Page images

conceive. It will never do to go on having a Second Chamber recruited almost entirely by the accident of birth, instead of by selection upon the principle of merit and capacity.

Sir Frederick Pollock, most astute and learned of lawyers, and closely identified with the Unionist party, has declared that "the House of Lords is driving us to a choice between two revolutions-a change in our unwritten conventions which would shift the centre of gravity from the House of Commons to the House of Lords, or a legislative change which would in one way or another formally restrain the exorbitant action of the Lords within the limits of the Constitution as understood by our fathers." Either kind of revolution would, in his judgment, be an evil; "but, if the choice must be made, I prefer a written Constitution as the lesser and more measurable evil." But perhaps the most impressive state

The Boonomist.


ment, alike from the standpoint of party tactics and constitutional duty, is contained in the speech of Lord Balfour of Burleigh. He told his brother Peers that they are "really walking into a trap, which has been set for them by those who are not their friends." There never was a time, he thinks, when it is more necesssary to combine moderate men. "Your action will make that course difficult. are going, if I may humbly say so to you, to offend the deeper conservative instincts of the country, and that feeling may be reflected at the polls." He honored the action of those who voted with Lord Lansdowne from a feeling that they must fulfil the expectations of their friends, and concluded: "I would like to join you if I could; but my judgment is that it is a false step, alike in the interests of the country and of the House in which I have spent the whole of my political life."


"Forasmuch therefore as ye trample on the poor and take exactions from him of wheat, ye have built houses of hewn stone but shall not dwell in them."

"And the great houses shall have an end, saith the Lord." Forasmuch as your hearts are hardened, and your hands encumbered with gold,

Forasmuch as ye sell your judgment, as a stall-fed beast is sold;

Forasmuch as your eyes yearn backward to the feast of the full fat years,

Forasmuch as your brows bend earthward, when the sign in

the heaven appears;

Therefore your feet shall falter, and the staff of your hands shall bend,

And the firm-set stones shall fall, for the house of the great hath an end.

Because your lips have watered for the price of the sufferer's pain,

Because ye have drugged men drowsy, and count their drunkenness gain;

Because ye have mocked their weakness, and flung them a

grudging dole,

Because ye have counted their bodies, and found no trace of a soul;

For all this the hounds are gathered, and the huntsman's net is spread,

And ye hear their horn on the hills like a long-drawn wail of the dead.

As up in your high-built halls ye have careless lived, and content

If others have toiled and gathered, and ye have scattered and


As ye fear to smirch your souls, or so much as a finger soil With the scum of a nation's ferment, the grime of a people's


Therefore your own fine hands have sullied your once fair fame,

And your speech that was bold and straight is now fall'n crooked and lame,

Till at last men say, Lo, these have woven their own rewards, Who once were lords among people, where now the people are lords.

[blocks in formation]

Sioux tales, not as an outsider might, but as one who listened to these stories and others like them in his boyhood. Mrs. Eastman, who is joint author with him of the little volume, wrote verse in her girlhood as Elaine Goodale, which attracted wide attention by its imagination and lyric beauty. Doubtless it is to her, in part, that the charming form which these tales take may be attributed.


The "Can-You-Believe-Me -seventeen in number, which Alicia Aspinwall tells in the volume bearing that title are addressed to young boy and girl readers. In such simple language are they told that children who can read anything can read the book for themselves. It won't make a great deal of difference whether they believe the stories; probably they won't, if they are well-conducted children who have been brought up to know a fairy tale when they see one; but they will be diverted and charmed by them, and will also be delighted with the pictures which illustrate them. E. P. Dutton & Co.

The edition of Laboulaye's "Fairy Tales" which E. P. Dutton & Co. present this year for holiday uses is attractively printed, and is decorated with six full-page illustrations in color, twice as many in black and white, and other smaller pictures scattered through the text,-all the work of Arthur A. Dixon. The tales are of a sort that appeals to young people of imag ination, and the pictures are in accord with them. For younger readers the same publishers offer "When Mother was a Little Girl," with pictures by Ida Waugh and verses by Amy E. Blanchard and others; "Little Indian Maidens at Work and Play," a volume of quaint pictures and verses by Beatrice Baxter Ruyl; and "Mother Goose and What Happened Next" by Anna Marion

Smith, who furnishes rhymed continuations of some of the most familiar Mother-Goose verses, with illustrations by Reginald Birch.

There are few better names to conjure with among boy readers than that of W. O. Stoddard Jr.; and his latest story, "Longshore Boys" (J. B. Lippincott Co.), is likely to extend his popularity. It is full of stirring incident, but the adventures which it describes are not of the impossible type, nor are the young heroes prodigies of valor. They are simply natural, healthy boys who have a good time and bear themselves well in time of special emergency. The dedication "To-my-son-Tom" suggests that the author has a boy reader and critic at home who, perhaps, saves him from the vagaries of writers who write for boys without knowing much about them. There are four illustrations in


Thomas Y. Crowell & Co. publish two pretty little books, both suggestive of Christmas uses and Christmas lessons, yet quite different. Dr. Charles E. Jefferson's "Christmas Builders" is a half serious, half whimsical discourse, deploring the overloading of Christmas and the many sorts of inconsiderateness which attend the conventional and fashionable observance of it, and urging a Christmas celebration which shall extend the whole year through; Hesba Stretton's "The Christmas Child" is a touching and simple story of a latter-day Christmas baby, to whom the observance of the Christchild's birth brought new joys and a new home. Both books are illustrated.

