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management in present day business does not spring from competitive necessity alone, but from the more professional attitude of business toward itself. Industry is more than a medium for making profits regardless of the means. It seeks a steady elevation of the standard of business conduct; not because it pays, but because business has found that it cannot thrive long in a low moral atmosphere. It aims to develop selfgovernment, not because it fears State Government, but because it believes that if it wills it can more effectively police its own affairs. What the ultimate result of this new spirit in our industrial life will be it is too early to say, but it is certainly a future to be viewed with pleasant expectations.

American industry is at a turningpoint. A slow but significant change has come upon our folkways of earning and spending, and our industrial life has begun to feel that the changing tide is moving with it. High standards of living, abundant and ingenious machine production, increased leisure, new tastes and habits

have come and have brought with them a new atmosphere in which our industry must work. As our initiatives and inventiveness in the past were born of necessity and nurtured by adversity, so now they are challenged by the new problems of prosperity.

Let us remember that the modern factory system is but a century and a half old, and that its intensive development in the United States has taken place within the last fifty years. The fact, therefore, that the problems confronting us are in many respects new and confusing, should not discourage but should stimulate us to scientific study. The obstacles that lie ahead are many, but they can be removed when once recognized and understood, and when leadership has the will and the courage. We have blazed many trails in the path of economic progress, but can our industrial leaders prove as resourceful and as successful in meeting the new conditions as they were in meeting the old? That is the question facing American industry at its new parting of the ways.



I am the eager one,

I am the giver,

My love sweeps

Like a spring-flushed river.

But your love is tranquil,

Tender and still,

Like a snug white cottage On a high green hill.



I Want To Be a Countryman


S I LOOK back on this day, it seems to me that it has been an unusually thoughtful one for me, and yet my thoughts have been neither constructive nor connected. They have been playing about the details of our life here on this farm during the past ten years. And mixed with these recollections and reflections there has been a growing wonder at the mere fact of our being here at all. I have been able, in a way, to stand apart from myself and observe myself living here in this old house amid these acres, and I see a rather curious sort of person in an unaccountable environment, seeking persistently, if somewhat blindly, for contentment and satisfaction and an opportunity to realize life at first-hand, not through the medium of artificial machinery. It was some such quest, vague and unformulated, that must have brought me here.

Fate plays strange tricks with us sometimes; that is one way of putting it. God moves in a mysterious way; that is another. You have your place and occupation and I have mine, and it is not always easy to account for them. Our parents did not plan these things for us. Very likely we did not plan them for ourselves. The dreams of our youth, as they begin to materialize, usually take on

new and unprevisioned forms. It is one of the mysteries that help to make life and the contemplation of life, so vastly interesting.

Twenty years ago I would have been totally incapable of imagining myself in my present situation with my present occupations. I was a city man then, spending my working hours at a desk, animated by certain ambitions connected with my profession, and living much in the manner of scores of my fellows of the same financial and social status. I think I had visions of some day retiring to a farm. In fact, I know I had. I had always found the idea a pleasant one to play with. I had always been a little eccentric in my aspirations, I suppose; I wanted to break away from the life of the herd. But twenty years ago the idea was in a nebulous state. The dream resembled the subsequent reality in only its vaguest outlines. I had never heard of this farm, did not know that such a place existed; I did not visualize myself in a situation such as the one in which I now find myself.

At length, one spring, we found ourselves the owners of a farm. It was, as I recall it, a somewhat impulsive proceeding, not without an element of rebellion. Miriam and I

had been looking about in a tentative sort of way. We read enticing advertisements. I believe we even looked at a farm or two, but we were not satisfied with the environment. It struck us-and I am surprised now at the wisdom of the view-that happiness on a farm depends as much on the character of the neighboring town as on the nature of the farm itself.

The idea of looking first for the ideal town and then for a near-by farm seemed novel and alluring. We knew such a town-Roxville-and we went there. I have no entertaining tale to tell of farm hunting. We visited a real estate agent in a most prosaic manner, and he sent us out to look at an old place in the adjoining township of Lisburn. We were captivated at once by the pic turesque white house, the big barn, the stone walls, the pleasant fields, the young orchard. We liked the owner. We looked at one or two other farms in a perfunctory sort of way and then returned and signed on the dotted line.


The telephone rang this morning and Miriam answered it. It was Mrs. Rice talking.

"Mr. Sutton is dead," said she. "I got a note in the mail just now, from Jamie." She had but few details to add and Miriam had but little to say in reply except to express her sorrow. When she told me, the only comment I could think of at the moment was, "He was a good man." We both felt the shock of it, felt somehow that another link with the past had been severed, for Joseph Sutton was the man from whom we had bought our farm.

The news brought back to me very vividly the events of that first year of our farm ownership. The Suttons remained here as tenants until winter and we spent a little time with them during the summer. We became well acquainted, particularly with Mr. Sutton. He considered himself a failure in life. He was a poor man and he had made several moves that had turned out to be unfortunate for him. I will not go into all that. I am more inclined to raise the question: What is a failure?

We are all failures, more or less, it seems to me. We have all fallen short of achieving the ultimate goal of our ambitions. Few of us are conspicuous successes when we stop to think of all the millions of people there are in the world. But instead of taking this fact of comparative failure philosophically, instead of joining sympathetically with all the other failures in the world in a community of interest, we continue to compete in an attempt to exploit our minor successes, to try to gain satisfaction in some petty superiority over some one else. It is rather absurd.

