By Sydney Brooks
It borders perhaps on unfriendliness to say that Mr. Hearst is typical of America. But he is certainly so far characteristic of his country that none other could have permitted him to become the social problem and the political force he unquestionably is. His career and his power, and the way in which he pursues the one and accumulates and utilizes the other, are salient and revealing precisely because they are abnormal. Just as it often needs an exaggeration to lay bare the heart of a truth, so the essentials of national conditions and tendencies are sometimes most clearly crystallized in their least representative products. Mr. Hearst fulfils with an overwhelming adequacy this function of illumination by distortion. He is the concave mirror of American life, journalism, and politics. Features in the national physiognomy that would otherwise pass unnoticed leap into a scandalizlng prominence under the reflex of his elongations and distensions. He may not be America, but he is undisguisably American; nor, even with the utmost goodwill, can one conceive him as being anything else. Millais was not more assuredly the John Bull of British art, nor the late Mr. Kensit of British theology, than is Mr. Hearst in his papers, his politics, and his influence, a summing-up of much that makes America so peculiarly American.
The achievements of all three bear the stamp of unmitigated nationality. No one could possibly have mistaken Millais for a Frenchman or Kensit for anything but what he was. Each was typical of his milieu to the negative degree of being impossible and unimaginable outside of it. In the same way, while Mr. Hearst, as an embodiment of his country, may be, and no doubt is, a caricature and a grotesque, Americans cannot disown or repudiate him. Unhappily for them, it but too often happens that a caricature is more lifelike than a photo-graph, and that over-emphasis does not obscure realities but heightens them. Mr. Hearst’s father was one of the hardest-headed and most fortunate of the Californian pioneers. Silver mines, copper mines, newspapers, railways, ranches, and, finally, a seat in the United States Senate, he amassed them all. Exploitation was his business, and politics his hobby, and with a fortune of four millions sterling it was a hobby he could afford to prosecute on a big scale. Of all his properties the San Francisco Examiner was the one that probably interested him the least. He had acquired it as part of the necessary equipment of a millionaire with many interests to protect and political ambitions to forward. It did not pay; it was not meant to pay: but it served its purpose as a mouthpiece for the local “magnates,” and it was part of the bargain that carried its proprietor to the Senate.
With that its mission in life was well-nigh over. In another few months Mr. Hearst would probably have unloaded it with the utmost efficiency upon the next millionaire in whose bonnet the political bee was buzzing. It was just at that moment that his son was expelled from Harvard for some mildly mischievous escapade, returned to San Francisco, utterly refused, on the ground that they did not interest him, to be harnessed to the paternal mines and ranches, and asked instead for the gift of the Examiner. It was handed over to him. The Senator was well pleased to find his amiable, indolent son develop a definite purpose, even though it lay in the incomprehensible direction of journalism; he had the curiosity of a great industrial gambler to see what he would make of so curious an enterprise; and he no doubt took it for granted that after playing for a few years with his new toy, the young man would settle down to the business of learning how to preserve, administer, and enlarge the fortune he was to inherit. But the son had other views. Journalism to him was not a parergon but a career. He had sat at the feet of Pulitzer and had studied the methods by which that consummate master of phosphorescent effects had raised the New York World to the unquestioned primacy of the sewer. He determined to be the Pulitzer of the Pacific Coast, and to conduct the Examiner with the keyhole for a point of view, sensationalism for a policy, crime, scandal, and personalities for a specialty, all vested interests for a punching bag, cartoons, illustrations, and comic supplements for embellishments, and circulation for an object. He entirely succeeded.
