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CHRONICLER’S WIT ENLIVENS HISTORY OF PAST 100 YEARS
.. — A--—-A.------- . ■— OLD EVENTS GIVEN FRESH TOUCH Philip Guedalla Writes as Students Wish Historians Would Do More Often—The "Grand Tour” Revived—A Chinese Poetess of Ten Centruies Ago. By Mary Carter Roberts. THE HUNDRED YEARS. By Philip Guedalla. Garden City: Double day Doran & Co. IT SEEMS indisputable today that the best of our books are non flctlon, but from this It does not follow, as might be expected, that the non-flctlon field claims the best of our writers. The argument seems to be Instead that non-flctlon writers continue to produce relevant and vivid works: whereas our novelists for some time have merely repeated them selves. Certainly, during the past year, none of our established fiction practitioners wrote any book that was not predictable; moreover, no new member of the craft appeared with claims that were Imperatively prom ising. (As for the short story, of course, silence toward it In Its pres ent state Is the only possible critical attitude.) It Is heartening, therefore, to ob serve that among writers of non-fic tion who have established high stand ards In the past, there Is evidence of continuing vitality. Philip Guedalla’s present work is a case in point. Mr. Guedalla, In his past books of history, has established himself as an excellent puppet master, one who, exhibiting characters out of our past, obligingly and with finely calculated alternation, shows his spectators first the dancing dolls and then the manipulation of the strings. In his present work he continues this procedure without mo notony. He sets himself to display the drama of the hundred years which ended in 1936, and he makes a vastly amusing thing of It. Being a resume, n may pernaps De ealled superficial from the historical point of view; the objection will have no relation to the object of the work. “The Hundred Years" attempts noth ing more profound than to chart the erratic and unreasoning course over which we have traveled, giving par ticular mention to the points at which we have taken pertinent turns, the steps up which we have ambitiously struggled and the obstacles over which we have, more than once, with ig nominy, barked our shins—these mat ters, of course, to be presented in the light of an agreeable irony and in the medium of an excellent wit. To the reviewer's mind, the attempt is emi nently successful. “The Hundred Years,” in short, is “popular history” par excellence. It is “superficial” enough not to tire the average reader’s capacity to under stand, and sufficiently pointed with shrewd observation to satisfy those whose demands are somewhat higher. Seldom Indeed is a puppet show pre sented as a profound drama. Yet, when Its director is fully master of his craft, It can be precisely as pro found as the spectator, satisfying every one. The adroit Mr. Guedalla has given us such a piece of enter tainment here. His procedure is to choose certain dates in the course of the century which he is picturing, to describe the events which In his opinion rendered these dates significant, and then to dwell a little on that significance in relation to the world’s history. Thus, we have him selecting the year 1848 and listing, in separate chapters, as its contributions to the future of man kind. the establishment of Prince Albert’s influence in English politics, the Mexican War in America, the two revolutions which diverted Paris dur ing that twelve-month, the outspread ing of minor revolutions from Paris across Europe and the first hauling of freight by rail in Chicago. These happenings, he remarks pleasantly, had lasting consequences. pROM 1848 he then goes to 1861, to treat that year in terms of the abolition of serfdom in Russia, the Civil War in America and the passing of Albert from the English scene. And in this manner he proceeds until he arrives at the final year of his century, 1936, where the Master Ironist takes matters out of his hands by allowing him to find the greatest significance to lie in the accession to the throne of England of Edward VIII. But the goodness of the book lies In its mood and writing and not in the minutiae of Its contents. Take, as a demonstration, this description of the revolutionary contagion of 1848; “Italians,” says Guedalla, "demanded to be governed by themselves rather than by Austrians, whilst Austrians in turn demanded to be governed by anybody rather than by Mettemich; Czechs, Hungarians and Croats col lided in an ill-directed passion for eelf-govemment; and Germans were divided between a comprehensible determination to be governed better and a vaguer aspiration to be governed In a larger, more impressive unit than those provided by the 38 constituents of the Germanic confederation. Flags of every color fluttered in all direc tions: there was a riot of new con stitutions; and disappearing ministers eluded the unfriendly attentions of their fellow-countrymen with the agility of trap-door artistes . . . while Mazzinl and Man in insisted with •ubllme reiteration on the importance of being Italian, Teutonic voices em phasized the higher duty of being German. Parliamentarians praised parliaments, and