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THE CONTRIBUTORS' COLUMN
A. Clutton-Brock, critic of art and lover of gardens, has at the Atlantic's request contributed a number of papers on modern dangers and difficulties, varied in their subject, but alike in ascribing to religion the real hope of the future. The secret which brought her consolation at a time of anguish many years ago, and which has ever since been the constant companion of her thoughts, Mrs. Albion Fellows Bacon now feels it right to share with others. The record is, of course, faithful to the last detail. The writer of 'Shell-Shocked — and After,' for manifest reasons, prefers to remain unknown. After many actual pilgrimages to the Orient, L. Adams Beck now makes an imaginary one into the heart of the Chinese Empire of other days.
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Margaret Widdemer is a well-known poet of the younger generation. AnneC.E.Allinson, author of 'Roads from Rome' and (with her husband) 'Greek Lands and Letters,' was formerly dean of the Women's College in Brown University. From her girlhood experiences upon her father's Southern plantation, Eleanor C. Gibbs recalls these memories of old-time slaves. Her forebears were kinsmen of another Virginia planter, George Washington. Bertrand Russell, long famous as a mathematician and philosopher, is a grandson of Lord John Russell, the eminent British statesman. Mr. Russell has just returned to London from a winter's stay in China, where he has been teaching at the Government University in Peking.
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This interpretative reading of Shakespeare's letters brings Miss Ellen Terry back for one more curtain call. It is characteristic of her discrimination to find in the Shakespearean field a topic quite unworn. During the war Arthur Pound edited a confidential weekly bulletin of trade and commodity information, issued by the Chief Cable Censor, U.S.N., for the guidance of American naval censors in handling business cable and radio messages. Traces of this training in international trade-practices are evident now and
then in the 'Iron Man' papers. Margaret Wilson Lees is a Canadian essayist.
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We wonder how many readers will remember Agnes Repplier's first two contributions to the Atlantic, on 'Children, Past and Present,' and 'On the Benefits of Superstition.' They marked the beginning of the long and delightful series, different in quality and kind from anything else America has to show. Christopher Morley, whose 'Bowling Green' is the sportive element of the New York Evening Post, advocates newspaper work because it 'keeps one in such a ferment of annoyance, haste, interruption, and misery, that, occasionally, one gets jolted far enough from the normal to commit something worth while.' William Beebe's new book,' Edge of the Jungle,' is reviewed in this month's Atlantic. Harrison Collins, at present a member of the faculty in one of the Imperial Normal Colleges in Japan, bases his story on an actual experience with Japanese goldfish and fishermen.
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Sir Arthur H. Pollen is, perhaps, the bestknown naval critic in the United Kingdom. Our attention was originally called to Sisley Huddleston through the warm recommendation of Mr. Arnold Bennett. Throughout the Paris Conference, his journalistic work seemed to us of the highest importance. Since then Atlantic readers have had opportunities to judge it through a number of articles which, once read, are not easily forgotten. Jean Sokoloff, the Scotch widow of a Russian officer, after her recent escape from Petrograd, made a flying visit to American cousins, and has returned to her home in Glasgow. Walter L. Ballou is the associate editor of The Black Diamond, the official organ of the Coal Industry.
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At Mr. Pound's request, we are glad to publish the following acknowledgment.
Dear Atlantic, —
The receipt of the October number, containing the first of my articles on' The Iron Man,' brought forcibly to my mind the absorption with which I must have been vacationing when you wrote me in August of your decision to run the 'Education' and 'International Politics' articles ahead of the 'War.' Otherwise, I am sure I should not have failed, at the outset, to acknowledge gratefully my indebtedness to an unusual man for valuable material.
