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with which these indictments were broadcast to the four winds could add to their ridiculousness. General Herbert M. Lord, the man at the head of the Bureau of the Budget, has more to say about how many ships shall be kept in commission, how many enlisted men may be retained to man them, how much shall be spent on matériel alterations and how much for maintenance, than Secretary Wilbur and his entire council of bureau chiefs. As far as the Navy is concerned, General Lord is a dictator.

But the genial and efficient Director of the Bureau of the Budget is not a usurper; he is a dictator by appointment, and as an appointee he carries out, perhaps too faithfully, the commands and admonitions of the appointing power, the Administration. Thus it is the Administration, supported by the Congress, that must be held responsible for the policy of the day, and therefore responsible for the disasters that such a policy promotes. The cock-and-bull theory that the people, the voters, are ultimately responsible for the acts of an elective Government fails miserably in this case, for the people have not hitherto been in command of the facts.

Nor is it proposed by the Administration that the facts shall be broadly known. When certain naval officers undertook to inform the public of conditions in the Navy, through the medium of press releases, the White House 'Spokesman' declared that the releases were nothing less than 'propaganda' from 'big navy' advocates intent on raiding the Treasury, and that further 'propaganda' from such a source

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would not be tolerated. And the public has been subjected to the confusing platitudes of the 'Spokesman,' who juggles with the phrases, 'limiting armaments as a means of reducing taxation and preventing wars,' 'an eye single to the defense needs of the United States,' if the number of ships 'falls below the treaty ratio the country is not to be concerned,' and so on, until the whole issue is befogged beyond intelligent comprehension.

To what further lengths this political naval policy will be carried in the name of 'economy' is hard to foretell, and whether or not enlightened public opinion, alive to the actual needs of the Navy and aware of the pernicious effects of the policy, will force its moderation or abandonment is just as difficult to foresee; but it is not difficult to observe in the collective group mind sponsoring this fetish an abnormal mental tangency, no less apparent and infinitely more destructive than that of the tragic figure at Honda Point.

Obviously the remedy for the nasty situation lies in the hands of the public. The voters may well demand that the Navy and all the agencies of the national defense be removed from politics; that appropriations be made to maintain a Navy in accordance with the 5-5-3-1.67 treaty ratios; that adequate repairs and replacements be made and complete modernization be effected to safeguard the personnel; and that in the future the policy of fleet maintenance be placed on a financial basis that will forever make it impossible for political expediency to 'save' money at the expense of life and limb.



THERE are winter days when you can see frost particles shining in the sun. This fairy snow never seems to reach the ground, yet is always on its way thither; and sometimes you must look sharp to see it, even though the air is filled with its shining.

On a windy clear day you can find this fairy snow in the lee of the woods, but hardly elsewhere. If the woods chance to be evergreen, so much the better; look across the low-rising sun and you will see the silver particles dancing against the green boughs and black trunks.

A power saw stands beside the woodhouse door an ancient tool, veteran of many a battle with the knots and fibres of what until yesterday were trees. When the gasoline engine is running, the whole assembly rocks on its base like an old man; but, like a staunch old man, it keeps going somehow. Phutphut! We're off. Five of us-four men and the antiquated engine of destruction, and the greatest of these is the engine. It will do more work in a day than twenty men could do by handan obedient, palsied slave, phut-phutting its life away, oblivious of heat or cold or frost particles glinting in the sun.

Pacemaker, too! All our dispositions of man power are made for the purpose of keeping the saw supplied with wood; all our nicely adjusted coöperative movements are timed to accord with those of the saw. Two of us pass wood to the sawyer, who owns the saw and to whose ears every bark of the motor and every squeal of the steel speaks a message. He places our offerings on a

platform, tilts it; the teeth begin to bite, sawdust flies. Meantime the fourth man, standing across the platform, has placed his mittened hands firmly upon the other end of the stick, and when the cut is complete he whisks the sawn end away and into the shed, there to season under cover until wanted.

In time we acquire a nice technique, each going through his part of the task without lost motion, each being where he is supposed to be at every stage. The spirit of the group, the will to common labor, takes hold of us. Though we say nothing whatever about it, or about anything else, the conviction grows that we are a grand gang of wood sawyers, and that we could hold our own with any outfit in the country.