His father bore the initial expenses, and in return had the gratification of finding the Examiner turned loose among the businesses. characters, and private lives of his friends and associates. Hardly a prominent family escaped; the corporations were flayed, the plutocracy mercilessly ridiculed, and the social life of San Francisco, and especially of its wealthier citizens, was flooded with all the publicity that huge and flaming headlines and cohorts of reportorial eavesdroppers could give it. San Francisco was horrified, but it bought the Examiner; Senator Hearst remonstrated with his son, and to the last never quite reconciled himself to the "new journalism,” but he did not withhold supplies, and in a very few years the enterprise was beyond need of his assistance and earning a handsome profit. He marked, however, his sense of insecurity in his son‘s proceedings by leaving his fortune entirely in the hands of Mrs. Hearst, a lady whose unhappy fate it has been to furnish the son to whom she is devoted with the means of propagating a peculiarly disagreeable type of journalism.
It was about eleven years ago, when he had just turned thirty-three. that Mr. Hearst made up his mind to duplicate in New York the success he had met with in San Francisco. He bought up a disreputable sheet called the Journal, and proceeded to turn it into a rival that would meet and beat the World on the latter’s own ground. He justly argued that to do this he had, first of all, to make the Journal more notorious than the World; and it speaks well for his self-confidence that he did not at once dismiss such an ideal as absolutely unattainable. There is no need to go into the details of the resounding journalistic conflict that followed. Mr. Hearst began by winning over to his side most of the men whom Pulitzer had trained; Pulitzer bought them back again at an increased figure; Hearst finally annexed them with the bait of long contracts and more than ambassadorial salaries. He ransacked the magazines and the weekly papers for the best writers and the best artists; he produced a paper with as much wood pulp in it and as liberally bespattered with ink of every hue as the World, and he sold it for half the price. The fight was long, bitter, and ignoble, but the victory in the end went to the younger man.
He outbid the World at every point; he made it by contrast seem almost respectable. His headlines were longer by whole inches, his sensations more breathlessly acrobatic; if Pulitzer turned on a dozen reporters to unravel a murder mystery Hearst detailed twenty. There was, and is, an enormous amount of real talent and ingenuity in every issue of the Journal, but it was guided in those early days by no principle beyond that of securing a circulation at any cost. Other objects have influenced its policy and its ambitions since then, but its first business was to make itself known and talked of. It succeeded; the dishonor of selling the most papers in and around New York ceased to be Mr. Pulitzer’s; and the veteran practically retired from the contest when he disclaimed for the World the epithet of “yellow” which his rival boldly and openly gloried in. To-day the two papers are scarcely competitors; the World has retained its old footing and influence; and Mr. Hearst has discovered a new and larger class of readers, and invented for their delectation and his own advancement a new type of journalism.
Within the last few years the Journal has multiplied itself in many cities and under many aliases. Mr. Hearst now owns a Continental chain of eight papers published in the leading cities of America, and many weekly and monthly periodicals as well. Through them he daily addresses an audience of probably not less than four million people. All his publications are of the same saffron coloring; all belong emphatically to “the journalism that acts.” One cannot stay for long in any part of the United States without being confronted by the tokens of their activities. Whether it be rescuing a Cuban maiden from the clutches of a General Weyler, or dispatching relief trains to the scene of some great disaster, or distributing free ice in summer and free soup in winter, or taking out an injunction against a Trust, or setting forth with full illustrations a hundred different ways of killing a man, or fomenting a war, Mr. Hearst's papers are always “doing things.” And some of the things are worth doing.
That is a fact which the stupidity of Mr. Hearst’s enemies - and no man has ever been served so well by his foes - has yet to recognize. There is nothing to be said against this journals which in my judgment they do not deserve. But there is something to be said for them which has to be said if the nature of their appeal and of Mr. Hearst’s power is to be understood. While most of the American papers in the big cities are believed to be under the influence of “the money power," Mr. Hearst’s have never failed to flay the rich perverter of public funds and properties and the rich gambler in fraudulent consolidations. They daily explain to the masses how they are being robbed by the Trusts and the concession-hunters, juggled with by the politicians, and betrayed by their elected officers. They unearth the iniquities of a great corporation with the same microscopic diligence that they squander on following up the clues in a murder mystery or collecting or inventing the details of a society scandal. Their motives may be dubious and their methods wholly brazen, but it is undeniable that the public has benefited by many of their achievements.
