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13 page printout Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship. Contents of this file page MANHATTAN ATHLETIC CLUB DINNER. 1 ADDRESS TO THE ACTORS' FUND OF AMERICA. 6 NOMINATION OF BLAINE 10 THE AGNOSTIC CHRISTMAS. 12 **** **** This file, its printout, or copies of either are to be copied and given away, but NOT sold. Bank of Wisdom, Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 The Works of ROBERT G. INGERSOLL **** **** MANHATTAN ATHLETIC CLUB DINNER. New York, December 27, 1890. TOAST. Athletics among the Ancients. THE first record of public games is found in the twenty-third Book of the Iliad. These games were performed at the funeral of Patroclus, and there were: First. A chariot race, and the first prize was: "A woman fair, well skilled in household care." Second. There was a pugilistic encounter, and the first prize, appropriately enough, was a mule. It gave me great pleasure to find that Homer did not hold in high esteem the victor. I have reached this conclusion, because the poet put these words in the month of Eppius, the great boxer: In the battle-field I claim no special praise; 'Tis not for man in all things to excel --" winding up with the following refined declaration concerning his opponent "I mean to pound his flesh and smash his bones." After the battle, the defeated was helped from the field. He spit forth clotted gore. His head rolled from side to side, until he fell unconscious. Third, wrestling; fourth, foot-race; fifth, fencing; sixth, throwing the iron mass or bar; seventh, archery, and last, throwing the javelin. All of these games were in honor of Patroclus. This is the same Patroclus who according to Shakespeare, addressed Achilles in these words: Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 1 MANHATTAN ATHLETIC CLUB DINNER. "Rouse yourself, and the weak wanton Cupid Shall from your neck unloose his amorous fold, And, like a dew-drop from the lion's mane, Be shook to air." These games were all born of the instinct of self-defence. The chariot was used in war. Man should know the use of his hands, to the end that he may repel assault. He should know the use of the sword, to the end that he may strike down his enemy. He should be skillful with the arrow, to the same end. If overpowered, he seeks safety in flight -- he should therefore know how to run. So, too, he could preserve himself by the skillful throwing of the javelin, and in the close encounter a knowledge of wrestling might save his life. Man has always been a fighting animal, and the art of self- defence is nearly as important now as ever -- and will be, until man rises to that supreme height from which he will be able to see that no one can commit a crime against another without injuring himself. The Greeks knew that the body bears a certain relation to the soul -- that the better the body -- other things being equal -- the greater the mind. They also knew that the body could be developed, and that such development would give, or add to the health, the courage, the endurance, the self-confidence, the independence and the morality of the human race. They knew, too, that health was the foundation, the corner-stone, of happiness. They knew that human beings should know something about themselves, something of the capacities of body and mind, to the end that they might ascertain the relation between conduct and happiness, between temperance and health. It is needless to say that the Greeks were the most intellectual of all races, and that they were in love with beauty, with proportion, with the splendor of the body and of mind; and so great was their admiration for the harmoniously developed, that Sophocles had the honor of walking naked at the head of a great procession. The Greeks, through their love of physical and mental development, gave us the statues -- the most precious of all Inanimate things -- of far more worth than all the diamonds and rubies and pearls that ever glittered in crowns and tiaras, on altars or thrones, or, flashing, rose and fell on woman's billowed breast. In these marbles we find the highest types of life, of superb endeavor and supreme repose. In looking at them we feel that blood flows, that hearts throb and souls aspire. These miracles of art are the richest legacies the ancient world has left our race. The nations in love with life, have games. To them existence is exultation. They are fond of nature. They seek the woods and streams. They love the winds and waves of the sea. They enjoy the poem of the day, the drama of the year. Our Puritan fathers were oppressed with a sense of infinite responsibility. They were disconsolate and sad, and no more thought Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 2 MANHATTAN ATHLETIC CLUB DINNER. of sport, except the flogging of Quakers, than shipwrecked wretches huddled on a raft would turn their attention to amateur theatricals. For many centuries the body was regarded as a decaying casket, in which had been placed the gem called the soul, and the nearer rotten the casket the more brilliant the jewel. In those blessed