Graphic Rule

A Special Arrangement of
Some Gems From Ingersoll

Graphic Rule

A Special Arrangement of
Some Gems From Ingersoll

Short Grapic Rule
Love

 
Love is the only bow on life's dark cloud. It is the morning and the evening star. It shines upon the babe, and sheds its radiance on the quiet tomb. It is the mother of art, inspirer of poet, patriot, and philosopher. It is the air and light of every heart -- the builder of every home, kindler of every fire on every hearth. It was the first to dream of immortality. It fills the world with melody -- for music is the voice of love. Love is the magician, the enchanter, that changes worthless things to joy, and makes right royal kings and queens of common clay. It is the perfume of that wondrous flower, the heart, and without that sacred passion, that divine swoon, we are less than beasts; but with it, earth is heaven, and we are gods.

Short Grapic Rule

The Laugh of a Child

 
The laugh of a child will make the holiest day more sacred still. Strike with hand of fire, O weird musician, thy harp strung with Apollo's golden hair; fill the vast cathedral aisles with symphonies sweet and dim, deft toucher of the organ keys; blow, bugler blow, until thy silver notes do touch and kiss the moonlit waves, and charm the lovers wandering 'mid the vine-clad hills. But know, your sweetest strains are discord all, compared with childhood's happy laugh -- the laugh that fills the eyes with light and every heart with joy. O rippling river of laughter, thou art the blessed boundary line between the beasts and men; and every wayward wave of shine cloth drown some fretful fiend of care. O laughter, rose-lipped daughter of Joy, there are dimples enough in thy cheeks to catch and hold and glorify all the tears of grief.

Short Grapic Rule

A Glimpse of Heaven

 
If upon this earth we ever have a glimpse of heaven, it is when we pass a home in winter, at night, and through the windows, the curtains drawn aside, we see the family abut the pleasant hearth; the old lady knitting; the cat playing with the yarn; the children wishing they had as many dolls or dollars or knives or somethings, as there are sparks going out to join the roaring blast; the father reading and smoking, and the clouds rising like incense from the altar of domestic joy. I never passed such a house without feeling that I had received a benediction.

Short Grapic Rule

Life

 
Born of love and hope, of ecstasy and pain, of agony and fear, of tears and joy -- dowered with the wealth of two united hearts -- held in happy arms, with lips upon life's drifted font, blue-veined and fair, where perfect peace finds perfect form -- rocked by willing feet and wooed to shadowy shores of sleep by siren mother singing soft and low -- looking with wonder's wide and startled eyes at common things of life and day -- taught by want and wish and contact with the things that touch the dimpled flesh of babes -- lured by light and flame, and charmed by color's wondrous robes -- learning the use of hands and feet, and by the love of mimicry beguiled to utter speech -- releasing prisoned thoughts from crabbed and curious marks on soiled and tattered leaves -- puzzling the brain with crooked numbers and their changing, tangled worth -- and so through years of alternating day and night, until the captive grows familiar with the chains and walls and limitations of a life.

And time runs on in sun and shade, until the one of all the world is wooed and won, and all the lore of love is taught and learned again. Again a home is built with the fair chamber wherein faint dreams, like cool and shadowy vales, divide the billowed hours of love. Again the miracle of a birth -- the pain and joy, the kiss of welcome and the cradle-song drowning the drowsy prattle of a babe.

And then the sense of obligation and of wrong -- pity for those who toil and weep -- tears for the imprisoned and despised -- love for the generous dead, and in the heart the rapture of a high resolve.

And then ambition, with its lust of pelf and place and power, longing to put upon its breast distinction's worthless badge. Then keener thoughts of men, and eyes that see behind the smiling mask of craft -- flattered no more by the obsequious cringe of gain and greed -- knowing the uselessness of hoarded gold -- of honor bought from those who charge the usury of self-respect -- of power that only bends a coward's knees and forces from the lips of fear the lies of praise. Knowing at last the unstudied gesture of esteem, the reverent eyes made rich with honest thought, and holding high above all other things -- high as hope's great throbbing star above the darkness of the dead -- the love of wife and child and friend.

Then locks of gray, and growing love of other days and half-remembered things -- then holding withered hands of those who first held his, while over dim and loving eyes death softly presses down the lids of rest.

And so, locking in marriage vows his children's hands and crossing others on the breasts of peace, with daughters' babes upon his knees, the white hair mingling with the gold, he journeys on from day to day to that horizon where the dusk is waiting for the night. At last, sitting by the holy hearth of home as evening's embers change from red to gray, he falls asleep within the arms of her he worshiped and adored, feeling upon his pallid lips love's last and holiest kiss.

Short Grapic Rule

At the Tomb of Napoleon

 
A little while ago, I stood by the grave of the old Napoleon -- a magnificent tomb of gilt and gold, fit almost for a dead deity -- and gazed upon the sarcophagus of rare and nameless marble, where rest at last the ashes of that restless man. I leaned over the balustrade and thought about the career of the greatest soldier of the modern world.

I saw him walking upon the banks of the Seine, contemplating suicide. I saw him at Toulon -- I saw him putting down the mob in the streets of Paris -- I saw him at the head of the army of Italy -- I saw him crossing the bridge of Lodi with the tri-color in his hand -- I saw him in Egypt in the shadows of the pyramids -- I saw him conquer the Alps and mingle the eagles of France with the eagles of the crags. I saw him at Marengo -- at Ulm and Austerlitz. I saw him in Russia, where the infantry of the snow and the cavalry of the wild blast scattered his legions like winter's withered leaves. I saw him at Leipzig in defeat and disaster -- driven by a million bayonets back upon Paris -- clutched like a wild beast -- banished to Elba. I saw him escape and retake an empire by the force of his genius. I saw him upon the frightful field of Waterloo, where Chance and Fate combined to wreck the fortunes of their former king. And I saw him at St. Helena, with his hands crossed behind him, gazing out upon the sad and solemn sea.

