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creeds in Brierly. The details of salva- he was the nominal head of the family
. tion were desperately vital. Baptism in matters religious. Every morning, and confirmation were ordeals of tre directly after breakfast, he gathered us mendous significance. Frances ran together in the parlor for family prayers, away when she was seven years old, We came from the laughter and fun to attend a Methodist revival, and was of the breakfast-table into another atconverted. On reaching home, she lay mosphere. Father, usually the merriest awake all night, from joy that her sins of us all, was suddenly grave and silent were forgiven; and though the older as he took the big family Bible in his boys and girls, who had just joined our hands. The hush that fell over us was church, felt this to be an unparalleled accentuated by our being in the parlor; piece of uppishness on her part, and fa- for we lived and played and studied in ther and mother insisted on her attend- the ‘sitting-room,' and the parlor was ing worship with her own family, no reserved for occasions of state. There one questioned the depth or reality of was, moreover, a constraint born of our her experience.
uncertainty whether our record for the Things have changed, indeed; and past twenty-four hours would bear the who can doubt that they are changing sight of heaven and the family. for the better? Yet there was much First, each child had to repeat a beauty and sweetness in the religious verse from the Bible. Next, father read life of those days, and many memories aloud from the Scriptures, and then led dear to us older ones that the present us in prayer, each of us kneeling before generation will never know. Edward's the chair he had previously occupied. children are being brought up much as Mine was a small carved rosewood one, we were, with this difference: their bad- with a hard haircloth seat. I shut my ness is transformed into goodness be- eyes tight and laid my cheek against it, cause they love their parents and fear and tried not to see Edward snuggling punishment, while our lives were regu- into his green tufted cushion. lated by the fact that we loved God and Father's prayers were really wonderfeared the devil - a very different ful. In all the time we lived at Brierly, thing in reality, although it seems to I am sure I never heard him say the bring about much the same result. same thing twice. And there was more
Not that we had any lack of love for to recommend them than their verour parents. They stood as a firm bul- satility. They were simple, direct, elowark between us and the devil, and as quent. He began by thanking God for intermediaries between us and God. the blessings of the day and night that Father made public intercession for us had passed. Next he prayed for the with the Almighty every morning at conversion of the Jews, and for the ten prayers, and three times daily at grace tribes of Israel. These duties disposed before meals; and I know that mother's of, he entered upon the real business of private devotions were unceasing. I the day. One by one, he took his childnever heard her pray aloud except ren by the hand, and led them before once, when a visiting minister called the throne of Grace. Our little trion her unexpectedly to lead the Wednes- umphs were mentioned and our virtues day evening service, in prayer. That extolled, -though this was always done night she rose, said simply, God bless guardedly, and accompanied by a peti
‘ this meeting,' and quietly resumed her tion that we might remain free from seat. I always felt that her silent peti- pride; - and our secret shortcomings tions went fully as far as father's; but were brought unflinchingly to the light. Frances once told me that she knew of her adoption, singing with all her the Bible meant father when it said, might. 'Onward, Christian Soldiers' is “There is nothing hidden that shall not father, with the baby on his left arm, be revealed'; and I remember thinking beating time with his right hand; and that she was the only one of us who whenever I hear would have dared to say it. But it was 'O happy band of pilgrims, if onward ye would with mingled emotions of reverence tread, and relief that we rose from our knees With Jesus as your fellow, to Jesus as your head,' at the close of father's long prayer, and I see the light shining through the east gathered around mother at the piano. window, across the old square piano,
The music was best of all — partly upon mother's face. because we all loved it, and partly be- The more I think of it, the surer I cause it came as a relaxation to minds am that Edward's children are missing and muscles after the prayer. On something. week-days we were limited to one hymn, on account of time; but on Sundays we
THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT frequently stood around the piano for an hour, while one 'Gospel Carol' fol- We talk glibly about the greed of lowed another. Sometimes we selected profiteers; but there is a sheep-like our hymns from mixed motives. Once, streak in the human race, which makes after John had been sent upstairs to
us rather enjoy being exploited. How make his hands fit to be seen, Caroline otherwise can one account for the rapchose to sing 'Wash me, and I shall be idly increasing commercialization of whiter than snow'; and on the morning every phase of human affection and after the twins were born, my irrepres- sentiment? For instance, the artful and sible Frances suggested: ‘More and seductive advertiser has so trained us, more, More and more, Still there's that the first thing we think on hearing more to follow'; but was silenced, for of a friend's engagement is: 'Good once, by a look from father. Each of us Heavens! What shall I give them for a had his favorite, and to this day certain wedding present?' Half-a-dozen wedtunes bring back those Sunday morn- dings in a family are a serious tax on all ings with startling clearness, and the but its most opulent members; and singing faces of those boys and girls. though something may be said in favor
‘Pull for the shore, Sailor,' — and I of the habit of receiving wedding pressee Gerald and Charlie, one on each ents, the middle-aged bachelor of either side of the piano-stool. 'Stand up, stand sex can find but few kind words for the up, for Jesus!' - John and Arthur, custom of giving them. with their heads close together, singing
And when the most beautiful festibass and doing their best to ignore the vals of the Church are exploited by the other parts. 'Rock of Ages,' and Try- manufacturers and shopkeepers, it is phena's face shines out of my memory, time to call a halt. What idea of the sweetly serious, and framed in smooth Christian religion would the hypothetbrown braids. 'Count your blessings' ical visitor from Mars gain by strolling means Caroline's laughing blue eyes through the shopping district of any and clear soprano, with Edward trying American town shortly before Easter? to sing alto and not quite doing it; and Easter bonnets, Easter bunnies, Easter whenever, in a Methodist church, I eggs are bad enough; but by the time hear ‘There is a fountain filled with he came to 'Easter corsets,' it would be blood,' I see Frances, true to the creed hard to convince him that Easter was
not as secular and frivolous a date as are unfortunately rather vague and unApril Fool's Day.
