MORE than most professional people, teachers require relief and diversion, both physical and mental. Their occupation, largely sedentary, demands the reinvigoration of outdoor exercise. Furthermore their daily routine is spent so largely with less mature and often subservient minds that they ought, if only for the sake of avoiding dogmatism, to rub up against superior intelligences. A boarding school is actually a tiny but mainly self-sufficient world, the inmates of which are always in danger of smugness or parochialism. It does a schoolmaster good to be propelled, even against his will, into a society which never heard of his institution and doesn't want to learn about it. Bankers and businessmen, doctors and lawyers, can teach him a great deal that he ought to know. It is salutary, moreover, to have companions who do not acquiesce tamely or timidly with all that one says. Whenever I was tempted to think that Andover affairs were going well, I tried to escape into gatherings of persons who didn't really care whether the place was functioning or not and who, after the preliminary polite inquiries, turned to other topics of conversation. Because it is difficult for a provincial not to be assertive, especially after he recovers from his initial fright, a teacher can profit by a little robust opposition.
Recreation of the right sort sends a harassed teacher back refreshed for his routine tasks. Nerves get frayed, feelings grow sensitive, and energy diminishes as the term moves on. Dr. Bancroft, in the 1890's, seeking peace, used to take a Boston & Maine train to Boston and then ride back again. For him it was like unstringing a taut bow. Problems which are oppressive in the office become less difficult when one is walking along a woodland trail. "Take your puzzles out into the open," said Colonel Stimson to me, when we were talking about a faculty mix-up. "Let's go out and breathe some uncontaminated air." And then we would set off through the Cochran Sanctuary to stretch our legs and see the laurel and the rhododendrons.
When I was a boy in the Mohawk Valley, not even the most tireless local angler had ever heard of a dry fly. Plenty of hopeful fishermen waded down the brooks on April fifteenth each spring, but they used worms. On the first promising day of the season my father invariably took a spade and dug carefully around the asparagus roots in the garden, hunting for what were called "night-walkers." These were placed in an old tomato can, with holes punched through the top. My father's rod-called by him a "fish pole"---was certainly not manufactured by Hardy or by his American equal, Orvis, of Manchester, Vermont, but it was serviceable and durable. It was made up of two sections, quite different from my own, which was merely a length of bamboo without a reel.
My father's costume consisted of his winter galoshes, a flannel shirt, an ancient pair of pants, and one of his shapeless old hats, so that he looked like one of the scarecrows set up by farmers to keep off predatory birds. The day was usually Saturday ---the only time when my father felt justified in leaving his law office. His route was never altered --- up Madison Street, over to Tower Avenue, down the lane to Tower's Pond, and from there along a narrow branch of the Big Creek. More than once after I was ten years old I was invited to accompany him. Even I, inexperienced though I was, could tell that his technique was unorthodox. Assuming, in the first place, that fish have neither ears nor eyes, he splashed around in the water and then dangled his worm in the muddied pool which he had just left. Of course his hook caught on countless alder bushes, and his progress was marked by intermittent but sulphurous "damns." For him to have lured even the least sophisticated trout under such conditions would have been miraculous.
Yet he did sometimes accomplish that miracle and bring home two or three speckled fish a trifle over the legal six inches in length. These my father cleaned on the back porch, while I watched the process with delight; and my mother fried them in corn meal. When each one of us --- my mother, my brother, and I --- had consumed his tiny morsel and praised its delicacy, my father's holiday was complete. He could rest on his laurels till another spring.
My father's example inspired me to efforts of my own, at which I was moderately successful. My most notable exploit occurred when I was about fifteen, at Lake Woodhull, in the "North Woods," when I was camping there with some friends for the summer. One afternoon I started off by myself for some fishing and, after wandering two or three miles up a stream without much luck, took a trail back to our cabin. Soon I came upon an attractive pool, in which countless fish seemed to be leaping; and adjusting my tackle I dropped in my bait and instantly hauled out a good-sized "square tail" or brook trout. I had five or six in my creel and was preparing for one final cast when a tall, bearded figure, vociferously irate, rushed up and cried, "What in hell are you at?" "Just doing a little fishing," I answered, and then the man asked, "Don't you know a fish hatchery when you see one?" I had been trying, naturally with some success, to catch fish in the hatchery of the Adirondack League Club. My age and size and terror and obvious ignorance must have operated in my favor, for the guide, after a few comments about "damn-foolkids," released me and allowed me to return to camp.
Later in the Temagami country of northern Ontario I enjoyed such fishing for small-mouth black bass as I have never had since. For practical reasons I was using a plebeian tubular steel rod, with a heavy nine-foot leader and three streamer flies. Once in a remote spot called Wilson Lake I had three bass on hooks at the same time and had to fight them while they floundered here and there in grotesque confusion. Eventually all three were netted by my companion, Warner Taylor, and weighed in the aggregate a trifle over nine pounds. A photograph of this bass trio in the net is one of my most cherished treasures. But this, too, was clumsy angling. The fish were so hungry that any lure would have sufficed, and no skill or deception was required. Only under such circumstances could I have been so successful.
In my early days at Andover I frequently, with Al Stearns or Larry Shields, waded the brooks in northern New Hampshire, especially Perry Stream and the Diamonds. Here I experimented with the wet fly, with only indifferent success. I also did some fishing in the vicinity of Dublin, New Hampshire, my summer home for twenty years. But not until late middle life did it become a ruling passion --- and then chance determined my destiny.
My surgeon friend, Dr. Arthur W. (Jimmy) Allen, of Boston, suggested in 1943 that I accompany him and some of his professional colleagues on a fisherman's holiday, in early September, to Lake Mitchell, north of Woodstock, Vermont. At that time I had no equipment of which I was not ashamed --- no decent rod, no good reel, and certainly no flies. "Never mind," said the genial Dr. Allen, "we'll fit you out with what you need on this trip. You'll get your own quickly enough later --- if you really like the sport." And so our party of eight, including three doctors and their wives and Mrs. Kenneth D. Blackfan, the lady who was eventually to become my second wife, set out for northern Vermont. As we drove into the camp, Dr. Allen commented, "This will be an easy start for you. Even a dub can kill his limit in this pond!"
Thus opened a new and altogether delightful phase of my education. That evening on the club veranda I watched the process of unpacking and assembling the tackle. I saw the other surgeons --- E. Granville Crabtree and Horace Sowles---join with Dr. Allen in actually caressing the delicate rods as they put them together. They oiled their lines with scrupulous care, smoothed the feathers on countless colored flies, tested their leaders, and even tried a few casts from the porch into the twilight.
Then said Dr. Crabtree to me, "You and I will be up tomorrow at four and out on the lake."
Each of my three generous companions wanted a share in my training, and each believed that his piscatorial pedagogy was the best. Before daybreak I was out in a leaky flat-bottomed boat with Dr. Crabtree, who showed me tactfully how to cast a fly and then offered further advice when my preliminary movements showed that I was indeed a novice, measured by his standards. By sheer luck my first fly that actually lighted on the water deceived a small rainbow trout, and I promptly convinced myself that I was already the American Izaak Walton. But I was unable to strike the tiny fish properly, and he escaped, to the poorly concealed disgust of my instructor, on whom it was rapidly beginning to dawn that his pupil would require a long period of guidance. "Now," he said, after a pause, "Allen and Sowles aren't bad fishermen, but if you'll just let me give you a few private pointers, we may make a respectable fly caster out of you yet." So, with incredible patience, he toiled with me through the morning, until I discovered something of the correct technique. What was even more important at that stage, I learned how basically ignorant I really was.
I came in at noon, having landed three fish while Dr. Crabtree was securing his limit for the day. I did feel, however, as if I had made a little progress. Towards evening, Jimmy Allen came along and said, "Come on, Jack, and let me see how good you are!" On the pond I made a few puny casts, after which my new teacher commented, "Well, I have seen worse attempts, but you need a little coaching. Granville and Horace are all right --- equal to most situations. But just let me show you some things that they may have overlooked." And so my Crabtree style, such as it was, was changed, and using the Allen methods I brought in two or three more trout --- while Jimmy, incidentally, was filling his creel.
The next morning it was Dr. Sowles who was to take me out. He began by remarking, "You've certainly had some good sound training from Crabtree and Allen. There aren't any fishermen better than those two. But if you'll only just follow out one or two of my theories, you may be able to show them something!" For the next three hours I did my level best to imitate the special tricks of my third master, who, like the other two, seemed to have no difficulty in making the fish jump all around his flies. When I returned to the dock, I should have been a glorious combination of three highly successful piscatorial procedures; but my mind and hands were confused, and I had reached that unhappy stage of evolution, so familiar to novices in any sport, when I was painfully nervous and awkward. I then and there resolved that, whatever the consequence, I would be my own individual self --- a disciple of neither Allen nor Crabtree nor Sowles, but a blend of all three. Each one adhered to certain fundamental principles, essential to even mediocre success in fly casting. But each one had also his personal and peculiar devices, which he had developed to suit his mental and physical traits. At whatever cost I decided to be a Fuessian, and I have remained such ever since, often to the despair of my far more competent companions.
Furthermore I have been forced to admit that I shall always be a "dub." It fills me with envy when I see a slight woman like Mrs. Allen cast her line out fifty feet directly into the wind while mine flops miserably just beyond the oars. I still watch with unbounded admiration my friends who aim at a ripple far in the distance and hit it at every attempt. Once at Round Pond, on the Megantic Club Reservation, the conditions as twilight fell seemed ideal, but the trout were lethargic, rising only languidly and without any apparent intention of feeding. Suddenly from a leafy circle of green weeds a leviathan leaped high in the air, described a graceful curve, and returned to the ripples with a splash. Dr. Crabtree, although he was facing in the other direction, heard the slight noise behind him. With amazing speed and agility he whirled about and shot his line far out over the water until the gray hackle was directly above the area from which the fish had emerged. Then, as the monster jumped, Crabtree struck with perfect timing and played him skillfully until he was netted. He weighed on our scales rather more than three pounds, and we returned him almost undamaged to his native element.
