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ing of the subject, or information concerning it. It is profitable to the employer to treat the workman with liberal fairness. Employers in the United States stand generally for that kind of treatment. They believe in the open shop, which permits a man to work whenever and wherever he pleases, and can agree with the employer. It may truthfully be said that labor in this country is generally well cared for and is contented. In some businesses or places it is overpaid; in some instances, perhaps, it is underpaid, though it is believed such cases are exceptional and will be rectified. During the quarter of a century the Steel Corporation has been in existence, no material hostility has been shown and no serious complaint made to the management by our workmen themselves, either individually or in committees and groups formed by them -as permitted by our practice which has not been cheerfully considered by the management and promptly disposed of to the satisfaction of both parties.
We do not approve of experimentation with the human factor in labor unless it is demonstrably practical and reasonable. If any one should assert a right to a voice in management, it is a fair and wise conclusion that this should find expression through a stockholding interest, in order that liabilities and responsibilities may be shared as well as profits. In these days capital offers to workmen the privilege of investing in its
enterprises through the purchase of securities at low rates on the instalment plan. They are enabled thus to become partners. They share the cares and the advantages of partnership. Of this plan I thoroughly approve.
În America the opportunity is open to all to accumulate capital. To procure capital we must exert ourselves thoughtfully and skilfully, with brains, muscles, strength; we must study, we must think and experiment. We must be patient and persistent in the competitive struggle. Money is needed if one is to accomplish the best results in any profession or calling. The majority of the people of the United States are equipped for success. They are studious, industrious, progressive, consistent. Never have our young men and women had such fine opportunities in business, and everywhere there is an abundance of room at the top. There is no good excuse for failure. Money is plentiful; the per capita circulation is large; interest rates are low. No responsible worthy applicant finds difficulty in obtaining funds for legitimate enterprise. Our banks are strong and well managed and enjoy public confidence. Despite inexcusable extravagances, which are widespread and deplorable, the American people are fortunate in being well supplied with money, in having an abundance of educational facilities, and in the possession of a business life governed by high ethical standards.
And the Thoughts That Come as I Tend It
WE HAVE not always lived in the country. The sun has not yet made one round of the zodiac; it is now but in Libra, and I but making my first unenthusiastic acquaintance with fall grass. Yet am I compelled to write. And let no doubt be felt of my qualifications. True, when first I announced my intention of caring for this place, my friends smiled, most unpleasantly, but things have changed since then. I have now acquired wisdom-I know what I do not knowand I have, too, knowledge. Old gardeners, I notice, are slow in thought, as in movement; I must not delay. I am now inscient, in both meanings of this obliging adjective of relativity, and I must impart my experience.
Of course, to many, a lawn is just grass, and grass is—well, every one knows what grass is. But is it or rather, do they? Within these busy months I myself have learned and now know, to run them over quickly in my memory, six kinds of lawn grass; and I know, by the same rapid review, seven kinds of growth that look like grass until you put on your glasses. And not only that, but I know too that grass and near-grass are not the only things that grow on a lawn. Here is the habitat of a
flora fairly tropical in its variety, with all manner of undesirable alien immigrants. I may not yet have the words and names scientifically to record all these discoveries, but that is a detail. My knowledge is real, mystic; it deals with the very essence of things; it is a knowledge that fills one beyond the powers of expression. And how fascinating is the acquiring of this wealth! Each week, each day almost, brings its train of the new and the interesting. In the city, seasons are marked but by a change of underclothing-and not by that if you are sufficiently modern-but out here all is a delightful and evolving adventure. How monotonous is the city!
