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tence, a suspension so long that it is tant of savagery and sloth. Thus a mistaken for a permanent reprieve. contributor to the Boston Transcript During all these centuries of crowding makes the confident assertion that, and intermittent famine half the world when our population reaches the figure was unknown and virtually unoccu- of two billions, there will be more food pied. Suddenly this empty world was per capita than now and we shall just discovered and appropriated by the be beginning to be comfortable. more favorably situated of the old This comfortable optimism leads to world peoples. They were slow to many agreeable conclusions. The norealize the advantage, and but a part tion that there is pressure of populaavailed themselves of it.
tion in Europe is a myth. If Belgium
coveries brought an opportunity so can't the rest of them do it? Why can vast that it changed for a time the they not house as many as they have fundamental laws of their being. As standing-room for? The sufficient safethe barriers to occupancy were slowly guard against famine is enterprise, broken down and the inertia of the thrift, civilization. The numerous popsituation overcome, all the pent up ulation of Europe is not a source of energies of the race were released and hardship or danger. It is an advantage expansion proceeded unchecked. If the - a source of strength. This may potato crop failed in Ireland, half Ire- sound a little extreme, as is wont to be land moved overseas. If there was the case when we formulate into defirevolution in Germany, the defeated nite propositions those vague assumpparty came to America. If Russia tions to which we commit ourselves persecuted her dissenters from the under the lead of interest and prediOrthodox faith, they found asylum in lection. But left in their usual hazy and the new lands. Each year the move subconscious form they form one of the ment became easier and the swelling major premises of our modern psycholtide increased. The new lands not only ogy. Their significant corollary is that received the immigrants but sent back we inflict no hardship by restricting food to those who remained. Thus, immigration. We may admit aliens if while Europe was peopling a new we please, as we may admit strangers world, she doubled her population at to our homes; but we are equally free to home. And still famine remained afar; exclude them and may do so without the ban upon increase seemed lifted. injury and without compunction. Nature seemed even to have put a Meanwhile the old world, in its turn, premium upon it. Coinciding, as the has developed a psychology equally movement did, with a vast series of abnormal, born of the situation. The scientific discoveries and mechanical peoples of Europe have been accusinventions, and favored of necessity for tomed for centuries to find in emigraa time by the law of increasing returns, tion a refuge from famine, persecution, increase of population has for a century and misgovernment. If you cannot get connoted an increase in well-being. a job or a piece of land in Europe, go Superficial thinking has been quick to and settle in America. If you are too throw the time-honored philosophy old to go, send you son and let him into the discard and grasp the proffered send back his earnings for you to live optimism. Nature is not niggardly but on. If you are unreconciled to your bountiful; famine is not necessary and government, go where there is a better therefore it is disgraceful, a concomi- one or one more pliable to your will. If you are persecuted or ostracized for throngs with their babel of tongues, your religious opinions, go where reli- their diversities of practice and belief, gion is a matter of private choice. all to become in due season fairly Precept and practice have united in standardized Americans, speaking a enforcing this philosophy - a philoso- more or less intelligible American diaphy endorsed by none more completely lect and measurably devoted to the than by ourselves. Under this philoso- country and the flag. phy, the very antithesis of the stolid And here again this open-door policy fatalism of static societies, the world has become to the popular mind a part has become fluid and dynamic. This of the constitution of nature, a natural enormous privilege of expansion, ab- right. What else does it mean when normal and temporary though it cer European and Japanese denounce our tainly is, has been of such scope and exclusion policy as unjust? They are as duration as to be mistaken for a per- confident of their right to enter as we manent condition. This privilege of are of our right to keep them out, and migration, almost unrestricted for three all for the very good reason that they hundred years, has inevitably acquired have so long enjoyed the privilege. Let in the popular mind the character of the public make a thoroughfare through a natural and inalienable right. your premises for a sufficient number
