« AnteriorContinuar »
Uncle Sam's Ambassadors of Aid
Condensed from Our World
The relief workers have kept alive among the people of stricken Nations a grateful sense of America's real interest in themwhich offsets temporary political difficulties.
E were a little group of Americans on mission, in December, 1918, passing through Slovakia. As our train drew near one of the largest towns, we became aware of a great crowd at the station; of flags and a band playing, and, finally, of a group of frock-coated, top-hatted men; quite obviously, a reception. Now this was embarrassing, for we were not a mission to Slovakia but to Poland, an enemy at that moment of Slovakia. I explained this to the committee that boarded our train.
"But you are Americans," broke in one of the committee, and sticking his head out of the car window he waved his hand at the band, which redoubled its energy, and shouted to the people, who thereupon redoubled their attempts to drown out the band. And we all went out on the platform, speeches were made, and we were given to drink and even to eat, of sorts, and finally sent on our way with Slovakian Godspeeds and God's blessings—America on mission to an enemy country!
From the American Relief Administration's headquarters in Paris other missions speedily went to the other countries; and food soon followed. Within only a few months after the Armistice, 23 European countries were receiving food from the A. R. A. that meant saving the lives of,
well, how many no one can tell. And the A. R. A. was, and is, only one of the many organizations carrying America on benevolent mission to Europe. But today we hear daily of the ill-feeling towards America in various European capitals.
Has Europe forgotten America on mission? Has all her once abundantly expressed gratitude turned to gall and hate? Do the statesmen of Europe express accurately the feelings of the less articulate little people of the towns and villages and farms, who are still alive, many of them, because they had, and in Austria and Russia and the Near East still have, American food, without price, to live on? I know they do not. The evidences of another kind of feeling are still coming to America by letter, by formal resolutions, by simple home-made gifts. Recall that recent hearttouching sending of thousands of little gifts from the school children of Poland to the school children of America. And before that had come cases and cases of similar gifts from the Belgian children. And all the time are still coming formal letters and resolutions from government and province and town authorities, from trade and peasant associations, and, in waves, ill-spelled, but sincere and pathetic, letters from mothers and fathers and children. In far way Ufa, near the Urals, two monuments have just been established by the grateful citizens to a young worker of the A. R. A. who died of typhus while engaged in relief work.
It is really only the politicians who make this present unpleasant clamor. The millions who have eaten American bread, without price, in the days when there was no other bread, speak
differently, when they have opportunity to speak at all. How many millions of the people of Europe blessed America for her gifts, no one will ever be able to say. Practically all the inhabitants of Occupied Belgium and North France, amounting to seven and a half million in Belgium and two and a quarter million in France, received their bread during four long, difficult war years through the intervention of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, The American Relief Administration, a post-war organization, estimates the total number of persons who have been fed through its efforts since the Armistice to be no less than 100,000,000. The American Red Cross is sure that it has aided not less than 20,000,000 persons in Europe, exclusive of American soldiers.
Nor has the benevolence of the C. R. B. to Belgium and France entirely ceased as yet; only it has taken on a different form. For in the liquidation of the C. R. B. at the end of the Armistice it found itself with a money and food residue (promptly converted into money) on hand which, by mutual arrangement, is now being devoted to the advancement of education in Belgium. Large sums have been given to each of the four great Belgian universities, as well as to the School of Mines at Mons and the Colonial School. A Belgian foundation has been set up with a considerable endowment, the income from which is largely spent in subsidizing scientific research. And, finally, a C. R. B. Educational Foundation has been organized which maintains a system of exchange university fellows and visiting professors between Belgium and America. About 30 advanced Belgian students are scattered among leading universities of this country each year and a dozen American graduate students are sent to the four Belgian universities. In North France, too, a special organization for nursing mothers and infants is now achieving a most beneficent work by
means of funds derived from the liquidation of C. R. B. operations.
The American Relief Administration at the peak of its Russian work last August was directly feeding ten million starving people. This organization has, in addition to food relief, carried on an extensive clothing relief, and especially in Russia, a large medical relief. It has also carried on a special relief to particular families in Europe through a system of "food drafts," paid for by persons desirous of helping relatives or friends.
Nearly one hundred American organizations were set up during the war and post-war period to help Europeans. Each organization had its special function; one helped this country, another that; one befriended children, another the old; one helped artists, another musicians; one helped laborers, another intellectuals; one helped the blind, another the tubercular. The agents of each of these organizations, with gifts in their hands, carried a tangible message of American sympathy and good will to the sufferers of Europe; each represented America on mission.
How can this work ever be measured? If one turns to figures of money used it all adds up to hundreds of millions, even to billions of dollars. But how can the beautiful special work of such organizations as the Fatherless Children of France or the Committee for Men Blinded in Battle be measured? Certainly not by figures of dollars spent; nor indeed is that a fair measure for the work of the organizations that have spent much money. All this work has been an affair of heart, of sympathy, of moral and spiritual encouragement. Europe knows this, and the millions of little people in Europe appreciate this. We need not be vexed overmuch by the utterances of the politicians of the capitals. America on mission in Europe has left an ineffaceable impression on Europe-and on America.
Our World, Jan.. '23.
