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Smalley, George W. Anglo-American Memories.

Originally published: 1910

AUTHOR OF "STUDIES OF MEN,"
"LIFE OF SIR SYDNEY WATERLOW," ETC.

Cover Smalley, George W. Anglo-American Memories

Front Smalley, George W. Anglo-American Memories

PREFACE

These Memories were written in the first instance for Americans and have appeared week by week each Sunday in the New York Tribune. This may be evident enough from the way in which some subjects are dealt with. But they must stand in great part as they were written since the book is published both in London and New York.

They are, in some slight degree, autobiographical, but only so far as is necessary to explain my relations with those men and women of whom I have written, or with the great journal, the New York Tribune, I so long served. But they are mainly concerned with men of exceptional mark and position in America and Europe whom I have met, and with events of which I had some personal knowledge. There is no attempt at a consecutive story.

LONDON, December, 1910.




Contents


CHAPTER I

New England in 1850—Daniel Webster


CHAPTER II

Massachusetts Puritanism—The Yale Class of 1853


CHAPTER III

Yale Professors—Harvard Law School


CHAPTER IV

How Massachusetts in 1854 Surrendered the Fugitive Slave Anthony Burns


CHAPTER V

The American Defoe, Richard Henry Dana, Jr


CHAPTER VI

A Visit to Ralph Waldo Emerson


CHAPTER VII

Emerson in England—English Traits—Emerson and Matthew Arnold


CHAPTER VIII

A Group of Boston Lawyers—Mr. Olney and Venezuela


CHAPTER IX

Wendell Phillips


CHAPTER X

Wendell Phillips and the Boston Mobs


CHAPTER XI

Wendell Phillips—Governor Andrew—Phillips's Conversion


CHAPTER XII

William Lloyd Garrison—A Critical View


CHAPTER XIII

Charles Sumner—A Private View


CHAPTER XIV

Experiences as Journalist during the Civil War


CHAPTER XV

Civil War—General McClellan—General Hooker


CHAPTER XVI

Civil War—Personal Incidents at Antietam


CHAPTER XVII

A Fragment of Unwritten Military History


CHAPTER XVIII

The New York Draft Riots in 1863—Notes on Journalism


CHAPTER XIX

How The Prussians after Sadowa Came Home to Berlin


CHAPTER XX

A Talk with Count Bismarck in 1866


CHAPTER XXI

American Diplomacy in England


CHAPTER XXII

Two Unaccredited Ambassadors


CHAPTER XXIII

Some Account of a Revolution in International Journalism


CHAPTER XXIV

Holt White's Story of Sedan and How it Reached the "New York Tribune"


CHAPTER XXV

Great Examples of War Correspondence


CHAPTER XXVI

A Parenthesis


CHAPTER XXVII

"Civil War?"—Incidents in the 'Eighties—Sir George Trevelyan—Lord Barrymore


CHAPTER XXVIII

Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the Alaska Boundary


CHAPTER XXIX

Annexing Canada—Lady Aberdeen—Lady Minto


CHAPTER XXX

Two Governors-General, Lord Minto and Lord Grey


CHAPTER XXXI

Lord Kitchener—Personal Traits and Incidents


CHAPTER XXXII

Sir George Lewis—King's Solicitor and Friend—A Social Force


CHAPTER XXXIII

Mr. Mills—A Personal Appreciation and a Few Anecdotes


CHAPTER XXXIV

Lord Randolph Churchill—Being Mostly Personal Impressions


CHAPTER XXXV

Lord Glenesk and "The Morning Post"


CHAPTER XXXVI

Queen Victoria at Balmoral—King Edward at Dunrobin—Admiral Sir Hedworth Lambton—Other Anecdotes


CHAPTER XXXVII

Famous Englishmen Not in Politics


CHAPTER XXXVIII

Lord St. Helier—American and English Methods—Mr. Benjamin


CHAPTER XXXIX

Mrs. Jeune, Lady Jeune, and Lady St. Helier


CHAPTER XL

Lord and Lady Arthur Russell and the "Salon" in England


CHAPTER XLI

The Archbishop of Canterbury—Queen Alexandra


CHAPTER XLII

A Scottish Legend


CHAPTER XLIII

A Personal Reminiscence of the Late Emperor Frederick


CHAPTER XLIV

I. Edward the Seventh as Prince of Wales—Personal Incidents

II. Prince of Wales and King of England—The Personal Side

III. As King—Some Personal and Social Incidents and Impressions


Index




ANGLO-AMERICAN MEMORIES




{1}

ANGLO-AMERICAN MEMORIES



CHAPTER I

NEW ENGLAND IN 1850—DANIEL WEBSTER

My memories begin with that New England of fifty years ago and more which has pretty well passed out of existence. I knew all or nearly all the men who made that generation famous: Everett; Charles Sumner, "the whitest soul I ever knew," said Emerson; Wendell Phillips; Garrison; Andrew, the greatest of the great "War Governors"; Emerson; Wendell Holmes; Theodore Parker; Lowell, and many more; and of all I shall presently have something to say. Earlier than any of them comes the Reverend Dr. Emmons, a forgotten name, for a long time pastor of the little church in the little town of Franklin, where I was born, in Norfolk County, in that State of Massachusetts on which Daniel Webster pronounced the only possible eulogy: "I shall enter on no encomium upon Massachusetts; she needs none. There she is. Behold her, and judge for yourselves. {2} There is her history; the world knows it by heart." Whether the world knows it by heart may be a question. We are perhaps a little too apt to assume that things American loom as large to other eyes as to our own. But whether the world knows Massachusetts by heart or not, we know it; and the rest does not much matter. Every son of hers will add for himself "God bless her."

Dr. Emmons was of the austere school of Calvinists, descending more directly from the still more austere school of Jonathan Edwards. I cannot have been more than three or four years old when I last saw him, but I see him still: tall, slight, bent, wasted; long grey locks floating loosely about his head; his face the face of an ascetic, yet kindly, and I still feel the gentle touch of the old man's hand as it rested on my baby head. And I see the imprint of his venerable feet, which it was his habit to rest on the painted wainscotting of his small, scantily furnished study.

My father was first his colleague, then his successor; then was called, as the phrase is, to the Second Congregational Church in Worcester; whence he passed many years later to the First Presbyterian Church in Troy, N.Y., where he died. Worcester was at that time—1840 to 1860—a charming example of the thriving New England village which had grown to be a town with pleasant, quiet streets—even Main Street, its chief thoroughfare, was quiet—and pleasant houses of colonial and later styles standing in pleasant grounds. A beautiful simplicity of life {3} prevailed, and a high standard; without pretence, not without dignity. The town had given, and was to give, not a few Governors to the Commonwealth: Governor Lincoln, Governor Davis ("Honest John"), another Lieutenant-Governor Davis, and two Governor Washburns: to the first of whom we lived next door in Pearl Street; in the shadow of the Episcopal Church of which the Rev. Dr. Huntington, translated afterward to Grace Church in New York and widely known, was rector. Later I read law for a year in the office of Governor Washburn's partner: afterward that Senator Hoar who in learning and capacity stood second to few in Washington, and in character to none.

Twenty years ago, my mind filled with these images of almost rural charm, I went back on a visit to Worcester. It had grown to be a city of near one hundred thousand people, and unrecognizable. The charm had vanished. The roar of traffic was to be heard everywhere; surface cars raced through the streets; blazing gilt signs with strange and often foreign names emblazoned on them in gigantic letters, plastering and half hiding the fronts of the buildings; mostly new. It might have been a section of New York—at any rate it was given over to the fierce competition of business. Of the tranquillity which once brooded over the town, no trace was left. I suppose it all means prosperity, in which I rejoice; but it was not my Worcester.

If it be still, as we used affectionately to call it, the Heart of the Commonwealth, then I suppose {4} the Commonwealth also has changed; for better or for worse, according to your point of view. Boston certainly has changed, and as certainly for the worse. Where is the old Boston we all loved? What has become of those historic streets which the great men of more than one great generation trod? Where is the dignity, the quaint, old-fashioned beauty, the stamp of distinction, the leisureliness of life, the atmosphere which Winthrop and Endicott, John Hancock and Otis, Everett and Andrew, once breathed? The only Boston they knew is to-day a city of tumult and uproar, amid which the State House and the Common and the Old South Church and State Street itself seem anachronisms and untimely survivals of other and holier days.

In the old Worcester—and, for aught I know, in the new—far up on Elm Street as it climbs the hill and pushes toward the open country, stood Governor Lincoln's house—square, white, well back from the street; a fence enclosing the broad lawn, steps and an arched iron gateway in the centre. To me ever memorable because there I first saw Daniel Webster. He had come to Worcester campaigning for Taylor, whose nomination for the Presidency, over his own head, he had at first declared "unfit to be made." He arrived in the dusk of evening, and drove in Governor Lincoln's open landau to the house. A multitude waiting to greet him filled the street. Webster descended from the carriage, went up the three steps from the sidewalk to the gateway, {5} turned, and faced the cheering crowd. The rays from the lighted lantern in the centre of the arch fell full on his face. I do not remember whether I thought then, but I have often thought since of what Emerson said:

"If Webster were revealed to me on a dark night by a flash of lightning, I should be at a loss to know whether an angel or a demon stood before me."

That night, at any rate, there was a touch of the demon. His advocacy of the successful soldier was an act of renunciation. The leadership of the Whig party belonged to him and not to Zachary Taylor; or if not to Webster, it belonged to Henry Clay. He had not forgiven his successful soldier-rival. He never forgave him. Nor could he all at once put to sleep for another four years his honourable ambition. His eyes blazed with a fire not all celestial. The grave aspect of the man and grave courtesy of his greeting to the people before him only half hid the resentment which fed their inward fire. But he stood a pillar of state—

... deep on his front engraven
Deliberation sat and public care.


A colossal figure. We boys in Massachusetts were all brought up to worship Webster, and worship him we did; till the Fall came, and the seventh of March speech turned reverence into righteous wrath.

{6}

There was a certain likeness in feature between Mr. Webster and Mr. Gladstone. The eyes in both were dark, deep set, and wide apart, beneath heavily overhanging brows. In both the flame was volcanic. The features in both were chiselled strongly, the lines clear cut, the contour of the face and the air of command much the same in the great American and the great Englishman; but Mr. Gladstone had, before the political disasters of his later years had angered him, a benignity which Webster lacked. In stature, in massiveness of frame, in presence, in that power which springs from repose and from the forces of reserve, there was no comparison. Webster had all this, and Gladstone had not. I have before me as I write a private photograph of Mr. Gladstone, from the camera of a lady who had something more than technical skill, who had a sympathetic insight into character and an art-sense. Among the hundreds of photographs of the Tory-Liberal, the Protectionist-Free Trader, the Imperialist-Home Ruler, this is the finest and truest I have seen. But it is one which brings out his unlikeness to Webster far more clearly than those resemblances I have noted. If those resemblances have not before been remarked, there are, I imagine, few men living who have seen both men in the full splendour of their heroic mould.

The records of those later days are full not only of admiring friendship for Webster, but also of that bitterness which his apostasy—for so we thought it—begot. Even friends turned against {7} him after his support of the Fugitive Slave Law. As for his enemies, there was no limit to their language. A single unpublished incident will show what the feeling was. At a meeting of the Abolitionists in the Boston Melodeon, Charles Lenox Remond, a negro, in the course of a diatribe against the white race, called Washington a scoundrel. Wendell Phillips, who was on the platform, intervened:

"No, Charles, don't say that. Don't call Washington a scoundrel. The great Virginian held slaves, but he was a great Virginian still, and a great American. It is not a fit word to use. It is not descriptive.

"Besides, if you call Washington a scoundrel, how are you going to describe Webster?"

Besides, again, the Fugitive Slave Law wrought the redemption of Massachusetts; and we owe that redemption to Webster, indirectly. It was the rendition of Anthony Burns, in 1854, two years after Webster's death, which completed the conversion of the Bay State from the pro-slavery to the anti-slavery faith. But what I can tell of the unwritten history of those black days must be for another time.

Whatever Webster's faults, and whatever resentment he aroused in 1850, he remained, and will long remain, the foremost citizen of Massachusetts in that generation. Go to his opponents if you want testimony for that. Ask Wendell Phillips, and he answers in one of his finest sentences, pouring scorn on the men who took up, {8} so late as 1861, Webster's mission to crush anti-slavery agitation:

It was Webster who announced from the steps of the Revere House that he would put down this agitation. The great statesman, discredited and defeated, sleeps at Marshfield by the solemn waves of the Atlantic. Contempsi Catiline gladios; non tuos pertimescam. The half-omnipotence of Webster we defied; who heeds this pedlar's empty speech?


Ask Theodore Parker, who delivered in the Music Hall of Boston a discourse on Webster's death; half-invective, more than half-panegyric, whether he would or no. It was, I think, Parker who said of him that four American masterpieces in four different kinds were Webster's. The ablest argument ever heard in the Supreme Court of the United States, that in the Dartmouth College case, was his. His was the noblest platform speech of his time at the dedication of Bunker Hill Monument. His the most persuasive address to an American jury, in the White murder case at Salem, with its tremendous epigram, "There is no refuge from confession but suicide; and suicide is confession." His, finally, the profoundest exposition of constitutional law, the reply to Hayne in the United States Senate. All these were Webster's, and to Webster alone could any such tribute be paid.

When I heard Webster in Faneuil Hall, where he was perhaps at his best and most at home, it seemed to me it mattered little what he said. {9} The authority of the man was what told. Before he had uttered a word he had possession of the minds of the three thousand people who stood—for we were all standing—waiting for the words we knew would be words of wisdom.

Twice I have seen a similar effect by very different artists. Once by Rachel at the Boston Theatre, as Camille in Corneille's Horace, when the mere apparition of that white-robed figure and the first rays from those deep-burning eyes laid a spell on the audience. Not once, but many times, by Aimée Declée, at the Princess's Theatre in London and at the Gymnase in Paris. Of her I shall have something to say by and by, but I name her now because she had that rarest of gifts, the power of gathering an audience into her two small hands while still, silent and motionless; and thereafter never letting them go. In her it was perhaps a magnetic force of emotion, for she was the greatest of emotional actresses. In Webster it was the domination of an irresistible personality, with an unmatched intellectual supremacy, and the prestige of an unequalled career.

Whatever it was, we all bowed to it. We were there to take orders from him, to think his thoughts, to do as he would have us. He might have talked nonsense. We should not have thought it was nonsense. He might have reversed his policy. We should have held him consistent. We should have followed him, believing the road was the same we had always travelled together. He was still the man whom Massachusetts delighted to {10} honour. The forces of the whole State were at his disposal, as they had been for thirty years.

He stood upon the platform an august, a majestic figure, from which the blue coat and buff trousers and the glitter of gilt buttons did not detract. Once, and only once, have I found myself under the sway of an individuality more masterful than Webster's, much later in life, so that the test was more decisive; but it was not Mr. Gladstone's.




{11}

CHAPTER II

MASSACHUSETTS PURITANISM—THE YALE CLASS OF 1853

Massachusetts was in those days, that is, in the middle of the last century, in the bonds of that inherited and unrelaxing Puritanism which was her strength and her weakness. Darwin had not spoken. The effort to reconcile science and theology—not religion—had only begun. Agassiz's was still the voice most trusted, and he, with all his scientific genius and knowledge, was on the side of the angels. The demand for evidence had not yet overcome the assertion of ecclesiastical authority in matters of belief. The spiritual ascendancy of the New England minister was little, if at all, impaired, and his political ascendancy had still to be reckoned with. There were, I suppose, no two places in the world so much under the dominion of one form or another of priestly rule as the six New England States and Scotland; and therefore no two between which spiritual and political resemblances were so close.

There were, however, influences which while less visible were sometimes more potent. The pastor was the figurehead of a Congregational Church; or, to use Phillips's simile, he was the {12} walking-beam which the observer might think the propelling force of the steamboat. "But," said Phillips, "there's always a fanatic down in the hold, feeding the fires." The fanatics were the deacons. They often had in them the spirit of persecution. They encroached upon, and sometimes usurped, the rightful authority of the true head of the Church, the pastor, in matters of faith and matters of conduct alike. They constituted themselves the guardians of the morals of the flock, the pastor and his family included. My father was a man whose mind ran strongly toward Liberalism. He had nothing of the inquisitor about him. But his deacons were possessed with a school-mastering demon. They had the vigilance of the detective policeman and a deep sense of responsibility to their Creator for the behaviour of their fellow-men. Good and conscientious citizens all of them, but indisposed to believe that men who held other opinions than theirs might also be good. Their individual consciences were to be the guide of life to the rest of the world. If they had not the ferocity of Mucklewraith they had his intolerance. They would have made absence from divine service a statutory offence, as the earlier Puritans did. Two services each Sunday, a Sunday-school in between, and prayer-meetings on Wednesdays—all these must be punctually attended by us children, and were.

When a decision had to be taken about my going to college, I wished to be sent to Harvard, {13} as every Massachusetts boy naturally would. But Harvard was a Unitarian college, and the deacons persuaded my father that the welfare of my immortal soul would be imperilled if I was taught Greek and Latin by professors who did not believe in a Trinitarian God. This spirit of theological partisanship prevailed and I was sent to Yale. At that admirable seat of learning there was no danger of laxity or heresy. The strictest Presbyterianism was taught relentlessly and the strictest discipline enforced. Chapel morning and evening, three or perhaps four services on Sunday—in all let us say some eighteen separate compulsory attendances on religious exercises each week. Would it be wonderful if a boy who had undergone all this for four years should consider that he had earned the right to relaxation in after days?

None the less willingly do I acknowledge my debt to Yale, a debt which would have been heavier had I been more industrious. The President of the University in our time was the Reverend Dr. Wolseley—learned, austere, kindly, but remote. We boys saw little of him except on a pedestal or in the pulpit. When he bade the class farewell, he made us a friendly little speech and proposed a toast: "The Class of 1853. I drink their healths in water. May their names not be writ in water." Nor were they. Perhaps no class contained so many members who have filled larger spaces for a longer time in the public eye and the public press.

{14}

There was Stedman, the poet and poet critic. He left poems which will live forever, but no such body of poetical achievement as he might have produced had not circumstances obliged him to devote to business and to editorial work abilities superior to either. He is not remembered pre-eminently as a poet of patriotism, but the only poem of Stedman's included in Emerson's Parnassus is his "John Brown of Osawatomie," written—was it not for The Tribune?—in November, 1859, while Brown lay in his Virginian jail waiting to be hanged. Stedman, his genius flowering in a prophetic insight, warned them; but his "Virginians, don't do it" rang unavailingly through the land; and his

            ...Old Brown,
            Osawatomie Brown,
May trouble you more than ever when you've nailed
                    his coffin down

never reached the Virginian mind till Northern regiments sang their way through Southern States to the tune of "John Brown's Body." Stedman's range was wide. He set perhaps most value on his Lyrics and Idylls. That was the title he gave to the volume of poems published in London in 1879; selected by himself for his English readers. His American friends will like to be reminded that the first third of the volume is given to "American Lyrics and Idylls," including "Old Brown," and that tender monody on Horace {15} Greeley which no Tribune reader can have forgotten.

There was Charlton Lewis, an Admirable Crichton in his versatility,—if the serious meaning of that name has survived Mr. Barrie's travesty of it on the stage. We knew him at Yale as a mathematician who played with the toughest problems proposed to us by mathematical tutors and professors; whose very names I forget. We knew him afterward as lawyer, insurance expert, Latin lexicographer, journalist, financier, and editor of Harper's Book of Facts, the best of all books of facts; but now, or when I last inquired, out of print and not easily procurable. He understood cards also. Playing whist, which I think was forbidden in college, he dealt to his partner and two adversaries the usual miscellaneous hand; and to himself, by way of jest, all thirteen trumps. When the enemy remonstrated Lewis answered: "If you will specify any other order in which it is mathematically more probable that the hands would be distributed, I will admit that this is not the product of chance." An answer to which there was no answer. He delighted in puzzling minds less acute and less scientific than his own. Few men have had a more serviceable brain than his, or known better how to use it; and his power of work knew no limit.

There was Mr. Justice Shiras of the United States Supreme Court. There was Fred Davies, a dignitary of the Church—in whom professional decorum never extinguished a natural sense of {16} fun and good-fellowship. There was, and happily still is, Andrew White, historian, writer of books, President of Cornell University, Ambassador, and, in a forgetful moment, one of President Cleveland's commission to determine the boundary line between a British colony and a foreign state; neither of whom had asked him to draw it. There was Isaac Bromley, one of the world's jesters who make life amusing to everybody but themselves; whom all his colleagues on The Tribune valued for qualities which were his own and not ours. Not the least of the many eulogies which death brought him was the testimony of those who knew him best, that his humour was good-humoured.

The most casual reader must have noticed how various are the talents and characters among the hundred and six graduates of 1853. There are many more. There is Wayne MacVeagh, the most delightful of companions, counsel in great causes all his life, Attorney-General of the United States, Ambassador to Rome, one of the men who paid least respect to social conventionalities, yet in Washington a central figure in society. But neither law nor society gave full scope for the restless energy of his mind. During all the later years I have known MacVeagh he has been a thinker, serious, daring, too often unsound. His reading has been largely among books dealing with those new social problems which vex the minds of men, often needlessly, and disturb clear brains. Novelties interested him; and the drift of his thoughts was toward radical reconstruction {17} and toward one form or another of socialism. He espoused new opinions with vehemence; and sometimes reverted with vehemence to the old. We met again in London some five and twenty years ago. MacVeagh delivered to a little company at lunch a brief but reasoned and rather passionate discourse against our diplomatic service in Europe. When I suggested that we had none, he retorted:

"But we have Ministers and Legations and though some of our Ministers are good and able men, they are wasted. No Minister is needed. All the business of the United States in Europe could be done and ought to be done by Consuls, and all the Legations ought to be abolished, and the Ministers recalled."

I forget just how long it was after this outburst that MacVeagh was appointed Minister to Constantinople; and accepted and served; with credit and distinction, and afterward more efficiently still as Ambassador to Rome.

He had a pretty wit in conversation, and a power of repartee before which many an antagonist went down. A celebrated American causeur once attacked him as a Democrat. "Yes," answered MacVeagh, "I am a Democrat and know it. You are a Democrat and don't know it. You have just been made President of a great railroad corporation. The stock sells to-day at a hundred and twenty; but before you have been President three years, you will have brought it within reach of the humblest citizen."

{18}

An unfulfilled prophecy, but that is what makes prophecy so useful as an instrument of debate. Only time can prove it false.

These men and many more gave distinction to the class. Randall Gibson, of Louisiana, afterward Confederate General and United States Senator, cannot be omitted from the briefest catalogue. He was one of a small band of Southerners at Yale. When you came to know him you understood what the South means by the word gentleman; and by its application of the title to the best of its own people, or to the ruling class in the South as a whole. Already, of course, and even in this younger brood, the clash of interests and sentiments, the "prologue to the omen coming on," the strained relations between South and North, were visible, and vexatious enough in social intercourse. Randall Gibson was saturated with Southern ideas, and perhaps had the prejudices of his race, but he kept them to himself or did not impart them to us of the North. He lived in the upper air, yet he looked down on nobody. There was no more popular man, yet no man who held himself so completely aloof from the familiarities common enough as between classmates.

In after life, from the havoc of war and other causes, he suffered much and bore disaster with courage. He was a man with reference to whom it is possible, and was always possible, to use the much-abused word chivalrous, with the certainty it could not be misunderstood. When he died {19} there passed away a beautiful example of a type common in literature, rare in life, rarest of all in this generation, the grand seigneur.

There was lately an Englishman, Earl Spencer, whom Randall Gibson resembled: slightly in appearance, closely in those essential traits which go to the making of character. The same urbanity; the same considerateness to others; the same loyalty of nature; the same shining courage; the same unfailing effort to conform to high ideals. Both men had the pride of race and of descent. In both it turned to fine effects. I have known Lord Spencer to submit—I may be forgiven this distant allusion—to what can only be called an extortion rather than engage in a legal controversy he thought undignified, yet out of which he would have come victorious. I have known Randall Gibson to accept the verdict of fate, the award of undeserved adversity, rather than defend himself when his success might have exposed his comrades to censure. The world may call it in both of them quixotic, but the world would be a much better place to live in if quixotry of this sort were commoner than it is. Neither of these two men railed against the world, or complained of its ethical standard. All they did was to have each a standard of his own and to govern their own lives accordingly.




{20}

CHAPTER III

YALE PROFESSORS—HARVARD LAW SCHOOL

The three Yale professors whose names after all these years stand out most clearly to me are Thacher, Hadley, and Porter. Professor Thacher taught Latin. They used to say he knew Tacitus by heart—perhaps only a boyish emphasis upon his knowledge of the language and literature. He was, at any rate, a good Latinist, and a good teacher. What was perhaps more rare, he was a genial companion, to whom the distance between professor and pupil was not impassable. He won our sympathies because he gave us his; and our admiration, and almost our affection, went with our sympathies. He was one of the few college dignitaries upon whom the student feels himself privileged to look back as a friend; for on his side the spirit of friendly kindness governed the relations between us.

Of Professor Hadley's Hellenism we expressed our admiration by saying he dreamed in Greek. To us, so long as we were in his hands, Greek was the language of the gods. The modern heresies touching the place of Greek in a liberal education had at that time not been heard of, or had taken no hold upon the minds of either teacher or pupil. {21} We learnt Greek, so far as we learnt it, in the same unquestioning spirit as we read the Bible; so far as we read it. Hadley taught us something more than grammar and prosody. He taught us to look at the world through Greek eyes and to think Greek thoughts. To him the Greek language and literature were not dead but alive, and he sought to make them live again in his pupils. I don't say that he always succeeded; or often, but at least we perceived his aim, and we listened with delight to the roll of Homer's hexameters from his flexible lips. For the time being he was a Greek. To this illusion his dark eyes and olive skin and the soft full tones of his voice contributed. Some of his enthusiasms, if not much of his learning, imparted themselves to us. If we presently forgot what we learned, the influence remained. "I do not ask," said Sainte-Beuve, "that a man shall know Latin or Greek. All I ask is that he shall have known it." A sentence in which there is a whole philosophy of education; a philosophy which the universities that have abolished Greek out of their compulsory courses forgot to take into account.

Professor Porter's mission was to implant in our young minds some conception of Moral Philosophy and of Rhetoric. He taught persuasively, sometimes eloquently, and always with a clearness of thought and purpose which made him intelligible to the dullest and instructive. He had another means of appeal to his students. He was human and sympathetic. We looked {22} upon our professors as, for the most part, beings far removed from us; exalted by their position and virtues above us, and above mankind in general; a sort of demigods who had descended to earth for the good of its inhabitants, to whom, however, they were not of kin. We never thought that of Professor Porter. He had a magical smile; it was the magic of kindness. We fancied that the Faculty dealt with the students in a spirit of strict justice; from their point of view if not always from ours. They were a High Court of Justice which laid down the law and enforced penalties out of proportion to the offence. It was law, and the administration of it was inexorable. Not so Porter. He was never a hanging judge. I know it because I owed to him the privilege of remaining at Yale to the end of my four years. I have quite forgotten what crime I committed, but it was one for which, according to the strict code by which the undergraduates were governed, expulsion was the proper sentence; or perhaps only suspension, which in my case would have meant the same thing. But Professor Porter intervened. There were mitigating circumstances. These he pressed upon his colleagues, and I believe he even made himself answerable for my good behaviour thereafter. I stayed on, and if I did not profit as I ought to have profited by the opportunity I owed to him, I was at least grateful to him, and still am.

Professor Porter became later President of Yale: one on the roll of Chief Magistrates of the {23} University to whom not Yale only but the country is, and for two hundred years has been, indebted. He ruled wisely, fine administrative qualities reinforcing his scholarly distinction. He was beloved, and his name is for ever a part of the history of this great college.

Looking back on those days and on the Professors I have known since, at Yale, Harvard, Columbia, and one or two other American universities, one thing impresses me beyond all others. It is the spirit of devotion in those men; of devotion to learning, to letters, to their colleges, and to their country. Many of them were, and many in these days are, men who had before them other and far more profitable careers. They might have won much wider fame and made a great deal more money. They have been content with the appreciation of their own world, and with salaries which, I believe, never exceed six thousand dollars, and are commonly much less. When English critics, albeit in a friendly spirit, have commented—in private, not in public—on the American love of money-making, I have made this answer, pointing to the absolute unselfishness of one of the highest types of American citizen, all over the land, and to their conception of what is best in American life. I have always added that though others may speak of their renunciation as a sacrifice, they never do. So far as I know them, they are content and more than content; they rejoice in their work and in the modest circumstances which alone their income permits. {24} Now and then we hear of some brilliant scholar as having refused a lucrative post in order to go on teaching and studying. There are many more whom we never hear of publicly, to all of whom the country owes a debt of gratitude if nothing else, which it does not always pay. But here in England if you state the facts you will find them accepted, and welcomed as the best answer to the reproach of money-ambitions—a reproach based on conspicuous exceptions to the general American rule of thrift and simplicity.

After graduating at Yale, and after a year in Mr. Hoar's office at Worcester, I went to the Harvard Law School. Harvard was as much a Unitarian university as ever, but perhaps it was considered that law was a safeguard against loose theology, or perhaps the old reasons were no longer omnipotent. I attempt no comparisons between Yale and Harvard. There is no kind of likeness between undergraduate and post-graduate life. During four years at Yale the discipline had been rigid. At the Law School in Cambridge I cannot remember that we were under any restraint whatever. In New Haven we lived either in the college dormitories or in houses approved by the Faculty; and I am not sure that in my time we did not all sleep within the college limits, insanitary and uncomfortable as many of the buildings then were. But the law student in Cambridge lived where he would and as he would. He went to chapel or not, week-days and Sundays alike, to suit himself. {25} Not even attendance at the law lectures was compulsory. It seems to have been held that students had come to the school upon serious business, and that their own interest and the success of their future careers would be enough to ensure their presence. It was not always so. The very freedom which ought to have put men on their honour sometimes became a temptation. And Boston was a temptation; as it was, and must always be, to undergraduates and graduates alike.

The years were drawing on—it was now 1854—and the sectional antagonism of which there had been evidence enough at Yale was increasing. We were older, and the crisis was nearer. There was a kind of Law School Parliament in which all things were put to the issue of debate, and the air often grew hot. Angry words were exchanged between Southerners and Northerners. The rooted belief of the Southerner, or of many Southerners, that they had a monopoly of courage, was sometimes expressed. More than once challenges were talked of, though I believe none was actually sent. There was a choleric young gentleman from Missouri who put himself forward as champion of slavery, and there was an attempt to deny to us of the North the right to express our opinions on our own soil, which did not succeed. The Missourian was the exception. Of the Southerners in general at Harvard I should say what I have said of those at Yale: if they felt themselves of a superior race they accepted the obligations of superiority, and treated their {26} inferiors with an amiable condescension for which we were not always grateful.

These were not matters of which the authorities of Dane Law School took notice. Their business was to teach Law. Judge Parker was a real lawyer, who afterwards revised the General Statutes of Massachusetts into something like coherence and the symmetry of a Code. He handled the law in a scientific spirit, without emphasis, not without dry humour, and had ever a luminous method of exposition which grew more luminous as the subjects grew more abstruse. His colleague, Mr. Theophilus Parsons, was, I think, what is called a case lawyer, to whom the chose jugée was as sacred as it was more recently to the anti-Dreyfusards. There are always, and I suppose always will be, lawyers to whom decisions are more than principles. Parsons was one of these, while Parker's aim was to present to the student the entire body of law as a homogeneous whole, organic, capable of abstract treatment, capable of being set forth in the dry light of reason. Whether it was the difference in the men or in their methods I know not, but there can be no doubt that Judge Parker's lectures were better attended and more devoutly listened to by the students, and that his system bore fruit. For it created a habit of mind, and under his teaching a legal mind was formed, and became a better instrument for use at the Bar.

The Bar of Massachusetts was at that time in a period of splendour, as it had been for generations. {27} Webster was gone, and there was no second Webster; he was the leader not only of the Massachusetts Bar but of the American Bar. But Rufus Choate was still in his prime, whose eccentricities of manner and of speech could not disguise forensic abilities of almost the first order. Sydney Bartlett, his rival, was as sound as Choate was showy. But Choate also was sound, though he had a spirit of adventure which carried him too far, and a rhetoric not seldom flamboyant. Some of his phrases are historical, as of a witness who sought to palliate his dishonesty by declaring that he never disclosed his iniquitous scheme. "A soliloquy of fraud," retorted Choate. I heard one of his brethren at the Bar say to him as he came into court: "I suppose you will give us a great sensation to-day, Mr. Choate." "No," answered Choate, "it is too great a case for sensation." And he tried it all day with sedateness. Chief Justice Shaw disliked him, or disliked his methods, and sometimes showed his dislike, overruling him rather roughly. The great judge was not an Apollo, and there came a day when Mr. Choate, smarting under judicial censure, remarked in an audible aside to his associate counsel: "The Chief Justice suggests to me an Indian idol. We feel that he is great and we see that he is ugly." But amenities like that were unusual.

General Butler, afterward too famous at New Orleans and Fort Fisher, yet after that the Democratic Governor of Whig Massachusetts, had a none too savoury renown at the Bar. Yet it was {28} said of him by an opponent: "If you try your case fairly, Butler will try his side of it fairly; but if you play tricks he can play more tricks than you can." His sense of humour was his own, sometimes effective and sometimes not. Defending a railway against an action by a farmer whose waggon had been run over by a train, and who alleged that the look-out sign was not, as required by law, in letters five inches long, Butler made him admit he had not looked at the sign. "Then," said Butler to the jury, "it could not have availed had the sign been in letters of living light—five inches long."

The best contrast to Butler was Richard H. Dana, as good a lawyer, or better, and with the best traditions of a high-minded Bar, pursued in the best spirit. But I will leave Dana till I come to the Burns case.




{29}

CHAPTER IV

HOW MASSACHUSETTS IN 1854 SURRENDERED THE
FUGITIVE SLAVE ANTHONY BURNS

It was in May, 1854, that Anthony Burns of Virginia was arrested in Boston as a fugitive slave and brought before Judge Loring, United States Commissioner under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. I am not going to re-tell the familiar story of his so-called trial and of the surrender of Burns to Colonel Suttle, also of Virginia. The actual military rank held by Suttle I do not know, but I call him Colonel on general principles; or on the principle announced by the late Max O'Rell in his book on America; with its population of sixty millions; "la plupart des colonels." But I will tell what I saw; and what sort of impression the event made at the time upon an eye-witness who belonged to the dominant and most conservative party in the State; the Whig party.

The arrest of Burns made a stir in the old Commonwealth comparable to none other which had occurred down to that time. From Worcester, where I was then reading more or less law with Mr. Hoar, I went to Boston to look on at these proceedings. I went from no particular feeling of sympathy with Burns, nor yet mainly from {30} abhorrence of that subservience to slaveholders in which, until after Webster's Seventh of March speech in 1850, Massachusetts had been steeped. I went from curiosity. I wanted to see how the legal side of it was managed. For though the popular dislike of such proceedings, which neither the Shadrach nor the Sims case had fully roused, was then slumbering, the State had, so long ago as 1843, passed a law forbidding any judge or other officer holding a commission from the State to take any part in the rendition of any person claimed as a fugitive slave under the old Act of Congress of 1793. Yet here was a Massachusetts Judge of Probate sitting as United States Commissioner and doing the work which in the South itself was done by bloodhounds, and by the basest of mankind. I thought I should like to see how such a man looked while engaged upon that task; the more so as he bore a good Massachusetts name; and what kind of a trial a fugitive slave was to have on Massachusetts soil.

Burns was seized on a Wednesday evening, May 24th. He appeared before Judge Loring at nine o'clock Thursday morning, handcuffed, between two policemen. It was obviously intended that the "trial" should begin and end that same morning. Burns had been allowed to see nobody. He had no counsel. When Robert Morris, a coloured lawyer, tried to speak to him the policemen drove him away. By chance, Mr. Richard H. Dana, Jr., and another lawyer of repute, {31} Mr. C. M. Ellis, heard of what was going on, and went to the court-room. Dana intervened, not as counsel, for he had no standing as counsel, but as amicus curiæ, and asked that the hearing be postponed and that Burns be allowed to consult friends and counsel. The black man sat there "stupefied and terrified," as Dana said, incapable of thought or action. After repeated protests by Dana and Ellis, Judge Loring put off the hearing till Saturday. But Burns was still kept in secret confinement. When Wendell Phillips asked to see him to arrange that he should have counsel, the United States Marshal refused. Phillips went to Cambridge to see Judge Loring, and Judge Loring gave him an order of admission to the cell. But he said to Phillips—this Judge-Commissioner said of the cause he was about to try judicially—

"Mr. Phillips, the case is so clear that I do not think you will be justified in placing any obstacle in the way of this man's going back, as he probably will!"

A remark without precedent or successor in Massachusetts jurisprudence, which, before and since, has ever borne an honourable renown for judicial impartiality.

When I went to the Court House on the Saturday it had become a fortress. There were United States Marshals and their deputies, police in great numbers, and United States Marines. The chain had not then been hung about the building nor had Chief Justice Shaw yet crawled beneath it. I was allowed to enter the building, and to {32} go upstairs to the corridor on the first floor, out of which opened the door of the court-room where Burns was being tried, not for his life, but for freedom which was more than life. There I was stopped. The police officer at the door would listen to nothing. The court-room, free by law and by custom to all citizens, was closed by order, as I understood, not of the Commissioner who was holding his slave-court, but by the United States Marshal, who was responsible for the custody of Burns and alarmed by the state of public opinion. While I argued with the police, there came up a smart young officer of United States Marines. He asked what it was all about. I said I was a law student and wished to enter. "Admit him," said the officer of United States Marines. He waited till he saw his order obeyed and the police stand aside from the door; then bowed to me and went his way. So it happened that it was to an officer of an armed force of the United States that I was indebted for the privilege of entering a Massachusetts court-room while a public trial was going on.

Inside they were taking testimony. Mr. Dana and Mr. Ellis were now acting as counsel for Burns, who still seemed "stupefied and terrified." The testimony was only interesting because it concerned the liberty of a human being. Judge Loring sat upon the bench with, at last, an anxious look as if he had begun to realize the storm that was raging outside, and the revolt of Massachusetts against this business of slave-catching {33} by Massachusetts judges. I spoke for a moment with Mr. Dana and then with one or two of the anti-slavery leaders who sat listening to the proceedings. That sealed my fate. When I returned after the adjournment I was again refused admission, and ordered to leave the Court House. When I told the Deputy Marshal I had as much right there as he had and would take no orders from him, he threatened me with arrest. But of this he presently thought better, and finding all protest useless, I went away.

Of the "trial," therefore, I saw and heard little. But of the Faneuil Hall meeting called to protest against the surrender I saw much, though not of the sequel to it in Court Square. Most of the Abolitionist leaders were there, but the Abolitionists at that time would have been lost in the great spaces of Faneuil Hall. The three thousand men who crowded it were the "solid men of Boston," who by this time had begun to think they did not care to see a Virginian slave-holder crack his whip about their ears. The Puritan temper was up. The spirit of Otis and Hancock and Sam Adams burned once more in the hearts of living men. The cheers were incessant; cheers for men who a few days before had been almost outcasts—far outside at any rate, the sacred sphere in which the men of State Street and Beacon Street dwelt. Theodore Parker, who spoke first from a gallery, was cheered, and Phillips was cheered. As the evening drew on, it was evident that violent {34} counsels were likely to prevail. Already there had been, all over the city, talk of a rescue. Parker, ever prone to extreme views, was for it, and made a speech for which he was indicted but of course never tried. The indictment was but a piece of vindictive annoyance. But evidently nothing had been prepared, or, if it had been, these leaders had not been taken into the confidence of the men who meant real business.

Toward the end some one—name unknown—moved that the meeting adjourn to the Revere House to groan Suttle. Parker, who was not chairman, put the motion and declared it carried, as beyond doubt it was, and with wild shouts the vast audience, too closely packed to move quickly, set their faces to the door and began streaming slowly out. Phillips, who was against this plan and against any violence not efficiently organized, came forward on the platform. The few sentences he uttered have never, I think, been re ported or printed, but I can hear them still. At the first note of that clarion voice the surging throng stopped and turned. Said Phillips:

"Let us remember where we are and what we are going to do. You have said that you will vindicate the fame of Massachusetts. Let me tell you that you will never do it by going to the Revere House to-night to attempt the impossible feat of insulting a kidnapper. The zeal that won't keep till to-morrow never will free a slave."

In that single moment, he had recovered his control of the audience. The movement to the {35} doors had stopped. Every one waited for what was coming. Phillips was at his best. He was master of himself and of those before him. The words of entreaty were words of command. He stood and spoke as one having authority.

But just then came a voice from the other end of the hall. It belonged to Mr. Charles L. Swift, the vehement young editor of a weekly paper called The Commonwealth, and it announced that a mob of negroes had attacked the Court House, which had been turned into a gaol, and wanted help to rescue Burns. That dissolved the spell. Faces were again turned to the door. The shouts which Phillips had silenced broke loose once more; and the three thousand citizens of Boston had become a mob. It was all to no purpose. The hall was long in emptying itself: and long before those who were really in earnest could reach the Court House, the ill-advised and ill-planned attack had been made and failed. Colonel Higginson, who, I believe, devised it and led it, had not at that time any experience in measures of war. He had plenty of courage of the hot-headed kind—the kind not then needed. Perhaps Alcott who, after the rush had been made with no success, marched coolly up the steps leading to the door defended by armed police and troops, umbrella in hand, was as much a hero as anybody. But it was all over, I gathered in a few minutes, and the only casualty was the death of a Marshal's deputy, James Batchelder. I had got away from Faneuil Hall as soon as I could, and the distance {36} to the Court House is short, but I arrived too late to see anything but an empty square and that open doorway with a phalanx of defenders inside.

Burns was not rescued. He was surrendered, and no man who saw it ever forgot that shameful spectacle, nor doubted that it was the rendition of Anthony Burns which completed the conversion of the Old Bay State from the pro-slavery to the anti-slavery faith. Webster had held the Puritan conscience in chains for a generation. It revolted, no doubt, at the Seventh of March speech; it was stirred by the Shadrach and Sims cases; but the final emancipation of the State from its long thraldom to the slave power coincided with the surrender of Burns to Suttle. On that Saturday, men saw for themselves, and for the first time, what fugitive slave-hunting in Massachusetts really meant, and what degree of degradation it brought.

The Court House in chains; the Chief Justice stooping to pass beneath them; the streets and squares crowded with State Militia, guarding the entrance to every street on the route; United States Marines in hollow square with Burns and the United States Marshals in the centre; United States troops preceding and United States artillery following. It was fitting that it should be so. The State and the United States were partners in the crime, equal offenders against the moral law, or against the higher law, which till then had been the heritage of the Puritan {37} Commonwealth, and had sometimes been heard of even in Washington. They shared in the guilt and shared in the infamy. Both have since amply atoned for their sin, but nothing, not even a Four Years' Civil War for Union and Freedom, not even the blood of heroes and martyrs, will ever quite wash out from the memory of those who saw it the humiliations of that day. It blistered and burnt and left a scar for ever. This procession took its course in broad daylight down State Street on its way to Long Wharf, where a United States revenue cutter waited to embark the kidnapped slave—kidnapped by process of law—and his master, Suttle. The steps of the Merchants' Exchange were thronged with Lawrences and Fays and Lorings who had been foremost in trying to crush the anti-slavery agitation. But when this column drew near, these friends and servants of the slave-owner and of the cotton trade suddenly remembered that they were men before they were merchants; and men of Massachusetts at that. They broke into groans and cries of execration, and the troops marched past them to the music of hisses and curses. All this I saw and heard. The re-enslavement of Burns was the liberation of Massachusetts. The next time I saw troops in the streets of Boston was in April, 1861, when the Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, answering to the call of President Lincoln, started for Washington via Baltimore, with results known to the world.

{38}

One more incident. On the Sunday Theodore Parker preached in the Music Hall, then the largest hall in Boston, what he called a sermon on these events. But Parker's sermons were very often like those of Cromwell's colonels; you heard in them the clash of arms, and in this more than in most. He never cared deeply about measuring his words, and he believed in speaking the truth about men as well as things with extreme plainness. On this Sunday he was in his finest Old Testament mood; the messenger of the wrath of the Almighty. He flung open his Bible with the gesture of a man who draws a sword, and in tones that rang like a cry of battle, thundered out his text:

"Exodus xx. 15. 'Thou shalt not steal.'"

The text was itself a sermon. It was the custom in this Music Hall church to applaud when you felt like it, or even to hiss. A deep murmur, which presently swelled into a roar of applause, greeted the text. The face of the preacher was aflame; so were his words as he told the story of this awful week and set in the clear light of truth the acts and words of the Massachusetts Judge who had brought disgrace upon Massachusetts. When he came to the attack on the Court House, the abortive attempt to rescue Burns, and the death of the Marshal's deputy killed at his post, he burst out:

"Edward Greely Loring, I charge you with the murder of James Batchelder. You fired the shot that made his wife a widow and his children {39} orphans. Yours is the guilt. The penalty a righteous God will exact for that life he will demand from you."

To say that, he left his pulpit, which was but a desk on the Music Hall platform, stepped a little to one side, and stood full in view of the great company which had gathered to hear him on this peaceful Sabbath morning; a fair target for another shot had any hearer been minded to try one. You think that a fanciful suggestion? Then you little know the fierceness of the feelings which in those days raged in Boston. They presently grew fiercer, and reached a climax in 1860 and the early winter of 1861; when men on both sides for many months went armed, and were quite ready to use their arms; and when Phillips and Garrison were in daily peril of their lives from assassination and, less frequently but more deadly, from mobs.

Among all that devoted band there was no braver soul than Parker's. He was by profession and training a scholar, a theologian, a man of books and letters, with a rare knowledge of languages and literature, and the best collection of German ballads in America; shelves full of them in his library at the top of his house. But by temperament he was a fighter; as befitted the grandson of that Captain John Parker who commanded the minute men at Lexington, April 19th, 1775. He wrote much, preached often and well, and for twenty years was a great force in Boston and elsewhere. A fiery little man, with {40} a ruddy face and great dome of a head, spectacles over his pale blue eyes, the love of God and of his fellow-men in his heart; and by them beloved.




{41}

CHAPTER V

THE AMERICAN DEFOE, RICHARD HENRY DANA, JR.

Richard Henry Dana, Jr., to whose intervention in the Burns case we owe it that Judge Loring was compelled to grant Burns something in the nature of a trial, was a man whom Massachusetts may well be content to remember as one of her representatives for all time. By descent, and in himself, he was a chosen son of that chosen people. His father, Richard Henry, his grandfather, Francis, his great-grandfather, Richard, were all jurists, all patriots, all men of letters. Take one step more, and you come to Daniel, then to Richard again, who, if not quite a voyager to New England in the Mayflower, is heard of as a resident in Cambridge in 1640. Six Danas—nay, five, since our Dana survived his father but three years—span two centuries and a half: from father to son as they took their march down these eventful years, an unbroken line, a race of gentlemen.

It used to be made a reproach to the Dana of whom I write that he was a gentleman. Beyond doubt he deserved the reproach. When a candidate for Congress in 1868 in the Essex district against Ben Butler that eminent warrior called {42} him a kid-gloved aristocrat. "Not even gloved has my hand ever touched his," answered Dana in the heat of a redhot campaign. Butler's rancour lasted to the end, as we shall see.

This, of course, is no biography of Dana. I am writing of what I saw and heard; or not much more. I dealt with the Burns case as a record of personal impressions. But let me quote as an example of Dana's method of statement his account of Burns's arrest. He said to Judge Loring:

Burns was arrested suddenly, on a false pretence, coming home at nightfall from his day's work, and hurried into custody, among strange men, in a strange place, and suddenly, whether claimed rightfully or claimed wrongfully, he saw he was claimed as a slave, and his condition burst upon him in a flood of terror. This was at night. You saw him, sir, the next day, and you remember the state he was then in. You remember his stupefied and terrified condition. You remember his hesitation, his timid glance about the room, even when looking in the mild face of justice. How little your kind words reassured him.


That is the same hand which wrote Two Years Before the Mast—the touch of Defoe, with Defoe's direct simplicity of method and power of getting the effect he wanted by the simplest means; the last word in art, in all arts. Dana was incapable of rhetorical extravagance or of insincerity of any kind. His Two Years Before the Mast is as much a classic in England as at home. One proof of it is the number of pirated editions, before there was an international copyright law. He wrote to me once: "I hear there is a cheap English edition of {43} the book which has had, because of its cheapness, a great circulation. Published, I think, in Hull. Could you send me a copy as a curiosity?" I sent it; a little fat volume with a red cloth cover, much gilt, very closely printed, and sold at a shilling, long before the days of cheap books. It had sold by scores of thousands. It is a book always in print, in one edition or another. Copyright profited Dana no more in America than in England, or not for a long time. Bryant, to whom Dana's father sent the manuscript, hawked it about from one publisher to another in vain, till finally he sold it outright to Harpers for two hundred and fifty dollars, copyright and all. In my copy, with the imprint of James R. Osgood & Co., Boston, is a Preface dated 1869, in which Dana says: "After twenty-eight years the copyright of this book has reverted to me"; and so he presents the first "author's edition" to the public. My copy was a gift from Dana; it is among the treasures I possess and care for most, with this inscription in Dana's clear, quiet handwriting:

My dear Smalley,—Will you accept this volume from me and believe me ever truly yours,

RICH'D H. DANA, JR.

Boston, Feb. 17, 1876.


My real acquaintance with Dana had begun ten years before, when, in June or July, 1866, we crossed the Atlantic together in what was then the crack ship of the Cunard line, the China, the first {44} screw that carried the Cunard flag, capable of fourteen knots. The Cunarders then sailed from Boston, touched at Halifax, and thence steamed to Queenstown direct, and so on to Liverpool. Halifax was an experience; it took us, with all the Cunard seamanship, and there was none better, four hours to get alongside the pier, the currents running I know not how many miles an hour.

The China belonged to the old school; of all new schools the Cunard people, now foremost in everything, had at that time an abhorrence. The saloon aft and tapering to a point, racks over the table filled with table glass, long benches for seats, cabins crowded and dimly lighted with one smoking and smelling oil lamp in a triangular glass case between two cabins; sanitary arrangements unspeakable. I, on my first Atlantic voyage, thought it all the height of luxury; and so it was, for that time. The modern comforts and splendours of sea life date from 1889 with the White Star Teutonic, launched in that year, first of the "floating palaces." The China made her way from Halifax to Queenstown through a continuous fog at undiminished speed. The captain, for an exception among the Cunard captains of those days, regarded a passenger as a human being, and not merely as a parcel to be safely carried from port to port and dumped safely on the wharf, intermediate sufferings of no account. He would answer a question. I asked him, with the audacity of a novice, whether it was safe to steam day and night through a fog at full speed.

{45}

"Safe, good God, no."

"Then why do you do it?"

"Why? I will tell you why. First, we have got to get to Queenstown and Liverpool. Second, fogs don't last for ever, and the faster we go the sooner we shall get out of this one. And third, if there's a collision, the vessel going at the greatest speed has the best chance."

So antedating by many years the famous saying of another Cunard captain, summoned to the bridge when a collision seemed imminent, finding the engines reversed, and instantly ordering "full speed ahead"; remarking to the first officer who had reversed the engines: "If there's any running down to be done on this voyage, I propose to do it." But there was none.

When I told Dana of my talk with the China's captain, that experienced seaman and author of The Seaman's Manual observed: "I like a captain to have the courage of his opinions, but not to tell his passengers. Keep it to yourself." And I have kept it for forty years; the captain and ship are gone to Davy Jones's locker. Nothing happened, but something very nearly happened. There had been no chance of an observation since leaving Halifax, and we made the Irish coast rather suddenly, some miles further north than we expected, came near enough to hear the breakers, and swung to the south in safety.

His mind full of sea lore and of sea romance as well, Dana was the most delightful of companions on shipboard. Beneath an exterior which people {46} thought cold, he had a great kindliness of nature. He made no professions; his acts spoke for him. He gave freely of the riches of his mind. He knew England and the ways of the English, and was full of illustrative stories; among them was one of his first visit to the House of Commons.

I heard that night one of the best speeches to which I ever listened: fluent, rich in facts, sound in argument; well phrased and well delivered. I said to myself, "That man must carry the House with him." When he sat down a member rose on the opposite side and spoke for perhaps ten minutes. He stumbled along, hesitated, grew confused, his sentences without beginning or end; nothing but a knowledge of the subject and a great sincerity to recommend him.

But it was perfectly evident that the first speech had no weight with the House, and that the second convinced everybody. The first speaker was Whiteside, a brilliant Irishman and Solicitor-General; the second a county member whose name I never knew. The House thought Whiteside merely an advocate and his speech forensic. His opponent was a man whom everybody trusted. It was character that carried the day. And you will find it generally does with the English.


Dana brought to the study of the law a philosophic mind, and to the trial of causes in court a power of lucid exposition invaluable alike with the Bench and with a jury. The law was to him a body of symmetrical doctrine. He referred everything to principles, the only real foundation for anything. He stood very high at the Bar, for he had learning and would take immense pains, and when he brought a case into court it {47} was a work of art. Moreover, he brought a conscience with it. And he was one of the lawyers, none too numerous, to whom even Chief Justice Shaw listened. Out of many anecdotes I have heard from him I will choose one.

He had defended in the United States Circuit Court a man indicted for aiding in the escape of a fugitive slave. "The case against him," said Dana, "was perfectly clear; there was really no defence; he had beyond a doubt committed the crime of helping rescue a man from slavery. I looked for a conviction as a matter of course. But after the judge had charged the jury, hour after hour went by and still they stayed out. The judge sent for them and asked if they required any further guidance in law or in fact. The foreman said 'No'; but they could not agree, and finally were discharged.

"Some years later," said Dana, "as I stood on the steps of the Parker House, a man came up to me and said, 'You don't remember me, Mr. Dana?' I did not, and he went on:

"'Well, Mr. Dana, I expect you remember trying that case where a man named Tucker was indicted for aiding and abetting in the escape of a fugitive slave. I was on the jury in that case.'

"At this I instantly recalled the facts, and said: 'Since you were on that jury, I wish you would tell me what I have always wanted to know—why they disagreed.'

"'Well, Mr. Dana, I don't mind telling you we {48} stood eleven to one for conviction, and that one obstinate man wouldn't budge. Perhaps you remember it was proved on the trial that the negro was got away from Boston, taken to Concord, New Hampshire, and there was handed over to a man who drove him in a sleigh across the border into Canada.'

"'Oh, yes, I remember that.'

"'Well, Mr. Dana, I was the man who drove him in the sleigh across the border into Canada.'"

I knew something of the preposterous charge against Dana, that in editing Wheaton's International Law he had appropriated the labours of a dull predecessor, Mr. William Beach Lawrence. When President Grant nominated Dana Minister to England in succession to that General Schenck who is still quoted as an authority on poker, the Lawrence charge was pressed before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. It was an ex parte hearing, and Dana had no opportunity to defend himself. Whether that or the unsleeping malignity of General Butler did him the more harm I know not, but President Grant, as his honourable habit was, stood by his nominee; and the Senate rejected Dana by thirty-one votes to seventeen. The matter naturally attracted attention in England, and there were comments, none too just. I wrote a letter to The Times, of which Mr. Delane was then editor. A long letter, something over a column, but Delane published it next morning in his best type, first striking out a number of censorious sentences about Butler {49} and Zach Chandler and other eminent persons who had engineered Dana's defeat. In my wish to do justice to Dana and upon his enemies I had not remembered that I was writing in an English newspaper, and had no business to be rebuking Americans to an English audience. When I read my letter and noted Delane's excisions I saw how wrong I had been, and I wrote to Delane to thank him for suppressing all those ferocities. There came in reply such a note as only Delane would have written.

"It is the first time anybody ever thanked me for using a blue pencil on a correspondent's letter. Thank you."

This was in 1876. Dana's letter to me on my letter about him was characteristic. I think I might print it, but it is with other papers in New York. He was grateful and kindly, but also critical. He was always capable of looking at his own case as if it were a third person's; his mind detached from everything that was personal to himself. He thought the legal points might have been pressed. But the public, especially the English public, will not have too much law. I suppose the Beach-Lawrence suit and the Minister-to-England business troubled Dana more than anything else in his career. He ought, of course, to have been Minister. He would have been such a Minister as Charles Francis Adams was, or as Phelps was, two of the American Ministers whom the English liked best; out of the half-dozen who have held in this country a {50} pre-eminent position among Ministers and Ambassadors, including the present Ambassador and his two immediate predecessors, Hay and Choate. That brilliant list ought to have been enriched with Dana's name; but it was not to be.

Dana came abroad again in 1878, and I saw him once more. He spent his time chiefly in Paris and Rome, and died in Rome, January 7th, 1882. He lies near Keats and Shelley in the Protestant cemetery at Porte Pià; and there is a monument. In Boston he is remembered; whether he is remembered elsewhere I have no means of knowing. But we cannot, in whatever part of America, we cannot afford to forget a man who had all the American virtues in one of the heroic ages of America.




{51}

CHAPTER VI

A VISIT TO RALPH WALDO EMERSON

Among the students at Harvard Law School in 1855 was William Emerson, from Staten Island, New York, nephew of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He asked me one day if I would like to know his uncle. I answered that his uncle was the one man whom I most wished to meet, and, with a word of surprise at my fervour, he offered to arrange it.

In these days his surprise may not readily be understood. Emerson has long since taken his place among the Immortals. But at that time his place was still uncertain. The number of his followers was limited; or, as Carlyle said, fourteen years earlier, "Not the great reading public, but only the small thinking public have any questions to ask concerning him." The growth of the thinking mind toward Emerson had, during those fourteen years, been considerable, but it was still, in Matthew Arnold's phrase, only the Remnant to whom Emerson was a prophet or an inspiration. To the majority he was a riddle, and there were not a few of the solid men of Boston who thought him a child of the Devil. The Whigism of Massachusetts had its religious {52} side. To be a good Whig and one of the elect you must be an orthodox Unitarian.

The days when Unitarianism was to be a fashionable religion in Boston were still distant. Emerson was not even a Unitarian; he was an Emersonian. He not only thought for himself, but announced his thought from the housetops; and to think for oneself was, in those conservative days, a dangerous pastime. He came of a race of preachers on both sides, an academic race, six generations of them. For some three years he was himself a preacher, but presently found he could no longer administer the Holy Communion to his congregation, and therefore resumed his place as a layman. The platform superseded the pulpit. His sermons became lectures and essays. He said himself, "My pulpit is the lyceum platform." He became a transcendentalist, as his enemies said, a name he repudiated, preferring to call the transcendental journal he edited The Dial. It was no less an offence to Boston when Emerson's intellectual independence led him into the company of the Abolitionists, though he never wholly identified himself with that rebellious band. His first series of Essays had been published as long ago as 1841, in America, and in the same year in England with a rather patronizing Preface by Carlyle. The second series appeared in 1840, and the Poems in 1846.

In the 'fifties, therefore, Emerson's ideas had had time to become known to those who liked them least. I fell into deep disgrace with a Boston {53} uncle, a lawyer whose office I afterward entered, first as student and then as practitioner, when he heard that I had read Emerson. There was, moreover, an accomplished young lady who asked me if it was true that I believed in Emerson, and then desired to be told what in fact Emerson believed and taught; one of those appalling questions which women sometimes put lightheartedly. I answered as briefly as I could, and she retorted "I think it perfectly horrid." And if that friendship did not come to an end it grew cold, which I then thought a misfortune, and perhaps still do. But society was then intolerant of anything which menaced its foundations, or was thought to. Rightly, I suppose. Since all societies in all ages have wished to live, and not die.

In the Law School we did not discuss Emerson; we ignored him. I can think of no student at that time who had come under his influence. They were busy with the law; what was a prophet to them? If he had readers they kept their reading to themselves. The nephew himself was more a nephew than a disciple. He told me I should find his uncle delightful to know. Presently, to my delight, he brought me an invitation to Concord for Saturday to Monday. We walked the thirteen miles from Cambridge to Emerson's home, arriving in the middle of Saturday afternoon. Photographs have long since made the house familiar, whether in its original state, or after the fire in 1872, and the restoration of it by his fellow townsmen of Concord, and their {54} honourable gift of it to him. A broad gateway led to it from the road, pine trees standing sentinel on either side. Square, with a sloping roof, a porch in the centre, two windows on either side, two stories in height; simple almost to bareness, devoid of architectural pretence, but well proportioned. There was, I think, an ell which ran back from the main building. Inside, your first impression was of spaciousness; the hall and rooms of good size, not very high, and furnished with an eye mainly to comfort; and an easy staircase.

