David J. (David Josiah) Brewer.

Crowned masterpieces of eloquence, representing the advance of civilization, as collected in The world's best orations, from the earliest period to the present time (Volume 4) online

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Providence doth often so dispose. And though a man may im-
pute his own folly and blindness to Providence sinfully, yet
this must be at a man's own peril. The case may be that it is
the providence of God that doth lead men in darkness! I must
needs say I have had a great deal of experience of providence;
and though such experience is no rule without or against the
Word, yet it is a very good expositor of the Word in many cases.

Truly the providence of God hath laid aside this title of
King providentially de facto: and that not by sudden humor or
passion; but it hath been by issue of as great deliberation as
ever was in a Nation. It hath been by issue of ten or twelve
years civil war, wherein much blood hath been shed. I will not
dispute the justice of it when it was done, nor need I tell you
what my opinion is in the case were it de novo to be done.
But if it be at all disputable, and a man come and find that
God in his severity hath not only eradicated a whole family,
and thrust them out of the land, for reasons best known to him-
self, but also hath made the issue and close of that to be the
very eradication of a name or title — ! Which de facto is the
case. It was not done by me, nor by them that tendered me
the Government I now act in; it was done by the Long Parlia-
ment, — that was it. And God hath seemed providential, not
only in striking at the family, but at the name. And, as I said
before, it is blotted out: it is a thing cast out by an act of Par-
liament; it hath been kept out to this day. And as Jude saith,
in another case, speaking of abominable sins that should be in
the latter times, — he doth further say, when he comes to ex-
hort the Saints, he tells them they should ^^hate even the gar-
ments spotted with the flesh.'*

I beseech you think not that I bring this as an argument to
prove anything. God hath seemed so to deal with the person i


and the family that he blasted the very title. And yGU "know
when a man comes, a parte post, to reflect, and see this done,
this title laid in the dust, — I confess I can come to no other
conclusion. The like of this may make a strong impression upon
such weak men as I am ; — and perhaps upon 'weaker men (if
there be any such) it will make a stronger. I will not seek to
set up that which Providence hath destroyed and laid in the
'dust; I would not build Jericho again! And this is somewhat to
■me, and to my judgment and my conscience. This, in truth, it
is this that hath an awe upon my spirit. And I must confess,
as the times are, — they are very fickle, very uncertain, nay God
knows you had need have a great deal of faith to strengthen you
in your work, you had need look at settlement! — I would rather
I were in my grave than hinder you in anything that may be
for settlement of the Nation. For the Nation needs it, never
needed it more! And therefore, out of the love and honor I
bear you, I am forever bound, whatever becomes of me, to do
what is best for that; — and I am forever bound to acknowl-
edge you have dealt most honorably and worthily with me, and
lovingly, and have had respect for one who deserves nothing.

Indeed, out of the love and faithfulness I bear you, and out
of the sense I have of the difficulty of your work, I would not
have you lose any help that may serve you, that may stand in
stead to you. I would willingly be a sacrifice, that there might
be, so long as God shall please to let this Parliament sit, a har-
mony, and better and good understanding between all of you.
And, — whatever any man may think, — it equally concerns one
of us as another to go on to settlement: and where I meet with
any that is of another mind, indeed I could almost curse him in
my heart. And therefore, to deal heartily and freely I would
have you lose nothing that may stand you in stead in this way.
I would advise, if there be found any of a froward, unman-
nerly or womanish spirit, — I would not that you should lose
them! I would not that you should lose any servant or friend
who might help in this work; that any such should be offended
by a thing that signifies no more to me than I have told you
it does. That is to say; I do not think the thing necessary; I
do not. I would not that you should lose a friend for it. If
I could help you to many friends, and multiply myself into
many, that would be to serve you in regard to settlement! And
therefore I would not that any, especially any of these who



indeed, perhaps, are men that do think themselves engaged to
continue with you, and to serve you, should be anywise dis-
obliged from you.

