Mr. Rosewater's New Speech

The Republican State Journal ridicules rival Republican editor Edward Rosewater, who was giving speeches around Nebraska in a campaign to eliminate railroad influence in politics and prevent the election of Tom Majors as governor. The State Journal depicts Rosewater as a self-centered buffoon.


I am the mote in the sunbeam, and I am the burning sun. —Arnold

It is announced in Beatrice that some time before the campaign is over the city will be visited by Mr. E. Rosewater, who will make a speech, even as he did at Fremont and at Lincoln; the greatest excitement therefore prevails, and the citizens are doing their best to fortify themselves for the ordeal. Through the courtesy of a gentleman who works in the Bee office when he is not acting as bottle holder at prize fights, or as umpire at quilting bees, we have been able to secure a synopsis of the speech Mr. Rosewater will make at the third city; it is a new speech, never having been delivered; and it is far ahead of anything that the orator has yet offered. Following is the synopsis:

"Ladies and Gentleman: I am frequently obliged to lie awake at nights wondering how this poor, helpless universe managed to shuffle along before I appeared; it deserves credit for having done as well as it did, but until my arrival everything was without form and void. This is admitted by all. When I was in Washington the president called me into this private room and embraced me and said: 'Mr. Rosewater, if you were not here, as a pillar and bulwark to the republic, it would go down into chaos.' I give his words without change. His predecessor, Mr. Harrison, while in office visited me at my hotel in Washington and said: 'Mr. Rosewater, you are the goldarndest feller in the world. How in shucks did the country struggle along before you were born?' I have here a letter from Queen Victoria in which she says that I am the only man who could possibly console here for the loss of her lamented husband. The people here really do not appreciate me; it is not their fault, however; it takes centuries of culture and education to bring the human mind to a proper appreciation of such magnificent qualities as I possess.

"I will be better appreciated five hundred years from now than I am at present. Then my name will be revered, and pious people will have sacred images of me placed at their bedside for devotional purposes and to sooth their minds. Tom Majors is a janizary. You cannot afford to vote for him.

"As I said, I often lie awake wondering what manner of existence the tired old universe had before I came to make paths straight; and now and then an awful thought comes to me and nearly takes my breath away. What will become of the universe when I am gone! Picture it, think of it. Imagine this dizzy would circulating around the sun in an aimless way, disheartened by the knowledge that Rosewater is no longer at the helm to guide it through space and keep its axis greased. O, my friends, if I could live forever I would cheerfully do it to oblige you, but even Rosey must die; therefore, if for no other reason, vote for Holcomb. If you don't I'll haunt you after I am dead.

"Sometimes I look in the glass and contemplate myself and say to myself: Can it be possible that I am no more than human? Can it, be that one so God-like, one who has achieved so much, one who combines in himself all the qualities of a hundred Alexanders, Caesars and Napoleons—can it be, I ask myself, that such a being is mortal, like other men? I feel my shoulders, half expecting that wings are growing there; but no—I am mortal. I have lungs, ears and hair like other men; yet how inferior do other men seem when compared to me! How utterly insignificant! How puny! How grotesque! Could I advance any better reason why Majors should be defeated?

"I was a true friend to Richards; my devotion to his cause astonished even me. But it has been my self-sacrificing generosity that has always kept me poor. Of all friends I am the staunchest and most uncompromising; whoever puts his trust in me will find in me a rod and staff, a never-failing comfort; I am the Balm of Gilead; I am the widow's solace; I am the support of the orphan; I am the Light that does not fail. I am the hope of the hopeless, the stay of the stayless; I am the cup that cheers but not inebriates. I am all wool and a yard wide and no family can afford to be without me. Now is the time to subscribe. I have proved that I was the warmest friend Richards had; those who say to the contrary are hirelings, strikers, cormorants, B. & M. henchmen and vampires. Can any man with self respect and proper love for the state vote for Majors, after the arguments I have advanced!

"Ladies and gentlemen, I am nearly done; in conclusion I would like to pay a tribute to a great and gloriously good man. In times like these, when there is so much vampirism extant, it is good to contemplate the man I have in mind; of noble and commanding appearance, his very presence is an inspiration to all thoughtful men; he is a compendium of all the higher virtues, an ornament to society and a credit to our republican institutions. In him you have one you may name your children after; his picture should be on every mantelpiece; his memory should be enshrined in every heart. His name is E. Rosewater, and he has the honor of requesting you to refrain from voting for Majors this fall."

Note—Here and there throughout the manuscript such words as "cheers," "tumultuous applause," "loud and prolonged laughter," were marked in, but they have been omitted, as they would have strung the article out to three columns, and space in THE SUNDAY JOURNAL is valuable.


We shall linger to caress him.
While we breathe our evening prayer.
—Jerome Shamp.

For a week past is has been impossible to pick up a western paper without seeing a picture of W. J. Bryan, the gorgeous orator who is willing to represent the state in the senate to the sacrifice of his own interests. Some of the pictures have looked like Mr. Bryan, some like Mrs. Bittenbender, and some like the gentleman who was cured of a scrofulous disease by the use of three hundred bottles of Dr. Screwdriver's triple extract of hocus pocus. THE SUNDAY JOURNAL selects the best and most lifelike of these pictures and it is presented herewith. Note the bulging brow; note the eagle eye, that seems to command and entreat at one and the same time; note all the lineaments of this [super] countenance for the picture will no appear again. Neither will the owner appear again, in an official capacity at Washington. Mr. Bryan is beyond question the most glittering man ever evolved by Nebraska. His fame reaches from the turbulent Platte to the roaring Kickapoo and back again; it fills the valleys and encircles the mountain tops: it is in the air we breathe; we taste it in our victuals; it is more permeating than the scent of friend onions and more lasting than India rubber. And then there is so much of it.

Brutus was a fairly good orator, for a cross roads speaker, he got off some good things in his speech to the Romans, over the remains of Colonel Caesar, but the superiority of Mr. Bryan over Mr. Brutus is marked and may be accepted as an evidence of the progress of the race.

Mr. Bryan was very useful man in congress: while others fooled away time working, he was up and talking: while republican representatives were wasting their talents trying to do something for the good of their state and country, Mr. Bryan was shooting off a meteoric shower of rounded periods, and things of that kind. The salvation of this country depends upon the staying qualities of its talkers, and so we feel comparatively secure while Mr. Bryan shall survive.

If we can only manage to send him to the senate, we may bank upon a glorious future; but there is some fear that he will be defeated when the legislature meets. The fact is that there are some sordid and gross people who do not appreciate the manifold beauties of talk; when they want a senator, they ask for a his views upon finances, the tariff, and other questions; just as though a man's views made any difference, so that he can talk; these same sordid and obstinate individuals also look up a man's record, before siding him, and if he has done nothing but talk, they are likely to go back on him. There is not a [particle] of poetry in their natures; they have no appreciation of the finer qualities and attributes; they look at everything with the stern eyes of critics and judges, instead of acting like poets and lunatics as they should, and some of them even go so far as to say that there are better and more substantial things than talk, no matter how flowery the talk may be. Should Mr. Bryan be defeated, as he certainly will, more's the pity; it will be by some dumb, driven cattle as those described.

Then will the rainbow tints of the palace of talk become dim and obscure; then will the streaming banners on the same palace flap idly, for the voice of the talker will not be there to wave them; and the talker himself will lock himself in his dusty law office and study his ancient tomes, trying to gain enough legal knowledge to fit himself for the position of constable.

About this Document

  • Source: Nebraska State Journal
  • Citation: 13
  • Date: October 7, 1894