Condensed from Harper's Bazar
HEN introducing a young lady
to a stranger it is correct form to say, "Dorothy (or Miss Doe), shake hands with Mr. Roe." Always give the name of the lady first, unless you are introducing some one to the President of the United States, the Archbishop of Canterbury, or a customer. The person who is being "introduced" then extends his (or her) hand and says, "Shake." You "shake," saying at the same time, "It's warm (cool) for November (May)," which the other replies, "I'll say it is."
This brings up the interesting question of introducing two people to each other, neither of whose names you can remember. This is generally done by saying very quickly to one of the parties, "Of course you know Miss Unkunkunk." Say the last "unk" very quickly so that it sounds like any name from Ab to Zinc. You might even sneeze violently. Of course, in nine cases out of ten, one of the two people will at once say, "I didn't get the name," at which you will laugh, "Ha! Ha! Ha!" in a carefree manner several times, saying at the same time, "Well, wellso you didn't get the name-you didn't get the name-well, well."
As to the etiquette of presenting flowers to a young lady on the street: follow her, holding the potted plant in your left hand. After she has gone a few paces step up to her, remove your hat with your right hand, and offer the geranium, remarking, “I beg your pardon, miss, but didn't you drop this?" If she takes the pot firmly in both hands and breaks it on your head, your only correct course of procedure is a hasty bow and a brief apology.
Let us suppose, however, that she accepts the geranium in such a manner that you are encouraged to continue the acquaintance. Your next move should be a request for an invitation to call upon her at her home.
Above all things, this should not be done crudely. Better suggest your wish indirectly, as, "Oh-so you live on William Street. Well, well! I often walk on William Street in the evening, but I have never called on any girl there—yet." The "yet" may be accompanied by a wink. She will probably "take the hint" and invite you to come to see her some evening. At once you should say. "What evening?" "How about tonight?" she says she is already engaged for that evening, take a calendar out of your pocket and remark, "Tomorrow? Wednesday? Thursday? Friday? I really have no engagements between now and October. Saturday? Sunday?" That will show her that you are really desirous of calling upon her.
The first thing to do on arriving at a symphony concert is to express the wish that the orchestra will play Beethoven's Fifth. If your companion then says, "Fifth what?" you are safe with him the rest of the evening; no metal can touch you. If, however, he says, "So do I"-this is a danger signal and he may require careful handling.
The next step is to glance at the program. If your escort is quite good looking and worth cultivating, the obvious remark is, "Oh, dear-not a very interesting program, tonight. But George-look at what they are playing next Thursday! My only wish-" If George shies at this, it can be tried later.
As soon as the music starts, all your attention should be directed toward discovering someone who is making a noise whispering or coughing; you should immediately "sh-sh" him. This will win you the gratitude of your neighbors and serve to establish your position socially, for perfect "sh-shers" do not come from the lower classes.
At the conclusion of the first number the proper remark is "hmmm," accompanied by a slow shake of the head. Then you may say: "Well, I suppose Mendelssohn appeals to a great many people." Another of my own particular depth bombs for use at concerts is: "After all, Beethoven IS Beethoven. . ."
Before the invention of the phonograph it was often necessary for the opera goer to pay some attention to the performance; this handicap to the enjoyment of opera has now fortunately been overcome and one can devote one's entire attention to other more important things, safe in one's knowledge that one has Galli-Curci at home on the Vic.
Upon entering one's box the true opera lover at once assumes a musical attitude; this should be practised at home, by my lady, before a mirror until she is absolutely sure that the shoulders and back can be seen from any part of the house. Then, with the aid of a pair of strong opera glasses, she may proceed to scrutinize carefully the occupants of the boxes-noting carefully any irregular features. Technical phraseology, useful in this connection, includes "unearthly creature," "stray leopard," or, simply, "that person.".
A guest is supposed tacitly to consent to the menu which the hostess has arranged, and the diner-out who makes a habit of saying, "Squab, you know, never agrees with me I wonder if I might have a couple of poached eggs," is apt to find that such squeamishness does not pay in the long run.
Your conversation should be plan ned more or less in advance. Select one topic in which you think your lady friend will be interested, such as, for example, the removal of tonsils and adenoids, and "read up" on the subject so that you can discuss it in an intelligent manner. Find out, for ex ample, how many people had tonsils removed in February, March, April Contrast this with the same figures for 1880, 1890, 1900. Learn two o three amusing anecdotes about ade noids. Finally, and above all, take time to glance through four or five volumes of Dr. Eliot's Five Foot Shelf, for nothing so completel marks the cultivated man as the abi ity to refer familiarly to the various volumes of the Harvard classics...
Every fall a large number of young girls leave home to come East to the various Finishing Schools. In case you do not happen to meet any friends on the train, the surest way to protect yourself from any unwelcome ad vances is to buy a copy of the "A lantic Monthly" and carry it, in plain view. Next to a hare lip, this is the safest protection for a traveling young girl that I know of.
If you are compelled to go to the dining car alone, you will probably sit beside an Elk, who will call the waiter, "George." Along about the second course he will say to you, "It' warm for September, isn't it?" T which you should answer, "No." Tha will dispose of the Elk. When th woman across the aisle begins telling how raspberry sherbert always l agrees with her, offer her your rasp berry sherbert.
After dinner you may wish to rea a while, but the porter will probabl have made up all the berths for night. It will also be found that light in your berth does not w Finally, just as you are leaving B falo, you will at last get to sle and when you open your eyes ag you will be-in Buffalo.