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Why, then, should partiality or extortion be condemned as criminal in one if it be tolerated as fair business when practiced by the other? -(1883.)
Blaine, James G. (American 1830-1893.)
The Death of Garfield-Great in life, he was surpassingly great in death. For no cause, in the very frenzy of wantonness and wickedness by the red hand of murder, he was thrust from the full tide of this world's interest, from its hopes, its aspirations, its victories, into the visible presence of death, and he did not quail. Not alone for one short moment in which, stunned and dazed, he could give up life, hardly aware of its relinquishment, but through days of deadly languor, through weeks of agony, that was not less agony because silently borne, with clear sight and calm courage he looked into his open grave. What blight and ruin met his anguished eyes, whose lips may tell,-what brilliant broken plans, what baffled, high ambitions, what sundering of strong, warm, manhood's friendship, what bitter rending of sweet household ties! Behind him a proud, expectant nation, a great host of sustaining friends, a cherished and happy mother, wearing the full, rich honors of her early toil and tears; the wife of his youth, whose whole life lay in his; the little boys not yet emerged from childhood's day of frolic; the fair, young daughter; the sturdy sons just springing into closest companionship, claiming every day, and every day rewarding a father's love and care; and in his heart the eager, rejoicing power to meet all demands. And his soul was not shaken. His countrymen were thrilled with instant, profound, and universal sympathy. Masterful in his mortal weakness, he became the centre of a nation's love, enshrined in the prayers of a world. But all the love and all the sympathy could not share with him his suffering. He trod the wine press alone. With unfaltering front he faced death. With unfailing tenderness he took leave of life. Above the demoniac hiss of the assassin's bullet he heard the voice of God. With simple resignation he bowed to the Divine decree.
As the end drew near his early craving for the sea returned. The stately mansion of power had been to him the wearisome hospital of pain, and he begged to be taken from his prison walls, from its oppressive, stifling air, from its homelessness and its hopelessness. Gently, silently, the love of a great people bore the pale sufferer to the longed-for healing of the sea, to live or to die, as God should will, within sight of the heaving billows, within sound of its manifold voices. With a wan, fevered face, tenderly lifted to the cooling breeze, he looked out wistfully upon the ocean's changing wonders; on its far sails; on its restless waves, rolling shoreward to break and die beneath the noonday sun; on the red clouds of evening, arching low to the horizon; on the serene and shining pathway of the stars. Let us think that his dying eyes read a mystic meaning which only the rapt and parting soul may know. Let us believe that in the silence of
the receding world he heard the great waves breaking on a farther shore and felt already upon his wasted brow the breath of the eternal morning.(1882.)
Conkling's "Turkey-Gobbler Strut»-As to the gentleman's cruel sarcasm, I hope he will not be too severe. The contempt of that largeminded gentleman is so wilting; his haughty disdain, his grandiloquent swell, his majestic, supereminent, overpowering, turkey-gobbler strut has been so crushing to myself and all the members of this House, that I know it was an act of the greatest temerity for me to venture upon a controversy with him. But, sir, I know who is responsible for all this. I know that within the last five weeks, as members of the House will recollect, an extra strut has characterized the gentleman's bearing. It is not his fault. It is the fault of another. That gifted and satirical writer, Theodore Tilton, of the New York Independent, spent some weeks recently in this city. His letters published in that paper embraced, with many serious statements, a little jocose satire, a part of which was the statement that the mantle of the late Winter Davis had fallen upon the member from New York. The gentleman took it seriously, and it has given his strut additional pomposity. It is striking. Hyperion to a satyr, Thersites to Hercules, mud to marble, dunghill to diamond, a singed cat to a Bengal tiger, a whining puppy to a roaring lion. Shade of the mighty Davis, forgive the almost profanation of that jocose satire. (From the debate of April 30th, 1866, in the U. S. Senate.)
Blair, Austin (American, 1818-1894.)
