MODEL SPEECHES FOR PRACTISE
Formerly Instructor in Public Speaking at Yale Divinity School, Yale University. Author of "How to Speak in Public," "Great Speeches and How to Make Them," "Complete Guide to Public Speaking," "How to Build Mental Power," "Talks on Talking," etc., etc.
FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY NEW YORK AND LONDON 1920
COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY
[Printed in the United States of America]
Published, February, 1920
Copyright Under the Articles of the Copyright Convention of the Pan-American Republics and the United States, August 11, 1910
This book contains a varied representation of successful speeches by eminently successful speakers. They furnish, in convenient form, useful material for study and practise.
The student is earnestly recommended to select one speech at a time, analyze it carefully, note its special features, practise it aloud, and then proceed to another. In this way he will cover the principal forms of public speaking, and enable himself to apply his knowledge to any occasion.
The cardinal rule is that a speaker learns to speak by speaking, hence a careful reading and study of these speeches will do much to develop the student's taste for correct literary and oratorical form.
GRENVILLE KLEISER. New York City, August, 1919.
PAGE INTRODUCTION—Aims and Purposes of Speaking—Grenville Kleiser 11
After-Dinner Speaking—James Russell Lowell 29
England, Mother of Nations—Ralph Waldo Emerson 37
The Age of Research—William Ewart Gladstone 44
Address of Welcome—Oliver Wendell Holmes 52
Good-Will to America—Sir William Harcourt 65
The Qualities That Win—Charles Sumner 71
The English-Speaking Race—George William Curtis 88
Woman—Horace Porter 100
Tribute to Herbert Spencer—William M. Evarts 113
The Empire State—Chauncey M. Depew 120
Men of Letters—James Anthony Froude 133
Literature and Politics—John Morley 139
General Sherman—Carl Schurz 147
Oration Over Alexander Hamilton—Gouverneur Morris 154
Eulogy of McKinley—Grover Cleveland 164
Decoration Day—Thomas W. Higginson 170
Faith in Mankind—Arthur T. Hadley 177
Washington and Lincoln—Martin W. Littleton 181
Characteristics of Washington—William McKinley 187
Let France Be Free—George Jacques Danton 193
Sons of Harvard—Charles Devens 199
Wake Up, England!—King George 208
AIMS AND PURPOSES OF SPEAKING
It is obvious that the style of your public speaking will depend upon the specific purpose you have in view. If you have important truths which you wish to make known, or a great and definite cause to serve, you are likely to speak about it with earnestness and probably with eloquence.
If, however, your purpose in speaking is a selfish one—if your object is self-exploitation, or to serve some special interest of your own—if you regard your speaking as an irksome task, or are unduly anxious as to what your hearers will think of you and your effort—then you are almost sure to fail.
On the other hand, if you have the interests of your hearers sincerely at heart—if you really wish to render a worthy public service—if you lose all thought of self in your heartfelt desire to serve others—then you will have the most essential requirements of true and enduring oratory.
THE NECESSITY OF A DEFINITE OBJECT
It is of the highest importance for you to have in mind a clear conception of the end you wish to achieve by your speaking. This purpose should characterize all you say, so that at each step in your speech you will feel sure of making steady progress toward the desired object.
As a public speaker you assume serious responsibility. You are to influence men for weal or woe. The words you speak are like so many seeds, planted in the minds of your hearers, there to grow and multiply according to their kind. What you say may have far-reaching effects, hence the importance of careful forethought in the planning and preparation of your speeches.
The highest aim of your public speaking is not merely to instruct or entertain, but to influence the wills of men, to make men think as you think, and to persuade them to act in the manner you desire. This is a lofty aim, when supported by a good cause, and worthy of your greatest talents and efforts.
THE KEY TO SUCCESS IN SPEAKING
The key to greatness of speech is sincerity. You must yourself be so thoroughly imbued with the truth and desirability of what you are urging upon others that they will be imprest by your integrity of purpose. To have their confidence and good will is almost to win your cause.
But you must have deep and well-grounded convictions before you can hope to convince and influence other men. Duty, necessity, magnanimity, innate conviction, and sincere interest in the welfare of others,—these beget true fervor and are essential to passionate and persuasive speaking.
Lord Lytton emphasized the vital importance of earnest purpose in the speaker. Referring to speech in the British Parliament he said, "Have but fair sense and a competent knowledge of your subject, and then be thoroughly in earnest to impress your own honest conviction upon others, and no matter what your delivery, tho your gestures shock every rule in Quintilian, you will command the ear and influence the debates of the most accomplished, the most fastidious, and, take it altogether, the noblest assembly of freemen in the world."
Keep in mind that the purpose of your public speaking is not only to convince but also to persuade your hearers. It is not sufficient that they merely agree with what you say; you must persuade them also to act as you desire.
Hence you should aim to reach both their minds and hearts. Solid argument, clear method, and indisputable facts are necessary for the first purpose; vivid imagination, concrete illustration, and animated feeling are necessary for the second.
THE NEED OF A KNOWLEDGE OF HUMAN NATURE
It will be of great practical value to you to have a knowledge of the average man comprising your audience, his tastes, preferences, prejudices, and proclivities. The more you adapt your speech to such an average man, the more successful are you likely to be in influencing the entire audience.
Aim, therefore, to use words, phrases, illustrations, and arguments such as you think the average man will readily understand. Avoid anything which would cause confusion, distraction, or prejudice in his mind. Use every reasonable means to win his good will and approval.
Your speech is not a monolog, but a dialog, in which you are the speaker, and the auditor a silent tho questioning listener. His mind is in a constant attitude of interrogation toward you. And upon the degree of your success in answering such silent but insistent questions will depend the ultimate success of your speaking.
The process of persuading the hearer depends chiefly upon first being persuaded yourself. You may be devoid of feeling, and yet convince your hearers; but to reach their hearts and to move them surely toward the desired purpose, you must yourself be moved.
Your work as a public speaker is radically different from that of the actor or reciter. You are not impersonating some one else, nor interpreting the thought of another. You must above all things be natural, real, sincere and earnest. Your work is creative and constructive.
THE RIGHT ATTITUDE OF A SPEAKER
However much you may study, plan, or premeditate, there must be no indication of conscious or studied attempt in the act of speaking to an audience. At that time everything must be merged into your personality.
Your earnestness in speaking arises principally from having a distinct conception of the object aimed at and a strong desire to accomplish it. Under these circumstances you summon to your aid all your available power of thought and feeling. Your mental faculties are stimulated into their fullest activity, and you bend every effort toward the purpose before you.
But however zealous you may feel about the truth or righteousness of the cause you espouse, you will do well always to keep within the bounds of moderation. You can be vigorous without violence, and enthusiastic without extravagance.
You must not only thoroughly know yourself and your subject, but also your audience. You should carefully consider the best way to bring them and yourself into unity. You may do this by making an appeal to some principle commonly recognized and approved by men, such as patriotism, justice, humanity, courage, duty, or righteousness.
What Phillips Brooks said about the preacher, applies with equal truth to other forms of public speaking:
"Whatever is in the sermon must be in the preacher first; clearness, logicalness, vivacity, earnestness, sweetness, and light, must be personal qualities in him before they are qualities of thought and language in what he utters to his people."
After you have earnestly studied the principles of public speaking you should plan to have regular and frequent practise in addressing actual audiences. There are associations and societies everywhere, constantly in quest of good speakers. There will be ample opportunities for you if you have properly developed your speaking abilities.
And now to sum up some of the most essential things for you:
1. READ ALOUD EVERY DAY
This is indispensable to your greatest progress in speech culture. Reading aloud, properly done, compels you to pronounce the words, instead of skimming over them as in silent reading. It gives you the additional benefit of receiving a vocal impression of the rhythm and structure of the composition.
Keep in mind the following purposes of your reading aloud:
1. To improve your speaking voice.
2. To acquire distinct enunciation.
3. To cultivate correct pronunciation.
4. To develop English style.
5. To increase your stock of words.
6. To store your memory with facts.
7. To analyze an author's thoughts.
8. To broaden your general knowledge.
2. FORM THE NOTE-BOOK HABIT
Keep separate note-books for the subjects in which you are deeply interested and on which you intend some time to speak in public. Write in them promptly any valuable ideas which come to you from the four principal sources—observation, conversation, reading, and meditation.
You will be surprized to find how rapidly you can acquire useful data in this way. In an emergency you can turn to the speech-material you have accumulated and quickly solve the problem of "what to say."
Keep the contents of your note-books in systematic order. Classify ideas under distinct headings. When possible write the ideas down in regular speech form. Once a week read aloud the contents of your note-books.
3. DAILY STUDY YOUR DICTIONARY
Read aloud each day from your dictionary for at least five minutes, and give special attention to the pronunciation and meaning of words. This is one of the most useful exercises for building a large vocabulary.
Develop the dictionary habit. Be interested in words. Study them in their contexts. Make special lists of your own. Select special words for special uses. Note significant words in your general reading.
Think of words as important tools for public speaking. Choose them with discrimination in your daily conversation. Consult your dictionary for the meanings of words about which you are in doubt. Be an earnest student of words.
4. SYSTEMATICALLY DEVELOP YOUR MENTAL POWERS
Give some time each day to the development of a judicial mind. Learn to think deliberately and carefully. Study causes and principles. Look deeply into things.
Be impartial in your examination of a subject. Study all sides of a question or problem. Weigh the evidence with the purpose of ascertaining the truth.
Beware the peril of prejudice. Keep your mind wide open to receive the facts. Look at a subject from the other man's viewpoint. Cultivate breadth of mind. Do not let your personal interests or desires mislead you. Insist upon securing the truth at all costs.
5. DAILY PRACTISE COMPOSITION
Frequent use of the pen is essential to proficiency in speaking. Write a little every day to form your English style. Daily exercise in writing will rapidly develop felicity and fluency of speech.
Test your important ideas by putting them into writing. Constantly cultivate clearness of expression. Examine, criticize, and improve your own compositions.
Copy in your handwriting at least a page daily from one of the great English stylists. Continue this exercise for a month and note the improvement in your speech and writing.
6. PRACTISE IMPROMPTU SPEAKING
At least once a day stand up, in the privacy of your room, and make an impromptu speech of two or three minutes. Select any subject which interests you. Aim at fluency of style rather than depth of thought.
In these daily efforts, use the best chest voice at your command, enunciate clearly, open your mouth well, and imagine yourself addressing an actual audience. A month's regular practise of this exercise will convince you of its great value.
7. STUDY SUCCESSFUL PUBLIC SPEAKERS
Hear the best public speakers available to you. Observe them critically. Ask yourself such questions as these:
1. How does this speaker impress me?
2. Does he proceed in the most effective manner possible?
3. Does he convince me of the truth of his statements?
4. Does he persuade me to act as he wishes?
5. What are the elements of success in this speaker?
As you faithfully apply these various suggestions, you will constantly improve in the art of public speaking, and so learn to wield this mighty power not simply for your personal gratification but for the inspiration and betterment of your fellow men.
MODEL SPEECHES FOR PRACTISE
BY JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL
My Lord Coleridge, My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen:—I confess that my mind was a little relieved when I found that the toast to which I am to respond rolled three gentlemen, Cerberus-like into one, and when I saw Science pulling impatiently at the leash on my left, and Art on my right, and that therefore the responsibility of only a third part of the acknowledgment has fallen to me. You, my lord, have alluded to the difficulties of after-dinner oratory. I must say that I am one of those who feel them more keenly the more after-dinner speeches I make. There are a great many difficulties in the way, and there are three principal ones, I think. The first is having too much to say, so that the words, hurrying to escape, bear down and trample out the life of each other. The second is when, having nothing to say, we are expected to fill a void in the minds of our hearers. And I think the third, and most formidable, is the necessity of following a speaker who is sure to say all the things you meant to say, and better than you, so that we are tempted to exclaim, with the old grammarian, "Hang these fellows, who have said all our good things before us!"
Now the Fourth of July has several times been alluded to, and I believe it is generally thought that on that anniversary the spirit of a certain bird known to heraldic ornithologists—and I believe to them alone—as the spread eagle, enters into every American's breast, and compels him, whether he will or no, to pour forth a flood of national self-laudation. This, I say, is the general superstition, and I hope that a few words of mine may serve in some sort to correct it. I ask you, if there is any other people who have confined their national self-laudation to one day in the year. I may be allowed to make one remark as a personal experience. Fortune had willed it that I should see as many—perhaps more—cities and manners of men as Ulysses; and I have observed one general fact, and that is, that the adjectival epithet which is prefixt to all the virtues is invariably the epithet which geographically describes the country that I am in. For instance, not to take any real name, if I am in the kingdom of Lilliput, I hear of the Lilliputian virtues. I hear courage, I hear common sense, and I hear political wisdom called by that name. If I cross to the neighboring Republic Blefusca—for since Swift's time it has become a Republic—I hear all these virtues suddenly qualified as Blefuscan.
