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October 16, 1922 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1922-10-16
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An Interview With Rober--t Bordenl

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(By W. Bernard Butler)
Yes, I admit it, I was disappointed
with the effect of Sir Robert Borden's
lecture on "Political Development and
.Relations Among the English Speak-
ing Peoples," particularly because I
had met Sir Robert the afternoon be-
fore he talked and because I had read
his manuscript. It is not my purpose
to criticize or even, necessarily, to
admire, but to tell you of another side
of Borden of which his lecture gave
but the vaguest hint.
* * *
Sir.Robert looked at me intently all'
the while T was being introduced, with
analysis in the eyes that pierced un-
.sder his shaggy eyebrows. "I am very
.glad to meet you, young man," he said
as he genially squeezed my hand in
his big grip. I saw at once that he
wasn't at all a talkative man, in fact
I doubted very much whether I could
get him to talk at all. My memory
is still hazy about the first details, but
a few minutes brought us to the car
in which we were 'to go for a drive
with Professor Trueblood.
He and I rode in the rear seat. I
hardly knew how to approach him.
He is a massive man, who sits leaning
forward as though in anticipation of
something he is about to do. He looks
straight ahead .most of the time, with
eyes almost concealed in thought,- and
with an attitude suggesting great po-
tential energy. His observation is
darting, giving the impression that de*-
tails do not distract, but that there is
one purpose uppermost in the mind.
Ferry field was the first object of
our attention. Sir Robert seemed
rather reluctant. to explore the place
to any extent, but was much impressed
by the stadium, the diamond, the new
field house project, and the extent
of the field itself.
We got into a conversation about
campus activities seeming to go be-
yond their functions as student enter-
prises. He agreed that many activi-
ties, such as football, considering theI
. R

crowds drawn and the money involved, t I was unable to collect them together
and. The Daily with its complex or- Iand.,put them back, so I, tucked them
ganization and its great demand on under my arm and saw Sir Robert
time and energy, were from some 'in the rear corridor of the auditorium.
standpoints, out of place. He glared a little at the wet type-
Conversation didn't flourish while written sheets which I had tried to
we drove to Hill Auditorium. This conceal from his view. I. wilted some-
building struck him at once, espec- what but he very gracefully, relieved
Tally when he was ushered onto the me by offering, to give me the- pianu-
stage. Sir Robert did talk a. little then script to keep if I liked.
about other places in which he had !iMforning saw me with him in a last
spoken, particularly about the new attempt to interview. The weight of,
Canadian House of Commons. the lecture had been lifted and we
After going to the center of .the cam- talked ,until shortly before train time.
pus, being guided through the Library . "We were speaking of your most
and Memorial Hall, and visiting the impressive experience," I queried,
President's office, he began to remark sabout the burialofnthe unknown sol-
upon the extent to which University .dier at Arlington Cemetery."
building was being done and to which ."That was the most impressive cere-
the University had expanded. many I ever witnessed," was the'.re-.
While we were going through Uni- ply, "but my experiences in France
versity hall, two men selling Orator- have made the deepest impression of
ical Aasociat-on tickets rushed up to all." Borden told me of his first trip
Borden and tried to sell him a course to France, in 1915, of his experiences
ticket so that he might hear' the lec- at the front, luncheons with General
ture of the evening and those of the French, Marshall Foch, and many
whole season as well. All of us smiled other war celebrities. He described
and said nothing. After leaving the the suffering and optimism .in the 43
President's office, we found the same Canadian hospitals which he !visited
boys there with the tickets. Borden in France and in Fngland, and the
walked up to one of them and shook sadness which overwhelmed him when
his hand warmly. Professor True- he saw from the hill, the hollow at
blood introduced Sir Robert to the' Ypres where more than 100,000 men
other. Bath, boys crimsoned and tried had been killed.
to make some .reply.. I questioned him about the troops
When I left him at the Union, I was whiph , Can4a ,furnished. ,We sent
disappointed, although I had secured over more than 500,000, about 400,000
his manuscript for the evening's lec- by enlistment," he replied. The other
ture. I was to see him after the lec- 100,000 were marshalled through con-
ture,.however, and the next morning scription, which measure was fathered
before he took the train. i 'was not by Sir Robert Borden himself. He
sure whether he was always noncom- spoke of the electric effect which the
mittal or whether he was thinking passage of this measure had on the
about the evening's lecture. .Canadian fighters in France. It
Evening, after he had spoken, found seemed to give them new spirit, he
me hurrying around Hill Aditi said. In fact, on Nov. 10, when nearly
in the rain, with an envelope con- everyone felt the armistice was about
in nhesmin, iptaneelypecon.to be signed, the Canadians wanted,
taming his manuscript under my arm. to keep on going. In spite of orders,
-Somehow some other papers. I had inthey did take much land on that day,
the envelope slipped out to scatter so much that the artillery was un-
themstelves all over the immediate ,able to keep up.
vicinity. People rushed to my aid in Inspeaking about the end of the
picking them up, -but what a mud-
smeared lot they were! In my haste
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War, Borden stressed the great po-
tential force which the entrance of
the United States brought into play,
but more' particularly this idea which
he expressed once 'before:
"It was my privilege to take part
in the Peace Conference at Paris and
in the Washington Conference of last
year. From each of these conferences
I returned with the belief, which has
grown firmer and firmer with reflec-
tion, that upon the public opinion of
the nation rests the one hope for
the future peace of the world."
When Professor . Trueblood drove
away I saw the last of Sir Robert Bor-
den. He impressed me as a man of
dynamic force. and immediate action,
but very non-committal. In fact, he
told other reporters that he gave noth--
ing for publication. Sir Robert has
probably through long years of ex-
perience found that it is best not to
commit himself on many things.
As he, drove away, the last thought
he left with me lingered:
"Man's control over forces formerly
unknown and undreamed of has made
every nation the neighbor of every
other. Upon the paths of the ocean
and through the highways of the air,
communication and intercourse be-
come more and more intimate, and .in-
cessant. The nations ,sit at each
other's thresholds; thus it is..impos-
sible for any people to ,disinterest or
disengage itself from the welfare of
every other, and upon each there is
a new and. increased responsibility for
the. preservation of peace and for .the
salvation of the world from the un-
speakable and overwhelming horrors
of another war. Especially upon the
great English-speaking c o m m o n-
wealths, who together exercise an un-
equalled power and influence' in world
affairs, that constant and searching
responsibility does unmistakably rest
Upon its acceptance and fulfillment
must depend the judgment that will
be recorded in the pages of history as
to their worth, their service, and per-
haps their ultimate des-tiy."
dy better after
lesome meal.

