Chapter seven african and european tour



Download 0.8 Mb.
Page2/3
Date26.02.2021
Size0.8 Mb.
1   2   3
page from Roosevelt's Ms. of " The Pigskin Library'
One of the first of my self-imposed duties was to copy in my own hand the draft of his article on "The Pigskin Library" which was written in in­delible pencil in the jungle, originally published in the Outlook, and afterward incorporated in an appendix of his book "African Game Trails." The accompanying photographic reproduction of a page of this manuscript will indicate to the reader that the job was not altogether a simple one. I remember that I sat up until about two or three o'clock on the night of my arrival in Khartum making this transcript.
Finally I found that I could not perform my voluntary task without assistance and I told Mr. Roosevelt that I proposed to cable to my office in New York for a stenographic secretary. He demurred at first on the ground that he did not wish to put the office to what he was afraid would be a large and unprofitable expense, but I per­suaded him to consent, telling him that I was think­ing more of my own comfort than I was of his. I cabled; and Mr. Harper jumped on the first steamer and joined us at Rome. Even Harper was unable to keep up with all the work, so at Berlin I was compelled to engage another stenographic assistant and, in London, two others. As a matter of fact in London Mr. Roosevelt's old friend of Spanish War days, Captain (now Sir Arthur) Lee, placed at our disposal the office in his hospitable house where he transacted much of his business as a Member of Parliament. This office, with desks, telephone, two stenographic secretaries (some of the time three), was busy all day long during Mr. Roosevelt's stay in London of ten days or so, transacting his correspondence, planning his engagements, and attending to other matters connected with his visit. There was, for example, the complicated work of exchanging visiting cards. This necessary but very uninteresting side of diplomatic usage reached its climax in Rome. There, I recall, I had to spend a day with Captain Long—formerly of the presidential yacht May­flower but at that time our Naval Attache at Rome and Vienna—going over a basket full of visiting cards, culling out those that needed Mr. or Mrs. Roosevelt's, or Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt's card left in exchange, and the following day a clerk of Captain Long's office spent most of his time in a taxi-cab, with a carefully mapped out itinerary in his hand, going about Rome leaving the right cards at the right places.
But to revert to Khartum. I soon found that, in writing letters or seeing people on Mr. Roose­velt's behalf, it was necessary to have some sort of official authority. At Cairo all sorts of distin­guished people were calling at the hotel at which Mr. Roosevelt was staying. If Prince X— called, in Mr. Roosevelt's absence, and I went down to receive him, my name would mean nothing to him; but if I said that I was Mr. Roosevelt's secretary, while he undoubtedly would be disap­pointed he would at least have transacted his business with me as he would have with the secretary of an embassy or a legation. I suggested this to Mr. Roosevelt and he approved. Thereafter I saw people officially, and signed all letters—except the few that were signed by Mr. Roosevelt himself —as " Secretary to Mr. Roosevelt." The result was that as we went through Europe I received cards to important functions and met important personages, which made my trip a peculiarly interesting one and enabled me to get an impression—that I could not have otherwise received—of the way in which both the great and the plain people of Europe were affected by Roosevelt's personality. It is impossi­ble here to draw a detailed picture of this unique journey. I can only give sketches of what seemed to me to have been interesting and significant incidents here and there. Nor shall I pursue diarial methods. I shall simply put down what my recollection suggests while I write.
The first thing that I recall is my grateful relief at having the vexed question of tipping settled for me at the very beginning. I must explain that within twenty-four hours of meeting Mr. Roosevelt at Khartum I had charge of all his money, checks, letters of credit, etc., and undertook to pay all the bills. I bought a single-entry ledger and kept a careful account. Mr. Roosevelt would occasionally come to me and ask for a little pocket money, say twenty francs. I would reply: "I will see if I can get it through the Committee on Appropriations"! This became a standing joke between us.
I may say, running ahead a little, that when we sailed for New York from Southampton in June, I reported to Mr. Roosevelt that I had, as I recol­lect, the sum of about three thousand dollars to his credit. He answered with some surprise: "That's good! That will help me to pay the duties on my baggage at the custom house." For he had declined to avail himself of the am­bassadorial privilege which had been offered to him of entering the port of New York without an exami­nation of his baggage. I really think that if I had told him that he owed me three thousand dollars he would have said: "That's good! I supposed it was much more."
The fact is that he had less interest in money, as mere money, than almost any man that I have ever known. He was very much more interested in work and service. In 1908, on visiting Sagamore Hill to conclude the final arrangements about his joining the staff of the Outlook, when I mentioned the amount which we were prepared to pay him—a fairly large sum, it is true, for us, but a really small amount in comparison with offers that had been eagerly made him for journalistic and literary work—he put his arm around my shoulder and said: "Now, that is very good of you, Lawrence; but do you really think you can afford it ? I should be very sorry if my connection with the Outlook did not prove to be the advantage to you which you say you anticipate." And on September 10, 1909, he wrote me from the African jungle:

