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HE BOOK TABLE: DEVOTED TO BOOKS AND THEIR MAKERS
THE TEMPER OF THE AMERICAN MIND
BY LLOYD R. MORRIS
HARACTER and Opinion in the United States" is a compelling, stimting, and essentially a significant book. a period when undisciplined feeling and omplete thought are fashionable, when spring of what we may define as literae stalely drips, like a neglected kitchen cet, a trivial, noisy, and mediocre stream, clear intelligence which penetrates Mr. ntayana's pages is in itself a sufficient nest of their importance. A gifted ter has lately phrased for us the method the critic's interpretative art. Scholarp, he tells us, will make us contemary with the picture or the poem which wish to make our own. But, having come contemporary, the central problem interpretation remains, and for this the tic requires not a record but a theory of e. The definition of method is useful; makes explicit the high excellence of . Santayana's book. The book itself is unique essay in interpretation, an atmpt to evaluate American character der the play of the ideas which it has ojected and by which, in turn, it has en influenced. What is the equipment erequisite to this enterprise? Principally at the writer quoted above has emphaed: a theory of life. A philosophy, pecially if it be both honest and content, is the means whereby we may excise control over ideas. The dominant ality which lies at the heart of Mr. ntayana's book, and which perhaps ore than any other is responsible for its illiant achievement, is its philosophic sight. Here is a critic with an intellecally coherent philosophy as an instrument which to define his reading of life. hether or not we share his philosophic liefs is of little importance. His posseson of them indicates the exercise of andards in discrimination having their ots firmly grounded in the discourse of
Mr. Santayana first considers the moral ckground of our intellectual life, the Indian summer of the mind" which ocred in New England toward the middle the last century. "There were," he tells "poets, historians, orators, preachers, st of whom had studied foreign literares and had traveled; they were universal manists. . . . These cultivated writers ked native roots and fresh sap because e American intellect itself lacked them. eir culture was half a pious survival, If an intentional acquirement; it was the inevitable flowering of a fresh expe-nce." Belles-lettres in the United States ve had two points of contact with its e-oratory and the poetry of oratorical action, and reflection. Americans, beving that action is the end of thought, ve found themselves most intensively Live in moments of reflection when " n became incandescent in thought." The ssion for metaphysics is a National charteristic. "The moral world always conns undiscovered or thinly peopled contints open to those who are more attached
Character and Opinion in the United States. George Santayana. Charles Scribner's Sons, w York.
to what might be or should be than to what already is. Americans are eminently prophets; they apply morals to public affairs; they are impatient and enthusiastic. Their judgments have highly speculative implications, which they often make explicit; they are men with principles, and fond of stating them. Moreover, they have an intense self-reliance; to exercise private judgment is not only a habit with them but a conscious duty."
Native shrewdness, accompanied by a certain speculative insight, might have flowered in a philosophy built upon known facts had it not been for the intervention of the National respect for traditional sys
tems. "To be on speaking terms with these fine things," observed Mr. Santayana, was a part of social respectability, like having family silver. High thoughts must be at hand, like those candlesticks, probably candleless, sometimes displayed as a seemly ornament in a room blazing with electric light." Thus comes the curious divergence between official beliefs and actual ways of life which Mr. Santayana finds characteristic of the American intellectual scene. Attachment of philosophy to tradition is not in itself a disadvantage, provided that the tradition is " in the highway
of truth." But in the America. of the last ceutury the ruling tradition was not in this highway, and of the penalties paid by philosophy as a consequence not the least was the indifference of a succeeding generation. "One of the peculiarities of recent speculation," remarks Mr. Santayana with characteristic insight, "especially in America, is that ideas are abandoned in virtue of a mere change of feeling, without any new evidence or new arguments. We do not nowadays refute our predecessors; we pleasantly bid them good-by. Even if all our principles are unwittingly traditional we do not like to bow openly to authority. Hence masters like Calvin, Hume, or Fichte rose before their American admirers like formidable ghosts, foreign and unseizable. People refused to be encumbered with any system, even with one of their own; they were content to imbibe more or less of the spirit of phi
losophy and to let it play on such facts as happened to attract their attention. The originality even of Emerson and of -William James was of this incidental character; they found new approaches to old beliefs or new expedients in old dilemmas. They were not, in a scholastic sense, pupils of anybody or masters in anything. They hated the scholastic way of saying what they meant, if they had heard of it; they insisted on a personal freshness of style, refusing to make their thought more precise than it happened to be spontaneously; and they lisped their logic when the logic came."
