Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

now for help in delicate matters because anticlericalism of the invaders of Rome they know they can rely on their is far from being the temper of the presneutral enthusiasm for justice. If ent Government in Italy. France, it Catholicism as an international religion is true, has spoken of withdrawing her is identified with the prosperity of the representative; but even if he were world as a whole, each country can withdrawn the French Government apply to it as a partner in the interests would send a Catholic as Ambassador of true patriotism. And if this is so in to the Quirinal and even now begins to each particular country, it must be so arrange for what the Pope most wished also with regard to that venerable fig- of a French Government, that it should ure who more than any other claims the agree to the report of Mr. Dawes. attention of the world and the rever- M. Herriot, in fact, in suggesting the ence of all good men, as being the Head withdrawal of M. Doucet was practisof the largest of all Christian societies, ing a little diplomacy on his own part. and the one person who consistently M. Doucet was a sop, and the Cerberus and sincerely seeks to apply to the was the extremists. As for America, the world as a whole the traditional mean- relations of the Holy See with America ing of the Christian religion. His ad- are ideal: the American President visvisers certainly are human; but if they ited the Pope the only time that an do excel in merely human sagacity can American President ever could; the it influence them in any way but to rec- questions to adjust are extraordinarily ommend themselves, not only to those few; and in the Ambassador to the nations where their religion is serenely Quirinal and Monsignor O’Hern, the established, but even more to those brilliant head of the American College, they still hope to win? If from the America has representatives in Rome human point of view the Vatican has who are in very close touch with the a bias, that bias will be in favor, not Vatican. Finally, American money is of Catholics, but of countries in which now the Vatican's chief resource. Catholicism is not dominart. It is not While, therefore, the uses of the Catholic countries therefore who have League of Nations are doubtless, in most reason to desire official represen- spite of its deficiencies, well worth the tation at the Holy See.

money spent on it; while the ideal of a But at the present moinent, with re- World Court still remains to be realgard to those three great countries who ized, Papal diplomacy retains, and have no representative there, may not will always retain, its unique value their interests suffer, as the Allies both to the shrewd politician and to feared their interest would suffer dur- the Christian idealist. ing the war? The lack of representation is more apparent than real. The intercourse between the Italian Government and the Vatican is now very It is now about to assume political close; every Papal diplomat is actually office of greater weight and authority an Italian; Italy makes a great deal of than anything the world has ever money out of the Papacy and the more than dreamed. Far back in the Church, as she especially will by the Middle Ages, Dante, who combined the huge earnings from the pilgrimages of mind of a philosopher and a Christian the Holy Year; and though the Pope with keen interest in political affairs, will never be satisfied till Italy admits thought out a scheme to ensure a unihis full status as a sovereign power, the versal peace founded upon law. His

Chimney, out of tha kes a great deadly office o

idea was that there should be one civil ple. And it is in these circumstances authority, just as there was then in the that the Pope announces that the VatPope one spiritual authority. Two cen- ican Council is to reassemble and comturies later his native town produced a plete its work political philosopher of another order, It was to meet in 1925, but political whose counsels were more acceptable to events in Italy and tension in Europe succeeding centuries than those of him have moved the Pope to wait till a later who wrote the Divine Comedy. But year. But whenever the Council reonce again Machiavelli gives way to assembles its work will show the deep Dante. Once again the world sees in significance of Vatican diplomacy. It the principles of universal justice some is, says the Pope, to find an approprithing more promising than those of the ate remedy for the ills which have foltemporary profit of individual States. lowed the upheaval of civil society. It The sweeping convulsions which have will seek to apply to the political and been weakening the constitution of economic situation of our times the Europe since 1914, and which still words in which the Pope announced the menace her existence, make most people object of his pontificate: The Peace of distinctly uncomfortable about orgies Christ in the Reign of Christ. It will seek of nationalism; lewisite and airplanes to lay down the laws of justice which and the ever new inventions of the would guide a world court, and with chemists do not reassure them. The authority over four hundred million next war, they hear, is to be a remorse people will lay down injunctions to less attack on populations as a whole. prevent civilization from cutting its Diseases and poisonous gases will de- own throat. . stroy whole cities in a day or two. And in doing so it offers safety

The prospects, it is true, are not invit to the whole world. For neither in ing. May it not be better, after all, to Asia nor in Africa is there the same bring religion and morals and law up to danger of mutual destruction as there the standard of science? May it not be is on the surging battlefield of Europe better to conserve human society than among those who profess and call themto destroy it?

