The Charlotte News

Tuesday, September 27, 1938


Site Ed. Note: Here, a brief audio segment of a speech made to the British people by Neville Chamberlain this date.

And as to "It's Play Time", better it's play time than war time, all you tender-footed...

The Emperor: Now, presents for the court: everyone Confess to me whatever it is you want.

A Page (Accepting his present.): I'll live well, happy, have the best of things.

Another (Also.): I'll quickly buy my lover chains and rings.

A Chamberlain: I'll drink wines that are twice as fine.

A Second Chamberlain: The dice in my pockets itch I find.

A Knight (Thoughtfully.): My lands and castle will be free of debt.

A Second Knight: It's treasure: a second treasure I will get.

The Emperor: I hoped for desire and courage for new deeds: But whoever knows you, thinks you slight indeed. I see, clearly: despite this treasure and more, You're all the same, still, as you were before.

The Fool (Recovered, and approaching the throne.): You're handing presents out: give me one too!

The Emperor: Alive again? You'd drink it all you fool.

The Fool: Magic papers! I don't understand them, truly.

The Emperor: That I'd believe: you'll only use them badly.

The Fool: Others are falling: I don't know what to do.

The Emperor: Just pick them up: those are all yours too. (The Emperor exits.)

The Fool: Five thousand crowns I'm holding, in my hand!

Mephistopheles: You two-legged wineskin, so you still stand?

The Fool: I've had my luck, but this is the best yet.

Mephistopheles: You're so delighted: look, it's made you sweat.

The Fool: But see here, is it truly worth real gold?

Mephistopheles: You've there just what belly and throat are owed.

The Fool: And can I buy a cottage, cow and field?

Mephistopheles: Why yes! There's nothing to it: make a bid.

The Fool: A castle: with forests, hunting, fishing?

Mephistopheles: Trust me! To see you a proper Lord would make me happy!

The Fool: Tonight I'll plant my weight on what I'll get! - (He Exits.)

Mephistopheles: Who doubts now that our Fool's full of wit!

Mephistopheles: Why bring me here to this dark passage? Isn't there fun enough inside, In the Court's colourful tide, Opportunities for jests and sharp practice?

Faust: Don't give me that: in the good old days You wore us out in a thousand ways: And now this wandering, there and here, Is only so I can't catch your ear. But there's something I need done: Commander and Chamberlain egg me on. The Emperor, I must work quickly for him, Wants Helen and Paris to appear before him: He wants to see the ideal form of Man Clearly revealed to him, and Woman. Get to work! I daren't break my word.

Mephistopheles: Such a thoughtless promise was absurd.

Faust: Friend, you haven't considered Where your powers have lead us: First we made him rich, and how, So he wants us to amuse him now.

Mephistopheles: You think it's fixed that quickly: We're looking at a deeper track, To the strangest realm, and wickedly, Adding new faults to the old, Do you think it's easy to call Helen back, Like a pasteboard spirit edged with gold--Witch-bitches, ghost-hostesses, freely, Or dwarf-maidens, I'll serve you equally: But Devil's sweethearts, though you're for them, Still you can't, as heroines, applaud them.

Faust: Still the same old story, every day! With you, things are always difficult. You're the father of all obstacles, For every miracle you want more pay. I know: a little muttering, and it's done: At a blink, you'll bring her here.

Mephistopheles: With Pagan folk I don't get on: They live in their own Hell there: Yet, there is a way.

Faust: Tell, without delay!

Mephistopheles: Unwillingly! There's a greater mystery, I say, Goddesses, enthroned on high, and solitary. No space round them, not even time: only To speak of them embarrasses me. They are The Mothers!

Faust (Terrified.): Mothers!

Mephistopheles: Are you afraid?

Faust: The Mothers! Mothers! It sounds so strange!

Mephistopheles: As, it is. Goddesses, unknown, as you see, To you Mortals, not named by us willingly. You must dig in the Depths to reach them: It's your own fault that we need them.

Faust: Where is the path?

