Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/47

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23
AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY

to "turn down" an ambassador. So I came up nearer and spoke quietly.

"I see you are trying to make an impression on these princes," I said. "Now if it's necessary for you to pose, do it with the Austrian Ambassador—he's out there waiting to come in. My affairs are too important to be trifled with."

Talaat laughed. "Come back in an hour," he said. I returned; the Arab princes had left, and we had no difficulty in arranging matters to my satisfaction.

"Someone has got to govern Turkey; why not we?" Talaat once said to me. The situation had just about come to that. "I have been greatly disappointed," he would tell me, "at the failure of the Turks to appreciate democratic institutions. I hoped for it once, and I worked hard for it—but they were not prepared for it." He saw a government which the first enterprising man who came along might seize, and he determined to be that man. Of all the Turkish politicians whom I met I regarded Talaat as the only one who really had extraordinary native ability. He had great force and dominance, the ability to think quickly and accurately, and an almost superhuman insight into men's motives. His great geniality and his lively sense of humour also made him a splendid manager of men. He showed his shrewdness in the measures which he took, after the murder of Nazim, to gain the upper hand in this distracted empire. He did not seize the government all at once; he went at it gradually, feeling his way. He realized the weaknesses of his position; he had several forces to deal with—the envy of his associates on the revolutionary committee which had backed him, the army, the foreign governments,