Puslapio vaizdai

No. 3392 July 10, 1909.



British and American Ambassadors. By Sydney Brooks
The Royal Academy and the Salon. By H. Heathcote Statham.
Chapter II. By M. E. Francis (Mrs.

Hardy-on-the-Hill Book II.

Francis Blundell). (To be continued.)
Moral Fiction a Hundred Years Ago. By Wilfrid Ward


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DUBLIN REVIEW 91 Dickens's Use of the Word "Gentleman." By R. T. Young


G. M. By Thomas Hardy
Dead-Maid's-Land. By May Byron



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Of all diplomatic posts I have often part that Great Britain and the United thought the pleasantest in most ways States stand to one another in a speand the most exacting in some is that cial relationship such as unites no of American Ambassador to the Court other nations on this earth, and that of St. James. Whoever holds it gets between them some departure from the infinitely nearer to the realities of Eng. merely official attitude is of all things lish life than the representative of any the most natural. It would be against other country. He is treated from the the grain of national instinct it no disfirst as a national guest whom it is a tinction were to be made between the delight to honor, rather than as an offi. American and other Ambassadors. cial emissary. The Mayor and Corpo Popular opinion separates him at once ration of Plymouth or Southampton from his colleagues of the diplomati board his vessel in the bay, and, even corps. He is the only

who before he lands, convince him that the reaches the mass of the people. The British people have no intention of sur- ordinary Londoner, who could no more rendering him to the Court, Whitehall, tell you the name of the Italian or Gerand the West End. Nothing, indeed, man Ambassador than a New Yorker could well be more significant or of could tell you the name of the Lieubetter omen than the semi-official, semi- tenant-Governor of Kansas, would not popular greetings that are extended to only answer correctly if you asked him each new American Ambassador on his the name of the American Ambassador, arrival. They are local in form but but would probably rattle off Mr. national in the feeling behind them. Whitelaw Reid's predecessors as far They have become, in fact, a custom of back as James Russell Lowell. He is British public life, and a custom of the only one in whom the people as a which the full meaning is to be found whole have any interest. From the in its singularity. So far as I know, day of his arrival he becomes an intinothing like it exists anywhere else. mate part of English society, and a No Ambassador to this or any other still more intimate part of the world nation is similarly honored. For the of English art and letters and pubrepresentative of a foreign Power to liczby which, of course, I do not be fêted on his recall in the capital of

political-life. Other Amthe State to which he is accredited is bassadors may be as lavishly common enough. But for the repre. tertained, may be able to show as full sentative of a foreign Power to be an engagement list, may dispense in bailed with welcoming words at the return an equally brilliant hospitality. moment of his arrival, before he has But the quality of the welcome exeven presented his credentials, before tended to them differs altogether from he has given any token either of his that which greets their American conpersonality or of his diplomatic policy, frère. He alone gets behind the scenes, this is an experience which, alone is shown the best of whatever Eng. among the diplomats of the world, is land has to offer, and becomes at once enjoyed by the American Ambassador a public character. Of him alone is it to the Court of St. James. It is in- expected that he will be less of an offitended, I need hardly say, to be pre- cial and more of a man. One bears, cisely what it is-a unique compliment, perhaps, once in a lifetime of the Rusa distinguishing recognition on siau German Ambassador being






asked to lecture before an educational adjudicating so nice a point of interor philosophical society, or invited to a national manners, I am afraid the deliterary dinner. However great their cision would be that, in the case of the command of English, they still stand American Ambassador, we commit the outside all but a fraction of the na- worst crime against hospitality by betional life. The public knows nothing ing too hospitable, that we ask too about them, and does not care to know much of our guest, and drive him too anything. They are what the Ameri- hard, and that there is something perilcan Ambassador never is—they are for- ously adamantine in the attentions we eigners, and treated as such. A para. shower upon him. We never really graph in the Court Circular is enough give the poor man a moment's rest. to announce their advent or recall, Throughout his stay among us we prewhile their American colleague, on his sume inordinately on his acquaintance arrival as well as his departure, re- with English. There must, indeed, be ceives full-blown editorial salute times when we force him to wish he from the entire London Press. The spoke Basque and Basque only, and one is merely an incident of officialdom; did not the faith and morals hold that the other is a national event.