Mephistopheles: No path! Into the un-enterable, Never to be entered: One path to the un-askable, Never to be asked. Are you ready? No locks, no bolts to manipulate, You'll drift about in solitary space. Can you conceive the waste and solitary?

Faust: I think you might spare the speeches then: They always smell of the witches' kitchen, Of a long forgotten time, to me. Have I not trafficked with the world? Learned the void, the void unfurled? --When I spoke with reason, as I descried, Contradiction, doubly loud, replied: Have I not fled, from hateful trickery, Into the wild, into the solitary, And, not to lose all, and live alone, Surrendered to the Devil's own?

Mephistopheles: And if you'd swum through every ocean, And seen the boundless space all round You'd still have seen wave on wave in motion, Though you might have been afraid to drown. You'd have seen something. Seen, within The green still seas, the leaping dolphin: Seen clouds go by, Sun, Moon and star--You'll see none in the endless void, afar, Hear not a single footstep fall, Find no firm place to rest at all.

And having entered to this world of earthly shakes, we must, indeed, amass a thought as to what it is in that breast which quakes so earnestly to see a son or daughter bought, go far off to lands of war, to fight for what they're fighting for, To fall, to die, to never rise, To have scabbard's fulsome tooth through their eyes. And why it is and why it is, That when they come to the park to say what for? What for did my son go to die? The others there yell and scream in mad assay, You "idiot", you "coward", you heartling's fay. Assail us not for our sons were brave when they fought, as on St. Crispin's Day. Yours, too, but you are but in a coward's mockish sporting pay. You lizzard's tongue. You hell-fire wing. You strange unearthly, ghostly, peaceful thing. Why do you disturb our estimable, war-lusting gathering? We came to hear the man with stings uplifted upon his forehead in array. He broke, he lied, he entered upon the water-sluice, no doubt, you will say. But no, we listen, for he tells in anti-seraphimic display that we are war-moms of war-sons, lordly in our sacrificial black. And that they died for honor, not as tempted feast for the Devil's slay. But you, you who tempt with olive branch ensnare to flay our conscience round and back, Until we cannot think but of this empty ground so packed with memorial, where once our boy walked in synch and now beneath this mound, of parts strewn in stack of skulls, sonorial he walks no more among our lulls, you seem to say. No meaning this? No, it is but our need to do away with consciousness upon which we come to listen to sluice-man speak in slink of our myths today. You make us feel in anger quite absurd. So hie you hence, you crest-fallen Gold Mother you, you saccharine sweet-singing bird. Arrest her! Jail her! Nail her. Burn her, witch, oh burn, burn, burn. For we are nation's breath come to spurn affections of this unearthly burm. And full of cold augury of what things lie to come, We must away to the battle front for all, for our nation's sum--no, not us, but yet behind we shall stay, For it is our part only to send our sons away!

More Self-Determination

What would be the effect of the acceptance of Mr. Hitler's notion of "self-determination" for all "Germans" and other peoples he can bring into his orbit, was strikingly shown in a little dispatch from Valenciennes, France, which in the great rush of news went almost unnoticed. Here it is:

Fifty Polish miners, paraded through the town of Fresnes today demanding independence for the 200,000 Poles living in Northern France... The miners shouted "Heil, Hitler!" and "Insulting France!"

You think they were jesting? They were not. Representatives of a huge organization of French Poles with offices in Paris, they turned out to be in the pay of the Nazis.

Ickes Had a Foreboding

In the Summer of 1937, horrorstruck by the Hindenburg disaster, Congress passed and the President signed a bill to permit Germany to withdraw small quantities of helium, the non-inflammable gas of which this country has a total monopoly. Only restrictions were that Germany should be at peace and that the Munitions Control Board, composed of six Cabinet officers, should approve withdrawals.

This board indicated that it would acquiesce, and in fact the Secretaries of War, Navy and State did acquiesce. General Malin Craig, Chief of Staff, assured the board that the military importance of the gas allotted to Germany was "only a drop in the bucket." Germany went so far as to send over a tanker specially equipped to transport helium. But Secretary of the Interior Ickes adamantly refused to give his consent, with the result that Germany got no helium.

