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A Weekly Review of Literature, The Arts, 
and Public Affairs. 

The Dodo and the Gingko Tree (verse)... 
Clement Wood 720 

Recrudescent Biography ................ 
Ernest Sutherland Bates 721 

Volume VII New York, Wednesday, November 23, 1927 Number 3 

Burns and the American People.......... 707 Two Years and Upward..George N. Shuster 723 

Week by Week... 4A’ KNEE RT 98 799 «=Compeneation: (verse) 6a cis as 

Finishing the Unfinished................ 712 Evelyn Elizabeth Walsh 723 

A Letter from Willa Cather............. 713 

Villanelle of His Preferences (verse)...... bids f ry ak HRS meee Sees, (24 

Muna Lee 714 A. Commemmniention: .:. 56> cies} inant 725 

The Ex-Jesuit Enigma....Michael Williams 715 Books, Mostly New...... Martha Bayard, 

The Iron Hand in Mexico, II Fc een ee awe Henry Longan Stuart, Daniel Sargent, 
Francis McCullagh 718 Theodore Maynard, Agnes Repplier, 

Morton Dauwen Zabel, Katherine Brégy, 
Patrick J. Temple, Frederick H. Martens 726 

Te Ge ORE: sb sks cceess cetecseres 740 


S one leading figure after another in the Wash- 

ington mistrial steps stubbornly back into silence, 
availing himself of his constitutional right to avoid 
self-incrimination, and as the conviction grows upon 
the public mind that no solution of the enigma is to 
be looked for in the current year, it is inevitable that 
a sense of anticlimax should descend upon those who 
see in the whole unsavory case a reproach to be exter- 
minated from our public life, and who are less con- 
cerned with lopping off, one by one, ramifications they 
never doubted would be found than with the urgent 
need of dealing a blow at the root of the evil. 

It was no secret that the attack upon vested inter- 
ests which had been allowed to entrench themselves 
at the very heart of the nation’s administrative life 
would be a difficult and dangerous task. The whole 
history of the investigations which began three years 
ago, and of which the present legal proceedings are 
the delayed outcome, has brought us face to face with 
certain disabilities not to be separated from the demo- 
cratic theory, and which are not showing themselves 
for the first time. Briefly, the case might be put by 
saying that while the initial steps in many inquiries 
into dark practices are taken by men of eminence, 
clothed in the authority popular election to the Sen- 
ate confers, and thoroughly conversant with the field 

in which they have to work, their function is confined 
to placing the facts in full light. They can convince 
the branch of our government concerned with pains 
and penalties that there is a case for baring the ax , 
of punishment from the fasces of mere censure. But 
the task of punishment does not rest upon their shoul- 
ders. Nor does it belong to the judiciary, save par- 
tially. The real cutting edge is the unanimous judg- 
ment obtained after all the legal resources money can 
hire have had their say, of twelve very ordinary and 
anonymous citizens, drawn from obscurity to render 
a verdict and returning to obscurity when their duty 
is accomplished. These men not only possess no opin- 
ion whatever upon a case that has been before the 
public conscience for years. The very basis of their 
acceptability as jurors depends on its absence. 

It is not attacking the jury system, which The Com- 
monweal has, time and time again, insisted is the pal- 
ladium of our liberties, to perceive that in such a 
case as is upheaving public feeling just now, it offers 
very rare opportunities to unscrupulous parties con- 
cerned in beclouding and obstructing the plain issue. 
A skilled general chooses as the objective of his coun- 
ter-attack some point in the line where different sec- 
tors overlap, and whose liaison has the reputation of 
being weak. And just so, those to whom the speedy 



November 23, 1927 

working of justice is a consummation devoutly to be 
averted are concentrating their efforts, to an extent 
undreamed of in earlier days, upon the jury. The 
right of challenge, as was made evident in a notorious 
murder trial case within the past year, is stretched 
to the utmost limit the law permits, if not abused. 
The comings and goings of the twelve men in whose 
hands the outcome lies become the concern of un- 
sleeping eyes. Indiscretions natural to men who are 
jurors but not jurists, are watched for, if they are not 
provoked. Private lives, means of livelihood, habits 
even, are made matter for an inquisition hardly less 
sparing than the case upon which the twelve are en- 
gaged. In a word, the crisis produces the man, not to 
say the men, and such activities as have just procured 
the dismissal of a dozen plain citizens, sworn to render 
justice from the jury box, enter, unwelcome and alien 
intruders, upon the legal stage. 

To say that all the dangers that threaten the legal 
side of our democratic experiment are synonymous 
with Mr. William J. Burns and the Burns Detective 
Agency would be overstating the case. To say that 
they can be dismissed without a very searching inquiry 
into what is rendering their persistence possible, would 
be understating it quite as much. The public is no 
stranger to Mr. Burns. On numerous public occasions 
it has been admitted into the recesses of the super- 
detective’s mind. Its blood has been made to run cold 
by revelations of the extent to which communism and 
radicalism of the reddest are invading our labor unions 
and colleges. It has even heard that “every big strike 
in this country may be laid at the door of the Soviet 
influence.” Following the appointment of this master 
mind as official head of the Bureau of Investigation 
of the Treasury by Attorney-General Daugherty, more 
than six years ago, it was promised, in his name and 
that of the organization he still controls, a search- 
ing inquiry into such abuses as tax-dodging, retail prof- 
iteering, and the major sources of the liquor traffic. 
“If Mr. Daugherty,” said the Philadelphia Public 
Ledger, in a flush of enthusiasm that rests uneasily 
in office files to this day, ‘‘wants big fellows got after 
and made to disgorge for the benefit of tax-payers, 
Burns will hunt them down.”’ It seems incredible to- 
day, but somewhere in August, 1921, a public existed 
which believed that, before turning over his talents 
and organization to government at the behest of Mr. 
Daugherty, Crusader Burns, his license and his auto- 
matic on the ground at his knees, was spending a vigil 
of prayer before the altar of some wayside chapel on 
Pennsylvania Avenue. 

_ To pass from these roseate memories to the cold 
atmosphere of fact is a painful step. Juries and Mr. 
Burns are not being associated for the first time. Some- 
thing was heard of both during the impeachment 
proceedings against his big chief as short (or as long) 
a time ago as December 13, 1922. On that date, and 
after a bitter wrangle to exclude it as evidence had 
been overcome, a communication from ex-Attorney- 


General Wickersham to ex-President Taft was intro. 
duced. It claimed to show that the pardon given a cer. 
tain Welland N. Jones, convicted during the Oregon 
land fraud cases in 1907, was based “‘solely on the 
official reports in the cases alleging improper actiyj. 
ties by Mr. Burns in connection with the drawing of 
the juries. He had personally examined the 
documents,” Mr. Wickersham was reported as con. 
tinuing, “‘as he had found it difficult to believe that 
there had been such a condition as charged.” 

Mr. Burns has many enemies, and it is open to his 
friends to claim that many of them do him credit 
rather than discredit. Among these it will be hardly 
possible to include Frank A. Vanderlip, former presi. 
dent of the National City Bank, who, on May 1, 
1924, two days after the retirement of the head of the 
Treasury Investigation Bureau, appeared in the pub. 
lic prints denouncing the Burns system as “a grave 
abuse of power. It has been demon. 
strated,” so the record of Mr. Vanderlip’s speech 
proceeds, “that these detectives shadowed senators 
and members of Congress and tried to ‘get some. 
thing’ on them which could be used to paralyze any 
movement antagonistic to the Department.” 

The more this burly and cryptic figure in the miser- 
able oil imbroglio is studied, indeed, the less does his 
personal significance grow, but the greater grows the 
need of knowing exactly what stands behind his care. 
free and breezy attitude when confronted with the 
evidence that has caused the extreme step of abandon- 
ing a trial. Mr. Burns has “done the state some ser- 
vice and they know it.” But this does not explain to 
everyone’s satisfaction the voice that is reported 
booming along the corridors, the “aggressive mood,” 
the off-hand description of opposing witnesses as “all 
these lice,” the rough and haughty command to a 
senator to “go ahead.” He has all the air of being 
the depository of some information which reduces 
the senatorial effort to apply the law to insignificance, 
What is it? We will not do the usual crop of rumors 
even the honor of a passing reference. But it is 
quite plain that, in promoting to official position this 
head of a service money could buy, and in continuing 
the license and privileges of his agency after his re- 
tirement under dubious circumstances, the state did it- 
self and the public a disservice. “It is high time,” 
thinks the New York World, and we agree, “‘that the 
Burns agency and other organizations of its kind 
were thoroughly investigated.” If, as is claimed by its 
chief, nothing has been done that constitutes a viola- 
tion of the law, then the law, for the sake of the 
men who are called from private life to be its instru- 
ments, needs amending. Meanwhile, nothing would 
help to restore public confidence so much as an inquiry 
into all the activities associated with the name of Burns 
in the last ten years, and pending such inquiry, a sus 
pension of license, which that very respectable body, 
the Allied Printing Trades Council, asked for as long 

ago as July, 1917. 




3, 1927 
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Published weekly and copyrighted 1927, in the United States by 
the Calvert Publishing Corporation, Grand Central Terminal, 
New York, N. Y. 

Assistant Editors 
THoMAs WALSH Mary Kovrars 

Joun F. McCormick, Business Manager 

Editorial Council 
T. Lawrason Riccs James J. WALSH 
Carton J. H. Hayes R. Dana SKINNER 
Bertram C. A. WINDLE 

United States : $5.00 
Canada: 5.50 

Foreign: $6.00 
Single Copies: .10 


HE “warning” given to Germany by Mr. S. 

Parker Gilbert that excessive borrowings of capi- 
tal from abroad would result in piling up annual in- 
terest obligations to an extent likely to render pay- 
ment of reparation moneys under the Dawes plan 
impossible, was a wise if not a popular declaration. 
It having been decreed that the Reich is to pay a kind 
of continual fine to various victorious Allied peoples, 
nothing can be done excepting to try making German 
industries so productive that they will supply the 
amounts stipulated. All else must necessarily be sac- 
rificed to this central purpose. Borrowing to advance 
state and municipal improvements or to carry out 
socialization plans, is an obstacle to progress, as the 
Dawes Commission sees things. It may be remarked 
that Mr. Gilbert said nothing which had not previ- 
ously been approved of by the leading German finan- 
cers. Dr. Schacht, president of the Reichsbank, has 
long since insisted that though an edict against all 
foreign borrowing would spell ruin, the flotation of 
loans should be confined to central enterprises likely 
to create credits sufficient to offset their own interest 
requirements. Naturally this rule is difficult to en- 
force in a country so federal in character as is 
Germany. The Reich government can no more pre- 
vent municipal and state borrowing than Washington 
can prevent the city of New York from floating vast 
bond issues to provide for new subways. Everyone 
hopes, of course, that cold, hard facts will make an 
impression upon the German peoples and induce them 
to support a sound fiscal policy. But it is also ap- 

parent that since the reparations clauses of the Ver- 
sailles treaty were the direct inference from the 
claim that all the war guilt was Germany’s, this ques- 
tion must become less academic and more actual with 
each succeeding year. 

AMONG the many resolutions of regret at the sud- 
den death of Mr. James Cox Brady from busi- 
ness and other organizations of which he was a mem- 
ber or a supporter, those of the Calvert Associates 
and of the staff of The Commonweal, will, we trust, 
be permitted a place. Some weeks ago this journal 
commented upon President Coolidge’s speech at 
Pittsburgh concerning the duty of men of wealth to 
justify great riches by using them to promote religion, 
education and cultural interests. We remarked that 
while Catholic rich men and women are very generous 
toward charitable and educational causes, they are not 
yet as prominent as their growing numbers would lead 
us to suppose they well might be in aiding purely cul- 
tural movements. At the time we had gratefully in 
mind many exceptions to this generalization, and, so 
far as the Calvert Associates are concerned, in par- 
ticular, none more vividly than the late Mr. Brady. 
No other individual took a more helpful part in this 
endeavor to establish a medium for the intellectual 
and artistic expression of the Catholic faith. We may 
indeed say that, on more than one occasion of crisis, 
it was his aid which made the continuance of the effort 
possible. The list of great causes of charity and edu- 
cation which Mr. Brady munificently and intelligently 
aided, as reported in the newspapers, were ample 
grounds for the high honors bestowed upon him by 
the Holy Father; but what was publicly known con- 
cerning his public service through his means and his 
personal efforts is only a part of the story. No man 
less desired public recognition of such services than 
Mr. Brady, but it would be more than ungracious on 
our part not to testify—now that our words can cause 
him no embarrassment—to the sense of obligation 
and the deep gratitude, and sorrow as well, which we 
feel in common with so many others. 

FULLER details of the clash between Dr. Barnes 
of Birmingham and Canon Bullock-Webster, which 
have now reached this country, bear out our feeling 
that a crisis is upon the Anglican Church comparable 
only to the notorious Gorham judgment in the forties 
of last century. As was inevitable, we have the sly 
comment of Mr. Shaw, who, while ostensibly prais- 
ing the primate’s attempt to cast oil on troubled 
waters, does not fail to see a fresh sanction given to 
“ambiguity.” Catholic sympathies, as is natural, will 
go to their brethren of the sacramental wing, who 
have been forced to hear the dogma they hold as 
the keystone of their faith referred to in terms which 
have hardly been equalled in England since the blas- 
phemies of the early Reformers at Paul’s Cross. Per- 
haps the most deplorable feature of the whole case 



November 23, 1927 

is the reappearance of materialism, positivism and con- 
tempt for the mystical theory, in the bosom of the 
English Church, reinforced this time by the glib con- 
clusions of physical science astray from its legitimate 
field. It would be a mistake to impute the whole mis- 
erable situation to Protestantism. But the lack of 
any power which can extrude an element so discord- 
ant with the whole theory of faith as the Bishop of 
Birmingham has shown himself to be, and the at- 
tempt to meet an issue really fraught with life or 
death by nothing better than suave phraseology, is a 
striking and unlooked-for comment upon the principle 
of private judgment. 

Dr. FREDERIC FUNDER, editor of the Vienna 
Reichspost and writer for the N. C. W. C. News 
Service, reports an interview with a “high dignitary 
of the Church,” which is important for the light it 
throws upon the problems of reunion and restoration 
of the temporal power. The prelate in question 
stated that if the plan to call an ecumenical council, 
long since “on the order of the day,” should material- 
ize, “the separated Christian churches would be in- 
vited to assist, in accordance with an old-established 
usage of the Church.” Such a council would be the 
Catholic response to those invitations to consider re- 
union which have been issued by those who arranged 
the Stockholm and Lausanne conferences. Indeed, 
many authorities appear to believe that the obstacles 
in the way of union with what are now termed the 
schismatic churches of the Orient could be removed 
by nothing else except a council. Meanwhile the ab- 
rogation of the territorial independence of the Holy 
See is considered a serious impediment to the convoca- 
tion of the hierarchy. It is believed that summon- 
ing delegates of churches which have to a large extent 
become national institutions to a place which is occu- 
pied by the government of a world power would create 
embarrassments of a grave kind. However that 
may be, it seems obvious that the meeting of a coun- 
cil on territory restored by Italy to the Holy See 
would be calculated as no other event could be to set 
forth in bold relief the universality and spiritual in- 

dependence of the Church of God. 
IF SENATOR BORAH sometimes gives us the im- 

pression of being an irresistible force, it is quite clear 
that his effort to make prohibition the major plank 
in the Republican party platform next year is encoun- 
tering that equally proverbial obstacle, the immov- 
able mass. Hasty and ill-considered legislation brings 
many troubles in its train. Not the least, is the fact 
that arguments which should have been aired before a 
measure attained the finality of law have a trick of 
reappearing when apologies for its slack observance 
are needed. The candid friend from Idaho is going 
to be reminded of many things which the advocates 
of a bone-dry America were allowed to ignore eight 
years ago. Asa start we have Senator Edge of New 


Jersey, anxious (rhetorically) to be told why hold. 
ing to the Eighteenth Amendment should be made a 
test of political honesty when two other constitutional 
amendments have gone the way of nullification with. 
out rocking either of the two big parties, far legs 
threatening to split them from top to bottom. We 
will not attempt to answer the Senator further than 
by inviting him to look for the reason in activities 
that do not lie far from the Capitol steps. We 
merely record our regret that the excellent arguments 
which are now being discovered to maintain harmony 
in the Republican ranks were not heard of at the time 
the measure was being put through which is likely to 
make the presidential campaign of 1928 an affair 
mainly of eloquent silences. 

VERY suddenly the news of a flood catastrophe 
bringing death and ruin to various sections of north- 
ern New England merged in the public consciousness, 
A number of Vermont towns and several comparative. 
ly large Massachusetts cities were swept by torrents 
resulting from an utterly unprecedented downpour of 
rain. The unexpectedness of the visitation is to a 
large extent responsible for the havoc wrought. Dams 
built to resist normal wear and tear failed to hold 
up under the pressure; no machinery of defense ex- 
isted to take care of the emergency; and many of 
those who lost their lives were probably the victims 
of what was, to them, a novel situation. Of course 
the need felt by untold numbers of sufferers has en- 
kindled widespread generosity. We take comfort in 
the thought that such assistance, together with the 
circumstance that a flood like this subsides rather 
quickly, will go far toward curtailing the sum total of 
misery. One would like to see the world fortified 
against accidents of this character. Such a wish is, 
however, obviously incapable of fulfilment; and it is 
part of the human lot to accept cataclysms and trage- 
dies with a stout heart, knowing that in the end en- 
durance of them is not only the discipline which pre- 
pares us for the serenity of everlasting life, but also 
the proof of our will to rebuild more admirably and 
heroically here and now. 

ONE who has read New England history could not 
help being impressed by the fact that in offering the 
services of New York to stricken Vermont, Governor 
Smith proved incidentally how far behind us are cer- 
tain bickerings of a formative historical period. At 
Bennington one sees the stone image of a crouching 
catamount, looking westward toward the Hudson. 
This monument commemorates a stirring incident in 
Green Mountain history. Resenting the endeavors of 
various New Yorkers to annex part of their terri- 
tory, the stalwart Vermont lads slew a catamount and 

hung the skin on the door of an inn which their foes | 

were wont to frequent. The sign of determination 
thus given put an end to sundry ambitions. 

also, for us of the present, a symbol of the innumer- 

It is | 

3, 1927 


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November 23, 1927 



able conflicts that used to exist between one portion 
of the country and another. Today all that is past. 
Differences are suffered to exist, as a general rule, 
without debate; and even though Kansas imposes its 
notions of intoxication upon New York City via the 
law, Kansans are suffered to walk down Fifth Avenue 
without molestation. The whole story of American 
progress is in such contrasts. 

Now it is A. H. Woods, former champion pro- 
ducer of bed-room farces, who finds it productive of 
ducats to advertise a new play as follows: “A play 
that dares tell the young to learn life first and marry 
afterward.” He can, of course, appeal for justifica- 
tion to Judge Ben Lindsey, to Havelock Ellis and a 
few others of that select brood who believe that God 
was just a little old-fashioned when He provided the 
mating instinct with its natural consequence of child- 
birth. The difference, however, between Mr. Woods 
and these philosophical sentimentalists is grotesquely 
wide. We may fairly assume the sincerity of Judge 
Lindsey. We may even grant his broad experience 
as to material and facts, though appalled at the child- 
like logic he applies to their interpretation. But Mr. 
Woods can have only one object—to attract to his 
play all those who, in their hearts, prefer the thought 
of license to a marriage license. Judge Lindsey has 
at least the wisdom to plead for a change in the laws 
before directly “‘telling’” young people to experiment 
in free love. Mr. Woods makes no such argument 
for his play. To advocate in public print a course 
of moral action contrary to existing law seems, on 
the face of it, to invite the attention of the district 
attorney. Mr. Woods might say, of course, that he 
is merely describing the play and not advocating any- 
thing. To which the only just answer is that he is 
describing a product he himself is selling. If that 
product is as tainted as Mr. Woods says it is, then 
its smell alone should convict him. 

