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and force of the British Empire are cen- the individual, it is proposed to exalt enortered in the broadest love and respect for mously the power of the state. In order authority and progress.
to break down the power of monopoly, In the largest sense the present attitude, every weapon is seized upon, and sufficient power, and opulence of the British people thought is not given to the question are auspicious of world-wide happiness. whether it may not hurt more than it will They argue for permanence in the general help those who seek to wield it. Upon this tendency among the great powers toward point Dr. Eliot spoke with admirable alliances for peace. They invite, as a force, urging the need of thinking things means of providing an invincible influence through and seeing to it that any new for good, a closer locking of hands between Declaration of Independence should not mother England and growing America: invite large ultimate peril while grasping they not only invite it, they guarantee it, at an immediate seeming benefit. and all the broader views and deeper long- In all these matters, every thoughtful ings of both countries are working to that and humane man must feel himself conbeneficent end. In both countries author- fronted by a dilemma. The emotional apity and progress are commissioned to rule peal of a society full of hardships is powfor the glory and benefit of a free people. erful. To sense it duly, one has only to
And that they may endure to rule in read such a speech as that of the English unison-God save the King! God bless Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Lloydthe President!
George, on his bill for working-men's in
surance. It eloquently and movingly picNEW DANGERS TO INDEPENDENCE
tures the distress in many a humble home
when, sickness disables the wage-earner, X-PRESIDENT ELIOT'S Inde- when the tiny savings are swept away, and
pendence Day address, like most of when the narrow margin separating his considered public utterances, not only mother and children from misery vanishes. was full of thought, but provoked thought. What nobler or more useful thing can the If it be said that it raised many questions government do, asks Mr. Lloyd-George, which it did not answer, the reply is that than to step in and apply the public resuch is the function of all stimulating dis- sources to the relief of such pitiful cases? cussion. To show as pointedly as Dr. What, indeed ? will echo every man of Eliot did how sharp is the change of em- sentiment. Yet if he is a man also of clear phasis, since 1776, in debating political brain and steady vision, he will demand liberty and its perils, the independence of first to be assured that in dealing with the individual and what tends to impair these individual calamities we do not emit, is at least to remind us that our think- bark upon a course which will lead to a ing must be kept in living contact with the still greater and a general calamity. shifting world about us. Each generation Lloyd-George pleaded for security for the has to interpret the facts of life for itself; worker: a temporary allowance while out to carry the worn political coinage back of employment; insurance against sickness ; to the mint and get it freshly issued. a pension in old age. The ends aimed
Few will challenge the assertion of the at will be decried by none except the hardformer president of Harvard that if a hearted; but the question remains whether Declaration of Independence were to be there is not something better than security drawn up by the masses of the American and whether we may not be throwing it people to-day, it would contain many doc
As between security, meaning trines of which our Revolutionary fathers merely life guaranteed, and the indomitawere ignorant, and which they would ble struggle upward of independent citilook upon as more revolutionary than any- zens, democracy has so far chosen the latthing they professed. The peril of for- ter. It should not change without good eign domination has passed completely reason shown, and “godlike reason," we from our ken. The oppression or tyranny know, does not fail to look after. most often cried out upon at present is In our own country we do not as yet that which is seen in the organization of face the problem in the precise form it industry. New conditions give rise to the takes on in England. With us it is not demand for new remedies. As an aid to paternalism, kind-hearted but short
sighted, that most threatens the self-reli
LAWLESSNESS AND HUMOR ance and independence of those who toil, but activities and policies of the toilers HE never-ceasing lawlessness among themselves. Dr. Eliot dwelt upon the us divides itself naturally into two harmful spread of ideas which we asso- classes. When it is perpetrated as a means ciate with labor-unions, and which could of livelihood, it is clearly crime; but when not win adoption or even tolerance if peo- it is projected and carried out all in the ple would observe accurately and think way of lessening the tedium of life or of straight. Among these is the insistence promoting the ease of living, it may be upon the uniform and the minimum wage, classed with the practical joke as belonghostility to extra pay for extra efficiency, ing to a broad species of humor. and the exclusive right to work. The ob- An authority among dictionaries defines ject is said to be to place working-men in humor as implying the “ludicrous or aba position to contend successfully with surdly incongruous." In that idea is found monopoly, but the method hit upon is the the mainspring of more than half of the setting-up of a monopoly of their own lawlessness now in vogue. Youth on gentle more oppressive and more dangerous than pleasure bent plucks relief from the humany other.