patriots of every race —Poles, Magyars and Slavs—exalted their own nationalities without the least regard to other people’s. Not that the prophetic voices were ex clusively optimistic in their tone or national in their objectlvee. For while bright-eyed reformers hymned the march of progress and Kossuth and Palacky intoned their national an thems, Carlyle retained the greatest doubts as to the utility of things in general and King Leopold’s police removed a sage from Brussels, whose beliefs (In the convenient form of the Communist Menlfesto) came danger ously near to a denial of the whole existing order. . . . "Kings abdicated or appeared on balconies In the most progressive atti tudes. The King of Prussia, after a tentative attempt to shoot his sub jects down, rode through his capital In the new colors and an uninterrupted series of alfresco speeches designed to satisfy them that he was the in surrection's latest and most voluble recruit; the King of Bavaria, with more restraint, followed Lola Montes Uto private life; the Kings of Han over and Saxony indulged their sub jects with becoming shades of liberal concession; the King of Sardinia granted a constitution and. succumb ing to the prevailing atmosphere, went to war with Austria for love of Italy; agid the Pope himself pronounced the fashionable formula with creditable * NORMAN FOERSTER. Author of “American State University.” (University of North Carolina Press.) And thus a century of human folly Is set down according to Philip Gue dalla—but a century not more foolish than any other, a ridiculous show, to change the figure, but not worse than customary and by no means devoid of Interest. Thus, in other words, the way of the world. It Is a book full of promise of amusement to the philosophic, and, withal, so studded with the “worth while'’ that it must also please and flatter the merely serious. One looks for it to appear on the best seller lists with the shortest possible delay. It seems likely to please every sort of customer. INSURANCE AND BANKING—EX AMINATIONS AND ACCOUNT ING. By Herbert L. Davis. Bos ton: Christopher Publishing House. TVRITrEN for bankers, attorneys and accountants, this treatise stresses the duties and obligations incident to trusteeship, suretyship and other vital problems relating to insurance and banking. The author considers investment and speculation, sound life insurance, fraudulent i claims, codes, valuation of securities, j gambling with other people’s money, dishonest financing, self - awarded contracts, collusive appraisals and rules for fair market value of realty. In a most comprehensive manner Herbert L. Davis takes up Insurance accounting, amortization of securities, real estate transaction relating to mortgages, as well as receivership proceedings and fiduciary relation ships. It is not light reading and is not intended to be, but every page reflects its value to attorneys, ac countants and examiners who meet these problems almost daily. Interest in “Insurance and Bank ing” is intensified by the fact that the author is a Washingtonian very widely known in the legal profession and the insurance field. He rendered valiant service in support of the life insurance code which was passed by Congress and approved by President Roosevelt while Mr. Davis was super intendent of insurance in the District Of Columbia. The code has since been adopted by many States. A former referee and court auditor for the Supreme Court of the Dis trict of Columbia, Mr. Davis has had unusual legal training and experi ence with banking, insurance and accounting. As a member of the faculty of the National University School of law. he has taught many i ot the subjects about which he writes so informatively. Much of his ac tive legal work had to do with ex posing dishonest practices. About such cases, he speaks mo6t vigorously, citing many United States Supreme Court controlling decisions and guid ing precedents. His work is certain to be widely read by bankers engaged especially in trust service, by insurance leaders, and by accountants In their efforts better to protect the Investing public and insurance policy holders. As Sec retary of Commerce Daniel C. Roper says In a letter to the author, the book covers a field which has been only inadequately treated in the past. E. C. S. THE RECOVERY PROBLEM IN THE UNITED STATES. Washington: The Brookings Institution. 'J'HE worst depression in the history of the modem world is about over—at least psychologically. Cer tainly its trough has been passed, and this Nation, together with the world at large, is a long way on the up turn of the economic curve. Perhaps it still is too early to un tangle the complex causes which brought it about—economic, political, psychological and spiritual—or to put a Anger definitely on what Is bringing about recovery. In a series of publica tions which already are classics in the history of economic thought, the Brookings Institution specialists have attempted to appraise on a wholly ob jective basis the economic forces which plunged the Nation into the depths of despair. They have gathered masses of fundamental statistics and digested them, and in these statistics the trends clearly are discernible. Probably