The Contributors' Column
‘DURING recent years,’ writes William B. Munro, professor of government atHarvard, ’I have been a college professor during half the year and a college trustee the other half. In both capacities I hear very little discussion of anything except the urgent need for more money and the ways of getting it.’ In other words, when such a man attacks the subject of financing higher education, he knows whereof he speaks. Robert Dean Frisbie continues his South Sea Island chronicle, describing his experiences as the only white man on an atoll full of natives. The Right Reverend Charles Fiske, whose article in the June Atlantic, ‘A Bishop Looks at the Church,’ aroused widespread interest, follows up his criticism with a constructive defense and frank confession of faith in the Church. The Bishop’s book of last year, The Christ We Know, is being followed this fall by a collection of essays entitled The Confessions of a Puzzled Parson.
Two more sonnets by R. S. maintain the same extraordinarily high poetic level that he reached in our last issue. ∆ Talented daughter of a distinguished father, Margaret Munsterberg works in the editorial room of the Boston Public Library. ∆ Our mania for giving prizes receives short shrift from Miss Repplier, wdio buttresses her case with many adroit quotations. A It is one of the satisfying ironies of life to find in Paid Shorey, first of American humanists , the most effective defender of William Jennings Bryan. Evolution has been enjoying such a consistently good press that it is a pleasure to hear from a gentleman and a scholar who finds Plato more satisfying than Darwin. Samuel Seoville, Jr., law yer and nature lover, gives a description of his recent adventures in southern Georgia and northern Florida that sends a tickle along the spine. Robert Hillyer’s seventh book of verse, appropriately entitled The Seventh Hill, appeared this spring.
Readers of ‘The Sea Boy’ will find no difficulty in believing Captain William Outerson’s statement that his life has been ‘varied and intensely interesting.’ Born in Edinburgh in 1875, he left school at fourteen and shipped on a four-masted barque from Liverpool to Calcutta and back. Six months in a law office in the Scotch capital were followed by a voyage to San Francisco, round the Horn. Most of the next ten years was spent in the United States, in whose navy the young man enlisted during the Spanish War. Then came more education, a little journalism, and globe-trotting, from Alaska to the Orient. The Great War naturally attracted this adventurous spirit and he received a commission in the Black Watch, with which he served in India until 1920, when he retired with a captain’s commission. A young Outerson is already following in his father’s footsteps, having entered the Naval Academy at Annapolis. ∆A The second and concluding installment of Hilda Wetherill’s letters from an Indian trading post shows how the redskin meets such great emergencies as war and illness. ∆ All the way from Italy come Bernice Kenyon’s verses on a theme that has always exercised a peculiar fascination over the poetic mind.
As a lecturer in astrophysics at McGill University, Professor A. Vibert Douglas is qualified to discuss the energy of starlight and even to draw the surprising conclusion that we are such stuff as stars are made on. Vincent C. Bonnlander, a New Jersey clergyman, offers an appealing reconciliation between Nature and Man. ∆ As military correspondent of the London Daily Telegraph,Captain B. H. Liddell Hart enjoys a distinguished reputation as an expert on the science and history of warfare. His studies have ranged from classical times down to the Great War, and several of his books on military subjects have appeared in this country.
After graduating from Vanderbilt University and taking a master’s and a doctor’s degree at Yale, Howard Douglas Dozier became head of the School of Commerce at the University of Georgia and later professor of economics at Dartmouth. He is now serving in an advisory capacity to one of the government departments at Washington. Purists who may take offense at his title of ‘Hamstringing Insurance’ are referred to a distinguished authority. ‘So have they,’ wrote John Milton, ‘hamstrung the valor of the subject.’ Maurice Holland is Director of the Division of Engineering and Industrial Research of the National Research Council. His investigations of scientific research methods abroad have taken him to many foreign countries, including Japan, which he visited in 1926 as a delegate to the Pan-Pacific Science Congress. Although some of the material in his present article is drawn from the report he made to the National Research Council and some from a privately printed brochure, Out of Kimono into Overalls, most of the substance and all of the form are entirely new.
It had been the Atlantic’s intention to invite an immediate reply to Mr. Scharff’s interesting discussion of public utilities, but, since the Federal Trade Commission is at the moment actively investigating power companies throughout the country, the natural spokesmen for the industry feel that they should not be called on to reply to charges or even comment upon suggestions until the government report is made and published.
We are indebted to Mrs. Marion G. Hartness, of Green Mountain Falls, Colorado, for the following Korean proverbs she assembled on a recent trip to that part of the world and passed on to us apropos of our little papers on Chinese Proverbs: —
Why put jewels on straw shoes? Straw shoes should have strings of their own kind.
Even three pecks of gems are not gems until strung on a string.
Horseshoes for the feet of a dog!
However pressed you may be for time, you must thread the needle through the eye, not tie it round the middle.
Even a tiger, if he is spoken of, appears.
Like putting fresh meat in a tiger’s mouth.
Trying to drive an ox through a rat hole.