Think first of the weeds, and especially of those of the flower-garden. A moron once asked me, "How can you be bothered with weeding?" What a failure to appreciate values, how truly moronesque! Weeds make life joyous. They stimulate our wits. And how cheerful they always are! In my own case, not at first knowing weed from flower, I determined to try watchful waiting. If the growing thing should bring forth sweet blossoms, why, then-good! If it did not, if it proved contemptible in its burgeoning, then was it to be up
rooted and cast out. But it did not take long to discover that this plan was worth no more in horticulture than in politics; the well developed evil just naturally refused to be eradicated. "It grows like a weed." What hyperbole! Nothing in the world ever grew like a weed. If it grew that way then it would be a weed. I know now where Bergson got his concept of the élan vital, and Freud, his of the libido. You may plow weeds under, break them off, crush them, cut them, pull them up, and-lo! in a few days here they are back again. The fact is they prefer rough treatment. Like religion they thrive best under persecution. We have a small tract which showed promise of Queen Anne's lace and goldenrod and blackeyed Susans; and I gave this my care, hoping for a wild garden. Not a bit of it! These things would not have my care; they drooped in discouragement, lacking incentive; the smallest child might have entered our wild garden in perfect safety.
But see the moral of this happy struggle with adversity. And think, too, what a place would be without weeds. Why, it would be like a world in which all the reforms had been accomplished, or one in which the eugenists had succeeded in blocking evolution and genius. Think of the crushing ennui-all vice, all turbulence, all uncertainty, all worries removed; and no ambition, no hope, no necessity, no resolve, no mainspring in life, no character. Thank God, like a true gardener, on your knees, that such an existence was not inflicted upon us; and thank him, too, that neither reform nor eugenics can ever bring it about.
The innate God-given tendencies of man will happily prevent such misery. Not, of course, that we should be unreasonable here. We do not want too many weeds. Always Confucius and Aristotle are right: too much and too little are equally bad. There is indeed a kind of reformer that is truly dangerous, and that is the one with an obsession for lawmaking, the "anti." Here is one who is a real trouble-brewer, one who is increasing our weeds most uncomfortably. Nature, you know, has a way of fighting back. She has two ways of meeting efforts at suppression, two very good ways: she either multiplies the seeds more abundantly, or she develops new and more hardy varieties. But the fact is, further, many of the “evils" that are objected to by the soured egoists represent but a harmless leaking out of great primitive instincts, and it is not well to seal these up too hermetically. The safety-valve of a boiler may not be ornamental, but it has a decided value; and so with our psychological safety-valves. Even if one be annoyed by the occasional escape of steam therefrom, one is not warranted in plugging them up. Something may happen.
I am not so blind as not to recognize that there are repressions and laws that are in accord with the necessities of group life, but even these necessary restraints must be psychologically true and possible. Laws are not made, they are discovered, say Mr. Carlyle and Mr. Coolidge; and Heaven help the man who does not know them when he meets them. Heaven help, too, the nation that endeavors to substitute legal enactments for laws. You cannot make a
thing right or wrong. If it were wrong to start with, no law enforcement league, no decree of government, can ever make it otherwise. A false start may by logical develop ment attain to the dignity of a great social movement; it may receive the plaudits of nations-but it will still be false. And the longer it lasts and the greater hold it secures upon the people, the greater will be the catastrophe when it ultimately collapses when the floods come and the winds blow and smite upon it.
I wonder what it is about working on grass that makes one so dogmatic. "Every thing hath divers faces, sundry byasses, and several lustres,' and one should never be too positive; but then, on the other hand, as Cromwell used to say, "if the fact be so, why sport with it?"
I return. This lawn of mine-I say "ours" when my wife is by, but "mine" at other times, as I live on it and she but admires it-this lawn of mine, then, is a cut-up acre dribbling round the house, with a splurge here and there to the road and the woods. There are oaks and tulippoplars, and spruce and arbor-vitæ, and pines, and hydrangeas and roses and lilacs and peonies and iris, and shrubs unknown to me by name. No straight up-and-down cutting this, but a twisting and turning and adjusting, up hill and down-a veritable epitome of life's progress.
It is in this leafy and bladed world that I have lived now for some months. Were I a chameleon I should have varied in shade but not in color-emerald green, grass green, and, occasionally, among the "blue" spruce, a Hooker's Green, No. 2.
