African and European Addresses
by Theodore Roosevelt
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With an Introduction presenting a Description of the Conditions under which the Addresses were given during Mr. Roosevelt's Journey in 1910 from Khartum through Europe to New York




My original intention had been to return to the United States direct from Africa, by the same route I took when going out. I altered this intention because of receiving from the Chancellor of Oxford University, Lord Curzon, an invitation to deliver the Romanes Lecture at Oxford. The Romanes Foundation had always greatly interested me, and I had been much struck by the general character of the annual addresses, so that I was glad to accept. Immediately afterwards, I received and accepted invitations to speak at the Sorbonne in Paris, and at the University of Berlin. In Berlin and at Oxford, my addresses were of a scholastic character, designed especially for the learned bodies which I was addressing, and for men who shared their interests in scientific and historical matters. In Paris, after consultation with the French Ambassador, M. Jusserand, through whom the invitation was tendered, I decided to speak more generally, as the citizen of one republic addressing the citizens of another republic.

When, for these reasons, I had decided to stop in Europe on my way home, it of course became necessary that I should speak to the Nobel Prize Committee in Christiania, in acknowledgment of the Committee's award of the peace prize, after the Peace of Portsmouth had closed the war between Japan and Russia.

While in Africa, I became greatly interested in the work of the Government officials and soldiers who were there upholding the cause of civilization. These men appealed to me; in the first place, because they reminded me so much of our own officials and soldiers who have reflected such credit on the American name in the Philippines, in Panama, in Cuba, in Porto Rico; and, in the next place, because I was really touched by the way in which they turned to me, with the certainty that I understood and believed in their work, and with the eagerly expressed hope that when I got the chance I would tell the people at home what they were doing and would urge that they be supported in doing it.

In my Egyptian address, my endeavor was to hold up the hands of these men, and at the same time to champion the cause of the missionaries, of the native Christians, and of the advanced and enlightened Mohammedans in Egypt. To do this it was necessary emphatically to discourage the anti-foreign movement, led, as it is, by a band of reckless, foolish, and sometimes murderous agitators. In other words, I spoke with the purpose of doing good to Egypt, and with the hope of deserving well of the Egyptian people of the future, unwilling to pursue the easy line of moral culpability which is implied in saying pleasant things of that noisy portion of the Egyptian people of to-day, who, if they could have their way, would irretrievably and utterly ruin Egypt's future. In the Guildhall address, I carried out the same idea.

I made a number of other addresses, some of which—those, for instance, at Budapest, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and the University of Christiania,—I would like to present here; but unfortunately they were made without preparation, and were not taken down in shorthand, so that with the exception of the address made at the dinner in Christiania and the address at the Cambridge Union these can not be included.





Mr. Roosevelt as an Orator.


An Address at the American Mission in Khartum, March 16, 1910.


An Address before the National University in Cairo, March 28, 1910.


An Address Delivered at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910.


An Address before the Nobel Prize Committee Delivered at Christiania, Norway, May 5, 1910.


An Address Delivered at Christiania, Norway, on the Evening of May 5, 1910.


An Address Delivered at the University of Berlin, May 12, 1910.


An Address at the Cambridge Union, May 26, 1910.


Address Delivered at the Guildhall, London, May 31, 1910.


Delivered at Oxford, June 7, 1910.

[1] The text of this lecture, which is the Romanes Lecture for 1910, is included in the present volume under the courteous permission of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford.



Mr. Roosevelt as an Orator

In the tumult, on the one hand of admiration and praise and on the other of denunciation and criticism, which Mr. Roosevelt's tour in Africa and Europe excited throughout the civilized world, there was one—and I am inclined to think only one—note of common agreement. Friends and foes united in recognizing the surprising versatility of talents and of ability which the activities of his tour displayed. Hunters and explorers, archaeologists and ethnologists, soldiers and sailors, scientists and university doctors, statesmen and politicians, monarchs and diplomats, essayists and historians, athletes and horsemen, orators and occasional speakers, met him on equal terms. The purpose of the present volume is to give to American readers, by collecting a group of his transatlantic addresses and by relating some incidents and effects of their delivery, some impression of one particular phase of Mr. Roosevelt's foreign journey,—an impression of the influence on public thought which he exerted as an orator.

No one would assert that Mr. Roosevelt possesses that persuasive grace of oratory which made Mr. Gladstone one of the greatest public speakers of modern times. For oratory as a fine art, he has no use whatever; he is neither a stylist nor an elocutionist; what he has to say he says with conviction and in the most direct and effective phraseology that he can find through which to bring his hearers to his way of thinking. Three passages from the Guildhall speech afford typical illustrations of the incisiveness of his English and of its effect on his audience.

Fortunately you have now in the Governor of East Africa, Sir Percy Girouard, a man admirably fitted to deal wisely and firmly with the many problems before him. He is on the ground and knows the needs of the country and is zealously devoted to its interests. All that is necessary is to follow his lead and to give him cordial support and backing. The principle upon which I think it is wise to act in dealing with far-away possessions is this: choose your man, change him if you become discontented with him, but while you keep him, back him up.

* * * * *

I have met people who had some doubt whether the Sudan would pay. Personally, I think it probably will. But I may add that, in my judgment, this does not alter the duty of England to stay there. It is not worth while belonging to a big nation unless the big nation is willing, when the necessity arises, to undertake a big task. I feel about you in the Sudan just as I felt about us in Panama. When we acquired the right to build the Panama Canal, and entered on the task, there were worthy people who came to me and said they wondered whether it would pay. I always answered that it was one of the great world-works that had to be done; that it was our business as a nation to do it, if we were ready to make good our claim to be treated as a great World Power; and that as we were unwilling to abandon the claim, no American worth his salt ought to hesitate about performing the task. I feel just the same way about you in the Sudan.

* * * * *

It was with this primary object of establishing order that you went into Egypt twenty-eight years ago; and the chief and ample justification for your presence in Egypt was this absolute necessity of order being established from without, coupled with your ability and willingness to establish it. Now, either you have the right to be in Egypt, or you have not; either it is, or it is not your duty to establish and keep order. If you feel that you have not the right to be in Egypt, if you do not wish to establish and keep order there, why then by all means get out of Egypt. If, as I hope, you feel that your duty to civilized mankind and your fealty to your own great traditions alike bid you to stay, then make the fact and the name agree, and show that you are ready to meet in very deed the responsibility which is yours.

There may be little Ciceronian grace about these passages, but there is unmistakable verbal power. So many words of one syllable and of Saxon derivation are used as to warrant the opinion that the speaker possesses a distinctive style. That it is an effective style was proved by the response of the audience, which greeted these particular passages (although they contain by implication frank criticisms of the British people) with cheers and cries of "Hear, hear!" It should be remembered, too, that the audience, a distinguished one, while neither hostile nor antipathetic, came in a distinctly critical frame of mind. Like the man from Missouri, they were determined "to be shown" the value of Mr. Roosevelt's personality and views before they accepted them. That they did accept them, that the British people accepted them, I shall endeavor to show a little later.

There are people who entertain the notion that it is characteristic of Mr. Roosevelt to speak on the spur of the moment, trusting to the occasion to furnish him with both his ideas and his inspiration. Nothing could be more contrary to the facts. It is true that in his European journey he developed a facility in extemporaneous after-dinner speaking or occasional addresses, that was a surprise even to his intimate friends. At such times, what he said was full of apt allusions, witty comment (sometimes at his own expense), and bubbling good humor. The address to the undergraduates at the Cambridge Union, and his remarks at the supper of the Institute of British Journalists in Stationers' Hall, are good examples of this kind of public speaking. But his important speeches are carefully and painstakingly prepared. It is his habit to dictate the first draft to a stenographer. He then takes the typewritten original and works over it, sometimes sleeps over it, and edits it with the greatest care. In doing this, he usually calls upon his friends, or upon experts in the subject he is dealing with, for advice and suggestion.

Of the addresses collected in this volume, three—the lectures at the Sorbonne, at the University of Berlin, and at Oxford—were written during the winter of 1909, before Mr. Roosevelt left the Presidency; a fourth, the Nobel Prize speech, was composed during the hunting trip in Africa, and the original copy, written with indelible pencil on sheets of varying size and texture, and covered with interlineations and corrections, bears all the marks of life in the wilderness. The Cairo and Guildhall addresses were written and rewritten with great care beforehand. The remaining three, "Peace and Justice in the Sudan," "The Colonial Policy of the United States," and the speech at the University of Cambridge were extemporaneous. The Cairo and Guildhall speeches are on the same subject, and sprang from the same sources, and although one was delivered at the beginning, and the other at the close of a three months' journey, they should, in order to be properly understood, be read as one would read two chapters of one work.