I have now no more to say. The truth is, I did indicate
this as my conclusion to you at the first, when I told you what
method I would speak to you in. I may say that I cannot, with
conveniency to myself, nor good to this service which I wish so
well to, speak out all my arguments as to the safety of your
proposal, as to its tendency to the effectual carrying on of this
work. I say I do not think it fit to use all the thoughts I have
in my mind as to that point of safety. But I shall pray to God
Almighty that he would direct you to do what is according to
his will. And this is that poor account I am able to give of
myself in this thing.*

*The text of the speech here given is that edited by Carlyle, except that
his peculiarities of capitalization and punctuation have not been followed.



lAMOUS in the science of the Nineteenth Century, Sir William
Crookes became not only more famous but popular through-
out the English-speaking world, as a leader of what has been
called the "New Thought" of the Twentieth Century. Born June
17th, 1832, and educated in science at the Royal College of Chemistry,
he became Professor of Chemistry in the Training College, Chester, in
1855. In 1861, he announced the discovery of thallium as the first ox
the series of remarkable achievements which included the spinthari-
scope and \he radiometer. He was knighted in 1897 and chosen Presi-
dent of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in
1898. His strong constructive imagination and his power as a public
speaker, notable in the field of science, would have made him a success
in any field of oratory.


(From an Address Delivered Before the Congress of Applied Chemistry, at

Berlin, June 5th, 1903)

THE now generally accepted view that our chemical elements
have been formed from one primordial substance was advo-
cated in 1888 by me when President of the Chemical Society,
in connection with a theory of the Genesis of the Elements. I
spoke of "an infinite number of immeasurably small, ultimate — or,
rather, ultimatissimate — particles gradually accreting out of the
formless mist, and moving with inconceivable velocity in all direc-

Pondering on some of the properties of the rare elements, I
strove to show that the elementary atoms themselves might not be
the same now as when first generated — that the primary motions
which constitute the existence of the atom might slowly be chang-
ing and even the secondary motions which produce all the effects
we can observe — heat, chemic, electric, and so forth — might in a
slight degree be affected ; and I showed the probability that the
atoms of the chemical elements were not eternal in existence, but
shared with the rest of creation the attributes of decay and death.

The same idea was expanded at a lecture I delivered at the
Royal Institution in 1887, when it was suggested that the atomic
weights were not invariable quantities.

I might quote Mr. Herbert Spencer, Sir Benjamin Brodie, Pro-



fessor Graham, Sir George Stokes, Sir William Thomson (now
Lord Kelvin), Sir Norman Lockyer, Dr. Gladstone, and many other
English savans to show that the notion — not necessarily of the de-
composability, but, at any rate, of the complexity, of our supposed
elements — has long been "in the air" of science, waiting to take
more definite development. Our minds are gradually getting ac-
customed to the idea of the genesis of the elements, and many of us
are straining for the first glimpse of the resolution of the chemical
atom. We are eager to enter the portal of the mysterious region
too readily ticketed "Unknown and Unknowable." Another phase
of the dream now demands attention. I come to the earlier glimpses
of the electric theory of matter. Passing over the vaguer specula-
tions of Faraday and the more positive speculations of Sir William
Thomson (now Lord Kelvin), one of the earliest definite statements
of this theory is given in an article in the Fortnightly Review for
June, 1875, by W. K. Clifford — a man who in common with other
pioneers shared that "noblest misfortune of being born before his
time." "There is great reason to believe," said Clifford, "that
every material atom carries upon it a small electric current, if it
does not zvholly consist of this current "

In 1886, when president of the Chemical Section of the British
Association, in a speculation on the origin of matter, I drew a pic-
ture of the gradual formation of the chemical elements by the work-
ings of three forms of energy — electricity, chemism, and tempera-
ture — on the "formless mist" (protyle), wherein all matter was in
the preatomic state — potential rather than actual. In this scheme
the chemical elements owe their stability to their being the outcome
of a struggle for existence — a Darwinian development by chemical
evolution — a survival of the most stable. Those of lowest atomic
weight would first be formed, then those of intermediate weight,
and finally the elements having the highest atomic weights, such as
thorium and uranium. I spoke of the "disassociation point" of the
elements. "What comes after uranium?" I asked. And I answered
back — "The result of the next step will be . . . the formation of
. . . compounds the disassociation of which is not beyond the
powers of our terrestrial sources of heat." A dream less than
twenty years ago, but a dream which daily draws nearer to entire
and vivid fulfillment. I will presently show you that radium, the
next after uranium, does actually and spontaneously disassociate.


