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conducted himself in a manner to win the respect and admiration of his adversaries. Mr. Mitchell's oratory scarcely appertains to the present section of our work, but as the youngest of American public speakers who has won a reputation, we deem it advisable to place him here at the end of the American section of our work.
AN APPEAL FOR THE MINERS [On Labor Day, September 1, 1902, John Mitchell addressed an immense audience of workingmen at Washington Park, a place of public resort near Philadelphia. As a favorable example of his oratorical manner, we append his address on that occasion.]
This day has been decreed as labor's special holiday, and from one end of the country to the other the great hosts of labor have assembled and are reviewing the struggles of the past and preparing for the struggles of the future. The year just closed has been unprecedented in the growth of the trades union movement, and of independent thought and action. But new problems have arisen which will tax our greatest strength to solve. We have this year government by injunction and ownership by Divine right in the most accentuated form. If one of the most conspicuous among the capitalists properly represents the sentiment of his associates, then we must take it for granted that they believe that God in His infinite wisdom has given into their hands all the resources of our country. As a boy I was taught to believe that God loved all His people alike; that He conferred no more power or privileges on one than on another. And, notwithstanding the declaration of the controllers of the trusts, I am not prepared to abandon the teachings of my mother and my Sunday-school teacher. Every year sees some struggle of the workers that stands out conspicuously. This year it happens that the coal miners of Pennsylvania are engaged in a life and death struggle for the right to live.
The struggle of the miners is the greatest contest between labor and capital in the history of the world, not only because of its magnitude, but because of the issues involved. The miners are fighting for rights guaranteed by our country and exercised by their employers. They are engaged in a life and death struggle, trying to gain sufficient to enable them to take their children of tender years from the mines and the mills and send them to school, where, as American children, they belong.
I want to repeat to you what I said in a speech in Wilmington : Had the Coal Trust known that it had to fight the American people to beat the miners, they would never have engaged in this fight. I have an abiding faith in the American people. Once they believe that a wrong has been perpetrated the heart of the people goes out in sympathy, and they see that
the wrong is righted. If my reception in Philadelphia and here represents the sentiment throughout this country, and I believe it does, then, my friends, the coal miners cannot lose. I am not one of those who believe that the loss of the miners' strike will destroy the trades union movement; but I do believe it would give to unionism the most severe shock it has had in many years.
The history of the inception and progress of the strike is known to all of you. It is indelibly impressed upon the hearts of the workingmen of the country. It is unnecessary to review that now, but I want to say that this struggle was not started until we had exhausted every conceivable means of settlement. The struggle would not have been inaugurated or continued if the operators had consented to conciliation, mediation or arbitration. They have turned a deaf ear to all. Now we must win or be crushed.
To win this strike we must have the assistance of our fellow-workers and of all generous citizens. It is much more pleasant to give than to receive. I should be much happier if I could come here and say that the miners' union had hundreds of thousands of dollars to give away, rather than ask you to help feed the families of the men. As it is, we are compelled to appeal to workingmen and to the public to give us a small portion of their earnings to keep our people from starving.
I believe the time is not far distant when workingmen will know how to solve this problem. I am free to say that my own views have been somewhat changed since this strike started. Workmen know that I have been identified with every peace movement that might help the workers. I am not prepared to say that they always will be failures, but they will be failures as long as employers will not listen to reason and the truth.
I look forward to the time when the wage earners will take their proper place; when those who build the mansions will not live in hovels; when the men who build the lightning express and the parlor cars will not walk from station to station looking for work; when those whose labor erects the buildings whose spires reach heavenward will not have to pass by the doors because they are too ragged to enter.
I stand for the solidarity of the trades union movement. I hope to see the time when no man who earns his bread by the sweat of his brow will be outside of his trade union, when the workers of our country will take possession of their ową.
Orators of Greece and Rome
HE history of oratory is as old as the written
history of the human race. But for examples
of actual discourses we must come down to
the literature of the classic age, the period of Greece and Rome. And of the orators of this age, the public utterances of very few have been preserved in their original form. Of the speeches of Pericles, the earliest famous orator of Athens, we have only the version to be found in the works of Thucydides; while the dying speech of Socrates, as given by Plato, was probably invented by Plato himself. It is the same in Roman literature, most of the speeches we possess being the versions given in historical works, such as those of Livy, Sallust and Tacitus, who either invented or modified them to suit their own tastes. Those were not the days of stenographic reporters, and only those orations had a fair chance of future existence which were written out carefully by the orators themselves. Of extemporaneous speakers, the historical recorders may have given the burden of what they said, but scarcely the verbal form. In the case of the most famous orators, however,—including Lysias, Isocrates, Demosthenes, Æschines, and some others of Greece, and Cicero of Rome,--the orations were written before they were spoken, and were heedfully preserved as part of the literary productions of theiradors
. Many of these have come down, in their oi bishal form to the time, and translations of them ve been made which closely preserve the spirit of the original. Our selections are made from these translations.
PERICLES (495-429 B. C.)
FOUNDER OF THE SPLENDOR OF ATHENS
IRST in time and one of the foremost in ability of the great
orators of Athens stands the famous Pericles, whose silver
voice and rare eloquence gave him the mastery of the Athenian populace during his life. Under his hands Athens reached its height of splendor in architecture and art, the unrivaled Parthenon, adorned as it was by the sculptures of Phidias, being the noblest example of his conceptions. As an orator he had no rival in the Athens of his day, his graceful figure, mellifluous voice, and complete self-cominand enabling him to sway his audiences at will. Supreme as was his power, he used it solely for the benefit of the city and its populace, being sober and recluse in habit, is while the tenderest domestic attachment bound him to the engaging and cultivated Aspasia."
THE DEAD WHO FELL FOR ATHENS [Of the oratory of Pericles we possess only the famous example which Thucy. dides, the historian, has preserved for us, the long funeral oration over those who died in battle in 431 B. C., the first year of the destructive Peloponnesian War. How closely this repeats the words of the orator it is now impossible to tell. The speech opens with a laudation of the glory and progress of Athens, for which the soldiers are given credit, and continues with an eulogy of their merits. ]
We are happy in a form of government which cannot envy the laws of our neighbors—for it has served as a model to others, but is original at Athens. And this our form, as committed not to the few, but to the whole body of the people, is called a democracy. How different soever in a private capacity, we all enjoy the same general equality our laws are fitted to preserve; and superior honors just as we excel. The public admiration is not confined to a particular family, but is attainable only by merit. Poverty is not a hindrance, since whoever is able to serve his country meets with no obstacle to preferment from his first obscurity.