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correct views either on history, art, or religion ; not anything that can possibly be useful or instructive; but only a sense of what those centuries had to say, and a sympathy with their way of saying it.' Taking architecture as an expression of energy, he reads into stone and glass the spirit of the time which built these churches. Taking it as history before taking it as art, in a series of essays on mediæval history he interprets actual accomplishments in design, colour, and sculpture. Shapes and towers represent social symbols, a reflexion of the society that builds. The sequence of expression is clearly defined; after the eleventh-century Romanesque church of St Michael came the twelfth-century Transition church of the Virgin (at Chartres), and all merged and ended at last in the thirteenth-century Gothic cathedral of the Treaty [at Beauvais). An imposing procession of royal, churchly, and literary characters passes. Poetry, indus
. tries, and saintly schools of philosophy contribute each its part. In this volume he reached his highest powers. The pages glow with colour, as do the windows at Chartres, and are redolent of true devotional spirit, as were the churches of that century. The chapter is complete, his most finished product, and the best evidence of his many-sided ability.
When he approached the second section of his planthe · Education of Henry Adams'-difficulties arose. No tourist, ignorant or otherwise, could act as spokesman; and an autobiography alone would not have served the set purpose. A compromise in form was imposed from the beginning. Adams sought to detach himself from the course of events and to become a mere observer, with the result of involving himself more intimately with the story than if he had frankly used the first person. At every turn he meets the reader with an assurance of ignorance and failure that tends to become wearisome. Then, too, however interesting the man is, the circumstances do not lend themselves to the same free plan as was followed in ‘Mont-Saint-Michel.' Demo. cracy in the United States was not picturesque before the Civil War, nor did it become so after. It expressed itself in material growth, a wonderful chapter in itself, but offering little play for a corresponding development in art and literature. To attempt a parallel is almost
grotesque-wealth and the Virgin, railroads and cathedrals, Grant or Fisk or the American woman and queens or bishops, the dynamo and radio-activity for the energy of God, the scientist for St Thomas of Aquinas. As an autobiography of a cultivated New Englander it stands high; as history it is accurate; as a picture of society it is keen and just; its style carries it of itself; but as a scheme of personal delineation it conveys a distortion, and, in place of a formula of energy by which social movement may be measured and expressed, there are suggested a dynamic theory of history and a law of acceleration' which did not become more convincing when developed in two later essays. From the purely scientific point of view the Education' is unsatisfying, leaving the impression of an incomplete accomplishment, suggesting a near approach to the solution of Adams' problem but in fact falling far short of success. • True ignorance approaches the infinite more nearly than any amount of knowledge can do.' With an education unequalled in opportunity, Adams claimed to be uneducated ; with recognised achievements in a number of directions, he announced himself as a failure. Unsparing and depreciating introspection has produced a portrait that puzzles while it invites. The man acts as devil's advocate on his own career.
Thus each brother left a distinct impress upon his generation. Consciousness of family had been strong in their ancestors and had not ceased to act. Both would have been glad to serve the public, but it must be as independents, not bound to the wheel of party. The procession of public men in Washington for a generation after the Civil War offered little that was inspiring and much that was questionable. The period was poor in purpose and, from the point of progress, barren of results. American society had outgrown a good part of its institutions; and the special task of the day called for the creation of others, better adapted to advance the best of existing conditions. It was not in public life that the Adamses were to act. Charles Adams, as a
• "Letter to Teachers of History' (1910), republished after his death in 1919, and an essay on "The Rule of Phase applied to History,' as The Degradation of Democratic Dogma.'
fighting reformer, exerted a wide influence but never found a party willing to accept his lead. Henry Adams, shunning the arena of politics, used his powers in interpreting history and in registering his impressions of the social movement. Both succeeded in literature, but both were as isolated politically as their ancestors had been, and for the same cause. To the student of American history there has appeared a drift from national to local importance. When the States were bounded on the west by the Mississippi River, even down to the time of the Civil War, leaders were national or at least sectional in their attitudes. They acted as if they represented the South, the West, or the nation, and gave the impression of breadth and, so far as State interests were involved, of detachment. The Adamses had all been of national measure and had ever subordinated local to national interests. To them Massachusetts represented only one of the interested parties; and, if that State claimed that its demands should be met without regard to the interests of the other States, an Adams would decide against Massachusetts. Such conduct produced opposition in the State, but it recommended the family in national matters. After the Civil War local interests grew in influence and dictated policies and the men to make them effective. This involved a loss in personality but a gain in power to reach a desired end. It resulted in a distrust of ideals, an ignorance of the past and a worship of success.