I thought of the orphans and widows he had made -- of the tears that had been shed for his glory, and of the only woman who ever loved him pushed from his heart by the cold hand of ambition. And I said I would rather have been a French peasant and worn wooden shoes. I would rather have lived in a hut with a vine growing over the door, and the grapes growing purple in the kisses of the autumn sun. I would rather been that poor peasant with my loving wife by my side, knitting as the day died out of the sky -- with my children upon my knees and their arms about me -- I would rather have been that man and gone down to the tongueless silence of the dreamless dust, than to have been the imperial impersonation of murder and force, known as "Napoleon the Great."

Short Grapic Rule
Immortality

 
The idea of immortality, that like a sea has ebbed and flowed in the human heart, with its countless waves of hope and fear, beating against the shores and rocks of time and fate, was not born of any book, nor of any creed, nor of any religion. It was born of human affection, and it will continue to ebb and flow beneath the mists and clouds of doubt and darkness as long as love kisses the lips of death. It is the rainbow -- Hope shining upon the tears of grief.

Short Grapic Rule

Hope

 
The hope of another life was in the heart, long before the "sacred books" were written, and will remain there long after all the "sacred books" are known to be the work of savage and superstitious men. Hope is the consolation of the world.

The wanderers hope for home. -- Hope builds the house and plants the flowers and fills the air with song.

The sick and suffering hope for health. -- Hope gives them health and paints the roses in their cheeks.

The lonely, the forsaken, hope for love. -- Hope brings the lover to their arms. They feel the kisses on their eager lips.

The poor in tenements and huts, in spite of rags and hunger, hope for wealth. Hope fills their thin and trembling hands with gold.

The dying hopes that death is but another birth, and Love leans above the pallid face and whispers, "We shall meet again."

Let us hope, if there be a god, that he is wise and good.

Let us hope that if there be another life it will bring peace and joy to all the children of men.

And let us hope that this poor earth on which we live may be a perfect world -- a world without a crime -- without a tear.

 
Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers.

Short Grapic Rule

Poets

 
In the republic of mediocrity genius is dangerous. A great soul appears and fills the world with new and marvelous harmonies. In his words is the old Promethean flame. The heart of nature beats and throbs in his line. The respectable prudes and pedagogues sound the alarm and cry, or rather screech: "Is this a book for a young person?"

A poem true to life as a Greek statue -- candid as nature -- fills these barren souls with fear.

They forget that drapery about the perfect was suggested by immodesty.

The provincial prudes and others of like mold, pretend that love is a duty rather than a passion -- a kind of self-denial -- not an overmastering joy. They preach the gospel of pretence and pantalettes. In the presence of sincerity, of truth, they cast down their eyes and endeavor to feel immodest. To them, the most beautiful thing is hypocrisy adorned with a blush.

At one time it was thought that scenery, the grand in nature, made the poet. We now know that the poet makes the scenery. Holland has produced far more genius than the Alps. Where nature is prodigal -- where the crags tower above the clouds -- man is overcome, or overawed. In England and Scotland the hills are low, and there is nothing in the scenery calculated to rouse poetic blood, and yet these countries have produced the greatest literature of all time.

The truth is that poets and heroes make the scenery. The place where man has died for man is grander than all the snow-crowned summits of the world.

A poem is something like a mountain stream that flashes in light, then lost in shadow, leaps with a kind of wild joy into the abyss, emerges victorious, and winding runs amid meadows, lingers in quiet places, holding within its breast the hills and vales and clouds -- then running by the cottage door, babbling of joy, and murmuring delight, then sweeping on to join its old mother, the sea.

 
The great poets have sympathized with the people. They have uttered in all ages the human cry. Unbought by gold, unawed by power, they have lifted high the torch that illuminates the world.

 
Beauty is not all there is of poetry. It must contain the truth. It is not simply an oak, rude and grand, neither is it simply a vine. It is both. Around the oak of truth runs the vine of beauty.

Short Grapic Rule

 Art and Morality

 
Art is not a sermon, and the artist is not a preacher. Art accomplishes by indirection. The beautiful refines. The perfect in art suggests the perfect in conduct. The harmony in music teaches, without intention, the lesson of proportion in life. The bird in his song has no moral purpose, and yet the influence is humanizing. The beautiful in nature acts through appreciation and sympathy. It does not browbeat, neither does it humiliate. It is beautiful without regard to you. Roses would be unbearable if in their red and perfumed hearts were mottoes to the effect that bears eat bad boys and that honesty is not the best policy.

Art creates an atmosphere in which the proprieties, the amenities, and the virtues unconsciously grow. The rain does not lecture the seed. The light does not make rules for the vine and flower.

The heart is softened by the pathos of the perfect.

The world is a dictionary of the mind, and in this dictionary of things genius discovers analogies, resemblances, and parallels amid opposites, likeness in difference, and corroboration in contradiction. Language is but a multitude of pictures. Nearly every word is a work of art, a picture represented by a sound, and this sound represented by a mark, and this mark gives not only the sound, but the picture of something in the outward world and the picture of something within the mind, and with these words which were once pictures, other pictures are made.

The greatest pictures and the greatest statues, the most wonderful and marvelous groups, have been painted and chiseled with words. They are as fresh to-day as when they fell from human lips. Penelope still ravels, weaves, and waits. Ulysses' bow is bent, and through the level rings the eager arrow flies. Cordelia's tears are falling now. The greatest gallery of the world is found in Shakespeare's book. The pictures and the marbles of the Vatican and the Louvre are faded crumbling things, compared with his, in which perfect color gives to perfect form the glow and movement of passion's highest life.