AND speaking of the sudden blare of trumpets over 
“companionate marriage,” no one seems yet to have 
landed with sufficient vigor on the amazing human 
fallacy underlying the whole argument. Leaving 
aside abstract morals for the instant, how can one 
possibly “learn life” before accepting the responsibili- 
ties of life? Judge Lindsey admits that the coming 
of children involves the idea of permanent union. 
Children are part of “‘life’—the sine qua non of the 
continuance of life. Their advent may, and generally 
does, alter the whole psychological adjustment of hus- 
band and wife. A good or fascinating “companion” 
may turn into a hopelessly inadequate father or 
mother. Or a most unsatisfactory ‘“‘companion” may 
emerge, through the test of parenthood, into a help- 
mate of rich understanding and fine courage. Judge 
Lindsey’s whole case, even as he states it, must stand 
or fall by the assumption that trial marriage demon- 
strates at least the major requirements of permanent 

union. Yet how can it, when it tells nothing of par- 
ental instincts? Stripped of sentimental phrases, 
‘‘companionate marriage” can do but one thing— 
gratify the senses without ratifying the judgment. It 
cannot even evoke the crucial test of character which 
comes with facing the issue of permanent responsibil- 
ity—of living in ‘‘chains,’’ whether they be chains of 
love, of compromise or merely of manly and womanly 
duty. Judge Lindsey and his brood are applying to 
the most serious human problem the logic of the six- 
year-old who says: “I played with matches to-day 
and didn’t get burned, so I can play with them every 
day and never get burned.” Life and marriage can- 
not be learned in what is only the primer of sex! 

ONE may say that the emphatic personal endorse- 
ment of the work of the National Catholic Welfare 
Conference by the Holy See in a recent communica- 
tion has accomplished a vast good deal toward solidi- 
fying opinion in support of the institution. That 
there are still some who frankly disapprove of the or- 
ganization goes without saying; but these are now 
constrained to act in the valuable capacity of critics 
rather than in the destructive role of a wrecking crew. 
Further evidence of the Holy Father’s approval of 
the Conference has come in the form of an honor 
conferred upon the Reverend John J. Burke, C. S. P., 
by the Sacred Congregation of Seminaries and Uni- 
versities. Very rarely does this Congregation confer 
the honorary doctorate in theology; and the fact that 
it was presented to Father Burke on October 14 of 
this year indicates more forcibly, perhaps, than any- 
thing else could the confidence placed by the universal 
Church in the difficult effort guided by the general 
secretary of the Welfare Conference. We may legi- 
timately feel that this token of appreciation is a gift 
to Americans generally, who have coéperated to ren- 
der Father Burke’s labors fruitful and prosperous. 
Beyond that it is evident, of course, that as an indi- 
vidual he merits this homage and much more. As a 
priest, as editor of the Catholic World during many 
years, and as the “guide, philosopher and friend” 
who presided over the destinies of the Welfare 
Conference from the beginning, he has bravely car- 
ried out essential tasks without flinching and in the 
spirit of noblest charity. 

CoMTE declared that in philosophy the question 
“Why?” had given way to the more scientific ques- 
tion “How?” He was probably not entirely correct. It 
is true, however, that good deeds progress from theory 
to practice according as one stops reasoning as to why a 
thing ought to be done and begins to roll up sleeves 
and inquire into methods. During many years, for 
example, we have been reasoning more or less en- 
thusiastically—though much sleep was not, perhaps, 
lost over the matter—about “why” something like 
Catholic endeavor in the field of general literature 
ought to be developed in the United States. Indeed, the 



November 23, 1927 

enumeration of “reasons’’ became exceedingly long 
and most impressive. The “how” aspect of the prob- 
lem remained almost unexplored, however. Now 
Father Wynne’s Universal Knowledge Foundation 
proposes an answer and a solution, very interesting 
though possibly tentative. ‘The editors aim,” says 
the prospectus, ‘‘at enabling Catholic writers to enter 
the field of general literature in the language which 
is now the most widely used in the civilized world. 
Instead of continuing to write, as we do now for the 
most part, on Catholic matters and for Catholics only, 
the time seems opportune to broadcast our messages 
to the world about us.”’ 

THE Universal Knowledge Foundation is to be some- 
thing like the broadcasting station. The speakers are 
to be numerous able writers and men of affairs, and the 
topics are to be legion. At present the program seems 
to envisage particularly history, science and literary 
criticism. No better warrant for success can be imagined 
than the enthusiastic sendoff meeting held at the offices 
of the Foundation on November 4, and graced by the 
presence of the Cardinal Archbishop of New York as- 
sisted by Bishop Shahan of Washington University. 
Among the many gracious and vital phrases uttered 
by His Eminence, The Commonweal takes pardonable 
pride in his reference to a recent editorial in its own 
columns calling upon wealth in Catholic hands to de- 
vote itself in increasing measure to the cause of culture 
and the humanities. “This is the true American 
spirit,’’ commented His Eminence, after referring to 
a long list of patrons of the arts and humanities who 
have sat in the Chair of Peter to show in how noble a 
line the leading men and women of our country may 
enroll themselves, if they will. 


“P HAT some things must be left precisely as they 
are is a comparatively modern principle, but so 
many people swear by it that opposition can create a 
row any time. A group of persons organized as the 
Schubert Centennial Committee recently appeared with 
a declaration that among their efforts to awaken re- 
newed interest in the work of the illustrious composer 
would be the sponsoring of a “prize award” for a com- 
position adequately completing the Unfinished Sym- 
phony. So great a disturbance followed this announce- 
ment that the “award’’ has since been withdrawn. 
Every major newspaper which devotes space to musical 
events has bristled with adjectives supplied by lead- 
ing composers and critics in denunciation of the “‘out- 
rage.’ Mr. Ossip Gabrilowitsch, who now adds to 
the musical reputation of Detroit, proved particularly 
angry and logacious. He said bluntly that Tom, Dick 
and Harry might just as well be expected to supply 
arms for the Venus of Milo as to be invited to com- 
pose what Schubert left undone. Admittedly all this 
furious controversy has not produced that tranquillity 


of mind which seems the proper prelude to an en. 
thusiastic Schubert centennial. But serenity and recol. 
lection are never greatly prized by those who see 
principle at stake. Witness, for instance, the biblio. 
graphical proceedings of Mayor Thompson! 

__ Precisely why ought no one to finish the unfin. 
ished? It is interesting to note, first of all, that the 
query occurs only with reference to the domain of 
art. The theory of natural selection was not dropped 
like a hot coal once Darwin had done all he could 
to state it. Owners of houses proceed unabashed to 
alter the residential contour if the family needs more 
room—even until, like the famous birthplace of 
Orpheus C. Kerr, it has so many gables and turrets 
that a stroke of lightning finds it impossible to decide 
which one to hit upon. In literature there has, of 
course, been a great deal of pother about purity of 
texts. The middle-ages used the Greek thinkers in 
versions badly jumbled with Arabic interpolations, and 
once the revival of learning had set in, nothing would 
do but Aristotle in the original. Nevertheless, all this 
doctrinal purity was really non-essential. Everybody 
to whom Greek philosophy is a living reality realizes 
that the important thing is not texts but the fact that 
the thought itself has come down through a never-end- 
ing series of alert and virile thinkers. 

Only in art is the interdict against tinkering really 
effective. Even here, of course, efficacy is guaranteed 
by the system of official curators established by cus- 
tom and reverence. An era like the middle-ages, when 
art was preserved chiefly by popular tradition, dealt 
almost ruthlessly with masterpieces, unfinished or 
otherwise. Chartres is a Gothic cathedral built on 
top of a Romanesque cathedral; and one of its towers 
was paired with the other in a mood that seems most 
disrespectful of artistic “sacredness.’’ In literature, 
the situation was much the same. Somebody altered 
and rounded out Shakespeare. Even Milton manipu- 
lated rather than translated Vondel. And music? The 
complex of ecclesiastical melody is such that one can- 
not divine what part of the existing harmony was the 
work of any single individual. 

In spite of all this, it is most certainly true that 
all of us experience throes of revulsion when some- 
body announces a prize for finishing a Schubert sym- 
phony. Our reverence for something holy has been 
outraged, our sense of proportion has been flouted. 
We think of clammy hands reaching into aristocratic 
silences, of rude clamor disturbing classic calm. And 
yet, at bottom, this feeling may be nothing else than 
too subjective a concept of art. To the “genius” we 
attribute an existence so aloof from the rest of life, 
so indifferent to objective forces and popular convic- 
tion, that if he really lived so, his career would be 
Robinson-Crusoesque indeed. After all, a good many 
players here and there do play Schubert with varia- 
tions of their own invention. That is possibly the 
finest tribute he could receive. 



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November 23, 1927 




have asked me to give you a short account of 

how I happened to write Death Comes for the 

When I first went into the Southwest some fifteen 

years ago, I stayed there for a considerable period 

T: THE Editor of The Commonweal :—You 

of time. It was then much harder to get about 
than it is today. There were no _ automobile 
roads and no hotels off the main lines of rail- 

road. One had to travel by wagon and carry a camp 
outfit. One traveled slowly, and had plenty of time 
for reflection. It was then very difficult to find any- 
one who would tell me anything about the country, or 
even about the roads. One of the most intelligent 
and inspiriting persons I found in my travels was a 
Belgian priest, Father Haltermann, who lived with his 
sister in the parsonage behind the beautiful old church 
at Santa Cruz, New Mexico, where he raised fancy 
poultry and sheep and had a wonderful vegetable and 
flower garden. He was a florid, full-bearded farmer 
priest, who drove about among his eighteen Indian 
missions with a spring wagon and a pair of mules. He 
knew a great deal about the country and the Indians 
and their traditions. He went home during the war 
to serve as a chaplain in the French army, and when 
I] last heard of him he was an invalid. 

The longer I stayed in the Southwest, the more I 
felt that the story of the Catholic Church in that 
country was the most interesting of all its stories. The 
old mission churches, even those which were abandoned 
and in ruins, had a moving reality about them; the 
hand-carved beams and joists, the utterly unconven- 
tional frescoes, the countless fanciful figures of the 
saints, no two of them alike, seemed a direct expression 
of some very real and lively human feeling. They were 
all fresh, individual, first-hand. Almost every one of 
those many remote little adobe churches in the moun- 
tains or the desert had something lovely that was its 
own. In lonely, sombre villages in the mountains the 
church decorations were sombre, the martyrdoms 
bloodier, the grief of the Virgin more agonized, the 
figure of Death more terrifying. In warm, gentle 
valleys everything about the churches was milder. I 
used to wish there were some written account of the 
old times when those churches were built; but I soon 
felt that no record of them could be as real as they 
are themselves. They are their own story, and it is 
a foolish convention that we must have everything in- 
terpreted for us in written language. There are other 
ways of telling what one feels, and the people who 
built and decorated those many, many little churches 
found their way and left their message. 

May I say here that within the last few years some 
of the newer priests down in that country have been 
taking away from those old churches their old homely 

images and decorations, which have a definite artistic 
and historic value, and replacing them by conventional, 
factory-made church furnishings from New York? It 
is a great pity. All Catholics will be sorry about it, 
I think, when it is too late, when all those old paint- 
ings and images and carved doors that have so much 
feeling and individuality are gone—sold to some col- 
lector in New York or Chicago, where they mean noth- 

During the twelve years that followed my first year 
in New Mexico and Arizona I went back as often as 
I could, and the story of the Church and the Spanish 
missionaries was always what most interested me; but 
I hadn’t the most remote idea of trying to write about 
it. I was working on things of a very different nature, 
and any story of the Church in the Southwest was cer- 
tainly the business of some Catholic writer, and not 
mine at all. 

Meanwhile Archbishop Lamy, the first Bishop of 
New Mexico, had become a sort of invisible personal 
friend. I had heard a great many interesting stories 
about him from very old Mexicans and traders who 
still remembered him, and I never passed the life-size 
bronze of him which stands under a locust tree before 
the Cathedral in Santa Fé without wishing that I 
could learn more about a pioneer churchman who 
looked so well-bred and distinguished. In his pictures 
one felt the same thing, something fearless and fine 
and very, very well-bred—something that spoke of 
race. What I felt curious about was the daily life of 
such a man in a crude frontier society. 

Two years ago, in Santa Fé, that curiosity was grati- 
fied. I came upon a book printed years ago on a 
country press at Pueblo, Colorado: The Life of the 
Right Reverend Joseph P. Machebeuf, by William 
Joseph Howlett, a priest who had worked with Father 
Machebeuf in Denver. The book is an admirable piece 
of work, almost as revelatory about Father Lamy as 
about Father Machebeuf, since the two men were so 
closely associated from early youth. Father Howlett 
had gone to France and got his information about 
Father Machebeuf’s youth direct from his sister, 
Philomene. She gave him her letters from Father 
Machebeuf, telling all the little details of his life in 
New Mexico, and Father Howlett inserted dozens of 
them, splendidly translated, into his biography. At last 
I found out what I wanted to know about how the 
country and the people of New Mexico seemed to 
those first missionary priests from France. Without 
these letters in Father Howlett’s book to guide me, 
I would certainly never have dared to write my book. 
Of course, many of the incidents I used were expe- 
riences of my own, but in these letters I learned how 

experiences very similar to them affected Father 
Machebeuf and Father Lamy. 



November 23, 1927 

My book was a conjunction of the general and the 
particular, like most works of the imagination. I had 
all my life wanted to do something in the style of 
legend, which is absolutely the reverse of dramatic 
treatment. Since I first saw the Puvis de Chavannes 
frescoes of the life of Saint Genevieve in my student 
days, I have wished that I could try something a 
little like that in prose; something without accent, with 
none of the artificial elements of composition. In the 
Golden Legend the martyrdoms of the saints are no 
more dwelt upon than are the trivial incidents of their 
lives; it is as though all human experiences, measured 
against one supreme spiritual experience, were of 
about the same importance. The essence of such writ- 
ing is not to hold the note, not to use an incident for 
all there is in it—but to touch and pass on. I felt 
that such writing would be a delightful kind of dis- 
cipline in these days when the “situation” is made to 
count for so much in writing, when the general ten- 
dency is to force things up. In this kind of writing 
the mood is the thing—all the little figures and stories 
are mere improvisations that come out of it. What 
I got from Father Machebeuf’s letters was the mood, 
the spirit in which they accepted the accidents and 
hardships of a desert country, the joyful energy that 
kept them going. To attempt to convey this hardi- 
hood of spirit one must use language a little stiff, a 
little formal, one must not be afraid of the old trite 
phraseology of the frontier. Some of those time- 
worn phrases I used as the note from the piano by 
which the violinist tunes his instrument. Not that 
there was much difficulty in keeping the pitch. I did 
not sit down to write the book until the feeling of it 
had so teased me that I could not get on with other 
things. The writing of it took only a few months, 
because the book had all been lived many times be- 
fore it was written, and the happy mood in which 
I began it never paled. It was like going back and 
playing the early composers after a surfeit of modern 

One friendly reviewer says that to write the book 
I soaked myself in Catholic lore; perhaps it would 
have been better if I had. But too much informa- 
tion often makes one pompous, and it’s rather dead- 
ening. Some things I had to ask about. I had no 
notion of the manner in which a missionary from the 
new world would be received by the Pope, so I simply 
asked an old friend, Father Dennis Fitzgerald, the 
resident priest in Red Cloud, Nebraska, where my par- 
ents live. He was a student in Rome in his youth, so 
I asked him to tell me something about the procedure 
of a formal audience with the Pope. There again 
I had to exercise self-restraint, for he told me such 
interesting things that I was strongly tempted to make 
Father Vaillant’s audience stand out too much, to 
particularize it. Knowledge that one hasn’t got first- 
hand is a dangerous thing for a writer, it comes too 

Writing this book (the title, by the way, which has 


caused a good deal of comment, was simply taken from 
Diirer’s Dance of Death) was like a happy vacation 
from life, a return to childhood, to early memories. 
As a writer I had the satisfaction of working in a 
special genre which I had long wished to try. As q 
human being, I had the pleasure of paying an old 
debt of gratitude to the valiant men whose life and 
work have given me so many hours of pleasant re. 
flection in far-away places where certain unavoidable 
accidents and physical discomforts gave me a feeling 
of close kinship with them. In the main, I followed 
the life story of the two Bishops very much as it was, 
though I used many of my own experiences, and some 
of my father’s. In actual fact, of course, Bishop 
Lamy died first of the two friends, and it was Bishop 
Machebeuf who went to his funeral. Often have | 
heard from the old people of how he broke down 
when he rose to speak and was unable to go on. 

I am amused that so many of the reviews of this 
book begin with the statement, “This book is hard 
to classify.” Then why bother? Many more assert 
vehemently that it is not a novel. Myself, I prefer 
to call it a narrative. In this case I think that term more | 
appropriate. But a novel, it seems to me, is merely 
a work of the imagination in which a writer tries to 
present the experiences and emotions of a group of 
people by the light of his own. That is what he really 
does, whether his method is “objective” or “subjec | 

I hope that I have told you what you wished to 
know about my book, and I remain, 

Very sincerely yours, 

Uillanelle of His Preferences 

Since you prefer light words and gay, 
Fearful of love too grave and deep, 
I shall break my heart this way! 

Smiling and debonair, I’ll say 
My days are pleasant and calm my sleep, 
Since you prefer light words and gay. 

Nor shall I ever hint at grey 
And desolate vigils that I keep. 
I shall break my heart this way! 

I shall not name the dark dismay 
Athwart day’s difficult road and steep, 
Since you prefer light words and gay. 

Hushed be my sorrow, if you may 
From trivial song some pleasure reap. 
I shall break my heart this way! 

Most stern beloved, I thrust away 
Prayers not to plead, tears not to weep. 
Since you prefer light words and gay, 
I shall break my heart this way. 

Muna LEE. 


and | 

23, 1927 
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November 23, 1927 






HEN Eugene Sue’s novel, The Wandering 

Jew, which was incomparably the best seller 

of its day, was at the top of its wave of popu- 
larity, 2 Paris publisher proposed to a brilliant writer, 
Paul Feval, that Eugene Sue and his publisher should 
not be left unrivaled in coining money by attacking 
Jesuits. When Feval objected that Sue and the Con- 
stitutionnel (in which was being serialized the notori- 
ous romance that was to become the model for a thou- 
sand other ‘“‘exposures”’ of alleged Jesuit plots, poison- 
ings and deviltries of all descriptions) had got too big 
a start, the publisher shrugged his shoulder and re- 
plied: ‘‘There is still a fortune to be made out of the 
Jesuits. What is being served up now is old, worn- 
out matter, nothing but an appeal to the old hatred of 
priests. We want something different and I have 
bought a warehouse full.” 

