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MR. DESCHAMPS, Vice-President of the Municipal Council of Paris. MR. CHARLES Bigot, Delegate of the Press Syndicate.
MR. LÉON ROBERT, Chief of the Cabinet of the Minister of Public Instruction.
CoL. BUREAUX DE Pusy, second in command of the Polytechnic School.
Col. LAUSSEDAT, Director of the School of Arts and Trades.
LIEUT. VILLEGENTE, French Navy, Aide-de-camp of the Minister of the Navy.
MR. LÉON MEUNIER, Corresponding Member of the FrancoAmerican Union.
MR. AUGUSTE BARTHOLDI.
MR. AUGUSTE CAUBERT, MR. GEORGES A. GLAENZER, MR. HECTOR DE CASTRO, Members of the Franco-American Union.
MR. ALBERT THOMEGEUX, representing “La France."
MR. M. TRUY, French Consul, Delegate representing ConsulateGeneral.
MR. ALEXANDER DAUSSEING, Vice-Consul.
The other guests were as follows :
Mr. WILLIAM ALLEN BUTLER.
Mr. ParkE GODWIN. Hon. Levi P. MORTON.
Mr. HORACE WHITE, Hon. GEORGE WILLIAM Curtis. Mr. C. R. MILLER. Hon. S. S. Cox.
Mr. H. P. SAMPERS. Com. BANCROFT GHERARDI, Mr. J. M. BUNDY. U.S. N.
Mr. HENRY F. SPAULDING. Hon. CHAUNCEY M. DEPEW. Mr. Richard M. Hunt. Hon. Joseph PULITZER.
Mr. RICHARD BUTLER. Hon. STEWART L. WOODFORD. Mr. John B. BOUTON. Mr. FREDERIC R. COUDERT. Mr. A. K. MACMILLAN. Rev. E. W. DONALD, D. D. Mr. EDWARD CARY.
Mr. James M. Brown, President of the Chamber of Commerce, presided.
Grace was said by the Rev. E. W. Donald, D. D. At half-past nine o'clock, the cloth having been removed, the President of the Chamber called the assembly to order and spoke as follows :
SPEECH OF MR. JAMES M. BROWN, PRESIDENT OF THE CHAMBER.
GENTLEMEN : This has been a very happy day for New York, witnessing the unveiling of BARTHOLDI's Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World,” presented by the citizens of a sister Republic, and placed upon Bedloe's Island, in our harbor. [Applause.] 'We have this evening as our guests the very distinguished citizens representing the Republic of France, delegated to be present at the unveiling of the colossal statue. We have also representatives of our National, State and City Governments, and, besides, we have the great artist and designer of the Statue, M. BARTHOLDI. [Applause.] May the ties of friendship binding these two Republics never be broken. [Loud cheers. ]
GENTLEMEN : I will now proceed to give the toasts prepared for this occasion, in their order, and will call upon the gentlemen who will respond to them. I hope there will be no interruption until we get through with the programme. I am sorry to find that the toasts are prepared in French, [laughter,] but I am happy to say they are translated into English, and, as my French pronunciation is not very good, I will give the toasts in English. [Laughter.] The first toast is :
“AU PRÉSIDENT DE LA RÉPUBLIQUE AMERICAINE! Tenacem propositi virum.”—(Horace.)
“THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES : Tenacem propositi virum.”—(Horace.) [Music by the orchestra.]
GENTLEMEN: The next toast that I will give you is PRÉSIDENT DE LA RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE ! Le droit prime la force."
“ THE PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC : Right makes might.” [Great applause-the orchestra playing the Marseillaise.]
This toast will be responded to by M. ALBERT LEFAIVRE, Minister Plenipotentiary, in charge of the Consulate-General of
France at New-York, and Special Delegate of His Excellency the
SPEECH OF M. LEFAIVRE.
Mr. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN OF THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF THE CITY AND STATE OF NEW-YORK: Answering your kind toast to the President of the French Republic and to the French nation, I am sure to be the interpreter of my distinguished countrymen, members of our Parliament, Army and Navy, delegates of our Administration and Press, in expressing to you the sincere acknowledgment and thankfulness they feel for your hearty welcome, their sympathy for your institutions, and the unanimous hope of unalterable friendship between our two nations. [Applause.]
But now, Mr. President, we thank you, particularly, for this splendid reception, which, given by the Chamber of Commerce, is the most suitable crowning of the ceremonies devoted to the celebration of Liberty. In fact, we are all told by historians that trade has been in every age the best promoter of liberty. [Applause.) In the darkest epochs of antiquity and of middle age, trade has been liberty itself, struggling against oppression and tyranny, emancipating human labor from slavery, raising gradually the farmer, the mechanic, and even the learned man, from bondage to sovereignty. [Applause.] And where is that beneficial influence more visible than in the noble City of New York, whose growth and prosperity, resulting from the united forces of commerce and industry, are among the most astonishing marvels of this country? I was a witness, the past few days, of the admiration of my countrymen, your present guests, in presence of the beautiful sight of your metropolis, which symbolizes energy, firmness, intelligence, industrial activity, or, in a word, all the characteristic qualities of the American nation. [Applausc.] Conseqnently, gentlemen, being entertained as we are this evening, in so fine and distinguished a manner, by the highest representation of New-York, and partaking in congenial companionship a capital dinner, we have the satisfaction of completing admirably the signification of the ceremonies of this afternoon. Yes, we teach the world that the mission of Liberty is not only to introduce into the political society reason, justice and equality before law, but also to insure to labor, industry and merit the deserved remuneration, and to spread throughout the land wealth and prosperity.. [Applause.] In every country, and at every time, improvements in agriculture, inventions in technical arts and economic progress correspond to the growing power of the people. [Applause.] At present statesmen are engaged in meditating practical problems concerning the productions of the soil and of manufacture, the prices of internal and foreign markets, in order to promote their national wealth and the welfare of humanity. (Excuse my bad pronunciation.) [Laughter and applause.] Stiil, we have the war of tariffs and the conflicts between labor and capital. But we are confident, judging the future by acquired wisdom, that we can anticipate a general understanding, by which all the productive
forces, which are now conflicting between nations, will be united in admirable harmony. [Applause.]
