Chauncey M. (Chauncey Mitchell) Depew.

Dinner to His Excellency Jules Cambon online

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ment of mistrust that might have been lingering in
the minds of any class of Frenchmen toward
America. As our honored Chairman has well re-
marked, very much is due to Monsieur Cambon for
the position which the Government of France took
toward us during the late American-Spanish War,
which I know (and this was said to me again
and again by our Ambassador, Mr. Horace Porter)
was not only that of neutrality, but of neutrality
the most considerate, the most kindly.

Monsieur Cambon, you have decidedly estab-
lished between America and France reciprocity of
friendship. (Applause.) It would have taken but
very little further effort on your part to have es-
tablished reciprocity of commerce. (Applause.)
Hearts, after all, are potent guides, even in the
commercial affairs of nations. When men meet
who esteem one another, who love one another,
things are said and done which would not have been
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said and done, had it been theirs only to hsten to
the cold calculations of interests.

M. Cambon, we thank you. In you we see
your great country, La Grande France; through
you we thank France.

You have said it, gallant, chivalrous as you are
— in your regard and affection toward America,
you represented France. I accept your words. I
confirm them as most true. I have travelled through
France ; I have spent years within her frontiers ; I
know France; I know her statesmen; I know her
people; I know her heart. And that is my testi-
mony of France (I am glad to speak it openly in
a representative assembly of Americans such as
that which I am now addressing)— in the bosom of
France there is an abiding friendship, beautiful
and strong, for America.

Frenchmen have not forgotten that French
blood did flow in union with American blood to
establish the Republic of the West. When they
behold the Stars and Stripes, they feel that they
have a proprietorship of honor in the noble flag;
and anxious they are for its glory. The glory of
America is the continuation of the glory of France.
To-day throughout France, families recall with
pride that ancestors of theirs fought with Lafay-
ette and Rochambeau. It is an envied honor in
France to be the descendant of an old American
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soldier. Frenchmen will ever remember that once
on battle-fields, where a cause most precious was at
stake, they were "freres-d'armes" with the sons of
America, and together with those they will ever
love the victorious embodiment of that cause — the
Republic of the United States.

In their turn Americans do not forget that, in
their hour of need, help — help most generous, most
effective — came to them from France, that without
France's soldiers, without Lafayette and Rocham-
beau, the Declaration of Independence of 1776
would have been, at the time, nothing more than a
sublime, but vain, appeal to liberty and to jus-
tice.

They know, furthermore, that the spirit of the
Declaration of Independence is the self-same spirit
that to-day animates the political institutions of
France.

Our heai'ts go out to the Republic of France.
We pray that she may endure. The destruction or
the weakening of the Republic of France would be
the weakening of democracy ; we ourselves should
feel the wound. So long as democracy is borne
aloft by America and France, we have in it confi-
dence unbounded. America and France are uncon-
querable; institutions upheld by America and
France are imperishable. (Applause.)

It is well for the better and stronger life of both
[ 42 ]



countries that there does exist this spirit of union
and of friendship between America and France.
Each one has much by which the other may profit.
Americans have many great and good things to
their credit. Ours is a continent the hke of which,
according to de Tocqueville, Providence never gave
to a people, so fertile in soil, so health-giving in
climate, so inexhaustible in resources. We have
grown in numbers from three millions to nearly
one hundred millions. We are growing so fast
that Ave are dazed as we look forward to what we
shall be a century hence. We have grown in com-
mercial power, through the fertility of our soil,
the skill of our workmen, the acute mind of our
capitalists and our leaders of industry. With our
commercial activities we are invading the world.
We are everywhere with the fruits of our farms,
the products of our workshops, the marvels of our
genius for invention. In this, certainly, we have
no reason to envy France, to envy whatever nation
upon the face of the globe. But business enter-
prise and commercial conquest do not exhaust the
aspirations of a people, do not suffice for their
social completeness. There are other things that
we need, and for those we may look to France, to
draw with profit to ourselves from the abundance
of her storehouses. Heretofore in America we
have had but little time to bring into our lives the
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culture of civilization, the sweetness of art, the ele-
gance of all that is best in idealism. We have been
so much occupied with the realities of life that we
have not yet sufficiently concentrated our thoughts
on the higher regions which are the native home of
the better and the greater man. Well, of poetry,
of idealism, of sweetness of culture, of rich elevated
thought, France is the chosen land : we shall extend
the hand toward her, and receive from her some
of her riches to beautify therewith our beloved
America, to make therewith America not only the
greatest commercial nation, but at the same time,
the sweetest and the best among the civilized people
of the earth. (Applause.)

