a certain constraint about their intimacy.
They knew and liked each other better, I believe, than either ever said to the other.
But such natures understand and appreciate perhaps as well as if they expressed more.
Two grave questions, the English
and the Cuban, were at once presented to the State Department.
The story of the English
imbroglio, the quarrel with Motley
, in which Fish
fully sympathized with Grant
, the Treaty
, and the Arbitration at Geneva
—all this I have attempted to record.
The subject profoundly interested the Secretary of State
, and all the adjustment was left to him. Grant
approved of every step that was taken, though sometimes he required to be convinced; but he was in accord with Fish
at every critical moment.
In the personal phases of the controversy the feelings of both became enlisted, and they were brought into closer relations because they received and repelled the same assaults.
had the soldier's feeling of camaraderie
very strong for those who shared his dangers, and Fish
was always sturdily loyal.
Even when Grant
determined on a course that Fish
would not perhaps have advised, the Secretary
stanchly supported his chief; not, of course, against his developed convictions, but more than once without any personal interest of his own.
The Cuban danger, however, Fish
fought from the beginning.
was very anxious to take sides with the Cubans in their struggle for independence, and others in the Cabinet
followed his lead.
He looked to the eventual annexation of Cuba
by the United States
and did everything in his power to precipitate steps that could not be reversed.
He was even willing to risk the possibility of war with Spain
, but Fish
; thought we had too recently emerged from a contest at home to engage in another abroad.
He was not averse to acquiring Cuba
under other circumstances, as I shall show, but he did not want the island at the expense of war, especially at this time.
He therefore frowned upon all attempts