I am very glad to be able to thank Lord Coleridge for having, I believe for the first time, coupled the name of the President of the United States with that of her Majesty on an occasion like this. I was struck, both in what he said, and in what our distinguished guest of the evening said, with the frequent recurrence of an adjective which is comparatively new—I mean the word "English-speaking." We continually hear nowadays of the "English-speaking race," of the "English-speaking population." I think this implies, not that we are to forget, not that it would be well for us to forget, that national emulation and that national pride which is implied in the words "Englishman" and "American," but the word implies that there are certain perennial and abiding sympathies between all men of a common descent and a common language. I am sure, my lord, that all you said with regard to the welcome which our distinguished guest will receive in America is true. His eminent talents as an orator, the dignified—I may say the illustrious—manner in which he has sustained the traditions of that succession of great actors who, from the time of Burbage to his own, have illustrated the English stage, will be as highly appreciated there as here.
And I am sure that I may also say that the chief magistrate of England will be welcomed by the bar of the United States, of which I am an unworthy member, and perhaps will be all the more warmly welcomed that he does not come among them to practise. He will find American law administered—and I think he will agree with me in saying ably administered—by judges who, I am sorry to say, sit without the traditional wig of England. I have heard since I came here friends of mine gravely lament this as something prophetic of the decay which was sure to follow so serious an innovation. I answered with a little story which I remember having heard from my father. He remembered the last clergyman in New England who still continued to wear the wig. At first it became a singularity and at last a monstrosity; and the good doctor concluded to leave it off. But there was one poor woman among his parishioners who lamented this sadly, and waylaying the clergyman as he came out of church she said, "Oh, dear doctor, I have always listened to your sermon with the greatest edification and comfort, but now that the wig is gone all is gone." I have thought I have seen some signs of encouragement in the faces of my English friends after I have consoled them with this little story.
But I must not allow myself to indulge in any further remarks. There is one virtue, I am sure, in after-dinner oratory, and that is brevity; and as to that I am reminded of a story. The Lord Chief Justice has told you what are the ingredients of after-dinner oratory. They are the joke, the quotation, and the platitude; and the successful platitude, in my judgment, requires a very high order of genius. I believe that I have not given you a quotation, but I am reminded of something which I heard when very young—the story of a Methodist clergyman in America. He was preaching at a camp meeting, and he was preaching upon the miracle of Joshua, and he began his sermon with this sentence: "My hearers, there are three motions of the sun. The first is the straightforward or direct motion of the sun; the second is the retrograde or backward motion of the sun; and the third is the motion mentioned in our text—'the sun stood still.'"
Now, gentlemen, I don't know whether you see the application of the story—I hope you do. The after-dinner orator at first begins and goes straight forward—that is the straightforward motion of the sun. Next he goes back and begins to repeat himself—that is the backward motion of the sun. At last he has the good sense to bring himself to the end, and that is the motion mentioned in our text, as the sun stood still.
ENGLAND, MOTHER OF NATIONS
BY RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen:—It is pleasant to me to meet this great and brilliant company, and doubly pleasant to see the faces of so many distinguished persons on this platform. But I have known all these persons already. When I was at home, they were as near to me as they are to you. The arguments of the League and its leader are known to all friends of free trade. The gaieties and genius, the political, the social, the parietal wit of "Punch" go duly every fortnight to every boy and girl in Boston and New York. Sir, when I came to sea, I found the "History of Europe" on the ship's cabin table, the property of the captain;—a sort of program or play-bill to tell the seafaring New Englander what he shall find on landing here. And as for Dombey, sir, there is no land where paper exists to print on, where it is not found; no man who can read, that does not read it, and, if he can not, he finds some charitable pair of eyes that can, and hears it.
But these things are not for me to say; these compliments tho true, would better come from one who felt and understood these merits more. I am not here to exchange civilities with you, but rather to speak on that which I am sure interests these gentlemen more than their own praises; of that which is good in holidays and working-days, the same in one century and in another century. That which lures a solitary American in the woods with the wish to see England, is the moral peculiarity of the Saxon race,—its commanding sense of right and wrong,—the love and devotion to that,—this is the imperial trait, which arms them with the scepter of the globe. It is this which lies at the foundation of that aristocratic character, which certainly wanders into strange vagaries, so that its origin is often lost sight of, but which, if it should lose this, would find itself paralyzed; and in trade, and in the mechanic's shop, gives that honesty in performance, that thoroughness and solidity of work, which is a national characteristic. This conscience is one element, and the other is that loyal adhesion, that habit of friendship, that homage of man to man, running through all classes,—the electing of worthy persons to a certain fraternity, to acts of kindness and warm and staunch support, from year to year, from youth to age,—which is alike lovely and honorable to those who render and those who receive it;—which stands in strong contrast with the superficial attachments of other races, their excessive courtesy, and short-lived connection.
You will think me very pedantic, gentlemen, but holiday tho it be, I have not the smallest interest in any holiday, except as it celebrates real and not pretended joys; and I think it just, in this time of gloom and commercial disaster, of affliction and beggary in these districts, that on these very accounts I speak of, you should not fail to keep your literary anniversary. I seem to hear you say that, for all that is come and gone, yet we will not reduce by one chaplet or one oak-leaf the braveries of our annual feast. For I must tell you, I was given to understand in my childhood that the British island, from which my forefathers came, was no lotus-garden, no paradise of serene sky and roses and music and merriment all the year round, no, but a cold, foggy, mournful country, where nothing grew well in the open air, but robust men and virtuous women and these of a wonderful fiber and endurance; that their best parts were slowly revealed; their virtues did not come out until they quarrelled; they did not strike twelve the first time; good lovers, good haters, and you could know little about them till you had seen them long, and little good of them till you had seen them in action; that in prosperity they were moody and dumpish, but in adversity they were grand.
