Public Speaking
by Irvah Lester Winter
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Darts his rosy beams Through the mornin' gleams."

Do you moind the poetry there? (to the audience with a smile). "And he keeps on risin' and risin' till he reaches his meriden." "What's that?" says he. "His dinner-toime," says I; "sure'n that's my Latin for dinner-toime, and when he gets his dinner

He sinks to rest Behind the glorious hills of the west."

Oh, begorra, there's more poetry! I fail it creepin' out all over me. "There," says I, well satisfied with myself, "will that do for ye?" "You haven't got done with him yet," says he. "Done with him," says I, kinder mad like; "what more do you want me to do with him? Didn't I bring him from the east to the west? What more do you want?" "Oh," says he, "you'll have to bring him back again to the east to rise next mornin'." By Saint Patrick! and wasn't I near betrayin' me ignorance, Sure'n I thought there was a large family of suns, and they rise one after the other. But I gathered meself quick, and, says I to him, "Well," says I, "I'm surprised you axed me that simple question. I thought any man 'ud know," says I, "when the sun sinks to rest in the west—when the sun—" says I. "You said that before," says he. "Well, I want to press it stronger upon you," says I. "When the sun sinks to rest in the east—no—west, why he—why he waits till it grows dark, and then he goes back in the noight toime!"


From "A Charity Dinner"


"Milors and Gentlemans!" commences the Frenchman, elevating his eyebrows and shrugging his shoulders. "Milors and Gentlemans—You excellent chairman, M. le Baron de Mount-Stuart, he have say to me, 'Make de toast.' Den I say to him dat I have no toast to make; but he nudge my elbow ver soft, and say dat dere is von toast dat nobody but von Frenchman can make proper; and, derefore, wid your kind permission, I vill make de toast. 'De brevete is de sole of de feet,' as you great philosophere, Dr. Johnson, do say, in dat amusing little vork of his, de Pronouncing Dictionnaire; and, derefore, I vill not say ver moch to de point. Ven I vas a boy, about so moch tall, and used for to promenade de streets of Marseilles et of Rouen, vid no feet to put onto my shoe, I nevare to have expose dat dis day vould to have arrive. I vas to begin de vorld as von garcon—or, vat you call in dis countrie, von vaitaire in a cafe—vere I vork ver hard, vid no habillemens at all to put onto myself, and ver little food to eat, excep' von old blue blouse vat vas give to me by de proprietaire, just for to keep myself fit to be showed at; but, tank goodness, tings dey have change ver moch for me since dat time, and I have rose myself, seulement par mon industrie et perseverance. Ah! mes amis! ven I hear to myself de flowing speech, de oration magnifique of you Lor' Maire, Monsieur Gobbledown, I feel dat it is von great privilege for von etrange to sit at de same table, and to eat de same food, as dat grand, dat majestique man, who are de terreur of de voleurs and de brigands of de metropolis; and who is also, I for to suppose, a halterman and de chef of you common scoundrel. Milors and gentlemans, I feel dat I can perspire to no greatare honneur dan to be von common scoundrelman myself; but, helas! dat plaisir are not for me, as I are not freeman of your great cite, not von liveryman servant of von of you compagnies joint-stock. But I must not forget de toast. Milors and Gentlemans! De immortal Shakispeare he have write, 'De ting of beauty are de joy for nevermore.' It is de ladies who are de toast. Vat is more entrancing dan de charmante smile, de soft voice, der vinking eye of de beautiful lady! It is de ladies who do sweeten de cares of life. It is de ladies who are de guiding stars of our existence. It is de ladies who do cheer but not inebriate, and, derefore, vid all homage to de dear sex, de toast dat I have to propose is, "De Ladies! God bless dem all!"


From "Tom Jones"


In the first row of the first gallery did Mr. Jones, Mrs. Miller, her youngest daughter, and Partridge, take their places. Partridge immediately declared it was the finest place he had ever been in. When the first music was played, he said, "It was a wonder how so many fiddlers could play at one time, without putting one another out." While the fellow was lighting the upper candles, he cried out to Mrs. Miller, "Look, look, madam, the very picture of the man in the end of the common-prayer book before the gunpowder-treason service." Nor could he help observing, with a sigh, when all the candles were lighted, "That here were candles enough burnt in one night, to keep an honest poor family for a whole twelvemonth."

As soon as the play, which was Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, began, Partridge was all attention, nor did he break silence till the entrance of the ghost; upon which he asked Jones, "What man that was in the strange dress; something," said he, "like what I have seen in a picture. Sure it is not armor, is it?" Jones answered, "That is the ghost." To which Partridge replied with a smile, "Persuade me to that, sir, if you can. ... No, no, sir, ghosts don't appear in such dresses as that, neither." In this mistake, which caused much laughter in the neighborhood of Partridge, he was suffered to continue, till the scene between the ghost and Hamlet, when Partridge gave that credit to Mr. Garrick, which he had denied to Jones, and fell into so violent a trembling, that his knees knocked against each other. Jones asked him what was the matter, and whether he was afraid of the warrior upon the stage? "O la! sir," said he, "I perceive now it is what you told me. ... Nay, you may call me coward if you will; but if that little man there upon the stage is not frightened, I never saw any man frightened in my life. Ay, ay: go along with you: Ay, to be sure! Who's fool then? Will you? Lud have mercy upon such foolhardiness!—Whatever happens, it is good enough for you.—Follow you? I'd follow the devil as soon. Nay, perhaps it is the devil—for they say he can put on what likeness he pleases.—Oh! here he is again.—No farther! No, you have gone far enough already; farther than I'd have gone for all the king's dominions." Jones offered to speak, but Partridge cried, "Hush, hush! dear sir, don't you hear him?" And during the whole speech of the ghost, he sat with his eyes fixed partly on the ghost and partly on Hamlet, and with his mouth open; the same passions which succeeded each other in Hamlet, succeeding likewise in him.

During the second act, Partridge made very few remarks. He greatly admired the fineness of the dresses; nor could he help observing upon the king's countenance. "Well," said he, "how people may be deceived by faces! Nulla fides fronti is, I find, a true saying. Who would think, by looking into the king's face, that he had ever committed a murder?" He then inquired after the ghost; but Jones, who intended he should be surprised, gave him no other satisfaction than "that he might possibly see him again soon, and in a flash of fire."

Partridge sat in a fearful expectation of this; and now, when the ghost made his next appearance, Partridge cried out, "There, sir, now; what say you now? is he frightened now or no? As much frightened as you think me, and, to be sure, nobody can help some fears. I would not be in so bad a condition as what's his name, squire Hamlet, is there, for all the world. Bless me! what's become of the spirit! As I am a living soul, I thought I saw him sink into the earth." "Indeed, you saw right," answered Jones, "Well, well," cries Partridge, "I know it is only a play: and besides, if there was any thing in all this, Madam Miller would not laugh so; for as to you, sir, you would not be afraid, I believe, if the devil was here in person.—There, there—Aye, no wonder you are in such a passion; shake the vile wicked wretch to pieces. If she was my own mother, I would serve her so. To be sure all duty to a mother is forfeited by such wicked doings.—Aye, go about your business, I hate the sight of you."

Little more worth remembering occurred during the play, at the end of which Jones asked him which of the players he had liked best? To this he answered, with some appearance of indignation at the question, "The king, without doubt." "Indeed, Mr. Partridge," says Mrs. Miller, "you are not of the same opinion with the town; for they are all agreed, that Hamlet is acted by the best player who ever was on the stage." "He the best player!" cries Partridge, with a contemptuous sneer, "why, I could act as well as he myself. I am sure, if I had seen a ghost, I should have looked in the very same manner, and done just as ne did. And then, to be sure, in that scene, as you called it, between him and his mother, where you told me he acted so fine, why, Lord help me, any man, that is, any good man, that had such a mother, would have done exactly the same. I know you are only joking with me; but indeed, madam, though I was never at a play in London, yet I have seen acting before in the country; and the king for my money; he speaks all his words distinctly, half as loud again as the other.—Anybody may see he is an actor."



