democrat, without a title, took the helm and made it a success. [Laughter.]

Then and there, and ever since, we laid aside the Reginald-Trebizond-Percys of nobility, and stuck to the plain John Smiths, honest citizens, of capacity and character. By his example we learned that "Kind hearts are more than coronets," and simple men of worth are infinitely better than titled vagabonds of Norman blood. [Applause.] It is almost three centuries since a tiny vessel, not larger than a modern fishing-smack, turned her head to the sunset across an unknown sea, for the land of conjecture. The ship's company, composed of passengers from England, that wonderful nest of human wanderers, that splendid source of the best civilization of the world, cast anchor by chance in a noble bay for which they had not sailed, and settled a colony; not with any particularly high or noble object, but really in pursuit of gold, and searching for a South Sea which they never found. The voyage had been projected without any other object than the accumulation of wealth, which wealth was to be carried back to the old country and enjoyed in that England which they loved, and to which their eyes ever turned backward with affection, reverence, and the hope of return. This band of younger sons and penniless nobility, attempted to make a settlement under the charter known as the London charter of Virginia; and while we find to-day men sneering at John Smith, the fact remains that he alone was enabled by his strong personality, by his sterling, individual worth, to resist the savages, to make the lazy work, to furnish food for the weak and sickly, to re-inspire those who had lost hope, and to firmly establish a settlement in Virginia. His reward was what? Sedition in his own camp, ingratitude among his own followers, misrepresentation to his patrons, disappointment, disease, and poverty to himself; a return to England and posthumous fame. But his bulldog[Pg 1268] fangs, the fangs of that English blood which once sunk in the throat of a savage land remain forever, were placed upon America, to mark it as another conquest and another triumph of Anglo-Saxon colonization. Three years of peace and quiet in England were not to his taste. His mother's spirit craved new adventures, and he sought them in sea voyages to the north. Although his task was a much less difficult one, and not quite so prominent as the task he had accomplished in Virginia, he prepared the way for the settlement at Plymouth Rock. To his title of President of Virginia was added the title of Admiral of New England, because this John Smith, without a pedigree, except such as was blazoned on his shield by his slaughter of three Turks, turned his attention from the land to the sea, sailed the colder waters of the north, located the colonies of New England, named your own Boston, and the result of his voyages and reports were the Plymouth charter and settlement. So it is that we have a common founder of the settlements of this country. Of all the gallants who embarked in the first adventure, all disappeared save John Smith, who bore the plainest and commonest name that human imagination can devise. He became the patron saint of American civilization, as much yours as ours, and as much ours as yours. [Laughter and applause.]

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen: We had one founder; we came from one master-mind; one great spirit was the source of both our settlements; and this initial fact in our histories has seemed to inspire the American people through all the centuries with the sentiment that our union should be eternal in spite of all disturbing circumstances. [Applause.] When I said, in a light way, that old Virginia and Massachusetts had sought to rend themselves asunder, it was scarcely true. They have too much that is glorious in common to be aught but loving sisters. The men who are before me will not forget that the settlers of the London colony of Virginia, and settlers of the Plymouth colony of Massachusetts, have been at the front of every great movement which has agitated this nation from its birth. When it came to the question of whether we should dissolve the political ties that bound us to the British King, Massachusetts Bay and the colony of Virginia were the first to form[Pg 1269] their Committees of Safety, exchange their messages of mutual support, and strengthen the weak among their sister colonies. [Applause.] When it came to the time that tried men's souls in the Revolution, it was the men of Virginia and the men of Massachusetts Bay that furnished the largest quotas of revolutionary soldiers who achieved the independence of the American colonies.

When it came to the formation of a federal union, Virginia, with her Washington, gave the first President, and Massachusetts, with her Adams, stepped proudly to the front with the first Vice-President and second President. [Applause.] In later years, when differences came—which differences need not be discussed—every man here knows what part Virginia and Massachusetts bore. It was a part which, however much we may differ with each other, bespoke the origin of the two colonies, and told that true manhood was there to do and die for what it believed was right. When that struggle was ended, the first to clasp hands in mutual friendship and affection were Virginia and Massachusetts. If we were to blot from the history or geography of the Nation the deeds or territory of the ancient dominions of John Smith, President of Virginia and Admiral of New England, a beggarly record of area would be left, in spite of the glorious records of other sections in recent years.

