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ment would be more detrimental to the only created suspicion of the purposes United States than to any other nation of the United States and the American
Distinction should, however, be people, but have blocked the measures made between the fostering by our of reform toward the realization of
its support of exploitation by American its energies. Cases have been known interests entrenched in Latin America. where American companies of this The mere fact that powerful Ameri- character have even gone so far as to
America does not imply that they are tionaries with funds and with muninecessarily worthy of the support of tions in order to secure the establishthis Government. Governmental sup- ment of a Government subservient to port was in fact withdrawn some years their desires. The policy now deterago from a highly important American mined upon by the United States, concern believed to have been involved however, to refuse to accord recogniin the overthrow of a constitution- tion to a Government in Central al Government in Central America America which has come into power Nothing can be conceived more preju- through the overthrow of a constitudicial to real understanding between tional Government recognized by the the United States and its neighbors United States — a development of the than the exertion of undue influence policy initiated by President Wilson through corruption of governmental after the Tinoco Revolution in Costa officials by American interests in Rica in 1915 — has almost entirely Latin-American countries. There are eliminated that danger. certain large American companies, for That policy must be persisted in if example, doing business to-day in the moral influence of the United . Central America, which have done States Government is to continue to much to foster good feeling and increase. promote a more cordial relationship It is easy for one not familiar with between our country and the nations the perplexing problems which our of Central America. Such companies relations with Latin America present build and support schools, assist in to point out inconsistencies in policy the development of good roads, main- and errors of judgment of which our tain public hospitals at their own Government and its agents have been expense in the districts where they are guilty. A careful analysis of the history located. By refusing to employ any of our relations with Latin America but the nationals of the country in during the past twelve years will, it which they are doing business, even is believed, demonstrate conclusively, in the highest positions, they secure that, for every error of judgment, the confidence and respect of native additional progress has been made in populations.
instilling in the hearts of our neighbors Other companies, on the other hand, belief in the sincerity and unselfishness have exploited the countries in which of our purpose. South of the Rio they are situated in the most shameless Grande faith is increasing, notwithmanner, and by a policy of obtaining standing the occasional difficulty of the that to which they were not entitled Latin to comprehend the Anglo-Saxon by corruption of governmental officials, mentality, that our Government is ranging from the president of the responsive solely to the desire to prorepublic to the local alcalde, have not mote good understanding and to
remove discord, using its powerful We must prove ourselves their influence at all times on the side of
friends and champions upon terms of right and justice.
equality and honor. You cannot be The personality of the present
friends upon any other terms than Secretary of State looms larger in
upon the terms of equality. You can
not be friends at all except upon the Latin America than is perhaps realized
terms of honor. We must show ourin this country. His previous service
selves friends by comprehending their in the Supreme Court of the United interest, whether it squares with our States has strengthened the impression own interest or not. that he is the embodiment of justice. Submission to the arbitration of the
To that declaration may be added United States of such long-standing
the declaration of Secretary Hughes and dangerous controversies as the
in his address before the American Tacna-Arica dispute between Peru and Bar Association in August 1923: Chile, and the boundary dispute be
We are aiming not to exploit, but to tween Peru and Ecuador, not only aid; not to subvert, but to help in layevidences the trust of the Governments ing the foundations for sound, stable, involved in the justice and impartiality and independent government. Our of this Government, but also demon interest does not lie in controlling forstrates that they are not driven by
eign peoples; that would be a policy of resentment or fear of the United
mischief and disaster. Our interest is in States. The support by our Govern
having prosperous, peaceful, and law
abiding neighbors, with whom we can men in a practical manner of the
coöperate to mutual advantage. constitutional Government of Mexico during the days of the de la Huerta These utterances sound the keynote revolution has strengthened even more of this Government's Latin-American the general belief in the justice of the policy. We may not have reached our man shaping the foreign policy of our ideal; in some instances we may have nation.
