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spicuous, and nothing relating to his efforts is more notable than the absence of criticism among his followers of his philosophic tone, of his aggressive strictures, or of his reform proposals. As the spokesman of the aims and hopes of unionism he has had the field very much to himself, and the humor of imputing the atrocities of strike troubles to the "enemies of labor" has been a favorite weapon.
Also the administration of justice has called forth from him almost more humor than the impartial enforcement of the laws. His suggestion that the country might well dispense with a third of the judges, and more profitably use their salaries to indemnify injured workmen, for complete humor lacks only an added recommendation that the "injured workmen" be selected from those hurt in the act of destroying property in time of strike. Quite recently he has achieved the humorous situation of entertaining a committee of august Senators with his views on the importance of impeaching the justice who found it advisable to sentence him and two other labor leaders to prison.
But on the Fourth of July last Mr. Gompers carried humor to the front rank of argument by treating a meeting of three thousand labor-union protestants against the McNamara extradition, to a parody on the Declaration of Independence. Whether his hearers were familiar with that solemn document or not, they could appreciate the fun of hearing their champion insert the word "Capitalists" in place of the royal tools and tyrants who were so effectively excoriated by the fathers of the Revolution. Whatever might be said for or against the manner of haling the dynamite suspects before a distant tribunal, it is plain that the McNamara arrests have been succeeded by a period of noteworthy calm. The clockwork seems to have run down, the fuse appears to be wet; and the labor-union leader, temporarily relieved of apprehension that employers will dynamite their own property and slay their own workmen in order to cast suspicion on the "friends of labor," gives vent to the gaiety of his heart.
The success of this effort to inject trav esty into a discussion of the wrongs of labor suggests that persuasive argument might be derived by such a facile advocate, from a perversion of the Gettysburg address, and possibly of the Sermon on the Mount.
The idea that "capitalists" in general block the way to the laboring-man's Arcady overflows with humor, since without capitalists all men would labor, and the market for labor would be so overstocked that each man might be limited to working for himself. That proposition is almost as humorous as the policy of promoting the interests of labor by limiting the amount of labor and curtailing the sources of skill and efficiency. Inasmuch as two thirds of the labor performed in the world is for the purpose of feeding, clothing, housing, and personally benefiting those who must depend on their daily wage for the means of subsistence, it is certainly "ludicrous or absurdly incongruous" to affirm that working-people will be benefited by limiting the quantity of labor.
But the serious and sacred cause of labor advances even with the handicap of preposterous fallacy and frivolous leadership. Its sensational spokesmen have no trouble to get a hearing in this strenuous and stirring country; the general public likes to be amused or distracted, and seldom recoils from lawlessness that is "ludicrous or absurdly incongruous"; the newspapers find it convenient fill inconsequential "space" with amusing crime and humorous perversions. Thus the cultivation of lawless thinking progresses, and the public mind is jogged only by events which stagger common sense-after which the appeal of sane humanity is again drowned by the plaint and quip of the demagogue, who is, as a rule, only striving to make a show of rendering service for a salary paid for the furtherance of objects like the "closed shop" and other special privileges-objects which, in their relations to the common good, are too often in themselves incongruous, and for that reason not susceptible of advancement by plain fact and serious argument.
A DIVERGENCE OF VIEWS CONCERNING "LUCK"
THE LARK CLUB,
June 16, 1911. Dear Uncle Jack:
I have had a run of hard luck all through the college year, and now it has reached its climax. Marian has returned my letters, so it is all up with me there. Last Saturday evening, when I was making a week
As Between Nephew and Uncle
end trip, my motor ran into a cow, with great damage to both parties to the collision. The cow, living, was not worth twenty-five dollars; but death has raised her value to seventy-five, and the injury to the motor will cost twice that sum. How did it happen? Oh, it was just my luck. The acetylene lamps went out; gas in the tank too low, or something. The night was dark, and I could not see a hundred feet ahead. The cow was around a curve, and we were going some, I admit.
