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BY BERNICE LESBIA KENYON
M he silver web across the sky
1 Is hung with trembling stars; Moon, the spider, spun it high
And bright above our spars, And then dropped down behind the sea Till we should sail out quietly.
Now like a moth we move to-night
With dark sails wing and wing, And take our soft and shadowed flight
For far adventuring;
BUFFALO INSISTS BY THE MAYOR OF BUFFALO
GEORGE SA BUCK
TEAR after year Buffalo wallowed
in the mire of municipal corrup
tion and inefficiency until about 1909 a group of public-spirited citizens organized themselves for the purpose of studying the problem of city government with the end in view of trying to bring about better conditions. Speakers were brought from all over the country. Various charters were studied and the decision was finally reached to try to secure a commission form of government for Buffalo. This is a term somewhat misleading to the uninitiated, because a commission is usually an appointed board far removed from popular control. Commission government in a municipality is just the opposite of this. It is government by a small council, elected at large and wholly subject to popular control.
A commission charter for Buffalo was introduced in the Legislature. It was a daring experiment because of the large size of the city. The Legislature was most reluctant to grant it. The regular politicians did not want it, but the situation was critical. The city had reached the limit of its borrowing power. So far as going ahead with municipal improvements was concerned Buffalo was bankrupt. The old party organizations had nothing to offer to meet and deal with the crisis. The expedient of turning out one political party after the other had been tried and found useless. Efforts to elect an independent ticket had proved of no avail. At the hearing before the Cities Committee of the Legislature citizens from all walks in life appeared in such numbers that the Senate Chamber was filled to overflowing. It was one of the most remarkable scenes which Albany had ever witnessed, for they had paid their own way on a journey of six hundred miles.
During the closing hours of that session a great mass-meeting was held in Buffalo from which by special wire messages were flashed to Albany, and under the lash of this dramatic procedure the Legislature very grudgingly passed a bill permitting the people of Buffalo to vote on the adoption of the commission charter. At the polls the proposal was carried two to one.
The new government took hold on the
first day of January, 1916. It had to contend with the freakish financial phenomena engendered by the war, with continual restlessness among its employees from this cause, and with a cosmopolitan population representing in racial origin both allies and enemies. By the first of January, 1921, the new government had to its credit a better system of assessments, a policy rigorously pursued of paying off old debts instead of refunding them, with the result that the credit of the city in the money markets of the world was surpassed by no municipality; it had a borrowing capacity of $40,000,000 as against nothing five years earlier; the Police Department had been so conducted that the city was freer from vice than ever before in its history; the Fire Department's efficiency had been increased and the number of employees and fire-houses reduced; while the recreational facilities of the city and its hospitals and services to the needier portion of the population had been greatly extended. Problems which the old government had wrestled with for a long time and in which it made no progress, such as creating a turning basin in the harbor, reached a speedy solution under the new régime. All this was accomplished with an average rise of only fifty-three per cent in the cost of government, a figure below the operating increase of every kind of private business during the same period.
Under the old Charter, if a citizen were interested in some matter requiring action by the municipality, it was necessary for him to appear first before a committee of the Board of Aldermen, then before the Board of Aldermen as a whole; next before a committee of the Board of Councilmen, then before the Board of Councilmen as a whole; and, finally, before the Mayor. No matter how much of a demonstration the citi. zens might make before a committee of the Board of Aldermen, when the committee went into executive session the alderman of the ward most concerned was first consulted, and it mattered little how much the rest of the city might wish certain action, if the alderman from that ward was opposed the committee sustained his opposition. It was
Photograph by Ewing Galloway, N. Y,
A BUFFALO SKYSCRAPER
hard for the citizens to be effective, and was that element which always exists framed and put through Buffalo's Charthe number of times it was necessary at all times and which is dissatisfied ter, revived. It rented quarters and befor them to appear discouraged partici- with whatever régime is in control. gan the work of gathering data, raising pation in public matters. Now the Into this situation was projected on money, and enlisting speakers to conCouncil holds a town meeting every Fri- the first of January, 1920, a Councilman duct a campaign in behalf of the Charday afternoon. Its members are pres- who for many years had been a chronic ter. Citizens who before had grumbled ent, sitting as a committee of five, to agitator. The public decided to give at the conduct of certain of the Coun. which all matters requiring hearings him a chance. He recognized no re cilmen began to count their blessings are referred. The citizen needs to ap- sponsibility as an administrator in the under the present method of transacting pear only once. The entire city govern- affairs of half a million interdependent the city's business as compared with mer
people, but continued to use his position the way in which it used to be done, and sioners are heads of all the various city as a platform for the advocacy of the it was not long before the tide of public departments. The log-rolling between most extreme and radical ideas. With- opinion was steadily rising in favor of members of a large Board of Aldermen out the slightest sense of dignity or the Commission Charter. is no more. Instead, the five Councils courtesy, he gave way to the use of vio- The Mayor announced a hearing on men elected from the entire city have a lent and abusive language, which at the bill before making his decision. vision of the needs of the city as a times goaded some of his colleagues be- This hearing was held on a Saturday whole. They are as sensitive to the yond endurance.