there will be economic de pressions in the future. If they are to be prevented the forces causing them must be gotten under control, and the only way to do this is by the same method that other forces of na ture have been brought under control for the benefit of man. This has been by the patient gathering and classifi cation of facts and the synthesis of conclusions from them. Economic forces are fundamentally no different than physical forces—only probably more complicated. The primitive magician made little real progress against nature by wav ing his wand and saying "boo-boo” at flood and wind. Neither will the pol itician, following essentially the same methods, accomplish much by boo booing economic winds and floods in an effort to scare away the evil spirits which cause them. Whether their Immediate conclu sions are right or wrong, the Brook ings specialists have laid the founda tion for a much sounder attack. Now they apply the same methods to the current problem of recovery. What is responsible for it and what will accel erate it? 'T'HEY find, In the first place, that A recovery Is far from complete and itel |bam fin sinMMi pt tggtaMUtx ■ about it which, unless they are watched closely, may undo all that has been done. Capital is abundant and cheap. The burden of private indebtedness is very low. There is a better balance be tween industry and agriculture. Labor is better paid, while prices have ad vanced little—a very significant de velopment and basic in the Brook ings theory of recovery. Banks are sounder. Prospects of foreign trade are better with the elimination of un economic barriers. There is a crying need for new goods—new houses, new automobiles, new everything. The world is pretty shabby after the de pression. The uncertainty over New Deal policies, which may have acted as a brake on business expansion in some lines, has been greatly reduced. Such are the favorable elements making for a continuation of re covery back to the 1929 levels and beyond. There is another side to the picture. Public debts, both of nation and of local governments, are heavy. Budgets have been thrown out of balance everywhere. Labor relations are more unsettled than before, and the Brook ings experts have little patience with the theory that shorter hours at un reduced wages, unrelated to efficiency, will provide purchasing power to bal ance the necessary higher prices. But the worst cloud is that a good deal of the recovery in the world at large, upon which American recovery is in some degree dependent, has not been upon a sound economic basis, but be cause of the expansion of military pro grams. The book lists some of the essen tials for continued recovery—a bal anced Federal budget as soon as pos sible, a fixed price for gold, extension of reciprocal trade agreements, the preservation of a favorable ratio be tween prices and wages, maintenance of prevailing hours of labor, no more restriction of production in industry and less emphasis on restriction in agriculture. This Is likely to be one of the really significant books of its time in the effects it may have on economic policies.—T. R. H. GRAND TOUR. A Pilgrimage to Eu rope’s Shrines of Culture. The Aris tocratic Journey of the 17th and 18th Centuries. Edited by R. 8. Lambert. Illustrated. New York: E. P. Dutton Co. READERS of this page may have no ticed In weeks past that the re viewer is not overpartlal to books of travel. Readers, indeed, have some times commented on this fact in let ters addressed to the reviewer. And, in so far as they have individually commented on the attitude, they have been individually assured that the re viewer has no objection to the travel book as such, but rather to the unin spired manner in which most works of travel are set down. For the most part, her experience has shown her that the current traveler’s journal falls Into one of two categories—it is bub bllngly delightful with everything that is to be found in the new country or it is grimly researchful of "folk” or "racial” origins. In other words, these books are not urbanely written. They are the product of tod great zeal, on the one hand for sight seeing and on the other for facts. The truly good travel work, however, is a compound of sights, facts and the writer’s individuality. The last-named factor is today an almost invariably missing ingredient, while the first two are very seldom to be found In combi nation. But all three are necessary. It Is with unadulterated pleasure, therefore, that the reviewer announces a book of travel which is qoite outside the above-decried classifications—the present book. “Grand Tour.” It has been a delight to read it. It ought to be a satisfaction to own it. It is a book to add to one's private library. It is a remaking of the old "grand tour” of Europe, the Journey which was considered a part of every well educated young English gentleman's schooling in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and which fol lowed on his completion of his uni versity course. It has been remade especially for the writing of this book by a group of “literary couriers,” each of whom has taken one part of the tour and contributed a chapter de scriptive of the route