We were taken first into a parlour in the rear of the library which filled one side of the house. Emerson's greeting was something more than courteous—friendly, with a little element of surprise; for though he had long been used to pilgrimages and visits from admiring strangers, to whom his house was a Mecca, there was, perhaps, a novelty in the coming of a law student. A pleasant light, and a strong light, in his fine blue eyes, yet they looked at you in an inquiring, penetrating way as if it was their duty to give an account of you; impartial but sympathetic. You could perceive he was predisposed to think well of people. I had seen Emerson on the platform, but there his attitude was Hebraic: inspired and apostolic. This was the private Emerson, the citizen of Concord, and first of all the host; intent before all things on hospitality. The tall, twisted figure bent toward us, the grasp of the hand was a welcome; the strong face had in it the sunshine of kindliness; the firm lips {55} relaxing into a smile. Delicacy went with his strength, and with the manliness of the man was blended something I can only call feminine, because it was exquisite. Distinction in every line and tone; a man apart from other men. Free from all pretence; of pretence he had no need; he was absolutely himself, and that was all you wanted. There was at first something in his manner you might call shyness or uncertainty, as of a nature which might be embarrassed in unfamiliar company but would go gaily to the stake.

I suppose I am collecting the impressions of this and many later meetings with Emerson, but I cannot distinguish between them, and it does not matter. What was, however, peculiar to this visit was Emerson's almost anxious sense of his duties as host; which seemed not duties, but the inevitable expression of a loving nature. When he heard that we had walked from Cambridge he said we must be tired and hungry and thirsty. We were to sit down there and then, we were to eat and drink. The philosopher bustled gently about, seeking wine and food in the cupboards, and presently putting on the table a decanter of Madeira and a dish of plum cake. He was solicitous that we should partake of both; and to that end set us the example, saying: "I have not walked thirteen miles, but I think I can manage to keep you company at the table." Then he bethought himself that he seldom touched wine; "and indeed I sometimes neither eat nor drink from breakfast to supper." He began at {56} once with questionings about the law school and our way of life and study.

Then to our rooms, plain, pleasant rooms, and then tea in the library. Among the books he seemed more at home than anywhere else; they had been his lifelong friends, for whom he had an affection. He asked again about law and the law school. "A noble study," he said, "one to which you may well devote a great part of your life and mind. As you have chosen it for your profession I am sure you will master it; a man must know his trade or he will do nothing. But law is not everything. It does not perhaps make a demand upon all the resources of the intellect, nor enlarge a man's nature." Which was almost a paraphrase of Burke's famous sentence on the wall in his eulogy on Mr. Grenville:

One of the first and noblest of human sciences; a science which does more to quicken and invigorate the understanding than all the other kinds of learning put together; but it is not apt, except in persons very happily born, to open and to liberalize the mind exactly in the same proportion.


Then Emerson, who seemed always to be seeking the final word, and to condense the whole of his thought into a sentence, added:

"Keep your mind open. Read Plato."

Those half-dozen words he uttered in the resonant tones of the platform; tones which came when he was deeply stirred and desired to stir his audience. They vibrated through the room as {57} they vibrated through a great hall; tones which were meant to find their way, and did find their way, to the hearts of his hearers; an appeal to the emotions, to the conscience, to whatever there was in these thousands, or in the single individual, sympathetic to the speaker. I have never forgotten them. If I have not followed Emerson's advice as he meant it, or in full, I have followed it to a certain extent; desultorily, inadequately; and certainly with no settled purpose to become a Platonist, or even an Emersonian. But it had an effect and the effect has been permanent.

One other great thinker, Pascal, has given the same counsel; not in words, but by his perpetual example. You cannot read Pascal without seeing that he never states one side of a case, but always two sides. Even in matters of faith he keeps an open mind. In matters of science it is equally open; and in all other matters. To this day, it is disputed whether Pascal was a believer. He himself believed that he was, but he was a pupil of Montaigne, and Montaigne's motto, "Que sçais-je?" is inwoven in every sentence of Pascal's speculations upon matters of faith; and upon all les choses de l'esprit. So I put these two influences, Pascal and Emerson, side by side.

If this were the place, a parallel might be drawn. The Church, and for good cause, held Pascal for an enemy; and the Puritanism of New England, as well as orthodoxy in Old England and elsewhere, held Emerson for an enemy; also {58} with good cause. Yet were they two of the most devout souls of all time. Why should the churches of France and of New England array against themselves the two finest minds of those two communities, centuries apart? Pascal's voice comes softly down the intervening generations—"Keep your mind open"—and Emerson's is the clear echo of Pascal's, as Pascal's was of Montaigne. Emerson, too, sat for a time at the feet of Montaigne, chose him as one of his "Representative Men," and said of Montaigne's Essays: "It seems to me as if I had myself written the book in some former life." Pascal had already said: "Ce n'est pas dans Montaigne mais dans moi que je trouve tout ce que j'y vois."

Emerson had other stimulating suggestions ready; his talk overflowed with them, yet was never didactic. It was as if the suggestions presented themselves first to him and then to you; as if he shared his thoughts with you; so far was he from the method of the pulpit. Some errand called him away. He took down a volume and put it into my hand, saying: "Some day I hope you will learn to value this writer. He has much to say, and he says it in almost the best English of his century. He is a Greek born out of due time"—a remark he has somewhere made about Winckelmann. It was Landor; a volume of the Imaginary Conversations. I read a dialogue there and then. I have read him ever since. I do not suppose anybody cares what I have read or not read. But I wish to give you Emerson's {59} opinion; the advice he thought best for a boy studying law; and the effect of it upon the boy.

For he would not talk of what he thought unsuited to us two, or to me. In a reminiscence or two of his tour in England in 1846 or 1847 he mentioned a visit to Coleridge. I had read the Table Talk and the Biographia Literaria, and I asked Emerson to tell me what he and Coleridge had discussed. "No," he said, "it would not interest you." In the same way next morning when he took me to Walden through the woods, he began upon trees and squirrels and other forest-lore; then stopped and asked: "But do you know about trees and animals? Do they interest you?" I had to confess they did not; upon which he began again on books and matters of literature; and upon Thoreau. Of Thoreau he did not seem to care to say very much. But he showed me the lake, and where Thoreau lived, and what he related of him, though his appreciation was critical, was touched with the kindness habitual to him. I had read the Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers—or perhaps read it later—and Walden, which is thinner, and I had heard, then or since, that some of Thoreau's admirers accused Emerson of borrowing from him. But there was not much to borrow; nor, for Emerson, anything. The friendship between the two men was close and lasted long, but if there were any question of borrowing or lending in the books of either, the debt was not on Emerson's side.

Now and then as we walked in the forest, or {60} through the streets, we met a farmer or other resident of Concord, and it was pleasant to see their greetings to their great townsman. On the heights he trod no other set foot, but in the daily business and intercourse of life he was each man's friend, and each was his. One of them told me—it was Rockwood Hoar, afterward Judge of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts and United States Attorney-General—that half the affairs of Concord were on Emerson's shoulders. He was the chosen adviser, peacemaker, arbitrator between these hard-headed, practical people of Concord; the man to whom they went with their troubles; the man whose decision in difficult disputes was accepted without demur. "I don't suppose," said Mr. Hoar, "that Emerson ever opened a law book or the Revised Statutes. But he had a native shrewdness, an eye for the points of a case, a sense of equity, and a willingness to take pains which made him an ideal referee." I once told an eminent Whig who had been abusing Emerson as a mere visionary, that his neighbours, who knew him best, trusted him in this way. "They are welcome to him," growled the eminent Whig.

He also was welcome to them. He was the possession and pride of Concord; beloved by the people among whom he lived his life. I suppose his lines about the embattled farmers who fired the shot heard round the world, are better known and have thrilled more hearts than any others he ever wrote. They seemed to be always on {61} Concord lips. Yes, but Emerson himself had fired another shot heard round the world; or round so much of it as speaks the English, or Anglo-American, tongue. So when misfortune befell him and his house was half burnt, and his health failed, they besought him to go abroad for rest; and while he was gone they rebuilt his house for him in the exact similitude of the old. He was gone a year, all but two months, with his daughter Ellen, the true child of her father and his most faithful and helpful friend. When Emerson returned, Concord turned out to greet him, built a triumphal arch beneath which he had, perhaps reluctantly, to pass; and so reinstalled him in his old-new home.

This, of course, was long after the time of which I am writing; in 1872-3. But when he came to England, he knew that his friends in Concord were rebuilding his house. He could not speak of it without emotion. His state of health was such that emotion was hurtful to him, and his daughter used to ask us not to refer to the house. But whether we did or not, Emerson brooded over it, and was better and happier in the thought of his friends' friendship for him.




{62}

CHAPTER VII

EMERSON IN ENGLAND—ENGLISH TRAITS—EMERSON
AND MATTHEW ARNOLD

Emerson's last visit to England was made in 1873, after his health had failed. He had been in Egypt and on the Continent, hoping to recover the freshness of his mental powers; but that was not to be. In London he and his daughter Ellen, who gave to her father a loving devotion without limits, lived in apartments in Down Street, Piccadilly. It was only too evident that, even after ten months of rest and travel, he was an invalid in mind. He could not recollect names—a failing common in advanced age, of course, but Emerson was only in his seventieth year and was to live ten years more. He resorted to all kinds of paraphrases and circumlocutions. "One of the men who seemed to me the most sincere and clear-minded I have met was—you know whom I mean, I met him at your house, the biologist, the champion of Darwin—with what lucid energy he talked to us." When I mentioned Huxley's name, Emerson said, "Yes, how could I forget him?" But presently the name had to be given to him again. The power of association {63} between people or things and the names of them had been lost. He was always, said the critics, a little déconsu; sentences, they insisted, succeeded each other without much obvious connection, or without the copula which would have brought them into their true relation.

The truth is, he gave his reader credit for a little imaginative power. He took him into partnership. He was mindful of Voltaire's pungent epigram: "L'art d'être ennuyeux, c'est l'art de tout, dire." He had his own theory of style and of diction. His temperament left him no choice. If his quickness of transition from one subject to another, or from one thought to another, left some of his readers toiling after him in vain, they were not the readers for whom he wrote. Why should they read him if he wrote a language to them unknown?

The interview between Huxley and himself to which Emerson referred was at breakfast; for breakfasts were then given almost as often as luncheons are now. There were a dozen or so people to meet him; men and women. I introduced each of them as they arrived. In each case they had been asked to make Emerson's acquaintance, but to some of them Emerson was an unknown name; or, if not wholly unknown, called up in their minds no clear image of the man or knowledge of his life's work. "Tell me who he is." "Tell me what he has done." "Is he English or American?" But I suppose there never has been a time when a knowledge of {64} literature, or of great spiritual influences, has been an indispensable passport to social position. Nor was it because Emerson was an American that he was unfamiliar to these delightful and, in many ways, accomplished women.

Years afterward, in 1888, I was engaged to lunch on the day when news of Matthew Arnold's death had come. Arnold had been so good a friend to me that I did not like going on this first moment to such an entertainment, but I thought the talk would turn on Arnold, and I went. My hostess was a woman renowned in the world, or in her world, for great qualities, known to everybody, and I should have thought knowing everybody who had, as Arnold had, a place both in letters and in society. I referred to his sudden death. "Ah, yes," she answered, "an American, was he not?" That may be set off against the unacquaintance of these other ladies with Emerson.

What Emerson cared for was to meet the men and women who stood in some spiritual or intellectual relation to him; or who were his disciples. Mr. Alexander Ireland, in his biographical sketch of Emerson, quotes an illustrative story. It was in Edinburgh, this same year, and Dr. William Smith, President of the Edinburgh Philosophical Association, was driving him about that wonderful city. Dr. Smith had told him of "a worthy tradesman in Nicholas Street who is his enthusiastic admirer." When Emerson heard of it, he proposed to call on him. They stopped at the {65} "worthy tradesman's," and Dr. Smith went into the shop and said: "Mr. ——, Mr. Emerson is at the door and will be glad to see you for a few minutes." "The five minutes were well spent," adds Dr. Smith; and the disciple was happy for the rest of his life. It was characteristic of Emerson, and of Emerson as an American. Very likely he did not quite understand how immense is the gulf which in this country separates the man who stands behind a counter from the man who stands in front of the counter. If he had understood, he would not have cared. What he cared for was the point of contact, and of discipleship. It was the master who sought his pupil, because he was his pupil.

During Emerson's too brief stay in London I called often in Down Street. Miss Ellen was anxious to protect her father against the pressure from many quarters for public addresses, and to decline as many private invitations as possible. At Oxford it was the same, but neither in Oxford nor London did Emerson lecture except briefly at Mr. Thomas Hughes's Working-men's College. Between him and Tom Hughes—he was never called anything else—there was not very much in common except sterling qualities of character. Hughes was a good and amiable Philistine, English to the tips of his fingers, who wrote one book, Tom Brown's Schooldays, which is immortal, and half a dozen others that are dead or were never really alive. But Hughes was one of our friends in the black days when we had few in England, {66} working-men excepted; and Emerson was too good a patriot to forget that; and too much a lover of manliness in men not to like one who had that supreme trait in a high degree, as Hughes had. So he made the exception in his favour, for the Working-men's College was an institution of high usefulness, in which Hughes's heart was bound up. As for society, Emerson was an invalid, and able on that ground to decline invitations without offence. He had studied English society, as one form of English life, when here in 1848; and was content with that experience. "I do not care for classes," he said.

The nineteenth century produced two supremely good books on American and on English civilization: Tocqueville's De la Démocratic en Amérique and Emerson's English Traits, published in 1856. Tocqueville's book, published in 1835, remains the best book on the United States for the student who cares to get down to the foundation of things; who cares more for ideas, tendencies, and principles than for details. Of Emerson's the same thing may be said, yet no two treatises could be more unlike than those of the Frenchman and the American.

But all I wish now to point out is the effect of English Traits upon the English themselves. Roughly speaking, it puzzled them. It is one of the truest books ever written. Yet to the English themselves its truth has never appeared quite true. On Emerson, as thinker, poet, philosopher, all kinds of judgments have been formed {67} in England, and expressed, in some cases, with vehemence. He has always had an audience and a following here; and always enemies. But the book they least understand is the book about themselves. Looking into the egregious Allibone for an apt quotation concerning the Traits I find none, but instead a remark by Allibone himself that "Mr. Emerson's writings have excited considerable interest on both sides of the Atlantic!" The space given to Emerson in the Dictionary of English Literature is less than a column, though fourteen columns are not thought too many for Longfellow; nor are they. In the Supplement Emerson gets a little more attention; still grudgingly given.

Allibone does not matter, and the perplexity of the Philistine struggling with a book he cannot understand does not matter. But let us go at once to the best of English critics; to Matthew Arnold. Alas! we fare no better. Arnold's Discourse on Emerson has been resented by Emersonians as an elaborate disparagement of their Master. It is not that. Arnold was incapable of disparagement, and while he denies to Emerson many gifts which his readers find in him, his appreciation is still sympathetic, and he lifts himself to own from time to time Emerson's real greatness. He thinks the Essays "the most important work done in prose in our language" during the last century—"more important than Carlyle's." But he puts aside the English Traits because, compared with Montaigne, La Bruyère, {68} Addison (!), the Traits will not stand the comparison.

"Emerson's observation has not the disinterested quality of the observation of these masters. It is the observation of a man systematically benevolent, as Hawthorne's observation in Our Old Home is the work of a man chagrined."

And Arnold explains that Emerson's systematic benevolence comes from his persistent optimism. The book is too good-natured to be scientific. Yet, oddly enough—or perhaps not oddly—the criticism of the English Philistine is the exact opposite of Arnold's. The man in the street, if he has read the English Traits, complains that the criticism of things English is too relentless; that Emerson always has the scalpel and the probe in hand; that the inquiry is not critical but anatomical; and the atmosphere that of the dissecting room. He is appalled when he sees the most cherished beliefs of centuries and blended races put under the microscope, and when Character, Aristocracy, Plutocracy, the Church, Religion itself are made to take off their masks and yield up their secrets. They are not conciliated even when Emerson sums up the English as "the best of actual races." What care they for comparisons with other races, or for the opinion of other races, or of transatlantic critics upon England and the English and the institutions of this little island? Emerson's criticism is chemical, it resolves things into their elements, their primordial atoms. No doubt, but neither the Throne nor {69} the Church is shaken, nor a single Act of Parliament repealed.

Arnold, recalling the influences which wrought upon him as a student at Oxford "amid the last enchantments of the Middle Ages," said to an American audience in Emerson's "own delightful town," Boston:

"He was your Newman, your man of soul and genius visible to you in the flesh, speaking to your bodily ears, a present object for your heart and imagination. That is surely the most potent of all influences! Nothing can come up to it."

And that is the influence which descended beneficially upon us of a past or passing generation, to whom it was given to see Emerson and to hear him. As I think it all over, I begin to doubt whether to have heard Emerson on the platform did not bring you a sense of greater intimacy than to have known him even in his Concord home.

There was a time, during Theodore Parker's illness and absence, when Emerson and Wendell Phillips used to take his place at stated intervals—in both cases, I think, once a month. Before the great audience of the Music Hall, Emerson had precisely the same manner as with a few hundred people. He hardly seemed to be aware of his audience. He stood there behind Parker's desk, towering above it, his slight figure adjusting itself to whatever attitude suited his mood for the moment; never quite erect; the body never quite straight; the hands fumbling with his {70} manuscript; turning over a dozen leaves at a time; turning back again another dozen, as if it scarce mattered in what order he read. Often he skipped; the large quarto pages were turned by the score and there was no return. His mind seemed to be carrying on processes of thought quite independent of those he had inscribed on his manuscript. He felt his way with his hearers; and his unconsciousness of their presence was therefore apparent only. Between them and him there was the flow of invisible, mysterious currents, whether of sympathy or antipathy. In Mr. Gladstone's fine image, they gave back to him in vapour what he poured out in a flood upon them. But that, of course, was far more completely true of an orator like Mr. Gladstone than of a lecturer like Emerson who read his discourse. But it was true in a measure of Emerson also.

But Emerson was an orator too. He was not always above the arts of the orator. He could, and did, calculate his effects; observing the while whether they told or not. He delighted in a crescendo. His voice rose and fell and rose again; and he had unsuspected depths of resonant tone. At one moment clear and cold, then vibrating with emotion, in which the whole force of the man seemed to seek expression; then sometimes at the very end becoming prophetic, appealing, menacing; till the sentences came as if from the Judgment seat. He once read Allingham's poem, "The Talisman," as the peroration of his address in the Music Hall. I never heard anything like {71} it—like the wild, strange melody of his voice, which had in it the intonations and cadences which give to many Slavic airs, and most of all to the Hungarian Czardas, though that is dance music, a magic charm.

I have spoken of the prejudice against Emerson which prevailed in Boston and elsewhere. It was most vehement in society. That worshipful company, which is necessarily a minority and prides itself on being a minority, likes to set its own standards and expects the rest of the world, so far as it comes in contact with these social law-givers, to conform to these standards. They soon became aware that to no standard but his own did Emerson ever conform; save so far as civility and kindness bade him. He gave way readily enough in little things. It is a sign of greatness to hold little things of little account; an aphorism by no means universally accepted.

However, it was not Emerson's manners to which society objected, or could ever object. He had the manners of a king, without the demands of a king. He was a republican king. He stood for equality, in the sense that he looked down on no man. The society view is different. Society exists in order to look down on all who are not within its sacred circle. They must be inferior because they are outside. But its objection to Emerson lay deeper. It recognized in him the natural enemy of privilege and prerogative. There were distinguished members of this distinguished body who regarded a man who took {72} the liberty of examining the substructure on which all societies are built as an anarchist. They were afraid of him. They thought it safer to exclude him. By and by, they compromised. Is not, or was not, Boston the Home of Culture? So, as Emerson's fame grew, the exclusion policy was seen to be feeble. But when the closed doors were opened, what was the astonishment of these excellent persons to discover that Emerson did not seem to care whether they were open or closed. He had his own life to live, and lived it, serenely aloof.

Nothing dies so hard as a prejudice. I have one of my own which lives in spite of my affection for Emerson, and my many debts to him, and my gratitude that he gave me a little of his friendship. I mean that on a too young mind he had, or might have, an influence not entirely for good. He set his ideals so high that, as you looked up to him and them, your feet sometimes went astray, or stumbled. He taught you, though he may not have meant it, to underrate precision of knowledge, and the value of details. When the things of the spirit and the spiritual life mattered so much, how could it be worth while to know all the tenses of Greek verbs or to be aware of the rudiments of toe in the palæontological horse? There are sentences and pages in The Conduct of Life and elsewhere which refute this view, and I do not press it. But I know the effect, not of this or that essay, but of Emerson's attitude toward education, and his philosophic indifference {73} to all but what is highest in thought. And I think even to-day I would not put his books into the hands of a boy who had not settled views about learning, and a conviction of the invincible necessity of an accurate method.




{74}

CHAPTER VIII

A GROUP OF BOSTON LAWYERS—MR. OLNEY AND VENEZUELA

A name still remembered in Massachusetts is that of Judge Thomas of the Supreme Court, the court of highest jurisdiction in that State, and one of the few State courts whose decisions have always been cited with respect in the Supreme Court of the United States. It was recruited largely from the Suffolk Bar. The Boston Bar was known as the Suffolk Bar, the name of the county. But, of course, other parts of the State supplied judges, and Worcester County was one. Judge Thomas lived and practised law in the town of Worcester. He practised politics also, of a very energetic kind, being a good platform speaker and a good organizer. There used to be a story that one morning, in the heat of an exciting campaign, Thomas knelt at family prayers and began his invocation to the Almighty: "Fellow-citizens and Whigs of Worcester County."

However that may be, he was a successful lawyer, a successful judge, and had attractive qualities not always to be found at the Bar. I {75} will tell you in a moment in what way he connects himself permanently with national and international history. I came to know about it because it was before Judge Thomas that I tried, at nisi prius, and lost, my first case in the Supreme Court. When the jury had delivered their wrongful verdict, and been sent about their business, Judge Thomas called me up and spoke to me with a kindness I have never forgotten. He thought I had tried my case well, told me I should do well at the Bar, and offered, very generously, to help me if he could. After a time he resigned his seat on the Bench and went into practice in Boston. A little later I called on him and asked whether he had room for a junior in his office. "There would have been room if you had applied earlier," said Judge Thomas. "But I have just been told by my daughter that she has engaged herself to a young lawyer, and he is to have the place I should otherwise have been glad to offer you."

The name of that young lawyer was Richard Olney. It fell to my lot to see something of him in Washington forty years later, when he was Secretary of State under President Cleveland. I saw him for some weeks, during the height of the Venezuela crisis, almost daily. Whether I shall ever be allowed to tell the whole story of what went on during those weeks I do not know. If I were Mr. Olney I would give my assent to the publishing of a complete statement. I say that because, in my judgment, we owe it to Mr. Olney—and among Americans to him {76} only—that a way out of the difficulty in which President Cleveland's Message had landed us was ultimately found. I know how it was found, and except Mr. Olney himself, I don't think any other American knows. I am aware of the explanations which Mr. Cleveland published in The Century Magazine, and I think them models of unintentional disingenuousness. Moreover, I had means of knowing what was said and done on this side, in England, in the Foreign Office and elsewhere, during those dangerous weeks; and I know why the settlement was postponed till next summer, when the American people, at white heat during December, 1895, and January, 1896, had cooled off and forgotten there was any crisis at all.

But if I never had a chance of saying more, I wish to say now that Mr. Olney did a great service to his country, and to both countries; one of the greatest ever done by any man in his position, or in almost any position. I think Mr. Cleveland became aware that he had acted rashly and with no full knowledge of the history of that boundary-line between British Guiana and Venezuela which he announced to the world his intention to re-draw to suit himself, with menace of war to Great Britain. I don't forget Mr. Olney's share in the dispatch of July, 1895, which began the trouble. He and Mr. Cleveland concocted that extraordinary document between them at Gray Gables. I suppose he knew also of Mr. Cleveland's Message to Congress, December 12th, and perhaps approved of it—indeed, he must {77} have approved of it or resigned. He must also have been responsible for the second dispatch calling upon Lord Salisbury to send an answer to the July dispatch before the meeting of Congress in December; a demand perhaps unprecedented as between two Powers of the first rank. I know, too, that some of Mr. Olney's language gave offence. Lord Salisbury thought him rude; an impression due mainly to the different uses made of the English language in Washington and in London, and to the non-existence in Washington, at that time, of that diplomatic freemasonry, in both speech and act, and of those diplomatic conventionalities which prevail in other important capitals of the world.

All that—and there is more—only emphasizes the delicacy with which Mr. Olney subsequently handled the dispute which Mr. Cleveland had envenomed. A new period in the negotiations began. I shall venture to say, even though Mr. Olney, out of loyalty to his President might refuse to admit it, that with the New Year of 1896 the conduct of the negotiations passed into his hands. That he reported to the President what was going on I don't doubt. But a new spirit prevailed. The tone which had been so offensive in the original dispatch, and still more in the Message to Congress, was dropped. Mr. Olney had a wonderful flexibility of mind. When he saw that one set of tactics had failed, he was quick to try another, and not only to try another but to recognize the need of a wholly new departure. {78} He was equally quick in invention, in devising expedients, in looking at facts with a fresh pair of eyes. A trained diplomatist he was not, but in this emergency he showed the qualities of a trained diplomatist; the resource, the tact, the fertility, and the power of divining what was in his adversary's mind.

Lord Salisbury's was not an easy mind to divine. He had the gift of silence, and to a still more remarkable degree the gift of enveloping his thought in that language of diplomacy which, as I said, was not at that time a language very well understood in America. But Mr. Olney guessed pretty accurately at Lord Salisbury's purpose, and they carried on their exchange of views without very great friction. The truth is, both were bent on finding a solution. The point in which Lord Salisbury had the advantage was patience. Mr. Olney was under some pressure. Lord Salisbury was not. Americans will, I think, do well to bear in mind that, after Prince Bismarck's death, Lord Salisbury was regarded throughout Europe as a higher authority, with a more commanding influence, than any Foreign Minister then in power. He had immense experience, immense knowledge, an immense power of work, and fine natural gifts perfected by long practice. There were not many Ministers who transacted great affairs with Lord Salisbury on even terms. But Mr. Olney was one of them.

I find myself, however, going further than I meant to. I meant no more than to put on {79} record, before it is too late, the testimony of an eye-witness, and my belief that, but for Mr. Olney, there might have been a very different ending to the quarrel upon which President Cleveland entered in his over-confident, clumsy way. I have departed from the order of time in these "Memories." I must often depart from it; I cannot begin a story and leave it half told because the end belongs to later years.

Mr. Olney has made so great a name and place for himself at the Bar, as well as in the State Department, that no testimony or tribute can be of much importance to him. But it is important to me to offer it. A debt of gratitude may be easily borne, often much too easily; but if it can never be repaid it can be acknowledged, and I acknowledge mine to Mr. Olney at the same time that I remind others of what they also owe him.

I do not regret having had to give way to Mr. Olney in Judge Thomas's office. If I had been admitted into that coveted place, I should have stayed in Boston and at the Bar, and perhaps have had a prosperous professional life. But I should not have had the kind of experience which has made life interesting to me in so many various ways, and which I am now trying to make interesting to others.

Mr. Rockwood Hoar, afterward Attorney-General of the United States, whose name I have mentioned earlier, was counsel for the other side in my Supreme Court case. If my client had {80} had a good defence, which perhaps he had not, a novice at the Bar had little chance against a man with the learning and force of Mr. Hoar. He had, however, a spirit of scrupulous fairness. No man ever suspected Rockwood Hoar of unworthy devices. He was too able to need them and too honest to use them. But he tried experiments, as every lawyer does. He put a question to a witness which I thought innocent enough, but a friendly lawyer who sat near called to me in a stage whisper, "Object." So I objected, not the least knowing why. The judge looked to Mr. Hoar. "Surely," said Mr. Hoar, "my friend will not press his objection." Not knowing what else to say, I said I would withdraw the objection if Mr. Hoar would say he thought the question competent. The judge smiled, and Mr. Hoar smiled at my ingenuousness, and said, "Well, I will ask the witness another question."

Mr. Horace Gray was at that time reporter to the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. After he had become a judge of the Supreme Court of the United States I used to meet him in Washington. One day he said to me:

"You used to practise law in Boston."

"Yes."

"I think we must have met. I must have seen you in court. You tried a case in the Supreme Court before Judge Thomas. Stop a moment. I can tell you the name of the case. You argued it afterward before the full bench. It was Krebs v. Oliver."

{81}

And it was. Forty years had passed. Mr. Justice Gray had what may be called a memory. He had much else: an inexhaustible knowledge of case law; a power of dealing readily with complex matters; a fast hold of principles; an industry without limit; the cordial respect of his fellow judges; and a pleasant house in Washington whereof the hostess was one of Washington's favourites. And he had a stature of somewhere between six and seven feet, with a smiling face and massive head to crown this huge frame. He is gone. I wish he were not.

Of the many members of this brilliant Suffolk Bar there was one of a very unusual kind of brilliancy. The brilliancy of invariable success was his. I believe it to be literally true that during many years he never lost a case which depended on the verdict of a jury. At the Bar, of course, as elsewhere, nothing succeeds like success, and Mr. Durant's practice was very large. I have noticed that clients, as a rule, would rather win their cases than lose them. How did he do it? Nobody ever knew. His beaten rivals, or perhaps their clients, sometimes hinted at things nobody ever ventured to assert, since there was not a scintilla of evidence to justify insinuations.

There was probably no secret save what lay on the surface. Mr. Durant was a good lawyer who prepared his cases with a thoroughness that left no point in doubt, and no scrap of evidence unexamined. He knew to a nicety what would {82} tell with a jury and what would not. He was not a man on whom it was possible to spring a surprise. His cross-examinations, without being showy, were deadly. As a speaker—orator he was not—he had no other conspicuous merit than clearness; the art of marshalling facts to fit his own theory of the case. When he rose the jury were predisposed to believe.

He had a way of turning to the jury whenever during the trial he had made a point, brought out a telling fact, or wrung an admission from an incautious witness. It was as if from the beginning he took the jury into partnership; it was a matter in which he and they were alike interested, and the only interest of either was to discover the truth. They said of him what was said by a juryman of another famous advocate: "It's no credit to him to win his causes. He is always on the right side." When Mr. Durant sat down the jury were convinced that he, too, was on the right side, and their verdict was but the formal and legal ratification of the moral view, and, as they believed, of their own conscientious conviction.

Hypnotism? I think not. The thing was not much heard of in those days. It is quite possible that Mr. Durant used discrimination and never took a cause into court in which he did not feel sure of a verdict, but many a lawyer is sure of a verdict he does not get. There remains a residuum of mystery which has never been explained, and is probably inexplicable. Mr. Durant's {83} presence explained something. He had a powerful head, chiselled features, black hair, which he wore rather long, an olive complexion, and eyes which flashed the lightnings of wrath and scorn and irony; then suddenly the soft rays of sweetness and persuasion for the jury. He looked like an actor. He was an actor. He understood dramatic values, and there was no art of the stage he did not employ upon a hostile or unwilling witness. He could coax, intimidate, terrify; and his questions cut like knives.

He had a stage name, like so many other actors. His real name was Smith, which perhaps was not generally known. But one day in court he was tormenting a reluctant witness who had been Jones and was now Robinson. "Mr. Jones," cried Durant—"I beg your pardon, Mr. Robinson." "Yes, Mr. Smith," retorted the witness—"I beg your pardon, Mr. Durant." That cross-examination came quickly to an end. But I believe Mr. Durant's prestige continued while he remained at the Bar; then having amassed a fortune, he abandoned the law and took to preaching. Whether he had the same success in saving souls as in winning causes I never heard.




{84}

CHAPTER IX

WENDELL PHILLIPS

It was in the winter of 1860-61 that the Massachusetts allies of the Southern Slave Power made their last effort. Spite of Webster's death, with whom died the brains of the party and its vital force, these men were still powerful in Boston. The surrender of Anthony Burns in May, 1854, the birth of the Republican Party at Worcester in July of the same year, the election of Mr. Henry Wilson as Governor, the cowardly assault in the United States Senate on Charles Sumner by Mr. Preston Brooks, of South Carolina, in 1856—these events had indeed stirred the people of Massachusetts into revolt against the Slave Party in this Free State.

But there had come a lull. There were still hopes that a conflict between North and South might be averted and that politics might do the work of arms. Mr. Franklin Pierce was President, but Mr. Banks had been elected Speaker of the House of Representatives at the first session of the Thirty-fourth Congress in December, 1855. Mr. Blaine said that marked an epoch, and he described it in his brilliant {85} Twenty Years of Congress as "a distinctive victory of the Free States over the consolidated power of the Slave States."

But the Republicans were slow in coming to power, and their nomination of General Frémont in 1856 sowed distrust among the sounder men of the party. Mr. Buchanan's election seemed to confirm the ascendency of the South, and the mind of Boston, or at any rate of State Street, reverted to commercial politics. The Abolitionists were as much under a cloud as ever. From 1857 to 1860 things seemed to be going backward. The Harper's Ferry business alarmed the ingrained conservatism of Boston, and though the hanging of John Brown shocked a good many merchants and bankers, they could not understand, and were far from approving, Brown's scheme or Brown's methods. The state of feeling in Boston was, in short, confused, and the emotions of 1854 had gone to sleep.

The crisis came in December, 1860. The Abolitionists tried to hold an Anti-Slavery Convention in Tremont Temple, on the anniversary of the hanging of John Brown or the day after. They do not seem to have expected trouble; at any rate, they took no sufficient precautions to keep the peace and keep control of their own meeting. A "broadcloth mob"—the phrase long since became classic in Boston—occupied the hall in force, captured the platform peacefully, elbowed the Abolitionists off it, appointed their own chairman, Mr. Richard S. Fay, and passed {86} their own resolutions. "Broadcloth," said Phillips, "does not make a gentleman." The Convention was summoned to consider "How shall American slavery be abolished?" The John Brown anniversary was thought a suitable day for the discussion of that question, but Brown's death was referred to simply as "too glorious to need defence or eulogy." When Mr. Fay, the ringleader of the mob, thinking his work done, had departed, Mr. Frank Sanborn, the lawful chairman, resumed his place, and would have held the lawfully summoned meeting. Then the mob leaders, Mr. Murray Howe now at their head, made a fresh attack. The police sided with them and the Mayor cleared the hall.

There is a little confusion of dates. Brown was, in fact, hanged December 2nd, the fateful day of Austerlitz and of the Third Napoleon's coup d'état. But these events in Boston occurred, I think, on the 3rd. The men who had been driven out of Tremont Temple by the mob, of which the Mayor finally took command, reassembled in the evening, very quietly, in a little hall in Belknap Street, on what was impolitely known as Nigger Hill, not far from the rather aristocratic Mount Vernon Street. Wendell Phillips, to an audience of perhaps three or four hundred—all the place would hold—made an unreported speech, red-hot with wrath. A little more than a year before, November 1st, 1859, a fortnight after Brown's attempt and while he lay in prison waiting to be hanged, Phillips had spoken in {87} Brooklyn, and announced that the lesson of the hour was insurrection. But he weakened the force of that counsel by adding that the age of bullets was over; it was an insurrection of thought; like that of the last thirty years; he still had in mind. Now, here in Boston, and not for the first time nor for the last, he was face to face with forces which were not intellectual nor moral, but forces of violence. Phillips could not readily shake off the influences of his whole public life. He still believed in "moral suasion." He was presently to learn that moralities and the counsels of peace were a poor defence against men prepared to back their opinions with revolvers. But even after the hanging of Brown, at his grave in North Elba, Phillips could say: "I do not believe slavery will go down in blood. Ours is the age of thought."

Perhaps the meeting of December, 1860, marks the beginning of his conversion, but by no means its completion. He had long been used to mobs and mob law. But now the lesson was being pressed home.

A memorable evening to me, because from it came my acquaintance with Phillips, whom I had never met. Under the spell, I suppose, of his passionate eloquence, I went home and wrote him a letter. I explained that I was a Whig that my family and friends were Whigs, that I belonged in a hostile camp, but that I thought there ought to be free speech in Boston, and I would do what I could for that cause and for him if he would say what. I was, as most young, {88} or old, men of Massachusetts then were, against slavery, especially in Massachusetts, but not an Abolitionist.

The next day, about noon, the door of my law office in State Street opened, and Phillips walked in. Without a word of preface he said:

"You wrote me a letter?"

"Yes."

"Will you come and see me at my house this evening, and we will have a talk? This morning I have not a moment."

Again I said yes, and the door closed and he was gone. Often as I had seen Phillips on the platform it seemed to me I had never seen him till then. A clear, strong, dry north light came in at the windows and illuminated his face and figure. He had the bearing of a man to whom authority and sweetness of nature belonged in like degree. He has been called a thousand times the Apollo of the platform. An Apollo he was not except in graceful dignity and demeanour. It his masculine beauty appeared to derive from Greece, it had become Græco-Roman, and finally borrowed its blonde colouring from some Scandinavian Balder.

So careless was he of mere conventionality that while he stood in the doorway, or just inside, the soft light grey felt hat he wore, since known as a Homburg hat, remained on his head. When I reminded him of it long after, he said with a laugh:

"Well, you did not ask me to sit down."

{89}

"No, you gave me no time."

I mention it because, with his hat on and his hand on the door, his manner and bearing were of a grave courtesy like none other. And in this transitory attitude, just on the wing, there was a serene leisureliness as if to hurry were unknown to him. His eye took in everything in these ten seconds. There was not a word beyond what I have repeated; a purely business call to make an appointment. But I knew when he had gone that another influence had come into my life, stronger for the time than all others.

I went in the evening, as I had been bidden, to the little house in Essex Street where Phillips chose to live, as if to measure the breadth of the gulf that he had put between himself and the world into which he had been born; a world of easy circumstances if not wealth, and bound together by a hundred social ties nearly all of which he had broken. Phillips had what at that time would be called wealth, for which he had other uses than mere expense on comfort. A narrow door opened into a narrow hall out of which climbed narrow stairs, with a narrow landing half-way up where the stairs turned, and at the top a still narrower passage to the door of the parlour. Inside, the same impression of restricted space; a room perhaps sixteen feet by fourteen, and plainly furnished; a worn carpet on the floor, a large shabby sofa at the end nearest the door opposite the fire-place. Phillips was sitting on the sofa. He rose and held out his {90} hand: "It's very good of you to come. I am afraid I was abrupt this morning." Then he plunged almost at once into the situation, with a forecast of what he thought likely to happen. "Not much, if anything, till the meeting of the Anti-Slavery Society in January. That, I dare say, they will try to break up. Lincoln has been elected President and Andrew Governor. You know what I think of Lincoln. But Andrew I know well, and I do not believe mob law will be allowed to rule while Andrew is Governor." He had already described Andrew in Tremont Temple: "For the first time within my memory we have got a man for Governor of Massachusetts, a frank, true, whole-souled, honest MAN." Alas! Andrew was to disappoint him bitterly in this one matter of free speech, though in no other.

"But you are to speak in another fortnight at the Music Hall," I said. "Do you think they will let you alone then?"

"Why," said Phillips, "that's on a Sunday"; as if that would matter to men whose passions, interests, animosities, all led them to silence the orator whom they thought, honestly enough from their point of view, a public danger. He asked me if I had heard anything. I had not, but when Phillips told me he was going to speak on "Mobs and Education" I answered, "But that's a challenge."

"They can take it as they like," he replied, quite softly and coolly, adding: "If you hear anything perhaps you'll let me know."

{91}

Our talk lasted late, turned on some personal matters, then drifted far away to national issues, and much else. I thought Phillips, if anything, more eloquent in talk than in oratory, yet with never a sentence which had in it the ring of the platform. He was direct, simple, persuasive, and luminous. His frankness surprised me, but he told me afterward he had made inquiries and thought it safe to be frank. No doubt he saw that mine was a sincere devotion, and perhaps he was aware of the enchantments he wove about whom he would. At any rate, he gave me his confidence from the start.

During the next fortnight I saw many men among my Whig acquaintances. They made no secret of their purpose to break up that Sunday meeting at the Music Hall. Soon these rumours became public. When the subject of Phillips's discourse was announced, the rumours spread and grew more menacing. The police felt themselves called on to take notice of what was likely to happen. Phillips, long used to dealing with mobs, seemed to think the police superfluous. Some of us who had looked into the matter well knew they were not. Seeing Phillips from day to day, I asked him again and again to promise his friends one thing, viz. that he would put himself and leave himself in their hands. He still thought we were making too much of a slight danger, but finally he promised. There had been mobs in Boston before this, where the police and the mob had acted together. They so acted {92} when Richard S. Fay and Amos Lawrence, and Murray Howe and their friends broke up the Anti-Slavery Convention in Tremont Temple on the morning of December 3rd—this same month. And it was that mob from which Phillips was to take his text on this Sunday. A piquant situation, if it had not been something much more serious, with all the materials of a great tragedy.

This time the mob leaders, whoever they were, had changed their tactics. They did not propose to capture the Music Hall or prevent Phillips from speaking. He was to be dealt with outside. None the less did the police and Phillips's friends, unaware of details, take measures to guard the interior. The police were in force in the lobbies and passages and at the exterior approaches to the platform; but out of sight. Scores of them were in the building, and a much larger force in waiting hard by. The platform, which ran from one side of the hall to the other at the south end, was garrisoned by Phillips's friends, armed. The enemy also were armed, and no man could say what that Sabbath morning might bring forth. Naturally, we did not know of the decision of the mob leaders, all in broadcloth, to postpone their assault till the meeting was over. We expected trouble inside, and were ready for it. I said as little as possible to Phillips of what I thought likely to happen. I well knew that if he were told there was any peril in freedom of speech, his speech would be freer than ever.

{93}

He always believed in personalities, saying:

"In such a cause as ours you must at all hazards rouse attention. Men whose minds are made up against you will listen to a personal attack when they will listen to nothing else. If I denounce the sin they go to sleep, but when I denounce the sinner they wake up."

There was to be no going to sleep on this eventful Sunday. The speech on "Mobs and Education" is perhaps the most personal, and the most merciless, of all Phillips's speeches. The Tremont Temple rioters had delivered themselves into his hands. He knew every man among them and the joint in every armour. Many of them were there on Sunday. You saw the arrow leave the platform and sink deep in the quivering flesh. The cheers were soon mingled with hisses. The air grew hot. But the majority were there to hear and the hisses were silenced. There were passes of burning eloquence, of pathos, of invective that tore its way through all defences.

"I have used strong words. But I was born in Boston, and the good name of the old town is bound up with every fibre of my heart. I dare not trust myself to describe the insolence of men who undertake to dictate to you and me what we shall say in these grand old streets."

Thus spoke the aristocrat, the Bostonian proud of Boston and of his own descent from six or seven generations of the Boston Phillipses; an aristocracy equal to the best. His contempt for the Fays and the rest of the "cotton clerks" was {94} largely a contempt for the plebeian. Plebeians, to the Boston mind, most of them were. Fay is pilloried for ever in this speech; and others are pilloried.

I will quote one passage, not from Phillips, but a passage from Edward Everett on free speech which Phillips himself quoted toward the end of his discourse. I quote it because Phillips used often to say that American oratory had few finer examples to show:

I seem to hear a voice from the tombs of departing ages, from the sepulchres of nations that died before the sight. They exhort us, they adjure us, to be faithful to our trust. They implore us, by the long trials of struggling humanity, by the awful secrets of the prison house where the sons of Freedom have been immured, by the noble heads which have been brought to the block, by the eloquent ruins of nations, they conjure us not to quench the light that is rising on the world. Greece cries to us by the convulsed lips of her poisoned, dying Demosthenes, and Rome pleads with us in the mute persuasion of her mangled Tully.


It is not often that a great orator opens his heart to us about the merits of a rival, or whispers to us any one of the secrets of his own or another's eloquence. I cannot remember whether Phillips ever paid to Everett in public the tribute I have often known him pay in private. If he had lived in an age when issues were less vital, or less deadly, he might have found in Everett a model. But Everett has no passion, and passion is an element in almost all Phillips's speeches. And passion, of quite another kind, fierce, vindictive, murderous, he was to meet in another ten minutes.




{95}

CHAPTER X

WENDELL PHILLIPS AND THE BOSTON MOBS

Phillips's speech had been all through one to stir deep resentment. The atmosphere of the Music Hall was seething with fierce passion, and it seemed likely enough there would be a rush for the platform when he had finished. If it had come it would have been met. The little band of armed men who concerned themselves about his safety never left his side. But there was no rush. The plans of the enemy were of a different kind. The audience passed quietly out of the hall. A police officer came to tell us that there would be trouble outside. A mob—of course a broadcloth mob—had assembled. What the mob intended only the leaders of it knew, but he assured us that the police were strong enough to deal with it. But he said Mr. Phillips's friends should go with him when he left the hall, and keep with him.

There were, I think, not more than half a dozen of us who were armed—Le Barnes, Hinton, Redpath, Charles Pollen, and one or two others. We told Phillips what he was likely to meet, and that we should walk next to him. When we got to the outer door we found the police disputing with {96} the mob the narrow passage, perhaps fifty yards long, from the hall to Winter Street. It was slow work thrusting these disturbers out, because Winter Street was crowded with the main body of rioters, and there was no room for more. But the police knew their business, and meant to do it, and did it. Inside the passage there was not space enough for an effective attack, even had not the police been too strong. But it took us, I judge, some fifteen minutes to make our way from the hall door to the street.

During this space of time the mob in Winter Street roared at us. They seemed to think we were afraid to go on, and they flung at Phillips such insults as hatred and anger supplied them with—coward, traitor, and so on: with threats besides. Phillips met it all with a smiling face. His hand was on my arm, so that if there had been any nervousness I should have been aware of it. But the pressure of the hand was firm and steady. He was as cool—to use Mr. Rufus Choate's similitude—as a couple of summer mornings. The police who had been a rear-guard, satisfied they were not needed there, had gone to the front.

At first the mob gave little heed to the police. They expected the police, as in Tremont Temple, December 3rd, to be on their side. But this time an officer had command who knew only his duty as policeman. No politics but to keep the peace and protect peaceful citizens. The officer was Deputy Chief Ham. I have since seen a great deal of police work in many parts of the world; {97} in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, and elsewhere; nowhere any better handling of a dangerous mob than this by Deputy Chief Ham. His force was none too large, but his mastery over the mob was never in doubt. In their hand-to-hand struggles in the little passageway the police showed what they were made of. Of Phillips's friends the number had increased as we passed from the platform, but if we had been alone we should have been swallowed up, or we should have been driven almost at once to use our revolvers. But the police were an impregnable wall.

Once out in Winter Street, they formed in a solid square, Phillips and his friends in the centre. The square was never broken. The mob were many thousands strong. There were wild rushes, there was the tremendous pressure of great masses of men, but against it all the police held good. Down Winter Street to Washington Street, along Washington Street to Essex Street, and in Essex Street to the door of Phillips's house, the mob kept us company, oozing and surging slowly on, reviling and cursing all the way. They thought they would have a chance at the house, but the Deputy Chief had taken possession there in advance, and when the door opened we passed comfortably in between the police lines. It had taken us an hour or more from the hall to the house. The distance is a short half-mile.

It had been a murderous mob. Phillips's life was aimed at and had been in imminent danger during that hour. The spirit of murder was {98} abroad. The police warned us. They thought the peril over for the moment, but none the less remained on duty near the house. Men were stopped and asked to state their business. When I returned in the afternoon an officer came up to me but recognized me, nodded, and I went in. I found Phillips as cool as usual, the usual sunshine in his blue eyes. I told him what I had heard from the police, and that I thought his house ought to be garrisoned for the night.

"But who will undertake that?"

"Your friends know there is danger and will gladly come."

He seemed a little sceptical and asked:

"Will you come?"

"Certainly." I explained to him our plans. He went into the back parlour and brought out an ugly-looking pike. "It was John Brown's," he said. No weapon could be more unfit for use in a narrow hall or on winding stairs. It might have a moral effect. It was agreed that three of us whose names are above, should camp out that night in the parlour. When we arrived about ten o'clock we found the table laid, with food and drink for a much larger army. The night passed without alarm, as did following nights, but neither our vigilance nor that of the police relaxed.

During these days, and long after, Phillips walked the streets of Boston with his hand on his revolver. I was sometimes with him. I said one day:

{99}

"I am more afraid now they will try insult than injury."

"Don't trouble about that. I can see over my shoulder, and before a man can touch me I shall shoot."

He was a quick and good shot, as I found out next summer, when I used to stay with him in Milton, and we practised at a target.

But the memorable 21st of January drew on, when the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society was to be held in Tremont Temple. Rumours again filled the air, and something more than rumours. I have already said I had friends in the other camp. One of them came to me to beg me to let it alone. "I care nothing about Phillips," he said, "but you are my friend and I must tell you what I know, though I am betraying my own party." "Then don't tell it." But he insisted.

His story came to this: That, knowing we had organized in December for defence, they had organized for attack. A group of men outnumbering ours would go to the Temple on the 21st, well led and well armed. Under the new Mayor, Wightman, a more subservient tool of the mob than his predecessor, Lincoln, the police would no longer be allowed to protect the Abolitionists. This hostile band would wait on events a little, but if Phillips and his friends were in the same mood as at the Music Hall, they would be driven out of the Temple. "What do you mean by driven out?" He answered, gravely, "It would be truer to say {100} carried out. We are determined to put down this mad agitation. They will not leave the Temple alive."

My friend spoke in perfect good faith, but it is needless to say I did not believe him. I told him so.

"Your friends talk, but they will not act. They well know that if they murder Phillips they will be hanged for it."

"But will you not advise Phillips to stay away, or at least to be moderate?"

"No, I will not. If I did, it would be useless."

"But if you tell him what I say?"

"He would disbelieve it, as I do."

Our talk ended. I thanked him, but said his friends would find us ready; that I should, of course, consider what he had said confidential, but it would not alter our purpose. He wished me to tell Phillips, mentioning no names, and I might tell any of our party who could be trusted. Evidently he hoped they would be more impressed than I was. I did tell Phillips, who said, "You seem to have queer friends." I said something also to the two men who were to be stationed at the ends of the platform where the steps were, leading to the platform from the body of the hall, the two most dangerous points. The only change they made in their plans was to double the number of these outposts.

From morning, when the Convention assembled till the noon recess, and then all through the afternoon the Temple was a scene of confusion, disorder, {101} uproar; rioting even, but of no violence. The deep gallery opposite the platform was thronged by the rioters. The formal business of organization once over, they broke in upon every speech. Nobody was heard. Phillips, with all his tact in dealing with such gangs, could do little. Now and then a sentence rang clear. A message had gone from the Temple to the State House, where Governor Andrew sat waiting, and watching the course of events. An answer had come back by word of mouth, and had been misunderstood, as oral messages commonly are.

In a lull, Phillips's voice was heard in a direct appeal to the gallery mob: "We have a message from the Governor. The State Militia is on its way to the Temple and will sweep that rabble where it belongs—into the calaboose." The rabble thought it over for a while in silence, but began again. When the adjournment came Phillips said to me: "I am going to Governor Andrew. Come."

We found Governor Andrew in his room at the golden-domed State House of Massachusetts. He greeted us cordially and listened while Phillips stated his case. Phillips urged that the Anti-Slavery Society had a right to meet, a right to transact business, a right to the free use of that free speech which was a right attaching to citizenship in Massachusetts; and a right to be protected when that right was denied. Primarily, he said, it was the business of the police to keep order and give protection, but the police, acting under the {102} orders of Mayor Wightman, refused to do their plain duty.

"Therefore," said Phillips, "I come to the Governor of the State to safeguard citizens of the State in the exercise of their rights."

Said Governor Andrew:

"Mr. Phillips, what do you wish me to do?"

"Send a sufficient force of troops to Tremont Temple to put down the rioters and protect law-abiding citizens in the legal exercise of their legal rights."

The Governor sat behind a table on which lay a copy of the Revised Statutes of Massachusetts. He opened it, handed it to us, and said:

"If you wish me, as Governor, to act, show me the statute which gives me the power."

But Phillips was not to be turned aside. He answered, in tones slightly less cool than before:

"Free speech is a common law right. The power to which I appeal is a common law power, inherent in the Governor as the Chief Magistrate of the State."

But Andrew said again:

"Show me the statute."

And again:

"Show me the statute."

And from that he was not to be moved. Seeing that his mind was made up, Phillips turned away abruptly, saying to me, "Come," and we departed. As we went downstairs Phillips said:

"I will never again speak to Andrew as long as I live."

{103}

And we went back to the Temple, knowing at last we had nothing to depend on but ourselves and our revolvers.

Again during the interval my friend came to me. He said: "You will be allowed to hold your meeting this afternoon, though not without interruption. But the attack I have warned you of will be made this evening, and I once more beseech you to stay away." He knew, of course, it was impossible. What took place after that in the councils of the rioters I know not. I have always supposed that my friend, a man well known in Boston, went to the Mayor and laid the case before him. I do not know. What is known is that before the hour when the Society was to assemble in the evening, the Mayor closed the Temple. His decision was not imparted to us. Phillips and I drove to the Temple, and only on arriving heard what the Mayor had done. He was a weak Mayor, disloyal, incompetent. But he had perhaps prevented a tragedy. I think Governor Andrew, aware of the probable course of events in the South and at Washington, desired to avoid anything like a conflict in Massachusetts. He said as much to me afterward. That was his excuse.




{104}

CHAPTER XI

WENDELL PHILLIPS—GOVERNOR ANDREW—PHILLIPS'S CONVERSION

There was one clear reason for the deadly hatred of the pro-slavery faction in Boston to Phillips. He was the real leader of the Anti-Slavery Party. If he could be silenced, the voices of the rest mattered little. During twenty years Garrison's influence had been declining, and Phillips had come steadily to the front. For the last ten years he had stood alone. It was his voice which rang through the land. His were the counsels which governed the Abolitionist band. His speeches were something more than eloquent; they were full of knowledge, of hard thinking; and the rhetorical splendour only lighted up a closely reasoned argument. What Emerson said of speeches and writings in general was absolutely true of Phillips's oratory; the effect of it was mathematically measurable by the depth of thought. He spoke all over the North. The Conservatives had no match for him; therefore he was to be put down by other means.

Passions ran, I think, higher in Boston during those winter months of 1860-1, and the early {105} spring, than before or since. Thanks to the pro-slavery faction on one side and the Abolitionists on the other, Massachusetts was within measurable distance of civil war within her own borders. After Fort Sumter and Baltimore, these passions found an outlet elsewhere. For a time, the two Northern factions merged into one people. But during all the years that have passed since I have known nothing quite like the state of feeling which prevailed that winter. The solid men of Boston thought they saw the fabric of society dissolving and their business and wealth and authority perishing with it. The solid world was to exist no more. Naturally, they fought for their lives and all the rest of it, and fought hard. Their hatreds were savage. Their methods were savage. We seemed to be getting back to the primitive days when men stood face to face, and the issue of battle became a personal combat. The Lawrences and their friends were generally a little stout for the business of battle, but the allies whom they brought with them to Tremont Temple and the Music Hall and the streets were good fighting material. During all this time the Abolitionists were, as they had been, a minority and on the defensive.

But this was the state of things which Governor Andrew had in mind when he challenged Phillips to show him the statute. He did not want to make the State of Massachusetts a party to this conflict within itself. If to keep order in the streets or to keep a platform open to Phillips he were obliged to move, he meant to have the law {106} with him. No refinements, no Judge-made law, no generalizations—for the common law after an Atlantic voyage and a hundred years' sleep is nothing—but a statute, printed, legible, peremptory, binding alike upon Governor and citizens. There was no such statute. If anybody had happened to think of it, no doubt there would have been, but there was not.

Therefore the Governor sat still. He was of such a bulk that it seemed as if, while he sat still, nothing could move. He was, in size and build, not wholly unlike Gambetta, though he had two eyes, both blue, as against the one black, fiery orb of the Genoese; and curling light brown hair instead of the black lion's mane which floated to Gambetta's shoulders; and a face in which sweetness counted for as much as strength. Like Gambetta, he was well served by those about him. He knew accurately what was going on, and all that was going on. He told me afterward he did not know on what information we acted, but he was astonished we knew so much about what the enemy intended. When I reminded him that my associations were mostly with the other side, he reflected a moment and said: "Yes, that explains a good deal." I did not think it necessary to add that, after Tremont Temple, we were on good terms with the police also; since Phillips's appeal to Andrew had been based on the alliance between the police and the Lawrence mob; an alliance which had in truth existed, at that time.

But the winter wore on. Twice after the {107} discourse on Mobs and Education, Phillips spoke in the Music Hall—January 20th, 1861, on Disunion, and February 17th, on Progress. Both times the mob supplied part of his audience inside and part of his escort outside. No violence was attempted. The police were too strong, and the example of Deputy Chief Ham had proved they were in earnest. If there was any violence, it was in Phillips's speeches and language. He was never more provocative. His forecast of the situation was influenced by his wishes and theories. All his life he had been preaching disunion as the one remedy for the slave. Disunion seemed now at last within reach, and at all costs he would do what he could to promote it. Indeed, he thought it already accomplished. Within six weeks after Lincoln's election South Carolina had replied by an ordinance of secession. Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia had followed, and all over the South United States forts and arsenals had been seized by State troops. What was Phillips's comment?

"The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice. The covenant with death is annulled; the agreement with hell is broken in pieces. The chain which has held the slave system since 1787 is parted."

He pronounced a eulogy on the Southern State which had led the way:

"South Carolina, bankrupt, alone, with a hundred thousand more slaves than whites, four blacks to three whites within her borders, flings her gauntlet at the feet of twenty-four millions of people—in defence of an idea."

{108}

A month later he was in the same mood. It was a trait of Phillips—not a good one—that he attacked most mercilessly the men who hated slavery as much as he did, but could not go as far as he did. In this February speech there is a long lampoon on Dana; counsel for the slave in all the fugitive slave cases, but never denying—what lawyer ever did deny?—that there was a constitutional obligation to return fugitives. It is human nature, but not the best side of it.

Such a reproach came ill from a man who denounced the Constitution as a covenant with death because of the compromises with slavery imbedded in the great instrument of 1787. Of these compromises the rendition of fugitive slaves was one. Phillips himself could not deny it. The difference between him and Dana was that Dana would bow to the law and Phillips would not. Dana would do what he could by legal means to rescue the fugitive. He defended him in the courts. Phillips would have defended him in the streets. Both men were needful to the time. The Abolitionists were very far from disdaining the use of legal weapons. When Theodore Parker had been indicted and the Court, at the instance of his counsel, quashed the indictment on purely technical grounds, Parker exulted. "It is a triumph for the right. We have broken their sword."

There came, however, the moment when Phillips had to cast in his lot, for good or evil, with either North or South. He hesitated long. He thought and thought. He talked with his friends, with the {109} man in the street, with the men who had lately mobbed him. One morning he came into my office. His sunny face was clouded. He looked anxious, almost ill. He had to make the most momentous decision of his life; and he could not yet make up his mind. He said:

"I came to talk to you because I know you are against me. What I have said to you before makes no impression. You still think I ought to renounce my past, thirty years of it, belie my pledges, disown every profession of faith, bless those whom I have cursed, start afresh with a new set of political principles, and admit my life has been a mistake."

"Certainly not the last," I said, "and as for the others, are you not taking a rhetorical view, a platform view? But I will go further. I don't think it matters much what you sacrifice—consistency, principles, or anything. They belong to the past. They have nothing to do with to-day. The war is upon us. You must either support it or oppose it. If you oppose it, you fling away your position and all your influence. You will never be listened to again."

And so on. He sat silent, unmoved. Nothing I could say, nothing anybody could say, would move him. All his life long he had thought for himself; in a minority of one. It had to be so now. We talked on. Finally, I said: "I will tell you what I once heard a negro say: 'When my massa and somebody else quarrel I'm on the somebody else's side.' Don't you think the negro knows? Do you really doubt that a war between {110} the Slave Power and the North, be the result what it may, must end in Freedom?" I am not sure that I ever did hear a negro say that, but I hoped that Phillips would open his mind to the negro if not to me. And I think he did. I trust this little artifice of debate was not very wrong. I had to urge what I could, but I knew Phillips would decide for himself. He left saying, "I will see you again to-night." I went to his house. When I opened the door of the parlour, there lay Phillips on the sofa, asleep. Ten minutes later he awoke; lay silent for another minute, then said:

"We shall not have to discuss these things any more. I am going to speak next Sunday at the Music Hall for the War and the Union."

And he began at once to consider how he should announce his conversion. Having gone over, he took his whole heart with him. No compromise, no transition, not one word to retract, not a hint of apology or explanation. Yesterday an Abolitionist to whom the Constitution was a covenant with death and an agreement with hell. To-day a soldier for the Union. Presently he said:

"It will be the most important speech of my life. I don't often write, as you know, but I shall write this and will read it to you when it is finished."

