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organisation of power on a grand no relation at all to the need of putscale and we shall arrive at goodness. ting the control of tools into compe. For four centuries of travail we have tent hands, or any other considerabeen moving toward the rule of the tion of social economy and efficiency. servant through the organisation of The war is the explosion of this earth-subduing power on an ever absurdity. Now for a moment the widening basis. The modern de energy of the machines is turned velopment of technological industry against the life of the race. There forces us, even against our will and is dearth everywhere and dire expurpose, to the discovery of the tremity.
tremity. We are reduced to the spiritual laws of society.
plight of the planet Mars. There is
no exit from such distress except the III
road that Mr. Lowell suggested. We Percival Lowell, sitting with his shall have a new social order in eye to his great telescope at Flag. which virtue shall be linked with staff, Arizona, in absorbed contem property and authority, and in which plation of the planet Mars, supposed a man's goodness shall be defined in that he was gazing upon a world that the pragmatic terms of the New was able to sustain its life only by Testament: I was
was cold, hungry, a complete social unity centring in naked and he produced the fuel, an intense devotion to the practical the food and the clothes. arts. His theory was that the aston There are several steps in this disishing network of geometrical lines entanglement. Substantially as fol . appearing upon the face of the lows the record may be expected to planet is in fact a system of canals run. Germany precipitated the cabelonging to a prodigious system of tastrophe because Germany was of irrigation; that the diminishing all countries the most antique in moisture in their atmosphere must political morals and the most mod. have forced the Martian people into ern in tools. The Teutons had acthe finest economy of the forces of quired a differential advantage in life and of nature for the mainte- tool-power because they had invested nance of a food supply, and must a small percentage of their political therefore have developed a form of idealism in a direct effort to advance social organisation in which high the industrial arts; while the other place and power could be achieved great nations, excepting perhaps only by those who manifestly ex Japan, had reserved their political celled in social service.
idealism for other uses. But ideal. Now high technology and the ism when turned earthward becomes Great War are accomplishing on our formidable. It can fight. Thus planet something like what Lowell Germany made war--a war between imagined concerning Mars. The rise industrial systems vitalised by diof technical science and the machine verse degrees of practical idealism. process, and the consequent grand England, France, Italy begin to inscale social organisation for work, vest their moral virtue in the mahave left law and morals far behind. chines. But their available percentOur legal and moral conceptions, our age is too low, for the moment. ideas of right, duty, property, pun
Russia drops out and relapses into ishment, authority and so on, are feebleness, because she is oriental at reminiscent of the Old Testament or heart and cannot put the power of of the antique Mediterranean culture dreams into tools. America girds cherished in classical schools. We herself. She has immense reserves have gone on defining personal and of creative strength drawn out of property rights in a mood that has every nation under heaven and nur.
tured on the bosom of a fresh conti. tional energy-most of which has nent; but her sectarian religion, her hitherto been used to turn the windparty politics, her academic culture, mills of an abstract and impotent had been aimed at the sky. With idealism. one voice they had protested against If our national reserves of elementhe abuses of business and had re
tal health prove to be inadequate for strained some of them a little; but the present emergency, if we are not they had never cast their passion for yet able to direct the major part of beauty and truth and goodness into our idealism to the romance of the engines of industry as fuel and reality-our failure will postpone, fire. Yet now the day had come in but cannot prevent, the coming of which this must be done!
the great change. The postponement I say we are living in the grey can hardly reach beyond the middle morning of an apocalyptic day, be of the century. For the very existcause I am acquainted with the ence of modern grand-scale industry, American people and the peoples of with its universal credit-accounting western Europe, and know and the enforced mutuality of the largeness of their spiritual reserves. machine, forces the spiritual issue Without that knowledge it would be with an irresistible hand. Grandreasonable to suppose, from the face scale industry is fatal to the rule of of the facts, that Germany would abstract idealism--the physically irprevail. In that case the day of the relevant kind of goodness or rightgreat change would be postponed- ness that obtains in actual and there would be a much longer churches, schools, courts and chamagony of parturition.
