THAT unwritten law which commands the President of the United States
to hold Public Receptions, in order that long lines of lunatics
may pass by and wring his hand, is an atrocious bit of barbarism.
It is both wise & right that the
Chief Executive of this Nation should decline to give his time &
vitality to no purpose. The people who rob this man of his strength
have no message for him—he has nothing for them. A strong, silent
spirit of kindness may do good, but in this promiscuous personal
contact there is something essentially savage and puerile. The least
the fools want is the privilege of saying, “We have shaken hands
with the President.” It is the cheapest kind of affectation and
falsehood—this thing of assuming that the President is one of 
us and stands at our level. Everybody knows better.
That fatally cool and logical lunatic
who came along with a revolver secreted in a handkerchief, and on
pretense of shaking hands in friendship, fired cold lead into the
President’s body, symbols to a degree the mental attitude of a great
many people in the line: there is no love in their hearts and their
hand-shake is a thing to be shunned.
It is a good deal like the propensity
some people have for tickling the baby. No baby is safe with them—they
want it to laugh and coo and do things; and so they poke it with
a finger or else rock, toss and catchy-catchy the poor little thing
and rob it of its privacy and rest. There are people who cannot
see a man of prominence without feeling a strong desire to pinch
his flesh and make him squeak.
To one who has attended the Public
Receptions at Washington this fact is only too apparent—the men
and women in the crush represent neither intellect, kindness nor
saving grace. Their pushing and crowding and final clutch at the
poor President’s paw token nothing better than selfishness and vulgar
The line is well dekeled with sassy
niggers and the ruff-scuff of creation, who if they should 
approach the President at any other time, even on an errand of importance,
would be given the Number Nine Boot like a wet dog in a Methodist
It really does not matter much whether
we kill the man with bacteria or bullets—both are out of place,
& the sacrifice we make is to the gods of folly. The first president
who has the stamina to refuse to give his body as a plaything to
be pinched and pulled, and finally plugged with lead—who conserves
his vitality for the good of the Nation—shall receive undying fame
and the gratitude of those who shall come after.
What we need is a great unspoken,
unacted wave of good-will toward that over-worked man, the President.
Just let us hold the right mental attitude toward him & everyone—and
hold our peace. The Silence will tell it all. As a people we are
terribly lacking in poise. Let us all help each other by letting
each other alone when we have nothing to say. And the Silence shall
voice our love.