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MATERIAL PROBLEMS MUST BE fairness, all chivalry, all mercy, and beSETTLED FIRST
come a struggle to the death not a bit
less brutal than that of the wild beasts of HE developments of the Great the jungle.
War, up to date, do not hold out
THE ASSAULT ON J. P. MORGAN respected until the war is finished and the passions of the belligerents are cooled. HE attempted assassination of J. It is evident that the practical and ma
P. Morgan, the eminent financier, terial problems must first be solved, leav
I was undoubtedly the work of a ing the ethical ones for later adjustment. crank, or a man crazed by too much It is to be feared, indeed, that the war will brooding over the bloody tragedy now settle down not only into a ghastly con- enacting in the theatre of the great war. flict of blood and destruction, but also It is the men of prominence who are usinto one of retaliation and cruelty, in ually the objects of attacks from the dewhich all the laws of war hitherto recog- mented. The assassination of Presidents nized will be ignored and all international Garfield and McKinley was unmistakably law will become a dead letter. The old the work of cranks whose murderous inLatin motto, Inter arma silent leges, is stincts had been set aflame by irresponsialready construed more literally in prac- ble newspaper talk and reckless political tice than it was by the pagans of the pre- criticism. The mind of the man Holt Christian era. Modern inventions of who shot Mr. Morgan appears to have death-dealing machinery, poisonous gases
been unsettled in much the same manner. and explosives, deadly air craft and sub- The incident tends to emphasize and marines, have furnished an excuse to bring home to every one the necessity for declare the former international rules for putting a curb upon the tongue and to the conduct of war obsolete, and it is a refrain from vicious war talk. It is a question if this avowal will not become time especially in this country, to soothe more pronounced as the war progresses. instead of to arouse passion. The spirit The world is confronted with the horrible of neutrality should sit upon the tongue possibility that war will come to mean and the pen, preside at the feast, and acactually, as it always has in theory, the company us in our daily round of duties. denial of all humanity, all justice, all Let there be one great country in which
the demon of strife and murder is not let not appreciated at its full gravity. There loose. It is not always possible to protect is a widespread belief that the fundaa man against a crank, but it is possible mental mistake of our Mexican policy was to restrain the evil speech which breeds due to Mr. Bryan's impracticable idealcranks.
ism. At that time the President was not
fully awake to the weakness of Bryan's WON'T DANCE TO OUR MUSIC character, and carelessly allowed himself
to be committed to a policy of drift and N THE face of such a possibility a pusilanimity which, instead of saving peaceful and unarmed nation like the Mexico from anarchy, has resulted in
United States is absolutely powerless plunging it into the worst anarchy in its to interfere with more effect than the history, and has confronted the United twittering of sparrows against the combats States with possibly the hard necessity of of eagles. We may pipe our tunes of military intervention to save the Mexican peace in Mr.
Bryan's most resonant people from utter destruction. This is a voice, but the ensanguined nations will result that was not sought by Mr. Bryan, not listen. If we fortunately keep out of but it is a result which his vacillation inthe war, our reserve of moral force and vited. By the time the European situaidealism may be potent at some future day. tion developed President Wilson was
better acquainted with Secretary Bryan, SECRETARY BRYAN'S RESIGNA- and he judiciously took the conduct of the TION
State Department, so far as it concerned
the European crisis, into his own hands. HATEVER may be the judg- This has saved us from a fatal involvement of William J. Bryan's ment which could hardly fail to embroil
motives in resigning the posi- us with one or more of the belligerent tion of Secretary of State in President powers. For it is usually weakness and Wilson's cabinet, there is an almost uni- not strength which embroils a country in versal feeling of relief at the accomplished war when the country is seeking to avoid fact. We doubt if there is a single one Secretary Bryan displayed such a even of Mr. Bryan's warmest admirers capacity for blundering, such actual imwho would not admit, if brought to an becility when it came to grappling with honest confession, Mr. Bryan's utter practical questions, that his presence in incompetency for such a place. Presi- the State Department always endangered dent Wilson was doubtless conscious of the smashing of diplomatic crockery as Mr. Bryan's failings when he grafted the presence of a bull in a China shop enhim into his cabinet, but he was moved dangers the smashing of actual crockery. by political considerations which at the President Wilson is entitled to credit for time seemed to be compelling. And seizing the reins of our foreign relations there is no doubt that Bryan has been and holding them with a firm hand the highly useful to Wilson in bringing the moment he became convinced of the utter Democratic party, to which Wilson was incompetency and uselessness of the driver comparatively a stranger, to the sup
he had selected. The retirement of Bryan port of the administration. Bryan's is a load off the shoulders of his adminisservices in the Cabinet have been purely tration which may save it from the utter political. At the time the appointment ruin which threatened it. The country was tendered him there was no dream of breathes more freely that Bryan has gone. the outbreak of the great war which has In private life his platitudes and puerile imposed such a burden and strain upon philosophies can do comparatively little the office of Secretary of State in conduct harm, notwithstanding his accomplishing our foreign relations. There was to ments as an orator, his personal magnetbe sure the Mexican trouble, which was ism, and his apparent sincerity. In their rious enough, but at the time probably long acquaintance with him on the stump