When Mr. Hearst was running thirteen months ago for the Governorship of New York State no journal opposed him more strongly than Collier’s Weekly. But that admirable periodical which combines alertness with sanity, a perfect balance with perfect fearlessness, doubled the effectiveness of its opposition by admitting to the full Mr. Hearst's services to the community. “it is due to Mr. Hearst more than to any other man," it said, “that the Central and Union Pacific Railroads paid the £24,000,000 they owed the Government. Mr. Hearst secured a model Children’s Hospital for San Francisco, and he built the Greek Theatre of the University of California - one of the most successful classic reproductions in America. Eight years ago, and again this year, his energetic campaigns did a large part of the work of keeping the Ice Trust within bounds in New York. His industrious Law Department put some fetters on the Coal Trust.
He did much of the work of defeating the Ramapo plot, by which New York would have been saddled with a charge of £40,000,000 for water. To the industry and pertinacity of his lawyers New Yorkers owe their ability to get gas for eighty cents a thousand feet, as the law directs, instead of a dollar. In maintaining a legal department which plunges into the limelight with injunctions and mandamuses when corporations are caught trying to sneak under or around a law, he has rendered a service which has been worth millions of dollars to the public.” These are achievements the credit for which no fair-minded opponent can refuse to Mr. Hearst, nor do they make a meagre list. But Mr. Hearst’s own valuation of his public services is pitched in a much higher key. He has not, few American politicians can afford to have, any mock modesty. Not a Bill that he has supported passes, not a movement that he has once advocated succeeds, but Mr. Hearst claims the credit for it. In enormous headlines and with every artifice of capitals, italics, and cartoons his papers daily proclaim, and his four million readers hear and believe, that Hearst has forced a popular measure through a reluctant Congress, or exposed another financial “magnate,” or procured an official inquiry into the workings of some detested Trust, or rescued San Francisco from starvation.
The glorification of Mr. Hearst is, indeed, the first of the many queer enterprises in which his journals engage. His name appears on them all in unavoidable type; the leading articles bear his signature; the news columns “spread” themselves over his doings. No man has ever had at his disposal so vast an engine of publicity, and Mr. Hearst and his advisers are consummately skilled in working it. There were probably few Congressmen who spoke less or were more frequently away from Washington than Mr. Hearst during his four years’ membership of the national legislature. Yet there was none who made himself more conspicuous. Whenever he had a Bill to propose, a Bill drafted by his private attorney, the reporters and special correspondents from all his newspapers would descend upon Washington to “write it up."
Thus the working men had it screamed into them that Hearst had brought forward one Bill for establishing the eight-hour day in the Government arsenals, and another for relieving Trade Unions from their liabilities under the laws against combination, and a third for the national purchase of the telegraph lines, and a fourth for the institution of a parcels post. The farmers were made to realize that Mr. Hearst had introduced a Bill appropriating £10,000,000 to the building of good national roads; and all who had a grievance against the Trusts were enjoined in megaphonic tones to fall in behind the young Congressman who had framed one Bill empowering the Interstate Commerce Commission to fix railway rates and another facilitating and expediting prosecutions under the Anti-Trust Laws. And lest the more conservative elements in the country should be alienated, it was emphasized in a voice of thunder that Mr. Hearst had sought to raise the salaries of the Judges of the Supreme Court from £2,400 to £5,000 a year.