fallen far short of it; but these solemn No more satisfactory expression of pledges, supported as they are by the the desire of this Government in its great majority of the American people, dealings with its American neighbors stand as positive assurance that no could be found than that employed by imperialistic policy will ever be supPresident Wilson in his address before ported by the American people and the Southern Commercial Conference that such mistakes as we may make in Mobile, Alabama, in 1913, when he will be rectified, as they were in the said, speaking of the Latin-American case of Colombia and the Dominican republics: —
THE CONTRIBUTORS' CLUB
the drenching of heavy rains, and
sprinkle them with the lightest of CHRYSANTHEMUMS
touches from a bowl of water. In the My friends of the most beautiful chrys. Eighth Moon, I must soak soy beans anthemum garden in all this ancient and pour the water over the plants. Chinese city sent me some chrysanthe- An exact science, chrysanthemum mum slips to-day. Two days ago the raising, as well as an art, it would seem. Tai-tai, lovely lady of the old Cathay, In China, it is a scholar's pastime, graciously requested me, assuring me which has been known to grow into a of my honorableness, to have my passion. A statesman of the Tsin flower-pots ready to receive their mis- Dynasty, an old Chinese tale has it, erable and unworthy offering.
forsook the highest of Imperial honThe earth, so she gently insisted, ors, that he might tend his beloved must be field earth, unrobbed of its chrysanthemum garden. Emperors fertility. So from the silt-rich paddy have chosen the flower as their emfields, outside the East Gate of our blem. Poets have sung it. And to all age-old city wall, have come twelve who love the chrysanthemum is beloads of black soil. Blue-coated, chat- stowed the gift of the crystal heart, for tering farmer women, swaying with it represents purity. rhythmic grace under their balanced The yellowed pages of an ancient carrying-sticks, have carried the earth Chinese herb-book tell one to pick the in clam-shaped baskets. The old pot. chrysanthemums and, wrapping them ter, with look as ancient as the time in a cloth, to use the fragrant bundle stained widow's arch under which his as a pillow; for it will drive away evil tiny shop huddles, brought some tens influences and all impurities. Legend of his wares. The gardener journeyed has it that there is magic in the chrysto Bamboo Street to get a tray with anthemum, and there are ancient ones meshes fine enough to sift the soil for who by eating the petals became enthe precious slips.
dowed with fairy powers. They tell of I learn that to-day, being the fif- a mountain where chrysanthemums teenth day of the Third Moon, is the grew in such riotous profusion that its auspicious day for the sacred rite of sparkling springs flowed fragrant with chrysanthemum planting. It appears their perfume. And the blessed folk who that the moon being full-orbed insures drank of those odor-drenched waters the flowers being likewise. Hence, that were remarkable for longevity. courteous insistence that I have all in An old bard, in the musical cadences readiness for this particular day. of Chinese poetry and the colorful pic
My Tai-tai of the moth-antennæ torialness of the hieroglyphics which brows gave me other lute-voiced in- no English rendering can convey, structions. With the sharpest of scis- sings to me of chrysanthemums through sors must I cut the roots off each the lips of a young Chinese student little plant. The necessity is laid upon who is not too modern to reverence me to shelter their tender heads from his country's long-ago poets: —
Round, high-flung flower,
tain these matter-of-fact people who Its gold is untainted with alloy.
surrounded and cramped my childhood, Planted early, blooming late,
was more discouraging to me then than Of the snow all unafraid, Pouring out its petals' oblation,
it would be now. I did n't realize then The loveliness of its heart.
as I do now, that lack of appreciation Put them in your tea-cup,
of my rare quality is merely evidence A drink for the fairies.
of the superiority of my imagination Saturated in chrysanthemum lore, and humor. with its fairies, its magic, and its loves The theme of this sermon was the in old-time gardens, I was ready for the inescapable depravity of man in his ceremonious bringing of my gift from relation to absolute truthfulness. No the loveliest chrysanthemum garden of man had ever been absolutely truthful. all this Chinese city. The basketful of It was said to be impossible for anyone slips held the promise of just such to be scrupulously, religiously truthful. sheen and glory as had hushed my We strayed from the narrow and literal heart last Ninth Moon when my ladies path, however ardently and reverently of the cassia-bud finger-tips and the we devoted ourselves to the spirit of swaying bamboo grace had led me probity. I was comforted and elated to through their garden's luring mazes. hear authoritatively from the pulpit
They came — my chrysanthemum that my obliquity to truth was a comslips, each neat little bundle tied with mon failing of all humanity. I did n't twisted rice paper. Each was tagged analyze the degree to which one might bearing the name of the variety writ. indulge this original sin without becomten in flowing soft-brushed Chinese ing a moral offender. I was satisfied to hieroglyphics. These names made up know I was normal and I planned to a list with which Li T'ai-po might have develop my talent intensively and conjured: 'Beauty of the Palace of refine its artistic expression. Han,' 'Gold Pine-needles,' 'Silver Au- My composure was completely upset tumn Lotus,' 'Jade-dust on the Sun,' by the discussion that took place during ‘A Skyful of Stars,' 'Snow of the East dinner. My mother made the surprising ern Ocean.'