What you tell a cow is kept a secret; what you tell your wife is published abroad.
A daughter-in-law grows up to be a motherin-law and acts the mother-in-law in even worse measure.
Even a state cannot relieve its own poor.
Gifts to the king may be strung on a string, but the bribes that go with it must be carried by a horse.
Even a sheet of paper is lighter when lifted by two.
A witch cannot do her own exorcising, nor a sorcerer foretell the day of his own death.
One must go up to Heaven if he would pick stars.
Like a white crane flying across a black cloud.
Water maybe known a thousand fathoms deep, but a single fathom of a man’s heart it is impossible to know.
Christian counsel for campaigners.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
In Mr. George Wharton Pepper’s fine paper, ‘From Nadir to Zenith,’ in the Atlantic Monthly for August 1928, is this admirable statement, which should be constantly borne in mind by all men, including us Protestants, and particularly during this Presidential campaign: ‘As far as belief is concerned, there are fixed stars in the Christian firmament. . . . Around these are clustered many bright but lesser stars by which devout Catholics, Protestants, and Roman Catholics alike steer their course. These are the high lights of the Christian tradition.’
A list, reasonably complete, of those ‘fixed stars’ was given one hundred years ago by Charles Butler, a devout Roman Catholic, an eminent English lawyer, an author of distinction on legal and religious subjects, in his Reminiscences, published in 1822.
In that book he says: ‘Eleven articles of religious belief, in which all denominations of Christians believe, are: —
‘(1) That there is one God.
‘(2) That He is a Being of infinite perfection.
‘(3) That He directs all tilings by His Providence.
‘(4) That it is our duty to love Him with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves.
‘(5) That it is our duty to repent of the sins we commit.
‘(6) That He pardons the truly repentant. ’(7) That there is a future state of rewards and punishment, when all mankind shall be judged according to their works.
‘(8) That He sent His Son into the world to be its Saviour, the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.
‘(9) That He is the true Messiah.
‘(10) That He taught, worked miracles, suffered, died, and rose again, as is related in the four Gospels.
‘(11) That He will hereafter make a second appearance on the earth, raise all mankind from the dead, judge the world in righteousness, bestow eternal life on the virtuous, and punish the workers of iniquity.’
F. D. MINOR
Llewellyn White’s remark in these columns that he does not ‘relish the Roman Catholic theory that the end justifies the means’ brings us this account of two European trials in which the usual indictment leveled against the Jesuits enjoyed its day in court.
Some three years ago in Norway legislation was proposed abolishing the proscriptive laws against the order of the Jesuits. This caused a good deal of an uproar, in the course of which a lady, Mrs. Martha Steinsvik, filled the press with fervent denunciations of the order. A certain Father Reisterers, a Catholic parish priest at Christiansand, severely criticized the lady’s assertions and published a lengthy confutation thereof, couched in vigorous language. The lady was grievously offended and brought suit against the priest in the civil tribunal. This tribunal held a hearing several days in length on the whole question, and on January 18, last,acquitted the priest, awarding costs against the lady.
The affair took very much the same course at Budapest. Curiously enough the two cases were almost synchronous. One Desiderius Polonyi published in a Budapest journal a series of attacks similar to those published by the Norwegian lady. These were answered by a certain Julius Czapik, professor of theology and editor in chief of the Catholic review, Magyar Kultura. The professor publicly charged Polonyi as a calumniator, whereupon Polonyi brought suit against the professor. The court, recognizing the nature of the case, constituted a special jury of competent persons with instructions to go to the bottom of the charges. Each side appointed two experts to deal with the case. The hearing lasted three weeks, and ended with a verdict in favor of Professor Czapik, giving him damages of one hundred pengo and, in addition, awarding costs of one thousand pengo against Polonyi.
I have the main portion of the text of the court’s decision before me, which is somewhat too long to quote here. Suffice it to say that it is sweeping in its condemnation of Polonyi. I quote the concluding sentence, which runs: —
‘Wherefore the court believes it its duty to declare that the charges brought to proof have been shown not to correspond with the truth; that the above cited maxim is not a doctrine of the Jesuits; that the charge brought against the Society is a calumny and its maker is a calumniator; the plaintiff having been guilty of calumny, the defendant had full right to call him a calumniator.’
Can it be that transfer of the indictment from the Jesuits to the Church as a whole results from a conviction that, as it is no longer possible to sustain it against the former, it might be as well to try it against the latter?
I never cease to marvel at the lack of scholarship, of logic, and, I regret to say, not infrequently of good manners, displayed by interveners in this particular matter. Nor have I the slightest hope that the two judicial decisions to which I have referred will have the least effect upon the minds of Mr. White and those who share his general point of view on these matters.