None of these Bills passed or had the remotest chance of passing, but they enabled Mr. Hearst to come before the public as the friend of the people, the champion of labor interests, and the foe of the corporations. Nothing that can add to the attractiveness of these roles is left unshrieked. Mr. Hearst is a generous employer; he pays if anything rather more than the highest rate of Trade Union wages; the salaries received by his staff of writers are probably unique in the history of journalism; all his newspaper properties are conducted on the eight-hour plan. These are the sort of facts that his papers never weary of hurling at the American public. He is the most widely and ingeniously advertised man in the world; his "boom" never slackens; no one’s voice reaches farther than his. The whole machinery at his command is worked to popularize the impression - which is not, I repeat, a wholly baseless one - that while other men are talkers, Mr. Hearst is a door, and that even Mr. Roosevelt, for all his sermonizing and with all the implements of official authority in his hand, has done less to shackle the Trusts and to uphold the rights of Labor than this private citizen working single-handed, on his own initiative and at his own expense.
When I was revisiting the United States some eighteen months ago I found no one, not even Mr. Roosevelt, more talked about than Mr. Hearst. But the talk was mainly a string of speculative interrogations. That he was a power every one, from the President downwards, admitted; some joyfully, some reluctantly, others with a shrug of disgust at the strange whims of democracy. But beyond that elementary acknowledgment everything was chaos and conjecture. I found no one who could tell me with the least assurance of certainty what manner of man Mr. Hearst was; whether he really believed in the policies he advocated, whether he had any ideas or convictions of his own, or whether he was merely a puppet in other and abler men’s hands. I was assured with equal positiveness that Mr. Hearst was the only genuine champion of the Havenots against the Haves, that he was a political mountebank and buffoon, that he was nothing but a notoriety-hunter, that he was a myth, and that his show of power was due to the dexterity of an adroit and supremely capable committee in the background.
No man, of course, who owns newspapers that are published in half-a-dozen cities, scattered over an area of three million square miles, and who is also the proprietor of a million acres of farm and ranch land, and a mine owner into the bargain, can possibly attend in person to the management of all his interests. Mr. Hearst has had the good sense not even to make the attempt. He has all of Mr. Carnegie’s genius for picking out the right man to do his work. Only where Mr. Carnegie capitalized brains and invested them in business, Mr. Hearst has invested them not only in business but in politics as well. He is the paymaster of a small, loyal, and brilliant organization. They do all the work; he takes all the public credit. The chief of this little band is Mr. Arthur Brisbane. It is he who formulates and expounds the Hearst creed in the editorial columns of the New York Evening Journal. His father was one of the most ardent of the Brook Farm fraternity, from which he separated because he could not engraft upon it the doctrines of Fourier.
The son, cosmopolitanly educated, with many of the attributes of a student and a scholar, has inherited his father’s Socialistic leanings. He has at all events an attractive and more or less definite creed of sympathy with the oppressed, the disinherited, the “less fortunate," as he is fond of calling them. He is a man of wide reading and a keen, open, and reflective mind; he writes with an unsurpassable crispness and lucidity; and he has invented a sharp staccato style which, when set off with a coruscation of all known typographical devices, has brought him a wider audience than any writer or preacher has had before. Always fresh and pyrotechnical, master of the telling phrase and the plausible argument, and veiling the dexterous half-truth beneath a drapery of buoyant and “popular” philosophy or sentiments, Mr. Brisbane has every qualification that an insinuating propagandist of discontent should have.
The leading articles that have made Mr. Hearst a household name among the laboring classes have all been written by Mr. Brisbane. He supplies the Hearst movement with its intellectual dynamics; Mr. Carvalho attends to the business of making it pay. Thirty years‘ experience of newspaper offices, and even more than the average American‘s instinct for organization, have put Mr. Carvalho in complete possession of all the details of advertising, circulation, distribution, and mechanical production. He is the business manager of all the Hearst newspaper properties, and in forwarding their development he shows none of that objection to Trust methods which animates Mr. Brisbane’s editorials. The belief is very common in America that, thanks to Mr. Carvalho's astuteness, Mr. Hearst’s political campaigns are practically self-supporting. They pay their way in the increased circulation of his journals. Two more of Mr. Hearst’s lieutenants deserve a passing word. One of them is Mr. Clarence Shearn, who takes charge of Mr. Hearst’s legal interests, drafts the Bills that Mr. Hearst used to introduce into Congress, starts proceedings every other month or so - always, of course, in Mr. Hearst’s name - against this or that Trust, and has the yet more arduous task of looking through Mr. Hearst’s New York papers before they go to press and deleting the libels. The other is Mr. Max Ihmsen, the political manager, whose business it is to found Hearst clubs, create Hearst sentiment, enrol Hearst delegates, conduct negotiations with rival bosses, and see to it that conventions do what is expected of them. Mr. Ihmsen was the Hearst candidate for Sheriff in the election three weeks ago, but suffered defeat.