afternoon at the City Hall. Never be views of people from the water-front as A spirit of protest arose among the fore was the Council Chamber So they are to those from the most pros- thinking people of the community. The crowded with citizens representing perous residential sections. There is no politicians thought they saw an oppor- every walk of life. The opposition to delay in the settlement of any matter tunity to overthrow the Commission the Rowe Bill was led by the President before the Council, so that a business Charter by capitalizing the dissatisfac- of the Commission Charter Association, man may quickly determine just where tion with the scenes enacted in the Dr. F. Park Lewis, a distinguished he stands. The people have gradually Council Chamber. A bill was intro- physician. The whole afternoon speaker come to realize that their presence in duced in the New York Legislature, late after speaker voiced abhorrence of the the Council Chamber counts. The re- in the session of 1921, purporting to idea of returning to the old aldermanic sult is that they are coming in greater amend the Charter of the City of Buf- régime. There were delegates present and greater numbers to the Council falo. In reality, it was its uprooting from all kinds of organizations-from hearings and there are many more It proposed to turn over to a board of business men's associations, from wo meeting with the city Commissioners nine $2,500-a-year aldermen plus a men's clubs, from social bodies. Union each Friday afternoon than was ever Mayor and a Comptroller elected at labor came forward as a unit in supthe case with the committees of the large all the power and duties involved port of the present type of city governformer boards which had charge of the in administering the affairs of the great ment. By careful count the membership city's affairs. It has been a very easy city of Buffalo. It was an absurd pro- represented at this hearing totaled over matter to fix responsibility for mistakes posal. The authorship of the bill was one hundred thousand persons. or to get action. This is a striking con- never revealed. The Hon. George H. Although the meeting was well advertrast to the days when the best of in- Rowe, its introducer in the Assembly, tised and the Council Chamber was tentions were lost in the labyrinth of is a mere stripling in years and experi- crowded to the doors, there were only boards, commissions, and legislative and ence, and yet it received the almost seven persons who appeared in favor of executive officials.
unanimous support of the members of the Rowe Bill, and two of these seven One of the principles of the new Char both houses. What Buffalo's most were the members of the Assembly and ter which it was framed to render easy public-spirited citizens accomplished Senate who were responsible for its inof accomplishment was that any man only after years of effort and by troduction. All through that long afterwho was doing his duty should be left storming Albany en masse this youth noon until well after six in the evening undisturbed, no matter what his politics achieved with ease. The sponsor for men and women stood in the Council might be. This principle has been car- the bill in the upper house, Senator Chamber in order to listen to the proried out, and there has been no scandal Gibbs, stated that both party organiza- ceedings and to take part in them. involving graft or corruption or thiev- tions wanted it, and the solidity of the The Mayor disapproved the bill in a ery of any kind. Under aldermanic vote in its favor is conclusive evidence message which had for its background rule, whenever there was a municipal that he spoke the truth. Under the law the popular experience and attitude election there were certain voting pre- of New York State, the bill could not which this article has attempted to piccincts in the city in which it was neces- go to the Governor if disapproved by ture. He concluded with a summary sary to employ as high as fifteen patrol- the Mayor, unless repassed by the which ran as follows: men to preserve order. Since the new Legislature, as it was a local bill affect "I am unwilling to impose upon the Charter has gone into operation one ing the municipality. The bill provided public the burden of expense in time patrolman to each precinct has been de that a special election be held on May and money involved in a special election tailed only as a precaution. Plainly, 31 to decide whether the proposed Char- to determine what is obvious. nothing has been at stake making it ter should be adopted. Under New York "I am unwilling that this city of half a worth while to buy or bulldoze or slug legislative procedure, the Governor million people shall go back to the conthe voters.
