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Stories from Everybody's Magazine

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It interested Trotter. It interested him very much. But it no
longer filled him with mingled fear and revolt. He was, indeed,
no longer envious, just as he was no longer nervous. He was as
calm as a Nihilist with a bomb in his pocket.

Looking up, he saw that the office boy was holding the rail gate
open for him to enter. But he was conscious of no spirit of
elation as he stepped through the gate and passed on into that
glass-fronted cage where Pyott, the managing editor, sat like a
switchman in his many-levered tower.

Trotter saw, seated at a desk before him, a thin-featured,
thin-haired man of forty, with the crumpled-up eye-corners
peculiar to the face that masks a circuitous and secretive mind.
It was a face full of that weary concern, that alert
indifferency, which is companion to the spirit of repeated
compromise. It was far from an open face: it seemed to betray
only two things, tiredness and satiric intelligence.

The man at the desk did not even look up. He merely flung a
barbed "Well?" over his shoulder. It reminded Trotter of the
preoccupied tail swish of a horse worried by a black-fly. The
side flick of one casual monosyllable was plainly all he was
worth. Trotter calmly sat down.

"I've been waiting for six months for a job on this paper," he
began, quite seriously, quite deliberately. The man at the desk
went on writing. The pen did not even stop.

"Yes?" This second monosyllable was neither an answer nor a
question. It was merely an intimation that nothing of arresting
moment had as yet been uttered.

"So I've come straight to you!"

"Yes!" This third exclamation was plainly a challenge to come to
the issue in hand.

"I've been thrown down three----"

"Excuse me," the man at the desk had his hand on a desk 'phone
standard, "but you'd better see our city editor."

Trotter laughed a little. "I've seen the city editor four times.
It's no use. He only throws me out."

For the first time Pyott, the managing editor, looked up. Then he
swung about in his swivel chair and stared at the youth, the
somewhat narrow-chested and calm-eyed youth who had the
effrontery to sit down without being asked. The calm-eyed youth
seemed in no way daunted by the ordeal.

"What do you want?" was Pyott's quick and curt demand.

"I want a job."

The editor's face darkened. Trotter could see that he had angered
him. He could see a lean hand shoot out and a lean finger push
down on the button that sounded a buzzer in the outer office.

"There's no use doing that till you've heard what I've got to
say," announced Trotter.

"Why not?" snapped the man, with a finger still on the button.

"Because your man Hubbart out there told me not to stick my nose
in here till I'd made good--till I'd got a big story. And now
I've got it. And I'm going to give you the biggest scoop you've
printed in five years."

"That's interesting!"

"I'd never have had the nerve to face you if it wasn't."

A boy appeared through the door. The editor swung back to his

"Show this gentleman the way downstairs," he said, without anger,
without resentment, without interest.

Trotter stood up and stared at him. "You mean you're not going to
take this beat when I've got it right here to hand out to you?"
he cried in his startled and high-pitched voice. "You're not
going to give me my chance?"

"What chance? What beat are you talking about?"

"A beat that involves the theft of millions of dollars!"

"And what's going to happen to your millions of dollars?"

Trotter sat down in the chair again. "It's going to be stolen,
every cent of it."

The man at the desk smiled. It was a very faint and mirthless
smile. "You said that before, I think. But who's taking it?"

"One of the most accomplished crooks in all America."

"And from where?" was the next indulgent interrogation.

"From one of the richest banks in this city."

Trotter's calm and deliberate tones were beginning to nettle the
other man a little.

"Then it hasn't actually been done?"


"Yet you know it IS to be done?"


Pyott was smiling by this time, quite broadly. "Would you kindly
tell me just how you know all this? Just what first opened up the
road to your somewhat startling knowledge?"

"Some turkey bones!"

"Ah, I see! Some turkey bones!" He nodded approvingly,
indulgently. "And what were you doing with these particular
turkey bones?"

"Putting them in a garbage can."

"Ah! You were putting some turkey bones in a garbage can. And as
you were about to do this?"

