« AnteriorContinuar »
another turn to the ideas, and more than a turn,-a good example, and now this example of your great country has been so well understood that almost all the governments, almost all of the people, who were against the idea of arbitration, believing that it was a dream, are now quite favorable. They have no doubt about it. They are as sure of the future as they were skeptical in the past. This is a great result. I never realized it so fully as I did to-day and yesterday. Yes, chiefly yesterday. I saw one thing that I had not thought of speaking about here, but really I found it so fine,-it was the full realization of all my hopes. I saw not only the Government representatives, not only representatives of all the commercial, industrial and agricultural branches of America, I saw all the children of New York, (applause) ready to understand, so wonderfully ripe for this new idea, which has been born fresh just as they have been born themselves. They are contemporary, it seems quite natural to them. When I saw all these charming boys and girls, so full of confidence, so full of faith, when I saw that, then I had a true vision of the future, I had a certitude which I never had before. I think our children are almost ashamed to believe that ten years ago the things which seem so natural to them, so humanely good, were considered a dream and impossible to realize. When I saw the faces of those children I had a feeling that I could go back to France satisfied that my journey was finished, that I could go back to France with the best and strongest lesson possible to give to my people. I should say to them: "You people of Europe, you don't mean to say that you do not believe? Why, the children over there in America-they believe they know." (Applause.)
Now, ladies and gentlemen, I know that you are all very busy here, even at the table. (Great laughter.) That is one of the things that I cannot really get accustomed to in America, that I can never have dinner without making at least two speeches. But you will understand that it is not enough for us that progress has been realized. There is something more to do. We must be grateful to the people that have helped, to those who are responsible for this change.
Among the many people I see here, among the many friends who have given their cordial help, the help of their energy, of
their initiative, I want to name first our Chairman. I mean the Chairman of the Congress, Monsieur Andrew Carnegie. (Applause.) He has really done such good work in giving all his strength, and all his good-will, in the organization of this splendid and striking manifestation. It is not the first time that Monsieur Carnegie has given time and help to the cause of Peace and Arbitration. He did something five years ago that has had a very good effect and which has contributed to the great change I was speaking of. He saw that among the reasons why the people would not believe in the future of a Hague Court of Arbitration was that the poor Court had no home. (Laughter.) It is a fact almost extraordinary that for the baptism of the most magnificent palaces of princes, for instance, they fire salutes of artillery, they give splendid feasts of inauguration, but the Hague Court has never been inaugurated, for the very good reason that the Hague Court had no home. Monsieur Carnegie thought it would be a very good idea to give the Hague Court a home, and he gave the splendid palace which is to be built now. That has been a gift not only to the friends of Peace, but to all the Governments that have participated in the conferences at The Hague. The Governments have been happy to receive that gift, and I know at least one government which has been happy not only to receive, but which would like to show its gratitude for that gift. I am happy to tell you that I received very good news to-day which is one of the reasons why I have to leave you to go to the other banquet.
The Government of the French Republic remembered that one of the principles of our great movement has been that it is not enough for a man to be a good citizen of his own country, he has to try to be a good citizen of the world, and the Government of the French Republic thought that Monsieur Carnegie had done his duty not only as a citizen of the United States, but as a citizen of the world, and asked me to give him as a reward, as a particular distinction, this gift of the French Government, and the title of Commander of the Legion of Honor. (Great applause.)
I must tell you very frankly that I love my country very much, I love the French Republic, but I am especially proud and pleased to-night of what my Government has done. (Applause.) It is a great pleasure to me, a great and good duty
to fulfil. I am very happy to see and to find a proof that it is not only we, friends of Peace, not only we friends of international justice, faithful friends who have struggled in the past, but the Governments themselves who want to be right, want to be just in giving the right reward to the men who have done their work, and given their time, and their energy, and their good-will to the great cause of International Arbitration. (Applause.)
It does not make any difference to a Frenchman whether he speaks in his own language, or whether he speaks ours. (The Baron d'Estournelles here interrupted by saying: "Oh, I speak much better in French.") I dare say the Baron d'Estournelles could express himself much better in the French language, but he could not give utterance to any more beautiful or noble sentiments than he has expressed here to-night in English. (Applause.)
(The Baron d'Estournelles here remarked, "Ah, Monsieur President, you must not spoil me.")