Two days later he sent for me again and these were the first sentences I heard:

"Many times this winter, here and elsewhere, I have counselled peace—urged as well as I knew how the expediency of acknowledging a Southern Confederacy and the peaceful separation of these {111} thirty-four States. One of the journals announces to you that I come here this morning to retract those opinions. No not one of them."

I said: "Mr. Phillips, you will never get beyond that. They will not listen."

"Then they will be the last sentences I shall ever utter in public. But do you listen."

And he went on, in his finest platform manner and voice:

"No, not one of them. I need them all; every word I have spoken this winter; every act of twenty-five years of my life, to make the welcome I give this War hearty and hot."

He knew what he was about. When it became known he was to speak for the Union, Charles Pollen came to me and asked whether I thought Phillips would like the Music Hall platform hung with the American flag. "Yes," said Phillips, "deck the altar for the victim." And decked it was—a forest of flags; and the flags told the story, long before Phillips opened his mouth. There was not a note of remonstrance as he announced his refusal to retract. And again he went on:

"Civil war is a momentous evil. It needs the soundest, most solemn justification. I rejoice before God to-day for every word I have spoken counselling peace, but I rejoice also, and still more deeply, that now, for the first time in my Anti-Slavery life, I speak beneath the Stars and Stripes, and welcome the tread of Massachusetts men marshalled for war."

I never saw such a scene. The audience sprang {112} up and cheered and cheered and cheered. The hall was a furnace seven times heated. The only unmoved man was Phillips. He waited and once more went on:

"No matter what the past has been or said, to-day the slave asks God for a sight of this banner and counts it the pledge of his redemption. Hitherto it may have meant what you thought or what I thought: to-day it represents sovereignty and justice. Massachusetts has been sleeping on her arms since '83. The first cannon shot brings her to her feet with the war-cry of the Revolution on her lips."

And so on to the end. It was a nobler speech even than in the printed report, for that came from his manuscript and often he put his manuscript aside and let himself go. The inspiration of the moment was more than any written words. When it was over there was again a mob outside; a mob that would have carried the orator shoulder-high to Essex Street. The honest, strong face of the Deputy Chief of Police wore a broad smile. He had done his duty. His responsibilities were ended. He, too, had fought his fight. Phillips took it all coolly. It was such a triumph as comes to a man once in his career, and once only—the finest hour in Phillips's life. He never reached a greater height of oratory, nor an equal height of devotion. For his triumph was over himself.




{113}

CHAPTER XII

WILLIAM LLOYD GARRISON—A CRITICAL VIEW

In explaining why Wendell Phillips was the target for every shot in the winter of 1860-1, I said it was because he was the real leader of the anti-slavery party during all the later and more critical years of the long struggle for freedom. No doubt, Garrison at one time held the first place among the Abolitionists. He was the first of them in time, or one of the first. He had had the good fortune to be mobbed and led through the streets of Boston with a rope about his body. He had founded a weekly paper, The Liberator. Georgia had offered five thousand dollars reward for his arrest. He had unflinching courage and needed it all in the 'thirties and later. But he had very moderate abilities. His force was a moral force. He had convictions and would go any length rather than surrender any one of them. But he had almost no other of those gifts and capacities which make a leader. He had no organizing power. He was not a good writer. He was not a good speaker. He could not hold an audience. He could not keep the attention of the public which he had won in the beginning. He did not attract to the {114} Abolitionist ranks the ablest of the men who were ready to make a fight against slavery. They did not care to serve under Garrison; under a leader who could not lead. They went into politics.

So it happened that the Abolitionists had become a dwindling force. If Phillips had not appeared on the scene, with his wonderful oratory, his natural authority on the platform and off, his brilliant love of battle, his temperament, at once commanding and sympathetic, his persuasive charm—the Abolitionists would have been wellnigh forgotten. He had all the moral force of Garrison, and the intellectual force which Garrison had not.

Phillips himself would never allow this to be said if he could help it. He recognized Garrison as leader, and was perfectly loyal to him. So far as he could, he imposed his own view on the public. It was so abroad as well as at home. When Garrison came to London a meeting was held in St. James's Hall in his honour. Mr. Bright spoke and others spoke, hailing the worn-out champion as the herald of American Emancipation, which perhaps he was. Boston, which has periods of generous penitence, gave him thirty thousand dollars, others than Bostonians paying part of the money, and accepted a bronze statue and put it up—I forget where. It has ever since been the fashion to recognize Garrison as the moral educator of the North on the slavery question; the schoolmaster of his period. Very possibly my liking for Phillips warped my opinion at the time. But now, after all these years, I think myself {115} impartial. I had a knowledge of the situation. If it is a wrong view, why was Phillips and not Garrison the shining mark at which the pro-slavery people aimed in those critical years from 1854 to 1861? No other theory will explain that.

When I used to express an impatient opinion of Garrison, and of Phillips's submission to him, I was rebuked for it. Said Phillips:

"You are unjust and you do not know the facts, or you do not make allowance for them. Like other young men, you are of to-day. Garrison's work had been done before you were old enough to know anything about it, and he is for all time. I don't say there would have been no Abolitionist movement but for Garrison, since Abolition was in the air, and the anti-slavery fight had to be fought. It would have been fought in a different way without him, and perhaps later. You underrate the moral forces and Garrison's capacity as a leader. He was a leader, and is. Intellectual gifts do not make a leader. The soldier whom other soldiers follow into the breach, and to death, need not be a great captain, nor understand the art of war. What he understands is the art of getting himself killed, and of inducing the men behind him to do the same. Garrison took his life in his hand. For many years he was leader of a forlorn hope. He held extreme views. He had to hold them. He drove men away from the Abolitionist camp. They were better elsewhere. He was not a politician, but politics were not what we wanted, nor what the cause wanted. {116} What it wanted was inspiration, and that is what it got from Garrison."

I have put this in quotation marks, but I do not mean that Phillips said it all at once, nor perhaps in these words. But the passage reproduces as accurately as I can the substance of what I have heard him say in many talks about Garrison. I do not expect anybody to accept my view against Phillips's. But I must give my own, right or wrong. I saw something of Garrison, publicly and privately. I had no dislike for him, but neither had I any enthusiasm. As I recall the impressions of those days, it seems to me that I have never known a man of so much renown as Garrison with so slight an equipment for the business of leadership, or even of apostleship. When I try to sum him up, I am embarrassed by the want of material. After all, what did he say or do?

Borrowing from Isaiah a phrase of condensed passion, Garrison had called the Constitution a covenant with death and an agreement with hell. Without Isaiah's help, he produced the only other phrase which, out of all his writings and speakings has kept a place in the general memory: "I will not equivocate; I will not excuse; I will not retreat a single inch, and I will be heard." That was his pledge in the first number of The Liberator. It was finely said, and well he kept it; so long as it mattered what he kept. I have often heard him speak. I cannot recall one single effort of anything that could be thought oratory. He was a tiresome speaker. Of rhetoric, or of that art {117} which goes to the making of good speeches, he had no trace or tinge. Between him and his audiences there was no give and take. He just stood up on the platform and hammered away.

He was a fanatic, pure and simple. He had a message to deliver, and he delivered it as a gramophone delivers its messages. He was what they call a record. If he impressed his hearers, as he sometimes did, it was by the passionate fervour of his beliefs, and of his animosities. He was at white heat. More often he wearied them. They got up and went away. I suppose people read The Liberator. Dr. Johnson said you could write anything if you set yourself to it doggedly, and so it is of reading. But the average reader feels himself entitled to a little help from the writer, and from Garrison he got none.

This, however, was in the early days of journalism—it was ten years before Horace Greeley founded The New York Tribune that The Liberator was born. A newspaper was then a newspaper, whether it had any news or not; and even when its editorials were written, as the elder Bennett said The New York Herald editorials were written, for men who could not read. The printed page had an authority because it was printed; an authority which hardly survived Prince Bismarck's epigram on the newspaper: "Just printer's ink on paper." The Liberator was violent, bitter, prolix, and dull. But the Puritan preachers were all this, yet men sat contentedly for hours beneath their intolerable outpourings, as do the Scotch to this day. Carlyle {118} had heard Irving preach for hours on end. I have sometimes had to sit under the Scottish preachers, when staying at a highly ecclesiastical house. On these occasions I used to dream that I was reading The Liberator or listening to Garrison in the Boston Melodeon. The a priori method was common to both, and the absence of accurate knowledge. They did not master their subjects, nor their trade.

As to what Garrison did, I am quite willing to accept the history of his time as it is commonly told. I take all that for granted; all his services to the anti-slavery cause; and, with all drawbacks, they were great. Still, I do not think they explain his immense fame. He was a Captain in the army of the Lord, if you like, but a Captain who won no battles. There was one final victory, based on a long series of defeats; a victory in which he had a share, though not a great share. Perhaps a better Saint than Captain, but in Rome's long catalogue of the canonized how many first-rate names are there? You can become a saint quite cheaply if you know how. There are fifty or more huge volumes of the Acta Sanctorum, mostly lies, yet extremely interesting as examples of the use to which the human imagination can be put for ecclesiastical purposes. A Benedictine labour, ere yet science had shaken the foundations of clerical fairy tales by its demand for evidence. The acutest minds accepted them. So late as the nineteenth century they were still accepted. After his "conversion," Newman, perhaps the {119} finest mind of his time, swallowed whole all the fictions to which the Church of Rome had given the imprimatur of infallibility. Garrison's exploits are less legendary, but are they much more substantial? His fame rests on generalities.

To look at, he was neither soldier nor saint. He had not, on the one hand, the air of command, nor, on the other, the sweetness or benignity we expect from one of the heavenly host. His face was both angry and weak. His attitude on the platform was half apologetic and half passionate. His speech at times was almost shrewish. It was never authoritative though always self-complacent. So was the expression of his face, with its smile which tried to be amiable and succeeded in being self-conscious. There was no fire in his pale eyes; if there had been, his spectacles would have dulled it. He stooped, and his most vehement appeals—they were often extremely vehement came to you sideways. It was an unlucky effect, for there was nothing shifty or crooked in the man's nature. But he had a rôle to play—Isaiah, if you like—and played it as well as his means would allow.

It was the indomitable honesty of the man which gave him such authority as he had. That is not a bad eulogy in itself. Bad or good, nothing I can say will diminish his reputation, nor do I wish it should. When a legend has once grown up about a man it keeps on growing. It has been decreed that Dickens shall be a great novelist, and Gladstone a great statesman, and Browning a great {120} poet, and Herbert Spencer a great philosopher. Each of these men was great in other ways, but the legend is invincible. So, no doubt, with Garrison. He will remain the Liberator of the Slave. By the time the cold analysis of History reverses that verdict, personal partialities will have ceased to count.




{121}

CHAPTER XIII

CHARLES SUMNER—A PRIVATE VIEW

The anti-slavery leaders who emerged about the same time from the groups of mediocrities enveloping them were Wendell Phillips and Charles Sumner. So essentially was Sumner an idealist that he might naturally have cast in his lot with those who preferred ideals to party politics, but other influences finally prevailed and he embarked on that career which, in due time, made him the leader of the anti-slavery forces to whom freedom seemed possible by political methods. On the whole, even among that group of men which included Andrew, I think Sumner must be put first. His province was larger; the range of his activities greater; and there were more moments than one when he was the most conspicuous figure in American public life. Of his scholarship, his legal attainments, his multifarious and accurate knowledge, his immense powers of work, everybody has heard. I do not enter upon that. The Sumner I shall speak of is the Sumner I knew.

In the account, first published in The New York Tribune, of my first meeting with Bismarck, in 1866, I said that I had heard much from Bismarck which {122} I could not repeat. On my return, I saw Sumner. Almost instantly he asked what it was Bismarck had told me which I could not repeat in print. The question was embarrassing enough, and I answered rather slowly:

"Mr. Sumner, much of what Count Bismarck said that seemed to me confidential related to diplomatic and international matters, and you are Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. It would not have been said to you."

Sumner reflected a moment, then answered:

"I suppose you are right. I won't ask you about anything which you think you ought not to repeat. But you must consider that, notwithstanding all that Bismarck has accomplished, he is still an unknown force. My own belief is that the future of Germany lies in his hands. The man who could defy the public opinion of Europe in that business with Denmark, who could defy the public opinion and Parliament of Prussia, who could govern four years without a Budget or a majority, who could make war without supplies, and without his country behind him, and his King only a convert at the last moment to his policy—that man, though he has put Austria under his feet and Prussia in Austria's place at the head of Germany, is, in my judgment, only at the beginning of his career. He is the one supremely interesting figure in Europe at this moment. I have never met him; probably may never meet him. But it is important to me to know all I can about him. Violate no confidence, but tell me what you can. {123} I will make no use of it except to inform my own mind. When I have to deal with Count Bismarck, I want to be able to picture to myself what manner of man he is. In diplomacy, a knowledge of men is half the battle."

This long speech was characteristic of Sumner. He was seldom brief or simple. His mind overflowed. In private, as in public, he was oratorical. The sentences, as they came from his lips, seemed to have passed through a mould. He spoke with a model before him. The most sincere of men he was never content to be himself and nobody else. In the murmur of the flowing periods he often uttered, you heard echoes of Cicero, of Bossuet, of Burke. Perhaps it was true of him—as Emerson said, not of him—that his library overloaded his wit. He moved as if in armour; a mixed but apt metaphor. The chair in which he sat was a platform, and his one listener was an audience. He neglected, in his private talk, none of the arts of the rhetorician. Whoever has heard Sumner in the Senate or in Faneuil Hall must remember the imposing presence of the man; his stature: and the leonine head with its waving black mane which every moment he tossed from his forehead, only to have it fall again half over his eyes. The strong features stood out sharply, the eyes were alight, the lips moulded into plastic form the most stubborn sentences, and the whole blended into one expression after another at the will of the speaker; each expression the visible image of his thought. He was so intent on bending his audience {124} to his will that he used without stint every weapon at his command.

In private, all this was a little overwhelming. As it comes back to me in memory, my view of it is probably more critical than it was while I sat and looked and listened. But it still seems to me extremely fine. In England—the country of all others where simplicity counts for most—Sumner was thought emphatic; and the English do not like emphasis, but they liked Sumner. He was first here as a young man, in 1838 and 1840, when he was still in the late 'thirties; and these mannerisms were presumably less mannered, or less aggressive. But the men and women whom Sumner then came to know were men and women who dwelt on the heights. I suppose the average of serious culture at that time in that class was at least as high as it is now. They liked a man with a full mind. Sumner had that; and he poured it out in a flood.

Macaulay had taught his set, or the several sets to which he more or less belonged, to endure conversation which took the form of monologue and rivalled the laborious accuracy of a cyclopædia. People suffered under him. Lady Holland and Hayward and Lord Melbourne and others rebelled, but there were not many who rebelled. Sumner's path had therefore been made plain, nor was he dogmatic in Macaulay's way. He was human and his enthusiasms were human, and he was sympathetic.

But when Sumner, in 1869, made his indirect {125} Claims speech in the Senate, seeking to induce the Government to demand from England indirect damages for the depredations of the Alabama, his popularity in this country came to a sudden end. His best friends were those who resented this speech most hotly; and Mr. Bright most of all. To Mr. Bright I once undertook to defend Sumner or to explain him, for I thought he had been misunderstood. But Mr. Bright would not have it. "The only defence is silence," he exclaimed, and he was the more angry when I said: "That will do for an epigram." And we never referred to it again.

So far as I could, I satisfied Sumner's interest about Bismarck, whom I had seen at short range, and with whom, on the evening in question, I had spent some three hours alone. Sumner asked question after question, with one definite object; he wanted to understand the man himself. Once or twice he put a searching interrogatory on matters of diplomacy, or on the relations between the King and his great Minister, which had to be answered with reserve. He showed an astonishing knowledge of purely Prussian politics and even of Prussian politicians. He asked if it was true that Loewe and the other Liberals had owned they were wrong in opposing Bismarck, and when I said yes, exclaimed: "Then they showed more good sense than I expected."

I spent some days with Mr. Sumner in his house in Lafayette Square, in Washington, now part of a Washington hotel. A plainly furnished house, {126} hardly a home; chiefly remarkable for its books and for Sumner. He was a kindly host, anxious that his guest should make the most of his visit, and see the men he wanted to see. I wanted to ask him why he had, on a former visit, advised me not to see Lincoln; but I did not. But Lincoln was now dead and among the giants who survived him Sumner was the most attractive personality.

He became more attractive still some years later, in 1872, when he came to Europe for the rest which his long warfare, first with President Johnson and then with President Grant, had made imperative. He came first to London, staying—or, as the English perversely say, stopping—at Penton's Hotel, St. James's Street; then a hostelry of repute, now extinct. He had a large suite of rooms on the ground floor at the back; gloomy, and intensely respectable. I dined with him the night of his arrival. "I don't know what kind of a dinner they will give us," said Sumner, "but you shall have a bottle of Chateau Lafitte of 1847, and the rest will matter less." He loved good Bordeaux, as all good men do; and his talk flowed like old wine—a full, pure stream, with both flavour and bouquet; and not much of the best claret has both.

It is not possible to repeat much of Sumner's talk, for it was mostly personal and intimate. But I asked him whether he still felt the effects of those coward blows which Preston Brooks had dealt him from behind as he sat imprisoned in his chair in the Senate. He was not sure. He {127} doubted whether he had ever completely recovered, though it was now some sixteen years since that particular piece of South Carolina chivalry had been perpetrated. He thought everything had been done for him which could be done. What he told me may or may not have been printed. I do not know. When the moxa was to be applied to his spine, Dr. Charcot proposed to give him an anæsthetic. "But," said Sumner, "does not the effect you seek to produce—the counter-irritation—depend more or less on the pain the patient would endure without the anæsthetic?" "Yes," Charcot admitted, reluctantly, "it probably does." "Then let us go ahead without ether," said Sumner; and they did. I understood the treatment consisted in laying along the spine cotton-wool soaked in oil and setting fire to it. When, after two or three days, the burn is partly healed, the operation is renewed, and the pain, of course, more severe. But no ether was administered. After his first attack of angina pectoris, "the pain," said Sumner, "which I endured in a single second from one of those spasms was more than all I ever suffered from all the applications of the moxa."

We went together from London by way of Boulogne to Paris, staying two nights at Boulogne at one of the beach hotels. Sumner was like a boy; his sixty-one years sat lightly on him and his interests were as fresh as I had ever known them. He loved the sea and the sea air; an air so much more exhilarating on the southern coast of the {128} Channel than the northern. He was amused to hear that the customs authorities had passed all our luggage—his and mine—because I had told them he was a Senator; and still more amused later when the Dover customs on our return had shown him the same indulgence as "The Honourable Charles Sumner"—honourable denoting in England not political distinction, but membership of a family the head of which is a peer. In Paris, as in London, we had rambled about the book-shops. "I dare say," remarked Sumner, "you thought from my books at home that I cared nothing for books as books; or for bindings. But you will see." And he proceeded to buy a certain number of so-called fine bindings: which, alas, were not so fine as they ought to have been.

Less than two years after his last months in Europe, he died. I have still much to say about him, and there are many letters of his to me which I hope to print; but they are not here and I must end. When I remember what has been said so often of Sumner by men who did not know him or did not like him, I may be allowed to end with a tribute of affection. I thought him, and I shall ever think him, one of the most lovable of men; more than loyal to his friends, delighting in kindnesses to them; of an implacable honesty, sincerity, devotion to duty and to high ideals; an American to whom America has paid high honour, but never yet enough.




{129}

CHAPTER XIV

EXPERIENCES AS JOURNALIST DURING THE CIVIL WAR

My obligations to Wendell Phillips are mixed, and one of them was an introduction to The Tribune. In the autumn of 1861 I wanted two things: a holiday, and a chance to see something of the war and the negro question at short range. At that time, Mr. Charles A. Dana was managing editor of The Tribune, with Mr. Sydney Howard Gay as his first lieutenant. Phillips gave me a letter to Mr. Gay, the result of which was that Mr. Dana asked me to go to South Carolina for The Tribune.

A word about Mr. Dana. He had the reputation at that time of being what the cabman called that Mr. John Forster who was, among other things, the friend and biographer of Dickens—"a harbitrary gent." I suppose Mr. Dana was arbitrary; in the sense that every commanding officer must be arbitrary. But my relations with him, or my service under him, lasted some months, during the whole of which period I found him considerate and kindly. He liked, I think, to assign a man to duty and judge him by the result; which meant that the man was left free to work out his {130} own salvation; or damnation, as the case might be.

I was, of course, perfectly new to the business of journalism and, equally of course, made many mistakes. But Mr. Dana was not the kind of manager who fastened on this mistake or that as an occasion for chastising the offender. He judged a man's work as a whole. In the office, I am told, he sometimes thought it needful to speak plainly in order to enforce a steady discipline. He had been known to walk into the room of one of the departmental editors, in full view and hearing of the whole staff, and remark: "Mr. X, you were disgracefully beaten this morning," in the tone in which he might have said it was a fine day. But the next morning Mr. X was not beaten; nor the next.

Very possibly, between me and Mr. Dana's wrath, if I roused it, stood Mr. Gay; a man of soft manners and heart. I cannot remember that, directly or indirectly, any reprimand ever came to me from Mr. Dana. From Mr. Greeley there came more than one; all well deserved. With the business of managing the paper Mr. Greeley did not much concern himself. With the results he sometimes did, and when The Tribune did not contain what he thought it ought to contain, he was apt to make remarks on the omission. While I was at Port Royal in South Carolina there was a skirmish at Williamston in North Carolina, a hundred miles away. Mr. Greeley thought I ought to have been at Williamston. Very likely I ought. {131} But Lord Curzon had not at that time announced his memorable definition of enterprising journalism; "an intelligent anticipation of events that never occur." That epigram, delivered in the House of Commons, may be supplemented by an axiom. The business of a war correspondent is to be, not where he is ordered, but where he is wanted.

In the early days of the Civil War—or, for that matter, in the late days—the American Press had little of the authority it has since acquired. The heads of great departments of Government still held themselves responsible primarily to the President. Berths on battleships were not then at the disposal of the first journalists who wanted one. When I asked Commodore Steadman of the Bienville to take me to Port Royal he politely told me it was against the naval regulations to allow a civilian on board a ship of war. When I asked him who had a dispensing power in such matters, he said: "If the Secretary of the Navy should order me to receive you as a guest, I should do so with pleasure." I thanked him and with the courage of which ignorance is the mother, telegraphed Mr. Welles. No answer. I telegraphed again, saying it was the wish of Mr. Dana that I should go to South Carolina on the Bienville. The effect of Mr. Dana's name was magical, and this time an answer came; that Commodore Steadman had orders to give me a berth. I suppose the journalists of to-day will hardly understand how there could have been a difficulty. But there were to be many difficulties. Commodore {132} Steadman was as good as his word, and better; and a kind host.

Admiral Dupont had captured the Port Royal forts by the time I arrived. A finer example of the old type of naval officer than Admiral Dupont our naval service never had. Captain Raymond Rodgers was his flag captain; another example not less fine. General W. T. Sherman was in command of the land forces. The winter passed slowly away. There was not much to do except study the negro question; which was perhaps more attractive when studied at a distance. General Butler, bringing the mind of a lawyer to bear on the problems of war, and desiring a legal excuse for annexing the personal property of the enemy had announced that the negroes were "contraband of war." For him, the maxim that laws are silent amid arms did not hold good. He liked to make laws the servant of arms. The negroes naturally came soon to be known as contrabands. There were some months during which they were called hardly anything else. I called them so in my letters. It was characteristic of Phillips that, after a time, he wrote to me to suggest that Butler's phrase had done its work and that the negro was a negro: a man entitled to freedom on other grounds.

But it was long before the word passed out of use. Butler had chosen the psychological moment. The "contrabands"—with Mr. Phillips's permission—who crowded the camps were mostly from the cotton and rice plantations of South Carolina and Georgia. If you were not already {133} a convinced Abolitionist, they were not likely to convert you. But it was becoming daily clearer that the negro had a military value; not at Port Royal, however, where he was only a burden. It was not an eventful winter at Port Royal. There were expeditions by land and sea, and there was the taking of Fort Pulaski, which I saw, but I was glad to return to New York in the spring; and then to join General Frémont in the Shenandoah Valley. The name of that commander was still one of promise. Except the name, there was not much else for the purposes of war, but he had a charm of manner and a touch of romance and a staff on which one or two foreign adventurers had places and did weird things. "General" Cluseret was one; an impostor who afterward found a congenial home in the Paris Commune, with other impostors. That campaign came to nought, and when General Pope, in July, 1862, was put in command of the Army of Virginia, I found my way to the headquarters of that redoubtable warrior.

With him, in command of the Third Army Corps, was General McDowell. I don't know why one's memory chooses trivialities as proper objects of its activity, but it sometimes does. One of the most vivid among the impressions of those days is the stout figure of General McDowell on his horse, which he sat ill, his uniform awry, his sword pushed behind him as far as it would go, his strapless trousers ending abruptly halfway between knee and ankle; then a space of bare flesh, {134} and then some inches of white stocking, and then a shoe. But he had military gifts if not a military air. He was talking with General Pope, whose unhappy proclamation about his headquarters in the saddle had already been issued. Unlike McDowell, Pope looked a better soldier than he was. His six weeks' generalship on the Rappahannock ended with the Second Bull Run, which there was now no Billy Russell to describe in words that blistered yet were honest words; and with Chantilly. The West suited Pope better than the East, and to the West he returned. In these six weeks he had made nothing but mistakes and achieved only defeats.

Personally, General Pope was pleasant to deal with. It was while he commanded the Army of Virginia that Mr. Stanton, then Secretary of War, or perhaps General Halleck, issued orders for the expulsion of all correspondents from the armies in the field. General Pope sent for me and told me of the order. Impressed at that time with the sternness of War Office rule, I answered meekly that I supposed I must go. Said General Pope, "This is not an official interview. I imagine you needn't go till you get the order." A battle was thought to be imminent; any respite was welcome. I thanked him, went back to my tent, took what I most needed, and rode off to an outpost where I had a friend. The official notification may have been sent to my tent but never reached me. And so it happened that I saw such fighting as there was on the Rappahannock, and at the Second {135} Bull Run, better called Manassas. Interesting to a student of war; not inspiriting to a patriot; and not now to be described even in the briefest way. My only aim is to give the reader of to-day some faint notion of what a war correspondent's life in those days was like.

One incident I may note, as an example of what may happen to a general who neglects the most elementary rules and precautions of war. At the end of a day's march, at sundown but the heavens still light, General Pope bethought himself that he should like to see what the country ahead of him looked like. With his staff and a bodyguard of some sixty sabres he rode up a low hill with a broad crest, open ground about it for a hundred yards, and beyond that in front a thick, far-spreading forest line. General Pope and his staff dismounted. The cavalry were ordered to dismount and loosen their saddle-girths. Just as this operation had been completed there came from the wood beyond the open ground a rifle volley. As we stood between the sunset and the enemy we were a pretty fair target. There was no time for orders. Everybody scrambled into his saddle as best he could and away we went.

But the firing woke up the advance guard of our army, and they also began firing. It soon appeared that General Pope had unwittingly passed outside his own lines, so that, as we rode away from the fire of the Rebels we rode into the fire of our own troops. It was hot enough but luckily did not last long. The hill partly protected {136} us from the sharpshooters in grey, and our fire was silenced after a moment. But the horses were well frightened. It was impossible to pull up. We scattered and the horses went on for a mile or so. I never before so much respected the intelligence of that animal. There was nothing to do but sit down in the saddle, but the horses never made a mistake at full speed over an unknown country, stiff with fences and brooks, and nobody came to grief; nor, which seems more wonderful, was anybody hit by the bullets. A good many remarks were made which hit General Pope.




{137}

CHAPTER XV

CIVIL WAR—GENERAL McCLELLAN—GENERAL HOOKER

The failure of Pope's campaign and his retreat upon the Capital demoralized his army and demoralized Washington to an extent which few remember. The degree of the demoralization may, however, be measured by the reappointment of General McClellan to the command of the Army of the Potomac and of Virginia. In the absence of any general whose name inspired confidence, General McClellan was thought a synonym of safety, or, at any rate, of caution, and he had not wholly lost the confidence of his men. He was not expected to enter upon large operations.

An engagement near Washington was, however, thought probable. On a hint from a friendly official I rode out one afternoon from Washington to the army headquarters, expecting to be away at most a day or two. My luggage consisted of a mackintosh and a tooth-brush. I was absent six weeks. But this was not so tragic as it sounds, for Maryland was a country in which, even with a war afoot, it was possible to buy things. In the interval, I had seen two battles; South Mountain {138} and Antietam, which came as near to being real war as could be expected under General McClellan.

Correspondents were not now allowed with the army in the field any more than in General Pope's time. We were contraband. But so long as we yielded nominally to the inhibition of the War Office nobody seemed to care. The War Office was then named Edwin M. Stanton. To this day I have never been able to understand how Mr. Stanton—a man all energy, directness of mind and purpose, scorning compromise and half measures and scorning those who practised them—came to assent to the replacing of General McClellan at the head of the Army of the Potomac. But he did, and at first General McClellan seemed to justify the new hopes newly placed in him. He might have sat still, but after providing for the defence of Washington he moved out upon an aggressive-defensive campaign. General Lee had entered Maryland and McClellan went in search of him. He moved slowly, but he moved. His soldiers, so far as I could judge, believed in him in spite of his disasters in the Peninsula. His generals, I think, did not. I saw and talked with some of them, for I found myself making this campaign as a volunteer aide-de-camp to General Sedgwick. I had met General Sedgwick before, and when I had to consider how I was to get leave to go with the troops I went to General Sedgwick and told him my difficulty. "Come along with me," he said. That was all the appointment I had. It would not have been {139} possible in a European army, but in the armies of the Union many things were possible. And it was quite sufficient to take me outside of Mr. Stanton's order about correspondents. I was not a correspondent; I was one of General Sedgwick's aids. His kindness to me was a service for which I could never be too grateful.

It was a still greater service because General Sedgwick belonged in the category of fighting generals, who were none too popular with the general commanding, since he, mixing politics with war, believed in half-beating the enemy. Sedgwick, so far as I know, had no politics. Certainly he had none in the field. He was there to fight, not to build bridges over which the Rebels might come back into the Union. It had become known that General Lee had entered Maryland, to enable her people "to throw off a foreign yoke." He was not, as it turned out, a welcome guest. Maryland would have been much obliged to him if he had stayed on the other side of the Potomac. McClellan, taking time to think things over, and perhaps not liking to be considered a foreign yoke, advanced toward Frederick, Lee's headquarters for the moment, at the breakneck pace of six or seven miles a day. I suppose McClellan must have known that Lee wanted Harpers Ferry. But even after Lee's general order had come into his possession, with specific directions for the movement of each division, McClellan hesitated and finally took the wrong road.

Hence the battle of South Mountain; a {140} picturesque performance; part of which I watched by the side of General McClellan himself. At the moment he was quite alone; his staff away carrying orders; an officer now and then returning only to be sent off again at once. The general presently saw that a stranger was standing near him and asked a question or two. I offered him my field glasses, but he said he could see very well and declined them.

There was in his appearance something prepossessing if not commanding: something rather scholarly than warlike; amiable, well-bred, cold, and yet almost sympathetic. His troops were slowly forcing their way up the steep mountain side upon which we looked. It was, in fact, from a military point of view, a very critical moment, but this general commanding had a singular air of detachment; almost that of a disinterested spectator: or of a general watching manoeuvres. The business of war seemed to be to him merely what Iago calls "the bookish theoric"; and he himself "a great arithmetician." He had the face of a man of thought. Napoleonic, said his idolaters, who called him the young Napoleon: not considering dates, or not aware that when Napoleon planned and won his great Italian campaign, a masterpiece of war, he was twenty-seven. When McClellan planned and lost his Peninsula campaign, he was thirty-seven. But there he stood; an interesting figure; as if stargazing. Compact, square-chested, his face well moulded. That he was directing the assault of {141} the forces struggling up yonder hill no human being could have guessed. Whether his tailor had been too stingy in the material of his uniform, or Nature too lavish in the contents of it, he was uncomfortable; he and his clothes did not seem made for each other. There were wrinkles. There was a missing button; nor was he a well set-up figure. It may well enough have been because of his military career, but I thought an air of indecision hung about him. Men had died by hundreds and were yet to die because he could not make up his mind, nor push an attack home. They were dying now, as he looked on; they lay dying and dead on the opposite slope; for when he had at last made up his mind he had made it up wrong. The battle of South Mountain was a victory in a sense, but it need never have been fought. A position which might have been turned had been forced, and the road to Antietam lay open.

Again it was like McClellan, on approaching Sharpsburg and the battleground of Antietam, to halt and think it over. If he had struck at once, he would have found Lee's army divided and the path weakly held. But McClellan had it not in him to do anything at once, or to do it once for all. The armies faced each other idly all that day. In the afternoon I heard that a flank movement on the enemy's left was to be tried under General Hooker. So I rode over and joined that general's command. It was well known that Hooker would fight if he was allowed. He was already called {142} "Fighting Joe"; a well-earned sobriquet. He put his troops in motion about four o'clock that afternoon, himself at the head as usual, doing his own reconnoitring. I rode with the staff, not one of whom I knew. Nobody took the trouble to ask who I was or why I was there. For aught they knew I might have been a Rebel spy.

General Hooker had his own way of doing things. This was what might be called a reconnaissance in force; two brigades in line pushing steadily forward; a force of cavalry in advance, two divisions following. By the time we came in touch with Lee's left, it was dusk. We could see the flashes of the Rebel rifles which drove Hooker's cavalry back upon the infantry division. Hooker played the game of war as the youngest member of a football team plays football. He had to the full that joy of battle which McClellan never had at all; and showed it.

Between the man by whose side I had stood two days before at South Mountain, and the man near whom I now rode, the contrast was complete. McClellan was not a general; he was a Council of War, and it is a military axiom that councils of war never fight. He surveyed the field of battle beneath him at Turner's Gap as a chess-player surveys the board. At the naval battle of Santiago, as the Spanish ships were sinking, our bluejackets began to cheer. Said Admiral Philip: "Don't cheer, boys. They are dying over there." If everything else about Philip should be forgotten, that will be remembered; and he will be loved {143} for it; for this one touch of human feeling for a human enemy amid the hell of war. But for the pawns and pieces the chess-player sends to slaughter he has no regrets. I don't say McClellan had none for the men whom his mistaken strategy drove to death. All I say is that as I looked at him I saw no sign of it. A general, we are told, can no more afford to have feelings amid a battle than a surgeon with the knife in his hand can feel for his patient. It may be. But Napoleon, who is always cited as the highest example of indifference to the lives of men, is perhaps the best example to the contrary. He would sacrifice a brigade without scruple for a purpose; never one single armed man without a purpose. He had men enough to consume for victory; never one to squander. He was an economist of human life, though for purely military reasons. It is awful to reflect how many thousands of Americans in these early Civil War days were sent to death uselessly by the ignorance of their commanders; or as in McClellan's case by his irresolution, and his incapacity for the handling of troops in the field.

General Hooker's was a face which lighted up when the battle began. The man seemed transformed. He rode carelessly on the march, but sat straight up in his saddle as the martial music of the bullets whistled past him. He was a leader of men, and his men would have followed him and did follow him wherever he led. Hesitation, delay, he hated them. "If they had let us start earlier {144} we might have finished to-night," he muttered. But night was upon us, and even Hooker could not fight an unknown force on unknown ground in the dark. It was nine o'clock when we went into camp; Union and Rebel lines so close that the pickets got mixed and captured each other. "Camp" is a figure of speech. We lay down on the ground as we were. I slept with my horse's bridle round my arm. At four o'clock next morning, with the earliest light of a coming dawn and as soon as a man could see the sights on his rifle, the battle began.




{145}

CHAPTER XVI

CIVIL WAR—PERSONAL INCIDENTS AT ANTIETAM

General Hooker was about the first man in the saddle. The pickets had begun sniping long before dawn. My bivouac was within sight of his tent. "The old man," said one of his staff, "would have liked to be with the pickets." No doubt. He would have liked to be anywhere in the field where the chance of a bullet coming his way was greatest. Kinglake has a passage which might have been written for Hooker. That accomplished historian of war remarks that the reasons against fighting a battle are always stronger than the reasons for fighting. If it were to be decided on the balance of arguments, no battle would ever be begun. But there are Generals who have in them an overmastering impulse of battle; it is in the blood; temperament prevails over argument, and they are the men who carry on war. Hooker was one of them. He loved fighting for fighting's sake, and with the apostles of peace at any price he had not an atom of sympathy. He would have thought Herbert Spencer something less than a man, as he was; and Mr. Carnegie, if he had been anything then but the {146} boy he has never outgrown, a worthy disciple of an unworthy master.

No, I am not keeping you waiting for the story of Antietam, for I am not going to re-tell it. But General Hooker, on that day a hero, has had hard measure since, and I like to do him what justice I can. I liked the man. My acquaintance with him began that morning. To hear him issue an order was like the sound of the first cannon shot. He gathered up brigades and divisions in his hand, and sent them straight against the enemy. That is not at all a piece of rhetoric. It is a literal statement of the literal fact. His men loved him and dreaded him. Early in the morning he had scattered his staff to the winds, and was riding alone, on the firing line. Looking about him for an officer, he saw me and said, "Who are you?" I told him. "Will you take an order for me?" "Certainly." There was a regiment which seemed wavering, and had fallen a little back. "Tell the colonel of that regiment to take his men to the front and keep them there." I gave the order. Again the question:

"Who are you?"

"The order is General Hooker's."

"It must come to me from a staff officer or from my brigade commander."

"Very good. I will report to General Hooker that you decline to obey."

"Oh, for God's sake don't do that! The Rebels are too many for us but I had rather face them than Hooker."

{147}

And on went his regiment. I returned to Hooker and reported. "Yes," said he, "I see, but don't let the next man talk so much"; and I was sent off again.

I was with Hooker when he was wounded, about nine o'clock. He was, as he always was, the finest target in the field and a natural mark for the Rebel sharpshooters. It was easy to see that they followed him, and their bullets followed him, wherever he rode. I pointed that out to him. He replied with an explosion of curses and contempt. He did not believe he could be hit. No Rebel bullet was to find its billet in him. He was tall and sat high in his saddle. He was of course in uniform—no khaki in those days, but bright blue, and gilt buttons and all the rest of it; his high-coloured face itself a mark, and he rode a white horse. Not long after I had spoken, a bullet struck him in the foot. It was the best bullet those troublesome gentlemen in grey fired that morning. He swayed in the saddle and fell, or would have fallen if he had not been caught. Then they carried to the rear the hope of the Union arms for that day; and for other days to follow.

I saw him again about four in the afternoon. I had been asked to see him by one or two of General McClellan's staff who knew I had been with General Hooker in the morning. I have said long since what the errand was they wished to lay upon me, or what I supposed it to be. General Wilson explained to me, on the publication of that {148} article, that I had mistaken the meaning of the men I talked with; that the officers who asked me to go never designed that I should suggest to Hooker to take command of the army, but only to find out whether he could resume the command of his own corps; and perhaps of another; not waiting for orders, apparently. It does not much matter, for I, of course, declined to carry any such message as I thought was proposed to me. It was for the officers themselves, if for anybody, to carry it. If they had any such purpose in mind, it was mutiny; patriotic but unmilitary. Well might they lose patience when they saw the promise of a shattered rebellion fade before their eyes. But that day was not yet, happily, since a premature victory over the South would have left great questions unsettled. This scheme, or dream, was none the less interesting because it showed, as I thought, what McClellan's own officers thought of his generalship on that fateful day; and possibly of something besides his generalship.

But I went to the little square red-brick house where Hooker had been taken, and was allowed to see him. It needed no questions. He was too evidently done for; till that day and many days to come had passed. He was suffering great pain. I told him I had come by request of some of General McClellan's staff to ask how he was.

"You can see for yourself," he answered faintly. "The pain is bad enough, but what I hate to think is that it was a Rebel bullet which did it."

His courage was indomitable; his contempt for {149} the Rebels not one whit abated. He asked for the latest news from the field of battle. I told him it was no longer a field of battle; that McClellan was resting on his arms; that he would not use his reserves; and that there was every prospect that Lee would escape with his beaten army across the Potomac. He raged at the thought.

"Unless,"—I added.

"You need not go on," retorted Hooker. "You must see I cannot move."

It tortured him to think that his morning's work was half thrown away; and that McClellan, with some fourteen thousand fresh troops, was content to see the sun go down on an indecisive day. Into his face, white with the pain which tore at him, came heat and colour and the anger of an indignant soul. The surgeon shook his head, and I said good-bye.

I rode back to headquarters; only to find that the decision had been taken or perhaps that McClellan was incapable of any decision; his mind halting, as usual, between two opinions; and the negative in the end prevailing over the positive. He had an irresistible impulse to do nothing he could leave undone. I asked for General Sedgwick. He had been badly wounded—I think thrice wounded, but had fought on till the third—and been carried off the field. Nobody could tell me where he was. I saw him once again. A Rebel bullet laid him low at Spottsylvania. One of the best generals we had: a man of utterly transparent honesty, simplicity, and truth of {150} character; trusted, beloved, ardently followed by his men; a commander who had done great things and was capable of greater.

Since it was too late to get anything through to New York that night, I wasted some hours in one camp and another. Perhaps they were not wasted. I heard everywhere a chorus of execration. McClellan's name was hardly mentioned without a curse. Not a soldier in the ranks who did not believe it had been possible to drive Lee into and over the Potomac.

At nine o'clock in the evening I started for Frederick, thirty miles away. My horse had two bullets in him, and I had to commandeer another from a colleague, who objected but yielded. I reached Frederick at three in the morning, sleeping in the saddle a good part of the way, as I had been up since four o'clock of the morning before. The telegraph office was closed, and nobody knew where the telegraph clerk lived. I thought it odd that in time of war, and after an important battle, the Government at Washington should have kept open no means of communication with the general commanding; but so it was. Frederick was the nearest and, so far as I knew, the only available telegraph office. There was no field telegraph. The wires were not down, but the operator was sleeping peacefully elsewhere.

He reappeared about seven. I asked him if he would take a message. After some demur he promised to try to get a short one through. I sat down on a log by the door and began to write, {151} giving him sheet after sheet till a column or more had gone, as I supposed, to New York. The Tribune had been notified that a message was coming. But neither my private notice to The Tribune nor my story of the battle was sent to New York. It was sent to the War Office at Washington, and such was the disorder then prevailing that it was the first news, or perhaps only the first coherent account, of the battle which reached the War Office and the President. They kept it to themselves during all that day. At night, in time for next morning's paper, it was released, wired on, and duly appeared in Saturday's Tribune.

I never doubted that when my telegram had once been sent I should find a train to Baltimore. There was none. I saw one official after another. Nobody knew, or nobody would say, when a train would leave. It might go at any moment, or not at all. I tried in vain for a special. There could be no special without military warrant. I wired the War Office and got no answer. It was trying work, for what I had hoped was to reach New York in time for Saturday morning's paper. Finally, I was allowed to travel by a mixed train which arrived in Baltimore some ten minutes before the Washington express for New York came in.

That is all the margin there was. The cars were lighted by oil lamps, dimly burning, one at each end of the car, hung near the ceiling. I had to choose between the chance of wiring a long and as yet unwritten dispatch from Baltimore, {152} and going myself by train. The first word at the telegraph office settled it. They would promise nothing.

So by the light of the one dim oil lamp, above my head, standing, I began a narrative of the battle of Antietam. I wrote with a pencil. It must have been about nine o'clock when I began. I ended as the train rolled into Jersey City by daylight. The office knew that a dispatch was coming, the compositors were waiting, and at six o'clock the worst piece of manuscript the oldest of them had ever seen was put into their hands. But they were good men, and there were proof-readers of genius, and somewhere near the uptown breakfast hour, The Tribune issued an extra with six columns about Antietam.




{153}

CHAPTER XVII

A FRAGMENT OF UNWRITTEN MILITARY HISTORY

By this time—September, 1862—Mr. Dana had retired from The Tribune and Mr. Sydney Howard Gay had become managing editor in Mr. Dana's place. The natural gift of command which belonged to Mr. Dana had not descended upon Mr. Gay; it never does descend; but he was capable of a quick decision, and when, having returned that morning from Antietam, I saw him in the afternoon, he was in a managing-editor state of mind. With much firm kindness of manner he suggested that I should start that evening to rejoin the army. I said yes, because, in my inexperience and in my artless awe of my superior officer, I did not know what else to say. And I took the night train to Washington.

With the discomforts of the night railway service between New York and Washington I had already made acquaintance. They were considerable, but less than they are now. There was then no overheated Pullman car; there was no overbearing coloured porter to patronize you, and to brush the dust from other people's clothes into your face, and to heat the furnace—by which I {154} mean the steam-heated car—seven times hotter; there was no promiscuous dormitory. When Lord Charles Beresford was last in Washington, four or five years ago, he told me one afternoon he was going to New York by the midnight train. When I suggested that the day service was less unpleasant than the night, he answered: "Oh, it doesn't matter to me. I can sleep on a clothes-line." There spoke the sailor lad of whom there are still traces in the great admiral of to-day. I have never tried the clothes-line, but I had lately been sleeping for many nights together on the sacred soil of Virginia, or the perhaps less sacred soil of Maryland, thinking myself lucky if I could borrow two rails from a Virginia fence to sleep between. I am not sure whether I liked the stiff seats of the old-fashioned coach much better, but I am quite sure I should prefer the open air and the sacred soil and the Virginia rails to the "luxurious" stuffiness of the modern sleeping car. The only real luxury I know of in American railway travel is the private car.

However, I might as well have stayed in New York, for I was soon invalided back again with a camp fever, and then remained in the office to write war "editorials," and others.

But I was to make one more journey to the field, and once more to see General Hooker. General McClellan, thinking it over for a month and more after Antietam, had finally crossed the Potomac, dawdled about a little, and been ordered to Trenton, Hew Jersey, well out of the way of {155} further mischief. General Burnside had succeeded McClellan; had fought and lost the battle of Fredericksburg, with the maximum of incompetency, in December, 1862; had McClellanized till January 25th, and had then yielded up the command of the unhappy Army of the Potomac to General Hooker. Fighting Joe spent some three months in getting his army into good fighting order; then tried his luck against Lee and Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville. Luck in the shape of a bullet, whether Union or Rebel took Jackson out of his way; but Lee, perhaps for the first time, showed the greater qualities of generalship, and Hooker, at the end of a three days battle, was defeated; the Union forces recrossing the Rappahannock on the night of May 4th, 1863.

I must apologize for restating, even in the briefest form, facts which everybody knows. I do it because, soon after Chancellorsville, I was sent again to the Army of the Potomac on a mission of inquiry. It was almost the blackest period of the war; the darkness before dawn; a dawn which was to come from the West as well as from the East. The army was demoralized; so was public opinion; so, I think, were the military authorities in Washington; and nobody knew where to look for a commanding officer. There remained not one in whom the President or the Army of the Potomac had faith. They were groping for a General, and groping so far as the East was concerned, in the dark. My business was to throw such as light as I could on the causes {156} of Hooker's defeat, and to find out, if I could, whom the Army of the Potomac wanted as leader. And I was given to understand that the results of my inquiry would be published in The Tribune.

They never were. I spent rather more than a week with the army, at one headquarters or another. General Hooker, to whom I of course presented myself in the first instance, very kindly asked me to be his guest, but that was impossible. I could not be the guest of the man whom I was to investigate. I told Hooker my errand. As General commanding, he had the right to order me out of the lines, which would have brought my mission to an end. Instead, he offered me all facilities consistent with his duty. "If I am to be investigated," he said, rather grimly, "it might as well be by you as anybody." Indeed; he had a kindness for me and had offered me, or tried to offer, after Antietam, a place on his staff; which military regulations did not permit. It was not necessary to tell him I had every wish he might come well out of the examination. But I had.

So I went about to one general and another and from one corps to another, and talked with men of all ranks and of no rank. I knew General Sedgwick best and went to him first. He was a man of action rather than words, and was reluctant to talk. Besides, his share in the battle had been greater than anybody's but Hooker himself. He told me what his orders had been, and how he had tried to carry them out. Up to a certain point, he had been successful. He had crossed the Rappahannock {157} in the early morning of May 3rd, carried the heights near Fredericksburg by noon, advanced toward Chancellor's with intent to turn Lee's rear, till he brought up against an immovable Rebel force late in the afternoon. He held his position all night and during most of the next day, the 4th. Then Lee, who was at his best, brought up more troops, and forced Sedgwick back across the river at night. He had lost five thousand men.

From what Sedgwick told me and from what others told me, I gathered that this was the critical point of the battle. If Hooker could either have kept these Rebel reinforcements busy elsewhere, or have strengthened Sedgwick earlier in the day, the Rebel lines would have been broken or turned, and the battle won. But he was outmanoeuvred by Lee, here and elsewhere.

That is Chancellorsville in a nutshell. Hooker was, I suppose, overweighted with the command of an army of a hundred and twenty thousand men. As a corps commander and for fighting purposes, he had no equal. But he was pitted against a General whom European critics have praised till they seem inclined to put him on a level with Hannibal or Moltke, where he certainly does not belong. But he was good enough in these May days of 1863 to defeat General Hooker.

There have been stories in print to which I refer because they have been in print. It was said of General Hooker, as it was said of a greater General in this Civil War, that he drank. Lincoln's {158} wish to send a barrel of Grant's whisky to every other General in the Union armies had not then been expressed. But, in the first place, having heard this rumour before I left New York, I asked everybody likely to know, and not one witness could testify to having seen General Hooker the worse for whisky. There is, in the second place, a statement that while Hooker was standing, on the morning of the 3rd, near Chancellor's Inn, the porch was struck by a cannon shot, and a beam fell on Hooker's head. He was not disabled, but the working power of his brain, at high pressure night and day for some sixty hours, may well have been impaired. One story may be set off against the other.

Rightly or wrongly, the Army of the Potomac had lost confidence in General Hooker. It had also lost confidence in itself. It was a beaten army and the soul had gone out of it. On both points, the evidence was overwhelming. There could be no doubt that I must report to Mr. Gay that the demoralization was complete. When I set myself to discover a remedy—in other words a possible successor to General Hooker—I was at a loss. General Sedgwick's officers and men believed in him, but the army as a whole thought he was in his right place as a corps commander. Other names were mentioned and put aside. There was no reason why officers high in rank should talk freely to me. There was every reason they should not talk freely to the representative of The Tribune, if The Tribune was to publish an {159} account of the state of public opinion in the army with reference to a new commander. I endeavoured to make it clear that all statements on this matter would be treated as confidential. Still, as you may imagine, there were difficulties.

If one man was named more often than another, it was General Meade. I was urged by a number of officers—mostly staff officers—as I had been at Antietam in connection with General Hooker, to see General Meade and lay before him what my friends declared to be the wish of the army, or of a great part of the army. They wanted him to succeed General Hooker. It did not seem desirable to pledge myself to anything, but I did see General Meade. I had met him but once before. He was just mounting his horse, and proposed that we should ride together. Explaining that, though I came on no mission and with no authority, I had been asked to lay certain matters before him, I gave him such an account as I could of what my friends thought the army wanted. When he saw what was coming, he turned as if to interrupt. "I don't know that I ought to listen to you," he said. But I asked him to consider that I was a civilian, that I was in no sense an ambassador, that I brought no proposals, that he was asked to take no step whatever not even to say anything, but only to hear what others thought. Upon that, I was allowed to go on. I said my say. From beginning to end, General Meade listened with an impassive face. He did not interrupt. He never asked a question. He never made a {160} comment. When I had finished I had not the least notion what impression my narrative had made on him; nor whether it had made any impression. He was a model of military discretion. Then we talked a little about other things. I said good-bye, rode away, and never again saw General Meade. But Gettysburg was the vindication of my friends' judgment.

Thinking I had done all I could, I said good-bye to General Hooker, who asked no questions, went back to New York, made a full oral report to Mr. Gay, and asked him whether I was to write a statement for publication. He considered a while, then said:

"No, it is a case where the truth can do only harm. It is not for the public interest that the public should know the army is demoralized, or know that Hooker must go, or know that no successor to him can yet be named. Write an editorial, keep to generalities, and forget most of what you have told me."

I obeyed orders. But the orders were given forty-odd years ago. Such interest as the matter has is now historical, and so, for the first time, I make public a part, and only a part, of what I learned in that month of May, 1863, on the banks of the Rappahannock.




{161}

CHAPTER XVIII

THE NEW YORK DRAFT RIOTS IN 1863—NOTES ON JOURNALISM

One more battle I saw, known as the Draft Riots of 1863. I arrived in New York on the Monday evening, and journeyed south through the city by the light of the Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum in flames; a stray negro or two hanging to a lamp-post here and there. This was the flank movement of the Rebellion; an attempt not only to prevent the enforcement of the draft, which President Lincoln had too long delayed, but to compel the Unionist forces to return northward for the defence of their homes. A mad scheme, yet for near four days New York was in possession of the mob. I never understood why, since a couple of good regiments would at any moment have restored order, as the event showed. For want of them New York had to defend itself, and did it rather clumsily, enduring needless disasters and losses both of property and life.

The Tribune office was marked for destruction but was armed and garrisoned and only once did the mob effect an entrance. Then they swept into the counting-house on the ground floor and {162} made a bonfire of such papers as they found. For a moment there was danger, but the police came up from the Spruce Street station, the rioters fled and the fire was put out. Upstairs in the editorial rooms we knew nothing about it till it was all over. Afterward a better watch was kept. Friends of The Tribune volunteered, and there was no lack of men; nor were the police again careless.

Another rush was stopped by the police in the square. As I sat at my window looking on the City Hall I saw this Rebel effort. But the police broke the solid mass of rioters as cleverly as it could have been done in Paris, where such matters are understood better than anywhere else in the world. Once scattered, these ruffians became easy victims. The police did not spare them. I not only saw, but heard. I heard the tap, tap, of the police clubs on the heads of the fugitives. At each tap a man went down; and he did not always get up again. The street was strewn with the slain.

While these incidents were occurring an effort was made to keep Mr. Greeley away from the office; partly because he was a man of peace, and we thought scenes of violence would be unpleasant to him; partly because he was in danger both in the office and as he came and went. But he would listen to no appeal. The post of danger was the Post of duty, and he stood by the ship. Mr. Greeley's passion for peace sometimes carried him far but never showed itself in an ignoble regard for his personal safety.

Sydney Howard Gay's successor in the {163} managing editorship of The Tribune was Mr. John Russell Young, who brought with him a new life and freshness, and something not very far removed from a genius for journalism: if in the profession of journalism there be room for genius. There is room, at any rate, for originality and for bird's-eye views of things, and for an outlook upon the world which leaves no important point uncovered. There is room for courage and for quickness of perception and for an intuitive knowledge of what is news and what is not. All these qualities Mr. Young had. That the end of his relation with The Tribune was less happy than the beginning offers no reason, to my mind, for denying him the tribute which is his due.

It seems hard to believe that in 1866, in the early summer, the first news of the Austro-Prussian war came to us in New York by ship. But so it was. Mr. Young walked into my room one morning with a slip of paper in his hand from the news bureau at, I think, Quarantine, announcing the Prussian declaration of war, June 18th, and the advance of the Prussian forces. I should like you to take the first steamer to Europe, remarked Mr. Young, and walked out again. It was a Monday. The next steamer was the Cunarder China, from Boston to Liverpool via Queenstown, on the Wednesday. I sailed accordingly, and on reaching Queenstown was met by a telegram announcing the Austrian defeat at Sadowa, or, as the Prussians prefer to call it, Königgrätz, July 3rd. The war was over. There were other {164} military operations, but an armistice was agreed to July 22nd, and the preliminaries of peace were signed at Nikolsburg, July 26th.

On the following day, July 27th, 1866, the laying of the new Atlantic cable, the first by which messages from the public were transmitted, was successfully completed by the Great Eastern, and on the 28th a friendly message from the Queen was sent to the President of the United States. The President was Mr. Andrew Johnson, and it took him two days to reply. It would have made a difference to us in America if the war news of May and June could have reached us by cable. Even such grave events as Austria's demand for the demobilization of the Prussian Army, so far back as April, and the proceedings in the Federal Diet at Frankfort in June, made no great impression on American opinion. I suppose we were already in that state of patriotic isolation when events in Europe seemed to us like events in an ancient world. The Austro-Prussian conflict was not much more to masses of Americans than the Peloponnesian War. Nor, in truth, did news from abroad by mail ever present itself with the suddenness and authority it derived from the cable. It came by mail in masses. It came by cable with the peremptory brevity which arrested attention. The home telegraph was diffuse. It was the cable which first taught us to condense. A dispatch from London was not, in the beginning, much more than a flash of lightning; and went into print as it came, without being {165} "written up"; and was ten times the more effective.

I had gone on from London to Berlin, and it was in Berlin that the news came of a break in the peace negotiations and the sudden arrest of the homeward march of the Prussian troops which had begun August 1st. I sent a dispatch to The Tribune announcing this, and hinting at the renewal of hostilities as a possible consequence. The news came from a source which was a guarantee of its truth; and true it was. But the diplomatic difficulty was soon adjusted and again the Prussian columns flowed steadily northward. This message, which for the moment was sufficiently startling, was, I think, the first news dispatch which went by cable. It ran to near one hundred words, and the cost of it was just short of £100, or $500. The rate from London to New York was then twenty shillings a word. We wasted no words at that price.

Mr. Weaver was then manager of the Anglo-American Telegraph Company, a man who thought it good policy to coerce the public. He understood much about cable business; not much about human nature. He considered himself, and for the time being he was, at the head of a monopoly. People who desired to send messages by cable to America must do so upon his terms or not at all. It never seemed to occur to him that there might be such a thing as a prohibitory rate, or that a business could not be developed to the greatest advantage by driving away customers. He was {166} quite happy if he could wring an extra sovereign from the sender. He thought it a good stroke to compel each sender of a message to add the word "London" to his signature. It was another twenty shillings in the treasury of the company.

Mr. Weaver enacted many vexatious restrictive laws the discredit of which fell in great measure upon Mr. Cyrus Field and other directors of the Anglo-American Telegraph Company. It was Mr. Weaver's business to make rules. It was the business of the public to obey them. At that time there was between the public and the Anglo-American company no direct intercourse. We were obliged to hand in our messages over the counter of one of the two inland telegraph companies, which between them had a monopoly; the British and Magnetic and the Electric. Mr. Weaver sat in solitary state in Telegraph Street. You approached his office as you would approach a shrine; a temple of some far-off deity. During the next few years I had often to discuss matters with Mr. Weaver, whose regulations embarrassed and delayed Press messages. He was opposed to all concessions to the Press. He framed a code under which Press messages at a reduced rate were dealt with as he chose. He would give us no assurance as to when he would begin or when complete the transmission of such messages. He would interrupt the transmission of them in a purely arbitrary way, so that the first half of a message might reach New York for next {167} morning's paper and the last half for the day after.

At last there came a crisis. I had filed an account of the Oxford-Harvard four-oared race from Putney to Mortlake, a column and a half long, in good time for next day's Tribune. It did not appear till the day following. I had gone with it myself to the City, and handed in my dispatch over the counter of the British and Magnetic office in Threadneedle Street. The office of the Anglo-American was but two minutes distant. My inquiries about the delay were met with civil evasions. The Anglo- people said they sent on the dispatch as soon as they got it. The British and Magnetic people said it had been forwarded to the Anglo- "in the ordinary course of business." Under that specious phrase lurked the mischief. It came out after much pressure that, in the ordinary course of business and by a rule of the Magnetic Company, every dispatch for the cable must be copied before it was sent on to the Anglo-. The staff in attendance when I committed my message to the Magnetic consisted of a boy at the counter. It was his duty to copy the dispatch when not otherwise engaged. He completed his copy early the next morning. This was finally admitted. I then saw Mr. Weaver and put all I had to say into two sentences. First, the delayed dispatch would not be paid for, since it was the Anglo- which made itself responsible for the delay by refusing to receive the message direct from the sender. Second, unless this rule was abolished {168} I would notify The Tribune that it was useless to forward messages from London, and advise the editor to direct their discontinuance.

Then came a curious thing. Mr. Weaver having reflected on this ultimatum for some thirty seconds, said:

"Mr. Smalley, I will agree to your proposal on one condition—that you tell nobody you are allowed to hand in your messages to us. We do not intend to alter our rule. We make an exception in your case."

