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and, with a courteous bow, handed me the light.
I broke the silence sure enough; but, alas! the breakage soon closed in under such frigid conditions.
"Tickets, please," sounded good. Victoria Station looked still better, and I stepped on the platform with a feeling that I had emerged from a retreat of Dominican Friars.
Save for the "Good day, sir," of my friend who had already spoken one word, we made our exit in silence.
Thus the four words spoken came to one word per hour, which was a great disappointment to me, as the determination to listen was the chief object of my journey.
So pronounced a silence must have had a strong underlying cause, thought I as I was being driven to my hotel.
Might it possibly be the British way of qualifying for membership in the "English-Speaking Union" of two great
My friend the alienist had advised me to "be sure and see a humorous film in one of the London theaters," so that I might study the effects.
"Shoulder Arms," by Charlie Chaplin, was at Terry's, and I knew it was a "topper," as the English would say. I found a full house, but I likewise found that every funny hit-and the play is saturated with humor-was received with a strange kind of suppressed chuckle.
Once in a native theater in Peking, China, filled with half-naked, perspiring Chinese, I had heard that same peculiar sound.
The risible organ seemed to emit a groan, like a laugh strangled in its birth.
At a cinema in the Boulevard des Italiens in Paris, a few evenings before, roars of laughter greeted a film far inferior to the sparkling humor of "Shoulder Arms." Even in dear old Dublin, amid the tragedy of civil war, where life is positively insecure, I witnessed a remarkable outburst of humor in the Gaiety Theater, in spite of the sharp crack of rifle shots heard between parts.
It was late that night when I was fortunate enough to pick up a taxi on the Strand and escape from that seductive "red-light life" that leaves misery and death in its trail.
Bright and early next morning I drove to London Bridge. Dismissing the driver, I took my place on the north corner, where I planned to remain some hours, as congested toiling humanity was passing by-an after-breakfast scene of man "going forth to his work and to his labor until the evening"!
It was indeed wonderful, both sight and sound, as the hour of nine struck the strange, low rumble as thousands of men and women passed over that bridge, like the distant sound of great waves out of "the homeless sea" breaking on the shore..
But it was a truly awe-inspiring sight, just like the old-time march of the shell-makers of the war-grim, sullen, unresponsive.
From "Punch" (London)
The Rev. Septimus Jolliboy, having read of efforts for a brighter London, tries to introduce a little galety into his parish visiting PUNCH POKES FUN AT ARTIFICIAL HILARITY
It reminded me, on an immense scale, of a painting in the Grand Palais of Paris, depicting a procession of New
England Puritans on their way to
Leaning against a pillar, after his all night beat, was a policeman, giant in stature. As I stood by his side I looked up into his strong, honest, tired face as he yawned for sleep. Then I touched his breast, where a war badge illumined his tunic, at which he touched my American Legion button with a smile. and we shook hands as comrades.
After a long chat I asked him: "Why the mischief, sergeant, are the people so serious, so gloomy, at this hour of the morning?"
He looked at me for a few moments, bit off the end of the Havana I had given him, spat into the Thames, and said, slowly: "'Igh taxes, sir, small waiges, 'ightpenny drinks;" and after a few moments he added, "and Lud George, sir."
It was easy to see that the same question had already entered his mind.
The rest of the day was spent in tramping through the great highways of the city. Along the Strand, from Leicester Square to Piccadilly Circus, in the great arteries between Knightsbridge and the Thames, I made my way. gars everywhere! Ex-service men, crippled, in worn-out uniforms, passing the hat while their brass instruments made discord more discordant. Women with outstretched hands and the old cry or moan, "For God's sake, sir." London's beggars would form an army larger than the regiments behind Coxey on the march to Washington.
Now I realized the need for the "Brighter London Movement." Sober, overserious faces, groups of unemployed muttering to one another around Tra falgar Square. Not a smile, not a laugh
anywhere! Dark houses, dim in the mist, drab as 10 Downing Street.
Said my friend the alienist to me, as we were parting in Paris: "Above all things, be sure and attend a sitting in the House of Commons; there you are sure to find the pulse-beat of the nation." All my plans had been carefully laid. Having entered the lobby of that historic House, I sent in my card by one of the officials to T. P. O'Connor, M.P.