It would be a proper ending if I could honestly assert that I eventually became the equal of my masters. Unfortunately I never did. But I am an illustration of the important truth that even a mediocre performer can have plenty of fun if he does not expect too much. The Megantic Club, already mentioned, controls property in both Maine and Canada. The two largest lakes are Big Island and Chain-of-Ponds (locally pronounced Chenapun), but there are numerous smaller bodies of water, some of them difficult to reach except by a walk over a rough and rocky trail, and here the fishing is unexcelled. To these ponds my wife and I, with our old French-Canadian guide, Joe Arsenault, have gone on several occasions and have had as much pleasure as the Allens, who surpass us at every point. One does not have to be an expert to enjoy fishing as a pastime --- or to write about it! More than most recreations, it offers both relaxation and excitement, even when the luck is bad.
Golf is another diversion which I took up relatively late in life, too late to acquire a professional stance or style. After some cow-pasture experiments in my childhood, I tried the game again in college with my classmate, John G. Anderson, later a player of national reputation, but quickly found that I could not compete with him. I did not become an addict until 1914, when my family began spending the long summer vacation at Little Boar's Head, New Hampshire. Within easy reach by trolley was the flat course of the Abenaqui Golf Club, and I was soon devoting all my spare time and most of my money to the sport. There in 1915, on the old twelfth hole --- about 135 yards long --- I made my first hole-in-one, using what was called in those days a "mashie" --- the equivalent, I suppose, of a present Number 7. I have since had three other holes-in-one, all on the second hole (145 yards) of the short North Andover Country Club course, the exact dates being August 12, 1942, May 10, 1944, and September 13, 1945. The cards, attested (in two instances by a minister of the gospel) and framed, hang on the walls of my study, and I try to make sure that no visitor will miss seeing them.
On one broiling August day I came out from Boston in the mid-afternoon to the Abenaqui Club to find the New Hampshire State Amateur Golf Tournament in progress. As I entered the golf shop, a very countrified-looking fellow stepped up and asked whether I would join him for the qualifying round. I had not expected to participate, but learning that he was badly in need of a partner to confirm his score, I changed my clothes and appeared at the first tee. The man looked as if he had never seen a driver or even a putting green, and I resigned myself to an unhappy experience. On the first hole I drove my customary 170 yards, and then he stepped up with a heavy iron and without even a preliminary "waggle" smote the ball and landed hole high on a hole about 240 yards in length. He got an easy three and I my usual four. On the second hole, 190 yards long, he took a midiron and made the green about four feet from the pin. My curiosity then got the better of me, and I said, "Would you mind telling me your name?" "Surely not---my name's Guildford!" And so I played eighteen holes with the great "Siege Gun," who on that day, as I remember it, was the medalist with a snappy 65.
The time arrived when golf became for me my major recreation. It was easily accessible, not too strenuous, and offered the maximum of social gratification. On Wednesday and Saturday afternoons in spring and fall four of us---an artist, a manufacturer, a banker, and I --- would motor to courses all through eastern New England---to Myopia and Essex County, the Country Club and Braeburn, Belmont Springs and Charles River, Vesper and Nashua. Sometimes we would take even longer excursions, as far as Kitansett and Oyster Harbors and Wiano, and on one memorable trip our quartet went to Long Island and on ten consecutive days played ten different courses, including such championship links as the National, the Engineers, the Links, the Lido, and Piping Rock. Considering the lessons which I have paid for and the divots I have dug up, I should be a par performer. As a matter of fact, my best rounds were 86 at the Country Club, and 89 at Myopia; the only courses on which I have broken 80 have been notoriously easy. But having early made up my mind that I could never be Walter Hagen, I have not been disturbed by failure.
Over the years I have played many of the great courses in the country, including Pine Valley, Seminole and Gulf Stream, Ekwanok, Pebble Beach and Cypress Point, the Bobby Jones course at Augusta, the three courses at Pinehurst, Eastward Ho! (at Chatham) and Yeamans' Hall. I have an excellent memory for topography, and even today I can put myself to sleep by playing in my imagination a favorite course hole by hole --- the long drive straight down the fairway, the well-placed brassie, the accurate approach, and the one long accurate putt. In these dream games I never dub a shot from the tee or slice into the woods; and usually by the time I have reached the tenth green I am fast asleep.
I have probably had as much genuine fun playing the level and uninteresting course at Rye Beach or the very short nine holes at Dublin, New Hampshire, or at North Andover as I have had at St. Andrews or Sandwich. Indeed I am an illustration of the fact that a player may be mediocre and yet derive immense satisfaction from trying to break 90. When President Taft was spending the summer of 1909 at Beverly, on the Massachusetts North Shore, great discussion arose among the members as to whether he could go around the very sporty Myopia course in less than 100. On August 24, when he started out, heavy bets were placed as to how he would come out, and his progress was reported almost from hole to hole by relays of caddies. When he emerged from the ordeal with a score of 98, several thousand dollars changed hands, and he felt, as he said, "like a king." I know exactly how pleased he must have been.
Having arrived at the period when my golf is best described as a "form of low cunning," I can look back in reminiscence and forward with only tepid hope. Furthermore advancing age and signs of decrepitude have given me a new sense of proportion. Billy Phelps once wrote, in all sincerity:
If I were now given an opportunity to spend every day for the next five hundred years in an invariable program of work all the morning, golf all the afternoon, and social enjoyment all the evening, I should accept with alacrity, making only one stipulation --- that at the end of the five hundred years I should have the privilege of renewal. And that's that!
Fond though I was of Billy, I should find such an existence, with one day patterned after another, insupportably monotonous. There is a mood for golf as there is for fishing or billiards. There are mornings when it is delightful to start out, with ax and clippers, cutting out trails through the woods or to stroll with one's dog as a companion along woodland paths. The main thing is to escape for a while from work and find relief in play.
As a schoolmaster I have necessarily had to be interested in all forms of competitive sport, and I recognize their value as part of the educative process. It is important for teachers to put athletics, like social activities, in their proper place, as contributing their share to a boy's development but not as usurping the position of supreme importance. Matthew Arnold declared that "Conduct is three-fourths of life"; but I have known instructors who would have subscribed to the dogma that "Athletics are three-fourths of education." It is the especial business of coaches and trainers to watch over the bodies of the students and turn out teams as good as the material permits. But I know of no figure more pathetic than that of a middle-aged teacher of mathematics who spends most of his spare time gossiping with the students about games. Naturally a headmaster has to remember always that to the average youngster football and baseball, hockey and basketball are tremendously exciting and that proficiency in these muscular activities is a campus asset. The head must never forget that in the dormitories sports rival sex as a subject of conversation. It is his business to encourage and cheer, and behave at the moment as if the Great Game were a crucial test of supremacy. At rallies he must invariably postulate victory, assuming a virtue though he have it not. My variable popularity at Andover never reached a higher point than when I luckily and accurately predicted the score of one football contest with Exeter exactly as it turned out --- 27 to 6. After a game was all over and if we had won, the undergraduates, clad in pajamas, carrying torches, and led by the band, paraded to the headmaster's house, and there from the back terrace I listened to the raucous cries of "We want Claudie!" and then, with rather ostentatious modesty, appeared and congratulated the team and the school. On such occasions I was always really happy, for an athletic triumph may actually revive a deteriorating student morale.
For years I played for the faculty against the school golf team. One May the captain, Jim Brown, a fine boy and a good friend of mine, was slated to be my opponent. The North Andover fairways are very narrow, and Jim, who was not only very nervous but was also an erratic driver, sliced or pulled his ball out of bounds on each of the first six holes. With that handicap I was able to hold my own and finally defeated him one up. The school paper, of course, made the most of my victory, and Jim was obviously discomfited. The following spring Jim, still on the team, asked especially to be matched against me. On the first tee he carefully selected an iron, even then outdriving me by fifty yards. He played every shot with the greatest care, and it is my recollection that he defeated me ten up and eight to go. Not even the Pope's mule had a sweeter revenge!
Of athletics, organized and unorganized, as a part of education in our independent schools, much has been written, often by people who know very little about existing conditions. One desirable aim, of course, is to develop in each boy a physique which will withstand the demands of vigorous and rigorous living and enable him to carry on the intellectual and nervous activity of mature life. The prescribed physical exercise of the school program should be planned to produce and maintain good health and show the adolescent how properly to care for his body.
But there is more to it than just body building. The impulse to engage in competitive games is one which requires guidance rather than stimulation. Furthermore rivalry in sports helps to build morale in the participants and, if wisely controlled and placed in its right relationship to other school activities, is a most important factor in a lad's growth. What I liked best about the Andover system was that all the boys had not only an outlet for their pent-up physical energy but also an opportunity to excel. We had contests not only with outside schools but also between classes and houses on the campus. In the evening informal games of touch football or softball would spring up spontaneously, out of sheer delight in exercise. Furthermore the types of sport were so numerous that nearly everybody's ambition could be gratified. If a boy was too light for football, he could play tennis or golf, or skate or swim.
At Andover I detected no overemphasis on athletics, such as pessimists today deplore. The coaches of the teams, both at Exeter and Andover, were fine sportsmen who would tolerate no trickery or evasion of the rules. They liked to have their teams win, of course, and trained them frankly to that end. But they did not want victory at any cost. And the spirit of the players as well as of the performers always seemed to me extraordinarily healthy. We had no Hessians in our football army.
