Edwin Rogers Embree, President of the Julius Rosenwald Fund, served for many years as an officer of the Rockefeller Foundation, and his duties led him to travel extensively in the Orient. The substance of many conversations and observations is compressed in his paper. Sir John Campbell has spent the better part of his life in the Indian Civil Service. Δ One of the younger Parisian writers, Jean Cocteau is no less versatile than gifted. His play was translated by Mary J. Fowler and J. G. D. Paul. Mrs. Mabel Barbee Lee has had considerable experience as dean of women in various colleges. Mrs. Margaret Pond Church lives in New Mexico. The Right Reverend Charles Fiske is Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York. Stefan Zweig is a well-known German critic, and a brother of Arnold Zweig, author of The Case of Sergeant Grischa. Δ At a time when the notice of thoughtful people is being focused on the problems of the Indians, Mrs. Eugenie Courtright’s stories have made their mark among those acquainted at first hand with reservation life. Δ An Englishman intimately acquainted with Continental problems, Ralph Butler has specialized in the Balkan States. Of recent years he has been attached to the office of the Agent General for the Payment of Reparations.
Neilson C. Hannay is Professor of English in the Boston University School of Religious Education. Francis Claiborne Mason teaches in Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania. Edward Yeomans, as faithful Atlantic readers know, has interested himself in schools; but before this he was in the steel and machinery business, and therefore intimate with factories and factory people. Professor Felix Frankfurter’s paper will be included in a volume entitled The Public and Its Government, about to be published by the Yale Press. Charles D. Stewart, scientist, essayist, critic, and philosopher at large, lives in Wisconsin. William Trufant Foster is Director of the Pollak Foundation for Economic Research, and his collaborator, Waddill Catchings, a banker of large experience in New York. Δ During the summer of 1929, a Soviet citizen of Turkish birth in Tashkent suggested to Anna Louise Strong that she join a government expedition which was going to study the high mountain peoples of the Pamirs, that hazardous and romantic region known as the ’Roof of the World.’ Later she was offered an opportunity to make the journey by airplane with Dubenko, commander of the army in Central Asia. This plan fell through, but she was able to join a garrison moving in to take over a remote mountain post. Her paper describes the first step toward the goal. Jacques Neukircb is a young Alsatian who, after graduating from the École des Hautes Études Commerciales, studied at the Harvard Business School, holding the scholarship of the Harvard Club of France.
Apropos of Edith Neale’s little paper, ‘Horton and the University,’ J. G. sends us these coruscations in honor of a teacher who has had too much university and too little Horton.
MISS KNOWLES SHE GOES TO SUMMER SCHOOL
And gets all B’s and A’s,
While I, beneath an archèd sky, —
Three sea gulls slowly wheeling by, — Am soaking in Sol’s rays.
Coops with Supe—s1 pedantic,
While I, three pillows at my head, —
The light, just right, — sit up in bed
And soak in the Atlantic.
I.Q.’s, X.Y.’s, and Z’s.
For me, ‘in the moonlight of a convict trail
There’s a tree all aglow with living flames!’
And there’s Nupee in Jungle Peace.
O Knowles, she sheepskins all the time;
She’s got me skinned, ’t is true:
She’s a B.A., B.S., Ph.D.;
A Columbia 33-Shriner! . . . Forme —
‘Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh’.'
For work — a very glutton!
While I...! O Lord, be near, I pray.
When I ‘cross the bar’ of the N.E.A.
Sans ‘spirit’ and sans buttons!
To-morrow they ‘rate’ us goats or sheep. (It’s one
If I should die before I wake
I know OUTSIDE the N.E. gate
I’d have to park and carolate, —
And with the E-goats stand;
No Buttons on my Co-oat,
(1) parchment in my Hand.
But when the good Sheep enter —
Tir’d Sheep BA-ed and blest —
Hurray, I am a go-oat!
I don’t NEED N.E. rest!
SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA
The other side.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —&
When a man like Dr. Whitlock speaks, especially when so much of what he says is so true and so informed by common sense, he is entitled to careful and respectful hearing, and the Atlantic has done a public service in publishing his discussion of law as seen in the case of national prohibition. I hope, however, that it will not stop with the statement of one side of the question.