Presently he appeared in his quick, short stride, with his kindly smile and hearty way, so well known to his host of friends. We had not met in many years.
"Tay Pay," as his friends love to call him, is a brilliant son of old Erin, statesman, journalist, nationalist, gentleman.
He is the venerable "Father of the House" by length of service, and as a debater has few equals.
Our meeting was happy, congenial, reminiscent.
Drawing from his vest pocket a little inlaid snuff box, he took a pinch or two, with the evident relish of an old toper sipping his port. But no man may indulge in his prise de tabac, as the French say, without penalty. Small clots of brown powder, like finely ground coffee, darkened his gray mustache and made strange streaks down his doublebreasted coat.
He smiled when I explained my mission in London.
"Well, now, just look over there," he said. "Surely you don't see anything gloomy in Lady Astor." Glancing round, I saw a slight, graceful woman of charming countenance, dressed in a dark, tight-fitting gown, commanding the close attention of three members who seemed to hang on her words.
Lady Astor was wreathed in smiles, as if crowned with a garland of roses.
"True, Mr. O'Connor," I replied; "but, after all, this is a case of one Irishman
pointing out to another Irishman a typical American lady with English citizenship."
As he was about to reply an usher approached and handed him a card. Transferring it to me, he said, lowering his voice, "Remain for Lloyd George-he'll surely speak," and we shook hands.
The galleries were packed, but the House was half empty. Dense and heavy was the atmosphere. Unsettled weather, with storms, was registered by the House barometer.
Soon I saw that the members were in an ugly mood.
Naturally, my first keen desire was to get a glimpse of Lloyd George, whom I had not seen for many years. Seated next to Winston Churchill, with his feet propped against the Treasury bench and his body at an angle as if reclining on a "davenport," the eyes of the Prime Minister were closed in a kind of parliamentary sleep, and his snow-white hair fell in clusters on his collar. The Milky Way of the war!
This peculiar state of somnolence is the unique inheritance of the great leaders in British politics.
In that same spot, historic and sacred, such men as Pitt and Gladstone, Disraeli and Balfour, had, in their day, passed into this camouflaged trance while undergoing the baptism of fire.
As a matter of fact, in this self-imposed psychic state intuition and imagination, memory and strategy, are keenly at work. And they were all needed on this memorable day, for Lloyd George was the target of attack from every quarter of the House.
The members were sullen grim, aggressively hostile.
Not a single sally of wit to strike a note of brightness.
The Irish, who in the days gone by were like a freshly opened bottle of dry Pommery, were gone, never to return.
There was a fierce growling sound, such as one hears before feeding time in
The difference between the Parliament of Gladstone and the last Parliament of Lloyd George is the difference between an iron clipper homeward bound, with full sails set in a spanking breeze, and a battered ship, with every sail rent, scudding before the storm.
Clynes, the Labor leader, struck home with almost brutal force, without mincing words. Several members, including Lord Percy of Hastings, spoke with a studied impediment-a most painful hemming and hawing-a style which is supposed to preserve the traditions of the British Parliament, and at the same time stamp the aristocratic dignity of the speaker.
One Labor member, bearing the historic name of Jones, was offensively personal and bitterly crude. One of his most finished periods closed with scathing reference to "those Union jacks and jackasses." His was "the effort of an owl blinking at an eagle."
Throughout this vulgar harangue the
Prime Minister, against whom the attacks were hurled, remained absolutely in repose. Yet I had no doubt his mental dynamics were in abnormal activity.
Finally, as if to cap the climax, Lord Robert Cecil rose from the Opposition bench and in deep, labored tones of bit ter criticism brought the Prime Minister severely to task.
The instant he concluded Lloyd George rose quickly to his feet, like a giant refreshed with sleep.
As if by magic, the members came rushing in from every entrance, and in less time than it takes to tell the House was packed.
With a smile of perfect confidence Lloyd George faced that hostile House.
Culture, ease, and perfect poise marked the language and delivery of that master of assemblies. With a rich tenor tone, without taint of accent, he might easily pass for a cultured New Yorker. For fifty minutes he compelled absolute attention when, without a single note, he tore to shreds the weak parts of his opponents' arguments and disposed of the smaller fry with stinging invectives.
