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two hundred and fifty-three thousand Union soldiers enrolled in army organizations, who have paid their dues. They are a live body; every one has his record examined before he is admitted, and he must prove of good moral character, both as soldier and citizen. So there are two hundred and fifty-three thousand of our old soldiers, who took part in the war, that can be assembled together on twenty-four hour's notice, and they would make a splendid army to-morrow.
ELEVENTH TOAST.—“ The Thinking Bayonet—a Product of Universal Education."
Response by Hon. IGNATIUS DONNELLY.
Mr. Donnelly:-Mr. President and gentlemen, you will excuse me for not mounting this rostrum. [Cries of “higher, higher."] I will first give you some reasons for not getting on the platform, and then, if you insist upon it, I will mount the platform. Some years ago, in this State, soon after we were admitted as a State to the Union, there was nominated for Congress in the Northern District a very worthy gentlemen, well known to all the old settlers here, Colonel Cyrus Aldrich. The Colonel was a gentleman of fine appearance, but not much of a public speaker. Conscious of his inadequacy in that respect, he requested a noted character, named Sam. Beman-a man of brilliant and burning eloquence, but of a very inferior physical organization-and they started out to make their campaign together. At the first place they spoke, there was a stand arranged with a desk in front of it. The Colonel got up and said: “Fellow citizens, it is well known that I am nothing of a talker, but when I was nominated for Congress, my constituents said to me that I must go around and show myself to the people; but,” said he, “I will now introduce to you my friend Mr. Beman.” Sam. arose, his head just projecting above the top of the desk, and in his piping voice, said: “Fellow citizens, when I started out, my constituents told me to talk all I pleased, but to show myself as little as possible,” (laughter,] and, on that principle I decline to mount the platform. [Renewed laughter and cries of “higher."] Gentlemen, this reminds me of what the boys said, in the language of Holy Scripture: “Go up, thou old bald head, and the lions came out and devoured them.”' [Laughter renewed, and cries of "go up, go up.”] Mr. Donnelly then mounted the rostrum, and said:
Ladies and gentlemen, the text that has been assigned to me to-night is: “The Thinking Bayonet-A Product of Universal Education."
That profoundly great and wise man, Francis Bacon, said, with his usual terseness and power, "a man is what he knows,”—meaning thereby that, higher than blood, or bone, or muscle, genius or talent, was knowledge—the mastery of the mind of man over the great powers of nature. Mr. President, it needs no argument to prove that a Republic without universal education is a fallacy, an absurdity. It is, to use a familiar comparison, the play of “Hamlet with Hamlet left out;" for as the Republic rests upon the intelligence of its people, that intelligence must be cultivated; the mind must be broadened to encompass the very best possible acquisition of facts. It has been these institutions of popular and universal education that have lain at the base and corner-stone of all the mighty development of which we have been capable as a people. For one, I cannot fail to recognize the hand of God himself in the history of our nation.
I cannot believe that He who keeps the planets in their orbits, that regulates Orion and Pleiades,—that not by a hair's breadth do they waver from their course in centuries—He, who has traced the pedigree of the unnamed myriad dust of the stars, cannot have failed to keep mighty cognizance of this great nation, to carry it forward in the hollow of his hand. And there are events in our history, to which we may point as accentuating this great truth; for, when one considers what the mathematicians and the scientists call “the doctrine of probabilities,” and then remembers that natal day of ours, the Fourth of July, upon which we proclaimed ourselves a nation—that on that day, fifty years afterwards, precisely—at the end of the half century, the two men who had done more than all others to bring about the birth of this great nation, and lead the forces of the North and the South-John Adams and Thomas Jefferson,-on that fiftieth anniversary of the nation, passed together, side by side, to their end, which was a startling and a mighty coincidence; and, when we go a step farther and remember that, during this last terrible war, the two great events that decided more then all else the fate of the war were the fall of Vicksburg and the triumph of Gettysburg—both consummated on that same Fourth of July, why, it would seem, my friends, as though God with his mighty hand had drawn an italic line of fire
under that Fourth of July, to proclaim to all ages that He had this great nation in his custody and his keeping. [Applause.) When I
say the fall of Vicksburg—what was it? The opening of the Mississippi valley. And what is the Mississippi valley? The nation; for all the rest is mere suburb. [Laughter.]
This is the nation. Here on this arena-beside which the Nile, that fed old Rome, was a brook—[laughter and applause] here, in this great valley, has developed the mightiest nation that ever God's sun has looked kindly down upon. I am glad that our distinguished guest is here from across the water; we honored in his presence; and I trust, when he goes back to John Bull and his island [laughter] that he will tell the people of that glorious country what he saw in this land, where the oppression of despotism has been broken, and the genius of the races of this Western isle, and of all Western Europe, has found an outlet, and has expanded on this continental area into a greatness that the mind of man has never conceived of. [Applause] And tell them that the foundation of it all was universal intelligence.
