« PředchozíPokračovat »
leaving a salary of $25 a week for whatever ing for cripples. I was protesting against the fates provided. It turned out to be the cold, statistical charity that system$6 a month for a long time, which that atizes and tabulates and classifies everysplendid heroic soul accepted laughingly, thing in the interests of order, and forgets saying she didn't know what she'd do that it is dealing with living, feeling, with it. For myself there was a roof and human beings. I told them that I was food; but both of us were so happy that willing to give up my life to have my ideas people commented upon it.
for crippled children carried out, and that But a day dawned that had no happi- only as the head of the hospital-school ness for me and much bitterness the would this be possible. They persisted, bitterness that comes from having your and I did a thing the boldness of which most cherished ideals utterly misunder- makes me shiver to think of now — I stood. That day my fashionable board dismissed the fashionable board outright. met. They came, exquisitely dressed, There were seven children in the home with their quiet, reposeful manners, the at the time, a big grocery bill, a month's insignia of good breeding, to do their rent due, and other expenses. I conferred duty by the hospital-school. Their duty, with Miss O'Neill. as they saw it, was to put a trained, “There is just $10 in the treasury,' scientific worker in my place.
she said, "and that is not a very secure "You aren't a trained nurse, you know,” backing. ” they told me. “You haven't been edu- "No," I answered, feeling the need to cated in approved schools to carry on justify myself and raise her courage; the work you started. You are useful "but $10 and God is a very comfortable and devoted and we appreciate you backing, and I'm going to stake my life's thoroughly, but we think the hospital- hopes and ambitions on it." school should be managed by one who I told her that I did not know much has made a scientific study of these things.” about the public, nor how they would
The tumult that arose in my breast I regard me under such circumstances, but shall never be able to describe. I suffered that I did know physicians and that I felt terribly to be so misunderstood. It was confident our children would not be left out of my very own deep, sad experience without medical attendance. that I was enabled to do for children And they were not. crippled and maimed the things that The board or ex-board, to be exact were not being done and that cried to — sent out notices telling of their severed me to be done. With trembling knees connections with the hospital-school. One and dry lips 1 rose to answer the fashion- of these reached the city editor of one of able board. If I could only make them the papers, and he sent a reporter to get realize a little of what I knew, they would the story. Of course they made a "good understand, I thought.
story” of it, coming out with a word“What these children need, above all picture of two women fighting the world things, is love and understanding." I told for their crippled dependents. This led them. “Especially the little crippled poor to many newspaper articles about our yearn to be loved and cared for and nursed children. Reporters came often from all and at the same time to have their self- the papers. They seemed to think we esteemn increased, to be made to feel that yielded interesting material and the pubthey have useful futures. They need to licity did us a great deal of good. One be made to feel that they have a place in article achieved big headlines on the front Society and to that end they must be taught page in this striking phrase: to do useful things with which they can "Little Hazel Welch dances in her earn bread and happiness and self-respect shroud." in the future."