The history of America is to me not only of deep and absorbing interest in its every detail, but it is a romance; it is a fascinating detail of wonderful development, the like of which cannot be found in the annals of civilization from the remotest time. We may go back to the time when the curtain rises on the most ancient civilization of the East, and there is nothing to compare with it. We may take up not only the real, but the romantic history of modern European progress, and there is nothing like American history for myself. Taking up the story of the Quaker invasion of Massachusetts as early as 1659, I find Lydia Wardell, daughter of Isaac Perkins, a freeman of the colony, whipped in Boston, because she had ceased to be a Puritan and had become a Quakeress. Turning then to the history of Virginia in 1663, I find Colonel Edmund Scarburgh riding at the head of the King's troops into the boundaries of Maryland, placing the broad arrows of the King on the houses[Pg 1270] of the Quakers, and punishing them soundly for non-conformity. Upon the question of who was right and who was wrong in these old feuds, there are doubtless men who, even to this day, have deep prejudices. Fancy how conflicting are the sentiments of a man in 1890, as to their merits, when he reflects, as I do, that Lydia Wardell was his grandmother, and Colonel Scarburgh his grandfather. [Applause and laughter.]

How absurd seems any comparison between the Puritan and Cavalier settlers of America. There they are, with all their faults, and all their virtues. Others may desire to contrast them. I do not. I stand ready to do battle against anybody who abuses either. Their conjoint blood has produced a Nation, the like of which no man living before our day had ever fancied. Nearly three centuries of intermingling and intermarrying, has made the traditions and the hopes of either the heritage and aspiration of us all. Common sufferings, common triumphs, common pride, make the whole glorious history the property of every American citizen, and it is provincial folly to glorify either faction at the expense of the other.

We stand to-night on the pinnacle of the third Century of American development. Look back to the very beginning. There stands the grizzled figure of John Smith, the Pioneer—President of Virginia, and Admiral of New England. Still united, we look about us and behold a nation blessed with peace and plenty, crowned with honor, and with boundless opportunity of future aggrandizement. The seed planted by John Smith still grows. The voice of John Smith still lives. That voice has been swelled into the mighty chorus of 60,000,000 Americans singing the song of United States. We look forward to a future whose possibilities stagger all conjecture, to a common ruler of John Smith's ancient dominions; to a common destiny, such as he mapped out for us. And with devout and heartfelt gratitude to him, a reunited land proclaims, "Whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder." [Great applause.]

[Pg 1271]


[Speech of John S. Wise at the annual dinner of the New York State Bar Association, Albany, N. Y., January 20, 1891. Matthew Hale, the President, introduced Mr. Wise as follows; "The next sentiment in order was, by mistake, omitted from the printed list of sentiments which is before you. The next sentiment is 'The Legal Profession,' and I call upon a gentleman to respond to that toast who, I venture to say, has practised law in more States of this Union than any other gentleman present. I allude to the orator of the day, the Hon. John S. Wise [applause], formerly of Virginia, but now a member of the Bar Association of the State of New York."]

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Bar:—It may not be true that I have practised law in more States of this Union than any one present, but it is certainly true that I never did as much speaking in the same length of time, without charging a fee for it, as I have done within the last twenty-four hours. [Laughter.] At two o'clock this morning I was in attendance, in the city of New York, upon a ghost dance of the Confederate veterans; at two o'clock this evening I resolved myself into a deep, careful, and circumspect lawyer, and now I am with the boys, and propose to have a good time. [Laughter.] Now, you know, this scene strikes me as ridiculous—our getting here together and glorifying ourselves and nobody to pay for it. My opinion is, that the part of wisdom is to bottle this oratory and keep it on tap at $5 a minute. [Laughter.] The Legal Profession—why, of course, we are the best fellows in the world. Who is here to deny it? It reminds me of an anecdote told by an old politician in Virginia, who said that one day, with his man, he was riding to Chesterfield court, and they got discussing the merits of a neighbor, Mr. Beasley, and he says, "Isaac, what do you think of Mr. Beasley?" "Well," he says, "Marse Frank, I reckon he is a pretty good man." "Well, there is one thing about Mr. Beasley, he is always humbling himself." He says, "Marse Frank, you are right; I don't know how you is, but I always mistrusts a man that runs hisself down." [Laughter.] He says, "I don't know how you is, Marse Frank, but I tell you how it is with me: this nigger scarcely ever says no harm against hisself." So I say it of the legal[Pg 1272] profession—this here nigger don't never scarcely say no harm against himself. [Great laughter.]

Of course we are the best profession in the world, but if any of our clients are standing at that door and listening to this oratory, I know what their reflection is. They are laughing in their sleeves and saying: "Watch him, watch him; did you ever hear lawyers talk as much for nothing? Watch them; it is the funniest scene I ever saw. There are a lot of lawyers with their hands in their own pockets." [Laughter.]

Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, another thing. We are not fooling with any judges now. I know who I am talking to and how long I have been doing it. Sometimes you can fool a judge into letting you have more time than the rule allows; but with lawyers, enough is enough. We know exactly when to put on the brakes with each other. We are not now earning fees by the yard or charging by the minute, and when a man is through with what he has to say, it is time to sit down, and all I have to say in conclusion is, that the more I watch the legal profession and observe it, the more I am convinced that with the great responsibility, with the great trusts confided to it, with the great issues committed to its keeping, with the great power it has to direct public feeling and public sentiment, with the great responsibilities resulting, take it as a mass—and there are plenty of rascals in it—but take it as a mass, and measure it up, and God never made a nobler body in these United States. [Applause.][Pg 1273]



[Speech of Edward O. Wolcott at the eighty-second annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1887. The President, ex-Judge Horace Russell, introduced the speaker as follows: "It was an English lawyer who said that the farther he went West the more he was convinced that the wise men came from the East. We may not be so thoroughly convinced of this after we have heard the response to the next regular toast, 'The Pilgrim in the West.' I beg to introduce Mr. Edward O. Wolcott, of Colorado."]

Mr. President and Gentlemen:—It was with great diffidence that I accepted the invitation of your President to respond to a toast to-night. I realized my incapacity to do justice to the occasion, while at the same time I recognized the high compliment conveyed. I felt somewhat as the man did respecting the Shakespeare-Bacon controversy; he said he didn't know whether Lord Bacon wrote Shakespeare's works or not, but if he didn't, he missed the greatest opportunity of his life. [Laughter.]

The West is only a larger, and in some respects a better, New England. I speak not of those rose gardens of culture, Missouri and Arkansas, but otherwise, generally of the States and Territories west of the Mississippi, and more particularly, because more advisedly, of Colorado, the youngest and most rugged of the-thirty-eight; almost as large in area as all New England and New York combined; "with room about her hearth for all mankind"; with fertile valleys, and with mines so rich and so plentiful that we occasionally, though reluctantly, dispose of one to our New York friends. [Laughter.] We have no very rich, no very poor, and no almshouses; and in the few localities where we are not good enough, New England Home Missionary[Pg 1274] Societies are rapidly bringing us up to the Plymouth Rock standard and making us face the Heavenly music. [Laughter.] We take annually from our granite hills wealth enough to pay for the fertilizers your Eastern and Southern soils require to save them from impoverishment. We have added three hundred millions to the coinage of the world; and, although you call only for gold, we generously give you silver, too. [Laughter.] You are not always inclined to appreciate our efforts to swell the circulation, but none the less are we one with you in patriotic desire to see the revenues reformed, provided always that our own peculiar industries are not affected. Our mountains slope toward either sea, and in their shadowy depths we find not only hidden wealth, but inspiration and incentive to high thought and noble living, for Freedom has ever sought the recesses of the mountains for her stronghold, and her spirit hovers there; their snowy summits and the long, rolling plains are lightened all day long by the sunshine, and we are not only Colorado, but Colorado Claro! [Applause.]

Practically, as little is known of the great West by you of the East as was known a century ago of New England by our British cousins. Your interest in us is, unfortunately, largely the interest on our mortgages, your attitude toward us is somewhat critical, and the New England heart is rarely aroused respecting the West except when some noble Indian, after painting himself and everything else within his reach red, is sent to his happy hunting grounds. [Laughter.] Yet, toward the savage, as in all things, do not blame us if we follow the Christian example set us by our forefathers. We read that the Court at Plymouth, more than fifty years after the colony was founded, ordered "That whosoever shall shoot off any gun on any unnecessary occasion, or at any game whatsoever, except an Indian or a wolf, shall forfeit five shillings for every such shot"; and our pious ancestors popped over many an Indian on their way to Divine worship. [Laughter.] But when in Colorado, settled less than a generation ago, the old New England heredity works itself out and an occasional Indian is peppered, the East raises its hands in horror, and our offending cowboys could not find admittance even to an Andover Probation Society. [Laughter.][Pg 1275]

Where we have a chance to work without precedent, we can point with pride of a certain sort to methods at least peaceful. When Mexico was conquered, we found ourselves with many thousand Mexicans on hand. I don't know how they managed it elsewhere, but in Colorado we not only took them by the hand and taught them our ways, but both political parties inaugurated a beautiful and generous custom, since more honored in the breach than in the observance, which gave these vanquished people an insight into and an interest in the workings of republican institutions which was marvellous: a custom of presenting to each head of a household, being a voter, on election day, from one to five dollars in our native silver. [Great laughter.]

