The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Little Review, October 1915 (Vol. 2, No. 7)

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Title: The Little Review, October 1915 (Vol. 2, No. 7)

Author: Various

Editor: Margaret C. Anderson

Release date: October 17, 2021 [eBook #66551]

Language: English

Original publication: United States: Margaret C. Anderson

Credits: Jens Sadowski and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at This book was produced from images made available by the Modernist Journal Project, Brown and Tulsa Universities.


The Little Review

Literature Drama Music Art



Songs and Sketches Ben Hecht
The Dionysian Dreiser The Scavenger
Leather Lane Mitchell Dawson
Etchings Alexander S. Kaun
The Truth Burt Harris
Romain Rolland Ellen Key
Poems— Witter Bynner
I Shall Come to You Again  
A Glimpse at Russia, An Editorial  
Sophomoric Epigrams A. E. D.
Henri and Manship C. A. Z.
The Reader Critic  

Published Monthly

Entered as second-class matter at Postoffice, Chicago

The Little Review

Vol. II


No. 7

Copyright, 1915, by Margaret C. Anderson

Songs and Sketches

Ben Hecht



Who hath not sung to thee, Night? So silent; so deep. But this night thou hast given thyself to me. Thy black wings brush silently against my soul.

Thou hast come to me, for I feel thee resting like a soft sorrow on my heart.

Thou who art alive with the shadowed wounds of ages hast heard me crying out to embrace thee, my soul beseeching thee to fold me against thy black bosom. And in answer thou hast let the mysticism of thy wonder-gloom sink into me until my soul hath opened to receive its kiss.

Tonight no one but I shall sing to thee. For thou art my mistress. Thy blackness and mine have wedded. And now thy dark kiss stingeth like a pain in me.

Into thy long arms I give myself. Night, Night, thou art so filled with longing. I hear the soft lament of thy deep heart murmuring to me.

Thy dim fingers trail across my face in a blind caress.

I feel thy yielding body that is spirit more than my spirit behind the somber veils thou wearest. I possess thee and our sorrows swell into an ecstacy.

Night, thou art the beautiful shadow thrown upon the earth by my sorrow.

I have carried thee a buried miracle in my soul of souls until this hour—when thou hast taken wings and flown out of me to confront me.

Night, my Night, let me enter now into thy darkness until all life beats in vain outside the obscurity of my soul. I would vanish from myself.

Night, my somber mistress, upon thy face my tears shine as stars and make thee more beautiful.

Night, thou art infinity revealed. I will stir thy ancient fires on thy cold lips until thou willst thunder to me with thy hidden voices out of thy vast silence.

Night, I open my heart to hear but I hear only my heart crying out. Speak.

Beautiful one, I sing to thee for bringing me the madness of silence. I sing to thee, for thou art mine; for thou art fierce and pregnant with still wounds.

Night. Behold! I know thee. I have seen the black flames of thy spirit that burn in the depths of thee. I have heard the murmuring music of thy tears.

Thou art glorious. Come. Come, thou and I shall make of our sorrow rejoicing. Come, place thy long, cool fingers in mine and lead me beyond.

Night! Night! Thy face is paling. Thou art stricken. Thou art treading silently away without me.

Night—thou hast taken from me the pain of thy kisses. There hath come into thy deep eyes a weariness. Thou art dying. Thou art dying from my arms. The red glow of death burneth in thy face and is transforming thee.

Night, where shall I find thee again? Where shall I seek thee?

The dreadful day that is thy white shadow hath come. And a part of me hath died.

Sleep Song

I lay in a field of black flowers, and there were purple veins and green that floated like thin worms about me.

There were soft thick shapes swaying liquidly, moving unseen, and I lay under them gripped by soft thick mists.

Deep under them I lay hidden and they pulled me deeper into the field rolling softly around me.

A sorrow that had pursued me in my soul left me as I vanished, left me and floated above the flowers.

And I saw a white face drifting away like a pale bubble over the top of my black garden.

A white face like a dim sorrow, like a mute pain, drifting far away; the white face of a dead love searching in vain for me, in vain.

The day was a white monster, naked and bellowing; grinning after me with its buildings that were jagged rows of dirty teeth. There was no place to hide from my sorrow.

It lay in the sky that winked at me like a vast and blue and relentless eye. And it lay in the sun that burned like a golden grotesque. It lay in every laugh and in every beauty and in every little bird that lost itself over the water.

I felt the black flowers grow blacker and higher and I moved deeper into the blackness.

And then a sorrow that had pursued me in my soul left me as I vanished.

It floated away over the tops of the black flowers and I saw her white face moving from me like a pale bubble.

I saw the white face of a dead love moving beyond the soft shapes that swayed unseen; drifting away like a mute pain and searching in vain for me, in vain.

I ran, but there was no place to run; for the monster day ran after, glaring like a white torment, shouting and scampering after, and there was no place to hide.

Now the day was a white grave opened to me. Now it was a wide wave breaking over me.

And now it was a great bird, white-breasted and grey-pinioned, flying after me and after, bearing my sorrow in its blue beak; racing after me until its heart burst in the west and it sank, bleeding gorgeously across the sky.

And still I ran; but now the night came, running after, and there was no place to hide from my sorrow.

I fled in the streets before the darkness. But the stars found me and the trees loomed after me and the houselights followed me and the darkness wept around me—and they were my sorrow.

But there on the distant verge, where the night sinks exhausted into the blood-red arms of the white monster leaping over the world again, I fell; deep I fell.

Far into a hidden land where I lay hidden; hidden in a field of black flowers that were threaded with purple veins and green floating like thin worms about me.

Autumn Song

My heart scatters tears over the dark day. The dull silvered poplar leaves float in the air like dead butterflies.

It is the autumn come again, speaking with its soft-tongued winds to the trees and to me.

It is cold. I have lost my warmth. I have lost thee. And the autumn has come again to tell me of it.

Listen to the sad-tongued winds. See the storm faltering in the street. It is cold.

It is the autumn come again, the autumn in whose wild sad treasures we once laughed; once when your hot hands reached out to me like a bright cry mocking the somber lisping of the twilight season.

Where are the songs I sang, the songs that leaped out of flame? Do they echo still in your listening ears? Do they fall like warm tears in your heart?

See the winds droop wearily into the trembling tree arms. See the street grows pale. A dying panoply drifts across the grey-girthed sky.

Ho, Life, I have still a song for you. Though you come whispering to me from the golden tombs of youth, from the scarlet graves of love, I will make of the lament you bring me—music. I will make of the dull tears you bring me—lyrics. I will clothe the grey ghosts of sorrow in rich trappings.

For it is only she who hath died. It is only she whom I loved with all my soul. Though my heart scatter tears over the dark day they are the tears of plenty. For her death hath enriched me.

For the autumn is come again speaking with its soft-tongued winds to the trees and to me things I have never heard before; things that her white breasts never told me; things that her burning lips never said to me; wild, sad things that the flame from whence my songs once leaped never held for me.

The dull silvered poplar leaves float in the air like dead butterflies, and they are beautiful.

Death Song

Last night you came and sat by my bed in a little dark room and boasted to me like a child.

“I have come to destroy the sun,” you said; “I will take the great, yellow sun in my fingers and blow on it once and it will go out like a match.”

And I wondered, because the sun is so large and hot, how such a little one as you could blow it out like a match.

But you said: “I will blow once into the night and the stars will sputter like little flames in a great wind and scatter away in ashes. And the moon will spin around and around like a bright coin until it breaks into little black bits.”

And I wondered because the night was so far, how such a little breath as yours could reach into its soul.

But you said: “I will go out and touch the trees and the green leaves will shrivel and the brown trunks will vanish. I will breathe just once on the houses, the great big houses of iron and wood and stone, and they will sway like long pieces of black cloth in the wind and they will melt into a dark mist.”

And I wondered and wondered.

But you said: “In an instant I will walk up and down all the roads you have known; I will wander in all the fields you have wandered and pass through all the highways you have been. And each place that I move in will cease to be. Under my feet the earth will become a powder and vanish.”

Then you said, for I had ceased to wonder and was listening sadly: “I will go to your beloved whose hair is like the silk on the corn and whose eyes are like the deeps of the sea and I will smile on her and she will become as nothing. She will become as a speck of dust and she will never be again.”

And I wondered again how such a little one as you could make my beloved into a speck of dust when she was so beautiful.

But you said: “I will touch all the faces you have seen with the point of my finger and they will change into little dark clouds and I will blow them away with the stars and the moon and the yellow sun.”

And I thought of all the faces you boasted to destroy and wondered—because there were so many.

But you said: “Do you remember the little bird you saw hopping on the stones in the park one day: I will go find the little bird and lay my hand on her and she will never hop on the stones again.”

I remembered the little bird.

And you said: “Do you remember the wide, green water that rolled itself into a great colored ball and bounced up and down under the sun? Listen—I will go and blow on the water and it will disappear into a single drop. And I will bring this drop back to you to wear in your eyes when they close.”

And I wondered and wondered.

But you said: “Listen:—there is an old woman who smiles when she thinks of you. I will walk up behind her and touch her gently on the shoulder and she will vanish.”

And I murmured, “Do not touch the old woman.”

But you said: “Listen:—I will lay my hand over all the wild notes and sweet notes you have heard and they will be hushed. I will kill the songs that lie unborn in the earth and the sea and the cherry trees and in the white throats of birds and women and in the hearts of men.”

And I wondered how such a little one as you could hush so great a chorus.

But you came closer to me and said: “I have come to destroy the world for you, to pluck out every little blade of grass and every flower, to brush away the stars and kick over the hills and tear up all the fields.”

It was dark in the little room where we were and I sighed.

And you came closer to me and said: “I will gather up in a great, black bag everyone and everything and every God you have known and I will drop them into a great, black hole. And listen:—and then you will be alone.”


The Synagogue

This street in the ghetto looks at night

Like a prison corridor,

And the houses facing it are dark cells.

And then you come to a block where the rickety, thin tenements

Rise like gnawed, patient pencils tracing crazy star lines

In the sky.

And then you come to the Synagogue of Judas the Servant,

A little church of the Jews

Crouching on its knees

And enveloped in the rags of cheap saloons and hovels.

It thrusts its iron star into the night

Like a strange voice whispering in a dark place.

And its stained walls impregnated with an ancient faith

Murmur stoically to the stars of burning prayers and hopeless sobs

And other things they have never heard.

And if you stand before it for a time

Strange wild things will cry out of the shadows,

And you will see the torn, bleeding image of a race

Whom Christ crucified.

In the Sun

O what a day!

The buildings are bursting into bloom—

Huge, dazzling flowers sweeping against the heaven;

Dizzy ferns waving like dreadful fans under the flying clouds.

The shining windows flutter down like a shower of golden petals.

O what a day!

The buildings are crashing into bloom;

Gleaming stalks of purple sprawling with a graceful frenzy into space.

Smoke monsters dance lazily over their heads.

The sky swims like a blue butterfly in and out among them.

