[Robert's eulogy at his brother, Ebon C. Ingersoll's grave. Even the great orator Robert Ingersoll was choked up with tears at the memory of his beloved brother]
The record of a generous life runs like a vine around the memory of our dead, and every sweet, unselfish act is now a perfumed flower.
Dear Friends: I am going to do that which the dead oft promised he would do for me.
The loved and loving brother, husband, father, friend, died where manhood's morning almost touches noon, and while the shadows still were falling toward the west.
He had not passed on life's highway the stone that marks the highest point; but, being weary for a moment, he lay down by the wayside, and, using his burden for a pillow, fell into that dreamless sleep that kisses down his eyelids still. While yet in love with life and raptured with the world, he passed to silence and pathetic dust.
Yet, after all, it may be best, just in the happiest, sunniest hour of all the voyage, while eager winds are kissing every sail, to dash against the unseen rock, and in an instant hear the billows roar above a sunken ship. For whether in mid sea or 'mong the breakers of the farther shore, a wreck at last must mark the end of each and all. And every life, no matter if its every hour is rich with love and every moment jeweled with a joy, will, at its close, become a tragedy as sad and deep and dark as can be woven of the warp and woof of mystery and death.
This brave and tender man in every storm of life was oak and rock; but in the sunshine he was vine and flower. He was the friend of all heroic souls. He climbed the heights, and left all superstitions far below, while on his forehead fell the golden dawning, of the grander day.
He loved the beautiful, and was with color, form, and music touched to tears. He sided with the weak, the poor, and wronged, and lovingly gave alms. With loyal heart and with the purest hands he faithfully discharged all public trusts.
He was a worshipper of liberty, a friend of the oppressed. A thousand times I have heard him quote these words: 'For Justice all place a temple, and all season, summer!' He believed that happiness was the only good, reason the only torch, justice the only worship, humanity the only religion, and love the only priest. He added to the sum of human joy; and were every one to whom he did some loving service to bring a blossom to his grave, he would sleep to-night beneath a wilderness of flowers.
Life is a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities. We strive in vain to look beyond the heights. We cry aloud, and the only answer is the echo of our wailing cry. From the voiceless lips of the unreplying dead there comes no word; but in the night of death hope sees a star and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing.
He who sleeps here, when dying, mistaking the approach of death for the return of health, whispered with his latest breath, 'I am better now.' Let us believe, in spite of doubts and dogmas, of fears and tears, that these dear words are true of all the countless dead.
And now, to you, who have been chosen, from among the many men he loved, to do the last sad office for the dead, we give his sacred dust.
Speech cannot contain our love. There was, there is, no gentler, stronger, manlier man.
Usually, the murmur that rises up from Paris by day is the city talking; in the night it is the city breathing; but here it is the city singing. Listen, then, to this chorus of bell-towers - diffuse over the whole the murmur of half a million people - the eternal lament of the river - the endless sighing of the wind - the grave and distant quartet of the four forests placed upon the hills, in the distance, like immense organpipes - extinguish to a half light all in the central chime that would otherwise be too harsh or too shrill; and then say whetehr you know of anything in the world more rich, more joyous, more golden, more dazzling, than this tumult of bells and chimes - this furnace of music - these thousands of brazen voices, all singing together in flutes of stone three hundred feet high, than this city which is but one orchestra - this symphony which roars like a tempest.
Darker and darker, he said; farther and farther yet. Death takes the good, the beautiful, and the young - and spares me. The Pestilence that wastes, the Arrow that strikes, the Sea that drowns, the Grave the closes over Love and Hope, are steps of my journey, and take me nearer and nearer to the End.
Let go of all expectations, and you shall never be disappointed. I find that rather disappointing to never be disappointed is very expected. Therefore let's only let go of those expectations we know will disappoint us and let's expect to be disappointed sometimes. Life is beautiful that way.
She wanted to get some personal profit out of things, and she rejected as useless all that did not contribute to the immediate desires of her heart, being of a temperament more sentimental than artistic, looking for emotions, not landscapes.
Mum bought me �kite for my sixth birthday. It was beautiful. Snowy white with � long tail of ribbons. She
held the string, and I� ran and ran as fast as I �could, but it kept dropping to� clumsy heap on the ground. When� I got
tired Mum took over, holding it high above her head and
running and running until, all at once, �sudden wonderful gust of wind took the kite soaring high, high into the sky, so� I had to squint to see it.
“Hold on, Rosie!” Mum had called. “Hold tight!”
And �I did, gripping the string with all my might as the kite danced high up above, gleaming bright white
against the blue sky, its ribbons sparkling in the sunlight as it flew, soaring and dipping like �bird, forever pulling at the string in my hand —higher, higher — tugging to get
Then� I let go.The string snapped from my grip and was gone.
Mum raced after it,but it was too fast,soaring up,up and away, higher than the trees. She scooped me up in �hug and told me it was all right, she'd buy me another one. But� I didn't want another one. That was my kite,and
it was free. I’d let it go.It’d wanted so much to be free that I just couldn't hold on, couldn’t hold it down.� I smiled as I� watched it whirl away — above the trees, above the birds, above the clouds, sparkling into the heavens, dancing free.
It was the most beautiful thing I �have ever seen.