Military Government-The habits of military government are not easily laid aside. The soldier naturally has much greater faith in the efficiency of his sword to maintain public order and due respect for law than in the slower process of the court and the sheriff. He is apt to feel a certain contempt for the arrest that cannot be made without a demand based on affidavit, and for the imprisonment that may rapidly be terminated by an action of habeas corpus and the technicalities of the civil law. The arguments of the lawyer are to him little better than jargon,-at the best, cunning devices to defeat justice. Tell him that the great reliance of good government must be upon the good judgment and patriotism of the people, and if he does not contradict you, he will still believe that it would be better if his sword could somehow be thrown into the scale.- (1872.)
Blair, Francis Preston
The Deathbed of Benton - When Colonel Benton was on his deathbed, my father and mother both hastened from the country to be by his side. When they arrived his articulation was almost lost; but his mind was clear and his features gave it expression. After some motion of his lips, he drew my father's face close to his and said "Kiss me,” and spoke of their long
and unbroken friendship. He then uttered Clay's name, and with repeated efforts gave my father to understand that he wished him to get the last of his compilation of "The Debates of Congress" which he prepared a few days before, the last effort of his feeble hand. It contained Mr. Clay's pregnant reply to Senator Barnwell, of South Carolina, who had vindicated Mr. Rhett's secession pronunciamento for the South. Mr. Clay, in the passage preserved by Colonel Benton, proclaimed the course which should be taken against the attempt indicated by Rhett and advocated by Mr. Barnwell, and my father expressed his satisfaction that this was given prominence as the work of his last moments, since there were then strong symptoms of the revolutionary movement which culminated in the last war. Colonel Benton's countenance, as he recognized that the sense of the manuscript was understood, evidenced his gratification. The scene was reported to Mr. Crittenden and other Union men who had power to impress it on the public mind. It had its efficacy. In 1858, at the epoch of Benton's death, the country and its loyal sons were struggling, like Laocoon and his offspring, with the two great serpents crushing them in their fatal coils. Benton, in his dying hour, seemed in his agonies concerned alone for those which he foresaw awaited the country.
The page to which he pointed my father's eye contained Mr. Clay's last appeal intended to arouse the people to support the government against impending convulsions. Colonel Benton adopted his life-long rival's last appeal as his own, and made it speak when he could no longer utter the counsel which had healed the bitter enmity between him and his great political opponent.
Boardman, Henry A. (American, 1808-1880.)
Constitutional Liberty and the American Union-This Union cannot expire as the snow melts from the rock, or a star disappears from the firmament. When it falls, the crash will be heard in all lands. Wherever the winds of heaven go, that will go, bearing sorrow and dismay to millions of stricken hearts; for the subversion of this government will render the cause of constitutional liberty hopeless throughout the world. What nation can govern itself, if this nation cannot?
Bonaparte, Napoleon (France, 1769-1821.)
Address to the Army of Italy-Soldiers, you are precipitated like a torrent from the heights of the Apennines; you have overthrown and dispersed all that dared to oppose your march. Piedmont, rescued from Austrian tyranny, is left to its natural sentiments of regard and friendship to the French. Milan is yours; and the republican standard is displayed throughout all Lombardy. The Dukes of Parma and Modena are indebted for their political existence only to your generosity.
The army, which so proudly menaced you, has had no other barrier than its dissolution to
oppose your invincible courage. The Po, the Tessen, the Adda, could not retard you a single day. The vaunted bulwarks of Italy were insufficient. You swept them with the same rapidity that you did the Apennines. Those successes have carried joy into the bosom of your country. Your representatives decreed a festival dedicated to your victories, and to be celebrated throughout all the communes of the republic. Now your fathers, your mothers, your wives, and your sisters will rejoice in your success, and take pride in their relation to you.
Bossuet, Jacques Bénigne (France, 1627-1704.
