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entered into his London. He was seemingly about sixty years of age, short rather than tall, with piercing eyes under bushy eyebrows, but chiefly remarkable for his penetrating voice, which he used as an organ, modulating it or giving it immense power. One felt instinctively that he was no patrician, but rather a 'city man' accustomed to giving orders and having them obeyed promptly, and having a degree of confidence in himself — say, rather, assurance — which one associates with Chicago rather than with London.
Now I am conceited enough to think that, with the ordinary mortal, I can hold my own in conversation when London is the subject; so almost before I knew it, I was trying to make myself heard by one who had evidently decided to take the lead in the conversation. The result was that two men were talking for victory at the same time, greatly to the amusement of Sawyer.
Finally my stranger-friend said, 'Have you many books on London?'
To which I replied, relieved that the subject had taken a bookish turn,'Yes, about three hundred,' which number is, say, a hundred and fifty more than I actually possess.
'I have over six thousand,' said my friend; 'I have every book of importance on London that ever has been written.'
'Yes,' said I, 'and you have the advantage in discovering first how many books I had. If I had been as keen as mustard, as you are, I would have asked the question, and you would have said three hundred; then I could have said six thousand.'
'Listen to him,' roared my friend;' he even doubts my word. Would you like to see my books?'
'Have you a copy of Stow?' I replied, to try him out.
'Yes,' answered my friend; 'every
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edition, including a presentation copy of the first edition of 1598, with an inscription to the Lord Mayor.'
Now, presentation copies of the Survay, properly regarded as the first book on London, are very rare; I had never seen one, and I replied that nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see his books. When and how could a meeting be arranged?
'Shall we say next Thursday afternoon?'
'Very good, but where?'
'Now,' continued my friend, 'pay attention. Tell your second chauffeur to get out your third Rolls-Royce car —'
'Never mind my chauffeurs and my Rolls-Royce cars,' I interrupted; 'if you are on the line of a penny bus, tell me how to reach you from Piccadilly Circus.'
'Good,' continued my friend; 'you know the Ritz?'
'From the outside,' I replied, 'perfectly.'
'Well, go to the Bobby who stands outside the Ritz, and ask him to tell you what bus to take to Clapham Junction; and when you get there, just ask any Bobby to direct you to John Burns's on the north side of Clapham Common.'
John Burns! Had I heard aright? Was it possible that I was actually talking to John Burns, the great labor leader, who had once marched a small army of 'Dockers' from the East End of London to Westminster, and who had finally become an all-powerful Member of Parliament, and Privy Councillor, and President of the Board of Trade and of the Local Government Board; John Burns, without whose approval not a statue, not a pillar-box or a fireplug had been located for the past twenty years, and who had, when the war broke out, resigned all his offices of honor and emolument because he could not conscientiously go along with the government! As I recovered from my astonishment, John Burns, with a fine sense of dramatic values, had disappeared. I looked at his name and address written in his own hand in my little engagement-book. 'Well,' said I to myself,'that looks like a perfectly good invitation; John Burns will be expecting me about half-past four, and I am not going to disappoint him.'
A few days later, at the hour appointed, we descended from a taxi and found our friend awaiting us at his front gate. Across the roadway stretched Clapham Common, itself not without historic interest; but it was a cold, raw day in late October, and the inside of a city home is always more interesting than the outside. As I removed my coat, I saw at a glance that I had not been deceived in the number of his books. There were books everywhere, about fifteen thousand of them. All over the house were open shelves from floor to ceiling, with here and there a rare old cabinet packed with books, which told the life-story of their owner. Books are for reading, for reference, and for display. John Burns had not stinted himself in any direction. Throwing open the door of a good-sized room in which a fire (thank God!) was burning brightly, Burns said briefly, 'London, art and architecture in this room; in the room beyond, political economy, housing and social problems. Rare books and first editions in the drawingroom. Now come upstairs: here is biography and history.' Then, throwing open the door of a small room, he said, 'This is my workshop; here are thousands and thousands of pamphlets, carefully indexed.' On landing at the head of the stair, he said, 'Newton, I've taken a fancy to you, and I 'm going to let you handle — carefully, mind you — the greatest collection of Sir Thomas More in the world; over six hundred items, twice as many as there are in the British Museum. Here they are, manu
scripts, letters, first editions.' And then, dropping the arrogance of the collector who had made his point, he took up a little copy of Utopia, which he had bought as a boy for sixpence, and said, 'This book has made me what I am; for me it is the greatest book in the world; it is the first book I ever bought, it is the corner-stone of my library, the foundation on which I have built my life. Now let us have tea!'
