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thing off de peddler.' What should a head of cabbage be doing in Tony Appa's desk? 'Where did you get that, Tony ?' — 'I buyed it for two cent off de peddler.' — 'No, teacher, he never did. We seed him swipe it off de peddler.' Witnesses go with Tony to restore the cabbage to the peddler, while the room is at work constructing the cardboard house and furniture of the Three Bears.
A bambino comes from the substitute teacher in Room 14, and teacher goes with him, only for a little while. A man, a strange man, opens the door and looks on them with sharp eyes, and goes away. Rosie stands up.
'Teacher,' Rosie bursts out as the green Miss Shannon returns, 'a man comes by us and he looks on us.'
'How did he look?'
'My God, I don't know. You better stay in here.'
Teacher 'looks on Rosie,' but Carmilla does not know what teacher is thinking. She is thinking of the strange things Rosie says, and is remembering about Rosie and the Christmas party. The day of the Christmas party Rosie came to school much too early, and when she saw the green Miss Shannon approaching, ran to her and asked when it would be time for the Christmas party to begin.
'Not yet. After a while.'
Then at recess Rosie asked again.
'Not yet. After a while.'
And at noon, and between times, when would it be time for the Christmas party to begin?
'Not yet. After a while.'
More and more incredulous and suspicious of teacher's assurances Rosie was growing. Time dragged to afternoon recess, lessons going on as usual. It was proper to rebuke and caution teacher as Rosie herself had been rebuked and cautioned; yet with restraint.
'I 'm afraid you lie some, teacher; it's an awful sin.'
But how should Rosie reinstate herself after the party, which came off after all, in the kindergarten room, with a trimmed tree, and candy and red apples from teacher, and games and singing.
'O teacher, youze so lovely to us by your party,' said Rosie; 'just like a mudder.'
'Yes, just like a mudder,' agreed Joseph.
'Yes, teacher,' Dominic hesitated; 'but so many childrens and no fah-der?'
Again Carmilla does not know. Why is teacher smiling? But she likes to look on teacher when she smiles, and when the little jokes are in her eyes, and upon her green dress. Carmilla is a sort of small moon to teacher's sun. Carmilla goes on with the construction lesson, cutting and pasting the table on which are to stand the three bowls of broth of the Three Bears.
But this is not all of school, what they have been doing to-day. No — no. Sometimes the superintendent comes. Then they all sit up very straight, just as the green Miss Shannon stands. They do not whisper, not even Theresa. She will certainly have the red tongue pinned upon her if she whispers before the big, prim, sad man who is the superintendent. Sometimes the smart young man in the office — he must be smart because he is the principal — comes in swiftly and goes out swiftly. Sometimes the man who does not wear his coat comes in and looks at the fixture on the wall (which is a thermostat) and goes out again. Sometimes the lady in the pretty dress and beads, — a black one on each side and a green one in the middle, like an eye, three of them on a chain, — comes in briskly and smiles at teacher, and sits in the chair, and the bambinos all stand and sing for teacher, blow out lights with their breath, and step up and down the scale and choose songs; and the bead lady tells them how nicely they sing, and talks a minute to teacher, and goes out briskly.
Sometimes, after teacher takes out all the drawings they have done, strings many along the blackboards, and puts many in a pile on her desk, the lady with the gray hair comes in slowly and looks at the drawings, and Carmilla, who is a monitor, and Marian, who is a monitor, and Antonio and Peter pass papers and crayons, and the children draw for teacher, and the lady with the gray hair tells teacher that the drawings are good, and goes out slowly.
Sometimes the young lady in the gym suit looks in, for whom they go to the gym; and the young lady in the gym suit sits and plays at the piano, and for teacher they march and skip and swing on the big swings and rings, as they have practised with teacher for the gym lady; and then with teacher and the gym lady they play the games.
Yes, all of these come sometimes and go sometimes. But teacher always stays. But what Carmilla does not know is that these folk, every one, and the teacher above in the domesticscience kitchen, and the teacher below in the manual-training shop, and the teachers three blocks off in the Mann Technical High School, are all much more important and dignified figures than her teacher, with much more important and dignified salaries.
It is true that, in the meetings of teachers, where Carmilla does not go, there is talk — admirable talk — of teacher's service and devotion and selfsacrifice and indispensability; and the big, prim, sad man who is the superin
tendent says that the only part anyone else has in the system is to help teacher. But the stout dark primary teacher and the tall fair grammar teacher and the green Miss Shannon, who no longer care for words, and the young Miss O'Callahan and Miss Polonski, who never will care for words, reflect that they who would help should ask, not always tell, the doers what to do, and they question why teacher's must always be the lowest place. Carmilla does not know that the green Miss Shannon, and the blessed ones like her, are growing rarer and rarer. She is conscious in her small soul, as are the simple foreign folk about her, that the one who knows her, and who is her light and hope, is her teacher — Carmilla's teacher.
