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and, without censuring those who substitute abuse for argument, I can commend those who use argument instead of abuse.
I can commend also to every citizen the words of that distinguished editor who was the founder of this paper. I am told that he is the author of the expression that a man who is not willing to die for a cause in which he believes is not worthy to live.
It is the willingness of the people to stake their all upon the correctness of their convictions that has enabled truth to spread from person to person, until it at last overcomes all opposition. And in this campaign we have as good an illustration as was ever given of depth of conviction and intensity of earnestness in the presentation of a cause. I challenge you to find in all the political contests through which this country has passed a single contest which has aroused more earnestness than this contest through which we are now passing. I challenge you to find among all the hosts who have defended a cause more earnest men than are found today among the advocates of the right of this Government to legislate for itself, without regard to other nations. It will not do to say that there is no cause for such feeling as is manifested now. If you read the dispatch from London which appeared in yesterday morning's paper you will find that a great meeting of agriculturists was held at Buda Pesth, and in speaking of that meeting the dispatch said that practically all of those representing agricultural societies were in favor of the restoration of bimetallism.
My friends, our opponents sometimes tell us that this movement in favor of free coinage is started by the mine owners and kept up by the mine owners. I want them to understand that they cannot explain this great uprising of the people on the theory that it is instigated by men who own bullion and want to sell it at a higher price. This uprising comes from the masses of the people, who do not produce bullion, but they produce property, and they realize that the gold standard has been driving value out of the property which they produce.
The opposition may well afford to pause in their ridicule of the advocates of free coinage and in their denunciation of them as lawless characters, to find out whether there is a well-founded reason for this advocacy of bimetallism among the farmers of the United States, of England, of Germany, of France, and of every other nation which has been cursed by the gold standard.
My friends, I assert here, and I challenge any gold paper to dispute it, that a financial policy which is injurious to the agricultural classes has nothing to commend it to the government of any nation.
The gold standard has never commended itself to the agricultural classes of any country which has ever had it. What will you say, then? Will you say that these farmers have no right to have their interests respected? No, you dare not say that, because, my friends, they must first produce wealth before there is wealth to be distributed. What will you say, then? Will you say that, having the right to have their interests respected, they have not the intelligence to know what is best for them? No, you dare not say that, because you know that in public life and in business life the best brains that you have come from the farms of this country.
What answer will you make to them? When they ask for bread, will you
give them a stone? When they ask for fish, will you bestow serpents upon them? That has been the policy of the financiers of this country, and, assuming their own unselfishness, they have been attempting to force their ideas upon others, while others have fallen down beneath the weight of these ideas and the financiers themselves have risen to prosperity on the prostrate forms of the fallen.
No person can accuse me of attempting to deny to the financiers or even to the money changers the right to their opinions, the right to their votes, or the right to every legitimate influence. What I deny to them is the right to think for anybody but themselves, the right to act for anybody but themselves, the right to put themselves above other people and go through the world crying "I am holier than thou; I am holier than thou."
My friends, let me give you one way by which you can determine the sincerity of men. It is not a new rule. It is as old as the law of evidence. It applies to all walks of life, to all conditions and to all subjects. The man who believes he is right tells you what he believes, and why he believes it. The man who does not believe that he is right is the man who has filled the dictionary with ambiguous terms and who fills his speech with words of double meaning.
The man who talks about "sound money" and then refuses to tell you what "sound money" means, can only get a certificate of honesty from himself. If the advocates of "sound money" believed that their money was good they would tell you that by "sound money" they meant a gold standard. I asked a man why it was that he was opposed to using the word "gold" in the platform.
"Well," he said, "we have found an unreasonable prejudice against the word gold, and, therefore, it is to avoid that prejudice that we use the phrase sound money."
My friends, the people have no prejudice against gold, but they have a prejudice against a system that is based upon gold and does not furnish the gold when people want it.
There is one advantage in being a bimetallist. You can like gold and silver both, while a gold standard man does not dare to like silver, and he does not get much gold to like.