During this pleasant function I plied my host with question after question; and he, knowing that he was not being interviewed, was frankness itself in his replies. His judgment of the great men of England with whom he had worked for a lifetime was shrewd, penetrating, and dispassionate; and, above all, kindly; their conduct of the war, his reason for not going along with the nation (he and Lord Morley were the two conspicuous men in England who, upon the outbreak of the war, retired into private life) was forceful if, to me, unconvincing; and I quoted Blake's axiom, that a man who was unwilling to fight for the truth might be forced to fight for a lie, without in the least disturbing his equanimity. My remark about Blake served to send the conversation in another direction, and we were soon discussing Blake's wife, whose maiden name he knew, and his unknown grave in Bunhill Fields, as if the cause and effect of the great war were questions that could be dismissed. Seeing a large signed photograph of Lord Morley on the wall, and a copy of his Life of Gladstone and his own Recollections on the shelves, I voiced my opinion that his friend was the author of five of the dullest volumes ever written, an opinion I would be glad to debate with all comers.
In reply to my question as to how he had accomplished so much reading, leading as he has done for so many years the life of a busy public man, he answered,'I read quickly, have a good memory,' (there is no false modesty about John Burns) 'and I never play golf.'
'Well, I am like you in one respect.' 'What's that?' he asked; and then, with a laugh, 'You don't play golf, I suppose.'
What I thought was my time to score came when he began to speak French, which I never understand unless it is spoken with a strong English accent. This gave me a chance to ask him whether he had not, like Chaucer's nun, studied at Stratford Atte Bowe, as evidently 'the French of Paris was to him "unknowe."' He laughed heartily, and instantly continued the quotation. But anyone who attempts to heckle John Burns has his work cut out for him; a man who has harangued mobs in the East End of London and elsewhere, and held his own against all comers in the House of Commons, and who has received honorary degrees for solid accomplishment from half a dozen universities, is not likely to feel the pinpricks of an admirer. And when the time came for us (for my wife was with me) to part, as it did all too soon, it was with the understanding that we were to meet again, to do some walking and book-hunting together; and anyone who has John Burns for a guide in London, as I have had, is not likely
soon to forget the joys of the experience. Holidays at last come to an end.
If all the year were playing holidays.
We came home and, greetings exchanged, our first impressions were those of annoyance. As a nation, we have no manners; one might have supposed that we, rather than the English, had had our nervous systems exposed to the shock of battle; that we, rather than they, had been subject to air-raids and to the deprivations of war; that we had become a debtor rather than a creditor nation. We found rudeness and surliness everywhere. The man in the street had a 'grouch,' despite the fact that he was getting more pay for less work than any other man in the world; and that the President had told him that he had an inalienable right to strike. For the first time in my life I felt that 'labor would have to liquidate' — to use a phrase to which, in the past, I have greatly objected. No question was civilly answered. The porter who carried our bags took a substantial tip with a sneer, and passed on. It may be that America is 'the land of the free and the home of the brave'; but we found the streets of our cities dangerous, noisy, hideous, and filthy. It is not pleasant to say these things, but they are true.
BY WARREN K. MOOREHEAD
During the past fifty years citizens and institutions of New England and New York have contributed large sums for archaeological expeditions in remote sections of the New and Old Worlds. I suppose it is not inaccurate to state that certain individuals of New England were pioneers in financing Mexican, Central American, and South American expeditions for the Peabody Museum. Dr. Winslow's labors aroused much interest in the study of early European and Egyptian cultures, and other researches which were begun by the English, French, or Italians. Today, the explorer seeking funds for a survey of ruins in Yucatan finds ready response to his appeal for contributions. In short, our American public — particularly here, east of the Hudson — is more or less educated in archaeological matters. The subject has become of popular interest. We read with avidity articles in the National Geographical Magazine concerning peoples of remote corners of the globe — although these same descriptions, printed thirty years ago, would have bored us. Everybody knows about the cave-man, and what he did; our Sunday newspapers regularly announce the discovery of another' new buried city.' Even the movies portray expeditions of all kinds, some slightly 'scientific,' and others made in the foothills out from Los Angeles, or in the mountains and woods a mile from the business section of Saranac Lake.