Furthermore, except in rare instances, even the most prominent Andover athletes were not victims of the proselytizing tactics of college coaches or overardent alumni. Our top performers did not choose their college because of inducements offered them by graduates of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Sports writers, in their desire to gain space and attract attention, have done much harm in this country; but most Andover boys had developed a sound sense of values and were not deceived by the temptation of newspaper publicity. Some of our best players have confessed to me that they were disgusted with the only half-concealed subsidization of athletes so widespread in the Middle West and South. Indeed the national overemphasis on football and basketball is repugnant to most of the independent school boys who play those games.
The relationship between Exeter and Andover was almost ideal for the inculcation of good sportsmanship. The teams were usually well matched, and the contests were seldom one-sided. Neither school admitted athletes merely for their prowess in games or relaxed the rules in order to favor them. The boys played hard, of course, but did not brood over defeats, and with most of them it was their studies which counted most. I used to like to quote to them Oliver Wendell Holmes's remark in his Autocrat:
To brag little --- to show well --- to crow gently if in luck--- to pay up, to own up, and to shut up, if beaten, are the virtues of the sporting man.
The saddest young men that I knew were those who, because of some extraordinary athletic ability, reached the height of their achievement when they were school or college undergraduates and were more lauded at eighteen or twenty than they ever were later. But many of the finest athletes, while I was at Andover, were among the best students and never tried to capitalize on their skill in games. On the Board of Trustees at Phillips Academy were three great school and college sportsmen ---Fred T. Murphy, Robert A. Gardner, and William E. Stevenson---who had made their mark in later life in other vocations.
I have suggested that it is salutary for a schoolmaster to break loose occasionally from his routine and mingle with men of other occupations. For me this was done in part by visits to the alumni, but also through the geniality of clubs. Dr. Samuel Johnson, who certainly knew what he was talking about, defined a club as "an assembly of good fellows, meeting under certain conditions." The Tavern Club, in Boston, answers this description perfectly, and the "conditions" are altogether agreeable. I never knew how or why I was elected, and the first time I went to the clubhouse by myself I was so much frightened that I actually paused for a minute or two on the threshold and contemplated running away. Hidden away on Boylston Place --- which is really an alley --- it looks like nothing better than a place of ill repute; but within, all is calculated to warm the heart. At the round table, where we gather for luncheon, takes place some of the most provocative conversation in America, and any rash participant making a pronouncement must be prepared to defend it. I recall one argument over the word "categorical" which consumed more than an hour and ranged from Milton to President Eliot, from sermons to sardines. Such an intellectual climate is blighting to dogmatism or conceit, and therefore particularly healthful to teachers. The dinners, presided over by the inimitable Lewis Perry, are perfect in their spontaneous conviviality. On one especially merry evening a member who had dined too well shouted at Lewis, "Too few and too late," to which he, without a pause, replied, "No, too many and too early!" One sits down with specialists in literature, journalism, music, and painting, and with polite amateurs who seem to know everything without making their learning offensive. The Tavern was a wonderful refuge for a troubled headmaster; and even now, when perplexed by some complicated research problem I have found in it a very present help in time of trouble.
For many years I belonged to both the Century Association and the University Club in New York, but I found myself using the former so seldom that, with deep regret, I gave it up as an extravagance. The University Club, however, with its bedrooms and private dining rooms, has long been for me a base of operations in New York City. Woodrow Wilson, while President of Princeton, often came to the club library to write his speeches in an alcove where he could not be interrupted. I know of no more agreeable place for an hour of quiet reading, or even an inconspicuous nap after lunch. The chairs are deep and seductive, the ashtrays are in precisely the right spot, and the librarian, Mark Kiley, is always ready to help when needed --- but never obtrusive.
Dining clubs have long flourished in New England, and I have belonged to several. The one which I have enjoyed most is the Examiner, which is more than a century old and meets at the Parker House on the first Monday of each month. There from fifteen to twenty-five members gather to eat a simple dinner and listen afterwards to the reading of a paper by one of their number. The variety of subjects discussed has been amazing. I can recall reading papers on "Calvin Coolidge," "Mysterious Islands," "The Lure of the Whodunit," "Congressional Immunity," and "Tom Brown and His Successors"; and I have listened over the years to many brilliant articles by such gentlemen as architect Charles D. Maginnis, astronomer Harlow Shapley, philosopher Ralph Barton Perry, Judge Charles E. Wyzanski, journalists Frank W. Buxton and Lucien Price, President Leonard Carmichael, ex-Governor Robert F. Bradford, clergyman Charles E. Park, diplomatist Sir Herbert Ames, and many others.
The Fuess family first began going to Dublin, New Hampshire, in 1920, when we were looking for a permanent summer home. This we never acquired. Spring after spring came around and we discussed the situation, only to end by renting the most convenient available cottage we could afford. Thus we had houses of all descriptions. For three years we occupied a huge stone edifice which had once been the British Embassy in the days when Lord Bryce was a Dublinite. Usually, however, we had less pretentious quarters, but the pleasures of the place were not dependent on the size of one's residence.
Dublin is located at the foot of Mount Monadnock, on one of the loveliest lakes in America. It has to offer good swimming, excellent tennis and horseback riding, and mediocre golf, together with brisk upland air and delightful people. In its old days it had Mark Twain, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, and Amy Lowell; and later came a magnificent triumvirate of octogenarians --- Raphael Pumpelly, Henry Holt, and George Haven Putnam. Abbot Thayer, the artist, had died, but George de Forest Brush, the most carefree and absent-minded of men, was still painting. It was a legend in Dublin that when he sold a canvas the money, in bills and coins, was placed in a bowl on the mantelpiece, and any member of the household was permitted to help himself --- until the cash was gone. I was in a group in 1924 the first time he heard a radio broadcast, and he did an impromptu war dance around the instrument to indicate his elation.
The king and queen of the Dublin I knew were, by common consent, Joseph Lindon Smith and his wife, Corinna. They lived in a rambling house on Loon Point, the most desirable location on the lake, with lovely gardens, a picturesque outdoor theater, and facilities of every kind for the production of pageants. Joe Smith loved children, and each summer on Independence Day and Labor Day he gathered all of them in the vicinity for a "show" in which each one had a share.
He was not only an artist and an archaeologist of distinction, but also an actor and an incomparable raconteur. He really was at heart a child, in the simplicity of his nature, and he always reminded me of an adult Peter Pan. His wife, Corinna, more practical but no less charming, was always there to complement and sustain him.
I have never seen a place where more talent was available in so many different fields. Alexander James and Richard S. Meryman were younger artists, pupils at one time of Abbot Thayer and very much contrasted personalities. Alec was shy, sensitive, and retiring, very much withdrawn within himself but with a refreshing sense of humor; "Wig" was gregarious and practical, with good Yankee common sense. In other fields we had Irving Babbitt, the Harvard humanist; John Lawrence Mauran, the St. Louis architect; George L. Foote, the musician and composer; Miss Amy Peabody, the sculptress; and Robb Sagendorph, who edited the Yankee from a tiny office on his place. There were patrons of the arts, like Daniel K. Catlin, President of the Board of the St. Louis Art Museum, and Frank C. Smith, who held a similar position in Worcester. For public figures we had Franklin MacVeagh, formerly Secretary of the Treasury; Mrs. Charles MacVeagh, wife of the Ambassador to Italy and Japan; Grenville Clark, the lawyer with such a fine record of public service; and many other persons of high intelligence and cultural interests.
It would be difficult to overemphasize the part which Dublin played in my own education. The spirit of the place was very stimulating to a young man eager to develop whatever potentialities he might possess. Among people who talked about books, it was easy to try to write or at least to think of writing. Older men were there to give advice and encouragement. Each Saturday afternoon the Dublin Lake Club sponsored an informal talk, with Joe Smith presiding, and everybody, old and young, attended. I can remember well my apprehension when I first appeared before that critical audience. The time came when I spoke every summer, on a most astounding range of topics from "Universal Military Training" to "The Poetry of T. S. Eliot," but always with the consciousness that I was among friends who would condone my shortcomings and applaud even my oldest jokes.
Squam Lake, also in New Hampshire, where my wife, Lulie, and I have lately been spending our summers, is very different from Dublin ---rather plain by comparison, with none of the visible signs of wealth, and much more intimate. Mrs. Armstrong, whose genius has created the twin colonies of Rockywold and Deephaven, has bound together through her personality a group of people with varied interests and occupations, who live in small and simple cottages on the shores of a beautiful lake, gathering for their meals in a common dining hall where the food is self-served. The diversions are adequate --- swimming, tennis, bass fishing, canoeing, and mountain climbing --- but the people are more important. They are mostly of the intellectual type, many of them teachers, doctors, and clergymen.
The Sunday morning services on Church Island are unique in New England. Boats of every kind, from the Queen Mary, the Rockywold launch, to fragile canoes converge on the island on a pleasant Sunday. The services are held outdoors, with a rough granite boulder as a pulpit behind which is a large wooden cross, painted white. Music is supplied by an ancient organ which has to be pumped by an energetic youngster. The preachers are among the ablest in the country: Sidney Lovett, Ted and Guthrie Speers, Morgan Noyes, Paul Sargent, Richard Preston, Dean Henry Washburn, Bishop Charles Hall, Wallace Anderson, and many others. The scenery is glorious, and one may literally lift his eyes unto the hills and find help. Here in the midst of a confused and groping world is a place of peace and faith.
