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large parcels by capitalist farmers working their holdings by landless agricultural laborers. The English peasant and yeoman classes of preindustrial days have long since died out.
In other parts of Europe, like Germany, where the relations of peasants and gentry are close and friendly, and where the agrarian political tradition survives, it may well be that no great changes in the existing land situation will take place. In still other parts of Europe, as in France, the peasant is already in so favorable a position that he may not feel the need for closer association and international action.
Eastern Europe, therefore, will probably remain the heart of the organized Green movement. Sooner or later it will almost certainly play a great part in Russia. To-day the Communist Government of Russia frowns on the Green movement and forbids its legal expression upon Soviet soil. But unless the Soviet Government succeeds in restoring Russia's disrupted industrial life and converts the peasants to communism (and there are no signs that the Soviet Government will succeed in either), Russia is bound to become more and more overwhelmingly a peasant nation and ultimately a peasant state.
This would of course enormously increase the strength of the Green movement and would make the peasant the indubitable master of eastern Europe. And such a development would, in turn, greatly stimulate peasant self-consciousness even in those parts of Europe where the peasant is a minor element in the population.
Certainly there is nothing impossible or even improbable in such an eventu
ality. The urbanization of Europe, which proceeded rapidly during the last century, was due to a combination of favoring factors, chief among these being Europe's primacy in modern industrial methods, cheap and easy transportation of foreign food-stuffs and raw materials, and an elaborate and exceedingly delicate system of finance and trade by which Europe's manufactured products could be successfully distributed throughout the world.
The Great War has profoundly altered the situation. It has lost Europe much of its industrial primacy in favor of competitors like the United States and Japan; it has rendered foreign imports into Europe relatively difficult and costly, and it has shattered the delicate fabric of international finance and commercial exchange. Crippled by war-losses and cursed by persistent internecine rivalries, Europe has not recovered its pre-war industrial prosperity. But unless it does so recover, a large proportion of Europe's urban population simply cannot make a living and will ultimately be doomed to disappear by death, emigration, or a return to the soil. Certainly, so long as present conditions persist, Europe's urban elements will continue to weaken while Europe's rural elements will continue to grow in strength. And in their present mood the rural elements show no disposition to favor urban prosperity and a consequent revival of urban power; on the contrary, the rural elements are doing their best to extend and confirm their own power at urban expense. If the present trend continues, it might not take much more than a generation for Europe to revert to something like
the rural status of a century ago. Certain it is that in many parts of Europe cities and towns are declining in population. Russia, especially, is Russia, especially, is being rapidly de-urbanized. The reports of the 1920 census taken by the Soviet Government reveal this in truly startling fashion. Everywhere the story is the same the rural districts have tended to gain in population, while the towns and cities have stagnated or decayed. Of 180 cities and towns in twenty-five provinces of European Russia, thirty show a decrease of more than one half their former population. Most striking is the case of Petrograd, the former Russian capital. In 1915 the population of Petrograd was estimated at 2,318,000 souls. To-day it contains little more than 1,000,000. Even Moscow, despite the fact that it is now the capital of Russia, has sharply declined. In 1915 Moscow's population was estimated at about 1,800,000; the census of 1920 showed that the population had fallen to 1,050,000. So rapid has been the decline of urban population in Russia that if it continues, many once flourishing towns will become little better than ruins.
Of course it may be argued that Russia's industrial life has collapsed. That is true. But Austria's industrial life has also collapsed; Germany's industrial life has been on the verge of collapse; Great Britain's industrial life is so hard hit that millions of unemployed are living on government doles or private charity; while another big war, a by no means improbable event, would presumably send Europe's whole industrial system crashing down to ruin.
The point to remember is that, wherever industry collapses, the population dependent on that industry must speedily disappear. Clustered about its factories and market-places, city populations wither when the factories go dead and when the grass grows on wharf and square. Rural populations, on the contrary, have their roots deep in the natal soil, and can perish only when the soil grows barren or goes out of cultivation.
The town cannot live without the country, but the country can live without the town. Already in many parts of Europe, especially in Russia, the peasants, deprived of urban manufactures, are reviving the old cottage handicrafts. Like their ancestors, they are again spinning and weaving their own fabrics, tanning their own leather, and making their own tools. It may be less convenient, but they are getting on and are learning to do without the town, just as their forefathers did a few generations ago. Meanwhile they eat well, get more land, get more power, and produce leaders who dream of dominating Europe by a Green International.
Here, surely, is a novel and startling element in the European situation, a new dynamic of incalculable possibilities which must challenge attention, quicken interest, and stimulate reflection. What could be more thoughtprovoking than the possibility that the great urbanward sweep which began with the Industrial Revolution has reached its term; that a reaction has set in which may restore to the country-side that influence which it held for ages, and which it lost to the city a scant century ago?
