’THE ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the empire first ordered well their own Stales. Wishing to order well their States, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons. Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things.
’Things being investigated, knowledge became complete. Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere. Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then rectified. Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated. Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated. Their families being regulated, their States were rightly governed. Their States being rightly governed, the whole empire was made tranquil and happy.’ — CONFUCIUS, The Great Learning
Wise men for 2500 years have felt this to be the way of salvation, and John Tomajan (‘I Believe’) formulates the programme anew for his generation. He is a hard-working young business executive in Worcester, Massachusetts, as well as a research associate in the Engineering Economics Foundation, Boston. Christopher Morley (‘Pebbles from Gissing Pond’), author of several dozen inimitable books of his own, finds time to foster the appreciation of good books in general as Contributing Editor of the Saturday Review of Literature.William Orton (’The Meaning of the Gold Crisis’), one-time member of the British Ministry of Labor, is professor of economics at Smith College. The figures quoted in his paper were based originally on those of the Wiggin report and have been revised in accordance with the report of the Young Plan Advisory Committee published on Christmas Day. Statements of the German foreign debt vary a good deal, and the grounds of variation are not always clearly defined. The short-term debt divides into direct banking obligations and commercial or industrial obligations, the latter group being about half the former. The long-term debt divides into funded obligations, represented by bonds, and other forms of direct or partial ownership. Figures in the paper refer to gross amounts, except where otherwise stated. The Right Reverend Henry C. Lay (‘Sherman in Georgia’) was Bishop of the Diocese of Arkansas under the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Confederate States. When the two branches of the Church reunited after the close of the war, he was elected Bishop of the Diocese of Easton, which consisted of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. He died in Baltimore on September 17, 1885. Arthur Pound (‘Bankruptcy Mill’) is a student of industrial problems. He will be remembered as the author of the ‘Iron Man’ papers which the Atlantic published eleven years ago. A Well known as a British novelist, Phyllis Bottome (‘A Mountain Lover’) brings this story out of the Tirol, where she has been living the past six years.
As his study of Senator James E. Watson will readily attest, no journalist in America is a shrewder observer of our nat ional politics than Frank R. Kent of the Baltimore Sun.Joan Ramsay (‘Hotel de l’Anere, Ouchy) is a promising young poet whose first volume, Horns in l rivet, was published in November 1930. A The charming Fclipa who sets out with Christopher to discover America is none other than Henderson Daingei field Norman herself. Edmund G. Krimniel (‘The Lost Child’) is a Philadelphia architect. Louis Reed (’A Trial for Murder’) is a lawyer in the small town of Winfield. West Virginia. Leonore Hamilton Wilson (‘Within Our Gates’) was born and has lived all her life in Hagerstown, Maryland. A From his home in Queensland. Australia, Henry G. Lamond sends this unusual account of a rare and little-known bird (’King of the Bad Lands’). WilliamRothenstein (‘Genius at the Turn of the Century’) is Principal of the Royal College of Art, South Kensington. In his long and distinguished career he has numbered among his close friends the greatest artists and literary figures in England. Eugene Stein (‘Latin America Dislikes Us’) served many years in the Russian diplomatic service, first in the Far East, then in South America. His last appointment was that of Minister Plenipotentiary to Argentina in 1916, and he is still recognized in this capacity by the Argentine Government. William Trufant Foster (‘Selling the United States Short’) is an economist to whom Carlyle could never have applied the tag ‘dismal.’ He was until quite recently director of the Pollak Foundation for Economic Research.
When intelligent men disagree.
Dear Atlantic, —
I should like to thank you for the important public service you have performed in printing so conspicuously in the December Atlantic Earnest Elmo Calkins’s fine article, ‘My Country, Right or Wrong?’ I am bringing it to the attention of all my students and of all others that I reach.
It seems to me this article ought to circulate a million copies. Certainly the more widely it is read, the better world we shall all have to live in.
University of Washington, Seattle
Dear Atlantic, —
To my way of thinking, Mr. Calkins’s teaching is distinctly undermining to human character and prejudicial to the future of our race. War and its concomitants are indescribably dreadful, but not nearly so much so as the spirit that would permit invasion of the rights of our fellow men and of future generations without a physical struggle to defend them. Cowardice, laziness, and fear are far worse than any feature or result of war, and there are ideals and possibilities that are fully worth fighting and suffering for, and that at times can be protected in no other way.
It is preposterous that an intelligent writer should say that our young men have only to refuse to fight in order to make war impossible. We know that the youth of many nations are eager for war; it is a major industry. Such an attitude as Mr. Calkins suggests would open to the Latin and Oriental races rich fields for conquest.
ARTHUR BOS WELL
Speech is sometimes golden, too.
Dear Atlantic, —
Anent the article by Mr. Morawetz on ’Needed Objectives for Our Schools,’ I should like to offer some testimony in favor of the third objective he names — the ability to speak and to write one’s own language clearly and forcibly.
