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China trying to live and thrive under an alien political institution. Nevertheless, it is significant for three reasons. In the first place, the present experiment is a definitely favorable reaction of "unchanging China" to the influence of the west. Secondly, the awakening of China has become an undeniable fact. It is not a pretense. Nor is it the final spurt of a decaying nation. No race of people on the point of passing out of existence is capable of such vigorous action as has been exemplified in these years in China. And finally, as the result of a growing dissatisfaction among the intellectuals over the apparent confusion wrought upon Chinese society by the advocates of China's westernization, a most important change is taking place that has for its object the modernization, not the westernization, of China.
Out of the political unrest, there has loomed forth one force that is now diverting China's course of development into saner, more logical, and more practical channels. This is the spirit of young China. It is exemplified in the new cultural movement, in the movements for mass education, for the emancipation of women, and so on, all initiated and led by students. On the one hand, these movements are nothing less than revolts against the lingering hold of old ideas, against widespread illiteracy, against the despotism of the old family system, and against every influence that impedes the real progress of the nation. On the other hand, as the result of the World War in which many phases of western civilization appeared in a far from favorable light, they are protests against the uncritical acceptance of everything western. They aim to exclude superficiality in the vital transformation now taking place. Nothing of domestic or foreign origin is free from close scrutiny and its rejection or acceptance is decided on the basis of true merit and practical utility.
The youth of China, the new intelligentsia, is the fiery spirit and living force that has come to dominate China. These are they who fought and died for the establishment of the republic; who engineered the disastrous boycott against Japan following the notorious Twenty-one Demands
of 1915; who were responsible for the rejection of the Treaty of Versailles, in 1919, which transferred China's sacred province, Shantung, to Japan; who again made it possible to eject Japan from Shantung in 1922; who instigated the present boycott against Great Britain; who clamored for the abrogation of the so-called unequal treaties with foreign nations; and who by deed as well as by voice are ever alert to protest against further foreign encroachments. The interests, policies, and deeds of foreign Powers have been made the butt of their attacks and propaganda. The reason is this: it was foreign aggression that rudely awakened China from her long slumber; and now foreign nations are made the bogey that shall stimulate and accelerate a more pervasive awakening of the four hundred millions. On the other hand, these are they who are also contributing in another way to the uplift of China by bringing more light to the appalling number of illiterates among their own people, by conscious effort to introduce western science and the best of western philosophy and literature, by undertaking a critical evaluation of the old civilization of China for present use, and by taking steps to prevent the adoption of the externals and non-essentials of western civilization.
Their activities have been both destructive and constructive. For the former they have been the object of much adverse criticism. For the latter they have as yet to produce tangible results. Nevertheless, their attacks upon tradition, authority, old beliefs, and foreign interference have generally been forgiven by their fellow-countrymen, because of their unquestioned sincerity, earnestness, and unselfish patriotism. They have made mistakes in judgment and action. All that is inevitable. Like youth the world over, they are a human lot, impulsive, impatient, inexperienced, and untried in the ways of the world. Yet after all is said and done, these are they who, after fifteen years of hectic life, are beginning to recover their balance, to appreciate whither the nation should go in search of stability, strength, and progress, and are leading the nation along with them. They are confronted with the task of
making over a huge, ancient, and highly refined civilization into a modern one-one that shall constitute a united, vital, national society into which the best of both Chinese and western has been fused in organic cohesion.
The outward signs of chaos in China indicate, therefore, primarily a political condition. It is but temporary. Stability and progress will come when the Chinese nation becomes conscious enough to break away from the old habit of being only remotely interested in political affairs; and when it becomes interested enough to be willing to make personal sacrifices for country in order to establish a government through which it may truly express itself.
EDGAR ALLAN POE
DERRICK NORMAN LEHMER
Here was a Grecian urn
Borne in the tossing stern
Of some far-wandering, homeward-turning bark; Storm-driven on bitter seas,
Still hoarding memories
Of sunny vineyards; clusters purple-dark;
Here in the dark and cold,
Down in the reeking hold,
With noise of sailors trampling overhead,
Dreaming of grottoes still
Beside the vineyard: in its quiet bed
The drowsy-flowing stream; the moonlight soft; The Greek girls dancing with their arms aloft.
On through the driving blast,
Follow the giddy plunging of the deck!
On to the stony reefs she drives, a wreck!
A PROPOS OF JOAN OF ARC
HELEN B. SMITH
A host of Joans ascends and descends the Jacob's ladder of the critic's dream. He sees Voltaire's "stay-laced Amazon" upon her ass radiant beneath Gallic Denis' watchful eye, encountering Mark Twain's long-skirted heroine. He sees Anatole France's "mascotte," bereft of warrior Dunois' protection, routed by Andrew Lang's valiant maid at the head of the whole French army. He sees Schiller's romantic "Jungfrau," surrounded with witches, speeding on her cloudy broom to confound Joseph Delteil's robust, sensual country lass or perhaps Bernard Shaw's "mentally excessive" "visualizer." And a host, full two thousand strong, besides.
"We now have the last word," wrote the critic, SainteBeuve in 1850, speaking of the monumental work of M. J. Quicherat. "We now have the last word, as much as we shall ever have it concerning this marvelous person." And yet, since Sainte-Beuve's pronouncement, how many "words" have appeared concerning Joan of Arc, the most recent of which is that of Albert Bigelow Paine, inspired by the reading of Mark Twain.
Such strange material is she, the Maid of France, that each "word-catcher" moulds her to his fancy. Rarely is the Joan of one writer on sisterly terms with that of another and often they have little family resemblance. Perhaps there never have been, of a single historical figure, so many or such conflicting interpretations as of Joan of Arc. The world has seemingly felt a desire, a pressing urge to study