To further complicate our problem, of years and you cannot close it. You these empty lands, while as yet they have created a public highway. Europe were but beginning to be filled, have has enjoyed this privilege since the passed largely under the control of a memory of man runneth not to the single people, themselves largely sup- contrary, and privilege has hardened planters of rivals earlier in possession. into right. The Spaniard still has a feeble mestizo I am not defending this view. I am hold on a large part of his original pos- merely noting its existence. We have a session; but the most and best of the head-on collision between two instinctAmerican continent, with nearly all of ive assertions of natural right. We are its mineral resources, as well as the colliding, too, at a moment when the whole of New Zealand, Australia, and opposing forces are at their maximum South Africa, are in Anglo-Saxon of energy. The static mood has well possession. This is more than half the nigh disappeared. The world is on the white man's land of the world and more move. Never was the desire to migrate than two thirds of the territory avail- so general or the need so urgent as now. able for further settlement. To much It is at such a time that we decide to of this the French and Spanish had an close our gates, against Asiatics wholly, equal or prior claim. They lost it chiefly and against Europeans in major part. because of restriction or discrimination Thousands are waiting at the border, in connection with immigration. The ready for the midnight rush when the Spanish favored Spaniards; the French ban is briefly lifted, and steamers are would have none but Catholics. But counting seconds in their race across the Anglo-Saxon, despite local intoler. the line. Foreign governments are ance in some of his settlements, has clamoring for consideration for their welcomed everybody. The Anglo- nationals and threatening reprisals. Saxon policy has been an open-door But we sit complacently deaf. policy. His achievements in the way of There are reasons and good ones for assimilation have been simply colossal. what we are doing. The best reason of From every part of Europe have come all is the desire that the Anglo-Saxon in
give his incomeld. It is an ideal to be immunity. Moreover anons in their
his true character, undiluted and un- gates as she did the gates of China, or perverted, shall inherit these lands and as we did the gates of Japan. The congive his incomparable guidance to our ditions at present are unfavorable to developing world. It is an ideal to be such a course and grant us a deceptive boldly avowed. The best chance to immunity. Moreover the excluded make this an orderly world, a prosper- peoples have other weapons in their ous and peaceable world, is to make it armory, of which they have more than an Anglo-Saxon world. Let those of once made effective use. But the issue other view act according to their con- is a fighting issue and it engenders the viction, but let us act according to our fighting mood, a mood which may conown. Every foot of soil that we control ceivably make the peaceable settlement we hold in trust for that world of the of other issues impossible. The reacfuture whose very flesh and blood is to tion of Japan to our decision is sigbe determined by our holding. It is a nificant. An exceptionally friendly atgreat trust and the end in view is titude has been suddenly followed by worth any hazard.
an attitude of bitter hostility. WhatBut let us not be blind to the hazard. ever the possibilities of the new policy, It is a fighting proposition that con- it does not make for peace or fellowfronts us. The world will not tamely ship. Our reputation as a refuge for the relinquish the prize that we withhold. oppressed and a home of the free, The Anglo-Saxon still has room, enor- though somewhat a matter of jest, was mous room, which others need and still an asset and an asset which we covet. Australia has a population of have now sacrificed. We enter upon a one and a half to the square mile, more difficult period of international Canada two and a half, the United relations, a period of increased conStates 32, Europe (as a whole) 110, tacts and lessened sympathies. Italy 326, Japan 376, and England 649. To summarize briefly. Restriction of Will these peoples acquiesce unresist- immigration with total exclusion of ingly in so unequal a division of the Asiatics has become necessary if Amerigood things of the earth? Yes, if they can development is to continue along must; not otherwise. There will be lip our chosen lines. But exclusion is not a service to our doctrine that immigra- purely domestic problem nor does it tion is a purely domestic question, but rest upon an obvious natural right. it will be in recognition of our power, Interests and instincts are sharply not of our right. The country is ours, opposed and we shall not make away we say. Well, we got here first. If we with the prize unchallenged. It is the can hold it against later comers it will most difficult thing we have ever tried be ours; but our right will be the right to do, a thing fraught with great danof the strong. Against any ethical claim ger. We have no sufficient consciousthat we may assert, they can oppose ness of these difficulties and these another quite as good and one to them dangers. We are prodigal of the far more apparent.
