WITH those admirable binoculars which brought everything that de Tocqueville noticed into such perfect focus, Andræ Siegfried has traversed the United States from end to end. His first visit was in 1898. Renewing his impressions every four or five years, M. Siegfried observed that the very basis of American civilization was changing, and that by 1925 a new society, whose foundation rests upon entirely different principles and methods, had come to life. This he sets forth in his book, America Comes of Age. M. Siegfried is a professor at I’École des Sciences Politiques, Paris, but at present working in England under appointment as an Honorary Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. ¶A reporter at large in New York City, Morris Markey — who is, by the way, a Southerner — has brought to light facts and situations unnoticed by the police, the citizen, or the censor. The Reverend Lloyd C. Douglas is minister of the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. ¶In Harvard a very few years ago Walter D. Edmonds was giving promise of his rich and varied narratives with stories that, as now, centre about the old Erie Canal, which he has known from boyhood. ¶A minister of the Kirk, Dr. J. M. Witherow contributes to us from his parish on the Scotch border.
William Feather has solved the author’s problem. As he says, ‘The truth is, publishers can do little for me I can’t do for myself.’ He writes his books and the articles for his little monthly, and then, since he is head of a Cleveland printing house that bears his name — he prints them all at a profit! It is only fair to add that they have an excellent circulation. Roderick Morison is a seafaring poet. As the editor in charge of the wireless edition of the Daily Mail, he crosses the Atlantic at least twice a month on Cunard liners. The Reverend Edmund A. Walsh is Vice President of Georgetown University and Regent of the School of Foreign Service. Following the war, he spent several years in Russia in charge of the Catholic Relief Fund, and then it was that he gathered those tragic clues and testimonies which enable us to penetrate the mystery of the Romanovs’ death. ¶A Welshman and one of a family who have all found distinction in English, written and spoken, Llewelyn Powys makes his first and welcomed appearance in the Atlantic. Of late months he has been ‘ The Visiting Critic’ of the New York Herald-Tribune.Carl E. Seashore, Dean of the Graduate College of the State University of Iowa, writes us, by way of introduction, that his present paper ‘is an attempt to bring into a constructive summary the findings from our experimental studies in the measurement of musical talent during the last twenty-five years.’
Joseph Wood Rrutch, formerly of the Department of Philosophy at Columbia University, is an editor of the Nation, and the author of a critical study of Poe. ¶As a rule, Captain Thierry Mallet, president of Revillon Frères, New York, spends four months of each year inspecting the furtrading stations of the company in Hudson Bay and the West. ‘ I knew Kakarmik well,’ he tells us, ‘and his end was exactly as I write it.’ ¶For several years Joseph Auslander has been able to make himself heard above the hubbub of New York City — a test of skill for any poet. Michael Williams is a Catholic journalist of established reputation, who since its foundation has been editor of the Commonweal.
George W. Alger, a well-known member of the New York bar, is an Atlantic author of the standing of a quarter century. ¶A manufacturer of drop-forged tools, and president of the Buffalo company bearing his name, James Harvey Williams is intimately concerned with the effect the Sherman Act must have upon small manufacturers the country over. Up to four years ago Mr. Williams was a resident of Greater New York, where he had served his term as President of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
The following correspondence is in our experience unique. On reading the manuscript of ’Hang the Dog,’ the legal ethics involved seemed to us open to question, but, as laymen continually surprised by what the lawyer’s code will and will not permit, we accepted Mr. Hedrick’s revelations (which are quite incidental to his argument) as interesting evidence on a confused subject. We remembered, too, something of the character of Chicago newspapers and of Chicago politics. We are glad to publish the following letters as evidence that the ethics of the Chicago bar is in a different category.
THE CHICAGO BAR ASSOCIATION
January 5, 1928
Editor of the Atlantic Monthly
DEAR SIR: —
Enclosed please find a letter addressed to you from Edwin Hedrick. Mr. Hedrick sent this letter to the Board of Managers of the Chicago Bar Association to be sent to you and to be given such further publicity as the Board of Managers thought proper.
You will also find enclosed a statement approved by the Board of Managers setting forth the fact that Mr. Hedrick’s article, ‘Hang the Dog,’ had been called to their attention, and also the action taken by the Board of Managers after receipt of Mr. Hedrick’s letter.
I accordingly request that you publish in the Atlantic Monthly as soon as possible both Mr. Hedrick’s letter and the enclosed statement approved by the Board of Managers of the Chicago Bar Association.
