The Charlotte News
Tuesday, April 9, 1940
Site Ed. Note: The Ants and the Grasshopper--
The Ants were spending a fine winter's day drying grain collected in the summertime. A Grasshopper, perishing with famine, passed by and earnestly begged for a little food. The Ants inquired of him, "Why did you not treasure up food during the summer?" He replied, "I had not leisure enough. I passed the days in singing." They then said in derision: "If you were foolish enough to sing all the summer, you must dance supperless to bed in the winter."
For more on the importance of being earnest, with gravity, whilst you store your food in summer for the winter, go here.
For more fables, go here.
Nearly A Million Dollars Goes To Local Real Estate
Nearly a million dollars in real estate deals yesterday seem to testify to something or other. Perhaps that investment money is bullish on Charlotte, perhaps that at last we have about finished the liquidation of the depression.
For both the First National Bank building, which the Liberty Life Insurance Company of South Carolina bought, and the Court Arcade Building, which the County Commissioners bought, were distressed properties and were purchased at distressed prices. Their new owners made smart deals, yet the people generally are the gainers.
The First National sale will enable the payment of a final and fairly substantial dividend to the depositors in this ten-year-closed bank, and goodness knows they have waited a long time for it.
The Court Arcade sale won't turn loose any money, but it looks as though the acquisition of this property, situated so conveniently to the Courthouse, was a piece of business on the part of the County Commissioners that will ultimately save the taxpayers several times the amount represented.
Grasshoppers Have Their Compensations, Too
With the passing of William Faversham, nearly the last of the old heavy romantic actors in vogue before the first World War is gone. Handsome John Barrymore is the only man in sight who still actively keeps up even a part of the tradition. And, as age creeps upon him, Handsome John more and more goes in for comedy, conscious and unconscious.
To the last, Faversham was true to the tradition of his guild. Having made several fortunes, he died in poverty, making his living by serving or passing as a gardener. That will produce a lot of head-shaking and clucking from professional moralizers. But it does not appear to have produced any on the part of Faversham himself. The old fellow made gallant efforts to remain an active actor to the end. But, failing, he does not seem to have been ill-humored about it or regretful for anything.
And nobody can say with any certainty that for William Faversham the way of William Faversham was not the best way. The fable of the ant and the grasshopper has a great gaping hole in its logic--in that it fails to take account of the fact that ants and grasshoppers are radically different creatures with radically different requirements.
Old Mr. Faversham died in poverty, even in part the charge on a charity instituted for old actors by people who comprehend grasshoppers. But in his years he had known most of the good things life can give. He had had his share of applause for work well done. He left behind him a reputation as an unfailingly gentle and courteous fellow. And he had given pleasure to many thousands among the quick and the dead. Not a bad life, for all its ending in a drab boarding house--which, when you think about it, is as good a place as another to have done with living.
It Is All A Deliberate Plan To Justify Neutral Grab
The evidence gathers that the Hitler regime is trying desperately to create the impression in the world that it is innocent of crimes against neutrals, that the British are a menace to neutrals, all by way of preparing the way for sudden forcible intervention all around as "the protector of the neutrals!"
The "plot" which the Nazis claim they discovered in Rumania yesterday, a "plot" by British agents to blow up all the Danube bridges and close navigation on the river by sinking barges loaded with explosive, sounds most remarkably like a phoney invented with an eye to bolstering the Nazi case after Hitler decided to take over Norway.
And the Nazi newspapers, always the heralds of new Nazi crimes, has significantly begun to throw up their hands in pious horror over Britain's "insolence" and "readiness to set aside the conception and reality of neutrality," and to weep crocodile tears for the dear little neutrals in regard to Rumania.
In adopting the Nazi logic, even simply by way of trying to deprive the Nazis of any excuse for attacking her, Norway inevitably cut the ground out from her own feet. By the record she has less to stand without reason to protest now that the Nazis have decided that it is their solemn duty, in their great concern for littles, to "protect" her.
Hitler Is Merely Carrying Out What He Promised
There is nothing surprising about what has happened to Denmark and Norway. In point of fact, we ourselves wrote an editorial yesterday prophesying that Hitler was preparing to "take the Scandinavian nations under his protection," but the event even beat it into print. The signs were all too plain. When the Nazi kept-press begins to yell brazenly about "violations of neutrality" in the face of its own policy of systematic murder at sea, it is time for little nations to begin to prepare for the worst.
What Adolf Hitler is up to is plain enough. He himself has told us quite clearly, and the evidence makes it incontrovertibly clear that he meant every word of it. What he proposes is a new and far greater Roman imperium extending ultimately over the whole West, an imperium in which the Germans will be a master class, all other people slave peoples, an imperium ruled by iron force, and one in which every vestige of human rights will be destroyed. To that criminal philosophy he has converted the whole German people and its name has made them into a barbarian horde bent upon its realization.
What is clear also is that attempts to blink the facts are fatal. Czechoslovakia tried it, Poland tried it, Norway and Denmark tried it--and look at them. Rumania may as well make up her mind that her turn is next, and Sweden of course is already done for. And Holland, Belgium, and Switzerland, as well as the Balkans generally, are in for it, too.
It may well be, indeed, that Hitler does not plan at present to use force on them but expects that the object lesson of Norway and Denmark will cause them to yield quietly and become his puppets without further argument. That system suits him far better. It gives him all the advantages of conquest without making it necessary for him to put large armies of occupation into the conquered territories and dangerously extend his lines. But in any case, these nations are all due to be gobbled up and Nazified.
Will it be our turn ultimately? You will be told that it is impossible, but it is to be observed that that is exactly what was said about what has already happened. It is likely, indeed, that it may be many years before the conquest of this country by force is possible, and even though the Nazis take over the British and French navies in case of Allied defeat, which now seems increasingly probable. But force is the last resort of the Nazis. They prefer ideological penetration. Moreover, in the Kluckers, the followers of Coughlin, Robert Rice Reynolds, etc. the ground is already well fertilized for the acceptance of the Nazi ideology in America. Nothing succeeds with the American people like success.
The Lady Does Most Of The Talking In This Case
Mrs. Martha B. Taft, wife of Senator Robert A. Taft, Republican Presidential hopeful, is a sort of new phenomenon in the United States.
She has been compared to Mrs. Roosevelt, but the parallel is inaccurate. Mrs. Roosevelt's activities are mainly on Mrs. Roosevelt's own account, and not on her husband's at all. She takes no direct part in his campaigns, and if her rapid movement about the country, her continual speaking, are calculated to help him, it is only indirectly and incidentally.
Mrs. Taft, on the other hand, is more like the British model. In England when a man stands for Parliament, his wife is often very busy in his behalf. And that is especially true when he happens, as is frequently the case, to be the chief land owner or factory master of the district. His wife has probably long played the Lady Bountiful to the cottagers' wives or those of the workmen and has a following all her own.
Even here, however, the parallel is not close. The proper bailiwick of the Tafts is Cincinnati, at best Ohio. But the lady is taking in the nation. Wednesday she embarks on a concentrated two-week speaking tour which will cover seven states. And the campaign is only beginning.
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