The streets race away.

A golden wind sweeps with a roar through the world that has become a fierce gorgeous garden, and it nods breathlessly.

Out of its blazing depths color leaps and the growling music of a torn God singing in pain.

O what a day.

Beauty bursting into madness.

On the Beach

The lake comes gliding in and in,

And gliding out it goes,

Running up and back on the ribbon of the beach

That plays with its silver toes.

And the lake reaches down to the hem of its gown

With its cool curved wind of a hand,

And throws out its petticoat lacy and white

With a swish-swish over the sand.

Its blue dress fluttering, tinted with the sun,

Hangs from its girdle white-spaced,

And a far ship riding with its nose in hiding

Stands black like a buckle at its waist.

It begins to rain and the lake birds fly

With a whir and an angry screech,

As the thin grey fingers reach down from the sky

And tap, tap faintly on the beach.

Digging little holes for an elfin folk,

Pointing up the water like a grate;

And the sky moves closer like a gust of smoke

And behind it crouch and wait

Great half shapes and grey cloud apes,

And a grey, old water crew,

And the lake birds fly with their wings awry,

Searching in their faces for the blue.

Now the long rain chants in the grasses on the hill,

And the lake runs in with a frightened sound,

And sullen and wet the sand sinks low,

Like a heavy brown cloud on the ground.

On the hill top green the trees bend away

And brood as they lower and bend,

And grey things walk beyond the grey

Where the sands and the waters end.

The rain has stopped and the earth like a bride

Has hung white petals in her hair,

And the sky draws back till the white clouds ride

Like soft white gardens in the air.

And a butterfly flutters like an endless note

Over the lake’s thin brink,

And the sand takes off its heavy brown coat

And the cloud apes vanish and sink.

The gay water dawns and the grasshopper pipes

And the lake glides in anew,

Dressed in greens and in awning stripes,

And little birds leap toward the blue.

The Dionysian Dreiser

Theodore Dreiser is the greatest novelist in America. It is not a distinction. He has written poor novels. His latest novel, The “Genius” published by John Lane Company is loose in parts. It limps. It loses its breath. It grows thin. But it is a novel of sweep and magnitude, of sledge hammer blows and fine chiseling. In the caramel chorus of America’s chirping fictionists Dreiser raises the smooth, virile voice of an artist. And there is no voice like his in America.

I prefer to write of what Dreiser has done in The “Genius” than to tell in detail of what it is about. Calmly, aloofly with a consummate dispassion Dreiser has thrust his magic pen home into the heart of American Puritanism. God forgive him. God forgive the publishers. God forgive everybody who reads the book and forgive me who write about it. For American Puritanism is a sacred thing, as sacred as the gilt on the cathedral altar places, as hallowed as the bathroom in a bawdy house. And Dreiser has peeled off the gilt and ruthlessly thrust open the door. May he be cursed with the wrath of an avenging public conscience. May he be made to wither under the distinction of being a maniacal sensualist, a libidinous ruffian, a lascivious distiller of corrupting langours. Amen.

Against the gray-dirt background, the shallow-hued smears of his many contemporaries, Dreiser’s book stands forth like a red cry of truth. It is not the book of a man enraged with the narrowness of a country, sputtering against the insipidity of its composite ideals. Dreiser never descends to the punitive hectoring of a Robert Herrick. Nor does he join the plaintive assaults upon the pusillanimous conventions which characterize the “advanced” fiction of the country. He does not make his men and women vehicles for the antiquated day dream of brotherhood bosh. He does not prostitute his work in dramatizing the current quibbles, marketing asinine public convulsions in the literary capsules so commonly compounded by our quack “creators.” All these things he does not do and if the reading public of today will not reward him, the God of Dostoevsky, Flaubert, Huysmanns, Shakespeare and Ambrose Bierce will.

What Dreiser does do is tell a straightforward story, tell it with all the painstaking genius of the old Flemish painters. And he uses for his background not the isolated strata of any single calling, but a country—your world and mine and our neighbor’s. Life is greater than any of its truths, sings Theodore Dreiser. There are many kinds of good, many kinds of standards and many kinds of virtue. There is the virtue of farmer Blue, the solid, masculine, clear and open virtue rooted in the laws of the land and the rigmarole of society; thriving on the long, brown roads, the ploughed fields and the homely beauties of existence. And there is the virtue of Eugene Witla, the aesthetic, vibrating pursuit of beauty rooted in the soul of the artist, thriving on the illusive lust of women, the intangible urge of inspiration; spitting in the face of laws unnatural to it and the fallacies that would be its fetters. Yes, says Dreiser, (I do not quote him), life is a wide field bearing on its bosom beautiful flowers that do not resemble each other and that require widely different care and nourishment. To think that such commonplaces should be distinctive notes in the art of a country! But they are. If you have read these things into novels before you have not read them into American novels. I do not recall a single hero in American fiction, who is not a Puritan, who does not suffer when he sins, whom the indulgence of his desire for women does not inspire to repentance and “reform” and success as the blue literary laws of America demand. For further particulars on this general subject see Mr. Mencken’s fulmination in last month’s Smart Set.

On this broad canvas of thought it is that Dreiser works. In his new novel he begins in a little town in Illinois. Out of the midst of a mediocre family living in the concentric provincialism of the middle west he launches his young hero Witla—a lad suffering from dreams and stomach trouble and a vague distinguishing unrest. His types are masterpieces. His style, shorn of pretentious reticence or rhetorical pomp, is the painstaking and poetical diction he revealed in Jennie Gerhardt. But he is not infallible. There are sentences, paragraphs which jar. Although his strokes in delineating character and situation are swift and certain, his language often seems lame, his words watery, his phrases trite. But these are as the flaws of a panoramic pen crowded at moments to a point of impatience and not the faults of a weak writer. The effect is untouched. His people breathe out of the pages. They are personalities. From beginning to end Dreiser reveals a psychology of character amazing in its range and detachment. Witla as a boy lives in Alexandria, Illinois. Dreiser traces the development of his soul and sex and struggle out of the blanketing bourgois of his birthplace. The young ’Gene answers the call of beauty, without knowing what it is that calls him. He comes to Chicago. He is a laundry wagon driver, a collector for an installment furniture house, a student of the old Art Institute, a worker in the art department of a newspaper. Dreiser traces him out of the half way stratas of Chicago to New York, to success, and then through a labyrinth of incidents all interesting and big. He follows him through one development after another until Witla, the painter, realizes himself. I cannot begin to tell what the book is about. It is partially a depiction of the struggle between an artist husband and a “good woman” who is his wife, partly the struggle between the flesh and the spirit of the same husband and the tale of their final adjustment. It is an Odyssey of a type of man in whom the future of the arts rest as they always have rested. In the 736 pages there are persons of every type. You will meet everyone you have known and many you have dreamed of knowing. Every shade of womanhood flashes between the covers. It is as a novel should be—complete. It tingles with the quick spasmodic life of the city, of the country, the factory, the field, the drawing room. And above all, it breathes the atmosphere of America’s art life, the lively, struggling workers of the studio.

Witla, however, remains Dreiser’s calm, masterful argument against the one-sided perversions of the Puritan. Witla is a genius. What are you going to do with him, you proselyting blue stocking? Such a detached study in perfidious polygamy is enough to damn the very printers who set the type for the book. Here is a man of strong ideals, great productive talent, an indispensable contributor to life, who naively considers setting up an establishment for his pretty model just after he has proposed matrimony to the woman he loves at the time with all the finest desires of his nature; a miserable fellow who ruins and ravishes without compunction every shapely creature who crosses his path. He is without even unconscious morality, innate morality. Woman is beauty when she is anything and to possess beauty is the motive force in his life. His eye possesses the beauty of the city’s filth and dirt, the beauty of landscape, his mind possesses the beauty of books and talk and other minds, and his body the beauty of passion wherever he encounters it. Logical, natural, primitive and entirely artistic. But immoral? God, yes. No one woman can satisfy a man unless he deliberately stunts himself, is the Dreiserian Gospel. A man needs blonde women, brunette women, short ones and tall ones, radical ladies and conservative creatures—that is, a man like Witla does. And is Witla a supreme type, a distinctive Sanine sort of fellow? Not a bit of it. Whether Dreiser thought he is, I don’t know. He doesn’t say. But he isn’t. He is man and not artist in his “sins.”

There is naturally more color to his escapades, to his “pursuit of beauty,” for he is the “genius” with an eye to shades and a soul for nuances not possessed by his more hum drum brothers. To him matrimony is naturally a pit, a degradation, a series of cages, for he is the eternal masculine. But how many men are there who have always been faithful to their wives? What? I do not know of a single one. In his high lighted type of Witla, Dreiser tells of this rudely, brutally and beautifully—with the indifference of a Juggernaut and the cunning of a magician.

Really, you of the firm-fireside-faith, what is there to be done? Here is the Dionysian dastard who dares proclaim that life is a decent, orderly routine and that life is also a wild, warm passionate thing; that it is also a flame in which there is only one color, the red, golden color of youth.

And the answer is—howl. A howl will go up, I swear it. It will start from the critics.

I can almost read their forthcoming reviews as I close my eyes.

“A sensually depraved and degenerate type.”

“Striking at the bed rock of public solidarity, of home happiness, of everything decent and worth while.”

And America’s reading public—“Horrible, filthy.”

Howl, you who have stultified your artists and buried them under the gingerbread morality of your own monotonous lives. Dreiser is the one novelist being published in America today who doesn’t listen to you, who describes you at your various bests, who wrings the pathos and joys out of your little worlds; who paints in with the brush of a universal art what you and I are doing in Alexandria and Chicago and New York and all the milk-station stops between.

I am not a disciple of the Dreiserian Gospel. I would like to argue with him the certain superiorities of monogamy for the artist. But he has limned a hero who is not a sugar-coated moralizer. He has ignored superbly the mob-begotten mandates of literary excellence. Whatever his faults of composition or construction, and there are not so many as his friends endeavor to make out there are, he has magnificently booted the reading public, the morally subsidized critics and the very publishers in the coarsest regions of their bodies—their souls.

And for these things I hail him as the greatest novelist in the country. I acclaim him as the only real, uncontaminated genius of these States and pray to God that my friend Sherwood Anderson will hurry up and get published so that there will be two of them.

The Scavenger.

Leather Lane

Three restless gas-jets

In Leather Lane;

A thousand faces,

Wandering in the night,

Too dull for pain.

God saw;

God quenched the light.

But God had not choked

The clamor of gaunt curses

That stalk in Leather Lane,


Blatant with strength of dour years.

God heard;

God stopped His ears.


God had forgot His nose,

And in the stench that rose

From Leather Lane,

God died.

Mitchell Dawson.


Alexander S. Kaun

I. Gratitude

On the play-grounds. The pretty girl and I withdrew from the noisy festival to the desolate fountain. It was too hot to think, so I merely talked.

An old, ragged, grey-bearded, gibbous Jew, with a basket over his arm, was slowly approaching us.

