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inception, incubation, and hatching of tinctive culture and a swash-buckling this barnyard chef d'oeuvre.” In the Kultur. Rostand was right in saying first place, during the writing of that his song came from his native soil "Chanticleer" death, illness, and trou- like sap, that he was of the soil on ble came thick and fast to Rostand which he stood, and that of no soil and his family, so that for months at a could he sing so well as of his own. time he was unable to work. In the There is a kind of political patriotism second place, Rostand was an honest that is a poison in the world's blood, and willing slave to accuracy of detail. but this sort of cultural patriotism we He worked over the details of scenes must cultivate if we are to keep an for months. He made literature with increasingly international society full his sleeves rolled up. I have been of color and meaning. again impressed, as I have reread In "Chanticleer" Rostand revived "Chanticleer," with his amazing mas- a dramatic form that had been little tery of detail, particularly in the first used, if at all, since Aristophanesand fourth acts.

peopling the stage with animals. The charges of bigotry and insular- There was endless discussion about ity were likewise unjust. This criti- this feature of the play, to the great cism grew out of the fact that Rostand

annoyance of Rostand, who said, would not travel, would not learn “I shall end by being taken for the foreign languages, and, in the produc- showman of a menagerie.” I dimly tion of his plays, stubbornly refused remember having read some ten years to allow a line to be inserted that was ago an interesting discussion of the not his. I am not sure that such use of birds and animals in literature, insularity merits criticism. It is true a discussion that comes to mind in that we must widen our outlook if we connection with Rostand's "Chantiare to be intelligent citizens of this cleer." Of course birds and animals modern world that has become so were used in literature long before by completely interdependent. It is true Aristophanes, Æsop, Chaucer, La Fonthat most of our political and eco- taine, and others. As I remember this nomic troubles may be traced to nar- discussion, it divided the history of the row nationalism. There is, however, literary use of animals into three a danger in our otherwise laudable periods. The first period was the propaganda for a more international time when man felt no essential disspirit. The danger is this: an inter- tinction between himself and creatures nationalism that tears men from their of instinct. Reason and instinct had native soil and leads them to neglect not become differentiated. In this their distinctive cultures will rob the period men looked upon animals as world of its color and turn the society tribal ancestors, consecrated them with of nations into one huge Shaker village elaborate ceremony as totems, worwith a drab uniformity of outlook and shiped them as divine. In the primiaction. There is room in real inter- tive fables of this period the animals nationalism for the widest diversity did not speak as beasts, but as persons, and keenest competition between our as clan ancestors. These fables were several national cultures. There is a not symbolic or allegorical; they were difference between a creative and dis- baldly real. In the second period man


had acquired a sense of superiority mission was to sing so clearly that over animals. This "snobbery of every day would dawn clearly. His

" species” culminated in the theories of sense of responsibility touched him Descartes, who asserted that animals with nobility. One day he was tricked were automata. The tales of this into neglecting his crow. .

To his period did not seriously characterize surprise, the sun came up without his animals, but all about were totem- help. He was for the moment broken poles and obsolete rituals which had and disillusioned. Then he pulled himremained as relics of the earlier period. self together, and crowed lustily with Writers, in attempting to explain a new conception of his duty. He them, built up a great mythological could not make the sun rise to meet literature. But in our time the doc- the world, but he could make the trine of organic evolution has brought "world rise to meet the sun," as some us into a third period in which the old one has put it. As the translator says sense of comradeship with the animals in the foreword, "the secret of Chantiis being restored. Although we do not

Although we do not cleer is very truth. It is work and regard animals as our fellows, after the faith in one's work that makes the simple fashion of our primitive ances- world go round. It is loving the light tors, it is again possible to make birds and calling for the light that brings and animals real characters in a play the Light at last.” I have said very and seriously to trace out their dim little about the pertinence of this emotions and reasonings. "Chanti- Chanticleer conception to the world's cleer" is the product of this third present political muddle. I have purperiod. And Rostand intended his posely left this only as a passing hint. birds and animals to be real characters. It is interesting to note that the transnot men and women tricked out in lator has dedicated these two volumes feathers and fur.

of poetic drama to a politician-WoodThere is less symbolism in "Chanti- row Wilson. I wonder if this dedicacleer" than we read into it. Rostand tion was prompted by recognition of said, "Aristophanes made use of his the fact that only the stern applicabirds to criticize the follies of his con- tion of uncompromising idealism, only temporaries. My piece employs sat- some insistent cry for light, not the ire only by the way.” Despite this clever chess-play of opportunists, can assertion, critics insist upon making bring us safely through this period of “Chanticleer" a satire on big-headed- war's aftermath? Maybe the transness, a rebuke to self-intoxicated eras, lator saw a likeness between Chantimen, creeds, systems, races. The

The cleer's relation to the plots of the Night thing to remember in reading this Birds and the adventure of the idealist drama is that the birds and animals at Paris, where, as in “Chanticleer," are real characters, as real as Hamlet the “Night" offered a "twilight truce.” or Falstaff, and that the meaning of That was an unhappy adventure, but the play is very simple and very the fight for light and beauty against fundamental.

lust for power, begun and temporarily Chanticleer regarded himself as high lost at Paris, is the only hope of escape priest to the sun. He was convinced from our war-threatened, debt-ridden, that his crow brought the dawn. His and anxious time.



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The New Decalogue of Science
An Open Letter from the Biologist to the Statesman

IR: As you know, biology is the scope, the telescope, the spectroscope,
science of life. Now, you control and the chemist's test-tube to enable

life on a vaster scale than any other them to make their own revelations. human being. What you say or think And these new instruments have not or do about life is, therefore, the most only added an enormous range of new important thing in the whole world. commandments, an entirely new decaYou are in a very real sense the arbiter logue, but they have supplied a technic of the destiny of the race. I regret to for putting the old ones into effect. say, however, that there are five or six Men have never been really righteous, thousand volumes and special investi- because they did not know how. gations dealing with this subject of life They could not obey God's will, beof which, evidently, you have never cause they had no way of finding out heard; or if you have heard of them, what it was. But science has at last they have had a singularly slight in- given to men a true technic of rightfluence upon your policy and action. eousness. And this new dispensation

You have read some ten command- is just as divine as the old. It is filled ments that God wrote on tables of with warnings of wrath, both present stone and gave to one of your prede- and to come, for the biological ungodly cessors-Moses—as a true chart of as well as alluring promises to them statesmanship. He later added two who do His biological will. These supplements known as the golden rule warnings should, first, make you and the Sermon on the Mount. You tremble. They should, second, make have failed conspicuously to put these you pray. They should, third, fill you ancient principles into practice, and with the militant faith of a new it may surprise your Excellency to evangel. learn that God is still revealing new

$ 2 and revolutionary aspects of these principles of statesmanship and life. The first warning that biology gives However, instead of using tables of to statesmanship is that mankind is stone, prophecies, visions, and dreams, going backward; that the civilized He has in this day given men the micro- races of the world are biologically Copyright, 1922, by THE CENTURY Co. All rights reserved.


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