Mutual friends, knowing my absorption in industrial problems, brought me into touch a year ago with Ernest F. Lloyd of Ann Arbor, Michigan. After some thirty years as a manufacturer of gas-making machinery, and as a public-utility operator supplying gas to several towns, Mr. Lloyd had acquired, as he says philosophically, 'sufficient worldly credit to forego business with decency untainted by affluence.' He took up his residence at, Ann Arbor, entering the University of Michigan as a special student in economics. Thereby he reversed the usual educational process, and was able to check theory by practice, and vice versa. Starting from the firm base of experience, he studied acutely the problems of capital and labor, especially those underlying economic principles affecting the organization of employers and wage-workers, their bargaining powers and limitations of reward, the historical development of these relations, the influences of modern machinery thereon, and the status of the corporation as the modern industrial employer. These researches ultimately may be published for textbook use in colleges; some have already appeared in academic journals.
Meanwhile Mr. Lloyd kindly gave me free use of his manuscripts, and I have based the economic aspects of 'The Iron Man' largely upon them. On the political, psychological, biological, and educational aspects of the case, my friend will admit no more than a friendly interest, though his keen criticism has been invaluable even there. However, in his special 6eld our articles are really collaborations, in which my observations in the fleld have been tested in the Lloyd crucible before being passed on to the public via the Atlantic. Sincerely yours,
Mrs. Cannon's frank expression of misgiving regarding the organization of present-day charity has been seriously debated all over the United States. The Associated Charities of several cities have made it the subject of discussion at stated meetings; and letters from charitable workers, both in support and in attack, have poured in on us. We are sorry to find room for only a few.
Dear Atlantic, —
Mrs. Cannon's article contains many wise and helpful suggestions, but contains also a pretty serious indictment against the philanthrophy of the past thirty years. The author characterizes it as short-sighted and unintelligent, reluctant to cooperate, and apt to be too superficial and selfish to seek the real good of the community, when that implies self-effacement.
He would be a bold man who should affirm
that there are no so-called philanthropists whose work is open to these charges, but are they the representative men and women of this calling'" If you have charges to make against the medical profession, for instance, you would not select the tyros, the quacks, or the practitioners before the time of Lister, to illustrate your point. A profession has a right to be judged by its best — its great men and the humble but earnest followers who are striving to live up to their ideals.
The philanthrophy of the last thirty years means Jane Addams, Josephine Shaw Lowell, and the thousands of men and women who are spending their lives, like them, in the struggle to bring scientific methods and the profoundest teachings of modern philosophy into the study of human betterment. To private philanthropy we owe to-day most of the public work in that direction. Evening schools, vacation schools, supervised play, the fight against tuberculosis — all these movements and many others were tried out in philanthropic laboratories, and handed over to the city or state after their value and practicability had been proved. Surely 'tenderness and pity' are not incompatible with 'reasoning intelligence'! Sincerely yours,
Helen Cabot Alky.
Dear Atlantic, —
Please permit one of your readers to pay his respects to 'Philanthropic Doubts,' the leading article in your September number. Naturally, as the work of an accomplished thinker and writer, it is delightful reading; probably no less delightful that one finds, instead of 'doubts,' a confident argument in support of quite definite views. This, perhaps, opens the way to an expression of some doubts touching those views. For example:
I. How will this strike the philanthropists?
8. Are reformed philanthropists the key to improved government and the ideal social condition?
3. Assuming that, when shown the error of their ways, they will refrain from further contributions and aid to charitable undertakings, will the philanthropists pour their charity funds into the coffers of the State, and devote to the State their energies hitherto given to philanthropic undertakings?
4. How does it stand with sound principles of government to attempt to make of the State — the community in its corporate, governmental capacity — a universal providence? N.B. Russia under Bolshevism.
5. Can there be an ideal social condition without ideal human beings?
6. Does democratic government seem to be in a fair way to become the perfect, final form of government, and a hopeful agency for bringing the millennium? Rutherford H. Platt.
