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The entire Pennsylvania Railroad system, with 26,000 miles of track, has, it is announced, completed two years without a single one of the 361,572,114 passengers carried in that period being killed in a train accident. The lines east of Pittsburgh have completed their third successive year without a single fatality of this class.
Do woodpeckers get drunk? The question is seriously asked by Professor Burges Johnson in “Harper's Magazine as the result of certain observations in a camp in Maine. Eminent naturalists to whom Professor Johnson wrote disagree. Ernest Thompson Seton says: “The story of woodpeckers getting drunk on fermented sap is an absurd fable.” John Burroughs answers: " Both birds and insects might get drunk on the fermented sap." Ernest H. Baynes, of Meriden, New Hampshire, says: “I do not think it impossible, perhaps not improbable.” Professor J. B. Watson, of Johns Hopkins, says: “I have seen robins in a ‘loggy'condition upon very ripe berries in the South."
Proverbs have great influence with the Japanese in their daily lives, according to a writer in the “ Christian Register.” Among their countless adages these, with their English equivalents, are quoted : “Some insects feed upon smartweed ” (There is no accounting for tastes). “If in a hurry, go round ” (The more haste, the less speed). “Live under your own hat” (Let well enough alone). “The mouth is the front gate of misfortune” (The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity).
The philanthropic impulses of the sentimentalist receive this "palpable hit” from “ Life:” Young Girl: “Yes! I feel an intense longing to do something for others.” Friend: “ Just whom do you mean by others ?”
Well, I suppose almost anybody outside of my immediate family.”
A letter from Shelley, the poet, to a friend, which was recently sold at auction for $1,485 in New York, gives a picture of Byron's strenuous life: “ Lord Byron gets up at 2 (P.M.). I get up
at 12. After breakfast we sit talking till 6. From 6 to 8 we gallop through the pine forests. ... We then come home and dine and sit up gossiping till 6 in the morning. I don't suppose this will kill me in a week or a fortnight, but I shall not try it any longer."
In a “general information test " conducted by a school in Baltimore many amusing answers were given to the questions asked. Waterloo was located in Ireland, Gotham in Belgiuin ; the Sublime Porte was identified as a "good wine,” while Adam's ale was described as “a drink that was made early in human history in the Garden of Eden,” and another boy said that it is “the lump in a man's neck.” A hyphenated
American, according to one student, is "an American who talks in short sentences,” and conscription" is a thing that is written on a tombstone." Lewis Carroll, one young Baltimorean declares, wrote the Star-Spangled Banner.” On being asked how many people were saved in Noah's ark, one student replied, “We all of us were.” The question, “Why does a blacksmith heat an iron tire before puiting it on the wheel ?” received from one boy (who apparently thought it catch” question) the answer, “He doesn't.”
“Who leads a good life is sure to live long," might be a variation of the old song in speaking of the Rev. William Barnes, of Asheville, North Carolina, who died recently at the age of 103 years and 8 months. Mr. Barnes was thought to be the oldest minister in the United States. He preached occasionally up to the year of his death.
A subject for discussion around the library table in the winter evenings might be, What word is most frequently mispronounced ? “Arctic,” widely pronounced without the first c, would have a high place in the list; others might be these: culinary for culinary, lamentable for lamentable, airoplane for a-e-roplane, ac-climate for acclimate, cupolo for cupola, charlotte roosh for russe.
In somebody's book on Little Brothers of the Great a prominent place will doubtless be given to Angelo Sarto, the brother of the late Pope Pius X. He was a postman almost up to the time of his death a few days ago. He occasionally visited his brother, traveling third-class from his humble home in Grazia to the magnificent palace of the Popes in Rome which was the abode of his distinguished relative.
Slips of speech are amusingly and yet scientifically analyzed in Dr. Freud's recent book, “ The Psychopathology of Every-Day Life.” One of the illustrations is that of a young, nervous physician who called on the celebrated Dr. Virchow and, when admitted to the presence of the great man, said, instead of giving his own name, “I am Dr. Virchow”! The astonished Professor exclaimed, “What is your name also Virchow ?" The finale is not recorded.
These slips of speech, and also similar slips of the pen, are, unhappily, universal;, even the editors of The Outlook are not exempt from the latter ! A recent example on their part was an editorial substitution of " Missionary Ridge for “ Cemetery” Ridge, the former referring to the Battle of Chattanooga, the latter to that of Gettysburg. Some mysterious psychological motivation brought“missionary” to the surface when“ cemetery was in the mind—was it because both words suggest peace and religion ?
