Peace, at least as between English-speaking peoples, must have been early in my thoughts. In 1869, when Britain launched the monster Monarch, then the largest warship known, there was, for some now-forgotten reason, talk of how she could easily compel tribute from our American cities one after the other. Nothing could resist her. I cabled John Bright, then in the British Cabinet (the cable had recently been opened):
„First and best service possible for Monarch, bringing home body Peabody.”
[Footnote 55: „Let men say what they will, I say that as surely as the sun in the heavens once shone upon Britain and America united, so surely it is one morning to rise, shine upon, and greet again the Reunited States – the British-American Union.” (Quoted in Alderson’s Andrew Carnegie, The Man and His Work, p. 108. New York, 1909.)]
[Footnote 56: George Peabody, the American merchant and philanthropist, who died in London in 1869.]
No signature was given. Strange to say, this was done, and thus the Monarch became the messenger of peace, not of destruction. Many years afterwards I met Mr. Bright at a small dinner party in Birmingham and told him I was his young anonymous correspondent. He was surprised that no signature was attached and said his heart was in the act. I am sure it was. He is entitled to all credit.
He was the friend of the Republic when she needed friends during the Civil War. He had always been my favorite living hero in public life as he had been my father’s. Denounced as a wild radical at first, he kept steadily on until the nation came to his point of view. Always for peace he would have avoided the Crimean War, in which Britain backed the wrong horse, as Lord Salisbury afterwards acknowledged. It was a great privilege that the Bright family accorded me, as a friend, to place a replica of the Manchester Bright statue in Parliament, in the stead of a poor one removed.
I became interested in the Peace Society of Great Britain upon one of my early visits and attended many of its meetings, and in later days I was especially drawn to the Parliamentary Union established by Mr. Cremer, the famous working-man’s representative in Parliament. Few men living can be compared to Mr. Cremer. When he received the Nobel Prize of £8000 as the one who had done the most that year for peace, he promptly gave all but £1000, needed for pressing wants, to the Arbitration Committee. It was a noble sacrifice. What is money but dross to the true hero! Mr. Cremer is paid a few dollars a week by his trade to enable him to exist in London as their member of Parliament, and here was fortune thrown in his lap only to be devoted by him to the cause of peace. This is the heroic in its finest form.
I had the great pleasure of presenting the Committee to President Cleveland at Washington in 1887, who received the members cordially and assured them of his hearty coöperation. From that day the abolition of war grew in importance with me until it finally overshadowed all other issues. The surprising action of the first Hague Conference gave me intense joy. Called primarily to consider disarmament (which proved a dream), it created the commanding reality of a permanent tribunal to settle international disputes. I saw in this the greatest step toward peace that humanity had ever taken, and taken as if by inspiration, without much previous discussion. No wonder the sublime idea captivated the conference.
If Mr. Holls, whose death I so deeply deplored, were alive to-day and a delegate to the forthcoming second Conference with his chief, Andrew D. White, I feel that these two might possibly bring about the creation of the needed International Court for the abolition of war. He it was who started from The Hague at night for Germany, upon request of his chief, and saw the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Emperor and finally prevailed upon them to approve of the High Court, and not to withdraw their delegates as threatened – a service for which Mr. Holls deserves to be enrolled among the greatest servants of mankind. Alas, death came to him while still in his prime.
The day that International Court is established will become one of the most memorable days in the world’s history. It will ring the knell of man killing man – the deepest and blackest of crimes. It should be celebrated in every land as I believe it will be some day, and that time, perchance, not so remote as expected. In that era not a few of those hitherto extolled as heroes will have found oblivion because they failed to promote peace and good-will instead of war.
[Footnote 57: „I submit that the only measure required to-day for the maintenance of world peace is an agreement between three or four of the leading Civilized Powers (and as many more as desire to join – the more the better) pledged to coöperate against disturbers of world peace, should such arise.” (Andrew Carnegie, in address at unveiling of a bust of William Randall Cremer at the Peace Palace of The Hague, August 29, 1913.)]
When Andrew D. White and Mr. Holls, upon their return from The Hague, suggested that I offer the funds needed for a Temple of Peace at The Hague, I informed them that I never could be so presumptuous; that if the Government of the Netherlands informed me of its desire to have such a temple and hoped I would furnish the means, the request would be favorably considered. They demurred, saying this could hardly be expected from any Government. Then I said I could never act in the matter.