The meaningless eyes of the pretty girl clouded.

Peddlers are not allowed on the grounds. He must have sneaked in.”

The Jew stood at our side. He said nothing, but his timid eyes appealed.

It was too hot to think, but for a moment I thought that a waft of eternity breathed upon me from out the sad, timid eyes, and from out the folds of the soiled old coat, and from out the clotty grey beard of the descendant of Isaiah and the Maccabees.

“I shall buy some peaches, yes?”

The pretty girl twitched her little nose.

“But they are dusty.”

“Oh, no. See, they are covered.”

The sad, timid eyes smiled at me. I looked into the depth of those eyes-of-ages. A half frivolous notion passed through my mind: I raised the fruit, and pronounced the ancient Hebrew blessing:

Barukh atah, Adonay, elohenu melekh haolam, bore pri haetz.” (Blessed art Thou, O Lord, our God, creator of the fruit of the tree.)

The sad eyes became faintly radiant and moist. A suggestion of a smile appeared around the hairy mouth. The lips mumbled something inaudible. A lean brown hand rubbed the glossy side of the coat, and tremblingly extended to me. I grasped it, embarrassed.

Lange Johren magt Ihr hoben, lange Johren auf Euch!” (Long years may you have, long years unto you!)

I turned to the pretty girl. With her handkerchief she was diligently rubbing off a drop of juice from her white blouse.

It was too hot to think, so I resumed our playful talk.

II. Nocturne

It was night, and soft and blue and starry. A uniformed nurse emerged from the dark alley of the park, and heavily dropped on the bench where I sat. For some time she leaned backward, her eyes closed, her breast heaving, her mouth half open. Then she looked widely, straightened herself, sighed deeply, and casually glanced at me and at my box of paints.

“Are you an artist?”

“Yes. Obviously, you are a nurse?”

She nodded, and burst forth into a rapid talk, as if she had long been waiting for an opportunity to unburden herself.

“Just got off duty. See those lighted windows across the road? That is our hospital. Ah, I shan’t stand it much longer. Moans and groans, suffering, tears, madness—God! You know, it starts at twilight. As soon as the sun sets all the miseries get loose. Even the quiet patients become delirious and raise bedlam. And so till midnight. It will drive me insane. Give me a cigarette, will you? There is nobody around at this time.”

Her “shop talk” bored me. Silently I gave her a cigarette and a light, and watched her inhaling the smoke eagerly and intently. Her grey striped dress with the tight white apron outlined a light, slender body, a supple breast, and full strong arms. Her face was in the shadow, but my professional eyes noticed its lovely oval contours. The little white cap seemed toyishly small on the vast mass of disobedient hair. She flung away the cigarette, and turned to me:

“Thanks, stranger. Why don’t you say something? Ah, what a night! See the blue mist away there beneath the trees, and see that big oak—it’s like a tower. Gee, I am getting romantic. Ah, what a night!”

I was amused with her half bookish, half street-talk. Somehow she did not irritate me, as the rest of the people did, with her trivial remarks on things which I believed to belong exclusively to the realm of colors and music.

“Look!” She grasped my hand. “See the star falling? There, it dropped into the lagoon. Ah, I smell hyacinths, do you? Hey, if you are not going to say something, I’ll smash you!”

She snatched off my hat, threw it high up in the air, and, laughing loudly, ran away, dropping her cap on the grass. I picked it up, and pursued her. She was a swift runner, and we raced a long while across the wide lawn before I caught her. In the dim bluish light she stood at my side, a savage figure with stormy cascades of hair over her face and shoulders, with flashing eyes, open mouth, dilating nostrils. In my professional delight (I never lose my self-consciousness) I seized her by the waist and lifted her up above me. She waved her good arms and shrieked in joy, tossing her Medusa-head, arching her tense chest, quivering in ecstacy.

“Hey, there. Cut that out!”

A husky policeman on a motorcycle approached us. He dismounted, looked at us (I was still holding her in the air), and burst into a hoarse guffaw.

“Well, I’ll be.... Beat it now. It’s improper.”

I handed her the mussed white cap. She twisted it with her fingers, and her lips muttered somnolently:

“And at six thirty in the morning I must be on duty....”

III. Will to Power

At a crossing line on a Saturday night about 2 A. M. Tired men, women, children, families, couples, waiting for a street car. Some lean towards the wall, some sit on the sidewalk, on the garbage-box, on the curb. Dull silence. The June night rolls on indifferently.

Suddenly the calm is disturbed by violent screams and oaths. A woman is hurled out by invisible hands from the corner-hotel. She crosses the street towards the waiting crowd, staggers, waves her big handbag, and swears hideously.

No response. The ennui on the faces remains unstirred. The coarse solo of the prostitute, who ejaculates fantastically ugly verbs, nouns, adjectives, bespatters the velvet night.

A baggy figure in a battered derby rises from the sidewalk, and hesitatingly accosts the woman.

“You stop this noise....” Then threateningly: “Want to take a ride?”

Her foul flux interrupted, the woman thrusts her red face into the man’s, and hisses half coquettishly, half contemptuously:

“A ride? With you, sweetheart? Sure!”

He grabs her by the shoulder. His face grows pale.

“Come on, now. Move on, I tell you!”

The woman shrieks and struggles.

“Let go! Look what he is doing to me! Who are you? You are not a detective.... Let go!”

The crowd does not stir. Some one yawns desperately. A little boy whimpers, and clings to his dozing mother.

The man drags his shrieking victim. He pulls out a chain of keys, and swings it triumphantly. The woman screams and hits her assailant on the face with her heavy handbag. New figures appear from the adjoining streets. A voice is heard:

“Maybe he is not a detective.... Hey, where’s your star?”

The man’s pale face twitches convulsively. The woman feels encouraged, strikes him short, rapid blows, and shouts wildly:

“He is not a detective! Look what he is doing to me!”

A big fist plunges into the man’s face. He gasps, and falls. When he rises, a shower of fists meets him. Many of the erstwhile indifferent figures are now up, eager to lay a hand on the imposter. Like a toy, he falls and rises, looking astonished, in a trance.

The long-awaited car suddenly plunges into the imbroglio. Men, women, children, push and justle at the narrow entrance.

The man stands alone, hatless, wiping a bleeding face with his sleeve, muttering faintly:

“I am a detective.... I am.”

The night rolls on indifferently.

The soul of music is something more than the soul of humanity expressing itself in melody, and the life of music something more than an audible dramatization of human life.—Arthur Symons.

The Truth

Burt Harris

The truth, my friend? There is no truth. It is impossible for the human mind to attain the truth. You can tell the truth with reservations, with omissions. Perhaps you can speak the truth that is only part truth. Yes, that is often done by virtuous people and by clever people. But to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, to place your soul naked before either God or man,—that, my friend, is impossible. I have listened to women lie. Sometimes it is only necessary to watch. And it is the same with a man.

What? A man will tell the truth before God? You are quite wrong. A man will lie to himself and he will lie to his God. I know. I listened to a man lie to God. I will tell you the story.

The man’s name was Henry Spencer. You perhaps remember it. He was a murderer. One of his victims was a tango teacher named Mrs. Allison Rexroat. When the body of Mrs. Rexroat was found behind a clump of bushes in a lonely spot the police somehow blundered upon a clew. In four days they traced the murder of the woman to Henry Spencer. They wove a net of evidence about him. Oh they are clever, sometimes, my friend. On the fifth day Henry Spencer sat in the police captain’s office and they sweated him. After five hours he confessed. Ordinarily this means nothing. I have seen criminals confess to crimes of which they were innocent. Sweating is an unintelligent process, but then criminals are unintelligent persons and for a stupid mind the whole affair becomes quite an ordeal. The police captain says, “You did.” The criminal replies, “I didn’t.” It is very simple, my friend, but very wearing; particularly when there are five policemen to say “You did,” and none but yourself to say “I didn’t.” But it happened this time that the policemen blundered upon a real confession. After five hours Henry Spencer jumped to his feet and shouted, “Yes, I did. I killed her.” He was led away. Two days later he repeated his confession and elaborated on it. He sketched the murder, described the events leading up to it.

The policemen, highly elated, rushed out and verified all he had said. They found the hammer he told them he had used where he said he had thrown it. They found the effects of the murdered woman where he said he had hidden them. Henry Spencer went to trial. A number of attorneys defending him pleaded insanity. Spencer upset their efforts by rising in the court room and informing the jury he was quite sane and that he had committed a number of murders in his life. Given permission by the court he informed them that his life had been an extremely illegal one. He named five women he had killed. The police, highly elated, rushed out and verified his statements. In concluding, the defendant again sought to impress them with the fact that he was quite sane and willing to pay the penalty for his crimes. In fact several times he cried out from his seat, “Hurry up and hang me.”

You will argue, my friend, that there was an instance where in the very depravity of his nature a man attained the naked truth. You are quite wrong. Henry Spencer killed the women he said he killed, but he failed of the truth. For three months he had sat in his cell figuring the thing out. He came to the conclusion that by telling truthfully of his crimes and pleading truthfully of his sanity he would create the impression that he was indeed a maniac. You see, it is quite simple. Lies are always simple. It is only the truth which is impossible to understand. Henry Spencer’s logic proved accurate. He convinced the jury that he was a maniac. But he had placed too much faith on the technical interpretation of the law. The jury sentenced him to hang, anyway. So did the judge.

The date was set and Henry Spencer waited in the jail of a little town in Illinois. It is the duty of a large number of people in the world to save souls from Hell. Do not think I speak sarcastically, my friend. There is nothing wrong in this, except, of course, its utter futility. For two months the Rev. Mr. Williams, his wife, and his son visited Henry Spencer daily in his cell. They taught him religion. The doomed man was an illiterate. He had been brought up in the streets. He spoke English vulgarly and he understood nothing. His mind was unformed and his ideas of any particular life to be were as vague as his ideas of the life that was.

So he became religious. This is quite a story in itself, his acquiring “faith.” They played hymns in his cell on an old melodeon. Each night the Williams family knelt with him and prayed. He found in the Scriptures and their promise something that stilled the cold terror of death. His nerves became quiet. In fact he became buoyant. You will say it is impossible for a man to acquire genuine faith under such circumstances. You are quite wrong, my friend. I will prove it to you soon.

On the day preceding his execution Henry Spencer exhibited the only bit of nervousness during his watch for death. He objected to the big clock that hung in the corridor outside his cell. He didn’t like the way it ticked. You know why. So they removed the clock. How kind people are to those whom they are about to destroy. They quite resemble the Gods in the matter.

I am coming now to the point of the story, so be patient, my friend. It was a sunny morning in early July. Inside a stockade they had erected a scaffold. During the night Henry Spencer sang hymns. The sheriff sat on the doorstep of his home adjoining the jail listening and looking at the moon and greasing a hempen rope with cold cream which he borrowed from his daughter. He was a religious man and the hymns made him sad.