Because orthodoxy has prejudged the conclusions of speculative inquiry, philosophy has been occupied either with conventional solutions or independent solutions, according to the conservative or the liberal temper of the prevailing school, but the problems have been those set by tradition. The recession of orthodoxy and its partial reintegration in America produced transcendentalism, a method "which enables a man to renovate all his beliefs, scientific and religious, from the inside, giving them a new status and interpretation as phases of his own experience or imagination; so that he does not seem to himself to reject anything, and yet is bound to nothing, except to his creative self." The central orthodoxy of the transcendental school was the belief that the universe exists for the sake of the human spirit. The empirical school, on the other hand, touched by the new orthodoxy, transformed psychology into metaphysics and found themselves "idealists about sub--stance, but naturalists about the order and relations of existences." "This was the moral background of intellectual life in the United States when James, Royce, and Santayana taught at Harvard; a life somewhat complicated by the fact that it bore little or no relation to the current of National opinion or activity, and further obscured by the picturesque irrelevance which Santayana found to be characteristic of academic education.
A chapter on William James is a sensitive interpretation of temperament and a closely reasoned criticism of pragmatism. James stemmed from the transcendentalists. "His father was one of those somewhat obscure sages whom early America produced; mystics of independent mind, hermits in the desert of business, and heretics in the churches. They were intense individualists, full of veneration for the free souls of their children, and convinced that every one should paddle his own canoe, especially on the high seas.' William James was fundamentally an agnostic, a romanticist in his theory of experience in spite of the implications of his later method of radical empiricism, intellectually an eclectic, imaginative, somewhat illogical, immensely tolerant. "He was much less skeptical in morals than in science. He seems to have felt sure that certain thoughts and hopes-those familiar to a liberal Protestantism-were every man's true friends in life. This assumption would have been hard to defend if he or those he habitually addressed had ever questioned it; yet his whole argument for voluntarily cultivating those beliefs rests on this assumption, that they are beneficent. Since, whether we will or no, we cannot escape
the risk of error, and must succumb to some human or pathological bias, at least we might do so gracefully, and in the form that would profit us most, by clinging to those prejudices which help us to lead what we all feel is a good life." And of this attitude Santayana remarks: "To be boosted by an illusion is not to live better than to live in harmony with the truth; it is not nearly so safe, not nearly so sweet, and not nearly so fruitful. These refusals to part with a decayed illusion are really an infection to the mind. Believe, certainly; we cannot help believing; but believe rationally, holding what seems certain for certain, what seems probable for probable, what seems desirable for desirable, and what seems false for false."
Santayana's criticism of pragmatism as a method is just the criticism we might expect of expediency as a moral sanction by one who places his faith so firmly in reason -in intelligence as the Greeks conceived it-and who is therefore committed to a delicate discrimination in the things of the spirit. It prepares the way for a searchingly acute analysis of the idealism of Josiah Royce, which proved the existence of God by postulating the antecedent existence of evil. Good, for Royce, was the ceaseless struggle with evil; without evil, good is impossible, and in the measure that the struggle is successful, good, rather than evil, is defeated, life therefore being a constant defeat of the victor. Further to discredit intelligence Royce adopted both the subjective theory of knowledge and Hegelian moralism; evil thus became the shadow against which the high light of good shines by contrast; both the contrast and the shadow were necessary for the perfect harmony of the Absolute, and individual unhappiness became for him an element in the serene joy of his curiously barbaric God. "His reward," says Santayana, was that he became a prophet to a whole class of earnest, troubled people who, having discarded doctrinal religion, wished to think their life worth living when, to look at what it contained, it might not have seemed so; it reassured them to learn that a strained and joyless existence was not their unlucky lot, or a consequence of their solemn folly, but was the necessary fate of all good men and angels." For Santayana, at least, the failure of both Royce and James may be traced to their disbelief in the validity of reason as a criterion, their predisposition to meliorism, and their preoccupation with ultimate validity in a realm in which only relativity has been encompassed by intelligence.
