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the accompanying taste to dictate the manner of the doing. Where one's conduct is a response to the promptings of his knowledge and moral sense and good taste, all the faculties of the mind and all the resources of the spirit must be called in solemn conclave to determine the course.
if he would be.
In the field of positive law he has no responsibility beyond obedience. But there is a sense in which there is law even in the domain of manners. Take Lord Moulton's illustration as to the exhibition of gallantry upon the sinking of the Titanic. Did not the exigencies of that moment make a law as definite and positive and inviolable as any ever dictated in imperial Rome? He who would have dared to exercise his freedom against the rule of that moment could not have lived in peace either with himself or with his fellows. In the truest sense good manners are
mile and a square mile contains 1400 square chains or 640 acres, so that 10 square chains equal one acre.
Mr. McAdie must have been stargazing so much that he thinks in light-years and does not realize that our Anglo-Saxon system of weights and measures is quite simple and workable and is so woven into our land system, our railways, our machines, and our machines for making machines, that it would cost us hundreds of millions of dollars and years of work to change over to a metric system.
I wonder if Mr. McAdie knows that all tbe standard bolts and nuts in German and French machinery, though given metric values, are in reality made to English inches and fractions thereof.
J. PARKE CHANNING.
beings the conventions have been established, and though each is free to defy them, they are scarcely less positive than are the laws of state. Their penalties are as certain and little less severe. Yet it is in the domain of good manners that the intellectual and spiritual development of man will assert itself. Where men are free to act there is incentive to shape their conduct in the light of duty. This discourse is a distinct contribution to the philosophy of government, and its thought needs to be widely disseminated.
CLYDE L. YOUNG.
FOR MATHEMATICIANS ONLY! We assume no responsibility for spectators who handle these figures.
NEW YORK CITY. DEAR ATLANTIC,
Years ago I was a land surveyor in Northern Michigan and I then knew that there were 43,560 square feet in an acre, just as I now know that u is 3.14159 and that there are 29,1661 ounces troy in a ton of 2000 pounds avoirdupois.
But last night when I turned the pages of the Atlantic to Mr. McAdie's article on “How Big Is an Acre?' I couldn't remember the answer. I did remember that a 40-acre tract was a quarter of a mile square and that a quarter of a mile was 1320 feet, from which easily followed that a 660foot square would contain 10 acres. So with a pencil I multiplied 660 by 66 on the margin of page 78 and got the answer 43,560.
Why all this talk of links that are 7.92 inches? Who ever thinks of them? A chain is 66 feet long and is divided, to suit Mr. McAdie's metric loving-soul, into 100 links so as to save him from having to think of 7.92. Eighty chains equal a
CHAUTAUQUA, N. Y. DEAR ATLANTIC,
'How many square feet to the acre?' It is a query that has faintly stirred within me the memory of early ordeals that, like mumps and measles, have long since yielded to health and happiness.
The mensuration tables cited by Mr. McAdie have left no rancor in my heart. There were indeed perches and roods and rods and poles (immeasurably suggestive of fishing paraphernalia); but links and chains — here the curtains of my memory refold, or I would appear to be no longer coping with mathematics but with the moralities and Samson Agonistes at the hands of Mr. Jackson of the S. M. E. afternoon Sunday school.
Nevertheless, from another recess of my mind, there comes the saying of my father before me; if I had (presumably in driving the cows home from pasture) traversed the perimeter of a 'forty' (a quadrilateral comprising forty acres, be it known) I should have walked a mile. This, if true, appears to bear a relation to the problem before me! Can it be that I shall circumvent the links and shackles of Mr. McAdie? Another voice whispers to me that there are still, presumably, 5280 feet to the mile. This, too, I shall coördinate!
If, in the pleasant language of all the geometries, a fourth of a mile is a round and even 1320 feet, then it follows that this number squared and divided by forty, should (and in fact fortunately does) give the same answer, 43,560 square feet, as the one at which Mr. McAdie so ingeniously arrives.
Yet what matter to the mind of the usual gentle reader? This will be the first disturbance that his el Flemish and el English, his tierces and butts and hogsheads and scruples have suffered since his own early miseries. Should we
say the author showed bad taste in representing a character as shying at pillorying his wife as an adultress in court, while, for a stipend, pillorying her to the extent of seven and one-half pages, in a magazine of international circulation. Of course, he pillories himself; but of that he is, no doubt, supremely unconscious.
In that case it would be merely bad taste (on the author's part); but for a human being — to do this thing —
Faugh! You say, 'We believe that Burnham Hall's question will unlock a store of understanding and sympathy.' For his wife? Yes.
Roe L. HENDRICK.
Of the many scores of grateful letters which we have forwarded to Glenn Clark, none rings more true than this.