At ten o’clock the death march started from Spencer’s cell. Now there were thirty-eight steps leading to the top of the scaffold which rose high above the stockade top. I know this because a young man named Smith and I walked up the steps the midnight before and counted them. After counting them I made a wager with the young man that Spencer would never reach the top unsupported. So I was exceedingly interested when the death march entered the stockade. A number of persons were privileged to march in the line, and the first to appear was Spencer. He was dressed as if he were hurrying to a tennis game—white trousers, white shoes, a soft white collar, and a white shirt. On the pocket of his shirt he had pinned a red carnation. He walked with a light, springy step. Behind him trailed the Rev. Mr. Williams and the others.

Henry Spencer wore a good-natured smile on his face. When he reached the bottom step of the scaffold I held my breath. I watched him skip nimbly up the stairs, never missing a step, never tripping or hesitating. Under more virtuous circumstances the thing would have passed for heroism. At any rate I lost the wager.

Spencer stood on the scaffold, the noose hanging over his shoulder. The smile had not left his face. Several hundred necks were craned towards him. I would have felt chilled to see so many necks at such a time had I been he. The sheriff and his assistant began dressing him in a white robe that covered him from the neck down.

He commenced talking at once.

“My friends,” he said, extending his arm. They strapped it to his side as he did so but he continued unflustered. “I am glad of the opportunity this gives me of telling you that for the first time in my life I am happy. I have found a mother and a God and a friend while I have been in jail waiting for death. Although it is going to cost me my life I am glad I am here to tell you this. I have repented for my sins. I have made my peace with my God and my fellow men. And I am happy, my friends, happy. I have found a mother who has shown me the way to peace and salvation. I am grateful to Him for the gladness he has put in my heart. Oh, my friends—”

He raised his head to the sky. Standing against the sun in his white robe, his face transfigured with a wonderful smile, he looked like some Crusader giving himself into the arms of the Virgin. Above him stretched the green leafy branch of a tree that rustled faintly in the breeze. A little bird sat on a twig and chirped. And still above stretched the pure blue sky with its white fleece clouds. Henry Spencer looked at it all—life, the little bird, the sky, the green leaves—and smiled; smiled as I have never seen a man smile before.

They strapped his ankles and then the sheriff adjusted the rope around his neck with great care. His political future was dependent on his task. Spencer resumed talking.

He recited two long psalms with never a wrong word, and I who had listened to him five months ago sat astounded. His voice, his accent, everything about him had changed. A theologian could have rendered the psalms no more accurately. Then he looked at the sky again. I felt that before his eyes the clouds rolled away and God revealed himself, a gigantic figure seated on a golden throne. I felt that he saw the cherubs and the angels he had read of in the scriptures, perceived the jewelled streets and the harpists and Christ waiting with outstretched arms and forgiveness.

“Yes, my friends,” he went on, “I am not afraid, for I have given myself to Christ, pure in spirit, strong in faith.” He quoted from the Bible. “See, I smile at it all, for believe me, O Lord, I am happy.” The sheriff had lifted the white hood to the man’s head and was beginning to adjust it. The smile never left his face, the light that blazed from his eyes never dimmed. “I am going to heaven,” he said as they settled the hood on his head, “and I want to say only one more thing before I go. My friends, as I stand here, I tell you I am innocent of the murder of Mrs. Allison Rexroat.”

And they hanged him.

The truth? The human ego is too weak for truth. What do you say, my friend?

We carry faithfully what we are given, on hard shoulders, over rough mountains! And when perspiring, we are told: “Yea, life is hard to bear!” But man himself only is hard to bear! The reason is that he carrieth too many strange things on his shoulders. Like the camel he kneeleth down and alloweth the heavy load to be put on his back.—Nietzsche.

Romain Rolland

Ellen Key

(Authorized translation from the Swedish by Mamah Bouton Borthwick. Copyright, 1914.)


In Clamecy, a quiet town in Nivernais in Central France, Romain Rolland was born in 1866. His family had dwelt for centuries in the little place, both as country folk and townspeople. Quite contrary to the inference one would draw from Jean Christophe, neither German nor other foreign ancestry is discoverable in the family lineage; Rolland is descended from pure French Catholic burgher stock. His parents devoted themselves with loving zeal to his education; his mother endowing him with a musical sense and love of music that made music, from earliest childhood, his passion and joy; his father, a notary in Clamecy, gave up his profession that he might accompany his young son to Paris.

It is not the external events of his life, but the spiritual atmosphere and environment of his native town, that Rolland depicted in the sixth part of Jean Christophe, under the sub-title, “Antoinette.” The landscape of Nivernais is a mingling of rivers and canals, great forests and Mont de Moran’s peaks. The region unites memorials of the Keltic and Gallic-Roman times and cathedrals of the Gothic period, stimulating the historical sense which, next to the sense of music, is most characteristic of Romain Rolland.

He entered the Ecole Normale superieure in Paris, when about fifteen or sixteen years of age, and later went to the Academia di Francia in Rome. He considers the friendship formed there with Malvida von Meysenburg[1] profoundly significant in his development. As she was a faithful friend of Mazzini and Herzen, of Wagner and Nietzsche, in middle age, so in her old age she was the friend of Romain Rolland. “Her memory is sacred to me,” he recently wrote, and he had continued in regular correspondence with her from 1890 until her death in 1903.

Rome exercised a profound influence upon his entire spiritual life. He spent there the years 1889 and 1890, and has since made frequent visits for longer or shorter periods. Italy is the country which, next to France, he knows best and loves most. Germany, on the other hand, which he has described in Jean Christophe so vividly that one is convinced he must have passed a great part of his life there, he knows only through some minor journeys.

In 1895, he received his doctor’s degree at the University of Paris, and presented two theses.[2] He was, first, instructor in the History of Art at the school he had attended; later he became professor of History of Music at the Sorbonne, a position he will probably resign; partly, because an automobile accident injured his arm so that he can no longer illustrate his lectures on the History of Music with the piano; partly, because he has found the combination of authorship and lectures too great a strain upon his delicate health.

Concerning the literary impressions that were decisive in his development, he says that his education, like that of most young Frenchmen, was founded upon the classics of the seventeenth century. He found his way, himself, to the writers who gave him spiritual sustenance: Shakespeare, Goethe, and the Encyclopedists, especially Diderot.

In 1886, along with his school comrades, he became acquainted with Tolstoy. In his book on Tolstoy, Rolland says, “He was the purest light that illumined our youth, the cheering star in the twilight of the end of the century—our only real friend in contemporary European art.” It was Tolstoy’s intoxicating adoration of life that enraptured the young Frenchmen as well as the young Northerners. It was the realism in Tolstoy’s art that “opened the portals to life”; it was the mysticism in Tolstoy’s nature that opened their ears to “the music of the soul for which they longed” ... “Tolstoy was to our generation what Werther was to the youth of the eighteenth century.”

“But,” wrote Rolland in a letter, “the most potent influence in my life was and continues to be—music. It has been an ever-flowing spring, not only for my emotional life, but also for the interpretation of life. For, to him who can rightly listen, music is a language that can interpret the subtlest emotions of the soul, and reveal manifold secrets which literature has never been able to express. If in any degree I understand the German soul, it is due to music.”

Romain Rolland is familiar, alike, with the old German masters of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and with those of most recent times. Jean Christophe, the world’s greatest novel concerning a musician and music, is therefore written by a thoroughly-trained connoisseur and practitioner of music; a man who demonstrates that, for his own and for his hero’s individual culture, music is the most profound determining influence.

Even though Romain Rolland differs from Tolstoy in questions pertaining to his conception of music, still it is in Tolstoy’s spirit that he glorifies in this form of art its universal breadth, its power—beyond national boundaries and personal limitations—to unite mankind in and through the joy of beauty, which is one of the highest conditions of the soul.

One aspect of Romain Rolland’s literary work is a direct expression of his profound belief in the ethical mission of art. He participated ardently in the movement, instituted at the close of the last century, that purposed to educate the workingman by means of elevated amusements, especially plays. But Rolland did not, like Tolstoy, seek to awaken love of mankind; he wanted to strengthen power of action and heroism. Rolland has recently published the second edition of a book in which he has collected his controversial articles, written at the time when he and a group of friends hoped to create a new theatre for the awakening people, and thus contribute to the encouragement of that energy of action necessary to the solution of the great problems the time presents.

Pleasure, enlightenment, energy, says Rolland, are what the theatre should furnish the people. Neither the classic drama, which bores the workingman to death by presenting to him les parties mortes de l’ame, nor the present drama, which injures or lowers him by setting him in a fever of sordid passions, is fit for a people’s theatre. It must furnish the best drama of the present time, the spectacle in which the serious aspect of the time is reflected, or scenes from those earlier phases in which the spirit of struggle and of devotion lived; in other words, it must furnish a virile and wholesome art.

The heroes of the French Revolution were Rolland’s inspiration for the drama, and he utilized the struggles of the time of the Revolution for spectacles and folk festivals. At that time he wrote and produced for the people’s theatre: Le 14 Juillet, Danton, Les Loups, Le triomphe de la raison. The last he has recently published, together with two other early dramas, St. Louis and Aërt. They are all, as he himself says, devoted to religious enthusiasm; for God, for country, for reason.

He wished to set these pictures of struggling devotion against the cowardice of thought and cowardice of will that he saw everywhere around him. He voiced his own sentiment and that of his young kindred spirits in the words of one of his heroes, who was condemned to death:

“Life will be what I will. I have anticipated victory, but I shall be victorious.” And in the words of another:

“You are always thinking of what you can keep or lose. Only think of what you can give. Live; be like the water that flows.... The world would not exist without that happiness of beings, of flowers in the sun, that joy of giving one’s life to the point of exhaustion—which is also a joy of dying continually!”

“It is elder brother to Jean Christophe,” Rolland says, “less robust but not less faithful,” who uttered these words, which comprise Rolland’s creed in its most succinct formula.

To revive the energy of action of the French Revolution in order to continue thus the work interrupted in 1794; to set in motion the great passions, not for the purpose of arousing chauvinistic or revolutionary fanaticism, but in order to kindle anew the universal feeling of solidarity—this was the hope of Rolland and his friends for the future of France.

“This hope,” he says, “was one of the purest and holiest forces in our young lives.” Rolland, therefore, calls his Théâtre du peuple a document of the time, because it “reflects the artistic ideas and hopes of a whole generation.”

He gives voice now (1913) to that proud utterance: “Let the future judge us even should it prove that it was our crime to have believed too much in the future.”

That this little group has not yet been victorious, we know. Romain Rolland indicated the reason when he said: “In order to fashion a theatre for the people, we must first have a people; a people with a freedom of the soul able to enjoy art; a people with leisure; a people not oppressed by misery or incessant toil; a people not brutalized by every superstition and fanaticism from right and left; a people lord over itself and victor in the battle fought out from day to day.”