The Outlook keeps me in touch with things just as I desire to be kept. I am exceedingly pleased at what you write as to being satisfied with the effect of my editorials; I have been a little uncomfortable lest you should feel that you weren't getting much good out of my connection with the magazine.

So long as his family was well taken care of and he had reasonably good food, reasonably appro­priate clothing, and a reasonable opportunity to be hospitable to his friends, money meant nothing to him. His brother-in-law, the late Douglas Robinson, who was himself an eminently success­ful and systematic man of affairs, once told me that when Roosevelt was about leaving home to go into the Spanish War as Lieutenant-Colonel of the Rough Riders he, Douglas Robinson, could not by hook or crook persuade the Colonel to come clown town in order to go over his investments and securities which were in Mr. Robinson's charge. Mr. Robinson finally got him to visit his office by saying: "'Theodore, if you don't come down and go over these papers and valuables with me I shall have to get Edith [Mrs. Roosevelt] to do it." Whereupon Mr. Roosevelt instantly consented, for he was not willing to impose a burden on his wife which he should assume himself. But I have strayed too soon from Africa. As we were leaving Khartum after a delightful stay of several days at the palace, Roosevelt asked me to be sure that the servants—both outdoors and in—were given suitable tips with an expression of his thanks for their services to him. Now most of these servants were Nubians, black as to face and white as to garments and turbans. It was as impossible to tell one from another as it is to identify individual sheep feeding in a flock on a Western plain. In my puzzlement I went to Slatin Pasha's personal aide, a most kindly and agreeable young British officer, Captain Clayton. (If he has survived the European war and should ever happen to see these words I hope he will accept them as an expression of very real gratitude for all his courtesies.) I stated the situation frankly to Captain Clayton and asked him whether he could help me. He replied that if I would leave a sum of money with him he would see that it was properly distributed, and suggested that we both go in to Slatin Pasha and consult with him as to the proper amount.
We did so. I found that both these gentlemen were more anxious to protect Roosevelt financially than I was. They named a sum, which I thought was not sufficient, and accepted as generous the amount I left on Roosevelt's behalf. Captain Clayton gave me an official receipt for this sum. This started me on my career, as a courier, rejoicing, and at every hotel I left a lump sum with the manager to be distributed among the domestics. I pursued the same method, which it seems was the method of royal and ambas­sadorial personages, at two or three of the palaces where Mr. Roosevelt was a guest. In each case I had from an official a receipt like the following, which lies before me, written on paper bearing an embossed coat of arms:

X Castle



I acknowledge that I have received from Mr. Abbott the sum of one hundred dollars as a gratification to the servants of the Royal Palace from Mr. Roosevelt.

Master of the Royal Household
X , May 6, 1910,

Such an experience as this was perhaps one of the least important, but certainly not one of the least interesting, of the journey—to an American at any rate.