Everything except the truth wears, and needs to wear, a mask. Little souls are ashamed of nature. Prudery pretends to have only those passions that it cannot feel. Moral poetry is like a respectable canal that never overflows its banks. It has weirs through which slowly and without damage any excess of feeling is allowed to flow. It makes excuses for nature, and regards love as an interesting convict. Moral art paints or chisels feet, faces, and rags. It regards the body as obscene. It hides with drapery that which it has not the genius purely to portray. Mediocrity becomes moral from a necessity which it has the impudence to call virtue. It pretends to regard ignorance as the foundation of purity and insists that virtue seek the companionship of the blind.

Art creates, combines, and reveals. It is the highest manifestation of thought, of passion, of love, of intuition. It is the highest form of expression, of history and prophecy. It allows us to look at an unmasked soul, to fathom the abysses of passion, to understand the heights and depths of love.

Compared with what is in the mind of man, the outward world almost ceases to excite our wonder. The impression produced by mountains, seas, and stars is not so great, so thrilling, as the music of Wagner. The constellations themselves grow small when we read "Troilus and Cressida," "Hamlet," or "Lear." What are seas and stars in the presence of a heroism that holds pain and death as naught? What are seas and stars compared with human hearts? What is the quarry compared with the statue?

Art civilizes because it enlightens, develops, strengthens, ennobles. It deals with the beautiful, with the passionate, with the ideal. It is the child of the heart. To be great, it must deal with the human. It must be in accord with the experience, with the hopes, with the fears, and with the possibilities of man. No one cares to paint a palace, because there is nothing in such a picture to touch the heart. It tells of responsiblity, of the prison, of the conventional. It suggests a load -- it tells of apprehension, of weariness and ennui. The picture of a cottage, over which runs a vine, a little home thatched with content, with its simple life, its natural sunshine and shadow, its trees bending with fruit, its hollyhocks and pinks, its happy children, its hum of bees, is a poem -- a smile in the desert of this world.

The great lady, in velvet and jewels, makes but a poor picture. There is not freedom enough in her life. She is constrained. She is too far away from the simplicity of happiness. In her thought there is too much of the mathematical. In all art you will find a touch of chaos, of liberty; and there is in all artists a little of the vagabond -- that is to say, genius.

The nude in art has rendered holy the beauty of woman. Every Greek statue pleads for mothers and sisters. From these marbles come strains of music. They have filled the heart of man with tenderness and worship. They have kindled reverence, admiration and love. The Venus de Milo, that even mutilation cannot mar, tends only to the elevation of our race. It is a miracle of majesty and beauty, the supreme idea of the supreme woman. It is a melody in marble. All the lines meet in a kind of voluptuous and glad content. The pose is rest itself. The eyes are filled with thoughts of love. The breast seems dreaming of a child.

The prudent is not the poetic; it is the mathematical. Genius is the spirit of abandon; it is joyous, irresponsible. It moves in the swell and curve of billows; it is careless of conduct and consequence. For a moment, the chain of cause and effect seems broken; the soul is free. It gives an account not even to itself. Limitations are forgotten; nature seems obedient to the will; the ideal alone exists; the universe is a symphony.

 
The old Greek statues, frankly, proudly nude, whose free and perfect limbs have never known the sacrilege of clothes, were and are as free from taint, as pure, as stainless as the image of the morning star trembling in a drop of perfumed dew.

 
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.

Short Grapic Rule

The Theatre

 
What is known as "orthodox religion" has always been the enemy of the theatre. It has been the enemy of every possible comfort, of every rational job -- 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 responsiblity -- 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."

 
In the drama the highest thought in every age has found expression. While throne and altar forged and fastened chains, the poor slave heard upon the stage the actor curse the injustice of the world, and wept for joy to see, even in a play, the captive free. In all the other walks of life, rogues, hypocrites and cowards oft succeed, but on the stage, applause greets only those who represent the great, the loving, brave and true, or give to public scorn the very heart of vice.

 
I have always been a believer in the theatre. The human mind is so that it loves to see the representations of the ideal -- it loves to look upon a world that does not appear to be controlled by anything, but in which there is a semblance of liberty -- a world where as a rule, the good have the best of it, and the rascals the worst.

Short Grapic Rule

The Children of The Stage

 
Disguise it as we may, we live in a frightful world, with evils, with enemies, on every side. From the hedges along the path of life, leap the bandits that murder and destroy; and every human being, no matter how often he escapes, at last will fall beneath the assassin's knife.

To change the figure: We are all passengers on the train of life. The tickets give the names of the stations where we boarded the car, but the destination is unknown. At every station some passengers, pallid, breathless, dead, are put away, and some with the light of morning in their eyes, get on.

To change the figure again: On the wide sea of life we are all on ships or rafts or spars, and some by friendly winds are borne to the fortunate isles, and some by storms are wrecked on the cruel rocks. And yet upon the isles the same as upon the rocks, death waits for all. And death alone can truly say, "All things come to him who waits."

And yet, strangely enough, there is in this world of misery, of misfortune and of death, the blessed spirit of mirth. The travelers on the path, on the train, on the ships, the rafts and spars, sometimes forget their perils and their doom.

All blessings on the man whose face was first illuminated by a smile!

All blessings on the man who first gave to the common air the music of laughter -- the music that for the moment drove fears from the heart, tears from the eyes, and dimpled cheeks with joy!

All blessings on the man who sowed with merry hands the seeds of humor, and at the lipless skull of death snapped the reckless fingers of disdain! Laughter is the blessed boundary line between the brute and man.

Who are the friends of the human race? They who hide with vine and flower the cruel rocks of fate -- the children of genius, the sons and daughters of mirth and laughter, of imagination, those whose thoughts, like moths with painted wings, fill the heaven of the mind.

Among these sons and daughters are the children of the stage, the citizens of the mimic world -- the world enriched by all the wealth of genius -- enriched by painter, orator, composer and poet. The world of which Shakespeare, the greatest of human beings, is still the unchallenged emperor. These children of the stage have delighted the weary travelers on the thorny path, amused the passengers on the fated train, and filled with joy the hearts of the clingers to spars, and the floaters on rafts.

