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Robert Green Ingersoll
This was the first tribute ever delivered by Colonel Ingersoll
at a grave. Mr. Parker himself was an Agnostic, was the father of
Mrs. Ingersoll, and was always a devoted friend and admirer of the
Colonel even before the latter's marriage with his daughter.
AT THE GRAVE OF BENJ. W. PARKER.
Peoria, Ill., May 24, 1876.
FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS: To fulfill a promise made many years
ago, I wish to say a word.
He whom we are about to lay in the earth, was gentle, kind and
loving in his life. He was ambitious only to live with those he
loved. He was hospitable, generous, and sincere. He loved his
friends, and the friends of his friends. He returned good for good.
He lived the life of a child, and died without leaving in the
memory of his family the record of an unkind act. Without
assurance, and without fear, we give him back to Nature, the source
and mother of us all.
With morn, with noon, with night; with changing clouds and
changeless stars; with grass and trees and birds, with leaf and
bud, with flower and blossoming vine, -- with all the sweet
influences of nature, we leave our dead.
Husband, father, friend, farewell.