Is it not true, sir, that the wise ancients did not praise the ship parting with flying colors from the port, but only that brave sailor which came back with torn sheets and battered sides, stript of her banners, but having ridden out the storm? And so, gentlemen, I feel in regard to this aged England, with the possessions, honors and trophies, and also with the infirmities of a thousand years gathering around her, irretrievably committed as she now is to many old customs which can not be suddenly changed; pressed upon by the transitions of trade, and new and all incalculable modes, fabrics, arts, machines and competing populations,—I see her not dispirited, not weak, but well remembering that she has seen dark days before; indeed with a kind of instinct that she sees a little better in a cloudy day, and that in storm of battle and calamity, she has a secret vigor and a pulse like a cannon. I see her in her old age, not decrepit, but young, and still daring to believe in her power of endurance and expansion. Seeing this, I say, All hail! mother of nations, mother of heroes, with strength still equal to the time; still wise to entertain and swift to execute the policy which the mind and heart of mankind require in the present hour, and thus only hospitable to the foreigner, and truly a home to the thoughtful and generous who are born in the soil. So be it! so be it! If it be not so, if the courage of England goes with the chances of a commercial crisis, I will go back to the capes of Massachusetts, and my own Indian stream, and say to my countrymen, the old race are all gone and the elasticity and hope of mankind must henceforth remain on the Alleghany ranges, or nowhere.
THE AGE OF RESEARCH
BY WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE
Mr. Chairman, Your Royal Highness, My Lords and Gentlemen:—I think no question can be raised as to the just claims of literature to stand upon the list of toasts at the Royal Academy, and the sentiment is one to which, upon any one of the numerous occasions of my attendance at your hospitable board, I have always listened with the greatest satisfaction until the present day arrived, when I am bound to say that that satisfaction is extremely qualified by the arrangement less felicitous, I think, than any which preceded it that refers to me the duty of returning thanks for Literature. However, obedience is the principle upon which we must proceed, and I have at least the qualification for discharging the duty you have been pleased to place in my hands—that no one has a deeper or more profound sense of the vital importance of the active and constant cultivation of letters as an essential condition of real progress and of the happiness of mankind, and here every one at once perceives that that sisterhood of which the poet spoke, whom you have quoted, is a real sisterhood, for literature and art are alike the votaries of beauty. Of these votaries I may thankfully say that as regards art I trace around me no signs of decay, and none in that estimation in which the Academy is held, unless to be sure, in the circumstance of your poverty of choice of one to reply to this toast.
During the present century the artists of this country have gallantly and nobly endeavored to maintain and to elevate their standard, and have not perhaps in that great task always received that assistance which could be desired from the public taste which prevails around them. But no one can examine even superficially the works which adorn these walls without perceiving that British art retains all its fertility of invention, and this year as much as in any year that I can remember, exhibits in the department of landscape, that fundamental condition of all excellence, intimate and profound sympathy with nature.
As regards literature one who is now beginning at any rate to descend the hill of life naturally looks backward as well as forward, and we must be becoming conscious that the early part of this century has witnessed in this and other countries what will be remembered in future times as a splendid literary age. The elder among us have lived in the lifetime of many great men who have passed to their rest—the younger have heard them familiarly spoken of and still have their works in their hands as I trust they will continue to be in the hands of all generations. I am afraid we can not hope for literature—it would be contrary to all the experience of former times were we to hope that it should be equally sustained at that extraordinarily high level which belongs, speaking roughly, to the first fifty years after the peace of 1815. That was a great period—a great period in England, a great period in Germany, a great period in France, and a great period, too, in Italy.
As I have said, I think we can hardly hope that it should continue on a perfect level at so high an elevation. Undoubtedly the cultivation of literature will ever be dear to the people of this country; but we must remember what is literature and what is not. In the first place we should be all agreed that bookmaking is not literature. The business of bookmaking I have no doubt may thrive and will be continued upon a constantly extending scale from year to year. But that we may put aside. For my own part if I am to look a little forward, what I anticipate for the remainder of the century is an age not so much of literature proper—not so much of great, permanent and splendid additions to those works in which beauty is embodied as an essential condition of production, but rather look forward to an age of research. This is an age of great research—of great research in science, great research in history—an age of research in all the branches of inquiry that throw light upon the former condition whether of our race, or of the world which it inhabits; and it may be hoped that, even if the remaining years of the century be not so brilliant as some of its former periods, in the production of works great in themselves, and immortal,—still they may add largely to the knowledge of mankind; and if they make such additions to the knowledge of mankind, they will be preparing the materials of a new tone and of new splendors in the realm of literature. There is a sunrise and sunset. There is a transition from the light of the sun to the gentler light of the moon. There is a rest in nature which seems necessary in all her great operations. And so with all the great operations of the human mind. But do not let us despond if we seem to see a diminished efficacy in the production of what is essentially and immortally great. Our sun is hidden only for a moment. It is like the day-star of Milton:—
"Which anon repairs his drooping head, And tricks his beams, and with new spangled ore, Flames in the forehead of the morning sky."
I rejoice in an occasion like this which draws the attention of the world to topics which illustrate the union of art with literature and of literature with science, because you have a hard race to run, you have a severe competition against the attraction of external pursuits, whether those pursuits take the form of business or pleasure. It is given to you to teach lessons of the utmost importance to mankind, in maintaining the principle that no progress can be real which is not equable, which is not proportionate, which does not develop all the faculties belonging to our nature. If a great increase of wealth in a country takes place, and with that increase of wealth a powerful stimulus to the invention of mere luxury, that, if it stands alone, is not, never can be, progress. It is only that one-sided development which is but one side of deformity. I hope we shall have no one-sided development. One mode of avoiding it is to teach the doctrine of that sisterhood you have asserted to-day, and confident I am that the good wishes you have exprest on behalf of literature will be re-echoed in behalf of art wherever men of letters are found.
ADDRESS OF WELCOME
BY OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES
Brothers of the Association of the Alumni:—It is your misfortune and mine that you must accept my services as your presiding officer of the day in the place of your retiring president. I shall not be believed if I say how unwillingly it is that for the second time I find myself in this trying position; called upon to fill, as I best may, the place of one whose presence and bearing, whose courtesy, whose dignity, whose scholarship, whose standing among the distinguished children of the university, fit him alike to guide your councils and to grace your festivals. The name of Winthrop has been so long associated with the State and with the college that to sit under his mild empire is like resting beneath one of these wide-branching elms the breadth of whose shade is only a measure of the hold its roots have taken in the soil. In the midst of civil strife we, the children of this our common mother, have come together in peace. And surely there never was a time when we more needed a brief respite in some chosen place of refuge, some unviolated sanctuary, from the cares and anxieties of our daily existence than at this very hour. Our life has grown haggard with excitement. The rattle of drums, the march of regiments, the gallop of squadrons, the roar of artillery, seem to have been continually sounding in our ears day and night, sleeping and waking, for two long years and more. How few of us have not trembled and shuddered with fear over and over again for those whom we love. Alas! how many that hear me have mourned over the lost—lost to earthly sight, but immortal in our love and their country's honor! We need a little breathing-space to rest from our anxious thoughts, and, as we look back to the tranquil days we passed in this still retreat, to dream of that future when in God's good time, and after his wise purpose is fulfilled, the fair angel who has so long left us shall lay her hand upon the leaping heart of this embattled nation and whisper, "Peace! be still!"
Here of all places in the world we may best hope to find the peace we seek for. It seems as if nothing were left undisturbed in New England except here and there an old graveyard, and these dear old College buildings, with the trees in which they are embowered. The old State House is filled with those that sell oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money. The Hancock house, the umbilical scar of the cord that held our city to the past, is vanishing like a dimple from the water.
But Massachusetts, venerable old Massachusetts, stands as firm as ever; Hollis, this very year a centenarian, is waiting with its honest red face in a glow of cordiality to welcome its hundredth set of inmates; Holden Chapel, with the skulls of its Doric frieze and the unpunishable cherub over its portals, looks serenely to the sunsets; Harvard, within whose ancient walls we are gathered, and whose morning bell has murdered sleep for so many generations of drowsy adolescents, is at its post, ready to startle the new-fledged freshmen from their first uneasy slumbers. All these venerable edifices stand as they did when we were boys,—when our grandfathers were boys. Let not the rash hand of innovation violate their sanctities, for the cement that knits these walls is no vulgar mortar, but is tempered with associations and memories which are stronger than the parts they bind together!
We meet on this auspicious morning forgetting all our lesser differences. As we enter these consecrated precincts, the livery of our special tribe in creed and in politics is taken from us at the door, and we put on the court dress of our gracious Queen's own ordering, the academic robe, such as we wore in those bygone years scattered along the seven last decades. We are not forgetful of the honors which our fellow students have won since they received their college "parts,"—their orations, dissertations, disquisitions, colloquies, and Greek dialogs. But to-day we have no rank; we are all first scholars. The hero in his laurels sits next to the divine rustling in the dry garlands of his doctorate. The poet in his crown of bays, the critic, in his wreath of ivy, clasp each other's hands, members of the same happy family. This is the birthday feast for every one of us whose forehead has been sprinkled from the font inscribed "Christo et Ecclesioe." We have no badges but our diplomas, no distinctions but our years of graduation. This is the republic carried into the university; all of us are born equal into this great fraternity.
Welcome, then, welcome, all of you, dear brothers, to this our joyous meeting! We must, we will call it joyous, tho it comes with many saddening thoughts. Our last triennial meeting was a festival in a double sense, for the same day that brought us together at our family gathering gave a new head to our ancient household of the university. As I look to-day in vain for his stately presence and kindly smile, I am reminded of the touching words spoken by an early president of the university in the remembrance of a loss not unlike our own. It was at the commencement exercises of the year 1678 that the Reverend President Urian Oakes thus mourned for his friend Thomas Shepard, the minister of Charlestown, an overseer of the college: "Dici non potest quam me perorantem, in comitiis, conspectus ejus, multo jucundissimus, recrearit et refecerit. At non comparet hodie Shepardus in his comitiis; oculos huc illuc torqueo; quocumque tamen inciderint, Platonem meum intanta virorum illustrium frequentia requirunt; nusquam amicum et pernecessarium meum in hac solenni panegyric, inter nosce Reverendos Theologos, Academiae Curatores, reperire aut oculis vestigare possum." Almost two hundred years have gone by since these words were uttered by the fourth president of the college, which I repeat as no unfitting tribute to the memory of the twentieth, the rare and fully ripened scholar who was suddenly ravished from us as some richly freighted argosy that just reaches her harbor and sinks under a cloudless sky with all her precious treasures.
But the great conflict through which we are passing has made sorrow too frequent a guest for us to linger on an occasion like this over every beloved name which the day recalls to our memory. Many of the children whom our mother had trained to arts have given the freshness of their youth or the strength of their manhood to arms. How strangely frequent in our recent record is the sign interpreted by the words "E vivis cesserunt stelligeri!" It seems as if the red war-planet had replaced the peaceful star, and these pages blushed like a rubric with the long list of the martyr-children of our university. I can not speak their eulogy, for there are no phrases in my vocabulary fit to enshrine the memory of the Christian warrior,—of him—
"Who, doomed to go in company with Pain And Fear and Bloodshed, miserable train, Turns his necessity to glorious gain—"
"Who, whether praise of him must walk the earth Forever, and to noble deeds give birth, Or he must fall, to sleep without his fame, And leave a dead, unprofitable name, Finds comfort in himself and in his cause; And while the mortal mist is gathering, draws His breath in confidence of Heaven's applause."
Yet again, O brothers! this is not the hour for sorrow. Month after month until the months became years we have cried to those who stood upon our walls: "Watchmen, what of the night?" They have answered again and again, "The dawn is breaking,—it will soon be day." But the night has gathered round us darker than before. At last—glory be to God in the highest!—at last we ask no more tidings of the watchmen, for over both horizons east and west bursts forth in one overflowing tide of radiance the ruddy light of victory!
We have no parties here to-day, but is there one breast that does not throb with joy as the banners of the conquering Republic follow her retreating foes to the banks of the angry Potomac? Is there one heart that does not thrill in answer to the drum-beat that rings all over the world as the army of the west, on the morning of the nation's birth, swarms over the silent, sullen earthworks of captured Vicksburg,—to the reveille that calls up our Northern regiments this morning inside the fatal abatis of Port Hudson? We are scholars, we are graduates, we are alumni, we are a band of brothers, but beside all, above all, we are American citizens. And now that hope dawns upon our land—nay, bursts upon it in a flood of glory,—shall we not feel its splendors reflected upon our peaceful gathering, peaceful in spite of those disturbances which the strong hand of our citizen-soldiery has already strangled?
