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world; and the processes of international law are the slow processes by which opinion works its will. What impresses me is the constant thought that that is the tribunal at the bar of which we all sit. I would call your attention, incidentally, to the circumstance that it does not observe the ordinary rules of evidence; which has sometimes suggested to me that the ordinary rules of evidence had shown some signs of growing antique. Everything, rumor included, is heard in this court, and the standard of judgment is not so much the character of the testimony as the character of the witness. The motives are disclosed, the purposes are conjectured, and that opinion is finally accepted which seems to be, not the best founded in law, perhaps, but the best founded in integrity of character and of morals. That is the process which is slowly working its will upon the world; and what we should be watchful of is not so much jealous interests as sound principles of action. The disinterested course is always the biggest course to pursue not only, but it is in the long run the most profitable course to pursue. If you can establish your character,
. you can establish your credit.
ADDRESS AT THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
APRIL 20, 1915
MR. PRESIDENT, GENTLEMEN OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS,
LADIES, AND GENTLEMEN: I am deeply gratified by the generous reception you have accorded me. It makes me look back with a touch of regret to former occasions when I have stood in this place and enjoyed a greater liberty than is granted me to-day. There have been times when I stood in this spot and said what I really thought, and I cannot help praying that those days of indulgence may be accorded me again. I have come here to-day, of course, somewhat restrained by a sense of responsibility which I
I cannot escape. For I take the Associated Press very seriously. I know the enormous part that you play in the affairs not only of this country but of the world. You deal in the raw material of opinion and, if my convictions have any validity, opinion ultimately governs the world.
It is, therefore, of very serious things that I think as I face this body of men. I do not think of you, however, as members of the Associated Press. I do not think of you as men of different parties or of different racial derivations or of different religious denominations. I want to talk to you as to my fellow citizens of the United States, for there are serious things which
as fellow citizens we ought to consider. The times behind us, gentlemen, have been difficult enough; the times before us are likely to be more difficult still, because, whatever may be said about the present condition of the world's affairs, it is clear that they are drawing rapidly to a climax, and at the climax the test will come, not only for the nations engaged in the present colossal struggle—it will come to them, of course—but the test will come for us particularly.
Do you realize that, roughly speaking, we are the only great Nation at present disengaged? I am not speaking, of course, with disparagement of the greatness of those nations in Europe which are not parties to the present war, but I am thinking of their close neighborhood to it. I am thinking how their lives much more than ours touch the very heart and stuff of the business, whereas we have rolling between us and those bitter days across the water 3,000 miles of cool and silent
Our atmosphere is not yet charged with those disturbing elements which must permeate every nation of Europe. Therefore, is it not likely that the nations of the world will some day turn to us for the cooler assessment of the elements engaged? I am not now thinking so preposterous a thought as that we should sit in judgment upon them-no nation is fit to sit in judgment upon any other nation—but that we shall some day have to assist in reconstructing the processes of peace. Our resources are untouched; we are more and more becoming by the force of circumstances the mediating Nation of the world in respect of its finance. We must make up our minds what are the best things to do