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pecial manner the spirit of that true democracy which is the ideal of France and of America. [Applause.]
"It comprises in its membership representatives of all desirable groups, of all races, and all varieties of political and religious belief. It germinated in the conviction of its founders that class or race distinctions, and any other invidious distinctions, were inimical to the true progress and maintenance of democracy; and it has, as its principal purpose, the destruction of all such barriers, that democracy may thrive and prosper among us.
"It is therefore eminently fitting that the Boston City Club should have at least a small part in the entertainment of these men who have given such a large portion of their lives to the struggle against barbarity and autocracy and for the preservation and glorification of democracy. [Applause.]
We are particularly anxious to help, in our humble way, in giving expression to the emotion that now wells up from the most profound depth of the American heart in these stirring times, emotion dominated by admiration and love and loyalty for France. [Cheers and applause.] "We are sensible of the great honor that is accruing to us on this occasion. I believe that, if the City Club had not heretofore justified its existence, this historic event would furnish ample justification. It will go down in our annals as one of the climaxes in the story of our achievements.
"We most heartily welcome our brothers from France, and assure them that we are grateful for the signal distinction they are conferring upon us. We also assure them that not only do we greet them personally with the greatest of pleasure, but that their presence among us has caused to surge up within our breasts a good-will for their glorious country that is founded in and maintained by the utmost strength of our souls. [Applause.]
"They bring to us a clearer and more vivid vision of noble France, and through them we greet and salute France, and we offer to her our homage and our undying pledges of zealous support. [Applause.]
"It now devolves upon me to fulfill the very pleasant duty of presenting to you a man whose fame is world-wide, one of the striking figures in the present crisis that the world is going through; a man who is honored and respected by every true lover of liberty, Monsieur Viviani."
He was greeted with a storm of applause and cheers, cries of "Vive La France," which were prolonged and renewed and repeated many times before M. Viviani could be heard.
The worn, strained look caused by the fatigue of travel and incessant response to manifestations of hospitality passed from the face of the French statesman and orator as he stepped to the front and was bathed, as it were, in a flood of adoration from men not given often to such a show of emotion. He began with considerable restraint to speak. Soon the spell of his rapid and yet lucid thought, the fitness and variety of his gesture, the perfect mastery of self and of his theme began to work its domination over a crowd most of whom are unused to hearing French spoken or to translating at such a speed. The orator, inspired by the sight of such a company, not a few of them French-Americans, and by
the greatness of the plan of federated action of nations dedicated to liberty which he was urging, rose to heights which impressed even those of his own staff who had heard him daily for years. A talk that had been scheduled for a half hour was nearly twice as long measured by the clock. But to the audience it was seemingly as brief as it actually was matchless. As at intervals there would be a slight cessation of speech and a lessening of the tension, men in the crowd would furtively say to their neighbors: "Superb!" "Magnificent!" "Never heard the like!" It was a time of conscious elevation of thought and profound stirring of emotion, such as seldom comes to an auditor in the course of a career however long or fortunate in its opportunity to study orators and oratory.
Unfortunately, a complete stenographic report of the words of M. Viviani is not available, but the best of the reports of the event made by a local journal is appended.
Cheers Greet Viviani
"Viviani was received with tremendous bursts of cheering, again and again renewed. From the beginning of his speech the 'orator on fire' struck a deep chord in the hearts and imagination of his hearers.
"No pen-picture could depict the flaming enthusiasm which his address aroused in hearers, most of whom had to catch his meaning from his flashing eyes, from the tones of his voice and from the gestures with which he reinforced his words as to and fro he paced the platform. Speaking throughout in French, he said:
“'I thank first the chairman of this Club, who has given us welcome, and then I thank the members of this Club who have applauded us. I am extremely glad to be a guest of this organization, which includes in its membership men of all classes of society.
"It is especially of interest for me to be in a country where such a club is possible. In France, and generally in Europe, such gatherings are not yet possible, but may be very soon. To us members of the French Commission it has been a wonderful spectacle to see hundreds and thousands of men gathered in an organization like this.
"Your Club is a great school of civic life. It gives to men who are at work during the day the opportunity to gather of an evening for the exchange of ideas and for the development of plans for giving them effect.
"Boston we regard as the foremost city for intellect in the United States, and it is the last place in your country where we may address a public gathering before returning to complete our business at Washington.
"Three weeks we have been in this country, and I want to say that the sincerity and enthusiasm of our reception will not be lost. We have gained a deep impression from your expressions, public and private, and I shall take back to France the knowledge of the splendid reception we have had in America.
Grateful for Charity
"Beyond that is our gratitude for the charity you have shown for our wounded soldiers and orphaned children. You have translated
your sympathies into action, and to-day I had another evidence of your care for us when I visited the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.
"I learned there and it is all too insufficiently known in France that an enormous quantity of material, made by the ladies of Boston, as well as more generally by the ladies of Massachusetts, has gone from this community to aid the wounded soldiers of France.
