« PreviousContinue »
OOKING more and more like an orchid, Yetta stood the real one, the blood mounting to her cheeks, and waited for the storm to pass. "I'm not going to talk about this strike," she said when she could make herself heard. "It 's over. I want to tell you about the next one-and the next. I wish very much I could make you understand about the strikes that are coming....
Perhaps there's some of you never thought much about strikes till now. Well. There's been strikes all the time. I don't believe there's ever been a year when there was n't dozens here in New York. When we began, the skirt-finishers was out. They lost their strike. They went hungry just the way we did, but nobody helped them. And they're worse now than ever. There ain't no difference between one strike and another. Perhaps they are striking for more pay or recognition or closed shops. But the next strike 'll be just like ours. It 'll be people fighting so they won't be so much slaves like they was before.
"The Chairman said perhaps I'd tell you about my experience. There ain't nothing to tell except everybody has been awful kind to me. It's fine to have people so kind to me. But I'd rather if they'd try to understand what this strike business means to all of us workers -this strike we 've won and the ones that are coming . . .
I come out of the workhouse today, and they tell me a lady wants to give me money to study, she wants to have me go to college like I was a rich girl. It 's very kind. I want to study. I ain't been to school none since I was fifteen. I guess I can't even talk English very good. I'd like to go to college. And I used to see pictures in the papers of beautiful rich women, and of course it would be fine to have clothes like that. But being in a strike, seeing all the people suffer, seeing all the cruelty-it makes things look different de
"The Chairman told you something out of the Christian Bible. Well, we Jews have got a story too-perhaps it's in
your Bible about Moses and his people in Egypt. He'd been brought up by a rich Egyptian lady-a princess-just like he was her son. But as long as he tried to be an Egyptian he was n't no good. And God spoke to him one day out of a bush on fire. I don't remember just the words of the story, but God said: 'Moses, you 're a Jew. You ain't got no business with the Egyptians. Take off those fine clothes and go back to your own people and help them escape from bondage.' Well. Of course, I ain't like Moses, and God has never talked to me. But it seems to me sort of as if-during this strike I'd seen a Blazing Bush. Anyhow I've seen my people in bondage. And I don't want to go to college and be a lady. I guess the kind princess could n't understand why Moses wanted to be a poor Jew instead of a rich Egyptian. But if you can understand, if you can understand why I'm going to stay with my own people, you'll understand all I've been trying to say do
"We're a people in bondage. There's lots of people who 's kind to us. I guess the princess was n't the only Egyptian lady that was kind to the Jews. But kindness ain't what people want who are in bondage. Kindness won't never make us free. And God don't send any more prophets nowadays. We 've got to escape all by ourselves. And when you read in the papers that there's a strike-it don't matter whether it's street-car conductors or lace-makers, whether it 's Eyetalians or Polacks or Jews orAmericans, whether it's here or in Chicago-it's my Peoplethe People in Bondage who are starting out for the Promised Land.” She stopped a moment, and a strange look came over her face—a look of communication with some distant spirit. When she spoke again, her words were unintelligible to most of the audience. Some of the Jewish vest-makers understood. And the Rev. Dunham Denning, who was a famous scholar, understood. But even those who did not were held spellbound by the swinging sonorous cadence. She stopped abruptly.
"It's Hebrew," she explained. "It's what my father taught me when I was
a little girl. It's about the Promised Land-I can't say it in good English
"Unless I've forgotten my Hebrew,"
"'And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing
with milk and honey.'
HERE are two ways of being happy:
We may either diminish our wants or augment our means—either will dothe result is the same; and it is for each man to decide for himself, and do that which happens to be the easiest.
If you are idle or sick or poor, however hard it may be to diminish your wants, it will be harder to augment your means.
I am part of the sea and stars
And the ages sent me forth!
Blind Homer, the splendor of Greece,
Saw me in the depths of hell.