It was not until we began to approach Rome that the social and political atmosphere began to be impregnated with some of the electricity that I had seen so often play about the figure of Roosevelt at home. I refer, of course, to what is now known as the Vatican controversy. I can best tell the story by transcribing here the following memoran­dum which I wrote on board the steamship Prinz Heinrich on April i, 1910, during the voyage from Alexandria to Naples:

Mr. Roosevelt wrote from Gondokoro to Ambassador Leishman at Rome saying that he would be glad of the honour of a presentation to His Holiness, the Pope. At Cairo he received the following cable message from Mr. Leishman, dated Rome, March 23rd:
"The Rector of the American Catholic College Monsignor Kennedy in reply to the enquiry which I caused to be made, requests that the following communication be transmitted to you: 'The Holy Father will be delighted to grant audience to Mr. Roosevelt on April 5th and hopes that nothing will arise to prevent it such as the much regretted incident which made the reception of Mr. Fairbanks impossible.—thomas kennedy, Rector'. I merely transmit communication with­out having committed you in any way to accept the condi­tions imposed as the form appears objectionable, clearly in­dicating that the audience would be cancelled in case you should take any action while here that might be construed as countenancing the Methodist Mission work—leishman.''
To this despatch Mr. Roosevelt replied by cable on March 25th as follows:
"Please present the following through Monsignor Ken­nedy: 'It would be a real pleasure to me to be presented to the Holy Father, for whom I entertain a high respect both per­sonally and as the head of a great Church. I fully recognize his entire right to receive or not to receive whomsoever he chooses for any reason that seems good to him, and if he does not receive me I shall not for a moment question the propriety of his action. On the other hand I, in my turn, must decline to make any stipulations or to submit to any conditions which in any way limit my freedom of conduct. I trust that on April 5th he will find it convenient to receive me.'—roose­velt."

It should be here stated that, while this correspondence was pending, Mr. Roosevelt had persistently declined, either directly or indirectly, to make any public engagements of any kind whatsoever in Rome, except his visit to the King. In order to go as far as he could with propriety in meeting the wishes of the Vatican he deferred his own decision as to any possible public engagements until his arrival in Rome. This had been his answer to all invitations; he felt that he would be obliged first to find out from the Ambassador the exact situation.

Answering Mr. Roosevelt's despatch of March 25th, above quoted, Monsignor Kennedy on March 28th transmitted the following reply through Ambassador Leishman:
"His Holiness would be much honoured to grant an au­dience to Mr. Roosevelt for whom he entertains high esteem both personally and as the former President of the United States. His Holiness quite recognizes Mr. Roosevelt's entire right to freedom of conduct. On the other hand, in view of circumstances, for which neither His Holiness nor Mr. Roosevelt is responsible, the audience could not take place except on the understanding expressed in former message."
In response Mr. Roosevelt sent the following despatch to Ambassador Leishman:
" Proposed presentation is of course now impossible. Please be scrupulously careful that not one word on matter is said until I see you in Rome.—roosevelt."
In some further cable correspondence the Ambassador suggested the desirability of Mr. Roosevelt's issuing a formal statement in order to prevent his attitude being misunder­stood or his exchange of notes with the Vatican being garbled by the press or other interested parties. In order, however, to give his personal friend and associate John Callan O'Laughlin—a Roman Catholic but a loyal supporter of Mr. Roosevelt's principles and position in the matter—a last chance to see whether the Vatican could not be persuaded, for the sake of the American Catholic Church, to change its stand, Mr. Roosevelt, very generously I think, deferred any personal statement or comment until Mr. O'Laughlin could go to Monsignor Kennedy himself. At this writing (April ist) Mr. O'Laughlin has, through his wife, cabled a message to Archbishop Falconio, the Papal legate at Washington, urging him to advise the Vatican that its action, if persisted in, would injure the Catholic Church in America. Mr. O'Laughlin goes by first train to Rome to-morrow morning, on our arrival in Naples, to see Monsignor Kennedy person­ally. I need hardly add that this is done on Mr. O'Laughlin's own initiative and is consented to by Mr. Roosevelt only on the explicit understanding that the consent is given out of a feeling of regard for his Catholic friends at home and oot because he himself has the slightest desire or inclination to urge his presentation to the Pope. It was explicit^ understood by both Mr. O'Laughlin and myself that, under no consideration, would Mr. Roosevelt recede from the posi­tion taken by him in his cable message, above quoted, of the date of March 25th.

