« PreviousContinue »
kept upon the shelf with the authors to whom one goes not to find new amusement but to renew the memory of amusement past. Redman Company.
A surfeit of any dialect is possible; even in Lowell an occasional bit of pure English is welcome, but a surfeit of such dialect as Mr. Norman Duncan bestows on the Newfoundland salt who is the foster father of the hero in his novel of "The Cruise of the Shining Light," comes very early in the book. Even if its matter were simple and straightforward, the dialect would give it an air of complication, but being elaborately mysterious, both in the narrative and in the conversational passages, the book is really difficult reading. When at last the mystery is disclosed, and the story is seen as a whole, the dialect becomes endurable in retrospect, but only the patient will read as far as that disclosure, and in this imperfect world patient folk are scarce. Harper & Brothers.
Of all recent biographies written in English, there is but one, Professor Palmer's George Herbert, so provocative of keen envy as Professor Raleigh's "Shakespeare," and, as with that work, one's envy is a triple cord; envy of the work itself, of the subject, and of the author's evident joy in his work. The book belongs to that "English Men of Letters" Series for which Mr. John Morley has found so many admirable writers, and consequently its length is settled by an arbitrary standard, but Professor Raleigh has so distributed his matter that its arrangement is in no sense mechanical of aspect. longest chapter, that called "Story and Character," is almost purely critical. scarcely less so than that on "Books and Poetry." With this work, a reader otherwise ignorant of Shakespeare is better equipped to appreciate him justly,
than the ordinary unthinking playgoer to whose ears his work is familiar. This is one of those commentaries which once seen, become indispensable. The Macmillan Company.
In each of the fourteen stories which make up his volume of "Ghetto Comedies," Mr. Zangwill shows, as was to have been expected, his intimate knowledge of his subject. His characters are not idealized in the least. On the contrary, the sardonic irony with which he often treats them is sometimes disappointing to the reader, who would fain have felt his sympathies stirred to the end, in spite of the title's warning, and is met, instead, by an anti-climax. But the whole impression made by the book is so strong that one lays it down with little disposition to criticize a method which has erred, if at all, on the side of candor. Especially noticeable are "The Bearer of Burdens," a study of the maternal passion; "The Red Mark," a delightful sketch of London schoolchildren, during a vaccination-panic; and "Holy Wedlock," the serious and moving picture of the courtship of an old man of seventy-five and a dame ten years his senior. The volume is one to be owned as well as read. Macmillan Co.
In "The New Chronicles of Rebecca," Kate Douglas Wiggin does not carry forward the story of the quaint young girl who made such a host of friends on her first appearance, but goes back and fills in with more detail the earlier narrative. We meet again the original characters-Aunt Jane and Aunt Miranda, Jerry Cobb, the stage-driver. the Simpson family, Emma Jane and the chore-boy Abijah, and Mr. Aladdin-but new ones equally sprightly and original are introduced. There is no figure in either volume more distinct and appealing than that of the
Little Prophet, driving his contrary cow, though Miss Dearborn, taking Rebecca behind the pine-trees to "make her prettier" for the flag-raising, is quite irresistible. For pure fun, Rebecca's composition, with the experiments that furnished data for it-"Which has the Most Benefercent Influence on Character, Punishment or Reward?"-will provoke as many chuckles as any chapter in the book. Houghton, Mifflin & Co.
Miss Sara King Wiley's "The Coming of Philibert" is a play, written for the closet rather than the stage and therefore destitute both of the detail necessary to explain character to the unthinking, and of the artificial stimuli demanded by the flagging attention of the groundlings. Its plot is simplicity itself, its action being merely that produced by the Artacian King's determination that, on the very eve of his coronation, the twin brother from his birth concealed by their father, shall be brought to court. Philibert, reared simply, but instructed in all knightliness, creates confusion and consternation among the courtiers and ministers by every word and act, but in his better truth and loyalty opens to his brother the only road by which he can be redeemed from the depravity ingrained in his nature by court breeding, and the little tragedy has a gleam of light at its close. The play is dedicated to the President in a few verses quoted from the description of Philibert himself as it is given by two characters who have dispassionately studied him, and it is improbable that he will receive any finer literary compliment for many a day, for Philibert is a creation, and the play, although somewhat shadowy as to its female characters, is a strong and no
ble piece of work, giving its author great prominence, possibly pre-eminence among American women who write verse. The Macmillan Company.
It is the current controversy over the "Virgin Birth" which has led to the preparation of Professor Alexander V. G. Allen's volume on "Freedom in the Church." Stated with admirable clearness, and strengthened by copious quotations from authorities patristic, mediæval and modern, Professor Allen's points are, briefly, these: there is a certain undogmatic character in the formularies of the Anglican church which has been one of its greatest charms for thoughtful minds; it is a misapprehension that the Church enforces upon her clergy an oath to believe and recite the Apostles' Creed with some authoritative sense attached to each phrase, under penalty of incurring the stigma of dishonesty and perjury; accusations of dishonesty, if brought, must be brought equally against clergy and laity; not the truth but the sense of the Creed is at issue in the present discussion: history shows that the purpose of the Creed was to assert not the unique and miraculous character of Christ's birth, but its human reality; the sensitiveness now felt has its root in a divergence of view regarding the Incarnation although the silences of St. John and St. Paul would seem to imply that belief in the Virgin Birth is not essential to belief in the Incarnation; the vow which the Church imposes on her clergy to be "diligent in reading of the Holy Scriptures, and in such studies as help to the knowledge of the same," makes progress possible. The Macmillan Company.
