The Contributors' Column

To Chauncey B. Tinker, Professor of English Literature at Yale, goes the credit of turning up this really astonishing material. This is but a single chapter; but more will follow with the year. We wonder whether there is a more interesting figure in literature than ‘ Bozzy.’ In youth, a puppy combination of Pendennis and Gibbon; in maturity, a supreme artist; throughout, a fool, but an immortal one. To any editor he is, and must be, a patron saint. Where, we ask, is the technique of the ‘ perfect approach ' to the Great better exemplified than in these letters? Vernon Kellogg, a biologist of wide reputation, who served through the war in the most active work of the C.R.B., is now serving the public interest in Washington, D.C. Joseph Auslander is an American poet, now teaching at Harvard University. Jared Van Wagenen, Jr., a new contributor, sends us these reflections born of long experience, from his stock farm in Western New York. It is worth noting that his farm history includes representatives of three generations, all with a common name.

Philip Cabot is a Boston banker, who has had long and successful experience in the conduct of public utilities.

The basis of his article is not mere gossip, which is too often the stock in trade of social reformers. Recent notable studies and reports upon the subject have been made — among them one, by John A. Fitch, of investigations of the Steel industry in the U.S. during the summer of 1920; another, by Whiting Williams, of a similar investigation in Great Britain during the same period; and an address by Horace B. Drury, delivered at a joint meeting of the Taylor Society, the Metropolitan and Management sections of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the New York Section of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, held in New York on December 3, 1920. Mr. Drury, who was recently employed in the Industrial Relations Division of the United States Shipping Board, was formerly of the Economics Department of the Ohio State University; he is the author of Scientific Management. The articles by Mr. Fitch and Mr. Williams were published March 5, 1921, in a special number of the Survey, and Mr. Drury’s address was printed in a Bulletin of the Taylor Society, February, 1921, together with discussions that followed, and other valuable papers bearing upon the subject.

William Beebe has just returned to New York, after a winter of fruitful investigation at the experiment station in British Guiana maintained by the New York Zoölogical Society. Mr. and Mrs. HaldemanJulius are jointly and severally engaged in the pursuits of banking, farming, and raising fine stock, in Kansas. They have lately published, through Brentano’s, their first novel — Dust. This testimony concerning Francis Bardwell is given us by one qualified to know.

About twenty years ago the Massachusetts Civic League sent out some questions to the Overseers of the Poor of the cities and towns of the state, asking what they did with tramps and what ought to be done. One of the answers showed so much insight and such a tolerant, humorous, unsentimental view of human nature in the unpromising class in question, that the directors of the League followed up the correspondence with this particular official, and have ever since owed much to his counsel and assistance in their work. Mr. Bardwell made such an impression upon the whole group of people interested in charitable matters that, when the State Board of Charity took up the inspection of the city and town almshouses, he was appointed head of that department, and has since then, by his shrewdness, and his sympathy, both with the inmates and with the officials dealing with them, accomplished more for the improvement of conditions than could have been done by a large force of inspectors with less penetrating human attributes.

Mr. Bardwell is interesting, not only as a personality, but as a type of the practical, humane, idealistic New England town official.

And, the editor would add, as a poet.

James Spottiswoode Taylor, editor of the Federal Shipbuilder, is connected with the Federal Shipbuilding Co., at Kearny, New Jersey. Margaret Baldwin is to be remembered by Atlantic readers through her essay, ‘The Road to Silence,’ of all messages to the deaf, perhaps the most comfortable and healing. Elizabeth Taylor, a stowaway during the four years of war in a little upper room in the Faroe Isles, has made her way to England, and finds rest and shelter in a tiny Devon valley. Her room offers, she records, —

No desk for my ink-pot, but a chair, a suitcase, and a writing-pad make a good substitute. The cottage has a parrot, music pupils, ‘trippers’ who demand tea and flowers; and many motors and much dust surround us. But I can retire, when in special need of peace, to a packing-case under an apple tree.

And it was under the apple tree that these happy recollections of Hans Kristoffer’s little wind-swept garden were written.