THOMAS F. WOODLOCK
Mr. Moore Bennett’s strictures on certain Protestant missionaries in China, which appeared in our August issue, called forth a number of rejoinders. The following letter expresses a point of view generally held.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
Concerning Mr. Bennett’s article, ‘ Christianity in China,’ it was my rich fortune to be a guest at one of the Catholic institutions which he praised, or might have praised. My memory of the industrious, sacrificial lives of the Brothers, of the secluded, prayer-pervaded atmosphere of their monastery (fifteenth-century Europe in a roadless nook of fifteenth-century China), constitutes an ever-green oasis in my thoughts. High praise to these Catholics, and also to those other missionaries, both Catholic and Protestant, whose lives for many years have been merged into that of the Chinese community in which they live and work. Having said this, I am not willing to sit silent while Mr. Bennett damns those other Protestant missionaries who conceive it their function to assist the thinking portion of the Chine.se people in their troubled transition from the mediæval to the modern world. One of Mr. Bennett’s criticisms, that of luxurious living on the part of Protestant missionaries, deserves comment. Such a criticism holds for America as well as China. The principal reason why missionaries should not live as the Chinese do is that, if they did, they would not, many of them, live. If these persons would not share the high morbidity and mortality rates prevalent among the Chinese, they must live in houses which can be kept clean and fairly cool, which have means for the proper disposal of sewage, and are screened, White persons must, in addition, have vacations and means of relaxation. This applies to all except the rare individuals who thrive on broken rules of health. If a missionary wishes to keep intellectually fit, he must have furlough periods for study. If economy be Mr. Bennett’s plea, he should know that preventable sickness and death among missionaries have constituted a much greater waste of money than has the building of modern-style houses and of cottages at summer resorts.
Because the unit of Chinese society is the family, it is surprising that Mr. Bennett has only criticism for the presence of the Christian family in China. Wives and children are an integral part of tire Protestant missionary force. Finally, even with living quarters furnished, can a man with children to educate live luxuriously on a salary of four or five dollars a day? That a few missionaries, living in such an expensive city as Peking, have had to supplement their inadequate salaries by selling Chinese products is unfortunate, because it offers a mark for the arrow of the ever-present critic.
WILLIAM G. LENNOX
A voice from the cellar hole.
DEAR ATLANTIC, -
Your nameless contributor in the sketch entitled ‘Cellar Holes,’ in the August issue, gave us a slight start, causing my sister and myself, at sixty plus, to feel for the moment at least a hundred and fifty years old! Cellar holes, as the writer gently intimates, are associated in the mind with crumbling gravestones and by no means with continuing activity in the field of letters (or, indeed, in any other). Nevertheless, while our dear childhood home is now one of New England’s sadly beautiful abandoned farms, and the Dutch colonial cottage, with its great central chimney inhabited by mysterious soot-winged chimney swifts, its many fireplaces, all-enveloping Virginia creeper, and sheltering maples (not beeches), has become only a memory, even to the shining flight of white marble steps from the ‘Goodale quarry’ under the mountain, yet the ‘Goodale sisters’ are still very much alive.
I wish that your contributor had known my sister Dora Read Goodale’s recent volume of poems, The Test of the Sky, of which the name poem appeared a few years ago in the Atlantic.. As for me, having brought up my family of six (not seven) children, I am writing and publishing fiction (or poetry disguised as fiction), and my Luck of Oldacres is soon to appear under the Century imprint. So much for the sequel to ‘Cellar Holes’!
ELAINE GOODALE EASTMAN
They have no pollywogs in Porto Rico.
SAN JUAN, PORTO RICO
DEAR ATLANTIC, -
On page 284 of the August Atlantic I note that Paul Griswold Howes ‘discovered a kind of frog that has simplified its existence to such a point that the pollywog stage has been quite eliminated.’ I believe that Karl Patterson Schmidt discovered such a frog in Porto Rico in 1919. He was sent here by the American Museum of Natural History to make a herpetological survey of the island.
While he was at his task he found on El Yunque a frog that laid tiny transparent eggs in which could be seen the already developed babies whom fate had spared the tadpole stage. I well remember how our house fairly crept and crawled with specimens brought in by two greatly interested small sons; and particularly the astonishment of us all when Mr. Schmidt produced his vial of transparent eggs with the midget frogs sitting in state therein.
ANNE H. WALL
The far-flung Atlantic.
GREENE, N. Y.
DEAR ATLANTIC, -
The unique uses to which numerous fated copies of the magazine have been put tempt me to send this letter of appreciation.
Our copies of the Atlantic have a quite extended sub circulation. For instance, the first six copies of 1928 were read by seven persons, having visited four households. When they come back to me, they, with several other magazines, will go to a leper hospital in South India, following their predecessors of the last five years. There they will be read by missionaries and other members of the hospital staff, then passed out to those patients who are able to read and understand them. Following this, the magazines are used as textbooks in English classes conducted by leprosy patients who have had advantages of higher education.
Was R. W. E. speaking ironically or prophetically when he wrote in his diary, in 1857, concerning the new magazine, Atlantic, ‘ A journal is an assuming to guide the age — very proper and necessary to be done, and good news that it shall be so — But this journal, is this it? Has Apollo spoken?’
GRACE J. RUSSELL