And while receiving from France what we need,
may we not be giving to France that which, per-
haps. Monsieur Cambon, she needs.'' It is said
that France, in her soarings toward the ideal, for-
gets somewhat the solid ground upon which her feet
should rest. To be, nowadays at least, a great
nation, to remain a great nation, a country, while
fully mindful of the ideal, must see that the mate-
rial is within its reach. The material is the foot-
stool upon which we stand, from which alone we
can safely lift ourselves toward the skies. Well,
let France see and know America and learn from
her. Steadfastness of purpose, activity of labor,
economy of strength, vastness of conceptions and
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LofC.



unbending resolve to realize them — these are Amer-
ica's treasures, and these her gifts to nations that
come into closest contact with her.

The real and the ideal — ^America and France !
Let the one give to the other; let the one receive
from the other ; let the two go hand in hand : and
they rise amid nations the wonderment of the civil-
ized world. (Applause.)

And so, Monsieur Cambon, in re-crossing the
Atlantic, take with you, we pray you, the kindliest
remembrance of America. Forget us not; be our
representative to the peoples of Europe; when
among them you hear mention made of America
say to them that you have known her, and that
you are her friend. We shall not forget you.
Your name will long remain with us, as that of one
who sought sincerely to know us, who understood
us, who mingled as one of ourselves in our national
commemorations and our social joys, who, we be-
lieved, while going from us leaves in America no
small part of his heart's affections.

And so, too, Monsieur Cambon, as you set foot
on your native soil, give to France our cordial
salute. Speak to her our wishes for her peace, her
welfare, her glory. A great nation she has been;
such she still is ; such may she ever be. Say to her
that magnificent historic traditions bind vitally
America to her. Friends they are, those two noble
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nations — America and France ; friends be they for
ever ! (Applause.)

Senator Depew: My friends, this closes the
formal part of our farewell to Monsieur Cambon.
I trust, however, that the informal part, that of
the meeting and greeting so many gentlemen, ac-
quaintances, and friends, who have been brought
from all parts of the country for this purpose, may
continue indefinitely ; and in closing the formal
part, I think we may all rise and wish bon voyage,
God-speed, long life, health, happiness, and the
gratification of all his ambitions to Ambassador
Cambon. (Applause.)



[46]



Rcor Admiral Alliert
Jacob H
Mo
Hon. Whilclaw 1
I'rcBidcnt ^Nicholufl Murrny But
I'reaidcnt William 'Kalncy llurpci
lion. Tliomas C. Plutt
Archbishop IrchuiU
Prcnitlcnt Clinrlci Willinm HIiut
Jncnci II. Hyde
,nla Qxccllcncy Jules Cambon
CImunccy M. Dcpew
Hon. llciijnmin B. Odcll, Jr.
Hon. Ellhu Root
J. I'icrpont Morgan l7
Hon, I'hihindcr C. Kni
Major General Henry C. Corbin

Melville E. Stone \ 4
I'reiiidenl Arthur TwininK Hndlcy

Hon. Alton DrookH Parker

Jnincs W. Alexnndc;




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Online LibraryChauncey M. (Chauncey Mitchell) DepewDinner to His Excellency Jules Cambon → online text (page 2 of 2)