The result, of coflrse, was that Mr. Roosevelt did not meet the Pope. Nor did he visit the Methodist mission; he declined to receive the head of that mission, at the official reception which was given to him at the American Embassy, after it was definitely settled that he was not to go to the Vatican. From the beginning he had no intention of taking sides in the conflict between the Metho­dists and the Roman Church, a conflict which had arisen over the previous visit of Vice-President Fairbanks. His contention was solely that he must reserve the right to exercise his own judg­ment as to what his course should be without accepting conditions imposed by others. He cabled to New York the following statement with regard to the controversy:

Through the Outlook I wish to make a statement to my fellow-Americans regarding what has occurred in connection with the Vatican. I am sure that the great majority of my fellow-citizens, Catholics quite as much as Protestants, will feel that I acted in the only way possible for an American to act, and because of this very fact I most earnestly hope that the incident will be treated in a matter-of-course way, as merely personal, and, above all, as not warranting the slight­est exhibition of rancour or bitterness. Among my best and closest friends are many Catholics. The respect and regard of those of my fellow-Americans who are Catholics are as dear to me as the respect and regard of those who are Protestants. On my journey through Africa I visited many Catholic as well as many Protestant missions, and I look forward to telling the people at home all that has been done by Protestants and Catholics alike, as I saw it, in the field of missionary en­deavour. It would cause me a real pang to have anything said or done that would hurt or give pain to my friends, what­ever their religious belief, but any merely personal considera­tions are of no consequence in this matter. The important consideration is the avoidance of harsh and bitter comment such as may excite mistrust and anger between and among good men. The more an American sees of other countries the more profound must be his feelings of gratitude that in his own land there is not merely complete toleration but the heartiest good will and sympathy between sincere and honest men of different faiths—good will and sympathy so complete that in the inevitable daily relations of our American life Catholics and Protestants meet together and work together without the thought of difference of creed being even pres­ent in their minds. This is a condition so vital to our National well-being that nothing should be permitted to jeopard it. Bitter comment and criticism, acrimonious attack and defense, are not only profitless but harmful, and to seize upon such an incident as this as an occasion for controversy would be wholly indefensible and should be frowned upon by Catholics and Protestants alike. I very earnestly hope that what I say will appeal to all good Americans.



Mr. John Callan O'Laughlin at the same time cabled the following statement to the New York Times:

Familiar as I am with all the facts, and looking at his action from the viewpoint of an American Catholic, I personally feel that any other action Colonel Roosevelt might have taken would have resulted in the humiliation not only of himself but of the American people, Catholic as well as Pro­testant, and would have established an unwise precedent of serious consequences in the future.

The controversy was clearly understood by ecclesiastics, in Italy and other parts of Europe, to be one not between Mr. Roosevelt and the Pope but between Mr. Roosevelt and Cardinal Merry del Val, the Papal Secretary of State. Merry del Val was not only a prelate but an astute and able politician. I have always felt that he drew swords with Mr. Roosevelt in order to make a test of the question whether he was not more skilful than the American who had come to Europe with such a reputation as a political manager. The test was a complete one and showed that the Cardinal was out-generaled.
In Vienna, the capital of the most ultramontane country in Europe, only a comparatively few days after the Vatican episode, the Papal Nuncio at that capital appeared at a reception given in honour of Mr. Roosevelt, and made this appearance in his official ecclesiastical robes. This was recognized in Vienna and elsewhere as a semi-official intimation that the high priests of the Church believed that Mr. Roosevelt was right and Merry del Val wrong. Immediately after this reception Roosevelt called officially on the Papal Nuncio who had returned to his palace. This exchange of courtesies created considerable discussion and comment in the news­papers. By many it was expected that the Nuncio would be visited with some sort of discipline from the Vatican. He was not, however; and those who knew the inside of church politics said that it was the method which the Pope took to indicate that he did not wholly approve of Merry del Val's management of the affair.
There were certain echoes of the controversy during the rest of the journey through Europe. At Porto Maurizio the distinguished novelist and poet, Antonio Fogazzaro, who died the following year, called upon Mr. Roosevelt and had a long and quiet personal interview with him. Fogazzaro, a devout Roman Catholic, had two or three years earlier published his novel, "The Saint"—which dealt with the question of Modernism and was read around the world. This book was distinctly religious in spirit but also distinctly liberal in its theology. Because of its support of the Modern­ist movement it had been placed upon the Index Expurgatorius and the author disciplined by the Church. At the time of Mr. Roosevelt's visit Fogazzaro had made his submission and had been taken back into full communion. After Fogazzaro's call I walked back with him to the town—Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt were staying with Mrs. Roose­velt's sister at her villa on an outlying hillside— and he told me that because of his own somewhat delicate position in the Church and because of Mr. Roosevelt's controversy with the Vatican he had felt it necessary to ask his bishop whether he might make this personal call on the ex-President, and his bishop had told him to go by all means. Later on in the journey two or three Philippine friars had private interviews with Mr. Roosevelt with episcopal permission. These incidents confirm the opinion which I have already expressed that the sympathies of many of the influential dignitaries of the Church were with Mr. Roosevelt rather than with the pontifical Secretary of State.
Although Mr. Roosevelt was not received at the Vatican he was received with great cordiality at the Quirinal. The King of Italy, Victor Emanuel III, was the first of a considerable company of European monarchs that Mr. Roosevelt met on this tour. It was quite apparent that the kings liked him. At all events, after the formal and punctilious hospitalities had been fulfilled they all, without exception, went out of their way to show him personal attention. There was some­thing about his personality that attracted them. European kings have not always had an entirely happy time even in days of peace. Their relations with their fellowmen are necessarily circumscribed and often artificial. With Roosevelt it was as though they said to themselves: "Here is a real man that we can meet, talk to, and associate with as men, not kings. He won't kowtow to us and he won't embarrass us." There was really an element of pathos in it.

