What One Man Thinks--David Gibson--Bach's tomb
I What One Man Thinks -By -By DAVID GIBSON What would life be without metaphor? A lawyer's opinion of a judge is the decision in the last case tried before him. Observation, Reading and ivfcmory. NOBODY seems to know just what form of government Russia is now under, but from all accounts it is more tyrannical, with the masses worse off, than under Czar and Grand Duke rule. It proves Tolstoi's statement of many years ago: "Now the rich rule the world; soon the poor will rule it, and we will all be much worse off!" The reason this is true is that the rich and poor are equal in social-economic social-economic social-economic illiteracy. Both, while drunk with power, encounter the same Law of Natural Consequence. They undertake to rule, one over the other, by tyranny and force, and any action under force results in destructive reaction. reaction. Emerson said: "Anything done by force must be done over again!" I just rode through one of these huge government slum clearance projects on the west side of Cleveland and now fully occupied. An artificial, standardized way of living hundreds of apartments, one just like another. Pots of artificial flowers and china animals of one kind and another inside on the sills of nearly every exposed window window the only natural items I saw was a milk bottle and a child's sled on one of the porches. Even the window drapes are alike provided by some pro fessional rather than any individuality expressed by one nousewire over anotner. n0 pace for children to play save in the streets under in uj a tv, .,-v,l .,-v,l .,-v,l ef .,,, , oKnur aa arr-Viirnnriir-ilN arr-Viirnnriir-ilN arr-Viirnnriir-ilN arr-Viirnnriir-ilN arr-Viirnnriir-ilN """"" t , , v Free attractive as the average brickyard. Within a radius of 15 miles of this project, in any direction to I save towards the lake, there are 250,000 acres of land that hasn't had a plow in it for 35 years idle, not being used for M anv nnrnnso Thorp nr-P nr-P nr-P also X )( ( neres nhsn lite v unim proved, within the city limits of Cleveland held by land speculators taxes unpaid for 12 years in many cases. It would seem with all this vacant acreage that individual homes with gardens might be provided and with safe playgrounds playgrounds for children. Slums, blighted areas and congested living quarters generally generally in all cities are the result of bad tax laws that totally reward land speculators and fine the average man with a family who "commits an improvement in the way of a home it those out. any from on full privi- j with a yard around jt that, These reat government slum clearance projects are an is attempt to circumvent congestion with more congestion and about as artificial, as unnatural as most present-day present-day present-day statute i jaws that undertake to allow the poor to eat some cake so that the rich may still have it. in the remarked the develops a patient a or of resemble uncontrollable the All rest to cve. and encouraged oreatn- to inhabitants are un- un- the or a He he Veterans' pensions of one war are an inducement in raising raising an army for the next. In any event, and upon any pretext, it is never hard to raise an army; for military life, active or inactive, is a relief from home hum-drum, hum-drum, hum-drum, routine, uninteresting existence that comes to most of us under personal economic pressure. Even in the Napoleonic wars, soldiers had better food, clothing and boots than in time of peace. Under the economic system of this civilization, the-very the-very the-very vast majority has not enjoyed the prosperity that is its natural natural right, save in times of war and brief periods of intensive speculative booms. But as to the specific example of how it is easy to raise an army : Last week in Cincinnati I fell in with an old fellow 81 years of age whom I used to know as a grocery keeper in my home town. He told me that as a very young man he had enlisted enlisted in the regular army and served six years in the southwest southwest during a threatened Indian uprising never saw any active service never even heard a shot fired save in target practice simply did guard duty along the frontier. That for the last 20 years he has been drawing $50 per month pension; that in the last few months this had been increased to $72 per month; that at two different periods he had suffered confining illnesses and had received the verv liiot c : j i - . i . . . . J urat 'L iiuiatiig a.nu metueai service in government nospital3. This six-year six-year six-year regular army service was a most profitable investment to this man. I am in no way criticising the liberality of our American pension policy, but I am saying that under our economic system, system, men are given more consideration and material reward after the destructive pursuits of war, than in constructive life and effort in peace. Henry Ryecrof t said : "For the work of a man's mind there is but one test, and one alone the judgment of generations yet unborn!" Johann Sebastian Bach, the father of modern music, lived from 1685 to 1750, and only six of his compositions were published published during his whole life time. Today, to a generation unborn in the time of his activity, he is the most popular composer in all the great musical centers centers of the world an all-Bach all-Bach all-Bach program by any recognized musical organization will attract a capacity audience. Eighty-seven Eighty-seven Eighty-seven years after his death, or about 100 years ago. Peters, music-publisher, music-publisher, music-publisher, Leipzig, made the first attempt to bring out the complete works of Bach. In 1851, Breitkopf & Haertel. also of Leipzig, started their collection it now comprises comprises 46 volumes. Bach, in his time, was known as an organ virtuoso even Dlayed before kings; his compositions, however, were not unknown, unknown, at least among musicians of his day. He had many pupils who made copies from the master's original manuscripts, manuscripts, and these were in turn re-copied, re-copied, re-copied, to wide dissemination. dissemination. And these copies, by the way, were the only means by which many of his compositions have been preserved their originals having been lost or destroyed. For about 125 vears Bach's erave remained unknown obliterated, a roadway having been cut through a part of the cemetery where he was known to have been buried. In IS93 this roadway was excavated for the nurnose of locating Bach's earthly remains. Public records of this ceme tery disclosed that his was one of three oaken coffins buried the same year. Two contained the bones of young persons and the third those of an elderly man. By comparing skull measurements with painted and engraved engraved portraits done during the master's life, it is reasonable reasonable to suppose that they were the earthly remains of Johann Sebastian Bach. They now rest under a costly monument in one of the public public centers of Leipzig all this very largely at the instigation of Sir Arthur Sullivan, of Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera fame and Sir George Groves who compiled the present-day present-day present-day five-volume five-volume five-volume standard musical dictionary that bears his name. The test of the works of man's mind is still the judgment of fenerations yet unborn as Henry Ryecroft puts it. Time destroys the trivial, the unworthy, and even though it may be popular in the day of its creation. Time discovers and preserves the worthy it is usually too far in advance of its generation for current appreciation. But the acceptance of the works of man's mind of this generation generation will not be so belated as in the time of Johann Sebastian Sebastian Bach, and by reason of modern means of reproduction and dissemination by transportation and communication.