Of later speculation in America Mr. Santayana has much that is amusing and a great deal that is penetratingly critical to say. Depending upon the genteel tradition which, together with the original austere principles of American life, has been relegated to a comfortable oblivion, it is out of touch with the mind of the period. The new realists have eliminated consciousness, and thereby restored the obvious. "The young American is thus reassured; his joy in living and learning is no longer chilled by the contempt which idealism used to cast on nature for being imaginary and on science for being intellectual. All fictions and all abstractions are now declared to be parcels of the objective world; it will suffice to live on, to live forward, in order to see everything as it really is."
It is in two chapters on "Materialism andjIdealism in America "and on "English Liberty in America" that Mr. Santayana's fundamental reading of our National character and intellectual temper finds its clearest expression. He finds us without a sense of the past, individualists, kindly, a little doting on the sacredness of many things, cheerfully experimental, pragmatic, imaginative; a nation of idealists working on matter, materialists in the realm of morals. The most striking expression of our materialism is our singular preoccupation with quantity and, by inference, our neglect of quality, especially in the realm of the spirit and the mind. English liberty, which he defines as a method, the theory of co-operative effort and individual sacrifice, as opposed to absolute liberty, the individual's privilege to fulfill his own personality to the exclusion of society, Mr. Santayana believes has flowered more fully in America than in England. But Mr. Santayana's defense of English liberty as advantageous because of its harmony with the "nature of things" and his dictum that "when living beings have managed to adapt their habits to the nature of things, they have entered the path of health and wisdom," both betray him into the fundamental error of the pragmatists. It is worth noting, finally, that so conscious a lover of beauty recognizes the necessity of making a brave choice between absolute liberty and English liberty, and admits, with fine honesty, that "the necessity of rejecting and destroying some things that are beautiful is the deepest curse of existence." That statement, indeed, is the moral implication of Mr. Santayana's theory of life.
Alaska Man's Luck. A Romance of Fact. By Hjalmar Rutzebeck. Boni & Liveright, New York.
Black Bartlemy's Treasure. By Jeffery Fernol. Little, Brown & Co., Boston. Captives (The). By Hugh Walpole. The George H. Doran Company, New York.
Dark Mother (The). By Waldo Frank. Boni & Liveright, New York.
Development. A Novel. By W. Bryher. Pref
ace by Amy Lowell. The Macmillan Company, New York.
Geste of Duke Jocelyn (The). By Jeffery Farnol. Illustrated. Little, Brown & Co., Boston.
Glory of Going On (The), and Other Life Stories. By Elwin Lincoln House, D.D. The Fleming H. Revell Company, New York. Goshen Street. By Wayland Wells Williams. The Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York.
Inevitable (The). By Louis Couperus. Translated by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos. Dodd, Mead & Co., New York.
Mollie's Substitute Husband. By Max McConn. Dodd, Mead & Co., New York. North Door (The). A Romance. By Greville
Macdonald, M.D. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.
Palmetto. The Romance of a Louisiana Girl. By Stella G. S. Perry. The Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York.
People of the Ruins (The). A Story of the English Revolution and After. By Edward Shanks. The Frederick A. Stokes Company. New York.
Sirdar's Sabre (The). The Adventures of Sirdar Bahadur Mohammed Khan. By Louis Tracy. Edward J. Clode, New York.
Tales of Mystery and Horror. By Maurice Level. Robert M. McBride & Co., New York.
Way of the Wild (The). By F. St. Mars. Illustrated. The Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York.
BOOKS FOR YOUNG FOLKS
Bengal Fairy Tales. By F. B. Bradley-Birt. Illustrated by Abanindranath Tagore. The John Lane Company, New York.
Old French Fairy Tales. By Comtesse de Segur. Illustrated. The Penn Publishing Company, Philadelphia.
Three Little Kittens. By Katharine Pyle. Illustrated. Dodd, Mead & Co., New York.