days, the diseased were sainted, and insanity born of fasting and self-denial and abuse of the body, was looked upon as evidence of inspiration. Cleanliness was not next to godliness -- it was the opposite; and in those days, what was known as "the odor of sanctity" had a substantial foundation. Diseased bodies produced all kinds of mental maladies. There is a direct relation between sickness and superstition. Everybody knows that Calvinism was the child of indigestion. Spooks and phantoms hover about the undeveloped and diseased, as vultures sail above the dead. Our ancestors had the idea that they ought to be spiritual, and that good health was inconsistent with the highest forms of piety. This heresy crept into the minds even of secular writers, and the novelists described their heroines as weak and languishing, pale as lilies, and in the place of health's brave flag they put the hectic flush. Weakness was interesting, and fainting captured the hearts of all. Nothing was so attractive as a society belle with a drug-store attachment. People became ashamed of labor, and consequently, of the evidences of labor. They avoided "sun-burnt mirth " - were proud of pallor, and regarded small, white hands as proof that they had noble blood within their veins. It was a joy to be too weak to work, too languishing to labor. The tide has turned. People are becoming sensible enough to desire health, to admire physical development, symmetry of form, and we now know that a race with little feet and hands has passed the climax and is traveling toward the eternal night. When the central force is strong, men and women are full of life to the finger tips. When the fires burn low, they begin to shrivel at the extremities -- the hands and feet grow small, and the mental flame wavers and wanes. To be self-respecting we must be self-supporting. Nobility is a question of character, not of birth. Honor cannot be received as alms it must be earned. It is the brow that makes the wreath of glory green. All exercise should be for the sake of development -- that is to say, for the sake of health, and for the sake of the mind -- all Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 3 MANHATTAN ATHLETIC CLUB DINNER. to the end that the person may become better, greater, more useful. The gymnast or the athlete should seek for health as the student should seek for truth; but when athletics degenerate into mere personal contests, they become dangerous, because the contestants lose sight of health, as in the excitement of debate the students prefer personal victory to the ascertainment of truth. There is another thing to be avoided by all athletic clubs, and that is, anything that tends to brutalize, destroy or dull the finer feelings. Nothing is more disgusting, more disgraceful, than pugilism -- nothing more demoralizing than an exhibition of strength united with ferocity, and where the very body developed by exercise is mutilated and disfigured. Sports that can by no possibility give pleasure, except to the unfeeling, the hardened and the really brainless, should be avoided. No gentleman should countenance rabbit-coursing, fighting of dogs, the shooting of pigeons, simply as an exhibition of skill. All these things are calculated to demoralize and brutalize not only the actors, but the lookers on. Such sports are savage, fit only to be participated in and enjoyed by the cannibals of Central Africa or the anthropoid apes. Find what a man enjoys -- what he laughs at -- what he calls diversion -- and you know what he is. Think of a man calling himself civilized, who is in raptures at a bull fight -- who smiles when he sees the hounds pursue and catch and tear in pieces the timid hare, and who roars with laughter when he watches the pugilists pound each other's faces, closing each other's eyes, breaking jaws and smashing noses. Such men are beneath the animals they torture -- on a level with the pugilists they applaud. Gentlemen should hold such sports in unspeakable contempt. No man finds pleasure in inflicting pain. In every public school there should be a gymnasium. It is useless to cram minds and deform bodies. Hands should be educated as well as heads. All should be taught the sports and games that require mind, muscle, nerve and judgment. Even those who labor should take exercise, to the end that the whole body may be developed. Those who work at one employment become deformed. Proportion is lost. But where harmony is preserved by the proper exercise, even old age is beautiful. To the well developed, to the strong, life seems rich, obstacles small, and success easy. They laugh at cold and storm. Whatever the season may be their hearts are filled with summer. Millions go from the cradle to the coffin without knowing what it is to live. They simply succeed in postponing death. Without appetites, without passions, without struggle, they slowly rot in a waveless pool. They never know the glory of success, the rapture of the fight. To become effeminate is to invite misery. In the most delicate bodies may be found the most degraded souls. It was the Duchess Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 