When Mr. Roosevelt reached Egypt, he found the country in one of those periods of political unrest and religious fanaticism which have during the last twenty-five years given all Europe many bad quarters of an hour. Technically a part of the Ottoman Empire and a province of the Sultan of Turkey, Egypt is practically an English protectorate. During the quarter of a century since the tragic death of General Gordon at Khartum, Egypt has made astonishing progress in prosperity, in the administration of justice, and in political stability. All Europe recognizes this progress to be the fruit of English control and administration. At the time of Mr. Roosevelt's visit, a faction, or party, of native Egyptians, calling themselves Nationalists, had come into somewhat unsavory prominence; they openly urged the expulsion of the English, giving feverish utterance to the cry "Egypt for the Egyptians!" In Egypt, this cry means more than a political antagonism; it means the revival of the ancient and bitter feud between Mohammedanism and Christianity. It is in effect a cry of "Egypt for the Moslem!" The Nationalist party had by no means succeeded in affecting the entire Moslem population, but it had succeeded in attracting to itself all the adventurers, and lovers of darkness and disorder who cultivate for their own personal gain such movements of national unrest. The non-Moslem population, European and native, whose ability and intelligence is indicated by the fact that, while they form less than ten per cent. of the inhabitants, they own more than fifty per cent. of the property, were staunch supporters of the English control which the Nationalists wished to overthrow. The Nationalists, however, appeared to be the only people who were not afraid to talk openly and to take definite steps. Just before Mr. Roosevelt's arrival, Boutros Pasha, the Prime Minister, a native Egyptian Christian, and one of the ablest administrative officers that Egypt has ever produced, had been brutally assassinated by a Nationalist. The murder was discussed everywhere with many shakings of the head, but in quiet corners, and low tones of voice. Military and civil officers complained in private that the home government was paying little heed to the assassination and to the spirit of disorder which brought it about. English residents, who are commonly courageous and outspoken in great crises, gave one the impression of speaking in whispers in the hope that if it were ignored, the agitation might die away instead of developing into riot and bloodshed.

Now this way of dealing with a law-breaker and political agitator is totally foreign to Mr. Roosevelt; even his critics admit that he both talks and fights in the open. In two speeches in Khartum, one at a dinner given in his honor by British military and civil officers, and one at a reception arranged by native Egyptian military men and officials, he pointed out in vigorous language the dangers of religious fanaticism and the kind of "Nationalism" that condones assassination. Newspaper organs of the Nationalists attacked him for these speeches when he arrived in Cairo. This made him all the more determined to say the same things in Cairo when the proper opportunity came, especially as officials, both military and civil, of high rank and responsibility, had persistently urged him to do what he properly could to arouse the attention of the British Government to the Egyptian situation. The opportunity came in an invitation to address the University of Cairo. His speech was carefully thought out and was written with equal care; some of his friends, both Egyptian, and English, whom he consulted, were in the uncertain frame of mind of hoping that he would mention the assassination of Boutros, but wondering whether he really ought to do so. Mr. Roosevelt spoke with all his characteristic effectiveness of enunciation and gesture. He was listened to with earnest attention and vigorous applause by a representative audience of Egyptians and Europeans, of Moslems and Christians. The address was delivered on the morning of March 28th; in the afternoon the comment everywhere was, "Why haven't these things been said in public before?" Of course the criticisms of the extreme Nationalists were very bitter. Their newspapers, printed in Arabic, devoted whole pages to denunciations of the speech. They protested to the university authorities against the presentation of the honorary degree which was conferred upon Mr. Roosevelt; they called him "a traitor to the principles of George Washington," and "an advocate of despotism"; an orator at a Nationalist mass meeting explained that Mr. Roosevelt's "opposition to political liberty" was due to his Dutch origin, "for the Dutch, as every one knows, have treated their colonies more cruelly than any other civilized nation"; one paper announced that the United States Senate had recorded its disapproval of the speech by taking away Mr. Roosevelt's pension of five thousand dollars, in amusing ignorance of the fact that Mr. Roosevelt never had any pension of any kind whatsoever. On the other hand, government officers of authority united with private citizens of distinction (including missionaries, native Christians, and many progressive Moslems) in expressing, personally and by letter, approval of the speech as one that would have a wide influence in Egypt in supporting the efforts of those who are working for the development of a stable, just, and enlightened form of government. In connection with the more widely-known Guildhall address on the same subject it unquestionably has such an influence.

Between the delivery of the Cairo speech and that of the next fixed address, the lecture at the Sorbonne in Paris on April 23d, there were a number of extemporaneous and occasional addresses of which no permanent record has been, or can be made. Some of these were responses to speeches of welcome made by municipal officials on railway platforms, or were replies to toasts at luncheons and dinners. In Rome, Mayor Nathan gave a dinner in his honor in the Campidoglio, or City Hall, which was attended by a group of about fifty men prominent in Italian official or private life. On this occasion the Mayor read an address of welcome in French, to which Mr. Roosevelt made a reply touching upon the history of Italy and some of the social problems with which the Italian people have to deal in common with the other civilized nations of the earth. He began his reply in French, but soon broke off, and continued in English, asking the Mayor to translate it, sentence by sentence, into Italian for the assembled guests, most of whom did not speak English. Both the speech itself and the personality of the speaker made a marked impression upon his hearers; and after his retirement from the hall in which the dinner was held, what he said furnished almost the sole subject of animated conversation, until the party separated. In Budapest, under the dome of the beautiful House of Parliament, Count Apponyi, one of the great political leaders of modern Hungary, on behalf of the Hungarian delegates to the Inter-Parliamentary Union presented to Mr. Roosevelt an illuminated address in which was recorded the latter's achievements in behalf of human rights, human liberty, and international justice. Mr. Roosevelt in his reply showed an intimate familiarity with the Hungarian history such as, Count Apponyi afterwards said, he had never met in any other public man outside of Hungary. Although entirely extemporaneous, this reply may be taken as a fair exemplification of the spirit of all his speeches during his foreign journey. Briefly, in referring to some allusions in Count Apponyi's speech to the great leaders of liberty in the United States and in Hungary, he asserted that the principles for which he had endeavored to struggle during his political career were principles older than those of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln; older, indeed, than the principles of Kossuth, the great Hungarian leader; they were the principles enunciated in the Decalogue and the Golden Rule. One of the significant things about these sermons by Mr. Roosevelt—I call them sermons because he frequently himself uses the phrase, "I preach"—is that nobody spoke, or apparently thought the word cant in connection with them. They were accepted as the genuine and spontaneous expression of a man who believes that the highest moral principles are quite compatible with all the best social joys of life, and with dealing knockout blows when it is necessary to fight in order to redress wrongs or to maintain justice.

The people of Paris are perhaps as quick to detect and to laugh at cant or moral platitudes as anybody of the modern world. And yet the Sorbonne lecture, delivered by invitation of the officials of the University of Paris, on April 23d, saturated as it was with moral ideas and moral exhortation, was a complete success. The occasion furnished an illustration of the power of moral ideas to interest and to inspire. The streets surrounding the hall were filled with an enormous crowd long before the hour announced for the opening of the doors; and even ticket-holders had great difficulty in gaining admission. The spacious amphitheatre of the Sorbonne was filled with a representative audience, numbering probably three thousand people. Around the hall, were statues of the great masters of French intellectual life—Pascal, Descartes, Lavoisier, and others. On the wall was one of the Puvis de Chavannes's most beautiful mural paintings. The group of university officials and academicians on the dais, from which Mr. Roosevelt spoke, lent to the occasion an appropriate university atmosphere. The simple but perfect arrangement of the French and American flags back of the speaker suggested its international character.

The speech was an appeal for moral rather than for intellectual or material greatness. It was received with marked interest and approval; the passage ending with a reference to "cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat," was delivered with real eloquence, and aroused a long-continued storm of applause. With characteristic courage, Mr. Roosevelt attacked race suicide when speaking to a race whose population is diminishing, and was loudly applauded. Occasionally with quizzical humor he interjected an extemporaneous sentence in French, to the great satisfaction of his audience. A passage of peculiar interest was the statement of his creed regarding the relation of property-rights to human rights; it was not in his original manuscript but was written on the morning of the lecture as the result of a discussion of the subject of vested interests with one or two distinguished French publicists. He first pronounced this passage in English, and then repeated it in French, enforced by gestures which so clearly indicated his desire to have his hearers unmistakably understand him in spite of defective pronunciation of a foreign tongue that the manifest approval of the audience was expressed in a curious mingling of sympathetic laughter and prolonged and serious applause.

