The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Little Review, February 1915 (Vol. 1, No. 11)

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Title: The Little Review, February 1915 (Vol. 1, No. 11)

Author: Various

Editor: Margaret C. Anderson

Release date: July 28, 2021 [eBook #65948]

Language: English

Original publication: United States: Margaret C. Anderson

Credits: Jens Sadowski and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at This book was produced from images made available by the Modernist Journal Project, Brown and Tulsa Universities,


The Little Review

Literature Drama Music Art



Our First Year The Editor
Poems: Amy Lowell
Bright Sunlight  
Ely Cathedral  
Heaven’s Jester Mrs. Havelock Ellis
Green Symphony John Gould Fletcher
The Case of French Poetry Richard Aldington
The Last Woman George Soule
The Liberties of the People William L. Chenery
A Hymn to Nature (An Unpublished Goethe Poem)  
My Friend, the Incurable: Alexander S. Kaun
On the Vice of Simplicity  
John Cowper Powys  
Muck and Music Alfred Knopf
While Hearing a Little Song Maxwell Bodenheim
A Hard Bed George Burman Foster
George Middleton’s One-Act Plays Clayton Hamilton
New York Letter George Soule
Book Discussion  
The Reader Critic  

Published Monthly

Entered as second-class matter at Postoffice, Chicago

The Little Review

Vol. 1


No. 11

Copyright, 1915, by Margaret C. Anderson.

Our First Year

Margaret C. Anderson.

An interesting man said recently that the five qualities which go into the making of the great personality—of the genius, perhaps—are (1) energy, (2) imagination, (3) character, (4) intellect, (5) and charm. I number them because the importance of his remark lies in the fact that he arranged them in just that order. The more you think of it the keener a judgment it seems. I can see only one possible flaw in it—a flaw that would not be corrected, I am certain, by moving number four to the place of number one, but by a reversal of number one and number two. Energy does seem the prime requisite—after you’ve spent a few days with one of those persons who has seething visions and a contempt for concentration. But Imagination!—that gift of the far gods! There is simply no question of its position in the list. It is first by virtue of every brave and beautiful thing that has been accomplished in the world.

Last March we began the publication of The Little Review. Now, twelve months later, we face the humiliating—or the encouraging—spectacle of being a magazine whose function is not transparent. People are always asking me what we are really trying to do. We have not set forth a policy; we have not identified ourselves with a point of view, except in so far as we have been quite ridiculously appreciative; we have not expounded a philosophy, except in so far as we have been quite outlandishly anarchistic; we have been uncritical, indiscriminate, juvenile, exuberant, chaotic, amateurish, emotional, tiresomely enthusiastic, and a lot of other things which I can’t remember now—all the things that are usually said about faulty new undertakings. The encouraging thing is that they are said most strongly about promising ones.

Of course The Little Review has done little more than approach the ideal which it has in mind. I am not proud of those limitations mentioned above—(and I am far from being unconscious of them); I am merely glad that they happen to be that particular type of limitation rather than some other. For instance, I should much rather have the limitations of the visionary or the poet or the prophet than those of the pedant or the priest or the “practical” person. Personally, I should much rather get drenched than to go always fortified with an umbrella and overshoes; I should rather see one side of a question violently than to see both sides calmly; I should rather be an extremist than a—well, it’s scarcely a matter of choice: people are either extremists or nonentities; I should far rather sense the big things about a cause or a character even vaguely than to analyze its little qualities quite clearly; in short, I should rather feel a great deal and know a little than feel a little and know a lot. And so all this may serve to express our negative attitude.

But what am I to say about our positive attitude—how possibly express all the things we hope to do? Perhaps I need not try: Oscar Wilde made explanations of such a position superfluous when he said that the worship of beauty is something entirely too splendid to be sane. That is our only attitude. I hope at least half the people who read this will understand that I did not say our platform is merely the worship of beauty. Beauty involves too many elements to be championed lightly. Beauty from the aesthete’s point of view and beauty from the artist’s point of view are two widely different things. I might paraphrase Wilde and say that the new Beauty is the new Hellenism. Certainly I want for The Little Review, as I want from life, not merely beauty, not merely happiness, but a quality which proceeds from the intensity with which both beauty and ugliness, pleasure and pain, are present.

This much to start with. Now there are people who complain that within their limited allowance of magazines they are forced to do without The Little Review because it gives them nothing definite, nothing finished, nothing conclusive. But my idea of a magazine which makes any claim to artistic value is that it should be conducted more or less on the lines of good drama, or good fiction; that it should suggest, not conclude; that it should stimulate to thinking rather than dictate thought. Most magazines have efficient editors and definite editorial policies; that is what’s wrong with them. I have none of the qualifications of the editor; that’s why I think The Little Review is in good hands. Because the editorial tradition in this country has usurped the place of the literary tradition we have lifted loyalty to policies into the place of loyalty to ideals. A veteran editor—a man of letters—once told me that there were fifty good writers to every good editor in America, and that he would teach me to be the former. He proceeded to illustrate, not by chucking out the poor stuff that was being written for his journal but by showing how it could be stuck in where it wouldn’t be too noticeable! When some manuscript that delighted his soul came in (he was very human and out of sympathy with the crusted “policy” that had somehow grown up around his own magazine) he taught me the “art” of reducing its policy to a state of negativeness that would not be out of harmony with the policy he was supposed to be supporting. Once he received some poetry that was very strong and very beautiful. He treasured it so that he kept it in his desk for months before returning it. It was so beautiful as to be beyond the appreciation of his audience, he was sure; and anyhow his journal had never gone in for publishing poetry—it merely printed reviews of poetry; so what could he do but return it? I used to feel that I was in the midst of some demoniacal scheme for achieving the ultimate futility. And so I think that “policies” are likely to be, or to become, quite damning things. Therefore instead of urging people to read us in the hope of finding what they seek in that direction, it is more honest to say outright that they will probably find less and less of it. Because as “sanity” increases in the world The Little Review will strive more and more to be splendidly insane: as editors and lecturers continue to compromise in order to get their public, as book-makers continue to print rot in order to make fortunes, as writers continue to follow the market instead of doing their Work, as the public continues to demand vileness and vulgarity and lies, as the intellectuals continue to miss the root of the trouble, The Little Review will continue to rebel, to tell the truth as we see it, to work for its ideal rather than for a policy. And in the face of new magazines of excellent quality and no personality we shall continue to soar and flash and flame, to be swamped at intervals and scramble to new heights, to be young and fearless and reckless and imaginative—

... chanter

Rêver, rire, passer, être seul, être libre,

Avoir l’œil qui regarde bien, la voix qui vibre....

—to die for these things if necessary, but to live for them vividly first.

There are other people who argue that we might be hugely successful by being better: that we might borrow a lot of money (they always say this so casually), pay high for contributions, become acutely sophisticated, fill a wide-felt need, etc. Now the first thing we shall do, as soon as we are able to pay our printer’s bills without paroxysms of terror, is to pay for contributions; it is disgusting that writers who do real work don’t make enough out of it to live on at least. But as things are now no one can live by writing unless he writes badly. The only exceptions are cases which emphasize rather than disprove the point. In the meantime a magazine ought to be started for the sole purpose of printing the good things that the best magazines reject. Until we are on our feet and able to pay for stuff we can at least do this. And never, we hope, will we achieve that last emptiness: sophistication.

But there is still another function, and it seems to me very important. I have been reading a new book of Walter Lippmann’s called Drift and Mastery, which has more of the quality known as straight thinking than anything in the political-economic field published for a long time. Mr. Lippmann says this in his preface:

The issues that we face are very different from those of the last century and a half. The difference, I think, might be summed up roughly this way: those who went before inherited a conservatism and overthrew it; we inherit freedom, and have to use it. The sanctity of property, the patriarchal family, hereditary caste, the dogma of sin, obedience to authority,—the rock of ages, in brief, has been blasted for us. Those who are young today are born into a world in which the foundations of the older order survive only as habits or by default. So Americans can carry through their purposes when they have them. If the standpatter is still powerful amongst us it is because we have not learned to use our power, and direct it to fruitful ends. The American conservative, it seems to me, fills the vacuum where democratic purpose should be.

So far as we are concerned, then, the case is made out against absolutism, commercial oligarchy, and unquestioned creeds. The Rebel program is stated. Scientific invention and blind social currents have made the old authority impossible in fact, the artillery fire of the iconoclasts has shattered its prestige. We inherit a rebel tradition. The dominant forces in our world are not the sacredness of property nor the intellectual leadership of the priest; they are not the divinity of the constitution, the glory of the industrial push, Victorian sentiment, New England respectability, the Republican party, or John D. Rockefeller.... In the emerging morality the husband is not regarded as the proprietor of his wife, nor the parents as autocrats over the children.... There is a wide agreement among thinking people that the body is not a filthy thing, and that to implant in a child the sense of sin is a poor preparation for a temperate life.

The battle for us, in short, does not lie against crusted prejudice, but against the chaos of a new freedom.

That is very good reasoning, if you grant the premise—which I do not. I think the old authority is just as apparent as ever; its methods and nature have merely changed. Mr. Lippmann lives among the small minority—the people who have ideas. They represent about one tenth of the population. Of the rest, five tenths have no ideas and the other four tenths have something they call ideas: the rock of ages. It is still there. The new authority is quite as strong as the old, and more insidious because it is more subtle. Young people used to be disinherited when they disagreed with their parents; now they are argued with. The former method left their minds clear; the latter befogs them—and they disinherit themselves. That is the difference. One worked from without in; the other works from within out. Of course it’s much better this way. But this is not the most important problem—this of the old rock of ages. The horrible joke of modern life is that we have been presented with a new rock of ages!

The rebel program is stated—exactly. More than that, it is in action. The difference between the new issues and the old, to Mr. Lippmann, is that we have now learned what we must do; to me, it is that we must learn to do something else. The battle lies not against the chaos of a new freedom, but against the dangers of a new authority.

Before I define, let me illustrate. About two months ago I spent four days in one of our second-large cities—a place of about two hundred thousand people. If I could only describe those four days and their stimulation—to fresh rebellion! The people I saw belonged to the supposedly enlightened inner circles—the representative upper middle class: the ones that still loom very large in comparison to the thinking minority from whom Mr. Lippmann draws his conclusions. Well, I had not forgotten how ignorant people can be, but I had forgotten how cruel they can be. I had not expected their knowledge to have increased, but their hypocrisy to have lessened. I had not looked for vision but at least for a beginning of sight; not for Truth, but perhaps for a willingness to stop lying. And I found scarcely a glimmer of these things. It was ghastly! But the strange part was this: all the time I found I was thinking not of the great faults of their opinions but of the great barrenness of their lives. Over and over the thought kept running through my head: There is no poetry of living in this place!

This brings me to my point. The new rock of ages is that wholly false perspective which assumes that what one thinks is more important than what one feels. It has been set up, quite unconsciously, by the very people who have trying to blast the old one. It is that perspective which the new generation must fight not only with the old, but in its own ranks! Here is the interest of the new battle! Our next renaissance will be concerned with changing that perspective; the genius of the future must be directed toward that end. And that is why I think it is not enough to say that there will come a time when men will think of nothing but education. There will come a time when men will think of nothing but education in imagination! And since there is no such thing as education in imagination, but only procreation of it,—well, the time will come when men will think of nothing but art. The crimes of ignorance are not comparable to the crimes of philistinism: there is no philosophy that will ever reach beyond that of the personality or of the artist.

The dominant forces in the new rock of ages are not of course the intellectual leadership of the priest, the divinity of the constitution, Victorian sentiment, or the Republican Party, but the intellectual leadership of cleverness, the divinity of cults, no sentiment, and the Practical Plan. They are endorsed by the most promising element in modern life: the young intellectuals who are working valiantly to create here what Europe has given to the arts and sciences,—and working in the wrong direction. Our inferiorities to the other civilizations they attribute to our puritanism, our speed, our economic evils. Oh, I get so sick of their failure to reach to the real cause! It is so silly to keep on insisting that we need poets like the French or philosophers like the Germans or musicians like the Russians, etc., etc., if we don’t begin soon to understand why we haven’t got them. We haven’t got them because, in this curious country, we haven’t got people who feel.—Think of an Irish peasant walking under the stars....

I grant you that it also becomes silly to talk eternally of “feeling” without qualifying or defining. It is like taking refuge behind that vaguest phrase in the language—“life itself.” But by “feeling” I mean simply that flight of wings which makes walking unnecessary; that dazzling tight-rope performance which takes you safely over the chasm of Experience but leaves you as bruised as though you had fallen to its depths. Feeling is that quality of spirit which will save any artist from the philosophical redundancies of a De Profundis. The torturing need of expressing something that far outstretches one’s capacity for expression is the foundation of art. That’s why we have so little of it in this country. There may be some Americans in whom the perspective has retained its proper balance. I happen to know of one.

It is for some such need as this that The Little Review exists: to create some attitude which so far is absolutely alien to the American tradition. I have been going to the lectures of John Cowper Powys, which are spoken of in other places in this issue, and that appreciative man gave me an interesting idea the other day. I should like to see him as editor of a literary magazine whose policy was to cut off the subscription list everybody who speculated about his pose or his insincerity and failed to miss the great beauty of his words. Now Mr. Powys is as unstable as water: that is his value. He feels entirely too much ever to be fully sane. His hypothetical magazine would gather an audience that could fight successfully the great American crime which may be described briefly as missing the point. Thus we might establish a reign of imagination which would make stupid things as impossible as cruel things, which would consider a failure to catch some new beauty or a “moral lynching of great and independent spirits” as greater crimes than murdering a man in a dark corner.

On this basis we shall continue. If we must be sensible at least we shall make it, in Shaw’s phrase, an ecstasy of common sense. And out of all this chaos shall we produce our dancing star.

The supreme vice is shallowness. Whatever is realized is right.—Oscar Wilde.

Before the scientific spirit can reach its full bloom, it will have to acquire an honest sense of the rôle that fantasy plays in all its work. This is especially true of the social sciences. We are just beginning to realize the importance in economics of the economist’s utopia. We are learning the determining influence of the thinker’s dream.—Walter Lippmann.


Amy Lowell

Bright Sunlight

The wind has blown a corner of your shawl

Into the fountain,

Where it floats and drifts

Among the lily-pads

Like a tissue of sapphires.

But you do not heed it,

Your fingers pick at the lichens

On the stone edge of the basin,

And your eyes follow the tall clouds

As they sail over the ilex trees.

Ely Cathedral

Anaemic women, stupidly dressed and shod

In squeaky shoes, thump down the nave to laud an expurgated God.

Bunches of lights reflect upon the pavement where

The twenty benches stop, and through the close, smelled-over air

Gaunt arches push up their whited cones,

And cover the sparse worshipers with dead men’s stones.

Behind his shambling choristers, with flattened feet

And red-flapped hood, the Bishop walks, complete

In old, frayed ceremonial. The organ wheezes

A moldy psalm-tune, and a verger sneezes.

But the great Cathedral spears into the sky

Shouting for joy.

What is the red-flapped Bishop praying for, by the bye?

Heaven’s Jester
The Message of a White Rose

Mrs. Havelock Ellis

It is dawn! Men and women are in the city of sleep. Waken, thou strange child of many dreams, and hear my message. A woman gave me to thee, a woman thou lovest, whose fragrance for thee is as delicate as mine, whose whiteness is thy strength and hope. But hark! the gods are pitiless. Thy name is entered in the call-book of heaven by a woman thou lovest also. In gentle jest she wrote the scrawl when thy soul passed into Paradise with hers for one brief hour. She entered those gates in the sweet sleep of Death and thou, by force of her love for thee, in the sleep of life. “Heaven’s Jester” was inscribed in the registers of Paradise and heaven’s jester thou must remain. Thy soul, after her passing from Earth, had barely gained thy body again before the cap and bells were donned by thee. Thy jests for men were written down. The jingle of thy bells drew laughter and tears. God found he had need of the fool the woman had signed to him. Hush! the jester of heavenly courts must not lower his head or hide his face. Tears ill become the piebald suit and trappings of mirth. Thou crazy clown! Didst think the woman who gave me to thee needed thy heart? Hear the message the white rose by thy bed gives to thee. She also needs thy cap and bells. It is not for thee to choose thy way of love. God’s jester is neither man nor woman nor child, but a singer of joys and woes to ease men’s souls and dry the eyes of women. Play thy part, then, and laugh thy laugh. Men win her lips, women crave her help, the world takes her service, and thou her smiles. Wouldst thou have more, thou poet lover in the guise of a fool?

Then throw thy cloak down for a lover to kneel on if Fate shows thee his face. Drown the world’s chatter with thy bells while lips kiss. In his absence make songs and sing them to ease the travail of love in her body. If no lover comes, then hearten and hasten even thine own enemy into her service, if so be she gets strength and comfort from the strange enterprise. Then make thine own soul white as the rose she has given thee. On with thy cap and bells! Grow nimble and dance. Dance and sing in thy jester’s way, for the homesickness of the heaven thou hast seen will teach thee strange melodies. When death claims thee, and the cap and bells are laid aside, God’s Jester shall sleep with a white rose on his breast.

“Dead,” they will say, but no! At last thou shalt hear the eternal song of the souls of women and be satisfied!


Heaven’s Jester said unto himself, “I have no need of my lady’s body, her soul suffices. In the passionate pressure of lips the Fool has known his God and the man has found the woman. Let that suffice!”

In the dawn the white rose spoke once more to the jester. “Thou hast lied. Thy lady’s unknown body is untried music to thee. Thy hands would touch the strings, thy ear catch the vibrations her soul modulates to sounds of sighs and sobs at the call of love. Look at my whiteness! Think of thy unrest! The secrets of thy lady’s body are not learnt through the strong desires common to the herd of men or the fainting dreams of impassioned women. Fool! inscribed as thou art in the heavenly registers by a woman as God’s Fool, thou must learn the mystic’s lore about the body of thy Love. Thy desire is towards thy lady, and her will, not thine, is thy law. Hearken then! It were the work of an instant to close thy strong hands round her throat and bruise her into forgetfulness that love is pain. To force her mouth, so much desired, into an open well for slaking thine own thirst is love’s delicious robbery. To hurtle to her breast, as if to rob and forestall the child who may one day drink there, is to have found a shrine for prayer and peace. Yes! even to rest in the hallowed forests of her body ere thou storm the citadel where thy weapon shall break into the silent house of life, is easy and has always been the way of men with woman. Woman the abandoned, man the triumphant, woman the flower, man the gatherer, woman the luscious wine and man the thirsty drinker. Thy old-world needs desire thy lady in the way of men, though prayer before and after would grace thy feasting. Listen to the secret the white rose whispers to thee. It does not suffice that thou dost need thy lady or even that thy lady needs thee. Thou must prepare thyself for her even if she has no need of thee. The gateways of thy body must be clean, pure as snow and free from taint. Thy thoughts must shine through thine eyes like stars, thy passions burn with fires at white heat, without smoke or noise. Heaven’s jester may not approach the Holy of Holies till Desire is as white flame. The sacrament of thy Lady’s Body is precious bread and wine, to be partaken of at her desire, not thine, and only in Heaven’s good time. It is not for thee to choose. Thy part is to watch and pray and laugh and sing, and maybe lead another in to the feast thou hast prepared. Thou must bring to thy lady’s white feet frankincense and myrrh, the spoils of the sorrows thou hast borne for the tired travellers on thy journey. Precious stones, too, thou must gather for her neck, from the shores of thy past desolations. Pearls thou must also offer, burnished out of the memories of thy wayward desires which knew not her chastity or her smiles. For her breasts thou must bring shields forged from thy gluttonies and petty aims. For her arms crystals wrought out of thy dreams. For her girdle rubies made from all thy heart’s desire. For her eyes? Ah! perhaps thy kiss, delicate and passionate as is the way of seas and clouds when the earth sleeps. For her forehead thou mayest weave a crown of myrtle, for friendship, as thy Love is thy Friend and is steadfast. For her ears I will tell thee the dreams of my sister, almost black with the redness the sun has poured into her heart. For her hair, only a wreath of “love in the mist,” for in that little flower is the wonder of the Great Heart thou art learning to understand. For her lips, only thy hopes made chaste and thy fears made passionate, if God wills.