Is there for honest poverty That hings his head, an' a' that? The coward slave, we pass him by— We dare be poor for a' that. For a' that, an' a' that, Our toils obscure, an' a' that, The rank is but the guinea's stamp, The man's the gowd [Footnote: gold] for a' that!

What tho' on hamely [Footnote: homely, plain] fare we dine, Wear hoddin [Footnote: homespun] gray, an' a' that; Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine— A man's a man, for a' that. For a' that, an' a' that, Their tinsel show, an' a' that, The honest man, though e'er sae poor, Is king o' men for a' that!

Ye see yon birkie [Footnote: fellow], ca'd a lord, Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that; Tho' hundreds worship at his word, He's but a coof [Footnote: fool (pronounce like German o or oe)] for a' that; For a' that, an' a' that, His riband, star, an' a' that; The man of independent mind, He looks an' laughs at a' that.

A prince can mak a belted knight, A marquis, duke, an' a' that; But an honest man's aboon [Footnote: above] his might— Gude faith, he maunna fa' [Footnote: must not claim (to make the honest man)] that! For a' that, an' a' that, Their dignities, an' a' that, The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth, Are higher ranks than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may, As come it will for a' that, That sense an' worth, o'er a' the earth, Shall bear the gree, [Footnote: prize] an' a' that. For a' that, an' a' that, It's comin' yet, for a' that— That man to man, the warld o'er, Shall brothers be for a' that.


From "Complete Works of Artemus Ward" with the permission of the G. W. Dillingham Company, New York, publishers.


I don't expect to do great things here—but I have thought that if I could make money enough to buy me a passage to New Zealand I should feel that I had not lived in vain. I don't want to live in vain. I'd rather live in Texas—or here.

If you should be dissatisfied with anything here to-night—I will admit you all free in New Zealand—if you will come to me there for the orders. Any respectable cannibal will tell you where I live. This shows that I have a forgiving spirit.

I really don't care for money. I only travel round to see the world and to exhibit my clothes. These clothes I have on have been a great success in America.

How often do large fortunes ruin young men! I should like to be ruined, but I can get on very well as I am.

I am not an Artist. I don't paint myself—though perhaps if I were a middle-aged single lady I should—yet I have a passion for pictures.—I have had a great many pictures—photographs—taken of myself. Some of them are very pretty—rather sweet to look at for a short time—and as I said before, I like them. I've always loved pictures. I could draw on wood at a very tender age. When a mere child I once drew a small cartload of raw turnips over a wooden bridge.—The people of the village noticed me. I drew their attention. They said I had a future before me. Up to that time I had an idea it was behind me.

Time passed on. It always does, by the way. You may possibly have noticed that Time passes on.—It is a kind of way Time has.

I became a man. I haven't distinguished myself at all as an artist—but I have always been more or less mixed up with art. I have an uncle who takes photographs—and I have a servant who—takes anything he can get his hands on.

When I was in Rome—Rome in New York State, I mean—a distinguished sculpist wanted to sculp me. But I said "No." I saw through the designing man. My model once in his hands—he would have flooded the market with my busts—and I couldn't stand it to see everybody going round with a bust of me. Everybody would want one of course—and wherever I should go I should meet the educated classes with my bust, taking it home to their families. This would be more than my modesty could stand—and I should have to return home—where my creditors are.

I like art. I admire dramatic art—although I failed as an actor.

It was in my schoolboy days that I failed as an actor.—The play was "The Ruins of Pompeii."—I played the ruins. It was not a very successful performance—but it was better than the "Burning Mountain." He was not good. He was a bad Vesuvius.

The remembrance often makes me ask—"Where are the boys of my youth?" I assure you this is not a conundrum. Some are amongst you here—some in America—some are in jail.

Hence arises a most touching question—"Where are the girls of my youth?" Some are married—some would like to be.

Oh, my Maria! Alas! she married another. They frequently do. I hope she is happy—because I am.—Some people are not happy. I have noticed that.

A gentleman friend of mine came to me one day with tears in his eyes. I said, "Why these weeps?" He said he had a mortgage on his farm—and wanted to borrow $200. I lent him the money—and he went away. Some time afterward he returned with more tears. He said he must leave me forever. I ventured to remind him of the $200 he borrowed. He was much cut up. I thought I would not be hard upon him—so told him I would throw off $100. He brightened—shook my hand—and said,—"Old friend— I won't allow you to outdo me in liberality—I'll throw off the other hundred."

I like Music.—I can't sing. As a singist I am not a success. I am saddest when I sing. So are those who hear me. They are sadder even than I am.

I met a man in Oregon who hadn't any teeth—not a tooth in his head— yet that man could play on the bass drum better than any man I ever met. He kept a hotel. They have queer hotels in Oregon. I remember one where they gave me a bag of oats for a pillow—I had nightmares of course. In the morning the landlord said,—"How do you feel—old hoss— hay?"—I told him I felt my oats.

As a manager I was always rather more successful than as an actor.

Some years ago I engaged a celebrated Living American Skeleton for a tour through Australia. He was the thinnest man I ever saw. He was a splendid skeleton. He didn't weigh anything scarcely—and I said to myself—the people of Australia will flock to see this tremendous cu- riosity. It is a long voyage—as you know—from New York to Melbourne— and to my utter surprise the skeleton had no sooner got out to sea than he commenced eating in the most horrible manner. He had never been on the ocean before—and he said it agreed with him—I thought so!—I never saw a man eat so much in my life. Beef, mutton, pork—he swallowed them all like a shark—and between meals he was often discovered behind barrels eating hard-boiled eggs. The result was that, when we reached Melbourne, this infamous skeleton weighed sixty-four pounds more than I did!

I thought I was ruined—but I wasn't. I took him on to California— another very long sea voyage—and when I got him to San Francisco I exhibited him as a fat man.

This story hasn't anything to do with my entertainment, I know—but one of the principal features of my entertainment is that it contains so many things that don't have anything to do with it.


By permission of, and by special arrangement with, Houghton Mifflin Company, authorized publishers of this author's work.


Wall, no! I can't tell whar he lives, Because he don't live, you see; Leastways, he's got out of the habit Of livin' like you and me. Whar have you been for the last three year That you haven't heard folks tell How Jimmy Bludso passed in his checks The night of the "Prairie Belle"?

He weren't no saint,—them engineers Is all pretty much alike,— One wife in Natchez-under-the-Hill And another one here, in Pike; A keerless man in his talk was Jim, And an awkward hand in a row, But he never flunked, and he never lied,— I reckon he never knowed how.

And this was all the religion he had,— To treat his engine well; Never be passed on the river; To mind the pilot's bell; And if ever the "Prairie Belle" took fire,— A thousand times he swore, He'd hold her nozzle agin the bank Till the last soul got ashore.

All boats has their day on the Mississip, And her day come at last,— The "Movastar" was a better boat, But the "Belle" she wouldn't be passed. And so she come tearin' along that night— The oldest craft on the line— With a nigger squat on her safety valve, And her furnace crammed, rosin and pine.

The fire bust out as she cleared the bar, And burnt a hole in the night, And quick as a flash she turned, and made For that willer-bank on the right. There was runnin' and cursing but Jim yelled out, Over all the infernal roar, "I'll hold her nozzle agin the bank Till the last galoot's ashore."

Through the hot, black breath of the burnin' boat Jim Bludso's voice was heard, And they all had trust in his cussedness, And knowed he would keep his word. And, sure's you're born, they all got off Afore the smokestacks fell,— And Bludso's ghost went up alone In the smoke of the "Prairie Belle."