To these utterances of 1903 can be added one of this year, in which Rolland expressed himself most fervently and with comprehension in regard to the working class of women—and in that connection in regard to the whole woman question.[3] It was made evident, then, that the idealist Rolland is no advocate of the chauvanistic-religious reaction. His idealism is of the whirl of revolutionary times and the future.

His critique upon the classic French literature, his “Teutonism” in Jean Christophe, his political and religious radicalism, have made him as obnoxious to nationalistic-Catholic France as Mme. de Stael once was because of her De l’Allemagne. Among other evidences of Rolland’s status in his own country is the circumstance that when the French Academy recently awarded its new prize of 10,000 francs, it was given, through the influence of Maurice Barrès, to a wholly new man in French literature: André Lafon du Blaye, instructor in a Catholic private school, who had written a book about a school boy, a book which was found to possess that “elevated character” the awarding of the prize demanded! Jean Christophe had just been finished! It is, however, not merely in academic circles that Romain Rolland is denied recognition. He has succeeded in getting himself well hated in many another circle because of the cutting truths in Jean Christophe, directed against all factions. In Ord och Bild, 1912, George Brandes has given a brief but excellent characterization of Rolland’s spiritual and intellectual endowments and of his limitations.

Without doubt Rolland’s spiritual tendency in youth was determined not only by Tolstoy but also by Guyau; the more because Tolstoy has Guyau to thank for whatever of reason is found in his theories of art.

In regard to the influence of Guyau upon Tolstoy and Nietzsche, see, for example, Professor Albert Nilson’s excellent essay upon Guyau’s Aesthetics.

In the mind of Rolland as well as of Guyau, the ethical ideal is the highest intensive quality of life, the most effective energy. Rolland is far from the Christian asceticism that diluted the wine of Tolstoy. But along with Tolstoy, with Guyau, with Nietzsche, he demands an art that possesses life’s consummate vigor; that is itself the richest life, the highest intensity of power. In other words: the ethical ideal and the aesthetic are at heart the same thing; the fundamental principle of art and religion is solidarity; the sense of beauty is at the same time the most intensive and the most expansive of feelings, and so—like the love of humanity—the great fraternizing power. “They who love most create most richly,” and “the work that reveals to us the life of greatest value is the noblest”: these propositions permeated Rolland just as they did Guyau and Tolstoy, although Rolland establishes a basis of valuation quite different from that of the latter. Perhaps Bergson, too, has in some respects confirmed Rolland’s personal view of life. But as Rolland’s view was enunciated before Bergson began to write, the influence could have been only to strengthen, not to determine it. No idea harmonized better with Rolland’s own innermost being than that respecting the power of the spirit to make a way for creative, unfathomable, inexhaustible life. Jean Christophe, from the first chapter to the last, is an illustration of this explosive power, this élan vital.

Schiller’s words come to mind: Der Dichter ist der einzige wahre Mensch und der beste Philosoph ist nur eine Karikatur gegen ihn.[4] The poet is the only real Man and the best philosopher is only a caricature beside him.

Not only with his dramas of the Revolution did Romain Rolland endeavor to make his countrymen hero-worshippers; he also began a series of popular biographies aimed to present, not the great man’s work, but the personal powers and experiences that found expression in his work. He says in the preface: “Europe is poisoned with materialism and egotism; we must throw open the windows to get air: Respirons le souffle des heros. Let us breathe the breath of heroes.” He rejoices that he too has witnessed contemporary heroic deeds: the defense of the Boers and the vindication of Dreyfus. But he knows that it is “easier to kindle enthusiasm by heroes of the past,” heroes “who were great in heart.”

His hero-worship did not lead him, however, to glorification at the expense of truth. He utters the thought, profoundly true and all too little understood, that every lack of harmony between life and its laws depends—even in great spirits—not upon their greatness, but upon their weaknesses. “But these weaknesses render them not less worthy of our love.... The idealism that will not recognize the truth is cowardice; there is only one heroism in the world: to see the world as it is—and to love it.”

So without hesitation, Rolland points out weaknesses in Michael Angelo’s life, and inconsistencies in Tolstoy’s. He sees in both great specimens of the “type that will pass away”; the Christian—those who “have had their refuge in God and the everlasting life when this life has gone against them; those whose faith has often been expression for deficient belief in life, in the future, in themselves; a lack of courage and a lack of gladness.” “I know,” he continues, “of how many defeats your grievous victories are made, and therefore I pity you and admire you. You make the world more doleful but more beautiful. Praised be pain and praised be joy! Both are holy; they form the world and they broaden great souls: joy and pain are powers, are life, are God.”[5]

The three biographies that Rolland has thus far published are of Beethoven, Michael Angelo, and Tolstoy. In the first, it is the love of life and the courage of life; in the second, creative power and strength of belief; in the third, the ecstacy of life and the love of mankind, that he emphasizes. Such souls, he says, restore to us belief in life and in mankind, for from them “issues a current of social power and potent goodness.”


Beethoven is Rolland’s own conception of life, and is nearest his heart. To that “soul of music, heroism, and goodness” Rolland has reared the only memorial worthy of Beethoven that art has created: Jean Christophe.

This book was published during the course of nine years. But long before it began to appear it had lived in and with its writer for the greater part of his life. In it Rolland has committed to writing his profound conception of the innermost being of a musical genius, and has done it in such a manner that one is firmly convinced of the truth of the revelations that one follows from the cradle to the grave. In other novels concerning geniuses the writers assert incessantly that they are geniuses; here the genius evinces himself through his being. One does not read a book, one lives a life—and a life of the highest value, the existence that great spirit creates: that of the genius, who out of the flaming chaos of his nature forms a cosmos. An “educational novel,” of which the world’s literature thus far possesses only one such in Wilhelm Meister, and, in a measure, in Keller’s Der Grüne Heinrich.... I have lived more intensely with Jean Christophe than with most living people.[6]

World fame is a curious thing. Sometimes it is attained quickly through glorifying friends: a path to fame that often early avenges itself,—that is more dangerous even than the fame that the attacks of enemies furnish. Sometimes fame is won with one blow, by an exceptional work; again it is prepared for in silence and then suddenly rushes forth with the roar of a great torrent formed by many small streams. The last is the case with Romain Rolland.

When I read him in 1909, in Switzerland, I went shortly afterwards to Paris, where, at that time, he was not mentioned among the celebrated writers and where even his friends thought he dare not reckon his circle of readers larger than the ten or fifteen thousand faithful he possessed in the world of French-speaking readers. In Germany his circle was still narrower; in Sweden, he was unknown even by name.

For the new generation the book is a document of the spiritual history of the time. For the serious-minded portion of the French youth, Rolland has possessed an influence comparable with his own description of Tolstoy’s influence upon himself and the young generation with him. Youth has learned from him that the fleeting fashionable attitude toward the great souls or ideas that Paris shapes is sterile; that it is only by devotion that a spiritual growth can be attained; that skepticism in the face of all greatness is poverty, but admiration and love “is the way, to the most potent, the richest, life.” Youth has found in him contempt for mere fine phrases, for declamation, and received from him Goethe’s conception of creation: “In the beginning was action.” They have heard him proclaim that nationalism that is loyalty to the best in the essence of the French nation: love of truth and justice, desire for freedom and fraternity, devotion to its ideal values and above all the dream of happiness for all mankind. This dream that among us Teutons is content to sleep, is among Frenchmen an ever restless disturbance of the blood. And it is only by occasionally letting his blood flow for these dreams that he feels he is living up to his highest ideals. This Youth for whom each new part of Jean Christophe has been a great event, despises with Rolland the estheticism that turns from life. This youth has learned to distinguish between great art and the work of those who think they are creating art but are only making arts. But above all, at a time of reaction toward the Christian “faith”—a reaction that has been justified by the fact that science has not been able to “explain” life nor “vindicate” it—they receive a new fountain of living water. Rolland has attempted neither to explain life nor defend it. The leit-motiv of his great symphonic work is Beethoven’s thought: “Durch Leiden Freude,”—“Through suffering joy comes.” We can, so he says, neither understand life in all its plenitude of contradictions nor ennoble it in all its brutality in any way other than by living it one’s self in the fullest and highest meaning of the word. Music, the all-unifying art, love, the all-embracing condition of the soul, are the two highest attitudes of devotion to God, who is life.

More Rolland knows not. And more than he knows the veracious man does not say.

“I cannot,” he writes, “give any metaphysical credo. For, in the first place, I will never deceive myself by saying I know that which I do not know—which, at the most, I can imagine or hope. In the second place, I will never confine myself within the limits of any belief. For I hope to develop until my last day; I wish to reserve for myself unlimited freedom of intellectual transformation and renewal. I have many gods in my Pantheon; but my chief godhead is Liberty. At present I do not separate the essence of the human soul from that of the divine spirit, of which the former is a part. But I hardly believe that this divine spirit fills the universe. It seeks, certainly, to fill the world and guide it; but nothing indicates that it will succeed. Even in this regard I reserve space for liberty. Pure monism does not satisfy me. I am more inclined to a dualism such as the ancient Empedocles believed in. I have an unbounded admiration for the pre-Socratic philosophers, the sages of Ionia and Magna Graecia. Indeed my first work, written at Rome, twenty years ago, was a drama with Empedocles as hero. The struggle between two principles is manifest to me in the whole history of the world, material as well as moral history. The question is whether there is not a third principle, in which the other two are included or harmonized. A trinity therefore—it is singular how this form forces itself upon the human mind—but a trinity very different from the Christian conception of the trinity, since it comprises a father and two striving brothers: a triad that approaches the antique cosmogony of which we find a reflection in Hesiod, in Chaos, Gaea, and Eros. If I live I shall go deeper into ancient thought. Those ancient philosophers lived in more intimate contact with nature than any of their successors, and, moreover, collected the thousand-year-old wisdom of the whole Orient.”

Besides this personal utterance of Rolland himself, a French friend of his, intimate with his thought, has given me permission to communicate the following statement of the trend of Rolland’s thought:

The liberty of his mind, his lucidity, his keen penetration, render him incapable of accepting the least dogma or the least constraint. It is impossible to conceive of anything that could have upon such a mind, not to say a direct hold, but even an appreciable influence. That mind is alone, magnificently alone, as independent as if the world were just born. Moreover, he is quite as far from all revealed religions as from all systems. He would in no wise admit that the Christian or any other religion is more closely related to the past, and Darwinism or any scientism whatever more to the future. He would see, in these diverse ways of viewing life, forms of the human mind which return at periodic intervals and of which one no more than the other is an absolute progress in which he does not believe. Only by his very nature, he is antimaterialistic. He believes in the duality of soul and body in an absolute, organic manner. He hopes sincerely to quit this body and go to live a larger and fuller life. No personal immortality! He cannot endure the thought. That would be the continuation of this captivity in a limited personality, which to him appears stifling. He feels that he is also going to live in God, not understanding by that word any anthropomorphic god, but a fountain of universal life. He loves to plunge, through time and space, into a meditation in which he totally forgets his personality, and wherein he finds a sort of intoxication. He has uttered this admirable and terrible sentence: “Sometimes I feel no difference between my friends absent or present, living or dead.” To ask such a being if he is of the past or of the future would have no significance; he is beyond the compass of time.

