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eyes turned to the wall where, over the chimney piece, hung the portrait of one of his predecessors who had stood for his ideals in a time of fiery trial. It was too dark to see the picture but he knew well the rugged, homely face, the tender, pain-wrenched mouth.
This man had dreamed a dream. In a world reeling and smoking with the insane fury of war he had dreamed that one nation should stand unshaken for the message of the spirit, for the glory of humanity, for the settlement of disputes by other means than gun-powder and women's tears. That was his dream—to it he had clung. Sadly he thought of the long painful fight he had made to keep one nation at least out of the tragic, barbaric struggle, of his determination that one nation—not because she was weak, but because she was strong-should, with God's help, make a firm stand for peace and show to all mankind that force can never conquer force. He recalled a sentence he had written some time before. “A nation can be so right that it should be too proud to fight.” Magnificent words, true words; if only it had been possible to carry through to the end this message from Judea. But little by little, and with growing anguish, he had seen that the nation must take another step
Little by little he had realized that his cherished dream must be laid away. For the first time in human history a great nation had dared to waive pride, honor, and with bleeding heart-even the lives of its own sons for the hope of humanity and civilization. With face buried in his hands he reviewed the long catalogue of atrocities on the seas. Arabic, Lusitania, Persia, Laconia, Falaba, Gulflight, Sussex, California, the names were
etched in his brain in letters of grief. And now, the “barred zone" decree..
He straightened in his chair, snapped on the green desk light and turned to his personal typewriter. As he did so, from some old student day a phrase flashed into his mind—the words of Martin Luther, the Thuringian peasant, the university professor, who four hundred years before had nailed his theses on the church door at Wittenberg: ..."Gott helfe mir, ich kann nicht anders."
They chimed in a solemn refrain in his heart as he inserted a fresh sheet of paper behind the roller and resumed his writing.
“With a profound sense of the solemn and even tragical character of the step I am taking and of the grave responsibilities which it involves . . . I advise that the Congress declare that the recent course of the Imperial German Government to be in fact nothing less than war against the Government and the people of the United States. ..."
The face bent so intently over the keys was grave and quiet, but as the paper unrolled before him some of his sadness seemed to pass away. He whispered to himself, “It is for humanity, 'Ich kann nicht anders.” The keys clicked again.
“We have no quarrel with the German people. We have no feeling toward them but one of sympathy and friendship. It was not with their previous knowledge or approval. ... Self-governed nations do not fill their neighbor-states with spies, or set the course of intrigue to bring about some critical posture of affairs which will give them an opportunity to strike and make con
quest. . . . A steadfast concert for peace can never be maintained except by partnership of democratic nations. ... Only free peoples can hold their purpose and their honor steady to a common end, and prefer the interests of mankind to any narrow interests of their own.”
He rose from his chair and walked to the window. The sky had cleared; in the west shone a faint band of clear apple green in which burned one lucent star. Distantly he could hear the murmur of the city like the pulsing heartbeat of the nation. He seemed to feel the whole vast stretch of the continent throbbing, the murmur of little children in their cradles, the tender words of mothers, the footbeat of men on the pavements of ten thousand cities, flags leaping in air from high buildings, ships putting out to sea with gunners at their sterns. Words formed in his mind and he returned quietly to the typewriter:
“We are glad to fight thus for the ultimate peace of the world and for the liberation of its peoples, the German peoples included. ... The world must be made safe for democracy."
“The world must be made safe for democracy!” As the little typewriter spoke under the pressure of his strong fingers, scenes passed in his mind of the happy, happy Europe he had known in old student days, years before.
He could see the German peasants at work in the fields; the simple, cordial friendliness of that lovely land. He remembered French villages beside slow-moving rivers; white roads in a hot shimmer of sun; apple orchards of the Moselle. He remembered the thatched
cottages of dear old England where he had bicycled for tea, and the honest rustic folk who had made him welcome.
What deviltry had taken all these peaceful people, gripped and maddened them and set them at one another's throats? Would life ever be free and sweet again? Sad at heart he turned again to the typewriter:
“To such a task we can dedicate our lives and our fortunes, everything that we are and everything that we have, with the pride of those who know that the day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and the happiness and the peace which she has treasured.”
With elbows on his desk he covered his forehead and eyes with his hands. All the agony, the bitterness, the burden of preceding days swept over him, but behind it was a cool and cleansing current of peace. He whispered to himself:
"Ich kann nicht anders."
Then, turning to the machine, he swiftly typed his closing sentence,
“God helping her, she can do no other.”
THE MAN THEY CANNOT FORGET
The selection which follows is the greater part of a widely copied editorial in Collier's Weekly.
One of the permanent possessions of a human heart is the memory of its great enthusiasms. You may have come to disdain and even despise them, but they are never uprooted. Then
reach your highest-and you know it.
Wher a noble ideal kindles such enthusiasm, that ideal becomes one of those things that without warning, at rare intervals, flares up. And you sit in the light of the flare and ponder. Why did it fail? Not because it was not beautiful-right-desirable. Was it because you were not fit for beauty, righteousness, desirability?
People are like men. They may lay aside their great hopes, but to the end there are hours when they sit with them and ponder.
Perhaps that is the explanation of the persistent, mysterious, unconscious way in which men today draw together around Woodrow Wilson. Why, in Washington for months now, has the sight-seeing wagon followed his car? Why do the chattering tourists inside grow silent as they pass it? They don't peer. They lift their hats and sigh, and it sometimes iakes minutes and striking sights to break the mood the fleeting glimpse of that drawn, long white face has stirred. Why is it that on Sundays and holidays men and