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the public, but they have been pathetically unsuccessful.
It is a curious commentary on the quality of human understanding that so many writers should have laid so much emphasis upon the fact that Shakespeare's only "education" was secured within the walls of the Stratford grammar school. What a world of nonsense there is in the superstition that a knowledge of books means a knowledge of nature and mankind! How much more nonsense there is in the superstition that knowledge of nature and mankind cannot be secured except through the perusal of many books! Apparently, once these twin superstitions are planted in the mind, all the testimony of Shakespeare's contemporaries from Ben Jonson down, all the experience which the world has had of the nature of genius, all the internal evidence of character and of mind which are displayed so divergently in the writings of Bacon and the writings of Shakespeare, count for nothing. Any inconsistency which may appear between the known facts of Shakespeare's education and the products of his pen is child's play compared with the preposterous fabric of cryptograms and ciphers which has been built up to explain the theory that Shakespeare was not the author of the plays which for three centuries have borne his name.
Perhaps, however, we ought to be more satisfied with the results of the investigations of the Baconian enthusiasts than we are. Without their efforts no small mass of sport and humor would be lost to the world. Of course the game which they have developed will probably never be as widely popular as chess, for it is too remote from fact and the rules of ordinary intelligence, and, with the possible exception of Judge Tuthill, we know of no umpire to whom the players of this game can turn for a controlling decision. Moreover, the game cannot be limited, like baseball, to any one playing field, or, like “authors," to any one century or epoch. Any cipher which is meet for Shakespeare seems to be equally meet for Gray's "Elegy " or the King James Version of the Psalms. If the Baconians will only publish a set of rules for their investigations which brings the results to be achieved and the facts upon which these results are based into some common relation that can be understood by the average dweller in our threedimensional world, we will do our best to have their delightful game introduced into the list of sports at the next Olympic Gathering.
One of the greatest obstacles to the spread of a love of good music lies in the difficulties of making such music readily accessible. Before good music can be widely understood it must be domesticated.
Orchestral music cannot be given, of course, without orchestras which are costly to maintain, and which therefore have to charge high prices of admission. Thus orchestral music encounters a material obstacle which prevents it from becoming accessible to the people of small communities. On the other hand, chamber music, which does not encounter just this material obstacle, encounters a mental obstacle which is almost as great. Chamber music can be given by a small number of players, but chamber music has in it fewer elements of ordinary popularity than orchestral music. It encounters the obstruction of a limited public taste. Even soloists, who are ordinarily more appreciated than either orchestras or chamber music organizations, appear, as a rule, in small communities only on rare occasions, and then as imported curiosities rather than as familiar features of the local life. It is said that the people do not like "highbrow "music. Good music, therefore, if it is orchestral, is costly, and other good music is sometimes supposed to be an accompaniment of exclusiveness and snobbery.
It is for this reason that an experiment that has been carried on now for several years in a small New England city by Mr. X-, a local musician with few resources beyond good musicianship and boundless. love of music, promises more for the future of musical taste among us than many more ambitious, expensive, and advertised undertakings. Similar experiments should be tried as widely as possible, under divers conditions and by experimenters variously endowed. This gentleman's original idea was simple, as are most good ideas. In response to requests from his friends, about ten years ago he gave a series of piano recitals in his home. In the course of time the crowd of friends attending these recitals so increased that he finally gave them in a neighbor's studio. Then there was organized a chamber music club.
The founder's idea was to gather together the local instrumentalists-from theater, restaurant, hotel-into a small group or club, coach them in pieces of good chamber music, and play these for the public at moderate
prices. There are few cities, even small ones, where you cannot find a few string players -violinists and 'cellists (viola players are rarer)—men usually who are more or less unaware of each other's existence, and who have seldom dreamed of banding together to use their music as something more than a means of livelihood. But with only a violinist and
a 'cellist you have, if you yourself play the piano, a fine musical literature of trios and sonatas open to you, and when there are also clarinetists and cornetists to be had, the possibilities become exciting.
But this good idea was like others not only in being simple in conception, but also in involving for the execution much devoted labor and the solution of many puzzling problems.
First of all, it is natural that the average theater or restaurant player knows as little of music as a newspaper man does of literature. Singular patience, tact, and contagious enthu siasm are needed to overcome this initial difficulty. How this New England enthusiast overcame it may be divined from the following interesting chapter of his experiences.