It is, I suppose, this ever-present green shade, always so helpful to lucubration, that has invited this writing. Here is where I have lived and delved six days of the week, and then, on the seventh, done a little weeding and edging. Do not be shocked. Our city pastor, knowing his flock to be well armed against the devil by his, the pastor's, winter instruction, fully trusts us to browse for ourselves during the warmer months. But, after all, let us see: Lawn, compare Chaucer, laund, a moor; and the Welsh, llan, lan, lann, an open place, a cleared place, a place for a church, a CHURCH! What more can a man ask? On the seventh day, then, being the first day of the week, I go out to my church and there seek some little thought and improvement.
And what thoughts come to one! I start with dandelions and dock, my attention all given to the matter in hand, and then, a black ant viciously attacking my knife as I encircle a root, off I go to Dr. Beebe and his Guiana laboratory. And then, recalling the doctor's aviation experience, I go with him to France; and then comes the franc, and Locarno, and Austen Chamberlain. Then Joey, the father, and so on to Birmingham, and to a Birmingham friend, a genial judge; and with this judge to Czechoslovakia, and to his work in Prague, and to Masaryk. And with Masaryk, remembering an early experience of his, I go to Edinburgh and to old John Chiene, my one-time professor of surgery there; and John Chiene brings me to John, my occasional helper in the garden-and here I am back on the grass again.
I straightened up to take the kink out of my back-and to see how much I have accomplished during my sojourn in Europe and South America. Ah, this back of mine; I am growing old. But, speaking of kinks, unpleasant people sometimes try to detract from my merit by assuring me that, after all, I do this work only for my own pleasure. Some, they say, like one thing, and some like another. Such remarks come from shallow or vicious brains. This hedonistic theory is but the refuge of lazy people. One has many controls other than pleasure. I do this hard work because I have a sense of duty, or, that I may not sound vain, let us call it an obsession of task, and I cannot rest easy until this gets satisfied. It is not pleasure that I arrive at; it is but a relative absence of pain, mental pain-my body, of course may be racked like Caliban's.
I must put that thought down. What a blessing is a typewriter! One can use it even when one's fingers are all roughened and stiffened with grubbing. Lowell obstinately objected to this boon, said that he never could say what he had to say if he had to pick out his letters "like a learned pig." I remember a great English statesman who was equally bitter against the use of a steel pen. How we dislike innovations!
I go back, take breath, and proceed with my work. And I certainly must acknowledge to one pleasure in it: I have discovered through it an apology for one of my characteristics. We are all speciously expert in explaining away our defects, but here is a valid working argument. My friends say that I am critical and
not constructive, that I can see plenty of faults but do not help to build. Now how about making a garden? Here, since spring, my work has been "destructive." I have planted nothing-thrown little grass-seed, but that is all—and yet this place, which would have received only a conventional compliment last May, is now lauded by all comers. My grass excites the most unrestrained and unforced enthusiasm, and so does all the rest of it. And what have I done? I have criticized only. Meretricious luxuriance I have clipped and discouraged; false starts I have frowned upon. As I obtained knowledge and an appreciation of values, I have discarded and removed the undesirable. And now, behold what destructive criticism can create!
But I am not through. I am a student of gardening, and a student is never through. And, literally, there is no limit to a gardener's work, for not only is the routine itself compelling, but one's vision is constantly enlarging. Like a mother, one has to keep everlastingly at it, or the work will get behind; and, like a mother too, one has ever the fondest of hopes. The true maternal feeling, of course, I should not claim, but I do have a sense of paternity as I walk around; and I do not like to have my child hurt. The other day
it was just after a rain and the sod was soft-what harrowing sight should I see, but an elderly man with a wooden leg plugging his way down the grass. "A literary man-with a wooden leg!" Silas did not "drop into poetry," but he did produce a much bethumbed letter setting forth that he was conducting a drive to