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We constantly discipline our fellow-citizens by having an opinion about them. That is the sort of discipline we ought now to administer to everybody who is not to the very core of his heart an American. Just have an opinion about him and let him experience the atmospheric effects of that opinion! And I know of no body of persons comparable to a body of ladies for creating an atmosphere of opinion! I have myself in part yielded to the influence of that atmosphere, though it took me a long time to determine how I was going to vote in New Jersey.

So it has seemed to me that my privilege this afternoon was not merely a privilege of courtesy, but the real privilege of reminding you-for I am sure I am doing nothing more of the great principles which we stand associated to promote. I for my part rejoice that we belong to a country in which the whole business of government is so difficult. We do not take orders from anybody; it is a universal communication of conviction, the most subtle, delicate, and difficult of processes. There is not a single individual's opinion that is not of some consequence in making up the grand total, and to be in this great co-operative effort is the most stimulating thing in the world. A man standing alone may well misdoubt his own judgment. He may mistrust his own intellectual processes; he may even wonder if his own heart leads him right in matters of public conduct; but if he finds his heart part of the great throb of a national life, there can be no doubt about it. If that is his happy circumstance, then he may know that he is part of one of the great forces of the world.

I would not feel any exhilaration in belonging to America if I did not feel that she was something more than a rich and powerful nation. I should not feel proud to be in some respects and for a little while her spokesman if I did not believe that there was something else than physical force behind her. I believe that the glory of America is that she is a great spiritual conception and that in the spirit of her institutions dwells not only her distinction but her power. The one thing that the world cannot permanently resist is the moral force of great and triumphant convictions.





4, 1915


I warmly felicitate the club upon the completion of fifty years of successful and interesting life. Club life may be made to mean a great deal to those who know how to use it. I have no doubt that to a great many of you has come genuine stimulation in the associations of this place and that as the years have multiplied you have seen more and more the useful ends which may be served by organizations of this sort.

But I have not come to speak wholly of that, for there are others of your own members who can speak of the club with a knowledge and an intelligence which no one can have who has not been intimately associated with it. Men band themselves together for the sake of the association no doubt, but also for something greater and deeper than that,-because they are conscious of common interests lying outside their business occupations, because they are members of the same community and in frequent intercourse find mutual stimulation and a real maximum of vitality and power. I shall assume that here around the dinner table on this memorable occasion our talk should properly turn to the wide and common interests which are most in our thoughts,

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