What he meant was that he had purchased a mass of 
“documents,”’ letters, unpublished memoirs, diplomatic 
correspondence and the like, which he believed to con- 
tain startling ‘“‘revelations” highly discreditable to the 
Society of Jesus. So he offered Feval his price to con- 
struct from this matter a work directed against the 
Jesuits—not a mere piece of fictional travesty, like 
The Wandering Jew, but a solid work, so far as its 
foundations were concerned, a work that would offer 
historical support to the worst that had ever been 
charged against the followers of Saint Ignatius. Feval’s 
book, however, never appeared. It may be said that 
nobody else, so far, has supplied it, unless it may be 
that the work now under consideration, by Dr. E. 
Boyd Barrett, is the long-sought-for demolition of the 

Feval, after spending a month reading the docu- 
ments supplied by his publisher, finally wrote to him: 


Pardon me for returning your “documents” and your 
money, but I find that I undertook in a trifling way, and 
ignorantly, a task that does not become an honorable 
writer, and though I am utterly indifferent as far as 
religion goes, I am as careful of my literary honesty as 
I am of the apple of my eye. Understand, I am not at- 
tacking others’ honor or honesty: opinions are free: I 
speak for myself alone. I have delayed longer than was 
necessary, perhaps, in writing you this, but I was anxious 
to keep my promise if possible. I have found out by read- 
ing your own “documents” that I had undertaken to 
calumniate, at so much a line, men who are not only 
innocent of all crime, but are useful citizens, benefactors 
of mankind, soldiers of science, peaceful conquerors, 
apostles, heroes, saints, whose only fault is having ex: 
celled all other bodies of men in bringing out by the 
strength of their arms, their sweat, their blood itself, 

*The Jesuit Enigma, by E. Boyd Barrett. New York: Boni 
and Liveright. $4.00. 

what is perhaps the most astonishing work of civilization 
in modern times. 

This letter was written thirty years before Feval’s own 
conversion to the Catholic Church and the still later 
appearance of the book upon the Jesuits which in fact 
he did write, the shortest description of which would 
be that it is the very antithesis of the book he refused 
to write. 

Dr. Barrett’s book, written immediately after he had 
resigned from the order in which he served for twenty 
years, must be one of the most bitter condemnations of 
the Jesuits ever penned. At least it is difficult to im- 
agine any work that could bring more serious charges 
forward, in a more determinedly hostile manner, than 
this. It is all very strange. Recently two American 
authors, both non-Catholics—Professor Sedgwick, of 
Harvard, and Dr. Paul Van Dyke, of Princeton—pub- 
lished books dealing with Saint Ignatius and the 
Jesuits. Both these writers undoubtedly had at their 
disposal the same anti-Jesuit literature, particularly 
the books of George Tyrrell and Baron von Hoens- 
broech, both of them former Jesuits, as Dr. Barrett 
makes use of. Nevertheless both Professor Sedgwick 
and Dr. Van Dyke, while far from accepting or ap- 
proving the whole claim for the achievements of the 
Jesuits that is summarized in the panegyric of Feval, 
quoted above, certainly do give support to that view 
of the brethren of the black robe which seems to be 
prevalent among educated and civilized students of 
religion and life, namely, that Ignatius founded an or- 
ganization which, on the whole, has served the high- 
est and best interests of Christendom. Yet Dr. Bar- 
rett, living and working as a Jesuit for twenty years, 
wholly condemns that organization, and states that 
through his condemnation 

Good can come to those who exercise influence in 
making young men join the ranks of the Society. The 
sad and tragic holocaust of fine young men, the con- 
tinual sacrifice, that from generation to generation is 
offered on the altar of Jesuitism, can at least be dimin-: 
ished as a result of my story. Mothers who read this 
book will hesitate before urging their pious sons to seek 
for happiness and holiness where it is seldom to be found. 
Catholics will be spared that injustice to their Faith 
which consists in pointing to Jesuits and Tesuitism as its 
higkest embodiment. 

The book whose object is thus described by its 
author—again we use his own words— 

begins with a brief historical sketch of the origin and 
development of the Society of Jesus, for the convenience 
of those who know little about the Jesuits. This sketch 
is followed by some illustrations of how Jesuit writers, 
whose writings are before the American public, interpret 



November 23, 1927 

themselves and the events of their history. As regards 
“sources” I rely mainly on my own experiences and on the 
Rules, Constitutions and official documents of the order. 
The works of two ex-Jesuits, Baron von Hoensbroech, 
a high-minded German scholar, and George Tyrrell, a 
brilliant, sensitive English critic, were of use to me, for 
I could understand the men behind their pages. 

Dr. Barrett also quotes from Joseph McCabe’s book 
against the Jesuits, Mr. McCabe being a former 
Franciscan priest, later one of the leaders in the Secu- 
larist Society of London. Moreover, Dr. Barrett 
freely employs the most sweeping attacks upon 
Ignatius and the Jesuits made by Carlyle, although 
Dr. Barrett himself points out that Carlyle 

did not know much about the Jesuits, but he found the 
mind of his century tainted with insincerity, and by a 
true or false intuition, without any historical research 
into the matter, he traced the evil to Ignatius. 

This passage reveals fully the method followed by 
Dr. Barrett. The words and works of Ignatius and 
of the Jesuit leaders following Ignatius, and every- 
thing said, written or done by Jesuit historians, apolo- 
gists and commentators is interpreted, judged and con- 
demned by Dr. Barrett according to the standard he 
himself has arrived at, with the help of the opinions 
entertained by other ex-Jesuits and ex-Catholics and of 
the most extreme anti-Jesuit views and accusations held 
or made by outright opponents and enemies of the 

The section of the book in which Dr. Barrett re- 
lates the story of his own career in the Society comes 
last in point of order, but it is by far the most im- 
portant section, as it explains and illustrates how he 
reached the state of mind which caused the book to 
be written, and which pervades every page of it with 
the poison of hatred. It begins with a scene at the 
Jesuit novice house at Tullabeg where, at the age 
of twenty-two, the author says: 

I vowed solemnly that I would pass my whole life, 
as a Jesuit, according to the Jesuit Constitutions, in pov- 
erty, chastity, and obedience. I made my vows without- 
reserve, and with deep sincerity of purpose, for my heart 
was then full of love for the Society of Jesus, which 
I believed to be the noblest, holiest and most wonder- 
ful institution that the world had ever seen. 

Long before this he had gone to school to the 
Jesuits, who, when he first met them, 

seemed to me unlovable, strange beings, doing everything 
for a purpose and nothing spontaneously, somewhat dark 
and ill-omened, and my first impression was that of dis- 
like. I yearned for a simple warm-hearted approach. I 
thought that all good people should be warm-hearted and 
I felt disappointed and rebuked by the coldness of the 

This impression, however, was as fruitless in warn- 
ing him that temperamentally he was unfitted for a 
highly disciplined organization as was the ominous 


appearance, shortly before he left home for school, of 
the spectral figure of a gaunt woman that came to him 
in a churchyard, waving her arms and wailing; an ap. 
parition which he was to see on two other occasions, 
the last time when he left the Society. It is a pain. 
ful story throughout, so plainly, even if at times un. 
consciously, does the author depict his temperamental 
uncongeniality with the life he had entered and its re. 
strictions. To thousands of other men these restric. 
tions are the material they utilize for lives of the ut. 
most fulfilment and of usefulness to others. But 
against them a smoldering resentment burned in his 
soul year after year, until it finally burst into the flame 
of hatred. 

Hatred is a very harsh word to use in judging this 
lamentable book. The author himself pleads for a 
fair and sympathetic hearing. He writes: 

I know of no better way of terminating this preface 
than by appealing, in the very words which Ignatius 
himself, the founder of the Jesuits, appealed for a fair 
and sympathetic hearing in his book, The Spiritual Exer- 
cises. “It must be presupposed,” he wrote, “that every 
pious Christian ought with a more ready mind to put 
a good sense upon the opinion of another than to con- 
demn it; but if he can in no way defend it, let him in- 
quire its meaning of the writer; and if the latter’s logic 
be faulty, let him correct it in a kindly way; if this suf- 
fice not, let him try all suitable means by which he may 
help him to think correctly.” 

The present reviewer, although not daring to claim 
to be “‘a pious Christian,” would desire to be as fair 
and sympathetic as possible in hearing Dr. Barrett's 
views. He would adopt, so far as he may, the recom- 
mendation of Saint Ignatius, made his own by Dr. 
Barrett. And, so endeavoring “‘to put a good sense 
upon the opinion” of Dr. Barrett regarding the Soci- 
ety of Jesus, rather than to condemn it, he inquires 
of Dr. Barrett the precise meaning to be attached to 
the following paragraph (on page 33 of the first chap- 

The Pope in question, Paul IV, hated Spaniards and 
regarded all Jesuits as Spaniards. He tried in vain to 
get rid of the order in toto by combining it with the 
Theatines. Next, he sought to reform the order, but 
found there were limits to Jesuit obedience. He com- 
manded that Jesuits should sing office in choir like other 
orders, and that their generals should only be elected 
for a period of three years. Lainez and Salmeron called 
on him to enlighten him; a proceeding that became the 
custom of the order in similar cases. The reception of 
the emissaries was far from friendly, but a little time 
was gained and the Pope “providentially” died before 
he could enforce his will. Later on we shall come across 
similar “providential deaths” in the case of Sixtus V and 
Innocent XI. 

Dr. Barrett, of course knows that the Jesuits have 
been accused by innuendo, insinuation and open state- 
ments, but all devoid, as his own words are devoid, of 
any scrap of evidence, of having murdered those three 



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November 23, 1927 




Popes. And what meaning can be attached to his own 
paragraph save the one insinuated by the adroit use of 
italic letters and quotation marks in connection 
with the operative words “enlighten,” “‘providen- 
tially’ and “providential death,” namely, that Dr. 
Barrett desires to spread and emphasize the same ac- 
cusation ? 
Again, he writes as follows: 

Occasionally, it [the order] wakes up to a sense of 
its decay and makes a bold bid to attract attention and 
to regain popularity, as when during the great war it 
vociferously chanted the chauvinist songs of the warring 
nations, and recalled its missionaries from the Far East 
to don khaki and shoulder rifles. [Italics ours.] 

Does not Dr. Barrett know that France was the 
only country requiring its clergymen citizens to become, 
in some cases, combatants; that this requirement was 
a matter of French law; and that Trappists and 
priests of other religious societies were victims of the 
same horrible law, together with Jesuits? 

Again, while himself recalling that large sums of 
money have been offered by Jesuit superiors on vari- 
ous occasions to anyone who could prove that the 
Society taught the doctrine that “‘the end justifies the 
means,” and that although many have tried to do 
so (including Dr. Barrett's authority, the Baron von 
Hoensbroech), none have succeeded, Dr. Barrett 
writes a long chapter to show, as he considers, that 
while it cannot be proven from the writings of Jesuits 
that they hold or have held that pernicious doctrine, 
as a matter of fact they do practise it. As one proof, 
he says that novices are deceived into joining the 
order because ‘‘Jesuit novices are not given a true 
picture of the Society.” As the only picture of the 
Society accepted as true by Dr. Barrett is that sup- 
plied by the writings of those who condemn it, like 
himself, this complaint sounds more than a little friv- 
olous. Again, Dr. Barrett accuses the Jesuits of 
double-dealing in that they profess undeviating obe- 
dience to the Pope to be one of their most cherished 
principles, and yet they disobeyed Pope Clement XIV, 
who abolished the Society, by coming to life again at 
the behest of another Pope, and by adversely criticiz- 
ing Popes who disapproved of them. Yet Dr. Bar- 
rett himself, who nowhere in his book says that he 
is not still a Catholic, is able to say that ‘“‘one is forced 
by a consideration of its [the Society’s] history to 
wonder what aberration of mind swayed a Pope to 
say, as he glanced over the Jesuit Constitutions, ‘dig- 
itus Dei est hic’—‘the finger of God is here.’”’ Dr. 
Barrett, of course, knows that if the Pope—led and 
deeply influenced by considerations having to do with 
the political as well as the religious conditions of the 
times—suppressed the Society of Jesus, scores of 
Popes have blessed and approved its manifold activ- 
ities. But Dr. Barrett, presumably, would not pay 
any attention to the support and favor given by the 
Church, as the Church, to the Jesuits. He says: 

It matters, after all, very little, whether this or that 
particular scandal be true or false. What is of 
importance is to discover, by a careful analysis of Jesuit- 
ism, how far it is consonant with the spirit of Christ, 
and how far that peculiar attitude of superiority and 
self-righteousness that characterizes the order is patholog- 

However, when we find Dr. Barrett applying the 
methods of a somewhat naive psychoanalysis to Saint 
Ignatius himself, and on the basis of his personal 
judgment utterly condemning a great organization un- 
doubtedly accepted by the Church to which Dr. Bar- 
rett himself belongs, one may be forgiven for won- 
dering if something pathological does not enter into 
such an attitude. As a psychoanalyst, Dr. Barrett 
believes that, if a certain unnamed “fair lady, higher 
in rank than a countess or a duchess,” who was “his 
[Ignatius’s] passion’ in his younger days, had “‘ac- 
cepted his advances, no doubt the Jesuit Order would 
never have been founded, nor would Ignatius, as Car- 
lyle cruelly puts it, have tried so ‘many plans to make 
his ego available on earth.’ ” 

Again, in a later description which deals with the 
mystic travail at Manresa after Ignatius’s conversion, 
when, according to Dr. Barrett, “distraught, almost 
crazy, he fought his lonely fight, afraid of hell, afraid 
of damnation, and appalled at the prospect of a long 
life of penance,’’ and could see “no way out of his 
dilemma save by perseverance,” Dr. Barrett finds no 
juster way to complete the picture he draws than 
again by quoting Carlyle (who “knew very little about 
the Jesuits,’ and reached his conclusions, ‘‘true or 
false, by intuition,” as Dr. Barrett shows elsewhere). 
And this is the judgment of Carlyle, which Dr. 
Barrett seems to make his own, upon Ignatius, the 
saint of the Church which Dr. Barrett says he is try- 
ing to purge of Jesuitism: 

Had he been a good man he should have consented 
at this point to be damned. To cower, silent 
and ashamed, into some dim corner, and resolve to make 
henceforth as little noise as possible. That would have 
been modest, salutary. for this degraded, fero- 
cious Human Pig, one of the most perfect scoundrels. 

That the Society of Jesus, as one organization 
among scores of others within the Catholic Church, 
like organizations outside the Church, is open to 
criticism, even the most drastic criticism, is of course 
a true proposition. But Dr. Barrett in this book is 
neither fair nor sympathetic. His own story is tragic, 
and its reading must arouse much sympathy. But that 
his own failure should be the criterion by which he 
may justly estimate the value of the Society of Jesus 
cannot possibly be allowed by any reader other than 
those who will make of this deplorable and mistaken 
volume an endless storehouse of accusations of the 
kind already so familiar, namely, that Jesuits murder 
Popes, strangle the Church’s beneficent efforts, justify 
evil means by ends they consider good, etc., etc. 



November 23, 1927 




that were committed in Mexico by the present 

[: MY last article I recounted several murders 

dictator of that country, President Calles. 
week I shall give others. 

One of the most moving is the extremely well au- 
thenticated case of Father Uribe, who was murdered 
near Cuernavaca, at about the same spot where 
the unfortunate General Francisco Serrano was as- 
sassinated so very recently by the order of President 

Father Uribe was a priest thirty-five years of age, 
and his life was so exemplary that he was regarded as 
a saint. He is now regarded as a martyr, not with- 
out reason, as the reader will soon see for himself. 
When a young man at the seminary, he had led such 
a saintly life that he was ordained at the age of 
twenty-five, and soon made parish priest of Iguala. 
When Calles began hostilities against the Church in 
1926, Father Uribe refused to register, and had there- 
fore to leave his parish, his comfortable house, his 
books and his friends, and to go into hiding. On 
March 27, 1927, he happened to be in the small town 
of Bona Vista, near Iguala, where he heard that one 
of his parishioners in Iguala lay dying, and was ex- 
tremely anxious to see him. He therefore returned 
to Iguala by train, in civil dress, of course, but as ill 
luck would have it, he met on the train a Callista 
oficial whom he knew and who knew him—General 

The General, one feels, might have had the courtesy 
to leave common police work to the police, but as he 
is not made that way, he approached Father Uribe 
and asked him severely why he had not registered. 
The priest explained. The General was not satis- 
fied, and assured Father Uribe that if he did register 
he would be appointed bishop. When the priest still 
refused, the General lost his temper and told him to 
consider himself under arrest. The prisoner was after- 
ward taken to Cuernavaca and confined there in the 
common jail. 

I might pause here again to remind the reader that 
all this procedure was illegal, even according to 
Calles’s own laws. A warrant should first have been 
taken out in due form, and, when arrested, the priest 
should have been sent to the federal capital. But, as 
I have pointed out in my former paper on this un- 
happy country, constant violation of its own laws— 
when such violation is materially advantageous—is a 
leading characteristic of the Calles régime. Calles’s 
path to the dictatorship which he now holds is paved 
with breaches of the theoretically sacrosanct Queretaro 

Now in Cuernavaca there was another General who, 
in the free-and-easy way that Mexican generals have, 


used to commandeer private motor-cars in which to 
carry his numerous prisoners to and fro. One of the 
cars he thus commandeered belonged to a woman 
whose chauffeur and secretary gave the following eyj. 
dence, confirmed on oath. In deference to the ex. 
pressed wishes of my informant I refrain from giy- 
ing their names. 

One night, according to these affidavits, a sergeant 
commandeered the car as usual, and had it brought 
around to the jail where four soldiers, armed with 
rifles got into it. With the soldiers was a prisoner in 
civilian dress. 

Acting on instructions from his employer, the secre- 
tary always went with the car on these outings so that 
he could see that it was not stolen outright. He went 
on this occasion. The sergeant directed the chauffeur 
to drive to a lonely wood on the outskirts of the 
town, and, having reached this wood, the soldiers got 
out, bringing the prisoner with them. The sergeant, 
who remained in the car with the other two, seemed 
in high good humor, but he did not a say a word 
about the mission on which he had come. It was all 
clear, however, when several rifle shots rang out from 
the recesses of the wood, and when, a few moments 
later, the four soldiers returned without their prisoner, 
They got into the car and drove back, and the ser. 
geant, gay as ever, thought the incident had ended. 
But he was mistaken, for though such assassinations 
took place nightly, this one attracted special attention 
because of the disappearance of Father Uribe and 
of the great veneration in which he was held by the 
people. Having heard of the incident, some of his 
friends from Bona Vista went to the wood and found 
there the dead body of the priest, who had been killed 
by these bullets from Mexican service rifles. They 
brought back the body to Bona Vista and interred it 
in the cemetery there; but the general opinion is that 
it will yet rest under an altar, since Father Uribe was 
certainly a martyr whose canonization is only a mat- 
ter of time. 

On the night before his death he was able to send 
from prison an extraordinarily touching letter in which 
he said that he was to die on the morrow, but that 
he forgave all his enemies and prayed for them. This 
letter, of which I possess a copy, will probably be 
one of the documents taken into consideration when 
the process of this brave priest’s canonization is begun 
at Rome. 

The official account of his murder consists of five 
words—“Shot while attempting to escape’’—five 
words which have been made to cover several thou- 
sand murders committed by policemen or soldiers 
during the past year. This system of official murder 
is so old and so well established in Mexico that it has 

23, 1927 

which to 
1e of the 
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the ex- 
"om giy- 

ed with 

soner in 

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; so that 
te went 
of the 
iers got 
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was all 
ut from 
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of five 
it has 

November 23, 1927 



acquired for itself a special name—the “ley fuga,” 
or “flight law.” 