Lisa Stillman, a young poet new to the Atlantic’s pages, remembers, among the present tranquillities of student life at Vassar, the emotions awakened by the South Seas. Margaret Prescott Montague is a familiar Atlantic story-writer, whose themes are her very own. Ralph Philip Boas is head of the English Department of the English High School at Springfield, Massachusetts. George Boas, of the Department of Public Speaking at the University of California, has two A.M.’s to certify to his collegiate proficiency, and a Ph.D. in the bargain. To many people, doubtless, his essays will be as satisfactory a testimonial. Margaret Wilson sends us this ‘ true account of a child’s imaginings ’ from Ottawa. This is still another Margaret Wilson, who contributes now for the first time. The sequel of her tale, it seems, though unromantic, is satisfactory.

The child [she writes] did not quit the world for a better before he became a man, as he threatened, nor did he grow up a poet, as in other ways he gave us reason to expect. He is at this writing too busy providing for his small family to indulge in dreams; and to all appearances he finds the present world near enough to the Heart’s Desire.

The translator of the letters of Baron Waldemar von Mengden is the American wife of the Baron’s cousin, of a family that had possessed estates in Livonia since the time of the Crusaders. Her forbears on both sides bore names among the most eminent and highly respected in New England history. Albert Kinross, novelist, served through the war in France, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. Returning, he sees his native England with fresh eyes. Elizabeth Anderson, ‘neither a missionary, a nurse, nor a professional relief-worker, but just a plain American girl,’ has recently returned from the Caucasus, where she worked for a year with the Near-East Relief. She was in Kars, Armenia, at the time it was captured by the Kemalists last October.

A friend of Japan attacks thus Senator Phelan’s much discussed article.

EDITOR OF THE ATLANTIC
DEAR SIR,—
Senator Phelan’s article in your March issue shows again how race prejudice unfits one to discuss the question of race relations. The very title, ‘The False Pride of Japan,’ discloses his bias at the outset — the more so, as it has no relation whatever to the subject matter discussed.

He speaks of the ominous and menacing increase of the Japanese population in Hawaii. The United States census of 1920 shows that the Japanese population increased during the past decade from 79,675 to 109,269. This is an increase of 37.1 per cent. When, however, it is observed that the rest of the population also increased very rapidly, namely from 191,909 to 255,912 the facts take on a somewhat different color. Indeed, during the decade the Japanese population increased from 41.5 to only 42.7 per cent of the whole population, a relative increase of only 1.2 per cent. And even during the decade 1900-1910, when immigration from Japan was unrestricted, the increase of Japanese population as compared with the whole population was only from 39.7 to 41.5, or 1.8 per cent. Anti-Japanese agitators uniformly misrepresent the situation in Hawaii, alike as to figures and as to their interpretation.

Race prejudice renders one prone to accept every wild story that comes along. It deprives one of powers of discrimination and of insistent demand for verified facts. The Senator quotes the statement of Mr. Shingle, ascribed to Judge Morrow, that ‘in 1927, seven years hence, the majority of the voting population of the Territory of Hawaii will be children of Japanese.’

This statement is quite contrary to fact. The Bureau of Education issued in 1920 a Bulletin (No. 16) entitled ‘A Survey of Education in Hawaii.’ A section of the Survey (pages 18-25) deals with this question. Statistics are given, which show that, in 1930 (nine years hence), the total electorate, excluding Japanese, will amount to 28,057, while the possible Japanese electorate will amount to 10,915. Ten years later the respective figures will be 34,907 and 30,857.

One of Senator Phelan’s charges against the Japanese is their ‘extraordinary birthrate.’ He has not, in this article, committed himself to any figures, though in his testimony before the House Committee on Immigration, in 1919, he charged Japanese ‘picture brides’ with having children ‘ every year.’

It may surprise him to know that in Hawaii four race-groups had higher birthrates than the Japanese. The Report of the Board of Health for June 30, 1920, gives figures for all the nationalities, of which the following are especially pertinent. Chinese, 29.2 per thousand; Hawaiian, 30.7; Japanese. 43.7; Porto Rican, 50; CaucasianHawaiian, 64.7; Asiatic-Hawaiian 80.5; and Spanish, 116 per thousand.

Senator Phelan refers to the ‘overwhelming’ vote in California for the drastic alien land law adopted November 2, 1920. It is somewhat enlightening as to the real sentiment in California toward the Japanese to know that, although 668,483 voted for it, 222,086 voted against it and that some 400,000 others, who voted for various candidates, were not sufficiently interested in the question to vote either for or against the measure.