FEBRUARY 2, 1916
Offices, 381 Fourth Avenue, New York
the “ Allies went to Servia at the request of THE STORY OF THE WAR: KING CONSTANTINE TO THE
the Greek Government,” that the only protest AMERICAN PEOPLE
made was purely formal, and that the Greek One of the most interesting events of the military authorities and railways gave the week under consideration (January 19-26) Allies every facility-as, indeed, the King himwas the publication of an authorized state- self stated in his former interview ; that the ment by the King of Greece addressed to charges as to a submarine base are true ; that the people of the United States as a neutral the blowing up of the bridge in question was forum of public opinion. Its form, like absolutely nccessary, and that its cost will be the King's previous statement some weeks repaid. Then comes this remarkable stateago, was made through the Associated Press. ment which, we believe, has not before been If the present statement is compared with made publicly by any one in authority : former interviews granted by the King, a The Greek Government was so little conserious change of position is shown, for the vinced that the Gallipoli enterprise would be a former statement included a clear, although failure that they tried by every means to take involved, admission that the landing of the part in it, and it was only their exaggerated Allies at Salonika was allowed, if not actually
demands that caused their co-operation to be invited, and expressed warm sympathy with
refused. If the enterprise has been a failure
and the Servians have been crushed, the fact is the Allies; while now Constantine talks of the
due to Greece's declining to fulfill her engage“unheard-of highhandedness of the recent
ments as an ally towards Servia, and allowing action of the Allies towards Greece" and
her territory to be surrounded by the armies of - the Allies' encroachment on the sovereignty her bitterest enemy. of Greece." In the main, the interview is
Curiously enough, the King himself states a protest against such recent acts of the
that at the beginning of the war eighty per Allies as the occupation of Corfu and the
cent of the Greeks were favorable to the blowing up of a bridge for military purposes.
Allies, but claims that to-day this has been Such acts as these are, on their face, a neces
reduced to twenty per cent.
The French sary sequence of the original entrance of the
reply turns this point upon him convincingly Allies into Greece. Being there, they must
by referring to the recent elections in Greece, necessarily prepare to defend themselves
where the enormous number of voters who against the threatening movements of Bul
stayed away from the polls was a clear indigarians, Germans, and Austrians. The
cation that they still favor Venizelos and his King admits, even in this statement, that
policy of friendship to the Allies. the Allies entered Greece in order to render
Finally, the telling point is made that to that support to Servia which Greece, although
this day the Allies are financing the Greek bound by treaty to afford, had through fear
army. No unprejudiced reader can study refused. He denies that the occupation of
these two documents without seeing that any Greek islands is necessary or that they are
attempt to compare the temporary occupation being used as a submarine base by the ene
of certain parts of Greece by the Allies with mies of the Allies.
Greece's consent with the invasion and occuIn reply to this interview with the King,
pation of Belgium is preposterous from every and published simultaneously with it, the
point of view. Associated Press sent out a reply from what it terms “the highest French authority,' CONSCRIPTION IN which to most people's mind would seem to ENGLAND mean President Poincaré. This answers the On January 24 the compulsory military King's protests point by point, declares that service bill passed its third and final reading
in the British House of Commons. The vote ON THE FIRING LINES in favor of the bill was 383 to 36—a smaller The situation in Mesopotamia did not total vote than on the first reading (403 to alter decisively during the week. The British 105) and with a decrease of two-thirds in the relief forces advancing to support General Opposition vote. It may be said that the
Townshend's troops shut up in Kut-el-Amara minority vote in all three of the readings was have more than once en engaged with the so small as to be almost negligible. The Turkish forces, and on one recent occasion bill, of course, goes at once to the House of
are said to have fought a battle lasting six Lords, and there is no question in any one's hours. The Turks claim that in this battle mind that it will be passed without serious the British were driven back with a loss of opposition there. The result is a triumph three thousand men, but the British War for the Coalition Ministry. Mr. Bonar Law, Office asserts that there was nothing conclusive in closing the debate, noted the extraordinary about the engagement, and declares that the change in sentiment that had taken place British in Kut-el-Amara have plenty of supsince the matter was under discussion. The plies and are able to resist all attacks. The main provision of the bill empowers the Gov- Turks, on the other hand, assert that there ernment to call under the British flag every is great lack of supplies and provisions, and unmarried man fit for military service who did especially water, on the part of the besieged not enroll himself either for military service forces, and that an early surrender is probor industrial service under Lord Derby's able. Terrific weather has seriously hindered campaign. Proper exceptions are made of military operations in this campaign. those who are now working in what are The Russian advance in Persia from the called “starred” industries—that is, practi- north toward Bagdad is not as closely concally, industries furnishing munitions and nected with the British campaign in Mesoother needed things for the war—and of potamia as a glance at the map might indithose on whose labor depends the absolute cate, for while the distance is not enormous support of persons close to them.