Finally the Dutch Government did make application, through its Minister, Baron Gevers in Washington, and I rejoiced. Still, in writing him, I was careful to say that the drafts of his Government would be duly honored. I did not send the money. The Government drew upon me for it, and the draft for a million and a half is kept as a memento. It seems to me almost too much that any individual should be permitted to perform so noble a duty as that of providing means for this Temple of Peace – the most holy building in the world because it has the holiest end in view. I do not even except St. Peter’s, or any building erected to the glory of God, whom, as Luther says, „we cannot serve or aid; He needs no help from us.” This temple is to bring peace, which is so greatly needed among His erring creatures. „The highest worship of God is service to man.” At least, I feel so with Luther and Franklin.
When in 1907 friends came and asked me to accept the presidency of the Peace Society of New York, which they had determined to organize, I declined, alleging that I was kept very busy with many affairs, which was true; but my conscience troubled me afterwards for declining. If I were not willing to sacrifice myself for the cause of peace what should I sacrifice for? What was I good for? Fortunately, in a few days, the Reverend Lyman Abbott, the Reverend Mr. Lynch, and some other notable laborers for good causes called to urge my reconsideration. I divined their errand and frankly told them they need not speak. My conscience had been tormenting me for declining and I would accept the presidency and do my duty. After that came the great national gathering (the following April) when for the first time in the history of Peace Society meetings, there attended delegates from thirty-five of the states of the Union, besides many foreigners of distinction.
[Footnote 58: Mr. Carnegie does not mention the fact that in December, 1910, he gave to a board of trustees $10,000,000, the revenue of which was to be administered for „the abolition of international war, the foulest blot upon our civilization.” This is known as the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The Honorable Elihu Root is president of the board of trustees.]
My first decoration then came unexpectedly. The French Government had made me Knight Commander of the Legion of Honor, and at the Peace Banquet in New York, over which I presided, Baron d’Estournelles de Constant appeared upon the stage and in a compelling speech invested me with the regalia amid the cheers of the company. It was a great honor, indeed, and appreciated by me because given for my services to the cause of International Peace. Such honors humble, they do not exalt; so let them come. They serve also to remind me that I must strive harder than ever, and watch every act and word more closely, that I may reach just a little nearer the standard the givers – deluded souls – mistakenly assume in their speeches, that I have already attained.
[Footnote 59: Mr. Carnegie received also the Grand Cross Order of Orange-Nassau from Holland, the Grand Cross Order of Danebrog from Denmark, a gold medal from twenty-one American Republics and had doctors’ degrees from innumerable universities and colleges. He was also a member of many institutes, learned societies and clubs – over 190 in number.]
* * * * *
No gift I have made or can ever make can possibly approach that of Pittencrieff Glen, Dunfermline. It is saturated with childish sentiment – all of the purest and sweetest. I must tell that story:
Among my earliest recollections are the struggles of Dunfermline to obtain the rights of the town to part of the Abbey grounds and the Palace ruins. My Grandfather Morrison began the campaign, or, at least, was one of those who did. The struggle was continued by my Uncles Lauder and Morrison, the latter honored by being charged with having incited and led a band of men to tear down a certain wall. The citizens won a victory in the highest court and the then Laird ordered that thereafter „no Morrison be admitted to the Glen.” I, being a Morrison like my brother-cousin, Dod, was debarred. The Lairds of Pittencrieff for generations had been at variance with the inhabitants.
The Glen is unique, as far as I know. It adjoins the Abbey and Palace grounds, and on the west and north it lies along two of the main streets of the town. Its area (between sixty and seventy acres) is finely sheltered, its high hills grandly wooded. It always meant paradise to the child of Dunfermline. It certainly did to me. When I heard of paradise, I translated the word into Pittencrieff Glen, believing it to be as near to paradise as anything I could think of. Happy were we if through an open lodge gate, or over the wall or under the iron grill over the burn, now and then we caught a glimpse inside.
Almost every Sunday Uncle Lauder took „Dod” and „Naig” for a walk around the Abbey to a part that overlooked the Glen – the busy crows fluttering around in the big trees below. Its Laird was to us children the embodiment of rank and wealth. The Queen, we knew, lived in Windsor Castle, but she didn’t own Pittencrieff, not she! Hunt of Pittencrieff wouldn’t exchange with her or with any one. Of this we were sure, because certainly neither of us would. In all my childhood’s – yes and in my early manhood’s – air-castle building (which was not small), nothing comparable in grandeur approached Pittencrieff. My Uncle Lauder predicted many things for me when I became a man, but had he foretold that some day I should be rich enough, and so supremely fortunate as to become Laird of Pittencrieff, he might have turned my head. And then to be able to hand it over to Dunfermline as a public park – my paradise of childhood! Not for a crown would I barter that privilege.