bers of commerce. It is fatal to that There may indeed be brief pauses, rule, not directly and obviously, but truces, futile diplomacies--but the in a manner that is none the less West will not submit to Central decisive. Europe. I expect the great change When industry becomes organised to be precipitated in the United on a national or international scale States, and I think it will come it drives the rule of abstract idealism quickly because the only alter to suicide. There is no possibility of native is the universal prevalence, for escape. The march of the fatality a generation or so, of the Teutonic is as irresistible as the movement of political type--entailing wars upon an Æschylean play. The economy wars with only breathing-spaces be of small and unintegrated crafts that tween.
preceded the machine process, or But the United States cannot pre. what is called "the great industry," vail over Teutonism in the near fu could manage to exist for a thousand ture—cannot compress the world years under the sway of an ancient agony into a narrow compass of time legalism. For small-scale industry --without committing itself at once can keep tolerably close to the natto a profound internal renovation ural laws of life, in spite of the worst that will involve every institution of that lawyers and politicians may do; business, politics, religion and cul- it can follow the instinctive law that ture. We may continue for a mo- yields craft-mastership only to those ment to think of these changes as who have proved their fitness. But war
measures; but they will be irre, when the agencies that sustain the tractable. The short statement of life of a great nation become linked the case is that we are now obliged to in a single indissoluble system, the make a permanent investment in safe and instinctive rule of the craftphysical business of at least fifty-one master is thrown into the backper cent. of our intellectual and emo- ground, and the control of the life
sustaining system is committed for sion of its credit and commerce to weal or woe to such masters as the fresh lands. But the international conventional laws of property and rivalry for the possession of fresh precedence may happen to endue fields must of necessity produce war;
and this is the swiftest way of suicide Thus the great industry challenges for the powers of transcendental the existence of the old transcenden politics. For modern wars are waged tal legalism by submitting to it, com primarily with tools; and victory in mitting the life of the nation to it, such warfare must inevitably rest and so exposing its physical feeble with the contestant who is able to ness and incompetency. The old invest the highest percentage of his juristic order is forced to undertake intellectual and moral force in the a work that it is unable to perform, practical arts. and is therefore driven to self-de These considerations furnish, I struction. Its definitions of personal think, solid grounds of assurance and property rights are found to be that the greatest of human events is wholly out of drawing with the facts either close at hand or else will be of life.
reached by the mid-century. The The discrepancy is first revealed in world will be delivered at last from the yawning of an unbridgable
unbridgable the immemorial deadlock between chasm between “labour” and “capi- idealism and enterprise; the creative tal”-between those who live by the imagination will master the machines natural law of physical function and in the service of art, and of a finer those who depend for their existence civility than we have known. upon the validation of conventional War will come to an end quite inclaims. It is discovered that the low cidentally and as a matter of course est depths of poverty are reached in -with the rise of a great people the countries that have the highest emotionally devoted to the creative per capita rate of income, and that process and therefore sovereign in the schism between riches and pov the realm of chemical and physical erty does not tend to close up, but force. Such a people will hold the rather to widen, with the increase of hegemony of a universal alliance documentary wealth. Thereupon it by the diffusion of benefits and by is made evident to competent ob the compulsion of power, servers that the self-destruction of War will be stopped by the prethe old legal order cannot be post dominant force of a free people, roponed in any country save by expan mantic about realities.
THE ADVANCE OF ENGLISH POETRY IN THE TWENTIETH
BY WILLIAM LYON PHELPS
Irish poetry a part of English Literature-common-sense the basis of romanticism–misapprehension of the poetic temperament-passing of the "typical” Irishman.-William Butler Yeats-his education—his devotion to art-his theories—his love poetry-resemblance to Maeterlinck-the lyrical element paramount—the psaltery-pure rather than applied poetry.- John M. Synge-his mentality-his versatility—a terrible personality-his capacity for hatred-his subjectivity-his interesting Preface—brooding on death.A. E.—the Master of the island-his sincerity and influence-disembodied spirits-his mysticism-homesickness—true optimism.-James Stephenspoet and novelist-realism and fantasy.—Padraic Colum.-Francis Ledwidge. --Susan Mitchell.-Thomas MacDonagh.-Joseph Campbell.-Seumas O'Sullivan.-Maurice Francis Egan.—Norreys Jephson O'Conor.-The advance of English poetry in Ireland.