A fortnight after the Sorbonne address, I received from a friend, an American military officer living in Paris who knows well its general habit of mind, a letter from which I venture to quote here, because it so strikingly portrays the influence that Mr. Roosevelt exerted as an orator during his European journey:

I find that Paris is still everywhere talking of Mr. Roosevelt. It was a thing almost without precedent that this blase city kept up its interest in him without abatement for eight days; but that a week after his departure should still find him the main topic of conversation is a fact which has undoubtedly entered into Paris history. The Temps [one of the foremost daily newspapers of Paris] has had fifty-seven thousand copies of his Sorbonne address printed and distributed free to every schoolteacher in France and to many other persons. The Socialist or revolutionary groups and press had made preparations for a monster demonstration on May first. Walls were placarded with incendiary appeals and their press was full of calls to arms. Monsieur Briand [the Prime Minister] flatly refused to allow the demonstration, and gave orders accordingly to Monsieur Lepine [the Chief of Police]. For the first time since present influences have governed France, certainly in fifteen years, the police and the troops were authorized to use their arms in self-defence. The result of this firmness was that the leaders countermanded the demonstration, and there can be no doubt that many lives were saved and a new point gained in the possibility of governing Paris as a free city, yet one where order must be preserved, votes or no votes. Now this stiff attitude of M. Briand and the Conseil is freely attributed in intelligent quarters to Mr. Roosevelt. French people say it is a repercussion of his visit, of his Sorbonne lecture, and that going away he left in the minds of these people some of that intangible spirit of his—in other words, they felt what he would have felt in a similar emergency, and for the first time in their lives showed a disregard of voters when they were bent upon mischief. It is rather an extraordinary verdict, but it has seized the Parisian imagination, and I, for one, believe it is correct.

Some of the English newspapers, while generally approving of the Sorbonne address, expressed the feeling that it contained some platitudes. Of course it did; for the laws of social and moral health, like the laws of hygiene, are platitudes. It was interesting to have a French engineer and mathematician of distinguished achievements, who discussed with me the character and effect of the Sorbonne address, rather hotly denounce those who affected to regard Mr. Roosevelt's restatement of obvious, but too often forgotten truth, as platitudinous. "The finest and most beautiful things in life," said this scientist, "the most abstruse scientific discoveries, are based upon platitudes. It is a platitude to say that the whole is greater than a part, or that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and yet it is upon such platitudes that astronomy, by aid of which we have penetrated some of the far-off mysteries of the universe, is based. The greatest cathedrals are built of single blocks of stone, and a single block of stone is a platitude. Tear the architectural structure to pieces, and you have nothing left but the single, common, platitudinous brick; but for that reason do you say that your architectural structure is platitudinous? The effect of Mr. Roosevelt's career and personality, which rest upon the secure foundation of simple and obvious truths, is like that of a fine architectural structure, and if a man can see only the single bricks or stones of which it is composed, so much the worse for him."

Of the addresses included in this volume the next in chronological order was that on "International Peace," officially delivered before the Nobel Prize Committee, but actually a public oration spoken in the National Theatre of Christiania, before an audience of two or three thousand people. The Norwegians did everything to make the occasion a notable one. The streets were almost impassable from the crowds of people who assembled about the theatre, but who were unable to gain admission. An excellent orchestra played an overture, especially composed for the occasion by a distinguished Norwegian composer, in which themes from the Star-Spangled Banner and from Norwegian national airs and folk-songs were ingeniously intertwined. The day was observed as a holiday in Christiania, and the entire city was decorated with evergreens and flags. On the evening of the same day, the Nobel Prize Committee gave a dinner in honor of Mr. Roosevelt which was attended by two or three hundred guests,—both men and women. General Bratlie, at one time Norwegian Minister of War, made an address of welcome, reviewing with appreciation Mr. Roosevelt's qualities both as a man of war and as a man of peace. The address in this volume, entitled, "Colonial Policy of the United States" was Mr. Roosevelt's reply to General Bratlie's personal tribute. It was wholly extemporaneous, but was taken down stenographically; and it adds to its interest to note the fact that on the evening of its delivery it was the first public utterance on any question of American politics which Mr. Roosevelt had made since he left America a year previous. The Nobel Prize speech and this address taken together form a pretty complete exposition of what may perhaps be called, for want of a better term, Mr. Roosevelt's "peace with action" doctrine.

"The World Movement," the address at the University of Berlin, was the first of two distinctively academic, or scholastic utterances, the other, of course, being the Romanes lecture. The Sorbonne speech was almost purely sociological and ethical. There are, to be sure, social and moral applications made of the theories laid down at Berlin and at Oxford; but these two university addresses are distinctly for a university audience. My own judgment is that the Sorbonne and Guildhall addresses were more effective in their human interest and their immediate political influence. But at both Berlin and Oxford, Mr. Roosevelt showed that he could deal with scholarly subjects in a scholarly fashion. It may be that he desired on these two occasions to give some indication that, although universally regarded as a man of action, he is entitled also to be considered as a man of thought. The lecture at the University of Berlin was a brilliant and picturesque academic celebration in which doctors' gowns, military uniforms, and the somewhat bizarre dress of the representatives of the undergraduate student corps, mingled in kaleidoscopic effect. One interesting feature of the ceremony was the singing by a finely trained student chorus without instrumental accompaniment, of Hail Columbia and The Star-Spangled Banner, harmonized as only the Germans can harmonize choral music. The Emperor and the Empress, with several members of the Imperial family, attended the lecture. Those who sat near the Emperor could see that he followed the address with genuine interest, nodding his head, or smiling now and then with approval at some incisively expressed idea, or some phrase of interjected humor, or a characteristic gesture on the part of the speaker. In one respect the lecture was a tour de force. On account of a sharp attack of bronchitis, from which he was then recovering, it was not decided by the physicians in charge until the morning of the lecture that Mr. Roosevelt could use his voice for one hour in safety. Arrangements had been made to have some one else read the lecture if at the last moment it should be necessary; and the fact that Mr. Roosevelt was able to do it himself effectively under these circumstances indicates that he has some of the physical as well as the intellectual attributes of the practised orator.

Mr. Roosevelt's first public speech in England was made at the University of Cambridge on May 26th when he received the honorary degree of LL.D. His address on this occasion was not, like the Romanes lecture at Oxford, a part of the academic ceremony connected with the conferring of the honorary degree. It was spoken to an audience of undergraduates when, after the academic exercises in the Senate House, he was elected to honorary membership in the Union Society, the well-known Cambridge debating club which has trained some of the best public speakers of England. At Oxford the doctors and dignitaries cracked the jokes—in Latin—while the undergraduates were highly decorous. At Cambridge, on the other hand, the students indulged in the traditional pranks which often lend a color of gaiety to University ceremonies at both Oxford and Cambridge. Mr. Roosevelt entered heartily into the spirit of the undergraduates, and it was evident that they, quite as heartily, liked his understanding of the fact that the best university and college life consists in a judicious mixture of the grave and the gay. The honor which these undergraduates paid to their guest was seriously intended, was admirably planned, and its genuineness was all the more apparent because it had a note of pleasantry. Mr. Roosevelt spoke as a university student to university students and what he said, although brief, extemporaneous, and even unpremeditated, deserves to be included with his more important addresses, because it affords an excellent example of his characteristic habit of making an occasion of social gaiety also an occasion of expressing his belief in the fundamental moral principles of social and political life. The speech was frequently interrupted by the laughter and applause of the audience, and the theory which Mr. Roosevelt propounded, that any man in any walk of life may achieve genuine success simply by developing ordinary qualities to a more than ordinary degree, was widely quoted and discussed by the press of Great Britain.

Next in chronological order comes the Guildhall speech. In the picturesqueness of its setting, in the occasion which gave rise to it, in the extraordinary effect it had upon public opinion in Great Britain, the continent of Europe, and America, and in the courage which it evinced on the part of the speaker, it is in my judgment the most striking of all Mr. Roosevelt's foreign addresses.

