New York Herald from New York, New York on February 26, 1922 · 72
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

New York Herald from New York, New York · 72

Publication:
Location:
New York, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, February 26, 1922
Page:
72
Start Free Trial
Cancel

mm A | - jjjr? ONE HUNDRED years lacking a few months have passed since John Howard Payne, actor, playwright, composer and consular official, first gave to the world its most famous ballad, "Home, Sweet Home." In that time an American wanderer's creation, written and first sung in England, has touched intimately countless millions of Americans at home or away from it. Now homesick and homeless Americans in Paris and London are building around the name of Payne and the deep running sentiment of his song plans for memorial homes for Americans abroad. To the promoters of these homes for travelers abroad, Payne is the patron of wanderers and "Home, Sweet Home" is their anthem. A group of Americans meeting recently in the offices of Alexander Kahn, representative of an American sewing machine company in Paris, arranged to open the first home there. Soon they expect to extend their activities to London and then to other capitals around the world. Later they may even have a branch in New York for lonely folk in the metropolis adventuring away from Western, Southern or New England firesides, or even for that always homeless class of which Payne was a distinguished member?the actors. The idea of "Home, Sweet Home" centers in Europe, the Far East and the Pacific Islands grew out of the conversation of twenty American tourists after dinner in a hotel of Tunis. They talked Home, Sweet Home and sang the song. Then they heard a story of how John Howard Ji EVERY thinking person, including the scoffer, is interested in the birth of a new religion. The dawn of a new religious idea is a phenomenon, and the growth and development of it into a faith always is an interesting study. What may lie between a new faith or a new doc-, trine interpreting differently the tenets of an old faith seems to place us at once in the receptive attitude strangely akin % with the Hindus who anciently listened to the gentle voice of Buddha, to the Asiatics who were fired by the enthusiasm of Mahomet and even with the characters who are portrayed in Genesis. "Cults" of course have always existed. There have been sporadic growths at the base of every great religious tree. Too often these have been mere fungi, worthless and to be cut down before they sap they feed: too often these have proved to he mere promotions of charlatans. Humanity never has been for long seduced Into receiving them and they ordinarily die for lack of a vitality only to he supplied by continuous Interest. A religion within recent years has come out of the East which, while containing some Oriental features, is easily adaptable to the Western world. It is rather to be described as a doctrino that combines the best in modern religions with old philosophies?so old indeed that they anticipate Zoroaster and the Grecian sages. It presents the combination in a form so original that it may be called an eutirely new religion. Its tenets, simple, almost primitive though they be, appear to be gaining considerable hold in the United States after an even greater degree of acceptance on the European continent. First Born in Persia, But Draws the Best Here This new spreading faith, this new re liglon, based on an idea of universal brotherhood of man, is Bahaisui. It was born In Persia?in the brain of a inedita T.Iv? sheik, a title which is religious as well as political. The most wonderful thing about it is not its novelty, for that It really has not, but the tact that It already dominates many souls in the United States who are representative of our most cultivated and purest mornled men and women. Also there is the corellating fact that these converts support Its Eastern representation I i 7 THE k Home S\ Payne, far away from his native land, homeless, alone and unhappy, died In Tunis on April 1, W 1852, when he was United States Consul there. Payne had written his great song twenty-nine years previously and had P spent all those inter^ vening years except gill six away from home. |1| According to local Payne spent the summer in a villa among breathed his last in r building s e p a rated from the British Residency by a nar- ( John Howard P.yn. lan<7 ? ... Over the site of his at the time he wrote grave is a plain, gray e . u ? marble slab on masHome, Swaet Home. ? . .. sive f o u n d a tions. overhung by a great pepper tree, whose limply falling branches resemble the weep ing willow. The slab, on which the Ameri- , can eagle is conspicuous, had been sent out from America. Payne's body did not have a home in ] America until 18S3, when his remains were removed from Tunis, thus carrying out the , restless SDirit of his life The coffin had remained in the Anglican j Church in Tunis on the night before its embarkment. "Home, Sweet Home" was played on the organ as it was moved out to the ship. The body lay in state in the Governor's room