I have met Rolland only through letters. But some words concerning his personality, as it had affected another poet, I can communicate here in conclusion:

“The confident grasp replete with experience, the modest ripeness ... in his being; the benignity, the unprecedented purity in all his purpose ... are beneficent.... Everything is genuine, developed with will and consciousness: a man who has improved steadily.... From him emanates a gentle plenitude, consummate in action, like that of a star at twilight.”

When world renown comes to such a man, it has not much to say to him. Rolland meets it with an averted glance in his far-seeing luminous eyes, eyes which quietly and steadily look towards new works and new horizons.

From all corners of the world he hears: that he has given to the time the book most brimming with the whole seething life of the time; that he has given men the book most permeated with the essence of music and Orphean effects; that he has created an entire human race, a race in which all ages of life and degrees of development, in which women as well as men are equally convincing in truth to life; that he has given a work overflowing with ideas, with philosophy of life, with vital help, by exhibiting a great human life in all its weakness and in all its strength. And assuredly this will give him joy.

But he will feel proud only when the word comes that his French heart longs to hear: The people that has given to the world such a work is not, as its enemies say, going to destruction. That nation is ever potent with the energy of life.

Rolland’s great book is not merely a glorious revelation of the fact that all the greatest ideas that France has given the world live ever in the French people. It demonstrates also that mankind needs the French spirit always in order to realize them.

[1] See my article in Verk och Människor, in which I endeavored to show my countrymen the value to them of Memoiren einer Idealistin.

[2] Histoire de l’Opera en Europe, avant Lully et Scarlatti, (Les origines du theatre lyrique modern), and also Les causes de la decadence de la peinture italienne.

[3] In a preface to Celles qui travaillent, a work of the notable and sincere French authoress, Simone Bodève.

[4] In a letter to Goethe, 1795, after reading Wilhelm Meister.

[5] Epitome of the introduction to Michael Angelo.

[6] Lack of space forces me to omit Miss Key’s interesting but very long analysis of Jean Christophe.—The Editor.


Witter Bynner

I Shall Come to You Again

If you have pity, pity me a little,

For I had seen your pitiless lips and dared them

And I deserve the pity given fools...

Your mouth was passion but your eyes were love.

Your mouth might soon consent to harshness, but your eyes,

Your eyes would see me and be kind to me.

I should not suffer, loving you.

I should but carry the heroic pain of love.

Wounds that might come from hardness of your heart,

If I received them, I should heal, watching the everlasting pity of your eyes...

If you have pity, pity me a little.

I who had seen your cruelty and dared it

Am stricken with it now

And have come through the streets in daylight

As though the daylight were the sound of laughter

Surrounding and consuming me.

I have put up my hands to ward it off,

The heaviness of light that would not let me hide

But held me and looked leering in my face...

For there has come a passer-by ....

And you have come with him.

I have no hatred for the passer-by, and none for you,

But hatred only of my own humiliation,

For I had challenged and been overthrown...

If you have pity, pity me a little.

For I who love life

Have heard its mouth despise me

And have seen its eyes, that had been kind, turn into stone.

Wherefore I lack new strength, new laughter.

And in the time before that strength is due,

If you have pity, pity me a little.

But if you have none—soon I shall have no need.

For I who choose life,

Shall receive my strength,

And I shall come to you again, laughing with love...

For my humiliation shall have been a rain,

Its arms about me and its lips alive.

And I shall walk in daylight

And it shall be a singing waterfall

Surrounding me and pouring over me.


(In memory of Salvatore Garrito who was hanged at Reading, Pennsylvania, October 29, 1908, for the killing of a State Trooper.)

“It shows you on that paper where she lives,

In Sicily. Write her that I today

Am dead for having killed my second man.”

“Your second?” “Yes, sir, two. It’s not so bad

To kill a trooper. But I killed, before,

A friend who, like my brother and like me,

Loved her in Sicily. The jury thought

My brother did it. He’s been all alone

In jail eight years. Tell her I shall be glad

If now she gets him out and marries him.”


Truth heard him ask employ

And took him in,

A poor unfriended boy,

As her own kin,

And everything she made

She taught the youth.

When he had learned her trade

He went from Truth.

And when his eyes were dim

And he was rich,

Then Truth returned to him

Out of a ditch,

Poorer than he had been,

Pleading she came...

He would not let her in

Nor ask her name.


Shall marriage never be the glory

That was wooed?

But ever enervate and vex,

Obstruct, intrude,

And make more wistful and complex

The solitude,

Trying to tell the human story

To its brood?

No matter how the homes are humming

In a mood

Of ecstasy or sentiment

Or love renewed,

What favored two can circumvent

The ancient feud?—

Till both in one shall die, becoming


A Glimpse at Russia

Wars have been the landmarks in Russian modern history. The Napoleonic war was followed by the insurrection of the Decembrists, the first attempt on the part of liberal Russia to break the autocracy. The iron reign of Nicolas I culminated in the Crimean campaign, which revealed the utter rottenness of the old order and necessitated the general reconstruction of the estate, from the liberation of the serfs to the establishment of jury-tribunals. The reaction under Alexander III and Nicolas II came to a collapse with the Japanese war, more disastrous and richer in results than Sebastopol. It may be interesting to notice that each of the mentioned epochs followed the previous one at a space of about a quarter of a century, and the fact that the present war broke out only ten years after the last one may be interpreted as an attempt for self-correction on the part of History. Both the war with Japan and the revolution that came as its result were abortive and premature phenomena, and were destined “to be continued.”

It is necessary to get an idea of what has occurred in Russia during the last ten years in order to understand her present situation and perspectives. The Russian people were neither prepared nor desirous of fighting against Japan for the Yalou forests, a problem that interested only a group of greedy capitalists. Nicolas was egged on by the Kaiser, who was more than anxious to involve his neighbor in a mess in the Far East, and thus to divert his attention from the Near East where the interests of the Triple Alliance demanded the elimination, or at least the weakening, of the formidable ally of France. The Czar caught the bait, and was rewarded with the Treaty of Portsmouth, which put an end to Russia’s ambitions in Manchuria and crippled her international prestige, to the immediate advantage of Germany and Austria. The defeated bear was forcibly driven to introspection. Her navy almost totally destroyed, her army decimated and demoralized, her population torn by revolutions and civil warfare, Russia faced a Herculean task. The government was confronted with a double problem, to quench the internal conflagration, and to get ready for “retaliation.” The first aim was more or less achieved; the revolutionists were hanged, shot, imprisoned, exiled; the moderate elements and the European financiers, who demanded a guarantee for their enormous loans, were hood-winked by a semblance of parliamentarism, the butaforial Duma, an institution elected and managed practically by the Czar’s ministers. With feverish energy the government set out to carry through its second purpose. The Dumas were forced to sanction gigantic war-budgets, and the entire bureaucratic state was thrown into a crucible of radical, sweeping reforms. The reconstruction of the army has become the all-important issue. Without naming the potential enemy, all parties, except the Socialists, agreed that Russia must concentrate her forces on the building up in the fastest possible time of an enormous, efficient, modern army. The majority of the people differed with the government, however, on one point, as to who should carry out the great task. The people have had little confidence in the capability of the bureaucracy for self-reformation; they have applied to them the Russian saying, “Only the grave can change the hunchback.” Alexander Guchkov, while president of the Duma and later as an influential private citizen, has revealed the hopelessly rotten state of affairs in the military and civil organization of the country, managed by unscrupulous thieves and grafters, by useless sinecure-holders from among the nobility and the royal family. The reorganization of the state, pointed out Mr. Guchkov and his followers, must be taken from the hands of the effeminate and imbecile Grand Dukes, and entrusted to representatives of the nation. For such a heresy Guchkov had to resign from his post as head of the “parliament,” and the work of reconstruction continued to be handled by the old chinovnicks, the puppets of the Czar and of his uncles and cousins.

Public opinion in Russia has been crystallizing simultaneously with military preparation and diplomatic negotiations. Austria’s annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina gave Russian diplomacy the gravest slap since the Berlin Congress; Wilhelm’s threat to appear in “shining armor” to the assistance of his ally compelled foreign minister Sasonov to withdraw his protest against Austria’s act. The humiliation was felt deeply by all classes; the Russian people have come to regard Germany as their bitterest foe, responsible not only for their past and present military and diplomatic fiascoes, but largely responsible also for the internal retrogressive policy of their government. It has been widely known that during the last revolution the Kaiser had counselled Nicolas “unrelenting firmness,” and had even offered to “loan” his army for the suppression of the uprising. The popularity of the present war in Russia is thus explained. The conservatives see in it an opportunity to strengthen the power of the autocracy through drummed up patriotism and loyalty to the throne; the liberals hope that with the defeat of Germany there will come an end to the “dark influence” of the Prussian retrogrades on Russia’s policy; the masses are eager to fight against the “Antichrists,” the enemies of the Slavs and of the Slavonic church.

Whatever the outcome of this war may be, it has done inestimable service for the awakening of Russia. The country has been elevated and purified morally and nationally. The abolition of vodka, the unification of differing parties and of hostile races, the liberal concessions granted by the government,—these are the few tangible results of the war that can be checked off already. But there is considerably more to come. The ignominious failures of the army have pointed a burning finger of accusation against the real enemy of the people, the bureaucracy. The Russian soldiers have fought like lions ... led by asses. The shameless lack of munition, the use of antiquated guns, the wretched equipment of the soldiers, the inefficiency of field-hospitals, the continuing graft in giving out contracts, the presence in the army of such time-proved nonentities as General Rennenkampf and other Manchurian celebrities, these facts have shown to the people that the Czar and his clique have forgotten everything and have learned nothing. The general dissatisfaction in army circles and among the civilians may bring about a storm that will sweep away the tottering throne of Nicolas Romanov.

This is not a mere theoretic conjecture. Since 1904 an intense revolutionary propaganda has been carried on within the army and navy. The germ of rebellion has penetrated not only the common soldiers, who are largely recruited from among the down-trodden peasants and workingmen, but also the officers, who have learned a good deal in the last ten years. A military coup d’état after the model of the Young Turks has become a popular idea with the intelligent officers who cannot fail to see that the autocratic régime is a detrimental anachronism. There have been persistent rumors about the high ambitions of the ex-Supreme Commander. Grand Duke Nicolas is a happy exception among the degenerated Romanovs. He has been long considered as the “strong man,” and therefore feared and opposed to by the Court-camarilla. Necessity compelled the Czar to appoint him commander; his appointment was insistently recommended by Joffre and Kitchener. Unlike Kuropatkin, the Grand Duke refused to follow dictations from Petrograd. When in early spring he received an order from the Czar to evacuate Warsaw, the commander telegraphed back that he was willing to obey, but that he would move his army against the capital. The order was recalled. The fact that he was recently removed from his post and exiled to Caucasia shows the growing fears of the Czar, who has lost his head and is hewing the branch on which he is still seated. The Grand Duke had performed a difficult, although not very spectacular task—that of saving the unarmed army from the iron grip of the Germans. Petrograd demanded “action,” as it did ten years ago from Kuropatkin. Now that the Czar has assumed the commandership of the army one may expect rapid “actions,” Sedans and Tzusimas and an early peace treaty as honorable as that of Portsmouth.