When Mr. Roosevelt came home he was ac­cused, during the Progressive campaign, by some of his silliest opponents, of an ambition to become king of America. His comment on these foolish critics was: "I know kings and they don't. A king is a kind of cross between a vice-president and a leader of the Four Hundred. I have been vice-president, and know how hollow the honour is, and I have never had any desire to be a leader of the Four Hundred!" There was nothing of per­sonal criticism in Roosevelt's democratic estimate of kingship. Indeed, he was drawn to the King of Italy because of the latter's democratic character, which later, during the European war, was respected and honoured by all the peoples of the Allies. After meeting Victor Emanuel somewhat informally Mr. Roosevelt came back to the hotel one night and said to me: " I like the King. He is a genuine man—the kind of man who could carry his own ward in an election!" That the feeling was reciprocated was disclosed by an amusing incident. The King desired to have Mr. Roosevelt visit the famous Italian cavalry school in the neighbour­hood of Rome, the Italian cavalry being among the most expert war horsemen in the world. An appointment was made, and on the day and the hour named I was awaiting in the lobby of our hotel for the automobile to come for Mr. Roosevelt. The hotel was a quiet and pleasant one, much frequented by certain diplomats and functionaries, but was not one of the ultra-fashionable caravan­saries of the city. At the appointed hour a hand­some limousine drove up with a liveried chauffeur and footman. The King with his aide, the latter in his military uniform, alighted and came into the lobby of the hotel. The effect was electrical. The portier or doorman, the liftman, the manager, and the head waiter almost prostrated themselves in their ecstasy of surprise and delight at the honour thus paid to their establishment. The King waited and drove Mr. Roosevelt off in great glee. I doubt if the King had ever visited a hotel in Rome in such fashion before. At all events, we learned afterward that the visit greatly enhanced the reputation of the hotel and were amused to hear that the proprietor had instituted a suit against the Paris Herald for saying that Mr. Roosevelt was a guest at some other hostelry, thus depriving him, the owner of the only genuine Roosevelt stopping place, of the important advertising benefit which he alleged that Mr. Roosevelt's visit conferred.
After a strenuous week in Rome—which had been preceded by a fortnight of exhausting sight-seeing and speech-making in Egypt—Mr. Roosevelt went to Porto Maurizio, as I have already said, for a visit to Mrs. Roosevelt's sister and to enjoy a well-earned vacation. Porto Maurizio is a small but ancient and picturesque Italian city on the shore of the Mediterranean not far from the French frontier. Behind it lie hills and valleys thick with olive trees and vineyards, and still farther back is a fine range of mountains, capped with snow at the season of the year when Roosevelt made his visit. Every­where are roads and paths enticing to the walker and affording a constant succession of beautiful views of the characteristic Italian landscape. The pleasant villa of Mrs. Roosevelt's sister, Miss Carow, stands in a flowery garden on a hillside overlooking the sea. It was an ideal place for a rest. But in the lexicon of the cable, the telegraph, and the post-offices there is no such word as "rest"; the eagerly anticipated vacation was broken into by a procession of messengers bringing communications—some, it is true,, im­portant, but most of them of the greatest unimport­ance—who trooped to the "Villa Magna Quies" (which by a curious irony of fate means "Villa of Great Quiet") at literally all hours of the day and night. Most of these communications were appeals for help in private cases or public affairs, or for political and personal advice, or to make engagements for lectures and speeches on Roose­velt's return to America.