He weren't no saint,—but at jedgment I'd run my chance with Jim, 'Longside of some pious gentlemen That wouldn't shake hands with him. He seen his duty, a dead-sure thing,— And he went for it thar and then; And Christ ain't agoing to be too hard On a man that died for men.


From "The Boy Orator of Zepata City" in "The Exiles and Other Stories." Copyrighted, 1894, Harper and Brothers. Reprinted with permission.


Abe Barrow had been closely associated with the early history of Zepata; he had killed in his day several of the Zepata citizens. His fight with Thompson had been a fair fight—as those said who remembered it—and Thompson was a man they could well spare; but the case against Barrow had been prepared by the new and youthful district attorney, and the people were satisfied and grateful.

Harry Harvey, "The Boy Orator of Zepata City," as he was called, turned slowly on his heels, and swept the court room carelessly with a glance of his clever black eyes. The moment was his.

"This man," he said, and as he spoke even the wind in the corridors hushed for the moment, "is no part or parcel of Zepata city of to-day. He comes to us a relic of the past—a past that was full of hardships and glorious efforts in the face of daily disappointments, embitterments and rebuffs. But the part this man played in that past lives only in the court records of that day. This man, Abe Barrow, enjoys, and has enjoyed, a reputation as a 'bad man,' a desperate and brutal ruffian. Free him to-day, and you set a premium on such reputations; acquit him of this crime, and you encourage others to like evil. Let him go, and he will walk the streets with a swagger, and boast that you were afraid to touch him—afraid, gentlemen—and children and women will point after him as the man who has sent nine others into eternity, and who yet walks the streets a free man. And he will become, in the eyes of the young and the weak, a hero and a god.

"For the last ten years, your honor, this man, Abner Barrow, has been serving a term of imprisonment in the state penitentiary; I ask you to send him back there again for the remainder of his life. Abe Barrow is out of date. This Rip Van Winkle of the past returns to find a city where he left a prairie town; a bank where he spun his roulette-wheel; this magnificent courthouse instead of a vigilance committee! He is there, in the prisoner's pen, a convicted murderer and an unconvicted assassin, the last of his race,—the bullies and bad men of the border,—a thing to be forgotten and put away forever from the sight of men. And I ask you, gentlemen, to put him away where he will not hear the voice of man nor children's laughter, nor see a woman's smile. Bury him with the bitter past, with the lawlessness that has gone—that has gone, thank God—and which must not return."

The district attorney sat down suddenly, and was conscious of nothing until the foreman pronounced the prisoner at the bar guilty of murder in the second degree.

Judge Truax leaned across his desk and said, simply, that it lay in his power to sentence the prisoner to not less than two years' confinement in the state penitentiary, or for the remainder of his life.

"Before I deliver sentence on you, Abner Barrow," he said with an old man's kind severity, "is there anything you have to say on your own behalf?"

Barrow's face was white with the prison tan, and pinched and hollow- eyed and worn. When he spoke his voice had the huskiness which comes from non-use, and cracked and broke like a child's.

"I don't know, Judge," he said, "that I have anything to say in my own behalf. I guess what the gentleman said about me is all there is to say. I am a back number, I am out of date; I was a loafer and a blackguard. He told you I had no part or parcel in this city, or in this world; that I belonged to the past; that I ought to be dead. Now that's not so. I have just one thing that belongs to this city, and to this world—and to me; one thing that I couldn't take to jail with me, and I'll have to leave behind me when I go back to it. I mean my wife. You, sir, remember her, sir, when I married her twelve years ago. She gave up everything a woman ought to have, to come to me. She thought she was going to be happy with me; that's why she come, I guess. Maybe she was happy for about two weeks. After that first two weeks her life, sir, was a hell, and I made it a hell. Respectable women wouldn't speak to her because she was my wife—and she had no children. That was her life. She lived alone over the dance-hall, and sometimes when I was drunk—I beat her.

"At the end of two years I killed Welsh, and they sent me to the pen for ten years, and she was free. She could have gone back to her folks and got a divorce if she'd wanted to, and never seen me again. It was an escape most women'd gone down on their knees and thanked their Maker for.

"But what did this woman do—my wife, the woman I misused and beat and dragged down in the mud with me? She was too mighty proud to go back to her people, or to the friends who shook her when she was in trouble; and she sold out the place, and bought a ranch with the money, and worked it by herself, worked it day and night, until in ten years she had made herself an old woman, as you see she is to-day.

"And for what? To get me free again; to bring me things to eat in jail, and picture papers, and tobacco—when she was living on bacon and potatoes, and drinking alkali water—working to pay for a lawyer to fight for me—to pay for the best lawyer.

"And what I want to ask of you, sir, is to let me have two years out of jail to show her how I feel about it. It's all I've thought of when I was in jail, to be able to see her sitting in her own kitchen with her hands folded, and me working and sweating in the fields for her, working till every bone ached, trying to make it up to her.

"And I can't, I can't! It's too late! It's too late! Don't send me back for life! Give me a few years to work for her—to show her what I feel here, what I never felt for her before. Look at her, gentlemen, look how worn she is, and poorly, and look at her hands, and you men must feel how I feel—I don't ask you for myself. I don't want to go free on my own account. My God! Judge, don't bury me alive, as that man asked you to. Give me this last chance. Let me prove that what I'm saying is true."

Judge Truax looked at the papers on his desk for some seconds, and raised his head, coughing as he did so.

"It lies—it lies at the discretion of this Court to sentence the prisoner to a term of imprisonment of two years, or for an indefinite period, or for life. Owing to—on account of certain circumstances which were—have arisen—this sentence is suspended. This Court stands adjourned."





From an address by the President to the students of Harvard University, at the announcement of Academic Distinctions, 1909


This meeting is held not merely to honor the men who have won prizes, attained high rank, or achieved distinction in studies. In a larger sense it is a tribute paid by the University to the ideals of scholarship. It is a public confession of faith in the aims for which the University was established. We may, therefore, not inappropriately consider here the nature and significance of scholarship.

Without attempting an exhaustive catalogue of the benefits of education, we may note three distinct objects of college study. The first is the development of the mental powers with a view to their use in any subsequent career. In its broadest sense this may be called training for citizenship, for we must remember that good citizenship does not consist exclusively in rendering public service in political and philanthropic matters. It includes also conducting an industrial or professional career so as not to leave the public welfare out of sight.

Popular government is exacting. It implies that in some form every man shall voluntarily consecrate a part of his time and force to the state, and the better the citizen, the greater the effort he will make. On the function of colleges in fitting men for citizenship and for active work, much emphasis has been laid of late. Yet it is not the only aim of college studies. Another object is cultivation of the mind, refinement of taste, a development of the qualities that distinguish the civilized man from the barbarian. Nor does the value of these things lie in personal satisfaction alone. There is a culture that is selfish and exclusive, that is self-centered and conceited. The intellectual snob is quite as repellant as any other. But this is true of the moral distortion of all good qualities. The culture that narrows the sympathies, instead of enlarging them, has surely missed the object that should give its chief worth and dignity. The culture that reveals beauty in all its forms, that refines the sensibilities, and expands the mental horizon, that, without a sense of superiority, desires to share these things with others, and makes the lives of all men better worth living, is like the glow of fire in a cold room. It is a form of social service of a high order.

A third benefit of college education is the contact it affords with the work of creative imagination. The highest type of scholar is the creative scholar, just as the highest type of citizen is the statesman. The greatest figures in history, as almost every one will admit, are the thinkers and the rulers of men. People will always differ in the relative value they ascribe to these two supreme forms of human power. But if one may indulge in apocalyptic visions, I should prefer in another world to be worthy of the friendship of Aristotle rather than of Alexander, of Shakespeare or Newton than of Napoleon or Frederick the Great.

