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CONCERNING A REVIEWER
located, not for the convenience of Congress- " Is there anything more futile than the men, but for their utility as centers of mobili- reviewing of books ?” he demanded. “ Don't zation and training.
answer. There is not. I can prove it. Look The second duty before the country is to at this. Here is a clipping from a newspaface the facts of our military establishment as per whose chief pride is the respectability of it now is. As a Nation we must learn to its literary criticism. The man who wrote distinguish between an army in being and this is one of the best-known critics of modthe paper army of legislative fiat.
ern verse in the country. Yet he drowns an The third duty before the country is to excellent poet with this food of praise : “Miss awake to the realization of the fact that B- has greater imagination than any poet nothing less than universal military training since Coleridge '-a large order, that! Here can prove an adequate solution to our prob- is another. It comes from a magazine that lem of defense.
may be fittingly described as the self-appointed The fourth and most important duty before guardian of our American Muses. It deals the country is to decide once and for all that with a writer who has for thirty years eaten this universal training must be undertaken, his heart out in devotion to his work. “Mr. not in return for pay, but as some slight R-' it sweetly concedes,' would be a betcompensation for the privileges of citizenship. ter poet if he had loved more.' Loved more!
Concerning the recognition of these four The fire in R's little finger would scorch that duties we cannot. recall a single instance reviewer's soul to a cinder !" where the advice and example of Congress- "But-” we began. man Hay, Chairman of the Military Commit- “Quite wrong," said our friend. “ These tee of the House, has proved otherwise than are not exceptions to the rule. I have done a discouragement and a handicap to all those just as stupid work myself. To be a reviewer who are working both within and without the of books is to be a palpable fraud, a slinger army for the progressive development of our of sound and fury meaning less than nothing, system of National defense.
a converter of epics into smart epigrams, an astronomer of the mind who has not yet
learned that Ptolemy is dead." CONCERNING A REVIEWER “But—" we attempted to interject.
“Wrong again,” said our friend. “The There is a man of our acquaintance who reviews books both for money and love. Of
theory, as well as the practice, of all reviewers these two motives we have always felt that
is wrong. All canons of criticism, as inter
preted by every critic from Lessing to Babbitt, love played the larger part in the scheme of
are founded on false ideals. What we reviewhis philosophy. And we still think so, despite his melancholy denial of the soft impeach
ers pretend to do is to use certain magic
formulas of art as standards by which to judge ment. Yesterday we found him seated behind a
what we deign to read. What we really do
is to find something we like or don't like, and pile of books towering drunkenly from the
then invent literary excuses for praising or margin of his desk. Perched on the top of this pile we noticed a small square box half
damning it. I can fit you a critical code to full of dyspepsia tablets. As conscientious
any book as neatly as any merchant tailor in observers we record this fact for any bearing
* Any reviewer who considers himself it may or may not have on what follows.
worth his salt (and a free copy of his victim's He had no cordial greeting for us when we entered his room. In fact, he seemed quite
body) is permitted under our present laws to
hitch what authors he will to his critical wagon oblivious of our presence. His only salute,
and drive them, at a spanking trot, up the addressed more to the cobwebbed ceiling than
side of his own particular Parnassus. It to us, was a quotation from Dr. Faustus.
ought to be stopped." But even then it did not sound wholly polite.
“What would you suggest ?" we managed "Adders and serpents, let me breathe a while ! to inquire. Ugly hell, gape not! come not, Lucifer !
- When I get rich from the sale of my I'll burn my books! Ah, Mephistophilis !"
comment on matters about which I know less Presently, however, his manner grew less than nothing,” said our reviewer friend, “I distracted. His eyes rested upon the litter of am going to establish a magazine for the clippings which lay scattered about his desk. reviewing of books which will suit me to the
queen's taste. On the desk of each member 4. All reviewers are expected to keep their of my staff of reviewers will be posted this reviews as closely as possible within the follownotice :
This is a novel. 1. All reference to the canons of art is barred
I like it. from this office. 2. No author shall, under any circumstances,
The following quotations interested me.
It sells for $1.50, f. o. b. New York. ever be called a second somebody else. 3. No reviewer will be permitted to refer to
Our reviewing friend here reached for his any author, casually or otherwise, if he cannot
box of dyspepsia tablets. We decided to conproduce a certificate sworn to before a notary
sider ourselves dismissed from his presence, public that he is familiar with at least fifty-one and we left, pondering not too deeply over per cent of said author's writings.
his words of wisdom.