Dr. Whitlock will admit that custom and popular standards of right and wrong are always in a state of change, and, we have faith to believe, of evolution to ever-higher levels, as humanity climbs upon the mountain of its once-recognized habits and inherited ideas and gets a wider view of its possible development. The point at which it becomes necessary to change the written law to make it conform to new views of life is naturally a matter of controversy, since all people do not advance at the same rate, some clinging with more tenacity than others to their old ways, and especially to love of their pet poisons, whether of thought or diet.
It is less than a hundred years since the people of a large section were generally agreed that human slavery was justified, as a stepping-stone by which a superior race might realize a. higher life, of which it was capable, while doing no wrong to an inferior one incapable of similar advance. Possibly there are some individuals who still hold that opinion. Certainly there are none who do not feel that rational men might have found a better way to abolish an outgrown institution than by force of war. The world is now trying to find such a way to adjust international differences.
The law abolishing slavery was in advance of the opinion of a large minority, but a majority of the nation saw no other way to accomplish a purpose necessary to its life, when it could no longer exist half slave and half free. A shorter time has passed since public opinion was comfortably satisfied to recognize the right of any man to destroy himself by use of narcotics or intoxicants, if it so pleased him. It was admitted that victims of such habits were a burden to society and a danger to its peace and moral tone, but it was held that their personal liberty was sacred, and must not be infringed, either for the security of society or for the humane purpose of their rescue from degradation.
This theory was first abandoned in the case of narcotics, and none would now uphold it there. Gradually, during fifty years or more, the idea gained increasing acceptance that use of intoxicating liquors was a similar danger and burden to society, and when it was finally accepted by three fourths of the states, it became the law.
Now, under our form of government, there is no way of deciding when personal liberty has become a public danger, and its limitation is demanded in the interest of advancing standards of public welfare, but by vote of a majority of the people. At first, individual states adopted prohibition, and tried to prevent the prohibited traffic with others without such laws. This proved so unsatisfactory that when a sufficient number were convinced that the nation could not exist half ‘wet’ and half ‘dry,’ and a majority wanted it dry, a national law seemed the only logical conclusion.
The question now is, Are we one national body or not? Are the states still strong for personal liberty any more justified in nullification than the former slave states were? Gradually, the latter have been overcoming their prejudice, to their increasing benefit, and it would seem that the theory of the wet states, that they could afford to ignore their obligation to coöperate with their neighbors in enforcing the national law, had been sufficiently discredited by the facts resulting to convince them of their error.
JOHN B. HENCK
Faith and works.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
To one who feels that religion is beyond the reach of science, Lawrence Hyde’s ‘Can Science Control Life? ’ was the source of great satisfaction. His summary of man’s attempt to deal with the problems of his existence — e.g., of putting trust in a higher power or of relying on Ins own resources — reminded me of a story my mother once told me.
Two small girls were-accidentally locked up in the basement of a building. Realizing that they were captives for the night unless someone came to their rescue, one of them said, after some quick thinking, ‘You kick the door and I’ll pray.’
I wonder if it is n’t a little bit of both which helps us in our daily living. Science has made it possible for us to know ourselves to a heretofore undreamedof extent, yet beyond that point it is faith which really carries us through a rather hectic existence and makes us successful in what we undertake.
Very truly yours,
Skoal to the Norseman!
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
In the consciousness of those; of us who are old enough to remember when Salomon August Andrée took off from Spitsbergen on the voyage from which he never returned, the news that his mortal part is now returning to his native land that he left thirtythree years ago evokes quite an emotional response. If I may be personal, I would say that it was he who is responsible for my habit of reading the daily papers. At the age of eight I considered him the greatest man then living.
My brother and I used to play a game called ‘A Dash to the North Pole.’ This was played on a board bearing a map of the polar region, on which the tracks of various explorers, such as Greely, Kane, the ill-fated Jeannette, and Franklin were traced. I remember thinking then that the versatile Benjamin was also a polar explorer. The players provided themselves with pieces that were moved along the different tracks in accordance with the throws of dice. In playing that game I was always Andrée.
When Peary finally arrived at the goal twelve years later it was a bitter disappointment to me that he did not find that Andrée had been there already.
I have never done any aerial traveling at all, but I believe that if I were to take a voyage through the atmosphere I would rather have Andrée for a pilot than any of the transatlantic navigators.