4 MANHATTAN ATHLETIC CLUB DINNER. Josiane whose pampered flesh became so sensitive that she thought of hell as a place where people were compelled to sleep between coarse sheets. We need the open air -- we need the experience of heat and cold. We need not only the rewards and caresses, but the discipline of our mother Nature. Life is not all sunshine, neither is it all storm, but man should be enabled to enjoy the one and to withstand the other. I believe in the religion of the body -- of physical development -- in devotional exercise -- in the beatitudes of cheerfulness, good health, good food, good clothes, comradeship, generosity, and above all, in happiness. I believe in salvation here and now. Salvation from deformity and disease -- from weakness and pain -- from ennui and insanity. I believe in heaven here and now -- the heaven of health and good digestion -- of strength and long life -- of usefulness and joy. I believe in the builders and defenders of homes. The gentlemen whom we honor to-night have done a great work. To their energy we are indebted for the nearest perfect, for the grandest athletic clubhouse in the world. Let these clubs multiply. Let the example be followed, until our country is filled with physical and intellectual athletes -- superb fathers, perfect mothers, and every child an heir to health and joy. **** **** ADDRESS TO THE ACTORS' FUND OF AMERICA. New York, June 5, 1888. MR. PRESIDENT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I have addressed, or annoyed, a great many audiences in my life and I have not the slightest doubt that I stand now before more ability, a greater variety of talent, and more real genius than I ever addressed in my life. I know all about respectable stupidity, and I am perfectly acquainted with the brainless wealth and success of this life, and I know, after all, how poor the world would be without that divine thing that we call genius -- what a worthless habitation, if you take from it all that genius has given. I know also that all joy springs from a love of nature. I know that all joy is what I call Pagan. The natural man takes delight in everything that grows, in everything that shines, in everything that enjoys -- he has an immense sympathy with the whole human race. Of that feeling, of that spirit, the drama is born. People must first be in love with life before they can think it worth representing. They must have sympathy with their fellows before they can enter into their feelings and know what their heart throbs about. So, I say, back of the drama is this love of life, this love of nature. And whenever a country becomes prosperous -- and this Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 5 ADDRESS TO THE ACTORS' FUND OF AMERICA. has been pointed out many times -- when a wave of wealth runs over a land, -- behind it you will see all the sons and daughters of genius. When a man becomes of some account he is worth painting. When by success and prosperity he gets the pose of a victor, the sculptor is inspired; and when love is really in his heart, words burst into blossom and the poet is born. When great virtues appear, when magnificent things are done by heroines and heroes, then the stage is built, and the life of a nation is compressed into a few hours, or -- to use the language of the greatest -- "turning the accomplishment of many years into an hour-glass"; the stage is born, and we love it because we love life -- and he who loves the stage has a kind of double life. The drama is a crystallization of history, an epitome of the human heart. The past is lived again and again, and we see upon the stage, love, sacrifice, fidelity, courage -- all the virtues mingled with all the follies. And what is the great thing that the stage does? It cultivates the imagination. And let me say now, that the imagination constitutes the great difference between human beings. The imagination is the mother of pity, the mother of generosity, the mother of every possible virtue. It is by the imagination that you are enabled to put yourself in the place of another. Every dollar that has been paid into your treasury came from an imagination vivid enough to imagine himself or herself lying upon the lonely bed of pain, or as having fallen by the wayside of life, dying alone. It is this imagination that makes the difference in men. Do you believe that a man would plunge the dagger into the heart of another if he had imagination enough to see him dead -- imagination enough to see his widow throw her arms about the corpse and cover his face with sacred tears -- imagination enough to see them digging his grave, and to see the funeral and to hear the clods fall upon the coffin and the sobs of those who stood about -- do you believe he would commit the crime? Would any man be false who had imagination enough to see the woman that he once loved, in the darkness of night, when the black clouds were floating through the sky hurried by the blast as thoughts and memories were hurrying through her poor brain -- if he could see the white flutter of her garment as she leaped to the eternal, blessed sleep of death -- do you believe that he would be false to her? I tell you that he would be true. So that, in my judgment, the great mission of the stage is to cultivate the human imagination. That is the reason fiction has done so much good. Compared with the stupid lies called history, how beautiful are the imagined things with painted wings. Everybody detests a thing that pretends to be true and is not; but when it says, "I am about to create," then it is beautiful in the proportion that it is artistic, in the proportion that it is a success. Imagination is the mother of enthusiasm. Imagination fans the little spark into a flame great enough to warm the human race; and enthusiasm is to the mind what spring is to the world. Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 6 ADDRESS TO THE ACTORS' FUND OF AMERICA. Now I am going to say a few words because I want to, and because I have the chance. What is known as "orthodox religion" has always been the enemy of the theater. It has been the enemy of every possible comfort, of every rational joy -- that is to say, of amusement. And there is a reason for this. Because, if that religion be true, there should be no amusement. If you believe that in every moment is the peril of eternal pain -- do not amuse yourself. Stop the orchestra, ring down the curtain, and be as miserable as you can. That idea puts an infinite responsibility upon the soul -- an infinite responsibility -- and how can there be any art, how can there be any joy, after that? You might as well pile all the Alps on one unfortunate ant, and then say, "Why don't you play? Enjoy yourself." If that doctrine be true, every one should regard time as a kind of dock, a pier running out into the ocean of eternity, on which you sit on your trunk and wait for the ship of death -- solemn, lugubrious, melancholy to the last degree. And that is why I have said joy is Pagan. It comes from a love of nature, from a love of this world, from a love of this life. According to the idea of some good people, life is a kind of green- room, where you are getting ready for a "play" in some other country. You all remember the story of "Great Expectations," and I presume you have all had them. That is another thing about this profession of acting that I like -- you do not know how it is coming out -- and there is this delightful uncertainty. You have all read the book called "Great Expectations," written, in my judgment, by the greatest novelist that ever wrote the English language -- the man who created a vast realm of joy. I love the joy-makers -- not the solemn, mournful wretches. And when I think of the church asking something of the theater, I remember that story of "Great Expectations." You remember Miss Haversham -- she was to have been married some fifty or sixty years before that time -- sitting there in the dankness, in all of her wedding finery, the laces having turned yellow by time, the old wedding cake crumbled, various insects having made it their palatial residence -- you remember that she sent for that poor little boy Pip, and when he got there in the midst of all these horrors, she looked at him and said, "Pip, play! And if their doctrine be true, every actor is in that situation. I have always loved the theater -- loved the stage, simply because it has added to the happiness of this life. "Oh but," they say, "is it moral?" A superstitious man suspects everything that is pleasant. It seems inbred in his nature, and in the nature of most people. You let such a man pull up a little weed and taste it, and if it is sweet and good, he says, "I'll bet it is poison." But if it tastes awful, so that his face becomes a mask of disgust, he says, "I'll bet you that it is good medicine." Now, I believe that everything in the world that tends to make man happy, is moral. That is my definition of morality. Anything that bursts into bud and blossom, and bears the fruit of joy, is moral. Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 7 ADDRESS TO THE ACTORS' FUND OF AMERICA. Some people expect to make the world good by destroying desire -- by a kind of pious petrifaction, feeling that if you do not want anything, you will not want anything bad. In other words, you will be good and moral if you will only stop growing, stop wishing, turn all your energies in the direction of repression, and if from the tree of life you pull every leaf, and then every bud -- and if an apple happens to get ripe in spite of you, don't touch it -- snakes! I insist that happiness is the end -- virtue the means -- and anything that wipes a tear from the face of man is good. Everything that gives laughter to the world -- laughter springing from good nature, that is the most wonderful music that has ever enriched the ears of man. And let me say that nothing can be more immoral than to waste your own life, and sour that of others. Is the theater moral? I suppose you have had an election to-day. They had an election at the Metropolitan Opera House for bishops, and they voted forged tickets; and after the election was over, I suppose they asked the old question in the same