« 上一頁繼續 »
interest different from his own,— a theory to which he was loath to give even by implication his public approval. For the present Mr. Roosevelt was bound by his promise not to depart from the McKinley policies; but if he were reelected, particularly by a decisive majority, he would be justified in cutting loose. Mr. Hanna feared the effect of such an emancipation upon the leadership of the Republican party and the policy of the country.
Inasmuch, however, as he regarded Mr. Roosevelt's nomination as inevitable and had no intention of opposing it, what did he expect to gain by holding back? The question is difficult to answer, because Mr. Hanna in all probability did not clearly define to himself his own motives and intentions. It looks, however, as if he wanted to make the President feel and respect his power — not with the purpose of driving any bargain, but with the general idea of keeping his personal independence and so far as possible his leadership of the party. Whatever the future had in store for the President, for the organization and for himself, it was essential from his point of view that conservative Republicanism should under the new regime be kept somewhat separate and be strengthened in its independence. He knew that President Roosevelt would do much to avoid splitting the party; and he may have thought that he would be able to make better terms after the election, in case he continued for the present a demonstration of his personal power. He understood much better than did many of his own supporters Mr. Roosevelt's strength with public opinion, and he knew how much of an increase of prestige would follow from a triumphant election. He did not want the victory — if and when it came — to be merely Mr. Roosevelt's.
Finally personal feelings and motives were involved. He had never forgiven the way in which an indorsement had been extorted by the President from the Ohio Convention of 1903. He had been crowded into a corner, and obliged to choose between a breach in the party and a personal humiliation. He resented it. He resented also the efforts which were being made to force him prematurely on board the triumphal car of another candidate. He felt that his independence ought to be respected and recognized without exposing him to suspicions of bad faith. He may even have enjoyed the ferment of gossip, expectations, hopes and fears which his own much discouraged candidacy had created. If he was not to be President, he could hardly avoid some satisfaction and amusement in watching the ghost of his chance to be President haunt the corridors of the White House and at times hover ominously over the whole political landscape.
The question remains, whether, even if his health had not forbidden him to be a candidate, he would have considered any more favorably the solicitations of his New York friends. All who are most familiar with Mr. Hanna's attitude agree that it would not. No doubt many of the reasons which he gave for not wanting to be President could have been overcome. His assertion, for instance, that he preferred his peculiarly influential position in the Senate to the work of President was sincere; but his unquestionable satisfaction with his work and power as Senator would scarcely have prevented him from assuming the more irksome office, but the one which offered the greater opportunities of personal effectiveness and renown. He was also sincere in stating that he would not abandon his work on the Civic Federation even to be President. He was wrapped up heart and soul in that work. He had in his own mind a definite program of gradual development, which was to last over many years, and which was to culminate in nothing less than a permanent peace between capital and labor. He really hoped and expected to accomplish some such result, and had he succeeded, his fame would certainly have been more permanent and glorious than any which could result from a few years as President. But even so, he might have been persuaded that a President could accomplish more to carry on the work of industrial conciliation than a Senator — no matter how powerful.
The fundamental consideration, apart from his health, which probably determined his refusal, was a clear anticipation of the consequences to his own career and to the Republican party of an official candidacy. As I have said, his sense of the currents of public opinion enabled him to understand better than did his supporters and friends the strength of Mr. Roosevelt and the basis of that strength. He knew that instead of embarking on a safe voyage, he would really be facing many chances of shipwreck and the certainty of a hard and perhaps a bitter fight. He realized, as he wrote to Senator Scott, that the fight might drive a wedge into the party whose strength he had done so much to consolidate. Notwithstanding his close alliance with big business interests, he had always wanted to represent the whole people; and he may well have shrunk, as a result of a division in the party, from being forced to represent, even in appearance, only a class or factional interest. Apparently he had made up his mind, after Mr. McKinley's assassination, that the Presidency was not for him—that, even though he could get it, the game, as it had been played, was not worth the candle.
His political career, theretofore, had been a practically uninterrupted series of successes. Little by little he had disarmed much of the opposition and prejudice which had greeted his first appearance in politics. With no more official power than a dozen others had possessed, he had won for himself, as a matter of personal prerogative, a unique position in the party and with the people. In proportion as his power and its responsibilities increased, he had sought to represent something more than a business or a partisan interest. He had sought to represent a general popular interest, which embraced all classes and all sections. He was persuading people to believe in his good faith as a national leader. Why should he risk the most valued aspect of his leadership by engaging in a necessarily bitter and precarious fight — one in which the advantage of position would be on one side of his opponent, which would revive all the old animosities, and which, whether he won or lost, would leave him with a divided following and possibly a diminished prestige. Even from the point of view of personal ambition, would he not bulk larger in the history of the country by remaining the indispensable Prime Minister to any Republican President and by broadening still farther the scope and deepening the foundations of his unique personal political edifice?
I do not wish to imply that Mr. Hanna scorned the Presidency, and that in renouncing any attempt to get it he was not making a sacrifice. He had an almost superstitious respect for the office and probably would have liked to fill it more than he ever admitted to anybody. But he was not willing to pay the price, and in refusing to pay the price, he should have the credit, not merely of a shrewd calculation of comparative costs, but of a genuine disposition towards personally disinterested action. No man would fight harder for an honor or a prize to which he believed himself fairly entitled. No man was more modest and hesitating in claiming an honor to which his title was dubious. He renounced a contest, not only because it might cost him too much, but also because the party and perhaps the country might have to pay too high a price. And there can be little doubt that, with his usual insight into the complexities of a particular human situation, he had made the decision which, had he lived, would have best contributed to his cherished patriotic and personal interests.
THE DEATH OF HARK IIANNA
As has been frequently intimated in the foregoing pages, Mr. Hanna had not been for years a thoroughly well man. Particularly since his entrance into politics the handicap of .certain physical infirmities had been constantly increasing, and had been the cause of grave alarm to his family and friends. The strain of his very active and wearing political life had manifestly been telling on his strength. He had been often advised and implored to go away and take a long rest, but he always refused. He was a man who did not know how to rest, and who became unhappy whenever he was deprived of his regular occupations and his familiar surroundings.
He was born with an exceptionally strong physique, and throughout his active life could under ordinary circumstances stand an enormous amount of work and strain. He was what used to be called a sanguine man — that is, a man of active disposition, red blood, high spirits and unflagging energy. This gift of abundant energy was never diminished by physical excesses. He was a total abstainer until past forty, and thereafter his consumption of alcohol was confined to an occasional glass of claret with his meals. He was not even a very large eater. His usual breakfast, for instance, consisted of a couple of soft-boiled eggs. He was not particularly addicted to tea or coffee, and ate fresh meat in moderation. His favorite dish of meat was corned-beef hash, which was made for him according to a very delectable recipe by a cook named Maggie, who had lived with the family for many years. One of Mr. Hanna's peculiar ways of entertaining was to invite guests to partake of Maggie's corned-beef hash for breakfast on Sunday morning. He also liked chipped beef, bacon and small deer-foot sausages. He was a great bread eater, but had no particular relish for cakes or sweets. The dessert which he preferred was a plain