lifted him at once into enviable notoriety as a political debater and orator, and from that time, remarks like the following were common:—

“He must go to the legislature.”

“We must send him to Congress.”

“Just the man to follow that old anti-slavery war-horse, Giddings.”

“You’ll see him President yet.”

And so the enthusiastic awakening expended itself, in a measure, upon Garfield’s supposed future career. One year later the position of representative to the State legislature was tendered him.

“No; my work is here in the Institute. I have no ambition to enter political life. I must decline the proposition.” Garfield thus replied out of an honest heart.

Again and again he was urged to accept the position, but to every one his answer was the same.

“My work is here, and my heart is here, and my duty is here.” No appeals could move him.

In 1859 the faculty of Williams College invited him to deliver the master’s oration on Commencement day. It was a rare compliment the faculty paid to him by this invitation, for it was but three years after he was graduated. Accepting the invitation, and preparing himself carefully for the occasion, he left Hiram for Williams-tow, Massachusetts, accompanied by his wife, taking the first pleasure-trip of his life. He descended the St. Lawrence River to Quebec, and then crossed the New England States to his destination. A warm welcome awaited him there. Nor were the numerous friends who gathered disappointed in the orator of the day. His praises were on every lip.

On his return, when he had reached Mentor, in his own State, a delegation of citizens met him with an unexpected proposition.

“We want you to become a candidate for State senator.”

“Indeed!” exclaimed Garfield, very much surprised by the proposition. “I thought Mr. Prentiss was the man.”

“Mr. Prentiss has just died, very suddenly.”

Mr. Prentiss was a man well advanced in life, a very popular citizen of Ravenna, whose re-election had been determined upon. But his sudden death frustrated their plans; and now all hearts turned to the young principal of Hiram Institute.

“You are the first choice of the leading Republicans of the district.”

“I thank you sincerely for thinking of me, and really, it is a temptation to receive this offer; but I do not see how I can consistently consent.”

“Your name will enable us to carry the district for the Republicans easily,” urged another one of the delegation. “I hope you will not decline without giving the subject some thought.”

“Yes; but my thought is of the Institute. How can I accept your proposition and discharge my duties to the school?”

“Your duties in the senate will keep you away but a few weeks. Suppose you take the subject into consideration, confer with the faculty, and let us have your decision a week hence.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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