These children of the stage, with fancy's wand rebuild the past. The dead are brought to life and made to act again the parts they played. The hearts and lips that long ago were dust, are made to beat and speak again. The dead kings are crowned once more, and from the shadows of the past emerge the queens, jeweled and sceptred as of yore. Lovers leave their graves and breathe again their burning vows; and again the white breasts rise and fall in passion's storm. The laughter that died away beneath the touch of death is heard again and lips that fell to ashes long ago are curved once more with mirth. Again the hero bares his breast to death; again the patriot falls, and again the scaffold, stained with noble blood, becomes a shrine.

The citizens of the real world gain joy and comfort from the stage. The broker, the speculator ruined by rumor, the lawyer baffled by the intelligence of a jury or the stupidity of a judge, the doctor who lost his patience because he lost his patients, the merchant in the dark days of a depression, and all the children of misfortune, the victims of hope deferred, forget their troubles for a little while when looking on the mimic world. When the shaft of wit flies like the arrow of Ulysses through all the rings and strikes the centre; when words of wisdom mingle with the clown's conceits; when folly laughing shows her pearls, and mirth holds carnival; when the villain fails and the right triumphs, the trials and the griefs of life for the moment fade away.

And so the maiden longing to be loved, the young man waiting for the "Yes" deferred; the unloved wife, hear the old, old story again, -- and again within their hearts is the ecstasy of requited love.

The stage brings solace to the wounded, peace to the troubled, and with the wizard's wand touches the tears of grief and they are changed to the smiles of joy.

The stage has ever been the altar, the pulpit, the cathedral of the heart. There the enslaved and the oppressed, the erring, the fallen, even the outcast, find sympathy, and pity gives them all her tears -- and there, in spite of wealth and power, in spite of caste and cruel pride, true love has ever triumphed over all.

The stage has taught the noblest lesson, the highest truth, and that is this: It is better to deserve without receiving than to receive without deserving. As a matter of fact, it is better to be the victim of villainy than to be a villain. Better to be stolen from than to be a thief, and in the last analysis the oppressed, the slave, is less unfortunate than the oppressor, the master.

The children of the stage, these citizens of the mimic world, are not the grasping, shrewd and prudent people of the mart; they are improvident enough to enjoy the present and credulous enough to believe the promises of the universal liar known as Hope. Their hearts and hands are open. As a rule genius is generous, luxurious, lavish, reckless and royal. And so, when they have reached the ladder's topmost round, they think the world is theirs and that the heaven of the future can have no cloud. But from the ranks of youth the rival steps. Upon the veteran brows the wreaths begin to fade, the leaves to fall; and failure sadly sups on memory. They tread the stage no more. They leave the mimic world, fair fancy's realm; they leave their palaces and thrones; their crowns are gone, and from their hands the sceptres fall. At last, in age and want, in lodgings small and bare, they wait the prompter's call; and when the end is reached, maybe a vision glorifies the closing scene. Again they are on the stage; again their hearts throb high; again they utter perfect words; again the flowers fall about their feet; and as the curtain falls, the last sound that greets their ears, is the music of applause, the "bravos" for an encore.

And then the silence falls on darkness.

Some loving hands should close their eyes, some loving lips should leave upon their pallid brows a kiss; some friends should lay the breathless forms away, and on the graves drop blossoms jeweled with the tears of love.

Short Grapic Rule 
Music, Noblest of The Arts

 
Disguise it as we may, we live in a frightful world, with evils, with enemies, on every side. From the hedges along the path of life, leap the bandits that murder and destroy; and every human being, no matter how often he escapes, at last will fall beneath the assassin's knife.

To change the figure: We are all passengers on the train of life. The tickets give the names of the stations where we boarded the car, but the destination is unknown. At every station some passengers, pallid, breathless, dead, are put away, and some with the light of morning in their eyes, get on.

To change the figure again: On the wide sea of life we are all on ships or rafts or spars, and some by friendly winds are borne to the fortunate isles, and some by storms are wrecked on the cruel rocks. And yet upon the isles the same as upon the rocks, death waits for all. And death alone can truly say, "All things come to him who waits."

And yet, strangely enough, there is in this world of misery, of misfortune and of death, the blessed spirit of mirth. The travelers on the path, on the train, on the ships, the rafts and spars, sometimes forget their perils and their doom.

All blessings on the man whose face was first illuminated by a smile!

All blessings on the man who first gave to the common air the music of laughter -- the music that for the moment drove fears from the heart, tears from the eyes, and dimpled cheeks with joy!

All blessings on the man who sowed with merry hands the seeds of humor, and at the lipless skull of death snapped the reckless fingers of disdain! Laughter is the blessed boundary line between the brute and man.

Who are the friends of the human race? They who hide with vine and flower the cruel rocks of fate -- the children of genius, the sons and daughters of mirth and laughter, of imagination, those whose thoughts, like moths with painted wings, fill the heaven of the mind.

Among these sons and daughters are the children of the stage, the citizens of the mimic world -- the world enriched by all the wealth of genius -- enriched by painter, orator, composer and poet. The world of which Shakespeare, the greatest of human beings, is still the unchallenged emperor. These children of the stage have delighted the weary travelers on the thorny path, amused the passengers on the fated train, and filled with joy the hearts of the clingers to spars, and the floaters on rafts.

These children of the stage, with fancy's wand rebuild the past. The dead are brought to life and made to act again the parts they played. The hearts and lips that long ago were dust, are made to beat and speak again. The dead kings are crowned once more, and from the shadows of the past emerge the queens, jeweled and sceptred as of yore. Lovers leave their graves and breathe again their burning vows; and again the white breasts rise and fall in passion's storm. The laughter that died away beneath the touch of death is heard again and lips that fell to ashes long ago are curved once more with mirth. Again the hero bares his breast to death; again the patriot falls, and again the scaffold, stained with noble blood, becomes a shrine.