today, in contrast to its condition as recorded in the journals of earlier pilgrims. It is well done, full of delightful curioisitlea and felicitously Illustrated with reproduc tions of old travel prints and sketches. Not the least of Its merits is its preface by Mona Wilson, giving the history of the "tour” as an educa tional institution. As Miss Wilson describes it: "In the eighteenth century the ordinary grand tour .. . meant the circuit of Ranee, Switzerland, Italy, Germany and the low countries.” This is the route cov ered by the present writers, being divided into six stages—from London to Paris, from Paris to Geneva, through Switzerland and the Alps, around Italy, the cities of Venice, Florence, Rome and Naples, Germany and the Rhineland, Cologne and the Journey to the coast. 'pus tour, aays Miss Wilson, ns originated by Queen Elisabeth, who devised it as a method of training for future statesmen and, penurious as she was, sometimes even financed it for a promising youth, although she preferred that her future statesmen pay their own way if possible. Fran cis Bacon, in his time, wrote pithy in structions for the traveling youth, in which he urged that they keep diaries and Thomas Cecil and Philip Sydney were among the young gentlemen who followed his directions classically. Through the seventeenth and eight eenth centuries, the EUasbethan model continued in form, Miss Wilson tells us, and the typical traveler of those times was the young gentleman student, accompanied by a servant or two and a tutor. But with the Na poleonic wars, the tour began to de cline and when travel revived it was the Byronie pilgrim, rather than the future statesman, who became the classic wanderer. And then, says Miss Wilson, with the Improvement in inns and trans portation, came the melancholy days of Brown, Jones and Robinson, and the tour ceased to exist save in name, although, she notes, in name “it per sists as a common title for advertise ments of organised trips in tbew days of Messrs. Thomas Cook and Dr. HECTOR BOL1THO, English "biographer and author of “Marie Tempest" first full length story of the famous actress. (J. B. Uppincott.) delightful—scholarly, humorous and well seasoned. THE INVADERS. By Stuart David Engstrand. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 'T'HIS is a novel by a new writer, one in whom the publisher seem ingly has taken great pride, for some weeks, reviewers have been receiving advance notices artfully designed to titillate the critical appetite. A work of ‘genuine power” we have been told, was about to break upon our horizons, and yet other adjectives were used to drive into our Jaded brains awareness that “The Invaders” was something very fine. Indeed. Alas for hope. “The Invaders” is here, and it turns out to be a thing of very dubious merit. It Is plainly a work written because a young man of energy wanted to be an author. The information that he had been a com mon sailor, a trapper, a tree trimmer, a share cropper, a salesman, a re porter and a free lance contributor to horae-raclng Journals has also been kindly tendered us in recent weeks. Well, he is an author now. He has published a book. It is not entirely without evidences of awareness of an author's obligation to his materials either. It shows with painful clear ness that Stuart David Engstrand has understood that a novel ought to have a plot, even if it is necessary to rough-hew human conduct into an unrecognizable state to procure one. It also shows that he has an eye on popular taste, as he has seized and dragged into his story (In the most energetic manner imaginable) two kinds of material that are in good popular favor. One is the estimable "class struggle,” which, if not a gen erally popular theme, is still rated highly as reading matter in certain quarters. The other Is always sure fire—frequent descriptions of the more intimate moments of married life done in a somewhat excessively virile style. He also has not neglected to touch on the Freudian derice of the “mother complex,” nor has he omitted to provide his work of art with a heroine of morals aomewhat lighter than featherdown. And there you are. A work of "genuine power.” It is a story of a farmer and his wife, and the struggle of his farmer neighbors to deal with the wicked capitalists who run the local cannery, and of a strike and broken hearts and heads and a great deal of noise. It has the elements of a good book in it (since It has about everything), but it is done with preposterous badness, with its people at one moment talking like stage yokels and the next spout ing in the manner of stage Greenwich Villagers and nowhere conducting themselves even slightly like people. Still, it is done. MARIE TEMPEST. By Hector Boli tho. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippin cott. 