These are troubled times. As the echoes of the war die away the sound of a new conflict rises on our ears. All the world is filled with industrial unrest. Strike follows upon strike. A world that has known five years of fighting has lost its taste for the honest drudgery of work. Cincinnatus will not back to his plow, or, at the best, stands sullenly between his plow-handles arguing for a higher wage.
The varied craftsmanship of the artisan had in it something of the creative element that was the parent motive of sustained industry. The dull routine of the factory hand in a cotton mill has gone. The life of a pioneer settler in America two hundred years ago, penurious and dangerous as it was, stands out brightly beside the dull and meaningless toil of his descendant.
The picture must not be drawn in colors too sinister. In the dullest work and in the meanest lives in the new world to-day there are elements that were lacking in the work of the old world. The universal spread of elementary education, the universal access to the printed page, and the universal hope of better things, if not for oneself, at least for one's children, and even the universal restlessness that the industrialism of to-day have brought are better things than the dull plodding passivity of the older world. Only a false mediævalism can paint the past in colors superior to the present. The haze of distance that dims the mou