"I caught sight of another man also trying to get rid of a

"Turkey bones, of course."

A butterball's bosom was no more impervious to slough water than
the rapt-eyed youth to the older man's irony.

"When I opened his parcel I found it held mortar and stone and
some steel cuttings."

"And this led you to infer?"

"This led me to follow him. He had a basement, I found, directly
in the rear of a bank building."

"What bank building?"

"That's my story."

"And I trust the locality agreed with him."

"Extremely well," was Trotter's mild-toned reply. "In fact, it
was essential for him to be side by side with that particular
bank building, where he could quietly tunnel his way through its
back wall and burrow under its floors and eat a passage right
through to its vaults."

The man at the desk sighed and looked at the obsessed youth with
a smile too impersonal to be called pitying. "Vaults! That's a
matter for the police. This is a newspaper office."

"But can't you see the story in it? Can't you see what it means
when you're the only people who're in on it?"

"You'll have to show me your Eskimo!" remarked the unperturbed

"That's what I'm here for!" cried the exasperated youth.

Still again the man at the desk eyed his visitor for a minute of
silence. Then he reached for his telephone. "I want Kendrick and
Gilman for some city work. Send 'em in to me. Yes, right away,

Pyott swung about to his visitor once more. "I'm giving you our
two best men. They'll do what you tell them to do."

"But that'll make it THEIR story!" objected Trotter. "I want to
land this myself. I want it to be mine."

"Then what am I to do?"

Trotter scarcely knew. But he had not forgotten the thing he had
waited and hungered for this many a month. "Put me on your staff,
first, so I can be acting for somebody."

Still again the editor smiled. "You're set on being one of us,
aren't you?"

"I've got to have something behind me before I can tackle a job
like this."

"All right," was the wearily indulgent answer, "call yourself one
of us. Now what else do you want?"

"I guess you'd better give me one of your workmen for a lookout,"
suggested the narrow-chested youth.

"Why a workman? Why not Kendrick or Gilman?"

"All I want is a husky man to see I'm not interfered with from
outside," replied the new and jealous god of the press world.
"Then I'll land the story myself."

The managing editor's finger end was once more on the buzzer.
"I'll give you Tiernan of the job room. He's Irish, and weighs
two hundred. Is there anything else?"

"I s'pose I'll need a gun," ruminated the mild-eyed youth. "But
I'm willing to buy that with my own money."

It was not the purchase of the gun that was troubling him. It was
the thought that he had never in all his life so much as
discharged a revolver. He would not even know how to load it. But
then Tiernan would doubtless be able to show him.

A telephone bell was shrilling at the editor's elbow.

"Is that all?" demanded the impatient man of affairs as he turned
to the 'phone. He called a cryptic sentence or two into the
transmitter and slapped the receiver back on its hook.

"Yes, I guess that's all," answered the wide-eyed boy, with his
hat in his hand.

"Then go and make good," said the man at the desk as Tiernan
swung in through the office door. "Go and get your story!"


In a newspaper office, where one impression so quickly and
inevitably obliterates another, sensation is startling only in
the fact of its ephemerality. For two busy hours wave after wave
of the world's turbulence had beaten on the shoreline of the
Advance staff's attention. Every one knew, from Pyott down, that
the day was a "big" one. And since it is seldom the ever-arriving
guests of sensation which disturb a newspaper office but rather
the secondary thought of bestowing them in their right chamber
and bed and fitting them with their right "heading" night-caps,
the ordeal of the Advance's day had reached its second and most
exacting crisis. So when Pyott, the managing editor, was called
up on the wire by Obed Tyrer, the President of the First National
Trust, the call from that quarter carried with it no responsive

"Can you come up here right away?" demanded the banker, in a
voice of that coerced tranquillity into which the trained mind
translates itself when face to face with undue excitement.

"No; I can't! "

"Why can't you?"

"Well, among other things, I've got the trifling matter of a
paper to put to press. What's wrong?"

"You know what's wrong!"