As to the question of Americanization of Japanese in Hawaii, the Senator makes the assertion that ‘it is yet to be discovered.’ This merely discloses the ‘blind spot in his eye,’ and shows how little acquainted he is with what is actually going on in the public schools, in the churches, and in civic life. Japanese youth reared in Hawaii are, as a rule, so far Americanized that life in Japan is intolerable. Clubs of young Japanese-Americans have been organized, who glory in their American citizenship. They resent and denounce the claims upon them of the Japanese government. However earnestly Japanese parents and teachers may instruct their children to ‘ worship the Mikado,’that teaching is completely nullified in the vast majority of cases by the teaching in the American schools. The older children and young people, both in California and in Hawaii, rejoice in and are proud of their American citizenship.

The Senator appears to be quite ignorant of the law proposed by the Japanese last fall, and promptly adopted by the Territorial Legislature, placing Japanese language-schools and all their teachers under the jurisdiction of the Territorial Department of Public Instruction, and limiting their hours of instruction to one hour daily after the closing of the public schools.

The reckless character of the Senator’s discussion is clearly seen in his alleged quotation from the writer’s volume on The American Japanese Problem. The Senator has resorted to the common device of unscrupulous writers, who make garbled quotations to suit their own needs. He has taken one sentence from page 16 and another from page 20 of my pamphlet on Hawaii’s American Japanese Problem, making them appear as a single sentence. The whole purpose of the pamphlet was to make suggestions as to how Japanese in Hawaii might be — because the writer thoroughly believes they can be — Americanized.

‘Solved in this way,’ I wrote in 1915, ‘by provision for the complete Americanization of all Japanese in Hawaii, these Islands will make their important contribution to the solution of the question on the mainland, and thus to the promotion of permanently satisfactory relations between the United States and Japan.’

The writer by no means contends that there is no Japanese-American problem in Hawaii or in California. There is, and it is a serious one. It merits the best study of the best minds. That study, however, to say nothing of its solution, is not possible with the spirit evinced by the Senator and the anti-Japanese agitators.

Whether or not Japanese in America and California are going to be loyal Americans, as the decades pass, depends very largely on the way we treat or mistreat them. Crass ignorance as to the actual situation, violent misrepresentation, seeing only the bad and utterly ignoring the good, together with discriminatory legislation, are hardly calculated to win the good-will and helpful cooperation of any group of aliens recently admitted to our shores. Such a spirit and such a method merely sow dragon’s teeth.
Yours truly,
SIDNEY L. GULICK.

The whole question of the Japanese in Hawaii is so important that the Atlantic will make it the subject of a separate article by an authority — General William H. Carter.

In a pessimistic and disillusioned world, the only confident serenity, we notice, radiates from the unpublished (sometimes the unpublishable) author. Here is a recent example of the will to be content.

DEAR ATLANTIC, —
I am here again, with a little package this time. All my previous appearances before you have failed to make good; perhaps this one will fail also. But, anyway, this package is a manuscript called, ‘A Woman As She Is,’ and its contents describe her in 15 dispositions, or 16 chapters in 204 pages, writen somewhate [sic] in verse. I am not such a good verseman, but I ’ve done my best. That’s about the best a fellow can do.

And this other.

For fourteen years I have sent a poem every year to the Atlantic Monthly, and have received it back in my self-addressed envelope, with the promptness of a return ball. I am not discouraged. I have vowed that some day I will write a poem so good that they will take it, and that, without being told that I am ‘published in Anthologies, and am a member of an exclusive society of National poets,’ etc., etc. I am not telling them now, for this letter is unsigned; but some day I hope to prove my point.
A READER AND A CONTRIBUTOR.

The correspondence induced by Mr. Alger’s paper has been of extraordinary interest. Unfortunately the arguments are so detailed that it seems wiser to continue the discussion through articles in the body of the magazine, than through clipped comments. We quote this paragraph, however, from a letter sent us by Mr. Moulton B. Goff.