The occasion was a brilliant and notable one. The ancient and splendid Guildhall—one of the most perfect Gothic interiors in England, which has historical associations of more than five centuries—was filled with a representative gathering of English men and women. On the dais, or stage, at one end of the hall, sat the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress, and the special guests of the occasion were conducted by ushers, in robes and carrying maces, down a long aisle flanked with spectators on either side and up the steps of the dais, where they were presented. Their names were called out at the beginning of the aisle, and as the ushers and the guest moved along, the audience applauded, little or much, according to the popularity of the newcomer. Thus John Burns and Mr. Balfour were greeted with enthusiastic hand-clapping and cheers, although they belong, of course, to opposite parties. The Bishop of London, Lord Cromer, the maker of modern Egypt, Sargent, the painter, and Sir Edward Grey, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, were among those greeted in this way. In the front row on one side of the dais were seated the aldermen of the city in their red robes, and various officials in wigs and gowns lent to the scene a curiously antique aspect to the American eye. Happily, the City of London has carefully preserved the historical traditions connected with it and with the Guilds, or groups of merchants, which in the past had so much to do with the management of its affairs. Among the invited guests, for example, were the Master of the Mercers' Company, the Master of the Grocers' Company, the Master of the Drapers' Company, the Master of the Skinners' Company, the Master of the Haberdashers' Company, the Master of the Salters' Company, the Master of the Ironmongers' Company, the Master of the Vintners' Company, and the Master of the Clothworkers' Company. These various trades, of course, are no longer carried on by Guilds, but by private firms or corporations, and yet the Guild organization is still maintained as a sort of social or semi-social recognition of the days when the Guildhall was not merely a great assembly-room, but the place in which the Guilds actually managed the affairs of their city. It was in such a place and amid such surroundings that Mr. Roosevelt was formally nominated and elected a Freeman of the ancient City of London.

Mr. Roosevelt's speech was far from being extemporaneous; it had been carefully thought out beforehand, and was based upon his experiences during the previous March, in Egypt; it was really the desire of influential Englishmen in Africa to have him say something about Egyptian affairs that led him to make a speech at all. He had had ample time to think, and he had thought a good deal, yet it was plainly to be seen that the frankness of his utterance, his characteristic attitude and gestures, and the pungent quality of his oratory at first startled his audience, accustomed to more conventional methods of public speaking. But he soon captured and carried his hearers with him, as is indicated by the exclamations of approval on the part of the audience which were incorporated in the verbatim report of the speech in the London Times. It is no exaggeration to say that his speech became the talk of England—in clubs, in private homes, and in the newspapers. Of course there was some criticism, but, on the whole, it was received with commendation. The extreme wing of the Liberal party, whom we should call Anti-Imperialists, but who are in Great Britain colloquially spoken of as "Little Englanders," took exception to it, but even their disapproval, save in a few instances of bitter personal attack, was mild. The London Chronicle, which is perhaps the most influential of the morning newspapers representing the Anti-Imperialist view, was of the opinion that the speech was hardly necessary, because it asserted that the Government and the British nation have long been of Mr. Roosevelt's own opinion. The Westminster Gazette, the leading evening Liberal paper, also asserted that "none of the broad considerations advanced by Mr. Roosevelt have been absent from the minds of Ministers, and of Sir Edward Grey in particular. We regret that Mr. Roosevelt should have thought it necessary to speak out yesterday, not on the narrow ground of etiquette or precedent, but because we cannot bring ourselves to believe that his words are calculated to make it any easier to deal with an exceedingly difficult problem."

The views of these two newspapers fairly express the rather mild opposition excited by the speech among those who regard British control in Egypt as a question of partisan politics. On the other hand, the best and most influential public opinion, while recognizing the unconventionality of Mr. Roosevelt's course, heartily approved of both the matter and the manner of the speech. The London Times said: "Mr. Roosevelt has reminded us in the most friendly way of what we are at least in danger of forgetting, and no impatience of outside criticism ought to be allowed to divert us from considering the substantial truth of his words. His own conduct of great affairs and the salutary influence of his policy upon American public life ... at least give him a right, which all international critics do not possess, to utter a useful, even if not wholly palatable, warning." The Daily Telegraph, after referring to Mr. Roosevelt as "a practical statesman who combines with all his serious force a famous sense of humor," expressed the opinion that his "candor is a tonic, which not only makes plain our immediate duty but helps us to do it. In Egypt, as in India, there is no doubt as to the alternative he has stated so vigorously: we must govern or go; and we have no intention of going." The Pall Mall Gazette's opinion was that Mr. Roosevelt "delivered a great and memorable speech—a speech that will be read and pondered over throughout the world."

The London Spectator, which is one of the ablest and most thoughtful journals published in the English language, and which reflects the most intelligent, broad-minded, and influential public opinion in the British Empire, devoted a large amount of space to a consideration of the speech. The Spectator's position in English journalism is such that I make no apology for a somewhat long quotation from its comment:

Perhaps the chief event of the week has been Mr. Roosevelt's speech at the Guildhall. Timid, fussy, and pedantic people have charged Mr. Roosevelt with all sorts of crimes because he had the courage to speak out, and have even accused him of unfriendliness to this country because of his criticisms. Happily the British people as a whole are not so foolish. Instinctively they have recognized and thoroughly appreciated the good feeling of Mr. Roosevelt's speech. Only true friends speak as he spoke.... The barrel-organs, of course, grind out the old tune about Mr. Roosevelt's tactlessness. In reality he is a very tactful as well as a very shrewd man. It is surely the height of tactfulness to recognize that the British people are sane enough and sincere enough to like being told the truth. His speech is one of the greatest compliments ever paid to a people by a statesman of another country.... Mr. Roosevelt has made exactly the kind of speech we expected him to make—a speech strong, clear, fearless. He has told us something useful and practical, and has not lost himself in abstractions and platitudes.... The business of a trustee is not to do what the subject of the trust likes or thinks he likes, but to do, however much he may grumble, what is in his truest and best interests. Unless a trustee is willing to do that, and does not trouble about abuse, ingratitude, and accusations of selfishness, he had better give up his trust altogether.... We thank Mr. Roosevelt once again for giving us so useful a reminder of our duty in this respect.

These notes of approval were repeated in a great number of letters which Mr. Roosevelt received from men and women in all walks of life, men in distinguished official position and "men in the street." There were some abusive letters, chiefly anonymous, but the general tone of this correspondence is fairly illustrated by the following:

Allow me, an old colonist in his eighty-fourth year, to thank you most heartily for your manly address at the Guildhall and for your life-work in the cause of humanity. If I ever come to the great Republic, I shall do myself the honor of seeking an audience of your Excellency. I may do so on my one hundredth birthday! With best wishes and profound respect.

The envelope of this letter was addressed to "His Excellency 'Govern-or-go' Roosevelt." That the Daily Telegraph and that the "man in the street" should independently seize upon this salient point of the address—the "govern-or-go" theory—is significant.

American readers are sufficiently familiar with Mr. Roosevelt's principles regarding protectorate or colonial government; any elaborate explanation or exposition of his views is unnecessary. But it may be well to repeat that he has over and over again said that all subject peoples, whether in colonies, protectorates, or insular possessions like the Philippines and Porto Rico, should be governed for their own benefit and development and should never be exploited for the mere profit of the controlling powers. It may be well, too, to add Mr. Roosevelt's own explanation of his criticism of sentimentality. "Weakness, timidity, and sentimentality," he said in the Guildhall address, "many cause even more far-reaching harm than violence and injustice. Of all broken reeds sentimentality is the most broken reed on which righteousness can lean." Referring to these phrases, a correspondent a day or two after the speech asked if the word "sentiment" might not be substituted for the word "sentimentality." Mr. Roosevelt wrote the following letter in reply:

DEAR SIR: I regard sentiment as the exact antithesis of sentimentality, and to substitute "sentiment" for "sentimentality" in my speech would directly invert its meaning. I abhor sentimentality, and, on the other hand, I think no man is worth his salt who is not profoundly influenced by sentiment, and who does not shape his life in accordance with a high ideal.

Faithfully yours,


The Romanes lecture at Oxford University was the last of Mr. Roosevelt's transatlantic speeches. I can think of no greater intellectual honor that an English-speaking man can receive than to have conferred upon him by the queen of all universities, the highest honorary degree in her power to give, and in addition, to be invited to address the dignitaries and dons and doctors of that university as a scholar speaking to scholars. There is no American university man who may not feel entirely satisfied with the way in which the American university graduate stood the Oxford test on that occasion. He took in good part the jokes and pleasantries pronounced in Latin by the Chancellor, Lord Curzon; but after the ceremonies of initiation were finished, after the beadles had, in response to the order of the Chancellor, conducted "Doctorem Honorabilem ad Pulpitum," and after the Chancellor had, this time in very direct and beautiful English, welcomed him to membership in the University, he delivered an address, the serious scholarship of which held the attention of those who heard it and arrested the attention of many thousands of others who received the lecture through the printed page.