'T'HIS Is a biography of a famous actress by a competent writer. On the one count it ought to be inter esting to those with a taste for the stage and stage history. On the other it should appeal to those who enjoy contemporary lives. It is plain, of course, that Mr. Bolitho tremendously admires his subject; his book is frankly adulatory. But as Marie Tempest has commanded the admiration of a great public during her life, there may be some reason in this. The book is told to a considerable extent through the medium of con versations with the actress, the author using her own words for many pages at a time. It is not, he says, a com plete biography, chiefly because, al though he spent much time with Miss Tempest trying to elicit a coherent * Brief Reviews of Books Non-Fiction. THE NEW DEAL. By the editors of the Economist (London). New York: Alfred Knopf, Inc. The New Deal, In other words, by the editors of the Economist (Lon don). You know—the New Deal. THE COMMERCE CLAUSE UNDER MARSHALL, TANEY AND WAITE. By Felix Frankfurter. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Should be comprehensible to law yers. MASS CONSUMPTION. By Frederick Purdy. New York: The Talisman Press. Economics. AN ATLAS OF CURRENT AFFAIRS. By J. F. Johnson. New York: Al fred Knopf, Inc. A handbook on the current events of the world, country by country. ARE YOU A STOCKHOLDER? By Alden Winthrop. New York: Co vicl Friede. A manual for investors. CABINET GOVERNMENT. By W. Ivor Jennings. New York: The Macmillan Co. A scholarly account of the evolu tion of cabinet government through the last century. A HISTORY OF THE UNITED 8TATE8 SINCE THE CIVIL WAR. In five volumes. Volume V. By Ellis Paxson Oberholtaer. New York: The Macmillan Co. The final volume of Dr. Oberholt aer’s work, begun 25 years ago and now completed. THE AMERICAN STATE UNIVER narrative from her, she waywardly re fused to reminisce unless she happened to want to. But It gives pretty sub stantially the outline of her career. If the reader can enjoy the completely worshipful attitude to the length of 300 pages, he ought to find this an entertaining chapter of theatrical his tory over a considerable period. -• Bootlegging — (Continued From Page B-l ) and absentee owner of "The Stanley Manufacturing Co.” Tipped that "something funny” was going on In the "paint and oil works,” Investigators of the A. T. U. became genuinely suspicious In January, 1935, when they discovered that great quan tities of salt were being purchased by the "manufacturers” from Philadel phia. What, the agents reasoned, was the connection of salt with the manu facture of roofing paint and the recla mation of crankcase oil? Likewise, a lot of alcohol was seen going Into the factory, but very little paint was com ing out. Agents visited the plant, but didn't get very far, as the odor of alcohol was obliterated by chlorine gas fumes, re leased from valves whenever strangers got too near. The distillery’s truck, labeled "Bur roughs Contractors for Heavy Haul ing,” was stopped by three agents on July 1,1935. The Investigators discov ered three tanks camouflaged by what appeared to be a crated washing ma chine. The driver borrowed a match from an agent to light a cigarette, jumped to his seat and opened valves, which allowed the alcohol to flow to the ground. He struck the match and tried to Ignite the highly inflammable substance. Fortunately, he did not succeed and was arrested. The agents entered the plant, but caught only "small fry.” A search of several days failed to reveal the prin cipal item of distilling apparatus, but on July 4, during a rainstorm, agents heard the whir of a motor. They found the motor, hidden In a base ment compartment. It was so fitted that water In the compartment, upon reaching a certain level, would start the pumping machinery automatically. Water leaking In because of the rain had caused the motor to start. But the ringleaders were still miss ing. In the plant was found a par tially filled medicine bottle on which was a fragment of label, which sup plied the Initials of a druggist and part of the prescription number. The drug gist was found in Camden. By search ing his records he found out who was the prescribing physician. The phy sician, located In Camden, recalled the patient whom the agents sought had been treated by him at a Camden hotel while in company with a woman named Edna Mulford. The Mulford woman was found at the hotel. She supplied Information which led to the arrest of all the ring leaders. Tarpon Fishing (Continued Prom Page B-l.) energy that throws him clear of the water from 4 to IS times (and I mean clear), a heart that never quits until the gaff enters his gills, sheer weight and power and fighting ability, and you have a combination of a finny Joe Louis and Max Schmellng that's hard to lick. A SAILPISH may give you more jumps than a tarp. But most of the jumps of a sail are half-hearted Hill: University of North Carolina Press. The case against the university, on the grounds that it has subverted the higher interests of democracy. ZIG-ZAGGING THE SOUTH SEAS. By Isabel Anderson. Boston: Bruce Humphries. Routine travel stuff. Fairly good. THE PROPHET CHILD. By Gwen dolen Plunket Greene. New York: E. P. Dutton Co. Religious philosophy based on the need of becoming as a child In order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. DEATH VALLEY PROSPECTORS. By Dane Collidge. New York: E. P. Dutton Co. s' History of Death Valley. Interesting. THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OP A SCIENTIST. Being the memoirs of Dr. Henry Manure. By his aman uensis. New