If I were called upon to draw a coat-of-arms for the United States, I would paint a school-house, and on it would plant the bayonet of the private soldier as a lightening-rod, [applause and cries of “hear, hear, hear"'] that from its glittering steel the bolts of tyrants might be drawn harmless to the earth; while, from the school-room below, a spirit would ascend that would forbid that that bayonet should ever again be stained with fraternal blood. Oh, my friends, what a nation have we! It passes the mind of man to realize it. Think of it? Three millions of people one hundred years ago—fifty-five millions now, and one hundred millions by the end of the century, now only sixteen years distant. And such institutions! such a government! a constitution that (I say it reverently) is the Sermon on the Mount crystallized into law, [applause] filled with the same sublime spirit of justice, of brotherhood and of the rights of men.
And see what an army we turn out! Governor Davis said last evening, in his eloquent and beautiful address, (which you have already either heard or read) that, in any regiment in the war, you could call forth men from the ranks to equip a college or a university with professors, men to take charge of and organize a telegraphic force, men to run and furnish with engineers a railroad train, men to equip a state government. When was there, in the whole tide of time,
such an army as this? [Applause and cries of “never, never.”] And all this, evoked, as by the call of an enchanter, from a peaceful people; and up from that people rose these gigantic armies, the wonder of the world, and, foremost among them all, that army whose presence we are met to honor here to-night. [Applause and cries of "hear, hear, hear."] Down in a little college in New Orleans a college professor was poring over his books, and, when the tocsin of war was sounded, he left them and rose, my friends, by the logic of events and the force of his own mighty genius until he took a place side by side with the immortal soldiers of history—a man, as Shakespeare says, fit to stand by Cæsar-nay, his counterfeit presentiment looks down upon us from the left, [laughter] and, thank God, he is living in person, and looks down upon us here to-night. [Applause and cries of “hear, hear, hear.”] God grant he may be spared for many days to honor these occasions. [Applause.] He receives the tribute of the love, the gratitude and the respect of the American people. [Applause.] He will be remembered in history as the great American soldier who whipped every foeman who stood before him, and kissed every pretty girl that he met. [Laughter and applause.]
But, to go back, my friends, to that army; Governor Davis told the truth, but he did not tell the whole truth; for an incident occurred to my mind when I read his speech, that showed me that he had omitted, in his description of the resources of those regiments, one important item: as the story goes, when our honored and excellent General Gorman-a splendid gentleman and a gallant soldier—when he was in command of the First Minnesota regiment down on the Potomac, one afternoon a chaplain called upon him and requested permission to preach to the soldiers; and, to show the effects of such spiritual ministrations, he went on to tell that he had been working the day before with a Maine regiment. Now, all the world knows that the Maine men are hard to work with, [laughter and applause;] but, said the chaplain, “ I have so worked with these men that I have converted a number, and last night we had twelve of them baptized. Laughter.] Gorman, who was a man of quick and impetuous feeling, turned to his orderly and said: “Orderly, detail twentyfour men at once for baptism; for," said he, “I'll be hanged if any blasted Maine regiment is going to get ahead of the First Minnesota." [Laughter and applause.] Now what a country is this,
when, from a single regiment, you get twenty-four subjects for baptism? [Laughter.] I doubt, Mr. President, if you could find a similar number in this gathering. [Laughter.] When you count Bishop Ireland and Mgr. Capel and Governor Ramsey, [great laughter,] and Captain Castle, [laughter,] and Dr. Murphy, [laughter,] and Pat. Dolan, and Pat. Kelly, [laughter,] and myself, [laughter,] I don't see where you are going to get the rest of them. [Laughter.] I am afraid, Mr. President, you will have to order a draft to fill up the list of saints. [Laughter.]
But, seriously, my friends, [laughter]—Artemus Ward once delivered a lecture, and the subject was announced as “ The Babes in the Woods;" but all there was about the babes in the woods was, at the end of every paragraph Artemus said: “ Thus would I have said if my subject had not been “ The Babes in the Woods.” [Laughter.]
Seriously, I say, to the philosophical mind, Mr. President, the aspects presented by this great country, and by its population, are of a kind to arouse the profoundest reflections upon the part of any man. Why! Mr. President, under this system of universal education, the human race has been undergoing changes and developments until I believe that the Christian religion, working upon this great race for eighteen hundred years, developing its moral qualities, its conscience and its self-restraint, has modified the form of the skull of the race; and I believe that this universal education, which is now becoming the heritage of the whole world, has modified the character of the nation. One has only to read the writings of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries to see how the common people were painted by those who were not inimical to it. They were painted as a barbarous, cruel, debased, unworthy set. Contrast the situation of things here in America; the self-control of the people, Mr. President, is something remarkable. Every four years, in this country, we have a civil war, and we are only restrained from dropping the ballot-box and taking up the cartridge-box by the modifying effects of education and intelligence. [Applause.] The rebellion was simply an instance of where they dropped the ballot-box and took up the cartridgebox. Our government is a volcano with a plug in it, [laughter,] and we sit over it, and every four years we loosen the plug [renewed laughter,] so that you can see the red light from below, and smell the fumes of the sulphur. Eight years ago they got the