drum journey in the trolley by mussing No one denies the need of action by the fellow-passengers, terrifying the wogovernment to prevent avoidable indus- men, and decorating the faces of those who trial evils and to safeguard the health may try to apply the brakes. The college and equal opportunity of the workers. recluse, worn with mental toil, finds surNor do many challenge the right of work- cease of the carking cares of culture in the ing-men to combine for mutual advantage incongruous sport of devastation and the and protection. But neither government assumed tastes of a hoodlum. nor associations of laborers can be permit- The striking unionist who has found ted to overlook or defeat the great ends of irksome his sworn obligation to advance freedom, or to destroy those springs of the nobility of labor, turns with inconpersonal initiative and the career open to gruous joy to the breaking of the heads talent upon which progress depends. In of those who desire to work while he is seeking to take care of the individual, we resting, and to destroying the property must not coddle him into helplessness. which in the economy of nature it is his Nor is that associated power worth fight- special function to create or to preserve. ing for which involves the crushing out of But the incongruous fun which pervades personal striving and the dragging down most strike riots is small humor compared of all grades of ability to one dead level with the practical joke of dynamiting the of mediocrity.
buildings and construction work of emIndependence is hard to win, but easy ployers who are so unfortunate as to find to lose. Its price, too, is eternal vigilance. themselves outside the pale of labor-union Dr. Eliot spoke only that which we all do approval. Until recently that form of huknow when he said that there had been a mor has been rather popular. It distrib'great shift in the emphasis with which uted itself by leaps back and forth over the men now speak of independence. But country, and always the point of the joke principles must be held fast to, despite exploded with the regularity of clockwork. . their varying applications, from genera- The sense of the incongruous in these droll tion to generation; and the thing to which explosions has been heightened by laborwe have to cling is the great aim and hope union spokesmen, who, without winking, of political society and free institutions - have ascribed the explosions to the owners namely, to produce constantly and to de- themselves, whose motive, of course, was velop successfully independent human be
to perpetrate a joke on the labor-unions by ings. When that beneficent purpose is seeking to bring them into disrepute. interfered with, whether in the name of A discussion of the incongruous side of the duty of the state or of the rights of labor agitation is made timely by the recent labor, it is for us to confront the question activities of Mr. Gompers. As the head of with as much foresight and courage as the the American Federation of Labor his men of 1776 displayed in fighting for na- efforts to advance the material welfare of tional independence.
American workmen are naturally conspicuous, and nothing relating to his ef- The success of this effort to inject travforts is more notable than the absence of esty into a discussion of the wrongs of criticism among his followers of his philo- labor suggests that persuasive argument sophic tone, of his aggressive strictures, or might be derived by such a facile advocate, of his reform proposals. As the spokesman from a perversion of the Gettysburg adof the aims and hopes of unionism he has dress, and possibly of the Sermon on the had the field very much to himself, and Mount. the humor of imputing the atrocities of The idea that "capitalists" in general strike troubles to the “enemies of labor" block the way to the laboring-man's Arhas been a favorite weapon.
cady overflows with humor, since without Also the administration of justice has capitalists all men would labor, and the called forth from him almost more humor market for labor would be so overstocked than the impartial enforcement of the that each man might be limited to working laws. His suggestion that the country for himself. That proposition is almost as might well dispense with a third of the humorous as the policy of promoting the judges, and more profitably use their sal- interests of labor by limiting the amount aries to indemnify injured workmen, for of labor and curtailing the sources of skill complete humor lacks only an added rec- and efficiency. Inasmuch as two thirds of ommendation that the "injured workmen" the labor performed in the world is for the be selected from those hurt in the act of purpose of feeding, clothing, housing, and destroying property in time of strike. personally benefiting those who must deQuite recently he has achieved the humor- pend on their daily wage for the means of ous situation of entertaining a committee subsistence, it is certainly "ludicrous or of august Senators with his views on the absurdly incongruous” to affirm that workimportance of impeaching the justice who ing-people will be benefited by limiting the found it advisable to sentence him and two quantity of labor. other labor leaders to prison.
But the serious and sacred cause of labor But on the Fourth of July last Mr. advances even with the handicap of preGompers carried humor to the front rank posterous fallacy and frivolous leadership. of argument by treating a meeting of three Its sensational spokesmen have no trouble thousand labor-union protestants against to get a hearing in this strenuous and stirthe McNamara extradition, to a parody on ring country; the general public likes to the Declaration of Independence. Whether be amused or distracted, and seldom recoils his hearers were familiar with that solemn from lawlessness that is "ludicrous or abdocument or not, they could appreciate the surdly incongruous”; the newspapers find fun of hearing their champion insert the it convenient to fill inconsequential word “Capitalists” in place of the royal "space" with amusing crime and humortools and tyrants who were so effectively ous perversions. Thus the cultivation of excoriated by the fathers of the Revolu- lawless thinking progresses, and the public tion. Whatever might be said for or mind is jogged only by events which stagagainst the manner of haling the dynamite ger common sense-after which the appeal suspects before a distant tribunal, it is of sane humanity is again drowned by the plain that the McNamara arrests have plaint and quip of the demagogue, who is, been succeeded by a period of noteworthy as a rule, only striving to make a show of calm. The clockwork seems to have run rendering service for a salary paid for the down, the fuse appears to be wet; and the furtherance of objects like the "closed labor-union leader, temporarily relieved shop" and other special privileges-objects of apprehension that employers will dyna- which, in their relations to the common mite their own property and slay their own good, are too often in themselves inconworkmen in order to cast suspicion on the gruous, and for that reason not susceptible “friends of labor,” gives vent to the gaiety of advancement by plain fact and serious of his heart.
A DIVERGENCE OF VIEWS CONCERNING “LUCK”
As Between Nephew and Uncle The LARK CLUB,
say they are cheating June 16, 1911. RIDES ? NON SVNT HAEC RITSSYLA , MIHI CREDE on the amount, as Dear Uncle Jack:
I cannot remember I have had a run of
spending half the sum hard luck all through
they claim. the college year, and
Father writes that, now it has reached its
considering my "amclimax. Marian has
ply sufficient" allowreturned my letters,
ance, my debts are so it is all up with
another disgrace. me there. Last Sat
How does he know urday evening, when
what allowance is amI was making a week
ple? I should think end trip, my motor ran into a cow, with the fact that I had been obliged to overdraw great damage to both parties to the collision. it in living like the other fellows was proof The cow, living, was not worth twenty-five that it was not ample or even sufficient. dollars; but death has raised her value to The amount of a college man's allowance seventy-five, and the injury to the motor should be left to a jury of his peers. That will cost twice that sum. How did it hap- is all I would ask; but as that happy solupen? Oh, it was just my luck. The acety- tion has not occurred to any one, and since lene lamps went out; gas in the tank too my father refuses to let me have any more low, or something. The night was dark, and cash, I am writing to you to beg you to help I could not see a hundred feet ahead. The me out. Please, Uncle Jack, be a good felcow was around a curve, and we were go- low and send me some money!' I shall pay ing some, I admit.
you in the fall. I know I shall. Why, of As if these were not enough, I must needs course I shall have more than I know what take a fall at the exams, the worst ones to do with then, for this run of bad luck that the malignant ingenuity of the instruc- cannot last forever. We are sure to win tors could devise. Why are instructors so the boat-race. The trainer says so, and I infernally bent on proving that they know have taken a Ayer on it. more than their classes? If they did not, Do write soon. I want your advice. they probably would not be drawing a sal- Your impecunious and vilely unlucky ary for teaching them. Of course the war nephew, between teachers and students is an instinct
Hilton. of nature; but why should a father always take the side of his son's natural enemy?
New York, June 20, 1911. Did the Governor ask me whether I con- Dear Hilton: sidered the examinations just and fair? Not Accepi tuam epistolam, as your friend at all. He simply wrote that he was dis- Marcus Tullius writes to his friend Attigusted to see a line of D's and E's attached cus; and, like him, I bid you, “Tamen esse to his honored name, while he felt that only in spe." the "Jr." separated him from personal igno- I am truly sorry to hear of your "hard miny.
luck," as you call it. So Marian has turned This was not the worst, either. He has the prettiest of cold shoulders upon you ! been lending a credulous ear to the com- So you killed a cow and smashed your new plaints of those sneaks of shopkeepers who motor, and so you failed in your spring exbait their windows around the square with aminations and your stern parent declines suspenders, hat-bands, and tobacco-pouches. to foot your bills! Poor boy! I inclose a The traitors assured me that they were in check, which I am sending somewhat against no hurry for their money, and now all of a my conscience; but it is the privilege of sudden they must have it at once. I dare uncles to deal with the immediate emergency, while fathers must consider the effect you that when the young Bonaparte stood on character.
with his finger on the map exclaiming, The check might have been larger had the “Gentlemen, Toulon lies there,” he was happy day arrived when the income of a prefiguring the triumphs of Austerlitz, Maprofessional man is fixed by a jury of his rengo, and Friedland, just as, when he depeers; but that arrangement will doubtless voured his meals in haste and worked all follow in the wake of your admirable night in his traveling-carriage, he was prescheme for undergraduates. I prefer to paring the physical breakdown which cost consider the money a gift till it proves it- him Waterloo. self a loan. I have often pursued the oppo- Most history and all fiction are based on site course, and lost both credit and bacon.
the luck theory, and it has formed the backMoreover, if we look upon it as a gift, you ground of much pathetic verse. I confess I will grant that it confers on me some rights could never share the popular sympathy of counsel.
with the heroine in the touching ballad of To begin with, I beg you, when you write "Auld Robin Gray.” She appears to me to to me of your storm and stress, not to talk deserve all that befell her. of “luck." It irritates me, as if you told me that imps with horns and tails had
When my mothershe fell sick, and the cow wasstow'n awa'. blotted your examination-papers, that malicious elves had whispered calumnies about
Well, was that a reason why she should you in Marian's ear, and that your father
abandon constancy to her lover and strike was under the control of witches.
an unworthy and deceitful bargain with a
kind old gentleman who was willing to sup“Rides? Non sunt haec ridicula, mihi crede.” That is no more ridiculous than
port the family? All her woes resulted
from her own lack of that courage, energy, your talk of luck, a word which has no place
and foresight which really constitute luck in the vocabulary of the modern scientific
and which, alas! are far rarer than the world. We make use of the term because we are too weak or too dull or too illogical
combination of accidents which we have
hitherto agreed to call by its name. I do to trace the links in the chain of causation which led to any given event.
not deny that a single accident may befall Now let us take your own case and in
the most energetic and far-seeing; but a
"run of luck” is almost invariably the result spect the causes of your luck. What offense
of character. you gave to Marian I do not know; but I
Opportunity, like heaven, am well enough acquainted with that shrewd young woman to be sure that her course
lies about us in our infancy, was justified by your conduct.
(In parenthesis, I advise you to confess to her that
and the series of choices which men make, you are a miserable sinner and entreat her
and the determination with which they purto take you back on probation.)
sue them, prepare their destiny. We have Was not your automobile disaster suffi- outgrown the use of charms and amulets. ciently explained by the fact that you were
The civilized world has ceased to believe in "going some," with your acetylene lamps
the evil eye or "controls." It is time that unlighted?
we also outgrew the belief in luck. Has it occurred to you as possible that
"Quid aliud scribam ad te? Multa sunt, your failure to pass the examinations was
sed in aliud tempus." not so much the result of an organized per
Affectionately your uncle, secution on the part of the professors as of
John Woodworth. your habit of "cutting” some lectures and sleeping through others?
Finally, will you not confess that your Dear U'ncle: father's refusal to interfere with the deal- Check received. Thanks awfully! We ings of Nemesis is natural, wise, and just? are off for the boat-race. Our crew in fine
If you admit these things, you will admit condition and sure to win this year. We also that you have paved your own road to must on the law of averages. I am countruin, and that it is in your power to change ing on being able to pay your loan at once. your luck next year not by accident, but by Wishing you luck, design.
Your grateful nephew, People talk of Napoleon's luck; but I tell