Exclusion from a public career fostered a family trait which has enriched American history and example—the habit of self-examination. In that respect the record extends through four generations, beginning with the outspoken letters of John Adams and ending with the equally frank autobiographies of his great-grandsons. No Adams has spared himself; and there are chapters which read like the agony of a sinful and contrite soul when alone with its Creator. The influence of Puritan New England, an exaggeration of English Puritanism, is seen in this, but it is also seen in the succession of men of conscience and complete moral consistency.
WORTHINGTON CHAUNCEY FORD.
Art. 6.—THE POSITION AND PROSPECTS OF AGRI
1. Report of the Agricultural Policy Sub-Committee. (Cd.
9078.] 2. Report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture, 1919
20. [Cmd. 345.) 3. Agriculture Act, 1920: Repeal Act, 1921. 4. Agriculture after the War. By A. D. Hall. Murray,
1917. 5. The Future of our Agriculture. By Henry W. Wolff.
King, 1918. 6. The Land and its Problems. By Christopher Turnor.
Methuen, 1921. 7. A New Agricultural Policy. By F. E. Green. Parsons,
1921. 8. The Labour Party and the Countryside. Issued by the
Labour Party. The position of British agriculture at the beginning of 1922 is, in many respects, more unsatisfactory than it has been for a quarter of a century. It has been the victim of a combination of circumstances for which it would be difficult to find a parallel in its long and chequered history. In the past, it has frequently suffered from the vagaries of the weather, notably in 1879. It has endured much tribulation from changes in economic conditions, as in the last twenty years of the 19th century. It has been confronted with drastic alterations in national policy, as in 1846.
The year 1921 will be memorable as one in which all three causes-climatic, economic, political-combined to create difficulties for the agriculturist.
Of the British climate nothing new can be said, and anything that migbt be said would be futile. But at least the weather of 1921 was not altogether ill-disposed. If the long drought brought trouble, it also made amends to the farmer in a fine and quick harvest and an autumn unusually favourable for work on the land. In any case, those who live by the land are prepared for anything in the way of meteorological conditions, and are neither surprised nor alarmed by what the seasons may bring.
The economic débâcle from which the country suffered,
and is suffering, fell heavily upon agriculture. The value of their produce dropped abruptly, and a large proportion, at least, was sold at less than the cost of production. It is little consolation to know that every other trade and industry was similarly affected, and that in many of them the depreciation of values and the losses both of income and capital have been even heavier. Few, if any, foresaw the severity of the slump,' although many had realised that it was inevitable. Taking the year 1921 as a whole, prices realised were not satisfactory. The average prices per quarter of wheat, barley, and oat, for the past six years, as compared with the pre-war level, were as follows:
Oats. S. d. 19 1 33 5 49 10 49 4 52 5 56 10 34 2
The corn averages for a calendar year necessarily include part of two crops, and in the case of 1921 include two distant and widely different price levels. The averages for December 1921 were : Wheat, 44s. 7d.; Barley, 45s. 7d. ; Oats, 28s. 1d.
The break in prices of farm products began about the middle of the year. The Official Index number representing the changes in the level of market prices of all the main classes of agricultural produce stood in January 1921 at 286, the average of the three years 1911-13 being 100. In other words, farmers' receipts were generally 186 per cent. larger than before the war. By the month of June 1921, they had fallen to 102 per cent., and by January of this year to 79 per cent. above the pre-war level.
The year 1921 will, however, be most memorable as that in which agriculture endured the heaviest blow ever dealt to it by a British Government. Never had the agricultural interest received such earnest assurances of assistance, such emphatic protestations of sympathy. Pledges in the most definite form were given by the Prime Minister and other members of the Government,