in City Hall, New York, when it arrived and later was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, D. C., in the 1 presence of thousands gathered to welcome home a strayed and broken son of America. The vast concourse sung the same sacred song that had been played on the organ in the little church in Tunis. President Arthur and his Cabinet and great numbers of Government officials attended the services to join in a belated tribute to a citizen who could muster few friends in America while he was alive. In the life of John Howard Payne and the tale of his wanderings, adventures and misfortunes, there is the same thread that lies in the experience of thousands of his fellow cou..?rymen who by choice or necessity quit America for foreign lands. His was the old story of first finding more joy in new surroundings than in old home scenes and then being betrayed by the lure of the rolling stone life. In connection with this effort to preserve for those who may by chance be abroad or there by pure choice there is recalled the whole sad life of John Howard Payne. largely by their generous gifts of money and will soon erect a costly, elaborate headquarters of the faith of Bahaism in the form of a magnificent marble temple in Chicago. All girts to uanatsm are unsolicited. Aim it is a powerful proof of the religion's ef fects on humanity when money In great quantities pours from the coffers of hard headed business men and women on whom no tax for supporting their religion has ever been laid. They find a new. a strange peace in this faith of Bahaism and their first impulse seems to he to place valuable gifts on the strange and far distant altar Bahaism calls itself a universal religion. This means universal brotherhood, and universal brotherhood means universal peace. With these great ideas, which are by no means new, Bahaism started to circle the globe. Quietly it crossed Europe, as quietly it leaped the ocean, and its converts in America gathered together two by two, then hundred by hundred, collecting as by a law of natural attraction and clinging together by another law equally natural of cohesion. There never has been a propaganda of Bahaism carried on in this or any other land. Nevertheless it is well within the mem orv of those not vet old that the first few adherent?" of the Bnb met on Sundays In a little dark hark room on Fifty-fifth street to read papers from the nephew of the Tlab, who was then a prisoner of the Turk in Acre?to read these papers and to dls cuss and Interpret them quietly, then to sing a few hymns and with a quiet pressure of the hand to disperse. A little later the increasing band met in the larger parlors of an adherent on Park avenue and by the year 1S90 or so they had still further grown and increased In membership and fortune until they were able to lease for spiritual meetings. Sundays and week days, a public hall on West Fifty-eighth street. Kven In these early days the merchants and business men who had been attracted by the very quietude of this simple religion had but onr urge, a desire that rose above all other earthly ones?It was to make the trip to Acre. In Asia Minor, and sit for a time at the feet of their spiritual master. Many of them did gain their desire. And not one went to Acre without, a gift, a free will offering, to aid their chief in the spread of his faith. NEW YORK HERALD, SI veet Home From the time he was 13 Payne never ] knew the meaning of the word home. The 1 only such thing his mind could picture ' when he wrote "Home, Sweet Home" was , America?Broadway, the Hampton hamlets of the far'south shore of Long Island, the friendly old buildings of Union College at Schenectady and the picturesque camps of | the Cherokee Indians in Georgia. j When Payne was 13 his mother died. Soon afterward his father joined her after j the failure of a private school of his in | Boston. Payne, who had been born some , place in New York city, spent his early boyhood in Boston, and at 12 showed such a marked gift of elocution that he attracted the attention of an actor who was all for putting the noy on the stage. Payne shared the actor's idea, but his ambition so shocked his father that the boy forth with was snipped to i\ew yovk to oe oouna out to a merchant and prepare himself for a business career. Payne worked by day for the merchant, to whom literally, like Uncle Tom, he ' owed his body. But by night he gave his soul to the stage, frequently the haunts ot actors in taverns around what is now City Hall Park at almost the time City Hall was being built. He published anonymously a little dramatic paper which he called the Thespian Mirror. The publication attracted such favorable attention that his authorship could not \ long be hidden. When William Coleman, who had founded the New York Evening Post only four years previously, learned that his colleague of the Mirror was only 33, he took an interest in the boy, which * was shared by John E. Seamons, a wealthy 1 man of benevolent, inclination and stern, | unyielding virtue. Seamons sent Payne to Union College as liis protege. Payne, a boy prodigy, started on his college career with a wide reputation. His fame as an editor of the Mirror had spread to Albany, where, in passing f through to Schenectady aboard a sloop, he was courted and petted and flattered and spent his benefactor's money with such j prodigality that Seamons withdrew his ^ support when he heard of it. ^ At Union young Payne was not a model ^ student and had to leave school to work his way after Seamons became dissatisfied with ? his actions. Among Union College's most g cherished possessions is the original manuscript of a poem entitled "Home." written in 1806 by a homesick, penniless student. Payne. Before the discovery of the ipanu3cript among the effects of Harmanus Bleecker of Albany, there had been some doubts about Payne's originality in writing "Home, Sweet Home." as many of the plays r and songs he did in after life were adapted. But comparisons of "Home" and "Home. Sweet Home" prove that the latter was elaborated from the former. When Payne left Union he was free to be an actor. When he was 16 he made his stage debut on February 24,1809, as Young Norval in "Douglas" at the old Park Theater, which stood in Park Row, between Beekman and Ann streets and backed into Theater Alley, the only reminder of what was the Longacre Square section of its day. Payne was a success in plays, all the way from "Barbarossa" to "Romeo and Juliet,*' and played in Boston. Philadelphia and What did the spiritual leader aim to do? No less than to blend with the ancient philosophies everywhere accepted as the guiding rule of good moral conduct as of man to man the creeds of Catholicism, Protestantism and Judaism all over the world. Bahaism may be characterized, and is characterized by its disciples, as a product of Christianity, Mahometanism and the ? Mosaic law. It recognizes the good in all three, it derives in great measure its t teachings and admonitions as well as in- ? splrations from the holy books, the Bible, i the Koran and the Tablets and Books of < Moses. From all it seeks to draw the best, free from alloy of superstition and hampering ceremonies. And by blending all three of these spiritual books there has evolved a spirit or personification of a religious aspiration which Bahaism stands for. It is perhaps the ^iniversal religion that so many, particularly in tho United States, have longed for a-nd elsewhere sought In vain. All that has been done In America so far has come about of itself. The believers, however, have long felt that some leader should superintend the work. During this year and presumably In the coming summer there will arrive from the Orient a small army of preachers, graduates of the American University at Beirut, who have spent most of their lives learning the English language. ( These apostles of the new faith will lie under the guidance of Dr. Kheiraila and Mahomet All's son, Mahomet All being 1 mo executive nenu 01 me uaiuusi move- ' nient. These preachers will go to various 1 cities, there to labor to build new nss'Tn- i hlies that are meant to spread the faith I to every State, I Of particular interest to the Bahai I movement here to-day Ih the recent suecesson of Mahomet. All, son of Halm Ullah, to the leadership of this religion. Ma- i hornet All's son and heir. Shua Ullah ' Behai, lives in the United States, is an American citizen and Is married to an I American woman. 1 Mr. Behai makes his home in New York 1 city. He came to this country at the time l of the St. Louis Exposition, sent hither by 1 his father to study western civilization and to realize in person the greatness of the American nation and the opportunities of I JNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, ^louris Baltimore. Then he went to England, where, in 1813, he made his first appearince at the Drnry Lane Theater. He became a playwright as an adjunct to his acting in much the same circumstances that prompted William Shakespeare to start writing for the stage. Being under contract to supply operas to the Covent Garden Theater, Payne wrote the libretto of an operetta, "Clari, or the Maid of Milan." As a suitable song was needed in the second act, Payne, inspired by early memories of New York, penned the immortal words: 'Mid pleasures and palaces though w? may roam, He it fiver an humble, there's no place like home. Payne furnished the tune as well. That is to say, he hummed it to Sir Henry Rowley Bishop, a composer, who fitted it to the words. What Payne had hummed was the remembrance of an air which he had heard rh is audience heard the first singing of "Home, Sweet Home." rom the lips of a 'Sicilian peasant girl elling oranges. For "Clari, the Maid of Milan," containng the most famous song of its kind in he world, Charles Kemble, manager of the Jovent Garden Theater, paid the poet ?30. i Miss Tree, a sister of the famous Ellen, ilayed the part of Clari and thus sung, or the first time on May 8, 1823, "Home, iweet Home." In twenty months Charles Cemble had gained $10,000 by the copyight in the sale of 100,000 copies. Other lublishers to whom the rights have passed lave made other huge Bums. Payne got inly his ?30, and had to keep on writing o pay for