- - - - - - - - - - - -- - -
"The Skin Game," which played last
Monday at the Whitney theater was
another glaring case of play ruination
and' mutilation by poor acting. Mr.
Herbert Bunston as Hillchrist, and
Miss Audrey Cameron as.Jill were
convincing and sincere in their inter-
pretations of the respective charac-
ters. Mr. Walter McEwan, Jr., wh o
played the role of Rolf, and the ma-
jority of the lesser lights were very
good. As for the remaining members
of the cast little can be said in praise,.
and much can be said in condemna-
When will actors realize that the af-
fected mannerisms 'of heroic drama
bear no weight when transplanted to
the modern stage? Shouting and con-
tinual storming might still serve some
purpose in an institute for the deaf,
but it was blotted out of the actor's
handbook when open air theatres
passed out of vogue.
Gazing at the proscenium arch may
signify grief and remorse. But whatl
would an actress . do if 'she had no
proscenium to stare at? This may be
good technique. We cannot offer anyf
suggestions on this point as our hand-,
book fails us in this respect.
The play as conceived by John Gals-
worthy is veryadmirable indeed. We
do not mean that it is perfect. It has
some very pronounced faults. The
first act is a maze of cumbersome ex-
position that fails to explain anything
or start the action until after thirty
minutes of playing time. In a vague
and boring manner the characters are
dragged in-and out, and then, within
the last ten minutes of the act, the
play really begins.
The first scene of the second .act
is an auction scene, very well done,
but of little value. It establishes the
characters more clearly, but employs'
fifteen minutes to present what could
be given in a few speeches or lines.
The theme is very noble indeed; hu-
manism pitted against commercialism.
Hillchrist is determined to keep his
estates from the hands of the mercen-
ary Hornblower, no matter what the
cost may be. He gets some informa-
tion that involves the honor of Horn-
blower's daughter-in-law. Influenced
by his wife, Hillchrist gives out the
scandal, retains his property, but
brings tragedy and ruin into the Horn-
blower fold.m