As if these were not enough, I must needs take a fall at the exams, the worst ones that the malignant ingenuity of the instructors could devise. Why are instructors so infernally bent on proving that they know more than their classes? If they did not, they probably would not be drawing a salary for teaching them. Of course the war between teachers and students is an instinct of nature; but why should a father always take the side of his son's natural enemy? Did the Governor ask me whether I considered the examinations just and fair? Not at all. He simply wrote that he was disgusted to see a line of D's and E's attached to his honored name, while he felt that only the "Jr." separated him from personal ignominy.
This was not the worst, either. He has been lending a credulous ear to the complaints of those sneaks of shopkeepers who bait their windows around the square with suspenders, hat-bands, and tobacco-pouches. The traitors assured me that they were in no hurry for their money, and now all of a sudden they must have it at once. I dare
the fact that I had been obliged to overdraw it in living like the other fellows was proof that it was not ample or even sufficient. The amount of a college man's allowance should be left to a jury of his peers. That is all I would ask; but as that happy solution has not occurred to any one, and since my father refuses to let me have any more cash, I am writing to you to beg you to help me out. Please, Uncle Jack, be a good fellow and send me some money! I shall pay you in the fall. I know I shall. Why, of course I shall have more than I know what to do with then, for this run of bad luck cannot last forever. We are sure to win the boat-race. The trainer says so, and I have taken a flyer on it.
Do write soon. I want your advice. Your impecunious and vilely unlucky nephew,
Accepi tuam epistolam, as your friend Marcus Tullius writes to his friend Atticus; and, like him, I bid you, "Tamen esse in spe."
I am truly sorry to hear of your "hard luck," as you call it. So Marian has turned the prettiest of cold shoulders upon you! So you killed a cow and smashed your new motor, and so you failed in your spring examinations and your stern parent declines to foot your bills! Poor boy! I inclose a check, which I am sending somewhat against my conscience; but it is the privilege of uncles to deal with the immediate emer
gency, while fathers must consider the effect on character.
The check might have been larger had the happy day arrived when the income of a professional man is fixed by a jury of his peers; but that arrangement will doubtless follow in the wake of your admirable scheme for undergraduates. I prefer to I prefer to consider the money a gift till it proves itself a loan. I have often pursued the opposite course, and lost both credit and bacon. Moreover, if we look upon it as a gift, you will grant that it confers on me some rights of counsel.
To begin with, I beg you, when you write to me of your storm and stress, not to talk of "luck." It irritates me, as if you told me that imps with horns and tails had blotted your examination-papers, that malicious elves had whispered calumnies about you in Marian's ear, and that your father was under the control of witches.
"Rides? Non sunt haec ridicula, mihi crede." That is no more ridiculous than your talk of luck, a word which has no place in the vocabulary of the modern scientific world. We make use of the term because
we are too weak or too dull or too illogical
to trace the links in the chain of causation which led to any given event.
Now let us take your own case and inspect the causes of your luck. What offense you gave to Marian I do not know; but I am well enough acquainted with that shrewd young woman to be sure that her course was justified by your conduct. (In parenthesis, I advise you to confess to her that you are a miserable sinner and entreat her to take you back on probation.)
Was not your automobile disaster sufficiently explained by the fact that you were "going some," with your acetylene lamps unlighted?
Has it occurred to you as possible that your failure to pass the examinations was not so much the result of an organized persecution on the part of the professors as of your habit of "cutting" some lectures and sleeping through others?
Finally, will you not confess that your father's refusal to interfere with the dealings of Nemesis is natural, wise, and just?
If you admit these things, you will admit also that you have paved your own road to ruin, and that it is in your power to change your luck next year not by accident, but by design.
People talk of Napoleon's luck; but I tell
you that when the young Bonaparte stood with his finger on the map exclaiming, "Gentlemen, Toulon lies there," he was prefiguring the triumphs of Austerlitz, Marengo, and Friedland, just as, when he devoured his meals in haste and worked all night in his traveling-carriage, he was preparing the physical breakdown which cost him Waterloo.