It was true, and out in Hazel's homeAs I spoke to them I felt myself passion- town of Adrian the papers copied it with ately moved to plead to the utmost of cheerful comments. It brought me a my powers, because I was a cripple plead- check for $100 the next day. The facts
were that the doctors had given up Hazel board. 1 yielded and my heart-breaking to the extent that her mother had made scene with the first one was re-enacted. her an exquisite little white dress for a But if, as a board, these ladies were unshroud. Hysterical paralysis was doing willing to hazard the untried; if, as reits worst for the little girl. She couldn't sponsible directors, they were inclined walk a step. People were especially to regard me as visionary, and my Utopia stirred by her plight, because of her beauty, for Cripples such stuff as dreams are made which has the fairy-like quality of a Greuze of, I am happy to say they held an entirely painting. It was simply a case of building different attitude as individuals. Nearly up her body and restoring her courage. all of them pledged themselves to stand
And just herein lies the kernel of my by me through my struggles. creed for cripples. Often their discourage- But with the coming of winter there ment is akin to despair. It is one of the were the faintest warnings of the wolf's most appalling tragedies in the world. menacing snarl. There was little money, They feel their self-abasement directly and twenty-three crippled children in the because their families and Society generally house. It was a rented house that I had condemn them to lives of burdensome secured for $35 a month, although it inefficiency. And think how utterly false was worth much more, and a well known and unjust such a position is! Hazel is young society woman with a big indeone of the many proofs we have to offer. pendent fortune of her own paid that rent We began, of course, by building up her for many months. But I was terribly body. She responded magically. She has harassed for funds, and fearfully I apa keen mind and a sensitive emotional proached another rich woman I knew, nature. We restored her courage even for the loan of $500. I did not have to aroused her fighting blood. With the beg for it. increase of her strength came the desire “My husband and I will give it to you to run and romp. Little by little she - not as a loan, for you have worries gained control over the muscles of her enough without thinking of paying it legs. I sent her to dancing school, a back, but as a gift because we believe in dancing master having offered to take my you," she told me. children into his classes. I let the re- So there was an occasional glimpse of porter see her dance and he described her silver lining in the dark clouds that pirouetting lightly over the floor as the floated over us. sun made topaz lights in her yellow hair. The next embarrassing incident had
There is Marjorie, who came to us its humorous angle. At least the papers emaciated and blind from neglect. She is saw it that way if we didn't. The esthetic a dimpled cherub now, and the doctors say sensibilities of a neighborhood were bruised that she will see in time. Esther was left at the sight of physically sub-normal on our doorstep one miserable night. She children playing out on the lawn or about weighed six pounds and looked like noth- the porch of the house where we lived. ing so much as one of those unfeathered It was not an ultra-smart neighborhood, sparrows who fall from their nests in the either, but one where the air was pure, and spring time. Such havoc had malnu- considered desirable by young parents trition and exposure wrought that it bringing up their children. The papers taxed our care to the utmost to restore poked good-natured fun at the superher. Now Botticelli would like to paint esthetic feelings of these patrician neighher, so soft and round are her contours. bors of our family of little cripples and The reporters wrote about all these So killed, by their facetious comments, children, and about many others; and an entanglement that might otherwise every story brought a check or more. have gotten into court.
But it was hard getting along, and most Everything pointed to the need of a of the time Miss O'Neill and I managed home of our very own. But where to get to forget about such things as salaries. the money? It was then that I started Then many people urged me to get another the hospital-school magazine, not only for the sake of revenue, but that I might, who comes here always finds the children in straightforward editorials, let the public in the halls, on the stairs, everywhere -know just what we were doing and what getting all the joy that life offers them. our ideals were. The best writers in town I know the institutions through and contributed to our pages. Mr. Edgar through, and I know at what a sacrifice of A. Guest, the poet of the Detroit Free children's happiness the great shining Press, whose daily column is a favorite halls and formal, undisturbed order of the with thousands of readers, often writes rooms are achieved. I remember with a for the magazine a bit of verse about shudder seeing the toys taken from a very children. Now the magazine has a cir- sick child because visitors were expected culation of more than 5,000 and is a finan- and the battered playthings looked mussy cial help directly and indirectly. My on the spotless bed. Nor did they bother “Story of the Children's Ward,” largely to return the toys when the fastidious visiautobiographical, also helped out, for it tors were gone. And it doesn't soften was published in book form and sold pretty the ugliness of this picture to remember well. But, although I worked joyously that the child died a few days afterward. and eagerly for my great cause, I am a That was an institution famed and praised cripple and weak, and the strain was for the perfect clockwork system by which terrible. But it was a joy to me to see it was run. But red tape and system are that the hospital-school was becoming a a monster into whose maw many a little sort of pet among those who knew most child's happiness is fed. about it. Especially the younger people I have been criticised because I will enjoyed helping me. The members of the not investigate the circumstances under Delta Alpha Delta sorority of the most which children come to me. I never will. fashionable girls' school in town started I don't believe in it. What do I care if a the practice of doing something "extra child has a father who drinks or gambles? for the children every week.