"Do I?"

"And you and your men let this go through, two whole weeks of it,
for the sake of your little yellow-journal scarehead!"

"Look here, Tyrer, I'm a busy man. Tell me what you're talking
about, or ring off."

"I'm talking about the lunacy of a one-cent journalist who's
willing to risk even his own funds for the sake of an afternoon
beat! I tell you, Pyott, the whole story's got to be stopped!"

"What story?"

"The Advance story! I've got your man Trotter here now. He----"

"Ah, Trotter!" exclaimed Pyott. He was at last beginning to see

"I've got him and your job-room man named Tiernan up here, but I
can't do anything with Trotter. He's mad, mad as a March hare.
Says he's got to get his story down to you for to-day's issue."

"So you've got Trotter there! What else have you got?"

"Will you hold things up till I run down and talk it over? Will
you promise me that much?"

Pyott laughed. "Then young Trotter got his story, after all?"

"Got his story? Of course he got it. And in another four hours
that safe-cracker would have drilled right into our vitals. I
tell you we can't imperil our institution this way. We can't let
that stuff get out. We can't do it!"

"Nobody's going to break your nice new bank, Obed! You run down
here in a taxi and we'll try to straighten things out."

"But what'll I do with Trotter? How're we ever going to hold him

"Where's your safe-cracker man?"

"We've got him right here! Burns is sending over an A. B. P. A.
man to take care of him."

"D'you mean he's hurt?"

"No, no! We've identified him as Missouri Horton of the Scott
Gang--he got a Sing Sing life sentence for yegg work in Yonkers.
But Burns tells me he had enough money buried away to buy Tammany
influence and get paroled. Can't you see what that means?"

"Which way? To your office or to mine?"

"To us! They've got him now, for life! They can get him back to
Sing Sing and keep the whole cursed thing under cover!"

There was a moment's silence before the cogitating Pyott spoke
again. "And you say you've got Trotter right there with you?"

"Yes, but he's acting like a madman, in the Vice-President's
private room."

Again there was a moment's silence. "Then give him ink and
paper--give him lots of it. Tell him I've said for him to write
the story THERE. Tell him to sling himself, that I want every
detail, every fact, and ten solid columns of it!"

"What are you driving at?"

"I'm driving at this: keep him busy, man! Don't you see? Keep him
writing there until the thing's worked out of his system. Then
I'll tame him down, later. Meanwhile, you'd better clean house up
there so you can officially contradict the whole story if the
yellows happen to get after you."

"But nothing can get out, I tell you, unless you PUT it out!"

"Then what are you worrying about?"

"Young Trotter says he's got to send his stuff in. He's not
satisfied with the mere idea of writing it."

"Then give him one of your men, two of your men, for carriers.
Tell him to keep sending his copy down in relays, as he writes
it. But don't let him get away."

"Oh, I'll hold him here if I have to nail him to the floor. I
tell you, a thing like this would shake public confidence. It'd
be worse than a fireproof hotel going up in flames. It would mean
an alarming and immediate depreciation in our credit, a

"Of course it would. Come down as soon as you can and tell me all
that. I'll have more time then."

Pyott hung up the receiver. He poised for one brief and immobile
moment, deep in thought, before he swung about to the three
exigent figures making signs for his attention. Then the
thin-featured, many-wrinkled, weary-eyed face relaxed in an
almost honest and unequivocal smile.


Trotter, shut in the Vice-President's private office, paid little
attention to his surroundings. He did not even know that the desk
on which he wrote was of mahogany. He did not notice the imported
Daghestan under his feet. He was unconscious of the orchids in
the low desk-vase of French silver. He was oblivious of the onyx
and marble elegance that surrounded him.

All he knew was that he had paper and ink in plenty and the
Greatest Story of the Age to write. All he knew was that time was
precious, that two trusted messengers stood before him to deliver
his copy, that presses in the lower part of the city waited like
hungry animals to gulp down his story, and that before nightfall
a million eyes would widen and half a million hearts would beat a
little faster at the words that he was about to write.