“Like lynch law,” Calles might reply. 

Yes, like lynch law; but lynch law is not adminis- 
tered by judges of the Supreme Court in this coun- 
try, or by magistrates, or military officers, whereas the 
“ley fuga” is practised very extensively in Mexico 
by generals in the army, and by high civil officials 
in the government. It is said to have originated in 
an order of Porfirio Diaz that his police might shoot 
any prisoner who attempted to escape, but it even- 
tually came to be used as one of the means of putting 
to death prisoners whom the government wanted to 
kill but against whom it had no charge justifying ex- 
ecution. The marked man was simply arrested, taken 
to a lonely spot, and there killed, a statement being 
afterward given out, if necessary, to the effect that he 
had been ‘‘shot while trying to escape.” 

In the time of Diaz, this law was violently de- 
nounced in the United States. Why is it not de- 
nounced now, when it is far more extensively practised ? 
Do our great philanthropic and humanitarian associ- 
ations only denounce wrong when it is practised by 
Conservative and Catholic governments, never when 
it is practised by communist and anti-Catholic govern- 
ments? By whomever it is practiced, of course, it is 

The “ley fuga” is now so well established an institu- 
tion in Mexico that the censorship makes no objec- 
tion to the newspapers nonchalantly chronicling in- 
stances of its application almost every day. I shall 
take a typical case from the Universal of June 27. 
It occurred on June 26; and I give it because I hap- 
pened to be in Mexico City at the time, and clipped 
it out of the paper. 

Senor Edward Fernandez de Lara, a landowner of 
Tlaxcala, near Apizaco, was arrested without a war- 
rant by General Bartolo Rodriguez, who is chief of 
the Tlaxcala section of military operations. (I should 
explain that all the disturbed portions of the country 
are, at present, parceled out among military chiefs, all 
of them friends of Calles for the moment, and all of 
them busy feathering their nests by murder, blackmail 
and terrorism.) There was no trial, no investigation 
of any kind, and the prisoner, who was charged with 
belonging to the League for the Defence of Religious 
Liberty, was not allowed to make a statement or to 
communicate with any of his friends. Consequently, 
those friends were not surprised when the next thing 
they heard of him was that he had been “shot while 
attempting to escape.” Soon afterward General Bar- 
tolo Rodriguez concocted and gave out an_ official 
statement to the effect that de Lara had “confessed 
his crime,”’ and said that “‘in Acocotla and other places 
there were hidden stores of arms which he would be 
glad to hand over to the authorities.” The General 
added: ‘He was conducted, under escort, to Acocotla 
in order to find those arms, but attempted to escape 
on the way and was shot.” 

I mentioned in my last article the illegal persecu- 
tion to which all Catholic associations in Mexico are 
being subjected. One of these associations is the 
Society of Catholic Youth, a counterpart of the famous 
French organization known as La Jeunesse Catholique, 
which has done such excellent work in France since 
the war. It consisted mostly of young people, both 
young men and young women, and all of them whom 
I met were well educated, well behaved, studious, with 
high ideals of government, of conduct and of social 
service. Under a civilized administration such a 
society could do infinite good; but under an uncivilized, 
corrupt, cynical and half-savage administration like 
that of Calles, its very existence was a_ reproach; 
consequently, it was suppressed with a ruthlessness 
which excited curiously little comment in the rest of 
the world. Before it was suppressed, young ladies 
belonging to the Guadalajara Branch had posted them- 
selves at the doors of cinemas and other places of 
public amusement and asked people not to attend 
them. This was part of the boycott, which may have 
been wise or unwise, but which was certainly not 
illegal. Yet those girls were arrested by the police, 
dragged through the streets, fined and then sent to 

This outrage was perpetrated in open daylight, in 
the city of Guadalajara, the second or third largest 
city in Mexico. Mr. Dwyer, the American consul, re- 
ported it to his government. Captain Holm, the 
British vice consul, reported it to his government. 

When a strike is called in some factory by the 
C. R. O. M., and all the workers march out, they do 
not need to picket the door for a gendarme takes his 
stand under the red flag hoisted above the entrance 
and prevents anyone from entering the works until 
the employer gives way: in other words, the state 
does the picketing. But when, for a religious pur- 
pose, girls of education and refinement picket a theatre 
or a cinema, the police do not merely take their names 
and afterward serve them with summonses; they ar- 
rest them, drag them brutally through the streets and 
lock them up, generally in the same cell as prostitutes, 
sometimes in the same room as drunken soldiers. 

I had the honor of meeting the president of the 
Society of Catholic Youth in Mexico City: naturally, 
he was ‘“‘on the run,” and in disguise. He is a young 
layman, a distinguished lawyer, and all that he told 
me made a very great impression on me. I asked 
him about his society, and he told me that in every 
Mexican town it had meeting halls, libraries and study 
circles. It was the germ out of which a great organ- 
ization might have grown, but now its leading mem- 
bers are dead, in prison, abroad or in hiding. There 
were over six thousand Conservatives in prison on 
July 1 of this year, and fifty-four members of the 
Society of Youth had been killed. 

He told me how Joaquin de Silva y Carrasco and 
Manuel Melgarejo, both members of his organiza- 
tion, had met death; and though the story is not new 



November 23, 1927 

to the readers of The Commonweal, it was new to me 
then, and moved me profoundly. Joaquin was twenty- 
seven years of age and Melgarejo seventeen; neither 
of them was making war on the government: no 
weapon was found on them, only religious propa- 
ganda. The life of Joaquin was so exemplary and 
his death so heroic that his intercession is already 
solicited by pious Catholics all over Mexico, and there 
is a widespread demand for his canonization. The 
president of the Society gave me a long list of miracu- 
lous cures that had been wrought as a result of prayer 
in his name; and, doubtless, these will be inquired into 
by the competent authority when the proper time 

When told that he and his companion must die, he 

“As for me, kill me or do with me what you 
will, but as for this youth, who is only seventeen 
years old, let him go free.”’ 

The boy answered rapidly, however, ‘No, Joaquin, 
I wish to die with thee.” 

Even the officer in charge of the military party 
told off to shoot them seems to have been so touched 
by the bravery of these two that he wired to Calles 
personally to know if he was to shoot them or to send 
them to Mexico City. Calles’s reply consisted of one 
word: ‘“Fusilelos’—‘Shoot them.” 

On their way from the barracks where they were 
imprisoned to the cemetery where they were shot 
they said the rosary out loud. Before the fatal vol- 
ley was fired, Joaquin declined to be blindfolded. “I 
am not a criminal,’”’ he said, “I myself will give you 
the signal to fire. When I cry ‘Long live Christ the 
King! Long live the Virgin of Guadalupe!’ then 
you may fire.” 

Upon this one of the soldiers threw down his rifle 
and said: “I will not fire. I think as you do. I am 
a Catholic.” This soldier was immediately arrested, 
and was himself shot the next day. 

Joaquin, when all was ready for the final order, 
said to Melgarejo: “Take off your hat for we are 
going to appear before God.’ Then turning to the 
soldiers he cried “Viva Cristo Rey! Viva la Virgen 
de Guadalupe!’’ These were his last words. 

Why did not the great New York dailies carry this 
story? Why were no American reporters present? 
Why were the Sunday supplements silent? Perhaps 
it was as well. An infinitely greater Sacrifice, which 
was at the same time the most stupendous event in 
human history, was consummated without eliciting a 
single comment from contemporary poets and _his- 
torians; and Augustus Caesar probably went to his 
grave in complete ignorance of it. Yet that sacrifice 
regenerated the earth, and in the same way the inno- 
cent blood that has been shed by Calles during the 
last year may regenerate Mexico. 

I might add that my informant disappeared mys- 
teriously the day after he told me this terrible narra- 
tive; and, as he had made engagements with me which 


he would not break, without letting me know, I con. 
cluded that he also had gone to join de Silva and 

But I had known him long enough to realize the 
falsity of the complaint, sometimes made even by 
American Catholics, that the Mexicans are incapable 
of ruling themselves, that there is not a strong, edu. 
cated men among them. On the contrary, there are 
many strong, educated men in Mexico. There are 

~ lawyers, authors, professors, journalists, landowners 

and publicists whose standard of education and of 
honor is as high as that of any public man north 
of the Rio Grande. I have met many of these men; 
and I am convinced that excellent cabinet ministers, ad. 
ministrators and Presidents could be found amon 
them. They are not in power because Calles, Obregon 
and the other Sonora gunmen have seized on the ma- 
chinery of government, and cannot be got rid of by 
constitutional means. Moreover, in seizing on the 
machinery of government, these gunmen were power- 
fully assisted by the United States. Save in the time 
of Porfirio Diaz, the State Department has invariably 
helped that Mexican party which calls itself Liberal 
and Constitutional, and has invariably opposed the 
Catholic and Conservative parties. The present trou- 
ble in Mexico is due to the intervention of the United 
States in the past. That fact can be proved quite in- 
controvertibly from history. 

The Dodo and the Gingko Tree 

Sprung of the men who found this land, 
Sprung of their sons who tilled it, 
Sprung of their sons whose rigid hand 
Reined it, whose strong loins filled it 
With sinister and dexter kin, 

We stand, these lords’ descendants, 
Gaunt, gone to seed, misfitted in 

An ailing superintendence. 

Grace we have, of decaying kind, 

Wit to greet any scourging, 

A warped will and a hectic mind, 

And a weak body’s hot urging. 

And the dodo went, and the gingko tree 
Goes slowly, pampered and coddled: 

And so, scions of the past, are we, 

With souls and bodies addled. 

Sprung of the men who lorded it 
Over a new world’s wonder, 

We dodder with our sunset wit, 

And never a clap of thunder 

To mark this lessens, this dims, this goes, 
This echo of a splendid 

Hour that crumbles with Eden’s rose, 
Its last long agony ended. 

Prince, let me summon your spectre out, 
Gall’s no unmanly quaffing; 
We faint erect beneath the knout, 
Laughing, still laughing. 


3, 1927 


y I cOn- 
lva and 

lize the 
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and of 
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se men; 
ers, ad- 
the ma- 
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on the 
he time 
rariably | 

sed the 

it trou- 


uite in- 

November 23, 1927 






UR literary history in the decade since the war 
O presents on the whole no very exhilarating ap- 

pearance. A sullen frost seems to have blighted 
our most promising artistic buds. In the drama, 
O’Neill shivers on his lonely eminence, unattended. 
In fiction, the largest achievement is one by Theodore 
Dreiser similar to work that he was doing in 1910. 
In poetry, where are the imagists now, where the 
Chicago group? Dead, dumb, lapsed into prose. Un- 
less dulled by the roar of multitudinous mediocrity all 
about him, the critic must admit that our period is 
singularly barren in creative literature. The trend 
of the age veers more and more away from imagina- 
tion toward reflection, and the most striking literary 
manifestation of the present is the recrudescence of 

In the larger sense, of course, the telling of tales of 
men’s lives is probably as old as human language; frag- 
ments of autobiography form the staple of most men’s 
(and women’s) conversation; the garrulity of man- 
kind is self-centered. But in the narrower sense, biog- 
raphy as a definite literary form has prospered only in 
certain periods: times of repose, times a little wearied 
by the turmoil of action and inclined toward the pleas- 
ures of memory rather than the pleasures of hope; and 
among peoples who prefer the lowlands of fact to the 
ideal delectable mountains. So it was not in the storm 
and stress of Greek life or among the imaginative 
Hellenes that biography and autobiography arose in 
the ancient world, but with the factual Romans and 
during the great peace of the empire. To be sure, even 
in the realm of fact imagination has the last word, and 
the Greek Plutarch stands above Caesar, Nepos, 
Suetonius and Tacitus in their field; but had Plutarch 
lived in the age of Pericles instead of in the age of the 
Caesars his Parallel Lives would have been written in 
the form of trilogies with the gods intervening in every 
epilogue. Similarly, it was after the tempestuous six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries had died away in the 
relative calm of the eighteenth, and it was in France, 
where leisured living earliest developed into a fine art, 
that modern biography first came into its own. The 
present flair for biography is merely one of the many 
signs which indicate that the twentieth century is 
marching back from the nineteenth toward the eight- 
eenth. Behind the movement lie innumerable causes, 
prominent among them the development of science and 
industry, the higher standards of comfort, the greater 
complexities of social life, the decline of the demo- 
cratic ideal—all making for prose instead of poetry, 
fact instead of fancy. 

Which is better, enthusiasm or sanity, idealization 
or realization, it is perhaps fruitless to discuss; even 
were poetry indubitably higher than prose (which it 

is not) no man can become a poet either by wishing 
or willing to become one; all that is left to the men 
of prose—and jit is enough—is to be good men of 
prose. So, more pertinent than either lamentation or 
rejoicing at the contemporary triumph of biography 
over more creative forms, is a demand, if not for 
bigger, at least for better, biographies. In certain 
respects, it is true, the biographies that are being writ- 
ten today are for the most part superior to those of the 
past. Our biographers have borrowed to advantage 
some of the methods of the novelist; they arrange 
their material more carefully than of old; they show an 
aesthetic regard for emphasis and climax and the 
dramatic incident; the device of withheld information 
is skilfully utilized; their works are interesting, if 
nothing else—and interest is surely the first, if not the 
highest, requirement of all narrative. A new con- 
ception of biography as an art is quite definitely 
glimpsed, if not attained. Nor can it be said that in 
this adoption of the methods of fiction there has been 
any wholesale slaughter of the truth. On the con- 
trary, new discoveries in psychology have made biogra- 
phers more cautious in accepting human testimony at 
its face value, more determined in the effort to get 
behind asseverations and conscious motives to the un- 
derlying causes of action. 

And yet the situation in biographical writing at the 
present moment is far from being a justification for 
unmixed rejoicing. Just as the newspaper has been 
permanently injured by yellow journalism, so this form 
may be permanently injured by yellow biography. The 
rapprochement with fiction, if thus far on the whole 
advantageous, is certainly full of peril—even such 
frankly fictitious works as Ariel and The Glorious 
Apollo tending toward the substitution in the popular 
mind of a sentimental Ariel or Apollo for the vastly 
more important real Shelley or Byron. The assistance 
of psychology is ambiguous owing to the facile em- 
ployment of the most dubious results of psycho-analysis 
—as in Joseph Wood Krutch’s intriguing but uncon- 
vincing Poe. Above all, the present vogue of the 
form constitutes an enormous danger, as the tempta- 
tion to pander to the popular love of scandals and state 
secrets (the combination running The President’s 
Daughter above the hundred thousand) is well-nigh 
irresistible to many weak brains and flowing pens. 

In the Victorian period an injudicious hero-worship 
seems to have been the motive for the writing of most 
biographies; today our biographers are animated by 
an even stronger passion for denigration. Some of 
even the ablest of recent works have been in the nature 
of arguments by a prosecuting attorney; such, for ex- 
ample, as The Ordeal of Mark Twain, and The Pil- 
grimage of Henry James, by Van Wyck Brooks, or 



November 23, 1927 

Paxton Hibben’s just published Henry Ward Beecher. 
Mr. Brooks and Mr. Hibben tell nothing but the truth, 
but they do not tell the whole truth. Mr. Brooks’s 
wife-ridden conformist and his pilgrim journeying ever 
farther from the truth existed in Mark Twain and 
Henry James, just as Mr. Hibben’s glorified Elmer 
Gantry existed in Beecher, but Mark Twain, James 
and Beecher were nevertheless larger than their other- 
wise excellent biographers permit us to suppose. A 
man is more than a thesis, even when his life happens 
to embody a thesis, and the perfect biographer will 
be satisfied with nothing less than the presentation of 
the whole man. On the other hand, these same three 
works, particularly the Mark Twain and the Beecher, 
defective through omission in the characterization of 
their central figures, are rich in background; imperfect 
biographies, they are excellent examples of the history 
of a period told through biography. And this sug- 
gests the further complicating proposition that the per- 
fect biographer must also be a historian. 

In all this confusion of standards and mingling of 
the good and the bad, one may welcome an effort to 
induce some order in the current chaos. This comes 
to us in the shape of Biography: The Literature of 
Personality,* by James C. Johnston, perhaps the first 
endeavor of any length to treat biography as a distinct 
form of art. The author begins his work with a brief 
historical introduction with which the only fault to be 
found is that too little space is given to the French; 
although he frequently acknowledges the superiority 
of French biography, especially in the personal 
mémoir, he devotes far more attention to English 
writers, presumably because their works are more fa- 
miliar to his readers, although the same reason might 
equally well have led to exactly the opposite emphasis. 
He then proceeds to a classification and discussion of 
types, including under his subject, defined as “the litera- 
ture of personality,” not only formal biographies but 
confessions and memoirs, biographical essays (as de- 
veloped by Johnson, Macaulay and Carlyle) letter- 
writing, table-talk and books of travel, all of which, 
with the exception of the last, clearly enough belong 
in the same field. 

The treatment of the forgotten arts of conversa- 
tion and correspondence unfortunately has only the 
mournful interest of a requiem, and the inclusion of 
works of travel seems a doubtful conquest of somewhat 
alien territory, but the rest of the book bears directly 
on our present problems. Particularly worthwhile is 
its discussion of biographical ideals. For the senti- 
mental adage “De mortuis nil nisi bonum’”’ Mr. John- 
ston would substitute the sterner “De mortuis nil nisi 
verum,” truth not losing its admirable quality when it 
concerns the dead. “The inescapable standard of 
judgment of a biography as a work of art must be: 
Is this the man as he lived among his fellow-beings ?”’ 

"Biography: The Literature of Personality, by James C. 
Johnston. New York: The Century Company. $2.50. 


Mr. Johnston hews straight to this mark throughout 
his book; he has as little use for white-washing as for 
black-washing; he condemns Lady Shelley's eulogistic 
biography of Shelley (which by a curious slip he calls 
a “biography of her husband,” momentarily confusing 
her with Mary Shelley) just as severely as he con. 
demns Mrs. Stowe’s attack on Byron. “Biography as 
a debt to friendship is as unpardonable as biography 
as a means of settling old scores.” Judged by thig 
single standard of the truth, Griswold’s life of Poe was 
“a veritable literary crime’”’ while Froude’s Carlyle, 
which has been called ‘“‘the unkindest and most scorn. 
ful book in English literature,” was nevertheless “one 
of the triumphs of biographic art.’ 

On the ethical point raised, Mr. Johnston is surely 
right. To friend or foe one can say only as did 
Othello, whose words might well serve as a motto for 
every honest biography: 

Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate, 
Nor set down aught in malice. 

This is that even justice which every man has a right 
to demand of society; more than which no man has 
need or right to ask. 

It has often been remarked, however, that there is 
a difference between truth and fact. A biography must 
be based on facts or it is naught; nevertheless facts in 
themselves are, as Mr. Johnston well says, hardly 
more than “‘source material.” Behind the facts lie their 
interconnection and interpretation; questions of motive 
and causation; matters which must always be deter. 
mined by more or less uncertain inference, where the 
biographer’s judgment and knowledge of human nature 
are the main factors. For this reason there can never 
be such a thing as a definitive biography; each new 
generation may bring some new insight to the under- 
standing of character. Thus when Mr. Johnston 
speaks of Plutarch as having “reached the important 
point of defining the individual exactly,” he is speak- 
ing in loose terms inharmonious with his own general 

Since the individual and society always interpene- 
trate, the biographer, it was hinted above, must also 
be something of a historian. But he must not be too 
much of a historian or the individual vanishes and only 
society remains. Mr. Johnston puts the distinction be- 
tween biography and history from another point of 
view, very happily: “Biography is the story of a per- 
sonality, while history proper is rather the generaliza- 
tion of biography.” History as the more abstract is 
the more significant, but biography as the more con- 
crete is the more basic and fundamental. Neither is 
independent of the other, yet each has its own methods 
and is a separate discipline. 

