Is Harding great and masterful in his simplicity, or trustful and yielding? and if the latter where is the Hanna? Well, I don’t want to die in these next few months, anyway, till some questions are answered. This would be a part of my Cabinet if I were Harding:— Root, State; Hoover, Treasury; Warren of Michigan, Attorney-General; Wood, War; Willard (of Baltimore)
You enviously write of my opportunity to read and contemplate. I have done some of both. But that’s a monk’s life, and even a monk has a cell of his own, and a bit of garden to play with; and he can think upon a God that is his very own, an Israelitish Providence; and, in his egotism, be content. Yes, with a cell and a book and a garden and an intimate God, one should be satisfied to forego even health. But I hold with old Cicero that the “whole glory of virtue is in activity,” and therefore I call my discontent divine.
You speak of great Americans, and have named all four from political life. I concur in your selection. Now what writers would you say were most distinctly American in thought and most influential upon our thought, men who a hundred years hence will be regarded not great as literary men but as American social, spiritual, and economic philosophers? It occurs to me that this singular trio might be selected—Emerson, Henry George, and William James. What say you?
Say “Hello” to the young Colonel for me.
F. K. L.
Lincoln haunted Lane’s imagination, the humor, friendliness, loneliness, and greatness of the man. This—written for no formal occasion but to express part of his feeling—has found its way to others who, too, reverence the great American.
I never pass through Chicago without visiting the statue of Lincoln by St. Gaudens and standing before it for a moment uncovered. It is to me all that America is, physically and spiritually. I look at those long arms and long legs, large hands and feet, and I think that they represent the physical strength of this country, its power and its youthful awkwardness. Then I look up at the head and see qualities which have made the American—the strong chin, the noble brow, those sober and steadfast eyes. They were the eyes of one who saw with sympathy and interpreted with common sense. They were the eyes of earnest idealism limited and checked by the possible and the practicable. They were the eyes of a truly humble spirit, whose ambition was not a love for power but a desire to be supremely useful. They were eyes of compassion and mercy and a deep understanding. They saw far more than they looked at. They believed in far more than they saw. They loved men not for what they were but for what they might become. They were patient eyes, eyes that could wait and wait and live on in the faith that right would win. They were eyes which challenged the nobler things in men and brought