· selves Christians. If the Pope can find The Vatican is now preparing her a means to keep Catholic countries due answer to those questions. To her peaceful the obvious peril is removed. they are not new. Sixty years ago she And there can be little doubt that if he saw developing in Europe a condition could give a clear lead all Christian

but the existence of society. Disraeli, seen whether there is any nation so after having been Prime Minister of unknightly as to take advantage of England, suggested through the lips of another's consistent devotion to a the Cardinal in Lothair that the Vati. Christian standard. can Council which met in 1869 would In the great task it has now essayed, exhibit to the Powers of Europe the the central authority of the Catholic inevitable future they were then pre- Church gives ranges of unexplored paring for themselves. The Franco- promise to the ancient scope of her diPrussian War broadcast the warning. A plomacy. The Vatican will need all the later war has given it more awful sig. resources of an inspired sagacity to nificance; the results of that war still vindicate the reputation she claims of press in misery upon vast hordes of peo- beneficence, sanity, equity, and power.

IMPERIALISM AT HOME

FROM Haiphong in China to Karachi contrast between rare palaces and the in India, the long coast-line of south- crowded squalid dwellings of the peoeast Asia is possessed imperially, and ple, which is characteristic of Asiatic with a show of permanence, by West cities, is especially marked in Bangkok. Europeans — except for one interrup- In fact, the ordinary Siamese citizen tion of freedom. One small nation, may be said to possess no house at all. which calls itself the ‘Thais,' the 'free He lives with his wife and naked babies people,' wedged in among the imperial on a boat in a canal. The capital city frontiers of the English and the French, of Siam is a collection of villages held and under the shadow of Dutch and together by a few well-kept roads and American dominations near at hand, many klongs, or wide ditches branching keeps its own sovereignty in more than out from the river, and in these klongs name. But Siam's position, at the the affairs of life and commerce are purthroat of the long Malay Peninsula sued in a muddy but orderly tenor by which runs down from lower China to most of the population. Costumes are Singapore, its peculiar and respectable adapted to water living, being arrived culture, its astonishing art and archi- at chiefly by elimination, and a people tecture, even its existence, are almost addicted to bathing can slip off their unknown. It is off the main trade front porches, that is their front decks, routes and out of the tourist range. into water more or less potable at any And its political problem and the solu- hour of day or night. tion which seems likely to surmount Along the shores are the gilded, glitits special difficulties are ignored. tering, flamelike temple-spires and

The problem was to develop a nation even a few ugly business-buildings on which encroaching imperialisms would a blazing-hot and dusty Main Street. respect. The solution now being ap- Scattered about in compounds and plied is an imperialism of a domestic paradises are the dwellings of princes, and home-grown variety. The hered- most of them in European style. There itary rulers of the Siamese people are has been some trouble in adapting trying to do for themselves what West heavy Western styles to the swamps Europeans are trying to do for the more of that situation. His Majesty's or less willing other Eastern peoples all throneroom palace of Italian marble, around them. They are imposing West- which cost millions of ticals, began to ern culture as a modification and de- settle in the mud when it was half velopment of their native civilization built. It rides now in an understruc

The working-out of this experiment ture of concrete, an ingenious boat is not altogether evident in a traveler's which was put under it and supports it first glimpses of Siam. The incredible as long as the chugging engines keep

the water pumped out of the basement on the perplexed question of whether

The marble palace of Rama V is a or not British imperialism is an activbad symbol, however, for the present ity of the British race for the benefit of interesting social and political condi- other races. The difference is sufficient tion of Siam. It is a triumph of modern if one insists only on the fact that science over natural difficulties. The this interesting type of imperialism is attempt of the princely caste to con- imposed, not from the outside, but quer the swampy difficulties of mod. by natural, hereditary, and firmly ernizing an Oriental race is inspired by entrenched rulers. a nobler motive and is of tremendous In Siam the domestic revolution importance.

