as this shall have its decorative aspect. No matter how radical a delegate may be, he never fails to address a distinguished member by his proper title, as 'Excellency," Highness,' and the like, even when he is attacking that person's arguments. It was quite in keeping with the spirit of the occasion, therefore, that the presidential cortège should proceed from the railway station to the assembly tent escorted by fifty elephants and a great retinue of followers. Just before the president entered the tent, a red runner was laid down the aisle. A moment later a standard bearer appeared, carrying the national banner of red, green, and white with a spinning wheel in the centre. He was followed by a well-trained Assamite band in dark uniforms, playing a tune that recalled a familiar Scottish military air. Just behind the music came the president, Srinavasa Jyenger of Madras, accompanied by the most prominent leaders: Mahatma Gandhi, Pundit Motilal Nehru, Pundit Malavya, the Ali brothers, Sarojini Naidu, the famous poetess who was president of the Congress last year, and other prominent personalities. They took their seats under an airy canopy of green leaves and yellow blossoms in the middle of the tent. A worthy old man ascended the tribune and intoned, to the accompaniment of music, a solemn hymn, while everyone stood at attention. After that some little children sang a native song. When they had finished, a little boy and a little girl advanced timidly and presented the president with two wreaths of flowers. They obstinately insisted at first on hanging both wreaths, or at least one of them, on Mahatma Gandhi, to the immense amusement of the audience.

The speeches that followed were already printed and in the hands of the hearers. The president of the

reception committee dilated upon the beauty and delightfulness of Gauhati and Assam. The president of the Congress followed with a speech that lasted two hours. It was a masterly exposé of the whole political situation in India, from the Swarajist standpoint, and as lucid as it was elegant in form.

By this time it was necessary to turn on the lights. Tea was served to the leaders. A baby cried now and then from where the lady delegates were seated. Orange skins were scattered about. The meeting began to resemble a great popular picnic more than it did a Congress.

After the president's speech telegrams were read from prominent leaders who were prevented from being present. These invariably laid special stress on the necessity of HinduMohammedan unity. The first topic of general discussion was the recent assassination of a prominent Hindu. leader, Swami Shradhanad, by a Moslem fanatic. Hindus and Mohammedans alike deplored the incident and pleaded for religious toleration.

A little, slim man darted out from the group of leaders in order to read the resolution of regret from the tribune. He wore only a loin cloth and a sash thrown over his shoulders. His head was shaved smooth except for a thin bush of hair which hung down from his crown. Small, lively, penetrating, shrewd eyes lighted up his face. His nose was rather long and pointed. Beneath his moustache was a serious mouth with pursing lips, a mouth that can laugh heartily, revealing when it does so the absence of several teeth. One might think him an ugly man if it were not for the wonderful charm of his manner and the grace of his movements. A box was set upon the tribune and a chair placed upon the box, upon which the little man seated himself.

Instantly the murmur of the great audience was hushed. Mahatma Gandhi spoke. He put on his glasses and read slowly and distinctly the resolution in English; then, taking off his glasses, he began to speak extemporaneously in Hindustani. His clear voice, which never rose to shrillness, penetrated to the farthest confines of the great assembly tent. His only gesture was an occasional movement of the left hand, in which he held his glasses; but he spoke with a persuasiveness that instantly won assent. He had foreseen the dreadful deed which now horrified all India. Swami was not, in his eyes, a martyr to be mourned, but a hero to be honored. His death was a mighty call to reason. The blow had not struck Swami, but India, which had not the courage to emancipate herself from her great disgrace, HinduMohammedan disunity.

After Gandhi, the younger of the two Ali brothers rose. He was a large, heavy man who spoke in English and thundered at the audience, with a certain air of self-satisfaction, the commonplaces of his political creed. Evidently he was an effective popular orator, but he gave no evidence of possessing great human or intellectual qualities. That probably explains why his prestige and influence have not grown with the years.

