By Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent
The Statesman devoted several articles and editorials on the meeting of the National Education Association In St. Paul, Minnesota. The topics reported and analyzed apparently have not been settled, even though a century has passed.
Sex Teaching To Be Common
To Be Placed on Same Basis as Spelling and Arithmetic, Says Prof.
Will Lose Its Sacredness States Dr. Charles Keene
Scores Wealth Club Woman Who Has Not Time To Teach Her Young
St. Paul, July 8 – “Sex instructions placed on the same basis as spelling and arithmetic will become so common that it will lose its sacredness,” asserted Dr. Charles H. Keene of Minneapolis, supervisor of hygiene and physical training before the national education association today.
Idle Rich Condemned
“We should have but the strongest condemnation for the wealthy club-going woman, who has not the time to teach her children the fundamental truths of lie, but who would throw the responsibility upon a teacher or a football coach,” he continued.
As speaker after speaker expressed similar views, it became apparent that the added duty of teaching sex hygiene would not be placed upon the American teacher if it could be prevented by the association.
Reporting on how the interpretation of the great writings of the past are understood today, the paper reported a speech by Stockton Axson, brother-in-law of President Wilson. In a lecture at the University of Oregon, Professor Axson looked at “Shakespeare’s Problem Plays”from the point of view of the modern:
“Only in a very general way can we regard these plays as social and political,”says Dr. Axson. “They rather suggest than define social and political questions. The real significance of them is that they are written by a man who, like all the greater moral philosophers, is impatient of false appearance and wants to get down to the fundamental reality of things.
“In ‘All’s Well That Ends Well, the problem is one that has to do with social inequality, but Shakespeare did not write as a modern democrat (with a small d) would write. Rather he is, like all doubtful men, distressed by the insolence which sometimes characterizes men of birth and wealth in their inability to see the inherent qualities of noble manhood and womanhood.
“In ‘Measure for Measure,’the problem is more connected with the state, the basic idea being that stringent laws, too stringently administered, must in the end defeat their own purposes. No system of government which does not take into account human nature can be a successful government, and even in the administration of law there must be some thought of mercy as well as justice. The attempt in this play was to legislature the ‘social evil’out of existence.
“Troilus and Cressida is quite the most bitter thing that Shakespeare ever wrote. The suggestions of the sex question which come up in these plays seem like those which are so likely to come up in modern problem plays, but on close scrutiny we see that they arise out of Shakespeare’s thinking in individuals’ relationship to each other and society. Troilus and Cressida is an attack on the rather work ideals [sic] of chivalry which poets in his day were still parting about long after they had lost all their vitality. Looked at from our modern point of view it is really a call to men to stop dreaming about the past and to accept the world as it is today.”
In Europe, the prospects of war were never far from the thoughts of Chancellors, foreign ministers, and ambassadors.
In Austria-Hungary, the emperor, Franz Joseph received the preliminary report on the assassination of the archduke. The chancellor, Count Berchtold notes that the Emperor seems ready for action against Serbia.
In Germany, after briefings by Chancellor Bethmann on the Serbian situation, the German Interior Minister Delbrück comments that “this is war,”and begins preparations accordingly.
In Britain, the Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey tells the German Ambassador Lichnowsky that Britain has long been holding military talks with France and Russia. Grey, though, is confident that the Serbian crisis will not result in a European war. The Foreign Office Undersecretary, Harold Nicolson writes: “…I expect the storm will soon blow over.”