The sentiments of the population were characteristically voiced by the Jewish member of the Duma, Friedman. In his speech he recounted the unbelievable atrocities of the Russian authorities performed over the Jews in the war-zone. Yet he said: “It is true we are without rights, we are oppressed beyond endurance. But we know the foundation of the evil. It emanates from these benches (pointing to the Ministers). We are persecuted by the Russian government and not by the Russian people. It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that we are content to bind our fate loyally and faithfully with the fate of the Russian people, whatever may be done to us by the Russian government.” The best of Russia are unanimously determined that “the foundation of the evil” must go. In the last few weeks various bodies of the Russian commonwealth have issued grave resolutions condemning the government and demanding democratization of the state. A revolution seems inevitable, but, to repeat, a military revolution is most likely to take place. The bulk of the virile population is within the fighting ranks, and it is there, in the army, that the national nerve pulsates at present. Whether it be Grand Duke Nicolas, or another capable and popular leader, it is to be expected that this time the army will pronounce the verdict over the imbecile Czar and will cleanse the Augean stables of the corrupted bureaucracy.


Sophomoric Epigrams

There is no wisdom but youth. There is no vision but the unafraid impulse of unfettered nerves. The follies of youth are the enduring expressions of art. Man loses his Ego at thirty and becomes conceited. He becomes conscious of others. Life becomes a quibble. But youth! Youth, the flower before it has decayed into the mellow moss of age. Youth that knows not itself or the world. Youth that laughs at tears and weeps at laughter. Youth that paints queer pictures at which the critics smile. Illogical youth; arrogant youth; forever annoying the world’s stagnation. Youth capering like a fawn in the altar places of the holy. Ho! you with the pedantic whiskers and the ossified serenity lurking like a fog in your eye—there is no wisdom but youth. Ho! you with the murk of maturity thick upon your tongue—will you shape morals? I will unshape them. Will you rear dogmas? I will upset them. Will you burden the world with your heavy sagacity? I will ignore it. Ho, you didactic formulator, debauched with facts, man is born a butterfly and crawls to his grave a worm. Man is born young and dies old. Man is born wise and dies a fool. The ideas of youth are his wings. Do you see the lightning maze of colors forever flashing over your head? It is youth.

Ah! old Ossifus, your erudition is but the husk of my spirit. And my spirit is the shop-boy whistling on his way to work, joyous without reason for you have proved him an economic slave, stunted and damned forever to rot in chains. My spirit is the lover going to his ruin-woman, and tumbling out of heaven with a laugh. Ho! ho! old Petrifus, you have proved her the root of evil, the despoiler of greatness, the velvet vandal of illusions, and yet and yet....

And he is the artist running wild in the china-closet of the past. Have you anything sacred, old whiskers? Have you something labelled right and something labelled wrong? Show it to him. He will do for it. He is the eternal monster killing the dead.

There is no beauty but youth. There is no beauty in age. Ho! you doddering banality with the superior tolerance in your stutter, you are decomposing on your feet. Age is soiled. Age is dirty. Age drips with the phlegm of life. Age is the unclean residue in the cup.

Ho!—there is no tomorrow.

Blessed are the young in heart for they shall be God.

“A. E. D.”

Henri and Manship

One grows weary of the quibbling, the petty running about in circles of critics, would-be-critics, and students with the eyes of their teachers disputing “techniques,” values, and standards in regard to paintings that somehow seem to live outside any limits pedants have placed. Out from the noise the voice of the artist arises with a strength and clearness in words similar to the quality of his paintings. Writing in the February Craftsman of this year, telling of his work, his ideas, and his “people,” Robert Henri has this to say:

“My love of mankind is individual. I am patriotic only about what I admire, and my devotion to humanity burns as brightly for Europe as for America. It flames up swiftly for Mexico if I am painting the peon there; it warms towards the bull fighter of Spain if in spite of its cruelty there is that element in his art which I find beautiful; it intensifies before the Irish peasant whose love, poetry, simplicity, and humor have enriched my existence just as completely as though these people were of my own country and my own hearthstone. Everywhere I see at times this beautiful expression of the dignity of life to which I respond with a wish to preserve this beauty of humanity for my friends to enjoy.... The Chinese American girl who has found coquetry in new freedom; the peon, a symbol of a destroyed civilization in Mexico, and the Indian who works as one in slavery and dreams as a man in still places ... all their lives are in their expression, in their eyes, their movements or they are not worth translating into art.”

He very simply tells what he feels about technique, which ought to quiet the objection to his or any individual’s methods:

“Technique is merely a language, and as I grow older and see more and more clearly I have but one intention and that is to make this language as clear and simple and sincere as is humanly possible.... It is a language of no value for its own sake.... It must be so translucent that it can be forgotten, the value of the subject shining through it.”

A woman who sat for Henri last year for her portrait has this to say of him in a recent letter:

“To me he is quite the most wonderful man among American artists; so very big yet simple as a child; so very human yet utterly unconscious of his humanity. He is much like Whitman only more tender, more subtle. To Henri life is his art. That’s what makes him truly great. That’s what made him go to the Ferrer School and awaken talent and even genius where no one else would have seen anything to awaken. As a teacher Henri is perhaps even greater than as a painter. I heard him explain things to his class only twice, but I have never heard anything more fascinating and vivid. His greatest worth, however, is his sense of freedom, his fervent belief that only freedom can bring out the best in the individual. He is really an anarchist though he does not label himself one.”

And thus the exhibit of twenty-five paintings at the Art Institute takes on a broader and more beautiful air. It becomes human and alive even though the noise from the studios is confusing.

Paul Manship also has a room at the Art Institute: Greek, Assyrian, Japanese, Chinese, Egyptian, Italian, Roman, Gothic, and what not; but where, oh where, is Paul Manship—“foremost American sculptor”? The incongruous and nerve-racking thing about the collection is that besides merely exactly reproducing all the above mentioned periods and styles he goes so far as to use two or three in one piece of work. The Infant Herakles: fountain and bowl is a terror of complications, with gothic gargoyles as the high points of one’s discontent. The American Indian (with the African animal skin and the Egyptian hair and Roman face) and pronghorn antelope (Egyptian bronze of Alpine antelope) is the property of the Art Institute, having been purchased by the “friends of American Art”.... The conventionalized Roman busts with the Greek lettering were so top-heavy in appearance that I grew quite dizzy....

I found relief in the sculptor of the Ancient Greeks,—peace in the simplicity of a strange inspired beauty that intricate handling which draws on past glories can never produce.

C. A. Z.

Fairy-Tale Mysticism

Jerusalem, a Novel by Selma Lagerlöf (Doubleday, Page & Co., New York).

Those Scandinavians! I have often wondered at the combination of grim strength with childlike imaginativeness that we find in the artists of those pale cold lands. In the winter, at twilight, I like to sit with closed eyes and to relive old and new Norse sagas, the unbelievable wonders told or sung or painted with the perfect earnestness of absorbed children; I like to dream then to the accompaniment of the not-smiling music of the sad child, Edward Grieg.

Jerusalem is not a novel, not according to the terminology accepted heretofore. For—may I reveal a secret en passant?—we are on the eve of the publication of a novel by a Chicagoan who will revolutionize the prevailing literary classifications. Another thing which is not! Selma Lagerlöf is not a mystic, some of her friends want us to believe; not in the Maeterlinckian sense. The book is a series of tapestries to be hung in an ideal children’s-room; a web of fairy-tales told in the Scandinavian, unsmiling, earnest way. Mystic? Yes, as much as all fairy-tales are mystic, as much as all not “clever” and “wonderful” children are mystic. A mysticism which instead of lifting us up to the clouds brings the clouds down to us; instead of lending us wings and making us soar in imperceptible intangible regions, anthropomorphosizes gods and spirits and drags them down to terra firma. So convincing! We actually see the dead Ingmarssons gathered in a large farm house up in heaven; we see their ruddy hard faces, sandy hair, white eyes; we hear their slow, heavy, laconic talk. We are not surprised at meeting Christ among the pines in the glow of the autumnal sunset. The opening of heaven on a winter night before the eyes of the two Ingomars appears as ordinary reality. We are in a world where everything is simple, believable, possible. And you cannot smile; you are in an earnest childlike atmosphere.

Those Scandinavians!


The Reader Critic


Rev. W. D. J., Riverside, Ill.:

I used to have great expectations for you. But, pardon the frankness of one who has watched the careers of many writers in the past fifty years, you are headed now either for the lake or a padded cell. God forbid you reach either. Let an old man say that the only way to find life is to lose it. Forget it and reach out a hand to the poor, the sick, the suffering, and the sinning. Happiness comes only in forgetfulness of self and ministering to others. It is never the result of a theory but of action. I have seen so many wrecked on the reefs toward which you are drifting that I am fain to call out and entreat you to find happiness where alone it can be found, not in fleeing from the world or cursing it but in thanking God you were born into a world where you can be of some use to your fellows. Those lines of yours in the September issue might have been written by a Heine, a Byron, or a Walt Whitman. But they are unworthy of you. You were born to bless your fellows. Be true to your vocation.


R. C. Smith, Chicago:

Inspiration will never take the place of intelligence, nor enthusiasm that of cerebration. Your magazine will die,—as a steam engine would grow useless in which no direction toward any cylinder was given to the indubitable forces generated in the boiler. For your pages are as a rule careless, unconsidered, and inept. Let me give you an example:—

Mr. Huntley Carter, in your September number, wrote on “Poetry versus Imagism.” I happen to consider his article an ill-digested congeries of vague views; but other persons may feel differently about it. What, however, can be the estimation in which every sane and intelligent and decently responsible man will hold your magazine and Mr. Carter when he has the effrontery to present to us such an example of ineptitude and carelessness as this:—

“Browning ... gets to work in a businesslike manner:

The sun looked over the water’s brim

And straight there was a path of gold for him

And a world of souls for me.


May I ask—must an enthusiasm for or against the new movements obliterate all sense of accuracy, all love of clear and rational communication, all fidelity to honest statement, and all interest in truth? Your Mr. Carter and his extraordinary indifference to the workaday obligations of literary criticism have considerably discouraged my interest in the new forces. I can imagine Mr. Carter writing—“Since, as Nansen says, ‘The natives of the polar regions are coal-black,’—(I quote from memory), it must be hotter there than at the equator.”

You have printed many encomiums of your magazine: I shall watch with curiosity to see if you print this.