Few farm leaders to-day ask for themselves or their organizations anything that they are not fully willing to grant to all other classes in the community. But no one can prove that up to the present they have even had a fair opportunity to develop their business to a point of efficiency, either in their own or in the public interest. The American farmer, as an individual, has dealt with organized industry and with organized distributing agencies, and has learned his helplessness. The fallacy upon which so much of the opposition to farm-organization effort is based is the failure of the critics to realize that no other large industry in the country suffers its sales and distribution to be handled by interests entirely outside of itself. What factory could maintain any of the brilliant advertising campaigns which we see on every hand, if it allowed others to buy its goods at its own doors, and speculate, store, hoard, or dump them at will. There is no vested privilege which can be defended in the distribution system for agricultural products as it exists to-day. That it is fairly efficient is sure; but that it takes into account the welfare of the producer of foodstuffs on the one hand, or the welfare of the consumer on the other, is merely an incident and not an end of its efforts. If organized farmers believe in merchandising their production, and supplying their own holding and storage facilities, instead of allowing this service to be performed by speculators, who are in many cases the worst kind of gamblers, it should be a hopeful symptom, not a cause of alarm. Why, just because the agricultural production of a single year in this country is virtually completed in four months, should the farmers turn over to others the problem of feeding this quantity of food to the market as it can absorb it? I emphatically deny Mr. Alger’s suggestion that coöperation is not more efficient than existing trade-channels, when coöperation is properly worked out. Instance after instance can be shown where, only because of large-scale coöperation, has the public been supplied at all with high-grade foodproducts, and many glaring cases of apparent ruin of essential agricultural producing areas have been prevented by the reaching out of cooperative enterprises to the ultimate jobber or retailer.

Leaders in agriculture are not blind to the valuable and essential services performed by the large bulk of far-sighted and efficient food-merchants; but they do not want others to be blind to the essential relation of the coöperative programme, not only to the public, but to the large share of the trade-channels as well.

To which Mrs. Goff, in another letter, adds this feminine protest.

DEAR ATLANTIC, —
May I add my own selfish protest to Mr. Alger’s recent agricultural article? This is the reason. The Atlantic is mine; only occasionally read by my husband. Yet I have had scarcely a chance to read a dozen pages in the February number. This aforesaid husband by chance read ‘The Menace of New Privilege’ on the very day the magazine arrived. Since then it has traveled the length and breadth of our county, to innumerable Farm Bureau meetings, but has seldom reposed on the living-room table. It is torn; it is dogeared; it has been rolled and unrolled; it is splashed with Ford oil and March mud. The article itself is heavily underscored; the margins carry pithy comments. One day I found the cover hanging on by scarcely a thread. I patched it up, and hoped that eventually it might hide unnoticed in my files. But it soon found its way again into my husband’s overcoat pocket. He declares it the best argument he has read for the need of greater understanding between producer and consumer, and more specifically, perhaps, between Boston lawyers and Mid-West farmers. Be that as it may, at this rate I shall need a new copy soon. What I want to know is, who is going to buy it for me? Would you advise me to appeal to my husband, yourself, or the trouble-making Mr. Alger?

January 26, 1021.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
Possibly some of your readers can solve this problem of New York prices, in view of the opening of the question by Mr. Sheldon.

I bought some theatre tickets at a New York hotel news-stand. The price of the seat — $2.50

— was printed on the ticket, as was the war tax

— 25 cents. On asking the price, I was told $3.30. Expecting to pay the scalper’s charge of 50 cents,

I innocently asked why the 30 cents. The blonde young thing behind the counter withered me with a glance, and said, ‘War tax, of course.’

The problem is — who gets the war tax and how much was it? As I am not a New Yorker, or even a regular visitor, I don’t know — do you?
Faithfully,
JOHN H. GARNSEY.

The following we print with hesitation, as an example and a warning.

SOUTH ORANGE, NEW JERSEY.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —

As one of those who love the Hub and its people, let me offer the following to those who ‘favor the dust’ of her streets.

A little friend of mine, who had been studying her face in a hand-glass, remarked, ‘ I ’m not very pretty, but how could I be? Mother’s not much, and father’s not much, and grandmother — well, she’s the limit! But,’ added little Miss, ‘I’m glad we were all born in Boston.’
C. R. B. What college students don’t know, our readers probably do. Here is one answer to Professor West’s conundrum.
MILWAUKEE.

