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AFTER THE WAR JOTTINGS
T was certainly a busy and crowded wander-year that the famous Eng.
sterile discussions. He did not care what people thought or said. It was all one to him. He had succeeded, and all those who had failed owed him a grudge for succeeding. Yes, he could destroy many reputations by a word. But that was no service to France. If he said what he thought of X, he would make bad blood be
(C) Paul Thompson LIEUTENANT-COLONEL CHARLES A COURT
took in order to acquaint himself with the personalities and the new ideas thrown up in Europe and America after the great war storm. His idea of a restful vacation seems to be to rush about with incredible agility and rapidity. The sub-title of his diary mentions some of the places visited—namely, London, Paris, Rome, Athens, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest, Berlin, Sofia, Coblenz, New York, Washington. But this by no means includes the full list of places visited, while a list of the men talked with would be surprising, not only from their number, but from their importance.
Colonel Repington's book “After the War”i has been criticised as scrappy and disjointed, and also as indiscreet or scandalous. As to the first charge, the very plan of a diary involves a rapid fire of notes, impressions, and talks; but one rarely finds this method wearisome, for mingled with many minor details the reader constantly comes across anecdotes and readable passages. As to the second charge, the word indiscreet is more apt than the word scandalous. There is not much in the book that appeals to the lover of gossip, but there are many reports of conversations which might well annoy the persons reported and make them wish that they had been iess frank. All the world ws that Colonel Repington is a newspaper man and that discretion is not his most noted quality; so that those who talked to him have only themselves to blame if they talked too freely. Yet one doubts whether Clemenceau would be particularly pleased when he is reported as saying of Foch that "on several occasions he had had to speak to Foch, who owed him a grudge for it and had shown it." Nor with the ascription to him of the bon mot .(after Clemenceau's recovery from appendicitis): "There are only two perfectly useless things in the world—the appendix and Poincaré.” Such remarks are quite out of keeping with the report of Clemenceau's feeling as to discussing the past. That passage is indeed so striking that we quote it at some length:
No, said C., he had said nothing, had written nothing, and was not going to. He took no interest in controversies about the past, which was over. He had lived through the greatest period and had done his best. It was enough to contemplate in silence the grandeur of it all. He took pleasure in his disdain of all discussion over the past. He had been too deeply concerned in these events, and the events had been too tremendous, for him not to feel it unworthy of him to waste his remaining years in
where, and generally hit somebody.
In Germany Repington found every. body talking about Hugo Stinnes. He reports General Degoutte as saying: "Stinnes seemed to him a type of dominator much more dangerous than Napoleon. He was a Napoleon of commerce and economics, and bent, or tried to bend, all the world to his will. It was a type that the world could not permit to endure, and a type likely to be the cause of future wars if it did. One man should not be allowed to possess such infinite powers for mischief."
Inquiring from a French ex-War Minister, M. André Lefèvre, about Ger. many's military position, the author drew out the opinion that a renewal of war might come within five years unless the Allies adopted more drastic courses.
The poorest passages in the book are those in which Colonel Repington brags about the popularity and sale of his own writings and asks, "If my contemporaries cannot refute me, how can his tory do so? A few old cats have squalled privately." At times also he bursts into quite unnecessary explosions of personal feeling or opinion, such as that in which, after looking at an ancient statue of Gutenberg, he declares:
Nobody knows who invented print ing nor ever will know. If we knew we should posthumously burn him at the stake. He has been responsible for all the heresies, illusions, troubles, and wars of five centuries. He still perpetuates enmities by permitting every hasty word of
some overwrought politician to be placed next day before all the people outraged by it, and far from aiding or promoting civilization he has debased it.
