So surprising was the advent of a a doctor of medicine into the field of belles letters that the public has swooped upon the published products of the mind of Joseph Collins, M.D., with whoops of glee. He is thus able to convey his ideas to a vast group of the more intelligent, and, since those ideas are usually rather sound, he now effects an active good.
But like every theorist he likes to it the world to his theory in preference to fitting his theory to the world. His "Childish Americans" in the January Parper's" fits the American public to his particular belief that the national malady is childishness. And it is not conducive to national content to realize how easily he is able to do this.
The masses and men of this continent are to the eyes of a sane and capable doctor of medicine puerile in their thinking, infantile in their action. But surely the great masses of any nation at any time could be considered childish from the angle of an individual maturity. Collections of mature minds often form a social group of puerile function. And there are yet in this country occasional vigorous and mature minds, even if the social group does appear ridiculous.
Too many underdeveloped individuals exist in every city and in every town. One sees them and, forgetting the others who leaven the leaf, fancies a soggy and undistinguished nation as the ultimate in America. But the Romans who, after all, made themselves a fairly energetic and successful nation for some time, were not always mature in their warrings or in their peace. And a certain playwright and wit has not yet learned to credit Britain with a complete maturity. Prosperous playboys Americans may be this diagnostician of the great American malady has found them that but at least they have not reached the complete decadence of a stultifying senility.