The citizens of the real world gain joy and comfort from the stage. The broker, the speculator ruined by rumor, the lawyer baffled by the intelligence of a jury or the stupidity of a judge, the doctor who lost his patience because he lost his patients, the merchant in the dark days of a depression, and all the children of misfortune, the victims of hope deferred, forget their troubles for a little while when looking on the mimic world. When the shaft of wit flies like the arrow of Ulysses through all the rings and strikes the centre; when words of wisdom mingle with the clown's conceits; when folly laughing shows her pearls, and mirth holds carnival; when the villain fails and the right triumphs, the trials and the griefs of life for the moment fade away.

And so the maiden longing to be loved, the young man waiting for the "Yes" deferred; the unloved wife, hear the old, old story again, -- and again within their hearts is the ecstasy of requited love.

The stage brings solace to the wounded, peace to the troubled, and with the wizard's wand touches the tears of grief and they are changed to the smiles of joy.

The stage has ever been the altar, the pulpit, the cathedral of the heart. There the enslaved and the oppressed, the erring, the fallen, even the outcast, find sympathy, and pity gives them all her tears -- and there, in spite of wealth and power, in spite of caste and cruel pride, true love has ever triumphed over all.

The stage has taught the noblest lesson, the highest truth, and that is this: It is better to deserve without receiving than to receive without deserving. As a matter of fact, it is better to be the victim of villainy than to be a villain. Better to be stolen from than to be a thief, and in the last analysis the oppressed, the slave, is less unfortunate than the oppressor, the master.

The children of the stage, these citizens of the mimic world, are not the grasping, shrewd and prudent people of the mart; they are improvident enough to enjoy the present and credulous enough to believe the promises of the universal liar known as Hope. Their hearts and hands are open. As a rule genius is generous, luxurious, lavish, reckless and royal. And so, when they have reached the ladder's topmost round, they think the world is theirs and that the heaven of the future can have no cloud. But from the ranks of youth the rival steps. Upon the veteran brows the wreaths begin to fade, the leaves to fall; and failure sadly sups on memory. They tread the stage no more. They leave the mimic world, fair fancy's realm; they leave their palaces and thrones; their crowns are gone, and from their hands the sceptres fall. At last, in age and want, in lodgings small and bare, they wait the prompter's call; and when the end is reached, maybe a vision glorifies the closing scene. Again they are on the stage; again their hearts throb high; again they utter perfect words; again the flowers fall about their feet; and as the curtain falls, the last sound that greets their ears, is the music of applause, the "bravos" for an encore.

And then the silence falls on darkness.

Some loving hands should close their eyes, some loving lips should leave upon their pallid brows a kiss; some friends should lay the breathless forms away, and on the graves drop blossoms jeweled with the tears of love.

Short Grapic Rule 
The Orator and Oratory

 
Words are the garments of thought, the robes of ideas. Some are as rude as the skins of wild beasts, and others glisten and glitter like silk and gold. They have been born of hatred and revenge; of love and self-sacrifice; of hope and fear, of agony and joy. These words are born of the terror and beauty of nature. The stars have fashioned them. In them mingle the darkness and the dawn. From everything they have taken something. Words are the crystalizations of human history, of all that man has enjoyed and suffered -- his victories and defeats -- all that he has lost and won. Words are the shadows of all that has been -- the mirrors of all that is.

 
The great orator idealizes the real, transfigures the common, makes even the inanimate throb and thrill, fills the gallery of the imagination with statues and pictures perfect in form and color, brings to light the gold hoarded by memory the miser, shows the glittering coin to the spendthrift hope, enriches the brain, ennobles the heart, and quickens the conscience. Between his lips words bud and blossom.

 
Oratory is something that cannot be taught. Neither can it be learned. If one is not naturally an orator, he can never become so artificially. You might as well be taught to be a poet. A great many things an orator can be taught not to do; but what he really does that stamps him as an orator, must be perfectly natural. He must become the instrumentality of a thought, or of a passion, and to that degree that he forgets himself. His motions, his attitudes, his gestures, must all come from the inside -- that is to say, be an outward manifestation of an inward thought -- the effect of a certain passion or feeling upon the body. Whenever he begins to learn from the outside, so that he thinks of the motion he makes, the naturalness is gone, and the orator does not exist -- you have then only an elocutionist; and there is as much difference between an elocutionist and an orator, as there is between a spring and a pump.

 
No man can do his best on the instant. Iron to be beaten into perfect form has to be heated several times and turned upon the anvil many more, and hammered long and often.

You might as well try to paint a picture with one sweep of the brush, or chisel a statue with one stroke, as to paint many pictures with words, without great thought and care. Now and then while a man is talking, heated with his subject, a great thought, sudden as a flash of lightning, illumines the intellectual sky, and a great sentence clothed in words of purple, falls, or rather rushes, from his lips -- but a continuous flight is born, not only of enthusiasm, but of long and careful thought. A perfect picture requires more details, more lights and shadows, than the mind can grasp at once, or on the instant. Thoughts are not born of chance. They grow and bud and blossom, and bear the fruit of perfect form.

Genius is the soil and climate, but the soil must be cultivated, and the harvest is not instantly after the planting. It takes time and labor to raise and harvest a crop from that field called the brain.

Short Grapic Rule

Liberty

 
O Liberty, thou art the god of my idolatry! Thou art the only deity that hateth bended knees. In thy vast and unwalled temple, beneath the roofless dome, star-gemmed and luminous with suns, thy worshipers stand erect! They do not cringe, or crawl, or bend their foreheads to the earth. The dust has never borne the impress of their lips. Upon thy altars mothers do not sacrifice their babes, nor men their rights. Thou askest naught from man except the things that good men hate -- the whip, the chain, the dungeon key. Thou hast no popes, no priests, who stand between their fellow-men and thee. Thou caress not for foolish forms, or selfish prayers. At thy sacred shrine hypocrisy does not bow, virtue does not tremble, superstition's feeble tapers do not burn, but Reason holds aloft her inextinguishable torch whose holy light will one day flood the world.