He pushed back the silver and cut-glass desk ornaments, the heavy
gold-framed portrait of a young girl standing beside an
opulent-bosomed woman in an opera cloak, the foolish vase of
orchids. He made space for himself and his work. And then he

He wrote with all the rhapsodic passion of a god creating a new
world. He began with a preamble that would have broken a
copy-reader's heart. He followed it up with atmospheric
discursiveness that would have worn away an editor's blue pencil.
He told how Steam and Steel were supposed to have crushed the
Spirit of Romance out of the age. He pointed out how the modern
city of stone and concrete seemed no longer to house that wayward
and retrospective spirit in which the heart of the poet has
forever reveled.

Then he sought to demonstrate how true Romance can never die, how
Wonder is all about even the Wall Street clerk and the
five-o'clock commuter. He put forward the claim that modern New
York was as potentially picturesque, as alluringly labyrinthine,
as olden Bagdad itself. He argued that the Thousand and One Tales
were nightly recurring in our very midst, only we had neither the
eyes nor the leisure to observe them. He told of the strange
underworlds hidden from the casual eye, of subterranean rivers of
life which Respectability never sees. He showed how it was only
the face of life that had changed. He intimated that Stevenson
had unearthed romance enough in an up-to-date London, that Hugo
and Balzac had found it in Paris, and he eloquently proclaimed
that even to-day it was to be stumbled across in our city of
homes on the Hudson.

It was a very rhythmical piece of fine writing, and he had his
coat off and was working in his shirt sleeves before he had
advanced six pages into it. Then he veered about to the story
itself. He enlarged on the amount of wealth harbored by a
national bank. He explained how this vast wealth was hoarded and
protected, the massive walls, the steel vaults, the steam flood
pipes, the ever-watching attendants, the tangle of articulate
wires that a touch would make garrulous, the time locks, the
floors of cement and railway iron, the contact mats which
reported the slightest footfall of the trespasser.

Then he told how an idea had come to the mind of an idle yegg
named "Missouri" Horton. He told how this wary and cunning and
romantic-spirited outlaw had planned his attack, how he had hired
the cellar next to the granite-walled citadel of opulence, how he
had learned the location of the vaults, how he had figured out
the thickness of the masonry, how he had slowly and quietly
prepared for his lonely and Promethean attack.

Trotter's sallow young face grew chalkier as he wrote, though he
was unconscious of either effort or weariness. They brought him
luncheon, in due time, on a napkin-covered tray. He lifted the
napkin peevishly, took a disdainful look at the food, gulped down
a cup of black coffee, and pushed the mess away from him. He had
serious work in hand.

He wrote on, unconscious of time. His mind seemed to sway,
hypnotically, with the reverberations of his own rhetoric. He
tossed in a classical allusion or two; here and there he left an
Old Testament phrase to coruscate along the fringe of his text;
he even called back one of his copy carriers, to revise an
unelaborated figure of speech.

Then he told how the tunnel was begun, how brick by brick and
stone by stone a passage was grubbed through every obstacle. He
expatiated on the infinite patience of such a man as Horton, how
Monte Cristo paled beside him, how vast difficulties had to be
overcome, how every stone had to be stowed carefully away in the
back of the cellar, how in time the mortar and cement had to be
ground to a powder and carried secretly away. He told how the
tunnel was pushed forward, foot by foot; how the bank was
attacked in its one and only vital spot, precisely as a porcupine
curled defensively up in the snow is seized by the fisher-marten,
not through open attack, but by artfully tunneling up under the
quill-less belly.

Then he retailed how the vast business of this great banking
institution went tranquilly and ponderously on, how millions were
handled and changed and stowed away while all the time the
unknown enemy was inch by inch crawling nearer.