Should thy Love waken with thy kisses on her closed eyes and turn towards thee with wonder and joy at the things thou hast learned and the gifts thou hast given to her, then have a care! Women are not drunk with wine but with pity, and pity is no use to Heaven’s Jester. There are signs, though, which even thou canst understand, and when Love is born, the Fool is wise. If by chance, for there is no hope in this message of the dawn, there is a resurrection day for thee, if by chance or God’s pure will, she turns to thee as God allows one spirit to turn to another spirit, when Love has prepared the altar, then clash thy cymbals, blow thy trumpet, shout till the sleepy world rejoices, shake thy bells and fling thy Jester’s cap and cloak aside, for to eat the sacramental bread and drink the wine of thy love’s pure body thou wilt not need raiment, and as thou wert born and as thou wilt die thou wilt enter into thy Holy of Holies. And if thou die of joy, thou criest:

What is Death?

Only Love freed.


The Jester said to himself, “If the body of my lady is so fair a tabernacle for her soul, how can I, a Fool, understand the ways of her spirit? My lute and pipes can only render the voices of the wind, the sea, the trees and the cries of beasts in joy and pain. My bells are a Jester’s toys for assuaging the griefs of the children of men. The travailings of my lady’s spirit, like the snow on the mountains, are out of reach of a fool’s understanding. For one brief hour I heard a faint whisper in the halls of peace when my name was signed in the heavenly registers, but, except in my heart, I carried no trophy to earth by which I could tell men of the music I heard.

This is the birthday of my Lady, the festival which calls for prayer and joy. Prayer, because the paths of earth are hard for the feet of her whose tread awakens a longing for wings in the Fool standing near. Joy, because her eyes are mirrors of a time to come when love and peace will renew earth into heaven, and men and women will become as wise as eagles and children. Through her body, I love the soul of my lady, and through her soul I love her body. Neither her soul nor her body may help and comfort the Jester even though God leads and helps him by both grace and mercy. Though his heart be sore and his body sick unto death and there seems none to comfort him, he can still sing songs for men and pipe melodies for women of the wonders revealed to him.”

The White Rose, dying by the Jester’s bed, spoke once more to the Fool.

“Cast self pity out of thine heart. Learn to live as I have learned to die, and then learn to die as I have learned to live. For thee absence seems death, but trace the meaning of the soul of the woman thou lovest. Her soul is also absent from the Oversoul as her body is absent from a Lover. Only through absence can the Oversoul draw its own to itself, and only through loneliness can the Great Lover and the Lesser Lover understand one another. Words confuse and touch enslaves. Souls speak clearly in the silence. In absence a note becomes a chord, and in silence the chord becomes a symphony. The discord dissolves into harmony, and the darkness into dawn. The absence of Death is not different from that of Life, for Death is Life, and Life the discord making Death’s music. The soul of thy Lady will find thine by the aid of both Life and Death, for it is not God’s Fool who hath declared that there is no Love nor a Creater thereof. Thou art learning that all is Love. In thy prayers today for thy Lady’s peace incline thy spirit towards hers as both approach the maternal source of the Universe. It is the Mother-Spirit of the world who has hidden thy love from thy sight, and taken thine head from the touch of her hands and torn thy lips from her kisses. Is it not always so that the mothers of the smaller world wean their children into growth and knowledge? Thou art still hers even if her body is out of sight and touch, for pure love is the simple miracle of thine heritage as a son of man and of God. Nothing can take from me what the sun made of me through his shining. Even as I die the fragrance remains. Nothing can rob thee of the hours when all things seem possible because of thy hopes and her vows. Love is pain but over-love is peace. Turn thy tears into help and pity for those who weep without thy hope and for those who dwell in dungeons and are not yet registered in heaven as wise or foolish. Let thy longings for one break into prayer for the weal of the world. Thou wert not sent here only for thy pleasure or thy peace, nor was the body of thy Lady sent for thy delight, or her soul for thy strength alone. Pain is ordained for the bringers of good tidings and love lent for the redemption of the many through the loneliness of the one. Accept thy lot and thy vision shall make thee free. Resist thy fate and thy Love’s soul and thine shall sleep embedded in flesh and with no power to grow wings. On thy knees then and pray for strength and courage with thy cap and bells in readiness by thy side, and joy within thy heart. As I die thou must live.”

The Jester took the rose in his hands, and, as its petals fell, a Fool’s prayer broke the silence.

“Maker of men,” he cried, “pour into a fool’s heart the understanding of life’s joy and pain. Make my spirit at one with the great order. Let me understand what is required of me and in understanding be at peace.” As he prayed, the Jester slept, for a great weariness was on him from much dancing. In his dream, a little child ran towards him. He opened his Jester’s cloak, and the little one held the sleeves in her tiny hands.

“Give all that thou hast and all that thou art even to one so small as I,” cried the child and ran from his sight.

The Jester was awakened by the opening and clanging of a door. He went out into the courtyard. A beggar, unshaved, and swollen with dropsy, stood before him. He had evil eyes and a mouth twisted by pain. He looked at the Jester and laughed.

“Give me thy cap and bells,” he said, “I have need of them.”

The Jester took money from his pouch.

“Take all this instead,” he cried.

The old man laughed.

“Any lord or lady can throw me that,” he said, “if only to keep me from defiling them by my presence. Gold costs less to give than to gather. It is dross and could only help my body to live and suffer. Thy cap and bells would succour my spirit so that I could forget my body. With the jingle of them I could smile at the curses of the healthy or the jibes of the well-washed. Give them to me. Thou art well and happy and hast no need of help.”

The Jester bowed his head and gave up his cap and bells, but with sorrow and pain in his heart. The beggar ran away shaking the bells and dancing with glee, the Jester’s cap all awry on his swollen head. A sweet melting tenderness and faintness took hold of the Jester and an ecstasy swayed him so that he nearly fell.

“It is the soul of my Lady speaking to mine,” he whispered. “What matter the cap and bells? Let them go.”

The woman he loved stood by him and her voice was like a lute on the air as she grasped the Jester’s shoulders.

“Give all thy music to me,” she whispered, “I am in sore travail because of things a Fool cannot understand. Thy music ravishes me and makes me know that love is a consuming fire in which one burns gladly. Thy wild notes make desire in me a quenchless thirst which no drinking can assuage. Thy soft piping fills my veins with a pain which is like joy and with a joy which is like pain. Give me all, keep nothing back. I would see as thou seest, hear as thou hearest, dream as thou dreamest, so that I can play as thou, but I must tune thy pipes to the voice of my heart.”

The Jester drew his hood over his head and went to his cell. His Lady had no doubt as to what he would bring back to her, for she had learnt from him that love gives all things without question or regret. The Jester quite simply collected all the instruments he had made during the long years of his youth and his manhood. They were precious to him, for he had not been able to buy as others because of his poverty. He had gone even to the offal of the slaughter-houses, and to the dank banks of the ponds, and the waste places in hills and valleys for the things which gave his instruments such power over men with the strange cries he evoked. The Jester’s sadness had been greater than even his poverty, but the music had never failed to comfort and strengthen him. Voices from the over-world and under-world spoke to him, and the strange secrets he translated into sound. The Jester’s heart was glad at last. His Lady had need of him and of what he had made. His music was hers as his heart was hers. He laid all his precious instruments at her feet and looked in her eyes. There were smiles for him there. She bent as he knelt and took his head, as of old, between her long cool hands, and kissed his brow.

“Happy, happy Fool,” she cried, “thus to be able to give all. I will break hearts with the sweetness of these strings, I will bind others to me and know it is thy gift. Happy Fool! Goodbye!”

“May God comfort thee and me,” said the Jester, as he turned toward his cell.


“The Jester is dead.” The words were said gravely, and the Lady who heard them looked keenly in an old man’s face.

“Dead,” she cried.

“Yes! Found dead this morning. We could not find his cap and bells nor the instruments he loved more than all other things. There seems no more music in the world now, for we all grew happy through his music and the sun.”

“Dead!” she whispered. “May I....”

She hesitated. “Yes, come.”

The old man led the way.

“He is there. We found nothing by him but the leaves of a dead white rose and the wind from his window blew them on to his breast.”

“He smiles,” said the Lady.

There was silence in the cell except for the fierce howling of an April wind and the tiny fluttering of the leaves on the breast of the Jester.

The Lady turned towards the door.

“His instruments are at the gate,” she said, impatiently. “Why did he die, I wonder? The reeds are no use to me. I cannot play upon them ... not a sound will come.”

Green Symphony

John Gould Fletcher


The glittering leaves of the rhododendrons

Balance and vibrate in the cool air;

While in the sky above them

White clouds chase each other.

Like scampering rabbits,

Flashes of sunlight sweep the lawn;

They fling in passing

Patterns of shadow,

Golden and green.

With long cascades of laughter,

The mating birds dart and swoop to the turf:

’Mid their mad trillings

Glints the gay sun behind the trees.

Down there are deep blue lakes:

Orange blossom droops in the water.

In the tower of the winds,

All the bells are set adrift:


For the dawn.

Thin fluttering streamers

Of breeze lash through the swaying boughs,

Palely expectant

The earth receives the slanting rain.

I am a glittering raindrop

Hugged close by the cool rhododendron.

I am a daisy starring

The exquisite curves of the close-cropped turf.

The glittering leaves of the rhododendron

Are shaken like blue green blades of glass,

Flickering, cracking, falling:

Splintering in a million fragments.

The wind runs laughing up the slope

Stripping off handfuls of wet green leaves,

To fling in peoples’ faces.

Wallowing on the daisy-powdered turf,

Clutching at the sunlight,

Cavorting in the shadow.

Like baroque pearls,

Like cloudy emeralds,

The clouds and the trees clash together;

Whirling and swirling,

In the tumult

Of the spring,

And the wind.


The trees splash the sky with their fingers,

A restless green rout of stars.

With whirling movement

They swing their boughs

About their stems:

Planes on planes of light and shadow

Pass among them,

Opening fanlike to fall.

The trees are like a sea;





Darting their long green flickering fronds up at the sky,


Spotted with white blossom-spray.

The trees are roofs:

Hollow caverns of cool blue shadow,

Solemn arches

In the afternoons.

The whole vast horizon

In terrace beyond terrace,

Pinnacle above pinnacle,

Lifts to the sky

Serrated ranks of green on green.

They caress the roofs with their fingers,

They sprawl about the river to look into it;

Up the hill they come

Gesticulating challenge:

They cower together

In dark valleys;

They yearn out over the fields.

Enamelled domes

Tumble upon the grass,

Crashing in ruin

Quiet at last.

The trees lash the sky with their leaves,

Uneasily shaking their dark green manes.


Far let the voices of the mad wild birds be calling me,

I will abide in this forest of pines.

When the wind blows

Battling through the forest,

I hear it distantly,

Like the crash of a perpetual sea.

When the rain falls,

I watch silver spears slanting downwards

From pale river-pools of sky,

Enclosed in dark fronds.

When the sun shines,

I weave together distant branches till they enclose mighty circles,

I sway to the movement of hooded summits,

I swim leisurely in deep blue seas of air.

I hug the smooth bark of stately red pillars

And with cones carefully scattered

I mark the progression of dark dial-shadows

Flung diagonally downwards through the afternoon.

This turf is not like turf:

It is a smooth dry carpet of velvet,

Embroidered with brown patterns of needles and cones.

These trees are not like trees:

They are innumerable feathery pagoda-umbrellas,

Stiffly ungracious to the wind,

Teetering on red-lacquered stems.

In the evening I listen to the winds’ lisping,

While the conflagrations of the sunset flicker and clash behind me,

Flamboyant crenelations of glory amid the charred ebony boles.

In the night the fiery nightingales

Shall clash and trill through the silence:

Like the voices of mermaids crying

From the sea.

Long ago has the moon whelmed this uncompleted temple.

Stars swim like gold fish far above the black arches.

Far let the timid feet of dawn fly to catch me:

I will abide in this forest of pines:

For I have unveiled naked beauty,

And the things that she whispered to me in the darkness,

Are buried deep in my heart.

Now let the black tops of the pine-trees break like a spent wave,

Against the grey sky:

These are tombs and memorials and temples and altars sunkindled for me.

The Case of French Poetry

Richard Aldington

It is with a feeling of regret and astonishment that I find nearly all my English confrères so opposed to the spirit of French culture, so mistaken in their views, and so curiously ignorant of the real facts of the development of modern French literature.

I am led to this reflection by reading Mr. Shanks’s excellent article in your December number. It is a most ungracious task to criticise a man who is about to hazard his life in the service of his country; and I honor Mr. Shanks more than I can express. But if I felt as Mr. Shanks does on the subject of French and German poetry I would not fight at all or I would fight for Germany! To a poet poetry must be the great business of life and, speaking for myself, I would emphatically support the Germans if I thought they were better poets than the French and English! (You will take that rhetorical statement for what it is worth.)

Intellectually about fifty per cent of English people are Germanized without knowing it. I should say the percentage is even higher in America. I believe that no study is considered so frivolous or so suspect in both countries as the study of French art and poetry. And yet—Russia and one or two Anglo-Saxons put aside—the history of the art of the last fifty years is the history of French art. You who have given Whistler to the world do not need me to tell you what French art is. The American painting at a recent Exhibition here was of so high a quality that I felt my respect for the intellectual progress of America greatly increased. I admit freely and regretfully that it was immeasurely better than English painting. That is because most Americans study painting in Paris.

Why don’t they sometimes give a look at the poetry of France, for in no country is poetry so cultivated, so well understood, and so honored? Mr. Shanks apparently knows something of German poetry and nothing of French. Of Liliencron I know nothing. But I do know something of Hauptmann, Dehmel, and Stefan Georg. (I have no doubt Mr. Shanks dislikes Georg because the latter got his training in France.) Well, I will cheerfully wager that any more or less fair-minded person would find three equally good poets in France to every one that can be mentioned in Germany.

“Kahn, Régnier, and the other Symbolistes”! What an odd statement! Régnier is a Parnassian and Kahn a nobody. I am not going to write a history of modern French poetry, nor speculate as to the effect of 1870 or the probable effect of 1914 on poetry, especially French poetry. I just want to give some names, and if anyone,—if Mr. Shanks,—can give me half as many German poets of the same calibre, charm, and general technical accomplishment I shall be delighted.

Let us grant that Rimbaud, Verlaine, and the elder Parnassians were products of the period of before 1870. Well, since that disastrous war France has produced the following—I will not say great—delightful and readable poets: Samain, Francis Jammes, Henri de Régnier, Jean Moréas, Paul Fort, Laurent Tailhade, Jules Romains, Remy de Gourmont, Charles Vildrac, Laforgue, Louys (translations), Mallarmé (pre-1870?) and younger men like Guy-Charles Cros, Apollinaire, Castiaux, André Spire, Carco, Divoire, Jouve, Luc Durtain, and dozens more. I do not mention the Belgians Maeterlinck, Verhaeren, Elskamp, and Rodenbach, nor the two Franco-Americans Vielé Griffin, and Merrill—though they also have considerable reputations. (Did you ever hear of an American who wanted to write German?)

I have quoted off-hand twenty-six names from a period of about forty years. And you must remember that there are scores and scores of names only a little less known, and scores and scores beyond that which I may have missed in my reading.

But I think those few names prove beyond all doubt—and I would like people to read them and contrast them with German poets—that French poetry is the foremost in our age for fertility, originality, and general poetic charm.

It is not hatred of Germany but love of poetry which has called this letter from me. I believe in France in the French tradition. And if there is one thing which can reconcile me to this war it is the fact that England has ranged herself beside France and Belgium, beside the cosmopolite, graceful, humanizing, influences of France and French civilization against the nationalist, narrow, and dehumanizing influences of Berlin. I believe all Englishmen regret that they oppose the gay, cultivated, cosmopolite Austrians; it is a misfortune. But of the great issue between the nations—the great intellectual issue—there can be no doubt. And Mr. Shanks, when he praises (unjustly I firmly believe) the poets of Germany and disparages (equally unjustly) the poets of France, is intellectually on the side of the enemy he is so courageously opposing with physical force. I believe in the kindliness of Germans; I know them to be excellent fathers and most generous friends; I know them to be brave soldiers and sailors; I know they are good chemists, reasonably good doctors, and very boring professors. At the name of Heine all men should doff their hats, but that modern Germany (Germany since 1870) has produced one-fiftieth of the poetry that France has produced—in quality as well as quantity—that it has added anything to the purely creative side of the arts, I utterly deny.

I know that there is Nietzsche.... Perhaps I will write you another letter on Nietzsche, if I may.

I feel that this protest will be put down to “war-fever.” I must refer you to my pre-war articles in English periodicals, and to the testimony of my friends—some of whom are now in America—that such has always been my attitude. It has always been a deep regret of mine that both American and English literature, criticism and periodicals were so undermined with German influences that all gentleness, all intentional good will, all that we mean by the “Latin tradition” was anathema, and utterly despised!

The Last Woman

George Soule

(The second of a series of three Dramatic Extravaganzas to be called “Plays for Irascibles.”)


The Sage of the Green Ears } Futurist Sages
The Sage of the Purple Hair
The Sage of the Blue Face
The Sage of the Yellow Hat
The Sage of the Red Sword
The Sage of the White Heart
The Woman


The Council Room of the Futurist Sages, decorated in brilliant colors to suggest a battle of the minds at some far future date. The Sages are seated about the walls in a parabolic curve. They are costumed with appropriate inappropriateness. Green ears is in present day evening dress; Purple hair in fiery green robes; Blue face in a pink business suit; Yellow hat in a conventional futurist costume of mingled colors; Red sword in a black monk’s gown, with a sword in his rope girdle; White heart, who is young, in football armor.