solemn tone: "Is the theater moral?" At last, all the intelligence of the world admits that the theater is a great, a splendid instrumentality for increasing the well-being of man. But only a few years ago our fathers were poor barbarians. They only wanted the essentials of life, and through nearly all the centuries Genius was a vagabond -- Art was a servant. He was the companion of the clown. Writers, poets, actors, either sat "below the salt" or devoured the "remainder biscuit," and drank what drunkenness happened to leave, or lived on crumbs, and they had less than the crumbs of respect. The painter had to have a patron, and then in order to pay the patron, he took the patron's wife for Venus -- and the man, he was the Apollo! So the writer had to have a patron, and he endeavored to immortalize him in a preface of obsequious lies. The writer had no courage. The painter, the sculptor -- poor wretches -- had "patrons." Some of the greatest of the world were treated as servants, and yet they were the real kings of the human race. Now the public is the patron, The public has the intelligence to see what it wants. The stage does not have to flatter any man. The actor now does not enroll himself as the servant of duke or lord. He has the great public, and if he is a great actor, he stands as high in the public estimation as any other man in any other walk of life. And these men of genius, these "vagabonds," these "sturdy vagrants" of the old law -- and let me say one thing right here: I do not believe that there ever was a man of genius that had not a little touch of the vagabond in him somewhere -- just a little touch of chaos -- that is to say, he must have generosity enough now and then absolutely to forget himself -- he must be generous to that degree that he starts out without thinking of the shore and without caring for the sea -- and that is that touch of chaos. And yet, through all those years the poets and the actors lacked bread. Imagine the number of respectable dolts who felt above them. The men of genius lived on the bounty of the few, grudgingly given. Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 8 ADDRESS TO THE ACTORS' FUND OF AMERICA. Now, just think what would happen, what we would be, if you could blot from this world what these men have done. If you could take from the walls the pictures; from the niches the statues; from the memory of man the songs that have been sung by "The Plowman" -- take from the memory of the world what has been done by the actors and play-writers, and this great globe would be like a vast skull emptied of all thought. And let me say one word more, and that is as to the dignity of your profession. The greatest genius of this world has produced your literature. I am not now alluding simply to one -- but there has been more genius lavished upon the stage -- more real genius, more creative talent, than upon any other department of human effort. And when men and women belong to a profession that can count Shakespeare in its number, they should feel nothing but pride. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to speak of Shakespeare -- Shakespeare, in whose brain were the fruits of all thoughts past, the seeds of all to be -- Shakespeare, an intellectual ocean toward which all rivers ran, and from which now the isles and continents of thought receive their dew and rain. A profession that can boast that Shakespeare was one of its members, and that from his brain poured out that mighty intellectual cataract -- that Mississippi that will enrich all coming generations -- the man that belongs to that profession -- should feel that no other man by reason of belonging to some other, can be his superior. And such a man, when he dies -- or the friend of such a man, when that man dies -- should not imagine that it is a very generous and liberal thing for some minister to say a few words above the corpse -- and I do not want to see this profession cringe before any other. One word more. I hope that you will sustain this splendid charity. I do not believe that more generous people exist than actors. I hope you will sustain this charity, And yet, there was one little thing I saw in your report of last year, that I want to call attention to. You had "benefits" all over this country, and of the amount raised, one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars were given to religious societies and twelve thousand dollars to the Actors' Fund -- and yet they say actors are not Christians! Do you not love your enemies? After this, I hope that you will also love your friends. END **** **** SPEECH AT CINCINNATI NOTE: The nomination of Blaine was the passionately dermatic scene of the day. Robert G. Ingersoll had been fixed upon to present blaine's name to the Convention, and, as the result proved, a more effective champion could not have been selected in the whole party conclave. Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 9 NOMINATION OF BLAINE As the clerk, running down the list, reached Maine, an extraordinary event happened. The applause and cheers which had heretofore broken out in desultory patches of the galleries and platform, broke in a simultaneous, thunderous outburst from every, part of the house. Ingersoll moved out from the obscure corner and advanced to the central stage. As he walked forward the thundering cheers, sustained and swelling, never ceased. As he reached the platform they took on an increased volume of sound, and for ten minutes the surging fury of acclamation, the wild waving of fans, hats, and handkerchiefs transformed the scene from one of deliberation to that of a bedlam of rapturous delirium Ingersoll waited with unimpaired serenity, until he should get a chance to be heard. * * * And then began an appeal, Impassioned, artful, brilliant, and persuasive. * * * Possessed of a fine figure, a face of winning, cordial frankness, Ingersoll had half won his audience before he spoke a word. It is the attestation of every man that heard him, that so brilliant a master stroke was never uttered before a political Convention. Its effect was indescribable. The coolest-headed in the hall were stirred to the wildest expression. The adversaries of Blaine, as well as his friends, listened with unswerving, absorbed attention. Curtis sat spell-bound, his eyes and mouth wide open, his figure moving in unison to the tremendous periods that fell in a measured, exquisitely graduated flow from the Illinoisan's smiling lips. The matchless method and manner of the man can never be imagined from the report in type. To realize the prodigious force, the inexpressible power, the irrestrainable fervor of the audience requires actual sight. Words can do but meager justice to the wizard power of this extraordinary man. He swayed and moved and impelled and restrained and worked in all ways with the mass before him as if he possessed some key to the innermost mechanism that moves the human heart, and when he finished, his fine, frank face as calm as when he began, the overwrought thousands sank back in an exhaustion of unspeakable wonder and delight. -- Chicago Times, June 16, 1876. NOMINATION OF BLAINE June 15, 1876. MASSACHUSETTS may be satisfied with the loyalty of Benjamin H. Bristow; so am I; but if any man nominated by, this convention can not carry the State of Massachusetts, I am not satisfied with the loyalty of that State. If the nominee of this convention cannot carry the grand old Commonwealth of Massachusetts by seventy-five thousand majority, I would advise them to sell out Faneuil Hall as a Democratic headquarters. I would advise them to take from Bunker Hill that old monument of glory. The Republicans of the United States demand as their leader in the great contest of 1876 a man of intelligence, a man of integrity, a man of well-known and approved political opinions. They demand a statesman; they demand a reformer after as well as Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 10 NOMINATION OF BLAINE before the election. They demand a politician in the highest, broadest and best sense -- a man of superb moral courage. They demand a man acquainted with public affairs -- with the wants of the people; with not only the requirements of the hour, but with the demands of the future. They demand a man broad enough to comprehend the relations of this Government to the other nations of the earth. They demand a man well versed in the powers, duties and prerogatives of each and every department of this Government. They demand a man who will sacredly preserve the financial honor of the United States; one who knows enough to know that the national debt must be paid through the prosperity of this people; one who knows enough to know that all the financial theories in the world cannot redeem a single dollar; one who knows enough to know that all the money must be made, not by law, but by labor; one who knows enough to know that the people of the United States have the industry to make the money, and the honor to pay it over just as fast as they make it. The Republicans of the United States demand a man who knows that prosperity and resumption, when they come, must come together; that when they come, they will come hand in hand through the golden harvest fields; hand in hand by the whirling spindles and the turning wheels; hand in hand past the open furnace doors; hand in hand by the flaming forges; hand in hand by the chimneys filled with eager fire, greeted and grasped by the countless sons of toil. This money has to be dug out of the earth. You cannot make it by passing resolutions in a political convention. The Republicans of the United States want a man who knows that this Government should protect every citizen, at home and abroad; who knows that any government that will not defend its defenders, and protect its protectors, is a disgrace to the map of the world. They demand a man who believes in the eternal separation and divorcement of church and school. They demand a man whose political reputation is spotless as a star; but they do not demand that their candidate shall have a certificate of moral character signed by a Confederate congress. The man who has, in full, heaped and rounded measure, all these splendid qualifications, is the present