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and the most liberty-loving among all the peoples who had been thrust out into new continents, were the first to revolt against this system; and the lesson taught by their success has been thoroughly learned.
“In applying the new principles to our conditions we have found the Federal Constitution a nearly perfect instrument. The system of a closely knit and indestructible union of free commonwealths has enabled us to do what neither Greek nor Roman in their greatest days could do. We have preserved the complete unity of an expanding race without impairing in the slightest degree the liberty of the individual. When in a given locality the settlers became sufficiently numerous, they were admitted to Statehood, and thenceforward shared all the rights and all the duties of the citizens of the older States. As with Columbus and the egg, the expedient seems obvious enough nowadays; but then it was so novel that a couple of generations had to pass before we ourselves thoroughly grasped all its features. At last we grew to accept as axiomatic the two facts of national union and local and personal freedom. As whatever is axiomatic seems commonplace, we now tend to accept what has been accomplished as a mere matter-of-course incident, of no great moment. The very completeness with which the vitally important task has been done almost blinds us to the extraordinary nature of the achievement.
“You, the men of Colorado, and above all, the older among those whom I am now addressing, have been engaged in doing the great typical work of our people. Save only the preservation of the Union itself, no other task has been so important as the conquest and settlement of the West. This conquest and settlement has been the stupendous feat of our race for the century that has just closed. It stands supreme among all such feats. The same kind of thing has been in Australia and Canada, but upon a less important scale, while the Russian advance in Siberia has been incomparably slower. In all the history of mankind there is nothing that quite parallels the way in which our people have filled a vacant continent with self-governing commonwealths, knit into one nation. And of all this marvelous history perhaps the most wonderful portion is that which deals with the way in which the Pacific coast and the Rocky Mountains were settled.
“The men who founded these communities showed practically by their life-work that it is indeed the spirit of adventure which is the maker of commonwealths. Their traits of daring and hardihood and iron endurance are not merely indispensable traits for pioneers; they are also traits which must go to the make-up of every mighty and successful people. You and your fathers who built up the West did more even than you thought; for you shaped thereby the destiny of the whole republic, and as a necessary corollary profoundly influenced the course of events throughout the world. More and more as the years go by this republic will find its guidance in the thought and action of the West, because the conditions of development in the West have steadily tended to accentuate the peculiarly American characteristics of its people.
“There was scant room for the coward and the weakling in the ranks of the adventurous frontiersmen—the pioneer settlers who first broke up the wild prairie soil, who first hewed their way into the primeval forest, who guided their white-topped wagons across the endless leagues of Indian-haunted desola. tion, and explored every remote mountain-chain in the restless quest for metal wealth. Behind them came the men who completed the work they had roughly begun: who drove the great railroad systems over plain and desert and mountain pass; who stocked the teeming ranches, and under irrigation saw the bright green of the alfalfa and the yellow of the golden stubble supplant the gray of the sage-bush desert; who have built great populous cities—cities in which every art and science of civilization are carried to the highest pointon tracts which, when the nineteenth century had passed its meridian, were still known only to the grim trappers and hunters and the red lords of the wilderness with whom they waged eternal war.
“Such is the record of which we are so proud. It is a record of men who greatly dared and greatly did; a record of wanderings wider and more dangerous than those of the Vikings; a record of endless feats of arms, of victory after victory in the ceaseless strife waged against wild man and wild nature. The winning of the West was the great epic feat in the history of our race.
“We have then a right to meet to-day in a spirit of just pride in the past. But when we pay homage to the hardy, grim, resolute men who, with incredible toil and risk, laid deep the foundations of the civilization that we inherit, let us steadily remember that the only homage that counts is the homage of deedsnot merely of words. It is well to gather here to show that we remember what has been done in the past by the Western pioneers of our people, ana that we glory in the greatness for which they prepared the way. But lip-loyalty by itself avails very little, whether it is expressed concerning a nation or an ideal. It would be a sad and evil thing for this country if ever the day came when we considered the great deeds of our forefathers as an excuse for our resting slothfully satisfied with what has been already done. On the contrary: they should be an inspiration and appeal, summoning us to show that we too have courage and strength; that we too are ready to dare greatly if the need arises; and, above all, that we are firmly bent upon that steady performance of every-day duty which, in the long run, is of such incredible worth in the formation of national character.
“The old iron days have gone, the days when the weakling died as the penalty of inability to hold his own in the rough warfare against his surroundings. We live in softer times. Let us see to it that, while we take advantage of every gentler and more humanizing tendency of the age, we yet preserve the iron quality which made our forefathers and predecessors fit to do the deeds they did. It will of necessity find a different expression now, but the quality itself remains just as necessary as ever. Surely you men of the West, you men who with stout heart, cool head, and ready hand have wrought out your own success and built up these great new commonwealths, surely you need no reminder of the fact that if either man or nation wishes to play a great part in the world there must be no dallying with the life of lazy ease. In the abounding energy and intensity of existence in our mighty democratic republic there is small space indeed for the idler, for the luxury-loving man who prizes ease more than hard, triumph-crowned effort.
"We hold work not as a curse but as a blessing, and we regard the idler with scornful pity. It would be in the highest degree undesirable that we should all work in the same way or at the same things, and for the sake of the real greatness of the nation we should in the fullest and most cordial way recognize the fact that some of the most needed work must, from its very nature, be unremunerative in a material sense. Each man must choose so far as the conditions allow him the path to which he is bidden by his own peculiar powers and inclinations. But if he is a man he must in some way or shape do a man's work. If, after making all the effort that his strength of body and of mind permits, he yet honorably fails, why, he is still entitled to a certain share of respect because he has made the effort. But if he does not make the effort, or if he makes it half-heartedly and recoils from the labor, the risk, or the irksome monotony of his task, why, he has forfeited all right to our respect, and has shown himself a mere cumberer on the earth. It is not given to us all to succeed, but it is given to us all to strive manfully to deserve success.
