THE CHILDREN OF THE CRUCIBLE
WE Americans are the children of the crucible. The crucible does not do its work unless it turns out those cast into it in one national mould; and that must be the mould established by Washington and his fellows when they made us into a nation. We must be Americans; and nothing else. Yet the events of the past three years bring us face to face with the question whether in the present century we are to continue as a separate nation at all or whether we are to become merely a huge polyglot boarding house and counting house, in which dollar hunters of twenty different nationalities scramble for gain, while each really pays his soul-allegiance to some foreign power.
We are now at war with Germany. For three years Germany has heaped insult upon insult, injury upon injury, on our people. We showed a reluctance passing the bounds of ordinary timidity either to resent the insults or to prepare for defense. We feared to resent wrong in the present. We did not even dare to pre-