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Conkling And Ingersoll

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The two great orators of' the campaign who seem to be exciting the most attuntion are (Jonkliog and Ingersoll, diiferent in uiany respects aud yet equally capablo of ronuog au audii-mv to an alinost boundless pitch ot' enthusiasui. Conkling is dignified, ponderous, stately, weighing every senteDce, choosing with peculiar f'elicity tbo Lest wurd to express bis ineauing, and putting it down where it counts and is m-ver lost or wasted. He begins slowly and impressively, hushing every bound by that dignity which dwells in bis bearing, and by tliat indescribable repose aud conscious power wbich rivet the attention of his listenera. Tlioy hcar liiui with breathless attention, enjoying the suspended periods, holding the breath Tor the symmetrical close of his reuiarkable sentences, and finally, like old Cominus, thanking the gods that " Our Rome hath such a soldier." Unlike all this is the oratory of Ingeríoll. Conkling's audiences, while respectful and alniost paiufully attentive, wait to bearoused to enthusiasm. Ingersotl's are enthuaiastic from the start. Cookling's hearers are thoughtful, but seerningly uncertain as to whetber they are to like the speaker or not. Ingersoll's are confident and eager trom the time they see his name upon the bilis and mingle in the crush at the duors, up to the last sentence which slides from his tongue as he closes his remarkable pictures of politics. The men, even the boys, are at home with Ingersoll. " Uive it to 'em, Bob," is alïnost as familiar to the car as the cheers which greet his inimitable sallies. No one would thinkof crying " Give itto 'em, lloscoe," and yet the tremcndous wave of entbuslasm lUat owccpa OTcr Mr. Conkling's audiences at times lias hardly a parallel, even in the gatherings that sit under the magie eloquence of Ingersoll. Conkling approaches his subject slowly but contidently, like the measured tread of a great army that knows its march canpot be impeded. Ingersoll dives into his like a cavalryman leading a charge. One is the Grant, the other the Sheridan, of politics. Conkling never or rarely condescends to lightness of speech, or employs a conversa tional style in pursuing his subjeet. Iugcrsoll constantly doea this, and growa magnificent only when he loses hituself in the grandeur of nis theuie. But, with all these points of dissimilarity, these men resemble each other in ome respects more closely than any two speakers on the stump. They are the authors of 8ome of the Snest sentences in the English languagc. Both are in one eense poets, and both delight in metaphors and expressions " graced with all the power of wurds." Conkling seems most familiar with books, and makes free use of the epigrams of others, while Ingersoll's ideas bubble from him like a rivulet from a mountain spring, and are rarely borrowed. It was Conkling's keenfaculty for retainiüg what he has heard or read which enaUed him to remember the words of Tom Ewiny and deaorihe the socalled accidental refusal of Coogresa to jprovide appropriations for the army in a;jar of congressional elections as a " fbrivütou aombination of unforseen contingences." It was the native originality of Ingersoll which brought from him the expression at Rockford that Qarfield, rising from poverty to his present station, is a certifícate of the splendid form of our goyernmeot, and that he makes " hope the tailorof every ragged boy." Conkling, however, is also rich in original expressions that merit preservation, au when he said at Warren that " Lincoln was one of those who darken nalions when they die," or at Cleveland, when he describe the democratie party as having had a " f tal f'elicity in preposterous prophecies." Conkling is often satirioal, and wielj this weapoD, of which he is a consummate master, with terrible effect, both on th stump and in the senate. Ingersoll rarelj indulges in satire, but employs ridicule with wonderful force, and shames the mn whom Conkling wounds or vanquishes. Both are ponderous at timea, and both oflen riso to that sublimity in oratory tbat enchains the ear and steels men's hearts against oppression ; but Ingersoll's audiences grow stronger in their detestation of the wrongs he pictures than Conkling's. The latter convinces the reason, rouses the pride, invigorates or inspires the patriotism of his hearers ; but Ingersoll, by a wondrous touch of feeling, créales a resentment in the niinds of his listeners against the iniquity he describes which not unfrequently amounts to almost a frenzy of hatred. This is not so stFongly marked in his speeches of the present year as heretofore, but it juts out with terrible force even now. At Rockford the other day he ran over the iniquitios of democracy, saying tbat every man who favored human slavery I every man who bolieved that a lash upon the back was legal tender tor labor performed ; every wan who starved our soldiere, etc, was a democrat : and wound up a long array with the following1: Every man who wept over the corpue of slavery every man who was sorry when the chaina feil from four mllllons of people; every man who regretted to ste the sbackles drop fiora men, and women, and clilldren, every one was a democrat. Evory man who fed our men taken prlsouers wlth a cruHt that the worms had ealen before was a Democrat ; every man who shot down our men when they happeued to step au inch beyond the dead line, every one waa a demoorat; and wiien ome poor, ernaciated Union patriot, drlven to lnsanity by famlnc, aw ut home in hla innocent dreams the faco of hls mother, and she seemed to beckon him to come to her, and he, following that dream, stepped oue Inch beyond the dead line, the wretch who put a bullet through hls UrroSblBg, loving heart was a Democrat. And Ingersoll addod, with a seeming burst of indignant feeliog, iuspired by his owu picture : " Andersonville and Libby are the mighty, mighty wings that will bear tho memory of the Confederacy to eternal infamy." There is no talking against 6uch a torrent of invective as that. Both Conkling and iDgersoll are fond of humorous allusions, but Conkling is far more grim than Ingersoll ; his humor cuts while it amuses, and is dressed in a witty much oftener tuan in a droll garb. He is never humorous eithor for the mere sako of the humor, but every spear of wit has its point of fact. At Cleveland he said: But for one I am opposed to the Idea that a people representing Dut 15 per cent. of the A ni. i l.iiii people, but 7 per oeut. of the wealth of the country, should Helze tho sword of polltlcal control, the lilltof which Is In their hundí and the bladu ol which encl reien the RunublU' I am willlng thcy should have with the Kast, North, and West a fair and eciual share; but, if I am not sectlonal, I thonld sny I nee no reason wliy the meu who dreuched the land In blcod iuoold !¦ the McGregors of the nutlonal laiutly, and that the head of the table should be reserved for the South. That Is too much of a verilon of klll the prodlgal. The calí has come home. Ingersoll is often droll just for the fun of it, and enjeys a clever thing whether it advancus hisai'fument or not. So far as graee and finish of manner are eonoerned, ConklinK is much the superior of UgefaotL The latter often ioins in the laugh at his owu sallies. Conkling silencei ai])lause by a niajestic wave of the hanc more potent than an appeal. Ingersoll's -inunces aro short, nervous, souietimes abrupt, and lacking in rhetorical finish. Conkling's are longer, compjete in every part, and seem to say precisely what Is needed, and no more. And his speeches aro just as nyminetricM when dolivcriM without preparation as whcn they aro carcf'ully prcpared - we were about to say, more so ; at least thuy seeui to be nmro effeolive. His speech at New York was au effort prepared witli great care ; bis speech at Warren, as we happen to know, as well as that at Cleveland, was complelely unstudied, and wan made upon tbc inspiration of the moiuoot. Ilerein lies much of his great power, the rich resources of bis mind and his wonderful ruastery of languae. enabling hiiu to draw trom :ui ulmost inexhauHtiblo treasury of facts and iucidents at will. Ingersoll cannot do this, and his greatest speeches are those wliich he studies most carefully. The possession of two such orators is an honor to the country, and that the Republicao party can claim both of them is only anotber proof that it absorbs all that is wisest and best in the nation.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News