I do not wish to imply that other hostility. We must be wise as well
issue. Europe will not force open our
THE CONTRIBUTORS CLUB
steer cleanclinations commandow my
est it has been so uppy fate
doubtful moral character. Now my THE LIMERICK The limerick's is indeed a happy fate steer clear of two scholars when they — or at least it has been so up to the meet in battle. Therefore let us conpresent. Serious-minded critics have sider the source of the limerick and of been so afraid of lowering their dignity its name as two more riddles of the that they have never thoroughly dis- Sphinx, awaiting only an dipus to cussed it. But — alas, poor limerick! solve them — and he will most cer- it shall no longer be allowed to rest tainly have to be an Irishman. in peace. Its pedigree, growing steadily On the other hand, there can be no larger every moment, cries out to be dispute that some of the earliest limerchronicled, and, pitiless of the limer- icks come from the Mother Goose ick's personal feelings, I shall emblazon rhymes. Truly that is a noble birthits history — not so dark by half as place, which no verse form should dismany believe — upon these pages. dain. And in the country of nursery
Limerick is the name of a city, of a rhymes the limerick is king. Numerous county, and of a diocese in Ireland. verse forms far more distinguished can You will probably object to being told claim no such honor. How many, for such a universally known fact, but instance, can produce an early ancestor there is ample reason for mentioning it so charming to a dieted man as this here, as it has given rise to much dis- Mother Goose rhyme:pute among those rare scholars who
There was an old man of Tobago have dedicated a few moments to the
Who lived on rice, gruel, and sago; verse form of the same name. J. H. Till, much to his bliss, Murray states that there has long been His physician said this: — a song in Ireland, whose elaborate re
"To a leg, sir, of mutton, you may go.' frain is built on the question, ‘Will you 'Far and few, far and few' are forms come up to Limerick?' And he further richer in food for the mystic. Only the says that the stanza form of this song deepest clairvoyant, the most conis identical with that of Lear's limerick. firmed opium-eater. the profoundest
Well and good. But the Encyclo- alchemist, could extract from lines like pædia Britannica upsets that apple-cart these their hidden but golden signifiby impertinently contradicting Mr.
cance: Murray, saying that his Irish song does not resemble Lear's limerick in
So diddledy, diddledy, dumpty.
Feedum, fiddledum, fee. the least.
You may say, 'Why don't you read Very justly have such words been the song yourself, and settle the mat. clothed in legend with magic potency, ter?' but that question, unfortunately, and the Mother Goose limericks are is as easily answered as asked. The rife with such magic. song must forever be consigned to the Furthermore, the limerick showed limbo of the unpublished, for Mr. Mur- itself to be a true supporter of freedom, ray says it is endless, and of extremely even at its outset. Not only do we find
in the Mother Goose limericks the usual Thomas Moore. In the well-known triple-beat metre of 'There was an old songs, 'The Young May Moon,' 'The man of Tobago,' but also many varia- Time I've Lost in Wooing,' and 'I Can tions, of which there is room to give No Longer Stifle,' each stanza is only the most unusual: —
formed of two limericks. Pitty Patty Polt,
We find the limerick next in the verse Shoe the wild colt!
of Leigh Hunt, who uses the form in a Here a nail,
‘Song to Ceres,' given in Emerson's There a nail,
Parnassus, though not to be found elsePitty Patty Polt.
where under covers, even in the bibliThe Mother Goose rhymes, however, ography of Hunt's work given in the cannot be assigned any definite date. Oxford edition. This perhaps accounts And heretofore the serious-minded for its not having been mentioned in critics mentioned above have, by their other essays on the limerick. Hunt also indifference to the limerick, overlooked wrote in 1830 a series of humorous the first one ever published. It has limericks on the poet Galt, but they are been printed twice before: once in not nearly so worthy of quotation as Michael East's Second Set of Madrigals the 'Song to Ceres,' one of whose to 3 4 and 5 parts: apt for Viols and stanzas is as excellent poetry as any of Voices, 1606; and again in Fellowes's Hunt's I know. English Madrigal Verse, Oxford, 1920;
Laugh out in the loose green jerkin but never previous to now has it been
That's fit for a goddess to work in, recognized as the first dated limerick.
With shoulders brown,
And the wheaten crown
About thy temples perking.
And with thee come Stout Heart in,
And Toil that sleeps his cart in,
The ruddy and wise, poem in limerick form must be added
His bathèd forelocks parting. to the already overladen Robert Her The next limerick really begins the rick. Of this poem, the ‘Night-piece: history of the form as we generally To Julia,' the last stanza is peculiarly know it. That is the well-known beautiful.
“There was a young man of St. Kitts,' Then, Julia, let me woo thee,
which had a wide circulation in the Thus, thus to come unto me;
English university circles about 1834. And when I shall meet
Beyond this point, there is a steady, Thy silv'ry feet,
consecutive growth, from Lear to the My soul I'll pour into thee.
present day. Who, again I ask, can The record of the limerick lies buried tell to what vast depths the limerick in shade as deep as that of Hades for may fall, or to what great heights it two hundred and more years after may rise, not far in the future? But no! Herrick wrote his 'Night-piece: To as I live in a practical age, I must be Julia. Who can tell to what great practical in this history, by limiting it heights it rose, or to what vast depths to the past. it fell, during that gaping void of years? Returning to Lear: as everyone History keeps quieter than the tomb. knows, he was the limerick's earliest At all events, the limerick reappears champion. His first Book of Nonsense, about 1810 with the Irish Melodies of issued in 1846, marks the transition in