Unfought Battles

"Another Great Treat.  Through the efforts of the Knights of Pythias lodge of Skidmore, Earl Wilfley Will re-appear at Cook's Opera House, Wednesday Evening, Feb. 14.  His subject will be "Damon and Pythias," interspersed with many original anecdotes.  Come and hear his best and favorite lecture.  Admission 25c to all.  Tickets on sale at Cook's drug store.  No extra charges for reserved seats."
An ad from the February 9, 1900 Skidmore Standard, page 3.

As we stand firmly in the camp favoring entertainment and just as firmly in the camp against calamity howlers, we bring you this review from the February 9, 1900 Skidmore Standard, page 1:

“Unfought Battles.”

Earle Wilfley’s Lecture, Tuesday Night Delighted His Audience

Rev. Earle Wilfley, entertainer, lecturer and Shakespearean artist, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, delivered his splendid lecture “Unfought Battles,” to a large, appreciative audience in Cook’s opera house, last Tuesday evening.

Mr. Wilfley’s forte is impersonating and entertaining. He prefers giving an evening of entertainment to delivering a lecture; but the executive committee of the lecture course concluded that the people here would rather hear a lecture, so Mr. Wilfley was advised accordingly.

In introducing his subject, Mr. Wilfley said he agreed with the Statesman who said, “War is hell;” but while war is terrible, each one in the world’s history, dating back from the beginning, has resulted in advancing, elevating and bettering the human race and civilization – an improvement over the old regime, so to speak. After a brief mention of the wars which have made history, he entered upon his subject, proper, “Unfought Battles” – evils which are confronting the American people, to day.

Chief among these is demagogism. The wily, artful politician, who started at the bottom as a one horse lawyer; who for his own good and financial gain will declare that black is white or white is black; and who would knowingly clear a murderer and hang an innocent man, is abroad in the land, today, telling the farmer he is the salt of the earth and the most outraged person on the face of the earth; and tomorrow, feasting and drinking with the millionaire, pouring into his ear the same story, only the arguments are changed to fit the case.

The unemployed is another serious problem presenting itself for solution. The speaker referred especially to two classes of those who can work, but won’t – the dirty, filthy tramps who meander up and down the country, existing upon the bounty of honest, industrious people, and the wealthy individuals who will not work because their fathers or grandfathers were thrifty men.

Mr. Wilfley preaches that any calling or occupation, however humble, is dignified by success. The world is calling for young men of purpose and preparation, said he, and success lies in doing well whatsoever one may be doing. The car of opportunity stops only once at each one’s station and the person who would be successful must be ready to climb aboard.

Calamity howlers were scored heavily by the lecturer. Pessimists, chronic grumblers who rarely acknowledge any good in the world; an on these rare occasions, insist on predicting that some evil will follow, as did the lady at the station. When some one began commenting on the loveliness of the January day, “Yes,” she said, “but we’ll pay for it in February, see if we don’t!”

Mr. Wilfley spoke one hour and the only fault anyone found with his lecture was that it was too short.

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