Perhaps the most dramatic passage in the volume is the story of Stamboulisky. who alone of all the Ministers of King Ferdinand of Bulgaria opposed Bulgaria's entrance into the war on the side of Germany. Stamboulisky told the King to beware, he might be risking his crown. "And you might be risking your head," replied the King. In point of fact, Ferdinand did throw this brave Minister into jail and planned to have him executed. Word came to the prisoner from the King, says the author, "that if he would recant and send a message to the Bulgarian army that it should march unitedly under F. in the good cause, his life should be spared. He took an agonizing half-hour to weigh his reply. He was young and loved life and activity intensely. On the other hand was his personal and political honor. He decided to refuse, but came back into the dock with a pistol concealed about him, determined to
(ween England and France, and that was of no service to either. Let them talk.
The author saw General Pétain just after the occupation of Düsseldorf, and reports his talk with him as follows:
Pétain sarcastic about the whole proceeding. He expected nothing from the occupation. He thought that we had all been wasting our time in interminable discussions and that the desire to please the English had always held the French back. We should be made fools of, as usual. If the Boches said "yes" we should go back, and when we were gone the Boches would say "no." Pétain would prefer to occupy the territory necessary to bring the Boches to reason, would administer it and take its revenues, and would tell the Boches that he would stay there till all the debt was paid. He did not care whether it was five years, or thirty years, or fifty years. The Boches would have to pay before he left.
So the diarist moved about hither and thither in Europe, talking with every. body about the League, about the occupation of the Ruhr district, about the situations in Rumania and Czechoslovakia and Upper Silesia, always bringing out from those with whom he talked salient facts and observations. Interspersed with all this are amusing anecdotes, such as this of Jules Ferry:
('. told us of Jules Ferry's shooting exploits. He fired at anything any
1 After the War.
appear after he had polished them for the public. They are interesting as a disclosure of the auto-communion of a notable scholar and preacher and will be stimulating to other scholars and preachers.
take his own life in the court if he were whether we were walking on our heads
The characterization of President Naturally, Americans will turn with Harding, that he "sees neither black nor special interest to Colonel Repington's white in a case, but only gray," sounds tinal chapter, which describes his im- wise, but is not sustained by instances pressions of America and what he saw and carries no conviction. Of course, like and heard at the Washington Confer- every English visitor nowadays, the au
It is distinctly comic now to read thor talks about the failure of prohibi. the early forebodings of the author as tion—"One wants to drink mainly beto the probable futility and failure of cause it is forbidden;" about the icethe Conference followed by accounts of water habit, about overheated houses, his stupefaction at the famous speech of and about the universal rush-"length Secretary Hughes, with its definite plan. of life said to be seven years less here He says: "Mr. Secretary Hughes sunk than at home." New York impresses in thirty-five minutes more ships than him as “the highest, lowest, cruelest, all the admirals of the world have de cunningest, noisiest of all great cities.” stroyed in a cycle of centuries. ... We This dash in and out of Colonel Repseemed spellbound ... a few men to ington's book may be all the more a fair whom I spoke babbled incoherently... picture of the original in that it is We came out in a trance, not quite sure helter-skelter and disorderly.
TIRED RADICALS, AND OTHER PAPERS. By
Walter Weyl. B. W. Huebsch, Inc., New
York. $2 These essays increase the regret that his too early death has deprived the world of so earnest a thinker on modern problems as Walter Weyl. The essays are of unequal merit, but not one of them is muddy or feeble.
He saw clearly and wrote vigorously, though generally he saw modern evils more clearly than he did methods of dealing with them. Thus he describes effectively the peril to American life from a conglomerate immigration, but he did not see the undeliberate and unconscious forces which are imbuing these immigrants with the American spirit of freedom. He saw clearly the discontent of "the truly revolutionary class,” but he did not foresee the efforts which captains of industry are making to-day in co-operation with the workers in some of our large and prosperous plants to introduce democratic methods and promote the democratic spirit. But he was no pessimist. The pessimist balks at obstacles and surrenders or runs away from danger. Mr. Weyl impresses the reader with his courageous faith that there is a remedy, though it is not yet discovered. We venture to offer one illustration of our criticism. What causes “the tired radical”? He is tired because he is not radical enough. When emancipation came, the so-called radical Abolition Society by resolution disbanded because nothing remained for it to do, just as General Armstrong was organizing his work for the education of the Negro. The Abolition Society, he truly said, failed in that their work was just begun when slavery was abolished.
