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Oklahoma, won one and lost three; with Washington, won one and lost one. The universities of Iowa, Illinois, Stanford, Tulane, and the following colleges, Beloit, Cornell (Iowa), Oberlin, Swarthmore, and Williams also have been remarkably successful. Notre Dame, with her eloquent Irishmen, is virtually invincible. Bowdoin College has won over fifty per cent. of her contests with Amherst, Wesleyan, Clark, Vermont, Syracuse, and Cornell. Her chief achievement was that within one month, and on totally different propositions, with a student body of three hundred, she defeated both Cornell and Syracuse, each with a student body of over three thousand. The University of Michigan has possibly a still more striking record. Since 1893 she has participated in thirty-eight debates, of which twenty-six have been victories, twelve defeats. She has won four out of five with Wisconsin, seven out of eleven with Northwestern, three out of four with Pennsylvania, three out of four with Minnesota, and nine out of fourteen with Chicago. She has received a unanimous decision in eighteen debates, and lost one by unanimous decision. Eleven out of her last fourteen contests have been victories.
Success, however, is not measured wholly in victories won. College debating is giving to thousands of college boys power to acquire information, to form sound judgments, to confine discussion to essential issues, to state arguments clearly and forcibly, to treat an opponent fairly,
and to respect the cause of the other fellow. It is teaching them grace, ease, confidence, and resourcefulness in public speech. In some academic circles it is customary to ridicule a good speaker. The students of a certain law school shuffle their feet when a classmate dares to recite in unusually good speaking form. The faculty lecture committee of another university declined to invite a distinguished publicist to address the student body, on the ground that he was such an excellent speaker that he could not have anything worth while to say. Such men, Henry Ward Beecher said, belong "to the school of the beetle." Their ideas of public address is "buzz, fight, and hit where you can." Happily, such ridiculous academicism is rare, and colleges are coming to recognize that the effective oral expression of sound thinking is one of the primary requisites of a cultivated man. College debates, like many congressional discussions, are not masterpieces either of argument or of delivery, but they represent for many young men the maximum opus of college life. "Why," asked a professor of history who was inclined to scoff at debating-"why do these fellows present grade A work in their debates, and grade B work in my classes?" The answer is simple. His classroom probably lacks the stimulus of a good fight. The debate is for blood; it is a fair field, and no favors asked, and may the best man win; it makes generous winners and game losers. It makes manly men.
TOPICS OF THE TIME
multiplication of lay societies, the American people may claim to enjoy the fruits of a vigorous Christian civilization. Church membership and church property, by voluntary agencies, have more than kept pace with the national expansion in population and wealth. It is hardly possible that such variety of creed and liturgy ever before existed under the protection of a single flag. None of the sects and denominations appear to have languished for lack of material support or fervent worshipers. And among the strongest of them the only signs of discordance have come from a spirit of rivalry in doing the same kinds of good. In the broadest sense their diverse activities amount to one Christian force working for the spiritual and political unity of the nation.
To refer only to the lay societies, their practical zeal and spiritual devotion leave little, if anything, to be desired. Protestant and Catholic, alike, labor unceasingly to enlarge the field of direct Christian influence and to instruct and protect the rising generations in the sustaining faith of the mothers and fathers. The only elements that seem to be new in the practice of Christian principles are a broader sympathy and a wider charity, combining for more efficient helpfulness among the increasing mass of breadwinners who find the modern pace difficult for their natural powers or accidental circumstances.
In very fact the tillage of the Christian field in the United States continues to be superb in every element of energy, resourcefulness, and conviction. Christian men and women are the body and soul of all the forces organized for education and moral progress, and the numbers enlisted for fellowship and practical work have increased by leaps and bounds. And yet the nation is brought face to face, almost every
and indispensable as it is, the harvest does not include to a satisfactory degree control of the basic springs of popular desire and conduct.
It is not difficult to perceive the points at which Christian influence loses touch, in actual stress, with the selfish instincts of human nature; but it is immensely difficult to discover how to organize a conscious, reliant curb on those instincts. A compact army of workers for private and public morality like the Society of Christian Endeavor, whose remarkable growth and influence is described in another part of this number of THE CENTURY, rendered efficient help to public opinion in limiting the degrading exhibition of pictures of the Reno prize-fight; yet neither its influence, nor that of all the Christian forces in the State of New York, have produced a sentiment active enough to prevent the enactment by the New York legislature of a law which makes pugilism a State-regulated amusement, at work every day to spread the seeds of brutality and gambling among the young men of the nation. The Reno fight was merely a sporadic incident, conceded to be lawless and shameless; while these club fights, dignified by a legal status, differ only in quantity, not in quality, from the "fights to a finish," and serve to feed the newspapers, and through them the homes of the country, with the noisome jargon and. details of the prize-ring. The same legislature made it unlawful to maintain watercups for public use, thereby proving its intense anxiety for the welfare of humanity."