defined, - but her delightfully whimsi
Christmas has been even more thor- cal and kindly expression, her look of oughly commercialized and desecrated, gentle seriousness breaking into a delithe better to fill money-bags that are cious twinkle. She is generous, sensitive, already bursting open. Unfortunately, reserved, humorous, and romantic, and the money-bags have as their firmest it shows in her face. Though I know allies the well-meaning folk who in- her so well, I fear that, in a court of law, dulge in orgies of sentiment over what this description of her would not be they sobbingly speak of as the 'Christ- admitted as evidence. To tell the truth, mas spirit.' The scoffers who go on all I actually know of my New Year's about sun-myths and Druid ceremonies friend is that for the past four years 'I and such-like entertainments will never have received on that propitious date, hurt the spirit of Christmas; it is so either by an unknown messenger or by human a quality that, like the rest of the minions of the late Mr. Burleson, us, it can be hurt only by its friends. a New Year's card accompanying a They who bring the Christmas spirit golden eagle or its paper equivalent, tointo disrepute are those admirable mon- gether with an admonition that it is to sters of forethought who start during be spent solely on myself. The envelope the January sales laying in the stock of is addressed in an unfamiliar hand and their nefarious trade; who during De bears no stationer's stamp, nor is there cember fill the house with reams of white any other clue to follow up. I spend the tissue-paper and miles of red ribbon; enclosure religiously on some useless and who positively exude Christmas stick- beguiling article, which I should otherers and seals and tags and labels; who wise never think of indulging in. ‘remember' everyone with at least a No other present has ever afforded Christmas card; and whose deepest me the pleasure, amusement, and interhumiliation it is to be remembered by est of this anonymous gift; and I am
; someone they had themselves forgotten. convinced that the giver gets almost as Their preparations endure up to Christ- much fun out of it as I do. She cannot mas Eve, their frenzy increasing as the fail to do so; for, though her gift does hour approaches. Yet, when the long- not coincide with Christmas, she has expected day dawns at last, does any- the real Christmas spirit, giving with no one suppose that these virtuous souls possibility of thanks, no hope of return. can sit back and enjoy life? Far from I am glad at last to be able to tell her it! By that time they are completely a little of the pleasure she has given me. submerged in the return avalanche; for, Luckily there is no doubt that she will to paraphrase the words of Scripture, see this, for a person of her unusual to him that giveth shall be given; so qualities of head and heart must be a the rest of the month is spent in writ. confirmed reader of the Atlantic! ing and receiving unmeaning letters of Now, having won the war, and made hollow thanks.
the world safe for democracy and the What a horrid parody of what Christ- cider-mill and unsafe for the League of mas should be, might still be, if the Nations and the purchaser of woodadmirable self-restraint and self-abne- alcohol, why cannot we turn to with a gation and sense of humor of my New will and save Christmas for our deYear's friend were more widely followed! scendants by following the methods of I can see my New Year's friend in my my New Year's friend? Our gifts need mind's eye; not her features, - they not take the form of hard cash, and some of them might even be given at
WINTER MORNING Christmas; but at least let them be anonymous and appropriate, let none In winter-time we go to school; be given to get rid of an obligation, or, And every day the motor-bus still worse, of a last year's white ele Stops at the gate, and waits for us, phant. We should give and receive few- All full of children that we know, er presents, but they would come ra- Sitting inside, row after row. diant with the sheer joy of giving. We should be spared the agony of writ. It stops and gets them, one by one, ing mendacious notes of thanks, and And brings them home when school is the horrible and demoralizing phrase, done. 'Suitable for Christmas gifts,' would disappear forever from the advertising Then there is ice upon the pool columns of the daily press.