Sooner or later the top sawyer is sure to lift a detaining hand. We stop in our tracks, fumbling in our pockets for pipes and tobacco. Not a bad thing that machines occasionally have to be fed water, oil, and fuel; otherwise their human assistants would likewise have to be made of iron in order to stand the gaff.

'Great day for outdoor work,' I observe.

'It is, you know,' answers one of the men promptly and decisively. That is a colloquialism I have noticed nowhere outside of our bit of country. Say the most obvious thing to one of our neighbors, and the odds are you will receive in reply that complete and dignified rejoinder: 'It is, you know.' There is no taint of smartness about the phrase phrase just matter-of-fact decisiveness. I cannot imagine a light, vain people using such a phrase habitually.

Before starting the motor on its

second run, a debate ensues as to whether the saw should be moved. Question of bringing the wood to the saw or the saw to the wood. Decided by the top sawyer; it appears that he was merely sounding out the common sense of the gang by raising the question, and in no sense abrogating his authority as gang boss. He canvassed the delegation and then did as he pleased. The good old democratic way. As paymaster I might have had my way; but long ago I discovered that whosoever crosses a craftsman loses, and that he who enters a new country should watch his step.

There is a song of the saw for someone to write; it has a different note with each kind of wood now rising to an angry snarl, now whining abjectly, now singing triumphantly. A native versed in such matters will recognize these notes as far as sound carries, and say, 'Taylor's working on ash this morning,' while yet it requires an effort for a dense-eared immigrant like myself to hear the faint whirr of a distant saw.

Always the top sawyer keeps an eye on the safety of his staff. We carters are not permitted to down our logs helter-skelter, because many a good man has gone to his death during sawing by tripping and falling upon the whirling teeth. So the two of us stand there at rest, the dead weight of the wood sagging our shoulders, until the platform is clear for our burden. I have often thought a painter might make something of us thus, with the snow-lighted forest for a background, the sun dancing on our revolving wheel, and the men poised in the unconsciously noble attitudes of toil. From time to time, too, we scatter fresh sawdust over the snow, the better to keep our heavily shod feet from slipping. A painter who caught that blend of warm brown and cold white accurately would have something to show for his pains.

Toward evening, the wind still

holding from the west, we rake the trash of our operations together, and start a little bonfire of chips, branches, and sliced ends. Our working space must be clear for the morrow. The others troop off at dusk to their homes and chores; I stay to tend the fire. Prompt Venus glimmers into sight even before true dark sets in; but there is an early full moon these nights, and the green beauty of the planet fades before the dazzle of Earth's satellite. This is the best of all ways to end a day log beside a fire under the stars. As the moon tops Whitbeck's pines, I kick snow over the glowing embers and set out for the house, in my body a growing languor and in my mind a raging curiosity over what we shall have for supper.

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SOME months ago I read a little essay entitled 'What Kind of a Snob Are You?' which assumed that among the fifty-seven varieties of that genus each person would inevitably find his own particular niche. I am tempted to present a companion piece, in which another four-lettered bugbear looms as an even more obnoxious social pest. For I think I am not underrating human nature in believing that most of us would dislike more to be branded with the word 'bore' than with the label. 'snob' and this in spite of the fact that while a bore may be a thoroughly admirable person, a snob must always carry a taint of something rather contemptible.

It is difficult to define accurately that 'society offender,' as Ko-Ko calls him in his incisive little song, whose name appears in the 'little list' of those who 'never will be missed,' and whose manifestations are so varied. There is the Bore Rampant, and there is the Bore Couchant. The bore who talks too much, too loud, and too insistently,

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who fixes you with his glittering eye and will not let your attention wander, who comes too often and stays too long, who talks about himself, or if it is a woman about her children or her diseases. This, in a general way, is the Bore Rampant. The Bore Couchant is a heavy, sluggish creature, devoid of imagination or tact, a social drone, who refuses to play his part in the game we all tacitly take part in when we mingle with our fellows.

An endeavor to enumerate the qualities that go to make up a bore is as difficult as to define charm. Both elude analysis, and what makes the matter still more confusing is the fact that one man's charmer may be another man's bore. But it is a thought not without comfort that, whereas each of us has probably been dubbed a bore by some charming person, it is equally probable that we have also been considered charming by certain bores. I shall set an example of truthfulness and confess to a trait by no means admirable: I should prefer to be called a liar, a hypocrite, a fool, or a knave rather than a bore. I should much prefer to be stupid than boring and there is a distinction between the two. I should rather be detained at Ellis Island for moral turpitude than marooned in isolated virtue in a crowded drawing room, wearing the badge of social leprosy involved in the word 'bore.'