A mother who is shiftless or worthless? One young woman who is wonderfully All the more reason that I should help skilful with her needle is teaching Zella him; all the more reason that I should not to use her magic fingers to make exquisite keep him waiting in an environment that embroideries. Zella will never be able is destructive to him while I waste preto leave her rolling chair — but she is cious time and precious money in investino longer wretched about that, because gation which leads nowhere. Why need she knows the dignity and happiness of I know more when I know that the child being really useful.
needs help and a chance? Another girl is teaching music to little My one thought, my one aim, my one Tootsie, who has a plaintive voice and a hope, is that children shall be given a talent for mimicry. I truly believe that chance for happiness, for usefulness, for in a few years' time she will be able to self-expression. For centuries the world support herself as an entertainer, after has looked upon cripples as deadwood. the manner of Kitty Cheatham.
It has regarded them as essentially useOne of the things upon which we spend less, a burden on society. That is wrong, most time and thought is trying to dis- untrue.
untrue. Cripples are often full of lofty cover the least inkling of a talent or a ambitions for service, and not only are particular liking for some special kind of they ambitious but variously gifted in work in our little cripples. It all works ways that lie outside the beaten paths. out with a success that I cannot describe Cultivate their gifts, give their ambitions or explain. I have been criticised be- to be useful a spur, and you have, instead cause I repudiate routine. Well, I admit of wretched idleness, joyous productivefrankly that I loathe with all my heart and
This is the beginning and the end soul the red tape and institutionalism of my ideal for cripples. I believe that which cramp the individual and nip the if once I could make the world understand child's exuberant happiness in the bud. what I know, there would no longer be a I have been criticised because the visitor problem to solve.
THE REMARKABLE WORK OF MR. JOHN NOLEN TO MAKE MORE THAN TWENTY
SERVE AND PLEASE THEIR CITIZENS
JOHN S. GREGORY N SPITE of our bewailing it, the Nolen, a landscape architect, with a social growth of the cities goes on. You conscience and — vision. A patient man. preach the advantages of country A positive man — but modest, so modest life, but the people of the country that thousands who have learned his
continue flocking to town. Isn't it thoughts have never heard of him — as clear that, babble o green fields as we yet. A man who has once or twice demonwill, we have got to admit that men strated that one can very deliberately are going to live in town?
Isn't it pos
make his own life what he will, and is sible that we are mistaken about it now demonstrating in a score of states mistaken in thinking that city life is . that a city can deliberately make itself necessarily noisy and crowded and bereft what it will. of green freshness -- mistaken in thinking Twelve years ago Mr. Nolen was the that we must flee to the country really to secretary of what called itself the American live? Isn't it, really, a faint-hearted, Society for the Extension of University cowardly act to abandon the city, shirk Teaching, an organization of seriousits problems, and yield it over to the dingy, minded people of Philadelphia, with a jostling, jangling conditions that prevail high purpose, which never quite realized there — that our own neglect has per- itself. Mr. Nolen was living comfortably mitted to prevail there?
on his moderate salary; he had married “Besides, what right have we to come him a wife, built him a house, and begotten to the city to make money and then hurry
It may have been in sticking in to the country to spend it? Many are shrubbery about his house, or somehow obliged to live in town. They cannot or other, that he saw the possibility of a desert the dreary scene. Isn't it ignoble career in landscape gardening. He sold of any of us to do so?”
the house, carried his wife and baby to The speaker (let us follow the excellent Cambridge, the three of them covenanting fashion of the old-fashioned novel) — the to live as economically as possible till the speaker was Mr. John Nolen.
