SHORTLY after their marriage in China, Eleanor Lattimore and her husband planned a wedding trip that would take them over the ancient caravan routes to Chinese Turkestan. Needless to say, it was not to be polite travel. They gathered their forces at Kweihwa, and there on the eve of departure their camels were commandeered, the railway cut, and they themselves interned by the local war lords. Captivity lasted for six months. Eventually Mr. Lattimore got free, and, after dodging through the defeated Christian Army, set out for their goal in advance. Mrs. Lattimore was to meet him in Kashgar. To do so she had to put herself in the hands of Tatar drivers and travel for seventeen days through a Siberian wilderness in weather forty degrees below zero. It is not uncharacteristic of the age that this Odyssey should have a heroine rather than a hero. ¶The venerable author of ‘An Ancient Priesthood in a New World’ is an American Roman Catholic clergyman of more than national prominence. For over thirty years he has ministered to his large flock with gentle devotion and untiring zeal. Renowned for his intellectual attainments, he has held a high and responsible position in his Church. A man of God and a lover of the people, he is esteemed by all who know him. He has been widely recognized as a deep student of human problems. His brilliant, versatile mind is forever seeking their solution. Other articles from his pen will appear in subsequent issues of the Atlantic.John Hearley, who drew up the Preface to the series, has had considerable experience with the press, here and abroad. Formerly he was in charge of the United Press Bureau at Rome. Upon our entering the war he was attached to the staff of Ambassador Thomas Nelson Page at our Italian Embassy, and later became Acting Commissioner in Italy for the Committee on Public Information. ¶After graduating from Harvard three years ago, Walter D. Edmonds returned to his home in upstate New York, where, working on his farm and among the survivors of the old canal days, he has heard the tales and seen the people who make fiction possible.
The thirty thousand manuscripts which come to the Atlantic annually are ample evidence of the elemental urge to write. James Norman Hall, who has pursued his muse north, south, east, and west (eventually coming to rest in the Society Islands), knows the passion of old. ¶The Reverend Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., is vice president of Georgetown University and regent of its School of Foreign Service. For several of the war years Father Walsh worked in Russia, first with Mr. Hoover, then dispensing the great relief fund contributed by American Catholics. From every authentic source — literature, newspapers, documents, and individual testimony—Father Walsh has gathered the materials for his successive articles on the fall of the Romanovs. ¶The wife of a United States Naval Officer, Grace Zaring Stone knows each of the Seven Seas by sight, sound, and smell. She is now in the Orient to be near her husband, who is serving with the Yangtze Patrol. Captain B. H. Liddell Hart, successor to Colonel Repington as military critic of the London Daily Telegraph, tells us what went on behind the German lines in times of crises. Bernard Iddings Bell is president of Saint Stephen’s College. When submitting the present manuscript, he stated with proper modesty that, though he had been writing verse for some years, he had till now ‘kept the results carefully concealed.’ But truth will out. Kenneth Griggs Merrill took time off from his duties as manager of a Chicago manufacturing plant to wend on a very modern pilgrimage to Canterbury. ‘Neon,’ the anonymous English expert on aviation, observes, from incontrovertible and tragic evidence, that it is the wind more than any other single factor which obstructs the success of long-distance flights.
That R. H. Mottram has a singular understanding of the French and English temperaments, especially as they were brought in recent contact, all readers of his war trilogy, The Spanish Farm, will agree. Stonewall Brown was one of the many who forsook home, business, and caution to take part in the Texas Oil Rush. Edith B. Spaulding makes her first appearance in our columns. The title of her verses, she explains, comes from the Scottish Gaelic, and a bhaft means ‘of the boat.’ ¶As a postscript to Mrs. Downes’s paper, ‘The Cost of Illness,’ published in the October Atlantic,Dr. W. W. Keen of Philadelphia, one of the best-beloved of his profession, tells us in a few words just what illness costs the doctor.
Colonel Wilds P. Richardson, of the United States Army, lived for twenty years in Alaska, engaged for the greater part of that time in the work of road and trail construction under the direction of the War Department. He writes us: —
The fact that I served twenty years in Alaska willingly, beyond the usual requirement of detail, ought to be proof enough that I love the Territory. Exaggerated stories of the wealth of the Territory have beenconstant. There is wealth there, but it is not to be had without properly systematized and safeguarded labor. Its population has dwindled and still is dwindling. There are reasons for these conditions, which I have tried to point out, with suggestions of remedial measures.
