( Originally Published 1901 )
Every year new occasions arise that point to a new order of celebrations. Until recently there were no centennial celebrations. Once inaugurated these suggested semi-centennial and quarter-century ones, and as the country advanced in years there came the bicentennial and ter-centennial. And the attention of the civilized globe was called to our fourth-centennial by the unrivalled and wonderful display at the World's Exhibition in Chicago.
In this chapter are given outlines of a miscellaneous character, some original and some selected.
OUTLINE OF CHAUNCEY M. DEPEW'S ADDRESS AT THE CENTENNIAL OF CAPTURE OF ANDRE
This is a good model for the semi-centennial or centennial of any noted event.
Being in the open air the speaker referred to the grand scenery, almost the same as one hundred years before.
Effect on the nation's heart of such Revolutionary commemorations.
Small events influence the currents of history. Thermopyhe and its 300; the three plain farmers who preserved American liberty.
The orator then sketched compactly but vividly the critical situation of 1780, and tells at length the story of Arnold's treason, its frustration by the capture of Andre and his pathetic fate. This " one romance of the Revolution " is a thrilling tale, and all adornment is given to it. The account of the struggle to save Andre's life gives the interest of controversy, as does the defense of Washington's course. The anecdote and the illustrative parallel are both supplied by the case of Captain Nathan Hale, executed by the English as an American spy. The address closes with a fitting tribute to Andre's three captors, whose modest monument marked the spot, and a very effective quotation of William of Orange's heroic oath at his coronation, " I will maintain."
OUTLINE OF SPEECH BY GOVERNOR FORAKER AT THE DEDICATION OF OHIO'S MONUMENT TO THE ANDREWS RAIDERS, AT CHATTANOOGA
Why this monument and this dedication. The story of the raid, the suffering of the raiders, and heroism of those who died.
The controversial part covered two points—the military value of the raid, and the manner in which the raiders had been treated by the enemy while prisoners.
The illustrative setting was the historic back-ground of Chattanooga and the contrasts of war and peace.
OUTLINE OF ADDRESS BY CHAUNCEY M. DEPEW AT DINNER ON THE 70TH BIRTHDAY OF JOHN JAY
Not on the programme—pleasantry with Mr. Choate (President) about his railroad fees. Mr. Choate wants it made the rule for all ex-presidents of the club to have a dinner on their 70th birthday. This will help them to live at least that long, as Gladstone and Bismarck, when they had an object, have lived on in spite of the doctors !
Depew, a native of the same county as three generations of Jays. Services of the Revolutionary Jay.
The Anecdote.—General Sherman yesterday told a beautiful young girl—Generals always interested in beautiful young girls—that he would be willing to throw away all he was doing or had done to start at her time of life again. But the nation could not permit that, nor could it in the case of John Jay—closing words of tribute and esteem to the guest of the evening.
OUTLINE OF ADDRESS BY CHAUNCEY M. DEPEW AT THE RECEPTION TO HENRY M. STANLEY BY THE LOTUS CLUB
The speaker jests about his own locks whitened by the cares of railroading, and the raven hair of the reporters—where do they get their dye?
Stanley's lecture fee, $250.—Lotus Club gets one for only the price of a dinner!
Stanley a great artist in his descriptions as well as a great traveler.
Americans a nation of travelers.--This makes rail-roads prosperous ! What some reporters have done.
The motive makes heroism.—Livingstone the missionary—his rescue by Stanley.
The civilized Africa of the future with Stanley for its Columbus.
SPEECHES AT A DINNER GIVEN TO THE RELIGIOUS PRESS
Toast.—" The Religious Press and Literature."
First, what are sound views of literature; second, what is a religious paper? The speaker used two illustrations bound in one. A great book is the Nilometer which measures intellectual life as the original Nilometer measured the life and fertility of the land of Egypt. A description of the rise of the Nile and of the Divine Comedy of Dante, as such a measurer of the life of the Middle Ages, made up the speech.
Toast.--" Religious Press and Questions of the Day."
Eternity begins here. The paper must show on which side of any question the right lies. It should go even further than this. It should cover a wider range of topics and aim to secure the attention of the general public to the questions it discusses and so entitle it to circulate more widely.
Toast.—" Should Religious Papers Make Money?"
If I may make the paying papers, anybody may make the others. Money losing—soon comes, hic jacet. Money making proves usefulness and renders the issue of a paper possible. Letter from the oldest editor of New York in which he says the editor is under life sentence to hard labor.
Toast.—" The Religious Paper and Scholarship."
He laments that he has no letter from an editor to read (like the last speaker), and tells a story of a Methodist, on request, praying for rain; and when a terrible storm came, the man who asked, was heard to murmur: " How these Methodists do exaggerate." This was to show the excellence of the dinner. Two other stories were used by the speaker, about the length and discursiveness of his talk. The people need and will read deep, accurate, and scholarly productions. There ought to be a general paper for such. Something has been done in that direction by two religious papers.
The speaker treated his topic by giving a semi-humorous review of the preceding speeches. He showed how denominational traits affected each item in the work of the paper. He did not make just the kind of a paper he liked best, for some people were of the same taste as Artemus Ward, who always ordered hash at a restaurant, because he then knew what he was getting ! The speaker also referred ironically to the mistaken idea that church papers could not pay, and gave striking instances to the contrary. He concluded that denominational papers may be as successful in their line as those purely undenominational and independent.
RESPONSE TO THE TOAST, "THE NAVY: OUR COUNTRY'S BEST WALL OF DEFENSE "
1. The disasters which different ports of our country have experienced from invading forces during three great wars. No foe now on this continent which we need fear—our enemies, if any, will come by sea.
2. The defense by fortified harbors cannot be re-lied on, for when one place is defended another may be attacked, and the coast-line is so great that an unguarded spot may be found. But our glorious navy will seek the foe at any and every point.
3. Past glory of the Navy. Paul Jones in the Revolutionary War singeing John Bull's beard at his own fireside. 1812. The ships of iron that kept the Confederate States engirdled and forbade outside meddling with domestic troubles.
4. The Navy, by showing the world that we are impregnable, should be the best promoter of a solid peace.
RESPONSE TO THE TOAST,
"GENERAL JACKSON: A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH, BUT A DIAMOND"
1. The hero of New Orleans, though rough, was a strong and great man. Stories about him always popular. His indorsing State papers " O.K." when he approved them, and saying that these letters meant " oll korrect." The victor and the spoils.
2. His connection with great questions, such as the currency and nullification. Popularity with his own party.
3. Proved to be a great commander by the manner in which he used his very slender resources at the battle of New Orleans—the backwoods riflemen and the breastworks of cotton.
RESPONSE TO THE TOAST,
" THE WORKING MAN: MAY HE LOVE HIS WORK AND HAVE PLENTY OF IT, WITH GOOD WAGES PROMPTLY PAID"
1. For a healthy man a reasonable amount of work is no misfortune, but a blessing. Idleness is a curse, and leads to all kinds of evil. (See story in Anecdote No. 21 at end of this volume—of the tramp who earned seventy-five cents and quit work because he feared that he could not bear the curse of riches! Not many of us have this kind of fear.)
2. Toil with pen and brain as real, and may be as exhausting as with the hand and foot.
3. But to defraud a workman of one cent of his earnings is a peculiarly atrocious crime. How this may be done indirectly. All persons who believe in this toast should deal justly and fairly, and try to hold others to the same rule.
4. The true workman wants work and fair play; not patronage and flattery, but sympathy and friend-ship.