When Dr. Ross whispered to me that Colonel Hunt might be induced to sell, my ears cocked themselves instantly. He wished an extortionate price, the doctor thought, and I heard nothing further for some time. When indisposed in London in the autumn of 1902, my mind ran upon the subject, and I intended to wire Dr. Ross to come up and see me. One morning, Mrs. Carnegie came into my room and asked me to guess who had arrived and I guessed Dr. Ross. Sure enough, there he was. We talked over Pittencrieff. I suggested that if our mutual friend and fellow-townsman, Mr. Shaw in Edinburgh (Lord Shaw of Dunfermline) ever met Colonel Hunt’s agents he could intimate that their client might some day regret not closing with me as another purchaser equally anxious to buy might not be met with, and I might change my mind or pass away. Mr. Shaw told the doctor when he mentioned this that he had an appointment to meet with Hunt’s lawyer on other business the next morning and would certainly say so.
I sailed shortly after for New York and received there one day a cable from Mr. Shaw stating that the Laird would accept forty-five thousand pounds. Should he close? I wired: „Yes, provided it is under Ross’s conditions”; and on Christmas Eve, I received Shaw’s reply: „Hail, Laird of Pittencrieff!” So I was the happy possessor of the grandest title on earth in my estimation. The King – well, he was only the King. He didn’t own King Malcolm’s tower nor St. Margaret’s shrine, nor Pittencrieff Glen. Not he, poor man. I did, and I shall be glad to condescendingly show the King those treasures should he ever visit Dunfermline.
As the possessor of the Park and the Glen I had a chance to find out what, if anything, money could do for the good of the masses of a community, if placed in the hands of a body of public-spirited citizens. Dr. Ross was taken into my confidence so far as Pittencrieff Park was concerned, and with his advice certain men intended for a body of trustees were agreed upon and invited to Skibo to organize. They imagined it was in regard to transferring the Park to the town; not even to Dr. Ross was any other subject mentioned. When they heard that half a million sterling in bonds, bearing five per cent interest, was also to go to them for the benefit of Dunfermline, they were surprised.
[Footnote 60: Additional gifts, made later, brought this gift up to $3,750,000.]
It is twelve years since the Glen was handed over to the trustees and certainly no public park was ever dearer to a people. The children’s yearly gala day, the flower shows and the daily use of the Park by the people are surprising. The Glen now attracts people from neighboring towns. In numerous ways the trustees have succeeded finely in the direction indicated in the trust deed, namely:
To bring into the monotonous lives of the toiling masses of Dunfermline, more „of sweetness and light,” to give to them – especially the young – some charm, some happiness, some elevating conditions of life which residence elsewhere would have denied, that the child of my native town, looking back in after years, however far from home it may have roamed, will feel that simply by virtue of being such, life has been made happier and better. If this be the fruit of your labors, you will have succeeded; if not, you will have failed.
To this paragraph I owe the friendship of Earl Grey, formerly Governor-General of Canada. He wrote Dr. Ross:
„I must know the man who wrote that document in the ‚Times’ this morning.”
We met in London and became instantly sympathetic. He is a great soul who passes instantly into the heart and stays there. Lord Grey is also to-day a member (trustee) of the ten-million-dollar fund for the United Kingdom.
[Footnote 61: Mr. Carnegie refers to the gift of ten million dollars to the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust merely in connection with Earl Grey. His references to his gifts are casual, in that he refers only to the ones in which he happens for the moment to be interested. Those he mentions are merely a part of the whole. He gave to the Church Peace Union over $2,000,000, to the United Engineering Society $1,500,000, to the International Bureau of American Republics $850,000, and to a score or more of research, hospital, and educational boards sums ranging from $100,000 to $500,000. He gave to various towns and cities over twenty-eight hundred library buildings at a cost of over $60,000,000. The largest of his gifts he does not mention at all. This was made in 1911 to the Carnegie Corporation of New York and was $125,000,000. The Corporation is the residuary legatee under Mr. Carnegie’s will and it is not yet known what further sum may come to it through that instrument. The object of the Corporation, as defined by Mr. Carnegie himself in a letter to the trustees, is:
„To promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding among the people of the United States by aiding technical schools, institutions of higher learning, libraries, scientific research, hero funds, useful publications and by such other agencies and means as shall from time to time be found appropriate therefor.”
The Carnegie benefactions, all told, amount to something over $350,000,000 – surely a huge sum to have been brought together and then distributed by one man.]
