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by a hostile majority in Congress into abandoning his attitude in favor of a sound and stable currency, than he was to be influenced by a check or repulse into releasing his grip on beleaguered Richmond. It is this element of unshakable strength to which we are apt specially to allude when we praise a man in the simplest and most effective way, by praising him as a man. It is the one quality which we can least afford to lose. It is the only quality, the lack of which is as unpardonable in the Nation as in the man. It is the antithesis of levity, fickleness, volatility, of undue exaltation, of undue depression, of hysteria and neuroticism in all their myriad forms.
“There are not a few public men, not a few men who try to mould opinion within Congress and without, on the stump and in the daily press, who seem to aim at instability, who pander to and thereby increase the thirst for over-statement of each situation as it arises, whose effort is, accordingly, to make the people move in zig-zags instead of in a straight line. We all saw this in the Spanish War, when the very men who at one time branded as traitors everybody who said there was anything wrong in the army, at another time branded as traitors everybody who said there was anything right.
"As the ages have rolled by the eternal problem forever fronting each man and each race, forever shifts its outward shape; and yet at the bottom it is always the same. There are dangers of peace and dangers of war; dangers of excess in militarism and of excess by the avoidance of duty that implies militarism; dangers of slow dry rot and dangers which become acute only in great crises. When these crises come the Nation will triumph or sink accordingly as it produces or fails to produce statesmen like Lincoln and soldiers like Grant, and accordingly as it does or does not back them up in their efforts. We do not need men of unsteady brilliancy or erratic powerunbalanced men. The men we need are the men of strong, earnest, solid character—the men who possess the homely virtues, and who to these virtues add rugged courage, rugged honesty and high resolve. Grant, with his self-poise, his self-command, his self-mastery; Grant, who loved peace and did not fear war.
"Grant was not originally an abolitionist and he probably could not have defined his views as to State sovereignty; but when the Civil War was on, he saw that the only thing to do was to fight it to a finish and establish by force of arms and constitutional right to put down rebellion. It is just the same thing nowadays with expansion. It has come, and it has come to stay, whether we wish it or not. Certain duties have fallen to us as a legacy of the war with Spain, and we cannot avoid performing them. All we can decide is whether we will perform them well or ill. We can not leave the Philippines. We have got to stay there, establish order and then give the inhabitants as much self-government as they show they can use to advantage. We can not run away if we would. We have got to see the work through, because we are not a Nation of weaklings. We are strong men, and we intend to do our duty.
“Washington did not promise the people of this country what the leaders of the French revolution promised in 1789-90-91-92. They promised everything. They promised that every man should be absolutely happy. Washington promised only what he could perform. He promised honesty and common sense. He promised that he would take part in forming a government in which there would be prosperity, not for all men, whether they were intellectual or not, whether they were lazy or not, whether they were thrifty or not, but that there should be prosperity as a whole for the man who was honest, who was thrifty, who was hardworking, and who knew how to handle himself, and his promises were made good.
“Washington has won a deathless place in the annals of the best and wisest of mankind. He stands as the greatest of good men, and as the best of great men, because he did not play the part merely of the cloistered philosopher, but strove to achieve results; because he did the best he could with the means at hand, because he ever fixed his eye on the distant goal, and yet did not overlook the obstacles that lay between. He fixed his eyes on the stars, but fixing them there, did not forget to look where his feet trod.”
In nothing that Roosevelt has written does he so perfectly reveal himself as in the golden sentences in which he gives his thoughts, bright and clean cut from the mint, and vividly sketches his ideals, or denounces that which is hateful to him. For example:
"If there be an even more obnoxious member of the body politic than the honest timid man, it is the dishonest man who has courage, for his courage simply makes him a more dangerous wild beast in the community. One of the things that it always grieves me most to hear from the lips of any American is that deification of what we call sniartness, the deification of cunning, and craft which has been divorced from scruple.
“The man who is successful in politics at the cost of abandoning the very principles which we hold dear—that man does not merely damage that he has done by his own career, which may be but trifling; he does infinitely more. He lowers the standards of thousands of young men, of tens of thousands who are not able to see clearly, and who are blinded by the fact that he has succeeded to the further fact that his success was not worth having from any true standpoint.
"If you get together and ask for reform as if it was a concrete substance like cake, you are not going to get it. If you think you have performed your duty by coming together once in a public hall about three weeks before election and advocating something that you know perfectly well it is impossible to get, you are going to be fooled.
"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.
"In no way can you bring about decency in your Government so quickly as by backing up the men who represent your interests, rewarding those who are faithful and punishing those who fail in their duty. Besides these there is another class—the public-spirited citizens-who, without holding office, give of their time to aid the servants of the public.
“You can't govern yourselves by sitting in your studies and thinking how good you are. You've got to fight all you know how, and you'll find a lot of able men willing to fight you. Sometimes one of these people, who feel that they should do something to raise the country's political standard, goes to a primary and finds a raft of men who have been to many primaries. He discovers that he counts for nothing. Then, if he is of the type of men unfit for self-government he says politics are low, and goes home. If he is worth his salt he goes again, loses; goes again, maybe wins; and finally finds that he counts.
“You want to hitch your wagon to a star; but always to remember your limitations. Strive upward but realize that your feet must touch the ground. In our Government you can only work successfully in conjunction with your fellows. Don't let practical politics mean foul politics.
“I despise a man who surrenders his conscience to the multitude as much as I do the one who surrenders it to one man. If he believes the multitude is wrong on a question of policy or finance, he should not bow to it. It is not the men in office who make public life. It is the men out of office who are the arbiters of our public life. It rests on every man here, on every man in the city, on every man in the State and Nation, to make public life high.”
“If it had not been for Roosevelt,” said Senator Cushman K. Davis, late Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, "we should not have been able to strike the blow we did at Manila. It needed just Roosevelt's energy and promptness.”
Col. Roosevelt called it “sharpening the tools for the navy;" and when they were sharpened, and the American flag was firmly planted on Cavite, he resigned. “There is nothing more for me to do here," he said. “I've got to get into the fight myself.”
There is a late good story of the President. He was beset by a peace man by profession, who feared there would be a war. “What,” said the President, "a war, and I cooped up in the White House?”
There are two newspaper stories about the courage of the President, and his appreciation of it in others.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S STUDY IN HIS HOME AT OYSTER BAY. IN THIS ROOM MOCH
OF HIS LITERARY WORK HAS BEEN DONE
From a photograph by Luzannick, Vew Yor's