If Virginia was the mother of Presidents, New England is the mother of States. Of the population of the Western States born in the United States, some five per cent, are of New England birth, and of the native population more than half can trace a New England ancestry. Often one generation sought a resting-place in Ohio, and its successor in Illinois or in Iowa, but you will find that the ancestor, less than a century ago, was a God-fearing Yankee. New England influences everywhere predominate. I do not mean to say that many men from the South have not, especially since the war, found homes and citizenship in the West, for they have; and most of them are now holding Federal offices. [Laughter.] It is nevertheless true that from New England has come the great, the overwhelming influence in moulding and controlling Western thought. [Applause.]

New England thrift, though a hardy plant, becomes considerably modified when transplanted to the loam of the prairies; the penny becomes the dime before it reaches the other ocean; Ruth would find rich gleanings among our Western sheaves, and the palm of forehandedness opens sometimes too freely under the wasteful example which Nature sets all over our broad plains; but because the New England ancestor was acquisitive, his Western descendant secures first of all his own home. [Applause.] The austere and serious views of life which our forefathers cherished have given way to a kindlier charity, and we put more hope and more interrogation points into our theology than our[Pg 1276] fathers did; but the old Puritan teachings, softened by the years and by brighter and freer skies, still keep our homes Christian and our home life pure. And more, far more than all else, the blood which flows in our veins, the blood of the sturdy New Englanders who fought and conquered for an idea, quickened and kindled by the Civil War, has imbued and impregnated Western men with a patriotism that overrides and transcends all other emotions. Pioneers in a new land, laying deep the foundations of the young commonwealths, they turn the furrows in a virgin soil, and from the seed which they plant there grows, renewed and strengthened with each succeeding year, an undying devotion to republican institutions, which shall nourish their children and their children's children forever. [Prolonged applause.]

An earnest people and a generous! The Civil strife made nothing right that was wrong before, and nothing wrong that was right before; it simply settled the question of where the greater strength lay. We know that

"Who overcomes
By force, hath overcome but half his foe,"

and that if more remains to be done, it must come because the hearts of men are changed. The war is over; the very subject is hackneyed; it is a tale that is told, and commerce and enlightened self-interest have obliterated all lines. And yet you must forgive us if, before the account is finally closed, and the dead and the woe and the tears are balanced by all the blessings of a reunited country, some of us still listen for a voice we have not yet heard; if we wait for some Southern leader to tell us that renewed participation in the management of the affairs of this nation carries with it the admission that the question of the right of secession is settled, not because the South was vanquished, but because the doctrine was and is wrong, forever wrong. [Great applause.]

We are a plain people, too, and live far away. We find all the excitement we need in the two great political parties, and rather look upon the talk of anybody in either party being better than his party, as a sort of cant. The hyper[Pg 1277]critical faculty has not reached us yet, and we leave to you of the East the exclusive occupancy of the raised dais upon which it seems necessary for the independent voter to stand while he is counted. [Applause and laughter.]

We are provincial; we have no distinctive literature and no great poets; our leading personage abroad of late seems to be the Honorable "Buffalo Bill" [laughter], and we use our adjectives so recklessly that the polite badinage indulged in toward each other by your New York editors to us seems tame and spiritless. In mental achievement we may not have fully acquired the use of the fork, and are "but in the gristle and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood." We stand toward the East somewhat as country to city cousins; about as New to Old England, only we don't feel half so badly about it, and on the whole are rather pleased with ourselves. [Laughter.] There is not in the whole broad West a ranch so lonely or so remote that a public school is not within reach of it. With generous help from the East, Western colleges are elevating and directing Western thought, and men busy making States yet find time to live manly lives and to lend a hand. All this may not be æsthetic, but it is virile, and it leads up and not down. Great poets, and those who so touch the hearts of men that the vibration goes down the ages, must often find their inspiration when wealth brings leisure to a class, or must have "learned in suffering what they teach in song." We can wait for our inspired ones; when they come, the work of this generation, obscure and commonplace, will have paved the way for them; the general intelligence diffused in this half century will, unknown or forgotten, yet live in their numbers, and the vivid imaginations of our New England ancestors, wasted in depicting the joys and torments of the world to come, will, modified by the years, beautify and ennoble the cares of this. [Applause.]

There are some things even more important than the highest culture. The West is the Almighty's reserve ground, and as the world is filling up. He is turning even the old arid plains and deserts into fertile acres, and is sending there the rain as well as the sunshine. A high and glorious destiny awaits us; soon the balance of population will lie the other side of the Mississippi, and the millions that[Pg 1278] are coming must find waiting for them schools and churches, good government, and a happy people:

"Who love the land because it is their own,
And scorn to give aught other reason why;
Would shake hands with a King upon his throne,
And think it kindness to his Majesty."