Thus, Pittencrieff Glen is the most soul-satisfying public gift I ever made, or ever can make. It is poetic justice that the grandson of Thomas Morrison, radical leader in his day, nephew of Bailie Morrison, his son and successor, and above all son of my sainted father and my most heroic mother, should arise and dispossess the lairds, should become the agent for conveying the Glen and Park to the people of Dunfermline forever. It is a true romance, which no air-castle can quite equal or fiction conceive. The hand of destiny seems to hover over it, and I hear something whispering: „Not altogether in vain have you lived – not altogether in vain.” This is the crowning mercy of my career! I set it apart from all my other public gifts. Truly the whirligig of time brings in some strange revenges.
It is now thirteen years since I ceased to accumulate wealth and began to distribute it. I could never have succeeded in either had I stopped with having enough to retire upon, but nothing to retire to. But there was the habit and the love of reading, writing and speaking upon occasion, and also the acquaintance and friendship of educated men which I had made before I gave up business. For some years after retiring I could not force myself to visit the works. This, alas, would recall so many who had gone before. Scarcely one of my early friends would remain to give me the hand-clasp of the days of old. Only one or two of these old men would call me „Andy.”
Do not let it be thought, however, that my younger partners were forgotten, or that they have not played a very important part in sustaining me in the effort of reconciling myself to the new conditions. Far otherwise! The most soothing influence of all was their prompt organization of the Carnegie Veteran Association, to expire only when the last member dies. Our yearly dinner together, in our own home in New York, is a source of the greatest pleasure, – so great that it lasts from one year to the other. Some of the Veterans travel far to be present, and what occurs between us constitutes one of the dearest joys of my life. I carry with me the affection of „my boys.” I am certain I do. There is no possible mistake about that because my heart goes out to them. This I number among my many blessings and in many a brooding hour this fact comes to me, and I say to myself: „Rather this, minus fortune, than multi-millionairedom without it – yes, a thousand times, yes.”
Many friends, great and good men and women, Mrs. Carnegie and I are favored to know, but not one whit shall these ever change our joint love for the „boys.” For to my infinite delight her heart goes out to them as does mine. She it was who christened our new New York home with the first Veteran dinner. „The partners first” was her word. It was no mere idle form when they elected Mrs. Carnegie the first honorary member, and our daughter the second. Their place in our hearts is secure. Although I was the senior, still we were „boys together.” Perfect trust and common aims, not for self only, but for each other, and deep affection, moulded us into a brotherhood. We were friends first and partners afterwards. Forty-three out of forty-five partners are thus bound together for life.
Another yearly event that brings forth many choice spirits is our Literary Dinner, at home, our dear friend Mr. Richard Watson Gilder, editor of the „Century,” being the manager. His devices and quotations from the writings of the guest of the year, placed upon the cards of the guests, are so appropriate, as to cause much hilarity. Then the speeches of the novitiates give zest to the occasion. John Morley was the guest of honor when with us in 1895 and a quotation from his works was upon the card at each plate.
[Footnote 62: „Yesterday we had a busy day in Toronto. The grand event was a dinner at six o’clock where we all spoke, A.C. making a remarkable address…. I can’t tell you how I am enjoying this. Not only seeing new places, but the talks with our own party. It is, indeed, a liberal education. A.C. is truly a ‚great’ man; that is, a man of enormous faculty and a great imagination. I don’t remember any friend who has such a range of poetical quotation, unless it is Stedman. (Not so much range as numerous quotations from Shakespeare, Burns, Byron, etc.) His views are truly large and prophetic. And, unless I am mistaken, he has a genuine ethical character. He is not perfect, but he is most interesting and remarkable; a true democrat; his benevolent actions having a root in principle and character. He is not accidentally the intimate friend of such high natures as Arnold and Morley.” (Letters of Richard Watson Gilder, edited by his daughter Rosamond Gilder, p. 374. New York, 1916.)]
One year Gilder appeared early in the evening of the dinner as he wished to seat the guests. This had been done, but he came to me saying it was well he had looked them over. He had found John Burroughs and Ernest Thompson Seton were side by side, and as they were then engaged in a heated controversy upon the habits of beasts and birds, in which both had gone too far in their criticisms, they were at dagger’s points. Gilder said it would never do to seat them together. He had separated them. I said nothing, but slipped into the dining-room unobserved and replaced the cards as before. Gilder’s surprise was great when he saw the men next each other, but the result was just as I had expected. A reconciliation took place and they parted good friends. Moral: If you wish to play peace-maker, seat adversaries next each other where they must begin by being civil.
Burroughs and Seton both enjoyed the trap I set for them. True it is, we only hate those whom we do not know. It certainly is often the way to peace to invite your adversary to dinner and even beseech him to come, taking no refusal. Most quarrels become acute from the parties not seeing and communicating with each other and hearing too much of their disagreement from others. They do not fully understand the other’s point of view and all that can be said for it. Wise is he who offers the hand of reconciliation should a difference with a friend arise. Unhappy he to the end of his days who refuses it. No possible gain atones for the loss of one who has been a friend even if that friend has become somewhat less dear to you than before. He is still one with whom you have been intimate, and as age comes on friends pass rapidly away and leave you.