"As to the sentiments expressed in your Public Library to-day, words would fail to express our gratitude for them. We have literally felt the heart of America and the heart of Boston.
"We are all happy to be here and to be able to say our last public words before we return to Washington. Sometimes we feel humiliated at the thought that perhaps we do not merit this outflowing of American sentiment for France, but we are proud of it all the same.
America Has Joined France
"Of course, America has joined France in the war. But that is not so much the paying of a debt of gratitude for the coöperation given you by us during your war for American independence.
Lafayette when he came here did not come so much to help the then young America as to promote the sentiments of liberty and democracy which were then being expressed by our thinkers and the philosophers of the eighteenth century, men like Montesquieu, Rousseau, Voltaire and others.
In the same way, America is endeavoring now not only to protect France, but to help France to protect democracy and save humanity - to do, as your President has expressed it in his famous phrase — to make the world safe for democracy.
"The thing now for everybody, in view of the colossal struggle in Europe, is for everybody to do his duty. History will retain from this war only the names of the most prominent statesmen and generals; the names of the thousands of anonymous heroes will be forgotten.
'But all these men, as well as all their relations, have the great comfort of feeling that those who fall, fall for humanity, and that as a result of the sacrifice, their descendants will be free in the future from the curse of autocracy embodied in German militarism.
Have Earned the Love of France
You men of America have earned and receive the love of France. Your record in the Civil War shows what you will be in this conflict. You join us in the struggle that is on not only for America, for France, for Belgium, Great Britain and Russia, but for all humanity.
"Your flag,' said the speaker in closing, has 48 stars, one for each state. Each of your states has its own legislature and yet they are all under the federal law. It is not too much to hope that one day all the countries now allied in the European war may form a similar “United States," each retaining its own form of administration, yet all owing allegiance to a common law.
"And that will prevent the recurrence of conditions which make it possible for some mad autocrat to play havoc with the whole of Europe.'
"Just before the departure of M. Viviani for Washington, about 100 members of the Club gathered at a dinner presided over by Mr. Martell. There were present the ex-premier, the Marquis de Chambrun, M. Hovelacque, General Vignal, Professor De Lapradelle, Prof. Charles P. Lebon of the English High School, Consul Flamand, Lieut.-Gov. Calvin Coolidge, Dr. Morton Prince, Edward A. Filene, George S. Smith, and others.
Time Has Come for Action
"Lieut.-Gov. Coolidge told his audience, amid applause, that the time had come for action rather than words.
What we have seen in our city yesterday and to-day,' he said, signifies the desire of the American people to take up the needed work and put it through.
"M. Viviani's address to-night was a fitting benediction. It meant for the world, government of the people, by the people and for the people.'
"George S. Smith, former president of the Chamber of Commerce, gathered from the events of the day the fact that the soul of America and the soul of France are now merged.'
"Dr. Morton Prince expressed his delight that Colonel Roosevelt was to be allowed to carry the country's flag to France.
There is more reason for that permission,' said the speaker, 'than simply the encouragement which it will give to France. It will give encouragement to America to have our men fighting side by side with the men of France.
"What is the use of peace when militarism hangs over the world? I look forward to the time when there shall spring forth from this agony and bloody strife a living nation and a living democracy.'
"Addresses were also made by Captain DeJarny, Dr. Bedard, Lieutenant Morize and Major Azan. The members drank a toast to the republic of France, and M. Viviani responded with a toast To all humanity.' Cheers were given for the French officers." Herald.
The Sports Dinner, an annual affair to bring to a close with enthusiasm the activities of the winter months, was held Monday evening, May 28. Louis E. Cadieux presided, and speeches were made by Charles J. Martell, chairman of the Entertainment Committee; Dr. H. G. Chase, chairman of the Billiard Committee; Winthrop G. Norris, chairman of the Games Committee. Singing was indulged in by those present. Prizes won in the different tournaments were presented as follows:
Simon E. Hecht
Horace L. Palmer
Morris B. Parkinson
At a meeting of the Board of Governors held May 15, 1917, it was voted that all members of the Boston City Club who enter the service of our country or state and are, therefore, unable to use the Club, shall, upon request, retain their membership, but without payment of dues pending their return, when their accounts shall be credited with the unused portion of current dues already paid to November 1, 1917.
Any members desiring to avail themselves of this privilege should notify the secretary before leaving, and upon their return.
JAMES E. DOWNEY, Secretary.
GUEST CARDS FOR COMMISSIONED OFFICERS
At a meeting of the Board of Governors held on May 15, it was voted that the House Committee be authorized to issue cards to all commissioned officers in the Army and Navy of the United States and of its Allies, extending to these officers all the guest privileges of the Club, with the exception of regular sleeping accommodations. This vote is void after December 31, 1917, unless the war should end earlier. 388 JAMES E. DOWNEY, Secretary.