National Geographic : 1910 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE to the world in literature and art, the mellowing influence of its beauty and an tiquity shedding a soft refulgence throughout the entire world. A member of the royal family of that nation was entertained in this very room three or four years ago, who has achieved great honor in Arctic exploration, and we have a word from him tonight. I shall intro duce the Ambassador from Italy, Baron Mayor des Planches, to say a few words and give us that message. The Ambas sador from Italy. THE ITALIAN AMBASSADOR-BARON MAYOR DES PLANCHES Mr President, ladies and gentlemen: I remember having been present at another banquet given by the National Geo graphic Society, in which Commander Peary was, as he is now, the guest of honor. Commander Peary had already at that time reached the highest polar latitude, beating the record of a young Italian ex plorer, the Duke of the Abruzzi. I had not, then, special instructions to congrat ulate the Commander for the splendid result he had already obtained, but I was sure that His Royal Highness, chivalrous as he always is, was applauding the achievement of his fortunate rival. I ex pressed to the winner the felicitations of the defeated, and the Duke afterwards cordially approved of what I had done. Now things are different. As soon as I received the kind invitation of your President to be here tonight, I cabled to the Duke that I would have the pleasure of meeting the glorious conqueror of the pole. A few hours after I received the cablegram which I ask your permission to translate: "Many thanks to you for giving me the opportunity to express to Commander Peary my heartfelt felicitations. Tell him in my behalf that I am happy that the pole has been discovered by the ex plorer whose courage and perseverance deserved such a reward. Louis oF SAVOIA." THE FRENCH AMBASSADOR--HON. . J. JUSSERAND Mr President, ladies and gentlemen: Two years ago we were gathered to gether, almost day for day, in this same room, under the same chairman who has just spoken in such touching words of my country, and such undeserved ones of her representative; and we were gath ered together also to commemorate a pole discovery. It was the discovery of the magnetic pole. I was asked to say a few words. Offering to you excuses for quoting myself, I beg permission to re call that, considering the time to come, I expressed myself thus: "Some new ex pedition, led through air or through water, by some maybe among the men present here today, will certainly, in the near future, gain the first sight of the long-sought North Pole." And looking at the list of those present on that day, I find that there appeared the name of "Commander and Mrs Robert E. Peary." I think I may say that, once in my life, I spoke as a prophet. Momentous changes have come to pass in the world and in this land. For a very long time, during the period to which our chairman alluded just now, America was not the land that produced explorers, but the land for explorers to seek. The day in August, 1492, when a certain Spanish ship left Palos and floated across the unknown sea, resulted in the revelation to wondering nations of a new, unsuspected, and immense world; and the energies of all those who wanted to discover, to learn, to win, to explore, to get fame and wealth for themselves and their country, were bent for cen turies toward this continent more than toward any other part of the globe. The ocean was crossed and recrossed by the tiny crafts of some of the best sons of France, England, Italy, Holland, Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia. We French cer tainly did our part, as we explored fur ther inland than any, and made known to the world the resources and beauty of the valley watered by the "Mechace6b."