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PROBLEMS AND EXERCISES

1. Read this chapter as a continuation of Chapter XIX. Compare the parts that unofficial and official America play in the outside world.

2. Turn to the World Almanac and find out what kind of official representatives we send to each country. A young man can secure a position with our ministers and consuls by taking the civil-service examination for translators, stenographers, interpreters, and general clerks. Get from the civil-service commission at Washington information about these positions. To fit yourself for any one of these, what studies would you have to take in high school and college?

3. The diplomatic service has to do with the political affairs, the consular service with commercial affairs. What are political affairs ? Turn to your clippings assembled in earlier chapters to see if any items relate to ministers or consuls. If not, again read the papers for timely items. Find out who are our chief representatives to England, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, China, Japan. What do you know about the qualifications of these men for their important work? Make a list of the educational equipment that our minister to Italy, for instance, should have as to language, history, economics, art, and the like. Why are the positions as minister to Japan and China difficult to fill?

4. Assume that in the coming summer you can take a trip abroad. Decide on a two months' tour, planning your route carefully. Show, step by step, how official America makes such a trip safe.

5. Find out at what points United States consuls are stationed in the countries you will visit.

6. If in your school or public library there is a biography of any of our former ministers and ambassadors, make from this an outline of the facts connected with his ambassadorship. Note especially what kind of preparation he had for this work. Some member of the class should be assigned to read the life of Townsend Harris, our first minister to Japan, and of John Hay, one of our foremost American statesmen.

7. Turn to your textbook of history and re-read the account of America's part in the World War. Be prepared to discuss the importance of this in class. If the teacher approves, select four students to debate on the question, Resolved, That America's part in the World War makes national isolation impossible.

8. Divide the class into groups, each group studying and reporting on one of our possessions, the class to take notes on the report.

CHAPTER XXI

THE GREATEST THING IN THE NATION

1. Why we strive for the Beautiful. Many times during the study of the chapters of this book and of the other textbooks required by your curriculum you will be impressed with the fact that almost the whole energy of the nation is turned toward getting better homes, better working conditions, more lesiure, more means of enjoying leisure. But why all this effort for more health and more leisure? Why should we want more leisure? If, as we have tried to show, work is good, why bother to make leisure for the millions of the nation's people? Why try so hard to give the people beautiful things? We fill our textbooks with ways and means of accomplishing these things, but we do not tell why. It is difficult to tell the reason, for words are too clumsy to express the finer things, but in the following pages we have tried to suggest answers to these questions.

2. There are Two Sides to Every Person. In one of the big New York City hotels on Christmas Eve the orchestra in the main dining-room played Christmas music during the supper hour. Soft carpets, high pillars draped in green, prism-covered chandeliers that sparkled like diamonds, and in the center a cedar tree gay with red and blue lights and a thousand toyseverything was as beautiful as skill and taste could make it. But the elegance of the setting, the attractiveness of the tables, the fragrance of the cedar, seemed suddenly plain and unimportant when the orchestra, hidden from sight by a mass of green boughs, began to play "Holy Night." No one ate; no one talked. Like a mother murmuring a lullaby to her sleeping child, the first violin against the background of many other instruments told the story that men and women are always hungry to hear. Every quiver of the music was as beautiful as a dream. The listeners not only heard beauty, they saw it and felt it. Perhaps it was a soft twilight, a home scene, a beautiful face, a mountain lake by moonlight, the depth of a great forest, that the music suggested. Whatever it was, it was something beautiful, and it filled their minds and hearts.

There are two sides to every person-one is the side that thinks of the body and the bread-and-butter part of living. This is the side that works to the point of weariness to buy food and clothes and to pay rent. The right kind of person enjoys 'this part of himself greatly. The other side of himself he does not understand so well. It is the side that likes the quiet of Men have not yet succeeded in making beautiful the woods in summer,

things that can surpass nature a starlit night in winter, the essays of Stevenson, the poems of Burns, the choir boys at church, the singing of the "Star-Spangled Banner.” It is this side of people that builds great churches, cultivates rare orchids, sacrifices to feed the starving people of a far-off country, gives up weeks of comfort to bring a moment's happiness to a friend.

3. Every Person is hungry for Beautiful Things. Some people know that they are hungry for these things, while others long for them, but do not know it. The lawyer who hired the most inaccessible office in a ten-story building because it faced the

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western sky knew that sunsets were worth more to him than a room which clients could find more easily. But the boy from a threadbare home who applied for employment in a florist's shop did not know that the reason he was willing to accept this fifteen-dollar-a-week place, when he might have been earning twenty-five dollars in a factory, was that he had been starved for beautiful things.

On Armistice Day, 1918, the narrow streets and old buryingground near Paul Revere's church in Boston were filled with people who came to hear the trumpeters play patriotic airs from the balcony of the steeple. In spite of the narrowness of the streets, the dreariness of the weather, and the sordidness of the near-by tenements, the thousands had only a sense of beauty--the simple beauty of the church, the picturesqueness of the four soldiers with their graceful trumpets, the clear, stirring tones of the music. The little church stood for many beautiful things; the soldiers and their music stood for all the beauty that lies in a great nation. It was the feelings that the church, the soldiers, and the music brought into men's hearts that made the scene a beautiful one.

4. What Beauty Is. Beauty is sometimes what we hear, sometimes what we see, what we feel with our hands or feel with our hearts. The hush that comes over a great audience after a benediction, the silence in a deep forest at twilight, give the same impression of beauty that a beautiful scene does. Many a traveler through the Grand Cañon will never forget certain rare moments of quietness, when at the rim of a precipice he could hear the "whir of a bird's wings in the abyss.”

No one can give a definition of beauty that will satisfy another. A beautiful thing may be a poem, a song, a tree, a sunset, a child, a building, a vase, a voice, a church steeple, a kind deed. When a group of college students who had come from different parts of the country were one night comparing experiences, each told of the most beautiful sight he had seen. These are some of the things that were enumerated: the fireflies over Fountain Lake Meadow in Wisconsin on a sultry July evening; Michigan Avenue in Chicago by electric light on a foggy evening; New York Harbor from Staten Island Ferry in the early evening; a sunrise through the pine trees of Smoky Mountain; the marsh grass in a little tide river in Connecticut; Mt. Shasta by moonlight; a graduation ball at West Point. One of the students had been born in Russia, and when his turn came, he said:

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I was traveling with my father toward Kiev. It was late in the evening, and I was tired and homesick, when suddenly as the train curved around a bend in the river Dnieper, I saw in the dark sky a huge cross of luminous gold. It glowed and quivered like a thing of life. This cross was borne by the statue of Vladimir, which stands on a high hill overlooking the river. Sometimes even now when I look into the night sky, for a second I seem to see it still glowing and quivering high above me.

Every person desires two things: to bring something beautiful into his own life and to give something beautiful to others. No person's life is complete without both getting and giving. It is much easier to get than to give, however, because each person has all the centuries that are past to draw from. Every nation and period of history has produced something beautiful to look at, read, or listen to. As we have explained in another chapter, the Old World beauty has overflowed into the United States, until today we have some of it in every town and city of the nation.

5. Getting Something Beautiful in One's Life. The ways in which different people bring beauty into their own busy lives are almost as numerous as the people themselves, and are proof that no person need have a life that is wholly drab. When John Burroughs was earning his living in the currency bureau at Washington, at work that was most distasteful to him, he spent his evenings writing the essays that made up his first nature book; he balanced the figures side of the day with an out-ofdoors side. It was not merely to earn money for food and medicine for his wife that the famous French painter Millet

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