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political economy. I do not believe that land should be divided because the quantity of it is limited by nature. Of what may this not be said? A fortiori, we might on the same principle insist on a division of human wit, for I have observed that the quantity of this has been even more inconveniently limited. Mr. George himself has an inequitably large share of it. But he is right in his impelling motive; right, also, I am convinced, in insisting that humanity makes a part, by far the most important part, of political economy; and in thinking man to be of more concern and more convincing than the longest columns of figures in the world. For unless your include human nature in your addition, your total is sure to be wrong and your deductions from it fallacious. Communism means barbarism, but Socialism means, or wishes to mean, coöperation and community of interests, sympathy, the giving to the hands not so large a share as to the brains, but a larger share than hitherto in the wealth they must combine to produce —means, in short, the practical application of Christianity to life, and has in it the secret of an orderly and benign reconstruction. State Socialism would cut off the very roots in personal character—self-help, forethought, and frugality—which nourish and sustain the trunk and branches of every vigorous Commonwealth. I do not believe in violent changes, nor do I expect them. Things in possession have a very firm grip.” One of the strongest cements of society is the conviction of mankind that the state of things into which they are born is a part of the order of the universe, as natural, let us say, as that the sun should go round the earth. It is a conviction that they will not surrender except on compulsion, and a wise society should look to it that this compulsion be not put upon them. For the individual man there is no radical cure, outside of human nature itself, for the evils to which human nature is heir. The rule will always hold good that you must
Be your own palace or the world’s your gaol.
But for artificial evils, for evils that spring from: want of thought, thought must find a remedy somewhere. There has been no period of time in which wealth has been more sensible of its duties than now. It builds hospitals, it establishes missions among the poor, it endows schools. It is one of the advantages of accumulated wealth, and of the leisure it renders possible, that people have time to think of the wants and sorrows of their fellows. But all these remedies are partial and palliative merely. It is as if we should apply plasters to a single pustule of the smallpox with a view of driving out the disease. The true way is to discover and to extirpate the germs. As society is now constituted these are in the air it breathes, in the water it drinks, in things that seem, and which it has always believed, to be the most innocent and healthful. The evil elements it neglects corrupt these in their springs and pollute them in their courses. Let us be of good cheer, however, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which never
come. The world has outlived much, and will outlive a great deal more, and men have contrived to be happy in it. It has shown the strength of its constitution in nothing more than in surviving the quack medicines it has tried. In the scales of the destinies brawn will never weigh so much as brain. Our healing is not in the storm or in the whirlwind, it is not in monarchies, or aristocracies, or democracies, but will be revealed by the still small voice that speaks to the conscience and the heart, prompting us to a wider and wiser humanity.
THE MESSAGE OF WASHINGTON
In furtherance of the high endeavor of your organization, it would have been impossible to select for observance any other civic holiday having as broad and fitting a significance as this. It memorizes the birth of one whose glorious deeds are transcendently above all others recorded in our national annals; and, in memorizing the birth of Washington, it commemorates the incarnation of all the virtues and all the ideals that made our nationality possible, and gave it promise of growth and strength. It is a holiday that belongs exclusively to the American people. All that Washington did was bound up in our national life, and became interwoven with the warp of our national destiny. The battles he fought were fought for American liberty, and the victories he won gave us national independence. His example of unselfish consecration," and lofty patriotism made manifest, as in an open book, that those virtues were conditions not more vital to our nation’s beginning than to its development and durability. His faith in God, and the fortitude of his faith, taught those for whom he wrought that the surest strength of nations comes from the support of God’s almighty arm. His universal and unaffected sympathy with those in every sphere of American life, his thorough knowledge of existing American conditions, and his wonderful foresight of conditions yet to be, coupled with his powerful influence in the councils of those who were to make or mar the fate of an infant nation, made him a tremendous factor in the construction and adoption of the constitutional chart by which the course of the newly launched republic could be safely sailed. And it was he who first took the helm, and demonstrated, for the guidance of all who might succeed him, how and in what spirit and intent the responsibilities of our chief magistracy should be discharged. If your observance of this day were intended to make more secure the immortal fame of Washington, or to add to the strength and beauty of his imperishable monument built upon a nation’s affectionate remembrance, your purpose would be useless. Washington has no need of you. But in every moment, from the time he drew his sword in the cause of American independence to this hour, living or dead, the American people have needed him. It is not important now, nor will it be in all the coming years, to remind our countrymen that Washington has lived, and that his achievements in his country’s service are above all praise. But it is important—and more important now than ever before—that they should clearly apprehend and adequately value the virtues and ideals of which he was the embodiment, and that they should realize how essential to our safety and perpetuity are the consecration and patriotism which he exemplified. The American people need today the example and teachings of Washington no less than