The Coalition was like a ship in the vortex of a typhoon stormed by huge seas from every angle, and Lloyd George like Captain McWhirter, of Conrad's creation, masterfully alone on the
Like the late Theodore Roosevelt, he is a perfect master of terse sentences, simple in structure, pregnant with meaning, logical in sequence, delivered with a punch.
But there is one striking difference.
Roosevelt's invectives were accompanied by a certain fierceness of facial expression that laid his victim low.
The sting of Lloyd George's sarcasm, though deadly as the "poison of asps," is driven home with a smile sweeter than that of the coyest maiden and a gentleness of speech softer than the purring of a cat.
While the member bearing the historic name of Jones wilted visibly beneath the venom of his sting I forgot all about the Sermon on the Mount and gloated over his well-deserved spasms of torture.
As it turned out, this happened to be Lloyd George's last speech as Prime Minister in the British House of Commons, and it was worthy the place, the theme, and the man.
My mind was strangely agitated as I walked out of that historic House and imaged the strife, the outbursts of anger, the ingratitude to which I had been a witness there. The pulse-beat of the nation registered a high blood pressure, telling the story of a great unrest, a near upheaval, explaining the psychology of London's gloom.
A few days after it was my good fortune to spend a week with a man who was singularly competent to cast what Lord Bacon calls "dry light" upon the subject.
In the American colony of London there is a merchant who has amassed a
large fortune in the export and import trade. For the past fifteen years he has resided in London, representing his firm. Though an American, he worked hard for Britain during the war, and is now identified with the British efforts for reconstruction.
From this man, a friend of twenty years' standing, I looked for a clear, lucid explanation at first hand. Nor was I disappointed.
On my way to his office I found myself one hour ahead of my appointment, so I entered St. Paul's Cathedral to while away the time.
My ramblings brought me to the world-renowned whispering gallery. At the courteous invitation of an official who waxed eloquent over its marvelous acoustics, I crossed to the other side of the gallery that we might give it a test.
Placing my mouth close to the wall, I first asked him if he heard me distinctly, and he replied, "Distinctly, sir."
Then I whispered: "Will you please explain to me why Dean Inge is called the 'gloomy Dean of St. Paul's'?"
There came back this clear and suggestive reply: "'E ain't gloomy, sir; 'e is what they call 'ere a sad hoptimist." London is filled with sad hoptimists. The visit with my friend, as I had hoped for, struck at the root of all the trouble.
The result of many conferences might thus be summarized.
True, the gloom of London was never more pronounced. There's a pall over the city. Was it to be surprised at? England was hard hit. England is now hard hit. Well-nigh one million of the flower of her manhood "gone west," for London is England. Half as many maimed, blinded, helpless. Homes broken up. Taxes sky-high. Industrial unrest. Unemployed exceeding 1,400,000. Socialism steadily advancing. War on private enterprise. Bolshevism in disguise. Society in transition. Foodstuffs soaring in price. Pensions overweighted. State Church weakening. Irreligion rife. England in her dismal isolation. Alone in Europe, without a single ally. Ireland in rebellion. India a slumbering volcano. Egypt divorced. The Moslem world at enmity. Debts staggering. One thousand million dollars due to the United States. The pride of England crushed.
Will she recover? Surely.
"After fifteen years of business dealing with Britain, I have yet to meet the crook."
BY ELLEN WELLES PAGE
F one judges by appearances, I sup- point: Instead of helping us work out
I pose 1 am a happer. 1 am within our problems with constructive, sympa
the badge of flapperhood. (And, oh, what a comfort it is!) I powder my nose. I wear fringed skirts and brightcolored sweaters, and scarfs, and waists with Peter Pan collars, and low-heeled "finale hopper" shoes. I adore to dance. I spend a large amount of time in automobiles. I attend hops, and proms, and ball-games, and crew races, and other affairs at men's colleges. But none the less some of the most thoroughbred superflappers might blush to claim sistership or even remote relationship with such as I. I don't use rouge, or lipstick, or pluck my eyebrows. I don't smoke (I've tried it, and don't like it), or drink, or tell "peppy stories." I don't pet. And, most unpardonable infringe ment of all the rules and regulations of Flapperdom, I haven't a line! But then -there are many degrees of flapper. There is the semi-flapper; the flapper; the superflapper. Each of these three main general divisions has its degrees of variation. I might possibly be placed somewhere in the middle of the first class.