Welcome then, thrice welcome, scholarly soldiers who have fought for your and our rights and honor! Welcome, soldierly scholars who are ready to fight whenever your country calls for your services! Welcome, ye who preach courage as well as meekness, remembering that the Prince of Peace came also bringing a sword! Welcome, ye who make and who interpret the statutes which are meant to guard our liberties in peace, but not to aid our foes in war! Welcome, ye whose healing ministry soothes the anguish of the suffering and the dying with every aid of art and the tender accents of compassion! Welcome, ye who are training the generous youths to whom our country looks as its future guardians! Welcome, ye quiet scholars who in your lonely studies are unconsciously shaping the thought which law shall forge into its shield and war shall wield as its thunder-bolt!
And to you, Mr. President, called from one place of trust and honor to rule over the concerns of this our ancient and venerated institution, to you we offer our most cordial welcome with all our hopes and prayers for your long and happy administration.
I give you, brothers, "The association of the Alumni"; the children of our common mother recognize the man of her choice as their new father, and would like to hear him address a few words to his numerous family.
 Delivered at an Alumni Dinner, Cambridge, July 16, 1863.
GOOD WILL TO AMERICA
BY SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
Gentlemen:—Small as are the pretensions which, on any account, I can have to present myself to the attention of this remarkable assemblage, I have had no hesitation in answering the call which is just been made upon me by discharging a duty which is no less gratifying to me than I know it will be agreeable to you—that of proposing that the thanks of this meeting be offered to the chairman for his presidence over us to-day. Every one who admires Mr. Garrison for the qualities on account of which we have met to do him honor on this occasion, must feel that there is a singular appropriateness in the selection of the person who has presided here to-day. No one can fail to perceive a striking similarity—I might almost say a real parallelism of greatness—in the careers of these two eminent persons. Both are men who, by the great qualities of their minds, and the uncompromising spirit of justice which has animated them, have signally advanced the cause of truth and vindicated the rights of humanity. Both have been fortunate enough in the span of their own lifetime to have seen their efforts in the promotion of great ends crowned by triumphs as great as they could have desired, and far greater than they could have hoped. There is no cause with which the name of Mr. Bright has been associated which has not sooner or later won its way to victory.
I shall not go over the ground which has been so well dealt with by those who have preceded me. But tho there have been many abler interpreters of your wishes and aspirations to-day than I can hope to be, may I be permitted to join my voice to those which have been raised up in favor of the perpetual amity of England and America. It seems to me that with nations, as well as with individuals, greatness of character depends chiefly on the degree in which they are capable of rising above thee low, narrow, paltry interests of the present, and of looking forward with hope and with faith into the distance of a great futurity. And where, I will ask, is the future of our race to be found? I may extend the question—where is to be found the future of mankind? Who that can forecast the fortunes of the ages to come will not answer—it is in that great nation which has sprung from our loins, which is flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone. The stratifications of history are full of the skeletons of ruined kingdoms and of races that are no more. Where are Assyria and Egypt, the civilization of Greece, the universal dominion of Rome? They founded empires of conquest, which have perished by the sword by which they rose. Is it to be with us as with them? I hope not—I think not. But if the day of our decline should arise, we shall at least have the consolation of knowing that we have left behind us a race which shall perpetuate our name and reproduce our greatness. Was there ever parent who had juster reason to be proud of its offspring? Was there ever child that had more cause for gratitude to its progenitor? From whom but us did America derive those institutions of liberty, those instincts of government, that capacity of greatness, which have made her what she is, and which will yet make her that which she is destined to become? These are things which it becomes us both to remember and to think upon. And, therefore, it is that, as our distinguished guest, with innate modesty, has already said, this is not a mere personal festivity—this is no occasional compliment. We see in it a deeper and wider significance. We celebrate in it the union of two nations. While I ask you to return your thanks to our chairman I think I may venture also to ask of our guest a boon which he will not refuse us. We have a great message to send, and we have here a messenger worthy to bear it. I will ask Mr. Garrison to carry back to his home the prayer of this assembly and of this nation that there may be forever and forever peace and good will between England and America. For the good will of America and England is nothing less than the evangel of liberty and of peace. And who more worthy to preside over such a gospel than the chairman to whom I ask you to return your thanks to-day? I beg to propose that the thanks of the meeting be given to Mr. Bright.
 Speech at breakfast held in London in honor of Mr. Garrison, June 29, 1867.
THE QUALITIES THAT WIN
BY CHARLES SUMNER
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. Tho 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. It is much to be a brother of New England, but it is more to be a friend, 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. 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 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, 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, stopt 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 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, 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 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, addrest 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, can not 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 tho 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 L1,700 of trading stock, was only L2,400, 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?—L150 sterling. Something in the way of help; and the historian adds, "tho at fifty per cent. interest." So much for a valiant soldier on a financial expedition. A later agent, Allerton, was able to borrow for the colony L200 at a reduced interest of thirty per cent. Plainly, the money-sharks of our day may trace an undoubted pedigree to these London merchants. But I know not if any son of New England, opprest 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 condition—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. Tho 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. 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, tho 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, such harbingers can never be forgotten, and their renown spreads co-extensive 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; Sigmund 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 Wuertemberg and Teck; John, Count of Nassau; Henry, Duke of Lorraine; Isabella, Infanta of Spain 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. 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. 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 friend near me, 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. By their example, republican institutions have been commended, and in proportion as we imitate them will these institutions be assured.
Liberty, which we so much covet, is not a solitary plant. Always by its side is justice. 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 his priceless possession, has said, "But who loves that must first be wise and good." Therefore do 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. 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 stedfastness. 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. Had Columbus yielded to his mutinous crew and returned to Spain without his great discovery; had Washington shrunk away disheartened by British 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.
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."
THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING RACE
BY GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS
Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Chamber of Commerce:—I rise with some trepidation to respond to this toast, because we have been assured upon high authority, altho after what we have heard this evening we can not believe it, that the English-speaking race speaks altogether too much. Our eloquent Minister in England recently congratulated the Mechanics' Institute at Nottingham that it had abolished its debating club, and said that he gladly anticipated the establishment in all great institutions of education of a professorship of Silence. I confess that the proposal never seemed to me so timely and wise as at this moment. If I had only taken a high degree in silence, Mr. Chairman, how cordially you would congratulate me and this cheerful company!
When Mr. Phelps proceeded to say that Americans are not allowed to talk all the time, and that our orators are turned loose upon the public only once in four years, I was lost in admiration of the boundless sweep of his imagination. But when he said that the result of this quadrennial outburst was to make the country grateful that it did not come oftener, I saw that his case required heroic treatment, and must be turned over to Dr. Depew.