I do not suppose Mr. Weaver was aware that he was giving me a great advantage or that he meant to give it. But, although the copying regulation of the Magnetic was abolished, direct access to the Anglo- was a great security and a great saving of precious time. It was to mean in the following year of 1870 that dispatches could be sent through to New York as filed, and in time for the regular morning issue, which otherwise would have arrived, in whole or in part, late. It was one among several causes to which was due the success of The Tribune in the early months of the Franco-German War. The fact did not become known in the world of journalism till some time in the late autumn of 1870. In February, 1870, the British Government had taken over the inland telegraphs, and with them the duty of receiving transatlantic dispatches. The Government could have enforced the old rule had it chosen, but it did not choose. The executive officer of the Post Office was Mr. Scudamore, secretary to the {169} Postmaster-General, who had no good-will to the Press and none to me. Probably he knew nothing about the matter. But since 1870 the cable offices have all been thrown open, or special offices opened for the receipt of messages, and you may now file cable messages for America in any Post Office or any cable office. The English postal telegraph service is wonderfully good—far better than any telegraph service in America—but I should never file a Press message in a postal office if within reach of a cable office.

All this is highly technical and I suppose of no interest to anybody but journalists and telegraph managers. But there are other experiences which I hope may be found worth reading by a less select audience.




{170}

CHAPTER XIX

HOW THE PRUSSIANS AFTER SADOWA CAME HOME TO BERLIN

There is much more to say on this subject of cabling which I touched on, perhaps prematurely, in the last chapter, but it can wait till certain incidents in Berlin have been described. Ever memorable to me was this visit to Berlin in 1866, and for two things. I saw something of the two greatest forces in Prussia, or two of the three greatest: the Prussian army and Count Bismarck. The third, whom I saw, but only saw, was the King; whom his grandson has since rechristened William the Great. The Seven Weeks' War was just over. There were Generals of the army who expected to enter Vienna in triumph, as, four and a half years later, the German armies were to enter Paris. But Count Bismarck had vetoed this project; by no means desiring to leave an indelible scar of defeat and humiliation on a kindred German capital. He wished, and the King wished, that in the future, and in the near future, Berlin and Vienna should be friends. In the interest of that wise policy the purely military ambitions of these Generals, the Red Prince perhaps among them, who were soldiers and nothing {171} else, were repressed. A consolation was allowed them in the shape of a triumphal re-entry into Berlin.

So on the 20th and 21st of September the garrison of Berlin and Potsdam, fifty thousand strong, but dividing their strength between the two days, marched through the Brandenburger Gate, and up the Unter den Linden to the Opera Platz. By good luck I had rooms in the Hotel du Nord, then the best hotel in Berlin, midway in the great avenue of Berlin; and being on the second floor I could look well over the trees and along almost the whole stretch of this fine street, a hundred yards wide.

It was such a spectacle as presents itself but seldom to the human eye, German or other. All things considered, it cannot often have been surpassed. The whole world was looking on. For here was Prussia, but three months ago a second-class European Power, which had suddenly stepped into the front rank. So dazzling was her rise that the Emperor Napoleon, looking out of the Tuileries windows upon a transformed Central Europe, was already demanding "compensation" for Sadowa, and demanding vainly. The leadership of Germany had passed in a night from Austria to Prussia. The Germanic Confederation had been dissolved and the North German Confederation, with Prussia the all-powerful head of it, had come into existence. With the refusal of Count Bismarck to listen to the demands of Napoleon, Prussia stood out in Central Europe as the German {172} State which at last was to resist all attempts from beyond the Rhine to impose the will of a French ruler upon the German people. It was a Declaration of Independence; and of something more than independence.

When the head of that great column of victorious troops emerged from the great Gate, what Berlin saw was the instrument by which these vast changes had been brought about. There were men of prophetic mind who saw in it the instrument of greater changes yet to be. But sufficient for the day was the glory thereof. All Berlin was in the streets; or in this one street; or in the windows and on the housetops of the Unter den Linden. As they cheered I did not think the volume of sound comparable to what one hears in London on great days of public rejoicing. There was rejoicing, of course, and there was enthusiasm, but it was of the grave German kind; none the less deep for being less resonant. I cannot remember being much impressed by these demonstrations, nor by the flags and other decorations. The Prussian flag, with its black and red, was a less cheerful piece of bunting than the Tricolour or the Union Jack. The Germans have, nevertheless, ideas of ornament and of art values; perhaps mid-way between the French, who are supreme in such matters, and the English, who have no ideas at all except to hang out all the flags they possess and trust to luck for harmony and effect. None the less was the Unter den Linden garlanded with banners, and the better houses or larger buildings {173} were glowing with colour and contrasts. But the military display was the important thing, and it was magnificent.

The King came first, riding a little in front of his headquarters staff and of the Generals who were in his suite. Whether he might be called William the Great or not, he was on that day a kingly figure. The officers with him numbered, I should think, perhaps a hundred and fifty, mostly well mounted, in uniforms which, whatever they might be singly, were splendid in the mass. They were perhaps too splendid. One would have liked to see these men in the clothes in which they had marched and fought; with the stains of war upon them. But that, I suppose, would have been abhorrent to the German mind, and especially to the German military mind, with its deep devotion to etiquette and its worship of routine and all forms of military technique. But the echoes of Austrian battlefields had not yet sunk into silence, and we knew well enough that these were no holiday warriors.

They rode slowly. When the King and his staff had passed there came a surprise. The procession seemed for one moment to have come to an end. There was an open space of perhaps fifty yards. In the centre of it rode three men The three were: Von Roon, Minister of War; Moltke; and between them Bismarck in a white uniform as Major of Cuirassiers. It was when they came into view that the cheering rose highest. The King was popular and the greeting of his {174} people had been cordial. But the three men behind him were the real heroes. Von Roon had organized the forces of Prussia; Moltke had guided them to victory; Bismarck had planned and brought on the war. The Carnot of Prussia; the soldier of all soldiers of Prussia next after the great Frederick; the brain and will and directing force of Prussia, these three; and in all Europe no other three comparable to them, singly or together.

So here they rode, these Three by themselves; apart, as if all that had gone before and all that was to come after were there in homage to them. The King and his headquarters staff were but the advance-guard to these Three. The five-and-twenty thousand troops who followed were but their rear-guard. These servants and priceless possessions of the State were encompassed about by all that was brilliant and all that was useful in the State themselves excepted. They bore themselves as befitted their services and their places, with a dignity, a serene disregard of everything but their duty, which belong to real greatness. Berlin hailed them with cheers of a kind which had been given to no other. I do not know that any of the three was precisely what might be called Popular. Popularity was not what Von Roon or Moltke or Bismarck had sought. But Berlin knew, and Prussia knew, that but for these three there would have been no day of victory for the Fatherland.

The troops came past in the formation known {175} as company front, and as the Prussian companies were a hundred strong or more, the effect was admirable. Berlin was thronged with soldiers for days after this, and the individual Prussian soldier was not then a very imposing object. He was well set up, but he and his uniform were not always on good terms; in short, he was too often slovenly or slouching. He had, moreover, a stiffness of bearing which reminded you of Heine's bitter account of him in earlier days; that "he looked as if he had swallowed the ramrod with which he had been thrashed." But in the mass you saw nothing slovenly, and the stiffness perhaps helped his officers to dress that company front in a straight line across the broad street. The front was, in fact, perfection, and so was the marching, and as these bodies of drilled men moved up the Linden they looked like what they had proved themselves, irresistible. They swept on with a movement as of some great natural force. Regiment after regiment swung past. There was never a break or halt. The machine was in its best working order. The men carried their heads high, crowned with victory. And so the tide of war poured through this peaceful street.

The Prussian uniform was not a brilliant one. In point of mere costume these troops were not comparable to many others. The Austrians were far more smartly dressed; and the English, and the French. But this blue and red looked workmanlike, while as for ornament—well, what ornament was needed beyond the word Sadowa, which {176} might have been, but was not, embroidered on the collars of their tunics? You saw also that this was a citizen army: the German people were in these ranks, as the Prussian people. The words have since become almost convertible, though there are millions of Germans who will not agree to that.

The regimental officers were well enough mounted and, so far as one could judge from a parade like this, were good horsemen. They sat well down in their saddles. A good seat and good hands go together, or ought to go together, but do not always, and the hands seemed heavy if a horse turned restive. But another thing became clear as you looked. The officers were of the elect. The Prussian aristocracy was in the saddle. There has never been a time since the Great Elector of Brandenburg when it was not in the saddle, actually and figuratively. To adopt Bismarck's phrase at a much later day, in a great speech at Jena, this country of Prussia has never been ruled from below. It was not in 1866. Nor have the Junkers and the nobility of Prussia ever failed to pay with their persons when the need arose. In that murderous cavalry charge at Mars-la-Tour, the ranks were crowded with the sons of Princes, and Dukes, and Counts, and all the rest; they rode, no small part of them, to death, and knew they were riding to death, but no thought of rank or riches stayed them, nor did any one falter.

It is impossible not to think of these later things as the memories of these September days in 1866 come back. I looked on then at the beginnings {177} of what was foreordained to happen. This was the army, these were the very men who were to close about Sedan in that other September of 1870. Long after that I was to see them again in the Opera Platz and Unter den Linden when the King who now rides with his grave gallantry of bearing at their head was to be buried, on one of the coldest and perhaps the blackest day Berlin ever saw. The splendour had departed. The triumph of 1866 had given way to mourning and gloom. And on the architrave of the Brandenburg Thor, draped and shrouded, like all Berlin, in black, stood out in white letters the last greeting of Berlin to its old-time King, "Vale, Senex Imperator."




{178}

CHAPTER XX

A TALK WITH COUNT BISMARCK IN 1866

I

By one of those pieces of good fortune which descend only upon the undeserving, I came to know Count Bismarck before I left Berlin. I was advised to present my letter at the Landtag, and as the Count was said to be in the House, I sent it in. He came out to the ante-chamber where I was waiting, and there for the first time I looked into the pale blue eyes whence had flashed the lightnings that had riven the power of Austria on the field of Sadowa. Now they had a kindly and welcoming look in them. But, said Count Bismarck:

"I have not a moment. A debate is on, and I am to speak at once. Come to my house in the Wilhelmstrasse at half-past ten to-night, and we can have a talk. Meantime you might like to hear the debate."

And he called to an official to take me into the Chamber, shook hands again, and away he went. I heard his speech, marvelled at the sight of a Parliamentary chief in full military uniform; marvelled at the tone of authority, which also was {179} military; marvelled again at the brevity and directness of the orator who took no thought of rhetoric and hardly cared to convince, but rather to command. It was the oratory of the master of many legends. True, the four years' conflict between him and the Prussian Parliament was over, but true also that on both Parliament and Minister that conflict had left a mark. In his voice there was still a challenge, and in the silence of the Chamber still something sullen. He had won. They had lost in a struggle upon which, as Herr Loewe told me, they ought never to have entered; would never have entered had they known. Loewe and his party of so-called Liberals confessed themselves not only beaten but wholly in the wrong.

At half-past ten I rang at the outer door—which was more like a gate—of the palace in the Wilhelmstrasse. It was opened by a soldier who asked my name, and when he heard it told me I was expected and asked me to follow him. I was taken upstairs to a large empty room on the first floor. In a moment out came Count Bismarck's famous adlatus, Herr Lothar Bücher. The Count was engaged with the Minister of War but if I could wait would see me presently. I waited ten minutes. Again the door to the left opened, and forth came Von Roon, the mighty organizer of war, himself of course a soldier since in Prussia everybody who counted in affairs of State was a soldier, and still is. You had need to visit Berlin in those warlike days to understand {180} what was meant by the phrase that Prussia was a camp. Then you had need to visit it again in time of peace to understand that whether in peace or war Prussia was still a camp, and as much in peace as in war. What it is now I cannot say. I have not been in Berlin these last fifteen years, but between 1866 and 1893 I was there many times, and every time it was a camp. The garrison of Berlin and Potsdam was never, I think, less than 40,000 men. The streets of Berlin were always thronged with officers, and on the broad sidewalks of the Unter den Linden or the Friedrichstrasse there was scarce room for anybody else. The youngest lieutenant wanted all of it to himself. To each other these officers were civility itself but the civilian had no rights they were bound to respect.

I had already seen something of this all-pervading military spirit and military supremacy, and sat reflecting on it in this great salon where I waited for Count Bismarck to be at leisure. When Herr von Roon came out he recognized me, I suppose, as a stranger, and, civilian though I was, gave me the greeting he thought due to Count Bismarck's guest, which I returned. There was almost a halt as he strode past; his face was turned to me, and I could read in it the stern record of a long conflict; of vast responsibilities and years of unceasing toil; a rugged face enough but the light of victory in his eye. He, too, had fought and won. Curiously enough, among the men I met at that time in Berlin, the man who, {181} Bismarck excepted, seemed to have most of the statesman in him, with the statesman's civic virtues and traits, was this Minister of War. Not because he was Minister in the sense in which an English Secretary of State for War is Minister. The English War Minister is never a soldier; he is a Parliamentary chief, and his authority over the army denotes the supremacy of Parliament over the whole military hierarchy from commander-in-chief down to the drummer boy.

But of Parliamentary supremacy there had been for these last four years in Prussia none whatever. The Minister of War was not responsible to Parliament; he never has been; he is not now. He was then responsible to the King of Prussia, as he is now to the German Emperor. When, in May, 1863, the Chamber protested to the King that the attitude of the Ministry to Parliament was arbitrary and unconstitutional (as it was), the King made answer that the Ministry possessed his confidence, and sent the Parliament about its business. That is, he prorogued Parliament, announced that he would govern for the present without a Parliament; and as matters did not mend and the Chamber again in December refused to vote a war budget, the King dissolved it. Parliamentary government existed at that time in Prussia under the constitution, but in name only.

These reflections were cut short by the reopening of the door, and Count Bismarck entered. {182} Still in uniform, nor did I ever see him except in uniform, whether in public or private, till I visited him in his home at Friedrichsruh in 1893, where he wore a black frock-coat and black trousers, crowned, when he went out, by a soft, broad-brimmed grey felt hat, quite shapeless. He had, more than any man I ever met, the manner of the grand seigneur, in which distinction of bearing and a grave, even gentle, courtesy went together. He was sorry, he said, to have kept me waiting, "but the business of the State, you know, comes first, and though one crisis is over another succeeds, and we know not yet what the end is to be." This I understood to refer not to Austria, for the Treaty of Prague had been signed in August, but to France, where the Emperor was brooding over his lost prestige and lost hold on Southern Germany, and was meditating demands which might compensate him for the loss of the power of meddling with matters which were none of his business.

As he said this we walked into his private room, or cabinet, the very centre of the spider's web; a comfortable, plain, workmanlike little room; a writing-desk the chief piece of furniture, large enough to fill the whole of the further corner; a sideboard opposite, a small table with ash trays, a few chairs, and that was all. The curtains were drawn; the room, German fashion, seemed a trifle close, and as if old Frederick William's Tobacco Parliament had been held here all these last hundred and fifty years or more. There was a rug in the centre which had to do duty for {183} the carpet which in Germany, as elsewhere on the Continent, never covers the whole floor.

As we were sitting down, the Count behind his desk, a door opened, opposite to the one by which we had entered, and there appeared a lady whom I had never seen; the Countess Bismarck. When she saw me she said to her husband:

"You have not been in bed for three nights. I hope you don't mean to sit up again."

Of course I rose, saying, "At any rate, he shall not sit up for me." But the Count laughed, came out from behind his desk, took me by the shoulders, thrust me down into the chair again, all with an air of kindly authority not easy to describe, and said:

"Sit where you are. I want to talk to you."

As I thought it over afterward I supposed Count Bismarck had some object in mind other than the pleasure of my conversation. He knew that I was the representative of The Tribune; my letter to him had stated that. He knew what the position and power of The Tribune were, and especially of its influence with the Germans in America. And it seemed to me that, in view of the relations between the Germans at home and the Germans beyond the seas, he thought it might be worth while that his view of the situation should be put before the Germans in America, and before the Americans also, in an authentic though not an authoritative way. Count Bismarck did not say that. It was my conjecture, {184} upon which I acted to a certain extent as I will explain more fully by and by.

Countess Bismarck looked on at this performance which she plainly did not like, but presently smiled and said to her husband: "Well, if you will sit up you must have something to drink," went to the sideboard, mixed a brandy and soda, took it to him, put the glass to his lips, and stood by him to see that he drank the whole, which he did with no visible reluctance. He handed the empty tumbler to his wife and thanked her. She put her arm about him, kissed him, looked at me reproachfully but amiably, and vanished. A truly domestic, truly German, altogether charming little scene.

Many years later, after Count Bismarck had become Prince Bismarck and a greater figure in Germany than the world had seen, I met Princess Bismarck again at a dinner in Homburg given by Mr. William Walter Phelps, American Minister at Berlin. Mr. Phelps had long been a friend of the Bismarck family and on easy terms with the head of that family, who liked and respected him. It was a case of sympathy between opposites. No contrast could be more complete than the contrast between Prince Bismarck and Mr. Phelps; but their relations were, as so often happens, all the more friendly for that reason. I was presented to the Princess, and after dinner inquired whether she remembered this midnight incident in the Wilhelmstrasse. She asked me to describe it, and I told her what had happened. She had wholly {185} forgotten it. I asked her if I might some day narrate the story. "I don't see why you shouldn't," she answered. Years after that I again saw the Princess at Friedrichsruh, and she asked whether I had ever repeated my tale. I said no, but that I still meant to avail myself of her permission, as I now do.

The Princess thought, I imagine, she would like to see the Prince portrayed in this intimate way and in this relation to his wife. Her life had always been lived in and for his. She knew well what the world thought; to the world he was always the Iron Chancellor. But in private life he was the affectionate loyal husband to whom one woman had devoted all she had—all her love, truth, worship—an adoration which perhaps not many men have deserved or received from any woman.

There is much in Bismarck's Love Letters—which are hardly love letters—about his wife and much in other Bismarck books, notably in Sidney Whitman's Personal Reminiscences, the best of them all. The Princess will ever live as an amiable figure, and if she had not been that would still live as the wife of the one great German of his time; as the woman who had known how to captivate a fancy once supposed to be wayward, and to make it and him her own. The quality which distinguished her was sweetness or nature, which she never lost during a life harassed by many solicitudes and vexed by illness.



{186}

II

The Countess von Bismarck having departed out of the little room, the King's Minister plunged at once into his subject, which was nothing less than the history of the last four years during which he had ruled over Prussia. Much of what he said I repeated in The Tribune no very long time after. All that he said, or all that I could remember, I put down in writing that night before I slept. It contained, however, so much that obviously was not meant for print and could never be printed that, after using as much as I thought could properly be published, I destroyed my manuscript. I had said to Count Bismarck as I left that he knew he had been talking to a journalist and yet had said many things he could not wish made known to the public. He laughed and answered: "Well, it is your business to distinguish."

It is, therefore, still my business to distinguish. I may perhaps say a little more than I could while both the Emperor and the Prince were alive, but not much. For, in truth, I have never quite understood why confidences cease to be confidences because those who imparted them or those whom they concern are dead. A man who quits this world leaves his reputation, if he has any, behind him. Indiscretions may affect his memory as they might have affected his living fame. In this case they would exalt Count Bismarck's fame; but it might be at the expense of others whom he had {187} no desire to belittle. So I keep for the most part to generalities.

Of the King he spoke with astonishing freedom, yet never a word to injure the sovereign whom he served. I will quote once more a sentence I have repeated before now:

"You are a Republican, and you cannot fully understand the loyalty I cherish to a King to whose ancestors my ancestors have been loyal for hundreds of years."

Yet it comes to this—and of this truth History has long since taken account—that between Count Bismarck and his august master there was a long-continuing conflict. If the King had won there would have been no Austro-Prussian War, nor any Franco-German War, nor any German Confederation, nor any Germany as we know Germany to-day. When, therefore, the present German Emperor puts forward his grandfather as the author of these changes, he is making for his grandfather a false claim. While he was still Prince William of Prussia he said:

"Whenever I hear a great event in my grandfather's reign discussed I never hear his name mentioned, but always Bismarck's. When I come to the throne it is my name you will hear as the author of the policies and deeds of my reign."

William the Second has kept that pledge, but that is no reason why he should try to rewrite the history of his grandfather's time or to rob Prince Bismarck of the renown which belongs to him and {188} which the world awards him. Powerful as he is, he is not powerful enough for that.

This is a digression, but it will serve to bring out the main fact that there was a contest between the King and Bismarck in 1866, and that not the King but Bismarck came out triumphant. In the long war with Parliament the King and his Minister were together, and the King was as loyal to his Minister as the Minister was to the King. But when the critical moment came it still has to be said that Bismarck's was the seeing eye and the deciding voice, and his, not the King's, was the directing mind.

Over the heads of the Parliament and people of Prussia, and against the wish of the King, who only at the last moment and by one last argument had been persuaded to consent, did Bismarck pursue his way.

"It was not," said Bismarck, "till I had convinced the King that his honour as a soldier was involved that he would agree to the war with Austria. No political argument moved him. The vision of a united Germany with himself at the head of a German Confederation did not dazzle him.

"'Austria is my brother,' he said; 'the war would be fratricidal. The Emperor and I are bound together by many ties, by many interests; above all by affection and by loyalty. I should think it treacherous to attack a sovereign who has given me many proofs of good-will and to I have given pledges. Nothing will induce to do it.'"

{189}

"Yet," continued Bismarck, "he had allowed me to take step after step, each one of which led inevitably to war. In the long conflict with the Parliament he was with me. Only by his support was that conflict maintained or victory possible. No money was voted for four years. We laid hands on the public revenues, but the Government had to be carried on in part by money supplied out of that Royal Treasure Fund which for generations the Kings of Prussia have hoarded for kingly purposes. The preparations for war were nourished from the same source. The war with Denmark was paid for to a certain extent out of the same royal purse. The Landtag never assented to the Schleswig-Holstein enterprise nor would vote a solitary thaler to carry it on. Before that, when I became Minister, in September, 1862, my first act was to announce to the Chamber that I proposed to govern without a budget. The Chamber protested against that as unconstitutional, which of course it was. Six months later the Chamber invited the King to dismiss his Ministers. He replied that his Ministers had his confidence, and a week later instead of dismissing us announced that he proposed to govern without a Parliament.

"All this time I was preparing for war with Austria after Denmark. The King must have known what it all meant, but he did not stay his hand nor withdraw his confidence from us. After the peace with Denmark there was no longer any reason for military preparations except Austria. {190} But the King still allowed me to go on. In January, 1865, the Parliament again rejected the public budget. The King rejoined by seizing on the public revenues in the name of the State. The public knew nothing of what I had in mind. The Parliament knew nothing. If it had been possible to take Parliament into my confidence the budget would have been voted. The Liberals have admitted that. But to take Parliament into my confidence would have been to take Austria into my confidence. It could not be. It was necessary to strike suddenly; to strike before Austria could assemble her reserves, or take advantage of her immense resources, or bring into line all the discordant races of that great Empire.

"How much did I tell the King? Well, as much as was necessary for the time being. The great struggle with His Majesty was put off till the moment of conflict was near; till it was necessary to throw off the mask. Besides, you must consider that I had to deal not only with the King but with the various Court influences which surrounded him. They were almost all hostile to me. Many of them were very powerful with the King. I might spend six weeks in coaxing him to assent to a particular measure. When he had promised, in would come some Grand Duchess and in half an hour undo my six weeks' work."

I interrupt the flow of this speech to remark that, long after this, Prince Bismarck repeated to the same complaint about grand ducal interventions. They never ceased. They were never {191} relaxed. There was no conciliating these great personages. They had policies and purposes of their own, which were never those of Germany but always of some German principality with which their personal interests were bound up. There is nothing so selfish as a second-class Royalty; a Serenity with a dukedom which a pocket-handkerchief would cover.

Bismarck continued:

"In the end Austria played my game for me. She demanded in April, 1866, the demobilization of the Prussian forces, which had begun to put themselves on a war footing in March. Then I knew the Lord had delivered her into our hands. I laid the demand before the King, saying: 'I do not know whether Your Majesty is prepared to surrender the command of your army to your brother of Austria.' He took fire at once. Then it was that he felt his honour as a soldier was attacked. From that moment the difficulty was to restrain him. We were not quite ready. It would have been dangerous to declare war at once. It was dangerous, perhaps, to let the moment of the King's anger pass, lest counsels of peace should again prevail. But one risk or the other had to be taken, and I chose the latter. Two months later, June 18th, war was declared, and the King issued a manifesto to his people which was everything that could be wished. All the rest was in the hands of the God of Battles."

Then a pause and a piercing glance, then on he went:

{192}

"After Königgrätz there were the same difficulties. The King could not at first understand why this career of victory was to be interrupted. He was King no longer. He was Field Marshal, commanding the forces of Prussia. He had won a great battle. The power of Austria was broken. Vienna lay at his mercy. Germany was waiting to know whether Austria or Prussia was to be her future master—well, no, not master, but which of the two was to be the chief State in Germany and the true leader of the German people. What other sign of supremacy could be so visible, so convincing, as the Prussian armies in Vienna, Prussian troops encamped in the Prater, the Danube bridled and bridged by us Prussians? When an enemy's capital lay at the victor's mercy, why should he not enter it? What great soldier ever refrained?

"Thus," said Bismarck, "spoke the King. I ventured to remind His Majesty of his reluctance to make war on the Emperor of Austria, and to ask whether, now that he was vanquished, he wished him to be humiliated also. That seemed to touch him. We talked long. He was surrounded by generals and princes who urged him on, but in the end he came round to my view which had been his own view before the war. So here we are in Berlin and not in Vienna, and please God we shall all be friends again, and some day there will be one Germany and not two, or twenty, or fifty, as in times past and to-day. The fruits of our triumph are yet to gather."

{193}

Twice during this discourse I had risen to go, but Bismarck said: "No, I have not finished." The third time, it was long past one o'clock, and I said: "If I don't go now Countess Bismarck will never let me see you again." This amused him, and he remarked: "I suppose you think I am getting sleepy!" But sleepy he was not. He had talked for near two hours with unquenchable energy and freshness, and with a force of speech in which no man was his rival.




{194}

CHAPTER XXI

AMERICAN DIPLOMACY IN ENGLAND

I

The Ministers and Ambassadors who have represented the United States in England have an interest individually and as a body. So long a line of men, mostly distinguished, is almost a dynasty. Some of them are totally forgotten. Some are remembered faintly. Some have left a lasting impression. I have known a round dozen of them. The public memory is short. If I say that to Mr. Charles Francis Adams it was permitted to do a greater service to his country abroad than to any American since Franklin—or since his grandfather, John Adams, who might perhaps as a diplomatist be ranked above Franklin—if I say this, there are Americans to whom it will seem doubtful. But since Adams's greater service consisted in a just menace of war to England if she let loose the Alexandra, the current histories, written in days when every act of hostility to England was applauded, right or wrong, have done him justice. He was right, a thousand times right, and we cannot remember it too often.

{195}

But what Americans ought also to remember is this, that when Mr. Adams flung his glove in Lord Russell's face it was done neither from temper nor impulse. It was the considered act of a Minister who had weighed all the chances, who had made up his mind that open war was better than covert hostility, and that it belonged to him to accept the responsibility. Whether Mr. Seward would have backed up his Minister may be a question, had the Minister's "This means war" been met by Lord Russell with "Then war it is." But the British Government knew—even Lord Palmerston knew—they were in the wrong; and they gave way. But they gave way only because Mr. Adams had put the alternative of war before them. It was very far from being his only service or his only triumph, but it was the greatest of all.

It is not too much to say that the diplomatic fortunes of the United States were in the hands of the American Minister to Great Britain from 1861 to 1863; and, indeed, to the end of the Civil War. A weak man, or an incompetent Minister, would have brought us to the dust. Adams, of course, was neither. He was a match for anybody in his business as Minister. He had the intellectual qualities and he had the personal qualities. Moreover, he was an Adams. He belonged to the governing classes, to one of the few great American families in whom the traditions and gifts of government are hereditary. The philosopher who divided the population of Massachusetts into {196} men, women, and Adamses made a strictly scientific distribution. The Adamses were of that minority which, under one name or another and in all countries alike, governs. It governs none the less when it sees fit to allow the democracy to believe itself all-powerful than when it takes command as an aristocracy.

I knew Mr. Adams. Mr. R. H. Dana, Jr., who smoothed so many paths for me, gave me a letter to him. This was in 1867. The days of tumult and conflict were over. His great work was done, but he remained Minister till 1868. The legation was then in Portland Place. Mr. Moran was Secretary of Legation; an excellent official whose service in that position in London lasted seventeen years, and was finally rewarded by promotion to Lisbon as Minister. He was a good watchdog. A secretary, of whatever rank, has to be that. Like Horatius, he has to keep the bridge, albeit, against his own countrymen. They are the Volscians. When I asked to see Mr. Adams Mr. Moran very properly wished to know why, and when I produced Mr. Dana's letter Mr. Moran seemed to think it was addressed to him, and not till I had explained that it was Mr. Dana's, who was Mr. Adams's friend, and that I had no other business than to present this letter, did Mr. Moran's vigilance relax. We became friends afterwards.

When I saw the Minister he departed a little from his official manner, greeted me kindly, and said: "You have brought me a very strong letter. What can I do for you?" When I thanked him {197} and said I wanted nothing, he relaxed a little further, laughed a little, and observed that most of his countrymen who called at the legation had an object. He talked with a singular precision; his was a mind of precision, like the modern rifle, equally good at short range and long if you adjust the sights. But good as was his talk, what impressed you most was the silent power of the man; the force in reserve, the solidity and the delicate temper of the metal.

I dwell a moment on the relations between travelling Americans and their legation or embassy—which to the untravelled may seem unimportant—because, now as much as ever and perhaps more than ever, the duties of a Minister, of an Ambassador, of the embassy, are so often misunderstood by that portion of the public from America which is intent on immediate admission to Buckingham Palace. I have known many secretaries since Mr. Moran's time. They have been, as a rule, willing and competent, really desirous to be of service to their countrymen.

There is no other embassy than the American on which such demands are made as on ours in London and in Paris, and to some extent in other capitals. These demands are addressed first of all to the Ambassador or Ambassadress. I will take a single instance. There is each year a large number of Americans who desire to be presented at Court, and who think it the duty of the Ambassador to arrange for their presentation. Many of these applications are sent by {198} letter well in advance of their coming. There are hundreds of such applications—literally hundreds; four or five hundred this year from American ladies who thought themselves, and were, worthy to appear before the King and Queen at one of the three Courts presently to be held. The number of presentations which the Ambassadress is entitled to make at each of the three Courts is four. That is a rule, an ordinance of the King who has the sole authority in such matters. Sometimes, in some special case, upon reason assigned, the rule is relaxed and a presentation may be made outside of it. But all such requests are rigidly scrutinized and the margin is very narrow. The exceptions are units.

In these circumstances, with four hundred candidates for four presentations, what is an unhappy Ambassadress to do? The American, used to the easy ways prevailing at the White House, supposes they must be equally easy at Buckingham Palace; or that, upon a word from the American Ambassador, in these days of pleasant Anglo-American relations, all doors will fly open. If they do not, each one of the four hundred regards hers, as a case for exceptional favour. She has come three thousand or four or six thousand miles in order to lend the distinction of her republican presence to these royal functions. What is an Ambassador for if not to give effect to these good intentions? The Lord Chamberlain stands at the door with a drawn sword, but is an American Ambassador to be intimidated by a mere officer of the Royal {199} Household? It is in vain to answer that even a King has a right to say whom he can receive and whom he cannot. Le charbonnier est maître chez soi, but not, they think, the King of England.

The perplexities arising out of this American eagerness to witness these royal splendours are innumerable. The resentment arising out of inevitable refusals is a burden which every Ambassador has to bear; and every secretary too. Grievances are of many kinds. It is not so many years since an American Minister was asked by cable—almost ordered—by a distinguished fellow-countryman to engage lodgings for him in London. It is not many more since an eminent statesman, arriving after Levees and Drawing-rooms were over, desired a secretary to arrange that he and his family should take tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle.

These are cases occurring not in musical comedy but in actual life. There are others, relating not to royalty but to society, and to various forms of English life. But it is already only too evident that the diplomatic duties of an Ambassador are not his only anxieties. The others, so far as I know anything about them, have always been borne cheerfully. Everything has been done for the American in London that could be done. He is taken care of to an extent that the Briton abroad never is, nor ever expects to be. But to all human effort there is a limit.



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II

MR. JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY

Since Mr. Adams's retirement in 1868 we have had three Ambassadors whose ability as diplomatists entitles them to places in the front rank. If you take account of other kinds of ability and of Ministers, there are more than three. Mr. Motley was a brilliant historian whose "Rise of the Dutch Republic" and "History of the United Netherlands" gave him a lasting European reputation and added distinction to American literature. But neither his six years of service as Minister to Austria, 1861-7, nor his year and a half in England, 1869-70, proved him a great diplomatist.

Austria was not then, and is not now, of the first importance from an American point of view. We respect her wise old Emperor. We do not, I think, agree with Mr. Gladstone in saying you can nowhere put your finger on the map and say, "Here Austrian rule has been beneficent." She never was a model to us and is not now. But since we like courage, and clear-sighted decision, and the recognition of facts, and like the men who have these gifts, we have not joined very heartily in the European outcry against the Austrian annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are a world-power for certain purposes only. We stand aloof from purely European complications. They are, as a rule, no affair of ours. We learned to our cost, or possibly our mortification, not very {201} long ago, that Austria, "effete" or not, was capable of giving us a lesson in diplomacy; or, at least, in diplomatic etiquette; by which we, or our late President, may or may not have profited.

Mr. Motley, though he wrote excellent dispatches and made no diplomatic or social mistakes in that difficult Austrian capital, had not the smooth temper or the patient arts which are essential to success at critical moments. He was impetuous, explosive, rhetorical; prone to interpret his instructions in the light of his own wishes or convictions. Socially he was a force, even in Vienna, because of his personal charm, his distinction of appearance and of manner. Socially speaking, he was an aristocrat. He was the first American Minister in London to establish himself in a house suitable to the dignity of the post, Lord Yarborough's, in Arlington Street. He was known to be Count Bismarck's friend. That of itself gave him a kind of celebrity, for Count Bismarck was then a comparatively unfamiliar personage in England, where the outlook of the average man on the Continental horizon is not wide.

One of the first questions Count Bismarck asked me when I first talked with him in the Wilhelmstrasse in 1866 was whether I knew Motley.

"Yes."

"Are you going to Vienna?"

"Yes."

"Then of course you will see Motley. Be sure you give him a message from me—a warm message. I have never forgotten our university days {202} together at Göttingen; our friendship. He knows that, but tell him again. And tell him I hope to see him in Berlin before he goes home."

As he spoke, there came into the eyes of the Iron Chancellor a look I had not seen before. The steel-blue softened into the blue of the skies; after rain, as the Chinese say. His friendship for Motley was an affectionate friendship. Later, I talked with Motley about Bismarck and of course delivered my message.

"Yes," said Motley, "we were boys together at Göttingen. His was a different life from mine. I dare say you have heard the stories about young Bismarck's exploits. In those matters he was like most students of his time and of his class. The Prussian Junker is a being by himself. But we became friends, and friends we have remained. We don't meet often, but the friendship has never died out nor decayed."

Another thing made Motley far otherwise popular in England; his passionate Americanism. Mr. Price Collier is of opinion that Englishmen do not like Americans. I do not agree with Mr. Collier, but, whether they do or not, they like an American to be an American. They liked Mr. Motley because his patriotism burst forth in all companies and at all times. It made him, or tended to make him, reluctant to compromise on any question where the interests of his country were concerned. But compromise is of the essence of diplomacy; most of all as between the greatest Powers of the World. If nobody ever yielded {203} anything, negotiations could end only in surrender or in war; the two things which it is the business of diplomacy to avoid. Nothing Motley ever did in diplomacy was of such service to his country as his two letters to The Times, early in the Civil War, and his memorable outburst in the Athenæum Club. To write the letters he violated the unwritten law of diplomacy, for he was then Minister to Austria. To make the Athenæum speech—for it was nothing less—he departed from the other unwritten law which makes a club neutral ground, and makes anything like an oration impossible.

But Motley had among other qualities the quality of courage. His invective in the Athenæum against the very classes among whose representatives he stood was magnificent, and it came very near being war, or a declaration of war. He would keep no terms with the men who were enemies of his country in such a crisis as that. If it had been anybody but Motley who thundered against the ignorance and prejudice of the Confederate allies who then gave the tone to English society, I imagine the Committee of the Club might have taken notice. But Motley fascinated while he rebuked. When he had done denouncing them as renegades to English ideas and enemies to liberty, they liked him the better. I can think of no incident so like this as Plimsoll's defiance of the House of Commons, when he rushed into the middle of the floor and charged his fellow-members with sacrificing the lives of English {204} sailors to the cupidity of English ship-owners, and so compelled the House to adopt the load-line.

History has taken note of Plimsoll's exploit. Motley's may never appear in pages which aim at historical dignity. But to this day, when near half a century has passed, Motley's is still remembered; still spoken of; still admired. There are men living who heard him. The English do not entirely like being reminded of their mistakes about us at that period, but they bear no malice against the man whose admonition did much to bring them to their senses. On the contrary, through all these forty-odd years, you might have heard Motley spoken of with admiring good-will.

Before all things, he loved his own country. Next to his own country, longo intervallo, he loved England, and it may be doubted whether we have ever sent a Minister, or anybody else to England whom the English themselves have loved as they loved Motley. His deep blue eyes shine starlike across all that interval of years. He carried his head high. His stature was well above the usual stature of men. In all companies he was conspicuous for beauty and for his bearing. And from the confusion and forgetfulness of that crowded period he still emerges, a living force, a brilliant memory; an American, as Dean Stanley said of him, "in whom the aspirations of America and the ancient culture of Europe were united."

There is supposed to be still a mystery about his recall by President Grant. But it is an open-air {205} mystery. Grant struck at Sumner through Motley. Any weapon was thought good enough to beat Sumner with. Motley was his friend, Sumner had made him Minister. It was deemed possible to humiliate Sumner and to teach him a lesson. The interests of the country were not allowed to stand in the way of this high purpose, and so Motley went. Or rather, he did not go. Asked to resign in July, 1870, he disregarded that request. Grant hesitated; or perhaps Mr. Fish, then Secretary of State, hesitated. But in November of the same year, Motley was recalled; an act without precedent and happily never repeated. No charges were made. There were none to make. Motley's diplomatic record, his personal character, were spotless. The childish scandal started at Vienna never had a rag of evidence to support it; nor anything behind it but anonymous personal animosity. His departure from England left no stain upon anybody except upon President Grant, and upon such officers and Ministers of his as stooped to be the instruments of his ill-will.



III

TWO MINISTERS AND TWO AMBASSADORS

Mr. Lowell may be compared with Mr. Motley as an example of our American method of appointing Ministers who not only are not—for they could not be—trained diplomats, but whose character is essentially undiplomatic. Mr. Motley was, however, so much more a man of the world {206} than Mr. Lowell that they cannot be bracketed. There is a similarity but no identity. Until Lowell came to London he was a recluse. Motley had never been that. Lowell had been a professor in Harvard University. Motley, though a student and historian, was not what the English call "Donnish," whereas Lowell had often the air of lecturing the company, as if a company of pupils. Delightful as his talk was, the touch of the pedagogue was there. Indeed, it may be doubted whether life in a university, which is a world by itself, is ever a good training for diplomacy. An Ambassador ought to be a man of the world—it is perhaps the first and highest of his qualifications—but not a man of a world. A thorough knowledge of the Greek aorist or of the proceedings of Antigonus in Asia Minor is not needed in the conduct of delicate negotiations; nor did Lowell find his familiarity with Spanish literature of much use at the Foreign Office, or in that larger foreign office known as English Society.

Society was to Lowell in the beginning of his English experiences a stumbling-block; and to the end he only too often made a misstep. He was liked all the same. The English are a people who can make allowances, nor do they expect a non-Englishman to be cast in an English mould. They recognized his positive merits. They did not dwell on what they thought defects. I suppose I have before now told what I always thought a characteristic saying of an English host, as Lowell drove away from his door:

{207}

"I need not tell you how much I like Lowell and how delighted I am to have him here as often as he will come. But from the moment he enters my house till he is gone I am in a panic."

The panic into which this genial host fell was due to Lowell's fighting spirit; surely not the spirit of a diplomatist. To that and to a passion for accuracy which he allowed to become pedantic and aggressive. He left behind him a path strewn with victims; a renown for brilliancy; a just repute for many amiable and delightful traits. But the qualities essential to a Minister were not among them.

Mr. E. J. Phelps, who came after him, was a lawyer, and a lawyer may perhaps be expected to be more combative than a professor; but it was not so. Mr. Phelps took Mr. Lowell's house in Lowndes Square; a respectable dwelling in a very good square, but by no means an ideal legation. When Mr. Phelps became its tenant the atmosphere changed; the climate was a softer climate. The amelioration was due, in part, to Mrs. Phelps, who was beloved. Mrs. Lowell had been an invalid. Her husband used to say: "My wife has no acquaintance and I have no invention"—as an excuse for social shortcomings. But Mrs. Phelps knew a great many people and charmed those whom she knew.

It is doubtful whether an abler man than Mr. Phelps ever came from the United States to London as Minister. He was hailed at once as a brother by his brethren of the Bar; and they put {208} him on a level with their best. His simplicity of character, his humour, his truthfulness, were evident to everybody. Intellectually he was anybody's equal. As Minister he had, like all his predecessors, his trade to learn. But he soon learned what was essential; learned diplomacy as if it were a new cause he had to master for a great trial. His mind was judicial. He ought to have been Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

With the promise of a nomination to that great post in his pocket, he went home; but he returned. The will of Mr. Pat Collins, of Boston—hating Phelps because he would not, as Minister, be the instrument of Irish ill-will to England—had proved stronger than the will or the word of the President. Mr. Cleveland's surrender, no doubt under strong political pressure, deprived us of Mr. Phelps's services as Chief Justice and he became a law lecturer at Yale. He was a jurist who would have adorned either place. He was also an orator who leaped into fame by a single speech, at the farewell dinner given him in London; although, indeed, his speech at a dinner of welcome on his arrival was scarcely less felicitous. "A masterpiece of oratory dignified, eloquent, and pathetic," said Lord Rosebery, a judge of oratory if there be one.

We have sent to England so many different kinds of Ministers and Ambassadors that they must be praised—and, happily, most of them can be praised—with discrimination, and also with brevity, for I cannot go on for ever writing on a {209} single topic. I pass to Mr. Hay. The mansion Mr. Hay leased in Carlton House Terrace was, like all those on the south side of that short street looking on St. James's Park, adequate and even imposing. It was like unto the larger one on the corner, formerly Lord Ardilaun's, now Lord Ridley's. When Mr. Blaine entered it one evening at a concert he said to the friend who was with him: "This is the first really palatial house to which you have brought me." Not a palace, but palatial.

Mr. Hay knew as well as any American then living, or better, what a part social influences could be made to play in diplomatic life. He played that part with distinction. He was born for it. He had cultivated his natural gifts in half a dozen European capitals. He had such a knowledge of England and the English people that it has always seemed a pity he did not write a book about them. But he left a record as Ambassador which tells the story. He was a man who carried his point without a collision. He loved England and was beloved. When President McKinley sent for him to come home and be Secretary of State Hay said: "I am a soldier and must obey orders. But all my fun in life is over."

As it turned out it was not over. A still greater career opened before him, and he was the first American Secretary of State to make an imaginative use of his opportunities, and a great name in Europe and Asia alike. He was the first American Secretary of State to take the lead in a {210} world-embracing policy; to unite the European Powers in support of it; to extract a binding pledge even from Russia; to bring Japan, not very willingly, into this charmed circle; and to lay the foundations of American influence in China broad and deep. We often talk of America as a world-power. We have a right to, and whatever be the more recent, and perhaps in some cases rather doubtful, extensions of our authority, we owe what is best and most lasting in our position abroad to Hay.

None of all this could Hay foresee when he quitted London for Washington. What he knew was that he was relinquishing a place for which he had proved his fitness, and embarking upon the unknown. This sorrow at leaving England was genuine, and the sorrow of his English friends, and—if ever there be such a thing as a general sorrow—of the English public, was not less.

The late Queen said of Hay: "He is the most interesting of all the Ambassadors I have known." If the authority for this is wanted, it was said by the Queen to Lord Pauncefote, then British Ambassador to the United States; and Lord Pauncefote repeated it to me, with leave to repeat it to others, as I now do; by no means for the first time.

To Mr. Hay succeeded Mr. Choate. I hope it will be taken as a compliment if I say Mr. Choate was better liked the longer he stayed. He had, when he arrived, a frankness of speech which is sometimes called American; and is, no doubt, characteristic of certain individual Americans. {211} There is in Mr. Henry James's Bostonians an American banker settled in England to whom his son, provoked by a remark of the father to a noble lord who was his guest, observes:

"Well, father, you have lived here a long time, and you have learned some of the things they say, but you haven't learnt the things they don't say."

It is inevitable. In new social circumstances, time is of the essence. It is no reproach to Mr. Choate that he found it so. He had, and has, an exuberant wit; one somewhat contemptuous of conventions and established forms. He poured it out in floods. He gave free scope to its caprices. When it had become chastened by experience, the English delighted in it; as we Americans have long delighted in it. But time was needed on both sides. The English and Mr. Choate had to become accustomed to each other. In the end they did. A beautiful harmony grew up, and before Mr. Choate went home he was an accepted figure in the society which at first had sometimes a questioning spirit. He, too, lived as an Ambassador ought to live; and in Carlton House Terrace, like Mr. Hay. From the beginning the Foreign Office had found in him, in Bismarck's phrase, a man with whom it was possible to do business. For he had a kind of preternatural rapidity in mastering great affairs, and a marked skill in the composition of public addresses.




{212}

CHAPTER XXII

TWO UNACCREDITED AMBASSADORS

They were both from Boston. In the days when they first became known in England and began their work of conciliation as between England and the United States, Boston was still Boston, and New York had only begun to be New York. The latter statement may be challenged, but the very men who take most pride in the New York of to-day ought to be the first to accept it. For Manhattan was not then the magnet, as London has always been, which drew to itself whatever was best from other parts of the land. Boston was still the Athens of America. There were excellent names elsewhere and at least one man of genius who owed neither birth nor culture to Boston; but the capital of Massachusetts was none the less the literary capital of the United States. Emerson, Holmes, Lowell, Longfellow, Agassiz, R. H. Dana, Jr., were all living and all in the fulness of their powers. Theodore Parker, the greatest force in the American pulpit, was just dead. Chief Justice Shaw had been for thirty years the head of the judiciary of his own state and a revered authority throughout the Union. {213} Wendell Phillips had no rival as an orator. Harvard was the first of American colleges. The ideas of New England, which were the ideas of Boston, had spread and taken root, and new commonwealths in the West were nourished on them; nay, these ideas and these conceptions of law and social order were the foundation stones on which new States were built. No theologian had arisen to dim the fame—a great yet sombre fame—of Jonathan Edwards. Daniel Webster, "disappointed, defeated, slept by the solemn waves of the Atlantic," but you cannot think of Boston or of Massachusetts without him; nor did the disasters of his last years much lessen the homage paid him at death or his immense influence on the political thought of the whole country.

If the intellectual pre-eminence of Boston in those days was somewhat grudgingly admitted by New York, it was incontestable. New York presently redressed the balance, not so much by her own creative efforts as by drawing much of what there was best in Boston to the banks of the Hudson. I believe Mr. Howells's migration at a later period was thought to be the decisive sign; one of many. Commercial influences prevailed over the purer influences of literature. The publisher took command. But I apprehend that Mr. Howells did not forsake the Charles for the Hudson without many regrets. The atmosphere was not the same. Old Abernethy used to say: "If you live in the best air in the world, leave it and go to the second best." Unconsciously, {214} perhaps, Mr. Howells obeyed that medical prescription. He went to the second best.

Did he find a Tavern Club in New York? Over the noctes coenæque of that pleasant company in Boston Mr. Howells used to preside, with a genial charm all his own. It was so long ago that I may be forgiven if I remember in print one of those evenings which owed so much to his presiding genius. He spoke and was the cause of speaking in others. He had the tact which drew from others more than they supposed they had to give. He gently compelled the most reluctant of guests from their chairs. There was a brief eulogy on the victim. It was Mr. Howells's art to paint a portrait so vivid, albeit flattering, it needed no name to be recognized. "If," said he, "you were in any doubt of his identity, you will recognize him by the look of determined unconsciousness on his face."

I reckon it among the highest of Mr. Howells's many services that he has been at times an interpreter between England and America, and in more senses than one. There is a sense in which every American writer who reaches an English audience is an interpreter, or, better still, an Ambassador, the business of an Ambassador being to keep the peace. For when Lord Dufferin was complimented on his diplomatic fame he answered: "Ah, that is all a mistake. So long as we succeed you never hear of us. It is when we have failed that the world begins to know of our existence."

That, however, is a malàpropos anecdote, and {215} tells the other way; but in such papers as these there must be anecdotes. Mr. Howells was not a silent Ambassador, and he would not have been an Ambassador had he been silent. His books spoke for him. The English thought, and still think, that his writings had some qualities which it does not suit the parent stock to consider distinctively American. They liked the reserve, the simplicity, the continual though implicit reference to English literature. It was partly because of the homage he paid to the great masters that they presently came to accept him also as a master. They were quite aware that his homage was sometimes reluctant. When it went further and, as in his unlucky criticism of the greatest of English masters in fiction, became a caricature, they resented it but they bore no malice. How can you bear malice against a writer with so much sweetness of nature as Mr. Howells?

Besides, what he has written about England is sympathetic; and is thought sympathetic by the English. If it be also at times critical, the English accept the criticism as it is meant. Nothing is truer about them than their indifference to criticism. They regard Mr. Howells's essays as so many studies, and these studies as interpretative. What he has lately been writing of provincial towns is almost a revelation to the Londoner, who himself is sometimes called provincial, and does not mind.

Another Bostonian, Mr. Henry James, took a longer flight still; all the way from Boston to {216} London and so to Paris and Italy, in all of which he is equally at home. It was, I think, Colonel Higginson who, in his patriotic impatience of the expatriated American, winged a shaft at Mr. James, and at those who called him cosmopolitan. "In order to be truly cosmopolitan," said this eminent colonel, "a man ought to know something of his own country." To which Mr. James has lately made the best possible reply by a book on his own country which is an appreciation like no other of recent days. And I will say this, that if Colonel Higginson supposes an American or a Russian or a Japanese can win favour with the English by trying to be English he is profoundly mistaken. The English like an American to be an American. If he is a writer, they like his writings to be American.

Who are the American authors most popular in England? I will take the dead only. They are Hawthorne, Emerson, Lowell, Longfellow, Holmes, Dana, and Walt Whitman; others, perhaps, but if there are others they are all like these I have named, American to the finger-tips, American in thought, in language, in method; nay, if you like, in accent. That is why they are relished in England. I do not include Poe. He is better understood in France than in England; his genius is perhaps more Gallic than Saxon. So much so that when the American Ambassador delivered a discourse at the celebration in London of Poe's centennial, it was as if he had spoken on a topic remote from the minds of this English people. They read {217} him because he was American Ambassador, or because he was Mr. Whitelaw Reid, and for his graceful mastery of the topic and of the English language. But to them he seemed to be announcing a discovery.

When Mr. Henry James adopted his new manner—the manner in which all his books since The Awkward Age have been produced—his English readers turned away from him, or many of them did. The change coincided, or nearly so, with his change from pen and ink to dictation; a perilous experiment. But, whatever else may be said of it, Mr. James has gradually won back his English public. To them the matter is more than the manner, as in Mr. Meredith's case also. The American is now thought a more distinguished writer than before. I use the word distinguished as he uses it, meaning that he has more distinction as a writer and turns out more distinguished work. They are no longer repelled by his colloquialisms, by his Gallicisms, by his obscurities, by his involutions of structure, or by the labyrinthine length of his sentences. Through all these, they now perceive, pierces the true genius of the man. Therefore is he another Ambassador, another of those Americans who, from having become known abroad, have added lustre to the fame of their own country where, in European estimation, it most needs lustre, namely, in the domain of letters.

By the time the New Yorker of to-day has read thus far, if he has read, it may have become clear {218} to him how great a part of all the renown in literature we have abroad comes to us from Boston. All the American writers best known here and most read, Whitman excepted, are of Boston, or of the State of which Boston is, or was, the final expression. If another exception were to be made it would be Lincoln, whose greatest pieces of prose, and most of all the Gettysburg address, are well known to Englishmen who know anything of America. If what Dr. Jonson said in the preface to his dictionary, "The chief glory of every people arises from its authors," be true, then what do we Americans not owe to Boston? Supposing, that is, we care for the judgment of a foreign nation, which Browning declared to be like the judgment of posterity.

For some of these Bostonians London has a personal affection. Emerson is beloved. Lowell was an immense favourite; a favourite notwithstanding his combativeness in a society which prefers toleration to excursions on the warpath. Holmes during his visits here was idolized, and as the Autocrat of the Breakfast Table he is idolized, and quoted day in and day out. Of Longfellow's Poems in the pre-copyright days more copies were sold than of Tennyson, and when he was here the English thought him almost one of themselves. Dana's Two Years Before the Mast is the one story of the sea which, among many rivals, seems likely to be immortal in England, and is, meantime, the one which in circulation year after year far exceeds all others. And Dana was one of those {219} Americans on whom the English found an English birthmark.

There was a time when Mr. James and Mr. Howells used to be bracketed, as if they hunted in couples; which was not a discriminating view, though a popular view. It expressed itself in the jingle about "Howells and James Young Men," of which the music-hall was the proper home; and there it related to a firm in Regent Street, now extinct. But it was sung by the daughters of a house where Mr. James was a guest, and almost in his hearing, to the horror of its mistress. To all popularity there are penalties. But the popularity of Mr. James is perennial.




{220}

CHAPTER XXIII

SOME ACCOUNT OF A REVOLUTION IN INTERNATIONAL JOURNALISM

I

Returning to New York in the early autumn of 1866 and spending the winter in The Tribune office, I was again sent abroad the following year, this time under an agreement to remain till 1870. I was to go as the exponent of a new theory of American journalism in Europe, a theory based on the belief that the cable had altered all the conditions of international news gathering and that a new system had to be created. I had been long enough in London and on the Continent to be convinced that London must become the distributing centre of European news for America. I talked it over with Mr. Young on my return. Mr. Young had a mind open to new ideas and he was unusually quick in deciding. But this suggestion struck him at first as a proposal to impair the authority of the managing editorship. He thought, naturally, there ought to be but one executive head, and that a European manager, no matter how strictly subordinated to {221} his chief in New York, would, at such a distance, acquire too much independence. The proposal, moreover, was far-reaching and had no precedent; not that the want of a precedent troubled Mr. Young much. He had spent much of his time as managing editor of The Tribune in disregarding precedents and laying down laws of his own. But this scheme, he presently saw, would never have been thought of had not submarine telegraphy taken a practicable shape, nor would such a scheme have been of much practical use so long as news went by mail. Nor could it be tried till a great many details had been thought out.

Under the old system, each Tribune correspondent reported directly to New York. Had that system remained unaltered, the triumphs of American journalism in Europe would have been impossible. That all the European representatives of this paper should report to London instead of New York might seem no very great matter, but in truth it was vital. When it had once been decided to establish a Tribune office in London, a revolution had taken place. There was to be a responsible agent in charge. He was to organize a new administration. He was to appoint and dismiss other agents all over the Continent. He was—subject, of course, to orders from New York—to transmit news to New York.

He was to be the telephone between Europe and the managing editor in New York. But he was to relieve the New York office of its supervision over the European staff. What St. Petersburg {222} and Vienna, Berlin and Paris, had to say to New York was to be said through London. There would be an economy of time. Orders could be sent from London and results received much more quickly than from New York. In an emergency as was presently to be shown, the difference was enormous. The notion of the centrality of London, of its unity as a news bureau, was perfectly simple.

But it took years for that one simple notion to get itself completely accepted and acted upon. I will give one illustration. When the fatal days of July, 1870, were upon us I thought I saw a great opportunity. The Tribune alone had an organization in Europe competent for the work of supplying war news. But as I did not know how much news New York wanted, I cabled a question to the editor then temporarily in charge. The answer came back that I was to go to Berlin. It would have been a fatal step. I should have come under German military rule, and cabling from Berlin at that time and much later was a slow and uncertain business. Nor could the plans I had in mind have been carried out from Berlin. There would have been a censorship upon every dispatch, and censorship means not merely mutilation to suit a bureaucratic ideal, but delay. Berlin, moreover, was remote, while London is on the road to New York, and spite of the cable the delay from that cause also would have been injurious. In short, I disobeyed the New York order. I explained, of course, but I pointed out that an {223} unfettered discretion was essential to success, and I asked to be allowed a free hand or to be relieved. I was given the free hand.

These methods have since become so familiar that there is little need to explain them, but at that time they were not merely novel but were derided by journalists of great experience. Mr. James Gordon Bennett was one of those who scoffed at them, and presently was one of those who followed them and made a large use of them, greatly to his own profit and to that of the considerable news organization he controlled. But at first he said nothing would induce him to set up in London a rival office to New York. Now, every important journal in the United States has offices in London, and subsidiary offices in Paris and often in other European capitals. But the authority of New York or Chicago remains what it was.

The idea once accepted, somebody had then to be appointed to London. Mr. Young asked me to go. I declined. I liked leader-writing much better than news-collecting. I thought the power of influencing opinion through the editorial columns of The Tribune the most enviable of all powers. The London scheme, moreover, was an experiment and I did not think I had had enough experience with news to justify my undertaking so large a business. But Mr. Young pressed it, saying it was my scheme and I ought to put it in operation. He might, had he chosen, have issued an order and I should have had no choice but to obey or resign; {224} but that was not his way. He trusted to persuasion; he treated his subordinates as, for some purposes, his equals, and he did not care for unwilling service. He was a past master in the art of stating a case and in the use of personal influence. In the end he convinced me not only that I ought to go, but that I wanted to go, and I gave in, still with misgivings but not without a certain enthusiasm at the prospect of doing a new thing in journalism. It was like Young to say, as he did at parting: "Remember, I don't care about methods. You will use your own methods. What I want is results."

The incredulity with which The Tribune experiment was first received gave way slowly, but it gave way. I suppose it was the news service of The Tribune in the Franco-German War in 1870 which finally convinced the most sceptical. So I will pass to that, stopping only to explain one other matter.

It was in 1870 also that the first international newspaper alliance was formed. The papers which formed it were The Tribune of New York and The Daily News of London. I saw at the beginning that it was desirable to be in a position to know what news would go to New York through Reuter and The Associated Press. That knowledge was only to be had inside of a London newspaper office, and it was with that view chiefly that I first made a proposal to The Daily News. I suppose I chose that paper because I knew its editor and manager. I did not think it likely {225} that The Daily News service from the battlefields would, at first, add much to our own; nor did it. But I went to Mr.—afterward Sir John—Robinson with an offer to exchange news, whether by telegraph or mail, on equal terms; we to give them everything we had and they to do the like by us. The offer was very coldly received. Mr. Robinson could see no advantage to his paper from such an agreement. I told him what we were doing and intending to do. Still he was incredulous and he finally said No. I told him I did not mean that either paper should narrow its operations at the seat of war in expectation of help from the other, nor that either should credit the other with its news. It was to be a war partnership and each would put all its forces in the field. But he would not have it.

It was Mr. Frank Hill, then editor of The Daily News, who came to the rescue. The news department was none of his but he had an all-embracing intelligence, and when he heard what the offer was he pressed it upon his colleague and finally secured its acceptance. The credit for whatever benefit inured to The Daily News from this partnership was therefore due originally to Mr. Frank Hill and not to Mr. Robinson.

It remains true that Mr. Robinson was a very distinguished journalist and that his work at a later period of the war was of a high order. If he had done nothing but secure the services of Mr. Archibald Forbes he would have earned a lasting renown as manager. But before Forbes's {226} work had begun to tell, The Daily News, receiving and publishing The Tribune dispatches as its own—as it had an absolute right to do under our agreement—had won a great reputation for its war news. Sir John Robinson is dead but I published a statement on this subject while he was living, which was brought to his attention. I said then, as I say now, that The Daily News owed to The Tribune almost the whole of the war news by which its reputation was at first acquired. This period lasted down to the surrender of Metz; perhaps later. My statement was never disputed. It may still be found in Harper's Magazine, where the facts are set forth much more fully than here, and it was this article in Harper's which Sir John Robinson read. We had ceased to be on good terms. I forget why. He grumbled a little at the publication of the story, though without reason, but he attempted no denial and no denial was possible.

The matter was much discussed at the time in the American Press and there were many criticisms, based on an absolute ignorance of the real arrangement between the two papers. Further confusion grew out of the fact that one of The Tribune's war correspondents had a contract with The Pall Mall Gazette, then owned by Mr. George Smith and edited by Mr. Frederick Greenwood, one of the great journalists of his time. This contract left him free to deal with us but not with any London paper. It followed, therefore, that some of The Tribune dispatches appeared in The Daily {227} News and some in The Pall Mall Gazette. Our New York friends could not understand this tri-partite agreement; but then it was not necessary they should; and their comments were much more amusing than they would have been if they had known the truth. The mind moves with great freedom when unhampered by facts.