These are the men who, working behind the scenes, without any observable friction, and with a complete suppression of personal ambitious - a collection of Mr. Brisbane‘s articles was published under the title of Hearst Editorials - have made the Hearst movement a reality. It throws a wholly new light on the possibiltles of electioneering to watch them working together in the heat of a campaign. There is not a device for attracting votes that they do not know and practise. Mr. Hearst’s cablegram to The Times, with its rowdy appeal to Irish-American and German-American sympathies, by no means gave the full measure of their ingenuity. The Pope has been repeatedly pressed into Mr. Hearst’s service; one of their favorite “campaign documents” is a portrait of His Holiness inscribed with a message of thanks and a pontifical blessing to Mr. Hearst for the “relief” he sent after the eruption of Vesuvius. The Jews on the East Side are taught to look upon Mr. Hearst as the foremost American champion of their Russian co-religionists.
The many services Mr. Hearst has rendered to the community, the many more he claims to have rendered, are made the themes of daily panegyrics. For each class and for each nationality a special ground of appeal is prepared. The allegations regarding Mr. Hearst’s life before his marriage are answered by flooding the constituencies with portraits of his wife and son, and by making Bishop Potter, who performed the marriage ceremony, appear in the light of a witness to his character. The Trade Union vote is angled for by the conclusive argument that Mr. Hearst pays more than Trade Union wages. For the farmers there is a separate journal, in which Mr. Hearst chiefly figures as the sympathetic owner of a million acres. Business, politics, philanthropy, domesticity, an infinity of brass bands, fireworks, processions, and all the other aids to reflection with which Americans conduct their political campaigns, the Brisbane editorials, and Mr. Ihmsen‘s genius for the tactics which his countrymen glorify under the name of politics, are all enrolled in the Hearst movement.
But there is more in it than pantomime and pandemonium. What gives Mr. Hearst his ultimate power is that he has used the resources of an unlimited publicity to make himself and his propaganda the rallying point for disaffection and unrest. His journals make it their consistent policy to preach discontent, to side always with “the people,” and to take the part of Labor against Capital. They used to set no bounds to the violence of their attack. Mr. McKinley and Mr. Hanna were assailed and caricatured with an unbridled vehemence and maliciousness that provoked a fierce, though only a brief, reaction after the President’s assassination. Mr. Hearst bowed to the storm, covered the stricken President with sanctimonious eulogies, and did not until the day after the funeral attempt to defend himself. "The sum of the Journal‘s offences," it was then announced, “is that it has fought for the people, and against class privilege, and class pride and class greed and class heartlessness with more and varied weapons, with more force and talent and enthusiasm, than any other newspaper in the country.”
That was and is a perfectly true statement. The Hearst newspapers, though they have moderated their methods, have not changed their policy; and it is a policy which finds an immense justification in the conditions of American life and politics. No one can visit the United States these days without becoming conscious of a pervasive social unrest. The people are beginning to think. They have turned away, as Mr. H. G. Wells rightly discerned, “from all the heady self-satisfaction of the nineteenth century." and have commenced “a process of heart-searching quite unparalleled in history." They are questioning themselves and their future and their institutions with an open-mindedness that a decade ago would have seemed well-nigh treasonable. They are beginning to wonder whether the great experiment is after all so great as it once appeared; or, rather, they are beginning to see that it is an experiment merely. Familiar ideals, established political and social systems, are being brought as never before to the touchstone of fact.
