Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“
[ocr errors]

by recognition as part of college work. are embarking on a score of activities

To some minds such answers are ef- unknown to older generations, bringing fective; but there are two reasons why themselves in closer touch, not only they are not wholly conclusive. They with the undergraduates, but with the do not prevent our halls of learning from alumni and with the world outside. being crowded as never before, nor For it is obvious that there are two do they affect the development of the things which must be done. The one is student guild. Neither denial nor de- to infuse into this mass of youthful struction is a policy. We lack the word energy something of judgment and dito charm the genie again into the bottle. rection more than is natural to youth; And no amount of repression, not even to connect this vigorous, undisciplined, raising entrance requirements and stif- loosely organized development with the fening courses, — though these would saner standards and the worthier ends help some institutions which pride of maturer minds, on the principle of themselves on numbers, — will solve

will solve ‘old men for counsel and young men the problem, which, call it what you for war.' What can be done by closer will, remains one of the great issues in coöperation is revealed in one instituour higher education. The demand of tion by the development of a glee club parents and undergraduates for train- which has achieved distinction in the ing beyond that afforded by the faculty whole world of music; in another by is not only natural: it is legitimate. a school of poetry, and in another of There is an education not set down in drama, which need not hide their heads books, or embodied in lectures; and even before professionals. The second purely intellectual acquirement by it- is the recognition by the undergraduates self is poor preparation for this wicked themselves of the duties and the responworld. As it stands now, this part of our sibilities which their system has brought collegiate system is perhaps ill done. with it. They must direct this moveBut it is now beyond us to end it; it ment to better ends than material remains to mend.

comfort, or mere pleasure, or mutual Much has been accomplished by some

admiration, or social distinction, or orfaculties. Deans and sub-deans and ganization for organization's sake, un'student' deans, advisers and super- less it is to destroy itself. The idea of visors of all kinds, have done and are 'doing something' for this institution or doing good work. Still more, the earnest that, though often expressed in futile and unrecognized labors of many indi- forms or running to absurdities, points viduals in the guild of scholars among the way to better things than living for undergraduates has borne fruit. Some- one's self or for one's club alone. thing has been accomplished by the In these two things – closer coöperastudents themselves. Year by year the tion between the guild of scholars and number of societies that take an active the guild of students, and acceptance interest in the more serious activities of of the obligations of their system by their members has increased. Some the undergraduates and the alumni have established scholarships; many seems to lie the only perceptible basis have begun to supervise the studies of for the proper development of the future at least the younger men; many more college and university. But there is a have coöperated with the faculty in a third - the recognition of this problem variety of ways. And slowly, toilsome- for what it is: an integral part, not only ly, this fusion proceeds, to the advantage of the situation as it exists, but of the of both groups. The colleges themselves education of our youth in its entirety. VOL, 128-NO. 5

A YOKE OF STEERS

BY DUBOSE HEYWARD

A HEAVE of mighty shoulders to the yoke,
Square, patient heads, and flaring sweep of horn;
The darkness swirling down beneath their feet
Where sleeping valleys stir, and feel the dawn;
Uncouth and primal, on and up they sway,
Taking the summit in a drench of day.
The night-winds volley upward bitter-sweet
And the dew shatters to a rainbow spray
Under the slow-moving, cloven feet.

There is a power here that grips the mind;
A force repressed and inarticulate,
Slow as the swing of centuries, as blind
As Destiny, and as deliberate.

They will arrive in their appointed hour
Unhurried by the goad of lesser wills,
Bearing vast burdens on.

They are the great
Unconquerable spirit of these hills.

