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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.

Page 385

of State Loomis lifted the curtain enough, the other day, to give us a glimpse of what might have been, had the Colombian plot to confiscate the French canal company’s forty millions of property, when the concession lapsed in another year, been allowed to hatch. Half the world might have been at war then. I think we may all well be glad, as he truly said, that “there was in Washington, upon this truly fateful occasion, a man who possessed the insight, the knowledge, the spirit, and the courage to seize the opportunity to strike a blow, the results of which can be fraught only with peace and good to the whole world.”
  I am not a jingo; but when some things happen I just have to get up and cheer. The way our modern American diplomacy goes about things is one of them. You remember, don’t you, when the captains were conferring at Tientsin about going to the relief of the ministers there that were besieged in their embassies, and the little jealous rivalries of the powers would not let them get anywhere, the French and Russians pulling one way, the Germans another, the British another, and so on, how Captain McCalla got up and said: