Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

tive and widespread diffusion of an opinion must necessarily be in the hands either of the state or of great capitalistic concerns. Before the introduction of democracy and education this was much less true: effective opinion was confined to a small minority who could be reached without all the expensive apparatus of modern propaganda. But it can hardly be expected that either the state or a great capitalist organization will devote money and energy to the propagation of opinions which it considers dangerous and subversive, and contrary to true morality. The state, no less than the capitalist organization, is in practice a stupid elderly man accustomed to flattery, ossified in his prejudices and wholly unaware of all that is vital in the thought of his time. No novelty can be effectively advocated until it has passed the censorship of some such old fogy.

The evil is an increasing one since the whole tendency of modern business is amalgamation and centralization. The only method of securing wide publicity for an unpopular cause is that which was adopted by the suffragettes, and that is only suitable where the issue is simple and passionate, not where it is intricate and argumentative. The effect of the official or unofficial censorship is therefore to make opposition to it passionate rather than rational and to render calm discussion of the evidence for or against an innovation only possible in obscure ways which never reach the general public.

For example, there is an official medical publication exposing worthless patent medicines, but no news

paper will mention it and hardly any one knows of its existence; on the other hand, the Christian Scientists who maintain that all medicines are equally worthless are able to obtain publicity. Exactly analogous things happen in politics. Extreme opinions on either side can obtain publicity, while moderate and rational opinions are thought too dull to bear down the opposition of the authorities. This evil is, however, much less in England than in most other countries because England has been predominantly commercial and has retained the love of freedom associated with commerce.

It would of course be possible to devise remedies if one could suppose that those in authority felt the need of them. It would be possible to educate people in such a way as to increase their powers of weighing evidence and forming rational judgments; instead of this they are taught patriotism and class bias. Perhaps in time men may come to feel that intelligence is an asset to a community, but I cannot say that I see much sign of any movement in this direction. I think perhaps the best hope is that people may become bored with stereotyped clichés and turn for relief to the humorists. I do not know anything more encouraging than the eminence of Mr. Bernard Shaw. Official propagandists are always solemn and may perhaps be defeated in the long run by the desire for amusement. But let us not place too high hopes upon this source of improvement: who knows when Scotland Yard may establish a censorship of jokes? When that time comes, I shall hope to be in prison with the jokers.

I LACK THE COURAGE OF MY CONVICTIONS

I

Though Deep Within Me Beats a Lucy-Stoney Heart

DOROTHY MILLER

GOT married. Just when my friends were beginning to think I never would, I did. To every benighted man who loves her, a woman must eventually say yes or good-by forever. I never have enjoyed murmuring fare-thee-well. This time I couldn't gulp it out. Don't ask me why; the answer's silly. I just couldn't, that's all. So I surrendered. Twenty hours later an accommodating preacher turned a hard-boiled spinster into a blushing bride.

So far so good. Everybody was happy over the unexpected wedding, including the groom and both mothers-in-law. There wasn't a hitch in the ceremony nor a rift in the lute― whatever that is. All the heavenly signs must have been favorable, though we didn't consult the almanac to make sure. Certain it is there were no stormy whitecaps on the waters when my husband and I plunged headlong into the well-known uncharted sea.

This is not a document of disillusionment. Nobody need think I am about to declare that Sherman was right when he said-Marry in haste and repent at leisure, or something of that kind. On the contrary, I can't imagine anybody committing wedlock in deliberate cold blood

when our way of stepping right off from the clouds without a tinware shower or a second thought, was so much fun. All the leisure I have now you could put in your iris. But I don't spend any of it regretting that I finally had an attack of good sense. I am married but happy, believe it or not, you dour-faced skeptics.

2

The story is this:

Once upon a time there lived a woman named Lucy Stone.

"It's a pretty name," she said-as who could contradict her?-"I'll keep it."

She got married; but she kept it!

That's almost all I know about this independent lady, and I made it up. But there was a Lucy Stone, and she formed a lovely league to emancipate women from bearing the great burden of their husbands' names. Brave soul, she'll never know the problems she has made me face, for deep within me beats a Lucy-Stoney heart. And I haven't the courage of my convictions.

By nature I am an extreme individualist. Though properly married, albeit romantically, I am just as much myself as I ever was. It would kill me to have to try to submerge my identity in my husband's. Nor does he wish me to make the fatal at

tempt. He respects the personality that attracted him, and he has no inclination to dominate over it. But he is a man with his first brand-new wife, and I am a twentieth century feminist with a mid-Victorian complex.

Professionally, my name is as fixed as the hills. Dorothy Miller I was when I took up my pen, Dorothy Miller I'll be when I lay it down to die. My dear public, if I have any, may rest assured of this. It was my parents, and not my husband, who gave me my start in life and letters. The name they gave me, too, is the name I shall crown with whatever modest laurels I may acquire.

Yet I go about my domestic world wondering who I am. Am I Dorothy Miller? Or Dorothy Miller Tweedledee? Or Mrs. Tweedledum Tweedledee? I pause here to remark that those are Lewis Carroll's names, and not my husband's. I borrow them without apology since I am myself an Alice in Wonderland.