On December 8, 1919, Viscount Grey of Fallodon delivered at the Harvard Union an address, later published, on "Recreation," which had an immediate as well as a permanent influence on my attitude towards life --- partly by confirming opinions which I had already codified. After pointing out that the three most important things making for happiness are some moral standard by which to guide our actions, a satisfactory home life, and a form of work which justifies our existence to our country and makes us good citizens, he speaks next of the desirability of making profitable use of our leisure. To him games, sports, and gardening are all worth while, but he continues with the statement that "books are the greatest and the most satisfactory of recreations," and he ends with the statement that "of all the joys of life which may fairly come under the head of recreation there is nothing more great, more refreshing, more beneficial in the widest sense of the word than a real love of the beauty of the world." By this, he explains, he means an appreciation of great music, beautiful pictures, splendid architecture, and "other things that stir us with an impression of everlasting greatness"; and he refers especially, as he closes, to "the enjoyment of the beauty of nature, because it costs nothing and is everywhere for everybody."
I am prepared to go along with this as a creed to follow. The pleasures of the body have their place, but it is delights of the mind and spirit which bring the durable satisfactions. If we teachers do not impress this fundamental truth upon our pupils, if we do not keep a nice sense of definition and proportion, we have failed with them and with ourselves. Thomas Hardy, in his charming poem, "Great Things," begins with the lines:
Sweet cyder is a great thing,
A great thing to me. .
and goes on, after mentioning the dance as another "great thing," to speak of love:
O love is, yes, a great thing,
Greatest thing to me!
I am sure that each one of us has his peculiar recreations, some pleasant but ephemeral, others more enduringly refreshing. But the best of them all must stir "thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls." It is this test which makes Chartres Cathedral or the "Fifth Symphony" or "Tintern Abbey" or the Matterhorn so significant in our lives. Fortunate are we if our tastes are so eclectic that we can enjoy them all.
AS headmaster I first became intimately acquainted with the strongest, noblest older personality I have ever known, a man who, unconsciously on his part, contributed immeasurably to my education. Henry L. Stimson, of the class of 1883 at Phillips Academy, had been one of its trustees since June 8, 1905, but I had had little opportunity to know him well. My first recollection of him, however, is very vivid. On a visit to Andover in January 1912, during his term as President Taft's Secretary of War, he found the snow covering the ground to the depth of more than a foot, and at once said to Mark Stackpole, the school minister, "Can't we dig up a bobsled somewhere and coast down Phillips Street, the way I used to do?" I was present when the question was asked and suggested that we might borrow the massive sled belonging to the PAE society, of which Stimson had been a member. A little telephoning achieved the desired result. Soon four or five co-operative boys appeared at Mark's house dragging the huge double-runner, and we all pulled it to the top of Phillips Street. As there were few automobiles in those days, we could count on a comparatively unobstructed course.
Mr. Stimson lay down flat on his stomach, in the style vulgarly known as "belly-bump," having made up his mind to steer. I sat on his legs, and the others adjusted themselves, not knowing quite what to expect from what must have seemed to the students to be an ancient man. After all, he was fifty-five years old! The ride, however, was perfectly managed. We made the sharp curve to the left at top speed and finally landed, some of us breathless, at the railroad bridge, without mishap and to Stimson's ejaculated delight.
Occasionally in the succeeding years Mr. Stimson returned to Andover. On October 11, 1913, he and ex-President Taft were the two principal speakers at our first Founders' Day, when we dedicated a memorial tablet to mark the site of the original school building. Knowing that I was preparing a book on the Academy, he asked me for material which he could use in his historical address. In the autumn of 1915 Mr. Stimson brought General Leonard Wood to Andover to talk to the boys and faculty about the need for preparedness, in which both leaders were keenly interested. From then on for many years following his active military service in the First World War he was busy with the private practice of the law or on government missions.
In 1928, while he was Governor General of the Philippines, he cabled Al Stearns offering him the position of Commissioner of Schools in the islands. Dr. Stearns declined but suggested me for the post, and Colonel Stimson then wrote making the same proposal to me. I must admit that I was somewhat tempted at the prospect of what seemed likely to be a fascinating adventure, but my wife and I finally decided that we wanted to remain in Andover, where I had ahead of me the prospect of writing biographies as well as teaching.
During his years as Secretary of State under President Hoover, Colonel Stimson seldom visited Andover. In December 1934, however, he was my guest at the headmaster's house and spent four days speaking to various groups, sitting in classrooms, and making himself acquainted with what was going on at his old school. I recall vividly how much interested he was in my plans for the enlargement of the faculty and the raising of a Pension Fund. Now that his career of government service was apparently finished, he hoped to spend more time at Andover.
Judge Bishop died at the close of 1934, just after Colonel Stimson had paid his memorable visit to Phillips Academy. As soon as I returned from Florida, I talked with Alfred L. Ripley, a former President of the Board who had retired in 1931 from that office, but was still a member and lived conveniently nearby in Andover. Like Stimson, he was a Yale graduate, and the two were close friends. When I explained to Mr. Ripley how much I wanted Colonel Stimson to be President of the Board, he said, "You're flying high, young fellow, and don't be discouraged if you're turned down. My blessing on you!" After consulting three or four others, including President Hopkins, I went to New York and approached Stimson on the subject. He was very frank in answering, "Jack, I'm an old and tired man ---but my public life is over, and maybe I could take the job on, if you'll promise me that I won't have to assume too much responsibility." To this I quickly agreed, and at the meeting in January 1935, he was elected, enthusiastically and unanimously. I felt that we had made a master stroke!
During the next few years he and Mrs. Stimson came at frequent intervals to Andover, staying usually at the headmaster's house, and he became well acquainted with the members of the faculty. Although he liked especially to visit the classes in Greek and Latin, he also turned up now and then in American history and was very willing to talk informally and "off the record" regarding his experiences in politics and diplomacy. An unusually handsome man with an attractive smile, he held himself erect and looked much less than his age. Even in his seventies he took long walks, rode horseback, and climbed mountains. Many people thought him cold, and he could be reserved, almost remote, when he was not among friends; but he was warmhearted and affectionate in his own circle. In discussions he had a one-track mind which refused to be diverted, even to interpose a little ease, from the main issue. "Wait, wait," he would say impatiently when one of his fellow trustees wandered from the subject, "one matter at a time, gentlemen." He particularly disliked being hurried, and his logic moved slowly but inevitably towards its conclusions. His reactions towards meanness, trickery, or evasion in government circles sometimes had torrential manifestations, and he hated malicious gossip. Archie Butt records that in 1911, at a private dinner, Vice-President Sherman told a "smutty" joke, and everybody laughed except Stimson, who remained "grimly silent"; yet he was no prude, and his personal habits, although temperate, were by no means ascetic. His temper was short, and his irascibility, familiar to all his associates, sometimes culminated in blasts of profanity. He was especially proud of his combat record in the army and was very sensitive to any omission of it in his record. His sense of duty dominated his every decision, and he was remarkably free from personal vanity or ambition. More than any man I have ever known, he was interested in serving rather than in getting.
Although he always seemed worn and tired when he arrived in Andover, he was resilient after a night's rest, and we often set out the following morning after breakfast for a hike through the countryside. On these walks we discussed the international crises which, in the 1930's, were recurring with discouraging frequency. Making no secret of his distrust of both Hitler and Mussolini, to say nothing of the Japanese militarists, he watched their aggression with troubled suspicion. When the Italians made their unwarranted attack on Ethiopia, he told the trustees, "We could have stopped all this in Manchuria if we had been willing to take the decisive step, but our country will support a war only when we are attacked." He often praised President Roosevelt's foreign policy and felt that he was in advance of public opinion in his recognition of the menace of Nazism. On June 14, 1940, at the Andover commencement, after warning me that he was planning to "speak out," he delivered in the Cochran Chapel one of the most important speeches of his life. Without mincing words, he said:
Today our world is confronted by the clearest issue between right and wrong which has ever been presented to it on the scale in which we face it today . . . . The world today is divided into two necessarily opposed groups of governments. These governments are divided both by irreconcilable principles for international behavior without their borders as well as by irreconcilable principles of human rights and behavior within their borders. One group is striving for international justice and freedom, both without and within, while the other recognizes only the rule of force, both without and within. Over eighty years ago, Abraham Lincoln pointed out that a nation could not endure permanently half slave and half free. It would have to become all one thing or all the other. Today we are faced with that situation in the outside world, and the world has become so small that there can be no doubt of Lincoln's prophecy. The world today cannot endure permanently half slave and half free . . . . In this great crisis, and in the decisions which you will have to make, you will carry with you the confident hope and faith of us who have the welfare of this academy at heart.
In the following week at the Yale commencement, Colonel Stimson delivered much the same speech, which was reproduced, considerably enlarged, over a radio network. On Wednesday, June 19, in his New York law office, he received a telephone call from the President offering him the position of Secretary of War. Stimson had heard rumors that his name was under consideration but had given them little credence, believing that his lifelong association with the Republican Party was an insuperable barrier. After talking with Roosevelt, Stimson discussed the matter with his wife and two of his law partners and then accepted on condition that Robert P. Patterson be appointed Undersecretary of War. The public announcement that Stimson would join the cabinet was made on June 20, on the eve of the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, and he became immediately a highly controversial figure. The Chairman of the Republican National Committee, John D. M. Hamilton, an Andover graduate in the class of 1913 and a member of Colonel Stimson's school secret society, promptly called the latter a "traitor to his party," along with Frank Knox, another Republican, who had accepted the post of Secretary of the Navy.
Everybody who knew Stimson was aware that he had reentered public life out of a sense of duty. He was in his seventy-fourth year and entitled to peace after stormy seas. He could gain absolutely nothing by taking again an office which he had held thirty years before. The attacks on him by unprincipled politicians, particularly when they belonged to his own party, annoyed him greatly. In the following autumn he came back to Andover for the football game against Exeter. At the buffet luncheon before the game Hamilton was also my guest. When the two men met in the hall, Stimson turned coldly away without even a nod.
