marked honor to Labor, and especially to those who by invention or discovery contribute to shorten the processes and increase the efficiency of Industry. It is but natural, therefore, that this grand conception of a comparison of the state of Industry in all Nations; by means of a World's Exhibition, should there have been received and canvassed with a lively and general interest,—an interest which is not measured by the extent of our contributions. Ours is still one of the youngest of Nations, with few large accumulations of the fruits of manufacturing activity or artistic skill, and these so generally needed for use that we were not likely to send them three thousand miles away, merely for show. It is none the less certain that the progress of this great Exhibition, from its original conception to that perfect realization which we here commemorate, has been watched and discussed not more earnestly throughout the saloons of Europe, than by the smith's forge and the mechanic's bench in America. Especially the hopes and fears alternately predominant on this side with respect to the edifice required for the Exhibition—the doubts as to the practicability of erecting one sufficiently capacious and commodious to contain and display the contributions of the whole world—the apprehension that it could not be rendered impervious to water—the confident assertions that it could not be completed in season for opening the Exhibition on the first of May as promised—all found an echo on our shores; and now the tidings that all these doubts have been dispelled, these difficulties removed, will have been hailed there with unmingled satisfaction. I trust, gentlemen, that among the ultimate fruits of this Exhibition we are to reckon a wider and deeper appreciation of the worth of Labor, and especially of those “ Captains of Industry” by whose conceptions and achievements our Race is so rapidly borne onward in its progress to a loftier and more benignant destiny. We shall not be likely to appreciate less fully the merits of the wise Statesmen, by whose measures a People's thrift and happiness are promoted—of the brave Soldier, who joyfully pours out his blood in defense of the rights or in vindication of the honor of his Country—of the Sacred Teacher, by whose precepts and example our steps are guided in the pathway to heaven—if we render fit honor also to those “ Captains of Industry” whose tearless victories redden no river and whose conquering march is unmarked by the tears of the widow and the cries of the orphan. I give you, therefore, The Health of Joseph Paxton, Esq., Designer of the Crystal Palace— Honor to him whose genius does honor to Industry and to Man!This speech was not published in the newspaper report of the banquet, nor was the name of the speaker even mentioned. The omission gave him an opportunity to retort upon the London Times its assertion, that with the English press, “fidelity in reporting is a religion.” The speech was written out by Mr. Greeley himself, and
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.