The idea of units or atoms of electricity — an idea hitherto float-
ing intangibly like the helium in the sun — can now be brought to
earth and submitted to the test of experiment. Faraday, W. Weber,
Laurentz, Gauss, Zollner, Hertz, Helmholtz, Johnstone Stoney, Sir
Oliver Lodge, have all contributed to develop the idea — originally
due to Weber — which took concrete form when Stoney showed that
Faraday's law of electrolysis involved the existence of a definite
charge of electricity associated with the ions of matter. This defi-
nite charge he called an electron. It was not till some time after
the name had been given that electrons were found to be capable of
existing separately.

In 1891, in my inaugural address as President of the Institution
of Electrical Engineers, I showed that the stream of cathode rays
near the negative pole was always negatively electrified, the other
contents of the tube being positively electrified, and I explained that
"the division of the molecule into groups of electro-positive and
electro-negative atoms is necessary for a consistent explanation of
the genesis of the elements." In a vacuum tube the negative pole is
the entrance and the positive pole the exit for electrons. Falling on
a phosphorescent body, yttria, for instance — a collection of Hertz
molecular resonators^the electrons excite vibrations of, say, 550
billion times a second, producing ether waves of the approximate
length of 5.75 ten-millionths of a millimeter, and occasioning in the
eye the sensation of citron-colored light. If, however, the electrons
dash against a heavy metal, they produce ether waves of a far high-
er frequency than light, and are not continuous vibrations, but, ac-
cording to Sir George Stokes, simple shocks or solitary impulses;
more like discordant shouts as compared with musical notes.

During that address an experiment was shown which went far to
prove the disassociation of silver into electrons and positive atoms.
A silver pole was used, and near it in front was a sheet of mica
with a hole in its center. The vacuum was very high, and when
the poles were connected with the coil, the silver being negative,
electrons shot from it in all directions, and passing through the hole
in the mica screen, formed a bright phosphorescent patch on the op-
posite side of the bulb. The action of the coil was continued for
some hours, to volatilize a certain portion of the silver. Silver was
seen to be deposited on the mica screen only in the immediate neigh-
borhood of the pole ; the far end of the bulb, which had been glow-



ing for hours from the impact of electrons, being free from silver
deposit. Here, then, are two simultaneous actions. Electrons, or
radiant matter shot from the negative pole, caused the glass against
which they struck to glow with phosphorescent light. Simultan-
eously, the heavy positive ions of silver, freed from the negative
electrons, and under the influence of the electrical stress, likewise
flew off and were deposited in the metallic state near the pole. The
ions of metal thus deposited in all cases showed positive electrifica-
tion (Proc. Royal Society, Volume Ixix, page 421).

In the years 1893-94-95 a sudden impulse was given to electric
vacuum work by the publication in Germany of the remarkable re-
sults obtained by Lenard and Roentgen, who showed that the phe-
nomena inside the vacuum tube were surpassed in interest by what
took place outside. It is not too much to say that from this date
what had been a scientific conjecture became a sober reality. . . .

In 1896 Becquerel, pursuing the masterly work on phosphor-
escence inaugurated by his illustrious father, showed that the salts
of uranium constantly emit emanations which have the power of
penetrating opaque substances and of affecting a photographic plate
in total darkness, and of discharging an electrometer. In some re-
spects these emanations, known as Becquerel rays, behave like rays
of light, but they also resemble Roentgen rays. Their real character
has only recently been ascertained, and even now there is much
that is obscure and provisional in the explanation of their constitu-
tion and action. Following closely upon Becquerel's work came the
brilliant researches of M. and Mme. Curie, on the radio-activity of
bodies accompanying uranium. Hitherto I have been recounting
isolated instances of scientific speculation with apparently little re-
lation to one another. The existence of matter in an ultra-gaseous
state; material particles smaller than atoms; the existence of elec-
trical atoms or electrons ; the constitution of Roentgen rays and
their passage through opaque bodies ; the emanations from uranium ;
the disassociation of the elements — all these isolated hypotheses are
now focused and welded into one harmonious theory by the discov-
ery of radium.

