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for the time being, but did not surrender to the movies. A cinema house, however, proffered our American "Anna Christie", "Little Old New York", and "Under the Red Robe".
At London's most historic theatre, the Drury Lane, "Doug" Fairbanks in "The Thief of Bagdad" far outran Sir Oswald Stoll's production of "The Moon of Israel" at the Pavilion; but at Sir Oswald's own theatre which bore his name, American movies flourished. It was the first time that I had heard of a movie man being knighted. Sir Oswald, however, has other claims to distinction, among them being the authorship of several books. "Doug" and "Nellie the Beautiful Cloak Model" were the only films we witnessed in London, though among those listed there we noted the ubiquitous Norma Talmadge at three houses in "Secrets", the inescapable Jackie Coogan who was in every city in England, France, or Italy that I visited, Buster Keaton again, Harold Lloyd (in "Girl Shy"), "The Signal Tower", and Menjou in "Broadway After Dark", while Pola Negri cheered Whitechapel and Mary Pickford, Limehouse.
When we crossed the Channel, our movies suffered no sea change and the "Voleur de Bagdad" was still with us, though the sacred governmentsubsidized Opera gave shelter for a while to "Le Miracle des Loups", which challenged the invader. This huge French production, with its big scene of an attack on a medieval walled city and spacious vocal and instrumental musical effects, is now being shown in America. Among the singers Among the singers who aided it was Vanni Marcoux, whose Scarpia once scandalized the Mayor of Boston. The French as well as the Italians were offering more of their own in competition with the Yankees than were the British. "Comoedia"
(in Paris) publishes a very full list of amusements, including advertisements of sixty cinemas. By far the most frequent pieces listed were two French productions that were visible at nearly half of these houses, "Les Drames de la Mer", a documented war film, and a serial, "Le Vert Galant" (Henri IV). The omnipresent Norma Talmadge, however, held thirteen houses in "Fleur des Sables", Gloria Swanson (who was also billed in Italy) eight in "Les Femmes Libres", and Mary Pickford five with "Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall".
Other American films were disguised as "Le Veilleur du Rail" (The Signal Tower), "Echéance Sanglante" (Pola Negri in "The Last Payment"), "La Dame de Qualité" (also visible in Italy), and "L'Homme aux Camées" (Cameo Kirby); and Harold Lloyd at the Little Theatre Cyrano, near the convent where de Bergerac died, is worth noting. For the time being at least, drama was exiled from the Vieux Colombier where the shadow shapes held sway. Only one theatre, and that at Vincennes, cherished Charlie Chaplin (in "Public Opinion").
In Italy Jackie Coogan repeatedly clashed with historic or romantic surroundings. In Rome his visiting card was conspicuous on the way to the too-much-walled Appian Way, most of which looks today pretty much like our New York Central Railroad cut. In Florence his posters of "Papa" were close to ancient shrines. At Genoa, Harold Lloyd was announced at the station overlooking the bay that had sent us a Columbus for our Harold. Norma Talmadge was posted near the Cathedral in Pisa, and her torn announcement waved at us from a blue and yellow cart, drawn by white. oxen up the slopes of lovely Fiesole. Florence, besides American films, also.
played Italian pictures on a big scale with music, such as "Messalina", "Gerusalemma Liberata", and "Nero". In Rome, music was of course important in "I Nibelunghi" and (at two houses) "Cavalleria Rusticana", both movies, and music was featured even with Jackie Coogan. Another native film appeared to be "Il Conte di Essex". Mata Hari, the dancer shot by French soldiers, was the subject of another picture (I do not know whether it was German propaganda). Clara Kimball Young in "La Donna di Bronzo" was conspicuous in Naples.
a fellow passenger reported having seen Jackie Coogan's posters in Egypt and the Holy Land. On a December day, we reached green and sunny Sicily, and drove by long sloping roads up to the quaint and beautiful Cathedral at Monreale, viewing en route posters of "La Donna di Bronzo" and of course the omnipresent Il Piccolo Coogan.
Music and drama are powerful influences toward the friendship of nations, but in the three countries I have observed, I saw little sign that Germany was to win back their good will through her often effective screen
IX years ago we saw each other every morning and evening,
Today you and I are thousands of miles apart;
The willows that used to border our school pond
Are they still as green as ever?
THE WOODROW WILSON PAPERS
By David Lawrence
No president of the United States
O president of the United States before assuming office had achieved the literary reputation in America which was held by Woodrow Wilson as he stepped from academic to political life. And few presidents have rivaled the unique style which distinguished his public papers.
Woodrow Wilson's words still are fresh in memory; yet even as close a listener as the writer of these lines found speeches and articles which seemed to breathe a new life on being read in the four volumes just published. And one must confess also that each of the speeches and magazine articles thus printed in sequence and in full seemed to possess added charm.
Only a newspaper man can tell why a collection of the works of any president when put in book form is worthy of possession - the great press association wires are limited in the amount of news they can convey to the newspapers of America. Some of the finest speeches ever made by Woodrow Wilson were condensed, paraphrased, and even slashed because they were delivered either late at night or in the crowded hours of the day when more sensational news was "breaking", described in newspaper parlance.