the difficulties of the waterless desert are One other exception is made to the opera- great. tion of the bill. Ireland is entirely omitted The question of the formal and uncondifrom its scope. This exception is due to tional surrender of Montenegro was disputed political rather than to industrial reasons, and as our week began. It soon became of no is founded on expediency and not on princi- consequence, for the Austrian forces have ples of absolute justice.
now overrun Montenegro, occupying nearly The opposition to conscription in the British all of the important strategic points. The Labor party has not yet been destroyed. A King and the royal family have fled to Italy. great British Labor party conference is in The invasion of Montenegro has been folsession as we write, at Bristol ; it is said to lowed by the invasion of Albania by the represent 2,250,000 workers. The chief Austrian armies. While the Italians still question before this conference is the attitude occupy the important parts of Avlona and of the party towards compulsion and the Durazzo, the city of Scutari is in Austrian question whether the Labor party's repre- hands, and, if Italy is to hold any part of sentatives still in the Coalition Cabinet should Albania and retain her prestige on the eastern withdraw.
Adriatic, strenuous military action is required Following the passage of the compulsion on her part. bill there was published an interview with Warfare in the air marked the week in the Minister of Munitions, Mr. David Lloyd several places.
several places. Two air raids on England George. He expressed himself as now con- were made by German aeroplanes without fident of the outcome of the war, and said : great damage. Many think that they presage “ England is planning to put her whole weight another great Zeppelin raid. A report comes into the war, and Germany will feel it shortly. of a bombardment by a " squadron of fortyIt is an effort such as England has never five French aeroplanes” at Monastir, and made before-a truly prodigious effort. In there was also recently a French air attack the days before the war she had the greatest on Metz, in Lorraine. One thing that is fleet in the world, but now she has one of the amusing as well as instructive in the accounts greatest armies, and in a very short time it of all these air raids is the care which the will be about the best-equipped army in the assailants always take to show that they were world.”
justified by the rules of war, while the reports
of the assailed always indicate the contrary. Great Britain followed the German example Thus, as to the raid in Great Britain referred of submarining ships which attempt to run to above, Berlin reports say that the air-ships the blockade. Great Britain could do this “bombarded the station, the barracks, and and provide for the safety of passengers and the docks” at Dover, while English accounts crew, but without examining the cargoes or point out that “one woman and three chil- the papers of the vessels, and thus stop all dren were injured” and that no damage was traffic across the Baltic. Is this what the done in a military sense. Again, in describ- United States wants ? Of course not. But ing the French raid on Metz, the German we have allowed Germany to do this with accounts declare that the bombs" fell on the very little protest except when lives have been Bishop's residence and killed two civilians lost. and wounded eight," while the French ac- Meantime, British newspapers are criticiscounts lay stress on the damage done to ing the Government because the blockade is railway stations and military supplies.
too lax. The “ Daily Mail” has cited fig
ures, purporting to be taken from American THE PROBLEMS OF THE
sources, to show that American trade with BRITISH BLOCKADE
neutral countries like Norway has increased War hurts the neutral as well as the bel- to such an extent as to prove that goods are ligerent, and the greater the war the greater escaping the British blockade by going from the injury. The British undertaking to be- America by way of Norway and other neutral siege Germany by sea has been very effective, countries to Germany. To this the British but its consequences have been severely felt Government has replied, showing that these by some neutral countries. The Swedish figures, even so far as they are correct, do Premier Hammarskjöld was evidently re- not prove this conclusively. ferring to the British blockade when he said Another element has entered in to complilast week in both houses of the Swedish cate matters. The British law known as Parliament: “It is our fervent desire to keep“ Trading with the Enemy” Act prohibits peace, and it is our duty to work for this end British residents from trading with any comwith all our might, but we must also reckon panies or individuals that have any business with eventualities, in which maintenance of dealings with the Teutonic Empires. There peace, in spite of all our efforts, would no are concerns in the United States which are longer be profitable." And, referring to the owned in part or wholly by Germans and co-operative efforts of Sweden, Denmark, and which deal with Germany, This Act, if Norway to promote their common aim, he enforced, would prohibit Britons from tradadded : We regret that these united efforts ing with such American concerns. for the rights and welfare of neutral Powers, sense, this is a domestic affair of Great Britand for preservation of the inheritance of ain's, and therefore can hardly be a subject international law, should depend on circum- for formal protest, but it may enter into the stances over which we have no control, and question of the blockade, because goods from to judge which we have no right." In reply, such American concerns may be treated by the Socialist leader, Hjalmar Branting, de- Great Britain as enemy goods, while the clared that the Premier's policy seemed to be United States will hold that, as they came to expose the nation to the gravest perils from residents of the United States, they are, solely for the sake of an exact interpretation under international law, neutral goods. of international law.
