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to fight her, and at the bottom of her Pandora box, enptied alike of goods and glory, she found at last not hope, but the mere memory of pride.
We pride ourselves, and with reason, that we have faced these new problems not as partisans but as Americans. We rejoice that a policy that prefers natives to Americans and that has made a commencement of a sound civil service system has so far controlled affairs in our new possessions. We rejoice that in China the United States means Rockhill and Chaffee, that in the Philippines it means Taft and McArthur, that in Porto Rico it means Charles Allen, and in Cuba Leonard Wood.
It is not enough that this President has trusted the task to such men; no American that loves his country can rest content till the civil service, the consular service, the diploImatic corps of the United States is set upon so stable a (foundation that no President can appoint any but such men. It is not enough that a good President may set a Bliss in a Havana custom-house. The day must come when no bad system can set a Neely in a Havana post-office. The duties of a great Power demand the instant abolition of an eighteenth-century system in which influence can force bad appointments, or, what is infinitely more common, secure even under the civil service law the promotion of those least fit to rise.
Commercialism and partisan patronage have been enor mously increased by the very same forces that have made us great. We must destroy them, or they will destroy us.
It is not true, however, that to be patriotic a nation must necessarily be poor, nor that with riches there invariably must come degeneracy.
Rome was already rich when law and civilization spread
over the world with her legions. Freedom first arose after her sleep in the Middle Ages not among the poor peasants in the fields, but among the rich burghers in the towns. They were men of substance who stood up for freedom in Italy, in Flanders, in the Hanseatic League. The most desperate and triumphant resistance to civil and religious slavery, in the whole history of the world was made by the thriving merchants and handicraftsmen of the Netherlands, and the last stand for feudal despotism and the divine right of kings was made by the barefooted scythemen of Brittany and the raggad swordsmen of the Scottish clans.
It is well to know our strength, it is better to know our weakness, it is best, knowing both, to make our weakness strong.
Nations, like men, become great not by difficulties avoided but by difficulties overcome, and the spell that overcomes them is neither riches nor poverty, but sacrifice.
There is not a mighty viaduct, not a great cathedral, not a line of rails traced across the stretches of veldt or steppe or praire that has not Moloch-like demanded the tribute of human life.
The spread of civilization demands no less. That the many may rejoice the few must suffer. There will be, as there have been, demands from some for the sacrifice of wealth, comfort, ambition, livelihood, of human life itself.
The Egyptian died, but he left the pyramids behind him. The Phænician died, but he left to the world the alphabet and navigation. The Greek died, but poetry and philosophy , blossomed where he had striven. The Roman died, but the Barbarian who slew him could not shake that mighty fabric of law that was to be the basis of social order. The Swede and the German died, but in the murky smoke of thirty years
of battle there was kindled the pure white fire of religious liberty. The Frenchman died, but beneath his heroic corpse lay the dead feudal system, never to rise again. The Englishman has died, but the wastes of Australia and Manitoba yield food to the hungry of Europe, the monsters of the Ganges no longer feed on helpless children, the girl widow no longer dies in torment on the funeral pyre, and the haunts of the Thug, the Dacoit, and the tiger have become the highways of commerce and the field of the husbandman's increase.
The torch of civilization is in our hands. Do we fear the sparks and smoke, or shall we bear on the message? Difficulty? Yes. Danger? Yes. Death? Perhaps. It needs not that the American republic should become an imperial Rome, but at the worst it were better to die as Rome than to live as Capua.
Not with eyes cast down to the shadows at their feet did our fathers meet their trials. Let us set, like them, our faces toward the morning.
Not after the trials of the Civil War alone, but after every trial, may we lift our hearts with Lowell in hope as in thanksgiving:
“Oh Beautiful! my Country! ours once more!
And letting thy set lips,
Freed from wrath's pale eclipse,
What were our lives without thee?
We will not dare to doubt thee,
WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN was born in 1860 and received a good
education. He represented a district of the State of Nebraska in Congress for a time, but made no great impression upon the public mind until he appeared as a delegate in the National Convention of the Democratic party held at Chicago in 1896, where he delivered the oration in favor of the free coinage of silver at the ratio of 16 to 1, which is known as “The Cross of Gold” speech, and which obtained for him the nomination to the Presidency. He secured from the people a larger number of votes than had ever been previously cast for any candidate, whether Democratic or Republican; nevertheless, he got only 176 electoral votes, and was beaten by William McKinley. After having served during the war with Spain as the Colonel of a Nebraska regiment, he was renominated for the Presidency in 1900 by the Democratic National Convention held in Kansas City, Mo., but again failed of election.
THE “CROSS OF GOLD"
Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Convention :
WOULD be presumptuous, indeed, to present myself against the distinguished gentlemen to whom you have
listened if this were a mere measuring of abilities; but this is not a contest between persons. The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error. I come to speak to you in defence of a cause as holy as the cause of liberty—the cause of humanity.
When this debate is concluded, a motion will be made to lay upon the table the resolution offered in commendation of the Administration, and also the resolution offered in condemnation of the Administration. We object to bringing
this question down to the level of persons. The individual is but an atom; he is born, he acts, he dies; but principles are eternal; and this has been a contest over a principle.
Never before in the history of this country has there been witnessed such a contest as that through which we have just passed. Never before in the history of American politics has a great issue been fought out as this issue has been, by the voters of a great party.
On the fourth of March, 1895, a few Democrats, most of them members of Congress, issued an address to the Democrats of the nation, asserting that the money question was the paramount issue of the hour, declaring that a majority of the Democratic party had the right to control the action of the party on this paramount issue; and concluding with the request that the believers in the free coinage of silver in the Democratic party should organize, take charge of, and control the policy of the Democratic party. Three months later, at Memphis, an organization was perfected, and the silver Democrats went forth openly and courageously proclaiming their belief, and declaring that, if successful, they would crystallize into a platform the declaration which they had made. Then began the conflict. With a zeal approaching the zeal which inspired the Crusaders who followed Peter the Hermit, our silver Democrats went forth from victory unto victory until they are now assembled, not to discuss, not to debate, but to enter up the judgment already ren. dered by the plain people of this country. In this contest brother has been arrayed against brother, father against
The warmest ties of love, acquaintance, and associa. tion have been disregarded; old leaders have been cast aside when they have refused to give expression to the sentiments of those whom they would lead, and new lead.