I am sure, at least, that when our distinguished friends from England return to their native land they will hasten to besiege His Excellency to tell them where the Americans are kept who speak only once in four years. And if they will but remain through the winter, they will discover that if our orators are turned loose upon the public only once in four years, they are turned loose in private all the rest of the time; and if the experience and observation of our guests are as fortunate as mine, they will learn that there are certain orators of both branches of the English-speaking race—not one hundred miles from me at this moment—whom the public would gladly hear, if they were turned loose upon it every four hours.
Wendell Phillips used to say that as soon as a Yankee baby could sit up in his cradle, he called the nursery to order and proceeded to address the house. If this Parliamentary instinct is irrepressible, if all the year round we are listening to orations, speeches, lectures, sermons, and the incessant, if not always soothing, oratory of the press, to which His Honor the Mayor is understood to be a closely attentive listener, we have at least the consolation of knowing that the talking countries are the free countries, and that the English-speaking races are the invincible legions of liberty.
The sentiment which you have read, Mr. Chairman, describes in a few comprehensive words the historic characteristics of the English-speaking race. That it is the founder of commonwealths, let the miracle of empire which we have wrought upon the Western Continent attest:—its advance from the seaboard with the rifle and the ax, the plow and the shuttle, the teapot and the Bible, the rocking-chair and the spelling-book, the bath-tub and a free constitution, sweeping across the Alleghanies, over-spreading the prairies and pushing on until the dash of the Atlantic in their ears dies in the murmur of the Pacific; and as the wonderful Goddess of the old mythology touched earth, flowers and fruits answered her footfall, so in the long trail of this advancing race, it has left clusters of happy States, teeming with a population, man by man, more intelligent and prosperous than ever before the sun shone upon, and each remoter camp of that triumphal march is but a further outpost of English-speaking civilization.
That it is the pioneer of progress, is written all over the globe to the utmost islands of the sea, and upon every page of the history of civil and religious and commercial freedom. Every factory that hums with marvelous machinery, every railway and steamer, every telegraph and telephone, the changed systems of agriculture, the endless and universal throb and heat of magical invention, are, in their larger part, but the expression of the genius of the race that with Watts drew from the airiest vapor the mightiest of motive powers, with Franklin leashed the lightning, and with Morse outfabled fairy lore. The race that extorted from kings the charter of its political rights has won, from the princes and powers of the air, the earth and the water, the secret of supreme dominion, the illimitable franchise of beneficent progress.
That it is the stubborn defender of liberty, let our own annals answer, for America sprang from the defense of English liberty in English colonies, by men of English blood, who still proudly speak the English language, cherish English traditions, and share of right, and as their own, the ancient glory of England.
No English-speaking people could, if it would, escape its distinctive name, and, since Greece and Judea, no name has the same worth and honor among men. We Americans may flout England a hundred times. We may oppose her opinions with reason, we may think her views unsound, her policy unwise; but from what country would the most American of Americans prefer to have derived the characteristic impulse of American development and civilization rather than England? What language would we rather speak than the tongue of Shakespeare and Hampden, of the Pilgrims and King James's version? What yachts, as a tribute to ourselves upon their own element, would we rather outsail than English yachts? In what national life, modes of thought, standards and estimates of character and achievement do we find our own so perfectly reflected as in the English House of Commons, in English counting-rooms and workshops, and in English homes?
No doubt the original stock has been essentially modified in the younger branch. The American, as he looks across the sea, to what Hawthorne happily called "Our old home," and contemplates himself, is disposed to murmur: "Out of the eater shall come forth meat and out of the strength shall come forth sweetness." He left England a Puritan iconoclast; he has developed in Church and State into a constitutional reformer. He came hither a knotted club; he has been transformed into a Damascus blade. He seized and tamed a continent with a hand of iron; he civilizes and controls it with a touch of velvet. No music is so sweet to his ear as the sound of the common-school bell; no principle so dear to his heart as the equal rights of all men; no vision so entrancing to his hope as those rights universally secured.
This is the Yankee; this is the younger branch; but a branch of no base or brittle fiber, but of the tough old English oak, which has weathered triumphantly the tempest of a thousand years. It is a noble contention whether the younger or the elder branch has further advanced the frontiers of liberty, but it is unquestionable that liberty, as we understand it on both sides of the sea, is an English tradition; we inherit it, we possess it, we transmit it, under forms peculiar to the English race. It is as Mr. Chamberlain has said, liberty under law. It is liberty, not license; civilization, not barbarism; it is liberty clad in the celestial robe of law, because law is the only authoritative expression of the will of the people, representative government, trial by jury, habeas corpus, freedom of speech and of the press—why, Mr. Chairman, they are the family heirlooms, the family diamonds, and they go wherever in the wide world go the family name and language and tradition.
Sir, with all my heart, and, I am sure, with the hearty assent of this great and representative company, I respond to the final aspiration of your toast: "May this great family in all its branches ever work together for the world's welfare." Certainly its division and alienation would be the world's misfortune. That England and America have had sharp and angry quarrels is undeniable. Party spirit in this country, recalling old animosity, has always stigmatized with the English name whatever it opposed. Every difference, every misunderstanding with England has been ignobly turned to party account; but the two great branches of this common race have come of age, and wherever they may encounter a serious difficulty which must be accommodated they have but to thrust demagogues aside, to recall the sublime words of Abraham Lincoln, "With malice toward none, with charity for all," and in that spirit, and in the spirit and the emotion represented in this country by the gentlemen upon my right and my left, I make bold to say to Mr. Chamberlain, in your name, there can be no misunderstanding which may not be honorably and happily adjusted. For to our race, gentlemen of both countries, is committed not only the defense, but the illustration of constitutional liberty.
The question is not what we did a century ago, or in the beginning of this century, with the lights that shone around us, but what is our duty to-day, in the light which is given to us of popular government under the republican form in this country, and the parliamentary form in England.
If a sensitive public conscience, if general intelligence should not fail to secure us from unnatural conflict, then liberty will not be justified of her children, and the glory of the English-speaking race will decline. I do not believe it. I believe that it is constantly increasing, and that the colossal power which slumbers in the arms of a kindred people will henceforth be invoked, not to drive them further asunder, but to weld them more indissolubly together in the defense of liberty under law.