When Andree took off in 1897 the Duke of Abruzzi had not yet taken up the game. Nansen was lost in the ice, no one knew where, Peary had never come anywhere near the pole, the furthest north record made by Lockwood sixteen years before was still standing. Possibly Andrée’s log will show that he surpassed this latitude.
Aerial navigation, which has played such a large part in recent expeditions, was all but unknown; with the exception of Hiram Maxim no one had succeeded in getting a heavier-than-air machine off the ground under its own power. Langley, Montgomery, and the Wright brothers were still six years in the future, and Santos-Dumont and Zeppelin were unheard of. Balloons were always kite balloons, which were steered only by being brought vertically into a stratum where the air currents were favorable.
Neither helium nor aluminum was being produced in commercial quantities. Andrée’s globe was of varnished silk, inflated with hydrogen. Its car was a wicker basket, in which the occupants might look over the rim while standing on the floor. There was no wireless telegraph, and homing pigeons were his only means of communication. The gyroscopic compass had not been invented, and the magnetic compass is useless above seventy degrees.
Although knowledge of the Arctic Ocean had been increasing slowly ever since the third century before the Christian era, when Pytheas conducted the first polar expedition of which we have historical record, the atmosphere has always remained a pathless expanse. Andrée and his companions embarked without compass upon an uncharted sea as their Viking forbears had done. A foolhardy venture, perhaps, but one whose magnificent audacity has never been excelled or equaled.
‘Skoal to the Norseman, Skoal!'
JOSHUA L. BAILY, JR.
From his distant observatory in Jamaica, William H. Pickering sends the following.
MANDEVILLE, JAMAICA, B.W.I.
The following is an extract from a recent letter describing events actually happening in country life in the island of Jamaica, within a week of one another, and only a few months after the destruction of the dwelling house by fire.
‘By the way, speaking of happenings, Margaret may have Rose Processions in Pasadena, and you rodeos in Alberta, but when you want the real thing you must come to Jamaica. Since the fire, other things have happened at Rumelia. To begin with, Aubrey had a large and very fine sow which he sold to a neighbor. The sow, it seems, however, declined to leave Rumelia, and since she was very large, her views assumed importance. The neighbor accordingly brought two large and intelligent dogs, which he had borrowed, with which he proposed to persuade and pacify the sow. She was therefore loosed on the common, and the two dogs were started to pursue her in the proper direction. Being a lady, however, she refused to do as she was bid, and instead started straight for a beautiful and very thick clump of bushes, with the two dogs in hot pursuit.
‘All three animals entered the clump at top speed, but they did not come out again. Reason: these bushes had been especially planted with great care so as to keep the cattle from falling into a deep and dangerous sink hole. As you are aware, these sink holes, although only measuring a few yards across, sometimes go down for several hundred feet. When Aubrey and the neighbor arrived on the spot there was nothing to be seen or heard of the three animals, nor have they been heard of since. Whether Aubrey made any money out of that transaction I do not know, but I am inclined to think that the neighbor lost some.
‘Since Rumelia burned, Aubrey and Isabella have been living in a sort of large shanty, opening directly on the barnyard. The table had just been set lor the midday meal, and Isabella was about to call Aubrey, who was at a little distance off, when she noticed two of their bulls had started fighting right in the barnyard. A light consists largely, as you know, of pressing their foreheads together, and pushing with all their might. Naturally one bull is usually stronger than the other, which is made to travel backwards. Before Isabella realized it, or could get out of the way, one bull pushed the other into her front parlor, which is also her dining room. The door was thus blocked, and as there were no windows through which she might escape, Isabella had a front seat. The bulls were both attending to their own affairs, however, and so took no interest in Isabella, and Aubrey was outside. The stronger bull backed the other all the way round the dinner table to the detriment of the chairs, which were reduced to kindling wood. The weaker bull then sat on the corner of the table, and there was no glass, crockery, or china left there. In fact, the episode furnished an excellent illustration of the traditional entrance of a bull into a china shop, only in the present case there were two bulls. Finally they backed out, and Isabella was left to pick up the pieces. It thus appears that life in Jamaica is not always dull.'
We all remember when the lamp went. How many recall when it came?
