The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Unpopular Review, Number 19, by Various

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: The Unpopular Review, Number 19
       July-December 1918

Author: Various

Release Date: January 7, 2012 [EBook #38514]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by Barbara Tozier, Bill Tozier and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at


The Unpopular Review


In disarming Germany—and, after that’s done, everybody else, except an international police.

In securing to all nationalities the right to choose their own governments and affiliations.

In making trade free.

In securing the rights of both organized labor and the individual workman, which involve on the one hand recognition of the Trade Unions, and on the other, of the Open Shop.

In cleaning up and bracing up literature and art.

In modernizing and revivifying religion.

Our humble efforts for these causes have so far been not only gratuitous but costly. Therefore we feel justified in suggesting to the reader who has not yet subscribed, the question whether out of the sums which he devotes to those great objects, a trifle might not be spent as hopefully as in any other way, in backing us up by subscription or advertisement.

75 cents a number, $2.50 a year. Bound volumes $2. each, two a year. (Canadian $2.70, Foreign $2.85.) Cloth covers for volumes, 50 cents each. No one but the publishers is authorized to collect money for the Review. Persons subscribing through agents or dealers to whom they pay money, do so at their own risk.

For the present, subscribers remitting direct to the publishers can have any back number or numbers additional to those subscribed for, except No. 9, for an additional 50 cents each (plus 5 cents a number for postage to Canada, 9 cents to Foreign countries), provided the whole amount is paid direct to the publishers at the time of the subscription. Number 9 is out of print, and can be furnished only with complete sets, which are sold at the rate of 75 cents a number.

Owing to the Post-office department spending many millions annually in carrying periodicals below cost, it has become so loaded with them as to be obliged to send them as freight. Therefore subscribers should not complain to the publishers of non-receipt of matter under from one to two weeks, according to distance. This subject is fully treated in No. 2 of The Unpopular Review, and in the Casserole of No. 3.

☞ In order that the new writers may stand an equal chance with the old, and the old not unduly depend upon their reputations, the names of writers are not given until the number following the one in which their articles appear.








The Unpopular Review

No. 19


Vol. X


Amid the manifold uncertainties into which the war has plunged us, one fact stands out with increased definiteness—that in our midst, and even voting on our policies, of life or death,—we have had for many years large numbers of people who at best give only a divided allegiance to this country, and at worst are devoted and violent partisans of some foreign state. The evidence of this truth has been of the most diversified character, including the destruction of warehouses, docks, and munitions factories, the burning of immense quantities of food, the manufacture of ineffective torpedoes, the attempted blowing up of war ships, and the dissemination of disease germs among children, soldiers, and cattle. The uniform object of all these activities has been the decrease of the war efficiency of the United States. The indications seem conclusive that the perpetrators have been, not special German spies or agents sent over here after our entry into the war or in anticipation of it, but among the candidates for Mr. Gerard’s five thousand lampposts—persons who have lived in our midst for long periods, and have been accepted as belonging to us.

So suddenly overwhelming has been the demonstration since the war began, and particularly since the United States entered the war, that there is great danger that the impression will become established that the war created the situation, that the danger is a war danger, and that the problem will automatically solve itself when the war is over. Nothing could be more prejudicial to a  correct understanding of the situation, and to a sound solution of the national problems which will confront us when the war is over. The war has not created the danger from alien-hearted members of the body politic, it has merely revealed it. The situation is the creation of our traditional policy toward foreigners, and the menace inherent in the situation existed, and was discerned by many close students of political affairs, long before the war was dreamed of. Although then the manifestations of this danger were less spectacular, the danger itself was no less persistent, pervasive, and insidious. When Carl Petersen is triumphantly inducted into municipal office, not because he is a Republican or a Democrat, not because he stands thus and so on important public questions, but because he is a Swede; when Patrick O’Donnell is made detective sergeant, not because he has the highest qualifications of all the men available, but because he belongs to the same Irish lodge as the chief of police; when Salvini, and Goldberg, and Trcka receive political preferment or judicial favor because of the race from which they spring or the nation from which they come, the essence of the peril is exactly the same as when Hans Ahlberg tries to sink an American merchantman because its cargo of wheat is destined for England instead of Germany.

The peril in question is the peril of having in a democracy large groups of voters actuated by racial and national affiliations other than those of the country in which they live: in other words, large elements of unassimilated foreigners. The assertion of this danger does not necessarily carry the implication of any inferiority, mental, physical, or moral, on the part of the foreigners. Difference without inferiority is dangerous, difference coupled with inferiority is definitely injurious. There is no need to reiterate the manifold evils which have already developed, and which threaten to develop, from immigration of the poor quality which our selective tests have  not sufficed to prevent. Undoubtedly the physical and mental average of our people, possibly also the moral average, has already been definitely reduced, and the progress of the working classes toward a reasonably high standard of living has been checked, but the point which needs emphasis here is that difference in itself is dangerous. The immigrant who is still a foreigner in sympathy and character exerts a prejudicial influence upon the life of the nation at every point of contact. It is impossible for him to function as a normal unit in the social complex. If by naturalization he acquires the right to participate in political affairs, the opportunity for injury is multiplied. He cannot possibly approach public questions as if his allegiance were wholly with the country of his residence. These facts are particularly illustrated with us by the very large element known as “birds of passage.” The only way these evils can be overcome is through genuine assimilation.

Assimilation is a spiritual metamorphosis. It manifests itself in many changes of dress, of language, of manners, and of conduct. But these outward semblances are not assimilation. An alien is thoroughly assimilated into a new society only when he becomes completely imbued with its spiritual heritage. He must cease to think and feel and imagine in ways determined by his old social environment, and must respond to the stimuli of social contact in all ways exactly as if from the very beginning he had developed under the influence of his adopted society. And this involves, of course, the entire abandonment of any sympathy, affection, or loyalty different from that which might be felt by any native of his new home for the country of his origin or the people of that country. Complete assimilation so defined may seem impossible to the adult immigrant. This is almost universally the truth. The spiritual impress of the environment of one’s infancy, childhood, and youth, can seldom be eradicated during the later years of life. Realizing  this, those who hate to admit that our immigrants are not being assimilated, hasten to modify the definition. But this does not help the case, because it does not alter the situation.

In this respect, the war has already rendered a distinct service to this country. No longer can we blind ourselves to the fact that national unity does not exist. Professor William Graham Sumner used often to remark that the United States had no just claim to the name of nation, because of the presence of the negroes within its borders. Whether that particular definition of “nation” is adopted or not, there can be no doubt that real national homogeneity is wholly lacking, and that the negro is by no means the only discordant element. In fact, in many ways the immigration problem is more imminent and menacing than the negro problem: for the negro problem is in a sense static, since it is not aggravated by continuous accessions from without. We know what the negro problem is, and can state it in terms which will be relatively permanent. But the immigration problem presents constantly changing aspects, not only because of its growing numerical proportions, but because of the diversity of its elements, and the uncertainty as to its future developments.

One of the striking manifestations of this new recognition of our dangerous situation is the change of front of those who are opposed to the restriction of immigration. The stock answer to the warnings of the restrictionists used to be the assertion that assimilation was taking place with perfectly satisfactory rapidity and completeness. America was the great “melting-pot” of the nations, out of which was to flow—was, in fact, actually flowing—a new and better type of man, purged of all slag and dross. As conclusive proofs of this claim, were advanced all those superficial adaptations to new surroundings which the immigrant and his children make with so much display and gusto. The assimilating power of the American  People was asserted to be unlimited, and if there were any hitches in the process, they could all be remedied by distribution. How suddenly has this elaborate erection of analogies, metaphors, and pseudo-arguments been shown up for the flimsy camouflage that it really was! Miss Grace Abbott, the avowed champion of the immigrant, is forced to admit that “unity of religion, unity of race, unity of ideals, do not exist in the United States. We are many nationalities scattered across a continent.” Miss Frances Kellor writes a book on Straight America, in which she confesses the failure of assimilation in the past, and turns to universal military service as a last resort. Mrs. Mary Antin remains discreetly silent, and Mr. Isaac A. Hourwich is less in the public eye than formerly.

But even yet the opponents of restriction are not willing to submit to the logic of the situation, and instead of admitting the present need of true restriction, come forward with a new substitute. This substitute goes by the general name of “Americanization,” and is urged upon us as the appropriate and adequate remedy for the ills which none can longer deny. The essence of this movement is that those who embody the true American ideas and ideals—a group seldom named or definitely described, but usually vaguely referred to as “we”—should bend all their energies toward the assimilation of our foreign population, and should seek by artificial and purposive expedients to accomplish that cultural transmutation for which the natural and unconscious relationships of the immigrant have proved wholly inadequate. And it must be freely granted that many of the specific proposals of the “Americanizers” are intrinsically meritorious and worthy of adoption. When it is suggested that our foreign populations ought to be better housed, fed, clothed, educated and amused, we all rise in assent—provided he will do his share toward it; yet in self-defence we must do more than ours. When we  are urged to assist the immigrant to learn the English language and familiarize himself with the political history and government of this nation, our common sense gives ready response. The gross absurdity of the movement lies in the assumption that any or all of these things, good as they are, constitute assimilation, or will, in the natural course of their accomplishment, produce assimilation. Who will undertake to show that those persons of foreign birth who, in the last three and a half years, have most flagrantly violated their obligations to the country of their adoption, are on the whole less well educated, less familiar with the English language, less prosperous, or even less versed in American institutions, than those who have remained loyal at heart, or at least in conduct? By all means let us have as small a proportion of our people as possible who cannot read and write, who do not understand the English language, who treat their women according to the code of mediaeval semi-barbarism, and who are content with living conditions something lower than what we consider proper for domestic animals. But let us not imagine that those who have freed themselves from these anomalies are therefore true Americans.

However, the crowning insult offered to the intelligence of the American people by the Americanization movement is the soberly uttered and persistently reiterated proposition that the best way to cure the evils of a heterogeneous population is to naturalize the foreigners! In the voluminous literature issued by the group of organizations directly connected with this movement, the three injunctions to the foreigner which appear with the greatest frequency and emphasis are: “Attend night school,” “Learn the English language,” “Become an American citizen.” As already stated, no fault can be found with the first two admonitions in themselves. But the third calls for close scrutiny, particularly as it involves a fundamental question which is sure to rise to prominence when  the war is over. What benefits can be expected from our hasty naturalization of aliens? What is the effect upon the aliens and upon the country, of this urgent invitation to become citizens? Ought it to be made easier or harder to acquire citizenship?

The first step in the answer to the foregoing questions is the examination of the real meaning of naturalization, and the process by which it is achieved in the United States. Naturalization is the act of conferring citizenship by a certain state upon a certain individual who hitherto has been a citizen or subject of another state. Citizenship implies rights and privileges, allegiance and obligations. The only difference that may be looked for in an individual after naturalization is that he now enjoys such rights and privileges, and owes such duties and obligations as appertain to State B instead of State A. The act of naturalization is not a developmental experience or process, but merely the registry of a change of status. Any transformations in the character of the individual which are regarded as essential to fitness for citizenship in State B should have taken place before naturalization. The act of naturalization will not produce them, nor is there adequate ground for assuming that they will generally follow that act. The only question which concerns the naturalizing official is whether the candidate is already affiliated at heart with the new country instead of the old, and the tests imposed upon the candidate are theoretically designed to determine or guarantee that affiliation. If, therefore, the foreigner was in any degree dangerous to his adopted country while an alien, there is no reason to suppose that he will be materially less so as a naturalized citizen. On the contrary, he is in a position to do much greater harm, because of the new powers and opportunities which naturalization confers, and because of the new confidence and trust which he enjoys through his citizenship.

The harm thus done by naturalized but unassimilated  citizens may be malicious and intentional or incidental. Many of the notorious election scandals of the past have been made possible by large numbers of foreigners who, having sought citizenship for narrowly selfish reasons, have used it in unscrupulous ways. It is true that they have frequently been abetted by native-born politicians; but the foreigners furnished the material. The injury done involuntarily, however, by well-intentioned voters who simply are not Americans, is even more serious because more extensive and more insidious. These are the men who have taken the oath of allegiance in all sincerity, supposing themselves to be as much in tune with the spirit of American life as the occasion called for. They have lived up to their lights as consistently, perhaps, as the majority of native-born voters of the same class. But their participation in public affairs has constantly been colored by racial or national affiliations, by a foreign outlook on life, and by incapacity to appreciate the true genius of the American nation. Their influence has therefore been to neutralize or thwart the efforts of conscientious intelligent Americans to grapple with national problems. An interesting case in point is the naturalized German referred to in “A Family Letter” in the December Atlantic Monthly, who refused to buy an inch of land in this country, in order that he might be free at any time to return to Germany. It has taken the emergency of a war to reveal to many naturalized citizens how mistaken they were (this at least is the most charitable interpretation) when they supposed that the old allegiance had been thoroughly subordinated.

It is a most extraordinary inversion of logic, this mental process by which people persuade themselves that rushing our aliens through the naturalization courts will better our national situation. The line of argument seems to be something like this: A foreign resident of the United States who desires to participate fully in the life of the nation, and who is sincerely devoted to the best interests  of the country, will wish to become a citizen; therefore, every naturalized citizen desires to participate fully in the life of the nation and is sincerely devoted to its best interests. Or perhaps a slightly less fantastic process of cerebration might be this: Naturalization is conferred upon foreigners who have fitted themselves to be received into citizenship; therefore, to accelerate the process of naturalization is to reduce the number of foreigners unfitted for citizenship.

If our naturalization laws were so strict, and the courts which administer them so scrupulous, that no alien could acquire citizenship except upon a convincing demonstration of his assimilation, it would do less positive harm to urge aliens to become citizens, because they would know, or would in time learn, that to do so they must bring themselves into complete harmony with the spirit of the nation. It is therefore essential to examine the prescribed qualifications for naturalization, and see exactly what citizenship papers stand for.

The requirements are simply stated. The candidate must be a free white person, or a person of African nativity or African descent. He must be twenty-one years of age. He must have resided continuously five years in the United States, and one year in the State in which he makes application. He must have had his “first paper” at least two years, but not more than seven years. He must be of good moral character, must be attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and must be able to speak English (unless registered under the Homestead Laws) and to sign his name. He must not be an anarchist or a polygamist. He must renounce any hereditary title or order of nobility, and all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign potentate, prince, city, or state of which he is a subject. He must affirm his intention to reside permanently in the United States, and must declare on oath that he will “support and defend  the Constitution and laws of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” He must have as witnesses two citizens of the United States who testify as to his residence in the United States, his moral character, his attachment to the Constitution, and his general fitness (in their opinion) to be admitted to citizenship.

Now, assuming for the time being that the court officials apply the law with the utmost possible rigor, what is there in the foregoing list of requirements that guarantees that the newly made citizen is free from any lingering attachment to any other country, and ready to enter single-heartedly into the life of the nation, ready to share its burdens and the responsibility of grappling with its problems, in a way at all comparable to the native-born citizen?

The qualifications in question fall into two groups: first, those which are matters of demonstrable fact, and second those which are mere asseverations of the candidate himself, or of his witnesses. Most important in the first category is the period of residence. With the aid of the records of the immigration bureau this fact can be definitely established. But what of it? What does a residence of five years mean as to assimilation? Under modern conditions almost nothing. This provision was written into the law over a century ago, after heated debate, and has never been changed, though in the middle of the nineteenth century it was subjected to vigorous attacks by powerful parties who wished the period raised to twenty-one years. In a simpler organization of society, there was some meaning in the five-year requirement. When communities were small, when foreigners were few, when the United States still preserved some of the character of mediæval society, of which it has been said, “the essence … was that, in every manor, every one knew everything about his neighbor,” it was scarcely possible for an alien to reside five years in the country without  becoming well known to a number of native citizens in his community, and establishing many points of contact with Americanizing influences. But in twentieth century America conditions are completely reversed. It is not only possible, but in innumerable cases the fact, that an alien may live, not only five nor twenty-one, but forty or fifty years in the midst of an American community without experiencing more than the most infinitesimal molding from a definitely American environment. In fact, the majority of recent immigrants do not really live in America at all, in anything more than a strictly geographical sense, but in communities almost as foreign as those from which they came. The mere physical fact of five years residence of itself signifies absolutely nothing as to the fitness of the alien to share in controlling the destiny of the nation. Let us therefore examine the other requirements in this group.

The candidate must be twenty-one years of age. This is reasonable and desirable, but tells us nothing of the alien’s fitness for citizenship. The period of at least two years intervening between the issue of the first and second papers was presumably designed to give opportunity for investigation of the candidate’s fitness, but rarely serves that purpose now. There remain, then, three positive requirements of fact—race, and ability to speak English and to sign one’s name. The general question of the greater desirability of one race over another, as material for American citizenship, is too involved to be adequately treated in this connection; clearly there is nothing here to indicate the fitness of the individual. This leaves just two tests of real assimilation, viz., ability to speak English and to sign one’s name. These are assuredly among the minimum requirements for citizenship, but they do not go very far.

Turning then to the qualifications which rest upon the statements of the candidate and his witnesses, we find that he must be of good moral character, and not a polygamist  nor an anarchist. Assuming that the truth is told, these requisites are beyond objection, but what do they tell us of the fitness of the alien for American citizenship? To renounce hereditary titles is a proper enough requirement, but one that throws no light upon the candidacy of the majority of modern immigrants. The statement of intention of permanent residence in this country is meant as a guarantee of the good purposes of the alien in becoming a citizen. But naturally this will be treated most lightly by those who need it most, and it is a question whether a foreigner whose motives are questionable is any more desirable in the country than out of it. Anyway, the destination of good intentions is proverbial. Finally, then, the alien must renounce all foreign allegiance and fidelity, and swear to his attachment to the principles of the Constitution of this country, and engage to support and defend it and the laws against all enemies.

Remembering that, whatever may have been the efficacy of the provision about witnesses in the early stages of our history, it has degenerated into a sorry farce in modern times, when professional witnesses hang about the courts, ready to swear to anything for anybody, what does the whole naturalization procedure, as stipulated by law, amount to? Practically to nothing more than the statement by the alien himself that he wishes to transfer his allegiance from a foreign state to this, and the swearing of fidelity. We virtually offer citizenship freely to any alien who can meet certain arbitrary requirements as to residence, race, etc., and is willing to take the oath of allegiance. The one tangible thing is the oath, and the unreliability of the oath as a guarantee of undivided allegiance has been demonstrated over and over again in past decades, and most emphatically by the traitorous behavior of some of our naturalized citizens since 1914.

In practice, officials may or may not add to the requirements of the law a brief examination designed to reveal the candidate’s knowledge of the workings of the  federal and state governments. But even at best, these questions and their appropriate answers occupy only half a dozen pages or so in a convenient little textbook, which assures the alien that if he “thoroughly familiarizes himself with the meaning of the questions and with the answers thereto, he will be sufficiently qualified to be admitted to citizenship,” even though the order in which the questions are asked should be varied a little. To cram up on this examination could hardly occupy an intelligent high school boy a couple of hours.

Since we thus offer citizenship almost for the asking to any white or African alien who has resided here five years, it follows that the issuance of naturalization papers does not guarantee any degree of assimilation, and to urge aliens to become naturalized is in no sense equivalent to urging them to fit themselves for the responsibilities of citizenship. There is accordingly absolutely nothing to be said in defense of the notion that urging naturalization upon our aliens will improve our domestic situation.

But what of the opposite side of the case? Are there any positive objections to the propaganda in question? The answer involves an analysis of the probable effects upon the alien of such vigorous encouragement, and the probable effects upon the United States of a large increase of naturalized citizens. The latter problem practically resolves itself into the query whether an unassimilated foreigner is less dangerous as citizen than as an alien. This has already been answered. Because of the added power, opportunity, and protection which the naturalized citizen enjoys, and because of the greater demands he may make upon the government, he is in a position to do much more harm, maliciously or otherwise, as a citizen than as an alien. It is true that federal naturalization does not give him the right to vote. The suffrage is a matter of states’ rights. Most states require federal naturalization; some require additional qualifications,  such as literacy, while about fifteen allow even unnaturalized aliens to vote.

In the absence of guarantees to the contrary, it is quite possible, not only that the alien may not be fitted for citizenship, but that he may desire citizenship for unworthy or ulterior purposes. Until stopped by a recent law, it was a common practice for subjects of backward or despotic foreign countries to come to the United States, remain five years and take out their citizenship papers, with no intention of even remaining longer, but with the definite purpose of returning to their native land and there carrying on their various businesses in the enjoyment of the greater facilities and protection given by the American flag.

Another common motive is to qualify for a better municipal or state job. Among the documents issued by the Americanizing agencies is a poster, bordered in red, white, and blue, and illustrated by a representation of Uncle Sam, his right hand clasping that of a sturdy immigrant, while his left points invitingly to the judge who is issuing naturalization papers. After the customary plea to become a citizen, the legend continues: “It means a better opportunity and a better home in America. It means a better job. It means a better chance for your children. It means a better America.” (Why not add, “It means a chance to turn a few honest dollars on election day?”) If these statements were true, the case would be bad enough, as, with the exception of the last, they appeal to a decidedly low motive for seeking citizenship. But they are not true. The newly made citizen in time finds out that they are not true, and then he feels cheated. When the better home and better job fail to materialize, any budding sense of obligation to his new country receives a sad shock.

Urging citizenship upon the alien must inevitably produce an attitude of mind exactly the opposite from that which would make him a useful citizen. That which  comes easily is lightly regarded, and that which is presented in such a way that the taking of it appears a favor, is not looked upon with great reverence or respect. In this respect much of the literature of the Americanization movement is most pernicious. Moreover the emphasis is all on the personal advantages of citizenship, not at all on its duties or responsibilities.

In this particular our forefathers were much wiser than we. They recognized that American citizenship was a thing of great value, to be regarded as a boon, procurable only by earnest endeavor and true merit. They could not have comprehended how the liberties for which the Revolutionary heroes fought and bled could ever be so degraded as to be hawked about the market place. We would do well to follow their example. We esteem the United States most highly of all nations. We believe that it owes a peculiar debt to posterity, that those entrusted with its career should be imbued with the most profound respect for it, the deepest sense of their responsibility to it, and the most thorough equipment for the adequate performance of their duties with respect to it. To participate in the control of the destiny of this great democracy is an undertaking of the gravest sort; and five years residence and the other requirements of the naturalization law are no more a fit preparation for it than five years of service in the office of a corporation and familiarity with the office routine fit the office boy to become a director.

Any propaganda directed toward our aliens should therefore take the form of urging, even to the point of insistence, that they fit themselves for citizenship. This will make them more useful and less troublesome residents, whether they are eventually naturalized or not. But citizenship itself should be held aloft, portrayed to them as a priceless boon, to be won only as a reward of long and patient effort, and a complete demonstration of their fitness. If this results in discouraging some foreigners  from coming to this country, no harm will be done. If it results in increasing the proportion of residents who do not share in the government, and if this is in itself an evil, the remedy is to be applied at the ports of entry, and not in the naturalization courts.

It is emphatically true that changes in our naturalization procedure are needed. But they should be in the direction of greater strictness, not of greater laxity. It is not the purpose of this paper to discuss in detail what these changes should be, but to emphasize the necessity that in general the requirements should be more inclusive, more positive, more significant of the assimilation and fitness of the candidate, more determinative of his good intentions in presenting his petition. One change that is certainly called for is the modification of state laws, by federal coercion if necessary, so as to make it impossible for aliens to vote. As social organization becomes more complex, the influence of government upon the life of the individual becomes more extensive, more intimate, and more vital; and as the sphere of government expands, the responsibilities of the electorate become heavier and more intricate. When peace is restored, and the period of reconstruction commences, the demands upon the intelligence, fidelity, and conscience of the voter will be vastly greater than ever before in the world’s history. It is essential to the maintenance of democracy and the progress of humanity that the United States face this critical period with the most efficient and harmonious electorate possible.

Does emphasis upon national homogeneity and solidarity seem too reactionary in this crisis of the world’s history? Does it appear that laying stress on the differentiation of nationalities within our borders will prevent the United States from playing its appropriate part in the coming period of reconstruction, which, we are told, must involve recognition of the principle of internationality? A moment’s thought will make it clear that this position  is a mistaken one when the war is over. Nations will still exist, nor will they pass out of existence with the progress of any revolutionary international adjustments that may be made. Whatever action is taken in the direction of a world federation must be made by self-conscious units, and must rest upon the basis of well-knit nations. The recent unusually sound and suggestive piece of sociological thinking, Community, by Mr. R. M. Maciver, contains a most timely chapter on “Co-ordination of Community.” In the course of his study of the way the principle of association and common action is extended, the author observes:

Whether the ideal of nationality grows stronger or weaker in the future, the fact of nationality … will always remain…. Understanding the service and limits of nationality, we are now in a position to consider how nations both are and can be co-ordinated within the wider community which they build. Such co-ordination can be directly achieved only through the State, which is the primary association corresponding to the nation…. It is true that the limits of nations and States are still far from being coincident, but the great historical movements have been leading towards that ideal. In any case it must be the co-operation of States, whether they do or do not coincide with nations, which will bring order into the still existing chaos of the nations.

In the period following the war, the necessity will be greater than ever before that the government of the United States shall be able to deal with intricate and far reaching problems with intelligence, unity, harmony, and force. This can be done only through an electorate that is intelligent, homogeneous, sympathetic, and free from divisions into antagonistic or incongruous groups.

An extreme but significant illustration of this principle is furnished by the present situation in Russia. If a general truce were declared tomorrow, and the nations sought to get together to discuss a permanent basis of settlement, one of the greatest obstacles in the way of  success would be Russia, simply for the reason that at present there is no Russia in the sense that a nation must exist to participate in such a council as that supposed. There is no danger that the United States will fall into any such state of disruption as Russia. But there is a distinct danger that it may suffer from a lesser degree of the same malady, the existence of discordant elements in the body politic, and consequent inability to exert her maximum force in attacking the problems of reconstruction.

The period following the war will be a time for new things. Easier than ever before will it be to shake off the trammels of tradition and precedent, and inaugurate approved though novel political policies. Foremost among the matters which the United States will be called upon to see to will be the reconsideration of our entire attitude toward aliens, and their naturalization. The time to prepare for that reconsideration is now.


The war is generating prophets as the Nile generated frogs under the mandate of Moses, and there is a similarity in the speech of both products. The prophets are too cautious to risk their reputation in predicting the events of the war; their forecasts relate to the sort of a world we shall find ourselves in after peace returns. But even this measure of prediction is a by-product of the soothsayers who, whether their lips have been touched with a coal from off the altar, or not, certainly wield the pen of the ready writer. The main industry of the busy prophets is to expound to us the meaning of the war, and to disclose to us those causes of the war which we should never have discovered for ourselves.

The ordinary uninspired man feels when he has read the diplomatic correspondence of a couple of weeks at the end of July and the beginning of August, 1914, that he knows fairly well what were the immediate causes of the war, and where the responsibility lies. If he carries his reading back as far as the annexation of Bosnia in 1908, he is satisfied that he has a pretty comprehensive view of the forces that precipitated the war. And if he has read pretty abundant selections from the Pan-German literature and the panegyrics on war—such a literature as no branch of the human race, Christian or pagan, ever produced before—he thinks he understands how it was possible to plunge the German nation into this attack on the world.

But all this is merely a matter of reading and reflection. Any one can reach such conclusions. The prophet must reach some different conclusion in order to sustain his claim to inspiration:

If this young man expresses himself in terms too deep for me,

Why, what a very singularly deep young man this deep young man must be.

 The prophet has got to attribute the war to causes that would not have occurred to the common mortal, and see in it meanings that ordinary eyes cannot trace, or abdicate his tripod.

It is equally unreasonable and equally immoral to say that the war proves that Christianity is a failure, and to say that it proves Christianity has never been tried. Because if either of these hypotheses be correct, one set of belligerents is as deep in the mud as the other is in the mire, and there is no personal culpability for this war, and no national culpability either. We are all guilty of not being Christians, or all unfortunate in having grown up in ignorance of revelation, and beyond that there is no blame for the war.

If this war is not the result of certain perfectly well known individuals using their own nations for an attack on others, but is the result of impersonal enmity between Teuton and Slav, then no person or persons are responsible for the war, there is no more blame on one side than there is on the other, and the moral element is as lacking as it is in an encounter between the inhabitants of the jungle. It is a curious thing that the prophet assumes the role of a moral censor, and devotes much the greater part of his energies to confusing the moral issues, to obliterating moral distinctions, and to blunting the ethical sense.

To condemn all war, which is a congenial theme for a moralist, is rank immorality; for it puts the nation that attacks, and the nation that repels the invader, in the same category, and refuses to make any distinction between the burglar, the householder who resists him, and the policeman who overpowers him and drags him away to jail.

The prophet readily drops his eye on armies, and at once announces that it is their existence that accounts for the war. If there were no armies there would possibly be no wars, but we have shown more than once that armies can be pretty rapidly extemporized. Besides, this, too, confuses the moral issues. All nations have armies, and  if America and England had relatively small armies before this war, they had the largest navy in the world and the navy which ranked second or third. The highwayman carries a pistol, and so does the paymaster who is obliged to transport a treasure chest. If the possession of a revolver was the cause of the homicide that occurred, the guilt lies equally on the souls of both.

We are told that no truth is more certain than that “if you create a vast fighting machine it will sooner or later compel you to fight, whether you want to fight or not”—which is about as dubious a truth as was ever paraded as an axiom—that “these vast machines, whether armies or engines of war, are made to be used,” and that “the military machine will overpower the minds which have called it into being.” Then their responsibility is not for the ensuing war, but for carelessness in leaving a war weapon around. But if these vast military machines were made to be used, then why complicate the question of responsibility by representing the machine as overpowering its careless but really peaceful creator, and compelling him to fight whether he wants to fight or not?

If the Kaiser and the Crown Prince and the General Staff and the military caste and the Pan-German element created the army to use against other nations, in accordance with Bernhardi’s alternative of “world domination or decline,” and if all the professors and preachers and pamphleteers had taught the people that war was a high, holy, and beautiful thing, and—more particularly—that Germany could beat any other nation in a few weeks, and the armies would return loaded down with spoils and indemnities and title deeds to new provinces, and that “our good old German God” had specially deputized the German nation to overpower all the rest of the world, make German the universal tongue, and the primitive moral code of Germany the ethical law of the world, then we know precisely who is guilty of this war. But if the German army compelled the German Government to back  Austria in an attack on Servia, and on its own account to invade Russia, Belgium and France, we are very much at sea about the place where the moral burden is to be laid.

The prophet is particularly prone to find the causes of the war in a material civilization, in our existing industrial system, and especially in greed. The prophet and the political orator are equally stern in their denunciation of greed. At a time when prophets were so accustomed to physical exercise that they could run ahead of Ahab’s chariot, and in the absence of normal sources of supply, were fed by the ravens, their indignation at greed, their contempt for commerce, and their superiority to a material civilization, was free from incongruity. The modern prophet does not live on locusts and wild honey, nor is his wardrobe limited to a belt of camel’s hair. His uncompromising denunciation of his age is somewhat impaired by the obvious fact that he has “some of the pork.”

The deliverances of the prophet on this class of themes are rather tiresome in their iteration, and distinctly irritating in their oblivion to history. There is no civilization that does not rest upon the possession and acquisition of property; there is no clime or time in which men have not worked for their living, and sought the means of buying the things which their tastes, coarse or refined, craved, in which there have not been rich and poor, and in which it has not been much pleasanter to be the former than the latter. The earliest social satirist, like the latest, berated the accursed greed for gold, and castigated his contemporaries for their love of luxury and their eager pursuit of money. It would seem as if the prophet might recognize that it is a very old sermon he is preaching, and familiarize himself with the extraordinary age of those evils of his own day which he feels it his mission to chastise.

What distinguishes this age from others, and our own country from others is that here and now wealth is acquired  more easily and more rapidly than at other times and places. This being the very obvious fact, it shakes our confidence in the whole fraternity of prophets that they should, one and all, attribute the larger fortunes made here and now to the greater love of money, or its more assiduous pursuit. The rich man is more successful in amassing wealth than the poor man, but he is not more mercenary. Two men try equally hard to get rich; one succeeds, and the other fails; the man who failed is quite likely to be more eager for money than the man who succeeded.

The industrial system never meets the approval of the prophet. An occasional prediction is that the war will destroy our deplorable economic life, in which every man is trying to get as high wages or as large a salary or as ample profits as possible, and will usher in the golden age, in which such base considerations as pecuniary compensation will have a very secondary place in every man’s mind. Before this war came, the most eminent educator in America assured the workingman that he ought to work for the pleasure of it, and not for the contents of his Saturday night envelope. Such admonitions have occurred, in one form or another, in the literature of the sages, for centuries and millenniums. But it was never evolved by a man who was digging postholes, and a noble ambition to mine the very best coal cannot carry a miner far when he is obliged to cut such coal as there is in front of him.

It is barely possible that by devoting some weeks to the task, a man could produce a pair of shoes notably superior to the ordinary run of shoes, and his professional pride as a devout follower of St. Crispin might take keen delight in the work of his hands; in the fact that he had made the very finest pair of shoes in the world. But, after all, he needs food, and possibly he is obliged to pay rent, and he ought to have a wife to make comfortable, and children to send to school in presentable form: so something besides  pride in his work is necessary. If he is to be adequately compensated for his labor on that pair of shoes, their price will be such that only the rich—if the rich are to be permitted to survive—can buy them; and if such shoemakers prevail, the greater part of mankind will go barefoot. For does not the prophet who has poured out the phials of his wrath upon an economic system that makes quantity and cheapness, instead of real excellence, its ideals, recognize that the purpose of quantity is to supply the wants of a greater number of human beings, and the purpose of cheapness is to enable human beings to supply more of their needs? For certainly if the shoes which are the very best shoes in the whole world, and whose excellence affords the keenest satisfaction to the soul of the shoemaker, cost $50, then it is quite certain that the customer who carries them home will go without many other things that he ought to have. If the shoes are made by machinery and sold for $3, they may not be quite so beautiful or durable as the artistic product of hand labor, regardless of time, and yet be in the interest of the customer and the community.

After the prophet has got through with his ravings at the present industrial system, the fact will remain that there are a good many millions of us on this earth, and that we have got to earn our livings, and that the agriculture and industries of the Middle Ages would not keep all of us alive. In addition to which, we may also venture to suggest that the people of the Middle Ages were not quite as honest as we are, and were not less particular about getting a financial return for their exertions. The modern industrial system was not created by capital for capitalists; it is the result of the efforts of the community as a whole to supply the needs of all of its members, and to afford employment to all of them. Hunting and fishing are pleasanter than most of the industries, but 100,000,000 of civilized people are living and are equipped with intellectual and moral accessories, where a quarter of a  million Indians once roamed. And although they toiled not (systematically), neither did they spin (much), they were not happier or better than we are.

One prophet of more discrimination than most of his clan admits that the industry and thrift which produce capital are valuable qualities morally, but he is still confident that the great wealth of the modern world is thoroughly demoralizing. Whence it appears that the safe course for the world to pursue is to work hard and save carefully and burn up its accumulations every year in order to keep itself poor but pious, like the parents of the subjects of a style of religious biography now quite out of date. Of course this prophet would prefer the wiser course of not earning enough to afford wealth to accumulate. If we would only adopt his system and work for the pleasure of working, and for the satisfaction of producing absolutely perfect products of our own skill, there would be no danger of our sinking our souls into perdition with a load of gold. Noah and his sons appear to have built the Ark by the processes of domestic industry, in distinction from the accursed factory or capitalist system. How their support was provided for during the 120 years has not been recorded, but if one man undertook to build a locomotive, instead of merely making repetitions of a single part, it would be necessary to make arrangement for this. And when we are trying to replace the vessels destroyed by German submarines, it seems necessary to use more rapid methods of construction than sufficed before the Deluge.

Will some prophet please tell us how poor we must be in order to be virtuous and pacific, and how virtuous and pacific the world was before it became prosperous? Were there no wars before the Twentieth Century? The extent of this war is scarcely a result of the world’s opulence, when Sir Edward, now Viscount, Grey, offered to keep England out of it if Germany would limit the war to the Balkans or to Russia. The war has involved most of the world because Germany began it by attacking France and  Belgium, and followed that up by attacking Americans on the high seas, where they had as much right to be as at home.

This argument that the war is the result of wealth is immoral, because it makes the guilt of America and England even greater than that of Germany (for they are richer); and because it is the argument of the communist—that theft is not wrong, because it is the inevitable consequence of private property: if no one has any right to anything, then no one will steal anything.

Nothing holds the attention of the prophet better than the idea that the war is the result of commercial competition. This also is an invention of the devil to exculpate Germany. All of us are in business for gain; we are actuated by greed; we are making cotton cloth to cover Africans for the profit that we can get out of it; we ought to think only of clothing the naked, and if we would only give the cotton cloth to the Hottentots without material return, we should have the proud satisfaction of seeing them draped in chintzes, and we should be safe from that wealth which is so certain to make us wicked. On those terms there would be very little competition in supplying the Hottentots, and no danger whatever that any nation would fight us to gain that portion of the export trade.

But the “peaceful penetration” of all other countries by German industry and commerce had been going on for thirty years before the war. England had stamped “Made in Germany” upon the imports from that country under the delusion that people would not buy them if they knew they were not made by domestic industry, but the only result was to advertise German business. Shipping interests at Antwerp, factories in France, hotels in Switzerland, iron works in Italy, commercial establishments in China and South America, the trade and transportation of Turkey, passed into German hands, and no nation offered  armed resistance. No less a witness than Prince von Buelow testifies that England could easily have stopped German naval expansion, but did not do so. German commercial expansion did not cause the war, unless Great Britain, the principal sufferer from German business success, attacked Germany in 1914. And this is the German official explanation of the war supplied for domestic consumption. And yet it is repudiated by the highest witness who could be put upon the stand. No less a person than Prince Lichnowsky, who was German Ambassador in London at the outbreak of the war, traces the war to Austrian projects in the Balkans, with the “blank check” of Germany, together with irritation in Russia caused by Germany’s own efforts to establish a dominating influence in Constantinople. This leaves nothing of the story invented for the German people, and propagated by the university professors, that England attacked Germany because the latter was getting its trade away from it. And this falsehood, invented to shield the guilty nation, has a special fascination for the prophets. It looks so much like taking a broad and general and impartial view of the world. Satan is very liberal; it pains him to have guilt attached to any individual. It is more in accord with his philosophic and humane ideas to regard crime as a product of social conditions, and war as the result of trade competition.

But the guilt of Germany is betrayed by the selection by Germans of Sir Edward Grey as the especial subject of hatred among all the hated British race. Nothing but the consciousness of guilt can explain the extraordinary vituperation of the British Minister who did in 1914 precisely what he was highly praised for doing in 1913 in a speech in the Reichstag by Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg. That was the speech calling on the Reichstag for an increase of about 136,000 men in the German army, an addition of $50,000,000 a year to the military budget,  and a non-recurring capital tax for military purposes of $250,000,000. The difference between 1913 and 1914 was not in anything that Sir Edward did, but in the fact that before the army increase of 1913 Germany was not prepared for war and supported Sir Edward’s efforts for peace. After that increase Germany was prepared for war, and would do nothing to support Sir Edward’s efforts to avert war, and the coarse abuse of Sir Edward is a “smoke box” designed to conceal the changed position of Germany.

Dr. von Jagow, Foreign Minister from 1913 to 1916, has been put forward to reply to Prince Lichnowsky, but agrees with the Prince that England did not desire war, and that Sir Edward Grey, who is described by a German divine as having “a cancerous tumor in place of a heart,” acted in good faith in his efforts to find a peaceful solution for the difficulty. One American writer finds the origin of the war in the rival interests of Germany and England in the Bagdad Railway, but Dr. Paul Rohrbach, now or recently of the German Colonial Office, has admitted that just before the war opened the interests of the two nations were settled by a treaty, in which England made surprisingly large concessions. This is also stated by Prince Lichnowsky. So that the testimony of three particularly eminent Germans destroys the fiction that England attacked Germany because it was jealous of German commercial expansion.