We are beginning to realize, however, that the invitation we have been extending to all the world has been rather too general. So far we have been able to make American citizens in fact as well as name out of the foreign-born immigrants. The task was light while we had the honest and industrious to deal with, but the character of some of the present immigration has brought a conviction which we hope you share, that the sacred rights of citizenship should be withheld from a certain class of aliens in race and language, who seek the protection of this Government, until they shall have at least learned that the red in our flag is commingled with the white and blue and the stars. [Great applause.]

In everything which pertains to progress in the West, the Yankee reinforcements step rapidly to the front. Every year she needs more of them, and as the country grows the annual demand becomes greater. Genuine New Englanders are to be had on tap only in six small States, and remembering this we feel that we have the right to demand that in the future even more than in the past, the heads of the New England households weary not in the good work. [Laughter and applause.]

In these later days of "booms" and New Souths and Great Wests; when everybody up North who fired a gun is made to feel that he ought to apologize for it, and good fellowship everywhere abounds, there is a sort of tendency to fuse; only big and conspicuous things are much considered; and New England being small in area and most of her distinguished people being dead, she is just now somewhat under an eclipse. But in her past she has undying fame. You of New England and her borders live always in the atmosphere of her glories; the scenes which tell of her achievements are ever near at hand, and familiarity and contact may rob them of their charms, and dim to[Pg 1279] your eyes their sacredness. The sons of New England in the West revisit her as men who make pilgrimage to some holy shrine, and her hills and valleys are still instinct with noble traditions. In her glories and her history we claim a common heritage, and we never wander so far away from her that with each recurring anniversary of this day, our hearts do not turn to her with renewed love and devotion for our beloved New England; yet—

"Not by Eastern windows only,
When daylight comes, comes in the light;
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
But Westward, look, the land is bright!"

[Hearty applause.][Pg 1280]




[Speech of Field-Marshal Viscount Wolseley, Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, at a dinner given by the Authors' Club, London, November 6, 1899. Dr. Conan Doyle presided.]

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen:—I think that all people who know anything about the Army should rejoice extremely that our first experiment in mobilization has been as successful as it has been. [Cheers.]

Your Chairman has mentioned the name of one, a most intimate friend of mine, the present Military Secretary. [Lord Lansdowne.] I think the nation is very much indebted to him not only for the manner in which this mobilization has been carried out, but still more so for having laid the foundation on which our mobilization system is based, and for making those preparations which led to its complete success. [Cheers.] There are many other names I might mention, others who have also devoted themselves for many years past in a very quiet manner, and with all the ability which now, I am glad to say, so largely permeates the Army, to making these preparations and to try to bring this curious army of ours up to the level of the modern armies of the world. [Cheers.]

Although I say it myself, I think I may claim for myself and for those who have worked with me a certain meed of praise, for we have worked under extreme difficulties. Not only under the ordinary difficulties in dealing with a very complicated arrangement, but we have had to work in the face of the most dire opposition on the part of a great number of people who ought to have been the first to help us. ["Hear! Hear!"] The Chairman has referred to the op[Pg 1281]position of the Press; but that has been nothing to the opposition we have met with in our own profession—the profession of ten, fifteen, or twenty years ago, when great reforms were begun in the Army by the ablest War Secretary who has ever been in office—I mean Lord Cardwell. His name is now almost forgotten by the present generation, and also the names of many other distinguished officers in their day, whose names were associated with many of the brightest moments of English victory and English conquest, and who set their faces honestly against alteration, and firmly believed that the young men of those days were a set of madmen and a set of Radicals who were anxious to overturn not only the British Army, but the whole British Constitution with it. [Laughter.] This prejudice spread into high places, until at last we were looked upon as a party of faddists who ought to be banished to the farthest part of our dominions. [Renewed laughter.] But I am glad to say that the tree we planted then took root, and there gradually grew up around us a body of young officers, men highly instructed in their profession, who supported us, carried us through, and enabled us to arrive at the perfection which, I think, we have now attained. ["Hear! Hear!"]

There has been abroad in the Army for a great many years an earnest desire on the part of a large section, certainly, to make themselves worthy of the Army and worthy of the nation by whom they were paid, and for whose good they existed. That feeling has become more intensified every year, and at the present moment, if you examine the Army List, you will find that almost all the Staff Officers recently gone out to South Africa have been educated at the Staff College, established to teach the higher science of our profession and to educate a body of men who will be able to conduct the military affairs of the country when it comes to their turn to do so. Those men are now arriving at the top of the tree, thank God! while many of those magnificent old soldiers under whom I was brought up have disappeared from the face of the earth, and others who are to be seen at the clubs have come round—they have been converted in their last moments [laughter]; they have the frankness to tell you they made a mistake. They[Pg 1282] recognize that they were wrong and that we were right. [Cheers.]