Last, but not least, Mr. Wells has delved — or his assistants have — into archaeologic lore, and we find the whole
'beginnings of the human race' condensed into a few pages, in order that the tired business man, or weary professional person, or the general public, may absorb the leading facts of pre-history, as well as history itself, quickly and conveniently.
People not only buy, but they actually read, books treating in more entertaining fashion of archaeological discoveries and primitive peoples. I recall that, thirty years ago, a scientist immediately lost caste, did he write for the public. Following the prevalent custom of that time, his works were dull and pedantic. Few persons outside the cult to which he belonged knew him or his books; for it was considered bad form for him to do that which would interest mankind at large. To-day, most of us believe that our work is a part of the generally accepted educational system; that it should be presented in an attractive form, in order that it may reach the largest number of readers. While much nonsense has undoubtedly been published in the press and magazines, and a great deal of sensational and unscientific information disseminated by the movies, yet, on the whole, people are better informed to-day concerning the early history of our race, and of primitive man in general, than they were two decades ago.
Permit me to hasten, at this juncture, to assure the anxious scholar that I do not claim there are more masters of archaeology to-day than formerly; what I wish to convey is the impression that our public has a more intelligent interest in the subject. This is indicated in the correspondence files of the average archaeologist. Let him compare letters of 1890 with those of to-day, and he will observe that the correspondent to-day, when addressing the museum curator or a field-man, is somewhat familiar with the subject. We have fewer'crank' communications. It has been three years since one of these came to our Department; yet in one month during 18951 received two letters from persons who wished to know my 'formulas' for making 'mineral rods, by means of which buried treasures are found.'
Formerly, most persons supposed that a museum was a place where 'relics' were bought and then exhibited to gaping and curiosity-seeking visitors. This changed attitude toward the museum may be traced to our museum propaganda; to the work of the Association of Museums, to the spread and influence of children's museums, — popular among their elders, as well, — and to the many illustrated talks on natural history and related topics.
New England's part in lifting archaeological research (and museum study) out of the narrow rut of the specialist and placing it upon the hill, that its light might not be hidden, but, on the contrary, be seen of men, is considerable. Indeed, New England occupies a place of distinction as the patron of archaeology and research. Was it not at Salem, away back in 1803, that the trading- and whaling-vessel masters brought their 'curios' and ship-models home and exhibited them? Most fitting is it that the museum there, after a century of honorable existence, should display these priceless objects of the long ago. Here, Professor Morse, and at Cambridge, Professor Putnam, began their work in the early eighteen-sixties. Morse's popular lectures, sparkling with humor, filled with worth-while information, stimulated interest and had a
far-reaching result. Putnam preached thorough science in exploration, and gathered about him many young students. These men are to-day heads of, or occupy positions of standing in, a dozen of the larger museums in this and other countries.
Yet all the interest on the part of the young scientists who went forth, and of the men who gave funds, and of the public, seemed to centre in places away from and not in New England. With a few exceptions — notably Mr. C. C. Willoughby's explorations in Maine — no one thought that there was and is such a thing as the archeology of New England. Obviously, the reason they all neglected the home territory is not far afield. We have no mounds, no cliff-dwellings or ruined cities. We even lack caverns and caveman! Thus we possess nothing calculated to appeal to the imagination. Wealthy people would give money for investigations of visible monuments. They had seen pictures of remains in the West, the South, and Asia. Putnam could secure little money for work hereabouts. He was told that there was neither romance nor charm in New England exploration. As a natural sequence, archaeologists, with one accord, went West, South, or abroad, with the result that, until systematic explorations were undertaken in 1912, we knew less about our own land (archaeologically) than we did about regions five thousand miles away.
In 1909 I visited my friend Director Willoughby of the Peabody Museum, and consulted with him concerning work in our home field. It had been neglected; yet here we might find the beginnings of Algonquin culture, Eskimo influence, tribes of pre-Pilgrim days, and so forth. There were farreaching possibilities. Our trustees kindly voted the necessary funds, and I applied methods used in Ohio, Arizona,