23 JUNE 1939, Page 22


very interested reading Mr. Nicolson's note on the curious northnesses and southnesses which have evolved in every land, for this reason. Some years ago, lecturing in America, I spoke of this strange social climate which reproduces a geography that never was on sea or land. I held that in every country there is a hard-headed, businesslike north ; and, in balance, an easy-going, artistic south. That the east of a country is socially, and even physically, a simplified prolonga- tion of the north, and the west is always as southern as it can manage to be. I also held that no nation is stable until it has evolved these natural temperamental poles. (I foolishly thought that I was the only person who had spotted this oddity.) I continued, that every country I knew of had established itself upon a north and south line, with one exception, that the United States of America had departed, geographically and temperamentally, from the world-rule, and was organising itself along an eastern and western axis ; and that, consequently, the U.S.A. citizen must, in time, be psychically different from every other human being ; and be, indeed, foreign, and perhaps even incredible, to all the world. I hope Mr. Nicolson will comment on this addition to his riddle.—Yours faithfully, JAMES STEPHENS.