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'Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart;
Such songs have power to quiet
"And so, there are times when the stately rendition of the masterpieces, even with the greatest tragedians in the role, weary us, and we give glad welcome to Bob Acres with 'his courage oozing out at his finger ends,' or to dear old Rip and 'Here's to yourself and to your family. Jus' one more; this one won't count!'
'The superb acting of Irving in Louis the Eleventh; the grandeur of Forrest with 'Othello's occupation gone'; of McCullough in Macbeth, 'supped full with horrors'; even of Booth with the ever-recurring 'To be, or not to be,' the eternal question, all pass with the occasion. But who can forget the gladsome hours of mingled pathos and mirth with glorious Joe Jefferson, the star! His life was hourly the illustration of the sublime truth:
There is nothing so kingly as kindness.' "Upon his tablet might truly be written:
'He never made a brow look dark,
Nor caused a tear but when he died.'
"It is ever an ungracious task to speak in terms of disparagement of a lady. There is one, however, of whom, even in this gracious presence, I am constrained to speak without restraint. To the splendid assemblage before me she was unknown; possibly, however, some veteran upon this platform may have enjoyed her personal acquaintance. I refer to the late Mrs. Macbeth. I would not be misunderstood. My criticism of the conduct of this lady has no reference to her share in the 'taking off' of the venerable Duncan. Even barring her gentle interposition, he would long ere this have 'paid his breath to time and mortal custom.' My cause of complaint is more serious and far-reaching. It will be remembered that her highplaced husband upon a time was the victim of insomnia.
In his wakeful hours, as he tossed upon his couch, he even made the confession, now of record, that
'Glamis hath murdered sleep.'
"He apparently drew no comfort from the reflection that his late benefactor, the murdered king,
'After life's fitful fever he sleeps well.'
"Burdened with thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls, the sometime Thane of Cawdor indulged in an apostrophe to 'the dull god' which has enduring place in all language: 'Sleep, that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care, The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, Chief nourisher in Life's feast,-'
"At this crucial moment, came the untimely interruption of Mrs. Macbeth, demanding of her husband, 'What do you mean?'
"The spell was broken, and for all time the sublime apostrophe to sleep unfinished. What he might next have said, whose lips can tell? Words possibly to be spoken by every tongue, to be crystallized into every language. Her ill-fated interruption can never be forgiven. The practical lesson to be drawn, one for all the ages, is the peril involved in a wife's untimely interruption of the wise observations and sage reflections of her husband.
"This coming together to-night may justify the remark that satire upon the proverbial caution of candidates in expressing an opinion upon any subject was perhaps never better illustrated than in the incident now to be related. Upon a time many years ago, when approaching the Capitol from Pennsylvania Avenue in company with my friend Proctor Knott, a tall, solemn-appearing individual addressed the latter as follows; 'Mr. Knott, I would like to have your opinion as to which is the best play, "Hamlet" or "Macbeth." With a characteristic expression of countenance, Knott, with deprecatory gesture, slowly replied:
""My friend, don't ask me that question; I am a politician, a candidate for Congress, and my district is about equally
divided; Hamlet has his friends down there, and Macbeth has his, and I will take no part between them.'
"This observation recalls an incident of recent occurrence in a neighboring city. A friend of mine, a minister of the Gospel-you will bear in mind that my friends are not all actors-and this recalls the dilemma of a candidate who, upon inquiry as to the comparative merits of heaven and its antipode, cautiously declined to express an opinion, on the ground that he had friends in both places — this minister, upon being installed in a new pastorate, was almost immediately requested to preach at the funeral of a prominent member of his congregation. Unacquainted as he was with the life of the deceased, he made inquiry as to his last utterances.
"He recalled the last words of Webster, 'I am content'; of John Quincy Adams, 'This is the last of earth'; and even the cheerless exclamation of Mirabeau, 'Let my ears be filled with martial music, crown me with flowers, and thus shall I enter on my eternal sleep.' Charged with these reflections, and hoping to find the nucleus of a funeral sermon, the minister made inquiry of the son of the deceased parishioner, 'What were the last words of your father?' The unexpected reply was, 'Pap he did n't have no last words; mother she just stayed by him till he died.'
"And now, my friends, as the curtain falls, my last words to you:
THE LOST ART OF ORATORY
DANIEL WEBSTER'S SPEECHES HIS PATRIOTIC SERVICE IN
WEBSTER WINS AN APPAR
- INGERSOLL'S REVIEW OF THE HON. ISAAC N. PHILLIPS'S EULOGY SENATOR INGALLS'S TRIBUTE TO
A COLLEAGUE - A SINGLE ELOQUENT SENTENCE FROM
J. BRYAN MR. BRYAN'S ELOQUENCE
NE of the most cultured and entertaining gentlemen I have ever known was the late Gardner Hubbard.
last years were spent quietly in Washington, but earlier in life he was an active member of the Massachusetts bar.
In my conversations with him he related many interesting incidents of Daniel Webster, with whom he was well acquainted. In the early professional life of Hubbard, Mr. Webster was still at the bar; his speech for the prosecution in the memorable Knapp murder trial has been read with profound interest by three generations of lawyers. As a powerful and eloquent discussion of circumstantial evidence, in all its phases, it scarcely has a parallel; quotations from it have found their way into all languages. How startling his description of the stealthy tread of the assassin upon his victim! We seem to stand in the very presence of murder itself:
"Deep sleep had fallen on the destined victim and on all beneath his roof. A healthful old man, to whom sleep was sweet, and the first sound slumbers of the night held him in their soft but strong embrace. The assassin enters through the window, already prepared, into an unoccupied apartment. With noiseless foot he paces the lonely hall, half lighted by the moon; he winds up the ascent of the stairs, and reaches the door