This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
Fellow Citizens : In response to your call for a talk from me, I beg to assure you that I appreciate the honor you do me in this gathering. But while I tender you my thanks for this ovation, I am not unmindful of the fact that the cause on this occasion is greater than any man. We are in the midst of an exciting political contest, in which principles are involved of the utmost importance, and whether those principles shall triumph or not, in the coming election, is the question of vital significance.
It must be clearly evident to the unprejudiced mind that the machinery of government is seriously destroyed, when so many of our people, in the midst of an abundance, should be compelled to beg for common necessaries of life. The fact is as plain as the unclouded noonday sun, that a government is wofully weak that will compel tens of thousands of strong, able-bodied men, anxious to work, to stand idle, while their families suffer for the means of maintaining existence. We are in the midst of plenty. The factories, shops and warehouses are full to repletion with goods that people require. The fields are teeming with grain, the banks are plethoric with money, and yet, in the midst of all this abundance, there is not wisdom enough in our national legislators to secure a proper division of this wealth among those who have produced it. But, fellow-citizens, I shall not now take your time in a discussion of the cause of hard times and the remedy.
I can only say that as your candidate for Congress, I deeply feel the need of prompt and efficient action by our general government; and if I am elected, I hope to faithfully perform my part in the work that so greatly needs to be done. I thank you, gentlemen, for this personal compliment to me, and with you I pray for the success of that cause which is righteous and just.
Speech when Presenting a Prize
To the successful competitors in a boat-race.
Gentlemen: Much discussion has been developed from time to time (in country school-houses and village debating clubs) as to the relative superiority of mind over muscle. Indeed, the question has been many times definitely settled (by these authorities), and yet it is ever bobbing up in actual life and begging for a final decision. Gentlemen, I am not here to solve the problem - I only rise to do honor to the union of mind and muscle that has brought victory to your banner and made you the proud recipients of this beautiful prize, the gift of fair hands, which you have so gallantly won.
I see in your frank and youthful features the glow of health and energy; I see in your bared arms the cord-like sinews that denote strength and endurance; and I see in the successful management of your boat the expression of an iron will to accomplish, whatever the opposition, and of a skill indicative of the intellect that controls your muscles and makes your manhood great.
Yours was not an easy triumph. Seven clubs competed with you for this rare and beautiful prize. I see in their crews, as they stand around you, skill and energy which you may be proud to have defeated. But in you they acknowledge the possession of superior skill, a superior force, and I doubt not that next to winning this prize for their respective clubs they rejoice most in your talents and success.
Gentlemen, you are young. Soon you will be entering for a greater race than this. The contest of life is before you. The prizes are honor, prosperity, wealth and influence. These are within your reach, for the same energy, the same skill, the same spirit of emulation, that you have manifested to-day, will be requisite if you desire to "go in and win" fame and fortune in the future.
There are lessons to be learned in this regatta from which you will be the gainers if you heed them. In the systematic training, the physical preparation for this contest, you have been taught the value of healthful diet and judicious exercise. To everything that tended to insure success you gave the closest attention. You avoided anything that was likely to weaken your bodily energies. You practiced temperance and sobriety. You gave up late hours and dissipation; you studied your own organization, and day by day you saw the benefit you received from systematic and self-denying regimen. All pointed to this crowning victory.
So, in the mastery of life, in business vocations, in hours of re-creation, the same careful watchfulness over yourself - the same sobriety and temperance. the same healthful treatment of your vital powers, will well repay you.
There is one thing, however, in this regatta that you will have to avoid in the race of life. As your oars harmoniously swept your boat along towards the home-stake, I noticed that you looked one way and sped another. In the life-contest you will do otherwise - or fail. You will be your own look-out, your own steersman, and you will need to keep a keen watch before you if you would win. To-day the course has been clear. In the course of life you will encounter snags and fogs, and other boats will cross your bows, and all your skill and energy will be required to keep your way clear, to avoid damaging collisions, and to hold your own.
But you tire of these allusions, and wonder where I will take you to in these airy flights. So I return to this present place and time.
Gentlemen, this richly ornamented silver vase that I hold before you is yours. You have worn it fairly, and these fair donors gladly give it to you. Altogether it is a fair operation. And as I hand it over to you, Mr. Captain, and retire to private life, I but echo the sentiment that so generally lights up every face about me when I say, "Long life and success to the Arrow Club."