When the spirits Good and Bad will permit me to visit Ipswich I cannot say. Are Doctors of the carnal or the spiritual? They hold me. So soon as I was given a few ducats these banditti rose to rob me. Polite, they are, these modern sons of Dick Turpin, and clever indeed, for they contrive that you shall be helpless, that you may not in good form resist their calculated, schemed, coordinated blood-drawing. And I had as lief have a Sioux Medicine man dance a one-step round my camp fire, and chant his silly incantation for my curing, as any of these blood pressure, electro-chemical, pill, powder specialists. Give me an Ipswich witch instead. Let her lay hands on me. Soft hands that turn away wrath. Have you such or did your ancestors, out of fear of their wives, burn them all?
Well, this is no way for a sober, sick, sedate citizen to be talking to a Man of the Cloth, even tho’ he be on vacation. Have you read any of Leonard Merrick’s novels? Conrad in Quest of his youth, for instance? If not, do so now. They are what you literati would designate as G. S.—great stuff.
Give me another cheering line, do! For I live in a world that is not altogether lovely.
F. K. L.
New York City, July 25, 1920
My dear Governor,—I shall presume upon your flattering invitation to speak frankly, not in the hope that I may in any way enlighten a man of such experience and success, but that I may possibly accentuate some point that you may recognize as important, which in the rush of things, might be overlooked. If I should appear in the least didactic, I beg that you charge it to my desire for definiteness, and my inability to give the atmosphere of a personal conversation.
The unforgivable sin in our politics is a lack of generosity. Smallness, meanness, extreme partisanship, littleness of any kind —these are not in accord with the American conception of an American leader. A clever thing may gratify a man’s own immediate partisan following, but the impression on the country at large is not good. We want a full, adequate appreciation of the fact that there is hardly more than a film that divides Republican from Democrat; indeed, in that fact lies our hope of success. We must win first voters and Independents.
Let me be concrete;—The war was won by Republicans as well as Democrats. ... Therefore, I would say, give generously of appreciation to the Republicans, who raised Liberty Loans, who administered food affairs, who put their plants at the Nation’s service, who directed the various activities, such as aeroplane making, and transporting and financing during the war. ...
A day has come when partisanship with its personalities and bitterness does not satisfy the public. We have seen things on too large a scale now to believe in the importance of trifles, or in the adequacy of trifling men. We must have men who are large enough to be international and national at the same time, to be politicians and yet American statesmen, to subordinate always the individual ambition and the party advantage to the national good.