On the way home with teacher, across the strip of asphalt drive, along the cement walk toward the tulip-bed, Carmilla opens her little grimy fist, disclosing the two bright glass marbles traded by Jaspar for the pendant that makes rainbows. Wriggly coils of colors inside the crystal spheres, tiny rainbows imprisoned, the marbles wink up at Carmilla. Almost does the little fist close again on their shimmer.
'Here, teacher. Here's two marbles for you.'
'O Carmilla — for me! Thank you, dear. Um, two such nice marbles.' The little jokes are in teacher's eyes. 'But you know Miss Shannon cannot have any marbles except those that go thump, thump, thump —' Now the little jokes are in Carmilla's eyes, too. 'You keep them, Carmilla. Mind you hold tight.' She bends down and closes the little fist over the gleaming bits. There is a sweet and tender light in the eyes of Carmilla's teacher.
BY RALPH BARTON PERRY
Superstitions are perpetuated mainly In the church and the home, because whatever is said out loud in either place is intended to edify those who hear it. Parents and other adult members of the family belong to the priestly caste. It is their business to preach the doctrine and to be ostentatiously on their good behavior. Like their colleagues of the church, they feel the strain and find it necessary to enjoy stolen hours of unfrocked relaxation, which they spend with others of the profession who are pledged not to betray them. There are so many whom circumstance has placed in this position, but who feel unequal to its duties, that there is a widespread tendency to centralize the work of edification in the boarding-school, where it can be done by paid experts. As yet, however, this relief is too expensive to be generally enjoyed, and it still falls to the common lot of the adult to work, to pay taxes, and to officiate in the home.
Edification breeds superstition simply because fictions having sentimental value have to be preferred to facts. In the home this begins with the myths of Santa Claus and fairyland, and ends with the myth of the Perfect Gentleman and the Perfect Lady. In the home, as in the church, there are ecclesiastical as well as doctrinal superstitions — that is, superstitions having the function of protecting the prestige of the authorities. In the case of the home these superstitions have to do particu
larly with the pure benevolence, exemplary rectitude, and perfect manners of the parents. This idealized, fictitious parent may vary to any degree from the real parent. His activities oft" the stage, the friends with whom he associates there, and even his past history, are constructed and recast to fit the role of paragon which he assumes in the domestic drama.
Despite the weakness of his position otherwise, the adult member of the home enjoys this great advantage, that he fixes its superstitions in the form which they finally assume. He utilizes the experiences, deeds, and shrewd comments of the children, but puts his own interpretation on them. It is the adult who tells the story — sometimes, from motives of pride or retaliation, to other adults of rival domestic establishments; sometimes, for purposes of edification, to one of the children. In either case the moral that adorns the tale becomes its dominant feature, and it is the adult saga-maker who points the moral. He enjoys this advantage at his peril, however. For he is the most defenseless victim of his own eloquence. His rivals do not believe him because they possess prior domestic superstit ions of their own. The children are protected by their inattention, levity, and worldly wisdom. But he himself hears himself so often, and takes himself so seriously, that he is like to become the only thoroughly orthodox adherent of his own teaching. It is in the hope of opening the eyes of the domestic adult, and enabling him to resist this insidious process of auto-suggestion, that these words are written.
There is, for example, a widespread belief that the mother, or wife, or resident aunt, or other domestic adult female, is the lover and champion of the home. Man is supposed to be a natural vagrant, only with great difficulty prevented from spending his idle time wandering from club to club, or from hole to hole on the golf-links. Woman, on the other hand, is supposed to be by nature the nostic or homing animal. Domestic dynamics, in short, are commonly explained as a resultant of the centrifugal force of the male and the centripetal force of the female. This is doubtless the more edifying view of the matter, because it idealizes what circumstance has decreed to be necessary. Since livelihood falls to the lot of the male and homekeeping to the lot of the female, it is prettier to suppose that the deepest passion of the one is the love of outdoors, and of the other the love of indoors; just as it would be prettier to suppose that a man compelled to earn his living as a night-watchman was by nature a nocturnal animal.