Most history and all fiction are based on the luck theory, and it has formed the background of much pathetic verse. I confess I could never share the popular sympathy with the heroine in the touching ballad of "Auld Robin Gray." She appears to me to deserve all that befell her.
When my mothershe fell sick, and the cow was stow`nawa'. Well, was that a reason why she should abandon constancy to her lover and strike an unworthy and deceitful bargain with a kind old gentleman who was willing to support the family? All her woes resulted from her own lack of that courage, energy, and foresight which really constitute luck and which, alas! are far rarer than the combination of accidents which we have
hitherto agreed to call by its name. I do not deny that a single accident may befall the most energetic and far-seeing; but a "run of luck" is almost invariably the result of character.
Opportunity, like heaven,
lies about us in our infancy,
My dear dramatist:
THE GOOD WOMAN HOLDS THE STAGE To a Young Friend who Purposes to Write Plays
Our conversation the other evening has set me thinking, and with this result: I believe you are altogether on the wrong tack in making the bad woman the motive power of your comedy. The traditions are with you? Yes; but at the moment
we are making traditions. Somebody has always had to do that; and traditions are made by observing and reflecting what one observes. I'll prove it to you.
Not long since there was a revival of Sardou's "Diplomacy." The intrigue appeared as fiendishly clever as of yore. Baron Stein and Julian Beauchamp belonged to generations of playgoers, and the line of succession has never been broken. Their descendants still hold the stage. But, curiously enough, the reappearance of the Countess Zicka was not in effect that of a living woman, but of a reminiscence. One was tempted to say: "Zicka, beautiful demon, where have you been this long time? What has become of your fascinating companions, those ladies in red or in Mephistophelian black who, one was wont to know the moment of their entrance upon the scene, were up to something shocking? Where are the Lady Audleys, the Forgetme-nots, and Les Belles Russes? Where are the intrigantes and polite female rascals, and that long procession of evil but fascinating women who for so long held us palpitant, as they set everything by the ears? Where has the beautiful young villainess gone?"
A brief review of later plays shows that she is no more. The inference is unmistakable. She is no longer important; her place has been taken, or she would still be here. But why is she no longer important? Is it, perchance, that we have changed? were we ever as bad as that? Was devilry in fair form necessary to engage our attention? Why did we prefer the companionship of the evil Zicka to that of the innocent Dora, when everybody knows that we all detest wickedness and love virtues.
Some other reason must account for the long and spirited reign of the beautiful intrigantes of the drama; and it must also be some reason that will account equally for their departure, silently and unmissed. Is
it not the fact that our interest in these reprehensible
ladies was not in themselves or in their guilty doings, but in the fact that at least they did something? They were women of action, and action even in a bad cause is more entertaining than all the passive virtues piled high. It was the villainess that made the wheels go round. There was always something doing when she was about.
In her day, the good woman sat in the corner spinning, or cutting bread and butter. Even when most put upon she only wrung her hands, dropped a silent tear, and then dutifully forgave her enemies and turned the other cheek. We found her monotonous; she made us sleepy, and we turned with relief to the wicked ladies, delighting not in their evil, but in their activity, their competence, their neat ways of manipulating men and events, and of carrying their nefarious schemes to all but a successful conclusion. That, of course, as the dramatists knew, we never would have sat for.
One may ask, Would we not have been equally entertained with kindred activity on the part of the good woman, if it had been called for? This seems demonstrable. For, in the meantime, the good woman has sallied forth. The virtues have put on their bonnets and gone out-of-doors. Such a marshaling on the common of mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters was never seen before. There is nothing on which they hesitate to lay their hands. Their fingers are in every pie. No one now ever sees them wring their hands or drop a silent tear. Is anything wrong, do they even suspect anything wrong, they are up and at it. The thing itself is not so important. It may be a drain or it may be a dead prophet; their activities are equally aroused. For, at the moment, it is the activity that delights them. Life appears to them an exhilarating course of ethical gymnastics, and they are all pressing to join the class.
