ore efficient means of expression. The cause that was sacred to me was assailed. My very life and honor were on trial. Falsehood and calumny played their part. I was denounced and vilified. Everything was at stake. I simply had to speak and make the people understand, and that is how I got my training in oratory, and all the secret there is in whatever power of expression I may have.
In reading the history of slavery I studied the character of John Brown and he became my hero. I read the speeches of Wendell Phillips and was profoundly stirred by his marvelous powers. Once I heard him and was enthralled by his indescribable eloquence. He was far advanced in years, but I could see in his commanding presence and mellow and subdued tones how he must have blazed and flashed in the meridian of his powers.
At about the same time I first heard Robert G. Ingersoll. He was in my opinion the perfect master of the art of human speech. He combined all the graces, gifts and powers of expression, and stood upo
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