THE CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE
N another page an illustration shows Has the time arrived for so very serious an
undertaking? the religious services in connection His final question was answered in the with the beginning of the work on the nave affirmative. In the following year a catheof the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in dral charter was enacted, but difficulties reNew York City.
sulting from the panic of 1873 prevented
the obtaining of money for the cathedral. THE ORIGIN OF THE CATHEDRAL
In 1886. however, Bishop Henry C. Potter In a just-published monograph Mr. George inaugurated an active movement to raise Macculloch Miller calls attention to the fact funds. In 1887 the site on Morningside that so long ago as 1828 Philip Hone, one- Heights was chosen, and by 1889 no less time Mayor of New York City, wrote in his than sixty sets of competitive designs for the diary :
Cathedral were received from as many archiThe Bishop . . . called at my house and pro- tects. Two years later those of Messrs. posed in confidence the plan of a cathedral. ... Heins & La Farge were chosen. They conBut where is the money, where the public templated a structure having an area of spirit, where the liberality, to carry such a noble
99,500 square feet, thus coming closely after plan into execution ? ... I note in this place
St. Peter's at Rome and the Cathedrals of the conference above mentioned, as it is possi
Seville and Milan, the largest cathedrals in ble that this glorious project may, one of these
the world. days, be carried into effect, and I believe this is the first time it has ever been hinted.
On December 27, 1892, the corner-stone
was laid. At the beginning of the work of Bishop Hobart's proposal to Mr. Hone
excavation a great delay had been caused by may be considered the germ of the cathedral
disintegrating rock, which made it necessary movement. But it did not develop into a
to dig over seventy feet to find a solid form to attract general attention until forty
foundation. It was at this juncture that the four years later, because of the curious an
late J. P. Morgan subscribed half a million tagonism in America towards cathedrals, their
dollars, as he said, “to pull us out of a customs and equipment. Finally, however, hole.") Bishop Horatio Potter in 1872 concluded his The architectural style agreed upon was address to the Diocesan Convention with the
the Romanesque. The material chosen is a following questions :
cream-colored granite from Lake Mohegan, Is there in the system of the Church in this New York, while the interior facing is of country any legitimate place for a cathedral ?
Frontenac stone coming from a fifty-acre Can it be anything more than nominal among
tract in the county of Pepin, Wisconsin, us? Can it have any such important uses as
where the Cathedral has the exclusive right will justify us in making so large an outlay as would be required to achieve anything worthy
to quarry stone for fifty years. Among the of the Diocese and of this great metropolis of
earliest gifts were the great granite pillars, the American continent? And if these ques
quarried, cut, and set in place by Mr. John tions can be clearly answered in the affirmative, Pierce from an island quarry near Vinal then the further question claims consideration : Haven, Maine. It is said that only one
THE CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE
structure, St. Isaac's Cathedral at Petrograd,
OTHER BUILDINGS has columns of similar size.
But the Cathedral is not the only object of THE CATHEDRAL'S PROGRESS
religious interest on Morningside Heights.
The Cathedral property also includes certain In 1899 the crypt was finished and opened
buildings worth attention. for religious services. In 1911 the choir
First, there is the new Synod House, one and crossing were completed, the latter
of the finest imitations of thirteenth-century affording some thirteen hundred seats for the
French Gothic in this country. The design congregation. Of the temporary concrete walls
is of great simplicity, and depends entirely the western one is to disappear when the nave
upon its proportions and light and shade extends beyond it, and those on the north and
for its effect. The Synod House is the adsouth will give way later to the transepts. ministration headquarters, and also a place
The Cathedral has seven Chapels of for the Diocesan Convention and other ecTongues. They open into the ambulatory clesiastical assemblies. In a popular sense, which surrounds the choir, and are appropri- however, the building has become a people's ate in view of the polyglot character of the forum. Men of different creeds and of no city's population. They represent seven dif
creed at all can come together there. Its use ferent religious rites: the first, St. Saviour's is quite as much for social and civic as for Chapel, representing the Oriental rite; the
religious betterment. second, St. Columba's, the early British rite; The Choir School, in English Collegiate the third, St. Ambrose's, the Italian rite ; the
Gothic, is another building deserving notice. fourth, St. James's, the Mozarabic or Span
The School was organized at first with Mr. ish rite ; the fifth, St. Boniface's, the German Frank Hunter Potter as precentor, and may rite; the sixth, dedicated to St. Martin of
