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I have no grudge against business men, but I know from actual experience and observation that the majority of them depend upon a woman's judgment in their guidance in many, many vital business issues. Should this same woman approach the age of fifty, they try delicately sometimes, more often otherwise, to get rid of her services, although women are keener when they approach middle life and their business experience gives them far greater insight than many men of the same age. Would any sane American consider President Coolidge too old for his job?

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"The Habit of Going to the Devil' was old before the earliest date given by Mr. Hulbert in your December number. Witness

The World, by Adam Fitz-Adam, published in 1747, contains a letter, in part as follows:

'I am not so partial to the ladies, particularly the unmarried ones, as to imagine them without fault; on the contrary, I am going to accuse them of a very great one, which if not put a stop to before the warm weather comes in, no mortal can tell to what lengths it may be carried. You have already hinted at this fault in the sex, under the genteel appellation of moulting their dress. If necks, shoulders, etc., have begun to shed their covering in winter, what a general display of nature are we to expect this summer, when the excuse of heat may be alleged in favor of such display? I called some time ago upon a friend of mine near St. James's, who, upon my asking where his sister was, told me, "At her toilette,

UNDRESSING for the ridotto." That the expression may be intelligible to every one of your readers, I beg leave to inform them that it is the fashion for a lady to UNDRESS herself to go abroad, and to DRESS only when she stays at home and sees no company.

'It may be urged, perhaps, that the nakedness in fashion is intended only to be emblematical of the innocence of the present generation of young ladies; as we read of our first mother, before the fall, that she was naked and not ashamed; but I cannot help thinking that her daughters of these times should convince us that they are entirely free from original sin, as well as transgression, or else be ashamed of their NAKEDNESS.

'I would ask any pretty miss about town, if she went a second time to see the waxwork, or the lions, or even the dogs and the monkies, with the same delight as at first? Certain it is, that the finest show in the world excites but little curiosity in those who have seen it before. "That was a very fine picture," says my lord, "but I had seen it before!" ""T was a sweet song of the Galli's," says my lady, "but I had heard it before!" "A very fine poem," says the critic, "but I had read it before." Let every lady therefore take care, that while she is displaying in public a bosom whiter than snow, the men do not look as if they were saying, ""T is very pretty, but we have seen it before!"

So you see, 179 years ago there were pessimists wailing in the wilderness—as to-day-and 'the world' grows better nevertheless.

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To have one's slumbers disturbed by a severe shaking is not a pleasant thing. An earthquake was very evident at 4.30 A.M. on the seventeenth of September and it was with difficulty that I managed to get out of the house. I could hear things smashing in every direction. My first thought was of the tidal waves that would surely follow the earthquake. I called to some native laborers to go to our launch which was anchored a little distance away, for only immediate action would save it.

Then the tidal waves were evident. At the first wave, the sea completely emptied itself, and only reef was visible, but the tide returned. Then the waves became severe and lasted about two hours. The sea rushed right over the banks

and the earthquake left the Island full of cracks and holes in the earth and with several lava slides. I longed for the moon to shine, but there was not even a star in the skies. When daylight appeared I was able to see the actual damage.

All the houses were at an angle. The whole Island seemed out of repair and it was a disaster one is not likely to forget. The tidal waves completely washed away part of the foreshore. This is the second earthquake this year and the old chiefs tell me they have never experienced them till now. The weather has been severe for months. Abnormally low tides, then abnormally high. The natives are terrified and declare it is due to evil spirits on the reefs. I was here alone and three native boys were of little or no use. Their motto is, 'Every man for himself, and God for us all.'

For four days after the earthquake there were earth tremors every ten minutes and I was in constant dread of another severe shake, so I was obliged to sleep under God's blue skies. I am glad to think I am alive to tell the tale.

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What is good sportsmanship? The other night I was playing 'smut' with a group of people and for three or four hours I succeeded in missing the burnt cork. The rest of the crowd only needed black bathing suits to be 'niggers.' They were simply wild to initiate me into their élite group, but because of their impatience and a natural ability for card playing on my part they consistently failed. Finally in desperation the three men in the game invited the ladies to quit. For the sake of the fight I consented to play on, although I had long since tired of the game. Then lo and behold, when I would get out first they would want to quit and start over again, promising me that when I did get 'smutted' I would get more in one time than any of them had. I was n't even to have a chance at 'smutting' them. What was I? Simply a victim put up to slaughter. They grumbled and said I was n't a good sport because I insisted on 'smutting' all of them when I finished first unless they played it out. Then when I began to lay the smut thicker and thicker on them because there was no unsmutted place, in desperation they resorted to crooked means. The climax was reached when I was beaten largely because one of the three who was already out looked at my hand and told the others how to play. When I protested they very emphatically told me I was not a good sport! Perhaps I was n't, but neither

is the rabbit who won't sit by the roadside and let the hunter kill him without the trouble of alighting from his car. And then the rabbit, to be an ultra good sport, in his last throes of death should kick toward the car so the chauffeur could reach forth a long arm and get it.