The Glory of the World-See the melancholy destiny of those men who are chosen to be the ornaments of their age. What do such rare men desire but the praise and the glory which men can give? God, perhaps to confound them will refuse that glory to their vain desires! No: - he confounds them rather by giving it to them, and even beyond their expectation.
That Alexander, who desired only to make a noise in the world, has made it even more than he dared to hope. Thus he must find himself in all our panegyrics, and by a species of glorious fatality, so to speak, partake of all the praises conferred upon every prince. If the great actions of the Romans required a recompense, God knows how to bestow one correspondent to their merits as well as their desires. For a recompense he gives them the empire of the world, as a thing of no value. O kings! humble yourselves in your greatness; conquerors, boast not your victories! He gives them, for recompense, the glory of men; a recompense which never reaches them; a recompense which we endeavor to attach to what? To their medals or their statues disinterred from the dust, the refuse of years and barbarian violence; to the ruins of their monuments and works, which contend with time, or rather to their idea, their shadow, or what they call their name! Such is the glorious prize of all their labors; such, in the very attainment of their wishes, is the conviction of their error! Come, satisfy yourselves, ye great men of earth! Grasp, if you can, that phantom of glory, after the example of the great men whom ye admire. God who punishes their pride in the regions of despair, envies them not, as St. Augustine says, that glory so much desired; "vain, they have received a recompense as vain as their desires."-( From the "Funeral Oration of the Prince of Condé.")
Boudinot, Elias (American, 1740–1821.)
Liberty and the Brotherhood of Man-We are all the workmanship of the same divine hand. With our Creator, abstractly considered, there are neither kings nor subjects; masters nor servants, otherwise than stewards of his appointment, to serve each other according to our different opportunities and abilities, and of course accountable for the manner in which we perform our duty; he is no respecter of persons; he beholds all with an equal eye, and although "order is heaven's first law," and he has made
it essential to every good government, and necessary for the welfare of every community, that there should be distinctions among members of the same society, yet this difference is originally designed for the service, benefit, and best good of the whole, and not for their oppression or destruction.
It is our duty, then, as a people, acting on principles of universal application, to convince mankind of the truth and practicability of them, by carrying them into actual exercise for the happiness of our fellow-men, without suffering them to be perverted to oppression or licentiousness.
The eyes of the nations of the earth are fast opening, and the inhabitants of this globe, notwithstanding it is three thousand years since the promulgation of the precept, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," are but just beginning to discover their brotherhood to each other, and that all men, however different with regard to nation or color, have an essential interest in each other's welfare.-(1793.)
Bourdaloue, Louis (France, 1632-1704. )
The Blood of the Martyrs-A reprobate in hell will always appear in the eyes of God stained with that blood which he has so basely treated. God will then always abhor him; and, as the aversion of God from his creature is that which makes hell, it must be inferred that hell will be eternal. And in this, O my God, thou art sovereignly just, sovereignly holy, and worthy of our praise and adoration. It is in this way that the beloved Disciple declared it even to God himself in the Apocalypse. Men, said he, have shed the blood of thy servants and of thy prophets; therefore they deserve to drink it, and to drink it from the cup of thine indignation. "For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink. » An expression which the Scripture employs to describe the extreme infliction of Divine vengeance. Ah! if the blood of the prophets has drawn down the scourge of God upon men, what may we not expect from the blood of Jesus Christ? If the blood of martyrs is heard crying out in heaven against the persecutors of the faith, how much more will the blood of the Redeemer be heard!
Bragg, Edward S. (American, nineteenth century.)
Loving Him for His Enemies-They love him, gentlemen, and they respect him, not only for himself, for his character, for his integrity, and judgment, and iron will, but they love him most for the enemies he has made.-(From a speech made as Chairman of the Democratic National Convention of 1884,-referring to Grover Cleveland and his opponents in Tammany Hall.)
Brewer, David J. (American, 1837-.)