Finally Mr. Johnston emphasizes the potential edu- 

Leesa momen 

a ee 

cational value in biography—potential in that, while it | 

has been abundantly recognized by individuals, it has 
been curiously neglected in general educational theory 
and practice. In truth—although our author does not 

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3, 1927 


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go as far as this—if American education is to be saved 
and its humanistic elements restored, this can only be 
done by an entire reorganization of the curriculum, 
centered about the social sciences, especially history. 
And the best approach to history for the average col- 
lege student may well be through biography. Hence 
too much praise can hardly be given to Professor 
Ambrose White Vernon, the pioneer who at Carleton 
founded the first department of biography in any 
American college and who has latterly established a 
similar department at Dartmouth. Wittenberg also 
has its chair of biography; and it is only a question of 
time until other institutions will follow suit. Great 
movements always have small beginnings. It is quite on 
the cards that the humanizing of education in America 
may date from such apparently scattered efforts, and 
that the recrudescence of interest in biography may 
forecast a recrudescence of wisdom in education. 


HERE is a queer contrariness about the imagination of 

children which one can enjoy without trying to explain. 
A friend of mine is the proud mother of a boy aged six and a 
girl aged five. During a number of contemplative months she 
arrived at the conclusion that gravity, reflectiveness and a gift 
for prayer had been concentrated into the feminine portion 
of the nursery, leaving devilment and agnosticism rampant in 
the other section. Recently, however, Louis made his First 
Communion—with results which, to say the least, were extra- 
ordinary. The son and heir of the household suddenly de- 
veloped a remarkable interest in saintliness; was seen engrossed 
in prayer under a tree in the garden; and finally, like the 
youthful Walter Pater, took to saying Mass. Meanwhile his 
sister displays an equally remarkable indifference to all this 
domestic liturgy. To be frank, it bores her frightfully, and 
she has been known to chatter during moments of great 
solemnity. Now of course I trust that the aspirations of Louis 
will abide—but I am really quite sure that in the end Margaret 
will be more distinguished in the art of saying prayers. 

From personal observation I have discovered that a very 
little boy—in fact he is so small as hardly to have advanced 
beyond the stage of utter infancy—takes no interest in the 
curious mechanical contrivances with which I have tried to 
sharpen his mind for the great engineering and inventive career 
that is to be his, no interest either in the most elementary forms 
of religious petition, but instead is deeply engrossed in sundry 
pots and pans which prevail in the kitchen. With these he 
carries out a ritual extending all the way from energetic mix- 
ing, baking and cooking to scouring. And if the child really 
be the father of the man, I am forced to the somewhat doleful 
conclusion that the future must make room for somebody very 
like a chef. 

But though there be curious twists in the imaginative fancy 
of childhood in so far as it is merely make-believe, the story 
of what happened to Louis may justify one’s conviction that it 
is quite possible to develop the profound emotional imagination 
of children by setting before them something of heroic and in- 
spiring stature. It is well also that one should think not 
merely of the heroic, but also of those human qualities with- 

out which grandeur remains extremely dull—of humor, of the 
relish for color, of generous but kindly enthusiasm. American 
parents have some excellent reasons for bearing these things 
in mind. One sees them phrased very pertinently in a paper 
contributed to the Atlantic Bookshelf by Miss Louise Seaman: 

“To trust this power of childhood (the power to rise im- 
aginatively to the level of great conceptions in literature)— 
that is our challenge. Our foreign-born children are our 
strongest allies. They are not yet bit by the bug of journalism, 
nor snared by the scraps on the radio, nor spoiled by great 
rich rows of carefully graded selections. They are close to the 
rhythm of long oral cadences in old tongues; they can still be 
concentrated and passionate and satiric. Our children are like 
them before the neat suburb, the automobile Sunday, and the 
leveling weight of proper primers and schedules has touched 
them. I believe in the open-minded good taste of the child left 
free to choose, and in its upward discipline, granted the stimulus 
of books gay to see, happy to hold, a bit wild, a lot funny, and 
very honest.” 

Fortunately Miss Seaman, being in charge of the Juvenile 
Book Department of the Macmillan Company, is in a position 
to do much on behalf of the program so intelligently enunci- 
ated. Sometimes her books are, relatively speaking, grown up, 
written as they are for boys and girls on the verge of maturity. 
Recently, however, her Department has taken the tiny tots 
into its confidence and issued the Happy Hours Books which, 
retailing at $.50 a copy, are really model publications for be- 
ginning readers. Here may be found the simple and always 
charming tales and rhymes—Wee Willie Winkie, Humpty 
Dumpty, Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Pied 
Piper, and half a dozen more. Illustrated by a number of 
artists who know how to enchant little folks—G. M. Richards, 
Frank Dobias, Berta Hader—these books are packed full of 
color, excitement and fancifulness. 

Children do not take their books as seriously as old Richard 
de Bury did his. And yet, when the entertainment is really 
good they are probably more thankful than the rest of us. 
There is, accordingly, much reason for believing that the world 
is growing more and more grateful every day. 


Gently a flower withers, 

Ah, let it die. 

Bravely it spent its perfume 

To the far sky. 

None stopped to praise its budding, 
None saw its bloom 

Yielding to wind nor weather 

Like a gay plume. 

Perhaps up in the heavens, 

A bird in flight, 

Winging its eager journey 

Far into night, 

Found in the wind’s soft breathing 
That fragrance rare, 

And in a paean of gladness, 

Sang without care. 

And, in a distant valley, 
Someone in pain, 

Hearing that lovely singer, 
Praised God again. 




November 23, 1927 




Take My Advice 
N THIS comedy by Elliott Lester, Ralph Morgan man- 

ages to diffuse considerable charm over a story whose 
chief merit is its entire lack of the unpleasant ma- 
terial so common to the Broadway playhouses today. It 
has the secondary merit of keeping the audience in a lively 
mood through a very obvious, although perfectly valid type of 
humor, the type that borders on the comic strip at times, and 
seldom rises above the level of the absurdities of adolescent 
love and the recriminations of the married. It is the kind of 
play that assures you of a lightly entertaining evening. 

When Bradley Clement, the young professor at a boys’ 
school, drops in on the Weaver family to find out why the 
seventeen-year-old Bud Weaver has left school, the household 
is in a rather sorry mess. Bud is in the throes of his first love 
affair with a girl who is some eight years his senior, and whose 
reputation would entitle her to be called a property vampire 
of the village. Weaver senior, against his best judgment, is 
about to invest in some worthless oil stocks as the easiest method 
of keeping his wife happy, and Ann Weaver, the daughter, is 
about to enter a fake acting school in New York on the advice 
of a promoter posing as an actor and playwright. Of course 
Ralph Morgan plays the part of the all-wise young professor, 
who in time and after many discouraging moments, finally puts 
the family affairs in order and wins Ann Weaver for himself. 

In the hands of anyone but Mr. Morgan, Bradley Clement 
-would probably appear as an unconvincing busybody. But Mr. 
Morgan manages to persuade us that he is always wiser than 
the words he utters. He is gifted with the quality of im- 
pregnable sincerity to which is added a quick and sparkling 
comedy sense and a gracious manner. He is also ably sup- 
ported by Herbert Yost, as the fake actor, and the inimitable 
Ray Walburn, as the oil stock salesman. While this play is 
not one of the roaring comedy achievements of the year, it 
ought to have no trouble in finding a pleased and sympathetic 
audience. Its chief lack is the contrast of a few moments of 
fairly deep feeling. In treatment it borders too closely upon 
farce to have the full flavor of effective comedy. 


OHN, a play by Philip Barry, giving in all seriousness and 

beauty his private interpretation of the last days of John the 
Baptist, will probably go on record as being one of the most 
distinguished failures of the season. It is this year’s first pro- 
duction of the Actors’ Theatre, staged and directed by Guthrie 
McClintic, with settings and costumes designed by Norman 
Bel Geddes, and with a cast that includes such well-known 
names as Jacob Ben-Ami, Constance Collier, Ralph Roeder and 
Anna Duncan. If names contribute distinction then John has 
it in abundance. But if distinction demands as well expert play- 
writing, judicious casting and faultless direction, then the 
failure of John may be easily accounted for, as it has none of 
these qualities. 

First of all there is the work of the author. Mr. Barry, it 
will be recalled, contributed White Wings to last season and 
In a Garden to the season before that. Both plays contained 
much fine writing and the stimulus of novel treatment. But a 
curious artificiality pervaded them. The author seemed to be 

so fascinated by his own novel viewpoint and treatment that 
he failed to sink into the reality of his characters and to reach 
that point of emotional sincerity which grips the attention of an 
audience. In this respect, he has done better in John. There 
can be no question of the sincerity of its feeling. Yet it re- 
mains essentially a play that seeks to demonstrate Mr. Barry’s 
own theory of the motives guiding the great prophet. 

He sees John as champion of the Old Testament dispensa- 
tion, convinced of the approaching day of the Messiah but ut- 
terly unprepared for the teachings of the new dispensation, 
When Herodias taunts him with the new doctrines of Christ 
—the meekness that turns the other cheek or the love that 
reaches even to one’s enemies—John believes quite simply that 
she is lying to him. Nor does this John of Philip Barry’s 
have any mystic conviction of the Divinity of Christ at the 
time of the Baptism at the Jordan. It is not until he is about 
to be beheaded that he accepts the Messiahship of Christ, and 
then only because he is convinced that he, John, cannot possi- 
bly die until the Messiah is at hand. Nor does he seem to 
have any foreknowledge or belief that the Messiah would also 
be Son of God. Instead, he refers to Him as a Man who will 
some day be visited in a mysterious way by the Spirit of God. 
Certainly there is nothing in this interpretation which derives 
either from the Bible itself or from the best known early com- 
mentators. We are quite justified in assuming that it is a view 
distinctly personal to Mr. Barry. The development of this 
view leads to digressions which slow up the action of the play. 

In the actual telling of the story, Mr. Barry has done very 
little to heighten the intensity of his scenes. Beauty of ex- 
pression alone or even emotional depth cannot supply all the 
requirements of the theatre. Poetry does have its reason for a 
separate existence. The greatest and most sincere of poems 
may often defy theatrical statement and Mr, Barry has written 
John more in the mood of the poet than of the playwright. 

It might, however, emerge as a much finer evening in the 
theatre if Mr. McClintic had not failed disastrously both in 
the casting and in the direction. One can readily understand 
his desire to use Mr. Ben-Ami as John. Yet it is a well-known 
fact that this distinguished Yiddish actor has never been able 
to master English diction to a point where he can be readily 
understood or where his reading of lines gives them all the 
proper shading and emphasis. For Herodias Mr. McClintic 
imported Miss Constance Collier whose diction is as precise 
and meticulous as Mr. Ben-Ami’s is blurred, and whose reading 
of lines seemed to lack all understanding of the playwright’s 
intention. Mr. Ralph Roeder as a Sadducee was almost in- 
audible. Miss Anna Duncan, the dancer, in the very minor 
part of Salome, was effective pictorially, but vocally quite in- 
adequate. As there is no dance of Salome in this version, it is 
hard to see why a trained actress was not chosen. In the rest 
of the cast there were as many variations of accent and vocal 
pitch as there were people. Nothing has been done apparently 
to blend the various performances into a pleasing whole. Each 
man seemed to set his own key, and to hold to it regardless of 
all others. For the rest, the performance was often at a languid 
pace and the staging of the few climactic scenes was generally 
ineffective. The supposedly pathetic moment, for example, 
when John addresses a congregation that has dwindled to 
twelve, while the multitude have left him to hear the words of 

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3, 1927 

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November 23, 1927 




Christ, was utterly spoiled by having John placed upstage left, 
talking into the wings in front of a row of fishing nets that 
looked very much like the day’s laundry. The scenic designs of 
Mr. Geddes were of surpassing beauty in themselves but did 
not blend well with the needed action of the play, except in the 
final dungeon scene. As Mr. McClintic had all of these fac- 
tors within his own control, beginning with the choice of the 
play itself, he must bear the full burden of a production which 
failed to live up to the ideals which undoubtedly inspired it. 

At the Metropolitan 

HE reason for the presentation of such an opera as Erich 

Korngold’s Violanta at the Metropolitan Opera House is 
not far to seek. It was given because Madame Maria Jeritza 
wanted a new part in which to display her histrionic tempera- 
ment, and Madame Jeritza bears today the closest resemblance 
to that type of star who, before the advent of Signor Gatti- 
Casazza, had pretty much his or her own way at the opera. 
Nature has given Madame Jeritza much. In figure and in 
the blond beauty of her face she is a true daughter of the 
northern gods, and her voice, while by no means a great one, 
has ample power and range. Moreover she has a keen sense 
of theatric effectiveness. Yet her performance of the title role in 
Korngold’s one-act work, effective as it was at times, was 
often grossly distorted by exaggerations. 

Of course the réle itself was romantic balderdash, but out 
of it a truly great artist might have evolved a certain poignant 
beauty. When the Viennese soprano first arrived, there were 
many who hailed her as just such an artist. Fewer would do 
so today. At her best she is now no better than she 
was when she first burst upon the Metropolitan’s stage 
as the heroine of that other opera of Korngold, The Dead 
City; at her worst she is as she was at some moments last week 
in Violanta—a purely melodramatic actress. It is indeed a 
pity to have to say this, for never was the operatic stage in 
greater need of singers of the rank of the old artists of the 
past. In person and temperament, Madame Jeritza has the 
material out of which such artists make themselves. But great 
artists must have more than this. They must have imagination 
and sincerity and the will to refuse to make effects when those 
effects outrage truth. 

I have dwelt upon this subject rather than the opera in 
which she appeared because after all Madame Jeritza is herself, 
while Violanta is simply a pastiche of Strauss, Puccini, Wagner 
and Debussy. It is utterly without taste as it is without orig- 
inality, and amazing as the orchestration is coming from a boy 
of seventeen (Korngold’s age when he wrote it) it cannot 
stand, at least at the Metropolitan, upon the plea that the 
composer was a boy. Aside from the performance of Madame 
Jeritza there is nothing else to say about it, except the regret 
that such an admirable artist in his own style as Walter 
Kirchoff should have been so egregiously miscast as a Don 
Juan of the Italian school. 

But happily for the audience, Violanta was but the curtain- 
raiser to a delightful revival of Haensel and Gretel, with 
Queena Mario as Gretel and Editha Fleisher as Haensel. The 
Metropolitan has done nothing more charming in recent years. 
The conducting of Mr. Bodanzky and the scenery of Joseph 
Urban were both admirable adjuncts to the singing and acting 
of the artists on the stage. Haensel and Gretel is an old story 
now, but it is new each time it is told, as beautiful old stories 
And last week it was told superbly. 

always are. 


New York, N. Y. 

O the Editor:—Mr. Victor F. Ridder, the indefatigable 
worker for the welfare of boys, is certainly entitled to 
a few explanations of the questions he raises in his letter. 

The three groups mentioned in my article are not in- 
dividual organizations, but three different Catholic groups 
applying different principles in their work with boys. Hence 
the article does not attack any particular organization. 

Mr. Ridder holds as correct the following: 

1. That a segregation of boys into religious groups makes 
coéperation for the welfare of the nation impossible. 

2. That an organization conducted by Catholics could not 
provide for other boys, even if open to all, like the Brigade. 

3- That there is no difference between a purely recreational 
and a character training agency. 

4. That there is no difference between an ecclesiastical 
approbation founded on an investigation and a recommenda- 
tion based on the statements of a writer. 

5. That the Catholic Scouts in Europe are the same as the 
Boy Scouts of America, i. e., in organization and direction. 

Now all of these tenets are wrong, as anyone acquainted 
with boy work can easily prove. 

In Rome, the Holy Father spoke to Catholic boys who hap- 
pened to be Scouts. There were no Americans among them, 
although this makes no difference in this case. But about 
three weeks later, the Holy Father urged all Catholic organi- 
zations to join the International Movement for Catholic 
Youth which is many times larger than the Boy Scouts, but 
which the American Boy Scouts as now organized could not 
join—and, according to prevailing principles, should not join. 

The reason why the Catholic Boys’ Brigade has not grown 
larger is not that alleged by Mr. Ridder. It is, first, 
that it did not receive the coédperation of a large group of 
Catholic men, not because the movement was not good, but be- 
cause, as one said, ““We will never support a movement in which 
the clergy can put its nose’; and, secondly, that whenever a 
diocese intended to organize a Brigade, or, has a Brigade, there 
are many men who consider it of greater benefit for themselves 
if something else were substituted. Those who know the system 
of the Brigade—it has no strictly defined program-——must con- 
cede that it offers all and even more than any other organiza- 
tion offers. And for this reason it is able to hold the boys 
at least three times as long as similar organizations. 

Why I distinguish between purely recreational (including 
athletic) and character training agencies requires, perhaps, an 
explanation. Character training must have a true foundation. 
Modern neutral agencies promote Pelagianism pure and 
simple. ‘They extol the natural virtues and deny to a large 
extent the free will in man. They do not believe in grace, 
and expect supernatural merits from natural good works only. 
To this may be added that many consider social welfare iden- 
tical with the eternal welfare of man. Proofs for the above 
may be found in any modern psychology of youth, reports of 
social workers’ conventions, newspapers items reporting utter- 
ances of public speakers, Catholics included. The fortunate 
thing is that bishops and pastors are extremely watchful and 
that these agencies, as a rule, do no character training at all, 
notwithstanding their tremendous advertising. 

Rev. Kirian J. Hennricu. O. M. Cap., 
Chief Commissioner, C. B. B. U. S. 



November 23, 1927 



Young People’s Reading 

“: O ONE who begins bookishly,” says E. V. Lucas, 

“ever becomes quite free again.” There seems little 
excuse nowadays for young readers not to lose their freedom 
early in this most engaging way. 

Designed for the very youthful reader is a little book, Our 
Sacraments, by Reverend William Kelley (Benziger Brothers.) 
This gives in story form instructions in the seven sacraments. 
Even the least of the little ones can easily grasp the great 
meaning behind the sacraments, as related by Father Kelley 
in this tale of. two tiny tots. 

A well-known authority on children’s books and reading has 
said that as a matter of fact children seldom care greatly for 
the poetry that is written for them. Be that as it may, the 
anthology of religious poems, A Child’s Thoughts of God, 
compiled by Thomas Clark and Esther Gillespie (Minton, 
Balch) must embody many of the earliest poems either read 
or repeated to the beginning child. Most of them have a long- 
ago reminiscence for us all. The editors have happily included 
the Twenty-third Psalm, the Lord’s Prayer and The First 
Christmas Eve, according to the Gospel of Saint Luke. 