At the commencement luncheon in 1940 I told the alumni that I had long abandoned my neutrality and declared that the school, like the nation, must be prepared to meet any emergency. That summer Mrs. Fuess and I went for some weeks to the Au Sable Club, in the Keene Valley in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, where the Stimsons had spent their vacations for many years. There we walked over many of the woodland trails in that mountain paradise, played some very amateurish golf, bowled on the green, and sat at tea time on the veranda of the Stimson cottage while Colonel Stimson unburdened his mind. He was like an old war horse who, after a period of pasture, was now once more smelling powder and enjoying the sweep of action. For the moment his fatigue vanished, and he was full of plans for preparedness. "It's just the way it was back in 1915," he said. "History is repeating itself!"
In June 1941, he was too busy to return for commencement, but he urged me to tell the undergraduates that under existing conditions the sanest procedure for a youth of eighteen or nineteen, no matter how eager he might be to volunteer, was to remain in school and secure the best possible preliminary training of body and mind. This policy, with Stimson's reiterated support, we maintained throughout the war. When he could not appear at commencement or at the quarterly meetings of the Board of Trustees, his place was filled by Dr. Fred T. Murphy, of Detroit, the next oldest member, but we never took a decisive step without consulting him.
On the evening of Saturday, December 6, 1941, Mrs. Fuess and I were at dinner at a private home in Boston. Among the guests was a high-ranking officer in the navy who, as the men sat around smoking, declared with much emphasis, "It would be impossible for the Japanese to accomplish anything in the Pacific. Our air force and navy have complete control of the China Sea and could crush any attack within a few hours." This opinion was corroborated by a professor in Harvard Law School, a Boston industrialist, and our host, who was a well-informed attorney. On the next day, Sunday, at luncheon, I was called to the telephone by a member of my faculty, who cried, "Have you heard the news over the radio? The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor?" In my ignorance I demanded, "Where's that?" And then he told me the story, and like millions of other Americans I could almost feel a new era opening, not only for me but for thousands of boys like those on the Andover campus.
The American entrance into the war after Pearl Harbor naturally changed everything. What had for months seemed possible or probable was now a reality, and the independent schools, like Phillips Academy, had to make their plans. Fortunately we could get the best available advice direct from the Secretary of War, and all our arrangements had his approval. In the Atlantic for May 1942, I tried to summarize the program which we had set up during the preceding months. Disclaiming any intention of becoming a military school, we endeavored to "organize almost overnight the forms of specialized training required for armed combat between nations." We insisted, however, that it was desirable for every student to secure his diploma, if possible, and also his admission to college. While we had no interest in any "formal uniformed regiment," such as we had sponsored in World War I, we placed more emphasis on mathematics, physics, and chemistry, and even offered elementary courses in communications and radio. We allowed a small group of boys, with the permission of their parents, to take flying lessons at a nearby airport. One such, having mistaken the Shawsheen River for the Merrimack and having also run out of gas, made an emergency landing on the lawn in front of the Tewksbury Asylum and later received commendation from professional fliers for his skill and resourcefulness in a crisis.
Impromptu classes, requested by the students and conducted by co-operative masters, started up all over the campus as they had done in the medieval universities. Feeling that our huge plant ought not to lie idle during the long weeks of summer, I recommended the establishment of a summer session. This opened in July 1942, with Mr. Wilbur J. Bender (later the Dean of Harvard College) as its director and an enrollment of about 200. The teaching and administrative staff, drawn almost entirely from the academy faculty, agreed to share equally in the work to be done and to accept the same amount of pay, regardless of their age or previous salary. The undergraduate body consisted of three groups: Phillips students who wished to make up scholastic deficiencies; youngsters who, hoping to enter the regular session in the autumn, had come to test their abilities and learn whether they could meet the requirements; and some boys from other schools who wanted to take courses which would aid them when they entered military service. The general opinion was that the innovation was an unqualified success. Incidentally the policy of having the students make their own beds and serve themselves in the dining hall was so popular that it was shortly adopted by the regular session as part of the war program; and even with the return of peace it was retained as a measure of economy.
As a direct consequence of this experiment we undertook, with Colonel Stimson's approval, a form of "acceleration," which would allow upper-middlers to carry four major courses during the summer and thus save one full term. Eventually we gave to such students, if they were in good standing when they left, the regular school diploma, honoris causa. The second summer session, in 1943, under the direction of Alan R. Blackmer, had an enrollment of 260 and was a complex organization, with manifold activities. One fascinating feature was a program of "body building" based on army principles. On February 25, 1944, Phillips Academy held its first winter commencement, with a graduating class of thirty-one seniors. These boys had done their last two years' work with only very short Christmas and Easter holiday interruptions, and not one of those who started failed to win his diploma. It was a fine demonstration of what can be done when boys have a compelling motivation. Acceleration was given up when hostilities ceased, but the summer session had proved to be so valuable that it was continued and is still in operation.
With the outbreak of war we immediately expanded our adult education program so that hundreds of men and women from Andover and vicinity were able to get, at trifling cost, instruction in first aid, air-raid protection, navigation, communications, spoken German and Spanish, and other useful "war subjects." Prospective draftees were enabled to review their mathematics and science to their very great benefit. Some of this was quick improvisation, but the program as a whole was carefully planned and frequently revised to meet new needs.
At one point I conceived what I thought to be a brilliant idea --- an orientation course, which would prepare our boys in a general way for entering the various branches of the service. The outline was drafted, mimeographed, and submitted to the trustees at one of their meetings. Colonel Stimson, who was presiding, turned the pages and then, with an assumed sternness, glared at me and said, "Jack, you have committed the unpardonable sin!" Naturally I was discomfited and stammered a very meek, "Sir, what have I done?" "Damn it!" he answered, "you've put the navy first. You ought to know that although the navy may be first in Great Britain, the army takes precedence in this country." Some of the trustees thought this was a joke, but it was not altogether a jesting matter with the Secretary of War.
At commencement in June 1942, Colonel Stimson was present and gave his blessing to our projects. He told the members of the senior class that although the desire to volunteer is noble and natural and volunteers have played an important part in American history, the draft law had been enacted to meet the needs of a complex situation by selecting citizens with the utmost care for service with the armed forces. He advised them to wait for the official call of duty and to let those in charge decide when they were needed. By this date seventeen members of the faculty were in uniform, and it was obvious that the burden on those who remained in their classrooms and dormitories would be heavy. When I was offered a post in Washington, Stimson quickly squelched me by saying, "You can't go. The place for you old fellows is right at home!" I didn't even dare to retaliate that he was eighteen years older than I!
In September 1941, I published in the Atlantic an article on Colonel Stimson and was delighted to receive from him a letter, dated September 1, reading as follows:
I returned a few days ago from my trip to the Pacific Coast and found your article in the Atlantic awaiting me. It added a warm cheer to my homecoming to think that I had a friend who would write such an estimate of my personality. My wife and my sister, who would be the two most fierce critics of any debits in your account of me, say that it is perfect. That must mean that you have said everything that was possible in my favor. All I can say is that I am very proud and grateful to have had such a display of your friendship. Thank you very much.
I am feeling a little stale and battered at the end of this long, hot, and straining summer. Also a little worried over some of the reactions in the country and anxious over what may lie before us. I had a stimulating but not restful trip to the Pacific Coast --- nearly 6000 miles of flying in eight days. So I am taking a week off at Highhold trying to gather strength for the autumn. But with a plane standing by ready to take me at any moment to a restless Washington, it is not quite as restful as it would be at St. Huberts!
With affectionate greetings to Mrs. Fuess, I am, as always, your friend.
In my Atlantic article I told two or three stories which threw light on Stimson's character. During the summer of 1939, when I was with him at the Au Sable Club, he climbed several mountains, moving slowly but steadily and holding his own with his younger companions. Once we went off on a short fishing trip to a camp on Upper Au Sable Lake. On our return he was, at his own insistence, rowing a guide boat --- a very delicate, unstable craft --- with a strong gale blowing us along in fitful gusts. The waves ran high on the narrow lake, and the intermittent squalls threatened to turn us into the trough, in which case nothing could have saved us from a bath in the icy water and a swim of at least a hundred yards to the shore. Stimson finally had to shift both hands to one oar in an effort to bring us about, and for a few seconds the struggle was indecisive. I was sure that we would founder and, in precaution, had removed my trousers and shoes. At last with one mighty tug he pulled the boat about, and we drifted to the nearest lee shore. Not for an instant did he betray any alarm, except to remark in a matter-of-fact manner, "I suppose you can swim."
One of his most notable traits was his passion for fair play. Believing that, unless an evil motive was involved, every man is entitled to a hearing, he was always watchful not to pronounce a judgment without hearing all the evidence. On one occasion when the trustees were sitting around quite comfortably after dinner, somebody uttered rather casually a half-slurring criticism of Mr. Justice Frankfurter. Stimson sat up a little straighter in his chair, attracted the attention of the others, and then began with a good-natured smile, "Gentlemen, perhaps you'll let me tell you what I know of Felix Frankfurter." He then proceeded to review Frankfurter's career from the time when, as a young graduate of Harvard Law School, he became Stimson's assistant as United States Attorney for the Southern New York District, to the period when he declined a nomination for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and finally, in 1939, became Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. It was a simple but thrilling story, punctuated by picturesque incidents and enlivened by intimate comments. Gradually Stimson built up the portrait of a keen-minded, farsighted, very honorable lawyer and jurist, and some of his audience found themselves modifying their preconceived and not very well-substantiated prejudices. "I do not agree with the Justice in all that he says," concluded Colonel Stimson, "but I regard him as a fine American citizen and an ornament to the bench." The incident had a lesson for us all.