Dr. Weil, New York:

The spirit of revolt is compounded from many causes. Even in the average young girl of whom Mr. Hecht writes in the August Little Review it arises as much from her digestion as from her incomplete physical functioning, as much from her work as from her leisure, as much from her friends as from her freshness. Mr. Hecht would be the first to admit that; would he be equally willing to admit that it meets death variously?

He talks only of the family as the snuffer for the flame. This does not mean that he excludes other causes, but it does mean that he has overemphasized one.

It is true, as Mr. Hecht insists, that the American family tends to quell revolt. The battle of the generations is as old as the race; the family has always struggled to bring the rebel into line for its own preservation. But that struggle in all its various shades of acuteness has become a truism of modern thought, thanks to a multiplex modern drama, a scientific sociology, and even the daily press. Why discuss the subject only to dwell again heavily on the obvious?

The problem is far more complicated. The verdict of guilt against the family grows monotonous when returned at every inquest. To place a single responsible cause for any tremor to revolt that dies abortive is to lack subtlety.

Along with each verdict against the family there is also a verdict against the individual. One is not to blame if she is not a genius, but if even her greatest emotions are somewhat lacking in poignancy, the fluctuating spirit of restlessness in her never reaches the heights which demand action.

Along with each verdict against the family there is also a verdict against the quality of the revolutionary spirit. Not only are its causal factors weak and fluctuating, but the very vagueness which to Mr. Hecht constitutes its charm spells also its damnation. A spirit of restlessness is, in itself, nothing about which one can go to the hilltops and shout, and when it crystalizes in some particular issue,—a book, a picture, a small individual right,—the object often seems too trivial to struggle for. To be sure the principle is not a small thing, but a principle is abstract and when it confronts a concrete bit of suffering, it fades by contrast.

The sordid bread and butter difficulties to be faced by one standing wholly alone, the scathing force of public opinion, the pain of others which, when you love them, is pain to you,—these are realities which only the truly big souls dare to face. For most of us the spirit of revolt is too diffuse even to demand action, and for most of the rest action is too divine a consummation to be compassed by our weak human spirit. Not to any external cause really, but to an inherent lack in us, is it due that we slowly grow complacent, instead of crusading worthily in behalf of liberty.

Alice Groff, Philadelphia:

The most of you publishers are such unspeakable Kaisers of Kultur that you treat the geniuses who make you what you are as insignificant privates in a literary army, which you deploy; keeping them dangling upon your critical pleasure, or blowing them to pieces because they do not happen to walk the line you mark out.

I suppose this is inevitable, however, in the present social order and that there will never be free literary expression until there is publishing organization on the part of the whole people for the benefit of the whole people. May the universe speed the day of such organization.

Have You Read—?

(In this column will be given each month a list of current magazine articles which, as an intelligent being, you will not want to miss.)

Gaudier-Brzeska’s Art, by John Caurnos. The Egoist, September 1.

Havelock Ellis on Birth Control in Physical Culture for September, October, November.

The Literature of a Moral Republic, by H. L. Mencken. The Smart Set, October.

The Undergraduate. The New Republic, September 25.

Can You Read—?

(In this column will be given each month a resume of current cant which, as an intelligent being, you may wish to be diverted or angered or stimulated by.)

International Duty and Hyphenated Americans, by Theodore Roosevelt. The Metropolitan, October.

In Memory of Lieutenant Rupert Brooke, by Joyce Kilmer. The Bookman, September.

Llewellyn Jones on New Tendencies in the Arts, in any issue of The Chicago Evening Post Friday Review.


An Individualist Review

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Reviews of only those books which are worth praise.

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A group is being formed for the study of Russian language.

A group is being formed for the study of Russian literature.

For information inquire at the

Little Review
834 Fine Arts Building


will lecture at

The Fine Arts Theatre

from Nov. 21 to Dec. 5

Subjects to be announced later. All information may be had at the office of The Little Review, 834 Fine Arts Building, Chicago.


Russian Tea Room

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Statement of Ownership, Management, Circulation, Etc., required by the Act of August 24, 1912

of THE LITTLE REVIEW published monthly at Chicago, Ill. for Oct. 1st, 1915.

Editor, Margaret C. Anderson, 834 Fine Arts Building, Chicago Managing Editor, Same Business Manager, Same Publisher, Same

Owners: (If a corporation, give its name and the names and addresses of stockholders holding 1 per cent or more of total amount of stock. If not a corporation, give names and addresses of individual owners.)

Margaret C. Anderson
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Sworn to and subscribed before me this 23rd day of Sept., 1915.

(My commission expires December 20, 1917.)


for August Contained This Interesting Material

THE MARRIAGE OF OLYMPE, by Emile Augier 358
EMILE AUGIER, by Barrett Clark 440
PARSEE DRAMA, by George Cecil 459
THE EVOLUTION OF THE ACTOR, by Arthur Pollock 468
FRANK WEDEKIND, by Frances Fay 479
JAMES SHIRLEY, DRAMATIST, a review by Charlton Andrews 506
CHIEF CONTEMPORARY DRAMATISTS, a review by Alfred K. Eddy 527
A SELECTIVE LIST OF ESSAYS AND BOOKS ABOUT THE THEATRE AND OF PLAYS published during the second quarter of 1915, compiled by Frank Chouteau Brown 538

The Drama for November will be a notable number. Rabindranath Tagore will contribute an article on the stage that crystallizes much of the present diverse generalization, especially in discussions of stagecraft. Julius Brouta, perhaps the most celebrated drama critic of Spain, will write of the work of Benavente, a brilliant Spanish playwright of today. A puppet play of Benavente, the popular Los Interessos Creados, will be printed in its entirety. The New Stage Art in its Relation to Drama will be considered from a new point of view by Alice Corbin Henderson. The articles begun in the present number, Playing Hamlet as Shakespeare Staged It in 1601, by Charlotte Porter, and The Evolution of the Actor, by Arthur Pollock, will be concluded.

In November also will appear what promises to be one of the most important pieces of dramatic poetry ever written in America, Edwin Arlington Robinson’s Ben Jonson Entertains a Man from Stratford. In beauty of verse, in poetic vision, and in its appreciation of the fine human quality of Shakespeare the poem is a leading feature of the Shakespeare Tercentenary Celebration.

The Drama, a Quarterly
$3.00 per year

736 Marquette Building Chicago



Heretofore sold by subscription, only to physicians. Now offered to the public. Written in plain terms. Former price $5.50. Now sent prepaid for $1.60. This is the revised and enlarged Marshall English translation. Send check, money order or stamps.

Ignorance Is the Great Curse!

Do you know, for instance, the scientific difference between love and passion? Human life is full of hideous exhibits of wretchedness due to ignorance of sexual normality.

Stupid, pernicious prudery long has blinded us to sexual truth. Science was slow in entering this vital field. In recent years commercialists eyeing profits have unloaded many unscientific and dangerous sex books. Now the world’s great scientific minds are dealing with this subject upon which human happiness often depends. No longer is the subject tabooed among intelligent people.

We take pleasure in offering to the American public, the work of one of the world’s greatest authorities upon the question of sexual life. He is August Forel, M.D., Ph.D., LL.D., of Zurich, Switzerland. His book will open your eyes to yourself and explain many mysteries. You will be better for this knowledge.

Every professional man and woman, those dealing with social, medical, criminal, legal, religious and educational matters will find this book of immediate value. Nurses, police officials, heads of public institutions, writers, judges, clergymen and teachers are urged to get this book at once.

The subject is treated from every point of view. The chapter on “love and other irradiations of the sexual appetite” is a profound exposition of sex emotions—Contraceptive means discussed—Degeneracy exposed—A guide to all in domestic relations—A great book by a great man.

General dealers in books, sent on mail order.
142 W. 23d St., New York City.

In answering this advertisement mention The Little Review.


Violin Recital

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December 5

Program to be Announced Later

Books to Rent and Sell

All the latest fiction available as soon as published at moderate rental fee. Most efficient and satisfactory book renting service in Chicago.

Those wishing to purchase new or second hand books are invited to send us their want lists. Quotations submitted before purchases are made. We can save you money. Send for catalog.

Venetian Library and Book Shop
Opp. Marshall Field’s


For TWO WEEKS, Beginning
January 17, 1916


(First Time in English)


Prices 25c to $1.50

925 Fine Arts Building


The Song of the Lark


The story of a prima donna’s career. “A story of something better than suggestiveness and charm—a thing finished, sound and noble.”—The Nation.

“A distinct improvement on her previous novels, ‘O Pioneers,’ and ‘Alexander’s Bridge.’”—New York Herald. $1.40 net.

David Penstephen


David is the most lovable of all the author’s creations, a boy who grew to manhood under conditions that might have warped a soul less noble. $1.35 net.

The Little Book of American Poets


This book, a companion volume to “The Little Book of Modern Verse,” gives a bird’s-eye view of the 19th century, beginning with Philip Freneau and ending with the period of Madison Cawein, Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey. 140 poets are represented and the book includes 230 poems. Cloth, $1.25 net; limp leather, $1.75 net.

The Log of a Noncombatant


An absorbing narrative of the adventures and experiences of an American correspondent and dispatch bearer who saw fighting both with the Germans and Allies and who, as messenger for the American Embassy at Berlin, had exceptional opportunities for a glimpse behind the scenes in war-time Germany. Illustrated. $1.25 net.

The Greatest of Literary Problems


This work meets a long-felt need for a complete presentation of the Bacon-Shakespeare question, and will prove as useful to students of Shakespeare as of Bacon. It presents an exhaustive review of Shakespearean authors from Rowe to Lee, as well as a bibliography covering all printed works upon the subject in English, French, German, Spanish, Scandinavian, Italian, and Russian, articles in periodical literature, and a wealth of illustrations of great value to students and collectors. Illustrated. 8vo. $5.00.

Red Wine of Roussillon


“A really good romantic drama, one of the best that has been produced in a generation.... Compact and well made, developing swiftly and logically a tragic love story of uncommon interest.... Genuinely poetic.... A remarkable work, both in the literary and dramatic sense.”—The Nation. $1.25 net.



A discussion of some of the fundamental questions of life and morality as expressed in, or suggested by, literature. The subjects of the first five studies are Nietzsche, Zola, Huysmans, Casanova and St. Francis of Assisi. $1.75 net.

The New Poetry Series

This series aims to produce artistic and inexpensive editions of representative contemporary verse.

The new volumes added this fall are:—

Stillwater Pastorals and Other Poems

By Paul Shivell. With a Preface by Bliss Perry.

The Cloister: A Verse Drama

By Emile Verhaeren.


By Geoffrey C. Faber.

Afternoons of April

By Grace Hazard Conkling.

Each, boards, 75 cents net

4 Park St.

16 E. 40th St.
New York

Houghton Mifflin Co.


Transcriber’s Notes

Advertisements were collected at the end of the text.

The table of contents on the title page was adjusted in order to reflect correctly the headings in this issue of The Little Review.

The original spelling was mostly preserved. A few obvious typographical errors were silently corrected. All other changes are shown here (before/after):