Speaking of these letters Roosevelt said to me: "These good people have expectations as to what I can do that would not be justified if I were George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and the Angel Gabriel all rolled into one." Indeed, during his entire European tour the number and character of the appeals that were made to him were almost incredible. It was half amusing and half exasperating to see how much of the time of an already over-driven man was taken understanding that to take off the claws of course ruins the skin, so that each request was practically that Mr. Roosevelt should go out and kill a lion exclusively for the benefit of a Correspondent of whose previous existence he had never heard. He was appealed to for monkeys, parrots, and lion cubs by other well-meaning people; one gentleman wanted a pair of small elephants, another a pair of zebras, another a 25o-pound snake—-these requests evidently being made in bland ignorance of the fact that to meet them would have demanded a totally different type of expedition, especially equipped at a cost of many thousands of dollars, to catch wild animals for the purpose of distributing them gratis to un­known individuals. As for requests for horns and skins on the part of men who apparently thought that the expedition was conducted on a broad eleemosynary basis, they were legion—one man standing out above his fellows because of his modest request for "enough leopard skins to make an overcoat"!
All sorts of things are sent for Roosevelt's inspection or approval, or to reinforce a request for his special aid. Birth certificates, university diplomas, and papers of this kind which are of real value to the people who send them are for­warded to him by writers who apparently suppose that he has nothing to do but to make parcels and packages and buy postage stamps. In Austria one lady inclosed some well-worn newspaper clippings evidently taken from her most precious archives, one of them being an obituary notice of her late husband and the other a description of the costume she wore when she was presented some years ago at one of the royal courts of Europe. Another lady, a Russian, mailed to Mr. Roosevelt some papers connected with her son's univer­sity career, and because she did not get a personal reply by return of mail called at the hotel at seven o'clock in the morn­ing in a state of great agitation which was really pathetic to behold. A Hungarian artist sent a registered package con­taining a pen-and-ink portrait of the Emperor Francis Joseph which he had made with indescribable toil by shading the microscopic letters forming a biographical account in three thousand, words of the Emperor's career. In the package was a large hand magnifying glass loaned for the purpose of examining the portrait, which the artist hoped would induce Mr. Roosevelt to give him a commission for a similar portrait of "the illustrious ex-President." Of course all these things have to be carefully sifted out, preserved, and returned, to do which involves an annoying expenditure of time and labour.
I suppose that the daily correspondence of any well-known public man would furnish similar displays of the curious workings of certain human minds.
While I was in the act of writing the words of the previous sentence a hall-boy of the hotel presented me with twelve visiting-cards, twelve letters, and four telegrams for Mr. Roosevelt, who at the moment is out inspecting the famous Agricultural Museum of Budapest. These communica­tions constitute a sort of light afternoon supplement to the daily batch of letters, the majority of which arrive in the morning hours. Of the telegrams one is in French and one in Hungarian or in German. Of course the Hungarian cor­respondence has to be specially translated before it can be attended to, as none of Mr. Roosevelt's immediate party has had time between letters to learn what is perhaps the most difficult of all modern European languages. One letter, how­ever, is from an entirely unknown correspondent in England. "I write to ask," she says, "if you would feel inclined to help me. I am the widow of a clergyman, and since his death I have had heavy expenses which I cannot meet on my small income, but if I could get clear of debt I think my daughter and I could manage. I am trying to get three hundred pounds to relieve me of my burden."