York: Scientific Pub ILshing CO. Satire on popular science writing. Good idea, but not as funny here as It might be. Fiction. THE PERSIAN JOURNEY OP REV EREND ASHLEY WISHARD. By Elgin Groaecloee. Indianapolis: Bdbbs-Merrill Co. Sentimental tale of how a mission ary won the kindly feelings of a tribe of wild Kurds. Very naive. SADDLE MEN OP THE C BIT BRAND- By Hart Thome. New York: Dodd Meed ft Co. Western stuff. Mysteries. XT HAPPENED AT THE LAKE. By Joseph Shaw. New York: Dodd Mead ft Oo. Trouble starts at a "queerly as ■Etaft* ImSm uutm. TT -- ECONOMIC CREDOS EXPLAINED The Agrarian-Distributists (Whatever They Are) Distinguish Be tween "New” and "Free” America—Mencken Eats Sugar. "Nation” Article Snaps at Air Bureau. #• ——————————— ■ By M. C. R. HIS department receives a copy of Free America this week and learns something that it did not know before—that this periodical is the organ of the Agrarian Distributlst movement. Well, there you are. Life is simply full of sur prise*. It also learns that, in the past. Free America has been called New Amer ica. But, says an admonitory note inclosed between the pages, this title gave rise to a danger of Identifying the magazine with the New America Movement, and consequently the name has been changed. The New America Movement, say Free America’s editors, has “aims in many respects . . . op posed to ours.” But beyond this they are discreetly silent. What these aims are—how reprehensible they may be— it does not say. One only knows that they approve of them. Well, it is all very Interesting. Until the reviewer received this copy of the Agrarian-Distributists’ little paper, she did not know that the Agrarian-Dis tributists existed. And now It seems that they not only exist, but are men aced by villains with aims opposed to theirs. As to what the Agrarian-Distrib utists are, as set down in their paper, why. it all sounds fairly familiar, and. if like the reviewer, you have not read of it in their own paper, you undoubt edly have read of it somewhere else— under a different name probably. The complicating part of the career of our enterprising economists seems to be the limited phraseology of economics. Two men have diametrically opposite panaceas (panaceas still, however), but only the same terms in which to express them. It makes for confusion, you will say? Well, then, multiply the men by a hundred and see what you get. And comprehend, too, what a bode and magazine reviewer gets in this day when one only needs a pencil to set up as an economic authority— and pencils are easy to borrow. Yes, just do that, IlUT, If you must know, this is what the Agrarian-Distributists want: The principle of small industry, the homestead principle, the principle of consumer co-operation, the principle of government ownership or close gov ernment control. And that, as they explain it, means that they want the great Industries split up into small ones, privately and co-operatively owned; that they want every family to own Its own homestead with enough ground to put in a garden; that they should have consumer co-operation so that everybody should get the highest pay and be happy, and that all indus try which does not lend Itself to these terms should be government owned or j controlled. The editor of Free America seems i PHILIP GUEDALLA, Author of “The Hundred Years.” (Doubleday, Doran.) —-■---- | to be the enterprising Mr. Herbert ' Agar, who wrote a long, wise-sounding i and quite incoherent book last year j about how to avoid and end depres- ' sions. He also once won a Pulitzer i Prize. 1 American Literature, the quarterly i of the Modern Language Association, announces that Its current number contains 31 hitherto unpublished let ters and notes by Walt Whitman. The information may be of interest to Whitman collectors. This periodical also publishes regu larly a list of all articles dealing with American literary men and women which have appeared in current mag azines. Its editors mildly observe that 1 this may be of interest to “writers of papers for clubs." AS WAS announced in December, the American Mercury, following the election, declared Its intention to go on making war on the New Dealers, landslide or no landslide. In its Feb ruary issue, however, it seems to indi cate a more patient attitude toward the regime in power—or maybe its | writers are just pulling up to breathe. , Anyway, we have H. L. Mencken an nouncing dourly that calamity is not at hand nor likely to be. To be sure, he makes the statement as a tribute to American hardihood and not as praise of Dr. Roosevelt’s efficacy. But he makes it. “After four long years of intensive and relentless salvation,’’ he says, "carried on by virtuosi of unparalleled ardor and no visible competence or conscience, the country Is still solvent and even prosperous, and the best pickings, as usual, are going to the smartest fellows.” We have run ourselves into debt, we have bred an unconscionable number of morons, he notes, but we are still better off than the rest of the world, and that by Immeasurably great de grees. Well, there seems to be some thing to that. Look around you, if you do not agree. And, continues Mr. Mencken. In effect, we will have no revolution— neither