Adventures of a Modern Occultist (The). By Oliver Bland. Dodd, Mead & Co., New York. Correspondence of Jean-Baptiste Carrier (People's Representative to the Convention) During His Mission in Brittany, 1793-1794. Collected, Translated, and Annotated by E. H. Carrier, M.A., M.Sc., F.R.Hist.S. The John Lane Company, New York.
Cycle of Adams Letters (A), 1861-1865. Edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford. Illus trated. 2 vols. Houghton, Mifflin Company, Boston.
Humours of a Parish and Other Quaint nesses. By the Rev. W. B. Money. The John Lane Company, New York.
Lincoln, the World Emancipator. By John Drink water. Houghton Mifflin Com pany, Boston.
Mazzini's Letters. Edited with Introduction by E. F. Richards. Illustrated. The John Lane Company, New York.
Old Naval Days. Sketches from the Life of Rear-Admiral William Radford, US.N. By His Daughter Sophie Radford de Meiser. Henry Holt & Co., New York.
With Grenfell on the Labrador. By Fullerton L. Waldo. Illustrated. The Fleming H Revell Company, New York.
HISTORY AND POLITICAL ECONOMY Complex Vision (The). By John Cowper Powys. Dodd, Mead & Co., New York.
Course of Empire (The). An Official Record by Senator R. F. Pettigrew. Introduction by Scott Nearing. Boni & Liveright, New York. Evolution of Sinn Fein (The). By R. M
Henry, M.A. B. W. Huebsch, Inc., New York Henry V. By R. B. Mowat, M.A. Illustrated. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.
Irish Labor Movement (The), from the 'Twenties to Our Own Day. By W. P. Ryan. B. W. Huebsch, Inc., New York. Labor and Revolt. By Stanley Frost. E. P. Dutton & Co., New York.
Last Days of the Romanovs (The). By George Gustav Talberg and Robert Wilton. Illustrated. The George H. Doran Company, New York.
Making of the Reparation and Economic Sections of the Treaty (The). By Bernard M. Baruch. Harper & Brothers, New York. Modern Europe. By Charles Downer Hazen. Henry Holt & Co., New York.
Outline of History (The). By H. G. Wells. Illustrated. 2 vols. The Macmillan Company, New York.
Passing of the Old Order in Europe (The). By Gregory Zilboorg. Thomas Seltzer, New York.
Political Thought in England: From Locke to Bentham. By Harold J. Laski. (Home University Library of Modern Know!edge.) Henry Holt & Co., New York. Problems of To-Day. By Moorfield Storey. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.
Profits, Wages and Prices. By David Friday. Harcourt, Brace & Howe, New York. Publications of the Champlain Society. Select British Documents of the Canadian War of 1812. 2 vols. The Champlain Society, Toronto.
Social Scandinavia in the Viking Age. By Mary Wilhelmine Williams, Ph.D. The Macmillan Company, New York.
United States in Our Own Times (The). 1865-1920. By Paul L. Haworth, Ph.D. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.
TO WHICH WE REPLY THAT THE FOOTBALL NUMBER REACHED ONE HUNDRED. AND EIGHTY SOULS WHO WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE LIVED ON IN DARKNESS AND IGNORANCE
PERHAPS you do not know what a tremendous power The Outlook wields in the matter of shaping the opinions of thousands of school boys and girls. I am taking this opportunity of letting you know the place that your magazine holds in the high schools of New York. The Outlook is used in much the same way as any text-book, and is referred to as an authority on any subject, which it treats. Its articles are discussed, its cartoons laughed at, its stories appreciated, and, all in all, The Outlook is held as the model of up-to-date journalism.
Why, then, am I writing this letter? It is because I have a criticism to make. There was prevalent in New York not so very long ago a general epidemic of "Footballitis." Newspapers published the results of games in large letters on their front pages. Now the athlete never did rank with the scholar and a front page was never meant for football scores. I thought that The Outlook would not succumb to the disease. I was mistaken.
However, permit me to go a bit further and tell you of the psychological effect that the putting of a football picture on the front cover had. The issue before the one I have in mind was one of the best ever published. The sale was thirty copies below the normal. But what about the issue with the football picture on the front coverthe demand was for one hundred and fifty copies above the normal.
