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remarks on posterity, quoted in the review of the "Life and Letters."
Log-rolling among writers and critics is a practise much condemned, and rightly. But if all those guilty of it were brought to bar, the roll of offenders would include John Galsworthy, Cunninghame Graham, H. G. Wells, and W. H. Hudson-persistent log-rollers all of them, in season and out, for their friend Joseph Conrad. Among them, they took much of the sting out of his early unsuccess, and prepared the way for his later recognition. . . . Something depends on who is doing the puffing, and for whom.
Louis Bromfield, just back from Paris, is said to have done some vivid work there at his newly acquired art of painting. But the least real scenes in "A Good Woman" are those that deal with Philip's launching out as a painter.
Novelists insist on making writers and artists of their protagonists, and the moment they have done so, a mysterious reverence paralyzes their pens. Searchingly realistic about everything else, they wrap the artist character in an aura of vague gropings that implies, but doesn't really portray an escape from the sorI did world to a freer and clearer air. Some day a novelist will give us a new kind of escape story-the escape of the artist into the joyous freedom of bourgeois life-and therein will draw a much better picture of what it's all about. Arnold Bennett pointed the way in "Buried Alive."
Giles Healy, recently returned from an exploring trip in Venezuela about which he is writing a book, had many bizarre stories to tell. But the experience that made the deepest impression on him seemed to be a book
a wonderful, mellow book that a courtly Spanish host had given him to read in the moonlight, saying that it was the greatest in the world. The explorer could remember neither the title nor the author's name, but I remembered what W. H. Hudson had told me of the influence of Spanish literature on his style, and identified the book as "El Ombu."
Unfortunately, it is still necessary for most readers to have the Spanish grandee and the moonlight night in Venezuela in order to realize that W. H. Hudson is one of the supreme masters of English prose.
Something of what Hudson himself thought on the subject is indicated in what he wrote, shortly before his death, in answer to an enthusiastic letter from an American publisher:
"When I was young and ambitious and wanted things, the publishers closed their doors in my face. Now that I am old and worn out and don't want anything, they fling their damned checks in my face."
To which should be added this postscript: The publisher replied that he had never slammed any doors in Hudson's face. The old man replied with an invitation for a visit to him in Cornwall, and graciously gave the publisher what he wanted. (It happened to be some articles for THE CENTURY.)
WHEN THE READER WRITES
In connection with Mr. Lyle Saxon's flood stories, we wrote Governor Martineau to learn if he is in favor of government control of the Mississippi, our inquiry prompted by the report that the question of states' rights had risen to the confusion of the issue. Here is Governor Martineau's reply.
My dear Editor:
It is my opinion that the people of Arkansas not only do not oppose complete governmental control in the matter of flood prevention, but that they are almost unanimous in the contention that it is distinctly a subject properly coming under Federal jurisdiction. Personally, I think it would be no encroachment whatever upon the doctrine of states' rights if the Government assumed the duty of constructing and maintaining levees or whatever system might be found to be the most feasible.
To my mind there are several reasons which would justify the Government in taking over the project. In the first place, an overflow of the magnitude of the recent one in the Mississippi Valley seriously interferes with the commerce between the states, and vitally affects navigation. These two phases of the situation would seem to bring it clearly within the purview of the provisions of the Constitution, which confer upon the Federal Government, control of these two subjects. Abnormally high waters destroy telegraph and telephone communication between the states, and operate to cause grave delays in the transmission of the United States mail. It will not be disputed that the Federal Government has the right-in fact it is its duty-to provide effective means to guard against such contingencies as those above mentioned. A further justification for the intervention of the national Government is to be found in the fact that the public health throughout the entire country is menaced as the direct result of the great floods. It is fundamental, I believe, that the Government has the right to exercise jurisdiction in matters which concern the nation as a whole.
Conceding then that the Federal Government is uthorized by the Constitution to expend money
in flood control, it is the only authority which, from a practical standpoint, can do those things that are necessary. If only the states directly affected by overflows of the Mississippi and its tributaries should attempt to handle the subject, they would discover that there are no means or fixed policies by which they could act in unison. No single state could, by controlling the waters within its own territory, effect a plan which would prevent overflows of the magnitude of the one which has recently occurred; furthermore, the expense incident to the control of the rivers within the states along the lower Mississippi would be so enormous as to be beyond their financial capacity. There, perhaps, is no one subject over which the national Government is given jurisdiction which affects so many people as does the matter of control of the Mississippi and its feeders. A flood like the one which we have recently witnessed, affects not only the overflowed areas, but business interests in all sections of the country. The geographical location of the Mississippi Valley makes it a link between the East and the West, and any catastrophe within this area necessarily has a farreaching effect. Any disturbance of normal conditions in the Mississippi Valley is a matter of concern to the entire nation.
My dear Editor,
JOHN E. MARTINEAU, Governor of Arkansas
I have meant long ago to write and congratulate you on that article of Hugh A. Studdert Kennedy's -"As the Angels Which Are in Heaven"-in the June CENTURY.
It is the best article on marriage that I have seen in any magazine-not only in what it actually
I am sure that Mr. Kaltenborn will welcome a historical correction of one or two statements in his highly informing article in the June CENTURY, entitled, "Prohibition in Europe."
The writer gave credit or blame, according to the reader's point of view, to the Bolsheviki for the introduction of prohibition in the Russian Government, whereas, prohibition had been Russian law for five years before the Lenin and Trotzky revolution, having been introduced by a decree of Czar Nicholas II in 1914 following the incessant urgency of Michael D. Tchelicfeff a peasant member of the Duma.
The czar prefaced his historic decree with a rescript addressed to M. Bark, Minister of Finance, dated February 12, 1914, in which he gave his reason for refusing longer to have the Empire depend upon revenues from the liquor monopoly, saying: "We cannot make our fiscal prosperity dependent upon the destruction of the spiritual and economic powers of many of my subjects." These revenues amounted in 1913 to $467,500,000.
The marvelous benefits of the prohibition policy are told in the current history and literature of the period. I would especially refer to the official report of John H. Snodgrass, American ConsulGeneral at Moscow, dated May 6, 1915; also to an informing volume by J. G. Simpson, "The Self Discovery of Russia,” giving testimony of cabinet ministers, manufacturers, merchants, priests and peasants; all agree in the words of David Lloyd George that, "Russia has, since the war began, enormously increased her resources by suppressing the sale of all alcoholic liquors."
The prohibition policy was carried over into the constitutional system following the Kerensky revolution; and also into the Soviet revolutionbut the Soviet Government, as told by Mr. Kaltenborn, was confessedly unable to suppress the illicit
I am a constant reader of THE CENTURY MAGAZINE,-have been for years. Some of the most significant articles I have ever read have appeared in your magazine.
I have been greatly entertained as well as impressed by the story in the June issue by Elisabeth Cobb Chapman, entitled, “With Glory and Honor." I have always contended that color and atmosphere were the chief essentials for a story of high type. This story has both, and is alive with the heart-throbs of true genius. It is refreshing to read and to ponder over such a story when so many authors are striving to write problem stories reeking with sex situations, etc. I am sure the more thoughtful and intelligent readers of CENTURY will always welcome such stories as this, which not only appeal to our artistic sense, but also teach us to see more clearly than ever the better side of our alien neighbor, and awaken in us a desire to be more kind and sympathetic toward all mankind. Wishing you great success and prosperity. EDWARD WATERS BROWN
Boston City Club.
My dear Editor,
It will please you, as it has pleased me, to learn that your correspondent is being deluged with requests for the list of less than one hundred books on "The Short Ballot in Literature." Upwards of fifty letters have been answered thus far-and not one adverse sound yet. I am hoping some one will bang both barrels at me in protest, but so far all is peaceful as a sucking dove.
Thanking you for your many kindnesses of the past, I am,
HENRY M. ROBINSON
Woodstock, New York.
Lawlessness the Insidious Disease of Republics WILLIAM E. BORAH
HERE is an ancient document known as the Constitution of the United States in which is written: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech." Not deny the freedom of speech, not prohibit the freedom of speech, but not ever shall Congress abridge the freedom of speech.
But there is a peculiar doctrine which has come to have recognition among us. It was said during the late war that as soon as war was declared, the Constitution of the United States was in a sense suspended, that the Congress could pass any law it saw fit. At first, that seemed to me to be a subject of amusement, and I still really think it is. But as a matter of fact, it was seriously advocated by learned and able men, legislators and heads of executive departments. It was on that theory and apparently on that principle that many things were done during the war. For myself, I want to repudiate it once and for all. I trust that no such vicious and un
American doctrine will ever be seriously considered by the people of this country. There is only one way you can change the Constitution of the United States or suspend any of its provisions, and that is in the same way and by the same power that made it-the people of the United States themselves, in the manner pointed out by the Constitution. Every clause, every line, every paragraph, of that Great Charter holds good in time of war as in time of peace. Washington was something of a soldier. Hamilton understood something of war. The framers of the Constitution had all passed through a great conflict that lasted eight years. They undoubtedly understood that the Republic would in all probability be called upon to wage war in the future. Do you suppose they thought they were building a government or writing a Constitution that was to function only during peaceful days? They wrote a Constitution sufficient and efficient to carry on the work of peace and also to carry on war. The Constitution gives sufficient power by its own
Copyright, 1927, by THE CENTURY Co. All rights reserved.
terms for the conduct of war, and none of its provisions is suspended or annulled by the declaration of war. Any other theory would be utterly vicious. It would be to write into our very Government the doctrine of the tyrants, that necessity knows no law. Let those who think our Constitution was made for peace and not for and not for war turn to a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States and read it in full. The Court says: "The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people, equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection all classes of men at all times and under all circumstances. No doctrine involving more pernicious consequences was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions can be suspended during the great exigencies of government. Such a doctrine leads directly to anarchy or despotism, but the theory of necessity on which it is based is false; for the Government within the Constitution has all the powers granted to it which are necessary to preserve its existence, as has been happily proved by the result of the great effort to overthrow its just authority."
The belief is all but universal among those who deal with international questions that force must always be in the background, always be subject to call. Its futility for peace has been proved a thousand times but it still prevails. There are no words to describe and no philosophy to explain this superstitious idolatry of force. Governments make treaties in which they agree, under certain conditions, to employ force, to send armies and navies, to sacrifice
treasure and life, and no one stops to ask: Will the contracting powers keep their promise? Who will see that they execute their pledge? It is all taken for granted.
But when governments make treaties, or propose to make treaties, in which they agree to submit their controversies to the decision of a
court and abide the judgment thereof, immediately the question is asked: Who will enforce the judgment; where is your army and your navy to carry the decree into effect? As a matter of fact, it is precisely the same thing behind and back of both treaties-the solemn pledge of the nation, only that and nothing more. In one instance there is the honor of the nation to send an army and in the other, the honor of the nation to abide by the judgment of a court. We find no difficulty in relying on the former pledge. We utterly distrust the latter. It is another manifestation of that wicked, persistent distrust of human nature which comes down to us from the days when governments were founded on force and the people had no voice. You fix the machinery of government and the plans for peace, so that public opinion may operate, so that the average man and woman may have a voice, and the judgments of your courts will be respected.
As it is now, in the last analysis, there is no difference between the advocates of peace and the advocates of war. They ultimately meet upon the common ground that force is the final arbiter in international affairs. Every peace scheme ends with a provision for war and an arrangement for armies and navies. Speaking at Geneva last March, the