An Irish correspondent, J. Gannon, is said by those who know to be ’far and away the best journalist in Ireland.’ His facts, we think, have the advantage of being true, and that is saying much for a paper on this complicated situation.
Seldom has an article been greeted by such a storm of genuine and interesting protests as came to us in response to ‘The Unknown Soldier,’ by James Truslow Adams, published in the November Atlantic. Although the author aimed his charge at mediocrity rather than at the Memorial, it. was felt that his criticism had scored a double hit. ‘What we are objecting to,’ wrote a Chicago reader, ‘is the linking up, in any manner, of a purely patriotic sentiment with those phases of life (we might add of literature, as well) of which none of us should be proud.’
The limits of space forbid our doing justice to this correspondence, of which we can print but a few salient selections.
DEAR ATLANTIC, -
You see, it’s this way, as Life would say. Like many others of your family, when we are through with a copy of the Atlantic we pass it on to find other readers before it finally meets the junkman face to face. Though I confess to a mild resentment, as an intrusion on my reading, on finding passages marked in a book from the Public Library, I venture to sometimes mark one or two titles in the index of the Atlantic: a single mark — a sort of cum laude — for a notable article, and a double mark for greater distinction. Now here is where I made a mistake. When half through reading ’The Unknown Soldier’ by James Truslow Adams in the November Atlantic, I was so taken with its charm that I at once turned to the index and gave it my magna cum laude (thus:<< The Unknown Soldier>>), but a little later wished that I had not gone so high in degree.
While I think more of the Common Man than I imagine Mr. Adams would have me, I enjoyed his early gentle sarcasm, — the New Jersey commuter, Mr. Coolidge in chaps, the cockroaches and all, — but I could not go the full length with him. His devoted reader, far be it from me to suggest that Truslow Adams ever missed a point, but he at least seemed to swerve a bit when, to clinch his argument, he left the Common Man and came down to comparing the individual common man with the individual great man. Of course, all will admit that the unknown XY back in the days of Lincoln is never ‘really going to be a better hero . . . than Lincoln himself,’ and none will claim that ’the career of an ordinary sailor is more of an incentive to ambition than that of Nelson.’ But it is not the common man that is celebrated in literature or that lies in the Unknown Soldier’s grave, but the Common Man — that is, Everyman. Was Lincoln greater than all the men he led? Was Nelson greater than all the sailors under him? Does not the greatness of the greatest of the earth rest on the countless host before him and about him?
There is, as Mr. Adams suggests, a good deal of twaddle in our adulation of the Common Man, and it makes one sick to see common men in high places magnifying their kinship -with the Common Man; but do we want to turn about and refuse to recognize that the Common Man still moves the world, not the least of his achievements being the production of the greatest of men?
D. C. S.
SCHENECTADY, N. Y.
DEAR ATLANTIC, -
Mr. Adams, in the November issue, says that our canonization of the Unknown Soldier represents a deplorable tendency to glorify the common man at the expense of the leader. In magnifying the virtues of the private, he goes on to say, we are belittling the qualities of the general; in paying homage to the humble, we are dethroning the great ones of this earth. Mr. Adams apparently believes that, in the first place, mankind is divided irrevocably into two classes mutually exclusive of each other, the few great and the countless common; and that, in the second place, when we give honor to the common man it is because of his commonness. In other words, we are merely indulging our inferiority complex.
While undoubtedly this tendency does exist in American life, I do not believe that the idealization of the Unknown Soldier is an instance of it. On the contrary, in honoring him we are paying tribute to the hero in ourselves. Though most of us don’t know him, we feel that he is there. For however common we may be, does not our capacity for admiring heroism in others attest the same capacity, at least potentially, in our own breast? Else what power is it that, since the dawn of history, has made men, from the greatest of them to the least of them, ready to lay down their lives for their country? The division that figured most conspicuously in the battle of the Argonne was drawn principally from New York’s East Side. When we honor the Unknown Soldier among them, it is not for his common, but for his uncommon qualities. The fact that one presumably no greater than we can rise to such heights enhances our faith in human nature and in ourselves. When in the past we have singled out for admiration the recognized leaders and captains of state, the Cæsars and the Napoleons, it has been for the same reason as that for which we now honor the Unknown Soldier. They, like him, were our own representatives.
