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leisure and security of his Massachusetts home, Mr. Choate need have no fear that the people to whom he so greatly endeared himself have ceased to remember him.
But if his way of meeting the demands of his office was uniquely his own, the demands themselves remain a fixed quantity, and seem to be as inevitable an appendage to the Ambassadorship as the rather dingy offices in Victoria Street. The life that Mr. Choate led was more or less the life that Mr. Bayard, Mr. Hay, and Mr. Lowell led before him, and that Mr. Whitelaw Reid has been living for the past four years with equal distinction and success. The blame for it must be shared between England and America. We calmly take it for granted that the representative of the United States, whoever he may be, will be a first-class after dinner speaker, familiar with the whole of American history and the whole of English literature, omniscient and omnipresent, and able and willing at any moment to read a paper, deliver an address and unveil a monument. We turn him into a sort of lecturer to the nation. We launch him on a full tide of oratory from Land's End to John o' Groat's, thrusting upon him, as he sweeps along, the presidency of innumerable societies. We scout the idea that protocols and despatches and all the banalities of international negotiations can have any claim upon him. Knowing him to be an American, and therefore interested in education, we play upon his weakness and shamelessly take toll of his democratic sympathies. Things indeed have come to such a pass that an American Ambassador who was content to be merely an Ambassador, who could not or would not speak, who loathed public occasions and shunned a platform, and who screened himself behind the ramparts of officialdom, would be reckoned not only a freak
of nature but a disappointment and a failure. It is partly, as I have hinted, America's own fault. She should not send us such charming, cultivated, good-natured men, every one of them triply armed with the capacity to discharge our exactions in full. Adams, Phelps, Lowell, Bayard, Hay, Choate, and Whitelaw Reid-what other Embassy in the world can show so brilliant a line of occupants? Every one of them was distinguished as a lawyer, citizen, or litterateur before he became eminent as a diplomatist. Every one of them had interests and affiliations that stretched far beyond the humdrum official routine. Every one of them warmed both hands at the cheerful fire of English existence with a palpable relish. Every one of them was a great social success, and a success not less pronounced in his purely business and bargaining hours. Every one of them touched life at a hundred more points than the average professional diplomatist. Indeed, if a tongue-tied, unsociable, narrow-gauged, inflexibly official Ambassador from the United States has become unthinkable to us, he is not less incredible to the Americans themselves. Our importunity finds its soundest defence in their responsiveness. America insists on sending us her best, and we return the compliment by laying out the gift to the most ample advantage. It is not easy to decide to which side the balance of inconsiderateness inclines. While we are bewailing Mr. Choate's departure, there comes to us Mr. Whitelaw Reid, a known and tried friend of this country, and a publicist who has left a decisive mark on the history of his own. His kindliness, his hospitality, his great gifts of adaptability and ingratiation, his easy eloquence, and the manysidedness of his interests make him at once, and apart altogether from his official position, a prime favorite.
What are we to do? Are we to lend our ears to those budge doctors of the Stoic fur and praise the lean and sallow abstinence? Certainly not. Instinctively and unanimously we fall to on Mr. Reid; and when England is invited to feel a blush of national contrition at the thought of all the speeches she has extorted from him in the last four years, all the functions at which his presence has been insisted on, all the addresses he has been made to deliver, all the societies of which the presidency has been forced upon him, all the monuments he has been unable to get out of unveiling, she may fairly reply that the responsibility is as much America's and Mr. Reid's as her own.
