AFTER giving years of intelligent and imaginative study to the human problems of factory management, Arthur Pound, the author of the provocative and widely read papers on The Iron Man, has turned from the field of industry to the hayfield, and sends us from his farm near Albany the first fruits of his agricultural experience, a keen and intimate analysis of the farmer’s work, wage, and leisure. How many retired editors of magazines devote their well-earned leisure to singing the praises of their respective magazine owners and publishers? It is a nice statistical question in human equations. Edward W. Bok writes us concerning his next book, of which salient chapters are appearing in the Atlantic:

The unthinking will accept it as a life of Mr. Curtis, but what I have tried to do is to write a book which will show that business is not a grind, but a wonderful game, full of romantic thrills and adventures, and I make Mr. Curtis the central figure of it.

In ‘A League of Nations or a League of Governments,’ Dr. L. P. Jacks, editor of the Hibbert Journal and Principal of Manchester College, Oxford, continues and expands the thesis which he presented to Atlantic readers in his essay of March 1920,

‘ The International Mind.’ Explaining his plan, he writes: —

The general theme of the book into which this article will be introduced is that the form of our civilization has gradually begun to change from that of a political civilization, founded on warring nationalisms, to a cultural form, in which cultural points of union will be found between nations and so lead, ultimately, to a league of them. The sooner this change is recognized the more rapid will be the progress.

Devotees of Mrs. Noah will rejoice that Robert M. Gay’s little treatise on her personality has been translated into Spanish and so is available to Spaniards of two continents, an extended audience. Mr. Gay, who is Professor of English at Simmons College, Boston, is in his happiest vein in his latest essay, ‘The Timid Sex.’

From Palo Alto, California, Robert Louis Burgess sends his first contribution to the Atlantic. We welcome another new contributor in H. E. Allen, a mediaeval scholar, an American living in England. Joseph Farington, instructing his executors, says: —

The Diaries were written for my amusement, and much of them to assist my recollection in matters in which I was engaged, or to enable me to reconsider opinions given, and thereby to strengthen my own judgment. Much also I was induced to put down in writing as being curious Anecdote and useful to the Biographer. It will be seen by the great proportion of trifling detail contained in them that they were written for myself only, and it was long my intention to destroy them before my decease, should it please God to give me time to see my fast-approaching end; but on further consideration, being happily so situated with respect to my family as to have near relatives in whom I could place all confidence, I have made this disposition respecting my Diaries.

They were entrusted to a brother who, ‘Having agreeably to my desire expunged every passage or relation of circumstances such as in His judgment and belief I would not have seen . . . He may, if the contents shall not appear on the whole too trifling to be worth a second inspection and perusal, keep them in his possession for that purpose.’ The selections which we print are made by the editor of the Diary, James Greig of the London Morning Post.

Nora Dwyer, from whose Irish journal we take a few vivid pages, is private secretary to the President of Harvard University. Lawrence Shaw Mayo’s admirable comments illumine the passages which we print from the Diary of John Davis Long for the war-ridden year 1898, when Congress recognized the independence of Cuba and authorized President McKinley to compel the withdrawal of Spain from the island. Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius of Girard, Kansas, carry on between them the diverse pursuits of banking, journalism, and stockbreeding. Mr. Haldeman-Julius is performing an invaluable service to the community by editing a ten-cent pocket series of the Classics. He has been aptly called the Henry Ford of literature. Harold Vinal is a Connecticut poet who keeps a bookshop in Boston. Before Mrs. Meynell died she read the rough draft of the ‘Study,’ by Anne Kimball Tuell, and corrected the facts for the author, who spent a part of the summer of 1922 with the Meynells in England.

Hector C. Bywater is regarded by progressive authorities in England as the best of the naval critics. We believe that his article in this issue neither exaggerates nor overemphasizes a situation of capital national importance. L. J. S. Wood is the Roman correspondent of the well-known British Catholic weekly, The Tablet. His paper on the Fascisti gives us information at first hand. Cyril Falls is an English critic and man of letters. He makes his first contribution to the Atlantic in ‘A New Generation in Britain.’ Leo Pasvolsky, writer and economist, was born in Russia, but has lived in the United States for a number of years. At present he is connected with the Institute of Economics in Washington, D. C. The touching but discriminating tribute to Erskine Childers is by his friend Alfred Ollivant, the well-known author of Bob, Son of Battle. We quote below passages from letters written by Mr. Childers to his wife on the eve of his execution.

I have been told that I am to be shot tomorrow at seven, and I am fully prepared. I think it best so, viewing it from the biggest standpoint. To have followed those other brave lads is a great thing for a great cause. I have a belief in a beneficent shaping of our destiny, and I believe God means this for the best — for us, for Ireland, and humanity. It is such a simple thing, too, a soldier’s death. What millions risk and incur, what so many in our cause face and suffer daily! Will this nation so understand and pay reverence to what actuates our comrades in the cause? I feel it will. If only I can die knowing that my death would somehow — I know not how — save the lives of others and arrest this policy of executions. . . .