Blue Face. Shall we give the woman a chance to defend herself?

Green Ears. Why should we? If her defense is good, we shall be prejudiced against her. And as we admit the rule of prejudice, the defense will lose its judicial character.

Red Sword. Judicial? Who wants to be judicial? I abolished that word last year.

Green Ears. That’s just the point. We hate the judicial; therefore if the defense loses its judicial character we may be forced to decide both ways at the same time. Acquit on the ground of illogical defense; convict on the grounds of prejudice against good defense.

Purple Hair. Red sword has abolished judicial. Well, we have also abolished the past; we have abolished all abolishments!

Yellow Hat. Above all, we must guard against precedent. Let us look up all previous trials, and take care to do the opposite.

White Heart. But again, that would entangle us in the past. I want to see the woman!

Red Sword. He wants to see the woman! He is a reactionary!

Purple Hair. Do not argue, brothers. For if we argue, we shall either settle the case by logic, which we repudiate, or by violence, so that we shall kill each other before we have a chance to decide about the woman.

Red Sword. Time server! I shall kill you all, and decide for myself.

Blue Face. Red cabbages, redness of blue cabbages, when breakfast is no cabbage in a potato. Cocoa crinkles!

Yellow Hat. He is right, brothers.

All. He is right.

Blue Face. We, who have exalted ourselves above all modes of thought, we who have cast aside all images and unfettered ourselves from all language and all sequence, we who have repudiated humanity; we have a right to fight a lower order with its own weapons. Caprice is our god; let us then have a caprice to judge this woman with logic and judicial procedure. Have you all this caprice?

All. We have.

Red Sword. I object: This is democracy.

Green Ears. We accept your objection, and act in opposition to it.

Blue Face. Then let the woman be brought in.

(White Heart goes out right and brings in the woman. She is tall, of beautiful face and figure, in a simple white Greek tunic. In her hair is a gold fillet. She is led to the center, where she is left standing, as White Heart resumes his seat.)

Blue Face. Deliver the charge, Red sword!

Red Sword (standing). You are charged, first, with being a woman. And as a woman you are the living incarnation of the past. You represent conservatism and the anti-military virtues; you clog the wheels of progress; you sap men’s energies and misdirect them from the triumphs of achievement to the service of material things—or immaterial things. Your effeminate beauty poisons art and furnishes countless photographic realists with the means of selling paintings. The love of you has vitiated poetry and music. Masquerading in the garments of caprice, you have deceived man into accepting the traditional. As Futurists we detest you. This is the first charge! (A pause.)

The Woman. You accuse me of being a woman. It is a grave charge. But first, in order that I may have a chance to disprove it, I suggest that you tell me what a woman is.

Green Ears. A woman is that whose place is in the home.

Purple Hair. A woman is that which is ruled by instinct.

Blue Face. A woman is that which is beautiful.

Yellow Hat. A woman is that which men call a mystery.

White Heart (rapturously). A woman is that which men love.

Red Sword (vehemently). A woman is that which men hate.

The Woman. These are your definitions?

Blue Face. They are.

The Woman. Then in order to prove that I am a woman you must prove that they describe me. And you must prove that there is nothing else in me.

Red Sword. We must prove nothing. We act.

The Woman. Then why do you talk?

Red Sword (heatedly). I deny that you are beautiful. And if you are beautiful, I deny beauty.

Yellow Hat. Is it not our caprice to be judicial? Come, Red Sword, do not descend to flattery!

Purple Hair. All our definitions have been proved a million times. They are unprovable.

The Woman. I admit them. What then? I will leave the home, I will learn logic, I will cut off my nose, I will tell you my mystery, and I will let your love and your hate kill each other. And I shall still be here.

White Heart. Then you will not be a woman, you will be a feminist!

The Woman. But I shall be I instead of what you think I am.

Red Sword. You can not be you unless you are what we think you are.

Blue Face. Brothers, can we kill the woman and spare the feminist?

White Heart. If you kill the woman you will make the feminist.

Yellow Hat. No; the feminist is more female than the woman. The feminist would inflict domesticity on the world. She wants all men for her husband. She wants to tie pink ribbons on siege guns and abolish the mountains to make room for the nursery. If we let the feminist live, man can no longer find a place in which to be alone with his adventure. If we let the feminist live we shall make the woman a giant. If we kill the woman we shall kill them both at the same time.

Green Ears. Show us the feminist without the woman.

The Woman. I will do so if you will cease to be men.

Blue Face. We have ceased to be men. We are supermen.

The Woman. Then you see the subwoman.

Red Sword (fiercely). We must kill what we see.

The Woman. But have I not shown you that I am something besides a woman?

Red Sword. You might show us that you are everything, and still I would hate you. Hate is not hate unless it exists for its own sake.

The Woman. At last you have spoken the truth. I am everything. And you hate me because you hate me.

Blue Face. Gentle pickles in a vacillating pink mound. Inkwell is not ink. Ink is not inkwell. Flying postman leathers purple letters.

The Woman. But I have reserved my best defence to the last. I am a descendant of Gertrude Stein!

Red Sword. Descendant! What heresy! Gertrude Stein had no descendants. She has ascendants!

Yellow Hat. Deliver the rest of the charge.

Red Sword. Be it known unto you that we are the sole surviving members of the human race. By a process of selection we have killed all except the best stock. You alone remain of the female sex. We charge you not only in your capacity as woman, but in your capacity as mother. In order to prove your right to live, you must justify mankind. We accuse you of being the perpetuator of human beings! Defend yourself!

The Woman. You are the sole surviving males?

Yellow Hat. We are.

The Woman. Then you may let me live. I shall not perpetuate the race.

White Heart. Do not despair; I will marry you!

Green Ears. Where are your manners? Has not Shaw taught us that women do the wooing?

Blue Face. What have we to do with Shaw? Let us be serious about frivolous matters.

Red Sword. She is not to be trusted. It is necessary for her to defend the race. Speak, woman!

The Woman. Now indeed you have given me a heavy burden. What could be brought forward as a defence for humanity? Why should anything exist?

Yellow Hat. Why, indeed? That is for you to show. For aeons life has perpetuated itself through a mere animal instinct. Yet through all that time consciousness has been growing; will has at last come into the ascendancy. Now for the first time man’s ego is really on the throne. For the first time man, with power to extinguish himself, can demand an adequate reason for his existence. And man is ready to hear the secret of the sphinx. We have come to you, madam, as the last and most perfect woman, as the final manifestation of the eternal mystery, to force you on pain of death to divulge yourself.

The Woman. But I thought mankind existed for the purpose of creating the superman.

Purple Hair. He did; but now he has created the superman. We are the embodiment of the purpose. What next?

Blue Face. As futurists we refuse to accept the old answer. If our existence merely pushes the problem forward a few generations, it is futile. If, on the other hand, we are the crowning goal of man’s endeavor, there is no need to create further.

The Woman. You are superchildren using superlogic. How can a reason come out of one who is ruled by instinct? How can a conservative satisfy a futurist? But I will answer you, and my answer is this: I am a female so that you may be males. I am a holder of traditions so that you may smash them. And I perpetuate the race so that you may ask the reason.

Red Sword. Come, come, this will not do. We are above the fogs of mysticism. We are talking of final things, and we must have a definite answer.

The Woman. Then make a definite accusation.

Purple Hair. We hold the human race guilty until it is proved innocent. We assume the position of an all-wise intelligence, as aloof from the earth as the farthest star. And we see a race of ant-things crawling on two legs and going through all sorts of meaningless antics. Why is one ant exalted? Because he has led an army which has killed a million other ants. Because he has discovered how to make ants live a few seconds longer. Because he has written a rhyme with ant-words or put a few senseless daubs on ant-canvas. And when the ant asked himself what his purpose was, he answered first, “To exist.” And his second answer was like the first: “To create something more like myself than I am.” There is no validity in these which a superior intelligence can recognize. What is the third answer?

Red Sword. Woman, defend yourself!

White Heart. Stop! I love the woman and I demand her (He jumps from his seat and embraces her).

The Woman. Here, O supermen, is your answer! Man exists for that which cannot be spoken, for that which cannot be thought. He exists for his mystery, for that which he loves, for that which he hates. Man exists for me!

Green Ears. And if he denies you?

The Woman. You cannot have your future without your past.

Red Sword. You see, I was right; we shouldn’t have listened to her. She is her own argument; and she has to bring in the past. Away with her!

Yellow Hat. Away with her; we exist for ourselves!

Blue Face. Remarkable apples, apple black, apple pink, blossom apples in squirming shrieks. Skyrockets deserve apples. Bang!

Red Sword. Stop using that antique language! I’m sick of it. It’s too obvious.

Purple Hair. Yes, we have proved that we can be more obscure in good English.

Red Sword. And now, brothers, the sentence! The execution!

All. The sentence, the sentence!

Red Sword. Stand aside, White Heart, or I will kill you both at the same time!

White Heart. I shall die with her!

Red Sword. You are not yet superman. We shall execute the last man and the last woman together. (To the woman) Have you any last words? It is traditional to have last words.

The Woman. I will match my silence against your silence, my eternity against your eternity!

Red Sword. Come with me! (He leads them out, right. There is an oppressive silence. In a moment he returns, wiping his sword on his gown. He takes his seat without a word. The light begins to fail, and the room grows rapidly darker until the last few sentences are spoken in an enveloping blackness.)

Green Ears. Man has produced the superman, and the superman has put an end to mankind.

Blue Face. Brothers, we stand on an icy mountain peak in the twilight of time.

Yellow Hat. We experience a breathless emotion which no one has had before, which there will be no more to have.

Purple Hair. No longer do we feel the drag of the past; no longer do we feel the lure of the future.

Red Sword. We are the future. We are the goal of consciousness.

Blue Face. For this moment has mankind dragged out a million weary years.

Green Ears. For this moment have been the countless joys of love, the countless pangs of death.

Yellow Hat. The thing-in-itself for which philosophers have sought—that is here.

Purple Hair. We have broken the spell of cause and consequence.

Red Sword. Will has won its first and its last victory over fate.

Green Ears. The stupid serpent of wisdom swallowing its own tail has grown great and finished the task.

Blue Face. Grubbing logic has looked into the mirror and discovered itself to be gigantic caprice.

Yellow Hat. Infinity has turned inside-out and become nothingness.

Purple Hair. The great contradiction has annihilated itself.

Red Sword. Let us keep silence before the solution of the ancient riddle.

(A long, dark silence. Slow curtain.)

There is something transitory in the moods evoked by rhyme. For rhyme shimmers on the surface of language like sunlight on the surface of a shallow stream; it conducts the mind as in a circle; its sphere is a world of harmonious delights. Rhyme is to the mind what sentimentality is to art.—Francis Grierson.

The Liberties of the People

William L. Chenery

Lord Valiant. The exercise of such tyranny over the minds of men has been productive, in a great degree, of the miseries that have fallen upon mankind. We have been happy in England since every man has been at liberty to speak his mind.

Medroso. And we are very quiet at Lisbon, where nobody is permitted to say anything.

Lord Valiant. You are quiet but you are not happy. Your tranquility is that of galley slaves who tug the oar, and keep time in silence. * * *

Medroso. But what if I find myself quite at ease in galleys?

Lord Valiant. Nay, in that case, you deserve to continue there.


Sunday afternoon, January 17, Chicago was given a vivid picture of the liberties allowed the people. On that occasion the freedom of assemblage and the right of free speech were ruthlessly and brutally denied a great host of people because forsooth they were poor and unemployed.

Men and women whose crime was that they could not find work had assembled at Hull House. After the meeting, it was suggested that a parade would impress their needs upon the city. Immediately they were attacked by the police, some of whom had been disguised in the tatters of unemployed men and scattered into the crowd. Young girls were beaten, women were knocked down, men were assaulted, and all in the name of law.

The assistant chief of police, Herman F. Schuettler, directed the official lawlessness. This exponent of anarchy detailed fifty mounted police to charge the assemblage of hungry men and women. And here is the explanation given by Schuettler:

“We expected something like this to happen. We had refused these people a permit and they took it upon themselves to violate the law. I have no fault to find with the conduct of the policemen. Of course they may have been a bit rough but I am sure they acted within their rights. They were obeying orders.”

And then, poltroon fashion, the anarchistic police attempted to conceal their stupid crimes and cruelties by stressing the fact that Mrs. Lucy Parsons, one of the philosophical anarchists of Chicago, was a speaker at the Hull House meeting! Could bureaucracy go further?

The episode is important because it is typical of what is going on all over the United States. It is a by-product of our undigested industrial order and also a promise of what the future has in store for us; it is the prophecy of a future feudalism which is rising like a flood and which will sweep us into impotency if we are not wise enough and strong enough to plan a sound reconstruction. From San Diego to Portland, from Los Angeles to New York, the fight is raging. In places the people have definitely lost all the rights and privileges of a supposed democracy. In Lead, S. D., in the Colorado coal fields, in parts of Montana, in parts of the Michigan copper country, in West Virginia, in Pennsylvania, and in Massachusetts, whole sections of the population have been degraded by forces too strong for them to a condition of servility. A servile people is not a threat of the future; it is a comment upon the present. And among the servile peoples, the liberties have perished. The question which now remains is only: “Is the remnant strong enough or disciplined sufficiently to regain the fundamentals of freedom which slipped away while we slept?”

It is not only the poor unemployed who have been battered about and made to cringe. Preachers and professors have also felt the stultifying constraint exercised by tired business men in moods of irritation. Howard Crosby Warren gave an appallingly lengthy list of professors who have been discharged from universities all over the land within the last two or three years because they exercised the most commonplace latitude in the choice of their sentiments and their pronouncements. A Florida professor had to forego his position because he doubted the finality of the wisdom of the ante-bellum teachers in the South. A professor at Marietta College, Ohio, was forced to resign because his political opinions were displeasing to his masters. A professor at Wesleyan was driven out on account of his opinion concerning the observance of the Sabbath. But why go on? The number is tediously inclusive.

So great has this evil become among teachers that an association of University professors was organized in New York in early January. From it college presidents and deans were expressly excluded. The members of the association, actuated no doubt by motives of middle-class respectability, announced that they were not to be considered a trade union; but, for all their dislike of the dignity of labor, they have found it necessary to fight as a body for the retention of the liberties essential to self-respect.

The attack on the Chicago unemployed, who made nothing like so much of a parade as the visitors to a ball park any summer afternoon, nor so much of a street jam as the fashionable attendants at a Mary Garden opera, illustrated the direction in which the attack is being made. The real government of men is industrial, and not political, as every one knows. Consequently the genuine tyrannies, or abuses of government, can be discovered naturally among the incidents of industry.

Dr. Annie Marion MacLean of Adelphi College, Brooklyn, read a living document upon this phase of the question at a conference held by the economic and sociological associations at Princeton during Christmas week. In the course of her investigation, says Paul U. Kellogg in his report of the meetings in The Survey, Dr. MacLean had been told by girls how their foremen had warned them against telling what their pay was, of loft building doors locked, of foul air, and what not. The head of an employer’s utopia had told her he would keep out unionism by making examples of the talk leaders. How? By firing them. She told of strikers suppressed by the police for what they said, while strikebreakers inside the factory, hurling insults at them from the windows, went unmolested. “Working women have the right to state the beliefs they hold without forfeit of their livelihood,” said she. “They need reassurance that liberty is more than a catch word. The box-maker, the bobbin girl, and the doffer have the right not only to life but to liberty and free speech in a land which is supposed to be the home of freedom.”

Professors are denied the right of free speech because colleges and universities are organized on business principles. Scholars and teachers are deprived of the franchise in all vital matters affecting university life. They are clerks. Tired business men are the masters of education, and tired business men have but one great principle: loyalty to the organization. Criticism seems sacrilege. Incidentally, that accounts for the fact that the great inventions in business have been made by outsiders; but that is not my story.

The same tired business men operating through the police take away the essential liberties from trade unionists, from the unemployed, from socialists, and from the I. W. W.’s when the occasion arises. The police acquire the habit of tyranny and then set to work to practice it on their own account. What reason under heaven could have persuaded Herman F. Schuettler to order an attack on hungry men and women, inoffensive, armed only with banners bearing fragments of the Lord’s Prayer? Surely a Christian litany is not an incitement to riot. “Give us this day our daily bread”—if this be treason, we may well pray for annihilation at the touch of some vagrant comet.

But the police are pawns in the great game of the modern world, the game of hide and seek for sovereignty. Blind and stupid, they do the occasional desires of their masters and then, filled by a lust for repression, go on to satiate their unwholesome appetites.

Hitherto I have assumed that the somewhat constitutional guaranties of free speech and free assemblage—the two go hand in hand—were actual rights. Theodore Schroeder, leader among the libertarians, has been prominent long among the small group which has ceaselessly stressed our fading freedom. Schroeder has an article in The Forum in which he makes a witty attack upon Comstockery and upon the censorship which has grown up in the Post Office Department—a censorship prudish and powerful enough to exclude the Chicago Vice Report from the mails. This censorship of the imagined obscene is puerile and petty in sufficiency for any appetite, but it is useless to discuss it here. The reaction is always more potent than the action where obscenity is charged, as witness our own September Morn. Schroeder, albeit, announces his freedom of speech to be “a natural and a constitutional right.”

Society, so far as I know, recognizes no natural rights and modern philosophy seems to sanction none. As for constitutional rights, every constitution, unless it be dead, is subject to amendment. The real foundation for the liberties of speech and assemblage is discovered in the social need for them. Without freedom the common weal withers and perishes. That, then, is the basis and incidentally it affords a rod by which any attempt at censorship, by the police, by factory foremen, by the post office, by university trustees, and even by a sluggish popular taste, may be measured.

If the powers of Olympus would lend to men some creature of infinite wisdom and taste, some creature versed in the weary evolutions of the past, and pregnant with the unformulated tendencies of the future through which an increasing happiness may be attained by men, then well might that creature assume a censorship of human thought and speech. But salvation cannot be won so lightly, for the seed of happiness is with men. No one lives, or has lived, with the power to say what idea was valuable to the world and what idea was baneful. The human substitutes which have been commissioned during the absence of this all-wise and all-prophetic authority have been uniformly dull, limited, and poisonous to the best hopes of the future.

Since, then, we may not have a wise authority, why not frankly face the situation? We blame the police, and justly, for their cruelties; yet upon them American society has imposed an impossible task. We have demanded free speech and free assemblage by our fundamental law, and privately we have told the police not to obey the constitution. Who’s at fault? New York knows. Last winter at Madison Square Garden the same sort of folly was enacted as that which disgraced Chicago on Sunday, January 17. Then Arthur Woods, police commissioner, saw a great light. He made an experiment in freedom. It worked hugely to his credit and, parenthetically, to the discredit of some of those most noisy in demanding the right. The emptiness of many of the speakers was exhibited and that was all. The existing order was unruffled.