I think every one realizes by this time that there has been a marked change in our much-discussed tactics. Jazz has been modified, and probably will continue to be until it has become obsolete. Petting is gradually growing out of fashion through being overworked. Yes, undoubtedly our hopeless condition is improving. But it was not for discussing these aspects of the case that I began this article.
I want to beg all you parents, and grandparents, and friends, and teachers, and preachers-you who constitute the "older generation"-to overlook Our shortcomings, at least for the present, and to appreciate our virtues. I wonder if it ever occurred to any of you that it required brains to become and remain a successful flapper? Indeed it does! It requires an enormous amount of cleverness and energy to keep going at the proper pace. It requires self-knowledge and self-analysis. We must know our capabilities and limitations. We must be constantly on the alert. Attainment of flapperhood is a big and serious undertaking!
"Brains?" you repeat, skeptically. "Then why aren't they used to better advantage?" That is exactly it! And do you know who is largely responsible for all this energy's being spent in the wrong directions? You! You parents, and grandparents, and friends, and teachers, and preachers-all of you! "The war!" you cry. "It is the effect of the war!" And then you blame prohibition. Yes! Yet it is you who set the example there! But this is my
muddled them for us more hopelessly with destructive public condemnation and denunciation.
Think back to the time when you were struggling through the teens. Rememher how spontaneous and deep were the joys, how serious and penetrating the sorrows. Most of us, under the present system of modern education, are further advanced and more thoroughly developed mentally, physically, and vocationally than were our parents at our age. We hold the infinite possibilities of the myriads of new inventions within our grasp. We have learned to take for granted conveniences, and many luxuries, which not so many years ago were as yet undreamed of. We are in touch with the whole universe. We have a tremendous problem on our hands. You must help us. Give us confidence-not distrust. Give us practical aid and advice not criticism. Praise us when praise is merited. Be patient and understanding when we make mistakes.
We are the Younger Generation. The war tore away our spiritual foundations and challenged our faith. We are strug gling to regain our equilibrium. The times have made us older and more experienced than you were at our age. It must be so with each succeeding generation if it is to keep pace with the rapidly advancing and mighty tide of civilization. Help us to put our knowledge to the best advantage. Work with us! That is the way! Outlets for this surplus knowledge and energy must be opened. Give us a helping hand.
has, many disillusionments. Spiritual forces begin to be felt. The emotions are frequently in a state of upheaval, struggling with one another for supremacy. And Youth does not understand. There is no one to turn to -no one but the rest of Youth, which is as perplexed and troubled with its problems as ourselves. Everywhere we read and hear the criticism and distrust of older people toward us. It forms an insurmountable barrier between us. How can we turn to them?
In every person there is a desire, an innate longing, toward some special goal of achievement. Each of us has his place to fill. Each of us has his talentbe it ever so humble. And our hidden longing is usually for that for which nature equipped us. Any one will do best and be happiest doing that which he really likes and for which he is fitted. In this "age of specialists," as it has been called, there is less excuse than ever for persons being shoved into niches in which they do not belong and cannot be made to fit. The lives of such
people are great tragedies. That is why it is up to you who have the supervision of us of less ripe experience to guide us sympathetically, and to help us find, encourage, and develop our special abilities and talents. Study us. Make us realize that you respect us as fellow human beings, that you have confidence in us, and, above all, that you expect us to live up to the highest ideals, and to the best that is in us.
It must begin with individuals. Parents, study your children. Talk to them more intimately. Respect their right to a point of view. Be so understanding and sympathetic that they will turn to you naturally and trustfully with their glowing joys or with their heartaches and tragedies. Youth has many of the latter because Youth takes itself so seriously. And so often the wounds go unconfessed, and, instead of gradually healing, become more and more gnawing through suppression until of necessity relief is sought in some way which is not always for the best.
Mothers, become acquainted with your children. Be the understanding, loving, happy comrade of your daughter. Become her ideal. And strive to live up to the ideal you set for the woman who is to become your son's wife. Be his chum. Be young with him. Oh, what a powerful and wonderful influence you are capable of exerting if you only will!