I quite endorse what the Chairman says about the success of the mobilization, and I will slightly glance at the state of affairs as they at present exist in South Africa. I have the advantage of having spent some time in South Africa, and of having been—not only General Commanding, but Governor and High Commissioner, with high-sounding titles given me by her Majesty. I know, consequently, not only a little of South Africa, but a good deal of Boer character. During my stay as Governor of the Transvaal, I had many opportunities of knowing people whom you have recently seen mentioned as the principal leaders in this war against us. There are many traits in their character for which I have the greatest possible admiration. They are a very strongly conservative people—I do not mean in a political sense at all, but they were, I found, anxious to preserve and conserve all that was best in the institutions handed down to them from their forefathers. But of all the ignorant people in that world that I have ever been brought into contact with, I will back the Boers of South Africa as the most ignorant. At the same time they are an honest people. When the last President of the Transvaal handed over the government to us—and I may say, within parentheses, that the last thing an Englishman would do under the circumstances would be to look in the till—there was only 4s. 6d. to the credit of the Republic. [Laughter.] Within a few weeks or days of the hoisting of the British flag in the Transvaal a bill for £4 10s. 4d. came in against the Boer Government, and was dishonored. [Renewed laughter.] The Boers at that time—perhaps we did not manage them properly—certainly set their face against us, and things have gone on from bad to worse, until the aspiration now moving them is that they should rule not only the Transvaal, but that they should rule the whole of South Africa. That is the point which I think English people must keep before them. There's no question about ruling the Transvaal or the Orange Free State—the one great question that has to be fought out between the Dutch in South Africa and the English race is, which is to be the predominant Power—whether it is to be the Boer Republic or the English Monarchy. [Cheers.][Pg 1283] Well, if I at all understand and know the people of this nation, I can see but one end to it, and it will be the end that we hope for and have looked for. [Cheers.]

But I would warn every man who takes an interest in this subject not to imagine that war can be carried on like a game of chess or some other game in which the most powerful intellect wins from the first. War is a game of ups and downs, and you may rest assured that it is impossible to read in history of any campaign that it has been a march of triumph from beginning to end. Therefore, if at the present moment we are suffering from disappointments, believe me, those disappointments are in many ways useful to us. We have found that the enemy who declared war against us—for they are the aggressors—are much more powerful and numerous than we anticipated. But at the same time, believe me, that anything that may have taken place lately to dishearten the English people has had a good effect—it has brought us as a nation closer together. The English-speaking people of the world have put their foot down, and intend to carry this thing through, no matter what may be the consequence. [Cheers.]

I have the greatest possible confidence in British soldiers. I have lived in their midst many years of my life, and I am quite certain of this, that wherever their officers lead they will follow. If you look over the list of our casualties lately, you will find that the British officer has led them well. Certainly he has not spared himself; he has not been in the background. [Cheers.] He has suffered unfortunately, and expects to suffer, and ought to suffer; and I hope most sincerely and truly, whatever may be in store for us, whatever battles there may be in this war, that when we read the list of casualties there will be a very large proportion of officers sufferers as well as men. It would be most unworthy of our Army and of our nation if our officers did not lead, and if they lead they must suffer as well as those who follow. I am extremely obliged to you for the compliment that has been paid to me. It has been a very great pleasure for me to come here. I had no idea I was to listen to such an admirable speech from your Chairman. I thank you sincerely for having listened to me, and hope you will make every allowance for any defect in a speech which certainly had not been prepared. [Loud cheers.][Pg 1284]



[Speech of Wu Ting-Fang, Chinese Minister to the United States, at the annual dinner of the New York Southern Society, New York City, February 22, 1899. William M. Polk, the President of the Society, occupied the chair. Minister Wu responded to the sentiment, "To our newest and nearest neighbor on our Western border, the most ancient of Empires, which until now has always been in the Far East, and to her distinguished diplomatic representative—persona grata to our Government and to this Society."]

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen:—It is never too late to learn, and since I have been here I have learned that my ancient country, which has always been known as an Eastern country, has now turned to be a Western country. I do not regret to hear this, because Western countries have always been looked on as very powerful nations. [Applause.] In that sense I would not be sorry to see my own country assume the position that your Western countries have always taken. I do not know whether you would wish to have your great Nation become an Eastern country in the sense in which Eastern countries are popularly known.

When the invitation to dine with you on this occasion was conveyed to me I gladly accepted it because the occasion occurred on the anniversary of the birth of George Washington, who is widely and popularly known as the Father of your country. Long before I came to the United States as the representative of my country, even when I was a boy, I had heard of George Washington, and from what I could learn about him I formed a profound respect for his name and memory. At this banquet you appropriately recall to mind the noble character of your Wash[Pg 1285]ington, his great deeds, and his unselfish devotion to his country.