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
‘The Coming of the Lamp,’in the September Atlantic, reminds me very forcibly of the advent of the first kerosene lamp in my own family. It was in the fall of 1858.
We had been using every substitute for candles known at that period. Camphene, which was considered dangerous, and not to be trusted to the children, and oil lamps of different kinds with unsatisfactory results. Finally my father brought home a kerosene lamp, with its glass chimney and a bottle of oil to be burned in it. The oil was a dark brown in color. It was before the days of refining, and they called it ‘creosene’ at first. But this condition did n’t last long. By the time the bottle had to be filled again the oil had cleared to almost its present color, or colorlessness.
My mother, who did n’t bike very kindly to innovations, thought it was rather a silly affectation to call this oil ‘kerosene.’ ‘Don’t we say creosote?’ she asked. ‘Why shouldn’t we say creosene?' We children did n’t know, so we continued kneeling on our chairs with our chins in our hands, and watched the process of lighting the lamp. Was there ever such a senseless thing? The higher you turned the wick the more it smoked, and gave no light at all. Mother finally blew it out, and father called in the next-door neighbor who had sold him the lamp. He lighted it, turned the wick down below the cone, and lo! a beautiful light. Even my mother admitted it, and became reconciled to calling the oil ‘kerosene.’
H. B. FLETCHER
The Atlantic is never uninterested in questions beyond proof. ’The letter which follows refers to a Contributors’ Club paper which will be remembered by readers concerned with unexplainable occurrences.
Long, long ago when I was a child a neighbor’s
boy named Warren became my friend and constant companion. We went to school together; we rode our ponies together; we grew up in daily companionship, and literally shared our joys and sorrows.
And then changes came. I married and went East to live, he married and went West. After a little we ceased to write to each other, but both of us knew that our friendship could never alter.
Twenty years went by. My life was overwhelmingly busy; the day’s work completely filled my hours and my thoughts. I did not look backward: I simply lived on. One winter night I suddenly woke from a sound sleep to see at the foot of my bed Warren’s face. The room was dark, but it seemed to shine out at me, with his old expression of calm cheerfulness and kindliness. I lay looking at it with a deep pleasure until it slowly vanished. Just then the town clock struck five.
The vision was so clear, so delightful, that as soon as he waked I told my husband about it. He said, as a husband would say, that I had dreamed the whole thing.
The next night I woke again to see the same face at the foot of my bed, as lovely in expression as before, but more serious. I felt that he wanted to speak to me, and I waited for some message, but again the face slowly faded away; and again I heard the clock strike five.
When daylight came once more I told my husband of the vision. He, being a professor of psychology, was able to give me a clear explanation of the experience, one convincing to him, but not to me. Nothing learned from a book or in a classroom could explain why, after all the years of silence, my friend should suddenly come to me as he had come.
‘If it happens a third time,’I said firmly, ‘I shall know that he is dead, or at least that he is in some great trouble, and wants me to know it.’
‘It wont come again, said my husband cheerfully, ‘but be careful what you eat before you go to bed.’
This night I was determined not to go to sleep at all, but to be ready to welcome my friend when he came. I did, however, fall asleep at once, for I had had a tiring day, and woke only when Warren’s face shone out of the darkness. He did not look just as on the two nights before, however, but this third time he seemed troubled, distressed even; and he seemed to try to speak to me. I wanted to ask him what it was that he wanted to say, but the face slowly dissolved in the darkness. And for the third time the clock struck five.
When morning came I told my husband of this third appearance, and though lie is a bigoted unbeliever in visions he did not dispute my statement. He realized that I was not dreaming or imagining; I had really seen my visitor.
Two weeks went by and each day I looked for news of Warren, but no letter or paper brought me any. Then one day I went to the near-by city and met his sister, whom I had not seen for years. We went to a tea shop and had a long talk, and she told me of her husband and children and all that had happened to them, but did not mention her brother. I waited in suspense.
Finally I said, ‘What of Warren? You have not said one word about him. Isn’t there anything to tell? Is he well and happy and is everything going smoothly with him?’
’Wonderfully!' she said. ‘He could not be better or happier; he has the loveliest family in the world and everything he touches prospers. I do wish you could look in on him and see how perfect his life is! My visitor never came again.
BROOKLYN, N. Y.