Very sincerely yours,
CARL R. LATHAM
There appeared in the September number of the Atlantic Monthly an article entitled ‘Hang the Dog,’ which was written by Edwin Hedrick, a member of the Chicago Bar, This article aroused instant and general resentment on the part of members of the legal profession throughout the country and was peculiarly brought home to the Chicago Bar by the reference by the editor of the Atlantic Monthly to Mr. Hedrick as a noted trial lawyer of this city.
The article was called to the attention of the Board of Managers of the Chicago Bar Association, which referred the matter to its Committee on Professional Ethics. That Committee, after a full investigation, reached the conclusion, in which the Board of Managers concurred, that Mr. Hedrick had laid himself open to criticism upon two grounds: First, by the article itself he showed that he was guilty of unethical and unprofessional conduct in the trial of several of the cases to which he had referred. Second, by the general tone of his article and several times in express words he had indicated that the conduct to which he resorted was the proper procedure to follow and not at all opposed to due professional methods.
Mr. Hedrick appeared before the Committee and later prepared and submitted for the Board’s consideration a letter addressed to the editor of the Atlantic Monthly, with the request that it be published. Upon due consideration the Board of Managers concluded to accept Mr. Hedrick’s own characterization of his conduct in lieu of other censure, and to cause his letter to be published in the Atlantic Monthly, the American Bar Association Journal, the Illinois State Bar Association Quarterly, and the Chicago Bar Association Record.
Editor of the Atlantic Monthly
DEAR SIR: —
I beg to advise you that I have been severely criticized by fellow members of the bar because of the article, ‘Hang the Dog,’ written by me and published in the September Atlantic.
The criticism is that in the narration of incidents in trials in which I had participated and in the discussion contained in the article I have subjected myself to the charge of lacking proper professional ethical standards, and that in so far as the article might be taken as indicative of similar views and practices on the part of the legal profession generally it constitutes an unjust reflection on the bar.
I now realize that I fully deserve this criticism. I owe it to myself and to the profession to submit the following explanation and to request its publication in the Atlantic.
The article was written with the intention of expressing my views on the subject of capital punishment, and in my enthusiasm to make it more readable and interesting I injected several anecdotal reminiscences. In narrating these reminiscences I freely mingled fiction with the facts. In order to make a good story I referred to incidents in trials of cases in which I had participated, some of which were purely imaginary, and others of which were magnified out of all proportion to their importance and effect in the cases in which they had occurred and were colored and embellished. Thus my story did not conform with the facts.
This method of treating these incidents has resulted in conveying an erroneous impression of my conduct in trying cases and my conception of the ethics of the profession and of proper trial practice, and if regarded as typical of the methods of lawyers generally is a wholly unwarranted reflection on the legal profession.
This result I did not anticipate and certainly did not intend. I sincerely regret having written an article which has given such an erroneous impression of myself and which has been interpreted as a reproach to the bar.
Wanted: a pair of seven-league boots.
December 24, 1927
GENTLEMEN : —
I am planning to walk from my home town, Salem, to Paris, France, by way of the Berring Straits. Starting from Salem, I plan to go to Montreal, there following the transcontinental railroad to Winnipeg, to Edmonton, Alberta, to Darson City, British Columbia, and to Iolglioe, Alaska, then to across the Berring Sea, into Siberia, to Moscow, Russia, to Poland, by way of Warsaw, on to Berlin, through Belgium, and on direct to Paris, France.
The trip will take me only one year and six months and will cost me one thousand dollars. It will be the first of its kind in hikes that has ever been done in the history of the world, and it won’t be a pleasure trip by a long shot. And as far as getting rides on the way, that will be next to impossible, as there is no road open to autos in the winter on account of the snow. It will have to be walking all the way over.
It ought to be a good trip for some one to get interested in as it has never been done before and there will be all kinds of experiences in it and excitement to it. I have allready engaged in several cross-country hikes from Salem to San Francisco, Cal. The last one took me just 14 months to complete it for a round trip.
If you are interested in this trip, please answer as soon as possible so that I may start without delay on my part.
Very Truely Yours,
OWEN C. EASTMAN
The possibilities for optimism.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
Mr. Joseph Wood Krutch’s ‘Paradox of Humanism,’ in the December Atlantic, is less a paradox than a dilemma. It may be paraphrased as follows: If one lives according to nature, all human values are destroyed, because ‘perfected society is utterly devoid of human values and its perfection is made possible by that very fact’; and if one lives to achieve human ends one upsets the relentless mechanism upon which humanism parasitically feeds. But one must live either naturally or humanistically. Hence, one must in either case fail to attain satisfaction. Hence pessimism.
Among ways of dealing with dilemmas the two best known are picturesquely called ‘taking it by the horns’ and ‘escaping between the horns.’ Let us take this one by the horns.