The next speakers were the two great but friendly rivals in the Congress, Pundit Motilal Nehru and Pundit Madan Mohan Malavya. The first is the head of the Swaraj Party. In spite of his high qualities of character he has given his large private estate to his country- and an excellent education, he is neither an elegant nor an original speaker; and it is hard to see how a man of such a dry intellectual type has attained his present position. Malavya is of quite a different temperament, and one of India's

greatest orators. Unfortunately for me, he addressed the Congress in Hindustani, so I did not understand his words; but it was a delight to watch his gracefu! pose and gestures, and to see the way he handled the vast audience, a majority of whom he knew were in political opposition to him. He was as original in his dress as in his opinions, wearing a long white coat and tight white trousers; a white cloth was wound around his neck, which, with his turban, made a white frame for his finely chiseled features and short, drooping moustache. He did not speak dramatically, according to our standards, but stood straight and immovable, using only his hands in gesture. His address, spoken in a language in which so many words end with the same sounds, had the effect of a monotonously recited poem.

After the first resolution, two others were adopted without debate. Both were drafted by Gandhi, and related to the status of Indian emigrants in Africa. Madame Sarojini Naidu, the poetess, who, like Gandhi, has resided in that continent, followed Gandhi with one of the most brilliant and appealing addresses of the Congress. She pictured with vivid, ardent words and a great wealth of literary figures the condition of the Indian settlers in Africa. Every sentence was perfectly rounded and complete. Her address was a gem of extemporaneous eloquence.

The second day of the session was devoted chiefly to debating whether or not the Congress should continue to endorse the Swarajist policy of obstruction. This had virtually been decided upon two days previously, at a committee meeting. Advocates of that programme were aided by the fact that Gauhati is in the extreme northeastern part of India, so that the Bengalese, who are strong obstructionists, formed

a majority of the delegates. In fact, most of the eminent advocates of Responsive Coöperation kept away from the Congress among them Lala Lajput Rai, who as recently as last year was among the most vigorous opponents of this programme.

I was particularly interested in the younger speakers, not belonging to the leaders' group, who from time to time secured the floor. One young fellow who got a hearing, amid the frowns of the 'old guard,' spoke clearly, vigorously, and briefly to the point. He was followed by a typical intellectual, who developed his theses with scholarly precision. Next came a humorous intermezzo, when a chubby little gentleman screeched at the assembly, stooping now and then in his excitement to pick up something from the floor. His patriotic fervor compelled him to pour forth from an overfull heart his opinions about everything in general. He overran his time, and it took many rings of the president's bell to make him stop talking and resume his seat. An entirely different type was that old politician and journalist, with bushy hair, bushy beard, wrinkled clothing, and black spectacles, who waved a printed copy of the resolution he was debating in the air and shouted at the delegates: 'Who among you actually cares anything for this political humbug? Who believes in it? There is only one problem before India to-day, and that is Hindu-Mohammedan unity!'

One of the leading speeches in favor of an obstructionist policy was made by the mayor of Calcutta. Yet it betrayed the chaotic condition of the Party since the death of Mr. Das, for it consisted largely of long quotations from the speeches and writings of the departed leader, and affirmations that the Obstructionists had gained every concession that the British

Government had made to India. His Party, he declared, would become Responsivist to-morrow if it were assured of any reasonable degree of self-government.

Of course, there are good arguments in favor of the Swarajists' position. No one questions, moreover, that Hindu-Mohammedan unity is absolutely necessary if India is to secure self-government. Diarchy, or the coexistence of an autocratic executive and powerless advisory legislatures, obviously cannot endure. The abolition of 'untouchability' and the restoring the pariah class to the rank and dignity of human beings is another task of urgency. On some of these three issues all Parties think alike or at least talk alike. Consequently the situation is one that calls for compromises and accommodation.