When I spoke of the benefit of college life in training for citizenship, and in imparting culture, I was obviously dealing with things which lie within the reach of every student; but in speaking of creative scholarship you may think that I am appealing only to the few men who have the rare gift of creative genius. But happily the progress of the world is not in the exclusive custody of the occasional men of genius. Great originality is, indeed, rare; but on a smaller scale it is not uncommon, and the same principles apply to the production of all creative work. The great scholar and the lesser intellectual lights differ in brilliancy, but the same process must be followed to bring them to their highest splendor. Nor is it the genius alone, or even the man of talent, who can enjoy and aid productive thought. It is not given to all men to possess creative scholarship themselves; but most men by following its footsteps can learn to respect it and feel its charm; and for any man who passes through college without doing so, college education has been in one of its most vital elements a failure. If he has not recognized the glowing imagination, the lofty ideals, the patience and the modesty, that characterize the true scholar, his time here has been spent, not perhaps without profit, but without inspiration.

All productive work is largely dependent upon appreciation by the community. The great painters of Italy would have been sterile had not the citizens of Florence been eager to carry Cimabue's masterpiece in triumph through the streets. Kant would never have written among a people who despised philosophy; and the discoveries of our own day would have been impossible in an unscientific age. Every man who has learned to respect creative scholarship can enter into its spirit, and by respecting it he helps to foster it.


From "Girls and Education," a commencement address, Bryn Mawr College, 1911, by permission of, and by special arrangement with, Houghton Mifflin Company, authorized publishers of this author's works.


One of the best gifts that a college can bestow is the power of taking a new point of view through putting ourselves into another's place. To many students this comes hard, but come it must, as they hope to be saved.

To the American world the name of Charles Eliot Norton stands for all that is fastidious, even for what is over-fastidious; but Charles Eliot Norton's collection of verse and prose called "The Heart of Oak Books" shows a catholicity which few of his critics could approach, a refined literary hospitality not less noteworthy than the refined human hospitality of his Christmas Eve at Shady Hill. As an old man this interpreter of Dante saw and hailed with delight the genius of Mr. Kipling. If you leave college without catholicity of taste, something is wrong either with the college or with you.

As in literature, so in life. The greatest teachers—even Christ himself—have taught nothing greater than the power of seeing with the eyes of another soul. "Browning," said a woman who loves poetry, "seems to me not so much man as God." For Browning, beyond all men in the past century, beyond nearly all men of all time, could throw himself into the person of another.

"God be thanked, the meanest of his creatures Boasts two soul-sides, one to face the world with, One to show a woman when he loves her,"

said this same great poet, writing to his wife. But Browning has as many soul-sides as humanity. Hence it has been truly called a new life, like conversion, or marriage, or the mystery of a great sorrow,—a change and a bracing change in our outlook on the whole world, to discover Browning. The college should be our Browning, revealing the motive power of every life, the poetry of good and bad. It is only the "little folk of little soul" who come out of college as the initiated members of an exclusive set. Justify yourself and your college years by your catholic democracy.

It is the duty of the college not to train only, but to inspire; to inspire not to learning only, but to a disciplined appreciation of the best in literature, in art, and in life, to a catholic taste, to a universal sympathy. It is the duty of the student to take the inspiration, to be not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but to justify four years of delight, by scholarship at once accurate and sympathetic, by a finer culture, by a leadership without self-seeking or pride, by a whole-souled democracy. How simple and how old it all is! Yet it is not so simple that any one man or woman has done it to perfection; nor so old that any one part of it fails to offer fresh problems and fresh stimulus to the most ambitious of you all.

Nothing is harder than to take freely and eagerly the best that is offered us, and never turn away to the pursuit of false gods. Now the best that is offered in college is the inspiration to learn, and having learned, to do:—

"Friends of the great, the high, the perilous years, Upon the brink of mighty things we stand— Of golden harvests and of silver tears, And griefs and pleasures that like grains of sand Gleam in the hourglass, yield their place and die."

So said the college poet.

"Art without an ideal," said a great woman, "is neither nature nor art. The question involves the whole difference between Phidias and Mme. Tussaud." Let us never forget that the chief business of college teachers and college taught is the giving and receiving of ideals, and that the ideal is a burning and a shining light, not now only, or now and a year or two more, but for all time. What else is the patriot's love of country, the philosopher's love of truth, the poet's love of beauty, the teacher's love of learning, the good man's love of an honest life, than keeping the ideal, not merely to look at, but to see by? In its light, and only in its light, the greatest things are done. Thus the ideal is not merely the most beautiful thing in the world; it is the source of all high efficiency. In every change, in every joy or sorrow that the coming years may bring, do you who graduate to-day remember that nothing is so practical as a noble ideal steadily and bravely pursued, and that now, as of old, it is the wise men who see and follow the guiding star.


From "After-Dinner and Other Speeches," with the permission of the author.


In memory of the dead, in honor of the living, for inspiration to our children, we gather to-day to deck the graves of our patriots with flowers, to pledge commonwealth and town and citizen to fresh recognition of the surviving soldier, and to picture yet again the romance, the reality, the glory, the sacrifice of his service. As if it were but yesterday, you recall him. He had but turned twenty. The exquisite tint of youthful health was in his cheek. His pure heart shone from frank, outspeaking eyes. His fair hair clustered from beneath his cap. He had pulled a stout oar in the college race, or walked the most graceful athlete on the village green. He had just entered on the vocation of his life. The doorway of his home at this season of the year was brilliant in the dewy morn with the clambering vine and fragrant flower, as in and out he went, the beloved of mother and sisters, and the ideal of a New England youth:—

"In face and shoulders like a god he was; For o'er him had the goddess breathed the charm Of youthful locks, the ruddy glow of youth, A generous gladness in his eyes: such grace As carver's hand to ivory gives, or when Silver or Parian stone in yellow gold Is set."

And when the drum beat, when the first martyr's blood sprinkled the stones of Baltimore, he took his place in the ranks and went forward. You remember his ingenuous and glowing letters to his mother, written as if his pen were dipped in his very heart. How novel seemed to him the routine of service, the life of camp and march! How eager the wish to meet the enemy and strike his first blow for the good cause! What pride at the promotion that came and put its chevron on his arm or its strap upon his shoulder!

They took him prisoner. He wasted in Libby and grew gaunt and haggard with the horror of his sufferings and with pity for the greater horror of the sufferings of his comrades who fainted and died at his side. He tunneled the earth and escaped. Hungry and weak, in terror of recapture, he followed by night the pathway of the railroad. He slept in thickets and sank in swamps. He saw the glitter of horsemen who pursued him. He knew the bloodhound was on his track. He reached the line; and, with his hand grasping at freedom, they caught and took him back to his captivity. He was exchanged at last; and you remember, when he came home on a short furlough, how manly and war-worn he had grown. But he soon returned to the ranks and to the welcome of his comrades. They recall him now alike with tears and pride. In the rifle pits around Petersburg you heard his steady voice and firm command. Some one who saw him then fancied that he seemed that day like one who forefelt the end. But there was no flinching as he charged. He had just turned to give a cheer when the fatal ball struck him. There was a convulsion of the upward hand. His eyes, pleading and loyal, turned their last glance to the flag. His lips parted. He fell dead, and at nightfall lay with his face to the stars. Home they brought him, fairer than Adonis over whom the goddess of beauty wept. They buried him in the village churchyard under the green turf. Year by year his comrades and his kin, nearer than comrades, scatter his grave with flowers. Do you ask who he was? He was in every regiment and every company. He went out from every Massachusetts village. He sleeps in every Massachusetts burying ground. Recall romance, recite the names of heroes of legend and song, but there is none that is his peer.