THE ATTAS AT HOME

BY WILLIAM BEEBE

I

CLAMBERING through white, pasty dun; flapping dead leaves like the ommud, which stuck to our boots by the nipresent, worn-out scarecrows of campound; peering through bitter, cold ouflage. And over in one corner, to mist, which seemed but a thinner skim complete the simile, were a dozen shellof mud; drenched by flurries of icy holes, the homes of voracious ant-lions, drops shaken from the atmosphere by which, for passing insects, were unexa passing moan and a crash; breathing ploded mines, set at hair-trigger. air heavy with a sweet, horrible, pene- My Atta city was only two hundred trating odor such was the world as feet away from the laboratory, in fairly it existed for an hour one night, while high jungle, within sound of the dinner the Commandant of Douaumont and I triangle, and of the lapping waves on wandered about, completely lost, on the the Mazaruni shore. To sit near by and top of his own fort. We finally stum- concentrate solely upon the doings of bled on the little grated opening through these ant-people was as easy as watchwhich the lookout peered unceasingly ing a single circus ring of performing over the landscape of mud. The mist elephants, while two more rings, a maze lifted and we rediscovered the cave-like of trapezes, a race-track, and sideentrance, watched for a moment the shows were in full swing. The jungle ominous golden dumb-bells rising from around me teemed with interesting the première ligne, scraped our boots on happenings and distracting sights and a German helmet, and went down again sounds. The very last time I visited into the strangest sanctuary on earth. the nest, and became absorbed in a line

This was the vision that flashed of incoming ants, I heard the shrill through my mind as I began vigil at an squeaking of an angry hummingbird

I enormous nest of Attas the leaf-cut- overhead. I looked up, and there, ten ting ants of the British Guiana jungle. feet above, was a furry tamandua antIn front of me was a glade, about thirty eater slowly climbing a straight purplefeet across, devoid of green growth and heart trunk, while round and round his filled with a great irregular expanse of head buzzed and swore the little fury earth and mud. Relative to the height - a pinch of cinnamon feathers, ablaze of the Attas, my six feet must seem a with rage. The curved claws of the good half-mile, and from this height I unheeding ant-eater fitted around the looked down and saw again the same trunk, and the strong prehensile tail inconceivably sticky clay of France. flattened against the bark, so that the There were the rain-washed gullies, the creature seemed to put forth no more half-roofed entrances to the vast under- exertion than if walking along a fallen ground fortresses, clean-swept, perfect log. Now and then it stopped and dainroads, as efficient as the arteries of Ver tily picked at a bit of termite nest.

a

With such side-shows it was some- many species of ants, beetles, and times difficult to concentrate on the roaches searching for bits of food the Attas. Yet they offer problems for scavengers of this small world. But the years of study. The glade was a little most interesting were the actual paraworld in itself, with visitors and ten- sites, flies of many colors and sizes, humants, comedy and tragedy, sounds and ming past like little planes and Zeppe

, silences. It was an ant-made glade, lins over this hidden city, ready to drop with all new growths choked either by a bomb in the form of an egg deposited upflung, earthen hillocks, or by leaves on the refuse-heaps or on the ants thembitten off as soon as they appeared. selves. The explosion might come slowThe casual visitors were the most con- ly, but it would be none the less deadly. spicuous: an occasional trogon swoop- Once I detected a hint of the complexity ing across - a flashing, feathered comet of glade life — beautiful metallic green of emerald, azurite, and gold. Or, slow- flies walking swiftly about on long legs, ly drifting in and out among the vines, searching nervously, whose eggs would

, and coming to rest with waving wings, be deposited near those of other fies, a yellow-and-red-spotted Ithomiid—or their larvæ to feed upon the others was it a Heliconiid or a Danaiid? with parasites upon parasites. such bewildering models and marvelous As I had resolutely put the doings of mimics it was impossible to tell without the tree-tops away from my consciouscapture and close examination. Giant

ness, so now I forgot visitors and parapurple tarantula-hawks hummed past, sites, and armed myself for the excavascanning the leaves for their prey. tion of this buried metropolis. I rubbed

Another class of glade-haunters were vaseline on my high boots, and about those who came strictly on business the tops bound a band of teased-out plasterers and sculptors, who found wet absorbent cotton. My pick and shovel clay ready to their needs. Great golden I treated likewise, and thus I was comand rufous bees blundered down and paratively insulated; for without pretore off bucketsful of mud; while slen- cautions no living being could withder-bodied, dainty wasps of ebony, after stand the slow, implacable attack of much fastidious picking of place, would disturbed Attas. At present I walked detach a tiny bit of the whitest clay, unmolested across the glade. The milplace it in their snuff-box holder, clean lions beneath my feet were as uncontheir feet and antennæ, run their rapier scious of my presence as they were of in and out, and delicately take to wing. the breeze in the palm-fronds overhead.