Mr. Adams says that we are fond of picturing our presidents and other men of note occupied in lowly and manual labors. He evidently believes that we choose to honor Lincoln because he was a rail-splitter, or Coolidge because he can wield a pitchfork. If this were the case, why do not we honor all rail-splitters and all wielders of the pitchfork? The reason we like to refer to Lincoln as the rail-splitter is because his rise to greatness from humble beginnings indicates the triumph of character over circumstance, of ability over lack of opportunity. We do not honor him because he was born in a log cabin any more than we honor Jesus because He was born in a barn. When Jesus chose His followers from the humble walks of life, it was, again, not because they were common men, but because they possessed qualities which He prized. For the same reason we choose for our hero the Unknown Soldier.
Mr. Adams and others of our critics complain that our democracy tends to reduce all its citizens to a drab mediocrity and then to set up on a pedestal and worship that same mediocrity. Yet we mediocre worshipers of mediocrity have numbered among our presidents in less than a century and a half two great benefactors of the human race, and I think history will add two more. Can any other form of government show such a record?
MARGARET LEE WOODBURY
SAN FRANCISCO, CAL.
DEAR ATLANTIC, -
Upon reading the article of James Truslow Adams, ‘The Unknown Soldier,’ I was forcibly struck with one statement of the writer, viz: —
‘America pretends to worship education, but I cannot recall a single photograph of any President with a book in his hand.’
I am inclined to believe that Mr. Adams’s experience in viewing photographs of the chief executives of the nation must be of somewhat narrow extent, for in most of the famous portraits of the Presidents (from which photographs are generally reproduced) a book (or books) is, as a general thing, in evidence.
I have in my possession a book entitled Lives and Portraits of the Presidents from Washington to Grant, with portraits by Alonzo Chappell. While, it is true, this book is somewhat venerable in character, having been copyrighted in 1873, yet the portraits are reproductions of likenesses obtained from authentic sources; and from the Father of his Country down to Andrew Johnson, with three exceptions, all show books. Washington sits with his hand on a closed volume, John Adams has an open book in his left hand, while John Quincy Adams leans hard on a pile of books. Thomas Jefferson is presented with a book lying carelessly on the floor at his feet, as though he had just ceased reading it. James Monroe also has one at his feet, while Andrew Jackson leans an elbow on a closed book with a slip in its pages, where presumably he had marked his stopping place.
John Tyler again holds a book on his knee, while James K. Polk sits with an open book held with both hands, and looks as though he had just glanced up from its pages. Franklin Pierce has one on his knee (evidently a favorite pose of the artist). James Buchanan stands holding a book, while the great Liberator sits with a lengthy scroll on his knee, perhaps the Emancipation Proclamation. James Madison, Martin Van Buren, and Andrew Johnson are all portrayed with a book or books on the tables by which they are either sitting or standing.
The only portraits remaining, where no books are in evidence, are those of the first Harrison, Zachary Taylor, and Ulysses Grant, the two latter being military in character and President Harrison drawn in outdoor dress.
I have not in my possession any photographs of subsequent Presidents, but think a search might disclose that even these latter would be portrayed with books. However, I think this list sufficient to controvert the deduction sought by Mr. Adams to be drawn from his statement above quoted, and to disclose that not all presidential photographs are lacking in the intellectual atmosphere.
ELIZABETH H. RYAN
The plight of the women’s colleges, as stated in the leading article of the November Atlantic, seems to this critic inevitable.
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
DEAR ATLANTIC, -
Nothing, not even money, can ever make the women’s colleges equal to the best colleges for men, because the former can never assemble such distinguished faculties. No amount of money could lure to their midsts, in any numbers, the first scholars of the country. How many great chemists or economists — whatever their devotion to women’s education — would cut themselves off from young men, from shaping the careers of future chemists or economists? The girl’s career is dubious; marriage may interrupt it. This is no argument for her having poorer teachers, but it is a good reason for a great scholar’s not confining himself to girls.
The women’s colleges can never, through their women professors, equal the best colleges for men, for they cannot get enough professorial timber. Not that women are duller than men. But most women teachers are unmarried. Whether they are single from choice or not is immaterial. The fact is that they have missed the great experiences of marriage and parenthood. Compared to the men professors, they seem limited, often constricted. (The outstanding unmarried women of this country are exceptions.) This limitation is one reason, I believe, why some women have not been advanced in coeducational colleges. Though there may be, for aught I know, discrimination against women, I have never seen, in the two coeducational universities where I have taught, a professorship withheld from a woman who was adequate to it, judging her case absolutely. (Whether she was as able as some men professors is irrelevant here.)
Since I have neither a professorship nor a husband, I belong to the group whose limitations I have been describing, which fact should strengthen my testimony.
