Abbildungen der Seite

check the flood of European immigration which threatens our Democracy,should stop these French, Spanish and Italians whose national habits she so faithfully upholds.

Garbage cans will no doubt continue to be of use in this country and will not materially affect cultural opportunities, all criticism to the contrary notwithstanding.


Riverside, Conn.

(Died April 13, 1922)


THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW will, I believe, have increasing pride in having published poems by Joseph Andrew Galahad, especially The Knife in the issue for May, 1920, which brought the author a cordial letter from John Masefield. Joe Galahad won many devoted friends in his short literary career; indeed it was impossible for anyone to come into his radius without feeling the peculiar elevation and fervor of his spirit. I have noted how the mere mention of his name changed the entire atmosphere of a group of people. All who have come into more intimate touch with him are proud to have been called his friends, as an Elizabethan might have been proud of his acquaintance with Sidney.

I have been of those who thought that poetry should be judged solely in itself, apart from the circumstances of its creation or the character of the poet. Now I am not so sure. Certainly the knowledge of Joe's life has given his work a far deeper meaning to me than it could have had otherwise. To know that a young man on his death-bed in almost continuous pain for three years could affirm his love of life, his belief in friendship, and his trust in the divine dispensation, with such glowing imagination, has been a different experience from reading a poem in the Oxford Book. And yet even before I knew anything of his suffering I inferred the intensity and nobility of Joe Galahad's nature in a poem, not of his best, which came to me in the ordinary routine of editing Contemporary Verse. For the man wrote as he lived, out of the special conviction of his soul.

Let us finally turn to the concluding lines of Argosy, where the spirit escapes from its fleshly prison of pain:

So I leaned and opened the window-
And left my body there:

The poor old tattered clay house,

With the cotton wool in its hair.
No more the four walls hold me,
And compass me about:

The sea gulls hear

And answer

The psalm of joy
That is my shout.

I have built me a sturdy galleon-
I have chartered the seven seas-
And the rims of other planets

When I tire of the earth and these.
I refuse the role of Atlas-

Whatever winds may fail,
Aeriphus waits

By the outer Gates

I sail!
I sail!

Do not we, too, sail with him in this triumphant voyage of the spirit? Can we who knew him, even those who only read his story and his poetry sympathetically, ever relapse again into quite the lethargic "What's the use?" attitude of old, when we think of his buoyant courage, his virile acceptance of the worst that fate could do to him?


Logan, Philadelphia.



The May number of THE NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW appeals to my mind as educational, instructive and interesting in the varied fields of the world, evidencing that the articles conform to the title of the magazine.

I am not familiar with Lindsay Blayney's pen, but his article on Americanism is worth more to readers who have searching minds than the cost of the magazine itself. The foreign element of labor unions will not benefit, for they will not read it; but all who read the article will say "Amen" to it-Mr. Gompers himself, I believe, would.

Admiral Pratt is one of many strong intellects in the Navy, and his review of the armament limitation is analytical and clear to all readers.

Dr. Sweeney's article on Immigration recalls to me my association with Theodore Roosevelt in the late 'eighties, and the interest which he took in the law which was to exclude the criminal and those without visible means of support. He complained that the law was violated, and urged amendments that would shut out those who would be a burden or a menace to the country.

The article on France in the Dock is not only interesting but illuminating. It is needless for me to attempt to praise the Affairs of the World by Willis Fletcher Johnson-a master hand.

Mirror Lake, New Hampshire.

H. E. RHOADES, (Lieut.-Com'd'r, U.S.N.)





[This is the third article of the series on World Restoration. The first, “Judaism and World Restoration," by the eminent rabbi, the Rev. Dr. Joseph Silverman, was in the August number; the second, "What Ails the World?" by the Rev. Martin J. Scott, S. J., was in the September number. In November Mr. Frederick Dixon will write from the Christian Science point of view.THE EDITORS.]

