• U.S.

People, Nov. 28, 1938

3 minute read

In a squabbly session of the Supreme Court, young TVA Attorney James Lawrence Fly was repeatedly bumbled at by Justice Pierce Butler, made a retort such as Supreme Court justices seldom hear: “Your Honor, the point seems perfectly clear except in Your Honor’s mind.”

To perplexed Parisian newshawks Gertrude Stein explained a libretto she has just completed for her second opera,* a Steinish version of Faust: Faust “sells his soul over and over again hoping to go to hell. He kills his boy and dog to really sin and go to hell and is turned into a young man. But Marguerite denies he is Faust and because he cannot prove it he finally just fades away. Yes, it is rather amusing.” From one of the Stein songs: “The devil what the devil do I care if the devil is there. . . . And you wanted my soul what the hell did you want my soul for how do you know I have a soul who says so nobody says so but you the devil and everybody knows the devil is all lies.” Arrested for driving 37 m.p.h. along London’s Victoria Embankment (7 m.p.h. over the speed limit), Captain George Edward Thomas Eyston, holder of the world’s landspeed record (357.5 m.p.h.), with wicked cunning pleaded that he had “only just returned from America.”

Because the Duchess of Atholl spoke out against the Peace of Munich, the Kinross and West Perth Unionist Association (a Conservative Party political club) refused to renominate her for the House of Commons, where she has served 13 years. Thereupon the Duke, who was president of the club, resigned, declared his wife would stand her next election as an independent, snapped: “And she’s bound to be elected.”

Admitted to U. S. citizenship in a Hollywood courtroom, German-born Cinemactress Luise Rainer jumped up & down, clapped her hands, cut a couple of delighted capers. Then she risked a reprimand from the U. S. Flag Association by wrapping herself in a U. S. flag, having her picture taken. To a meeting of 200 teachers, sardonic Author-Professor John Erskine declared that the only subject taught correctly in the schools today is athletics.

While bunting streamed, a band blared and the citizenry gawped, 64-year-old Mark Sullivan, stalwart standpat of U. S. political journalism, rode up the main street of West Chester, Pa. as its No. 1 local-boy-who-made-good. Purpose: To top off his 50 years as a newspaper man (and boost his autobiography, The Education of an American) by doing a day’s work in the town where he began. Because both papers on which he worked have been long defunct, he had to do it on their rival sheet, the daily Local News, under Editor Edwin L. McKinstry. Canada’s Governor-General Lord Tweedsmuir, who has written 51 books under his commoner’s name of John Buchan, called them “a terrible weight on my conscience,” confessed with a simper that he has written “far, far too many.”

Chagrined members of the Paris post of the British Legion were told by their officials that it would be “impossible” to invite the Duke & Duchess of Windsor to their annual dinner next week. British Legionnaires were further irked when the Duke & Duchess accepted an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner from the American Legion.

* The first: Four Saints in Three Acts. For her Faust, British Composer Sir Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson, Baron Berners, is writing the music.

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