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About The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902 | View Entire Issue (March 2, 1899)
10 'Cbe Conservative *
ix Tin : lAox's DKN.
Everything is "tho will of God , " now
mlnys , witlj people who hnvo to main
excuses. Everything they want to do
or are nfraid to oppose the doing of
Well , doubtless it is the will of God
that there shall bo cowards and fools-
else the } ' wouldn't bo so numerous ,
But we aren't obliged to forget that He
has not specially commissioned MS to bt
Conscience by Itoll Cull.
Senator Perkins has "strong convic
tions against our holding the Philip
pines , " and begs the distinguished legis
lature at Sacramento to instruct him
whether he shall follow his convictions
or not. Senator White of California has
convictions also. But ho does not asl <
anyone to tell him what to do with
them. lie will follow them.
Now here are the "two kinds of con
science. " Senator Perkins is an upright
man. He would not lie or steal for the
world. He ought to bo above the popu
lar ( and presidential ) notion that it i >
all right for a man to do wrong if n
legislature or a crowd instructs him to.
AVe du The > , e Things DlfTurontly.
The death of Matias Romero , for a
generation minister of Mexico at Wash
ington , is a misfortune not only to hih
own country but to ours. And it points
a text Americans need doubly to heed at
We have sent many ministers of the
United States to Mexico ; some of them
able men , some of them gentlemen. II
they chanced to bo either , all right but
that was not the reason we sent them.
They got the place for party services :
they were changed when the party in
power changed. And the great United
States never sent to Mexico a minister
who commanded half the respect in
Mexico that Matias Romero won in thi-
country ; never one who did a tenth part
as much for his nation ; never one who
did a hundredth part as much to build
up friendly relations between the two
countries. General Grant was the only
man who ever had anything like the
same influence ; and he was in Mexico
simply on his own business.
Wo have never sent to Mexico a min
ister , except Pacheco , who could talk
Spanish , even by the time he came homo ,
and he was the only one who could talk
Spanish at all. Wo have not oven taken
pains to send one who could speak
French. Therefore , the minister of the
United States has never been able to
meet on an equality the president of
Mexico nor the officials. Ho has had to
hobble through his interviews with a
conscious air and an interpreter , like an
awkward child to whom grown-up
speech has to bo explained.
Only those who never think can fail to
see what a handicap this is. There are
very few educated Mexicans who do not
speak at least two languages. Mr. Ro-
mere spoke better English than some of
our congressmen do or ho never would
have been sent to represent his country
in Washington. Ho could and did
talk with presidents and cabinet officers
and senators and American business
men and won their esteem , and did more
for their opinion of Mexico than a dozen
stately dumb figures could have done.
And ho was not beheaded every foui
years. Ho was appointed minister , not
because he had "stumped the district , "
but because ho was fitted for the place ,
ft would seem that this great nation
might begin to use as much common
sense in its diplomatic service as Mexico
How arc the Mighty Fallen !
Nothing could sooner avail to dissolve
the marrow in an optimist's bones than
the spectacle of The Outlook beyond
question one of the cleanest and most
valuable family weeklies on earth turn
ing its coat on a moral question. For
that "imperialism" is a moral question ,
no one now extant ( except a religious
paper ) can for a moment doubt.
Up to a little while ago The Outlook
believed that Washington and Lincoln
were not fools ; but it has changed its
mind. It believes now that we have
"outgrown" their brains and morals in
a word , their principles.
It ought not to need that this profane
Western pnge remind The Outlook that
principles cannot be decently outgrown.
Else they are not principles the sole un
changing things on this mutable planet.
Alps rise and sink , seas wax and wane ;
but a principle has no variableness nor
shadow of turning. The people nowa
days who persuade themselves that they
have "outgrown" the principles of the
founders of the republic never really
grew up into them.
For the fathers bequeathed us not a
fashion but a principle. Our heritage is
not crinolines or knee breeches , but an
immortal justice. Their creed was not
"so long as you can't make money by
governing people against their will , let
them bo free. " They maintained that
government / / derives its just powers
from the consent of the governed. "
Every thoughtful American knows that
this is true ; that it is as true in 185)9 ) as
it was in 1775 ; that it will bo true as
long as the world stands. It is the cen
tral truth on which this nation has
grown to all its greatness.
The Outlook has joined the people
who are trying to make the whole past
of the United States a colossal lie. They
are mostly timid people , afraid to face
loud talk ; or easy-going people , to whom
the cnrront is argument enough ; or
thoughtless people , ready to mistake the
drift of their own ward for the voice of
And , alas , while I never heard of a
"business office" in the kingdom they
preach , there is ono to every religious
weekly and too often at the top of its
One Head or Two.
Anything an inch short of the
prompt cashiering of Engan would dis
grace the army and the country forever.
No apologies can cancel his offense. It
is well ho should bo sorry for having
been a blackguard ; but wo do not need
men in the service who have to enter
tain sorrows of that sort. Whether ho
fed our soldiers meat as indecent as his
tongue.is another matter , which should
be probed to the bottom. If he did. ho
should also bo punished as a criminal.
If ho did not someone else should bo
cashiered. The Lion is not exactly a
swollen partisan of General Miles ; but
ho doesn't take that oflieer to bo a liar ,
iu his trachea or other anatomical rein
forcements. Every grown American
knows that the government has been
swindled somehow. To know that wo
have had a war is enough to make that
certain. And there is every reason in
cluding his own character and the char
acter of our politics to presume that
Miles has testified truly.
A LongFeltViuit. .
One whose veins swell with the blood
of the old circuit-rider can hardly hasro
anything structural against the minis
try ; but The Lion fears that our mod
ern theological seminaries use too wide
a mesh. He suspects that a good many
men wiggle through whoso only "call"
is that preaching is ensiei ; than plowing.
There is a bitter overstock of ministers
who think that whatever is is right. As
a matter of fact , what is is just as likely
to be wrong. If it is ordained at all by
Providence , it is merely as a punching- ,
bag for the righteous. We need more
ministers who can swing an axe , and
fewer going around with feather dusters
taking care not to nick anyone's idols.
Wo need more Luthers and fewer Rev
erend Smirks. Wo need men who can
think and dare think. Iu this our
world one can't throw a stone without
hitting something that needs to be bet
tered ; and to better things takes back
bone for it always means a fight. No
mollusc over shamed the devil yet.
They Know Not What They Do.
If "God's country" in its winter glory
could just be shaken in the face of the
chattering East these days , Macaulay's
New Zealander might cross at once and
begin business at the Brooklyn bridge.
The exodus from Egypt wouldn't be a
But fortunately it cannot be. Cali
fornia hasn't room for seventy millions.
All we care for is the respectable mi
nority that know enough to prefer Eden
to an ice-house and can afford to swear
Dodging liohlml Words.
The people who try to cover the
cloven hoof of empire with the petti-
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