Another great and zealous body of Christian workers is known as "The Men and Religion Forward Movement." It combines the moral force of thirteen large brotherhoods and associations. It makes of September 24, for this year, a "Rally
Day for Men and Boys," in every part of the country. A special feature of its work is "social service," including efforts to interest working-men of all classes, and to secure the coöperation of labor leaders in appealing to their followers. In that broad, and even paramount, field of national effort, where lurk the ills of industrial turmoil, usually accompanied by some of the horrors of war, there is no lack of knowledge of the spiritual and statutory laws of justice and order; but when the pinch of dissension comes are they ever heeded?
Our problems and trials in these days do not differ much in kind from those of the other great Christian nations, but they would appear to be augmented by certain powerful tendencies. Except for the emphasis placed on the importance of money as a means of attaining comfort and pleasure, the struggle would not be so fierce and reckless to achieve small or great monopoly in trade and labor; except for the use of money in elections and in legislatures, the number of officials who serve for the "spoils" would be fewer, and the hand of the law would be more uniform in its pressure; and except for the monstrous appetite for scandal and the details of crime which has been stimulated under the pretense of "disseminating intelligence," the whole country would not be a morning and evening school for the study of the ways and means of human depravity.
There was one day last August when two burnings at the stake by mobs were merely the most lurid spots in the inflated chronicles of our Christian civilization. Hardly a newspaper but felt obliged by its duty to the morbid curiosity of the public, to publish in extenso the pitiful ravings for fiendish vengeance of the half-crazed widow of the policeman whose murder was the motive for the Coatesville horror.
At a time when, to an "argus-eyed" and universal press, no depravity and no crime is too naked or too vile to be spread broadcast in the way of business, is it surprising that all the Christian precept of the land should be so largely negatived by the facts of life?
The harvest may be disappointing when compared with the tillage, but the tillage is vastly important, and, sometime, it may cut nearer to the forces that work for evil.
A "JUDICIAL OLIGARCHY"
AN hysterical tone is frequent in the pub
lic discussions of this country. This characteristic has been displayed in the recent agitation about the recall of judges; and a good example of it was given in the speech of Senator Owen of Oklahoma, who declared to the Senate that the "condition which the country faces" is nothing less than a "judicial oligarchy."
The phrase is worth a little examination, not merely to see how it squares with the facts, but also as an illustration of the extravagance of thought and language, and of the setting up of imaginary monsters, into which ardent temperaments are betrayed when dealing with a question flung hot and new into politics. Senator Owen spoke with the appearance of great earnestness, yet the very citations and statistics which he himself gave were enough to show that his alleged "oligarchy" is purely fanciful. For by far the larger number of judges in the United States are elected and for short terms. The notion that they could, if they desired, erect themselves into a privileged class, far above the considerate judgment of their fellow-citizens, and entitled to treat the laws as if they were a nose of wax, is really ludicrous. know what judges can be made to do," said John Selden, but every man who has acquaintance with State judges knows that they cannot be made to think of themselves, much less to act, as oligarchs.
But the Oklahoma Senator's complaint is chiefly of Federal judges, who are appointed, not elected, who hold office during good behavior, and who occasionally decide that a law which Congress has attempted to enact is in violation of the Constitution. They make up our "judicial oligarchy," if we have any. But do they, in fact, ever conceive of themselves as such, or give color by their course to the charge that such in truth they are? The question. must surely be answered in the negative by any one who will fairly and attentively study their bearing and their decisions. These haughty Olympian judges, removed from all humane sympathies, out of touch with their age, anxious only to twist and pervert the statutes to the profit of monopoly and oppression, are wholly creatures. of the imagination. They exist in no actual Federal court.
Federal judges feel just as keenly as State judges the form and pressure of their time. They do not sit on a bench in a vacuum. No men are more alive to what is going on about them in this breathing and changing world. Even the Supreme Court is not to be thought of as a dim and far retreat where the beat of the waves of public opinion can never be heard. In many a doubtful judicial finding the balance has been made to turn by the court's knowledge of what the people expected and needed. The recent unanimous decision of the Supreme Court against the Standard Oil Company is admitted to have been powerfully influenced by what the court well knew that the entire country was looking to it to do. Some of the greatest judges have a way of regarding the law as a vast arsenal whence weapons may be drawn for public use as the need arises. Such men do not dwell apart on an ivory tower. They constantly rub elbows with their fellows, and are filled with the best spirit of their time. They are eager to serve their day and generation, and can be called an "oligarchy" with no more justice than physicians or clergymen could be.
The exaggeration and unreality of such descriptions of the courts stand out in clearest light, when one looks closely and impartially at the judicial decisions complained of. Take such an opinion as that of the Court of Appeals of New York in the case of the Employers' Liability Act, or that in the income-tax case before the Supreme Court of the United States in 1895, and you discover nothing of this alleged spirit of lofty indifference on the part of judges. On the contrary, they are most careful to express the greatest deference for Legislature or Congress, and to discover exactly what was the legislative intent. Moreover, whenever the judges, constrained by a high sense of duty, decide that a given ståtute is void, they take particular pains to show by what Constitutional amendment, or by what change in legislative form, the ends aimed at could be legally attained. If these be oligarchs, where should we look for courteous and faithful servants of the people?