I have a friend who, at the age of forty-two, is general manager of the General Electric Company in one of the largest cities of our country. His is a typically American career. His parents were Scotch-English. and his home was in a small town. The background was one of honesty and righteousness, but not of culture. Means were limited. The boy showed marked mathematical ability in high school, and put himself through a state college, getting a purely technical education. He was one of the young men chosen by the General Electric Company to have further education at Schenectady, His rise since that time has been rapid. I will quote his own words.
‘Two years ago,’ he told me, ‘I was asked to give a talk before a gathering of the important officers of the General Electric. I knew Ihe points I wished to make, but to my dismay I found that I had no idea how to write a speech, or, after it was written, how to deliver if. The impression I wished to make on these men, naturally, was a good one, and I felt that my vague and wandering way of saving things, and the tremendous shyness I suffered from when on my feet, would militate against me in their eyes. I did n’t know what to do. Then a thought came to me. I wrote my ideas down as best I could, then took the notes to a teacher of English in the University, and asked him to rewrite the speech for me. Well, it was wonderful what he did to it. He showed me how I had expressed the same idea three limes, when once would have been more forceful, and made a concise and clear paper from my very prolix notes.
‘After it was written I committed it to memory. Then I went to this same man and asked him to give me a few hints on elocution. He did so, and i drilled myself until I could say the thing in my sleep.
‘The important day came when I was to speak, and I went through with my little piece without a tremor. It certainly was a high spot in my life when the vice president of the company came to me and complimented me highly on both the manner and the matter of that speech.
‘Since then I have realized the importance of being able to speak good English, and speak before others without embarrassment. I had had no English in college. I felt that my technical equipment was very adequate, my equipment for living among cultured people quite the opposite. I have been trying to supplement this lack by myself, hut that is n’t enough. Now this summer I was called back to my alma mater to give suggestions as to changes in the curriculum. My very earnest suggestion, which I hope will be carried out, was a required four-year course in English and Public Speaking for every student, regardless of the profession he expected to enter.’
THEODORA R. ELLSWOUTH
Dear Atlantic, —
In regard to the experience of Friedrich Ritter in the Galapagos, permit me to make this comment: —
Who from his fellows runs away,
Deserves to hear the asses bray.
AGNES CADY CHITWOOD
Morgantown, West Virginia
Marianne in a tantrum.
Dear Atlantic, —
’France on Parade,’ by Samuel Spring, interested me profoundly. Living in France and reading the French press, I have been astonished by the fury with which America, and Great Britain especially, are attacked almost daily — America for her financial interest in Germany, England for daring to put a tariff on French goods and for her scandalous conduct in allowing the pound to fall. I have the greatest admiration and affection for France, for her beauty and charm and culture. But lately she has been acting as many charming beauties do — like a spoiled child who badly wants squelching.
A well-earned tribute.
Dear Atlantic, —
I am very much interested in your publication of ’Bringing in the Sheaves —1931' by Caroline A. Henderson. Since she and I graduated from Mount Holyoke in 1901, she must have spent nearly twenty-five years on that Oklahoma farm, facing every kind of despair and destitution and health-breaking strain. All those years a few of her friends in the East have been receiving winter letters about summer droughts, grasshoppers, failure upon failure of crops; about the adding of one room at a time to the little house. Many winters she has gone to the city and found work, finally going back into teaching so as to put her daughter through high school. T, as one of her friends, appreciate very much your discovery of a true American woman.
Newark, New Jersey
The nepotist’s creed.
Dear Atlantic, —
Mr. Nieberg’s article on nepotism in your October issue might have been dismissed as the work of a solitary eccentric had it not been for the comments of the press which you quote in December.
Who can read without astonishment a condemnation so unanimous of a practice so ancient, so widespread, and so benevolent? Are family ties to be less compelling than those of patriotism? Is the family less natural a unit than that curious modern growth, the nation, of which the examples vary in so many ways that its essence eludes definition?
If, as all are agreed, it is man’s sacred duty to enrich and glorify his fellow citizens, surely it is no less his duty to begin with his sisters, his cousins, and his aunts. My nephew, in his official duties may he always be competent — but competent or incompetent, my nephew!
Vancouver, B. C., Canada
One of us.
Dear Atlantic, —
I feel a bit out of place nosing into refined company, but nevertheless here I am, and if you throw me out I won’t blame you. You see, I’m just an ordinary dub with a living to make, and I have to satisfy my longing for the better things — or, should I say, truer things? — through hours and hours of night reading. It takes me away from the daily grind of just existing.
Being a Bostonian by birth and a New Bedfordite by relationship and marriage, I have always been aware of the Atlantic Monthly ever since my first readings, but until recently I have always fell that the bulk of its material was too deep for me. You have changed all that, and the changing has been worth-while to me.