now be regarded as at the head of choir Tours, the Huguenot or Gallican rite; the
schools in this country. The Bishop's House seventh, dedicated to St. Ansgarius, the and the Deanery are also interesting exScandinavian rite. Most of these chapels amples of architecture. Even more pic. are in active use ; for instance, the services turesque is the open-air pulpit which, covered in St. Ambrose's include the Holy Commu- by groined vaulting and surmounted by an nion, with an address in Italian, every Sun
open spire, rises to a height of forty feet. day morning. It is, of course, expected to have a celebration of the communion in seven
HOW THE CATHEDRAL SERVES languages-a new Pentecost object-lesson. The objects of the Cathedral are not con
The nave will mark, not only the largest fined to the particular part of New York City extension of the Cathedral, but also a change in which the Cathedral stands. For instance, in the general architectural style. Many per- its Fresh Air Association cares for the sick, sons had become convinced that a more spe- the poor, the young, and the aged throughcifically Gothic type of design would be wise out the city, and especially ministers to the for the remainder of the Cathedral, rather needs of mothers and children during the hot than to finish it, as planned, entirely in the summer months. Every year it provides a Romanesque style. This was the opinion of fortnight's outing, at its home on a wooded advisory architects, who called attention to hillside of thirty acres at Tomkins Cove on the fact that such a variation between one the Hudson, for over five hundred women, portion of a great cathedral and another is children, and babies; it also maintains constantly found in all parts of Europe, due a well-equipped boys' camp. Again, the to natural changes in ideas and in architectu- Cathedral maintains an Italian mission in ral styles through the progress of time, and what is known as “ Little Italy” in the city ; that this change does not really result in any it has a club for colored boys and another effect of violence or of discrepancy, but gen- one for colored girls on the upper West Side. erally adds to the vitality and interest of the The great new addition to the Cathedral building. It appeared to these architects grounds, the nave, will enduringly determine that the same satisfactory result would be the architectural character of the Cathedral possible in the case of the New York City close, and will, when finished, impress the Cathedral. However, to obtain necessary stranger with the fact that New York is unity, the present plans for the nave diverge something more than a mere commercial materially from the historical methods of center, that it stands for spiritual as well as Gothic design.
for material things.
AMERICA ICTORY in Defeat " 1 is the title of when, as has happened in Russia, reverses a new book on the war which is dif- have provided time in which the character of
ferent from the ordinary run of war the nation has asserted itself and the Empire books. Its author, Mr. Stanley Washburn, has been able to repair its lack of vision becorrespondent of the London “ Times" with fore the war by preparing itself after the the Russian army from October 1, 1914, to blow has fallen. . . . I believe that the Rus! November 1, 1915, has probably seen more sian reverses have been so costly and demorof the fighting on the Russian front than any alizing to their victors that history will judge other American, with the possible exception them as the greatest single source of the of our recent military attaché to Russia, German downfall which is, in my opinion, Lieutenant Sherman Miles, who shared Mr. inevitable, whether it be in six months or in Washburn's automobile during the Warsaw two years." campaign.
There is a valuable chapter on America's It is true that a good deal of the book commercial opportunity in Russia, pointing deals with military movements of which other out that with Germany's commercial grip on correspondents have written, although none Russia broken it should be easy for the of them have had so much first-hand infor- United States to build up a vast trade with mation as Mr. Washburn here presents. But this country of 8,507,950 square miles and what makes this book different is the philos- a population of more than 170,000,000. ophy and the spiritual insight that it contains. It is encouraging to see that American It is the chronicle of a nation finding itself. business men are beginning to clutch at this It is the story of the development of national opportunity which Mr. Washburn and other character.
American experts on Russian affairs have Mr. Washburn is different from other war long been urging them to seize. The farthest correspondents in that he goes deeper. He and most practicable step which has been sees what is going on in the soul of the taken in this direction has been the soldier who, to the casual observer, is only a formation of the American-Russian Chamber bloody, grimy animal, fighting with an animal's of Commerce, with headquarters at 60 Broadfury. The author of this volume has caught way, New York City. Among the officers Russia's spirit with the quick sympathy of a and directors of the organization are reprepoet, and he sees Russia's future with the sentatives of such large and influential firms clear vision of a prophet.