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BIOGRAPHY appears, but cannot get rid of his re- LIFE OF CLARA BARTON (THE). By William
E. Barton. Illustrated. In 2 vols. Houghmorse and the memory of his fault.
ton Mimin Company, Boston. $10. There is power in the description of the
The long and pre-eminently useful life bridge-builder's lonely life and mental
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ough piece of work and contains much love situation.
that will interest students of the times MAN FROM THE WILDS (THE). By Harold in which Miss Barton lived as well as
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ESSAYS AND CRITICISM is made guardian of the estate of the
BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE (A). By David girl he loves. The situation is novel,
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wrote: “This writing is wholly personal PATCHWORK. By Beverley Nichols. Henry Holt & Co., New York. $1.7.1.
and private, intended only for autoRay Sheldon, coming to Oxford from communion.” The book now published his war service, finds the tone of the is for this reason the more valuable. place too practical, too serious, too sol. The paragraphs are wholly unstudied. emnly industrious, too overshadowed by They appear to be the thoughts as they the war. He misses the old charm and came into his mind, not as they would
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We repeat what we have said in substance before, that the collection has no rival in its scope, in the judicious choice of authors and subjects, and in its physical form. As with other good things, the price of these volumes has increased, but, as things go, a dollar a volume for good literature is far from being excessive.
FROM FAMINE FIELDS
BY MARTHA HASKELL CLARK
Because I speak reality. You know That I was there, have worked and
shared and seen. And yet, like shadow pictures on the
screen, The scenes I paint bring but a passing
thrill Of pleasant horror. Self-complacent still, You murmur, "Sad! So sad!” and go
your way, While cards, and tea-rooms, and the
latest play Will reap their easy millions through
the week. You cannot sense the things of which I
speak. You are not heartless. Could I only lay One baby's body at your feet to-day, Or here and now bring swift before your
eyes One mother watching by her child that
dies, You would be pitiful, would strain to
give,And thousands doomed by apathy would
live. Great God of Nations, give me words to
stir These sleek-fed aisles of broadcloth and
One of the 250,000 who provide Bell Service.
Imagine a bird's-eye view In every center of popuof the United States. Imagine lation is a telephone exchange it criss-crossed with telephone and an organization of skilled wires or underground cables workers to give life to the connecting every city, town nation-wide facilities of comand hamlet. Imagine these munication. Every circuit wires reaching nearly must be tested; every inch of 14,000,000 destinations—in wire watched and kept in city homes and offices and in repair; every switchboard 2,500,000 farmhouses.
operated day and night.
But that is not all. There Imagine all this and your
is the new construction to meet vision is still short of the truth the increasing needs of the regarding the Bell System. A telephone-using public. Every telephone at your elbow, a day, from one end of the counwire circuit to your farthest try to the other, thousands of neighbor. Apparatus which
crews of linemen and cableembodies the latest develop- men, and installers of every ments of an army of trained kind of telephone equipment, scientists. The picture is still carry on this work with the incomplete.
continued growth of the nation.
JOHN MILTON x Mr. Irving Bacheller's "What's the
Matter?" a surprising statement as to the traveled John Milton meets the eye. He says of Shakespeare: “Never in all his life, probably, did he travel so far as we go in a round trip from New York to Boston." Very good thus far; but he adds: “The same is true of Milton.” Please tell us this is a typographical interpolation instead of something that has escaped the editorial scrutiny.