say here again what we have said reIt is a curious position in which neutral peatedly before, that these questions are to nations are placed. The complaint of ship- be considered as corresponding to such quespers in neutral countries is that Great Britain tions as in domestic affairs would be settled is hámpering legitimate trade without right by the civil courts, and are subject, therefore, of law, while international lawyers in neutral to compromise and settlement by payments countries are arguing that the only way in of money; while the issues that have been which Great Britain can observe the letter raised between this country and Germany of the law is by making her blockade more are matters which in domestic affairs would rigid, and therefore increasing the hardships be submitted to a criminal court, and could of neutrals.
have no satisfactory settlement except through A British naval officer is quoted as saying the punishment and the reform of the guilty that the whole difficulty could be avoided if party.
PREPAREDNESS AND CONGRESS :
for handling rooms and no officers available for THE FLETCHER REPORT
the after range-finder. The torpedo room is in MADE PUBLIC
charge of a chief petty officer, and the torpedo Those who read Secretary Daniels's annual officer stationed in the conning tower is of the report will recall
its somewhat roseate class of 1914 In the plotting room a pay clerk phrases describing the present condition of and a yeoman are performing work which rethe American navy. In that report Mr. quires commissioned officers of the line. Daniels was authority for the statement that Concerning the condition of our submathe personnel was up to the prescribed quota rines Admiral Fletcher says: in numbers—a statement which meant merely While there are twelve submarines in full that the personnel was as large as the law commission assigned to operate with the fleet, allowed, but which had no bearing upon the only six of these vessels were in condition to needs of the service itself for a greatly proceed to Pensacola for the winter's work. increased body of officers and men. Secretary
All twelve were assembled in May in New York, Daniels did say, however, that “ more than
but only ten were available for the war problem, ninety per cent the effective fighting power
May 18-25. Of these ten a number were soon
incapacitated by machinery troubles, and at of the navy is now fully manned.” Secretary
times not more than five submarines were ready Daniels voiced the opinion that our American
for duty. Due to untrained crews some of the submarines “are on a par with any in the
five were not ready to undertake submerged world," and he took pride in the fact that work. "the navy is coming to be the biggest uni- Admiral Fletcher points out the vital need versity in America ; 'every ship a school’ is of scouting vessels and fast cruisers, and now literally true.”
describes the effect of this shortage upon the The misleading character of Secretary maneuvers during the last year.
He exDaniels's report is painfully apparent when presses also his belief that the service will contrasted with the report, recently made be benefited by the withdrawal of Secretary public, from Admiral Fletcher, Commander- Daniels's orders in regard to compulsory in-Chief of the Atlantic Fleet.
education in the navy.
With the compulwas sent to the Senate soon after the open
sory features omitted, greater facilities will ing of Congress and was voted confidential.
be available for teaching and helping those Its contents, however, became known through
who are ambitious to help themselves. a summary in the New York “Sun,” and the report itself was therefore published. Per
GENERAL WOOD BEFORE haps the most important information which
THE SENATE COMMITTEE it contains is Admiral Fletcher's statement of Before the Senate Committee on Military the present shortage of personnel needed to
Affairs General Leonard Wood discussed the make our navy an effective machine. Admiral
military power of the United States in comFletcher says:
parison with the military power of nations The most vital weakness in the Atlantic Fleet is which might question the international polithe shortage of officers. It takes approximately cies of the United States. Some of the steps ten years to educate and train an officer, and
which General Wood recommended for the no amount of legislation can provide officers
immediate improvement of our defense were : when trouble is imminent. Expansion of the
The modification of the Enlistment Act to navy is limited by the number of officers available. The feet is handicapped, not alone by
provide for a short term of service with the
colors and service with the reserve corps. the shortage of officers, but by the inexperi
A moderate increase in the regular army, ence of the large number of young officers that have been added to the navy in the last few
which he definitely outlined. years. This condition, coupled with the short- Authority and money for the formation of an age of officers, has resulted in officers being
officers' corps of forty-five thousand men, a ordered to duties beyond their capacities and
matter of imperative necessity. for which their experience and judgment do
The accumulation of a reserve of matériel. not fit them.
General Wood stated his belief that the As a particu.ar illustration of this shortage proposed plan of building up a continental of men Admiral Fletcher says :
army while still maintaining and supporting
the militia under State control was wrong in At general quarters in the United States steamship Utah a chief petty officer is in charge
principle. He said : of one turret, and an ensign graduated in 1914 To keep the militia and build up a continental is in charge of another. There are no officers army . is like saying to your butler: “You