As a result of his enlightenment Commissioner Woods made a request at the conference on the old freedoms held at Princeton: “Policemen are entitled to definite orders,” said the commissioner. “People in this country have the constitutional right to freedom of assemblage and freedom of speech. The police have not only the responsibility to permit it—but to protect them in its exercise, and the police should be so instructed.”

The police should be so instructed; the welfare of the race demands it. But they won’t get instructions until powerful organized groups of citizens find expression. Upon this organization rests the future.

A Hymn to Nature

(This fragment, a “Hymn to Nature,” unknown to us in the published works of Goethe, was found in a little bookshop in Berlin, and translated into English by a strong man and a strong woman whose lives and whose creations have served the ideals of all humanity in a way that will gain deeper and deeper appreciation.)


We are encompassed and enveloped by her, powerless to emerge and powerless to penetrate deeper.

Unbidden and unwarned she takes us up in the round of her Dance and sweeps along with us, until exhausted we fall from her Arms.

She creates ever new Forms; what is, was never before; what was, comes never again—everything is New and yet ever the Old.

We live in the midst of her and are Strangers to her.

She speaks incessantly with us and never betrays her Secret to us.

We have unceasing Effect upon her and yet have no Power over her.

She appears to have committed everything to Individuality and is indifferent to the Individual.

She builds ever and ever destroys and her Workshop is inaccessible.

She is the very Children—and the Mother—where is she?

She is the only Artist.

With the simplest Materials she arrives at the most sublime Contrasts.

Without Appearance of Effort she attains utmost Perfection—the most exact Precision veiled always in exquisite Delicacy.

Each of her Works has its own individual Being—each of her Phenomena the most isolated Conception, yet all is Unity.

She plays a Drama.

Whether or no she sees it herself we do not know and yet she plays it for us who stand in the Corner.

There is an eternal Life, Growth and Motion in her and yet she does not advance.

She changes ever, no Moment is stationary with her.

She has no Conception of Rest and has fixed her Curse upon Inaction.

She is Firm.

Her Step is measured, her Exceptions rare, her Laws immutable.

She has reflected and meditated perpetually; not however as Man but as Nature.

She has reserved for herself a specific all-embracing Thought which none may learn from her.

Mankind is all in her and she in all.

With all she indulges in a friendly Game and rejoices the more one wins from her.

She practices it with many, so occultly that she plays it to the End before they are aware of it.

And most unnatural is Nature.

Whoever does not see her on every side, nowhere sees her rightly.

She loves herself and ever draws to herself Eyes and Hearts without number.

She has set herself apart in order to enjoy herself.

Ever she lets new Admirers arise, insatiable, to open her Heart to them.

In Illusion she delights.

Whoever destroys this in himself and others, him she punishes like the most severe Tyrant.

Whoever follows her confidently—him she presses as a child to her Breast.

Her Children are Countless.

To none is she everywhere niggardly but she has Favorites upon whom she lavishes much and to whom she sacrifices much.

Upon Greatness she has fixed her Protection.

She pours forth her Creations out of Nothingness and tells them not whence they came nor whither they go; they are only to go; the Road she knows.

She has few Motive Impulses—never worn out, always effective, always manifold.

Her Drama is ever New because she ever creates new Spectators.

Life is her most beautiful Invention and Death her Ruse that she may have much life.

She envelops Mankind in Obscurity and spurs him ever toward the Light.

She makes him dependent upon the Earth, inert and heavy; and ever shakes him off again.

She gives Needs because she loves Action.

It is marvelous how she attains all this Movement with so little.

Every Need is a blessing, quickly satisfied, as quickly awakened again.

If she gives another Need—then it is a new source of Desire; but soon she comes to Equipoise.

She starts every Moment upon the longest Race and every Moment is at the Goal.

She is Futility itself: but not for us for whom she has made herself of the greatest importance.

She lets every Child correct her, every Simpleton pronounce Judgment upon her; she lets thousands pass callous over her seeing nothing and her Joy is in all and she finds in all her Profit.

We obey her Laws even when we most resist them, we work with her even when we wish to work against her.

She turns everything she gives into a Blessing; for she makes it first—indispensable.

She delays that we may long for her, she hastens on that we may not be sated with her.

She has no Speech nor Language; but she creates Tongues and Hearts through which she feels and speaks.

Her Crown is Love.

Only through Love can we approach her.

She creates Gulfs between all Beings and all wish to intertwine.

She has isolated all that she may draw all together.

With a few Draughts from the Beaker of Love she compensates a Life full of Toil.

She is Everything.

She rewards herself and punishes herself, rejoices and torments herself.

She is harsh and gentle, lovely and terrible, powerless and omnipotent.

Everything is ever present in her.

Past and Future she knows not—The Present is her Eternity.

She is generous.

I glorify her with all her Works.

She is wise and calm.

One drags no Explanation from her by Force, wrests no gift from her which she does not freely give.

She is cunning but for a good purpose and it is best not to observe her Craft.

She is complete and yet ever uncomplete; so as she goes on she can ever go on.

To Everyone she appears in special Form.

She conceals herself behind a thousand Names and Terms and yet always is the same.

She has placed me here; she will lead me hence;—

I confide myself to her.

She may do with me what she will: she will not despise her Work.

I speak not of her. No, what is true and what is false; She herself has spoken all;

All the Fault is hers; hers is all the Glory.

My Friend, the Incurable

Pro domo mea: on the vice of simplicity. John Cowper Powys—a revelation

One of my critics sent me a New Year’s wish and admonition: “You are hectic. Why not see things as they are? You must learn to be simple.”

This is another attempt on the part of my good-wishers to cure me, in defiance of my resolute declaration that I cannot and do not want to be cured. Furthermore, I am in the position of a normal lunatic who considers the whole world, except himself, insane; not only do I refuse to learn the art of being simple, but I regard simplicity as a vice, a defect, a misery.

What is simplicity? I cannot define things; definitions are absurd, limiting, simplifying. In this case perhaps I ought to adopt the method of the school-boy who defined salt as “what makes potatoes nasty when not applied to.” It is an English joke which I have tried with discouraging results on the American sense of humor; it suits my purpose nevertheless. How would this do: “Simplicity is that which makes life dull when applied to?” No; decidedly, I cannot think in Procrustean formulas.

Nothing is simple. What nonsense it is to synonymize this word with “natural,” as if nature were not most complex and complicated! Neither is the primitive savage simple, for he conceives things not “as they are,” but through a veil of awe and mystery. Nor is the child simple, Messrs. and Mesdames Pedagogues; you may instruct it scientifically, tell it “plain truths” and facts, but the not-yet-educated young mind will distrust you and will continue to live in its illusionary, fantastic world. Not even beasts may be accused of that vice: recall Maeterlinck’s subtle dogs and horses.

Nothing is simple, although civilization has attempted to simplify a good deal. We have come to live in accordance with established standards, customs, regulations; inertia and routine have replaced impulse and initiative. Science has endeavored to explain away man’s dreams, to do away with religion, soul, imagination, to prove away our mysteries and wonders. Known stuff. Thus has come to be the matter-of-fact multitude, the simple, the all-knowing, those who act and think and feel “as everybody else does,” as they are taught and trained by the ingenious apparatus of scientific, moral, and social classifications, definitions, simplifications, in a word—the civilized man.

Yet side by side with civilization, machinization, automatonization, there is another powerful force moving the world: culture. Culture versus civilization, this is how I gauge the issue. Do not ask me to define these words: let Professor Herrick do it. We are all civilized, of course; especially the Germans: witness their recent astounding achievements. Now try to apply the term “culture” to the activities of those Kulturtraeger in Belgium and before Rheims—Q. E. D. Michael Bakounin “tried” it in 1848, when he suggested to his fellow-revolutionists in Dresden that they place on the besieged walls Raphael’s Madonna in order to avert the canon of the cultured Prussians; luckily the Saxons knew better their cousins, “the blond beasts.” Pardon this paroxysm of my old disease, Prussophobia. Bakounin, you see, belonged to the few, to the non-simple, to those who had an insight beyond the apparent, the fact, to the hectic, to the abnormal, if you please; “abnormal” is the label given to such individualities by the many, the civilized.

I am not so vulgar as to affect megalomania, when asserting that I am cultured: this is an apologia, a confession of my sins before my critic, the advocate of simplicity. When facing a sunset, I do not simply see a display of colors, nor do I think of the simple explanation of this phenomenon as offered by science, but I live through a world of associations, recollections of diverse impressions and reactions imprinted on my mind by Boecklin, Mallarmé, Debussy—by all the gods that make up the religion of modern man. Life external, simple facts, are to me an artless raw libretto, which, naturally, cannot in itself satisfy one who has come into this world with the intention of enjoying grandiose opera. I call it culture, this faculty of seeing things creatively, not in monotones, not through window-panes, but through multiplying lenses which collect the rays of all suns and concentrate them on the focus. Now, pray, is there any hope for me “to learn how to be simple?”

Life is composed of hundreds of grey days interspersed with a few scintillating moments, the few moments justifying our otherwise superfluous existence. In this respect I am not a Croesus, but the half dozen or so of meteoric flashes that have pierced through the ordinariness of my life I treasure grudgingly, and would not exchange them for years of continuous well-being. Congratulate me: I have become enriched now with another moment of rare beatitude, of indelible radiance. I was present at the transubstantiation of Oscar Wilde, performed by John Cowper Powys.

Was it a lecture? “Most certainly,” would advise me my simple friend. What a dwarfish misnomer for the solemn rite that took place in the dark temple, the “catacomb” of the Little Theatre! I close my eyes, and see once more the galvanized demi-god vibrating in the green light, invoking the Uranian Oscar. We, the worshipers, sit entranced, hypnotized, demundanized, bewitched; the sorcerer makes us feel the presence in flesh and spirit of the Assyrian half-god, half-beast, who had the moral courage of living his life actively, to the full; we follow bewildered the quaint meteor of Wilde’s genius illuminating the world for a moment, dropping down into a hideous pit, reflaming in the pale glimmer of discovered sorrow; we finally hear the sonorous requiem to Oscar’s break-down from the shock of having discovered a heart in himself. The lights are on, the sorcerer is gone, but we remain under the spell of the hovering spirit.

To quote Powys is as impossible as to tell a symphony. It is the How and the What and the stage background that combine in creating the inexpressible charm of that experience. As to Oscar Wilde—well, what does it matter whether we agree with Mr. Powys’s interpretation or not? Wilde was my idol for a long time; I chanted dithyrambs to him and worshiped him fanatically. Later, in the perpetual process of dethroning gods, I observed the halo of the Prince of Paradoxes becoming paler in my eyes. Mr. Powys rekindled in my heart the sacred flame, for a moment at least, and gave me the rare sensation of reliving an old love.

À propos of simplicity: Wilde proclaimed artificiality as the great virtue, and certainly lived up to his theory. Compare his short but italicized life with the last weary years of Tolstoy that were an attempt for “simple life.” Need I tell you which I prefer?

Muck and Music

Alfred A. Knopf

(We disagree with Mr. Knopf in too many respects not to be eager to print his interesting article.)

Dr. Karl Muck resumed charge of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 1912. Looking over the twenty-two programs which he has given since then one is forced to admit that his tastes are, to say the least, peculiar. There have been frequent performances of Beethoven and Brahms and occasional classical programs. These, perhaps, serve to keep his feet on solid earth, but at other times he soars into the realm of incomprehensible novelty and one can tell in advance where he will land just about as easily as if he were a German Zeppelin headed for Paris. One thing only seems certain—he cannot resist the virtuoso that is in him; he gluts us with what can only be called virtuosity for its own sake. If he offers a novelty (and when Brahms and Beethoven are taken care of he chooses, for the most part, to offer little else) it is sure to be some outrageously difficult affair—difficult both to play and to listen to. One cannot reasonably object to music merely because it is difficult to understand. The test is whether there is sufficient real beauty in it to repay careful and painstaking attention. And my point is simply that many of us feel that the beauty in Sibelius, Holbrooke, Reger, Lendvai, Mraczek, Loeffler, Mahler, Schmitt and others is disproportionately small.

The reasons for the New Yorker’s peculiar bitterness against Dr. Muck are not difficult to discover. He makes only ten appearances each season: the Philharmonic and the New York Symphony each gives many more concerts. From our point of view, would it not be better if we relied on Stransky and Damrosch (the merits of the one and the fripperies of the other are too apparent to call for comment here) for our first hearings of novelties? Then, if a particular composition seemed to warrant it, the Boston Orchestra could play it for us in its usual masterly manner. Just so long as New York worships the men from Boston in the mad feminine way it does, just that long will it resent Dr. Muck’s playing what it doesn’t want to hear. It was Theodore Thomas, I think, who, discovering that people cared very little for Wagner’s music, played it until they changed their minds. That is all very well when you have a Wagner, but I wonder just how heartily Dr. Muck admires the music he has recently served up to his New York audiences.

To begin with there was Sibelius’s Fourth Symphony. Now Sibelius is one of the great living composers. He is a genuine musician—by which I mean that you do not suffer all the agonies of stage fright when you hear a composition of his for the first time. He knows the business of his craft and you usually feel safe in his hands, thanks to three Symphonies and Finlandia. But how rudely this fourth symphony shakes your confidence! Call it musicianly: show how consistently-planned and executed it is: you won’t like it any the more. To be sure, Sibelius is a Finn and an intensely feeling one. He gives expression to the emotions of that curiously unhappy race. But music to appeal must be more universal than this angry symphony of ugly moods. You can’t explain it on cubist grounds—unless the Finns also call it disagreeable. But one ventures the guess that they, perchance, find it richly agreeable, in which case its performance should, by International law (or what is left of it) be confined to Finland.

Then there was Schlemihl—a symphonic biography by one Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek. This was the pièce de resistance at the evening concert. It is scored for one piccolo, three flutes, three oboes, English horn, three clarinets, bass clarinet, three bassoons, double bassoon, four horns, four trumpets, three trombones, contra bass tuba, two trumpets off the stage, kettle drums, snare drums, bass drum and tambourine, Glockenspiel, Cuckoo, Xylophone, cymbals, triangle, tam-tam, two harps, celesta, organ, sixteen first violins, sixteen second violins, twelve violas, ten violoncellos, eight double basses, and a tenor voice. This huge orchestra, plus the detailed analysis of his work furnished by the composer, explains Schlemihl. It is an attempt to out-Richard Richard Strauss, and, like almost all such attempts, it fails. Reznicek recounts the life and fate of a modern man pursued by misfortune who goes to destruction in the conflict between his ideal and his material existence. A compound essentially of Tod und Verklärung, Tyll Eulenspiegel and Ein Heldenleben, but at no time reaching the heights attained by Strauss in all three of these tone poems. Imitators somehow almost always fall down in two ways—they devote far too little attention to what they want to say and far too much to their manner of saying it. And as a not unnatural result of this, they forget, or appear to forget at any rate, that melody is the prime essential in great music. Wagner had melodic genius, as we all realize today, and that Strauss has it is no longer open to very serious questioning. Reznicek hasn’t. His music is all rather good, but none of it good enough to grip you as the finest music does. It has no great moments but only moments of very great sound. The house fairly quaked at some of the fortissimos. And yet Schlemihl would be pleasant enough were it not so pretentiously bombastic and did it not last twice too long. But the mere existence of Ein Heldenleben, Tyll Eulenspiegel and Tod und Verklärung deprives Schlemihl of any greater claim than that.

After these two pieces Scheinpflug’s Overture to a Comedy of Shakespeare proved quite simple and enjoyable. It is a musicianly piece of work lacking neither in melodic invention nor in skilful orchestration. The Allegretto Graziosa, in which an old English tune from the Fitz William Virginal Book is introduced, is wholly delightful. And having said that much, one really has said all. The overture can have no possible chance of immortality; it is not great music, it is not intensely interesting or unusually delectable: one feels rather that such compositions as this are the by-products of the daily practice of the art of music by men of no little talent but very little genius. As such, they demand an occasional hearing—today Scheinpflug has the stage: tomorrow someone else—what matter who, since none are really masters.

An occasional performance of Strauss’s early Symphonic Suite, Aus Italien, is probably quite justifiable because of his imposing importance among the composers of today. When a musician attains greatness almost everything he ever wrote becomes of interest to his disciples. Aus Italien calls for little comment. First performed in 1887, it is difficult today to realize the great uproar and rage it evoked. Now it seems quite tame. It was indeed Strauss’s “first step towards independence,” and it is interesting as the connecting link between his very early work and Don Juan and its successors. Its first movement “On The Campagna” is probably the most successful, reaching as it does gravely grey and tragic heights. A sense of oppressiveness fairly overwhelms the listener and there are chords that are exquisite. “Amid Rome’s Ruins” is not nearly so sustained and well-knit. The opening of the third movement, “On the Shore of Sorrento,” depicts with wonderful effectiveness the brilliance of an Italian sea under a dazzling sun—a brilliance that no one who has seen it is likely ever to forget. Strauss, for all his reputed blare and noise, handles his orchestra pianissimo in a manner immeasurably more impressive than anyone else of his time. (The opening bars of Tod und Verklärung and the love scene in Don Juan immediately come to mind). And you can measure a generation’s progress in orchestration by the unruffled placidity with which people nowadays listen to the at-one-time “brilliant, tumultuous, audacious, unusual, and bold” finale—“Neapolitan Folk-Life.”

Even the casual concert-goer must notice the amazing duplications that are being offered this season. For two or three seasons a particular composition is neglected; then suddenly it is played five times in half as many weeks. Stransky plays Don Juan; a week later Muck, as it were, shows us how it ought to be played. The Symphony Society plays Brahms’s Second Symphony and shortly thereafter Muck administers his reproach to Damrosch. Is there any reason why conductors shouldn’t meet occasionally and plan to avoid such ways? Muck appears the chief offender. His program stated that he was playing Ropartz’s Fourth Symphony for the first time in New York, but Stransky had played it only eight days earlier. When will we hear it again?

For this Symphony deserves another hearing. The only work by a Frenchman that Dr. Muck has offered this season, it is far more satisfying than any of his other novelties. The restless swing of the opening theme grips you at once—and your curiosity is piqued as the violins sing against the “Kernel” in the horns. The Adagio is not so successful—the theme sung by the English horn is not sufficiently melodious. You need only compare it with the heart-breaking Largo of Dvorak’s Aus Der Neuen Welt. But there are the most engaging rhythms—many of them typically Scotch in their snap. In fact did Ropartz’s gift for melody (it is far from negligible) approach his rhythmic talent, he might produce really great music. As it is, this Fourth Symphony interests and gratifies. But it is too long. Its three movements are played without a pause and one’s attention flags at times. It seems likely that this is inevitable in absolute music: only a program can really hold one’s attention for almost forty minutes. Strauss does it in Ein Heldenleben; but Don Juan, Tyll Eulenspiegel and Tod und Verklärung last only about twenty minutes each, despite the fascinating explanations that the program notes always give of their musical contents. Ropartz’s Fourth Symphony would be much better if played with pauses, and the sections are so clearly indicated that this could be done without great difficulty. But, on the whole, a hearing of his work makes one wish for more French music, with its charming, clear-cut rhythms so typical of the Gaul. (To my mind Ropartz’s indebtedness to César Franck is a matter of comparative unimportance. Disciple or not, he has brought to his task of writing music freshness and charm, a fund of melody and a quite adequate technique).