From an address in the United States Senate


For the third time the Congress of the United States are assembled to commemorate the life and the death of a President slain by the hand of an assassin. The attention of the future historian will be attracted to the features which reappear with startling sameness in all three of these awful crimes: the uselessness, the utter lack of consequence of the act; the obscurity, the insignificance of the criminal; the blamelessness—so far as in our sphere of existence the best of men may be held blameless—of the victim. Not one of our murdered Presidents had an enemy in the world; they were all of such preeminent purity of life that no pretext could be given for the attack of passional crime; they were all men of democratic instincts, who could never have offended the most jealous advocates of equality; they were of kindly and generous nature, to whom wrong or injustice was impossible; of moderate fortune, whose slender means nobody could envy. They were men of austere virtue, of tender heart, of eminent abilities, which they had devoted with single minds to the good of the Republic. If ever men walked before God and man without blame, it was these three rulers of our people. The only temptation to attack their lives offered was their gentle radiance—to eyes hating the light that was offense enough.

The obvious elements which enter into the fame of a public man are few and by no means recondite. The man who fills a great station in a period of change, who leads his country successfully through a time of crisis; who, by his power of persuading and controlling others, has been able to command the best thought of his age, so as to leave his country in a moral or material condition in advance of where he found it,—such a man's position in history is secure. If, in addition to this, his written or spoken words possess the subtle qualities which carry them far and lodge them in men's hearts; and, more than all, if his utterances and actions, while informed with a lofty morality, are yet tinged with the glow of human sympathy,—the fame of such a man will shine like a beacon through the mists of ages—an object of reverence, of imitation, and of love. It should be to us an occasion of solemn pride that in the three great crises of our history such a man was not denied us. The moral value to a nation of a renown such as Washington's and Lincoln's and McKinley's is beyond all computation. No loftier ideal can be held up to the emulation of ingenuous youth. With such examples we cannot be wholly ignoble. Grateful as we may be for what they did, let us be still more grateful for what they were. While our daily being, our public policies, still feel the influence of their work, let us pray that in our spirits their lives may be voluble, calling us upward and onward.

There is not one of us but feels prouder of his native land because the august figure of Washington presided over its beginnings; no one but vows it a tenderer love because Lincoln poured out his blood for it; no one but must feel his devotion for his country renewed and kindled when he remembers how McKinley loved, revered, and served it, showed in his life how a citizen should live, and in his last hour taught us how a gentleman could die.


From an address at the unveiling of a statue of General Lee, at Washington and Lee University, 1883


Mounted in the field and at the head of his troops, a glimpse of Lee was an inspiration. His figure was as distinctive as that of Napoleon. The black slouch hat, the cavalry boots, the dark cape, the plain gray coat without an ornament but the three stars on the collar, the calm, victorious face, the splendid, manly figure on the gray war horse,—he looked every inch the true knight—the grand, invincible champion of a great principle.

The men who wrested victory from his little band stood wonder-stricken and abashed when they saw how few were those who dared oppose them, and generous admiration burst into spontaneous tribute to the splendid leader who bore defeat with the quiet resignation of a hero. The men who fought under him never revered or loved him more than on the day he sheathed his sword. Had he but said the word, they would have died for honor. It was because he said the word that they resolved to live for duty.

Plato congratulated himself, first, that he was born a man; second, that he had the happiness of being a Greek; and third, that he was a contemporary of Sophocles. And in this audience to-day, and here and there the wide world over, is many an one who wore the gray, who rejoices that he was born a man to do a man's part for his suffering country; that he had the glory of being a Confederate; and who feels a justly proud and glowing consciousness in his bosom when he says unto himself: "I was a follower of Robert E. Lee. I was a soldier in the army of Northern Virginia."

As president of Washington and Lee University, General Lee exhibited qualities not less worthy and heroic than those displayed on the broad and open theater of conflict when the eyes of nations watched his every action. In the quiet walks of academic life, far removed from "war or battle's sound," came into view the towering grandeur, the massive splendor, and the loving-kindness of his character. There he revealed in manifold gracious hospitalities, tender charities, and patient, worthy counsels, how deep and pure and inexhaustible were the fountains of his virtues. And loving hearts delight to recall, as loving lips will ever delight to tell, the thousand little things he did which sent forth lines of light to irradiate the gloom of the conquered land and to lift up the hopes and cheer the works of his people.

Come we then to-day in loyal love to sanctify our memories, to purify our hopes, to make strong all good intent by communion with the spirit of him who, being dead, yet speaketh. Let us crown his tomb with the oak, the emblem of his strength, and with the laurel, the emblem of his glory. And as we seem to gaze once more on him we loved and hailed as Chief, the tranquil face is clothed with heaven's light, and the mute lips seem eloquent with the message that in life he spoke, "There is a true glory and a true honor; the glory of duty done, the honor of the integrity of principle."



From 1806, the period of my entrance upon this noble theater, with short intervals, to the present time, I have been engaged in the public councils, at home or abroad. Of the services rendered during that long and arduous period of my life it does not become me to speak; history, if she deign to notice me, and posterity, if the recollection of my humble actions shall be transmitted to posterity, are the best, the truest, and the most impartial judges.

I have not escaped the fate of other public men, nor failed to incur censure and detraction of the bitterest, most unrelenting, and most malignant character. But I have not meanwhile been unsustained. Everywhere throughout the extent of this great continent I have had cordial, warmhearted, faithful, and devoted friends, who have known me, loved me, and appreciated my motives.

In the course of a long and arduous public service, especially during the last eleven years in which I have held a seat in the Senate, from the same ardor and enthusiasm of character, I have no doubt, in the heat of debate, and in an honest endeavor to maintain my opinions against adverse opinions alike honestly entertained, as to the best course to be adopted for the public welfare, I may have often inadvertently and unintentionally, in moments of excited debate, made use of language that has been offensive, and susceptible of injurious interpretation towards my brother Senators. If there be any here who retain wounded feelings of injury or dissatisfaction produced on such occasions, I beg to assure them that I now offer the most ample apology for any departure on my part from the established rules of parliamentary decorum and courtesy. On the other hand, I assure Senators, one and all, without exception and without reserve, that I retire from this chamber without carrying with me a single feeling of resentment or dissatisfaction toward the Senate or any one of its members.

In retiring, as I am about to do, forever, from the Senate, suffer me to express my heartfelt wishes that all the great and patriotic objects of the wise framers of our Constitution may be fulfilled; that the high destiny designed for it may be fully answered; and that its deliberations, now and hereafter, may eventuate in securing the prosperity of our beloved country, in maintaining its rights and honor abroad, and upholding its interests at home. I retire, I know, at a period of infinite distress and embarrassment. I wish I could take my leave of you under more favorable auspices; but, without meaning at this time to say whether on any or on whom reproaches for the sad condition of the country should fall, I appeal to the Senate and to the world to bear testimony to my earnest and continued exertions to avert it, and to the truth that no blame can justly attach to me.

May the most precious blessings of heaven rest upon the whole Senate and each member of it, and may the labors of every one redound to the benefit of the nation and the advancement of his own fame and renown. And when you shall retire to the bosom of your constituents, may you receive that most cheering and gratifying of all human rewards—their cordial greeting of "Well done, good and faithful servant."

And now, Mr. President, and Senators, I bid you all a long, a lasting, and a friendly farewell.


From an address before both houses of Congress, February, 1882


Surely, if happiness can ever come from the honors or triumphs of this world, on that quiet July morning James A. Garfield may well have been a happy man. No foreboding of evil haunted him, no slightest premonition of danger clouded his sky. His terrible fate was upon him in an instant. One moment he stood erect, strong, confident in the years stretching peacefully out before him. The next he lay wounded, bleeding, helpless, doomed to weary weeks of torture, to silence and the grave.