It is such correspondence as this that makes it impossible for a man of Mr. Roosevelt's public position to enjoy a real vacation unless he is absolutely cut off from the post-office, the telegraph, and the telephone.

When the University of Christiania conferred upon Mr. Roosevelt the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy—a degree which had never been conferred before upon any person by the University—Professor Broch, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, likened Mr. Roosevelt to a railway engine whose course is concealed from the near-by spectator by a cloud of dust and smoke, but which, nevertheless, pursues its course with rapidity and power toward a definite goal, leaving behind it a straight and shining track. This semi-humorous analogy was not inappropriate to Mr. Roosevelt's journey through Europe. In my journal at the time I wrote:

It is almost impossible for one who has been close to Mr. Roosevelt in this remarkable and unprecedented journey to appreciate its significance himself or to give any adequate idea to American readers of what it has meant to the people of Europe. If the reader will take a map and, with a pencil, trace the course of this journey, some faint notion may be obtained of what Mr. Roosevelt has done physically in his six weeks' tour between the dates of April 2d, when he landed in Naples, and May isth, when he left Berlin for Lon­don. In miles alone the lineal distance which he has covered is prodigious—Naples to Rome, Rome to Genoa, Genoa to Porto Maurizio, Porto Maurizio back to Genoa, Genoa to Venice, Venice to Vienna, Vienna to Budapest, Budapest to Paris, Paris to Brussels, Brussels to The Hague, The Hague to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Copenhagen, Copenhagen to Christiania, Christiania to Stockholm, and Stockholm to Ber­lin ! When it is considered that in each of these chief stopping places there were dinners, receptions, official festivities, pri­vate and personal calls, academic celebrations—and in four cities great public addresses—besides an uncounted number of greetings from and extemporaneous speeches to people gathered at railway stations, in schoolhouses, and in the village streets, it is not surprising that it is difficult in the midst of it all to form an intelligent impression of the signi­ficance and importance of such a journey in their correct proportion.

The cumulative effect of the extraordinary pilgrimage was a very distinct impression that the people, the political leaders, and the rulers of Europe recognized in Roosevelt a personification of the moral power of human nature—the power not merely to appreciate high ideals but to put them into practical effect in every-day life. It is a painful thing to have to admit that so many good people are uninteresting and so many inter­esting people are not always good. Roosevelt was both thoroughly good and thoroughly interest­ing. In some respects his European tour may be said to have been a missionary journey in behalf of political and social morality; yet it was full of gayety and vivacity of life and he enjoyed its colour, its movement, its social festivities, and its good living with as much appreciation as a ban vivant. To quote again from my journal:

The common people as well as many of the most distin­guished personages of Europe have not merely shown admiration for Roosevelt's character but have found real fascination in his personality. People not merely want to see him out of curiosity, but when they have once seen him they want to be with him and talk to him. Everywhere the most strik­ing proofs have been given that he possesses in a very marked degree what is some what tritely called" personal magnetism."

In Porto Maurizio, for instance, both the popular and the official receptions of Mr. Roosevelt were very remarkable in their recognition of his moral leadership. The town was placarded with posters, issued by the municipal authorities in the Italian language, in which a welcome was expressed to Mr. Roosevelt as "the promoter of international peace and the champion of human fraternity and solida­rity." When he appeared on the streets the citizens —especially the working people and the peasants-bombarded his carriage with flowers, so that it was filled almost to overflowing. People leaned from the third-story windows of what in New York we should call tenement houses to throw down their home-made floral tokens. One day when he drove out into the country I saw an old peasant woman standing by her cottage door eagerly waiting the approach of the carriage, and when, with a trem­bling hand, she tossed to him a bunch of flowers, there was pinned to a large green leaf a scrap of paper, and on it, written with painful effort, the words: "Viva, viva, viva Roosevelt!" This old woman had never seen him before, would never see him again; she received, in acknowledgment, only a smile and a lift of the hat; and yet it was pathetically evident that she, had been eager to pay her slight tribute to the man who stood, in her mind, as "the champion of human fraternity."
An incident in Paris showed in a delightful way Roosevelt's hold upon the ordinary man—upon those whom Lincoln called "the plain people." A feature of the Paris programme was a review of some French troops at Vincennes. Mr. Roose­velt went out to the field with the American Am­bassador, Mr. Bacon, and the French Ambassador to Washington, M. Jusserand. Each of the three was, of course, dressed in the conventional frock coat and high hat, but the general officer in com­mand asked Mr. Roosevelt if he would not like to ride. He quickly responded by mounting a horse with no opportunity of changing his costume beyond the addition of a pair of leggings which an orderly took off and placed at Mr. Roosevelt's disposal. The review was a successful and pic­turesque one. Some days later, while in Holland, Mr. Roosevelt received from the enlisted men the following letter, which bore in the upper left-hand corner a picture of a horse of the French cavalry:

