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THE WHITE HOUSE
April 13, 1915
I wish I had the wit to send something which would add interest and vivacity to this little volume. As it is, I can only express my deep and sincere interest in the work to which it is dedicated and the hope that it may bring rich returns to those who are seeking to help the little children.
HE proceeds from the sale of this book will be devoted to providing pure milk for sick babies and the maintenance of a Visiting Nurse. This fact is its excuse for being. Therefore, the purchaser is bound to get his money's worth one way or another.
But the book itself is unique. Every name in it is that of a notability in some walk of life, from the professional litterateur to the business magnate; from the well-known teacher, artist, statesman, actor, scientist, soldier, musician, lawyer, doctor or divine, to some famous publican and caterer. There are more than 57—there are 40-II varieties of mental pabulum, not to mention others that are sui generis.
In one sense the book is a topsy-turvy miscellany of rhymes and jingles, personal anecdotes, business axioms, moral aphorisms, and the like; in another sense it represents the sweet and tender compassion of democratic America; the common and growing desire to help the helpless. And what so helpless as a baby! And what so
dynamic in its possibilities! The victims of national hatred-of pitiless War-are no more deserving of the manna of human Charity than these little victims of sickness and poverty and silent suffering: and they are nearer home-they are our very own! Some day that word "charity" (but not its spirit) will be swallowed up in the word Duty or better yet, in Paul's word, Love. For it is duty we owe-it is love we owe, and the offices of both are always compensated.
The appeals for contributions by the women having this undertaking in charge have met with generous response, as the Table of Contents bears witness. But many were abashed at the very idea of appearing in print. For example, one man of big affairs wrote: "Bless me! I never had a sick baby, and I never made a rhyme in my life! What am I going to do?" Why, he was going to make a rhyme, of course! Like Silas Wegg, with a wooden leg, he took to rhyming like a duck to water—and if you don't believe it, buy the book and see for yourself!