Turning to the earlier papers, which were either printed in the quality magazines or given scant space in the newspapers - because after all Woodrow Wilson was not then a national figure one discovers in them a peculiar newsiness. For instance, in the Wilson analysis of Grover Cleveland,
published originally in “The Atlantic Monthly" of March, 1897, some thoughts are expressed which suggest the later days of the author in the White House. Mr. Wilson wrote of Cleveland:
He had never for a moment called himself anything but a party man. He had not sought personal detachments, and had all along known the weakness that would come with isolation and the absolute rejection of the regular means of party management; and he had dared to make his own choices in cases which seemed too subtle or exceptional for the law. It was unsafe ground often; blunders were made which appeared to defeat the purposes he had in view in making removals and appointments; it looked in the end as if it would have been wiser to make no exceptions at all to the ordinary rules of appointment: but the mistakes were those of a strong nature — too strong to strip itself absolutely of such choice as might serve what was to him legitimate party strength. Who shall judge the acts in question who does not know the acts upon which the President proceeded? Not all of government can be crowded into the rules of the law.
At any rate, criticism did not disturb Mr. Cleveland's serenity; and it pleased the fancy of men of all sorts to see the President bear himself so steadfastly and do his work so calmly in the midst of all the talk. Outsiders could not know whether the criticism cut or not; they only knew that the President did not falter or suffer his mind to be shaken. He had an enormous capacity for work, shirked no detail of his busy function, carried the government steadily on his shoulders. There is no antidote for worry to be compared with hard labor and important tasks which keep the mind stretched to large views; and the President looked upon himself as the responsible executive of the nation-not as the arbiter of policies. There is something in such a character that men of quick and ardent thought cannot like or understand. They want all capable men to be thinking, like themselves, along the lines of active advance; they are impatient of
performance which is simply thorough without also being regenerative, and Mr. Cleveland has not commended himself to them. They themselves would probably not make good Presidents. A certain tough and stubborn fibre is necessary which does not easily change, which is unelastically strong.
Did he ever as he wrote those lines imagine that he might be president himself and that the same stubbornness and toughness of fibre might be exhibited in even a larger domain of public affairs than was vouchsafed to his only Democratic predecessor since the Civil War? All the writings of Woodrow Wilson before he attained the presidency are interesting for that very reason - they disclose either an intuition of what might happen or else they describe the very nature of the spirit which twice won the presidency.
But if the earlier papers have a significance, there is an abiding historical value in the collection of all the papers from 1913 forward. No other president of the United States, for instance, had an opportunity to stand before kings, queens, and parliaments and deliver a message of good will from the American people.
Whatever one's politics, there can be no denial that the first visit of an American president to Europe focused the attention of the whole world on the American democracy itself. Then there is the evolution of international idealism as revealed in the restrained sentences of the early correspondence with
What happened after the war - the addresses on the fateful western trip and the correspondence with the Senate- was the source of all controversy which still colors political prejudice and party action as well as factional conceptions of foreign policy. Can the documents be ignored in the appraisal of the history of the age in which we are living? Certainly they will be the premise on which contention in the future will rest, for Woodrow Wilson unfolded in his speeches and papers something the world may not yet perceive as the right step but which will ever produce among nations that reflective state of mind which is summed up in the words, an international conscience".
THE DOCTOR LOOKS AT BIOGRAPHY
By Joseph Collins
TORIES of individuals' lives have
the fascination for adults that fairy stories have for children. Biographies recount successes. Possession, the other name for success, is what we are all after. Men who make failures of their lives rarely write their biographies. It is to be regretted; they would be very helpful. We learn more from our mistakes than from our ten-strikes. Strangely enough, some of our most interesting fiction is the biography of failure: Papini's "L'Uomo Finito" (published in English under the title of "The Failure"), W. B. Maxwell's "In Cotton Wool", W. H. Wright's "The Man of Promise", and Cyril Hume's "Cruel Fellowship", for example.
Biographies engender a variety of emotional states: most of them are pleasurable and consequently beneficial. When we come upon one that excites anger or disgust or anything approaching that, there is no law or convention that compels us to continue reading it. Next to poetry, biography is the most satisfactory reading for all ages: instructive to youth, orienting to maturity, solacing to old age.
We have made greater strides with our biographic than with our fictional literature. During the past year a score and more excellent studies have been published. Biographies, like golfers, may be put in four classes: A, B, C, and the unclassifiable. Mr. Seitz's Life of Joseph Pulitzer, Mr. Beer's Life of Stephen Crane, E. P. Mitchell's "Memoirs of an Editor", and Mark Twain's autobiography are in Class A.
Mr. Firkins's Life of William Dean Howells and Maurice Egan's "Recollections of a Happy Life" are in Class B. Mrs. Dorr's "A Woman of Fifty" and Mr. Bok's "Twice Thirty" are in Class C. The unclassifiable are frequently pietistic gestures, lives written on order from a widow profoundly appreciative of her departed husband's virtues and attainments, or from children or colleagues who would have their benefactor's virtues perpetuated. Some of them are definite contributions to personality studies, such as George Herbert Palmer's "Life of Alice Freeman Palmer". Others are permanent historical documents, such as "The Life of Olive Schreiner" by her widower.
In a measure, undoubtedly, it was with some desire to meet an obligation, to discharge a debt, that Mr. Seitz set to work to write the life of his chief, Joseph Pulitzer, whom he calls for some unknown reason the Liberator of Journalism. For many years he was called the Libertine of Journalism, and worse than that. He deserves the one as richly as he deserved the other, no more The biographer, like the witness in court, should state facts, not conclusions. Joseph Pulitzer was an unusual man and he had an extraordinary career. Hungarian emigrant, without background or adventitious aid, he acquired within a quarter of a century power and influence that were felt not only through this country but throughout Europe. Politics was his passion, property his possession, and power his ambition.