 
O Liberty, float not forever in the far horizon -- remain not forever in the dream of the enthusiast, the philanthropist and poet, but come and make thy home among the children of men!

I know not what discoveries, what inventions, what thoughts may leap from the brain of the world. I know not what garments of glory may be woven by the years to come. I cannot dream of the victories to be won upon the fields of thought; but I do know that coming from the infinite sea of the future, there will never touch this "bank and shoal of time" a richer gift, a rarer blessing than liberty for man, for woman, and for child.

 
Liberty is a word hated by kings -- loathed by popes. It is a word that shatters thrones and altars -- that leaves the crowned without subjects, and the outstretched hand of superstition without alms. Liberty is the blossom and fruit of justice -- the perfume of mercy. Liberty is the seed and soil, the air and light, the dew and rain of progress, love and joy.

Liberty is my religion.

 
Liberty, a word without which all other words are vain.

 
If there is anything of value, it is liberty. Liberty is the air of the soul, the sunshine of life. Without it the world is a prison and the universe an infinite dungeon.

 
I want no heaven for which I must give my reason; no happiness in exchange for my liberty, and no immortality that demands the surrender of my individuality. Better rot in the windowless tomb, to which there is no door but the red mouth of the pallid worm, than wear the jeweled collar even of a god.

 
To preserve liberty is the only use for government. There is no other excuse for legislatures, or presidents, or courts, for statutes or decisions. Liberty is not simply a means -- it is an end. Take from our history, our literature, our laws, our hearts -- that word, and we are naught but moulded clay. Liberty is the one priceless jewel. It includes and holds and is the weal and wealth of life. Liberty is the soil and light and rain -- it is the plant and bud and flower and fruit -- and in that sacred word lie all the seeds of progress, love and joy.

 
If civilization tends to do away with liberty, then I agree with Mr. Buckle that civilization is a curse. Gladly would I give up the splendors of the nineteenth century -- gladly would I forget every invention that has leaped from the brain of man -- gladly would I see all books ashes, all works of art destroyed, all statues broken, and all the triumphs of the world lost -- gladly, joyously would I go back to the abodes and dens of savagery, if that were necessary to preserve the inestimable gem of human liberty. So would every man who has a heart and brain.

 
Standing in the presence of all history, knowing the experience of mankind, knowing that the earth is covered with countless wrecks of cruel failures; appealed to by the great army of martyrs and heroes who have gone before; by the sacred dust filling innumerable graves; by the memory of our own noble dead; by all the suffering of the past; by all the hopes for the future; by all the glorious dead and the countless millions yet to be, I pray, I beseech, I implore the American people to lay the foundation of the Government upon the principles of eternal justice. I pray, I beseech, I implore them to take for the cornerstone, Universal Human Liberty -- the stone which has been heretofore rejected by all the builders of nations. The Government will then stand, and the swelling dome of the temple will totouch the stars.

Short Grapic Rule

Reason

 
Nature has furnished every human being with a light more or less brilliant, more or less powerful. That light is Reason; and he who blows that light out, is in utter darkness. It has been the business of the church for centuries to extinguish the lamp of the mind.

 
Reason is the light, the sun, of the brain. It is the compass of the mind, the ever-constant Northern Star, the mountain peak that lifts itself above all clouds.

 
To me reason is the final arbiter, and when I say reason, I mean my reason. It may be a very poor light, the flame small and flickering, but, after all, it is the only light I have, and never with my consent shall any preacher blow it out.

 
I admit that reason is a small and feeble flame, a flickering torch by stumblers carried in the starless night, -- blown and flared by passion's storm, -- and yet it is the only light. Extinguish that, and naught remains.

Short Grapic Rule

The Brain

 
The dark continent of motive and desire has never been explored. In the brain, that wondrous world with one inhabitant, there are recesses dim and dark, treacherous sands and dangerous shores, where seeming sirens tempt and fade; streams that rise in unknown lands from hidden springs, strange seas with ebb and flow of tides, resistless billows urged by storms of flame, profound and awful depths hidden by mist of dreams, obscure and phantom realms where vague and fearful things are half revealed, jungles where passion's tigers crouch, and skies of cloud and blue where fancies fly with painted wings that dazzle and mislead; and the poor sovereign of this pictured world is led by old desires and ancient hates, and stained by crimes of many vanished years, and pushed by hands that long ago were dust, until he feels like some bewildered slave that Mockery has throned and crowned.

 
The intellect is not always supreme. It is surrounded by clouds. It sometimes sits in darkness. It is often misled -- sometimes, in superstitious fear, it abdicates. It is not always a white light. The passions and prejudices are prismatic -- they color thoughts. Desires betray the judgment and cunningly mislead the will.

 
The complex, tangled web of thought and dream, of perception and memory, of imagination and judgment, of wish and will and want -- the woven wonder of a life -- has never yet been raveled back to simple threads.

Short Grapic Rule

The Real Bible

 
The real Bible is not the work of inspired men, or prophets, or apostles, or evangelists, or of Christs.

Every man who finds a fact, adds, as it were, a word to this great book. It is not attested by prophecy, by miracles, or signs. It makes no appeal to faith, to ignorance, to credulity or fear. It has no punishment for unbelief, and no reward for hypocrisy. It appeals to man in the name of demonstration. It has nothing to conceal. It has no fear of being read, of being contradicted, of being investigated and understood. It does not pretend to be holy, or sacred; it simply claims to be true. It challenges the scrutiny of all, and implores every reader to verify every line for himself. It is incapable of being blasphemed. This book appeals to all the surroundings of man. Each thing that exists testifies to its perfection. The earth, with its heart of fire and crowns of snow; with its forests and plains, its rocks and seas; with its every wave and cloud; with its every leaf and bud and flower, confirms its every word, and the solemn stars, shining in the infinite abysses, are the eternal witnesses of its truth.

