The Charlotte News

Monday, February 13, 1939


Site Ed. Note: "The Man Bitten by a Dog": A Man who had been bitten by a Dog went about in quest of someone who might heal him. A friend, meeting him and learning what he wanted, said, "If you would be cured, take a piece of bread, and dip it in the blood from your wound, and go and give it to the Dog that bit you." The Man who had been bitten laughed at this advice and said, "Why? If I should do so, it would be as if I should beg every Dog in the town to bite me." Benefits bestowed upon the evil-disposed increase their means of injuring you.

"The Wolf and the Lion": Roaming by the mountainside at sundown, a Wolf saw his own shadow become greatly extended and magnified, and he said to himself, "Why should I, being of such an immense size and extending nearly an acre in length, be afraid of the Lion? Ought I not to be acknowledged as King of all the collected beasts?" While he was indulging in these proud thoughts, a Lion fell upon him and killed him. He exclaimed with a too late repentance, "Wretched me! this overestimation of myself is the cause of my destruction."

"The Bat and the Weasels": A Bat who fell upon the ground and was caught by a Weasel pleaded to be spared his life. The Weasel refused, saying that he was by nature the enemy of all birds. The Bat assured him that he was not a bird, but a mouse, and thus was set free. Shortly afterwards the Bat again fell to the ground and was caught by another Weasel, whom he likewise entreated not to eat him. The Weasel said that he had a special hostility to mice. The Bat assured him that he was not a mouse, but a bat, and thus a second time escaped. It is wise to turn circumstances to good account.

"But a mouse has no business trying to play the elephant or a frog the cow. There is, indeed, a celebrated story in Aesop about the latter enterprise and what came of it, which the great man might do well to ponder."

Out of Aesop, we only have found, in our present discernment in any event, the first three parables above which match at all loosely the fourth, the one referenced by Cash re Bob the rooster who condemned the man back home, against whom he found contest and won, the one he deemed too proud any longer to consume a hen's egg; we haven't found it, that one exactly, search as we may through the Fables of the man of whom they say was a Samosian slave from Africa's ways brought blind to set down story-lays.

As we said, once we were bitten by a dog, thankfully not one rabid. It was at the home of some distant relative whose name we don't even recall, unless we stop and think a moment of maybe the green home in which they were then installed. From out the little cubby beneath the porch where the mama had her pups, insular from the haunting world about, especially those larger animals who sought to scorch her brood as louts, came the little chirps which we sought to explore, beckoning our gentler sensitivities the more.

They owned an Edsel, we recall.

Reaching over to touch the little things, mama reached out from her nested place of would-be kings and took a chomp on our hand and face.

A gentle dog, no doubt, as house pet it was without, under other circumstances. But not now, not with one of the larger animals of the foreboding environment interrupting the struggle of her little ones to gain nurture from Nature's chances, to bring some child merriment, some fancy, yet to be sent out from the nest over which she brooded.

We vaguely recall it. Just a little nip, saliva dripping off some hot-water scalded tip, bloody spatter in a couple of spots. No scar by which to keep it in mind was left en bloc. Just a silly memory.

Soreness resulted for awhile. Like salt water does the thirsty beach beguile.

But we learned from it of course, not to dislike the canines of the doggies' harsher sport, usually smiling, puppy-like, as they do, or the relatives for not warning us to stay clear of mama's nest en grande tenue; just to stand clear from the brooding mama when embracing her collective by instinct when our intentions are not sufficiently rhythm-linked to announce by familiar scent and fraternization.

The play's the thing, after all. Wheree'er on the globe, under the porch, chasing the ball.

So our fable added for whatever reason or rhyme or mot, today, to Aesop's and Cash's.

Read into it what you will or not. Not our masque, but yours to discern.

It's a lazy, rainy Saturday afternoon where we are. Too cold to go out and play with any work outside. Too warm inside to think too much about much of anything having to do with either, either.

We think we may go take a nap, but we're not tired enough for that.

Maybe we'll go out and buy a cowboy hat. No, not that, not yet. No cut-rate bins for the overstocked styles, though there probably used to be out there somewhere on the range. Another day.

Too, having provided a few days back the letter to the editor from L. W. Burrows on Cash's article on sharecroppers, an article for which we searched the other day and failed to find, and so probably existing in some of the handful of the microfilm's missing January dates, we shall offer up anyway Mr. Burrows's--(Burrows' or Burrows's? we think logically the latter from our style manual though the former looks less awkward; we don't care, for more than one Burrow burrows' makes)--thoughts on coming warfare, ringing considerably truer, ominously so, than did his previous sharecropper offering:

Mankind Deserves Horrors Of War, He Maintains

Dear Sir:

For me today it is most thrilling to look about the world at the vast armament preparations that are being carried on by what, to be conformable, I shall call the world's civilized nations.

