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form-writer, with a weather eye on the polls, is likely to utter any very challenging truth. After the votes have been counted, the country has still to speak its mind on the vital issues.
It is as dangerous to attempt to interpret a people as to indict a people. I do not purpose to suggest, much less to write, the nation's inaugural. Without
discussing any of the major problems that confront the incoming administration, I should like to venture the statement of three or four general assertions I think the nation has in mind.
I think the American people would like to say to Mr. Harding: We hope you will reorganize the Federal Government in the interest of greater simplicity and efficiency. The departments are hopelessly scrambled now. They over
lap in disconcerting fashion. There must be vast waste that we have no right to permit in these difficult times of financial strain. But our concern for reorganization is not simply a matter of the saving of a few dollars. We want our Federal Government organized simply and clearly in order that we can follow its workings. It is a Chinese puzzle to us now. When we finally get the impression that bad and wasteful work is being done in Washington, we cannot put our finger on the man who is to blame. Responsibility is too widely scattered now. We have n't time to play Sherlock Holmes in a search for the man to blame. Reorganize the departments in order that we will know whom to blame and whom to praise when bad work or good work is done. You are obligated to report to us, through our representatives, the "state of the union," but we want an understandable organization, in order that we can read your report more easily.
We hope you will make politics deal with realities. We are not interested in the wire pullings of party politicians. We are not interested in glittering generalities. We are interested in food and clothing and shelter in production in industrial peace in education-in realities. Make politics deal with realities!
We hope you will not try to be the brains of the United States. We have been drawn to you in these weeks by
your honest modesty of bearing. You have frankly said that you did not intend to try to do all the thinking for the country, that you hoped to play impresario to the best minds of the nation. That way lies good leadership. But even an impresario must dominate his artists, not be dominated by them. There is a half-way house between superman and slave. That half-way house should be the White House.
We hope you will turn your back upon all temptation to use the suicidal powers of repression, however menacing certain interests may attempt to make the restlessness of our time appear. If we place a strait-jacket upon the mind of the nation, we shall stagnate and die. We must have complete freedom of speech, press, and assembly. We are not a rattle-brained folk. We can be trusted to listen even to dangerous doctrine. We are less afraid of a few radicals than even one censor. We hope you will meet the menace of radicalism by removing the incentives to radicalism rather than by clubbing the results of radicalism.
And we hope you will distinguish between opposition to imperialism and opposition to international coöperation. We do not want to sell the soul of our country to any league of imperialisms masquerading in the livery of a league of free nations, but we will have less and less patience with partizan politicians who would drag world politics to the level of ward politics. We are in no mood to play the rôle of a swashbucklering nation going it on its own in an interdependent world. We want to play our part in a more decent ordering of the world. In all the fume and fret about the League of Nations it may be that some have been imperious and some have been petty, but in a democratized League of Nations we see the only escape from a world of competing armaments and periodic wars. We hope you will contrive to determine a foreign policy for us that will awaken our idealism and not turn us into a nation of confirmed cynics.
These are a few things I think the American people would like to say to Mr. Harding as he assumes his high office.
The Song of Rain and the Homes of the Dead
By CONSTANCE CAMPBELL
All night the gray rains moved upon the waters;
We stirred, and felt the soft earth fibers swelling
We felt the night lie thick in tangled gardens;
We felt the night lie stagnant on the marshes;
All the night long the gray rain soaked the grasses,
All the night long soft fibers moved below.
We stirred and ached with spring, were damp and swelling,
And felt the rushes grow.
We heard the wind blow over waste, gray spaces,
The furtive water creeping in the bogs.
We might not rest by night; we sighed and whispered:
(God of the darkness, hear!)
We felt the night lie stagnant on the marshes;
The tadpoles changing into slim, green frogs,
All the night long the white pith swelled the rushes.
We swelled and sweated; something left us sighing,
It made a whiteness swimming in the waters,
It cast a shadow flying by the moon
A sudden whiteness of a wind that passes
Upon the waters gray,
A ripple like a ghost upon the grasses.
We heard low flutes a-down the rain-soaked hollow,
Life of the swamp and woodland,
Life, on bare hill-top and in rain-soaked hollow,
The indrawn sigh as death breathed forth again,
EE how it all whites-off
on my fingers when I rub the boards even the least bit. Ned Sanders says: "what little real linseed oil there was in the paint, has all gone, leaving the 'pigments,' as he calls it, with nothing to hold them together.
Ned showed me in his Happy Happening book, where it told exactly what to do, Dad, in a case like ours. It told how the first coat would have to be different from the second, and explained exactly why.
Now, Dad, don't you go and buy any paint or get any painters here until you have seen that Happy Happening. Ned gave me the
address to send 10 cents for it. It is
The Lowe Brothers Company
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"Oh, my brown man of the woods".
Illustrating "Wolf's-Head and Eye-for-Bane”
An Open Letter to Century Readers
The Porch-Swing. A story.
Illustration by George Avison
Illustrations by John R. Neill
Wolf's-Head and Eye-for-Bane. A story
Illustration by George M. Richards (see frontispiece)
The Home-Maker. Verse...
A Book-Hunter's Garner.
George M. Richards
Karle Wilson Baker
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A Conjugal Bolshevist. A story.
Illustrations by C. F. Peters
Uruguay: a Progressive Republic
Loafing Down Long Island
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Lost Ships and Lonely Seas....
VI. Four Thousand Miles in an Open Boat
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Dare America Remain a Minority Stockholder? "L'Allée" by Paul Verlaine. Drawing by....
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Investment and Banking
786 John K. Barnes Advertising pages
The index for Volume CI, November, 1920, to April, 1921, inclusive, has been prepared, and will be sent free of charge, on request.
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