Page images
PDF
EPUB

one

for the “Herald,” and “Harper's," and the “ New York Times.” Lanigan wrote The Akhound of Swat" night waiting for telegrams in the “ World” office. Nova Scotia lost John Foster Kirk, who completed Prescott's great task, and Simon Newcomb, of the United States Navy Department, astronomer and mathematician. From New Brunswick went Professor De Mille, the brilliant author of the

Dodge Club;" George Teall, the archivist and leading writer of South Africa; and May Agnes Fleming, a story-writer who for many years earned with her pen in New York an income as large as that of a cabinet minister at Ottawa. From Kingston went Grant Allen and Professor George Romanes—the latter a star of intellect in the regions of the higher science where it touches the realm of metaphysics. His premature death was lamented as a loss to Cambridge University. I could tell of many others if there were time but I must close.

We read that in remote ages the followers of Pythagoras, and in mediæval times the adepts of the Rosy Cross had the power of separating at will their souls from their bodies, and then their spirits would travel away with the speed of thought and hover in the semblance of stars over far-off lands, but always a long trail of faint phosphorescent light connected the shining spirit with the quiet body in which its light was born.

So it is with us—we follow with interest the fortunes of our countrymen--we rejoice in their advancement, and star after star may leave us, but still we feel that their success is ours, and some faint lustre of their brilliance quickens with pride the heart of their motherland.

INGERSOLL

R

OBERT GREEN INGERSOLL, a noted American lawyer, orator, and

lecturer, was the son of a clergyman, and was born at Dresden, New York, August 11, 1833. He was educated in the common schools, studied law, and, after being admitted to the bar, settled first at Shawneetown, Illinois, but in 1857 removed to Peoria in the same State. In 1860 he was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Congress. He entered the Federal army in 1862 as colonel of an Illinois regiment and was for some months a captive in a Confederate prison. Resigning his commission in 1864, he resumed his law practice in Peoria, and, having now became a Republican, was appointed attorney-general of Illinois in 1866. In a since-famous speech delivered by him before the Republican Convention of 1876 he proposed the name of Blaine as the Republican nominee, alluding to him as “the Plumed Knight of Maine.” From that time Ingersoll was in constant request as a campaign speaker. He was still more widely known, however, as a free-thought or agnostic lecturer. He removed to Washington after some years, and later to New York city, where he practised his profession with eminent success. His death took place at Dobbs Ferry, New York, July 29, 1899. He had great gifts as an orator, and the keenest wit and the deepest pathos were always at his command. A man of broad sympathies, he made friends even of those who dissented most heartily from his religious views. His published works include “ The Gods" (1878); Ghosts (1879); “ Some Mistakes of Moses ” (1879); “ Lectures Complete;" and Prose Poems."

BLAINE, THE PLUMED KNIGHT

NUMINATING SPEECH IN THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

AT CINCINNATI, JUNE 15, 1876 1

M

ASSACHUSETTS may be satisfied with the loyalty of
Benjamin H. Bristow; so am I; but if any man

nominated by this convention cannot carry the State of Massachusetts I am not satisfied with the loyalty of that State. If the nominee of this convention cannot carry the grand old Commonwealth of Massachusetts by seventy-five thousand majority, I would advise them to sell out Faneuil

1 From the “ New York Times," June 16, 1876.

Hall as a Democratic headquarters. I would advise them to take from Bunker Hill that old monument of glory.

The Republicans of the United States demand as their leader in the great contest of 1876 a man of intellect, a man of integrity, a man of well-known and approved political opinion. They demand a statesman. They demand a reformer after, as well as before, the election. They demand a politician in the highest and broadest and best sense of that word. They demand a man acquainted with public affairs with the wants of the people—with not only the requirements of the hour, but with the demands of the future.

They demand a man broad enough to comprehend the relations of this government to the other nations of the earth. They demand a man well versed in the powers, duties, and prerogatives of each and every department of this government.

They demand a man who will sacredly preserve the financial honor of the United States—one who knows enough to know that the national debt must be paid through the prosperity of this people. One who knows enough to know that all the financial theories in the world cannot redeem a single dollar. One who knows enough to know that all the money must be made, not by law, but by labor. One who knows enough to know that the people of the United States have the industry to make the money and the honor to pay it over just as fast as they make it.

The Republicans of the United States demand a man who knows that prosperity and resumption, when they come, must come together. When they come they will come hand in hand through the golden harvest fields; hand in hand by the whirling spindle and the turning wheel; hand in hand past the open furnace doors; hand in hand by the flaming forges;

hand in hand by the chimneys filled with eager fire by the hands of the countless sons of toil.

This money has got to be dug out of the earth. You cannot make it by passing resolutions in a political meeting.

The Republicans of the United States want a man who knows that this government should protect every citizen at home and abroad; who knows that any government that will defend its defenders and will not protect its protectors is a disgrace to the map of the world. They demand a man who believes in the eternal separation and divorcement of church and school. They demand a man whose political reputation is spotless as a star; but they do not demand that their candidate shall have a certificate of moral character signed by a Confederate Congress. The man who has in full-heaped and rounded measure all of these splendid qualifications is the present grand and gallant leader of the Republican partyJames G. Blaine.

Our country, crowned with the vast and marvellous achievements of its first century, asks for a man worthy of her pastprophetic of her future; asks for a man who has the audacity of genius; asks for a man who is the grandest combination of heart, conscience, and brains beneath the flag. That man is James G. Blaine.

For the Republican host led by that intrepid man there can be no such thing as defeat.

This is a grand year: a year filled with the recollections of the Revolution; filled with proud and tender memories of the sacred past; filled with the legends of liberty; a year in which the sons of freedom will drink from the fountain of enthusiasm; a year in which the people call for a man who has preserved in Congress what our soldiers won upon the field; a year in which we call for the man who has torn from

the throat of treason the tongue of slander—a man that has enatched the mask of Democracy from the hideous face of Rebellion-a man who, like an intellectual athlete, stood in the arena of debate, challenged all comers, and who, up to the present moment, is a total stranger to defeat.

Like an armed' warrior, like a plumed knight, James G. Blaine marched down the halls of the American Congress and threw his shining lances full and fair against the brazen foreheads of every defamer of his country and maligner of its honor.

For the Republican party to desert a gallant man now is worse than if an army should desert their general upon the field of battle.

James G. Blaine is now, and has been for years, the bearer of the sacred standard of the Republic. I call it sacred because no human being can stand beneath its folds without becoming, and without remaining, free.

Gentlemen of the Convention, in the name of the great Republic, the only republic that ever existed upon this earth; in the name of all her defenders and of all her supporters; in the name of all her soldiers living; in the name of all her soldiers who died upon the field of battle; and in the name of those who perished in the skeleton clutch of famine at Andersonville and Libby, whose sufferings he so eloquently remembers, Illinois nominates for the next President of this country that prince of parliamentarians, that leader of leaders, James G. Blaine.

« PreviousContinue »