The Contributors' Column--June Atlantic

William Beebe, Curator of Ornithology at the New York Zoölogical Park, and student and lover of everything that flies, has since the outset of the war devoted himself to aviation. Injured in an accident which cuts him off from service as a pilot, he has recently been sent to the French and Flemish front, to study flying conditions. His training as a naturalist gives an angle to every observation that he makes, and Paris, as well worn by writers as by war, is in this article as freshly handled as if it were now described for the first time. To all who love the delicate art of writing, Mr. Beebe’s papers are full of delight. Perhaps we may not be overstepping the bounds of proper compliment if we quote from a letter which comes from Africa, where a reader of the Atlantic has spent many long years: —

Mr. Beebe is the wise man that I admire. I have an excessive admiration for Mr Beebe, who is far wiser than you can possibly know. Well, how could you? No one in the world knows as well as I do the fortune of golden words distributed at intervals by Mr. Beebe.

Miss Margaret P. Montague, whose home is in West Virginia, is a writer of novels, stories, and essays, and a Friend of all Atlantic readers. Reverend Willard L. Sperry, a former Rhodes Scholar, is minister of the Second Congregational Church of Boston. Christina Krysto, the daughter of Russian parents, is a native of the Caucasus and a graduate of the University of California, who has written for the Atlantic more than one novel and interesting story. Olive Tilford Dargan is an American poet, whose quality has long since been recognized.

Theodore Roosevelt wrote this vigorous and interesting commentary while he was recovering from his recent serious illness in New York. To readers who do not know the ostrich from the anaconda this article, written under conditions of sei ious physical disability and pain, at a time when most men’s interests were paralyzed by portentous events in Europe, will be a new and remarkable example of the intellectual vitality of the writer.

Maurice Barrès is a distinguished author and statesman of France; Member of the Academy since 1906, Deputy for Paris in the Corps Législatif, and, as has been said by a distinguished professor at the Sorbonne, now in the French service, ‘of all the French writers of the “ grand style ” unquestionably the one most effectively engaged, by virtue of his regular contributions to the Echo de Paris, in commemorating the progress of the war day by day.’ Born in the Vosges district of Lorraine, he passed his most susceptible years in the Lycée at Nancy, within a short distance of the frontier imposed on France by the treaty of Frankfort (1871). Going to Paris in 1883, his first contribution to serious literature, after a few years in journalism, was made in 1888, with the first volume of his ‘Trilogie du Moi.’ His many later books, of which perhaps the most famous are Le Jardin de Bérénice, the third volume of the above ‘trilogy,’ and Les Déracinés, the first of another trilogy, ’ Le Roman de l’Energie Nationale,’ are all inspired by a serious purpose to imbue his countrymen with feelings of affection and respect for their own localities; to cling to local traditions, and to give to France the genius of individuality and variety. In 1889. M. Barres was sent to the Corps Législatif, his colleague in tire deputation from Nancy being the same Colonel Driant whose heroic death is described in one of the letters which we print. In July, 1914, on the very eve of the war, he was chosen to succeed the late Paul Deroulède, founder of the League of Patriots, as president of that society. In his stirring and inspiring speech of acceptance, he said: —

The first act of the President of the League of Patriots will be to salute, on Sunday next, the statue of Jeanne d’Arc, on the very spot where the saint shed her blood. . . . Virent Alsace and Lorraine, at whatever cost! Our first pronouncement is to repeat this evening the solemn declaration upon which the whole League was founded. ‘ Republicans, Bonapartists, Legitimists, Orleanists—all these are, with us, but baptismal names. The universal surname is Patriot! ’