II

"American methods," said certain English journalists, seeking to account for The Tribune's successes in the Franco-German War. The phrase, whether meant as eulogy or criticism, was, at any rate, explanatory, for we had had four years of Civil War experience, from 1861 to 1865, while the English, unless we reckon the Indian Mutiny, had to go back to the Crimean War in 1854 for precedents in war correspondence. Moreover, the one great triumph of English journalism in the Crimea was not a triumph of method. It was a triumph due to the genius and courage of one man, Dr. Russell, who exposed through The Times the murderous mistakes of army organization and army administration, and so forced the War Office and the Horse Guards to set their houses in order. It was a great public service; perhaps the greatest which any journalist in the field ever performed. But it was not exactly journalism. It had little or nothing to do with that speed and accuracy in the collection and transmission of news which, after all, must be the {228} chief business of a correspondent. It has never been imitated. It never will be till another Russell appears to rescue another British army in another Crimea. That great exploit was not primarily journalistic but personal.

I do not suppose it occurred to any of the many able newspaper managers in London that in dealing with a European war they would find a rival in an American journal. They knew there was an Atlantic cable but probably thought, if they thought about it at all, that the cable tolls would be prohibitive, for, as we shall see in a moment, they had not yet grasped the idea that the telegraph is only a quicker post. Putting the question of cost aside, it does not matter how a piece of news or a dispatch or a letter is transmitted; whether by rail or by steamship or by wire. What matters is that it should get there. To-day this is a truism. Forty years ago it was a paradox; in Europe if not in America. There had been great achievements in the transmission of news long before the telegraph was invented. It may be doubted whether they were not, some of them, greater than those due to the telegraph. But so far as the use of the telegraph is concerned we are dealing with the beginnings. The year 1870 is a year of transition if not of revolution. I think we are entitled to remember with satisfaction that in telegraphic news enterprise, even in Europe, it was an American journal which led the way, and that The Tribune was that journal.

In forming their war plans the managers of {229} English journals, as I was saying, left American journals out of account. Perhaps they knew, in a dim kind of way, that The Tribune had an office in London. But the office had been there for three years and no other American journal had yet followed The Tribune's example. Important dispatches had been sent from this London office to the New York office by cable, but the London managers, if aware of the existence of the cable and of The Tribune office in London, had not co-ordinated these two pieces of knowledge. The area of all possible competition in war was news confined, in their view, to Fleet Street and Printing House Square.

They sat content, true Britons as they were, in their belief in their own supremacy; a supremacy often challenged, never overthrown. The Times was still The Times. The Morning Post was still a threepenny paper. The Daily Telegraph was still the organ of the small shopkeeper. The Daily News was the mouthpiece of Nonconformist Liberalism, with no great pretensions to any other sort of authority. The evening journalism was not supposed to be eager for news, except news of that peculiar description which offers its readers an afternoon sensation and is unaccountably omitted from the next morning's papers. The news journalism was yet to be born. The Daily Mail had never been heard of. Lord Northcliffe, the man who has done more than all others of his time toward the creation of a new journalism in England, and who is almost more a statesman {230} than a journalist, was then just two years old.

Moreover, the outbreak of war was unexpected. Lord Granville was then Foreign Secretary and of an unshaken optimism. Lord Hammond, Permanent Under Secretary of the Foreign Office, had announced a fortnight before that never since he had held a place in that office had the sky been so free from clouds. M. Émile Ollivier has lately retold with skill in the Revue des Deux Mondes how the war was brought on, but there is nothing in his elaborate special pleading to show that any reasonable man ought to have expected the French Emperor, or even M. Ollivier himself, to follow the unreasonable, mad, arrogant policy they did follow. Nor can Downing Street or Fleet Street or Printing House Square be blamed for not being aware that the conduct of affairs in France was in the control of men who would play into Bismarck's hands. For, let M. Ollivier say what he will, Bismarck's opportunity would not have come had not France, after Prussia had withdrawn Prince Leopold's candidature for the throne of Spain, demanded a guarantee that it should never be renewed or never be supported by Prussia. Never had events moved so quickly. Prince Leopold was first heard of July 4th, 1870. On the 12th he renounced his claim. On the 13th Benedetti laid before the King of Prussia at Ems the demand of France for guarantees. On the 14th Earl Granville woke from his deep dream of peace and strove to bring France and Prussia to terms. On the {231} 15th the Emperor declared war; the Chamber approving by an overwhelming majority.

There are in journalism two ways of dealing with a war crisis of this kind. One way is to send into the field everybody you can lay hands on to cover, tant bien que mal, as many points as possible, and so take your chance of what may turn up. The other is to choose the best two men available and send one to the headquarters of each army. I preferred the latter, perhaps because there was a difficulty in finding good men, and there were but two from whom I expected much good. These were Mr. Holt White, an Englishman, and M. Méjanel, a Frenchman. Mr. White was ordered to join the Prussians and M. Méjanel to accompany his own countrymen. The same instructions were given to both; very simple but I believe at that time quite novel in England. Each was to find his way to the front, or wherever a battle was most likely to be fought. They were to telegraph to London as fully as possible all accounts of preliminary engagements. If they had the good luck to witness an important battle they were not to telegraph, but, unless for some very peremptory reason, to start at once for London, writing their accounts on the way or on arrival. If they could telegraph a summary first, so much the better; but there must be no delay. The essential thing was to arrive in London at the earliest moment. They were to provide beforehand for a substitute, or more than one, who would take up their work during their absence.

{232}

These instructions were based on the improbability that any single correspondent could anticipate any very important news which Governments, the news agencies, and the Rothschilds would all three endeavour to send first. I reverse the order in which a Minister once said to me news of war or of high politics usually arrived. Such news, he said, comes to the Rothschilds first, next to the Press, and to the Government last of all. Besides, the mere fact never contents the public. It wants the full story. There was never much chance of sending the full story by wire from the battlefield or from any town hard by; nor, indeed, from any capital; even from a neutral capital. Only when once in London was a correspondent master of the situation.

Mr. Holt White carried out his instructions with an energy, a courage, an intelligence to which no tribute can be too high. In the first instance he witnessed the battle—not an important one except that it was the first—of Spicheren, and wired a column or so to London. It was I believe, the first battle story of any length ever sent by wire from the Continent to London. English journalism, as I said above, had not yet regarded the telegraph as anything but a means of transmitting results. The full account was to come by mail. I had told Mr. Robinson I meant to use the telegraph in this new way, but he was not ready to believe it could be done. So when I carried Mr. White's account to The Daily News office, after cabling a rewritten copy to New York, {233} I took with me the original telegraph forms as well as the second copy. The dispatch as telegraphed by Mr. White was slightly condensed, had been carelessly handled, and was not in good shape for the printers. I handed my copy to Mr. Robinson. He looked at it with undisguised suspicion.

"It is your handwriting," he said.

I admitted that.

"And the battle was fought only yesterday."

"Yes."

"It could not have come by post."

"No."

"Well, how then?"

"By wire."

"A dispatch of that length! It is unheard of."

But I thought this had gone far enough and showed him the telegraph forms. Still he said:

"Do you expect me to print this to-morrow in The Daily News?"

"Print it or not as you choose. It will certainly appear in The Tribune. I have done as I agreed in bringing you the dispatch. You, of course, will do as you think best about publishing it."

I repeat this because it indicates better than I could otherwise the journalistic state of mind at that time in respect of Continental telegrams. Mr. Robinson was at the head of his profession, yet this was his reception of this piece of news. In the end Mr. Frank Hill, the editor, was called into consultation. He had no hesitation and, as before, finally brought his colleague to reason. {234} The telegram duly appeared next morning in The Daily News, heralded by a leading article in which the telegram was rewritten, its importance pointed out, the celerity of its dispatch and arrival dwelt on, and so the readers of The Daily News had every opportunity to admire the enterprise of that journal.

This was very far from being Mr. Holt White's most brilliant exploit, but it was his first. He had not the luck to see the battle of Worth, the earliest of the grave disasters of the French. No journalist had. That great engagement and the defeat of Marshal MacMahon were foreseen by nobody, the Germans themselves excepted, and there exists no account of the battle in the newspapers of the day, save such as came by hearsay; or, much later, the official reports. But when the bare facts were known they were thought prophetic, and the military critics of Pall Mall and Whitehall said gravely: "This is the beginning of the end."




{235}

CHAPTER XXIV

HOLT WHITE'S STORY OF SEDAN AND HOW IT
REACHED THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE

I pass over the interval between Worth and Sedan, crowded as it was with events, stopping only to remark that The Tribune was indebted to an American writer on The Daily News for its account of Gravelotte, but not to The Daily News except for the opportunity of buying that account, at a high price. There was an entangling alliance which forbade The Daily News to hand it over to The Tribune, but did not prevent the correspondent of that paper from selling it. I am not sure whether the name of the writer is known but in the circumstances it is not for me to disclose it. The narrative was, of course, cabled to The Tribune at once. Gravelotte was fought on the 18th of August. The account of the battle reached New York, I think, on the 21st. It was, at any rate, the first, and for some time the only narrative published. The defeated French called it the battle of Rézonville, and under that name was this description first printed. From a military point of view the account had no great value, but it was picturesquely written and in those {236} difficult days anything from the field was eagerly read.

Greater days were at hand. The battle of Sedan was fought on Thursday, September 1st, 1870, followed by the surrender of the town, the army, and the Emperor Napoleon on the day following. The news of the catastrophe was not known in London till Saturday morning at ten o'clock, and then only in the briefest form; the mere fact and not much more; through the general Press agency; I suppose Reuter's. Mr. Robinson wired me and I went to The Daily News office. But the bare news was of no great use for my purposes. I went back to The Tribune office in Pall Mall wondering what I was to do, and still more what The Tribune correspondent in the field were doing. I had not long to wait. A dispatch arrived from Mr. Holt white saying he should be in London that afternoon, and at five o'clock he walked into the office.

Seldom have I been so glad to see any man's face as I was to see his, but there was hardly so much as a greeting between us. I asked first:

"Is your dispatch ready?"

"Not a word of it written."

"Will you sit down at once and begin?"

"I cannot. I am dead tired, and have had no food since daybreak. I must eat and sleep before I can write."

He looked it; a mere wreck of a correspondent, haggard, ragged, dirty, incapable of the effort which nevertheless had to be made. It was no {237} time to consider anybody's feelings. A continent was waiting for the news locked up in that one man's brain, and somehow or other the lock must be forced, the news told, and the waiting continent supplied with what it wanted. Incidentally, it was such an opportunity for The Tribune as seldom had come to any newspaper. It was necessary to use a little authority. I said to Mr. Holt White:

"You shall have something to eat, but sleep you cannot till you have done your dispatch. That must be in New York to-morrow morning."

So we went over to the Pall Mall Restaurant, which was then in the building now replaced by the Oceanic House, the headquarters of the International Marine Navigation Company; if that be its name. Food and drink refreshed him. We were back in The Tribune office not long after six and work began.

Mr. Holt White wrote one of the worst hands ever seen, so I said to him I would copy as he wrote and my copy would go to the cable operators. Bad or good, mine was a hand they were familiar with. We sat opposite each other at the same table, and I copied sheet by sheet till there was enough to give the cable a start, then took it to the Anglo-American cable office in Telegraph Street. I went myself for two reasons: first to make sure it was delivered, and second to make sure it went without interruption. The latter, indeed, was a point of which it was impossible, under the Weaver régime, to make sure. But I {238} could at least hand in the message over the counter. Many a message have I trusted myself and nobody else with, and many a letter have I posted with my own hands; everything, in fact, of importance ever since I had anything to do with journalism. It is often inconvenient but I have found it a good rule.

I dwell on these details. Few things in American journalism, the Civil War excepted, have made more stir than this exploit of Mr. Holt White. But the full credit which belongs to him he has never had. Consider what he had done. He had been all through the battle; he had been in the saddle all day from four o'clock in the morning till nightfall. The battle over, he started for London. He rode with his life in his hand. He had to pass the lines of three armies, the Prussians who refused him a permit, the French outposts to the north of Sedan, and the Belgians, who made a pretence of guarding their frontier and the neutrality of Belgian territory. He could not explain how he managed it. When he reached Brussels he thought it might be possible to write there and to wire his account from Brussels to London. But at the chief telegraph office in Brussels the official in charge told him flatly he would accept no dispatch relating to the war. The issue of the battle was unknown in Brussels. Anything handed in for transmission to London or elsewhere would be submitted first of all to the censor; and in Brussels, as elsewhere, the censorship is a heart-rending business; delay inevitable; and there was {239} no time for delay. It was, as I explained in an earlier chapter, one reason why all correspondents were directed to come straight to London where the censorship did not exist. Mr. Holt White was soon satisfied that it was useless to try to telegraph from Brussels, and he came on by train to Calais, missed the Calais boat, caught a later one, which did not connect with the Dover-London service, and, once at Dover, chartered a special train to London and so at last arrived.

I asked him if any other correspondent had come with him. He thought not; at any rate, no one whom he knew as correspondent and, of course, no one came by the special train. Still, there was no certainty. It was already two days since the sun had gone down on the beaten French in sedan. There was nothing to do except to hurry on the dispatch to New York.

With indomitable courage White wrote on. After a time I asked him if he would rest a little before finishing.

"No," he said, "if I stop I shall go to sleep, and if I go to sleep I shall not wake."

The man's pluck was a splendid thing to see. His answer was like the answer of an Atlantic captain who, in the old days when there was no telephone and designers had not learned how to make the captain's cabin the nerve centre of the ship, had been for three days and nights on the bridge. I asked him how he lived through it. He said it was rather trying to the knees.

"But did you never sit down?"

{240}

"Oh, if I had sat down I should have gone to sleep."

There are heroisms of that kind in the routine of life, professional and other, and even in the profession of journalism of which the newspaper reader in the morning over his coffee and rolls never thinks. But they are real and without them, and without the loyalty and devotion of such men, there might sometimes be nothing for the man with his coffee and rolls to read.

White sat at his table till midnight and later. It was nearer two o'clock than one before the last of his message was filed in Telegraph Street. Whether by Mr. Weaver's intervention or not I cannot say, but there was a delay on the wires. The delay, I was afterwards told, was on the Newfoundland land lines to New York. It may be so. It was a message six columns long and not all of it appeared in The Tribune that next Sunday morning though all of it had been filed in ample time; two o'clock in the morning in London being only nine o'clock of the evening before in New York.

No matter. It was a clear, coherent, vivid battle story, and it was the only one. No morning paper in London had any account of the battle till the Tuesday following; and all New York accounts, The Tribune excepted, were from the London Press or Press agencies. It is not worth while to recall the comments of The Tribune's rivals. They were angry, naturally enough, and they resorted to conjectures which might as well {241} have been left unexpressed. It is enough to explain further that Mr. Holt White's narrative did not appear in The Daily News because he had an agreement with The Pall Mall Gazette. Part of this account, therefore, was printed in an abridged form in The Pall Mall of Monday, for which it was written separately. The Pall Mall is an evening paper, and when that was cabled to New York and found to be obviously from the same source as The Tribune's the guesses grew wild. But the plain truth is now told, and is simple enough.

Mr. Holt White was a journalist but not at that time a journalist of any exceptional reputation or position. This, I think, was the first very considerable thing he had done. I am sorry to have to add that it was also the last. He was a man to whom, after such an achievement as this, a long repose became necessary. He rejoined the Prussian headquarters, spent the winter at Versailles, and during all those months did practically nothing. Of his great gifts and capacities he made no further use, even down to the end of his life, and the end came early. But he is entitled to be remembered as a man who at one supreme moment accomplished one of the most brilliant exploits in the history of journalism. Let us judge him by his best, and, so judged, his name must take its place with those of Russell, McGahan, Forbes, Steevens, and others of that rank if there are any others.

One more remark, to remind you how alien from {242} the mind of the British journalist at that time was the free use of the telegraph, which in America had become a thing of every day. When White sat down to write he said to me: "I suppose I am to condense as much as possible?"

"No, write fully."

"But it is going by cable."

"Yes."

"It will be some columns long."

"The longer the better."

He thought a little, then said:

"I still don't quite understand."

"Then please put the cable out of your mind, and write exactly as if you were writing for a London paper and the printer's devil waiting." And he did.




{243}

CHAPTER XXV

GREAT EXAMPLES OF WAR CORRESPONDENCE

But Sedan from the Prussian point of view was one thing; from the French it might be, and must be, quite another. M. Méjanel, had things gone otherwise, might have been expected to give us the French version, but since he was with the French headquarters in Sedan he was presumably a prisoner of war, and nothing was to be hoped for from him. Mr. Holt White, fresh from the field, thought there was little or no chance. No one except Mr. White had got through from either army. The English papers of Monday morning were a blank except for a few rather ragged telegrams. Mr. Robinson at The Daily News, had nothing. There was a lull. I am speaking of war news proper, for there was, of course, the one great event of Saturday in Paris, and there was no certainty whence the next flash of light, or lightning, would come. Sedan had been fought on Thursday, and it was now Monday afternoon.

While I sat in The Tribune office in Pall Mall brooding on these difficulties and almost despairing of further good fortune the door opened, and in walked Méjanel. He had not telegraphed. {244} He had a Gallic indifference to time and to the technique of journalism. He had just come as soon as he could. An angel from heaven would have been less welcome.

"Were you in Sedan during the battle?"

"Yes, and outside with the army."

"Were you taken prisoner?"

"Yes."

"You were released?"

"Well, I forget whether I was released or whether I escaped."

To escape meant that he had taken his chance of being shot by a Prussian sentry, and also of being rearrested and tried by court martial should he fall again into Prussian hands. Released, therefore, seemed the better word of the two.

"Have you written your account?"

"No. I had no means of writing while a prisoner, and I have since been doing my best to get to London."

As in White's case, there was time enough. Méjanel had an English side to him—his mother was English—and that half of him was imperturbable. Neither the danger he had passed nor the task that lay before him, all inexperienced as he was, shook his nerves. He was quite ready to sit down and write at once. As in White's case, I copied sheet by sheet. Méjanel's English was here and there at fault but was, on the whole, good. What was more important, his memory was precise; he knew how to tell his story clearly, and he gave us a picture of the battle-horrors {245} from within the beleaguered town or from within the French defence, which he made the reader see as he himself had seen them. He wrote on till he had filled four columns, modestly wondering as he wrote whether he was not too diffuse; wondering that it should be thought worth cabling; wondering whether his English was good enough; and wondering whether the military part of it was not all nonsense. Reassured on all these points, he wrote fluently and joyfully, at midnight laying down his pen with the remark: "Enfin, j'ai vidé mon sac."

M. Méjanel's dispatch appeared in The Tribune complete on Tuesday morning. Neither Mr. Weaver nor the Newfoundland lines were out of order this time. The Tribune, had, therefore, within less than three days of the first coming of the news of the battle of Sedan, given to the American public complete accounts—ten columns altogether—of the battle from the Prussian side and from the French side; a unique performance.

Nor was this all. The revolution in Paris and the declaration of the Republic, September 4th, were dealt with not less fully, and of course by cable. During four days the number of words cabled was a little over sixteen thousand, at a cost of as many dollars. If we never rose again to quite those heights it was because never again was there such a quick sequence of great events. But for a long time the daily average was high, and not long after this The Daily News service {246} became efficient, and, as I have said before, The Tribune in the end profited by it.

Before, however, the full advantage of that accrued came the surrender of Metz, October 27th, and the remarkable narrative, including a visit to Metz, published simultaneously by The Daily News and The Tribune. It was supposed in London that Mr. Archibald Forbes was the author of this narrative, and it was reckoned among his best performances. The Daily News never thought it worth while to state the truth; nor was it bound to make any statement. The real author was Mr. Gustav Müller, a correspondent in the employment of The Tribune. As in the other cases I have described, Mr. Gustav Müller came to London and wrote his account in The Tribune office. It was cabled forthwith to New York, and a copy handed to The Daily News. It was the first to be published in London, and the first to be published in New York. So far as London is concerned, it is enough to say that The Times on the following morning copied it from The Daily News, crediting it to The Daily News, with a deserved compliment, and saying:

"We congratulate our contemporary on the energy and enterprise of its correspondent."

Still, Mr. Robinson did not think it needful to explain that it was in fact a Tribune dispatch, and that it was a Tribune correspondent who had wrung from The Times this testimony.

The tale has a tragic end. For a long time I thought it a tragedy of death. I sent Mr. Gustav {247} Müller back to the field at once, with a large sum of money. I never heard from him again. Inquiries in every possible quarter brought no tidings of him. It seemed plain that he had fallen in battle or had been murdered and robbed by some of the bands that hang on the outskirts of every army. Some years after I told the whole story in Harper's Magazine, leaving the mystery unexplained otherwise than by conjecture. When, lo! it appeared that Mr. Gustav Müller had not fallen by a French bullet or a brigand's knife, but was alive in New York and ready to submit to an interview. If he were truly reported, he seemed to think his conduct in no need of defence. He had changed his mind, and instead of returning to the field had gone home. Why he never wrote to me or communicated in any way with The Tribune he omitted to say.

As I have stripped one leaf from Mr. Forbes's laurels, I will add that two of the most brilliant news exploits in all the history of war journalism are to be credited to him. One was his night ride of 110 miles alone through a hostile country, after the British victory of Ulundi, July 4th, 1879. Lord Chelmsford, commanding the British forces, had refused Forbes leave to start and given orders for his arrest. He risked the British bullets and the Zulu assegais, and got through. The other was at the Shipka Pass, in August, 1877. It was the crisis of the Russo-Turkish War. General Gourko was holding the Pass. Suleiman Pacha day after day was flinging his whole force against {248} the Russian entrenchments. The world was waiting. No news came. The Russians and Turks were not people who concerned themselves much about public opinion. Forbes was at Bucharest. Tired of expecting messages from the scene, he rode to the Pass, made his way through the Turks and into the Russian lines, stayed in the trenches till he had satisfied himself—and he was a competent judge—that Suleiman's effort was spent and that Gourko could hold his own, and then made his way out again, hoping to reach Bucharest in time for a dispatch that night to The Daily News. At or near Tirnova he was stopped by the Russians and taken before the Czar.

The Czar, like the rest of the world, was without news. He had sent one aide-de-camp after another to the Pass; not one had returned. Forbes used to say that the Czar treated him very well. He asked if it was true that Forbes had been with General Gourko, and, when told it was, desired that the exact situation should be explained to him. Forbes set it forth with that military clearness and precision which made his work in the field invaluable. The Czar asked him if he could draw a plan. He drew it. All sorts of questions were put to him. He answered all. He was asked for his opinion.

"I told His Imperial Majesty that I had been a soldier, that I had had much experience of battles as a correspondent, and that I had no doubt General Gourko would hold the Pass."

The interview lasted an hour or more.

{249}

"At the end I besought His Majesty's permission to continue my journey, saying I thought nothing was known in Europe, and that it was for the interest of Russia that the facts which I had had the honour to lay before His Imperial Majesty should be made public. The Czar thanked me for the information I had given, declared himself convinced it was true and my judgment well founded, and dismissed me."

So Forbes rode on, arriving at Bucharest, the first point from which it was possible to telegraph, at eight o'clock in the evening. It was Forbes himself who told me the story:

"I had been in the saddle or in the trenches and under fire for three days and nights, without sleep and with little food. When I walked into the hotel at Bucharest I was a beaten man. I felt as if I could not keep awake or sit in my chair, much less write. Yet it was an opportunity which does not come twice in a man's life. I had, and nobody else had, the news for which all Europe was hungering; the most momentous news since Sedan; but not one word written, and not an ounce of strength left."

"Well, what did you do?"

The answer was curious indeed.

"I called the waiter and told him to bring me a pint of champagne, unopened. I uncorked it, put the neck of the bottle into my mouth before the gas had time to escape, and drank the whole of the wine. Then I sat up and wrote the four {250} columns which appeared next morning in The Daily News."

I remember that narrative well. There was not in it from beginning to end a trace of fatigue or confusion. It was a bulletin of war, written with masterly ease, with the most admirable freshness and force. Nothing better of the kind was ever done. It rang from one end of Europe to the other, and across the Atlantic. The Hour and the Man in this case had come together, and if Forbes had done nothing else this would entitle him to the immortality which is his.

All the same, the pint of champagne was a hazardous experiment. Forbes knew it but, as he said, it was that or nothing. The next man who tries it ought to be very sure that he has both the intellectual elasticity Forbes had, and his physique.




{251}

CHAPTER XXVI

A PARENTHESIS

To what I have said of journalism I need not add much. I remained in London as the representative of The New York Tribune, and in charge of its European affairs from 1867 to 1895; returning then to New York and Washington for The Times, till 1905.

When The Tribune began publishing a Sunday edition, one other innovation upon the established practice followed. I sent each week, by cable, a column containing a summary view of what seemed most important during the week. It was not a summary of news and it was not a leading article but a compromise between the two. It was, at any rate, the first of its kind, and I was allowed to put it in such shape as I thought best, since then, the American demand for what are called "Sunday cables" has grown, the despatches to all the great journals of the United States have increased in number, in length, in variety, and in daring. All I claim for mine is that it was the first. I do not know whether any work in journalism has in it the elements of permanency. Probably not. Journalism is an expression of the {252} governing forces of the day, and day by day changes as the forces change and the days change. But should a history of international journalism be written, the historian will perhaps remember that as agent of The Tribune I set up in London that European news-bureau which all other great American journals after some years copied; that I was in charge of it during the Franco-German War; and that the success of The Tribune during that war was due to the system already described, which I had established three years before.

The years that follow are full of miscellaneous interests. The Memories, some of which are reprinted in this volume, are not primarily historical, though I hope they are accurate. They are impressions. They cannot be presented as a sequence, and as each chapter, or group of chapters, deals with a separate subject, I republish most of them in the order in which they were written and printed, or otherwise as may seem convenient. I pass now to an incident of the Irish "War," and then to a diplomatic experiment in the history of those long contentious relations between Canada and the United States which have so often imperilled the friendship between England and the United States.




{253}

CHAPTER XXVII

"CIVIL WAR?"—INCIDENTS IN THE 'EIGHTIES—SIR
GEORGE TREVELYAN—LORD BARRYMORE

The streets of London were red one day in November, 1909, with placards proclaiming:

"The Lords declare Civil War!"

I suppose the Radicals thought it paid to force the note. Mr. Winston Churchill was their bandmaster for the moment. There is no more effective political rhetorician, provided you accept that fallacy about the folly of the people against which the warning of Mr. Lincoln passes unheeded.

But there was, at least on one side, a state of feeling in the country comparable to nothing I can remember except the feeling which prevailed during the Home Rule crisis, and far stronger now than then. In that crisis also the Lords came to the rescue of the Kingdom, which they saved from disintegration and ruin. Ruin for the moment it would have been; only to be finally averted by the reconquest of Ireland. Even to the spectator those were stirring days. England and Ireland from 1881 onward had become the Wild West. The revolver was the real safeguard of personal {254} liberty. I don't think it will be quite like that now, but it does seem as if the bitterness of contention and the personalities of politics would go further now than then; perhaps have already gone further.

I was in Ireland for a fortnight during one of the worst periods, but there were times when London was as disturbed and distressful as Ireland itself. Those were years of dynamite in England, when, as Lord Randolph Churchill said, the railway stations were flying about our ears, and when London Bridge came near being blown up, and when Englishmen in high place were targets. From the Prime Minister down to his youngest colleague, no man was safe without a guard of detectives; and not then. Mr. Gladstone, whose courage was high, shook off his escort whenever he could. Other Ministers paid more respect to a very real danger. Sir George Trevelyan, who was appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1882, submitted sensibly to the precautions the Home Office and Scotland Yard thought needful. One afternoon I met Trevelyan in a Bond Street shop. We left the shop together. Two quite innocent-looking men were outside the door. "I hope you don't mind," said Trevelyan. "I am obliged to let them follow me." They were Scotland Yard detectives. As we walked down the street they were within earshot all the way, their vigilance unrelaxing. Whether they thought their ward in greater or less danger because I was with him I cannot say. We parted at the corner of Piccadilly. {255} In both streets the throng on the sidewalk was dense, but through it these men made their way without violence, without haste, but never for an instant allowing themselves to be separated from the Chief Secretary by so much as an arm's length. He walked in peril not only real but imminent. Two days before his appointment as Chief Secretary his predecessor, Lord Frederick Cavendish, and Mr. Burke, permanent Under Secretary, had been murdered. To accept that inheritance of probable assassination was a gallant act, quite characteristic of Sir George Trevelyan. But I do not imagine that he or his friends ever while he held that office forgot what had happened in Phoenix Park.

Not many evenings later I met Sir George Trevelyan at dinner. If he had not been famous as a writer and Member of Parliament and Irish Secretary and much else, he might well have been famous as a diner-out. He had the art of conversation. His uncle's influence had left him, in this respect, untouched. Where Macaulay discoursed and reeled off dreary pages of encyclopædic knowledge, Trevelyan talked lightly and well; claiming no monopoly, preaching no sermon, wearying no company too well bred to show itself bored. He had a felicity of allusion which was so wholly free from pedantry as to seem almost accidental. His voice, like Browning's, was strident and his laugh sometimes boisterous; but this was in moments of excitement.

On this particular evening there was something {256} besides his inspiriting talk which drew the attention of the company. So long as the ladies were at table he talked with his wonted energy. When the dining-room door had closed on the last of these departing angels Trevelyan sank into his chair with a sigh, drew a revolver from the breast pocket of his coat, laid it on the table and said to his host:

"Pray forgive me, but if you knew how tired I am of carrying this thing about!"

On Sir George Trevelyan as on others the Irish Secretaryship left its mark. A year of office aged him as if it were ten. He came out worn and grey: not yet forty-five years old. The tragedy was in one particular a tragi-comedy. Half his moustache had turned white; the other half black as before. And I suppose it shook his nerve more or less and was perhaps responsible for that fickleness of purpose or of view which led him first to oppose and then to adopt Mr. Gladstone's policy of Home Rule.

I saw one side of the Irish question during a visit to Lord Barrymore, then Mr. Smith-Barry, and his beautiful American wife, at Fota Island, near Queenstown. Mr. William O'Brien had launched shortly before this his New Tipperary scheme, of which one main object was to ruin Mr. Smith-Barry who owned the old Tipperary. Assassination was then only a political incident or instrument. Mr. Smith-Barry, moreover, was hated not only as a landowner but for having organized the one efficient defence against the {257} spoliation of the landlords which down to that time had been discovered. He had formed a company and raised a large sum of money among his English friends, he himself being the largest contributor. So he held the O'Brien cohorts at bay; at what money cost and at what personal risk few men knew. But I apprehend that but for Mr. Smith-Barry the Plan of Campaign and New Tipperary would have succeeded and the South of Ireland been handed over to the Land League.

One night as I was on my way from my room to the drawing-room, on the other side of the hall, I saw by the front door a big man in a blue cavalry cloak and cap, who had just entered. He was laying aside his cloak as I passed, and took out of their holsters first one and then another navy revolver, both seven-shooters. I said, too flippantly:

"You take good care of yourself."

He turned on me sharply, with a questioning look of keen eyes under heavy eyebrows:

"Are you a friend of Smith-Barry?"

"I should hardly be staying in his house if I were not."

"Then I will tell you how you can best prove your friendship. Get him to carry what I carry."

"Is he in danger?"

"Danger? There's a detective at this moment behind every tree about the house, and even so we don't know what may happen. We hope he is safe here at home, but he goes about unarmed, and it is known he is unarmed, and no man who {258} does that can be sure of his life. We have tried our best to make him take care of himself. He will not. Now do you try."

This sudden outburst, this appeal, this flash of light upon the scene were all impressive. The big man, it turned out, was the Chief Constable of the county. He knew whereof he spoke. I promised to do what I could and I talked with Mr. Smith-Barry.

He was a man equally remarkable for courage and for coolness, but in matters affecting his personal safety he did not use the judgment for which in other matters he was distinguished. He could not be persuaded that anybody would think it worth while to kill him. He knew well enough that the shooting of landlords had become a popular pastime, but he could not, or would not, understand why he himself should be shot.

"I am on good terms with my tenants; my rents are fair rents; I evict nobody. What have they to gain by shooting me?"

But it was not from his own tenants that trouble was expected. It was not because Mr. Smith-Barry was not a good landlord, but because he was the leader of the landlords in the South of Ireland, and the most formidable opponent of the League that his life was threatened. "It may be so," he said: "but I think I will go on as I am." And from that nobody could move him.

Now, as it happened, shortly before I left London I had met one of the chief officials in the Home Office who said to me:

{259}

"You are going to Ireland."

"Yes, but how do you know?"

"Never mind how I know. What I want to say to you is, Take a revolver with you."

I was on the point of making a light answer, but stopped. If you get a hint of that kind from a man who rules over the Criminal Department of the Home Office and the police generally, you accept it and do as you are told. I had a revolver with me, therefore, and when the time came to go back to London I left it in its case on Mr. Smith-Barry's writing-table, with a letter asking him to accept it from me and once more begging him to carry it if only that it might be known that he carried it, or if only out of his friendship to me. This prevailed. He wrote me that he still thought we made a needless fuss about it, but he could not refuse the gift and he could not refuse to carry it. No letter ever pleased me more. I have never again seen my friend the Chief Constable, but I have never forgotten him, and I think of him now as a fine impersonation of that authority of the law which, in those turbulent days, he asserted and successfully maintained against great odds.




{260}

CHAPTER XXVIII

SIR WILFRID LAURIER AND THE ALASKA BOUNDARY

I

The name of Empire-builder is used freely of late, perhaps too freely. It is so great a name that it ought to be kept for the great men, for the real builders and creators; for Clive, for Rhodes, and their like. There is another class, somewhat more numerous, but not much, who keep together the great Imperial patrimony which others have handed down to them. They might perhaps be called Wardens of Empire, of whom Sir Wilfred Laurier may stand for an example.

My memories of Sir Wilfrid Laurier go back to those years when the Alaska boundary dispute between Canada and the United States approached its crisis. Lord Minto was then Governor-General of Canada; Mr. McKinley was President of the United States; Mr. Hay was the American Secretary of State. There was strong feeling on both sides. It appeared later that it was stronger in Canada than in the United States, but in both countries there was hot blood and in both the controversy turned in part upon gold. We were {261} carrying on under a modus vivendi; a state of things which tended to tranquillize the minds of men. But the modus vivendi did not cover the whole of the Alaskan territory then in dispute, and there was anxiety both at Washington and Ottawa.

I went to Ottawa on a visit, spent a week at Government House, and there first came to know Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who had been Prime Minister of the Dominion since 1896. First impressions are best and I set down my first impressions, though they do not much differ from the last, and though, in one way, they were wholly deceptive and misleading.

For Sir Wilfrid came so softly into the drawing-room at Government House that you would never have thought him a leader of men. He had something of the ecclesiastic about him, and something of the diplomatist. The first perhaps suggested itself because he was a Roman Catholic, and to that faith all my Puritan prejudices were alien. As I think it over, I know of no fact in the current history of the British Empire more significant than the fact that the greatest Dominion of this great British and Protestant Power should have been governed for thirteen years by a Roman Catholic and a Frenchman. That is Catholicism in its broadest sense, and not in the sense of mere loyalty to a Pope and to a particular Church. Taking the population of Canada as something over six millions to-day, nearly one half are Roman Catholics. The other half are implacable Protestants. How are they to live together in amity? But they {262} do, and one of the reasons of this amity is Sir Wilfrid Laurier. If he were a leader of men in the military sense, or as Chatham was a leader, one of two things would have happened. Quebec and Ontario would have quarrelled, or Sir Wilfrid would have ceased to be Prime Minister. Booted and spurred and in the saddle—not so is Canada to be ruled, nor are the conflicting interests and sentiments of the eastern and western sections of the great Dominion so to be harmonized. But the smooth subtlety of the priest and the suavity of the diplomatist are means of conciliation. Thus, I imagine, has Sir Wilfrid worked.

Thus does he present himself to the company at Government House. He glides into the room. He is not humble; far from it, but his is perhaps the pride which apes humility. Sweetness enters with him, and light, if I may once more unite rather overworked substantives which have come down to us from Swift. He does light up the room as he enters, and the faces of those who are already in it. His coming is a delight to everybody and now we know what is before us.

His manner as he receives and returns the greetings of his friends is distinctly French. After all the guests have arrived and the Governor-General and Lady Minto have entered the room, Sir Wilfrid's homage to the representative of the sovereign and to Lady Minto has an essentially Parisian elegance. Nobody would mistake him for an Englishman by birth or race. He is English politically and officially; none more loyal to {263} the King of England and England herself than he; but personally he is French; taller, however, than the average Frenchman, and of a larger frame. The head is well set, the forehead broad and high, a soft light in the eyes till something is said which sets them burning, the mouth firm, and the whole face, in contour and expression, quite as much that of the man of thought as action. There are not many men of whom another man uses the word charm but Sir Wilfrid is one; and women use it of him more freely still.

He talked easily and well. He speaks English and French with equal fluency, with finish also, and is never at a loss for an idiomatic phrase. Yet the English is not quite the English heard to-day in London, nor is his French Parisian. The Canadians have, in addition to many other kinds, the patriotism of language. Quebec has its own French, the French of the eighteenth century or of Touraine to-day; and Toronto its own English, also now and then slightly archaic. Yet in Toronto dwells, and has long dwelt, the first of living writers of living English. I mean Mr. Goldwin Smith; the fires of his intellectual youth still, at eighty-three, unquenched, and by another paradox the English author of the best political history of the United States. Canada does not like his Canadian views, but they remain his views, just as he, for all his Canadian residence remains English.[1] Perhaps it is part of Sir Wilfrid's diplomacy that he practises both these varieties of French and English speech. He takes liberties {264} with each language, as a man who is master of both is entitled to, and in each his soft tones are persuasive.


[1] Mr. Smith died, June, 1910.


Nothing seemed to come amiss to him. The social topics of Ottawa have not quite the same range as in London, but to the people of Ottawa they are not less engrossing. Even scandal was not unknown in those days, and gossip floated about, and sometimes politics came to the top, as they will anywhere when they are not too trivial, and even when they are. Ottawa was, at any rate, with its fifty thousand people and its lumber trade, the capital of Sir Wilfrid's kingdom. Parliament was sitting in that finely placed Parliament House crowning the cliff on the river, and all Canada was there, in the substantial persons of its delegates and Ministers. Before I left I came to know all, or nearly all, the Ministers. Lunching one day with Sir Wilfrid at the Rideau Club, I found myself in a group of a dozen or more political personages, all, I think, in office. They struck me as able men with a gift of businesslike talk. But there were not two Sir Wilfrid Lauriers. The long reign of Sir John Macdonald had not proved fertile in new men. Sir John was a sort of Canadian Diaz, and had done for the Dominion not what the President of the great Central American Republic had done for Mexico, but a service not less personal and individual. Both had been dictators. Both had known how to use the forms of representative government in such a way as to consolidate and perpetuate arbitrary personal {265} power, and for something like the same period. In a way, Sir Wilfrid has done a similar thing, only you never could think a Minister of these endearing manners arbitrary. There is a more important difference still. Sir John Macdonald had organized political corruption into a system. Sir Wilfrid is free from any such imputation as that. Charges have been heard against some of his Ministers; never against Sir Wilfrid.

It was perhaps by accident that we began to discuss the Alaska boundary; or perhaps not by accident. I do not know. Thinking the matter over afterward, it seemed possible enough that Sir Wilfrid had shaped events in his own mind from the first. He may have been glad of an opportunity to communicate with Washington indirectly and unofficially, or desirous that the President should know what was in his mind and learn it otherwise than via London. He was very anxious as well he might be. I had lately been in Washington and knew pretty well the views of the President and of Mr. Hay. I had made two or three visits to Ottawa before the Alaska conversations with Sir Wilfrid took place. In the interval Mr. McKinley had ceased to be President. He had been murdered by a foreigner with an unpronounceable name, and while the murderer was waiting in his cell to be executed the American women, suffragists of the militant kind, had sent him, to quote an American writer, "flowers, jellies, books, and sympathy." The discipline of the prison did not forbid these gifts. Mr. Roosevelt {266} had become President. Mr. Hay remained Secretary of State, perhaps with a hand less free than he had under Mr. McKinley, who was aware that he himself was not master of all subjects or perhaps of any subject not essentially American.

When the moment came Sir Wilfrid began casually enough, in a way that would have allowed him to stop whenever he chose. But he went on, and after a talk at Government House one day asked me to call on him at Parliament House on the morrow.

There again the talk continued, and it was followed by one still longer when Sir Wilfrid came back to Government House next day with papers and maps. Over these we spent some hours. There were few details in all the complicated Alaska business which were not familiar to him; and of the whole question he had a grasp which made details almost unimportant. His view struck me as reasoned, detached, with a settled purpose behind it. He was quite ready for compromise. I never knew a statesman anywhere who was not, with the possible exception of the ninety-two statesmen who compose the United States Senate. For myself, I had to look two ways. I was obliged, that is, to understand both points of view, the Canadian and the American, for I was then the representative of The Times in the United States.

When we had gone over the whole matter I said to Sir Wilfrid that I thought I understood his opinions and the policy he desired to follow. But what was I to do? Not a word of what he had {267} said to me could have been intended for print, nor can it be printed now, even after all these years and after the settlement. But some object he must have had, and I asked him if I was at liberty to draw any inference from these interviews. I was leaving Ottawa the next day.

"Are you going to Washington?"

"Yes."

"Shall you see the President or Mr. Hay?"

"Both."

"Well, if you think anything you have heard here likely to interest the President or Mr. Hay, I don't see why you should not discuss the matter with them as you have with me, if they choose."

The story of what happened at Washington I reserve for another chapter. But Sir Wilfrid's way of dealing with the subject on this occasion may perhaps stand for an example of what I have called his diplomatic manner. He was not over-solicitous about precedents or formalities. He was quite ready to avail himself of such opportunities as chance offered him, and of such instruments as came in his way. His absolute good faith was beyond question. If his suggestions, or rather the frank statement of his own view and of what he was ready to do had proved acceptable at Washington, he would have put them into official shape, and there would presently have been a dispatch from the Foreign Office to the State Department, and history would have been differently written. Why this did not happen will appear when the Washington end of the story is told.



{268}

II

Leaving Ottawa the day after the last of these conversations with the Canadian Prime Minister, I went to Washington. There I saw both the President and Mr. Hay. I said, of course, I had no authority to bind Sir Wilfrid Laurier to anything, but I had a strong impression and this impression I laid before them. As a matter of convenience I had drawn up a memorandum, of which I had sent Sir Wilfrid Laurier a copy. When Mr. Hay asked me whether I had any notes of my conversations with the Canadian Prime Minister I handed him this memorandum; rather a long document. He wished it read to him, and it was. Then we talked it over. Mr. Hay said:

"I suppose you will see the President. I shall see him also, but I think it will be better you should make your statement to him separately."

My belief is that both of them would have been disposed to consider the Canadian Prime Minister's attitude a reasonable one, and if an official proposal in that sense had been made, and if it had rested with the President to say yes or no, he would have accepted it. But acceptance involved a treaty, and what was the use of agreeing to a treaty which had to run the gauntlet of the United States Senate—"the graveyard of treaties"? The Senate at that time was in one of its most irreconcilable moods. In truth, the President had found himself more than once in collision with the Senate, and the moment was not propitious. Certain {269} Senators, moreover, had fixed opinions as to the proper disposition of this Alaska dispute, and from these opinions it was known they would not depart. At another time, when I hope to have something to say about Mr. Roosevelt, I may add a little, though not much, to this brief account. It can never be treated except with great reserve.

I had told Sir Wilfrid when I said good-bye that I feared the Senate would prove an invincible obstacle to an agreement. I saw the President several times, and the whole matter was gone into. After my last conversation with him, which did not end till past one o'clock in the morning, I wrote Sir Wilfrid that I saw no chance at present of carrying the matter further. He answered very kindly but regretfully, and so all this ended; without result for the time being. I add only that the sagacity of the Canadian, the statesmanlike sagacity, impressed the President and Mr. Hay alike. If it had been possible to lay the whole story before the Senate, it might have impressed that body also.

But Jefferson's phrase about government by newspapers applies, or part of it applies, to the Senate, or shall I say to part of the Senate? Whatever is known to the Senate soon becomes known to the newspapers. A single illustration will suffice. The Senate transacts executive business in secret session. The galleries are cleared; the Press gallery as well as the others. But within an hour of the close of an executive session a full abstract of its proceedings is in the hands of the {270} Press agents. Besides, I had no authority to repeat what Sir Wilfrid had said to anybody but the President and Mr. Hay. Sir Wilfrid is a man so free from official pedantry or even conventionalities that I think it likely he would have agreed to an informal communication to the Senate, but he was not asked. There was no occasion to ask him. The objections were too evident. Mr. Hay said: "Anything I favour the Senate will oppose."

Of the President some very leading Senators were not less suspicious. There was to be no agreement until the Senate could dictate terms. The subsequent agreement for an Alaska Boundary Commission was a Senate agreement. It did not provide for arbitration. If it had, the Senate would have rejected it. It was not supposed that a tribunal composed of three members from each side would reach a decision. All men now know that if it did it was because the Lord Chief Justice of England conceived it to be his duty to vote in accordance with the facts and the law. He had not laid aside his judicial character when he became a Commissioner.

As it was Lord Alverstone's vote which turned the scale in favour of the United States, the Canadians attacked him with bitterness. He made one reply, and one only, and even this had no direct reference to Canada. Speaking at a dinner in London he said: "If when any kind of arbitration is set up they don't want a decision based on the law and the evidence, they must not put a {271} British judge on the commission." Writing as an American I think it due to Lord Alverstone to say that nothing ever did more to convince Americans of British fairness than his act. It was his act also that put to rest a controversy which, in the opinion of Canadian statesmen and American statesmen alike, contained elements of the gravest danger to peace. If he had done nothing else he would take his place in history as a great Lord Chief Justice.

The Briton is so constituted that it is probable he admires Lord Alverstone, formerly Richard and then Sir Richard Webster, almost as much for his renown in sport as for his professional eminence, of which to be Tubman and then Postman in the Court of Exchequer was one part. He was, and is, an athlete, and used to win running races, and perhaps still could, being now only sixty-seven years of age. You used always to hear him spoken of as "Dick Webster." At Cambridge University he had such eminence in the study of mathematics as entitled him to be thirty-fifth Wrangler; and in the more humane letters so much proficiency as made him third-class classic. In the Schools, that is, he was less energetic than on the track.

But success at the Bar does not depend on the Differential Calculus or on Latin and Greek. Within ten years after being called he was Q.C., and having found a seat in Parliament, became Attorney-General in Lord Salisbury's Government in 1885-6. Within seventeen years he had reached the highest unjudicial place in his profession. {272} He held the same office three times; then was made Master of the Rolls; the judge who in point of dignity comes next after the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice, and finally, in 1900, Lord Chief Justice of England. During his service at the Bar he had been a great patent lawyer; with an income which rumour put at £30,000, or $150,000; for this country perhaps the maximum, outside of the parliamentary Bar. Such is a bare outline of the career, in all respects distinguished, honourable, stainless, of the man on whom Canada poured out criticisms which did not stop short of vituperation. They need no answer. If they did, it is not my place to answer them. Not one human being in England believed Lord Alverstone capable of the dishonesty which the Canadian papers imputed to him.

I am afraid I must add that Sir Wilfrid Laurier was one of Lord Alverstone's critics. The feeling throughout Canada was so strong that he had perhaps no choice, or no choice but between that and either resignation or defeat. No pilot could weather that storm. The feeling of Canada was emotional. What he said, he said as Prime Minister. Yet whether as Prime Minister or as Sir Wilfrid Laurier he must have rejoiced in the settlement; even though it were at the expense of Canadian claims. I do not think Canada had any valid claims, or had a case which before any impartial tribunal could have been maintained. But whether she had or not, it was for her interest to see them once for all swept away and peace {273} and good feeling established between her and her neighbour.

Our Canadian friends must have been aware at the time that they stood alone. In their attacks on Lord Alverstone they had no backing in England. No English newspaper ever suggested that Lord Alverstone had voted otherwise than according to his conscience. England knew him to be incorruptible and unassailable, and laughed at the suggestion that he did not understand the Canadian claims. It was because he understood them that he decided against them.

The English, it is true, have thought themselves unlucky in arbitrations, and have fallen into the habit of expecting an adverse decision from an arbitration tribunal. The Geneva tribunal instilled into them that reluctant expectation. But as this was not an arbitration but simply a Commission for determining the true boundary line of Alaska, they accepted in a sporting spirit the judgment of their own Lord Chief Justice. How could they do otherwise? On the constitution of the tribunal, and on the claims of Senator Lodge and Senator Turner to be impartial, they had remarks to make. On the other hand, were the Canadian members impartial?

There can be no harm now in saying that Sir Wilfrid looked upon the Alaskan situation with gloomy forebodings. So did everybody on both sides of the border; everybody who understood the situation and would give himself the trouble to think, and had a sense of responsibility. In the {274} disputed belt of territory, Alaskan territory which the United States claimed and Canada claimed, gold might at any moment be discovered. There would come a rush from both sides. We all know what the gold-miners are—a rough lot, not always recognizing any law but the law of the strongest and the most covetous. They make laws for themselves, and even those they do not keep. Many of them are desperate, many ruined, many outlaws; many have no other hope than in finding gold somewhere and getting it anyhow. They are all armed. Revolvers are the arbitrators whose decisions they respect. In the presence of new-found gold, what are boundaries or titles or international relations? Inevitably they would cross the border into the debatable land, Canadians and Americans alike. What would the flag mean to bankrupt gamblers who saw once more the hope of riches? There would be disputes. There would be collisions. At any moment a shot might be fired, and then what? The risk was awful.

This, I have no doubt, was the risk Sir Wilfrid had in mind. It meant nothing less than the possibility of war between Great Britain and the United States. Gold once discovered, the possibility became a probability. Could a Canadian statesman, could an American statesman, think of that hazard and not be willing to do much, or even to concede much, in order to avert it? Yet of all the men of both nationalities with whom, then and after, I have talked about Alaska, Sir Wilfrid alone had a clear view of the danger, and he alone {275} was willing to do what was absolutely necessary to make war impossible. For that reason he stands forth a great patriot, a great Canadian, a great Englishman. World-wide as is his fame he deserves a greater. It is not yet possible to do him full justice. It may never be. But his views and proposals and large wisdom, as they were set forth in these conversations, put him, in my opinion, in the very front rank of statesmen of his time. The impression they made on the President and Mr. Hay was profound. They too were statesmen but their hands were tied.

It is further to be borne in mind that the North-western border was in a ferment. That great belt of powerful States conterminous with Canada had long nursed its grievances. The Alaska question did not stand alone. It never has. There were questions of duties, of tariffs, of lumber rights, of the rights of lake and canal navigation, of fisheries, Atlantic and Pacific, and many others—thirteen specific subjects in all. They had once been all but settled. The High Commissioners in the last conference at Washington had come to terms on all but Alaska when, in an unlucky moment, Lord Herschell, believing he could force the hand of the Americans, put forth an ultimatum out of a blue sky. It must be all or none. There must be no settlement which does not include Alaska. Lord Herschell had been thought of a contentious mind all through. Americans bore with that, but to an ultimatum, an agreement at the mouth of a gun, we would not submit. So {276} the whole went off. What was the result? There came a time when Sir Wilfrid himself had to announce that there would be no more pilgrimages to Washington. Nor have there been.




{277}

CHAPTER XXIX

ANNEXING CANADA—LADY ABERDEEN—LADY MINTO

The first person from whom I heard of the American immigration into Canada was Sir Wilfrid Laurier. He told me it had begun quietly, a few American farmers drifting across the border in search of better and cheaper land than could be had at home. There was no sound of drum or trumpet. These men had nothing to do with the talk of annexation. They had no political object. Their object was agricultural; only that and nothing more. It is possible enough that the reputed riches of the North-west province of Canada had something to do with the policy, if it can be called a policy, of the American annexationists, desiring to fire the hearts of the farmers in Illinois and Minnesota who saw the yield of their wheat lands diminishing yearly. It seems never to have occurred to the politicians that the farmers were quite capable of looking after their own interests, and that it was cheaper to buy land than to make war for it.

The movement had, at the time of this conversation in 1902, been going on for years. Beginning by scores, it had risen to hundreds yearly, then {278} thousands. Sir Wilfrid computed that there were altogether some fifty or sixty thousand American settlers in the Canadian North-west, and that the yearly exodus from "the States" had reached six thousand.

"But does not that raise or threaten to raise a political issue?"

"Oh, it is much too soon to think of that."

Nevertheless, I imagine Sir Wilfrid did think of it, and it may have been present to Lord Grey's mind when he launched his memorable declaration at the Waldorf Hotel two years later. Now, the number of Americans who are moving northward and acquiring Canadian soil is computed at a hundred thousand yearly or more. The political difficulty, if there were one, would seem to be met by the Canadian law allowing aliens to hold land but requiring them to become Canadians at the end of three years. I am told there is such a law but I do not know.

In truth, the political difficulty has never outgrown manageable limits. There has always been more or less "tall talk" about annexing Canada. Eloquent phrases have been heard—"One continent, one flag," or "the Stars and Stripes from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Circle." But no party has taken up this cry. One newspaper in New York, The Sun, did for a time preach annexation. The Sun is a journal which does not disdain sensations, and has taught its readers to expect them, and from time to time fulfils the expectations it excites. The editor at that time was {279} Mr. Paul Dana, son of the Mr. Charles A. Dana who made The Sun a powerful journal. Mr. Paul Dana started a society to promote the acquisition of Canada. The capital of the society was $125,000, or £25,000. That was the sum which Mr. Paul Dana and his friends thought sufficient, or were able to raise, if they did raise it, to sever from the British Empire a Dominion larger than the United States without Alaska, capable, in military opinion, of self-defence, but, in any case, with the military and naval power of Great Britain behind it. Mr. Paul Dana, however, did not pursue matters to the bitter end. He has ceased to be editor of The Sun and Canada remains British. I do not know whether his annexation society is still in existence. But the American appetite for Canada, never keen, has grown duller still. Men's minds turn to other things. The Philippines and Hawaii and Porto Rico and the defence of the Pacific Coast are more than enough to occupy our attention. The Senate itself has grown tractable, and on the chief points of difference an agreement has been reached where five years ago no agreement seemed possible.

Two years after Sir Wilfrid Launer became Prime Minister the somewhat agitated and perhaps agitating Governor-Generalship of Lord Aberdeen came to an end. I suppose the cause of the troubled waters on which that particular ship of State was tossed was not to be found wholly or mainly in Lord Aberdeen himself, but in the multitudinous energies of Lady Aberdeen. Her {280} convictions were strong, her zeal was continuous, her certainty of being in the right was a certainty she shared with her sex, or with all those women who think public affairs their proper sphere. She had many admirable qualities and a courage which shrank from no adventure merely because it was an adventure.

Her zeal in the cause of Home Rule for Ireland is well known. It had been shown in Dublin. It was shown now at Ottawa. It crossed the border and hung out a flag in Chicago. In the Chicago Exhibition, or, as it was officially called, the "World's Columbian Exposition," in 1893, there was, among other attractions, an Irish village. This village Lady Aberdeen took under her patronage, and over it she hoisted an Irish flag of the kind in which the Home Rule heart rejoices; a flag with the Harp but without the Crown. If Lady Aberdeen had done this as a private individual it could hardly have been allowed to pass. But she did it as wife of the Governor-General of the Dominion of Canada. There were official remonstrances and the flag was lowered. Against an indiscretion of that kind may be set many useful and charitable enterprises, begun or encouraged by this lady in Ottawa and all over Canada. She is kindly remembered there, and her visits to Canada since Lord Aberdeen ceased to be Governor-General have been welcomed. But there are many stories of her crusading spirit besides the one I have told, and I suppose the Canadians really like to live a more peaceful life {281} than they were allowed to when Lady Aberdeen ruled over them.

Lord Minto succeeded Lord Aberdeen. Sir Wilfrid Laurier was Prime Minister during the whole of Lord Minto's term, and Mr. Chamberlain was Secretary for the Colonies down to the last year. I suppose it may be remarked that seldom have three great officials worked in a harmony more complete than did these three. It can hardly be necessary to say anything of Mr. Chamberlain except this; that his masterfulness never made itself felt in Canada in such a way as to weaken, but always in such a way as to strengthen, the tie between the Motherland and the Colony. His Imperialism took account of the Dominion as well as of the Empire; it took equal account for all purposes. It was under this strong hand that Canada felt her independence, perhaps for the first time, completely safeguarded.

Between Lord Minto and Sir Wilfrid Laurier there was on all subjects an understanding. That is not the same thing as saying they never differed, which would be absurd. But they had before them the same high objects, and they pretty well agreed as to the means of attaining them. The relations between Government House and Parliament House, where the Prime Minister had his headquarters, were cordial, frank, unrestrained, and delightful. That there should be relations of that kind between the representative of the Crown and the representative of the Dominion is of equal advantage to the Crown and to the {282} Dominion. They have not always existed, but there seems every reason to believe they will exist in the future, as they did in Lord Minto's time, and as they do now that Lord Grey speaks for the Sovereign and Sir Wilfrid Laurier is still the trusted Prime Minister of a Dominion which has grown too great to be called a Colony.

As I have mentioned Lady Aberdeen, I may say a word, though for a different reason, about Lady Minto, who for six years was the idol of Ottawa and of the whole Dominion. If ever there was an example of tact and felicity in the discharge of the duties that fall to the wife of a Governor-General, Lady Minto was that example. What need be added except that the statement is not a compliment but a testimony? The Canadian Press has paid its tribute and there are other tributes. One is that in Quebec and Toronto, the capital of the French Roman Catholic province and the capital of the British Protestant province, Lady Minto was equally popular and equally beloved. In a very literal but strictly correct and conventional sense it may be said that she was a power in the Dominion. The receptions at Government House were very interesting; perhaps sometimes curious as an example of democracy undergoing a social evolution. In all the Commonwealths beyond the seas the same process, I presume, may be studied. When Lady Carrington issued three thousand invitations to a reception at Government House in Sydney the limit had perhaps been reached for the time.

{283}

There can be no such throng at Government House in Ottawa because it is not large enough; perhaps is not quite large enough for the dignity of the Dominion in these days of its amazing growth and ever-increasing importance. But Ottawa, though a flourishing city, is not a great city. It is a compromise capital; the middle term in which the rivalries of Quebec on the one hand and Toronto on the other found a means of peace on neutral and central ground.




{284}

CHAPTER XXX

TWO GOVERNORS-GENERAL—LORD MINTO AND LORD GREY

Lord Minto has now passed from the great post of Governor-General of the Dominion to the still greater Viceroyalty of India. But I apprehend it will be long before his reign in Canada is forgotten. Possibly the Canadians might not use, and may not like, the word reign. They are a susceptible as well as a great people. They are jealous of their liberties, which are in no danger, and of the word American, to which they have some claim, over-shadowed though it be by their greater neighbour on the South. I have seen more instances than one of Canadian sensitiveness, of which I will take the simplest. Having to pay for a purchase in an Ottawa shop I asked the shopkeeper whether he would take an American banknote. He answered with a flushed face:

"We consider our money as much American as yours. We have the same right as you to the name American."

"By all means. But what do you call our money?"

"United States bills."

"And what do you call me?"

{285}

But to that simple question he had no answer ready. And I rather imagine the time has come, or is coming, when the Canadian may be as proud of the name which identifies him with the northern half of the continent as we are of the adjective we have to share, more or less, with others. I never heard of a Mexican calling himself an American, but I believe the Latin races to the South do; and forget sometimes to put South before it. Lord Minto was Governor-General while Mr. Chamberlain was Colonial Secretary, a period of transition, of Imperial transition, to which Mr. Chamberlain led the way. Nobody has ever forgotten his adjuration to all Englishmen to think imperially. As I remember Canada during several visits, she was at that time more inclined to think independently. Not that any party in the Dominion meditated a secession from the Empire, but there was a pretty distinct notion, and claim, of colonial autonomy. Canada came first, as Canada, and not as a part of the Empire. The moment when Imperial considerations first became dominant in the Canadian mind was moment of the Boer War.

There it is that Lord Minto's name becomes indissolubly allied with the Dominion. His share in that great transaction of the Canadian contingent to South Africa has never, I think, been fully understood by the British public. Nor would it ever be if the matter were left to him. He was never a man to advertise himself or his deeds. I dare say he will not like my telling the story, {286} though I shall tell it only as it was told to me, and the teller had nothing to do with Government House.