Soon war shall come leaping, like a wolf out of the darkness: like a trampling and triumphant monster of wrath swallowing the world. There will be faces of women and children blanched with horror: wails of fearful anguish as shrapnel and shell rip open bodies; cities collapsing like castles of cards; hollow, hungry and feverish faces of the famished, death gurgles from withered, gas-poisoned throats, and the screech of lost souls.

I can see nothing but retributive justice in this approaching war, thus nearing maelstrom annihilation. The people in this world today being what they are I can easily see the necessity, the justification for war.

The lack of brains in high places in government and business is the cause of the world's woes. Distraction is being invited by stupid and ignorant leaders who are created and are being maintained by equally ignorant and stupid followers. Everywhere brains go begging while mediocrity rules the roost. In America, in Germany, and France and England--everywhere, the intellect has been banished and ignorance has been enthroned.

Yes, brains go begging while the world with its ignorant and stupid leaders and its equally stupid and ignorant followers go speeding along to the hell of war... and beyond.



The True Ring

The Hon. Robert Rice Reynolds made a speech in Maryland Friday night. He candidly told the people up there how he won elections in North Carolina by "passing out sticks of candy." And then he went on:

"Last Fall when I was running for Senator again, I know I kissed the same baby that I kissed sixteen years ago when I was running for that first office. She turned out to be a pretty good looker, too."

Then the Huey Long bee buzzed up in his bonnet again, and he turned solemn and went ranting off on foreign affairs and on aliens and Americanism--all to the obvious end of stirring up rabble passions.

It seems ashamed. The first is his true stride. It was a little snide perhaps to make fun of the simple home folks who voted for him, with that candy story. But if the folks don't mind, we don't. And that kissing story was right down the alley.

We can understand, certainly, that the great man may sometimes have qualms about taking that $10,000 smackers a year. But let him be at ease. The people who voted for him undoubtedly voted for him primarily because of their vicarious joy in his clowning--in the vision of themselves, incarnate with him, playing the dashing hell-of-a-fellow in Washington and racing around the globe.

But a mouse has no business trying to play the elephant or a frog the cow. There is, indeed, a celebrated story in Aesop about the latter enterprise and what came of it, which the great man might do well to ponder.

In Character

The action of Franco in dismissing the French consul at Barcelona, trumpeting that he will refuse to admit the existence of any French consulate until Daladier has recognized him as the legal master of Spain, and closing the border against Spanish refugees in France, is simply another demonstration of the temper of Fascism and the essential futility of attempting to deal with it as though it were within the pale of civilization.

It matters nothing at all under the Fascist viewpoint that Franco had given his word not to close the border; on the contrary, it seems to be the Fascist conviction that it is a notable triumph first to give your word and then brazenly to violate it. And it is not enough that France is getting ready to eat humble pie and do the bitter thing of recognizing that Fascism is now solidly established on her southern boundary and must be dealt with as a legal government. She must, instead, be thoroughly humbled. She must not be allowed to preserve the illusion that she is doing something by choice, but must have it clearly understood by her that Fascism holds the whip hand, and that as against it, her legal right to grant or withhold recognition has ceased to exist.

It is a pretty good foretaste of what we are probably going to see in the future. If Franco promises Britain to get Italian troops out of Spain in return for loans, will he get them out? Or will he keep his promises as he keeps these to France and as Mussolini has kept all his? Isn't it likely that he'll actually get the loans and keep the troops too, and share a hearty laugh with Il Duce over the whole transaction?

Site Ed. Note: "The Buffoon and the Countryman": A Rich Nobleman once opened the theaters without charge to the people, and gave a public notice that he would handsomely reward any person who invented a new amusement for the occasion. Various public performers contended for the prize. Among them came a Buffoon well known among the populace for his jokes, and said that he had a kind of entertainment which had never been brought out on any stage before. This report being spread about made a great stir, and the theater was crowded in every part. The Buffoon appeared alone upon the platform, without any apparatus or confederates, and the very sense of expectation caused an intense silence. He suddenly bent his head towards his bosom and imitated the squeaking of a little pig so admirably with his voice that the audience declared he had a porker under his cloak, and demanded that it should be shaken out. When that was done and nothing was found, they cheered the actor, and loaded him with the loudest applause. A Countryman in the crowd, observing all that has passed, said, "So help me, Hercules, he shall not beat me at that trick!" and at once proclaimed that he would do the same thing on the next day, though in a much more natural way. On the morrow a still larger crowd assembled in the theater, but now partiality for their favorite actor very generally prevailed, and the audience came rather to ridicule the Countryman than to see the spectacle. Both of the performers appeared on the stage. The Buffoon grunted and squeaked away first, and obtained, as on the preceding day, the applause and cheers of the spectators. Next the Countryman commenced, and pretending that he concealed a little pig beneath his clothes (which in truth he did, but not suspected by the audience) contrived to take hold of and to pull his ear causing the pig to squeak. The Crowd, however, cried out with one consent that the Buffoon had given a far more exact imitation, and clamored for the Countryman to be kicked out of the theater. On this the rustic produced the little pig from his cloak and showed by the most positive proof the greatness of their mistake. "Look here," he said, "this shows what sort of judges you are."