When a note came up from the Advance office signed by the
managing editor--the managing editor who had never been known to
praise one of his men in all his twelve-year regime--Trotter took
it as a matter of course. "Your story is great," this note had
read. "Keep it up." Trotter merely gave the scrawl a second
hurried glance. It did not excite him; it did not intoxicate. He
was already drunk with the wine of creation, as delirious as a
whirling dervish. And he knew he still had work to do.

A white-whiskered gentleman wearing a pearl-buttoned white
waistcoat stepped quietly up to the office door and peered
guardedly in over his glasses. Then he tip-toed away unseen, with
a condoning smile on his astute and thin-nosed old face. Trotter
had no thought or memory of his surroundings. It was his Story;
the Story of his life. He sat there, entangled and locked
together with it, unconscious of what it was doing to him,
oblivious of how, like a blood-sucking vampire, it was draining
the vigor of his youth from him.

He was now in the very vortex of his story. He told how he had
posted Tiernan at the head of the steps leading down into the
plumber's shop. He cunningly enlarged on the huge Irishman's
bewilderment, his incredulity, his blasphemously reiterated
demand to know what it was all about. He told how he himself had
silently entered the shop, how he had crept through to the second
door, how he had waited for a moment to take out his revolver. He
described the hot and reeking air of the tunnel as he crept into
its mouth. He pictured the sudden glare of light at the shaft end
where Horton stood burning away an outer vault wall with an
electrode. He told how the heat and the fumes of that little
underground hell bewildered him, how he stood gaping at the
scene, watching the white-hot tongue of fire hissing and licking
at its last barrier of steel. He did not neglect to paint how the
hardened metal, under the electrolyzing current eroding its
surface, became as chalk, decomposing into a charry mass which
one blow of a hammer might penetrate.

He told how he crept up on the man, step by step, with his
revolver in his hand. He told how he could see the safe-breaker's
face shining with sweat, how he could smell scorching clothing,
how his eyes began to ache with the light-glare until he threw up
a forearm to protect them. He explained how it had been his
intention to creep up on the criminal and seize him bodily, and
how he was defeated in this by a sudden and unlooked-for movement
on the part of his unsuspecting enemy.

Horton had quickly swung about--he was, in fact, groping along
the passage floor for a two-quart tin pail partly filled with tap
water. The glare had blinded him, for the time being, and he was
in reality feeling for a drink. But the Advance reporter had
thought the movement meant that his presence was discovered. And
the two men had come together.

Trotter told of the fight there, hand to hand, in the choking
tunnel with its tangle of deadly currents. He recounted how the
other man's strength had been greater than his own, how he felt
his breath going, how he saw himself being forced closer and
closer back on the glaring electrode. He confessed that he had
been excited and foolish enough to lose the revolver. He
mentioned his indignation when he saw that the other man was
actually trying to use his teeth. He described how for the first
time it came home to him that he would be killed there, that
Tiernan could not possibly hear his cries, that his heart could
not possibly continue to beat without fresh air.

Then he had grown desperate. He had apparently gone mad. He had
started to use his own teeth. He had set his jaw on the yeggman's
hand as it groped for his throat. He had caught the index finger
of the other blackened hand and levered it savagely backward,
backward until the bone broke and it hung limp on the tortured
tendon. He had sent the relaxed head skidding against the tunnel
wall, once, twice, three times, until the sweat-stained arms fell
away and left him free.

He had sat there for many minutes, stupidly staring at the
unconscious man. Then he had found the revolver at his feet, and,
being too weak to get up he had still sat there, contentedly
firing a volley of bullets against the steel vault wall until the
bank officials were alarmed and an armed guard was sent scurrying
about to investigate. And with the timely arrival of Tiernan and
that armed guard came an end to the most audacious and staggering
criminal coup of the century!

It was all very beautiful, the very finest of fine writing.
Trotter poured his ardent and exultant young soul into it. And
when his last page had been written and sent away, he sat back in
the wide-armed, morocco-upholstered bank-room chair, white with
weariness, the fires of creation burnt out to the last ember.

But one thing sustained and consoled him. He knew, as he whisked
down to the Advance office in the Vice-President's French touring
car, that his work was done. He also knew that it was well done.