It is interesting to know that time changes not only the opinions of individuals and parties, but also the traditional policy of a nation. I understood when I was a boy that the policy of George Washington was to confine his attention and his ambition to the country in which he governed. That policy has been followed by all of his successors up to very recently. [Laughter and applause.] But the recent momentous events have necessitated a new departure. You have been driven to a position that you never dreamed of before. You have entered the path of Expansion, or, as some call it, Imperialism.

If I understand your chairman correctly, Imperialism practically means the power and wisdom to govern. This is not the first time that I have heard such a definition of imperialism. I once heard an eminent American divine say that imperialism meant civilization—in an American sense. [Laughter.] He also added the word liberty, and with your permission I would like to make a still further addition: that is, fairness, and just treatment of all classes of persons without distinction of race or color. [Cheers.] Well, you have the Philippines ceded to you, and you are hesitating whether to keep them or not. I see in that very fact of your hesitation an indication of your noble character. Suppose a precious gift entailing obligations is tendered to a man; he would accept it without any thought or hesitation if he were wholly lacking in principle; but you hesitate because of your high moral character, and your sense of responsibility. I express no opinion as to whether or not you should keep the Philippines. That is for you to decide. I am confident that when this question has been thoroughly threshed out, you will come to the right decision. I will say this: China must have a neighbor; and it is my humble opinion that it is better to have a good neighbor than an indifferent one.

Should your country decide to keep the Philippines, what would be the consequences? A large trade has been carried on for centuries between those islands and China. Your trade would be greatly increased and to your benefit. Aside from this the American trade in China has been in[Pg 1286]creasing largely in the last few years. I have often been asked whether we Chinamen are friendly to America. To show you how friendly we are, I will tell you that we call your nation a "flowery flag" and that we call your people "handsome." Such phrases clearly show that we are favorably disposed toward you. If we did not like you, we would not have given you such nice names. The officials of China, as well as the people, like Americans, and our relations, officially and commercially, are cordial.

There is, however, one disturbing element—one unsatisfactory feature—I refer to your Chinese Immigration law. Your people do not know and do not understand my people. You have judged all of my people from the Chinese in California. Your Chinese exclusion law has now been in operation for fifteen or sixteen years, but it cannot be said to have been satisfactory even to yourselves. Those laws were intended to keep the Chinese cheap labor out of your country, but they have also kept out the better class of my countrymen whom I am satisfied the laws did not intend to exclude. I desire to throw no blame on any of your officials for their zeal in enforcing the laws. They simply do their duty. But I want to point out to you that those laws do not bring about the results intended by your legislators. Besides, their existence gives the impression in our country that your people do not like our people. I personally know that is not so, but I would like to see this disturbing element removed by a modification of the laws. Once remove that disturbing element and our people would welcome your Americans to China with open arms.

As to the character of our people I can refer you only to those who have been in China. I will refer you to the opinion of a man who for a great many years was in China at the head of the Hong-Kong and Shanghai Bank. After twenty-five years' service, he resigned, and on the eve of his departure he was given a banquet by foreigners, not by Chinese, mind; and in the course of his speech he went out of his way to speak of his relations with Chinese merchants. As I remember, the substance of his speech was that during all those years in China, he had had dealings with Chinese merchants aggregating hundreds of millions[Pg 1287] of dollars, and he said that, large as were those dealings, he had never lost a cent through any Chinese merchant. That testimony was given unsolicited by a man long resident in China, and shows indisputably the character of our merchants.

Now that you have become our neighbor, and if you want to deal with China, here is the class of people you have to deal with; and if you see your way clear to modify the only obstacle that now stands in the way of respectable Chinese coming here, and doing away with the false impression in the minds of our people, I have no doubt that such a step would redound to the benefit of both parties. If you look at the returns furnished by your consuls or by our customs returns, you will find that your trade in China has increased to a remarkable degree. China is constructing a railway from north to south, and she is practically an open door for your trade purposes. There is a great field for you there; and with all our people favorably disposed toward you, I am sure you will receive further benefits through the means of still further increased trade. [Loud applause.][Pg 1288]



[Speech of Surgeon-General Walter Wyman at the banquet given in Washington, D. C., February 22, 1900, by the Society of the Sons of the Revolution in the District of Columbia.]

Ladies and Gentlemen:—In behalf of the Society of the Sons of the Revolution in the District of Columbia it becomes my pleasant duty to bid you welcome on this occasion, the anniversary of the birthday of George Washington, the Father of his country.