No. 3282 June 1, 1907.
Will the British Empire Stand or Fall? By J. Ellis Barker .
The Enemy's Camp. Chapters XIV and XV. (To be continued).
Berthelot, By Emily Crawford
Njati. (The Lone Buffalo.) By Kusiali. MACMILLAN'S MAGAZINE 553
TIMES 560 NATION 564 SPECTATOR 567
PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY BY
THE LIVING AGE COMPANY,
6 BEACON STREET, Boston.
TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION.
FOR SIX DOLLARS, remitted directly to the Publishers, THE LIVING AGE will be punctually forwarded for a year, free of postage, to any part of the United States. To Canada the postage is 50 cents per annum.
Remittances should be made by bank draft or check, or by post-office or express money order, if possible. If neither of these can be procured, the money should be sent in a registered letter. All postmasters are obliged to register letters when requested to do so. Drafts, checks, express and money orders should be made payable to the order of THE LIVING AGE Co.
Single Copies of THE LIVING AGE, 15 cents.
THE HILL OF PINES.
Stretched out beneath a mountain-pine, I watch the mottled woods below; The distant hills their clear-cut line Through soft October sunlight show.
A busy sparrow hurries by,
And now a hawk above me veersGray wings against an azure sky;
A droning bee about me steers.
This nodding little bluebell seems
I see the light on hill and plain,
You shared my love of flower and field;
About the hills a memory clings,
FIFTY YEARS ON.
"When you have turned a hundred and I am fifty-five”—
So spoke without a warning the plumpest girl alive
"I wonder, oh I wonder how both of us will be,
With Helen fifty-seven and baby fiftythree."
The sum was done precisely; each item was correct;
The grisly shade of Cocker had nothing to object;
And yet I could not praise her, or sanction a display
Which tossed about the fifties in this collected way.
But still the maiden pressed me, and so I made reply,
"I'll tell you what I think, dear, about your by-and-by;
Your figure will be ampler, and, like a buzzing hive,
Your boys and girls will tease you when you are fifty-five.
"Your hair will not be brown, dear; you'll wear a decent cap;
Maybe you'll have a grandchild a-crowing on your lap;
And through the winter evenings the easiest of chairs
Will give you greater comfort than romping on the stairs.
"And sometimes too, I fancy, when all the world is snow,
You'll smile as you remember the days of long ago;
And every now and then, dear, you'll spare a thought for me, When Helen's fifty-seven and baby's fifty-three."
WILL THE BRITISH EMPIRE STAND OR FALL?
Three centuries ago England was a backward and ignorant agricultural country, without enterprise, without trade, without wealth, without colonies. But England, though poor, was ambitious. Her leading men wished her to become a World-Power. Walter Raleigh wrote: "Whosoever commands the sea commands the trade; whosoever commands the trade commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself," and Lord Bacon declared "The rule of the sea is the epitome of monarchy," and advised this country to conquer the wealth and the colonies of Spain because Spain's power was no longer sufficient to defend her vast and wealthy possessions. Following the advice of her greatest statesmen, England made war upon Spain, not for political or religious reasons but because Spain owned the wealth of the New World. Spain declined and Holland became by war and by work heir to the larger part of Spain's wealth. Then England transferred her hostility from Spain to Holland. Attacked by England, who was later on joined by France, the Netherlands declined, England and France fell to fighting over the great Dutch inheritance, and war had to decide whether the New World was to become French or English. Thus by three centuries of war, firstly against Spain, then against Holland, and lastly against France, was the British Empire won, and the struggle for empire ended only in 1815 when at last Great Britain had vanquished all her European rivals. British colonial and commercial supremacy is barely a century old.
The rise of the British World-Empire has been similar to that of all other States and Empires, and only
those who are ignorant of history and of the great physiological and historical laws which rule the world can condemn the triumphant progress of the Anglo-Saxon race. This world is not a world of ease and peace, but a world of strife and war. Nature is ruled by the law of the struggle for existence and of the survival of the fittest and the strongest. States, like trees and animals, are engaged in a never-ending struggle for room, food, light, and air, and that struggle is a blessing in disguise, for it is the cause of all progress. Had it not been for that struggle, the world would still be a wilderness inhabited by its aboriginal savages.
The abolition of war would be a misfortune to mankind. It would lead not to the survival of the fittest and strongest, but to the survival of the sluggard and the unfit, and therefore to the degeneration of the human race. However, there is no likelihood that universal peace will be established. As long as human nature remains what it is, as long as self-interest, not benevolence, is the predominant motive in men and in States, those nations which are ambitious and strong will seize the possessions of those which are rich and weak. Thus Nature constantly rejuvenates the world and compels States to increase in civilization and strength by the same means by which she compels individuals to cultivate both mind and body, and those States which disregard the supreme law of Nature and of history disappear.
All States and Empires are founded upon power. By the exercise of power families have grown into tribes, tribes into States, and States into empires. The word "Power" happily ex