"Often do the spirits
Of great events stride on before the events.
And in to-day already walks to-morrow,"



■MONO the remarkable speeches reported by John Nalson in
his ^ Impartial Collection of Great Affairs of State * (London
1682), perhaps the most remarkable is that in which Sir
John Culpeper (afterwards Lord Colepeper) denounced monopolies.
Sir John Culpeper was elected to represent Kent in the Parliament
of 1640, at a time when English eloquence was just beginning to
develop its full powers under the stimulus of passion provoked by
Charles the First's abuse of what he claimed as his divine right. In
a speech delivered on the same day .on which Culpeper spoke. Lord
Digby defined the chief of these abuses as follows: —

1. The great and intolerable burthen of ship-money, touching the legality
whereof they are unsatisfied.

2. The many great abuses in pressing the soldiers, and raising moneys
concerning the same.

3. The multitude of monopolies.

4. The new canon, and the oath to be taken by lawyers, divines, etc.

5. The oath required to be taken by church oificers according to articles
new and unusual.

Culpeper's celebrated characterization of the monopolies under
Charles I. has not had general currency as a quotation in later dis-
cussions of the same subject, but it is doubtful if it has been equaled,
or even closely approached by the greater orators who have spoken
since under the inspiration of the same ideas.

The fact that the <' Sir John Culpeper >> familiar to readers of
Nalson appears in later history as " Colepeper ^^ is significant. Elected
to the Long Parliament in 1640, his speech against monopolies was
probably the strongest of its kind delivered during the session. It
marked Culpeper as a man capable of popular leadership, with force
of character enough to direct the revolution. He figures in later
history, however, on the side of the King. Leaving the opposition to
monopoly to take care of itself, he became a member of the Privy
Council and Chancellor of the Exchequer. The King made him
"Lord Colepeper of Thoresway.** After many vicissitudes in follow-
ing Charles I. to his downfall, he went into exile and on the death
of Cromwell was materially instrumental in winning over Monk and
bringing about the restoration. He died June nth, 1660.



(Delivered in the English Parliament, November gth, 1640)

Mr, Speaker: —

I ST AND not up with a petition in my hand, I have it in my
mouth, and have it in charge from them that sent me hither,

humbly to present to the consideration of this House the
grievances of the county of Kent; I shall only sum them up.
They are these: —

First, the great increase of Papists by the remiss execution of
those laws which were made to suppress them; the life of the
law is execution; without this they become but a dead letter;
this is wanting and a great grievance.

The second is the obtruding and countenancing of divers new
ceremonies in matters of religion, as placing the Communion
table Altar wise, and bowing and cringing towards it, and refus-
ing the Holy Sacrament to such as refuse to come up to the
rails, — these carry with them some scandal and much offense.

The third is military charges, and therein first coat and con-
duct money, required as a loan, or pressed as a due, and in each
respect equally a grievance. The second is the enhancing the
price of powder, whereby the trained bands are much discouraged
in their exercising; however this may appear prima facie ^ upon
due examination it will appear a great grievance. The third is
more particular to our county; it is this: the last summer was
twelve-month, ten thousand of our best arms were taken from
the owners, and sent into Scotland; the compulsory v/ay was
this: ** If you will not send your arms you shall go yourselves. '*
Mr. Speaker, the train band is a militia of great strength and
honor, without charges to the King, and deserves all due encour-

The fourth is the canons, I assign these to be a grievance;
first, in respect of the matter, besides the oath. Secondly, in re-
spect of the makers: they were chosen to serve in a convoca-
tion; that falling with the Parliament, the scene was altered;
and the same men without any new election were shuffled into
a sacred synod. Thirdly, in respect of the consequence, which
in this age, when the second ill precedent becomes a law, is full
of danger. The clergy, without confirmation of a Parliament,
have assumed unto themselves power to make laws, to grant


relief by the name of benevolence, and to intermeddle with our
freehold by suspensions and deprivation. This is a grievance of
a high nature.

