James Bryce: Viscount Bryce of Dechmont, O.M. - Vol. 2

James Bryce: Viscount Bryce of Dechmont, O.M. - Vol. 2

James Bryce: Viscount Bryce of Dechmont, O.M. - Vol. 2

James Bryce: Viscount Bryce of Dechmont, O.M. - Vol. 2

Excerpt

WASHINGTON

The corner stone of this Republic, as of all free government, is respect for and obedience to the law. When we permit the law to be defied or evaded, whether by rich men or poor men, by black men or white, we are by just so much weakening the bonds of our civilisation and increasing the chances of its overthrow.

T. ROOSEVELT.

ON the eve of entering upon his official career in America, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman sounded Bryce as to his willingness to take a peerage. Neither Bryce nor his wife cared about a title, and apart from any sentiment of personal reluctance, Bryce suspected that a peerage might hamper him in America, where he was already well-known as a commoner, besides affronting the strong sentiment of equality which prevails among the American people. His friend, Mr. Choate, whom he consulted privately, was of the same opinion. "By the name of James Bryce," he replied, "you have been so long known and so much beloved and honoured by the American people, that it would be a mistake to disguise yourself under a new title." The peerage then was respectfully declined, not so, however, the Order of Merit which King Edward was pleased to confer upon . . .

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