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As information this is all clear to me naturally expressed in the simple and until the last line. There I am hand- obvious metaphor. A poet once icapped by my ignorance of the said that all poetry began when habits of fish in that critical condition. Adam named the animals; the funcBut even if I knew about the fish I tion of art, he said, was to lay the protest that nothing is said there name on the thing. Our first anabout my own heart, and I am little cestor, according to this theory, interested in the condition of this looked at the horse and exclaimed, "I fellow-poet whose feelings happen realize at last that's a horse!" But to be advertised in the public print. this is to exclude the audience. A But if Burns says his "love is like a more complete theory is to say that red, red rose," Í need not have the poetry begins when Adam utters the slightest interest in Burns and his word "horse," and the animal gives love; I need only to cherish a love of a start of surprise and recognition, and my own which finds itself quite says, “There! That's what I am!"
A YOUNG PORTRAIT-PAINTER EXHIBITS
BARBARA MADISON TUNNELL
I heard them saying as they sauntered by
His portraits do not fake as faces can;
THE SPRING LESSON Let us sup- gion, which is a good thing for everypose a case.
case. Suppose George F. body. Babbitt, having heard that Sinclair Without, of course, being aware of Lewis's “Elmer Gantry” (Harcourt, his desire, he wishes he had a better Brace) is a "preacher novel” and excuse for playing hooky than he has “hot stuff," has decided to read the ever found. In “Elmer Gantry" book. Babbitt is himself not much he finds it. So this is the way of a hand to go to church, though he preachers behave! Babbitt has does not mind if his wife goes, and he heard cynics wondering whether half sends his children to Sunday-school, the preachers, if the truth were where they will get good moral teach- known about them, do not keep a ing an hour a week and will be kept, bottle hidden behind a for that long and maybe longer, out Bibles; wondering if, when preachers of mischief. For some reason or call on the women of their congregaother, he has always been a little un- tions, with the men-folks away, they comfortable with preachers. They spend the whole time talking about cramp his style. He knows that spiritual problems. This .
book there are good fellows among them, makes it look as if the cynics were but, after all, they are preachers, set right in their suspicions. Elmer vaguely apart from the world, and Gantry can tip the bottle with any not quite the same as the men that man, and he has a way with the Babbitt sees every day down-town.
Babbitt cannot help lickMoreover, they hold their services ing his lips as he reads. Imagine on Sunday, which is Babbitt's day of seeing this all written down in black rest. If he went to the morning and white! There is no doubt about sermon, he would have to get up it, he says, preachers are the same as earlier than he likes to do for any- ordinary people, except that they thing except golf. By evening, of have advantages which the average course, his day of rest has tired him man never has. Traveling all over out. And
And yet he has never managed the country, for instance, with a to get over the feeling that maybe he lady evangelist, like Sharon Falconer. ought to go to church more regularly. Getting in with the big guns in every Every Sunday his conscience whis- town. Having a chance-Babbitt pers to him, from time to time, does not put it quite so neatly—to that he is playing hooky from reli- have all the publicity of a saint and
all the privacy of a sinner. Plenty have said his religion was partly of pay for very little work. This is superstition, caught up the clamor. really too much. A snide game,
A snide game, The clamor has lasted from that that's what it is. Babbitt concludes, time to this.
time to this. But in the United for the moment, that the preachers States, thanks to the absence of an will henceforth get small pickings established church and the presence out of him.
of many tolerated sects, there has On second thought, indeed, Bab- been, since the seventeenth century, bitt will probably, like most of his no great pressure put upon the easyfriends, change his mind. Come to going layman by any ecclesiastical think about it, he knows preachers organization. Of late this happy who are certainly not like Elmer condition appears to be undergoing a Gantry. Anyway, a few preachers change. Certain of the more powerlike that make no great difference in ful sects, joining their zealous forces, the long run. The church is a big have set out to say what science institution, which ought to be sup- shall be taught in the schools and ported by all who have the best in-. how Sunday shall be observed and terests of the community at heart. whether men shall go to church or Religion is a good thing for every- not. Skeptics have for some time body. Why, even the lowest sav- been disturbed by such a developages have some sort of religion. The ment, but, since skepticism calls for a United States would be badly off considerable boldness of thought, without it. Still, Babbitt will be less there are seldom many skeptics in a troubled the next time he drops his country. The work of throwing off wife at the church and himself goes ecclesiastical tyranny has in the main on to the golf course.