He is the happy man who feels there is not a human being to whom he does not wish happiness, long life, and deserved success, not one in whose path he would cast an obstacle nor to whom he would not do a service if in his power. All this he can feel without being called upon to retain as a friend one who has proved unworthy beyond question by dishonorable conduct. For such there should be nothing felt but pity, infinite pity. And pity for your own loss also, for true friendship can only feed and grow upon the virtues.
„When love begins to sicken and decay It useth an enforced ceremony.”
The former geniality may be gone forever, but each can wish the other nothing but happiness.
None of my friends hailed my retirement from business more warmly than Mark Twain. I received from him the following note, at a time when the newspapers were talking much about my wealth.
DEAR SIR AND FRIEND:
You seem to be prosperous these days. Could you lend an admirer a dollar and a half to buy a hymn-book with? God will bless you if you do; I feel it, I know it. So will I. If there should be other applications this one not to count.
P.S. Don’t send the hymn-book, send the money. I want to make the selection myself.
When he was lying ill in New York I went to see him frequently, and we had great times together, for even lying in bed he was as bright as ever. One call was to say good-bye, before my sailing for Scotland. The Pension Fund for University Professors was announced in New York soon after I sailed. A letter about it from Mark, addressed to „Saint Andrew,” reached me in Scotland, from which I quote the following:
You can take my halo. If you had told me what you had done when at my bedside you would have got it there and then. It is pure tin and paid „the duty” when it came down.
Those intimate with Mr. Clemens (Mark Twain) will certify that he was one of the charmers. Joe Jefferson is the only man who can be conceded his twin brother in manner and speech, their charm being of the same kind. „Uncle Remus” (Joel Chandler Harris) is another who has charm, and so has George W. Cable; yes, and Josh Billings also had it. Such people brighten the lives of their friends, regardless of themselves. They make sunshine wherever they go. In Rip Van Winkle’s words: „All pretty much alike, dem fellers.” Every one of them is unselfish and warm of heart.
The public only knows one side of Mr. Clemens – the amusing part. Little does it suspect that he was a man of strong convictions upon political and social questions and a moralist of no mean order. For instance, upon the capture of Aguinaldo by deception, his pen was the most trenchant of all. Junius was weak in comparison.
The gathering to celebrate his seventieth birthday was unique. The literary element was there in force, but Mark had not forgotten to ask to have placed near him the multi-millionaire, Mr. H.H. Rogers, one who had been his friend in need. Just like Mark. Without exception, the leading literary men dwelt in their speeches exclusively upon the guest’s literary work. When my turn came, I referred to this and asked them to note that what our friend had done as a man would live as long as what he had written. Sir Walter Scott and he were linked indissolubly together. Our friend, like Scott, was ruined by the mistakes of partners, who had become hopelessly bankrupt. Two courses lay before him. One the smooth, easy, and short way – the legal path. Surrender all your property, go through bankruptcy, and start afresh. This was all he owed to creditors. The other path, long, thorny, and dreary, a life struggle, with everything sacrificed. There lay the two paths and this was his decision:
„Not what I owe to my creditors, but what I owe to myself is the issue.”
There are times in most men’s lives that test whether they be dross or pure gold. It is the decision made in the crisis which proves the man. Our friend entered the fiery furnace a man and emerged a hero. He paid his debts to the utmost farthing by lecturing around the world. „An amusing cuss, Mark Twain,” is all very well as a popular verdict, but what of Mr. Clemens the man and the hero, for he is both and in the front rank, too, with Sir Walter.
He had a heroine in his wife. She it was who sustained him and traveled the world round with him as his guardian angel, and enabled him to conquer as Sir Walter did. This he never failed to tell to his intimates. Never in my life did three words leave so keen a pang as those uttered upon my first call after Mrs. Clemens passed away. I fortunately found him alone and while my hand was still in his, and before one word had been spoken by either, there came from him, with a stronger pressure of my hand, these words: „A ruined home, a ruined home.” The silence was unbroken. I write this years after, but still I hear the words again and my heart responds.
One mercy, denied to our forefathers, comes to us of to-day. If the Judge within give us a verdict of acquittal as having lived this life well, we have no other Judge to fear.
„To thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
Eternal punishment, because of a few years’ shortcomings here on earth, would be the reverse of Godlike. Satan himself would recoil from it.