Mr. Lincoln Is Admired

Republicans yesterday had a great deal to say about Abe Lincoln and the Republican Party. There was H. Styles Bridges, the big noise from New Hampshire; there was Robert H. Taft, the new Senator from Ohio; there was Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., and there was a hold host besides. And all of them agreed with [indiscernible word] unanimity that what [indiscernible word] the country is that it has got in a Democratic Administration which [indiscernible words] what it was old Abe stood for, and that the one way to cure it is to go right back to a Republican Administration in 1940--which, of course, will promptly remember what it was old Abe stood for.

All of which sounds nice and may be so. Still, we can yet remember the Administration of Dr. Hoover, and remembering it we are a little puzzled. Was that what ailed us then--that a Republican Administration had forgotten what it was old Abe stood for? And come to think of it, the speakers yesterday all seemed to be quite as vague as we are about what it was old Abe did stand for. We'd like to know that, explicitly. At least we'd like to know what it is that the Republicans propose to do when they come into power. The trouble with present New Deal schemes is admittedly that they are half-baked. But a pig in a poke will not cure them. And if the Republicans have better schemes, it is time they were making them clear to the public, so that they may be carefully examined beforehand, instead of talking so much about the ghost of Lincoln and getting elected in 1940.

Tip for the Teachers

"You aint," say the Classroom Teachers in North Carolina, "seen anything yet." Expressed a little more grammatically, as befits the subject, the teachers are going to put on the "first real concentrated pressure campaign ever staged by the teachers of the state" for pre-depression salaries and other benefits.

What set them off was the Joint Appropriations Committees paring of a quarter-million from the school allotment recommended by the commission. This did away with a chance of new pay increments for teachers, sick leaves, pension funds and the establishment of a twelfth grade; but never mind the twelfth grade now. The teachers are frankly out for the teachers this time, and not in the name of the dear little children.

And in consideration of that admirable frankness, which we esteem, we'll give them a tip. The reason the Appropriations Committee cut off the quarter-million wasn't any grudge against teachers as a class or any low regard for Education and Educators. No, the reason was that there is only so much money in sight, and it is not enough to go 'round.

Hence, what the teachers need to do first of all is to suggest to the Legislature how it can lay hands on some more money. There is only one source of revenue yet untapped, a source, it so happens, which would yield bounteously to a tax that would have the added advantage of being painless and highly moral. We hold patent rights on the idea, but in consideration of the teachers' acute need and their--er--militancy and political potency, we would waive proprietorship in their favor if they besought us to do so.

The idea is, of course, for the State to do a mail-order business in liquor (four quarts to a shipment) for the benefit of the dry counties. The revenue would be derived from the profit on the sale of this liquor. The morality would come in by virtue of the fact that it would put the big shot bootleggers out of business.

James P. Stowe*

Few of his many friends and innumerable acquaintances would have thought that James P. Stowe, who died last night, was as old as 67. His more youthful appearance was due, perhaps, not only to the fact that he was a man well set-up and in robust health, but that every opportunity had found him out of doors, usually with dog and gun and hunting companions.

Born in nearby Belmont, it was in 1888, as a boy of 17, that he came to Charlotte. That, it happened, was the year in which The Charlotte News was founded, and for an understanding of the length of Mr. Stowe's residence here and the changes that took place in those 50 years, it is necessary only to consult the scenes of 1888 Charlotte as presented in the Anniversary Edition of The News.

His part in the development of the city that we know today from the town that he came to, was a large and influential one. He kept abreast of changes and new methods, constantly expanded his interests, yet remained throughout the unaffected and helpful person he was to begin with. Public spirited, he always was to be relied upon in any movement concerning the welfare of his adopted city or native state, and in his business he was recognized as an exponent of the best professional traditions.


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