The inadequacies of an eighteenth-century Constitution in the face of twentieth-century problems are daily impressing themselves for the national comprehension. Economic and industrial developments, it is felt, have taken on an intricacy and a varied sweep that are slowly bringing the Constitution to a confusion of helplessness. More and more, people are asking themselves whether the United States can any longer be called a democracy. More and more, people are coming to see that under the forms of popular self-government, political equality has become the sport of "bosses" and economic equality the jest of a voracious plutocracy. The Courts to an alarming degree are losing the confidence of the masses; the Senate has already lost it. The old parties, the old catchwords are ceasing to attract. The people perceive their emptiness and are palpably tiring of them. Republicans and Democrats, with their obsolete mummeries, will soon mean less than nothing to a nation that is girding itself to wrest its liberties from the grip of organized wealth.
A wave of social protest is sweeping across the country, over all sections, and with an utter heedlessness of the traditional party divisions. Federated Labor, fired by the example of England, is abandoning its timid non-partisanship and preparing to plunge into politics as a class with distinct interests of its own to serve. In city, State, and nation there is now but one issue - the struggle between equality and privilege. Great masses of Americans are growing up with an angry feeling that they have been cheated out of their inheritance. They see, or think they see, that the millionaire and the boss rule and own America; that together they control all the functions of government; that the Courts and the ballot-box are merely instruments of their power and the Constitution a handmaid to their iniquities; that all legislation is conceived in their interests, drafted and voted by their henchmen; and that, as a consequence, where there is one law for the protection of human life there are a thousand for the protection of property. This may be a mere nightmare vision of America, but it is one that hundreds of thousands believe in as a waking reality.
Against such conditions Hearstism is the loudest and the most popular protest. With more point and passion than any other leader, Mr. Hearst has attacked the industrialization of American politics, has insisted that the political masters of the country are its captains of industry. He has proclaimed with strident iteration that the money power is in effect a conspiracy against the commonweal, and the disclosures of the past few years in the management or the insurance companies, the railways, the Chicago canning factories, the New York traction companies, and in the banking corporations, have abundantly justified him. He has incessantly shrieked that “the people" were being robbed by their rulers, and he is now proved right. Employing all the resources of a vicious journalism to quicken the American proletariat into an uprising against the forces of bossism and capital, he has made himself believed in as the forerunner of the new American revolution.
It is not only a political party, but a social class that he seeks to found, to rouse to consciousness and to lead. From the sinister alliance of debased politics with industrial monopoly he points to what not only he but many millions of Americans believe to be the only road of escape - the public ownership of public utilities. When he declares that “the great problem of the hour is to do away with corporation control of the Government," and when he declares that control to rest “mainly upon our system of partisan politics directed by Boss rule and subject to Trust ownership,” there may be many Americans who will dispute Mr. Hearst’s fitness to apply the remedy, but there are few with sufficient hardihood to deny the accuracy of his diagnosis. He profits enormously by the ferocious hostility of the corporations that have debauched American politics, nor is it only the poor and the ignorant who subscribe to his programme.
I was surprised, when in America last year, to find how many of the younger men he had won over to his side - men who were not at all inclined to sympathize with “yellow” journalism, but who were sick of the old parties, repelled by the universality of graft, and who, while deploring Mr. Hearst’s methods, saw in his programme, and in his alone, a chance of real political regeneration. The main plank in that programme is, as I have said, the public ownership of public utilities; but it contains other measures, such as ballot reform, direct nominations, and the election of United States Senators by the people instead or by the State legislatures. that also commend themselves to a great body of sensible and non-partisan opinion.