And now, gentlemen, having recognized that liberty leads to prosperity, we will be more inclined to admit that sympathy, based upon mutual esteem and traditional affinities, means business. I am, therefore, confident that this solemnity and this exchange of cordiality between two great nations will result in an increase of commercial exchange between our countries. [Applause.]
Concurrence will transform itself into co-operation, and we, Frenchmen, will be delighted to find ourselves partners of your commercial firm and the participants of your prosperity. [Applause.]
Gentlemen of the Chamber of Commerce of New-York, I thank you in the name of all the French producers, industries and tradesmen for your hearty reception. [Loud applause and cheers.]
THE PRESIDENT.-Gentlemen, the next toast,“ À Nos HÔTES D'OUTRE-Mer! Oultre ces raisons le voyager me semble un exercice profitable.”—(Montaigne.)
“ Our GUESTS FROM BEYOND THE SEA. Besides these reasons, to travel seems to me a profitable exercise.”—(Montaigne.)
This will be responded to by one who is richly versed in the language of both nations, Mr. FREDERIC R. COUDERT. [Laughter and cheers.]
SPEECH OF MR. FREDERIC R. COUDERT.
MR. PRESIDENT : While the invitation with which I have been honored this evening was unreserved and unconditional in its terms, one of the many wily diplomatists who belong to this body has informed me that I was expected to speak in French. I accepted the suggestion thus covertly made, in the first place, because, on principle, every good thing is to be accepted at once, lest it be withdrawn, and I did consider that an invitation to speak in French was the next best thing to an opportunity of speaking in English. [Laughter.] In the next place, I did not understand (if I was wrong, your President may correct me) that the obligation to make a French speech excluded the right to make another in English, [laughter,] and I, therefore, assumed that while bound to carry out my contract, so far as French, real or alleged, [laughter,] was concerned, I was at liberty to make a farther and additional address in the language to which I am most accustomed.
I am not particularly anxious, as all who know me will testify, to make a speech, Laughter.] Well, I will take that back if it
[ scems improbable on its face. [Laughter.] I admit that during the greater part of my life I have been, so far as speaking and remaining silent is concerned, what might be termed a bi-metalist; that is to say, I have used gold, which is silence, and I have also used silver, which is speech, but, as happens in all communities where the two metals are allowed to run together with equal opportunities, the gold being the more precious metal, has been driven out by the silver, which is the baser coin. Laughter and applause.] To be entirely frank, and this is due to a body of gentlemen, many of whom I am proud to regard as personal friends, I will say that I have not been solely actuated by the almost irresistible temptation of making two speeches on one and the same evening. I had another and more weighty consideration to control mc, namely, the certainty that I was sure to please my whole audience in sections. For I realize the fact with pleasure, that I have before me a duplex or two-fold class of hearers, namely; those who understand no English, (I am addressing them at this moment, and they will be delighted at my effort in that language) [laughter,] and those whose knowledge is limited to English. These will be convinced that I am an orator of great merit when they listen to my French. [Laughter.]
I will not pursue this matter any further. I know the courtesy and kindness of our friends from over the scas too well to question the impression that these few words of mine, in an unknown tongue, must have produced on their minds. It only remains for me now to produce the same effect upon the remainder of my audience, that part, I mean, which is composed of gentlemen who understand no French. They will consider, I beg, that I am addressing them particularly when I take up, as I now do, the French language for the balance of the evening. [Laughter and applause.]
MESSIEURS : Ce banquet, auquel la chambre de commerce nous a fait l'honneur de nous inviter, marque la fin des travaux qu'a nécessités la complète installation de l'euvre gigantesque de BARTHOLDI.
Dès aujourd'hui, devenue Américaine pardevant monsieur le maire, le président, l'armée, la marine et le peuple, la fière déesse jouit de tous les droits que peut posséder un citoyen, ou plutôt une citoyenne des Etats-Unis. En vertu de son sexe, elle ne peut guère voter sans soulever des critiques peu séantes à sa dignité. Mais cette restriction lui importe peu, car née en Alsace, elle a déjà opté pour la France au moment critique de sa destinée ! Ce qui, toutefois est incorporé dans sa majestueuse individualité-privilège dont la privation eût été cruelle à son sexe, c'est le don de la parole; car oubliant le ton du badinage, je peux dire que dans son langage muet, elle pourra dès maintenant et pour les siècles à venir, prêcher un sermon éternellement le même, mais éternellement nouveau. En effet, ce n'est pas seulement pour orner notre rade d'une auvre incomparable que BARTHOLDI a taillé cette statue, que la France nous fait ce don ; ce n'est pas seulement pour célébrer la réussite d'un triomphe de l'esprit sur la matière, que vous avez traversé l'océan. S'il n'y avait que ces éléments dans la fête d'aujourd'hui ce serait sans doute déjà beaucoup, mais ce serait peu pour le penseur. C'est le Verbe qui nous touche, et le sceptique le plus froid, comme le croyant le plus fervent, peut y trouver un enseignement profond, une lecon sublime.