“We need then the iron qualities that must go with true manhood. We need the positive virtues of resolution, of courage, of indomitable will, of power to do without shrinking the rough work that must always be done, and to persevere through the long days of slow progress or of seeming failure which always come before any final triumph, no matter how brilliant. But we need more than these qualities. This country cannot afford to have its sons less than men; but neither can it afford to have them other than good men. If courage and strength and intellect are unaccompanied by the moral purpose, the moral sense, they become merely forms of expression for unscrupulous force and unscrupulous cunning. If the strong man has not in him the lift toward lofty things his strength makes him only a curse to himself and to his neighbor. All this is true in private life, and it is no less true in public life. If Washington and Lincoln had not had in them the whipcord fiber of moral and mental strength, the soul that steels itself to endure disaster unshaken and with grim resolve to wrest victory from defeat, then the one could not have founded, nor the other preserved, our mighty federal Union. The least touch of Alabbiness, of unhealthy softness, in either would have meant ruin for this nation, and therefore the downfall of the proudest hope of mankind. But no less is it true that had either been influenced by self-seeking ambition, by callous disregard of others, by contempt for the moral law, they would have dashed us down into the black gulf of failure. Woe to all of us if ever as a people we grow to condone evil because it is successful. We can no more afford to lose social and civic decency and honesty than we can afford to lose the qualities of courage and strength. It is the merest truism to say that the nation rests upon the individual, upon the family—upon individual manliness and womanliness, using the words in their widest and fullest meaning.
"To be a good husband or good wife, a good neighbor and friend, to be hard-working and upright in business and social relations, to bring up many healthy children—to be and to do all this is to lay the foundations of good citizenship as they must be laid. But we cannot stop even with this. Each of us has not only his duty to himself, his family, and his neighbors, but his duty to the State and to the nation. We are in honor bound each to strive according to his or her strength to bring ever nearer the day when justice and wisdom shall obtain in public life as in private life. We cannot retain the full measure of our self-respect if .we cannot retain pride in our citizenship. For the sake not only of ourselves but of our children and our children's children we must see that this nation stands for strength and honesty both at home and abroad. In our internal policy we cannot afford to rest satisfied until all that the Government can do has been done to secure fair dealing and equal justice as between man and man. In the great part which hereafter, whether we will or not, we must play in the world at large, let us see to it that we neither do wrong nor shrink from doing right because the right is difficult; that on the one hand we inflict no injury, and that on the other we have a due regard for the honor and the interest of our mighty nation; and that we keep unsullied the renown of the flag which beyond all others of the present time or of the ages of the past stands for confident faith in the future welfare and greatness of mankind."
Much has been well and handsomely said of the literary life and works, and distinction in historical writing of the President of the United States. It is saying too much, however, to assert as has been done frequently Roosevelt is the only President who could be described as a literary man. The Adamses and the Harrisons were of literary accomplishments. The elder Harrison contributed to the schoolbooks and Benjamin Harrison leaves two volumes of good work, besides his speeches and his reports of the Supreme Court of Indiana.
Jefferson and Madison were distinctly literary men, and Abraham Lincoln's inaugural addresses and Gettysburg oration, are like grand old Hebrew poems. The Memoirs of Grant are one of his monuments. They have the merit of masterly simplicity. Theodore Roosevelt is the first President who was a producer of books in the days of his youth. It is true that outside journalism, few, literary men of our country have been important factors in public affairs.
In Germany, the great Central Power of Europe, the sword is greater than the pen in the construction and control of the system and machinery of the Government. The men, great in science and literature, as in art, live remote from the persons and policies of authority. Bismarck may be recog. nized as a lofty exception, for his was a towering intellect, and it was his nature to subordinate all with whom he came in contact, until the heir to the throne, which he had made imperial, accepted the imperious instructor too literally, and the architect of the Empire found he had builded stronger, and wiser, than he knew. It is within the recollection of men, students of history, for a generation that two men, whose earliest and greatest distinctions were in literature, were the masters of their countries-England and France. They were Disraeli and Thiers. Behind the latter was Lamertine, and the former, Gladstone. Disraeli, the romance writer, was a great practical politician. The literary men of France have been important in the life of the country, and the influence of literature, not chiefly journalistic, but more serious undertakings of composition, has largely persuaded the French people in both wisdom and folly. Madame de Stael and George Sand have had political effect, that was distinct from the element of emotion in womanhood. Eugene Sue, the novelist, wrote under the impression he was a politician as well as a novelist, and had social tendencies. In our country, Samuel L. Clemens has occasionally figured as the benevolent father of radical opinions; and William D. Howells, one of the most amiable and gentle of men, has a political imagination whose pleasing purposes are worthy of all praise. Napoleon III. whose imperial error was that he rubbed the fur of the French Tiger the wrong way, at the zenith of his power undertook to write the life of Julius Caesar, and opened it saying, “the truths of history are almost as sacred as those of religion.”
The literary men of England have long been prone to take themselves seriously in politics, but the people have hardly seconded them in that disposition. Thomas Carlyle was not thought of either as a winner of the Derby or the Premier of the Empire; and Roseberry, the author of the last phases of Napoleon and winner of the Derby, is still largely in the confidence of the British public. John Morley was writing and publishing in monthly parts, the life of Oliver Cromwell, at the time Theodore Roosevelt was doing the same thing. Bulwer, the novelist, was a decoration of Parliament, but did not play the part of an imposing character. Tennyson's war songs made a commotion in the land exceeding that produced by Rudyard Kipling. Sir Walter