After listening to these five compositions, what effect would Beethoven’s Egmont Overture naturally have? Relief,—pure unalloyed relief. And it confirms one in the feeling that relief is ever going to be one of the prime functions thrust by the musicians of today upon the greatest master of them all. Invariably he brings us back to earth, and as we sit listening to him in smug contentment, we can say over, without fear of contradiction: “This after all is music.”

While Hearing a Little Song

(Solveigs Lied)

Maxwell Bodenheim

A song flew lazily

Over my upturned head.

It dropped and I could see

The ivoried limbs, the spread

Of swaying, dream-colored wings,

And barely sense the drift

Of slender, cloud-voiced rings

Of notes which seemed to lift

The oval of my soul

Up to their lingering death ...

A purplish pallor stole

Down to my leaden breath,—

It was my melted soul

And the soft death of the throng

Of notes from the slim song.

A Hard Bed

George Burman Foster

Warfare against suffering, this is man’s most natural fight. Suffering is an attack upon man, upon his will to live. On this account, he has a right to protect himself from suffering, to hold suffering far from him.

But the struggle seems futile. The host of sufferings seems illimitable. For each old suffering which we thought we had vanquished, ten new ones come of which we had never dreamt. Indeed, the capacity to suffer grows with the growth of man. The feeling of pain grows as the senses become sharper and finer. The higher a man’s development, the stronger becomes his ability to feel life’s pains. Even if we could exchange all the sufferings of life for pure joy and bliss, this latter life would be suffering still, a surfeit and a search, and I doubt not we would long for an hour of some old anguish again that would redeem us from a pleasure now grown oppressive and intolerable.

Shall we, then, hate life? Shall we say that it were better not to be than to be? We might, did we not find strength and comfort in and with every suffering,—did we not allow every item or event of experience the democratic right to a trial by a jury of its peers and to our trust that it is worth while until it shall prove that it is not,—did we not experience that up from the abyss of every suffering, painful as it seems, a path leads to a summit where all sufferings are only shadows of a blinding flood and fullness of light; that all articulate and fit into the eternal process of an upward-striving life.

There is no question but that this is the workable view of life to present to the heart of man, draining, as one must, pain’s bitter cup for one’s self. But the sufferings one feels for others, sufferings in which one’s love, expressed in sympathy and pity, is complicated—this is another matter, here one may fall into mischievous aberration. There can be no doubt that the pain of our pity for others may be more painful than the pain of our own lives. In the throes of such pity, the woes of our own lives may seem small indeed, and finally fade away. To behold a human being that is deeply dear to us suffer is worse than it would be to suffer in his place. And if the man of moral elevation of soul feels equal in the end to all that brings pain to his own life, all the more defenseless does he feel with regard to the great all-prevailing misery which, in pity, celebrates its triumphal entry into his heart. Love is our noblest human power, and it is love that lets us feel such misery, it is love whose wealth of recognition and experience renders it possible for us to descry sorrow’s abysses, to anticipate them even in advance of the poor sufferer himself.

Now, may love be good, and pity bad? What a problem is here! May we war a two-fold warfare, one against suffering and one against pity? Ought we? War upon pity—would not that be in contradiction to all that our own generation especially calls good and great? Our generation has done its best to develop in the human heart an ever-enlarging capacity for pity—what would it say to a warrior who pitilessly took up arms against pity?

Friedrich Nietzsche was such a warrior, single-handed and alone! And the venomous verbal onslaught upon Nietzsche by those who did not understand him was equalled only by those who did. At first Nietzsche’s own success consisted in supplying his opponents with new weapons against himself. Of all the words which have been used as bludgeons to break the head of this most resolute rebel against our previous moral view of life, Nietzsche’s piercing words concerning pity and the pitiful have most occupied the attention of his enemies. This may not deter us from looking unabashed the great question squarely in the face. In the end, is pity something to be overcome, a disease of the old culture? Does the path of the new culture lead men out and beyond and above pity? This is no longer a Nietzsche question merely. This is a question of the moral life of our time. Perhaps this is the last weightiest question which our time can put to men of dignity and depth of thought.

However, it is only fair to say at the outset that no one has any right to fly into a rage at Nietzsche in particular for summoning men to arms against pity, since, if rage is in order at all, the conventional practices of our previous life furnished therefor occasion enough. Aye, there is an old wide-spread fashion of averting the strain of pity which is so mean and cool that almost anybody could fly into a frenzy over it—the fashion, not of triumphing over pity, but of cowardly flight from pity. Consider the whole conception of life of the so-called favorites of fortune. To what lengths do they go that they may be spared the sight of misfortune, that they may not be agitated by a touch of pity! How they avoid, if at all possible, every place that would remind them that there are want and misery, hunger and sorrow, in the world—as the Parisians did, until Zola, the most calumniated author of the nineteenth century, dragged these things, with their ensuing vices, out into the light of day and made the French people look at them! How furious they are, as the French were at great Zola, at anybody who dares to open their eyes to the sad and harrowing realities of life! Nay, they have invented a special art and religion that shall succeed in sparing them pity; the former to conjure up a make-believe world in which life shall be all sunshine and gladness; the latter to advocate the doctrine that all pain is punishment from God, and that, since God must be just, He will properly parcel out and administer pain and suffering. We do not need to bestir ourselves in behalf of sufferers; that would be a wrong against God; a doubt of the Everlasting Justice; hence all may not feel pity for the wicked man upon whom God visits His wrath and punishment! Thus the “good people” and the just harden their hearts. They have stones which they heave at the poor sinner—especially at a “sinful woman”—but no mercy, no pity, for those who are not as they are, and do not think and feel and act as they do. They grow chesty: “Yes, if others were as good as we are, then it would be as well with them as it is with us!” With such pride they choke all feeling of kinship and connection with others. Where pride grows, no pity can thrive. And at last pity itself becomes a kind of pride, a sorry self-reflection as in a mirror. The most subtle and dangerous way for men to free themselves from the pain of pity, when they cannot stave it off completely, is to make it a thing of pride and praise: “I thank Thee, God, that I am not like the hard-hearted!” Then they revel and riot in their pity, then they rejoice that they are so good-hearted, so tender-hearted, because they can see no suffering without being touched and melted to tears. And the pitiful call this their morality and their virtue. They make a “delicacy” of their pity to set before themselves at the table of life when all of life’s other gratifications and indulgences begin to grow stale and tasteless. The tears of emotion that gush generously forth at the spectacle of suffering humanity—even of frail and faulty humanity—taste so good! Many is the time they have felt the weary weight of this unintelligible world on listening to a sad story or seeing a play, and screwed up melancholy and doleful countenances—maybe pity can be put among the things that can make life, always requiring to be braced up a bit, a trifle more interesting. And so pity is at last honored with a place among the articles of luxury with which they enrich and adorn their lives—their lives, always surprising them with some fresh sign of poverty and patches!

But if all guilt be revenged upon earth, punishment of this misuse of pity may not be stayed. It is doubly punished and revenged—upon him who practices it and upon him upon whom it is practiced. Or do we not know that the pharisees of pity become ever more feeble and sentimental men, losing all power and energy of will through pure emotionality? Or do we not know that most crafty business speculation, speculation in pity, in which sufferers magnify their least pains, expert in making an impression with their “cases” in order to arouse the interest of the pitiful, an interest which need not always be relieved by the clink of coin, but which makes ready its punishment much more frequently with idle hours spent in dreaming and weeping, with the unprofitable breathing-out of pathos and reproach? Often enough the enthusiasts of the kind and tender heart do not know what they do, but they rob men of the marrow of life, they emasculate and coddle the soul; and the emotional debauchery in which they live, requires ever stronger stimulus which ever operates more enervatingly still.

Contemplating these devastations wrought everywhere in life by love’s softness, one begins to cherish some respect for a Nietzsche who preached to men “a hard bed,” love’s hardness. To be sure, if one is to understand this preaching, one must keep in mind what the preacher says: “My brethren, give heed unto each hour, in which your spirit wisheth to speak in parables: there is the origin of your virtue.” Nietzsche speaks in parables. For instance, his words on war and warriors—a good war hallowing every cause—these, too, are parables. And hardness, bravery, praised by him as the strength and consecration of life, truly this is not the barbarity of prize-fighting or the brutality of lynching; this is the high mind fearlessly going its own way, stampeded by no danger into thinking and acting and being other than what it holds to be right. Danger is but the acid test which such a mind applies to the ingredients of its life. To such a mind, hardness is the characteristic of the gem, of the diamond, which thus guarantees its genuineness, its sparkling worth. Zarathustra-Nietzsche loves everything which steels the will and augments life’s force. Therefore he loves his foe, for, thanks to his foe, he never comes to a standstill and stagnates. Therefore his true friend is the one who has become his best foe, who makes him sweat, who summons him to risk hot war with him, to break a lance with him in an intellectual passage at arms in which the soul struggles for its own yea and nay. So, similarly, this Zarathustra-Nietzsche hates pity. Why? Not because he is a brute. “Kind unto the sick is Zarathustra.... Would that they were convalescent and conquering and creating a higher body for themselves!” Not because, as we have seen, so much of pity is for self’s sake and not for the sake of service, though this is an essential part of the answer. Then why? Because it works an embarrassment for man, because it knows no shame, no reverence, in the presence of the giant forces which, for every brave soul, is concealed in great and deep pain. Therefore he combats pity because it is a passion and not an action, and yet life is not for passionists but for pragmatists. “All great love is lifted above all its pity, for it seeketh to create what it loveth.... But all creators are hard.” “If thou hast a suffering friend, be a couch for his suffering, but a hard bed, as it were, a field-bed; thus thou wilt be of most use for him.”

Hearken ye, O Reader, to another Transvaluer of values Whose Person Nietzsche “the Crucified,” excoriated at ill-starred moments, but did so on the basis of that very “high mind” for which He, rejecting pity, went to His Crucifixion! “And Jesus, Pilate handed over to their will. As they led him off he was followed by a large multitude of the people and also of women who beat their breasts and lamented him; but Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me!’”

Now, as it seems to me, this Nietzsche preaching is not so far removed from that other preaching which we are otherwise wont to call a gospel, a good, a glad message! For this glad message was not a lamentation, but a hymn of heroism and of victory, a call to creation! And I take the liberty to repeat that the Preacher of this glad message forbade pity for himself even in his dark and desolate hour—do you think what that hour was?—when he appealed to weak and wailing and weeping womanly souls, Weep not for me, weep for yourselves! And He Who Himself wills no pity, Who bears in Himself a greatness which is elevated above all pity, would he have willed to have men so weak and pitiful as we often enough today imagine the Ideal of a Christ-man to be?

What, now, if the true pitiful love, the true mercy to men, were to harden them, to make them free from what meant only suffering to them? It is, to be sure, very much more difficult to make men themselves “hard,” so that the burden lying on their backs can not crush them than it is to indulge their weakness and sensitiveness and to leave them as they are. Indulgent parental hearts would a thousand times rather remove all life’s burdens from their children than to place burdens upon their children which they might learn to bear. So often our pity plays us a sorry trick—we would rather do something for men than to repress our pity, silence it, and then teach men how they themselves can do what is good and necessary for them. We speak of a ministrant love, meaning a love which knows nothing higher than to provide comforts, avert trials, spare vexations, and everything which could shake a man to his foundations. How much greater a service of love it would be to lead man to himself, make him strong that he might be equal to what we had thought we must take away from him! Pray, not for easier tasks, lighter burdens, but for more power! This Nietzschean love is not only a greater love, it also requires a greater, more tiresome work, it requires a constant conquest of our pitying weakness, it requires a courageous faith in man and a firm earnest appraisal of his power. And how entirely different a service of friendship do we render a friend if we show a hard love to him, if he break a tooth on us, as Nietzsche says, because we do not flatter and fit him, but compel him, out of love compel him, to assert himself against us, and to withstand our defense of our rights against him! Foolish men seek their friends among the Jasagern, most preferably, among those who are of their own opinion in everything. They then call this an ideal friendship: two souls and one thought, two hearts and one beat! But in such a friendship, their best, their own soul, their sense of truth, and their courage for the truth, soon rusts. To spare a friend the disillusion which he would suffer if he felt an antagonism, an opposition, in the friendship, they have pity on him, they learn to keep silent, and silence soon becomes a lie. Since they dare not cause the friend the grief of discovering to him these lies, they lie more, lie life-long,—all out of pity, out of their weak tender love. How much nobler and greater that friendship whose ideal Nietzsche sketches for us, in which we are gripped from the outset in a friend’s contradiction and hostility! We seek and love in him precisely what is not attuned to us, but is his own, and must forever remain his very own. Such hard love which gives the friend a “camp-bed” and not one as “soft as downy pillows are” and requires the like in return is the proudest manliest friendship, is alone what brings our sluggish and pampered natures forward, and makes us stronger, freer, richer in understanding and experience. Every genuine love should be a spur, freedom, to us, not an easy berth and a trammel in life.

We cannot, we ought not, refrain from pity in life. We cannot, we ought not, stave it artificially from us. Pity belongs to man as man. It comes stealing upon him, and ought so to come. But when it has come, he ought not to be enmeshed in it. Still less ought he to let it grow rank. He should ennoble it, overcome it, with strong will and energetic deed. For pity is yet suffering and all suffering summons men to conflict, to defense. The sign that such overcoming has succeeded is that rejoicing-together has been born of suffering-together—is that the conflict has issued in a victory in which hard militant love triumphs over every weakness, and is grateful to the hardness which has given it such a victory!

In his brilliant book on Nietzsche, “Who Is to Be Master of the World,” Ludovici writes powerfully as follows: “What the units of a herd most earnestly seek and find, is smug ease, not necessarily mastership. For mastership entails responsibility, insight, nerve, courage and hardness towards one’s self, that control of one’s self which all good commanders must have, and which is the very antithesis of the gregarious man’s attitude towards himself.... Hardness?—He knows nothing of the hardness that can command his heart, his mouth, before it attends to the command of others; he knows nothing of the hardness that can dispel the doubts of a whole continent, that can lead the rabble and the ruck to deeds of anomalous nobility, or that can impose silence upon the overweening importunities of an assembled nation. He knows this hardness, that he could coldly watch the enemy of his private and insignificant little interests, burnt at the stake; he knows this hardness, that he would let a great national plan miscarry for the sake of a mess of pottage;—the gregarious man and future socialist has this so-called hardness; but so have all those who burn with resentment,—so have all parasites and silent worm-gnawers at the frame-work of great architecture.”

But not Nietzsche’s interpreter, but Nietzsche himself, shall have the last word: “Praises are what maketh hard!—I do not praise the land where butter and honey—flow! To learn to look away from one’s self is necessary in order to see many things: this hardener is needed by every mountain climber.”

Also Sprach Aristoteles—Zarathustra!

George Middleton’s One-Act Plays

Clayton Hamilton

The one-act play is an art-form that is worthy of careful cultivation. It shows the same relation to the full-length drama as the short-story shows to the novel. It makes a virtue of economy of means. It aims to produce a single dramatic effect with the greatest economy of means that is consistent with the utmost emphasis. A one-act play, in exhibiting the present, should imply the past and intimate the future. The author has no leisure for laborious exposition; but his mere projection of a single situation should sum up in itself the accumulated results of many antecedent causes. The one-act play, at its best, can no more serve as a single act of a longer drama than the short-story can serve as a single chapter of a novel. The form is complete, concise, and self-sustaining; and it requires an extraordinary focus of imagination.

No other American dramatist has so carefully cultivated this special type of drama as George Middleton. His recently-published volume of one-act plays, entitled Possession, was preceded by two other volumes, called Embers and Tradition. Each of these books contains half a dozen plays. From the fact that Mr. Middleton has chosen to publish these eighteen one-act plays in advance of their production, it is not to be inferred that he is a believer in the closet-drama. A closet-drama may be defined as a play that, being unfit for production in the theatre, is fit only to be locked up in a closet. Mr. Middleton is not a literary amateur, but a professional and practical playwright. He has produced more than half a dozen full-length plays in the commercial theatre; and such artists as Julia Marlowe, Margaret Anglin, George Fawcett, and the late E. M. Holland have appeared in dramas of his composition. All of Mr. Middleton’s one-act plays are written for the stage; and—to quote from his own preface to Possession—he conceives “the value of play publication not as a substitute for production but as an alternative for those whose dramas may offer little attraction to the manager because of theme or treatment.”

At present there is, unfortunately, scarcely any market in the American theatre for one-act plays that take life seriously. It is against our custom to provide a full-length drama with a curtain-raiser or an after-piece; and the field for one-act plays in vaudeville is restricted to slap-stick comedies and yelling melodramas. It is for this reason that Mr. Middleton has been required to choose publication as an alternative for production, in the case of these diminutive dramas. The trouble is not at all that his pieces are unsuited to the stage: they are admirable in technique, and—like all good plays—they would be more interesting in the theatre than in the library. The trouble is only that—for wholly artificial and accidental reasons—the commercial theatre in America at present is inhospitable to the one-act play.

Mr. Middleton’s one-act plays reveal a wide range of subject-matter and a corresponding versatility of treatment. No one of them is similar to any of the others. Yet, pervading this variety of subject and of mood, there is discernible an underlying unity. Each of them deals essentially with woman—and with modern woman in relation to our modern social system. Woman is, at present, a transitional creature, evolving from the thing that man considered her to be in the far-away period of wax flowers and horse-hair furniture to the being that she considers herself about to become in the unachieved, potential future; and Mr. Middleton has caught her in this period of transition, and has depicted her, under many different lights, colored with her virtues and discolored with her faults.

Many of the most poignant and dramatic problems of present-day society arise from the fact that the evolution of woman is proceeding more rapidly than the evolution of her environment. While individuals advance, traditions linger. Mr. Middleton’s favorite subject seems to be a conflict between an advanced woman and a lingering tradition. The author is himself a radical, and his sympathy is forever on the side of the revolutionary individual; but his technical treatment is so fair to both sides of the contention that it remains possible for conservative readers to rank themselves against the individual on the side of the lingering tradition. Scarcely any of Mr. Middleton’s women would be pleasant to have around the house. Since most of them are discontented with the conditions of their lives, they naturally make the worst of these conditions instead of making the best of them. Hell hath no fury like a woman in revolt; and many readers may dislike Mr. Middleton’s heroines more heartily than he seems to like them himself. But to be able to dislike a character is a proof that that character is real, and must be considered as a tribute to the author’s art. The heroine of The Unborn, in Mr. Middleton’s latest volume, refuses to have children because motherhood might interfere with “her work,”—the work, in this case, being merely a habit of attending to minor matters in her husband’s photographic studio; but the intensity of impatience with which the reader listens to her twaddle is an indication that this character is really representative of a silly type of creature that is not infrequently encountered in actual life. Again, in the play called Possession, a woman who has been divorced for adultery attempts to kidnap her little daughter from the house of her former husband, to whose custody the child had, of course, been awarded by the courts. Her adultery was inexcusable, because it had been occasioned not by an irresistible and overwhelming love but merely by a superfluity of leisure; and her attempt to kidnap the child was treacherous and ignominious. She excuses herself, however, by telling her husband that the process of child-birth had been painful, and that, therefore, despite the judgment of the courts, their little daughter belonged more to her than to him. The reader is, of course, annoyed by all this nonsense; but this annoyance, once again, must be regarded as a tribute to the reality of the author’s characterization. No heroine who was not a living human being could make the auditor so ardently desire to climb upon the stage and talk back to her.