To the second hypothetical of the disjunction one may speak as fellows. No human society is quite destitute of humanism. Yet human society, taken generically, is not being undone by subhuman species. On the contrary, the existence of subhuman species is increasingly subject to human tolerance. Old men and sentimental women hunt lions and tigers with impunity. Bugs of one sort or another succumb to antitoxin or even to an atomizer. And of human species those survive which are farthest from the mechanical, the habitual, and the merely biological. The American Indian is now either dead or no longer a natural savage. Where is the defeat of thought?
And with what justice is humanism identified with Don Juanism, or, indeed, with static indulgence of any sort? It is an enormous assumption that thought terminates in eroticism or in contemplative finalities, and that art and philosophy contribute nothing to the task of survival. On the contrary, they have played major parts in the creation of social cohesion. It is certainly true that any attempt to make the moment eternal, to repose in its joys and arrest its dissolution, ends in suffering and in practical biological disaster. But to identify such maudlin intoxication with humanism or with thought is quite gratuitous.
Nor is it obvious that individualism is the alternative to a regimented naturalism. It is likely that the individual emerged from the early homogeneity of the group partly because he could meet an eventuality for which no mechanical practice was adequate. In fact, mechanically organized groups usually fail. Sparta finally suffered a worse fate than Athens. Sparta was not at all biologically successful.
The fact that admirably cultured societies have fallen before the barbarians does not prove the softness of humanism, nor its practical futility. An African village may be wiped out by a herd of elephants, but Greece and Rome required worthier antagonists. The human barbarians capable of destroying America would not be so very close to nature.
Nature, in short, has no penalty for an active humanism, nor for an intelligent individualism. But the penalty for all merely biological activity is eventual annihilation.
Finally, it is not thought for its own sake that interferes with practical action, but rather it is among conflicting acts or conflicting programmes of action that disaster lurks. Certainly humanism means thought for its own sake, but such enjoyment of individual self-consciousness comes from a perception of the significance of the practical process, and not from immersion in a transcendent and biologically irrelevant egotism. At least these are possibilities.
J. W. MILLER
An epitaph for the Unknown.
WASHINGTON, D. C.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
Neither the author of the ‘Unknown Soldier’ article nor the correspondents who wrote about it stated the real truth,
A young Englishwoman, who wrote the enclosed lines when the English Unknown was buried, told the whole story: —
For whom these ceremonies be!
The concentrate epitome
Of all who died by land or sea.
Son of each mute, mourning mother,
Husband of every widowed wife,
Of all sisters their dead brother,
For all who live gave I my life
Freely, contentedly, proud to be
A. W. STEPHENS
For those who follow Reason’s path.
NEW HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
Agnes Repplier’s unusually informative and well-written article, ‘Collective Unreason,’ in December’s Atlantic appealed to me as finely and fairly written, save at one spot. I wondered why she had to write, speaking of college suicides, ‘Nothing is less likely than that the youths who committed suicide could ever have grown into intelligent and useful manhood.’ It is a difficult speculation, at best, and those of us who are still trying to scrape through may not be much helped. For, if she be correct, it is not so much of a tragedy after all. Perhaps it is merciful if the useless dispense with themselves — merciful to all. But the conclusion is difficult. It is a long distance from ‘Not a sparrow falleth . . .'
I am a relatively young man, the son of a rigorous iconoclast who knew some of the reasons why old religious thought lost its moorings. I have seen stoical agnosticism lived, not under bad conditions. My education has included some of the ‘best’ in modern psychology, philosophy, economics, and science. Because all that left such vast voids, I have hunted out old theology, and have spent time in one of the older theological seminaries. My youth was as free of theology and the church as anyone’s youth possibly could be. It has seemed somewhat as though I had run a good deal of the gamut of ‘modern’ thought before pushing backward. I am doing my best to fit into the present scheme of things without uproar. But it is not easy going.
Very sincerely yours,
Green thoughts in a hospital.
December 23, 1927
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
Thanks for Flora McIntyre’s ‘ Green Thoughts in a Green Shade.’ It has reassured, as well as instructed, me. For almost a year now I have been confined to bed here in the National Jewish Hospital. Not having the good fortune of a tent in a summer environment, I’ve had to find and manufacture my diversion, I planted sweet peas and nasturtiums in flowerpots. These grew and flowered. Of the orange and lemon and apple and grape and grapefruit and plum and peach and pear seeds that I planted, and that did not grow or flower, it is too sad to write. The day I found a worm — a real live worm — in one of my flowerpots is memorable. Once I had a number of grasshoppers in my room for pets. (They did not ruin my nasturtiums or sweet peas.) Once the barber spilled some of his hair tonic on the bedclothes and everybody that came in told me how nice my sweet peas smelled! At present I am growing narcissus and hyacinths in flowerpots, fruit jars, and an Indian pottery bowl. There is only one small disadvantage in all this ‘extracurricular’ activity, and that is that my fellow patients think that, though I may not be entirely, I am at least a little bit crazy. It is good to find another such.