might not have approved the bill until trol of a bi-partisan political machine. Now this course of events was not at May 15, only sixteen days before the "I am unwilling that over eight millall pleasant to active politicians. Buf- referendum. At any rate, the time ion dollars of taxpayers' money on falo's Charter was planned to loosen the would have been too short to organize deposit, with forty million dollars addigrip of machine politics upon city gov- an effective campaign against the ser- tional borrowing power, all accumulated ernment, and it was working out just ried ranks of the two great party ma during the years of Commission rule, as it was expected to do. There were chines. It was an attempted application shall be dissipated by a form of governother elements which had reasons for in politics of the German war plan, that ment discredited by experience and con dissatisfaction. There were some people a disciplined force by quick action demned by every student of economics who sincerely believed in party govern- might crush a greater, unorganized, po "This bill forces an issue neither ment. There were those who would tential force.
sought nor welcomed by our citizens, like to profit by the permission to vio- When it became apparent that a and clearly not needed by the city." late State and local laws in a way serious effort was to be made to destroy Senator Gibbs announced that in view which they could not do under the the commission government of the city of the Mayor's veto he would not press direct responsibility placed upon the of Buffalo, citizens who had taken no the bill for repassage. This spelled its Mayor. There were those who preferred interest in public affairs for years be- death, and once again Buffalo's public • corrupt board of aldermen but dared gan to bestir themselves. The old Com- opinion had triumphed over an unwill
openly advocate it. And then there mission Charter Association, which had ing Legislature.
FTER years of restless wanderings road that leads through the firs to my peaceful radish from its twenty-day
to and fro, from Broadway to the newly acquired tumble-down house on sleep. 11 Bronx and from Herald Square to the bluffs go winding still, and, if I Hard upon the heels of this interest. Harlem, I am free to be my own land- miss the traffic rushing up and down the ing information I find that some of my lord in my declining years. I have pur- Great White Way, I'll sit, Gulliver dead-and-gone neighbors were substanchased a home of my own.
fashion, beside the outlet to my inlet tial slave-owners, and I am chiefly worMy little farm, which I have called when the tide pours in and out and ried lest one or two of them may not "Firtide," is about thirty acres in extent listen to my own Niagara Falls.
have been buccaneers. There is an adand stretches from a sunny river road I might even harness this five-foot mirable stony point on the shore of my down to the banks of the Piscatauqua. ebb and flow and, in time, develop farm which hugs Clam Cove and around which it borders for a thousand feet or power sufficient to saw my cord-wood, which the waves lash at high tide that more. There is a tide-water inlet on for I rather mistrust my first introduc- might well have been a nocturnal renone side of the place and a clam cove tion to the ax. But I feel sure that I dezvous for some lesser Kidd or Morcuddling the other boundary, so that the will be able to set out a young orchard, gan. However, I would not go so far as far-flung vista to the west, over river and on this point alone I am speculat- to dig under the brow of the hill for and bay, promises to be an admirable ing with keen interest. Will these trees Spanish doubloons or pieces of eight. hide-away spot where I can retire and meet the appetites of the yet unborn? As a matter of fact, on my first flying compose my opus magnus.
In the nursery school of bottle or visit to the farm I was sure I heard the The rocky bluffs, sloping meadows, breast they have their own imperious clanking of a gibbet chain, only to find. and irregular shore line. all topped by say, and who can presage what their upon investigation, that the discord was tangled birch and thick clumps of lofty taste will be? Will they prefer apple, but the groaning of some piles which white pine forest, suggest a rambling peach, or grape? It is a curious ques- support the ancient bridge over the inold estate by nature picturesque, and, tion as to whether the coming century let as the incoming tide lapped them although small for a country place, it will bring to Firtide another tea party back and forth in a barnacled embrace. seems, to my untutored eye, accustomed or another amendment.
Much to my amazement and dismay, to hotel rooms or wedged-in apartments. Of food there is a natural plenty. In I also read of how the first owner of a vast and incalculable expanse of prop- the rapidly flowing Piscataqua there is my two-hundred-year-old house on the erty.
abundance of fish, and Clam Cove fairly bluff was struck by lightning and found Why, Firtide is as large as the whole bristles with succulent bivalves. Back dead standing up in the doorway! He theatrical district of Manhattan. I of the old house there are some ancient had stepped to the door, it appears, mean to say that if I put my house on apple and cherry trees, still bearing with a wash-basin in his hands to col. the high bluff where the Times Building bravely, according to their blankets of lect rain water when the crash came. now stands Clam Cove would be Colum- blossoms this spring. Along the river The case of his huge silver watch was bus Circle. And, by the same token, if road and over my pasture are two or entirely melted away by the thunderRiver Road were Broadway, my shore three acres of wild raspberries, and on bolt, but the works were uninjured. line would be Eleventh Avenue, be the southern hill above Clam Cove I Whether the timepiece was found still jabbers!