seen on the stage. He is almost an'
Whitney, can't you arrange another1
play or two by Mr. O'Neill?
G. D.,E.
"The Hairy Ajpe" -the most recentt
work by the first playwright of today,
has been in Detroit within
the last month. This lat-
est drama, which was offered at the.
Garrick last week, is inferior to "Thej
Emperor Jones" as a dramatic psycho-1
logical study. I believe, and it ob-.
viously does not fall into the class
of regular drama, as does his "Anna
I really doubt if more than a score
of persons in Tuesday nigkt's audi-;
ence thoroughly understood what O'-
Neill was driving at. I confess to.
not being in that select twenty. "The'
Hairy Ape" is a story of Yank, a
stoker on an ocean liner, an inarticu-
late beast who gropes vainly for an
explanation of himself and the world.
Through eight scenes, he struggles,
and at the end he finds "he doesn't
The conflict represented to me a
growth from the bestial to the primi-
tive mind of man. It is a dramatized,
humanized version of evolution many
aeons after . the general movement.
While an animal in all but outward
appearances, a supreme specimen of
a beast, Yank Is satisfied; he belongs
to what he does not know. Then he
catches a glimpse of a superior, re-1
fined being, and he tries vainly to
reason it out. Yank wants revenge
for this woman's curiosity, her look-
ing at him as she would at a "hairy
ape," and he tries to articulate this 1
hate, to think it out. This stirring of
,his mind weakens his physical power,
but at the end, he almost has a mind,
a feeble one indeed, but one which in
the rocess of development will prove
superior to brute strength. Yank's
strength has been lost by the evolu-
tion; his transformation has declassed
him, for he has neither the power of
a brute nor the superior mentality of
a man. But he does have a beginning.

Such 'is whatI make out of ,'TheHairy.
Dramatically I believe that "Tlie
Hairy Ape" marks adistinct decline.
It is a return to the soliloquy of
Shakespeare with a few clashes and
a few symbols to redeem it-partially
from a recitation.
The play may perhaps note a new
sort of drama, that of a mind clash-
ing with its environment, but it is not
what one ordinarily conceives the
drama to be-a conflict of persons or
of minds. The result in "The Hairy
Ape" is a. virtual monologue,-dramatic.
it is true, but is not Browning's "The
Last Duchess".dramatic but yet nota
play? It is much the same type of.
play as "The Emperor Jones," but in
the latter O'Neillhas objectifiedhis
material mor.e by use of fantasy in
the crap shooting, convict, slave-hold,
and sacrificial scenes. For this rea-
so 1. think "The Hairy Ape" an in-
ferior play to. O'Neill's other works,
but I do believe O'Neill has evidenced
a great poetic power and a keener
and more penetrating intellect.
S. W. T.
Once in a lifetime a genius is born;
so goes an old proverb. The laurels
of the present three score and ten go
to Adrian Beecham, seventeen year
old son of -Sir -Thomas Beecham,, the
greatest. savant of British native xurs-

ic. A4rian -Beecham :h
pleted an operatic verf
Merchant of Venice" i
pronounce astonishingly;
and free from those mist
which naturally would b
the first effort of a
young. The opera is sch
most immediate producti
Eugene O'Neill's "Ann:
to be produced at the O
in Paris this winter. .We
ing what the French I
think of this study of a
for a woman who had cc
streets. How will the Fr
react toward it? Will
chology appreciate the
gles of the seafarer as t
cation of such a marriag
they interest themselves
stly of-the influence o
those who follow it-or
back and plush?
Four other plays of j
thorship are to be prod
Odeon theater in order th
nation may learn some
present state of ,the pla
in the tjnited States. I
Christie" there are "The
another O'Neill play, Wi
"The Great Divide,"
chell's' "The New Yorl
"Kindling", by Carles I


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The Whitney Theatre is to be con-
gratulated for the start it has made'
this year in offering good plays. "The,,
Skin Game" certainly exceeds any-
thing given last year with the possible 1
exception of "The White Headed Boy,"
and "Emperor Jones" is vastly su-
perior to anything offered at the Whit-
ney for over three years. "The Wo-
man in Bronze" may have been second
rate and "Lightning"-which is yet to
come-may be considerably underl
"Emperor Jones" but they are both1
better than the plays to which we have V
been accustomed.
I wish to deal very briefly with
"Emperor Jones;" very briefly for anyI
extensive praise of this play would beI
rather superfluous. Eugene O'Neill is
the only first-rate playwright Ameri-
ca has ever produced and this play is '
certainly one of his best.
However, I wish, for the benefit of
some of the fuddled morons who saw
the play, to explain that the "visions"-
seen by Jones were indicative of re-
turning primitiveness rather than of'
what was going on in the negro's
mind. He had- never seen a slave-
market, nor a slave-ship and hence
he could not visualize them, could not.
conceive them. It was a quick retro-
gression which had to be handled with~
a-great deal of delicacy, and though
Mr. O'Neill departed sadly from real- I
ism his play did not suffer. He chose,
after all, the best possible exposi-I
"Emperor Jones" is, without excep
tion, the best play. I have seen for at
least five years, possibly it is the bst
I have ever seen at any time. It- af-
fords me great glee to say also that
the negro who plays the .role of Jones
is the most capable actor I have ever



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