The next grievance is the ship-money; this cries aloud. I
may say, I hope without offense, this strikes the firstborn of
every family; I mean our inheritance; if the laws give the King
power, in any danger of the kingdom, whereof he is judge, to
impose what and when he please, we owe all that is left to the
goodness of the King, not to the law, Mr. Speaker. This makes
the farmers faint, and the plow go heavy.

The next is the great decay of clothing and fall of our wools;
these are the golden mines of England which give a foundation
to that trade which we drive with all the world. I know there
are many stars concur in this constellation, I will not trouble
you with more than one cause of it, which I dare affirm to be
the greatest. It is the great custom and impositions laid upon
our cloth and new draperies; I speak not this with a wish to
lessen the King's revenues, so it be done by Parliament; I shall
give my voice to lay more charge upon the superfluities, due
regard being had to trade, which we import from all other
nations; sure I am that all those impositions upon our native
commodities are dangerous, give liberty to our neighbors to un-
dersell; and I take it for a rule that besides our loss in trade,
which is five times as much as the King receiveth, which is im-
posed upon our cloths, this is taken from the rent of our lands.
I have but one grievance more to offer you; but this one com-
priseth many; it is a nest of wasps, or swarm of vermin, which
have overcrept the land, — I mean the monopolies and polers of
the people; these, like the frogs of Egypt, have gotten possession
of our dwellings, and we have a room scarce free from them;
they sup in our cup, they dip in our dish, they sit by our fire,
we find them in the dye-vat, washbowl, and powdering tub.
They share with the butler in his box; they have marked and
sealed us from head to foot. Mr. Speaker, they will not bate us
a pin; we may not buy our own clothes without their brokage;
these _ are the leeches that have sucked the Commonwealth so
hard that it is almost become hectical; and, Mr. Speaker, some
of these are ashamed of their right names; they have a vizard
to hide the brand made by that good law in the last Parliament
of King James; they shelter themselves under the name of a
Corporation; they make by-laws which serve their turns to


squeeze us and fill their purses. Unface these and they will
prove as bad cards as any in the pack; these are not petty chap-
men, but wholesale men. Mr. Speaker, I have echoed to you
the cries of the Kingdom, I will tell you their hopes: they look
to heaven for a blessing upon this Parliament, they hang upon
his Majesty's exemplary piety and great justice, which renders
his ears open to the just complaints of his subjects; we have
had lately a gracious assurance of it; it is the wise conduct of
this, whereby the other great affairs of the kingdom and this
our grievance of no less importance may go hand in hand in
preparation and resolution; then, by the blessing of God, we
shall return home with an olive branch in our mouths, and a
full confirmation of the privileges which we received from our
ancestors and owe to our posterity, and which every free-born
Englishmap hath received with the air he breathed in.



!o ONE is likely to argue against the proposition of Principal
Caird that oratory, to be genuine, must have its mainspring
in deep emotion, expressing itself through the processes of
an habitually active intellect. The great thought or the deep emo-
tion will always be painful to any one capable of it until he can find
for it at least an approximately adequate expression. In this expres-
sion, the melody and rhythm of the language which embodies it will
always co-ordinate with the thought which inspires it, in some defi-
nite, if indefinable, relation to the strength of the emotion which
compels the thought. But there is a wide distinction of ^^ personal
equation.* The question first of the nobility of the thought carries
with it the secondary question of adequacy to express it, and that
must be decided in each given moment by the whole of the speak-
er's past life, by the entire complex network of his intellectual pro-
cesses, by every habit, moral as well as intellectual, which makes
him what he is. We often see men of cold and unemotional natures
transported out of themselves by some great event and moved by it
from what may have been mere fluency of speech to genuine ora-
tory, which, however badly sustained, is, for the time being, of the
highest order. But between the mere fluency of the commonplace

Online LibraryDavid J. (David Josiah) BrewerCrowned masterpieces of eloquence, representing the advance of civilization, as collected in The world's best orations, from the earliest period to the present time (Volume 4) → online text (page 25 of 39)