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I have tried, for my own guidance, to tabulate a few general rules to avoid catching a disease that is, alas, contagious. The first essential is to talk too little rather than too much. Second, avoid detail. A sketch may be crude, inaccurate, and badly executed, but it is not boring. Cromwell's 'wart and all' theory should never be applied in conversation, in which the quality of selection is of its very essence. Third, if you must tell a story and please don't do so if you can help it


imitate the mannerisms or intonations of the people you are describing. I issue this prohibition thus definitely knowing that the real mimic, the artist among raconteurs, cannot be prevented from practising his talent by any dogmatic directions of mine, and thank goodness that it is so. But most of us, when we practise the tempting art of mimicry, are more boring than convincing. Fourth, look interested, and, if possible, be interested in what other people say. Do not let your eyes or your attention wander. A good listener is never a bore. We cannot all handle foils with skill, but we can all toss back the conversational ball when it is thrown at us, and it should be tossed back lightly—not hurled in the face of our opponent, who should be regarded as a partner in the social game rather than as an antagonist.

Of course all these headings may be summed up under the one essential quality-a sense of proportion. For those who like positive and affirmative rules, I append the following recipe for making


Take a mass of unleavened egotism. Chop a cupful of trite conversational chestnuts into small pieces, shells and all. Add a quart of dry facts, from which the juice of humor has been extracted, and a cupful of dates, stuffed with statistics. Stir in - very slowly — a pint of personal anecdote from which all imagination has been strained.

Flavor with the essence of complete indifference to anybody's taste but your own.

Pour into a mould stamped with your own image, and turn on to a platter garnished with plenty of thyme.

This dish has frequently appeared at social functions of the Rich and Great. I have given you the rules - it is for you to avoid following them.


THE advertising psychology of the newspapers is a peculiar thing. They will mutilate a news story to avoid a specific mention of advertised goods and on the same page present millions in publicity to another industry. The distinction between news and publicity is one which editors face daily, but which few or none can decide. Remember the space given to the Dodge stock, Valentino, and the Prize Fight and see what Earnest Elmo Calkins, a pioneer in advertising, has to say. ¶In the next war there will be no civilians; women and children and doughboys, let us educate them now so that they will know poison gas and high explosives when they meet them. A Progressive Militarist displays the full courage of his conviction. ¶In reading Carl Christian Jensen's account of his American marriage, remember that he was a twenty-year-old Dane, working as an electrician's apprentice, educating himself in English and science at night school, and earning and living on six dollars a week. Rudolph Fisher, one of the younger Negro writers, graduated with honors from Brown University and is now practising as an X-ray specialist in New York City. ¶President of St. Stephen's College, Annandale-on-Hudson, Bernard Iddings Bell stands us up against our ancestors and literally shames us into high thinking.


Amory Hare is a poet of whom we and Philadelphians have had occasions to be proud. ¶Adventuring through I. A. Richards's dizzy paper, we paused to catch our breath and wonder why it is so few Americans follow this sport at home. Lord Dunsany, the eighteenth baron of that title, is almost equally devoted to playwriting, prose, and the hunt. John Barker Waite gave up an experienced practice in order to become professor of law at the University of Michigan. In a series of articles of which this is the third, Professor

Waite has sought to divide the blame among those who are responsible for the present failure of our law enforcement. ¶Author and professor of psychology at Bryn Mawr, James H. Leuba spent last summer in Holland attending the International Congress of Psychology. In her

more serious moments Ellen N. La Motte is an authority on the opium problem. Her present narrative was written in old Westminster, not far from the Abbey. ¶True to tradition, Alice Brown, poet and novelist, follows the seasons from Beacon Hill to Newburyport and return. The Ruskin letters, the first installment of which we printed in the Atlantic for December, were originally written to Miss Jessie Leete, an English teacher whose death occurred shortly before this correspondence was delivered to Mr. Leonard Huxley. We are very glad to print these delightful letters in connection with the Cornhill Magazine. ¶As an employment manager on Wall Street and Up-State,' Anne W. Armstrong came into contact with business policies admirable and otherwise. Her earlier experiences on Wall Street appeared in the Atlantic for August 1925.

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