The fundamental trouble with the whole race of war prophets is that they think the war is a new thing, and they feel called upon to tell the rest of us what to make of it. War is about the oldest human industry. This is the greatest of all wars, but that does not alter the meaning of war. Nor does it necessarily alter the results of war. While it is the greatest of all wars, it is not yet a long war, and in proportion to the population it is not certain that it is greater than other wars. It is not even certain that in proportion to the men involved, it is more bloody than other wars. We have no means of getting at the figures  except in the loosest way, because the several Governments do not tell how many men they have at any given time or place, or the casualties in any individual engagements. But some approximations have been made, and they do not indicate that the great war is decidedly more bloody, in proportion to the armies, than other wars have been. Our Civil War lasted full four years; the War of Independence occupied seven. Before that was the seven years of the French and Indian war, and one war is known as the Thirty Years War. From the beginning of the French Revolution to Waterloo was more than quarter of a century, and at the end of that period another Bourbon was on the throne of France. Our Civil War made nearly, if not quite, as heavy a draft upon the population as the present war has made upon the population of England or France.

The moral and religious questions involved in war are not notably different in the greatest of all wars and in wars which are not quite so great. Most of them are involved in the ordinary administration of the criminal law by which an orderly community protects itself from its predatory members. Doubtless there will be social and political results from this war, but if other wars have not created a new heaven and a new earth, why should this one? The prediction that this war will produce great changes in the direction of democracy and of applied religion are probably well founded. But the war will act only as an accelerator. These changes have been going on for a long time; the movements for fifteen or twenty years before the war opened were very evident. Woman suffrage and prohibition seem impending, but they are not the products of this war: they had made great progress between 1900 and 1914.

None of the prophets betray any knowledge of history, or see things in any perspective. The great war is the first great cataclysm that they seem to be aware of, and they are rushing to and fro, like the Chaldeans, to find explanations  of it, and to impress the public by their ability to forecast its consequences.

But when peace comes it will leave us face to face with greed and materialism, and an industrial system in which some men prosper and others do not, and an obligation to labor from which no important fraction of mankind can escape, and wants will multiply as fast as the means of satisfying them increase, and for the greater part of us the weekly pay envelope and the possibilities of a competence, and the demand from the other side of the world for the grain we produce, will continue to be our principal incentives to work.

Progress, intellectual and moral as well as material, has been made in the past, but the world has not taken great leaps ahead as the result of great wars, and still less has it changed the direction of its movement as the result of wars. The one thing of which the vastness of this war gives us a fairly good assurance, is that no nation will again be trained from infancy to old age to regard war as a high, holy and beautiful process of attaining its manifest destiny to rule the rest of mankind. For generations no statesman will purpose a war, and no monarch will again have the power of hurling his people at neighboring nations. If Germany fails in its present effort, neither Germany nor any other nation will repeat the experiment of 1914.

But the prophets will have no chance to point with pride to the great religious, moral and economic revolutions whose advent they pointed out amid the clash of arms. We have found our soul, the prophets love to tell us. They disagree on some things, and those who have no revelation upbraid the others for not giving us a spiritual interpretation and getting a vision of the future from the carnage of the war, as the augurs pretended to see the future when they were only looking at the viscera of their victims. But all of them agree that we have found our soul. When did we lose our soul? When Mr. Roosevelt  was President he was very apprehensive that we had lost our “fighting edge.” Is any one worried now about our lack of a “fighting edge?” Possibly our soul was never lost. We betrayed some evidences of possessing a soul very early in the war.

The charge that we had lost our soul, or, at least, had mislaid it, rests on two facts. One is that we are prosperous. That fatal alliteration of poverty and piety has a fearful hold upon the soul of the prophet. The other is that we did not go to the rescue of Belgium when it was invaded. But Mr. Roosevelt himself did not realize that we ought to have gone to the rescue of Belgium, till March, 1916. He is on record in September, 1914, as satisfied with the course of the Administration, and convinced that we should not have entered the war when our own interests were not touched. And it ought to be forgiven a statesman, if he is very reluctant to plunge his country into war, and declines to put his Government in the position of a knight errant, wandering around the world in search of maidens to be delivered from donjons. And furthermore, as the Monroe Doctrine is the corner stone of our foreign policy, we were properly slow about intruding into a European quarrel, until it became unmistakable that it was much more than a European quarrel—that it was an attack upon civilization and popular Government. We were also justified in assuming that Great Britain, France and Russia, three of the five guarantors of Belgian neutrality, were capable of punishing the two guarantors who violated their pledge, several times renewed by Germany, even up to the day before Germany invaded the country it had pledged its honor to protect.

But our soul, whether it was lost or not, is now in our possession. Let us be thankful that the prophets recognize that encouraging fact. And if our mind is also in our possession, we may look forward to a world not entirely different from the one we have known, but unquestionably  less likely to play with firearms, and quite certainly one in which the common people will have much greater control of their political destinies, and one in which no War Lord, with chatter about shining swords and shining armor and mailed fists, will be able to hurl his nation against the others in a desperate effort to establish for himself an overlordship of the world. Nor will any nation ever be likely to rhapsodize over carnage, and feed its sordid soul with thoughts of the territories and indemnities to be got by war, or intoxicate itself with the delusion that it is a race of supermen charged by the Almighty with the duty of forcing its harsh language and its brutal habits upon all other nations.


Every man who comes into the world has need of friends.” What Ursa Major thus profoundly observes of mankind, from China to Peru, might be applied with special force to the blue jay, at least to those jays that come into the world. Of the rest “deponent saith not.” For by common consent the blue jay is a rascal, nay even a villain; and to deepen his turpitude to an infinity of wickedness, I have heard one uncherished female with a disposition slightly acid liken him to a Man. Indeed, were some of his detractors to be believed, there is scarcely a crime in the whole avian calendar that has not been meditated upon and hatched in his nest.

It is true that there are people of such impinging personality that merely mild dislike with respect to them seems impossible. The reactions they produce are violent. Their admirers, when they have any, pursue their loyalty to an O Altitudo! their enemies (and such are usually legion) make of their names a hissing, and spit them out of the mouth. To particularize, I might refer to a gentleman who was vigorously active in the political unpleasantness of 1912. His friends saw in him a Godefroy, come to lead the politically pure against the hordes of the standpat infidels; his enemies, when they had wiped the froth from their lips, turned the vocabulary of prayer to evil uses, and accused him of being in league with the devil.

But these are merely individuals. The cases in which an indictment is drawn up against a whole people are comparatively rare,—the Goths, perhaps, the Turks, and the bloodthirsty Belgians, to bring it down to modern times, will serve as examples. Just such an inclusive indictment is brought against the jay. “I fear,” says one amiable and authoritative writer on bird life, “that the blue jay is a reprobate”; and in this opinion most authorities  concur. Are there not, then, three righteous jays in all Israel? No, say his judges. Peradventure one? “Only in the museums of natural history,” they inexorably answer. All living jays are impudent, profane, mischievous, cannibalistic, “the hul cussed tribe of ’em,” as one exasperated gardener wrathfully declared to me.

Dear, dear! This is a terrible situation. Like Fuzzy Wuzzy, the poor blue jay “‘asn’t got no papers of his own.” Nor can he follow the example of those benevolent corporations whose judicious investments in advertising space temper the unshorn lamb to receive the shears in a docile mood, and at the same time protect them from too close scrutiny by the newspapers. He must bear the slings and air-guns of outrageous boyhood with scarcely a voice raised in his behalf. It seems hardly fair.

It is true that the jay is not delicate in his appetite. He cannot, like the ethereal maiden whom Burton mentions, subsist for months on the smell of a rose. I knew one old gentleman, to be sure, who secured a brief respite from care, and achieved a state of mild hilarity, by applying his nose to the mouth of a whiskey jug. But the jay enjoys not these olfactive refections. He needs more substantial food. He is omnivorous; and out of that important characteristic springs his most reprehensible trait: he eats little birds.

One morning last summer I got up rather earlier than usual to transplant some asters before the sun should come out hot. It was a calm, breezeless morning, with scarcely a sound to disturb the cool quietude, except the song of a robin on the top of the old maple. Heaven be praised! we have no trolley cars in our village, and no factories. Suddenly there broke out in the alley, the wildest commotion imaginable. It sounded as though the sparrows from five counties were there, and had eaten of the insane root. The air was filled with shrill cries, chirps, and excited chatterings. I rushed to the fence, my fingers all mud, and looked over. In the midst of a flock of sparrows  forty or more in number, all hopping about distractedly but none daring to attack him, stood a big blue jay with his crest militantly erect. From time to time he pecked at something, but what that something was, like Peterkin, I could not well make out. At every stroke of his strong black beak the cries of the sparrows shrilled louder; whenever he paused and looked around in his truculent contempt, their frenzied crescendos somewhat abated.

Curious, I drew nearer and discovered that the object of his unpleasant attention was a young sparrow, a mere fledgeling, scarcely old enough to be out of the nest. He was murderously pecking it in the eye. The wee helpless thing fluttered weakly in its agony and cheeped piteously. I grabbed up an empty fruit jar that had protected a rose cutting from the blasts of winter, and hurled it at the jay. He flew screaming to a sour cherry tree a short distance away, from which safe vantage point he cursed me with every oath and revilement in his scandalous vocabulary. The little sparrow I put out of its misery.

As I went back to my asters, I could not help reflecting on the scene I had witnessed. I seemed to see in it a small counterpart of what had happened in Europe. Here was little Servia in the person of this young sparrow—something of a nuisance, perhaps, yet comparatively defenseless. And here in the arrogant, domineering jay, relentless and powerful, was Austria. A similitude might likewise be made out for Belgium and Germany. And where, I wondered, did my own country come in? With almost sinister significance a sleek bronze grackle, plump and round, his eyes standing out with fatness, emerged leisurely from among the currant bushes and gobbled up a worm. I had been vaguely aware of his presence from the first, and now as I noted his well-fed complacency, and remembered that he had been foraging around utterly oblivious of the little tragedy being enacted in the alley, I lost my patience and let fly a good-sized clod.

But jays are jays, and it were unfair to demand from  them a standard of conduct that even human beings, with all their centuries of moral education, find it hard to apply. As a matter of fact the only jay I ever caught red-beaked at such murderous work was the one in the alley, and my field of observation has extended clear from the coast of Maine part way to the Rocky Mountains. Yet if a man from Mars were to pick up a bundle of newspapers, and could make out the strange little characters imprinted thereon, he would probably infer that murder was a trade common enough among human beings, particularly to-day. He would see it as a highly organized and severely technical activity carried on by whole nations under the direction of their respective governments. It must be said, however, that although the sensitive nerve of national honor seems oftenest to reside in the national belly, nations rarely murder with the object of eating their victims. And those jays that murder are censurable chiefly in this: they have learned so little from humanity’s civilized forbearance.

To tell the truth, the jay is not the fiercely courageous and militantly aggressive biped his harsh cries and erected crest might lead one to suppose. His aspect is doubtless frightful to some small birds, but most of them recognize in him much of the Pistolian braggart. I have seen a house-wren, about the size of a large colored gentleman’s thumb, drive him away from her vine-shaded dwelling. Robins quickly put him to flight, and so, too, do catbirds and cardinals. Even the mourning dove (gentlest of birds) does not fear to measure her mild weapons with his; and one of the most amusing spectacles I ever witnessed was the comical bluff of a dove who puffed out her breast, fierce as a lamb, and literally pushed the swash-buckling blue jay clean off the feed board.

That the jay does not always exercise the discretion of which the timid proverb speaks, the crown of my head can very well testify. One pleasant afternoon, while I  was breathlessly pursuing the phantom of an idea through the syntactical mazes of a freshman theme, I became aware of the sharp screaming of a pair of jays directly beneath my open window. I glanced out and saw (item) one baby jay squatting all hunched up on the close-cut lawn in the sunlight; (item) one long, lithe, black cat in the shadow of the syringa bush, blinking its greedy yellow eyes and moving its tail with a gentle, snaky, anticipatory motion; and (item) two frantic parent jays darting viciously at the black sphinx, and shrieking like a couple of suffragettes in the hands of a pair of miserable London bobbies. I watched the little drama until I saw the cat quivering for the spring; whereupon, forsaking the rôle of spectator, I threw my bottle of red ink and drove the dark marauder from the field. Surely never was preceptorial red ink put to more humane uses.

As I turned back to my themes, it occurred to me that here was the very opportunity I had been looking for. My favorite hobby is taking bird pictures, and I had long desired a picture of a young jay. Most fledgelings bear a ludicrous likeness to very old men. They wear an expression of solemn and pessimistic wisdom such as comes only to those who have looked long on the vanities of mankind. And it has always seemed to me that the infant jay bears a weird resemblance to England’s Grand Old Man, Mr. Gladstone, after he had passed the prime of old age. Out of regard, then, for the great Liberal minister, and also because I am no rifler of nests, I seized my old black hat and a camera, and dashed downstairs. My plan was to drop the hat over the unsuspecting fledgeling so that I could pick him up without any fuss, and pose him on the grape-vine behind the house. But the young rascal, divining my intention, hopped away, and kept with exasperating nicety just out of reach. Finally, by dint of much scrambling along on my knees, taking care to preserve as innocent an expression as I could, I managed to clap the hat over him. But as I  took him out from the sudden gloom, he gave one terrified shriek, and the next instant BING! something sharp, something penetrating, something entirely unexpected, struck me on the head. It was the marvellously efficient beak of Mr. Jay.

I did not try to reason with him or placate him in wheedling tones. The ambient air was too full of a shrapnel burst of screaming, darting, pecking, whirling, shrieking blue jay. His shrill and angry cries, moreover, called to his aid three other jays, and such a stream of feathered Billingsgate followed as, I felt sure, must fix the eyes of all the neighborhood upon me. And so I retreated to the house, endeavoring in my gait to preserve that dignity of bearing which is generally supposed to be the fruit of an academic life. But the jay, with the uncomfortable persistence of a bee or a small heel-snapping terrier, pursued me to the very door, and might have chased me upstairs had it not been for the screen. After that I decided never again to attempt kidnapping a jay without the protection of a policeman’s helmet.

But the fierce detractors of the blue jay will doubtless scoff at this as evidence of a sometimes resolute daring. I do not resent the implied aspersion of my own courage; I am content to leave that to the judgment of my readers. There is, however, one bit of commendation to which even they must “assent with civil ear,” as a freshman of mine put it. The blue jay is almost humanly intelligent. Mind, I do not argue that he can, offhand, give you the distinction between free verse and a page from a real poet’s note-book, or that he can explain precisely why certain matters are deleted by the British censors. But with the intrepidity of a new Congressman delivering a speech in the Record, I dare assert, “without fear of successful contradiction,” that the blue jay is among the most intelligent of feathered bipeds.

Not long ago, during a particularly sharp attack of bitter weather, with frosty bayonets in the air but no  snow on the ground, I was holding a conference in the English office with one of my students, a girl whose sweet deep eyes gave no flicker of understanding as I tried to make clear to her the difference between a sentence and a clause. To conceal my sorrow I stepped to the window and gazed off through the grayish-blue beeches with their dead brown leaves shivering in the keen air, trying, meanwhile, to recall what principle of pedagogic efficiency I had failed to employ. Presently a blue jay with something white in its beak alighted upon the twisted limb of a maple not a rod from the window, and began a close inspection of the rough bark. He found what he was looking for, a hole; and into this he thrust the white substance which he carried in his beak, suet possibly, from the feed-board below, or a bit of bread. He cocked his head on one side and eyed the little cache in a thoughtful manner. Then he dropped to the ground.

I thought that was the end, but I was mistaken. Soon he shot up to the limb, this time with a dead leaf in his beak. I watched intently and saw him carefully lay the leaf over the hole where he had hidden the suet. A gust of wind, however, blew the leaf off the limb, and sent it swirling to the ground. Quick as a hawk the jay swooped after it in an ineffectual attempt to capture it while it was still in the air. They reached the ground together. Convinced apparently that the leaf was too large, he selected another, much smaller, and carried it up to the limb. This time he did not merely lay the leaf over the hole; he had learned his lesson. Instead, he rammed the leaf into the hole on top of the suet, a really difficult job, and packed it firmly with his beak. It was safe from the other jays if not from the inquisitive redheaded woodpecker who lived only a few branches away. Now all you host of cocksure psychologists, was it instinct or reason that led the jay?

I know it has been argued that since a jay will attack a stuffed owl placed near his nest, he must be without the  power of reason. The test seems hardly fair, for the ghoulish mystery of the taxidermist is known to no animal but man. Thus at the very start the jay is laid under an unreasonable handicap. Consider, too, the ingeniously cruel nature of this test; it pierces him as it were in the eye of his most sensitive instinct. Even human parents, faced by an ordeal at all comparable to this in sudden poignancy, would scarcely act in a manner calmly rational. What mother, leaving her infant slumbering in the cradle, and suddenly returning to find a brutal visaged mannikin bent over it in a posture of menace, would expend the millionth of a second in the psychologist’s reflective delay? Like the jay, she would act in such a situation from instinct alone, nor would we consider her deficient in intelligence.

But even if the jay were as stupid as an old-model political prison-warden, or an English official in Ireland, which he indubitably is not, I would still look upon him with an indulgent eye. The redbird excepted, he is the sole bit of lively color in our winter landscape. No matter how sharp the wind or deep the snow, you will find him foraging among the low bushes or uttering his cheerfully vigorous jay! jay! jay! from the airy chambers of some tall, bare maple. And if you are of that generous company who share their winter bounty with the birds, from none of your feathered charity scholars will you receive more evident tokens of full appreciation than from the maligned jay. He is as prompt to the feeding board as an impecunious college professor to the bursar’s office at the end of the first quarter. To be sure, his table manners are somewhat rude, but what he lacks in elegance he more than atones for with a certain robust beef-and-pudding gusto that I have somehow come to associate with Lord Macaulay.

It is in the spring, however, in the days of warm sunshine and clear air, when the grass begins to quicken along the walks and around the roots of the big elm-trees, when  the vanguard of the crocus legions have thrust their green spear-heads up through the sere lawn, and the buds on the lilac bushes along the garden fence have begun to swell, that the jay reveals how really amiable he can be. To many who do not know him well it will come as a surprise to learn that he possesses vocal attainments far beyond the harsh cry from which he takes his name. Under the spell of love he becomes truly melodic. He will sit for ten minutes at a time in the old black cherry-tree, and beginning with a soft, prelusory, ventriloquial whistle, as though he were a musician testing his flute, he will run through a series of little musical snatches surprising in their mimetic variety. Now it will seem like a baby’s silver rattle, or like clear water gurgling over a sunny bed of pebbles; again you will hear a note or two of the robin, or a plaintive echo of the bluebird’s song, or even the beautiful sliding legato of the cardinal,—with a crack in it, perhaps.

As the head of a family the blue jay is exemplary. He is not one of those who think they perform the whole duty of husbands when they preen their gay feathers in the sunlight, or lift their voices in flattering song, while their plain little wives build the nest, hatch the eggs, and go in search of the nourishing worm. Not much! He believes that marriage is a partnership involving equal duties and responsibilities; and so, during the nesting season, you will see him busily at work, searching for the best twigs, paper, string, tendrils, and rootlets obtainable. I once saw a nest that had a piece of yellow paper sticking out of its side, with the cryptic legend—otes for wom—plainly legible on it, but I am not sure that it had any real significance. Feeding the young jays, too, he considers part of his fatherly duties, and sometimes, though not often, he even treats Mrs. Jay to a specially delicate tidbit of bug or worm. If the latter should happen to be fuzzy, he will follow his careful wife’s example and thoroughly wipe the fuzz off on the rough bark of some tree.

 And he likes his bath; no monocled Englishman better. Indeed, if you really wish to enjoy a treat, set a rusty shallow pan of water on your lawn, not too near the tulip-bed or shrubbery (Cats!), and see what follows. If you have been thoughtful enough to place a stone or a piece of brick near the rim of the pan, Mr. and Mrs. Jay will step right in and enjoy a thorough wetting without much preliminary skirmishing. But little Willie Jay and his four brothers will exhibit all the delicious trepidation of childhood. While their parents are in the bath, they will be bold enough, even to running up and allowing themselves to be splashed on; but when it comes to actually entering the water, ugh! They will linger around the edge of the pan, fluttering their wings, hop across it, dip their beaks into the water, turn around, and splash the water with their tails—in short, go through all the motions of a small boy having his first “duck under” without the assuring grasp of his father’s strong hand. But once let them get in, and oh, what a joyous splashing ensues, what a ruffling of feathers, what a beating of wings, what a fan-like fluttering of the tail! Like most small boys, too, they will stay in until they are thoroughly soaked, scarcely able, in fact, to fly up to some sunny limb where they may preen themselves and dry off out of harm’s reach.

No, the jay is not an unprincipled scoundrel, not the bloodthirsty reprobate he is sometimes made out to be. He has his faults, it is true, properly censurable; but he has some very commendable virtues as well. And I am sure that if the reader will watch his career as carefully as I have, from his fledgeling childhood to his gay and dashing cavalier youth, he will agree with me that the imaginations of the blue jay’s heart are not wholly evil.


Divide ut imperes—make a faction among your enemies, and thus overcome them. This is German policy all over the world. By it the Danes of Slesvig have been to a large extent robbed of their own language and national traditions. By it the Prussian intruders have, with characteristic inability to understand foreign souls, endeavored, in their periods of repose after acts of brutality, to alienate from France the French-speaking and French-minded inhabitants of Alsace and Lorraine. It has failed not only there, but notoriously also in Posen or Prussian Poland, where it was long ago abandoned in favor of a system of downright and unscrupulous repression. It has succeeded, for the moment at least, in Russia, which now lies dismembered at the feet of a triumphant betrayer. What was a year ago Russia is now dissolved into Lithuania, Livonia, Esthonia, Courland, Finland, Poland, the Ukraine, the country of the Don Cossacks, the Caucasus, and the vague and fluctuating realm of Bolshevism. Historic memories, linguistic variations, religious differences, local jealousies, class feeling, and commercial rivalries have been emphasized by German agents behind the frontier, and through the gaps thus made the German sword has pushed its point, breaking up the old mortar of loyalty and union. One typical example of the method employed may be cited here. According to the Berlin Lokal Anzeiger of March 26, 1917, Zimmermann, the German Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, our Zimmermann, welcomed a delegation of Lithuanians and piped sweetly to them about the tender interest his government took in the welfare of their people, promising to satisfy various local desires. We have seen the result.

German intrigue of the same sort has long been at  work in India, where it has happily been baffled by the good sense of the Indian population who appreciate the fact that with all their numerous languages, races, and religions, they owe their concord to the light rule of Britain and to her even-handed justice. One of the boldest, meanest, and cruelest instances of the same policy of treacherous penetration was the effort to cause a rebellion in Ireland, for the Germans knew that rebellion meant the destruction of their own tools and Ireland’s shame and ruin. As Americans, we have reason to keep our eyes upon the large German colonies in southern Brazil and upon the outposts of German imperialism in Mexico, Chile, and Argentina, and still greater reason to look out for the thin wedges of Prussian intrigue insinuating themselves among our own many racial and confessional varieties.

The most thinly disguised of all German attempts to conquer by division is also one of the latest to be disclosed, although it began at least three years ago. “Love me,” says the Kaiser to the outraged daughters of the Belgian household; “or if you will not both love me, I shall take the likelier of you, and give her a seat at the royal feast, and put my ring upon her finger, and make her sister serve us in our mirth.”

As is well known, there is no such thing as a Belgian language, and the people of Belgium speak one or both of two languages, French and Flemish. Both French and Flemish are and have long been officially recognized by the Belgian government, and are used in Parliament, in public documents, in the courts, and in the national schools. The French spoken and written by educated Belgians is standard or central French, differing in no essential respect from the language of France; but among the people who have French as their native tongue, the Walloons, there is employed a dialect of French, just as the people of many parts of France, and indeed of all countries, have their local dialects. The Walloons differ from  the rest of the Belgians chiefly in language and in the fact that they inhabit the southern and southeastern parts of the kingdom, where mining and metallurgical industry are highly developed. They also have more points of contact with France, both geographically and morally. If you take a map of Belgium and draw a line from Visé, the point where the Meuse passes into Holland, almost straight west through Brussels, Audenarde, and Courtrai, or a little south of these cities, you will have traced the northern boundary of the Walloon country. Almost anywhere along this imaginary line, one can, by going a short distance south, be among people who nearly all speak French or the Walloon dialect of French, and, by going a little way north, be among people who, though they may write French and speak it as an acquired language, use Flemish as their native tongue. Nevertheless, in this densely populated, busy, rich, and closely unified kingdom, the various elements of the population were happily mingled. Thousands of Belgian families are part Walloon and part Flemish. When a Walloon family moves north into a Flemish village it usually changes its language in the second generation, and vice versa. Many Walloons have Flemish names; many Flemings have Walloon names.

Flemish is scarcely distinguishable from Dutch. Although philologically they may be regarded as twin dialects of one tongue, they are for practical purposes the same. There are, to be sure, a few slight differences of idiom, and numerous differences of vocabulary, even between standard written Flemish and standard written Dutch, but scarcely more important than those between the English of Mr. Howells and the English of Mr. Hardy. In popular speech the gap is naturally wider, and perhaps justifies the view that Flemish and Dutch are separate dialects of one language, though “dialect” may really be too strong a word. From my own observation in East Flanders, I should say that a Dutchman would be  in about the same situation there with regard to difference of speech as a New Englander in Virginia.

According to the census of 1910, there were in Belgium about 3,832,000 persons speaking French or belonging to French-speaking families, and about 4,153,000 speaking Flemish or belonging to Flemish families. The Flemish population, being to a larger extent agricultural, has for many years been increasing faster than the Walloons. Yet French, being by acquisition or second-nature a language perfectly familiar to all educated Belgians, appears to have, and really has, an immense advantage over Flemish. The literature of the French language is enriched and glorified with the names of many great authors, from Jean Froissart and Philippe de Comines to Maeterlinck and Verhaeren, who belong by birth or residence to what we now call Belgium.

But the Flemish had, and probably always will have, a pride of their own. In the Middle Ages their cities were among the first in Northern Europe to emerge from obscurity. The names of Flemish towns strike the ear with a strange ruggedness in the liquid lapse of Dante’s lines, but a stranger thing it is that even in the thirteenth century these vigorous municipalities were looked to for independence, and called upon for vengeance on tyranny; we hear, in the Purgatorio, of “the evil plant that overshadows all the Christian land,” and are told that “if Douai, Lille, Ghent and Bruges had power, there would soon be vengeance taken.” A curious example this of “ancestral voices prophesying war.”

In the sixteenth century Flanders was the scene of tragic resistance to Spain and the Inquisition. Liberty was lost and recovered and lost again; but prosperity still bloomed from the ashes of destroyed commerce, the language and institutions of the land were redeemed with a fearful price, civilization was preserved with blood and sorrow, art flourished in the midst of horrors; and how all this came to pass is explained only by the stubbornness  with which the people kept up their local patriotism. The visible signs of this municipal pride and glory were, until four years ago, and in part still are, the great churches, town-halls, and guild-houses of Flanders. Among the most impressive of these monuments were the Cloth Hall at Ypres, the Belfry of Bruges, the Town-halls of Audenarde, Alost, Termonde, Louvain, Brussels, and Ghent, the Cathedrals of Antwerp and Malines, the quaint Béguinages or cities of retirement for religious women, and many another less renowned but hardly less beautiful expression of ancient faith and community of enterprise.

The Austrian yoke was shaken off at the time of the French Revolution, and after a short period of republican government Belgium, together with France, came under the domination of Napoleon. At the Congress of Vienna, in 1815, Belgium and Holland were united under the name of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in an ill-assorted combination which lasted only till 1830, when the present Kingdom of Belgium was established. From that year to 1914 the Flemish people of Belgium, though more than satisfied to live in political union with the Walloons, and indeed being the more prosperous and rapidly growing part of the population, were solicitous to preserve their local customs and particularly their own language. Societies were formed for the cultivation of Flemish literature. Endowments for the same purpose were established. One of the parliamentary aims of political parties in the provinces of East and West Flanders and Antwerp and the northern sections of Brabant and Limbourg was the safe-guarding of Flemish as one of the official languages and a medium of instruction. There was not the slightest flavor of disloyalty in this desire. It was entirely constitutional. It expressed itself openly, and had no need for secrecy. The tendency thus created was called the Flamingant movement. No one connected with it, so far as I can  discover, entertained the slightest notion of appealing to Germany for countenance or support. The Flemings in general and the Flamingants in particular would have been the last people in the world to admit that their language was a dialect of German or that their manifest destiny was absorption in the German Empire. The unity of Belgium was as precious to them as to the Walloons, and was placed above every consideration of race and speech. But there is no country under the sun in which local self-government and community interests are so highly developed as in Belgium. Under the Belgian constitution the communes enjoy the maximum of freedom. Civic pride nowhere else burns so bright. It is the habit of local self-government, the strong personalities developed under this system, and the spirit of the communes that have saved Belgium from starvation during the war. As every one of Mr. Hoover’s American delegates in Belgium will testify, the spectacle was and is magnificent. As early as October, 1914, when the wave of invasion had passed over Belgium, the communes stood firm, and in all of them committees with almost absolute power, and enjoying the perfect confidence of the people, were formed and got to work commandeering the visible supply of food and distributing it prudently.

Within a very short time after the invasion the Germans showed that they intended to take advantage of the difference between Flemings and Walloons, a difference which, as we have seen, was purely domestic, and concerned with no really vital political issue. Among the offices of his hated administration, Governor-General von Bissing established a bureau for dealing with “the Flemish question,” a bureau consisting of German specialists in philology and discord. For about seven months, this commission, which was working in secret, attracted hardly any attention. Then it began to operate visibly. In the summer of 1915, I was stationed, as delegate of  the Hoover commission, in Ghent, the capital of East Flanders, and witnessed the beginning of German coquetry. As may be imagined, it was very clumsy and ineffectual. One day an attempt would be made to flatter the local pride of the peasants by printing official notices and war bulletins in Flemish and German only, instead of Flemish, German, and French, as had previously been the practice; the next day they would be informed, in these same posters, that they must surrender their hay-crop to the German military authorities. The Germans appeared to be as much detested in Flanders as anywhere else in Belgium. I saw the wife of a distinguished citizen of Ghent burst into tears of vexation and anxiety because a German officer of high rank spoke to her in a restaurant. She said she feared she would be distrusted for the rest of her life by her fellow-citizens for having listened to a German officer. Yet he was evidently a gentleman, behaved with propriety, and had the excuse for addressing her that he was quartered in her house. I have known persons in Ghent to go willingly to prison rather than comply with German rules or pay fines into the German treasury. “Do you see that man?” said to me an acquaintance in Ghent one day, pointing to a German in uniform who was speaking Flemish to some peasants. “He lived here before the war; he will not be able to live here after the war; his life will not be safe.”

Before the war there were four universities in Belgium: the Catholic university of Louvain, the liberal or non-sectarian university of Brussels, and the two state universities of Liége and Ghent. The instruction was given entirely in French, except that there were certain courses at Louvain and Ghent which were paralleled, rather expensively, one would think, by courses in Flemish. In 1911 a bill was introduced in the Belgian Parliament looking to the gradual transformation of the University of Ghent into an institution completely Flemish.  In 1912 this proposal was again discussed, and was reported favorably in the Chamber of Representatives. The war of course put an end to the project.

Now the Germans have taken it up with enthusiasm, trying to harvest for their own purposes the sympathies that were formerly cultivated in its favor. Whether they annex all or part or none of Belgium, they desire to pose as the liberators of Flanders, and to foment a permanent jealousy between the Flemish-speaking people and the rest of the Belgian population. This is precisely like their conduct in the south of Ireland, in the Province of Quebec, and in Russia. They have their eye on Antwerp, which they intend to keep, whatever happens, and they realize that Flanders would be a good basis for the eventual absorption of Holland.

On December 2, 1915, it became known in Belgium that the German authorities purposed to reopen the University of Ghent, which of course had been closed, and to make Flemish the language of instruction. Their design was instantly understood by everybody, including the leaders of the old Flamingant movement, who, instead of falling in with it, met it with a vigorous protest. This was disregarded, and on the 31st of December the decree was promulgated. A commission of German professors was empowered to draw up regulations for carrying out the plan of transformation. Meanwhile, in order to encourage as many Belgian young men as possible to escape from the country and find their way into the Belgian army, the real authorities of the four universities were keeping these institutions closed. Their passive resistance enraged the Germans, who, on March 18, 1916, arrested the two most celebrated professors of Ghent, Henri Pirenne, and Paul Frédéricq, eminent historians, and sent them to prison-camps in Germany, where they have been treated with disgusting brutality. The colleagues of these two brave men were not less courageous themselves, and signed a second protest.  Thereupon the Germans made up a ridiculous little faculty of their own, and imposed it upon the university, which, we must remember had no students. There were at first seven of these professors, of whom one was a German, another a native of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and five were Belgians without distinction in the learned world or respectability as citizens. To these were later added a number of equally insignificant Dutch and German teachers of minor rank, and a very few Belgians. Opinion in Holland rose in disgust, and an unpleasant life awaits the Dutch instructors if they ever dare return to the land of their birth. They have been canny enough to make sure of pensions from the German government, in view of the probability that they will in the near future be men without a country.

On April 5, 1916, the German Chancellor, making a curious mixture of cynicism and hypocrisy, in a speech before the Reichstag, promised that the Imperial Government would help the Flemish population to free itself from “the preponderance of French culture.” The Germans no doubt expected some backing from the Flamingant societies, the trustees of the Flemish endowment funds, and the former political supporters of the Flemish movement. In this they have been disappointed, for their conduct has aroused protest upon protest from all these quarters. It is difficult to determine, from the boasts in the German newspapers and the denials of exiled Belgians, just how many teachers and students had been scraped together by the beginning of 1917, but the faculty was a motley collection of German, Dutch and Belgian nonentities, and there were less than three students for every teacher. To-day there is only one student in agriculture, the subject that would naturally be most sought in a Flemish university. Of all the war-babies, this University of Ghent is surely the most anæmic. Yet if we are to believe General von Bissing in the speech in which he declared it alive and viable,  “The God of War held it at the baptismal font with naked sword in hand!” This is echt Deutsch in taste and feeling. And while these proceedings were solemnly going on, the deportation of workmen from Ghent was beginning; on the very day of inauguration, husbands and fathers were being torn from their families to suffocate in German salt-mines, to sweat and faint in German collieries, to dig and die in German trenches. Has the world ever seen a more revolting instance of hypocrisy? I happened to be in Courtrai one morning when a number of Flemish wives and mothers were herded into the jail there, from the village of Sweveghem, because their men had refused to make barbed wire for the Germans. International law forbids a conqueror to compel the vanquished to produce munitions of war, but what of that!

Parallel with the ludicrous pretence of enriching Belgium with a Germano-Flemish university, close observers of Belgian affairs, by reading the Dutch and German newspapers, have watched the development of another German scheme for producing discord. On February 14, 1917, thirty Belgian tools of the German military authorities set themselves up, or rather were set up by German backers, as a “Council of Flanders,” with the avowed purpose of creating an autonomous state out of the Flemish-speaking portion of Belgium. The plot began to culminate in Baron von Bissing’s decree of March 21, 1917, establishing two administrative regions, one Flemish, the other Walloon. Brussels was to be the capital of the former, Namur of the latter. This decree sent consternation into the hearts of all true Belgians, and has led finally to an ominous result, the resignation of nearly all the Belgian judiciary. Up to this time, protected by international law and by the national constitution, which even the Germans professed to respect, the magistrates of Belgium had continued to perform some of their functions, thereby shielding the people  to a certain extent from direct contact with German judges and police officers, and no doubt saving the country from bloody and useless insurrections: for if the minute and daily administration of local affairs, such as the collection of private debts and the enforcement of town ordinances, had been all this time in German hands, the irritation would have been unbearable.

With a few delightful exceptions, newspapers in Belgium, even though appearing under their old names and in French, are controlled by the Germans. I used to amuse myself, in 1915, by translating passages from Le Bruxellois, ostensibly a real Belgian journal, back into the German in which they were originally written or thought. The style betrayed a Teutonic source. The delightful exceptions are the brave little clandestine Libre Belgique and other papers of a similar character, which keep up the spirits of the Belgian people and drive the Germans to impotent fury.

In this case, as in that of the University of Ghent, the Germans professed to be responding to Belgian desires. They point to the so-called Council of Flanders, in reality a collection of renegade Belgians who were brought together by German influence, and protected by German arms from the violence of Flemish mobs, who dared to hiss them and insult them. A delegation of these worthies was conducted to Berlin, where they presented a humble request for the strangulation of Belgian liberty and the partition of their native land. Against this plot all Belgium has risen. How can Belgium have risen? The answer will give some idea of the bravery of those people, even in the isolation and darkness and hunger of their present life. Last June between four and five hundred Belgian magistrates and members of the bar signed a fruitless petition to the German Chancellor against the decree. Judges and local administrative officials gave up their functions and their livelihood. For this, many of them were arrested and  deported to Germany. Against the decree of separation, and in favor of “the Belgian Fatherland, Free and Indivisible,” petitions have been signed by nearly all the former senators and deputies remaining in Belgium, by the Flamingant leaders, by municipal councils, and by the heroic Cardinal Mercier. The Cardinal especially drew attention to the fact that international law demands that the domestic administration of an invaded country shall be allowed to proceed unmolested, if military necessity permits. To this point Baron von Falkenhausen, the German Governor-General, made the following insolent rejoinder: “Your Eminence addressed to me on the 6th of June a letter in which, taking your stand on the principles of international law, you criticize certain of my official acts. I must respectfully reply to your Eminence that I refuse to enter with you upon a discussion of this subject.”

Decree has followed decree with steady insistence. The courts, even in Brussels, which is mainly a French-speaking city, must hold their sessions in Flemish; official correspondence north of the imaginary line must be in Flemish; the Official Bulletin of German Laws and Decrees in Occupied Belgium is printed in German and Flemish for one part of the country and in German and French for the other. On August 9, 1917, von Falkenhausen issued an edict declaring that in the Flemish administrative region “Flemish must be the exclusive official language of all the authorities and all the functionaries of the state, the provinces, and the communes, as well as their establishments, including educational institutions and the teachers therein.” On October 6 the communes in the Province of Brabant were ordered immediately to organize courses in Flemish for the instruction of their employees who did not know that language.

The invaders have tried to create a Belgian faction in support of their policy, and have here and there, at different times, organized meetings and processions of  so-called “Activists,” or pro-German Belgians. But these assemblages have never been other than contemptible in size and composition. They have been hissed and mobbed by vast crowds of patriotic Belgians, and in Belgium it takes courage to attack a movement which is protected by German bayonets. On February 9, 1918, the Chief Justice and two Associate Judges of the Belgian Court of Appeals at Brussels were arrested for instituting proceedings against the “Activists,” and were ordered to be deported to Germany.

With all their cunning the Germans in Belgium have shown themselves densely stupid. Their near-sighted pedantry inclines them to put their trust in formulas, when the thing they are dealing with is life. They think they can decree an indomitable people into submission. Having begun with butchery, they declined into robbery, and now they imagine that because bribery is less rude, it will be regarded as a sort of mercy. Jealous and quarrelsome at home, fussy and petty in their own local and domestic affairs, they cannot understand magnanimity in others. German writers have often admitted and lamented the tendency of the German people to be parochial (kleinstädtisch) in their outlook, and stencilled (schablonenhaft) in their personality. So they are; and these bad qualities render them incapable of understanding the spirit of Belgium, which is independent, individual, far-sighted, and bold. Since July, 1914, the German heel has stamped its imprint on regions several times as extensive as the German Empire itself. But a nation of pedants will never rule the world, and the echo of those iron-bound, blood-spattered boots will cease to ring when the American people realize that what the Germans have done in Belgium they will try to do wherever they find room to tramp.