IN What I have to say of the work or American literary aspirant will of the Irish poets, I am thinking of serve his country not according to it solely as a part of English litera his local flavour or fervour, but acture. I have in mind no political bias cording to his ability to write the whatever, for political questions in English language. The language bethe field of art seem to me of sub- longs to Ireland and to America as ordinate importance. During the last much as it belongs to England; excel. forty years Irishmen have written lence in its command is the only mainly in the English language, test by which Irish, American, Canawhich assures to what is good in their dian, South African, Hawaiian and compositions an influence bounded Australian poets and novelists will only by the dimensions of the earth. be judged.
be judged. The more difficult the Great creative writers are such an test, the stronger the appeal to naimmense and continuous blessing to tional pride. the world that the locality of their In a recent work, called The Celtic birth pales in importance in com Dawn, I found this passage: “The parison with the glory of it, a glory thesis of their contention is that mod. in which we all profit. We need ern English, the English of contemoriginal writers in America; but I porary literature, is essentially an imhad rather have a star of the first poverished language incapable of magnitude appear in London than a directly expressing thought.” I am star of lesser power appear in Los greatly unimpressed by such a stateAngeles. Everyone who writes good ment. The chief reason why there is English contributes something to really a Celtic Dawn, or a Celtic English literature and is a benefactor Renaissance, is because Irishmen like to English-speaking people. An Irish Synge, Yeats, Russell and others have
succeeded in writing English so well among all the children of men for that they have attracted the atten- his poise, balance, calm—in other tion of the whole world.
words, for common sense. Ireland has never contributed to It is by no accident that the BritEnglish literature a poet of the first ish-whom foreigners delight to call class. By a poet of the first class I stodgy and slow-witted, have contribmean one of the same grade with uted to the literature of the world the leading half-dozen British poets the largest amount of high-class of the nineteenth century. This poetry. English literature is instincdearth of great Irish poets is all the tively romantic, as French literature more remarkable when we think of is instinctively classic. The glory of her splendid contributions to Eng. French literature is prose; the glory lish prose and to English drama. of English literature is poetry. Possibly, if one had prophecy rather As the tallest tree must have the than history to settle the question, deepest roots, so it would seem that one might predict that Irishmen the loftiest edifices of verse must would naturally write more and bet. have the deepest foundations. Certer poetry than Englishmen; for the tainly one of the many reasons why common supposition is that the po- American poetry is so inferior to etic temperament is romantic, senti. British is because our roots do not mental, volatile, reckless. If this go down sufficiently deep. Great were true, then the lovable, careless, poetry does not spring from natures impulsive Irish would completely too volatile, too susceptible, too outclass in original poetry the sen- easily swept by gusts of emotion. sible, steady-headed, cautious Eng. Landor was one of the most violent lishmen. What are the facts about men we have on record; he was a the so-called poetic temperament? prey to uncontrollable outbursts of
Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, rage, caused by trivial vexations; but Gray, Wordsworth, Keats, Tennyson, his poetry aimed at cold, classical Browning, Arnold, were in character, correctness. In comparison with Landisposition, and temperament pre- dor, Tennyson's reserve was almost cisely the opposite of what is super glacial-yet out of it bloomed many ficially supposed to be "poetic." gorgeous garden of
romance. Some of them were deeply erudite; Splendid imaginative masterpieces all of them were deeply thoughtful. seem to require more often than not They were clear-headed, sensible men a creative mind marked by sober -in fact, common sense was the reason, logical processes, orderly basis of their mental life. And no thinking. one can read the letters of Byron John Morley, who found the manwithout seeing how well supplied he agement of Ireland more than a was with the shrewd common sense handful, though he loved Ireland and of the Englishman. He was more the Irish with an affection greater selfish than any one of the men enu. than that felt by any other Englishmerated above—but he was no fool. man of his time, has, in his RecollecThere is nothing inconsistent in his tions, placed on opposite pages-all being at once the greatest romantic the more striking to me because so poet and the greatest satirist of his wholly unintentional — illuminating
His masterpiece, Don Juan, is testimony to the difference between the expression of a nature at the far- the Irish and the British temperathest possible remove from senti- ment. And this testimony powerfully mentality. And the greatest poet in supports the point I am trying to any language since Shakespeare, the make—that the “typical" logicless, author of Faust, was remarkable inconsequential Irish mind, so win