He found working in one of the factories a young man who spent all his spare time playing the cornet for his own amusement. He had a good ear and a natural love for music, but next to no acquaintance with musical literature, and naturally little sense of relative values or instinct for style. Finding him anxious to learn the horn, Mr. X-bought or hired for him an instru ment. There followed much coaching, playing, discussion, study. In the course of a few years this young horn player was living in the house of the older man, in a pleasant half-filial, half-comradely relation, and participating in pieces like Dukas's Vil lanelle for Horn and Brahms's Horn Trio. Somewhat similar was the story of a clarinet player in one of the city theaters, who after a year or two of this inspiring association was taking part in Mozart's Clarinet Quintette and in Brahms's Clarinet Sonatas. Even Saint-Saëns's Trumpet Septette was tried with the help of a cornet player sufficiently coached.
Thus Mr. X rendered one kind of service in stirring professional musicians accustomed to a routine of the dance and the theater into the creative activity of real interpretation. But it is another service on which we wish to lay emphasis here-the service which Mr. X rendered to the
of difficulties and problems. It was found, for instance, that many people, even after considerable hearing of the best ensemble pieces, frankly preferred piano solos, and would say, effusively, thinking to please the founder: "A delightful concert, Mr. X-, but why don't you give us more solos ? We want to hear you play alone." To which Mr. X would always longsufferingly reply that there were certain things string instruments could do that a piano could not, and that it was these larger effects and this new literature that he had wished to make available to them. Of course this was, from one point of view, encouraging, as showing the need of just such training; so long as a public is more interested in an individual soloist, through his personality, than it is in a co-operating group through its artistic results, it is fundamentally uneducated.
Again it was found that in some neighboring towns where it was proposed to introduce the concerts (which in their home town had swelled into a regular series of ten each winter, at a subscription price of five dollars for the series) the public inability to recognize good music for itself expressed itself, as it often does, in the wish for a label. We can get ten concerts from Mr. X's Club for so much," ran this familiar argument, but, as we can only get one or two from the celebrated Quartette of New York for the same money, the Quartette must be very much better, and therefore we will have it come for one concert rather than have a series from an organization less famous."
The fallacy here is not quite so easily recognizable as that of the preference for a soloist to a group, but is at last traceable to the same indifference to art in and for itself. For if a public has really learned to love music for itself, it will prefer a number of concerts by local musicians, sufficiently well trained to present it intelligibly, to concerts so infrequent as hardly to keep the musical body and soul together by an organization of much greater reputation, yes, and even by one of measurably greater skill and authority. For the music is the thing, not the people that play it. That is a truth which the American public must be made to understand.
Rather especially discouraging was the opposition of all the clergymen of the town in a body to the giving of any concerts whatever on Sunday afternoons-the dreariest
Here again, of course, there were plenty portion of the dreariest day in the provincial
New England week.
If they had banned all music equally, this might be forgiven as the grotesque survival of a Puritan superstition. But as they must have known that they were quite powerless to silence the diabolic engines of domestic music, they were practically discouraging public meeting for the enjoyment of the music which expresses, ennobles, and disciplines emotion in order to give people plenty of leisure to go home and turn on the phonograph.
Yet in spite of all these difficulties the undertaking was a success. Public interest was enlisted in no small degree from the first, and has steadily grown. The concerts have not only a body of stanch supporters from year to year, but tempt in from time to time a number of adventurers, who often stop the founder in the street to tell him how much they have enjoyed the music. Every fall he is asked with genuine interest about the progress of his plans for the coming season. Best of all, it is found that certain easily comprehensible classic works, such, for in
stance, as the Schumann Piano Quintette or the Schubert Forellen " Quintette (for the versatile clarinetist is by good luck also an excellent double-bass player), wisely repeated from year to year, become loved and anticipated favorites. It is encouraging that such complex masterpieces as Franck's great Piano Quintette can be given at all; but it is even more encouraging that pieces like the Schumann and Schubert should be given often, and often welcomed. What this experiment proves as to the possibility of securing performers of good music, and even difficult good music, in the neighborhood of a small community should tempt others to try the same experiment in other communities. But this is not the chief value of this successful chamber music club. real fruit of it is in the audience of appreciative listeners who have learned to want such music and to support it. It is this group of creative listeners that gives us ground for hoping that good music may some day become domesticated in America.