Under the extremely engaging title, The Moon’s Birthday 
(Macmillan) Dorothy Rowe presents a number of Chinese 
stories for little children. The book is written with a natural 
simplicity of style, and appropriately illustrated by two Chinese 
artists. Luigi Capuana, one of the best known Italian writers 
for boys, in Nimble Legs (Longmans, Green) adequately ren- 
dered into English by Frederic Tabor Cooper, tells a nimble 
tale indeed of the Sicilian boy, Cuddhu. The author uses an 
exciting no less than historic background during those memor- 
able days of the “Red Shirts” in Italy. 

Charlotte M. Yonge is a name beloved through many gen- 
erations of childhood. This reprint of The Little Duke (Mac- 
millan) is a noteworthy addition to the Children’s Classics. 
It is a story of young Richard the Fearless, taken from the 
chronicles of an early France, when knights were bold and 
boys were brought up in the bright face of danger. The little 
Duke, whose adventures are such lively reading, was the great- 
grandfather of the Conqueror. Another volume in this same 
series is a translation from the French of the Baroness des 
Chesnez, Lady Green Satin and her Maid Rosette (Mac- 
millan.) This is the “history” of a Pyrenean peasant lad, Jean 
Paul and his little white mice, who are named—mind you— 
“Lady Green Satin” and “Rosette,” her maid! 

The Mystery of Castle Pierrefitte, by Eugénie Foa (Long- 
mans, Green) has sprightly action, some humor, and a breath- 
less mystery to be solved only at the end of the story. It all 
takes place in the region of the High Pyrenees at the close 
of the eighteenth century, when the legend of the lost dauphin 
was beginning to be whispered about the world. 

In The Magic Pawnshop, by Rachel Field (Dutton) we 
enter delightedly into that “secret commonwealth of elves, 
fauns and fairies.” This fantasy of a New Year’s Eve, so 
pleasingly decorated by Elizabeth Mackinstry, tells of a pawn- 
shop in the neighborhood of Jefferson Market tower. Only 
you won’t find it, if you deliberately go to look for it! It has 
two signs in the window, “Broomsticks our Specialty” and 
“A Small Supply of Magic on hand for Regular Customers.” 
Lives there a little girl anywhere in the world who wouldn’t 
flatten her nose against such a pane? 

With the artistic reprint of Mrs. Leicester’s School (Lon- 
don, Dent) by Charles and Mary Lamb, we retrace our steps 
to an older day. There is charm, humor, even some excite. 
ment in these quiet stories, as told by the young ladies at Am- 
well School who “submit to their fate with cheerfulness.” 

And now we come to a group of books that sing of “green 
days in forests and blue days at sea.”” Lady Cynthia Asquith 
has edited several collections of tales these past years, with en- 
chanting drawings and an amazing list of contributors, A. A. 
Milne, John Buchan, Algernon Blackwood, Dr. Doolittle’s 
Master (Hugh Lofting) and many others. Sails of Gold 
(Scribner’s) continues in Lady Asquith’s best tradition. The 
versatile and gifted Hilaire Belloc is represented by a delicious 
bit of rhymed nonsense, Aunt Jane, as well as by a remark- 
ably satisfying and thrilling account of Agincourt, on Saint 
Crispin’s Day, 1415; when the little English army and the big 
French army met on that huge ploughed field, drenched with 
rain, and the English long-bow decided the victory. The book 
closes happily with some beautiful verses, expressing the true 
spirit of Christmas, by Katharine Tynan. 

Wonder Tales from Wonder Isles (Longmans, Green) 
verily are wonder tales! They are written these stories of the 
delectable Spice Islands, in words fitly chosen and full of color, 
by Frances Olcott. Pirates, Pirates, everywhere! A slight 
thread connects this jungle of folk-lore, legend, superstition 
and true information of the magical East. 

The Wind That Wouldn’t Blow, by Arthur Chrisman 
(Dutton) with its fascinating silhouettes by Else Hasselriis, 
is another collection of diverting Chinese “tongue-tales” by 
the author of Shen of the Sea. These stories of the “merry 
middle kingdom” have humor, action, style and quaint Chinese 
nomenclature and phrasing. And straight up through the 
globe we clamber into the frozen North. Canute Whistle- 
winks (Longmans, Green) by Zacharias Topelius, the “Hans 
Christian Andersen of Sweden,” tells of the Christmas-tree 
world that children love. And here are the stories that chil- 
dren love, too, of the long night, the merry trolls, the giants 
of snow and ice; of the spruce tree who was the forest king, 
and the fleet reindeer on the icy wastes of Lapland. 

Over in central Europe are those curious, picturesque 
Dolomites, The Pale Mountains (Minton, Balch) as Carl 
Wolff calls his book embodying the legends, the fairy tales, the 
history of that little-known region. 

Boys, and girls too, in these days and ways of the great open 
spaces, love Indians and tepees and canoes and perhaps even 
coyotes. The Tewa Twilight Tales (Longmans, Green) 
delightfully retold by Ahlee James are a combination of authen- 
tic folk-lore, of faraway atmospheric charm, of legendary magic. 

Abridged—supposedly for younger readers—is Albert Bige- 
low Paine’s notable life of Joan of Arc, entitled The Girl in 
White Armor (Macmillan.) It is substantiated history; and 
it is also a tender, a beautiful story of Saint Joan, maid and 
saviour of France. In Tales of the Mayflower Children 
(Marshall Jones) with the background of a different history, 
Pauline Bouvé presents to the youth of today stories proving 
that there was youth in those days too! From the quiet coun- 
try-side of old England, by way of placid, low-lying Holland, 
to this “stern and rock-bound coast” we accompany these young 
pathfinders. The past lives yet again through the spirited pen 
of Aline Havard in The Regicide’s Children (Scribner’s.) 
New England has many a myth of the adventures of those 



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23, 1927 

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November 23, 1927 




regicides who managed to hide themselves away in her hamlets 
and forests. Given a good historical background, this par- 
ticular story provides reasonable excitement also, with its Puri- 
tan youngsters, its stray Indians, its nice loyalists—and loyal- 
jsts who are not so nice. 

The Big Row at Ranger’s (Harcourt, Brace) by Kent 
Carr, has to do with English public school life at Eaglesholme 
—presumably Eton. It is of a mystery that nearly wrecked 
“Ranger's,” which is nicely cleared in “the happy end.” 

The latest addition to the well-known Classics for Younger 
Readers (Scribner’s) is Jules Verne’s Michael Strogoff. ‘This 
dramatic story of that iron man and his perilous exploits in 
eastern Siberia, retains in this charming edition (illustrated by 
N. C. Wyeth) its enduring appeal. 

Jungle John by John Buddu (Longmans, Green) is an 
engrossing tale of the big-game jungles. Fancy the enviable 
position of young John who was for a season of alarums and ex- 
cursions, in the forests of central India, with his father, an 
oficer and-tiger hunter. The little Sahib soon learns the law 
of the jungle from his devoted native attendants. He has a 
thousand and one riotous adventures until the final momentous 
one, when he kills his own tiger, single-handed. 

As first aid to the many girls who ask “What am I to do for 
a living?” Helen Ferriss and Virginia Moore have written 
Girls who Did (Dutton.) This takes up in detail, but in 
story form, too, the life work of many well-known women who 
are successfully engaged in a diversity of occupations. 

Herb Roth’s Adventures of an Oaf (Macy, Masius) with 
its ludicrous text by Frank Sullivan, is one of those nonsensical 
whimsies (so-called!) that children may enjoy, but grown-up 
children will enjoy even more. And I wonder if a very 
different book, The Little Long Ago, by Laura Spencer Portor 
(Dutton) would appeal primarily to children. It is a tenderly 
beautiful book of the long, long thoughts of a child, from the 
very little years. It imparts with delicate perception the sensa- 
tions of those “first affections, those shadowy recollections” as 
well as the sense of “outward things.” 

The Story of Radio by Orrin Dunlap, jr. (Dial) can speak 
for itself. And speak for itself it does, being cleverly auto- 
biographic, so that at once it assumes form and void. This is 
the lively reading that befits such a subject. In addition to re- 
counting the dramatic moments in its career, it explains, quite 
easily, its own mysterious workings. With which we come 
to the next step in its progress—television. And with this 
new miracle, looking toward the future, one may well close. 


Brave Men at Bay 

Gallions Reach, by H. M. Tomlinson. 
Harper and Brothers. $2.50. 
HOSE who have followed Mr. H. M. Tomlinson’s 
articles and occasional short stories, or read his travel 
books, to say nothing of those who remember his remarkable 
despatches from the front as war correspondent for the Daily 
News of London, may often have wondered when this vivid 
and intellectually honest writer would turn novelist, and have 
felt pretty safe in assuming that, when he did, his novel 
would stand out as something quite unusual. They will not 
be disappointed in Gallions Reach. Under the present literary 
dispensation, the’ language of hyperbole is so plundered in 
order to launch very ordinary efforts that one turns to it, 
upon the few occasions when it appears justified, with a 
growing reluctance. But not a bad test for any book which 

New York: 

a reviewer feels neighbors greatness is the impression of resid- 
ual energy left upon his mind when the last page has been 
turned. And no book which the present reviewer remem- 
bers in a period of critical service recalling many outstand- 
ing works of fiction passes this test quite so triumphantly 
as Gallions Reach. From its first line to the enigma with 
which its author, as though unconscious that such things as 
standardized endings existed, leaves the reader faced, the book 
is infused with an uncanny magnetism so superabundant that 
hardly a line can be read without a responsive thrill being 
the result. Mr. Tomlinson’s first essay in fiction lives com- 
pletely. And that is a great deal. One may go further and 
say that it is hard to conceive of a generation that will ever 
turn to it and find it dead. 

Jimmy Colet is an “executive” in an import business with 
the far East that was founded in adventure, none too credit- 
able, and has continued in hard dealing. The exotic scent 
and tang of the spices and drugs he handles have fed his 
imagination with the lure of the tropics, but like many an- 
other thwarted adventurer he has had to take the dream as full 
measure. One of those terrible accidents that at times leap 
upon a man out of the ambush of humdrum life makes his 
dream a tragic reality. In a quarrel forced on him one evening 
by a tyrannical boss when the two are alone in the office, he 
puts too much pent energy into a chance blow, and finds 
himself standing over a dead body. Prepared to give himself 
up, yet wandering by the docks to taste what may be his last 
free hours for many years, fate and chance intervene, this 
time more beneficently. At an early breakfast in a water- 
side inn, he meets a group of ship’s officers who are board- 
ing their vessel to catch a morning tide. An errand aboard 
devolves from the meeting, and before Jimmy well knows 
what has happened him, the vessel is swinging to the tide, 
bound for the land of his dreams. 

The Altair is a crazy boat, with jarred, rusty plates and 
dubious engines, one of those tramp steamers which a marine 
legend declares are built by the mile at Belfast or Hartle- 
pool and sawed off into lengths as required. She is hardly 
well at sea, and Colet has merely had time to note the sur- 
face peculiarities of his new comrades, when the ship’s com- 
pany is put to the most terrible test seamen know, stormy 
weather in an undependable craft. Only quotation will do 
justice to Mr. Tomlinson’s power of picturing for us how 
brave men face the calamitous. 

“The sky had closed down on them and they were cir- 
cumscribed by a sunless incertitude. In that grey vacancy 
shadows appeared which were too high to be of water, but 
these ghosts darkened and emerged as seas which saw the 
ship at once and came at her in towering velocity. As they 
shaped, each of them threatened that it was the one which 
would finish her, but the Altair heaved into the sky out of 
it in time. Yet another was always coming when one had 
gone. The desolate head of the ship, condemned to dreary 
unrest, streamed with gauzes of water. Its stanchions and 
rails were awry and tortured. A length of the bulwarks of 
the foredeck was ruptured and projected outward raggedly. 
The deck ventilators had gone. One lay in the scuppers as 
if dead, but sometimes turned over and then back in a spasm 
of unexpected life. 

“The slight figure of the master, standing in profile, so 
watchful of vague and immense powers, and so undisturbed 
by their onrush, was like a token of quiet faith untouched 
by nightfall and overthrown. There he was. Hale was 
looking it in the face. He did not move. He was timing 



November 23, 1927 

the Indian Ocean, that little man. . . . Beyond the cap- 
tain Colet saw a dire spectre loom and bear down upon them, 
its pale head raving with speed and fury. Other worlds! 
This one?” 

As no one save Conrad, and I venture to think with a surer 
more poignant finger than the Polish writer, Tomlinson knows 
how to touch that nerve in the human heart which responds 
to heroism or pathos. It is after the final catastrophe, in 
which the brave little captain alone disappears and the rescue, 
when the men who have been partners through the battle 
with infinite forces, go their separate ways. 

“His knowledge of Sinclair and that bunch of men of his 
old ship gave to an aimless and sprawling world the assur- 
ance of anonymous courage and faith waiting in the sordid 
muddle for a signal, ready when it came. There were men 
like that. You could never tell where they were. They were 
only the crowd. There was nothing to distinguish them. 
They had no names. But when they were wanted, there 
they were, and when they had finished their task they disap- 
peared, leaving no sign except in the heart. Without the 
certainty of that artless and profitless fidelity of simple souls 
the great ocean would be as silly as the welter of doom un- 
designed, and the shining importance of the august affairs of 
the flourishing cities worth no more homage than the brick- 
bats of Babylon. Those people gave to God any countenance 
by which He could be known.” 

Gallions Reach is a tonic and bracing book. Its back- 
ground is the jungle and the ocean—those waste places of 
sea and land that reflect the infinite; its hero, the human 
heart at bay, and with no present help in time of trouble save 
that deposit of the Divine which laughs in the face of dan- 
ger because it knows itself so much greater and more per- 
manent than the forces that threaten it. In days when so 
many clever intellects are busy turning the earth to a night- 
mare and denying us the awakening that will shatter the 
evil dream, it is impossible to hail it as other than a bene- 
faction—a little rock upon which feet floundering in the morass 
of the indeterminate may strike firm ground. 


The Catholic Muse 

The Catholic Anthology, by Thomas Walsh. 
The Macmillan Company. $2.50. 

HIS array of Catholic poetry is not the boast of a sect. 

Catholic poetry is not merely poetry which has been 
written by Catholics, any more than it is poetry written by 
non-Catholics after a certain manner. Catholic poetry does 
celebrate truths which the Catholic Church has been ordained 
to proclaim. But those truths were not invented by Catholic 
poets. They have never been completely fathomed, nor duly 
celebrated, by Catholic poets. They are certainly not the 
private property of Catholic poets. This anthology is a chorus 
of all mankind. 

A great deal of Catholic poetry has been written by non- 
Catholics. About fifty pages of this volume are given to their 
work. After all, the truths of revelation are the myths of the 
poets come true. Thus Virgil, before Christ was born, wrote 
a Catholic poem, the first in this book. Since the rise of 
Protestantism, almost all Protestants have written some Catho- 
lic poetry. The vernacular languages of Europe were nur- 
tured in Catholic devotions, and they almost force poets to 
write Catholic poetry. Thus, we find not only a zealous 

New York: 


Protestant like Spenser respresented in this collection, but 
even such a flagrant unbeliever as Swinburne. Poetry has 
made a very poor Protestant. 

The charm of this anthology is not due so much to its 
great number of good poems as to their diversity and the 
order in which they have been arranged. It is a delight to 
find so many Catholic poems completely unlike. Side by 
side on pages twenty-four and twenty-five we have, for in- 
stance, Saint Columcille singing tenderly: 

“I would give all for one little cell 
In my beautiful Derry.” 

and Venantius Fortunatus, chanting like an iron soldier on the 
“The Royal Banners forward go.” 

Even when the subject is the same the mood can be quite 
different. What English poem of the Christ-child was ever 
like this from the Armenian? (page forty-five) 

“The lips of the Christ-child are like to twin leaves 

They let roses fall when He smiles tenderly. 

The tears of the Christ-child are pearls when He grieves; 
The eyes of the Christ-child are deep as the sea. 

Like pomegranate grains are the dimples He hath, 

And clustering lilies spring up in his path.” 

Even the limitations of the various languages are a matter 
for congratulation. They suggest the finiteness of man com- 
pared with God the Infinite. Who really regrets that the 
Latin language can never speak with the winged words of 
the Greek? (See Clement of Alexandrias’s Hymn to Christ 
the Saviour, page eight.) 

The diversity of these poems has been divided, however, 
not according to language, nor according to race, but accord- 
ing to time. They belong to the “Ages of the Faith,” “The 
Age of Transition,” and to “Contemporary Poets—since 1870.” 
Although nobody will find these divisions quite adequate, it 
is doubtful if anybody could establish three better divisions. 
In the first period, reaching to the renaissance, most of the 
poems were social and liturgical. The lighter of them could 
be danced to, the more solemn could be sung in the choir. 
Few of the poems were for solitaries. The poems of the 
second period were most of them written not so much for 
the faithful as for the international republic of humanists. 
The solidarity of Catholic life had fallen down even in so- 
called Catholic countries. A Catholic poet wrote of his 
private devotions. It is natural, therefore, that the most dis- 
tinguished poems of this period are not carols or chants, but 
the description of the soul’s own interior life like Francis 
Thomp.%n’s Hound of Heaven. 

It would be very difficult to characterize the last division 
of Catholic poetry, than since 1870. Let it be read, as it 
will be. Although all of it is now in English there is cer- 
tainly a sign of national cleavages in it. Another comment 
can be made on it. Certainly, it is true of contemporary 
Catholic poetry in French and English that it has gone out 
from its catacomb to talk familiarly of all the things of life. 
Take for instance Francis Jammes’s poem Palm Sunday (on 
page 361). Many critics find in all modern poetry a sign 
that the renaissance has come to an end. I believe that this 
throws some light on the future of Catholic poetry. In the 
first place the mere man of letters as such has fallen from 
his pedestal. Secular poetry is dying, thinks Claudel. Per- 
haps a new kind of middle-ages is beginning. 




November 23, 1927 



A Sick Mind and a Sane 

The Locomotive God, by William Ellery Leonard. New 
York: The Century Company. $4.00. 

Robert Frost, by Gorham B. Munson. 
H. Doran Company. $2.00. 

T WOULD be impossible to find among the men of let- 

ters of America—where the intellectual life is at present 
so often attended with the growing pains of self-conscious- 
ness—any nature so sunny and serenely poised as that of Mr. 
Robert Frost. It would be difficult to find even among the 
men of letters of America any nature so morbid as that of 
Mr. Leonard. Mr. Frost would be the last man to wish to 
analyze himself and offer the findings to the world, though 
the candor of his work is always beautiful and self-reveal- 
ing. His themes are of rural New England, but the kind 
and whimsical personality of the poet shines in them; as does 
also a happy confidence in his readers. ‘Though he is a pro- 
fessor, his heart is still on his apple farm; he still feels in 
his instep arch the rung of the ladder, as in his poem, Apple 
Picking. And his work is so full of reality that we sus- 
pect that it is written while the mud is still on the farm- 
er’s boots. 

That is the difference between him and Mr. Leonard— 
also a professor and a poet: the mud in this case is on the 

New York: George 


Surely no normal reader of The Locomotive God will 
think the expression too harsh. I am not suggesting that Mr. 
Leonard indulges in the obvious form of literary obscenity; 
he is much too fastidious for that. Nevertheless, his book is, 
in many respects, the most indecent that I have ever read. In- 
stead of a gross treatment of physical facts it goes in for a 
peculiarly horrible kind of exhibitionism of mental abnor- 
mality. And the worst feature of the case is that the patient 
seems to take pleasure in his disease. He tells us that he 
wrote his book with the idea that the presentation of his 
neurosis might prove to be his cure. He adds at the end 
that the expected cure has not resulted. And one cannot 
fail to feel that he has a smug satisfaction in the failure: he 
wants to remain an interesting case. 

