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Last Letters From The Living Dead Man
(Mr. "X" is David Patterson Hatch 1846-1912, a former judge)

 
INTRODUCTION PART 1
INTRODUCTION PART 2

LETTER

 I.

THE GENIUS OF AMERICA
II. FEAR NOT
III. THE PROMISE OF SPRING
IV. THE DIET OF GOLD
V. CONTINGENT FEES
VI. THE THREE APPEALS
VII. THE BUILDERS
VIII. THE WORLD OF MIND
IX. AMERICA'S GOOD FRIDAY
X. THE CRUCIBLE
XI. MAKE CLEAN YOUR HOUSE
XII. LEVEL HEADS
XIII. TREES AND BRICK WALLS
XIV. INVISIBLE ARMIES
XV. THE WEAKEST LINK
XVI. A COUNCIL IN THE FOREST
XVII. THE IDEAL OF SUCCESS
XVIII. ORDER AND PROGRESS
XIX. THE FEDERATION OF NATIONS
XX. THE NEW IDEAL
XXI. A RAMBLING TALK
XXII. THE LEVER OF WORLD UNITY
XXIII. THE STARS OF MAN'S DESTINY
XXIV. MELANCHOLY
XXV. COMPENSATORY PLAY
XXVI. THE AQUARIAN AGE
XXVII. THE WATCHERS
XXVIII. THE RITUAL OF FELLOWSHIP
XXIX. RECRUITING AGENTS
XXX. THE VIRUS OF DISRUPTION
XXXI. THE ALTAR FIRE
 

LETTER XX

 

THE NEW IDEAL

August 19, 1917.

            Since Germany evolved her idea of flamboyant nationalism and tried to foist it upon the world in imperial fashion, the world has grown skeptical of the national fetish. It will believe in the good intentions of no nation or race that flaunts its perfections in the face of friend or enemy.
            America, as she grows more and more sure of her high destiny, must also grow more modest. She must realize herself as one of the sister states in the great commonwealth of nations, and the eagle will take lessons in voice culture. As a quiet voice can make itself heard in a medley of noises where a screaming voice would be inaudible, so must America’s voice become deep and quiet.

            She is paying for her place in the councils of the world. Let her voice be heard by reason of its dignified and restrained accents.
            A great change is taking place in Europe, in its conception of the American character. Hitherto France has known the American tourist, and the uprooted American who lived there in preference to his own country. Now France is learning something about the American man in his workaday, playaday, fighting and loving, living and dying sublimity. She has rubbed her eyes as she watched him, wondering if she were awake. She has recognized a new type. She does not understand it yet, but she wants to understand it. There is a new and disturbing warmth now at the heart of France for this new brother from across the seas. She sees (for she is subtle) the crudity of him as measured by her more artificial standards. But she sees also the grandeur and chivalry of him, as compared with her old idea of the foreigner.

            Ah, America and Americans! You are on trial now in the courts of the world’s judgment as you have never been before. My heart is aglow as I see our boys go out into the larger world, carrying with them the clear outdoor spirit of the American plains and woodlands. When I see the eyes of the sublime and pain-chastened French grow deep and warm as they rest upon our boys, I am so proud of them! I forget that I am also uprooted, having left the land of my birth for the regions beyond death.

            In the councils at the ending of the war and after the war, may the modesty of greatness restrain America from any suggestion to France or England that she saved them from destruction. I clasp my hands—to you they would be shadowy hands—together with excess of emotion, as I pray for the guidance of America in the councils that are to come.
            Modesty—let that be the watchword.
            The soul of France is aflame with gratitude, the soul of France is aflame with love. The hearts of the French people in the night grow warm and their eyes grow wet as they whisper to themselves, “Les Américains! Les Américains!”
            Oh, be mindful of the love you have won!
            I would die all over again a thousand times rather than see my Americans disappoint their French brethren in this crisis of the world’s life.

            You wonder why I say nothing of England? Ah! England knows you already. England has known you long. You cannot surprise England. She knows you as the mother knows her son or daughter; but to the French you are a mystery, a mystery that has come to help, an angel in a khaki shirt and a slouch hat and a strange voice.
            Don’t you understand?
            She prays for you. She would pray to you if she were not so shy in her love. There is a new strange wonder in her eyes, and a sweet thrill all over her.
            Oh, exalt the brotherhood of nations—that never before realized ideal!
            You cannot take away from a boy who has grown up in a free world the deep-rooted idea that America is and ever must be free. In years gone by the sons of this soil have died for freedom, freedom for themselves, freedom for the black man. Now they fight and die for the freedom of the world.

            Do you know what it means to be free? Only the self-restrained man is free, for lawlessness is not freedom. Lawlessness is always in leash to passions tyrannical.
            In the new America that I see just over the edge of the horizon (for my eye reaches farther than yours), there will be room for the fullest development of the individual idea, while the idea of social responsibility will make it stable. Hitherto individuality has run rampant. Witness the hoarding of food by a few, while many go without. Watch the clash and struggle of each interest to take some advantage for itself out of this tragic opportunity.
            Before the war is ended the hearts of men must work in harness with their minds. The old generation is dying off, the generation whose initiation girdled the continent with railroads, spurred by the hope of personal gain. The new men who will follow the old “captains of industry” will glimpse a new ideal.
            I am told by one who knows more than I that the men who have made industrial America, by their foresight and initiative, were guided and inspired by Beings who used them and their ambitions for world purposes beyond their comprehension.

.

 

LETTER XXI

 

LETTER XIX