« ElőzőTovább »
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned,
From wandering on a foreign strand!
-From "The Lay of the Last Minstrel."
Questions for Study 1. In what sense would a man's soul be dead if he failed to have such emotions? Why does it not matter what his country is, whether weak or powerful, beautiful or bare ?
2. Does the man who fails to have these emotions deserve the neglect and contempt which Scott says are sure to be his? In what sense can a man doubly die ? Notice what words and ways Scott uses to slur him. Does the poem make you have any sympathy for him? Why, or why not? What other feelings does the poem arouse in you toward him?
3. What feelings does the poem arouse in you, regardless of “the man with soul so dead”? Why are the lines so frequently quoted by travelers returning home from abroad!
J. G. HOLLAND
God give us men! The time demands
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie; Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking;
For while the rabble with their thumb-worn creeds,
Questions for Study
1. Tell how each of the qualities suggested in the second line shows itself in the life of some man. Which one is the greatest? Why do you think the world needs men who have all of these qualities?
2. Do the remaining lines in the first section of the poem suggest new qualities or merely illustrate those presented above?
3. Why do you believe that the situation in the last four lines is (or is not) true?
A MESSAGE TO GARCIA
In all this Cuban business there is one man stands out on the horizon of my memory like Mars at perihelion. When war broke out between Spain and the United States, it was very quickly necessary to communicate with the leader of the Insurgents. Garcia was somewhere in the mountain fastnesses of Cuba—no one knew where. No mail nor telegraph message could reach him. The President must secure his co-operation, and quickly. What to do!
Someone said to the President, “There's a fellow by the name of Rowan will find Garcia for you, if anybody
Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia.
How “the fellow by the name of Rowan” took the letter, sealed it up in an oil-skin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, and in three weeks came out on the other side of the Island, having traversed a hostile country on foot, and delivered his letter to Garcia, are things I have no special desire now to tell in detail. The point I wish to make
is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, "Where is he at?"
By the Eternal, there is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college of the land! It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies : do the thing—“Carry a message to Garcia!”
General Garcia is dead now, but there are other Garcias. No man who has endeavored to carry out an enter prise where many hands are needed but has been well nigh appalled at times by the imbecility of the average man—the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it.
Slip-shod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, and half-hearted work seem the rule; and no man succeeds, unless by hook or crook, or threat, he forces or bribes other men to assist him; or mayhap, God in His goodness performs a miracle, and sends him an Angel of Light for an assistant.
You, reader, put this matter to a test: You are sitting now in your office—six clerks are within call. Summon any one and make this request: “Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio."
Will the clerk quietly say, “Yes, sir,” and go do the task? On your life he will not. He will look at you out
of a fishy eye and ask one or more of the following questions:
Who was he?
Shan't I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?
What do you want to know for?
And I will lay you ten to one that after you have answered the questions, and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him try to find Garcia—and then come back and tell you that there is no such man. Of course I may lose my bet, but according to the law of average I shall not.
Now, if you are wise you will not bother to explain to your "assistant” that Correggio is indexed under the C's, not the K's, but you will smile sweetly and say, “Never mind,” and go look it up yourself.
And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift, are the things that put pure Socialism so far into the future. If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit