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"Upon his own confession he is guilty, Mr. Prosecutor; the Court holds the Baptist to be the true church, and this defendant has been guilty of preaching the Gospel without first taking the oath to support the Constitution of the State of Missouri. He will have to be punished."
Addressing the prisoner, he said: "You will have to be punished, sir; this Court can permit no excuse or evasion."
The graveyard stillness that now fell upon the little assemblage was at length broken by His Honor reading aloud the prescribed punishment for preaching the Gospel without first having taken the required oath.
"Yes, a fine of five hundred dollars or six months in the common jail, or both. A clear case, Mr. Prosecutor, this prisoner must be made an example of; hand me the docket, Mr. Clerk. Yes, the full penalty."
Then, before making the fatal entry, suddenly turning to the prisoner, he demanded;
"How long have you been preaching the Gospel?"
In hardly audible accents, the answer tremblingly given was,
"I have been trying to preach the Gospel
'Only trying to preach the Gospel, only trying to preach the Gospel!" exclaimed the judge. "There is no law, Mr. Prosecutor, against merely trying to preach the Gospel. You can go, sir; but if this Court ever hears that you have succeeded in actually preaching the Gospel, you will be punished, sir!"
AMONG THE ACTORS
THE GIVING OF PLEASURE THE ACTOR'S AIM
- PRAISE OF NOTABLE ACTORS BARRETT, FORREST, MCCULLOUGH, EDWIN BOOTH, WILKES BOOTH, JEFFERSON, IRVING-MACBETH'S PRAISE OF SLEEP.
N the evening of October 27, 1908, a meeting was held in the Grand Opera House, Chicago, Illinois, in the interest of the Democratic candidates in the campaign then pending. The meeting began a few minutes after midnight, and the immense audience consisted, in a large measure, of actors and actresses and their attendants from the various theatres of the city.
After an eloquent political speech by the Hon. Samuel Alschuler and a stirring recitation by one of the actors, I was introduced, and spoke as follows:
"I am grateful for the opportunity under such happy auspices, to bid you good-morning. I would count myself fortunate, indeed, could I contribute even the smallest mite to the enjoyment of those who have in such unstinted measure dispensed pleasure to so many of the human family, to the representatives of a profession which, struggling up through the centuries, has at last found honored and abiding place in a broader civilization, a calling whose sublime mission it is to give surcease to harassing care, to smooth out the wrinkles from the brow, bring gladness to the eye, to teach that
'Behind the clouds is the sun still smiling';
in a word, to add to the sum of human happiness.
"It has been my good fortune, in the happy years gone by, to have had the personal acquaintance of some of the most eminent of your profession. Under the witchery of this inspiring presence, 'the graves of memory render up their dead.' Again I hear from the lips of Barrett: 'Take away
the sword; States can be saved without it!'
like death, levels all ranks, and lays the shepherd's crook beside the sceptre!'
"Who that ever saw Forrest 'sitting as if in judgment upon kings' could forget that superb presence? In the silent watches, even yet, steal upon us in ominous accents the words, 'Put out the light, and then put out the light!' Complimented upon the manner in which he played Lear, he angrily exclaimed: 'Played Lear, played Lear? I play Hamlet, I play Macbeth, I play Othello; but I am Lear!' Possibly the art of the tragedian has known no loftier triumph than in Forrest's rendition of Lear's curse upon the unnatural daughter:
'Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth;
With cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks;
To laughter and contempt!'
"A third of a century ago, I made the acquaintance of John McCullough, then at the very zenith of his fame. In even measure as was the elder Booth Richard the Third, Forrest, King Lear, or Edwin Booth, Hamlet, so was McCullough the born Macbeth. When I first saw him emerge with dishevelled hair and bloody hands from the apartment of the murdered king, I was, I confess, in mortal dread of the darkness. I have heard another since of even greater repute in that masterful impersonation, but with me to the last, John McCullough will remain the veritable Macbeth. His are the words that linger:
'I go, and it is done; the bell invites me,
"Edwin Booth has stepped from the stage of living men, and when in the tide of time will such a Hamlet again appear? To him Nature had been prodigal of her choicest blessings. Every gift the gods could bestow to the full equipment of the interpeter, the actor, the master, was his.
'He was a man, take him for all in all,
"Many moons will wax and wane before from other lips, as from his, will fall:
'Or that the Everlasting had not fixed
His canon 'gainst self-slaughter.'
or, giving expression to thoughts from the very depths, which have in all the ages held back from such dread ending: 'To die, to sleep;
To sleep! perchance to dream; aye, there's the rub;
Must give us pause.'
"The ever-abiding memory that his brother was the real actor in a tragic scene that gave pause to the world, burdened the heart and mellowed the tone of Edwin Booth, and no doubt linked him in closer touch with what has, as by the enchanter's wand, been portrayed of the 'melancholy Dane.'
"Two years before the assassination of President Lincoln, I heard Wilkes Booth as Romeo at the old McVicker. The passing years have not wholly dimmed his
'Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day
and then, as if forecasting a scene to strike horror even in 'States unborn and in accents yet unknown,' the exclamation: 'I must be gone and live,
Or stay and die!'
"High on the list of the world's benefactors write the name of Joe Jefferson, as one who loved his fellow-men. Whatever betide, his fame is secure. 'Age cannot wither'; it was in very truth high privilege to have known him; to have met him face to face.
"There come moments to all when we gladly put aside the masterpieces of the great bard, and find solace in simpler lays; such as, it may be, appear of kinship with the happenings of daily life. The mighty thoughts of the former unceasingly suggest life's endless toil and endeavor.
"In words that have touched many hearts our own poet suggests: