« AnkstesnisTęsti »
occasional wild scream of the bird. thousand gleams shone forth, defying Finally I seemed to be approaching the blackness of night. Nearer and nearer sounded the call, Some small animal passed to windappearing almost as if the bird were ward of me, sniffed, and fled at full walking toward me. Then my electric speed. The wings of a bat or other flysearch-light showed an impenetrable ing creature whistled near, while ever tangle of rotan and thorn-palms - a the resonant call of the ocellated bird maze of myriad recurved hooks. Even rang out, mocking my helplessness. in bright daylight one might not pass The firefly could make its way through through this without laboriously cut- tangle and thorns to the very spot ting a trail, foot by foot.
where the bird stood. The small fourSo here I waited, crouched at the footed creature of the night could creep foot of a clump of lofty bamboos, my noiselessly over dried bamboo sheaths light shut off, and realizing as never until his little eyes marked the swellbefore, the mystery of a tropical jungle ing throat of the calling pheasant. But at night. A quarter of a mile away, the here was I, with a powerful electric magnificent bird was calling at inter- light, with the most penetrating of vals, from just some such place as I night-glasses, with knowledge of savwas in. When my eyes recovered from age woodlore, and with human reasonthe glare of the light, I found that the ing power; and yet with feet shod with jungle was far from dark. The night noise, with clothing to catch on every was moonless and not a glimmer of star thorn - a hollow mockery of a 'lord of
‘ came through the thick foliage over- creation'! head. But a thousand shapes of twig Again the bird called, and I interand leaf shone dimly with the steady preted its message. The law of comdull blue-green phosphorus glow of fox- pensation! I was helpless to reach it, fire.
I was degenerate indeed in the ac- , Once a firefly passed through the tivities of the primitive jungle-folk, bamboos - a mere shooting star amid but I thrilled at the mysteries of the all these terrestrial constellations. The nocturnal life. My pulse leaped at the mould beneath my feet might change wild call — not from a carnivore's deto peat, or, in future ages, to coal, but sire for food, or from the startled terror even then the alchemy of fire would be of the lesser wilderness people, but needed to awaken the imprisoned light. because of the human-born thirst for Here, from plants still erect, which were knowledge, from the delights of the blossoming but a short month ago, a imagination which are for man alone. VOL. 121 - NO. 2
PROFESSOR'S PROGRESS. VI
A NOVEL OF CONTEMPORANEOUS ADVENTURE
mud, challenging vermin and pneu
monia for a cause they know nothing (It may not necessarily be a misfor- about.' tune, but it is something of a dilemma, 'Well, perhaps,' said Latimer. 'Asthat, as he approaches the end of his sume that there is as little flaming entask, the present chronicler should be thusiasm in this war as there was, let confronted by an unexplainable blank us say, in the French Revolution or the in his field-notes. The temptation to Crusades or the battle of Marathon. substitute invention for fact is strong, Let us admit that the Idea, Duty, Libbut must be resisted. Perhaps, to the erty, Country, and all that sort of thing attentive reader of the earlier chapters, exist mainly in the newspapers which the gap in the narrative will not pre- stir up war, and in the sculptors and sent insuperable difficulties.)
painters who commemorate it. Proba
bly the farmer of '76 did not march to ‘Not at all,' said Latimer, 'there battle with quite the glow depicted in is, very emphatically, such a thing as The Spirit of '76; the French Revoluthe glory of war. If you know where to tionary armies were undoubtedly conlook for it.'
scripted; and the Crusades were nour"To be sure,' said Dawson wearily. ished largely by a spirit of boredom and “The romance of war; the spirit of sac- the hope of plunder. Let us admit that rifice; a nation rising as one man to the at all times the generality of men have call of duty. There's as much romance been patriots because they have had to to a battle nowadays as to a coat-and- be. I will go so far even as to say that pants factory.'
Mr. Dawson's Social Revolution will Latimer looked at Margaret and kept be brought about by a popular army of himself in 'hand.
indifferents and illiterates and cowards 'I agree,' he said sweetly. 'But that around a nucleus of red-blooded, twois enough, is n't it? Our contemporary fisted men who love the excitement of magazine literature is aglow with the the thing, and they in turn led by a few romance of Business. There is the
men who know what they are about.' Romance of Standard Oil and the Ro- "That is rather hard on Dawson,' mance of Bethlehem Steel and the grinned Manning. “And what is more, Romance of the Western Union and I don't believe you mean it.' of the United States Biscuit Company. Besides,' interrupted Hartmann, 'I By which people mean the romance of want to get into New York before midvery big things that were once very night. wmall. On the score of bigness there is 'I mean it very seriously within the womething to be said for the war.' limitations of the argument imposed
'Big? Yes,' laughed Dawson. 'Twen- upon me by Mr. Dawson,' said Latity million men up to their waists in the mer. “That is, if there is no glory in the
present war, then there has never been and sleep. They do it as a matter of glory and never will be. Can't you see, my dear Manning, how absurd it is to 'Exactly,' cried Dawson. 'Just as argue that there has been romance in before the war they shoveled coal or the past and will be in the future, but piled manure or posted up ledgers as a that there is none to-day just because matter of course. Where is the glory in we are too close to the reek of the that?' trenches, the mud, the pain, the mo- 'Only the glory that abides in fidelnotony that drives men mad, and the ity to the job,' said Latimer. “That is ignoble tricks of the diplomats? War the glory which attaches to the great close at hand has always been like that; mass of mankind in peace and in war. and not only war. What were the wire- The more you make war mechanical, pullings and ignoble bargains, I won- the more you reduce it to the techder, that preceded Constantine's con- nique of a biscuit-factory or a coatversion to Christianity? What was the and-pants factory, by that much more process of petty bookkeeping and bribe- you emphasize the essential glory of the giving that preceded the sailing of three common man's instinct for seeing a job small vessels from the harbor of Palos through. The glory of war stands out in 1492? What were the intrigues and when you think of war, not as romance the hypocrisies and egotisms that usher- or duty or sacrifice or idea, but as Work. ed in the first performance of Tristan? Bill and Tommy and Jean and Hans in Either there is no glory to life at any the trenches may curse at the diplomats time, or there is glory to life at all times: who have brought them into the mess, to the men who are now twisting with grumble at the officers who lead them rheumatism and vermin around Ver- into death-traps, at the commissariat dun as to the men who hungered and that underfeeds them, at the orderlies scoffed and dragged their gangrened who come too late with their stretchers limbs under the banner of Joan of Arc. and morphine; but that is precisely the I don't believe that the Maid of Or- same way in which a man responds to leans's soldiers were any more holy or his employer, his foreman, and his groardent than Joffre's men.'
cer and butcher, in peace-time. Few of 'I don't quite understand,' said Mar- us, in the normal life, relish the particu
, garet, falling into the give and take of lar job set for us, but the job as a whole the scene. "Do you or don't you be- is something which will not admit of lieve that the soldiers to-day are in question. Suppose we do ask the men spired by an idea ?'
in the trenches why they are fighting 'Not consciously, my dear, so far as and they cannot tell us why. What the
great majority is concerned. It is then? They are fighting because for the only afterwards that the formula-mak- time being war is Work.' er looks over the facts and discovers 'Latimer,' said Hartmann, 'I will that on the Somme or in the Carpa- now proceed outside to look over the thians half a million men gave their car and I will sound the horn three lives for an idea. It is not for the idea times at five-minute intervals. After of Fatherland or Democracy that most the third plast, I debart.' of them stand in trenches, thinking only He shook hands with Manning and of food and sleep, pumping their rifles went out. at an unseen foe whom they do not hate If you wish,' said Latimer to Manexcept as the cause that keeps them up ning, ‘you may say that this is the to the waist in water and without food tragedy as well as the glory of war; that
men who would rather build are order- and have found it difficult to decide ed to burn, men who would rather sow upon the exact category. But now I and reap are ordered to lay waste, men have it. You are essentially none of who would rather create are ordered to the things I have mentioned, Mr. Dawdestroy. But whatever may be the son. You are just a puppy.' spiritual condition of the men on top 'Hello!' said Manning; and he fell who issue the orders, there can be no to packing tobacco into his pipe at top doubt about the men who obey orders. speed. It is the passion for work — misdirect- "That,' said Dawson with a forced ed, perverted, betrayed; but the pas- smile, ‘is one of the privileges which old sion is there. Precisely because war has age formerly was supposed to possess. been bereft of its glow, its adventure, As a substitute for reason, calling names its variety, and has been reduced to a is a traditional mode of attack.' monotone of mud and blood and suffer- He tried to rise from the chair, but ing, it is a tribute to the spirit that will that solid hand pressed him down. bend to the task. As between the man ‘Listen to me,' said Latimer. 'I am who says, “I die for France," and the going to presume a little further on this man who says, “It's in the day's privilege you have mentioned. I am work,” it is the latter who expresses the going to tell you why and how you are higher and more permanent sentiment.' a puppy. This you are, not in your in
"To be sure,' sneered Dawson; "the dividual character, which I find rather dignity of labor.'