Great in life, he was surpassingly great in death. For no cause, in the very frenzy of wantonness and wickedness, by the red hand of Murder he was thrust from the full tide of this world's interest, from its hopes, its aspirations, its victories, into the visible presence of death. And he did not quail. Not alone for the one short moment in which, stunned and dazed, he could give up life, hardly aware of its relinquishment, but through days of deadly languor, through weeks of agony that was not less agony because silently borne, with clear sight and calm courage he looked into his open grave. What blight and ruin met his anguished eyes whose lips may tell—what brilliant broken plans, what baffled high ambitions, what sundering of strong, warm, manhood's friendships, what bitter rending of sweet household ties! Behind him a proud, expectant nation; a great host of sustaining friends; a cherished and happy mother wearing the full, rich honors of her early toil and tears; the wife of his youth, whose whole life lay in his; the little boys not yet emerged from childhood's day of frolic; the fair young daughter; the sturdy sons just springing into closest companionship, claiming every day, and every day rewarding, a father's love and care; and in his heart the eager, rejoicing power to meet all demand. Before him desolation and great darkness! And his soul was not shaken. His countrymen were thrilled with instant, profound, and universal sympathy. Masterful in his mortal weakness, he became the center of a nation's love, enshrined in the prayers of a world. But all the love and all the sympathy could not share with him his suffering. He trod the winepress alone. With unfaltering front he faced death. With unfailing tenderness he took leave of life. Above the demoniac hiss of the assassin's bullet he heard the voice of God. With simple resignation he bowed to the divine decree.

As the end drew near, his early craving for the sea returned. The stately mansion of power had been to him the wearisome hospital of pain, and he begged to be taken from its prison walls, from its oppressive, stifling air, from its homelessness and its hopelessness. Gently, silently, the love of a great people bore the pale sufferer to the longed-for healing of the sea, to live or to die, as God should will, within sight of its heaving billows, within sound of its manifold voices. With wan, fevered face tenderly lifted to the cooling breeze he looked out wistfully upon the ocean's changing wonders—on its far sails whitening in the morning light; on its restless waves rolling shoreward to break and die beneath the noonday sun; on the red clouds of evening arching low to the horizon; on the serene and shining pathway of the stars. Let us think that his dying eyes read a mystic meaning which only the rapt and parting soul may know. Let us believe that in the silence of the receding world he heard the great waves breaking on a farther shore, and felt already upon his wasted brow the breath of the eternal morning.


Delivered from the steps of the Capitol at Washington, 1865.


FELLOW COUNTRYMEN,—At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at first. Then a statement, somewhat in detail, of a course to be pursued seemed very fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented.

The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avoid it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it with war— seeking to dissolve the Union and divide the effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. One eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.

Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease when, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayer of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. Woe unto the world because of offenses, for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh. If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern there any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be repaid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, that the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphans, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.


From an address in the House of Commons, February, 1862


No person can be insensible to the fact that the House meets to-night under circumstances very much changed from those which have attended our assembling for many years. Of late years—indeed, for more than twenty years past—whatever may have been our personal rivalries, and whatever our party strife, there was at least one sentiment in which we all coincided, and that was a sentiment of admiring gratitude to that Throne whose wisdom and whose goodness had so often softened the acerbities of our free public life, and had at all times so majestically represented the matured intelligence of an enlightened people.

Sir, all that is changed. He is gone who was "the comfort and support" of that Throne. It has been said that there is nothing which England so much appreciates as the fulfillment of duty. The Prince whom we have lost not only was eminent for the fulfillment of duty, but it was the fulfillment of the highest duty under the most difficult circumstances. Prince Albert was the Consort of his Sovereign—he was the father of one who might be his Sovereign—he was the Prime Councillor of a realm, the political constitution of which did not even recognize his political existence.

Sir, it is sometimes deplored by those who admired and loved him that he was thwarted occasionally in his undertakings, and that he was not duly appreciated. But these are not circumstances for regret, but for congratulation. They prove the leading and original mind which has so long and so advantageously labored for this country. Had he not encountered these obstacles, had he not been subject to this occasional distrust and misconception, it would only have shown that he was a man of ordinary mold and temper. Those who improve must change, those who change must necessarily disturb and alarm men's prejudices. What he had to encounter was only a demonstration that he was a man superior to his age, and therefore admirably adapted for the work of progress. There is one other point, and one only, on which I will presume for a moment to dwell, and it is not for the sake of you, Sir, or those who now hear me, or of the generation to which we belong, but it is that those who come after us may not misunderstand the nature of this illustrious man. Prince Albert was not a mere patron; he was not one of those who by their gold or by their smiles reward excellence or stimulate exertion. His contributions to the cause of State were far more powerful and far more precious. He gave to it his thought, his time, his toil; he gave to it his life. On both sides and in all parts of the House I see many gentlemen who occasionally have acted with the Prince at those council boards where they conferred and consulted upon the great undertakings with which he was connected. I ask them, without fear of a denial, whether he was not the leading spirit, whether his was not the mind which foresaw the difficulty, his not the resources that supplied the remedy; whether his was not the courage which sustained them under apparently overpowering difficulties; whether every one who worked with him did not feel that he was the real originator of those plans of improvement which they assisted in carrying into effect?

But what avail these words? This House to-night has been asked to condole with the Crown upon this great calamity. No easy office. To condole, in general, is the office of those who, without the pale of sorrow, still feel for the sorrowing. But in this instance the country is as heart-stricken as its Queen. Yet in the mutual sensibility of a Sovereign and a people there is something ennobling—something which elevates the spirit beyond the level of mere earthly sorrow. The counties, the cities, the corporations of the realm—those illustrious associations of learning and science and art and skill, of which he was the brightest ornament and the inspiring spirit, have bowed before the Throne. It does not become the Parliament of the country to be silent. The expression of our feelings may be late, but even in that lateness may be observed some propriety. To-night the two Houses sanction the expression of the public sorrow, and ratify, as it were, the record of a nation's woe.


From an address in the House of Commons


I feel myself unequal even to dealing with what is, perhaps, more strictly germane to this address—I mean, Mr. Gladstone as a politician, as a Minister, as a leader of public thought, as an eminent servant of the Queen; and if I venture to say anything, it is rather of Mr. Gladstone, the greatest member of the greatest deliberative assembly, which, so far, the world has seen.

Sir, I think it is the language of sober and unexaggerated truth to say that there is no gift which would enable a man to move, to influence, to adorn an assembly like this that Mr. Gladstone did not possess in a supereminent degree. Debaters as ready there may have been, orators as finished. It may have been given to others to sway as skillfully this assembly, or to appeal with as much directness and force to the simpler instincts of the great masses in the country; but, sir, it has been given to no man to combine all these great gifts as they were combined in the person of Mr. Gladstone. From the conversational discussion appropriate to our work in committees, to the most sustained eloquence befitting some great argument, and some great historic occasion, every weapon of Parliamentary warfare was wielded by him with the success and ease of a perfect, absolute, and complete mastery. I would not venture myself to pronounce an opinion as to whether he was most excellent in the exposition of a somewhat complicated budget of finance or legislation, or whether he showed it most in the heat of extemporary debate. At least this we may say, that from the humbler arts of ridicule or invective to the subtlest dialectic, the most persuasive eloquence, the most cogent appeals to everything that was highest and best in the audience that he was addressing, every instrument which could find place in the armory of a member of this House, he had at his command without premeditation, without forethought, at the moment and in the form which appeared best suited to carry out his purpose.

It may, perhaps, be asked whether I have nothing to say about Mr. Gladstone's place in history, about the judgment we ought to pass upon the great part which he has played in the history of his country and the history of the world during the many years in which he held a foremost place in this assembly. These questions are legitimate questions. But they are not to be discussed by me to-day. Nor, indeed, do I think that the final answer can be given to them—the final judgment pronounced—in the course of this generation. But one service he did—in my opinion incalculable—which is altogether apart from the judgment which we may be disposed to pass on the particular opinions, the particular views, or the particular lines of policy which Mr. Gladstone may from time to time have adopted. Sir, he added a dignity and he added a weight to the deliberations of this House by his genius which I think it is impossible adequately to express.