 
For thousands of years men have been writing the real Bible, and it is being written from day to day, and it will never be finished while man has life. All the facts that we know, all the truly recorded events, all the discoveries and inventions, all the wonderful machines whose wheels and levers seem to think, all the poems, crystals from the brain, flowers from the heart, all the songs of love and joy, of smiles and tears, the great dramas of Imagination's world, the wondrous paintings, miracles of form and color, of light and shade, the marvelous marbles that seem to live and breathe, the secrets told by rock and star, by dust and flower, by rain and snow, by frost and flame, by winding stream and desert sand, by mountain range and billowed sea.

All the wisdom that lengthens and ennobles life -- all that avoids or cures disease, or conquers pain -- all just and perfect laws and rules that guide and shape our lives, all thoughts that feed the flames of love, the music that transfigures, enraptures and enthralls, the victories of heart and brain, the miracles that hands have wrought, the deft and cunning hands of those who worked for wife and child, the histories of noble deeds, of brave and useful men, of faithful loving wives, of quenchless mother-love, of conflicts for the right, of sufferings for the truth, of all the best that all the men and women of the world have said and thought and done through all the years.

These treasures of the heart and brain -- these are the Sacred Scriptures of the human race.

Short Grapic Rule

Science

 
Science denies the truth of myth and miracle, denies that human testimony can substantiate the miraculous, denies the existence of the supernatural. Science asserts the absolute, the unvarying uniformity of nature. Science insists that the present is the child of all the past, -- that no power can change the past, and that nature is forever the same.

 
Science is the providence of man, the worker of true miracles, of real wonders. Science has "read a little in Nature's infinite book of secrecy." Science knows the circuits of the winds, the courses of the stars. Fire is his servant, and lightning his messenger. Science freed the slaves and gave liberty to their masters. Science taught man to enchain, not his fellows, but the forces of nature, forces that have no backs to be scarred, no limbs for chains to chill and eat, forces that have no hearts to break, forces that never know fatigue, forces that shed no tears. Science is the great physician. His touch has given sight. He has made the lame to leap, the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, and in the pallid face his hand has set the rose of health. Science has given his beloved sleep and wrapped in happy dreams the throbbing nerves of pain. Science is the destroyer of disease, builder of happy homes, the preserver of life and love. Science is the teacher of every virtue, the enemy of every vice. Science has given the true basis of morals, the origin and office of conscience, revealed the nature of obligation, of duty, of virtue in its highest, noblest forms, and has demonstrated that true happiness is the only possible good. Science has slain the monsters of superstition, and destroyed the authority of inspired books. Science has read the records of the rocks, records that priestcraft cannot change, and on his wondrous scales has weighed the atom and the star.

All has been accomplished by the heroic few. The men of science have explored heaven and earth, and with infinite patience have furnished the facts. The brave thinkers have used them. The gloomy caverns of superstition have been transformed into temples of thought, and the demons of the past are the angels of to-day.

Science took a handful of sand, constructed a telescope, and with it explored the starry depths of heaven. Science wrested from the gods their thunderbolts; and now, the electric spark, freighted with thought and love, flashes under all the waves of the sea. Science took a tear from the cheek of unpaid labor, converted it into steam, created a giant that turns with tireless arm, the countless wheels of toil.

 
Science at last holds with honest hand the scales wherein are weighed the facts and fictions of the world. Science neither kneels nor prays, science stands erect and thinks. Her tongue is not a traitor to her brain. Her thought and speech agree.

 
Pure science is necessarily godless. It is incapable of worship.

 
There is no harmony between religion and science. When science was a child, religion sought to strangle it in the cradle.

 
Reason, Observation and Experience -- the Holy Trinity of Science -- have taught us that happiness is the only good; that the time to be happy is now, and the way to be happy is to make others so. This is enough for us. In this belief we are content to live and die. If by any possibility the existence of a power superior to, and independent of, nature shall be demonstrated, there will then be time enough to kneel. Until then, let us stand erect.

Short Grapic Rule

Ingersoll's Vow

 
When I became convinced that the Universe is natural -- that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts, and bars, and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf or a slave. There was for me no master in all the wide world -- not even in infinite space. I was free -- free to think, to express my thoughts -- free to live to my own ideal -- free to live for myself and those I loved -- free to use all my faculties, all my senses -- free to spread imagination's wings -- free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope -- free to judge and determine for myself -- free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the "inspired" books that savages have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past -- free from popes and priests -- free from all the "called" and "set apart" -- free from sanctified mistakes and holy lies -- free from the fear of eternal pain -- free from the winged monsters of the night -- free from devils, ghosts and gods. For the first time I was free. There were no prohibited places in all the realms of thought -- no air, no space, where fancy could not spread her painted wings -- no chains for my limbs -- no lashes for my back -- no fires for my flesh -- no master's frown or threat -- no following another's steps -- no need to bow, to cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words. I was free. I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously, faced all worlds.

And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness, and went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers who gave their lives for the liberty of hand and brain -- for the freedom of labor and thought -- to those who fell on the fierce fields of war, to those who died in dungeons bound with chains -- to those who proudly mounted scaffold's stairs -- to those whose bones were crushed, whose flesh was scarred and torn -- to those by fire consumed -- to all the wise, the good, the brave of every land, whose thoughts and deeds have given freedom to the sons of men. And then I vowed to grasp the torch that they had held, and hold it high, that light might conquer darkness still.

Short Grapic Rule

Some Miscellaneous Gems

Some Miscellaneous Gems

 
Happiness is the only good; reason the only torch; justice the only worship; humanity the only religion; and love the only priest. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to help make others so.