out of his salary, and the fixed and inclusive salary of all American Ambassadors is £3,500 a year. Out of this they have to pay their own house-rent as well as all private living expenses. This was never a very satisfactory arrangement, even in the days of the modest scholar-diplomat, of men like Bancroft, Lowell, Motley, and Washington Irving, men, that is to say, of comparatively moderate means, who were appointed and welcomed on the strength of their literary laurels, and from whom nothing in the way of a grand establishment was expected. But standards have altered considerably of late years-partly because all the American Legations in the chief capitals have themselves been promoted to Embassies; and the consequence is that only very wealthy men, who are prepared to pay from £10,000 to £30,000 a year out of their private purse, can afford to accept a first-class Embassy, and to keep up the state that the diplomacy of to-day insists upon. In one capital you will find an American Ambassador living in a palace, the rent of which exceeds his official salary; and in another you will find him worse housed than the average representative of a Balkan State. One must remember that in the American diplomatic service there is little security of tenure, no regular and recognized system of promotion, and no pensions; and that all appointments are made by the President from men of his own party, and are liable to terminate at a moment's notice when the other side comes in. Diplomacy, in fact, in American eyes is rather a diversion than a career, and many of the highest posts in the service are given to men who have had no official training, but who like to round off a successful political, professional, or business career by a new and pleasant experiThis, again, helps to limit the Ambassadorships at the great capitals
The time, however, seems to be coming when Mr. Reid will ask permission to retire. The question of his successor has, indeed, already been canvassed in the American Press, and must, I should imagine, be causing Mr. Taft no little perplexity. President Eliot, of Harvard, to whom the post was offered a month or two ago, and on whose acceptance of it all Englishmen who know him were prepared to congratulate themselves, has apparently felt impelled to decline it; and I have seen no other name mentioned that impressed one as even a probable selection. The office is a peculiar one in many other ways besides those on which I have already touched. The United States possesses some offices in Victoria Street that call themselves an Embassy, but it has no Ambassador's residence. It acts with republican severity on the theory that all work and no sleep, let alone play, makes a good Ambassador. It provides him accordingly with a desk-chair, pens and paper, and the paraphernalia of his official business, but takes no account of his human longing for a bed, or a roof over his head, or anything that might serve him as a temporary home. These are luxuries he is expected to furnish
to men of wealth. Moreover, my impression of the majority of Americans in Europe is that it gratifies them to see their Ambassadors resplendently housed and maintaining a generous social state. They do not want their representative in London to live in West Kensington or in the French or German equivalents of West Kensington, but on the Park Lane or the Carlton House Terrace of the city to which he is accredited. It gives them, so far as I can judge, a real pleasure to feel that the American Ambassador is more than holding his own in the social game, and that on all occasions of public or semi-public display, and in all the outward embellishments of life, he plays an elegant and conspicuous, and even a brilliant, part. If the Americans in Berlin, for instance, had been polled a year ago I do not doubt they would have voted to make Mr. Charlemagne Tower Ambassador for life; and they were probably just as disappointed as the Kaiser himself when Mr. Tower's successor turned out to be a gentleman whose tastes were those of a student and a scholar, and whose resources made it impossible for him to follow in Mr. Tower's footsteps with the same assurance and éclat. In regard to the London Embassy, the case is even more embarrassing. The last three American Ambassadors have all been men of very large private means, which they have spent ungrudgingly in their country's service. They have accustomed both Englishmen and Americans to a certain style and scale of doing things; and the transition from a millionaire to a man of moderate means, whether wholesome or not, would undoubtedly entail a certain amount of social and political inconvenience and unfairness. But that is not the limit of Mr. Taft's embarrassments. There are plenty of men in America who are millionaires, but who have not the social, literary, and intellectual
qualifications that we have come to expect as a matter of course from the American Ambassador; and there are plenty of men who are amply endowed with these latter qualifications but who are vexed by the external want of pence. To hit upon the individual who combines both sets of requisites is no easy matter. That Mr. Taft, however, will succeed in discovering him I make no doubt. We always think that no American Ambassador can be so good as the one who is just leaving us, and we are always proved to be delightfully wrong; and the Americans themselves are justly jealous of the fame of their London Embassy, and have no intention of lowering its unexampled prestige.
I have long held that the kind of man who should represent Great Britain in the United States is the kind of man who for the past two generations has represented the United States in Great Britain. Times have changed since Sir Stratford Canning described the Washington Embassy as very pleasant socially, but not requiring any great talents politically. During the past ten or twelve years the office of British representative at Washington has been in many ways one of the most exacting in the service. I know, indeed, of no post which makes so insistent a demand on the level-headedness and adaptability of its occupants. I say occupants, because in Washington less than in any other capital can the British Ambassador's wife be dissociated from her husband's failure or success. The prestige of the British Embassy will often depend more on her social flexibility than on her husband's merits as a diplomatist. Very few Englishwomen, so far as my observation goes, are happy or popular in the United States, or know how to take Americans, or can help being jarred, and, what is more, showing that they are jarred, by the thousand and one
little differences between English and American social standards and ways of doing things. The wife of the British Ambassador has to accommodate herself to a social environment that is all the more difficult to gauge because of its similarity in general outline and its dissimilarity in detail to what she is used to at home or in the capitals of Europe. It asks a very high degree of tact and self-control sometimes to accept persons and things as they come with out comment or surprise, and to recognize that what would be counted easygoingness or curiosity in London may in Washington be merely a novel token of friendliness and interest. A British Ambassador's wife in the American capital has always to bear in mind that in matters of social usage the English and Americans, while aiming at the same mark and meaning essentially the same thing, often behave and express themselves in opposite senses. Not every British Ambassador at Washington has had a wife who possessed these qualities of perception; and more than one hostess at the Embassy on Connecticut Avenue has passed her time, like Lady Barberina in Mr. Henry James's incomparable tale, in a state of hopeless alienation from, and misunderstanding of, her new surroundngs. When this is the case the result is retroactively disastrous because Washington resembles nothing so much as a whispering-gallery, its society is small, exceedingly intimate, and enjoys a highly specialized code of etiquette that is all its own, and a mistake, especially a mistake on the part of the British Ambassador's wife, becomes public property at once. I count it emphatically not the least of Mr. Bryce's qualifications for his post, and not the least among the causes of his unequalled success in it, that a mastery of all these social nuances and minutiæ is with Mrs. Bryce a matter of instinct. To a
bright and keen intelligence and a fund of real humor she unites a thorough knowledge of American life and of the American people, a disposition that has inherited more than a touch of American vivacity, and a sure command of all the arts of social success.