Katharine Butler, a young writer of few and distinctive stories and poems, lives in Danvers, Massachusetts. Her previous contributions to the Atlantic have been ‘ To an Ancient Head of Aphrodite,’ in January, 1915, and ‘ In No Strange Land,’ in March, 1915. Don D. Lescohier, a new contributor, is Superintendent of the Public Employment Bureau at Minneapolis. The pleasant paper on Mrs. Thrale (‘ A Light-Blue Stocking ’), which A. Edward Newton contributes to this number, is enriched, as the reader will perceive, by years of patient and affectionate research, and is based in large measure on memorials of Mrs. Thrale in the author’s private collection. We regret to say that General Henry M. Chittenden, a distinguished member of the Engineer Corps, U.S.A., died last year after a long and painful illness. On floods he was an authority, and those interested in such matters will do well to look up the records of his vigorous controversy with Mr. Gifford Pinchot concerning proper policies of conservation. Mrs. A. Burnett-Smith, an English writer, has spent many weeks in this country lecturing in the interest of food conservation, ‘loaned, as picturesque advertising writers in the Boston papers put it, ‘ by Lord Rhondda to Herbert Hoover, Esq.’ The substance of this article she has told in eloquent words from many American platforms, and we are glad to say that Mr. George H. Doran is about to publish a book of hers in which her story is set forth in far greater detail. We hope that all our readers will turn to this article. Walter Prichard Eaton is a well-known poet, essayist, and critic of literature and the drama.

The gentleman who uses the pseudonym of ‘ Lysis ’ is one of those who coöperate with M. Georges Clemenceau, Premier of France, in the management of his newspaper, L’Homme Libre. He writes with authority of an unfamiliar branch of German activity, and his paper, sent at the Atlantic’s invitation, gives new insight into German methods. Concerning James Norman Hall the following news dispatch from the Western Front was published in the American newspapers of May 1 last: —

A German airplane was brought down in enemy territory last night by Captain Norman Hall of Colfax" Iowa, and Lieutenant Edward V. Rickenbacher of Columbus, Ohio, after a duel over the American line on the Tool sector.

The American airmen first engaged the enemy machine over the American lines. Lieutenant Rickenbacher swept over the German and opened fire with his machine gun, while Captain Hall, formerly a member of the Lafayette Escadrilie, darted behind the foe and also opened fire. The German made desperate attempts to escape and returned the fire of the Americans, several bullets piercing Captain Hall’s airplane. The Americans peppered the enemy machine with bullets and drove it down until it fell behind the German trenches. Captain Hall and Lieutenant Rickenbacher returned from the fight unscathed.

This was the third machine to be bagged by the Americans in three weeks, while several others have been unofficially reported brought down.

Captain Hall served as a private in the British Army at the outbreak of the war and later joined the French aerial forces. He is the author of ‘Kitchener’s Mob.’

Charles Dawbarn is special diplomatic correspondent of the London Daily Chronicle.M. Chéradame, whose various Atlantic papers have aroused most extraordinary and widespread interest, has recently visited the United States, and the editor has had the advantage of much intimate conversation with him.

It is the youth of America which is called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice in this war. That fine metal is running red-hot into a new mould. It is, indeed, interesting to read letters like the following, sent to the Atlantic by a friend, which was written by a young woman barely over twenty, called upon to yield her husband to his country. To us it seems to mirror the struggle going on in a million hearts to-day.

Monday Evening.
DEAREST MOTHER, The overseas orders have come at last, and D—’s luggage and clothing are being marked.
My strength and courage give out sometimes in most unexpected places, but I am constantly praying for more and more courage, because he needs all I can give him. He told me of his orders himself, with tears streaming down his cheeks and sobbing like a baby. His spirit is willing, but he feels his flesh is weak, and who can blame them for a shudder at what they are to go through? Even the knowledge that you are carrying out God’s highest commandment and laying down your life for another to live, is not sufficient at all times, to enable you to forget what the price may be. They are so young, they have everything to live for and yet they put comforts, ambition, careers, wives and children out of sight and face — mutilation.