If that is their code of sportsmanship it is because their ego prompts them that only luck can beat their superior intelligence, therefore to combat luck they should resort to any means. Lord help the poor, misguided sport who quits a poker game when he is a winner. He should by all means stay until all of the potshotters trim him, when they will trump up excuses to quit which will not violate good sportsmanship. Now, what is good sportsmanship?

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Somebody said somewhere of books, 'While it is a very plesaunt thynge to have meny, he whose collection has come to be other than the means and signs of culture, or the beloved companions of his solitude, has passed a perilous line,' and I would point to this old saying as a text for all those engaged in the happy occupation of book gathering.

The embryonic collector would certainly lose courage upon reading 'On Finishing Collector' in your November issue. What chance for him, with Carolyn Wells and all the other 'finishing' addicts, with practically unlimited funds, in the field?

'Be not discouraged,' I say to him, in the words of the poet whom the contributor designates a conceited old egoist. 'Be not discouraged, there are divine things well developed. I swear to you, there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.' For that is what I have found in my own modest little collecting of Whitmaniana over a period of fifteen years.

Each precious volume has a story of its own, sometimes of sharp self-denial. This second edition of Leaves of Grass, for instance (the one that stirred up so much criticism by its publication of Emerson's letter), reminds me of the winter I gladly wore an old coat to buy it. The family said I was a disgrace to them that year, but I was warm — warm with affection for my longed-for book.

Then came the autographed 'Birthday Edition,' with its personal dedication (how I wish there was space to quote it, so apropos it is to this subject). Shall I ever forget the great day when my children combined their financial

resources and gave me that treasure for a Christmas gift?

My second volume of the two-volumed Centennial edition cost me but a trifle, but to complete it I gladly sacrificed the price of a new hat (amid more groans from the family).

These instances of a few of the joys of the unfinisher could be multiplied indefinitely, for each item acquired has brought with it a satisfaction and refreshment never to be had by purchasing collections as one does groceries, clothing, furniture, or other material necessaries of life.

Your finishing collector knows nothing of the real joys of the book hunter. She is merely 'possessed with a mania for owning things.' The unfinisher, on the contrary, finds not only her collection but her whole life enriched by personal contacts with those most delightful folk, fellow collectors and booksellers, through whose intelligent sympathy and guidance she is led into closer association with the 'Great Companions.'

MADGE BARTON FEURER

***

From one who is almost persuaded. CEDARBURG, WIS.

DEAR ATLANTIC,

I am very interested in the article, 'Islam and Christianity,' in the November issue, for I am at present seriously considering joining Islam. The article disappointed me in one respect. It failed to strike at the real weakness of Christianity its paranoiac belief that it alone of all religions given to humanity is the chosen vehicle for the world's redemption. There is to my knowledge no other religion which holds this impossible belief. Small wonder that Islam does not yield to the missionarizing efforts of Christianity!

Mr. Hutchison shows more than the usual spirit of fair play when he counts Christianity as equally guilty with Islam in bloodshed and religious wars. Personally, however, I am inclined to question that Islam ever was guilty of such cruelties as the inquisition committed in the name of Christ. In the Western world 'the unspeakable Turk' has become a synonym of religious persecution and torture; history forces one to wonder whether 'the unspeakable Christian' would not be as applicable, or more so.

One of the puzzles of my life is the utter blindness of supposedly educated ministers, in an age which glorifies facts, to the unmistakable testimony of history. As the daughter of a minister I had been brought up in the most orthodox fashion and had caught the habits of thought of Christian circles, but my reading of Poole's translation of the Koran left me with a firm resolve never to believe any statement disparaging

to any religion made by anyone, missionaries or otherwise, without first-hand investigation.

History bears witness that the 'unspeakable Turk' was far more generous in the treatment of defeated enemies than were the Christian crusaders. Nor may we ignore the fact that Islam played a big part in bringing about the Renaissance which ended the Dark Ages into which the Western world had sunk under purely Christian rule.

There is a widespread belief that Islam encourages carnal gratification. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are few Christians who would be willing to practise the self-control demanded of Muslims during the month of Ramadan alone and it would be just as justifiable to lay Western 'gold-madness' to Saint John's vision of the City of Gold as to blame moral aberrations of the followers of Islam on the material pleasures of paradise described in the Koran. The one is as much of a symbol as the other and it is only failure to grasp the meaning of Oriental symbology that gives prurient significance to Islamic descriptions of paradise.

I am not a convert to Islam in a strict sense. I do not know any professed followers of the creed personally. One interchange of letters with a European mission of that faith is the extent of my personal contact with it. To join or not to join is largely a question of possibilities of greatest service. It is Islam's fearless devotion to truth that attracts me and the tenderness of its love that holds me - for Islam knows the tender compassionate Christ no less than does Christianity. Is He not the world-teacher of this era, the inspirer and sustainer of all religions even though Christianity refuses to see Him in any but the Jesus incarnation? Knowing the needs of the world, He devises manifold ways of guiding His children home. Islam recognizes this fact and Christianity does not. How can it hope to convert the former?

