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insulate the real students from one ble condition; but, as in that little deother, and so prevent the emergence of a bating-society, above them and around mental current. Hence, to get rid of one them and within them must be the unifystudent who is mentally inert may be of ing force of a central intellectual interest. more avail in this matter than to acquire A dozen words and phrases come to the three who are mentally awake. It is at tip of my pen to indicate what this interfirst a question not so much of size and est might be, but I will not let myself put range as of continuity. If a number of them down. All are inadequate, and each old friends look forward to an evening is bound to arouse the antagonism of of congenial reminiscence round the fire, some one who has another name for the it may be more important that all the
But whatever we call this strangers go than that all the friends re- focusing power, who can doubt that a step main. The one false note mars the whole of prime importance toward its attainmelody. The one chilly and unresponsive ment is the complete abolition of the comguest dissipates the spirit of festivity. partment type of modern college-the col
lege, I mean, made up of intellectually
water-tight departments? In other words, THE INCUBUS OF THE IDLE STUDENT
we must wage unrelenting war on the LOOKED at in this light, we see how spe- spirit of narrow specialization. It was cious are the arguments which have led probably necessary, while our universities us to tolerate the college idler so long. were being placed on a firm basis, for our Clinging to the remote hope of his regen- colleges to pass through a period of the eration, we have permitted him to con- domination of this spirit. But that necestaminate hundreds with the virus of in- sity is past. Hereafter specialization tellectual listlessness. The time for tol- should be left to the universities and voerance is past. War measures are now cational schools; and it should stand out necessary. The first and crying need of more and more clearly as the duty of the the American college to-day is the ejec- college teacher to humanize his subject, tion, the ruthless ejection, of the man with to bring it home to the lives and experithe idle mind. He is the leper of college ence of his students, to relate it to other society.
subjects the study of which they are purLater, when conditions are less desper- suing. And to this end we must exorcise ate, we may be able to treat him more a superstition that looms in the pathleniently. But, then, the chances are that the obnoxious doctrine that largeness of he will either be converted or will elimi- outlook means lack of thoroughness and nate himself, for college will have be- accuracy; that the presence of imaginacome a place where a man with an idle tion means lack of respect for facts. It mind will feel as uncomfortable as a churl ought to mean, and it can mean, just the in fine society. In bringing this condition opposite. No one whose mind is healthy about, however, we must not lose our loses interest in the towns and cities besense of distinction. · Greater vigilance cause he has seen a map of the whole counover the intellectual life of the college try. must not be interpreted to mean that the
THE ATTITUDE OF THE TEACHER TOWARD poorly prepared student shall never be
HIS SUBJECT admitted, or that the man who gets low marks shall be instantly dismissed, or that In this condemnation of the water-tight the girl who is ruining her health over department I do not mean to include the her books shall be tacitly applauded. I
I system of major subjects, or the value of am not speaking of mental endowment or intensive study along some definite line. of mental results. I am speaking of men- I refer, rather, to a distinct and easily tal hunger, a very different thing. The recognizable attitude on the part of the curve of mental hunger cannot be plotted teacher. Every one who has been through from statistics in the registrar's office. college has undoubtedly had the misfor
But all this is not enough. This is only tune to fall into the clutches of at least the preparation of the soil. Next there one extreme example of the type- the must be the seed, an entire student body man who teaches even the most elemenopen-minded and alert is the indispensa- tary course in his subject as if all the stu
try from war; and while every one vehe- Doctrine; but at least it would have made mently asserts that the whole of Mexico Mr. Wilson's task easier. He not only is n't worth the life of a single American refused to listen to the suggestion, but soldier, many of these same people in the without offending European sensibilities same breath condemn Mr. Wilson for hav- he made it known that the United States ing no policy. Any time in the last year would not consent to European interferit would have been easier to have brought ence in an American question, which Mexon war than it has been to avert it.
