A model speech.
A captain in an Iowa regiment having been informed that his company had subscribed a handsome sum for the purpose of purchasing and presenting him with an elegant sash and sword, called his men together and delivered himself of the following model speech: “Boys, if you have any money to spare, send it home to your families if they need it; if not, keep it until you need it yourselves.
I will buy my own sword.
Should you do it, and should it come to disgrace in these hands, you could but regret the gift; or should I accept it from you, and some day find it my imperative duty to kick some one of the donors out of this company, it might be unpleasant to think that I was under obligations to that person as a contributor to the elegant sword fund.
For these reasons I must firmly and kindly decline the favor which your loyal hearts prompt you to bestow.
Wait until the war is over; wait until the tide of battle shall have been stayed — till the raging billows of this cursed rebellion shall have been rolled back; wait until I have proved myself worthy to receive so noble a gift — until you have shown yourselves, by deeds of daring and feats of bravery worthy to bestow it upon me; then, perchance, I may be happy to accept at your hands some lasting testimonial of your confidence and esteem.
Till then wait.”