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Robert Green Ingersoll
A TRIBUTE TO LAWRENCE BARRETT. At the Broadway Theater, New York, March 22, 1891. MY heart tells me that on the threshold of my address it will be appropriate for me to say a few words about the great actor who has just fallen into that sleep that we call death. Lawrence Barrett was my friend, and I was his. He was an interpreter of Shakespeare, to whose creations he gave flesh and blood. He began at the foundation of his profession, and rose until he stood next to his friend -- next to one who is regarded as the greatest tragedian of our time -- next to Edwin Booth. Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 4 A TRIBUTE TO LAWRENCE BARRETT. The life of Lawrence Barrett was a success, because he honored himself and added glory to the stage. He did not seek for gain by pandering to the thoughtless, ignorant or base. He gave the drama in its highest and most serious form. He shunned the questionable, the vulgar and unpure, and gave the intellectual, the pathetic, the manly and the tragic. He did not stoop to conquer -- he soared. He was fitted for the stage. He had a thoughtful face, a vibrant voice and the pose of chivalry. and besides he had patience, industry, courage and the genius of success. He was a graceful and striking Bassanio, a thoughtful Hamlet, an intense Othello, a marvelous Harebell, and the best Cassius of his century. In the drama of human life, all are actors, and no one knows his part. In this great play the scenes are shifted by unknown forces, and the commencement, plot and end are still unknown -- are still unguessed. One by one the players leave the stage, and others take their places. There is no pause -- the play goes on. No prompter's voice is heard, and no one has the slightest clue to what the next scene is to be. Will this great drama have an end? Will the curtain fall at last? Will it rise again upon some other stage? Reason says perhaps, and Hope still whispers yes. Sadly I bid my friend farewell, I admired the actor. and I loved the man.
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