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guilty of any posing for effect, any attitudinizing in public, any mawkish sentimentality, any of that puppyism so often bred by power, tiat dogmatism which Johnson said was only puppyism grown to maturity. [Laughter.] He made no claim to knowledge he did not possess. He felt with Addison that pedantry and learning are like hypocrisy in religion -the form of knowledge without the power of it. He had nothing in common with those men of mental malformation who are educated beyond their intellects. [Laughter.]
The names of Washington and Lincoln are inseparably associated, and yet as the popular historian would have us believe one spent his entire life in chopping down acorn trees and the other splitting them up into rails. Washington could not tell a story. Lincoln always could. [Laughter.] And Lincoln's stories always possessed the true geometrical requisites, they were never too long, and never too broad. [Laughter.] He never forgot a point. A sentinel pacing near the watchfire while Lincoln was once telling some stories quietly remarked that “ He had a mighty powerful memory, but an awful poor forgettery." (Laughter.]
The last time I ever heard him converse, he told one of the stories which best illustrated his peculiar talent for pointing a moral with an anecdote. Speaking of England's assistance to the South, and how she would one day find she had aided it but little and only injured herself, he said: “ Yes, that reminds me of a barber in Sangamon County. He was about going to bed when a stranger came along and said he must have a shave. He said he had a few days' beard on his face, and he was going to a ball, and the barber must cut it off. The barber got up reluctantly, dressed, and put the stranger in a chair with a low back to it, and every time he bore down he came near dislocating his patient's neck. He began by lathering his face, including nose, eyes, and ears, strapped his razor on his boot, and then made a drive scraping down the right cheek, carrying away the beard and a pimple and two or three warts. The man in the chair said: 'You appear to make everything level as you go.' [Laughter.] The barber said: 'Yes, if this handle don't break, I will get away with what there is there. The man's cheeks were so hollow that the barber could not get down into the valleys with the razor and an ingenious idea oc
curred to him to stick his finger in the man's mouth and press out the cheeks. Finally he cut clean through the cheek and into his own finger. He pulled the Singer out of the man's mouth, and snapped the blood off it, looked at him, and said: “There, you lantern-jawed cuss, you have made me cut my finger.'”. [Laughter.] “Now," said Lincoln,
England will find she has got the South into a pretty bad scrape from trying to administer to her. In the end she will find she has only cut her own finger.” [Applause.]
But his heart was not always attuned to mirth; its chords were often set to strains of sadness. Yet throughout all his trials he never lost the courage of his convictions. When he was surrounded on all sides by doubting Thomases, by unbelieving Saracens, by discontented Catilines, his faith was strongest. As the Danes destroyed the hearing of their war-horses in order that they might not be affrighted by the din of battle, so Lincoln turned a deaf ear to all that might have discouraged him, and exhibited an unwavering faith in the justice of the cause and the integrity of the Union. [Cries of “ Bravo!” and cheers.]
It is said that for three hundred years after the battle of Thermopylæ every child in the public schools of Greece was required to recite from memory the names of the three hundred martyrs who fell in the defence of that Pass. It would be a crowning triumph in patriotic education if every school child in America could contemplate each day the grand character and utter the inspiring name of Abraham Lincoln. [Loud applause.]
He has passed from our view. We shall not meet him again until he stands forth to answer to his name at the roll-call when the great of earth are summoned in the morning of the last great reveille. Till then [apostrophizing Lincoln's portrait which hung above the President's head), till then, farewell, gentlest of all spirits, noblest of all hearts! The child's simplicity was mingled with the majestic grandeur of your nature. You have handed down unto a grateful people the richest legacy which man can leave to manthe memory of a good name, the inheritance of a great example! [Loud and enthusiastic applause.)
SIRES AND SONS
(Speech of Horace Porter at the eighty-sixth annual dinner of the New England Society in the City of New York, December 22, 1891. J. Pierpont Morgan, the President, occupied the chair, and called upon General Porter to speak on Sires and Sons.”]
MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN :
-All my shortcomings upon this occasion must be attributed to the fact that I have just come from last night's New England dinner, in Brooklyn, which occurred largely this morning. They promised me when I accepted their invitation that I should get away early, and I did. I am apprehensive that the circumstance may give rise to statements which may reflect upon my advancing years, and that I may be pointed out as one who has dined with the early New Englanders.
I do not like the fact of Depew's coming into the room so late to-night and leaving so short an interval between his speech and mine. His conduct is of a piece with the conduct of so many married men nowadays who manifest such exceedingly bad taste and want of tact in dying only such a very short time before the remarriage of their wives.
I have acquired some useful experience in attending New England Society dinners in various cities. I dine with New Englanders in Boston; the rejoicing is marked, but not aggressive. I dine with them in New York; the hilarity and cheer of mind are increased in large degree. I dine with them in Philadelphia; the joy is unconfined and measured neither by metes nor bounds. Indeed, it has become patent to the most casual observer that the further the New Englander finds himself from New England the more hilarious is his rejoicing. Whenever we find a son of New England who has passed beyond the borders of his own section, who has stepped out into the damp cold fog of a benighted outside world and has brought up in another State, he seems to take more pride than ever in his descent-doubtless because he feels that it has been so great. [Laughter.]
The New England sire was a stern man on duty and determined to administer discipline totally regardless of previous acquaintance. He detested all revolutions in which he had taken no part. If he possessed too much piety, it was tempered by religion; while always seeking out new virtues, he never lost his grip on his vices. [Laughter.] He was always ambitious to acquire a reputation that would extend into the next world. But in his own individual case he manifested a decided preference for the doctrine of damnation without representation.
When he landed at Plymouth he boldly set about the appalling task of cultivating the alleged soil. His labors were largely lightened by the fact that there were no agricultural newspapers to direct his efforts. By a fiction of speech which could not have been conceived by a less ingenious mind, he founded a government based upon a common poverty and called it a commonwealth. He was prompt and eminently practical in his worldly methods. In the rigors of a New England winter when he found a witch suffering he brought her in to the fire; when he found an Indian suffering he went out and covered him with a shotgun. [Laughter.]
The discipline of the race, however, is chiefly due to the New England mother. She could be seen going to church of a Sabbath with the Bible under one arm and a small boy under the other, and her mind equally harassed by the tortures of maternity and eternity. When her offspring were found suffering from spring fever and the laziness which accompanies it, she braced them up with a heroic dose of brimstone and molasses. The brimstone given here was a reminder of the discipline hereafter; the molasses has doubtless been chiefly responsible for the tendency of the race to stick to everything, especially their opinions. [Laughter.]
The New Englanders always take the initiative in great national movements. At Lexington and Concord they marched out alone without waiting for the rest of the Colonies, to have their fing at the red-coats, and a number of the colonists on that occasion succeeded in interfering with British bullets. It was soon after observed that their afternoon excursion had attracted the attention of England. They acted in the spirit of the fly who bit the elephant on the tail. When the fly was asked whether he expected to kill him he said: “ No, but I notice I made him look round.” (Laughter.]