If The Outlook is published for purely business reasons, then let Mr. Lyman Abbott continue to put football pictures on the front cover of The Outlook; but if it is published with the purpose of shaping the opinion of future America, then continue in the policy which you have pursued hithA STUDENT.
1121 Woodycrest Avenue, Bronx, New York.
AN UNEASY CHAIR FOR
EWTON A. FUESSLE, who wrote "A Challenge from the Easy Chair," is an arrant fraud. He poses as a friend of the easy chair; but in reality he never rests. The Fuessle version of the truth bout the easy chair is nothing but one of is repressions breaking through the dikes. He has the vitality of an ox and the drive of an engine. His typewriter keeps going fter every other one within seven miles as gone to sleep. He has never 'learned when to stop.
His wife tells a story which bears out my contention. Once, when the Fuessles were iving in Detroit, she went to Cleveland for fortnight to visit friends. When she reurned, she found that Newt had worked imself half to death. She took him to a anitarium; but even there he couldn't be Forced to rest. He managed to smuggle - typewriter into his cottage, and at the nd of a six months' stay he had two-thirds of a long novel on paper. That novel, too, 8 I recall it, was no mere decorative ffect-no mere pretty diversion with which o while away hours. It was rough stuffpoth-and-nail realism. I can imagine
This unique printing plant-the editorial rooms with its staff of reporters (man wearing straw hat); the city editor seated at the typewriter; composing room with its printer at the case of type; and the pressroom with the pressman at the press-all rolling along on the rails
Fuessle grinding his molars and wiping A NEWSPAPER PLANT IN A his mouth after that siege-like some giant who has just eaten an Englishman during the closed season.
The only easy chair I ever saw him in was on board a Pullman chair car. I have seen him start out on rapid constitutionals at two in the morning. He owns a couple of lounging robes, luxurious and clinging; I have always coveted them on the few occasions when they were in sight; but usually they are at the bottom of a trunk.
Fuessle is one of those who believe that
truth, if used at all, should be used sparingly; and this is one of the times when he is handling the verities with fine economy. In setting himself up as a defender of the easy chair he may get away with his pretense among strangers. But I solemnly assure you that his room hasn't an easy chair in it. JOHN NICHOLAS BEFFEL. Hotel Amsterdam, New York City.
BLAINE AND THE "OTHER FELLOW"
PROPOS of James G. Blaine in connection with the very readable article upon him by Mr. Harlan in your issue for December 8, let me repeat a conversation as to him with one of his prized acquaintances, the late St. Clair McKelway, Chancellor of the University of the State of New York and long editor-in-chief of the Brooklyn "Daily Eagle." This the latter repeated to me shortly before his lamented death. Let me add that the editor had a remarkably retentive memory, schooled by his long experience.
Dr. McKelway said he had gone over the Burchard incident with Mr. Blaine. The latter said that he had paid no attention to what the clergyman was saying when the reverend gentleman was making his speech, as he was running over in his mind what he was going to say in reply. That he therefore did not notice anything particular in what was said. That it was only when the explosion came in the newspapers the next day that his attention was. drawn to the address. That he found by that experience "that it might be well to notice what the other fellow said."
SIDNEY V. LOWELL.
Brooklyn, New York City.
A COMPLETE newspaper plant in a railway baggage car was one of the unique features of a special train which bore Cincinnati business men to a San Francisco convention last summer. They decided that they must have a daily newspaper on the five days' journey, hence the newspaper printed en route.
This was an afternoon paper. The reporter gathered the news of the coaches during the morning hours, then rushed back to his paper and wrote it up. The city editor handled it in the usual and sent it out to the composing-room to be set up. From the composing-room it went to the press, and in less than an hour the news of the train (all scoops) was in the "Herald" and being read throughout the speeding special.
It is thought that this is the first time that a newspaper was ever issued, from the gathering of the news to the printing of the paper, on board a speeding train. And there was telegraph news too. Parties at home interested in the venture sent paid telegrams of home events which intercepted the train at stations; hence the edition carried vital home news, besides a complete story of what happened on the special, composed of seven passenger coaches, diner, baggage cars, and a special refreshment car. J. R. SCHMIDT.