Come l’uom s’eterna

Now that the immortals in literature have been caught and measured; now that we know that they fill not more than five feet of shelf room, we may be pardoned for asking a question or two as to how they “arrived,” what their chances are for “staying put,” and whether the place for classics is inevitably “upon the shelf.” These are of course awkward questions, but there are other regions beside heaven which one must be as a little child to enter—the Garden of Understanding among them.

It is in a certain sense a positive relief to find that the really persistent literature of the past is so compressible, and it is reassuring as one looks forward to the long future, to think that the people towards the end of time will not be so unimaginably burdened with the deathless monuments of their past; although when one multiplies five feet, the sediment of five millennia, by x, the classic library of the end of things seems to us of this unheroic age, a trifle depressing. Of course, the men of the Ultima Thule of time may take their classics less seriously, and it may be that they will find less of a gap than we between the thoughts and speech of the immortals and those of daily intercourse. But since the immortals die not, there is no escaping their accumulation.

Yet after all, come to think of it, there is a good deal of an assumption in the assertion that our five feet of immortals are all going to perch upon that last library shelf. There have been immortals of the past who failed to reach even our days; had they all fulfilled their promise and the prophecies of their friends, the publishers would not be willing to let us buy our modest set of unquestionable classics on monthly payments without the guarantee  of our great grandchildren. Paradoxical as it may seem, many immortals have proved mortal, and the deathless have died. We must lay this troublesome fact to the loose speech of our forefathers. They were hyperbolic now and then, and they dubbed a volume immortal without stopping to think whether the twentieth century A. D. would also find it interesting, and so, of course, really immortal. Humanity has been fallible in the past, and the result is that we are forced most unscientifically to accept contradictory ideas with gravity—in short, to speak of “relative immortality.” The work that outlives its contemporaries is, we may admit, relatively deathless. Such a statement makes no prophecy, however, as to the remote future. Relative immortality merely means that a work goes on interesting for a few years, a generation or two, a century or more. It is only the simon pure immortal who will not have to get up at the sound of Gabriel’s trump. Blessed relief—the final shelf of unforgettable classics may be only five feet long after all, and may be even shorter!

Naturally, your enduring work must have a strong constitution; it must have all the characteristics of a live creature except the power of growth within itself, and, alas, of propagating its kind. Perhaps one might liken it to the Leyden jar which we of the older generation used to read of in our physics—I do not know whether it is remembered now-a-days. It has a charge of electricity of more or less strength, and it has a retaining capacity of more or less endurance, so that to touch it as the ages pass, is to receive a spark of life.

Many a work has started out with a tremendous appeal to its first audience, but has not been able to hold its second or third. The first night is not always a sure test of the length of a “run.” Such a work had a momentary word to speak which was appropriate, which came as pat as Vice in the old comedy; but like a jest called out by a passing event, it raised its crackle of laughter and died.  One need not go far to find examples. Mrs. Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho is pigeonholed here; and Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Jungle are tied by the same tape, in spite of a certain uncanny habit of reappearance of Mrs. Stowe’s painful tale. Much literature of this sort is, of course, temporarily valuable; but Time promptly and wisely puts it into the wallet at his back. Without endurance, fame is as the fire of thorns under the pot; without vitality, naught can endure.

As a matter of fact a work need not be brutally vital to have a fair chance at long life. It must interest somebody very much indeed. Of course, the great immortals start out in life popular in the best sense; but there are lesser immortals too. One does not have to be Dante or Shakespeare to win out. So long as the second class passengers persist in interesting a few hearers on the various stages of the road, they will not be forgotten. They may be, as they usually are, caviare to the general, but they find from age to age fit audience. Poets like Horace and Spenser and Blake, the authors of Emma or Cranford may cross the final line side by side with their great competitors. And some of us who venture diffident prophecy, expect greater endurance for Mr. Robert Frost and his shy North of Boston than for the dramatic anachronisms of the late Stephen Phillips, or the epic longueurs of Mr. Alfred Noyes. Long life in literature concerns itself with the length of Clotho’s thread, and not at all with the question as to whether it be labelled “No. 60” or “No. 90.”

But to have transcended its own time by a generation or so is no promise of immortality. Every work if not hopelessly tangled in the perishabilities of its own age, is liable to be so tangled in those of its own century or epoch. How often have men watched with exultation the endurance of a work, and jumped to conclusions, when wisdom would have recognized that it could last only while certain ideals or moods prevailed. Was not  Byron a god for a generation? But, alas, as the waters of time rose, he found himself caught in the eel-grass of romanticism, and pulled under. And did not the Romance of the Rose hold men bound by its myriad lines for centuries—and where is it now? Dusty upon dusty shelves. Its voice was that of Mediævalism, not of humanity. It perished with the conventions and provincialism of its era.

The time never was when a new work appeared to the world without some external circumstance to modify for good or ill its early reputation. Even the “anonymous” early ballads must have depended at first in some measure upon the impression of “good time” which lingered in the minds of the junketers among whom they sprang up. Even the Iliad or the Song of Roland must have gained or lost according to the effectiveness of the reciter or the social status of the patron. And to-day it is a thousand times truer than ever before, that at the start the genuine fame which endures is bound up with much that is purely factitious.

A new book comes to birth and finds a waiting world to welcome, but not impartial in its attitude. Have not the friends and family announced the arrival in joyful and ringing tones? Advertiser and advance reviewer have been busy; the publisher now-a-days is preëminently efficient. The result is a sort of pre-natal notoriety built up regardless of real worth. The advertising campaign may be likened to an attack by gas-bombs on the reading public; but fortunately from long experience a large part of the public has provided itself with a tolerably good supply of masks to receive the assault, and—to finish the figure with all possible despatch—“waits till the clouds roll by.”

Then for the first time, the work gradually emerges for what it is worth. The public reads and judges; recommends it to its friends, or warns them off; and speaks the fateful word, which if it is favorable, leads others to read,  and at least makes strangers admit that the book is “well spoken of.” Here is real fame, still struggling for existence, yet independent of the handicaps of early puffing. Yet it must be said in all fairness that the early puffing, with its manufactured audience, hastens for the good book the chance for genuine fame; and makes more decisive the collapse of the poor book, by bringing sooner to proof the pinchbeck prophecies.

But even then the new book has got to stand up against convictions and prejudices, conventions and dogmas. The public at large—and incidentally the professional critic—wants more of “the same thing,” more like that of its earlier loves and admirations. Figures of previous experience rise in the readers’ minds with malicious menaces against the upstart—Dickens, Austen or Trollope; Ward, Sinclair or Tarkington; perhaps Fielding or Goldsmith—figures moribund or vigorous still, all are alert to impose “has been” upon “to be.” Let the new book differ at its peril; it becomes easily “revolutionary,” “decadent,” “not art”—is damned, in short, unless, by a curious freak of the moment, it takes the world by storm through its very “freshness.” And even then Kipling joins the ring, and henceforth struggles to impose the Kiplingesque. Such dangers, such threats—mostly unreal when brought to the proof—the new book must live through. The vigorous and vital book will be unabashed, for its claims to long life must rest on stronger virtues than conformity or non-conformity.

The ages confirm with Jovian nod the trite fact that every period has a general cast of opinion about any literary work. San Francisco may not accept the same order among “the best sellers” as New York, nor New York as London; yet we accept the unity of age in our use of older epithets, such as “Elizabethan” and “Victorian,” even while we overlook it in the hurlyburly of the present. It is a complicated and, perhaps, ultimately, an inexplicable phenomenon; but strong leadership plays  its part in clarifying and fixing the momentary appraisement. Let Dr. Johnson or the Edinburgh Review utter a critical judgment, and society follows like the traditional flock of sheep. If such notorious dictatorship is rare in our larger world, there are yet many smaller Judges and Prophets scattered abroad, apparent mouthpieces of the Zeitgeist. We are all familiar with the small theatre party. One or two members have definite ideas about the play and its presentation, and the rest experience all the sensations but are more or less neutral. The neutrals inevitably fall in behind the leaders, and the whole party is easily unanimous. Such in miniature is the working of the critical leadership at large. The only requirement is, that the leader must not be too far ahead or behind his time. Thus it would have taken more than Dryden to make Whitman a success in the days of the Restoration; and we can hardly fancy Jeffreys forcing The Widow in the Bye Street upon the Edinburgh subscribers. But as all real leadership is moderate, neat unity seems to be fairly easy to the backward look.

Yet the judgment of an age may seem to us the veriest nonsense of perversity. It irritates us, at the same time that it flatters our sense of superiority, to see the citizens of the Seventeenth Century tossing up their caps over Cowley, and proclaiming him celestial; and to see those of the Eighteenth lose their heads over Pope. We know better. Cowley and Pope, indeed! Would not any college sophomore place them for us—Why, of course, Cowley wrote the Sonnets of Pindar, and Pope was a pseudonym. It is pedantic to have read them, and we are proud to know them only by reputation. Yet we must not blame our unfortunate ancestors. The old formula reappears:—they clung to what interested them, and called it deathless. The humor lies rather more in the inability of the next generation, perhaps our own, to break away from the stereotyped verdicts of those remote days of questionable authority. We were all taught that  Addison was one of the mighty of earth, and that his style was the acme of lucidity and charm—“Spend your days and nights with Addison.” But we must admit that this estimate is but the sluggish echo of auld lang syne. For have you, gentle reader, perused a single Spectator Paper since you were preparing for your college examinations? Of course, if Addison really interested his own age by touching as no one else did its concerns, he deserved the audience he gathered about him and the fame that transpired; but why should we talk of him as if he actually interested us profoundly, when no one reads him? And how about Tom Jones and Clarissa Harlowe and The Tale of a Tub, and Tristram Shandy or The Vicar of Wakefield? It is the tendency of long enduring fame to become sluggish and to sink into dogmatism.

It is one of the duties lying nearest to the present—wherever that present may be—to right the wrongs of the weak, and to humble the pride of usurpers. Distrust of one’s own taste and power, whatever may be the case among individuals, is impossible to a whole generation. To judge and to accept as final one’s own conclusion is the prerequisite for true results and positive progress. The saints have always been vigorous in their unshaken conviction of the truth that is in them; it is the insinuating voice of the devil which doubts. So, without misgiving, the Eighteenth Century which wrote up Addison, wrote down Shakespeare; and the Nineteenth Century which wrote up Browning, wrote down Pope. We, too, are conscious of wise catholicity, and judge with decisive orthodoxy. We adore the vigorous brutalities of Kipling and Masefield, we are interested in the formless feebleness of certain new poets; we scorn Gray and Landor, and overlook the poetry of Arnold. We are hospitable to the “newer movements,” even to the outré; we despise the ways of our parents and our grandparents, though they were men who walked with God. We cannot help it, to be sure, and are most unconscious of our little  ways; but now and then it is possible for some of us to transport ourselves in spirit to the higher ground of the next century, and to look back upon the plain of our own time. Then it is hard to be convinced that the universe was not devised to furnish laughter for the gods.

Nothing is harder than for us to laugh at ourselves; we prefer to dwell upon the seriousness, the impressiveness of lasting fame, as proof of the unity of the human race. When the world of twenty-five centuries after Homer can thrill at the twang of the bow of Odysseus, and smile at the laughter of Nausikaa and her maidens, we are kinsmen of the distant Greeks. Time and race are annihilated before the mighty genius which touches the deeps of the heart. Institutions and nations may decay, but the song of Homer calls us brothers. Impressive, indeed, and yet—how many really thrill and smile over the Odyssean tale? How many in this age of broad enlightenment ever read the Odyssey at all, or have dipped into its pages for love of their pure serene? The candid answer is: Very few. And yet Homer is one of the two or three who reign supreme, as we almost all still conventionally admit.

This vaunted proof of racial unity is overworked; Homer has but few relatives to-day, and they are that select handful who love to widen their horizons by looking backwards. In spite of our boasted education—which does not, any more than other panaceas, live up to its promises—the disciples of the great past will always be few. But since no age can walk entirely by its lone, there will always be a loyal band who will spend the best portions of their lives in the great backward and abysm of time, and will with shining faces bring good tidings to their fellowmen. How grateful the early Nineteenth Century should have been to Lamb for his specimens of the well-nigh forgotten Elizabethan Dramatists; how grateful we should be to Mr. Gilbert Murray for pointing out to us once more the splendors of Athenian  Tragedy! Upon scholars like these we must rely that too much is not forgotten.

The saying that the greater the fame the fewer the readers, is a random shot, and yet it hits the target, and not the outermost ring. Every approving reader gained for a work hands on the word to a dozen who have not read, nor will ever read it. Fame enlarges its sweep through time like the surge thrown off the prow of a moving steamship, broadening over the sea until it stretches beyond all apparent relation to the ship which first stirred it up. But here the figure breaks: for while in most cases the waves subside, in others, the commotion bids fair to last to the end of human history.

The classic once established becomes so sacred to the unthinking public that to doubt it is lèse majesté; at least, its fame produces a sort of hypnotism. No one, for instance, can approach a play of Shakespeare for the first time unbiassed. He may be actually bored, but he will not admit it. Perhaps he will make himself believe that he enjoys it, but he will not be found with it in his hours of honest play. He hardly dares know what he thinks, lest he should be found heretical, and he feels safer to swell the lusty chorus of praise. The most influential critics in such a case get no real hearing. They may capture a few individual opinions, but the public at large will lend no ear to qualifications. Only if repetition is carried to the point of damnable iteration, will modification of appraisal begin slowly to sink down through class after class; it takes an unconscionable time to reach the bottom, perhaps centuries. One recalls lesser literature still lingering moribund upon front parlor tables in village homes—Thomson’s Seasons or, perhaps, Young’s Night Thoughts. No one reads them; they remain as closely shut as the parlor doors; but there they lie, the cherished signs of family respectability, and still accepted unquestioningly as living things.

 Literary fame is a slippery and indefinite thing. There are countless impossible questions one could ask. How many readers must a work have to be considered alive at all? Is fame to be allowed to some of the obscure poets like Campion, Traherne, and Shenstone, who are known only to the specialist? Definiteness and finality are as difficult of attainment as to tell a hawk from a handsaw when the wind is northerly. But it is certain that the immortals are dependent upon an amazingly small set of followers, which tends to grow smaller as the ages turn. Yet those who deserve long life will in the long run reach an old age, frosty but kindly. And we may leave them with confidence in the hands of Time, who, after all, like Autolycus, pockets only what have come to be unconsidered trifles.



The opinions anyone holds in this momentous crisis are largely determined by those he has imbibed from the thinkers of the past, and it is interesting to notice how much Carlyle has been brought into the discussion on both sides. A somewhat systematic consideration of the bearing of his teachings on the present war may therefore not be altogether profitless.

For many reasons he is not the sort of man to invite much attention from journalistic, academic, and dilettante writers. He is unpopular in a double sense; for he is neither superficial nor facile, and his ideas are opposed to the optimistic convictions that dominate in this generation. Some insist that he is responsible for the extravagant paradox and persistent denial of the obvious and the accepted indulged in so freely by such journalistic products as Shaw and Chesterton, but these men only imitate his manner to pervert his meaning. That they imitate him, however, is proof of his influence; for the popular writer does not imitate anyone whose repute is not of the highest.

The academic mind is indifferent or hostile to him because the formlessness of his writings and their abnormal character seem serious defects to those to whom the formal is more important than the substantial. His learning, too, while undoubtedly extensive, is not always accurate or orthodox. The king is not the “cunning or the kenning” man, and his contempt for “logic-choppers” and “word-mongers” does not commend him to such as value the theoretical above the practical.

To the dilettante he is equally repellant. He hated mediocrity and superficiality, and he had inconveniently high standards. This latter reason is the openly avowed  one for hostility towards him in the case of an English writer, Mr. Ford Madox Hueffer, who freely denounces him in his diffuse discussions of the war, but also cites facts that tend to disprove his contention that Carlyle is without influence; for he tells of repeated experiences with British workingmen who were readers of Carlyle and ardent believers in his gospel.

Carlyle is undoubtedly a strong influence in Great Britain. The superficial regard him as a reactionary and an obscurantist who believed in despotism and serfdom, but those who live closer to the realities of life detect in his writings a passionate sympathy for the humble and the oppressed. He may not exert much influence in the learned or the artistic world, but he is certainly a social and a political force. Writers on British politics constantly refer to his influence over the more intelligent voters of the working classes, and this demonstrates power of the most pregnant kind.

Outside of Great Britain, too, there are evidences of his influence. It is mostly within the English speaking world, but some accuse him of being the progenitor of Nietzsche and his cult of the superman. This is only superficially true, however, for Nietzsche was exactly the sort of person he denounced as “quack” and “simulacrum;” but, as in the case of Shaw and Chesterton, this proves influence, even though it be of a negative sort. In the United States his French Revolution has apparently had much influence in the way of making our attitude towards the past less formal and academic, and in bringing about a tendency to look more at the principles than at the facts of history. He has also given us such familiar expressions as “captains of industry,” the “unspeakable Turk,” and many others not generally recognized as his; and the man who fashions our daily speech gives the strongest possible proof of influence. Here, too, however, his influence is chiefly in the political and social world, and we can see the effect of his ideas in  one of our most important pieces of recent legislation, the selective draft; for this act aims to realize his cardinal principle, that the necessary work of a nation shall be compulsory and shall be apportioned equitably and in such a way as to ensure each man getting the task for which he is fitted.


The chief question about Carlyle at present, however, is not the extent of his influence, but how far his teachings justify the theories and practices now dominant in Germany. The Germans point to his advocacy of their cause in 1870, and to his glorification of Frederick the Great, as proofs that he would approve of, and even exalt, all that they have done. The kaiser has quoted him in a widely discussed speech about “one man with God being a majority,” while less prominent Germans have freely appealed to his authority. The English speaking world has seemed, on the whole, disposed to admit that Carlyle’s doctrines justify, or at least tend to produce, ideas such as those that now obsess Germany. Some writers, like the Mr. Hueffer already mentioned, have seized the opportunity to belabor his memory as a traitor; while others have risen up to defend him, although they seem to do so less from conviction than a desire to deprive the Germans of support. Anyone who knows Carlyle more than superficially, however, knows that the present German policy would earn from him nothing but furious denunciation; and the reason would not be because the Germans began the war, as D. A. Wilson argues in The Fortnightly Review for February, 1916, nor because he was pro-Russian, nor because of any other personal prejudice or predilection, but because the German nation today exhibits about all the vices he inveighed against as most dangerous to the peace of the world and the progress of civilization.

It would be idle to deny that Carlyle did exalt the  German nation and German policies to the English-speaking world, but we shall have to qualify this exaltation if we accept Dr. Johnson’s principle that an author’s works need editing a generation or so after their composition. This dictum is based on the obvious necessity of recognizing that the force of what a man says is conditioned by the current opinion of his time and by his attitude towards it, and it also recognizes the truth of one of Carlyle’s own observations: “It is man’s nature to change his dialect from century to century; he cannot help it though he would.” The dialect of the nineteenth century was not that of the twentieth, and Carlyle’s use of it was affected by several things that still further obscure his meaning for us. He opposed strongly what he regarded as many popular fallacies of his time, and in opposing them he overemphasized things that seemed to him to discredit or to disprove them. To the undisciplined British populace, impatient of all control and clamoring for the removal of all restrictions on individual liberty, he extolled the docile German people; but it was not their absolute so much as their comparative virtue that he was praising, and he would have recognized that, under other circumstances, their submissiveness could prove a vice, as, indeed, it has. Another fact, pointed out by Colonel T. W. Higginson, a man whose extreme humanitarianism was calculated to make him unsympathetic towards the eulogist of Dr. Francia, is that Carlyle was a humorist and a man to whom the humorous attitude was second nature. It will be necessary, therefore, to discount his praise of the German people and of German institutions, for two reasons; the first, because it was heightened to serve as a corrective to the tendency towards license in his countrymen; and the second, because, as a humorist, and also because of his ardent temperament, he invariably indulged in over-statement.

There is much besides this to indicate that Carlyle’s praise of Germany in the eighteenth and early nineteenth  centuries is anything but evidence that he would endorse Kultur and Schrecklichkeit. His fundamental teaching is that we must not be formal, rigidly logical, or addicted to any fixed method of thinking. The nature of things must be determined from their effects, and not from any external characteristics. The national attributes of any people are not permanent, but they are capable of wide variation, and much of his invective and striking metaphor was poured forth in an effort to prove that this variation is very largely a question of good or bad leadership. In sustaining this thesis he traces the history of Germany more completely than he does that of any other country; and he indicates several periods, notably that of the Thirty Years’ War, and the reign of Frederick I, when Prussia, at least, was contemptible in its policies. France, too, he argues, has not always been the mischief-maker of Europe; for to him the French Revolution was a salutary outburst of the native integrity of the French people, to sweep away the intolerable hypocrisies and injustices of the Old Regime, and to improve not only French, but human society as well.

It is plain, therefore, that he did not affirm the Germans to be intrinsically good and the French intrinsically bad. His aim was to show that nations rise in proportion to the extent to which their purposes are just and their methods intelligent, and that they invariably fall if they deal unjustly with their own citizens or their neighbors. Sometimes he contrasted the French unfavorably with the Germans, as, for instance, when he says that the martial ardor of the French may be compared to blazing straw, while that of the Germans is more like the burning of anthracite coal. This, however, is due to his having, like a great many other people, an impression that the French are more likely to exhibit superficial and glittering qualities, while the Germans are conspicuous for the commonplace virtues of industry and thoroughness.  Nothing was more insidious, in his opinion, than to prefer brilliancy to solid worth; and it was the danger of this preference he was emphasizing, more than the native depravity of the French national character, when he compared the Gallic temperament unfavorably with the Teutonic.


His attitude towards efficiency was also the direct opposite of the present German conception of it. To him efficiency was a matter of adaptation and improvisation, while the German theory is that it is a question of fixed method and elaborate mechanism. Nobody ever despised more than Carlyle the perennial fallacy that things can be done better by the hocus pocus of procedure than by the intelligent application of the available means to the end desired. He censured any effort to achieve things automatically. He was never tired of ridiculing trust in formulas. He insisted that the intelligence must be unfettered by preconceptions or by a rigid plan. His hero was a man who had “swallowed all the formulas,” and who proceeded to adapt means to ends in any way that was effective, passing rough-shod over theory, convention, dogmas, or any other restrictions on his freedom of action. It is true that he did insist on the necessity of having accurate and comprehensive knowledge, and on thoroughness and other essentials of what the Germans regard as scientific procedure. These things, however, were to him not major but minor virtues. They were the auxiliaries to success, but they were never to be considered as sufficient to ensure success, for they had always to be supplemented by intelligence and insight. This is shown by his depreciation of mere “beaver” industry, and by his fondness for satirizing “pipe-clay,” by which he meant senseless military routine. No crime, in his eyes, was worse than a failure to recognize the dominant importance of the sensibly and intellectually  imponderable and intangible elements that are part of every human problem; so that he reprehended as vices the very things that have been most characteristic of the Germans during the present war.

Another thing that Carlyle abused and the Germans display, is insincerity. Nothing comes in for more invective from him than this, and to him it meant primarily a subjective attitude. Vanity was its chief cause, in his opinion. Truth, however unpalatable, must be recognized; while fiction, however flattering, must be scorned. Personal relationships must not sway our judgment, and he railed with especial violence against unwarranted optimism inspired by conceit. He pointed out, as one of Frederick the Great’s chief virtues, the fact that he was influenced by no delusions created by vanity or sentimentality. He says Frederick looked facts squarely in the face, and instances his once offending his brother, the Crown Prince, by telling him that he had surrounded himself with flatterers, and reminding him that the Austrians, his enemies in the field, would not flatter him. Carlyle also points out that Frederick’s wars were all conducted on a frank basis, so far, at least, as acknowledgment to himself of the real situation was concerned. There was no indulgence in the theatrical or the spectacular, certainly in none that deceived only himself. Frederick wasted no energy in striving for apparent triumphs that had no practical worth. He disregarded purely political or sentimental influences. Berlin was twice entered by the enemy during the Seven Years War, because Frederick never paid a military price for a political or a temporary victory, but he yielded territory whenever strategy demanded it. How different is this from Germany’s present military policy, which sacrifices permanent advantages for the appearance of victory, and does not succeed in achieving even a convincing appearance of that? It is plain that the cheap posturing of the German military policy is just the sort of thing Carlyle hated and despised,  and nobody who has read him more than casually can have escaped realizing that his insistence on the necessity of recognizing fact in an honest and unbiased manner is a condemnation of the delight in conscious and unconscious mendacity displayed by the present German government.

Stupidity he warned against as one of the chief implements of the devil. There is no other crime, he often said, for morality is largely a matter of intelligence. Better be a villain than a fool, he implies, by quoting approvingly the boast of the Scotch family that it had produced “many a blackguard but not one blockhead.” The mind which cannot or will not perceive the obvious, or which persists in denying the unflattering, is not only hopeless but vicious. Preferring to credit their prejudices or their desires, instead of the lesson of events, was the chief crime he ascribed to the men he held responsible for the worst catastrophes of history. For mere density and well-intentioned incompetence, as in the case of Louis XVI, he had some pity; but for stupidity arising from wanton obstinacy and arrogance he had nothing but wrath and scorn. It would be difficult to find in history a parallel for the infatuated folly of the German military and political policy during this war, but we find Carlyle reprehending less aggravated and perverse displays of trust in bombast, brutality, and pretension, in the case of countries like Spain and Austria; and this is only one of many things that show how monstrous in his eyes would seem the insensate policy which has made Germany the shame of civilization, and has alienated from her every country in the world except a few contiguous ones that tolerate or assist her through fear or rapacity.

What proves the German policy most at variance with Carlyle’s philosophy, however, is the fact that it is guided by materialistic and cynical convictions. His basic belief was that the fundamental law of existence is morality; they jeer at any power that is not material. Besides this,  he believed that reliance on the baser qualities of human nature can never lead anywhere but to perdition. The leadership which aims to secure itself by appealing to the selfishness or by satisfying the folly of mankind, is courting disaster. The German policy boastfully proceeds on the assumption that the only motives that govern human action are self interest of some base sort, and it credits humanity with as little intelligence as morality. It is true that Carlyle had slight respect for the intelligence or the integrity of the masses, but he insisted that nobility is inherent in human nature, and that a hero who knows how to arouse it, invariably appears whenever a government becomes so unjust or so incompetent as to be intolerable. The German theory is that the weak have no friends; Carlyle’s conviction was that nature avenges all injustice. The Germans declare that might makes right; Carlyle preached that right makes might, and on every question of fundamental morality he was diametrically opposed to them. “Savage animalism is nothing; inventive spiritualism is all,” he writes in one place, and implies in a thousand. The Germans proceed on exactly the opposite assumption. They trust in nothing but force, and the neo-Darwinism that guides their policy is only a combination of the ideas he denounced in the works of such men as Hume, Bentham, Comte, and Darwin himself, mixed with a sentimental egoism that he abominated above everything else.


There is, of course, some reason for believing that Carlyle’s ideas resemble those of which the German policy is the expression, but there is none if we look beyond his superficial meaning. One reason for branding him as an advocate of German practices is his exaltation of Frederick the Great. Frederick began his first war by seizing Silesia, very much as Wilhelm II began  the present war by seizing Belgium. As Carlyle justified the seizing of Silesia, many people cannot see why that does not warrant the conclusion that he would also justify the seizure of Belgium. Such people, however, forget that the Prussia of 1740 was not even the Prussia of 1914, to say nothing of the German Empire or the Teutonic Alliance. Carlyle would detect in Prussia a change in spirit, but even if this cannot be established, there is certainly no parallel between Frederick’s seizure of Silesia and Germany’s attack on Belgium. In 1740, Prussia was one of the small countries of Europe. Its population was about half that of Belgium in 1914, and its political importance was not much greater. It was situated between militaristic France and imperialistic Austria; and its immediate neighbors: Saxony, Bavaria, Poland, and the Scandinavian kingdoms, were ready at any moment to profit by its misfortunes. Prussia’s seizure of Silesia was, therefore, very much as if Belgium, learning in advance of Germany’s plan of invasion, had seized German territory adjacent to its frontiers, and used it as a buffer to defend itself. It was the case of a small state preserving itself from the aggressions of a big neighbor aiming at world dominion. The methods employed may not have been technically legal, but they were justified; therefore Carlyle endorsed them. He believed that Frederick, cynic and materialist though he admits him to have been, nevertheless proved himself the valiant defender of his country’s right to self government. He also regarded Frederick as the man who did most in the eighteenth century to preserve Europe from being dominated by a lawless imperialism. The rulers of Austria, because of their almost uninterrupted possession of the office of Holy Roman Emperor, openly aimed at universal dominion, and never lost an opportunity of trying to realize it by force of intrigue. France, too, was striving for the domination of Europe, and Russia was just becoming conspicuous for the brutality  and unscrupulousness of its political methods quite as much as for the vastness of the power it had suddenly developed. When these facts are considered, Frederick’s action must be admitted to have been, if not in the interests of democracy, at least in support of the principle of self-determination for which the Allies claim to be fighting against Germany; and Carlyle’s endorsement of it at least creates the presumption that he would not sympathize with Germany, which today, greatly extended, is playing the part of the bullying nations he commended Frederick for thwarting.

He seems, however, to advocate autocracy, and to deride democracy, and this would appear to put him in agreement with the kaiser and his professorial prompters. It is true that he did deride the notion that the decision of the majority is always right. He likewise insisted that all the constitutionality and legality conceivable will not ensure good government or justify incompetence or unrighteousness in power; and that, conversely, no formal or technical irregularity disqualifies a government which is beneficent and capable. He ridiculed the idea that political equality is synonymous with justice, but this does not mean that he believed in caste rule. His opposition to political equality was inspired by no respect for inherited authority or the sanctity of property, but was the result of a conviction that it is a crude and materialistic way of trying to solve an immensely complicated problem by a simple mechanical process. Not external equality, but equity, must be achieved to make government effective and successful, was his contention. Making men equal in political power, in his opinion, ensured that the government would be dominated by the ignorance and selfishness of the mass of men, rather than by the enlightenment and integrity of the relatively small portion of mankind whom nature fits for leadership by endowing them with superior moral and intellectual powers. He believed no man entitled to authority except  on the basis of character and ability, and he was as bitterly opposed to the German scheme of class rule as he was to the quantitative methods of the radicals. It is entirely wrong to think that, because he denied that universal suffrage will guarantee justice and humanity, he endorsed injustice and oppression. He didn’t care how a government was organized or what it claimed to do, but he only inquired what it had succeeded in doing, and by this he judged it. The results of the German policy have been disaster for the world as well as for Germany, and he would condemn the German government for this, without being at all concerned about its form. He attached no importance to a government’s form; all he judged by was its spirit. He believed that a government is inevitably the expression of the intelligence and morality of the people it represents, and that any form is capable of proving either good or bad in operation. Germany may be an autocracy in form, but the German people almost unanimously endorsed the war and its enormities; so what we have is an exhibition of the fallibility of popular judgment more than a display of the evils of autocracy. On this point Carlyle’s position is clear, while that of the critics who accuse him of having endorsed German practices, because he denied that the majority is always right, is much more susceptible of being considered a justification of Kultur.

According to his interpretation of history, the case of Germany is perfectly plain. It is simply an instance of the degeneracy that, he claimed, inevitably follows the adoption of selfish or materialistic ambitions. The patient industry and the steady pursuit of the practical instead of the spectacular brought Germany to greatness, and placed vast power in the hands of her rulers. Then those rulers were tempted to misuse that power, and they fell. They decided to corrupt the people and make them the instrument by which world dominion could be achieved. They therefore cultivated the baser passions  of the populace, and with infinite thoroughness and resource, they used every agency of the government to secure public endorsement for a policy of aggression, and for a swash-buckling and bombastic procedure that appealed only to the shallow and the reckless. They found this the easier because circumstances worked with them. The Franco-Prussian War inflamed German chauvinism and inflated German conceit to an incredible extent. The success of the war was more the result of France’s weakness than Germany’s strength, but it filled the German nation with extravagant enthusiasm, and inspired it with blind faith in its own invincibility. Then Germany changed from a country largely agricultural to one mainly industrial, and wealth came to kindle in a naturally gross and sensual people a passion for luxury, and to impart to a naturally arrogant one the insolence of material power. The effect of the first of these things is shown in the famous night-life of Berlin, which, before the war, was more gross and lavish than that of any other city in the world; while the overbearing character of the average German abroad shows how general was the influence of the second. Thus a change has been effected in the spirit of Germany. From a nation dull but honest, rude but sincere and kindly, it has been transformed by bad leadership and sudden prosperity into a people whose dominant characteristics are brutality and mendacity. Therefore the Germany that Carlyle praised is not the Germany that perpetrated the present war, and there is no doubt that his attitude towards the apostles of Kultur would be the direct opposite of what it was towards Frederick the Great and Bismarck.


It need not be difficult either to define or to secure the freedom of the seas if the governments of the world sincerely desire to come to an agreement concerning it.” At first thought, the most striking characteristic of these words of President Wilson in his address to the Senate last January is their optimism. Freedom of the seas, according to German authorities, is to be secured by various agencies, including the unrestricted use of the submarine and an independent Ireland. Primarily it is to be secured by the destruction of British naval predominance. Now British authorities have an inconvenient habit of stating that freedom of the seas was won long ago by means of the British navy, that it exists today in time of peace, and that its continuance depends upon Britannia ruling the waves. Our correspondence with Germany before we entered the war contains polite references to our coöperation with that country to secure freedom of the seas through recognition by treaties and international agreement of principles such as that of the immunity of private property, not contraband, from capture at sea. But Germany no longer thinks it possible to secure the freedom of the seas by the medium of scraps of paper, and other nations show an unflattering unanimity on this point, with regard to any scraps of paper to which the present German government might be a party. As to the submarine as a means of securing freedom of the seas, our entrance into the war is perhaps a sufficient indication of our estimate of it. The usefulness of an independent Ireland toward this end would seem even more likely to be limited. There remains the British navy, and it promises to remain.

And how are we to define the freedom of the seas? The term has been used in the past, and examination of our  diplomatic correspondence will show that it has been used in this war, in three different ways. It has been used in protest against the appropriation by a single nation of definite areas of the high seas for exclusive uses. The sowing of mines and the proclamation of danger areas have led to its revival in this sense. It has been believed to mean the right of private citizens to continue sea-borne commerce in war time with a minimum of interruption. Our preoccupation with this usage of the term during the first years of the war won us a good deal of unpopularity with our present co-belligerents. It has been used with reference to the safety of human life on the sea. We are fighting Germany today upon this issue.

Is the problem one of war times only, or is there anything in the contention that the potential pressure of sea power operates in times of peace in restraint of commercial development? The question is not a simple one, and perhaps it will aid us in understanding the seeming optimism of our historian-president if we try to understand how this matter has been dealt with in the past. The sailing ship has given way to the turbine propeller, the galleon to the dreadnaught, the pinnace to the submarine, but is the freedom of the seas which is being fought for to-day of a kind different from that which was fought for in the days of Drake? And is it to be secured by the same or by different means?

We need not dwell upon the recognition by Roman law of the principle of the right of all to use the seas as a highway, nor upon the claims of various city-states, notably Venice, to dominate portions of the Mediterranean. In view of recent pronouncements from the Vatican, it is interesting to remember that the claim of Venice, picturesquely symbolized by the annual ceremony of wedding the Adriatic, was based in part upon the gift of a ring accompanying an alleged papal grant, and that the struggle for the freedom of the ocean seas began as a challenge  of two actual papal grants of wider significance. In 1454 Nicholas V rewarded the pertinacity of the Portuguese in pushing their discoveries southward along the coast of Africa, by granting to the crown of Portugal exclusive rights of navigation and trade south of Capes Bojador and Non. In 1493, Alexander VI rewarded the crown of Castile for the exploit of Columbus, by giving Spain rights similarly exclusive beyond the meridian one hundred degrees west of the Azores. The details of these arrangements were later modified by mutual agreement of the powers concerned, the final understanding being that Portugal had exclusive rights of trade and navigation by the eastern approach to the Indies, and Spain in the waters of what was supposed to be the western route thither.

Both powers stood ready to defend the privileges which the highest international authority of the period had granted them. They proceeded to deal summarily with all foreign vessels found in their preserves. Although the medieval maritime code, the Consolato del Mare, provided for sparing the lives of the crew of a captured vessel, the humanitarianism of the king of Portugal took a different form. John II issued orders to his captains to seize all vessels encountered in the barred zone, and instructed them to cast the crews into the sea, “In order that they may die a natural death.”

It was the mariners of France who most frequently braved this earlier form of “spurlos versenkt.” They persisted in navigating the waters claimed by Portugal, and established a lucrative trade in Brazil. Their sovereign, Francis I, seems to have been the earliest champion among rulers of the freedom of the ocean seas. To the expostulations of the king of Portugal he maintained, “The act of traffic and exchange of goods is of all rights one of the most natural and best grounded.” To the remonstrances of the Spanish ruler, the Emperor Charles V, he replied,  “The sun shines for me as well as for others. I should like to see the clause of Adam’s will which excludes me from the partition of the world.” The tales of the exploits of Jean Ango, merchant of Dieppe, who sank his enormous fortune in his ventures; of his captains, Fleury, Verrazano, the brothers Parmentier, is an absorbing one. Seeking fortunes for themselves and revenge for comrades fallen into the hands of the enemy and treated as pirates; justifying their acts on the principle that the paths of the sea are free to all; they dared and suffered, and explored new lands, and brought glory to the maritime annals of France. They laid the foundations of her overseas commerce and colonies, but owing to the religious wars at home the superstructure was not built until a later age.

The exploits of the French sailors against the Spanish monopoly were succeeded by those of Hawkins and Drake. Elizabeth’s dictum that the sea and the air were common to all was as emphatic as Francis I’s utterances on the subject, and Elizabeth’s was the better maintained. The victories of Drake in the Caribbean Sea in 1586 meant the death blow to Spain’s hopes of effectually barring the western seas. She was felt to be within her rights, however, in establishing a monopoly of trade with her colonies in the new world. The English, in their efforts to obtain trading concessions, or at least a recognition of their right to trade in regions not actually occupied by Spain, following French precedent, sedulously avoided making any agreement that might seem to acknowledge Spain’s right to prevent the vessels of other nations from sailing the American seas.

While England was combating Spain’s claims in western waters, a new maritime power, the Netherlands, was breaking down the monopoly of Portugal in the east. The ships of the Dutch East India Company won their way against the Portuguese and made prize of their vessels. It was apparently to set at rest the consciences of members of the company who hesitated to pocket profits that  had not been won in peaceful trade, that the Dutchman Grotius wrote his treatise on the law of prize, one chapter of which, under the title Mare Liberum, was published as an independent work. The book claimed the seas as a free highway for the ships of all nations, and freedom of trade for all nations on every sea. That age was not ready to accept either claim in its entirety. Two Englishmen, Welwod and Selden, wrote books to vindicate England’s traditional sovereignty over the British seas, the limits of which no one was quite certain about. Even the British admirals who were supposed to defend British authority there, could never get the Crown lawyers to pronounce exactly on the point, some holding that British seas extended to the English settlements in America, others being satisfied with a line drawn from Norway to Cape Finisterre. Charles I set out, with his ship money fleets, to supplement the discourses of his subjects by “the louder language of a powerful navy.” But it was left for his great successor, Cromwell, to use this latter language effectively, and to wring from the Dutch the concession that their ships should strike flag and topsail in the narrow seas. They always insisted, however, that this was done in courtesy, not as a recognition of British sovereignty over any part of the high seas. International incidents arising from the refusal of French captains to salute occurred until England relinquished her claim during the Napoleonic wars.

As to freedom of trade, the English Navigation Laws stood as a witness that Spain’s policy of monopolizing colonial trade was considered worthy of emulation. Such monopolies were carefully guarded, as in Elizabeth’s day, and as in her day efforts were made to break them down. To Cromwell’s request that Englishmen be allowed liberty of conscience and of trade in the West Indies, the Spanish ambassador replied that it was to ask his master’s two eyes. Thereupon Cromwell stopped asking, but despatched  a fleet to the West Indies to seize a post which might become a centre of British trade.