It was for a while doubtful whether Canada would send troops. There was, I am told, an uncertain feeling about the militia organization, then on a different footing from the present. There were awkward stories of corruption and inefficiency. It was doubted whether a force officered and equipped in conditions then existing would do credit to the Dominion. There were hesitations on other grounds. But when finally a levy was voted, Lord Minto, who had taken no part in the discussion and could take none, availed himself of his authority as Governor-General and of his experience as a soldier, and gave his personal attention to the organization of the contingent. It was stated to me much more strongly than that, and my informant seemed to doubt whether Lord Minto did not exceed, or at least strain, his prerogatives as representative of the Crown. If he did, so much the better. The English have ever liked a servant in high place who was not afraid of responsibilities. But for my purpose it is enough to say that Lord Minto took an active part in these momentous preparations. I think no officer was appointed without his sanction, no contract for supplies entered into which he did not approve, no arrangement of any kind made but upon his initiative or with his express consent.

The result was that the Canadian forces reached Africa a body of soldiers fit for the field, {287} not as a mere aggregation of men food for powder. England knows, and all the world knows, what service they did. There were no better troops of the kind, perhaps not many of any kind better adapted for the work they had to do and for coping with such an enemy as the Boers. They did more than their contract called for in the field. They builded better than they knew. They made it plain to all men that the country which had sent such troops as these many thousands of miles beyond the seas to the relief of the Imperial forces of Great Britain was itself an integral and indispensable part of the Empire.

Whereas, if they had failed or only half succeeded, they would have done little good to the British arms in South Africa and none at all to the Imperialism of which Canada to-day is a bulwark. And if this is a true account, as I believe it to be, of the way in which these two great results were brought about, the credit of them belongs more to Lord Minto than to any other man.

I do not offer this as an explanation of the regard in which Lord Minto was held. It could not be an explanation, because it was not generally known. There were other reasons, at the top of which I should put his common sense, his sincerity, and, of course, that devotion to duty which every Governor-General is presumed to possess, which in him was conspicuous. Everybody liked him, nobody doubted him. He made the interests of Canada his own. He traversed that vast territory from end to end again and again. He held a {288} Court not in Ottawa only, but in Quebec, in Halifax, in Toronto, and in that Far North where Canada touches Alaska and the chief harvest of the soil is gold. His five years' term came to an end but the Colonial Office and Parliament House and the people of Canada wished him to stay on, and so the five years became six. A period on which to look back with pride.

Canada is again fortunate in her Governor-General, and in his relations with those who mould public opinion on the American side of the border. I imagine it may not be known in England how he first conquered the respect and good-will of the Americans. It was at a dinner of some five hundred or six hundred people at the Waldorf Hotel in New York. In the course of his short speech Lord Grey referred, with a plainness unusual in those exalted regions, to what had been said in times past about the possible absorption of Canada by the United States.

"But now," observed the Governor-General, "there is no more reason for discussing the annexation of Canada by the United States than for discussing the annexation of the United States by Canada."

It was a straight hit from the shoulder, but the audience rose to it and cheered him as I had heard no Englishman cheered in New York before that time. He became in a moment a great figure, filling the public eye. He delivered his tremendous sentence with simplicity and good humour. There was nothing like defiance or menace. {289} Everybody saw that he felt himself on a level with his hearers. He spoke as Governor-General of the Dominion to the people of the United States, d'égal à égal. He spoke as an Englishman to Americans. Mr. Price Collier may say, if he chooses, that English and Americans do not like each other, but I will ask him what other two nationalities have the same, or anything like the same, points of contact and of sympathy? There stood Lord Grey, just an Englishman, holding out his hand to his American cousins. If the hand happened for that moment to be clenched it was none the less a greeting, and was understood as such. You could not look into his face without seeing in it the spirit of kinship and of friendship. Lord Grey is pre-eminently one of those men who think the best relations between men or between communities must spring from frankness. He wanted to clear the ground, and he did clear it. If he had asked anybody's advice he would certainly have been advised not to say what he did. He preferred to trust to his own instincts, and they proved to be true instincts. The danger was that a freedom of speech which would be accepted from his lips might be resented when read in cold print. But it was not.

No American will have forgotten Lord Grey's gift of his portrait of Franklin to Philadelphia. That endeared him to us still further. It was a prize of war which he surrendered, taken in the War of the Revolution by General Sir Charles Grey. It used to hang near the ceiling in one of {290} the reception rooms of Howick House, Northumberland. I saw it there some time before the gift and Lord Grey told me its history, but did not tell me he meant to give it back to America. I believe he did ask whether I thought Philadelphia would care to have it again, a question to which I could not but say yes. Yet it might almost be thought of the family, with a good deal more than a hundred years of possession behind it. But in this country a hundred years do not count so much as elsewhere. The English have long since got into the habit of reckoning by centuries.

When Lord Grey went to Washington the President asked me to bring him to the White House. Mrs. Roosevelt had a reception that evening and I said with her permission I would bring him then. "Very good," said the President, "and mind you bring him to me as soon as you come." I did as I was told. The President greeted him, as he did everybody, warmly, but in a way that made Lord Grey understand he was welcome. Within thirty seconds they were deep in political economy, a matter of which Lord Grey had made a profounder study than the President. For the Englishman had not, like Bacon and Mr. Roosevelt, taken all knowledge to be his province, and was able to master his subjects. More than once I had occasion to see something of his familiarity with difficult subjects—once at dinner when the late Mr. Beit, the South African magnate, sat on his right, and the two discussed financial and political questions. Mr. Beit had made a great {291} fortune in South Africa, and Lord Grey had not. The Chartered Company had not then proved a mine of wealth to its administrator. But the minds of the two were at one. The knowledge of each was immense. The power of grappling with great subjects was common to both. Perhaps Lord Grey sometimes took an imaginative view, but the feet of the capitalist were planted on the solid earth.

The President and the Governor-General became friends at once, neither of the two being the kind of man to whom friendship requires length of years to come into being. It is, of course, for the interests of both Canada and the United States that relations of sympathetic good-will should exist between the rulers of each. A few hours before their meeting the President knew nothing about Lord Grey. Even to Mr. Roosevelt's omniscience there are limits. But he desired to know, and when he had heard a little of Lord Grey's history, said joyfully: "All right; we have subjects in common and ideas too." So the doors of the White House opened wide to the Governor-General, and Lord Grey was the President's guest, and the impression in Canada was a good impression.




{292}

CHAPTER XXXI

LORD KITCHENER—PERSONAL TRAITS AND INCIDENTS

It does not appear that Lord Kitchener's refusal to accept the Mediterranean post to which he was assigned has impaired his popularity or diminished the general confidence in him. Possibly even official confidence survives, in a degree. The tone of the Prime Minister's replies to questions about the refusal may denote resentment but hardly censure. So I think I may still venture to reprint sundry personal reminiscences which were written before this collision between the great soldier and the Prime Minister—or was it the War Minister?—had occurred.

"The greatest chief-of-staff living," said the Germans of Lord Kitchener; possibly with a reservation in favour of themselves. They would not go beyond that limited panegyric. The remark was made by a German officer, high in rank, not long after the Boer war, and it was Paardeberg which rankled in his German mind and would not suffer him to award to the English general a great power of leadership in the field. But I believe German opinion on that battle has {293} since undergone revision. Whether it has or not Lord Kitchener's military renown can easily take care of itself; nor is it his soldiership which I am going to discuss. I happen to have met him now and then, and what else I have to say about him is personal. I hope not too personal.

It was on a journey from London to Alderbrook, Mr. Ralli's beautiful place in Sussex, that I first saw Lord Kitchener. We were a week-end party and went down together in a saloon carriage. The figure which next to Lord Kitchener's stands out clearest is the late Lord Glenesk's still in the vigour of his versatile powers and accomplishments and attractions. The occasion was the more interesting because Lord Kitchener had then lately returned from Egypt, and from that victorious campaign which he, and he alone, had planned and carried through from beginning to end in strict fulfilment of the scheme framed before the actual preparations for it had been begun. This also might induce our German military friends to reconsider that chief-of-staff opinion above quoted.

It was known that this second hero of Khartoum—Gordon being the first—was to travel by this train. It was an express, and there was no stop before Guildford. But consider the enthusiasm of the British people when they have a real hero. The stations through which the train thundered at forty miles an hour were crowded with people. They could not get so much as a glimpse of their idol, but they stood and cheered and waved their hats to the train and the invisible hero-traveller. {294}

When we reached Guildford six or seven thousand people thronged that station. They hurrahed for "Kitchener," and as the cries for "Kitchener" met with no response, they were raised again and again. Lord Kitchener sat in a corner, buried in a rough grey overcoat, silent and bored. He had no taste for "ovations" and triumphal greetings. Lord Glenesk told him he really must show himself and acknowledge these salutations. So Lord Kitchener rose, with an ill grace, walked to one of the open doors of the saloon, raised his hand with a swift military jerk to his bowler, and retreated. The tumult increased but he would not show himself a second time. The cheers rolled on without effect. The idol would not be idolized. It was not ill-temper but indifference. He was in mufti and it was the soldier the multitude demanded to see. In truth, Lord Kitchener's appearance at the moment was not military. It was remarked by his fellow-passengers that he showed to little advantage in his grey clothes, none too well fitting. When evening came he was another man, just as unmistakably the soldier as if in full uniform.

He was at that time brooding over his Gordon College scheme for Khartoum. He wanted £100,000, and he doubted whether he should get it. In vain his friends urged him to make his appeal.

"No," said Lord Kitchener, "nothing less than £100,000 will be of any use. It is a large sum. I should not like to fail, and if they gave {295} me only part of the amount I should have to return it."

He was told that his name would be enough. It was the psychological moment. Delay would only injure his chances. Lord Glenesk offered him £1000 across the dinner table, and other sums were offered there and then, and the support of two powerful newspapers was promised. Still he hesitated, and still he repeated, "I should not like to fail." At last one of the company said:

"Well, Lord Kitchener, if you had doubted about your campaign as you do about this you would never have got to Khartoum."

His face hardened and his reply was characteristic of the man:

"Perhaps not; but then I could depend on myself and now I have to depend on the British public."

But he did ask for the money and got all and more than all he wanted with no difficulty whatever. It appeared that the British public also was to be depended on.

The United States Government was at this time in some perplexity about the Philippines, where matters were not going well. Lord Kitchener asked what we were going to do about it and how we meant to govern the 1200 islands. He seemed to think they were giving us more trouble than they ought. I explained that the business of annexing territory on the other side of the globe was a new one to us, that down to within a few years the American Republic was self-contained, {296} that we had therefore no machinery for the purpose, no civil or military servants intended or trained for distant duties, no traditions, no experience of any kind, and no men. Whoever went to the Philippines had to learn his business from the beginning, and the business was a very difficult one.

Lord Kitchener listened to all this, thought a moment, looked across the table, and said: "I should like to govern them for you." And although it was not said seriously and could not be, it was evident that Lord Kitchener would very well have liked to take over a job of that kind had it been possible. His mind turned readily to executive, administrative, and creative work. The task of reducing eight or nine millions of Filipinos and other races to order was one for which he was fitted.

Not long after that, an American who had already once been Civil Governor of the Philippines for a short time resumed that post and held it for two years. He won the confidence of the people. Out of chaos he brought order. He set up an administrative system. He treated the natives justly. He brought them to co-operate with their rulers. When he left, he left behind him a Government incomparably better than the islands had ever known. Life, liberty, property, all civil and personal rights, were protected. Progress had begun. Trade and commerce had begun to flourish and have continued to flourish so far as tariff conditions permit. Loyalty, a sentiment {297} never before known, though a plant of slow growth, prevails. Rebellions are at an end. The name of the American who accomplished all this, or laid the foundations of it all within two years, is Taft. He is now President of the United States.

The last time I saw Lord Kitchener was at a house in one of the Southern counties, in 1902. He was then on his way to take up the commandership-in-chief of India. He drove over to luncheon from another house some sixteen miles away. Luncheon, usually at 1 o'clock, had been put off till 1.30 because of the distance he and his friends had to drive; a great concession. But the roads were heavy and they arrived just before 2. Lord Kitchener said to me as we were going in: "Look at me. I really cannot sit down to lunch in all this dirt." I suggested that he should come to my room. He did, and after spending ten minutes on his toilet emerged looking not much less the South African campaigner than when he began.

He said: "You don't seem to approve."

"Oh, I was only wondering what you had been doing for ten minutes. But late as we are there is one thing you must see."

And I took him to the hall where stand those two figures in damascened armour inlaid with gold, Anne de Montmorenci and the Constable de Bourbon, whom a Herbert of the sixteenth century had taken prisoners. They woke the soldier in this dusty traveller.

{298}

"If I were a Frenchman I think I should try to get them back."

"It has been tried. One of their descendants offered £20,000 for the pair, but you see they are still here."

We found the rest of the company at table, where a place next his hostess was waiting for him. If you had seen Lord Kitchener for the first time you would have felt that his toilet did not much matter. The man's personality was the thing. There are many men who produce an impression of power, but with this man it was military power. You could not take him for anything but a soldier. Not at all the soldier as he presents himself to the youthful imagination. He was not in uniform; no English soldier ever is except on duty or on occasions of ceremony. But it is possible to be a soldier without gold lace or gilt buttons, and to appear to be. The carriage of his head, rising out of square shoulders, announced him a soldier; so did his pale grey-blue, steel-blue eyes, and the air of command; a quite unconscious air for the simplicity of his bearing was as remarkable as anything about him. It has been said he is not a natural leader of men, not a man whom other men follow in the field just because they cannot help it; that he does not "inspire" his soldiers. I doubt it; but even were it so he is a man whose orders other men must obey when they are sent. His pale steel-blue eyes have in them the hard light of the desert. I believe, in fact, the light of the desert, which we consider a poetic thing, injured {299} his eyes. But there is in them that far-off look as of one whose sight has ranged over great spaces for great intervals of time. The races of South-eastern Europe and of Central Asia have it. There has been seen in London a beautiful girl who has it; gazing out, from the graceful movement of the waltz, on a distant horizon much beyond the walls of a ballroom.

Yet as Lord Kitchener sits there talking at luncheon the hardness of the face softens. The merciless eyes grow kindly and human; you may forget, if you like, the frontal attack at Paardeberg and the corpse-strewn plains of Omdurman, and remember only that an English gentleman who has made a study of the science of war sits there, devoting himself to the entertainment of two English ladies. It is a picture which has a charm of its own. And it is a Kitchener of whom you hear none too often. That is why you hear of him in these social circumstances from me. Most men have a human side to them. Even "K." has, and sometimes allows it to be seen.

He had a human side when he departed without leave from the Military Academy at Woolwich to take a look for himself at what was going on near the French frontier in July or August 1870, when the Prussians were giving their French neighbours a lesson in the art of war that seemed to young Kitchener a lesson likely to be more profitable than those of Woolwich; so he went. It was a grave breach of discipline. I never heard how the matter was settled but it {300} did not keep Kitchener out of the army for he entered the Royal Engineers the next year. But I imagine we all like him the better for such an adventure.




{301}

CHAPTER XXXII

SIR GEORGE LEWIS—KING'S SOLICITOR AND FRIEND
A SOCIAL FORCE

Lord Russel said of him:

"What is most remarkable in Lewis is not his knowledge of the law, which is very great, nor his skill in the conduct of difficult causes, in which he is unrivalled, nor his tact, nor his genius for compromise. It is his courage."

That was said not long after the Parnell trial, in which Lord Russell—then Sir Charles Russell and afterwards Lord Chief Justice of England—who had long been at the head of the English Bar of his own time, proved himself the equal of any advocate of any time. Yet he must divide the honours of that trial with Sir George Lewis. The profession, or the two professions of barrister and solicitor, divided them if the public did not. The public has almost never the means of judging. The work of preparing a great cause is carried on in the solicitor's office. The barrister takes it up ready made and the way in which he handles his material is seen of all men. But no barrister badly briefed could make much of a complicated case. In no trial was this truer than in the Parnell trial. Parnell was perhaps the greatest political {302} leader of his time, and the least scrupulous. He had a black record, and the men behind him a blacker. Not even Sir George Lewis could wash it all white, but without him the judgment would have gone far more heavily against the Irish dictator. And if ever there was a case in which Lord Russell's eulogy on Sir George Lewis was to the point it was the Parnell case. It needed all his courage in handling facts to save his client from a condemnation which would have carried with it his banishment from public life. Mr. Gladstone marked his sense of the service done by making Mr. George Lewis Sir George Lewis. The knighthood some years later became a baronetcy, the late King, I believe, suggesting it.

For the late King, while Prince of Wales, had stood to the great solicitor in the relation of client, and this business connection had become one of friendship. They were much together at Homburg, where both spent three or four weeks each year for many years. Homburg is a place where the houses are of glass and everything is known. The Prince gave his dinners at Ritter's or at the Kursaal in the open air. If he went afterward to play whist—for these were ante-bridge days—at Mr. Lewis's rooms, that was known. Nor is publicity, so far as Prince and King are concerned, much less in England, and when Mr. Lewis dined at Marlborough House, or was present at a levee at St. James's Palace, or was a guest at Sandringham, all these things were of common knowledge. And since the English are a very loyal people, who {303} had a strong personal attachment to their late King, the confidence and liking the King showed him won for Sir George the confidence and liking of others.

This great and eventful career has lasted more than fifty years, and with the end of 1909 Sir George Lewis, being seventy-six years old, retired from business, leaving his son, Mr. George Lewis, and his other partner, Mr. Reginald Poole, both for many years his associates, to be his successors. Both are widely known as learned and skilful in the law; both have been trained in Sir George's methods; and the new firm is still, like the old, known as Lewis & Lewis, and they are still of Ely Place, Holborn.

It is characteristic of old days and ways in London that Sir George Lewis was born in one of the three houses now occupied by the firm. His father was a solicitor before him; a man of repute and ability, yet none the less is this vast business the creation of the son. There are in London many firms of solicitors known the world over; the Messrs. Freshfield, for example, solicitors to the Bank of England. But there is seldom or never a fame due to one man. It is due to combined action, to organization, to concentration upon one kind of business. The firm of Lewis & Lewis knew no limitations. The public thought of Sir George Lewis as the man to whom the conduct of great causes was habitually entrusted; sometimes criminal, sometimes social, often divorce cases, often those causes in which the honour of a great name {304} or a great family is involved. True, but the business of Messrs. Lewis & Lewis was first of all a great commercial business. Sir George's permanent clients were among the city firms famous in finance, or in banking or in industry. That was the backbone of the business and continues to be.

The first case in which Mr. Lewis made himself known to the public arose out of the failure of Overend, Gurney & Co., then one of the leading houses in the City of London. He fought that case single-handed against barristers of renown; a bold thing for a solicitor to do, and perhaps without precedent. He did the same thing in the Bravo murder case, and held his own, and more than his own, against Attorney-General and Solicitor-General. No doubt, had he chosen, he might have gone to the Bar and become distinguished at the Bar, but not so had he chosen to model his life. He never could have played the part he has, had he done that. For the dividing line between solicitor and barrister in England is just as clearly drawn as ever. You may be one or the other; you cannot be both; you may pass from one to the other, but you must elect between the two.

I ask myself sometimes what London society would be to-day had there been no Sir George Lewis. It certainly would not be what it is. There have been many, many causes célèbres in which his name has figured in open court, or in the still more open newspapers. But they are as {305} one to a hundred of those which have never been tried, and never supplied material for legal proceedings or for printed scandal. The simple truth is that Sir George Lewis, though the most successful of solicitors in contested causes, has made fame and fortune by keeping cases out of court and out of print. He carried the art of compromise to its highest point. He saw that alike in the interests of his clients and of the public, and in his own interest also, the greatest service he could do was to prevent litigation. On that he has acted consistently for fifty years.

Of how many lawyers can anything like that be said? Sir George Lewis stands alone. The money results of his policy are splendid. His renown is splendid But the misery he has soothed and the social disruptions and disturbances and far-reaching disasters he has prevented are a tribute more splendid still. And perhaps never has the value of his advice been so evident as when it has been rejected.

In the matter which shook London society perhaps more than any other of recent years, Sir George Lewis on one side, and a brilliant young solicitor, Mr. Charles Russell, son of the late Lord Chief Justice, on the other, had come to an agreement. The instrument they had drawn jointly was ready for signature. So quietly had all this distressing business been transacted that, had the instrument been signed then and there, the world would never have heard there had been a disagreement till it learned there had been a settlement. {306} But outside influences intervened. One of the two signatures was withheld. Then scandal broke loose and the sewers of London overflowed all winter. There were reproaches, recriminations, divisions; all London taking one side or the other. Then in the spring the same instrument, word for word, was signed. The solicitors had never wavered nor perhaps ever doubted that since they were agreed their clients must ultimately agree. It is a typical example of Sir George Lewis's methods. But the mischief that had been done by intruders could not be undone.

Sleeping for half a century, or for only years and months, in the black japanned tin boxes which line the walls in Ely Place and in his safes were papers enough to compromise half London and scandalize the other half. Sir George, reflecting some years ago on this state of things, looked through the collection and then burnt the whole. That is the best possible answer to the foolish story that he intended writing his memoirs. His sense of professional etiquette and his sense of honour may both be judged in the light of these flaming documents. It had been necessary, of course, to preserve some of these papers for a time, on the chance of their being needed again. But think of the relief with which hundreds and hundreds of people heard of the burning! It is almost as if the tragedies of which all record was thus destroyed had never happened.[1]


[1] I have since asked Sir George himself about this conflagration story. He answered: "Yes, it is true, but there are things here"—touching his forehead—"which I can neither burn nor forget."


{307}

Sir George Lewis could coerce as well as coax. He could use threats, but never a threat he was not ready to fulfil. By and by his character came to be so well understood that a letter from Ely Place became almost a summons to surrender. But always on reasonable terms. With all that, he had a kindness of heart to which thousands of people can testify. I suppose no lawyer ever did so much for clients without fee or reward. If you were his friend, if you were of a profession, if you came to him with a letter from some friend, if you came to him in poverty with a case of oppression, he would take infinite pains for you and no fee. He had all sorts of out-of-the-way knowledge; copyright law, for one, on which he was an authority, and in which few solicitors are authorities. There is this link between copyright in books and in plays and theatrical contracts; the contract is commonly drawn by the publisher or manager, who is a man of business; and the author or actor, who is not, is expected to accept it. It was this solicitor's pleasure to redress that balance.

He was a law reformer. Again unlike most successful men who are apt to be content with things as they are. The letters he wrote to The Times on such matters as the creation of a Court of Criminal Appeal, alteration in the law of divorce, the administration of Justice, and other high legal questions show him a great scientific lawyer, with a mastery of principles. He has essentially a legal mind, and he wrote with a luminous precision and force not always characteristic of the legal mind. And he had what every {308} judge on the bench ought to have, and a few of the greatest really have, an unerring perception of such facts as are essential, and a power of dismissing all the rest. Sir George Jessel had that; one of the greatest judges. Students of ethnology may remark with interest that both were Jews. When such a man quits the stage it is an irreparable loss to his friends, to his clients, and to the world generally. The feeling is more than regret, for ties are broken which never existed before and will never exist again. Sir George Lewis's position was unique because his personality is unique. So will his fame be. Reputation in the law is for the most part transitory. But this will endure.




{309}

CHAPTER XXXIII

MR. MILLS—A PERSONAL APPRECIATION AND A FEW ANECDOTES

I recross the Atlantic for a moment. There died lately in California a man known on both sides of the ocean, known in more worlds than two, one of the strongest and certainly one of the most amiable figures in the world of business, Mr. Darius Ogden Mills.

Of late years, since Mr. Reid has been Ambassador, Mr. Mills had become a figure in London. He interested Englishmen because he was a new type, or, rather, because he was individual; because he was Mr. Mills. Type implies a plurality; and not only was there but one Mills, there was none other to whom you could compare him. Englishmen have formed a notion of their own about Americans of the class to which, in respect of his wealth, Mr. Mills belonged; and a high notion. They have seen much, for example, of Mr. Pierpont Morgan, and they seemed inclined to suppose all great financiers to be, in manner as in fact, masterful, dominating, huge in physique, born rulers of other men. They had never seen much, if anything, of Mr. Harriman, who hid away his great qualities beneath a personality {310} almost insignificant in appearance save for the ample head and burning eyes.

Mr. Mills was perceived to be like neither of these, nor like any third. He was much more like an Oxford professor; like the late Rev. Mark Pattison, rector of Lincoln, the Casaubon of George Eliot's novel. Mr. Mills had the gentleness, the refinement, the distinction of the scholar. It must have been born with him. He went to no college. He had little college learning. He had lived in rough times and among rough men; had twice crossed the continent on foot and in the saddle, with a cloud of Red Indians ever on the horizon, and had lived in San Francisco during those stormy years when Bret Harte's heroes, gamblers, and ruffians set up their turbulent rule. But there was a light in Mr. Mills's pale blue eyes which kept those gentlemen at a distance. This delicately-featured face ended in a jaw which was an index of a character not to be trifled with.

Upon all this London remarked with some surprise, and then with great respect and liking. They liked his simplicity of manner as much as his sagacity of speech, and his silence almost as much as his conversation. An American who was an American to the finger-tips but never waved the flag; a man of affairs who seemed in the world only a man of the world; a millionaire in whose pockets the jingle of the dollar was never heard; such was the rare picture Mr. Mills presented. He won their sympathies because he never tried to. These islanders like a man who is just {311} himself, yet is absolutely free from self-assertion. They gave him first their respect, then their regard, and finally their affection.

I have seen all these feelings shown in the Metropolitan Club in New York in an unusual way. Mr. Mills used to come into the card-room of an afternoon. There would be two or three or more rubbers of bridge going on. Bridge is a passion, but men would stop in the middle of a rubber and ask Mr. Mills if he would not take a hand or make up a new rubber. Bridge being not only a passion but the selfish game it is—necessarily so, like business—the tribute was a remarkable one. If he declined, somebody would remember suddenly he had an engagement and beg Mr. Mills as a favour to take his place. As he moved about in the club men rose and walked across the room to greet him, a thing less rare in New York but unknown in London, where a club has been defined as a place in which a man may cut his best friend and no offence taken. The general ceremoniousness of club life in New York would close all the clubhouses in London. So would the despotism of New York club committees.

Men listened to him or waited for him to speak in a way which suggested not only a desire for an opinion but an attachment to the man. He himself was one of the best listeners ever known. When he spoke it was briefly. He could say what he wanted to in a sentence or a few sentences. In this he was like another and a greater Oxford Don—I suppose the greatest of his time—Jowett, {312} the Master of Balliol. Both sat long silent while others were talking and both seemed to use, and Jowett certainly did use, the interval in fashioning his thoughts into epigrams. Jowett's epigrams often stung, and were meant to sting, for he thought presumption and ignorance ought to be punished. Perhaps Mr. Mills did but he did not think he had been appointed to punish them.

A group of men in the club were one day discussing great fortunes and the men who owned them. Everybody thought and spoke in millions and tens of millions. Finally some one appealed to the only silent man in the company.

"What do you say, Mr. Mills?"

"I say that in all these cases, or almost all, I think it safe to divide the figures by two."

"In your own case also?"

"Above all in my case."

We travelled up together once by the night express to the Adirondacks on a visit to Mr. Reid's camp, arriving at the station at six in the morning; then driving to the lake; then in a boat to the camp, which could not be reached otherwise. After his long night journey he was fresh and alert and not the least tired, and he talked freely. He even discussed business, and presently remarked:

"I have been a little anxious about money matters and was not sure I could get away from New York."

"But why?"

"Oh, but my bank balances are much larger than I like them to be."

{313}

I made the obvious and rather foolish answer that there were plenty of people who would be willing to relieve him from this anxiety, to which he retorted:

"You know nothing about it. I am not speaking of myself. But a man in my position has his duties as trustee for others to consider. Whether I get three per cent or four per cent for my money may not much matter, though I prefer five, but to many of those for whom I act it does matter, and to them I am under an obligation I must fulfil. No man who is not or has not been in business can have any notion of the ramifications and complications of business. But it's worth your while to consider that."

It was the longest speech I had ever heard him make, and the didactic touch at the end was equally new. It was not his way to lecture people. He held strong, considered opinions on many subjects, but thought it no part of his duty to impress them on the world, though his sure judgment was at the service of his friends. His fame and wealth and position had come to him from what he had done, not by sermonizing or rhetoric. Men trusted him. There was perhaps no man more generally trusted. It is nothing to say he never betrayed a trust. He discharged it to the utmost measure of his ability. The money which others had put into his hands had to earn as much as money could earn. Three per cent on deposits would seem to an Englishman affluence, but Mr. Mills appeared to think he was unfair to his clients to be content, {314} even temporarily, with three when it could be invested to earn more.

At the camp he talked more freely than elsewhere. The air was tonic; the life suited him. In the Adirondacks you do get back into closer relations with Nature and on more intimate terms with the great natural forces about you. This is true in spite of the luxurious simplicity of the camps. But Mr. Mills was always happy where his daughter was. I may not dwell on such a matter but her devotion to him was the light of his life. He came to London to be with her. She returned to America to be with him. If his duties and responsibilities had permitted, his visits here would have been longer and more frequent.

Once while I was sitting with him in his office in Broad Street his lawyer came in with a contract for him to sign. Mr. Mills hardly glanced at it, took up his pen to sign, stopped, and said to the lawyer:

"I suppose it is all right?"

"Oh, yes, Mr. Mills. I think you will find your interests protected in every way."

"That is not what I mean. I want to know whether you have drawn this agreement so as to leave Mr. A a profit large enough to ensure his doing his best. He must have his fair share."

A business view, perhaps, and for aught I know common in the business world, but I had never happened to hear it put quite like that, nor have I since.

With that may be compared another saying. A little company, all men of business but me, were {315} discussing business methods. One or two of them stated rather crudely what are sometimes called the methods of Wall Street. "There is no sentiment in business," said one. "A man who thinks of others' interests will soon have none of his own to consider," remarked a second. And a third, whose career was strewn with wrecks, declared: "Of course you have to crush those who stand in your way." Said Mr. Mills:

"I have done pretty well in business but I never crushed anybody."

The Mills hotels were an expression of his sentiment toward the society amid which he lived; to the environment which had given him his later opportunities. He wanted to enlarge the opportunities of other men, to sweeten their lives a little, to enable them to do more for themselves. His scheme was derided and was a success from the start, and the success has grown greater ever since. The success was due to the patience with which he thought out his plans. The afternoon before I sailed from New York, in 1906, I met Mr. Mills in his victoria at the door of the Metropolitan Club. "Come for a drive in the park," he said, and we went. He began at once to talk about his new hotel. We drove for two hours and during nearly all that time he discussed plans, estimates, details, methods of economical working, organization, the effect on the tenants, and a hundred other matters relating to the building, equipment, and operation of the hotel soon to be erected.

He had all the facts and figures in his mind. He {316} talked with an enthusiasm he rarely showed. His heart was in it.

To the last his energies seemed inexhaustible; and his interests. He arrived one afternoon at Dorchester House at five o'clock from New York. There was a large dinner at 8.30, then a ball which he did not leave till toward one in the morning. I met him again at tea next day and he told me he had been at the White City since nine that morning, and when I suggested that he had gone about that marvellous but very fatiguing show in a chair, he said: "Oh, no, on my legs." Nor did he seem tired nor mind the prospect of another large dinner that night. He was then eighty-two years old. Pneumonia had attacked him winter after winter, but he always rallied and would take no better care of himself than before.

In that slight, erect figure Nature had packed powers of endurance which bigger frames had not. Everything was reduced to its essence. There was nothing superfluous and nothing wanting. The features were sculptured. It was the face of a man who had a real distinction of nature; who had benignity and judgment and acute perceptions all in equal measure. They bore the stamp of an impregnable integrity, as his life did. Unlike qualities in him melted into harmony and a rounded whole. For with his unyielding firmness and strength and uncompromising convictions and invincible sense of justice went a loving kindness which made him the most lovable of men. That was Mr. Mills.




{317}

CHAPTER XXXIV

LORD RANDOLPH CHURCHILL—BEING MOSTLY PERSONAL IMPRESSIONS

I

I venture on an anecdote or two, which I have told elsewhere but imperfectly, those whom it concerns being now dead or retired. They were three; Mr. Chamberlain, Lord Randolph Churchill, and Mr. Archibald Forbes; all at that moment in the splendour, the blinding splendour, of their gifts and powers. It was after luncheon. The ladies had gone. Lord Randolph had been Secretary of State for India, and Forbes, like Lord Randolph, had lately been in India, and the talk turned upon India. All three were men who spoke their minds; not at all an uncommon practice in this country, where men dissent freely, and even bluntly, from the expressed opinion of others, and no offence taken. Lord Randolph and Forbes differed sharply. Neither stood in awe of the other, or of any man. Forbes would make a statement. Lord Randolph would answer:

"I know you have been in India but from what you say I shouldn't suppose you knew where it was."

{318}

Lord Randolph would go on to point out what he thought Forbes's mistakes; then Forbes:

"Yes, you have ruled India but the real India is a sealed book to you."

And so on. Presently they discussed the Indian Civil Service and Mr. Chamberlain came to the front. In the new Civil Service lay, he thought, the hope of India. Appointments were no longer jobbed. A new class of men were brought into the service by examination, well taught, well trained, competent, and drawn from the whole people of England. Lord Randolph listened impatiently, interrupted now and then, but on the whole listened. When Mr. Chamberlain had finished Lord Randolph burst out:

"I have heard that before. No greater nonsense was ever talked. What is the Indian Civil Service; or rather, what was it? A boy of twenty went out as a clerk. From Calcutta he was sent up country, nominally in charge of a bureau, really to govern a district. He did govern it. He had passed no examination. Very likely he couldn't tell you the date of the battle of Plassey or the lineage of a native Prince. He had no mathematics, no Latin, and probably couldn't spell. But he had character. He knew how to govern because he came of a governing class. And he was a gentleman."

"Whereas now"—looking steadily at Chamberlain—"instead of gentlemen you get men from—Birmingham and God knows where."

Chamberlain, who seldom declined any {319} contest to which he was invited, sat cool and smiling while Lord Randolph launched his shafts. When he had emptied his quiver the member for Birmingham, still cool and smiling, observed that he thought it was time for us to join the ladies; and we did. Instantly the sky cleared. India was forgotten. The two combatants walked upstairs arm in arm, and the storm was as if it had never been.

The little scene in which Lord Randolph Churchill was the chief actor brings that vivid personality once again vividly to mind. Indeed, it is never long absent from the general memory. He has left a mark on the public life of this country which will last as long as anything lasts. And he has left a portrait of himself in the memory of all who really knew him. Besides which, he has left a son who does not allow us long to forget his existence or his relation to the affairs of the moment. A great authority was quoted quite lately as saying, "Winston is an abler man even than his father." I asked him whether he said it. "No, I said cleverer, not abler," which seemed a very just distinction.

I have not really much to add to the account of Lord Randolph which I wrote in January, 1895, upon his death. I adhere to all I then said. The estimate seems to me fair, if not complete. The years that have passed take nothing from Lord Randolph's fame. If anything, they add to it. And for this reason: his conception of the political future of his country was a true conception. {320} To him the year 1884, with its revolutionary enlargement of the suffrage, was the turning point of modern English history. The middle classes vacated the throne they had occupied since 1832. The working classes succeeded to their inheritance. Their power has steadily grown. They are two-thirds of the electorate to-day. They have, it is true, but 30 out of 670 Members of Parliament, but these figures are in no respect representative of their real authority. They and the Irish Nationalists hold the balance of power in the House of Commons. They returned fewer members to the House this year than in 1906, but that was because of an arrangement between them and the Liberals—for value received. And no man doubts that the power of the Labour Party will hereafter increase and not decrease. For the first time in the history of England they openly proclaim their purpose to legislate and to influence legislation in the interest of a single class and not in the interest of all classes and of the country as a whole. Their excuse is that they are a majority. But the day when a majority takes no account of the minority, or thinks a minority has no rights which the majority is bound to respect is a black day in the history of any country.

But this, in substance if not in detail is what Lord Randolph foresaw and announced; and he was the only man to foresee it. He did not disdain, as Mr. Gladstone did, to look ahead, to form to himself some conception of what the future of England was to be with this rising tide of Democracy. {321} His conception, as I said, was a true conception, and the political genius of the man was never more clearly visible than in this forecast, and in the means he proposed to himself and to his party for dealing with a situation absolutely new.

Lord Randolph's Dartford speech in 1886 will therefore remain a monument to his sagacity. It was a speech which may be read to-day with profit and admiration. So may that at Birmingham, of which "Trust the People" is the motto. I will go farther. If I wanted a body of political doctrine to put into the hands of an American student of English politics I would as soon offer him Lord Randolph's speeches as any other. There is no complete collection but there are the two volumes edited by Mr. Louis Jennings and published by Messrs. Longmans in 1889. They cover a period of only nine years, 1880-8, but they are a handbook to the political life of England for a generation. Lord Randolph had this rare merit—rare in this country—he dealt habitually with principles, and his treatment of political questions was not empirical but scientific. And he was absolutely fearless.

He was fearless alike in public and private, and he looked his own fortunes in the face whether they presented themselves to him with the promise of good or of ill. He knew he was a doomed man. He cast his own horoscope shortly before he flung that fatal card upon the table which lost him the game in his long contest with Lord Salisbury. He said:

"I shall be five years in office or in opposition. {322} Then I shall be five years Prime Minister. Then I shall die."

And he was right as to the length of his life though a perverse fate and his one fatal miscalculation, "I forgot Goschen," falsified the rest of his prediction. Mr. Winston Churchill queries this saying but I am inclined to think it authentic.

Many of these matters I used to hear Lord Randolph discuss in private, and even now I suppose they must remain private though the impression his talks left may fairly be described. I listened to his views on finance—long before he was Finance Minister—through nearly the whole of a long summer afternoon. We were at Cliveden. That beautiful possession had not then passed into Mr. Astor's hands. It still belonged to the Duke of Westminster, and had been lent by him to the Duchess of Marlborough—widow of that seventh Duke of Marlborough who was Viceroy of Ireland—and Lord Randolph's mother. The Duchess was a woman who may always be adduced in support of the theory that qualities of mind and character descend from mother to son. She was a woman of great natural shrewdness and force, with an insight into the true nature of such things as interested her; and the one thing that interested her above all others was her second son, Lord Randolph.

"Come for a drive after lunch," said Lord Randolph, and we went in a dog-cart to Burnham Beeches and Taplow and elsewhere for many miles and hours through the woods which are one {323} of the glories of that delightful country. It was a perfect afternoon. You were not the least disposed to ask with Lowell, "What is so rare as a day in June?" Rather:

In the afternoon they came unto a land
In which it seemed always afternoon.

And always June. That is one of the enchantments of this versatile climate. When in a good mood you think it will be always good. And the enchantments in and about Cliveden were many and to-day are many more.

To all of them Lord Randolph seemed for the moment insensible. His mind was upon Finance, and upon Finance he discoursed during the better part of three hours. To the sunlight and the flower-strewn hedges and the far-stretching forests he paid no more attention than he did to his driving. The horse took his own pace, and being a well-trained animal showed a sensible preference for his own side of the road.

Lord Randolph's talk was not much more than thinking aloud. His financial opinions which became afterward, like those of all Chancellors of the Exchequer, rigid, were in process of formation. Now and then he asked a question about the Treasury in America but for the most part his monologue was a soliloquy. I know few things more instructive than to see a mind like his at work. He thought as he talked on, but the sentences fell from his lips clean-cut and finished. He {324} was not announcing conclusions nor laying down laws. Finance was then comparatively new to him. He would take up any idea or view as it occurred to him, hold it before him, look at it from all sides, and either drop it or put it on a shelf till he could see how it fitted with the next. I said as he pressed a proposal—I have forgotten what:

"You break with all tradition."

"What do you suppose I am here for? Have you ever known me to adopt an opinion because somebody else had adopted it?"

And in truth I had not, nor had any one. Part of his charm lay in his independence; and a large part. He was fettered by no restrictions nor overborne by any authority. Once only, as he told me at another time, did he find himself "in the presence of a superior being," Mr. Gladstone, to wit. "I could argue, but before the man himself I bent." But I have related that story in the paper referred to above. Yet we find Lord Randolph telling Prince Bismarck, who asked him whether the English people would exchange Mr. Gladstone for General Caprivi:

"The English people would cheerfully give you Mr. Gladstone for nothing but you would find him an expensive present."

Of Prince Bismarck, however, Lord Randolph seems not to have received the same impression he did of Mr. Gladstone, high as is the tribute he pays him. There had been a little friction. In 1888, in Berlin, Prince Bismarck had refused to see {325} Lord Randolph, or to meet him at lunch at Count Herbert's, and he calls the great Chancellor a grincheux old creature who kept away because Lord Randolph had used all his influence "to prevent Lord Salisbury from being towed in his wake." But at Kissingen, in 1893—Lord Randolph, alas, being no longer in a position to influence, nor Prince Bismarck, alas, any longer Chancellor of the Empire he had created—there was a meeting. Lord Randolph wrote an account of it to his mother, and the letter, a most picturesque letter, is given in the Life. Lord Randolph felt the fascination the Prince could exercise when he chose, and pays due tribute to him. But it is admiration, not awe, he feels in the great German's presence. In truth, Lord Randolph had said savage things of Prince Bismarck in days past, as well as of Mr. Gladstone. "If you want to sup with him you must have a long spoon."

The domestic and personal side of Lord Randolph had a fascination quite other than that of his political life. Simplicity was one note of it; that and the absolute freedom from affectation which is natural to a man whose courage is equal to every demand. I began meaning to be domestic and personal but I shrink from saying most of the things I should like to. Two summers in succession he had an old Elizabethan house near Egham, known as Great Forsters; the house still encompassed by a moat, mostly dry. I had always thought him at his best in his own home, where, whoever might be his guest, he recognized {326} his obligations as host, and his manner softened and the lawlessness of his tongue was restrained.

This impression grew stronger with these visits. It happened that two of their guests, his and Lady Randolph's, were attractive to both of them as well as to the rest of the world. The two were the beautiful Duchess of Leinster and Sir Henry Drummond Wolff. The Duchess of Leinster was at that time in the full splendour of her loveliness. I had never seen her except at a ball or dinner or on some other social occasion, in the glory of a toilet and of her shoulders and diamonds, when she was perhaps the most resplendent object to be seen in London. At Great Forsters she went about during the day in the simplest of gowns. She was less dazzling but not less charming. As for Sir Henry Drummond Wolff, he and Lord Randolph set each other off. Their intimacy was both political and personal. If I may use such a word of two men, I should say they were on affectionate terms. Both of them were capable of cynicism but that only made their affection the more striking. There were no ties of blood but as you looked on this little group and listened to their talk, which was both easy and brilliant, you felt as if you were present at a family gathering.



II

Lord Randolph Churchill despised two things which (I am told) are much respected in the {327} United States; public opinion and money. Of course, in public life he had to take account of public opinion and he was a very good judge of it, and in 1886 he taught his party to take account of it. But what I mean is that, while he admitted and asserted the necessity of calculating forces as the first business of a statesman, he was never subservient to that majority which he sought to make his own. He was not frightened by names and he did not shrink from unpopularity. He told Prince Bismarck at Kissingen that nobody in England cared a rap what the papers said, which meant that he (Lord Randolph) did not care a rap. Yet at opportune moments he used the Press with skill. Or, if I ought not to say used, he availed himself adroitly of the Press to serve his own purpose. His midnight journey to The Times office in Printing House Square in order to tell Mr. Buckle that he had resigned from Lord Salisbury's Ministry and that his resignation had been accepted is a case in point. It is just conceivable that Mr. Buckle took, or might have taken, a more lenient view of Lord Randolph's coup de tête from having the exclusive news of it. It is, at any rate, conceivable that the resigning Minister imagined, or hoped, a friendly opinion would be expressed.

I will give a very different instance which came to my knowledge directly. At the time of the great dock strike which disordered and threatened to destroy all the waterside industries of the port of London, Cardinal Manning sided with the {328} strikers. He was a prelate who often mixed politics with his religion or, to put it more charitably, with his ecclesiastical polity. He went to the East End and made a speech at the strikers' meeting, undeterred by the fact that they were threatening violence, and he wound up by giving £25 to the cause of these enemies of public order.

All this came out in next morning's papers. Toward noon I went to see Lord Randolph. He was full of the subject and his sympathies with the men were evident. He had read Cardinal Manning's speech and, with certain reservations, approved of it.

"Do you think he ought to have given money to encourage disorder?"

"What do you mean by encouraging disorder? The men are out of work. They and their wives are starving. I would gladly give £25 myself if I had it."

Nevertheless, I suppose no act of Cardinal Manning, nothing he did in his extremely variegated career, brought upon him more or better deserved censure in the Press than the countenance he gave to this very dangerous industrial rebellion. The censure upon Lord Randolph would surely have been not less severe. But what cared he? Lord Randolph, I ought to add, had been during a great part of his too short political life the friend and champion of the working men. He believed them to be the necessary support of the Conservative Party without which, as the event proved, that party could win no great {329} victory at the polls. He believed them to be, as a body, like the majority of the English people, irrespective of party, essentially Conservative. He was ready to do what he could to lighten and brighten their sometimes dreary lot. It was not only as a politician that he interested himself in their fortunes. He had a man's sympathy with other men less fortunate than himself.

Less fortunate, but perhaps not always much less. For what I said above about Lord Randolph's indifference to money was true during nearly all his life, and was shown in many ways to his own hurt. He had the usual younger son's portion, and in this country of magnificent estates the younger son's portion is of the most modest description. Not otherwise than by reserving the great bulk of the family wealth to eldest sons, one after the other, can these magnificent estates be kept together and kept magnificent. But Lord Randolph's tastes and ambitions were nowise in proportion to the slenderness of his income. The present Mr. Winston Churchill in his most admirable Life of his father has made some reference to two occasions in which questions of money became critical. He has said so much that I think I may say a little more.

The first was in anticipation of his marriage. Mr. Jerome had the ideas of the average American father about settlements. Lord Randolph's ideas on that subject were English. There was a collision between the two. The wooer had already announced to his father, the seventh Duke of {330} Marlborough, his attachment to Miss Jerome and the Duke had agreed provisionally to the engagement. Mr. Jerome had agreed, but his views about money threatened to break off the negotiations. At the end—they had lasted seven months—Lord Randolph "refused utterly to agree to any settlement which contained even technical provisions to which he objected." He delivered to Mr. Jerome what his biographer rightly calls an ultimatum. He was "ready to earn a living in England or out of it" without Mr. Jerome's help, and in this the girl agreed with him. Mr. Jerome capitulated. Perhaps the difference between them was more a matter of form than anything. The terms of the final agreement are not stated in the Life. They have often been stated in London where everything on every subject of human interest is known, and where it was always understood that Mr. Jerome agreed to settle £2000 a year on his daughter and son-in-law, with remainder to the children, duly secured by a mortage on the University Club house in Madison Square. But what I ask you to notice is the readiness of Lord Randolph to fling away an income far larger than he had ever had unless it came to him on such terms as he thought right and unless his English views were accepted by this American father.

The other instance relates to South Africa. When he went to Mashonaland, in 1891, he borrowed £5000 from a good and staunch friend whom I should like to name—well, why should I not? I mean Lord Rothschild, whose kindnesses {331} to men of every degree and of all religions and races have been innumerable. If ever a great fortune paid, in the long-ago phrase of Mr. Chamberlain, a ransom, his has paid it; not compulsory but from true good-will to men. Lord Randolph invested the £5000 in Rand gold mining shares on the advice of that American engineer of genius, Mr. Perkins, who inferred from the dip of the gold-bearing reefs the direction and depth at which they could be overtaken by shafts sunk far south of the actual gold area. The world knows the result and is the richer by hundreds of millions for the vision which pierced the outer crest of the earth and saw the treasures hidden below. Mr. Perkins was, in fact, the engineer whom Lord Rothschild had sent to South Africa with Lord Randolph. They had gone through Mashonaland together vainly, and the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer now invested his £5000 in Rand shares. But values of that nature require time and being in want of money he sold two-fifths of his investment. The remainder he held till his death when it was disposed of for something over £70,000. A comfortable fortune to leave? Yes, comfortable enough to pay the debts of the estate. That was one form which his contempt for money took. He lived on the principal. It is no matter of censure. He was born and built that way. The strain of frugality in the first Duke of Marlborough had worn itself out.

My last meeting with Lord Randolph was at Tring, Lord Rothschild's place in Buckinghamshire. {332} He was already in the grip of the illness which was to destroy him; nervous, irritable, restless in manner, haggard to look at, and his speech uncertain. I don't like to think of it and I mention it only for the sake of the contrast. For now and again the old brilliancy reappeared, and the old charm. He had both in a measure given to few men. Wilful as he was, with a freedom of speech which overpassed the usual social limits, he had also when he chose the graces and gifts which made him beloved of men and of women. No man made more enemies; but in this world—by which I mean this world of England and other worlds where the English people have built new civilizations—it is not enmities which count but friendships.

Whether you saw him in the House of Commons, leading it as no man had ever led it, or at a dinner, or on the platform, or, if you like, on the Turf or in other places which the Puritan thinks of the devil, he had the same ascendancy. He said once to Lord Rosebery that to both of them their titles had been helpful in public life. No doubt, but something besides a title descends or may descend, to him who bears it. Not every son of a duke has upon him the stamp of the patrician. That is what Lord Randolph had. An imperious temper, an intellectual disdain of natures from which intellects had been omitted, moods of black despair late in life, but all through life the set resolve to win his battles without much thought of the cost—all these he had, and no one {333} of them nor all of them broke or impaired the spell he laid upon those about him.

Narrow means never stinted his generosity. Uncertain health never stilled his passion for work. I never went into his library that I did not find him busy. I have seen him at dinner turn away from the distinguished woman who passed for the most amusing of talkers to devote himself to a neglected stranger. When he quarrelled with the Prince of Wales (King Edward) and went into a kind of social exile for seven years, while he was quite aware of the price he was paying, he never dreamed of surrender. When Lord Salisbury, not choosing to remember or perhaps not able to remember his services and his capacities, passed him over in 1891 for the last time, and gave the leadership of the House of Commons to his nephew, Mr. Balfour, he writes to his wife: "All confirms me in my decision to have done with politics and try to make a little money for the boys and for ourselves." On his release from party obligations he sought others, and his sister, Lady Tweedmouth, between whom and himself there was on both sides a devoted attachment, persuaded him to see something of men from whom he had held aloof. Mr. Gladstone was among these, and I end with Mr. Gladstone's remark about Lord Randolph:

"He was the courtliest man I ever met."




{334}

CHAPTER XXXV

LORD GLENESK AND "THE MORNING POST"

The owning or leasing of several houses is an English habit which is no longer confined to great landowners who have inherited their possessions. Many men whose success in life is their own adopt the custom. Among many instances I will take one, for other reasons than house-owning, the late Lord Glenesk, who had at one time a lease of Invercauld, the fine place belonging to the Farquharson family. There, as later at Glenmuich, he liked to gather friends about him and there was each year a succession of parties. In the beginning Mr. Borthwick, he became successively Sir Algernon Borthwick and Lord Glenesk. His name and his wife's connect themselves with many social memories in Scotland, in London, where the house in Piccadilly was long a brilliant centre, and in Cannes where they occupied in winter the Chateau St. Michel at the Californie end of the town in beautiful grounds touching on the sea. They had also for some years that square red brick house in Hampstead on the edge of the heath, with a little land and a brick wall about it, and there they entertained of a Sunday during part of the season. Both had the {335} art of hospitality and the secret of social life, by which I mean the secret of translating mere hospitality into happiness for others.

Mr. Borthwick acquired The Morning Post in 1876. It was then a threepenny paper—six cents on each of six days of the week. No Englishman had ever then thought of a Sunday edition of a daily paper; nor has since. There are Sunday papers in London, of which one, The Observer, is a supremely able journal, but they are published one and all on Sundays only. When The Morning Post passed into the hands of its late proprietor the penny paper had already made its appearance, though not the halfpenny. The future, it was thought, belonged to the penny, but The Morning Post like The Times was supposed to appeal to a special class. It was the organ of the fashionable world. You went to it for all that fashionable intelligence now supplied, more or less completely by all papers. It was the one newspaper which lay on the table of every drawing-room in Mayfair and Belgravia and in every country house throughout the kingdom. Till Borthwick became editor it was respectable, decorous, conventional, and dull. It had little news except what came to it through Reuter and other news agencies. There were flashes of vivacity when young Borthwick went to Paris, a city he understood, and sent home sparkling letters which were the most readable things in the paper and always seemed a little out of place. It was an organ of Conservatism, but the kind of Conservatism expounded {336} in its editorial columns was more orthodox than inspiring. It had a moderate circulation and its net yearly profits were not far from thirty thousand dollars.

When Mr. Borthwick came into control of this property—not at first, but not very long after—he conceived the notion of turning it into a penny paper. It was he who told me the story. He had originality and he had courage but he was also a man who sought advice in great enterprises and he talked this scheme over with many men of experience far greater than his own. He said to me later:

"One and all they advised me against it. One and all they thought it spelled ruin; or, if not ruin, a great risk to a valuable though not great property and the certainty of loss. They told me I should inevitably forfeit the support of the classes to whom The Post had always appealed and that I should not gain new subscribers from other classes in numbers sufficient to make good these losses. I should lose not only readers but advertisers, for the advertisers in The Post were largely the West End tradespeople who desired to reach their West End patrons. I should lose the political authority which was based on the support of the privileged classes. In short, a penny Morning Post was inconceivable and unthinkable from any point of view whatever."

To all of which Borthwick listened. He considered every argument and objection and protest laid before him. But he was one of those men who {337} regarded the opinions of other men not as authoritative but as the material for forming his own opinion, and he summed the whole story up in a sentence:

"Every journalist and every man of business whom I consulted was opposed to the change and I finally took my decision to make The Morning Post a penny paper in the face of a unanimous remonstrance by friends and experts of all kinds."

When Borthwick told me this some years had passed since the change had been made. He said:

"In the first year the profits of the paper doubled. In the second they reached £20,000. By the fifth the amount was £30,000."

And so it went on until the annual net income of The Morning Post was £60,000—ten times what it had been at the price of threepence. It continued to be the organ of the classes; not, however, refusing to accept that Tory Democracy of which Lord Randolph Churchill was the inventor, upon which Toryism, Conservatism, and Unionism have ever since thriven. Neither Mayfair nor Belgravia nor the country houses ever tried to do without it. The advertisers continued to advertise. It became, moreover, the organ of the better class of servants; butlers, ladies' maids, footmen, and the multitude of menials who sought places in the best houses.

In other respects also the paper was revolutionized. It became a newspaper. The day of the humdrum was over. It had special news services and capable men to conduct them. {338} Borthwick was a patient man impatient of dulness. He gathered about him good journalists and good writers; not always the same thing. You now began to read the news and letters and leaders from some other motive than a sense of duty. They were readable. The hand of the master left its mark on every column.

Nor did the demands of journalism exhaust Sir Algernon Borthwick's energies. He went into politics and into Parliament, sitting for a vast constituency in South Kensington. Lady Borthwick's help in this political and election business was invaluable. That very accomplished lady brought to bear upon the voters of South Kensington a kind of influence to which they had been unaccustomed, a social influence. Their wives took part in the game, neither having nor desiring votes but able to affect the course of events as much as if the ballot had been theirs, and more. Lady Borthwick had 2500 names on her visiting list, and they were more than names. Each name stood for an individual whom Lady Borthwick knew, and whose value she knew. The beautiful white drawing-room at No. 139 Piccadilly was in those days a little more thronged of an afternoon or evening than it had been, but was never crowded. Some of the best music in London was to be heard there at tea-time. The dinners were carefully studied. Dances and evening parties had a slightly political flavour but were none the less successful. There is, I suppose, no place where more than in London their gentle {339} influences have a more soothing effect upon an electorate.

If any reader reflects on the true nature of the exploit which Borthwick accomplished he will perhaps agree that the man capable of it must have had a high order of genius. If it was not creative in the sense that Lord Northcliffe's is creative, it was perfectly adapted to the circumstances and the time. It has not perhaps been quite adequately recognized. Lord Glenesk was so much a figure in society that when his name was mentioned men who knew only the surface of things saw in him the ornament of a ballroom. He was that, and he was so very much more that this ballroom part of his life is hardly even incidental. He would dance night after night. In the day-time his mind applied itself to some of the stiffest problems of a very difficult profession. He told me one morning he had not been in bed for three nights. The only answer I could make was that I did not know he ever went to bed. But I knew that after sleepless nights he spent days of necessary hard work at the office, and that he brought to each matter he dealt with the freshness of a fresh mind. It was late in life before he began to know the meaning of the word tired.

Take him for all in all, I should name Lord Glenesk as one of the three great men I have known in English journalism. And whether in or out of journalism he had a kindliness, a charm, a sweet authority in the affairs of life which do not belong to all successful men.

{340}

By and by there appeared in Lady Borthwick's drawing-rooms a fresh flower of a girl whose presence at her mother's afternoon concerts and then at evening parties was a little in advance of her coming out. Miss Lilias Borthwick is now the Countess Bathurst and I believe has, when she chooses to exercise it, full control over The Morning Post; of which Mr. Fabian Ware is the present editor, a young journalist who has made himself a name in his profession. Lady Bathurst is, like her mother, one of those women who possess better means of making their wishes and character felt than by clamouring for votes. There are cases where womanly charm may be the companion of settled opinions and convictions and clear purposes, to which The Morning Post of to-day is a witness.

One factor in the success of the paper was Oliver Borthwick, the son of Lord Glenesk. Journalism attracted him; he entered his father's office early; his aptitudes for the business showed themselves at once, and before many years he was managing editor. He had an inquiring, inventive mind. He kept his Conservatism for politics, and applied to the conduct of The Morning Post the most original and even radical and sometimes daring methods. He understood details and thought no detail beneath the notice of a manager. He liked to do things which the old hands in the office pronounced impossible, among them that paged index to the contents of the paper which he first believed and then proved to be practicable. All {341} this did not stand in the way of broad conceptions and great schemes for which his father gave him a free hand. Lord Glenesk asked me one day if Oliver had told me of his newest plan. I said no. "Well, you had better ask him about it. I shall not interfere, though it is going to cost a lot of money"; and he named a sum which ran into many figures. Those were the relations which existed between father and son. But there came a day when they existed no longer. Oliver Borthwick's joy in his work was such that he never spared himself and he died at thirty-two, his father still living. The only gift he lacked was the gift of adapting his work to his strength. He overworked recklessly; he could not do otherwise. He would spare everybody but himself. And so to-day, instead of being an ornament of his profession and of social life, Oliver Borthwick is only a memory and a lasting regret.

Since the foregoing was written Mr. Reginald Lucas has published his Lord Glenesk and The Morning Post, an agreeable and informing book. This is not the place to comment on it but I should like to add to what I have said above of Lord Glenesk a passage from a signed review by me in The Morning Post:


"As I think of the man whom I knew, the importance of the things he did, great and brilliant as they were, seems to me less than the importance of the man himself. If I could, I should like to describe not what he did but what he was. {342} I should say that his friendships, to which I have already referred, were part not only of his life but of himself. The range of them would show that. Political friendships came to him in his position as a matter of course. But friendships non-political were more numerous and more remarkable still. The late Queen's regard for him was a strong one. Early in life he was the friend of that astonishing Frenchwoman, Elizabeth Rachel Felix, more commonly known as Rachel, perhaps the greatest tragedian of all time, in almost the full flower of her genius at seventeen. Later in life he was the friend, the very helpful and trusted friend, of Madame Sarah Bernhardt. He early conceived and retained to the end an affection for the French Emperor. I need not go on with the catalogue but there are many friends, not to be named, who were under obligations to him for kindnesses and whom he seems to have liked because he had helped them. All through life that was true. He gave freely, generously, delicately. Nihil humani was his motto or one of his mottoes. There must have been many. A life so varied as his does not move to the music of a single air on a single string.

"Not the briefest, and not even the most public, notice of Lord Glenesk can omit all reference to the happiness of his private life. Even the few lines above may show what part his wife had in his happiness, and he in hers. Of his daughter, Lady Bathurst, Mr. Lucas has told us something with due reserve; enough to give his readers at {343} least a hint of the affection between her and her father and why it was on both sides so deep, and is on hers so abiding. Oliver was to all the world a beloved and brilliant figure, and when the time came his father's right hand; then finally relieving him of his executive cares. Then at thirty-two came the end, and then the father at seventy-five takes up the burden once more, but not for long.