Unless Christianity rids itself of the delusion of grandeur that it alone is the chosen vehicle of God it will not only fail in realizing its dreams of world dominion, but it will be in danger of losing its place among the great religions of the world.

Mr. Hutchison is right. All that Christianity needs to do is to become genuinely filled with the love of Christ. If it then still fails to convert its Islamic brethren it will not mind, for with real love the desire to proselyte automatically ceases. It will value the love and coöperation and trust of its Islamic brethren far more than their conversion. One of the first fruits of genuine love as applied to religious questions must always be a great tolerance and a fairness in representing the beliefs of others. Christianity has much to atone for in this respect — especially to Islam. E. STRASSBURGER

MARCH, 1927

THE AMERICAN SECRET

BY THOMAS T. READ

COLUMBUS discovered America, but the United States as an economic entity has been discovered by Europe since the World War. Not only the production of war material and the loans and gifts made to Europe after the Armistice, but above all the quick economic recovery made here after the war, created a profound impression on the older continent. Two things happened as a result. The first was the widespread conviction that the loans made in and after the war should be regarded as gifts, and the second was a widespread interest in ascertaining how it came about that we could spend enormous sums on the war and still remain prosperous. What was the secret of our workmen being steadily employed at a daily rate about equal to the weekly wage of European workmen?

So, in the past few years, delegation after delegation has come over from Europe, employers, workmen, investigators of all sorts, to study us and return to write books about what they saw, or thought they saw, here. The curious thing is that practically none of them indicate that they attained any real understanding of the fundamentals of our economic organization.

VOL. 139-NO. 3

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But perhaps it is not curious after all, for the most tyrannous thing in the world is a point of view, and an attempt to describe us from the European point of view is almost certain to produce a result similar to that of the blind men of the poem who attempted a description of an elephant. Also, it is quite probable that we do not clearly understand ourselves, on the average, in spite of our reputation for being the most introspective of peoples. What I shall have to say here strikes at the root of the American system.

Human well-being largely consists of having material things and the leisure to enjoy them. Cant immediately interpolates that it is better to be spiritually rich and materially poor than to be spiritually poor and materially rich-a truism that generally correlates the fallacy that being materially rich tends to spiritual poverty, or, conversely, that spiritual richness is promoted by material poverty. Probably this false reasoning has its origin in the circumstance that Jesus was a poor man, for few are intelligent enough to observe that the character of Jesus would have been equally consistent with the possession of wealth. The well-known conversation with the

rich young man was intended to convey a point of view to the latter and not to assert the necessity for poverty as prerequisite for spiritual salvation. Now the only way to have material things is to do work. The nomad hunter who wishes to spend the night in comfort must work to construct a bed and a shelter, and, by the same token, I am at this present moment enjoying a vast amount of work that someone else has done for me. The roof that shelters me from the rain, the steam that keeps me warm, the electricity and the reading lamp at just the right angle over my shoulder, the comfortable chair, the writing tablet, and the pencil that needs no sharpening, are all the results of intelligent, well-directed work. I can have them, not because I have money, for I have none beyond my pay check, but because I have been able to trade my own work for the results of other people's work.

The European analysis of this situation concerns itself with the technique of trading the least amount of my work for the greatest possible amount of other people's work- an essentially individual solution, or, I might say, an uncivilized solution. Herbert Spencer has explained at length how thegreatest individual benefit is attained through striving for the general good, but the Socialist group and the Menckenites have generally succeeded in obscuring the truth of this general principle, with the paradoxical result that the only really intelligent Socialists in the world are 'capitalistic' employers. This 'bourgeois' group has been able to make a much more civilized and accurate analysis, which is as follows.

Admitting that the things everybody wants are the result of work, how can we get the most results from the least work? There are three evident things to do. The first is to direct work so

that it does away with the necessity for repeated work, like piping water into the house instead of continually carrying it from a spring. The second is to analyze work and its products so as to eliminate everything that does not aid in attaining the desired result. Motion study is the example of this that will be easiest understood, but nearly all research falls into this group, whether it concerns the hardening of steel to permit giving the tool a sharper edge so that it will cut more with less work, or the making of artificial silk to eliminate the necessity for tending silkworms. The third thing is the multiplying of work, which began when the first man hitched an animal to the crooked stick with which he was breaking the soil and has attained the stage of hitching Niagara to the needs of the average man; and the end is not yet.

The third is by far the most important, things being as they are, for all human experience indicates that a man cannot do enough work in a year to afford him much comfort, unless he is able to multiply his work in this way. The great countries like China and India, where work is not multiplied, are countries where humankind, on the average, lives on the lowest plane of well-being. This is not for lack of intelligence, for the Japanese have shown how an Oriental people can, when it accepts the Western point of view, attain results that are comparable with ours.

Let me repeat here that I refuse to be led aside into any discussion as to whether the religious preoccupation of the Oriental is not more important to the human soul than attention to material things. I have had considerable first-hand contact with Oriental religion and I cannot see that it produces less crime and more happiness than the tenets of Rotary clubs, nor is it clear

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