Page images

ger that we may not solve it aright, but to refuse to undertake the solution simply renders it certain that we cannot possibly solve it aright.

The timid man, the lazy man, the man who distrusts 5 his country, the overcivilized man, who has lost the great fighting, masterful virtues, the ignorant man and the man of dull mind, whose soul is incapable of feeling the mighty lift that thrills “stern men with empires in their brains”.

all these, of course, shrink from seeing the nation under10 take its new duties; shrink from seeing us build a navy and

army adequate to our needs; shrink from seeing us do our share of the world's work by bringing order out of chaos in the great, fair tropic islands from which the valor

of our soldiers and sailors has driven the Spanish flag. 15 These are the men who fear the strenuous life, who fear

the only national life which is really worth leading. They believe in that cloistered life which saps the hardy virtues in a nation, as it saps them in the individual; or else they

are wedded to that base spirit of gain and greed which 20 recognizes in commercialism the be-all and end-all of

national life, instead of realizing that, though an indispensable element, it is after all but one of the many elements that go to make up true national greatness. No

country can long endure if its foundations are not laid 25 deep in the material prosperity which comes from thrift,

from business energy and enterprise, from hard unsparing effort in the fields of industrial activity; but neither was any nation ever yet truly great if it relied upon material

prosperity alone. All honor must be paid to the archi30 tects of our material prosperity; to the great captains of

industry who have built our factories and our railroads; to the strong men who toil for wealth with brain or hand;

for great is the debt of the nation to these and their kind. But our debt is yet greater to the men whose highest type is to be found in a statesman like Lincoln, a soldier like Grant. They showed by their lives that they recognized the law of work, the law of strife; they toiled to win a 5 competence for themselves and those dependent upon them; but they recognized that there were yet other and even loftier duties—duties to the nation and duties to the


We cannot sit huddled within our own borders and 10 avow ourselves merely an assemblage of well-to-do hucksters who care nothing for what happens beyond. Such a policy would defeat even its own end; for as the nations grow to have ever wider and wider interests and are brought into closer and closer contact, if we are to hold our own 15 in the struggle for naval and commercial supremacy, we must build up our power without our own borders. We must build the Isthmian canal, and we must grasp the points of vantage which will enable us to have our say in deciding the destiny of the oceans of the East and the 20 West. ...

I preach to you, then, my countrymen, that our country calls not for the life of ease, but for the life of strenuous endeavor. The Twentieth Century looms before us big with the fate of many nations. If we stand idly by, if 25 we seek merely swollen, slothful ease, and ignoble peace, if we shrink from the hard contests where men must win at hazard of their lives and at the risk of all they hold dear, then the bolder and stronger peoples will pass us by and will win for themselves the domination of the world. 30 Let us therefore boldly face the life of strife, resolute to do our duty well and manfully; resolute to uphold right

eousness by deed and by word; resolute to be both honest and brave, to serve high ideals, yet to use practical methods. Above all, let us shrink from no strife, moral or physical, within or without the nation, provided we 5 are certain that the strife is justified; for it is only through strife, through hard and dangerous endeavor, that we shall ultimately win the goal of true national greatness.



No people on earth have more cause to be thankful than ours, and this is said reverently, in no spirit of boastfulness in our own strength, but with gratitude to the Giver of Good, who has blessed us with the conditions which have enabled us to achieve so large a 5 measure of well-being and of happiness. To us as a people it has been granted to lay the foundations of our national life in a new continent. We are the heirs of the ages, and yet we have had to pay few of the penalties which in old countries are exacted by the dead hand of 10 a bygone civilization. We have not been obliged to fight for our existence against any alien race; and yet our life has called for the vigor and effort without which the manlier and hardier virtues wither away. Under such conditions it would be our own fault if we failed; and the 15 success which we have had in the past, the success which we confidently believe the future will bring, should cause in us no feeling of vain glory, but rather a deep and abiding realization of all which life has offered us; a full acknowledgment of the responsibility which is ours; and 20 a fixed determination to show that under a free government a mighty people can thrive best, alike as regards the things of the body and the things of the soul.

Much has been given to us, and much will rightly be expected from us. We have duties to others and duties 25 to ourselves; and we can shirk neither. We have become a great nation, forced by the fact of its greatness into relations with the other nations of the earth; and we must behave as beseems a people with such responsi

Poilities. Toward all other nations, large and small, our

attitude must be one of cordial and sincere friendship. We must show not only in our words but in our deeds

that we are earnestly desirous of securing their good will 5 by acting toward them in a spirit of just and generous

recognition of all their rights. But justice and generosity in a nation, as in an individual, count most when shown not by the weak but by the strong. While ever careful

to refrain from wronging others, we must be no less in10 sistent that we are not wronged ourselves. We wish

peace; but we wish the peace of justice, the peace of righteousness. We wish it because we think it is right and not because we are afraid. No weak nation that

acts manfully and justly should ever have cause to fear 15 us, and no strong power should ever be able to single us out as a subject for insolent aggression.

Our relations with the other Powers of the world are important; but still more important are our relations

among ourselves. Such growth in wealth, in population, 20 and in power as this nation has seen during the century

and a quarter of its national life is inevitably accompanied by a like growth in the problems which are ever before every nation that rises to greatness. Power invariably

means both responsibility and danger. Our forefathers 25 faced certain perils which we have outgrown. We now

face other perils, the very existence of which it was impossible that they should foresee. Modern life is both complex and intense, and the tremendous changes wrought

by the extraordinary industrial development of the last 30 half century are felt in every fiber of our social and

nrlitical being. Never before have men tried so vast and formidable an experiment as that of administering

« PreviousContinue »