found a carpet of wild strawberries. ticking, or not, the chronicle does not It is bewildering to sit down in this On second thought, it will still be say. rush of modern civilization, with its well to plant some vegetables, for I have I wonder if I will see him on the first changing geography and laws and in just read from a quaint little book that blustering thunder night I take possescome taxes, and soberly prepare to hew the Indians who formerly overran this sion. What with Indian graves, a out of a thirty-acre patch of abandoned section of the country invariably took pirate or two, and some dead men who wilderness a home for posterity, even as sick on too much sea food, and until stand up in doorways, I am likely to my forefathers did.
the regular season of wild fowl and have some astral visitors to contest my There is a curious thrill to one like venison came in they usually sulked in claims, but, like Washington Irving's myself, a musical director, whose life cave and tepee.
Bold Dragoon, I feel that I am too has been spent in the orchestra pits of The little book to which I refer is a widely traveled to fear an old man who Broadway productions, at the thought quaint miscellany of how some of the had no better sense than to step out of clearing a bit of land for a potato ancestors of my new neighbors came to into a thunder-storm with a wash-basin patch, or planting a tree that may be. It appears that these early settlers in his hand. afford shady trysts or gracious fruits of York County, Maine, were for the And as for the Indian "hants" or years hence for those whom I may most part dissenters, and many of them rakish slavers, I, who know a Lamb's never see.
claimed kinship with the Puritans. AC Club and many seasons of Broadway I can hardly hope that by sweat ofcording to the weather-beaten tome, runs and one-night stands, need fear brow and sturdy brawn the swing of my fierce Indian battles were won and lost them not. At least I will have plots for ax will ever alter the scenery of Firtide. across the wooded bluffs of Firtide, and operettas a-plenty, and at my own door, Nor do I wish it. I have seen scenery it would not surprise me in the least to now that the reign of jazz is over and enough in my time. I will much pre- turn up a skull or two when I begin to the voice of true melody is heard in the fer to let the old winding, overgrown grub around my fruit trees or coax the land.
To win or lose in a fair competition is a sure means of developing respect for one's opponents. That is why international sport develops international friendliness. This is particularly true of amateur sport. Polo, though restricted to comparatively few who can afford the expense of the game, arouses wide interest because of the spirited nature of the game and its fine traditions of sportsmanship. The American team this year won a decisive victory over the British team. The pieture here presents Mr. Hitchcock, of the American team, winning the race for the ball with one of the British
players, Lord Wodehouse
HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE?
BY LYMAN ABBOTT
ground," or conceive the dead as a shadow dwelling in a land of shadows. Mrs. Harker, in one of her charming
stories of child life, has told of a little ROFESSOR SMITH defines the To study about the Bible is to study boy who had been accustomed to play purpose of this book in the first questions of authorship, date, and com
lestions of authorship date and com- cards with a grandfather who impressed two sentences of his preface; position. To study the Bible is to study upon his grandson the importance of “This series of studies is prepared for the various books which compose it for always having a clean pack. When the the use of adult Bible classes. It aims the purpose of ascertaining its answer
grandfather died, the little boy crept to put into the hands of busy men and to such questions as, Who is God? What into the room where the body lay awaitwomen a guide for the consideration is man? What are his duties? What ing burial and put a clean pack of cards of the fundamentals of a Christian are his reasonable hopes and aspira into his hand. This is what humanity faith."
tions? and What is the relation between did in the childhood of the race. He apparently regards these two aims him and God? To such study Dr.
The Jewish people shared this comas identical. But for many they are not Smith's book is a very useful guide. It mon feeling of mankind. Job expresses identical. The Roman Catholic regards should be studied with a Bible at hand
the common faith of his time: "As the the Bible as the source of Christian for convenient and frequent reference.
waters fail from the sea, and the flood faith only as it is authoritatively in. In this study two simple but very
decayeth and drieth up; so man lieth terpreted by the Church; and at the fundamental principles should always down, and riseth not; till the heavens other extreme are scholars who consider be kept in mind.