Dear Atlantic, —
Social workers have no quarrel with the person who wishes to lift himself by his boot-straps and who refuses a friendly boost by the philanthropist. Such people rarely sit in a Charity office, and if they do, their visit is only an occasional one. Social workers merely supply the knowledge and incentive for self-fulfillment to those people who, through poverty, have grown stolid, hopeless, Oh, the crimes of the Intellect!
and indifferent. Barely is pressure brought to bear upon a man in order to make him docile to the wishes or caprice of the philanthropist. Health decisions are practically the only ones ever forced, and these, for the most part, only when the welfare of a child is at stake. As to the philanthropist's influence upon the people with whom he deals, that is impossible to measure. Perhaps, as Mrs. Cannon says, the majority of our clients 'act upon our advice if they must, they disregard it it they can, but they preserve untouched the inner citadel of their personality.' This, however, is no indictment against the philanthropist, but against human nature. God forbid that any of us should fling wide to all comers the inner gates of our personality! Yours sincerely,
Dear Atlantic, —
Perhaps I may be permitted to speak a word for the Settlements, which are included in the alleged 'perfect orgy of charitable activity' in which philanthropists are said to have indulged for the past thirty years. The Settlements have consistently endeavored to avoid the dangers of philanthropic work against which the author rightly inveighs. From the very first they have tried to become an integral part of their neighborhood. An attitude of condescension is as abhorrent to them as to Mrs. Cannon. A cardinal principle of settlement work has been to seek the cooperation of their neighbors in improving local conditions. Their aim, as it was put long ago, I believe by Jane Addams, has been to work with and not far people. I think it can safely be said that they are not hampered by the 'philanthropists' first handicap' — that of making their' human contacts on the basis of infirmities, poverty, ignorance, sin, never on the basis of any mutual interest or responsibility.' It is precisely on the basis of mutual interest and responsibility that they seek to make their contacts with their neighbors. Again, the Settlements have all along been trying to pass over to the tax-payers such of their experiments in the promotion of social welfare as have proved of permanent value. Mrs. Cannon concedes that certain 'social pioneers' have done essential work, and that, 'in so far as charitable societies catch the spirit of these adventures and hold the ideal of theirownlaboraspioneering.they do a vital work, and in the future as in the past, will be essential to social progress.' Without, I trust, assuming too much, Settlement residents may take heart from this admission, for they have thought (modestly, I hope) that such pioneering was an important part of their work, and they believe that the time is not yet come for themtoshut up shop. As a matter of fact, modern social workers, like the members of the medical profession, are really intent upon putting themselves out of business, but, like the doctors again, they have not yet achieved this desirable end. Let us not neglect the extension and improvement of publicwelfare agencies, while, for the present at least, we maintain such private philanthropies as are serving the community. Very truly yours,
Gaylord S. White.
Dear Atlantic, —
The popularity of the Atlantic with wide-ranging peoples was demonstrated recently, when our house was entered in the night-time, and, along with food-stuffs, safety-razor, flash-light, and sundry kitchen vessels, the August and September Atlantic* were taken, with a reading-glass. Respectfully yours, Henry A. Blake.
Our readers seem to think, since there is a woman in the case, that twelve hundred, and not twelve, is the requisite number for a jury. From the full panel we have selected one for the body of the magazine, and here is another for the Column.
Dear Atlantic, —
Your story' The Jury' intrigues me. It recalls by its unannounced verdict The Lady or the Tiger f
It is not easy to determine the exact nature of the plea. There is no prosecution and there is not a suggestion of a defense. It is not quite a petition for pardon with restoration of civil rights. The guilty person — I beg her pardon, the heroine — is not a petitioner of any sort; only, as always, a recipient of unrequited favors. The question seems to be: shall other benefactors rush in to fill a temporary vacancy, her late 'protector' having been removed by death?
The principal speaker's status is not quite clear. Is it that of the amicus curia of the civil, or of the adtocatus diaboli of the ecclesiastical court, or just 'your orator' of the old court of equity? She herself is, however, sufficiently convincing. And how admirable are her accessories! The first cigarette that she lights seems to dispel all illusions as to old-fashioned social conventions. The second seems to symbolize the weakened willpower that over-indulgence produces. And then the bridge table! It seems symbolic of the ennui of the unoccupied time of the 'idle rich.'
Surely there can be no question as to the verdict. One seems to hear the unanimous cry:'Tell Violet Osborne to return. The seventh commandment is out of date. No one can expect a rich woman to care for her children. We take no stock in this talk about "much being required from those to whom much has been given."'