The Hindenburg's successor, the new giant LX-130, has now reached the test-flight stage at a time when her war usage is probable. It must be a considerable satisfaction to Mr. Ickes that American gas will not enable her to operate with greater invulnerability upon whatever war missions she may perform.

It's Play Time

Saturday, under bright autumnal suns, and the augmented moon, tough-legged young men in leather helmets representing Clemson and Tulane, Alabama and Southern California; University of N.C. and Wake Forest, Washington and Vanderbilt, Duke and VPI, State and Davidson, Texas and Kansas, and a good 100 other institutions of scholarship and the arts, battled each other up and down 100 yards of turf for--well, let's look into that.

For glory and for Alma Mater? For exercise? For the favors of admiring fillies? For distinction among their classmates?

Jan Koscholuskwitz, All-American tackle for Miracle U., who came from a coal-mining town in Pennsylvania to memorable halls of study a thousand miles from home, probably bothers about none of these. Jan majors in a crip course called Physical Education, lives generously, and will have a job when he quits college. Jan, in other words, labors for cash. There are many like him. The inevitable question of professionalism will be headlined soon, and we might as well have a peek at it now.

Francis Wallace, writing in The Saturday Evening Post, has grouped the schools and their attitudes toward subsidization. He puts them down like this:

1. Legal scholarship--a frank and even offer of a college education for athletic ability. Bills are paid from athletic receipts.

2. Alumni scholarship--an open grant, solicited from old grads.

3. Tacit consenters--subsidization in secret.

4. Reformers--sawdust trail evangelism, getting nowhere fast.

5. The cuties--hypocrites and ostriches, who try to eat their cake and have it too.

Of these, Mr. Wallace prefers the legal scholarship, and for good enough reasons. A great football star, or even a mediocre one, is profitable in a cash way to any school. It seems, on the whole, only fair to pay him for drawing a crowd, and only frank to admit it.

Site Ed. Note: Incidentally, Cash's alma mater, Wake Forest, lost the game referenced to Ray Wolf's little band of Universitat Carol Septent Spartans, 14-6, a-way up in the high reaches of the strata of cherished learning and free speech, Pulpit Hill's Kenan; following year it would yet get even worse for the Demon Deacons, then of the bucolic village, amid the gray groves, of the same name, 36-6. Yet, as fortunes will in bone-crunching sport, the Deaconate boys would reverse it all the next two years running, 12-zip in 1939 and 13-goose in 1940.

The first kick-a-poo punchball game ever played between the schools was the first ever for the Spartans. The Wake boys won that one 6-4--in 1888. The Spartans finished that lengthy, harsh and indelibly memorable season--we remember it well--0-2, the other loss coming at the hands of, well, you know who, those Methodist boys from down at Trinity in Randolph County. But at least President Cleveland, out of office at the hands of that vote-stealing scalawag, Ben Harrison, for four years, won the election square-up that cool fall--no, wait a minute, that was '92, right after Trinity moved up to Durham, when we were 5-1, (what a celebration we had on Franklin then, me boys)--so emendation: scalawag "won" in '88--we were powerful sad.

So where's our historical analysis of the other opposing wills mentioned? Well, hell, none of those constitute alma mater to us, dear reader, and besides, if they be of interest to you uns, you's have to do something for yourselveses. Sigillum?

Still In the Balance

Granted that Britain, France, and Russia mean what they say, the chance for peace in Europe now seems to depend wholly on the question: Will Adolf Hitler yet retreat?

It is difficult to find much real evidence for any retreat in the speech at Berlin yesterday. He made some vague remarks about wishing to live at peace with England and France, certainly: and, in addition, asserted that this Czechoslovakian concession was the last territorial demand he would make. But, in view of his well-known record, nobody is likely to put a great deal of faith in the latter promise. And as for the rest--he ended his speech by asserting flatly and without qualification that "my memorandum (the Godesburg memorandum with the map) is the final word," and that if Benes does not yield to it peacefully, he will use force. And, of course, it is precisely this memorandum over which the present impasse has developed. What he seems to have said, therefore, is that he is perfectly willing to live at peace with England and France, provided they back down from their present position, stand aside, and let him have his whole way.