his lodgings. The author of "Home. Sweet Home," all ilong was discovering that Europe does iOt pay for prolonged American residence. Ie was frequently hard up and in trouble, nit he was a favorite and went among the lotable folk of his time. He lived in the alais Royal at its brilliant epoch, when 14 gambling houses drew sightseers from ill Europe He lived in the Rue Richelieu vhen it was still the elegant street of esidences. He knew the Paris of "Pellam" and "Becky Sharp," the Paris of gastronomy and the witty Boulevard. The ^atin Quarter was then the Latin Quarter, le had his entree to all theaters and :new the actors and actresses. He saw he pageant of the Empire. Yet he knew ntroducing the faith of Beha Ullali to the ipnnlp nf t.ho ITnilprl Slfntoa Perhaps one of the most picturesque eatures in the campaign is the erection of wo grandiose houses of worship?the lahaists eschew the word temple?which vill cost each more than a million dollars. Mans have already been completed for the milding of one in Willimette, a suburb of Chicago, and an identical one will be ;rected in New York immediately a suitible site is found. "Vig are not seekiug funds in this counry," said Mr. Behai. "We have been offered ill manner of help from the faithful here. WThere the offers were of money we have leclined them. Our financial resources tolay are more than ample to meet the exjenses of a countrywide campaign. All the noney that is needed will come from the Orient. We have millions and we propose o spend without hindrance in order to -iake the faith of my grandfather, Beha 'llah, known in every city and hamlet In his great country. "Our activities in the past have beeu con med to translating Into English the pre * . nilnli nn/l I ?i * rwJ i /w < n rr tn hp more educated of the nation the tenets >f our faith. We have now more than 10.000 Bahnists In this country, a large percentage of whom will become teachers and ireach the new faith." Strong Here and in Chicago, All From Old Faiths In both New York and Chicago, the two treat, .strongholds of the country, Bahaism las taken firm root. In the great metropois of the middle West there are more than >,000 faithful, nearly all Americans, and In his city they number well over 3,000 Most remarkable of all Is the fact that those neophytes have been recruited not from the ranks of the non-sectarlan units Hit from those of the Catholic, Protestant, fewlsh and other religions. It is among women that Bahaism has Its strongest appeal, particularly among the oiffraglsts. since its tenets recognize the rights of women and are in thorough sympathy with most of the principles advocated by them to-day. One of the earliest concerts and most enthusiastic adherents In this country Is Mrs. Kate T. Morris, a prominent suffragist leader, who was for many years hostess of the Woman's Suffrage, now the League of Women Voters. Mrs. Morris met Dr. Khelralla when he first 1922. ;ts Algae it did not pay. as he must have felt in \vl '"Home, Sweet Home": g0 An exile from home, spendor dazzles in jj0 vain. W| Oh, give me my lowly thatched cottage again, ^~c Tho birds singing gaily that came at my tO( call, 1 Give me them and that peace of mind jjg dearer than alL j0] Home, home, sweet, sweet home! ^ There's no place like home ! Payne returned home to New York in tbi 1835. But he had been away too long, tai For seven years he wandered up and down (tithe land of his birth, for a time studying the tribal customs o? the Cherokees and Ar defending their cause. His old friends ia were scattered. Little by little he found eh himself restless and out of touch. It was cai the revenge of the home neglected. dr Friends worked to get him a consular ou appointment. When he was 52 he ob- At tained the post at Tunis. When he pre- be sented his credentials the Bey of Tunis al< exclaimed: lei "America? America? Where is it?" mi Payne smiled sadly to himself. He let knew. fri He had consular society, an olive grove and?the flag! He was beloved for just mi one song that he had written. Once again sli he had a chance at home, sweet home Ai came to America, some thirty-five years sc ago, absorbed his teachings and herself be- ye came an ardent advocate of the new faith, ta She speaks thus of Bahalsm: "The spiritual trend in this country to- ti( day In undeniably for a new religion. It is tb coming slowly but surely. The suffrage f? movement and all these unity societies and of clubs scattered all over the land are merely pr outlying expressions of the will of the peo- *h pie for universal brotherhood. The teach- og ings of Beha ITllah, In my opinion, are the ba most Christian, enlightened and up to date teachings of any religion extant. You Bf might say that they are a compound of all fa the faiths of the world, and yet they are dr different and possess specillc qualities of es' their own. to "Marriage, Beha Ullah taught, cannot be 1" contracted without the specific consent of ex the young couple. Monogamy is recom- tw mended. It does not require leaders with Ti strong personalities like Dowie and Mrs. nr. Eddy, without whom Zionism and Christian Science would have made