This action of Cromwell links his day to ours. That the keynote of modern diplomacy and its accompaniment of wars is to be found in rivalry for the possession of land and markets in the extra-European world, has been fully pointed out by historians. It is a fact which cannot be emphasized too strongly. Its significance increases with the study of the whole modern period.* * And its illusions were set forth in “The Expansionist Fallacy,” No. 5 of this Review.—Ed. One has only to dip into the pamphlet literature of the eighteenth and late seventeenth centuries, or to read a few pages of parliamentary debates, to realize the importance of trade in the eyes of all men. It becomes apparent that the aim of each progressive nation was to increase its overseas commerce at the expense of other nations, and that every new enterprise of foreigners loomed as a menace to national prosperity. Sea-borne trade was the nursery of seamen, and commerce must be restricted to nationals by navigation acts, while commercial ventures of rival states were not alone a menace because they meant diverting profits to the benefit of a rival, but dangerous as the possible foundation for hostile naval power. Since commerce was carried on most successfully by trading companies, it was good policy to give them governmental countenance, and although occasional voices were raised in criticism of their monopolies and the high prices for which they were felt to be responsible, their shares were popular forms of investment, and many of their shareholders sat in the seats of the mighty. The English and Dutch East India Companies were among the first to carry on overseas commerce on a large scale, and much international history is written between the lines of their annals.

“And you, Belgians, courage, courage! Continue to defend intrepidly your rights and your freedom, and with  them the freedom of the human race!” It was not in August of 1914 that these words were spoken. They occur in a pamphlet published in 1727, and the struggle in which they urge the Belgians to persist was a struggle for the freedom of the seas. The ruler of the Belgians in those days was popularly called the German emperor, and though not a Hohenzollern, he was a Hapsburg. The Emperor Charles VI was pursuing a project which bade fair to give the Hapsburg lands something they have not attained to this day: importance as a maritime power. He had issued a charter to a group of Belgian merchants who were already carrying on a lucrative trade with the far east from the port of Ostend. The Dutch and English East India companies, seeing their monopolies endangered, complained to their respective governments, which immediately set in motion machinery for the suppression of the Ostend Company. Diplomatic agents busied themselves at Charles’ court, and a flood of pamphlets, in those days of limited newspaper publicity, did what they could in the manufacturing of public opinion. The Belgian pamphlets maintained the principle that “the right to trade in any part of the globe is inherent in all sovereign peoples.” The Dutch pamphlets opposed the company on the ground of alleged infringement of treaty rights and agreements. The English pamphlets, wisely refraining from much comment on documents based on papal grants whose authority England had never recognized, argued that English pocketbooks would suffer if the Ostend Company continued to do business. Pitt many years later stated in Parliament that the English government had no right to demand the suppression of the company. But, as the British ambassador said to the Emperor, in language strikingly reminiscent of that of the Spanish ambassador of Cromwell’s day, “In attacking our commerce, you fly in the eyes of the English nation.” In the complicated diplomacy of five years, the question of the Ostend Company held its own, but in 1731 Charles VI abandoned  it, as he had abandoned many other things of value, to obtain one more ratification of the Pragmatic Sanction.

Eight years later it was England that was carrying on a struggle for the principle of freedom of the seas. Modern research has established beyond any reasonable doubt that the immortal Jenkins did actually have an ear sliced off by a Spaniard who was searching his ship for smuggled goods, and that the tale was not a fabrication of the Opposition that desired to force Walpole to plunge England into war. The Opposition certainly recognized the recruiting value of the incident. “The tale of Jenkins’ ear will raise us troops enough!” exclaimed one member on the floor of the House of Commons. Whether or not Jenkins commended his soul to God and his cause to his country, his country embraced his cause as that of the freedom of British commerce from search by Spaniards in time of peace. The British vessels searched were usually smugglers, but the British public was not interested in the right of Spain to safeguard her monopoly of trade with her colonies; they objected to search and to the contention that British ships must not be found in American waters outside the straight path between England and her colonies, and they besieged the doors of Parliament with the slogan: “A free sea or war!” And so was fought the war of Jenkins’ Ear, which might have been avoided had it not been for the powerful influence, both with the people and with Parliament, of the South Sea Company; and which did nothing toward settling the point in controversy.

Thus far the principle of freedom of the seas had been invoked in connection with efforts to preserve for the benefit of a whole nation or of favored groups of nationals, all access to the trade and resources of certain regions. During the wars for colonies and commerce which arose from these efforts, the principle was brought forward against interruption of commerce in time of war. In the days when privateering was a recognized adjunct of maritime,  warfare, commerce-destroying was reduced to a science that only the last three years have rivalled. The seizure as contraband of anything which might help the enemy to prolong the struggle, and the confiscation of cargoes of neutral ships, on the ground that part of the cargo belonged to the enemy, caused endless international complications. Treaties of peace began to contain provisions designed to render less burdensome these rights claimed by belligerents. The first step toward anything like international agreement was taken in the treaties of Utrecht in 1713. By these treaties contraband was limited to articles directly useful in war, exclusive of foodstuffs; enemy goods on neutral ships were protected on the principle later reduced to a formula, as “free ships, free goods”; and the method of visit and search was regulated. These arrangements did not outlast the peace, but many later treaties renewed, and some developed more fully, these restrictions, which were naturally more popular with neutral powers and with powers possessing small navies, than with the power which possessed the command of the sea. As that enviable position was held practically without interruption by Great Britain, and as in time of war she used unsparingly the advantages her position gave her, she gained in the eyes of opponent and neutral the reputation of being the enemy of freedom of the seas.

At the beginning of the Seven Years’ War France, realizing that she would not be able to control the trade with her colonies, threw it open to neutrals. Great Britain thereupon laid down her famous “Rule of 1756” that commerce illegal in time of peace was not legal in time of war, and attacked neutral ships found trading with French colonies. The answer of Denmark and Sweden to this policy was the formation of the first league of neutrals to protect neutral commerce. The French, hoping that the contrast of their policy with that of Great Britain would help their cause with neutral powers, were careful  not to authorize interference with neutral trade. It is interesting to find the doctrine of which we have heard so much of late, of the menace of British “navalism,” formulated in the eighteenth century by the minister of a state which, like England’s opponent in the twentieth, was stronger on land than on the sea. It was a French diplomat who expressed the hope that some day a union of nations would be able to cope with England and “establish firmly after the peace, or even during the war, a balance of commerce: for without it no other people will ever enjoy any but a precarious navigation, which will last only as long as it is to the interest of the English government not to destroy it.” This statement owes its significance to the fact that it voiced the attitude of a government which, under stress of circumstances, indeed, and not because it saw a light, was departing from the prevailing practice of mercantilism, the reservation for nationals of the benefits of colonial trade.

A British statesman has recently made the assertion that the United States owes its existence to the struggle for the freedom of the seas. He was referring to the Elizabethan struggle against Spain’s policy of exclusion, but is not the statement true also in another sense? In so far as the restrictions laid upon the development of the colonies by the trade and navigation laws contributed in bringing about the American Revolution, that movement was a protest against the mercantile system, under which no freedom of the seas was possible.

The United States early ranged herself, also, on the side of the nations that championed freedom of the seas for commerce in time of war. Her treaty with France regulated the right of search, limited contraband to munitions of war, and proclaimed the principle, “free ships, free goods.” The treaty which Franklin later negotiated with Prussia established American advocacy of the immunity of private property from capture at sea. In the meantime,  Great Britain’s refusal to limit herself in any interference with commerce which might hinder her victory over her revolted colonies and France, gave umbrage to the Scandinavian powers and to Russia, and in 1780 Catherine II proclaimed the Armed Neutrality of the North. To the principle of “free flag, free goods,” and the limitation of contraband to actual munitions of war, the Armed Neutrality joined the principle that a blockade to be binding must be effectively maintained. Although Catherine jested with the British ambassador about her armed neutrality, calling it an armed nullity, she told him that Russian trade and Russian ships were her children, and that she was determined to protect them. France had favored the formation of the Armed Neutrality, and Louis XVI improved the occasion by explaining that his only motive in participating in the war was his attachment to the principle of the freedom of the seas.

It is difficult for us today to preserve the proper attitude of respect for the word of a king in this connection, but it is not so difficult for us to understand what was the real attitude of France. England had won from France the greater part of her colonies, and with them a lucrative commerce, and her remaining commerce was being crippled by the war policy of the mistress of the seas. Behind the England which refused to limit her power as a belligerent by accepting a revision of maritime law, stood the England which was the successful commercial rival of France.

The French Republic inherited this much of the view point of Louis XVI. The remedy for the situation France saw in an imitation of England’s policy. It enacted a navigation law copied after those of Great Britain, and while declaring that its war against England was a war to free the seas, it proclaimed that as a war measure it was abandoning the principle, “free ships, free goods.” Napoleon took up the convenient formula, writing to the Royal Society on paper decorated by a  vignette representing Liberty sailing in a shell, and bearing the motto, Liberté de Mer. Years later he read the same meaning into the formula; outlining to Narbonne his idea that England should be attacked through the Orient; he said that the same blow which destroyed her mercantile greatness in India, would win independence for the west, and the freedom of the sea. England’s attitude toward sea law gave him a convenient weapon, and he induced his admirer the Czar to form a new Armed Neutrality, announcing that France would not make peace until neutral flags were properly respected, “and until England shall have acknowledged that the sea belongs to all nations.” Whether the device of a league of neutrals could really be an effective force in protecting commerce in wartime was not proved in 1800, for after the assassination of the Czar Paul the coalition went to a pieces. As in the present war, both belligerents used their naval forces to cut off supplies from the territories controlled by the enemy, and to ruin her commerce. Napoleon in his attempt to close the markets of Europe to Great Britain maintained that he was defending the freedom of the seas against Great Britain’s refusal “to recognize international law as observed by other nations,” while England defended her “paper blockades” and policy toward neutrals, as necessary, since she must preserve her command of the seas as an “essential to the protection of independent states, and for the prosperity and good of the human race.”

The damage done to American commerce in the pursuit of these high-sounding aims precipitated the war of 1812, which was indubitably a war for the freedom of the seas for neutral commerce in time of war, and which would probably have been fought with France instead of with Great Britain had it not been for the question of impressment, and the popular prejudices which had survived the American Revolution. Our championship of rules limiting belligerent rights against sea borne commerce,  and our activities in the suppression of the Barbary pirates, have led us into a rather complacent attitude with regard to our position as to freedom of the seas. It is salutary therefore for us to remember the Bering Sea controversy. When, in 1821, Russia claimed sovereignty over Bering Sea, both the United States and Great Britain protested, and Russia withdrew her claim. But when in 1886 our activities in connection with pelagic sealing caused friction with Great Britain, our defense was based in part upon a claim to have inherited from Russia rights which in 1821 we had refused to admit that she possessed. And when the case was heard before an international court, one of our advocates even justified visit and search in time of peace, regardless of our traditional position on that subject. However, after a certain amount of journalistic jubilation when the award went against us, our cousins overseas charitably allowed the memory of our peccadillo to accumulate dust. That the question of the right of a nation to protect fisheries in adjacent waters is not a closed one, was shown by Russia’s claim in the White Sea put forward in 1911. That question, as well as the whole matter of the three-mile limit, is bound to demand further consideration in the near future.

What has been the attitude of Great Britain since 1815, and how far does it foreshadow her future policy? It must not be forgotten that in the long struggle to safeguard human life as well as property upon the seas, the chief burden has been borne by her. In the old days of her proud claim to a salute in the narrow seas, she felt her responsibility to police those seas, and this sense of responsibility has widened with the extension of her commerce, so that she has put the whole world in her debt by rendering the seven seas a safe highway in time of peace. Her adoption of the principle of free trade was probably the greatest single step that has been taken in  modern times toward freedom of the seas, in the sense of breaking down the barriers of trade restriction which supposed national interest had erected. On the other hand, in the race for markets and raw materials, she has not escaped the tendency toward that return to the mercantilistic policy of exclusion in favor of nationals which is so marked in the whole movement today, and which is the crux of the problem. In the aspect of the question which has to do with limitation of belligerent right, she has shown herself responsive to the tendency, so noticeable from 1815 to 1914, to regard war as something to be limited so far as possible to the armed forces of the belligerents. Her substantial concessions in 1856, many of her statesmen have never ceased to deprecate, and it was the growing feeling that she could not afford to part with any more of the advantages her command of the sea gave her, that prevented the ratification of the Declaration of London. The events of the present war make very vital the question how far rules of this sort contribute toward the solution of the problem.

The attitude of the English press toward Lord Lansdowne’s suggestion that Great Britain declare her willingness to discuss the problems connected with the freedom of the seas reflects the shades of British opinion at present. Certain papers see the problem as one of war times only, and point out, what American opinion will not fail to echo, that the submarine question will have to be dealt with first and foremost. Two writers face the problem squarely as one of commercial policy in time of peace, and offer solutions according to their creeds. The Saturday Review expresses the belief that “so far from examining with other Powers the question of the freedom of the seas, we must re-enact, without delay, the Navigation Laws, which we foolishly repealed in 1849.” On the other hand, the London Nation sees the impartial distribution of the world’s raw materials as one aspect of the real freedom of the seas, and agrees with the French Socialists that the  mistress of the seas that must secure this freedom for all nations willing to live by the rule of peace, must be, not Great Britain, but the future League of Nations. The harmonizing of these two view-points does not promise to be an easy task, and we may be sure that the whole question will have full and free discussion in England and throughout her empire in the months to come. American citizens do not have to consider the problem of resigning to the keeping of a League of Nations a proud and long-cherished tradition of wardenship of the seas. But we are one of the great commercial nations, and no voice will have a more respectful hearing than ours at the peace settlement. Barére, phrase-maker of the French Revolution, summed up the foreign policy of France in 1798 by saying that she had inscribed upon her flags, “Freedom of the seas, peace to the world, equal rights to all nations.” We have seen how the first of these phrases has been used again and again in the past to cloak jealousies of the commercial dominance of a rival nation. We know that one thing that it means today is that never again must the history of the world be stained by the wanton destruction of the lives of peaceful travelers upon the world’s highway. If it has a meaning also in relation to the world’s commerce, in peace or in war, we must see that it is a different meaning from that of the past. For we, too, have inscribed Freedom of the seas upon our battle flags, and it behooves us to be certain just where our army belongs in the long procession of armies with banners—just what is the direction in which our standards point.


There is one virtue which we implicitly assume when we discuss philosophy, and usually invoke when we venture to discuss religion. It is the favorite “intellectual virtue” of our time: for, as the sophists disquietingly remarked in their day, and as Professor Sumner shows in Folkways, moral touchstones, like clothes, are subject to change of fashion; those of a former generation, taken for granted in all soberness, rise out of old books with a quaintness like that of the “ye” and the long “ſ” of our forefathers. The “great, the awful, the respectable virtues,” such as godliness and righteousness, as terms of approval, are seldom on our lips; the old stalwart, rigid qualities are less admired today than those which are more gracious and humane—than flexibility of mind, universal sympathy, open vision.

But these latter in their turn we have now accepted as ideals, with no warning Socrates at our elbow to demand: “Precisely what do you mean by these new standards which you take for granted?”

“Toleration is so prodigious an impiety,” said a member of the Westminster Assembly, “that this religious parliament cannot but abhor the meaning of it.” Yet, in that constant gradual “transvaluation of all values” which humanity performs, tolerance has become the golden word of modern thought. And, like all popular ideas, it is unthinkingly accepted and facilely claimed. Even those who admit that they have not attained full measure of it, hide themselves behind the remark: “I am tolerant of everything except intolerance,” and thereby yield them altogether: for to be tolerant only of a corresponding tolerance, is like confining your courtesy to polite people. The only attitude which tests the quality of tolerance is precisely the intolerant attitude.

 But passing by these simple folk, we may yet find in the more serious-minded the sense of an inconsistency in the very conception, which puts it forever beyond our reach. We may be undertaking the difficult experiment of eating our cake and having it too. Yet even so there may be a refuge: for if paradox should prove to be the final form of truth—a union of opposites present in all living facts—inconsistency will have no devastating effect on it. The very fabric of truth may be woven of just such contradictions; reality may never be consistent. But whether or no this be the way out, there are plainly difficulties to be considered, if we are to understand, and at the same time accept, the ideal of tolerance.

At the outset the distinction must be drawn between outward physical toleration and the inward spiritual grace of tolerance. In the first place, tolerance refers to thought, not to conduct. That heretics are no longer burned at the stake is the outcome of a change in social policy; in so far as this change is more than the discovery that heretics are after all not dangerous to the state, it is due to the obvious fact that where there is no clearly delineated, uniform orthodoxy, there can be no heresy—the species is extinct. Whenever the government in power concludes that an idea is dangerous to the state, it does not hesitate to break through whatever safeguards to individual liberty of opinion may have been erected in the past. If such action is not legally justified, it is at once shown that laws are dead things, powerless against living human fears and needs. The application of the Defense-of-the-Realm act in England to distributing copies of the hitherto innocuous Sermon on the Mount, is evidence enough that the governmental attitude towards the subject has not changed in principle. And if, in addition to fear, we have a sharply defined orthodox view, we find that, though ordinary people no longer advocate capital punishment for doubting the Trinity, they did attempt to lynch Max Eastman for doubting the righteousness of  the war. In other words, we have ceased to believe that religious opinions matter to social conduct, while still believing that political opinions do.

The genuine intolerance of the middle ages rested on a different basis. We say: Think what you please, so long as you act in conformity with what public opinion pleases. Plenty of anarchists and pacifists and upholders of the Susan B. Anthony Federal Amendment are still at large because their actions, though not their thoughts, are orthodox. The Inquisition struck deeper, because it was convinced of the genuine importance of thought, in relation to conduct. It was not content with binding the heretic to hold his peace—he must recant. It was so utterly convinced that not merely expediency, but final universal truth, lay in its keeping, that mere error, in the face of this revealed truth, became the ultimate sin.

The question of the meaning of tolerance, then, if it is not simply a matter of social usage, becomes the question, How far is it compatible with conviction? Tolerance may be defined as willingness to sanction the existence of views at variance with our own. The point at issue is not the expression of such views; the most intolerant man may egg on his opponent to complete expression, that he may argue him out of his error. The real tolerance refers to the relation of thought to thought, not of thought to speech. The above definition is one which, I believe, the seeker after tolerance will agree to accept (I have tried it on several). And yet, though presenting a fair idea of the attitude, it holds within itself the difficulty which puts the ideal out of reach.

This inherent contradiction may be stated, in the terms of our definition, thus: we are willing for an opposite view to exist only when we are not entirely convinced that our own view is true. The real belief in absolute truth is a missionary state of mind, and carries with it the faith that truth is the one thing worth having. In our day, the infinite variety of ideas which custom does not stale,  has long forced itself upon our attention. In consequence we no longer share the faith of Plato that knowledge, as distinct from opinion, can be secured. We cannot believe anything quite as firmly as the mediæval Catholic believed in an eternal church independent of argument, or indeed of humanity. If we could, we should be as intolerant as Billy Sunday, whom “the pale cast of thought” has never tinged, and, if we were metaphysicians, should go up and down the world preaching the dangers of neo-realism, as the evangelist fulminates against the blasphemy of biological evolution. But Billy Sunday is an inverted anachronism; it is not in the power of a modern of the commencement de siècle to recapture his fine careless rapture.

If this be true, if we have grown too modest to declare the eternal constitution of the universe, what degree of conviction and what quality of tolerance are left us?

The first answer is, that we may be willing to admit a view differing from our own because we realize that both may be right. But such a realization, if it is to be more than verbal politeness, implies that the difference is only partial or nominal, and consequently that my opponent’s error does not shut him out from acknowledging my truth. I may be a woman suffragist, and yet be tolerant of the views of a friend who opposes suffrage, not on grounds of sex, but because he believes that the suffrage is already too wide, requiring restriction rather than enlargement. If I also am in theory an aristocrat, I can admit the notion that both of us are in a measure right.

But the only real tests of tolerance are the far more common cases, in which, if I am right, you must be wrong. Present species are or are not the result of development or special creation; the world is or is not an intelligible order; our individual personalities do or do not survive bodily death. We cannot be content here to fall back on a different statement of the problem. When we say: “Oh, yes, we both believe in God; to me he is Life Force; to  you, Jehovah,” we know in our hearts that we are simply conniving at the draining of all definite meaning from the word, in order to confuse the issue and keep the peace. The one thing needful is, not that we should find blanket terms under which we seem to agree, but that we should drag our disagreement into the clearest possible light, and so find out what we are talking about. Not only our language, but our intelligence suffers from preferring vague unity to distinct differentiation.

Even in such cases there are, however, three conditions which make tolerance tenable. The first of them is, that we do not really care about the issue; we have taken sides, but only because it is necessary to hold some opinion, and so we have no active conviction. We are tolerant because, after all, we know little about the subject, and are willing to leave enthusiasm to experts. I have a friend who, even in the crisis of the present war, keeps critically aloof from questions of politics, seeming tolerant because his own position is held only “academically”; he does not care enough about the subject for that particular truth to seem supremely important. He is tolerant with the ease of indifference. It is easy to give free play to ideas in which we have no compelling interest. In consequence, many of us pretend to a general tolerance, when the fact is, that we carefully choose our examples from among the issues which least concern us.

Much of the modern religious tolerance is of this type. Our culture is so predominantly pagan that Christianity has ceased to play more than a nominal part in our tests of ideas and conduct. This tendency has infiltrated even those who are unaware of the influence; the saving of souls according to Christian theology has become less important than the preservation of good taste, whose standards are set by an unconsciously pagan public opinion. On the other hand, the prevailing paganism has not become self-conscious, since it is hidden behind Christian words; and few have the time or courage to look beneath  words to test their consonance with things. Being the result, not of directed effort, but of drifting, the pagan element in our civilization is not eager to assert itself. So the avowed pagans are tolerant of Christianity, saying: “I do not care for it for myself, but it is good for the masses. As to the church, for people who like that sort of thing, why, that is the sort of thing they like.” And the Christians are tolerant of pagan ideals of self-realization, of personal pride and the worldly splendor of luxury and art, on the ground that some of the ideals which they are supposed to accept are after all inapplicable to modern life. Since neither cares to assert itself for what it is, there is the mutual tolerance of indifference. If these two ideals dared to stand forth and contest the field, there would be an end of tolerance,—a holy war, and clearing of the atmosphere.

The second condition of tolerance implies deeper thought on the disputed subject than does the first. It relates to things, about which we are not indifferent; but it indicates a mental sophistication which is too cautious lightly to put Q. E. D. at the close of a demonstration. Our conviction has, as it were, a string to it. I read once in a novel a phrase like this: “He was as amazed as a Christian, who, waking after death, should look round the universe and find that there was no God.” Imagination gives us tolerance by marring every faith with the suggestion that we may wake up and find ourselves mistaken. And this is just the faith that cannot remove mountains. The idea that the other fellow may be right, paralyzes activity. Only bigots and fanatics set fire to the world without scruple. We sit before the hearth, perhaps, and argue about the brutality and cowardice of much of our current morality, and the obstacles which convention often raises against a sincere and heroic life; and yet, unspoken behind our preaching, is the haunting fear that the wisdom of the ages may not be the hoary folly it seems, that the melodramatic novels may be true,  that considerations unguessed may be involved—and we continue to sit before the hearth.

The presence of the little imp of skeptical imagination marks the difference between philosophical and religious convictions. For good or ill, the other person’s point of view, once seen, cannot cease for us. Our most ardent idealism is not a belief for which we would willingly be martyred by the realists: for we might wake and look round the universe in vain for an Absolute. It may be a good thing that the quality of religious conviction has died out among us, or it may be a necessary evil of civilized thinking. But the fact remains that we have no need of tolerance towards views which, consciously or unconsciously, we admit may be more nearly true than our own. We are merely not sure enough of ourselves to risk annihilating the views of our opponents.

The third form of imperfect conviction on which tolerance may rest is the view of truth as purely personal or relative. Subjectivism has been used as a bad name in philosophy for so long that the suspicion of it is usually resented. But it peers out from behind the respectable robe of many a philosophy which has not learned to call hard names. To reduce truth to a fact in individual experience, is to destroy the problem. Genuine conviction, without which tolerance is a mere form devoid of substance, is impossible if the truth for me and the truth for you are isolated facts, having and needing no relation to each other. But little private truths are sufficient only for little private affairs.

All of us want, and most of us take for granted, a real beauty in whose light it is irrelevant that Longfellow is read by a larger number of people than is Shelley. If I really love Shelley, I must believe that in some impersonal sense Prometheus Unbound is superior to The Psalm of Life. This insistence upon a standard is at the root of all our serious thinking; de gustibus non disputandum is a foolish saying: for nothing as a matter of fact is more  fiercely disputed than questions of taste. The social character of thought is so firmly rooted that a thought which is limited to a personal impression ceases to interest us. It has become a mere fact; and we live in a world not of mere facts but of facts which gain their importance only through meaning. It is only of the most trivial acts that we say: This is right for me but wrong for you, because you think it wrong. We do not really even then put the You and the I on the same level, but imply that you will, if properly educated, agree with me. Human nature demands that we habitually will that the maxim of our thought at least, should become a universal law. Only when we apply our convictions, æsthetic, ethical, or metaphysical, to others outside ourselves, do they become more than fancies.

If we go the whole way with Professor Sumner, for example, in the relativity of morals, we are not really, from the standpoint of modern Western teaching, looking tolerantly upon other theories which approve, for instance, the summary extermination of undesirable members of the family. We are simply refusing to adopt the morality of our own or any other age, more seriously than as a guide of conduct whereby we avoid punishment by society. The owning of slaves in the United States, says Professor Sumner, is no longer expedient; but, under changes of social and industrial conditions, it may again become so. Morality, that is, is what its etymology implies—simply custom.

The holder of such a theory has no real conviction of the position which, by geographical and temporal accidents, he holds. He is really trying to place himself at the center of indifference, and his one conviction is that all standards are relative. Of opposition to this, he is frequently intolerant enough. The man who holds that Buddhism best meets the religious needs of India, as Christianity satisfies the conditions of life in the West, thinks himself tolerant of religious differences, because  all the examples are on his side; but he is intolerant—and on his premises justly so—of missionaries, who are his real opponents.

Such are the forms of incomplete conviction which make tolerance plausible. There remain those attitudes which frankly abandon, for both sides, the claim to truth in any absolute sense. Our opinions in any case, they maintain, are but aspects of an all-embracing truth which can be known only to a consciousness of the whole. Your opinion and mine are, therefore, in the limited sense which is alone applicable, equally true. But the only ideas which we can admit to have an equal claim to partial truth, are those which are not mutually exclusive, so that the different facets of the universal truth shall not interfere with one another. Unless we mean simply that a variety of opinion makes the world less dull, in which case conviction does not come in at all, we are unable to admit that a belief diametrically opposed to our own is “just as good,” not as a foil, or a spur, to our own thinking, but in its own right. It may be that the Bradleyan Absolute can admit contradictories as equally true, but such mental acrobatics do not come naturally to human thinking. Since we cannot view the world as the Absolute sees it, we cannot, in practice, be guided by the theory that opposite answers to living problems, set in all their complex conditions, are equally true.

The conviction that is softened by an historic sense or by use of the terms of biological evolution, meets the same difficulty. In so far as there is any real demand for tolerance, it must be in the conflict of present issues. We do not need to be tolerant of the past, unless we imagine ourselves in that past, and regard its issues as, for the time being, contemporary with us. Ideas opposing our own may be gently dealt with, as necessary stages of civilization. But if a stage is now no longer necessary, the excuse fails. Cannibalism could not be defended as a civilized practice, simply because it represents a stage  of development. Still less can we tolerate on the same ground what seems to us wrong in modern life. For we cannot without undue vanity maintain that the rest of mankind living under our conditions are less highly developed than we. So the sincere pacifist, for example, cannot properly be tolerant of war as an expression of prevailing savagery, beyond which he has himself advanced.

The theory that opinions and institutions are justified as “stepping-stones,” survivals not yet quite outworn, always carries the presumption that we are the apex—an assumption, of course, which evolutionary theory does not bear out. It is possible that our seeming progress may be retrogressive, that the true apex may have been reached in Greece some two thousand years ago. When we look kindly upon (to us) impossible views, with some idea of thesis and antithesis in our minds, we are taking our own position as the synthesis, and, placing ourselves at the standpoint of the whole, implying knowledge of that far off, divine event towards which the Tennysonian creation moves. But if we really think the truth of our vision worth striving for, it is dangerous to hold our reputation for urbanity to be of more importance than insight, by smiling down on opponents as on children at play, not worth fighting. Imperfect as it is, our little truth must seem to us, as it stands, better than any other, without smoothing away the stark contradiction between it and its opposite, and without claiming for it a higher level than for them, if it is to be at once effective and humble.

To all of this it may be answered that our idea of tolerance has been an impossible ideal; that simply by making the definition unwarrantably strict, the quality has been pushed out of reach; and that, on these terms of course it cannot exist. Nevertheless the exact quality of current attempts at tolerance is made visible in the light of that extreme form which we have been considering: as Plato judged the success of actual forms of the state by  comparison with that perfect justice which was to be found in none of them. But if, as the situation suggests, the degree of tolerance is in inverse ratio to the force of conviction, we cannot hold both as ideals. The question is, Which is the more valid?

By assuming tolerance as a possession or even as a goal, we have lost that driving power of conviction which more primitive, less imaginative forms of belief still hold. Perfect tolerance would be an anæsthetic influence; it would militate against that clash of open conflict in which alone are ideas tested. If tolerance is to be achieved only by proportionate weakening of conviction, the prevailing acceptance of such an ideal may be not merely a crying for the moon, but for a burning toy balloon which would be of no value to us if we had it.

The past few centuries have deepened the conception of tolerance, given inner meaning as a virtue to what was originally only a convenience of social conduct. Tolerance in act has been proved practically advisable. It rests on the recognition that the intolerant Calvin, burning Servetus, was a more positively objectionable member of society than the Greek sage whose skepticism was so complete that he would commit himself to nothing more than the wagging of his finger. But if we are right in maintaining the incompatibility of tolerance and conviction, each gaining ground only at the expense of the other, are we not following the wrong star? Calvin was doubtless less pleasant to live with than the Greek skeptic; but, since clear definition of issues is the first step in judgment, the following of the harsher example may clear the way for those battles of thought which change the boundaries of its territories, when diplomacies accomplish nothing.

Socrates, according to Plato, must have spent a good many hours and days in buttonholing young men on the streets of Athens, and pricking the airy bubbles of the catchwords which they used so glibly. His inveterate  questioning often seemed to lead only to a deadlock. “What is this justice, this temperance, this courage, of which you seem so sure?”—he would ask, and, after leading them a merry chase along the mazes of thought, brought them to the reluctant conclusion that virtue is not so simple, after all. There was something of the spirit of the detective in this sleuthing among ideas, this quick recognition and rejection of clues. What Socrates was chiefly trying to do—and no wonder he was accused of corrupting the young men!—was to cultivate in his interlocutors the rare art of questioning, to extirpate in them the prevalent stupidity of taking things for granted.

But Socrates did not cure the world of using catchwords. In war, in politics, in religion, even in science, they still pass for the coin of the realm. They are always dangerous: for they always delude one into thinking to be easy that which is in truth most difficult. There is hardly a virtue which we can have without crowding out another virtue. We of the twentieth century have taken tolerance for granted, as if it were as much to be expected as good manners. And we have scarcely thought to ask the price for which it is bought.

If it is only a utilitarian matter of social policy, to be relinquished when that policy changes, we have done foolishly to exalt it as a moral virtue. If we must choose between tolerance and our sense of ascertainable truth in the world, our eyes should be open to the terms of that choice; if we must have a slogan, shall it be, Live and Let Live, or The Truth is Mighty and Shall Prevail? If, on the other hand, the field of tolerance is limited to cases in which we are indifferent or skeptical, much is to be gained in humility and sincerity by the frank avowal. We may cut the Gordian knot, and boldly accept the paradox. In any case, something is gained, if only that we have asked, What do we mean by tolerance?


“… But I would implore them to abstain from wearing their knees out before the shrine of the ugly and grotesque when there is all the beauty of the world for the choosing.”—Sir Johnstone Forbes-Robertson.

Away back in the dark ages, when the kindergarten was still an experiment, a stern elderly person—doubtless a relic of the yet earlier age in which children addressed their mother as “Honoured Madam,” and never sat down in their father’s presence—a person of far-seeing but ruthless mind, would every now and then arise to predict that Froebel and his disciples, by making things too easy for the infant intelligence, would produce a spineless generation, with the mentality of rubber dolls. Changing the figure, with apparently an eye upon the dentist, this pessimist would point out that a pap-fed race could have occasion for, and therefore would develop, no teeth.

It is far from my purpose to venture, with presumptuous foot, into the happy fields of pedagogy: it is only that certain straws, gyrating in the intellectual zephyrs of the moment, have arrested an inquiring eye, and awakened a mental question as to how far the disaffected prophet may have been right. Is the multiplication-table set to music, and gayly sung rather than acquired with labor and sorrow in the dark watches of the study-hour after school, really responsible for a contemporary mental condition which seems to demand that even the simplest short story be expounded by the editor, in type which dwarfs the title, lest the readers’ brains grope vainly for its meaning? Have our early fumblings with strips of many-colored paper rendered us incapable of coping with even the most obvious canvas? Were those well-beloved blocks and cubes the true instigators of Csaky, Brancusi, Delaunay, and the rest—sculptors who last year set us gasping? Did “Birdie in the treetop” blaze the trail for the divers  exponents of “interpretative dancing?” Most harrowing of all, have the “finger-plays” of babyhood, designed for the gradual awakening of the child’s consciousness to his five senses and his little ego, led up to the reverberating chaos of words which we are now called upon seriously to regard as poetry?

Let the responsibility rest where it may, we have been relentlessly herded and driven far by those who in this day and generation assume to mold our opinions for us. We have survived the onslaught of Cubism, Futurism, St. Vitism and what not, in art: is there anything in stone or bronze, or on canvas, that can now take us by surprise? We have outlived the shock, and can even derive pleasure from the spectacle, of our elders joyously cavorting between the tables when we ask them out to dine; other times, other manners. We have learned to listen unabashed and with the proper modicum of concern while Sweet-and-twenty, who has been to the “movies” and knows whereof she speaks, discourses between the soup and fish upon themes erstwhile supposed to be undiscussible, unless by physicians and students of sociology. We can even look without remonstrance upon our nearest and dearest attired only less frankly than Josephine when she essayed to convince the world of the superiority of her challenged charms to those of Madame Tallien. We have had hitherto one refuge when all this grew too much for us: we could exclaim, if we still had the hardihood to quote Tennyson, “I will bury myself in my books”—of course omitting the remainder of the line, which is “unsocial.” Now this stronghold also has been battered down. If we seek diversion in a story which is really a story, and not a tract—if we venture still to take pleasure in those who until to-day have been considered poets—we are upheld to the contumely of our fellows as “primitive,” “elementary,” and our beliefs are made a by-word and a hissing in the public prints. Ours not to reason why, ours not to make reply: we are expected to go for  artistic and literary pabulum where we are sent—“forty feeding as one,” like Wordsworth’s cattle; and perhaps, to borrow once more from the Light Brigade, ours but to do and die, intellectually, may be the result.

Doubtless most of the “advanced investigators” (inspired circumlocution of M. Andre Salmon) in both art and literature are sincere; yet it seems an almost unavoidable conclusion that this epidemic which is upon us in many forms, all disagreeable and unnecessary, like any other epidemic, arises from a physiological condition akin to the tarantism which once swept southern Europe, giving the tarantella its name, and not to be cured even by the startling method of burying the victim up to the neck in earth. The mythic spider having bitten him, whirl he must, until he drop exhausted. Crueler than the earlier spider of whose bite noble Tom Thumb died, the ferocious arachnid of our day, like the Lycosa tarantula of the Middle Ages, is ravaging at will, and sparing no age, sex, or previous condition of activity. The “bite” may not prove fatal: but while the madness lasts, clarity of vision, calm and coherent utterance, are not to be expected. The dervish-like frenzy of literary and artistic production will of course eventually wear itself out; but until it does, those who by Heaven’s mercy have been spared the infection can only, with what patience the gods vouchsafe, stand out of the way and look on, deafened by the insistent remedial strains.

Even as heat-waves above the summer fields and sands cause fixed objects to shimmer and fluctuate before the eyes, sometimes creating actual mirage, so the extraordinary brain-waves of our day seem to influence human conduct and, necessarily, its reflex, achievement in art and letters. It is not that both subject and handling are so often grotesque or deplorable; it is not—though the spread of any epidemic is regrettable—that more and more worthy craftsmen fall victims, hypnotised by others’ gyral eccentricities, and by what a recent promulgator of  the cult terms “the strident and colossal song.” It is that these, clamoring for their own prepossession, deny us ours!

“Dolly,” besought the heroine of Miss Broughton’s first novel, the novel which created a school of fiction, and which her unsuspecting father told her was unfit for her, a young woman, to read: “Dolly, am I so very ugly? Look!” Her sister, thus adjured, surveyed the appealing face. “I do not admire you,” she returned, calmly. “But that is no reason why some one should not!” Cannot the apostles of the tarantist persuasion, in its varying manifestations, show us an equal liberality? They do not admire what one of them has summed up as “the completely solved, tabulated, indexed problems of the past:” but may not others who do be permitted to enjoy them in peace, unobjurgated? Those who are labelled “early-Victorian,” “primitive,” “elementary,” are usually possessed of the ornament, no less out of date, of a meek and quiet spirit; and, if let alone, will continue on their unobtrusive way, neither assailing nor disparaging schools whose inspirations do not attract them. Why may they not be permitted to adhere to their ideals, unwhipt of neo-justice?—since the untrammelled tarantist proclaims with no hesitating voice his right to stand up, naked and unashamed, for his own!

There is one certain result of intellectual or any other sort of bullying; present forcibly enough to any man that he is merely a worm, and he is bound in the nature of things to “turn,” with what vigor he may—and as the late Sir William Gilbert well said, “Devil blame the worms!” Tell a man often enough, and contemptuously enough, that he doesn’t know what he is talking about, and his most cherished beliefs are only so much junk, and you inevitably goad him into nailing his colors to the mast. The holy martyrs need not have died for their convictions if they had not been badgered into, not merely holding, but flaunting them! Again, to fall back upon my Gilbert,  “versifier” and master of “smart-aleckry” though it seems he was, as measured by a recent standard—

“I hate to preach, I hate to prate,

I’m no fanatic croaker;”

and I am driven to couch my lance and gallop into the lists chiefly by a modern form of challenge unrecognized of Chivalry: “My ladye is fairest because yours is foul and void of grace!” Your lady is fairest?—no man has a better right than you to think so, or to say so: but it is unknightly to attempt bolstering up her claims by a personal attack upon my ladye, whose charms I justifiably hold to be supreme. The glaive being down, there is nothing for it but the onset—and may the best man win!

