PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT has published his intention of
being, in so far as may be, President McKinley’s political executor
as well as his successor. There is to be no change of policy, he
says, but what was planned will be carried out in so far as its
accomplishment lies in him, and he has rehearsed categorically the
declared intentions of his predecessor which it will be his effort
to carry through. We read in the sacred writing that when the cloak
of the Tishbite descended to Elisha, his first use of it was to
smite Jordan and divide its waters. To smite our Jordan and let
the waters through it is one of the inherited policies to which
President Roosevelt has specifically committed himself. The analogy
is engaging. Our Jordan is the narrow ridge that separates Atlantic
from Pacific. Whoever of us lives to see it divided, is likely to
see the memory of McKinley and his administration intimately associated
with the work.
In retaining the Cabinet unbroken
President Roosevelt has done what seems very wise in itself, and
has greatly pleased and reassured the country. It is a strong Cabinet.
Its members are experienced in their respective duties and have
the confidence of the people, and some of the strongest of them
are personally as close to Mr. Roosevelt as they were to their late
chief, and so all seems to be going well. The young President gives
every sign of being old for his years, discreet, conservative and
sound of heart. The Presidency in time past has sometimes wonderfully
rounded out and perfected character. Its burdens have strengthened
and purified most good men who have borne them. They are consecrating
burdens to any man who has possibilities of consecration in him,
and Roosevelt has such possibilities in abundance. Every one’s hopes
for him are high. Every one’s wishes are for his success. The prayers
of the prayerful are going up for him everywhere. Stocks have been
going up too. That may not be spiritually helpful, but it is significant
of the return of confidence.
THE duty of disciplining persons who have expressed
satisfaction or indifference at the shooting of the late President
has been thoroughly performed all over the country. Zeal in its
performance seemed in some instances to exceed discretion, yet no
cases are recorded where indignation carried a mob to extreme lengths.
That is a thing to be thankful for, for the men who supposed themselves
to be pleased at the assassination were doubtless, in most cases,
foolish persons, who failed to get the true bearings of the crime,
and had not gumption or natural decency enough to restrain them
from untimely and scandalous words. Senator Wellington, who ought
to have known better, having suffered from his lack of feeling and
his bad temper, has explained that he was misquoted by the newspapers,
and that what he really said was not so bad as the language imputed
to him. One community seems to have been led into rather ludicrous
indiscretion in its zeal to honor the dead President’s memory, and
that is the town of Falmouth in Massachusetts, which is the summer
home of Mr. Richard Olney. It seems, according to a story printed
in the Sun, that Mr. Olney had a coachman named Conway, who
was accused of saying, when the President was first shot, that it
was “a good thing.” That naturally scandalized the Falmouth people,
and complaint was made to Mr. Olney. It was announced later that
Conway had been discharged, but Falmouth was still unsatisfied and
the thoughts of the citizens turned longingly to tar and feathers.
A crowd eventually gathered to fix Conway, but not being able to
find him, marched to Mr. Olney’s house, sang “Nearer My God to Thee,”
and tried to see Mr. Olney. But no one seemed to be at home, and
the crowd, marching back to the village, held an indignation meeting,
and voted that “the course pursued by the Hon. Richard Olney is
an insult to American citizenship.” Heaven knows what the Falmouth
folks wanted Mr. Olney to do, but it looks as if he had been twice
unlucky—in having a fool for hired man, and for having a lot of
geese for neighbors.
PUBLIC sentiment generally towards Buffalo is very
sympathetic. The assassination was especially calamitous to Buffalo.
The shock was felt there in its fullest force. It brought crushing
burdens of care on men who were very heavy-laden already, and it
checked at a critical time the prosperity of the Pan-American. But
Buffalo has stood up bravely under affliction. What could be done
it did promptly and perfectly. It showed good feeling, good taste
and good discipline, and seemed, like the rest of the country, to
have no thought for the time being except for its wounded guest.
There is a month left to the Pan-American.
Here’s hoping it may be by far the best month the show has seen.