The foregoing review of the chief public addresses which Mr. Roosevelt made during his foreign journey, I think justifies the assertion that, for variety of subject, variety of occasion, and variety of the fields of thought and action upon which his speeches had a direct and manifest influence, he is entitled to be regarded as a public orator of remarkable distinction and power.

By way of explanation it may perhaps be permissible to add that I met Mr. Roosevelt in Khartum on March 14, 1910, and travelled with him through the Sudan, Egypt, the continent of Europe and England, to New York; I heard all his important speeches, and most of the occasional addresses; much of the voluminous correspondence which the speeches gave rise to passed through my hands; and I talked with many men, both in public and private life, in the various countries through which the journey was taken about the addresses themselves and their effect upon world-politics. If there is a failure in these pages to give an intelligent or an adequate impression of the oratorial features of Mr. Roosevelt's African and European journey, it is not because there was any lack of opportunity to observe or learn the facts.


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An Address at the American Mission[2] in Khartum, March 16, 1910

[2] The American Mission at Khartum is under the auspices of the United Presbyterian Church of America. The Rev. Dr. John Giffen introduced Mr. Roosevelt to the assembly.—L.F.A.

I have long wished to visit the Sudan. I doubt whether in any other region of the earth there is to be seen a more striking instance of the progress, the genuine progress, made by the substitution of civilization for savagery than what we have seen in the Sudan for the past twelve years. I feel that you here owe a peculiar duty to the Government under which you live—a peculiar duty in the direction of doing your full worth to make the present conditions perpetual. It is incumbent on every decent citizen of the Sudan to uphold the present order of things; to see that there is no relapse; to see that the reign of peace and justice continues. But you here have that duty resting upon you to a peculiar degree, and your best efforts must be given in all honor, and as a matter, not merely of obligation, but as a matter of pride on your part, towards the perpetuation of the condition of things that has made this progress possible, of the Government as it now stands—as you represent it, Slatin Pasha.[3]

[3] One of the most distinguished officers of the Anglo-Egyptian Army whose well-known book, Fire and Sword in the Sudan, gives a graphic picture of the conditions England has had to deal with in the Sudan.—L.F.A.

I am exceedingly pleased to see here officers of the army, and you have, of course, your oath. You are bound by every tie of loyalty, military and civil, to work to the end I have named. But, after all, you are not bound any more than are you, you civilians. And, another thing, do not think for a moment that when I say that you are bound to uphold the Government I mean that you are bound to try to get an office under it. On the contrary, I trust, Dr. Giffen, that the work done here by you, done by the different educational institutions with which you are connected or with which you are affiliated, will always be done, bearing in mind the fact that the most useful citizen to the Government may be a man who under no consideration would hold any position connected with the Government. I do not want to see any missionary college carry on its educational scheme primarily with a view of turning out Government officials. On the contrary, I want to see the average graduate prepared to do his work in some capacity in civil life, without any regard to any aid whatever received from or any salary drawn from the Government. If a man is a good engineer, a good mechanic, a good agriculturist, if he is trained so that he becomes a really good merchant, he is, in his place, the best type of citizen. It is a misfortune in any country, American, European, or African, to have the idea grow that the average educated man must find his career only in the Government service. I hope to see good and valuable servants of the Government in the military branch and in the civil branch turned out by this and similar educational institutions; but, if the conditions are healthy, those Government servants, civil or military, will never be more than a small fraction of the graduates, and the prime end and prime object of an educational institution should be to turn out men who will be able to shift for themselves, to help themselves, and to help others, fully independent of all matters connected with the Government. I feel very strongly on this subject, and I feel it just as strongly in America as I do here.

Another thing, gentlemen, and now I want to speak to you for a moment from the religious standpoint, to speak to you in connection with the work of this mission. I wish I could make every member of a Christian church feel that just in so far as he spends his time in quarrelling with other Christians of other churches he is helping to discredit Christianity in the eyes of the world. Avoid as you would the plague those who seek to embroil you in conflict, one Christian sect with another. Not only does what I am about to say apply to the behavior of Christians towards one another, but of all Christians towards their non-Christian brethren, towards their fellow-citizens of another creed. You can do most for the colleges from which you come, you can do most for the creed which you profess, by doing your work in the position to which you have been called in a way that brings the respect of your fellow-men to you, and therefore to those for whom you stand. Let it be a matter of pride with the Christian in the army that in the time of danger no man is nearer that danger than he is. Let it be a matter of pride to the officer whose duty it is to fight that no man, when the country calls on him to fight, fights better than he does. That is how you can do more for Christianity, for the name of Christians, you who are in the army. Let the man in a civil governmental position so bear himself that it shall be acceptable as axiomatic that when you have a Christian, a graduate of a missionary school, in a public office, the efficiency and honesty of that office are guaranteed. That is the kind of Christianity that counts in a public official, that counts in the military official—the Christianity that makes him do his duty in war, or makes him do his duty in peace. And you—who I hope will be the great majority—who are not in Government service, can conduct yourselves so that your neighbors shall have every respect for your courage, your honesty, your good faith, shall have implicit trust that you will deal religiously with your brother as man to man, whether it be in business or whether it be in connection with your relations to the community as a whole. The kind of graduate of a Christian school really worth calling a Christian is the man who shows his creed practically by the way he behaves towards his wife and towards his children, towards his neighbor, towards those with whom he deals in the business world, and towards the city and Government. In no way can he do as much for the institution that trains him, in no way can he do as much to bring respect and regard to the creed that he professes. And, remember, you need more than one quality. I have spoken of courage; it is, of course, the first virtue of the soldier, but every one of you who is worth his salt must have it in him too. Do not forget that the good man who is afraid is only a handicap to his fellows who are striving for what is best. I want to see each Christian cultivate the manly virtues; each to be able to hold his own in the country, but in a broil not thrusting himself forward. Avoid quarrelling wherever you can. Make it evident that the other man wants to avoid quarrelling with you too.

One closing word. Do not make the mistake, those of you who are young men, of thinking that when you get out of school or college your education stops. On the contrary, it is only about half begun. Now, I am fifty years old, and if I had stopped learning, if I felt now that I had stopped learning, had stopped trying to better myself, I feel that my usefulness to the community would be pretty nearly at an end. And I want each of you, as he leaves college, not to feel, "Now I have had my education, I can afford to vegetate." I want you to feel, "I have been given a great opportunity of laying deep the foundations for a ripe education, and while going on with my work I am going to keep training myself, educating myself, so that year by year, decade by decade, instead of standing still I shall go forward, and grow constantly fitter, and do good work and better work."

I visited, many years ago, the college at Beirut. I have known at first hand what excellent work was being done there. Unfortunately, owing to my very limited time, it is not going to be possible for me to stop at the college at Assiut, which has done such admirable work in Egypt and here in the Sudan, whose graduates I meet in all kinds of occupations wherever I stop. I am proud, as an American, Dr. Giffen, of what has been done by men like you, like Mr. Young, like the other Americans who have been here, and, I want to say still further, by the women who have come with them. I always thought that the American was a pretty good fellow. I think his wife is still better, and, great though my respect for the man from America has been, my respect for the woman has been greater.

I stopped a few days ago at the little mission at the Sobat. One of the things that struck me there was what was being accomplished by the medical side of that mission. From one hundred and twenty-five miles around there were patients who had come in to be attended to by the doctors in the mission. There were about thirty patients who were under the charge of the surgeon, the doctor, at that mission. I do not know a better type of missionary than the doctor who comes out here and does his work well and gives his whole heart to it. He is doing practical work of the most valuable type for civilization, and for bringing the people of the country up to a realization of the standards that you are trying to set. If you make it evident to a man that you are sincerely concerned in bettering his body, he will be much more ready to believe that you are trying to better his soul.

Now, gentlemen, it has been a great pleasure to see you. When I get back to the United States, this meeting is one of the things I shall have to tell to my people at home, so that I may give them an idea of what is being done in this country. I wish you well with all my heart, and I thank you for having received me to-day.

* * * * *


An Address before the National University in Cairo, March 28, 1910

It is to me a peculiar pleasure to speak to-day under such distinguished auspices as yours, Prince Fouad,[4] before this National University, and it is of good augury for the great cause of higher education in Egypt that it should have enlisted the special interest of so distinguished and eminent a man. The Arabic-speaking world produced the great University of Cordova, which flourished a thousand years ago, and was a source of light and learning when the rest of Europe was either in twilight or darkness; in the centuries following the creation of that Spanish Moslem university, Arabic men of science, travellers, and geographers—such as the noteworthy African traveller Ibn Batutu, a copy of whose book, by the way, I saw yesterday in the library of the Alhazar[5]—were teachers whose works are still to be eagerly studied; and I trust that here we shall see the revival, and more than the revival, of the conditions that made possible such contributions to the growth of civilization.

