282 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
facture of iron and steel that the product of the western plam could not only be carried cheaply to the manufactur¬ ing districts of the Atlantic coast, but even to the remote countries beyond the sea. Wlien we review the Ufe work of this man, and measure his influence in the moulding of the destinies of the industrial world — no wonder that we accoimt him great. He has seen the crude mfll and furnace grow, under his very hands, as it were, into the perfectly equipped modern plant — he having been identified with every important improvement that made for increased production in iron. ... In the naval world he wfll be regarded, by reason of the part he played in giving us our first armor plant, as one of the few persons without the service who made it possible for the nation to secure on the seas even a greater prestige and influence than it ever possessed before.
It is because dear old Uncle John, during his long and busy Ufe, has stood for integrity, faithfulness, and applica¬ tion, and everything of good report and right Uving, that he has, aside from his mechanical genius, been able to make so good a fight. Our hearts go out to this man, who has done more than his duty — more than his share of the work. His open-heartedness and gentleness of soul win our universal good wiU and esteem. Those who know him best love him most. ... I know that Uncle Jolm would dispense with these honors that we would show hfln to-night; but he, good man, must not forget that we are a Uttle selfish in this matter, because we are proud to be associated with him, and to be able to shine just a Uttle bit by his reflected glory.
I can but repeat the only toast of the evening, — Uncle John Fritz, the Fire God and the Iron King, our Vulcan, our great and able leader, and, as wefl, our kind and gentie- hearted brother. (Loud applause.)