DEAR ATLANTIC, —
When a man publishes an article whose title is a query, he must intend it as a challenge to the reading public to answer. I am therefore taking the liberty, as a college graduate whose contact with the academic world has slipped far enough into the background to afford plenty of perspective, to reply to Mr. West’s hypercritical question published in the March issue of the Atlantic, ' What do College Students know? ’

So-called mental tests of college students appear to be a new form of amusement — or, one may say, a new fad — among college professors, this being by no means the first wholesale derogation of the student mind that has appeared on the magazine pages this past year. Generally the professors’ outbursts of sarcastic mirth, however, follow lists of general-information questions, which the brightest of us might decline to answer. It may be a self-gratifying form of wit, and a relief to the pent-up feelings of the long-suffering professor; but if these searching mental catechisms, applied to ourselves, teach us nothing else, they should at least teach us to be charitable. A sympathetic word is due to the much ridiculed youth of to-day.

To begin with, a college education is intended primarily as a mental training — a preparation for life, a foundation upon which to build. It was never devised to turn out a finished product— a superhuman youth, fully imbued with all the knowledge and experience of its elders. With the academic curriculum crowded as it is with daily lecture-periods, laboratory-periods, and preparation-periods involving concentrated reading of history, philosophy, Old English poets, Latin, Greek, and other subjects fully as far removed from the current life of to-day; and with that programme relieved by the equally strenuous recreational periods, full to the brim of social and athletic activities, one can readily see that those students spoke truth who said they had no time to read the papers and magazines. What contact have these young people anyway with other life than their own? They live for the time being in a charmed and self-absorbed circle, within figuratively cloistered walls. The table-talk is bound to be the effervescence of youth, not the stimulating harangue of the armchair diplomat who presides over their home table, or the rehashed discussions of all sorts, which are brought home by the mother from her club, or by the younger children from their school. Those broadening influences of the home are for the moment crowded out of their spheres.

The leisure to read, however, and the larger contacts of life, will all be revived after the feverish rush of college days is over. How many of us stop to think that our knowledge of geography is not what we have retained from our primary books, but what we have acquired in later years of travel? Our acquaintance with Leghorns and chameleons has come from contact and experience, — from poultry catalogues or travel-guides,

— not from our schoolbooks. Our total knowledge is what we have built, day by day, on the foundation we laid way back in our college days. The process of assimilation has been so gradual, we fail to recognize that we are still learning new things every day.

What a tiresome and blasé person the college graduate would be if he came to us so fully equipped that he had nothing more to learn. Fortunately for him, there is still a vast world of people and things unexplored. The day he learns where Tokyo is may hold for him the biggest thrill life has in store; and the day he shakes the rafters with patriotic eloquence in an Independence Day oration may be the occasion that stamps on his mind for all time the elusive date of the battle of Lexington. If his college has taught him the fundamental meanings of things, and has given him the power to read wisely and the courage to think problems through, he has a safe foundation on which to build the weightiest kind of a superstructure of acquired information and intricate detail.

One comes to the end of Mr. West’s article with a sense of his counter-question unanswered. It is the outsider’s turn to ask the professor for his own reply — not to the query, ‘ What do college students know?’ but ‘What, in his opinion, should
college students know?’
Yours very truly,
ALICE WRIGHT.

We borrow the following paragraph from our beaming contemporary, tlie New York Sun.

THE WOMAN WHO SAW

WRECKAGE

The Association of Collegiate Alumnæ had dined both wisely and well at the Gotham. It was close to the midnight hour, for there had been six presidents of colleges for women on the list of speakers, with sauce piquante in the persons of Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt and Dr. Caroline Spurgeon. Every one of those half dozen presidents had ’done noble,’ to quote an irreverent graduate of recent date.

The Woman stood on the lowest stair of the steps leading to the coat-room, waiting for the friend whose homeward way paralleled hers. Glancing down, she saw at her feet a bit of flotsam from the wreck of the evening. Yellowbrown, oblong, and substantial, the object looked familiar. She salvaged it, intent upon restoring it to the owner. Right side up, it revealed itself — a copy of the new Atlantic Monthly.

Where, the Woman asks her readers, where else in all the world would one have found at the midnight hour as wreckage after a banquet, such salvage? A glove, a tiny handkerchief, a withered rose, — any one of these, perhaps, of which poets sing, and novelists write. But the Atlantic Monthly !