PROTESTANTISM is a living branch of the Christian Ecclesia, bearing fruit after its kind, but capable of far more fruitfulness. As a world movement at the front of history for the last four centuries, it is not without the taint of reproach incidental to human admixture. Some of its developments, past and present, have shown that, as a rule, men are farther advanced in political than religious ideas. Fed by the faults as well as the virtues of its progenitors, it boasts no unblemished record, nor asserts for itself a fictitious infallibility. It must be received for its intrinsic values to society, which have been realized in every realm of life, and are not liable to extinction by ecclesiastical fiat. Constructed at infinite sacrifice, cemented with honest blood, productive of eminent spirits and manifold services, and resting upon principles which exercise a legitimate and wide dominion, Protestantism now confronts the world situation which tests the fitness of historic institutions and systems to survive. Shall it perish, or prove itself the master of a grave and well-nigh universal emergency? This is the core of the issue discussed

Copyright, 1922, by North American Review Corporation. All rights reserved. VOL. CCXVI.-NO. 803 28

here, and also an indication of the indefeasible obligation, not only of Protestantism but of the Church Catholic, and not only of the Church Catholic but of all civilized and humane persons and States.


At the moment the outlook is not particularly cheerful. Professor E. A. Wodehouse, a considerate and keen observer, states that the churches at large, and specifically the Protestant churches, have lost touch with the thought movements of the age and no longer mould public opinion. In a period when every department of life and action vibrates with immense possibilities for good or evil, their voice is practically dumb. He further says it is a matter of general comment that while complicated and perplexing problems accumulate on every side, the churches offer no solutions. Moreover, in the vile genesis of war's intentioned outbreak, some churches played the harlot with the State, and supported its betrayal of Christendom. What counsel or direction can such pseudo-guardians give to our insurgent age? Without authority, remote from reality, unreal in attitude, bemused by things that are no more, they move in their diminishing spheres of retrospect and quotation, having no elucidation and little comfort for the ardent souls who fight the hard battles of outer life. The indictment reveals the academic in his less trustworthy and partial views. If the optimist believes too much because he sees too little, the pessimist complements him by seeing so much that he believes too little. One does not have wholly to acquiesce with Professor Wodehouse's severe arraignment in admitting that although the churches have shared in the general progress of the time, they have also paltered with some beggarly elements of reaction, cant, bigotry, and spurious liberalism. In the sequence they are heavily assessed: but they have means of payment and also of recovery.

Comparisons with the medievalism which Protestantism shattered are often unfavorable to the latter system. The preReformation period was certainly solidified by a common religion which incorporated its faith and politics in the Papacy and the Empire. Yet the supremacy of the spiritual power did not rep

resent the undivided result of medieval thinking on the subject, though we find much in contemporary writings which suggests that conclusion. The real task of the statesmen of the Middle Ages was to devise an efficient machinery for individual safety and social protection. This task was ever before them and conditioned their intellectual habits. It should be noted that they had a more distinct apprehension of the supreme obstacle to all betterment than have men of our day-viz., the depravity of human nature, and the resultant strength of disorder, truculence, and treachery. To some who are impatient of the present and careless of the past, those people who carry little baggage with them, the laborious studies, beliefs and aspirations of long vanished priests and publicists will appear as nothing more than the annals of incoherent error. But those who closely scrutinize the outstanding figures of medieval life will not treat lightly or ignorantly religious leaders who established a world-society which bowed to spiritual as well as to temporal rule. This achievement marks the standing difference between the mediæval and the modern ages, and not a few enlightened souls devoutly wish it could be repeated in the twentieth century. Its forces are but dimly realized in a materialized and secular period. Nevertheless they once enshrined themselves in cathedrals and universities, in abbeys and schools, as the monuments of that 'golden age of faith." They were expressed in the royalty of St. Louis, the unrivaled intellect of St. Thomas, the beatific sanctity of St. Francis, the scholarly devotion of Roger Bacon, the epic of Dante, the eloquence of St. Bernard, and the statesmanship of Hildebrand. To unfriendly critics who look upon the centuries between the Apostolic age and that of Luther as a night of unclean things, it is apposite to say, Go and do likewise: tame the savage instincts of militarism and nationalism as those former Churchmen tamed turbulent aristocracies and rude peasantries; regenerate and confirm afresh, as they did, the unalterable belief in a Divine Order to be realized here and now. Their treasures were contained in frail and earthen vessels, but they mediated between their coarse surroundings and the ethereal ideals and emotions which seemed so distant from the grosser iniquities and grotesque customs of the time. Their strength came, as all


« ZurückWeiter »