As a case record his story may have value—though I, for 
one, am reluctant to accept all the details of the story, simply 
because it is too detailed; because it contains so much of the 
sort of thing that no man remembers. Of his first day in 
school—when there occurred a universal childish accident— 
which he regards as a decisive moment, he says that if he were 
to write the full account he would produce a volume com- 
pared to which James Joyce’s Ulysses would be the briefest 
sketch. I frankly refuse my belief. 

The Locomotive God first appeared when William Ellery 
Leonard was only two. He was at a railway station and 
saw a train for the first time, thought it was God, and was 
terrified. From this he deduces that parents should never 
tell their children about God, though I should deduce that 
highly-strung people should never read Freud, who has caused 
a thousand neuroses for every one that he has cured. With 
this experience buried in his subconsciousness, the author went 
through a fairly normal youth; graduated from Boston Uni- 
versity; took postgraduate work in Germany; and secured 
a professorship at the University of Wisconsin, where he is 
still teaching. 

It was there that the crisis of his life occurred. In his 
Two Lives he has told his story. He married a charming 
and beautiful girl, although she had the taint of insanity. 

Within two years she did go insane and committed suicide. 
When I read Two Lives I was deeply moved by the tragedy ; 
and in consequence, in reviewing the book, refrained from 
commenting upon that section of it in which he grows hyster- 
ical over the scandal-mongers in Madison who accused him 
of having been responsible for his wife’s derangement. But 
as he still expatiates on the subject, sixteen and a half years 
after the event, I must confess that I am filled with a cold 
disgust. And what can one say of a man who actually pats 
himself on the back for having married the lady whom he here 
calls Agatha, but whose real and rather distinguished name 
he gives in the Who’s Who? (The actual expression is, 
“Few men would have risked their whole life and career 
as I did in such a marriage.” ) 

Soon after his first wife’s death the Locomotive God re- 
appeared. And Mr. Leonard admits, indeed, he almost gloats 
over the fact, that he has never recovered from the effects 
of his breakdown. He now cannot endure any noise; he 
cannot venture to go more than half a mile away from the 
shelter of his home. But at least, he has the consolation 
that he has won fame (of a curious sort) from the exploita- 
tion of his marital tragedy. 

To this reviewer, and I dare affirm to all normally con- 
stituted men, the whole story which, had it been presented with 
anonymity and reserve, would have stood in the dignity of 
tragedy, is ruined by Mr. Leonard’s pedantic and shrill quer- 
ulousness, and can be regarded only with strong distaste. The 
whole thing is so unmanly. And the shock consists not so 
much in the facts themselves—painful as these are—as in the 
incredible indelicacy of Mr. Leonard’s having revealed them. 
The self-justification and the self-pity become revolting. Mr. 
Leonard has appealed to the world as to a jury; it is his 
own fault if the verdict goes against him. He marks himself 
as a bad advocate, lacking knowledge of men, and as even 
a bad artist, for he has undone his achievement of Two Lives. 
Can he not understand that it is impossible for a man to 
be an artist until he has first become a man? 


Heroes and Heroics 

Men of Destiny, by Walter Lippman. New York: The 
Macmillan Company. $2.50. 
| D jpagces the title of Mr. Lippman’s book be ironical, it 

is mystifying. One sees why Mr. Shaw should have 
called Napoleon the “man of destiny,” but not why Mr. 
Bryan, Mr. Borah or Mr. McAdoo should bear this weighty 
designation. If Mr. Lippman has applied it humorously— 
and the fly-leaf design of little tin gods on wheels would 
seem to indicate this possibility—he must forgive the con- 
stitutional incapacity of the reviewer to see a joke. 

The biographical sketches are brief masterpieces of analysis, 
pitilessly good-tempered all of them, written with malice 
toward none and without charity for any. The best, and 
possibly the kindest, is the one on President Coolidge, that 
past-master of intelligent political inactivity, who understands 
too well the value of those secret words “Surtout pas trop 
de zele,” ever to give them utterance. Mr. Lippman readily 
admits that the President’s inactivity is far from being indo- 
lent: “It is a political philosophy and a party program, 
and nobody should mistake his unflinching adherence to it 
for a soft and easy desire to let things slide. He has 
brought his technique to such perfection that one paper an- 



November 23, 1927 

nounced the conclusion of the coal strike in streamer head- 
lines saying: ‘Coolidge Wins Coal Victory: Denies He In- 

As gentle and as unrelenting is the picture of Senator 
Borah, the great conscientious objector of the United States, 
with his passion for speaking his mind, and his un- 
wearied enjoyment of the diversion; with his “sublime faith 
that legislatures and popular majorities are in the nature of 
things pacific and just”; and with his dutiful determination 
to watch every move of the executive with deep and dark 
suspicion. ‘This, Mr. Lippman explains, is the attitude of 
the particular corner of the world to which the Senator be- 
longs: “The Northwest is about as warmly attached to the 
Republican party as the Irish Free State is to the United 
Kingdom. It votes Republican in presidential years, and then 
forms a coalition with the Democrats against major Repub- 
lican policies.” 

The paper on Mr. Bryan (one wonders why Mr. Lippman 
should have thought it worthwhile to write a paper on Mr. 
Bryan) may be summed up in the epigrarnmatic sentence: 
“The spiritual doctrine that all men will stknd at last equal 
before the throne of God meant to him that all men are 
equally good biologists before the ballot box of Tennessee.” 
The paper on Mr. Mencken (whom the author ardently ad- 
mires) is summed up in the sentence, not in the least epigram- 
matic but strongly conclusive: “The destruction of author- 
ity, of moral values, of cultural standards, is the result of 
using the liberty which has been won during the last four 
centuries.” That we cannot have the virtues of tradition 
and modernity, of delicacy and democracy, of order and free- 
dom, is a truth more apparent to Mr. Lippman’s eyes than 
to Mr. Mencken’s. It makes for comparative content. 

Yet from the first page of the book to the last, certain 
just discontents are evidenced. Not for a moment does its 
author condone the stupid bungling of majorities, or admit 
that their rule is other than the rule of force. Not once does 
he accept it as based upon the ultimate equality of man. 
Civilization is, in his eyes, “an understanding of what is good, 
better and best in the satisfaction of desire; and a knowledge 
of the customs, the arts and the objects which can give these 
satisfactions.”” With such an understanding, with such a 
knowledge, majorities have nothing to do. They can solve 
certain practical problems in a manner satisfactory to them- 
selves, and they can be moved by popular sentiments which 
may be noble sentiments; but our faith in them is not an 
intelligent faith. It is rather an acceptance of something 
from which we cannot escape, and for which we have in- 
vented certain sonorous phrases to ease our sense of inse- 

There is a crystal clearness in Mr. Lippman’s criticism 
of Mr. Mellon’s international debt policy, and in his analysis 
of that much-to-the-fore phrase, “the outlawry of war.” But 
the timeliest papers are those which deal with Governor 
Smith, whom he claims to be really a man of destiny, and with 
the presidential possibilities of 1928. One of these papers is 
devoted to the Governor’s Catholicism and the other to the 
section of urban life which he represents. The religious bug- 
bear is peremptorily dismissed on the ground that Governor 
Smith’s confession of faith is really an assertion of that moral 
independence which is but another name for moral respon- 
sibility, and from which no sane man can hope, or should 
desire, to escape. In Mr. Lippman’s opinion, the Governor’s 
final court of appeal, the dictates of conscience, is a surer thing 
than Mr. Marshall’s final court of appeal, the dictates of 


Americanism. He has no desire to see the omnipotence of the 
state substituted, in matters of morality, for the omnipotence 
of the Church. Idolatry of the republic is not, to his mind, g 
pure and sound religion. 

When, however, it comes to the question of the Presidency, 
Mr. Lippman can see nothing but peril in a candidate who 
represents millions of half-enfranchised Americans making 
their first tangible bid for recognition. He has discerning 
praise for Governor Smith’s private and public career, for his 
practical imagination and lucid intelligence; but he does not 
like the section of humanity from which sprang this man of 
the people. It is “un-American,” a quality vaguely danger- 
ous and detestable. ‘True, Governor Smith himself is com. 
prehensively American, but no one can make this claim for 
New York. Mr. Lippman is honestly of the opinion that a 
bucolic backwater makes a better breeding-place for Presi- 
dents than the unfashionable streets of a great city. He says 
the country at large shares with him this curious conviction. 

Men of Destiny is enriched with head-pieces, the work of 
a distinguished cartoonist, Mr. Rollin Kirby, who has won 
prizes galore. They are as illuminating as the letter-press, as 
good-humored and as relentless. Only the one which depicts 
Mr. Mellon presenting his bill to Europe has a poignant qual- 
ity which impairs our peace of mind. The lean cat creeping 
by the wall is emblematic of a tragic situation which is as 
old as debtor and creditor, as old as the inequalities of life. 


More Window Dressing 

Show Window, by Elmer Davis. New York: 
Day Company. $2.50. 

N SHOW WINDOW Mr. Elmer Davis has collected 

eleven popular papers from the magazines of the last two 
years and, refusing in his jaunty prefatory note to indicate 
any unity among them other than that achieved by the book- 
binder, presents to us yet another arraignment of con- 
temporary manners. To the body of our current critical ob- 
servations he adds nothing, but the gusto with which he car- 
ries off his sane charges provides sufficient amusement to jus- 
tify the reappearance of the essays in this form. 

The themes of the papers in this collection vary from gen- 
eral aspects of post-war American society, with its aims in 
literature and politics, to analyses of certain individuals. Most 
people already know the presentation of Bishop Manning 
which achieves a charming detachment in Portrait of a Cleric 
and the outline of Mayor Thompson’s preposterous political 
career in Chicago in the subsequent Portrait of an Elected 
Person. These two portraits are the best contributions to the 
volume, for they remain on the non-committal tight-rope so 
far as outright verdict goes, they make excellent use of quoted 
opinion, and their effect is to put into convenient capsules 
the bitter doses of self-recognition which the undeluded Amer- 
ican is obliged so frequently to swallow. The Passing of a 
Great Race, however, and The Comstock Load are recog- 
nizable only as bravura performances in the manner of the 
adaptable variety entertainer. The former opens lumberingly 
with a note which defines the audience of the essay as exist- 
ing in the readers of an official History of American Litera- 
ture in the Twentieth Century, to be published by the Federal 
Bureau of Literary Enforcement on April 1, 2013, and the 

The John 

hocus-pocus continues with doubtful effect throughout the 

paper. The Comstock Load carries on under the weight of 
its clumsily epigrammatic title a review of Victorian ideals in 


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November 23, 1927 




censorship in the states by trying to inveigle the reader into 
accepting a series of sleight-of-hand verdicts none too brilliantly 
executed. The Private Life of Paris of Troy, in its burlesque 
of Mr. Erskine’s satire, is plainly dull. 

It is rather a pity that the underlying sanity of Mr. Davis’s 
attitude could not be shown up to better advantage, that his 
enthusiasm for sound proportion and the clear-headed life 
should be so overlaid with masses of overdressed language and 
smile-coaxing allusion. It becomes wearisome to read, now 
that the fashion for using such devices has become venerable, 
the insistent use of epithets such as “the Chaotics,” “the Futil- 
itarians,’” “the Golden Decade,” and to follow through scores 
of pages which bristle with the misused capitals of irony. It 
is scarcely convincing to hear Mr. Davis profess to analyze 
the prevailing influence of Mencken both in his preface and 
in Prolegomena to Christianity, and at the same time to see 
him use, without the same originality of effect and vigor of 
conviction, the whole equipment which this contemporary 
prophet has laid open to the aspiring journalists and analysts 
of a bored generation. Mr. Davis has a wideness of sympathy 
which is unquestionably genuine and his attack is certainly not 
unsupported by deft intellectual accuracy, but he does not 
escape conveying the sense of a fundamentalism as depress- 
ing as that which he pillories and of an uncomprehended spir- 
ituality in existence which even his attractive paper on Catullus 
is unable to dispel. 

For this triteness his reader will not thank him, but at 
the same time he will be glad to add to his equipment many 
of the definitions whose reality is genuinely striking; his sound 
attitude toward the cathedral rising on Morningside Heights; 
his witty estimate of Indiana’s problem; his picture of the 
“good show” in Chicago’s city hall; his able display of the 
modernist confusions as purveyed from pulpits in fashionable 
churches; and his anger over our age’s impotence which his 
own wit, given a clearer and more original expression, might 
do so much to frustrate. 

Morton DauweNn ZABEL. 

A Guarded Flame 

Happy Ending: The Collected Lyrics of Louise Imogen 
Guiney. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. $2.50. 
ERE, in all the welter and push of fall publications, is 
one book as cheering as the smile of a friend caught 
through hurrying crowds of Christmas shoppers. And indeed, 
Happy Ending is the smile of a friend! It would be hard 
to think of any volume which so imperatively needed reprint- 
ing as this fastidious selection from Louise Imogen Guiney’s 
poetry—the “least faulty nuggets from that disused mine,” 
as she described it with whimsical humility to the present re- 
viewer—made by the poet herself and published in an ex- 
quisite but too limited edition back in 1909. 

Eighteen years ago! And years which have seen not only 
a world war, with its thousand readjustments, but an almost 
complete revolution in our approach to the various arts—a 
wave of realism and another wave of experiment in litera- 
ture which could not fail to change the shore-line and the 
skyline of creative, and so of critical, work. We have grown 
today to take this still changing skyline and shore-line for 
granted: many things which formerly would have seemed 
exotic have, for better or worse, come to seem quite indige- 
nous. We have accepted the brutalities of Spoon River and 
the boredoms of Main Street—we have welcomed Vachel 


The Superb Designs of Ancient 
Oriental Rugs Have Been Woven 
Into These 

for Men 

All the rare beauty of pattern and col- 
ouring, for which the Oriental rug 
weavers were anciently famous, has 
been caught in these miniature silken 
reproductions— giving a distinction 
and smartness seldom encountered. 


Tabris — Uschak — Staruschak — 
Beschir — are the designs 




732 THE COMMONWEAL November 23, 1927 


| | 2 

Lindsay even if we have not wholly welcomed Carl Sang. 
burg—we know that Amy Lowell, reaching out intrepidly 
and learnedly and nervously for new forms to imprison pas. 
sion, is one symptom of our times, just as the magic and the 
cynicism of Edna Millay is another symptom. 

But it is comforting to watch how the real things in life | 
and in art have a way of surviving through all innovations, 
And if one ever doubted the survival of Louise Guiney’s work, 
one need but to dip into these delectable pages. Here may 
be recaptured those soldier songs of a soldier’s daughter— 
The Kings, The Wild Ride, and the unforgettable Knight 
Errant. Here are the five haunting Carols for Christmas, the i 
lines To a Dog, warm with that tender animal-love which has 
probably never been lifted higher by any poet than in her } 
sonnet, Saint Francis Endeth His Sermon; the painting of 
nature in all her moods, from the “blossomed aisle of April” 
to “divine September” and the very “dregs of the year”; and | 
her own characteristic interpretation of nature face to face 
with humanity—not altogether to the latter’s glory—in the 
unique litany of Bedesfolk or Cobwebs or A Footpath Moral- | 
Here again are the fifteen epitaphs, so nobly Greek in 

The White Harvest 
A Symposium on Methods of Convert Making 

Edited by Rev. John A. O’Brien, Ph.D. 

With a Preface by Rt. Rev. Francis C. Kelley, D.D., 
Bishop of Oklahoma. Crown 8vo. $3.50. 

Approximately 7,000,000 people, or about 60% of the 
entire population of this country are unaffiliated in an 
active manner with any church. Yet the average of 
Catholic converts is less than two per priest each year. 
In view of this small average, the record of the con- 
tributors to “The White Harvest” is a revelation— 
6,000 converts by one priest, and others receiving an 
average of half a hundred into the fold each year with 
unfailing regularity. 

In this symposium, eleven of the most successful convert- 
makers in America present the methods which have 
proved most successful in winning converts to the 
Catholic faith, and a penetrating analysis of the psy- 
chology of religious conversion. 

The contributors are: 
The Rt. Rev. John F. Noll, D.D., Bishop of Fr. Wayne. aie: 
Rev. Bertrand L. Conway, C.S.P. ity. 

ae Marin 5 gyn spirit and form that they have often been mistaken for trans- 

Rev. cows lations; and the twenty-six sonnets on Oxford and London 

Rev. Jose F é Eckert, S.V.D. cs . i - 
Rev. Edward uy Mannix, S.T.L. which were a love gift from this Irish New Englander to the 
Rev. Henry E. O'Keeffe, CS.P. Old England she claimed as home—along with such separate } 

and David Goldstein. 

Angela Merici and 
Her Teaching Idea, 1474-1540 

By Sister M. Monica, Ph.D. 

With an Introduction by the Most Rev. J. F. Regis 
Canevin, D.D. 8vo. $5.00. 

In “Angela Merici and Her Teaching Idea, 1474-1540” 
Sister Monica has recreated one of the great characters 
of educational life. In 16th Century Italy the education 
of girls, as we know it, had still to be thought of; but 
three hundred years before Pestalozzi, this teacher ad- 
vocated the Mother-Idea in training girls. Angela’s 
ideas, working first in her own lay sisterhood and later 
through the expansion of her Company of St. Ursula 
into the Ursuline Order, have enjoyed a steadily in- 
creasing activity in Europe and America. 

Mother Philippine Duchesne 

By Marjory Erskine. 

With an Introduction by Most Rev. John J. Glennon, 
Archbishop of St. Louis. 8vo. $4.00. 

This biography portrays the heroic courage of Philip- 

sonnets as Astraea, of possibly even more poignant beauty, 
For the twelve poems of Miss Guiney’s final years we are 
grateful, even while doubting whether her own severe taste 
would have included more than half of them. Two curious | 
sonnets upon Despotisms (the War and the Motor!) are 
among the number; while one recognizes the veritable Guiney 
brooding through the lines In a Perpendicular Church, the 
white Guiney faith in the Communion sonnet, Semen Est } 
Verbum Dei, and the gallant Guiney challenge to life’s dis | 
enchantment in Firstlings. 
It is the poetry of a scholar, a dreamer and an artist who | 
was individualist enough to write precisely what she wanted, 
but whose personal taste was inalienably “on the side of the 
angels.” And since the angels happen to be universal as well ; 
as immortal, her work could not fail to share this breadth 
and immortality. Through most of her life the poet looked | 
for leisure almost as she looked for salvation, and during the 
last harassed years of her English wanderings she knew 
scarcely which chimney was her own; yet the poems come to 
us full of the repose, the spaciousness, the permanence which 
she loved—and at least within her own heart, found. Few 
even among poets have been so sensitively close to the moods j 
of earth and sky, to the wise heritage of the past, both pagan 

pine Duchesne who came to America in 1818 with the 
high hope of evangelizing the Indians who still found 
a home in Missouri. Her first work, however, was the 
foundation of the first free school opened west of the 
education inaugurated by 

and Christian, to the allegiances of high friendships and a 
higher faith. A little leisurely, a little remote, more than a 
little classical in their chiseling and their restraint, the poems 

eg dl ag New World developed and ex- are worthy of perpetuation because of the truth and beauty } 
tended so that in 1919, just a century after her coming which are in their vision first and also in their execution. 
Misou sn ‘owe - apcheoti na bn Nowhere in our American literature is there a more pure and 
work has most claim on the gratitude of Missouri. silver vein of lyric loveliness than her highest singing has 
In her prose and her verse, too, Louise Guiney is a per- 
fect example of Poe’s observation that the poet never sees, j 


Publishers Since 1724 (At the Sign of the Ship) 

and consequently never says, the obvious thing. She is also 
the perfect answer to critics who are perennially wondering 
how the claims of art and religion are to be harmonized. 
Her own deep and simple integrity of spirit can scarcely 
have shared their wonder. Catholicity inspires and under- 


I 9 27 
1 Ppas- 
id the 

n life 
> may 
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> and 
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November 23, 1927 




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lies all her work, but it never obtrudes. Like her friend 
Lionel Johnson, she realized 
How deep within the liturgies 

Lie hid the mysteries; 

and if comparatively little of her poetry is devotional, it is 
all devout. 