It is not enough, in my opinion, to keep up simply a level, though it be a high level, of probity and of patriotism. The mere virtue of civic honesty is not sufficient to preserve this assembly from the fate which has overcome so many other assemblies, the products of democratic forces. More than this is required, more than this was given to us by Mr. Gladstone. Those who seek to raise in the public estimation the level of our proceedings will be the most ready to admit the infinite value of those services, and realize how much the public prosperity is involved in the maintenance of the work of public life. Sir, that is a view which, it seems to me, places the services of Mr. Gladstone to this assembly, which he loved so well, and of which he was so great a member, in as clear a light and on as firm a basis as it is possible to place them.


From an address in the House of Lords, May, 1898


My Lords, this is, as has been pointed out, an unique occasion. Mr. Gladstone always expressed a hope that there might be an interval left to him between the end of his political and of his natural life. That period was given to him, for it is more than four years since he quitted the sphere of politics. Those four years have been with him a special preparation for his death, but have they not also been a preparation for his death with the nation at large? Had he died in the plenitude of his power as Prime Minister, would it have been possible for a vigorous and convinced Opposition to allow to pass to him, without a word of dissent, the honors which are now universally conceded? Hushed for the moment are the voices of criticism; hushed are the controversies in which he took part; hushed for the moment is the very sound of party conflict. I venture to think that this is a notable fact in our history. It was not so with the elder Pitt. It was not so with the younger Pitt. It was not so with the elder Pitt—in spite of his tragic end, of his unrivaled services, and of his enfeebled old age. It was not so with the younger Pitt—in spite of his long control of the country and his absolute and absorbed devotion to the State. I think that we should remember this as creditable not merely to the man, but to the nation.

My Lords, there is one deeply melancholy feature of Mr. Gladstone's death—by far the most melancholy—to which I think none of my noble friends have referred. I think that all our thoughts must be turned, now that Mr. Gladstone is gone, to that solitary and pathetic figure who, for sixty years, shared all the sorrows and all the joys of Mr. Gladstone's life; who received his every confidence and every aspiration; who shared his triumphs with and cheered him under his defeats; who, by her tender vigilance, I firmly believe, sustained and prolonged his years. I think that the occasion ought not to pass without letting Mrs. Gladstone know that she is in all our thoughts to- day. And yet, my Lords—putting that one figure aside—to me, at any rate, this is not an occasion for absolute and entire and unreserved lamentation. Were it, indeed, possible so to protract the inexorable limits of human life that we might have hoped that future years, and even future generations, might see Mr. Gladstone's face and hear his matchless voice, and receive the lessons of his unrivaled experience— we might, perhaps, grieve to-day as those who have no hope. But that is not the case. He had long exceeded the span of mortal life; and his latter months had been months of unspeakable pain and distress. He is now in that rest for which he sought and prayed, and which was to give him relief from an existence which had become a burden to him. Surely this should not be an occasion entirely for grief; when a life prolonged to such a limit, so full of honor, so crowned with glory, had come to its termination. The nation lives that produced him. The nation that produced him may yet produce others like him; and, in the meantime, it is rich in his memory, rich in his life, and rich, above all, in his animating and inspiring example. Nor do I think that we should regard this heritage as limited to our own country or to our own race. It seems to me that, if we may judge from the papers of to-day, that it is shared by, that it is the possession of, all civilized mankind, and that generations still to come, through many long years, will look for encouragement in labor, for fortitude in adversity, for the example of a sublime Christianity, with constant hope and constant encouragement, to the pure, the splendid, the dauntless figure of William Ewart Gladstone.


From a centennial address at the United States Military Academy at West Point, with the author's permission.


As we stand here to-day a hundred years of history pass in review before us. The present permanent Academy was founded in 1802. The class that year contained two cadets. During the ten years following the average number was twenty. We might say of the cadets of those days what Curran said of the books in his library—"not numerous, but select."

And now a word to the Corps of Cadets, the departure of whose graduating class marks the close of the first century of the Academy's life. The boy is father to the man. The present is the mold in which the future is cast. The dominant characteristics of the cadet are seen in the future general. You have learned here how to command, and a still more useful lesson, how to obey. You have been taught obedience to the civil, as well as to the military, code, for in this land the military is always subordinate to the civil law. Not the least valuable part of your education is your service in the cadet ranks, performing the duties of a private soldier. That alone can acquaint you with the feelings and the capabilities of the soldiers you will command. It teaches you just how long a man can carry a musket in one position without overfatigue, just how hard it is to keep awake on sentry duty after an exhausting day's march. You will never forget this part of your training. When Marshal Lannes's grenadiers had been repulsed in an assault upon the walls of a fortified city, and hesitated to renew the attack, Lannes seized a scaling ladder and, rushing forward, cried: "Before I was a marshal I was a grenadier, and I have not forgotten my training." Inspired by his example, the grenadiers carried the walls and captured everything before them.

Courage is the soldier's cardinal virtue. You will seldom go amiss in following General Grant's instructions to his commanders, "When in doubt move to the front."

A generous country has with fostering care equipped you for your career. It is entitled to your undivided allegiance. In closing, let me mention, by way of illustration, a most touching and instructive scene which I once witnessed at the annual meeting in the great hall of the Sorbonne in Paris for the purpose of awarding medals of honor to those who had performed acts of conspicuous bravery in saving human life at sea. A bright-eyed boy of scarcely fourteen summers was called to the platform. The story was recounted of how one winter's night when a fierce tempest was raging on the rude Normandy coast, he saw signals of distress at sea and started with his father, the captain of a small vessel, and the mate to attempt a rescue. By dint of almost superhuman effort the crew of a sinking ship was safely taken aboard. A wave then washed the father from the deck. The boy plunged into the seething waves to save him, but the attempt was in vain, and the father perished. The lad struggled back to the vessel to find that the mate had also been washed overboard. Then lashing himself fast, he took the wheel and guided the boat, with its precious cargo of human souls, through the howling storm safely into port. The minister of public instruction, after paying a touching tribute to the boy's courage in a voice broken with emotion, pinned the medal on his breast, placed in his hands a diploma of honor, and then, seizing the brave lad in his arms, imprinted a kiss on each cheek. For a moment the boy seemed dazed, not knowing which way to turn, as he stood there with the tears streaming down his bronzed cheeks while every one in that vast hall wept in sympathy. Suddenly his eyes turned toward his old peasant mother, she to whom he owed his birth and his training, as she sat at the back of the platform with bended form and wearing her widow's cap. He rushed to her, took the medal from his breast, and, casting it and his diploma into her lap, threw himself on his knees at her feet.

Men of West Point, in the honorable career which you have chosen, whatever laurels you may win, always be ready to lay them at the feet of your country to which you owe your birth and your education.


From an address at Columbia University, June, 1909


We have seen that the sifting out of young men capable of scholarship is receiving to-day less attention than it deserves; and that this applies not only to recruiting future leaders of thought, but also to prevailing upon every young man to develop the intellectual powers he may possess. We have seen also that, while the graduate school can train scholars, it cannot create love of scholarship. That work must be done in undergraduate days. We have found reasons to believe that during the whole period of training, mental and physical, which reaches its culmination in college, competition is not only a proper but an essential factor; and we have observed the results that have been achieved at Oxford and Cambridge by its use. In this country, on the other hand, several causes, foremost among them the elective system, have almost banished competition in scholarship from our colleges; while the inadequate character of our tests, and the corporate nature of self-interest in these latter times, raise serious difficulties in making it effective.