If it were not for my pride in him I could not bear it. He went at once to take his place in what he knew, instinctively and without question, must be done. What a heritage he is leaving his children: may they be worthy of it and not add the burden of shame in later years to the burden of bereavement! I cannot see how he can come hack. The argument that some must rloes not carry assurance in the face of a probable five-years’ war. He does not think he will come back—nor do I; but who am I to stand in the way of his soul’s expiation, or hold him back from his calling, when it is so noble? If he can suffer, so can I; and if the world will be a better place for our children because of the suffering, it is a small price to pay.
We spent two hours on this theme yesterday and feel alike. There is nothing to be said — it must be; and there has never been a question with two such distinct sides to it — the honor and nobility on one side, the horror and despair on the other. The two clash inside me in constant battle, and the result is very exhausting. Were it not that I have faith in God sulfioient to follow where He is leading me, I could not even hold up my head. The Lord’s Prayer was written for this generation, and if we can do His will, we shall not be the losers, I don’t mean losers in mere wars; I believe He feels and shares our agonies: but His plans for His people are limitless and a thousand years in His sight are but a day. This war is probably part of his plan, and when generations have passed away it will be but an epoch in history, and our heart-breaks will not even be suspected.
But God does not set tasks for us without giving us strength to ‘carry on ; otherwise, the Children of Israel would not have wandered forty years nor Christ have been crucified. We call it strength, but it is faith. This is the last you shall hear from me on this subject. These are my ideals; may I live up to them!

We should like to share with our readers the diversion of a correspondence with Mr. Ernest Hart, of Allerton House, 138 East 38th Street, New York City. On April 12 this gentleman sent for the Atlantic’s consideration a truly admirable paper, which we should have been proud to publish had we not printed it practically verbatim within twelve months, under another title, and over the signature of Mrs. Anne Allinson. A wise parent knows his own child, and the paper was recognized. The correspondence needs no further comment.

NEW YORK CITY, April 12, 1918.
THE EDITOR ATLANTIC MONTHLY DEAR SIR, — I send you an article which is intended to bring courage and comfort to those who have sent their sons or dear ones forth to war.

May I ask the favor of a prompt decision, as I am shortly leaving for France? For reasons which I am sure you would appreciate if detailed, I wish it to be anonymous.
Very faithfully,

I have entitled it ‘The Death of the Young,’ but I am inclined to think the ‘Death of Youth,’ is preferable. If you accept the article I leave the decision to you.

BOSTON, 24 April, 1918.
DEAR MR. HART, — It is good that you know your Atlantic so well, even though your taste for excellence in literature seems to have been acquired at the cost of such honesty as you once possessed. We appreciate the delicacy which leads you to shrink from publicity and to keep your article anonymous.
May we ask why an author so enterprising in his methods as you should suppose that the editors do not know what they have published within a year in their own magazine? Your effrontery seems to us to exceed your intelligence.
Yours very truly,

NEW YORK, April 25.
DEAR SIR, - Your letter of April 24 gives me a good deal of concern. I do know and appreciate the Atlantic Monthly very well, as you suggest, and therefore I regret all the more that I should have been the victim with yourself, but in a greater degree, of what I hesitate to believe was a deliberate attempt at an imposition. The article was handed to me some weeks ago by a friend who has since gone abroad, with the suggestion that I should place it, if possible, inasmuch as I am doing editorial and agency work. I may add that I even advanced a little money to the person in question. As for the desire for anonymity, that again did not emanate from me. Such literary work as I myself do, which is limited. I almost invariably put my name to. While I feel that your annoyance and sarcasm are far from unprovoked, I also feel greatly aggrieved and upset about the incident, and while I do not expect an immediate retractation from you, I expect to supply you with further particulars which will justify you in withdrawing your letter.
Yours faithfully,

BOSTON, 26 April.
DEAR SIR. — It is difficult to reply to your letter of April 25th, because the circumstantial evidence in the case seems very strong. You send me, with a letter implying that the manuscript is your own, a paper which has been copied word for word (with a few insignificant alterations) from an article already printed in the Atlantic, and that within a year. You now say that the manuscript was given to you by a friend. It is quite evident that some one sought deliberately to commit the serious offense of securing money under false pretenses, and I cannot but believe it to be in your own interest to make a statement in the matter, entirely without reservation, giving the names and circumstances in detail.
Yours very truly,