Since the women’s colleges by themselves cannot give the best education, the best intellectual future for girls lies in two directions — the coeducational college, vastly improved over its present state, and a joint arrangement, like that at Harvard and Radcliffe.
CATHARINE BANCROFT BEATLEY
How it feels to be alive.
DEAR ATLANTIC, -
Mary Hamilton’s account of the conversation, ‘The Right to be Happy,’ in the October Atlantic, set me to thinking to-night. Why am I so happy? Never before have I stopped to analyze my feelings, to figure it out, but to-night I have.
First of all, I believe that happiness is a state of mind — it is something to be cultivated, like any other art. We may all be happy or unhappy, right now. We may cultivate a happy frame of mind by learning to appreciate little things, by having a deep sense of gratitude for the things that we do have — this, with a sense of humor to carry us over the really bad places, and with some imagination, for the ordinary person will mean happiness. It has for me, I believe.
Fate has tried to cheat me of happiness by making me too plain-looking for a woman. All women ought to be pretty. I’m not. I have to work every day and I live alone in a cheap boarding house. But on the other hand Fate has given me some things to make up for what I lack. First of all, I have perfect health, and imagination.
Every morning I awake with that glorious feeling that lam alive and can be up and doing. Every morning I arise at seven o’clock and at seven-thirty catch the car at the corner, and hang on a strap all the way down town. Never once has that trip failed to thrill me. Such interesting people get on my car — all kinds, you know. There is one man — I call him Frank Johnson in my mind—who always looks so worried and unhappy. Do you know why? I have it all figured out — just about. Some day I may get the details straight from him. I know that he has either a sick wife or ten children. Not both, however. I am not certain whether it is the sick wife that worries him, or whether he is in constant fear of another offspring. This morning we were both hanging on to the same strap, and if I had known then that I was going to write to you to-night I might have said to him rather casually, ‘Oh, by the way, Mr. Johnson, how is your wife? ’ Now if he had said that there was nothing the matter with his wife I would have known that it was not the sick wife that worried him, but the other. Maybe to-morrow morning — but to-morrow morning it may be that Alice will be punching me in the ribs, I know that her name is Alice, or her sister’s name is, because one morning she had a slicker on and across the back was written the name. The only trouble being that the slicker was much too big for her, so maybe it belonged to her sister, certainly not her brother. I wish that I could tell you about Alice. She always fills me with the joy of living. Her get-up and breezy ways — mere words fail me. I’m very fond of her and I am keeping an eagle eye on her, too. Some day she is going to have a worried look and I am going to help her if I can. That’s where I can use my college education. I can’t help her now — she is one of the kind that will have to find out things for herself. She is sure to find out, too. Well, when she needs help, she is certainly going to get it from an unexpected source.
I must go on — you will tire of this.
Most people would say that my life at the office was very humdrum, the same thing every day, but I could write an entire book showing how vastly different each day is and how sweet and interesting. At five o’clock I start for home. I always walk five to ten blocks of the way each night. I love it when it is bright and sunshiny and I adore the rainy days and the cold, peppy days. On the bright days it’s pleasant to stroll along and look in the shop windows and breathe deep. On cold days I like to rush along and say ‘Hello’ to all the newsboys and ‘Pardon me’ to all the people that I bump. When I get home and have bathed, I count my money, to see if I will have a big dinner, or a small dinner and a show, or just a milk shake and a pleasant evening at home. Saturday is pay day, so the end of the week runs to milk shakes and pleasant evenings at home. The fact is, this is Friday night.
Well, after saying all this it does not seem to me that I have really said or explained why I am so happy. Almost every day I get a chance to give someone a lift, someone who is really out of luck. I think that is important, too, not to think of one’s self too much. But if I were going to state, like one might state an algebra problem, what makes for happiness, I would say: —
1. Good health.
2. The ability to appreciate and enjoy little things.
3. A deep feeling of gratitude for what one has.
4. To honestly like people.
5. Work, sleep, food, a sense of humor, to thoroughly enjoy whatever you are doing now. Sometimes you have to make up your mind to enjoy yourself, but you can make it such a habit that soon, down deep, you begin to feel the joy of living in everything that may happen, little things and big things. Then, with a sense of humor, you can get to liking unpleasant things, so that even when the dentist is pulling your tooth you feel quite thrilled and say, ‘ My dear, this is life.’
A home on the rolling deep.
ON BOARD ‘HIGHBALL II’
HUNTINGTON, WEST VA.