Fathers, find out what is within the minds and hearts and souls of your children. There is a wonderful, an interesting, and a sacred treasure-house there if you will take the time and pains to explore. The key is yours in return for patient understanding, sympathetic encouragement, and kindly wisdom. Make love to your daughter if necessary! Make her realize the depth of your love and make her feel that you have confidence in her ability to live up to your standards of upright womanhood. Be your son's best pal. Make his interests your interests. Encourage him to formulate a workable philosophy of life. And remember this: A little merited praise means so much! A little encouragement goes such a long way!
Oh, parents, parents everywhere, point out to us the ideals of truly glorious and upright living! Believe in us, that we may learn to believe in ourselves, in humanity, in God! Be the living examples of your teachings, that you may inspire us with hope and courage, understanding and truth, love and faith. Remember that we are the parents of the future. Help us to be worthy of the sacred trust that will be ours. Make your lives such an inspiration to us that we in our turn will strive to become an inspiration to our children and to the ages! Is it too much to ask?
ALASKAN TRANSPORTATION BEYOND THE END OF THE RAILWAY. THE METHOD IS MODERN THOUGH THE ROAD IS DIRT
ALASKA, THE MISUNDERSTOOD
THE STORY OF THE BAD ROADS AND ADMINISTRATIVE FETTERS THAT ARE TYING UP ALASKA'S BURIED MILLIONS, AND SOME PROPOSALS FOR THE CORRECTION OF THE DEFECTS
Na scorching hot day in July, while strolling through Fair banks, Alaska, at noonday, I suddenly noticed a sight so ludicrous as actually to bring tears to my eyes. Behind a barn, in the blazing sun, stood three tourists wearing heavy parkas. They were furred from head to foot, as if for a final dash to the Pole, and were standing alongside a dog-sled; perspiration was rolling down their faces in streams, as the grinning camera man took another picture of the "frozen North." The thermometer, right at that moment, must have registered fully 90°. I could scarcely believe my eyes; and then it suddenly dawned on me how Alaska tourists obtain the photographs that flood the States.
"What's the big idea?" I asked one of the gentlemen who had just removed his Arctic costume.
He fairly sputtered with anger. "I live in Boston," he snapped, "and for many years I have wanted to make a trip to Alaska. I wanted to see Eskimos in their igloos. I wanted to see snow-covered wilderness in summer. I wanted to see some wild Alaskan life. And here I am in Fairbanks, five hundred miles in the Alaskan interior, and it's hotter than it was in Boston; cowbells wake me up at night, and I'm nearly chloroformed by the aroma of strawberry patches, flower gardens, hay meadows, and grain fields. Do you see ny Eskimos around here? Why, the nly time these interior and southeast
ern Alaskans see Eskimos is when they take a trip to the States and go to the circus. And, to cap the climax, at dinner last night, in a café just as modern as the cafés in Boston, I found Fairbanks-grown tomatoes and Fairbanksraised strawberries on my bill of fare; and this where fur-coated Eskimos are supposed to be chasing polar bears over fields of ice."
twenty-five years ago; but there is nothing within the Territory to-day to substantiate the wild stories written about the early days of the gold rush. As for night life in Alaska, it compares favorably with that of the most strait-laced New England towns. There is certainly no place in the United States where there is better order, or, rather, where there is less disorder, than in this Ter
"Well," I finally managed to interrupt, ritory. "does that disappoint you?"
"It certainly does," he answered heatedly. Then he added: "I am delightfully disappointed. But the folks back East won't ever know it. I'll send them this photograph, and they'll think I am standing abaft an igloo, and I guess that's the way everybody else that has come up here has been 'kidding' his friends back home for the past fifteen years."
The Bostonian was right. I don't suppose there is a tourist visiting Alaska who is not delightfully disappointed when he encounters the same B.V.D. and outing-flannel climate he left back in the States. Certainly the Alaska immortalized in novels is an entirely different country from the land we still call, in some parts of the States, "Seward's Folly."
