278 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
Mr. Martin, who was received with cheers, said: " This letter from the Honorable Abram S. Hewitt is addressed to his personal friend, Mr. E. G. Spflsbury, my associate on the Dflmer Committee, and runs thus:
" I have been debarred for some time by the Umitations of age from assisting at any function wlflch takes place in the evening. I have been trying, however, to make an exception in favor of the compUmentary dinner given by Ifls admirers to my old and valued friend, John Fritz; but now that the time has arrived, I find I must deny myself the pleasure of personaUy congratulating Iflm, in the com¬ pany of his loving friends, upon the attainment of Ifls eightieth birthday in the full possession of his health and faculties, and with the promise of many honorable years to come.
" We have made the journey of life together and, to some extent, upon the same Unes of action. It is pleasant to recaU that during the haU-century of our association, at times of competitive struggle, the friendslflp wlflch has existed between us has never in the slightest degree been disturbed. This happy experience is clue, doubtless, to the amiable traits of Mr. Fritz's nature, which, with aU its masculine energy, is tempered with the sweetness of the gentler sex. ' Once a friend, always a friend,' will be inscribed upon the record of a career wlflch in some respects is uiflque among the men of our day and generation.
" I do not intend to indulge myself fli recounting any of the interestmg details of his long and useful Ufe. This pleasant duty wiU be performed by others, but I do desire to point out that the Ufe work of Jolm Fritz affords a very conspicuous example of the working of American institu¬ tions during the century which has just closed, the most remarkable era of progress in the history of the human race.
" That a boy born in humble life, with no advantages of