But if the conditions thus impose on the wife of the British Ambassador an unusual degree of diplomatic wariness. the Ambassador himself has to be doubly on his guard. For one thing. he finds the duties of his office carried on in a glare of publicity that in Europe is not only unknown but unimaginable. For another, there is always a party in the United States anxious to score a point against Great Britain, and there are always votes to be wonthough not many, happily, in these days-by an anti-British campaign. Our Ambassador, therefore, has to practise in the sphere of politics the same tactfulness and discrimination demanded from his wife in the sphere of society. He must be ever ready to make allowances; he must constantly remember that America is the exception; he must know what to discount. This is a kind of knowledge-like the not less essential knowledge of all the intricacies of the American system of government-that can hardly ever be gained by instinct or picked up by a few months' study. It is the sort of knowledge that only a man with a prolonged and intimate acquaintance with the United States is likely to possess, and that the official type of British diplomatist, pitchforked into Washington from one of the capitals of Europe, is not only most certain to lack but to be unable to acquire. But what, above all, is necessary is that the British Ambassador should have the instinct for taking the Americans in the right way. If he has that he has the one thing needful. If, on the other hand, he confirms the average American's worst suspicions of British angularity and re
serve, if he seems stiff and self-contained and unable to let himself go, if he has not a natural sympathy with the American people and with the spirit of their social life, his abilities are as good as wasted. But a man who can take the Americans as Lord Grey is taking the Canadians may be very sure that the term of his Ambassadorship at Washington will pass pleasantly for himself and profitably for his country. It is because I have believed men of this stamp and flexiblity to be more easily come by outside the official service than in it-Lord Dufferins do not grow on every diplomatic tree-and because I have felt that the British Ambassador in Washington should stand out among his colleagues, should be distinguished by attainments other than diplomatic, should be qualified to mingle in American public life, and should be a man whom Americans would honor without reference to his official position, that I have long argued in favor of filling the Washington Embassy from outside the ranks of the professional service.
The experiment has been twice tried and has twice succeeded. Sir Julian Pauncefote went to Washington without any previous training in diplomacy, and by the sheer frankness, honesty, and manliness of his bearing wore down that all too flattering suspiciousness of British diplomacy that fifteen years ago was an American obsession. Mr. Bryce in the last two and a half years has done even better. Indeed, Mr. Bryce appeals to my judgment as the perfection of the type of man who should always represent us in Washington. The appointment, as every one who knew both Mr. Bryce and America foretold, has proved an ideal one. He sailed for New York, of course, with many advantages in his favor that none of his successors is ever likely to possess. He was not only known to Americans but more
intimately known and more highly thought of than any other Briton. For twenty years at least no one on this side of the Atlantic has had one-half of Mr. Bryce's influence on American opinion. I well remember how, when I was endeavoring to hold up the British end of the Boer War at public meetings in America, nothing handicapped me so much as the fact that Mr. Bryce had pronounced on the other side. For the great majority of the Americans the rights and wrongs of that struggle were settled when Mr. Bryce's views were known. Ever since the appearance of his "American Commonwealth" all thinking America has felt itself the debtor to Mr. Bryce. Many things have changed in the United States since its publication, but Mr. Bryce's volumes still retain their easy pre-eminence. You will find them used to-day as the text-book on the American system of government in every high school, college, and university in the country. Mr. Bryce not only interpreted America to the Americans but discovered more than one feature in the American fabric of which the Americans themselves were ignorant. It has been his happy fortune to be the founder of a whole school of American political inquiry, and all its professors look to him as their master. And besides this, his learning, his historical and biographical writings, his uniform friendliness to America, his unrivalled knowledge of the country and its ways, his broad democratic instincts, his freedom from pedantry and "side," and his tremendous and infectious vitality, assured him a unique welcome when he arrived in Washington, not as a private student and traveller but as his country's representative.
I cannot better summarize Mr. Bryce's achievements as Ambassador than by saying he has adapted to American conditions the example set by