« 上一頁繼續 »
14. Explain capital, private property, money, wealth. When is money wealth?
15. The following headings appeared in a newspaper's discussion of the nation's prosperity. If you knew nothing about the resources, industries, and general conditions of the United States, what would these tell you?
Note. In working out the exercises of this chapter make use of outline maps of your community, your state, and the nation. (See exercises of Chapter I.)
MAKING AMERICA BEAUTIFUL
1. As Others see Us. Fanny Kemble, the English actress, once said to an American business man: "Life in the United States is hard and dry. Your country is a great cornfield. See that you plant flowers in it.” Mrs. Kemble did not mean that she had not found much beauty here, for she had seen our lakes and mountains and had been entertained in some of our beautiful homes. But she was most impressed by the American at work, and was fearful that in our eagerness "to produce more corn to feed more hogs to buy more land to grow more corn” we should forget the flower side of life. At times it has seemed as if we really were a nation that loved neither flowers nor sunsets.
2. America's Special Work has been Dirty Work. But the slums, the smoke, the noise, and all the other unattractive features of America are only a passing phase of the industrial age through which we have been living. America has had a special work to do: a work which no other nation could do, for America had the tools, the workers, and the vision. This special work was mining iron ore and coal, using the coal to transform the ore into steel, making the steel into rails, locomotives, and ships. It was building machinery to fit our factories that have helped make the whole world more comfortable. It was setting up telephone wires, laying cables, and raising skyscrapers. If these undertakings had been extended over a hundred years, the by-products of dirt, noise, and slums might not have been so great. But the force of the centuries and her mission among the nations have speeded up America to a degree never before known in history.
Workers for railroad-building, mines, and factories came to us from other countries in such large numbers that there was not time to build a "white-painted cottage with a yard all around” for each family, even if we had wished to. Some weeks more than ten thousand newcomers have entered New York City. Attractive homes for all of these was an impossibility,
The truest kind of beauty is that which nature gave us when she made
therefore ugly tenements were hastily erected. More and still more tenements had to be built each year, and even sunlight was crowded out.
The United States had men capable of preventing the slum evil and the spread of dirt and noise, but they were busy at other important tasks. There were not hours enough in the longest working day for these men to attend to all the problems that needed attention. So there have grown up ugly towns, and ugly spots in beautiful towns and cities. But this can be partly remedied. Here and there a handful of people have already started to cure ugliness, and each year their number increases.
3. Some of the Things that make for Beauty and Attractiveness. It will be helpful to summarize briefly the most important beautiful things or means of securing beauty that already exist in the United States. These are more numerous than may at first seem tri The nation that uses nearly five million Christ
mas trees each
and dresses its little children better than any other country is not a beautystarved nation. And a nation whose capital city has much simple beauty as Washington will surely try to make all its towns and cities attractive.
4. The Beauty of Natural Scenery. The most important source of enjoyment and the one within reach of most people is the beauty that nature gave to the con
tinent. Not only is our The Christmas-tree habit of Americans suggests all the beauty of forests and homes
country fortunate in its
mountains, sea, rivers, and lakes but in its sunsets, its evening skies, and the length of the seasons. There are many people who live in parts of the globe where beautiful sunsets are unknown, where seasons are such that for long periods there is constant darkness or constant twilight or constant full daylight. To be deprived of our sunsets and the combination of sunlight, twilight, and darkness which we get in each of our three hundred and sixty-five days, except in case of storm, would seem to us a great misfortune. It has been the wonderful gifts of nature that have kept the heart of the American people from growing sordid.
© Keystone View Co.
5. Music a Part of Life in America. Almost as wonderful as the mountains and ocean is the music that is within reach of everybody. The people of the United States spend nearly $700,000,000 for music each year. Cities like Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, have permanent orchestras which each year give weekly concerts and make tours of the smaller cities. The best of Europe's musicians are heard in every part of the United States. One of the most important sources of beautiful music is the churches, in many of which week-day organ recitals are given during the winter and so planned that workers and busy people can take time to hear them.
Many years ago the old-fashioned singingschool gave to rural
Foreign visitors say that nowhere else in the communities a season whole world are there so many beautifully of musical pleasure.
dressed children as in America Now both rural towns and cities have special community festivals and community sings. One of the most memorable evenings of President Harding's first year in the White House was the May day when a community sing was held on the steps of the War and Navy Building. From his office the President could see the Washington Monument in the near distance, the rows of Japanese cherry trees in full bloom, the thousands of people,
© Hagelstein Bros