be no more, they shall not awake, nor some of the teachings of the Bible as The first of these principles is that be raised out of their sleep.” Hezekiah not only not Christian but anti-Chris- the Bible is a library, composed of in his prayer gives expression to the tian. Thus by some the teaching of sixty-six different books, written by at same conception of death: "The grave Paul and the teaching of Jesus are in- least forty or fifty different writers, and cannot praise thee, death cannot celeterpreted
direct conflict. We wish that a period of not less than a thou. brate thee; they that go down into the that Professor Smith had confined him- sand years, probably more. elapsed be pit cannot hope for thy truth." self to the first of these purposes—the tween the date of the first and that of Faith in a life beyond death was not interpretation of the Bible-for which it the last books which compose it. The possible till man had born in him faith is admirably adapted, in spite of some unity of the Bible is that of spirit not in a deathless life as a present possesincursions into philosophy, inspired by of form, a unity of minds living under sion his second purpose, to lay down the different civilizations, in different ages Still pursuing our study of the Bible, fundamentals of the Christian faith. of the world, speaking under different we come to the pregnant fact that faith
He assumes with the author of the circumstances, and to different circles in immortality, which painted on the Second Epistle to Timothy that the ob- of readers.
tomb of the catacombs the emblems of
The other principle is that the hope, came when faith in the spiritual godly living, and he applies its teachings Bible contains reports of religious life and the possibility of that spiritual not to abstract theological questions errors as well as of religious teaching life for the children of men was born. which scholars have raised since the last intended to correct them. If it con- Jesus brought life and immortality to book of the Bible was written but to tained no record of errors. it could be light, and he brought immortality to vital questions which existed before the no true history. No one could under light by bringing life to light. Bible, and would exist if there were no stand Abraham Lincoln if he did not He disclosed to his disciples a new kind Bible; such questions as the relation of understand the nature of American of happiness. It is to be found, he said, creed to deed, or right thinking to right slavery and the apologies and defenses in ourselves not in our possessions, in living, the nature of God, the nature and that were made for it. No one can un. what we are not in what we get. needs of man, the meaning of faith, and derstand Isaiah if he does not know Blessed, men thought, are the grasping, how to meet trouble and temptation. something of the paganism which sur for they get the earth. "Blessed," said With this brief explanation of the rounded and the semi-paganism which
unded and the semi-paganism which Jesus "are the meek; for they inherit book I use it as a text for some reflec- pervaded Israel. The notion that there the earth.” The truly happy souls are tions on Bible study.
are no errors recorded in the Bible and those that give their lives to service and There is a great difference between none reflected in the utterances of its take what comes to them as a gift. study about the Bible and study of the teachers leads inevitably to the blunder He disclosed to his disciples a new Bible. One might study in cyclopædias of the judge who said: “We have the kind of ambition-ambition for service. and treatises such questions as, Did highest possible authority for saying. “Among the Gentiles they that are great Bacon or Shakespeare write the plays 'All that a man hath will he give for his exercise authority over them. But it which tradition attributes to Shake life,'” and was humiliated to be told shall not be so among you; but whosospeare? When were those plays writ- the next day by a daily newspaper that ever will be great among you, let him be ten? What use did the authors make of it was Satan who said it.
your minister." previous literary material? And he Let me illustrate these two principles He disclosed to his disciples a new might never read a play through or ac- by applying them very briefly to the kind of piety. “Great is Jehovah's quire any appreciation of Shakespeare's Bible teaching concerning immortality. mercy
rd them that f literary qualities. So one may, and Unillumined man cannot conceive of said the Psalmist. The piety of the many do, study such questions as, spirit apart from the body. In this re- Old Testament Jew was founded on When were the various books of the spect he is like some highly educated fear. Christ founded piety on love. Bible written? By whom? What, if scientists of to-day, whom I neverthe. "He that loveth me shall be loved of my any, previous material did any of their less venture to call unillumined. He Father ... and my Father will love authors use? How and by whom were cannot picture to himself an unembodied him, and we will come unto him, and the various books brought together and spirit, so he constructs an idol of wood make our abode with him." The hapmade one book? And he might never or stone to represent his deity, and rep- piness of character grows with our read any book in the Bible through, or resents him hideous and wrathful, as growth and neither old age, infirmity, have any idea whether it gives one con- does the African, or placid and indif- nor sickness can rob us of it; the ambisistent answer to the ethical and spirit ferent, as does the East Indian. So tion to serve can always find occasions ual problems which life is continually when a man dies his friends embalm for service and it is never satiated; the presenting to all thoughtful minds, and the body and seal it up against decay piety founded on love brings us a divine if so, what that answer is.
that it may be ready for the return of companionship which removes the fear
the spirit, or bury bows and arrows of death. 1 Fundamentals for Daily Living. By Robert Seneca Smith, Professor of Biblical Literature with the body that the departed may A s we possess immortality we believe at Smith College. The Woman's Press, New
have them in the "happy hunting in it. York City. $1.50.