Theodore Roosevelt and His Time Shown in His Own Letters - Vol. 2

By Joseph Bishop Bucklin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XV
FROM KHARTOUM TO LONDON -- CONTINUED

I WAS immensely impressed with my whole visit to Rome. I attended a dinner given me by Mayor Nathan, the Syndic, and his colleagues of the municipal council. Mayor Nathan was a Jew, who spoke excellent English, and was apparently a good public servant. When I dined with him I had already taken lunch with a number of Members of the Administration, sitting beside the Prime Minister, also a. Jew, and a man of more intellectual type than Nathan. Think what a contrast this meant! In the Eternal City, in the realm of the popes, the home of the Ghetto, I lunched sitting beside one Jew who was Prime Minister of Italy, and dined as the guest of another Jew who was the head of the Roman Government itself! The Prime Minister and his colleagues struck me as upright men, sympathizing with liberal and progressive ideas, and anxious to do justice, and also on the whole as cultivated men, well read, and, in short, good fellows; but they did not strike me as possessing very great force. Mayor Nathan was precisely like many an American municipal politician of good type. He would have been quite at home as Reform Mayor of any American city of the second class. Among his colleagues were a number of Socialists, mostly parlor or study Socialists of the Latin type, well-meaning people with lofty aspirations, wild eyes, and a tendency to pay over-much heed to fine phrases. What I saw of Italy made me feel that there was infinite need for radical action toward the betterment of social and industrial conditions; and this made me feel a very strong sympathy with some of the Socialistic aims, and a very profound distrust of most of the Socialistic methods.

-201-

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