I was hanged at dawn for a crime-
I piped to great Shakespeare's chime
All, all who have suffered and won,
Am I, with work still undone,
And a spear-mark in my side.
I am part of the sea and stars
If you are active and prosperous or health, it may be young or in good easier for you to augment your means than to diminish your wants de But if you are wise, you will do both at the same time, young or old, rich or poor, sick or well; and if you are very wise you will do both in such a way as to augment the general happiness of society.- Franklin.
"Yes. That's it,"
And the winds of the South and North, judge human
Of mountains and moon and Mars,
"Kinship," by Edward H. S. Terry
LL higher motives, ideals, conceptions, sentiments in a man are of no account if they do not come forward to strengthen him for the better discharge of the duties which devolve upon him in the ordinary affairs of life.
-Henry Ward Beecher.
HE soul is a fire that darts its rays through all the senses; it is in this fire that existence consists; all the observations and all the efforts of philosophers ought to turn towards this me, the center and moving power of our sentiments and our ideas.-Madame De Stael.
nature rightly, a man may sometimes have a very small experience, provided he has a
very large heart.-Bulwer-Lytton.
GREAT deal of the joy of life consists in doing perfectly, or at least to the best of one's ability, everything which he attempts to do. There is a sense of satisfaction, a pride in surveying such a work-a work which is rounded, full, exact, complete in all its parts which the superficial man, who leaves his work in a slovenly, slipshod, half-finished condition, can never know. It is this conscientious completeness which turns work into art. The smallest thing, well done, becomes artistic.
E are taught, many of us, from our youth onwards, that competition is essential to the health and progress of the race. Or, as Herbert Spencer puts it, "Society flourishes by the antagonism of its atoms."
H, if they would only let you work.
to work? Do you know the real thing that puts people in their little hospital cots with nervous prostration is not working, but trying to work and not being allowed to. Work never hurt anybody. But this thing of being in the middle of a letter and then rising to shake hands with a man who knew you when you were a boy, and then sitting down and
There is something in the Autumn that
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
With the yellow and the purple and the trying to catch the
But the obvious golden truth is that
crimson keeping time.
The scarlet of the maples can shake me
like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like smoke
There is something in October sets the
We must follow her,
When from every hill aflame,
thread of that letter again that 's what gives one general debility.
CAN no more understand that any serious injury can come to my moral nature from disbelief in Samson than from disbelief in Jack the Giant-Killer s I care as little for Goliath as for the giant Blunderbore. I am glad that children should amuse themselves with nursery stories, but it is shocking that they should be ordered to believe in them as solid facts, and then be told that such superstition is essential to morality. -Sir Leslie Stephen.
"An Autumn Song," by Bliss Carman
We know that a
S good almost kill a man as kill a
they must work together and not against good book; who kills a man kills a
one another. Surely these things are as obvious as the fact that there could be no hive unless the bees worked as a colony and on the lines of mutual aid.
Your sole contribution to the sum of things is yourself.-Frank Crane.
reasonable creature, God's image, but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself.-John Milton.
Success or failure in business is caused more by mental attitude even than by mental capacities.-Walter Dill Scott.
T is undeniable that the great quest of humanity is happiness. But was the world created to be happy? How many are truly happy? I 've studied people in all classes and conditions, and everywhere I have found, when you get below the surface, that it is mostly the insincere individual who
says, ''I am happy." Nearly everybody wants something he has n't got, and as things are constructed, what he wants is money— more money than he has in his pocket
But after all, money can buy only a few things Why should any one envy the captains of industry? Their lives are made up of those vast, incessant worries from which the average individual is happily
HE great voice of America does not
come from the seats of learning. It comes in a murmur from the hills and woods and farms and factories and the mills, rolling and gaining volume until it comes to us from the homes of common men. Do these murmurs echo in the corridors of the universities? I have not heard them. The universities would make
For each and every joyful thing,
For fountains cool that laugh and leap,
For stars that pierce the sombre dark,
For sunshine and the blessed rain,
For bounty springing from the sod,
spared. Worry, worry, that is the evil of life s
What do I consider the nearest approximation to happiness of which the present human nature is capable? Why, living on a farm which is one's own, far from the hectic, artificial conditions of the city-a farm where one gets directly from one's own soil what one needs to sustain life, with a garden in front and a healthy, normal family to contribute those small domestic joys which relieve a man from business strain.-Edison.