JUNEAU CLIMATE A PARADISE COMPARED WITH THE MIDDLE WEST'S
Back in 1849 California was supposed to be wild, and I suppose Alaska was about the same kind of a frontier
In considering Alaska we must bear in mind that it is really composed of three empires-southeastern, the interior, and northern. Northern Alaska has Eskimos, polar bears, walruses, and other Arctic life that we have read so much about. The only trouble has been that most people in the States have not been able to discriminate between Arctic Alaska and temperate Alaska. Point Barrow, where Arctic life exists, is as far removed from Fairbanks, Anchorage, Seward, Ketchikan, or Juneau as Labrador is removed from Miami, Florida, both climatically and geographically. An Eskimo walking down the streets of Fairbanks would cause a riot. If he appeared in Juneau, he would be a seven-day wonder.
I met a family in Juneau that had formerly resided in Cleveland. I asked the lady of the house if it wasn't somewhat difficult to stand the rigors of the northern climate. She laughed outright.
"Well," she answered, "we endured Cleveland winters, and Juneau is certainly a paradise compared with Cleve
land either in winter or summer. We have been North eight years in all; spent five winters here, and three back home;; the five years we have lived here during the winter months the thermometer has never reached zero. Do you imagine it takes a rigorous person to stand such a climate?"
This was followed by peals of laughter and further remarks about the silly ideas of people in the States regarding the climate of Alaska.
Southeastern Alaska has an OregonWashington climate, due to the Japanese Current, which has the same effect from Ketchikan to Cape Spencer as it has on Puget Sound, resulting in very mild winters and extremely delightful summers. Very seldom, in the last twenty years, has the thermometer reached zero in this entire section.
The interior of Alaska, made famous by exaggerating novelists, has a climate closely duplicating Minnesota in the winter, and Maine or Oregon in summer.
ALASKA'S IMMENSE RESOURCES Alaskan towns are as modern as any towns of their size in most modern sections of the Central West. Tourists will find accommodations like those in their own cities; they will find as good, and more reasonably priced, hotels in Ketchikan, Juneau, Seward, Anchorage, and Fairbanks as in any average city of fifty thousand population in the United States. They will find that they can purchase any article in Alaska at about the same price that they can in the most modern department or drug
store in the average Central Western city. They will find as many automobiles in Juneau, Seward,. Anchorage, and Fairbanks as in any modern Western town of similar size.
Resources? The tremendous resources of our northern empire have of course sometimes been unintentionally exaggerated. Alaska is not an Aladdin's Lamp. But its resources will compare favorably with those of any State in the Union. However, until the proper development has taken place it is impossible to estimate even approximately the probable value of Alaska's natural resources. They are varied and immense. Of that there is no question. Coal, oil, copper, gold, silver, lead, marble, timber, fish, fur, agriculture. No single State in the Union can boast of the great variety of assets that Alaska contains; yet the Territory is in the same position that California, Oregon, Washington, or Montana was in the early days. It takes money to develop progressively-lots of money.
By this time the reader undoubtedly has in mind the question that is in the minds of one hundred million Americans, which is, substantially: If Alaska has all of these resources, why doesn't more "big capital" go up there? That's easily explained. I will first draw a pic ture of Alaska in 1909, when the Territory was on the highroad to tremendous development. Railway financiers were feverishly endeavoring to build railways from Valdez, Cordova, and Katalla through the Copper River section to Fairbanks. Men from all over the
States were putting up capital to drill oil wells and develop coal fields, and were becoming interested in many other enterprises. Then, all of a sudden, practically overnight, through the influence of Gifford Pinchot, all the coal lands, oil fields, and timber lands of Alaska were withdrawn from public entry and placed in a National reserve. This act dealt a staggering blow to the fifty thousand white residents of the Territory, whose only chance to prosper lay in the natural development of the resources of the North, just as the original pioneers of our Western States prospered when capital began to develop resources that were of absolutely no benefit to any one until outside money was brought in.
WHEN ALASKA FLOUNDERED HELPLESSLY An enthusiastic backer of the Pinchot conservation plan in Alaska frankly stated that because of the way the conservation plan was handled by Congress Alaska has been put back at least twentyfive years. "There is no question at all that, despite whatever merit there is to the conservation plan-and I am in favor of it-it remains a matter of fact that the moral rights of fifty thousand people in Alaska were utterly ignored, as the rights of no other people have ever been ignored under the American flag. Not only were the Alaskan resources withdrawn, but those who invested money were branded as criminals, prosecuted as such, and fortunes were expended in clearing their names," continued my informant.
I do not care personally to go into the