Fortunately, it is not at all necessary to like Mr. Middleton’s women in order to like his plays. One may admire Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler without wishing to be married to the heroine; and the pleasant thing about Mr. Middleton’s women is that, while the reader is permitted to observe and study them, he is also allowed to realize with hearty thankfulness that he will never have to live with any of them. The world in which his women move is a world of discontent. This discontent is truly representative of the present transitional period in the evolution of society; but it is not representative of that perennial reality of life that remains oblivious of periods and dates. At all times, the really womanly woman has been a lover of her life and has not found it difficult to feel at home at home.

New York Letter

George Soule

It would be difficult to imagine a more fantastic occasion than a debate in New York on the justice of the cause of the Allies vs. that of Germany between Cecil Chesterton and George Sylvester Viereck. The gods permitted it to happen last week, much to the chagrin of the Allies, for the hyphenated Germans took good care to fill the hall and hiss every offensive statement. Mr. Chesterton, an honest fighter and a clever polemicist, who has leapt through every phase of radicalism into the enfolding charity of the Catholic Church, deserves to be known for his journalistic achievements and his exposure of graft in high places almost as much as for his brother Gilbert. Mr. Viereck, a sublime egotist, has come into sudden favor with his countrymen by editing Das Vaterland, although before that he had taken every known means to secure notoriety for a naturally obscure individual. He began as a poet of strange verse, both in German and English. When it became apparent that it wasn’t going to sell, he issued a last volume which he called his “swan song,” with the announcement that as this commercial age was unappreciative of his poetry he would write no more, and anyone who wanted a last chance to value him at it must buy this book. For himself, he was going to get in line with the genius of the century and become a Big Business Man, for he must make himself felt. He announced in a stentorian wail his admiration for Theodore Roosevelt, and was much chagrined when that celebrity would not let him trail along on the skirts of his ample publicity. Later on, when Alfred Noyes began to sell in large quantities, Mr. Viereck resumed his dictatorship of poetry, and by scurrilous attacks attempted to draw Mr. Noyes’s fire—and newspaper space. Now German Patriotism has lifted him to the headlines.

If Poetic Justice was present at the debate, she probably did not receive much enlightenment on the questions which are now vexing her in Europe. To quote any of the substance of the debate would be an insult to her intelligence.

A more serious event was Richard Bennet’s recent production of Brieux’s Maternity. Considering the deadly earnestness with which author and cast struggled to inculcate lessons, the apathy of the public in respect to moral instruction was pathetic. On the night of my visit there was exactly one normal “theatre-goer” in the house. There was a sprinkling of people who had long admitted what Brieux has to say, and went from “high-brow” reasons. There was a young society matron who had escaped from her husband for the evening and is taking an amateurish interest in social questions. There were numerous persons who are always on the lookout for a chance to cackle at what they consider broad humor. These blonde ladies furnished an interesting refutation of one of Brieux’s theories. In one scene various women tell their troubles, emphasizing the fact that all women are united in their sorrows and understand them, whereas men do not. Immediately after this the drunken husband returns and disgusts and outrages the wife. There were many laughs in the audience to greet him—but not one from a man. Even the blonde ladies’ fat escorts tried to quiet them while the rest of us were hissing.

Granville Barker opens this week with Androcles and the Lion and some of the other recent London productions. A number of the backers of the old “New Theatre” are guaranteeing his expenses, a fact which is a historical corroboration for Mr. Barker’s wit. When he was brought over as the chosen manager for that institution, he objected to the immense size of the house. “But the alterations you suggest would cost us a million dollars,” he was told. “If you don’t make them, it will cost you three million,” he replied, and sailed back to London. His popularity with the New Theatre guarantors has been steadily increasing from that day to this.

There is even a rumor that if the present experiment succeeds, the New Theatre project will be resumed. This whisper aroused an answering howl from the American managers and actors. Why should good American money be spent in encouraging English talent, especially in such a disastrous season? they wailed. The answer was, in effect, the one that should be made to the whole “made in America” propaganda. What has American production done that it should be encouraged? When “made in America” comes to have any relation to honesty and intelligence, it will be time enough to invoke “patriotism” in its favor. In the meantime, the more disastrous foreign competition can be to our present shoddy products, the better.

This ironic year has produced few more strange reversals than the one which has brought Mr. McClure to the status of an employee of Mr. Munsey. When a man has apparently won his life campaign and written so engagingly of it as has Mr. McClure in his Autobiography, we begin to regard him as beyond the touch of the fates. Perhaps the present eventuality should be taken, however, merely as another proof that in our present arrangement of things it is less profitable to have a touch of genius than to become the owner of trust companies. At any rate McClure’s Magazine has apparently not profited much in recent years by Mr. McClure’s separation from its editorial policy.

There is one real consolation in a season which has brought such material devastation to commercial managers and magazines. When conventionally-planned “successes” don’t succeed, success comes to have less meaning. People who are after money in the promotion of artistic products are in their desperation more ready to try less “safe” ways of getting it, while the others have a decidedly better chance of gaining a respectful public attention.


Kreisler and Shattuck

In certain realms, words are opaque and stupid things. In others—oh, comforting thought!—they seem to become transparent and almost intelligent. Following this out consistently, it becomes easy to write a page about Arthur Shattuck, pianist, and very difficult to say anything at all about Fritz Kreisler, violinist.

Arthur Shattuck was a disappointment. His faults, in a lesser man, would have been considered the sign of mere mediocrity; but in himself, they are obtrusive and disagreeable. An exasperating contrast existed between what may be called his style, with its rhythmic sureness and its admirable perspectives, and his great lack of tonal beauty. He cracks out hard tones. Any particular phrase of Mr. Boyle’s concerto for piano with orchestra, when passed on from the orchestra to the solo instrument, lost its lyric curve and became flat and lifeless under Mr. Shattuck’s long, aggressive hands. When another pianist, Ernest Hutcheson, played the same work with the composer conducting the New York Philharmonic, a certain phenomenon was lacking which appeared when Frederick Stock conducted the work with the Chicago Symphony. This phenomenon (let it be whispered) was a strange prominence of the brass choir of the orchestra in certain portions of the work which led one to believe that Mr. Stock was, perhaps, more interested in the orchestral accompaniment than in the performance of the soloist. If this were as true as it appeared, it is on a par with another startling fact:—that the public is really learning something about tone-values and the possible beauties of piano music. What else could account for the numerous confessions caught in snatches in the corridors and stairways, the composite of which was, “He left me cold”?... Arthur Shattuck is a millionaire.

A compassionate attitude toward Chicago was considerably relieved by the sight of the Auditorium-full which paid to hear Kreisler. Think of so many people being moved by such good taste! And, what was better still, they all behaved well. Kreisler deserved their tribute of attentive silence. Such violin playing hasn’t been heard in Chicago since the same artist was here last season. There is no describing Kreisler’s tone; a magic circle of stillness encloses it, which words have not learned to cross. In the memory it is a living beauty, penetrant and bewitching. Praise and appreciation are miserable things in the presence of this man’s music. Fritz Kreisler is a genius.


Book Discussion

Ellen Key’s Steady Vision

The Younger Generation, by Ellen Key. [G. P. Putnam’s, New York.]

In the present amusing reign of boisterous propagandic voices, it is good to find a thinker who describes the exciting truth in simple terms. The many are able to catch glimpses of the truth; between glimpses, they shout and wave their inefficient arms for the enlightenment of their brothers, and for their own joy. The few see the truth steadily and, because they see steadily, become so passionately enthusiastic that they are driven to express themselves in quiet, mighty phrases. Such phrases imprint vital ideas upon the mind of the seeker, while pitiable confusion alone results from the shouts and wavings. In The Younger Generation, Ellen Key tells simply and surely her conclusions about vital things.

Conservative judgment is at once a splendid balance and a terrific barrier in the world of ideas. Intense enthusiasm, when it displays itself, often combines blindness with sight. It has always seemed to be asking too much to expect in one person a finely balanced enthusiasm in which the conservative element does not hamper the divine qualities of youth—courage, impetuosity, and an ever-fresh perception. Not to be extravagant, but to characterize her fairly, one may say that this Swedish woman writes as if she possessed the virtues commonly attributed to both age and youth. She is vigorous, free-hearted, and calm—enthusiastic, fiery, and sane—a champion of revolution when and wherever it breaks the path for evolution.

Reaching deftly into anarchism, christianity, feminism, individualism, socialism, and other good glimpses of the truth, she secures the elements for a strangely consistent wisdom.

Parents of the new generation will feel it to be a blasphemy against life—another name for God—that the beings their love has called into existence, the beings who bear the heritage of all past generations and the potentialities of all those to come, should be prematurely torn from the chain of development. Every such link that is wrenched away from unborn experiences, from unfinished work, was a beginning which might have had the most far-reaching effects within the race.... It is not death that the men of the new age are afraid of, but only premature and meaningless death.

“Women ought not to be content until governments have been deprived of the power of plunging nations into war.”—Ellen Key doesn’t ask the ladies to fidget and whimper at afternoon teas, nor to operate upon male-kind with their verbal lancets, nor to adopt circuitous resolutions about affairs of which they know nothing; but her suggestion, here as elsewhere, is simple and practical—so very simple that the ladies will smile down upon it as something delightfully girlish and unsophisticated. It is safe to speculate that not one of the smilers could, in her comfortable condescension, live up to this humble and powerful procedure:—“Women can always and everywhere ennoble the feelings, refine an idea of justice, and sharpen the judgment of those who come under their influence. The indirect result of this influence will then be that war will become more and more insufferable to the feelings, repugnant to the sense of justice, and absurd to the intelligence. When thus the eyes of the best among the nation are opened to the true nature of war, they will be finally opened also to the way to real, not armed, peace.” And as it is the secret and boasted and forgotten desire of every woman to influence a man, or men, these profoundly plain suggestions would seem to be sown in a fertile field. There is hope in this. Then she says, on another page: “To win over men’s brains to the idea of solidarity, that is the surest way of working for peace.” And this, being a more complex remark, will probably upset everything gained by the clarity of the preceding quotations; but it is given here to repay the time otherwise wasted by the many for whom simplicity has lost its god-like charm. Solidarity is a great idea, partly because it is something to be shouted about. But the first element in solidarity, human kindness, has never seemed “strong” to a shouting age.

One of the firm demands which Ellen Key makes in her future “Charter for Children” is “the right of all children to disinheritance; in other words, their being placed in the beneficent necessity of making full use of their completely developed powers.” After reminding us of the strenuous manners of a past age in which the children of any conquered city were dashed hideously against the walls, she claims that “the judgment upon our time will be more severe. For the people of antiquity knew not what they did, when they caused the blood of children to flow like water. But our age allows millions of children to be worn out, starved, maltreated, neglected, to be tortured in school, and to become degenerate and criminal; and yet it knows the consequences, to the race and to the community, that all this involves. And why? Because we are not yet willing to reckon in life-values instead of in gold-values.”

What a frantic rage must there be in the souls of the truly social-minded when this terrific indictment is pronounced in their hearing! But the appalling nightmare will go on until the frantic element is overcome, and the rage is focused to a point of white heat—an intense simplicity.


Two Conrad Reviews

Joseph Conrad: A Study, Richard Curle. [Doubleday, Page and Company, New York.]

“The business of criticism,” says Mr. Curle, “is to surmount this impasse between conviction and the power to convince.” Judged by this test, his study of Joseph Conrad is undoubtedly successful: it is hard indeed to imagine any reader reaching the end of it without believing that Conrad is a very great writer. A careful reading of the numerous and often lengthy quotations from Conrad’s books should alone convince the persons Mr. Curle is most anxious to convert—those who know nothing about them.

But Joseph Conrad has two obvious faults. In the first place, Mr. Curle is quite too modest—almost haltingly so. His pages abound in such phrases as “I dare say”, “I cannot help”, “I think”, and the like. That’s all very honest, but Americans prefer the more lordly manner. One feels really, that while the critic may speak in such fashion to himself, he should give us only his conclusions—and no apologies for them to boot. In the second place, Mr. Curle seems to think that he is very brave in putting forth this book, that the critics haven’t appreciated Conrad at all, and that since he does there must be a real quarrel between him and them. Now as a matter of fact this is not so. Probably no living writer has had a fraction of the hearty recognition from the best critics that Conrad has. True, he has (until six months ago) woefully lacked anything like popularity and the material rewards it brings—but very few of those whose opinion carries weight will hesitate to agree with most of the fine things that Mr. Curle says about the author of Chance. Mr. Curle’s attitude simply arouses unfriendly antagonism on the part of his readers who know and love their Conrad.

So much for its faults. They are not of serious importance and should not obscure the really splendid qualities of Mr. Curle’s book. It abounds in acutely perceptive remarks—often extremely well put. In the course of seven chapters on Conrad’s Psychology, Men, Women, Irony and Sardonic Humour, Prose and the Artist, he piles up an overwhelming evidence of the man’s greatness. Is there a man alive, has any English novelist ever lived about whom one could wax so easily, so madly enthusiastic? True, to some Conrad does not appeal. They have never caught the glorious glamour of his pages—the solemn grandeur of his magnificent prose. Probably the surest way to win converts would be to compile a small book of extracts from his works, carefully graded according to their difficulty.

When I was still at college I was curious about Conrad. A well-meaning bookseller sold me Lord Jim. I tried to read it, but fifty pages was as far as I could go. I tried again, but with even less success. Then one day at Interlaken I found a Tauchnitz copy of A Set of Six. Before I had quite finished the last story I lost the book—changing trains. But Conrad has never since seemed obscure to me. A beginner in French would never try to appreciate the shimmering pages of Flaubert; nor would even the Yankee farm-hand feed his baby pie. More than any living writer has Conrad needed some one to present him to the public. This his American publishers have tried of late to do. Mr. Curle’s book will add to their success in so far as they manage to persuade people to read it. Except for those who have begun with Lord Jim, Nostromo, or Chance, I have never found anyone, who, having read one book by Conrad, was content to stop there. Mr. Curle thinks Nostromo Conrad’s greatest work. It is now, with Europe in the throes of a bloody conflict, that one realizes more and more how Conrad’s men and women, far removed from the problems of a Wells, a Chesterton, or a Shaw—problems which appear suddenly to be of very little importance after all—bulk great and ever greater. There they loom—like Rodin’s Balzac against the glowering sky.


A Set of Six, by Joseph Conrad. [Doubleday, Page and Company, New York.]

In this first American edition of his Set of Six, Conrad is revealed as an artist par excellence. You find no subjective emotionalism on the part of the author in any of his six tales, in spite of their subtitles—Romantic, Indignant, Pathetic, and the like. You see in him the wistful observer of characters and situations, which he presents with impassionate objectivity, with the impartiality of a painter who lovingly draws his object, whether it is ugly or beautiful, whether it is a villain or a saint. Conrad possesses a wonderful skill in setting up a background, which, at times, appears of more importance than the plot. He makes you feel equally at home in the atmosphere of Napoleonic France and of France of the Restoration, of revolutionary Peru and of a Neapolitan amusement garden. You enjoy the tales greatly, you admire the clever craftsmanship of the story-teller, but you close the book with an empty feeling, as if you had listened to brilliant anecdotes in a bachelors’ club.


Amy Lowell’s Poetry

Sword Blades and Poppy Seed, by Amy Lowell. [The Macmillan Company, New York.]

In one of his letters, Byron says: “To withdraw myself from myself has ever been my sole, my entire, my sincere motive in scribbling at all.” Such a confession seems strange coming from a poet, and it is a confession of quite a different character which is written on every page of Miss Lowell’s book of poems. There one finds in every line the expression of a personality which tries to realize itself and succeeds in doing so. The unity as well as the interest of the book is in this very development of a strong personality, of which a new and original aspect is revealed in every poem.

What charms us at once in this personality, and renders the reading of the book a constant enchantment, is a most wonderful imagination—an imagination at the same time creative and representative, rich, varied, overflowing with images and themes. All that life and nature offer is the domain of this imagination; it wakes up at the most unexpected moment and seizes the unseen detail, giving us an idea of the wonderful wanderings through which it must take the person fortunate enough to possess it. Now it is a temple; now a church; now a beggar; a blue scarf; the distant notes of a flute; or the nocturnal noises of a London street, which starts it on its way. At other times we find the imagination at play with itself, so to speak, creating out of nothing a historical or legendary atmosphere, or opening a philosophical vista, as in The Great Adventure of Max Breuck, The Basket, or the poem from which the book takes its name. Each one of these poems (and several others also) has its own special atmosphere, precise in its complexity and different from all the others.

In the style itself, in the development of the subjects, one finds the same quality. It seems as if the pen were too slow to note the multiple images which offer themselves to the mind of the poet. They accumulate themselves, sometimes, in a manner not unlike that of Victor Hugo, forming long periods in which the idea is turned in all possible ways, presented from all angles and in every natural or artificial light.

It is not only the richness of the images, but their quality, which reveals the power of Miss Lowell’s imagination. We all experience at every minute of our lives an infinity of sensations of which we are more or less conscious. It might almost be said that we are poets in exactly the measure that we realize and enjoy our sensations. The real poet not only registers his sensations, but is able to awaken in the mind of his readers the sudden recollection of those visual or auditive impressions which have never before reached his consciousness. This is what often delights us in Sword Blades and Poppy Seed. It gratifies us to feel that we are able to understand these subtle comparisons, these curious and unexpected alliances of words, such as those in the first poem of the book, where, to define certain shades of porcelains the poet speaks

Of lustres with so evanescent a sheen

Their colours are felt, but never seen.

Also in the first poem entitled Miscast, where she speaks of her mind as

So keen, that it nicks off the floating fringes of passers-by,

So sharp, that the air would turn its edge

Were it to be twisted in flight.

To help her imagination, Miss Lowell possesses a faculty which belongs only to the happy few: the gift of words. The astonishing description of arms and vases in the first poem is but one example, if one of the best, of this rare gift.