NEW YORK, May 2.
SIR, — I must express regret for delay in replying to your letter, to the tone and terms of which I can take no exception under the circumstances. The delay is due solely to my intention to comply with those terms.
The man who brought me the article and left it with me to place is Mr. Lewis May, who formerly resided here and later at another house belonging to the same proprietary. I find that, instead of going abroad, as he stated he intended doing, he is still in America, his last address being Detroit, where he is interested in a new aero engine and represents English shareholders. He informed me some time ago that he had had difficulties with the latter and with the firm which was making the trial engine, and was going to England in connection with the matter; but, as I have said, I have reason to believe that he has not yet gone, if he ever intended to go.
I had found him an interesting, well-informed man, keenly interested in the war, with, he said, his only sun serving, and I read the article he gave me with interest as well as surprise at its unusual excellence. He wished it to be published if possible at once, as he wanted money with which to start abroad. I had little doubt of placing it, and sent it to you at the same time, at his urgent request, giving him twenty dollars on account of whatever might be paid for it. He thought that it would be better if ! acted as sponsor for the article, and did not wish his name to appear. As I had but recently sent you an article about Miss May Sinclair, together with a copy of her last book, ‘The Tree of Heaven,’ I Was disposed to agree with Mr. May, but I did not state in my letter to you that I personally wrote the article. I have no copy of my letter by me, but of this I feel quite sure.
I am sparing no effort to find Mr. May, for my own sake even more than for yours, for you have not suffered, nor could you suffer, by the fact that an article you had already published was sent to you. I was enthusiastic over it after reading it, and felt that it could not fail to have both a consoling and inspiring effect with those who mourned or had lost loved ones in the war.
I enclose the article on Miss Sinclair which I wrote and sent you, and which you declined because it was not, as you said, in keeping with the policy of the Atlantic Monthly to publish reviews of the work of living writers. It appeared, as you will recognize, in the Book Section of the New York Evening Post. An article which I translated from Le Figaro appeared in last week’s Nation, and, even were I capable of I the paltry and foolish action you have attributed to me—not without justification. I fully admit—the fact that my own work keeps me fully occupied and not insufficiently remunerated may help to convince you as to what I have said. If you are not convinced you should take legal steps against me, which I am prepared to defend.
Very faithfully.

Of course, on locating Mr. May I shall take immediate action against him.

BOSTON, 3 May.
DEAR SIR, — I shall await with interest the discovery of Air. Lewis May. Meanwhile, with your permission, I shall publish the correspondence. Yours very truly,

Readers of the Reverend George Parkin Atwater s reply to Dr. Odell’s famous article will be interested to learn that the writer’s militant spirit has found a practical outlet: he is now Colonel Atwater of the Akron Home Guard regiment.

We are glad to call the attention of our readers to this request: —

Friends of the late Hamilton Wright Mabie, who have letters from him, or personal recollections of incidents connected with his life and work which would be of interest in the preparation of a proposed volume of memoirs, would confer a favor by allowing his literary representatives to see such letters, or accounts of such incidents or stories.

If they are sent to the editors of this magazine, they will be acknowledged, and in due time they will be carefully returned.

It is with poignant regret that we close this column with the last fatal news received of James Norman Hall.

WITH THE AMERICAN ARAIY IN FRANCE, May 7. (By the Associated Press.) Flight Captain James Norman Hall, author, and one of the best known aviators in the American or Allied armies, is missing after a thrilling battle ten miles inside Germany, opposite the Toul sector. The fight was between three American planes and four Gernfim machines, which apparently belonged to the ‘ Flying Circus.’

Two German machines also went to earth during the battle in a crippled condition.

Captain Hall’s home is in Colfax, la.

The Index and title-page for Volume 121 will be supplied to Atlantic subscribers upon request, within thirty days from June 1st.