[4] Prince Fouad is the uncle of the Khedive, a Mohammedan gentleman of education and enlightened views.—L.F.A.

[5] The great Moslem University of Cairo, in which 9000 students study chiefly the Koran in mediaeval fashion.—L.F.A.

This scheme of a National University is fraught with literally untold possibilities for good to your country. You have many rocks ahead of which you must steer clear; and because I am your earnest friend and well-wisher, I desire to point out one or two of these which it is necessary especially to avoid. In the first place, there is one point upon which I always lay stress in my own country, in your country, in all countries—the need of entire honesty as the only foundation on which it is safe to build. It is a prime essential that all who are in any way responsible for the beginnings of the University shall make it evident to every one that the management of the University, financial and otherwise, will be conducted with absolute honesty. Very much money will have to be raised and expended for this University in order to make it what it can and ought to be made; for, if properly managed, I firmly believe that it will become one of the greatest influences, and perhaps the very greatest influence, for good in all that part of the world where Mohammedanism is the leading religion; that is, in all those regions of the Orient, including North Africa and Southwestern Asia, which stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to the farther confines of India and to the hither provinces of China. This University should have a profound influence in all things educational, social, economic, industrial, throughout this whole region, because of the very fact of Egypt's immense strategic importance, so to speak, in the world of the Orient; an importance due partly to her geographical position, partly to other causes. Moreover, it is most fortunate that Egypt's present position is such that this University will enjoy a freedom hitherto unparalleled in the investigation and testing out of all problems vital to the future of the peoples of the Orient.

Nor will the importance of this University be confined to the Orient. Egypt must necessarily from now on always occupy a similar strategic position as regards the peoples of the Occident, for she sits on one of the highways of the commerce that will flow in ever-increasing volume from Europe to the East. Those responsible for the management of this University should set before themselves a very high ideal. Not merely should it stand for the uplifting of all Mohammedan peoples and of all Christians and peoples of other religions who live in Mohammedan lands, but it should also carry its teaching and practice to such perfection as in the end to make it a factor in instructing the Occident. When a scholar is sufficiently apt, sufficiently sincere and intelligent, he always has before him the opportunity of eventually himself giving aid to the teachers from whom he has received aid.

Now, to make a good beginning towards the definite achievement of these high ends, it is essential that you should command respect and should be absolutely trusted. Make it felt that you will not tolerate the least little particle of financial crookedness in the raising or expenditure of any money, so that those who wish to give money to this deserving cause may feel entire confidence that their piasters will be well and honestly applied.

In the next place, show the same good faith, wisdom, and sincerity in your educational plans that you do in the financial management of the institution. Avoid sham and hollow pretence just as you avoid religious, racial, or political bigotry. You have much to learn from the universities of Europe and of my own land, but there is also in them not a little which it is well to avoid. Copy what is good in them, but test in a critical spirit whatever you take, so as to be sure that you take only what is wisest and best for yourselves. More important even than avoiding any mere educational shortcoming is the avoidance of moral shortcoming. Students are already being sent to Europe to prepare themselves to return as professors. Such preparation is now essential, for it is of prime importance that the University should be familiar with what is being done in the best universities of Europe and America. But let the men who are sent be careful to bring back what is fine and good, what is essential to the highest kind of modern progress, and let them avoid what are the mere non-essentials of the present-day civilization, and, above all, the vices of modern civilized nations. Let these men keep open minds. It would be a capital blunder to refuse to copy, and thereafter to adapt to your own needs, what has raised the Occident in the scale of power and justice and clean living. But it would be a no less capital blunder to copy what is cheap or trivial or vicious, or even what is merely wrongheaded. Let the men who go to Europe feel that they have much to learn and much also to avoid and reject; let them bring back the good and leave behind the discarded evil.

Remember that character is far more important than intellect, and that a really great university should strive to develop the qualities that go to make up character even more than the qualities that go to make up a highly trained mind. No man can reach the front rank if he is not intelligent and if he is not trained with intelligence; but mere intelligence by itself is worse than useless unless it is guided by an upright heart, unless there are also strength and courage behind it. Morality, decency, clean living, courage, manliness, self-respect—these qualities are more important in the make-up of a people than any mental subtlety. Shape this University's course so that it shall help in the production of a constantly upward trend for all your people.

You should be always on your guard against one defect in Western education. There has been altogether too great a tendency in the higher schools of learning in the West to train men merely for literary, professional, and official positions; altogether too great a tendency to act as if a literary education were the only real education. I am exceedingly glad that you have already started industrial and agricultural schools in Egypt. A literary education is simply one of many different kinds of education, and it is not wise that more than a small percentage of the people of any country should have an exclusively literary education. The average man must either supplement it by another education, or else as soon as he has left an institution of learning, even though he has benefited by it, he must at once begin to train himself to do work along totally different lines. His Highness the Khedive, in the midst of his activities touching many phases of Egyptian life, has shown conspicuous wisdom, great foresight, and keen understanding of the needs of the country in the way in which he has devoted himself to its agricultural betterment, in the interest which he has taken in the improvement of cattle, crops, etc. You need in this country, as is the case in every other country, a certain number of men whose education shall fit them for the life of scholarship, or to become teachers or public officials. But it is a very unhealthy thing for any country for more than a small proportion of the strongest and best minds of the country to turn into such channels. It is essential also to develop industrialism, to train people so that they can be cultivators of the soil in the largest sense on as successful a scale as the most successful lawyer or public man, to train them so that they shall be engineers, merchants—in short, men able to take the lead in all the various functions indispensable in a great modern civilized state. An honest, courageous, and far-sighted politician is a good thing in any country. But his usefulness will depend chiefly upon his being able to express the wishes of a population wherein the politician forms but a fragment of the leadership, where the business man and the landowner, the engineer and the man of technical knowledge, the men of a hundred different pursuits, represent the average type of leadership. No people has ever permanently amounted to anything if its only public leaders were clerks, politicians, and lawyers. The base, the foundation, of healthy life in any country, in any society, is necessarily composed of the men who do the actual productive work of the country, whether in tilling the soil, in the handicrafts, or in business; and it matters little whether they work with hands or head, although more and more we are growing to realize that it is a good thing to have the same man work with both head and hands. These men, in many different careers, do the work which is most important to the community's life; although, of course, it must be supplemented by the work of the other men whose education and activities are literary and scholastic, of the men who work in politics or law, or in literary and clerical positions.

Never forget that in any country the most important activities are the activities of the man who works with head or hands in the ordinary life of the community, whether he be handicraftsman, farmer, or business man—no matter what his occupation, so long as it is useful and no matter what his position, from the guiding intelligence at the top down all the way through, just as long as his work is good. I preach this to you here by the banks of the Nile, and it is the identical doctrine I preach no less earnestly by the banks of the Hudson, the Mississippi, and the Columbia.

Remember always that the securing of a substantial education, whether by the individual or by a people, is attained only by a process, not by an act. You can no more make a man really educated by giving him a certain curriculum of studies than you can make a people fit for self-government by giving it a paper constitution. The training of an individual so as to fit him to do good work in the world is a matter of years; just as the training of a nation to fit it successfully to fulfil the duties of self-government is a matter, not of a decade or two, but of generations. There are foolish empiricists who believe that the granting of a paper constitution, prefaced by some high-sounding declaration, of itself confers the power of self-government upon a people. This is never so. Nobody can "give" a people "self-government," any more than it is possible to "give" an individual "self-help." You know that the Arab proverb runs, "God helps those who help themselves." In the long run, the only permanent way by which an individual can be helped is to help him to help himself, and this is one of the things your University should inculcate. But it must be his own slow growth in character that is the final and determining factor in the problem. So it is with a people. In the two Americas we have seen certain commonwealths rise and prosper greatly. We have also seen other commonwealths start under identically the same conditions, with the same freedom and the same rights, the same guarantees, and yet have seen them fail miserably and lamentably, and sink into corruption and anarchy and tyranny, simply because the people for whom the constitution was made did not develop the qualities which alone would enable them to take advantage of it. With any people the essential quality to show is, not haste in grasping after a power which it is only too easy to misuse, but a slow, steady, resolute development of those substantial qualities, such as the love of justice, the love of fair play, the spirit of self-reliance, of moderation, which alone enable a people to govern themselves. In this long and even tedious but absolutely essential process, I believe your University will take an important part. When I was recently in the Sudan I heard a vernacular proverb, based on a text in the Koran, which is so apt that, although not an Arabic scholar, I shall attempt to repeat it in Arabic: "Allah ma el saberin, izza sabaru"—God is with the patient, if they know how to wait.[6]

[6] This bit of Arabic, admirably pronounced by Mr. Roosevelt, surprised and pleased the audience as much as his acquaintance with the life and works of Ibn Batutu surprised and pleased the sheiks at the Moslem University two days before. Both Mr. Roosevelt's use of the Arabic tongue and his application of the proverb were greeted with prolonged applause.—L.F.A.