began with King Mongkut. He was the In all imperialism, practised at home beginner of modernism among the or abroad, there is a certain quality of Thais in the middle of the nineteenth precariousness that resembles riding on century, at about the time Japan an elephant. The will and the intelli- emerged from seclusion. The third gence of the rider are only uncertainly generation of princes is now struggling sufficient to keep several tons of slave to make obstinate vision conquer the from rebelling. A compromise as to torpid fact. King Mongkut was kept benefits received for service given is from mounting his father's throne for always necessary. Imperialism is no twenty-seven years by the usurping longer frankly predatory. The Jap intervention of a half brother. He anese, for example, give evidence of sought safety and wisdom in that being honestly convinced that the period in a Buddhist wat among the Koreans are in need of Japanese guid- shaven-headed, yellow-robed monks. ance and culture; the Dutch exploit When he finally arrived, he had acJava for its own sake; the English stoopquired a determination to modernize to having official publicity-agents to his kingdom. He spent his allotted time tell the world how India gets on. The of power in building up foreign trade United States is even getting insen relations and encouraging public works. sibly reconciled to being big brother His succeeding son, King Chulalong(owner) to the Philippines. And it korn, set the present fashion by being is all for their own good. We have trained carefully in Western ideas. completely forgotten the passions of Chulalongkorn's sons and his still more twenty-five years ago when so notable numerous grandsons have fixed and a person as David Starr Jordan could developed that policy. print, then reprint in cooler blood, 'The Chulalongkorn faced for thirty-seven advances of civilization are wholly re- years of benign despotism a doublepugnant to the children of the tropics. edged problem. He had enemies within

The princes of Siam, although nearly and without. The upper classes among all graduates of Oxford or Harvard or his own people opposed his reforms the Sorbonne, do not share this pessi because new laws defined new responmism as they devote themselves to im sibilities and disturbed old prerogatives, posing the advances of civilization on while his frontiers, facing British extheir own tropical citizenry. The gap pansion on one side and French on the they have to span is enough to make other, were constantly endangered. any reformer dizzy. But they are con- But he abolished slavery, set up the scious that what they are doing is for first competent courts, brought the their own people, people of their own different regions of his territory closer blood. I would not venture an opinion together with better communications, VOL. 134 NO. 6

encouraged irrigation of waste lands buffaloes, domestic slaves and best and better methods of rice culture. He friends of Siamese farmers. Banana was the great political explorer and trees grow around the huts, or anydiscoverer, acting on his predecessor's where they can catch hold, and their example and giving his ardent descend- flat dark leaves, springing stemless ants a foundation worth building on. from the ground, are like weeds in a

King Chulalongkorn's educational fantastic dream. Thickets of bamboo ideas have been recently systematized and tall sugar-palms make a pleasant in a compulsory-education law which edge of green for the glistening wetness applies to the whole child-population, of the fields. In such entrancing scenes probably above two millions. Hereto- the peasants live, amid lotus flowers fore it has been chiefly in the wats, from and thoughts of Buddha, water bufthe monks, that the boys, if ever, have faloes, and muddy toil, malaria, moslearned to read. Girls and boys both quitoes, and the hookworm. are to have teachers now as fast as they Modern West Europeans or Amercan be provided. There are more than icans, the beings who represent the fine 15,000 Boy Scouts already enrolled and flower of the culture which Siamese a Junior Red Cross organization is royal reformers are trying to inculcate bringing Siamese children into touch by ukase, are not exactly received with with universal humanitarian ideas. enthusiasm when they visit the paddy

fields or the rare villages. The stranger, II

in order to see them as they are, must

invade a village on a market day; he This work seems difficult in a huddle sees most if he ploughs up the middle of large villages, a mixture of divine of the Menam or one of its tributary splendors and muddy squalor, like streams through a river market. On Bangkok. What can it mean outside both sides of him the long narrow boats the city, in paddy-field and jungle — are filled to the gunwales — which are even though every member of the pop- almost awash in the constant moveulous royal family chooses his task in ment— with vegetables and fruits, his boyhood and goes to the best school pastries and sweetmeats, household in the world for that particular profes- utensils on which a suspiciously Eurosion and educates himself to do his pean trade-mark might be found, special share? If you ride out from articles of clothing, straw sun-hats, and Bangkok on the state railway toward heaps of vermilion-colored paste. The the North, to Ayuthia, for instance, paste is the preparation of lime that where the rare visitor may go to see the helps to give the betel-chewing habit ruins of ancient wonders, you pass its horrors of smell and expectoration. through blue-and-silver swamps. The T he stranger, the representative of landscape looks very often as if a flood invading civilization, will probably were just subsiding. In full ditches receive simple grave curiosity from along the track float huge pink lotus most of these disturbed merchants and flowers. The paddy-birds, all grace and their customers. But a modest and pearly whiteness, fly in the yellow sun- skeptical eye may notice more than one shine. Clumps of tiny thatched dwell- old woman,- her brown face wrinkled ings are lifted out of water on stilts. and drawn, her black hair standing up Under them in the ditches, and in the indignantly in a short pompadour flooded rice-fields themselves, bulking above her low forehead, her shrunken everywhere are the clumsy, gray-black shoulders and arms bare above her

« ElőzőTovább »