My original intention had been to return to the United States direct from Africa, by the same route I took when going out. I altered this intention because of receiving from the Chancellor of Oxford University, Lord Curzon, an invitation to deliver the Romanes Lecture at Oxford. The Romanes Foundation had always greatly interested me, and I had been much struck by the general character of the annual addresses, so that I was glad to accept. Immediately afterwards, I received and accepted invitations to speak at the Sorbonne in Paris, and at the University of Berlin. In Berlin and at Oxford, my addresses were of a scholastic character, designed especially for the learned bodies which I was addressing, and for men who shared their interests in scientific and historical matters. In Paris, after consultation with the French Ambassador, M. Jusserand, through whom the invitation was tendered, I decided to speak more generally, as the citizen of one republic addressing the citizens of another republic.
When, for these reasons, I had decided to stop in Europe on my way home, it of course became necessary that I should speak to the Nobel Prize Committee in Christiania, in acknowledgment of the Committee's award of the peace prize, after the Peace of Portsmouth had closed the war between Japan and Russia.
While in Africa, I became greatly interested in the work of the Government officials and soldiers who were there upholding the cause of civilization. These men appealed to me; in the first place, because they reminded me so much of our own officials and soldiers who have reflected such credit on the American name in the Philippines, in Panama, in Cuba, in Porto Rico; and, in the next place, because I was really touched by the way in which they turned to me, with the certainty that I understood and believed in their work, and with the eagerly expressed hope that when I got the chance I would tell the people at home what they were doing and would urge that they be supported in doing it.
In my Egyptian address, my endeavor was to hold up the hands of these men, and at the same time to champion the cause of the missionaries, of the native Christians, and of the advanced and enlightened Mohammedans in Egypt. To do this it was necessary emphatically to discourage the anti-foreign movement, led, as it is, by a band of reckless, foolish, and sometimes murderous agitators. In other words, I spoke with the purpose of doing good to Egypt, and with the hope of deserving well of the Egyptian people of the future, unwilling to pursue the easy line of moral culpability which is implied in saying pleasant things of that noisy portion of the Egyptian people of to-day, who, if they could have their way, would irretrievably and utterly ruin Egypt's future. In the Guildhall address, I carried out the same idea.
I made a number of other addresses, some of which—those, for instance, at Budapest, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and the University of Christiania,—I would like to present here; but unfortunately they were made without preparation, and were not taken down in shorthand, so that with the exception of the address made at the dinner in Christiania and the address at the Cambridge Union these can not be included.
July 15, 1910.
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