J. R. L.
Optimism in the air.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
It is somewhat astonishing that Neon, writing in the January Atlantic, with his evident knowledge of aeronautics, should confine himself to destructive criticism based largely on the failure of the transoceanic flights. I write ‘failure’ advisedly, because even the wonderful flight of Colonel Lindbergh proved nothing as to the commercial exploitation of transoceanic flight. What it proved was, as Neon writes, ‘that an airplane required so much weight in fuel that no further weight, except the passenger, could be carried,’ but to reason from this that all aeronautical vehicles are similarly handicapped is all wrong. Neon surely must know, as the world does, of the astonishing flights of the rigid dirigibles. Two of them have crossed the Atlantic, one even making the return voyage. What is significant about these flights is that not only was the fuel carried, plus a numerous crew, but there was carried what we engineers call a fair-sized pay load. The rigid dirigible is the proper economic vehicle for transoceanic flights and for long nonstop flights.
Great Britain is building the R. 100 superdirigible for the purpose of connecting the mother country with Australia. Spain is planning an organization of dirigibles to link up with her South American interests. I myself firmly believe that dirigible transportation, under the proper organization, between the United States and Europe, the United States and Japan, and the United States and South America would do much to promote harmony and increase export trade. This particular branch of aeronautics, which Neon so strangely ignores, should be developed and encouraged.
Now let us turn to the constructive side of aviation — to the heavier-than-air airplanes.
One of the most interesting Bulletins coming from our Bureau of Commerce is entitled Foreign Aeronautical News. In a very recent number we read of the network of air lines that is spanning the world, shortening distances and increasing understanding. The vast territories of South America are being covered by such a network of plane lines. In the Belgian Congo in Africa an air line is in operation transporting the gold from the mines to Khartum.
The longest air fine in the world— about 8000 miles — is about ready for use, connecting Paris, France, with Buenos Aires, South America. Part of the distance — about three days in time — will be by boat; the balance by land or sea planes.
Throughout the world, air clubs are being formed; the world is unquestionably becoming air-minded, just as it has become automobileminded. Do not forget that it took the automobile some seventeen years—from 1893 to 1910 — to overcome the convention of the people. Yet the automobile had hundreds of years of wheeled-carriage tradition behind it, plus nearly a century of mechanical railroad transportation.
It is twenty-four years since Wilbur Wright first flew, and we have thousands of years of tradition before that to prove that we could not fly. We are expecting too much of the airplane to have it justify itself in this short space of time. And yet a perusal of the records shows that it is so justifying itself. Just to take one or two examples. The British Air Transport services during the last seven years flew 5,000,000 miles with only four accidents. In 1926 the Lufthansa in Germany flew 3,800,000 miles, carrying over 55,000 passengers, with only one fatal accident. Innumerable such records could be quoted here to illustrate the fact that the aeronautic industry — heavier-than-air vehicles and lighter-thanair — can solve, and is solving in an economical manner, the world’s transportation needs.
It all depends on the point of view.
WEDGEFIELD, S. C.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
When I went to the station a few afternoons ago to see a friend of mine off on the train, both of us bought a magazine, I an Atlantic, and she one which she kept with the back turned outward. I almost stood on my head until I finally saw that it was a True Story Magazine. My face must have given my feelings away, for she hastened to justify her purchase by explaining to me that ‘it was nothing but true-to-life stories.’ I expressed the opinion that the Atlantic was a great deal more ‘true-to-life.’ Upon thinking it over, I don’t wonder that she thought her choice realistic, for briefly her story is this: —
She is a year younger than I, only twenty-two years old, and she has been married twice to the same man — the marriage was annulled the first time, and she divorced him the second time. He had deserted her after a scene which made my blood run cold when she told me about it. She and her two children are now dependent on her father, who is fortunately a wealthy man, but she is engaged to a young man who is himself getting a divorce. That is a bare outline of the facts — the whole story is melodrama, pure and simple.
Now I want to know if she is not justified in thinking that the Hon, Prof. Bernarr Macfadden’s popular magazine is ‘true-to-life.’ What right have I, a mere teacher of Freshman Composition in a small denominational college, to say what is realistic and what is not?
(MISS) MARY CELESTIA PARLER