The Rev. Dr. A. H. Drysdale's "Christ Invisible Our Gain” (A. C. Armstrong & Son) suggests, in its central purpose, President King's "The Seeming Unreality of the Spiritual

Life." Like that, it aims to show that there is nothing which need be disturbing to faith in the fact that spiritual experiences and spiritual realities lie beyond the domain of the things which we see and handle. But Dr. Drysdale carries the thought even farther than President King, by adducing reasons why the withdrawal of the physical presence of Christ is not only not a loss but a gain,-a gain to faith, to hope, to love and to joy. To this conclusion the author leads up through study of the words of Christ, the teaching and experience of the Apostles, and the experience of the devout of to-day. The book is thoughtful and spiritually stimulating and suggestive.

The politics of Madison's administration have been thrown into the shade as a theatre for fiction by its military and naval history, and Mr. Albert E. Hancock's "Bronson of the Rabble" covers ground almost unoccupied by the novelist. The hero, a poor man's son, self-educated at the cost of very great exertion, makes a place for himself in politics; defeats the senator from his district, a man many years his senior and his enemy from his boyhood, and marries his niece; but his story is only the skeleton which the author has clothed with the politics of the time. Those who fancy that there was a dull space in the history of the United States between the battle of New Orleans and Jackson's inauguration should not neglect the opportunity afforded by "Bronson of the Rabble" to learn how keenly the people felt its issues and how deeply they were stirred by its interests. J. B. Lippincott Co.

Mrs. Mary Austin has essayed many different styles of writing since her first book was published, and the short stories included in "Lost Borders" differ from everything which has preceded them, her novel "Isidro" excepted.

Many of them are the stories of the wife, the husband and another, that tale which so many Western writers seem to think the only one necessary to tell. One is a genuine and very cleverly narrated ghost story and two or three abound in a species of hard humor apparently indigenous to the West and certainly seldom as conspicuous in the course of events in the East, as it becomes in Western literature. It is pleasant to see that the author has quite laid aside her brief affectation of misusing English as severely as is Mr. Jack London's habit, and now writes clear, limpid prose, its words excellently chosen, and its phrasing highly effective. Harper & Brothers.

The true physician gives advice in such a form that it will be remembered, caring comparatively little as to its palatability, and it seems probable that the penetrating, stinging quality of the sayings in Dr. George L. Walton's "Those Nerves" reproduces that of his counsel to actual patients. Certainly the most conceited and evasive reader could hardly evade their darts, or shake them off when once they had found lodgment. In a series of clear, bright discourses he expounds the foolishness of expecting nervous affections to be cured by a single effort, and the folly of various obsessions such as those of setting other people right; of invariably being prompt; of immediately doing everything that can be done; of expecting always to be well; and of general discursiveness. The papers show wide and deep knowledge of human weakness, so wide and so deep in truth that few are they who will not find something beneficial in the book. J. B. Lippincott Company.

As the daughter of a Canadian coal dealer was of no family at all according to Canadian ideas, it was necessary for Miss Marjorie Dyer, the

heroine of Mr. Albert Hickman's "An Unofficial Love Story," to consider very curiously when she began to carry out her plan for spending her life in London and enjoying all its delights. She had eyes which could assume an expression of the most convincing childlike interest; she had a most persuasive drawl, and the knack of buying exactly the right clothes and of wearing them in the right way, and consequently, not only did young Canada fall down and worship her, but visiting strangers joined in their devotions. The means by which she captured one of the latter, an English agent of the foreign office, and opened her road to Bruton street, W., although unofficial, are worth the study not only of young ladies with similar designs, but of young gentlemen desirous of evading them and of mothers who would make them of non-avail with a view to diverting young gentlemen towards their own daughters, and the story is related in a light, original fashion which heightens its humor. Century Company.


"Options" was a clever name to give to the volume of short stories selected from the past two years' work of that popular writer, O. Henry, and the stories are clever stories. A Georgia colonel engaged in magazine-editing, department-store clerk out of a job, a frontier girl in New York society, an old darky perplexed by the resemblance between the young master whom he has not seen for ten years and his northern cousin, a peddler gold-hunting in Guatemala, an ornithologist's daughter and her Texas suitor, a hermit of the Hudson, a modern Indian reverting to his type, a head-hunter from the Philippines, a Long Island girl looking for her lover in the metropolis, an amateur prizefighter philosophizing in a park, a plate-glass drummer in love with the daughter of a Virginia colonel-these

are some of the heroes and heroines. Mr. Henry's plots are so ingenious, his comments on life so shrewd, his epigrams so quotable and his sympathies so keen that one regrets that his humor should sometimes degenerate into mere slangy smartness. Harper & Bros.

That exquisite idyl of child-life, Johanna Spyri's story "Heidi" is published in a sumptuous holiday edition by E. P. Dutton & Co. The form is a square octavo; the type is large and clear; there are ample margins; and there are twelve full-page illustrations in color by Lizzie Lawson, besides a number of drawings in black and white. This beautiful classic, well adapted, as the author hoped it might be, to delight both children and all who love children, has never before been presented in so attractive a volume. The Duttons also publish "Captain Pete of Cortesana" by James Cooper Wheeler, in which the Captain Pete with whom boy readers became pleasantly acquainted in Mr. Wheeler's earlier book has some more stirring adventures in the Puget Sound district; "Old Man's Beard and Other Tales" by G. M. Faulding, a group of a half dozen or more cleverly fanciful stories for young readers, illustrated with equal cleverness by Walter P. Starmer, with five full-page pictures in color, and many in black and white; and "Come and Go," a volume of verses for small children, by Clifton Bingham, with gorgeous colored pictures, ingeniously arranged with ribbons, so that novel and unexpected results can be secured by merely pulling the strings.

It was a wise decision of Mr. Emerson's family and his literary executor which led to the preparation of his Journals for publication. One has only to browse through the first two vol

« PreviousContinue »