It is necessary also, in order to study thoroughly this interesting and complex personality, to mention the great dramatic quality of some of the long poems in the book. From that point of view, The Great Adventure of Max Breuck seems to me the most interesting. And there is much to be said of the sincerity and depth of sentiment in such poems as A Gift, Stupidity, Patience, Absence. All these short poems have something unique about them and constitute one of the greatest charms, and an important part of the value, of the book. It is almost incredible that a little poem like Obligation, for example, should contain such a world of thought and restrained sentiment in its ten short lines. I have chosen this poem as the type of this genre, because it characterizes perhaps better than any other this very special trait of Miss Lowell’s talent:

Hold your apron wide

That I may pour my gifts into it,

So that scarcely shall your two arms hinder them

From falling to the ground.

I would pour them upon you

And cover you,

For greatly do I feel this need

Of giving you something,

Even these poor things.

Dearest of my heart.

There is, in these few lines, a simplicity so naive, a sincerity so complete, and at the same time such an intensity of feeling, that we almost feel while reading it as if we were composing it ourselves. And everybody knows that this is the mark of genius. It is rare to attain such perfection in thought and in form as we find in these short poems, which stand on their stems, straight and pure, like wild flowers opening their hearts to the sun.

I should like, in conclusion, to speak of the very new and effective attempts of the author in the free use of all possible rhythms. The preface presents the author’s point of view, but I may add that she has been especially skilful in the adaptation of the rhythms to the subjects, a thing which requires great poetic tact and musical sense. To study this side of the book would carry us too far, for to do it properly a long article written especially on the subject would be necessary.

To those who love poetry, and who are at the same time interested in the progress of new schools, this book must be of the greatest value.


The Man and the Artist

Achievement, by E. Temple Thurston. [D. Appleton and Company, New York.]

“Every man knows himself; but there are few women with all their experience of men who act as if they knew anything about them.” “For it is only in moments that men are dispassionate about women, while half their lives through women are being dispassionate about men.” Why is it that such glistening generalities prove invariably attractive to the “general reader”? Perhaps the poor maligned g. r. fancies he is getting “tips” on the values of his neighbors’ lives, or interminable “good leads” as to his own adventures. Perhaps the fatuous distinctions merely tickle the sex-vanity. Undoubtedly the same word-wisdom, offered in regard to mankind and without the alluring distinction between man and woman, would secure but half the attention. This attention seems no whit slackened if the generalities are manifestly unfair by reason of their fealty to traditionalism, as Mr. Thurston’s statements of this ilk are apt to be.

The foregoing generality is not unfair to Mr. Thurston, since this attractive bait is offered without stint in his latest novel Achievement. In fact, the theme of the book is that ancient perennial among popular themes: the conflict between a man and his loves; in this case finding its redemption from the usual in that the protagonist is the man’s work rather than the man.

Yet, in spite of these sops to Cerberus, the book does not hold. It is but another of the multiplying outputs of today which are interesting to the critic alone, and to him only as a study in the pathology of the creative instinct. The lay-reader will find himself nodding over the crucial scenes or will lose his place time and again, if he persist in reading to the end. If a sense of justice will not permit him to judge the whole by a part, his persistence is tribute only to the undeniable sincerity of aim felt throughout the work. A stronger tribute, of course, is the mere length of this review; the fact, that is, that whatever of critic be in the reading mind is drawn to reiterate questions and puzzle over their answer, as to the reason for the falling short of this novel from the better standards, manifestly striven after.

The reader who does concern himself, then, with Achievement will be puzzled, perhaps irritated, by the insistent question: “But what is the matter?” There is a certain mastery of words; there is honesty and sensitiveness of treatment, to a degree beyond the usual; moreover, side by side with the theme proper, is carried a sympathetic and reverent revelation of the mind of a creative artist, in this case, a painter; a study alone sufficient to redeem the work from the stigma of triteness. These qualities should carry any novel into favor at least; might be expected to overshadow the noticeable unevenness of work, astonishing in an author of E. Temple Thurston’s apprenticeship. But the book fails to convince. The only lasting impression it leaves is the question, “Why inadequate?”

Perhaps the answer lies in the inadequacy of the theme itself. This may be voiced, in both its major and minor keys, through Mr. Thurston’s own words, “For as it is the tragedy of women when the romance of love is gone from them, so it is the tragedy of men, when their work is done.” Had the author juggled the words of that sentence a bit—had it read so: “The realization that the romance of love has gone out from one’s life is no more a tragedy than the instant when one knows that his work is done”; could the author have conceived this theme, the subject of achievement would have compelled a more worthy treatment. Had he been able to think of women and men as alike potent, whether creators or lovers, then his picture of the creator in Richard Furlong fertilized by the lover in him might have been adequate.

The greatest need of today is a pronoun of the common gender. It is beginning to be recognized that the generation now growing up to face the ultimate issues of living is one which will declare that spiritual experience is basically an unsexed phenomenon. Woman of today has been heard to declare that whatever charge can be made about man’s potentialities, even his propensities, can be charged alike to the woman. This is no meaningless attitude. Neither is it naive nor amusingly unscientific, when the young girl of the future lifts her voice and sings out, “Before she is woman or he is a man, man and woman are alike persons.” In this theorem, difficult to word, lies the fertile germ of suffrage, feminism, suffragettism, militantism, and all the other lifted voices of woman.

No one of the women of Mr. Thurston’s portrayal is of value to herself or to the lives about her, except as a woman, a slave or queen of man, his toy or his inspiration, life’s parasite. The author would answer that he is not attempting a study of woman, but of an artist achieving by means of woman. None the less, if all the women who influence his artist were drawn in as hunchbacks, we would resent the distorted picture, the hypothesis that woman is essentially hunchbacked. Thus, since all the women in Achievement are traditionally paralyzed women, we resent the generic theme of art under influence of womanhood. In order to receive serious audience today, any portrayal of woman, indirectly or directly, must recognize that there are genuine women as there are men, who live in terms of selfhood rather than in terms of sex.

The denouement is the usual stock company curtain. However, if so many pistol shots per volume is a stipulation in the novelist’s contract, it must be conceded him that his telling of the murder is admirably simple. A more admirable simplicity is attained in the trenchant description of the murderer’s psychology after the deed. The author is to be congratulated for missing that “opportunity” for analysis, of which the usual fiction writer spins chapter after chapter, morbid, a snare to catch cheap horror and pity, a spider-web for flies.

That the scene of the last two pages should have been written once is regrettable. That these pages were not cut out hastily as soon as written is unforgivable in an author who desires so profoundly to be in sympathy with the artist who has achieved.


Ethel Sidgwick’s Books

[Small, Maynard and Company, Boston.]

I cannot let another issue of The Little Review go to press without some mention of Ethel Sidgwick. Last year, with a sense of worship, I read Succession, the second volume of a trilogy devoted to the story of a boy-wonder violinist. To find such subtlety, such radiance, such art—to find such music!—in a piece of fiction was an unforgettable experience. Music has never been so richly treated in fiction—except in Jean Christophe, which of course is the master work of the last years. I felt that I had never comprehended any character so fully as I did little Antoine, and I still feel that way. This year on Christmas day, as a sort of special celebration, I read the first volume, Promise. It is just as interesting, though there is not such a brilliant concentration of art in it. But isn’t there some way to make these books known? They will never be popular; but it is tragic to think of their not getting to the people who would value them. Their publishers would far rather advertise their cheap fiction than to try to force Ethel Sidgwick on a nation that does not demand good work of novelists.

Oxford and Genius

Sinister Street, by Compton Mackenzie. [D. Appleton and Company, New York.]

E. Temple Thurston attracted attention here before Compton Mackenzie did, but the latter is as far ahead of him now as is Gilbert Canaan, whose Peter Homunculus came out about the time of Thurston’s City of Beautiful Nonsense. These three young Englishmen know how to write English prose; Mackenzie and Canaan know how to tell big stories. Sinister Street is much too important a book to be reviewed in less than three or four pages at least. The first part of it tells of the modern man at Oxford—“a more complete account of the mind of a young man of our day than has been written previously in English, an account which presents some of the things that Thackeray meant when he complained that his public would not permit him to tell all he wished about Pendennis, and a good many more besides,” as Lucien Cary has said. It is so extremely well done that the second part of the volume—the hero’s reactions to life after Oxford—comes with a sense of forced writing. Perhaps the war had something to do with it. We shall try to review this book more at length later.

“Without Machiavellian Subtlety”

The War and Culture, by John Cowper Powys. [G. Arnold Shaw, New York.]

Among all the patriotic rubbish that has been heaped upon the book market since the outbreak of the European war, Mr. Powys’s pamphlet presents at least not dull reading. The brilliant lecturer unmasques the underlying motives of German statesmen who have accepted Machiavellian principles, “without acquiring Machiavellian subtlety.” He successfully attacks Münsterberg and other apologists for the Fatherland, who endeavor to present their country in the image of an innocent lamb dragged into the bloody struggle by greedy barbarians. Mr. Powys’ mission is a negative one, and there it ends. He falls flat as soon as he attempts to idealize and to glorify the Allies. His speculation that the present war is a struggle of ideas, of individualism versus state, of soul versus machine, is far fetched.

The Reader Critic

Mr. Powys on Dostoevsky

(A reader sends us these jottings from one of Mr. Powys’s lectures.)

Shudders of life....

I have only one thing to do—to bring you into a strange mass of palpable darkness with something moving in it. Dostoevsky is really a great mass, a volume, not a cloud nor a pillar of fire nor a puff of smoke, but a vast, formless, shapeless mass of darkness, palpable and drawing you towards itself.

Reading him is dangerous because of the inherent sense of fear likely to be accentuated in those who are a little mad and whose madness takes on the form of fear. We go on a visit to a mad house, to hospitals with Dostoevsky. But with him this whole world suddenly changes into a mad house. It is all haunting mad houses and hospitals filled with us maniacs of the particular fear we are subject to.

(Life is all a running away—a distraction. We are running away when we are talking, when we are making love—then more than ever, perhaps.)

In Dostoevsky we suddenly realize that these Russians are ourselves. If the religion, mysticism, liberalism, despotism they possess were only Russian there are excellent books written by travellers in Russia for us to read. But Dostoevsky is different. If I could but mesmerize you.... It is like reading the gospels in childhood, being overrun and overthrown by fate and then after one has lived meeting the words of the childhood situations and making associations.

I do not think of him as an artist, though he is a great one. You do not think of him.... In ordinary life we suppress half the things and more we might say. Vanity and fear are the ultimate things. In Dostoevsky the people tug and scrape at one anothers’ vain nerves with adder’s poison. He gives one the sensation of discovering one’s self and betraying one’s self. He reveals as friends talking and discussing in the small hours of the morning reveal themselves to one another. The talk may be a describing of the animal functions of the human body. But in reality it is the psychic tingling, electric vibrations which the physiological structure exerts upon mind! Mind! Mind! Dostoevsky is interested in what people actually feel. He is more with people who have written diaries than with so-called realistic novelists. One gets from him a sense of perversion of human imagination.... He is the most important of novelists; full of ripples and vibrations of imagination. Everybody has imagination. The things we do are nothing. Imagination is the only thing over which Will has no power.

Nietzsche says that he got all his contemporary philosophy from Dostoevsky. He got from him even his idea of the inner circle of aristocratic souls who really rule the world, are themselves unhappy, and take with others to places which they (these others) cannot enter. Dostoevsky thinks that the secret of the world is in abandonment, perversion; Nietzsche in harness, stiffness, the gay, the strong, the beautiful, aristocratic, dominant.... Nietzsche with all his reality does not describe life as it is. Zarathustra is a dream—impossible perhaps. But Dostoevsky does describe life. Nietzsche’s man is absolutely alone—has his own hell. Dostoevsky’s has that too, but in a different way. He gives the feeling of a third person where two are alone. Do not think that Dostoevsky is a mystic. The essential thing is that you have this sense of a third person to which genius appeals. Dostoevsky is a stronger as well as a truer one than even Nietzsche himself.

Nietzsche is as a skater upon the ice, a dancer upon a tight rope who remains a white, balanced figure on the surface. Dostoevsky plunges—into a darkness full of voices. You must get there by a form of perversion. Every one of his characters is incurably hurt. Nietzscheans harden their hearts and live on the surface. All Dostoevsky people are weak. He thinks that only out of weakness will redemption come; abandonment to every emotion. In that he is Dionysian.... Dostoevsky I cannot put into words. Perversion; Disease; God is Disease; God is Pain; Dostoevsky depicts how Disease gives one illumination. We have an idea that we must be well. Even Nietzsche says that. The Greeks said it ages ago. Dostoevsky says “No; I offer you a new value.” He has a lust for fools—understands the mania that people have of making fools of themselves. God is Folly; God is Cruelty—perhaps an epicene God.

Dostoevsky is a cerebralist. His specialty is imaginative reactions. All the lusts that have stretched their wailing arms, all the hopes, all the goblins.... In sex as in everything else people are not what they are doing; they are in that vortex of what they imagine themselves. Dostoevsky understands all that. Those frank-spoken people who think they know sex are puritans on the other side. They have no imagination.

We can overestimate what Dostoevsky has from Russia and not attribute what he is to himself. Other Russians are Russians—Turgeniev, Tolstoy, Andreyev, Chekhov, Gorky—but they are not as big as he is; perhaps they are more of the broader stamp.

... Constance Garnett’s translations are masterpieces. The French are too artistic to translate Dostoevsky.... No one can approach Dostoevsky in creating a saint. Russia as the spiritual bringer-back of the world to Christianity—this runs through his works. He is the Christian. His books are full of translations from Scripture. He understands the underlying psychology of the gospels. Nietzsche said that putting the gospels with the art of the Old Testament was a crime in the name of Art. The Old Testament is undoubtedly finer art, but the New is psychology—masterly.


Clinton Masseck, St. Louis:

Vers Libre has no inconsiderable tradition in English verse, as Mr. Arthur Ficke has recently pointed out in THE LITTLE REVIEW. Its progress in French poetry, particularly among modern writers, is familiar to all students. And if we were inclined to forget or to forgive Whitman (meaning in politer terms to accept him and his followers), the recent verse of the Imagiste group and such writers as Miss Amy Lowell and Mr. Max Bodenheim in our own midst would be likely to force our attention to this interesting form—if I may employ this word in no paradoxical sense.

But vers libre is of the moment—new, if you will, in its present appeal. Its modern themes, its unique figures of speech, its wide practice, both in this country and in England, mark it as a new movement, or at least a new recrudescence.

Anything new invites attack; anything new in literature perhaps warrants attack. If it can stand the test, by just such a token, it is worth consideration. But there are those to whom the new is always a thing to be attacked—because it is new, because it is inexplicable according to their own canons of emotion and intellect. Francis Jeffrey, with his famous caption on Wordsworth, “This will never do,” has his echo, futile and otherwise, in every generation of critics. And so we have Mr. Llewellyn Jones, in the January issue of THE LITTLE REVIEW, sending up his protest against vers libre in general and Mr. Bodenheim in particular.

Mr. Jones is markedly distressed. If he were not so much in earnest and so decently—or indecently—polite, so “suedy,” so suave, even scholastic in his handling, he might be amusing. He is also distinctly pugnacious and, as most pugnacious people are inclined to be, he is curiously inconsistent.

In fact, it is a little difficult to determine why Mr. Jones cannot accept Bodenheim. (He is guilty of reading Meredith, “popularly supposed to be obscure.”) Because our poet writes of “a world of growing sieves, slim squares, powdered souls, cool, colorless struggles, the obstetrical adventures of white throats, and green and yellow dins,” and because Mr. Jones, in the smallness of his soul or environment, has never been able to concoct or to conceive of poetry couched in this garb—let us grant the idea behind it—he straightway announces “This will never do.” Wordsworth, after being so thoroughly “sieved” by the critics, still lives; the divine essence of romanticism was not killed by Jeffrey and his thunder-pellet phrase. Courage, Mr. Bodenheim!

Yet in a really admirable paragraph of summary as to the function of poetry and the relation of a poet to his audience, Mr. Jones lays down the dictum that “the poet sees the world as we do not see it. Consequently, he can put a new complexion on it for us. The world is pluralistic, and so are we. Intellectually we may be of the twentieth century, but emotionally we may be born out of our due season. Then let the poet of that due season mediate to us the emotional life that we need.... By his aid alone we may get outside of our own skins and into the very heart of the world.”

The last words of this statement are peculiarly significant in this connection. “By his aid alone we may get outside of our skins into the very heart of the world.” What is the heart of the world? I do not know it all, emotionally or intellectually, although if I were to trust one of these endowments in order to render judgment upon poetry, I should choose the first. On the other hand, Mr. Jones does not know the entire heart of the world; nor does Mr. Bodenheim. But we may each of us know some little corner of this heart that the other does not or cannot ever know. For some of us poetry remains but the supreme expression of mere external beauty, for others the expression in consummate form of a purely intellectual process; to others poetry is a weapon wherewith to pierce the veil of externality and to expose the hidden but the real reality. The late William James once declared that we were standing on the verge of new discoveries in feeling and knowledge; that just beyond us lies a world of new adjustments and new experiences. Of course, in this instance, James had reference to our new appreciation and estimate of the value of mysticism in the judgment of certain phases of religious experiences. But the thing holds true even in poetry; the line between the poet and the mystic has yet to be drawn. I, for one, should not want to think myself incapable of enlarging either my soul or my appreciation. If anybody can show me whether in new terms or not a hitherto unsuspected and unknown aspect of beauty, I shall be content to accept that person. I would go further; I should be very thankful that I had obtained a new point of view with which to regulate both my emotions and my intellect.

I, for one, saw and felt and appreciated the appeal of the much-discussed “sieve” poem. To be sure, along with Mr. Jones, I had previously thought of a sieve only in relation to ashes and garden earth—and even of that “little triangular sieve that fits into kitchen sinks.” But if some one can come along and convince me that this hitherto vulgar and despised implement has inherent in it the possibilities of metaphysical development, and that a certain person can be likened to a sieve, why, then I have learned a new aspect of beauty.

And hence, it would seem to me that Mr. Bodenheim has fulfilled every single requirement that Mr. Jones has put upon the poet. And the only reason Mr. Jones cannot appreciate these little poems is because, intellectually and emotionally, he is “born out of due season.”

After all, “All art is convention.” The Alaskan Indian, with his grotesque—to us—totem poles, cannot understand the smooth and plastic strength of much of classic sculpture. The African Negro, with his Campbell-soup-can earrings and his Connecticut-made curtain ring bracelets, cannot appreciate the effect of simple unadornment. Yet in any case the point of view, the impelling instinct that leads toward beauty, is the same for any person, any race, any civilization. Let us be honest and admit this. Let us sincerely seek and discover the philosophy that guides every new movement, whether in fashion or food or poetry.

Yet it seems to me that we are too prone to accept poetry and to judge it from a too utilitarian point of view. We would make it stand the same test that we apply to religion, to household furnaces, and other things that have been long tried. We ask ourselves when some new manifestation of it arises: “Will it do the trick? Will it comfort and warm and sustain us in the way that we have been accustomed to being comforted, warmed, and sustained by that which has already been accepted?” Yet if a new form discovers a new idea, if it tears away the covering with rough and clumsy hands in order to show the emotions, a fresh significance or a bold interpretation, we jump back in terror and horror.