Although he complained frequently of fatigue, Stimson was almost equal to Mr. Churchill in his energy and resiliency. In April 1942, he flew one morning from Washington to Long Island, leaving Mrs. Stimson at his country estate, Highhold. Continuing on to Camp Edwards, on Cape Cod, he examined the cantonment and troops and had luncheon and a conference with some divisional officers. He even had time to summon to him a Phillips Academy instructor, Philip K. Allen, who was having some trouble about his promotion to a first lieutenancy and whose case I had brought to his attention. In the late afternoon he boarded a plane for the Boston airport, where he was met and motored to Andover, twenty miles to the north. After a short rest and dinner, he insisted on inspecting the Academy Rifle Club and talking with those who had it in charge. Incidentally, although he had always shot left-handed because of an eye difficulty, he was still a first-class marksman and astonished the boys by his prowess. On the following morning he was up at seven o'clock and, after breakfast, strolled about the campus, revisiting his schoolboy haunts. As he looked around in his old room on the third story of Coy House, he said, "They used to call me 'Kid' Stimson because I was so small and wore knickerbockers. I never really grew up until I got to Yale." He lunched at his own request with about twenty undergraduates and answered their eager queries about the war. He presided from two until five o'clock at a meeting of the Andover Trustees and then flew down from Boston to Long Island in time for a late diner with his wife. Throughout the trip he was on the alert, remembering names without hesitation and never missing an appointment on his crowded schedule.
It was, of course, very exciting when the news spread over the campus, "Colonel Stimson's coming!" A delegation of excited seniors would call at my office to find out whether he would consent to speak in the morning assembly. When I rather reluctantly mentioned their request to him, he usually replied, "Jack, I just can't. You'll have to tell them I'm too tired." But after a night's rest, he would ask me at breakfast, "What do you think I ought to talk about?" Then he would appear at George Washington Hall, walk down the aisle with me to the platform amid thunderous applause, and address the boys in words of very moving eloquence. What impressed the students most was his burning sincerity and his simple directness. He was not in any sense a humorous or witty man; but he did once tell the story of Mrs. Murphy, who, thinking that a "jeep" was a female "Jap," was fearful of the damage to the morals of her son from associating with one.
Although ordinarily calm and self-controlled, he could at times be as excitable as any child. When he visited the headmaster's house, he was put in a bedroom on the second floor, without any telephone. One Sunday morning at six-thirty I was awakened by the insistent ringing of the telephone bell, and a voice from the Pentagon Building demanded to talk with the Secretary of War. Rather reluctantly, I knocked on his door, and he appeared in his pajamas, obviously aroused from a sound sleep. Although he grumbled a bit when I told him what had happened, he came down to my study, and I shut the door. When he emerged a few minutes later, he executed something resembling an Indian war dance, slapped me on the shoulder, and almost shouted, "Rickenbacker's safe!" He had left instructions at his office that he was to be called at any hour of day or night when news of the great airman reached Washington.
In late July 1943, after a brave fight against an incurable ailment, my wife, Elizabeth, died in the hospital, and I was left, lonely and desolate, in my Andover home. Almost at once, Colonel Stimson characteristically invited me to be his guest at the Au Sable Club. It was the period of stringent gasoline rationing, and I had almost to exhaust my supply driving my Dodge to St. Hubert's, a distance of 265 miles. After an all-day trip I arrived at the club about five o'clock in the afternoon and looking out of my second-story window, saw Colonel Stimson bowling on the green. A moment later he came rushing up to greet me and express his sympathy. For two weeks I was with him almost constantly, playing nine holes of golf a day and often rowing with Mrs. Stimson and him on the lovely lakes. In mid-August I saw him off for the Quebec Conference, at which Stimson came to the grapple with Churchill on the matter of the Normandy invasion ---and won. It was at this meeting that the Chiefs of the Naval Staffs reported that victory was at last in sight in the war against the German U-boats. On his return, Stimson was especially pungent in his references to Churchill's personal habits --- his sleeping all the morning and sitting up half the night, and his abnormal consumption of brandy without any impairment of his reasoning powers.
In the 1930's, when Colonel Stimson thought that his public career was over and that he would never again live in the capital, he deeded to the Phillips Academy Trustees his beautiful nineteen-acre estate of Woodley, located in the heart of the residential section of the city. When he accepted the appointment as Secretary of War in 1940, he at once requested me to ask the trustees for permission to occupy Woodley during his incumbency. Needless to say, it took only a little telephoning to adjust that matter satisfactorily. When he became Secretary of State in Hoover's cabinet in 1929, Stimson had purchased the estate for more than $900,000, and it was indeed one of the showplaces of the capital, with a long history behind it. There Mrs. Stimson and he settled down again in 1940, and there he remained until he retired from office in 1945.
Stripped of its furnishings and draperies, Woodley today looks very much like a run-down Southern mansion, with the brick disintegrating and the woodwork in disrepair. But when the Stimsons lived there, the walls were lined with portraits and attractive paintings, and in the study were signed photographs of famous men all over the world with whom he had been associated. His huge flag as Governor-General of the Philippines covered one side of the living room; and the enormous crystal chandelier over the dining room table had been the gift of the Filipino Republic. A gigantic wistaria --- the largest and thickest I ever saw --- had almost crushed in the roof of the back veranda which overlooked the rolling terrain of the estate. Close by was the famous croquet ground where Colonel Stimson played with Cordell Hull and other elder statesmen. The house, which had sheltered so many great Americans, had about it a kind of melancholy charm. It should be preserved, if only for its historical associations.
There the Stimsons lived throughout the war ---very quietly, for he had to conserve his physical resources. Although I tried to trouble him as little as possible about school affairs, he frequently urged me to come to Washington, if only for the night, so that he could keep informed. I planned to arrive by plane in the late afternoon, in time for the one rum cocktail which he regularly drank after returning from the Pentagon and putting on a dinner coat. Dinner was always a pleasant affair, with no other guests; and afterwards he and I would leave Mrs. Stimson and go to his study and talk about the academy. Once we started on a topic, he insisted on finding out all about it. He inquired about various members of the teaching staff, asked questions concerning boys in whom he was interested, and seemed to be in touch with countless details. About nine o'clock, however, he would show signs of weariness. Then I would simply declare that I had had a hard day and should like to go to bed. This fiction was always accepted graciously, and he would seek his rest. He told me once that there had not been a single night since he took over his duties as Secretary of War that he had not resorted to sleeping pills. The indomitable spirit of the man, his intense devotion to duty, were most inspiring.
On one occasion I engaged a taxicab to take me from the Shoreham Hotel to Woodley. The driver, a communicative young American of Italian antecedents, had been wounded in North Africa and sent home for discharge. Now he had a temporary job but, although he could drive perfectly, he had been told that his disability might cause him to lose it. At Woodley I asked him to return for me at nine-fifteen; and at dinner I told the Stimsons the story. The colonel said very little, but when the cab appeared he went out with me and had some conversation with the driver. It turned out that he made an appointment for the veteran to see him at the Pentagon the next morning and assigned him to a permanent position as army chauffeur. This is only one of several such incidents which I could relate as showing the thoughtfulness of the man.
In the winter of 1944-1945, when the war was in its critical and final phase, a request was issued by the Office of Defense Transportation that all nonessential travel be curtailed in view of the pressing military need. At once I called Colonel Stimson, who approved my suggestion that Phillips Academy abandon its customary spring vacation and hold its commencement in mid-May, thus avoiding the necessity of having some 700 or more undergraduates crowding the trains when troop movements were in progress. I next invited to my office the members of the Student Council and told them in confidence how matters stood. One of them, to my delight, asked, "Why do we go home at all? Can't we just stay here and attend classes as usual? Then we'll all get out that much earlier in the spring." The idea met with quick approval, and eventually the undergraduates, responding to an appeal from their own leaders, voted unanimously to comply with the government's request.
Within a few hours I asked several headmasters of independent schools in New England to meet in Boston to discuss possible united action on our part. To my amazement I found that many of them were opposed to altering their published schedules. I remember that one said, "How can we be sure there's any real need? It's probably all newspaper sensationalism." When I talked with Colonel Stimson over the telephone that evening, he only remarked, "It's just tragic that they won't help. If they only knew --- if they only knew!"
Fortunately things broke just right. The weather throughout the usual spring vacation period was dry and sunny, so that the boys could be outdoors at their games. We held our commencement on May 13, after which the boys disappeared to their homes, glad to be free so early in the season. Often since then alumni have congratulated the school on putting the interests of the country first.
Meanwhile, on April 12, President Roosevelt had died. On May 1 the Hamburg radio announced that Adolph Hitler had committed suicide. On the following day the Russians captured Berlin, and two days later the German forces surrendered. I said on May 8, when we held a special V-Day service at the school:
In this temporary hour of justifiable exuberance, let us be very humble. Now that this one foreign war is over, we have our own domestic responsibilities. We have fought for freedom. Let us keep ourselves free. We have fought against intolerance. Let us keep ourselves tolerant. We have fought against tyranny. Let us keep ourselves democratic. We have defeated a ruthless enemy. Let us be sure to keep our own house in order.
These were measured words in the hour of victory. I have often thought of them since and wondered at the change which took place in American public opinion within a few months after that hour of national dedication.
The summer session of 1945 opened with 252 enrolled students. On Tuesday, August 14, when President Truman announced the surrender of Japan, I was staying with my friend, Dr. Frank L. Boyden, at his summer home on Sunapee Lake, in New Hampshire. That night everything was quiet around us, but the radio told the story of celebrations in cities from coast to coast. The next morning I drove my automobile to the nearest filling station and said authoritatively ---and successfully---"Fill her up!" The years of war at last were over ---we thought for a long, long time.