Serenity. Serenity; yes I have that at last if never before. Æquanimitas. What an infinity that expresses — faith, hope, holiness, resignation, and goodwill to all. I see big forces rending and at the same time moulding our people in affliction. I die full of intense love for Ireland. . . .

I die loving England and passionately praying that she may change completely and finally toward Ireland. . . .

From the University of Nanking, Professor Paul De Witt Twinem sends the letter of a Buddhist monk — a little window opening on that most interesting of subjects, the contemplative mind. The monk, now living alone among the mountains of China, was once an official of Fukien Province. He is a man of means, the owner of a whole mountainside and many farms below; a man of culture and of a poetic temperament.

Most respectfully I want to say a few words. Last year when your Highness came to this mountain, Siu Feng, and I saw your gracious (flowering) face, it was as if the seasonal rain had come to awaken a dead tree. The kindness came out of your heart, like a candle that has just been cut. And the sad day suddenly came when you had to depart. I am sorry that I did not entertain you to the best of my ability. It is a great shame on my part not to have fostered a closer and warmer friendship.
Now the stars have altered their place, and things have changed. Very often under the moonlight in the night, and sitting outside of my quiet chamber — I imagine that you and I are sitting on our knees and talking together.
I remember the words of some poet — ‘When the moon sets over the beam of the house, I begin to think of your gracious face.’ I think this is true in my case.
I think you are now in college. You are teaching your Doctrine, and you are progressing. And I am sure there is a change from day to day and month to month. You are brightening this country with all your goodness, and you are indeed a thumb (a tip-top) among those of your religion. I am here by the grace of Buddha to steal away a little life. Alas! I seem to waste all the beautiful moonlight of the mountain in the first part of the night. Every day I am full, but I fear I have no ability. I want to put on my cloak and my belt and come to Nanking. What for? So as to satisfy my thirst for seeing you. But because of the lines of work connected with the temple, I cannot uproot myself. So all I can do is to pen this little letter to let you know how I feel in the depth of my heart. Yet perhaps in the beginning of summer I may come there to learn your instruction; also to be near your seat and table, and talk of the days of old.
I have an old friend. He is a son of the Kiang family. His name is ‘the Light of the Star,’ and his ‘How’ — ‘the Mountain of the Morning.’ His age is about eighteen. His physique is strong. His eye is bright. And he lives close to this temple. He has the idea and ambition to utilize his youth in acquiring knowledge and to carry it out in practice when he becomes a man. Alas! he has not enough foundation! He has no one who cares and not sufficient training to go out to another place to study. This boy knows you and I are friends, and has come to me repeatedly that I might write you. I think whatever I could do for him I should do, since I would like to be helped myself.
I therefore write this letter in a most respectful way to beg you with brotherly affection to open your wide door of instruction and permit him to come to Nanking to study in your noble college. This is as if giving fish among the tempests of the sea a chance to jump over the gate.
If some day this boy could go out to preach what you preached, then he could be known throughout this Empire, and that would be because you assisted him. Your benevolence would thus remake this boy. And I am sure — how could he forget it!
I as a monk always open my door to everyone, and try to lead men in the right. Being thus, I request this of you and I hope you will not neglect it. Hence I would like to have a reply and a catalogue, so that this man may waste no more moonlight.
I have much more to say, but I think I will close at this time. Respectfully I close this letter with best wishes that your way of life may be in peace.
MONK LAUGHING-MOON.February 18, 1922

We print below an amusing addition to the ‘Byron Complex.’

KÖNIGSBERG, EAST PRUSSIA, GERMANY. DEAR ATLANTIC: - Was it Mazzini said that Byron ‘made English literature European’? The man who proved the great inspiration for the Romantic School of Poetry on the Continent still wears his laurels triumphantly.
Nobody bothers in the least about his amours. An excellent example of this indifference was provided me in my own husband. Of course he is merely a Professor of Law, not of Literature; but in the Sturm und Drang period of his youth he used to cultivate an intimate acquaintance with the bards of his own and other nations — he even attempted putting some of the Russians into German verse, and in the early days of our friendship I distinctly remember my sensations — not altogether pleasant ones — at a foreigner’s knowing his Hamlet from cover to cover, and Byron (of whom he was very fond) by heart. So he might be catalogued among the laymen with more than a little literary interest. But while, on subsequent reflection, I am prepared to admit that he may have forgotten anything he once knew about George Gordon over the Peace Treaty of Versailles, imagine my surprise, on referring to Mrs. Gerould’s article, when he looked up, and inquired mildly: ’Was there a scandal?’

