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THE READER'S VIEW
explain in the words of the book is given a low mark. Do the Russians not have to memorize long, meaningless poems that show nothing more than the tyranny of the Czar? I should rather learn the fine monologues, the speeches in Shakespeare, such as," Is this a dagger of the mind?" and others full of beautiful words, than long, meaningless prayers.
Mr. Levine wants a change, and he suggests Russia! He says: “Here the programme is the same in every high school, there the universities have their standards and will not permit a student to stay if he does not keep up in his work, there the same text-books are used everywhere." In the United States they are not; but what is the difference between the Wells and the Smith geometry ? Both are modern, up-to-date books. In our gymnasium we had a geography twentyfive years old, and this book, full of nonsense, has still to be used, for it is decreed by the centralized department and forced upon the pupil and the teacher.
In order to get a position as principal, one must be a politician in favor with high Government officials. Does Mr. Levine want to draw our free high school system into the mire of politics?
CHARLES STRAUSS. North High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
of money “ über alles.” The writer asserts that Russian graduates are better educated than American. But could a Russian student be more educated than an American when he is able to graduate absolutely ignorant? The aver age Russian high school student is of the wealthy people, for tuition is from seventy to two hundred rubles a year–a sum that poor children cannot afford. These wealthy people, in order to have their children graduate without any hardship in the examination, make money donations to the principals and teachers, for which the children are permitted to pass to the next higher grade or given diplomas without care as to their knowledge. I have witnessed many such cases in the royal schools and gymnasia of Odessa, whence I come, where they are not rare-as a matter of fact, quite common. There the Rus. sian student aims to get into a gymnasium, not to be educated, but to wear the uniform with shiny brass buttons, attractive to the eyes of young ladies, and to get the privilege that the Russian student possesses of paying half-fare on the street cars, obtaining special seats in the theaters and circuses, and other favors dear to his heart and to that of the lady whom he admires. All of this can, and does, bappen in the highly centralized school in Russia. Is this the education that Mr. Levine advocates for America?
Again, in Russia the student must take the whole prescribed course, without opportunity to choose subjects for which he has special need or liking. He must take Latin, which is given very dryly, and physics and botany, which are taught without any laboratory work-all such a monotonous grind that students are often driven to madness or suicide. The fear of not passing examinations in subjects so abominably taught often results in ten suicides a year.
I agree with Mr. Levine's staiement that coeducation in the American schools improves home life and the understanding between men and women. Is not this a far nobler achieve. ment than the surface polish that the Russian high school has? It is in the clubs of these coeducational schools that free discussions showing all sides of a case impart true knowledge and culture.
In one place the writer says that the American teacher gets better results than the Russian, and in another he recommends Russian reforms, with the centralized authority and the abnormal
le of unity between pupils and teacher which must naturally follow.
Mr. Levine cites the case of the American teacher depending upon the book. In this respect the Russians are twice as bad--they make parrots of their pupils. One is called on to recite in a geometry lesson, and if he does not
“ ENGLAND" AND "BRITAIN" Nelson signaled to his fleet at the critical moment when it approached the French at
Trafalgar, “England expects every man to do his duty.” The word "England" has a political, dramatic, or oratorical effect. Each nation has a“core word,” or national entity, in expression. “Scotland forever," not “North Britain forever.” This latter would not have inspired the “ Grays" at Waterloo. The North Americans use the word “ British "more than other nations or the British themselves do. The French and Germans always say “England,” “the Eng. lish," as the Kaiser's “the ridiculously little
AN APPRECIATION FROM JAPAN “Very many thanks for The Outlook, which comes to me regularly," writes T. Kobayashi, a business inan of Tokyo. “In this magazine appears sometimes an account relating to our country, and I am always thankful for its true understanding of our nation. Many disputes arising between nations are due to the lack of thorough knowledge of each other. As I trust The Outlook reflects the sentiments of your Nation. I endeavor always to grasp the true sense of Americanism through this magazine.”'
EDITH A. SAWYER. Wellesley, Massachusetts.
The President of the Tennessee, Kentucky, and Northern Railroad is a woman, Mrs. Phæbe E. Clark, of Nashville, Tennessee. She was, “ Leslie's Weekly” states, elected VicePresident of the road in March, 1914, and a few months later was chosen President to succeed her husband, the late George A. Clark. Her administration of the road is said to have been most successful.
The Jews of the East Side of New York City, “ Everybody's Magazine " informs us, are producing an extraordinary number of artists. “Fifty per cent of the students in the principal art academy of New York are East Side Jews," it says. Among the names of the Jewish artists cited are those of Jo Davidson, Jacob Epstein, Sterne, Halpert, Walkowitz, Jerome Meyers, Weber, and Kroll.
. A letter printed in the “ Private Correspond ence of Lord Granville" gives an amusing account of a visit by Charles James Fox to Paris in 1802. He was invited to dine at the house of Mme. Cabarrus, a celebrated beauty. “The moment he came into the room a black-looking, oldish man [the famous Chevalier des Boufflers] ran up to him with open arms and kissed him. This put poor Fox completely out. ... He said that at first he looked round to see if he could jump out of a window or run downstairs again; but sat down resigned. To his great surprise, after a few moments the conversation became so extremely amusing, so brilliant and clever, Mme. Cabarrus looked so handsome and was so good-humored, that he was delighted, stayed the whole evening, and has returned several times since. He said he had no idea Frenchmen could be so pleasant as these were."
The late Joseph Fels, philanthropist, tax reformer, and millionaire business man, once described himself thus: “ I am two men. With my right hand I can skin a man for five cents while with my left hand I can give away five thousand dollars." This characterization not inaptly applies to many shrewd self-made men, hard in making a bargain but open-handed when a good cause appeals to them.