"Oratory, the Masterful Art » - Oratory is the masterful art. Poetry, painting, music, sculpture, architecture, please, thrill, inspire; but oratory rules. The orator dominates those who
hear him, convinces their reason, controls their judgment, compels their action. For the time being he is master. Through the clearness of his logic, the keenness of his wit, the power of his appeal, or that magnetic something which is felt and yet cannot be defined, or through all together, he sways his audience as the storm bends the branches of the forest. Hence it is that in all times this wonderful power has been something longed for and striven for. Demosthenes, on the beach, struggling with the pebbles in his mouth to perfect his articulation, has been the great example. Yet it is often true of the orator, as of the poet; nascitur non fit. Patrick Henry seemed to be inspired as "Give me liberty or give me death" rolled from his lips. The untutored savage has shown himself an orator.
Who does not delight in oratory? How we gather to hear even an ordinary speaker! How often is a jury swayed and controlled by the appeals of counsel! Do we not all feel the magic of the power, and when occasionally we are permitted to listen to a great orator how completely we lose ourselves and yield in willing submission to the imperious and impetuous flow of his speech! It is said that after Webster's great reply to Hayne every Massachusetts man walking down Pennsylvania Avenue seemed a foot taller. (By permission. From the Introduction to the World's Best Orations." David J. Brewer, editor. Copyright by F. P. Kaiser, publisher. St. Louis, 1899.)
Bright, John (England, 1811-1889.)
The Worship of the Sword-The most ancient of profane historians has told us that the Scythians of his time were a very warlike people, and that they elevated an old cimeter upon a platform as a symbol of Mars; for to Mars alone, I believe, they built altars and offered sacrifices. To this cimeter they offered sacrifices of horses and cattle, the main wealth of the country, and more costly sacrifices than to all the rest of their gods. I often ask myself whether we are at all advanced in one respect beyond those Scythians. What are our contributions to charity, to education, to morality, to religion, to justice, and to civil government, when compared with the wealth we expend in sacrifices to the old cimeter? Two nights ago I addressed in this hall a vast assembly composed to a great extent of your countrymen who have no political power, who are at work from the dawn of the day to the evening, and who have, therefore, limited means of informing themselves on these great subjects. Now I am privileged to speak to a somewhat different
audience. You represent those of your great community who have a more complete education, who have on some points greater intelligence, and in whose hands reside the power and influence of the district. I am speaking, too, within the hearing of those whose gentle nature, whose finer instincts, whose purer minds, have not suffered as some of us have suffered in the turmoil and strife of life. You
can mold opinion, you can create political power; you cannot think a good thought on this subject and communicate it to your neighbors, you cannot make these points topics of discussion in your social circles and more general meetings, without affecting sensibly and speedily the course which the government of your country will pursue.
May I ask you, then, to believe, as I do most devoutly believe, that the moral law was not written for men alone in their individual character, but that it was written as well for nations, and for nations great as this of which we are citizens. If nations reject and deride that moral law, there is a penalty which will inevitably follow. It may not come at once, it may not come in our lifetime; but rely upon it, the great Italian is not a poet only, but a prophet, when he says:—
"The sword of heaven is not in haste to smite, Nor yet doth linger."
We have experience, we have beacons, we have landmarks enough. We know what the past has cost us, we know how much and how far we have wandered, but we are not left without a guide. It is true we have not, as an ancient people had, Urim and Thummim,-those oraculous gems on Aaron's breast,-from which to take counsel, but we have the unchangeable and eternal principles of the moral law to guide us, and only so far as we walk by that guidance can we be permanently a great nation, or our people a happy people.- (Birmingham, 1858.)
Brooks, Phillips (American, 1835-1893.)