Mr. Hearst’s political career has been sensational even for a land where politics are always turning somersaults. One cannot begin to appraise it aright until one grasps the fact that for a large section of the masses he symbolizes not only a detestation of the plutocracy, but also that weariness with the regular parties which is one of the most baffling phenomena in American politics. That Republicans and Democrats are slowly transforming themselves in policy and spirit, though not in name, into Conservatives and Radicals seems to me indisputable. Mr. Hearst is a Radical, and it is to all Radicals, whether they call themselves Democrats or Republicans, that he makes his appeal. By affiliation a Democrat, it is on the Democratic Party that he will first of all seek to impose himself and his programme; but the ultimate aim of his somewhat bewildering tactics, if I understand them aright, is to gather round him in every State in the Union such a body of followers as will enable him to hold the balance of power.
In the Presidential Election of 1904 be secured over two hundred delegates at the National Democratic Convention. In 1905 he ran for the Mayoralty of New York on an independent ticket, and fought Tammany to a standstill. In 1906 he was in alliance with Tammany, and accepted by the Democrats of New York State as their official candidate for the Governorship. In 1907 he cut loose from his allies of the previous year, and “fused” with the Republicans, who twelve months before had smothered him with abuse. In 1908 he will probably appear before the National Democratic Convention with a sufficient number of delegates to influence and perhaps control the party nominations for the Presidency. That this “in and out form” puts Mr. Hearst in a very dubious light and heavily discounts his sincerity is, of course, self evident; but it is at the same time a remarkable testimony to the reality of his power that he should have succccded in forcing himself upon both parties in turn.
His political methods, like his journalistic, are wholly brazen, but they seem to be effective, and the prophets who were declaring three weeks ago that Mr. Hearst was finally done for little know their man or the game he is playing. Mr. Hearst, in my opinion, will continue to be an incalculable and profoundly disturbing influence in American politics; and it is not yet certain that he may not some day be the supreme influence. No force that can be brought against him appears capable of doing more than defeat him; it cannot crush and annihilate him. Even his unsavory tactics and the manifold contradictions of his position do not alienate his following. Despite the fact that he is the professed foe of corporations, his own organization, the Independence League, is a corporation not merely in name but in law. It is registered like any other stock company, and it can take no action whatever without the consent of a board of directors who, of course, are Mr. Hearst‘s personal satellites.
Anomalies such as these make people question Hearst’s honesty. The truth is, I believe, that having had a certain creed expounded in his name every morning and evening in the year for the past eleven years, and perceiving that this creed contains a degree of truth and falls in with his personal ambitions, Mr. Hearst has come to believe in it, and to take it seriously, but not by any means fanatically. Beyond that I should not care to venture any opinion as to the depths of Mr. Hearst’s political convictions. He impressed me when I came across him as a man very difficult to know. That he is as different as possible from his papers goes without saying; nobody could he like them and be a human being.
They are blatant, and he in dress, appearance, and manner is impeccably quiet, measured, and decorous. He struck me as a man of power and a man of sense, with a certain dry wit about him and a pleasantly detached and impersonal way of speaking. He stands six feet two in height, is broad-shouldered, deep of chest, huge-fisted, deliberate, but assured in all his movements. But for an excess of paleness and smoothness in his skin one might take him for an athlete. He does not look his forty-four years. The face has indubitable strength. The long and powerful jaw and the lines round his firmly clenched mouth tell of a capacity for long concentration, and the eyes, large, steady, and luminously blue, emphasize by their directness the effect of resolution.
In more ways than his quiet voice and unhurried, considering air, Mr. Hearst is somewhat of a surprise. He neither smokes nor drinks; he never speculates; he sold the racehorses he inherited from his father, and is never seen on a race track; yachting, dancing, cards, the Newport life, have not the smallest attraction for him; for a multi-milllonaire he has scarcely any friends among the rich, and to “Society” he is wholly indifferent; he lives in an unpretentious house in an unfashionable quarter, and outside his family, his politics, and his papers, appears to have no interests whatever. To guage his future is impossible. To watch it will be at least an experience in a novel and somewhat sinister form of political burlesque.