However soiled the letter columns of the intellectual magazine have been with scholastic dispute and literary name-calling, the private citizen was always secure in being able to turn to something wholesome like politics. But the new intelligence has all the while been eating into this happy vale of candidness, as the edge of a milltown eats into the virgin forest. Singularly untouched hitherto, and the more pathetic in downfall for that reason is the situation of Mayor Walker of New York.
The mayor accepted the honorary presidency of the International Shakespeare Association. Inc., and allowed his name to be used in a drive for funds. Disillusionment came when he found that protectorate was not the fund which is being collected for a Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-on-Avon, already supplied with an honorary president in Elihu Root, but rather the brain-child of Dr. W. E. Dentinger, osteopath and musico-therapeutist, who is planning a Broadway Shakespeare shrine. Mayor Walker instantly withdrew his name.
The contradiction suggested in such simultaneity of effort is more respectable that real. Each fund may have a real raison d'etre. The evident informal nature of the Manhattan drive makes it admirably adapted for amateur producers and actors. The Hampdens and Arlisses can depart taking the taint of professionalism with them.
Similar parallelism should be used in the staging of the plays. Shakespearean costuming in the hands of a musico-therapeutist could hardly be other than modern. The plays themselves are in no hands safer from mutilation than those of an osteopath. And the relative ideals of the two funds may be accurately projected by having the Stratford fund produce the plays that are beyond doubt Shakespearean while the Broadway Cathedral of the Bard rallies the flagging hearts of Baconians.