It did not even startle him when Pyott himself held out a
cold-fingered hand.

"Good business!" was his chief's sardonic commendation.

"Then I've made good?" asked the weary youth, without enthusiasm.

"You've made your TEN-STRIKE!" was the answer. "You're on the
city staff at twenty dollars a week."

"When do I have to go over my proofs?" asked the tired-eyed and
innocent youth.

"What proofs?"

"My story proofs!"

Pyott forced his eyes to meet those of the pale-faced boy looking
up at him. The managing editor did so without an outward flinch.
He was more or less used to such things.

"You've made good, my boy!" He casually turned away before he
spoke the next sentence. "BUT WE'VE HAD TO KILL THAT STORY OF

Trotter did not move. He did not even gulp. He merely closed his
tired eyes and at the same time let his lower lip fall a trifle
away from the upper, as his breath came brokenly between them.

Then he sat down. For they had done more than kill his story.
They had killed the spirit of Youth in him. There would be other
battles, he knew, and perhaps other victories--but never again
that fine, careless rapture of Youth! For they had killed his

Vol. XXIII December 1910 No. 6



Within a week of the death of Professor William James of Harvard
University, the newspapers had it that Mr. M. S. Ayer of Boston
had received a message from his spirit. This news item provoked
the ridicule of the people who don't believe in ghosts, but the
joke was on Mr. Ayer of Boston. When, however, it was reported
that Professor James himself had agreed to communicate with this
world, if he could, and, in order to test the reports, had left a
sealed message to be opened at a certain definite time after his
death, the incredulous gasped at the professor's amazing

William James wasn't "credulous." He was simply open-minded.
Maybe the soul of man is immortal. The professors couldn't prove
it wasn't, so James was willing to open his mind to evidence. He
was willing to hunt for evidence, and to be convinced by it.

And in that he was simply keeping America's promise: he was
actually doing what we, as a nation, proclaimed that we would do.
He was tolerant; he was willing to listen to what seems
preposterous, and to consider what might, though queer, be true.
And he showed that this democratic attitude of mind is every bit
as fruitful as the aristocratic determination to ignore new and
strange-looking ideas. James was a democrat. He gave all men and
all creeds, any idea, any theory, any superstition, a respectful

His interest in spiritualism is merely one illustration in a
thousand. The hard scientists knew it was a hoax because they
couldn't explain it, and the sentimentalists knew it was the
truth because they wished it to be: but James wanted to know the
facts. So he went to Mrs. Piper, and heard her out. Nay, he
listened to Palladino and to Munsterberg. They pretended to know,
and maybe they did.

And last year, when Frank Harris published his book on
Shakespeare, to show that the "unknown" life and character of the
poet could be drawn from his works, the other professors laughed
the theory out of court. James went to Shakespeare and read the
plays all over again to test the Harris theory. Maybe the poet
could be known by his works. The fact that the theory was
revolutionary did not alter the possibility that it might be

So with religion. A scientist, living in an age when science is
dogmatically irreligious, he turned from its cocksure reasoning
to ask for the facts. He went to the lives of the saints! Not to
Herbert Spencer, you see. When he wanted to study the religious
experience he went to the people who had had it, to Santa Theresa
and Mrs. Eddy. They might know something the professors didn't

And again: at the age of sixty-five, with the whole of New
England's individualism behind him, he asked about socialism.
When he met H. G. Wells, he listened to the socialist, and, as it
happens, was converted. So he said so. James was no more afraid
of a new political theory than he was of ghosts, and he was no
more afraid of proclaiming a new theory, or an old one, than he
was of being a ghost. I think he would have listened with an open
mind to the devil's account of heaven, and I'm sure he would have
heard him out on hell.