Power Over the Lives of Others - Oh, this marvelous, this awful power that we have over other people's lives! Oh! the power of the sin that you have done years and years ago! It is awful to think of it. I think there is hardly anything more terrible to the human thought than this-the picture of a man who, having sinned years and years ago in a way that involved other souls in his sin, and then, having repented of his sin and undertaken another life, knows certainly that the power, the consequence of that sin is going on outside of his reach, beyond even his ken and knowledge. He cannot touch it. You wronged a soul ten years ago. You taught a boy how to tell his first mercantile lie; you degraded the early standards of his youth. What has become of that boy to-day? You may have repented. He has passed out of your sight. He has gone years and years ago. Somewhere in this great, multitudinous mass of humanity he is sinning and sinning, and reduplicating and extending the sin that you did. You touched the faith of some believing soul years ago with some miserable sneer of yours, with some cynical and sceptical disparagement of God and of the man who is the utterance of God upon the earth. You taught the soul that was enthusiastic to be full of scepticisms and doubts. You wronged a woman years ago, and her life has gone out from your life, you cannot begin to tell where. You have repented of your sin. You have bowed
yourself, it may be, in dust and ashes. You have entered upon a new life. You are pure to-day. But where is the sceptical soul? Where is the ruined woman whom you sent forth into the world out of the shadow of your sin years ago? You cannot touch that life. You cannot reach it. You do not know where it is. No steps of yours, quickened with all your earnestness, can pursue it. No contrition of yours can draw back its consequences. Remorse cannot force the bullet back again into the gun from which it once has gone forth. It makes life awful to the man who has ever sinned, who has ever wronged and hurt another life because of this sin, because no sin ever was done that did not hurt another life. I know the mercy of our God, that while he has put us into each other's power to a fearful extent, he never will let any soul absolutely go to everlasting ruin for another's sin, and so I dare to see the love of God pursuing that lost soul where you cannot pursue it. But that does not for one moment lift the shadow from your heart, or cease to make you tremble when you think of how your sin has outgrown itself and is running far, far away where you can never follow it.
Thank God the other thing is true as well. Thank God that when a man does a bit of service, however little it may be, of that, too, he can never trace the consequences. Thank God that that which in some better moment, in some nobler inspiration, you did ten years ago to make your brother's faith a little more strong, to let your shop boy confirm and not doubt the confidence in man which he had brought into his business, to establish the purity of a soul instead of staining it and shaking it, thank God, in this quick, electric atmosphere in which we live, that, too, runs forth.
Brougham, Henry, Baron Brougham and Vaux (England, 1778-1868.)
On Pitts's Conquest - Gentlemen, I stand up in this conquest against the friends and followers of Mr. Pitt, or, as they partially designate him, the immortal statesman, now no more. Immortal in the miseries of his devoted country! Immortal in the wounds of her bleeding liberties! Immortal in the cruel wars which sprang from his cold miscalculating ambition! Immortal in the intolerable taxes, the countless loads of debt which these wars have flung upon us-which the youngest man among us will not live to see the end of. Immortal in the triumph of our enemies, and the ruin of our allies, the costly purchase of so much blood and treasure! Immortal in the afflictions of England, and the humiliations of her friends, through the whole results of his twenty years' reign, from the first rays of favor with which a delighted court gilded his early apostasy, to the deadly glare which is at this instant cast upon his name by the burning metropolis of our last ally. But may no such immortality ever fall to my lot; let me rather live innocent and inglorious; and when at last I cease to serve you, and to feel for your wrongs, may I have an humble monument
Higher Law in England - Tell me not of rights, talk not of the property of the planter in his slaves. I deny the right,-I acknowledge not the property. The principles, the feelings of our common nature, rise in rebellion against it. Be the appeal made to the understanding or to the heart, the sentence is the same that rejects it. In vain you can tell me of laws that sanction such a claim! There is a law above all enactments of human codes, -the same throughout the world, the same in all times,-such as it was before the daring genius of Columbus pierced the night of ages, and opened to one world the sources of power, wealth, and knowledge; to another all unutterable woes; such as it is at this day. It is the law written in the heart of man by the finger of his Maker; and by that law, unchangeable and eternal, while men despise fraud, and loathe rapine, and abhor blood, they will reject the wild and guilty phantasy that man can hold property in man! In vain you appeal to treaties, to covenants between nations; the covenants of the Almighty, whether of the old covenant or the new, denounce such unholy pretensions. (In the House of Commons, 1830.)