My husband's honorable cognomen is long and complicated and unusual. If it were beautiful perhaps I should find scorning it easier. But since it isn't exactly pretty, I have a tender protective feeling toward it, as toward an ugly duckling. Early in our acquaintance, not being able to find anything else wrong with my new suitor, I informed him in a rude candid letter, that I didn't like his

name.

"So you don't like my name?" he wrote back. "Well, good Lord, girl, neither do I. But you'll get used to it."

I laughed in my sleeve, prematurely, and carried the discussion no further. But the man was right. I've

grown so used to it that I think it is a nice name, because it is his. But will I ever feel it is mine?

2

As I remarked before, my husband is a man with a brand-new first wife. The pride of possession glows in his face. On our wedding trip I had to confiscate our marriage certificate to keep him from showing it to everybody. He thought it beautiful, himself. Why wouldn't taxi drivers and chambermaids enjoy looking at it? Naturally, the sweetest words he knows are "Mrs. Tweedledee." Lucy Stone means nothing to him!

Yet her cause dies hard within me. Am I a traitor to it, that I am letting it die? And a coward not to fight for its life? But I do fight, every time I sign my name. "Dorothy Miller," I write boldly, as of yore-comes a pause and a struggle. And then I meekly add, "Tweedledee."

With Tweedledum escorting me, I set out for a bank carrying a fat check I had earned myself.

"I'll open my savings-account in just my own name," I remarked casually on the way—or somewhat casually.

"No, dear," said my husband, much too gently. "You'll use your full name hereabouts-Dorothy Miller Tweedledee."

Theoretically, I should have asserted myself. It was my money and my business. Don't I know it? Yes, that was just it. It was all my money, and mine only. Tweedledum wouldn't take a dime of it, not even if he needed socks. Yet a short while before, at a bank down the street from the one I chose, he had changed his account into a joint-account, sub

ject to my checking. I had shown myself willing to write Dorothy Miller Tweedledee on the checks of that bank. Wouldn't it be small for me to refuse to use the same signature for my private funds? It couldn't hurt me, and it would gratify the man who supports me. Little enough to do for Tweedledum!

Alas and alack! I am sure that a married woman has a perfect right to retain her own name and to use it consistently, on pass-books and calling cards. But I am so old-fashioned. I like to please my husband! Ah, woe is me!

An editorial friend of mine, who knows nothing of this mental conflict nor yet my married name, writes musingly: "I wonder how my dear old proper South is going to understand your being plain Dorothy

Miller when you have a perfectly legitimate husband."

She needn't worry. In New York they call me Miss Miller. I glory in staying myself! But along the Kanawha, I am Mrs. Tweedledee. And do you know-I glory in being her, too?

That is why the Lucy Stone League isn't as strong as the Republican party. Married women are proud of their subjection and their slavery-or whatever you want to call being comfortably wived. And even those of us who cherish dreams of feminine freedom-haven't the courage of our convictions.

But what do I care? I'm a bride of six weeks and I've got Tweedledum! Where lives the woman with soul so dead that she wouldn't forsake a cause for a lover? Not along the Kanawha!

TROUPING WITH UNCLE TOM

Fay Templeton and Mary Pickford and All the Other Little Evas

T

RALPH EUGene Lund

HE air was full of music as the Plantation Brass Band swung into Main Street headed by a black giant in cardinal red. He proudly twirled a drum-major's baton as he led the company of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" in the morning streetparade that preceded the afternoon performance of "the great instructive and moral drama."

Farmers from miles around, who always came to town to see "Uncle Tom's Cabin," held their nervous horses as the procession of brass drew near, every member of the dusky symphony mounted on his own prancing spirits.

The eager crowd pressed forward into the street while the band strutted by in pompous glory, their instruments bellowing minor chords.

Suddenly the throng shrunk back and hundreds of trembling feet clung to the curb in joyful terror.

The

"Hey, Ma! Look! The bloodhounds! The bloodhounds!" high-pitched voice of a ten-year-old pierced the blare of trumpets. His mother gripped his hand to hold him back, but it wasn't necessary. He was a country boy accustomed to dogs, but he wouldn't have gone near those dogs for all the money in the world. Bloodhounds were man hunters. These bloodhounds were

woman hunters! Every evening and two afternoons a week they chased Eliza across the ice.

Audiences in those days were demonstrative. The same people turned out for "Uncle Tom's Cabin" year after year. The same women wept and screamed season after season when the "yaller gal" held her sawdust babe close to her breast and with courage born of desperation rushed into the raging, icejammed Ohio River. The same men lost control of themselves, year in and year out, and in loud voices from the balcony challenged the heartless Legree to come out on Main Street and fight like a man.

The scene is laid in the middle seventies in almost any American city. The "bloodhounds" were a sensation. Never before had they been seen in a production of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," although the play had been running for a quarter of a century at the time Jay Rial conceived the idea of adding great Danes to the cast. Al Martin's company tried real bloodhounds but they were not a success. They looked too indolent and peaceful. He finally gave in and standardized on the fiery Danes like the others and called them bloodhounds.

In the early days of "Uncle Tom's

« AnkstesnisTęsti »