An English reporter wrote of the Congress that Gandhi was merely an antiquity. If so, all the members must have been antiquarians, for he was the gathering's uncrowned emperor. His hut occupied a special place in the leader's camp, close to the banks of the Brahmaputra. From early morning a crowd of countrymen stood there in the chilly rain, waiting for a glimpse of the Mahatma. The hut itself was as simple as possible, but a subtle atmosphere of distinction pervaded it. Its only ornament was a colored print of Buddha over the entrance. The loose shutters were blown back and forth by the wind, a pale half-light filled the interior, the rain drummed on the roof. Great men stood waiting for an audience. The poetess, Sarojini Naidu, exclaimed to me enthusiastically, "That marvelous little big man!' What is the secret of the mysterious influence exercised by this Messianic personality, who advanced with a light step and a smiling countenance, and shook my hand like

an English gentleman? Possibly his utter absence of affectation, his perfect sincerity and candor, his universal sympathy, have much to do with it. Gandhi's position at the Congress was like that of an emperor who does not quite agree with the policies of his cabinet but permits his advisers to carry them out in order that they may learn from experience. Since the death of Das, the Swarajists are more disturbed than ever at being separated from Gandhi. They have no one to take the place of either. I frequently heard the wish expressed that Gandhi might again take the lead of the Nationalist movement. But the Mahatma keeps his own counsel. He has the custom

of maintaining absolute silence during one day of the week. He did not break it even at Gauhati, and his day of silence there happened to fall on the political day of the Congress. The following morning, however, when this question was brought up at a committee meeting, he answered frankly that he could not enter active politics again until conditions had changed. India was not as yet a disciplined nation. When the poison had cleared from the air, when hatreds such as those which animated Swami's assassination were dispelled, then he might be ready to consider returning to public life. For the time being he would spin.




MAN, afraid to be alive,

Shut his soul in senses five;

From fields of Uncreated Light
Into the crystal tower of Sight;

And from the roaring Songs of Space
Into the small, flesh-carven place
Of the Ear whose cave impounds
Only small and broken sounds;

And to this narrow sense of Touch

From Strength that held the stars in clutch;
And from the warm ambrosial Spice

Of flowers and fruits of Paradise

To the frail and fitful power

Of Tongue's and Nose's sweet and sour.
And toiling for a sordid wage
There in his self-created Cage,
Ah, how safely barred is he
From menace of Eternity.



LAST November Nice and its environs were in a fever of excitement. People were ready to credit every wild rumor. This contagion may have come from across the frontier, but after it had fastened itself upon the country its effects were more important than its origin. Dark days of agonizing anxiety followed. Those responsible for the security of France had good reason to ask themselves, one tragic afternoon, if the fatal disaster every nation dreads could possibly be averted. For six hours a general massacre of our fellow citizens in Ventimiglia was momentarily expected. If such an irreparable outrage did occur, could national passions be held in check?

At the moment of maximum peril, as generally happens, the people of France were unconscious of their danger. It was only afterward, when the crisis had passed, that the truth though travestied and distorted gradually became known.

To-day the fever has subsided; the military alarums that caused the nation a brief thrill of anxiety have died away. The time has come to ask ourselves dispassionately how peace between France and Italy, cousins by blood and comrades in the recent war, could suddenly be so dangerously threatened. It is easy enough to charge it all to Fascist hysteria, to Mussolini's challenging pronouncements, or to the obscure intrigues of disreputable spies. But that is not enough; it does not

1From Journal des Débats (Paris Conservative daily), January 28, 29, 30

cover the case. The Alpes Maritimes, one of our frontier departments, was only yesterday on the eve, if not of hostile invasion, at least of bloody incidents provoked by armed bands of Italians on our soil. That is a simple fact. We are entitled to know its why and wherefore. After studying the situation on the spot, I am convinced that neither Government is to blame. Fascist violence and threats are discreditable wherever they occur. They are particularly intolerable on our own frontiers. But the French are equally provocative. Truth compels that confession.

A large Italian population dwells in the vicinity of Nice. Since the Fascisti have been in power and have played upon the passions of the people, it is natural that this population should be divided into two camps Mussolini's ardent champions, and his bitter enemies. Unquestionably the anti-Fascisti are the more numerous. That is natural, because a great number of political refugees have sought sanctuary under our flag. It has been the duty of the French Government to keep peace between these factions, and our authorities have exerted themselves to do so. France has welcomed her guests, but on the condition that they shall not disturb her peace with their quarrels and hatreds. Candor bids us say that for some time now the Fascisti have obeyed this injunction better than their enemies. That is easily understood, for it is no reflection upon the victims of Fascism as a body,

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