FOREIGN OPINION ON
OUR LAST NOTE
A POLL OF THE PRESS
HE outstanding feature of the reception in foreign countries of President Wilson's note of April 19 to Germany with regard to her submarine warfare on merchant vessels is that the note seems to have been taken most seriously by those countries which were meant to take it seriously. Some of the President's former notes to Germany were hailed with great gravity by the press of neutral countries, and dismissed with ridicule and irony even verging on contempt by many German newspapers. This tone was reflected in a comment made by Count von Reventlow, commenting in anticipation of this latest note of the President's. "The best methods of advertisement,” said Reventlow, "of which Wilson is master, wear thin in time. When the sword of Damocles re. mains too long suspended, all can see that it is only a wooden one." But this time the press of the Fatherland is almost unanimous in taking the President at his implication that this note is a virtual ultimatum. The tone of the comment of French and
British newspapers is equally serious, and what is practically the most satirical suggestion that the President's note leaves a loophole for further parleying comes from neutral
With due allowance for inaccuracies in the translation and telegraphic transmission of excerpts from German newspapers, the conviction remains that if the German papers reflect at all the sentiments of their subscribers the Presidential communication has had the sobering effect of a dash of cold water on nearly all the Teutonic people. Prac tically all German newspapers agree with the "Lokal Anzeiger" of Berlin that "no sensible person even in an enemy camp can possibly believe that the German Government or the German people wish a break with the United States. The whole history of German-American relations speaks against such an assumption. Should the regrettable break prove to be unavoidable, the guilty ones can only be sought across the ocean."
But, at the same time, most German com
FOREIGN OPINION ON OUR LAST NOTE TO GERMANY
mentators, with the exception of a few jingoes like Count von Reventlow, agree for once with the Socialist organ "Vorwaerts," which says:
It is to be hoped that the American Government will refrain from any over-hasty steps as long as in its opinion there is an even chance of arriving at an understanding with Germany. But this naturally presupposes at the same time that it is Germany's duty also to leave nothing untried to prevent the threatening conflict.
The majority of the German press is agreed, however, that the entire surrender of the use of submarines against merchant vessels cannot be considered. As the Berlin "Zeitung am Mittag" says:
To the last man, however, the German people are united in the firm resolve not to let the submarine be wrenched from our hand as a weapon. We need it because it has shown itself to be an effective weapon. We use it according to the principle of justice and humanity always invoked in the American notes, and we will use it in the future because our right and our human consideration for our existence as a state and the future of our wives and children compel us.
In short, the majority of the German newspapers stand, as they have stood all along, on the position which the semi-official "Neue Freie Presse" of Vienna restates, namely, that "it would be unintelligibly preposterous if the welfare and power of a great people were staked for the right of . . . American adventurers . . . and hirelings to travel about in the war zone."
There is one striking exception to the almost unanimous assumption of the German press that Germany cannot afford to give up the use of the submarine against commerce. Maximilian Harden, editor of "Die Zukunft," devotes one entire issue of that publication to a long and astonishing editorial entitled "If I Were Wilson." Harden is known as one of the most fearless and untrammeled, although one of the most vitriolic and erratic, journalists in the German Empire. He has twice been imprisoned for lèse-majesté, and it is very significant that he is allowed to speak at all in his latest vein. The German text of his editorial, or even an entire translation of it, has not reached America as The Outlook goes to press, but it is reported in London that the main body of the editorial is a plea for peace. But in the course of a discussion of Germany's present critical relations with the United States, in which Harden assumes for
the moment that he is the American President and pretends to talk through the lips of Woodrow Wilson, he presents America's case to his countrymen as he conceives Americans understand it.
Germany accuses us of helping her enemies with war material," says Harden in his temporary rôle, and continues:
We of the United States have the right to do it. It is not our fault that Germany cannot be a client.
German industry in all modern wars, notwithstanding German neutrality, has delivered to one party, and often both, weapons and munitions. The use of their undoubted rights by our manufacturers has brought bitter reproach from the Germans. From this error came forth the poisoning of many of these people with the thought that they must revenge themselves in their new home for the supposed wrong done to their Fatherland.
Proofs of such criminal actions lie in our archives. For such people to bite out from our country the most tasty bits of industrial fruits, and at the first storm to turn round as spurious Germans or Irishmen-that is unbearable.
Would Germany have allowed, during the Manchurian War, Japanese agents to work in Prussian Poland and by agitations and fiery speeches and the endangering of munitions factories to frighten Germany into enmity against Russia?
Is our demand, our right, not equal to that of Germany?