little progress lu thiB country, to introduce Rahaism here. The teachings of Beha IJllah are th clear and logical enough and carry an irre- jn slstlhle appeal to all intelligent and .. thoughtful men and women as they are expressed In the three volumes that sum up the whole philosophy of his religion, fhe th Most Sacred Book of Lowh, the Tablet of ta Wisdom and the Book of Heikel. One has p(1 only to study these books and absorb their j. teachings In order to in turn be able to Rp promulgate them in the assemblies." The Bahalsts are scattered all over the nc world. Their great citadel is, of course, Persia, where the new faith originated. Of ev the 15,000,000 inhabitants In the land of 0D Omnr Khayyam, 5,000,000 are of the Bahai denomination. The remainder of the con- re verts are spread over Russia, China, India, a Afghanistan, Beluchistan, Turkey, Syria. (]n Egypt and most of the European countries. ar Two principles constitute the basis of 3 Rahaism, unity and solidarity of mankind. fa Its aim Is the altruistic "kingdom of jf. hearts." There should be no conquest, no dominion and no adhesion to political ideas. in All men are equal and brothers. There are ro no great ones, no small ones, no nobility. f0 no plebs. All men are children of one great country?the earth. There is no special tn country?that is to say, the Idea of patriot- M ism does not exist among the Rahaists; the of cosmopolitan idea dominates entirely. m It was In 1853 that Mlrza Huseyn All, te i * At left is the hotel I in Paris where I Payne lived; J part of it still | fund in sr. len he was recalled In 1845. By more fl od work of his few remaining friends was reinstated in 1851, the year before 3 death, and he was glad to go again to ^ >rth Africa, because he had lived abroad , a long to live at home?or anywhere. I To the older Americans in Paris who are I hind the Home for Americans Payne's leliness amid pleasures is a living thing. ] ley Bay that the younger Americans, the I te soldiers of the A. E. F., will soon fin 1 1 e gloss of Paris worn off anil the con- J it with home perhaps too stretched to 1 aw them back to America. I It is for these and their kind that the I nerican Home will be a bit of a mothernd to dier sons who have lost their ances of making a success at home?be- g use they are saturated with I'arisim . the I ug of peace and goodwill, which is ruin- I s to business. They will learn that the nerican colony, socially, always has en composed of those who did not get ang well, socially, at home. They will 1 irn that in many kinds of services many \ in are sent to Paris from America to be 1 t down easy where, little by little, their 4 ienns ai nome win torgei mem. j Perhaps an American Home in Paris fl ay be just the prodding that will send ^ raying Americans back to their homes in nerica. ion of a princely Persian house, then a ung man of 35, descended from the moun ins of Solemniah, where be bad spent I '0 years in absolute seclusion and meditnm, and entering the city of Bagdad ere proclaimed himself to a few of his llowers as Beha Ullah, the manifestation the "glory of Ood," whose coming the opbets had foretold. In a comparatively ort time he was almost universally recnized as the man in whom God's glory id become manifest. a Beha Ullah, unlike his predecessor, the ib, who had paved the way for the new ' ith and who was executed with buneds of devotees by order of the Shah, raned the death nenaltv. hut was suhiect continued persecution. After months of iprisonment in Adrianople he was Anally iled into Bagdad, where he stayed for elve years under the supervision of the irkish police. J old Sultan to Approach fl And Was Banished to Acre fl In IMS Bthl Ullah was NUWVM bv V e Sultan Abdul Aziz to appear before him Constantinople. The prophet traveled 1 ither, but sent word to the Turkish I spot, though the (Band Vizier that it I e Sultan desired to see him he, the Sul 1 n should conic to him This angered the I dentate and he banished him to Acre. A Tin, where Ueha Ullah established his iritunl seat, and from where he conruled tO proniulcatu' (M tea< lilacs of the w faith. The Bahalsts have three great religious H ents. Their new year falls on March 21; V t April 25 the faithful observe a twelve iy feast, because on that day Bella Ullah otml In fi irrnvo nenr Hip river TOiflhoiir branch of the Euphrates, west of Bagid, while on his way to Constantinople, id there "uttered the texts." On March the Bahaists enter upon a nineteen day St., which ends on March 20. LIko the ahometans they pray facing east. Their ritual Is simple and consists In dividual prayer three times a day. Their sary contains ninety-five beads, the only rmula of worship being the simple ords: Allahu-Abha, which means, God the ost splendid. Their house of wor.ihlp, ashrak-El-Askar, the literal translation which Is the "dawn In a place of comemoration," Is only for assemblies and achlngs; prayer is taboo therein. A

What members have found on this page

Get access to Newspapers.com

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 18,000+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Try it free