The New Illustrated, 15th March 1919

i he NtU Illustrated Voth March 1919. OUR OBSERVATION POST LUBRICANTS OF LIFE CAUTIOUS people warned us that, after the war ended a period of at least twelvemonths must elapse before the national life so roughly dis­turbed could settle down again into its former equable condition. Four months have passed already since hostilities were brought to an end and I dont think an arm-chair philosopher is self-convicted of improper impatience who is detected at­ tempting to estimate how far the return to stable equilibrium has progressed in a third of the time which the experts told him the entire process would take. D R E PAR.E Din the form of a written ¦answer to a question in the House of Commons a statement of the present position might be made that would appear entirely satisfactory quite worth the thirty shillings which we have lately been told is the cost of that method of imparting in­formation. The Grand Fleet is dispersed, the German Fleet being safely indisposed Scap a Flow. A million and some odd hundreds of thousands of men of the victorious Army have been dem obilised, and the new voluntary Army is in rapid process of formation. Hundreds of thou­sands of women have been released from war work and returned to their "proper sphere.” Government restrictions on the supply and sale of certain commodities are being removed daily and there is an ap­preciable decrease in the cost of various necessaries of life. The war is over but war bonuses are still paid to working people, and their wages raised to meet increased costs of living are not being reduced as prices begin to fall. Unemployment is not rife and all those who are unemployed are in receipt of a weekly gratuity which cannot be described as ungenerous. So described, everything appears merry and bright. Vi/ H IL E however the statement is true ''in every particular the actual con­ditions of social life are the reverse of merry, and the prospect is very dark. Instead of returning to stable equilibrium the national life is in a state of more violent unrest than it was at any period of the war or any period before the war since the days of the Chartists— unrest atone moment threaten­ing disaster so serious that the Prime Minister had to be distracted from his work in Paris to attempt to allay it although that work was representation of the British Empire a tan International Conference on whose decisions the peace of the world for the next hundred years may depend. 1 A7E L L there it is— as philosophical old 'folks down in the West Country say of things which they cant alter. This is not the place and I am not the man to discuss the merits of disputes that arise between employers and employed but I may legitimately subscribe to a remark made b they Minister of Lab our the other day a t Central Hall. "Whatever you maybe told as to the merits of any of ”these disputes he said “it is plain that their continuance is a menace to the life of the country.” In view of the fact that some six hundred thousand .gallant men have laid down their own lives within the last four years to save the life of the country no man not a renegade Briton will refuse a smaller sacrifice to avert new menace to it. A F one thing I have avery clear cer-tainty —whomever the mines may belong tom y coals will cost me more. Of another thing I am no less convinced— whoever may hold the power King Log or King Stork its m y money that he will want. Of yet a third thing I am in no doubt— if it should come to actual conflict between classes of the community the middle class consumer will bethe first class consumed! The casualty lists in a modern revolution make gloomy reading for the bourgeoisie. IN' the meantime since happily no revolu­tion is proceeding j n this country it behoves us to pay an d^o o k pleasant and it was really on this latter part of our duty a t the present time that I intended to develop aline of thought when I sat down to write this evening. As once before I suggested that relaxation of self-control in reaction from w ar-strain might abe con­tributory cause of the strike epidemic in Britain so now I meant to suggest that some remedial effect might be had b they more general use of two other and perhaps more pleasing moral qualities. I JN RED whatever figure you may ^represent these recurrent labour dis­putes— whether as waves of unrest tossing the ship of State or as .fragments of grit finding their way into machinery and upsetting friction that impedes and ultimately will stop its working or again, as an irritable rash upon the body politic due to the introduction of some poisonous matter into the internal organs— to each analogous case the same remedial agent is suitable— sweet oil. Oil will smooth troubled waters oil will lubricate gritty machinery oil will soothe irritated skin. In graciousness and in courtesy and perhaps more inexactly a fusion of both, there seems to abe sedative lubricant and emollient agent inhuman relations that is the exact counterpart of sweet oil as such an agent in material things. /'jR A C IO U SENS S has been as scarce as olive oil these last four years. There is small cause for wonder in that sorry fact. The lovely trees whose leaf has been the emblem of peace ever since the deluge covered the earth have been felled b they hurricane bombardments accompanying the God's Pity THIS sympathetic 'appreciation by Louise Driscoll of the quiet heroism of common­ placemen and women who go about their daily Jifn making no parade or complaint of the burden of human sorrow under which they are labouring, is reproduced from ”“Contemporary Veise Phila­delphia. /'TOD pity all the brave who go The common way and wear No ribboned medals on their breasts No laurels on their hair. God pity all the lonely folk With griefs they do not tell Women waking in the night And men dissembling well. In common courage of the street The crusht grape is the wine. Wheat in the mill is daily bread And forgiven a sign. And who but God shall pity them Who go so quietly And smile upon us when we meet And greet us pleasantly ?tornado of war and the courtesy of the pretty comedy of life once played amid their groves has been driven to secret fastnesses thereto languish and almost to die. With young manhood locked in mortal conflict and young womanhood Hiding from worse than death old age has been engrossed in shielding infancy and childhood cowering in terror at its knee. In existence so hard as that there fs no chance for the amenities of life. They were driven away with the humanities, and of the three great ties that linkman­ kind in proper social intercourse only the infinities appeared enduring and the more terrible b y reason of their seeming remoteness from the daily concern of the human family. VET graciousness can never cease to be.An abstract quality as incapable of analysis as the Divine Love of which it is the human manifestation it is im m anent, like that love in a world at peace and it is ready to make its presence felt the moment peace is restored like sweetness distilled from aromatic herbs when crushed b they feet of marching hosts and the wheels of engines of war.T T-IE point that I would like to submit is that we people in Britain intent of course, upon doing all and more than all that stern duty required of us in support of the soldiers fighting to keep our homeland inviolate, may have failed somewhat in our duty of cherishing the more tender side of human nature without which no homeland is worth livin gin. W e did everything in a grim spirit of duty. I am not detracting at all from the value of -that spirit as a dynamic when I say that it is not enough. Service rendered to our fellow-men from sense of duty breeds resentment instead of gratitude. It is only the service rendered from pure loving-kindness that wins hearts and is really helpful. With the very best intentions in their minds good men and women have been doing all manner of things to keep the country as happy and prosperous as might be possible in the abnormal con­ditions obtaining during the war and they find a t the finish that everything is in a mess and nobody is satisfied. Unrest, friction irritation— all three are acute, and all the quacks and charlatans are coming along with their respective patent medicines and magic remedies and between them making bad worse. I A M not so sim pleas to imagine that the grave situation in which the country is placed b they present dispute between the employed and employing classes is going to be alleviated b they sudden display of moral qualities unaccompanied b y practical concessions on one side or the other, perhaps on both. But I am most serious min y suggestion that a determined effort to bring back to general social intercourse a graciousness that has almost disappeared will have areal and immediate effect intending to prevent the recurrence of trouble. Graciousness in application is conciliatori- ness mutual willingness to seethe other mans side of a question tact and right inspirit making working compromises. M y plea is for graciousness in every relation, social and economic and for courtesy between all men and women gracfousness and courtesy being the two best lubricants of life. e. zn.
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