 
I belong to the great church that holds the world within its starlit aisles; that claims the great and good of every race and clime; that finds with joy the grain of gold in every creed, and floods with light and love the germs of good in every soul.

 
I combat those only who, knowing nothing of the future, prophesy an eternity of pain -- those only who sow the seeds of fear in the hearts of men -- those only who poison all the springs of life, and seat a skeleton at every feast.

 
Argument cannot be answered with insult.

 
Kindness is strength.

 
Good-nature is often mistaken for virtue, and good health sometimes passes for genius.

 
Anger blows out the lamp of the mind.

 
In the examination of a great and important question, every one should be serene, slow-pulsed, and calm.

 
Intelligence is not the foundation of arrogance.

 
Insolence is not logic.

 
Epithets are the arguments of malice.

 
Candor is the courage of the soul.

 
The hands that help are better than lips that pray.

 
Good deeds are never childless. A noble life is never lost. A virtuous action does not die.

 
I would rather live and love where death is king than have eternal life where love is not.

 
Let us banish the shriveled hags of superstition; let us welcome the beautiful daughters of truth and joy.

 
He who commends the brutalities of the past, sows the seeds of future crimes.

 
Of all passions that can take the possession of the heart or brain jealousy is the worst. For many generations the chemists sought for the secret by which all metals could be changed to gold, and through which the basest could become the best. Jealousy seeks exactly the opposite. It endeavors to transmute the very gold of love into the dross of shame and crime.

 
The destroyer of weeds, thistles and thorns is a benefactor, whether he soweth grain or not.

 
Justice should remove the bandage from her eyes long enough to distinguish between the vicious and the unfortunate.

 
The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.

 
Nothing is grander than to break the chains from the bodies of man -- nothing nobler than to destroy the phantoms of the soul.

 
It is not necessary to be rich or to be great, or to be powerful, to be happy. The happy man is the successful man.

Happiness is the legal tender of the soul.

Joy is wealth.

 
An honest God is the Noblest Work of Man.

 
A lie will not fit a fact.

 
An objection remains young until it has been answered.

 
He who endeavors to control the mind by force is a tyrant, and he who submits is a slave.

 
Sincerity is the true and perfect mirror of the mind.

 
The greatest possible charity is the greatest possible justice.

 
We must remember that revenge is always in haste, and that justice can always afford to wait until the evidence is actually heard.

 
Vice lives either before Love is born, or after Love is dead.

 
Intellectual freedom is only the right to be honest.

 
I believe that finally man will go through the phase of religion before birth.

 
When shrill chanticleer pierces the dull ear of morn.

 
Orthodoxy is the refuge of mediocrity.

 
The ocean is the womb of all that will be, the tomb of all that has been.

 
Jealousy never knows the value of a fact.

 
Envy cannot reason, malice cannot prophesy.

 
Love has a kind of second sight.

 
I have never given to any one a sketch of my life. According to my idea a life should not be written until it has been lived.

 
A brazen falsehood and a timid truth are the parents of compromise.

 
Gratitude is the fairest flower that sheds its perfume in the heart.

 
He who enslaves another cannot be free.

 
He who attacks the right, assaults himself.

 
When the will defies fear, when the heart applauds the brain, when duty throws the gauntlet down to fate, when honor scorns to compromise with death, -- this is heroism.

 
The bravest men are those who have the greatest fear of doing wrong.

 
Courage without a conscience is a wild beast.

 
What is morality? It is the best thing to do under the circumstances.

 
A crime against God is a demonstrated impossibility.

 
I would rather look at the Venus de Milo than to read the Presbyterian creed.

 
A man cannot cheat himself in a game of solitaire and really believe that he has won the game.

 
Orthodoxy cannot afford to put out the fires of hell.

 
How the snake of superstition writhes when he finds that his fangs have lost their poison!

 
Will honest men stop taking off their hats to successful fraud?

 
As lonely as a dollar in a poor man's pocket.

 
It is incredible that only idiots are absolutely sure of salvation.

 
The love of parents and the reverence for ancestors have unconsciously bribed the reason and put out, or rendered exceedingly dim, the eyes of the mind.

 
If we should put God in the Constitution there would be no room left for man.

 
Of course, every man in jail is in favor of liberty, as a prejudice, -- but it takes a far grander man who is not in jail, to fight and suffer for a man who is.

 
He knew no fear except the fear of doing wrong.

 
Neither the diseases nor the deformities of the mind or body should be perpetuated. Life at the fountain should not be polluted.

 
Every pulpit is a pillory, in which stands a hired culprit, defending the justice of his own imprisonment.

 
If priests had not been fond of mutton, lambs never would have been sacrificed to God. Nothing was ever carried to the temple that the priest could not use, and it always happened that God wanted what his agents liked.

As Long as people want popes, plenty of hypocrites will be found to take the place.

 
If the people were a little more ignorant, astrology would flourish -- if a little more enlightened, religion would perish!

 
It is easy to get yourself into difficulty, but not to get out.

 
It is no more wonderful that people live in families, tribes, communities and nations, than that birds, ants and bees live in flocks and swarms.

 
Religion is like a palm tree -- it grows at the top. The dead leaves are all orthodox, while the new ones and the buds are all heretics.

 
Memory is the miser of the mind; forgetfulness the spendthrift.

 
The cares of the next world sustain the same relation to churches that those in this world sustain to insurance companies.

 
Whoever fights for the right, or whoever fights for what he believes to be right, does not demoralize himself.

 
It is a fault common to all good men -- except the clergy, of course -- this habit of attacking motives. And whenever we see a man do something which is great and praiseworthy, let us talk about the act itself and not go into a speculation or an attack upon the motive which prompted the act. Attack what a man actually does.

 
Now and then there arises a man who on peril's edge draws from the scabbard of despair the sword of victory.

 
The falling leaf that tells of autumn's death is, in a subtler sense, a prophecy of spring.

Graphic Rule

Declaration of the Free

 

Graphic Rule