Colonel Stimson flew to Potsdam in July, but returned to Washington in time to receive the dramatic news of the two atomic attacks on Japan. He was very weary, but remained in office as Secretary of War until his seventy-eighth birthday, on September 21, 1945, by which date our victory was presumably total and complete. He went back to his farm at Highhold for a well-earned rest and never again visited Phillips Academy. On the following April 25, however, in the Hotel Roosevelt in New York City, the Andover Alumni Association sponsored a dinner in his honor. It was his first public appearance since his resignation from the Cabinet; and Mrs. Stimson was fearful that the strain might be too much for him, especially since he was convalescing from an illness. But when he rose to address his four hundred fellow alumni, his voice rang out with its familiar resonance. His closing words seem now to have been particularly appropriate:
Never has the world so needed the leadership of America and American principles. The United States is now the acknowledged leader upon whom the hope of that world rests . . . . I often shudder lest the restless and selfish symptoms which have been appearing among us today may lead to a failure similar to that which followed our Great War of thirty years ago. It is a time when only high leadership can save us, and that leadership must come from American youth. In such a situation I am happy to take encouragement in the example of steadfast courage and faith which I have found now manifesting themselves in the great school at Andover.
Shortly after hostilities ceased, my own life was brightened by my engagement and marriage, on December 15, 1945, to Mrs. Kenneth D. Blackfan, known to our friends as "Lulie." We went to Palm Beach, Florida, on our wedding trip, returning to be greeted by the faculty at a reception shortly after New Year's. Thus as I moved into my "sixties," I had happiness and an incentive for living.
At commencement in June 1946, we held a memorial service commemorating the one hundred twenty-six sons of Phillips Academy who gave their lives for their country in the Second World War. The new President of the Board of Trustees, Henry W. Hobson, Bishop of Southern Ohio, delivered the address, and the congregation then stood while I read the long list of the dead. I had known nearly every one of them, and to some of them had been very close. No one realizes more than a headmaster the cost of war in human lives --- the best human lives! Every teacher on the Hill had seen his boys go out, sturdy, confident, blithe in spirit, to face terrible hazards in far-off places like Guadalcanal and Okinawa and North Africa and Sicily, and later on the coast of Normandy. They represented about the finest the human race had to offer; yet they were so often cut down before they could reproduce their kind and certainly before they had a chance to rebuild a diseased society. The tragedy of those names carved on the Andover Memorial Tower or on the scroll in the Cochran Chapel is that they were so much better stuff than those who stayed at home, loafed on street corners, and went on strike for higher wages. When I had to read aloud the names of the dead, I sometimes could hardly lift my voice. It seemed as if I were seeing again friend after friend!
On October 14, as if to symbolize the end of an era, Colonel Stimson wrote me a letter tendering his resignation from the Board of Trustees. In it he said in part:
It would be impossible for me to describe the wrench which the severance of the ties of forty-one years of service on the Board causes to me; so I shall not try to do it. I have come to the conclusion that Andover is a little too far from New York for a man of my age to perform the duties which I should be performing but am not able to discharge. I have seen the Academy grow until it seems a second home to me, and I have formed friendships among the Trustees and the faculty which I shall never forget.
From then on I saw Harry Stimson only intermittently and seldom for very long. He was occupied working with his young assistant, MacGeorge Bundy, on his great autobiography, On Active Service in Peace and War, and made no public appearances. I did, however, correspond with him from time to time, and asked his advice on school affairs. When he died in December 1950, I was one of those who attended his funeral services in his peaceful country home on Long Island. The great of the land were there to pay him tribute --- Herbert Hoover, George C. Marshall, Felix Frankfurter, his military associates, his law partners, his school and college mates. The simplicity of the service accentuated the nobility of the man.
I am sure that Colonel Stimson, without realizing it, conveyed to those around him something of his own dignity and high-mindedness. He could be austere, but only in the presence of cheapness or vulgarity; he could be angry, but only with inefficiency or disloyalty or insincerity; he could be scornful, but only of little men or mean thoughts. Being within his range was a liberal education. He taught me not to fear to express my views when I thought I was right. He taught me to consider problems on the highest possible level. He taught me, I hope, in some degree the scorn of miserable aims that end with self.
ALTHOUGH verbal labels are usually to be distrusted, I have never been annoyed at being called an Anglophile. It may seem strange that, with an obviously German name and a Bavarian ancestry, I should have grown so fond of England and the English people. Possibly the long line of Moores and Kenyons and Pettibones and Matthewsons and Perkinses on my mother's side may have had something to do with it. But it is more likely that I discovered in England, first through reading and later through travel, an intellectual and spiritual kinship. As far back as 1906 I was thrilled by Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill, with its glorious story "A Centurion of the Thirtieth" and the interspersed rhymes, especially Puck's songs ending:
Track way and Camp and City lost,
Salt Marsh where now is corn;
Old Wars, old Peace, old Arts that cease.
And so was England born!
She is not any common Earth;
Water or wood or air,
But Merlin's Isle of Gramarye,
Where you and I will fare.
By good fortune I was able to "fare" there very often. My first visit in 1906 was intentionally a literary pilgrimage, during which I went to the conventional places --- to the Scottish Lakes and Edinburgh, to the English Lake Country, to Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick and Kenilworth, to Stonehenge and Salisbury Plain, to Windsor and Stoke Poges, and, of course, to Oxford and Cambridge. With keen delight my friend Sweeney and I bicycled between
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild.
With the diligence of an ambitious scholar I memorized long passages of poetical description and penetrated to the far corners of museums. At the home of the late Emery Walker, furthermore, I actually met Swinburne and Kipling in the flesh. My only conception of the physical Swinburne had been derived from the famous Watts portrait in the National Gallery showing him with a great shock of reddish hair like some strange-colored chrysanthemum; and when I was introduced to a diminutive man with a head as bare and white as an egg, I was horrified. He said very little, contenting himself with muttering some inaudible words, and it was hard to imagine him as the passionate bard who wrote:
In the greenest growth of the Maytime,
I rode where the woods were wet,
Between the dawn and the daytime,
The spring was glad that we met.
As for Kipling, I have a distinct recollection of a short very much bespectacled man who looked like a small edition of Theodore Roosevelt but who uttered outrageous things about America and Americans. I was much too frightened to make any reply and could only slink away defenseless to take refuge with one of my hostess's daughters.
On eleven later trips I learned to know rural England almost as well as I did New Hampshire. With my friend, Mark Stackpole, I walked over Exmoor and Cornwall and Dartmoor, where had roamed recently the hound of the Baskervilles; I climbed Helvellyn and the Peak of Derby; I canoed with Cushing Goodhue down the Thames and the Wye; I covered by walking and bicycling and motoring almost every picturesque inch of the Cotswolds; I went, book in hand, to the Dorchester of Thomas Hardy, the Cornwall of Hugh Walpole, the Five Towns of Arnold Bennett, and the inns made famous by Charles Dickens. In London I took my Baedeker to the houses where Dr. Johnson and Thomas Carlyle and Robert Browning had lived and died. I even spent hours in Baker Street, visualizing the haunts of one of my heroes, Sherlock Holmes. I have been, I think, in every cathedral, from Durham down to Canterbury, and in countless parish churches. The time came when I could hire a small automobile and motor out of London on the Great North Road to Bedford and Sulgrave Manor and tiny villages with funny names tucked away in hollows among the hills.
In 1928, when we had our sesquicentennial celebration at Andover, I had as my house guest Mr. Frederick B. Malim, then Headmaster of Wellington College, in England, and we became well acquainted. Three years later, following my son's graduation from Phillips Academy, I took him on a short summer sightseeing trip to the British Isles, and we stopped to see some of the famous public schools, including Eton, Harrow, and Rugby, as well as Wellington. When shortly afterwards I became Headmaster of Andover, one of the first items on my program was the bringing about of some relationship, formal or informal, between English and American schools. Malim had been at Phillips Academy; I had been at Wellington. The two institutions were comparable in size and aims and prestige. Furthermore Malim and I had the authority to make arrangements without having to consult Boards about details. The first Andover boy to go to Wellington was Frederick W. Griffin, who within a few weeks of his arrival broke every school record in swimming. Griffin returned from his adventure with a bastard English accent which certainly startled his friends but from which, under steady pressure, he eventually recovered. The first exchange student to arrive at Andover from Wellington was Richard Stoker, a fine representative both physically and intellectually of his country. Not only did he make the fifth hole on the North Andover Country Club in one; he was also elected to cum laude and won six senior honors in his studies --- more than any other member of his class. After these initial experiments, Malim and I had no doubt that our project had the happy result of making boys from the two countries respect and like one another.
Before this, Father Sill of the Kent School, together with N. Horton Batchelder, of Loomis School, and W. Houston Lillard, of Tabor Academy, had organized the International Schoolboy Fellowship, through which several American students were sent annually to English schools on an exchange basis. The plan had worked very successfully, and in 1936 I agreed that Andover should become a member. In that year Lincoln Clark, '36, was selected in a vigorous competition to go to Malvern College, where he made an outstanding record.
