« PreviousContinue »
going forward, but by steps, not by bounds. We must keep our eyes on the stars, but we must also remember that our feet are on the ground. When you get a man who tries to make you think anything else, he is either a visionary or a demagogue, and in either event he is an unsafe leader.
The citizen who does his whole duty will be careful not to, attribute wrongfully, dishonest or bad motives to a public servant. This is as reprehensible as to fail to condemn the actually blameworthy. In either case you tend to confuse the public conscience, to debauch the public morality, to make the rogue strive and prosper and drive the honest man from public life. It is of vital consequence that our public servants be honest; it is of no less vital consequence to the welfare of the nation that the real truth should be told about the dishonest and honest alike; and woe to the man who offends in either respect.
Finally, remember to stand for both the ideal and the practical. Remember that you must have a lofty ideal, as Abraham Lincoln had, and that you must try to achieve it in practical ways as he tried to achieve it during the four years that he lived and worked and suffered for the people, until his sad, patient, kindly soul was sent to seek its Master. Remember, also, that you can do your duty as citizens in this country only if you are imbued through and through with the spirit of brotherhood; the spirit that we call Americanism. You can do no permanent good unless you feel, not only in theory, but also in practice, that fundamentally we are knit together by close ties,-the ties of morality, of fellow feeling and sympathy, in its broadest and deepest sense. We cannot live permanently as a republic; we cannot hold our own as the mightiest commonwealth of self-governing, free men upon which the sun has ever shown unless we have it ground into our souls that we know no class, no section; that east, west, north, and south, our people, whatever may be their occupations, whatever their conditions in life, stand shoulder by shoulder, striving for honesty, for decency, for all the fundamental virtues and morals that make good American citizenship.
This address was afterwards published in Dr. Marden's Success Mag asine and in his "Success Library."
T was Governor's Day at the Orange County Fair
at Middletown, New York, that I had a memor
able visit with Theodore Roosevelt. How my bosom heaved with pride as I rode in a "royal chariot” in a parade through the streets of the little city,
a behind the village band. Constituted as I am, caring 60 little for "fuss and feathers," I felt that the whole performance, as far as my relation to it was concerned, was a joke, but I felt that the little parade was not a joke by any means, for I considered that the greatest man in America was at the head of the line, and that he would stir the farmers of the singularly rich county into the highest enthusiasm and helpful endeavor, and that I, myself, would be enriched with his wisdom and refreshed by his companionship. When we got to the speaker's stand at the Fair, thousands upon thousands had gathered around and pressed close against the stand to see and hear the Governor. He said to me, “Come along here, old boy, and sit with me on the speakers' stand. You have always backed me up, and I want you to stand behind me to-day.”