From another close observer of gulls we learn that there are gulls in South America which, unlike their northern cousins, dive to a considerable depth for fish: —

These birds are very similar to their cousins of the north; they are, though, less well groomed, and do not look as sleek and nice as their northern neighbors. The only noticeable difference is in the shape of the wing which has a decided break and not the even beautiful curve of the wing that the northern sea-gull has.
From my home in Valparaiso I have watched these birds dive, and sometimes from a height of a hundred feet. It is a peculiar thing that they do this in flocks rather than singly.
A most remarkable sight it is to watch — to see a hundred or more birds turn, as if by one accord, close their wings and dive in after the fish. A beautiful sight it is, too, to see a flock of sea-gulls serenely circling above the waters dive, to catch for a moment the flash of the white feathers of their upturned wings in the sunlight, to see them strike the water, and again to see them bob up one by one. Of note is it that almost never did I see one return unrewarded.
But most amusing of all was an incident I witnessed at Arica, when on my way north. Not more than fifty yards from our ship the water was in great commotion — a great struggle for existence was taking place. The sea was veritably alive with fish — the smaller ones leaping out of the water to escape their larger brothers — but to be swallowed by the hungry birds that literally filled the air. The pelicans sat serenely on the water and filled their huge pouches with evident relish; the ducks and sea-gulls, not finding it necessary to dive, merely flopped into the water and took their pick. But even that was too much of an exertion for one young gull who preferred to make his choice from Mr. Pelican’s selection. Not satisfied with one, this insatiable bird returned for more, and foolishly to the same pelican. This time, either the sea-gull hesitated too long over its choice, or the old pelican anticipated the action; however it may be, the pelican closed his ponderous bill on the gull and began to mete out justice to his victim. He shook and ducked that sea-gull at least ten times. Then, deeming the bird sufficiently castigated, he let him go. It was a sorry-looking gull that flew over to the rocks to preen himself, and one, I dare say, that quit his wayward habits.

The author of ‘Humor with a Gender,’ Elizabeth Stanley Trotter, has discovered that there is nothing more irritating to the reader than ‘a difference of taste in jokes.’ She has been accused of writing feministic rubbish (the gender behind the accusation is plain). She has been asked if she did n’t intend to call it ‘Humor with a Gander,’ and a third critic thanks heaven that he possesses ‘ Humor without any Gender.’ Women, on the other hand, seem to like the article; one has written that her husband, on reading it, increased her allowance — a tangible result, at least.

Commenting on plant-mentality, Professor E. Washburn Hopkins of Yale writes to Professor Clifford H. Farr; —

I venture to think you may in turn be interested in a discussion recorded in the great Sanskrit epic (the Mahabharata) some two thousand years ago. The stupid enquirer leads off with the statement that trees and plants seem to him dull solid immobile inanimate objects and asks the sage what he thinks about it. To this the sage replies as follows: ‘You are quite wrong. I will prove to you that trees have all the five senses. They grow weak and shrivel up when excessive heat comes upon them. Inanimate objects are not thus affected. Hence trees have the sense of touch. Trees also have ears (hearing) as is shown by the fact that they are affected by the sound of thunder. They have eyes for they can see their way to grow and even a creeper sees the path it wishes to take and winds itself as it wills. In consequence of smells too and incense, trees may be made to grow and recover strength when diseased; therefore they have the sense of smell. They have taste for they draw up water exactly as a man drinks through a hollow lotus-stalk. Moreover, it is obvious that trees feel pleasure and pain and catch diseases and are cured again by antidotes. There is life in them; they are not inanimate. Like men they have a living soul [or vital part] and they are not without intelligence.’

The final phrase acaitanyam na vidyate is, literally, ’non-intelligence is not found [in trees]’ (na vidyate is almost non videtur.) Caitanyam is the intelligent soul and this conclusion sums up the argument against their being mere ‘immobile objects,’ i.e., without intelligence. The argument is confined to the senses but the possession of smell, touch, sight, hearing, and taste argues to the speaker the possession of mind, which to the Hindu is a sixth combinatory sense and is wholly physical. His main point is to prove that trees are alive, from which he rather jumps to the conclusion that they have minds and intelligence. This is the doctrine of the Brahmans, though I have found it elaborated nowhere else, in distinction from the Buddhistic view which was like that of the Greeks, viz., the tree is in and for itself not animate but has a dryad spirit which is a separate entity and it is this spirit which moves a tree and makes it sicken, etc. The passage will be found in Mahabharata xii. 184, 10 ff.

We are led to wish that Adam and Eve had made a more careful study of the psychology of the trees of the Garden.

The author of ‘The Cow Jumped over the Moon,’ who hides behind the anonymity of this month’s Contributors’ Club, writes us from a distant corner of the world.

You say you find a variety in my literary output. My dear sir, it is much worse than you imagine. I am the author of four published books — detective novels. A dreadful confession to make to the editor of the Atlantic? No doubt. And yet — do you know, I can discover no difference between the mental processes demanded by the different sorts of composition? And there is one immense satisfaction in writing les romans policiers. The author is free. And how seldom in America the author is free. The list of prohibited things is so long that the most innocent mind in the world is handicapped. That, I think, is why we are not equal to the English. We lack courage. The two most courageous publications in the United States, it seems to me, are the Atlantic Monthly and the Saturday Evening Post. By Jove, it takes courage even to say that.