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So at the present hour no small share of the responsibility for the blood shed in the Philippines, the blood of our brothers and the blood of their wild and ignorant foes, lies at the thresholds of those who so long delayed the adoption of the treaty of peace, and of those who by their worse than foolish words deliberately invited a savage people to plunge into a war fraught with sure disaster for them—a war, too, in which our own brave men who follow the flag must pay with their blood for the silly, mock-humanitarianism of the prattlers who sit at home in peace.
The army and navy are the sword and the shield which this nation must carry if she is to do her duty among the nations of the earth-if she is not to stand merely as the China of the Western Hemisphere. Our proper conduct toward the tropic islands we have wrested from Spain is merely the form which our duty has taken at the moment. Of course, we are bound to handle the affairs of our own household well. We must see that there is civic honesty, civic cleanliness, civic good sense in our home administration of city, State, and Nation. We must strive for honesty in office, for honesty towards the creditors of the nation and of the individual; for the widest freedom of individual initiative where possible, and for the wisest control of individual initiative where it is hostile to the welfare of the many. But because we set our own household in order, we are not thereby excused from playing our part in the great affairs of the world. A man's first duty is to his own home, but he is not thereby excused from doing his duty to the State; for if he fails in this second duty it is under the penalty of ceasing to be a free
In the same way, while a nation's first duty is within its own borders, it is not thereby absolved from facing its duties in the world as a whole; and if it refuses to do so it merely forfeits its right to struggle for a place among the peoples that shape the destiny of mankind.
In the West Indies and the Philippines alike we are confronted by most difficult problems. It is cowardly to shrink from solving them in the proper way; for solved they must be, if not by us, then by some stronger and more manful race; if we are too weak, too selfish, or too foolish to solve them, some bolder and abler people must
undertake the solution. Personally I am far too firm a believer in the greatness of my country and the power of my countrymen to admit for one moment that we shall ever be driven to the ignoble alternative.
The problems are different for the different islands. Porto Rico is not large enough to stand alone. We must govern it wisely and well, primarily in the interest of its own people. Cuba is, in my judgment, entitled ultimately to settle for itself whether it shall be an independent State or an integral portion of the mightiest of republics. But until order and stable liberty are secured, we must remain in the island to insure them; and infinite tact, judgment, moderation, and courage must be shown by our military and civil representatives in keeping the island pacified, in relentlessly stamping out brigandage, in protecting all alike, and yet in showing proper recognition to the men who have fought for Cuban liberty. The Philippines offer a yet graver problem. Their population includes half caste and native Christians, warlike Moslems, and wild pagans. Many of their people are utterly unfit for selfgovernment and show no signs of becoming fit. Others may in time become fit, but at present can only take part in self-government under a wise supervision at once firm and beneficent. We have driven Spanish tyranny from the islands. If we now let it be replaced by savage anarchy, our work has been for harm and not for good. I have scant patience with those who fear to undertake the task of governing the Philippines, and who openly avow that they do fear to undertake it, or that they shrink from it because of the expense and trouble; but I have even scanter patience with those who make a pretense of humanitarianism to hide and cover their timidity, and who cant about “liberty" and the “consent of the governed,” in order to excuse themselves for their unwillingness to play the part of men. Their doctrines if carried out would make it incumbent upon us to leave the Apaches of Arizona to work out their own salvation and to decline to interfere in a single Indian reservation. Their doctrines condemn your forefathers and mine for ever having settled in these United States.
England's rule in India and Egypt has been of great benefit to England, for it has trained up generations of
men accustomed to look at the larger and loftier side of public life.
It has been of even greater benefit to India and Egypt. And finally, and most of all, it has advanced the cause of civilization. So, if we do our duty aright in the Philippines, we will add to that national renown which is the highest and finest part of national life; will greatly benefit the people of the Philippine Islands; and, above all, we will play our part well in the great work of uplifting mankind. But to do this work, keep ever in mind that we must show in a high degree the qualities of courage, of honesty, and of good judgment. Resistance must be stamped out. The first and all-important work to be done is to establish the supremacy of our flag. We must put down armed resistance before we can accomplish anything else, and there should be no parleying, no faltering in dealing with our foe. As for those in our own country who encourage the foe, we can afford contemptuously to disregard them; but it must be remembered that their utterances are saved from being treasonable merely from the fact that they are despicable.
When once we have put down armed resistance, when once our rule is acknowledged, then an even more difficult task will begin, for then we must see to it that the islands are administered with absolute honesty and with good judgment. If we let the public service of the islands be turned into the prey of the spoils politician we shall have begun to tread the path which Spain trod to her own destruction. We must send out there only good and able men, chosen for their fitness and not because of their partisan service, and these men must not only administer impartial justice to the natives and serve their own government with honesty and fidelity, but must show the utmost tact and firmness, remembering that with such peo ple as those with whom we are to deal weakness is the greatest of crimes, and that next to weakness comes lack of consideration for their principles and prejudices.
I preach to you, then, my countrymen, that our country calls not for the life of ease, but for the life of strenuous endeavor. The Twentieth century looms before us big with the fate of many nations. If we stand idly by, if we seek merely swollen, slothful ease, and ignoble peace, if we shrink from the hard contests where men must win at
hazard of their lives and at the risk of all they hold dear, then the bolder and stronger peoples will pass us by and will win for themselves the domination of the world. Let us therefore boldly face the life of strife, resolute to do our duty well and manfully; resolute to uphold righteousness by deed and by word; resolute to be both honest and brave, to serve high ideals, yet to use practical methods. Above all, let us shrink from no strife, moral or physical, within or without the nation, provided we are certain that the strife is justified; for it is only through strife, through hard and dangerous endeavor, that we shall ultimately win the goal of true national greatness.
(Address of Archibald Philip Primrose, Earl of Rosebery, statesman, orator, British Prime Minister 1894-95 (born in London, May 7, 1847; —), delivered in St. Andrew's Hall, Glasgow, July 21, 1896, being the occasion of the Burns Centenary celebration at Dumfries, Scotland.)
I cannot perhaps deny that to-day has been a labor, but it has been a labor of love. [The speaker had delivered an address in the morning before the tomb of Burns, at Dumfries.] It is, it must be, a source of joy and pride to see our champion Scotsman receive the honor and admiration and affection of humanity, to see as I have seen this morning the long processions bringing homage and tribute to the conquering dead. But these have only been signs and symptoms of world-wide reverence and devotion. That generous and immortal soul pervades the universe to-day. In the humming city and in the crowd of men, in the backwood and in the swamp, where the sentinel paces the black frontier or the sailor smokes the evening pipe, or where, above all, the farmer and his men pursue their summer toil, whether under the Stars and Stripes or under the Union Jack, the thought and sympathy of men are directed to Robert Burns.
I have sometimes asked myself, if a roll-call of fame were read over at the beginning of every century, how many men of eminence would answer a second time to their names. But of our poet there is no doubt or question. The adsum of Burns rings out clear and unchallenged. There are few before him on the list, and we cannot now conceive a list without him. He towers high,