That might seem to end it, unless England and France are willing to back down, and that seems improbable. Nevertheless, there is Mr. Chamberlain's speech of last night in which he plainly sought to offer Hitler a last loophole through which to escape and save at least a part of his face. That is he can now say that Mr. Chamberlain has the heart of the matter, that what has ailed him all along is that he has no faith in the word of President Benes, and that if the British will undertake themselves to guarantee that the areas in which the Sudetens are actually more than 50 per cent of the population shall be handed over fairly and promptly, he will be content.

Will he take that way out? One guess is about as good as another. About him there have been two theories in the world: one of them is that he is a mystic and a megalomaniac, so swollen with the sense of power and destiny that he feels himself and the German nation to be irresistible, despite all the warnings of his generals. His talk, his book "Mein Kampf," and the breath-taking risks he has so far run, all lend color to that theory. And if it is the right theory, then he will not retreat, will not take the escape offered by Chamberlain. For that the fair and orderly handing over of the actual Sudeten districts is not what he really wants is manifest from the memorandum to Dr. Benes. What he wants is the virtual destruction of Czechoslovakia--as, indeed, he himself has many times frankly told us.

But there is the other theory, which has it that he is in fact one of the ablest masters of human psychology and strategic timing ever heard of--that he has all along known with almost uncanny insight just how far he could successfully go, and has gone just that far--and that, though he has never had occasion to retreat before, he knows how to do so quite as well as he knows how to go forward with the appearance of changeless determination.

And if that is so, then he will probably grab the Chamberlain way out with eagerness, and at least for the time being, content himself with what he can get without the use of force. For if he is really sane, not only his generals but common sense will be able to convince him that the game isn't worth the risk--that if war comes, the chances of his really winning it are pretty slim.

The reader may take his choice. For ourselves we don't pretend to know with any certainty. And won't--until the event proves the case one way or the other.

What Hitler Demanded

What Hitler demanded of Czechoslovakia was this:

1--A strip of territory ranging in width from ten to 65 miles stretching, with two breaks of ten miles, in a solid horseshoe from Bratislavia, a town some 40 miles due east of Vienna, around the whole of Bohemia and Moravia to the Polish border. It includes virtually all the mountain territory in Czechoslovakia, Bohemia and and Moravia as well as Sudeten; virtually all Silesia, whence comes Czechoslovakia's iron and coal; and many of the principal industrial cities, particularly those, like Bratislavia, which have great power works. It brings the German border within twenty miles--gun range--of Prague itself, and nearly squeezes the country in two, by reducing the width of the Moravian bottleneck to 30 miles. And finally, it includes all great Czechoslovakian fortresses and stretches of territory inhabited predominantly by Czechs.

2--Plebiscites for eight districts inhabited by Czechs, including the territory just south of Pilsen but not the city itself; Brunn, the great arms manufacturing town and the surrounding district, and two other districts in the Moravian bottle neck. Taken with the above, the practical effect of the passage of these lands would be to completely pinch the country in two. For it would give Germany command of all the rail lines and railheads in Moravia and mean that Czechoslovakian goods passing from the eastern part of the country to the west or the reverse would have to clear through German territory. In the west Bohemia would be reduced to a small strip of plain with only one city, Prague, actually in its control, and surrounded on all sides by German areas. And in the east there would be left only the agricultural plain.

3--Supervisory control of the Skoda arms works at Pilsen and elsewhere.

4--That the Czechoslovakian economic and foreign policy be made satisfactory to Germany.

5--That, while Czechs living in the ceded areas would be allowed to remove to Czechoslovakia if they chose, they must leave everything they owned behind them, entirely without compensation.


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