August 11, 1924. DEAR EDITOR, —
I want to thank somebody for Glenn Clark's article on prayer in the August Atlantic. I had that magazine, and that only, by me a week ago last Saturday, both before and after our baby girl was born. Those two articles were the first I read after she came. When I had finished the second one, the thought came so strongly to me that there was no message in Kirsopp Lake's article on that day for me, while 'The Soul's Sincere Desire' was as comforting and reassuring as the promise that had sung in my heart since morning, 'For lo, I am with you always, even unto the end.'
I don't know why I bother you with such confidences, unless it be that when an author shares his most intimate experiences with his readers, it inspires an answering desire to do likewise on the part of those readers.
The jury sitting on Burnham Hall's case numbers apparently some hundreds of thousands. Judging from a multitude of letters their verdict will not be unanimous.
Wolcott, N. Y. DEAR EDITOR, —
I have just read Burnham Hall's 'Shall I Divorce My Wife?' Your footnote — This paper is, of course, an absolutely true record’ I assume, is to be accepted at its face value. Without this concise editorial statement, I should have regarded the article as fiction — really clever fiction and worthy of publication in the Atlantic, even though overdrawn. But it is fact, you state; and fact, of course, submits to no artistic restraints.
Here we have an anæmic, introspective, hair. splitting old maid in trousers, with whom no normal, red-blooded woman could live a year and retain her self-respect. He is devoid of whole souled indignation and incapable of self-forgetting generosity; he hems, and baws, and hesitates; he is neither hot nor cold, and, like the Laodiceans, should be spued out.
Were the article a creation of fiction, we should
GRAND ISLAND, NEB. DEAR ATLANTIC, —
After reading the article by Burnham Hall, 'Shall I Divorce My Wife?' I had a distinct feeling of regret that the wife does not desire to be his wife ‘until death do us part,' and of a certain admiration for a man who remains so loyal under conditions that take from him his wife and child. Would there be any comfort for him in the belief that the child will suffer far less because of his attitude than many children of divorced parents?
I speak from experience. I was just graduating from high school when my father and mother were divorced. The shock of knowing that the father whom I had run blocks to greet as a child had been unfaithful to mother hurt most intensely. But torment followed in the next few years when some queer twist in mother's mind, perhaps some likeness of myself to father, more than any other child possessed, caused her to continually reproach me with having a good mind but no morals, of being like my father. This continued until I sometimes felt that I could laugh at a God who tortured one with high ideals and yet made them forever unattainable. If the Great Potter made the pottery so imperfect, with no possibility of improvement, had He the right to reject and condemn?
If the things mother said were true, then I would be robbed of all hope. It seemed to burn in my brain. Yet at last there came some understanding of why and how the marriage had failed. To-day I would rather take some of father's ideas of a happy home than mother's. He would be, with all his faults, more charitable and no less appreciative of fidelity and goodness.
The author of the article may some day receive his recompense in the faith of his daughter, for preserving her faith in her mother, and in their lack of bitterness toward each other. As she grows into womanhood, that may mean more than I can say.
‘THINGS ARE IN THE SADDLE'
BY SAMUEL STRAUSS
SOMETHING new has come to confront hundred years ago. It is a fact, and American democracy. The Fathers of this fact is the outward evidence of the the Nation did not foresee it. History new force which has crossed the path of had opened to their foresight most of American democracy. This increasing the obstacles which might be expected stream of automobiles and radios, to get in the way of the Republic: polit buildings and bathrooms, furs and furical corruption, extreme wealth, foreign niture, liners, hotels, bridges, vacuum domination, faction, class rule; what cleaners, cameras, bus lines, electric history did not advise them of, their toasters, moving-pictures, railway cars, truly extraordinary understanding of package foods, telephones, pianos, novhuman nature and of political science els, comic supplements — these are the supplied. That which has stolen across signs. And it is just these which we acthe path of American democracy and cept naturally. We think of them as is already altering Americanism was particularly American, as the logical not in their calculations. History gave growth from that particular beginning them no hint of it; what is happen- which was ours; these we think of as ing to-day is without precedent, at America's second chapter. The first least so far as historical research has dis- chapter was concerned with the Fathers covered. And surely nothing approach- and their struggle, the Declaration of ing what has taken recognizable shape Independence, and the Constitution. in the twentieth century ever entered The second chapter is the present — the mind of any philosopher of the the chapter in which we use the opporeighteenth century, of any economist, tunity secured for us, the chapter in any forward-looking statesman. No re- which every American comes into his former, no utopian, no physiocrat, no own, the chapter in which every Ameripoet, no writer of fantastic romances can lives better than once a king lived. saw in his dreams the particular de- This America to-day, this vast magavelopment which is with us here and zine of things, is regarded as the successnow.
ful development of the Fathers' work, the natural fruit of that democratic
seed which they planted in the fertile This is our proudest boast: "The American soil. American citizen has more comforts But, although to us this development and conveniences than kings had two may seem natural, be sure it would not VOL. 134 — N0.6