In less archaic phrase, no man who knows his Milton and his Wordsworth can sit silent and be told that “when a perfect sonnet” (a perfect sonnet, remember!) “is duly whittled out, it is usually found to be worth about as much as a well-crocheted lambrequin”—whatever that may be. No man who has delighted in his Praed, his Ingoldsby, his Locker, Calverley, Lang, Austin Dobson, Owen Seaman and the rest, can see them all swept into the scrap-heap as “worn out—an exhibition of adroitness … for impressing a circus audience!” No man can hear with patience the undoubted fact that the blank verse of Shakspeare and Milton was “written quite without rhyme,” adduced, with an air of giving light to them that sit in darkness, by way of supporting a hurly-burly of words which has been well compared to “pumpkins rolling over a barn-floor.” That blank verse does not rhyme is too “elementary” to need discussion: and the Eocene minds which still read Shakspeare, Milton, and even Tennyson, are thoroughly aware that the construction of blank verse is governed by no less rigorous rules than the sonnet or the dainty old French forms which Austin Dobson and our own Bunner made exquisite in English. But the foe of rhyme is by no means limited to  blank verse in support of his thesis: experiments in unrhymed metre are by no means new. Bulwer tamed the Latin verse-forms to eat out of his hand; Ossian and his collateral descendant, “Fiona Macleod,” made chamber music of the wild harp of the Gael; Aldrich, in his youth, went far toward establishing his fame with the Ballad of Baby Bell: Charles Henry Lüders, untimely dead a generation ago, achieved a gem in his brief dirge, The Four Winds. One may be a poet without ever having written a line in metre. It is doubtful whether Mrs. Meynell’s well-won reputation—a reputation which brought her, in a “popular ballot” for England’s laureateship, nearly six thousand votes, and a place second only to Rudyard Kipling—does not rest quite as much upon the poetic beauty of her essays as upon her verse. “The mighty engine of English prose” is always available for the writer with “a message;” Lincoln did not elect to “sing” his Gettysburg address, which no recent bard whom it has been my privilege to read has surpassed. If the bearer of the “message” have not the sense of music which produces that perfection of rhythm needing no grace of rhyme; if he object to rhyme “because,” according to a recent candid outburst, “it is so confoundedly hard to find!” the lyre and even the oaten pipe are not for him. Nothing is easier to compass, in either prose or metre, than the cryptic, the portentous; the bellow of the trombone, the thud of the big drum, will always cause some one to listen, at least long enough to find out what is causing the disturbance. But neither Vorticist, Polyrhythmicist, nor any other specialist in Parnassian wares, need flatter himself that lines of assorted lengths, huddled like jack-straws, make poetry. If any message be there, it is obscured and marred by its uncouth disguise; if there be no message, the “work” has even less excuse for being. I am far from denying the right of every one to express himself in whatever way he think fit: it is wholly his own affair, and it may be, like Benedick’s  hypothetical lady’s hair, “of what color it please God.” But if it be neither verse nor honest prose—if it be cacophony for mere cacophony’s sake—he who takes in vain for it the name of poetry, does it little service.

One of the strange symptoms of the modern tarantism is this unrelenting hostility to beauty: in fashion not less than in art it is the ugly and the queer, in fiction and verse the pathological, the unpleasant, that seem to be assiduously striven for. The arts are sisters, children of one father; their aims are closely allied, and if one step down from her high estate, the others are likely soon to show the unfortunate influence of her example. Bad taste in sculpture affects us more disagreeably than bad taste in painting, because sculpture stands forth with us, in our own atmosphere, while the picture confines within its frame an atmosphere of its own; bad taste in dancing is worse in the drawing room than on the stage, being by so much nearer; and bad taste in literary expression is more distressing than any, because, after all, it is only music which has so intimate an appeal as the written word. Only music and the written word become a part of us, dwelling with us unsought, singing to us unurged, lingering with us in the silent hours when our mental sentinels or taskmasters are off guard, and if a graceless pretender, professing to be what he is not, intrude upon the starry company of the heaven-born, shall not the intrusion be resented?

What is poetry? There are many definitions with which few of us can quarrel; but one of the most direct, and at the same time most comprehensive, is that poetry is the expression, in terms of beauty, of what humanity feels—that beauty of thought, beauty of feeling, beauty of form, which implies truth, sympathy, clarity of vision, imagination, and the unerring sense of fitness which is good taste. And if this God-given beauty, twin-sister to music, be not inextricably woven, like a three-fold thread of gold, through and through the very fabric of the soul, it is never  to be acquired—no mastery of prosody, of rules, of libraries full of the “best examples,” will avail. It is distinct from inspiration, which may be a single bolt from the blue: it is rather an attribute, to venture upon the methods of Sir Boyle Roche, of the voice of that inmost higher self which the late F. W. H. Myers called “the subliminal mind” and which Maeterlinck has termed “our unknown guest.” Let the man whose literary endeavor, well-intended though it be, is without this essence, call himself what he please: he is not, nor can he ever be, a poet.

Meanwhile, those who remain unbitten of the dread Lycosa may find peace in M. Andrè Salmon’s dictum that “critics encourage the most absurd, for the most absurd is necessary to art”—which may be stretched to include the art of letters—and anything that is really necessary may, by right effort, be endured. It is sufficiently clear that not on this side of the bridge of Al Sirat shall we and the Neo-Parnassians agree: but we can at least avoid each other like gentlemen.


When our fathers formulated their program for democracy, and announced that its chief objective was to secure for the individual, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, contemporary records show that they generally believed that if these ends could be attained, a new golden age would be inaugurated among men, and that all the various ills would drop out of life. We have been disillusioned. Since the formulation of the Declaration of Independence we have learned the extreme antiquity of man upon the earth, and we have learned by what slow and tortuous paths the human family has zigzagged up to its present state of imperfection. To-day we do not hope that any form of government can assure us an immediate millennium, and we look with suspicion upon any prophet who promises an immediate utopia. Condemned as we are to look with straining eyes towards a distant land of promise, some remote perfection of our race, we are all the more jealous of our chance to do our bit in achieving that goal. The inalienable right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, has yielded place to the inalienable right to grow. Forms of government seem worthy to endure, in proportion as they minister to growth. We still cling to democracy, because it still seems to promise the largest chance for growth. It is a significant fact that along with the phrase “make the world safe for democracy,” there has sprung into existence the phrase “make democracy safe for the world,” as if to warn us that democracy like all forms of government, is not an end in itself, but a means to an end, and that end is humanism.

In conceiving this paper, my patriotic purpose was to prove how humanism helps democracy, but all the  way along I have been conscious of being guilty of an enormous hysteron proteron, for the real issue is not how humanism helps democracy, but how much democracy helps humanism. And what is humanism? Something too large to be defined in a single sentence or paragraph. It is a number of things. In the first place humanism is humaneness; not exactly, however, the kind of humaneness that the editor of the New Republic believes in. Perhaps you remember how a year ago a distinguished professor of Greek hung a metaphorical millstone about the neck of Mr. Abraham Flexner and cast him into the midst of the sea, because he had attempted to poison the well-springs of knowledge for a whole generation of young people. On the millstone was inscribed the indictment: “Mr. Flexner is not the first man who has had the courage of his insensibilities.” At this the editor of the New Republic declared that the distinguished professor had been very inhumane, and was therefore an unfit exponent of the humanities. One wonders with what gentle and humane words Minos and Aeacus and Rhadamanthus will speak to Mr. Flexner when he comes to judgment in that long line of those who, having done irreparable harm in this world, present as their only excuse the fact that they were sincere in their good intentions. Humanism is humaneness based where Socrates and Plato based it, on knowledge, understanding and intelligence.

Humanism is a conservation of the highest achievements of the human spirit. It gives substance to the seemingly paradoxical belief that for the rank and file of men, nine-tenths of the future lies in the past,—that certain giant men long dead, still have power to lead the race to heights that the majority of us but dimly see. To put it negatively, humanism represents the belief that a majority of each generation go to their graves without having entered upon their inheritance, without even having suspected that they had an inheritance,  having lived not so much in their sins, as in ignorance of the glory that humanity has already attained.

A true humanism will include and properly appraise the mental achievements of its own age. The danger always is that the newer achievements will be seen out of all proportion, and overrated because of their nearness. To-day we are dazzled and blinded by the stupendous achievements of a new materialism, a materialism far subtler than that which sprung up a century ago. In the first half of the Nineteenth Century some men of repute were saying that “the brain secretes thought as the liver secretes bile,” and “life is but the action of the sun’s rays upon carbon.” Against this gross and crass materialism Emerson arose as our champion, a prophet who had lighted his torch at the altar of Prometheus in the Academy of Plato. By the light of that torch men again began to see things in true proportion, and to-day we can say of those earlier materialists “their knowledge is the wisdom of yesterday.” But the new materialism is far subtler, boasting far greater achievements. Two years ago the headlines in the papers announced that a man in Washington had talked by wireless telephony with a man in Hawaii. We were filled with pride at this new demonstration of the power of the human mind to master the laws of the external universe. And yet after all, the question is not how far you talk, but what you say. Did the man in Washington say to the man in Hawaii anything so important as the messages which Plato sent by wireless across the centuries to Emerson? When we read the prayer which Plato put into the mouth of Socrates at the close of the Phædrus: “Give me beauty in the inward soul; and may the outward and inward man be as one. May I reckon the wise to be the wealthy, and may I have such a quantity of gold as a wise and temperate man can bear and carry,” we are ready to strive to prepare ourselves to be torch-bearers in the great race.

 This is no small program that humanism undertakes:—to make a man thoroughly humane; to eradicate all the brutal instincts and all the cruel traits which two hundred thousand, perhaps two million years of savagery have implanted in his nature; to conserve for him and in him all the highest spiritual experiences of the race; to make him a worthy member of any celestial gathering however nobly conceived and constituted, this is a program requiring not merely the fifteen or twenty years usually allotted to formal education, but a lifetime, and perhaps a million years beyond. The million years beyond is too much for the practical man, and he holds up his hands in protest, declaring: “Such doctrine is too other-worldly for me. If you train the children to tune their harps for another world, who is going to kill the hogs, and dig the sewers, and mine the coal?” To such a question I would reply in the same tone: “You need not worry. There is a certain gentleman, a veritable colossus on the educational sky-line, who uses one foot to direct the schools at Gary, and the other foot to trample down an over-rampant idealism in New York City. He will see to it that the millennium is not ushered in too hastily.” In the last municipal election in the city of New York, we had a splendid example of Tammany’s political astuteness in temporarily aligning itself with the idealism of the proletariat on the east side. To the foreigner who comes to this country, America means one thing above all else, and that is the chance to emerge from the class in which he was born. The rebellion among the foreign population of New York against the Gary system, was not a rebellion against industrial education as such, but a rebellion against the idea that their children were to have industrial education and nothing more. Our practical man, even if he is unwilling to look forward a million years, must at any rate look back a million years. No one can hope to see our educational problem in its true perspective unless he is  willing to take his stand at the entrance of a palæolithic cave, and look across the centuries at the toils of our race as it has attempted to differentiate the brutal from the human.

In every school house there are palæolithic children, neolithic children, bronze age children, iron age children, children of the golden age, children of a thousand different aptitudes and limitations. The mussed up condition of our educational program, the incoherent wrangling about educational theory, is largely due to our failure to keep this steadily in mind. Somehow we have not fully appreciated the fact that endowment is more than training, and we are still hoping that in some way we can perform the miracle and carry the neolithic child on our shoulders across the ten thousand, or possibly the fifty thousand, years that intervene between him and abstract thought. And because we have wished to do the greater miracle, we have failed to do the lesser one that makes for the slow but sure growth of the race. It is not strange that a cry has gone up for vocational training. It is strange, however, that we did not foresee this just demand, and meet it even before the demand was made. At the present moment there is danger that the interests of the more gifted child will be sacrificed to meet the need of the less gifted one, that our whole public school system will be Garyized, and that the proper foundation of our higher education will be impaired if not destroyed. In a neighboring state a year or two ago, the state superintendent of education sent out notes to the smaller high schools advising that courses in domestic science and agriculture be substituted for geometry and Virgil. It did not occur to him that he could establish a lower form of education without destroying a higher form. It did not occur to him that the state was rich enough to pay for both forms. Many years ago I lived near a rich stock-man who owned the finest herd of shorthorn cattle in the Middle West. He paid a man $2,000 a year to care for his cattle; he  sent his children to a school where no teacher received more than five hundred dollars a year. I will not say that he cared four times as much for his cattle as for his children, but I will say that we have here the solution of our problem. If we would spend four times as much money on our elementary schools, vocational and industrial courses could be properly established, classes could be reduced from fifty to fifteen, the needs of each pupil could be carefully studied, the pupil of lesser gifts could be directed into industrial courses without humiliation, and the pupil of higher gifts would make his way normally and naturally to geometry and Virgil.

In one year of the war we are spending twenty billion dollars. The interest on this vast sum at four per cent. is eight hundred million dollars a year,—or just fifty millions more than we spent on all forms of education last year in the United States. We are willing to spend this amount of money to make the world safe for democracy. Are we willing to spend a similar sum to put real meaning and content into the word democracy? It is conceivable that during the war we may become so accustomed to giving and tax-paying that after the war we may be willing to make similar sacrifices that democracy may have a fair chance to bear its true and legitimate fruits. In the first year of the war Mr. Rockefeller has given to the Red Cross and other philanthropic causes $70,000,000. He has done this with immense satisfaction, and without serious inconvenience. It is to be hoped that during the war he and our twenty-two thousand other millionaires may become so accustomed to paying income taxes that it may degenerate into a habit, and that after the war, from this source our funds for education may be doubled or trebled. Mr. Rockefeller should be financing not merely Mr. Flexner’s experiment station in secondary education; he should be financing a hundred other secondary schools in an equally splendid way. But we can never hope to make our educational program  really significant, merely by compelling the millionaires to pay their rightful share of the expense. We shall never succeed in this program, until we have become sufficiently interested in the matter to be willing to make sacrifices ourselves. It is with extreme regret that I am compelled to admit that the heart of this great problem is economic, and that the streets of the New Jerusalem we are striving to build, must be not metaphorically, but literally paved with gold.

If we can assume that after the war industrial education will be properly established and financed without diverting funds from the higher forms of education, if we can even assume that the funds available for the more humanistic training will be greatly increased, there still remain two potent forces in our educational world which seriously threaten to undermine and impair our democracy and the humanism which is its eventual goal. I refer to the corrupting influence of athletics in our high schools and colleges, and the attitude of the state towards the small college.

One can hardly “see life steadily and see it whole” without recognizing the fact that it is necessary to house a sound mind in a sound body; but after all, the supreme thing is the sound mind. If our school and college athletics had been willing to make this its chief objective, little or nothing could be said in arraignment of athletic contests. But the present athletic situation makes one ready to cry aloud that ancient indictment found in a fragment of the Autolycus of Euripides: “Of all the countless ills that prey on Hellas, there is none that can be compared with this tribe of athletes.”

Since athletics have been introduced into the public high schools of the Middle West, there is no question that a somewhat larger number of boys have continued in the high schools. There is also no question that there has been a very marked lowering of intellectual standards. And what is worse, our high school students and whole  communities have been imbued with a false sense of proportion. To run half as fast as a greyhound, to jump one-fifth as far as a kangaroo, to kick one-tenth as hard as a Missouri mule, these are the principal things, these are the weightier matters of the law. These contests with the brute world, in which we are always defeated, have taken the place of the higher intellectual contests of humanism. The school superintendent or principal who can turn out a winning team, he is the man, the new patriot in our democracy. Let me illustrate. Three years ago in one of the small towns of Iowa, the superintendent of schools received a considerable increase in salary because he had turned out a basket ball team that had defeated all the teams in the neighboring high schools. The next fall four members of the winning team entered the State University of Iowa as freshmen. Before the end of the year they had all been sent home because they could not do their intellectual tasks.

But to turn to a second menace to humanism—the attitude of the state towards the small college, or perhaps it would be truer to say the attitude of the administrative officials of our state institutions towards the small college. A conversation which I had last summer with the dean of the college of liberal arts in one of our state universities, will illustrate what I mean. In this conversation the dean expressed the opinion that the great majority of small colleges in the Middle West would be reduced to junior colleges (i. e. their work would be limited to the freshman and sophomore years), or meet with entire extinction. He was even more specific in his prophecy, saying that five per cent. of the colleges of the type of College X would die or become junior colleges during the war (if the war lasted three years) because of the reduced income from tuition, and reduced financial assistance from private gifts. He made this prophecy with a smile, as one heralding a blessing. For the moment he forgot that a majority of the students in his graduate  school came from colleges of the same class as College X, and he failed to foresee that if his prophecy were fulfilled, large sections of the state would be left in educational darkness. Now College X has had an honorable history of forty-five years. It has done much to make democracy safe for the world. It has sent out hundreds of graduates and ex-students fit to participate in self-government, and with some notion of what is meant by an international mind. At the present moment it counts among its alumni one hundred and forty-two who are engaged in teaching, including one university president who administers $18,000,000 for educational purposes, and twenty-five college professors in such institutions as Beloit, Drury, Dupauw, Lawrence, Grinnell. Many others of its alumni, on their way to law, medicine, theology, have served the state effectively as teachers. And yet the dean would brush aside this work with a smile, would allow this college and similar colleges to die or be reduced to junior colleges, without a word of protest, perhaps in the thought that his own college of liberal arts would minister adequately to the educational needs of the state. In that state at the present moment privately endowed institutions are caring for more than twenty thousand students, and are making an annual gift to the state of more than three million dollars. These institutions are well scattered, and reach localities untouched by the university. Higher education must be carried to the various communities. The number of young people that can be sent to college is increased fivefold, if those young people can be housed and boarded at home, and if there is no railroad fare to pay. To illustrate: the county in which the state university in question is located, sends seven hundred and eighty-nine students to the university, more than the total number sent by sixty-three counties in remote corners of the state. Out of five hundred degrees conferred by the university in one year, one-fifth go to students residing in the county in  which the university is situated. It is obvious that the university is bringing higher education to one county, and failing to bring it to sixty-three counties. The work however is being done by the small colleges. But the dean was right when he intimated that many of these small colleges are fighting for their lives. Twenty-five years ago the professors in College X were receiving $1,500 a year,—a home missionary’s salary even in those days; but to-day they are still getting $1,500. Last year a deficit made a considerable inroad on the endowment fund. This year the deficit will be larger, because seventy of her advanced students have gone into the army. And the state stands by in indifference, watching an institution die that has served it well for forty-five years—an institution that it must replace at public expense, or leave a corner of the state in educational darkness. I think that the real hope of the dean was that such colleges might be reduced to junior colleges, and that the available funds might be spent in improving the instruction in the freshmen and sophomore years. But he could hardly say this, for last year the students in his own university were loudly protesting that they were being neglected, and that teaching had been sacrificed on the altar of research. But even if the dean could not say it, why is it not a reasonable suggestion? Why not cut off the last two years of the college course and improve the instruction in the earlier years? For the simple reason that the state is too rich to permit of any curtailment of the opportunity of intellectual growth for its young people. It is gratuitous assumption that the students who had done two years’ work in the small college would complete their work in the university. The small minority who are going into professional work would do this, but the large majority would end their training with the sophomore year, and democracy and humanism would suffer simultaneously an irremediable blow. Let us hope that the historians of later times will  not be compelled to write: “In 1917 the Kaiser not only blew up the cathedrals in France, but he also helped to dynamite our American colleges.”

There is an old proverb to the effect that the streets of Jerusalem were kept clean by every man sweeping that part which lay before his own door. On one side of our domain runs the Lincoln Highway, on the other side the road which began before the altar of Prometheus in the groves of Academe. Both of these roads later converge in that straight and narrow path that leads unto life. It is our high function to keep these roads free and unobstructed—to walk a few parasangs with gifted young people; to fit them to be effective ambassadors of Truth, by persuading them to thumb a Latin lexicon until they have attained a reasonable precision of speech; to help them attain the refinement of diction that shall eventually result in a greater refinement of character; to teach them to appreciate the beauty of a Greek temple or of a fragment of Greek sculpture, furnishing them with a basis of æsthetic judgment, that will serve them well until they meet Plato’s archetypes face to face; to feed their imagination with the radiant buoyant life of Homer; to show them how Horace fashioned a livable life philosophy out of the aurea mediocritas of Aristotle; to initiate them into the Socratic doctrine that Knowledge is the mother of all the virtues; to crown them with a universal sympathy by interpreting with them the “Lachryma rerum” of Virgil. Can anyone conceive a life in which pleasure and duty are more inextricably intermingled?

This is the humanism that is the fairest fruit of democracy, and which in turn makes democracy possible. Two years ago I heard one of our most eminent political economists say in a public address that the chance of success for a democratic form of government was in direct proportion to the number of citizens who were capable of abstract thought. We do our abstract thinking in the main through the help of Greek and Latin derivatives.  Let us not underestimate, and let us not permit anyone else to underestimate, the importance of our contribution to the success of democracy, when we train our students to a certain precision in the use of Greek and Latin derivatives, by long years of patient drill in careful translation. It is our privilege to help develop their latent powers of abstract thought by furnishing them with the tools with which they may do their thinking. This is the largest single contribution we can make to human life, the largest single offering we can lay on the altar of Truth.

Our success in holding ourselves and our students to this great task will be determined largely by the set of life values we carry into the class room, and by our ability to differentiate that which is important in Greek and Roman civilization from that which is negligible and unessential. I sometimes fear that we have forgotten that only the higher elements of any civilization are worthy to be transmitted to posterity, and that forgetting this we have permitted many of our courses to be denaturized, dehumanized, and Germanized.

In seven out of ten of the text-books of the classics edited for college use, the notes are written, not for freshmen and sophomores, but for those who have already attained or are going to attain the degree of doctor of philosophy, a degree that was first made in Germany. This blight of the doctor’s degree has invaded not only our courses in the classics, but every course in the university curriculum that can in any sense be called a humanistic course. It is high time that we form a solemn procession and make an offering on the altar of Robigo, god or goddess of the rust.

In the natural and physical sciences we do not resent or criticize futile experimentation. We are willing that that six hundred and five futile experiments may be made that the six hundred and sixth may be successful. We expect this work of experimentation to be more or less dehumanizing, in its drudgery, that in the end the fruit  of the successful experiment may confer some blessing upon the human family. We do not protest against a doctor’s dissertation in science in which the results are wholly negative. But we do protest against a doctor’s dissertation in literature or history, which has compelled the doctor designatus to spend months of his time on some inconsequential subject, giving him a false perspective and a false sense of proportion that it will take him years to get rid of in his teaching.

Let it be understood that this protest against the doctor’s degree is not a protest against the length of time that is given to graduate studies in preparation for teaching. This should be increased rather than diminished. It is a protest against some of the objects to which years of graduate study have been devoted under the shadow of the doctor’s degree. It is “a place in the sun” that we are demanding. In using this phrase “a place in the sun,” I am not plagiarizing that one whom Henry Van Dyke has christened “the damned vulture of Potsdam,” but a far better man, Diogenes of Sinope, who once requested Alexander the Great to get out of his daylight and give him his place in the sun.

In conclusion let me cite an incident from the life of Zeno, the founder of Stoicism. It is related that Zeno once asked the oracle what he ought to do to live in the most excellent way. The reply came back that he ought to become of the same complexion as the dead. Whereupon he immediately inferred that he ought to apply himself to reading the books of the ancients. This is the Zeno who promulgated the doctrines of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, who fashioned the molds in which the Roman Law and Roman Christianity were cast, who conceived of a world democracy in which friendship should be the guiding principle, and in which Greek and barbarian alike should have equal privileges and equal opportunities for growth.


Medicine, like other natural phenomena tends to the cyclic. Having passed safely through the drug period of evolution, both allopathic and homeopathic, into the no-drug state of so-called “preventive medicine” which has nothing to do with medicine as the word is commonly understood, this ancient mystery of the cure of bodies is now reunited to its equally ancient but long alienated mate the cure of souls, and this bewildered generation is confronted with the amazing spectacle of the lion of science and the lamb of religion lying down together. Whether the ultimate resting place of the lamb will be inside the lion is not yet disclosed to the anxious and inquiring mind. Again the priest and the physician are combined in one person, and we see before us the modern counterpart of the antique medicine man who exorcised the devils that possessed and tormented the soul and the body, and by sorcery and incantations treated impartially diseases of the spirit and of the flesh. Again the accepted cure for blindness is to “go and sin no more.”

It is especially that borderland where soul and body meet and fuse in what a recent treatise on the diseases of the nervous system calls “the psychic or symbolic system” that the modern medicine man takes as his province. In this No Man’s Land he is master of all he surveys, and his sextant comprises the universe in its angle.

We are prone to think of diseases of the mind as a specialty of modern life. But the briefest review of history would indicate that these symptoms of maladjustment to the environment have been evident from the earliest times. Adam and Eve are said to have developed “paranoiac  delusions of persecution,” a kind of manie à deux, accompanied by hallucinations of vision described as “seeing snakes.” Their elder son was afflicted with a “homicidal mania,” while the younger was apparently a case of “constitutional inferiority.” Noah was a well recognized “alcoholic,” Job was subject to severe “depressions,” Nebuchadnezzar exhibited “praecox dilapidations of conduct” and Saul was a pronounced “manic-depressive.” The Bible contains many edifying and well worked-out case histories with prescriptions for the treatment of such difficulties. It was Isaiah who outlined the newer method when he said, on the highest authority, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”

It was perhaps through dwelling on his own race history and literature that the newest prophet in Israel, the famous, to some infamous, Viennese professor, Sigmund Freud, came to invent the latest prophylaxis for mental disorders, now widely known under the name of psychoanalysis, at present the best recognized specific for many mental disorders, and particularly for those orgies and “hang-overs” of the soul, the “manic-depressive psychosis.”

This is the chief of the new designations for one of the old diseases, the failing reserved for the especially refined and subtle mind, the form of complex developed most frequently in the most delicate psychological machinery. This psychosis is the protest of the winged spirit against the humdrum dead levels of the main-traveled roads, a near relation to the “hysteric” refuge of the æsthetic nature from the vulgarities of everyday life, the “præcox” preference for childhood’s happy hour, and the “paranoiac” escape from the banalities of a society composed too exclusively of well-meaning, friendly but unbearably tiresome folk. All these phenomena are but the outbreak of the higher nature, the reaction of the superman, that  creature of light and air, to the dullness and dreariness of this underworld, in which the chrysalis drags out its drab and worm-like existence before the emergence of the butterfly.

In view, however, of the stubborn fact that the superman must continue to exist (unless indeed non-existence is the state preferred) in a world made up largely of subnormal, or even more deadly normal beings, the overbred and super-sensitive must seek some form of reconciliation to the fundamental absurdities that pass for real life, must even submit to something in the nature of a “cure” for the disease of superevolution, some esoteric bloodletting process as it were, in order to restrain the impulse to skip like a lamb in the sun on the hillside, and confine the gait to an anemic crawl along the narrow path of the commonplace.

Psychoanalysis appears to be the “indicated” treatment for these adjustment difficulties, and it is the purpose of this article to suggest to the as yet uninitiated some of the novel features in the mechanism of this psychotherapy, and to offer a few reflections thereon.

To assume the greater ease of the first person singular, I should perhaps say in passing, or by way of apology, that if I appear somewhat unduly and indecently personal in my observations on the new psychology, it is a habit fastened upon me by a half year of indulgence in an orgy of such voluble self discussion and analysis as I had previously fondly fancied to exist only in young ladies’ boarding schools. Figure to yourself, if you can, the inevitable result of conversing about your “soul,” and unburdening all its secrets and reserves in tri-weekly sessions with an inquisitive stranger! The process is a throw-back to those unsophisticated days when the Knight of La Mancha and a group of other romantics, met for the first time by accident in a country inn, whiled away the long evening in the unrestrained and interminable narrations of their lives and loves, complacently revealing to one anothers’  sympathetic and, one would imagine, sometimes startled gaze, the secret springs of their existence.

The psychoanalytic process begins, I may explain, with such a relating of one’s personal history, occupying many hours, and covering all that one has ever done, said or thought. One starts with reminiscences of the nursery and the kindergarten, and passes on to a detailed description of the coloring, height and contour of one’s first love. As this, in the case of a woman, is supposed to be her father, it is necessary to pause for some time on the aspects of the paternal figure, which affect all her subsequent emotional reactions, according to the well-known course of the so-called “Oedipus complex.” This is the imposing designation for the generally observed preference for each other of mothers and sons and of fathers and daughters, a phenomenon that the new psychologists, who take the common place with a seriousness! deem worthy of the most painstaking examination and erudite elucidation. “The root complex” and “the family romance” are other alluring titles for this parental-filial relation. This sentiment is supposed to modify all the so-called “affective” life. If father happens to be tall and thin and blond, then daughter, having a “fixation” on him, is, for all time to come, particularly susceptible to the attractions of tall, thin, blond men of advanced years. The analyst inquires minutely into the shades of complexion of all the patient’s inamorati in a manner that recalls the familiar “I see a dark man coming over deep water” of the tea-leaves in the tea-cup stage of one’s experience.

After the patient has sternly and heroically resisted the temptation to invent in the interest of her own self-respect, and also in mitigation of the ill-concealed contempt of the masculine practitioner for the paucity of her experience, a few more numerous and more romantic emotional episodes than have actually been doled out to her by a penurious fate, and has completed the short and simple annals of her poverty-stricken heart history, and  after the incredulous inquisitor has become at last convinced that there is indeed nothing more to be told, this chapter is closed, and then begins the régime of dreams and “free association.”

The interpreting of one’s dreams seems to furnish the doctor with a secret source of amusement that he tries in vain to dissemble, and as one is only too glad to make up to him in some measure for the hours of obvious boredom that he has endured while listening to one’s apologia pro vita sua, one indulges him by forming the careful habit of grasping firmly by the tail every elusive dream as it tries to whisk around the corner of consciousness during one’s first waking moments, pulling it painfully and resistingly back for close and detailed scrutiny, and laboriously committing to memory and subsequently describing its every feature and function at the next matinée performance at which one makes an appearance.

The chastening discovery of the dreamer who relates his dreams to the professional interpreter is that all that has been carefully withheld from revelation in the related autobiography, is disclosed with the most embarrassing crudity, and that secret sins of which one was quite unconscious are displayed with mortifying clarity. The dream is a mechanism for letting the cat out of the bag, all kinds of strange cats, of the existence of which their harborer was often unaware.

Dreams seem to reveal the dreamer as a hypocritical, evasive, self-deluding coward, unable to face the commonest facts of life, or to call a spade anything less innocent than a parasol, or even to confront his own friends and acquaintances, except by forcing them to masquerade under some so-called “surrogate” form.

My previous personal experience had led me to identify a surrogate as some kind of judge, but I soon learned that this narrow and technical meaning must be replaced by the more general signification of “substitute,” though  why the word substitute should not be considered good enough to use in this connection, I never learned. This is but one of the many examples of the perverse preference of the technicians of the new science for strange distortions of words with well recognized and frequently quite different meanings in common parlance. It comes as somewhat of a shock to the beginner to hear all emotion summarily classified as “sexual,” normal filial or parental affection designated as “incestuous,” friendship as “homosexual,” self-respect as “narcissistic” and the life force or will to power as “the libido.” Soon, however, one becomes as resigned to this strong language as to the evolutionary hypothesis, and finds it a no more unpalatable thought that all emotion is derived from sex than that all human beings are descended from an apelike ancestor. That this common use of the exaggerated statement leaves no adequate expression for the more intense emotions fails to disturb a cult that apparently regards all differences of feeling as of degree rather than of kind.

The narration of dreams puts slight work on the dreamer, and sorely taxes the mental resources and the ingenuity of the interpreter, but the real labor, the strenuous and unremitting toil to which the unhappy victim of this ritual is subjected by a pitiless practitioner is in the rigors of what goes by the disingenuous name of “free association.” This may sound like some pleasant if not spicy and highly unconventional pastime, but is in fact and literally a procrustean bed of torture. The helpless patient is forced to remove her bonnet and shawl and recline upon a couch with her eyes closed. Her merciless tormentor retires to a comfortable armchair in a corner of the room. There, because he is out of sight of the patient, he is supposed, according to the workings of the mysterious masculine psychology, to be entirely removed from her consciousness, so that she can concentrate  her mind on nothingness, just as if she were alone by the fireside. Then he starts in with something like the following initiation of the third degree: “What are your associations with the word authority?” You are supposed to respond to this irrelevant inquiry with something like the following idiotic emanations, “Government—Washington—the President—Mrs. Wilson—orchids—grandfather’s greenhouse,” and if you are entirely resigned to making a fool of yourself, and can abandon yourself to the spirit of this child’s play, this is what you finally learn to do, after many strenuous efforts to play the game, and the final attainment of a reasonable self-stultification.

If, however, as is likely to be the case, you are a more or less feminine person, instinctively unwilling to exhibit your mind in déshabille, and fatuously intent with a persistency worthy of a better cause on making a good impression on the only person present, you learn to use these opportunities to tell him everything to your credit that you can think of, and by carefully working out, preferably in advance, a chain of passable associations, to present yourself, your character, and your career in the most favorable light. The wide range of possibilities in this process that are open to the designing patient seems to be scarce dreamt of in the philosophy of the gross masculine mind.

This brings me by easy and inevitable stages to the important topic of the “transference.” To the unenlightened this may be defined as the mock modest and deceptive designation invented by the psychoanalyst for the more or less ardent affection for himself that he cold-bloodedly sets out to inspire in his victim. The doctor, for the benefit of his patient, temporarily transfers to himself and appropriates the devotion which normally belongs to father, brother, husband, son or lover. To be sure, it is to remembered that as there is no such word  as friendship in the psychoanalytic vocabulary, an attitude of confidence or admiration must be represented in terms of a deeper sentiment.

Of course what happens is that the patient mistakes for an attachment of the heart what is in reality only an intimacy of the mind, because such an abandon of reserve is indissolubly associated in the feminine mind with the ties of affection. According to the true Jamesian psychology, she loves because she confides, instead of confiding because she loves. How a poor man patient manages can only be surmised, but there are indications that the knowing of the sex furtively seek the ministrations of a woman analyst.

Apparently the theory on which all the varied forms of this treatment are based is that the catharsis of the mind is essential to mental health, the emptying of all that is in it, the expulsion of dead matter. The nausea of the soul is relieved like its physical analogue by freeing it from the undigested matter, the “repressions,” that lie so heavily upon it. The self-contained nature that refrains from spilling over and strives to maintain itself without recourse to the safety valve of confidence must in the end unload its burden.

After the destructive process is completed and the ground cleared for the constructive measures that are to rear the temple of the “mens sana in corpore sano,” the heavier half of the work remains to be done; for the gigantic task to which the practitioner of the new prophylaxis sets himself is nothing less than the reconstruction of the character of the patient. Indeed, a recent work on psychoanalysis has for its title The Mechanisms of Character Formation. The conversions that the Rev. Mr. Sunday and his less notable peers are wont to accomplish in an hour, these painstaking scientists patiently bring about in from some scores to some thousands of hours of equally strenuous labor. I am informed that  the cure of the first case of a certain type undertaken by one of these under-studies of the Eternal, actually consumed two thousand hours, and that the cure of the specific disease required the entire reconstruction of the character of the sufferer. Presumably the bill for “professional services” involved in this beatification was $20,000. One wonders whether the character that resulted was worth the price. The consulting room of the psychoanalyst is the new Beauty Parlor where those dissatisfied with their mental and moral physiognomy may have the lines of stress and strain smoothed away, and may gain the roses and lilies of a rejuvenated spiritual complexion. Unhappily I am unable to speak at length and with authority on this phase of the treatment; for I am at present only just entering upon the period of metamorphosis. I see dimly, “as through a glass darkly,” my own apotheosis looming ahead, but the road to that celestial height looks a long and weary and appallingly expensive journey.

It is the time element that perhaps most impresses and depresses the student of the new prophylaxis. In a recent paper by a competent psychiatrist the writer refers as follows to the impracticability of studying a group of cases in a public hospital on the plan of getting the patients to understand and explain their own difficulties:

At the rate at which the best of the psychoanalysts work, it would not be possible properly to study in the course of the year more than a dozen cases. Furthermore, the results of such work are of importance purely for the individual, and no generalization can be drawn therefrom…. Also, no generalization being possible, it is a matter of piece work; to study one hundred cases according to this method would require the efforts of fifteen to twenty psychologists on full time for many months.

In the opinion of the faithful, Freud, the inventor of psychoanalysis, is to psychiatry what Darwin was to biology, but as Darwin’s theory of evolution required more aeons than the geologists were able to oblige him  with, so Freud’s method requires more time than the calendar affords. Darwin’s theory of the variation of species had to be modified by the theory of mutations or sports. Freud’s methods, to be workable, must be adapted in some way to the indisputable fact that there are only twenty-four hours in the day, and only three hundred and sixty-five days in the year.

A careful mathematical calculation of the number of hours required to cure a psychosis by this new prophylaxis reveals an alarming disproportion between the minute number of physicians available, and the incalculable number of patients requiring their ministrations. One of the most ardent devotees of the new method is a practitioner who, according to the testimony of a confrère, enters upon his daily endurance test at 9 A. M. and without any luncheon psychoanalyzes continuously until 7 P. M. As the ordinary patient is supposed to require three hours a week of this treatment, for about five months, the doctor can, by working ten hours a day, treat twenty patients in one week, or allowing him two months vacation in summer (and he will need it) handle forty patients in one year. This, alas, is but a drop of medicine in the bucket of disease, and unless, by some homeopathic adaptation of the five-hundredth-dilution principle, we can make our medicine go farther it is only a limited number of the rich and leisure class who can ever be cured by these new methods. This is the prostrating situation that confronts the humanitarian—a little group of healers bravely but hopelessly taking up arms against a sea of mental troubles.

One cannot help wondering whether such exhaustive thoroughness is really essential. It seems sometimes to the disillusioned seeker after truth that the relation of the conscious life history, the revelation of the unconscious through dreams, the display of the mental processes through “free association,” are but the hocus-pocus devised for keeping up the conversation between the analyst  and the analyzed—a crude, clumsy, masculine technique for discovering, by somewhat labyrinthine methods, the essence of the personal quality of an individual. Might not this be obvious in a few hours of ordinary intercourse to a person of intuition, practised in the art of plucking the heart out of a mystery, instead of chopping up the whole anatomy to get at it?

The expenditure of time and effort and money required to gain the occult ends of what seems like a blind and blundering process, is certainly colossal. What the patient puts into it is comparatively unimportant. A fool and his money might as well be parted sooner as later, and the time of the patient, especially in the state of depression in which he ordinarily seeks treatment, is worth so little that killing it is as good a use as any to make of it. But think of the physician—a man of parts, of much general and special education, who has added to a large professional equipment the complicated technique of a laborious method that only a German thoroughness gone stark and staring mad, could perpetrate on a makeshift world, which, with all its failings, has not lost its sense of humor or its perception of the relative value of things mundane, and does still discriminate between time and eternity. Think of a first rate mind expending itself for hours on end in the minute scrutiny of some trivial neurotic mentality, probably as like as two peas to thousands of other equally insignificant particles of matter that pass for individual organisms.

If indeed the interest in another personality is the essence of the “cure,” one is tempted to ask why these egocentric erotomaniacs should not derive the same and mutual benefit from interesting themselves in one another? Why not pair them off, male and female as originally created, and embark them together on this ark of refuge from the deluge of the common life in which they are drowning? Let them sit by the hour, the day, the week,  and talk about their “souls,” relate to each other’s absorbed attention their life history, interpret each other’s dreams, and join in the freest of “free association.” Let the blind lead the blind, the sick heal the sick, the erotic love the erratic, and silly soul mate with silly soul, leaving the authentic souls of the doctors to be saved from stultification, and their talents used for the benefit of human beings who are really and truly suffering.

But, alas, there seems to be no such easy panacea for mortal ills: for to attain its ends the process must apparently be presided over by a superior if not superhuman intelligence. And the patient, if scientifically or benevolently minded, can take comfort in the thought that his case is perhaps sufficiently different from any hitherto handled to enable the investigator to benefit almost as much as the patient by the experience. Perhaps the months that the biddable patient who has overcome his “resistances” devotes to coöperating with the scientific explorer, may be reduced to weeks in the treatment of the next like-minded individual who submits himself for treatment by the more practised practitioner. I recall my despairing comment upon a doctor’s tale of the case that it took two thousand hours to cure, and the reassuring response that, now that the technique had been worked out and published, any competent person could turn the trick in from one-tenth to one-twentieth of the time.

The psychoanalytic approach to mental prophylaxis is perhaps still, after twenty years of groping progress, in the experimental stage. The few bold spirits who have braved the ridicule of their conservative confrères, and left the main travelled roads, are hardy pioneers blazing trails and treading out paths that will in time be easy traveling. It is inevitable that in the delicate operations by which these spiritual sawbones are mastering the mystery of this new art of the vivisection of the soul, they  should sometimes cause pain or even cut in the wrong place. But they are inspired by a very human sympathy for their victim-beneficiaries, and are rapidly learning their way about the spiritual anatomy, and discovering the skillful use of mental anæsthetics.