We of America, whether we learn the language of France or not, can very profitably take a lesson of her, I think, in the nice art of courtesy which the Baron has so beautifully illustrated in the international recognition given by France to Mr. Carnegie.
I now have the pleasure of calling upon one who is the representative of our oldest university. Perhaps I may be permitted to say, as one who for a time was connected with university life in this city, that it has always been the greatest possible pleasure and happiness to all of us who have had to do with universities to realize how superbly, under the leadership of President Eliot, Harvard University has maintained her primacy, has maintained the primacy that is hers by reason of her age; it has been delightful to march in the column in which she stood leader. To-night it affords me very great pleasure to introduce to you Kuno Francke, of Harvard University, who will now speak to you.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I do not wish to appear to you under false colors. It happens that on this very day there is
coming out a little book of mine entitled "German Ideals," in which among other things I attempt to show the wide difference of temperament and thought which separates the cosmopolitan, idealistic and unpractical Germany of the days of Kant and Schiller, from the intensely national, realistic and practical Germany of to-day. And, although an American citizen by adoption, I should be false to my own blood if I did not rejoice in the astounding revival of national vitality, the superabundance of national activity, which has characterized the last thirty years of German history. The point which I wish to make is this: that this astounding revival of German national activity is by no means confined, as is often supposed, to military prowess, or scientific experimentation, or industrial enterprise. We have heard of late altogether too much of the gigantic strides taken by Germany in these directions. We have heard altogether too little of the spiritual awakening that has been the concomitant phenomenon of this material development. The spiritual, the philosophical and artistic ascendency of Germany during the last thirty years has been as marked and as rapid as her political and her commercial advance, and every step in this onward movement has brought Germany closer to other nations, has helped the cause of international understanding.
Germany has always been willing to learn from other nations. She has always had her door wide open for every stimulating thought, every noble sentiment that demanded entrance at her gates. Her present spiritual revival may indeed be said to be due primarily to foreign influences. To indicate the extent to which the higher life of contemporary Germany has been stimu- . lated by great personalities of other nations, it may be sufficient to mention four commanding names. An Englishman, Charles Darwin, has contributed more than any other man toward the shaping of what may be called the German lay religion-that religious belief which conceives of the Universe as one living whole, as a continual, endless striving for higher forms of existence, as an unbroken and ever-ascending line of spirituality. A Russian, and a Frenchman,-Tolstoy, the spiritual father of all modern mankind (applause), and Zola, the incomparable champion of social justice and right,-have done more than any other two men to stir the German masses with sympathy for the downtrodden and disinherited, with zeal for social reform, with the
conviction of the solidarity of the working people the world over. The greatest Norwegian of our time, the old Viking, Henry Ibsen, the indomitable fighter for individuality and truth, has impressed himself upon no other country as deeply as upon Germany. And nowhere have his teachings found the same response, nowhere are his dramas being performed to equally intelligent and sympathetic audiences, or with equal artistic understanding as in Leipsic, Munich and Berlin.
So much for great personalities from abroad who have been received into spiritual communion with modern Germany. But Germany is also being profoundly affected and inwardly stirred by great popular movements from abroad. From among these popular movements let me single out two, which may be called America's contribution to German life: the woman movement and the cause of educational reform. That both of these causes also strongly make for international understanding is obvious at first sight. The salient point of the German school reform lies in the emphasis put by the progressive educators of Germany upon the study of the modern world, modern languages, modern history, modern art, and literature and thought. Isn't it clear that an education based upon these principles, an education which makes the growing generation intellectually at home with the dominant ideals of the leading nations of to-day, isn't it clear that such an education must help in preventing, or at least allaying, international misunderstanding and animosities? For how could a man who had become truly at home in the spiritual world, at least of England, of France, Germany, or America, fail to recognize the close interdependence of the great modern nations, how could he but be filled with a desire to contribute on his part toward their mutual understanding and friendly devotion to a common cause?
As to the German woman movement, it has a dominant note of sympathy with life in all its forms, and of affectionate regard for individuality; an intense zeal for the rights of the weak and oppressed; of earnest striving for the peaceful regeneration of the world. All of this has found one of its most characteristic expressions in the lifework of that noble woman whose name, and whose work, is familiar to you all-the Baroness Von Suttner-whose appeals for disarmament have certainly