Milton held. So might he live among This is, I think, essentially as us and possess his soul in quietudea should be. But at the same time it is diplomatist and not a public institua state of affairs that raises some pe- tion. But as it is, no sooner has he culiar perplexities and embarrassments. reached London than the bombardment English hospitality successfully, as a begins. I must admit at once that it rule, escapes the charge of exuberance. is most vigorously replied to. England We are, indeed, rather famous for tak- and the American Ambassador set to ing our guests' enjoyment for granted, forthwith to see which can entertain for leaving them cordially alone to the other the best. Mr. Lowell used amuse themselves in their own way, to complain that England spoiled the and for not persecuting them with fussy American Ambassador. I rather think attentions. But with the American that the American Ambassador is more Ambassador we throw our traditions apt to spoil us. Take, for instance, the overboard. We become almost as anx- case of Mr. Choate. Mr. Choate came ious and demonstrative as the French, to us in 1899, after a brilliant and inor as his own countrymen, Mr. W. D. defatigable career at the American Bar Howells in a deathless adjective once and in American public life. He might dubbed and damned American hospital- well have thought himself entitled to a ity as "inexorable." I am not sure rest; we, on our part, ought to have that there is not something little short seen that he got it. But there is no of inexorable in our treatment of rest for an American Ambassador in American Ambassadors, and that we London. He only begins to know what are not at times positively brutal in work is when he becomes an English our kindness. We do not, of course, public character, and he becomes that mean to be, but that does not alter the just as soon as his credentials are prefact that we are. Indeed, it rather ag. sented. It is true that not all the gravates it. Our inbumanity is all the depredations upon his leisure are commore pitiless for being unconscious, mitted by Englishmen; his own counand the chances of reformation all the trymen and country women have somemore remote because we are blandly thing to answer for. They take posunaware that reformation is needed. If session of his house on every July the we could conceive The Hague tribunal Fourth, and squeeze his hand to a pulp

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without breaking down his smile; and that Mr. Choate had not his diplomatic they demand his presence and his successes; he helped to wipe out two speech at the yearly banquets on Inde- most contentious issues that in other pendence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and times and other hands might have led Washington's Birthday. Some fifteen to something more than a passing dise or twenty times did Mr. Choate face agreement. But the outstanding merit these gatherings without once repeat- of his Ambassadorship was its ing himself. It was the penalty of his preme range of sociability. Mr. Choate position, and no slight one; but it could got to know all classes and almost all scarcely stand a moment's comparison corners of this country. He spent with all that was inflicted upon him himself ungrudgingly in forwarding by English insistence. Mr. Choate many public movements and in the was the principal guest, and easily the task, which he ranked among the first principal speaker, at a dinner given by of his official duties, of doing all he the Associated Chambers of Commerce could to interpret America to England. within a fortnight of landing. In the Hence his lavish appearances as a lecsix years that he spent among us he turer on American institutions and distributed the prizes at half a dozen American statesmen, with crisp, popuschools, colleges, and institutions; he lar, comprehensive discourses. There composed and delivered addresses on was no occasion of the slightest AngloFranklin, on Lincoln, on the United American interest that could not enStates Supreme Court, on American list his patronage and voice, and the Education, on Alexander Hamilton, genial freshness, point and aptness of and on Emerson; he proposed the his speeches always made them the health of the Royal Society; he spoke feature of the evening. I cannot recall on their favorite authors to the Sir a single instance where he failed to Walter Scott Club, the Dante Society, hold and delight his audience.

He and the Boz Club; he presided over a had the oratorical presence and the lecture by Mr. Birrell; he unveiled por- oratorical attributes—a fine, massive, traits and memorial windows, and lawyer-like head set imposingly on a opened libraries; he spoke three or four stalwart frame; a voice of astonishing times at the Guildhall banquet; he pub- clarity and carrying-power; gestures licly interested himself in many philan- that were eloquence in themselves; a thropies; and he was the speaker of the wit as sly as Lord Rosebery's, and as evening at dinners of remorseless fre- scathing as was Lord Salisbury's; and quency and racking variety. Alto- a mind as compact, lucid, and orderly gether during the term of his Ambassa- as anyone could wish to come across. dorship he must have addressed Eng. He belonged to the colloquial school of lish or mainly English audiences nearly oratory. He gave one the easy outa hundred times. That, it must be pourings of a well-stocked mind and a owned, was asking a good deal. One large and genial nature, never flat or would say it was really asking too stale, but quick with the play of humuch were it not that we never seemed morous fancy. He never spoke withto touch the limit either of Mr. Choate's out saying something, and he never versatility or of his good nature. He made the fatal mistake of soft-soaping went everywhere and met everyone; be England and English ways of doing let himself freely to the infinitely va- things. As he travels "down-town" to ried demands of English hospitality; he his office in Wall Street, or surveys became, in a word, an Ambassador to from its windows the sparkling move the people as well as to the Court. Not ment of the Bay, or relaxes in the

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