A man told me that out of nearly $1,000,000 collected in taxes at Hartford, Conn., less than $100 was collected in gold. Our opponents tell us they want sound money, but they want a financial system built upon an invisible foundation. Do you call that soundness, my friends? If you do, you must write a new meaning for soundness and have soundness defined as that which is dangerous.
Our opponents talk about honest money, and yet, my friends, they never touch upon the purchasing power of a dollar in defining what is an honest dollar. They tell us that they want good money. My friends, there are two things that we need in money. Money must have quantity as well as quality. We must have money which we can get hold of. If money is so good that you can pray for it and long for it, but can never see it except when you have the privilege of gazing through some grated door and looking at somebody else's pile, then it is too good for the masses of the people.
Money ought not to be built on the balloon plan. Balloons are built to
go up, and the higher they go the better they are as balloons; but if dollars are built on that plan, the higher they go the greater is the misery that they bring to mankind.
Our opponents want a balloon dollar. Our opponents want a dollar that gets higher and higher all the time. If we are going to have a gold standard, if we are going to have a dollar whose appetite is never satisfied, a gold dollar which insists upon eating more
of the products of toil every year, we ought to change the dies at the mint and so stamp that dollar that people will understand it. Let us take off the emblems that have adorned it from the beginning and put on one side the picture of the horse leech, and under the picture let it be written, as in Proverbs, "Give, Give, Give;" and on the other side of the gold dollar let us put the picture of an open grave, and above it let us write, as in Proverbs, "It sayeth not, it is enough."
My friends, that is the sort of dollar that the gold standard has given us. That is the sort of dollar that the gold standard will continue to give us. If oats get down to ten cents a bushel it means that $1 will buy ten bushels of oats, and if that dollar is not good enough you can send its value up until $1 will buy twenty bushels of oats, and if the farmer is getting too much money for his oats, you can still send it up higher so that it will take 100 bushels of oats to buy a dollar. You can make the dollar as dear as you want to, and the dearer you make it the worse it is for everybody except the owners of fixed investments and the men who sell bonds to the Government after having driven the Government into the position where it wants to buy the bonds.
When they talk of a gold standard I always think of what Lincoln said when a man once asked him how he liked a certain speech. He replied:
"Anybody who would like that sort of a speech would be very much pleased with it." I find that the people who like the gold standard are very much pleased with it, but I am glad to know that the number of people who like the gold standard is growing less every day, even in New England.
Truth compels me to admit that all of the gold papers were not as courteous in their criticisms as the Republican-for instance, the Louisville Courier-Journal, after the meeting at that place:
Louisville Courier-Journal Editorial.
Mr. William J. Bryan has come to Kentucky, and Kentuckians have, taken his measure. He is a boy orator. He is a dishonest dodger. He is a daring adventurer. He is a political fakir. He is not of the material of which the people of the United States have ever made a President, nor is he even of the material of which any party has ever before made a candidate.
The New York Tribune, after the election, said editorially:
New York Tribune Editorial.
The thing was conceived in iniquity and was brought forth in sin. It had its origin in a malicious conspiracy against the honor and integrity of the na
tion. It gained such monstrous growth as it enjoyed from an assiduous culture of the basest passions of the least worthy members of the community. It has been defeated and destroyed because right is right and God is God. Its nominal head was worthy of the cause. Nominal, because the wretched, rattle-pated boy, posing in vapid vanity and mouthing resounding rottenness, was not the real leader of that league of hell. He was only a puppet in the blood-imbued hands of ——, the anarchist, and ——, the revolutionist, and other desperadoes of that stripe. But he was a willing puppet, Bryan was, willing and eager. Not one of his masters was more apt than he at lies and forgeries and blasphemies and all the nameless iniquities of that campaign against the Ten Commandments. He goes down with the cause, and must abide with it in the history of infamy. He had less provocation than Benedict Arnold, less intellectual force than Aaron Burr, less manliness and courage than Jefferson Davis. He was the rival of them all in deliberate wickedness and treason to the Republic. His name belongs with theirs, neither the most brilliant nor the most hateful in the list. Good riddance to it all, to conspiracy and conspirators, and to the foul menace of repudiation and anarchy against the honor and life of the Republic.
