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course, in condemnation of the electorate. But the electors are not so much to blame as the politicians. I have no faith in the platitudes of those who say that a nation has the government that it deserves; the same thing is said about a nation's press, a nation's theatre, and so on, and all these statements are at least half untruths, for the public is usually clay in the hands of the advertiser or the commercial magnate. Such sentiments ignore the vast responsibilities of leadership. Similarly I have no faith in the smug doctrine that it is only necessary to give people power in order to educate them to use it properly. 'We must now proceed,' said Robert Lowe in 1867, 'to educate our masters.' Experience since then, either in this country or elsewhere, affords no ground for saying that it is wise to grant power before people know how to use it for the common good.

One of the main troubles with democracy, when it is ahead of the sense of citizenship, is that the amassing of political influence appeals to the inferior types of citizens. Here, at least, England and America share troubles, and probably the trouble is worse in America than here, for here still survives the tradition of disinterested public service that has come down from aristocratic days. In all political parties a large number of candidates are utterly unworthy of the electors. On the Conservative side I could name men with shady financial pasts who are in politics because of what they can get out of public life. On the Labor side I could name men of wealth who are Labor merely because they think that Labor is winning and that, being inside the Labor Party, they stand a better chance of obtaining political posts. These men have usually never worked for a living, or, if they have, have not succeeded; they

have usually married rich wives or have inherited fortunes; they often live lives of personal extravagance. Yet they adopt surtaxes and all the other nostrums of the Socialist creed simply because they are the rule of the game. A democracy has to be very experienced and instructed to be able to measure up the politicians who appeal to it. One of the troubles of democracy, as Viscount Grey recently pointed out in an address at Birmingham, is that democratic governments are always so much busier than governments otherwise constituted that politicians in a democracy have little time to think. Public men to-day are experts in, to use Viscount Grey's words, 'thinking what can be said rather than what should be thought.' Democracy, he says, 'is founded on the assumption that the people will choose men wisely to conduct their affairs.' Can either England or America claim that that assumption is justified by experience and that it will become increasingly so when full democracy is established?


The great need to-day is to realize the enormous limitations of the democratic system, to examine the past achievements of communities which have possessed varying elements of the democratic system, and, above all, to hasten slowly in the light of that experience in taking further steps on the democratic road. Go too fast, as in my view England has done, and the system threatens to destroy itself. There seems no limit to the self-confidence of men and women who happen to get elected - even if only a fraction of their constituents voted for them. We in England are free from laws preventing the teaching of evolution, women from smoking in public, or

people from drinking alcohol. But both British and Americans are traveling the same road, and, unless the public realizes the imperfections and limitations of democracy, reaction against democracy as an ideal may set in, as has happened in Italy and Spain.

There is a tremendous need for more modesty about democracy. The spirit of the authors of the Declaration of Independence or the Fifteenth Amendment is dangerous in the extreme. It is the spirit that sets up democratic government regardless of the absence of a fundamental basis necessary for its realization. In that spirit England has taken the first steps toward democracy in India, when those who know India best know how lacking are the elementary principles requisite for a democracy as a remarkable American woman (Miss Katherine Mayo, authoress of Mother India) has recently had the courage and insight to point out. This is not the place to discuss the appalling social and religious customs of India, so candidly and authoritatively expounded in Miss Mayo's book, but the following from Lord Ronaldshay, ex-Governor of Bengal, is very much to our point: ‘In a ward election in an important town seven out of eight candidates withdrew at the polling booth because the other was a man of low caste with whom they declined to compete. In another case the nominated members objected to sitting with elected members who, according to the social custom of the country, should stand in their presence.'

Would it not have been better to wait for the spirit of democracy to arise in India before dumping a pseudo-democratic constitution upon her? And yet Indian politicians are demanding full self-government at once. Lord Ronaldshay tells of one election where, out of 259 electors, ten recorded their votes, and we must

remember that India has one elector for about every forty of the population. By thus forcing democracy we can easily make a Hankow out of India's great cities, but the happiness of the people of India will not thereby be promoted. The same story is being told in Egypt and may yet be told in the Philippines. As to Europe, if ever there is again a Great War, its origin will assuredly lie in one or other of the small nations which the Great Powers, very largely led by President Wilson, so rashly set up in an enthusiasm for abstract theories of democracy and self-determination which has proved unwarranted.