Does not this account for the change in the personnel of the drama, for which life is supposed to furnish the prototypes? Perhaps there is no play more significant in this respect than "The Deep Purple," in which the villainess has not only reformed, but
places her accomplished powers in the service of the innocent. No, in a retrospect of all the prominent plays of the last few years, it is plain that the engaging villainess, with her trailing robes, her brow of mystery, and her hands spinning the fine threads of intrigue, has been supplanted by the good woman in a tailor-made gown gaily uprooting cherished abuses and choice sins.
Good women used to be as solemn as owls. The virtuous woman, though she came as high as rubies, never shone for her humor. Now she bubbles over with it. "What every woman knows" is that she must be not only good, but gay; Barrie illustrates it in Maggie in "What Every
Woman Knows," Percy Mackaye in "Mater," Vaughn in "Penelope," Bahr in "The Concert," and the list might be lengthened. In each of these plays the good woman is radiant with humor, and chuckles silently while she saves the situation. There is not one of these, nor of those in other modern plays, if one's sporting blood were up, that one would hesitate to enter in a handicap, at large odds, against Zicka, La Belle Russe, or any one of the shady ladies who were wont to hold us breathless in days gone by. Do I make myself not only clear, but convincing? Cordially yours,
GLIMPSES OF JAPAN, CHINA, AND MANCHURIA
May 24, 1911.
I AM writing on board a German ship on the Japan Sea midway between Nagasaki and Shanghai. All China and Japan. seem near each other on the map, but it is 1300 miles from Yokohama to Shanghai, and it
takes five days constant travel to go from Shanghai to Peking. I have just sailed through the Inland Sea, an exaggerated Long Island Sound, 300 miles long, and from ten to forty wide. It is full of islands (the natives say 10,000), and teems with all sorts of navigable craft. Indeed, the whole seaboard swarms with life. Here are the only comparatively level and arable parts. Nine tenths of the land is mountainous and unproductive, and how a population half as large as that of the United States can subsist on the remaining one tenth, do so much, pay such taxes (the national debt alone is $25 per capita), and be so happy, is a mystery to me.
Certainly there is no danger here of race suicide: children, especially babies, are everywhere in evidence. They are never left at home; their older brothers often carry them, but more often their sisters. I have seen girls of twelve or fifteen playing hop-scotch, skipping rope, and running races with their baby brothers on their backs. These babes are weaned late, perhaps not so late as in some parts of Central America, where, as I have just read, it is no unusual sight to see a child of four or five descend from the maternal fount to light and smoke a formidable cigarette,-but I have seen a Japanese mother stop on the public street and give suck to a boy of three or four walking at her side. And as for the nursing of infants, it is the commonest of sights. Nor is this all. The nude, as some one has
said, "is seen in Japan, but not looked at."
They are a cheery, happy sort of people, fat and hearty-looking, always animated, and talking and laughing at their work. The amount of their manual labor is enormous. They have virtually no draft animals and fewer machines. Men and women push or pull unheard of loads on two-wheeled barrows. I have seen logs of wood three feet in diameter and fifteen feet long thus progressing through the streets of Tokio. It takes twenty men to drive a moderate-sized pile, and yesterday I saw the coaling of this ship at Nagasaki by 500 natives, mostly girls and young women. They built a series of platforms against the side of the ship of graded heights, like stair-steps. On these they stood in lines or gangs, and passed up the coal in shallow baskets each containing twenty pounds at the rate of fifty a minute by the watch for each gang, and there were sixteen gangs of about thirty each. This was 800 baskets a minute, or 48,000 an hour; that is, from 400 to 500 tons. In no other place and in other way can coal be so rapidly or economically loaded. I watched these baskets rolling up like chain-belts till it fairly made my head swim.
As I have said, they are a happy people. It takes some time to get used to being drawn in a miniature hansom-cab by a fellow human being, and more to become accustomed to being carried in a chair, on the shoulders of four others, up apparently inaccessible mountain-trails, until you note that they are laughing and talking all the time, and end up a twenty-mile run sound of wind and in the best of spirits.
Their hotels run by natives on the European plan are excellent, and fast driving the