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three centuries ago, but I firmly believe that diplomats as well as men in other professions should act straightforwardly and honestly, because while the use of falsehood may temporarily secure an advantage, sooner or later the truth will be found out, and the consequences would be very serious. So therefore I believe in the maxim, “Honesty is the best policy." might compare the profession of a diplomat in a foreign country somewhat to that of a lawyer pleading a case before a Court. It would not do for the lawyer in advocating the interest of his client to quote an obsolete law or statutes which have been repealed, or to distort facts with a view of deceiving the Court and the jury. No respectable lawyer, I am sure, would stoop to do such a thing.
In saying this, gentlemen, I do not insinuate that the lawyers in this country are not honest. I believe they are all honest. I would be the last man to slander the legal profession, to which I have the honor to belong. So a diplomat, although he is acting for the interest of his country, should be straightforward and do his best, and while doing his best for the interests of his country, he ought to be a gentleman and act honestly; but without a just tribunal, however able a lawyer may be, his case may be defeated; but in my case it is with gratitude and pleasure that I acknowledge that I have a fair and just tribunal before whom I plead the interests of my country. The potent, wise, and moderate policy of your government, and the fairness and straightforwardness of the administration, headed by your President, assisted in a great measure by your Secretary of State to them is due the credit, rather than to me, for what has been done in the last summer; and credit is also due to the press generally in this country, which shapes public opinion, and to the people of this country, because as far as I can find out they have almost unanimously endorsed the humane and wise policy of the administration. Since the unfortunate occurrence* I have been receiving from day to day innumerable letters from persons, many of whom I have not the pleasure of knowing, expressing their sympathy for China.
There is a saying in our classics that the people should be made to follow, but not be able to understand, the reason of things. But I may say, in the case of the American people, this maxim of Confucius is inapplicable, because I find in every public question that the people are very intelligent and lovers of fair play. This, indeed, is a wonderful nation. Last Wednesday the city of Washington celebrated its centennial, and I was fortunate enough to listen to the exercises at the Capitol, and among the public addresses given by the Congressman and Senators, there is one speech I will not forget. It is the speech of Senator Daniel. In his
The Boxer outbreak in China.
JOHN MITCHELL GREAT LABOR LEADER AND ADVOCATE
opening address, if I remember rightly, he said that ancient history has no precedent for the United States of America, and modern history has no parallel. That is a grand expression, but it is nevertheless true. There is no ancient history for your great country, but your country has been making history. American history dates from the life of Washington, and is enriched by the noble achievements of Lincoln and Grant and the many others whom it is needless for me to enumerate, and of whom you know more than I do. Coming to the present day, it is embellished by such household words as the names of Miles and Dewey, and last, but not the least, the name of William McKinley.
Yes, your history is rapidly filling up with the noble deeds of your men. But we diplomats, we foreign diplomats, do not understand your politics. I am speaking of myself—perhaps I should be going too far thus to refer to my colleagues, who are more learned than I am—but, speaking for myself, I do not understand your politics. Your politics are too complicated for me. For instance, I have not been able to master the intricacies of " sixteen to one'' and the “ full dinner-pail.” These things are too deep for my dull understanding. But I understand this, whichever political party may reign in the White House, the glory of the Stars and Stripes will not in any event grow dim. As long as you remain the people who form this administration, headed by that noble, humane, and level-headed man who is now your President-I say, as long as you have such men at the head of your government, your great nation will continue to command the respect of all the other nations of the world.
Gentlemen, I will not occupy your time much longer, and in concluding will say that Senator Daniel, in concluding his speech, expressed the hope that the city of Washington will be in course of time the capital of a universal republic. When I heard this I could not understand, but when I came home I pondered over it, and I think I have found out his deep meaning. The meaning, if I am not mistaken, is this—that the position, the high position, and the just policy of your nation will be in course of time recognized and will prevail among all different nations, so that the city of Washington will become in the near future the seat of universal peace, justice, and truth. When that day comes, and I hope it will not be far distant, the superior men of this country, of which the members of this club form an element, will have much to do, and will take a prominent part in bringing about that happy state of things.
Gentlemen, I thank you for your courtesy and the honor you have done me.
JOHN MITCHELL (1869 —–)
THE COAL MINER'S ADVOCATE
F the representatives of the workingmen at the opening of the
twentieth century none was more zealous for the advancement
of his fellow-artisans, or more widely known to the people alike of America and Europe, than John Mitchell, President of the United Mine Workers, and leader in the great strike of the anthracite coal miners in 1902, the most famous event of the new century in the world of industry. A miner himself—he entered the mines of Illinois at the
age of thirteen-Mitchell early joined the Knights of Labor, studied at night to gain what education he could, read all the books he could find on sociological subjects and, in every way available, fitted himself for his future career. His native powers and genius for organization told. Joining the United Mine Workers in 1890, when twenty-one years of age, he was made vice-president of the organization in January, 1892, and president in the following January. This presidency which he has held for so many years is of an organization of over 300,000 members. He led the soft coal miners successfully through the great strike of 1897, and the hard coal miners through that of 1892, and is looked upon by working men and capitalists alike as a genius in organization and a Napoleon in the management of an industrial convulsion.
As an orator, Mr. Mitchell is not given to the passionate declamation so commonly indulged in by popular leaders, but confines himself to logical treatment of the question at issue, expressed in language so simple that even the breaker boys of the mine can follow him with interest and understanding. He is always cool and self-possessed, never permits himself to become flustered or thrown into a passion, and in all the difficult situations arising from the great coal strike,