The Society of the Sons of the Revolution was founded in 1883, in New York, its purpose, as expressed by the Constitution, being "to perpetuate the memory of the men, who, in the military, naval, and civic service of the Colonies and of the Continental Congress, by their acts and counsel achieved the independence of the Country." The New York Society, to be historically correct, was instituted February 22, 1876, but was reorganized in 1883, when the General Society was formed. State Societies were subsequently formed in Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, State of Washington, and West Virginia, there being, therefore, thirty-one State Societies, with a total membership of 6,031. The District of Columbia Society was formed in 1889, and now numbers over two hundred and fifty members.

The object of these Societies is not, as some may im[Pg 1289]agine, to indulge a pride of ancestry, or to establish exclusive organizations with a membership dependent upon the deeds of forefathers for its own distinction, but rather to encourage and stimulate a desire for knowledge of the problems which were presented to, and the circumstances which confronted our revolutionary forefathers; to study their courage and wisdom in council and their valor in war, which resulted in the establishment of a Republic, the most potent in the history of the world.

The illumination of the past is useless unless its rays are made to penetrate into the present, bestowing guidance and confidence. The records of our forefathers, therefore, are brought forth and published to the world, chiefly to stimulate ourselves to like courage and devotion should occasion arise.

The patriotism displayed by both the North and the South during the War of the Rebellion, and the patriotism displayed during the recent Spanish-American War, are evidences that true American spirit is as strong to-day as it was in the days which gave birth to our Republic. The associations now in existence, having their origin in the War of the Rebellion and the Spanish-American War, are similar in their aim and objects to the Society of the Sons of the Revolution. This Society seeks to preserve the records of the founders of the Republic, to cause these records to be published and preserved in permanent form—not only those which are to be found in the archives of the Nation and of the States, but fragmentary facts of vast interest, in the hands of private individuals, which would otherwise become lost or forgotten. It erects monuments to commemorate the lives of distinguished men, and mural tablets to signalize important events; it establishes prize essays for competition among school children on subjects relating to the American Revolution, and seeks to inspire respect and affection for the flag of the Union.

The numerous celebrations and excursions to points of historical interest, of the District of Columbia Society, within the past ten years, must still be fresh in the minds of many among this audience. Each Fourth of July, each Washington's Birthday, as well as on other occasions within the past ten years, has this Society indulged in patriotic[Pg 1290] celebration. The celebration of to-day is of peculiar significance. Questions, second only in importance to those which confronted Washington, are before us. The Nation is entering upon a career of influence and beneficence which even Washington never dreamed of. Questions of government, involving the rights of men, the responsibilities of the strong in their relations to the weak, the promulgation of freedom without license, are problems facing the American Congress and the people to-day. The force of events has extended the responsibility of these United States to Cuba, Porto Rico, Hawaii, the Philippines, Guam, and Samoa.

During the events of the past two years every thinking man and woman must have been impressed by the gravity of the problems with which our present Chief Executive has been forced to grapple: problems that have demanded of him many of the great qualities which distinguished our first President. These problems involved a steady adherence to what is right, a lofty patriotism sinking the individual in the consideration of the public good. Firmness before the enemy, buoyancy and strength before friends, and humility before the Creator who disposes of all things. These are elements of character which not only distinguished George Washington, but which I am only echoing public sentiment in saying likewise have distinguished our present Chief Executive, and inspired an affection for and a confidence in the name of William McKinley.

It is peculiarly befitting at this time, therefore, to study those characteristics of great men which enable them to meet great emergencies and at the same time preserve their own simplicity and nobility of character untainted by selfishness. Of the living we may not speak too freely, but every act and sentiment of him "who by his unwearied exertions in the cabinet and in the field achieved for us the glorious revolution," is ours for contemplation and comment. Both time and place are singularly appropriate. In this city bearing his name, facing the noble shaft erected to his memory, within the territory which he most frequented, and almost in sight of his stately home on the Potomac, it is befitting that we here celebrate his natal day. [Prolonged applause.]


[1] Robert G. Ingersoll.

[2] Jay Gould.

[3] Translation.—Will you kindly allow me to make my speech in French? If I address you in a tongue that I do not speak, and that no one here understands, I must lay the entire blame on that unfortunate example of Mr. Coudert. What I desire to say is—

[4] Translation.—When the heart is full it overflows, and this evening my heart is full of France, but—

[5] Henry W. Grady.

[6] Glaucopis.

[7] Allusion to John T. Hoffman, who occupied the post of Recorder previous to his election as Mayor.

[8] Mrs. Ripley.

[9] Charles Cotesworth Beaman.

[10] Horace Porter.

[11] Harriet Beecher Stowe, died July 1, 1896.

[12] Abraham Lincoln.

[13] Professor Woodrow Wilson was, at the suggestion of the retiring president (Francis Landey Patton) of Princeton University, unanimously elected to fill his place as president, June 9, 1902.