FEW contributors have been welcomed so frequently and delightedly to the Atlantic as Jean Kenyon Mackenzie. ‘ Black Sheep,’ her well-remembered letters written while she was a missionary in Africa, appeared during the war. Many times her name has been signed to both prose and verse since then. ‘The Trader’s Wife’ is a performance which we believe will speak for itself. Count Hermann Keyserling observes America with an eye unwarped by preconceptions — at least, by our own preconceptions. William I. Nichols, until recently one of the assistant deans of Harvard College, having particular charge of Freshmen, has accepted a post in a business office in Boston. Δ Can nothing be done to prevent the cruel injustice of such situations as Mamie Hall Porritt describes from her own experience? Dean Chamberlin gives the following account of his education: —
It is hard to remember just when I first started to work in the building game. It is all that I have ever done, except go to school. About a month before my high-school graduation, workmen began to build another school building across the street from the classroom where I was supposedly studying Ovid.
Instead of absorbing the Metamorphoses, I was watching the riggers guy their derrick and wondering just how the engineers would drive a connecting tunnel between the two schools. When graduation came, I had to help build that new school. I was a carpenter’s apprentice.
In the year between high school and college and during subsequent summers, I ‘served my articles’ and came out of college with a B.S. degree and a Journeyman’s Card. The Card seemed to have a greater immediate value than the diploma, so I decided to give it a trial. The results are in the essay. The diploma is the more valuable.
I am to return to Dartmouth this fall and teach Freshman English. I plan to lock the tool box. Still — there may be big-time rush power houses or dams to help build other summers. There is a glamour about a big construction job (when it is swinging high, wide, and handsome) that one who has ever been a part of the madhouse never loses. Then, too, it is a wonderful ‘purgative’ after close association with books.
The game has an honest-to-God personnel. Its men are restless with the restlessness of steam or water; they are hard, for they work with stone, wood, and steel, hard materials; and it is not for nothing that their tools are the level and the square.
At present I am a carpenter on the construction of an airport.
Those who love to ask what is the Great American Novel may spend a pleasant and untroubled half hour with Edith Franklin Wyatt contemplating the divagations of the First American Novel and its author. Henriette de Saussure Blanding shows that the sonnet may be large in music though small in compass. Δ ‘Grandmother Brown’s Hundred Years,’ by Harriet Connor Brown, from which the Atlantic has borrowed several characteristic chapters, will shortly be published in book form. Δ Revolutions, old and new, are the favorite study of Lucy Wilcox Adams and her husband, who is a professor of history. The unnamed personage of ‘Not without Dust and Heat’ is a symbol which will be easily recognized. Katharine Lee Bates will be remembered not only as a poet herself, but as a friend, helper, and encourager of many younger workers in the craft. The quatrain which we print herewith is believed to be the last poem which she wrote; certainly it was composed very near to the time of her death. Δ ‘A Diplomatic Incident’ is based on research material left by the late Gino Speranza, war-time assistant to Ambassador Thomas Nelson Page in the American Embassy at Rome, and author of Race or Nation.
Leland Hall, after teaching music and English at several prominent universities. journeyed to Africa, and found it so pleasant that he now spends most of his time on the Dark Continent. Henry S.Pritchett is president of the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching. Tie has occupied many important positions as an educator and administrator. Δ Readers of Charles D. Stewart’s ‘Feathers to Burn ’ may not readily imagine that the humble substance guano has acted as a cause of international conflict. But it is so. This is the year of settlement of that long-standing cause célèbre, the Tacna-Arica dispute, over which more than one American arbitration commission labored in vain. The dispute began in 1879, when Chile looked with covetous eyes upon the southern provinces of Peru, especially Tarapaca, with its great guano deposits and nitrate beds. In the course of the dispute, the bulk of the guano deposits has been exhausted. James E. Boyle is professor of Rural Economy at Cornell University. Mrs. Glendower Evans’s name has throughout a long life been linked with the causes of those less fortunate than herself. She sees eye to eye with the MacDonalds and writes of them with an understanding born of natural sympathy.
The second of the series of papers on Soviet Russia by William Henry Chamberlin, foreign correspondent of the Christian Science Monitor, who has traveled and resided in Russia for a decade, reveals again that there are tastes in liberty, as in all things. Sir James Headlam-Morley is a prominent English educator and historian. He has served as Historical Adviser to the British Foreign Office.