That these observations may have a modicum of completeness, witness the brief account of Milton's travels. Though the elder John Milton was not a man of wealth, he was anxious to round out the education of his son as an English gentleman. Travel was almost the invariable elective in the education of an Eng. lish gentleman. In April, 1638, Milton was on his way across the Channel for a Continental tour. He went to Paris, Nice, Genoa, and to Florence. In the last city he frequented the academies and met Galileo, saw his astronomical drawings, and looked through his "glass." He next spent two months in Rome. Naples lay next in his tour. whence he planned to go to Sicily and to Greece, but the news of the critical stage of the contest between Charles I and Parliament brought his journey to a premature end. But even then he did not hasten home. Two more months were spent in Rome. He left Rome for brief sojourns in Ferrara, Venice, and Geneva. He arrived in England in August, 1639, having spent about sixteen months in travel.
CLAUDE KINNICK, Alliance, Ohio. Professor of English.
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ex-Governor Alfred E. Smith, known affectionately to his fellowcitizens of New York City as “Al Smith,” wrote an article on “The Port of New York Authority," which appears in The Out.
look of this week. This rather cumbersome name means the private corporation which has been established by a treaty between the States of New Jersey and New York for the proper development of the harbor of New York as a great receiving and exporting shipping port. Governor Smith's article will be of vital interest to the inhabitants of the region of New York who are desirous of preserving their business interests, and equally vital to the farmers and manufacturers of the West who wish to distribute their products on the Eastern seaboard in an economical fashion. Governor Smith was born in New York in 1873. OROTHY CANFIELD,
whose married name is Mrs. J. R. Fisher, is widely known as an American writer of fiction and as a contributor to many magazines, of which The Outlook is proud to be one. In addition to the five announced stories in the series of "Human Byways” (of which the fourth appears in this issue) The Outlook has accepted a new article of the same character which relates to Mrs. Fisher's own great-grandmother. and which seems to us perhaps the finest study of New England character which we have had from her pen.
ICHARD B. WATROUS was born and R
brought up in Wisconsin. He was for many years editor of the Milwaukee "Telegraph." He has written much on civic subjects, the preservation of scenic wonders, and housing. In the interests of the last named he went to Europe in 1913 for a study of what had been done there. Mr. Watrous is serving as a representative of The Outlook in Washington, and has, on occasion, made special investigations to obtain information for editorial use.
AMUEL HILDEBRAND is an ichthyologist
who has been associated with the United States Bureau of Fisheries for eleven years. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and books and has made many important investigations leading to the discovery and the determination of the value of top-feeding fish as agents for the control of disease.
wo articles on the ship-subsidy ques
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One, "All Dressed Up and No Place to Go,” is by Frederick H. Chase, the well. known lecturer and writer. The other is written by George Haven Putnam, President of the Free Trade League and of G. P. Putnam's Sons, the publishing company.
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The Financial Department is prepared to furnish information regarding standard investment securities, but cannot undertake to advise the purchase of any specific security. It will give to inquirers facts of record or information resulting from expert investigation, and a nominal charge of one dollar per inquiry will be made for this special service. All letters of inquiry should be addressed to THE OUTLOOK FINANCIAL DEPARTMENT, 381 Fourth Avenue, New York
TO PROMOTE RECOVERY For long ago a letter came to us from a woman who asked Perhaps a “spring rise" is coming. We hope it is; but we
our opinion of a number of speculative stocks she was should like to see any one who could convince us that it is a
holding on margin. She wrote glibly of the expected certainty. The plain truth is, that nobody knows, and any "spring rise" in the stock market, and wondered if she had man or woman who speculates on the fluctuations of stock best sell out and take her profit when it was over, or wait prices is going to lose a lot of money some day. until the end of the year and make still more money. Who All of this is somewhat beside the point we want to make, said that there is a "spring rise" coming, and, if any one did which is that we hear a great deal of talk nowadays about say it, what sound basis has he for such a statement? People business recovery. Almost any one will tell you that things who make predictions about the future course of the stock mar- are certain to be better soon, but not many can give reasons ket are liable to get themselves and their friends into consider- for their belief that this is so. Like the woman and her "spring able trouble, and merely because we want a thing to happen is rise," they want business to be better, and therefore they think no guaranty that it will happen.
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