The strangest thing about this extraordinary process is that it really does cure the mind diseased. Where and what, one asks, and continues to ask, is the nexus between treatment and cure. Has any patient, however completely recovered, ever found out? Do the practitioners of this occult ritual know themselves, or have they simply hit on a practical technique, without a comprehension of a rational philosophical basis for its major operations? Is this like early groping experiments with “animal magnetism,” or mysterious forms of electricity which brought results long before an understanding of the reason of their success was arrived at? However this may be, it still remains true that, judged by its results, the new method, however dark and devious, must still be acknowledged to have attained a success, not sporadic and accidental, but continuous, consistent and increasing, and apparently, though incomprehensibly, connected as effect to cause with the procedure which has been sketched, or shall I say caricatured, in the foregoing pages.


Top-heavy civilization is always righting itself by a side-reach after the “primitive” and the “elemental.” Weary capitalists and professional men play—expensively—at what when all’s said is but a child’s game of ball enhanced by feats of walking. Science gives us the motor; and slug-a-beds who have hitherto accepted sunrise as an act of faith grow to be connoisseurs in effects of morning haze and chiaroscuro.

Perhaps, then, there are many others who, like myself, have discovered, in this year of the travail of humanity, the sober and healing pleasures of the garden. Of course I had always intended to have a garden sometime, on the same principle by which I hope to see Japan, to read the Old Testament in Hebrew (having first mastered a dozen other languages more immediately relevant to my business), to have my twilight stage of knowledge regarding the material universe dispelled by the blinding light of modern discovery. I had even used the planning of this garden, with its companion brook, grove, and lawn, as a lure for sleep. But that was a paradise for the eye alone; and in my heathen blindness I dreamed that the joy of the garden was in the beholding. Most pityingly I look back upon that time of ignorance. Confess, fellow amateurs, is not the joy in the making? Even harvesting, the end for which the garden was made, yields the gardener himself a crasser pleasure, as compared with the stirring of the earth, laying down seeds in a row like a string of matched stones, and most of all watching the young plants, obedient to his design, prick through the earth and advance from seed-leaf to bushiness or stateliness, from foliage to flower. To gather the fruits of your labor justifies your enterprise, but it is something like receiving royalties for a work of art born in a flash of inspiration.  To see the delicate green shoots, perfect in their vague promise, and innocent of the blights, distortions, and frustrations that may overtake them later on, stretching up and unfolding where the other day there was only black earth, is akin to the first vision of some great creative idea, before one meets its penalty in hours of toil and cheated hope. There is even a tinge of guilt in our pleasure; we have digressed, in the name of civic duty, from our lawful callings, considering that we made some sacrifice of time or strength, and our virtue has turned into an indulgence.

One of my first discoveries (after the simplest rudiments of the art I essayed to practise) was that of all topics on the lips of men the garden is the most conversable, the most fraternal. Hitherto, observation had led me to suppose children and rheumatism the most universal of interests. Having neither myself, I have been cut off from that fluent intercourse upon first steps and first words, adenoids, preventive dentistry, potatoes carried in the pocket, baths of hot brine, and the proportion of protein in the diet, which makes strangers or friends akin. There was always the weather; but—unless one has a garden, as sensitive as a poet to every nuance of sun or atmosphere—talk of the weather is a mere subterfuge, a symbol of our inarticulateness and awkward shyness masking our human yearning to know our fellows and to wish them well. The garden, as a subject of discourse, combines all the pretext offered by the weather to hint our good will without violating our shyness; all the diversity and perpetual surprise of a child’s development; all the right to condole with misfortune and to be agreeably officious about remedies enjoyed by those who encounter the rheumatic; all the delight of professional note-comparing known to invalids, cooks, and pedagogues. To appear in my garden, equipped with sun-hat and hoe, was, I found, to be hail-fellowed by every condition of men—pickaninnies, delivery-men, professors, elegants  and inelegants, experts and inexperts. My acquaintanceship among my neighbors grew like Jonah’s gourd. “Do you mind my asking what that line of white strips is for?” “To warn the English sparrows off my pea-vines.”—“Would you like some young cabbage-plants?”—“Your corn is lookin’ fine!” Common interests were visible and inexhaustible.

Other sociabilities also I have found in the garden. We prate a good deal of “companionship with nature,” and go out fussily to seek it, with camera, bird-book, field-glasses, and expensive camping gear. In the garden one loses all this self-consciousness. Instead of personifying nature, and offering her the compliment of man’s society, one sinks into one’s place as a piece of nature. The catbird spluttering joyous music at me, almost forgetting to be afraid; the cardinal that looks down where I stand tossing off a magnificent plume of spray from my watering-pot, and whistles, “We-e-ell! Who’d-have-thought-to-see-you-keeping-at-it?” and I myself, turning to my own uses the perpetual need of life to renew itself, to evolve out of seed and bulb new seeds and bulbs, which shall give birth in time to other seeds and bulbs—we are all part of the same process.

With our Little Brother the Robin I am approaching intimacy. It is pleasant to see him assume, with almost human egotism, that the worms I turn up, the strings I plant by, the stakes I drive, are special providences for himself. Yet I have never quite won his confidence. I have often longed to speak to him, explaining that there are worms enough for us both, and how easy I find it to scatter a few extra strings for his nest-building; I have longed to reassure the wild doves who run about on their pretty pink feet in the long grass near the garden, and at my approach fly away with a protesting soft “chitter-chitter-chitter.” I realize afresh, as I have often realized in watching people coax squirrels to eat from their hands,  or children lavishing affection on brainless hens and rabbits, that if there had been no Saint Francis, it behooved mankind to invent him. On the other hand, the gardener, a fighter in the struggle for food, finds the impartial views of the dilettante asking for “companionship with nature” quite unthinkable. The wild rabbit, which only last winter I thought an engaging creature, has not changed the sleekness of his brown coat, his funny little white tuft of tail, or his wavelike movements; but he has become repulsive to me.

A whole new set of values, in fact, takes possession of mind and senses. One comes to like the writhings of the angle worms in the muck, knowing that they do the gardener service. Various sights and contacts, once offensive, being now considered not simply in themselves, but in relation to our purposes, become indifferent or actually pleasurable. Even whiffs of fertilizer, if suggestive merely, give an agreeable sense that the work is going forward. And what an infinite gulf between “dirt” and “soil”! There lies between a whole initiation into secrets chemical and biological. Once I passed by garden tracts with undistinguishing eyes. Now to see them stifled with weeds, or to see the earth stiff and lumpy, affects me like walking in New York slums, or like a hideous grouping of colors; to see the earth mellow and finely tilled is satisfying, like a good chord in music, or like a firm strong drawing.

Digging, planting, transplanting, watching the sky, I have come face to face with the meaning of words I have known all my life, in the dim way we know most things outside our own importunate concerns. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone.” It is one thing to understand this saying botanically, and another to see it exemplified when you are breathlessly awaiting the result. “An enemy hath done this!” I cried when the wild rabbit stripped my young bean-plants, or when some great dog made his bed in my onion-patch.  All sorts of images, from parable, poem, and story, re-awake in my mind with a morning freshness and brightness. And in my turn I have enacted, or experienced, many a little apologue. For example, I discover that plants grown in over-shaded spots fall victim no less surely to what sun they get, on scorching days, than those quite unprotected. Here are the facts; the moralist may make of them what he will.

What would any art be without its disappointments and anxieties, its hours of depression that measure the worth of the goal striven for? The amateur gardener has his share. I pass over in forgiving silence—almost silence—the haughty fashion in which the masters of the craft, professing to offer information, so give as to withhold. Your professional is a thorough classicist; “nothing too much” his motto. Enough, and not too much, whether it be vanilla in the cookies, exercise for the invalid, “corroborative detail” in the narrative, or sunshine, water, fertilizer, depth of earth, mulching for your plants. And this all-important but inscrutable rule is the despair of every amateur. A grievance perhaps more personal to myself has been the unnatural behavior enjoined on me toward seedlings of my own sowing, my own cosseting. In a sense, I had brought them into the world, and now I was told some of them must be done away with, that the rest might thrive! As I edged along the rows, unhappily choosing, among all the pretty youngsters, the victims for the sacrifice, I reminded myself of Catiline (’tis consoling, at last to have a use for one’s education); notat et designat oculis ad caedem unumquemque. Sometimes my human instinct to value every individual and to lavish care on the weak has got the better of me. I do not dwell on the experiments to which I have resorted; but some of them, in spite of the doctrinaires, were triumphs! On the other hand, I have bitterly resented deformities and discolorations in my nursery. For the first time in my life  I understand how the Spartans could expose for death infants blemished in mind or body. I understand what fierce parental pride is at the bottom of many a father’s or mother’s blindness to faults and commonplaceness.

On every side I hear from fellow-enthusiasts detailed schemes for next year’s garden, vows of perpetual gardendom. I do not echo them. I have been initiated; a certain bond with my kind is mine henceforth. But the purest of human pleasures, as Bacon called it, is likewise the most tyrannous. Other joys may be caught up in Gideon’s fashion, while one marches on one’s way. Once the garden possesses you, it leaves no room for anything beside. The garden-seat of Adam and Eve has been universally regretted. But what had they to do except name the creatures, dig, sow, and reap? They did not have to pay their way with money, nor answer letters, nor read the newspapers, nor vote, nor keep track of the bacterial count in the milk they drank, nor study past history in order to interpret the present, nor even to learn the science of horticulture.


In its last throes the cruel Neo-Darwinian philosophy of nature and man is having one terrible, final, satanic triumph, for it is in no mean measure responsible for this incredible war, and especially for its incredible brutality. For just as the war and the peculiarly revolting and degrading methods of its conduct bear the “made in Germany” stamp, so does the Neo-Darwinian conception of evolution and its method bear the same precious label. For it was not only that Weismann of Freiburg gave form and seeming validity to this conception, during the course of his violent attacks on Lamarckism, but it was his following troop of German biologists and natural philosophers who gleefully put the conception into final form for general assimilation. For, as we shall explain later, it was a kind of biological philosophy that fitted in beautifully with German political and military philosophy; everything to the winner, nothing to the loser.

In the evolution of the human race the different peoples and nations are the analogue of the different species in lower creation. Just as among these brute species of field and jungle, ocean and stream, there is a constant relentless struggle of one species against the other nearest like it in habits, or nearest it in space, or most in the way of its increase numerically or expansion geographically, so is it among the peoples of the earth. And just as the species with the advantage of longer tooth or claw, or more ferocity, more endurance, or more cunning, wins by killing out, or, as among certain ant kinds, enslaving the other, so is it with these higher brutes, the peoples of the earth.

Human evolution is governed by the same factors as brute evolution, and the all-mighty and all-sufficient  factor is natural selection on a basis of life and death struggle and survival of the winner. Therefore the whole matter is very simple: that people is the chosen of Nature and God that devotes its best attention and energy to the business of fighting and fights in the most approved brute way with complete rejection of all those unnatural, debilitating and disadvantageous principles that an artificial and weakening form of social evolution has grafted on to human life. For this social evolution that the human species has adopted is based on a principle that is in direct conflict with nature, the principle of mutual aid and altruism. Nature’s principle is mutual fight and antagonism.

Thus said Weismann and his Neo-Darwinian followers; and thus quickly repeated the men who saw in this philosophy exactly the needed foundation and sustaining pillars for their own militaristic philosophy. In this fundamental natural philosophy they found exactly what they needed to give their militarism full acceptance among the German people; namely, the cold, disinterested support of science, the potent aid of scientific dogma. For Science is the German religion. The Gott of the German Kaiser is a god of steel and power, not of heart and pity. German success, so far as it goes, and of the kind it is, comes in truth from Gott und uns; but from their kind of god and their kind of us.

I heard the first impressive exposition of this Germanized Darwinism in a great German University twenty years ago, and I heard the second impressive exposition of it only a year ago at the Great Headquarters of the German General Staff in occupied France. This latter exposition was well illustrated by the conditions of the moment—and it was a memorable one for me. Here was the apparently conquering species, pushing into the land of the struggling native species; here was the species longer in tooth and claw, more ferocious and brutal, more unscrupulous and cunning, apparently winning in  this biological struggle for existence,—and taking breath and a few moments to explain why. No wonder we win; for we are in tune with Nature. We win because we ought to win for the sake of the future of the human race, for the sake of its evolution in harmony with natural law.

But now, in all soberness, what is really to be said of this German logic; this German philosophy of war and war methods; this holy justification on a basis of natural law of everything that seems worst and utterly hopeless to most of the rest of the world? Let us look at the whole matter, both the biology and the Germanism, in the light of freedom from dogma and outraged feeling. Let us look both at the alleged natural law and the German creature so camouflaged by it that he deceives himself into believing that he is really the superman that his philosophy paints him. For it is quite true that many Germans, many educated Germans, do believe what they say of themselves and of their Holy Crusade under the banner of Natural Law.

First we can say of this natural law that it isn’t natural law. Evolution is not all caused and controlled by natural selection; natural selection is not all based on cruel and extinguishing struggle; struggle is not all blood and violence. In a word, Nature is not all red in tooth and claw. And, finally, human evolution is not all identical with brute evolution.

The last score of years has brought us a wonderful new knowledge of biology. And it has brought us, too, a new realization of the great deal that we do not know about biology. The most conspicuous and significant part of our new positive knowledge has to do with the processes and results of heredity. The most conspicuous and significant part of our realization of our lack of knowledge has to do with the explanation of evolution. And the two things are intimately connected.

The time has come when the explanations of evolution need to be, and can be, looked on in a light free from  control by dogma. When this is done the hollowness and the hatefulness of the long reign of the much more than Darwinian Neo-Darwinism is clear as day.

Let us glance over the history of the doctrine.

The Greeks had ideas about evolution based less on known facts than on the visions and promptings of minds endowed with creative imagination. Yet these ideas foreshadowed in curiously close approximation the evolution conceptions, not only of the natural philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, to whom are usually ascribed the first formulations of the evolution doctrine, but even many of the newer formulations of the present and just passed centuries.

Even the essence of Darwin’s famous explanation of evolution by natural selection is suggested in the expressions of some of the Attic philosophers. As, for example, in the writings of Empedocles, who conceived of a creation of separate animal parts of a great variety of kinds and the coming together of some of these parts to form viable organisms and of others to form combinations unable to persist as successful creatures, because unfit to meet the demands of natural conditions.

But it was the great French naturalists, Buffon and Lamarck, who first expressed the evolution conception in fully worked out and reasonable form, while it was Lamarck who first offered a simple and wholly plausible explanation of evolutionary cause and control. His explanation remains to-day the simplest and most appealing to the reasoning mind of any that has been offered.

Unfortunately it lacked, and still lacks, the necessary basis of indispensable proof for its most fundamental assumption, to-wit, “the inheritance of acquired characters,” that is, the inheritance by the immediate offspring of those structural and functional changes or “acquirements” which came to the parents during their life because of their special use or disuse of parts and  their individual reactions to environmental conditions. The young giraffe had a longer neck than it otherwise would have had because its parents had stretched their necks by continual reaching up to the leaves on the highest branches. The young man-thing of Glacial Times had weaker and less developed scalp muscles because its parents had gradually given up any considerable use of these muscles for twitching their heavy shocks of hair to frighten away the flies.

Then came Darwin with his natural selection explanation, a very different explanation from Lamarck’s, and one also very plausible and logical. Darwin did not altogether disbelieve in Lamarck’s theory; but he believed much more in his own. Later came the Neo-Darwinians, and they went the whole way of rejecting Lamarck’s explanation entirely, and accepting the natural selection explanation as the wholly sufficient cause and the only one needed to explain all evolution. The leader of the Neo-Darwinians was August Weismann of the University of Freiburg. He had as followers most of the German natural philosophers.

What is this “natural selection” that we all know so well by name, and so little, I am afraid, by content? For natural selection is much more widely known as a dominating scientific dogma, accepted popularly with little question as a sufficient explanation of evolution, than as something to be itself explained and viewed with a proper scientific doubt. As a matter of fact, it is high time that it should be generally known that not many naturalists of standing today accept natural selection as a sufficient explanation of the thoroughly accepted fact of evolution, or even as the most important among the numerous probable contributing factors of evolution. Indeed there are many reputable naturalists who repudiate natural selection altogether, as an actual contributing factor in species-forming and descent, and concede its influence as an evolutionary control, only in most general relations.

 But in the popularization and wide acceptance of the natural selection dogma, we are in face of one of those familiar histories of the rise and dominance of a plausible, logically-constructed, apparently simple and sufficient explanation of a great problem pressing for solution. It is difficult for the world to accept the evolution theory without a causal explanation of it. But as the known facts prove the theory beyond reasonable doubt, it is necessary to accept it. Hence there is to most people a simultaneous necessity for accepting some explanation of it. Natural selection has had the fortune of being, since Darwin’s time, the generally accepted explanation. What then is it, really?

It is an explanation of evolution which it is the merit of Darwin to have devised;—or perhaps we ought already to say in the light of the fatal results brought about by the wide unreasoning acceptance of it, it is the demerit of Darwin to have devised;—an explanation based partly on certain observed facts, but more largely on a certain logical elaboration of argument for which the observed facts are assumed to be sufficient base.

The more relevant of these facts are the production by parents of too many young and the slight differing of these young among themselves in most of their characters, physical and mental. The production of too many young leads, according to the natural selectionists, to a life and death struggle for existence among them, and the slight differences among them lead to a decision in this struggle on a basis of the slight advantages or disadvantages of these differences. The two logical conclusions seem to be inevitable on the basis of the two facts.

On the structure so far reared, however, other blocks are placed. The selectionists believe that by the laws of heredity, although the young of a different parent or pair of parents do differ among themselves, they resemble their own parents more closely than they resemble other  individuals of their kind of species. So that the young produced by the survivors in the struggle for existence, although again slightly differing from their parents and each other, will, by the laws of heredity, tend to reproduce in their make-up the advantageous variations which were possessed by their parents and which gave these parents success in the struggle for life.

More than that: some of these young will tend to possess those advantageous differences—this by the laws of variation as antidote needed just here for the laws of heredity—in even more marked degree than existed in the parents, while others will possess them in less degree and still others in about the same degree. Hence, the particular young showing the increased differences will be the individuals of this generation to survive in the struggle. These will then leave behind them new young again tending to possess in varying degree those advantageous variations from the old or species type that make them especially “fit for the conditions under which they must live.”

Thus there will result, in a series of many generations, a gradual shifting of the character of the species to the type characterized by an ever increasing and perfecting of the original advantageous differences. This is “species transformation,” or the “origin of species” by natural selection. It is evolution on a basis of life and death struggle; extinction of the unfit; and survival of the fit, fitter or fittest. And just as with the different individuals inside the species, so with the different varying species. Each struggles with the other and the one or ones with the advantageous differences win at the expense of the others.

There is no doubt of the fascinating plausibility and seeming reality and sufficiency of this explanation. It makes a strong appeal to the logical mind; to the theory-spinning brain. You can understand it, prove it, expand it, improve on it, and, all this almost without ever seeing  an animal or a plant, or knowing anything of its actual life and relations to the world it lives in. No wonder it fascinated and seized a world demanding a logical explanation for the theory of evolution. No wonder that this explanation of Darwin, offered at the same time with a clear elucidation of the evolution theory itself to a world just ready for both, came to be the one all-sufficient explanation, came to be a scientific dogma of the most dogmatic type.

Now for real thorough-going dogmatism there is nothing like scientific dogmatism, there is no dogmatist like a scientific dogmatist. There are many scientific men who pretend to know absolutely that many things cannot possibly be because they have never seen them, heard them, felt them or measured them. It is because of these men, who are not many, but loud, that we scientific men as a class have a reputation among many people of being narrow-minded and bigoted; and I hasten to admit that many of us are. Not all that is called science is proved; and most certainly not all that is called non-science is disproved, or because as yet unproved is to be tossed lightly or sneeringly aside. The scientific man who declares what cannot possibly be, exposes himself as a boaster and a charlatan, for by such declaration he, by implication, claims to know all the order of nature, which certainly no man does know. No man knows all that is or may be; hence no man knows what is not or may not be.

It was Weismann’s new facts and new theories about heredity that did much to overthrow Lamarckism and make it possible to expand rational Darwinism into irrational ultra-Darwinism and then claim for it such an insolently dominating place among the explanations of evolution. And now it is the still newer and far less theoretical and more concrete knowledge of heredity that has dethroned Neo-Darwinism, made impossible and absurd the German claims of the Allmacht of natural selection  as evolution explanation, and revealed to us how little we really know of the potent causes and controls of evolution—if we may call that revelation which reveals darkness where before was apparent light. The factors of evolution that today we are more certain of than any others are the unknown factors, the causes we do not know, the methods we do not understand.

If this seems to be a humiliating confession to come from a biologist and professed student of evolution, it is one in which all honest scholars must join. If the Germans will not, they are not honest.

The new heredity, to characterize by this term the extraordinary increase and the more exact kind of knowledge of heredity acquired since the first recognition, in 1900, of Mendelism, has so shattered the seemingly unassailable logical structure of the natural selection explanation of evolution that it stands now only as a tottering skeleton of its once imposing self. It had always too much assumption of premises for its foundation and too much logic and finespun theory in its superstructure to be an enduring building. Even before the new knowledge of the facts and mechanism of heredity was available natural selection was already weakening under the criticism of scientific men, although but little of this was known to the man in the street. And even now when the new heredity has furnished the knowledge for a complete undermining of the natural selection theory as a species-forming factor, only occasional rumors of the disaster find their way into popular literature.

But long ago there began a popular revolt against the conception of the whole world of nature and man as ruled by a theory of continuous ruthless bloody struggle. Everyone knew that this was not the only relation of human beings to each other, and even most casual observation indicated that it was not the only relation of various kinds of the lower animals to each other. The obvious biological success of the social or communal insects, the  numerous instances of commensalism, or the living together on terms of mutual advantage of individuals of different species—the various ants alone have more than a thousand known kinds of other insects living with them—and the innumerable observed instances of what might be called balanced adaptations, such as those of the flower-visiting insects and the insect-visited flowers resulting in the needed cross-fertilization of the flowers and the needed supply of nectar and pollen food for the insects—all these had convinced biologists and nature-students and just nature-lovers that if natural selection were the all-ruling factor in determining the present character and the future of the living world it was a very different natural selection from that so redly painted by the Neo-Darwinians.

It is quite certain that Darwin himself never conceived of any such utterly brutal conception of natural selection as the Teutonized one. In all his writing he recognizes that the bringing about of adaptation to the conditions of life is the essential feature of evolution, and, when it seemed impossible or too far-fetched to explain adaptation by a ruthless struggle that extinguished some species and preserved others, he looked for other explanations, even accepting Lamarck’s for certain cases. He accepted everything that could make for adaptation, and among these other things than bitter fighting that could bring about and perfect adaptation he especially recognized mutual aid, and repeatedly called attention to species change based on mutual aid both within and between species.

But however suggestive and important it is to note how out of tune with the facts concerned with general evolution are the natural selection extremists, our special present interest centers around the attempt to bring the explanation of human evolution into tune with this out of tune conception of evolution in general. For it is on this basis, the basis of an alleged identity between the character  and control of human evolution and the character and control of brute evolution, that the Germans find their justification in natural law for their war philosophy and war practise.

The Germans are greatly given to explanations. These explanations always contain a specious show of reasoning and pseudo-reasoning. They are in line with some accepted philosophy or pseudo-philosophy. Their accepted pseudo-philosophy of human evolution is a thoroughly mechanistic one. It is one of economy of thought and argument. If man is an animal descended, or ascended, from the lower ones—as he is—and if animals are what they are today and will be what they will be tomorrow by virtue—or evil—of a natural law of bitter, brutal, bloody struggle, out of which emerge as survivors only those most brutally and fearfully qualified for such struggle, why, then, the case of man and of human evolution is simple. Schluss with discussion!

But the trouble with this simple convincing argument is with the premises. They are wrong.

Not only is bitter, brutal, bloody struggle not the single, nor the chief explanation of general evolution, but it is particularly not the chief explanation of human evolution, despite our origin and earlier life in Glacial or pre-Glacial Time as “animal among animals,” and despite the stream of ever more diluted inheritance from tiger and ape ancestors that flows with us, as we move through the ages, changing, ever-changing, as we move. The simplicity of the explanation of human nature and human life from origins makes its appeal to all of us, and especially to those de-spiritualized ones of us who find in pure mechanistic conceptions a satisfying and ultra-economical explanation of every complex and difficult problem. But it is a dangerous explanation, leading us to be blind to many facts that are, if we are honest in our seeing, quite clearly before us. No matter when or where we may have begun the course of our truly human evolution  we have come an immensely long way, a way so long that we have, we may say, almost no right at all to try to interpret our condition of today by the light of our condition in the beginning. And we have come to this point by the interjection into our nature by natural mutation, or conscious self-effort, of elements that were essentially foreign to our ancestors of the beginning days. We have, indeed, in our evolution a sort of double line; one that we may call our natural evolution, concerned with our physical characteristics and the fundamentals of our mental and social traits, and like all natural characters carried along in the race by heredity; and the other, that we may call our social or moral evolution, made possible, to be sure, only by the stage of our natural evolution, but concerned chiefly with various acquired mental and social characters, which are not an integral part of our heredity, but depend on speech, writing, education, precept and practise for transmission from one generation to the other, and, thus, for perpetuation and expansion in the race.

This social evolution, added to a natural evolutionary development of the social or altruistic habit based on the advantage of the mutual aid principle as opposed to the mutual fight principle, has had an amazingly swift flowering since the earlier days of human prehistory, and today contains all the present expression and future promise of man’s higher evolution. It has its roots in all of the best of man’s natural traits, and acts as a powerful inhibitor of the worst of them. It finds its natural validity in the great strength it adds to man’s position in Nature, for it permits a much swifter and more extreme development of human possibilities than would be possible by the slow processes of natural evolution. That which would take many generations to incorporate into our natural heredity can be put quickly into our social inheritance and still be hardly any the less powerful in its control of our life.

Now it is all this side of human evolution that the German  natural philosophy, especially as applied to international relations, leaves out of account. The Germans do indeed recognize the value of social evolution inside the race or nation, but its advantage is all for the sake of building up a powerful organism to fight effectively and viciously with all other races and nations. The different peoples are to be looked on as the analogues of different brute species, all terribly and everlastingly at war with each other, each using everything possible to it to gain the upper hand. Everything that can be construed to be of military advantage in this struggle is justified as biological advantage, and there is no doubt that to be inhumanly ferocious, brutal and cunning is of biological advantage in tiger evolution.

The test of this war philosophy will come for the Germans when they are being beaten and are beaten. Will they hold then consistently to their thesis, and admit that their line of human evolution is proved by their defeat to be a wrong line because it is not the strongest line? They have a way out. This way was suggested to me by the principal expositor at Great Headquarters of the brute struggle and survival theory. He said that it was possible to conceive of a failure of natural selection to work its ennobling way because of the perverse opposition to it of the artificial character of much of human life, but if natural law was to be restrained or upset by such an interpolated artificial control he, at least, would prefer to die in the catastrophe and not have to live in a world perverse to natural law. Of course he did not admit of the probability of such a situation. The Germans would win because they were fighting with Nature on their side. They were biologically right, and biological law would work with them to success. But there was the bare possibility of such an outcome to be reckoned with. If this possibility came to reality, why then all was wrong with the world, and he, for one, would not care to live longer in it.

 I do not mean to say that all Germans think out war in terms of biological struggle and evolutionary advancement of the human race. But there are many who do, and they are leaders. Now, in Germany leaders not only lead; they compel. Most Germans not only do as they are told to do; they think as they are told to think. Their whole training and tradition is to put themselves unreservedly in the hands of their masters. And as long as things go well, or fairly well, or even not very well but with promise of going better, they make little complaint. But when things are too hard for too long a time, they begin to question the infallibility of the All-Highest and the Near-Highest. And Germany already has suffered terribly and suffered long, and still suffers.

The German leaders are feverishly longing and working for an end of this war. They see more danger from within than from the outside. The Allies have declared that they do not expect to destroy or dismember Germany but the little people of Germany have not said what they will or will not do. They will not do anything if an end of the war can be made soon with some positive gain to be shown, or apparently shown, from it. But there is no telling what they will do otherwise, do, that is, to the men who have sacrificed them in vain.

But they are a long-suffering people, and a philosophizing people who have been taught that they are the race chosen of God and Nature, and that the inevitable course of natural evolution is carrying them on to be the Super-race of all earth. This philosophy will go a long way with them, and whether all the shrewd, calculating, self-seeking men of the Court and the General Staff believe it or not, it is a most useful philosophy for them. It puts all those who do believe it in their hands. And as I have said, many Germans do believe it. That is the great danger of the world from the Germans; so many of them believe what they say.


A generation with every nerve strained by the war will probably have little patience with a statement that the generation whose activities began soon after the middle of the last century, went through a conflict of perhaps equal importance, but such is the fact.

Like the present conflict, that was one between an old and firmly rooted principle that had outlived most of its usefulness and was fettering liberty, and a new principle that meant emancipation.

The contest was between the superstition (it was not consistent enough to justify calling it an opinion) on the one hand that man has fallen from a condition of primitive perfection to one of degradation, and on the other hand, the scientific demonstration that man’s experience has been one of virtually constant progress, up from protoplasm and probably from inorganic matter. On the former view hung the mass of putrescent and pestilent dogma that had fastened itself upon the sweet and simple teachings of Christ.

The conflict was probably the greatest of all between truth and superstition. The temper of it was perhaps most strikingly illustrated when, at the meeting of the British Association in 1860, Bishop Wilberforce asked Huxley whether it was “through his grandfather or his grandmother that he claimed descent from a monkey,” and Huxley answered:

“I asserted—and I repeat—that a man has no reason to be ashamed of having an ape for his grandfather. If there were an ancestor whom I should feel shame in recalling, it would rather be a man—a man of restless and versatile intellect—who not content with success in his own sphere of activity, plunges into scientific questions with which he has no real acquaintance, only to obscure  by an aimless rhetoric, and distract the attention of his hearers from the real point at issue by eloquent digressions and skilled appeals to religious prejudice.”

A witness says: “The effect was tremendous. One lady fainted and had to be carried out; I, for one jumped from my seat.”

Another witness says: “I never saw such a display of fierce party spirit,” and speaks of “the looks of bitter hatred” cast upon those who were on Huxley’s side.

Perhaps it is not trying to shape great complexities too definitely, to say that the conflict of which that was one episode, was the third of the civilized world’s greatest intellectual struggles—the establishment of the Christian church, the reformation of it, and the determination of its true relation to the progress of knowledge.

The last conflict, however, was a most hopeful illustration of the progress made since the first two, in that it involved no exposure of victims to the lions of the arena, no Nero’s torches, no Inquisition, no Thirty-Years’ War, no destruction of venerable and beautiful monuments, or of institutions for charity or education.

But of course that conflict of the last century, like all others, had its pains; yet as it did not directly touch the person or the pocket of the average man, he cared very little about it. Nevertheless it has filtered down into his very language, and when he is the sort of average man who likes to use big words, his share of the victors’ spoils includes the pleasure of frequently uttering, without quite understanding, such terms as environment, differentiation, and even integration, while the word evolution has become such a matter-of-course term that he and everybody else use it unconsciously—unconscious not only of most of what it implies, but even of their indebtedness to the men from whom they got it.* * In this connection there was something said about Herbert Spencer in our Number 16.

 Of those men, one of the most important, and far the most important in America, was John Fiske. The recent publication of his Life and Letters, by John S. Clarke, (Houghton-Mifflin Co.) gives occasion to say something about him and his part in the great conflict.

But first a word regarding the book. It is certainly a remarkable production for a man well over eighty. Though not entirely free from the diffuseness and repetition of age, it is nearer free than many respectable books of much younger men, while in faithfulness, patience and, on the whole, discrimination, it surpasses most. The author really understands the implications of Evolution, so far as yet worked out, and that is something that surprisingly few people do; and there are not a few places where he states them with a clearness and vigor which would do credit to anybody, and in a man of his years are no less than astonishing. Whatever imperfections the book may have, as a guide for the layman to the great revolution in thought which brought thought for the first time into stable equilibrium, the book is probably surpassed by no writing except Fiske’s own.

But while the author’s work is not to be estimated lightly, he would be the first to say that the charm and value of the book are mainly in Fiske’s letters, especially those to his wife and mother, which in naturalness, vividness, beauty of expression and humor are unsurpassed, and in wealth and ease of illustrative learning are unequaled, by any letters of which we know. For readers fond of books of travel, many of them will be of the very highest interest. Moreover they include a fine portrait gallery of the greatest men who won the fight for Evolution, at play as well as at work; and the letters to and from Darwin, Spencer, and a few others are rich in discussion of the profoundest topics that have engaged the human mind. In short, we know of no other book which admits the reader to as much intimacy with as high society. Jenkins would not agree with our terms, but if high society means the  men who made the greatest intellectual epoch in human history, our assertion is safe. Fiske himself had no small part in that great feat, and this book admits us into his intimate friendship with Lyell, Lewes, George Eliot, Tyndall, Huxley, Darwin, Spencer and not a few others among the leaders of the race. It seems quite probable that this life of Fiske may give a clearer idea of Spencer than is given in Mr. Duncan’s Life, or even in the Autobiography. Perhaps best of all, Fiske’s letters set before us as example a character of rare simplicity, sincerity and tenderness.

Lest all this praise lead some to disappointment, we hasten to add the obvious fact that the attractions of cotemporary history or even of portable epigram, which have made most of the immortal letters in literature, are hardly to be expected from a writer whose mind was generally absorbed in the widest generalizations of Philosophy and the History of the past.

And now as to the life itself:

Edmund Fisk Green, later famous as John Fiske, was born of excellent New England stock at Hartford, Connecticut, on March 30, 1842. His mother was early widowed, and went to New York to teach, leaving her son with her mother in Middletown. When he was thirteen, his mother married in New York, and this change in her surname probably has something to do with the change in his, to that originally borne by the grandmother with whom he continued to live. The grandmother’s father, John Fisk, was a remarkable man, and so his Christian name went with the surname.

The young John Fiske (the e was his own addition when he found that it had been used by his earlier ancestors) was precocious, as, despite many assertions to the contrary, great scholars and geniuses generally have been; but unlike Mill and Spencer—the cotemporaries he nearest resembled—Fiske had not the benefit in his early education of any exceptionally competent guide. From  childhood up, however, he stood out from his companions.

He had the usual schooling, interspersed with some special tutoring, and during two considerable intervals he pursued his studies unaided. All the while that his formal studies were going on, he read ravenously, and, from a very early age, only things worth reading. Thus in childhood he began the accumulation of what became a very exceptional private library.

When Fiske was fourteen, he joined the Congregational Church in Middletown, and for a time he was very religious indeed, taking an active part in the wave of “revival” which swept over the country two years later, in 1858. But early in 1859 he was reading Gibbon, Grote, Humboldt, and Buckle, and questioning the dogmas of Christianity, and quite probably was going through the reaction from the “revival,” which, throughout the country, was about as great as the revival itself; and it was not long before Fiske abandoned the dogmas altogether. But his reverence for all in the religion that was worth the attention of a reasoning being, never left him; and through life he even used its terminology to a degree that was sometimes hardly consistent with his fundamental convictions. He became also far the most effective builder yet known of the new religious superstructure legitimately based on the philosophy which, at about the time we speak of, was removing from many minds the traditional bases of religion.

Fiske’s infidelity led to his social ostracism in Middletown, but forty years later, the place had so far advanced that when it celebrated the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of its foundation, it invited Fiske to be the orator of the occasion.

In 1860 he entered Harvard.

Later, of Darwin he said: “There is now and then a mind—perhaps one in four or five millions—which in early youth thinks the thoughts of mature manhood.”  Such a mind was emphatically Fiske’s own: while he was still an undergraduate, two of his essays attracted attention on both sides of the water.

In college his marks in Philosophy were low: he knew more than his teachers did, and differed with them, and probably with his textbooks.

He was threatened with expulsion from college for disseminating among the students seditious ideas, including the doctrine of Evolution. Eight years later he was invited to expound the same ideas in a course of lectures in one of the chapels of the university.

A third instance of the revolution in opinion which marked the last century was the refusal, in 1872, because of Fiske’s unorthodoxy, to invite him to lecture at the Lowell Institute, which was followed less than twenty years later by invitations to do it. Then the demand for seats was so great that the evening lectures had to be repeated in subsequent afternoons.

After graduation, Fiske studied law, did two years’ work in nine months, passed a triumphant examination, and was admitted to the Bar. But after waiting for clients two years, during which he read more, in quantity and quality, than most fairly studious men read in a lifetime, and wrote several notable essays, he gave up law for the pursuits in which he was already eminent.

But though he gave up the law, nearly eighteen years later he could write thus to his wife (Life and Letters, II, p. 205):

“Judge Gantt thought he would stick me, and so propounded to me the barbarous law-Latin puzzle propounded by Sir Thomas More to a learned jurist at Amsterdam, ‘whether a plough taken in withernam can be replevied?’ Didn’t stick Hezekiah [The author does not give us the origin of this nickname] not much. I gave him a minute account of the ancient process of distraining and impounding and of the action of replevin,—considerably to my own amusement and his astonishment.”

 The conceptions of the Universe generally held at the time when Fiske was in college were fragmentary and chaotic, each phenomenon or each group of phenomena being, like language, a special creation of an anthropomorphic God, turning out different jobs piecemeal like a man. The conception of one power behind all had been a dream of not a few philosophers and poets, but as a fact comprehensible by the average mind, it was not known until the discovery of the Conservation of Force about 1860. About the same time was discovered the unity of all organic life, in its descent from protoplasm, and the identity of its forces with those of the inorganic universe. The nebular cosmogony, the persistence of force and the biologic genesis, united together, showed the power evolving, sustaining and carrying on the entire universe known to us, to be one, and constantly acting in unified process; and that every detail—from the most minute known to the chemist, physicist and biologist, up to the greatest known to the geologist and astronomer, and including all known to the psychologist, economist, and historian—was caused by a previous detail. It having been established that the same causes always produced the same results, these uniformities were recognized as Laws, and it was also recognized that conduct in conformity with these laws produced good, and conduct counter to them produced evil.

It became plain, too, to all normal minds, that the only conceivable object of these processes was the production of happiness, and that all records of them proved that they tend not only to produce happiness, but to increase it.

These facts rendered entirely superfluous all the previous imaginings of anthropomorphic deities issuing commands, to obey which was good, and to disobey which was bad. For all that, was substituted a beneficent Power transcending man’s complete comprehension, but with infinitely greater claims to gratitude and reverence, and sanctions for morality infinitely more intelligible and authoritative.

 These great discoveries were at once grasped by Fiske’s great intelligence, and welcomed with enthusiasm. To their dissemination he mainly devoted his next twenty years, and to their illustration in the origins and foundation of our national commonwealth, the rest of his career.

In explanation of this ordering of his interests, he said that he always had had a predilection for History, but that a man who needs a philosophy must get it fixed before he can properly do anything else. It is to be presumed, however, that he was also attracted to Philosophy by the fight for Evolution, by his intimacy with Youmans and Spencer, and perhaps most of all, by the appeal to a mind that, in spite of his enjoyment of the good things of life, was at bottom profoundly religious. All this involved his strong conviction of the need of building up the religious implications of Evolution, to take the place of the old sanctions which, in many minds, Evolution had set aside.

Fiske also contributed one generalization to our knowledge of biologic evolution, and that is a good deal for any man to do: many have attained fame for less. It was a generalization so important that Darwin regretted not having developed it himself. The contribution was, as most of our readers know, regarding the effect of long infancy upon psychic, and hence upon social, development. The reasons, when suggested, are as obvious as Columbus’s egg: they are, of course, the aid to the evolution of the family and of altruism.

When, after Fiske had done his best on these themes, and Evolution in History became the study of his life, in that work he was a pioneer, and probably as well fitted for it as any man that ever lived. His cutting off in the midst of his plans, before he was sixty, was one of those disasters and apparent wastes which are among the great puzzles of the Universe.