Law Reform-You saw the greatest warrior of the age, conqueror of Italy - humbler of Germany terror of the North,- saw him account all his matchless victories poor compared with the triumph you are now in a condition to win,- saw him contemn the fickleness of fortune, while, in despite of her, he could pronounce his memorable boast: "I shall go down to posterity with the Code in my hand!" You have vanquished him in the field; strive now to rival him in the sacred arts of peace! Outstrip him as a lawgiver whom in arms you overcame! The lustre of the regency will be eclipsed by the more solid and enduring splendor of the reign. It was the boast of Augustus,-it formed part of the glare in which the perfidies of his earlier years were lost,- that he found Rome of brick and left it of marble. But how much nobler will be the sovereign's boast when he shall have it to say, that he found law dear and left it cheap; found it a sealed book, left it a living letter; found it the patrimony of the rich, left it the inheritance of the poor; found it the twoedged sword of craft and oppression, left it the staff of honesty and the shield of innocence ! -(Peroration of the speech on Law Reform.)
Public Benefactors and Their Rewards It has been the lot of all men, in all ages, who have aspired to the honor of guiding, instructing, or amending mankind, to have their paths beset by every persecution from adversaries, by every misconstruction from friends; no quarter from the one,- no charitable construction from the other! To be misconstrued, misrepresented, borne down, till it was in vain to bear down
any longer, has been their fate. But truth will survive, and calumny has its day.
Slanderers as Insects-Not that they wound deeply or injure much; but that is no fault of theirs; without hurting they give trouble and discomfort. The insect brought into life by corruption, and nested in filth, though its flight be lowly and its sting puny, can swarm and buzz and irritate the skin and offend the nostril, and altogether give us nearly as much annoyance as the wasp, whose nobler nature it strives to emulate. These reverend slanderers, these pious backbiters,-devoid of force to wield the sword, snatch the dagger, and destitute of wit to point or barb it, and make it rankle in the wound, steep it in venom to make it fester in the scratch.
The Schoolmaster the Greatest Conqueror -Sir, there is nothing which the adversaries of improvement are more wont to make themselves merry with, than what is termed the "march of intellect"; and here I will confess that I think, as far as the phrase goes, they are in the right. It is a very absurd, because a very incorrect expression. It is little calculated to describe the operation in question. It does not picture an image at all resembling the proceeding of the true friends of mankind. It much more resembles the progress of the enemy to all improvement. The conqueror moves in a march. He stalks onward with the "pride, pomp, and circumstance of war"; banners flying, shouts rending the air, guns thundering, and martial music pealing, to drown the shrieks of the wounded, and the lamentations for the slain.
Not thus the schoolmaster in his peaceful vocation. He meditates and purposes in secret the plans which are to bless mankind; he slowly gathers round him those who are to further their execution; he quietly, though firmly, advances in his humble path, laboring steadily, but calmly, till he has opened to the light all the recesses of ignorance, and torn up by the roots all the weeds of vice. His is a progress not to be compared with anything like a march; but it leads to a far more brilliant triumph, and to laurels more imperishable than the destroyer of his species the scourge of the world, ever won.
Such men-men deserving the glorious title of Teachers of Mankind - I have found, laboring conscientiously, though, perhaps, obscurely, in their blessed vocation, wherever I have gone. I have found them, and shared their fellowship, among the daring, the ambitious, the ardent,the indomitably active French; I have found them among the persevering, resolute, industrious Swiss; I have found them among the laborious, the warm-hearted, the enthusiastic Germans; I have found them among the high-minded but enslaved Italians; and in our own country, God be thanked, their numbers everywhere abound, and are every day increasing.
Their calling is high and holy; their fame is the prosperity of nations; their renown will fill the earth in after ages, in proportion as it sounds not far off in their own times. Each one of