HOW $5 GREW MASSACHUSETTS paper states that on July 31, 1833, Horace Smith deposited $5 in the Dedham Institution for Savings, and in a long period of years this lone five-dollar bill went on accumulating interest. November 12, 1912, the holder of the bank book withdrew from the bank the sum of $112.47, and June 8, 1920, closed his account with the bank, taking out the balance of $134.46.
The only money ever deposited in the bank was the original $5. Had no money been withdrawn until the account was finally closed, the sum that would have been taken out would have totaled $281.93.
HE article by Andrew Ten Eyck found elsewhere in this issue should be read throughout the length and breadth of our country.
From reading this article what do you learn about our diplomatic service which you did not know before?
Why do we send representatives to foreign countries?
It has been suggested that, since communication between nations is now so easy and rapid, we might do away with the bother and expense of sending representatives to foreign countries. What, with reasons, is your opinion of this suggestion? What distinction should be made between the duties of ambassadors and of consuls? Do the duties of these differ from those of ministers and envoys? If so, how?
If you were to select America's representatives abroad, what qualifications and characteristics would you insist upon?
Does our Government pay enough to secure the services of such men? Do you think we pay enough to those who are serving us diplomatically? Why do we not pay as much as the leading foreign countries pay their diplomats?
Are ambassadors subject to the laws of the countries to which they are sent? Does a constable have the right to arrest an ambassador to this country for "speeding"?
Does it seem to you that American ambassadors should have more authority and power than they now possess?
What arguments can you present for the establishment of a United States academy for the training of diplomats?
Do you think of any changes other than those suggested by Mr. Ten Eyck that ought to be effected in our diplomatic
How do you pronounce chargé d'af faires? What is a chargé d'affaires?
What is meant by exterritoriality, plenipotentiary, consular jurisdiction, disparity, a bobby?
Here are books that make valuable reading in connection with this topic: "Diplomacy in the Study of International Relations," by D. P. Heatley (Oxford University Press); "Stakes of Diplomacy," by Walter Lippmann (Holt); "Dramatic Moments in American Diplomacy," by R. W. Page (Doubleday, Page); "Principles in American Diplomacy," by J. B. Moore (Harper).
America's Air Tangle
Has Mr. Hicks in his article entitled "America's Air Tangle," found on another page in this issue, convinced you that to economize on the American Air Service is false economy?
To quote Mr. Hicks, is it reasonable to believe that the air will "predominate over
These questions and comments are designed not ouly for the use of current events classes and clubs, debating societies, teachers of history and English. and the like, but also for discussion in the home and for suggestion to any reader who desires to study current affairs as well as to read about them. -THE EDITORS.
the water and land forces in matters of strategy in warfare"?
What is your opinion of the creation of a Department of Air, with a secretary and control board?
Were you asked to do so, what would you say in outlining an air policy for the United States?
Define accurately the following terms: Groggy, precocious, anæmic, prodigy, expediency, reconnaissance, liaison.
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friendship can be established?
The Outlook believes that such a time as we are now living in has "certain compensating advantages." If you agree with advantages are? The Outlook, what would you say these
Is The Outlook right in saying that no nation has ever been [italics mine] able to live wholly unto itself"? Did Egypt live "wholly unto itself" five thousand years before Christ?
Does this article indicate that the United States should join the League of Nations?
What is the value of this article to you? What propositions well worth discussing does it suggest to you?
How do you define the following words: Impediments, foreign exchange, nominally, atrocities, perpetrated?
Have you read these worth-while books: "America and the New Era," edited by E. M. Friedman (Dutton); "A New Mind for the New Age," by H. C. King (Revell); "Problems of To-Day," by Moorfield Storey (Houghton Mifflin).
The National Parks
Have we a National Parks policy? If so, what is it and when was it instituted? Can you name notable American parks? For what purposes do we have them? Where should they be located?
Some one has asked this question, "Should the main idea in a park be use or beauty? How would you answer this question?
If you were in Congress, would you support or oppose the bills introduced by Senator Jones and Representative Esch and referred to in this editorial? If you were to make a speech in Congress bearing on the subject of these bills, what points would you include in your argu
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