to be done by persons who are merely No one can ever be quite sure,
emotional and instinctive in their when the dust of the present scuffle behavior. These are the persons has blown away, whether Sinclair whom “Elmer Gantry” reaches. It Lewis had his ear closer to the ground tells them, in a familiar idiom, that than any one else, or whether he him- clergymen are drunken and sensual. self created the row. It ought to be The Babbitts must do the rest. plain, however, that he has chosen the most spectacular method of attack. The medieval satirists em- CATO FROM CONNECTICUT:-Sinployed it. In an age of faith, they clair Lewis may have invented Elmer did not examine the faith itself, to Gantry, but Heywood Broun and see whether it was sound and realistic Margaret Leech had only to interpret enough to satisfy the intelligent. the hero of “Anthony Comstock: They clamored that priests were Roundsman of the Lord” (A. & C. drunken and sensual, Elmer Gantrys Boni). Incredible as the man may surpliced and tonsured. The com- seem to the eye of reason, he is permon man, who would have grown im- fectly real to the eye of history. The patient under the strain of a theolog- man existed. A solemn, priggish ical debate and who would have rustic from Connecticut, he came to murdered the heretics who might New York, was shocked by certain
things he saw, and set out to make seem a mere difference of opinion. the city look like his native village. But Comstock was more than primiWhat he specifically directed his tive; he was also acutely dogmatic. attention to was pornography, as The range of differences of opinion found in the books and pictures which he was willing to tolerate was sneakingly circulated for the satis- extravagantly small. Nor was he faction of immature curiosity. But alone in this. He found backers who
. he could not confine himself to the gave him money and a position from work for which he was employed by which to fight. He was various other persons of a similar quently not a lone crusader, not a zeal. He came in time to hold that prurient missionary at war with the nude sculptures and paintings, no natural man, but a symbol of his matter how dignified in aim or exe- generation. In him there came to a cution, belonged in his sniveling head the prudishness of late Americategory; and to hold that literature can Victorianism, battling terrifically and the stage should refrain from any to stop what seemed to it the tide of treatment of sex topics except the impropriety rolling in from the most uncomplicated. Whatever wicked world. He was a trivial virtue he may have had in his earlier Cato, bound to keep the morals of functions turned to the vice of in- his country still somehow provincial temperate and illiterate fury, and he and republican. Now that he in his made himself one of the national own person is no longer a menace, nuisances. The American art, and however much comstockery may yet particularly the American literature, survive in other forms, he has the of the new age had to make its way interest of dinosaurs and
pteroover his kicking, howling body. dactyls-extinct but somehow mag
Miss Leech and Mr. Broun, in nificent for sheer horrendous bulk. their well documented and well bred Comstock is an unforgettable fossil biography of the fanatic, do not at- in the American menagerie. tempt finally to explain the original mystery of his character. They hint only that he was a person of
WRECKER ENGINES:-The immature curiosity and frustrate name by which Colonel T. E. Lawimpulses, and that he sought to keep rence was known among the Arabs from others the temptations which whom he assisted in their revolt he obscurely recognized in himself. against the Turkish Empire was orPathology may in time determine dinarily "Wrecker of Engines,” in his precise form of aberration, if he reference to his technical task of
The general observer, destroying the railroad from Damashowever, will perceive in Comstock cus to Medina. Seen on a still the powerful instinct which every- larger scale, he still should have the where leads the primitive moralist title, for what he did to the railroad to want to bring all human beings with his small crew he did to the into a single type of behavior, be- route between Europe and India cause such a moralist regards as sin with his horde of desert tribes. He what to more civilized judges may used the whole revolt to block the
road by which the Germans and minds and prejudices of his Arab Turks might have got to the Allied, associates, an enormous knowledge particularly the British, possessions of all the local politics which hamin Asia. Colonel Lawrence's exploit pered him more than the Turkish was thus above all an act of British army and the hardships of the campatriotism, creating a kingdom of paign. He was, it is true, a man of Arabs to save the British Empire. action; he was, in an equal degree, a
It is plain that no mere love of the conscious artist. Arabs and of their nationalistic It is this combination of qualities hopes led this quiet scholar into ac- which makes his book one of the tion. His "Revolt in the Desert" most thrilling of all books about the (Doran) makes it clear that he now war. Colonel Lawrence could act and then realized the paradox of his and yet know precisely how and why position, that of an alien urging na- he was acting. As a writer he has tionality upon a people, and that he combined the same, or similar, qualdid not always like the Arabs, much ities. He has been able to recount as he admired them. But for the his adventures with the dramatic time he was a man of action, not of simplicity of a soldier and at the philosophic contemplation, and he same time to interpret them with the was utterly taken by his grandiose depth and subtlety of a thinker. idea. While he had not himself originated it, he had the primary responsibility for carrying it out, and PRIMITIVE PHILOSOPHERS-Whohe carried it out with a courage, au- ever wants to go on thinking that dacity, and competence hardly to be primitive men have no philosophy to matched in the achievement of any speak of should not read Knud other single man engaged in the Rasmussen's “Across Arctic Amerentire war.
ica" (Putnam), with its fascinating Besides destroying the railroad, he reports of the beliefs of the Eskimo. had the greater burden of acting as Here, for example, is an explanation unofficial ambassador from the Eng- of the taboo, as told by an arctic lish to the Arabs, assuring the wary patriarch and priest who had been Bedouins that England would sup- pointing out to his visitor the many port them in their undertaking, and inexplicable cruelties of human life: persuading the English to do this. "You see,' observed Aua, “even He had, too, the still greater burden you cannot answer when we ask you of composing the differences among why life is as it is. And so it must the separate tribes which had be. Our customs all come from life hitherto made a national union im- and are directed towards life; we canpossible. Without a certain superb not explain, we do not believe in this abandon, a kind of dervish energy, he a
or that; but the answer lies in what[ could never have done what he did. have just shown you. With this intense concentration upon
“We fear! his aim, however, went also a mar- “We fear the elements with velous awareness of what he was which we have to fight in their fury doing, a clairvoyant insight into the to wrest out food from land and sea.