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into the regiment was that they did not enter with the desire or expectation of having an easy time, of getting a commission or having any preferment; but they came in one and all simply as Americans to stand on their own feet, to go up if the war lasted long enough and they proved able to go up, not to get a favor of any kind. They got nothing except what they earned by earnest and hard work and they claimed nothing except the chance to show themselves just as good as anyone else. In other words, they had realized what it seems to me the graduate of an American university should realize, that his experience does not confer upon him any immunity, but on the contrary it entails on him the duty of showing himself a little better in the actual hurly burly of practical life than those who have not had these advantages. And Greenway and Waller and Young and Miller, who died, and Ives, who died also, Gerard, the captain of one of your track athletic teams, those men like Devereux, Church and other Princeton men, and Dudley Dean, Wrenn, Goodrich and other Harvard men, went into that regiment as troopers, went into it with the cowboys and the miners, with the ranchmen and the machinists, with the railroad men and all, taking nothing and asking nothing, except that they should be treated on their merits and allowed to show that they could work and that they could fight as well as any man else.
And in that regiment I can assure you that no outside recommendation went. Each man won his place on his merits. Jack Greenway went in as a trooper and was promoted to be a non-commissioned officer, second lieutenant, and then first lieutenant, because he had won each promotion by showing what he could do in the camp, on the march and in battle. As long as he showed himself worthy, nobody could take these titles from him, and if he had not shown himself worthy, he might have had the pull of the President and every Senator behind him and he would never have gone up.
I tried a good many experiments with Jack. I did not know how long he could go without sleep, but I know that he can stand three days and three nights without it. As was right and proper, he immediately struck up an especial acquaintance and friendship with a Harvard man, Dave Goodrich. I can conscientiously say I did everything in my power to wear both of those men out and if they were not worn out, it was not my fault. After the San Juan fight, fighting all day, they were kept up all night digging trenches and doing guard duty. After fighting all the next day they were kept up the next night on the same work. At 12 o'clock the third day there was a truce and then I was perfectly willing that they should go to sleep. There was no groaning or grumbling from them, and I am not exaggerating to you when I say that during all that terrible toil and excitement the only sleep they had was twenty minutes or so snatched when there did not seem to be a demand for more than usual activity.
All honor to the men of Yale, who went out to win glory and to come home to feel all their lives that they had added to the honor, not only of their university, but of the Nation. An even higher meed of honor to those who went out and did not come back. An even higher meed of honor to those who “ ventured life and love and youth for the great prize of death in battle.” On the day of San Juan I met young Theodore Miller. I had reason to notice him
especially because of an act of great kindness. Weakened himself by the exhausting work he had gone back to the store to try to get something for a sick soldier. I remember nodding and saying a word to him as we formed and marched to the San Juan River. I never saw him again. At the foot of the hill he was mortally wounded and died and I had no chance to see him. But I had a chance the following morning, when I was lying under a little tree, on the grass of the hillside, to see a shrapnel shell burst and mortally wound Stanley Hollister, one of the Harvard crew of the year before. Ives of Yale, Adsitt and Sanders of Harvard, gave their lives, too, when lives had most to offer, when the future looked the brightest, partly because of the spirit within them, partly because of the training that spirit had received in the halls from which they came.
I am now, Mr. Chairman, if you will allow me, I am now going to propose one toast to be drunk standing and in silence. I know I shall have your sympathy wien I offer this toast, not limited simply to Yale, not limited to the universities, when I ask you to drink the toast of the men of Yale and Harvard, the men of all the universities and the men who had no university training whatever, the men, the Americans, who in battle or in camp, during the last war, met their death when they had gone out at their country's call to do their country's bidding.
And now I have little to add to what I have said. The men of Yale, the men of the universities, all, who, when the country called, went to give their lives, did more than reflect honor upon the universities from which they came. They did that which they could not have done so well in any other way. They showed that when the time of danger comes, all Americans, whatever their social standing, whatever their creed, whatever the training they have received, no matter from what section of the country they have come, stand together as men, as Americans, and are content to face the same fate and do the same duties because fundamentally they all alike have the common purpose to serve the glorious flag of their common country.
ADDRESS AT THE WEST SIDE REPUBLICAN CLUB, NEW
York City, March 10, 1899
Mr. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN: I feel in speaking to you to-night, less tempted to speak of the problems that confront us as citizens of this Great Republic, than as citizens of the State of New York, of the homelier problems which we must solve first if we wish to solve the others well. It is an indisputable fact that a man must perform well the duties of his own household before he can do well the duties that fall to him as a citizen of the Republic. I agree with what General Woodford has said. I am proud that even in a lesser way I could show my faith by my works. He took part in the great war, I in the little one: but I worked along his lines, and after all in this country, while we must follow in the footsteps of the great men who lead us, there is a vast amount of work to be done by the men who follow. You all know my views on expansion. Because this is a great nation it has got to do its share in the civilization of the world. It can only decide whether it shall do it well or ill. It may have been unkind of Dewey to win a victory, but win he did, and there you are. It may have been thoughtless of the men with the ships and the men with the guns to win, but they did, and we must face the issue.
I was much impressed by a remark once made by Dr. Slicer in Buffalo. He said that it was not genius we wanted in government, but courage and honesty. It is a disgrace if we govern ourselves ill, but it will be a triple disgrace if we govern ill the possessions which have fallen to us through the fortunes of war. In the administration of their Government we must keep as far from mock humanitarianism on the one hand as from dishonesty on the other. We have got to keep order in the islands we have rescued. We can't let anarchy follow where we have trod, but we must not let any man plunder the islands we have seized. To paraphrase a famous utterance, “ If that be expansion, make the most of it.”
But I want to speak about the government of ourselves. Each man here is a factor in the Government. He has certain responsibilities which he must fulfil. Some of our people speak of “the politicians ” as though they were a class apart, as if the average American could wash his hands of them and their acts whenever it seemed well to him to do so. Men in public life are what the men in private life make them. We must in the long run represent what is best and what is worst in you. You complain of bad city government. It is ultimately the fault of the people themselves if it is bad. No American can shake off the burden. The public men must in the long run respond approximately to the effective desires of the people, to whom they go ultimately for power.
Some young men want to rise in public life at a bound, passing all the drudgery and apprenticeship. Some want