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fectly straight in the direction the right lies. Perhaps we must always advance a little by zig-zags; only we must always advance; and the zig-zags should go toward the right goal. One thing I believe that we are realizing more and more, and that is the valuelessness of mere virtue that does not take a tangible and efficient shape. I do not give the snap of my finger for a very good man who possesses that peculiar kind of goodness that benefits only himself, in his own home. I think we all understand more and more that the virtue that is worth having is the virtue that can sustain the rough shock of actual living; the virtue that can achieve practical results, that finds expression in actual life. There may be a more objectionable class in the community than the timid good, but I do not know it. I earnestly hope that all of you herd will thoroughly appreciate what you now know' in the abstract, but what we none of us realize entirely in practice, that here in this government it is not the public officials that really govern, it is the people themselves. It is the people who must make their ideals take tangible shape. You govern just as much if you decline to let your weight be felt for decency, as if you make it felt outright for what is bad. You are just as responsible. You, the leaders of the people, you, the people, are just as responsible for what goes wrong, whether it is because you actively favor the wrong or because you sit supinely by, and let the wrong triumph, without checking it. Appreciating to the full the heavy weight of responsibility that rests upon me, as it does upon every other servant of the commonwealth, appreciating the weight of responsibility that rests upon the executive officers of the State, a weight only less heavy than that which rests upon the judges,' appreciating all that, I ask you in turn to appreciate that an even heavier load of responsibility rests upon each citizen and all the private citizens of this commonwealth, to see that decency, that honesty, that righteousness, that courage are triumphant in the government of this State.
Address On The Occasion Of The Presentation Of A Sword To Commodore Philip, February 3, i899
Commodore Philip: It is peculiarly pleasant to me to present you with this sword, for one of my last official acts, as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, was to break through regulations in order to give you the chance to have the turrets of the Texas so geared that her great guns could be used to the best possible advantage; and the sequel showed how well it was for the service, that you should be given the opportunity to get the utmost service from the mighty war-engine entrusted to your care.
When a commander-in-chief, afloat or ashore, has done the best possible with his forces, then rightly the chief credit belongs to him, and wise and patriotic students of the Santiago sea-campaign gladly pay their homage first to Admiral Sampson. It was Admiral Sampson who initiated and carried on the extraordinary blockade, letting up even less by night than by day, that will stand as the example for all similar blockades in the future. It was owing to the closeness and admirable management of the system of night blockades which he introduced, that Cervera's fleet was forced to come out by day light. In other words, it was the success of his system which ensured to the splendid sea-captains, under him, the chance to show their prowess to the utmost possible advantage. But the actual fight, although Admiral Sampson was present and in command, was a captains' fight, and in this actual fighting, each captain did his work according to his own best judgment.
You, sir, by your conduct, alike during and after the fight; by your courage, by your professional skill and by your humanity, reflected honor upon the service to which you belong, upon the State in which you were born, and upon the mighty nation on the roll of whose worthies you that day wrote your name with your sword. I give utterance to the sentiment of all New York State — a sentiment from which no man in the commonwealth will dissent— when I ask you to take this sword as a token of the high esteem in which we hold you and of our grateful acknowledgment of your having done a deed which has added to the long honor roll in which all Americans take lasting pride.
You and your comrades at Manila and Santiago, did their part well, and more than well. Sailor and soldier, on sea and on land, have bought with their valor, their judgment, their skill and their blood, a wonderful triumph . for America. It now rests with our statesmen to see that the triumph is not made void, in whole or in part. By your sword you won from war a glorious peace. It is for the statesmen at Washington to see that the treaty which concludes the peace is ratified. Cold indeed are the hearts of those Americans who shrink both from war and peace, when the war and peace alike are for the honor and the interest of America. To refuse to ratify the
treaty would be a crime not only against America but against civilization. We cannot with honor shrink from completing the work we have begun. To leave the task half done whether in the East or the West Indies would be to make the matter worse than if we had never entered upon it. We have driven out a corrupt mediaeval tyranny. In Cuba and Porto Rico we are already striving to introduce orderly liberty. We shall be branded with the steel of clinging shame if we leave the Philippines to fall into a welter of bloody anarchy, instead of taking hold of them and governing them with righteousness and justice, in the interests of their own people even more than in the interests of ours. All honor to you and your comrades, to the generals and admirals, the captains and the men of might who showed such courage on the high seas and in the tropic islands of the sea! All shame to us if the statesmen flinch where the soldiers have borne themselves so well, if they fail to ratify the treaty which has been bought by such daring and such suffering, and which will fittingly crown the most righteous war the present generation has seen!
_ Address On The Occasion Of His Visit To The SolDiers' Home To The Citizens Of Bath On FebruAry 9, i899
Mr. Chairman, Ladies And Gentlemen: I am glad to have the chance of meeting you even for so brief a time to-day. It is more than a pleasure. I only wish that it lay in my power to talk at length to you. I feel a double pleasure in coming to see you; first, because having been honored by being made the executive of this State, I have tried and shall try, according as it is given me to see my duty, and do it on behalf of all, whether they stood with me or against me; and in the next place, gentlemen, because it is peculiarly fitting that I should have the chance to say a word to you who have in your limits a building consecrated to the latter lives of the men who fought in the great war, to keep the flag whole and without a stain. At this time, when that flag, the flag of the newest nation, of the youngest nation, of the youngest continent, is being carried in triumph through the lands of the Eastern sea, we have all of us, particularly good Americans felt, our hearts thrill at the news of what has been done by our soldiers on the extreme opposite side of the earth — soldiers who, having driven out tyranny, are now doing their duty by seeing that the lands which have been relieved from that tyranny shall not go back into savagery. The last year has been a year full of fate for America, and every American citizen can hold his head a little higher because of what has been done by our statesmen, our soldiers, our captains and our men of might, on land and on the high seas, during the year of i898. We hold a better position abroad, we stand better, all of us, because of the valor that has been displayed, for that valor reflected honor not merely upon those who showed it, but upon all American citizens.
All of us stand or fall together. No deed of corruption or infamy is performed in public or private life, but all of us are so much the poorer. I wish that we could recognize even more clearly than we do, that every act of municipal or State or national misgovernment, that every conspicuous act of dishonesty, takes away by just so much from that American character in which we have the