So it is with vers libre at the present moment. Because it shows us new things, and a new and perhaps at times an awkward manner, critics fed on the diluted sentimentality of Longfellow—or even the classic and obscure Meredith—revolt. Eventually they will accept it; they must. Those that are not fools must remember that history repeats itself; that to cite but a recent instance, Manet and Monet and Sisley, in painting, are accepted where forty-five years ago they were characterized as fools and madmen. After time has crystalized the unusual into the conventional, and the crystals are as common and as pretty as only time and much practice can make them, the critic, along with the man in the street, will be content to partake and to appreciate. It will be then too late; what was once unique and rare will be common and banally uninteresting; a new awakening will then take place, and once more the world will witness the same absurd attack of the critics.

In this connection, in our future judgment of vers libre, let us recall the wise and simple words of R. A. M. Stevenson: “The test of a new thing is not utility, which may appear at any moment like a shoot with the first favouring breath of spring. The test is the kind and amount of human feeling and intellect put into the work. Could any fool do it? Now, in this matter of depicting truth, there are eyesights of all grades and breadth, of grandeur, of subtlety, and art has more than the delicacy of a tripos examination in tailing out as in a footrace all the talents and capabilities of the competitors.”

Go to it, Mr. Bodenheim!



The Life of Man
The Sabine Women
The Black Maskers

Translated from the Russian, with an Introduction, by F. N. Scott and C. L. Meader

$1.50 net; postage extra

Robert Frank

By Sigurd Ibsen

A drama, which William Archer, the distinguished English critic, considers convincing proof that he possesses “dramatic faculty in abundance.” Mr. Archer defines it as “a powerful and interesting play which claims attention on its own merits, eminently a play of to-day, or, rather, perhaps of to-morrow.” The truth of this last comment is sufficiently evinced in the fact that its motive is the attempt of a young statesman to end, once and for all, the struggle between capital and labor by dramatically heroic measures.

$1.25 net; postage extra

Plays by Björnstjerne Björnson

Translated from the Norwegian, with Introductions, by Edwin Björkman. Each with frontispiece


“Love and Geography,” “Beyond Human Might,” “Laboremus.”


“The New System,” “The Gauntlet,” “Beyond Our Power.”

Each, $1.50 net; postage extra

Plays by August Strindberg

Translated from the Swedish, with Introductions, by Edwin Björkman


“The Dream Play,” “The Link,” “The Dance of Death.”


“Creditors,” “Pariah,” “Miss Julia,” “The Stronger,” “There Are Crimes and Crimes.”


“Advent,” “Simoom,” “Swanwhite,” “Debit and Credit,” “The Thunderstorm,” “After the Fire.”

Each, $1.50 net; postage extra

Half Hours

By J. M. Barrie

“Barrie opens the door of fancy, so seldom set ajar. There lies his peculiar mastery. A tender, strange, exquisitely human fancy, half child, half spirit, that lends you its own wings, and lifts you, heavy foot or heavy heart, to rainbow heights. You cannot resist him, or, if you do, there is nothing but pity to give you, as some one who has never known youth and, worse, never will know it. And by this we do not mean youth of time, but its finer, rarer reality, that quality, indomitable, bright, and free, that lies at the heart of all high emprise and generous daring, and without which this old world would have dried up and withered away ages since.”

New York Times.

$1.25 net; postage extra

Plays by Anton Tchekoff

Translated from the Russian, with an introduction, by Marian Fell. Frontispiece

“Uncle Vanya,” “Ivanoff,” “The Sea Gull,” and “The Swan Song.”

$1.50 net

By John Galsworthy


60 cents net; postage extra

A play of great power in its characters and dramatic treatment. Absolute faithfulness to ideal is the theme, unflinching in the face of surging mob hatred.


60 cents net; postage extra

A Drama in Four Acts


60 cents net

A Fantasy in Three Acts

Above three plays in one volume form the Third Series

$1.35 net; postage extra


60 cents net

A Domestic Drama in Three Acts


60 cents net

A Tragedy in Four Acts


50 cents net

An Allegory in Six Scenes

Above three plays in one volume form the Second Series

$1.35 net



Beginning February 10, The Player’s Producing Company will present a dramatization by Alice Gerstenberg of Lewis Carroll’s famous story. The settings have been done by William P. Henderson



Josephine Gerwing

Assisted by Carol Robinson Pianist


Suite No. 1, D Minor ... Eduard Schütt
Allegro risoluto.
Canzonetta con variazioni.
Rondo a la russe.

Sonata, A Major ... Johannes Brahms
Allegro amabile.
Andante tranquillo.
Allegretto grazioso (quasi Andante).

Sonata, E Flat Major ... Richard Strauss
Allegro ma non troppo.

Assembly Hall, Fine Arts Building, 410 S. Michigan Ave. Sunday Afternoon, March Seventh, 3:30.

Steinway Piano used

By the Author of “Carnival”

Sinister Street

By Compton Mackenzie

You know what a furore “Carnival” caused in the book world. “Sinister Street” is an even bigger story. The novel chronicles the history of Michael Fane, his brilliant career at Oxford and his romantic adventures in London and Paris. The story is told with all the author’s power of description. The same charm which won the reader’s interest in “Carnival” is more than fulfilled in this life history of Michael Fane.

$1.35 Net. Postage Extra

By the Author of “The Inheritance”

To-day’s Daughter

By Josephine Daskam Bacon

In this new novel Mrs. Bacon gives a vivid picture of the earnest, economically independent woman of today as contrasted with the woman whose time is devoted to the demands of modern society. To-day’s Daughter is a true daughter of the period and the experiences she encounters in her efforts to achieve a career are bound to provoke discussion. Every thinking woman should read the book.

Illustrated $1.35 Net. Postage Extra


Books to Rent
and Sell

All the latest fiction available as soon as published at moderate rental fee. Most efficient and satisfactory book renting service in Chicago.

Those wishing to purchase new or second hand books are invited to send us their want lists. Quotations submitted before purchases are made. We can save you money. Send for catalog.

Venetian Library
and Book Shop

215 Venetian Bldg.
15 E. Washington St. Chicago
Opp. Marshall Field’s

Anna Morgan

Fine Arts Building

Training of the Voice for Public Speaking, Literature, Reading, Recitation, Rhythm in Voice and Action, Dramatic Art in all branches.

Graduating Course Class. Special Training for Teachers. Diplomas given when merited

Phone Harrison 513 Address Secretary

Read this little book before you discuss war and peace again.

An Open Letter to the Nation

James Howard Kehler

First published, in part, in the Forum for December, it immediately provoked the widest editorial discussion and the idea propounded by the author already has taken its place as a profound and permanent contribution to the cause of peace.

In boards, 50 cents, net

At all bookshops, or by mail, postage 3 cents

Published by
Mitchell Kennerley
New York


Voice Culture

728 Fine Arts Building

The Open Court Publications

Were founded in 1887


of LaSalle, Illinois

The Open Court
An illustrated monthly magazine devoted to the Science of Religion, the Religion of Science, and the Extension of the Religious Parliament Idea. $1.00 a year; single copy, 10 cents.
The Monist
A quarterly magazine devoted to the Philosophy of Science. $2.00 a year; single copy, 60 cents.
Books on Sciences
A. Theory, Evolution, Anthropology, Biology, Psychology, General Philosophy of Science.
B. Mathematics and Geometry.
C. Physics.
Books on Religions
A. History of Religions, Comparative Study of Religions.
B. Philosophy of Religion.
C. Devotional and Literary Works.
D. Spiritualism, Magic and Myths.
Books on Philosophies
A. History, Reprints and Translations of Classical Works.
B. Modern Philosophical Works.
C. Ethics, Education, Economics.
D. Aesthetics, Literature, Art.

Book Room, 1001 Peoples Gas Bldg. Special Sale This Month Catalogue and Sample Copies Sent Free on Request

DR. PAUL CARUS, Editor and Manager

The Open Court Publishing Company

122 South Michigan Ave.
Book Room, 1001 Peoples Gas Bldg.
Chicago, Illinois

149 Strand
London, W. C., England


New Books From the Alderbrink Press


Florence, December, 1913

Carolyn Apperson Leech

Published in a limited edition of 450 copies; bound in decorative boards, with illustrations.

The story of the finding of Da Vinci’s masterpiece in Florence by one who happily was not only there, but was able to make a graphic and very charming little story of it. This little book constitutes an attractive and unusual Holiday Gift.

Sent, boxed, prepaid. Price $1.00.


George F. Butler

“The Travail of a Soul” embraces the whole experience of a man’s life; his confused search for the means of gratifying his unconquerable thirst for the Beautiful, his struggles with temptation, his mistakes,—his final achievement of Understanding and Happiness and Love. Few works in verse or prose form have of recent years been offered which are conceived on so broad a plane, and tell a mysterious and absorbing tale in phrases so scholarly and full of real beauty.

Limited edition. Price $2.00.


Scharmel Iris

The first published volume, containing the short, imaginative and unusually impassioned work of a young Italian poet, Scharmel Iris, who promises to win a similar place in the ranks of the more important American poets to that held by Rossetti, in England.

Of those whose work has received general or convincing recognition no one has been distinguished by more genuine or appreciative criticism and comment than Scharmel Iris. Such men as John Ruskin, Algernon Swinburne, and Edmund Gosse have expressed their belief in the inspired nature and in the power of this young poet.

Printed in a well designed edition. Price $1.00. Postage 8c.

Seymour, Daughaday & Co.,

Successors to


Fine Arts Building CHICAGO


A Magazine of Verse

Publishes the finest work of contemporary poets. If you want to know about the new tendencies in Verse and if you want to know what the young poets of today are doing, subscribe to POETRY.

A few copies of the November number, containing the prize war poem, THE METAL CHECKS, by Louise Driscoll, still remain; also a few copies of the March, 1914, number, containing Carl Sandburg’s CHICAGO POEMS, to which the Helen Haire Levinson prize for the best poem by an American was awarded.

To Seymour, Daughaday & Co.
(Not Inc.)
1025 Fine Arts Building, Chicago

Send POETRY for one year ($1.50 enclosed) beginning



Fortified Tires

Goodyear tires never reached top place without a reason for it.

There are five major reasons, and all of these five are exclusive to Goodyear Fortified tires.

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Akron, Ohio

The Artist’s Piano

The most convincing demonstration of the superiority of the Mason & Hamlin Piano is found in its continued use by those whose judgment is authoritative. The supreme test lies in the fact that so many artists who have played all other leading pianos have finally turned to the Mason & Hamlin as the instrument best suited to their exacting requirements.

Mason & Hamlin Pianos are for sale only at the warerooms of the

Cable Piano Company

Wabash & Jackson Chicago

New Joseph Conrad Stories


Containing five short stories never before published in America and “The Duel,” formerly published as “The Point of Honor”

The publication of this volume for the first time in the American Edition of Conrad’s works is in response to an interest that is rapidly making the name and work of Joseph Conrad known everywhere.

It marks the full turn of the tide in favor of this wonderful Polish-English writer.

The stories included are:

GASPAR RUIZ—A Romantic Tale
THE BRUTE—An Indignant Tale
AN ANARCHIST—A Desperate Tale
THE DUEL—A Military Tale
IL CONDE—A Pathetic Tale

Five of these are practically unknown to American readers. Of “The Duel,” (formerly “The Point of Honor”) Mr. Curle, in his critical work on Joseph Conrad writes:

“It is a work of wide imaginative impulse—a wonderful reconstruction of the Napoleonic atmosphere. As a sustained effort in Conrad’s sardonic later style it is unmatched.”

Now Ready in the “Deep Sea” Limp Leather Edition of Conrad. Net, $1.50; in cloth, net, $1.35

Other Volumes in the “Deep Sea Edition” of Conrad

Bound in rich sea-blue limp leather


“‘Chance’ is a book that could have been written by no one but a master—a book which it is well nigh a duty for every lover of good writing to read.”—Basil King, author of “The Inner Shrine,” etc.


Contains “Youth,” “Heart of Darkness,” and “End of the Tether.”

“To read it is in some sense to live again, and that, I think, is the highest praise that can be laid upon a work of the imagination.”—Henry L. Mencken.

Lord Jim

“‘Lord Jim’ is the greatest psychological study of cowardice that I have ever read.”—David Belasco.

The Nigger of the Narcissus

“The sea, in his hands, fades to a background—sometimes smooth and blue—sometimes white and furious—but always a background against which are silhouetted the haunting figures in which he interprets man’s endless struggle.”—Chicago Evening Post.

’Twixt Land and Sea


“Mr. Conrad has never painted more vivid scenes of nature or looked more deeply into the hearts of his characters than in this moving book.”—The Outlook.

Almayer’s Folly, and An Outcast of the Islands

Mr. Conrad’s first and second novels

“The figures in these books live for us, and above and beyond them are the power of presentment, the marvellous faculty for the absolute creation of atmosphere, the genius for description, and the individual, finished style which these, Mr. Conrad’s earliest works, display.”—Sir Hugh Clifford, K.C.M.G., in the North American Review.


Contains “Falk,” “Amy Foster,” and “To-morrow.”

“‘Falk’ leaves one inclined to declare that the writing of that one story would be sufficient to place him among the immortals.”—New York Times.


“To read a story like ‘Typhoon’ is to undergo an almost physical experience. It is unforgettable, even as the experience it pictures and interprets must be unforgettable.”—Hildegarde Hawthorne.


(With Ford Madox Hueffer)

“‘Romance’ is indeed a work of blazing imagination. It is a sheer novel of adventure, and the glory of it lies in its color and shifting lights.”—Richard Curle, in “Joseph Conrad.”

Each Volume, Net, $1.50. Set of Eleven Volumes, Boxed, Net, $16.50

Published by DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY Garden City, N. Y.

Published February Sixth, 1915

Carranza and Mexico


“Carranza and Mexico” tells the story of the Mexican revolt during the last three years—the true story of the fifteen million peons who are making history, breaking tradition and waging a vigorous battle for liberty and common justice.

To the student of sociological problems, Mexico is probably the most fascinating spot in the universe. Its problem is so complicated that very few people indeed know what the trouble really is about. Mr. Fornaro does. He has lived for a long time in Mexico, and his book, which tells of the overthrow of Madero, the campaign against Huerta, Wilson’s Mexican Policy, and other matters of immediate interest, is the result of a labor extending over a period of ten years.

With Illustrations and Map, $1.25


Post Impressionist Poems

By Horace Holey

This is a notable volume of verse, called “Post Impressionist,” because in spirit it is based upon a warm sympathy for the art of the greater Post-Impressionists. Symmetric form is disregarded for the more characteristically modern effects of rhythm.

It is distinguished throughout by clear convinced thought, strong and definite emotion and a fine mastery of rhythmic phrase. It is not passionate in the romantic sense—that is, the thought is not a mere decoration of the mood, but it certainly is passionate in the sense that thought and emotion are continually welded together by the white heat of personal conviction.

75 cents

The Primal Law

A Novel


An engrossing story of a woman’s way through the third decade of her life—and of the various men with whom she comes in contact. Ben Donahue, a fellow mill-worker in a small New England town; Marcus Beeman, the salesman who takes her to New York; Frank Kelly, the famous horse-trainer with whom she sees Saratoga, Paris, London and Dublin; Baron Georges Iverskoi of Russia, whose companion she is in Biarritz, Monte-Carlo, Aix, Trouville, Rome, Ostende and other places; Captain Cecil Cope-Herrington; Senor Delvajo, the Spanish painter; Richard Dangerfield, the American sculptor, whose career her love unwittingly ruins—these are but a few of the characters that are intimately pictured in these pages. “The Primal Law” presents a rare panorama of the cosmopolitan life that the European War has now brought abruptly to an end. And withal, it is a book written with a serious underlying motive.


The World of H. G. Wells

By Van Wyck Brooks

Certainly no writer has of late been more in the public eye than H. G. Wells. It is high time, therefore, that a complete and trenchant study of his work and personality in all their various phases should be published. And that is just what Mr. Brooks has written. To his task he has brought rare gifts of analysis and synthesis, together with no little charm. The result is a book which will be welcomed as one of the most informative and interesting in critical literature. A clear understanding of H. G. Wells is imperative for all thoughtful men and women, and no more appropriate time than the present could be found for issuing a book that fully satisfies that need.



Most people when they are traveling like to read—nothing heavy or too serious—but a good yarn that will amuse and interest them. To supply just this want I have started my series of “Railroad Novels.” Each volume is a rattling tale, well told, and the books are printed in large type on light paper, and bound in limp cloth. They will fit most pockets, and weigh very little. They are uniform in appearance and price.

Can a Man Be True?


A good old-fashioned tale of adventure and intrigue, which in some ways recalls “The Prisoner of Zenda,” and the romances of the great Dumas. The sort of story that is passing now, but which every one enjoys once in a while. No sex, no problem, but lots of plot and counterplot and excitement. A book that may be read and enjoyed by every member of the family.



Books By Havelock Ellis

Mr. Ellis is one of the most distinguished psychologists, and men of letters in the world today. He is a scientist with a vision and a sense of humor, a traveler who sees below the surface, and a scholar who has read and digested a great part of the world’s literature without becoming a pedant. To readers of The Little Review who are not familiar with his work we confidently recommend any of the four books below.


“A book of random observations, thoughts, and half-thoughts, crotchets, hobbies, guesses, and whims. One day Mr. Ellis muses over a drunken woman and on another he descants on the evolution of furniture, having in the meanwhile declared his taste in architecture, the women of Normandy, the ugliness of modern civilization, and the music of Franck and Elgar, and his opinion of the devil, Cornishmen, George Meredith, Raphael, Gaby Deslys, war, and nakedness.”

F. M. Colby in The North American Review.

$1.50 net.


A discussion of the changing status of woman, the emancipation of woman in relation to romantic love, the significance of the falling birth-rate, and other aspects of sex and society. “It is an inspiring and reassuring volume, which deserves not one but several readings from everyone who takes anything more than a predatory interest in the social organism.”

Waldo R. Browne in the Chicago Dial.

$2.50 net.


A scholarly, yet entertaining study of just the peculiarities and curiosities of the world of dreams which everybody has wondered at. It describes them with the vividness and fantastic imagery which combine so charmingly in Kipling’s “The Brushwood Boy,” and at the same time interprets them in the light of a psychologist’s special knowledge.

$2.00 net.


This brilliant volume on the romance, the woman, the art, the dancing, and the gardens of Spain, and especially on the Spanish character, is probably the most illuminating as well as the most readable interpretation of this inscrutable people in literature.

With photogravure frontispiece, $2.00 net.

Order at your bookstore or direct from the publishers


Transcriber’s Notes

Advertisements were collected at the end of the text.

The table of contents on the title page was adjusted in order to reflect correctly the headings in this issue of The Little Review.

The original spelling was mostly preserved. A few obvious typographical errors were silently corrected. All other changes are shown here (before/after):