attractive, but to the extent that you are the victim of an all too common
The first blare of the auto horn was Latimer got to his feet with a lurch hailed with silent relief by all but one and strode close to Dawson. His face in the room. It might interrupt a state was flushed and his breath came in little of tension which was growing painful. puffs from his distended nostrils. Mar- Latimer alone failed to hear Hartgaret jumped up, as much in alarm for mann's signal. Latimer as for Dawson. But it was not "Now the outstanding attribute of to be assault and battery except in a the puppy psychology,' said Latimer, legal sense. Latimer's heavy hand fell ‘is its lack of piety for all things, inupon Dawson's shoulder and forced that cluding itself. I do not, for instance, slender youth deep into his chair. ask you to reverence me or the things I
Young man,' said Latimer, 'we may believe in. But I might ask you not to as well have it out now and for all. slur the things you yourself profess to Listen to me.'
believe in. Take this Dignity of Labor.' ‘But I assure you I have no quar- “There is nothing to take,' said Dawrel with you, Dr. Latimer, cried the frightened young iconoclast. ‘Nothing “That was the meaning of your sneer,' except honest intellectual differences.' said Latimer. 'You meant that it was
For all her anxiety Margaret had to a shoddy badge of honor, devised by turn away and smile.
the oppressors of labor to soothe the ‘,
*For some time,' said Latimer, 'I oppressed. You meant that we underhave, more or less consecutively, tried pay the workman in wages and make it to classify you, Mr. Dawson. I have up in dignity. You meant that we tried to place you as socialist, æsthete, speak of the dignity of labor while we, anarchist, pagan, reformer, progressive, of the upper classes, would do almost
anything in the world but labor. You the plaintiff -- backbone permanently meant that in our hearts we consider wrenched, eyesight affected, nervous the workingman a footless idiot, and system shattered, in addition to that that we see no dignity in his stunted undeniable twisted ankle.' figure, or his rags, or in his meek sub- ‘That is just what exploitation has mission to injustice.'
done for the worker,' said Dawson. "You have stated it admirably, Dr. ‘Never as bad as you would make Latimer,' said Dawson.
it out, my dear fellow. Say that we of 'Let me tell you, now,' said Latimer, the capitalist classes had our reason for ‘what the effect has been upon me of speaking of the dignity of the laborer: much reading in the literature of the still we did assign him a quality. You wrongs of labor. And it is this: no ex- speak of him as a brute. We spoke of ploiter of labor, in his inmost heart, has the laborer in his cottage. With you ever thought concerning the working- he never has a home, but a den; with men the disgusting, degrading things you the worker is a slum-dweller. We which are the commonplaces of your used to draw chromos of the worker on conversation and your oratory.' Saturday night, with the children at his
"Too harsh, too harsh!' said Man- knee. You deny him the capacity for ning.
playing the father and the husband -“The simple truth,' cried Latimer. because he is overworked, to be sure, 'C'nquestionably you have meant well, but you deny him his humanity just but there are the facts. Long before the same. Strange, is n't it? that good there was a “social conscience” in this old mossbacks like our ancient balladcountry, you will recall
, Manning, that writers should have written of jolly the newspaper cartoonist had his type millers on the Dee; that a fine crusted of Labor just as he had his type for Whig like Macaulay should thrill to Capital and Uncle Sam and Liberty, sturdy butchers who rush from the and what not. And how was Labor re- stall with cleaver in hand to hew down presented? As a splendid male, of thrones and tyrants; that a cavalier thews and muscle, bare-armed, with like Walter Scott should have been fasleather apron and sledge-hammer, a cinated by the gay apprentice lads of figure the Greeks would have loved. the medieval towns; but that you, the This type of labor survives — in the champions of labor, should always be capitalist press. But when your Radi- speaking of the laborer as a mean, joycal and Socialist friends of Labor draw less, abject, soulless, appetiteless brute.' a cartoon, it is of a slave and a defec- "This is what the factory system has tive, a semi-Caliban. And when you be done for the free workers of former gin to elaborate on your picture, good days,' said Dawson. heavens, what is there that you have 'Go to the head of the class, my boy. not said about the worker in the way of You have said your lesson perfectly,' calumny! In order to drive home your smiled Latimer. “But you know it is all case against the capitalist system, you nonsense, this chatter about the whir have not hesitated — My dear Dawn of the wheels and the monotony of the son, do you know what you have be- factory and the worker reduced to a haved like? Like the ingenious people cog in the machine. Do you really who make a living by bringing accident think that the peasant in the field, that suits against street-railway corpora- slow, patient ox, gets more of the joy tions. You are the fake doctors who out of life, more variety, more human swear to fictitious damage suffered by excitement, than your factory-worker?