grand and gallant leader of the Republican party -- James G. Blaine. Our country, crowned with the vast and marvelous achievements of its first century, asks for a man worthy of the past, and prophetic of her future; asks for a man who has the audacity of genius; asks for a man who is the grandest combination of heart, conscience and brain beneath her flag -- such a man is James G. Blaine. For the Republican host, led by this intrepid man, there can be no defeat. This is a grand year -- a year filled with recollections of the Revolution; filled with proud and tender memories of the past;. with the sacred legends of liberty -- a year in which the sons of freedom will drink from the fountains of enthusiasm; a year in which the people call for the man who has preserved in Congress what our soldiers won upon the field; a year in which they call Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 11 NOMINATION OF BLAINE for the man who has torn from the throat of treason the tongue of slander -- for the man who has snatched the mask of Democracy from the hideous face of rebellion; for the man who, like an intellectual athlete, has stood in the arena of debate and challenged all comers, and who is still a total stranger to defeat. Like an armed warrior, like a plumed knight, James G. Blaine marched down the halls of the American Congress and threw his shining lance full and fair against the brazen foreheads of the defamers of his country and the malingers of his honor. For the Republican party to desert this gallant leader now, is as though an army should desert their general upon the field of battle. James G. Blaine is now and has been for years the bearer of the sacred standard of the Republican party. I call it sacred, because no human being can stand beneath its folds without becoming and without remaining free. Gentlemen of the convention, in the name of the great Republic, the only republic that ever existed upon this earth; in the name of all her defenders and of all her supporters; in the name of all her soldiers living; in the name of all her soldiers dead upon the field of battle, and in the name of those who perished in the skeleton clutch of famine at Andersonville and Libby, whose sufferings he so vividly remembers, Illinois -- Illinois nominates for the next President of this country, that prince of parliamentarians -- that leader of leaders -- James G. Blaine. **** **** THE AGNOSTIC CHRISTMAS. 1892 AGAIN we celebrate the victory of Light over Darkness, of the God of day over the hosts of night. Again Samson is victorious over Delilah, and Hercules triumphs once more over Omphale. In the embrace of Isis, Osiris rises from the dead, and the scowling Typhon is defeated once more. Again Apollo, with unerring aim, with his arrow from the quiver of light, destroys the serpent of shadow. This is the festival of Thor, of Baldur and of Prometheus. Again Buddha by a miracle escapes from the tyrant of Madura, Zoroaster foils the King, Bacchus laughs at the rage of Cadmus, and Chrishna eludes the tyrant. This is the festival of the sun-god, and as such let its observance be universal. This is the great day of the first religion, the mother of all religions -- the worship of the sun. Sun worship is not only the first, but the most natural and most reasonable of all. And not only the most natural and the most reasonable, but by far the most poetic, the most beautiful. Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 12 THE AGNOSTIC CHRISTMAS. The sun is the god of benefits, of growth, of life, of warmth, of happiness, of joy. The sun is the all-seeing, the all-pitying, the all-loving. This bright God knew no hatred, no malice, never sought for revenge. All evil qualities were in the breast of the God of darkness, of shadow, of night. And so I say again, this is the festival of Light. This is the anniversary of the triumph of the Sun over the hosts of Darkness. Let us all hope for the triumph of Light -- of Right and Reason -- for the victory of Fact over Falsehood, of Science over Superstition. And so hoping, let us celebrate the venerable festival of the Sun. -- The Journal, New York, December 25, 1892. **** **** Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship. The Bank of Wisdom Inc. is a collection of the most thoughtful, scholarly and factual books. These computer books are reprints of suppressed books and will cover American and world history; the Biographies and writings of famous persons, and especially of our nations Founding Fathers. They will include philosophy and religion. all these subjects, and more, will be made available to the public in electronic form, easily copied and distributed, so that America can again become what its Founders intended -- The Free Market-Place of Ideas. The Bank of Wisdom is always looking for more of these old, hidden, suppressed and forgotten books that contain needed facts and information for today. If you have such books please contact us, we need to give them back to America. **** **** Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 13

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