Citizenship is what makes a republic; monarchies can get along without it. What keeps a republic on its legs is good citizenship.
Organization is necessary in all things. It is even necessary in reform. I was an organization myself once--for twelve hours. I was in Chicago a few years ago about to depart for New York. There were with me Mr. Osgood, a publisher, and a stenographer. I picked out a state-room on a train, the principal feature of which was that it contained the privilege of smoking. The train had started but a short time when the conductor came in and said that there had been a mistake made, and asked that we vacate the apartment. I refused, but when I went out on the platform Osgood and the stenographer agreed to accept a section. They were too modest.
Now, I am not modest. I was born modest, but it didn't last. I asserted myself; insisted upon my rights, and finally the Pullman Conductor and the train conductor capitulated, and I was left in possession.
I went into the dining--car the next morning for breakfast. Ordinarily I only care for coffee and rolls, but this particular morning I espied an important-looking man on the other side of the car eating broiled chicken. I asked for broiled chicken, and I was told by the waiter and later by the dining-car conductor that there was no broiled chicken. There must have been an argument, for the Pullman conductor came in and remarked: "If he wants broiled chicken, give it to him. If you haven't got it on the train, stop somewhere. It will be better for all concerned!" I got the chicken.
It is from experiences such as these that you get your education of life, and you string them into jewels or into tinware, as you may choose. I have received recently several letters asking my counsel or advice. The principal request is for some incident that may prove helpful to the young. There were a lot of incidents in my career to help me along-- sometimes they helped me along faster than I wanted to go.
Here is such a request. It is a telegram from Joplin, Missouri, and it reads: "In what one of your works can we find the definition of a gentleman?"
I have not answered that telegram, either; I couldn't. It seems to me that if any man has just merciful and kindly instincts he would be a gentleman, for he would need nothing else in the world.
I received the other day a letter from my old friend, William Dean Howells--Howells, the head of American literature. No one is able to stand with him. He is an old, old friend of mine, and he writes me, "To-morrow I shall be sixty-nine years old." Why, I am surprised at Howells writing that! I have known him longer than that. I'm sorry to see a man trying to appear so young. Let's see. Howells says now, "I see you have been burying Patrick. I suppose he was old, too."
No, he was never old--Patrick. He came to us thirty-six years ago. He was my coachman on the morning that I drove my young bride to our new home. He was a young Irishman, slender, tall, lithe, honest, truthful, and he never changed in all his life. He really was with us but twenty- five years, for he did not go with us to Europe, but he never regarded that as separation. As the children grew up he was their guide. He was all honor, honesty, and affection. He was with us in New Hampshire, with us last summer, and his hair was just as black, his eyes were just as blue, his form just as straight, and his heart just as good as on the day we first met. In all the long years Patrick never made a mistake. He never needed an order, he never received a command. He knew. I have been asked for my idea of an ideal gentleman, and I give it to you Patrick McAleer.
UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENT SOCIETY
After the serious addresses were made, Seth Low introduced Mr. Clemens at the Settlement House, February 2, 1901.
The older we grow the greater becomes our, wonder at how much ignorance one can contain without bursting one's clothes. Ten days ago I did not know anything about the University Settlement except what I'd read in the pamphlets sent me.