"Mr. Lucas tells us that President Roosevelt's 'manner of receiving Oliver was particularly flattering.' I hope it may interest his friends if I enlarge that a little. Oliver told me when he came to Washington that he had the usual introduction from the British Ambassador, which is indispensable, and asked me what he had better do. He wished something more than a formal interview as one of the many whom it was the President's habit to receive in line, bestowing a few cordial but conventional words on each. I saw the President that afternoon, told him something of Oliver's position and of Oliver himself. He answered, 'Bring him to lunch to-morrow.' At lunch the President put him next to himself and the two talked together during and after this meal. Then Oliver and I walked away. He said, 'The President is a great natural force,' a phrase which recalls Lord Morley's later remark that the two greatest natural phenomena he had seen in the United States were Niagara and President Roosevelt. The day following I again saw the President, who perhaps will for once allow himself to be quoted. He said: 'Your friend {344} Oliver Borthwick is a very young man, but a man.' Then a pause; then, 'And what charm he has. It is long since I have met any newcomer whom I have liked better.'"




{345}

CHAPTER XXXVI

QUEEN VICTORIA AT BALMORAL—KING EDWARD AT
DUNROBIN—ADMIRAL SIR HEDWORTH LAMBTON—OTHER
ANECDOTES

Invercauld, of which Lord Glenesk was long tenant, lies near Balmoral; a name famous the world over as the Highland home of Queen Victoria and then of the late King. A castle on which the very German taste of the very German husband of the great Queen has left its mark. It is no more a fine castle than Buckingham Palace is a fine palace. It stands, however, in a beautiful country and some of the best drives within easy reach are those on the Invercauld property. They are private but all gates swing open to Kings and Queens.

The privacy was one thing the Queen liked. So long as she was in the Highlands the loyalty of her subjects was expected to manifest itself by ignoring her presence. If you saw the Sovereign approaching you effaced yourself. You slipped behind a tree or looked over the hedge or retied your shoelaces. You might do anything except be aware of this august lady's presence and recognize it by the usual salute and the bared head {346} as she went by. The Queen was ever, as her son was, insistent upon etiquette. No form of ceremony must be neglected. But at Balmoral the etiquette consisted in the absence of all form or ceremony outdoors. You were expected to know this, and if you did not know it but stood at attention with lifted hat this mark of homage would not be well received. I once heard a stranger who had offended in this way say that the look upon the Queen's face as she passed was a lesson not to be forgotten.

Her Majesty drove quietly about in a pony carriage with perhaps the ever faithful John Brown in attendance to lay a shawl about her shoulders or take one off, as he judged best. You might see him do as much as that in the publicity of Hyde Park in London. It was partly in the simplicity of this Highland life that the Queen found repose. Her Majesty would sometimes stop at Invercauld House for tea, apparently as one neighbour appealing to the hospitality of another. But I imagine these impulses were announced beforehand and that the list of guests at Invercauld was known at Balmoral. During one week there was among them a lady who, for purely technical reasons, was never received at Court though she went almost everywhere else in London and had, and has, a position almost unique. But so long as this lady remained at Invercauld House the Queen found herself too much occupied with business of State to come to tea.

{347}

Royalty knows, or knows about, almost everybody. The late King was always the best informed man in his dominions. It was rare that he met a man or woman whose face and history were not familiar to him. He did once at Dunrobin Castle. This was not many years ago, when the King and Queen were circumnavigating this island-part of their Empire in the royal yacht. The yacht anchored for some days in the bay off the castle. The King or Queen, or both, came ashore during the day and returned to sleep on board. As the King, the Duke of Sutherland, and Captain Hedworth Lambton, commander of the yacht, were walking up from the pier through the gardens to the castle, a man passed them. "Who is that?" asked the King. The Duke had to admit he could not tell. "Oh, sir," said Captain Lambton, "don't you know the castle is full of people whom the Duke doesn't know and the Duchess never sees?" The King took this pleasantry as it was meant; aware that there was beneath it just that evanescent adumbration of fact which made it plausible.

Captain Lambton, then the Hon. Hedworth Lambton, brother to the present Earl of Durham, is now Admiral the Hon. Sir Hedworth Lambton, K.C.B., the youngest man of his rank in the service; or was when he was made admiral. Noted for the quaint felicity of his sayings, sometimes with an edge to them; noted for his service with the Naval Brigade in South Africa and the relief of Ladysmith; noted as a skilful seaman who had {348} commanded the cruiser division of the Mediterranean fleet and afterward the China squadron. The Lambtons are a family apart, and Sir Hedworth is a man apart, even amid his own family. There are few men who give you a stronger impression of having made their own that rule of life which consists in taking things as they come. Struggling through the watercourses of the veldt with his 4.10 gun, or on the quarter-deck of the royal yacht in harbour with only duties of ceremony to perform, he is the same man.

He came to Dalmeny House for the week-end while the Victoria and Albert was lying at Queensferry. On the Sunday morning he asked Lord Rosebery and his house-party to go with him to the yacht for morning service. We drove through the charming park to the Leuchold Gate and so to Queensferry pier, whence a launch took us on board. The yacht has a displacement of something more than five thousand tons. Those external lines of beauty which you expect in a yacht had been omitted by the Admiralty designers responsible for this vessel, but once on board everything is admirable. The ship was lying in the Forth, above the bridge, waiting for Queen Alexandra to embark for Copenhagen. Nothing could be smarter than the decks and the crew except the officers; all in full uniform.

It was August, and though some Americans say the sun never shines on these islands, there are moments of exception and this was one. It was burning hot. Captain Lambton read the service, {349} his officers and guests about him, the men in front, all amidships on the upper deck. He came to the Lord's Prayer, the sailors all kneeling and all caps off. In the very middle of it, without a change of intonation or accent, he said to his men: "If anybody feels the sun they may put their caps on." I suppose a super-devout churchman might have been shocked, but the reader was captain of the ship and he had no idea of allowing one of his men to have a touch of sunstroke. It appears they were in no danger for not one of them put on his cap. Nor did any one seem to think his captain's interlocutory sentence out of place. I have seen often enough both in the navy and in the army that the most rigid disciplinarian may be of all others the most careful of his men's health and comfort.

In these Dreadnought days nothing of the pre-Dreadnought period counts. But I was once on I believe, the first Dreadnought, of a type long since antiquated, with a low freeboard forward and the whole expanse of the forecastle deck so arranged as to be, with reference to the rest of the vessel, a lever on which the Atlantic might pile itself up. I asked the captain what might happen in a heavy head sea. "The chances are," he answered coolly, "she would go down head foremost." However, at the moment she was comfortably anchored off Queensferry.

That danger exists no longer for the model is obsolete, and this particular ship no doubt went long since to the scrap heap. But the unsolved {350} problems of naval warfare are still numerous. A fighting admiral in the British navy will tell you strange things if he happens to be in a talkative mood. Nothing is better worth listening to than the discourse of a man who has command of a great fleet or of a great ship, whether of war or commerce. I quote one sentence:

"You want to know what is likely to happen when two modern battle fleets meet at sea, equal in fighting strength and under equal conditions. No man knows. It has never yet happened. But the chances are both would go to the bottom."

Out of many Highland incidents I choose one, for brevity's sake.

Invermark. A place renowned for many kinds of sport, salmon fishing included. It belonged, when I knew it, to the late Lord Dalhousie, who generally let it and confined himself to Brechin Castle, with excursions to Panmure House. Invermark was a lodge and nothing more; just room for half a dozen guests and their guns and servants. Lord Dudley and the late Lord Hindlip had it together one year. Lord Hindlip was the head of the great brewery firm of Allsopp & Co. He announced to us one night at dinner that he must go to London next morning on business. He went, returning two days later. He had spent twelve hours in London. Somebody said "I hope your business turned out all right." Lord Hindlip answered: "I don't know about all right. I bought £750,000 ($3,750,000) worth of hops a price which makes it impossible there should {351} be any profit in the next twelve months' brewing." Nobody asked but everybody looked another question: "Then why buy?" Lord Hindlip continued his sentence as if he had not noticed our curiosity. "But if I had not bought yesterday there would have been no brewing of beer at all for the next twelve months, nor perhaps ever."

This was one of the houses—perhaps only those belonging to the great brewers—where beer was served with the cheese instead of port. But not the kind of beer known to the ordinary mortal. Beer specially brewed, long kept, tenderly cared for, and somehow transformed into a transcendental fluid, transparent, golden in colour, nectar to the taste, strangely mild on the palate, but swiftly finding its way to the brain if you were ensnared into drinking a tumblerful. There was nothing to warn you unless your host warned you, which he generally did not. He perhaps rather pressed it upon you as they do the Audit ale at Trinity College, Cambridge, with a hospitality not free from guile. That I knew through the late Mr. Justice Denham, who was my host, and when I resisted he told me how Lord Chancellor Campbell had praised the mildness of the ale, and had a second drink, and then a third; and upon emerging from the buttery into the fresh air found himself embarrassed; he, the hardest head at the Bar of his time. A story which I hand on as a warning to the next comer.




{352}

CHAPTER XXXVII

FAMOUS ENGLISHMEN NOT IN POLITICS

I

There are, perhaps, a few names of to-day which it is possible to mention without becoming involved in the politics of to-day. The English, it is true, draw a broader line between what is purely political and what is personal than we do. They can give and take hard knocks, whether in Parliament or on the platform or even in the Press, without animosity or resentment. But since in America it seems to be supposed that any reference to these encounters may have its danger side I avoid them for the present. I turn away from the Revolutionary present, of which one's stock of Memories increases day by day, to the more peaceful past or to a more peaceful world in the present; a world unravaged by political passions. True, the past was not always a peaceful past while it lasted. We do not always remember how fierce were the storms which have subsided. But where Death has made a solitude we call it peace.

In two, at least, of the great contests waged these periods of peace I had a share, which {353} I must mention again for the sake of another story I have to tell. One was the conflict about Irish Home Rule which became critical and revolutionary in 1881 and 1886; when I was allowed to state my own views, unpopular as they were in America, in The Tribune week by week or day by day; a policy of generous and far-sighted courage on the part of that journal; honourable to its editor and I hope in the long run not injurious to the paper.

The second was in 1895 and 1896, in The Times of London. When President Cleveland flung his message of war upon the floor of the House at Washington in December, 1895, I necessarily had much to say about it in The Times. There again I was given a free hand. It is sometimes said that the correspondents of this journal frame their news dispatches in accordance with orders issued to them from the home office. I can only say, if indeed I may say so much without violating obligations of secrecy, that during a service which lasted ten years I never knew of or heard of any such orders.

Coming to England in the summer of 1896 on a holiday, I had some slight illness and asked a friend whom I should consult. My own doctor was by that time attending patients, I suppose, in another and better world. My friend said he had lately seen fourteen physicians about his son and each of the fourteen had given a different name to his son's disease.

"Then I went to Dr. Barlow, who said, after a {354} long examination, 'I do not know what is the matter with your son nor what to prescribe for him.' Then I felt I had found a doctor whom I could trust."

So I went to Dr. Barlow, without an introduction. At the end of a rather long consultation and a definite opinion and a settled prescription, I asked what his fee was.

"Nothing."

I thought he had misunderstood my question, and repeated it.

"Nothing. I can take no money from a man who has done as much as you have to keep the peace between the two countries."

When I next saw the manager of The Times I told him of this incident, which he seemed to think interesting. He said:

"Such evidences of good feeling from a man so distinguished as Barlow and so far removed from politics do indeed make for good feeling on both sides. I hope you will tell all your own people."

It is difficult, for I cannot tell it without more or less directly paying a compliment to myself. But many years have since ebbed away. Modesty is at best but an inconvenient handmaiden, from whom I would part company if I could. Let her keep to her proper place. An obligation of honour is peremptory; and this, perhaps, is one. I did tell a certain number of friends at the time, and now I repeat the anecdote to a larger number. I set it against Mr. Price Collier's mischievous dictum that English and Americans do not like each {355} other. The dictum already seems to belong to a distant and misty and mythical past.

Since that year of 1896 Dr. Barlow has become (in 1902) Sir Thomas Barlow, Bart., and Physician to the King's Household; about as high as anybody can go in the medical profession. A Lancashire lad to begin, with, he has had a vast hospital experience, and still keeps up his hospital work; he has a vast private practice; Harvard and two Canadian universities have given him their LL.D.; he is an F.R.S., a K.C.V.O., and other parts of the alphabet pay him tribute. All these and many other titles and distinctions have their value, though the late Sir Henry Drummond Wolff, who had more than most men, did say: "They give me every kind of letter to my name except L.S.D." But the essential thing in Sir Thomas Barlow's case is that he has the confidence of the public and of his profession.

One thing, it seems to me, the great surgeons and physicians I have known had in common. They were great men, first of all. They had great qualities outside of their profession. Two years ago last September, a time when the big men are mostly away, I wanted a surgeon and knew not where to find one. A chemist finally gave me a name, Mr. Henry Morris, and an address; name wholly unknown to me, though the address, Cavendish Square, implied at least professional prosperity. I had had a fall at the Playhouse, as Mr. Maude calls his little theatre, the night before, leaving a box by what I supposed {356} to be steps and in the absence of steps coming down on the floor, bruised, and I knew not what else. My surgeon made his examination. What struck me was that he wasted never a word nor a gesture. The touch of his hands, of his fingers, had a mathematical or instrumental precision. So had his questions. In five minutes or less he had covered the ground and delivered his opinion. Anything might have happened, but nothing had, bar the bruised muscles. "We'll attend to those for you." He asked if I was leaving town and when I said I was sailing for New York on Saturday he remarked:

"If you were a working-man I should send you to the hospital and you would be kept in bed till you were well. But if you choose to sail on the Lusitania you must bear the pain. Now, as you are here, you might as well let me overhaul you."

Then, as before, the same precision, the same delicacy of touch, the same rapidity, nothing hurried, nothing missed; his examination a work of art as well as of science. Then he began to talk of other things; and again, and even stronger, was the impression of being in contact with a master mind. Seldom have I spent a more stimulating hour. He was, I found later, Mr. Henry Morris, Consulting Surgeon to the Middlesex Hospital and President of the Royal College of Surgeons. In other words, Mr. Henry Morris, about whom I ought to have known, but did not, was, and is, in the very front rank of his profession. His eminence has since been recognized and {357} rewarded by the King, and he is now Sir Henry Morris, Bart. I suppose even a Republican may admit that if titles are to be conferred they are well conferred on men eminent in science.



II

Sir Thomas Barlow has since been elected President of the Royal College of Physicians in succession to Sir Douglas Powell. This is the Blue Ribbon of the profession, perhaps a greater honour than a knighthood or baronetcy, though the knighthood or the baronetcy is from the King, the source and fountain of all such distinctions. But the Presidency of the Royal College of Physicians is conferred by the Profession itself. The Fellows of the College, who number some three hundred, are the choosing body. They vote by ballot and the man whom they elect is the man by whom they wish to be represented before the public; the man by whom they are content to be judged. They say, in effect, of him whom they choose: "This is the Head of the Medical Profession for the time being." The public, which really and rightly has much more confidence in the judgment of the doctors upon each other than in any lay reputation, accepts that. When you say of a physician, "He is a doctors' doctor," you have said about all you can.

The President of the Royal College of Physicians has, no doubt, duties which are not medical. He has executive, administrative, consultative {358} duties; and the very important duty of dining with the Lord Mayor, the Corporation of the City of London, and the City Companies. In discharging these latter functions he incurs, I suppose, less risk than most men incur. But risk or no risk these feasts have to be faced. Between all Corporations, Guilds, and Colleges there is a kind of freemasonry. They have points of contact, of sympathy, and are likely to stand by each other in difficulties. Whether dinners were invented as a test and standard of friendship, I cannot say. But go to which of them you like, you will find a collection of the Heads of other Companies, Colleges, etc.; not all, perhaps, dinner-giving, but all willing victims of others' hospitality.

The Royal College of Physicians is also a Senate or Parliament; with powers of legislation and of professional guidance and discipline. The Fellows of this College are Trustees for the whole Profession. The President has an authority of his own, depending in part on statutes and on custom, in part on his personal authority. In the latter Sir Thomas Barlow will not be found wanting. It is not the less, it is perhaps the greater, for the genial good nature which accompanies it. I said to him once:

"Sir Thomas, you have one quality which must be a great drawback to your success."

"Dear me, what is that?"

"When you come into a room your patient at once thinks himself better, and even doubts whether he need have sent for you at all, and so {359} gets well much quicker than he ought. It's taking money out of your pocket."

"Very good. I'll take care you don't get well too soon."

There was an electioneering story—oh, no politics in it—the other day with an equally serious but not more serious, side to it. Men were discussing the system of plural voting still prevailing in this country and certain to prevail so long as votes, or any votes, are based on property qualification. Said a well-known doctor:

"I have sixteen votes, all of which I am going to poll."

"But how?"

"Oh, I have two votes of my own and I have fourteen patients who are of the wrong party and not one of them will be well enough to go out till after election."

Think how completely non-political must be a profession of which an eminent member can tell a story like that and run no risk of being misunderstood. The traditions of honour are indeed high among English doctors, nor could they be in better keeping than now in Sir Thomas Barlow's.

One of his predecessors, Sir William Gull, was also not merely fashionable and popular but recognized by his associates as a scientific practitioner. Sir William Jenner was perhaps reckoned by the medical profession the best all-round man ever known. Sir William Gull was not far off, yet there is an anecdote of him which suggests that he put a very high value on the average capacity {360} of doctors. He was asked to go a long distance into the country to see a patient. He declined. He was told that any fee he liked to name would be gladly paid. Still he declined, saying there were cases he could not leave, and when he was pressed further the great man burst out:

"But why do you want me? There are five hundred doctors in London just as good as I am."

Which perhaps was not quite true.

Sir William Broadbent said almost the same thing to me, twenty years ago and more, when I asked him to see Mr. Hay whom I had just left in his rooms, in Ryder Street, St. James's, to all appearance extremely ill. Hay said in his emotional way:

"Broadbent is the only doctor I believe in. If you don't bring Broadbent bring nobody. Let me die."

But Broadbent said no. He was starting to catch a train for a life and death consultation in the country. He must not miss his train.

"But there's time enough. See Hay on your way to the train. Give him five minutes and let somebody else do the rest."

"I shall let somebody else do the whole."

"Hay will see nobody unless he sees you first."

"There are plenty of men as good as I am. I will give you half a dozen names."

"I want none of them. I want you. You know you can stop your carriage for five minutes as you drive to the station."

"My carriage has not come round."

{361}

"My hansom is at the door. Drive with me and let your carriage follow."

Finally he did. When he came out of Hay's bedroom he was a very angry man. He said:

"Your friend has a bad attack of indigestion. He will be all right in an hour."

And away he went. An angry man is not always a just man. Hay—God bless his memory—thought himself suffering from a heart attack. There is, I believe, a medical analogy between the symptoms of heart disease and violent indigestion. I had left him lying on the floor almost in convulsions. How was he to know it was not heart disease, to which he believed himself subject? Hay was not then, to the English, so great a man as he afterwards became. He had not been Ambassador, nor Secretary of State, nor dictated to the European Powers a new policy in the East. I ought not to use the word dictated. It is not descriptive of Hay's methods, which were persuasive. Nor does one Power dictate to another. Let us say he had secured by the adroit use of accepted diplomatic methods the adhesion of the European Powers to his proposals in respect of China. No American Secretary of State had ever made so original or beneficent a use of his power. He had brought his country once for all into the great world-partnership of great Powers the world over.

Sir William Broadbent did not foresee that. He could not. If he had he might have been less angry, for he was thought to be considerate of greatness in all its forms or in many of them. He {362} liked patients of distinction, which is no reproach. He had many of them. But the odd thing was that he seemed never quite able to overcome his awe of rank and title. In a company of persons of rank his manner was not that of an equal. He used to address persons of rank as a servant addresses them; or it might be kinder to say as inferiors in position used to address their superiors two or three generations ago. And always with embarrassment.

Another celebrated man of medicine, Sir Andrew Clark, had an almost factitious renown as Mr. Gladstone's doctor, and Mr. Gladstone was a very good patient, in one sense. One thing this famous physician had; he had absolute confidence in himself. Or, if no doctor has that, he had enough to give his patient confidence, which is perhaps not less important. Old Abernethy used to say: "The second best remedy is best if the patient thinks it best." And I suppose that is as true of doctors as of remedies. If Sir Andrew doubted, he never allowed you to see that he doubted. Like all these great men, he had a social as well as medical popularity and he was very good company at dinner and after.

One evening I met him at a pleasant house where there was a good cook and the company, including the host, did not exceed six; all men. We all noticed that Sir Andrew drank champagne. Presently one of the men said:

"You don't allow us champagne, Sir Andrew, but you allow it to yourself."

{363}

"Oh, I have had a long day, and I am very tired, and I must have it. Besides, when I get home there'll be thirty or forty letters to answer."

So the champagne flowed on, like the water, as Mr. Evarts said, at one of President Hayes's White House dinners. Sir Andrew drank no more than anybody else. It was only because of his habit of prohibiting it to others that we noticed whether his glass was full or empty. As we went upstairs I said to him:

"Do you mean that after all that champagne you are going to answer thirty or forty letters when you get home?"

"No, certainly not."

"Then what did you mean?"

"What I meant was that after my champagne I should not care whether they were answered or not."

It was Sir Andrew Clark who said of Mr. Gladstone, some fifteen years before his death at eighty-eight that there was no physiological reason why he should not live to be 120. If that was meant as a prophecy it had the fate of most prophecies.




{364}

CHAPTER XXXVIII

LORD ST. HELIER—AMERICAN AND ENGLISH METHODS—MR. BENJAMIN

If you care for a clear view of English life and of Englishmen you need not always go to the mountain tops in search of it. If you can find a man who stands for what is typical, who is in the front rank, but not among the very foremost, who has, in a high degree, the qualities by which the average Englishman, having them in a much less degree, succeeds, he is as well worth studying for this purpose as the most illustrious of them all. I could name many such men. I will take one whom I knew well for many years; to whose kindness I owed much; whom I saw often in London and stayed with often in the country; for whose memory I have that kind of affection which survives even a sense of many obligations. I mean Lord St. Helier.

He was Mr. Francis Jeune when I first knew him, and when he married Mrs. Stanley. Later he became Sir Francis Jeune, and finally found his way into that House of Lords which it is now the fashion among one set of politicians to decry. I suppose nobody would deny that, whatever {365} be the merits or demerits of the hereditary principle, this House contains more distinguished and supremely able men than any other body that can be named. For such a man as Francis Jeune it was the natural and pre-ordained abode when his honourable career reached or approached its climax.

Sir Francis Jeune was a man who made the most of his abilities and opportunities. He was a good lawyer, a good judge, and, after his marriage with Mrs. Stanley, a considerable social force. It is among the peculiarities of English life that the Presidency of the Divorce Court should be one of four great prizes at the English Bar. The Lord High Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice, and the Master of the Rolls hold the other three most coveted places, and are rewarded by appointments such as the legal profession in no other country can hope for. The dignity of all these positions is very great, and the pay corresponds to the dignity.

If we contrast the splendid figures with the salaries of the Judges of the Supreme Court at the United States, the motto of the Republic would seem to be Hamlet's "Thrift, thrift, Horatio." But if the levelling doctrines of the present day were to prevail, the British judges would soon descend to the money level of the American. I do not imagine they will. The illiberal treatment of public servants has never been popular in England.

There is nevertheless something in these high legal posts which attracts men to whom the pay, high as it is, can be no attraction. But that {366} again only sharpens the contrast. The average income of the magnates at the American Bar being greater than at the English, and the salaries of the American judges being less than half those of the English judges, why should an American lawyer of the first class ever accept a judicial office? Clearly there are other and higher motives than mere money. There are Americans, we are told, who recognize in American life no motive higher than money. But are they Americans, or are they of the true American type? You might have asked Mr. Roosevelt when he was here last May. He is the most famous of living Americans and he certainly did not become so by the worship of money.

I have strayed far from Sir Francis Jeune, but the law and the things of the law must ever have an attraction for any one who has at any time, no matter how long ago, been in contact with them; otherwise than as a client. And I will stray further still in order to add that one of the greatest names at the English Bar, and now one of the greatest memories, is that of an American. I mean, of course, Mr. Benjamin. He had no superior. It is doubtful whether he had an equal in those duties of his profession in which he most cared to excel. I knew him a little. He sometimes talked to me of his career; surely the most remarkable at the English or perhaps any other Bar, since he was fifty-three when he came to this country. He always acknowledged heartily the kindness shown him, the facilities given him, the aid even of men {367} who foresaw in him a dangerous rival, to make his path smooth. I said to him once:

"But you came here as the representative of a Lost Cause which the English had at one time almost made their own. That may have helped."

"Oh, no; the friendship of the governing classes in England for the Confederacy had passed into history. They had discovered their mistake. As they would say, they had backed the wrong horse. It was still some years to the Geneva Arbitration but they had begun to be aware they would have to pay, as others do when they put their money on a loser. However, I don't think that counted one way or the other. What did count was the good-will of English lawyers to another lawyer. That you can always depend on. They shortened the formalities. They opened the doors as wide as they could. And never once when I had gained a foothold did I find that anybody remembered I was not English; or remembered it to my disadvantage."

Taking his place as he did at the very head, he was a memorable illustration of Daniel Webster's well-known reply to the young lawyer who asked him if the profession was not overcrowded:

"There is always room at the top."

Mr. Benjamin passed swiftly from penury to affluence. He told me once what his highest earnings in any one year had been. The amount was larger by many thousands of pounds than the income of his chief competitor. It was larger, I think, than any English lawyer now makes except {368} at the Parliamentary Bar, where the figures are almost fantastic. This is a money test but apply any other you like and you would still see the figure of Mr. Benjamin standing out from among the crowd and high above it; and above even the highest of that day.

I dined lately at the Inner Temple as the guest of a great and successful lawyer. There was a company of other successful lawyers and of judges. I asked a question or two about Benjamin. In that perfectly rarefied legal atmosphere there could be none but a purely legal opinion. And there was but one opinion. Most of these men had known him, though Benjamin died in 1884. Whether they knew him or not they knew all about him. His greatness was admitted. Eulogies were poured out on him.

"Did his American nationality hinder him?"

"It neither hindered nor helped. He was at the English Bar and that was enough."

I come back to Sir Francis Jeune. He was the friend and legal adviser of Lord Beaconsfield, whose will he drew. A Conservative, of course. His practice at the Bar was never of a showy kind. But if you put yourself into his hands you felt sure he would do the right and wise thing. His mind was of the sort known as legal. When he came to the Bench it was seen to be judicial also. I suppose the general public has never understood why Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty should be united in one division of the Supreme Court. No two subjects could be more unlike {369} than Divorce and Admiralty. But a judge is supposed to have taken all legal knowledge to be his province, and to be equally capable of dealing with all the mysteries of the law in all its relations to all parts of life. It is true that on the Admiralty side assessors are called in. An assessor is a kind of expert. A retired sea-captain, for example, who has never commanded anything but a sailing ship, is supposed to be competent to advise on the most intricate questions of modern steamship navigation. The result is sometimes astounding, as in the case of the Campania, condemned by Mr. Justice Gorell Barnes to pay for the loss of the bark Embolton, by collision, solely because she was steaming nine knots. It was proved that this was the safest speed for her and for all comers; that she was under better control at nine knots than at any less speed. But the court said: "If people will build ships which are safest at nine knots they must be responsible for the consequences."

Sir Francis Jeune had no part in the trial of this famous cause and I am sure had too much sense to agree with the judgment. Good sense was, perhaps, the predominant trait in his character. He showed it pre-eminently in the Divorce Court. There he was helped, no doubt, by his social experiences. He knew London as few men know it. He had, in such matters, almost feminine instincts. But he ruled in his court as all strong English judges rule, and as strong American judges do not. In America we say of an advocate: "He tried such and such a case." In England the phrase is {370} never used of the barrister. It is the judge who "tries" the cause, as it ought to be. Sir Francis "tried" the causes that came before him. He knew the law. He mastered facts easily. He was not easily misled and he had the sagacity which led him quickly to right conclusions. Since his death there have been contrasts on which I will not dwell.




{371}

CHAPTER XXXIX

MRS. JEUNE, LADY JEUNE, AND LADY ST. HELIER

The interesting people are the exceptional people; not those cast in a mould common to others, not those whose lives run in a groove but those who fashion their own lives in obedience to the dictates of a nature which is their own. Among the women of London it would be easy to choose those of higher rank or greater position than Lady St. Helier, but I choose her because she is Lady St. Helier.

Whether the marriage of Mrs. Stanley to Mr. Francis Jeune, in 1881, was or was not considered a social event of the first importance I cannot say. I was not then in London. But that it became important in no long time is clear. It was first as Mrs. Jeune and then as Lady Jeune that the present Lady St. Helier achieved her great distinction as a hostess. She was not content to do what other ladies of position were in the habit of doing. She struck out a line for herself. I said lately that London was a world in which everything of the first rank in many differing ranks and professions met at times beneath the same roofs. That was not always true. It was very far from being true.

{372}

If you go back no further than the eighteenth century you find in England a society consisting of perhaps three hundred or four hundred persons. If we may judge by the memoirs and memories that have come down to us it was a very brilliant society, perhaps more brilliant, though less varied, than the society of to-day. But it was not comprehensive, still less was it cosmopolitan. It was a caste. The hereditary principle prevailed. It was a society into which you had to take the precaution to be born. If you were not born into it you never found your way in. There was no effort to keep people outside of it. None was required. The people who were outside did not dream of forcing themselves in. There was no reason why this little clique should be on the defence. The Climbers did not then exist, as an aggressive body, or as a force of any kind. If you read Boswell's Life, or Walpole's Letters, or the Life of Selwyn, or any political memoirs of the time, it is clear that the dividing line between those who were in society and those who were not was a broad one, and was all but impassable.

It has long ceased to be, and the steps by which it was worn away can be traced. But if we come at once to the 'eighties of the last century we see a condition of things which, a hundred years before that, would have seemed to the social leaders of that day fantastic. The revolution had gone far; it had already become an evolution; and, of course, the end was not yet. It needed a Mrs. Jeune to carry it on to its full development. And {373} since the individual is but one expression of those natural forces which are, in such cases, the operative forces, there is no reason why Nature should not supply the individual as she does the other energies needed for the work she has in hand. At any rate, she supplied Mrs. Jeune, and London is to-day a different place from the London we should have known had there been no Mrs. Jeune.

For Society, in the mixed form now prevailing, is supposed to be not only a compromise between conflicting forces but the result of much careful diplomacy. Lady Jersey was a diplomatist. Lady Palmerston was a diplomatist. The late King was pre-eminently a diplomatist. Whether from temperament or calculation I know not, but Mrs. Jeune cast diplomacy to the winds. The one gift which stood to her in the place of all others was courage. She brought together at the same table, or under the same roof at Arlington Manor, people the most unlike. Each one of her guests had some kind of distinction, or some claim to social recognition. They might or might not have anything in common.

Mrs. George Cornwallis West, whom we still think of as Lady Randolph Churchill, once gave at her house in Connaught Place, by the Marble Arch, looking out on Hyde Park, what she called a dinner of deadly enemies. It was thought a hazardous experiment. It proved a complete success. They were all well-bred people. They all recognized their obligations to their hostess as paramount for the time being. They were Lady {374} Randolph's guests. That was enough. As guests they were neither friends nor enemies. There were no hostilities. The talk flowed on smoothly. When a man found himself sent in to dinner with a woman to whom he did not speak, his tongue was somehow unloosed. It was a truce. In some cases ancient animosities were softened. In all they were suspended. The guests all knew each other, and as they looked about the table they all saw that Lady Randolph had attempted the impossible and had conquered. A social miracle had been performed.

What Lady Randolph did for that one evening Mrs. Jeune did night after night and year after year. There was not on her part, I presume, any conscious intention of bringing irreconcilables into contact with each other. What Mrs. Jeune did was simply to take no note of the fact that they were irreconcilables. Her policy, if policy it were, had therefore the kind of validity which comes to a man or to a woman from not appearing to be aware of the obvious. That is a great resource in debate, and a great resource in that larger debate which broadens into human intercourse. The average man is rather apt to do what he sees is expected of him. As a guest he has hardly a choice. When he enters a front door he puts himself under the dominion of his hostess. If he is a man of the world, his philosophy is to take what is offered him. If he is not, he is chiefly concerned to do as others do whom he supposes to be more familiar than himself with the manners {375} and customs of Society. Very rarely therefore does anything like a collision occur and almost never so long as the company is of two sexes.

Mrs. Jeune may or may not have thought this out, or she may have acted from those intuitions which in women supply the place of reason and are, for all social purposes and some others, more useful than reason. People who did not like her used to say that all she cared for was to get celebrities together. They professed to think she was a Mrs. Leo Hunter and her collections of guests so many menageries. If that had been so they would soon have been dispersed, nor would Mrs. Jeune, or the Lady Jeune of later days, or the present Lady St. Helier, ever have attained to the rank she did as hostess. She offered Society what nobody else offered, novelty, which is the one thing Society craves beyond all others. Said a man who went everywhere:

"I go to Lady Jeune's because I never know whom I shall meet, but I know there will always be somebody I shall like to meet."

By the side of which I will set an anecdote not unlike it. At a dinner I was next a lady who knew everybody, and there was a man at table whom she did not know. She asked:

"Who is that?"

"Mr. Justice Stephen."

"Why have I never seen him? He looks a man everybody ought to know. But it is a rare pleasure to meet somebody you do not know."

I will give the other side in another anecdote. {376} A smart party. A stream of guests coming up a famous staircase. Two in a balcony looking down on the arrivals.

He: "Who is that?"

She: "I don't know."

He: "But you know everybody."

She: "Nobody knows everybody."

There spoke the voice of authority. Society in London is now so multitudinous that even a bowing acquaintance between its less conspicuous members is not universal. It was Lady Jeune's mission to bring together those who stood apart. She swept into her net many a foreigner who but for her might have remained a foreigner. I will venture to guess that Lady St. Helier's invitation was one of the few unofficial invitations which Mr. Roosevelt accepted for his brief stay in London. They met twenty years ago or more when Mr. Roosevelt was in London, and made friends. He used to make friendly inquiries about Mrs. Jeune, as Mrs. Jeune did about him, year by year, and I often carried friendly messages from each to the other. She will surround him with delightful people, among whom there will be one or two or three he had never heard of; and when he has met them will wonder he had not known them always.

Lady St. Helier has published a book of Reminiscences which I have not yet read. I am therefore borrowing a little of her courage in giving my own account of some matters which she may have dealt with, and perhaps from a different point of view. But I must take that risk. I prefer taking {377} it. If my testimony, or anybody's testimony, is to have any value it must be from its independence.

Mrs. Jeune lived for many years in Wimpole Street; then moved to Harley Street, and then, after Lord St. Helier's death, in 1905, to Portland Place. Their place in the country was Arlington Manor, near Newbury, in Berkshire, the scene of the battle, in 1643, in which Lord Falkland, despairing of peace, says his biographer, threw his life away. There stands a monument on the battlefield erected not many years ago with an inscription by the late Lord Carnarvon, himself a kind of nineteenth-century Falkland, who threw away his political future in an impossible attempt to come to terms with Mr. Parnell, Lord Carnarvon also despairing of peace. The inscription is a piece of literature for ever.

At Arlington it was Lady Jeune's delight to gather about her some of the men and women she really liked, and who really liked her. The house was not large, and was devoid of all other splendour than such as the beauty of its position and view and park and gardens gave it. But it was the home of comfort and charm. Now it has passed into other hands and Lady St. Helier has built herself another house, known as Cold Ash. But the memories of Arlington will never pass.

Perhaps it was in Arlington that Lady Jeune's gifts as hostess were to be seen at their best. It is one thing to take charge of a dinner, another to handle a difficult team from Saturday to Monday, or often longer. Freedom of choice is a thing {378} which has to be paid for. But to her this was no task. She had good hands, and a touch so delicate that you were guided without knowing you had a bit in your mouth. It was a skill which all depended on kindness and sympathy; and these belonged to her in overflowing measure.




{379}

CHAPTER XL

LORD AND LADY ARTHUR RUSSELL AND THE "SALON" IN ENGLAND

The recent death of Lady Arthur Russell diminished by one the number of accomplished women of this generation who were distinguished in the last generation also. And it closed one of the few drawing-rooms in London which have been salon as well as drawing-room. I suppose Lady Arthur herself might have said as she looked about her and looked back, "Tout passe." The French phrase would have come naturally to her tongue, for she was French: daughter of that Vicomte de Peyronnet who was Minister to Charles X. Yet one was not often, at any rate not too often, reminded of her French origin. So long ago as 1865 Mlle. de Peyronnet married Lord Arthur Russell, brother of the ninth Duke of Bedford and of the more famous Lord Odo Russell, afterward the first Lord Ampthill, long British Ambassador at Berlin, where he managed to be on good terms both with Prince Bismarck and the present Emperor; a feat of diplomacy almost unique.

It is eighteen years since Lord Arthur died. {380} He was indisputably of the last or an earlier generation, having little in common with the present. People thought of Lord and Lady Arthur as one; of itself enough to identify them with earlier times than those when husband and wife are as likely to be met separately as together. If there was a distinction it was at the breakfast hour, at breakfasts in other houses. There was no rule which excluded ladies from these breakfasts, but there was a custom which held good in the majority of cases. The host's wife, if he had one, might or might not appear. But the group of men who were in the habit of breakfasting at each other's houses included Lord Arthur Russell, Sir Mountstuart Grant-Duff, Lord Reay, Mr. Charles Roundell, Mr. Albert Rutson, sometimes Mr. Herbert Spencer, and many more. You will recognize Sir Mountstuart Grant-Duff's name as that of the most voluminous diarist of his time, and when you have read his six or seven volumes the map of his life is spread out before you; an honoured and useful life, a career of real distinction. Lord Arthur had not Sir Mountstuart's ambitions; he was content with his home and his kin and his books.

His brother, the Duke, had a habit of referring to himself as Hastings Russell. An alteration at Woburn Abbey was proposed to him. "It will not be made in the lifetime of Hastings Russell," his answer. He had a sense of humour, which Lloyd-George must think a rare thing in a duke. I drove once from Mentmore to Woburn {381} Abbey with Lady Rosebery and her little girl, Lady Sibyl, then eight or nine years old, with a gift of humorous perception rare at any age in her sex. The child had a balanced mind and a mature view of things which might have belonged to eighteen as well as eight. The old place interested her and she asked the Duke to show her the whole. He was delighted and took us through room after room, each stately and each a museum. Presently we came to a rather bare, scantily furnished, unhandsome room, and Lady Sibyl asked:

"But what is this?"

"This, my dear, is where I earn my living writing cheques for six hours a day."

All three brothers, the Duke, Lord Odo, and Lord Arthur, had a quiet humour in common. Lord Odo had, besides humour, wit. It was he, while Ambassador in Berlin and during a visit of the Shah, when that great potentate practised a less strict abstinence at dinner than his religion demanded, who said to a neighbour: "After all, it's nothing wonderful. You must remember the proverb, 'La nuit tous les chat sont ris. And Berlin used to echo with his caustic, good-natured speeches. Nor did Berlin, nor perhaps London, ever forget Prince Bismarck's saying:

"I never knew an Englishman who spoke French well whom I would trust except Lord Odo."

After which I dare not name two or three others whose French was not less perfect than that which Prince Bismarck praised. The Prince was a good judge, as well he might be. French had {382} become to him almost a second mother tongue; as, indeed, it must be to a European diplomatist.

To the list of men who were to be met in those days at breakfasts the name of Mr. George Brodrick ought to be added. He was a scholar, a writer, a journalist, and one of those men who never could understand why the world would not come round to his way of thinking and to him. He had real abilities, which survived a university education. He was born into a respectable place in the world, of good family, with good opportunities, but was never a man of the world. To be of the world in the true sense of the phrase a man must, I take it, have a fairly accurate notion of his relation to the world. That Brodrick had not. His ambitions were political, and most of all parliamentary; but they remained ambitions. He could not understand how to commend himself to a constituency; nor would he ever have conformed to the inexorable standards of the House of Commons. He expected the House and its standards to conform to him.

Struggling with a fine courage for the unattainable, Mr. Brodrick meantime occupied himself with journalism, and was for many years a leader-writer on The Times. The story which points his intense self-concentration as well as any other connects itself with that period. He was a guest in a house in Scotland, and while there continued composition of those more or less Addisonian and rather academic essays which, when printed on the leader page of The Thunderer, became {383} leaders, and very good leaders of their kind. He saw fit to write them in the drawing-room and in the morning when men are commonly supposed to be elsewhere. There were ladies and they talked. Presently Mr. Brodrick rose, marched over to his hostess and said to her: "Lady X., I really must ask you to ask these ladies not to carry on their conversation in this room. I am engaged upon a most important article and my thoughts are distracted by talk which has no importance at all."

His appearance and dress were those of a man who gave no thought to either. He was rather tall, angular, uncouth, a stoop in the shoulders, and his figure consisted of K's. He had the projecting teeth which French caricaturists used to give to English "meesses," in whom it is extremely rare. Some person of genius untempered with mercy called him "Curius Dentatus"; and the nickname lasted as long as Brodrick lasted. With his teeth, and his knees and elbows sawing the air, and his umbrella, and his horse all ribs, he was the delight of the Row. Everybody liked him but everybody laughed at him. In the end he renounced journalism and renounced politics and became Warden of Merton. It was thought he would not be a good Head of a College nor get on with his students, but he falsified all predictions, governed wisely and well, won the affection of the boys under him, and died lamented. I suppose the explanation is that he had at bottom a genuine sincerity of nature.

{384}

But I am wandering far and I return to Lady Arthur and her house and her guests.

The form of salon which Lady Arthur Russell preferred was a salon preceded by a dinner. It was never a large dinner. Except in a few houses, the banquets of forty or fifty people or more so dear to the New York hostess are not given in London, nor is mere bigness reckoned an element of social success. In the biggest capital of the world, where society far exceeds in numbers the society of any other capital, people are content with moderation. A dinner of forty people is a lottery in which each guest has two chances and no more. His luck and his hopes of being amused or interested depend wholly on his right- and left-hand neighbours.

Lady Arthur, being by birth a Frenchwoman, had French ideas on this and other subjects. She did not choose her guests alphabetically, nor by rank, nor for the sake of a passing notoriety. Lions you might meet at her house but they were not expected to roar; nor did they. Neither at dinner nor after dinner were more people asked than could be managed. Large parties are, of course, given in London but they do not constitute a salon. It is of the essence of a salon that people shall not be left wholly to themselves, as in a large party they must be, but shall be looked after. Affinities do not always find themselves. They have to be brought together. Others have to be kept apart. No authority is needed. Intuitions, a quick eye for situations, and a gentle skill in {385} distribution are the gifts which go to the making of a good hostess. These Lady Arthur had. By mere smartness she set little store. I suppose the house in Audley Square which Lord Arthur Russell built never passed for a particularly smart house. Of houses which are called and which are "smart" there are scores in London. Of salons there are very few. Herself the daughter of a French viscount, and with her husband brother to a duke, Lady Arthur had no particular need to concern herself about mere smartness. That is a reputation not altogether difficult to acquire. The King's smile may confer it. Not, perhaps, the late Queen's of whom one more than usually brilliant butterfly remarked:

"But the Queen, you know, never was in society."

Which perhaps, in the sense intended, was true.

If there were one note more marked than another in these Audley Square assemblies it was a note of culture. Ease and good breeding and distinction may all be taken for granted. It is of the things which may not be taken for granted that I speak; and culture certainly may not. There are many houses in London in which it is neither expected nor desired. In New York, as we all know, it is discouraged. It would be discouraged anywhere if it were obtrusive or pedantic. Neither in a salon nor anywhere else is it to supersede good manners, but to blend with them. To make a salon possible there must be varied interests, play of mind, flexibility, adaptability, and an unlimited supply of {386} tact. Perhaps the last includes all social gifts except those of the intellect. It covers a multitude of deficiencies. Nay, there was Miss Ada Reeve, a clever actress who last year was discussing on the stage questions of costume (elsewhere than on the stage), and announced:

"If a woman has tact and diamonds she needs nothing else."

Most of the generalities which you have been reading are really particulars and are descriptive of Lady Arthur Russell's receptions, of which I have spoken as a salon. I don't know that Lady Arthur herself ever used the word, nor does it matter. The thing, not the name, is what matters. There was culture, of a very unusual kind, on both sides of the house. There was, on Lady Arthur's side, her French blood. A salon in Paris is no rare thing, and the reason why it is not rare is because the society of Paris is French. In the Faubourg St. Germain, if nowhere else, the social traditions of the old monarchy in its most brilliant days still survive.

One of the noticeable things about this house in Audley Square was the presence of distinguished foreigners, and another was that they seemed no longer to consider themselves foreigners. They were at home. Nor was this true only of men and women of rank who might be of kin to the Peyronnets, and at any rate were of their world, but of artists and men of letters. I will take M. Renan as an example. He had come to London to deliver the Hibbert lectures and a lecture on Marcus Aurelius {387} before the Royal Institution in Albemarle Street, of which the ever lamented Tyndall was then at the head. I had met Renan twice at other houses. He seemed a little dépaysé. In Audley Square this exotic and troubled air had disappeared. He had no English—at any rate, he spoke none—and his conversation, or the conversation of the English with him, was therefore limited. But when he talked, and often when he did not, he was surrounded by a crowd of listeners or, as the case might be, of lookers-on. Hence it was that he was so often kept, or left, standing, and his physical frame was of such a kind that long standing was irksome to him, and even painful. I noticed one night that he seemed ill at ease, and said to him I hoped he was not suffering.

"Yes," he said, "that is exactly it; I am souffrant, and if I have to stand much longer I don't know what will happen."

"But why don't you sit down?"

"Oh, do you think I might?"

So I took him to a comfortable sofa and, once seated, an ineffable sweet peace stole over his features.

A more tragic incident happened in Count von Arnim's case, the end of whose career was all tragedy. At this time he was still German Ambassador in Paris, but Prince Bismarck had become distrustful of him and the end was not far off. The public, however, knew nothing; least of all the English public, whose acquaintance with occurrences on the Continent is apt to be remote. For {388} aught that was known in London, Count von Arnim was still the trusted representative of Germany. He bore a great name, he held a great position. The personal impression was a little disappointing. He did not look like the man to stand up to Prince Bismarck, who was a giant in stature as well as in character; nor was he. Slight, rather short, lacking in distinction, meagre in face, with no hint of power in the shape of his head or in his rather furtive expression, or in his carriage, he seemed, on the whole, insignificant. The eyes had no fire in them; he looked older than his years, and unequal to his renown.

It was the custom in those distant days to serve tea in the drawing-room after dinner. Count von Arnim was asked if he would take tea, left the lady by whom he was sitting, crossed the floor to the tea-table, took his cup of tea from Lady Arthur's hand, and started on his return. The floor was of polished oak, with here and there a rug; just the sort of floor to which he must have been used to all his life. But he slipped, his feet flew from under him, and down came the Ambassador on his back. It was an awful moment. Men went to his rescue, he was helped up, evidently much shaken, and slowly found his way back to the sofa and to the lady who had been his companion. There were almost tears in his eyes. When, a little later, the news of his disgrace became known, a man said: "Well, if he could not keep his feet in a drawing-room, what chance had he against Prince Bismarck."




{389}

CHAPTER XLI

THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY—QUEEN ALEXANDRA

When the Radical rages against the House of Lords he commonly selects as the most deserving object of his wrath the Lords Spiritual. Wicked as the Lords Temporal are, their episcopal comrades are more wicked still. This is, or was, more peculiarly the Nonconformist point of view. A Dissenter exists in order to hate a Bishop. He hates him as a rival in religion; a successful rival. He hates him as the visible sign of that social ascendancy of the Church which is to the Dissenter not less odious than its political and ecclesiastical primacy.

He hates him also because he is rich, or is supposed to be so. The Archbishop of Canterbury's £15,000 a year, his Palace at Lambeth, and his Old Palace at Canterbury are all alike to the true Dissenter so many proofs of the Devil's handiwork. The Archbishop of York is a sinner of less degree only because his Devil's pension is less by £5000 a year. The Bishop of London has the same salary as the Archbishop of York, and his iniquity, though he is only a Bishop, is therefore {390} the same. There is, then, a descending scale of financial depravity. Beginning, next after London, with the Bishop of Durham at £7000, we come to the Bishop of Ely with £5500, the Bishops of Oxford, of Bath and Wells, and of Salisbury with £5000 each, and so, by easy stages of lessening vice, to the pauper Bishop of Sodor and Man who gets but a pittance of £1500 a year.

Our Dissenting friend waxes hotter as he reflects that one Archbishop is paid three times as much as a Prime Minister, and the other twice as much, while three or four more Bishops receive stipends larger than the present colleague of Mr. Lloyd-George and Mr. Winston Churchill. These episcopal salaries are even higher than is that of Mr. Lloyd-George, or that of Mr. Winston Churchill, who has to content himself with £5000 a year while discharging not a few of the duties of the Prime Minister, on the platform and, if all reports be true, in the Cabinet itself.

This, perhaps, is rather incidental. I was explaining why the Dissenter hates the Bishop. The attitude of the Bishops to the vital question of Education augments the animosity of the Dissenter. Their conservatism in general politics inflames their opponents still further. To the Nonconformist orator they are an unfailing target, and he ought to be very much obliged to them for supplying him with ammunition, but is not. Mr. Bright thundered against them and their "adulterous origin." Mr. Bright's wrath, whether rightly directed or {391} not, was in itself a noble thing; the passion of a great soul greatly stirred.

Just at present the Bishops are a little less obnoxious to the Radical than usual, because they followed the Radical lead on the Licensing Bill. That Bill evoked animosities not less bitter than the Education Bill. The Bishops made it a question of temperance, holding that by higher licensing fees and heavier taxes on public-houses and on liquor the consumption of spirits would be lessened. They argued that if there were fewer public-houses there would be fewer drinkers and drunkards. They applauded Mr. Asquith when he proposed that on Sundays a man should walk six miles before he could have a glass of beer; for that is what the bona fide traveller clause came to. If they had the influence with their fellow-Peers they are supposed to have they could have prevented the rejection of the Licensing Bill. But they could not do that. Then the Radicals turned on them because they could not control a House where their very presence is to the Radical a continuing offence. "The Brewers are stronger than the Bishops!" cried the Radical, to whose happiness a victim of one kind or another is essential.

The Archbishop of Canterbury led his brethren of the Episcopal Bench in this matter of Temperance, as he has led them on other matters. He is their natural leader. He is the Primate of all England; the Head of the Church, next after the King. His abilities and character are of a kind to fit him for leadership. I suppose it may sound {392} like a paradox if I suggest that for him who holds the highest ecclesiastical post in the land the first requisite is that he should be a man of the world. But it is true, and it is equally true of all Bishops. It was true of the late Bishop Potter, who was not only the most eminent dignitary of the American Episcopal Church, but almost the first citizen of New York. The Bishops have to administer each his own diocese, and a diocese is a province. They must understand how to govern. They must understand men and, so far as possible, women. They must be men of affairs. Whether they know much Greek or Hebrew is of quite secondary importance. Knowledge of that kind is ornamental; the other kind is essential. They ought to be diplomatists also; skilled not so much in controversy as in avoiding controversy.

The present Archbishop is all this. His public career proves it, and if you come to know him he will leave a very distinct personal impression on your mind. It was my fortune to meet him at Dalmeny House not many years ago, while he was still Bishop of Winchester. His visit lasted some days, and there have not been many days more interesting. Except for his clothes, and perhaps for a certain sweetness of manner, you need not have supposed him to be a Bishop. He did not talk shop. He talked as others talk who are not of the Church. At once you saw he was broad-minded. I do not use the word broad in its ecclesiastical sense. There was not a suggestion of the apostolic or missionary attitude. That {393} was for another place and other circumstances. Nihil humani might have been his motto, if he had a motto. He talked well, clearly, picturesquely, and in the tone which any guest in a country house might use. He did not require you to remember that he was a Bishop, or even a priest. He was just himself. His knowledge and good sense and felicity of thought and speech were his own.

Queen Alexandra came to tea. The Archbishop, as the Rev. Randall Davidson, had been for eight years Dean of Windsor, and naturally had seen much of the Royal Family. I suppose I may say that he had in time become a trusted friend of the Queen, perhaps her most trusted adviser. People who opposed his promotion called him a courtier, as any man who lives much in the atmosphere of courts may be. It was easy to see from the Queen's manner how much she liked the Bishop and looked to him for counsel. If a point were in question, it was to him she turned. The Princess Victoria was with the Queen, and there too was a friendship.

Those were days when affairs in the United States were in a critical state, or seemed to be, and when we were beginning to think that the good-will of other countries might be important to us; as it was, and always will be, as ours is to them. So I hope I shall not do amiss if I repeat now a word which the Queen then said to me:

"I hope all the news from your own country is good. We all hope that."

{394}

That expressed the Queen's personal, womanly sympathy, and something more. Far gone were the days when English sympathies were for our enemies. They are now for us, and Queen Victoria was our friend and Queen Alexandra and the late King were our friends. They shared the friendship of their people. The Queen spoke for herself and for them. The Bishop stood by Her Majesty's side as she said it. His face brightened. He knew, as well as anybody, how much it meant.




{395}

CHAPTER XLII

A SCOTTISH LEGEND

Among the recollections of Scotland which come thronging on from other days, the supernatural always plays a part. I admit they are not easy to deal with. If you believe in ghosts or in legends, a great majority of your readers do not believe in you. If you are a sceptic, the credulous pass you by with an air of pained superiority. If you neither believe nor disbelieve, you are set down as an agnostic; and there are great numbers of excellent people to whom the word agnostic implies reproach. An agnostic, however, is not one who believes or disbelieves, but who, whatever his private conviction may be, declines either to affirm or deny the truth of the matter in question.

But, although an unbeliever, I know of one story connecting itself with a famous legend, which is, so far as it goes, absolutely true, and this I am going to tell exactly as it happened.

In 1883 I was staying at Brechin Castle with Lord and Lady Dalhousie, and Lady Dalhousie proposed one morning that we should drive over to Cortachy Castle to lunch. Brechin Castle and Cortachy Castle are both in Forfarshire and {396} fourteen miles apart. At that time Cortachy Castle was let to the late Earl of Dudley; the seventh Earl of Airlie to whom it belonged having lately died. There's a tragic atmosphere for the eighth Earl was killed at Diamond Hill in South Africa in 1900; one of the many men of rank and position and fortune and everything to live for who, in the early disastrous days of the Boer War, gave up everything to fight for the flag and for their country and sovereign.

The family name is Ogilvy, and the family name and title are both old, going back to at least 1491. They were Ambassadors and great officers of State, and the seventh Lord Ogilvy was made an Earl. Two acts of attainder are testimony to the active part they took in those troubled times, and to their capacity for holding fast to the losing side. They were in the Earl of Mar's rebellion in 1715, and fought for the Pretender at Culloden.

Besides all that, the Ogilvys carried on for generations a feud with the Campbells. On both sides there were burnings and harryings and much shedding of blood. There's no need to ask which of them was the more in fault. The standards of those days were not as the standards of ours; and there was a good deal less of that homage which vice now pays to virtue. So it happened that one day early in the seventeenth century the Ogilvys found themselves besieged in Cortachy Castle by the then Earl of Argyll or his lieutenant. The besiegers sent in a herald with a drummer-boy to demand the surrender of the castle. The {397} Ogilvy people took the drummer-boy and hanged him over the battlements, his mother looking from the camp outside. As the fashion was in those days, she launched a curse, or more than one, at the Ogilvys, and a prophecy. She foretold that whenever, through all the ages to come, death or disaster should visit them they would first hear the beating of the drum by the drummer-boy.

Such is the story as it was told to me. It is a well-known tradition, and you are told also that her prophecy has been strictly fulfilled. The beating of the drum by the drummer-boy has been heard at least once in each generation during the centuries that ever since then have witnessed the varying fortunes of this family. That is a matter as to which I neither affirm nor deny. How could I? I was not there. But the narrative is a necessary preface to the account of the day when the events I set out to describe did actually occur.

At luncheon Lady Dudley, known then and still as the beautiful Lady Dudley, told us that when Lord Hardwicke, one of the guests staying with them, came down to breakfast that morning he asked her whether the drummer-boy legend applied to the tenants of the castle for the time being or only to the Ogilvys.

"Oh, only to the Ogilvys, of course."

"Then you won't mind my telling you that I heard the drummer-boy beating his drum last night."

And Lady Dudley added:

"I did not mind in the least. Whether I believe {398} in the menace or not, I never heard that it had anything to do with anybody but the Ogilvys. If it could effect anybody in this case it would be Lord Hardwicke, who heard it, and not us who did not hear it."

With which we naturally agreed. We finished our lunch peacefully and pleasantly, and at three o'clock Lady Dalhousie and I drove back to Brechin Castle, where there were in all twelve guests. We dined as usual at a quarter past eight, and shortly before ten the ladies left the dining-room. Just after ten the door opened again. Lady Dalhousie sailed in, her face brilliant with excitement, but her manner serene as usual, and said to her husband:

"Dalhousie, Cortachy Castle is burnt to the ground; the Dudleys are here and you must come at once."

At the drawing-room door stood Lady Dudley, pale and beautiful, and warned us that her husband knew as yet nothing of what had happened, and asked us to be careful to say nothing which should alarm him. He was at that time very ill, and his mind was affected. The rest of the evening after we went into the drawing-room passed without any mention of the disaster to Cortachy. Lord Dudley sat down to his rubber of whist, won it, and went to bed not knowing that the house in which he had expected to sleep had been destroyed by fire. When he was told next morning he said, "Very well," and turned again to his newspaper.

The explanation was this: After Lady Dalhousie {399} and I left Cortachy Lady Dudley took her husband for a drive, as usual. As they were returning, late, they were stopped by a messenger who handed Lady Dudley a note from the factor, saying the castle was on fire and there was no hope of saving it.

"What is it?" asked Lord Dudley.

"Oh, nothing much," answered his wife. "The kitchen chimney has been on fire and the place is in a mess. I think we had better drive over to Brechin and ask the Dalhousies to give us dinner."

This ready wit carried the day and saved Lord Dudley the shock which his wife dreaded. But the whole company of guests at Cortachy were also left homeless, and they also came to Brechin and slept there. I never quite understood how, for Brechin Castle can put up, in a normal way, fourteen people, and we slept that night fifty-six. But Lady Dalhousie besides being a reigning beauty, had practical talents and managed it all as if an inundation of unexpected guests were an everyday affair.

There is one thing to be added. Past Cortachy Castle flows a shallow stream with a stony bed. It was early in September. The water was very low, and what there was rippled and broke over the stones with a noise which, at night and amid uncertain slumbers, might easily be mistaken for the beating of a drum by a man whose mind was full of the drummer-boy story. After I had heard about Lord Hardwicke at luncheon I had walked along the banks of this burn, and the faint likeness {400} of the waters beating on the stones to the beating of a drum occurred to me. Perhaps a mere fancy on my part. I don't press it. If anybody prefers to believe in the legend I don't ask him to believe in my conjecture. By all means let him nourish his own faith in his own way.

He may like to know, moreover, that Lord Hardwicke, now dead, was one of the last persons in the world to conceive or cherish an illusion. A well-known man of the world; in his way a celebrity, if only known for his hats, which were the glossiest ever seen outside of the stock Exchange. He had gone the pace; "climbed outside of every stick of property he possessed," said one of his friends, and had acquired a vast and varied stock of experience in the process. On the face of it, not at all the kind of man to believe too much; nor to believe in anything, as was said of Mr. Lowe, which he could not bite.

He came into the dining-room that night at Brechin and stayed on the next day. Among Lady Dalhousie's guests was Mr. Huxley. Certainly a man of the world was Mr. Huxley, but of a different world from Lord Hardwicke's. They had never met. You might have said they had not a subject in common. But they talked to each other, and to the surprise of the company it presently became evident that they got on together. I said as much to Mr. Huxley afterward. He answered in his decisive way:

"Don't make any mistake. Lord Hardwicke has powers of mind for which even his own set, so {401} far as I know, has never given him credit. We did not talk about the weather. He was a man who would put his mind to yours no matter what you talked about, and it would take you all your time to keep up with him."

Years afterward I reminded Mr. Huxley of this, and asked him had he ever met Lord Hardwicke again.

"No, never; and I regret it. But we did not move quite in the same orbits. I have hardly seen anybody since who made such an impression on me. It's not a question of orbits, it's a question of men."

I asked Lord Hardwicke about the same time whether he remembered meeting Mr. Huxley.

"Remember? How many Huxleys are there in the world that you should suppose I could forget this one?"

It is one of the distinctions of English life in general, and of London, to which New York will perhaps some day attain, that sooner or later it brings together men and women, each of the first rank in his or her own department and each unlike the other. They have long understood here that a society which is not various ends in monotony; and of all forms of dulness that is the dullest.




