This file has been made available by the Bank of Wisdom.
Robert Green Ingersoll
A TRIBUTE TO THOMAS CORWIN. Lebanon, Ohio, March 5, 1899. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Being for the first time where Thomas Corwin lived and where his ashes rest, I cannot refrain from saying something of what I feel. Thomas Corwin was a natural orator -- armed with the sword of attack and the shield of defence. Nature filled his quiver with perfect arrows. He was the lord of logic and laughter. He had the presence, the pose, the voice, the face that mirrored thoughts, the unconscious gesture of the orator. He had intelligence -- a wide horizon -- logic as unerring as mathematics -- humor as rich as autumn when the boughs and vines bend with the weight of ripened fruit, while the forests flame with scarlet, brown and gold. He had wit as quick and sharp as lightning, and like the lightning it filled the heavens with sudden light. In his laughter there was logic, in his wit wisdom, and in his humor philosophy and philanthropy. He was a supreme artist. He painted pictures with words. He knew the strength, the velocity of verbs, the color, the light and shade of adjectives. Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 2 A TRIBUTE TO THOMAS CORWIN. He was a sculptor in speech -- changing stones to statues. He had in his heart the sacred something that we call sympathy. He pitied the unfortunate, the oppressed and the outcast, His words were often wet with tears -- tears that in a moment after were glorified by the light of smiles. All moods were his. He knew the heart, its tides and currents, its calms and storms, and like a skillful pilot he sailed emotion's troubled sea. He was neither solemn nor dignified, because he was neither stupid nor egotistic. He was natural, and had the spontaneity of winds and waves. He was the greatest orator of his time, the grandest that ever stood beneath our flag. Reverently I lay this leaf upon his grave.
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