But might not the whole company be persuaded to join Violet Osborne 'abroad,' and make room here for a few more who want to vindicate for America a moral supremacy in meeting the needs of a world wrecked by selfishness and selfindulgence? Very truly yours,
Ethelbert D. Warfield.
The clergy of the old school kept their sermons in barrels. But now —?
Dear Atlantic, —
You are always glad, I know, to hear how useful you are. Even your wrappers are of use — for sermon-covers. I'm sure the sermons acquire a literary quality they might not otherwise possess. Practical, too; for each manuscript bears my name and address; you can appreciate the importance of that. One, which I had left by mistake in a strange pulpit, I had returned to me the other day by mail. Sincerely yours,
A. D. Swtvelt.
In the September number of the Atlantic, Mr. Newton, discussing his delightful Old Lady, London, made something of a whipping-post of old Thomas Carlyle. The editor, who has loved the cantankerousness of Teufelsdrc5ch for forty years, gladly prints this letter from an indignant disciple.
In the September Atlantic the author of the Amenities of Book-Collecting slipped from amenities in interrupting his tale of love for 'My Old Lady, London' to express some misinformation about Carlyle.
Our amenitor was treading in Carlyle's footsteps in searching out the Gough Square house: and if he proceeds, he may find other points of agreement. His specific charge is this: 'Carlyle! who never had a good or kindly word to say of any man or thing.' Carlyle has lain in his grave for forty years. When Johnson had lain in his grave for forty-seven years, Carlyle wrote of him: 'Johnson does not whine over his existence, but manfully makes the most and best of it. . . . He is animated by the spirit of the true workman, resolute to do his work well; and he does his work well; all his work, that of writing, that of living. . . . Loving friends are there! Listeners, even Answerers: the fruit of his long labors lies round him in fair legible writings, of Philosophy, Eloquence, Morality, Philology: some excellent, all worthy and genuine Works: for which too, a deep, earnest murmur of thanks reaches him from all ends of his Fatherland. Nay, there are works of Goodness, of undying Mercy, which even he has possessed the power to do: "What I gave I have; what I spent I had!" . . . How to hold firm to the last the fragments of old Belief, and with earnest eye still discern some glimpses of a true path, and go forward thereon, "in a world where there is much to be done and little to be known"! This is what Samuel Johnson, by act and word, taught his Nation; what his Nation received and learned of him, more than of any other. ... If England has escaped the blood-bath of a French Revolution, and may yet, in virtue of this delay and of the experience it has given, work out her deliverance calmly into a new Era, let Samuel Johnson, beyond all contemporary or succeeding men, have the praise of it. . . . Since the time of John Milton, no braver heart had beat in any English bosom than Samuel Johnson now bore.'
Better or kindlier words concerning Sam Johnson it will tax the Amenities of Book-Collecting to discover.
But enough. Good and kindly words; great, affectionate thoughts Carlyle had for Scott, for Sterling, for Irving, for Elliott, the Corn-Law
Rhymer, for Allan Cunningham, for Dickens, for Tennyson, for Emerson, and had their sincere and lasting love — contemporaries all; and the list might be extended indefinitely.
Into each life some rain must fall. The poems penned in wet weather have not infrequently a certain melancholy appeal.
Dear Atlantic, —
I submit herewith an 'II Penseroso' for that 'L'Allegro' entitled 'Joy' in the October number of your revered publication. Shall we call it
When I am sad
It sags, and drags
From my sub-eon-
A'What care I,
For may I not
Very truly yours,
Kate E. Parker.
We always did like a pessimist. He has a way of looking the world right in the eye. But the editor's family is too considerable to admit of his accepting the following proposal.
Dear Atlantic, —
Am wondering whether you will be interested in a 3000-word article on 'Must Human Propagation Continue?' In a thorough discussion of the subject I suggest the thought that the numerous troubles in the world will cease, and its great problems be solved, only by a cessation of multiplication, sorrow and death be at an end. and the earth itself be better off without human beings. Very truly yours, .
The same mail brings us a contribution entitled 'The Horrors of Matrimony'; but that — as we might have guessed, even if the note-paper had not told us so — is by a member of the League for the Preservation of Wild Life.