{402}

CHAPTER XLIII

A PERSONAL REMINISCENCE OF THE LATE EMPEROR FREDERICK

It used to be said that English sympathies were given to Austria and not to Prussia in the war of 1866 because the Austrian railway officials were so much more polite than the Prussian. Of the fact that the English wished Austria and not Prussia to win there is no doubt. The railway reason was perhaps a reason, if not the reason. The organization of Prussia was at that time, as the organization of Germany, civil and military, now is, the finest in the world. But flexibility is not one of its merits; still less is it distinguished by consideration for the rights of the non-military and non-official German world. The English were then, as now, a travelling people; and their authority, if I may use such a word, on the Continent was greater, or seemed greater, then than now, because the competition was less. Americans had not then begun to swarm across the Atlantic as tourists, nor was the American language heard on every hill-side of the Tyrol and on the battlefields of Silesia. It was all English, and the English beyond question found Austria a more agreeable pleasure-ground {403} than the wind-swept plateaus of her grim neighbour to the north.

In those days and for many years to come the English had taken and kept possession of Homburg, the pretty watering-place near Frankfort. As in so many other matters, the fashion was set by the late King, then Prince of Wales, whom his fellow-subjects, and presently not a few Americans, followed in a loyal spirit. They followed him not less loyally when he forsook Homburg and journeyed further afield to Marienbad. For the truth is the Germans, and especially the North Germans, had rediscovered Homburg, and the streets where for so many years the English accent had been heard, and almost no other, grew suddenly hoarse with Teutonic gutturals. I don't say that this invasion drove him elsewhere. He was himself as much German as English. But when his yearly visits in August ceased the English surrendered Homburg to its real owners, albeit they rather resented what they called their usurpation.

There was, however, one English woman who clung to it, the Empress Frederick, the late King's eldest sister and Princess Royal of the United Kingdom. Her Royal Highness had married the Crown Prince of Prussia, afterward the Emperor Frederick, in 1858, being then just over seventeen years of age. For many years she spent part of each summer in the old Schloss, just outside the little town; then later built herself a showy villa on the other flank, and died there in August, 1901. {404} I don't think the late King had ever revisited Homburg after that date.

She liked the place; liked its pure air, its scenery, the hills, and woods amid which it lay embosomed; its pleasant walks and the pleasant life its visitors led, and some of its residents, though, except the Princess herself, and the hotel-keepers and the garrison for the time being, I hardly know who the residents were. It was, moreover, a great resort of invalids who were not ill enough to be sent to a serious cure. Many a doctor, in London and elsewhere, had for a maxim: "When in doubt, choose Homburg." Its waters could do you no harm. Its climate was sure to do you good. And its animation, its gaiety, its brilliancy even, during the six weeks' season were all so many tonics for the malade imaginaire.

Such acquaintance as I had with the Crown Princess I owed to the late King, who one day asked me if I knew his sister. When I said no he answered, "Oh, but you should; I must arrange it," and proposed that I should come to tea the next afternoon at his villa, then the Villa Imperiale, when the Crown Princess would be there. Arriving, I found myself the only guest. I was presented to the Princess. In figure, in face and manner, she was very like her mother, the late Queen. The figure was not so stout, the face not so rubicund, the manner less simple, and therefore with less authority; but the resemblance in each particular was marked. There was even a resemblance in dress; or it might be truer to say that both the late {405} Queen and her eldest daughter showed an indifference to the art of personal adornment. Certain terms have become stereotyped in various worlds of art. Early Victorian, mid-Victorian, or merely Victorian—are these labels now used by way of compliment or even of mere description? I am afraid they are one and all terms of disparagement. But it was said truly of the late Queen that it did not matter what she wore. Robes did not make the Queen. Whatever she wore she was Queen, and looked the Queen.

The Princess had, however, a much greater vivacity than her mother. At moments it became restlessness, and the mind, I thought, could never be in repose. There was no beauty but there was distinction; and in this again she resembled the Queen. After her marriage and down to the day when the Emperor Frederick's death extinguished her ambitions, the Princess had lived in a dream-world of her own creation, of which I will say more in a moment. Her beliefs were so strong, her conviction that she knew what was best for those about her was so complete, that to these beliefs and this conviction the facts had to adjust themselves as best they could.

Even for the purpose of this audience that necessity became evident. I had been presented, of course, as an American. Almost at once Her Royal Highness plunged into American affairs. She was keenly interested in educational and social problems, and explained to me the position of women in the United States with reference to these {406} problems. It appeared she had a correspondent in Chicago, as I understood, a lady who had been presented to Her Royal Highness in Berlin, and from this lady had derived a whole budget of impressions. They were extremely interesting, if only because they were, to me, altogether novel. But as I was not asked to confirm them, I of course, said nothing. Now and then a question was put which I answered as well as I could, but for the most part the Princess's talk flowed on smoothly and swiftly during the better part of an hour. She talked with clearness, with energy, with an almost apostolic fervour, the voice penetrating rather than melodious. I said to myself: "All this may be true of Chicago, but of what else is it true?" The Princess had indeed given Chicago as the source of her information, but it seemed to me that she generalized from the Windy City to the rest of the United States, and of such part as I knew I did not think it a good account.

After a time Chicago was dismissed and the talk drifted away into less difficult channels. But the position was always much the same. The Princess talked and I listened; the most interesting of all positions. I had heard—everybody had heard—a great deal about her views on politics and on Anglo-German relations and on the internal affairs of Germany. On some of these matters she touched briefly; on all she threw a bright light, for no matter what the immediate topic of her discourse, her attitude of mind toward other topics and toward higher matters of State became visible. {407} Never for a moment did this stream of talk stop or grow sluggish. Carlyle summed up Macaulay, for whom he had no great respect, in the phrase: "Flow on, thou shining river." He might, in a sardonic mood, have done the same for this Princess. After a time I found myself in a dilemma. An hour and a half had passed; agreeably and brilliantly, but it had passed, and I had been for some time expecting the signal which would indicate that my audience was at an end. It did not come. The Princess talked on. I knew Her Royal Highness had a dinner engagement, and I knew I had, and it was already half-past six, and Homburg dinners are early. Finally I said I was afraid I had abused Her Royal Highness's kindness, and might I be permitted to withdraw. The permission was given, the Princess held out her hand, and I went.

It was an illuminating interview. It threw light on events to come as well as on those of the past. Here was a great lady, full of intelligence and gifts, yet taking views of great public questions which she held almost alone. She had made many enemies. She was to make many more. In Berlin I had heard much. Prince Bismarck's distrust of the Crown Princess, and of the Crown Prince on her account, was known. It was shared by multitudes of Germans. They believed, rightly or wrongly, that she wanted to Anglicize Germany. Her ascendancy over her husband was believed to be complete, and because it was complete the day of the Crown Prince's accession to the throne was expected with dread. During his short reign of {408} three months—March 9th to June 15th, 1888—these gloomy forecasts could be neither confirmed nor dispelled. But they existed, they were general, and they modified the grief of the German people at the melancholy ending of what had promised to be a great career.

I suppose it must be said that the Crown Princess had furnished some material for German forebodings as to a German future shaped by her or by her influence. She talked openly. She told all comers that what Germany needed was parliamentary government as it was understood and practised in England. Against that the German face was set as flint. In little things, as in great, she made no secret of her preference for what was English over what was German. When the rooms the Crown Prince and Crown Princess were to occupy in the Palace of Charlottenburg, outside Berlin, were to be refurnished, she insisted on bringing upholsterers from London to do the work. Naturally the Berlin people did not like that.

Judgment was not her strong point, nor was tact. If I am to say what was her strong point I suppose it would be sincerity. Her gifts of mind were dazzling rather than sound. Her impulses were not always under control. Her animosities, once roused, never slept, as Prince Bismarck well knew. Her will was so vehement as sometimes to obscure her perceptions. But hers was a loyal nature and whatever one may think of her politics, it is impossible not to regret that the promise of a great ambition should have come to so tragic an end.




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CHAPTER XLIV

I

EDWARD THE SEVENTH AS PRINCE OF WALES—PERSONAL INCIDENTS

Everything, or almost everything, has been said about King Edward the Seventh, every tribute paid him from every quarter of the world; and the mourning of his people is the best tribute of all. I should like to add an estimate from a different point of view and a tribute, but I suppose they would have no proper place in these papers, and I confine myself therefore to memories. I will go back to the period when he was Prince of Wales, and to the place where he put off most of the splendours belonging to his rank, and where most of the man himself was to be seen; not once nor twice, but for years in succession.

Homburg was to the Prince of Wales a three weeks' holiday. I do not think he took the medical side of it very seriously. He drank the waters and walked, as the doctors bade him, but with respect to diet he seemed to be his own doctor and his prescriptions were not severe. But then nobody, the local physicians excepted, ever did take Homburg {410} very seriously as a cure. What the Prince liked was the freedom, of which he was himself the author. On occasions of ceremony and in the general course of his life at home, strict etiquette was enforced. At Homburg the Prince used his dispensing power and put aside everything but the essentials. He lived in a hired villa. He wore lounging suits in the daytime—sometimes of a rather flamboyant colour—and a soft grey hat. In the evening a black dining jacket, black tie, black waistcoat, black trousers, and a soft black Homburg hat. The silk hat and the dress coat and white tie or white waistcoat were unknown. Most of the officers of his household were left at home, but General Sir Stanley Clark was always with him.

His way of life was as informal as his dress. He was there to amuse himself and it was an art he understood perfectly. Homburg is a village, but it had, or had at that time, many resources. The three or four streets of which the place consisted were so many rendezvous for the visitors. The lawn-tennis grounds were another. The walks in the woods were delightful. There were drives over the hills and far away, in the purest air in Germany. If you tired of the little watering-place or its guests, there was Frankfort, only eight miles distant, with resources of a more varied kind. But in Homburg itself the Kursaal, though there had been no gambling since 1869, and the hotels, were always open and sometimes lively.

What the Prince liked was society, in one form or another. The open-air life suited him. It was {411} sufficiently formal but less formal than indoors. He liked strolling about and meeting acquaintances or friends. When you had once seen His Royal Highness leaning against the railings of a villa—the villa stood each in its own ground—and talking to a lady leaning out of the first floor window, and this interview lasting a quarter of an hour, you felt that the conditions of life and the relations of royalty to other ranks in life had taken on a quite new shape in Homburg.

But the attitude of respect was maintained. Certain formalities were never forgotten. The Prince was always addressed as "Sir" or as "Your Royal Highness." But these observances were not irksome, nor was conversation restricted or stiffened by the obligations of deference or by the accepted conventionalities which, after all, were more matters of form than of substance. And in his most careless moods the Prince had a dignity which was the more impressive for being apparently unconscious. Nobody ever forgot what was due to him; or ever forgot it twice. It was an offence he did not pardon; or pardoned only in those who could not remember what they had never known. A foreigner, an American, who erred in pure ignorance might count on forgiveness.

The Prince gave many luncheons and dinners, almost always at Ritter's or at the Kursaal. I should think there was never a day when he did not play the host. The dinners at the Kursaal were given on the terrace, always crowded with other dinner-parties. At Ritter's they were on the {412} piazza. This open-air hospitality was the pleasanter because it was so seldom possible in England. He had brought the art of entertaining to perfection. He put his guests, even those who stood most in awe of royalty, at their ease. The costume perhaps helped. When a company of people were in dining jackets and the men wearing their soft black hats, even at table, by the Prince's command, etiquette became a less formidable thing. The Prince talked easily, fluently, and well. He might ask a guest whom he liked to sit next him, ignoring distinctions of rank, but during the dinner he would talk, sooner or later, to everybody. There might be a dozen guests, a number seldom exceeded. I will give you one example of the dialogue which went on, and no more. The late Duke of Devonshire, at that time the Marquis of Hartington, was sitting nearly opposite the Prince, but at some distance, and this colloquy took place:

"Hartington, you ought not to be drinking all that champagne."

"No, sir; I know I oughtn't."

"Then why do you do it?"

"Well, sir, I have made up my mind that I had rather be ill now and then than always taking care of myself."

"Oh, you think that now, but when the gout comes what do you think then?"

"Sir, if you will ask me then I will tell you. I do not anticipate."

The Prince laughed and everybody laughed. And Lord Hartington, for all his gout, lived to be {413} seventy-four, one of the truest Englishmen of his time or of any time.

Among the Americans who were presented to the Prince at Homburg were Mr. Depew and Mark Twain. I was not in Homburg when Mr. Depew first came, but I asked one of the Prince's equerries to arrange the presentation for Mr. Depew, and I wrote to Lady Cork begging her to do what she could for him. So the formalities were duly transacted. The Prince took a liking to the American, asked him to dine, put him on his right hand, and listened to his stories with delight. He told me afterward that Depew was a new experience. He asked him again and again, and the next year also; I believe several years, or as long as Depew went to Homburg. The Prince said:

"Depew's stories were not all good, but he told the bad ones so well that they were better than the good."

My letter to Lady Cork had a fate I did not foresee, though I ought to have foreseen. When she told the Prince that I had written her about Depew she had my manuscript in her hand. "Is that Smalley's letter? May I see it?" asked the Prince; took it and read the whole. It happened that I was staying at the time with one of her married daughters, and there was a deal good of family gossip in the letter. When the Prince handed it back there was in his eyes a gleam of that humour so often seen there, and he said:

"Now I know some of the things I have been wanting to know."

{414}

And Lady Cork answered:

"Sir, we have nothing to conceal from Your Royal Highness."

There was, of course, an intimacy which put the Prince on his honour.

Mark Twain was staying at Nauheim, some twelve miles away. He had driven into Homburg and was wandering about the place when he was pointed out to the Prince, and was presented. Mark Twain had at the time no very great care about his personal appearance, and was very shabbily dressed. He was the "Tramp Abroad." At first I don't think he much interested the Prince. His slowness of speech and his unusual intonations were not altogether prepossessing. However, when he had taken his leave the Prince seemed to think he wished to see him again and said:

"I should like to ask him to dinner. Do you think he has a dining jacket?"

The risk, whatever it might be, was taken, the invitation was sent, and Mark came to dinner, dining jacket and all. But he did not care to adapt himself to the circumstances; considering, perhaps, that the circumstances ought to adapt themselves to him. The meeting was not a great success, and, so far as I know, was never repeated. Socially speaking, the Mississippi Pilot was an intransigeant at times, and this was one of the times. He could not, I suppose, overcome his drawling manner of speech nor reduce his interminable stories to dinner-table limits. He had the air of usurping more than his share of the conversation and of the time, which {415} he certainly did not mean to. Intentions, unluckily, count for little. Men are judged by what they do, and the general impression was not as favourable to Mark on this occasion as it would have been if he had been better known. Among all Princes and Potentates there was never one more willing to make allowances or less exacting in respect to trivial matters than Mark's host. But, after all, he was Prince of Wales and the future King of England, and if you were not prepared to recognize that, it was open to you to stay away.

Mark Twain, at any rate, was not one of the Americans who followed the Prince to Homburg. He met the Prince almost by accident, and returned from Nauheim by the Prince's invitation for this not very successful dinner. His Republicanism was perhaps of a rebellious kind, and possibly, though without desiring to, he gave the Prince to understand as much. Some of Mark's compatriots went far in the opposite direction, especially one or two American women. There was a handsome American girl who had found means to be presented to the Prince; no difficult matter for a pretty woman at any time. Then she sent him a photograph of himself and begged him to sign it. As I was passing the Prince one afternoon in the street he stopped me and pulled a parcel out of his pocket, saying:

"This is a photograph Miss X. sent me to sign, and I have signed it, and I was just going to leave it for her at the hotel. But I am afraid to. I {416} don't know what she may not ask me next. Would you mind leaving it for me?"

The Prince did not see, but as I went in I saw, on the porch, the girl herself. She must have looked on at what happened and I am not at all sure she did not hear what the Prince said. None the less, she accepted the signed photograph joyfully, and it always had a place of honour in New York. "Wasn't it kind of His Royal Highness to give it to me?" queried this beautiful being, not knowing that the true story had been told me. When I made my report to the Prince I remarked casually that Miss X. had been sitting on the veranda and might have seen what took place. "I hope she heard also," exclaimed the Prince. But he did not quite mean that. At any rate, he relented afterward and was seen to be talking to the girl, whose eyes he could not but admire.



II

PRINCE OF WALES AND KING OF ENGLAND—THE PERSONAL SIDE

I need not say much about the public life of the late King nor about the part he played in the Empire of the world. But there are certain passages in his private life and in his relations with the late Queen which had an effect on his career, and may be related in whole or in part.

The greatness of this reign is the more remarkable because experience of public affairs came to the {417} King late in life. He was in his sixtieth year when he came to the Throne, and during the forty years when he might have been acquiring invaluable experience he had been sedulously excluded by the late Queen from all share in the business of State. So much is known, and so much is sometimes stated in the English Press, though stated with caution. It is the truth, but it is not all the truth. I believe it to be also true, that after the death of the Prince Consort, in 1861, the Queen desired the Prince of Wales to take up some portion of the duties of his father, and offered him a place as her private secretary. The Prince, for whatever reason, declined it.

He was not much over twenty years of age, and never in any man, perhaps, was the desire of la joie de vivre stronger. Some years later a truer sense of his position and duties and opportunities came to him. He offered to accept, and besought the Queen's permission to accept, the post she had first offered him. Her Majesty made answer that the post had been filled, and never from that time onward did she open to the Prince of Wales the door she then closed. She left him to amuse himself, to choose his own associates and his own occupations. She herself spent six hours a day—never less, and often much more—in reading dispatches and State papers of all kinds. The Prince saw none of them, was present at no interviews with Ministers, knew nothing at first hand of the conduct of affairs.

Yet the Prince had, in the face of these {418} discouragements, an appetite for public business. He was well informed about it, but only as an outsider is well informed. Naturally, the opinion had grown up that not much was to be expected of the Prince as King. The death of the late Queen was thought to close an era. It had not occurred to any one, except perhaps to his nearest friends, to think of the new King as well equipped for his Kingship. True, Lord Salisbury, than whom there could be no higher authority, speaking in the House of Lords, had said of the new King upon his accession that he had "a profound knowledge of the working of our constitution and conduct of our affairs." Lord Salisbury had had his exceptional means of knowing, and he expressed his own opinion, a true opinion, but not a general opinion. I suppose Lord Rosebery, long intimate with the Prince, might have said as much. But to most men such expressions came as a surprise.

I met Sir Francis Jeune at dinner on the evening after the first Privy Council held by the King, which Sir Francis had gone down to Osborne to attend. He began at once to describe the scene:

"The King astonished us all. We had all known him as Prince of Wales. It became clear we had yet to know him as King. His air of authority sat on him as if he had worn it always. He spoke with weight, as a King should speak. It was plain he had come to the Throne to rule."

Ask the Ministers and other great personages who stood to him in official relations. Mr. Asquith has answered for them all:

{419}

"I speak from a privileged and close experience when I say that, wherever he was or whatever may have been his apparent preoccupations, in the transaction of the business of the State there were never any arrears, there was never any trace of confusion, there was never any moment of avoidable delay."

In the opinion of the King their time and his belonged to the public, and neither was to be wasted.

The whole truth about the late King's mission to Paris has, I think, never been told. It was not expedient that it should be told at the time, nor was it generally known. But until it is known full justice cannot be done to the King's courage and wisdom, or to his direct personal influence on the course of great affairs. For it was the man himself, the King himself, who won this great victory; not by diplomacy, not by statecraft, but because he was the man he was. I tell the story briefly, but the outlines will be enough.

When the King went to Paris to lay the foundations of a new friendship between France and England the feeling of the French against the English ran high. They had not forgotten nor forgiven the sympathies of England with Germany in 1870. They had not forgotten their own retreat from Egypt in 1882, and they scored up their own mistake against England. They had not forgotten Fashoda. The King was warned not to go. The French Government warned him. They could protect him, they said, against violence but not against insult. His own Government thought his visit, {420} in the circumstances, ill-advised. Against all this he set his own conviction that the moment had come to make an effort for a better understanding between the two peoples. Danger did not deter him. For personal danger he cared nothing, and against the danger that any discourtesy to himself might embitter the two nations he set the hope of success. Like the statesman he was, he calculated forces and calculated wisely. He knew that the French, and especially the Parisians, had always liked him personally and he resolved to risk it.

Neither his courage nor his sagacity was at fault. At first things went badly. When he reached the railway station he was received in silence. When he drove from the station to the Embassy there was not a cheer. As he went about Paris the next day the attitude of the Parisians was still sullen, if not hostile. But the presence and personality of the King began after a time to soften hardness. Before nightfall a cheer or two had been heard in the streets, and next day all Paris was once more all smiles and applause. The King had conquered. He had won over the people. He had convinced Ministers. He had conciliated public opinion. He had laid a gentle hand upon old and still open wounds. He had shown himself for the first time a great instrument and messenger of peace, and had begun the work to which all the rest of his life was to be devoted.

Long before that ever-memorable visit, in France as in England, the Prince knew all sorts of people, {421} and was popular with all, and did not mind being of service now and then to the people whom he did not know at all. Dining one night with the Duc de la Rochefoucauld-Bisaccia in the Faubourg St. Germain, he was asked by his host to go with him to the opening reception at the house of a banker in the Boulevard Haussmann. The banker had made a great fortune and had great social ambitions. The Prince knew very well why he was asked, but good-naturedly went. His going was chronicled and blazoned next day in every one of the seventy daily papers of Paris; and the banker's ambition was satisfied.

That was one incident. Another was his presence of course in the Prince of Wales period, at a supper given by the Figaro in its new offices. Celebrities of all sorts were there, and the Prince had to sit still while a too well-known actress from the Bouffes proposed the Queen's health. He raised his glass drank the toast, and said nothing. It was no fault of his. This also found its way into the French papers; not into the English. He had many friendships among artists, men of letters, soldiers, statesmen. Between the Prince and the late Marquis de Galliffet, the Marshal Ney of this last generation, there was a close tie; two chivalrous souls who understood each other from the beginning. He was often to be seen in studios—M. Detaille's, M. Rodin's, and many others. He knew the theatres in Paris as well as he knew the theatres in London; perhaps better. He went to the theatre primarily, I think, to be amused, and the theatres {422} in Paris are more amusing than the theatres in London. The most patriotic Englishman may be content to admit that.

If the Prince had any politics abroad they were kept for his private use. To the French Republic, as Republic, and to successive Presidents of the Republic, he showed nothing but good-will. To French statesmen the same; to Gambetta, to Waldeck-Rousseau, and to M. Clemenceau, whose originalities and courage interested him long before that energetic individuality had become Prime Minister. They all liked the Prince, but not one of them ever guessed that from him when King would spring the new impulse of friendship which was to make France and England in all but name allies, and so impose peace upon the restless ambitions of another great sovereign. Gambetta, it is true, foretold a splendid future for the Prince, without explaining how it was to be splendid.

I think if you moved about among Englishmen one thing would impress you more than all others in their tributes to their late King. Not their full testimony to his greatness as King. Not their admiration of his capacities. Not their pride in him as a Ruler. Not their sense of the incalculable services he has rendered. Not their gratitude for these services, deep as that is. Not the Imperial spirit and the new value they set upon the Unity of the Empire. Not his virtues of any kind, though to all of them they bear witness.

The one thing which would impress you beyond all this is the affection they bore to him in his lifetime {423} and now bear to his memory. He had known how to establish new relations between King and People, relations which had a tenderness and a beauty unknown before. They belonged to an earlier period of history. They were not quite patriarchal, as in really ancient days, but were like the relations which exist in an old family: ties of blood and of long descent. They did not exist in the last reign. There was immense respect for Queen Victoria; not much sentiment. She had withdrawn herself too much from general intercourse, and even from the ceremonial part of her royal duties. But this King, her son, went among the people, lived among them, lived for them, gave them his constant thought, won their hearts. His loss is to them a personal loss. They mourn for him as for a King, and they mourn for him as for a Friend who is gone. That seems to me the finest tribute of all.



III

AS KING—SOME PERSONAL AND SOCIAL INCIDENTS AND IMPRESSIONS

I met at luncheon one of the King's friends, in some ways one among the most intimate of the innumerable friends he had; a man, however, not readily yielding to emotion nor likely to take what is called the sentimental view. We began to talk of the King. Suddenly he broke off:

"I cannot say much. I loved him."

I don't know that I can tell you anything more {424} characteristic or illuminating than that. It is the kind of tribute the King himself would have liked. And there are millions of Englishmen to-day whose hearts are full of the same feeling.

The King—the late King—was a great master of kingly graces. He knew, I suppose, more men and women than any man of his time. He knew the exact degree of consideration to which each one of them was entitled, and exactly how to express it. If you desire to form to yourself a conception of the interval which divides a king, with the inherited traditions of a thousand years, from the elected Chief Magistrate of yesterday, you might do worse than watch the ceremonial customs of personal intercourse. We know what the indiscriminate handshakings by the President are. We know that the custom, aided by the incredible stupidity of the police about him, cost one of them his life. We read the other day that a President, after enduring this exaction for a time, had to stop it. His right hand was all but paralysed. We have all listened to the Presidential, "I am very glad to see you," repeated to all comers. It may be unavoidable but it all detracts something from the dignity of the office and the man.

This King who is gone gave his hand more often than any other; but at his own choice and discretion. It was thought abroad he went great lengths, and some of the Continental sovereigns and the courtiers about them criticized him. They also after a time imitated him, and sometimes at once. The present German Emperor was one of those who took the {425} hint from his uncle as soon as it was given. I told long ago how the Emperor and the then Prince of Wales in 1889 came on board the White Star steamship Teutonic lying at Spithead, with a great company of naval guests, there to witness the great naval review which never took place. The First Lord of the Admiralty, Mr. Chamberlain, Lord Charles Beresford, Mr. Ismay, Mr. Depew, and many other persons of distinction were grouped on the main deck. The Emperor came up the steps first, and by way of acknowledging their salutations raised his white cap. The Prince of Wales shook hands with all those I have named and with some others, the Emperor looking on astonished. Then came a prolonged inspection of the Teutonic, the finest passenger ship then afloat, the pioneer of all modern comfort and splendour on the Atlantic, Mr. Ismay's creation. There had been much talk in which Emperor and Prince had both taken part, and by the time they were ready to leave, the great German sovereign had learned his lesson. He shook hands cordially with Mr. Ismay, in whom he had recognized a kindred spirit of greatness, other than his own but not less genuine, and with others. The faces of his staff were the faces of men amazed, perplexed, almost incredulous.

At drawing-rooms and Courts and levees; in private houses where he was a guest, whether in town or country, on the turf, in the theatre, at a public ceremonial, at a Marlborough House or Windsor garden-party, the same habit prevailed. Prince of Wales or King of England, he met his {426} friends as a friend, and for acquaintances with any title to recognition he had a pleasant welcome. It added immensely to his popularity among those who knew him, and among the millions who never saw him, but heard. They thought of him as a man among men, which he was in every sense, and as one who thought manhood an honourable thing. Ask, moreover, any of the equerries or others of his household. They will all tell you he was considerate. He expected each officer to do his duty, and it was done. It is often an irksome duty; but he made it needlessly so.

The human side of him was never long hidden. It is a remark one is tempted to repeat again and again. It came out in the services he was for ever doing; public in their nature, but from a private impulse. He met to the full the expectation of the public, and discharged to the full the obligation of the Crown in respect of all charities and ceremonials; and always with a kindly grace which made his presence and his gifts doubly welcome.

With people whom he knew well and liked he was glad to lay aside etiquette. I could give you, but must not, the names of friends to whom he would often send word in the afternoon that he was coming to dine that evening and to play bridge after. Even a king, and a great king, must sometimes relax. He cannot always appear in armour. His hostess would meet him at the door with a curtsey, and then welcome him as a friend; and the talk all through dinner was intimate and free. Those were delightful hours. So were the days in country {427} houses where the King was a guest. Always, no doubt, a certain hush in the atmosphere, a certain constraint if the party was large, but so far as the King was concerned, if people were not at their ease it was their own fault. Everybody knew where the line was drawn. Nobody in his senses over-passed it. One flagrant instance there was, not in the country, but at a house in London, at supper—a large party. The hour grew late and the Prince still sat at his table. A guest who had found the champagne to his liking staggered across the room, steadied himself by a chair and stuttered out:

"I don't know whether Your Royal Highness knows how late it is, but it's past two o'clock, and I am going home. Good-night, sir!"

The Prince sat still and answered not. He saw the man's condition. Nobody knew better the rule that such a company did not break up till the Prince gave the signal. He was a man with a great social position, and not social only. When he had departed the Prince finished his interrupted sentence and the talk went on as before. Not an allusion to the offence or the offender.

His sense of social responsibility showed itself in an unexpected form during the Boer War. There grew up among the aristocracy a passionate patriotism which sent heads of great families and elder and younger sons into the field. The King thought this feeling threatened to have grave consequences. He approved it, of course, and encouraged it, but he thought limits ought to be set to a fervour which {428} seemed not unlikely to extinguish an important part of the nobility. He sent for a number of men in great position who had resolved to go and advised them to wait, saying, with his usual good sense:

"Enough men of your class have gone already to show your devotion; more than are really needed for the purposes of war. Wait a little. If matters go badly it will be time enough then for you to depart."

One secret of the extraordinary social power of both Prince and King lay in his knowledge of social matters. Nobody was so well informed. He had about him numbers of men, and of women, who took pains to send him, or bring him, the earliest account of any social incident or gossip. It was known that he had these sources of information, and that whatever was known to any one was known to him. Such knowledge as that was a weapon. It was not one of which he made use, or needed to use. The fact that he had it was enough.

He liked news also, and took pains to get it. If there were a political or Ministerial crisis, you might be sure that Marlborough House knew all about it. He had a certain number of men in his suite or of his acquaintance from whom he expected, and generally got, early intelligence. There was a sort of competition in supplying him. If you were first you were thanked. If you had been anticipated, he remarked dryly and with a good-humoured twinkle in his very expressive eyes: "Oh, yes, very interesting but I heard it an hour ago."

{429}

When I was leaving England in 1895 for America the Prince gave me his cipher address and asked me to cable him as often as there was news I thought might interest him. That may serve to show us Americans how much he cared for American matters, and how completely he returned the good-will we have always borne him since his visit to the United States in 1860. I told the Prince my first duty was to The Times, since I was going home as their correspondent. Subject to that, I should be glad to send him what I could. The difference of time was such that he might well enough get a dispatch before midnight at Marlborough House, which could not appear in print till next morning. "But you know that's just what I should like," said the Prince.

From beginning to end the late King has lived his life, ever a full life, possibly not always a wise life. Who can be wise always? Who likes a man who is always wise? His faults in youth were of a kind which were recognized as belonging to men. The blood which flowed in his veins came down to him through centuries of ancestors to whom the restrictions and pudencies, often hypocritical, of modern days were unknown. And if we look at the result, at the crown of all, at the matured character which made him one of the greatest servants of the State, of any State, ever known in history, need there be any criticism or any regret? Not perhaps the white flower of a blameless life, but was there ever one? But a great human life, compact of good and ill, and so flowering into the {430} greatness of a great King. Perhaps the best summary is Pascal's:

"Qu'une vie est heureuse quand elle commence par l'amour et qu'elle finit par l'ambition."

For the King's ambition was never for himself; he had no need to wish to be other than he was. It was an ambition for the good of his people.




{431}

INDEX

A

Aberdeen, Lady, influence of, in Canada—her zeal for Irish Home Rule, 279-280

Aberdeen, Lord, Governor-General of Canada, 279; succeeded by Lord Minto, 281

Abolitionists, the, counsels of, governed by Phillips, 104; desire to adopt legal measures, 108; meetings held by, 33-35, 85; unprotected by police against the rioters, 99, 100

Adams, Charles Francis, American minister in England, 49; his services to his country, 194-5; introduction to, 196

Adams, John, rank of, as a diplomatist, 194

Agassiz, Professor, influence of, on thought in Massachusetts, 11, 212

Airlie, Earl of, remarkable legend in family of, 396-401

Alaskan Boundary Question, 260-276

Alcott, Mr., attempt of, to enter Boston Court House during the riot, 35

Allibone, Mr., on writings of R. W. Emerson, 67

Allingham, Mr., poem of, The Talisman, recited by Emerson, 70

Alverstone, Lord, British fairness of—settles dangerous controversy—speech on arbitration, 270-271; distinguished career of, 271-272; Canadian attacks upon, 272-273

Ampthill, Lord, diplomatic feat performed by, 379

Andrew, Governor, 1, 4, 121; declines to act against the rioters, 101-102; compared with Gambetta, 106; Phillips's opinion of, 90

Anti-Slavery Society, riot at meeting of, 99-103

Arnim, Count von, Bismarck's distrust of, 387; anecdotes, 387-388

Arnold, Matthew, discourses of, on Ralph Waldo Emerson, 51, 67-69; death of, 64

Asquith, Mr., his eulogy of King Edward, 419; supported by the Bishops in his temperance legislation, 391

Astor, Mr., 322

B

Balfour, Mr., Leader of House of Commons, 333

Banks, Mr., elected Speaker in Congress, 84

Barlow, Sir Thomas, consultation with, 353-355; honours conferred upon, 355-357; duties of President of Royal College of Physicians, 357-358; electioneering story, 359

Barnes, Mr. Justice Gorell, 369

Barrymore, Lord. See Smith-Barry

Bachelder, James, killed during attack on Boston Court House, 35, 38; Judge Loring charged with responsibility for death of, 39

Bath and Wells, Bishop of, emoluments of, 390

Bathurst, Countess, control of, over Morning Post, 340

Bedford, Duke of, 379-382

Beit, Mr., 290

Benjamin, Mr., position of, at English Bar, 366-368

Bennett, James Gordon, ideas of, on methods of news organization, 223

Beresford, Lord Charles, 154; meets Prince of Wales and Emperor William on board Teutonic, 424-425

Bernhardt, Mme. Sarah, friendship of Lord Glenesk with, 342

Bismarck, Prince, conflict with Count von Arnim, 387-388; relations with Lord R. Churchill, 324-325, 327; epigram of, 117; before Franco-German War, 230; distrust of Empress Frederick, 407-408; mastery of French language, 381-382; conflict with King of Prussia, 187-191; my first meeting with, 121-123; message to J. Lothrop Motley, 202; confidence in Lord Odo Russell, 381; after Sadowa, 170-174; Sumner's interest in, 125; a talk with, 178-193

Bismarck, Princess, 183-185, 186, 193

Blaine, Mr., 84

Borthwick, Miss Lilias. See Bathurst, Countess

Borthwick, Oliver, successfully conducts Morning Post, 340-341; flattering reception of, by President Roosevelt, 343-344; early death of, 341

Bright, John, conversation with, 125; thunders against the Bishops, 390; speaks in honour of Garrison, 114; resentment of Sumner's "Claims" Speech, 125

Broadbent, Sir William, story of his attendance upon Mr. Hay, 360-362; his awe of rank, 362; "Broadcloth mob," the, 85, 92, 95

Brodrick, George, at Lord Arthur Russell's breakfasts, 382; sobriquet of—writes leaders for The Times, 382-383; becomes Warden of Merton, 383

Bromley, Isaac, writes for New York Tribune, 16

Brooks, Preston, Senator Sumner assaulted by, 84

Brown, John, of Osawatomie, effect on public feeling of imprisonment and hanging of, 14, 85-87, 98

Browning, Robert, 119

Buchanan, President, 85

Bücher, Herr Lothar, 179

Buckle, Mr., 327

Burke, Mr., 255

Burns, Anthony, arrest and surrender of, 29, 36, 42; effect of surrender of, on popular feeling, 36, 37, 84; Theodore Parker's sermon on surrender of, 38

Burnside, General, 155

Butler, General Benjamin, anecdotes of, 27-28; his announcement as to negroes being "contraband of war," 132-133; reputation of, at American Bar, 27-28; rancour of, against Dana, 41-42,48

C

Campbell, Lord Chancellor, Mr. Justice Denham's anecdote of, 351

Canada, Alaskan Boundary dispute, 260-291; bitterness against Lord Alverstone in, 270-273; talk of annexation, 277-283; two Governors-general, 284-291; immigration of Americans into, 277-278; Roman Catholicism in, 261; sensitive feeling in, 284

Canterbury, Archbishop of, emoluments and palaces of, 389-390; position and career of, 391-393; impressions of 392-393; friendship of Queen Victoria for, 393-394

Carrington, Lady, 282

Cavendish, Lord F., 255

Chamberlain, Mr., skirmish with Lord R. Churchill, 318-319; Imperialism of, 281; meets Prince of Wales and German Emperor on board Teutonic, 424-425

Chandler, Zach, defeat of Dana engineered by, 49

Chelmsford, Lord, 247

Choate, J. H., Minister to England, 50; qualities of, as a Minister, 210-211

Choate, Rufus, 96; anecdotes of, 27

Churchill, Lady Randolph, social miracle performed by, 373-374

Churchill, Lord Randolph, an appreciation of, 332-333; friction with Prince Bismarck, 324-325; skirmish with Mr. Chamberlain, 318-319; letter to Lady R. Churchill, 333; drive with, 322-323; his views of Mr. Gladstone, 324-325; Gladstone's remark on, 333; "I forgot Goschen," 322; as a host, 325-326; last meeting with, 331-332; his indifference to money, 327-331; his conception of the political future, 319-320; his use of the Press, 327-328; his investment in the Rand mines, 331; speeches of, 321; contest with Lord Salisbury, 321; his opinion of the working man, 328-329

Churchill, Winston, his biography of his father, 329; compared with his father, 319; position of, in political life, 253, 319; stipend of, 390

Clark, Sir Andrew, anecdote of, 362-363; physician to Mr. Gladstone, 362

Clarke, General Sir Stanley, constant attendance of, on Prince of Wales at Homburg, 410

Clay, Henry, 5

Cleveland, President, anecdote of, 16; political pressure on, 208; part played by, during Venezuela crisis, 75-79

Cluseret, "General," 133

Coleridge, Emerson's friendship with, 59

Collier, Price, mischievous dictum of, 202, 289, 354

Collins, Patrick, enmity of, to E. J. Phelps, 208

Curzon, Lord, epigram of, 131

D

Daily News, The, formerly mouthpiece of Nonconformist Liberalism, 229; exploits of Archibald Forbes in service of, 247-250; connection of, with Tribune, 235, 236, 245, 246; news alliance formed with Tribune, 224-227; I bring Mr. White's account of Spicheren to, 232-234

Dalhousie, Lady, visit to, 395-401

Dalhousie, Lord, 350, 395-401

Dana, Charles A., influence of, 131, 279; journalistic relations with, 129-130; connection of, with Tribune, 153

Dana, Daniel, 41

Dana, Francis, 41

Dana, Paul, editor of Sun, 279; founds society to promote annexation of Canada, 279

Dana, Richard, 41

Dana, Richard Henry, 41

Dana, Richard Henry, Jr., ancestry, 41; anecdotes of, 45-48; my acquaintance with, 43-48; introduces me to Adams, 196-197; part played by, in trial of Anthony Burns, 30-33, 41, 42; Butler's enmity to, 41, 42; unfounded charge against, 48; visits House of Commons, 46; lampooned by Phillips, 108; qualities of, as a lawyer, 28, 46, 47; his letters to me, 42-43; works of, 42, 216-219

Davidson, Rev. Randall. See Canterbury, Archbishop of

Davies, F., 15

Davis, Governor, sobriquet of, 3

Davis, Lieutenant-Governor, 3

Delane, Mr., 48-49

Denham, Mr. Justice, story of Lord Chancellor Campbell, 351

Depew, Mr., presentation of, to Prince of Wales, 413

Desclée, Aimée, histrionic gifts of, 9

Detaille, M., 421

Dickens, Charles, 119

Draft Riots, the, 161-162

Dudley, Lady, 397-399

Dudley, Lord, 350, 398-399

Dufferin, Lord, anecdote of, 214

Dupont, Admiral, 132

Durant, Mr., 81-83

Durham, Bishop of, 390

E

Edward, VII., King, Americans presented to, 413-416; an appreciation of, 429-430; quarrel with Lord R. Churchill, 333; at Dunrobin Castle, 347; his friends in France, 421; his share in creating the Entente Cordiale, 419-420; conversation with Lord Hartington, 412; national feeling towards, 421-422; his desire for news, 428-429; incidents of visit to Paris, 420-422; causes of popularity of, 425-427; cause of his late experience of public affairs, 416-418; presents me to Crown Princess of Prussia, 404; public men's opinions of, 418-419; his sense of social responsibility, 427-428; example set by, to foreign royalty, 425; stories of, 414-416, 427; effect of inherited traditions on, 424; visits of, to Homburg and Marienbad, 403, 410-416

Edwards, Jonathan, 2, 213

Ellis, C. M., counsel for Anthony Burns, 31, 32

Ely, Bishop of, 390.

Emerson, Ellen, 61, 65

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 64, 104; Matthew Arnold on, 51; in Boston, 71-72, 212; personal characteristics of, 54, 55; pride of Concord in, 60-61; in England, 62-71; his friends, 58-60, 65; Huxley on, 62; beloved by London, 218; as an orator, 69-70; replaces Theodore Parker, 69; from pulpit to platform, 52; his praise of Sumner, 1; visits to, 53-60; on Daniel Webster, 5; works of, 52, 66-67, 216

Emerson, William, 51, 53

Emmons, Rev. Dr., pastor of church in Franklin, 1; personal characteristics of, 2

Endicott, Mr., 4

Evarts, Mr., 363

Everett Mr., 1, 4; speech of, quoted by Phillips, 94

F

Fay, Richard S., attempt of, to crush anti-slavery agitation, 37, 85; breaking up of Anti-Slavery Convention by, 92; Phillips's contempt for, 93

Felix, Elizabeth Rachel, at Boston Theatre, 9; friendship with Lord Glenesk, 342

Field, Cyrus, director of Anglo-American Telegraph Company, 166

Fish, Mr. Secretary, 205

Follen, Charles, part played by, in anti-slavery riots, 95, 111

Forbes, Archibald, 225, 241, 247; adventures of, in Russian and Turkish lines, 247-249; journalistic exploits of, 246-250; interview of, with Czar, 248-249; narrative of surrender of Metz wrongly attributed to, 246

Forster, John, 129

Frederick, Emperor, 403, 405, 407-408

Frederick, Empress, Bismarck's distrust of, 407; at Homburg, 403-404; presentation to, 404-408

Frémont, General, nomination of, by Republican party, 85; foreign adventures on staff of, 133

G

Galliffet, Marquis de, King Edward's friendship with, 421

Gambetta, comparison of, with Governor Andrew, 106; friendship of Prince of Wales with, 422

Garrison, William Lloyd, 1, 104; character and career of, 113-115; on Constitution, 116; position of, in history, 118-120; Liberator founded by, 113, 116-118; Phillips on certain impatiently expressed opinion of, 114-116; risk of assassination incurred by, 39

Gay, Sydney Howard, connection of, with Tribune, 129-130, 162: sends me back to the Army, 153; report to, 158-160

Gibson, Randall, character of, 18; parallel with Earl Spencer, 19

Gladstone, W. E., 119, 254, 256, 320; on Austrian rule, 200; oratorical powers of, 45, 70; remark of, about Lord R. Churchill, 333; Lord R. Churchill's views of, 324

Glenesk, Lady, 338-340

Glenesk, Lord, 293-295; acquires Morning Post, 335-338; review of "Lord Glenesk and the Morning Post," 341-342; the late Queen's regard for, 342; friendship of Rachel and Sarah Bernhardt with, 342

Gourko, General, 247-248

Grant, President, nominates Dana as Minister to England, 48; recalls Motley, 204-205; Sumner's warfare with, 126

Grant-Duff, Sir Mountstuart, Diary of, 380

Granville, Lord, 230

Gray, Horace, wonderful memory of, 80-81

Greeley, Horace, founds New York Tribune, 117; his management of the Tribune, 130; remains at his post during the Draft Riots, 162; Stedman's monody on, 14-15

Greenwood, Frederick, 226

Grey, Lord, in Canada, 282; presents portrait of Franklin to Philadelphia, 289-290; speech at Waldorf Hotel, 288-289; reception at White House, 290-291

Grey, Sir Charles, 289

Gull, Sir William, anecdote of, 359-360

H

Hadley, Professor, Hellenism of, 20-21

Halleck, General, 134

Ham, Deputy Chief of Police, 107, 112; dexterous handling of Boston mob by, 96-97

Hammond, Lord, 230

Hancock, John, 4, 33

Hardwicke, Lord, 397-401

Harper's Magazine, my statements in, 226, 247

Harriman, Mr., 309, 310

Hartington, Marquis of, 412

Harvard University, 12-13, 23-28, 51, 213

Hay, John, Mr., Minister to England, 209-210; foreign policy of, when Secretary of State, 209-210; Queen Victoria's high opinion of, 210; United States Secretary of State during Alaskan Boundary dispute, 260, 267; talk with, on the Boundary question, 268-270; attended medically by Sir W. Broadbent, 360-361; adroit diplomatic methods of, 361

Hayes, President, 363

Hayne, Senator, Webster's reply to, 8

Herschell, Lord, ultimatum of, 275, 276

Higginson, Colonel, 35, 216

Hill, Mr. Frank, editor of Daily News, 225, 233

Hindlip, Lord, hop-buying on a gigantic scale, 350-351; the beer at Invermark, 351

Hinton, Mr. Phillips protected against Boston mob by, 95-96

Hoar, Rockwood, opposing counsel, 79-80; Emerson's friendship with, 60

Hoar, Senator, abilities and learning of, 3; read law with, 24, 29

Holmes, Oliver Wendell, a Bostonian, 1, 212; personal popularity of, amongst Englishmen, 218; popularity of works of, in England, 216

Hooker, General, make acquaintance of, 145-146; carry order for, at Antietam, 146; conversation with, after Antietam, 148-149; fights battles of Chancellorsville, 155; comparison with McClellan, 141-142; sobriquet of, 141-142; stories of, 157-158; wounded, 147; offers me place on his staff, 156

Howe, Murray, attack of, upon Anti-Slavery Convention in Boston, 86-87, 92

Howells, Mr., leaves Boston for New York, 213; interpreter at times between England and America, 214; story told of, 219; works of, 215

Hughes, Thomas, author of Tom Brown's Schooldays, 65; founder of Working Men's College, 66

Huntington, Rev. Dr., Rector of Grace Church, N. Y., 3

Huxley, T. H., meeting of, with Emerson, 62-63; visit of, to Lady Dalhousie, 400

I

Ireland, Alexander, biography of Emerson, 64

Ismay, Mr., meeting of, with Prince of Wales and Emperor William on board Teutonic, 425

J

Jackson, Stonewall, death of, 155

James, Henry, bracketed with Mr. Howells, 219; popularity of, in England, 219; works of, 216-217

Jenner, Sir William, place of in medical profession, 359

Jerome, Mr., Lord R. Churchill's difference with, 329-330

Jersey, Lady, 373

Jessel, Sir George, judicial greatness of, 308

Jeune, Mrs., See St. Helier, Lady

Johnson, President, 126, 164

Jowett, Dr., epigrams of, 312

K

Kitchener, Lord, administrative capacity of, 296; "if he were a Frenchman," 298; German opinion of, 292-293; Gordon College, 294-295; personality of, 298; traits and incidents, 292-300

L

Lambton, Admiral Sir Hedworth, commands royal yacht, services abroad, story told of, 347-349

Laurier, Sir Wilfrid, Alaskan Boundary dispute, 260-282; criticism of Lord Alverstone, 272-273; talks on American immigration into Canada, 278-279; personal characteristics, 261-264; statesmanlike views of, 274-275; a "Warden of Empire," 260

Lawrence, Amos, hostility of to anti-slavery agitation, 37, 92

Lawrence, William Beach, 48, 49

Le Barnes, Mr., protects Phillips against Boston mob, 95-96

Lee, General Robert, battles of Antietam and South Mountain, 138-143; generalship of, at Chancellorsville, 155

Leinster, Duchess of, 326

Leopold, Prince, 230

Lewis, Charlton, studies at Yale, versatility of, 15

Lewis, Sir George, engaged in famous cases, 301-304; honours conferred upon, 302; friendship with King Edward, 302; law reforms advocated by, 307; principles of conduct, 304-307; Lord Russell of Killowen's eulogy of, 301; social secrets entrusted to, 305-307

Lincoln, Governor, 3

Lincoln, Mayor, 99

Lincoln, President, 90, 126, 253; draft enforced by, 37, 161; election of, followed by secession of Southern States, 107; esteem of, for Grant, 158; Gettysburg speech of, 218

Lloyd-George, Mr., 380, 390

Lodge, Senator, English criticism of, 273

Loewe, Herr, opposition of, to Bismarck, 125, 179

London, Bishop of, 390

Longfellow, in Boston, 212; popularity of works of, in England, 216-218

Loring, Judge Edward Greeley, attempt of, to crush anti-slavery agitation, 37; Anthony Burns tried by, 29-39, 42; charged with the death of James Batchelder, 38

Lowe, Mr., 400

Lowell, Mr., attainments of, qualities of, as a Minister, 205-207; in Boston, 1, 212; popularity personally and as an author, in England, 216-218

Lucas, Reginald, author of Lord Glenesk, and The Morning Post, 341-344

M

McClellan, General, generalship of, 138-143, 148, 149; indecision of, 149; his military reputation, 137; succeeded by Burnside, 155

Macdonald, Sir John, services to Canada, 264; compared with Diaz, 264; political corruption organized into a system by, 264-265

McDowell, General, impressions of, 133-134

McGahan, Mr., 241

McKinley, President, 260, 265, 267; talks with, on the Alaskan Boundary question, 268-270; recalls Mr. Hay, 209

MacMahon, Marshal, 234

MacVeagh, Wayne, offices held by, 16; conversational power of, 16-17

Manning, Cardinal, speech to dock strikers, 327-328

Marlborough, Duchess of, 322

Marlborough, Duke of, 322

Meade, General, interview with, 159-160

Méjanel, M., correspondent for Tribune in Franco-German War, 231; news of Sedan brought to Tribune London office by, 243-245

Minto, Lady, 262; tact and felicity of, in performance of social functions, 282

Minto, Lord, Governor-General of Canada, 260, 262; relations with Sir W. Laurier, 281-282; organizes Canadian contingent for South African War, 285-288; Viceroy of India, 284

Moltke, General von, return of, to Berlin, after Sadowa, 173-174

Moran, Mr., interview with, 196

Morgan, Pierpont, 309

Morley, Lord, on President Roosevelt, 343

Morning Post, The, acquired by Lord Glenesk, 335; control of, by Countess Bathurst, 340; history of, 334-338; successfully conducted by Oliver Borthwick, 340-341

Morris, Sir Henry, consultation with, 355-356; masterly skill of, 356; honour conferred upon, 357

Morris, Robert, 30

Motley, John Lothrop, Bismarck's friendship with, 201-202; qualities and defects as a diplomat, 201; recall of, by President Grant, 204-205; at the Athenæum Club, during Civil War, 203; works of, 200

Müller, Gustav, writes account of surrender of Metz for Tribune, 246-247; story of disappearance of, 247

N

Napoleon III, Emperor, 230, 236

Newman, Cardinal, 118-119

New York Tribune, The, founded by Horace Greeley, 117; offices of, attacked during Draft Riots, 161-162; introduction to, 129-130; experiences as correspondent in the Civil War, 129-136; free expression of unpopular views in, 353; the search for a general, a fragment of unwritten history, 153-160; poems of Stedman published in, 14-15: causes of success at beginning of Franco-German War, 168; conversations with Bismarck reported in, 121-122, 182-183, 186; a revolution in international journalism, 220-234; arrangement with Daily News, 224-227; European news-bureau, 252; cabling important news, 164-165, 167, 242, 245, 251; vexatious restrictions on cables, 165-167; ultimatum to Mr. Weaver, 167-169; account of surrender of Metz first published by a correspondent of, 246-247; how Holt White's story of Sedan reached, 235-242

Northcliffe, Lord, 229; creative genius of, 339

O

O'Brien, William, 256

Observer, The, 335

Ollivier, Emile, 230

Olney, Richard, part played by, during Venezuela crisis, 75-79

O'Rell, Max, 29

Otis, 4, 33

Oxford, Bishop of, 390

P

Pall Mall Gazette, The, contract of Tribune's war correspondent with, 226-227; part of White's story of Sedan published in, 241

Palmerston, Lady, 373

Palmerston, Lord, 195

Parker, Judge, revises General Statutes of Massachusetts, 26

Parker, Capt. John, 39

Parker, Theodore, discourse on death of Webster, 8; speech at Abolitionist meeting at Faneuil Hall, 33-34; sermon on surrender of Anthony Burns, 38-39; attainments and training of, 39-40; replaced during illness by Emerson and Phillips, 69; quashing of indictment of, 108; greatest force in American pulpit, 212

Parsons, Theophilus, colleague of Judge Parker, 26

Pattison, Rev. Mark, 310

Pauncefote, Lord, 210

Perkins, Mr., 331

Peyronnet, Mlle. de. See Russell, Lady Arthur

Peyronnet, Vicomte de, 379

Phelps, Mrs., 207

Phelps, E. J., American Minister to England, English regard for, 49; effect of enmity of Pat Collins on career of, 208

Phelps, W. W., friendship of Bismarck's family with, 184-185

Philip, Admiral, memorable saying of, at Santiago, 142

Phillips, Wendell, 1; leader of Anti-Slavery Party in Boston, 104-106, 113, 121; risks assassination, 39; defends Anthony Burns, 31; on "Broadcloth mob," 86; letter to, and interviews with, 87-91; experiences with, during Boston riot, 96-103; on Butler's "Contraband of War" phrase, 132; lampoons Dana, 108; rebukes impatiently expressed opinion of Garrison, 115; oratorical power of, 213; replaces Theodore Parker, 69; on religious influences, 11-12; speeches of, 8, 91-93, 107, 110-112; arguments inducing him to support the war, 108-112; on George Washington, 7

Pierce, Franklin, 84

Plimsoll, S., 203-204

Poe, Edgar Allan, 216

Poole, Mr. Reginald, 303

Pope, General, demoralization of army of, 137; conversation with, 134; personal characteristics of, 134; qualities as a leader, 134-135; a surprise when reconnoitring, 135-136

Porter, Professor, character and influence of, 20-23

Potter, Bishop, 392

R

Rachel. See Felix, Elizabeth Rachel

Ralli, Mr., 293

Reay, Lord, 380

Redpath, Mr., 95-96

Reid, Whitelaw, 217, 309

Remond, Charles Lenox, 7

Renan, M., lectures of, in London, meetings with, 386-387

Robinson, Sir John, reluctance of, to exchange news with Tribune, 225-226; Mr. White's account of Spicheren, 232-233; gives me first news of French catastrophe at Sedan, 236; does not explain his indebtedness to Tribune for account of surrender of Metz, 246

Rochefoucauld-Bisaccia, Duc de la, entertains Prince of Wales, 421

Rodgers, Captain Raymond, 132

Rodin, M., 421

Roon, General von, 173-174, 179-180

Roosevelt, President, 265; friendship of Lady St. Helier with, 376; reception at White House of Oliver Borthwick, 343-344; of Lord Grey, 289-291; Lord Morley's remark on, 343

Rosebery, Lord, remark of Lord R. Churchill to, 332; intimacy of, with King Edward, 418; his opinion of oratory of E. J. Phelps, 208

Rothschild, Lord, 332

Roundell, Charles, 380

Russell, Lady Arthur, French origin of, 379; her salon, 384; distinguished people at receptions of, 386-388

Russell, Lord Arthur, 379-385

Russell, Hastings. See Bedford, Duke of

Russell, Lord John, 195

Russell, Lord Odo. See Ampthill, Lord

Russell, W. H., 134, 241; exposes mismanagement of War Office, 227

Rutson, Albert, 380

S

St. Helier, Lady, anecdotes of, 375-376; at Arlington Manor, 377-378; friendship of Theodore Roosevelt with, 376; distinction of, as a hostess, 371-373; influence of on Society, 372-378

St. Helier, Lord, 364-365; friendship of Lord Beaconsfield with, 368; on King Edward, 418; President of Divorce Court, 369

Salisbury, Bishop of, 390

Salisbury, Marquis of, on King Edward, 418; part played by, during Venezuela crisis, 77

Sanborne, Frank, 86

Schenck, General, 48

Scudamore, Mr., 168-169

Sedgwick, General, battles fought by, 149-150, 157, 159; character of, 149-150

Seward, Mr., 195

Shadrach Case, effect of, on opinion in Massachusetts, 30, 36

Shaw, Chief Justice, at trial of Anthony Burns, 31, 47; head of judiciary of his state, 212

Sherman, General W. T., 132

Shiras, Mr. Justice, 15

Sims Case, effect of, on opinion in Massachusetts, 30, 36

Smalley, Rev. Mr., colleague of Dr. Emmons, 2; passes to First Presbyterian Church at Troy, 2; death of, 2; liberalism of, 12

Smith, George, owner of Pall Mall Gazette, 226

Smith, Goldwin, 263

Smith, Dr. William, 64

Smith-Barry, Mr., plan of campaign, visit to, police protection, 257-259

Spencer, Earl, character of, compared with Randall Gibson, 19

Spencer, Herbert, 120, 380

Stanley, Dean, on J. L. Motley, 204

Stanley, Mrs. See St. Helier, Lady

Stanton, E. M., 134, 138

Steadman, Commodore, 131

Stedman, poet and critic, writes John Brown of Osawatomie and Monody on death of Horace Greeley, 14

Steevens, G. W., 241

Stephen, Mr. Justice, 375

Sumner, Charles, one of the leaders of the Anti-Slavery Party, 121; assaulted by Preston Brooks, 84; effect of the assault, 126-127; conversations with, 121-122, 126-128; Emerson's eulogy on, 1; high ideals of, 128; journey to Paris, 127-128; Motley recalled because of his relations with, 205; characteristic speech of, 122-123 cause of unpopularity in England, 125

Sun, The, annexation of Canada preached by, 278-279

Sutherland, Duke of, 347

Suttle, Colonel, Anthony Burns surrendered to, 29, 36

T

Taft, President, what he accomplished as Civil Governor of the Philippines, 296-297

Taylor, Zachary, political relations of Daniel Webster with, 4, 5

Thacher, Professor, influence of in Yale University, 20

Thomas, Judge, anecdote of, 74-75; takes Richard Olney into his office, 75-79

Thoreau, friendship of Emerson with, 59

Times, The, appeals to a special class, 335; George Brodrick, leader writer for, 382-383; Lord R. Churchill gives first news of his resignation to, 327; a free hand in treating Cleveland's message of war in 1895, 353; Dr. Russell exposes blunders of War Office in, 227

Tocqueville, author of De la Démocratie en Amérique, 66

Trevelyan, Sir George, meetings with, 254-256

Turner, Senator, 273

Twain, Mark, presented to Prince of Wales—impressions made by, 364-5

V

Victoria, Princess, 393

Victoria, Queen, life in the Highlands—etiquette at Balmoral, 345-346; resemblance to Empress Frederick—indifference to dress, 404-405; national feeling towards, 423; visits Invercauld House, 346; relations with Prince of Wales, 416-418

W

Waldeck-Rousseau, M., relations of, with Prince of Wales, 422

Ware, Fabian, editor of Morning Post, 340

Washburn, Governor, 3

Weaver, Mr., manager of Anglo-American Telegraph Company, 165-166; uncertain transmission of cabled news under régime of, 237, 239-240; ultimatum to, 167-169

Webster, Daniel, leader of the American Bar, 27; Emerson on, 5; effect of his support of Fugitive Slave Act, 7; comparison with Gladstone, 6; influence of, 213; his eulogy of Massachusetts, 1, 2; his masterpieces as an advocate and orator, 8, 9; Wendell Phillips on pro-slavery views of, 8; personal magnetism of, 9, 10; his political support of Taylor, 4, 5; "room at the top," 367

Welles, Mr., 131

West, Mrs. George Cornwallis. See Churchill, Lady Randolph

White, Andrew, public offices held by, 16

White, Holt, correspondent of Tribune, 231-234; brings story of Sedan to Tribune London office, 236-242; his story of Spicheren, 232-234

Whiteside, Solicitor-General, 46

Whitman, Sidney, 185

Whitman, Walt, 216,218

Wightman, Mayor of Boston, action of, during Boston riot, 99-102; incompetency of, 103

William II, Emperor, visits S.S. Teutonic, 424-425

Wilson, General, conversation with, 147-148

Wilson, Henry, effect of his election as Governor of Massachusetts, 84

Winthrop, connection, of with Boston, 4

Wolff, Sir H. D., intimacy of Lord R. Churchill with, 326

Wolseley, Rev. Dr., President of Yale University, 13

Y

Yale University, distinguished alumni of, 13-19; rigid discipline at, 24; eminent professors in, 20-28; sectional antagonism in, 25-26; theological atmosphere of, 13

Young, John Russell, succeeds Gay as managing editor of Tribune, 163; adopts suggestion to establish Tribune office in London, 220-221


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