Since that date, except for two or three of the war years, Andover has regularly received each autumn one English boy, and in return has sent as many as three students to various English schools in one year. I recollect with some amusement and much pride the three young men whom we sent successively to Harrow School, which I had grown to know well because of my friendship with its headmaster, Paul Vellacott. The first was Howard A. Reed, son of one of my Andover trustees, a fine student --- otherwise he could not have been chosen---but also a rugged athlete who, to the amazement of the Harrovians, tossed a twelve-pound shot into the air as if it were a gooseberry and was promptly dubbed "Rosebud." The next year the representative was Walter Aikman, not in any sense an athlete, but a lad with brilliant dramatic gifts who took the leading part in the Harrow dramatic performance of that year. The third was Donald Blackmer, son of one of our Andover masters, a first-rate scholar who actually won the speech contest at Harrow --- a feat never accomplished before by a "foreigner." Mr. Moore, the present Headmaster of Harrow, said to me in 1950, "It would be impossible to find three boys more different, and yet each made an important contribution to some phase of Harrow life."
The number of American and British boys who have enjoyed this experience has grown now to large proportions. Those who have gone to England under the International Schoolboy Fellowship from various schools in this country must have reached considerably more than two hundred, and all have come back as ambassadors of good will. Eventually I was chosen chairman, and in that capacity arranged to have the correspondence and authority taken over by the EnglishSpeaking Union, which now in its New York headquarters arranges all the details and has assumed full responsibility for the functioning of the fellowship.
For a time in the 1930's we had a similar exchange on a smaller scale with Germany, and at least three very carefully selected German youths came to Andover. One of them, Helmuth Scheid, acquired fame by winning, solus et unus, a soccer game with Exeter through an almost miraculous goal in the last few seconds of play. Unfortunately one of the Andover graduates who went to Germany returned a vociferous convert to Nazism, and it became obvious that this particular exchange was not accomplishing what we had expected. When it was evident what Hitler's designs really were, the plan was quickly abandoned.
The escapades of some of our guests were unusual, even startling. One of them, after school was over in June, started out in an ancient Ford car with three American companions on a trip to the West Coast. They had limited funds but unlimited imagination. On a July evening at my summer home in Dublin, New Hampshire, I received a telephone call from New Orleans. The line was not clear, and all that I could understand was that some young Englishman was in jail and needed $300 immediately. Aware of possible international repercussions, I tried to take prompt action, but getting $300 from Dublin to New Orleans on a Sunday evening in summer was not the easiest business in the world. Finally I reached a high official of the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company who, perceiving the emergency, accomplished the necessary miracle. The next morning, when communications were better, I telephoned one of our well-known alumni in New Orleans and asked him to investigate the case. He reported shortly that the English boy had gone into the men's room in a motion picture theater, and as he was removing his coat a pistol dropped from his pocket and a bullet went off into the wall, barely missing a bystander. The police were summoned, and he was apprehended on three serious counts: carrying concealed weapons, impersonating a sheriff, and forgery. It seems that in Denver he had purchased a revolver in a pawnshop. Later in San Francisco he had bought a sheriff's badge in a similar store ---how it got there is an unexplained mystery. Finally he had written a letter to himself purporting to be his appointment as sheriff. When he was arrested, the badge was pinned on his vest and the forged document was in his pocket. It took a judge with a considerable sense of humor to perceive the fun in these antics, and Meigs O. Frost, '07, although he was a well-known journalist in the city, was successful only in reducing the fine to fifty dollars. The young man later appeared at Andover, very much chagrined, and paid up. I regret to have to admit that his American companions apparently ducked out when the trouble began and left the lone Englishman to face the music by himself.
In the spring of 1935 I invited Mr. George C. Turner, then Master of Marlborough College, to deliver at Andover one of the lectures on the Alfred E. Stearns Foundation. He spoke brilliantly on the subject "The English Boarding School." He and his companion, Mr. Sumner Scott, spent two weeks on the Hill, meeting classes and exchanging ideas with faculty members. In 1938, on the same Foundation, came Mr. H. L. O. Flecker, Headmaster of Christ's Hospital, the "Blue Coat" school, who talked about its traditions, aims, and activities. Arrangements were made for both Mr. Turner and Mr. Flecker to visit other schools besides Andover, and they carried back with them personal impressions which helped greatly the whole exchange plan. The Headmaster of Rugby, Mr. Hugh Lyon, was also my guest for a few days in 1946.
In 1947, Mr. Flecker and I, by private arrangement, effected an exchange in instructors, with Mr. Edward Malin coming to Phillips Academy from Christ's Hospital and Mr. Alan R. Blackmer of our staff taking Mr. Malin's place at Horsham. Here the opportunity was offered for two firstrate teachers and observant commentators to learn something of the progress being made in other countries. Each one brought comparisons and contrasts back to his own institution.
In the spring of 1938 I was asked by the English-Speaking Union and the Carnegie Foundation, operating jointly, to go to England to speak at some twenty English public schools. This was a happy blending of duty and pleasure which I could not resist. Accordingly my wife and I persuaded our good friends, Dr. and Mrs. Arthur W. Allen, to accompany us, and we sailed on the Queen Mary in April, returning in time for commencement after a trip which was in every way a Great Adventure. I spoke at various English schools, discussing "The American Scene," in an address which was later published in my little volume, Creed of a Schoolmaster. I tried in my speeches to tell English schoolboys, without boasting or condescension, what the United States was really like. Naturally I had to vary the presentation according to the audience, and Dr. Allen who was compelled by circumstances to hear me early in the trip at Harrow and towards its close at Cheltenham declared that the second performance was very different from the first.
On our arrival at the Dorchester Hotel in London we found a magnificently ornate invitation to attend the dedication of a building at the King's School, in Canterbury, and were advised by Sir Frederick White not to miss it. Not having brought with me the necessary formal garb, I had to resort to the well-known firm of Moss Bros., and for one guinea was made resplendent in cutaway coat, striped trousers, and silk hat. We had already rented a small but brandnew Daimler which I was planning to drive myself; but we realized that on this occasion we had to be more "swank," and finally engaged a chauffeur who had once (so he said) been in the employ of the Queen of Norway. So, with a large placard on our windshield, we started off for Canterbury. As soon as we left Rochester, we began to meet long lines of boys who stood stiffly at attention, saluted, and sang "God Save the King!" with volume and vigor. Soon I was removing my "topper" every two or three hundred feet. "What's going on?" I asked the chauffeur. "I think, sir," he replied, "that they mistake you for the Duke and Duchess of Kent." Whatever their delusion, the crowds greeted us as if we were royalty, and we enjoyed the deception until we drove into the courtyard at Canterbury.
The dedication ceremonies were truly impressive. Both the archbishop and the dean were present, with the genuine Duke of Kent presiding, and on the dais were sitting also Hugh Walpole and Somerset Maugham, both Old Boys of the King's School. The headmaster's name was Shirley, and virtually every speaker titillated the company by referring to the new building as "Shirley's Temple," until the joke was worn threadbare. Pages dressed in Elizabethan style, with ruffs and blue knickerbockers, escorted the guests to their places. When I was called upon as a "foreign" visitor to make a few remarks, I felt very commonplace in my conventional tails. Simply as a show, the dedication was packed with pageantry, and every detail was worked out to perfection. After this introduction to English pomp and circumstance, anything in the future was bound to seem an anticlimax.
My first formal address on my trip was scheduled for Harrow School, and when, after an excellent luncheon with the Headmaster, Paul Vellacott, I was presented in the famous Speech Hall to seven hundred or more young Englishmen, I was more frightened than I had ever been in my life. The room itself, semicircular in shape like an amphitheater, is beautiful and rich in historical associations; but I was thinking even more of the audience and what I could say to hold their attention. Like a similar group of schoolboys in America, however, they were not only attentive but generous in their applause. When I discovered that English-speaking boys everywhere laugh at the same jokes and respond to the same appeals, I felt more at ease, and the talk after that went uneventfully to the peroration. Once I had been initiated, I felt that I could talk, if necessary, in the Guild Hall without being too much perturbed. British courtesy and friendliness made me feel at ease wherever I went.
After Harrow, my wife and I moved by motor to Cambridge and Oxford and to some of the other public schools, not only to Wellington and Marlborough and Rugby, which I had visited on previous trips but also to Stowe, Felsted, Leys, Radley, Clifton, Malvern, and others which were new to me and from which I learned much about English secondary education. I was at dinner with the Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, on that fateful week end when the Czechs decreed a partial mobilization of their army and it looked as if England might be at war before Monday dawned. The bright candles flickered on the ancient silver and the polished mahogany and the other symbols of British civilization ---and there we were talking quietly about what might happen if Hitler did not cease his aggressive acts. The silence which followed the toast to the King was like many other such silences in English history, and each one present knew what was going through the mind of his neighbor.
I am an internationalist by philosophy, believing in the Brotherhood of Man and even in "the Federation of the World." Strongly and practically contributory to that end is the alliance between the United States of America and the British Commonwealth of Nations, and I was therefore pleased after my retirement to accept the Presidency of the Boston branch of the English-Speaking Union. Our similar backgrounds and cultural ideals make a stronger bond than any formal peace treaty. With common interests and aims we can help one another with the assurance that neither country will have a monopoly of giving. If this world is ever to resume its evolution towards a millennium, it will be because the English-speaking peoples have forgotten their petty jealousies and enmities and joined to create a new Renaissance of mind and spirit.
When once a question has been settled, worry must be left behind. Too many headmasters waste time by brooding over mistakes. The head should do his best to assemble the evidence, weigh it in his mind, and reach a just conclusion. Having done all this, he should proceed to the next problem. The congenital or chronic worrier will never be happy in the headmaster's office.
I wish that I could boast that I always practiced what I am here preaching. Some of what became my creed I learned gradually, as a consequence of bitter experience. Confronted with unexpected emergencies, I often lost my temper or had a rise in blood pressure. But the fact that we do not always keep the Great Commandments does not lessen their significance as a guide to conduct. And a headmaster as much as anybody should have a philosophy by which his decisions may be tested.