Glimpses of Interesting Americans
I-Amy Lowell. II-Oliver Wendell Holmes. III-Charles Evans Hughes. IV-Edwin Arlington Robinson
BY WALTER TITTLE
DRAWINGS BY THE AUTHOR
N response to a letter of my own came one from Miss Amy Lowell, the spirit of which brought assurance that I should like her; two months later, on her arrival in New York, her voice over the telephone subscribed to that conviction.
"I am a terrible-looking object," she said. "Do you know anything about my appearance?"
"Yes," I replied, "and am relieved that no magazine-cover sketch will be expected of me. I tired of that sort I tired of that sort of thing many years ago."
Arriving at her hotel at the appointed time, I was informed that Miss Lowell would be delayed for at least an hour. Annoyed at this, I devoted the interval to some necessary business in the neighborhood, and returned a bit late for retaliation. I was asked to ascend to her apartment, where I was met by the charming lady who lives with her, a former actress of great reputation who could fill with ease any diplomatic post from that of the Court of St. James's downward. Again I was informed that the object of my visit would be delayed. I resolved that I would not like her at all if she ever did appear, but was ut
terly content for the time with the delightful conversation, and tea, with which her friend regaled me. As a rule I am not so easily wheedled, but when, two hours later than our original appointment, a door opened, and Miss Lowell herself appeared, I was not able to resist for long.
She revealed to me that, like Mr. Tarkington, she works and plays at night, reserving the day for sleep, and her latest attempt at the latter was not a great success. Here at once was a bond of freemasonry that appealed more than any other possible excuse to my sympathies.
"We belong to the same club, Miss Lowell," I said.
"So you have trouble with sleeplessness too, you poor boy? Let me give you some advice. When it is needed, take sleeping-powders, not habit-forming drugs, but effective hypnotics of some kind. They will bring you back into the way of sleeping, and will do less harm than the fatigue of wakefulness, if any at all. Be efficient. Do whatever is necessary to achieve that end. My oculist worries about me because I insist on prescribing my own lenses. If they need changing
twice a year, I demand the change. He protested against my making an old woman of myself. If I need glasses of increased strength, I must have them, old woman or not. William Lyon Phelps said of me that I am ashamed of nothing, not even my age. Why should I be of that, of all things? I am fifty-one. Another doctor was greatly perturbed because I refused to submit to an operation unless I be allowed to govern the quantity of morphine administered to me. He finally agreed, and I escaped an amount of unnecessary pain that would have been most depleting. It was a safeguard of my efficiency.
"I warned you that you would have a shock when you saw me," she continued, as I placed her, preparatory to the beginning of my sketch. "I am hardly ideal for pictorial purposes."
"But you slandered yourself," I replied. "I am really disappointed. I was promising myself a riotous orgy in delineating exaggerated contours, and I find that your head is quite slender, and you have a fine, sensitive Boston face."
"Not that, for heaven's sake!" And aside to her friend: "He has a nice Irish tongue; I know we are going to get along. But what did you expect me to look like?"
"From your own words over the telephone I was prepared to find you the twin sister of Mr. Chesterton."
"Good heavens, no! I am fat, but not a fat-head! You say you are going abroad soon. Are you going there to rest?"
"At first, yes," I replied, "and then to work. I find that I can produce with less nervous strain there than here."
"People so frequently say that Amer
ica is impossible for work. I do not find it so. No place could be better. They declare Europe to be the only quiet refuge where work is easily achieved. I work here, and I am sure I could not do better there, if as well."
"But you have your own Europe, your own particular refuge of turning night into day. Most people cannot do that. You escape all of our complications and annoyances of the turbulent daytime. You escape that thing"-I pointed to the telephone"and dozens of other alleged laborsaving contraptions that consume our time and sap our energy. Then, too, Brookline is not New York. It adds quiet to your own little fifteenth century of a working night. You are most wise in finding a solution that, however, is not possible to many." I paused, and there came to us the roar of the city, the elevated and trams, taxi-horns and motors, blending with myriad other noises that combine to make the voice of the metropolis. "Listen to civilization!" I said, and smiled.
"I love that sound; and the telephone," she replied, "I love it, too. I use it much, and it saves my time."
"But not in your working hours. You work when there is no one to ring you."
"But I do my part in the workaday world as well. I keep my house and attend to the necessary mechanics of existence. I hate to plan and order meals, but I do it every day, and look after all of the details that devolve upon a housekeeper. If you come to Brookline, I will prove it to you."
"I am positive that what you say is true. You are to be congratulated upon your excellent solution of the