The facts, however, do not agree with this edifying view of the matter. The greatest day in the history of a privileged woman is the day of her Coming Out. From that day forth she wages a more or less ineffectual struggle to stay out. On the other hand, the greatest hour in a man's day is the hour when he sets his face toward home. Every day, through hours of work, he is sustained by the same bright vision, which he derives from romantic fiction, or from his own creative imagination. He sees himself joyfully greeted by a household, no member of which has anything else to do, or any other wish, save to make him comfortable. They have all indulged themselves to their hearts'
content earlier in the day, and now it is his turn to be indulged. It is understood that he, and he alone, is tired. Any attentions or amiability on his part are gratefully appreciated, but they are not demanded, or even expected, of him. After dinner, there is a certain comfortable chair waiting for him in an accustomed spot near a reading-lamp. The contour of the upholstery is his perfect complement. He fits himself to the chair, reaches for the evening paper, and then experiences the purest rapture of domestic bliss. It consists in a sense of being 'let alone,' of snugness, relaxation, and a hovering protection. But, like all ecstasies, it is essentially indescribable.
This is man's sustaining vision. It is only a vision, but, like all visions, it shows where the heart lies.
Now, why is it only a vision? Because it leaves out approximately seventyfive per cent of the facts. All the other members of the household are tired, also, and are as conscious of having acquired merit and earned indulgence as is the male wage-earner. Each, like the adult male, forms his own conception of the end of a perfect day by the simple method of opposition. The children, having spent most of the day in a restrained posture on a school-bench, incline to riot. The woman, having spent the day indoors, desires to go out; and having seen no one during the day except the postman, the milkman, and the iceman, desires to associate more extensively with her kind. She, too, has been sustained during the day by a vision — children tucked in bed, her husband fired with social zeal, best clothes, a taxicab, a meal prepared by somebody else, and then a dance or the theatre, friends, gayety, and late to bed! Hence, while for the man the symbol of home is the armchair, for the woman it is the dressing-table. When the inward-bound man and the outward-bound woman meet on the threshold at the end of the day, then indeed is the ligature of matrimony strained!
What might or will be the case under a different social organization it is impossible to predict. The present domestic motivation is doubtless a more or less artificial pressure-effect of circumstance. Men work all day in order to be able to go home; women, in order to be able to leave home. Men are standing outside, looking in; women, inside, looking out. In both cases the force of inclination is equal and opposite to the force of circumstance. Thus the day of the man and the day of the woman and the day of the children culminate discordantly; and at the only hour when the family is united in the flesh it is divided in spirit. Somebody must spend the 'free' evening virtuously and patiently doing something that he does not want, or else everybody must spend it in a joint debate that nobody wants. Possibly, in some future time, men and women will both work at home and go out to play; or will both go out to work and spend the evening in adjoining armchairs. Even then one does not see one's way clear about the children.
As it stands, then, man is the lover and champion of the home. To him it is a haven, a place of refuge, and an opportunity of leisure. Woman is the custodian and curator of the home. It is her place of business. 'Woman's place is in the home' is not a description of female human nature, but a theory regarding the division of labor, or a precept, coined and circulated by men who want homes and need women to create them.
This corrected view of the home-sentiments throws a new light on certain habits of life which might be supposed at first to contradict it. There is, for example, man's well-known addiction to clubs. It is popularly supposed that he resorts to these places in order to get
away from home. Quite the contrary. He goes to his club because his club is the nearest approximation to his ideal of home that is available. It is more homelike than home. A man's club does not exist for the promotion of social life, but for the purpose of avoiding it. It is essentially a place where the upholstery is deep, where one can read newspapers and eat, and where one is safe from intrusion. In other words, a man goes out to his club only from fear of having to go farther out.
Or, consider the popular view that women are more religious than men. The real point seems to be that women are more inclined than men to go to church; which is a very different thing. Sunday is related to the week as the evening to the day. For a man, therefore, it is a day at home; and for a woman, a day out. A man's idea of Sunday is to surround his house with barbed-wire, lock and barricade the doors and windows, disconnect the telephone, put on his slippers and an old suit, and then devote the day to reading the paper and 'puttering.' A woman's idea of Sunday is to have everything cleaned and polished up, including the children; everybody in best clothes; and then have half of her friends in in the afternoon, and visit the other half in the evening. Now it is not difficult to see which programme and mood most easily accommodates itself to public worship. If you are all dressed up and socially inclined, what can be more natural and agreeable than going to church? And if you are down cellar, in old clothes, building bookshelves out of a packing-box, what can be more impossible?
According to the orthodox superstition, woman, as inwardly bent on religion and the home, is the natural conservative. She is regarded as the instinctive exponent of established things — of convention, authority, and the