Democracy is a great ideal, but so few in public life find it expedient to say how slowly the approach to it should be. Not long ago an American president said that 'the government of the United States is a device for maintaining in perpetuity the rights of the people, with the ultimate extinction of all privileged classes.' Such hyperbole is always dangerous. As a setoff, I would quote the late Frank I. Cobb, who on December 5, 1920, wrote in his New York World that 'the United States is now the one country among the great civilized nations in which the will of the people can never definitely be put into effect and in which it can be successfully overruled whenever a political cabal is organized for that purpose.' Both statements are doubtless exaggerations, but even if I were an American I should prefer the errors of the latter. Those who ignore the proved drawbacks of democracy and who publish sentimental halftruths about it are playing into the hands of those who would sweep away the whole system. Lenin was in a very true sense the creation of Kerensky. Mussolini undoubtedly owes his position to the Jeffersons and Patrick Henrys of Italy.



THE bath sponge of St. Ives is growing old. Hardened and diminished, after the fashion of sponges whose course is almost run, it lies in its nickel basket. Soon it must go; and with it will go how many delightful daily pictures of the sort that shift idly through the vacuous consciousness of the bather! For the sponge of St. Ives has been a sweet remembrancer.

I don't know what better the tourist can do I mean the tourist proper, who does not run across every few months, nor every year, no, nor every three years; the simple eager tourist, who does not go half languidly to buy clothes, or to see an editor, or to engage in winter sports, but with his nerves of enjoyment agog, and his ingenuous mind taut with greed for storing up impressions until the next time (while a sinister inward whisper asks, When will the next time be?) - I don't know what better such a tourist can do than to purchase a bath sponge here and there. For the more obvious souvenirs have their drawbacks. After all, walls cannot be solidly coated with large reminiscent photographs. And by an eternal and inescapable law the mighty company of postcards, so charged with thrills for their collector, will come forth from their drawer less and less often; and in their heyday the tourist, as he knows too well, will not be given strength to refrain from displaying them to friends who are quivering with the dread of them. As for the journal, if naïveté or hardihood has gone so far, these trivial fond records will be found to trail away almost

to nothingness toward the end of the trip, and at any moment to present blanks, or confusions past disentangling. Those four last days at Oxford, for instance who shall resolve them into their elements? And what was the exact phrasing of that hysterically funny encounter with the police in Norwich?

Now the sponge, as a memento, is free of these limitations and disabilities. It does not, like the framed photographs, take up overmuch space; it does not, like the postcards, come forward with diminishing frequency, nor does it obtrude itself upon the caller; and while as an historian it has its lapses and omissions, in this it does not, like the journal, disappoint reasonable expectation, and in what it presents it shows a fine selectivity. And though it is true that sponges are somewhat early mortal, and that the evocations of one sponge must give place to those of its successor, yet this substitution is only for the bath hour; for the principle of repetition will have done its work, and the bather will find that he has not covered up one picture with another, but enlarged his gallery.

The sponge of Inverness, for instance, perished long ago. But not before the fugitive visions that sprang up as one laid hands upon it had become fixed: the sombre avenue of great larches on the Caledonian Canal, and, higher up, the blaze of the gorse a thousand pardons, the whins - on the sunny banks; the little old men twittering Gaelic in the back of the shop at Thurso; the boxlike coach, plying deliberately between John o' Groat's and Wick, in which the

passengers, as space grew scant, sat with so grave an impersonality and so high a detachment in one another's laps; the strangeness of that evening on Duncansbay Head, with its sense of infinite remoteness and release, with the tens of thousands of sea pinks and primroses, the opal sunset over the Pentland Firth, and the lofty honeycombed cliffs where at twilight multitudes of sea gulls settled to rest, after so wild a crying.

And how many pictures - landscape, portrait, and genre has the sponge of St. Ives hung on the line of memory! There is the sloping, cobbled street where stands the chemist's shop that purveys sponges; and the darkfaced Celt, with sea-blue, cruel eyes, who, poised afoot in his cart, went thridding deftly, with a far-away look of purpose, among the motors and wagons of that narrow, jolting way. There is the cheerful, pony-built housemaid who from crack of dawn till night ran violently up and down staircases, and who 'Oovered and Bisselled the floors with such good will. There is the little old skipper, with face like a downy owl's, and soft, patient voice, who on that rough day, in a crisis when everything had to be done at once, fell flat in the bottom of his boat

as how should he not, being shod in those shoes affected by the humbler Britons, shoes with soles half the thickness of a brick, and of a brick's flexibility? And there is that other old man, the guide at Treen, who scrambled with so horrifying an agility up the vertical side of the Logan Rock, while at the foot of the long drop to the cove the pale green waters quietly licked the stones.