Where lilies grow. The leafless trees It is high time we remembered that Stand shivering in the winter breeze, the Christmas spirit has nothing in Except where here and there is seen common with the gains of profiteers or A cheerful, warm-clad evergreen. with crowded shops and overworked saleswomen; still less with the giving There's one I always like to see. of perfunctory and awkward thanks for It stands alone upon a hill perfunctory and undesiredʻremembran- Just like some giant's Christmas tree. ces.' It should be as free as air, as spon- I'd like to see the giant fill taneous as a child's smile; and the gifts It full of giant toys and light it inspires should be as anonymous as Big candles on it Christmas night. the other good things of life.
While we are about it, we might But when the world is deep in snow also rescue Easter from the clutches of That sparkles coldly in the sun, the milliner, florist, and stationer, the And motor-buses cannot run; ; Fourth of July from the exploitation of They send a pung with runners wide the gunpowder and fireworks manu- And two long seats for us inside. facturer. These may seem very minor reforms, but a moment's reflection will That is the way I like to go. show us that the commercialization of The horses prance, and ting-a-ling our pleasures and social instincts is one The bells upon their harness ring. of the dangers of the world to-day, and The driver cracks his whip, and blows that the reaction to this dimly perceived Steam, like a dragon, through his nose. peril was a strong factor in the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment. Let us The birds look lonely as they fly leave the Constitution alone in future, Across the solemn winter sky. and reformourselves. It can be done:my I wish they were just half as gay New Year's friend has shown the way. As happy children in a sleigh.
THE CONTRIBUTORS' COLUMN
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A. Clutton-Brock, critic of art and lover of then in the 'Iron Man' papers. Margaret gardens, has at the Atlantic's request con- Wilson Lees is a Canadian essayist. tributed a number of papers on modern dangers and difficulties, varied in their sub
We wonder how many readers will reject, but alike in ascribing to religion the
member Agnes Repplier's first two contrireal hope of the future. The secret which
butions to the Atlantic, on 'Children, Past brought her consolation at a time of an
and Present,' and 'On the Benefits of Superguish many years ago, and which has ever
stition. They marked the beginning of the since been the constant companion of her long and delightful series, different in qualthoughts, Mrs. Albion Fellows Bacon now
ity and kind from anything else America feels it right to share with others. The rec
has to show. Christopher Morley, whose ord is, of course, faithful to the last detail.
'Bowling Green' is the sportive element of The writer of 'Shell-Shocked — and After,'
the New York Evening Post, advocates for manifest reasons, prefers to remain unknown. After many actual pilgrimages to
newspaper work because it ‘keeps one in
such a ferment of annoyance, haste, interthe Orient, L. Adams Beck now makes an imaginary one into the heart of the Chinese ruption, and misery, that, occasionally, one Empire of other days.
gets jolted far enough from the normal to commit something worth while.” William
Beebe's new book,'Edge of the Jungle,'is reMargaret Widdemer is a well-known poet viewed in this month's Atlantic. Harrison of the younger generation. Anne C.E. Allin- Coilins, at present a member of the faculty son, author of 'Roads from Rome' and in one of the Imperial Normal Colleges in Ja(with her husband) “Greek Lands and Let- pan, bases his story on an actual experience ters,' was formerly dean of the Women's with Japanese goldfish and fishermen. College in Brown University. From her girlhood experiences upon her father's
Sir Arthur H. Pollen is, perhaps, the bestSouthern plantation, Eleanor C. Gibbs re
known naval critic in the United Kingdom. calls these memories of old-time slaves.
Our attention was originally called to Sisley Her forebears were kinsmen of another Vir
Huddleston through the warm recommenginia planter, George Washington. Bert
dation of Mr. Arnold Bennett. Throughout rand Russell, long famous as a mathemati
the Paris Conference, his journalistic work cian and philosopher, is a grandson of Lord
seemed to us of the highest importance. John Russell, the eminent British states
Since then Atlantic readers have had
opporman. Mr. Russell has just returned to London from a winter's stay in China, where he
tunities to judge it through a number of ar
ticles which, once read, are not easily forhas been teaching at the Government University in Peking.
gotten. Jean Sokoloff, the Scotch widow of
a Russian officer, after her recent escape This interpretative reading of Shake
from Petrograd, made a flying visit to
American cousins, and has returned to her speare's letters brings Miss Ellen Terry back for one more curtain call. It is characteristic
home in Glasgow. Walter L. Ballou is
the associate editor of The Black Diamond, of her discrimination to find in the Shake
the official organ of the Coal Industry. spearean field a topic quite unworn. During the war Arthur Pound edited a confidential weekly bulletin of trade and commodity in
At Mr. Pound's request, we are glad to formation, issued by the Chief Cable Censor, publish the following acknowledgment. U.S.N., for the guidance of American naval DEAR ATLANTIC, — censors in handling business cable and radio
The receipt of the October number, containing messages. Traces of this training in interna
the first of my articles on 'The Iron Man,' brought
forcibly to my mind the absorption with which I tional trade-practices are evident now and must have been vacationing when you wrote me
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