Nowadays the man in the street would expect that in Ireland the frequency of marriage would vary inversely  with the price of potatoes, and the frequency of illegitimacy would vary directly with it,—that in France, or anywhere else, the ratio of unstamped letters dropped into the boxes, to those duly stamped, would be the same year in and year out; in other words, that the conduct of men in general is regulated by environment and determined by law. But when Fiske was in college, and these ideas were new, as far as anything can be new, and when Buckle brought out a book full of them and their supporting facts, they appealed at once to Fiske’s exceptional powers of correlation—of tracing order in the history he had been reading, and in the life he was beginning intelligently to observe. The precocious boy’s enthusiasm was greatly stirred, and yet his critical faculty did not lose its discrimination. He wrote an essay on Buckle which was praised by the best judges in England; and when Spencer came along sweeping all these ideas into the one colossal generalization of Evolution, Fiske was wild with delight. His own studies of language had been wide enough to enable him to apply to it the new generalization, and he wrote an essay on The Evolution of Language which increased the effect of his Buckle essay on both sides of the Atlantic, and received the commendation of several leading men, including Spencer himself. How much in advance of the age these ideas then were, is well illustrated by the fact that somewhere about 1860, some of the authorities at Yale actually set the students, who were not Fiske’s, as a theme for discussion: “Is language of divine or human origin?” This theme was not set by Whitney: he already knew better, and was very much out of gear with Yale because of the knowledge, though as far as his colleagues were concerned, he kept his out-of-gearness to himself.

Fiske was never absorbingly interested in the specific problems of the elevation of the less fortunate portion of mankind, but the wider philosophic and historic problems  to which he was devoted include those specific ones. The widest of all, of course, is Evolution, and probably he did more to diffuse a knowledge of that than any man of his time except its two greatest discoverers. Had he lived to apply, as he proposed, the all-comprehending law to the history of our nation from the time it became one at Washington’s inauguration, his help in the perplexities which now, next to the war, most beset us, would have been invaluable. But what he did live to accomplish is of a value that probably none of us can realize, and not many even suspect.

The fundamental policy indicated by the law of Evolution is: Build on what you have. Next to the family, the one institution on which civilization rests is the right of private property—the opportunity of every man to obtain and hold it. The growth of this right made the advance from slavery and feudalism. Owing to the great difference in men’s capacities, its present most marked attainment is capitalism, but with the gradual development of men’s capacities, especially as promoted by the spread of education, capitalism seems destined to evolve into coöperation, of which the germs are already manifest in the savings-banks and stock companies, especially the avowedly coöperative companies whose special development has been in England. The only legitimate and permanent source of private property is production. The robbery of Russian landholders or American manufacturers to confer the semblance of property rights on the incapable, is not evolution, and can have no permanent results. In all such proceedings, the property has soon disappeared, or found its way back to the capable. Such processes are catastrophic: the only successful ones have been evolutionary. The general realization of this would probably do more to settle the irrepressible conflict between the haves and the have-nots than any other purely intellectual agency now within sight. While the word Evolution is on everybody’s tongue, men whose thinking is saturated  through and through by a realization of the law, do not abound. If they did, there would not be so many Bolsheviks, and Russia would still be in her place with the allies.

One of the most important causes of the war which Germany is waging against civilization, is her imperfect grasp of the philosophy of Evolution, and one reason for her imperfect grasp is the scarcity of men like Fiske. The doctrine that the fittest should and must survive is sound. Germany’s doctrine that she is the fittest, is not: for it makes the tests of fitness brute force, cunning and unscrupulousness, and ignores the fact that the course of Evolution has brought into the world such forces as love of justice, sympathy, the coöperative spirit, and altruism. Whether these qualities are yet so far evolved as to be the fittest to survive, is being tested by the conflict now going on. If Germany proves herself fittest to survive, it will be proved only that although the other qualities control in many advanced places, the time for the world’s control by them is not yet come. If the Allies conquer, it will be proved that that time is already here.

In a rough way it may be said that Spencer, in restricting himself to demonstrating so much of evolution as could be expressed in terms of Matter and Motion, left open too much opportunity for the German conception that evolution stops at the point where those terms stop; and it can be said, with equally rough justice, that the philosopher who, up to this time, has traced the law farthest beyond that point, was Fiske.

Spencer said in a letter to Fiske, February 2, 1870 (Life, I, 368. The italics are apparently the biographer’s. We condense a little.):

“The deanthropomorphization of men’s conceptions has never occupied any conspicuous or distinctive place in my own mind—they have been all along quite secondary to the grand doctrine of Evolution from a physical point of view.  As I originally conceived it, ‘First Principles’ was what now forms its second part. I subsequently saw the need for Part I (The Unknowable) simply for the purpose of guarding myself against the charges of atheism and materialism. I consider it [‘The Synthetic Philosophy’] as essentially a Cosmogony that admits of being worked out in physical terms, without necessarily entering upon any metaphysical questions, and without committing myself to any particular form of philosophy commonly so called. My sole original purpose was the interpretation of all concrete phenomena in terms of Matter and Motion, and I regard all other purposes as incidental and secondary.”

Spencer would not go out of reach of experiment—at least collateral experiment, but Fiske went into intuition freely. Spencer avoided the labyrinth altogether, Fiske went into it boldly, but always kept within reach of the clue of experience.

But those who do not already know the contrary, should not infer from this that Spencer ignored the field of Ethics. Quite the reverse: he made probably the most important scientific contributions to that field yet made, in tracing the evolution of the conduct of sentient beings from its first manifestations in reflex action, in the avoidance of danger, and the procuring of food, through the seeking of mates, the care of offspring, the forming of groups, up to the highest development of personal and social relations and the moralities therein involved.

But for one person who has read Spencer’s Ethics, a hundred, probably a thousand, have read his work in the unmoral fields, and tens of thousands have their ideas of Evolution restricted to the fields explored by Darwin and Hæckel, and in those fields it is the brute and the Prussian that survive. But civilization grows in other fields.

Although Fiske was as thoroughly convinced of Evolution as Spencer was, he did not stop at its demonstration within the limits which Spencer imposed upon himself, but followed it into the fields of the spirit, as illustrated  by the titles of some of his essays: The Idea of God, Through Nature to God, Life Everlasting, The Origin of Evil, The Unseen World.

When, in the fifties and sixties, Science abolished the anthropomorphic limitations of the Creator, it did not stop there, but abolished, for the time being, all the anthropomorphic qualities, including those that have not necessarily any limitations at all. While the universe, despite frequent inadequacy, disproportion and catastrophe, still abounds in obvious beauty and happiness, Science for a time shut its eyes to beneficence, and denied benevolence and even purpose. Fiske did more than anybody else has yet done to restore them—to show that they are corollaries of Evolution. He said, in his Cosmic Philosophy: “The process of evolution is itself the working out of a mighty Teleology of which our finite understandings can fathom but the scantest rudiments.” He did more just there than any modern philosopher, perhaps than any philosopher, to show that this teleology is beneficent, and so to restore the attitude of mind which it may not yet be too late to call Faith in God and Immortality.

This attitude of mind, however, has received some impetus from new phenomena now open to Psychical Research, but hardly yet as much new impetus as the old one Fiske gave it with more limited materials.

The following passages indicate in brief what Fiske gave at length in his Idea of God, Destiny of Man, Origin of Evil and kindred writings. Contrast them with the quotation from Spencer a page or two back: This is the closing passage of The Unseen World.

“We must think with the symbols with which experience has furnished us; and when we so think, there does seem to be little that is even intellectually satisfying in the awful picture which science shows us, of giant worlds concentrating out of nebulous vapour, developing with prodigious waste of energy into theatres of all that is grand and sacred in spiritual endeavour, clashing and exploding  again into dead-vapour balls, only to renew the same toilful process without end—a senseless bubble-play of Titan forces, with life, love, and aspiration brought forth only to be extinguished. The human mind, however ‘scientific’ its training, must often recoil from the conclusion that this is all; and there are moments when one passionately feels that this cannot be all. On warm June mornings, in green country lanes, with sweet pine odours wafted in the breeze which sighs through the branches, and cloud-shadows flitting over far-off blue mountains, while little birds sing their love-songs and golden-haired children weave garlands of wild roses; or when in the solemn twilight we listen to wondrous harmonies of Beethoven and Chopin that stir the heart like voices from an unseen world; at such times one feels that the profoundest answer which science can give to our questioning is but a superficial answer after all. At these moments, when the world seems fullest of beauty, one feels most strongly that it is but the harbinger of something else—that the ceaseless play of phenomena is no mere sport of Titans, but an orderly scene, with its reason for existing in

One far-off divine event

To which the whole creation moves.”

And the following from a letter to his mother:

“My chief comfort in affliction would be the recognition that there is a Supreme Power manifested in the totality of phenomena, the workings of which are not like the workings of our intelligence, but far above and beyond them, and which are obviously tending to some grand and worthy result, even though my individual happiness gets crushed in the process, so that the only proper mental attitude for me, is that which says: ‘not my will but thine be done.’”

And this on Immortality (Life and Letters, II, 317):

“The materialistic assumption that the life of the soul ends with the life of the body is perhaps the most colossal  instance of baseless assumption that is known to the history of philosophy. No evidence for it can be alleged beyond the familiar fact that during the present life we know Soul only in its association with Body, and therefore cannot discover disembodied soul without dying ourselves. This fact must always prevent us from obtaining direct evidence for the belief in the soul’s survival. But a negative presumption is not created by the absence of proof in cases where, in the nature of things, proof is inaccessible. With his illegitimate hypothesis of annihilation, the materialist transgresses the bounds of experience quite as widely as the poet who sings of the New Jerusalem with its river of life and its streets of gold. Scientifically speaking, there is not a particle of evidence for either view.”

On this his biographer justly comments:

“This positive statement will be more seriously questioned now than at the time when Fiske wrote. The many able investigators engaged in probing scientifically the mysteries of psychical phenomena, are bringing forth a mass of evidence which goes to show the presence of a form of existence which transcends mere physical existence.”

And as showing Fiske’s attitude toward the religion around him, his biographer says:

“In Fiske’s mind Christianity was the mightiest drama in human civilization: it was his rare gift that he could appreciate it with the feeling of the poet as well as with the critical judgment of the philosopher.”

The passages quoted will seem almost pathetically limited, in view of the new phenomena of mind which, whether they be or be not found to demonstrate for our souls a longer existence than experience has ever demonstrated before, unquestionably already demonstrate for them a wider scope.

It has not been more than a couple of years since a leading American author, whose work has often ornamented  the pages of the Unpopular Review, said: “I hate the very name of Evolution.” This was because Spencer traced the law no farther than it could be expressed in terms of Matter and Motion, and our friend was a profound student of the Greek and Oriental imaginings which try to transcend all that can be expressed in those terms.

And yet a few years before, the same scholar was one of the earliest students in this country of M. Bergson—the Bergson to whom a friend lately said: “People run after you because you have covered the colossal forbidding structure raised by Darwin and Spencer, with flowers.” “No,” said Bergson, “I have shown that the flowers necessarily grow out of it.”

The paradoxical student of Bergson, who did not see these flowers, has since grown to a better realization of them, and of the Law of Evolution. He lately said that he was tracing the course of thought from Plato to Christ, and when his companion remarked: “Oh! You’re writing on the evolution of the Christian religion,” he admitted the soft impeachment. But what Bergson did not do for him, has been partly done, though indirectly, as the same thing has been done for the world more than by any other man, by Fiske.

President Butler once said that Philosophy begins where Spencer left off. But he did not say, and could not justly say, that it begins beyond regions whither Spencer pointed the way. In fact he was not just in saying that Spencer’s generalizations, in the regions to which he confined them, were not Philosophy, or that there was any real break between those regions and the regions beyond, where they were carried by Fiske, or even the regions still farther beyond where, whatever may be the outcome, they are now being carried by students given to legitimate Psychical Research. Spencer was too early for the movement into the latter, and as to his relations with the former, Fiske well says (Evolution and Religion, p. 277):

 “There are some people who seem to think that it is not enough that Mr. Spencer should have made all these priceless contributions to human knowledge, but actually complain of him for not giving us a complete and exhaustive system of theology into the bargain.”

Yet Spencer, though he restrained himself from transcendental speculations regarding Evolution, was by no means insensible to them when made by others. Some readers not altogether unfamiliar with Emerson will be surprised at the collection made by Fiske’s biographer, of Emerson’s inspirations regarding Evolution, especially as they were given on an almost negligible knowledge of the scientific development of the law. Spencer appreciated them so highly that among his few American pilgrimages was one to Concord, and this despite Spencer’s distrust of intuition, and Emerson’s faith in it.

By some even modern thinkers Intuition is boldly claimed to be an instrument of research; by others its very existence, outside of morbid imagination, is denied, and the only legitimate instrument of research is declared to be observation verified by experiment that can be repeated at will. The truth, as usual in controversy, includes both statements, and is covered by neither. Creatures with rudimentary eyes and ears must have “intuitions” of colors and sounds beyond their capacity of clear apprehension; and even our eyes, which must be rudimentary compared with possible eyes, have in regard to even our spectrum, intuitions, some of which have recently been made clearer by the photograph and the X-ray. These cleared-up intuitions are now added to positive knowledge. Intuition is here proved an instrument of research, and it is one in every discovery. But until verified by experiment, it is not a reliable instrument of research: for what seems to be intuition is often mistaken, and is generally so vague as to be subject of conflicting opinions, and hence of conflicting action. Moreover, as the subjects of intuition are beyond our knowledge, intuitions are often held to be  superior to knowledge, and worthy of greater enthusiasm. Consequently conflicting opinions regarding intuitions have probably led to more tragedies than any other blunder. There is no intuition more nearly universal than that of the immortality of the soul. But even so devout a man as Fiske pronounced it unverifiable, and it is so uncertain that all sorts of conflicting dogmas have grown up around it, until it has led not only to the self-immolations of India and the human sacrifices of Mexico, but to the Arena of Nero, the inquisition of Torquemada, the Thirty Years’ War, and even within the memory of living men, the agonizing rupture of many a family.

Fiske did more, through deductions from the law of Evolution, toward putting this most important of intuitions upon the basis of established knowledge, than any man had done before him. He did this not only in his writings on The Idea of God, Through Nature to God, and The Destiny of Man, but in the whole tendency of his work, not only when expounding the Law of Evolution as Philosophy, but in tracing it through History. In this particular he was in advance of his great compeers in his own department: for he did not hesitate, as Darwin, Spencer, and Huxley did, to deal with the intuitions of his time. Such intuitions as are true being necessarily in advance of knowledge, there is danger of assuming to be true some that are not. This danger kept Huxley almost entirely away from them, and Spencer farther away than any other great philosopher. It was this abstention, certainly excusable and probably justifiable in one who prefers it, that makes his philosophy hated, and prevents its being even studied, not to say understood, by those who love the quagmires and mirages built up by mistaken intuition.

That essential instrument of research—invaluable, despite all its dangers—Fiske estimated more broadly and justly than, perhaps, any other philosopher, certainly than his great master. This makes it singularly pathetic  that his premature death should have cut him off from the investigations which have seemed to many leading minds to point to a verification—even to have reached a verification, of the greatest as well as the widest intuition of the ages. If he has risen to a bird’s-eye view, or more probably a teloptic consciousness, of what is going on here, it must amuse and cheer him to see that the psychical researchers are not persecuted as the evolutionists were—as he himself was in his youth, but are at worst merely laughed at as a set of inoffensive idiots. Balfour, Crookes, Lodge, and Barrett are among them, and James, Hodgson, Myers, and Sidgwick are passed from among them; and we believe that Fiske and even Spencer, had their lot been cast in these days, would be among the most interested of them.

We were on the brink of writing that probably most of the readers of this essay will have heard some of those unprecedented lectures and addresses on American History delivered by Fiske during his last twenty years. But we were startled by the realization that almost another twenty years have elapsed since the last of those lectures was delivered, and that a large proportion of our readers were then too young to be interested in them. Some readers perhaps even need to be told that Fiske was the first eminent historian who had a clear conception of the Law of Evolution—so far as a clear conception was then, or is perhaps even now, possible. But his historical works containing those lectures are so well known that it would be as nearly superfluous as it is impracticable to descant upon them here. Though they were published irregularly, they make a continuous narrative from the influences leading to the discovery of America, down to the inauguration of Washington; and many high authorities give them the very first rank, and declare that the author’s premature death before bringing them down to his own time is a great loss to the world.

 Some of his historical lectures were delivered to “the very cream of London,” as Huxley said, and to the unbounded enthusiasm of one of them, regarding whom Fiske wrote his wife:

“Spencer said after the lecture, that he was surprised at the tremendous grasp I had on the whole field of History and the art with which I used such a wealth of materials. Said I had given him new ideas of Sociology, and that if I would stick to History, I could go beyond anything ever yet done. Said still more: I never saw Spencer warm up so. I said I didn’t really dream when writing about American history that there could be anything so new about it. ‘Well,’ said Spencer, ‘it is new anyway: you are opening a new world of reflections to me, and I shall come to the rest of the lectures to be taught!’”

The estimation of Fiske’s historical work in England is farther shown by his having received an invitation, which he could not accept, to deliver a long course of lectures at Oxford; and another, which he did accept but died before he could fulfil, to represent America by an oration at the millenary celebration in honor of King Alfred.

To appraise and compare the learning of great scholars is hardly possible. Fiske was unquestionably one of the most learned of men. In 1863 he pronounced Spencer the most learned man living. I knew them both pretty well, Fiske very well, and to my ignorant apprehension he always seemed the more learned of the two. One thing stood out in the learning of them both—so little of it was “useless knowledge.” Many contend that no such thing exists, their general lemma being: “You never can tell when a bit of knowledge will come into play.” But you attempt to tell every time you seek a truth: you estimate its value as compared with other truths that you might be seeking, and while you can know but a minute portion of all that is known, you do, if you are in earnest, take precious good care that your portion shall contain what  you deem to be of most worth. If you happen to have a genius for abstract speculation, whose bearing on human happiness may be imperceptible, you indulge your propensity, and justify yourself by the “You never can tell.” But after all, probably it will never be told, and the results of your acquisitions may be as futile as those of the man generally called the most erudite of our time, all of whose learning did not prevent his maundering about “infallible authority” in a human brain, speaking tolerantly of persecution; and writing “different to.” Nor did it enable him to produce any very great work, or give him a range of thought materially wider than if he had lived six centuries earlier. Fiske’s erudition not only fortified his judgment, but was a basis for many productions of great scope and importance.

Fiske wasted very little time on learning that led nowhere. He knew most of the famous futilities generally called Philosophy, but he studied them as a pathologist studies his morbid specimens—to learn and teach what to avoid and how to cure. From his learning grew great and true and useful thoughts, whereas from the learning of many great scholars grow no thoughts at all.

He went to the root of the matter when he said (Life and Letters, I, p. 255): “There are so many things to be learned, that at first sight they may seem like a confused chaos. The different departments of knowledge may appear so separate and conflicting, and yet so mingled and interdependent, as to render it a matter of doubt where the beginning should be made. But when we have come to a true philosophy, and make that our stand-point, all things become clear. We know what things to learn, and what, in the infinite mass of things to leave unlearned—and then the Universe becomes clear and harmonious.”

Before the vastness of Fiske’s knowledge was summed up in his biography, even those who knew him best probably had a very inadequate idea of it. The traditional “everything about something and something about everything”  is all that is conventionally expected from great scholars, but Fiske probably came as near to knowing everything about everything as any man ever did. He knew more about philosophy than most good philosophers, more about history than most good historians, more about biology than most good biologists, more about languages than most good philologists, more about law than most good lawyers, and even more about music than most good musicians. Not only had he studied more widely than most of them, but he remembered with an ease and accuracy seldom equalled. He said that if he ever read a fact in connection with a date, the two were fixed together in his memory, and it was astonishing to test him on such points. For instance, in December, 1898, he might say, “You remember that on February 27, 1878, you wrote me so-and-so”; and this, with him, was a mere matter of course.

His liberality and happy ingenuity in sharing his knowledge with his friends were delightful. In many a talk into the small hours and even into the dawn, Fiske did most of the talking; and yet in such a way that nobody thought of his monopoly of it until afterwards.

Among the things that his biographer left out was that old black meerschaum pipe of the late sixties and early seventies. It was an equilateral triangle about two and a half inches on edge, cut from a slab of meerschaum a little over an inch thick. It had a cherry stem about a foot long. When Fiske got settled down, he would slowly pull the bowl and the stem and the tobacco separately from some of the infinite recesses of his person, and get them together and in operation, and then heave one of his immense sighs of contentment, and be ready for conversation. Yet there’s a paradox in my recollections of this pipe. I’m sure all those I have stated are correct, and yet at that time “the recesses of his person” had hardly begun to approximate infinity, as they afterwards did: amid all the impressions is one that he was rather slight, but  that must have had something to do with the thinnish beard of the portrait before me as I write, which it is a pity was not put into the biography.

He was the “broadest-minded” man I ever knew—most alive to the good points of things he did not endorse. During his whole life his attitude toward the religion which had persecuted him, was one of reverent but discriminating affection.

Yet it is hardly fair to discourage readers, as it must be admitted Fiske’s biographer does, by leaving the implication that this extraordinary creature was superhuman.

With all his colossal powers, he was not, perhaps fortunately for us, what is usually called a genius: his conclusions were reasoned and consistent, and his likes and dislikes reliable. But he had not that intuitive power which leads a man like a bee in a quick straight line to the essential thing, or to put vast accumulations of truth into epigrams. He was enormously instructive and always entertaining, but he was seldom suggestive. He dealt in food, rather than in condiments. He had to plod to his conclusions in his irresistible elephantine way. To get rid of Christian dogmatism, when the first page of the Westminster Catechism is enough for some men, he had to read a library; and when he was twenty-two, he wrote Spencer that he had “successively adopted and rejected the system of almost every philosopher from Descartes to Professor Ferrier.”

He had his faults like the rest of us, but not as many mean ones as most of us. He was hardly ever selfish or irritable or impatient: the elephant bides his time, though he never forgets. But Fiske was better than the elephant, in that he never harbored revenge. His few faults were “childlike and bland,” though, unlike those of the accepted exemplar of those virtues, never deceitful, and to a great extent they were forced upon him by circumstances, and of course were “faults of his qualities”—of a mind that could  not hold itself down to the business of life. But take him by and large—and he was so very large—he was not only a very great man, but a very good man. Yet he was not, nor was ever anybody else, such a man as biographers necessarily depict if they write while there are still living those whom the whole truth could hurt.

But our present biographer has not even brought out, except as they show themselves by implication, some of Fiske’s remarkable virtues. During an acquaintance of very exceptional intimacy, I never heard him curse any human being or speak of one with merciless hate. Of one who, he thought, had injured him unjustifiably and cruelly, he generally made fun; of another, who presented fewer temptations to burlesque, he often spoke admiringly, and perhaps less often with a sarcasm doubly powerful because judicial.

He had absolutely no pride of intellect: partly, perhaps, because from childhood he naturally kept himself, by his chosen reading, in contact with the greatest intellects, and so was never struck with the greatness of his own. We had not been out of college long, and I had not made much progress out of the average new A. B.’s worship of intellect, when, as we were speaking of a common friend, I said something to the effect that I wished he had more brains (I now suspect that he had more than I had) when Fiske, who had more than both of us, made a few remarks, very kind though very instructive, on the superiority to mere intellectual power, of goodness, sympathy, and refinement. Once with a friend unknown to fame, who seemed a mere pigmy beside him, he had had a long talk with one of the world’s greatest men, and Fiske was heard to say that he was struck throughout by the fact that his obscure friend showed more intelligence than he did. The fact probably was that his friend’s intelligence really was quicker than the elephantine but irresistible movements of Fiske’s great mind. But Fiske did not think of his own power, but only of the agility of his friend. The  friend subsequently said that he supposed he had understood all that was in the books of his two companions, but he certainly did not understand all that was in their talk—the talk in which Fiske had ascribed to himself the less intelligence. Another illustration: many years ago, when Taine was on the lips of all American readers, Fiske said: “He’s a sort of big John Fiske—a diffuser of other men’s ideas, without ever having originated an idea himself.” Probably this was before Fiske had developed his own idea, generally recognized as original, of the effect of long infancy in evolving the higher qualities of a species.

Yet Fiske’s distinction between finders and diffusers is not necessarily as modest as, at first sight, it appears, and certainly not as simple. Newton, Darwin, Spencer, and their kind undoubtedly form a very respectable group, but so do St. Paul and all the great apostles of all the faiths, not to speak of the historians. And on which side of the line, if you run it through all writers, will you put Homer, Dante, and Shakespear?

The world was never as full as it is just now of what pleases to consider itself “advanced thinking.” Some of it is advanced, and a little of it is thinking; but most of it, all unknown to those who spout it, has been exploded over and over again. As a mass, its quality is such that one sometimes (but very rarely, it is to be feared) feels a half-humorous self-distrust in propounding the share of it that one believes in most. The risk has to be taken, however, and we venture to state what seem to us some of the profoundest and most important of our present views of the universe and man’s relation to it, which, based very largely on the discoveries of Darwin and Spencer, especially of Spencer, Fiske, on the testimony of Darwin and Spencer themselves, did more than any other man had then done, or we think has yet done, to develop and disseminate. To extract them from his voluminous writings and state them in his own language, with the brevity required  here, would be impossible. We have already said that he was not a maker of epigrams: the sweep of his mind was too broad and slow. When he gave you anything, he gave you the whole of it, because, strangely often, he knew the whole of it, so far as anybody did; but he gave only its essentials: he was never a bore.

The Law of Evolution contains nothing counter to the Moral Law: it only changes the old sanctions of it. In the control of the universe, it substitutes for an anthropomorphic, tinkering, and even “jealous” God, a Law that varies not, and, despite terrible apparent exceptions, on the whole makes for righteousness and for happiness. Even now, while most of the world is steeped more than ever before in anxiety and grief, and while scores of miles are covered with slaughter, the vast preponderance of the earth’s surface is covered with beauty, and the vast majority of human beings are smiling. Moreover, the Law of Evolution indicates that the favorable conditions are to increase for a period longer than we can conceive, and then gradually and painlessly disappear, to be revived in a new evolution.

The discovery of the Law of Evolution has already done much to solve the mystery of evil. Catastrophism is a corollary of it: if there were no imperfection there could be no advance. Evil comes from a lack of balance between forces. When balance is disturbed—by anything from indigestion in a protozoon up to a storm on the ocean where he lives, there is a catastrophe. Evil is not a positive thing, but merely lack of the good, or lack of proportion in the good—inadequacy or excess, the excess being when a force or a passion good in itself exceeds the forces that usually keep it within bounds—when one force of those that hold the earth’s crust in equilibrium becomes excessive, and there is earthquake; when love of country seeks to expand it, at the expense of other countries, and there is war; when the appetite that creates and conserves property exceeds the respect for  the rights of others, and there is theft or robbery or even murder; when the passion that perpetuates the race grows to excess, and its rightful result in the family is prevented or destroyed, often with attendant deceit, violence, murder.

When Rochefoucauld said: “Our virtues are most frequently but vices disguised,” he said an impossible thing, and spoke, as most proverb makers do, from mere habit of paradox and love of it. He would have told a fundamental truth, however, if he had said: Our vices are most frequently but virtues disguised—by inflation.

But deeper in the individual soul than any of these problems, is one that Evolution has as yet directly done little to clarify. In substituting for Providence, a wisdom that (so far as our poor wits can state the conditions) provided for the exigencies beforehand by Law, instead of constantly handling them as they arise, Evolution raises the question: How far down into the details of our lives does the law go? Of all questions bearing upon our lives, there is but one deeper and more anxious: Does the law work out for good as far as it goes? Perhaps the answer can be settled only by experience, and judgment depends largely on temperament. And yet experience has provided all thinking peoples with expressions that assert a favorable solution. Job was not the first to say: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” All literatures abound in such expressions, as Pope’s

All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;

All discord, harmony not understood;

All partial evil, universal good:

And, spite of pride, in erring reason’s spite,

One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.

(Never deny that it’s as near right as it can be.) And there are many such expressions as Tennyson’s

Oh yet we trust that somehow good

Will be the final goal of ill,

 or as Paul’s

Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth,

or Shakespear’s

There is some soul of goodness in things evil,

or Thomson’s

From seeming evil still educing good,

or Emerson’s

Every evil [has] its good.

If the intuitions of these men in advance of the race are not foolishness, this matter must be regulated by some great principle—perhaps some corollary of “the law of compensation,” that has been so generally guessed at—notably by Emerson, and which seems closely akin to the Law of Equilibration, whose demonstration by Spencer has no small claim to be considered the highest reach of the human mind.

Few men have given, or even recognized, an answer from their own experience. Few men, even, live long enough for experience to give very full indication. Whatever may be the egotism of obtruding here personal experience on a point so intimate, I follow what in this connection seems almost a duty, in stating the conviction of a very long life which has known its share of shadow, that in the average man under average circumstances the Divine Law does go down farther into the details of our lives than we can realize, and there work out good from apparent evil. Yet though the question as we stated it above, in terms of Law instead of Providence, is not entirely new to thinkers, before the latter part of the last century it had been as vague as had been the conceptions of Evolution. It seems but yesterday, and it is with a start that one realizes that this epoch is already superseded by one where the range of mind must be mapped out anew, and where reaches of it that Fiske pronounced  impossible are declared by no mean observers to have actually been accomplished.

It is, however, questionable how far the testimony of poets and imaginative thinkers is the result of optimistic generalization, and how far the result of strict experience. As sober a man as Socrates said that his attendant monitor always kept him right. Had he had the modern conception of the universal beneficent Law, and the very modern conception of impressions, under Law, from discarnate intelligences, perhaps he would have regarded that attendant of his as a manifestation from the source of all Law—of that Law whose penetration into the minutiæ of our lives we are now considering.

Now if you are in the habit of testing questions by the law of Evolution, ask yourself (if you have not already done so and obtained a satisfactory answer), at what point in your processes and the processes of your environment, the operation of Law, and the resulting evolution, stops. Don’t bother with the paradox of Free Will and Determinism, or any other paradox that proves a question to be beyond the range of our faculties, but accept the fact which you cannot escape, that your life is the result of the interaction of two processes of Law that manifestly tend on the whole to happiness, and perhaps you will find it as hard not to believe that the beneficent Law goes down to the minutest details of your life, as it is to believe a conception so novel and so tremendous.

It may not be unthinkable under average circumstances, but when the world is cursed as never before with carnage and outrage, in relation to the millions suffering one hesitates even to suggest such an idea. But this is hardly the time to pass upon it. And yet many sane people do pass upon it, and believe that out of all this agony more good than evil is to come, and to come to each person concerned. Such a belief, however, is generally based on faith in the immortality of the soul. Here comes in the pragmatic argument, never so strong as now. If these millions  of bright young lives have been developed merely to be prematurely snuffed out at the behest of a barbarian mad with the lust of conquest, the universe is pro tanto a farce. But if, in the glory of heroism and self-sacrifice, they are advanced to a higher stage of being, the sanity and beneficence of the universe are vindicated. True, the pragmatic argument is a dangerous thing, but in this most important particular, it never had so much support from positive evidence as now. It looks as if humanity were at last evolved to the point where the intuitions of the gifted of the ages, from Socrates to Swedenborg, may soon be supported by experience open to the observation of all.

In his day, Fiske did probably more than any other man to rationalize these leading ideas that are still little more than faiths, and to keep men’s minds open to the best within our knowledge, and the influences that must exist beyond it.


Your travels, your babies, and your dreams,—these, it is said, you may talk of only at your peril. And yet I am emboldened in this instance to defy the adage, though in general I believe it to be nearly incontestable, because I think I may excite a certain curiosity by recounting a kind of dream that comes to me occasionally, a dream not wonderful in substance but one that raises a question in psychology, or in common sense, to which I know no answer. I may say at once that there is nothing preternatural about the dream, nor anything, I think, that Freudian analysts will revel in. But there is none the less a puzzle which for me and for the persons whom I have consulted has remained completely baffling. What the puzzle is had best be stated at the outset.

Everybody is familiar with the kind of story that depends for its effect upon a surprising “point” that comes at the end, unanticipated by the hearer and amusing to him largely in proportion as it is unexpected. Stories of this kind are frequently elaborate; a great deal of detail is introduced, as artfully as possible, every bit of which must tantalizingly lead towards the point that is coming, but no word of which must really divulge that point until the moment when the raconteur is ready to “spring” it, as we say, with a sudden burst. Obviously the listener must not guess the point before that moment, or the story will fall flat, and just as obviously the narrator must have it in mind continually, or he could not tell the story. He could hardly recount a tale of this variety unless he knew how it was “coming out.” Especially if it were considerably involved, he could scarcely pick his way through it step by step towards an end that he did not  himself foresee, arranging in their places dozens of details leading he knew not where, and then come nicely to a climax that he himself did not anticipate—a climax which, in this hardly conceivable case, would obviously surprise him as much as it could his listener. The waking mind, unless by the rarest of accidents, cannot work in such a fashion. And my puzzle is, how can the dreaming mind do so? For I, at least, do dream occasionally in just this manner. I make up a story of this species in my dream, and usually a complicated story. In it I proceed from point to point without having any notion of my destination; I string together a small host of details, though I remain ignorant of their meaning and unsuspicious of any climax that is coming later to explain them; and when finally I reach that climax, and see the joke that I have plotted so unwittingly, I am myself ingenuously amused by it. And how I manage to do this is my enigma. For obviously I either do foresee the point of the story or I do not. If I do, how can I be surprised when it arrives? If I do not, how can I prepare for it so carefully? Either case supposes a manner of mentation hardly comprehensible.

Two dreams of this species I should like to offer for consideration. I have had not less than twenty others, widely different in substance though all alike in principle; but the memory of most of them is vague if not entirely obliterated. Of the first dream here related I may say that I am repeating it from a fresh memory and am following the notes I made of it in full immediately upon awakening from it. The account here given is therefore as accurate as I can make it. I may further explain that the setting of the dream is a very natural one for me. I happen to be a college professor, and lecturing to classes is my daily round. Also I have lived in France, and have studied and written about the educational system of that country; and I number among my friends a distinguished French professor now visiting  America. The bearing of these facts upon the dream will be clear in a moment.

I dreamt that I was lecturing to one of my regular classes in college. In the class, upon my entrance, I was surprised to find my friend the French professor, of whom I spoke a moment ago. With him there was an impressive individual whom I somehow recognized as a French inspector of schools—one of those officials whose visits to provincial schools and whose consequent reports to the minister at Paris are the chief hope and dread of the French pedagogue. How these gentlemen should have come to be visiting my class, I could not imagine, but I do not think I was much worried in the dream over that question. I do remember telling myself that as a mere American professor I had nothing to fear from the inspector’s formidable authority, though perhaps with this reflection there went also a resolution to put my best foot forward in such distinguished company. But I had not much time to ponder these matters before proceeding upon my lecture.

It was then that a real surprise began. So far as I could tell, my opening sentences were sufficiently conventional, but the way the class was affected by them was singular to a degree. Hardly had I reached the middle of the first one before all the students had their eyes fixed on me in a way that might possibly have been complimentary had not their expressions been so various and so peculiar. A few students wore a look of great relief—for all the world as if they had expected to find me dumb on that day, and were agreeably surprised to be disillusioned. A considerably larger number frowned displeasure, just as if I had disturbed them in the pursuit of something that was no affair of mine. But the large majority showed mere astonishment, and of that emotion, indeed, a good measure was written on the faces of all. I had no notion what to make of these unusual appearances. Inevitably my first thought was to glance  furtively down at my clothes and shoes to see if everything was well in those departments. Also I raised my hand as unobtrusively as possible to discover whether perchance I had left my hair uncombed. In the absence of the mirror’s final test I had to conclude that all was about as it should be.

Naturally my next sentences hardly came trippingly from the tongue, nor did any alteration occur in my listeners to facilitate my labors. On the contrary, what had at first been mainly mere surprise upon their faces was growing rapidly to obvious merriment with about half of the class, and to evident disapprobation with the others. “The explanation of what we call the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century,” I remember hurling at them with a fine generality of dream-eloquence, “is to be sought not so much in the influence of the doctrines of Descartes proper, or of those who could call themselves consistent Cartesians, as in the general dependence upon the guidance of human ratiocination, of which dependence he was only an illustrious example.” This remarkable statement did not seem to offend any of my hearers, but neither did it mollify them. By a considerable effort, however, I was regaining a measure of composure, as I proceeded into my subject, in spite of all the frowners and all the titterers in the class. There was nothing to do, I felt, but to brave both parties, and in some degree, as the minutes dragged on, I seemed to be succeeding in the effort. At least there was less staring at me, and one after another the faces of my students were turned down to the desks, and pens began to course across pages in what appeared to me to be good note-taking fashion.

But I was soon to find that my troubles had only begun. The class had indeed ceased to perform like one man in astonishment, but various individuals now began to act in fashions unaccountably extraordinary. Not only did resentment at my lecture keep lingering, and growing, on  many countenances, and not only did laughter keep bubbling up in others, but now certain more specific eccentricities began exhibiting themselves. A mild instance was the action of one of my most devoted note-takers, a woman who sat on the front row. She had always taken too many notes, as I had observed; she never missed anything important, and she frequently copied down much that was far from important. And now I noticed that in the middle of certain cardinal statements I was making, and even making slowly in order that every one who wanted them in a note-book might have time to get them fully, she took her pen from the paper, and meditatively putting the end of it in her mouth, proceeded to gaze out of the window into vacancy as if trying to think what on earth to write next.

But this, as I say, was mild. That particular student was too well-bred to be ruder. So was another girl on the front row who, a little later, laid aside her pen and paper and sank her head for several minutes into her hands in such a way as to make me wonder whether she was suffering from headache or whether she was politely veiling an outbreak of laughter such as certain other members of the class were at no such pains to conceal. Certainly when her face emerged it was clear that she had not even been smiling. She looked at me fixedly for a minute, with such an inquiring though guarded glance as one might give a stranger whom one half suspected of mild lunacy, and then resumed work with her pen. There were numerous examples of similarly harmless but abnormal conduct, and I had no choice but to endure them in wondering patience. But when one sedate and trusted student, also a woman, who sat in the rear of the class, deliberately caught my eye and then impressively laid her finger tightly over her closed lips, thus giving me the unmistakable signal for silence, my astonishment and bewilderment grew amain. What on earth could be wrong with me, I asked myself, that I should be bedevilling  my students in this fashion? What absurdity was at the bottom of all this? Had everybody in my class gone crazy? Or had I?

Somehow I went on lecturing. As I remember it now, the lecture seemed orthodox enough, in spite of the strange events that it inspired. I felt that I was acquitting myself moderately well, though I remember that I mopped my brow repeatedly, and longed for the end of the period as I had never longed for time to pass before. What would my visitors think of me, or of this precious class of mine? I alone had seen that mute sign for silence, to be sure, but no one could fail to notice the other preposterous things that were coming to pass. For now three men toward the rear of the class began, seemingly by agreement between them, to shake their heads at me in a solemn and unequivocal signal that I would do better to leave off my lecture. This, I thought, would be the worst; but no, in a moment one man actually stepped up to my desk, and when I paused, whispered a very apologetic request that I would not trouble the class further by lecturing on this particular day. He had listened with great interest to my former lectures, he was pleased to say, but he felt that he was speaking for the whole class in intimating that to-day I could not but disturb them, and in fact endanger them, if I continued. I told him that he could save himself from further danger by quitting the room; and this he did forthwith, his reluctance exceeded only by his apparent amazement.

The others seemed to understand what had passed between us, though I was sure that they could not have overheard a word we said. Four or five of them, indeed, rose and followed their departing brother from their room, with faces as full of bewilderment as his. But I was past wondering at anything by this time. Endeavoring to seem indifferent to their departure, I ploughed on, with a pertinacity far beyond anything I possess in a waking state, through the middle of my lecture. I had come to  Rousseau and his battle with the apostles of the Enlightenment. And about this point the craziest of all the occurrences of this remarkable hour began. A man on the front row picked up a card-board box from the floor near his feet. Opening it, he produced a roll of absorbent cotton. With bits of this he deliberately set about stopping up his ears as tightly as he could. When he had stuffed them full he resumed work with his pen, but passed the cotton, with a wink, on to his neighbor, who repeated the performance. A third student filled his organs of audition and handed the box on to a fourth. I watched that blessed roll of cotton make its round of the students. One and all of them, men and women, stuffed their ears with it!