Even if Joseph Sutton had more abundantly succeeded in a material way, he would never have been guilty of such a lack of sense of proportion. He was not that sort of man. There was too much honesty and humanity in his heart. If the state of one's soul is the measure of one's greatness, rather than the amount and conspicuousness of one's worldly possessions, then Joseph Sutton was no failure. That is the sort of thing Miriam and I talked about after we had recovered from the shock of the news.

The most valuable things that we purchased with this old farm have turned out to be the unforeseen things, -things that were not mentioned in the title. Title deeds do not record or catalogue spiritual qualities. The friendship of Mr. Sutton was one of the things that came to us unbargained for. It has been worth much to us to have known him. I think he has had a good deal to do with such rectification of my philosophy of life as I have been able to achieve. He has bolstered up my faith in my fellow-men. I think I have never known a gentler, kinder, more honest, more unselfish man than Joseph Sutton, and I have come to believe that such virtues weigh more heavily in the balance than the evidences of material success. It is only thoughtlessness that prevents us all from seeing it.


From those first days, thus recalled, my mind has been traveling on down the years. It was a decade ago that we finally came to make our home here and to become citizens of Lisburn. We were not altogether happy at first. In principle we were not disappointed with the new life, but in practice, a great deal of readjusting had to be done. We could not immediately reorganize our affairs to suit the new environment, and yet as I look back, I seem to see all that in a kind of rosy glow, and to regret that time has flown so swiftly.

It is a curious and fortunate fact that unpleasant impressions fade from the memory more quickly than pleasant ones. Life seen in retrospect, like life seen in prospect, often takes on a glamor denied the present.

The imagination, which thus reconstructs the past in a brighter form than that in which it was originally experienced, is one of man's happiest gifts.

I ran across a passage in Thoreau's Journal the other day, that sets forth beautifully the curious but fortunate fact that unpleasant impressions fade from the human memory more quickly than pleasant ones. We forget the little irritations, remember the little joys. Thoreau says: "How is it that what is actually present and transpiring is commonly perceived by the common sense and understanding only, is bare and bald, without halo or the blue enamel of intervening air? But let it be past or to come, and it is at once idealized. The man dead is spiritualized, the fact remembered is idealized. It is ripe and with the bloom on it. It is not simply the understanding now, but the imagination that takes cognizance of it. The imagination requires a long range."

I suppose the same truth under

lies Wordsworth's definition of poetry as "Emotion recollected in tranquillity." As I look back over these past ten years the memory is a happy one. I know that we made no mistake in cutting loose from certain ties and certain conventions. I am glad that I am a countryman, entirely apart from the question of success or failure. And I have been thinking to-day that perhaps we make a mistake in letting the present seem "bare and bald." Is it not, in essence, the same golden thing that it was pictured in prophetic imagination, and that will eventually appear in recollection? There

is something to be said in favor of carpe diem. Would it not be worth the effort to idealize the present also, to eat our honey as we gather it, to apply to the present some of that imagination that glorifies the past and the future?

I believe I am learning to do it. That is one of the fine things about living in the country. One has the space and the quiet (actual leisure is not essential) in which to ponder these things and to make application of one's philosophy. I am finding this present life good.

Thoreau goes on to say, "It is the faculty of the poet to see present things as if in this sense past and future, as if distant or universally significant." We all need to cultivate more of the poetic quality of our natures, and it seems to me easier and more natural to become a poet in the country than elsewhere.

I am, you see, gradually crystallizing my ideas as to what this life in the country means to me, the allure that made me seek it and that makes me wish to celebrate it. Not every one can do or wishes to do what I have done, to live as I live, and I am not seeking to make converts. I am merely endeavoring to pass on such enlightenment as this life has brought me. I have had, in a humble way, my revelations.


As I think back over those years, it seems to me that I have learned some things of value. I have learned some things, I think, that help me to live more comfortably with my fellow travelers through what Bunyan called the wilderness of this world. I have learned that most of the obstacles to friendliness and

coöperation and sympathy among men are artificial obstacles. Let me tell you, in all candor, how I have discovered this, for to me it is a great and significant discovery.

I call myself a countryman, and I mean to be a countryman. I have meant to be a countryman from the first. Not a farmer, perhaps, in the strictest sense of the term-meaning one who wins his entire livelihood from the soil by the sweat of his brow-but a countryman nevertheless. This has been, and still is, my fixed determination. But it has not been quite as easy of accomplishment as I fancied it would be. It is easy enough to think of oneself as a countryman, but to be unquestioningly accepted as a countryman by one's rural neighbors, is another


I have reached the conclusion-and I will admit that it grieves me—that something of the outsider will always cling to me. My origin, my education and training, my background, my previous condition of servitude inevitably set me apart and differentiate me in some degree from those who have been born and reared on farms and who all their lives have faced the rural problems and borne the rural burdens. I cannot tell you how reluctant I have been to make this confession even to myself. I can only say that I have honestly tried to overcome these obstacles, and I think I am justified in believing that I have worn down many barriers. It has taken time and patience but I am filled with hope for the future and with joy in such success as I have achieved. Does this seem to you to be a strange and insignificant am

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