I demand that Germany shall publicly dissociate herself from every community of foolish patriots who misuse our hospitality to upset our civil peace.
I demand that Germany without reserve protect the life and property of American citizens and that no longer may the question of the future of two great peoples, whether they live in friendship or in enmity, depend upon the whim or the nerve of a young submarine commander who wishes to serve the Fatherland and to carve his name in the German oak and who only listens to his conscience when it says “Down with everything !” . . .
The leaders of the Empire's affairs know what the results of a breach would be. Our whole hemisphere, north and south, would be made the enemies of Germany, and not only in war time.
Germany would lose all her ships in American harbors and would have to reckon with a considerable increase in the enemy's tonnage. From the day of the breach she would have to provision Belgium itself. Holland and Scandinavia could scarcely hope for any more supplies by sea, for the United States would need
them herself and would be able to give nothing more to strangers.
Whether at such a high price the loss of power to England through the lack of food and shipping could be bought, Germany alone must decide. That the end of the war would then disappear into the unforeseeable distance is certain, and not less because from that moment we should have a united front in America. The Germans, Irish, and Austro-Hungarians in our land would forget everything but that they are one under the Stars and Stripes.
The tone of French and British papers in commenting on the Wilson note is almost unanimously one of unqualified praise-praise so high and so unanimous that the citation of more than a few examples would be cloying.
"Simple, strong words of a statesman," is the characterization pronounced by that distinguished French journalist and eminent patriot Georges Clemenceau, in his newspaper, "L'Homme Libre."
The right," goes on M. Clemenceau. "the august, imprescriptible right, which the Pilgrim Fathers of the Mayflower brought from Europe, their sons are bringing back to us under a shield of iron, forged by their own strong hands.
"What the Kaiser may decide to do is unimportant. Withdrawal or bombast-it will all be the same in the end."
"Le Temps," of Paris, agrees that the President's note is a real ultimatum, and summarizes succinctly: "Germany must either yield or break relations. America's honor can no longer be satisfied by vain
The note takes high ground worthy of a great nation whose moral and material forces are behind the demand. There remains for Germany only a straight and rapid choice between submission and war. By all the signs her choice will be war, and the interval is likely to be short and quickly bridged.
The Daily Telegraph" says:
It can now be said that to-day the civilized Powers of the earth are virtually as one. The people of the United States of America have spoken through their Chief Magistrate, and the voice of the Nation is clear, decisive, and firm. The unexpectedly downright, sweeping character of the note will come upon the German people with a tremendous shock.
Similarly the London "Graphic" declares that " Germany is brought to bay in the character of a criminal among nations."
The principal intimation that the declaration of the American Executive is not irrevocable and ultimate comes from Holland. Several of the Dutch papers seem to think that the note still leaves a way for more discussion between Germany and America. This view-point is cleverly expressed by the "Handelsblad." Says this paper :
The President informs Germany that he is warning it for the last time. Will there not be also a warning for the very last time and for absolutely the last time, and for irrevocably, finally, absolutely the last time? The weakness of America's position to-day is due to the fact that no one takes its threats seriously and that in foreign countries, and especially in Germany, Mr. Wilson's notes do not make the impression of earnestness and determination needed to give them force.
But, on the whole, the neutral press is preponderantly in agreement with the press. of South America, as voiced, for example, by the "Journal do Commercio," of Rio Janeiro; "La Nacion," of Buenos Aires; and 64 El Mercurio," of Santiago, Chile.
"El Mercurio," believing that a rupture between Germany and the United States is imminent, praises the American Government for realizing that not only the interests of Europe are at stake, but also the universal principles of humanity and civilization, which demand that respect for them be exacted from Germany." The Journal do Commercio" says:
The United States, profoundly impressed by the responsibility it assumed in the American continent by the proclamation, adoption, and preservation of the Monroe Doctrine, feels clearly that if Germany is victorious sooner or later she will turn against the United States the powerful weapons which will have conquered the great strength of the Allies. . . . The action of President Wilson yesterday will be a forward-march signal to the mighty American Nation.
And La Nacion" declares:
The United States is the one great neutral Power. Consequently its voice must carry the greatest weight, not because of the Nation's army and navy, but because of its civilization, its democracy, and its economic capacity. All American republics participate in the same sentiments and greet with profound political sympathy the constant desire of President Wilson to render less grievous the effects of the war and enforce respect for neutrals. The work makes for solidarity of civilization and Christian brotherhood.