“Gladys,” remarked a somewhat irresponsible young girl, according to the New York “ Times," " I am very much afraid my bank is in a bad way.” “Nonsense!” said the other ; “why, that bank is one of the strongest financial institutions in the country. Where ever did you get that idea?” “It's very strange," replied Gladys, still unconvinced. “They've just returned a check of mine for $30, marked 'No Funds.""
A candid hunter tells in the “ National Sportsman " about his case of “buck fever "-though he was hunting birds, not deer. "I began to shake and see birds on every side,” he says.
“I finally managed to bring my gun in his [the bird's] direction and pull the trigger, only to see him walk away.... Bob got three, and I shooting as hard as I could and killing nothing. I got separated from Bob and ran across another hunter. Determined not to be outdone by Bob, I bought a rabbit and some birds from him, When I got back to Bob, he had two birds more, but I was satisfied !"
Irish good nature is being strained by war conditions. An advertisement in a weekly Irish newspaper, the “ Kilkenny People," announces an advance in prices by the Blacksmiths' Association of Kilkenny, and adds, with the emphasis of capitals : IF NO SMALL JOBS DONE GRATIS IN FUTURE Evidently the times are past when the thrifty farmer could say, “ Tim, ye're not chargin' me for that thrifle of a job, are ye?" The blacksmiths of Kilkenny are out for their rights in these days that try men's souls.
“Eternity is the distance between a hungry boy and supper-time," says E. W. Helms in “Reflections of a Corn-field Philosopher" (com. positor please note that it is not “Corn-fed Philosopher"). Other aphorisms are: “It is not wealth but the arrogance of wealth that offends the poor;" “ Opportunity never knocks at the door of ine unprepared ;" “ The only way to get a thing done is to neglect everything else;" “ Most people overvalue the acquirements they do not possess;" “ The only way to reform a man is not to let him know it ;" “ Misfortune is the bosom friend of the man who didn't think;'” “If you would enjoy the taste of pie, live mostly on bread." .
In “A Last Memory of Robert Louis Stevenson," by Charlotte Eaton, this curious incident is recorded : “What do you consider your brightest failure ?'' the novelist was asked. “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," "he replied, without a moment's hesitation, adding, “That is the worst thing I ever wrote." Yet in a standard book of brief biographies this is the one booktitle given under the name of the author.
In a contribution of vers libre to the September “Atlantic” Mr. H. G. Dwight observes, “ 1 have stood on the bluffs of Scutari,” “ I have wandered among ihe lonely pillars of the Parthenon," " I have sat in the ruined theater at Taormina," “ I have climbed the North Cape," and as a climax utters this astounding sentiment: “But I like Newark Bay." And his imaginative description of the allurements of that prosaic stretch of water almost makes the reader like it too.
“All trunk lines between Chicago and Den. ver," the “ Railway Age Gazette "states," have abandoned the sale of wines and liquors in the dining cars.”
SEPTEMBER 20, 1916
For the third time within a little over two years Mr. Gregory Mason, of The Outlook's staff, has gone to Mexico as its representative to study Mexican questions and the Mexican people at close range. He will go to the capital, Mexico City, and to the central part of the Republic in order to answer in his articles in The Outlook such questions as these : Do Mexicans hate Americans, and if so, why? Do Mexicans respect other foreigners more than Americans ? What about German and Japanese influence in Mexico ? What is the position of the Church in Mexico to-day? What is the condition of education in Mexico now? What is the political ability of the Mexicans ? (Mr. Mason hopes to watch and report the methods in actual municipal and State elections.) Do Americans in Mexico want annexation, intervention, or what? How about the land question in Mexico ? Is Mexico bankrupt and ruined ? Has Carranza accomplished anything? These are only a few of the questions upon which Mr. Mason's articles will throw light. They will also include a readable account of personal experiences and incidents. Mr. Mason goes first to Yucatan, partly to look into the controversy over the sisal monopoly, partly because Yucatan occupies a peculiar position among the States of Mexico.—THE EDITORS.
THE STORY OF THE WAR
Attention continues to be centered on the military operations in the Balkans as the most immediately important activity of the whole war. Two developments in this campaign in the week ending September 13 were of paramount importance. First, the continued attack by Bulgarians and Germans on Rumania in the Dobrudja; and, secondly, the forward movement on the part of the Allies on the Salonika line. The Dobrudja is that portion of Rumania which adjoins the northeastern corner of Bulgaria. The part attacked lies to the southeast of the Danube River. It is quite probable that Rumania somewhat neglected this section of her frontier because of her anxiety to push through the mountains into Transylvania, where, as we have already noted, she has established herself beyond the mountain passes, has taken three important towns, and is facing the Austrian forces which hold a position along the River Maros. No doubt, also, Russia was evidently looked to by Rumania to send forces south from Reni to attack Bulgaria through the Dobrudja. Germany, under the leadership of General Mackensen, however,
struck in this quarter with great rapidity and energy. Mackensen has taken Tutrakan and Silistria, both almost on the bank of the Danube ; the first seems to have been an oldfashioned fortress easily pounded to pieces by the big guns; the second is a place of importance. The future of the campaign in this section depends upon Russia. She seems to have every opportunity of moving whatever forces she can spare south through eastern Rumania, and thus to attack the Bulgarian and German forces with these purposes in view: to combine with the other armies of the Allies, to drive the enemy back of the Danube, to cut the railways, and eventually to march upon Constantinople. Bucharest is to some extent threatened by the advance in the Dobrudja, but though the distance from the present German and Bulgarian position to Bucharest is not much over forty miles, the Danube River forms a strong defensive line.
The second new move in the Balkans during our week was what looks like the beginning of a large advance by the French and the British from Salonika. The French appear to be moving north along the line of the Vardar River—that is, in the general direction