statement that the sermon was quite And now all my slips are cradled in wrong, that absolute truthfulness is a the sifted earth. Sixty pottery pots congenital virtue in some people and sit in prim rows under a Dragon's-Eye that perfection could be achieved. tree. I must bide me in patience for My moral point of view changed imchrysanthemums. But in the Ninth mediately, my background shifted. I Moon — Month of Chrysanthemums was again a sinner, a liar. My mother - I shall be having promises fulfilled. then gave her definition of a lie — a
malicious intent to deceive. I was IN DEFENSE OF AN HONEST LIAR
again morally reinstated, absolved. Of
course I had no standards of my own. One of the memorable sermons of my I was perfectly obedient to all forms of childhood was on lying. I was a pre- discipline and subordinate to every cocious child and developed at a very form of recognized authority. I was early age a talent for the imaginative not a liar for I never intended to deinterpretation of commonplace events ceive. My desire was to entertain. I and a gift for creative narrative that was never malicious. distressed, more often than charmed, Then my mother did an overwhelmmy environment. My failure to enter- ingly gracious and courageous thing. In preference to two infinitely more still compensates by an appreciable deserving, though undeveloped, ex- heightening of interest. amples, she chose me and said she Of all the elements that go toward would tell the preacher that to her mind the making of a good story, figures are he had preached a wrong and ques- invariably the most dangerous. An tionable sermon; for I, her son, who honest liar should never use figures was already a local celebrity as a per- conspicuously or thematically. Round verter and colorist of truth, had never numbers are, of course, safer than exact told a lie to her, nor to any one else as figures because of their very roundness, far as she knew. I was a notorious by which I mean their elasticity. But prevaricator, yet I had never told a lie. in their tendency to inflate, increase, The strict moral aspect of the question collect, or propagate a nought, they are has never been settled in my mind and treacherous, slippery, and unreliable. A my concern as I grew up was more in nought, in itself harmless and negligiits technique than in its principle. ble, may multiply your intention ten
I still do not tell malicious lies with times — and without warning. deliberate intent to deceive. The facts My most shameful betrayal by round of a situation or incident interest me numbers was in connection with an only as the outline of a plot. The facts enthusiastic account I was giving in are rarely important, certainly not behalf of propaganda for a summer sacred, and their usefulness depends camp my cousin had just opened. I only upon the way in which they are said he had fifty boys and since his employed artistically for the develop- tuition was $1500, he ought to have a ment of the plot. Details and all the profitable summer. If some one had tricks of embroidery and elaboration made this perfectly unselfish statement must be spontaneous, inspired by the to me, merely in the interest of creating interplay of the story and the audience, a belief in his cousin's prosperity, I and for this reason a story should never should never have maliciously multiplied be told twice to the same audience. I 50 by 1500 mentally and arrived at an never tell a story the second time if I incredible figure. The fact that I can't can avoid it, for my memory is as poor do mental arithmetic that involves as my scientific and moral attitude is more than two figures has nothing to do weak. I can't remember just how I with the consideration of the incident. told it the last time and it is the details The fact that the number of boys may the emphasis upon exact incidental have been generously doubled and the facts, quotations, and precise figures, tuition accidentally multiplied by five, preferably odd numbers, that give my has nothing to do with the motive, stories plausibility.
which was a friendly desire to convince The risks I sometimes take with a skeptical person of a successful enterfigures are not worth the reward. I am prise toward which we should have oftener checked in the matter of figures been mutually indulgent and moderthan in facts. Incidental facts can be ately sympathetic. made so picturesque and their origin so This discussion of technique will obscured that it is a mean person in- illustrate the only real problem the deed who will aggressively contradict honest liar has, after the moral phase them. I never trust a person the second has been settled, his principle defined time who fails to grasp the humor of a and his limits set. This illustration shade, a touch, or a tone that, even does not include a very treachthough it varies the truth considerably, erous objective condition and I should