An almost daily duty in this office is to answer questions about Mrs. Hilda Rose — how she fares and what she needs. A recent letter from her (just four weeks on the way) will answer many queries.
FORT VERMILION, ALBERTA
July 21, 1929
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
It pleased us much to get your letter. The winter was long, but came to an end, and summer is here again. The garden is extra good, as there have been showers nearly every day, and my little cellar will not hold all the vegetables I expect to garner in this fall.
Boy’s pups are growing fast and now there are four dogs to bark at the wolves and coyotes at night. Four powerful dogs no wolves dare tackle and it does make one feel so secure.
The grass and vegetation are so rank and luxurious. Every fall they die down and if no snow comes we have grass fires. Usually the snow comes early and then the fires come in the spring. These fires are a menace to the new settler until he gets his ploughing done around the cabin. Also the fences go down before the fire unless made of wire.
The homestead is now fenced with a threestrand wire fence, good heavy barbed wire that turns back the range cattle. Then it is crossfenced into four fields with barbed wire. That fence cost $366 all together, wire and labor.
The three horses we brought with us died, one each winter. Imported horses nearly always do, because they don’t get the care, I presume — warmed water or warm stables or something. Anyway, as one man said about his, ‘They up and died on me.’ As soon as a horse died I bought a new one in here. They are smaller horses, but tougher and cost together $350.
We are still in the little cabin, but I am hoping to add another room to it soon. I bought an old log cabin and had it hauled home last winter on the sled. The logs are all numbered so a couple of men can quickly put it together again. It will have to have a new roof, doors, windows, and floor.
I may not be able to get them this year, — biographies sell slowly, — but it is pleasant to see the logs and know that there will be a kitchen by and by. When the day is done I often sit on the pile and plan and dream about the nice kitchen that will grow out of those old gray logs.
The barn is growing also. It is now 20 x 20, but as the years go by it will grow in length until it is 20 x 90 feet. When that is accomplished there will be another story added to it to hold hay. All dreams, but what is life but dreams?
I shall always treasure the copy of The Stump Farm that has the editor’s autograph in it and Dr. Eliot’s and that of all those who helped to make it a success. It was a beautiful present.
Sincerely your friend,
These verses, in the Atlantic’s mail, were offered as an original contribution. A member of the staff who had once read them on a mellowing tablet in Chester Cathedral demanded an explanation. The lines, it seemed, were quoted by a lady on a Christmas card to a friend who, thinking them original, passed them on to us in the writer’s name. We put them here for our readers’ pleasure.
And also something to digest.
Give me a healthy body, Lord,
With sense to keep it at its best.
To keep the good and pure in sight,
Which seeing sin is not appalled
But finds a way to set it right.
That does not whimper, whine or sigh.
Don’t let me worry overmuch
About the fussy thing called I.
Give me the grace to see a joke,
To get some happiness from life,
And pass it on to other folk.
‘See things like children with a natural eye,’ says the gospel of new Impressionism. A school-teacher sends us from Rome this art criticism of Louis Osborne, a child of five, to which we invite the attention of many contemporary painters and their patient public.
THE WAY TO DRAW
When you draw anything first you get your piece of paper and you get your pencils, then you have a fought in your bean, (‘No Louis,’ then your ‘ mind’) in your mind. Then what you have in your mind you try to draw on the paper. If you have a horse you make a head and some ears eyes and a mouth. Then you connect it with a neck to a body which has four legs and a long tail. A rat has a long tail but not iike a horse’s. A rat’s is long and thin and a horse’s is like a long haired switch. Then you put on some other little marks and ecco the horse!
If you want to do a cow you make a head with horns and ears a different kind of mouth eyes and connect by a fat neck to a square fatish body which has a tail like a shoeing brush on the end of a long rope. Then you do cow-legs, four of them and shoes, cow-shoes, which are not like us but are like two thick finger-nails. When it is on the ground running the nails or hoofs open somewhat. When you have done all this, there you have a cow. Do a small cow but a little different and you have a calf.
To do a goat do about the same as of a cow but change enough to look like a goat and not a cow. The horns are longer and the tail is different and the hair and the sieze and the smell.
When you draw a boy that is easy. First make a head then some hair and a nose, ears and mouth. Then instead of doing a body you do trousers and stick legs out a coat or sweater and stick on arms and five fingers and five more for the other hand. Make some shoes, make some stockings and a hat and a book in his arm and you have a boy going to school.
