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1916

THE READER'S VIEW

111

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, Minne

ota.

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 average 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 Russian 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, happen 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 attitude 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 English army."

THOMAS LATHAM.

AN APPRECIATION FROM JAPAN “Very many thanks for The Outlook, which comes to me regularly," writes T. Kobayashi, a business man 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, “I finally managed to bring my gun in his [the and Northern Railroad is a woman, Mrs. bird's] direction and pull the trigger, only to see Phæbe E. Clark, of Nashville, Tennessee. She him walk away. ... Bob got three, and I shooting was, “ Leslie's Weekly” states, elected Vice- as hard as I could and killing nothing. I got President of the road in March, 1914, and a few separated from Bob and ran across another months later was chosen President to succeed hunter. Determined not to be outdone by Bob, her husband, the late George A. Clark. Her I bought a rabbit and some birds from him. administration of the road is said to have been When I got back to Bob, he had two birds most successful.

more, but I was satisfied !" The Jews of the East Side of New York City, Irish good nature is being strained by war “ Everybody's Magazine " informs us, are pro- conditions. An advertisement in a weekly Irish ducing an extraordinary number of artists.

newspaper, the “

Kilkenny People," announces “Fifty per cent of the students in the principal an advance in prices by the Blacksmiths' Assoart academy of New York are East Side Jews,” ciation of Kilkenny, and adds, with the emphasis it says. Among the names of the Jewish artists of capitals : cited are those of Jo Davidson, Jacob Epstein, F NO SMALL JOBS DONE GRATIS IN FUTURE Sterne, Halpert, Walkowitz, Jerome Meyers, Evidently the times are past when the thrifty Weber, and Kroll.

farmer could say, “ Tim, ye're not chargin' me A letter printed in the “ Private Correspond- for that thrifle of a job, are ye?" The blackence of Lord Granville "gives an amusing ac- smiths of Kilkenny are out for their rights in count of a visit by Charles James Fox to Paris in these days that try men's souls. 1802. He was invited to dine at the house of Mme.

“ Eternity is the distance between a hungry Cabarrus, a celebrated beauty. “The moment boy and supper-time," says E. W. Helms in he came into the room a black-looking, oldish “Reflections of a Corn-field Philosopher" (comman [the famous Chevalier des Boufflers] ran positor please note that it is not Corn-fed up to him with open arms and kissed him.

Philosopher ). Other aphorisms are: “It is This put poor Fox completely out. ... He said

not wealth but the arrogance of wealth that that at first he looked round to see if he could offends the poor;" Opportunity never knocks jump out of a window or run downstairs again; at the door of ine unprepared;" “ The only way but sat down resigned. To his great surprise, to get a thing done is to neglect everything after a few moments the conversation became

else;" “Most people overvalue the acquirements so extremely amusing, so brilliant and clever,

they do not possess;" " The only way to reform Mme. Cabarrus looked so handsome and was

a man is not to let him know it;" “ Misforso good-humored, that he was delighted, stayed tune is the bosom friend of the man who didn't the whole evening, and has returned several

think;' ” “If you would enjoy the taste of pie, times since. He said he had no idea French

live mostly on bread." men could be so pleasant as these were."

In “A Last Memory of Robert Louis SteThe late Joseph Fels, philanthropist, tax

venson," by Charlotte Eaton, this curious incireformer, and millionaire business man, once de

dent is recorded: “What do you consider your scribed himself thus: “ I am two men. With my

brightest failure ?" the novelist was asked. right hand I can skin a man for five cents while

“ • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,'" he replied, without with my left hand I can give away five thou

a moment's hesitation, adding, “That is the sand dollars.” This characterization not in

worst thing I ever wrote." Yet in a standard aptly applies to many shrewd self-made men,

book of brief biographies this is the one bookhard in making a bargain but open-handed

title given under the name of the author. when a good cause appeals to them.

In a contribution of vers libre to the Septem“Gladys,” remarked a somewhat irresponsi- ber “Atlantic" Mr. H. G. Dwight observes, “ I ble young girl, according to the New York

have stood on the bluffs of Scutari,” “I have “ Times,” “ I am very much afraid my bank is wandered among ihe lonely pillars of the Parthein a bad way.” “Nonsense!” said the other ; non," " I have sat in the ruined theater at Taor"why, that bank is one of the strongest finan- mina," " I have climbed the North Cape," and cial institutions in the country. Where ever did

as a climax utters this astounding sentiment: you get that idea ?” “It's very strange," replied “But I like Newark Bay.” And his imaginaGladys, still unconvinced. “They've just re- tive description of the allurements of that proturned a check of mine for $30, marked “No saic stretch of water almost makes the reader Funds.'”

like it too. A candid hunter tells in the “ National Sports- "All trunk lines between Chicago and Denman" about his case of " buck fever"—though ver," the “ Railway Age Gazette" states, “ have he was hunting birds, not deer. "I began to abandoned the sale of wines and liquors in the shake and see birds on every side,” he says. dining cars."

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The Outlook

SEPTEMBER 20, 1916

Offices, 381 Fourth Avenue, New York

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 WEEK

The part

THE STORY OF THE WAR

struck in this quarter with great rapidity and Attention continues to be centered on the energy. Mackensen has taken Tutrakan and military operations in the Balkans as the Silistria, both almost on the bank of the most immediately important activity of the Danube ; the first seems to have been an oldwhole war. Two developments in this cam fashioned fortress easily pounded to pieces by paign in the week ending September 13 were the big guns; the second is a place of imporof paramount importance. First, the con tance. The future of the campaign in this sectinued attack by Bulgarians and Germans on tion depends upon Russia. She seems to have Rumania in the Dobrudja; and, secondly, the every opportunity of moving whatever forces forward movement on the part of the Allies she can spare south through eastern Rumania, on the Salonika line. The Dobrudja is that and thus to attack the Bulgarian and German portion of Rumania which adjoins the north forces with these purposes in view: to combine eastern corner of Bulgaria.

with the other armies of the Allies, to drive the attacked lies to the southeast of the Danube enemy back of the Danube, to cut the railRiver. It is quite probable that Rumania ways, and eventually to march upon Consomewhat neglected this section of her frontier stantinople. Bucharest is to some extent because of her anxiety to push through the threatened by the advance in the Dobrudja, mountains into Transylvania, where, as but though the distance from the present have already noted, she has established her German and Bulgarian position to Bucharest self beyond the mountain passes, has taken is not much over forty miles, the Danube three important towns, and is facing the River forms a strong defensive line. Austrian forces which hold a position along The second new move in the Balkans durthe River Maros. No doubt, also, Russia ing our week was what looks like the beginwas evidently looked to by Rumania to send ning of a large advance by the French and forces south from Reni to attack Bulgaria the British from Salonika. The French appear through the Dobrudja. Germany, under the to be moving north along the line of the l'arleadership of General Mackensen, however, dar River—that is, in the general direction

we

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