Sir Harry Lauder at the Harvard Union yesterday afternoon spoke on a subject that hundreds of men--warriors, statesmen, orators and authors--have touched on before. But he brought to his subject the pathos and the humor which are a part of his own make up, and this time the pathos was heightened by contrast with the humor. He spoke on relations personal and international.
Of late the country seems to have heard overmuch of such talk. The "notorious" peace plan, made more "notorious" by the addition of another 100,000 dollars, is still alive. In the past two years this country has welcomed many distinguished foreigners:- Marshall Foch, ex-premier Clemenceau, ex-premier Lloyd George, and others less famous. All of these have joined in a plea for better relations between men, and between nations. Now Sir Harry man of the people, coal-miner, humorist, and a father who has suffered the loss of his son in the Great War--comes, bringing the same message. Perhaps there is something in it after all.
All the leaders of the greater countries are interested in the idea of better relations. The United States Senate is interested in it, from a negative point of view. The people, however, are happy to let well enough alone. "One vote more or less will make no difference"--and this has always been the refrain. But now, more and more, the attempt is being made to educate the world up to the idea of the need for better relations. Sir Harry, in his speech yesterday, was merely trying to do that.
In prosperity it is easy to forget. More than a hundred years ago Charles Lamb wrote a humorous essay under the rather ambiguous title of "Poor Relations," in which he described the poor relation as casting a shadow on the threshold, in the high noon of prosperity.--In prosperity men do their best to forget such shadows. But in poverty and in wartime it is different. There is suffering, and, in thinking of a loss such as Sir Harry Lauder's, there comes to most men the question whether the subject is not worth more thought, and more interest, and more effort in a time of peace such as the present.