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of both colors, but of both sexes! I believe in a reconstructed Union wherein every good woman shall have a wedding-ring on her finger, and a ballot in her hand! (Sensation.]
And now, to close, let me give you just a bit of good advice. The cottages of our forefathers had few pictures on the walls, but many families had a print of “ King Charles's Twelve Good Rules," the eleventh of which was, “Make no long meals.” Now King Charles lost his head, and you will have leave to make a long meal. But when, after your long meal, you go home in the wee small hours, what do you expect to find? You will find my toast—“Woman, a beautiful rod!” (Laughter.] Now my advice is, “ Kiss the rod!” [Great laughter, during which Mr. Tilton took his seat.]
JOSEPH HOPKINS TWICHELL
[Speech of Rev. Joseph H. Twichell, of Hartford, Conn., at the eighty-second annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1887. The President, Horace Russell, occupied the chair. Mr. Twichell responded to the first toast, fathers' Day."]
MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN:- I have heard of an Irishman who, on being asked by a kind-hearted person if he would have a drink of whiskey, made no reply at first, but struck an attitude and stood gazing up into the sky. “ What are you looking at, Mike?” inquired his friend.
Bedad, sir,” said Mike, “ I thought an angel spoke to me.' [Much laughter.]
Somewhat so did I feel, Mr. President, when I got your invitation to be here this evening and speak. I own I was uncommonly pleased by it. I considered it the biggest compliment of the kind I had ever received in my life. For that matter it was too big, as I had to acknowledge. That, however, sir, was your affair; and so, without stopping much to think, and before I could muster the cowardice to decline, I accepted it. [Laughter.] But as soon as I began to reflect, especially when I came to ask myself what in the world I had or could have to say in this august presence, I was scared to think of what I had done. I was like the man who while breaking a yoke of steers that he held by a rope, having occasion to use both his hands in letting down a pair of bars, fetched the rope a turn around one of his legs. That instant something frightened the steers, and that unfortunate farmer was tripped up and snaked off feet first on a wild, erratic excursion, a mile or so, over rough ground, as long as the rope lasted, and left in a very lamentable condition, indeed. His neighbors ran to him and gathered him up and laid him together, and waited around for him to come to; which, when he did, one of them inquired of him how he came to do such a thing as hitch a rope around his leg under such circumstances. “Well,” said he, “we hadn't gone five rods 'fore I see my mistake.” [Hearty laughter.]
But here I am, and the President has passed the tremendous subject of Forefathers' Day, like a Rugby ball, into my hands—after making elegant play with it himself— and, frightful as the responsibility is, I realize that I've got to do something with it-and do it mighty quick. [Laughter.] This is a festive hour, and even a preacher mustn't be any more edifying in his remarks, I suppose, than he can
I help. And I promise accordingly to use my conscientious endeavors to-night to leave this
worshipful company no better than I found it. [Laughter.]
But, gentlemen, well intending as one may be to that effect, and lightly as he may approach the theme of the Forefathers, the minute he sets foot within its threshold he stops his fooling and gets his hat off at once. [Applause.)
Those unconscious, pathetic heroes, pulling their shallop ashore on the Cape yonder in 1620_what reverence can exceed their just merit! What praise can compass the virtue of that sublime, unconquerable manhood, by which in the calamitous, woful days that followed, not accepting deliverance, letting the Mayflower go back empty, they stayed perishing by the graves of their fallen; rather, stayed fast by the flickering flame of their living truth, and so invoked and got on their side forever the force of that great law of the universe,“ except a corn of wheat fall into the ground
a and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” How richly and how speedily fruitful that seed was, we know. It did not wait for any large unfolding of events on these shores to prove the might of its quickening. “Westward the star of empire takes its way." Yes, but the first pulse of vital power from the new State moved eastward. For behold it still in its young infancy-if it can be said to have had an infancy-stretching a strong hand of help across the sea to reinforce the cause of that Commonwealth, the rise of which marks the epoch of England's new birth in liberty. [Applause.]
The pen of New England, fertilized by freedom and marvellously prolific ere a single generation passed, was indeed the Commonwealth's true nursing mother. Cromwell, Hampden, Sidney, Milton, Owen, were disciples of teachers mostly from this side the Atlantic. Professor Massor., of Edinburgh University, in his admirable “ Life of Milton, enumerates seventeen New England men whom he describes as “potent” in England in that period. Numbers went to England in person, twelve of the first twenty graduates of Harvard College prior to 1646, among them; and others, not a few representing the leading families of the colonies, who going over with their breasts full of New England milk, nourished the heart of the great enterprise; “performed," so Palfrey tells us, “parts of consequence in the Parliamentary service, and afterward in the service of the Protectorate.” It is not too much to say that on the fields of Marston Moor and Naseby New England appeared; and that those names may fairly be written on her banners. [Applause.]
That, I would observe—and Mr. Grady would freely concede it—was before there was much mingling anywhere of the Puritan and the Cavalier blood, save as it ran together between Cromwell's Ironsides and Rupert's troopers. I would observe also that the propagation eastward inaugurated in that early day has never ceased. The immigration of populations hither from Europe, great a factor as it has been in shaping the history of this continent, has not been so great a factor as the emigration of ideas the other way has been, and continues to be, in shaping the history of Europe, and of the mother country most of all. But that carries me where I did not intend to go.
An inebriated man who had set out to row a boat across a pond was observed to pursue a very devious course. On being hailed and asked what the matter was, he replied that it was the rotundity of the earth that bothered him; he kept sliding off. So it is the rotundity of my subject that bothers me.
But I do mean to stay on one hemisphere of it if possible. (Laughter.]
The Forefathers were a power on earth from the start
and that by the masterful quality of their mind and spirit. They had endless pluck, intellectual and moral. They believed that the kingdom in this world was with ideas. It was, you might say, one of their original Yankee notions that it was the property of a man to have opinions and to stand by them to the death. Judged from the standpoint of their times, as any one who will take the pains to look will discover, they were tolerant men; but they were fell debaters, and they were no compromisers. They split hairs, if you will, but they wouldn't split the difference. [Laughter.)
A German professor of theology is reported to have said in lecturing to his students on the Existence of God, that while the doctrine, no doubt, was an important one, it was so difficult and perplexed that it was not advisable to take too certain a position upon it, as many were disposed to do. There were those, he remarked, who were wont in the most unqualified way to affirm that there was a God. There were others who, with equal immoderation, committed themselves to the opposite proposition—that there was no God. The philosophical mind, he added, will look for the truth somewhere between these extremes. The Forefathers had none of that in theirs. [Laughter and applause.)
They were men who employed the great and responsible gift of speech honestly and straightforwardly. There was a sublime sincerity in their tongues. They spoke their minds.
Their sons, I fear, have declined somewhat from their veracity at that precise point. At times we certainly have, and have had to be brought back to it by severest pains as, for example, twenty-six years ago by the voice of Beauregard's and Sumter's cannon, which was a terrible voice indeed, but had this vast merit that it told the truth, and set a whole people free to say what they thought once more. [Great applause.]
Our fathers of the early day were not literary; but they were apt, when they spoke, to make themselves understood.
There was in my regiment during the war—I was a chaplain—a certain corporal, a gay-hearted fellow and a good soldier, of whom I was very fond—with whom on occasion of his recovery from a dangerous sickness I felt it my duty