Little black trigonid bees had their At the first deep shovel-thrust, a special quarry — a small deep valley, slow-moving flood of reddish-brown

in the midst of a waste of interlacing began to pour forth from the crumbled Bad Lands, on the side of a precipitous earth — the outposts of the Atta Maxbutte. Here they cut and gouged to ims moving upward to the attack. For their hearts' content, plastering the a few seconds only workers of various thighs until their wings would hardly sizes appeared; then an enormous head lift them. They braced their feet, heaved upward, and there came into whirred, lifted unevenly, and sank back the light of day the first Atta soldier. with a jar; then, turning, bit off a piece He was twice the size of a large worker of ballast, and heaving it over the pre- and heavy in proportion. Instead of cipice, swung off on an even keel. being drawn up into two spines, the top

Close examination of some of the of his head was rounded, bald, and craters and volcano-like cones revealed shiny, and only at the back were the

and sun.

a

two spines visible, shifted downward. branched and bifurcated, separated and The front of the head was thickly anastomosed, while here and there were clothed with golden hair, which hung chambers varying in size from a cocoadown bang-like over a round, glistening nut to a football. These were filled single median eye. One by one, and with what looked like soft grayish then shoulder to shoulder, these Cyclo- sponge covered with whitish mould, pean Maxims lumbered forth to battle, and these sombre affairs were the raison and soon my boots were covered in d'être of all the leaf-cutting, the trails, spite of the grease, all sinking their the struggles through jungles, the conmandibles deep into the leather. stant battling against wind and rain

When I unpacked these boots this year, I found the heads and jaws of two But the labors of the Attas are reAttas still firmly attached, relics of newed only when a worker disappears some forgotten foray of the preceding down a hole with his hard-earned bit of year. This mechanical, vise-like grip, leaf. He drops it and goes on his way. wholly independent of life or death, is We do not know what this way is, but utilized by the Guiana Indians. In my guess is that he turns around and place of stitching up extensive wounds,

goes

after another leaf. Whatever the a number of these giant Atta Maxims nests of Attas possess, they are withare collected, and their jaws applied to out recreation-rooms. These sluggardthe edges of the skin, which are drawn instructors do not know enough to together. The ants take hold, their take a vacation; their faces are made bodies are snipped off, and the row of for biting, not for laughing or yawning. . heads remains until the wound is I once dabbed fifteen Mediums with a healed.

touch of white paint as they approached Over and around the outpouring sol- the nest, and within five minutes thirdiers, the tiny workers ran and bit and teen of them had emerged and started chewed away at whatever they could on the back track again. reach. Dozens of ants made their way The leaf is taken in charge by another up to the cotton, but found the utmost Medium, hosts of whom are everydifficulty in clambering over the loose where. Once, after a spadeful, I placed fluff. Now and then, however, a needle- my eye as close as possible to a small like nip at the back of my neck showed heap of green leaves, and around one that some pioneer of these shock troops oblong bit were five Mediums, each had broken through, when I was thank- with a considerable amount of chewed ful that Attas could only bite, and not and mumbled tissue in front of him. sting as well. At such a time as this. This is the only time I have ever sucthe greatest difference is apparent be- ceeded in finding these ants actually at tween these and the Eciton army ants. this work. The leaves are chewed thorThe Eciton soldier, with his long curved oughly, and built up into the sponge scimitars and his swift, nervous move gardens, being used neither for thatch, ments, was, to one of these great in- nor for food, but as fertilizer. And not sects, as a fighting d'Artagnan would be for any strange subterranean berry or to an armored tank. The result was kernel or fruit, but for a fungus or mushmuch the same, however - perfect room. The spores sprout and proliferefficiency.

ate rapidly, the gray mycelia covering I now dug swiftly and crashed with the garden;and at the end of each thread pick down through three feet of soil. is a little knobbed body filled with The great entrance arteries of the nest liquid. This forms the sole food of the

« AnkstesnisTęsti »