to the left nor to the right. We will Just muddle ungracefully and foolishly along. TN THE January 23 Nation Robert W. Horton has a serious piece on the administration of the Air Com merce Bureau. It is called "Death in the Air,” and is sub-titled "The Re sponsibility of Secretary Roper." It deals with the Senate report of the crash In which Senator Cutting was killed and comments on the fact that, although this report strongly urged the Secretary of Commerce to “over haul the Bureau of Air Commerce with a view to improving Its admin istrative officials” (quoted from the report), those same officials are still in control—seven months after the Senate document was written. The article lays the responsibility of the crash to faultily operated ground aids, and points out that, un less such aids work perfectly, the pilot who depends on them is worse off than the old-time “contact” flyer, who relied on visibility to keep him on his course. Not only in the crash which killed Senator Cutting, but in the recent one which resulted in the death of Martin Johnson has there been evidence that the signals oper ated by the Bureau of Air Commerce have been improperly operated, says Mr. Hortons’ article. The following remarkaoiy sensible statement is found in the current issue of the Gilbert and Sullivan Quarterly, and may perhaps be of in terest to Washingtonians who have been enjoying the opera at the Na tional. It is in a piece by Dr. Isaac Goldberg. "The term ’fan,’ ” he says, "is sup posed to derive from the word ’fa natic.' We may well believe it when we encounter a certain type of Gilbert and Sullivan ’fan.’ "He Is almost like the dope fiend who insists that you share his pleas ure—and poison. He is responsible for much of the disaffection among nor mal people who would like to enjoy Gilbert and Sullivan as they enjoy any other pleasant experience. • • •* affairs unworthy of the name. After the first leap or two the sail usually j gets only half his body and the spear out of the water. But when a tarp comes out he isn’t fooling. He comes all the way out. and frequently so close to the boat you’ll think he's go ing to land in your lap. Many a time I've put up an elbow to toss off a tar pon that seemed to be sure to land on my breakfast. But they seldom do. Once In a while one will lose his bear ings in the air and land In the boat, but that’s a rarity. They have the ability to twist in the air and get back to the water somehow. But if they do land in the boat, get out from the spot quickly. A tarpon is a rough boy with a wide and powerful tall which he uses. Besides, he’s plenty messy. He packs a coating of slime which smells to high heaven under the hot sun. The tackle? WelL tarpon are being caught by experts on six-thread line. Now. if you don’t know what that means, it means this: Six-thread line has a breaking strength of about 3 pounds to the thread, which means that it has a total breaking strength of 18 pounds. The fish will weigh any where from 50 to 120 pounds, so you can figure out that It's purely a mat ter, with such light stuff, of leading him and not forcing him. The usual West Coast tarpon man uses 18 thread line, but if you are a novice don’t feel badly when the guide sug gests 24-thread stuff. He knows the sheer power and strength of his an tagonist. Two hundred and fifty yards is enough. The tarpon doesn't make long runs like the marlin or even such runs as the sail fish. But every once in a while you’ll run across a mean old character who does his aerial stuff and then goes to the bottom to sulk. You'll need more than pack thread to move him, and 18-thread Is about right. The rod should pack plenty of backbone, but it needn’t be a great, heavy affair. An 8 or 10 ounce tip Is about right, both for trolling and still fishing. Some folks think a stiff tip Is better for trolling and a mem limber one for still fishing, but one of 10 ounces or so, of split bamboo, will do the job all right. The reel can be any good make, but it must be able to take it, which means good workman ship and not cheapness. And it must be anchored to the rod. 1 don’t know anything more downright embarras sing than to have a reel come loose from It’s seat in the middle of a strenuous tarpon scrap. It usually means losing the fish, a lot of cussing, some mental recriminations and a new reel. 'THE fishing methods? Well, they A are many. The tarp is a smart fish, but of there aren't too many boats around, he's a sucker for a split mullet. He’ll take a whole live mul let, a whole live pinfish, a crab or anything else edible which looks as if it might have life. He”ll also eat dead mullets, but the trolling method is the most fun. You won’t have to have any one knock you over the head and tell you you’ve had a strike when a tarpon hits your split trolled mullet. The tarp will tell you quickly enough. Before you’ve realised that you’ve come up hard against something big, the water will split open 30 yards be hind your boat and six feet of his imperial majesty will bound into the air, cutting didoes across the tropical scenery and bouncing your rod butt against your belly until you will wish you hadn’t eaten those chocolate ec lairs last Christmas. And then