head of the family, with his last penny The “City Beautiful” idea is not a new spent, should have learned all that Fredone, even in America. It had a delightful erick Law Olmsted could teach him about vogue a dozen years ago. But it has been landscape gardening. scarcely half that long since that there The covenant was kept so faithfully, came the very practical realization that the proceeds of the sale of the house were convenience, comfort, and economy in husbanded so carefully, that after the city life — the life that men and women landscape course there was a year in apparently prefer and resolve to live - Germany, partly at the University of is worth planning for. And while that Munich, partly on travels afoot in many more substantial idea has spread fast and German cities. far and won many disciples, it has had Mr. Nolen prospered as a landscape one chief apostle - Mr. John Nolen; John artist. He "did" his share of estates
and suburban land enterprises, and he the country cannot have: theatres, public got out a delightful book, founded on music, museums, well-supplied markets, Repton. But there was an idea working noble parks, perfect pavements and roads, in his head all the while, an idea that no swift and easy and inexpensive transit. doubt had begun to germinate in Germany.
The Germans have done no one thing It was that of the possibility of pleasant for which humanity ought to be more cities instead of dreadful ones. Little grateful than this: they have demonby little he worked up a practice among
strated that the city is not necessarily park commissioners and such-like city ugly. “Ah!" is a rejoinder sometimes clients. And wherever Mr. Nolen was made, “German cities are old; in America engaged to advise a commission about a our cities have grown so fast." The park or a school-ground, that commission truth is, German cities have grown as found itself with a full-grown scheme for a fast as ours.
Berlin is as new as Chicago. transformed city on its hands. You see, the Take Düsseldorf: in 1870 it had 70,000 park called for approaches, and that meant people; to-day it has 300,000. It has extension of streets — why not new streets, grown as fast as Pittsburgh, and it is, and why not, while we are about it, industrially, the Pittsburgh of Europe. rationalize the city's whole street plan? Physically, it is one of the loveliest towns
I hope I suggest nothing that would in which men and women have ever offend the ethics of the landscape archi- gathered to live. Though without the tects' profession, for Mr. Nolen is the splendid and natural scenery that Pittssoul of conscience, with a soberness and burgh has so sadly misused, built on a dread of exaggeration as notable as that flat plain with a yellow river flowing past of the worthy John Woolman himself, it, Düsseldorf, while it was gathering to and I am sure he took the utmost pains itself furnaces, foundries, boiler-works, never to transcend his instructions or and machine factories, managed at the powers — in so far as his sense of what same time to create a city of leaf and would be good for the city in question fountain, with noble houses and ample allowed him. But the facts stand out spaces for play, and every a pleasing that to-day this editor of Repton and prospect. Look at the photographs shown graduate in landscape describes himself on pages 96 and 97—views taken almost on his stationery as John Nolen, City at random, and faithfully representing the Planner, and that he has worked out general atmosphere of the whole city of specifications for the remaking of a Düsseldorf, and ask yourself why Pittsscore or more American cities.
burgh is not like that. In no other country, except perhaps in The answer is, Mr. Nolen would tell England, do people look upon cities as you, because American cities are not places to escape from as soon as possible. planned. The founders of a town draw They don't do that in Germany, nor in a checkerboard on the soil - totally irreother countries of Continental Europe, spective of the natural features of the nor in South America. When one visits place, and the real estate gentlemen who Germany, no matter what the season, he lay out successive “additions” draw more doesn't visit the country; he visits the checkerboards, and presently a city finds cities. For the Germans have learned itself sprawling along a characterless how to make the cities beautiful, com- extension of blocks; with a few streets fortable, and pleasurable, as well as highly crowded by impossible traffic and a great successful centres for trade and commerce.
many more empty except for an occasional They have built cities in which they have cart; with no parks or playgrounds and abolished crowding and noise and discom- no longer a possibility of them except at fort, retained the freshness of trees and gigantic expense; the river banks in the flowing waters, made outdoor life possible, hands of the railroads which, like as not, while at the same time they have multi
have multi- have a right of way through the heart of plied the particular exclusive advantages of the city; the
the city; the railroad stations badly the city — the social institutions which placed, the public buildings scattered –