To make a girl I really don’t know. She is somewhat the same as a boy but some difference such as hair, skirts and such. Well, no, they are not alike and, yes, they are different after all.
To draw a man and woman just do the same difference as for a boy and girl. It depends on what is in your mind.
To draw pictures remember to think first and make your think. That’s what I do and Mother says I do well.
As quoted by Mr. Sayre, President Coolidge in his address to Congress on December 5, 1928, said: ‘The cost of national defense is stupendous. It has increased $118,000,000 in the past four years.’ President Hoover’s recent pronouncement emphasizes the same idea.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
In Mr. Sayre’s article, ‘ America at the Crossroads,’ appearing in the July number, mention is made of the cost of naval defense in 1912 as compared with 1926-27. The figures given, 244 million in 1912 and 580 million in 1926, seem on the surface to indicate an enormous increase in naval expenditure on the part of this country. However, when allowance is made for two factors, decrease in buying power of the dollar and increase in population, the corrected figures for comparison purposes no longer appear as alarming as they might seem at first sight. Applying a correction of 60 per cent, the 244 million spent in 1912 appears as the equivalent of 390 million 1926 dollars. Considering further an increase in population of approximately 40 per cent between 1912 and 1926 and assuming that reasonable preparation for defense should increase in about the same proportion as increase in population, the value of 390 million is corrected to approximately 545 million. This corrected figure of the 1912 expenditures is fairly consistent with the actual 1926 expenditure of 580 million. I have not taken the pains to study further the effect of expansion of our foreign trade on any corrected comparison figures of our naval expenditures, but would not be surprised to find the difference of 35 million between corrected 1912 expenditures and actual 1926 accounted for in the phenomenal increase in our foreign trade.
The above calculations may not be exact, as they are the result of a hasty reference to almanacs and yearbooks following reading of Mr. Sayre’s article, but they serve to show that America’s preparations for war are not as alarming as intimated, and reassure my general common-sense impression that this country has not become increasingly warlike in spirit in the last decade and a half.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
The article in your August number by Charles Morrow Wilson entitled ‘Elizabethan America,’ in which certain portions of Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee are described as unique in that the people retain to a large extent the English of the time of Shakespeare, is subject to only one criticism: it ignores other sections which ‘enjoy’ the same peculiarity.
In southern Indiana, living among the hills surrounding the famous French Lick Hotel will be found a people commonly and habitually using exactly the same idiom. Indeed, there is not a peculiar word or expression set forth in Mr. Wilson’s article that I do not recall having heard in common use among these people in my boyhood days.
They are the descendants of early American settlers who came west mostly from Virginia in the days immediately after the Revolutionary War, mostly through the Cumberland Gap — as did the Lincoln family, for instance. The country in which they settled is rugged and largely unproductive, and their experience has, no doubt, been similar to that of those who settled in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. In this vicinity the Lincoln family settled for a time and here is found the grave of Nancy Hanks. Living among the neighboring hills to-day are the descendants of her friends and familiars — still speaking the English that she spoke.
C. M. O’BRIEN
Prompted by a Club paper, ‘Our Educational Tablecloth,’ a correspondent, Mrs. George Edward Clark, remarks that many years ago an original hostess helped herself to a large number of mossy headstones, with which she paved her dining room. Her guests read with absorbed interest the hic jacets, often in rustic rhyme, which were bestrewn beneath their feet, and no little amusement was derived from the quaint epitaphs over which they hitched their chairs. Breakfast became a brighter meal.
Automobiles and employment.
DEAR ATLANTIC. —
In the August Contributors’ Column, Mr. N. L. Mangouni of Detroit takes exception to Mr. E. A. Filene’s statement that ‘in the motor industry there is no evidence of even temporary unemployment due to increased production.’ Then Mr. Mangouni proceeds to prove ably that Mr. Filene would have been wrong if he had said only that ‘in the motor industry there is no evidence of unemployment.’ But Mr. Mangouni did not catch the real meaning of Mr. Filene’s statement, which, if I read correctly, was this: —
Increased production due to better machinery has caused neither permanent nor even temporary unemployment in the motor industry.
I think Mr. Mangouni will agree with that statement. Detroit’s labor troubles arise, not from machinery, but from changes in the market which are always difficult, often impossible, to predict. The machinery is right; the principle of mass production is right; the market is the stumblingblock.
Hundreds of inferior cars may be sold in a single city because one or two ‘key people’ take a fancy to the horn and buy cars of that make. An otherwise superior car may fail utterly because its colors are not fashionable at the moment. Some years ago, sedans were the smart bodies. Then coaches came in — and went out. Now we have the rumble-seat roadsters. What next?