BY 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; 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 the courage to address a lady could have the courage, under these circumstances, to address the New England Society.
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. 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."
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." 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.
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 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.
The first woman, finding no other man in that garden except her own husband, took to flirting even with the Devil. 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 that 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.
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 a 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 co-education of sexes. She thinks nothing of delving 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 a habitue 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. Every time he stept 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 the 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 can not 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.
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 a garment she wore. 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 marvelous tour through New England, just after the war. The train stopt 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. 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'."
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.
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.
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 defense; 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 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 of our women, and the influence of their example, there are raised, 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 can not guess her, we will never give her up.
TRIBUTE TO HERBERT SPENCER
BY WILLIAM M. EVARTS
Gentlemen:—We are here to-night, to show the feeling of Americans toward our distinguished guest. As no room and no city can hold all his friends and admirers, it was necessary that a company should be made up by some method out of the mass, and what so good a method as that of natural selection and the inclusion, within these walls, of the ladies? It is a little hard upon the rational instincts and experiences of man that we should take up the abstruse subjects of philosophy and of evolution, of all the great topics that make up Mr. Spencer's contribution to the learning and the wisdom of his time, at this end of the dinner.
The most ancient nations, even in their primitive condition, saw the folly of this, and when one wished either to be inspired with the thoughts of others or to be himself a diviner of the thoughts of others, fasting was necessary, and a people from whom I think a great many things might be learned for the good of the people of the present time, have a maxim that will commend itself to your common-sense. They say the continually stuffed body can not see secret things. Now, from my personal knowledge of the men I see at these tables, they are owners of continually stuffed bodies. I have addrest them at public dinners, on all topics and for all purposes, and whatever sympathy they may have shown with the divers occasions which brought them together, they come up to this notion of continually stuffed bodies. In primitive times they had a custom which we only under the system of differentiation practise now at this dinner. When men wished to possess themselves of the learning, the wisdom, the philosophy, the courage, the great traits of any person, they immediately proceeded to eat him up as soon as he was dead, having only this diversity in that early time that he should be either roasted or boiled according as he was fat or thin. Now out of that narrow compass, see how by the process of differentiation and of multiplication of effects we have come to a dinner of a dozen courses and wines of as many varieties; and that simple process of appropriating the virtue and the wisdom of the great man that was brought before the feast is now diversified into an analysis of all the men here under the cunning management of many speakers. No doubt, preserving as we do the identity of all these institutions it is often considered a great art, or at least a great delight, to roast our friends and put in hot water those against whom we have a grudge.
Now, Mr. Spencer, we are glad to meet you here. We are glad to see you and we are glad to have you see us. We are glad to see you, for we recognize in the breadth of your knowledge, such knowledge as is useful to your race, a greater comprehension than any living man has presented to our generation. We are glad to see you, because in our judgment you have brought to the analysis and distribution of this vast knowledge a more penetrating intelligence and a more thorough insight than any living man has brought even to the minor topics of his special knowledge. In theology, in psychology, in natural science, in the knowledge of individual man and his exposition and in the knowledge of the world in the proper sense of society, which makes up the world, the world worth knowing, the world worth speaking of, the world worth planning for, the world worth working for, we acknowledge your labors as surpassing those of any of our kind. You seem to us to carry away and maintain in the future the same measure of fame among others that we are told was given in the Middle Ages to Albertus Magnus, the most learned man of those times, whose comprehension of theology, of psychology, of natural history, of politics, of history, and of learning, comprehended more than any man since the classic time certainly; and yet it was found of him that his knowledge was rather an accumulation, and that he had added no new processes and no new wealth to the learning which he had achieved.
Now, I have said that we are glad to have you see us. You have already treated us to a very unique piece of work in this reception, and we are expecting perhaps that the world may be instructed after you are safely on the other side of the Atlantic in a more intimate and thorough manner concerning our merits and our few faults. This faculty of laying on a dissecting board an entire nation or an entire age and finding out all the arteries and veins and pulsations of their life is an extension beyond any that our own medical schools afford. You give us that knowledge of man which is practical and useful, and whatever the claims or the debates may be about your system or the system of those who agree with you, and however it may be compared with other competing systems that have preceded it, we must all agree that it is practical, that it is benevolent, that it is serious and that it is reverent; that it aims at the highest results in virtue; that it treats evil, not as eternal, but as evanescent, and that it expects to arrive at what is sought through the aid of the millennium—that condition of affairs in which there is the highest morality and the greatest happiness. And if we can come to that by these processes and these instructions, it matters little to the race whether it be called scientific morality and mathematical freedom or by another less pretentious name. You will please fill your glasses while we propose the health of our guest, Herbert Spencer.
THE EMPIRE STATE
MR. CHAUNCEY M. DEPEW
Mr. President and Gentlemen:—It has been my lot from a time whence I can not remember to respond each year to this toast. When I received the invitation from the committee, its originality and ingenuity astonished and overwhelmed me. But there is one thing the committee took into consideration when they invited me to this platform. This is a Presidential year, and it becomes men not to trust themselves talking on dangerous topics. The State of New York is eminently safe. Ever since the present able and distinguished Governor has held his place I have been called upon by the New England Society to respond for him. It is probably due to that element in the New Englander that he delights in provoking controversy. The Governor is a Democrat, and I am a Republican. Whatever he believes in I detest; whatever he admires I hate. The manner in which this toast is received leads me to believe that in the New England Society his administration is unanimously approved. Governor Robinson, if I understand correctly his views, would rather that any other man should have been elected as Chief Magistrate than Mr. John Kelly. Mr. Kelly, if I interpret aright his public utterances, would prefer any other man for the Governor of New York than Lucius Robinson, and therefore, in one of the most heated controversies we have ever had, we elected a Governor by unanimous consent or assent in Alonzo B. Cornell. Horace Greeley once said to me, as we were returning from a State convention where he had been a candidate, but the delegates had failed to nominate the fittest man for the place: "I don't see why any man wants to be Governor of the State of New York, for there is no one living who can name the last ten Governors on a moment's notice." But tho there have been Governors and Governors, there is, when the gubernatorial office is mentioned, one figure that strides down the centuries before all the rest; that is the old Dutch Governor of New York, with his wooden leg—Peter Stuyvesant. There have been heroines, too, who have aroused the poetry and eloquence of all times, but none who have about them the substantial aroma of the Dutch heroine, Anneke Jans.