ico is, and rather than the Monroe DocThe Mexican complications have af- trine being relaxed, it would be strengthforded Mr. Wilson an opportunity to re- ened, if necessary. There is now no doubt affirm in a broad and emphatic manner in any European foreign office what Presithe Monroe Doctrine. As an English- dent Wilson's attitude is on the Monroe man, I am naturally not particularly Doctrine, and what his course would be enamoured of a doctrine which, no matter should any European power challenge it. how essential it was to the safety and Whether for good or evil, the Monroe well-being of the United States in the Doctrine exists as long as Woodrow Wilpast, is to-day, in my opinion, as injurious son remains in the White House. The to Latin America as it is unnecessary to rest of the world “allows” the United the United States, and detrimental to the States a free hand in dealing with Mexico progress of all the rest of the world; but because it has no alternative. that is a controversial subject not properly Mr. Wilson has been his own foreign belonging here. As an American, as Pres- minister, as he has been his own cabinet. ident of the United States, Mr. Wilson The Mexican policy is his policy. He canholds to the national polity, and permits not shift responsibility. He must accept no weakening of the Monroe Doctrine blame for whatever happens, and to him while in his keeping. In the early days will be accorded the credit if he brings of his Presidency, when relations with about peace without having forced his own Mexico began to assume a threatening as- country into war. He has put his impress pect, and some of the great European upon the state department, as he has upon powers were showing signs of nervousness all the other departments of the Governabout the safety of their subjects and their ment. He controls Congress. He domiinvestments in Mexico, suggestions were nates Washington. He is the most masthrown out that Mexico was an interna- terful figure American politics has known, tional, and not purely an American, ques- as determined as Jackson, but with the tion, and certain newspapers urged the persuasion and tact that were foreign to President to call a conference or in other Jackson's nature. He has done things. ways invite the coöperation of Europe. Among the men to whom the White That would not have been unpopular in House is a background there is no more some quarters, even although it might not interesting study, none with nature more unlikely have brought down on the Presi- perplexing, none whose future defies predent criticism for ignoring the Monroe diction. Time will deliver the verdict.
MUSIC OF TO-DAY AND
BY JAMES HUNEKER
ESPITE the fact that he played the mediocrity is mankind in the normal, and
Wagner, Arthur Schopenhauer said some read without running. Every century notable things about music. “Art is ever produces artists who are forgotten in a on the quest," is a wise observation of his, few generations, though they fill the eye "a quest, and a divine adventure”; though and the ear for the time being with their this restless search for the new often ends clever production.
clever production. This has led to anin plain reaction, progress may be crab- other general idea, that of transition, of wise and still be progress.
I fear that intermediate types. After critical per"progress" as usually understood is a spective has been attained, it is seen that glittering "general idea" that blinds us to the majority of composers fall into this the truth. Reform in art is not like re- category, not a consoling notion, but an form in politics; you can't reform the unavoidable. Richard Wagner has his St. Matthew Passion or the Fifth Sym- epigones; the same was the case with phony. Is “Parsifal” a reformation of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven. Mendelssohn Gluck? This talk of reform is only con- was a delightful feminine variation on fusing the historical with the esthetic. Bach, and after Schumann car
came Brahms. Art is a tricksy quantity and, like quick- The Wagner-Liszt tradition of musicsilver, is ever mobile. As in all genuine drama, so-called, and the symphonic poem revolutions the personal equation counts have been continued with personal modifithe heaviest, so in dealing with the con- cations by Richard Strauss; Max Reger ditions of music at the present time one has pinned his faith to Brahms and absomust study the temperament of our music- lute music, though not without a marked makers and let prophecy sulk in its tent individual variation. In considering his as it may,
“Sinfonietta,” the “Serenade," the “HilIf Ruskin had written music-criticism, ler Variations," the "Prologue to a Traghe might have amplified the meaning of edy," the “Lustspiel Overture," the two his once-famous phrase, the "pathetic fal- concertos respectively for piano-forte and lacy,” for I consider it a pathetic fallacy violin, we are struck not so much by the
- though not in the Ruskinian sense-in easy handling of old forms, but by the criticism to be overshadowed by the fear stark emotional content of these composithat, because some of our critical predeces- tions. Reger began as a Brahmsianer, sors misjudged Wagner or Manet or but he has thus far not succeeded in fusIbsen, we should be too merciful in criti- ing form and theme so wonderfully as did cizing our contemporaries. This is the his master. There is a Dionysian strain "pathos of distance” run to sentimental in his music that too often is in jarring seed. The music of to-day may be the discord with the intellectual plan of his music of to-morrow, but if it is not, what work. But there is no denying that Max then? It may satisfy the emotional needs Reger is the one man in Germany to-day of the moment, yet to-morrow be a stale who is looked upon as the inevitable rival formula. But what does that prove? Be- of Richard Strauss. Their disparate tencause Bach and Beethoven built their dencies bring to the lips the old query, work on the bases of eternity (employing Under which king? Some think that this tremendous term in its limited sense), Arnold Schoenberg may be a possible anone may nevertheless enjoy the men whose tagonist in the future, but for the present music is of slighter texture and “modern.” it 's Reger and Strauss, and no third in Nor is this a plea for mediocrity. Medi- opposition. ocrity we shall always have with us: The Strauss problem is a serious one.