AM not so lost in lexicography as to forget that words are the daughters of earth, and that things are the sons of heaven. Samuel Johnson.
There exists no cure for a heart wounded with the sword of separation.
men forget their common origins, forget their universal sympathies, and join a class-and no class can ever serve America. I have dedicated every power there is in me to bring the colleges that I have anything to do with to an absolutely democratic regeneration in spirit, and I shall not be satisfied until America shall know that the men in the colleges are saturated with the same thought, the same sympathy, that whole great body
pulses through the politic.-Woodrow Wilson.
HE man who has not anything to boast of but his illustrious ancestors is like a potato-the only good belonging to him is underground.
-Sir Thomas Overbury.
MAN without mirth is like a wagon without springs, in which one is caused disagreeably to jolt by every pebble over which it runs.
-Henry Ward Beecher.
MERICA has furnished to the world the character of Washington, and if our American institutions had done nothing else, that alone would have entitled them to the respect of mankind. -Daniel Webster.
UR world is pervaded and deeply moved by the power of ideals. There is no perfect statesman, or poet, or artist, but the virtues of many persons in each one of these great pursuits become detached, and like stardust, they form a new and perfect star in the expanse of thought. The orator that stands before us in our moments of reflection and dream is not Cicero, or Burke, or Webster, but always some nameless one with a wisdom, a language and a presence better than were found in those actual incarnations.
Our statesman is not Alfred, nor Napoleon, nor even Washington, but he is some yet mightier being with an infinite power and unknown name, his features not yet fully visible, as though he had not yet emerged from the shadows of old forums and the lonely columns of ruined states. All around our hearts stand these final shapes of the powerful, the perfect and the sublime-the aggregations of long ages of thought and admiration.
Our earth is great not only because of what it has, but also because of what lies within its reach.
The quest after ideals is the central reason of life. This pursuit abandoned, life need not run along any longer. The pitcher is broken at the fountain. The idealists are creating a human world after the pattern shown them in the Mount. Each art stands as a monument to a host of idealists who in their own day perhaps toiled hopelessly and amid the sneers of those who were only the children of dust. Music, now so infinite in extent and sweetness, is such a monument. The first rude harps are broken and lost; dead the hands that smote them; but the art is here with no enchantment lost. We do not know the names of those singers. Like us they were pilgrims.
They had to pass into the beyond, but they left an art which the world loves. It was so of liberty, temperance, justice and all the higher forms of human life. Some speak of ideals as being only girls' dreams. On the opposite, high ideals are lifelike portraits seen in advance. Only
the greatest minds living in an age of tyranny could see in prophecy the portrait of a free people. Instead of being a romantic dream an ideal is often a long mathematical calculation by an intellect as logical as that of Euclid. Idealism is not the ravings of a maniac, but it is the calm geometry of life. Ideals try our faith, as though to show us that nothing is too good to be true. In noble ideals there is something aggressive. They are not aggressive like an army with gun and spear, but aggressive like the sun which coaxes a June out of a winter. All great truths are persistent. Each form of right is a growing form. All high ideals will be realized. This one perceives who takes a long view-the triumph of ideality over apathy, indolence and dust. There is nothing in history, dark as much of it is, to check the belief that man will at last be overcome by his highest ideals se
severity of my language; but is
AM aware that many object to the
there not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as Truth, and as uncompromising as Justice. On this subject I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen-but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest-I will not equivocate-I will not excuse-I will not retreat a single inch-and I will be heard. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead.
-William Lloyd Garrison.
Elive in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.-Philip James Bailey.