Mr. Joseph Wood Kruteh, in his delightful article on Richardson’s Clarissa Harlowe, speaking of Richardson’s other novel, Sir Charles Grandison, says, ‘Sir Charles is a complete prig,’
On that I promptly take issue with Mr. Krutch. He is simply repeating gossip. Sir Charles is the most misunderstood and misrepresented hero of English fiction.
l! is true that to the world of book readers to-day he stands for The Prig. But to one familiar with the facts all this is distressing, it is possible only because too many readers of Richardson have seen his hero simply through the eyes of the True Prig, the estimable Harriet Byron, letter-writing heroine of the novel.
A prig never could have written the note Sir Charles did when so angered by Harriet’s rejected lover that he was obliged to ‘take a turn’ in his chariot to cool off before breakfasting with his beloved. Would a prig have shed tears at tales of distress, as soft-hearted Sir Charles did? Would a prig have flirted so outrageously with the shrewish wife of his friend? True, it was for a good purpose, but could he have done it so prettily, so daintily, and so artfully, had he not flirted many times before?
Ask the man who reads books what Sir Charles Grandison would do if an opponent refused to come out of a carriage to fight, but persisted in poking his sword aggravatingly through the window. ‘Oh — step back and become eloquent, on the code of the duel,’ would probably be the reply. But what Sir Charles really did on such an occasion was to pull his enemy out through the carriage window, in utter defiance of all rules. No priggish argument — action!
As for preaching, the text shows that he rarely preached, and then only when pious old 1 )r. Bartlett, or someone else, made a nuisance of himself by catechizing Sir Charles as to his reasons for doing this or that. If a man succors the perishing, and then a group of women who adore him insist on being told why he did it, what can a man do but admit the truth — because he pitied?
He is a very rich man, and he acts generously, as his kind heart prompts. Why not? But doting Harriet. witty Charlotte, and all the rest hold up their
hands and eyes, marveling at his ‘nobleness,’ and poor Sir Charles gets the credit. — or discredit — of holding up his hands and eyes with them. It would have been all in his day’s work but for them.
Is a prig the soul of tact? Lord W., who opposed Sir Charles, said of him that he ‘knew better how by non-compliance to create friendships than most men did by compliance.’
That his language is stilted, and his movements directed by fashion, is true, but no fine gentleman, at a time when to be a fine gentleman was an art, ever broke through the bonds of convention and showed his honest, warm-hearted self more surely than he. It would have been as affected, and as bad taste, for Sir Charles to address Harriet as ‘kid, or speak of her as ‘a neat little skirt,’ as for a modern lover to address his sweetheart as ‘ever-revered and excellent Miss Jones.’
As for that True Prig, the tearful Miss Byron, it is impossible to have patience with her. She falls passionately in love with Sir Charles the instant, she lays eyes on him. When, to her amazement, he does not instantly pay court to her, instead of trying to conceal her apparently unrequited passion, she revels in it. She throws herself in his way at every opportunity, and does not scruple to tell the mother of a rejected suitor that she will marry no one so long as there is the slightest hope of her getting Sir Charles.
In her letters, which so misrepresent Sir Charles, she allows her hero but one fault, pride, and she rather fancies he nullifies that by admitting he has it.
Sir Charles, in spite of all she says, was a modest man, for on several occasions ‘ his face was overspread with blushes.’ Do prigs blush? I must admit they do, for Harriet did, she who remarks, smugly, ‘I am always a little mortified by praise of my figure. What a transitory thing is outward form!'
Of Harriet’s many sins, the greatest, in my eyes, is that she has done the man she doted on this lasting wrong. For I am convinced that it is her false and one-sided picture which has caused Sir Charles Grandison to be considered the champion prig of English literature to-day.
MARGARET LOUISE WALLACE
Like father, like son.
DEAR ATLANTIC, —
While reading the August l930 Atlantic Monthly a few minutes ago I was reminded of something I wanted, and rummaging through my desk for it I came upon a diary of my fathers kept during the Civil War.
Starting to read it at random, I found the following entry Wednesday, February 4, 1865:
‘Coldest day of the season. Very cold night. Captain slightly sick. Read Atlantic Monthly. Tried to get Isac B. Rice into the hospital but could not. Letter and paper of pins from Pa.'
L. M. MARKS