There is the snowstorm of gulls over the harbor of St. Ives when the fishing boats come in; and the 'proper scamp' no Cornishman, but an outlander

holding an auction on the

quay. There is the episode of the day when a touring car was internationally shared: the agitated shout from the tonneau, 'Drivah! Stop the car! The blasted thing is on fiah!' and the inimitably soft, respectful rejoinder, ‘I think it's dust, sir. We catch at this end first.' There is the sudden transition of Land's End: the shock of the ugly, vulgar hotel, and then the step beyond and out into a world of wild, fantastic headland and dreaming azure sea with a violet bloom laid over it. There is the sunny green down above Gurnard's Head, warm, and sprinkled with the clear ecstasy of skylarks. There is the pair of puffins, sitting shoulder to shoulder, connubial and quiet, close above the turbulence of Hell's Mouth. And there is the wash of velvet air over Cornwall, smelling of multitudinous honey and the sea and mystery.

I think it is time for this sponge to go, Jetta. There's a fresh one on the shelf at the top of the linen closetplease bring that. Bring the great, warm, rich dimness that is the interior of Exeter Cathedral; and the mellow, encompassing tide, swinging down as from interstellar spaces, that is the solemn voice of the Peter bell. Bring that other memorable voice - surely the lightest and softest in all England - belonging to the slim night porter at the Royal Clarence, who, drooping over the desk telephone, at ease though facing fearful odds in the shape of crabbed exchange operator and stubborn Cornish hotel clerk, did so flute, coo, cajole, and seduce that presently he had built up an aggressive alliance for the finding of some lost luggage. Bring Thomas Hooker, looming in effigy, so withdrawn, so æonic, before the window of the dining room where ephemeral tourists 'doe bite their hasty supper.' Bring the Lord Mayor's mace bearer's frost-delicate silver chains in

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AUTUMN in Greece, like spring, is a fleeting and impalpable thing that makes its presence felt on one day and is gone the next and then reappears again, revealing itself in some strange and unexpected manner. The reason is not far to seek. Trees, so far as they are able to thrive on the barren and stony soil of Greece, are for the most part not deciduous. The plane, the poplar, and the oak are almost the only deciduous trees that are to be seen in any numbers and they are rare enough. The plane is essentially a tree of inhabited areas. The streets of Thebes and the shady sources of the Attic Cephissus or the straggling houses of the deme Marousi are sheltered with old and venerable planes. Poplars, as in the plain near Thermopylæ, or here and there in the Attic 'Middle Land,' are planted in the marshy places in neat rows to drain the earth and hold in the dikes. The few of these trees that grow to any large extent untended and wild are to be found in the remote parts of Peloponnese and Macedonia. There the all too rare groves of Turkish oak and plane give shade that in the hottest of summers contains a coolness such as one meets only near running water.

Apart from these trees, Greece has little to offer but pines and firs of endless variety and shape, green all the year, but particularly so in October and November, when new clusters of green needles give an air of freshness that beguiles one into thinking that spring is beginning. So autumn makes its presence felt only in places where there are

leaves that fall, and in other ways that do not concern the mutations of trees and the rise and fall of their sap. A weakening sun and a faint flavor in the air of vegetal decay; a dry wind from the south blowing across waterless torrent beds; wild fruits of the autumn, like the blood-red arbutus and the purple berry of the myrtle; the chalky-pink oleander and the first gold on the oranges such are the signs and hints of an autumn that is scarcely otherwise apparent. A Rip van Winkle awakened in Attica in November would be hard put to it to decide the time of year. If he knew nothing of arbutus and oleander and myrtle and did not know that the winter snow should have filled the torrent beds, he would call it spring, his decision strengthened by seeing the purple and yellow crocuses that star the ground in October and November from the stony levels of the plain to the topmost summits of Pentelicus, Parnes, and Hymettus.

As though to confound the issue for those who do not know the country, travelers of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries illustrated their works with engravings which show Greece to be blessed with a more luxuriant growth of deciduous trees than ever graced a fraction of its lands. The illustrations, too, to Childe Harold and the numerous works of the 'Romantic' period, when Greece in revolt drew to its ranks all the poetic forces of Europe, show the hills of Greece to be adorned with a wealth of trees that would transform it in autumn to a riot of autumnal color. One can only imagine that the engravers worked in the wooded lands of Northern Europe on the inadequate sketches given them by their more experienced taskmasters. Other curious errors suggest in similar ways that the London and Paris studios of the early nineteenth century evolved a type of Greek scenery as alien to the real type

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