Vincennes, le 27 Avril, 1910. Monsieur le President Roosevelt:
Nous sommes les cavaliers du zc Escadron du 23° Dragons, et c'est le cheval Peppino de chez nous que vous avez monte pour la manoeuvre d'aujourd'hui. Nous en avons etc tres fiers et 1'escadron ne Poublira jamais. Nous respecterons ce cheval avec fidelite. Nous nous permettons de vous ecrire pour que vous le sachiez. Nous n'oublierons jamais non plus que nous vous avons vu.

Nous sommes vos cavaliers respectueux et devoues, (Signe): les cavaliers du 2e escadron,



Qui aiment l'amerique.

Or in English:

Mr. President:

We are the troopers of the 2nd Squadron of the 23rd Dra­goons, and this is our horse Peppino which you rode to-day at the manoeuvres. We were very proud of it, and the squadron will never forget it. We venture to write to you to assure you that we shall take care of this horse hereafter with the utmost respect. Nor shall we ever forget that we have seen you.

We are, respectfully and devotedly,

The Cavalrymen of the 2nd Squadron

Who Admire America.

These soldiers from the ranks, representing, as the phraseology of their letter shows, the modest homes of France, were not the less loyal to their own country because in so spontaneous and simple a fashion, with no personal axe to grind, they expressed their appreciation of the human qualities which Mr. Roosevelt represented.
There is no room in this impressionistic sketch to give a detailed narrative of the visits to Belgium, to Holland, to Denmark, to Norway, and to Swe­den. In each of these countries Mr. Roosevelt was received with the most friendly courtesy and atten­tion by the rulers and by the people themselves. In Brussels he and his family dined with the King and Queen; in Holland they lunched with the Queen and her Consort; in Denmark they were the guests of the Crown Prince; in Christiania they were the guests of the King and the Queen at the Royal Palace; and in Stockholm, the guests of the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess at the Castle. The three great Scandinavian cities were beautifully decorated, and the hospitality both of the citizens and of the royal families was of the most generous character. Special "saloon carriages" (private cars, as we call them) and dining-cars, and in some cases special trains, were placed at the disposal of Mr. Roosevelt, his family, and his party by the govern­ment railways of France, Belgium, Holland, Den­mark, Norway, Sweden, and Germany; in the three Scandinavian kingdoms, in addition to am­bassadorial and royal dinners, splendid banquets were given in his honour by large bodies of citizens; and everywhere crowds of people lined the streets-eager to catch a glimpse of him and to cheer him as he passed. This rather bald account of what was really a beautiful, generous, spontaneous, and in many respects unprecedented hospitality is excusable only on the ground that American readers ought to know what friendliness was shown by the European peoples and governments to one whom they regarded as the representative of the best type of Americanism. Those Americans who had the pleasure of being near-at-hand spectators of these greetings learned that warm-hearted enthusiasm is not confined to races of southern blood; neither Italy nor France could have outdone the Viking cities of Scandinavia in either the public or private manifestations of approval of their dis­tinguished guest.
Among my papers I find the following carefully-worked-out itinerary and time-table of the journey from Brussels to Copenhagen. It required, of course, much correspondence and many conferences with officials, and may give the reader an impres­sion that such a tour as Roosevelt's was not alto­gether a pleasure jaunt.

THE HAGUE AND AMSTERDAM TRIP




Share with your friends:
1   2   3




The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2020
send message

    Main page