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ROBERT G. INGERSOLL (1833-1899)
NGERSOLL was an orator among orators, a man of extraordiI nary eloquence and unsurpassed control over his audience. His
sentences breathe music and read like poetry. So rythmical is his language that it might almost be divided up into epic verse. Many deplored his power, for it was exerted in what was, to the Christian \Vorld, a wrongful cause. He was best known as an opponent of Biblical interpretation,—the cultured Tom Paine of modern times,—while his remarkable powers in oratory enabled him to win far more converts to his views than Paine ever did. Yet our language does not contain a more truly religious oration than that spoken by him over his brother’s grave; a eulogy more instinct with tender feeling and lofty sentiment. Ingersoll was a lawyer by profession, a cavalry colonel in the Civil War, and later was Attorney-General of Illinois.
BLAINE, THE PLUMED KNIGHT [Ingersoll's oratory was not confined to religious—or irreligious—subjects. He won fame as a political orator as well. And in this field his most notable effort was his speech before the Republican Convention of 1576, in which he rose to nominate James G. Blaine for the Presidency. We have already spoken of this splendid effort in our notice of Blaine. We need only say further that Ingersoll shares with Conkling the honor of delivering the two most effective nominating speeches on record]
Massachusetts 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 Hall as a Democratic headquarters. I would advise them to take from Bunker Hill that old monument of
ROBERT G. INGERSOLL
The Republicans of the United States demand as their leader in the great contest of 1876 a man of intelligence, a man of integrity, a man of well-known and approved political opinions. They demand a statesman; they demand a reformer after, as well as before, the election. They demand a politician in the highest, broadest, and best sense—a man of superb moral courage. 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 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; that when they come, they will come hand in hand through the golden harvest fields ; hand in hand by the whirling spindles and turning wheels _; 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—greeted and grasped by the countless sons of toil. This money has to be dug out of the earth. You cannot make it by passing resolutions in a political convention.
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 not defend its defenders and 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 these splendid qualifications is the present grand and gallant leader of the Republican party—James G. Blaine.
Our country, crowned with the vast and marvelous achievements of its first century, asks for a man worthy of the past and prophetic of her future; asks for a man who has the audacity of genius; asks for a man who is the greatest combination of heart, conscience, and brain beneath
JOHN B. GOUGH (1817—1886)
THE FAMOUS TEMPERANCE ADVOCATE
E who can best make himself felt on any subject is he who has H gone through the fire of experience. Thus it was with John B. Gough, the eminent temperance lecturer. While learning the bookbinding trade in New York he fell into the habit of drinking, and for ten years was such a slave to intemperance that he sank into the lowest depths of poverty and wretchedness. About 1840 he was induced to sign the total-abstinence pledge, and from that time forward devoted his life to the reclamation of the intemperate. Gifted by nature with fine powers of emotional oratory, and combining with this the qualities of an actor, he soon distinguished himself as the most eloquent and successful advocate of the temperance cause. Oratory, anecdote, impersonation, impassioned relations of his own degradation, combined in him to yield a wonderful effect upon his audiences. He lectured for many years widely through the English speaking world, and doubtless was the happy instrument for saving myriads from the curse of drink.
THE TEMPERANCE CAUSE
[Gough’s orations on his chosen subject were multitudinous. The utmost we can do here is to offer an extract showing his manner of speech. But few orators depended more than he upon the manner, rather than the matter, of his addresses. for his effect upon an audience. He acted as well as spoke, and his orations were in their way examples of histrionic ability.]
Our enterprise is in advance of the public sentiment, and those who carry it on are glorious iconoclasts, who are going to break down the drunken dragon worshipped by their fathers. Count me over the chosen heroes of this earth, and I will show you men that stood alone—ay, alone, while those they toiled, and labored, and agonized for, hurled at them contumely,