Unhappily, no one knows. Some day, mass psychology may be so charted that fashion can be predicted. Or mass production so organized that sweeping changes can be made overnight. Until then, employment will be unstable.
But I hope that day never comes. I’d be so bored! Would n’t you, Mr. Mangouni?
J. B. YONKER
A republican tribute to royalty.
BROOKLYN, N. Y.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
F. Lyman Windolph has written for the June Atlantic an interesting bit entitled ‘King Street,’ after one of Lancaster’s main thoroughfares. On it met the Continental Congress when a few jumps ahead of the Redcoats in the spacious days of the 1770’s; and near it the proud Saxons, members all of the Superior Race and of the Christian Church, massacred a band of some thirty Conestoga Indians, old men and women and a few children.
But for the sake of oddity and variety, let us recall another side of the picture of King Street, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Despite the bitterness of the War for Independence, it seemed never to have occurred to the robust sense of those colonials to change the names of King, Queen, Duke, and Prince streets, and Lancaster still has them. In Brooklyn, too, they have still the King’s Highway of song and story, not to mention Virginia with its Princess Anne County and other instances which might be mentioned. Contrast this with the French after the War of 1870-71, when they sought to change history with a stonecutter’s chisel, erasing the ‘N’ from the stone bridges of Paris built by Napoleon III.
But Lancaster has other titles to distinction which cannot be overlooked by ‘Truthful Chronicler,’ as the First Person Singular loves to call himself; it contains a Providence, an Eden, and a Paradise. But its première claim to immortality lies in the fact that it has a ‘Bird in Hand,’believed to be the only one in the Solar System!
‘Time writes no wrinkle on thine azure brow.’
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
When my son, aged three, first saw the ocean he asked for the ocean’s name. When I replied that it was the Atlantic Ocean he said: ‘I don’t think they should use that name for this ocean. The name Atlantic belongs to the magazine.’
Very truly yours,
FORREST E. LONG
Home has so many defenders — institutions so few!
HAMPTON ROADS, VA.
DEAR ATLANTIC, -
I read Mr. Julius Rosenwald’s article on the ‘Principles of Public Giving,’ in the May issue, with the greatest interest; but, with all due regard and respect for this gallant gentleman, I, as one brought up in my childhood in an orphan home, cannot quite agree with him on the thought he gave vent to in a paragraph regarding the inferiority that life in an orphan asylum creates in the child.
The Children’s Orphan Home, Fort Lee, New Jersey, means, with all the significance of the word, Home. There the visitor will find beauty, both in the children and the surroundings in which they abide. There is no inferiority or any such distinction there, for they are brought up with the knowledge of God and country, even as the children of private life; they attend the public schools of that city; have the same advantages of an American education offered to those other families in the vicinity of the Home.
I have been in the Naval Service almost four years, have traveled to several continents, and have been associated with people in all walks of life, both in this country and elsewhere, still I have yet to suffer any inferiority complex because I happened to be an orphan. If an orphan considers himself inferior in any respect, he can generally trace his inferiority to the machinations of his own mind. There are quite a number of orphans who have had good institutional training in their childhood who have made a mark for themselves in life; a mark worthy of the competition of those persons who have been more fortunate in having home life and a mother and a father living. You will generally find that an orphan is most courteous to a woman or an older man, for they inevitably have a vision of the woman who was their mother and the man who was their father.
The children of the Home which I have reference to in this letter are well taken care of; they have plenty to eat; a clean bed in which to sleep after a day full of childish vigor, expended in God’s own fresh air; and, last but not least, an American public school in which they are taught the three ‘R’s.’ Religion, the teachings of Christ, and Christlike deeds are furnished these children as ‘food for thought.’ This same Home can hold its head high and look anyone in the eye who would suggest immorality in the children who have gone from it or those who are now there.
A body of Alumni has been formed by the former children of this Home, and the members of it are paying dues to the Alumni’s treasury, to help in their own way those who will come to the Home in the ensuing years. This is probably something unheard of in the annuls of orphanages. The consideration of an Educational Endowment Fund is before the Alumni at this writing, which will be started by the payment of dues to this fund by the Alumni members themselves. So we have here an example of coöperation from the former children of the Home, which in itself speaks well for it. This fund will further the education of the brightest scholars in their classes.
JOHN T. JENSEN