One of the debts which the country owes President Taft is for the elevated and dispassionate tone in which he set forth, in his message vetoing the bill to admit Arizona with the recall of judges in her Con
stitution, the true doctrine of the independent judiciary. Without ranting or bitterness, he showed how vital is the need in a democracy of high-minded and fearless judges to stand between the minority and oppression, or a breach of fundamental rights, at the hands of an ephemeral majority. The judicial recall would be a deadly blow at this bulwark of liberties. Even if there were any ground for speaking of judges as oligarchical, it would still be true that we need to preserve their functions and safeguard their independence as against the assaults of mobocrats.
INCE the days when the people of
ings for the five-milliards of ransom exacted by Bismarck, the world has pondered, as over a mystery, the bee-like durability of French thrift. Not only has their car of progress been kept in full commission, along with a vast standing army and an enlarging naval force, but at the same time they have poured millions of treasure into the coffers of allies and friends.
Of French thrift, apparently, there is no end. It is founded on racial habits rooted in industry and intelligence, and on a sense of proportion as universal to the Gallic race as its feeling for beauty. After forty years the Republic stands firm. in the strength of two generations of sons and daughters born under the banner of self-government. That fact has excited as much wonder among her neighbors as the irrepressible thrift. Probably the one is a complement of the other, political as well as industrial France being ruled by intelligence and moderation.
An American of searching powers of observation, Thomas A. Edison, the finder of useful things, has spent a vacation motoring through the quiet places of France, and out of a comforted appetite, a delighted eye, and a stimulated mind, he has drawn judgments in harmony with the keenest outside knowledge of the inherent virtues of the French people.
The formula of French thrift is as simple as sunlight: be industrious, be frugal, give and enjoy in proportion to your means, and always lay by a fifth of your income for capital. Result: a whole nation prosperous, contented, and happy.
ON THE TRAINING OF SONS TO BE HUSBANDS
From a Happily Married Old Lady to a Discontented Young Wife
My dear Dorothy:
Your letter did not surprise me. Husbands as husbands per se, have become an absorbing topic with most wives. You cannot get a group of restless married women together without hearing the subject discussed. Somehow I am sorry for these
husbands, classed as they are by themselves, their manhood forgotten, and regarded by the once-adoring fiancée as only so much impedimenta barring the way to a wider scope! Your grandfather and I were once in a foreign city where expatriated American women abound, every one of whom was supported by some unobtrusive gentleman on our side of the water, in return for which bounty those ladies abused us all, especially our men, who being without the Frenchman's culte de femme, whatever that means, were said to lack charm! We felt very old-fashioned as we listened, though that is neither here nor there. Our eyes have been opened since.
Into the room of our hostess came a number of these beautifully dressed women for tea. One with artistically treated features seemed so perturbed that a friend hurried forward to ask her trouble. "It 's my husband," answered the distressed lady.
"Oh! If it's husbands, I understand," replied the friend dismissing the whole subject as quickly as if it had been a question of cockroaches! "Husbands are such bores," she added, turning. Whereupon I slipped my hand into your grandfather's and begged to be taken home, but he suggested that we might as well stay and see something of the funny side of life.
I cannot always see the funny side. Here in my own city at luncheon, I heard a cheerful portly woman exclaim at the end of much discouraging talk: "Husbands ought not to be considered so upsetting. All a woman has to do is to learn how to drive them. Take hold of the reins and never
let go, is the secret. I've tried it successfully with both of my own."
Everybody laughed but me. I thought her taste shocking but I have pondered since. Wives do let the reins go, as possibly you have done. They let them go every time they give way to discontent before their husbands, especially in the presence of outsiders, or show discourtesy and unresponsiveness; every time they say horrid and ungrateful things, or ignore their own obligations concerning at least proper manners.
They forget that husbands are as sensitive as horses, and when not properly "driven " will sometimes run away !
A Frenchwoman who kept a sea-side hotel once said to me: "It is for the husbands of your country that I have much sympathy. They fetch and carry for their wives and are so devoted, but their wives are so unruly, wanting everything, and paying no attention to what is done. And they never say "Thank you.' It is as if their husbands were little dogs." I tried to explain some differences, but I found myself blushing when I began to talk of your grandfather. I don't like the habit.
This is not the answer you expected! It is only another lecture to you, a wife, when, according to your way of thinking, it is the husbands who need lecturing. But then husbands have not yet revolted, my dear, certainly not as a class. They do not talk of wives, either, in a general way; it may be they talk some of “women,” but they are careful about possessive pronouns when it comes to the wife!
The truth of it is, my dear Dorothy, your state of mind is not unique. Unrest among wives has become universal, and the American woman leads in the upheaval. She has reached that time when
By images, and haunted by herself,