One essential feature of this process must be a spirit which will condemn every form of lawless evil, every form of envy and hatred, and, above all, hatred based upon religion or race. All good men, all the men of every nation whose respect is worth having, have been inexpressibly shocked by the recent assassination of Boutros Pasha. It was an even greater calamity for Egypt than it was a wrong to the individual himself. The type of man which turns out an assassin is a type possessing all the qualities most alien to good citizenship; the type which produces poor soldiers in time of war and worse citizens in time of peace. Such a man stands on a pinnacle of evil infamy; and those who apologize for or condone his act, those who, by word or deed, directly or indirectly, encourage such an act in advance, or defend it afterwards, occupy the same bad eminence. It is of no consequence whether the assassin be a Moslem or a Christian or a man of no creed; whether the crime be committed in political strife or industrial warfare; whether it be an act hired by a rich man or performed by a poor man; whether it be committed under the pretence of preserving order or the pretence of obtaining liberty. It is equally abhorrent in the eyes of all decent men, and, in the long run, equally damaging to the very cause to which the assassin professes to be devoted.

Your University is a National University, and as such knows no creed. This is as it should be. When I speak of equality between Moslem and Christian, I speak as one who believes that where the Christian is more powerful he should be scrupulous in doing justice to the Moslem, exactly as under reverse conditions justice should be done by the Moslem to the Christian. In my own country we have in the Philippines Moslems as well as Christians. We do not tolerate for one moment any oppression by the one or by the other, any discrimination by the Government between them or failure to mete out the same justice to each, treating each man on his worth as a man, and behaving towards him as his conduct demands and deserves.

In short, gentlemen, I earnestly hope that all responsible for the beginnings of the University, which I trust will become one of the greatest and most powerful educational influences throughout the whole world, will feel it incumbent upon themselves to frown on every form of wrong-doing, whether in the shape of injustice or corruption or lawlessness, and to stand with firmness, with good sense, and with courage, for those immutable principles of justice and merciful dealing as between man and man, without which there can never be the slightest growth towards a really fine and high civilization.

* * * * *


An Address Delivered at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

Strange and impressive associations rise in the mind of a man from the New World who speaks before this august body in this ancient institution of learning. Before his eyes pass the shadows of mighty kings and warlike nobles, of great masters of law and theology; through the shining dust of the dead centuries he sees crowded figures that tell of the power and learning and splendor of times gone by; and he sees also the innumerable host of humble students to whom clerkship meant emancipation, to whom it was well-nigh the only outlet from the dark thraldom of the Middle Ages.

This was the most famous university of mediaeval Europe at a time when no one dreamed that there was a New World to discover. Its services to the cause of human knowledge already stretched far back into the remote past at the time when my forefathers, three centuries ago, were among the sparse bands of traders, plowmen, woodchoppers, and fisherfolk who, in hard struggle with the iron unfriendliness of the Indian-haunted land, were laying the foundations of what has now become the giant republic of the West. To conquer a continent, to tame the shaggy roughness of wild nature, means grim warfare; and the generations engaged in it cannot keep, still less add to, the stores of garnered wisdom which once were theirs, and which are still in the hands of their brethren who dwell in the old land. To conquer the wilderness means to wrest victory from the same hostile forces with which mankind struggled in the immemorial infancy of our race. The primeval conditions must be met by primeval qualities which are incompatible with the retention of much that has been painfully acquired by humanity as through the ages it has striven upward toward civilization. In conditions so primitive there can be but a primitive culture. At first only the rudest schools can be established, for no others would meet the needs of the hard-driven, sinewy folk who thrust forward the frontier in the teeth of savage man and savage nature; and many years elapse before any of these schools can develop into seats of higher learning and broader culture.

The pioneer days pass; the stump-dotted clearings expand into vast stretches of fertile farm land; the stockaded clusters of log cabins change into towns; the hunters of game, the fellers of trees, the rude frontier traders and tillers of the soil, the men who wander all their lives long through the wilderness as the heralds and harbingers of an oncoming civilization, themselves vanish before the civilization for which they have prepared the way. The children of their successors and supplanters, and then their children and children's children, change and develop with extraordinary rapidity. The conditions accentuate vices and virtues, energy and ruthlessness, all the good qualities and all the defects of an intense individualism, self-reliant, self-centred, far more conscious of its rights than of its duties, and blind to its own shortcomings. To the hard materialism of the frontier days succeeds the hard materialism of an industrialism even more intense and absorbing than that of the older nations; although these themselves have likewise already entered on the age of a complex and predominantly industrial civilization.

As the country grows, its people, who have won success in so many lines, turn back to try to recover the possessions of the mind and the spirit, which perforce their fathers threw aside in order better to wage the first rough battles for the continent their children inherit. The leaders of thought and of action grope their way forward to a new life, realizing, sometimes dimly, sometimes clear-sightedly, that the life of material gain, whether for a nation or an individual, is of value only as a foundation, only as there is added to it the uplift that comes from devotion to loftier ideals. The new life thus sought can in part be developed afresh from what is round about in the New World; but it can be developed in full only by freely drawing upon the treasure-houses of the Old World, upon the treasures stored in the ancient abodes of wisdom and learning, such as this where I speak to-day. It is a mistake for any nation merely to copy another; but it is an even greater mistake, it is a proof of weakness in any nation, not to be anxious to learn from another, and willing and able to adapt that learning to the new national conditions and make it fruitful and productive therein. It is for us of the New World to sit at the feet of the Gamaliel of the Old; then, if we have the right stuff in us, we can show that, Paul in his turn can become a teacher as well as a scholar.

To-day I shall speak to you on the subject of individual citizenship, the one subject of vital importance to you, my hearers, and to me and my countrymen, because you and we are citizens of great democratic republics. A democratic republic such as each of ours—an effort to realize in its full sense government by, of, and for the people—represents the most gigantic of all possible social experiments, the one fraught with greatest possibilities alike for good and for evil. The success of republics like yours and like ours means the glory, and our failure the despair, of mankind; and for you and for us the question of the quality of the individual citizen is supreme. Under other forms of government, under the rule of one man or of a very few men, the quality of the rulers is all-important. If, under such governments, the quality of the rulers is high enough, then the nation may for generations lead a brilliant career, and add substantially to the sum of world achievement, no matter how low the quality of the average citizen; because the average citizen is an almost negligible quantity in working out the final results of that type of national greatness.

But with you and with us the case is different. With you here, and with us in my own home, in the long run, success or failure will be conditioned upon the way in which the average man, the average woman, does his or her duty, first in the ordinary, every-day affairs of life, and next in those great occasional crises which call for the heroic virtues. The average citizen must be a good citizen if our republics are to succeed. The stream will not permanently rise higher than the main source; and the main source of national power and national greatness is found in the average citizenship of the nation. Therefore it behooves us to do our best to see that the standard of the average citizen is kept high; and the average cannot be kept high unless the standard of the leaders is very much higher.

It is well if a large proportion of the leaders in any republic, in any democracy, are, as a matter of course, drawn from the classes represented in this audience to-day; but only provided that those classes possess the gifts of sympathy with plain people and of devotion to great ideals. You and those like you have received special advantages; you have all of you had the opportunity for mental training; many of you have had leisure; most of you have had a chance for the enjoyment of life far greater than comes to the majority of your fellows. To you and your kind much has been given, and from you much should be expected. Yet there are certain failings against which it is especially incumbent that both men of trained and cultivated intellect, and men of inherited wealth and position, should especially guard themselves, because to these failings they are especially liable; and if yielded to, their—your—chances of useful service are at an end.