With this gracious garnering of her verse and the two vol- 
umes of letters published last year, Louise Guiney seems likely 
to remain a power and a personality, not merely a memory, 
If some enterprising publisher will now give us a reprint 
of Patrins, including a few others of her best essays, the 
heritage will be fairly complete. It is a precious heritage to 
all book lovers—precious and proud, also, to American Cath- 
olics. One can but hope it will be claimed and held close 
not merely by those who have long cherished the work of this 
fine artist and fine woman, but by all those—including the 
generation just emerging from our colleges—to whom Happy 
Ending must be a Happy Beginning, too! 


Tested Wisdom 

Proverbs and Didactic Poems, by Charles Foster Kent and 
Millar Burrows. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. $5.00, 

GREAT promoter in the cause of religion in higher 

education was the late Professor Kent of Yale, and a 
tireless worker as well in the field of scriptural studies. The 
book under review is itself the sixth and concluding volume 
of a series entitled The Student’s Old Testament; Logically 
and Chronologically Arranged. It was unfiusnea at the au 
thor’s untimely death, but has since been completed with the 
collaboration of a former pupil, Dr. Burrows, who says that 
the work is substantially Professor Kent’s. A foreword ss 
written by a fellow professor, widely known as an authority 
on Aramaic, Dr. Charles C. Torrey. 

The present volume contains a new translation of Proverbs, 
Ecclesiastes and Job. It is well done, in simple direct lan- 
guage, and it brings out in the poetic sections the Hebrew 
versification and parallelism. A clear, readable text is pre- 
sented, which has availed itself of the results of recent schol- 
arship—yet Arnold B. Ehrlich might not agree with all the 

A five-chapter introduction in Professor Kent’s crisp style 
is most enlightening on the origin and history of the wisdom 
literature of the Jews. Very early did man feel the impulse 
to hand down to succeeding generations the results of his 
experience. Added to this, the life of a nomad in the East 
gave ample time for reflection and for the formation of these 
sententious maxims of prudence and sagacity. Hence Israel’s 
sages arose, and can be traced through the books of the Old 

Testament until they form a distinct class of powerful in- | 

fluence. They were marked off from priests and prophets 
in Jeremias’s day, as is clear from his saying: ‘““The law shall 
not perish from the priest nor counsel from the wise, nor the 
word from the prophet” (xviii, 18.) In the times of dark- 
ness and distress following the Babylonian captivity, Israel 
relied more and more on the wisdom of her sages. ‘They 
bore the torch of Hebrew leaning and handed it over to the 
scribes and rabbis who, from 165 B. C. on, became the chief 
teachers of the race. Our Divine Lord was sage as well as 
priest and prophet, as we learn from the New Testament— 
“Behold a greater than Solomon here” (Matthew, xii, 43.) 

The book of Proverbs—parts of it going back to Solomon, 










al, it is 

two vol- 
ns likely 

ays, the 
‘itage to 
n Cath- 
ld close 
: of this 
ling the 
| Happy 


ent and 
. $5.00, 
. higher 
, and a 
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the au- 
vith the 
ays that 
word is 

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sp style 
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well as 

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i, 43.) 

November 23, 1927 THE COMMONWEAL 735 



Pe ee | 




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Edited by J. Middleton Mu 
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and a phrase or two, a page or two, will not content The style S 80 ‘as that it snaps; the wit so sparkling 
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ACCORDING TO MIGUEL DE CERVANTES With an Introduction by Thomas Beer @ 
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November 23, 1929 



take pleasure in specially recommending to the 
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A clean, fine new novel: 


Reverent in her attitude to life, serious even when she is 
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the life of a modern American family, who are striving to 
get “nearer to the heart's desire.” 

Mrs. Phillips, a contributor to many Catholic periodicals, 
is the daughter of Manly Tello, well known in the Catholic 
world, and Editor of the Cleveland Catholic Universe, 

Cloth, regular 12mo. Decorated wrapper designed by 
Charles Cartwright. Price, $2.00. 

A new Book of Poems, beautiful 
outside and in. 



“In his devotion to religious themes, and in his skill in 
clothing these themes with beauty, Mr. Miller follows in 
Katherine Tynan’s tradition.”—America. 

“We commend J. Corson Miller’s most recent volume of 
poems to all with a sane appetite for poetry.”—The Sign. 

Half cloth, small cr. 8vo, title page in color. The 
volume specially designed by R. S. Josephy. Price, $1.50. 

Probably the most remarkable 
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A vital study of the new South of today, with its scene 
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Written in a style of austere simplicity, this story of a 
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562 Fifth Avenue New York 


and parts coming from other sages, as the superscriptions indj- 
cate—is rightly praised by Professor Kent. This collection 
of philosophical essays in poetic form ought to appeal to the 
present generation, because of its intimate political and domes- 
tic references. It is always to be remembered (though Pro. 
fessor Kent fails to mention it) that these sagacious sayings 
are inspired by the Holy Ghost and contain divine wisdom 
to be accepted and followed. 

Professor Kent rightly calls the book of Job “the greatest 
lyric poem of antiquity.” Outside of a prose prologue and 
epilogue it is a series of poems grappling in intense and dra- 
matic form with the most vital question of man’s life on earth, 
the ever-present problem of evil. On the one hand, it answers 
the scoffers’s question, Does Job serve God for naught? and 
on the other it gives the solution of the enigma, why the 
just suffer. Moreover, in the personal example of the illys- 
trious Job, it sets forth how suffering and trial are to be met— 
with confident humility, with living trust in God and with 
the absolute assurance of the immortality of the soul and the 
beatific vision of God on the shores of eternity where both 
God and the just will be vindicated. 

As the collaborater, Dr. Burrows, says in the preface, it 
is a matter of regret that Professor Kent did not include 
Sirach and Wisdom in his work. These find a place in the 
Catholic canon, and, together with Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and 
Job, they constitute the sapiential books. Professor Kent de- 
votes an introductory chapter to Ecclesiasticus, and has the 
highest praises for this work of Ben Sira, complaining that 
the Bible societies have ceased to include it in editions of the 
Protestant Bible. On the other hand, about a book which 
Professor Kent includes in his treatment, and which is con- 
tained in the Protestant canon, Ecclesiastes, he has disparaging 
things to say. He is surprised that it is included in the canon 
at all. I feel that, if he had lived to put the finishing touches 
to his work, Professor Kent would have deleted that state- 
ment. If it be a result of so-called modern scholarship, it 
certainly can be of no service in a text-book for college stu- 
dents. Rather it must work harm in the realm of religion 
in higher education, which he had so much at heart. 

Patrick J. TEMPLE. 

Uncle Joe Cannon’s Autobiography 

Uncle Joe Cannon: The Story of a Pioneer American as 
Told to L. White Busbey, for Twenty Years His Private 
Secretary. New York: Henry Holt and Company. $5.00. 
- THE foreword to his autobiography, Uncle Joe Cannon 

disclaims having “written” his vivid, highly readable and 
often piquant reminiscences. As he truthfully says “To 
write is foreign to all my tastes and inclinations. . . . It 
is my story, but his (Mr. Busbey’s) book.” Inevitably, in 
the transfer from speech to print there must have been changes, 
a certain gentling and planing here and there of the veteran 
politician’s cigar-flavored flow of recollection. Yet it is not 
overly in evidence; the whole tang of the book is first-hand, 
and there is a refreshing lack of the selfconsciousness evi- 
dent in some other contemporaneous political memoirs. 

The story of Cannon’s life falls naturally into sections. 
The first six chapters (which justify the subtitulation Remin- 
iscences of an American pioneer) carry us from the Quaker 
emigration out of the Carolinas, in 1840, to a Wabash River 
frontier settlement, to his first election to Congress in 1872, 
in Grant’s second term. Uncle Joe, as a boy perched atop 

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November 23, 





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November 23, 1927 



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of the family goods on his father’s wagon, had made up his 
mind to be one of the dispatch riders of the pony express, who 
aroused his envy as they dashed past along the National Pike. 
But after his father’s death in 1851 he settled on the law; 
the law led naturally to politics; in 1861 he had been elected 
an Illinois district attorney; and in 1872 he was in Congress, 

The details of his youth and early manhood cover a phase 
of national development which has been well exploited; yet 
Uncle Joe gives us some new angles of backwoods and prairie 
existence and since he dwells on the period with a real verve and 
enthusiasm, one does not feel that he has overemphasized jt, 
Incidentally, it has added to Lincolniana the tale of his justi- 
fied quashing of an indictment for theft brought against Presj- 
dent Lincoln’s stepmother in Illinois, in the Civil War days, 

His career as a federal legislator begins in 1872, and in 
the most actual sense ends in 1910. In easy, viva voce fash- 
ion he discusses Grant, Hayes, Blaine, Garfield, Arthur (with 
occasional lapses from fact due either to the mnemonic slip 
or to convictions based on a lack of that more intimate knowl- 
edge of party affairs to which he could not then pretend) but 
not until McKinley’s régime does he become a presidential 
intimate, in touch with the inner workings of the political 
machine. As McKinley’s confidant in advance knowledge 
of the war with Spain, and as chairman of the Appropriations 
Committee, he introduced the $50,000,000 appropriation bill. 

It was after he succeeded Henderson, of Iowa, as Speaker 
of the House, in 1903, and put into practice the lessons of 
control he had learned from Reed, whose lieutenant he had 
been, that Cannon began to loom as a figure in national poli- 
tical life. His picture of Roosevelt is a far from kindly one, 
and one feels inclined to question the instances he recounts 
of conduct on the President’s part, which, to say the least, 
were decidedly unethical. But then it must be remembered 
that this autobiography is actually at second hand. 

Aside from its vivid political personalia, the book offers con- 
siderable insight into the actual functioning of our legisla- 
ture from the time Cannon entered it till the Progressive 
movement, breaking down old party lines (even before the 
election of 1910) overthrew Uncle Joe as the Speaker, who 
actually controlled legislation as a dictator. He tells the tale 
with humor and spirit, from his own point of view; and 
ends his chapter with his political credo, that of the old school 
to which he belonged: “It’s a damned good thing to remem- 
ber in politics to stick to your party and never attempt to 
buy the favor of your enemies at the expense of your friends.” 
It may be objected that there are better confessions of political 
faith; it is certain that there are worse. 

Of his casting out of the seat of power, as he recounts it, 
Uncle Joe says: “It seems to me, regarding the matter quite 
dispassionately, *the insurgents accomplished about as much 
as did the famous king of France who marched his forty 
thousand men up the hill and then marched them down 
again.” He does not like to admit in so many words that 
rebellious Republicans could forget the sacredness of party 
loyalty and join with Democrats in shearing the Speaker of 
most of the arbitrary power he had wielded. 

But this, and other inhibitions, so consistently adhered to 
throughout his book, help to give it its authenticity. It is the 
real Uncle Joe speaking, a real personality, characteristically 
American and, in a measure, typical of an epoch that has 
vanished. And hence, it is a book that any American, irre- 
spective of his political affiliations, will enjoy. 

FrepericK H. Martens. 


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1927 | November 23, 1927 THE COMMONWE 



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I counsel thee, shut not thy heart nor thy library —C. Lamp. 

“It may appear strange to you, my dear Britannicus, but my 
recent studies in the history of music and my late attendance 
at the symphony concerts and recitals have brought back to 
my mind, with a sympathetic glow, the memories I treasure of 
our old cook Mary McQuilty. Extremes, you may say, are 
meeting here, but when you have followed the course of my 
philosophizing, you will recognize, I hope, the normal con- 
tinuity of my deductions.” 

“My good Doctor Angelicus,”’ replied the foreign scribe, “] 
have always recognized your supreme ability to harmonize the 
most contrary propositions in your benevolent scheme of on- 
tology, and there is no star, however brilliant in the heavens, 
that you cannot bring into intimate relationship, I might say 
cousinship, with the tiniest atom or insect of our mother earth, 
Pray proceed with your new demonstrations. I am all ears 
this morning.” 

“My meditations have been concerned with the co-relations 
of modern art theories with that rather depreciated but never- 
theless essential human activity, mastication, and its preparatory 
formulas. In spite of the mountains of literature around us, 
you will recognize that, while we may live without books, we 
cannot survive without cooks; hence there is more than a 
merely idealized delectation in my contention that our theorists 
and historians of the philosophies and arts must include the 
culinary evolutions in their human programs. 

“Music has been classified into the epochs that are so dear 
to our hall-room philosophers; they have started their enumera- 
tion of periods with the primitive age of the cymbals, bells, 
tom-toms and rattles, and to that age I would align the more 
or less prehistoric world of flint fires, fresh fish and game and 
wild fruits, which would include in an honorable place the 
apple trees known to our first parents in the garden of Eden; 
this period might be brought down to the eras of flowing vats 
of mead and the king’s bit which caused so much bloodshed 
at the festal carvings of the pig and wild turkeys when the 
wars were erroneously declared to be over. Emerging late in 
this development I can see our dear Mary McQuilty in her 
ancestral cabin struggling with the peat fires, the spitted 
chickens and the potatoes in their most succulent jackets. 

“In music, as in the culinary art, we come into a period of 
richer demonstrations. The people begin to sing at battles and 
funerals; musical instruments add another string or two; a 
learned monk designs a solfeggio and the tunefulness of the 
human heart receives proper means to express itself in folk- 
song. Bugles and pibrochs are the appetizers for warriors; 
organs and harps swell the praises of the Lord on high as of 
His little imitators, the kings of earth. 

“In cooking, the ovens grow larger and more stationary; 
there comes salt and, much later, sugar, to season the food of 
mortals; the carving knife begins to flourish, the bowls are 
swimming with new herbs, new game, and dishes and tables 
and chairs begin to encumber the palaces and the hovels of the 
world. Here at this juncture we may place the real birthday 
of the musical and the culinary arts. Man, when all is said 
and done, my dear Britannicus, a limited being, finds proper 
mediums for his nature; he sings within the compass of the 
human voice; he eats within the compass of the human stom- 
ach. The geniuses can here express themselves naturally, and 
it is here that art finds its true place in the scheme of things. 
The lovely melodies are born, the luscious dishes are inaugu- 
rated—simple, spontaneous outpourings in accord with our aural 





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November 23, 1927 




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or gastric capacities. ‘This is the epoch of art; the great age 
of the plain chant and the plain diets of Ceres. 

“Our Mary comes into the vision with the cook stove, the 
coalbin, the kerosene oil, Swedish matches, fire-insurance, butter 
and oleomargarine, baking powder and spices unknown to the 
ancient world. She has as yet no tables to dictate how many 
spoonfuls, how many minutes; her own fingers peel and stice 
the potatoes; her own taste ordains the seasonings; she is a free 
woman ruling over a domain that is hers by right divine of 
talent and special vocation. 

“What works of genius have we not lost in the devastated 
realms of these old cooks, whether of France, Ireland or the 
fabled lands of Dixie! the great composers of music, the great 
natural-born cooks routed from their rostrums and cookstoves! 
the great orators driven from their pulpits! the great painters 
shuffled off to museums! before a progress which offers ys 
electric cookers, flavorings and foodstuffs in delicatessen pack- 
ages, dried meats and gelatinous desserts! Ghost of our dear 
old Mary, were you with me the other day at the Grand 
Central Palace when they showed me the electric potato peelers 
and the devices that enabled me to cook dinner without in- 
terrupting my game of bridge-whist? the electric irons with the 
thumb-rest cut-off, the washing machines that will scrub out 
anything with the exception of baby’s ears, the devices to 
scramble eggs, whip cream and shred vegetables? Or at the 
concerts of Russian music with the eighty-five maniacs scratch- 
ing maniacal concoctions from the devil’s own hydrants for the 
ten thousand victims of our stadiums and music halls? 

“Yes, Britannicus, the art days of music are over; the artists 
have vanished from our kitchens. For we have fallen into an 
age of science, and our musicians as well as our cooks must 
now take special courses to prepare their works; we push for- 
ward into the ranks of scientists; our mystics have become 
psychoanalysts; our poets and novelists function in telegraphy 
and kinetoscopic roles; our painters and sculptors are built up 
on spectroscopes and geometrics; our musicians are lost in 
cabalism and Saint Vitus rhythms; our cooks (alas, poor Mary, 
R. I. P.!) they are sterilized, certified, dust-proof, white-capped, 
statistical, hygienic, chemical, anti-germ, diagnostical, machine- 
made, therapeutical professors of science. The art of cookery 

has degenerated into science. He Dicho.” 
—THE LiprariAn. 


Witta Catuer, formerly on the staff of the Pittsburgh Daily Leader 
and McClure’s Magazine, is the author of My Antonia, The Lost Lady, 
Youth and the Bright Medusa, One of Ours, The Professor’s House and 
Death Comes for the Archbishop. 

Muna Lee (Mrs. Luis Mufioz Marin) the secretary for publicity of 
the University of Porto Rico, is the author of Sea-Change and the 
translator of the Spanish-American Anthology number of Poetry: A Maga- 
zine of Verse. 

Francis McCuttacnu is a foreign correspondent and the author of 
The Cossacks, Italy’s War for a Desert, A Prisoner of the Reds, and 
The Bolshevik Persecution of Christianity. 

CLEMENT Woop is the author of Glad Earth, 
other books. 

Ernest SUTHERLAND Bares, formerly professor of philosophy at the 
University of Oregon, is the literary editor of The Dictionary of Amer- 
ican Biography. 

EveLYN 1 Watsu is a new contributor to The Commonweal. 

MartHa Bayarp is a contemporary American critic. 

DanieL SARGENT, critic and poet, is the author of Our Gleaming Days 
and The Road to Welles-Perennes. 

THEODORE MAyNarp is an English critic and poet whose books include 
Drums of Defeat, Carven from the Laurel Tree, A Tankard of Ale, 
The Divine Adventure, and A Modern Book of Catholic Verse. 

Acnes ReppLier is an American essayist, author of The Fireside 
Sphynx, In Our Convent Days, Varia, and Americans and Others. 

Morton Dauwen ZaBEL is a member of the faculty of Loyola College, 
Chicago, and contributor of prose and verse to the American periodicals. 

KaTHERINE Br&cy, critic and poet, is author of The Poets’ Chantry, 
and Poets and Pilgrims. 

Rev. Patrick J. Tempe is in residence at the Church of the Holy 
Family, New Rochelle, N. Y 

Freperick H. Martens, author of 1001 Nights of Opera, is musical 

Poets of America and 

and literary critic for G. Schirmer, Inc. 


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