DEAR ATLANTIC, -
There is a human appeal in the ‘noncommercial advertisement’ appearing in the Atlantic’s September Contributors’ Column. I am constrained to wonder: where has R. H. Wheldon been all my life? ‘Someone who dislikes automobiles, newspapers, radios, commercialism.’ . . . Those four major commodities are discordant notes in the scale of my well-being.
Radios? ‘Who wants a worm, let him have it’ — so last Christmas Santa Claus parked a radio in the bosom of a hitherto perfectly peaceful family (and the family says it’s a good radio, capable of carrying on simultaneously with three distant stations some of the time, all of the time broadcasting the mediocre music of our own Main Street), and the worm has turned! My room on the third floor is nearing completion.
Newspapers? ‘From plague, pestilence, and famine; from battle and murder, and from sudden death, Good Lord deliver us.'
Commercialism? At present suffering an acute attack, whose cloak is Flood Control by Reservoirs, which Congress may pay for, by whose power private interests may profit.
Automobiles? For years past ours has been a cabin cruiser whose dustless highways are a thousand miles of the beautiful Ohio River; a thousand miles more of the tawny untamed Mississippi, with their combined network of navigable tributaries. There one learns to love not the works of ‘Mozart, Spengler, and Hardy’ the less, but the Infinity of Music, Philosophy, and Poetry more, for nature is eternal, and the rivers reach the sea. . . . We wonder if R. H. Wheldon has a boat?
H. WYATT WASHINGTON
DEAR ATLANTIC, -
The article on ‘Chaos or Cosmos in American Education’ in the October Atlantic interested me deeply. As a teacher in a public high school, I see one phase of public education and my experience leads me to agree with much that Dr. Holmes says. I should like, however, to comment on his dictum that American teachers seem not to have an ambition to develop thoroughness in their pupils.
I concede that the results we obtain do in some respects lack the thoroughness we would like them to have; but consider the conditions under which we try to teach. Compulsory education and general prosperity have enormously increased our high-school population. This increase includes young people of many different nationalities, from sharply contrasting home conditions and with divergent personal ambitions; or perhaps with no personal ambition yet existent. These young people vary as to intellect from the very bright to the very slow. In high school they are registered in any course they happen to select, with no method on the part of the school to ascertain whether the pupils’ abilities are suited to the courses chosen. Naturally many misfits occur, and failure and discouragement are inevitable.
During the period of this great increase in pupils came the World War, which, for several years, put an end to the erection of school buildings. Principals had to accommodate in any given school perhaps two or more times the number for which the school was planned. Some arrangement such as our Chicago shift system was adopted. The building was in use from 8 A.M. until 5 P.M., and two or more teachers used the same room and the same desk. At least one third of the day a teacher was out of her room, and so could not use her desk or the various materials in her bookcase. Often she had no place and no time to meet pupils who needed help. Studying was done by hundreds of pupils in large assembly halls, not always well lighted or well ventilated, and often with no desks for writing. In some Chicago high schools these conditions have been improved, but in others they still prevail.
With the large increase in school population came the big class, forty to fifty pupils. Some principals strive to keep the size of classes down near the official average of thirty-five pupils per teacher; others are evidently indifferent as to size of classes, and a teacher may have even six classes of over forty pupils each. Thus the teacher’s load varies from 175 to 240 pupils.
Think of the effect of these large classes on a teacher’s standards. She starts in with high hopes of what she can accomplish with her pupils, and meets a class in a forty-five-minute recitation period. Ten or fifteen minutes at the least must be given to taking the dally attendance, calling for and signing admits for returned absentees or for a tardy pupil. Perhaps thirtyfive minutes are left in which to find out which pupils have and which ones have not done some creditable preparation; thirty-five minutes in which to have pupils demonstrate geometry propositions, practise speaking a foreign language, or make a report on some special topic. Not more than six or eight pupils can be called upon for such exercises in a period and the pupils soon learn that they are likely to be called upon only twice or three times a week. A good many of them soon question: ‘ Why study every day?’
The situation is further complicated by the fact that teachers are urged to give few failure averages at the close of a term. In some cases a teacher’s efficiency rank is determined largely by the percentage of pupils she passes. Some principals are courageous enough to stand for quality rather than quantity, but the schools of a great city are a unit to a certain extent, and all suffer when high executives set as the goal, not the mastery of subject matter, but the securing of a passing grade. Again, the effect naturally is to make the teacher feel that she is unwise to try to maintain a standard demanding thoroughness.