Nevertheless, I have faith that these obstacles can be overcome, and that we can raise intellectual achievement in college to its rightful place in public estimation. We are told that it is idle to expect young men to do strenuous work before they feel the impending pressure of earning a livelihood; that they naturally love ease and self- indulgence, and can be aroused from lethargy only by discipline, or by contact with the hard facts of a struggle with the world. If I believed that, I would not be president of a college for a moment. It is not true. A normal young man longs for nothing so much as to devote himself to a cause that calls forth his enthusiasm, and the greater the sacrifice involved, the more eagerly will he grasp it. If we were at war and our students were told that two regiments were seeking recruits, one of which would be stationed at Fortress Monroe, well- housed and fed, living in luxury, without risk of death or wounds, while the other would go to the front, be starved and harassed by fatiguing marches under a broiling sun, amid pestilence, with men falling from its ranks killed or suffering mutilation, not a single man would volunteer for the first regiment, but the second would be quickly filled. Who is it that makes football a dangerous and painful sport? Is it the faculty or the players themselves?

A young man wants to test himself on every side, in strength, in quickness, in skill, in courage, in endurance; and he will go through much to prove his merit. He wants to test himself, provided he has faith that the test is true, and that the quality tried is one that makes for manliness; otherwise he will have none of it. Now we have not convinced him that high scholarship is a manly thing worthy of his devotion, or that our examinations are faithful tests of intellectual power; and in so far as we have failed in this we have come short of what we ought to do. Universities stand for the eternal worth of thought, for the preeminence of the prophet and the seer; but instead of being thrilled by the eager search for truth, our classes too often sit listless on the bench. It is not because the lecturer is dull, but because the pupils do not prize the end enough to relish the drudgery required for skill in any great pursuit, or indeed in any sport. To make them see the greatness of that end, how fully it deserves the price that must be paid for it, how richly it rewards the man who may compete for it, we must learn—and herein lies the secret—we must learn the precious art of touching their imagination.


From a lecture, entitled "Masters of the Situation"


There was once a noble ship full of eager passengers, freighted with a rich cargo, steaming at full speed from England to America. Two thirds of a prosperous voyage thus far were over, as in our mess we were beginning to talk of home. Fore and aft the songs of good cheer and hearty merriment rose from deck to cabin.

"As if the beauteous ship enjoyed the beauty of the sea, She lifteth up her stately head, and saileth joyfully, A lovely path before her lies, a lovely path behind; She sails amid the loveliness like a thing of heart and mind."

Suddenly, a dense fog came, shrouding the horizon, but as this was a common occurrence in the latitude we were sailing, it was hardly mentioned in our talk that afternoon. There are always croakers on board ship, if the weather changes however slightly, but the Britannia was free, that voyage, of such unwelcome passengers. A happier company never sailed upon an autumn sea! The storytellers are busy with their yarns to audiences of delighted listeners in sheltered places; the ladies are lying about on couches, and shawls, reading or singing; children in merry companies are taking hands and racing up and down the decks,—when a quick cry from the lookout, a rush of officers and men, and we are grinding on a ledge of rocks off Cape Race! One of those strong currents, always mysterious, and sometimes impossible to foresee, had set us into shore out of our course, and the ship was blindly beating on a dreary coast of sharp and craggy rocks.

I heard the order given, "Every one on deck!" and knew what that meant—the masts were in danger of falling. Looking over the side, we saw bits of the keel, great pieces of plank, floating out into the deep water. A hundred pallid faces were huddled together near the stern of the ship where we were told to go and wait. I remember somebody said that a little child, the playfellow of passengers and crew, could not be found, and that some of us started to find him; and that when we returned him to his mother she spake never a word, but seemed dumb with terror at the prospect of separation and shipwreck, and that other specter so ghastly when encountered at sea.

Suddenly we heard a voice up in the fog in the direction of the wheelhouse, ringing like a clarion above the roar of the waves, and the clashing sounds on shipboard, and it had in it an assuring, not a fearful tone. As the orders came distinctly and deliberately through the captain's trumpet, to "ship the cargo," to "back her," to "keep her steady," we felt somehow that the commander up there in the thick mist on the wheelhouse knew what he was about, and that through his skill and courage, by the blessing of heaven, we should all be rescued. The man who saved us so far as human aid ever saves drowning mortals, was one fully competent to command a ship; and when, after weary days of anxious suspense, the vessel leaking badly, and the fires in danger of being put out, we arrived safely in Halifax, old Mr. Cunard, agent of the line, on hearing from the mail officer that the steamer had struck on the rocks and had been saved only by the captain's presence of mind and courage, simply replied, "Just what might have been expected in such a disaster; Captain Harrison is always master of the situation." Now, no man ever became master of the situation by accident or indolence. I believe with Shelley, that the Almighty has given men and women arms long enough to reach the stars if they will only put them out! It was an admirable saying of the Duke of Wellington, "that no general ever blundered into a great victory." St. Hilaire said, "I ignore the existence of a blind chance, accident, and haphazard results." "He happened to succeed," is a foolish, unmeaning phrase. No man happens to succeed.


Reprinted from "American Wit and Humor," copyrighted in "Modern Eloquence," Geo. L. Shuman and Company, Chicago, publishers.


Wit may take many forms, but it resides essentially in the thought or the imagination. In its highest forms it does not deal in things but with ideas. It is the shock of pleased surprise which results from the perception of unexpected likeness between things that differ or of an unexpected difference between things that are alike. Or it is where utterly incongruous things are apparently combined in the expression of one idea. Wit may be bitter or kindly or entirely neutral so far as the feelings are concerned. When extremes of feeling, one way or the other, are concerned, then it takes on other names which will be considered by themselves.

But not to stop any longer with definition, it is almost pure wit when some one said of an endless talker that he had "occasional brilliant flashes of silence." So of the saying of Mr. Henry Clapp. You know it is said of Shakespeare, "He is not for a day, but for all time." Speaking of the bore who calls when you are busy and never goes, Mr. Clapp said, "He is not for a time, but for all day." And what could be more deliciously perfect than the following: Senator Beck of Kentucky was an everlasting talker. One day a friend remarked to Senator Hoar, "I should think Beck would wear his brain all out talking so much." Whereupon Mr. Hoar replied, "Oh, that doesn't affect him any: he rests his mind when he is talking." This has, indeed, a touch of sarcasm; but it is as near the pure gold of wit as you often get. Or, take this. There being two houses both of which are insisted on as the real birthplace of the great philosopher and statesman, Mark Twain gravely informs us that "Franklin was twins, having been born simultaneously in two different houses in Boston."

One of the finest specimens of clear-cut wit is the saying of the Hon. Carroll D. Wright. Referring to the common saying, he once keenly remarked: "I know it is said that figures won't lie, but, unfortunately, liars will figure."

In contradistinction from wit, humor deals with incidents, characters, situations. True humor is altogether kindly; for, while it points out and pictures the weaknesses and foibles of humanity, it feels no contempt and leaves no sting. It has its root in sympathy and blossoms out in toleration.

It would take too long at this point in my lecture to quote complete specimens of humor; for that would mean spreading out before you detailed scenes or full descriptions. But fortunately it is not necessary. Cervantes, Shakespeare, Charles Lamb, Dickens, and a host of others will readily occur to you. But what could be better of its kind than this? General Joe Johnston was one day riding leisurely behind his army on the march. Food had been scarce and rations limited. He spied a straggler in the brush beside the road. He called out sharply, "What are you doing here?" Being caught out of the ranks was a serious offense, but the soldier was equal to the emergency. So to the General's question he replied, "Pickin' 'simmons." The persimmon, as you know, has the quality of puckering the mouth, as a certain kind of wild cherry used to mine when I was a boy. "What are you picking 'simmons for?" sharply rejoined the General. Then came the humorous reply that disarmed all of the officer's anger and appealed to his sympathy, while it hinted all "the boys" were suffering for the cause. "Well, the fact of it is, General, I'm trying to shrink up my stomach to the size of my rations, so I won't starve to death."

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