and corporations as the National City Bank “ There are many assets in war, as there of New York, the New York Life Insurance are in peace,” says Mr. Washburn, “and the Company, the Guaranty Trust Company, greatest among these is character. Efficiency, Chase National Bank, First National Bank, preparation, and science have their innings and Harris, Forbes & Co., all of New York; at the beginning of a conflict, but the one First National Bank of Boston ; Lee, Higginenduring asset which a nation has is the son & Co. and Kidder, Peabody & Co., of character of its people. If time be given for Boston and New York. this to develop, then the end is certain. The So bitter is the feeling against Germany in great crisis in Russia was during that period Russia that if other nations see their chance when the psychology of the nation was crys- and take it Germany will never recover her tallizing, and when this had taken place the tremendous trade with the Czar's Empire, danger to Russia was largely passed. Cer- which before the war was greater than the tainly I would in no way minimize the trade of any other four nations combined. strength, fortitude, and patriotism of the Russia wants our trade. Her statesmen have Germans, which have been extraordinary said so. The recent formation in Russia of from the beginning of the war, but I am still organizations like the Society for Promoting of the opinion that the greatest test of char- Mutual Friendly Relations Between Russia and acter is not in victory, but in defeat. It has America and the Russian-American Chamber seemed to me that the world has not appre- of Commerce, of Moscow and Petrograd, is ciated the fact that there can be victory incontrovertible proof. The first of the in defeat; but this is none the less true, two above-mentioned organizations, which is Ilirtiry in Defeat By Stanley Washburn. Doubleday,
headed by Baron Rosen, former Ambassador Page & Co., New York. $1.
to the United States, came into existence last
THE PRE-NOMINATION CAMPAIGN
autumn "for the promotion of friendly rela- interest which Americans and Russians are tions--business and social--between Russia feeling for each other. The apparent growth and the United States." With the above of liberalism in Russia, which is indicated by ubject, the society has been holding lectures recent reports from the Czar's country, also in Petrograd on the United States, the pro- ought to make the adoption of a treaty easier. gramme ranging as widely as from “General
Newspaper reports indicate that the session Geography of America ” to “ The Mill and of the Duma, brought to a close at the Easter Factory Industry in the United States." holidays, has done much to reduce the bad
The American-Russian Chamber of Com- feeling which existed between the people and merce of New York will co-operate with the their Government early in the winter. It is Russian-American Chamber of Commerce of reported that the Duma passed legislation Moscow. Any corporation or individual with which has already resulted in the great present or prospective connections in Russia increase of Russia's transportation facilities can secure, through membership in the Ameri- by the construction of new side-tracks and can-Russian Chamber of Commerce, advan- switches. This report comes from the cortages which can be obtained in no other way. respondents of American newspapers in Such members will be able to get information Russia, and we have not yet received the in regard to the Russian markets and intro- Russian newspapers which may contain veriductions to the business men of Muscovy. fication of it. But if this is true it ought to They will have access to the “complete library aid greatly in reducing the food shortage of information” on Russia which is being which the large cities have been facing. collected by the Chamber.
Another report has it that co-operative soci- ! Such a commercial entente between Russia eties have been made legal on a much greater and America is bound to bring the two coun- scale than ever before, a step that is expected tries into a greater social intimacy. The first to make for industrial efficiency and the lower step to trade relations with Russia is the cost of living. On the whole, there seems to negotiation of a new trade treaty. But the be a more roseate Alush rising over the Rusconsummation of that desired step will be sian sky than has been visible in that quarter made easier by the growing sympathy and since the time of the reforms of 1905.
THE PRE-NOMINATION CAMPAIGN THE LIGHT BREAKING OVER STAND-PAT INDIANA
STAFF CORRESPONDENCE BY FREDERICK M. DAVENPORT Mr. Davenport for the last week or two has been in the West, talking with all sorts of people, seeking to determine at first hand the currents of opinion, particularly in the Ohio and Mississippi V alleys, a section which recently has been giving the politicians as well as the advocates of National preparation some concern. The present article is upon the pivotal State of Indiana, which by its situation and tradition has in many campaigns been the center of despairing scrutiny by professional party managers.-The Editors. ACK in the East among the thought- the original lair of the stand-patter in the ful, and in other more or less enlight- United States.
ened sections of the United States, I have several times before shot through the dear old stand-pat Indiana has politically corner of the State on the way Farther West, long been held in disesteem. And that is going to sleep in the Pullman with the impresputting it mildly. To tell it as it is, Indiana sion that I ought to be sure to tell the porter not has the reputation politically of being sodden, to wake me up until I got over the boundary mediocre, deeply satisfied with things as they
of the Hoosier commonwealth. But I have are provided they are bad enough. Some of never had the opportunity of going someits leading party managers, when they have what leisurely through large sections of not seemed to be unpatriotic and cunning, Indiana and getting in touch with all sorts of have certainly given the impression of being plain and prominent people until now. flat, insipid, and platitudinous. Indiana is I thought perhaps something might be