he’ll start out on a run that'll have your reel smoking unless it’s well oiled. During this process you'll probably damp your thumb down hard on the line spool and wish you hadn’t If JOS do k lM baft* 8MA cor thumb back to the factory for repairs, for it won’t do you much good for a few days, until the blister is replaced j by new pink skin. But your thumb ' won’t have any effect on the tarp. You could put your foot on the line | and It wouldn’t stop. Nothing will stop the first run of a tarp, if It has any size. If you still-fish In Monkey Hole, which lies at the mouth of Rodgers River, or in one of the passes of the Shark, you are going to be bothered by shark. They won’t run big—usually —but occasionly there'll come along a real old buster of tough hide, 14 feet long and weighing 700 or 800 pounds. If he picks up your mullet, you can feel his weight and strength quickly enough, cut your line. They aren't worth fooling with. You may work on him three or four hours, and after all a shark's just a shark, a darned scavenger who isn't any good at all. If it's a tarp that took your bait you'll know it quickly enough. The minute he feels the prick of your hook, he’ll be out of the water. The tarp doesn't waste any time telling you just what’s what. He’s quite a gentleman—the ; tarp—not at all like the sneaking old tough-hide the shark. You may run j across a sawfish, or an occasional I Jewfish. In the former case, cut your line quick, too, for It’s tough work to land one of these babies, with his 4-inch saw backed by 600 or 700 pounds of meanness. The jewfish will give you quite a scrap, but he's just . 100 pounds of logy old fish, hardly worth his salt as a gamester. JF YOU hook a big shark he may take care of the unhooking process himself, for the shark has the habit of backing up on the line and biting it or he may roll In it. Either way he’ll get rid of It quick, for a shark’s hide Is like a file, only tougher, and fishing line Is only linen. But your real annoyance with shark will come when. If you’re lucky, you’ve whipped a tarpon down to the point where his belly shows and he’s coming in on his side, when along comes old toughle and grabs a mouthful of your tarp. A big shark can cut a big tarpon in two and do just about as clean a job of it as one of those steel-shearing machines they have in the automobile shops In Detroit. It makes you down right annoyed to have It happen, and It will also make you careful where you bathe, and how you drop your hands overboard in these waters. Not that the shark Is brave. He isn’t. But blood In the water makes him rabid, and he can spot a fish In Don’t Wait Another Single Day! G«t and Rnad MARGARET MITCHELL'S ^ GONE The book which shat- fl iVr ■ i tered every record lMf I I #4 by sales of 1,000,000 * copies in six months. TT EE At all boektteraa $3.00 " ™ " ** WIND trouble as far as A1 Smith can see from the Empire State building on a clear day. That's quite a piece, even with a brown derby for a telescope. Now there are spots and spots in Florida where the silver king can be had. Of them al, Boca Grande prob ably is tops. It's a pass about midway up the coast, where the waters of the Miakka and Peace Rivers meet the Gulf. There are more big tarpon caught there than any other spot in the State, but it’s Spring and Summer fishing, not Winter stuff. The tarp doesn’t hit in around Boca Grande until May In any quantity. Shark River and the Cape Sable country is the place where you can get 'em now. The Boca Grande fishing is largely drift fishing or still fishing. You can have it. It’s good enough at that and the end result is the same, but give me the thrill of trolling along the mangrove islands, where the tide rips swirl and old silversides lies in wait for the bounty of the waters. When he hits your trolled bait he leaves no doubt about what's going to hap pen. None of this stealthy mouthing of the bait you get in still fishing, or the waiting. And there's motion to trolling. You are going to where th» fish are and not waiting for them to come to you. Give me trolling every time. And, furthermore, a shark doesn't hit a trolled lure. He's gen erally too lazy. ^^ND while you’re waiting, watch th® endless play of sun on the water, or new vistas of loveliness open up, and you’re at peace with the world. Yep. give me trolling every time, even if I can't split a mullet like Alton Boggess or Greg Lopez. Give it a whirl, this tarpon fishing. Catch some of ’em, take a scale or two to show to the boy friend back home while you burn him up with your tall fishing tales, and turn your fish back to the water. Don’t kill him, if you’r® a sportsman, for he isn’t any good. You can’t eat him, for he’s full of small bones, and besides he'd probably spoil in the hot sun anyhow. Turn him back and get a kindly glance from your sportsman guide. Then go over to Miami and catch a sail or two, and come back and tell the world that th® tarp has it over the sail like a tent, for sheer scrappiness, vivacity and toughness. The scale you love to touch—that’s the tarp. But be war* that first Jump. That’s the hook* thrower. If he doesn’t get rid of th® barb in that first leap, he’ll try again, but the first one is the bad on®.