Since the size of the classes prohibits hearing pupils often in oral recitation, many teachers assign a good deal of written work. The perusal of the greater part of this must be done outside of school hours, as teachers have few, if any, free periods during school hours. A high-school English teacher reports that it would necessitate over thirty hours outside of school if she were to read with helpful comment and correction one short theme for each student once a week. Such revision is necessary for thorough composition work by the pupils, but the teacher who spent such an amount of outside time on essay correction would so suffer from eyestrain and nervous fatigue that she would have no enthusiasm for the classroom.
A questionnaire answered last year by many local high-school teachers showed that a majority of them feel that they cannot maintain their standards in the big class in the big school, especially in subjects which are intended to develop diversity or originality, or to perfect individual performance in a difficult activity. The teachers reported that the method used was largely mass instruction. Mass instruction leads to thoroughness only in subjects in which relatively simple activities are repeated time and again.
The coming of the big school has changed the emphasis in the school from education to administration. The big school, from the teachers’ point of view, has ‘factory-ized’ education; it has created lock-step methods, and made uniformity an ideal.
MARION C. LYONS, Ex-President
Local No. 3, American Federation of Teachers
BROCKENHURST, HANTS, ENGLAND
DEAR ATLANTIC, -
In this age improved by numberless organizations for the investigation and uplift of everything from the house fly to ‘Our Literary Slums,’ I beg to plead for the formation of yet another. It should be known as ‘The Society for the Prevention of Petty Persecutions Perpetrated against Paid Persons by Pestiferous Pets.’
This society would investigate and report on cases of wealthy old women who, soured against their own kind, lavish all their devotion and affection upon the more effeminate variations of the animal kingdom. For some reason cats seem the animal most often idolized. Now, a properly trained cat is a clean, self-respecting individual, yet no animal more quickly becomes a fussy, cantankerous, silly brute when its every whim is regarded of religious significance.
I know of one instance where a woman’s niece is expected to rise from her bed between twelve and two each morning and escort the cat downstairs to the front door. The fact that Sir William chooses this rather peculiar hour for commencing his night rambles is regarded as a sign of his aristocratic tendencies.
There are penurious old maids who, while half starving themselves and such persons as are unfortunate enough to be their companions, will feed some sleepy little dog upon the fat of the land.
Too often have I been present when that scene so well told by Mrs. Gaskell has been reënacted. Remember that the Cranford ladies were taking tea with the very Honorable Mrs. Jamieson. Carlo, the small dog, received his tea first, the entire cream pitcher being emptied into his saucer. The Cranford ladies waited for their tea to be diluted with milk, and were then asked to admire Carlo’s intelligence and good sense in declining to drink anything but tea served with cream. Mrs. Gaskell aptly remarks, ‘But we silently thought we were quite as intelligent and sensible as Carlo.’
It should be remembered that charity begins at home, and that in all probability most of us are more closely related to our human kind than to even the most deserving of our pet animals.
Very gratifying is this testimony from one of our charter members.
Editor, the Atlantic Monthly
DEAR SIR: -
Reading your notes in the November number as to the earlier days of your excellent magazine, I am strongly reminded of an incident in my early life.
When your first number appeared, I had just emerged from the starvation period which then seemed to be an essential part of a young lawyer’s career — and had just started to enjoy the comfort of boarding in a private family here. A few days after arrival, I sat down in the parlor and picked up a copy of your first issue, then utterly unknown here, and chanced to open at the article by Dr, Oliver Wendell Holmes of blessed memory.
As I read I commenced to laugh, and the more I read the more I laughed, and had such a violent time that the ‘landlady’s daughter’ finally rushed in, fearing that I had gone off into a fit. I begged her to read also and soon there were two young people loudly laughing in chorus till we finished the article. I loved Dr, Holmes from that day.
When the lecture habit prevailed in old times the good Doctor came here and delighted us with one of his most remarkable productions. It was in the summertime and the great hall was crowded. But no Dr. Holmes was in sight, his train having been delayed. The waiting committee finally gave it up as hopeless — when the famous man suddenly dashed into the hall alone, in his traveling duster, satchel in hand, and rushed down the centre aisle to the vacant platform, threw his duster upon the floor, apologized, and then quickly had his admiring audience in an uproar.
I am the oldest lawyer in Ohio and still active as a counselor, and so forth — no more trials. Ninety-seven and one-half years old.
EDWARD P. BRADSTREET