The reader may be interested in knowing the worst that has been said, and I have tried to gratify that desire. If any paper was more virulent and venomous than the Tribune, its remarks escaped my attention.
Hon. George Fred Williams joined us at this place, and it gratified me to meet a man who was as bitterly assailed as myself. The main stop between Springfield and Boston was made at Worcester.
The Boston reception was a very pleasant surprise. I had expected to find some determined silver men there, because the minority is always compelled to fortify itself for a contest with superior numbers, but the enthusiasm was beyond my expectations. The crowd followed the carriage from the depot to the American House, and shouted all the way. I here met Mr. Sewall, and with him attended a modest little banquet given by the Massachusetts Bimetallic Union. Mr. S. W. Nickerson presided, and among those present were Robert Treat Payne, Jr., a descendant of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Messrs. Brooks Adams and John Quincy Adams, descendants of two Presidents. Hon. E. Moody Boynton delivered an eloquent address, to which I responded as follows:
Boston Speech-At Banquet.
I desire to express thanks for the kindly words spoken in praise of the people of the Mississippi valley. You appreciate their intelligence, piety and patriotism. We recognize that to a large extent we are the descendants of those who began our nation's history here, and if we do not all have in our veins the blood of the Revolutionary sires, we all share with you the spirit which they bequeathed to the entire country.
It is more than gratifying to find here in Boston so many who are in hearty accord with the sentiments expressed in the Chicago platform. From reading some of your papers I had almost expected to find the majority of your people looking for the tea in order that they might return it to the mother country. I appreciate what has been said in regard to the magnitude of this struggle. It is a great struggle, a struggle whose importance is not fully realized even by many who are fighting with us.
It was said by one of your great men, that "Here the embattled farmers stood, and fired the shot heard round the world.”
My friends, in this nation today the embattled farmers, together with laboring men and business men, are firing a shot that will be heard round the world.
I do not take unto myself the words which are spoken in praise, because my personality is lost in the cause for which I at this time stand.
I say to you that I realize the immense consequences which may follow from victory or defeat. I am a believer in Almighty God, and my prayer is that He may give me strength to bear whatever responsibilities are imposed upon me, and wisdom to discharge whatever duties fall to me.
There was an immense multitude in attendance at the meeting on the Common. The Boston Globe, speaking of it, said:
The Globe's Description of Boston Common Meeting.
When Mr. Bryan came to the stand at the Common at 7:40 last evening he found himself in view of an audience the like of which was never seen in Boston before. It swayed and surged back and forth as far as one could see into the shadows on either side. Experienced campaigners were amazed at the size of the gathering, and their estimates of the number there showed that even those who were accustomed to size up crowds were all at sea on this one. Some said there were fifty thousand, and others said there were one hundred thousand.
The speech here was brief and I was followed by Mr. Sewall. The main speech was made at Music Hall, where the free silver Democrats spent the night in order to be sure of admittance to the State convention on the following day. Below will be found a portion of the speech delivered at this place.
Boston Speech-At Music Hall.
Mr. Chairman: I esteem it a great privilege to be permitted to speak in this city, and to present a cause in which I believe, among the people who have been reported to be hostile to it, and I am glad to present that cause to those who are about to furnish an evidence of their devotion which is not often called for.
I never had an opportunity to address those who kept the pass at Thermopylae. But I am permitted to speak to those who are going to keep the pass here.
In ordinary times it would not be necessary for those who believe as we do to resort to extraordinary measures. But, my friends, we are passing through an unusual campaign. We are in the midst of an unusual struggle, and we have to meet an enemy that does not always scruple at the means employed.