How I managed to keep on talking is rather more than I can tell. I can only say that I continued automatically, and paid the slightest possible attention to the antics with which my auditors were pleased to amuse themselves. I was but little surprised when, after a while, they began to leave. Not concertedly, but one by one, they rose and passed out, still lowering, giggling, trembling, looking askance at me, or exhibiting some other inexplicable emotion as they departed. Each one, with whatever mien, took pains to leave a record in the form of a few sheets of paper deposited on my desk as he passed out, but I was too callous or too distraught by this time to do more than barely notice the circumstance. As for my visitors from France, they had long since disappeared—not by walking out, like the students, but simply by vanishing, as people in a dream occasionally do. I kept lecturing, doggedly, until I had only three students left. But when two of these arose together and took their departure, I knew nothing to do but cease. The one auditor remaining, for that matter, was even now about to rise from his seat. I paused. I waited as he came slowly forward, with wonder and distress written on his features—he was easily the best scholar in the  class. As I eyed him I could see that he, like so many of the rest, seemed to be half afraid that I had lost my mind. We shall see about that, I thought, as I addressed him.

“Will you kindly tell me, sir,” I asked him, with some warmth, “Will you kindly tell me what I have done to deserve such conduct as I have seen this last hour? Have all my students gone mad, or have I?”

Evidently I had, he thought, as was obvious in his face. But he was too cautious to say so. Instead, he manifestly did his best to placate what to him was arrant lunacy.

“Well, professor,” he faltered, “I’ve no doubt we’ve been behaving rather badly. But, you see, we—well, we simply couldn’t make out why you should want to lecture all through the examination hour!”

So that, of all things, was the explanation! I had simply lectured straight through their examination, and small wonder they took it strangely. How I had managed to make such a fool of myself, I did not know; but at once all their queer actions of the last hour were explained to me. And what a joke on me! How like the absent-minded, umbrella-carrying professor of the caricaturists—I protest I am not that kind—to have forgotten that I had set the examination for that day, had even sent a secretary into the class five minutes ahead of me to distribute the question-papers, and to have gone in then and insisted on haranguing the class, in spite of all protest, through the whole session!

And thus laughing at my exploit, I awoke. Needless to say, my amusement continued into the waking state, though it was somewhat less whole-hearted. But it was soon cut short by my jumping out of bed to put down the notes of the dream that I have here expanded.

I fear it is not a very interesting dream in itself, but that I did not promise. Surely it is one that answers the description given at the outset, and illustrates the  species somewhat elaborately. Can any one imagine a person when awake making up such a story, planning so many details of it so carefully, without an inkling in his mind of the explanation that was to come to clear up all the mystery in the end? I do not believe so. But if not, how can one do in a dream a thing so impossible in a wakeful state? I, the dreamer, involve myself in a story in which I fabricate a series of occurrences incomprehensible to me unless I have the key that explains them, a series that nobody could well string together unless he had that key. One would say that I must have had the key in my possession as I pieced together the occurrences. Well, then, how could I be totally perplexed at those occurrences as they were happening, and how could I be astounded and provoked to laughter when I produced my own explanation of them? This is surely too much like believing that a magician will be amazed at his own trick.

Let me recount one other dream of this variety, a shorter one but possibly even more pointed. As it occurred to me some months ago, and as it comprises only an after-dinner speech, I cannot now pretend to report the words of it with literal accuracy. But that is not necessary if the reader will take my assurance that though I do not give the precise words of the speech as I heard it in the dream, I offer a version similar enough to be quite as satisfactory for the present purpose, and differing in no point of principle from the original. The very vacuity of the present version will be sufficient evidence, I hope, of my endeavor to be as faithful as possible to the original. I even feel that I must request the reader not to be disdainful of the puns that embellish the oration, since it is something other than the art of rhetoric that is here in question.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” said the speaker, a man who by the way is celebrated as a post-prandial artist, but who need not be blamed in person for this coruscation,  “we have with us this evening a man who bears an honorable and formidable name, a name which, in at least one person who possessed it, is enrolled on the tablets of immortality. It is a bellicose name, and therefore timely enough. But it need make no one tremble, since its most illustrious possessor loved to make the world shake with laughter as well as wince before the levelled spear of his sarcasm. I will not say that our guest of the evening has all the talents of what a tipsy man might call his great ‘name-shake;’ but I will answer for it that he can himself give a good imitation of what our school-boys sometimes call the ‘music of the spears.’ However, I will ‘no be speiring,’ as the Scotch say, into their further similarities; I prefer simply to present to you, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Shakespeare.”

And then all the audience laughed, and I laughed with them. I laughed because I was taken by surprise when the name came and explained all the puns that had preceded it. Not by the slightest suspicion had I anticipated the name; on the contrary, I had been genuinely puzzled by the queer locutions introductory to it, for I did not even realize that they were puns upon a name that was to be pronounced later. No doubt the puns are vapid enough (though vastly amusing in a dream) but they are also fairly elaborate, and in the dream I think they were considerably more so than in the transcript here set down from memory. The question is, how can one dream a thing of this kind? For I, the dreamer, made up all those puns, since I, of course, concocted the speech I dreamed. And either I knew the name that I was punning on, or else I did not know it. If I knew it, how could I be astonished into laughter when it came to light in the dream? And if I did not know it, how could I invent a lot of puns on it? What process of cerebration was I guilty of?

I know no answer to this question, and therefore I submit it to the public. In the literature of dreams that I  have perused I have found neither a solution of the present problem nor any instance of the kind of dream here mentioned. Informally I have consulted two or three psychologists of my acquaintance, but though they have been interested in the question, they have been unable to suggest an explanation. Only one other person that I know experiences such dreams as these, and he is as much interested in them as I am; but although he is himself a bit of a psychologist, he has no answer to the question here propounded. Can any one do better?

As has been said before in these pages, considerable attention to the topics covered by “Psychical Research” has given us a very strong suspicion that the autonomy of each mind is telepathically shared by other minds, and farther that this is due to a degree of identity of all mind somewhat similar to the identity of all force and all matter—this identity of force and matter being now well recognized, despite the individual manifestations of all three in our personalities.

Between minds a degree of identity—or at least of telepathic connection or intermingling, is abundantly manifested by the appearance of several personalities, or seeming personalities, through the sensitive persons generally called mediums, and this whether the personalities additional to the medium’s ordinary one are incarnate or apparently postcarnate.

From these indications follows very directly the guess that such dreams as our contributor recounts are not really of his construction, but are constructed outside of him, and not necessarily by excarnate agencies, or even by deliberate agencies. How or where or by whom must be left for future knowledge to indicate.

We have had dreams of the nature of those described by our contributor, and have correlated them with others entirely beyond construction by our own capacities.—Editor.


More Freedom from Hereditary Bias

8 State Circle, Annapolis, Md.,


I have your printed circular of 25 January, with an enclosed bill for a subscription to the Unpopular Review through 1918. I have, perhaps unfortunately, not received the January issue of the review, which you say you sent me. This is no doubt due to my removal from Princeton, New Jersey, and to the lethargic Princeton post-office.

I had several reasons for not renewing my subscription. One was a need for economy, and the feeling that I could better do without the Unpopular than without such a periodical as the New Republic. Of the two, the Unpopular mirrors much the more closely some of my own convictions and principles; but I find the New Republic indispensable if I am to keep in touch with the aims and purposes of present-day American Liberalism.

Another reason I had for not renewing was that the Unpopular, starting its career with the very greatest promise, had, to my humble mind, managed very quickly to run up various side-tracks and blind alleys of opinion, and has since—amiably but with complacency—stuck there. And there I am content to leave it, for in losing reality it has lost life.

The lightness of touch which its editor has creditably sought to impart to its contents will not do as a substitute for life. And even that attempt has failed; it has resulted too often in mere pertness or a lumbering buffoonery never agreeable to contemplate, and least of all when invoked in aid of a cause that demands above all earnest conviction and anything but a stupid complacency from its adherents.

Yours faithfully,
(signed) Robert Shafer.

It may be interesting to compare with this a letter from another correspondent with a German name, printed in Number 17.


If We Are Late

There is every prospect that this number will be out unusually late, on account of the choke-up in transportation. At this writing the printer ought to be at work on the paper, which has already been on the way to him—from Philadelphia to Massachusetts—twenty-six days.

We hope our readers will not blame the delay to us, and that their patriotism will cheerfully endure it.

The Kindly and Modest German

Here are some commonplaces that should be iterated in some shape every time an American organ of opinion goes to press.

There once was such a man as the kindly and modest German, and through his virtues he had nearly obtained the industrial and commercial leadership of the world, when sudden wealth and power aroused in him the brute instincts that are latent in the best of us, and started him after more than can be had from industry, and can be had only by force. The brute instincts were nearer the surface in him than in those who have a recorded civilization of some seven or eight thousand years: for the poor Germans, at least the ruling branch of them, have barely as many hundred. Even Russia was Christianized four centuries before Prussia.

Now it is a rare parvenu who is not conceited. Germany has camouflaged the old idea of conquest by that of spreading her Kultur to the inferior portion of mankind—to the peoples that produced Homer, Dante, Shakespear, Newton, Darwin and Spencer—as if those peoples were savages whose territory could be brought under civilization  only by conquest, and as if Germany alone had civilization. And this absurd idea she backs up by a crude conception of the Law of Evolution—a conception that stops with the competition of brute forces. Coöperation, mutual help, emulation in well doing do not enter into her idea of evolution. She has thrown away her splendid success in the higher competition, and reverted to the competition of brute force,—camouflaged again by science and cunning.

When a conceited parvenu goes mad, his conceit is as mad as the rest of him. When he is at the same time bellicose and bloodthirsty, he will not stop fighting as long as the conceit is in his system, and the only way to get it out is to whip it out.

It looks as if in Germany’s case we had seriously underestimated one important feature of that job. For a long time we thought that we had got to beat only the military class—that they had merely fooled the kindly and modest Germans we used to know. As lately as this Spring, a British general told the present writer that his people did not expect the war to be ended by a military victory—that without an overwhelming superiority on either side, modern warfare has at last reached the degree of perfection long ago attained by the Kilkenny cats (only the general did not put it in that way), and that before, so to speak, the tails get through fighting, the kindly and modest German people would take matters into their own hands and stop the war, give up the plunder they have got from their weaker neighbors (for after all, barring their sudden occupation of a little of France, they have with all their boasting whipped only little or undeveloped peoples), and pay damages—as far as they can be paid. But it has come to look mightily as if the general and his people were mistaken—as if the kindly and modest German no longer exists, as if the madness has seized the whole nation, and as if there will be no way out before we give one side the overwhelming superiority which was  the general’s alternative. Plainly we can’t be too quick about it.

Before the conceit is whipped out of the Germans, they are not going to submit to any peace short of holding on to their plunder, and as long as they have enough of that to be visible, they are victors, and with all their conceit in them. It would drive them into another war as soon as they could get ready, and even meanwhile the conditions would be intolerable—intolerable not only for the small peoples they have conquered, but for the rest of us.

But things are very respectably intolerable as they are. We have barely entered the war, and yet you are exceptionally fortunate if your income has not been pinched, your affairs generally disturbed, heavy anxieties thrown upon you, and perhaps, even thus early, mourning. Possibly you have found a grim consolation in realizing that most of the time since the beginning of human records, our present lot has been the lot of the greater portion of mankind. Perhaps you have found a consolation less grim in realizing that this state of affairs has been diminishing—very notably diminishing during the century preceding this war; and it is to be hoped that you have found a consolation almost triumphant in the realization that a large portion of the world at last realizes that such conditions can be put an end to, and are grimly determined to do it. But unless it is done thoroughly, unless the Kaiser and his gang are as safely disposed of as Napoleon and his gang were after Waterloo, these conditions are going to recur indefinitely.

Waterloo put an end to gloire, but it did not quite end the idea of the legitimacy of conquering civilized people and good neighbors—it did not make impossible the attitude of the German statesman who, when asked by our ambassador Hill why Germany did not conciliate Alsace-Lorraine, answered without the slightest suspicion that he was showing himself a barbarian: “But we have  conquered them.” It was this attitude which gradually changed Germany’s preparations against France’s possible revanche after 1870, into a scheme to conquer the world. This antiquated idea of right by conquest, and this barbarous passion for it, have done more than anything else, except perhaps dogmatic religions, for the misery of mankind. This attitude survives, among lettered nations, only in Germany and her allies. We have got to fight until we kill it, no matter how many treaties of peace intervene: and it will not be killed as long as Germany is left in possession of a foot of the territory she has seized during the present war.

All these considerations render the idea of a “Peace without victory” worse than a mere disgusting piece of sentimentalism. They render it a danger, and one that unless obliterated, sooner or later must explode.

But behind all that, it is absurd in its very conception. What could be more ridiculous than a treaty with Germany? It would of course be ridiculous on the part of a nation that did not intend to keep it, but on the part of a nation that did intend to keep it, it would be doubly ridiculous. Nothing can be plainer than that real peace cannot be reached, no matter what treaties and intervals of nominal peaces intervene, before Germany has her conceit whipped out of her, and whipped out so thoroughly that, as in Napoleon’s case, there will be no need for discussion or pretended agreements, but that she will simply be told what she must do, and made to do it.

At one time there was hope that the kindly and modest German the elders among us knew, would take hold and attend to the matter himself. But he is not here to do it: we have got to do it ourselves, and we cannot afford to flinch, or dally, or stop half way.

What the Cat Thinks of the Dog

I am not altogether sure whether I like the Dog or merely tolerate him. It puzzles me to say just what I  do, in a manner, like about my house-companion. For a certainty, his manners are very distressing, and they evoke my most hearty disapproval. I cannot abide those rude volcanic barking fits of his. Often, when lying snugly tail-enfolded by the gently warming kitchen stove, lost in a comfortable dreamless doze—how delicious this semi-Nirvana of the senses!—I would suddenly be startled into undesired wakefulness by my friend’s frenzied howls. You’d think he had wanted to call my attention to a mouse recently entrapped or, at least, to the arrival of the butcher with a fat quarter of lamb wherefrom one might expect the carving of good cheer for him and me. But no! nine times out of ten it would but be some uninteresting urchin whom he had caught sight of through the window, and who was sauntering a block away with an insolent swagger that could not but arouse my profound contempt. I sometimes find it far from easy to keep my temper in such circumstances and to refrain from wishing him and his urchin a watery grave the next time they betake themselves to the river for swimming and diving sports. Yet I must not judge him harshly. An unkind nature has granted him a most unmusical, a most nerve-shattering voice, incapable of the least culture.

I take much exception also to the ungentle and ungraceful manner in which he swings his tail, or rather flips it back and forth and jerks it up and down, for one can hardly talk of swinging where no smooth delicately rounded curves are perceptible. How inferior, both by heredity and by training, is the Dog’s handling of his tail to that of the Cat! How little he understands the art of curving and waving and uncurving the tail in the nicely nuanced rhythms and exquisitely designed patterns that are so familiar to ourselves! If the aerial artistry of the Cat’s tail may be fitly compared to the beautifully rounded brushwork of our Chinese laundrymen when, as I have incidentally observed him more than once, he prepares  his stock of wash tickets, the tail movements of the Dog remind me of nothing so much as the ugly zigzagging and unsymmetrical lines that my master’s little boy produces, squeakingly, on his slate in his vain attempts to draw a locomotive (at least I gather, from various remarks that I have overheard, that this is what he has in mind). No, there is not the slightest reason to allow for an æsthetic strain in my friend’s psychology. Frankly, I do not believe he knows the difference between an Impressionist masterpiece and a bill-board daub. Nothing, further, can be more absurd than the frequency with which the Dog’s rapid and angular tail movements are executed. No sooner does the master, or his little boy, or the mistress, or even the garbage man appear, than this tail that I speak of is set furiously wagging and swishing, often at the cost of a cup or plate which may happen to be within reach of its tufted point. I wonder that they tolerate him in the kitchen at all. I shall never forget the time that, excited beyond control at the unexpected return of the master from a fishing excursion, he scampered about madly and lashed his tail from side to side with the utmost fury. Well accustomed by this time to his vulgar ways, I paid little attention to the hubbub but continued quietly lapping up my saucer of milk, when I was suddenly stunned by a powerful swish of the Dog’s milk-spattered tail against my face. Angered beyond expression, both by the Dog’s extreme rudeness and by the almost total loss of a savory meal, I was about to scratch out his eyes, but the evident unwillingness of the maid to suffer retaliatory measures, and the reflection on my part that the Dog’s conduct, reprehensible as it was, had not been dictated by any unfriendly feeling for myself, prevented a scrimmage. It was as well, for nothing pains me more than to part company with my dignity, even if only for a moment.

In view of so many just grounds for complaint,—and there are many that I might add,—it puzzles me, I  repeat, to say just what I like about the Dog. Can it be that, living, as we do, under the same roof, and thus forced by circumstance to put up with each other for better or for worse, we have become habituated to a common lot, and learned to ignore the numerous divergencies of taste and philosophy? From a strictly scientific standpoint, this is an excellent explanation of our mutual forbearance, but I am afraid that sincerity prevents me from accepting it as a completely satisfying solution of the problem. How comes it that, when the Dog, in company with his master, has absented himself from the house for a period of more than usual length, as once for a week’s hunting jaunt, I find myself getting fidgety and morose, as though there were something missing to complete my usual feeling of contentment? And how comes it that last year, when the Dog’s right forefoot was caught in the door, and he set up a caterwauling (excuse the Hibernicism) that made him a frightful nuisance for the rest of the day, I, who would ordinarily have been the first to resent such a noise, as evidencing a deplorable lack of vocal self-control and taste, did on the contrary feel no small amount of sympathy for the suffering wretch? I imagine that there was something about the tilt of my tail and the glance in my eye that communicated my compassion to the Dog, for the next day he seemed a trifle more considerate of my preferences than had been his wont. I construed this as a species of thankfulness on his part. (Yet I would not lay too great stress on this; he may merely have had an attack of the blues, as a result of his recent misadventure.) And how comes it, farther, that I felt considerably nettled the other day when the neighbor’s boy kicked the Dog three times in succession? Prudence, to be sure, prevented my taking up an active defence of my friend, but I certainly felt at least an indefinite impulse in that direction.

Such incidents seem to argue a genuine vein of fellow feeling, of sympathy, for the Dog, though, I must insist,  this sympathy never degenerates into a maudlin sentimentality. After all is said and done, there is never entirely absent a grain of contempt from my estimate of a mere dog, even of the Dog of the House. It is enough to admit that there is commingled with this contempt a certain something of more benevolent hue, a something which I must leave it to others to explain.

A Hunting-ground of Ignorance

Espapia Palladino is dead, and of course the usual amount of nonsense is being written about her. The woman certainly had some telekinetic power, and she certainly pieced it out with humbug, as is generally done when the power happens to exist in a low order of person. And as most persons are of a low order, the power is so pieced out in most cases. The same is of course true regarding telepsychic power.

But that behind the frauds and mistakes there is something genuine yet to be accounted for, is doubted by hardly anybody who knows anything about the subject. If writing about it, and all other subjects, could only be restricted to those who know something about them, how much better off we should all be!

And if dishonesty were only restricted to the inferior type of person! One of the committee who made out Palladino an unmitigated fraud, told us that he signed the report with mental reservations, and that he passed his hands under the table which she held suspended by her finger-tips on top of it, and found it absolutely disconnected with the floor!

Maximum Price-fixing in Ancient Rome

Is there anything whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.” The prototype of the aeroplane is found in the myth of Daedalus’ wings; the possibilities of the submarine—some  of them—are illustrated in Lucian’s story of the sea monster; and maximum prices, in sober Roman history.

The Emperor Diocletian, at the beginning of the fourth century, made a serious effort to lower the high cost of living, by law. He was apparently one of that school of amateur economists which holds that the business man’s greed is the root of the evil. In his opinion there were any number of people who were expert in the art of running up the rates and charging the poor ultimate consumer, whether civilian or soldier, all that the traffic would bear. And his eye was on them. A part of the preface to the edict which was to abolish all the difficulties at one stroke, reads thus:

Who is so dull of heart that he does not know that on merchandise prices have become more than exorbitant, and that unbridled greed can not be mitigated by abundance of supplies or rich harvests? And so to the greed of those who, though men of the greatest wealth so that they could abundantly supply even nations, still seek private gain. To their greed, O people of our provinces, our care for common humanity urges us to put an end. Who does not know that, wherever the common safety of all demands that our armies be led, there the prices of merchandise are forced up, not four times or eight times, but without limit?

A system of maximum retail prices was to be the cure-all:

We have decided not to determine exact prices for commodities: for it does not seem just to do this when at times many provinces glory in the good fortune of low prices; but we have decided to establish a maximum of prices, so that when there is any scarcity greed may be checked.

If the emperor could have looked down the ages to the year 1918, he would have found that a maximum price of ten cents for sugar is very likely to become the regular price everywhere. He did not know this; but that his law would only be effective if supported by a penalty for disobedience, he knew right well. He decided  on a penalty—a penalty which would appear adequate, probably even to the thorough-going Germans:

It is our pleasure that, if anyone in his audacity opposes this statute, he be subjected to capital punishment.

Not only price-raising, but hoarding and speculating were also held to be opposition to the law. The final statement of the edict makes this clear:

And from the penalties of this statute, that man is not free who, possessing the necessities of life, should think that he ought to withdraw them from trade for a time after this statute is in force.

But the emperor did not confine himself to fixing maximum prices for food. His was a more ambitious attempt than any of its modern counterparts. He fixed prices for liquors, and cloth goods and shoes. He fixed maximum wages for workmen in all sorts of trades, and even for men in the professions. In some cases pay was by the day, and in some, by the job. The record does not show that union men were paid more than non-union men.

But this economic Utopia, though supported by all the power of an autocratic government, was not for long. One slight miscalculation ruined the whole scheme. The maximum price, or maximum wage, was put quite low in the first place, and yet in any given case was precisely the same in every province of the empire. In London the barber would shave you for two denarii (less than one cent), and in Alexandria you need pay no more. Prunes from Damascus must be sold there and in Cologne for the same price. Under such artificial conditions legitimate business could not succeed. The result is briefly told by a church father:

Then was there much blood shed for trifles; and nothing was put up for sale, because of fear, and much worse was the scarcity, until the law was repealed of necessity, after the death of many.

 Darwin on His Own Discoveries

In connection with the article in this number on John Fiske, we are fortunate in being able to give a letter from Darwin to Dana which is just appearing in the current American Journal of Science. To our readers, comment would be superfluous.

Charles Darwin to J. D. Dana
Down, Bromly, Kent, Nov. 11, 1859.

My dear Sir: I have sent you a copy of my Book (as yet only an abstract) on the Origin of species. I know too well that the conclusion, at which I have arrived, will horrify you, but you will, I believe & hope, give me credit for at least an honest search after the truth. I hope that you will read my Book, straight through; otherwise from the great condensation it will be unintelligible. Do not, I pray, think me so presumptuous as to hope to convert you; but if you can spare time to read it with care, & will then do what is far more important, keep the subject under my point of view for some little time occasionally before your mind, I have hopes that you will agree that more can be said in favour of the mutability of species, than is at first apparent. It took me many long years before I wholly gave up the common view of the separate creation of each species. Believe me, with sincere respect & with cordial thanks for the many acts of scientific kindness which I have received from you,

My dear Sir
Yours very sincerely
(Signed) Charles Darwin

Reflections of an Old-Maid Aunt.

In the elaborately efficient curricula of our modern colleges, although there are courses of instruction in almost every branch from Book-agenting to Motherhood, and from Sewing to Integral Calculus, there is one of endeavor which is, as yet, hopelessly uncharted. I speak of the art, or, of course, it should be science, of being an old-maid aunt!

It seems a simple matter to the casual observer and,  perhaps, that is why no one has thought necessary to study the subject and offer a course. We remember how successfully it was done in our youth by those delightful old ladies who came for visits and taught us to knit and were almost sure to have some sort of confection concealed somewhere about their person or room. We remember how they implanted the idea that certain words were beyond the vocabulary of any lady, and that a child’s whole duty in life was to be polite in such matters as “Sir” and “Ma’am”, to be obedient to any of the species, Grown-People, and to be ready at all times to help in the search for spectacles. Their lot was easy enough and the very suggestion that they needed to be instructed in their capacity of aunt, would be ridiculous!

It is no wonder then, with that picture in view, that I launched forth upon a visit to my small nephew and nieces with no premonitions of the shoals which lay ahead. After five days in the presence of the strenuous regime which surrounds and enfolds the modern child, I have returned once more to the quiet back waters of old-maidenhood and to contemplation. And now a sadder and a wiser aunt, I offer some suggestions which might help another unwary one before she breaks into the complicated existence of the newly developed genus, Child.

In the first place, don’t use that obnoxious word “DON’T”. Its use you will find, or more likely be told, curbs the child’s free spirit and destroys his personality. If, thereof you find him with a redpepper as a toy, don’t try to take it from him, for being stronger than he you may succeed and thereby put a dent in his tender young willpower! Just trust that if he should get it into his eyes or mouth the result will not be fatal, and feel confident that thereafter he will seek some other form of toy! Or should you find him standing on a chair, before a blazing fire, reaching for something on the mantel piece, don’t remove him forcibly at once and try to convince  him that he should never get there again. No! Rather divert his mind to something else in the room so that he will get down of his own accord, and leave the desired object until there is nobody present to divert him! For do you not see that if you tell him that there are things in the world which he cannot do, you will bind his free and birdlike soul and sadden his little life? Be comforted, though, for, perhaps, when he does fall the fire will be out, or the chair will tip the other way!

In the second place don’t be surprised to hear him cry, nay rather howl lustily, all the while he is being fed. Of course you think at once that he must surely be ill; in your memories of childhood such an occurrence meant only some dread disease. But before you send a hurried call for the doctor, take a look at the food. You will find that a sad and terrible change has come over the stomachs of children! No longer can they digest oatmeal when accompanied by its time-honored companions, sugar and cream, but must eat it plain in a luke warm state. Other cereals have also lost these erstwhile friends, in spite of the alluring but deceptive impression which you may have gotten from advertisements, and are eaten, or rather absorbed, for the doing has lost its gusto, plain. So don’t pity the child when you see him eating a teaspoonful of sugar just before he goes to bed, for that is his theoretical dole of sweetness for the day. Just hope that somewhere in the background is a friendly cook who is not yet aware of the fact that children have lost their powers of digestion!

And most important of all, don’t offer him any sort of refreshment, most particularly not the innocent-looking but deadly animal cracker! When Mrs. Noah, for it must have been she who invented that confection for the small voyage-wearied Ham, Shem, and Japheth, made the first animal crackers, she probably thought that she was doing a great thing and that children throughout the age would  call her blessed. And so they have until now a fearful discovery has been made: animal crackers are absolutely indigestible! We shudder as we think of the menageries we ourselves have consumed! To what heights of perfection might our excellent health have risen, were it not for those wolves lurking in the form of sheep or elephants or overgrown curly-tailed dogs! To what size might our present too rotund forms have grown, were it not for those deadly processions marched hither and yon and then eaten in never varying order, head; tail, when present; feet; and then two bites on the body. Farewell, Animal Cracker, you are discovered at last! No more shall you with your treachery delight and entertain innocent little children, unless some fathers, defiant of the new laws of nature and the edicts of scientific mothers, procure you on the sly!

And so it goes. No! The duties of an old-maid aunt cannot be entered upon lightly. It would really be a charitable act for some one to study the subject and offer a course for those of us the numbers of whose nephews and nieces continue to increase. And we in the meantime can only hope that the pendulum of change will not delay too long in swinging back to the old-fashioned child, about whom, inside and out, we have a little knowledge if it is only empirical!

An Obscure Source of Education

Obviously a great deal of education, moral as well as intellectual, and even physical, is coming from the war, and it obviously comes in part from an immensely increased amount of reading on informing subjects, even in the newspapers. But the call for this reading contains a farther, and relatively obscure, source of education worth thinking of. We can no longer risk wasting our time, as it is to be feared most of us have done, by picking up to read the first thing that strikes  our fancy. The greatly increased mass of material has forced upon us the habit of selecting what we read. The usefulness and importance of that habit hardly need dwelling upon to the constituency of this Review.

Heart-to-Heart Advertising

I am all things to all advertisers. I like to submit myself to the experiments of some alert young psychologist, in response to whose plan (scientifically conceived, artfully presented), I greatly desire to eat, to see, to hear, to know, to do, to possess, that which he brings to my attention. Being a person trained to jejune classification, I automatically pigeon-hole the “appeal,” and my mind therefore offers to advertisements a hospitable retreat under Ambition, or Culture, or Physical development, or the Senses, or Vanity.

The last quality and the first are not always distinguishable, the one from the other. When a page of insinuating text and startling illustration assures me that the reading of a specified set of books will enable me,—a person temperamentally shy and physically inconspicuous—to convince judges and jurors, and to combine into a glorious whole the abilities of St. Chrysostom, Abelard, Shylock, Daniel Webster, and a Confederate veteran, I am disposed to feel that though hitherto I have been unappreciated, it now rests with me (and the set of books) to alter, even to change, the opinion of my personal public. I glow, too, under the conviction that correspondence courses can transform me into a trained nurse, an O. Henry, a Thomas Nast. My vanity makes the conventional years of hospital service, or a “born” ability to tell a story, or to caricature, seem superfluous in an equipment for success. And I am sure I could raise wheat and apples in the north and oranges and pecans in the south, even though I should bring to my enterprise no capital, no experience, no commonsense.

 But while I yield readily and sympathetically to the magazine advertisement, my heartiest response is given to the letter that altruistically offers me counsels of perfection. There is a certain lack of privacy about the magazine advertisement; but the letter advertisement is confidential, even sometimes secretive. True, my name is frequently misspelled, my sex is changed, and the ink and type are glaringly different in the heading and in the letter proper. But these are trifling vagaries: it is my own letter, and the writer knows me intimately. He says this plainly. And he proves it by offering me the book, or the beautifier, or the investment which I had not even known I wanted, but which I do want instantly, and with an intensity that falls short only of cutting from the lower corner of the page the slanting coupon that will procure me farther information.

It is this intimacy of attitude on the part of the writers of form-letters that gives me keenest pleasure. I like the way in which a kindly, tolerant young person—youth will always out—assures me that my manner of life and my personal predilections are as an open book to him. I like the first-aid flavor of his opening paragraph. I like most of all the jaunty soul-brother way in which he dallies with his point.

“The writer of this letter has been pondering a good deal”, begins one of these experts in the personal appeal, “on the sort of letter he would like to get from So-and-So.” And at the conclusion of his clever page, he inquires ingenuously (or artistically): “Is this the sort of letter you like to get from So-and-So?” Bless the boy! of course it is.

And I do enjoy the letter that is designed to make me leap from my seat with the first line: “Tomorrow may be too late!” or, “This idea was worth $100 to one person—it may prove even more valuable to you;” or, “Shakespeare died in 1616!”

Again, the subject may be approached obliquely: “You have read of course, the interesting story in the Sunday  Morning Sunshine, entitled “Sparkles.” You’ll remember how Dorothy—” And about the middle of page two I find that the reason why the heroine was a heroine was because she had a piece of furniture, the duplicate of which I am granted an opportunity to purchase, if I act quickly, at greatly reduced rates.

But although the letter-writing section of psychological advertisers gives me keen pleasure, they also give me some anxiety. It seems to me that they waste a good deal of good effort. The reason for this failure to conserve, lies, I think, in the lack of an ingredient that would fuse all of this experimental psychology and engaging personality into a practical working whole. And by “working” I mean money getting: for of course advertisers have their reason for being, in the persuading of somebody to buy something, or to subscribe to something. The ingredient which I miss is businesslike accuracy. Of course I realize that these are merely form-letters, that the mailing list is compiled from any available source. But the advertisers wish each person who receives a letter to feel that it was written for him or her personally, and they take a great deal of trouble to perfect the atmosphere. It is not artistic, or professional, therefore, to destroy the illusion by the address or the opening sentence. It was a disgusted gentleman who received a letter which began thus:

“Dr. John Doe
Professor of Latin
University of Utopia

Dear Sir:

A friend of yours—she prefers that we should not use her name—tells us that you are the best dressed woman in your city. Our new line of evening frocks….”

And women often receive letters such as the following:

“Miss Margaret Roe, etc., etc.

Dear Madam:

As a man who knows a good pipe from a  bad one, will you grant us an opportunity to show you….”

Undoubtedly these charming highly imaginative specialists in advertising give great pleasure. But when business houses month after month send advertising letters which set forth the glories of something glaringly impossible of enjoyment by the person to whom the letter is addressed, then that person is likely to reflect that squandered postage, and inefficient management, must be paid for in the price or quality of the thing advertised.

The literary value of a personal form-letter is not affected, however, by the question of practical usefulness. Nothing could lessen my pleasure in a recent letter that shows me how I may realize the “chummy comradeship of Emerson’s nature poems,” and the “dainty art of Shelley and Keats.” The writer also tells me that he knows what my principal problem is. And the opening sentence of the same letter seems to explain why I enjoy all advertisements:

“To that ‘marvellous interestingness of life’ which Arnold Bennett says literature reflects, is due the fundamental liking for good reading of some kind….”

The Curse of Fall Elections

We have received the usual number of exhortations to do our duty in preparing for the fall elections. Thank you. We will do the best we can, but on account of the war we are already late in getting into the country for the summer, and our doctor orders us away as soon as we can go.

Many of the people who exercise any influence for good are gone already, while most of those whose influence is evil—who live by politics are here and will stay here or within easy reach, to attend to business.

Moreover all those whose laziness, incapacity and crankiness prevent their having money enough to get  away—the whole Bolshevik crowd of socialists, synadicalists and anarchists, remain here under the influence of those who live by politics.

If there ever was an invention of the devil, it is fall elections.

Elections should be held early in April, before so many good people go away, and after they have had half the year at home to do their best in.


Our habitual readers may be surprised at our serving them a book notice. But the circumstances leading to this one are peculiar.

In its thirty-six years, the Authors Club has published but two books: The Liber Scriptorum, and Feodor Vladimir Larrovitch, An Appreciation of His Life and Works, which has recently appeared. The name of Larrovitch was mentioned in the last Casserole; we are now able to describe the permanent tribute to his personality which the Authors has made.

The volume consists of papers read at the Larrovitch centenary celebration (April 26th, 1917—postponed from April 1st) together with others since contributed. The contents page notes a sonnet by Clinton Scollard, Prolegomenon by Prof. Franklin H. Giddings, a personality sketch by Wm. George Jordan, translations and an article on “The Truth and False About Larrovitch” by Richardson Wright, translations of three Larrovitch poems by George S. Hellman, translations of Larrovitch letters by Thomas Walsh, a paper on his recollection of the great Russian by Dr. Titus Munson Coan, who, it will be recalled was one of the original “Friends of Russian Freedom,” bibliography and bibliographical notes by Arthur Colton, whose name is already well known to readers of the Unpopular Review; and a table of references in English, French, German, Spanish and Russian compiled by Dr.  Gustave Simonson. There are twelve illustrations in the volume, showing Larrovitch manuscripts, portraits at various ages, portraits of Larrovitch’s parents, the room at Yalta in which the author died, and his grave. The book was designed by William Aspenwall Bradley of the University Press, and executed by Munder of Baltimore, making it a unique piece of typographical excellence.

That the Authors should have picked out this Russian from all the writers whirling in the vortex of literature, is explained in the preface and the dedication. The book is dedicated to the lasting sympathy between the American people and the Russian. And the preface states that the path to peace along which nations can walk to mutual understanding, is the path of the arts—the path of music and painting and literature. This is indeed true.

Our Index

The example of our “Father Parmenides,” is always good, and we shall imitate it in the particular set forth in this extract from The Atlantic for last December:

Following a convention, unquestioned and well-nigh universal, the Atlantic has for sixty years published semi-annually in December and June an index designed for the convenience of readers who bind their magazines. This index with title-page occupies six pages; and while of great service to a couple of thousand subscribers and to a few hundred libraries, it is to eighty-odd thousand readers [These figures make us feel very small.] merely a dead and cumbersome weight. This month, therefore, we are breaking sharply with tradition, … we are printing the index in its usual form, but in a small edition, and as a separate pamphlet, and hold ourselves ready to send it to any reader who applies for a copy within thirty days of the publication of this magazine.

This change will involve the saving of a paper-wastage….

All paper saved tends to lower the price, which has already reached a height obstructive to the diffusion of knowledge.


A New “OUIJA Board” Book



A Mid-Victorian Novel by a Pre-Victorian Writer

By the author of “The Sorry Tale”
Edited by C. S. Yost

$1.50 net

In this new novel of mid-Victorian days with its pervading sense of dark mystery, “Patience Worth” abandons her archaic dialect, and writes in modern English.

“Whether in the body or in the spirit, the author of the present volume is singularly gifted with imagination, invention and power of expression. ‘Hope Trueblood’ is much superior to ‘The Sorry Tale,’ partly because it is written in good English and partly because it displays far greater ingenuity of imagination … a work approximating absolute genius.”—N. Y. Tribune.

“A novel that George Eliot might not have been ashamed to own up to.”—N. Y. Sun.

“From the very first there is established an atmosphere true to type and convincing. ‘Hope’ is one of the most radiant children we’ve met in a book in many a day. ‘Patience Worth’ has arrived.”—Chicago Daily News.


End of Project Gutenberg's The Unpopular Review, Number 19, by Various


***** This file should be named 38514-h.htm or *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:

Produced by Barbara Tozier, Bill Tozier and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at

Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
will be renamed.

Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
(and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
permission and without paying copyright royalties.  Special rules,
set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark.  Project
Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you
charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission.  If you
do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the
rules is very easy.  You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose
such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and
research.  They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do
practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks.  Redistribution is
subject to the trademark license, especially commercial



To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at

Section 1.  General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works

1.A.  By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement.  If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.
If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B.  "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark.  It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement.  There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement.  See
paragraph 1.C below.  There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement
and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.  See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C.  The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works.  Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States.  If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
are removed.  Of course, we hope that you will support the Project
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of
this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with
the work.  You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.

1.D.  The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work.  Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change.  If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work.  The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United

1.E.  Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1.  The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed,
copied or distributed:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

1.E.2.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges.  If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the
work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or

1.E.3.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder.  Additional terms will be linked
to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the
permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.

1.E.4.  Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5.  Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6.  You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form.  However, if you provide access to or
distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
"Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (,
you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
form.  Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7.  Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8.  You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided

- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
     the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
     you already use to calculate your applicable taxes.  The fee is
     owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he
     has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the
     Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.  Royalty payments
     must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
     prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
     returns.  Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
     sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the
     address specified in Section 4, "Information about donations to
     the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."

- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
     you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
     does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
     License.  You must require such a user to return or
     destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
     and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
     Project Gutenberg-tm works.

- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
     money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
     electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
     of receipt of the work.

- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
     distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9.  If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael
Hart, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark.  Contact the
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1.  Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm
collection.  Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from.  If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation.  The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund.  If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund.  If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4.  Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS' WITH NO OTHER

1.F.5.  Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law.  The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.

1.F.6.  INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance
with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production,
promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works,
harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees,
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do
or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm
work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any
Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect you cause.

Section  2.  Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers
including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers.  It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need, are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come.  In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations.
To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at

Section 3.  Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service.  The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541.  Its 501(c)(3) letter is posted at  Contributions to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations.  Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email  Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at

For additional contact information:
     Dr. Gregory B. Newby
     Chief Executive and Director

Section 4.  Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment.  Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States.  Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements.  We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance.  To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States.  U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses.  Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations.
To donate, please visit:

Section 5.  General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic

Professor Michael S. Hart is the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm
concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared
with anyone.  For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S.
unless a copyright notice is included.  Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.

Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.