Let the man of learning, the man of lettered leisure, beware of that queer and cheap temptation to pose to himself and to others as the cynic, as the man who has outgrown emotions and beliefs, the man to whom good and evil are as one. The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer. There are many men who feel a kind of twisted pride in cynicism; there are many who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt. There is no more unhealthy being, no man less worthy of respect, than he who either really holds, or feigns to hold, an attitude of sneering disbelief towards all that is great and lofty, whether in achievement or in that noble effort which, even if it fails, comes second to achievement. A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticise work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life's realities—all these are marks, not, as the possessor would fain think, of superiority, but of weakness. They mark the men unfit to bear their part manfully in the stern strife of living, who seek, in the affectation of contempt for the achievements of others, to hide from others and from themselves their own weakness. The role is easy; there is none easier, save only the role of the man who sneers alike at both criticism and performance.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. Shame on the man of cultivated taste who permits refinement to develop into a fastidiousness that unfits him for doing the rough work of a workaday world. Among the free peoples who govern themselves there is but a small field of usefulness open for the men of cloistered life who shrink from contact with their fellows. Still less room is there for those who deride or slight what is done by those who actually bear the brunt of the day; nor yet for those others who always profess that they would like to take action, if only the conditions of life were not what they actually are. The man who does nothing cuts the same sordid figure in the pages of history, whether he be cynic, or fop, or voluptuary. There is little use for the being whose tepid soul knows nothing of the great and generous emotion, of the high pride, the stern belief, the lofty enthusiasm, of the men who quell the storm and ride the thunder. Well for these men if they succeed; well also, though not so well, if they fail, given only that they have nobly ventured, and have put forth all their heart and strength. It is war-worn Hotspur, spent with hard fighting, he of the many errors and the valiant end, over whose memory we love to linger, not over the memory of the young lord who "but for the vile guns would have been a soldier."

France has taught many lessons to other nations; surely one of the most important is the lesson her whole history teaches, that a high artistic and literary development is compatible with notable leadership in arms and statecraft. The brilliant gallantry of the French soldier has for many centuries been proverbial; and during these same centuries at every court in Europe the "freemasons of fashion" have treated the French tongue as their common speech; while every artist and man of letters, and every man of science able to appreciate that marvellous instrument of precision, French prose, has turned towards France for aid and inspiration. How long the leadership in arms and letters has lasted is curiously illustrated by the fact that the earliest masterpiece in a modern tongue is the splendid French epic which tells of Roland's doom and the vengeance of Charlemagne when the lords of the Frankish host were stricken at Roncesvalles.

Let those who have, keep, let those who have not, strive to attain, a high standard of cultivation and scholarship. Yet let us remember that these stand second to certain other things. There is need of a sound body, and even more need of a sound mind. But above mind and above body stands character—the sum of those qualities which we mean when we speak of a man's force and courage, of his good faith and sense of honor. I believe in exercise for the body, always provided that we keep in mind that physical development is a means and not an end. I believe, of course, in giving to all the people a good education. But the education must contain much besides book-learning in order to be really good. We must ever remember that no keenness and subtleness of intellect, no polish, no cleverness, in any way make up for the lack of the great solid qualities. Self-restraint, self-mastery, common-sense, the power of accepting individual responsibility and yet of acting in conjunction with others, courage and resolution—these are the qualities which mark a masterful people. Without them no people can control itself, or save itself from being controlled from the outside. I speak to a brilliant assemblage; I speak in a great university which represents the flower of the highest intellectual development; I pay all homage to intellect, and to elaborate and specialized training of the intellect; and yet I know I shall have the assent of all of you present when I add that more important still are the commonplace, every-day qualities and virtues.

Such ordinary, every-day qualities include the will and the power to work, to fight at need, and to have plenty of healthy children. The need that the average man shall work is so obvious as hardly to warrant insistence. There are a few people in every country so born that they can lead lives of leisure. These fill a useful function if they make it evident that leisure does not mean idleness; for some of the most valuable work needed by civilization is essentially non-remunerative in its character, and of course the people who do this work should in large part be drawn from those to whom remuneration is an object of indifference. But the average man must earn his own livelihood. He should be trained to do so, and he should be trained to feel that he occupies a contemptible position if he does not do so; that he is not an object of envy if he is idle, at whichever end of the social scale he stands, but an object of contempt, an object of derision.

In the next place, the good man should be both a strong and a brave man; that is, he should be able to fight, he should be able to serve his country as a soldier, if the need arises. There are well-meaning philosophers who declaim against the unrighteousness of war. They are right only if they lay all their emphasis upon the unrighteousness. War is a dreadful thing, and unjust war is a crime against humanity. But it is such a crime because it is unjust, not because it is war. The choice must ever be in favor of righteousness, and this whether the alternative be peace or whether the alternative be war. The question must not be merely, Is there to be peace or war? The question must be, Is the right to prevail? Are the great laws of righteousness once more to be fulfilled? And the answer from a strong and virile people must be, "Yes," whatever the cost. Every honorable effort should always be made to avoid war; just as every honorable effort should always be made by the individual in private life to keep out of a brawl, to keep out of trouble; but no self-respecting individual, no self-respecting nation, can or ought to submit to wrong.

Finally, even more important than ability to work, even more important than ability to fight at need, is it to remember that the chief of blessings for any nation is that it shall leave its seed to inherit the land. It was the crown of blessings in Biblical times; and it is the crown of blessings now. The greatest of all curses is the curse of sterility, and the severest of all condemnations should be that visited upon wilful sterility. The first essential in any civilization is that the man and the woman shall be father and mother of healthy children, so that the race shall increase and not decrease. If this is not so, if through no fault of the society there is failure to increase, it is a great misfortune. If the failure is due to deliberate and wilful fault, then it is not merely a misfortune, it is one of those crimes of ease and self-indulgence, of shrinking from pain and effort and risk, which in the long run Nature punishes more heavily than any other. If we of the great republics, if we, the free people who claim to have emancipated ourselves from the thraldom of wrong and error, bring down on our heads the curse that comes upon the wilfully barren, then it will be an idle waste of breath to prattle of our achievements, to boast of all that we have done. No refinement of life, no delicacy of taste, no material progress, no sordid heaping up of riches, no sensuous development of art and literature, can in any way compensate for the loss of the great fundamental virtues; and of these great fundamental virtues, the greatest is the race's power to perpetuate the race. Character must show itself in the man's performance both of the duty he owes himself and of the duty he owes the State. The man's foremost duty is owed to himself and his family; and he can do this duty only by earning money, by providing what is essential to material well-being; it is only after this has been done that he can hope to build a higher superstructure on the solid material foundation; it is only after this has been done that he can help in movements for the general well-being. He must pull his own weight first, and only after this can his surplus strength be of use to the general public. It is not good to excite that bitter laughter which expresses contempt; and contempt is what we feel for the being whose enthusiasm to benefit mankind is such that he is a burden to those nearest him; who wishes to do great things for humanity in the abstract, but who cannot keep his wife in comfort or educate his children.

Neverthless, while laying all stress on this point, while not merely acknowledging but insisting upon the fact that there must be a basis of material well-being for the individual as for the nation, let us with equal emphasis insist that this material well-being represents nothing but the foundation, and that the foundation, though indispensable, is worthless unless upon it is raised the superstructure of a higher life. That is why I decline to recognize the mere multi-millionaire, the man of mere wealth, as an asset of value to any country; and especially as not an asset to my own country. If he has earned or uses his wealth in a way that makes him of real benefit, of real use,—and such is often the case,—why, then he does become an asset of worth. But it is the way in which it has been earned or used, and not the mere fact of wealth, that entitles him to the credit. There is need in business, as in most other forms of human activity, of the great guiding intelligences. Their places cannot be supplied by any number of lesser intelligences. It is a good thing that they should have ample recognition, ample reward. But we must not transfer our admiration to the reward instead of to the deed rewarded; and if what should be the reward exists without the service having been rendered, then admiration will come only from those who are mean of soul. The truth is that, after a certain measure of tangible material success or reward has been achieved, the question of increasing it becomes of constantly less importance compared to other things that can be done in life. It is a bad thing for a nation to raise and to admire a false standard of success; and there can be no falser standard than that set by the deification of material well-being in and for itself. The man who, for any cause for which he is himself accountable, has failed to support himself and those for whom he is responsible, ought to feel that he has fallen lamentably short in his prime duty. But the man who, having far surpassed the limit of providing for the wants, both of body and mind, of himself and of those depending upon him, then piles up a great fortune, for the acquisition or retention of which he returns no corresponding benefit to the nation as a whole, should himself be made to feel that, so far from being a desirable, he is an unworthy, citizen of the community; that he is to be neither admired nor envied; that his right-thinking fellow-countrymen put him low in the scale of citizenship, and leave him to be consoled by the admiration of those whose level of purpose is even lower than his own.

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