James knew that he didn't know. He never acted upon the notion
that the truth was his store of wisdom. Perhaps that is why he
kept on rummaging about in other people's stores, and commending
their goods. He seemed to take a delight in writing
introductions, and appreciations of new books, and in going out
of his way to listen to a young doctor of philosophy, or an
undergraduate discussion of pragmatism, or the poetry of an
obscure mystic. And, optimist that he was, by virtue of his
unceasing freshness of interest, there is nothing more
open-minded in our literature than his chivalrous respect for the
pessimism of Francis Thompson.

"Speak not of comfort where no comfort is,
Speak not at all: can words make foul things fair?
Our life's a cheat, our death a black abyss:
Hush and be mute, envisaging despair."

He felt with all sorts of men. He understood their demand for
immediate answers to the great speculative questions of life.
God, freedom, immortality, nature as moral or non-moral--these
were for him not matters of idle scientific wonder, but of urgent
need: The scientific demand that men should wait "till doomsday,
or till such time as our senses and intellect working together
may have raked in evidence enough" for answers to these
questions, is, says James, "the queerest idol ever manufactured
in the philosophic cave." We cannot wait for a final solution.
Our daily life is full of choices that we cannot dodge, and some
guide we simply must have. There can be no loitering at the
crossroads. We are busy. We must choose, whether we will it or
not, and where all is doubt, who shall refuse us the right to
believe what seems most adapted to our needs? Not know, you
understand, but believe.

That is the famous position taken in "The Will to Believe." As
James has once pointed out, its real title should have been "The
Right to Believe." No doctrine in James's thinking has been more
persistently misunderstood. Yet it rests on the simplest of
insights: that atheism and theism are both dogmas, for there is
scientific evidence for neither; that to withhold judgment is
really to make a judgment, and act as if God didn't exist; that
until the evidence is complete men have a right to believe what
they most need.

James has acted upon that right. He has made a picture compounded
of the insights of feeling, the elaborations of reason, and the
daily requirements of men. It is a huge guess, if you like, to be
verified only at the end of the world. But it has made many men
at home in the universe. And this democrat understood the need of
feeling at home in the world, and he understood also that the
aristocrats are not at home here. (Perhaps that's why they are
aristocrats.) "The luxurious classes," he says, "are blind to
man's real relation to the globe he lives on, and to the
permanently hard and solid foundations of his higher life." And
he prescribed for them--for their culture, I mean--this
treatment: "To coal and iron mines, to freight trains, to fishing
fleets in December, to dishwashing, clotheswashing and
windowwashing, to road-building and tunnel-making, to foundries
and stoke-holes, and to the frames of skyscrapers, would our
gilded youths be drafted off according to their choice, to get
the childishness knocked out of them, and to come back into
society with healthier sympathies and soberer ideas."

This, and thoughts like this, and kindnesses like this, put James
not alone among the democrats of this uncertain world, but among
the poets also; among the poetic philosophers who, like Goethe,
Schopenhauer, and Whitman, have a sense of the pace of things.
Sunlight and storm-cloud, the subdued busyness of outdoors, the
rumble of cities, the mud of life's beginning and the heaven of
its hopes, stain his pages with the glad, sweaty sense of life

It is an encouraging thought that America should have produced
perhaps the most tolerant man of our generation. It is a
stimulating thought that he was a man whose tolerance never meant
the kind of timidity which refuses to take a stand "because there
is so much to be said on both sides." As every one knows, he
fought hard for his ideas, because he believed in them, and
because he wanted others to believe in them. The propagandist was
strong in William James. He wished to give as well as receive.
And he listened for truth from anybody, and from anywhere, and in
any form. He listened for it from Emma Goldman, the pope, or a
sophomore; preached from a pulpit, a throne, or a soap-box; in
the language of science, in slang, in fine rhetoric, or in the
talk of a ward boss.

And he told his conclusions. He told them, too, without the
expert's arrogance toward the man in the street, and without the
dainty and finicky horror of being popular and journalistic. He
would quote Mr. Dooley on God to make himself understood among
men. He would have heard God gladly in the overalls of a
carpenter, even though He came to preach that the soul of man is
immortal. So open-minded was he; so very much of a democrat.

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