I am a sort of nut on sea stories (I can smell the salt wind blowing across the Nantucket moors right now), so when I glanced up and down the contributors’ list on your September cover and saw Bill Adams’s name I was so doggoned proud of both of you that I forgot the Scotch part of my ancestry and spent forty cents without a second thought. I have been reading and living Bill Adams’s stories ever since the mate of the old Gayhead handed me a copy of a magazine on the trip to Nantucket one day with the remark. ‘There’s a guy writes in there who used to sail on lime-juicers, and he’s been there.’ Well, sir, I have been reading these pictures from real life ever since, and now they have led me into the Atlantic fold.
You never know where you will wind up when you start following an old sailor.
A. C. TAYLOR
Bill Adams himself.
Dear Allantic, —
I wonder sometimes why it is that I like to w rite letters. I think it is because as a child I was so sat upon. Silence was an iron rule for little boys with the old lady who raised me. What wanted to come out had to bubble within. Bubbling within came to be a habit.
I sat down to say something to you, but it has escaped me. Never mind; the world is full of thoughts. It will come back to me in the night, while I lie listening to the roar of the overland train perhaps. If a fellow wants a bit of romance, where may he better come by it than in listening during the starry night to the eager-seeming uproar of the fast mail? There, indeed, is Romance herself. Rising on my pillow, I can catch through the forest trees the gleam of her headlight.
Speaking of the night trains reminds me that only last night I rode in one of them. I went down to the valley, to stay a week in Sacramento. My little missis had for some days been insisting that I needed a change, that. 1 was becoming too much of a hillbilly for want of intercourse with any but the neighbor hillbillies. So down the valley I went, and after staying a night came home. My little missis and I have had some hard fighting side by side, and without her near me there is little delight in life. I promised her that I would stay away three nights at the very least, and when I came in at two in the morning of the second night, she sat up in bed and laughed, with a bright light in her dear eyes.
I sat on the bed and told her of my adventures. When I go to a city I always wander in the slums, for the broken-down men out. of work are my brothers. I, too, have known hunger and rags. It is not pleasant to see an old man sitting on the edge of a slum sidewalk without any light whatever in his face. I saw many such, and one I particularly remember. Gray-haired he was, and his torn shirt was open so that his thin chest was exposed. I saw his ribs under his dirty skin. When I was a little lad gathering wild primroses under tall hedges, he was middle-aged and strong, no doubt. Ere long the potter’s field will know him. I said to him, ‘Hard times, brother,’ and handed him a dollar. He looked up without understanding, hearing my voice but not yet seeing my outstretched hand. I had on a good suit, good shoes, a good hat; in my lips was a good pipe filled with good tobacco. A glance told him that, and there was a curse in his eyes. Then he saw the coin I held. ‘Christ! he muttered, and eagerly took it. And I said, ’Aye, for Christ,’and passed on.
Sailors are a race apart, and, in a way, they are simple people. I say ‘are.’ I should say ’were,’for the breed is passing. I imply no disrespect for steamer men, but they do not, they cannot ever, know the sea as we knew it. When I think back I can again hear a topsail flap, see a sperm whale rise and blow, hear a squall whine, the mate’s order come, a Horn gale yelling. Other days, other ways, and may God keep our hearts young! That is the main thing. Let us not grow old or crabbed.
Dutch Flat, California
P.S. It’s funny to think that once, as a sixthform boy in an English public school, I carried a cane on Sundays and wore a silk top hat. You ’ll never be a success in life it you cant do Latin scanning better than this’ — how well I remember the face of the form master as he said it. What a lot of rot a lad gets told, eh? It was only some six years later that a Bluenose skipper told the mate that I was the best young officer he’d ever had under him. Pardon me for mentioning that. But it is a pleasant memory, though pride must be — well, there’s decent and there is indecent pride.
A modern miracle.
Dear Atlantic, —
A shy but earnest young parson, prophesying in a suburb of Montreal, relates to me a recent experience in attempting to present a somewhat difficult pulpit illustration.
He had read that shortly after the death or General Booth,of the Salvation Army, a memorial tablet was consecrated in the little church in Nottingham where the great man had been christened. On that occasion, one of the speakers had devoutly hoped there might be raised up, at the direction of Providence, another prophet of so great unction; and, deeply moved by these words, a grizzled miner, whose life had been happily reconstructed under the spiritual counsel of General Booth, impetuously came forward, fell to his knees before the memorial tablet, and fervently exclaimed, ‘ Lord — can you do it again?'
My young friend was a bit anxious about this story, conscious that he was not adroit in such matters, and aware that the narrative, to be effective, must be impressively told.
All was going well enough, however, until the critical moment was reached. Just as he was repeating the miner’s ‘Lord—can you do it again?’ some stalwart saint in the rear pew of his small church exploded a sneeze that not only shook the rafters, damaged the plumbing, and tolled the bell, but completely obliterated the quotation which was the sine qua non of my young friend’s illustration.
Hopeful of recovering his story from utter disaster, he repeated the sentence that had gone into total eclipse: —
‘Can you do it again?’
The big man on the rear seat found that he could — and did.
LLOYD C. DOUGLAS